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WHERE ARE YOU?

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, March 01, 2013

where are you

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il Go to to see more of his graphic art at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/from_by_fred/
http://nowthese.blogspot.co.il
http://freifenberg-newblog.blogspot.com/
http://abstractsfromfred-fred343.blogspot.com/
http://reifyreadying.blogspot.com/


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MUD SLINGING AT JEWISH PIONEERS ACCUSING US OF THE ARABS' CRIMES. MANY CASES ALONG THE YEARS

Posted by Sergio HaDar Tezza, March 01, 2013

The article below was written by David Lev who is founder & editor of Aliyah Magazine, dedicated to attracting Jews to live in Israel. He has won a leading writing award for a competition hosted by A7. Email him at http://www.aliyahmagazine.com. This article appeared February 28, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspSSx/165

Samaria residents slammed leftist groups after it turned out that Arabs were responsible for a 'price tag' attack blamed on Jews.

burnt car

Members of the Samaria Residents Council slammed leftist groups Thursday after police said that what had been thought to be a "price tag" action by Jewish residents of Esh Kodesh in the Binyamin region turned out to be a dispute between Arabs. It was the Arabs who set fire to six vehicles in the village of Korsa near Shechem last week, deliberately blaming the Jews for their activities.

Among the groups with egg on their face in the wake of the police findings is the "Rabbis for Human Rights" organization, which in the wake of the claims by Arabs that they had been attacked by Jews, issued a harsh statement condemning Esh Kodesh residents for their "hateful" activities.

Police said that the "evidence" supplied by Arabs that Jews had undertaken the attack — an Israeli identity card left at the scene — was fabricated. The ID card belonged to a soldier who, on the night of the attack, was stationed far from the Arab village. He had apparently lost the ID card, with Arabs finding it and holding onto it, apparently for an event just like the one that occurred in the village last week.

In a statement, the Council said that "today it is clear that this incident was, beyond the shadow of a doubt, choreographed by the Arabs, with the support and assistance of leftist groups who continue to support terror, increasing tensions between Jews and Arabs by encouraging these blood libels against Jewish residents of Samaria."

According to Council head Benny Katzover, "hundreds of Arab rioters last week attempted to invade Esh Kodesh, after leftist groups said that they carried out a 'price tag' attack and burned the cars." Several residents were injured in an ensuing fight.

The Council also expressed shock that it took police a week to announce the truth about the incident. "It would be a good idea for police to deal with issues like this immediately, due to the high levels of incitement and potential for violence caused by the claims and actions of fifth column leftist groups."

Sergio HaDar Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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BENNETT VINDICATED AS COALITION CRAFTING ENTERS OVERTIME

Posted by Arutz Sheva, March 01, 2013

This is by Gil Ronen, a writer for Arutz-Sheva (www.IsraelNationalNews.com).

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet President Shimon Peres Saturday evening and ask him for a two-week extension in which to put together a coalition of parties and form a new government.

Peres will grant Netanyahu the two-week extension.

If Netanyahu fails to cobble together a coalition within a fortnight, however, he will be in serious trouble. Peres could decide to task someone else with creating a coalition, or new elections could be called.

We are, therefore, entering the "money time" of coalition crafting.

The reports in two major news sources Friday that Netanyahu's representatives offered Yesh Atid a policy of destroying Jewish communities in return for their entry into the coalition without Bayit Yehudi, vindicate Bayit Yehudi's decision to enter into a tactical alliance with Yesh Atid. Together with reports that Likud made contradictory overtures to Bayit Yehudi, they portray Netanyahu in an unflattering light and are no cause for pride, for supporters of Likud / Yisrael Beytenu.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page Friday: "While the Likud was explaining to us how important it is to abandon the connection with Lapid in order to strengthen the settlement enterprise, it was explaining to Lapid how important it is to abandon Bayit Yehudi in order to tear down the settlement enterprise."

If readers sense some bitterness and disappointment between the lines, their senses are probably not misleading them.

Likud's offers to Yesh Atid, if they indeed were made, vindicate Bennett's tactical move, to enter into a gentlemen's agreement with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. The two promised each other not to enter the coalition without each other.

Yesh Atid is a center-left, largely secularist party, which placed the matter of hareidi men's enlistment to the military as a central plank in its agenda. The party contains a strong ultra-leftist contingent, but its leader, Lapid, is less of an ideologue and more mainstream than his more radical MKs.

The hareidi enlistment issue is a favorite wedge issue of the Israeli left wing, because it splits the nationalist camp between hareidim and non-hareidim. The issue has, for decades, been seen as largely unsolvable, and governments have preferred to manage it rather than confront it head-on.

What Naftali Bennett did was to make Lapid an offer he couldn't refuse. He would enable him to square the circle and force a true change as regards hareidi enlistment. For this, Bennett would be willing to weather the storm of accusations that he was "selling out" his hareidi brethren and joining a secularist to do so.

In return, what Bennett has apparently received is a guarantee that the next coalition will not only include Bayit Yehudi but will also have to respect Bayit Yehudi's core principles, especially regarding the political and strategic issues that surround the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.

Bennett has been warning for months that Netanyahu is planning a leftist, defeatist government, based upon a coalition with hareidim and leftist parties, including Yesh Atid. Likud's reported overtures to Yesh Atid confirm that he was right. What Bennett appears to have achieved through his pact with Lapid is a realignment of Israeli politics: essentially, the center will stop leaning to the left on Judea and Samaria, while the religious Zionists side with the secular Zionists on key issues regarding the power and privileges of the non-Zionist hareidi stream.

If the Bennett-Lapid pact holds up, this revolution will come close to turning into reality in a fortnight's time.

There is much gnashing of teeth on both sides of the political spectrum, meanwhile. Many in hareidi circles are understandably aghast at the developments. Some nationalists see Lapid as a sell-out just by virtue of the fact that he is letting Yesh Atid into the coalition. They do not trust Lapid and think he will bolt the coalition at the first opportunity, leaving the nationalist bloc splintered, perhaps permanently.

On the left-wing, too, there is much apprehension. Channel 2's Rina Matzliach, whose leftist views are no secret, has incongruously become a great fan of the hareidi-Zionist Tekuma stream within Bayit Yehudi in the last week. She apparently hopes that MK Uri Ariel and other Tekuma MKs will split off from Bennett and prevent the Yesh Atid — Bayit Yehudi plan from being implemented. At this point, however, the pact between Bennett and Lapid appears strong.

Contact Arutz Sheva at news@israelnationalnews.com


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PRESIDENT OBAMA, BEWARE OF BENEVOLENT ETHNOCENTRISM

Posted by Yorum Ettinger, March 01, 2013

On the eve of President Obama's visit to the Middle East, he should examine the damage, to vital US economic and national security interests, caused by benevolent ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism — judging other cultures by one's own standards — is morally wrong, especially when motivated by superiority complex or racism.

Benevolent ethnocentrism — the assumption that other cultures are ready to embrace one's own standards and worldview - is morally flawed and strategically self-destructive. This reflects a superficial view of global complexity and undermines one's posture of deterrence in a world of intensifying disorder, and increasing hostility towards Western values, in spite of President Obama's outreach campaign since 2009.

The tectonic history of international relations, from time immemorial. attests that Free World leaders — who represent a global minority - should avoid the delusion that most non-democratic societies would depart from their centuries-old values, preferring engagement to confrontation, peace over war, tolerance over fanaticism and freedom over oppression, if offered adequate diplomatic and economic incentives.

Free World leaders should not assume that cardinal democratic values such as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, peaceful coexistence, and the belief that all men are created equal, could be adopted by most non-democratic cultures. Most non-democracies consider these values a lethal threat. One should not ignore the drastic and endemic historical, ideological, religious, cultural and educational differences, as well as conflicting interests and visions, which separate the global democratic minority from the tyrannical majority. They should avoid oversimplification and over-globalization in a highly diversified, conflict ridden world, which has been afflicted for millennia by insoluble conflicts, unpredictability, instability, shifty policies and violent intolerance.

For example, in 1967, British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was determined to introduce self-determination into Aden (South Yemen). His decision was impacted, in part, by a US policy to push Britain out of Arabia and the Gulf and by South Yemen anti-British upheaval. However, rather than advancing self determination, the British/US policy transformed South, and North, Yemen into a major platform of Islamic and international terrorism, further destabilizing the Arabian Peninsula, undermining democracy and vital British and American interests.

In 1978, President Carter pressured the Shah of Iran to accelerate the expansion of civil liberties and tolerate the activities of Ayatollah Khomeini and other anti-Shah elements. Carter informed Iran's military of his disregard for the Shah — who was America's leading and most loyal "policeman" of the Persian Gulf — triggering a pro-Khomeini shift among Iran's generals, thus transforming Iran into America's most determined enemy in the world.

In 1989/90, the disintegration of the USSR was misinterpreted by President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State Baker as a New World Order, vying for democracy and producing Peace Dividends. Instead, the New World Disorder that evolved culminated with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities and the proliferation/explosion of Islamic terrorism throughout the world, including on the US mainland.

In 1993, President Clinton followed Israel's Prime Minister Rabin and then Foreign Minister Peres, embracing Arafat as a messenger of peace, recommending him as a Nobel Peace Laureate and considering the Oslo Process a venue to a more peaceful, prosperous, free and stable Middle East. Instead, Oslo produced unprecedented Palestinian hate-education, terrorism and non-compliance, consistent with 1,400 years of no intra-Arab peace, no intra-Arab compliance with agreements and no Arab democracy.

In 2003, the democratization of Iraq was a top priority for President George W. Bush, who assumed that elections in a violent society could be "free," leading to democracy. Instead, unprecedented terrorism has engulfed Iraq, accelerating the disintegration of the country, transforming Baghdad into an Iranian satellite, and serving as the principal conduit of military shipments to the Assad regime.

In 2011, the tumultuous Arab Street was perceived, by the Free World, as an Arab Spring featuring the March of Democracy, Facebook and Youth Revolutions, and the reincarnation of MLK and Mahatma Gandhi. In 2013, it is evident that the seismic Arab Street is experiencing a stormy Arab Winter, top heavy with rogue entities, which are less familiar, less predictable, more treacherous, more violent and threatening to the US and the Free World.

In 2013, the Free World prefers diplomatic and economic engagement — rather than confrontation — with Iran. The delusion that the Ayatollahs are vulnerable to inherently ineffective economic sanctions, and responsive to the democratic values of negotiation, compliance with agreements, peaceful-coexistence and enhancement of civil liberties, defies reality as is evidenced in the case of North Korea. This has provided Iran with more time to develop/acquire nuclear capabilities, which could devastate critical American economic and national security interests.

The exercise of benevolent ethnocentrism — projecting one's democratic values upon non-democratic societies — consistently is interpreted by non-democratic societies as weakness. It erodes the Western posture of deterrence, aggravating, rather than solving, regional conflicts, while undermining Western national security and economic interests.

Ambassador (ret.) Ettinger, the Executive Director of "Second Thought: A US-Israel Initiative" and an expert on Middle East politics and US-Israel relations, served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington and Consul General in Houston, Texas. He regularly briefs Israeli and US legislators and their staff on US-Israel strategic ties, Mideast politics and overseas investments in Israel's high tech. His articles are published at:
http://www.TheEttingerReport.com.


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WHY IS THE WHITE HOUSE THREATENING BOB WOODWARD, THE WHISTLEBLOWER OF THE "WATERGATE SCANDAL", AND THE "WHITE-HOUSE-FRIENDLY" MEDIA MAKING FUN OF HIM?

Posted by Sergio HaDar Tezza, March 01, 2013

The article below was written by Jeffrey T. Kuhner who is a radio commentator in Boston. This article appeared March 01, 2013 in the Washington Times and is archived at
Washington Times.com/news/2013/mar/1/educating-bob-woodward/

Bob Woodward has become an enemy of the Obama regime. His crime? He warned the White House that he was about to publish an opinion piece in The Washington Post, which criticized President Obama's handling of the forced budget cuts — known as the "sequester."

Senior economic adviser, Gene Sperling, threatened Mr. Woodward, saying the journalist would "regret doing this." Mr. Woodward wrote a best-selling book on the August 2011 budget deal. He interviewed congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as administration officials. Blow-by-blow, fact-by-fact, Mr. Woodward demonstrates one incontrovertible truth: The sequester — the plan to implement across-the-board $85 billion budget cuts — was Mr. Obama's idea. He proposed it. His staff largely drafted it. He signed the bill — and he owns it.

Yet for weeks, the president has been acting like a demagogue, seeking to pin the blame for the looming cuts in defense and domestic programs on the GOP. In short, Mr. Obama is lying. For revealing this, Mr. Woodward is now viewed by the White House as a traitor. It has declared war on him.

"It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, 'You're going to regret doing something that you believe in,' " Mr. Woodward said.

In other words, the administration is assaulting freedom of the press. Its senior officials are threatening and attempting to bully journalists who criticize Mr. Obama. The irony is that Mr. Woodward is a liberal and a once-strong Obama supporter. He is not a conservative or some right-wing gadfly. Rather, for decades he has been a pivotal part of the Democratic media establishment. Liberals lionized him for helping to bring down President Richard Nixon. He was a relentless critic of President Ronald Reagan. He consistently defended President Bill Clinton, despite his numerous abuses of power. In short, he has embodied progressive conventional wisdom.

I don't care for Mr. Woodward. Unlike some on the right, I refuse to now jump on his bandwagon, praising him as some brilliant, courageous muckraker whose journalistic integrity is beyond dispute. He — along with Carl Bernstein — waged a relentless campaign against Nixon for one reason: They despised his politics. Whatever Nixon's crimes — political cheap tricks, enemies' lists, domestic surveillance of critics — they were also committed by Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. They were Democrats. Hence, The Washington Post couldn't have cared less. One need only see how Mr. Woodward was willing to turn a blind eye to Mr. Clinton's numerous scandals to realize that he is nothing more than a creature of the Beltway. He serves the liberal ruling class. Like a moth to a flame, he is attracted to the burning fires of power.

This raises the question: Why is Mr. Woodward growing so disenchanted with Mr. Obama? He realizes that the president is an inept narcissist who is out of his depth. For Mr. Woodward to turn on Mr. Obama, it is obvious even the Beltway mandarins are getting nervous. America is about to careen off a real fiscal cliff, and Mr. Obama is asleep at the wheel. The national debt is soaring to nearly $17 trillion. The administration has racked up consecutive trillion-dollar deficits. Mr. Obama's projected budgets reveal oceans of more red ink. The $85 billion sequester is a drop in the fiscal bucket compared to our $3.6 trillion annual budget. Instead of acknowledging this, Mr. Obama has been engaging in irresponsible fear-mongering — meat inspectors will be fired; air-traffic controllers will be let go; police officers and firemen will not be able to get paid; more than 800,000 Pentagon employees will be laid off. In short, according to the president, the sky will fall if the budget cuts kick in.

This includes protecting our national interests. Mr. Obama claims that he cannot deploy the USS Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf because of the sequester. Mr. Woodward rightly said that Mr. Obama was showing a "kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time" for his decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier owing to alleged budgetary constraints.

"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document'?" Mr. Woodward said on MSNBC.

No. But Reagan was a grown-up — not an immature community activist obsessed with being a celebrity president. In the end, however, Mr. Woodward is the victim of his own ideology and liberal journalism. The revolution devours its own children. Mr. Woodward rose to national prominence on the rubble of the Nixon presidency. The Democratic left despised Nixon and his defense of the "Silent Majority." Mr. Woodward gave aid and comfort to the anti-war movement by destroying its main bulwark. Since the fall of Nixon, anti-American liberals — with the exception of the Reagan years — have been on a long march to power. Mr. Obama represents the culmination of '60s radicalism. Like a socialist autocrat, he is no longer willing to tolerate a hint of criticism — even from his own camp. Heretics like Mr. Woodward must be expelled. Nixon must be laughing in his grave.

Contact Sergio HaDar Tezza at nutella59@UCLA.edu


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NEWEST ARTICLE FROM PHILLY AFSI

Posted by Philly AFSI, March 01, 2013

The article below was written by Moshe Phillips who is the president of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI. Op-ed columns by Moshe Phillips appeared on over 50 websites and newspapers since 2008 including American Thinker, Arutz Sheva, Family Securty Matters, Intellectual Conservative and NewsReal Blog. Moshe's blog was named of "One of the Top 10 PA Blogs" for Townhall.com / WNTP 990 AM Radio in Philadelphia in 2009. He has written and lectured on Israel Affairs, Jerusalem, Middle East Current Events, Zionist History, Counter-Terrorism, Politics, Jabotinsky, Herut, Military History and Tanach for over twenty years.This article appeared February 28, 2013 in the Algemeiner and is archived at
http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/28/john-kerry-kyrzakhstan-and-palestine/

On John Kerry's first international trip as U.S. Secretary of State he made a gaffe worthy of Joe Biden. The headline of London's Telegraph read "John Kerry invents country of Kyrzakhstan" and the Daily Mail asked "Where's that exactly, Mr Secretary of State? John Kerry makes up new country 'Kyrzakhstan."

But more than just fodder for the British press Kerry's blunder exposes the truth that he is not the expert on international affairs that the mainstream media, Obama Administration and J Street all vehemently claimed.

And at this time, when Kerry created Kyrzakhstan out of thin air, there is no time like the present to remind Kerry and the rest of the denizens of Foggy Bottom that "Palestine" and "East Jerusalem" are just as mythical as "Kyrzakhstan."

Let's recall what actor, comedian and pundit Larry Miller (Pretty Woman, The Nutty Professor and The Princess Diaries) wrote in an April 2002 essay titled "Whosoever Blesses Them: The intifada and its defenders" for The Weekly Standard (it went viral and by mistake was almost always credited to Dennis Miller):

"The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation." So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped."

Another lesson important for Secretary Kerry to hear before he visits Israel is that "East Jerusalem" does not actually exist. "East Jerusalem" is what the Bible means when it refers to Jerusalem.

Words, and especially names, have meaning. Especially in today's ever changing Middle East.

So, just what is "East Jerusalem" and why is adding the word "East" to describe part of Judaism's holiest city and Israel's capital of any serious magnitude?

East and West in Israel are not simple geographic terms as they are in the U.S. Northeast Philadelphia, the Upper East Side in Manhattan and East L.A. are used to denote neighborhoods and sections of a city. In Israel, where Judea and Samaria have been labeled as the West Bank, things are different. The term West Bank was created by Arab propagandists to de-emphasize the area's inherent Jewishness and to disassociate the land from the State of Israel. East Jerusalem was similarly invented.

What is "East Jerusalem"?

In the Christian Bible every single instance when a specific location in Jerusalem is mentioned it refers to an area that many at the State Department would now like to see given to the Palestinians. The term "East Jerusalem" cannot be found in a Christian Bible. And that is because "East Jerusalem" is about as real as Santa Claus.

The prayer "Next Year in Jerusalem!" that Jews recite at the close of the Yom Kippur service and at the highpoint of the Passover Seder refers to ancient parts of Jerusalem that the State Department Arabists include as part of this mythical creation of "East Jerusalem" in its unholy Palestinian state. There is no "East Jerusalem" in Judaism.

According to Wikipedia: "East Jerusalem refers to the part of Jerusalem captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and subsequently by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. It includes Jerusalem's Old City and some of the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher."

So, "East Jerusalem" is Jerusalem's Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods. The original and oldest parts of Jerusalem are in this "East Jerusalem".

There has never been in history an independent municipal entity known as "East Jerusalem" just as there has never been an independent national entity known as Palestine just as there has never been a Kyrzakhstan.

When anti-Israel extremists created the term "East Jerusalem" it was for one reason. They wanted to rip Israel's capital apart in order to defeat Israel. This effort tragically gained full force with the Oslo Accords. This was fully explained in the B'tzedek Online Journal on December 30, 1996 in an editorial titled The War Has Just Begun:

"The Oslo Accords are indeed the fulfillment of the PLO "salami" strategy. That is to say, Israel shall be destroyed not through overt military action of Arab nations, but through the whittling away of Israeli resolve and slow but determined territorial expansion of a Palestinian state. Slice by slice Israel will be carved away by the knife of terrorism and world opinion, both deftly handled by the Israeli created Palestinian entity."

The very name Jerusalem means city of peace, city of completeness and city of perfection. This was something that Bible believing Americans of all faiths in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were taught. See Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (1869) and Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897) for more on the fascinating derivation of the name Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem that is not complete is just not Jerusalem.

As Secretary of State Kerry can do much to show he understands what Jerusalem really is. The U.S. government has failed to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for over ten years. The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress on October 23, 1995 and the law reads that "Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999″.

"For Zion's sake I am not silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I do not rest," reads Isaiah 62:1. For Jerusalem's sake contact your Congressperson today and demand that they pressure John Kerry and the Obama Administration to honor the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

Contact Philly AFSI at phillyafsi@gmail.com.


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JACKSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL AND BLACK PANTHER PARTY APPROVE OF HAMAS SUPPORTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS POST

Posted by Dr. Richard Swier, March 01, 2013

The article below was written by Randy McDaniels who is a former United States Marine whose occupational specialty was in Operation and later Counter Intelligence. He served 6 years before being honorably discharged. He is a Chapter Leader for ACT! for America and Mentor for the South East, American by the grace of God, Christian by Choice, and Patriotic Warrior by necessity.

Panther Party
Jacksonville City Council goes with HAMAS

The former national Chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was approved for a 2nd term on Jacksonville's Human Rights Commission despite overwhelming opposition from the general public and almost a third of the Council members making a motion to delay the vote until March 4th, which may have allowed for Council Member's to question Parvez Ahmed.

The meeting continued to offer spectators surprises when the Southern Regional Director for the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) Mikhail Muhammad, along with (2) uniformed Black Panther Soldiers/body guards swaggered in to speak in favor of Parvez Ahmed's appointment. Describing himself as a "Freedom Fighter", the Black Panther leader spoke of his active role supporting Trayvon Martin just prior to launching into a rant about the racist white man and how he sympathized with Parvez Ahmed.

The NBPP Leader gained notoriety when he said "I don't obey the white man's law" during an interview on national television with Anderson Cooper.

Muhammad's statement goes to the heart of concerns expressed by many Jacksonville citizens in regard to Parvez Ahmed's leadership of CAIR, an organization designated as the Palestine Committee, whose Bylaws state they must adhere to Sharia or Islamic law and not man made law or white man's law as Mikhail Muhammad states.

Muslim Brotherhood documents have encouraged Sharia Adherent Muslims to join the political process as part of their "GRAND JIHAD" to subvert and destroy Western Civilization from within, as stated in An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America by Muhammad Akram. This document was discovered during an FBI raid of the home of a Sr. Muslim Brotherhood leader Ismael Elbarasse and list CAIR's parent organization the Islamic Association of Palestine, as well as several other mainstream Islamic Groups as friends or members of the Muslim brotherhood. Elbarasse, also founded the Dar Al Hijrah Mosque whose former Imam Anwar Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike, and current Imam Shaker Elsayyed preached a sermon last week calling for Muslims in America to Arm for JIHAD.

Councilman Robin Lumb, addressed serious concerns he had regarding Parvez Ahmed to include:

  • Parvez Ahmed's recorded statements in favor of Anti-Blasphemy Laws in great length in 2006 and again suggested Anti-blasphemy laws should be considered in a 2012 article, which Lumb said was a none starter as far as he was concerned.
  • The fact that Parvez Ahmed was the National Chairman of CAIR, at the time CAIR sued a Commercial Airline in what came to be know as the "Flying Imams" case, more importantly the passengers were named in the suit for simply following federal guidelines and reporting mysterious behavior which mimicked the behavior of the 9/11 Hijackers. Lumb, went on to say he was curious if Parvez Ahmed condoned the actions of CAIR's and if in his capacity of National Chairman was he powerless to influecne against litigious actions against the passengers.
  • While Councilman Lumb said he believed there was no direct linkage of Dr. Ahmed and the Holy Land Foundation which was closed down for funding HAMAS, the fact that Parvez Ahmed described the legal process as illegitimate and that the defendants were prosecuted for merely providing humanitarian relief, caused him concern as that was clearly not the case. Lumb went on to say that anyone serving on a Human Rights Commission should be able to understand and apply law.

Councilman Lumb requested that City Council Bill 2013-75, be returned to Rules for proper vetting just moments before former Council President, Richard Clark called the Bill to question. The "Call to Question" effectively shelved any discussion prior to an up or down vote on the appointment, which passed 13-6, the same vote count as 2010. Interestingly, three of the six votes against this nomination were from districts who replaced councilman who also voted against Parvez Ahmed in 2010.

Clay Yarborough, the Presiding Officer of the Rules Committee, had sent notice one week prior to Tuesday night's vote that the appointments and reappointments would be delayed until March 4th, 2013...allowing sufficient time for another Bill introduced by Councilman Matt Schellenberg, which if approved would reduce the Human Rights Commission from 20 to 11 members, effectively make these appointments irrelevant. However, Councilman John Cresembeni, appealed the decision in Rules Committee and garnered a 4-3 vote in favor of bring it before council as on February 26th.

A Councilperson who declined to be named said the move by Councilman Cresembeni was highly irregular and in fact, such an appeal had never occurred during their entire six years of service on the City Council. John Cresembeni, nominated Parvez Ahmed in 2010, after receiving a substantial amount of his campaign contributions from the Islamic community to include donations from Parvez Ahmed.

Councilman Lumb, while addressing the rest of the council described the whole process as rare and unusual citing:

  • The denial of his request made to Jessica Deal of Mayor Alvin Brown's office to have Parvez present at Rules Committee for questions.
  • Surrogates and not Parvez Ahmed appearing at the Rules Committee with printed talking points from Professor Ahmed counter concerns Lumb had expressed.
  • The fact these surrogates who found time to appear included non other than former Mayor John Delaney, the current Chief of Staff at UNF where Parvez Ahmed is a Professor of Finance, and an unnamed representative from ONEJAX.
  • The fact former Mayor John Delaney and the ONEJAX representative knew to ONLY distribut Parvez Ahmed's talking points specifically to the four Rule Committee members who appealed the decision Clay Yarborough, whom consisted of consisted of John Cresembeni, Lori Boyer, Warren Jones, and Jim Love, which added to the dubious nature of the events surrounding this appointment.
  • A subsequent denial by the Mayor's Office, in regard to Councilman Lumbs request for a noticed meeting with Parvez Ahmed after the Rules Committee's almost unprecedented move to appeal the Committee Presidents decision.
  • An accusation by Parvez Ahmed in prepared remarks submitted by John Delaney and the ONEJAX representative suggesting that Councilman Lumb was sourcing his information from a "Hate Group", in an obvious reference to ACT! for America, an accusation Councilman Lumb took exception too.

Interestingly, the Islamic Center of North East Florida, (where Parvez Ahmed once held a board position), sponsored a Gala to honor Former Mayors John Delaney, John Peyton, ONEJAX, and the Florida Times Union for all their work to help the Islamic Community. All were fierce proponents of Parvez Ahmed, with the Florida Times Union taking great journalistic liberties promoting Mr. Ahmed, while at the same time attacking critics and failing to report on the mountains of evidence provided by the opposition in any substantive way.

The Islamic Center of North East Florida was one of over 100 Mosques/Centers subject to an undercover investigation by Dave Gaubatz, a former Counter Intelligence Specialist and the Author of Muslim Mafia.

Each of the 100 Mosques investigated were rated on specific behavior and dress of the leadership and congregation, segregation of women, if sermons taught on the inferiority of women, inequality or hatred of non-Muslims, Jews, as well as the superiority of Sharia over manmade legislation. Gaubatz looked for radical literature to include books by Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Sayyid Qutb or Abul Al Mawdudi, whose writing are credited with reinvigorating Islamic Movement and Jihad worldwide.

Each category was given a point value which when totaled would give a rating on Islamic Center or Mosque on a scale of 1-10, regarding three specific areas of concern; threat level, Sharia adherence, and overall potential for support of cultural or violent Jihad. The Islamic Center of North East Florida received an overall threat assessment of 9 with the maximum being 10. The Center rated 9 out of 10 in regard to Sharia adherence and 8 out of 10 in regard to potential to support Cultural or Violent Jihad.

Abdul Azziz, an employee of the Islamic Center of North East Florida, was recently captured on video by ACT! for America's Jacksonville Chapter handing out radical literature and selling books by radical Muslim Brotherhood leader Abul Al Mawdudi at the Flea Market on Beach Boulevard. Abdul said the Islamic Center has been operating the booth for just over a year. Neighboring booth operators said that Abdul's wife typically shows up in the morning wearing a full Burqa, sets up the booth for her husband, then sits in the car until it is time to break down the booth at the end of the day. This behavior seems to corroborate the findings of investigator Dave Gaubatz.

The failure of Jacksonville City leaders to properly understand doctrines of Political Islam and their propensity to embrace and place Sharia adherent Islamist like Parvez Ahmed in positions of authority will propel us on our way to becoming the Dearborn of the south!

Contact Dr. Richard Swier at drswier@gmail.com


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CHICKEN LITTLE, SEQUESTER EDITION

Posted by The Patriot Post, March 01, 2013

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." --James Madison, Federalist No. 10

sequestration

We're publishing today from a secure bunker in an undisclosed location so as to avoid the fallout from the apocalypse known as the sequester. Today, the $85 billion in federal spending "cuts" take effect now that the Senate failed to pass either Democrat or Republican alternatives yesterday. The devastation is unthinkable -- unable to afford plane trips home to Delaware, Joe Biden will even begin taking the train again. We just pray the nation survives.

All kidding aside, the sequester does, in fact, involve real pain for real people. Barack Obama is ensuring that layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and the like are as widespread and as painful as possible, all in an effort to defeat his political opponents and extract even greater tax hikes out of them. He even released hundreds of detained illegal aliens, and then blamed his Department of Homeland Security for doing it without his knowledge. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano also blamed underlings. Obama also warned that cuts will affect an agency that no longer exists. And the sequester is a "manufactured crisis" the White House blames for delaying its own budget submission, due Feb. 4.

But just remember who manufactured it to begin with -- Barack Obama. He will continue the charade to ensure that the maximum damage is done from the "Republican Sequester."

As we go to press, the president is meeting with Republican leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, presumably to rhetorically abuse them in private before he does so again in public. To show how serious Obama is at replacing sequestration, or even just better managing it, the White House threatened a veto of a GOP offer to let the president have even more authority to selectively implement the sequester. Senate Democrats were happy to kill the bill for him.

For his own political gain Obama needs the sequester to be a blunt object that causes as much pain as possible. Besides, it's a win-win for him. Now he can tell the affected people, "I feel your pain," all while blaming Republicans. If the GOP caved, spending would have continued to grow out of control, just like he wants. For that matter, it will still grow out of control, just at an imperceptibly slower pace. In reality, the spending "cuts" for FY2013 amount to just $43 billion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) added to the blame game: "The Republicans want the sequester to go forward," he said. "We cannot solve the problems of this country with cuts, cuts, cuts. We've cut $2.6 trillion. We need to do more but we're going to do it in a balanced approach. We cannot continue to hurt the middle class and the poor." As usual, by "cut" he means reduced growth, and by "hurt the middle class and the poor" he means reduce government redistribution of wealth.

Remember, we're talking about just 2 percent of the federal budget, and 6 percent of deficit spending. All working Americans took a 2 percent pay cut at the beginning of the year thanks to the payroll tax hike, though we weren't supposed to notice it. How can the government not continue to function while undergoing such small spending reductions?

If you remember just one thing about this latest "crisis," remember this: Obama and his NeoCom cadres will blame the "Republican Sequester" for any and all ills between now and the 2014 midterm election. Obama knows that the net effect of his $300 billion payroll and income taxes hikes (which reduced incomes by the most in 20 years), on top of skyrocketing ObamaCare health insurance premiums, mounting debt and deep military cuts already enacted, will send the economy back into recession.

Thus, from sequester forth, every negative economic GDP or jobs report, which in reality demonstrates the continued planned failure of Obama's socialist "recovery stimuli," will be blamed on the "Republican Sequester." Indeed, while GDP growth for the fourth quarter was revised up to an exciting 0.1 percent, and we suppose that's an improvement over the initial estimate of 0.1 percent contraction, you'll have to forgive us if we don't jump for joy.

Obama will employ his classist "politics of disparity" playbook to blame sequester "cuts" for every runny nose in America, claiming the nation can't "afford" even minuscule cuts to socialist welfare programs. And make no mistake -- in partnership with his Leftmedia public relations network, Obama may win the public opinion contest. Of all people, Bob Woodward is the only one standing in the way, which is why his colleagues are now disowning him.

The sequester is absolutely the wrong way to go about cutting spending -- it's indiscriminate (though more so than it actually has to be) and it targets defense disproportionately, all while not even really cutting anything. But given that the Obama White House isn't interested in governing, only moving from crisis to crisis, it ended up being the only option.

From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File:
"We don't need to be having something like sequestration that's going to cause these job losses -- over 170 million jobs that could be lost." --Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

There are only 134 million jobs in the U.S. Sadly, Waters' job won't be one of those lost.

Congress

The Senate Judiciary Committee this week held hearings on California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein's proposed gun ban bill, and also considered three other bills: one dealing with universal background checks, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); another addressing school security, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); and one covering illegal trafficking, sponsored by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT). No word on whether Leahy's bill covers the Justice Department illegally trafficking guns to Mexico. As for Schumer's bill, the fear is that "universal" background checks will soon become a national registry of firearms. Registration, of course, is the first step toward confiscation.

Courts

The Second Amendment Foundation reports that "the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a December ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that forces Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law, thus affirming that the right to bear arms exists outside the home." In December, Judge Richard Posner gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to "craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment ... on the carrying of guns in public."

Unfortunately, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan showed his contempt for constitutional Liberty by crafting and introducing a repugnant concealed carry bill. In Madigan's world, before obtaining a permit, gun owners would have to purchase $1 million in liability insurance coverage, undergo 40 hours of police-conducted training including 20 hours of range time (just imagine the cost of ammunition), and submit to a mandatory psychological evaluation.

Also unfortunately, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Friday that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to carry arms. Gray Peterson, a Washington state resident who holds a concealed carry permit as well as a Florida non-resident one, brought the case. He sued because he frequently travels to Denver, and Colorado doesn't recognize either of his permits -- though it does honor permits from states that reciprocate -- and it doesn't issue non-resident permits. The Court ruled against him, saying, in effect, because there is a long history of infringing the Second Amendment, it really doesn't mean what it says.

States

In New York, the state Supreme Court warned that it will issue an injunction against the recently passed SAFE Act, which limits magazine capacity and bans semiautomatic rifles, if the state fails to prove that the law is compliant with the Second Amendment. Of course it isn't, so this could get interesting. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that firearms "in common usage" may not be restricted nor may entire classes of firearms. New York did both with its seven-round magazine limit and outright ban of semi-auto rifles -- both AR-15s and standard-capacity mags holding more than seven rounds are clearly in common usage. And good luck finding a seven-round magazine. Gun manufacturers indicate they won't produce special New York-style magazines.

Meanwhile, New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing to exempt Hollywood from his state's unconstitutional law. "There's no reason not to make a change ... to give an industry comfort," the governor said, "especially ... [one] we want to do business in the state." Clearly, he doesn't want to hinder any of those leftist Hollywood-types from making movies that glorify the criminal violence he's purporting to combat. Or perhaps Gov. Cuomo, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, is only principled at a price.

Once more we look to Illinois, where Robin Kelly was chosen as the Democrat nominee to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from his Chicago district and pleaded guilty to corruption. Kelly is an anti-gun zealot who won the backing of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He filled her coffers with $2 million for television ads slamming former Democrat Rep. Debbie Halvorson because of her "A" rating from the NRA. Bloomberg is crowing about the win. Joe Biden also chimed in, saying, "The voters sent a message ... not just to the NRA but to the politicians all around the country by electing Robin Kelly, who stood up, who stood strong for gun safety totally consistent with our Second Amendment rights. The message is there will be a moral price as well as a political price to be paid for inaction. This is not 1994. People know too much." Actually, in Chicago, they clearly haven't learned a thing.

This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award:
Joe "Double Barrel" Biden, who last week advised his wife to grab that double-barrel shotgun and "fire two blasts outside the house," is at it again, arguing for the superiority of a shotgun over an AR-15. "[M]y shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15," he bragged, "because [if] you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door."

Shooting through a door? What could go wrong? Maybe he should ask the Virginia resident who was just arrested for doing just that.

Biden wasn't done, either. He argued against the AR-15 as a tool of Liberty, saying, "For example, if the idea was to be able to repel a tyrannical government, then you should be able to own an F-15 if you have the money to buy it, with full ordnance. But you're not allowed to do that, and the [Supreme] Court says you can deny certain weapons available for individual ownership. You can't have a nuclear bomb."

No nuclear bombs, ergo no semiautomatic rifles. Sound logic, there, Joe.

Deficits and Suckers

A prominent politician once said, "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future." That was Barack Obama, when selling his massive health care entitlement to the public. But if there's one way to phrase ObamaCare's costs, it's "up, up, up." A new report from the Government Accountability Office projects ObamaCare adding $6.2 trillion to the deficit over the next 75 years. And that's surely a lowball calculation.

In other ObamaCare news, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie followed Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott's footsteps in accepting ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion after publicly rejecting it -- not surprising, considering both governors won re-election; Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell is set to follow suit -- all to secure Democrat votes for his proposed transportation tax increase. In New Jersey, joining the exchange means 300,000 uninsured residents will be able to receive coverage, but Christie, like other GOP governors before him, fell under the spell of the promised financial benefits of the Medicaid expansion program without properly accounting for the cost. According to The Star-Ledger, New Jersey "could reap up to $300 million by expanding the state program in the coming budget year." Check back in three years.

However, the Florida Medical Association is warning that the state already doesn't have enough doctors to meet health care demand -- a problem that will only worsen with the expansion of Medicaid. Eight percent of the state's 45,000 doctors are expected to retire within five years. Additionally, up to 2.5 million are expected to join the 15 million residents already on insurance. The combination means longer lines, shorter visits and less effective and efficient care.

Finally, don't like your health coverage? There's a solution for that. CNS News reports, "The Affordable Care Act sets up a new arena of whistleblower protections for employees who complain that their company-provided health insurance doesn't do what it's supposed to do." In other words, if you aren't receiving, say, the contraception coverage you want, then you can't be held accountable for complaining to Big Daddy Obama.

Purposeful Ignorance:
"Just got off the phone with my health care [sic] provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer." --Donna Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager

Uh, Donna, the answer is ObamaCare. We agree it's not good, but you can stop pretending you don't know.

The White House is offering high-end donors an opportunity to become members of the board of Organizing for Action, Barack Obama's permanent campaign apparatus. According to the New York Times, donors who give or raise more than $500,000 will be offered seats on the board of OFA and direct access to the president at quarterly meetings, along with invitations to other White House meetings, presumably to discuss and shape policy that OFA seeks to influence. Press Secretary Jay Carney said there was no cause for alarm, although he was at a loss for words when it came to explaining how the OFA effort amounts to anything more than institutionalized influence peddling at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

This certainly doesn't sound like the Barack Obama who vigorously campaigned in 2008 against the "special interests" who buy access to elected officials. Maybe this is simply the "new politics" he kept promising us. Besides, if you're going to "fundamentally transform" America in your own image, sometimes you have to make compromises.

Judicial Benchmarks: Voting Rights Act Before High Court

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, echoing the language of the 15th Amendment, prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color." Some Jim Crow-era Southern states would often do things like require otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, thus disenfranchising blacks.

Pivotal to the Act is Section 5's pre-clearance. "Covered jurisdictions" have to convince the Justice Department or a three judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to "pre-clear" attempts to change "any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting." Covered jurisdiction includes more than the Old South, however, extending even to specified townships in New Hampshire and counties in California and Florida, as well as the New York City boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

As Bob Dylan's song goes, "The Times They Are A-Changin." Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder. Some of the states covered by the Act, like Alabama, where the plaintiff's case originated, contend that Section 5, which was supposed to be temporary, is an outdated burden, because racial discrimination is "scattered and limited."

One of the Section 5 issues will be the use of photo IDs for voting, as a number of the covered jurisdictions have enacted such laws. Opponents of photo voter IDs complain that such laws are supposedly an unfair burden on poor, minority and young voters, who are the groups most likely to lack a driver's license or the means to obtain the documents, such as birth certificates. Yet in 2009, according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, there were 211 million licensed drivers in the U.S. In 2012, 129 million people voted in our presidential election. Is there a burden? Hardly.

Economy

Regulatory Commissars: Minimum Wage

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her cronies announced plans to push for a minimum wage hike as part of their effort to retake the House in 2014. They used this highly effective campaign hot button to great effect in 2006, and their strategy this time uses similar tactics to pre-frame Republicans as unsympathetic to low-wage workers. Pelosi summed up their plan succinctly: "Just keep it simple. We want to raise the minimum wage, and you don't. Why not?"

Leftists claim that the minimum wage will increase employment among the middle class and the poor, though it's not at all clear how raising the cost of labor will lead to employers securing more of it. Pelosi argues that a higher minimum wage will put more money into the pockets of low-income people, which is true -- if they keep their jobs. The leftist Center for American Progress claims that a higher minimum wage will actually lower crime, and they ginned up some statistics from a study in Chicago purportedly showing that youth crime was directly related to downward wage trends.

None of this holds water. If lower wages alone cause higher crime, then how does one explain the continued drop in violent crime across the country despite several years of depressed economic activity? Beyond that, the idea that the minimum wage puts more money in people's pockets and creates more jobs is demonstrably false.

Economist Walter E. Williams explained it best: "In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. That would be almost a 25 percent increase. Let's look at the president's proposal, but before doing so, let's ask some other economic questions. Are people responsive to changes in price? For example, if the price of cars rose by 25 percent, would people purchase as many cars? Supposing housing prices rose by 25 percent, what would happen to sales? Those are big-ticket items, but what about smaller-priced items? If a supermarket raised its prices by 25 percent, would people purchase as much? It's not rocket science to conclude that when prices rise, people adjust their behavior by purchasing less." The same is true for employers, who would pay 25 percent more for the same work. They will hire less and cut hours, and young minorities will be hardest hit.

Lew Confirmed for Treasury

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury Secretary on a vote of 71-26. Jack Lew is a former executive at Citigroup who pocketed a $940,000 bonus the day before the bank took a $301 billion federal bailout in 2008. Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders voted "no," saying, "We need a secretary of the Treasury who does not come from Wall Street but is prepared to stand up to the enormous power of Wall Street. We need a Treasury secretary who will end the current Wall Street business model of operating the largest gambling casino the world has ever seen and demand that Wall Street start investing in the job-creating productive economy." Sanders added that he's "extremely concerned that virtually all of [Obama's] key economic advisers have come from Wall Street." That's due in part to the pathetic lack of any real-world experience whatsoever on Obama's part. Then again, maybe it means the administration's pattern of banker bashing will come to an end. Or that it's always been phony.

Security

Warfront With Jihadistan: Afghanistan Withdrawal Accelerates

The Obama regime is accelerating the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and now it appears that our Afghan "allies" are also trying to speed up the process, giving us a strong good-bye kick out the door. Last Sunday, the Afghan government ordered that U.S. Special Forces must leave the critical Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, in two weeks. Wardak has long been a staging area for Taliban attacks on the Afghan capital. The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it had to take this step because of reports that "armed individuals named as U.S. special forces stationed in Wardak province engage in harassing, annoying, torturing, and even murdering innocent people." U.S. military officials deny that our forces were involved in such acts or approved of Afghan troops committing them. With regular U.S. troops pulling out of Wardak this spring, Special Forces would have been the only U.S. military presence in the region.

These withdrawals won't help stabilize Afghanistan, which is still tumultuous, despite recent claims to the contrary. The Obama regime had been reporting that terrorist attacks and violence in the country was falling, but on Tuesday, the American-led coalition command acknowledged that its widely repeated claim that violence is easing and that the terrorist insurgency is in steep decline was in fact incorrect. Responding to questions from the Associated Press about the latest security statistics from Afghanistan, the coalition command in Kabul said it erred in reporting a 7 percent decline in attacks, that in fact there was no decline at all. Whoops. Sadly, combined with the U.S. withdrawal, the continuing strength of the Taliban does not bode well for Afghanistan's future -- or ours.

Then again, maybe Afghanistan just needs what Democrats propose for the United States: A Department of Peacebuilding.

'Whistleblower' Reports to Slammer

Better late than never: On Thursday, former CIA operative John Kiriakou reported to the federal prison in Loretta, Pennsylvania, to begin his 30-month sentence for revealing classified information. Readers may remember Kiriakou's 2007 interview with ABC News in which he confirmed the use of waterboarding against captured al-Qa'ida leaders. The transcript is worth reading, as it makes clear the real-world motivations for waterboarding senior jihadist leader Abu Zubaydah:

"Frankly there were lives at stake. And we knew that he was the biggest fish that we had caught. We knew he was full of information. And we wanted to get it. One of the reasons why it was of such importance to us that night is the room where he was when the raid [that caught him] began had a table in it. And on the table Abu Zubaydah and two other men were building a bomb. The soldering arm was still hot. And they had the plans for a school on the table. So we knew that there were immediate threats that he could help us with."

The Washington Post reported last week that Kiriakou was given a lavish going-away party at Washington's Hay-Adams hotel, funded to the tune of $20,000 by a wealthy anti-war activist and Code Pink. Kiriakou and his fans -- self-styled martyrs of the Left always have fans -- maintain that he was just a whistleblower with a conscience, and that the waterboarding program might never have been known if he had not bravely stepped forward to tell the world about it. Never mind that leaders from both parties in Congress were briefed on the program in 2002 as it was happening, including Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman and Porter Goss. Kiriakou broke the law when he went to ABC, and he was prosecuted and sentenced accordingly.

Culture

Faith and Family: Republicans Splinter Toward Same-Sex Marriage Support

It's not a large group of Republicans, and many of them are retired politicians no longer in office, but 75 have signed a friend-of-the-court brief to be presented to the Supreme Court in the effort to overturn California's Proposition 8. Perhaps the most well known is former Utah governor and second-tier GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. His support is interesting because he opposed same-sex marriage in his campaign, preferring instead to support civil unions. The White House likewise is asking the Court to overturn California's law.

Many of these Republicans contend that their views have "evolved" over the last few years -- a word borrowed from Barack Obama. Some of them embrace Dick Cheney's contention that "freedom means freedom for everybody." The brief was approved by former Bush Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who is one of two lead attorneys in the case, and signatures were gathered by onetime RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, who came out as homosexual several years ago.

Obviously the same-sex marriage issue doesn't play as well with most grassroots conservatives, but the idea for these Republicans seems to be one of attracting younger people who tend to support the redefinition of marriage. In more recent elections, several states ended a long winless streak at the ballot box for same-sex marriage, meaning a favorable decision at the Supreme Court may be the final hurdle toward nationalizing the concept. Around the Nation: The Bloomberg Soda War

Just wait for the black market in two-liter bottles of Coke. Next month New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's long-awaited ban on sugary drinks of more than 16 ounces will take effect. Once the ban is in place, restaurants and convenience stores that sell sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces will risk a $200 fine.

Needless to say, those who run restaurants, delis, or even sports venues that fall under the purview of the city's health department by selling food for on-premises consumption are unhappy about the change. The Korean-American Grocers Association was the first to head to court to try to stop the mayor's regulation from taking effect. "It would be a tremendous waste of expense, time and effort for our members to incur all of the ... costs associated with the ban," said Association president Chong Sik Le. As one example, restaurants that deliver pizza would no longer be able to sell two-liter bottles with the meal; instead they'll be forced to sell a package of six 16 ounce bottles at over twice the cost.

While Bloomberg enacted his ban on large sugary drinks in the city, he called on the long arm of the state to reach where he cannot and ban retail grocery stores statewide from selling the large drinks. In the meantime, one can expect stores just outside the border of New York City to see a surge in business from consumers with a big thirst for Liberty.

And Last...And now for Great Moments in American Diplomacy with John Kerry.

The newly confirmed secretary of state began his illustrious tenure with some laughable moments this week. First, he made up the name of an ally when he praised U.S. diplomats for working to secure "democratic institutions" in the nation of "Kyrzakhstan." That must have been a portmanteau of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Those "stans" all look alike, we suppose.

Next, he explained that we should go ahead and have bilateral talks with Iran over their nuclear weapons program, despite their repeated broken promises and general belligerence. Why? "Iran is a country with a government that was elected and that sits in the United Nations," Kerry said. Gee, why didn't somebody think of that before?

Finally, Kerry lectured the Germans about free speech after they voted to ban the Nazi party. Kerry may not recall, but the Nazis were a tyrannical left-wing party that took over most of Europe 75 years ago and killed millions of innocent people in concentration camps. The German people still live with the weight of that memory, so perhaps they can be forgiven for banning the responsible political party.

Kerry, however, bragged to the Germans that, "As a country, as a society, we [the U.S.] live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion, and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view." (Unless, of course, your view is that contraception and abortion are immoral. In that case, you're still required to buy health insurance covering them.) Kerry continued, "People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it's the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another," for example, neo-Nazis marching in Jewish neighborhoods.

Not to worry, Kerry explained all of his own gaffes when he concluded: "In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be." Indeed, and you might even become secretary of state.

right.to.be.stupid

The Patriot Post is protected speech pursuant to the "unalienable rights" of all men, and the First (and Second) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In God we trust. Contact The Patriot Post at no-reply@patriotpost.us


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SURRENDERING SOVEREIGNTY — AGAIN

Posted by Martin Sherman, March 01, 2013

funeral

Definition of "sovereignty": Supreme power or authority; the authority of a state to govern itself; complete power to govern a country; the state of being a country with freedom to govern itself —The Oxford Dictionary

Our hope — a hope 2,000 years old — will not be lost: To be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem —from the national anthem, "Hatikva"

You can take the Jews out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jews —A disparaging dictum of uncertain origins

Just over a year ago, I wrote a column in this series titled "Surrendering sovereignty" (December 2, 2011), which I commenced with very similar introductory excerpts.

Mughrabi fiasco

In it, I severely criticized the government's reversal of its decision to replace the Mughrabi Bridge, linking the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

The wooden bridge, built in 2007, which provides the only access for non- Muslims to the Temple Mount complex, and was always intended to be a temporary structure, was deemed to be in a state of dangerous disrepair in 2011.

However, when confronted by shrill and wildly unfounded accusations from various Islamic sources that the construction of a new, permanent and structurally safe bridge was intended to cause the collapse of the Dome of the Rock (almost half a kilometer away from the planned ramp), together with threats of violence in Israel, and warnings of instability in various Arab states, the government backed down.

The following is from that article: "It is easy to downplay the significance of the decision; to present it as giving precedence to prudence over pride. That would be a mistake.

"For it is yet another symptom of the insidious spread of an ongoing malaise, gnawing away at the foundations of the Jewish national ethos. It is a malaise that if not soon confronted, will have perilously corrosive consequences... By its actions... the government has in effect conferred the status of force majeure on Muslim rage — an inevitable force of nature which can only be avoided by Israeli capitulation..."

Still-virulent malaise

This week we were given — by means of a seemingly minor event — a disturbing reminder that this malignant malaise is just as virulent as ever.

This was the announcement on Wednesday to the Knesset by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch that Israel is contemplating the participation of an international investigator in the inquest regarding Arafat Jaradat, the Palestinian detainee, who died in Israeli custody, after being arrested for hurling stones and a Molotov cocktail at Israeli troops.

What made this announcement even more troubling was the fact that it was made a matter of hours after The Jerusalem Post reported that "Israeli officials dismissed on Tuesday a Palestinian Authority demand for an international inquiry into the death of Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat as a 'predictable' maneuver and part of a larger strategy to bring the international community into the conflict whenever possible."

It is difficult to see how Aharonovitch's statement cannot be interpreted as hasty Israeli capitulation to Mahmoud Abbas's strident demand, issued at the the PLO Executive Committee meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday, "for an international commission of inquiry to find out how Jaradat was assassinated in prison."

While many agree that the affable Aharonovitch is perhaps not the sharpest knife in the governmental drawer, he is nevertheless a minister responsible for a vitally important sphere of state activity that impinges on the lives of the entire population.

It is more than a little disconcerting that he apparently has such a poor grasp of the basic do's and don'ts entailed in the exercise of national sovereignty.

Demeaning disregard

For whether intentional or not, Aharonovitch's announcement can only — and inevitably will — be seen as a clear expression of no-confidence in the competence and integrity of the Israeli authorities to investigate misdeeds allegedly committed by official organs of the state.

Whether he meant it or not, it will be seen as endorsing those who wish to cast the gravest aspersions on Israel and its credibility.

In so doing he has — unwittingly or otherwise — shown disrespect and disregard for the professional capabilities and the moral standing of his country, implying that it cannot be trusted without outside supervision. The unbecoming alacrity with which he embraced the Palestinian demands makes him — willfully or not — complicit with the efforts of Israel's most hostile adversaries' efforts to demean, demonize and delegitimize it.

It seems to indicate that even after almost seven decades of political independence, the Jewish people has not managed to internalize the cognizance of the inalienable rights that accrue to, and the indispensable duties that are demanded of, a people who wish to maintain and administer their national sovereignty.

Patently preposterous

It is patently preposterous to suggest that Israel is not capable of conducting a credible inquiry into the Jarafat incident without international accompaniment.

More than any other country, Israel has proved itself able to conduct exceedingly — some might say, excessively — harsh investigations into allegations of malfeasance perpetrated by official organizations and individuals — no matter how prominent or senior.

Defense minister Ariel Sharon was forced from office (1983) by the all-Israeli Kahan Commission's inquiry into the events relating to massacres conducted by Christian Phalangist forces in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatilla.

The head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Avraham Shalom, along with several other senior members of the organization, was dismissed following the killing of two terrorists (1984), belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after their attempt to hijack a busload of civilians was foiled. True, the investigation process was torturous and flawed, and some might find the presidential pardons granted those involved questionable (although they were upheld by the High Court), but the truth regarding the events was largely exposed without any international intervention.

Finance minister Avraham Hirchson was convicted (2008) and imprisoned for embezzlement. One year earlier, justice minister Haim Ramon was convicted for sexual misconduct. In 2010, Tzachi Hanegbi, who held numerous important ministerial and parliamentary positions, was convicted of perjury. The president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, was tried and convicted (2011) for sexual transgressions, including rape, and is serving a sevenyear sentence.

Prime minister Ehud Olmert was forced to step down following a series of charges brought against him. He was convicted of breach of trust (2012) and is facing additional bribery charges.

Perilous precedent

So while there might be those who feel that the punitive measures handed out in the above-mentioned incidents were not sufficiently severe (and others that they were overly severe), Israel has proved itself willing to pursue investigations/inquiries into claims of any wrongdoing, no matter how senior the alleged perpetrator or how embarrassing/ damaging the alleged transgressions.

I do not know if anything untoward occurred during Jaradat's incarceration or what in fact led to his demise. However, based on precedent, there can be little doubt that whatever (if any) penalties are eventually meted out, an all-Israeli inquiry will ferret out the truth.

Israel need take no lessons from anyone in investigating suspicions of malfeasance by any organizational entity or individual. Accordingly, the Palestinian demand for international intervention into the Jaradat affair is not a genuine quest for the facts but — much like the ludicrous Turkish demand for an apology over the Mavi Maramra affair — little more than a transparent attempt to show that it can coerce Israel to submit to its will.

This is precisely why Aharonovitch's inappropriately accommodating declaration entails potentially perilous consequences.

Indeed, it could open up a veritable floodgate of initiatives, aimed at neutralizing any autonomy in Israeli decision- making, investigation and inquiry.

License to second guess

In effect, it could comprise a license for any alien entity to second-guess every decision taken or conclusion drawn by Israeli authorities. For if international participation is called for to accompany the Jaradat affair, why should it not be called on for every other investigation? And if Israeli decisions or verdicts are not sufficient to satisfy foreigners, why should they be so for Israelis? Why should any Israeli citizen, who sees him/herself wronged by some judicial or administrative decision taken by an Israeli institution, not demand that it be reviewed by some international entity to ensure its credibility/fairness? Aharonovitch may have — inadvertently or otherwise — sown the seeds of an "ethos of expectation" in which continual Israeli concessions and compliance with the demands of others — no matter how outlandish — become the norm, from which no divergence is to be brooked.

Let's not forget the context

The death of Arafat Jaradat should be fully and fairly investigated. Any improper conduct toward the unfortunate detainee must he unflinchingly addressed. However, in doing so, we should not lose sight of the context.

While we might well sympathize with his young children, who lost their father, he was after all, according to numerous sources including the BBC and Al Jazeera, a member of the murderous Al-Aksa Brigades, which have chalked up a long and chilling list of bloody atrocities in which many Israeli civilians were butchered.

The acts he was arrested for are grave.

Stones are lethal weapons. Molotov cocktails indisputably are. Both can — and have — killed Israelis. Hurling them at soldiers should not be lightly dismissed.

Indeed, it should be considered an act of attempted homicide. The ineffectiveness of the attempt should not be a mitigating factor in assessing the gravity of the intent.

Those involved in such activities should expect to be treated harshly, perhaps even to sustain injuries when being apprehended. In such circumstances, Israel has every reason to doubt the impartiality of international participants — even under the assumption that they may have no inherent bias against it. For example, foreign media representatives have been threatened with physical retribution for disclosing the truth — as witnessed by the fate of journalists who dared to attempt recording the brutal lynching of two Israeli reservists in Ramallah (2000).

Talkbackers get what government doesn't

While the government seems oblivious to the impact its response to the demands in the Jadarat affair could have on the nation's sovereign status, the same certainly cannot be said of the general public or at least segments thereof — such as readers of the Post.

Consider the reaction by some talkbackers to the report on Aharonovitch's announcement, who with variable degrees of courtesy, finesse and grammatical rigor, expressed the follow astute perspectives:

Frank Adam: "Israel will have submitted to the Arab aim to prove Israel [has] only partial or limited sovereignty."

Boris: "israel needs to stop being so insecure. if it wants to survive. it needs to stop having something to prove. like its right to exist"

Evil Zionist: "It will be a dangerous precedent and undermine our sovereignty"

iCry: "Next experts will need to be called in to "prove" Israel didn't poison the original Arafat.... Arabs can make Israel jump like a trained seal."

And finally, NormanF: "The Israeli government's default mode is to surrender to Arab blackmail, threats and intimidation. It can't say "no" and uphold Jewish sovereignty... Any other country on earth would never accept for themselves the "international observer" nonsense Aharonovitch peddled before the Knesset. It would reject outright all attempts to compromise its independence. What his statement proved again in the face of escalating global anti-Semitism, is that its easy to take the Jew out of the ghetto but its very difficult to take the ghetto out of the Jew!"

The hallmark of good diplomacy

I found it difficult to disagree.

Until the leaders of the Jewish state realize that the litmus test of good diplomacy is not to get the world to applaud your compliancy and capitulation, but to accept your pursuit of national interests and imperatives, we will not be able to say we have truly extricated ourselves from the clutches of the ghetto mentality.

Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.net) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.


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MOVIE MUSINGS

Posted by Borntolose, March 01, 2013

The article below was written by Sarah Honig who is is a writer for the Jerusalem Post. She writes the "Another Tack" column. This article appeared March 01, 2013 and is archived at
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/STANDING_WITH_ISRAEL/conversations/messages/50290

It's not every day that news broadcasts open with a lament for what did not actually happen. But this anomaly is occasionally recurrent in our little insular setting. Periodically at this time of year the top item on our news purveyors' agenda is likely to be what isn't new: yet again no Israeli entry was awarded the coveted Oscar.

It's as if the whole international community was holding its breath for some obscure Israeli documentary or film short to get the ultimate nod. All else in Tinseltown's annual pageant is marginal.

And so Monday morning's news announcers mournfully informed us that there would be no Oscar for Israel this year.

Neither Israeli nominee for best documentary — 5 Broken Cameras or The Gatekeepers — won. That, of course, afforded commentators their opportunity to ruminate and spew such time-tried clichés as "what a disappointment," "it hurts" and "it's a blow to our national pride."

It's here that a sanity check is called for.

Is our national pride boosted by films that malign us? Is this what Israeli national pride has been reduced to — the desire to see our face ignominiously slapped before the entire sneering world? Are we pained because another Israel-bashing project didn't get the glory that our left wing eagerly sought (so as to rub our collective nose in it)? Seriously?

Some of us backward types actually heaved a huge sigh of relief that both Israeli contenders lost. It was sweet that the Oscar for best documentary went to the British/Swedish Searching for Sugar Man.

For decades no film that tells our story and presents our case had come out of this country. Somewhere along the line, local producers must have figured out that their only way to rake in profits and score points overseas — especially in Europe, which despite all pretenses to the contrary, still hasn't shaken off its congenital Jew-revulsion — is to portray the Jewish state as villainous.

So after all the accolades expectedly showered in Europe on these latest made-in-Israel defamatory offerings, the only solace left us here is to revel in the fact that the Oscar eluded them.

Their central thematic core is every bit as predictable, cravenly conformist and run-of-the- mill as nearly all Israeli flicks of past decades. Local filmmakers uniformly revel in picturing Israelis as jaded, essentially unpleasant (if not altogether repulsive), justifiably apprehensive, rightfully apologetic, malaise-ridden, terminally devoid of vitality, corroded within and/or wretchedly racked by self—reproach.

The Arab is revealed as the antithesis to the inherently disagreeable, fatigued, befuddled, farcical, foolish and/or pathetic Israeli. Arabs are dedicated patriots, confident in their cause, outspoken in their righteous indignation, vindicated in their umbrage, noble, proud, tough, young, vigorous and deserving of victory.

Some occasional counterfeit cardboard dichotomies are tolerable — freedom of expression and all that rot. However, when simplistic falsehoods become the single premise, then the overbearing presence of pressure by manipulative group-think must at least be suspected. The utter lack of deviation from this one homogeneous portraiture style testifies to the imposition of ideological diktats — obviously in the name of democracy and artistic freewill.

Misgivings are further intensified when we realize how many of these one-dimensional productions are subsidized by the Education Ministry's Israel Film Fund. Portions of our hard-earned incomes go — as taxes collected from you and me — to underwrite either outright vilification of the Jewish state or, at best, unsympathetic depictions of a bumbling imbecilic entity.

No government dares reduce officialdom's largess to Israel's self-appointed creative emissaries, who blithely batter their country's image at any available film festival abroad. Hand-in-hand with omnipotent media cliques, our artistes vehemently orchestrate intimidating reputation-trashing onslaughts which no higher-up or administration in recent memory could overcome.

And so — willing or not — we bankroll them and, at our expense, they relish in thumbing their avant-garde noses at the "benighted" aggregate of ordinary Israelis who are denied other homegrown cinematic fare, certainly anything Zionist. Guy Davidi, co-director of 5 Broken Cameras, has gone so far as to recommend — openly, out loud and brashly before the microphones — that an international boycott be declared against Israel.

Since nothing pro-Israeli can win applause at Cannes or Berlin, the preferences of overseas nabobs must be pandered to in our filmmakers' quest for fame and fortune. Thus, in order to bask in the limelight of enlightened foreign approval, Israelis enhance the fraudulent Arab narrative. Pleasing the enemy is the one surefire way to make it in Israeli showbiz.

In their own twisted way it's as if today's Israeli filmmakers had paid heed to the admonitions arrogantly issued by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. to the Jewish movie moguls he assembled before him in 1940.

The multi-billionaire dynasty founder and father of the future president, was himself a movie tycoon (co-founder of RKO, among other conquests). He never concealed his contempt for the ground-breaking immigrant and first-generation Jews who had invented Hollywood and created the movie industry from its humble beginnings as the nickelodeon novelty. He referred to them mockingly as "pants pressers" and referred to himself as their "American" antithesis in the entertainment business.

Kennedy addressed the Jewish studio heads soon after his resignation (at president Franklin D. Roosevelt's unambiguous insistence) from his post as US ambassador to London. His two-and-a-half years at Grosvenor Square should have tipped off his California audience to what was in store.

Kennedy's 1938 appointment to the Court of St. James began shortly before the Anschluss (the merger of Germany and Austria) and while Hitler hoarsely demanded Czech territory. Rather than perceive Hitler as someone who must be stopped, Kennedy regarded as him as someone who must be appeased. And so the American ambassador venerated Neville Chamberlain and despised Winston Churchill. He never recanted — not even postwar.

From the outset, Kennedy conducted friendly talks — though lacking State Department authorization — with Hitler's ambassador, Herbert von Dirksen. As a result, von Dirksen opined to his Third Reich bosses that Kennedy was "Germany's best friend" in London.

After Kristallnacht, Kennedy's eldest son, Joe Jr. noted in his diary that his father "is alarmed that the country should get so worried up by the treatment of Jews." Joe, who would ironically be killed in a 1944 combat accident, was a devoted disciple of his father's anti-Jewish and pro-appeasement sentiments.

The father sent his son to visit Nazi Germany in 1934, when the Jews were already subjected to merciless persecution. Joe Jr. wrote his dad extolling Hitler's various "accomplishments," including the policy of sterilization, which the Kennedy heir apparent lauded as "a great thing." Exuding liberality, he elucidated: "I don't know how the Church feels about it, but it will do away with many of the disgusting specimens of men who inhabit this earth."

He expressed gratification that Hitler had "things well under control. The only danger would be if something happened to Hitler." Joe Jr. described Hitler as "building a spirit in his men that could be envied in any country" and as having merely exploited the prevalent "well founded" dislike of the Jews.

The father was delighted and replied to Joe Jr. that his "conclusions are very sound."

A head-on collision with Roosevelt became inevitable. No sooner was the blitz unleashed on Britain then ambassador Kennedy insolently asserted that the Brits were losers and that "Hitler will be in Buckingham Palace in two weeks." The king himself complained to Roosevelt.

But Kennedy could not be reined in. He told the press: "As far as the US goes, we ought to mind our own business."

Joe Sr. remained convinced that a nefarious Jewish cabal was in the works to dissuade Roosevelt from making nice to Hitler and facilitating ongoing trade with the Nazis. Hence, when Roosevelt called for his resignation in 1940 (after Kennedy publicly proclaimed that "Democracy is finished in England"), the disgraced ambassador knew whom to blame — the Jews.

Convinced that the Jews are warmongers who aim to drag America into battle needlessly, he took it upon himself, right after his return to the US, to sternly warn them not to harm relations with Germany, lest they be blamed for any fighting which would erupt.

And so, delivering a speech on the "European Situation," he cautioned Jewish studio executives: "You guys are going to be responsible for pushing the United States into war against the Nazis unless you stop your anti-Nazi films, your anti-Hitler propaganda, your anti-German propaganda. When war breaks out, the American people are going to turn on American Jewry, and there's going to be an outbreak of anti-Semitism like you've never seen, because the Jews are going to be held responsible for every American soldier and the destruction of the American economy."

Kennedy went even further. It wasn't just the content of films he regarded as offensive. "You're going to have to get those Jewish names off the screen," he bullied his stunned listeners.

Rather than fight anti-Semitism, Kennedy brandished it as a threat. He hectored the Jewish movie magnates about irritating their sworn enemy. The riot act he read them generated shock and underscored all the underlying Jewish insecurities that never went away, despite these entrepreneurs' presumed rights as Americans and despite their affluence and incontestable achievements.

Their mogul status notwithstanding, Hollywood's Jews still remained fearful and vulnerable enough not to have produced any film during all of WWII that focused on the methodically organized inhumanity against their own brethren.

Israel's movie-makers — while they had demonstrated nothing even remotely approaching the originality, dynamism or success of the industry's Jewish founders — do, nonetheless, seem to have adopted their spinelessness.

Indeed they had gone a huge cardinal step beyond the timidity and faint-heartedness of yesteryear's moguls. They don't just desist from challenging the genocidal enemy that bays for their people's blood, they cynically espouse and hype that enemy's cause.

Contact Borntolose at borntolose3@charter.net


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ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE GERMANS

Posted by Ted Belman, March 02, 2013

The article below was written by Isi leibler who chairs the Diaspora-Israel relations committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and is a former chairman of the governing board of the World Jewish Congress. He can be contacted by email at ileibler@netvision.net.il This article appeared March 01, 2013 in Israpundit and is archived at http://www.israpundit.com/archives/53208#more-53208

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, successive German governments have meticulously upheld their obligations to the Jewish people. Study of the Holocaust is a mandatory component of the German state education curriculum, Holocaust denial is classified as a crime and restitution commitments were honored and even exceeded.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is a genuine friend of the Jews and despite intense political pressures and occasional minor vacillations, has consistently supported Israel, describing its security as "part of my country's raison d'etre." However in recent years, as in other European countries, German public opinion has turned against Israel, perceiving it as the principal threat to global stability and peace. This hostility has increasingly assumed overt anti-Semitic tones.

There is growing resentment against Jews, who are blamed for imposing excessive emphasis on collective German national guilt for the Holocaust.

Anti-Jewish hostility is often expressed in the more "politically respectable" demonization of the Jewish nation state, allegedly not related to anti-Semitism, although the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) explicitly defines such behavior as anti-Semitic.

The German Left has accused Israel of war crimes, occupation and racism and also engages in inverse Holocaust imagery, enthusiastically condemning Israel for allegedly behaving toward the Palestinians as its Nazi forebears did to the Jews.

When reproached for engaging in anti-Semitism, the Left condemns the "global Zionist propaganda machine" for seeking to deny Germans the right to criticize Israeli government policies.

These trends are fortified by the sizable Islamic migrant community — now numbering over four million — which aggressively agitates against Israel, utilizing obscene placards at demonstrations and chanting "gas the Jews" or "death to the Jews." Muslims are at the forefront of violence directed at identifiable Jews in urban areas, especially in Berlin, where some Jewish community leaders are now advising Jews not to wear kippot in public.

Yet the government has welcomed the immigration of almost 200,000 former Soviet Jews and invested major funds in resurrecting a vigorous Jewish community and in fostering Jewish education.

Despite receiving state subsidies, the Jewish leadership displays its independence and frequently speaks out if it feels that the government is not fulfilling its obligations to the Jewish community or not being evenhanded toward Israel.

However, the intensification of extreme anti-Israeli hostility, combined with a recent spate of disconcerting incidents, has created angst within the Jewish community.

Last year, there was a traumatic national debate which assumed ugly anti-Semitic overtones after a judgment in Cologne ruled that male circumcision causes "bodily harm" and declared the practice illegal. The matter was only resolved following the direct intervention of Chancellor Merkel who initiated the passage of legislation legalizing circumcision.

In April 2012, in a provocative outburst, 84 year old Nobel Prize laureate Gunter Grass bitterly accused the Israeli government of seeking to obliterate the Iranian population. He warned that the Jewish state, which he considers "insane and unscrupulous," represents the principal obstacle to peace in the region and called on his government to cancel delivery to Israel of the last German Dolphin submarine.

Despite being discredited for having initially concealed that he had served as a member of the Nazi Waffen SS, Grass's vicious attack on Israel, while condemned by numerous politicians and journalists, was enthusiastically endorsed by many Germans.

Shortly after that incident, the state-sponsored Berlin Jewish Museum invited Judith Butler, a notorious Jewish promoter of BDS against Israel, as a guest lecturer. Butler received enthusiastic applause from the 700-strong audience when, purporting to act in accordance with the highest Jewish moral values, she renewed calls to boycott Israel and "abolish political Zionism" in order to create a bi-national Palestinian state.

To provide a platform for such an outspoken anti-Israeli activist at a state-sponsored Jewish Museum in Berlin is surely obscene, but not unprecedented. Former Israeli communist Felicia Langer lives in Germany where she condemns the German government for supporting Israel, constantly equates Israelis with Nazis, calls for Israeli leaders to be tried as war criminals, describes Israel as an apartheid regime and even praises Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In Aug. 2009, German President Horst Kohler, who four years earlier had addressed the Knesset, shocked the Jewish community by honoring Langer with the Federal Cross of Merit, Germany's most prestigious award.

In 2010, despite protests from the Israeli Embassy, Frankfurt's Mayor Petra Roth invited Alfred Grosser, a German-born Jew known to be frenziedly hostile to Israel, to give the annual Kristallnacht oration at the city's St. Paul's Church. He used the occasion to draw parallels between the behavior of Israelis and Nazis and was lauded by the media.

Another ongoing scandal prevails at the German Center on anti-Semitism in Berlin, considered the most important German institute engaged with the subject. Until last year it was headed by Professor Wolfgang Benz, who received his PhD from Professor Karl Bosl, a former Nazi stormtrooper who maintains an ongoing association with right wing extremist groups. To this day, Benz continues defending his mentor.

Benz equates Islamophobia with anti-Semitism, alleging that critics of Islamic practice are reminiscent of Nazi anti-Semites attacking the Talmud. He recently challenged that the Muslim terrorist murders in Toulouse had an "anti-Semitic dimension." He dismisses concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood as being reminiscent of anti-Semitic phobias like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and bizarrely complains that drawing attention to the fact that Muslims comprise 70 percent of Berlin prison inmates is comparable to Hitler's ravings over "the fact that 89% of Berlin pediatricians in the 1930s were Jews."

The Center focuses on right-wing extremism and largely ignores or understates left-wing and Islamic anti-Semitism. Yet, despite protests, no effort has been made to redirect the activities of this government funded institute.

The most recent upheaval erupted in response to a list compiled by the U.S.-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, purporting to identify the ten worst anti-Semitic statements of 2012. It included Ahmadinejad, the Muslim Brotherhood, Nation of Islam founder, Louis Farrakhan and European anti-Semites. Ninth on the list was Jakob Augstein, publisher of the magazine Der Freitag, who also provides columns to Der Spiegel, Germany's leading weekly, founded by his father.

I have an aversion to simplistic lists prioritizing bigots and having reviewed some of Augstein's outbursts, I consider that bracketing him with Ahmadinejad or Farrakhan absurdly magnifies his standing and impact. But nevertheless, his outbursts, by any benchmark, warrant describing him as an anti-Semite.

Augstein alleged that when "Jerusalem calls, Berlin bows its will"; that U.S. presidents were obliged to "secure the support of Jewish lobby groups"; that American Republicans and the Israeli government profited from violence in Libya, Sudan and Yemen; that "the Netanyahu government keeps the world on a leash with an ever-swelling war chant"; that "Israel incubates its opponents in Gaza"; that the recent Prophet Muhammad video that provoked worldwide riots was initiated by Israel; that ultra-Orthodox Jews are like Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who "follow the law of revenge."

Even the broadest interpretation of the OSCE definition would qualify such demonization of Israel and allusions to Jewish global power as anti-Semitic.

In response, Augstein shamelessly claimed that being opposed to Jew hatred and "deeply respecting" the Simon Wiesenthal Center, he was distressed to be defamed as an anti-Semite.

Prominent German Jewish writer and commentator Henryk Broder was sufficiently outraged to describe Augstein as "a pure anti-Semite ... who only missed the opportunity to make his career with the Gestapo because he was born after the war."

President of the Jewish Central Council of Jews Dieter Graumann, while condemning Augstein's "horrible, hideous" articles on Israel, criticized his placement on such a list. His vice president, Salomon Korn, went further and foolishly defended Augstein against charges of anti-Semitism.

Juliane Wetzel from the German Center on anti-Semitism was amongst those who rejected suggestions that Augstein was disseminating hatred of Jews. Overall, the bulk of the German media, as well as both leftist and CDU politicians, defended him, insisting that he was merely expressing legitimate criticism of Israel.

It was significant that in 2010, two Bundestag leftist representatives were aboard the Turkish Marvi Marmara and that for the first time, the Left and the Right united in parliament to carry a unanimous resolution censuring Israel for the Gaza flotilla episode. This in itself may not represent anti-Semitism, but reflects the atmosphere of increasing hostility against Israel which would have been inconceivable in Germany only a few years ago.

For Jews, the positive side of Germany is the evident abundance of pro-Israeli and even philo-Semitic rank-and-file Germans in all walks of life. Yet, simultaneously the intensifying efforts by left-wing activists uniting with Muslim extremists and occasionally even Nazis, to demonize Israel and promote anti-Semitism, provide valid grounds for concern about a future for Jews in Germany.

The situation is likely to further deteriorate drastically after the culmination of Angela Merkel's term as chancellor.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS' FAILURE

Posted by Nurit Greenger, March 02, 2013

Reading the article 'Hagel Without Tears' (http://www.nysun.com/editorials/hagel-without-tears/88207/) has brought up the question, are the organizations that suppose to represents Jewish causes and help Israel in the international arena doing their job?

When you read that Jewish organizations, such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) do not take a formal public position in cases, such as the nomination of Chuck Hagel to a Secretary of Defense you begin wondering, are they doing their job right?

PM Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC Annual Conference
PM Benjamin Netanyahu at AIPAC Annual Conference

When you read that Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) claims that the leaders of the Jewish organizations, mentioned above, were worried about the consequences for the Jewish community if they took an forceful position against Hagel's nomination, you know something is wrong; they do not have what it takes to lead.

The nomination of Chuck Hagel was an American issue, not only Israel's issue, or Jews, despite his mainstream anti-Semitism sentiments and his negative position on Israel and his favoritism of her foes. Hagel appeared to be simply unfit to be the Secretary of State of all Americans, not only American Jews. Had the Jewish organizations come out and lobbied against Hagel, there was a chance that he would have been stopped and that would have been good for every American.

In observation of what the Jewish organizations have done for us, Jews and Israel, lately, besides constantly asking for money to keep their doors open and raise funds, I come up rather empty handed.

Here is an interesting triangle: The Union of Reform (Deformed) Judaism (URJ) just came out against Israel building in area E-1, but it is actually promoting a J Street (J'ihad Street) event to take place in a URJ Temple Isaiah on Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, this after J Street advocated for Hagel nomination and called those who opposed Hagel smear artists. Is J Street for or against USA and Israel's interests?

We better get used to the word 'stealth'; there is full blown stealth jihad by Moslems against the non-Moslem world; there is also stealth civil war, the Left war against all that the Left is not for and does not supports; and there is a stealth civil war among Jews on wide spectrum of issues.

For instance, in my opinion, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the executive director of J Street is a stealth Israel hater and he needs to be confronted. That is what StandWithUs (SWU) will be doing on March 11, 2013 when the organization's CEO Roz Rostein will be debating Ben-Ami on the subject "Israel's Future and the Role of the American Jewish Community"; venue: Temple Isaiah, 10345 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles,90064. If you are still in the loop and you have not distanced yourself from Israel, as many Jews have done already, and you are concerned about Israel's future, join the efforts, go listen, make your voice heard.

With organizations such as J Street and even URJ influencing our Jewish youth we are raising generations who will be ashamed of Israel and will have nothing to do with the Homeland of the entire Jewish nation.

These organization are, for instance, blind to what the Palestinian Authority and Mahmud Abbas really are; they have whitewashed Jewish history and the real legal rights of the Jewish people to the land, not the land they elected to relate and deal with but all the land that make up the land of Eretz Israel. If we allow J Street, the Jewish organizations that have elected to shut up and religion based movements, turned political, such as URJ, to continue on their path, watch how fast the connection to Israel vanishes and anti-Semitism sentiments fill the vacuum in the West, including the United States. Failing to speak up when one had the chance has its detrimental consequences.

Time is dire. It appears that we have to redouble our efforts of telling the truth so many simply elected not to tell or hear. This is what Sarah N. Stern, Founder and President of EMET (Endowment for Middle East Truth) tells us to do.

StandWithUs, should not be afraid to come up with a booklet that tells the truth about the Palestinian Authority, similar to the one they have issued on Hamas; political correctness and false hopes will not bring about peace with this Arabic entity. They have never been and are not a peace partner for Israel, no matter how one approaches this long conflict issues. In fact the PA are just like Hamas only that they have chosen the diplomatic and legal warfare against Israel rather than the arms' struggle, the operation path of Hamas. It is time to tell it as it is, not hide behind hopes, delusions, lies and deception, as we have been doing for decades. Until these Islamo-jihadists change their education system NOTHING will make them a genuine peace partner for Israel, not now, not ever.

The world has lost a huge chunk of its moral compass, or perhaps it really did not have it. If we do not define what is right, make our case and then fight for it we are doomed.

If the Israeli Leadership Council (ILC), based in Los Angeles, promotes the SWU-J Street debate event, then their duty is to also keep the Los Angles-Israeli community well balanced on information; they should invite, for instance, Gerald Steinberg of the NGO Monitor who will update the community on what J Street, the New Israel Fund and Americans for Peace Now really are and how they are harming Israel and with that, indirectly, the entire world's Jewry.

People need to know that organization such as J Street wears the cloak of respectability but the fact is that it works to subvert Israel every day and its aggressive advocacy to see Hagel nominated is just the latest example.

Here is another idea: how about SWU running a campaign on campuses all over the world, to expose and delegitimize the fake pro-Israel groups? It is not just the covert and overt anti-Semitism on campus that is the problem, it is also the stealth jihad that is rampant there too. Just like it is not just Hamas that is the problem for Israel; the PA and its leadership and its head Abbas are too a major problem that is not properly dealt with. As if because they all wear suits and ties everyone lives with the delusion that they are not the terrorists they really are. It is not just the Muslim Brotherhood that is the problem, it is also its USA front groups, including those the Jewish community supports and does "interfaith" meetings with, such as MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs counck) and ISNA, Islamic society of North America, that are the problem.

Here is a scenario our minds need to grasp and think along: in order to have Israel's Ambassador to the USA Mr. Michel Oren's approval, J Street declared they have changed their mind on the Goldstone Report, which they first promoted, now reject. BUT, when the PA went to UN to seek membership, against all the agreements it has signed with Israel, to which the USA and EU were witnesses, and members of Congress were passing a bill to deny any future funding for the PA and to shut its DC office, J Street made sure no such bill got a majority, and indeed it never passed. In other words, J street has given a pass to Israel's enemy for its recalcitrant behavior, which undermines Israel's position in the international arena. That must not be tolerated.

So, it appears that AIPAC, ADL and AJC have been silenced. Silence can be death too.

Behind the AIPAC

NO more debates and parlor meetings. Action is needed. If Jews and Israel want to be respected, rather than bashed, expose and delegitimize those who demonize, delegitimize and subvert Israel and Jewish positions.

We have to re-evaluate everything we do because thus far we rank a failure.

There were over 600 rabbis who promoted Obama for a second term as president. This after his record was already shameful. Has anyone asked these rabbis why? What good is Obama brining to the entire American nation, to Israel and to the world? What has he done in the past 4 years that has made the USA and the world a better place to live? Name one!

I am well aware about the egos that run organizations, all functioning on the benevolence of the public. Have we asked them, what have you done for us lately?

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com. Visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com


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THE PERVERSE WORLD OF ABU ISLAM

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, March 02, 2013

Egyptian Sheikh Abu Islam — of Bible-destroying, rape-approving fame — is again causing drama. In regards to his second claim-to-fame — inciting Muslims to rape women protesters, because they must all be Christian "crusaders" anyway — a lawyer has recently submitted complaints that help provide context for Abu Islam's "worldview" concerning women: among other things, he is accused of raping a Syrian minor girl, as well as sexually assaulting his own daughter-in-law.

For all these reasons—specifically "insulting religion," a crime in Egypt, and inciting rape of Christian women—he was recently arrested for questioning. A little before he was arrested, his final TV tirade was about the gall of some Muslims and the media for referring to killed Egyptian Christians as "martyrs," when infidels should ever receive that honorific, which should be reserved for suicide-bombers and terrorists.

Most recently, his family and friends began saying that Abu Isam died in prison, first by a snake bite, then because he was denied his diabetes medicine—prompting many Salafis to protest. Authorities deny that he died, saying he will soon be released (even as several Egyptian Christians languish in jails over rumors that they insulted Muslim Muhammad).

Such is the world of one of Sharia law's most vocal supporters in Egypt.

Raymond Ibrahim is an American research librarian, translator, author and columnist. His focus is Arabic history and language, and current events. He is the author of two books, Ibrahim was born in the United States to Coptic immigrants from Egypt. He is fluent in Arabic and English. Ibrahim studied at California State University, Fresno, where he wrote a Master's thesis under Victor Davis Hanson on an early military encounter between Islam and Byzantium based on medieval Arabic and Greek texts. Ibrahim also took graduate courses at Georgetown University's Center of Contemporary Arab Studies and is studying toward a PhD in medieval Islamic history at Catholic University. Contact Raymond Ibrahim at raymondibrahim1@gmail.com. The article appeared March 2, 2013 on his own blogsite and is archived at http://www.raymondibrahim.com/from-the-arab-world/the-perverse-world-of-abu-islam/i>


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ANOTHER PALESTINIAN ARAB DIES IN CUSTODY - BUT THERE WILL BE NO RIOTS

Posted by Hadar-Israel, March 03, 2013

'The amount of outrage over an Arab death is inversely proportional to the square of the possibility that the death can be blamed on Jews.'

A prisoner being held in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho died on Friday, a senior Palestinian official said.

Ayman Mohammad Sharif Samara, 40, died while being detained on charges of assault, Palestinian Authority attorney general Muhammad Abdul-Ghani al-Uweiwi told Ma'an.

He was arrested on Friday and transferred to a nearby hospital, where he passed away, al-Uweiwi said.

The PA attorney general denied that the prisoner was tortured or beaten during interrogations and said that an autopsy would be performed and the results made public once completed.

An investigation into his death has already begun, al-Uweiwi added.

This article appeared March 2, 2013 in the Elder of Ziyon Daily News. Contact Hadar-Israel at hadar-israel@verizon.net


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FRANK SINATRA AND THE JEWS

Posted by Ted Belman, March 03, 2013

By coincidence, a week ago I watched Cast a Giant Shadow for the umpteenth time and particularly noted all the great stars that acted in the movie including Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Angie Dickenson and Frank Sinatra. Then this email came along.

Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert Sinatra (1915-1998) may have been one of America's most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting lifelong commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel.

Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940's, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine" rally (1947).

He sat on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem's Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center. (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.)

As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries.

Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war.

The Copacabana Club, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York. The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the backdoor with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier.

The origins of Sinatra's love affair with the Jewish people are not clear but, for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender.

Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather. As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could not arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra again threatened to punch him in the nose.

Sinatra famously played the role of a Jewish pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's war for independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film.

Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 45-minute featurette he made in which he sang In the Still of the Night and Without a Song. He also starred in The House I Live In (1945)*, a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com This article appeared March 02, 2013 in Israpundit and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.com/archives/53216#more-53216


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SHADING THE NEWS FROM GAZA

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 03, 2013

New York Times headline: "Gaza Gunfire Erupts Along Border With Israel."

New York Times article: "Palestinians fired at an Israeli military jeep along the Gaza border on Friday...and three Palestinian protestors were wounded by Israeli fire during disturbances along the border fence... The confrontations erupted three days after Gaza militants fired a rocket into Israel for the first time since a cease-fire agreement took hold in November" (3/2/13, A5).

Gunfire didn't just "erupt." That headline is misleading. The first sentence reveals that what really happened is that Muslims attacked Israelis. They opened fire on a jeep within Israel, patrolling to detect and deflect attacks. Muslims in Gaza also approached the fence, probably in their usual way of passing beyond the permitted area, physically attacking the fence that blocks their rampaging into Israel for the purpose of murder, planting roadside bombs to blow up Israeli patrols, or to get a closer shot at Israelis.

Actual physical descriptions of Arab "disturbances" are omitted by that newspaper. Actual descriptions would prove that the Arab Muslims almost invariably commit aggression and prevent peace. What kind of reporting omits the key facts by which readers can evaluate which side acts wrongly? Biased reporting. The Times whitewashes the Muslim side or blackwashes the Israeli side.

The same kind of bias produced the misleading headline. Many people read just the headline. The headline does not show who did what to whom, the standard for proper journalism. The Times does not practice proper journalism, it practices advocacy journalism.

Years of Times whitewashing and blackwashing have blurred people's understanding of right and wrong in the Arab-Israel conflict. So, on the one hand, Jews get blamed by the, yes, antisemites at the Times and at the head of the Defense Dept. for allegedly controlling Congress in Israel's behalf, and on the other hand, Jews get blamed, including by naïve Jewish readers of the Times, for mistreating Palestinian Arabs.

The New York Times is succeeding in its mission, not publicly stated, of molding public opinion. In this case, it molds anti-Zionism and cushions jihad from American public wrath.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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ISLAM ISN'T MIDEAST'S ONLY PROBLEM

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 03, 2013

I focus on jihad, but jihad and Islam are not the Mideast's only problem.

Dictators have turned the Arab world into mostly failed states. Saudi Arabia consumes its ancient aquifers, and Egypt wastes half its water and pollutes the rest, while its population still grows (IMRA, 3/3/13 from Louise Sarant, Egypt Independent, 26/02/13 http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/climate-change-and-water-mismanagement-parch-egypt). Property rights are not protected. The whole economy is mismanaged. Islamists exploit discontent.

The U.S. diversion of food production to ethanol reduces international food supplies, not energy consumption. Thus the U.S. raises prices for impoverished Arabs and for American citizens and taxpayers, but raises the incomes of corn harvesting states.

Climate change and water mismanagement parch Egypt

Climate change, a fast growing population, ill-designed infrastructure, high levels of pollution and lack of law enforcement have made Egypt a country thirsty for water — both in terms of quantity and quality.

The River Nile, which is considered poor by many experts and hydrologists, lies at lower altitude than the rest of the country. Massive electric pumps extract the water from the river's bed and canals and direct it to industry, agriculture and for individual water use.

A significant portion of the water contained in Lake Nasser's 5,000 square kilometer basin is lost to evaporation, while old networks of leaking pipes also deprive the country of satisfactory access to its most important resource: water.

In order to debate water scarcity in Egypt, its causes, and how climate change makes the issue more pressing than ever, as well as looking to solutions, a panel of experts were invited to participate in the 13th Cairo Climate Talk last week entitled "Growing Thirst: Sustainable Water Solutions for Egypt."

Tarek Kotb, the First Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and a member of the panel discussion, talked about the dwindling water share per capita with a sense of urgency. "Every year, the Egyptian population grows by 1.8 million, while the annual quota of Nile water allocated to Egypt, 55 billion cubic meters, has remained unchanged since the 1959 Nile Water Agreement," he says.

While Egyptians in the 1960s could enjoy a water share per capita of 2800 cubic meters for all purposes, the current share has dropped to 660 cubic meters today—below the international standard defining water poverty of 1000 cubic meters.

Kotb estimates that Egypt is gradually going to leave the stage of water scarcity and enter a phase of drastic water stress in the next 40 years, if no sustainable water management is put in place.

"By 2050, there will be about 160 million Egyptians and only 370 cubic meters of water per capita," he says. While Egypt has other options for its water needs, such as tapping into groundwater basins and desalinating sea-water, the bulk of water is still extracted from the Nile, leading to longstanding tensions with the other Nile basin countries.

The treaty signed under colonial rule in 1959 granted Egypt and Sudan most of the Nile water share, while upstream countries were given access to a very small allocation of water. Lama al-Hatow, a hydrologist and one of the founders of the Water Institute for the Nile (WIN) condemns Egypt's historical and ongoing hydro hegemony, by which the country claims its entitlement to benefit from most of the Nile water.

"A lot of science has been published on how not to lose water if the Ethiopian Millennium Dam is built, but it is not given much attention by the politicians," Hatow says. "The upstream countries have the right to develop," she says, "and there are ways to make it happen without Egypt losing water."

She adds that preventing water evaporation in Lake Nasser could even increase Egypt's water share.

Kotb responding to her remarks, saying that Egypt is investing millions of dollars in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia to overcome losses due to evaporation in marshes and basins. "We don't deny these countries' right to development; actually, we help them," he said.

Claudia Bürkin, the Water Sector Coordinator for the German Development Cooperation and Senior Programme Manager at KfW Development Bank, explains that Egypt's water resources face two main challenges: water loss and bad quality.

"Egypt loses about 50% of its freshwater through poor maintenance of supplies and distribution problems, and the water is polluted," she says, stressing that a significant number of diseases are water borne. Polluted water also affects the ecosystems' balance, the soil quality, and seeps into the aquifers. "Egypt needs to set up strong standards for water quality and control the drainage nutrients, pesticides and waste found in the water."

Kotb admits that while most of the issues and potential solutions have been identified by the government, much needs to be done in terms of implementation of existing laws and stronger cooperation between ministries.

"Water management is not the mandate of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation exclusively, which makes the implementation process so much harder," he says.

A National Water Resource Plan was established a few years ago, Kotb says, to curb the amount of pollution in the Nile emanating from cruise boats, factories, industries and villagers deprived of a waste management system. As part of this, he explains, factories located close to the Nile or the canals have been moved further away from the water streams, and new industries will be prevented from setting up a plant within 20km from the water.

"Law 48 on pollution has been reviewed and the penalties will be tougher," he says. Meanwhile, Hatow argues that enforcing stronger penalties is not the solution to prevent farmers from polluting.

"Instead of punishing them, we should give farmers incentives to make better use of water, and provide them with premium crops," she says.

The conversation then shifted to the effects of climate change, which can already be felt in the Northern part of the Delta and in the Mediterranean coastal cities of Damietta and Rosetta. The gradual rise in sea levels taking place turns fields into barren land unfit for agriculture, and the sea water that infiltrates the Nile is reaching further and further away from the coast.

"In order to keep a good yield and maintain agricultural production," says Kotb, "we need to use more fresh water to combat rising temperatures."

Lama's take on how to combat climate change is quite different from this. "We need to study community based resilience techniques to figure out how local and indigenous knowledge can provide answers and climate resilience."

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com


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KERRY & TURKEY

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 03, 2013

Sec. of State Kerry "chastised" the Prime Minister of Turkey for calling Zionism a "crime against humanity." The news report explains that such a comment "could frustrate Mr. Kerry's desire to see an improvement in estranged Turkish-Israeli relations." The reporter also explains that Turkey is a moderate Muslim-majority nation.

Sec. Kerry called the comment offensive, preferring tolerance instead. He said all leaders should be tolerant. He reportedly held a "frank discussion" of the Turkish comment with PM Erdogan.

PM Erdogan denied hostility toward Israel. He blamed Israel for poor mutual relations, for allowing self-defense by its commandos, stabbed and shot by Islamists encouraged by Turkey to break Israel's legal, partial blockade of Gaza. [I described the blockade-running flotilla incident factually and meaningfully, which the reporter did not.)

The report attributes the deterioration in mutual relations to the rise of Erdogan and Turkey's newly "assertive regional posture." (Michael R. Gordon, NY Times, 3/2/13, A4). Correct.

If Turkey were a "moderate" Muslim country, why does it have a Radical Muslim regime, dispatch Islamists to attack Israel, call the Jewish national liberation movement and only Jewish nationalism a crime, and threaten war on other countries? The Mideast Forum wrote a lengthy article documenting the many hostile acts by Turkey against neighboring countries, more resulting from Turkish nationalism than from Radical Islam. Turkey's nationalism has its criminal tinge. (Turkey was fairly hospitable to my family, and has the potential of restoring civility.)

Did you notice that Sec. Kerry did not call Erdogan's antisemitic remark mistaken? I think that the U.S. walks on eggs with certain other countries, especially Islamic ones and China. Our government apparently does not stand for anything anymore. We let Turkey, Iran, and the Arab countries smear Israel and Judaism. But that amounts to condoning not only the antisemitism but the propaganda arm of jihad. Yet the U.S. is a victim of the same jihad.

Apparently since Kerry's foolish and treasonous youth, he has gained stature but not sense. He makes not sense in thinking that Turkey's present, Islamist and neo-Ottoman imperialist regime could establish good relations with Israel. His boss and his predecessor make the same mistake with the Islamist Egyptian regime.

U.S. policy is to shore up the Egyptian economy by siphoning money from ours. U.S. policy is to pour more advanced arms into the Egyptian armed forces. It does this in the name of stability. So, Obama helps topple reasonably stable regimes in Libya and Egypt, lets Islamists attack Americans, and then suggests we help stabilize them. Do modern jets in Egypt's Islamist hands help stabilize the country and region?

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com


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BAHRAIN AS A TARGET PREFERRED BY IRAN FOR TERRORISM AND SUBVERSION

Posted by Terrorism Information Center, March 03, 2013

1. On February 16 and 19, 2013, the Bahraini authorities announced they had exposed a terrorist cell run by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards. The cell's operatives had been involved in shooting policemen and were planning to assassinate public figures and carry out terrorist attacks on various sensitive targets, among them the King Fahd Bridge (which links Bahrain to Saudi Arabia), Bahrain International Airport and the ministry of the interior. Two affairs preceded the exposure: in November 2012 five suspects were detained on suspicion of placing IEDs which exploded in various locations in Manama, and at the beginning of November 2011 a terrorist cell was captured who members had been planning to carry out showcase attacks in Bahrain and attack important facilities. One of their targets wasthe King Fahd Bridge, which in our assessment is regarded as a strategic target by the Iranians.

2. Tariq al-Hassan, head of Bahraini general intelligence, said that the cell most recently exposed had been recruited by two men living in Qom, Iran. Its operatives were handled and funded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and trained by Guards proxies in Iraq and Lebanon. In previous affairs Iran and Hezbollah were accused of handling terrorist cells in Bahrain, training them and providing them with weapons. In every instance Iran and Hezbollah denied the accusations.

3. Actually, however, in our assessment the terrorist cells are part of Iran's comprehensive, ongoing efforts at subversion and terrorism, sometimes carried out with the assistance of Hezbollah, its Lebanese proxy. Their efforts have accelerated in the past two years, the result of the upheaval in the Arab world and the intensified Iranian confrontation of the United States and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.

4. Since the regional upheaval began, there have been protests in Bahrain by its Shi'ite majority. The Shi'ites are supported by Iran, which exploits them to further its efforts to overthrow the Bahraini regime. The regime has acted to contain the protests but the Shi'ites have become more daring and confrontations between Shi'ite demonstrators and the Bahraini security forces have become routine. This explosive situation provides, in our assessment, fertile ground for the continuation and intensification of Iran's subversive and terrorist activities within the Bahraini Shi'ite population. The Iranians do that either directly or by using proxies such as Lebanese Hezbollah and the Shi'ite militias in Iraq as subcontractors (the Iranian modus operandi in other Shi'ite communities throughout the Arab-Muslim world).

Bahrain: Iran's Choice as a Target for Its Terrorism and Subversion

5. Iran chose Bahrain as a target for terrorism and subversion because it is located in the heart of the Persian Gulf, which is strategically important for Iran, and because of its political-societal makeup: it has a Shi'ite majority and is ruled by a Sunni monarchy which has Saudi Arabia as an ally and is oriented toward America. In concrete terms there are several reasons for Iran's decades of terrorism and subversion in Bahrain:

1) The presence of the American army: Bahrain hosts the United States' largest Persian Gulf naval base, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, home of the Fifth Fleet. NSA Bahrain has been the seat of American army support for the wars in Iraq (ended) and Afghanistan (ongoing). As far as Iran is concerned, an American military force in Bahrain is capable of providing a response to an Iranian threat to the Gulf States and can threaten vital Iranian interests (most of Iran's commercial activity, including its oil exports, is channeled through the Straits of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf). In addition, from the Iranian point of view, if and when the time comes, the American presence in Bahrain is liable to be used in an attack on Iran (as it was in the attack on the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq).

Bahrain Map

2) Bahrain's politics and demographics: An estimated 60%-70% of Bahrain's more than a million inhabitants are Shi'ites ruled by a Sunni minority. Bahraini Shi'ites have a long history of protesting, both nonviolently and violently, against various issues on the Bahraini and regional agenda. Iran, with Hezbollah support, intensively incites Bahrain's Shi'ite population to overthrow the monarchy. The regional upheavals escalated both the Shi'ite protests and the Iranian efforts to subvert and destabilize the Bahraini regime, which so far has been able to contain the protests.

3) Iran's irredentist aspirations: Iran claims sovereignty over Bahrain (calling it "Iran's 14th province") and has even claimed to have found "historical proof" for the claim. In February 2009 Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei, said that until its independence in 1970, Bahrain was Iran's 14th province and even had representation in the Iranian parliament. At the time, the statement (not the first time it was made) led to a storm of protests in Bahrain and gave rise to open expressions of solidarity with Bahrain throughout the Arab world. In 1979, during the first months of Iran's Islamic Revolution, the Ayatollah Sayyid Sadeq Rohani, an important Iranian cleric, asserted that Bahrain was an integral part of Iran and that it was illegal to separate it from Iran. He called on the inhabitants of Bahrain and the other emirates to rise up against their rulers and to institute regimes of "justice and equality" (Shia-online.ir website).

Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, advisor to Khamenei
Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, advisor to Khamenei

4) Iran's aspirations to hegemony in the Persian Gulf: Iran regards the Gulf as strategically extremely important both in terms of its economy and its security. Iran seeks hegemony in the Gulf and to remove the presence of Iran's enemies, principally the United States, other Western countries, and Saudi Arabia and its allies. The Shi'ite communities in the countries in the Persian Gulf and at the entrance to the Red Sea, among them Bahrain, Yemen, southern Iraq and eastern Saudi Arabia are, in Iran's perception, bridgeheads for Iranian influence and the advancement of its regional interests.

5. Exploiting the Shi'ite community in Bahrain for subversion and terrorism is a permanent part of the Iranian pattern, carried out by the Qods Force and with Hezbollah as a subcontractor. The most recent example was in Yemen, where on January 23, 2013, a ship was intercepted and found to be carrying a large quantity of weapons from Iran. The weapons were en route to the Shi'ite Houthi rebels in north Yemen. Other countries with Shi'ite communities which are targets for Iranian subversion and terrorism are Lebanon (a prominent example of Iran's success in exporting the Islamic Revolution), Syria (where Iran and Hezbollah support the Alawite regime, which they regard as Shi'ite), Iraq (where Iran established Shi'ite militias), Pakistan (where there is a large Shi'ite community) and Azerbaijan (a Shi'ite country which Iran has traditionally targeted for its subversion and terrorism).

6. Three appendices are available in the original article.

Contact Terrorism Information Center at newsleter@terrorism-info.org.il

This article appeared February 28, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/article/20486

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DEPLORABLE

Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 03, 2013

Now I'm referring not to the state of the world, but to the state of Israeli politics. I am so often proud of who we are. But now? I would gladly grab hold of certain political shoulders and shake until the heads that sit on those respective shoulders rattled. Where? I want to ask. Where is your devotion to the state and the greater good during these difficult times?

To whose shoulders am I alluding? There is, in my opinion, enough blame to go around. No one that I'm seeing stands up as a leader (or even a potential leader), resolute in his vision, embracing his fellow Jews, and focused on the nation and not his own political future or that of his particular party.

Do I know what's in people's heads? Not with any clarity. Which makes posting difficult.

~~~~~~~~~~

On Friday, the coalition negotiations between Likud Beitenu and Habayit Hayehudi broke down. These are the two parties that should have been natural allies, logical coalition partners.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has secured from President Peres another 14 days in which to form a coalition. President Obama has said if a government is not formed by the 16th of this month, then he will cancel his trip, scheduled for the week after.

Today the prime minister met with Shas. There had been reports that he absolutely refuses to exclude them because of Bennett-Lapid demands. And there have been other, more recent, reports that he told Shas he wants to include them, but that because of Bennett and Lapid, it will be difficult to do so.

Following this meeting, Netanyahu had a long meeting with Bennett, which is being described by members of Habayit Hayehudi as "positive and productive." There was discussion of the party joining the coalition, although there is at yet no announcement.

~~~~~~~~~~

I am reluctant to repeat rumors or level charges that are no more than hearsay, and yet I feel I must at this point give my readers some window into what is going on here.

By way of a re-cap:

Fault lies first with Netanyahu who ran a regrettable campaign. The lack of vigor with which he and his party campaigned resulted in fewer mandates for Likud-Beitenu than had been expected and plenty of anger within Likud circles.

What is more, Likud ran a very negative campaign, with the negativity leveled first and foremost against Habayit Hayehudi. This was stupid and counterproductive. There are rumors, which apparently do have some basis in fact, regarding bad blood between Netanyahu and Bennett, head of Habayit Hayehudi, who once worked for Netanyahu.

However, what has been the case, as well, is that Bennett's posture as an up-and-coming leader in the nationalist camp threatened Netanyahu -- who has exposed his insecurities. Compared with the previous strength of the "old" Habayit Hayehudi (aka the National Religious Party), this new incarnation with Bennett at its head was demonstrating great promise in the polls and it was looking as if Likud was at risk of losing voters to Habayit Hayehudi.

Thus apparently did Netanyahu level criticism against Bennett. His hope, surely, was that disenchanted potential Habayit Hayehudi voters would turn to Likud. What I see is that, seeking a new young face, they instead moved over to Lapid and Yesh Atid. Netanyahu bears some responsibility for the 19 mandates Lapid garnered.

~~~~~~~~~~

Since the coalition negotiations began 28 days ago, there are only two discernable facts we can point to:

First, Netanyahu brought Tzipi Livni on board and gave her an incredible amount of power -- Justice Ministry and responsibility for negotiating with the PA -- for her six mandates. A very foolish move that I have already described as a betrayal of the principles of many inside the Likud-Beitenu faction and of those who voted Likud-Beitenu.

And then, the partnership, the "mini-coalition" of Bennett (on the right in the picture) and Lapid. At first this was no more than suggested by rumor, but the fact of this agreement has become clear in recent days.

Yair Lapid leader of the Israeli Yesh Atid party(L) and Naftali Bennett, head of Israel's Jewish Home party attend the swearing-in ceremony of the 19th Knesset, the new Israeli parliament, on February 5, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. The 120 members included a record 48 new law makers.

Bennett says he joined with Lapid only because Netanyahu had treated him badly, not negotiating with his party in good faith and passing over him when others were approached.

Bennett: "for days after the election the Likud refused to speak to the Jewish Home. They boycotted us... we expected to be a natural partner and to be the first to enter the Netanyahu government." The message he claims he got was, "the religious Zionist party won't enter the coalition, at any price." (Whether this was a literal message or the "feeling" he got, he does not say.)

Likud had denied this, saying that Bennett was approached first.

But it's now clear that this wasn't so, because Likud negotiator David Shimron said today that, "They are trying to punish us because Bennett's phone rang after Gal-on's." Zahava Gal-on, head of the far left Meretz party. It made the press when Netanyahu contacted her, as well as others, immediately after the elections. This was before Bennett had been called.

Foolish of Netanyahu. Rude. Conveying to the newcomer Bennett a sense of being excluded. But is this sufficient reason for Bennett to have fashioned his current policy as he has? Once he was called, would it have been prudent for him to have moved on rather than attempting a power play?

~~~~~~~~~~

The two issues that Bennett and Lapid have raised mutually have been the position of Livni and the matter of legislation that would require haredim who are learning in yeshivas to also serve in the IDF or do national service. This second issue has been an enormous hot potato, and I have concern that rigid positions on both sides are causing divisions within the country at a time when we can ill-afford this.

Part of what disturbs me is that I'm hearing that Lapid says he doesn't want to sit in a coalition with the haredi parties. Although we cannot know what's being said in closed rooms or hinted between the lines, this stipulation certainly seems more stringent and stiff-necked than saying he would of course sit with them but wants to see them negotiating a compromise on the issue of haredi service. A compromise, even if a modest beginning -- a concession that some compromise is necessary.

On the other hand, there are haredi leaders demonstrating no willingness to compromise. They are reported to have said some very disturbing things. One rabbi allegedly said he would rather sacrifice the settlements than sacrifice Torah. That got my dander up, big time. (Translation here: they would sit with Labor.) And then charges against Bennett, who is an observant, kippa-wearing Jew, about his being against Torah.

~~~~~~~~~~

This business of saving Torah. Oi v'voi. When the nation was founded, the Jewish people had just undergone the Holocaust, and the horrendous destruction in eastern Europe of Torah scholars. Ben Gurion, in a desire to strengthen Torah study -- and the population of those studying -- within the new Jewish state, structured a plan by which ultra-Orthodox men studying in yeshivas would be exempt from army service. That plan has been retained since Ben Gurion's time. The haredim have come to see this as an entitlement, and have come to believe -- many with great and passionate sincerity -- that the mantle of preserving Torah rests with them.

But back then there were hundreds studying in yeshivas and today -- thank Heaven! -- there are tens of thousands. More studying than has ever been the case. The haredim protest that they are serving Israel as much as those who serve in the IDF -- that it is this religious study that guards Israel. Who can say otherwise?

But no one is suggesting that the yeshivas be closed. There are proposals that would defer the age at which these yeshiva students could be drafted. And proposals that say that the finest of Torah students -- however they would be identified and however many would be included in this category -- would still be exempt, and still be permitted non-stop study. Part of the problem, of course, is that there are multiple proposals with various proponents arguing for what they have advanced.

It should also be noted that there currently are alternatives within the IDF that permit a combination of study and military service, alternatives that must be expanded and seriously developed. I have in mind the Hesder Yeshiva programs and the battalion called Nahal Haredi. There are some haredim who do serve now, and this practice needs to be publicized and encouraged.

~~~~~~~~~~

There are multiple problems with the current deferment system for yeshiva students. One is that not every haredi man is automatically a scholar who merits the latitude of being exempt from other duties. While there are pious and devoted men who spend long hours in their study, there is a certain percentage of the haredi population that simply takes advantage of that exemption.

Another is the sense within the larger population (and to a considerable extent this is what Lapid represents) that the burden of serving must be equalized. The haredi population must give, in service to the State.

And even beyond the issue of military service, there is the question of their subsequently joining the ranks of the employed and thus contributing to the economic wellbeing of the nation -- and, in the process, becoming less isolated and more firmly part of the social fabric of the nation.

~~~~~~~~~~

It is my own conviction that changes are necessary, but that they have to be made slowly and with awareness of the sensibilities of the haredi community, so as to avoid tearing this nation apart. It is my impression that the IDF is not prepared to accept all of them immediately in any event, if ever.

~~~~~~~~~~

And there is yet one other part of the equation here that must be addressed, and that is Yair Lapid and his manner of conducting himself. His 19-mandate victory went to his head and he has made some unfortunate statements: Failing to project the humility and the desire to garner experience that we might hope for from someone new at politics, he has presented himself as someone who can come in and change matters forthwith. This is unsettling and suggests the possibility of rash judgment.

~~~~~~~~~~

There has been a good deal of criticism of Bennett, and talk about what is in his head, that he has held fast to this agreement with Lapid, with whom he hardly agrees on all particulars. Of late, Netanyahu has been working to break apart that mini-coalition, bringing Bennett in, and leaving Lapid out.

What makes it somewhat less likely that Netanyahu can succeed is this:

Four key rabbis of the Tekuma faction of Habayit Hayehudi have now come out supporting Bennett's agreement with Lapid. Tekuma, please understand, came from National Union, which is to the right politically; Uri Ariel, Bennett's second on the list and the one who has been doing negotiating for the party, is from Tekuma.

Rabbis Dov Lior (a big name), Haim Steiner, Isser Klonsky and Haim David Halevi have released a letter that they sent to Bennett and Ariel:

"In the light of updates we have received from MKs and members of Jewish Home, and taking into account the media stories on the matter, we wish to 'strengthen the hands' of the path Jewish Home has chosen, as it works to preserve the world of Torah and the communities of the Land of Israel. We support the cooperation with Yesh Atid and with Yair Lapid."

Interesting..."to preserve the world of Torah and the communities of the Land of Israel."

~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the situation for Netanyahu:

In spite of enormous pressure on Shelly Yachimovich of Labor, she refuses to join the Likud-Beitenu coalition because the factions are too far apart on basic issues. Pheww!!

He does not want to alienate the haredi parties. But he wants a coalition.

Thus, he may have to take both Bennett and Lapid, without Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ). That would bring him 68 mandates or 70 if he brought in Kadima.

Or, if he can draw Bennett away from Lapid, he can include Shas and UTJ with Bennett for 67 mandates or 69 with Kadima.

In either event, I would say he will have to restructure his deal with Livni, even as he retains her party in the coalition.

My prediction is that we're on the cusp of a resolution here. What we will still need to watch, even after resolution, is which party is granted which portfolios. If he does lure Bennett from Lapid, what he offers Habayit Hayehudi will be a big part of the story.

Another major part will be the selection of Defense Minister. This will tell us a good deal about what Netanyahu intends and how secure he is.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sincerely do I hope I have helped my readers to wrap their heads around a crazy and complex situation, and not simply caused confusion. Hopefully, in my next post I will be able to turn to other matters.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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BEIJING'S & JEDDA'S INTERNATIONAL SHOPPING SPREE LEAVES THE POOR & DISENFRANCHISED IN THE DIRT

Posted by ACD/EWI, March 04, 2013

International Shopping Spree

International Shopping Spree

Over the past decade, Saudi Arabia's GDP more than tripled. China's increased by a factor of 6. In the same time frame, both countries reported between 3 and 5 percent unemployment annually. Or so they (and the World Bank) tell us.

These two countries are vested with incredible wealth, which they use not to invest in their subjects (known in the West as citizens), but mostly to buy financial and media institutions, sensitive technologies, natural resources, land and influence around the world. If the GDP numbers above are more or less accurate, the unemployment figures are a total deception.

Some Chinese economists claim the unemployment is at least double the official figure. But in October 2012, when China's population was estimated at 1.354.04 billion people, former International Monetary Fund economist Eswar Parsad stated that China's official unemployment rate "has no credibility at all."

Chinese unemployment figures take into account only registered urban unemployment: workers laid off by state-owned enterprises don't count. Rural unemployment and underemployment, and temporary rural urban and rural workers aren't considered either.

China's "economic miracle" created enormous dislocations beginning in the early 1990s. Economic reforms to secure high economic growth led to the shedding of excess labor, lay-offs, early-retirement schemes, and an increasing demand for skilled workers that the Chinese workforce could not supply. Between 1992 and 2002, more than a million jobs were lost in Shanghai alone. From a peak of 145.1 million in 1992, the number of jobs in China's state sector fell to 82.8 million in 2002.

A few years ago it was estimated that 15 million new workers would enter the Chinese job market annually between 2003 and 2020. The number of new jobs available annually would average only about 8 million. In the urban-industrial north, some estimates of unemployment have been greater than 25 percent, and for men aged 51-60, it's 27.5 percent.

International Business Editor of The Daily Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported last month that the Chinese "have pledged stimulus worth $2 trillion." While some investments are made, "Some of it is a fictional wish-list," he noted. Economic stimulus is not the same as steady investment.

As for Saudi Arabia, its population has increased by nearly a factor of 5 since 1970 to today's estimated 28 million. In contrast to the Chinese, and unlike themselves in the past, the Saudis have begun to talk in public about the extent of their unemployment problem. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, of all people, has recently said that there are 8 million migrant workers employed in service jobs in Saudi Arabia and over 2 million illegal migrant workers.

Meanwhile, 2 million Saudis are jobless and, apparently, the real number of unemployed could be threefold, according to experts. If Prince Talal -- one of the richest men in the world, well known for his foreign, rather than domestic investments -- is right about the numbers, the jobless rate among Saudi's is at least 12.5 percent and may be much higher:

"Media reports and private estimates suggest that between 2 million and 4 million of the country's native Saudis live on less than about $530 a month -- about $17 a day -- which analysts generally consider the poverty line in Saudi Arabia." Some estimate that as many as a quarter of all Saudis live in poverty. In addition, youth unemployment is rife: more than two-third of Saudis are younger than 30, and the unemployment rate for Saudis in their 20s is nearly 75 percent.

In April 2000, King Abdullah announced the planned establishment of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Its initial purpose was to attract and process foreign direct investment. In 2006, facing growing al-Qaeda activities, the king announced new plans to create four new "cities" to bring in modern technology, management skills, corporate governance, and new industries. SAGIA was given the job of regulating the Economic Cities Authority (ECA).

The "cities" aim to encourage investments from the private sector, and to create jobs. "Core jobs are expected to be created, which in turn will spur supporting ancillary jobs." The object here is clearly to create environments to lure foreign investment with the hope of a trickle-down effect that will create jobs for unemployed and underemployed Saudis.

In addition, the King has spent nearly $4 billion to establish a top-flight coed university north of Jeddah. And it is true that Abdullah and others in the Saudi royal family have indeed spent billions to help the poor. But despite that, and well-meant long-range plans for economic development, there is still a glaring disparity between the extent of the wealth created in the Kingdom and the poverty afflicting the Saudi people.

Growing the royal wealth and keeping it safe abroad seems more important than creating jobs or relieving destitution. Not surprisingly, Prince Talal's assessment was provided by Iran's Press TV, not by any Saudi media outlet. The Saudis prefer to keep things quiet. In 2011, for example, three young Saudi video bloggers were arrested and jailed for two weeks for producing an online video about poverty in Saudi Arabia.

While data on Saudi foreign direct investment is among the most difficult to find, there was a report out of the Saudi embassy in 2009 that Saudi investment in the U.S. had reached $400 billion. This number at least gives an idea of the scale of Saudi FDI. And then there's the case of Prince Talal. Al-Waleed Bin Talal owns a number of hotels, firms, and television stations and Forbes puts his personal fortune at $18 billion. He also owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holding, which has stakes in Apple Inc., Citigroup and General Motors. Talal is also a significant shareholder in Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp.

For the Saudis, it's clear that its unemployment problem is more threatening than China's, hence what King Abdullah and the government have done regarding it, however ineffectual that may be to date. The Saudis mean to keep the Arab Spring out of their country, inasmuch as al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iranian-sponsored Islamists might use the Saudi poor to their advantage and use them to overthrow the monarchy.

As for the Chinese, their method of dealing with unemployment and underemployment has been to misreport it, avoid investing in their own country (except to quell disturbances in this or that province), while, in the meantime, "exporting" large numbers of domestically unemployable Chinese. Most go to Africa, but they can be found everywhere China is attempting to gain influence, including, most lately, the Caribbean.

On June 11, 2011, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gave a speech in Zambia warning of a new colonialism caused by the Chinese (although she didn't mention China by name): "It is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave." Clinton described only part China's MO in Africa. In addition to buying off and underwriting public works projects for local leaders, the Chinese have been injecting a substantial number their own citizens into the continent as "temporary" workers. This has brought them remittances, continued influence in Africa, and very, very modest relief to their unemployment problems.

In 2009, China became Africa's single largest trading partner, surpassing the U.S. It's direct foreign investment there went from under $100 million in 2003 to more than $12 billion in 2011, according to the New York Times. With this have come Chinese laborers and other "immigrants."

Migration Information reports that, in 2009, the Chinese population in Africa was estimated at between 580,000 and 820,000: today it's well over one million according to the same source.

"While most Chinese in Africa are there only temporarily -- as contract laborers and professionals -- there are a growing number of Chinese migrants choosing to remain in Africa to explore greater economic opportunities. Though many Chinese migrants said they will eventually return to China, countless have already stayed years beyond their original plans."

These Chinese have come in a variety of ways -- some of them seeking economic opportunity on their own. Most have accompanied Chinese-funded public works projects and exported Chinese goods into the continent. The money they send back home has increasingly originated in crime. In addition to money, PRC émigré communities everywhere have been providing their home government with commercial and other intelligence.

Last June, economist Dambisa Moyo inked an improbable op/ed for the New York Times. Moyo ignored the matter of the growing PRC Chinese presence in Africa, and the extent to which they have in fact become the competitors of native Africans for jobs, to explain that China's increasing presence in Africa served to bring hundreds of millions out of poverty back home:

"To satisfy China's population and prevent a crisis of legitimacy for their rule, leaders in Beijing need to keep economic growth rates high and continue to bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. And to do so, China needs arable land, oil and minerals. Pursuing imperial or colonial ambitions with masses of impoverished people at home would be wholly irrational and out of sync with China's current strategic thinking."

Astonishingly, with this Moyo inadvertently identified China's investment abroad as the principal cause of poverty at home.

As a point of comparison, the extent of China's foreign direct investment in the United States is less substantial than that of Saudi Arabia. However, it is in the midst of a rapid increase. It has grown nearly seven-fold over the past five years, from $3.4 billion in 2007 to $22.8 billion at the end of 2012.

Politically tyrannical and elite-serving economic regimes such as China and Saudi Arabia seem to invest just enough in their countries to placate the more educated portion of their population, while keeping large numbers of people in poverty.

This modus operandi is an old story. It's Stalinism or Maoism by other means. What the Arab and Northeast Asian parts of the world learned from the twentieth century was that, with single parties (or their equivalent, e.g., large families) and an enormous secret police, you can not only keep your subjects from revolting, you can also make them accept lives of misery.

China, unlike the Saudis, doesn't fear the spread of religiously motivated "reform" movement such as the Arab Spring. Demonstrations in China are not always reported and often are treated harshly to discourage future protests. Thus far, they've succeeded. Keeping a lid on the opposition enables China to fulfill its national plan to export their goods, sell arms, buy property, commodities, industries and influence, wherever they can. Whatever is their national plan to improve the lives of their own citizens, seems to have been put on a slower burner.

Fearing incitement by al-Qaeda sympathizers who call to end the monarchy's corrupt hold on the country, as well as a possible uprising by the Shiite minority, keep the Saudi royal family edgy. While they have managed to control widespread demonstrations thus far, the destabilization in the region presents a real threat. To mitigate it, the Saudis do what the Saudis have always done -- provide funds to disenfranchised groups to go elsewhere to spread the holy jihad.

When cash is king -- both China and Saudi Arabia qualify - tyrannical regimes are unlikely to sit on the bench when the opportunities in the international field are so numerous and tempting. With more money in their pockets, they will continue to repress their own, to assure the continuation of their authoritarian regimes at least in the near future.

Dr. Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Center for the Study of Corruption & the Rule of Law, www.acdemocracy.org). She is an authority on the shadowy movement of funds through international banking systems and governments to fund terrorism. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Ken Jensen host the ACD Economic Warfare Institute website. Contact them Email at info@acdemocracy.org. This article appeared March 05, 2013 on the Ruthfully Yours website and is archived at
http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2013/03/05/rachel-ehrenfeld-ken-jensen-beijings-jeddas-international- shopping-spree-leaves-the-poor-disenfranchised-in-the-dirt/


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DEMS TO US JEWS: IF YOU DON'T STICK UP FOR YOURSELF, WE WON'T EITHER

Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, March 04, 2013

The article below was written by the New York Sun Editorial Board and was distributed by the IsraelMatzav website. It is archived at
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.it/2013/02/dems-to-us-jews-if-you-dont-stick-up.html

Great Moments in Schumer History

There is no sugar-coating the point. The Senate has just confirmed the most truculent cabinet officer in respect of Israel in more than a generation because important institutions and leaders shrank from making an issue of it.

This is a story that is painful for many people to talk about. It would be inaccurate to suggest that the only objection to putting Mr. Hagel in at the war department had to do with Israel. He would be inadequate, even were Israel not an issue. There is a broad sense within the Jewish community — as there is among a number of non-Jewish senators who permitted his nomination to go to the floor — that Mr. Hagel has proven himself incompetent and disingenuous.

Yet there's no gainsaying the special concern that his hostility to Israel has raised among the Jewish leadership. And one of the stories that is being spoken of in private is how humiliated the leaders of the Jewish community feel. Nearly all of them — not all, but nearly all — were opposed to the elevation of Mr. Hagel to the Pentagon. But only one of the Jewish defense agencies spoke out forcefully against him.

That was the Zionist Organization of America, which is the oldest pro-Israel organization in America, having been founded in 1897, the same year in which Theodor Herzl convened at Basel, Switzerland, the First Zionist Congress. It opposed the Hagel nomination early, forthrightly, and unapologetically. The result, according to the ZOA's president, Morton Klein, is that it received objections from several leaders worried about the consequences for the Jewish community of such a public position.

Mr. Klein believes the Hagel nomination would not have been confirmed had the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the American Jewish Committee taken a formal public position against Mr. Hagel. All three agencies have had many heroic moments. But they stood down on Mr. Hagel. Said Mr. Klein: "Several senators — and important ones — said to me: 'If Aipac, ADL and AJCommittee — especially Aipac — had come out and lobbied against Hagel, he would have been stopped."

Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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THE POSSIBILITIES, G-D FORBID, IF ISRAEL CONTINUES TO SHRINK ITSELF INTO DEFENSELESS BORDERS

Posted by Israel Commentary, March 04, 2013

The article below was written by Eric Lichtblau who is an American journalist and Washington bureau reporter for The New York Times. Lichtblau joined The Times in September 2002 as a correspondent covering the Justice Department. Previously, Lichtblau worked at the Los Angeles Times for 15 years, where he also covered the Justice Department in their Washington bureau from 1999 to 2002. . This article appeared March 01, 2013 in Israel Commentary and is
archived at http://www.israel-commentary.org/?p=6048

THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler's reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945. The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.

"The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought," Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data. "We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was," he said, "but the numbers are unbelievable." The documented camps include not only "killing centers" but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named "care" centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.

The maps the researchers have created to identify the camps and ghettos turn wide sections of wartime Europe into black clusters of death, torture and slavery — centered in Germany and Poland, but reaching in all directions. The lead editors on the project, Geoffrey Megargee and Martin Dean, estimate that 15 million to 20 million people died or were imprisoned in the sites that they have identified as part of a multivolume encyclopedia. (The Holocaust museum has published the first two, with five more planned by 2025.)

The existence of many individual camps and ghettos was previously known only on a fragmented, region-by-region basis. But the researchers, using data from some 400 contributors, have been documenting the entire scale for the first time, studying where they were located, how they were run, and what their purpose was.

The brutal experience of Henry Greenbaum, an 84-year-old Holocaust survivor who lives outside Washington, typifies the wide range of Nazi sites. When Mr. Greenbaum, a volunteer at the Holocaust museum, tells visitors today about his wartime odyssey, listeners inevitably focus on his confinement of months at Auschwitz, the most notorious of all the camps. But the images of the other camps where the Nazis imprisoned him are ingrained in his memory as deeply as the concentration camp number — A188991 — tattooed on his left forearm.

In an interview, he ticked off the locations in rapid fire, the details still vivid. First came the Starachowice ghetto in his hometown in Poland, where the Germans herded his family and other local Jews in 1940, when he was just 12. Next came a slave labor camp with six-foot-high fences outside the town, where he and a sister were moved while the rest of the family was sent to die at Treblinka. After his regular work shift at a factory, the Germans would force him and other prisoners to dig trenches that were used for dumping the bodies of victims.

He was sent to Auschwitz, then removed to work at a chemical manufacturing plant in Poland known as Buna Monowitz, where he and some 50 other prisoners who had been held at the main camp at Auschwitz were taken to manufacture rubber and synthetic oil. And last was another slave labor camp at Flossenbürg, near the Czech border, where food was so scarce that the weight on his 5-foot-8-inch frame fell away to less than 100 pounds.

By the age of 17, Mr. Greenbaum had been enslaved in five camps in five years, and was on his way to a sixth, when American soldiers freed him in 1945. "Nobody even knows about these places," Mr. Greenbaum said. "Everything should be documented. That's very important. We try to tell the youngsters so that they know, and they'll remember."

Contact Israel Commentary at israelcommentary@comcast.net


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I WANT TO GO TO TEXAS

Posted by Billy Mills, March 04, 2013

"Survivor - Texas Style"

Due to the popularity of the "Survivor" shows, Texas is planning to do one entitled:

"Survivor - Texas-Style!"

The lucky contestants will all start in Dallas, drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, then over to Houston and down to Brownsville. They will then proceed through Mission, up to Del Rio, El Paso, Odessa, Midland, Lubbock, and Amarillo. From there they will go on to Abilene and Fort Worth. Finally back to Dallas.

pinkcar

Each contestant will be driving a pink Prius with 15 bumper stickers which will read:

1. "I'm A Democrat"

2. "Amnesty For Illegals"

3. "I Love The Dixie Chicks"

4. "Boycott Beef"

5. "I Voted For Obama"

6. " George Strait Sucks"

7. "Re-elect Obama In 2016"

8. "Vote Eric Holder Texas Governor"

9. "Rosie O'Donnell Is Texas Born"

10. "I Love Obama Care and Chuck Schumer"

11. "Barney Frank Is My Hero"

12. "I Side With Jane Fonda"

13. "It's Bush's Fault"

14. "Islam Is A Peace-Loving Religion

and the last sticker is...;

15. "I'm Here To Confiscate Your Guns"

The first contestant to make it back to Dallas alive wins.

hollowpoints

frank p.

"In my heart, there are two wolves:

a wolf of love and a wolf of hate.

Which one thrives depends on which one I feed each day."

First Clue Your day is about to suck

Contact Billy Mills at rewrite@suddenlink.net


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THE MYTH OF JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN INT'L LAW

Posted by Daniel Mandel, March 04, 2013

Because time works in favor of legal perversions, today's absurdity vis-à-vis the settlements could become tomorrow's law.

Settlers enter building in Hebron 370.

By permitting Jewish residence in the West Bank, is Israel ignoring international law? Ruth Gavison, a law professor at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, seems to thinks so.

Gavison criticized the report issued last year by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy which affirmed the legality of building under international law.

The article above was written by Daniel Mandel who is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H. V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004). His blog can be found on the History News Network. The article appeared March 04, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/The-myth-of-Jewish-settlements-in-intl-law


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NO ISRAELI "OCCUPATION" OF JUDEA AND SAMARIA

Posted by Howard Grief, March 04, 2013

I submitted a Letter to the Editor of The Jerusalem Post refuting the notion that Judea and Samaria are under Israeli "occupation" as asserted no fewer than four times by Jonathan Rosen in his column published on February 14, 2013. Rosen is described as "a veteran Israeli writer and translator" but who has no professional legal training or legal background.

Mr. Lawrence Rifkin, Senior Editor as well as the Letters Editor of The Jerusalem Post, contacted me to inform me that my original letter of about 600 words was too long for publication and had to be cut down to no more than 250 words in order for my letter to be published.

To comply with his requiremt, I reluctantly deleted the last four paragraphs of my letter to leave only the principal point intact that there is no Israeli "occupation" of Judea and Samaria under international law as asserted by Jonathan Rosen. After exchanging emails with Mr. Rifkin and then speaking with him, I learned that my original letter may have been published as an op-ed piece in The Post had I submitted it to the Op-Ed Editor, Seth J. Frantzman, but I thought that it was not long enough for that purpose.

Mr. Rifkin decided to hold up my letter till he heard from me as to what I wanted to do. In our conversation I told Mr. Rifkin that I wanted the abridged version of my letter published since not only was I not sure that Mr. Frantzman would publish my letter as an op-ed piece, but having been assured by Mr. Rifkin that the abridged version would be published, I thought that it was very important to refute in print the falsehood of Jonathan Rosen that Judea and Samaria were under Israel's "occupation". This falsehood which Rosen evidently believes in as gospel truth should never go unchallenged in the pages of The Jerusalem Post whose circulation is worldwide and thus influences many people.

The abridged version of my letter as published in The Jerusalem Post on February 24, 2013 is attached as well as the longer unabridged version that was not published but perhaps could have been an op-ed piece had I submitted it to Mr. Frantzman.

I was very pleased that two days after my letter appeared in The Jerusalem Post, a letter by Dan Vogel of Jerusalem, whom I do not know, was published, citing me along with Michael Tal for making the legal case for Judea and Samaria and thereby demolishing the Goebbels-like claim constantly repeated by Israel's enemies that our presence on land recovered in 1967 is one of "occupation". In his letter, Vogel advised the Government of Israel that we "must imprint on the minds of the multitudes the rectitude and legal standing of our case". This statement was an affirmation of the legal argument I had made in my letter.

On a personal note, I was also rather happy that this was the first time The Jerusalem Post acknowledged or took due notice of my book, citing me as the author of The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law. That I feel is an important acknowledgement

Howard Grief was a Jerusalem-based attorney and notary born in Montreal, Canada. He served as the adviser on Israel under international law to Yuval Ne'eman while Ne'eman was the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure in the Yitzhak Shamir Government. He has petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to annul the Oslo Accords in 1999, and reportedly claimed he was the first to advance the thesis that de jure sovereignty over all of Palestine was devolved upon the Jewish People at the 1920 San Remo Peace conference. He is the author of the book The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law published in 2008, as well as of numerous articles mainly published in the Ariel Center for Policy Research's journal Nativ. Contact him at griefisrael@yahoo.com


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TIME TO TEACH TURKEY A LESSON

Posted by Michael Freund, March 4, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has done it again. Despite his extensive efforts to masquerade as an enlightened and civilized statesman, his temper got the best of him last week, peeling away the veil to reveal for all to see his profound hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.

Speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna's Hofburg Palace, in the very same country where Hitler was born, the Turkish leader declared Zionism to be a "crime against humanity" and equated it with anti- Semitism, fascism and Islamophobia. This from a man whose country continues to deny its own acts of genocide against the Armenian people a century ago, and its brazen oppression of its Kurdish minority today.

Needless to say, this is hardly the first time Erdogan has shown his true colors. On more than one occasion in recent years, he has hurled venom and vitriol at the Jewish state. Just four months ago, on November 19, at a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul, Erdogan accused Israel of carrying out the "mass killing of Muslims" and massacring children in Gaza.

"For this reason," he explained, "I say that Israel is a terrorist state and its acts are terrorist acts." And who can possibly forget his dramatic performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos four years ago? On January 29, 2009, Erdogan shared the stage with President Shimon Peres, and the two clashed over the IDF's counterterrorism operation in Gaza aimed at halting Palestinian rocket attacks. At a certain point in the discussion, the Turkish prime minister became incensed and got up from his seat. He was, the New York Times reported, "red-faced, and with one hand grasping the arm of the moderator." Erdogan then turned to Peres, one of Israel's biggest political doves, and said to him, "Your voice comes out in a very loud tone and the loudness of your voice has to do with a guilty conscience.

When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill," before storming out of the room.

And how about the Mavi Marmara affair, when Turkey facilitated the attempt to break Israel's blockade of Gaza? ERDOGAN'S RHETORIC and behavior is more befitting of a neighborhood thug than a regional power with diplomatic ambitions. As a member of NATO and a would-be EU candidate, Turkey clearly needs to be taught a lesson by the West, which cannot and must not tolerate such disgraceful behavior. Erdogan's radicalism and rancor only contribute to the further destabilization of the region, and undermine any chances of bringing about peace and understanding.

There are various political, economic and diplomatic levers that the US and European countries can use to bring about a change in Erdogan's conduct. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. If the virtual apathy which greeted Erdogan's eruption last week is any indication, Israel and its supporters should be very worried.

Take, for example, US Secretary of State John Kerry, who happened to be visiting Turkey the day after Erdogan's outburst. Speaking at a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at his side, Kerry offered a mealy-mouthed denunciation, saying that, "We not only disagree with it, we found it objectionable."

Objectionable? When you are served the wrong soup in a restaurant, that would be considered objectionable.

But when someone says that the ideological underpinning of your nation's closest ally in the Middle East is akin to fascism, it is far more than merely objectionable.

It is loathsome and repugnant, Mr. Secretary.

Similarly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was present during Erdogan's speech, waited nearly 24 hours before dispatching his spokesman to mumble a few words of disagreement to the press regarding Erdogan's characterization of Zionism.

This cannot be allowed to stand. Hence, Israel should consider withdrawing its ambassador from Ankara, downgrading relations with Turkey and cutting back on Israeli tourism and investment, until Erdogan apologizes for his slur. We need to make it clear that any assault on Zionism is an attack on the very conceptual foundation of the Jewish state and its right to exist.

After all, Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, the set of ideas that give expression to our age-old hope of regaining sovereignty in the land of our ancestors. If someone opposes Zionism, it means they aim to deny freedom and self-determination to the Jewish people, which is akin to anti-Semitism. And that, Mr. Erdogan needs to learn, is the real "crime against humanity" which will not be tolerated.

The article above was written by Michael Freund who served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu. He is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel/Israel Returns -- www.shavei.org and www.IsraelReturns.org -- a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to Zion. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for The Jerusalem Post. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. He has lived in Israel for the past 16 years. This article appeared March 04, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.michaelfreund.org/13014/erdogan-zionism. Contact him by email at msfreund@earthlink.net


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"A HEAVY STRUGGLE"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 04, 2013

There is a lot of hard work to do, a lot of heavy pulling, to bring our nation to where it needs to be. I hold on to hope that all will yet be well, but am sorely disheartened.

Yesterday, I quoted Naftali Bennett, head of Habayit Hayehudi, thus:

"for days after the election the Likud refused to speak to the Jewish Home. They boycotted us... we expected to be a natural partner and to be the first to enter the Netanyahu government." The message he claims he got was, "the religious Zionist party won't enter the coalition, at any price."

What Netanyahu did was foolish, I said. Rude. Conveying to the newcomer Bennett a sense of being excluded. But, I asked, now that Netanyahu had contacted Bennett was the prime minister's original rudeness sufficient reason for Bennett to have fashioned his current policy as he has?

Today, I have a likely answer, from someone very close to Habayit Hayehudi. Bennett, I was told, understood that once he broke his alliance with Lapid, Netanyahu would take in Lapid, and leave him out.

Oh.

Bennett's impression that Netanyahu was determined that the religious Zionist party would never enter the coalition was not just a response to a snub early on; Bennett apparently recognized this behavior as a reflection of a deeper Netanyahu intention.

~~~~~~~~~~

Today I also heard another story about Netanyahu's intentions. This is the second time I have heard it. At first I discounted it as hearsay. Now, although I cannot confirm with absolute certainty that the charge is accurate, I no longer can discount it.

Someone inside of Yesh Atid maintains that Netanyahu told Lapid that if he breaks with Bennett and comes in by himself, it will be easier to take down settlements.

Uh huh.

The endorsement of the Tekuma rabbis makes a whole lot of sense now.

~~~~~~~~~~

And still I am not done. The AIPAC convention has been going on in Washington, and lame duck Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the thousands gathered there.

A "full fledged peace deal with the Palestinians" was not possible now, Barak said.

Good that he says this upfront, I thought.

Then he said that an interim agreement should be attempted to protect Israel's security.

I was no longer sure this was good, depending on what he was referring to.

~~~~~~~~~~

And then...he said that if this couldn't be achieved, it might be necessary for Israel to take unilateral steps to prevent a bi-national state: Israel may need to "consider unilateral steps that would include demarcating a line within which Israel would keep the settlement blocs and ensure a Jewish majority for generations to come." Israel would establish a "long term security presence on the Jordan River.

Say what??? UNILATERAL steps?? We did that once already, when we pulled out of Gaza. We saw what that brought us. What he's suggesting here is that without an end of conflict agreement with the Palestinian Arabs, without a mutually agreed upon border, Israel should pull back from some parts of Judea and Samaria and fully turn over land to them.

A very very bad idea. I can only touch here upon all of the reasons why it's a terrible idea.

Note first that he refers to settlement blocs, so be certain that there are many Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria that would be demolished under such a plan. Many Jews who would be torn from their homes.

We would be relinquishing rights to the land -- something we should not do.

~~~~~~~~~~

But beyond this, we would be diminishing Israel's security. A border is only an internationally recognized border if parties on both sides agree. Israel "demarcating a line" would not be recognized internationally and would certainly not be recognized by the PA, which would demand we keep pulling back until we were behind the '67 armistice line.

Once we pulled back, we would be UNILATERALLY relinquishing the practice by the IDF of doing operations to take out terrorists and training centers, and weapons caches and weapons manufacturing sites in Palestinian Arab areas. The fact, my friends, is that the IDF does these operations nightly. It's what has kept things quiet, because the PA security forces will not do this. (I'll come back to this in more detail in a future posting.) Without an IDF presence in these areas, security and intelligence and military officials agree, there is a great likelihood that Hamas would take over. Abbas is very weak. And so then we would have Hamas on our eastern border as well as at our southwest in Gaza.

Great idea!

Please note that Barak refers to a security presence in the Jordan Valley (to prevent smuggling of weapons and entry of foreign forces). But he says "long term," not permanent. But how long is "long term," and what happens after that?

With all of this I still haven't mentioned the question of what would happen to certain high places in Samaria if there were a pullback. All Barak spoke about was retaining settlement blocs, not retaining land for security purposes and strategic depth. If Arabs had control of those high places they could even hit the airport.

~~~~~~~~~~

No done deal here. Just an idea floated -- perhaps even a trial balloon. We must respond and be vigilant to the greatest degree possible.

I assure you, Barak did not speak without Netanyahu's go-ahead.

I provide here the e-mails of key members of Likud-Beitenu. Please! write to them. Tell them that you know about Defense Minister Barak's outrageous suggestion at AIPAC that unilateral withdrawal from parts of Judea and Samaria might have to be considered.

Provide a couple of lines on why this is a terrible idea. Say that Barak is lame-duck, on his way out, and had no business speaking for Israel in an international forum at this point. And urgently request that they do everything within their power to assure that there are no withdrawals:

Danny Danon: ddanon@knesset.gov.il Moshe Ya'alon: myaalon@knesset.gov.il

Tzipi Hotovely: zhotovely@knesset.gov.il Ze'ev Elkin: zelkin@knesset.gov.il

Yuli Edelstein: yedelstein@knesset.gov.il Ruby Rivlin: rrivlin@knesset.gov.il

Moshe Feiglin: mfeiglin@knesset.gov.il Gideon Sa'ar: gsaar@knesset.gov.il

Ofir Akunis: oakunis@knesset.gov.il Uzi Landau: ulandau@knesset.gov.il

Yisrael Katz: yiskatz@knesset.gov.il Yariv Levin: ylevin@knesset.gov.il

Yair Shamir: yshamir@knesset.gov.il Avigdor Lieberman: aliberman@knesset.gov.il

Click on each address; write one message and copy and paste to each, with an individual salutation added.

The new government must not be a one-man show. The actions of key members of the Knesset will be critical in helping to keep the prime minister accountable and honest in his political dealings. Members of the ruling faction must be roused to take a responsible role here.

Please, share this broadly.

~~~~~~~~~~

One other significant point must be made here, before I move on:

Barak referred to taking this action in order to "ensure a Jewish majority for generations to come." Well, it is a crock that if we retain all of the land to the Jordan River we will become a minority, swallowed up by an Arab majority. This is a scare tactic, used as a reason to give up land.

See here with regard to Jewish and Arab birthrates and their implication for Israel:

http://www.theettingerreport.com/Demographic-Scare/Jewish-Arab-Demography-Defies-Conventional--Wisdom.aspx

And here, information about misrepresentations in the PA census, which leads people to believe there are more Arabs in Judea and Samaria than there are:

http://www.theettingerreport.com/Demographic-Scare/The-Two-State-Religion.aspx

~~~~~~~~~~

The other concern I have had in these last few days has to do with sinat hinam. Causeless hatred, which, we are taught, is what brought about the destruction of the Second Temple. If we do not love our fellow Jews, do not unite for common causes, then we cannot be strong.

I have been vastly uncomfortable with the notion that the haredi parties, which are fighting for the status quo in yeshiva exemptions, should be excluded from the coalition. That exclusion will not bring compromise or peaceful settlement, but bitterness.

And sure enough, I've seen some very bitter comments from haredi leaders who have said, You don't want us? Wait until we're in the government again, and see what we'll do to you. I have even seen threats to vote against retention of settlements. A bad way to go.

~~~~~~~~~~

Only late today did I see a comment by Lapid that offered a glimmer of hope regarding the possibility of moving past this unfortunate situation. At a faction meeting today, he said that Yesh Atid wants to represent everyone's interests, including the ultra-Orthodox.

"I hope to establish a good, broad government that's good for the people, and not for the politicians. And even the ultra-Orthodox will find that Yesh Atid is not only not against them, but takes care of them too."

A bit audacious for my taste. HE hopes to establish a government? And he thinks he can represent everyone's interests? Not sure about that. But the tone is certainly conciliatory. He's saying he cares about the ultra-Orthodox as well. Now we have to see how he demonstrates this.

~~~~~~~~~~

Bennett's statement seems more modest, more in keeping with the tone that might be expected of a newcomer:

"We rolled up our sleeves and are working very hard to help Netanyahu form a government that serves the people."

~~~~~~~~~~

In any event, both Lapid and Bennett are saying that while meetings are going well, it is not time to close on coalition agreements yet.

May it come for good things in the end.

~~~~~~~~~~

In closing, a correction: I got fooled. The story about Mick Jagger doing concerts here in Israel in spite of pressure on him not to was a Purim gag coming out of France. Got it from a good source, so I guess a whole lot of people were fooled. My thanks to David Orbach, who alerted me.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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AGAINST WHOM ARE THESE LIGHT TANKS AND ALL THOSE BULLETS TO BE USED?

Posted by Dr. History, March 04, 2013

Jim Hoft who is the author of the article below and author of Gateway Pundit, is one of the leading conservative blogs on the internet today. His site currently draws over a quarter of a million readers each month. He has led the pack on many news stories and has been the guest of numerous radio talk shows and panel discussions on current events. Gateway Pundit is often linked by internet giants and has been mentioned in the Washington Post, New York Sun, and the British daily Telegraph. This article appeared March 03, 2013 in Gateway Pundit and is archived at
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/03/obama-dhs-purchases-2700-light-armored-tanks-to-go-with-their-1-6-billion-bullet-stockpile/

This is getting a little creepy.

According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm.

DHS also purchased 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).

Mine Resistant Armor Protected Vehicles (MRAP).

The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these 'Mine Resistant Protected' vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.

Although I've seen and read several online blurbs about this vehicle of late, I decided to dig slightly deeper and discover more about the vehicle itself.

The new DHS sanctioned 'Street Sweeper' (my own slang due to the gun ports) is built by Navistar Defense (NavistarDefense.com), a division within the Navistar organization. Under the Navistar umbrella are several other companies including International Trucks, IC Bus (they make school buses), Monaco RV (recreational vehicles), WorkHorse (they make chassis), MaxxForce (diesel engines), and Navistar Financial (the money arm of the company).

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0pS9aw5pcJo#t=41

Contact Dr. History at drhistory@cox.net


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FAMOUS ANASHEED: 'MADIN KAS-SAYF' BY ABU ALI

Posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, March 04, 2013

When it comes to media articles on jihadism, one of the least explored aspects is the phenomenon of anasheed ('songs' [sing. 'nasheed']- distinguished in this context by lack of use of musical instruments as per a widely held Islamic view that instruments are haram). Of the munshid artists who produce songs of this type, one of the most prominent is Abu Ali, of Saudi origin.

While Aaron Zelin regularly provides links to more recent anasheed, I decided to translate the lyrics of one of Abu Ali's most well-known songs: 'Madin kas-sayf' ('Sharp Like The Sword'): famous at least in jihadist circles. The tune is in fact identical to another nasheed he composed, entitled 'It blew like the wind'— a song that does not refer to jihad but rather calls for the revival of the Ummah's glory and encourages believers to seek knowledge and help each other out (in the Youtube video linked to for 'It blew like the wind', the user has misidentified it as 'Sharp like the Sword').

Given the glorification of suicide bombing that becomes very clear towards the end, the reference to 'the occupier' and al-Aqsa, one might expect that this nasheed was composed around the time of the Second Intifada, which saw numerous instances of suicide bombings. Yet the earliest instance I know of its use is in a 48-minute video released by the Somali al-Qa'ida affiliate Harakat ash-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, entitled 'Labbayka ya Osama' ('I am at your service, oh Osama') in 2009 (H/T: Phillip Smyth).

Here is a translation:

'Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Bold, he seeks his upheaval and sees good tidings in death.

May the Taghut of the world that only rules stones vanish.

He discards them like Ababeel that tear through his wall with fright.

He has rejected humiliation and has arisen, weaving his pride with might.

Like a weary fugitive has his day concealed him and passed by in concealment.

Like the roaming star, his orbit falls on the path of glory.

He was once not satisfied with the world at all, and injustice is his oppressor.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the night, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Bold, he seeks his upheaval and sees good tidings in death.

May the Taghut of the world that only rules stones vanish.

He discards them like Ababeel that tear through his wall with fright.

He hearkened unto glory when Al-Aqsa summoned its revolutionaries.

He chanted, filled with longing for death, and proceeded to play his lute.

The occupier set up his trickery, and his broker was seduced by it.

He molded the words as promises, he embroidered his dialogue with deception.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Bold, he seeks his upheaval and sees good tidings in death.

May the Taghut of the world that only rules stones vanish.

He discards them like Ababeel tears through his wall with fright.

They cultivated his path in fright, they imposed his blockade with starvation.

So he advanced; cunning did not divert him, even as it summoned its false steps.

How preposterous! He makes a truce until he should wipe away his shame with might.

A volcano of faith; this Talmud is his frenzy.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the wave in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the billows, sparkling.

Bold, he seeks his upheaval and sees good tidings in death.

May the Taghut of the world that only rules stones vanish.

He discards them like Ababeel that tear through his wall with fright.

So he [the occupier] built his strongholds in fear, he raised his walls in them.

So he [the mujahid] blew himself up among them in anger; he fixed his nails in them.

You see him as splinters of fire; a commando makes his raid.

He did not slow down his pace until he carried out his decision in death

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Sharp like the sword, the wind, the billows in abundance.

Strong like the horse, the lion, the thunder, sparkling.

Bold, he seeks his upheaval and sees good tidings in death.

May the Taghut of the world that only rules stones vanish.

He discards them like Ababeel that tear through his wall with fright.'

Explanatory Notes:

Taghut- An Islamic term used to describe idolatry and error. It is one of a group of words that occur in the Qur'an with the —ut termination (cf. ملكوت- 'kingdom', especially as in the 'Kingdom of God'). In the 19th century, Geiger contended that the word is of Rabbinical Hebrew origin, since, he said, 'no pure Arabic word' ends with the —ut termination. In any event, the etymology is a matter of much dispute; for an attempt to connect the term with Ethiopic, see this discussion by Gabriel Said Reynolds.

Ababeel— Mentioned in Qur'an 105:3 (in the chapter known as 'The Elephant'). These are apparently birds sent by God against an Aksumite force that tried to conquer Mecca in the 6th century, driving off the invaders with stones.

How preposterous! He makes a truce until he should wipe away his shame with might— Appears to be a reference to how some Islamist militants interpret the concept of hudna (Arabic for 'ceasefire'). The idea is to sign a truce with your enemy and then wait until you think you have the upper hand, at which point you should resume hostilities.

Alternative Reading (Update and Revision: 26 May 2013)

On account of the quality of the recording, multiple interpretations can arise as regards the transcription of the Arabic lyrics. I have listened to this nasheed a number of times and I think one can propose some plausible alternatives:

Alternative Reading (Update and Revision: 26 May 2013)

On account of the quality of the recording, multiple interpretations can arise as regards the transcription of the Arabic lyrics. I have listened to this nasheed a number of times and I think one can propose some plausible alternatives:

*- Alternatively, this line could be transcribed as: 'He has clashed with the Taghut of the world. He has possession of nothing except stones'. The next line would then be referring to how he throws those stones, presumably at the occupier.

The article above was written by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi who is Student and Middle East analyst, currently holding a position of Fellow at Middle East Forum. He has written in Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Daily Star (Beirut), National (Abu Dhabi), The Guardian, the BBC, and the American Spectator), as well as having peer-reviewed journal articles in The Levantine Review, the Middle East Quarterly, and the Middle East Review of International Affairs. He can be contacted at his website at http://www.aymennjawad.org. This article appeared March 03, 2013 in Jihadology and is archived at
http://jihadology.net/2013/03/03/guest-post-famous-anasheed-madin-kas-sayf-by-abu-ali/


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'PALESTINIAN-ONLY BUSES' IS ANOTHER DAMN LIE

Posted by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, March 04, 2013

Of course there are no "Jews only" roads in Israel, just as there are no Jews only buses or even 'Palestinian only' buses in Israel. But if you tell a big lie often enough, well, Goebbels was the master and look where that took us.

Afikim bus in Israel

The headlines roll out, the journalistic warfare continues, and the Jewish State once more is cast in the starring role of "evil, Apartheid empire." This time the story is that Israel is forcing the Arab Palestinians to ride separate buses from the ones Jewish Israelis ride.

The reality is exactly the opposite — there are no "Palestinian only" buses. Instead, with its new bus routes, Israel is reducing crowded buses, attempting to relieve ethnic tensions and security concerns, and is assisting Arab Palestinians enter Green Line Israel to work. But we'll get to the facts — which exonerate Israel from "Apartheid" charges — in a minute. For right now you can rest assured that despite efforts to cast the Arab Palestinians in the role of Rosa Parks, a closer fit would be to cast the purveyors of this latest attack as peddlers of the Big Lie.

First, the hysteria:

One headline, from the magazine formerly known as Newsweek, and now known as — more accurately — the Daily Beast, "West Bank Buses Only the Latest in Israel's Segregated Public Transport," and one from the uber-leftist +972, "Israel' new 'Palestinian only' segregated bus line," and even the Israeli news media outlet YNet fans the flames: "Ministry launches 'Palestinians only' buses."

The claims are exactly as you would expect them, and made by those whom you would suspect. For example, Jessica Montell is the director of the anti-Israel, pro-Arab B'tselem Rights group. "Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is a revolting plan," Montell told Army Radio. "This is simply racism."

And the far-leftist political Meretz party chairwoman Zahava Gal-On reamed Transportation Minister Israel Katz, demanding that he "immediately cancel the segregated lines in the West Bank. Separate bus lines for Palestinians prove that occupation and democracy cannot coexist," she said.

What are the facts?

HISTORICAL FACTS

First of all, all Israeli citizens are permitted to ride all Israeli transportation vehicles, whether they are Arab, Finnish or Lithuanian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist.

Second, any non-citizen of Israel, just as is the case with every other country in the world, has to show identification when entering Israel's official borders — it is true for American citizens entering Canada and Mexico, just as it is the case for citizens of the Palestinian Authority who wish to enter Israel.

Third, Israeli citizens who live in Judea and Samaria pay taxes, a portion of which subsidize the transportation infrastructure and vehicles, whereas Arabs who live in the PA towns do not. In fact, taxes paid by Arabs in Israel are turned over to the PA to support their infrastructure, which includes — or should — transportation services for their residents.

One consequence of the preceding points is that the Israeli bus lines travel from and to all areas in which tax-paying Israeli citizens live — from Jerusalem to Shilo, from Tel Aviv to Efrat, and so forth. The Israeli bus companies do not stop at, for example, the Arab town of Ramallah, just as they do not stop at non-authorized Jewish towns such as Givat Har-el.

WHAT IS NEW?

The bare fact: the Israeli government added two bus lines (so far, there was overcrowding on Monday, March 4, the first day the service was instituted, and the Transportation Ministry said more buses will likely be added) that will serve Arab Palestinian towns with transportation into central Israel. The Israeli bus lines previously did not stop in towns controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Despite the efforts of BDS advocates, there are tens of thousands of Arab Palestinians who work in different parts of Israel. Arab Palestinians with work permits would previously have to travel first to a place where the Israeli buses stop, or would be dependent on the much higher-priced Arab buses to get into central Israel.

So why the hysteria? Because some see this as an evil plot to segregate Jews and Arabs. But non-citizens are not entitled to use Israeli public transportation into central Israel without showing border identification, and prior to the provision of these new bus lines, Arab Palestinians were dependent on transportation services by "pirate" (Arab, by the way) companies which charged the Arabs far more than the Israeli lines do.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com The article above appeared March 5, 2013 in the Jewish Press.com and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/palestinian-only-buses-in-israel-goebbels-big-lies-are-back/2013/03/05/


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BRING POLLARD TO ISRAEL; STORM IN A CUP OF TEA - AUSTRALIA WAS INFORMED; AGREEMENTS NEVER HONORED BY PA - TERRORIST

Posted by Steven Shamrak, March 04, 2013

Bring Pollard to Israel

More than 50,000 people have signed a letter calling on United States President Barack Obama to free Jonathan Pollard. An ongoing campaign to free Pollard has gone into high gear in light of Obama's plan to visit Israel in March.

Jonathan Pollard was given a sentence of life in prison for passing classified defense-related information to Israel. His supporters say his sentence is unusually harsh for the crime of revealing classified information to a friendly state.

The petition states, "Jonathan Pollard has now served 28 years of a life sentence in American prisons. A few short weeks from now, he will mark his 10,000th day in jail. Both he and Israel have repeatedly expressed remorse. We have learned our lesson and have been living with the painful consequences for nearly 3 decades." (Jonathan Polard's crime was that he had provided Israel with information about enemies of the Jewish state, which the United States agreed to supply but withheld from Israel. During his trial judge even dismissed a plea-bargain and gave him a harsh life sentence. Even Soviet spies were not held in the US prison for so long!)

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

The old religious hate-conflict between Shiites and Sunnis has been invigorated again. The major players, Iran and Saudi Arabia , have been using their Islamic proxies, like Hezbollah and Al Qaeda , to wage it. Western democracies should not be involved in so-called Arab Spring and civil war in Syria . Regardless of which side wins, we will be blamed, and already are, for the results of their idiotic blood-thirsty nature and intolerance!

Iran Accelerates Nuclear Bomb program

The US slammed as "provocative" the installment of 180 advanced centrifuge at Iran's main uranium enrichment site at Natanz. The UN nuclear atomic agency in its latest report confirmed that the new IR-2m centrifuges can enrich three to five times faster than the outdated machines in use at Natanz until now. The report's findings "prove that Iran continues to advance quickly to the red line" which Israel considers intolerable.

IDF Sends Helicopter to Save Life of PA Arab Rioter

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165612#.VWdaEbyVsWM

Israeli taxpayers laid out tens of thousands of shekels to transport to hospital by helicopter a hurt Arab rioter who attacked IDF soldiers. The number of riots by PA Arabs had climbed significantly, as had the number of injured Arab rioters. Consequently, the number of Arab rioters Israel is treating in its hospitals had also grown considerably. (This hunanitarian act of Israel the international press does not report!)

Syrian Isamists 'Helping' Israel Fight Hezbollah

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Syrian-rebels-say-they-killed-Hezbollah-deputy-chief

Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Qassem was killed last Tuesday when Syrian rebels bombed a convoy consisting of high-ranking Syrian government officers near the Lebanon border. Qassem had served as the deputy to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Storm in a Cup of Tea - Australia was Informed

Australia's Fairfax Media quoted a "well-placed source familiar with the case" as saying Israeli intelligence had told Australian officials about the 2010 arrest of Zygier, a dual Australian-Israeli citizen dubbed Prisoner X. (It does not matter if he was a traitor, double agent or working for ASIS. His arrest was kept secret, most likely, to save Australia from embarrassment - that is probably why the Australian government maintained a 'plausible deniability' status in this case!)

At the same time: Austrian Hostage in Yemen

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165567#.VWdbNLyVsWM

An Austrian man, Dominik Neubauer, kidnapped in Yemen late last year with a Finnish couple said in a video posted on the Internet that his captors would kill him in a week if their demands were not met. (And this is not front-page news!)

Israel Successfully Tested Arrow III Interceptor

A successfully test of the next-generation of the Arrow (Hetz) ballistic missile interceptor represented a powerful upgrade of Israel's multi-tier missile defense system. The system is designed to defend against medium-range missiles that could be fired from countries such as Iran. The Pentagon's missile defense agency and the US company Boeing are partners in Arrow project. (This is another example how both the US and Israel benefit from mutual co-operation.)

Here We Go Again: Rocket Fired from the Gaza Strip

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165654#.VWdcSryVsWM

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip (26 February 2013) has landed in southern Israel - the first such attack since shortly after a ceasefire ended eight days of clashes in November, Israeli police say. Meanwhile, a s enior Hamas leader, Salah al-Bardawil, urged the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers saying that, "a new Palestinian Intifada is about to break out in support of prisoners." Fahd El-Lil (Night's Leopard), Fatah-linked group, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack . (Hamas and Fatah are unwilling to change their hateful nature. it is certain that anti-Semitic idiots, especially in the UN, will find justification for this attack and will blame Israel for any retaliation that follow!)

PA: "Too Soon" for Soccer Match with Israel

The head of the PA's soccer federation said that it is "too soon" for a match against Israel, as suggested by Barcelona club president Sandro Rosell. Several months ago Hamas reacted furiously after the Barcelona soccer team invited Gilad Shalit to attend a Barcelona-Real Madrid derby. (Not long ago the world was 'infuriated' when fans of the Zionist soccer club, Maccabee, protested against inviting an Arab player. Anti-Semites never object to anti-Israel discrimination! How many Jewish players are playing in Arab sport clubs?)

John Kerry - Another Delusional or Bad Poker Player

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165651#.VWdc6ryVsWM

A new US Secretary of State, John Kerry, insisted there is still a "diplomatic path" to be forged with Iran on its disputed nuclear program, as world powers and Tehran met for a new round of talks. (As usual, as normal people expected, the talks produced no result but another agreement to meet in two months - see below.)

Egypt Court Ordered Destruction of Tunnels to Gaza

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/02/201322619219970812.html

A Cairo court has ruled the government must destroy all tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Egypt 's ruling Muslim Brotherhood has close ties with the Hamas movement that runs Gaza, but many Egyptians fear the enclave is a security risk for Egypt . President Mohammed Morsi's national security adviser, Essam Haddad, has said Egypt will not tolerate the two-way flow of smuggled arms through the tunnels that is destabilizing its Sinai Peninsula. An estimated 30 percent of goods that reach Gaza 's 1.7m Palestinians come through the tunnels, circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than seven years. (This ruling shows that Muslim countries can fight terrorism effectively when they want! But, could it be just about tunnel tax which is collected by Hamas at the moment? And no one complains about the Egyptian blockade, just the Israeli one.)

System does Work when Good Laws are Enforced

A combination of the desire to return home and the implementation of the amendment to the 1954 "infiltrators law" has lead several hundred asylum-seekers, possibly as many as a 1,000, to leave Israel for Sudan in the past six or seven months. (Most of the illegal infiltrators into Israel are economic migrants - otherwise they would stay in refugee camps in Africa and would not take the dangerous and expensive journey through Sinai.)

Israel's Prison is Place to Receive Good Education

http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.co.il/2013/02/some-25-of-palestinian-prisoners.html

Over the years, many of Arab prisoners have obtained academic degrees, including a doctorate awarded to prominent Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti. The Education Committee states that it has managed to implement the studies project in all Israeli prisons, including an expansion of available programs and degrees. According to data recently published by the Education Committee, 361 high school diplomas approved by the Gaza Education Ministry were granted to prisoners in the last two years. Some 25% Of Palestinian Prisoners Receive High School And College Education In Israeli Prisons. (Some Palestinians deliberately commit minor offences in order to receive proper education in Israeli prisons!)

Fake Negotiations are Camouflage for Inaction

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/02/201322762913285669.html

World powers and Iran have ended their two-day meeting on the country's nuclear program in the Kazakh city of Almaty without breakthrough, according to a Western official. Saeed Jalili, Iran 's chief nuclear negotiator said that all sides agreed to meet in the same city on April 5-6 after first gathering their nuclear experts for consultations in Istanbul, Turkey, in March.

Quote(s) of the Week:

"Anything that is theoretically possible will be achieved in practice, no matter what the technical difficulties, if it is desired greatly enough." - Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of Future" - This viewpoint is applicable to any aspect of life. The creation and survival of the Jewish state is one example. Immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union , in spite of the fact that it contradicted the main principle of Communism, equality of the nations, is another one.

Agreements Never Honored by PA - Terror is!

by Aaron Klein (27 Feb, 21013)

http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/obamas-israel-trip-already-wreaking-havoc/?cat_orig=world

President Obama will visit Israel in March. Obama's planned visit to Israel already has secured Israeli and Palestinian pledges to restart so-called land-for-peace talks, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli officials. As usual, the PA is getting ready for the negotiations by re-activating its terror apparatus!

The high committee of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party made a quiet decision yesterday to stop disarming members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group. The decision to allow the Brigades, Fatah's so-called military wing, to bear arms is in violation of a 2007 amnesty agreement signed with Israel that requires Brigades members to completely disarm.

The security source further divulged a Fatah decision to allow the Brigades and other gunmen to carry out what is being described as "low-grade" attacks, meaning stoning throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks aimed at Israeli forces in the West Bank .

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in recent days has held two armed marches, one in the Balata camp in Nablus and another in the Askar camp on the outskirts of Nablus in the northern West Bank. The marches, the first of their kind since 2007, also violate the terms of the amnesty agreement signed with Israel.

Perhaps as part of the strategy of violence as a pressure tactic, the PA this week released from its prisons at least 12 members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups who were captured in recent months. The move comes as the executive committee of the PLO earlier this month formally endorsed the use of what it called "popular resistance" - a phrase tacitly green lighting the use of demonstrations, stone throwing and Molotov cocktails.

PS: Mahmoud Abbas said a week ago that he and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal have reached agreement on the need for a 'peaceful' intifada. (Destruction of Israel is the only subject Hamas and Fatah are agreed on!)

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has a website at www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com


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OBAMA PLANS TO EXTRACT TIMETABLE FOR ISRAELI PULLOUT FROM WEST BANK

Posted by Midenise, March 04, 2013

This article appeared in WorldTribune.com on March 03, 2013 and is archived at
http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/03/03/obama-plans-to-extract-timetable-for-israeli-pullout-from-west-bank/

JERUSALEM — U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

Israeli sources said Obama, scheduled to arrive in Israel on March 20, wants a detailed Israeli withdrawal plan from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the president's visit. The sources said the Israeli plan would be considered in what could be an imminent U.S. initiative to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank in 2014.

A settlement in East Jerusalem.

"Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state," a source said. "The implication is that if Israel won't give him something he can work with, then he'll act on his own."

The sources said Obama's demand has sparked concern in the office of the Israeli prime minister. They said Netanyahu has been unable to form a coalition amid a boycott by left-wing parties and an alliance by two new movements — Yesh Atid and Jewish Home — with 31 seats in the 120-member parliament and opposed to major territorial concessions in the West Bank.

"The ties between Yesh Atid and Jewish Home are strengthening," Uri Ariel, the No. 2 member in Jewish Home, said.

So far, Netanyahu has been unable to woo any parties except for the U.S.-supported "The Movement," led by former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The prime minister has received a two-week extension from President Shimon Peres.

"In these past four weeks I tried to form the broadest possible government," Netanyahu said. "But the main reason that I have not managed to complete the task by today is because there is a boycott of a certain sector."

Netanyahu was referring to a demand by Yesh Atid to ban ultra-Orthodox from the next government. The ultra-Orthodox comprise nearly 20 seats in the Knesset.

On March 1, the Israeli daily Makor Rishon reported that the next Netanyahu government would destroy numerous Jewish communities in the West Bank. The newspaper quoted Likud negotiators as saying that the plan depended on Yesh Atid ending its alliance with Jewish Home, led by Naftali Bennett.

"We are going to difficult decisions," a Likud negotiator was quoted as telling a Yesh Atid parliamentarian. "If you do not break up your pact with Bennett we won't be able to uproot communities if there is a need for difficult decisions. Together we can do it."

Other Israeli newspapers, quoting Likud sources, carried similar reports. They said the first step by Netanyahu would be the dismantling of Jewish communities in the West Bank deemed isolated.

The sources said the White House warned that Obama's forthcoming visit could characterize U.S. relations with Israel over the next four years. They said Obama aides stressed that Congress, which approved $3.1 billion in military aid to Israel for 2013, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state as a U.S. priority.

"The Obama people are making this a litmus test of Netanyahu's leadership and credibility," the Israeli source said. "Obama supporters in Congress have sent Netanyahu a similar message."

Contact Midenise at midenise@zahav.net.il


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DEFENSE SEC. FOR U.S. OR FOR IRAN?

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 04, 2013

This article is from the Zionist Organizaton of America and it appeared March 4, 2013 in the ZOA News Israel.

Could Pres. Obama have nominated a poorer candidate from the American people's interest, or a better candidate from the Iranian regime's interest?

What does that tell us about Pres. Obama, who is filling his Cabinet with all the worst people for our country? What does that tell us about the newspapers that fall in with his deleterious choices?

What does that tell us about the supposed pro-Israel position of J Street and Americans for Peace Now

What does the silence of most of the major American Jewish organizations tell us about them and about the power that antisemites allege that the Israel lobby has?

It must be getting increasingly difficult to believe that Pres. Bush is not trying to destroy our country. He has been putting students, housing, and government into more unsustainable debt. His policies deter job-creation and cause reductions in hours and medical insurance benefits. When the Federal Reserve no longer can keep interest rates down, the national debt would become hundreds of billions of dollars a year higher. The Justice Dept. is persecuting people and shaking down companies. It pursues discriminatory policies that it pretends are against racism. The Administration acts beyond Constitutional and legislated powers.

Deeply Troubled That U.S. Senate Confirmed Iran/ Terror Group Apologist, Anti-Israel, Incompetent Hagel for Secy. Defense

This is a sad and worrying day for America, the West and Israel. This is a good day for Iran, Hamas, Hizballah and such. It is deeply troubling that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Hagel was confirmed by 58 votes to 41 votes.

There has never been a confirmed Defense Secretary who attracted more than eleven opposing votes. In contrast, Hagel's predecessor, Leon Panetta, was confirmed by a unanimous 100—0 Senate vote.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) today also lamented the failure of virtually all major pro-Israel Jewish organizations to oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination. These include AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Jewish Committee (AJC), Orthodox Union, B'nai B'rith, National Jewish Democratic Council and many others. Some expressed "concern." AIPAC didn't even express concern — AIPAC was silent. But none of these major Jewish defense groups explicitly opposed Hagel or lobbied Capitol Hill against him. (ADL's Abe Foxman even said, "[Hagel] does not have to be as bad as some fear," because he'll simply take orders from Obama. Not only is this a dubious assumption, but Obama has now stated that he will be counting on 'Hagel's judgment and counsel').

While almost all major Jewish groups were not opposing Hagel, Iran, Hamas and Louis Farrakhan were supporting and praising Hagel's nomination. The extremist leftwing Jewish groups, like J Street and Americans for Peace Now, also supported Hagel.

As Commentary magazine's Jonathan Tobin has observed, "none of the major groups, aside from the Zionist Organization of America, spoke up publicly about his unsuitability for the post or his out-of-the mainstream views."

The New York Sun has editorialized about the silence of Jewish groups other than the ZOA, noting, "only one of the Jewish defense agencies spoke out forcefully against [Hagel] That was the Zionist Organization of America ... It opposed the Hagel nomination early, forthrightly, and unapologetically. The result, according to the ZOA's president, Morton Klein, is that it received objections from several [Jewish] leaders ... Said Mr. Klein: "Several senators — and important ones — said to me: 'If Aipac, ADL and AJCommittee — especially Aipac — had come out and lobbied against Hagel, he would have been stopped.'" We believe these Jewish groups abdicated their responsibility and duty to their mission.

Chuck Hagel was the most incompetent and dangerous nominee for Defense Secretary in recent history — dangerous for America, the West and Israel. How can we entrust a man who agrees with the idea that the U.S. is the "world's bully" to defend the U.S. and its security interests as well as the security of important allies?

How can a man who called Israel's defending itself against Lebanon after being pounded by thousands of Hizballah rockets a 'sickening slaughter' be entrusted with the cabinet position charged with militarily assisting U.S. allies?

In his confirmation hearings, Hagel displayed a lack of knowledge and grasp of the issues. He also dramatically reversed himself on an array of previously held views. Unless he underwent a truly extraordinary transformation, rejecting a range of views he has held for the last 15 years, should we believe the contrary statements that Hagel uttered in a single afternoon of hearings, or should we believe Hagel's statements and votes over 15 years?

What was especially troubling about the Jewish community's response is that this was a black and white issue. There was no gray. Virtually everyone who cared about stopping Iran's nuclear ambitions, stopping radical Islamist terrorists, and supporting Israel's defense knew that Chuck Hagel was as problematic and dangerous a choice as one could have imagined.

For years, Hagel's position has been that the U.S. should eschew all measures, not only military but economic as well, to prevent Iran becoming a nuclear power. Hagel's position has also been that the U.S. engage and legitimize the most vicious terrorist groups, like the genocidal Hamas and Hizballah and that Israel is a brutal, slaughtering, war criminal.

It is not a trivial matter when a U.S. Defense Secretary is hostile to any important U.S. ally. But it is incomparably more serious when that ally is Israel, because Israel is not a relatively unthreatened ally, like Britain or Canada or Australia — it is surrounded by hostile regimes, most of whom do not even recognize it and several of whom have repeatedly made war on it. Iran has not threatened Spain with destruction, but it has repeatedly threatened Israel with destruction. Hagel's confirmation communicates the terrible message that the U.S. is not serious about stopping Iran becoming a nuclear power.

The ZOA praises those organizations, including Christians United for Israel, the Emergency Committee for Israel, JINSA, the National Council of Young Israel, Republican Jewish Coalition, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and NORPAC, the largest pro-Israel PAC, which spoke out loudly and clearly with moral clarity in opposition to this nomination.

Had the major American Jewish organizations that abstained from the fight put themselves on record, especially early on when the Hagel nomination had been rumored but not yet formally announced, we believe that many Democratic senators who were privately troubled by Hagel's record would have felt fortified and given cover by the depth of American Jewish concern and opposition to come out against him. Several U.S. senators expressed this to me.

A detailed record of Hagel's statements, votes and views follow:

  • In his confirmation hearings, Hagel claimed that the Iranian regime — which has bloodily cracked down on democracy protesters, rigged elections, viciously persecutes Bahais and hangs homosexuals — is "an elected, legitimate government." Hagel also reaffirmed earlier statements that he supported containing Iran should it become a nuclear power, before switching positions after receiving a written note from one of his assistants.
  • Hagel has sealed his archives in Nebraska, not permitting access to anyone and thus precluding scrutiny of his those parts of his record that might have evaded coverage till today. What was Hagel hiding?
  • In a 2012 report for the Global Zero advocacy group, which works for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, Hagel co-wrote a report, 'Global Zero: U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission,' which advocated an 80% reduction in the U.S. nuclear-weapons to about 900 weapons, with only half of those being deployed. He also called for the eventual phasing out of short-range nuclear weapons and the elimination of ICBMs and B-52 bombers.
  • In an April 2010 speech at Rutgers University, Hagel stated inaccurately that Israel, which has a stable majority within the territories of Israel and the West Bank, as heading towards apartheid. Hagel labelled the thrice-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "radical." He also argued for the inclusion of Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction and the global murder of Jews, in negotiations.
  • In a 2009 report co-written by Hagel, 'A Last Chance For A Two State Israel-Palestine Agreement,' he called for deploying a "U.S.-led multinational force" in the West Bank which would "feature American leadership of a NATO force supplemented by Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis" to maintain a peace agreement between Israel and a new Palestinian state, while also recommending a "more pragmatic approach" towards Hamas that legitimizes it rather than seeks to oust it.
  • During a 2009 Al-Jazeera interview, Hagel agreed with a questioner that the U.S. was "the world's bully" and that Palestinians were the victims of Israeli war crimes.
  • In an interview on the Al-Jazeera network in 2009, Hagel argued that the U.S. and Russia, rather than rogue states, should take the first steps towards nuclear disarmament saying, "Let's begin with the two nuclear powers that now are responsible for ninety-six percent of the nuclear weapons in the world. Russia and the United States have a particular obligation. We must join in some unison here to lead the rest of the world ... That's the point behind having American leadership as well as Russian leadership out front on eliminating nuclear weapons ... How can we preach to other countries that you can't have nuclear weapons but we can and our allies can? There is no credibility, there's no logic to that argument. And we have been losing on that argument ... I think and many people in the United States of America and Russia and in other parts of the world believe it has to go and that it is the elimination, the phasing out of nuclear weapons" (Aaron Klein, 'Hagel: U.S. should give up nukes before rogue nations,' World Net Daily, January 11, 2012).
  • In October, 2009, Hagel claimed in a speech to the left-wing J Street group, "I believe there is a real possibility of a shift in Syria's strategic thinking and policies.... If we can convince Damascus to pause and re-consider its positions and support regarding Iran, Hezballah, Hamas and radical Palestinian groups, we will have made progress for the entire Middle East, Israel, and the U.S. Syria wants to talk — at the highest levels — and everything is on the table.... The next bi-lateral peace treaty for Israel is with Syria." Hagel also said that he opposed isolating Iran through diplomacy and sanctions, saying, "How in the world do we think isolating someone is going to bring them around to your way of thinking? He also embraced the discredited 'linkage' theory which contends that the Middle East can be greatly tranquilized and U.S. relations with Arab states enhanced if the U.S. pressures Israel into a peace agreement with the Palestinians, saying, "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is central, not peripheral, to U.S. vital security interests in combating terrorism, preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, stability in the Middle East and U.S. and global energy security." Hagel also called for a Fatah-Hamas merge, saying, "No peace will be possible nor sustainable as long as the Palestinians remain a house divided." He did not mention any conditions for Hamas ('Chuck Hagel Delivers Speech for J Street First National Conference,' Atlantic Council, October 27, 2009).
  • In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to begin direct negotiations with Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist group committed in its Charter to the destruction of Israel.
  • In 2009, Hagel said that he wants the Fatah/Palestinian Authority to merge with Hamas.
  • In 2008, Hagel was "solely responsible" for blocking an Iran sanctions bill (Seth Colter Walls, 'Dems Blame Senate GOP For Blocking Iran Sanctions Bill,' Huffington Post, March 10, 2008).
  • In a March 2007 speech at Rutgers University, Hagel reportedly said that "the State Department has become adjunct to the Israeli Foreign Minister's office."

  • In 2007, Hagel outspokenly opposed President George W. Bush's surge in Iraq, calling it the "most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam." In fact, the surge prevented a humanitarian and politician catastrophe in Iraq and an Al-Qaeda victory. Though opposed to the surge at the time, President Obama said in his 2009 Cairo speech that "I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein."
  • In a 2006 interview with former Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller, Hagel said that "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people" on Capitol Hill ('Hagel named to intelligence board,' Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 29, 2009).
  • In August 2006, Hagel was one of only 12 Senators who refused to formally call upon the European Union to declare Hizballah a terrorist organization ('NJDC Criticizes Senators for Refusing to Call on EU to add Hezbollah to List of Terrorist Organizations,' National Jewish Democratic Council press release, August 7, 2006). He also said in Senate speech that Israel had committed a "sickening slaughter" in Lebanon.
  • In July 2006, at the outbreak of the Lebanon war, Hagel argued against giving Israel the time to break Hizballah, urging instead an immediate ceasefire ('Key Republican breaks with Bush on Mideast,' CNN.com, July 31, 2006).
  • In December 2005, Hagel was one of only 27 senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bush urging him to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.
  • In June 2004, Hagel refused to sign a letter urging President Bush to highlight Iran's nuclear program at the G-8 summit and was one of only two senators in to vote against renewal of the Libya-Iran sanctions act.
  • In January 2003, Hagel said that Israel was "keep[ing] Palestinians caged up like animals" ('Hagel in 2003: Israel Keeps "Palestinians Caged Up Like Animals,"' Washington Free Beacon, January 9, 2013).

  • In 2002, Hagel urged the Bush administration to support Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization.
  • In 2002, Hagel was one of only 10 senators to oppose banning the import to America of Iraqi oil until Iraq stopped compensating the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
  • In November 2001: Hagel was one of only 11 senators who refused to sign a letter urging President Bush not to meet with the late Yasser Arafat until his forces ended the violence against Israel.
  • In July 2001, Hagel was one of only two senators to vote against extending the original Iranian sanctions bill.
  • In October 2000, when Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority launched a terror war against Israel after rejecting without counter-offer a plan for Palestinian statehood accepted by Israel, Hagel was one of only four senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel.
  • In 1999, Hagel showed indifference to the plight of Jews trapped in the Soviet Union in 1999 when he was the only senator out of 100 who refused to sign a statement against manifestations of increased anti-Semitism in Russia. The petition was set to appear as a full-page newspaper ad during then-president Boris Yeltsin's visit to the United States ('Hagel as senator didn't sign anti-Semitism pledge,' Washington Times, December 19, 2012).
  • In August 1998, Hagel rationalized Palestinian terrorism against Israeli Jews by alleging, "The Israeli government essentially continues to play games ... Desperate men do desperate things when you take hope away. And that's where the Palestinians are today" (Glenn Kessler, 'Chuck Hagel and Israel in context: A guide to his controversial statements,' Washington Post, January 7, 2013).
  • In 1998, as Senator, Hagel opposed the appointment of James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg on the grounds that Hormel is "aggressively gay." Hagel apologized to Hormel — in December 2012, when his nomination as Defense Secretary was imminent.
  • When Hagel served as the president and CEO of the World USO from 1987 to 1990, he proposed closing the USO in Haifa, a facility run by the UNited Services Organization, a non-profit that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families. Hagel told Jewish leaders lobbying him to keep the post open, "Let the Jews pay for it."
  • As a professor at Georgetown University, Hagel taught a foreign policy course based primarily on anti-Israel materials and far-left manifestos that castigate America's role in the world.

Were all of these troubling actions not enough to oppose the Hagel nomination?

To quote Commentary's Jonathan Tobin, writing before the Hagel vote, 'Should [Jewish organizations] fail to find their voices now about Hagel, many of the good people inside these organizations may have reason to look back with regret on their decisions. Hagel's appointment raises genuine doubts about this administration's commitment to stopping Iran's nuclear threat and continued support of Israel at a time when its enemies (such as the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt) are gaining strength. Silence at such a moment is impossible for men and women of conscience.'

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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Iranian Shiite Terror Cell in Nigeria Followed a Familiar Pattern

Posted by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, a special analyst on the Middle East at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence. This article appeared March 5, 2013 on the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs website.

  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the fifth largest provider of oil to the U.S. More than half the population practices Islam.
  • On February 20, 2013, Nigeria's State Secret Service accused a local Shiite cleric, Mallam Abdullahi Mustaphah Berende, 50, of heading a terrorist group backed by Iran that was plotting to assassinate Nigerian officials and attack Israeli and American targets in Nigeria.
  • The Berende case offers a rare look at the work of Iranian intelligence agencies. Berende first visited Iran in 2006 to study at Imam Khomeini University, and was recruited when he returned for further studies in 2011. He was trained in the use of the AK-47 rifle, pistols, and the production of improvised explosive devices.
  • In April 2012 Berende was asked to establish a terrorist cell in Lagos. With two of his followers, he identified and gathered intelligence on public places and places frequented by Americans and Israelis. They also provided specific details on such agencies as USAID and the Peace Corps, as well as the Israeli Zim international shipping company and the Jewish cultural center in Lagos.
  • Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, the undisputed leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, is another Nigerian Shiite. A protégé of Iran, he is creating a radical socio-economic and military system that resembles that of Hizbullah in Lebanon. He is said to have a supporter base numbering over a million. His organization has been involved in many confrontations with the army and the Christian population. (See photos of a Hizbullah parade in Nigeria in this article.)
  • Similar Iranian-Hizbullah terrorist efforts in Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, and elsewhere confirm the pattern revealed in the Berende affair. Handlers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards use local Shiite agents or those with dual nationalities. In the first phases they concentrate on the collection of intelligence, and train in the use of weapons and explosives in Iran. In a later phase they will seek to carry out their terrorist attacks through proxies.

Contact Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs at briefmail@list-jcpa.org


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AND I'M THE 'ISLAMAPHOBE'

Posted by FSM Security Update, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Gadi Adelman who is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est on his own radio show "America Akbar" on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com. This article appeared March 05, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/and-im-the-islamaphobe?f=must_reads

islamophobe

I'm used to it, sad to say, but true. When you speak, lecture, teach and write about terrorism or more specifically Islam, you get used to the name calling and threats.

My last article "Cloaks and Keffiyehs" received the normal comments, among them; as usual I was called an "Islamaphobe". The comment also said I was "a horrible person". I hang my head in shame, not!

It was rather humorous since as always I state facts and was blasted for repeating what someone else stated. I always link my sources and in this case even the person who named called pointed it out,

You repeat the words of a KNOWN bigot (Guandolo) as if they are credible, and deal in racist insinuation. It is disgusting.

But that's what happens when you write about Islam, it doesn't matter if its fact, it only matters if it's considered blasphemous against Islam. According to Islamic (Sharia) law, it is a criminal offense to speak negatively of Islam, its Prophet, and its holy Scriptures (Qur'an and Hadith). Blasphemy is punishable by death. Again this is fact not my opinion.

Well now the 'stealth Jihad' has entered our schools with blessings from Allah the almighty, well, that's what some schools in Texas are teaching about Allah anyway. CSCOPE appears to be the culprit behind the curriculum. All it started when a picture was posted by a student on Facebook.

According to the Washington Times,

A Texas lawmaker is launching an investigation after a high school teacher reportedly invited her female students to dress in burqas and refer to Muslim terrorists as "freedom fighters."

Yes, before you wonder, this does include the "freedom fighters" that flew planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11. You know, the "freedom fighters" that murdered 3000 Americans and took the U.S. to war in Afghanistan.

Oh, but it gets worse, much worse. This was in a Geography class. I'd ask the obvious question, but I don't have to. One of the students father asked for me,

The girl's father is confused why a geography class is teaching religion at all. "She went from learning about Mexico to learning about Russia to learning about Islam," he told Fox. "Islam is not a country. Islam is not a continent."

Another parent pointed out the religious aspect,

"I felt like the line had been crossed," a parent of the daughter who posted the Facebook photo told Fox. "Christian kids who want to pray have to do it outside of school hours - yet Islam is being taught to our kids during school hours."

According to the article,

The school district released a statement to Fox News defending the class: "The lesson that was offered focused on exposing students to world cultures, religions, customs and belief systems. The lesson is not teaching a specific religion, and the students volunteered to wear the clothing."

"Volunteered to wear the clothing"? If that is the case why did one student claim she was asked to sign a statement about the burqa,

After a photo went viral of several Lumberton High School students wearing burqas, traditional Islamic women's garb, April LeBlanc said her daughter called her from school in tears because administrators asked her to sign a statement saying she was not forced to don the garment.

According to one student in the class, the lesson was to teach about the life of women in Islam. The burqa exercise focused on fashion.

Fashion? Really? Need I explain that the teacher didn't bother to teach the students that women in Islamic countries that are caught dressed improperly are subject to beatings, prison and is some cases even death?

So how does CSCOPE fit in to all this? According to all reports the parents who contacted the principal, said he defended the program that is required under CSCOPE. The story of CSCOPE being the group behind the lesson made national news and caused CSCOPE to refute the claim.

The CSCOPE website states,

CSCOPE provides TEKS-aligned and updated K-12 curriculum, assessment, and instruction components for English and Spanish Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies (foundation curriculum).

Hmmm. I didn't see Geography listed there, but then again I too am a product of a public school education.

The website also answers my question of how many school districts are using CSCOPE,

As of September 25, 2012, there are 875 active CSCOPE districts. This equates to approximately 70% of the districts in Texas.

Their homepage has the following about the burqa controversy,

False Information on Burqas in CSCOPE

Certain articles have recently claimed that a picture of students wearing burqas was part of a CSCOPE lesson used in a teacher's classroom. This activity was not a part of any lesson in CSCOPE; rather, it was a locally developed lesson in a Texas school district. For more information from the school district, click here.

Following the link takes you to a letter from the Lumberton Independent School District,

Lumberton ISD Response to CSCOPE and Promotion of Islam

Recently a picture had surfaced showing five students dressed in burqas (Islamic attire) in a World Geography classroom at Lumberton High School. The lesson that was offered was not a written CSCOPE lesson; however it informed students to the customary culture of the people in the Middle East. The lesson that occurred was presented on February 1, 2013. As part of the curriculum from the World Geography TEKS (as prescribed by the state of Texas), the students are to study the culture (TEKS number 17)

Not a written CSCOPE lesson but a TEKS lesson. So what exactly is TEKS? TEKS stands for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Education Agency website states,

TEKS are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do.

However another report states,

In the 70 percent of Texas public schools where a private curriculum has been installed, students are learning the "fact" that "Allah is the Almighty God," charge critics of a new online curriculum that already is facing condemnation for its secrecy and restrictions on oversight.

The program, called CSCOPE, is a private venture operating under the umbrella of the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, whose incorporation documents state its independence from the State Board of Education of the Texas Education Agency.

The report continues,

According to excerpts, under the heading, "Who Is Allah?," students are told:

"Allah is the Almighty God."

"Allah alone is the Creator. He alone deserves our devout love and worship."

A Foxnews reporter interviewed the parents of one of the girls in the photo,

The parents said they confronted their daughter and told her to explain exactly what she had been taught.

"They were asked about their perception of Islam," she said. "Most of the class said they thought about terrorism. And her response was, 'we're going to change the way we perceive Islam.'"

The State Senator who launched the investigation spoke to Fox as well,

State Sen. Dan Patrick, chairman of the senate education committee, told Fox News he is very disturbed by the photograph as well as reports that students were exposed to a story that blamed Egypt's turmoil on democracy - rather than the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Washington Times article also reported,

Janice VanCleave, the founder of Texas CSCOPE Review, which monitors what is being taught in the state's schools. Said, "They are definitely promoting the Islamic religion."

A Blaze reporter also spoke to Janice VanCleave,

VanCleave argues that CSCOPE offers no comparable lessons on Christianity or Judaism.

"I do think CSCOPE promotes the Islamic religion," she added. "I don't think it's right to be proselytizing the Islamic religion in our schools."

Yes burqa's are a "fashion", terrorists are "freedom fighters" and "Allah is the Almighty God".

But I, I am an "Islamaphobe".

Contact FSM Security Update at info@familysecuritymatters.org


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CHINESE AGGRESSION SHOWS THE LAW OF THE SEA TREATY IS WORTHLESS

Posted by FSM Security Update, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Chris Carter who is the director of the Victory Institute and the deputy regional director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. His work also appears at The US Report, International Analyst Network, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Deutsche Welle, NavySEALs.com, Blackfive and other publications. He also served on the 2010 National Medal of Honor Convention project. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and a firefighter by trade. This article appeared March 4, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/chinese-aggression-shows-the-law-of-the-sea-treaty-is-worthless?f=must_reads

Supporters of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would have us believe that the treaty makes the world a safer place. For 30 years, media, political, and even military elite have all called for ratification of UNCLOS.

But why should the U.S. ratify a treaty that, considering Chinese ongoing territorial aggression against its neighbors, we can see is useless when it comes to maintaining "peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world," as the charter states?

China navy

Chinese naval vessels recently violated UN law by using their fire control radar to target a Japanese naval destroyer and military helicopters operating near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in February.

The rocky, uninhabited islands belonged to the Japanese until after World War II, when the United States assumed temporary control. The islands returned to Japanese administration in 1972, but the Chinese didn't voice their claim to the islands until a potentially significant oil field was discovered in the region later that decade.

For months, Chinese and Filipino vessels have maintained a delicate standoff over the Scarborough Shoals (Huangyan Island to China). Although 500 miles from the nearest Chinese port, Chinese fishing vessels flaunt the law by harvesting their catch within the UNCLOS-established exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, just 124 miles from their coast.

In 1947, the Chinese government claimed virtually all of the South China Sea in what has become known as the "Nine-Dash Line." China, a member nation of UNCLOS, refuses to explain the details on how they reached their far-fetching boundary.

A U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks states that a senior Chinese government maritime law expert admittedly did not know of any historical basis behind the "Nine-Dash Line."

China knows that if they open the door to international scrutiny, their extravagant claim and ambiguous evidence would not survive and any illusions of a legitimacy would vanish. And so would the massive deposits of oil and natural gas surrounding these desolate islands the Chinese want exclusive access to.

The Philippines even offered to settle the matter of Scarborough Shoal in a UNCLOS tribunal, but the Chinese have stated they will not participate in any of the treaty's dispute resolution mechanisms - or abide by any UNCLOS ruling.

The Chinese claim to seek bilateral talks because they know that the Philippines will refuse, and the issue will remain unsettled. The Chinese interest is to keep things exactly as they are.

Prior to becoming Secretary of State, John Kerry was one of the strongest supporters of ratifying UNCLOS as a member of the Senate. Confronted with Chinese warmongering however, Secretary Kerry can only spout meaningless platitudes about "forging stronger and deeper relations" with the Philippines.

Not altogether inspiring, considering we have mutual defense pacts with both Japan and the Philippines that go back over 60 years. Perhaps President Obama doesn't plan on honoring our agreements, but we are obligated to treat an attack on either nation as if it were an attack on the United States.

Kerry's empty words and the Obama administration's make-belief world of political narratives may resonate in an Ivy League faculty lounge or with a sycophantic media, but China lives in the real world, where words only mean as much as your ability to back them up.

China can be aggressive because they know that the UN is only out to get paid, President Obama's "soft power" is big on soft and short on power, and no other nation is capable of doing anything about it.

Demographically and economically speaking, the future belongs to China. They are building aircraft carriers and air supremacy fighter jets while we are grounding and decommissioning ours. The Chinese are expanding their nuclear arsenal while we are unilaterally dismantling our aging weapons. Our economy is going the way of Greece, and the Chinese are financing the demise.

Diplomacy will only weaken the Chinese position, and their political and military leaders are telling their people to prepare for war. No one wants to go to war with the Chinese, but diplomacy tends to work better when one side has significant leverage over the other, both parties can find common ground, or if both parties at least wish to avoid war. Feeble treaties will not stand in their way.

If we could magically cast out corruption from the UN, a Law of the Sea treaty would be a great idea. Internationally agreed-upon laws would rule the oceans and seas, while courts - not fleets - would solve disputes. And the world wouldn't depend solely on the United States to solve their problems with our blood and treasure.

But any treaty that permits a member to lay claim to an entire sea shared by several nations, and does nothing while a member openly violates provisions of the treaty is absurd. Considering the inability to check Chinese aggression, the trillions of dollars in fees that will be paid by U.S. taxpayers to the UN, and giving control over much of our resources to an unaccountable international organization, the United States is far better off without UNCLOS.

Contact FSM Security Update at info@familysecuritymatters.org


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THE APARTHEID BUS BLITZ

Posted by David Ha'ivri, March 05, 2013

The new trending topic on the anti-Israel network is "Apartheid Buses." According the narrative, Israel has now launched Arab-only bus lines as a new means of oppressing the local Arab population. In fact, the truth behind this story is a special service that this Israeli bus company has begun to provide for Palestinian workers from the security checkpoint they pass though to the work areas in central Israel.

To draw this in a negative light, propagandists have spiced up the story by reporting that the new service was launched after Jewish Israelis complained about the workers traveling on their regular buses. As usual, the propagandists do not allow small details - like the facts - to get in the way of the twisted picture they wish to project about Israel.

Tens of thousands of non-Israeli Palestinians are permitted to work in Israel every day. Those who receive these work permits consider themselves lucky, because the economy in the Palestinian Authority areas is so bad that work places there are hard to find and pay very poorly. Those holding work permits are allowed to enter only at designated security crossings. This is a rule determined by the government security agencies, and has nothing to do with the preferences of the Jewish commuters.

After this blitz grew wings and became the center of media attention, Israel journalist Chaim Levenson of Haaretz wrote on his Facebook page that he was going to meet with the Arab workers on the new bus line at 4:30 AM leaving the Eyal crossing. Many workers are headed for early starts at building jobs, where they need to be on site by 6 or so. Obviously, these buses have been provided as a special service, at the time and place according the needs of the worker population from that area. Does someone suggest that they wait for the first bus leaving Ariel at 5:30am, and be late for work?

Arab-only bus lines throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem are nothing new. There are Arab-owned lines running between Shechem (Nablus), Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hevron. You will never see them stop for a Jew waiting at a bus stop on the way. There is an Arab-only bus station in the American Colony in Jerusalem. Don't expect to see Jewish people walking around there. Why, you might ask? It's because the Jews feel threatened there, and fear for their safety.

On the other hand, Israeli-owned public transportation in all of these places is used by Jews and non-Jews alike. The same bus company, Afikim, which is being accused of running special bus lines tailored to the needs of Palestinian workers, has also launched special bus lines fit for the needs of the students at the university in Ariel. 80% of the university's 14,000 students are commuting from Israel's more central areas, and need more buses coming in during the morning hours, and more leaving at the end of the day. The university's Arab students enjoy those buses just as Jewish students do.

The rumor that Jewish residents were involved in the new bus arrangement was thrown in by some propagandist to make the story more sensational. It is an obnoxious distortion of the facts. The Jewish commuters have nothing to do with security regulations.

In fact, the new buses are set to save the Palestinian Arab commuters a lot of money, as their previous alternative was to pay for expensive private taxis to their workplace destinations. This is racism?

David Ha'ivri is an Israeli settler and political activist. He emigrated with his family from the United States to Israel at the age of 11 and served in the IDF. Ha'ivri lives with his wife and eight children in Kfar Tapuach in the West Bank. He is a controversial leader, writer and speaker. Contact David Ha'ivri at haivri@gmail.com


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WHAT IF THEY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY?

Posted by Jewish Policy Center, March 05, 2013

The U.S. generally makes allowance for verbal excesses from foreign governments, but if expressions of hatred and incitement to violence are actually harbingers of behavior, destruction and murderousness cannot be far behind.

At the UN Alliance of Civilizations [sic], Turkey's Prime Minister equated Zionism with crimes against humanity. The American response was swift; speaking for himself and the administration, Kerry called the remark "objectionable." But after expressing dismay, he called for nicer play. "That said, Turkey and Israel are both vital allies. We want to see them work together to go beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps to change their relationship." A State Department official concurred, saying the comment was "particularly offensive" and "complicates our ability to do all the things we want to do together."

But what if Ergodan doesn't want what the U.S. wants him to want -- that is to say, he doesn't want a changed relationship with Israel? What if harsh rhetoric and open political and financial support for Hamas -- a U.S. designated terrorist organization -- are part of Turkey's regional Sunni Islamic ambition, which does not include Israel? What if Turkey's prior cooperation was a phase to allow it to acquire political and military benefits?

In a similar vein, a few weeks ago, a North Korean diplomat told the UN Conference on Disarmament, "As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction." He added, "If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward North Korea to the last, rendering the situation complicated, [we] will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession." A North Korean general warned of the "miserable destruction" of the United States.

The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament called the comments "profoundly disturbing," and the Spanish ambassador said he was "stupefied." Why?

Beginning with President Carter, American administrations have treated North Korea's pursuit of nuclear capability as defensive: designed to keep South Korea and the U.S. from overthrowing the cultish regime of the North. The U.S. tells itself that since it harbors no plans for any such invasion, it can reassure North Korea on that point and thus lessen its determination to have nuclear capability — hence the U.S. offers food, fuel and a light water reactor, thinking those "gifts" will reassure North Korea of America's benign intentions. But what if North Korea is not defensive, but rather Kim Jong Un, like his predecessors, believes that the unification of the peninsula should happen under governance of the North? How then should we understand the diplomat and the general? And how should we understand North Korea's latest nuclear test?

The British ambassador said of the North Korean diplomat's remarks, "It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of UN member states." That is, of course, patently untrue. The UN tolerates and sometimes applauds Iranian representatives who have called not for the "possible" destruction of a UN member state, Israel, but for its outright annihilation.

"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. "The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land... In the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists... Cancer must be eliminated from a body (the region)." For Qods Day last year Ahmadinejad told the Iranians, "Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world."

The P5+1, the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany who are negotiating with Iran, still seem to presume that Iran is pursuing nuclear capability for some reason other than to use it, and that it can, therefore, be dissuaded from developing it. But what if "annihilation of the Zionist regime" really is topmost in the minds of the Mullahs? What if they believe Israel has to disappear and they can make it happen? What will happen if they still really believe that when they get nuclear weapons?

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas teach raw anti-Semitism in schools, and that "Palestine" must be "liberated." Terrorists are publicly honored -- last week it was members of the DFLP who massacred 22 high school students in Ma'alot in 1974. Successive American administrations have operated on the assumption that such teachings have no impact on the "peace process."

Egypt's Mohammed Morsi has said appalling things about Jews, although he has been constrained since taking power by his need for American aid and political support. The State Department condemned Morsi's rhetorical excesses almost exactly as it did Erdogan's. Victoria Neuland told reporters, "The type of offensive rhetoric that we saw in 2010 is not acceptable, not productive, and shouldn't be part of a democratic Egypt. That said," she continued, "we look to President Mursi and Egyptian leaders to demonstrate in both word and in deed their commitment to religious tolerance and to upholding all of Egypt's international obligations" (referring to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty).

"That said." Having made her pro forma condemnation of rhetoric, she, like Secretary Kerry, wants nicer play. But what if Egyptian anti-Semitism is the reality and the Peace Treaty only a phase to allow Egypt to pile up political and military benefits from the U.S.? Like Turkey. It is not hard to believe that ideologically driven countries would do what the "civilized world" does not think logical or possible.

When Mein Kampf was published, many people thought Hitler's words were just words. They were wrong. Not only did he believe them, he put what power he had behind them; if he'd had nuclear weapons, he would have used them. How is it possible, then, to watch the acquisition of nuclear technology and more destructive means of terrorism by those who preach the annihilation of others — whether Israel, South Korea, or the United States is the object of their hatred -- and choose to believe they do not mean what they say?

The article above Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. This article appeared March 5, 2013 on the Gatestone Institute website. It is archived at
http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/4004/what-if-they-mean-what-they-say


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A SPECIAL SHABBAT IN LODZ, POLAND

Posted by Shavei Israel, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Brian Blum who is a freelance writer, journalist and editor. He works for an eclectic mix of newspapers, online magazines, universities, non-profit organizations and public companies. "This Normal Life," his personal blog, has appeared weekly since 2002. A former hi-tech entrepreneur, Brian moved to Jerusalem from the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994 with his wife and three children. Contact him at brianblum@gmail.com. The article appeared March 03, 2013 on Shavei Israel and is archived at
http://www.shavei.org/communities/hidden_jews_of_poland/articles-hidden_jews_of_poland/a-special-shabbat-in-lodz-poland/

Some 40 "Hidden Jews" of Poland gathered last month in the town of Lodz for a weekend seminar sponsored by Shavei Israel. The Shabbaton was geared specifically for graduates of previous Shavei seminars for Polish Jews, including our three-week program in Israel last summer, which we covered here.

Group at the guesthouse in Lodz

The theme of the weekend, which included communal prayers, meals and classes, was "Jewish responsibility" and it touched on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, and group memory. One of the speakers was Rabbi Jeffrey Saks, director of WebYeshiva, a Jerusalem-based online Jewish learning program with more than 8,000 registered students, including some in Poland. It was Rabbi Saks' fourth visit to Poland, but his first time at a Shavei Israel seminar. He shared with us some thoughts on the nature of Jewish life in Poland today.

"Most people are shocked when they hear there are still Jews in Poland," he begins. "They think, weren't they all killed or didn't they all leave? And, yes, the Holocaust is always hanging over everything; it's there in between the lines. Yet, despite that, the community is caught up in so many other, positive, things. There's this whole process of rediscovering [their Jewish heritage]. The place is so full of life. In Krakow, they have a beautiful JCC. It's almost as if they're saying, leave the Holocaust at the door, we're moving forward."

Indeed, it's that fresh embrace of Judaism, for many young Poles who only recently found out they have Jewish roots, that has been the catalyst for Shavei Israel's work in Poland. We have two emissaries in the country — Rabbi Boaz Pash and Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis — as well as close ties with Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich. You can read more about our activities here.

Rabbi Saks described the significance of the Shabbaton setting. "The town of Lodz found itself on the German side of the border during World War II and as a result it was not destroyed during the fighting. The Jewish community includes four buildings around a central courtyard. There is a guest house, a mikve (ritual bath), a beautiful shul and a communal kitchen. There is also a small Jewish community that lives in Lodz full time."

In the pictures, you can see the leader of the community, Simcha Keller, leading the havdalah service at the conclusion of Shabbat. He is one of two men wearing a traditional fur hat; the other is a local named Shimon who runs the kosher shop in town, which sells a kosher version of Slivovitz, the region's famous plum brandy. "I can't tell you how many bottles we drank during the weekend," Rabbi Saks marvels. "That stuff is something like 78% alcohol. We went through it like water."

Simcha Keller is also a musician and played flute during a Saturday night kumsitz — a concert composed of local Jewish musicians. You can see pictures from that event here [link]. Following the musical festivities, Rabbi Pash led an educational Purim quiz based on the format of the popular "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" TV show. On Sunday morning, following another class and breakfast, the Shabbaton concluded with a tour for out-of-towers of Jewish Lodz.

Despite the festive atmosphere, the history of the Jews in Poland is never far away. "Everyone is still suffering from that trauma, whether they know it or not," Rabbi Saks says. "And so all of the work we do in Poland is really trying to repair this catastrophic breach of what happened during the Holocaust."

The ongoing success of the tikkun (the Hebrew for "repair") can be seen in the enthusiasm for Shavei Israel's seminars and programs in Poland. Rabbi Ellis, who helped organize the Shabbaton, reports that interest was so high in this most recent weekend, space was particularly tight, "although we made room for everyone," he insists. Which is important, because in a place like Poland, the effect you have can be as unpredictable as the revival of Jewish life in a land where it was so nearly extinguished.

That Shavei Israel has assisted in the creation of an environment where young Poles from diverse backgrounds are rediscovering their roots and contributing to the renewed vitality of Jewish life in Poland only underlines the importance of our continuing work there.

Contact Shavei Israel at info.shavei@gmail.com


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PALESTINIANS' DOUBLE-STANDARDS EXPOSED AGAIN

Posted by GWY123, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Khaled Abu Toameh who is an Israeli Arab journalist, lecturer and documentary filmmaker. Abu Toameh writes for The Jerusalem Post and for the New York-based Gatestone Institute, where he is a senior distinguished fellow. The article appeared March 5, 2013 on the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council website and is archived at
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3613/palestinians-double-standards

What is surprising — and disturbing — is that the UN, the international media and human rights groups are willing to be complicit in this effort to prevent the outside world from learning about what is going on in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank. Once again it has been proven that a story that reflects negatively on the Palestinian Authority leadership has no chance of finding its way to the international media. But a story that reflects negatively on Israel will always be welcomed by the international media, human rights organizations and the UN.

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was found dead in Israel's Megiddo Prison, another detainee died in a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho.

Jaradat's death triggered widespread condemnations not only from Palestinians but also from international human rights organizations and the United Nations.

"The United Nations expects an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Jaradat's death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible," said Robert Serry, the UN Middle East peace envoy.

Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, issued a statement also calling for an international investigation into the death of 30-year-old Jaradat.

"The death of a prisoner during interrogation is always a cause for concern, but in this case, when Israel has shown a pattern and practise of prisoner abuse, the need for outside, credible investigation is more urgent than ever," Falk said in his statement.

The case of Jaradat has also won massive coverage in the international media, including BBC, Time, The Guardian and France 24. Even Jaradat's funeral drew scores of journalists from all around the world.

But when Ayman Samara, a 40-year-old Palestinian man, died in the Palestinian Authority's Jericho Prison a few days later, neither the UN nor the international media showed the slightest interest in his case.

Many Jerusalem-based Western journalists chose to ignore the story of Samara. Some claimed they were too busy to cover the death of the Palestinian man in Jericho Prison; others admitted their editors were simply not interested in this story because it was an "internal Palestinian issue."

In a further sign of double-standards, the UN has not called for an international and independent inquiry into the death of the Palestinian man in Jericho Prison. Nor have international human rights organizations, whose representatives reacted differently to the death of Jaradat in Israeli custody.

The Palestinian Authority has actively prevented Palestinian journalists from covering the mysterious death of Samara. One Palestinian reporter, who was caught interviewing people outside Jericho Prison, was even detained for several hours by Palestinian Authority security officers.

That the Palestinian Authority has been trying to prevent the media from covering the death of a detainee in one of its prisons is not surprising.

What is surprising -- and disturbing -- is that the UN, the international media and human rights organizations are willing to be complicit in this effort to prevent the outside world from learning about what is going on in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority obviously finds the story of Samara to be embarrassing, especially on the eve of US President Barack Obama's visit to the region later this month.

The Palestinian Authority leadership would like Obama and the rest of the world to think that there are no human rights abuses in Palestinian prisons and that the only "bad guys" are the Israelis.

Once again, it has been proven that a story that reflects negatively on the Palestinian Authority leadership has no chance of finding its way to the international media.

At the same time, a story that reflects negatively on Israel will always be welcomed by representatives of the international media and human rights organizations, as well as the UN.

Contact GWY at gwy123@aol.com


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LINCOLN AS WEST BANK JEWISH SETTLER

Posted by Steven Plaut, March 05, 2013

An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli Left, along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln. Obviously it is thanks to the new Hollywood movie. Leftists do not read books; they form their moral evaluations mainly based on fashionable movies, like the abominations that Israel sent to the Oscar ceremonies this year or like the movies produced by Michael Moore.

The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that, if Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, clearly identification with Lincoln must lead one to support the political agenda of the Israeli Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting Palestinian demands and aggression against Jews. And of course the "social justice" economic and social bolshevism of the Left.

Take the column by Bradley Burston, the English-language columnist for Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, from a few days ago. You can read it here: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/as-lincoln-abolished-slavery-israel-must-abolish-occupation.premium-1.505908

The title pretty much tells you what you need to know: 'As Lincoln abolished slavery, Israel must abolish occupation." Bradley opines: 'I realize now that I am an abolitionist and that occupation is slavery. I also realize that I need to pay more attention to Abraham Lincoln, in his ability to remind us all of the wisdom hidden in the obvious.' If you have a strong stomach, read the whole article.

Then today (March 5) we have a column in Haaretz by one Ithamar Handelman Smith, who claims to be a writer and journalist, one who is so anti-Israel that the Likud government is likely to grant him a governmental subsidy to make some Bash-Israel flicks. His column is here: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/what-do-you-know-of-lincoln-ms-livnat.premium-1.507280

It is titled ' What do you know of Lincoln, Ms. Livnat? He opines: 'The culture minister couldn't see the parallels between the Academy Award-winning story she loved (Lincoln -- SP) and the stories behind the Israeli documentaries she shunned.'

You will like this excerpt from Smith: 'Israel is a democracy to be proud of? Maybe, if you're extremist-right-wing-Jewish settlers. But everyone else Arabs, Haredim, African refugees, leftists live here under one of the least democratic regimes in the Western world. And no, a democracy doesn't get defensive about movies like "The Gatekeepers" and "5 Broken Cameras." A democracy learns from films like these about what's wrong with it and what can be fixed.'

Not of course from any books!

SO what do we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist Pro-Palestinian social democrat" campaign by Israel's Left and by Haaretz?

Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with American history would know that the two most important principles represented by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the ethical analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank.

Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to order to prevent the division of his homeland, and he was fully prepared to use massive military force to achieve that goal. This makes him the moral brother of every Jew in the world who is OPPOSED to partition of the Land of Israel and carving out from it any Palestinian state. Those proposing such a "two-state solution" are the 21st century's copperheads.

Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason," and throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the Union war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign against treason. Those who supported succession or the Confederacy were consistently described by Lincoln as "traitors." Those who opposed the Union's national interests were engaging in treason, not academic freedom. Lincoln did not mollycoddle traitors in the name of "understanding the Other." He did not insist that those opposing national interests be allowed to control the universities and the courts and the media. Lincoln's war against treason did not make him a 19th century Haaretz columnist but rather the moral ally of all those who despise Haaretz and who oppose the anti-Israel Left in Israel.

Aside from those two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln, which make him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left squirm. Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had traitors executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of capital punishment. Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and suppressed treasonous journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would handle Haaretz? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference.

Perhaps most notably, Lincoln also imposed an uncompromising blockade upon the Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who insist that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of humane morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will have an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by the world's moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. Guess how Lincoln would have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners. Honest Abe used exactly the same tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli bedwetting Left is now sobbing its eyes out! And frankly my dear I don't give a damn!

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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JIHADISTS BOMB HYDERABAD AND EVERYWHERE

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 05, 2013

Jihadists set off two bombs in Hyderabad, India, killing and wounding dozens of people. This follows the pattern:

2001: 3,000 killed at World Trade Center by Saudi Arabians;

2002: 2000 killed In Bali;

2004: 350 school children massacred in Beslan Russia;

2004: 190 killed in Spain.

2008: 160 murdered in Mumbai, India by Pakistanis;

2008: 14 killed in attack on India's Parliament by Pakistani and Indian Muslims; etc.

In addition, all the terrorists of Somalia and Afghanistan and many of the rebels in Philippines are Muslims.

Almost all terrorists are Muslims, these days. They attack innocent people, in the name of Allah and jihad. India is an inoffensive country, trying to be tolerant, but jihadists usually have no genuine grievances. They simply are bigoted. Their religious hatred impels them to mass-murder.

Nevertheless, the politically correct crowd pretends that jihad is benign and that terrorism is not based on Islamic imperialism. The politically correct do not acknowledge that the goal of jihad is to establish Islamic religious rule over the whole world. Instead, they think the solution is tolerance, though in already intolerant countries, jihad occurs anyway. Jihad takes place because Muslims, especially the Radicals, do not want to be treated as equals but as superiors. "Affirmative action" programs (really discrimination against the majority) facilitate Islamic penetration.

Nor is military jihad the sole method for dominating non-Muslim societies. Some Islamic organizations raise funds for jihad and for indoctrination. They exploit naïve non-Muslims, just as the Communists exploited naïve liberals. Some Muslims pretend to be secular and tolerant, but secretly support jihad.

In India, these people write articles and declare neutrality or tolerance, so as to head off investigation and opposition. (They encourage liberals to utter such irrelevant notions as "not all" Muslims, or not all Palestinian Arabs, favor terrorism.) This kind of deceit is a prime tenet of Islam. How unfortunate that for all that U.S. schools teach about religious practices of Islam, neither the schools nor the media explain about the political practices of Islam, and how powerful within the faith are Radical Muslims.

India is a particular target of jihad. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and much of Afghanistan were seized from India. Kashmir still in India is undergoing ethnic cleansing of Hindus and Sikhs by terrorists directed from Pakistan, which also directs much of the terrorism against Afghanistan and the U.S. forces that tried to rescue Afghanistan.

The real answer for India is to make a permanent separation of all Muslims from India, and then to guard the borders. This would complete the population exchange started by the Muslims separating from the rest of India, during the formation of Pakistan. This solution would preserve Hindu and Sikh culture and freedom from internal subversion.

There is a problem with that solution. Pakistan is both terrorist-ridden and nuclear bomb building (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hyderabad-blasts-Dilsukhnagar-has-been-on-Indian-Mujahideen-radar-since-1999/articleshow/18618090.cms)

Most of this article comes from Narain Kataria's letters to the Times of India. Mr. Kataria is head of the Indian-American Intellectuals Forum katarian@aol.com.

Mr. Kataria shows that jihad is global, murderous, and religious. He might have added that Radical Muslims do not identify with nationality but with their ideological view of Islam. That explains the multi-national composition of jihadists in Syria and other countries.

Muslims are making suckers out of liberals. Liberals probably gasp at the suggestion that India expel its Muslims (and probably give sanctuary to Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Bangladesh). But liberals don't gasp or rasp at Pakistan's expelling its Hindus or at Iraqis expelling their Christians. That liberal hypocrisy forfeits moral authority.

The proposal recognizes reality. It is the way to preserve lives and freedom. Europe, gradually being submerged by Muslim immigration, needs to adopt it soon. But Europe is confused about the issue. Europeans who propose solutions get denounced by the Left and stabbed by Islamists; the Left does not denounce the Islamists. Islamists attack civilization and the Left undermines it.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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ISRAELI BUSES & ALLEGED SEGREGATION

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 05, 2013

Some 50,000 day laborers commute from the P.A. to Israel. They were vetted before being given permits to enter. They used buses, on which they clashed with Jews, or private mini-buses. The news article presents opinions about the clashes, but not facts about whether the clashes were over seats or were ethnic.

At the suggestion of Jews from Judea-Samaria, special buses were set up for the Arabs. Arabs and Jews are not compelled to take separate means of transport. The new buses are more convenient and less expensive. They also avoid most of the clashes.

Sounds good all around. But it is not good enough for the Left. Leftists feel that the Arabs are not treated equally. They add this to a list of other differences in legal treatment of Jews and Arabs in the Territories.

Jews and Arabs in the Territories are governed under different legal systems. Jews fall under Israel's civilian legal system, Arabs, under military jurisdiction that draws heavily from Jordanian law. The Wall St. Journal cites the opinions of Peace Now, "a pro-peace group," and Haaretz, a "left-of-center" paper, that this is segregation (Charles Levinson, WSJ, 3/5/13, A9).

"Left-of-center" is a euphemism for Haaretz being anti-Zionist. Peace Now is not for peace but for appeasement of the Muslim Arabs, who want war. Appeasement brings war, and brings it under less favorable terms. These far leftists have supported Arab terrorism. They represent a very small proportion of Israelis, just as the Communists did in the U.S. during the Cold War. During the Cold War, it would have made no sense to have quoted the Communists' Daily Worker about whether American society was just.

My source article fails to explain that 93% of Arabs in Judea-Samaria are ruled by the P.A.. The Left does not complain about the P.A. system, which comprises arrests for shakedowns, lynching of dissidents, or trials often running no longer than it takes to read the charges and state the sentences.

The article also omits the fact that the Arabs are: an enemy people constantly indoctrinated to hate Jews; a people that considers Israel illegitimate and in need of liberation; a people that approves of terrorism morally and has been making thousands of attacks on Jews, especially on those in transit.

Therefore military courts do seem a reasonable one for Arabs in the P.A.. Those Arabs are not Israeli citizens. Hence Israel also left in place Jordanian law, but it lets the P.A. establish its own law in areas over which it has jurisdiction. When, however, P.A. Arabs violate the rights of Israelis, as by attacking them, Israeli military law applies, just as the U.S. may apply U.S. military law against Islamic terrorists. Arabs citizens of Israel fall under Israeli law, indicating that Israel does not segregate them for being Arabs.

What's really the issue, here? Remember how hypocritical the Left is, not sincere about people's civil liberties. Leftist alleged grievances usually are phony. The real issue is that the Left uses any excuse to make propaganda for the Arabs against the Jews.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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UNDERSTANDING OBAMA: THE MAKING OF A FUEHRER

Posted by Midenise, March 05, 2013

The article below was written by Ali Sina who is an Iranian Ex-Muslim (apostate) and a strong critic of Islam. Founder of Faith Freedom International, which he describes as a grassroots movement of ex-Muslims. Born and raised in Iran, educated in Italy and Pakistan, and now living in Canada, he began debating with people in the 1990s. What bothered him, he tells The Jerusalem Post, was not the penchant for jihad and intolerance that certain fanatical Muslims displayed, but the foundation for such ills in the Koran and core Islamic texts. This article appeared October 22, 2008 on the FaithFreedom.org website and is archived at
http://www.faithfreedom.org/obama.html

understanding obama

This article has been published in more than 1000 sites, erroneously attributing it to Dr. Vaknin. One person even wrote to me accusing me of plagiarism (double whammy?). Those sites are in error. If you find this article attributed to anyone else but me please write to them and correct them. You are welcome to reproduce this article, or any of my articles on Obama, listed at the buttom, in part or in their entirety, but you must provide a link to the source in this site. Thank you.

I was not impressed by Sen. Barack Obama after the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident — a wholesome presidential package. It is so instinctive for most people to want to see blacks succeed. It is as if all humanity is carrying a collective guilt for what the ancestors of blacks endured. However, despite my initial interest in him, I was soon put off, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words.

It is surreal to see the level of hysteria in his admirers. This phenomenon is unprecedented in American politics. Women scream and swoon during his speeches. They yell and shout to Obama, "I love you." Never did George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Martin Luther King Jr. or Ronald Reagan arouse so much raw emotion. Despite their achievements, none of them was raised to the rank of Messiah. The Illinois senator has no history of service to the country. He has done nothing outstanding except giving promises of change and hyping his audience with hope. It's only his words, not his achievements that is causing this much uproar.

When cheering for someone turns into adulation, something is wrong. Excessive adulation is indicative of a personality cult. The cult of personality is often created when the general population is discontent. A charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and project himself as an agent of change and a revolutionary leader. Often, people, tired of the status quo, do not have the patience to examine the nature of the proposed change. All they want is change. During 1979, when the Iranians were tired of the dictatorial regime of the late Shah, they embraced Khomeini, not because they wanted Islam, but because he promised them change. The word in the street was, "anything is better than the Shah." They found their error when it was too late.

Khomeini promised there would be separation between religion and state. He lied and they did not care to look into his past to see whether he actually meant what he said. Had they done that they would have seen that he always believed in caliphate and the rule of Islam. People gobbled everything he told them uncritically. They wanted to believe and therefore closed their eyes so they did not see what they did not want to see. Eyes welled when he spoke. Masses poured into the streets by the millions, screamed and shouted to greet him. People kissed his pictures. Some saw his portrait reflected on the Moon.

Listening to Obama ... it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch Khomeini, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell.

I was amused to hear a listener calling Fox News Radio's Tom Sullivan Show, (Feb 11) and saying: "Listening to Obama ... it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell." (Videos of Hitler's speeches are available on Youtube. They are worth a look.)

Equating anyone to Hitler by highlighting the similarities between the two is a logical fallacy. This fallacy, known as reductio ad Hitlerum is a variety of both questionable cause and association fallacy. I believe it is wrong to trivialize the holocaust and the horrors of Nazism by comparing our opponents to Hitler.

However, Hitler, prior to coming to power had not killed anyone. He was insane, but few could see that. Far from it, he was seen as a gifted man and hailed as the savior of Germany. He was admired throughout the world. He appealed to the masses of people — the working class and particularly to women, and did not just inspire them, he "elevated" them. Thousands rallied to listen to his passionate speeches. They shed tears when he spoke. Women fainted during his speeches. To Germans, he was not a politician, but a demigod, a messiah. They envisioned him as truly a magical figure of majestic wisdom and glory. They worshiped him. They surrendered their wills to him. He restored their national pride. He projected himself as their savior. He ran on the platform of change and hope. Change he delivered all right, but hopes he shattered.

I think it is fair to say that the Illinois senator puts the same passion in his speeches that Hitler used to put in his, and he evokes similar raw emotions in his audience. This much we can agree. Okay, we can also agree that both Hitler and Charlie Chaplin wore square moustaches. So what?

The Cult of Personality

There are other disturbing similarities. Like Hitler and Khomeini, Obama also likes to create a cult of personality around himself. As stated above, when a large number of a population is discontent, a charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and present himself as the agent of change. He can create a cult of Personality by associating himself with the idea of change. He convinces everyone that things are terrible and a drastic change is needed. He then casts himself as the only person who can deliver this revolutionary transformation that everyone is waiting for. He portrays himself as a benevolent guide; the only one who cares about people and their needs and can pull them out of their alleged misery. In reality, they have no clue about how to address the problem - have no experience, no track record. But they are convincing because they are self assured.

These revolutionary leaders need foes. They exaggerate the problems. They make everything look gloomy. They lie, cheat and slander their opponents while casting themselves as the saviors of the nation. Hitler chose the Jews to blame for everything that was wrong in Germany. Khomeini made the Shah and his westernization plans his scapegoats. Obama has chosen President George W. Bush to smear. He can rally people around himself, as long as he can instill in them the dislike of Bush and equate his rival, McCain to him. Sigmund Freud wrote, "It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness" (Civilization and Its Discontents).

A cult of personality is excessive adulation, admiration and exaltation of a charismatic leader, often with unproven merits or achievements. It is similar to hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders.

unequivocal

Let us read a few of the comments Obama's fans have made about him. Their unbounded adulation of this totally unknown figure is proof of my claim.

Jon Robin Baitz is the creator of the ABC series "Brothers & Sisters." He writes:

Today we saw and heard a preview of our brightest possible American future in Senator Barack Obama's glorious speech. This, then, is what it means to be presidential. To be moral. To have a real center. To speak honestly, from the heart, for the benefit of all. If there was any doubt about what we have missed in the anti-intellectual, ruthlessly incurious Bush years, and even the slippery Clinton ones, those doubts were laid to rest by Barack Obama's magisterial speech today. A speech in which he distanced himself from a flawed father figure, Reverend Wright, and did so with almost Shakespearian dignity and honor.

For twenty years Obama was part of Jeremiah Wright's racist church and listened to all the hate which that man spewed against the Jews and the "rich White America." Obama did not object to any of those hateful comments and even donated $20,000 dollars to his Trinity United Church of Christ. Baitz is willing to overlook all that and, mesmerized by Obama's speeches, he embraces a man who up until yesterday supported the racist views of his spiritual mentor. He calls Obama's speech "glorious," and concludes he is honest and moral. How did he come to that hasty conclusion? There is no evidence of that except his "gut feeling." That observation is subjective. We have not seen any evidence of Obama's honesty yet. On the contrary, he has been caught with a litany of lies.

Clearly Sen. Obama has a charming effect on his audience, who after listening to him are so moved that they willingly give up their reason and follow their hearts. Let's see how Baitz adulates Obama to the point of worship.

Barack Obama's speech, perhaps one of the most important in modern political history pushed us as a people to move beyond race and gender, beyond Democrat and Republican, beyond politics and into reviving the spirit of the nation itself. To talk, to talk at home, at work, at the dinner table. To really finally talk. What a great day, and where else in the world but in the United States? Today I am very proud to be an American.

Remembering the reaction of Iranians to Khomeini's speeches, this is all deja vu for me.

There is an old adage that says, "Tell me who your friends are and I will tell who you are." Don't the quality of Obama's friends and associates tell us about the man? Shouldn't we look at the history of this man to ascertain his truthfulness? One characteristic of cult of personality is that people become ready to close their eyes. They find excuses and rationalize the sins of their leader.

Another Obama worshipper is Ezra Klein. He is an associate editor at The American Prospect. Klein wrote:

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.

Obama is not seen by his admirers as a politician but as something holy. Klein says "He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh." The truth is that Obama is nothing but words! What is scary is that so many smart people are willing to fall for his empty words. Interestingly the same Ezra Klein had earlier said:

Obama is a cipher, an easy repository for the hopes and dreams of liberals everywhere...But if Obama avoided being battle-tested in 2004 by the grace of God, it's his own timidity that has kept his name clean since. Given his national profile and formidable political talents, he could have been a potent spokesman for Democratic causes in the Senate. Instead, he has refused to expend his political or personal capital on a single controversial issue, preferring to offer anodyne pieces of legislation and sign on to the popular efforts of others...Indeed, Obama is that oddest of all creatures: a leader who's never led. There are no courageous, lonely crusades to his name, or supremely unlikely electoral battles beneath his belt. He won election running basically unopposed, and then refused to open himself to attack by making a controversial but correct issue his own."

Quite a shift I would say. What did exactly Obama do, for Klein to change his views so drastically? Nothing! Obama has won this man's heart only by the power of his mesmerizing words. he is making his conquests, through the sheer power of his oratory. That is how Hitler won the hearts of the Germans. As Obama's life story shows, his words don't have any bearing on reality. Words are powerful, but when they are not backed by any substance they are empty rhetoric.

Todd Gitlin, is professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University. He is another worshipper of Obama. This is what he says about his leader.

This speech was a triumph on so many levels, does one dare hope it will turn the trick for hordes of parsing skeptics and listeners whose eyes did not water? First, Obama took the high road, which is also the long and demanding road. He refused to "move on" with a cursory acknowledgment that "mistakes were made." He did not acknowledge. He preached and he reasoned."

Let us pause here and examine what this professor of journalism and sociology says. Obama was a close friend of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and listened to his racist sermons for twenty years. Wright is a man who has intense hatred for the Jews, for whites and for America. This clip shows some of his remarks made from the pulpit. Here is a gleaning from his sermons:

  • We [The White controlled America] have supported state terrorism against Palestinians and Black South Africans ... Because of the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back to our own home front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost.
  • No, no, no! Not God bless America. God damn America. That is in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America.
  • Government lied about Pearl Harbor. They knew that Japanese are going to attack.
  • They [Government] purposely infected African-American men with syphilis!
  • What is going on in White America, U.S. of KKK?
  • Black men turning on Black men? That is fighting the wrong enemy. You both are primary targets in an oppressive society that sees both of you as a dangerous threat.
  • What we [America] is doing is the same thing Al Qaida is doing, under a different flag.
  • Oh I am so glad, that I got a God who knows what it is to be a poor Black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by and run by rich White people.
  • Yes, 911 happened to us, and so did slavery happen to us. Yes the World Trade Center happened to us, and so did White supremacy happen to us.
  • "Barack knows what it means to be a Black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich White people."

When all these came to light, at first the Illinois senator denied having heard them. That excuse was not believable. Wright was Obama's spiritual mentor and the most influential man in his life. And yet he expects us to believe he listened to his sermons for 20 years but did not pay attention to what he was saying? So he changed his position and admitted to having heard them, but he categorically condemned them. Obama went one step further. He did not just condemn the racist remarks of his Pastor, but he preached and he sermonized how bad are they are. Now, this requires some audacity that only a narcissist can muster. Instead of apologizing and recognizing his error, Obama turned the table and preached to others.

How can we understand this? The man himself is the sinner but instead of acknowledging his sins, he preaches to others about the vices of those sins. The answer can be found in the description of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissists will never admit being wrong. They are always one step ahead of you.

Those who remember Rev. Jimmy Swaggart know that he was one of the most popular and successful televangelists of all times. During the 1980s, he had millions of fans all over the world. He mesmerized his audience. He was more than a rock star, he was a phenomenon. Swaggart was a preacher of "morality." He was so against promiscuity and unlawful sex that he went after two other televangelist magnates, Marvin Gorman and Jimmy Baker, exposed their adultery and brought their empires down.

However, what narcissists preach and what they do are two different things. Soon after exposing Gorman's adultery, Swaggart himself was photographed with a prostitute in a motel room. He was banned from giving sermons for three months. But he could not stay away from the church that provided him with adulation and the people who fed his narcissistic need. He said, "If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell." So he returned to the pulpit and after shedding a few crocodile tears of repentance, he went right on preaching morality, chastising adultery and sermoning to others, how THEY should live a chaste life.

This requires audacity. How one who has been caught with a prostitute, literally with his pants down, could have the cheek to preach to others about the very thing he is guilty of? NPD provides the answer to both Swaggart and Obama's responses, when caught red handed. The narcissist will not apologize for his own sins; he will go on preaching to you about the evilness of those sins. If Professor Gitlin had read a book or two on narcissism, he would have not been hoodwinked by Obama's preaching about racial harmony after being caught with his proverbial pants down in his racist church. Giltin is not alone; millions of Americans have fallen for this narcissist's mind games.

Prof. Gitlin continues:

"The Reverend Jeremiah Wright," he [Obama]said, "had spoken in an 'incendiary' manner," but Obama offered himself as the man who rises from flames and invites you to rise from your own. He took a grievous embarrassment and moved his lesson to the plane of prophecy. Talk about hope; talk about audacity. Tears came to my eyes. I don't think I'm especially hard-hearted, but I cannot think of another time when the speech of a presidential candidate watered me up.

It is amazing to see to what extent people are willing to go to eulogize another human being. It is this excess that constitutes the cult of personality. The difference between admiration and cult of personality is in the degree of adulation. Is it not fair to say that Obama has the same effect on his fans that Hitler, Khomeini or other famous demagogues such as Joseph Stalin or Mao Ze Dong had? I am not equating Obama to those mass murderers. Obama has not killed anyone (at least not yet). I am only comparing their effects on their audience, particularly prior to their rise to power.

Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such a quasi "religious" impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming.

Obama's speeches are grandiose. They are other worldly. He may talk about the war in Iraq, taxes or social security. It does not matter how mundane is the subject, he makes them sound transcendental and his audience is moved to tears. His worshippers do not go to listen to his plans. He has yet to offer any that is workable and different. They go to bask in his glory, to get high. Obama presents himself as someone with a unique vision and grasp of the entire problems affecting, not just the nation but the world, a pretense that is incomensurate with his track record. When in a meeting with House Democrats waxing lyrical about his trip to Europe, he concluded, "this is the moment, as Nancy [Pelosi] noted, that the world is waiting for." The world is waiting for Obama, according to Obama. In one of his rallies he reiterated this delusion of grandiosity and said, "We are the ones we've been waiting for." This sentence is logically absurd. What actually Obama wanted to say, which he masked with fake modesty is "I am the one the world has been waiting for."

When you fall for someone to the extent that Obama's followers have fallen for him, you surrender your reason and individuality to him willingly. When millions of people surrender their hearts and their minds to one person the result can be catastrophic. This is what happened in Germany with Hitler, in China with Mao, in the Soviet Union with Stalin, in Cuba with Castro, in Iran with Khomeini, and so on and so forth. Today, we think these men were monsters, but that was not what millions of their worshipers thought. Those people loved them. Dictators can't dictate, unless peole are willing to be dictated.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Cult of Personality:

"A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create a heroic public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships but can be found in some democracies.

"A cult of personality is similar to general hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders. However, the term may be applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders."

Who is Obama?

Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love, also believes, "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist."

Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Vaknin explains: "Narcissistic leaders are nefarious and their effects pernicious. They are subtle, refined, socially-adept, manipulative, possessed of thespian skills, and convincing. Both types [cerebral and somatic] equally lack empathy and are ruthless and relentless or driven." These were the very traits that distinguished Hitler and Khomeini. Many of these traits can be seen in Obama. As for his ruthlessness, perhaps his support of legislation to let babies die if they survive abortion, gives a glimps into his soul, that he may lacks empathy, does not value life, and if in the position of power can be ruthless. Narcissists need power to show their ruthlessness. Considering the fact that Obama neglected his own half brother, George Hussein Obama, who lives on one dollar per month in Kenya, we can't vouch for Obama's empathy or say he is a caring person.

What is Narcissism?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissism as a personality disorder that "revolve around a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and sense of entitlement. Often individuals feel overly important and will exaggerate achievements and will accept, and often demand, praise and admiration despite worthy achievements."

The third and fourth editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual(DSM) of 1980 and 1994 and the European ICD-10 describe NPD in similar language:

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

  • Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion
  • Is firmly convinced that he is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special, unique, or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation, or failing that, wishes to be feared and notorious (narcissistic supply)
  • Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his expectations
  • Is "interpersonally exploitative" i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others
  • Is constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
  • Is arrogant, has haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted

Pathological narcissism, is not akin to typical narcissism—someone with a hedonistic or self-centered sense of self —but rather someone with a very weak sense of self. Obama's narcissism is pathological.

Narcissists seek power. That is the whole purpose of their existence. Power for them is the elixir of life. Those who know about NPD can't help but notice it in Obama's posture, the tone of his voice, his demeanor and particularly his grandiose claims and unscripted adlibs.

Narcissim has degrees. When it is extreme it shows in the posture and the way the narcissist walks and talks. Obama's posture, exudes haughtiness. He is all puffery. Compare his posture to those of Hitler, Stalin and Saddam.

According to Vaknin, Obama displays the following behaviors, which are among the hallmarks of pathological narcissism:

- Subtly misrepresents facts and expediently and opportunistically shifts positions, views, opinions, and "ideals" (e.g., about campaign finance, re-districting). These flip-flops do not cause him overt distress and are ego-syntonic (he feels justified in acting this way). Alternatively, refuses to commit to a standpoint and, in the process, evidences a lack of empathy.

- Ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, or with his inflated and grandiose self-image. This has to do with magical thinking. Obama already sees himself as president because he is firmly convinced that his dreams, thoughts, and wishes affect reality. Additionally, he denies the gap between his fantasies and his modest or limited real-life achievements (for instance, in 12 years of academic career, he didn't publish a single scholarly paper or book).

- Feels that he is above the law.

- Talks about himself in the 3rd person singluar or uses the regal "we" and craves to be the exclusive center of attention, even adulation

- Has a messianic-cosmic vision of himself and his life and his "mission".

- Sets ever more complex rules in a convoluted world of grandiose fantasies with its own language (jargon)

- Displays false modesty and unctuous "folksiness" but is unable to sustain these behaviors (the persona, or mask) for long. It slips and the true Obama is revealed: haughty, aloof, distant, and disdainful of simple folk and their lives.

- Sublimates aggression and holds grudges.

- Behaves as an eternal adolescent (e.g., his choice of language, youthful image he projects, demands indulgence and feels entitled to special treatment, even though his objective accomplishments do not justify it).

Can Obama be trusted as the leader of the free world?

Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers' souls, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it it too late.

One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. "Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations," says Vaknin. "Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia: a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995."

In Vaknin's words, "Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial: the perpetrators could be dysfunctional or absent parents, teachers, other adults, or peers."

The pathological narcissist has a very weak sense of self. He compensates his devalued and injured self with pomposity and by projecting a false image of majesty and authority. He retreats into a bubble universe of fantasy, in which he is loved, respected and omnipotent. All children create such a world. Narcissists simply don't leave it. They carry this world of pretence into their adulthood. With the passage of time, this world becomes to them as real as the real world, to the point that they can't tell the difference. When Obama acts presidential, he is simply acting out his childhood fantasy of omnipotence and grandeur. Emotionally, he is still a little hurt boy, neglected and unloved in the body and mind of a grown up man. Such people can be dangerous. Narcissists have the emotional maturity of a child, or even an animal, but the intellect of a man. They feel like a beast, but think like a human.

If we look into the childhood of all narcissists, we can see that invariably they were abused. Saddam was born to a widow who after losing her husband and her 12 year old son was so distressed that she attempted suicide. Before his birth, she would pull out clumps of her hair and pummel her pregnant abdomen with her fists. Saddam Hussein in his own official biography recounts his unhappy childhood. Hitler was the son of a very abusive man who would beat him regularly. From Saddam to Osama, to Hitler, to Stalin, to Khomeini, to Mao and to Kim Jong Ill, it is wounded childhood that causes NPD. Obama's chaotic childhood and his continuous struggle to find his identity make him a prime candidate for NPD.

Hitler was confused about his identity. His father was an illegitimate son of a Jew. He chose to be in denial of that part of himself and his response was the genocide of the Jews. Obama's search for his identity led him to a racist church that preached "Black Power." He changed his given name Barry to Barack, in an atempt to rid himself of the only vestige he had with his white heritage.

Narcissists have only one issue. They want power and will do and say anything to get it. Their words mean nothing to them. They do not intend to keep them. They look into your eyes and swear on a stack of Bibles that they are not going to do something when that is exactly what they intend to do. They break their promises when it suits them and annul their treaties when they can get away with it. They lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie, and lie.

Narcissists are pathological liars. They lie even to themselves. Ironically, they are the first to believe their own lies. When normal people lie, they show signs of distress. Narcissists don't. They can pass any polygraph test with flying colors. It is this conviction that fools people around them making them believe in their truthfulness and sincerity. In a twisted way they are sincere because, although they are conscience that they are not truthful, they believe in their own lies. This is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain, but for a narcissist fantasy and reality are intertwined. The narcissist's delusional thoughts of grandiosity are real to him.

absorbed

Narcissistic Society

Germans are not particularly an evil race. They are no better or worse than any other nation. And yet, despite their advanced culture and civility they committed the most hideous crime in modern history. They murdered up to ten million people, because those unfortunate souls did not meet their "Master Race standards of ethnic purity." Hitler did not kill anyone; the Germans did.

So the question is: What made these smart and highly civilized people commit such horrendous acts of savagery?

According to Vaknin, "The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies."

Is America a narcissistic society? Vaknin believes "Pathological narcissism is a ubiquitous phenomenon because every human being - regardless of the nature of his society and culture - develops healthy self esteem early in life [which he calls healthy narcissism]. Healthy narcissism is rendered pathological by abuse - and abuse, alas, is a universal human behavior. By 'abuse, we mean any refusal to acknowledge the emerging boundaries of the individual - smothering, doting, and excessive expectations - are as abusive as beating and incest."

The emergence of so many cults in America is proof that America is not an exception to the norm. If demagogue narcissists, like Jim Jones, David Koresh or Jimmy Swaggart can find a fertile ground in America, why not one with a political message?

The Power of Manipulation

Narcissists are manipulative and extremely resourceful. They know how to the play their game, and how to get what they want, by using others. Obama is the least experienced senator among the Democrats. His political views are the most foolish of them all. He opposed the surge in Iraq saying it will make the situation worse and he was wrong. He thinks the solution to terrorism is to sit with terrorist states without precondition and negotiate with them. When Russia invaded Georgia, all this genius did was to urge both sides to "exert restraint". Everything this man has said so far reveals his ignorance in economical, political and military matters. Despite that, this junior senator has managed to rally the seasoned senators of the Democratic Party around himself and, not withstanding his ineptitude, he has emerged as the leader de facto of his party and their presidential candidate.

This is a remarkable feat. One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents.

Anyone can be fooled by narcissists. Just as experienced and smart senators of the Democratic Party have surrendered to the charisma of Obama, a man who is inferior to them all in every sense; many members of the media also have fallen for his charm hook, line and sinker. The American media is soft on Obama, but extremely harsh and deceitfully unfair on Governor Palin. The "rich White Americans," the very people he despised for twenty years are swooning for him. The Jews whom he opposed all his life are backing him. They are opening their wallets and supporting his campaign in an unprecedented way. He has managed to charm even the Kennedys. Ted Kennedy, the lion in Winter, passed the Kennedy mantle unto Obama. That was hugely symbolic. As for the great Clintons, he made them submissive, and for whatever reason, incomprehensible to me, they are playing his game. Think about it. Obama is a cipher. In reality, he is nobody. And yet, thanks to his overbearing display of authority, the very mask that he is wearing to hide his devalued and injured self, he has overwhelmed all the giants of the Democratic party. Cults are full of smart people who have been hoodwinked by mentally sick needy people.

Could all this phenomenal support and unbounded adulation erupt into violence? All the abuses and killings in Nazi Germany were done by the Germans, ordinary people who loved Hitler and believed in the glorious tomorrow that he was promising them. Hitler was insane, but those who did his bidding were not. Despite being smart, they did not hesitate to fulfill their fuehrer's wishes and commit the most heinous crimes. The same thing happened in Iran. Ordinary people, once under the spell of Khomeini, acted like beasts. This is what happens when sane people follow insane people.

Could the same happen in America? Why not? Look how millions of people literally worship Obama. With some people I cannot even talk about Obama. They cannot tolerate any criticism of him. They get angry and, not only they want to end the conversation but threaten to end the friendship. I am familiar with this kind of religious devotion to a person. The reaction that I get from Obama worshippers is similar to that of Muslims when their prophet is criticized. They are even prone to insult you. See how they overlook Obama's blatant lies and are willing to forgive his major sins such as racism. Note how the mainstream media bends the rules, twists the facts, exaggerates Obama's little virtues, absolves his sins, and even lies to sell him to the public. Compare the royal treatment that the liberal press has given to Obama to how unfairly they treat Governor Palin; how they smear her character and belittle her experience and achievement. ABC's Charlie Gibson's interview with Governor Palin was a stain on journalistic integrity. Is it more important that Palin has not traveled the world and has not shaken hands with heads of states, or the fact that Obama has lied so many times? Under what pretext should an ordinary citizen visit heads of foreign states? The question itself is preposterous.

While not shaking hands with foreign heads of states does not disqualify one to run for any office, The Logan Act (est. 1799) makes it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.

That is exactly what Obama did during his trip to Iraq, a charge that Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi confirmed, while trying to deny it. She said, "In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a 'Strategic Framework Agreement' governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office."

This is high treason. Ordinary citizens have no right to enter into negotiations with foreign countries and make deals against the interest of their Government. Obama tells the Iraqis not to let the American soldiers go, so he can call them in January, supposedly when he is the president and claim victory for himself. Will Mr. Gibson or anyone in the liberal media question Obama for this crime?

Gibson's questions were tricky. He asked the Governor, "what do you think of Bush's doctrine," and then, instead of explaining himself, he insisted that his interviewee define what he meant. After letting the Governor look puzzled, Gibson explained what he understands of "Bush Doctrine," which according to him is preemptive strike.

Assuming this is a "Bush doctrine," is it his only doctrine? Isn't being pro life also a Bush doctrine? Isn't Christianity or creationism a Bush doctrine? Bush believes in a multitude of things and they change as his thinking evolves over time. How can one know what Gibson has in mind? Do you see the trickery?.

Many members of the media have been hoodwinked by the charm of the rising fuehrer. They have become his extensions, act deceitfully and dishonestly to make their beloved leader's rise to power a reality.

How can smart people let themselves be manipulated by a psychopath to such an extent that they become quasi zombies? Recall what the smart Germans did under the spell of Hitler. Bear in mind what the Soviets did under the influence of Stalin. Consider what the Japanese did during WWII when they believed in the divinity of their emperor. Evoke how the Chinese Red Guard massacred millions of their own countrymen when they were blinded by their love for Mao and his faux notion of equality. Look at the Islamic terrorists. Can't we say the same about them? Isn't Islamic savagery the result of Muslims' uncritical devotion to a long deceased narcissist? If you don't know what I am talking about, I invite you to read my book, Understanding Muhammad. When sane people fall for the lies of an insane man, they act insanely.

No one is born a terrorist. Terrorists are ordinary people who do the bidding of a pathological narcissist whom they love and worship as their liberator. They are so enamored with him that they stop thinking and act like automatons. To prove their love and devotion they can commit murder and even suicide. They can kill their own children, as the followers of Jim Jones did in Guyana. The narcissist encourages all of this behavior because it validates his delusion of omnipotence. It reassures him that he is loved, respected, counted, taken seriously. Did you hear the song played during the Democratic convention? It said, "This is the church." And who do you think is the head of that church? Americans are as fallible and as gullible as everyone else. It is foolhardy to say "it won't happen to us." Just as today, Obama's supporters happily engage in intellectual dishonesty, deceitful reporting, and even hooliganism, I predict they will soon, merrily commit the same crimes other nations committed under the spell of their narcissistic leaders.

His majesty condescendingly looks down at his scullions

The Sick Symbiosis

Narcissists need their narcissistic supply to fuel their narcissism. They get it through adulation from people around them. These people are often also needy people. They are known as co-dependants. The narcissist and his co-dependent therefore, form a sick symbiosis in which both benefit. Let me give you one example to explain this mechanism.

David Sirota is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. In December 2006, in an article entitled "The Ridiculousness & Danger That Is Obama '08" Sirota lambasted the Democrats who wanted Obama, an incognito junior senator, to run for presidency.

Sometimes, you really just have to sit back and laugh at the ridiculousness of the celebrity-obsessed political culture we now live in." wrote Sirota in his column. "Take this Chicago Sun-Times article by Lynn Sweet in which she predicts Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) will run for president. She goes through what he has to do to prepare for his run, and this is the one that just makes you chuckle: "Develop signature legislative initiatives: Once the Democrats control Congress come January, there's a chance to pass legislation. Watch for Obama to focus on alternative energy measures, health care and ethics reform legislation that stalled earlier this year."

Think about it. The national media is swooning over Obama, begging him to run for president. Yet, at the same time, they are implicitly acknowledging that he has actually not "developed significant legislative initiatives." In other words, we are to simply accept that the Obama for President wave has absolutely nothing to do with anything that the man HAS DONE and further, that whenever he does decide to use his enormous political capital to do something, it is all in pursuit of the White House - not any actual sense of DOING SOMETHING for the people who elected him to the Senate.

I don't blame Obama for not having accomplished much - he's been in the Senate for two years. As I wrote in the Nation, the main concern about him is that he doesn't actually seem to ASPIRE to anything outside of the Washington power structure (other than maybe running for another higher office), and doesn't seem to be interested in challenging the status quo in any fundamental way. Using his senate career as a guide, it suggests that any presidential run by him is about him, his speaking ability and his fawned over talent for "connecting" (whatever the hell that means)." (Read the rest of Sirota's comment in his own blog.)

I could not say it better. Sirota understood the problem with Obama. He realized that not only this man has zero experience; he is actually a power hungry charlatan that aspires to nothing other than running for another higher office. He then expressed his outrage at the fellow Democrats who tried to make a leader out of this quack.

These Democrats laid all their hopes on Obama. They were captivated by his charm. They could not see that this man is wearing a mask of authority to cover his inner feeling of insecurity; that he is a fraud, a narcissist. When approached, Obama at first confessed to his inexperience, but the sycophants in the Democratic Party, were so desperate to find a charismatic leader that they could not let go of their prize. It does not take much to persuade a narcissist that he can do anything. He is already convinced that he is smarter and better than everyone else. So, despite his own confession of lack of experience, Obama could not resist the temptation.

To nurture his narcissism, the narcissist needs narcissistic supply. It is always people around him who provide that supply and encourage him in his psychosis. If it were not for Khadijah who reassured her husband that his hallucinations were not demonic, as he had thought, but divine revelations, Muhammad may never have started his prophetic career. It was she who encouraged him to launch a new religion, instead of calling an exorcist.

This is called co-dependency. The co-dependent, who also suffers from low self esteem, seeks his or her grandeur and narcissistic supply in the greatness of a narcissist of whom she seeks to become a part.

According to Wikipedia, "a 'codependent' is loosely defined as someone who exhibits too much, and often inappropriate, caring for persons who depend on him or her. A 'codependent' is one side of a relationship between mutually needy people. The dependent, or obviously needy party(s) may have al, physical, financial difficulties, or addictions they seemingly are unable to surmount. The "codependent" party exhibits behavior which controls, makes excuses for, pities, and takes other actions to perpetuate the obviously needy party's condition, because of their desire to be needed and fear of doing anything that would change the relationship."

The Democrats were desperately in need of a charismatic leader. They saw their hope in a needy man, a narcissist who portrayed himself as self assured, eloquent and authoritative and had sex appeal. It was love at first sight and they set on to polish him as their candidate. In this relationship the Democratic Party became the co-dependant of the narcissist Obama. They needed someone to shine so they can bask in his splendor. And Obama needed them to fulfill his delusions of grandiosity. This is how codependency works. It is a sick symbiosis of two needy parties. Behind every successful narcissist, there is always a co-dependent.

When the co-dependent and the narcissist team-up the result can be catastrophic. Now we have folie à deux. The delusional belief of the narcissist about himself is transmitted and shared by another needy, but ostensibly smart person. The codependent validates and encourages the narcissist's delusion. As the result, the narcissist becomes bolder, more assertive, more authoritative and more confident. The partnership of the narcissist and the codependent dons their delusion with the mantle of credibility. The codependent will then do everything to persuade others as well. The narcissist's cause is himself. The codependent will champion that cause. By recruiting others, they find validation for their own belief about the narcissist. Soon the folie à deux becomes folie à trois, then folie à quatre, and when you are a presidential candidate and are followed by a hoard of journalists and cameramen, before you blink there will be folie à plusieurs (madness of many). Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as shared psychotic disorder.

The masses of people have no first hand knowledge of the narcissist, but they jump on the bandwagon thanks to a very human trait, misnomered as "herd mentality." They reason, how can so many people be wrong and satisfied by this fallacy blindly join the cult of personality worship.

Like gasoline being poured on a fire, the sycophants around the narcissist provide him with an abundance of narcissistic fuel to feed upon. The unbounded adulations poured at his feet further reinforce and escalate the unique and divine self-image of the narcissist. The larger the narcissistic fuel supply becomes, the more inflated becomes his ego, and the more firmly set in his own mind becomes the conviction of his own invincibility and superiority. The narcissist reaches a stage that he will claim to be a revolutionary leader, an agent of change, a renascence man, the hand of God, even a messenger or prophet of God. Just as a fire can grow infinitely large as long as it receives its fuel, there is no limit to the delusional belief of a narcissist. When millions of people yell and scream and shout "I love you," an ordinary narcissist is prone to believe that he is God. If the narcissist happens to be a person with power and authority, in a position of high leadership commanding armies and weapons of mass destruction, the result too often leads to the horrific slaughter of millions of innocent souls in the gulag, gas chambers, or killing fields.

Unbounded adulation reconfirms the narcissist that he is right and that anyone who disagrees with him is evil and therefore it is just to punish him. Narcissists do not understand the concept of the Golden Rule. Right is what benefits them and wrong is what harms them. They fight for their own interest and are convinced that this is justice. Human rights and human lives are important only to the extent that they meet their narcissistic needs. They are worthless, and can be disposed of, if they don't.

Ayatollah Montazeri, the man who was originally chosen to succeed Khomeini, recalled when Khomeini ordered the execution of 3000 youths who were captured during a demonstration against him. Montazeri protested and Khomeini angrily told him, "I will respond for my actions in the Day of Judgment." Khomeini was a man of God. However, as a narcissist, he was convinced that because he was a superior being and a chosen one, a delusional belief that was reconfirmed by millions of people when they cheered for him, anyone who opposed him was opposing God and therefore by killing them he was doing the maker of the universe a favor.

There is no cure for narcissism. However, deprived of adulation, the disorder will remain dormant. The narcissist, without the narcissistic supply, may become grumpy and complain that the world does not understand them or appreciate their importance. They will continue to cheat and lie when they can get away with it, but the damage that they can cause is not earth shattering. However, when a narcissist becomes the focus of unlimited narcissistic supply, where millions of people scream at his feet, he goes insane.

As narcissism maturates, the narcissist becomes more demanding for respect and compliance and more intolerant of criticism. He becomes paranoid, and divides the world into "us" vs. "them". He casts himself and his minions as victims and instills in them the distrust of the "others".

When criticized, Obama's soul can be seen in his eyes.
When criticized, Obama's soul can be seen in his eyes.

The narcissist's anger and intolerance is projected on his servile followers who also become angry and intolerant of criticism of their leader. Remember the sick symbiosis between the narcissist and his codependents? The followers get their narcissistic supply by elevating the status of their leader. The greater he looks, the better they feel. They see their glory is his glory. Conversely, when the narcissist is criticized, his followers become offended. They take those criticisms personally and their instinct of self defense is triggered. They will become vigilantes and will silence their critics through intimidation, bullying, mocking, threats and violence (like calling those who disagree with Obama, racists).

This paragraph is a later addition. About a week after I wrote the above, Missouri sheriffs and top prosecutors formed Obama "Truth Squads" and threatened libel charges against Obama critics. I am no prophet, but see how my predictions are coming to pass. This is only the beginning. Narcissists are intolerant of criticism and create a reign of terror to silence their critics.

Sirota was no fool. He saw what is wrong with Obama and was right on the money when he described him. But, as I have repeated many times, narcissists are gifted manipulators. Sirota is an influential man. Obama needed his support and called him.

It's not every day that God calls your cell phone," wrote Sirota, sarcastically speaking of Obama, 'This is Barack Obama.' Thinking it was a good friend playing a joke, I said I didn't believe him. But no, the voice insisted with a laugh, it was Illinois Senator Barack Obama, otherwise known in cult-of-personality political circles as a deity, a rising Democratic star or, as George W. Bush recently called him, "the pope."

Narcissists are relentless and very convincing. They tell you exactly what you want to hear. They are full of promises. Their talent to manipulate is phenomenal. Well, not this time! Sirota apparently was not ready to sell his conscience (at least not yet) and endorse a man who according to him did not "aspire to anything outside of the Washington power structure (other than maybe running for another higher office.)" This is the kind of patriot America needs more of — citizens of integrity and conscience.

Where does David Sirota stand today? Errr!... Amm!... Why do you want to know? Emm!... How can I put it? Mr. Sirota..., Errr!..., Ah! Yes! Mr. Sirota has had an epiphany - a Pauline sort of experience. As he neared Damas... I mean Denver, on his journey to the Democratic Convention, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice on his cell phone say to him, "David, David, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" David asked. "I am Barack, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." That is how David Sirota became a believer of Obama. He stopped blaspheming his Lord by calling him inept and opportunist. Guess what? He has even defended Jeremiah Wright. Hallelujah! Surely "God" (the emerging one) can transform the hearts of his enemies.

Narcissists have an almost surreal power to manipulate others. They can literally charm their adversaries and turn them into cheerful scullion, who will even thank them for giving them the privilege to slave for them.

You see! The narcissist and the codependent need each other. Many members of the Democratic Party may know what Sirota knows, but they need Obama. They have to keep up appearances (think Hillary, who once said "shame on you, Barack Obama" because of his flip flopping and lies and now supports him).

Narcissists are amoral. They consider themselves to be above the law. Once in power, they will try to strengthen their hold by surrounding themselves with equally amoral people. A good example of what we should expect in Obama's administration is the infamous NAFTA gate scandal. This is what happened:

A senior member of the Obama campaign called the Canadian government to say that "when Sen. Obama talks about opting out of the free trade deal, the Canadian government shouldn't be worried; that it is just campaign rhetoric and shouldn't be taken seriously."

Isn't it amazing? Obama tells the Ohio voters, who are unhappy with NAFTA that he is going to kill it, when actually he does not mean to do any such thing. For a narcissist, ends justify means. He feels warranted to lie and deceive in order to accomplish what he has to accomplish.

This story was denied by Obama, but confirmed twice by sources at the highest level of the Canadian government. This is how a narcissist operates. Obama will lie to Americans and he will surround himself with equally unethical people. With a Congress and Senate controlled by Democrats, and his ability as president to replace retiring Supreme Court judges, nothing will stop him from abusing his power.

The Cause of the Narcissist

The cause of the narcissist is himself. Everything else is a tool, a stepping stone for the narcissist to ascend to power. Narcissists don't have any ideology. They champion the cause that has a better chance of making their ascent to power easier.

Vaknin writes: "Narcissists use anything they can lay their hands on in the pursuit of narcissistic supply. If God, creed, church, faith, and institutionalized religion can provide them with narcissistic supply, they will become devout. They will abandon religion if it can't."

Therefore, the question whether Obama is a Muslim or a Christian, whether he is pro Palestine, as he has been all his life or whether he is pro Israel, whether he is a black supremacist or an agent of racial harmony, are moot. Obama is anything you want him to be and situation dictates. He takes the side that is more expedient to his cause. To communists he is a comrade, to Islamists he is their man, to Palestinian fighters he is their hope and to the Jews he is a staunch Zionist. The narcissist's creed is himself. Everything else is negotiable.

The best description of Obama comes from himself. "I serve as a blank screen," he wrote in The Audacity of Hope, "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." This is the key to Obama's personality. He will do and say anything as long as it suits him. He will embrace any cause, will align himself with anyone, and will shift his position wherever the wind blows. Narcissists are chameleons.

Obama will do and say anything as long as it suits him. He will embrace any cause, will align himself with anyone, and will shift his position wherever the wind blows. Narcissists are chameleons.

Obama voted "present" in the Senate most of the time, (130 times to be precise) not because they were too difficult decisions, as Rudy Giuliani said at the GOP convention, but because those issues were not relevant to his cause.

Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention. If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The "present" vote is a safe vote. No one can criticize him if things go wrong. Why should he implicate himself in issues that may become controversial when they don't help him personally? Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.

Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. The book took him a lot longer than expected and at the end it devolved into..., guess what? His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which, he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the book Dreams from My Father .

Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself?

Narcissists are magical thinkers. They live in a world of fantasy; fantasies of grandiosity and unlimited power. But they are convinced that those fantasies will become reality because they are special and destined for greatness. That is why Obama already sees himself as president and acts presidential. The very fact that he travelled abroad and visited with several heads of states is another sign of this man's delusions of grandiosity. He is not representing the government. Under what pretext he visited those heads of states and entered into negotiations with them?

Vaknin explains, "Bragging and false autobiography — The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with 'I', 'my', 'myself', and 'mine'. He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative — but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so."

Narcissists Are Dangerous.

Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama's lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month. A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who has raised nearly half a billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? Because, his brother cannot be used for his ascent to power. A narcissist cares for no one but himself.

Compare this to what the McCains did. They brought a child from Bangladesh with facial deformities - a little girl with no chance for a normal life — and with plastic surgery restored her beauty and adopted her as their daughter. Millions of ordinary people, who are not even wealthy, have fostered children of total strangers in third world countries and give about a dollar a day for their education and upbringing.

Narcissists can be very generous, but never without an ulterior motive. They are generous when their display of generosity is noticed and elevates them in the eyes of others. Obama donated $20,000 to his racist and anti-Semitic church, but neglected his brother who could get some education and live a lot better if only he had one dollar per day.

Narcissism is all about image. Vaknin says, "The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field — yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience."

Obama's gaffes in history and world affairs are proof of that. This man does not even know the number of states in the USA, or that Canada does not have a president. That is why Vaknin says a narcissist is a shallow pond that pretends to be an ocean. Obama's ignorance about what should be common knowledge is mind boggling.

Narcissists have a profound sense of call, as they believe they have a "special purpose" or a "high calling." In his autobiography Hitler wrote, "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator." Politics and religion offer irresistible lure for the narcissist.

And this is what Obama said about his "calling:" "Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

At least one mental health professional believes that about 6% of Americans are pathological narcissists. The percentage in countries where child abuse is more prevalent is a lot higher. Although all narcissists are cunning, and bereft of conscience, not all of them have the wits to rise to power. A narcissist with smarts can be dangerous.

Hitler was smart, and so is Obama. Hitler would not have become the monster he became had he not risen to power and had he not received so much narcissistic fodder to feed on. One man who saw Khomeini prior to rising to power recalled he would gently push flies out of his window, but would not kill them. The same man massacred tens of thousands of Iranians. It is power that brings madness out of the narcissist.

America is at a crucial moment in its history. I cannot think of any disaster greater than putting a pathological narcissist in control of the world's most powerful military machine.

Narcissists are empty in substance but full on promises. Obama has not proposed a single concrete workable plan, but he has raised the hopes and expectations of millions of people with his promises. The glorious tomorrow that he offers is no more real than the Styrofoam Greek columns that adorned his image during his acceptance speech.

Vaknin says, "The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments, His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - the narcissistic leader having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely-held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem."

The narcissist who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first."

The pacific mask crumbles when the narcissist has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, the narcissist strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc.

When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail - the narcissist is injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred.

This election is like no other in the history of America. The issues are insignificant compared to what is at stake. What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world?

I hate to sound alarmist, but one must be a fool if one is not alarmed. Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others. They are simply self serving and selfish. Obama evinces symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton, for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw. Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them trecherous.

Vaknin says, "When the narcissist reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry at themselves for having failed to see through the narcissist earlier on."

Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party. The great majority of blacks have also decided to vote for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven. Brendan Farrington, reported, evidence indicates that some black Republicans are switching parties to vote for Obama. He wrote, "Florida has 81,512 more black Democrats compared to a loss of 784 black Republicans; Louisiana has 34,325 more black Democrats, while the number of black Republicans dropped by 907; North Carolina has 92,356 more black Democrats and 2,850 fewer black Republicans. The only three states that track voting registration by party and race show black Republican registration dropping slightly since the beginning of the year."

Let us call a spade a spade. This is racism, pure and simple. The truth is that while everyone carries a misconceived collective guilt towards the blacks for wrongs done centuries ago by a bygone people to a bygone people, the blacks carry a collective rancor, enmity or vendetta towards non-blacks and to this day want to "stand up" to the Whiteman. They seem to be stuck in 19th century.

Geraldine A. Ferraro was right when she said that Senator Barack Obama had received preferential treatment because he is a black man. I can testify to that myself. Despite not favoring the Democrats political views, my very first inclination was to like Senator Obama. At that moment I had no knowledge of this man's political views or his character. All I could see was the color of his skin and that gave me enough emotional incentive to favor him. I got over that kneejerk reaction soon, after discovering that Obama is nothing but an empty suit full of hubris. A good indication that ex-vice presidential candidate is right is the fact that when in 1979, Ahmadinejad and his fellow Islamist militants took the American embassy workers as hostage, they released the blacks and the women, but kept the white men for 444 days.

The majority of people base the most important decisions on emotions, rather than on rationality. The first impression is often the lasting one. First impressions can be wrong. When I prove to Obama devotees that all their arguments to support him are logical fallacies, they tell me that they know Obama is the right man, because that is what their intuition tells them and they trust their intuition. That is yet another fallacy. If a belief is not backed by logic, it is not intuition but blind faith. The followers of Jim Jones cheerfully committed suicide because they relied on their blind faith that they mistook as intuition.

The downside of this is that if Obama turns out to be the disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. They are in a state of trance. They truly believe Obama is their messiah. He is the fruition of their long quest for black power. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama's detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites. The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. It is unlikely that Whites would ever devolve to racism, but all it takes is a substantial number of disaffected people to fuel the flames of racial tension. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions in America will increase to levels never seen since the turbulent 1960s. Obama will set the clock back decades. Despite his campaign rhetoric he has been a racist all his life. He will interpret any dissent as a rejection of his racial identity. As resentment towards him increases, so will his paranoia. He will grow distrustful of the whites and will surround himself with the blacks and other yesmen with whom he identifies himself. America's near future is bleak.

America is the bastion of freedom. The peace of the world depends on the strength of America, and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castroists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president.

Psychiatric Test

When a narcissist is running for the highest office in the world, the stakes cannot be higher. Did it matter what were Hitler's views on abortion, economy, environment, education, old age pension, gay rights, social security, jobs or housing? With Hitler, the only thing that really mattered was his mental sanity.

I urge all Americans to make this a pivotal issue in this electoral campaign. Time is running out. Please spread the word. Talk about it with your coworkers, friends and relatives. Invite everyone in your address book to sign this petition. Publish it in your blog. Write about it. This is the most vital issue. If a presidential candidate is mentally unfit, nothing else matters. If you are an Obama fan, please sign too, so you can vote with confidence that the man you are putting in the White House is not going to be your nightmare.

I have started the petition, below linked to this article. I ask everyone to demand that all presidential and vice-presidential candidates in this election submit to mental health examinations prior to Election Day. Please sign the petition and ask others to do the same.

Contact Midenise at midenise@zahav.net.il


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TIME REPORT SLANTED ON GAZA

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 05, 2013

INTRODUCTION: Everybody makes the exceptional mistake, even reporters. When mistakes predominate, are they inadvertent? Dozens of false and misleading statements in "The Gaza Problem" (Karl Vick, Time Magazine, Sept. 2012, p.34) all favor the Arabs. That makes the article less a journalistic report than an anti-Zionist screed.

Perhaps such reporters do not know the underlying facts and context of the Arab-Israel conflict. They misperceive the dispute as territorial, restricted to a tiny portion of the Mideast, and a matter of liberating an underdog Palestinian Arab nationality. My framework is of a Mideastern front within a powerful and growing international jihad in behalf of which the "Palestinian" nationality was contrived.

Should one care about errors written a few months ago? Yes. The Arab-Israel conflict's causes, problems, and misinformation about it have not materially changed in decades.

Now for the errors in the article.

ISRAEL BELONGED TO WHOM? The article describes Israel in relation to Gaza as "the land the enclave's residents remember as their own." Of the several million Palestinian Arabs, only about 30,000 living souls had resided in what became the State of Israel. Rather dispersed now, few in Gaza were old enough in 1948 to remember those events.

How could they remember Israel "as their own?" Palestinian Arabs never had sovereignty. In 1948, they angrily denied they were Palestinian. Some of them owned land there, but so did Jews; the government owned the most.

Before modern Zionists bought property there, Arab landlords and money lenders had wrested ownership from many Arab peasants. The peasants became tenants. Now they express nostalgia, but then their forbears mostly were fellahin.

The author's statement is inconsistent with the facts but consistent with the unwarranted perpetuation of those Arab families' status as refugees with grievances against Israel. The misimpression he gives unfairly boosts Arab territorial claims.

The author has quoted one side's sentiment, as if factual and pertinent. Should such emotions determine our evaluation of the Arabs' case? The author tries to back up that notion with its apparent endorsement by "Israeli military hero General Moshe Dayan." Brilliant as Gen. Dayan was in that 1956 war, he proved timid and appeasement-minded afterwards. Therefore, his endorsement should carry no weight. It's an old propaganda trick to quote appeasement-minded Israelis against national security policies for Israel.

Gen. Dayan was speaking at the funeral of a kibbutznik "killed by Arabs who had sneaked out of the coastal strip already brimming with people and hard feelings." That is misleading. Hard feelings existed before Arabs became refugees. Palestinian Arabs and foreign Arab armies had attempted to turn the Jews into refugees, mostly over religion.

Gen. Dayan refers to Gaza Arab jealousy and resentment, as they watched Jews develop what had been their property. Some had been their property, and some had not been.

HOW EGYPT GOT GAZA: The article states how Egypt came to control Gaza: "and the coastal strip became a holding pen administered by Egypt's military." It just became? In that war, Egypt seized the Gaza strip by aggression. Egypt kept Gaza trade down, unemployment up. It paid and organized Gazans into terrorist forces, which it dispatched against Israel. Is the author sanitizing Egyptian and Palestinian Arab war crimes? History and facts matter in determining right and wrong in a conflict.

WHEN REFUGEES CAME TO GAZA: After "losing their land to Jewish armies in 1948...Many defeated Arab landowners fled to Gaza..." Actually, most of the Arab ruling class fled in 1947, partly out of fear of coming war and partly to escape Arab terrorists. Many other Arabs fled later, at the orders of invading Arab generals, or after having come to believe the false atrocity propaganda against Zionist forces, or at the approach of Zionist militias.

HOW JORDAN GOT JUDEA-SAMARIA: Likewise, "The West Bank was annexed by Jordan." Jordan had seized Judea-Samaria through aggression, which the article does not mention. (After that, Jordan devised and popularized a name for those provinces, "West Bank," that, unlike the official name, "Judea" and "Samaria," belies their connection to Jewish history.) Jordan did not annex the area; it attempted to, but had no legal basis for doing so. Also not stated, Jordan mistreated the people in Judea-Samaria.

Here are some pertinent questions whose absence from the article impoverishes it. Why didn't the Palestinian Arabs make genuine peace? Israel offered it. Answer: jihadists don't make peace, not beyond truces to give them a respite until ready to resume combat. Besides, they felt that the U.S., which often upheld their immediate territorial claims, would force Israel to surrender the Territories.

Why didn't the Arabs develop the land in Gaza they now had? We are encouraged to feel sorry for genocidal fanatics who prefer whining and warring to working.

Why didn't the Arabs who fled to Gaza resent Egypt and Jordan for repressive rule? Apparently they blame according to religious ideology, not justice.

The article fails to be reflective. For example, it fails to ask what would happen if Israel could and would bring in the descendants of refugees now living in Gaza. Considering the years of indoctrination of Palestinian Arabs by their religious and political leaders in the intolerance, hatred, and murder typifying jihad, we could expect civil war. Seen from that vantage, the so-called "right of return" is a license for war and ethnic cleansing.

CYCLE OF VIOLENCE? The author frames combat there as within a "cycle of violence." That turn of phrase implies that if Israel didn't respond, the violence would end. Actually, Israel often does not respond, but the violence continues. This is not a cycle but steady jihad. Muslims keep attempting to murder Jews. Sometimes Israel retaliates, usually insufficiently to eradicate terrorist organizations. The euphemism gives the wrong impression, making Israel seem partly culpable.

If Hamas ceased firing, Israel would not invade, but the ceasefire would last "Until next time." The author's correct implication here is that the ceasefire did not advance peace.

The author also calls rocket attacks on Israel "punching back." By de-emphasizing jihadists aggression, "punching back" seems even-handed but it falsely implies equal or (for implicitly throwing the first punch) greater Israeli guilt. That comforts the aggressors.

The Islamists initiate combat. They "punch" and punch, until the Israeli public demands that its government make the raids stop. So Israel retaliates. Israel also hunts down certain wanted terrorists. There may be collateral casualties, but IDF targets always are military. The Muslim side, which had signed a peace agreement and which pledged to negotiate a final settlement but doesn't, has no right to fight at all. When it does fight, it targets Israeli civilians. The author's tactic, common in the media, of equating the two sides (when not weighing in against the Israeli side) is unfair.

EMOTIONAL PHRASING: Israelis often coin colorful phrases that sound infelicitous in English. Repeating one such phrase, the author sarcastically pegs Israeli military operations against Gaza as "cutting the weeds." That means cutting down terrorists when their menace has grown too grave to neglect. No shame in doing that. But the article makes light of terrorists whose organizations keep attacking Israel and do commit murder and war crimes. Clever use of English by the journalist, but improper manipulation of readers' emotions.

MILITANTS OR TERRORISTS? The writer calls those Muslim terrorists "militants." Martin Luther King, Jr. was a militant, but no terrorist. "Terrorist" has a specific meaning: one who by military means deliberately targets civilians for a political reason. To label certain Muslims, whom the State Dept. has officially declared terrorist, as "militants," is misleading.

Rocket attacks on Israel are discussed without mentioning that those are terrorist acts -- war crimes. For an article that insinuates inhumane policies by Israel, its ignoring of actual inhumane policies by Gazans renders the insinuations suspect.

CASUALTY FIGURES & RESPONSIBILITY: The next paragraph asserts that the fighting is far worse for Gazans. The IDF bombed a lot, so despite Israel's attempts at precision, civilian casualties have risen. "According to Gazan authorities, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the operation thus far." Are the figures reliable? What do they mean?

Of course the IDF had to bomb a lot. Hamas had accumulated thousands of rockets! If the fighting is far worse for Gazans, that is just, for they are the aggressors. After WWII, many Germans pretended to be innocent victims of the war that they had overwhelmingly supported. Americans scorned that attitude. Well the Arab people in Gaza and in Judea-Samaria overwhelmingly support jihad against Israel by any effective means. But the author treats them as victims.

The author cites various groups as authority for his statistics. Just as science statistics these day may be mistaken and faked, so are many of the casualty statistics kept by human rights groups. Those groups use the banner of human rights to conduct vicious defamation and de-legitimization of Israel. In other words, they conduct a form of jihad against Israel. The group that provided the casualty figures for children is Defence for Children International. It makes vicious propaganda, extortionate demands, and distorted statistics (http://www.ngo-monitor.org/).

It may have exaggerated the number of children it claims were shot by IDF troops for approaching Israel. But, in the usual propaganda ruse, it certainly omits half the story, thereby slanting the tale. The other half is: (a) NGOs regularly call younger terrorists "children;" (b) Terrorist organizations use children to carry weapons and plant bombs near Israel (which use of civilians is a war crime); and (c) Usually Israeli troops warn Arabs, but often the Arabs continue advancing. The responsibility for the deaths of Arabs committing terrorism is the Arabs', not Israel's. That is the plain thrust of international law.

Journalists and supposed human rights organizations accept the figures from jihadists, who believe in deceit. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have described many slain terrorists as civilians. The figure of 100 comes with no attempt to differentiate terrorists from civilians.

As wars go, 100 is paltry. Hamas actually arranges for there to be civilian casualties. Like Hizbullah, it emplaces heavy weapons on schools and hospitals, stores munitions in private houses, and opens fire from civilian areas, so it can either deter Israeli attacks or complain about civilian casualties if Israel does attack. Hamas methods are war crimes. If the author explained that Hamas fights mainly by criminal methods that endanger both Arab and Israeli civilians, who would sympathize with the Muslim side?

OBAMA'S BLESSING FOR BOMBING: We are reminded that Presidential candidate Obama gave Israel's air campaign his blessing. Yes, but he did not give the proposed ground war his blessing, rather, he disapproved. Without a ground war, Hamas cannot be eradicated; terrorism recurs. So what was the President really doing?

EGPYT A PEACEMAKER? Egypt tried to (and later did) negotiate a ceasefire. Left unexplained, this implies something constructive by Egypt's Islamist government. Indeed, the online supplement to the article calls Egypt's President Morsi a peacemaker. That is nonsense. Egypt's purpose was, besides gaining prestige, to spare Hamas. Truces are an old jihadist trick. Truces give decimated Islamists time to regroup, then break the truce. Hamas has broken a number of ceasefires. Egypt violates its treaty with Israel, especially the provisions for normalization. So does Jordan. The Palestinian Authority broke its agreements with Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel. It behooves reporters to learn that background.

EGYPT AN ALLY? The online supplement calls Egypt an ally of the U.S.. Everybody calls countries allies of the U.S. or of Israel without defining "ally." Some countries get called a U.S. ally apparently merely for accepting U.S. subsidy. Egypt has been working to undermine U.S. influence. Mubarak was called an ally of Israel, even though he led the international diplomatic effort against Israel and winked at arms smuggling into Gaza.

WORLD OPINION VS. ISRAEL: The prior Gaza war "won Israel much opprobrium." Yes, but from biased sources that miscast international law and apparently equate both sides when they do not outright favor the aggressors. Israel had better act in its national interest despite the automatically hostile international public opinion. The first Holocaust should have taught the Jewish people not to expect decency from international public opinion. Urging Israel to subordinate self-defense to world opinion is of dubious morality.

"PALESTINIAN" A NATIONALITY? "Gazans are emphatically Palestinian, a national identity forged from the trauma of losing their land to Jewish armies in 1948, the year Israel was established." Not forged, but fabricated. Not in 1948, but in the 1960s. Not genuine, but for propaganda. Arabs there have the same religion, language, culture, nationality, and history as the surrounding countries from which most of their families immigrated. After 1948, Arab states controlled Gaza and Judea-Samaria without any noticeable objection and demand by Palestinian Arabs for another state. How nationalist were they really?

ARE PALESTINIAN ARABS REFUGEES? The article states that most residents of Gaza are classified as refugees. Yes, they are, but UNRWA redefined millions of Palestinian Arabs as refugees contrary to how the UN defines all other populations of refugees. That's politics. A genuine refugee is someone who lived in another country or territory, from which he was forced out. As indicated earlier, only about 30,000 really are refugees. Their descendants are not. Temporary residents were not. Long-circulating welfare benefits cards of deceased Arabs are not.

FALSE & PEJORATIVE USE OF "OCCUPYING": In 1967, "Israel took control as an occupying power." Why doesn't the magazine use the term, "occupying," for the Arab states that had seized the Territories first? Bias?

Like many misleading statements, the statement "as an occupying power," is phrased vaguely. Israel did not consider itself an occupying power. Nor was it. There was no sovereign territory there for it to occupy.

WHAT ARAB "MODERATES?" A journalistic sleight-of-hand is the false distinction between moderates and extremists. Thus Mr. Vick writes, "...even Israel regards Hamas as a moderating influence in Gaza." Actually, Hamas fights when ready, and makes a truce when it is not. By contrast, Salafis in Gaza want to fight all the time. Suddenly that makes Hamas a moderating influence? That is misleading. It would be fair to declare that Hamas is extreme but Salafis are even more extreme. Hamas tries to manage jihad for surer success. Hence Hamas is more dangerous

Fatah also fights when combat is opportune and uses more diplomacy to gain militarily when diplomacy is opportune. But its leader, Abbas, admits having the same goals as Hamas: conquest of Israel and expulsion of the Jews. Yet he is called "moderate." He is not moderate but is more practical than Hamas.

Abbas was willing to reconcile with Hamas, but Hamas didn't accept his terms. Doesn't that indicate that Abbas has an ideology similar to Hamas' and hates Israel more than Hamas? Thus the author, himself, provides some of the evidence against his and the prevailing rationalization that Abbas is moderate.

By pretending Abbas's faction is moderate, Western leaders and media can demand that Israel make concessions to the allegedly moderate faction, either to strengthen it or to make peace with it. Even if Abbas were moderate, it would be foolish to make a peace agreement with one faction that would be disavowed by the other faction. Besides, Abbas' faction continually violates its agreements with Israel, as by not eradicating terrorist organizations.

WHY IS ABBAS WEAK? Mr. Vick depicts Abbas as "weak," without examining the important implications. Abbas is weak politically because his people favor more military action, less diplomacy than he, and they dislike his corrupt rule. Many refuse to pretend, as he does, they are compromising and making peace. They are fanatical jihadists.

Gazans ask why didn't Abbas visit Gaza during or after Israel's recent bombardment of missile sites. A fanatic does not visit his rival and expect to live.

HAMAS' ROCKET RUSE: The article refers to Israel retaliating against Hamas for "failing to prevent more radical militants from launching missiles." There is a half-truth there. The other half of the story is that Hamas has given missiles to other terrorist organizations, so when they fire them at Israel, Hamas can deny having fired any. Actually, Hamas fires many, anyway.

MISTAKEN ABOUT BLOCKADE: P.36 states that Egypt's former Pres Mubarak kept Gaza's "door to Egypt mostly shut." On p.37, the author writes about Gaza, "Its economy depends significantly on tunnels from Egypt, through which come not just missiles and arms, but also consumer goods and commodities. The tunnels became Israeli targets in the current fighting." Thus Mubarak only pretended to keep arms from terrorists. Page 37 refutes the popular but erroneous myth on p.36.

After a violent uprising, Israel largely closed itself off from Gaza, and large numbers of Gazans no longer could come to work in Gaza. Like many anti-Zionist writings, the article fails to draw a conclusion for the reader that the Arabs caused their own misery.

The author introduces historical background. Then why did he omit the fact that even in the strictest period of the blockade, Israel let into Gaza food and medicine and let medical patients out? Israel supplied Gaza with electricity. Unfortunately for the people, with whom the author purportedly sympathizes, Hamas stole some of the supplies for itself and sometimes bombed the gates when supplies were coming in. The author omits those and many other negative aspects of Arab rule.

ISLAMIST DEMOCRACY? Egypt is called "ostensibly a democracy." Any expectation that Islamists would allow democracy was short-sighted in September, when the article was written. Since then, Pres. Morsi has been assuming more dictatorial powers, as have the rulers of Islamist Turkey. Our major media long refused to acknowledge that. They view Radical Islam through Western tinted glasses.

SHOULD EGYPT TAKE GAZA? Going further, the writer suggests that "Israel would have fewer problems if Egypt annexed Gaza and Cairo became responsible for keeping the peace." Is he kidding? Egypt repressed Gazans when it ruled there; Egypt has made several wars on Israel and promoted terrorism against it. Thanks to U.S. subsidy, Egypt has a first class military. Egyptian military doctrine long has had the objective of invading Israel. If Egypt took over Gaza, its army would get closer to Tel Aviv and it would be more able to redirect terrorists against Israel.

Again expecting decency from fanatics, Mr. Vick finds a commonality of interest between Hamas and Israel in wanting a normal border. He is confusing long-term jihadist strategy with temporary expediency. Iran isn't ready to have Hamas attack Israel, so Hamas has to restrain itself for now. But leading Egyptian religious figures have made plain that they do not care about prosperity; fighting for Islam, i.e., aggressive jihad, takes priority. Hamas is part of the same Muslim Brotherhood. Western elites keep making the naïve assumption that dictators share our rational or material values.

Likewise, the author asserts that practical considerations keep Egypt from being aggressive, now, although Egypt upholds the Palestinian cause. Granted that Morsi is worried that Egypt's economy would collapse, but the logical conclusion is to keep Egypt weak and to keep Egypt away from Israel, instead of giving Egypt money.

Do foreign Arab states that made war on Israel care about the Palestinian Arabs? Except in Jordan, foreign Arabs treat Palestinian Arabs badly. (Palestinian Arabs later earned that enmity by trying to overthrow not only Israel but also Jordan and Lebanon, and helped Saddam conquer Kuwait.) As for the Palestinian Arabs, they have no legitimate cause in their jihadist aspirations to seize Israel as well as the Territories.

ARAB RAGE VS. ARAB FAULTS: "The siege transformed Gaza into a man-made ecosystem of outrage and despair." The propaganda techniques here are: (a) Pretend that the outrage is newly generated and by some Israeli action, whereas the outrage originated hundreds of years ago, when an intolerant Islam was founded, and was exacerbated in the 1920s under British rule with eventual Jewish majority foreseen; Muslims are outraged when ruled by non-Muslims; (b) Start with Israeli reaction to Arab aggression, rather than with the initiating Arab attacks; and (c) Blame Israel for the problems that Muslim Arabs bring on themselves. A typical example is Arab terrorism against Israel going on for months without international protest. Then, as soon as Israel finally retaliates, the world demands "restraint on both sides," or chides Israel for "escalating."

When Israel ruled the Arabs in the Territories, life expectancy and the standard of living multiplied. When Israel stopped, the Arab standard of living in the Territories dropped. The tone of the article is to blame Israel for poor economic condition of Gaza and to exaggerate that poverty. Luxury houses and stores and bustling market places are not photographed. Such photos would undermine the theory that Israel makes Gazans suffer.

What harms the Palestinian Authority economy: (a) Lawlessness as by thugs with official sanction shaking down businesses; (b) Cronyism and corruption; (c) War spending; (d) Excess government hiring for patronage; and (e) Overdevelopment of real estate instead of productive investment. You wouldn't know that from Time magazine's presentation of one long lament against Israel.

When Israel was about to withdraw its citizens from Gaza, it arranged to turn over to Arabs the thriving hothouse industry that Israelis had built. What did the Arabs do with it? Arabs looted or destroyed most of it. Neither the Arabs nor their foreign sympathizers hold the Arabs responsible for their problems and for the problems they inflict on others. How will these Arabs ever reform and make peace?

CONCLUSIONS: The many, unmentioned instances of Israeli decency toward the Arabs make the presentation further unbalanced. Did the magazine do fact-checking, or is it satisfied with a host of half-truths?

Here's the irony. Media people ostensibly indicating sympathy for Palestinian Arabs, present false notions in behalf of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which harm their own people. The people's religious intolerance, which their rulers have been reinforcing for decades, keeps them always in strife, always outraged. Real sympathy for those people would prompt writers to tell us and them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They need to reform. Peace needs them to reform.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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ISRAELI LEFTISTS & FREE SPEECH

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 05, 2013

Sen. Joe McCarthy harmed democracy and, in the long run, helped the Left. Pres. Truman had gotten the subversives out of the government, so there was no need for Sen. McCarthy's investigation. McCarthy abused his power by intimidating people, many who were innocent. Now the Left: (1) Implies there never was Communist infiltration; (2) Exaggerates McCarthy's power; and, most important, (3) Gives the Left an excuse for calling all law enforcement against subversion or even criticism of it and of Radical Islam as McCarthyist.

Prof. Plaut finds that the real oppressors of freedom of opinion in Israel (and, I say, in the U.S.) is the Left. Here is a fraction of the evidence he has steadily reported.

Hanin Zoabi is an Israeli Arab MK who advocates terrorism and the destruction of the Jewish state. MK Zoabi has assaulted Israeli commandos boarding the Turkish blockade-running ship. The Elections Commission banned her from running for re-election.

Radical anti-Zionists rallied in her behalf. Her petitioners posture as if they so much believe in free speech, that even that violent person should be permitted into the Knesset.

Their posture is hypocritical. Those leftists do not protest against real violations of free speech in Israel. Such people did not protest against the banning of the Kahana party. They did not object to the campaign accusing right-wingers' objections to PM Rabin as having led to his murder.

The Left complains that although Zoabi was banned, other "convicted felons" are allowed to run for Knesset. They cite candidate Moshe Feiglin, a candidate for Likud. They explain that Feiglin was "convicted of sedition and imprisoned in the wave of incitement that produced the Rabin murder." They lied. He was not convicted of that. He was convicted of blocking a road. Leftists block roads, too, usually without much penalty.

The fact that the Left still blames the Right's speech for Rabin's murder shows the Left still to be against free speech.

Another case cited as proof that criminals are allowed to run is that of Avigdor Lieberman. But Lieberman was not convicted, not even indicted. What he is accused of committing is no crime. He is accused of failing to inform police when a diplomat told him that the government of Israel had asked a foreign government for Lieberman's financial records. Not telling about that is no crime.

Who signed the petition against "criminals" running for Knesset? One signer running for Knesset is Hebrew U. Prof. Amiram Goldblum, a founder of Peace Now. A few years ago, Goldblum admitted having violated Israeli campaign finance laws. Although he claims to favor free speech, he files frivolous SLAPP lawsuits to discourage free speech by non-Leftists.

Also having signed are some Communist professors and authors. Tel Aviv U. Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal demands the suppression of Isracampus.com, a group that monitors and exposes the anti-Israel Left. Again, the Left tries to repress opponents' speech.

Another signatory is Prof. Chaim Gans of Tel Aviv U. law school, who organized a petition to bar a colonel from lecturing there, because he does not like her political views. Another is former Haifa U. Prof. Gabi Salomon, who used his classroom to indoctrinate youth in leftist notions. That violates free speech or abuses academic freedom.

Israeli Fascists Espouse Free Speech?

Sen. Joe McCarthy harmed democracy and, in the long run, helped the Left. Pres. Truman had gotten the subversives out of the government, so there was no need for Sen. McCarthy's investigation. McCarthy abused his power by intimidating people, many who were innocent. Now the Left: (1) Implies there never was Communist infiltration; (2) Exaggerates McCarthy's power; and, most important, (3) Gives the Left an excuse for calling all law enforcement against subversion or even criticism of it and of Radical Islam as McCarthyist.

Prof. Plaut finds that the real oppressors of freedom of opinion in Israel (and, I say, in the U.S.) is the Left. Here is a fraction of the evidence he has steadily reported.

Hanin Zoabi is an Israeli Arab MK who advocates terrorism and the destruction of the Jewish state. MK Zoabi has assaulted Israeli commandos boarding the Turkish blockade-running ship. The Elections Commission banned her from running for re-election.

Radical anti-Zionists rallied in her behalf. Her petitioners posture as if they so much believe in free speech, that even that violent person should be permitted into the Knesset. Their posture is hypocritical. Those leftists do not protest against real violations of free speech in Israel. Such people did not protest against the banning of the Kahana party. They did not object to the campaign accusing right-wingers' objections to PM Rabin as having led to his murder. The Left complains that although Zoabi was banned, other "convicted felons" are allowed to run for Knesset. They cite candidate Moshe Feiglin, a candidate for Likud. They explain that Feiglin was "convicted of sedition and imprisoned in the wave of incitement that produced the Rabin murder." They lied. He was not convicted of that. He was convicted of blocking a road. Leftists block roads, too, usually without much penalty.

The fact that the Left still blames the Right's speech for Rabin's murder shows the Left still to be against free speech. Another case cited as proof that criminals are allowed to run is that of Avigdor Lieberman. But Lieberman was not convicted, not even indicted. What he is accused of committing is no crime. He is accused of failing to inform police when a diplomat told him that the government of Israel had asked a foreign government for Lieberman's financial records. Not telling about that is no crime. Who signed the petition against "criminals" running for Knesset?

One signer running for Knesset is Hebrew U. Prof. Amiram Goldblum, a founder of Peace Now. A few years ago, Goldblum admitted having violated Israeli campaign finance laws. Although he claims to favor free speech, he files frivolous SLAPP lawsuits to discourage free speech by non-Leftists. Also having signed are some Communist professors and authors. Tel Aviv U. Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal demands the suppression of Isracampus.com, a group that monitors and exposes the anti-Israel Left. Again, the Left tries to repress opponents' speech. Another signatory is Prof. Chaim Gans of Tel Aviv U. law school, who organized a petition to bar a colonel from lecturing there, because he does not like her political views. Another is former Haifa U. Prof. Gabi Salomon, who used his classroom to indoctrinate youth in leftist notions. That violates free speech or abuses academic freedom.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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WEST LEGISLATING ISLAMIC CURBS ON FREEDOM

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 05, 2013

Russia is not the only country posing problems for Westerners wanting to adopt children. So does Morocco. The government of Morocco, now Islamist, demanded that Spanish families that adopt children from Morocco must make sure that those children remain culturally and religiously Muslim. Spain will enable Moroccan religious authorities to monitor the children until the age of 18, to make sure they haven't become Christians. One means may be annual trips to Morocco. That's adoption?

France has similar laws.

When a British mother allowed a Muslim foster child teenager to be baptized, the child was taken away from her, until she won in court.

Now Turkey is seeking to gain control over European's foster children who come from Turkey.

In England, the Moseley School in Birmingham has mostly Muslim students. It serves only halal food, giving the non-Muslims no choice. One day some pork got into the food. The woman who runs the kitchen was fired. Some parents called this mistake an "insult," and demanded that more people be fired. The Birmingham City Council apologized to them. Muslims have started all sorts of cafeteria boycotts and lawsuits.

At the University of Manchester, a student asked a speaker whether it is proper to execute a gay man. The speaker said, yes. She denied that such executions, including stoning adulterers, are inhumane (David J. Rusin, 5/4/13 http://www.islamist-watch.org/blog/2013/03/iw-news-brief-adoption-jihad-halal-hysteria).

We've reported other creeping instances of the creeping Islamization of Europe and the U.S.. Civilization is at stake there. This is not tolerance; it is all one way; it is intolerance of non-Muslims. This is appeasing subversion of society. It is not justified.

Non-Muslims are being indoctrinated in subservience. They are being indoctrinated in barbarism.

This is dangerous an contemptible.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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HATRED OF CHRISTIANS UNLEASHED IN LIBYA

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, March 06, 2013

Last Thursday, a Coptic Christian church located in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by armed Muslim militants. Initial reports indicate that at least one priest, Fr. Paul Isaac, was injured, as well as his assistant. It is the second church in Libya to be attacked in two months. Earlier, on Sunday, December 30, an explosion rocked a Coptic Christian church near the western city of Misrata, where a group of U.S. backed rebels hold a major checkpoint. The explosion killed two people and wounded two others, all Egyptians.

Such attacks rarely if ever occurred under Col. Gaddafi.

Ansar al-Sharia (

There are currently few details. Based on countless examples from past experience—including centuries of demonstrable continuity—there were likely loud cries of "Allahu Akbar!" with an exuberant sense of Islamic supremacism in the air. As for motivation, it was likely sheer anti-Christian sentiment. For where else are Christians being Christians than in church—where they are being as apolitical as they are being spiritual, simply trying to worship their God in peace, only to be attacked yet again.

At any rate, here is one more piece of solid evidence to validate my observation from last week—that the recent spate of arrests of Christians in Libya on the accusation that they are "missionaries" is a pretext for simple, good old-fashioned Christian hate. After all, this armed attack on a Christian church in Benghazi occurred right around the same time 100 Christian Copts were arrested and tortured, their heads shaven and their tattooed crosses burned off with acid.

Libya's Islamists had no problem arresting and torturing these Copts, indeed, boasting of it by posting a video of them on the Internet. Libyan law makes it illegal for any Christian to display their Christianity or, worse, preach it. Thus the Islamic militias are off the hook, as they were merely performing the equivalent of a "citizen's arrest" when they abducted and trapped all those Egyptian Christians because they had crosses, Bibles, and religious icons.

Ironically, whereas the Libyan government has not condemned the arrest and abuse of Christians accused of proselytizing—how can it when its own laws ban non-Muslim missionary activities?—it has "voiced its concern" and "expressed regret" for this latest attack on Christians, the Benghazi church raid. On Sunday, Libya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that the attack was "contrary to the teachings of our Islamic faith and customs and as well as international covenants on human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the monotheistic religions." The statement further called on "all Libyan citizens to respect those from friendly and sister countries living in Libya and to respect their beliefs."

Such benevolent assertions are contradictory on many levels. Do Libyan authorities really think that enforcing a ban on Christian preaching—that is, banning Christian free speech according to the Muslim belief that Christianity is a false religion that cannot be given a platform to spread—would not further prompt or at least validate fierce anti-Christian sentiment among the average Libyan? In other words, if Christianity is portrayed by Muslim authorities as a religion that must be denied utterance because it is false, is it not natural that anti-Christian sentiment would metastasize to the average Libyan Muslim, leading to things like attacks on churches, which are then seen as breeding grounds of falsities or—as the jihadi terrorists who slaughtered nearly 60 Christians in the 2010 Baghdad church attack put it—"nests of paganism"?

How, then, can the Libyan government call on Libyans to "respect their [Christians'] beliefs"? How can it invoke "international covenants on human rights and fundamental freedoms"—covenants which permit free speech, including religious proselytism, which Muslims in the West routinely exercise? Is this not just mere talk?

And that's just it; Libya's more fervent Muslims know better. If Christian churches are not (currently) banned by Libyan law, their construction on Muslim soil is banned by Islamic Sharia law, which, incidentally, also happens to be the source for the ban on Christian proselytism. (According to Muslim tradition, in the 7th century Caliph Omar ordered conquered Christians not to build new churches and not to preach Christianity around any Muslim.)

Such is the interconnectivity of Islam's teachings. Where one anti-Christian law is upheld, many manifestations of anti-Christian sentiment—along with justifications and rationalizations—will follow.

Such also is the interconnectivity of Benghazi: where American embassies are attacked and diplomats killed, so too are Christians and their churches unwelcome. They are all infidels—false, to be despised and denied. The only Benghazi-related incongruity is that the United States government helped empower the jihadis and the Obama administration continues to support them.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He was born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East, which has provided him with equal fluency in English and Arabic. His understanding of the two the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets positions him to explain the Middle Eastern culture to the West. This article appeared March 05, 2013 and is archived
at http://www.raymondibrahim.com/from-the-arab-world/hatred-of-christians-unleashed-in-libya/


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LINCOLN AS JEWISH SETTLER

Posted by Steven Plaut, March 06, 2013

An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli Left, along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln. Obviously it is thanks to the new Hollywood movie. Leftists do not read books; they form their moral evaluations mainly based on fashionable movies, like the abominations that Israel sent to the Oscar ceremonies this year or like the movies produced by Michael Moore.

The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that, if Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, clearly identification with Lincoln must lead one to support the political agenda of the Israeli Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting Palestinian demands and aggression against Jews. And of course the "social justice" economic and social bolshevism of the Left.

Take the column by Bradley Burston, the English-language columnist for Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, from a few days ago. You can read it here: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/as-lincoln-abolished-slavery-israel-must-abolish-occupation.premium-1.505908

The title pretty much tells you what you need to know:

'As Lincoln abolished slavery, Israel must abolish occupation." Bradley opines: 'I realize now that I am an abolitionist and that occupation is slavery. I also realize that I need to pay more attention to Abraham Lincoln, in his ability to remind us all of the wisdom hidden in the obvious.' If you have a strong stomach, read the whole article.

Then today (March 5) we have a column in Haaretz by one Ithamar Handelman Smith, who claims to be a writer and journalist, one who is so anti-Israel that the Likud government is likely to grant him a governmental subsidy to make some Bash-Israel flicks. His column is here: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/what-do-you-know-of-lincoln-ms-livnat.premium-1.507280

It is titled ' What do you know of Lincoln, Ms. Livnat? He opines: 'The culture minister couldn't see the parallels between the Academy Award-winning story she loved (Lincoln -- SP) and the stories behind the Israeli documentaries she shunned.'

You will like this excerpt from Smith: 'Israel is a democracy to be proud of? Maybe, if you're extremist-right-wing-Jewish settlers. But everyone else − Arabs, Haredim, African refugees, leftists − live here under one of the least democratic regimes in the Western world. And no, a democracy doesn't get defensive about movies like "The Gatekeepers" and "5 Broken Cameras." A democracy learns from films like these about what's wrong with it and what can be fixed.'

Not of course from any books!

SO what do we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist Pro-Palestinian social democrat" campaign by Israel's Left and by Haaretz?

Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with American history would know that the two most important principles represented by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the ethical analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank.

Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to order to prevent the division of his homeland, and he was fully prepared to use massive military force to achieve that goal. This makes him the moral brother of every Jew in the world who is OPPOSED to partition of the Land of Israel and carving out from it any Palestinian state. Those proposing such a "two-state solution" are the 21st century's copperheads.

Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason," and throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the Union war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign against treason. Those who supported secession or the Confederacy were consistently described by Lincoln as "traitors." Those who opposed the Union's national interests were engaging in treason, not academic freedom. Lincoln did not mollycoddle traitors in the name of "understanding the Other." He did not insist that those opposing national interests be allowed to control the universities and the courts and the media. Lincoln's war against treason did not make him a 19th century Haaretz columnist but rather the moral ally of all those who despise Haaretz and who oppose the anti-Israel Left in Israel.

Aside from those two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln, which make him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left squirm. Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had traitors executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of capital punishment. Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and suppressed treasonous journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would handle Haaretz? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference. Lincoln also sponsored the Homestead Act of 1862, perhaps the greatest settlements construction effort in history.

Perhaps most notably, Lincoln also imposed an uncompromising blockade upon the Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who insist that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of humane morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will have a an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by the world's moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. Guess how Lincoln would have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners. Honest Abe used exactly the same tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli bedwetting Left is now sobbing its eyes out! And frankly my dear I don't give a damn!

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. /i>


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AND NOW THEY'VE BURNED THOSE BUSES

Posted by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, March 06, 2013

Whoever actually burned the buses, the fire was lit by the anti-Israel - or just lazy - media and their fans. So now no Israeli public buses will serve the Arab towns.

burnt buses

The fire burned the buses, but the flames — fueled by latent and actual anti-Semitism — burned so much more.

As reported yesterday in The Jewish Press, this week Israel instituted two new bus lines to provide bus service from Arab towns in the territories into different parts of Israel.

The new bus service started yesterday, March 4. It also may have ended yesterday.

There were riots Monday morning at the Eyal Crossing because there weren't enough buses — which Transportation Minister Israel Katz said would be rectified. But too late, because Monday night someone set fire to two Afikim buses which were parked in the Arab town of Kfar Qassem. The bus company has now removed all their buses from the area because of the violence and destruction.

So thanks to the media hysteria and the quick-on-the-draw haters, there are no Israeli public buses to serve the Arab towns in the territories. Proud of yourself yet?

Maybe it was Arabs who set the fire, whipped into a frenzy at the nerve of the Jewish State to provide bus service into Israel from Arab towns. Or perhaps Jews set the fire, enraged by the response of Jewish State-haters who criticize Israel whether it does something positive or negative for Arabs. Or maybe either one of them did it, but driven by some other combination of hatred and irrationality. At bottom, though, the fault lies with all those who were so eager to hoist the racism card high enough in the air that no one could see any anything else.

The list of media outlets that stated or implied in their headlines that Israel was instituting a form of racial segregation reached from as far right on the spectrum as The Jerusalem Post and Fox News, to the centrist Washington Post, USA Today and YNet, to The Times of Israel, to the predictable haters on the far left, like Huffington Post and beyond, like The Daily Kos. None of them seemed to care about the full story, because none of them reported it. And the comments from readers then reinforced the fires of hatred.

A "Palestinian only" bus line, or an Israeli public bus company serving Arab towns — two ways to look at it, one sounds evil, the other at least plausibly helpful. But virtually none of the many dozens of articles written on the topic provided more than the sinister side of the story with any plausibility. And of course the fires will continue to burn.

An informed source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Jewish Press that Arab Israelis are most likely the ones who set the fire. But why? "Just to keep the issue in the headlines."

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com The article above appeared March 05, 2013 in the Jewish Press.com and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/you-know-who-destroyed-the-israeli-buses-for-arab-towns/2013/03/05/


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ISRAEL'S RITA ROCKS THE U.N.

Posted by UN Watch, March 06, 2013

The article below was written by Chemi Shalev who is an Israeli journalist. Shalev is the US editor and correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper in both Hebrew and English. He publishes an English-language blog called "West of Eden" dealing with US-Israeli relations and the American Jewish community. Previously, Shalev was deputy editor and diplomatic commentator for the Israel Hayom newspaper. He has also served as diplomatic correspondent for Jerusalem Post, Davar and Ma'ariv. Shalev was the Jerusalem correspondent for the New York-based Jewish Weekly. In 2007, he returned from a four-year stay in Australia, where he was associate editor of the Australian Jewish News. The article appeared March 6, 2013 in Haaretz and is archived at
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/israeli-singer-rita-a-hit-at-un-general-assembly.premium-1.507612

UN Ambassador Prosor has pulled off one of the most unusual diplomatic achievements ever: a full-fledged UN-sponsored Farsi-Hebrew musical event full of goodwill and sympathy towards Israel.

Rita performing in front of the United Nations in New York City
Rita performing in front of the United Nations in New York City

Inside the hall of the General Assembly at the United Nations building in New York, it seemed at times that either the messiah had arrived or the world had turned inside-out Bizarro, like in the Superman comics: Rita, one of Israel's most popular performers, was singing in Farsi and Hebrew; Israelis were dancing in the aisles: diplomats from around the world were clapping and begging for more; Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor was the hero of the day; Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said "shalom" and General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, it turned out, hails from a family of Righteous Gentiles.

It was, without a doubt, a night to remember, a memory to cherish, an Israeli-made spectacle the likes of which hadn't been seen in the General Assembly since Ambassador Herzog tore apart that Zionism is Racism resolution in 1975. Only this time, it was the other way around: "Why is this night different than all other nights?" an elated and season conscious Prosor asked me, "Because on this night, contrary to all previous nights, the United Nations is united behind Israel and resides under the wings of Rita."

The wings that Prosor was referring to come from Haim Bialik's song "Hachnisini Tahat Knafech" — "Under Your Wing" — a popular Israeli song which was featured in Rita's "Tunes for Peace" concert performed at UN headquarters Tuesday night. The famous platform underneath the giant olive-colored UN symbol was turned into a rock concert stage, including a smoke machine, strobe lights, and a rocking and raucous 9-piece ensemble that played Persian-Israeli music with light touches of Klezmer to boot.

The auditorium, which for most Israelis and Diaspora Jews has come to be associated with harsh anti-Israeli rhetoric, cold diplomatic isolation, and humiliating political defeats at the hands of the "automatic majority," suddenly had a warm ambiance and an admiring audience comprised of Iranian expatriates, Israeli diplomats, UN employees, and representatives of 140 UN delegations who begged their Israeli colleagues for invitations to the show and to the experience.

Prosor came upon the idea for the UN concert when he saw Rita perform in New York in Farsi and in Hebrew seven months ago. He lobbied Ban Ki Moon and Jeremic until he secured their agreement, but then had to ward off countless attempts by UN Secretariat workers to scuttle the concert for fear that "it would set a precedent" or that it would upset other delegations. Having removed the last remaining obstacles, Prosor fixed the date for the concert with Rita after sponsorships had been secured from the LA-based Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York, and the UJA Federation of NY.

Ban Ki Moon opened the evening with the word "shalom" and described Rita as "a cultural ambassador". Then came Jeremic, who announced that he would soon be the first sitting President of the General Assembly to visit Israel, during which he will participate in a Yad Vashem ceremony in which members of his grandmother's family in Belgrade would be recognized as "Righteous Among the Gentiles" for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

Then, Introducing Rita, Prosor said "I always hoped that I would one day be the opening act for Rita at a major venue in New York City. Although, I'll admit, I never expected that it would be in the form of the Three Tenors: "Ban, Prosor, and Jeremic."

UN Watch is an independent human rights group founded in 1993 in Geneva, Switzerland, receiving no financial support from any organization or government. Contact UN Watch at briefing@unwatch.org


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BRENNAN NOMINEE FOR CIA DIRECTOR

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 06, 2013

Nominated to head the CIA, John Brennan has been Pres. Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism. How has Mr. Brennan been doing? Ditto for the President he advises.

1. In the July 2008 edition of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: Brennan blamed the bad relations between Iran and the U.S on "Iran-bashing."

2. Brennan criticized Pres. Bush for not accepting the now obviously false U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that Iran had ceased its nuclear program in 2003 (Steven J. Rosen, 'Does Brennan's influence at NSC extend to Iran?,' Obama Mideast Monitor, February 28, 2009).

3. In 2009, he defended his and the Administration policy of refusing to refer to use accurate terms such as "Radical Islam" and "Jihad," though Radical Muslims were waging jihad against the U.S. and allies. He said that referring to enemies religiously would make al-Qaeda seem plausible when it falsely accuses the U.S. of warring on Islam. As for jihad, it is a legitimate holy struggle within Islam to purify oneself (Rowan Scarborough, 'Obama at odds with Petraeus doctrine on "Islam,"' Washington Times, July 11, 2010).

4. In August 2009, he said that Hezbollah started out as terrorist, but now its members are in the government and include professionals. Hamas developed extremism, "that, I think, has unfortunately delegitimized it in the eyes of many."

5. Although British intelligence had warned U.S. intelligence about the underwear bomber by name, and so had the man's father, the terrorist was not put on the U.S. no-fly list. The House and Senate Intelligence committees called for Brennan's resignation.

6. The underwear bomber was treated as an ordinary criminal suspect. He was Mirandized and tried in civilian court, instead of in a military one as a enemy combatant. In February 2010, Brennan defended that policy. He also supported trying al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court (Joel Gerstein, 'Brennan, unruffled, talks terror at NYU,' Politico, February 28, 2010).

7. In the same speech, he referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name and then its international name: "In all my travels the city I have come to love most is al-Quds, Jerusalem" ('Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam,' Fox News, May 27, 2010).

8. He described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces" but said that those plotting attacks on the U.S. should not be described in "religious terms" ('Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam, Fox News, May 27, 2010).

9. As I reported before, Brennan was in charge when an unindicted co-conspirator, U.S. Hamas official was given a tour of the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center, FBI headquarters and the FBI training academy. The Hamas man joined in singing about violence, being in Hamas, and killing Jews ('National Security Hawks Call for Brennan's Resignation,' Fox News, September 28, 2010).

10. In 2012, Brennan was implicated in a leak that forced the U.S. to withdraw a double agent from al-Qaeda during a counterterrorism operation ('Exclusive: Did White House "spin" tip a covert op?,' Reuters, May 18, 2012). (ZOA press release, 2/1/13).

Bad U.S relations with Iran did not come from Iran-bashing. Khomeini had pretended to be a reformer, but as soon as he got to Iran, he started repressing non-Radicals and seeking to impose Islam upon the world. The U.S. was his chief obstacle, hence he made war on the U.S., mostly by proxy.

The national security assessment whose conclusion declared Iran's nuclear development no longer ongoing, was contradicted by the body of the report. It was obvious at the time that the assessment was made to sabotage U.S. action against Iran. I was wondering why Pres. Bush didn't point that out, declare his policy undisturbed, and fire the subversives who risked U.S. national security.

How qualified is an adviser on terrorism who falls for the minor meaning of jihad and ignores the historical record of its major meaning of holy war by combat, conversion, and propaganda?

What a feeble excuse for ignoring holy war, to worry that jihadists will claim that when we refer to them as following a religious ideology, they will claim we are warring on Islam in general. Mr. Brennan should have realized that one of his prime tasks was to differentiate between Radical Islam and regular Islam. We have rescued regular Muslims from Radical Muslims. Muslims subjected to Radical rule have suffered from it and turned against the Radicals, as in Anbar, Iraq, and in Afghanistan. We need to get their endorsement, possible only if we make clear that we will not occupy their country.

Yes, Hezbollah started as terrorist, but doesn't Mr. Brennan know that it remains terrorist? Hitler and Stalin did likewise. They used terrorism to gain power, and they used power to further terrorize. That is basic history.

Calling terrorists "victims" is upside down. It is a pretext for ignoring their religious motivation. Ignore the enemy motive, and fail to counteract their terrorism. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) states that a big failure in our combating Islamists is not acknowledging that their extremism stems from their religious interpretation. We want Muslim allies but must recognize which are our enemies. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration still denies this. It refuses to recognize the religious ideology that motivates their war on the U.S.. It hobbles our intelligence agencies about this. In fact, in 2011, the Administration eliminated all references to Islam, after U.S. Radical Muslim organizations protested.

Obama's supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, his nominating John Brennan to head the CIA, his nominating John Kerry the foolish anti-American as Sec. of State, and his nominating Iran's fan, Chuck Hagel as Sec. Defense, and his weakening of the military, the economy, and our civil liberties (dissent to his policies being vital), the Obama Administration is undermining national security.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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OBAMA WILL NOT BRING GLAD TIDINGS

Posted by Roberta Dzubow, March 06, 2013

The article below was written by Victor Sharpe who is a freelance writer and author of volumes one and two of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state. The books may be purchased on line from the publisher www.lulu.com or from www.Amazon.com This article appeared March 05, 2013 in Renew America and is archived at
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/sharpe/130305

In an, as yet, unconfirmed report appearing in World Tribune, anonymous Israeli sources claim that, "U.S. President Barack Obama has demanded a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria," — the name given to the tiny territory between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, which has been the ancestral and biblical Jewish heartland for over 3,000 years.

glad tidings

But regrettably and cynically, a hostile world prefers to call it by the name given to it by its Jordanian Arab occupiers, who illegally held it for a mere nineteen years from 1948 when they invaded the territory, expelling its Jewish inhabitants, until 1967 when it was finally liberated by Israel in its defensive Six Day war of June, 1967.

According to sources in the report, "Obama has made it clear to Netanyahu that his visit is not about photo-ops, but the business of Iran and a Palestinian state," a source said. "The implication is that if Israel won't give him something he can work with, then he'll act on his own."

The sources noted that "Obama aides" have stressed that Congress supports the establishment of a Palestinian state as a U.S. priority and the Obama people are making this a litmus test of Netanyahu's leadership and credibility," the Israeli source added. "Obama supporters in Congress have sent Netanyahu a similar message."

This is what I and many others feared was to be the real and sole reason Obama was visiting Israel. And President Shimon Peres, by planning to award President Obama with an Israeli medal, may well be committing an appallingly inappropriate act. But Shimon Peres is not known as Simple Simon for nothing.

The question is, will Netanyahu cave under what may well be Obama's brutal pressure? I, for one, believe so. Notice that Secretary of State, John Kerry, did not visit the Jewish state during his present Mid-East tour but is meeting with the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas in Saudi Arabia. Priorities?

Then we just heard Vice President Joe Biden's empty rhetoric, on the Iranian existential nuclear threat to Israel, which he gave at the AIPAC conference, and his insistence and assurance that President Obama, arguably the most anti-Israel president in American history, will support the Jewish state. Heartbreaking was the shameful applause he received from many of the delegates yet with no protests heard. Polite deference is one thing but deafening silence can be as deep as death.

How horribly sad that so few Jewish organizations and leaders in the United States have expressed justifiable outrage at the cold treatment Israel is receiving from this president or with the nomination of the unfriendly Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

And there are reports that Obama's CIA nominee, John Brennan, secretly converted to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. For far too many Jewish organizations and politicians what matters above all else is the Democrat party, even though it has swung far to the Left and harbors in its midst many with an animus towards the Jewish state. It is deeply tragic that for many Jews and Christians in America, liberalism has become their new religion.

But there still are outstanding Jewish and Christian organizations that remain as principled opponents to the growing anti-Israel hostility which is inveigling itself into both the Obama Administration and the body politic, whether it be the Hagel appointment or the enmity of the anti-Israel president himself. One of the most outstanding supporters of Israel is Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), founded in 1897 and the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S. He stands in honorable and marked contrast to the Jewish Democrat politicians in the House and Senate.

The Wall Street Journal described the ZOA as "heroic and the most credible advocate for Israel on the American Jewish scene today and we should snap a salute to those who were right about Oslo and Arafat, including Morton Klein who was wise, brave, and unflinchingly honest. When the history of the American Jewish struggle in these years was written, Mr. Klein will emerge as an outsized figure."

Along with the ZOA is, of course, the great work done on behalf of Israel by Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and Christian evangelical organizations like Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Like Morton Klein's organization, they too support the reconstituted Jewish state and promote the Jewish pioneers who are restoring, in the face of great adversity, the ancestral and biblical heartland of Israel, namely Judea and Samaria (again known as the West Bank by all who are ignorant of or who spit in the face of Jewish faith and history).

Meanwhile, only yesterday on Fox News, the previous Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Dan Gillerman, who is now a Fox News contributor, was upbeat about Obama's March 20, visit to Israel and what he, Gillerman, hoped would be the advent of the "two-state-solution" — what Gillerman seems not to care is that hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children will be driven from their homes in Judea and Samaria and neighborhoods of Jerusalem because the Muslim Arabs will never accept Jews living in what they demand will be their Islamic territory: And if that is not Apartheid, what is?

I have previously written that the "TWO STATE SOLUTION" is a horrible euphemism which may spell the eventual destruction of the Jewish state and the slaughter of its 6 million plus Jewish population. There is a sinister and diabolical similarity between that synonym and the German Nazi euphemism, "THE FINAL SOLUTION" which spelled the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.

It seems that for so many of us, history teaches us nothing. I pray that I will be proven wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

Contact Roberta Dzubow by email at Roberta@adgforum.com


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WESTERN REACTION TO ANTI-ISLAM FILM

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 06, 2013

Radical Muslims were inciting heir followers to violence, again, shortly before the anti-Islam film, "Innocence of Muslims," was screened. When the film was distributed, the violence was attributed to anger over the film. Some Western governments reacted by trying to punish those associated with the film. These governments disregard the right to free speech.

The film's producer was a Pakistani Muslim, converted to Christianity, and sought asylum in Spain. He already was known for criticizing Islam and for his website, World Without Islam. His work opposes Islam, not just its Radical offshoot.

Mr. Firasat thought that some Islamist riots were over his film, even before it came out. The riots stiffened his resolve to go ahead with it. He felt the answer to Islamist riots is more information about Islam. After he expressed this to a Belgian newspaper, the government of Belgium raised its national security threat level.

The government of Spain challenged his Spanish residency as a danger to national security. It also threatened to prosecute him for violating Spanish hate speech codes. If Spain finds his residency unlawful, he could be deported to Pakistan and execution for blasphemy against Islam. Either the government of Pakistan would execute him or mobs of Muslims would.

He was surprised by the hostility of the Spanish government over the film, because it knew his reputation when it granted him asylum. He has asked Spain to prohibit the Koran in Spain. He gave numerous interviews and articles to the media.

Mr. Firasat is worried about being persecuted by the U.S., too. After all, the U.S. punished Rev. Terry Jones, who distributed the film, for parole violations. This punishment does not seem like coincidence but like a way to punish his free speech without officially stating that as the reason. Pres. Obama told the UN that the "future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." (Adam Turner, The Blaze, 12/31/12 http://www.meforum.org/3421/imran-firasat-islam-film).

Slander is wrongful. It should be subject to civil suit. But truthful defamation is permissible free speech in the U.S.. For all the criticism of the film, the critics, who want to repress it, have not to my knowledge shown any falsity to it.

What exactly did Pres. Obama mean? Muslims, and he was one, consider any criticism of their religion to be slander. One wonders how much Pres. Obama cares about free speech, as that Constitutional lawyer violates the Constitution and rule of law and has curbed the free speech of doctors? Barack Obama has other anti-American views, too. As the car insurance ad puts it, "Are you in good hands?"

Hate speech laws seem to be an excuse for repressing non-violent people who annoy violent people. Has anybody any examples of hate speech laws enforced against Muslims who really do express hatred against non-Muslims and demand their deaths?

Mr. Firasat wants freedom of the press for himself, but not for people who want to read the Koran.

I endorse his prescription of more information as an answer to riots, until the rioters find they cannot repress us in our own countries. If the film is accurate, then Islam greatly menaces national security. If so, the film is vital to national security.

Other answers to riots are changes in immigration law, law enforcement against rioters, inciters to riot, and conspirators, including deportation.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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AMERICA' S BILLION DOLLAR GIVE-AWAY TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Posted by Barbara Sommer, March 06, 2013

The article below was written by Arnold Ahlert who was an op-ed columist with the New York Post for eight years, currently writing for JewishWorldReview.com and FrontPageMag.com. Ahlert can be reached at: atahlert@comcast.net. This article appeared March 05, 2013 on the Right Side News and is archived at
http://www.rightsidenews.com/2013030532118/world/terrorism/obamas-billion-dollar-giveaway-to-the-muslim-brotherhood.html

In the past few weeks, Americans have been subjected to a barrage of doomsday predictions regarding the disaster that would befall us should the sequester come to pass. Many were rightly incensed, then, that last Thursday, only one day before the "devastating" sequester cuts were scheduled to kick in, newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Obama administration will be giving $60 million to a group of Syrian rebels fighting Bashsar Assad.

This hypocrisy was quickly followed up with an announcement on Sunday by Kerry that the administration will be giving Egypt's increasingly anti-democratic Muslim Brotherhood government $250 million in return for promises of economic reform — which will rise to $1 billion if that reform is deemed successful.

Kerry made the first announcement, on Syrian rebel aid, while attending an international conference on Syria in Rome. After asserting that Syrian President Bahsar Assad is "out of time and must be out of power," Kerry revealed that the United States will be sending food rations known as M.R.E.s, as well as medicine to the rebels, via their central military headquarters. American advisors will supervise the distribution. Other countries will send additional aid, and Kerry is convinced the "totality" of that effort will impress Assad.

The rationale behind the funding is that something must be done to counter the extremist rebel factions who have better-organized networks for providing political and humanitarian services to Syrians resisting the Assad regime.

The aid will be given to the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the ostensible counter-weight to the Islamist al-Nusra Front, deemed a terrorist organization by the United States. "We need to help them to be able to deliver basic services and to protect the legitimate institutions of the state," said Kerry. "You have a vulnerable population today that needs to be able to resist the pleas to engage in extremism."

Despite Kerry's announcement, such resistance isn't costing American taxpayers a total of $60 million. That money is earmarked for essential services, such as sanitation and education, in areas currently controlled by rebels. Another $50 million dollars has already been spent providing assistance, such as communications equipment, to activists and local councils. Both amounts are in addition to the $385 million this administration has provided in humanitarian aid to the war-weary Syrian population.

Despite their newfound largesse, some of the rebels were disappointed by the outcome of their meeting with Kerry. "It is obvious that the real support is absent," said Walid al-Bunni, a spokesman for the anti-Assad coalition. Al-Bunni insists weapons are priority number one. "What we want is to stop the Scuds launched on Aleppo, to stop the warplanes that are bombing our towns and villages," he said.

At this point, that isn't going to happen. Britain is supplying the rebels with militarily useful items, such as vehicles, bulletproof vests, and night vision goggles, but neither the U.S. nor the EU has any current intention of arming the rebels, for fear such weapons may end up in the wrong hands. The New York Times reports that the CIA is training Syrian rebels in Jordan, according to an official who wishes to remain anonymous. Yet neither weapons nor ammunition have been given to them either.

Former military intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes puts the timing and scope of the $60 million giveaway in proper perspective. "This is an amazing example of Obama's priorities," he contended. "He spouts gloom and doom for the American people many of whom suffer daily due to an awful economic picture, but he spouts hope to Syrian rebels, many of them members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups."

Unfortunately, Kerry was only getting warmed up. He more than quadrupled down on Sunday in Egypt. The $250 million given to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was based on Morsi's promise to enact economic reforms necessary to procure a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That loan had been agreed to in principle last November, but violent street protests in December drove Cairo to suspend the request, according to Reuters. Yet according to the Washington Post, loan negotiations were set back by Egypt's refusal to raise taxes last year. Complicating the issue even further was a downgrade of Egypt's debt rating by Fitch, who contends the IMF loan is unlikely to happen until Egypt holds its next round of parliamentary elections beginning in April, and running in four stages through June.

Kerry is obviously trying to jumpstart the process. "The United States can and wants to do more," Kerry said in a statement. "Reaching an agreement with the IMF will require further effort on the part of the Egyptian government and broad support for reform by all Egyptians. When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support."

The initial $250 million funding will be divided into two parts. First, $190 million is aimed at alleviating what Kerry characterized as Egypt's "extreme needs." It comes from a $450 million package of aid that had been frozen by Congress due to Egypt's instability and U.S. budget concerns. Apparently not enough concern: despite the objections of congressional Republicans disenchanted with Morsi's policies and past statements on Jews, the outlay was approved.

Another $60 million, for the creation of a fund aimed at "direct support to key engines of democratic change in Egypt, including Egypt's entrepreneurs and its young people" brought the total outlay to a quarter of a billion dollars.

Again in the context of the relentless doom-and-gloom campaign surrounding sequestration, such assistance is dubious enough. Yet Americans must also remember that while half the sequestration cuts are being endured by the military, the U.S. is still sending 200 state-of-the-art Abrams tanks and 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt as well. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) attempted to block the deal, originally made in 2009 with then-president Hosni Mubarak, but his amendment was defeated 79-19 in the Senate. Only Republicans voted against the measure.

An Abrams tank costs $4.3 million. An F-16 fighter jet is $45 million. Thus, another $1.760 billion of taxpayer funding has been used to further enhance the Muslim Brotherhood's military capability. Yet when the amendment was defeated, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) contended the alternative was far worse, including "a loss of thousands of American jobs," and "more than two billion dollars in contract-termination penalties for U.S. taxpayers." In other words, the arming of a nation dominated by Islamists with interests completely inimical to the United States is the "lesser of two evils."

John Kerry's giveaway is even worse because it has occurred despite the fact that Egypt has denied U.S. interrogators access to Abu Ahmed (also known as Mohammed Jamal), the only publicly known suspect tied to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. While not suspected of taking part in the attack, Ahmed allegedly established training camps in Eastern Libya for those who did. This is on top of fact that the Muslim Brotherhood, at the first opportunity, moved to crush the Egyptian democracy movement in its cradle by granting the president uncheck authority, and has faced extreme opposition from genuine voices for freedom. The Morsi government has also adopted a Sharia-based constitution, continues to harass its Coptic Christian minority, has paid thugs to sexually assault women protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square and has reportedly begun to assemble a "morality police" force.

Promising upwards of a billion dollars to such a regime is bad enough in its own context. That the Obama administration is seemingly oblivious to the timing of this announcement, as well as one regarding the Syrian giveaway, borders on surreal. One is left to wonder how the laundry list of calamities we were assured would befall us — including cuts to education, small businesses, food safety, research and innovation, law enforcement, workplace safety, etc., etc., all of which would "threaten thousands of jobs and the economic security of the middle class" — fits in with our subsidizing the ludicrous fiction that so-called Arab Spring has become.

The most obvious answer is that this administration remains confident that few Americans will make the connection. Or, in the event that they do, the same media that invariably rises to defend this administration will do its best to assure the malcontents that such expenditures are "minuscule" in the context of $3.6 trillion dollar annual budget. That would be the same media that took the exact opposite position regarding the 2.4 percent cut in spending engendered by the sequester.

Perhaps someone in the media could ask President Obama to explain his administration's priorities, and why, so soon after warning us that doomsday was at hand, the interests of Islamic totalitarians apparently come ahead of American ones.

Contact Barbara Sommer by email at sommer_1_98@worldnet.at.net Contact Barbara Sommer by email at sommer_1_98@worldnet.at.net


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JEWISH IMAGES IN THE COMICS

Posted by Asaf Romirowsky, March 06, 2013

The article below was written by Frederick Stromberg who is journalist and author, writing mostly about comics. He is the chairman of Seriefrämjandet (the Swedish Comics Association), the editor for Bild & Bubbla and the headmaster for a comics art school. Strömberg started his professional career as a freelance journalist in 1994, and he has since then written for a large number of publications including the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, the Danish Strip!, the Dutch Stripschrift and the American International Journal of Comic Art. He was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Seriecenter (the Comics Art Centre) in Malmö and Seriearkivet (the Swedish Comics Archive) in Lund. The article appeared December 12 and is archived at
http://www.romirowsky.com/13023/jewish-images-in-the-comics

Jewish humor and folklore have always been an integral fabric of Jewish survival throughout the centuries, affording the Jewish community another tool to rationalize the environment they found themselves in. A clear testament to this is the amount of Yiddish jokes and idioms that entered the American lexicon at the beginning of the 20th century.

Jewish folktales characters like the golem and the dybbuk were used to showcase the community's challenges and sensibilities. The folklore took on a new spin when it began to appear in the pages of comic books; as most newspapers and ad agencies would not hire Jews and most of the comic book publishers were Jewish, these books became a fertile ground for Jews to get out their message. Consequently, many of the creators of the most famous comic books, such as Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman, as well as the founders of Mad magazine, were all Jewish. This is illustrated in the TV show Mad Men, set in an ad agency during the 1960s. The Jewish aspect in the show emerged following the hiring of the first Jewish copywriter, named Ginsberg, in Season 4, which caused a great deal of brouhaha. Then of course there was Gregory Peck's masterful portrayal in Gentleman's Agreement of a journalist who goes undercover as a Jew to conduct research for an expose on antisemitism in New York City.

The above serves as the background for why Jews found a natural home in comics. Enter Fredrik Stromberg and his book Jewish Images in the Comics, in which the author traces Jewish history through comics looking at history, culture, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Israel—all out of the lens of comics. Stromberg defines comics as "juxtaposed images in deliberate sequence." Others, like comic writer William Erwin "Will" Eisner, defined the entire art as "the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea." Both, however, agree that dramatizing and sequence are what tell the story. There is no doubt that much of Jewish history needs to be told, which Stromberg illustrates so well.

Furthermore, the uniqueness of this medium is that it allows the message to cascade without personal offense per se, as Stromberg demonstrates by lining up this historical visual while showing the Jewish values, aspirations, and anxieties that are sometimes deeply encoded in comic book characters.

Antisemitism in all its many forms, from the blood libel and Nazism to Islamism, has embraced cartoons as part of its soft-power campaign to propagate the notion that Jews are demonic and the root cause of all evil in the world. Stromberg here skillfully arranges the cartoons to depict the historical sequence and makes the message vivid and pertinent. From what he has done, it can be seen how antisemitism takes on different forms and continues to arise over and over with radicalizations through religion, genocide, or a combination of both. The identification of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a primary source is significant, because when one wants to track antisemitism, all one has to do is look for references to this pamphlet. Ayatollah Khomeini, Hitler, pre-eminent Islamist intellectual Sayyid Qutb, Arafat, and today Abbas are all graduates of the school of modern antisemitism, where they learned to circulate as many variations of the Protocols.

Despite all the use of cartoons to promote an antisemitic message, Stromberg concludes that he did find that Jewish artists are not any different from other comic artists, but rather an integral part of the long tradition of storytelling that has deep roots in the culture of comics. But above all, the author agrees that Jewish humor has had a tremendous effect on the field at large.

What is so evergreen about comics is that even more so in the age of social media, visuals speak louder than words, so the ability to capture moments and events in history and display them in a few slides carries a great deal of weight—more than any other historical text. Thus, as visual history continues to dominate the way history and culture are seen, it would serve all those who observe Jewish history to note how this history is depicted through eyes of the comic artist.

Asaf Romirowsky is a Middle East researcher. He is an adjunct scholar at the Foundation for Defense for Democracies and the Middle East Forum. Asaf Romirowsky served in the Israel Defense Forces as an international relations liaison officer in the West Bank and Jordan. He holds a BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and master's degrees from Villanova University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD from King's College London. He is the acting executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Contact him at list@pundicity.com


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WORRISOME

Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 06, 2013

Nothing concrete to report yet on the coalition, as, again, there are mostly rumors. Based on what I'm reading, however, I confess to a great unease that Lapid sees himself as a reformer upon whom formation of the coalition depends -- and who thus can, with his demands for entry into that coalition, instantaneously restructure much of Israeli society. Whether he's right or wrong on specific issues, I fear a heavy-handed audacity that is only going to tear the society apart.

Not that the haredi parties are behaving in a manner that is going to bring our society cohesiveness, either.

Reports have it that the formation of the coalition is being held up because Lapid demands the foreign ministry and Netanyahu is saying he promised it to Avigdor Lieberman and intends to keep that promise.

~~~~~~~~~~

I hope they were listening:

General James Mattis, head of US Central Command and the top US commander in the Middle East, in a briefing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the current regime of sanctions and diplomatic relations is not working to stop Iran, which is enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose.

"I think we have to continue sanctions, but have other options ready," he explained, saying that these other options don't necessarily entail open conflict, but a military operation is "one of the options that I have to have prepared for the president."

~~~~~~~~~~

That's all well and good, except for the fact that the new US secretary of state has just undercut the option of a military operation with his recent remarks. At an ABC News interview in Doha, Qatar, John Kerry said:

"I'm not going to get into red lines and timing publicly except to reiterate what the president has said again and again, which is he prefers to have a diplomatic solution.

"He would like to see the P5+1 process, the negotiation process, be able to work, and avoid any consideration of any military action."

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2013/03/05/3121231/kerry-obama-would-prefer-to-avoid-considering-iran-strike

Excuse me, but the head of the US Central Command said this wasn't working and yet Obama would prefer to continue with the "P5+1 process"?

If you were running Iran, would you be afraid that Obama might order a military hit?

Rhetorical question.

But the fact that Iran's leaders are not afraid of this severely weakens the potential impact of the sanctions and diplomacy. It's not -- agree or else. It's more like -- golly gee, I really want this to work.

Kerry's refusal "to get into red lines and timing publicly" is quite deliberate. But the whole point, which he chooses to evade, is for the Iranians to be informed quite openly that there's a line beyond which their behavior will not be tolerated.

~~~~~~~~~~

I feel positively schizoid as I write this, for Netanyahu's internal political conduct has been making me crazy, and yet I must continue to recognize him as the most forthright of all national leaders on the issue of Iran. Forthright in words, at any rate -- in how he paints the situation; how he will act, remains to be seen.

Netanyahu was supposed to attend the recent AIPAC Conference in Washington, but could not because the coalition is not yet formed. And so, two days ago, he addressed the Conference by audiovisual hook-up. With regard to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons -- which he maintains will be the first topic of his conversation with President Obama -- he said this:

"...Iran has made it clear that it will continue to defy the will of the international community. Time after time, the world powers have tabled diplomatic proposals to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully. But diplomacy has not worked. Iran ignores these offers. It is running out the clock. It has used negotiations to buy time to press ahead with its nuclear program.

"...The sanctions have hit the Iranian economy hard. But Iran's leaders grit their teeth and move forward. Iran enriches more and more uranium. It installs faster and faster centrifuges Iran has still not crossed the red line I drew at the United Nations last September. But they are getting closer and closer to that line.

"And they are putting themselves in a position to cross that line very quickly once they decide to do so.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, To prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, we cannot allow Iran to cross that line. We must stop its nuclear enrichment program before it will be too late. Words alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat if diplomacy and sanctions fail. I deeply appreciate something that President Obama has said repeatedly. And you've just heard Vice President Biden say it again. Israel must always be able to defend itself by itself against any threat to its existence. The Jewish people know the cost of being defenseless against those who would exterminate us. We will never let that happen again...We have our place under the sun. And ladies and gentlemen, we shall defend it."

http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/03/04/full-text-of-netanyahu-speech-to-aipac-2013/

~~~~~~~~~~

An AIPAC panel discussion on the Iranian issue highlighted the serious divisions between Israel and the US on the matter of stopping Iran, divisions often masked by feel-good rhetoric about how both countries want the same thing.

Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF Military Intelligence, said it clearly:

"We all share the same data, the same intelligence. We are also on the same page on the strategic goal to prevent Iran from being nuclear. But between the floor and the ceiling of the problem, there are doors and windows where we're not in the same place. We should be much closer on how to prevent Iran to go nuclear.

"The time is running out in 2013. The difference between the United States and Israel on the question could be summed up by 'three 'T's': a different trauma, a different trigger (this would be the red line), and maybe not enough trust.

"We, the Israelis, come [to the issue] with the Holocaust. We are six million Israeli Jews listening to Ahmadinejad calling for Israel's destruction. You come with a different trauma, Iraq. You don't want another war, understandably.

"But this is not a war, this is a one-night operation, and we should speak about it."

http://www.timesofisrael.com/aipac-panel-hints-at-deep-us-israel-divide-on-iran/

~~~~~~~~~~

One last, important, word on AIPAC. Please read what Daniel Pipes has to say in "When AIPAC went AWOL":

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3613

~~~~~~~~~~

Yuck! Locusts, some millions that constitute part of the huge swarm that first hit Egypt, have arrived in the Negev. This is the worst infestation in Israel in perhaps 50 years.

locusts

The Ministry of Agriculture made preparations for their arrival, with aerial and land spraying done to minimize the damage to crops.

~~~~~~~~~~

To demonstrate that not everything is worrisome, I'd like to backtrack just a bit and end with something good that happened last Friday: The International Jerusalem Marathon

marathon

The city was shut down, with roads closed to traffic, but the event was one that garnered good will for the city and excellent PR. There were multiple running courses of different lengths -- from professional to amateur -- that were designed to take participants through various historical layers of the city.

Some 20,000 participants joined the run, including people from 52 different countries. The race was won by won by Abraham Kabeto Ketla of Ethiopia, who set a new time.

ethiopia

In the women's division, the winner was Mihiret Anamo Anotonios, also of Ethiopia.

~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, an international event that tracked Jerusalem's Jewish history, and brought considerable good will for the united city's Jewish administration, did not sit well with the PA. The Arabs attempted -- with precious little success -- to get people to withdraw from the marathon and -- with absolutely no success --warned the municipality not to allow participants to run in eastern "occupied" Jerusalem, and definitely not near the Temple Mount, which, they said, belongs only to them.

~~~~~~~~~~

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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GATEKEEPERS CLUB OF LOSERS

Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, March 06, 2013

The article below was written by Moshe Dann who is a writer and journalist with a Ph.D. in History who lives in Jerusalem. The article appeared March 01, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12953#.VW8qZbyVsWN

If one wants to know how Israel lost the war against Arab Palestinians during the last 3 decades, one might look at the leaders of the Shin Bet (Shabak, ISA).

This period includes the first uprising (Intifada)(1988), the Oslo Accords (1993) which brought the PLO terrorist network to power, gave them territory and an army, terrorist attacks and violent riots that swept through the country during the 1990's, the withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000 which gave Hizbullah territory and power, the terrorist war launched by Arafat in 2000, the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip 2005 which gave Hamas territory and power, and the ongoing struggle against terrorism, Hamas and Hizbullah.

All of the of the leaders of the Shabak who appear in the film "The Gatekeepers" were in charge during this critical period. All opposed building Jewish communities over the "Green Line," and all backed unilateral withdrawal. No wonder they failed in their mission, not only to prevent terrorist attacks, but to block the establishment of a terrorist infrastructure that was linked to a terrorist state.

One of these "experts" was so incompetent that he allowed PM Rabin to be assassinated; others were clueless as Israeli buses were being blown up. All were actively complicit with characterizing religious Zionists as responsible for Rabin's assassination and those that lived in settlements as "obstacles to peace."

Carmi Gillon's incompetence was so extraordinary that some have suggested that he was involved in a conspiracy to kill PM Rabin.

His successor was not much better. He sent a hit team to assassinate the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, in Jordan, by placing poison in his ear. They succeeded in their task, but someone noted the unusual license plate of their getaway car: it was from the Israeli embassy! This fiasco included reviving Mashaal with an antidote, and the arrest of the Shabak agents who were eventually exchanged for Hamas terrorists.

Ami Ayalon and Avi Dichter who headed the Shabak in 2000 knew or should have known that Arafat had planned and ordered the Second Intifada. Their failure to plan for the wave of terrorist attacks is a bloody testament to their failure.

Meanwhile, a special unit of the Shabak was focused on "Jewish terrorists" and make-believe conspiracies intended to discredit religious Zionists and especially settlers. That unit is still notoriously active and even engages in provocations, like dressing up as Arabs to confront Jews, arresting Jews and ordering long periods of administrative detention and house arrest with little or no evidence of a crime.

As an astute observer of the Israeli scene commented, "The story of the Gatekeepers is the story of the Shin Bet shadow state that would like to replace Israeli democracy with its own oligarchy and return it to the 1950s. Menachem Begin said it should have been abolished. The Shin Bet and its leaders are personally responsible for an untold number of crimes and the fact that this film makes them heroes for peace is just another example of the moral failing and idiocy of this country. "

Israel does not need a secret police, especially not one that is virtually independent, without oversight or control. It is blight on Israeli democracy and principles of open, transparent and responsible government.

Threatened by terrorist attacks, Israel needs an effective security force. Unfortunately, the"Gatekeepers" and its director did not explain or explore this challenge and are therefore responsible for perpetrating the lies and distortions of Israel's enemies.

Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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MUSLIMS ASSERT SENSE OF SUPERIORITY IN THE WEST

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 06, 2013

Islamists impose their rule in various ways, some by violence, some not. Islamist Watch presents these examples of non-violent methods.

Abusing Welfare to Free Time for Jihad

A Muslim cleric in Britain, Anjem Choudary, urged Muslims to forego jobs and take welfare, so they have time to wage jihad. He set an example, receiving 25,000 pounds for housing, council tax allowance, income support, and child benefits. Bomb plotters and hate preachers in Britain and a suicide bomber in Sweden did likewise.

Proselytizing for Islam at an American Public School

At Terre Haute's Dixie Bee Elementary school, last February 8, Mohammed Alharbi and three students there, all his daughters, distributed religious messages during the school day. They gave the teacher in each room a flower and a card stating that "Mohammed is a Prophet of Mercy" and advising: "Do not defame people lest you make them your enemies."

School administrators permitted this on the grounds that this is a history lesson. [What history in that message?] The school's attorney warned against "viewpoint discrimination."

No viewpoint discrimination? Would a Christian bearing cards about Jesus have been allowed to circulate his propaganda throughout the school?

Remember the case of a woman in a niqab pretending to be a student's mother, taking a girl from a Philadelphia school, and nobody asked for photo ID? Apparently, Americans are afraid to challenge purported Muslims.

Fort Hood Case

Major Nidal Malik Hasan got to the point of mass-murder, after his superiors repeatedly had excused his obvious radicalism. Now survivors complain that the Obama administration has declared the attack just "workplace violence." As a result, they don't get compensation for terrorism-related injuries.

The survivors are suing. Members of Congress are demanding that this episode of jihad be labeled properly.

The Army claims that re-labeling of the incident would complicate their prosecution. Meanwhile, the trial was delayed for months, after Maj. Hasan asserted a religious right to grow a beard for appearance in court.

Islam Really Takes Over British Neighborhoods

It was one thing for long-time Acton neighborhood resident, Jane Kelley, to see the food shops turning halal and the women turning to veils. It was another thing when people gave her unsolicited advice that she should don a veil and when a store sign banned alcohol not only inside but also on the street.

Think that assimilation would resolve all this? No, immigration has mushroomed, so that such communities in London need not interact with non-Muslims. Ms. Kelly will be moving out of London, soon.

Then there is Birmingham, where a priest's wife reports seeing truckloads of illegals, cockfighting, and verbal abuse by immigrants against native Britons. She left that city (David J. Rusin, 2/22/13 http://www.islamist-watch.org/blog/2013/02/iw-news-brief-welfare-jihad-public-school-dawa).

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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THE DIFFERENCE TWO LETTERS MAKE...

Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, March 06, 2013

A friend of mine passed away several years ago who was a great, old fashioned "Liberal." In many ways, many of us could fall into that same category when you really think about it. But things today just ain't what they used to be. For one thing, somehow I just can't see Jews as the new Nazis and Arabs as the new Jews--as too many current "Liberals" proclaim.

I had much affection for this man, and he was one of the folks who joined me when I very reluctantly accepted the request from a leader in my local Jewish community to form a "media watch" committee. I feared the "yenta factor," and sure enough, it bit me on the behind not long afterwards.

Over the years, I had built up a reluctant respect by the local Florida newspaper folks--to the point of having some key editorial staff attending my own presentations on the Middle East. Keep in mind that the paper was like a mini New York Times in those days--so this was no small feat.

Like I had often done earlier with many other editors and media folks when serving as a professional consultant while doing my doctoral studies, the result translated into numerous published, in-depth, op-eds (not "letters") written by myself over the years. This continued until soon after I agreed to form that committee; before long, another member of the committee either accidentally--or accidentally on purpose--gave the editorial brass an excuse to blackball me. The yenta factor...

One of the few good results of forming the committee, however, was meeting my late friend. Marvin used to like to gently remind me that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

Again, I had much affection for this man--but disagreed with him.

No, I'm not an idiot. I don't believe that one should be deliberately impolite or aggressive in promoting or defending one's position. And I never was.

But I also do not believe that one should have to cower or grovel for simply asking for fairness--in the above case, a more balanced reporting by the newspaper powers that be.

To give an example of the problem, the only time the word "barbarism" regarding the Middle East had come out of the paper's editorial staff was when one of its key writers wrote about Israeli checkpoints designed to stop Arab suicide bombers from blowing up more Jewish kids in pizza parlors, night clubs, and the like. "Barbarism Under Israel's Boot" was the title of that particular essay. Think about that for a moment...

The committee carefully monitored and held important meetings with the newspaper brass over the years--and we did see some results. But things only really got better after the old owners lost control to a new team. While there are still some issues, there is more balance in reporting these days for sure--on all issues. And I was more than a bit satisfied when one of the former owners of the paper later bought my book during my author event at the local Barnes and Noble. I gladly personalized his own copy--right after doing so for a Saudi Arabian engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as well.

So, what's my point?

Honey should never take the place of honesty. And folks should neither demand nor expect that.

Reasonable people should be able to discuss issues on which they disagree without one expecting the other to grovel in order to be heard or for their cause to be handled in a just manner. Please keep this in mind as we proceed...

A few weeks ago, in some ways my late friend's counterpart, Shimon Peres, apparently decided to pre-empt President Obama's upcoming visit with a bit of honey.

The Israeli leader announced that Obama will be awarded one of Israel's highest honors, the Presidential Medal of Distinction, when Mr. Obama visits in March. The medal recognizes Mr. Obama's "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the state of Israel and the security of its citizens."

Like Peres's frequent derriere-kissing of the late Egyptian ghoul, Yasser Arafat, such sweetness will only be laughed at and used against him--and Israel--later on down the road.

Honesty being sacrificed for the sake of honey...

I will not, of course, reiterate the tens of thousands of words I've already offered on this subject, but suffice it to say that no matter how much military assistance and economic aid any American administration offers to Israel, this will not make up for forcing it to return to the suicidal conditions which existed prior to the June 1967 War.

As I and others have often noted, those conditions only invited repeated attacks by Israel's enemies who still refuse to recognize a state of the Jews in the region--regardless of its size. Additional fighter aircraft, ineffective promises about Iran, the Iron Dome, or whatever cannot make up for Israel not receiving the territorial compromise and buffer that it was promised by the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242.

Given such honesty, no amount of honey will make any difference.

Mr. Obama has likely saved his first presidential visit to Israel to play hardball by forcing it to abandon 242's call for the establishment of more secure and defensible borders (what the settlement issue and building in Jerusalem and the rest of Judea and Samaria are largely all about) to replace the travesty of 1949's United Nations' imposed armistice lines. Earlier American leaders, such as Johnson, Reagan, and Bush II, are on record endorsing 242's promise.

Let's talk tachlis here...brass tacks, the crux of the matter, etc.

One should not be able to both force Jews to return to their ultra-vulnerable, nine to fifteen-mile wide zipper of a state existence and receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction for strengthening the security of Israel's citizens.

Who do folks like my late friend and Israel's Peres think that they are kidding by indulging in such demeaning endeavors and behaviors?

All that occurs is that we lose respect among those who don't and won't expect Israel to prostrate itself and sacrifice its own critical concerns this way.

A 22nd Arab nation--and second, not first, in the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine (Jordan created in 1922 on almost 80% of the total land) should not be created by grossly endangering the sole resurrected, minuscule state of the Jews. To reasonable minds, this should be a no brainer.

Yet, the above is precisely what both the latter day Arafatians of Abbas and the folks of Hamas have come to expect--especially with the advent of the Obama Administration. Recall that the first phone call Obama made to a foreign leader after his election in 2008 was to Mahmoud Abbas, and that he has repeatedly stated that Israel would be crazy--exact words--to not accept the alleged Saudi Peace Plan--which calls for a total withdrawal of Israel to the '49 Auschwitz/armistice lines.

In just one of too many other nauseating examples of the pitfalls of choosing honey over honesty, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently had a chance to sit across a table from the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu (http://www.todayszaman.com/news-308676-davutoglu-refused-to-shake-hands-with-israels-ehud-barak.html).

And just as Peres was repeatedly played the fool by the Arabs' Arafat, Peres's Lefty soul brother, Barak, looked beyond pathetic pleading for acceptance from none other than a representative of perhaps the biggest hypocrites in the entire Middle East--the Turks. He whimpered because Davutoglu refused to shake his hand.

While I still consider myself a friend of Ataturk's Turkey (which has since been replaced by Islamists), despite its serious, deadly faults, please keep in mind that these are the same Turks who have slaughtered--regardless of whatever excuses may be offered--some two million various non-Turkic peoples over the years in the name of their own national interests. Dare I mention the "A-" words (Armenians and Assyrians)? What's Cyprus all about, anyway? And why are Hamas members considered heroes but PKK members terrorists?

Get my drift?

As Arabs did elsewhere, Turks have outlawed the languages and cultures of other native peoples' (who have lived in Anatolia and adjacent areas long before a Turk ever invaded from Central Asia) in attempts to forcibly Turkify them. They have conquered other peoples' lands and repeatedly take any and all steps deemed necessary to defend Ankara's interests.

The latest official count of the Turkish Statistical Institute published the birth records of its citizens. It showed some twenty-three million Kurds...over a quarter of Turkey's population. Over the years, they have been re-named "Mountain Turks" by their subjugators.

Why no "roadmap" for Kurdistan while Ankara feels free to demand yet additional state for Arabs? All together, there are about forty million truly stateless Kurds in the region...

Imagine if Israel did such things to its Arab citizens. While its record isn't perfect either (what nation's is?), by any objective study, there is simply no comparison between how Kurds are treated in Turkey (and elsewhere) and how Arabs are treated in Israel. Yet, folks like the Turkish Foreign Minister get Jews like Ehud Barak to whine and beg for acceptance.

Disgracefully, when Israel is forced to take measures to defend itself against those who openly declare intent to destroy it, Jews like Peres and Barak feel the need to bend over backwards to appease.

Perhaps even more worrisome, along these same lines, the thinking behind Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent courtship of folks like Tzipi Livni in his coalition-building in the days leading up to President Obama's visit become suspect as well. Like Peres and Barak, Tziporah is also more "flexible" when it comes to issues Team Obama holds dear--like getting Jews to cave to his demands to stay within their 1949 oversized ghetto.

Nations which have fought wars, acquired territories, proclaimed sovereignty, and so forth in and over lands hundreds or thousands of miles away from home have no right to dictate suicidal concessions to Jews.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt, a likely twin replacing Assad's Syria, and so forth are but a few frightening hints at what can be expected down the road.

Given such honesty, shame on those who pressure Israel so unfairly.

In the days which lie ahead--with even more nightmares of the "Arab" Spring," Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and so forth unfolding in this most volatile region of the world (and who knows what will yet become of Iraq)--the gap between honey and honesty goes far beyond a mere two missing letters.

Honey and honesty must both be Israel's guidelines--not one instead of the other.

Gerald A. Honigman is an educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Mid-East Affairs and has conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth. He gives lectures and participates in debates around the U.S. Read his new book to be found at http://q4j-middle-east.com.


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FATWAS, SALAFISTS AND MORSI: DESECRATING EGYPT'S ART AND HISTORY

Posted by FSM Security Update, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Ashraf Ramelah who is founder and president of Voice of the Copts, has recently given testimony to the Canadian Parliament on the revolution taking place in Egypt. The article appeared March 07, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/fatwas-salafists-and-morsi-desecrating-egypts-art-and-history?f=must_reads

morsi

The self-inflicted wounds of an Islamic state begin with words that impound the soul. Issue upon issue upon issue thickens the air and lays heavy on the human spirit suffocating potential. The unpredictability of the fatwa, random and lunatic, holds the populace captive, shackling minds and hearts. This is the terror of state religion.

Often authored on the whim of a solitary, unknown sheik, absurd rulings stand firm and absolute with power to shape and control behavior. These societal taunts when placed on sheets of paper stack up skyscraper tall after centuries of pronouncements.

Generations of Egyptians have suffered impositions and cruel dictates by imams who mine their rough from the deep pits of narcissism and chisel out their next colorful gem for the subjects of Allah to obey. Better the grinding poverty under the pasha's rule of an earlier century than this modern network of Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood, channeling the religious obliteration of freedom.

Convincing the world of their Goodness and superior contribution to humanity, Egyptian Islamists ask for F-16s and get them. And when Condoleezza Rice in Cairo a few years back suggested that just maybe our aid should be contingent on evidence of human rights, Egyptian President Mubarak knew then he would snuff the idea with his cloak of charm and deceit. With the same purpose in mind, Morsi has now retracted almost every declaration he has made since becoming President -- backing down from his decisions at the least resistance from Copts and human rights advocates in order to demonstrate his democratic bent.

He compromised himself from the beginning and had to base his campaign on falsehoods to support a false premise - I am for democracy. Morsi is a puppet, plain and simple, attached to the Muslim Brotherhood "morshed" or spiritual leader who is principally responsible for his ascendancy to office. This is why Morsi made power grabs to begin with, maneuvers he then had to reverse to maintain the present charade.

The chaos of the day infected by overbearing religious authorities and the governing Muslim Brotherhood now antagonizes Egypt's citizenry into lashing out against Egypt's ancient and modern historical sites. Apparently stirred by religious intolerance against the pyramids in a fatwa calling for their destruction (issued by Salafi Al-Gohari in November 2012), one man was recently arrested for pounding a hammer into the head of the Sphinx.

He didn't act alone. Under Morsi, Muslim-owned TV channels announced a fatwa stating that the pyramids and sphinx are pagan idols and therefore must be demolished. By such instigation, petty aggressive acts are committed with the fervor of religious obedience and larger schemes are never out of the question - a license to run roughshod across the ancient land as if to challenge the spirit world of its dynasties entombed within.

His attempt is laughable until we remember the response to a similar dictate which eventually led to the explosions of the great Buddhas in Afghanistan after the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated mullah issued the fatwa to destroy them in 2005. Not only were the Buddhas ancient, erected in the sixth century BC, but annihilating them served as a catalyst to ravage all other statues in the country. (Coincidently, by divine order one year later, Egyptian Mufti Ali Gumah heard from Allah on this front and fashioned a fatwa prohibiting Egyptians from having statues in their homes. He later retracted it due to objections by the people and the media.)

Now this is occurring in Egypt where in fact two statues were vandalized this month in cities north and south of Cairo. Each memorial was an important modern figure from the era of King Farouk and rose to fame at a time when Islam's mark on Egypt was a constrained presence vying with the King's penchant for European culture.

One was the representation of Umm Kulthum, a legendary Egyptian singer known worldwide, erected in the city of Al-Mansura which one day suddenly donned a veil covering her face. Photos of the hijabed-statue subsequently distributed by Muslim Brotherhood members testified that after all these years Umm Kulthum's stone image had found religion.

In the city of Minya, the likeness of Taha Hussen, a former dean of Alexandria University and Professor of History as well as Greek and Roman Literature at Cairo University and later Minister of Education in 1950, was less fortunate but just as telling of the vandals. It suffered decapitation.

Call FSM Security Update at info@familysecuritymatters.org


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SEN. MENENDEZ SPEECH AT AIPAC

Posted by Ted Belman, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Arsen Ostrovsky who is an international human rights lawyer and freelance journalist. He writes for a number of major publications, both in Israel and overseas, on topics including: Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East foreign policy and national security, international human rights law, Israeli—European relations and various issues relating to the Jewish community, Diaspora and anti-Semitism. He is currently also the Director of Research at The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC), an Israeli not-for-profit organization which seeks to strengthen relations between Israel and Jewish communities in Europe, while also combating anti-Semitism and supporting Israel. This article appeared March 06, 2013 in Israpundit and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.com/archives/53332#more-53332

The entire speech was brilliant. But I wanted to highlight a particular section, starting at 31.10 mins in. It is quite possibly the single most passionate, eloquent justification I have ever heard for Israel's existence and the Jewish people's historical and biblical connection to the land of Israel.

This quote was not in his original prepared remarks (I've double checked). He said it on the spot and clearly spoke from the heart. It is not just the words which are important, but also the manner in which he delivered them. I would strongly urge you all to watch.

Full quote above (starts at 31.10 min in the video link below):

http://www.4kmoviesclub.com/signup?b=1&ad_domain=ads.ad-center.com&ad_path=/smart_ad/display&prod=139&ref= 4965521&spid=55707924e152420e748c28d3&seed=4121694324&sf=green_buttons&adserver= 0.16.0-rc1&m=movies&sid=46&bt=1433434408447&bh=3062060798

"While the Shoah has a central role in Israel's identity, it is not the reason behind its founding, and it's not the main justification for its existence. That extreme characterization of that mistaken view is that Western powers established Israel in 1948 based on their own guilt; at the expense of Arab peoples who lived there. Therefore the current state is illegitimate and should be wiped off the face of the map. This flawed argument is not only in defiance of basic humanity dignity, but in plain defiance of history. It is in defiance of ancient history as told in biblical texts and through archaeological evidence. It ignores the history of millennia. Several thousand years of history leads to an undeniable conclusion: the establishment of the State of Israel in modern times is a political reality with roots going back to King David and the time of Abraham and Sarah. The argument for Israel's legitimacy does not depend on what we say in any speech. It has been made by history; it has been made by the men and women who made the desert green; by Nobel prizes earned; by ground-breaking innovations and enviable institutions; by lives saved; by democracy defended; by peace made; by battle won. There can be no denying the Jewish people's legitimate right to live in peace and security in a homeland to which they have a connection for thousands of years."

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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THE PARALLEL REALITY OF PROFESSOR ILAN PAPPE

Posted by IAM e-mail, March 07, 2013

Ilan Pappe is a historian and socialist activist. He is a professor in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, director of the university's European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. Pappé was born in Haifa, Israel. Prior to coming to the UK, he was a senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa (1984—2007) and chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies in Haifa (2000—2008). He is the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006), The Modern Middle East (2005), A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (2003), and Britain and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (1988). He was also a leading member of Hadash, and was a candidate on the party list in the 1996 and 1999 Knesset elections. A recent article is archived at
http://israel-academia-monitor.com/index.php?type=large_advic&advice_id=8636&page_data[id]=4338&cookie_lang=en

Editorial Note:

Following the Arab Spring of 2010, the radical left rushed to welcome the long- awaited arrival of democracy in the region. The rejoicing was especially loud as the events were said to finally end the "Arab exceptionalism," a name coined by political scientists puzzled by the fact that Arab countries failed to join the wave of democratization after the end of the Cold War. Indeed, radical scholars were also quick to point out that the new Arab democracies can teach Israel a few things about "real"democratic governance.

As the Arab Spring turned into an Islamist winter, even liberal stalwarts like the New York Times admit that there is little to rejoice. Egypt is convulsed in violence as the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi has usurped more and more power. In a new move the government banned YouTube. The Salafists in Tunisia instituted a brutal campaign of terror, including the assassination of the leader of the secularist opposition. Christians and homosexuals are being persecuted and killed and there is an alarming rise of violence toward women.

Faced with this reality, most radical faculty fell into silence. However, Ilan Pappe is not deterred. Applying his unique brand of alternative reality -first demonstrated in his writings as a New Historian - to the present, he gushes with enthusiasm about the democracy in the region. To hear Pappe tell it, nothing is wrong with the Arab Spring, and the references to an Islamic Winter are a malicious fabrications of the Israeli propaganda machine. Needles to say, his interpretation of the coming of the new international order are as fanciful (posted below).

Those who marvel at his performance, should be reminded that Pappe, a veteran Communist, has simply adopted practices pioneered by the Soviet Union. As well known, denying reality was key; when things could not be totally denied, accusations that "capitalist," "imperialist" and "Zionist" agents are behind malicious efforts to misrepresent aforesaid events. Although the Soviet Union collapsed, eliminating the propaganda machines and the illusions it spun, Pappe is not expected to follow suit.

Contact IAM e-mail at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com


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SYRIAN REBELS IN GOLAN REGION HOLD U.N. PEACEKEEPING TEAM

Posted by Daily Alert, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Rick Gladstone and Alan Cowell. Gladstone is a reporter and editor, at the foreign desk at New York TimesNew York Times. Since 2008 he has been senior correspondent for NYTimes.com based in Paris. This article appeared March 06, 2013 in the New York Timesand is archived at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/world/europe/syria-developments.html?_r=0

A United Nations vehicle crossed from Syria into Israel on the Golan Heights.
A United Nations vehicle crossed from Syria into Israel on the Golan Heights.

Insurgent fighters from Syria seized a group of United Nations troops on patrol in the disputed Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel on Wednesday and threatened to treat them as prisoners of war, an abrupt escalation in the Syrian conflict that entangled international peacekeepers for the first time.

As the war has worsened, the Golan region has been periodically disrupted by armed clashes and occasional artillery or mortar bombardments that have become a source of concern to Israel. But United Nations officials said that members of the Golan peacekeeping mission, officially known as the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, had never before been taken by any of the combatants in the conflict.

Josephine Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the department at the United Nations that oversees the Golan operation, said about 20 peacekeepers were detained near an observation post that had been evacuated over the past weekend after what she called "heavy combat in proximity" in the southern part of the area they control. The peacekeepers, in a convoy of trucks, had returned to investigate damage to the post when they were taken by about 30 armed rebels.

A video posted online Wednesday showed a member of the Martyrs of Yarmouk claiming responsibility for the abduction of a group of U.N. peacekeepers
A video posted online Wednesday showed a member of the Martyrs of Yarmouk claiming responsibility for the abduction of a group of U.N. peacekeepers

Ms. Guerrero said that the peacekeeping mission was "dispatching a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution," and that the Syrian authorities had been asked to help.

She said she had no further information on the insurgents involved or the nationalities of the detainees. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group based in Britain with a network of contacts inside Syria, said they were Filipino, and the Philippine government said Thursday that it had been told by the United Nations that 21 of its peacekeepers were detained.

The government statement said that the peacekeepers were "reported to be unharmed" and that negotiations were under way to secure their release.

A video uploaded on YouTube by a group that identified itself as the Martyrs of Yarmouk claimed responsibility on Wednesday and said the peacekeepers would be held until Syrian government forces withdrew from the area around Al Jamlah, the site of the weekend clashes. The video does not show any of the captives, but United Nations vehicles are visible.

A speaker in the video warns in Arabic: "If the withdrawal does not take place within 24 hours, we will deal with those guys like war prisoners. And praise to God."

The threat underscored the widening risk that the Syria conflict is destabilizing the Middle East, and raised new concerns about the agendas of some Syrian insurgent groups, just as Western nations, including the United States, were grappling over whether to arm them.

The seizure of the peacekeepers was the second serious war-related Syria border problem this week. On Monday, more than 40 Syrian soldiers who had sought temporary safety in Iraq were killed in an ambush as the Iraqi military was transporting them back to the Syrian border. At the United Nations, Eduardo del Buey, a spokesman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, suggested that officials had long feared the possibility of harm to the peacekeepers. "As the secretary general has said repeatedly, the spillover effects of the Syrian crisis pose a danger to the region as a whole and to the countries and the areas in the neighboring states around it, and Undof is no exception," he said, using the acronym for the Golan peacekeeping mission. "They are in a zone where the spillover could be of consequence."

Ambassador Vitaly I. Churkin of Russia, which holds the monthly presidency of the Security Council for March, said that members had been briefed about the Golan situation but that he could provide no further information on what precisely had happened. Mr. Churkin, whose government is a main supporter of the Syrian government in the conflict and a strong critic of the armed rebels, urged the captors to release the peacekeepers immediately. "They should stop this very dangerous course of action," he told reporters.

undeployment

Linking the Golan situation to the Iraq killings two days earlier, Mr. Churkin said: "Some people are trying very hard to extend the Syrian conflict. Today there is this incident. This is no man's land between Syria and Israel. Somebody is trying very hard to blow this crisis up."

With a force of 1,011 troops contributed by Austria, Croatia, India and the Philippines, the United Nations observer force in the Golan is responsible for maintaining the fragile calm between Israeli and Syrian troops at the demilitarized zone along Syria's Golan frontier, established after a cease-fire ended the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

The detention of the peacekeepers came less than a week after Croatia announced it was withdrawing its soldiers from the Golan force, following reports that Croatia was selling weapons funneled to Syrian rebels by Saudi Arabia, a main supporter of the insurgency. The Croatian government denied the reports but said they had put the safety of its peacekeepers at risk. It is unclear which country or countries will replace the departing Croatians.

News of the peacekeepers' seizure came on a day of other precedents in the two-year Syrian conflict, which has left more than 70,000 people dead.

Antigovernment fighters battling military forces in the north-central city of Raqqa, where fighting has raged for days, released a video on YouTube corroborating their earlier claims that they had arrested the provincial governor and the provincial secretary general of President Bashar al-Assad's Baath Party, who activists said were the two highest-ranking Assad loyalists captured so far. The video showed both men seated uncomfortably on an ornate couch, apparently in the governor's palace, surrounded by insurgents.

Also on Wednesday, the United Nations refugee agency in Geneva said the number of Syrians who had fled to neighboring countries surpassed the one million mark, coupling the announcement with a renewed appeal for more aid. "Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster," the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, said in a statement.

In Cairo, officials at the Arab League announced that it had formally awarded Syria's seat to the Syrian opposition coalition, a symbolically important step aimed at further disenfranchising Mr. Assad's government. The opposition was asked to send a representative who could occupy the seat provisionally until the formation of a new Syrian government. How soon such a representative could be chosen, however, remained unclear. The opposition coalition, representing a broad array of anti-Assad groups, has continually postponed decisions like choosing a provisional prime minister.

In London, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday that Britain was prepared to supply armored all-terrain vehicles, body armor and other "nonlethal military equipment" to the Syrian opposition, apparently nudging his government's support for the rebels beyond the food and medical supplies pledged last week by the United States.

"Diplomacy is taking far too long," Mr. Hague said, stressing that the promised new support was designed to protect civilian foes of Mr. Assad, not to arm rebel soldiers. "Each month of violence in Syria means more death, wider destruction, larger numbers of refugees and bloodier military confrontation," Mr. Hague told Parliament.

Reporting was contributed by Hania Mourtada from Beirut, Lebanon; David D. Kirkpatrick from Cairo; Nick Cumming-Bruce from Geneva; and Liam Stack from New York.


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"HAGGADAH FOR J STREET FOLLOWERS

Posted by Philly AFSI, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Moshe Phillips who is a member of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter's website is at: www. phillyafsi. com and Moshe's blog can be found at phillyafsi. blogtownhall. com. This article appeared March 07, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12979#.VXCSMryVsWM

On one hand, there stand the ancient rabbis who compiled the Haggadah with its multilayered sophistication and overwhelmingly positive, energetic, highly visible and impactful style, that has served as a key to the puzzle of how to actively engage Jews and their children.

On the other hand, there stands Edgar Bronfman, Sr. and the fans of his radical, new Haggadah. The heir to the Seagram's fortune and president of the World Jewish Congress for well over 25 years did not rise to his position in the WJC due to his Jewish scholarship, his self-sacrifice on behalf of Jewish causes or his piety and adherence to Jewish observance -- he brought none of these things to the table. Bronfman was asked to lead the WJC because of his immense personal wealth.

Now he has produced a new Haggadah for himself and other American Jews who rush to criticize how Israel defends itself against its enemies. One Bronfman fan of the Haggadah is Rabbi Arthur Green.

Green is listed by as an Advisory Council member of J Street, the controversial and George Soros funded Jewish pressure group that was created to lobby for a Palestinian state. Green is a former dean of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) and was a prominent member of Breira. J Street is a direct descendant of Breira which itself was a 1970s effort by the radical left to erode popular support for Israeli policies in the American Jewish community.

"The beautifully produced Bronfman Haggadah is a daring and creative re-reading of the traditional text," Green says. Green is the author of "Radical Judaism: Rethinking G-d and Tradition", but he and Bronfman are obviously not just in favor of "rethinking" the Haggadah, but fully destroying the goals of its original writers.

Bronfman rewrites the standard, family favorite "Dayenu" song stating "And if we deliver peace between ourselves, the Palestinians, and our Arab neighbors ... that will be enough!"

He concludes his work with such statements as "commit ourselves to supporting every idea, every effort, and every carefully crafted plan that seeks to lead Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs—indeed all of the world's clashing people—out of the dark and narrow straits of fear and violence, out of the strictures of hatred and war, and into the spiritual Jerusalem—the true Promised Land—an open and peaceful place flowing with the milk and honey of justice, compassion, and freedom for all."

Bronfman casts Jews and their Arab enemies as morally equivalent.

Green has also said about Bronfman's book that it "is a daring and creative re-reading of the traditional text. It will make for a seder like you never had before, and is sure to cause lots of questioning and discussion."

Yes, "a seder like you never had before" - because it is an abrupt break with Jewish tradition.

Even after a very quick read through of the ancient text of Haggadah, it should be plain to see that a more pro-Israel, pro-Zionist and Pro-Jerusalem group of authors was never assembled than the anonymous rabbis of antiquity responsible for the original, classic guide to the Passover Seder. The passion of these ancient rabbis for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple permeates the work.

Let's pause for a moment and take a look at the "political" views of the Haggadah, in contrast to Bronfman's ideas.

There is much more here than just "Let My People Go!" and "Next Year in Jerusalem!"

The tragedy here is that far too many Jews miss the "political" ideas embedded inthe Haggadah in the rush to get to the meal or because they using Haggadahs that break with the traditional text and ideas such as Bronfman's.

What are these ideas?

Anti-Semitism exists and yet the People of Israel survive:

"For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!"

Jerusalem is holy to the G-d of Israel and is under His Divine protection:

"And with an outstretched arm," this refers to the sword, as it is said: "His sword was drawn, in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem."

The climax of the Exodus story is the construction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem:

"If He had brought us into the land of Israel, and had not built for us the Beit Habechirah (Chosen House; the Beit Hamikdash i.e. the Holy Temple) Dayenu, it would have sufficed us!"

The central importance of the Holy Temple in the Passover story and in Judaism must never be forgotten:

Thus did Hillel do at the time of the Bet HaMikdash: He would combine the Passover lamb, Matzah and Maror and eat them together, as it said: "They shall eat it with Matzah and bitter herbs."

The nexus of the City of Jerusalem, the Holy Temple and the Kingdom of Israel in Judaism must never be forgotten:

"Have mercy, L-rd, our G-d, upon IsraelYour people, upon Jerusalem Your city, upon Zion the abode of Your glory, upon the kingship of the house of David Your anointed, and upon the great and holy House which is called by Your Name."

Jerusalem will be fully rebuilt:

"Rebuild Jerusalem the holy city speedily in our days. Blessed are You, L-rd, who in His mercy rebuilds Jerusalem. Amen".

G-d has indicated just one place on earth forthe construction of His Holy Temple:

"I will pay my vows to the L-rd in the presence of all His people, in the courtyards of the House ofthe L-rd, in the midst of Jerusalem".

The future of Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish People:

"Next Year in Jerusalem!"

Just in case the essential lessons of the evening were not clear enough the Adir Hu song is sung towards the very end of theevening to remind everyone:

May He soon rebuild His House [the Holy Temple in Jerusalem]

Speedily, speedily and in our days, soon

G-d, rebuild! G-d, rebuild!

Rebuild your house soon!

One is left to wonder which epithets the J Street crowd and their ilk would hurl at the authors of the Haggadah if they published it our time: Racists, Extremists, Far-Rightists, Militants, Religious Extremists...

That an emphasis on the authentic Jewish ideas of the Haggadah has been lost should really come as no surprise. After all, the authentic Jewish political concepts handed down in the Tanach (the Jewish Bible) remain unknown to most contemporary Jews -- an even greater tragedy with far more powerful side effects.

How did this happen? How did the Jewish people become so indifferent to the eternal "political" lessons the rabbis sought to have taught to every generation that a Bronfman Haggadah could be published and there is no outcry?

There is no easy answer.

Some of the blame must fall on the radical left. Since the 1960s segments of the American Jewish left, many of whom had a firm hand in influencing the initiation of J Street, such as Arthur Waskow and Tikkun Magazine's Michael Lerner, have perverted the seder. For decades they linked Passover to civil rights, South Africa, nuclear freeze, feminism and most appallingly to the mythical "Palestinian People."

What would the ancient Rabbis responsible for the Haggadah think Bronfman's heresy? Of the Obama Administration's policies toward Israel and Jerusalem? What would they tell J Street?

The Rabbis response is in the Haggadah.

Contact Philly AFSI at phillyafsi@gmail.com


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REPUBLICANS PLAYING OBAMA'S 2014 ENDGAME

Posted by The Patriot Post, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Mark Alexander who is Executive Editor and Publisher of The Patriot Post the Web's "Voice of Essential Liberty". His strong academic vitae in constitutional government and policy combined with his real-world occupational experience ensure his contributions as an essayist and analyst reflect the grassroots conservatism of the heartland, rather than the ubiquitous Beltway news and opinion. This article appeared March 07, 2013 in the Patriot Post and is archived at
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/17100

"Necessity, especially in politics, often occasions false hopes, false reasonings and a system of measures, correspondently erroneous." —Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 35)

Ahead of the implementation of sequestration on March 1st, I provided Beltway Republicans and pundits with a comprehensive analysis of Obama's sequestration strategy and objective under the title, "Obama's 'Republican Sequester' Setup." Unfortunately, Republican "leaders" have yet to comprehend how they have been set up to fall.

Shhhh! They are asleep!

Yes, most Republicans and conservative analysts recognize that for Obama, politics always trumps people, so the focus of his never-ending campaign is now the 2014 midterm election, which will determine, in large measure, his second-term legacy. But they're still unwitting pawns in Obama's sequestration game.

Republican and columnists have devoted endless airtime and print to how sequestration was Obama's idea, how small the sequester cuts are compared to the budget and deficits, how overstated Obama's dire economic warnings have been, and how Obama's sequestration cuts in defense are grossly disproportionate.

These politicos and pundits are right on all counts, but they're so focused on tactics that they've completely missed Obama's macro sequestration strategy — and have done so at great peril to the future of Liberty. While they acknowledge that Obama is intent on winning a socialist Democrat House majority in 2014, none have connected the dots on the role of sequestration in that strategy — and it is a leading part.

While I offer below a few tangible examples of how Republicans should respond to Obama's high profile cuts in services and personnel "mandated by the Republican sequester," let me first lay out Obama's 2014 strategy again and see if it can break through the Beltway gauntlet against grassroots solutions.

1. Despite feigning dramatic opposition to the "Republican sequester" in his national "Chicken Little" tour, both Obama and his congressional Democrats wanted sequestration to occur as it is key to their strategy to use it as a noose to hang Republicans ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. To ensure the implementation of the "Republican sequester," Obama made Republicans an offer — more taxes and no spending cuts — that they could only refuse. If there remains any doubt that Obama intends to hang Republicans with this strategy, just consider an internal memo picked up by the Washington Times this week, in reply to an agency director who inquired about spreading sequester cuts to lessen their impact. The White House response: "However you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be."

2. Now that sequestration has been implemented, Obama and his NeoCom cadres will blame the "Republican Sequester" for any and all economic, national security and social ills near term. Obama knows that the net effect of his January $150 billion payroll and income tax hikes, on top of $489 billion in defense cuts already enacted, and estimates that ObamaCare premiums and taxes will add up to more than $500 billion, is a formula for sustained economic recession. Thus, from sequester forth, every negative economic GDP or jobs report, which in reality demonstrates the planned failure of Obama's socialist "recovery stimuli," will be blamed on the "Republican Sequester."

3. Though Obama dramatically overstated the immediate effect of sequester, that exaggeration was intentional. It got the attention of all of his most reliable government plantation constituents, and tens of millions of others who are in any measure dependent on the government for their welfare or income. In the coming weeks and months, when the burden of Obama's massive tax increases and continued unabated accumulation of debt shows up in poor economic reports, his constituents won't remember the pre-sequester hyperbole. They will only recall that he warned the nation about the terrible "Republican sequester." And when Obama employs his classist "politics of disparity" playbook to blame sequester "cuts" for every runny nose in America, with the full support of his public relations network, the Leftmedia and their MSM propaganda machinery, he may well lay the foundation for substantial Democrat victories in 2014.

Thus, Obama's strategic objective is the evisceration of what's left of the Republican Party in order that his Socialist Democratic Party can control the Executive and Legislative branches, and most of the Judicial branch, effectively rendering the constitutional pretense of checks and balances null and void. That one-party control is a necessary component of his macro political strategy — breaking the back of free enterprise under the weight of increased taxes, regulations and trillion-dollar annual deficits, and "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

The Blame Shift Game

For the record, I also warned Republicans that before last Friday's meeting with Obama, he would use it "to tell the nation Friday afternoon that the Democrats did their best to avert the economic trauma caused by the 'Republican sequester.'" (No doubt he will use the follow-up meeting this week for the same purpose.)

Indeed, that afternoon, Obama called a press conference and cemented his sequester strategy.

Obama: "As you know, I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today. I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. They will cost us jobs. All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy. It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They've allowed these cuts to happen because they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that's apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts."

Obama softened the hyperbole: "Now, what is absolutely true is that not everybody is going to feel it. Not everybody is going to feel it all at once. ... That is real. That's not — we're not making that up. That's not a scare tactic, that's a fact."

Then Obama set up his 2014 slam dunk: "Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable; that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal; the fact that [Republicans] don't take [the sequester deal] means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right. ... The majority of the American people agree with me, including a majority of Republicans. We just need Republicans in Congress to catch up with their own party and their country on this [when] members of Congress start hearing from constituents who are being negatively impacted, as we start seeing the impact that the sequester is having. ... What I can't do is force Congress to do the right thing. The American people may have the capacity to do that."

In other words, between now and the 2014 midterm election, he will blame the "Republican sequester" for everything that might otherwise be blamed on his own planned economic policy failures, in order to crush Republicans ahead of that election.

Obama's 2014 objective was aptly summarized by The Washington Post this week, which noted that Obama is "executing plans to win back the House in 2014, which he and his advisers believe will be crucial to the outcome of his second term and to his legacy as president. The goal is to flip the Republican-held House back to Democratic control, allowing Obama to push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office, according to congressional Democrats, strategists and others familiar with Obama's thinking."

The National Debt Clock

So what should House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell do?

First, short of resigning in disgrace for dereliction of duty, they should get their heads out of their, uh, I mean shake off that Potomac fever and stop playing Obama's game. Call out his sequester strategy and hang it around HIS neck. Obama's strategy can backfire on him, but only if Republicans start lighting their own brushfires. Thus far, Boehner and McConnell seem lost in Obama's smoke.

Republicans had better get those brushfires burning in order to obtain political high ground ahead of the Continuing Resolution renewal due March 27, and the debt ceiling debate that will follow. The House has already approved a measure to fund government operations through the end of fiscal 2013 — 267 to 151 with Democrats voting against — but forcing a "Republican government shutdown" may be part two of Obama's 2014 strategy — if he thinks he can get away with it.

In both cases, Obama is counting on negative economic news to support his position for more taxes, spending and debt.

In the meantime, Republicans and conservative commentators should go for the throat of Obama's strategy blaming "Republican sequester" for high profile cuts, like suspending White House tours — which, by the way, are conducted by volunteers.

Republicans and pundits should hit all the sequester softballs Obama is throwing their way, out of the park!

For example, Obama's civilian budgeteers at DoD have cancelled all high profile appearances of military precision flying teams at air show events for the remainder of 2013. Fact is, those events are key recruiting tools for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp, and every hour of flight is a training hour for the pilots.

In response, Republicans should very publicly demand that Obama cancel all political and recreational junkets on Air Force One. Every time Obama and Michelle LaVaughn, and their entourage, jet around the nation and world for political junkets and exotic vacations — they do so at enormous expense to taxpayers and Air Force resources. He condemns corporate executives for using private aircraft, while he has frivolously used one of DoD's most expensive military assets, Air Force One ($228,288 per flight hour), with the added and much larger expense of all the backup aircraft, Air Force cargo planes airlifting limousines and support vehicles, helicopters, security and support personnel, and their political entourage, all with first class accommodations.

Of course the quick rebut is, "Bush did too," and for the record, I have always objected to presidents of ANY party wasting tax dollars for vacations and political junkets. However, Obama has used these assets more than any president, all the while spewing his class warfare rhetoric against the one-percenters. Writing about the opulence of the Obama administration in "Presidential Perks Gone Royal," author Robert Keith Gray notes that $1.4 billion in taxpayer funds was spent on the Obamas last year, including "the biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever" and Air Force One "running with the frequency of a scheduled air line." Notably, all of the support costs for travel are not included in that $1.4 billion.

It's time to sequester Air Force One! Additionally Congress should demand that all senior administration officials use commercial transportation for official business rather than the large expensive fleet Boeing executive jets. All savings should be reallocate as offset sequester cuts to vital national security operations.

If Obama really wants to impress America with painful sequester cuts, he should start by canceling vacations and Demo-stumping events on the world's biggest political platform, Air Force One.

Oh, and Republicans might also want to mention that Obama's record 20 percent first term increase in government spending dumped more than $6 trillion in debt on the backs of our children and our grandchildren, but that the $253.5 billion increase in national debt in February alone is nearly SIX TIMES the total $44 billion fiscal 2013 sequestration cuts.

Just saying...

PS: This just in from Obama's Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest: "We are certainly concerned — I think you could even say, very concerned, about...Republicans in Congress, who repeatedly are throwing up obstacles to a recovery that's starting to gain traction." Stay tuned for more...

Contact the Patriot Post at no-reply@patriotpost.us


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THE NEW HOLOCAUST DISCOVERIES

Posted by GWY123, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech who is an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, author, and lecturer. Rabbi Blech is the author of twelve highly acclaimed and best selling books, In a national survey, (www.jewsweek.com) Rabbi Blech was ranked #16 in a listing of the 50 most influential Jews in America. He is a frequent lecturer in Jewish communities as far-flung as Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Israel. Closer to home, he has served as Scholar-in-Residence at hundreds of synagogues throughout the United States and Canada and been active on behalf of countless Jewish causes. This article appeared in the Aish.com and is archived at
http://www.aish.com/ci/s/The-New-Holocaust-Discoveries.html

With more than 42,000 ghettos and concentration camps scattered throughout Europe, almost everyone had to know what was happening.

The latest revelation about the Holocaust stuns even the scholars who thought they already knew everything about the horrific details of Germany's program of genocide against the Jewish people.

It's taken more than 70 years to finally know the full facts. And what is almost beyond belief is that what really happened goes far beyond what anyone could ever have imagined.

For the longest time we have spoken of the tragedy of 6 million Jews. It was a number that represented the closest approximation we could come to the victims of Hitler's plan for a Final Solution. Those who sought to diminish the tragedy claimed 6 million was a gross exaggeration. Others went further and denied the historicity of the Holocaust itself, absurdly claiming the Jews fabricated their extermination to gain sympathy for the Zionist cause.

But now we know the truth.

The reality was much worse than whatever we imagined.

It wasn't just the huge killing centers whose very names — Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Majdanek, Belzec, Ravensbruck, Sobibar, Treblinka — bring to mind the ghastly images by now so familiar to us. It wasn't just the Warsaw ghetto. It wasn't just the famous sites we've all by now heard of that deservedly live on in everlasting infamy.

Researchers at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have just released documentation that astounds even the most informed scholars steeped in the previously known statistics of German atrocities. Here is some of what has now been conclusively discovered:

  • There were more than 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe from 1933 to 1945.
  • There were 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1000 prisoner of war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, "Germanizing" prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.

  • The best estimate using current information available is 15to 20 million people who died or were imprisoned in sites controlled by the Germans throughout the European continent.

Simply put, in the words of Hartmut Berghoff, Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, "The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought; we knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was, but the actual numbers are unbelievable."

And what makes this revelation so important is that it forces us to acknowledge a crucial truth about the Holocaust that many people have tried to ignore or to minimize — a truth that has profound contemporary significance: The unspeakable crime of the 20th century, more than the triumph of evil, was the sin of the "innocent" bystander.

For years our efforts to understand the Holocaust focused on the perpetrators. We looked for explanations for the madness of Mengele, the obsessive hatred of Hitler, the impassive cruelty of Eichmann. We sought answers to how it was possible for the criminal elements, the sadists and the mentally unbalanced to achieve the kind of power that made the mass killings feasible.

That was because we had no idea of the real extent of the horror. With more than 42,000 ghettos and concentration camps scattered throughout the length and breadth of a supposedly civilized continent, there's no longer any way to avoid the obvious conclusion. The cultured, the educated, the enlightened, the liberal, the refined, the sophisticated, the urbane — all of them share in the shame of a world that lost its moral compass and willingly acceded to the victory of evil.

"We had no idea what was happening" needs to be clearly identified as "the great lie" of the years of Nazi power. The harsh truth is that almost everyone had to know. The numbers negate the possibility for collective ignorance. And still the killings did not stop, the torture did not cease, the concentration camps were not closed, the crematoria continued their barbaric task.

The "decent" people were somehow able to rationalize their silence.

Just last year Mary Fulbrook, a distinguished scholar of German history, in "A Small Town Near Auschwitz "wrote a richly and painfully detailed examination of those Germans who, after the war, successfully cast themselves in the role of innocent bystanders.

"These people have almost entirely escaped the familiar net of 'perpetrators, victims and bystanders'; yet they were functionally crucial to the eventual possibility of implementing policies of mass murder. They may not have intended or wanted to contribute to this outcome; but, without their attitudes, mentalities, and actions, it would have been virtually impossible for murder on this scale to have taken place in the way that it did. The concepts of perpetrator and bystander need to be amended, expanded, rendered more complex, as our attention and focus shifts to those involved in upholding an ultimately murderous system."

Mary Fulbrook singled out for censure those who lived near Auschwitz. But that was before we learned that Auschwitz was replicated many thousands of times over throughout the continent in ways that could not have gone unnoticed by major parts of the populace. Millions of people were witnesses to small towns like Auschwitz in their own backyards.

And so Elie Wiesel of course was right. The insight that most powerfully needs to be grasped when we reflect upon the Holocaust's message must be that, "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference."

That remains our greatest challenge today. If we dare to hope for the survival of civilization we had better pray that the pessimists are wrong when they claim that the only thing we learn from history is that mankind never learns from history.

Contact 123@aol.com at GWY123@aol.com


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OF ALL US AL QAEDA LINKED TERRORIST ATTACKS 54% WERE AMERICAN CITIZENS

Posted by Dr. Richard Swier, March 07, 2013

attacks

A new report by the Henry Jackson Society reveals that the Islamist terrorist threat comes significantly from within the United States, not just from without.

According to the new report, Al-Qaeda in the United States, of the 171 al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists who either committed acts of suicide terrorism in the U.S. or were convicted in U.S. civilian or military courts from 1997 to 2011, 54% were American citizens, and more than a third were born in the United States.

The researchers found, "Among those residing in the U.S., the state of New York featured most prominently, with 14% of individuals living there. Outside of New York, the two most common states of residence were Florida (11%) and New Jersey (9%)."

Two of the three most common states — Florida and New Jersey — were the place of residence for a significantly high amount of non-U.S. born individuals (18% and 14% respectively). Conversely, the most common state, New York, had a higher proportion of U.S. born AQRO perpetrators residing there than non-U.S. born individuals.

"Moreover, 36% of all individuals were U.S. born, indicating that these were citizens who had grown up in the U.S. rather than having moved there later in life. Therefore, this statistic dispels the myth that the terrorist threat is primarily external."

The conclusions include:

  • The majority of individuals who committed AQROs were young, educated men. 57% of perpetrators were aged under 30, and were most likely to have been aged between 20 and 24 years (33% of perpetrators). A total of eight women (5%) were convicted of AQROs between 1997 and 2011, two for their roles supporting their partners in the commission of AQROs.
  • Of all 171 individuals responsible for AQROs, nearly a quarter (23%) were known converts to Islam. As a proportion of their overall involvement, converts committed more AQROs than non-converts in eight of the fifteen years studied.
  • Of offenses committed by religious converts, 31% were by Active Participants, compared to 39% of offenses committed by non-religious converts.
  • The vast majority (97%) of the 155 AQROs that have led to successful convictions (the total of 174 AQROs excluding the nineteen suicide hijackers from September 11, 2001) were prosecuted in federal courts. 3% of all convictions have taken place in a military court. Nearly two thirds (65%) of those convicted of AQROs pleaded guilty, and the single most common category was a sentence of between 10 and 14 years.
  • Nearly half (47%) of those who committed AQROs attended training camps for terrorist purposes. Of those who received training, the most popular location was Afghanistan (68% of those who trained did so here), followed by Pakistan (29%). Therefore, 97% of individuals who had received terrorist training had trained in either Afghanistan, Pakistan, or both.

The article above was written by Dr. Richard Swier who is Publisher of www.DrRichSwier e-Magazine. He holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, a Master's Degree in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Richard is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service. This article appeared March 07, 2013 in Watchdogwire and is archived at
http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2013/03/07/of-all-us-al-qaeda-linked-terrorist-attacks-54-were-american-citizens/


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EGYPT VS. ITS COPTS: HOW JIHAD OPERATES THERE

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 07, 2013

Americans take their major news media seriously. Big mistake. They think they know what's going on, but their awareness is boxed in by presenters' bias. So they don't realize that jihad is global, how it operates, and how much help it gets from the West.

They see some reports of violence, but the media, as for example the New York Times presents it as a "clash" between two groups, rather than as the usual Islamist aggression. Where does the violence come from? No clue for those who've heard of Islam as a religion of peace.

Jihad is mostly underground and subversive in Western countries. Radical Muslims make public statements that are moderate for Western ears and incendiary to their followers. Some Westerners excuse the extreme statements as mere political rhetoric. But since the followers riot, murder, and make war as a result, judge those Radical Muslims by what they tell their followers. What they tell us is mere P.R...

It doesn't take much to deceive supposedly educated Westerners, especially European ones whose culture is antisemitic. Britain, France, and the U.S. have appointed Islamist leaders to advise them on how to combat Radical Islam. No kidding! Universities fill U.S.-government supported Middle East Studies centers with jihadists and far leftist sympathizers. (What's that about the federal government solving America's problems?) President Obama appoints Radical Muslims to represent our country. He also pulls them into his administration's less publicized important posts, and appoints fellow travelers such as Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan, for whom naivety and ignorance and perhaps anti-Americanism seem to be their main qualifications.

President Obama helped push Mubarak out of the way of the Islamists. Then he pretended that Islamist demagogic popularity was democratic, rather than the prelude to crushing democratic tendencies. When the new President Morsi made conciliatory statements, Western media and politicians believed he was moderate. But he was gaining time to fasten further control. Israel, whose intelligence agencies are reputed to know what is going on, felt or acted as if Morsi were going to honor the peace treaty with Israel. Upon discovering antisemitic speeches of Morsi, the West was shocked. It didn't know how thoroughly rabid the Muslim Brotherhood is, nor how deceitful. The West still doesn't question the wisdom of its leaders, the ability of its intelligence agencies, and the media's failure to explain what is going on. Information should direct government and popular ideology and politics, but ideology and politics direct the media.

Everywhere jihadists indoctrinate in religious intolerance. In Muslim countries not yet Islamist, other religions are repressed and somewhat persecuted. That is the Islamic basis which Radical Islam carries further. When Islamists take over, the government becomes more totalitarian. Radical Muslims feel more encouraged to attack Christians and other minorities.

In Egypt, the government not only is arrogating more and more totalitarian power to itself, it and its media carry out jihad against its millions of remaining Christians, as explained in the summary below of an article by (Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, 11/2/12 http://www.meforum.org/3376/egypt-christian-copts).

In Egypt, the media libels the Copts, while the President lies about protecting them. Mr. Ibrahim cites an example of two Christian boys arrested for allegedly blaspheming a Quran.

Having their cake (Christian prisoners) and eating it too, the Muslim Brotherhood claimed that Pres. Morsi ordered the two boys released. The Egyptian media dutifully reported that. The Western media parroted the line.

The boys' lawyer disagrees. He said that the boys were brought to a quieter place, away from riots, and that Pres. Morsi was not involved..

In the Sinai, Coptic families got death threats in Rafah, so they fled. Morsi visited Sinai. The Western media believed that he was committing himself to protect Copts.

Coptic bishop Qazmaan of Sinai disagrees about any such commitment. He and his fellows were kept away from Morsi, just were allowed to hear Morsi's platitudes about all Egyptians being equal.

Came the anniversary of the Maspero Massacre, in which Egypt's military ran over Christians protesting the constant attacks on their churches, and the Egyptian media claimed that Copts were killing the soldiers, the Western media accepted the Egyptian media's story, and the court found for the military. Copts assembled in Maspero to memorialize. Egypt's media again libeled the Copts.

A TV anchorman called the anniversary old hat, and showed non-violent scenes from Maspero a year earlier, as if the massacre did not happen. He claimed that Coptic demonstration benefits Israel. [He presented the Christian minority seeking equality as traitors.

Rather than disloyal troublemakers cared for by the government, the government oppresses them.

Comment: Part of Islamic antisemitism is to blame the Jews as being behind most of their problems. The Jewish people and the State of Israel neither could do such things nor want to.

In the West, the crime of blasphemy went out centuries ago. In Muslim countries, not only is it enshrined by law, but accusations are made by rumor and masses of Muslim men take the law into their own hands.

Tolerance is prohibited in Egypt. Westerners don't understand that Islam does not permit religious equality, regardless of what Pres. Morsi says. Islam and his Muslim Brotherhood believe Islam must dominate.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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POLLARD DIDN'T DESERVE TO RECEIVE A LIFE SENTENCE

Posted by Barbara Sommer, March 07, 2013

Lawrence Korb, who was Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair, says it's time to let Pollard go.

Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair, told a news conference on Tuesday that Pollard did not deserve a life sentence.

Korb noted that the usual sentence for offenses similar to those made by Pollard is only seven years, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu raised the issue during his first term in office with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and almost managed to get Pollard freed.

Now, he said, is the time to release Pollard from prison.

VIDEO: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165918#.VXHOkryVsWP

"Jonathan did not plead guilty nor was he convicted of treason," said Korb. "He pleaded guilty to providing information to a friendly country. Jonathan didn't have a trial. He spared [the government] a trial, he pleaded guilty and was not supposed to get a life sentence."

He added that what led the judge in Pollard's case to break the plea agreement and sentence Pollard to life was the fact that he gave an interview to the media from prison.

"The judge was left with the impression that this was unauthorized, but as you well know, you don't show up in a prison and just walk in with a photographer and your notepad without government permission," said Korb, adding that the interview "was authorized by the government, but the judge was led to believe that wasn't the case."

"Jonathan did not provide anything to the Israelis that would compromise American security," Korb stressed.

The former Assistant Secretary of Defense arrived in Israel on Saturday night in order to aid the efforts on Pollard's behalf.

Korb has said publicly and written a letter to the effect that Pollard has been punished more than enough, and has held meetings and talks over the past few months with various officials in the U.S. on the subject.

On Monday, Korb, along with Jonathan's wife Esther Pollard, met with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Both leaders have indicated they plan to ask President Barack Obama to release Pollard when he visits Israel later this month.

Over 100,000 thousand people have already signed onto an online petition calling for Pollard's release.

The petition circulating online advocating for Jonathan's release has been signed by tens of thousands of Israelis, including a number of MKs such as Yair Lapid, Eitan Cabel (Labor), Elazar Stern (Hatnua) and Avishai Braverman (Labor). Former President Yitzchak Navon has signed the petition as well.

Contact Barbara Sommer by email at sommer_1_98@worldnet.at.net


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"SHARING"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 07, 2013

Mostly a bit of news and a variety of materials that are worthy of being shared.

Let me begin with a brief update on the little boy I've been tracking -- Zakkai. He's making good progress in his recovery and is becoming more like himself. But all is not smooth: he's clingy, which is understandable considering the trauma he's had; wants to be carried on stairs, which he finds difficult to navigate; and still has some discomfort. Since his balance isn't good and he has other problems connected to the surgery on his spine, he has rehabilitation specialists working with him to help him regain his former mobility.

Please God, a matter of time. The family prays for a return to normalcy.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Center for Near East Policy Research, which has produced a variety of materials on UNRWA over the years, has just put out a new video on the "Right of Return" as taught in the UNRWA schools.

See this and understand why UNRWA is part of the problem, and why peace is not possible while the Palestinian Arab kids in its classrooms continue to be taught to kill Jews in order to regain "their" land. This is stunning documentation -- you get it from the mouths of students, teachers and administrators themselves (with subtitles). What the kids say is most stunning of all:

http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5381&q=1

This is one of those things that everyone should know about. UNRWA would have people believe that it is a "humanitarian" organization benignly serving a population disenfranchised by Israel.

Please spread this around broadly.

~~~~~~~~~~

Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Jonathan Pollard affair, was here this week. You can find here (scroll down a bit) a video clip from his news conference on Tuesday, making the case for Jonathan's release. He provides important background information:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165918#.UThAAzd5dae

~~~~~~~~~~

Unreal. Incredible. But no surprise in this unreal and incredible world. John Brennan, who by all accounts makes Chuck Hagel look good, has been confirmed by the Senate as the next CIA head.

What is there to say that hasn't already been said?

~~~~~~~~~~

Barry Rubin, whom I cite often because of his sharp analyses, gave me a laugh today. And when I can laugh about Secretary of State Kerry, I think it's worth sharing:

Said Rubin:

"In practically his first outing as secretary of state abroad, John Kerry made some remarkable statements in a meeting with young Germans. The main thing being widely quoted is this:

"'In America, you have a right to be stupid if you want to be,' he said. 'And we tolerate it. We somehow make it through that. Now, I think that's a virtue. I think that's something worth fighting for."'

"Of course, there's a right to be stupid in America! Indeed, just this week it's been expanded into having a right to be simultaneously stupid and secretary of defense!"

http://www.gloria-center.org/2013/02/what-john-kerry-doesnt-know-about-democracy-and-also-about-islam/

Rubin also quoted Kerry saying something else so incredibly insensitive and impolitic that I did a double-take:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

For those of us who might doubt that even Kerry would really say anything quite so obtuse, we are provided with a video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPYVdV6WzwM

America is in a heap of trouble.

~~~~~~~~~~

It was announced yesterday that Obama has decided to skip a planned speech in the Knesset when he's here, opting for a more "politically neutral" venue instead. Apparently he's afraid of being interrupted by right wing MKs.

MKs Avi Wurtzman (Habayit Hayehudi) and Tzipi Hotovely (Likud-Beiteinu) have written to the president urging him to reconsider.

US "sources" are saying that rumors that the president will be demanding a timetable for withdrawals from Netanyahu are not true -- that he intends to present a "general framework" for peace and no more. Do not ask me what a "general framework" means, or how it differs from the 100 previous frameworks that failed.

~~~~~~~~~~

Who knows, by the time I next write, there may be a coalition. There was no way Netanyahu was going to miss that March 16 deadline set by Obama, upon which his coming would depend.

For a while now it's been a question of who blinks first and according to latest rumors, it's Yair Lapid who has, surrendering his demand for the Foreign Ministry (which is being saved for Lieberman). Apparently agreement is now close.

There's a great deal yet to discover.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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RADICAL ISLAM & RAPE

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, March 07, 2013

When the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Egypt, Egyptian and foreign women reported a huge increase in rape. Arabic and Western media reported this.

Egyptian women are not taking this in silence. Hundreds protest at Tahrir Square and against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi. They resent having to endure sexual harassment and assault whenever they leave their homes.

The protests became another opportunity for rapists. As it was growing dark during a protest on January 25, one group heard that the area was getting dangerous. Separated from her group, a woman was duped by a man who purported to show her the way to safety. He led her to a few dozen men. They surrounded her, stripped her, called her dirty names, and gang-raped her for about 20 minutes.

The November before, many Egyptians protested against the Brotherhood attempt to impose Islamic law. The Brotherhood paid gangs to rape female protestors.

A female journalist from Britain was dragged from her escort into a mob of hundreds. They were scratching her, putting their fingers inside her, leering, sneering, and jeering. Popular Salafi preacher Abu Islam said, "They tell you women are a red line. They tell you that naked women—who are going to Tahrir Square because they want to be raped—are a red line! And they ask Morsi and the Brotherhood to leave power!" And by the way, 90 percent of them are crusaders [i.e. Christian Copts] and the remaining 10 percent are widows who have no one to control them. You see women talking like monsters."

He was backed up by Parliament's Shura Council's human rights committee, which held the women responsible and called them prostitutes. Maj. Gen. Adel Afify, of the committee representing the Salafi Asala Party, blamed the women for their involvement in such circumstances and for not sufficiently protecting themselves.

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights find that 62% of men admit harassing women and 53% blame the women for inducing the attacks. 83% of Egyptian women experienced sexual harassment. 98% of female tourists have. Even fully veiled women are harassed. Sarah A. Topol calls it an epidemic.

"All this is yet another indicator of the true nature of the Obama-supported "Arab Spring." (Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPageMagazine.com, 2/15/13

http://www.meforum.org/3450/egypt-rape-sexual-harassment).

The women weren't naked, and even veiled women were attacked. Salafists will say anything to buttress their position. But their position is vicious. They defend rape. Then they blame the women for it, although the women are dragged away and painfully abused so that it is not sex but misogyny and Islamist intimidation.

The quoted statistics show that most Egyptian men abuse women. That fact indicates that rape may characterize Egyptian Islam, not just Radical Islam.

Many times Muslim men contend that women should not tempt men by weaning more modern clothes than a sack, and that women need a male escort for their own protection. Protection from whom? Why, protection from the men. What does that say about Muslim men?

Do Western tour operators and media have a responsibility to warn women against touring certain Islamic countries?

The statistics of rape do not put American culture in a good light. But most women are able to walk the streets of American cities in safety.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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ISRAEL'S ONGOING PUBLIC DIPLOMACY FIASCO

Posted by Shmuel Katz, March 07, 2013

The article below was written by David Isaac who is a former executive director of American for A Safe Israel and currently is editor of the Shmuel Katz website: www.shmuelkatz.com. Contact him at david_isaac@shmuelkatz.com. This article appeared March 09, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/israels-ongoing-public-diplomacy-fiasco

Caption Text flags

On Feb. 28, at a meeting of something called the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, Turkey's Prime Minister Tacip Erdogan called Zionism "a crime against humanity." Another day, another vicious slur on Israel, in this case from the leader of a country that only yesterday had been its strategic ally in the region. All that was unusual was that this one actually drew a comment from Secretary of State John Kerry - "objectionable" - after it was exposed by the private monitoring group U.N. Watch, awkwardly for Kerry at the very time he was visiting Turkey. The episode underscores the worldwide no-holds-barred attack on Israel's legitimacy and how little push-back this meets from Israel herself.

A number of articles have appeared recently lamenting Israel's public relations failures. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes in The Jerusalem Post on Jan. 7, "What good is having Apache helicopter gunships, or Merkava tanks, to defend your citizens against attack if you can't even use them because the world thinks you're always the aggressor?" On Jan. 11, in the same paper, Barry Shaw, author of "Israel -- Reclaiming the Narrative," says, "government-wise, we are barely on the battlefield for hearts and minds, while the Palestinians and their supporters seem to have endless resources and are succeeding to win the world away from us."

Martin Sherman, executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, also writes in The Jerusalem Post on Feb. 14: "Israel's greatest strategic challenge, its gravest strategic failure, its grimmest strategic danger is the (mis)conduct of its public diplomacy."

Such complaints are nothing new. Decades ago, Shmuel Katz, who thought of himself primarily as an "information man," returned repeatedly to this subject, as readers of this blog well know. He called for a response against the assault on Israel's legitimacy, what Shmuel described as the "many-faceted campaign of denigration throughout the world, openly aiming at the demonization of Israel as a state and of the Jews as a nation."

In "A Crying Need" (The Jerusalem Post, August 6, 1982) Shmuel wrote:

How long must the battle for a sane and rational policy on information go on? ... [F]or years Jews and other friends throughout the world, specifically in the U.S. and Europe, have been complaining bitterly that attacks on Israel go unanswered. There simply is no permanent, established machinery adequate for the task and ready to handle the very special problems faced by Israel.

Nothing has changed except the extent to which the campaign of demonization has succeeded. Sherman, in his op-ed, says the criticisms of Israel's public diplomacy are found only in the English press, "revealing what appears to be an alarming lack of awareness of, and/or interest in, the topic among the Hebrew-reading public."

There have been valiant civilian efforts made outside of Israel. The media watchdog group CAMERA is a striking example. It was founded in 1982 and under the tireless leadership of its chairman Andrea Levin, has exposed media bias around the world. "Stand with Us" focuses its energies on educating about Israel on college campuses, which have become a frontline in the propaganda war against Israel. Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI offer a window into what Arab media and governments say in their own language.

The Internet has opened up the field to the efforts of individuals. Marcella Rosen, a former ad agency executive, has created the site "Untold News," which creates short videos on Israel's positive contributions to science. This writer has made his own efforts at Zionist education with the website Zionism101.org, created at the behest of Herbert Zweibon, the late chairman of Americans for A Safe Israel. The very number of groups and websites advocating for Israel indirectly points an accusatory finger at Israeli governments for failing to do the job themselves.

In Sherman's view, the job may not be up to the government, but civil society elites. He writes that battling Israel's delegitimization "requires a far greater, wide-ranging and concerted intellectual effort -- much of which the government can only help facilitate but not execute, certainly not on its own."

While Shmuel would have applauded Sherman's attention to the issue, he would have felt the government could and should do much more. One reason was that representatives speaking for the Israeli government have more authority than the collection (no matter how admirable) of self-appointed representatives who do battle now.

Shmuel had argued for an entire ministry dedicated to Israel's public diplomacy fight. He referred to the case of Great Britain in World War II, which created a Ministry of Information, second in size only to the Ministry of War.

Shmuel felt that Israel was at war no less than England in World War II. As he wrote in "Countering Propaganda" (The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 26, 1984):

Israeli governments have evidently not come to grips also with the nature of the war. It is not designed to achieve a change in this or the other policy of the Israeli government. Its aim is to put an end to the Zionist entity, to delegitimize Israel -- by the assertion, endlessly repeated, that the Jewish people has no right to Palestine, and the Jewish State has no right to exist at all, that the land is Arab territory usurped by the Zionists with the aid of the imperialists.

And Shmuel felt that to properly counter the Arab propaganda juggernaut, Israel must have a juggernaut of its own, that its public relations efforts must have a focus. Shmuel described how he stopped the outburst of propaganda against Prime Minister Menachem Begin in the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of his election. Begin first asked Shmuel to go, but then Begin was advised to send a whole team. Shmuel said the team could go, but without him. There needed to be a focus. Begin acceded and Shmuel stopped the onslaught within 10 days of his arrival in the U.S.

The need for focus brings up another problem - that leadership of the effort be in the right hands, lest it prove counterproductive. For example, a focus on Israel's desire for peace and willingness to do just about anything to obtain it - a focus that no doubt some elements in Israel would find appealing - could only lead to even greater denigration of Israel for failing to achieve it.

Nor can an information campaign be conducted divorced from public policy. For example, in his effort to cobble together a governing coalition, Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to put Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party, who made "peace" the focus of her platform, in charge of negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs. Aaron Lerner of IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis) points out some of the pitfalls. From day one, Livni will be making every effort to lay the failure of the talks on Netanyahu. One possibility is that Livni makes backdoor, unauthorized concessions to the Palestinian Arabs, putting overwhelming international pressure on Netanyahu to accept them. Or negotiations fail and Livni could have her staff prepare reams of working papers supporting concessions Netanyahu refused to approve that she would leak to the international press. Finally, Netanyahu might fire Livni leading her to launch a dangerous campaign along these lines against him.

No information campaign can counter the enormous damage stemming from the policy decision to put Livni in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians. But this also underscores how consideration of the strategic importance of public diplomacy could protect Israeli leaders from making policy decisions convenient in the short term but harmful both to themselves and Israel in the long-run.

Decades have passed, and despite the continuing outcry to do something, Israel has ignored the public relations front in the Arabs' war against her. If Israel took seriously her public relations - including the impact of her policy decisions on them - it could have a transformative effect, empowering her existing friends as well as gaining her new allies.

Contact Shmuel Katz website at David_Isaac@shmuelkatz.com


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THE SO-CALLED 'KLAN' INFILTRATION OF OBERLIN COLLEGE

Posted by Steven Plaut, March 08, 2013

The news media have been buzzing for several days about the supposed appearance on the campus of Oberlin College in Ohio of a person dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Supposedly this was just the latest twist in an upsurge of "hate speech" on the ultra-liberal campus, manifested in graffiti and other expressions.

Oberlin College is an elite liberal arts college that is so far Left that it is in the same league as Bard and Amherst. In the 19th century the town of Oberlin was an end station for the underground railway smuggling slaves to the north, and the college likes to pretend it is still part of some grand political action movement. A sculpture celebrating the town's role in freeing slaves is still an important feature.

Leftwing agitprop is common in many of the college's departments. I know. Years back I was on the faculty of Oberlin. A while later I was on the faculty at Berkeley, and can make comparisons. At Berkeley the townies are leftist nuts but the students are mainly hard -working conservative Asians and the faculty are surprisingly conservative, with exceptions in the usual departments of dingbatocracy. At Oberlin, in contrast, almost all of the students and faculty make Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky look like Republicans. I was one of only two faculty members there who voted for Reagan. The other was a rightwing professor of German history. We got along famously and loved mocking the hardcore members of the Communist Party who had offices down the corridor from us. The other faculty members just passed us clicking their tongues in pity.

For decades Oberlin has hosted the annual conventions of the Trotskyite "Socialist Workers Party." In spite of the name "Socialist Workers" you should not presume that members of this party have jobs. In any case, whenever they are in town, the college turns over "security" on the campus to the Trots. When I was teaching there, the SWP's NKVD squad tried to prevent me from entering my office building. When I complained to the administration, I was told that the Trots were granted control of campus security because they had legitimate fears of FBI infiltration, and so had the right to prevent me from entering my office. In other words, the SWP did not have to wait for the Revolution to create a police state, since Oberlin was already letting them do it there. SWP party missionaries would roam the campus and stop students to convert them to Trotskyism. "What is a Trotskyite?" one student asked, and the cadre responded, "Well you have heard of Stalinism, right? and if you are not a Stalinist then you must be a Trotskyite." An Oberlin student that year asked me what the difference was between a Trotskyite and a Trotskyist. I replied that it was roughly the same as the difference between cow manure and bull manure.

News of the "Klan assault" against Oberlin spread immediately to the international news media. In the aftermath of the "assault," all classes were shut down for a day by the Oberlin administration, so that students could attend a 60s-style "teach-in" about the horrors of bigotry and learn to be sensitive. The local police were also called onto the campus to investigate "hate speech." The college president, Marvin Krislov, issued an official apology on behalf of the college to "students who felt threatened." The college claims a series of "hate crimes" has taken place on campus, many involving graffiti and one involving a student getting mugged near the campus. But the trigger for the campus shutdown was a dubious "report" that someone was seen on campus near the "Afrikan Heritage House" dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes.

There were a number of problems with this Klan report, even assuming the "perp" was not someone simply protesting the misspelling of the word African. Slate and others claim the "person in Klan robes" was merely a woman who stepped out into the cold wrapped in a blanket. Even if it was someone wearing a Klan robe, why assume it was anything other than some sort of frat prank? Why turn it into an international headline revealing the underlying racism in Obama's Amerika? (Yes, that is how lots of Oberlin people spell America.)

Not surprising for a college consisting of people still living in the 1960s, Israel bashing is more common than sleet at Oberlin. There is a boisterous group of "Students for a Free Palestine" (founded three decades back) and "Students for Justice in Palestine," groups that make little effort to hide their support for Hamas, Palestinian terrorism, and atrocities against Jews. Oberlin has hosted more than its fair share of "Israel Apartheid Week" events, in which students call for the annihilation of the only country in the Middle East that is NOT an apartheid regime. Back when I was on its faculty a "Palestinian Human Rights Watch" organization operated on campus. It was promoting boycotts and divestment from Israel, which it claimed resembled apartheid South Africa.

The most noteworthy aspect of the "Klan assault" story involving Oberlin is the hypocrisy regarding anti-Jewish campus hate speech. The same administration so upset by a fictional Klan robe has nothing at all to say about campus events openly endorsing murderous attacks against Israeli Jews or celebrating genocidal Palestinian movements. Oberlin had a long romance with Edward Said, hosting him on numerous occasions for events that triggered Bash-the-Jews rhetoric and even granting him a special award of honor in 1996. The college has its own chapter of the anti-Israel "J Street." Oberlin president Krislov, who is Jewish and was once a member of a Zionist youth movement, has done nothing about these anti-Semitic campus events thinly disguised as support for Palestinians.

The same Anti-Defamation League liberals who congratulated Oberlin College for taking decisive steps against the imaginary Klansman on campus has never had a word to say about the malicious anti-Semitic defamations by the "Students for Justice for Palestine," the "Israel Apartheid Week" hoodlums, and the other groups that bash Jews on campus. Neither do the other liberal postureurs against racism and bigotry.

The one question no one is asking regarding the "Klan incident" is this: Suppose someone really HAD strolled about the Oberlin snowdrifts in Klan uniform. Why is THAT not protected speech? Why is that a crime? And before answering that, it behooves us to recall that dressing up as Hamas terrorists and smearing Jews in campus "street theater" is not only considered protected speech on most Western campuses these days, but "Let's Destroy Israel" conferences and rallies are held openly every week.

The make-pretend free speech absolutists insist that nothing at all should be allowed to interfere with the right of students to call for annihilation of Israel and mass murder of its population. But a snide comment about blacks or homosexuals is considered "hate speech," and it justifies calling in the police and shutting down the entire campus while the perps of "hate speech" are hunted down. Speech codes proliferate, which make it an expellable offense to say "I disapprove of homosexuality." Denouncing Israel as an "apartheid" regime that must be obliterated, celebrating suicide bombings against Israelis, or denouncing Jews as racists is all just nice clean academic discourse.

Steven Plaut is a native Philadelphian who teaches business finance and economics at the University of Haifa in Israel. He holds a PhD in economics from Princeton. He is author of the David Horowitz Freedom Center booklets about the Hamas and Jewish Enablers of the War against Israel. Contact him at stevenplau@gmail.com.

This article appeared March 8, 2013 in Frontpage Magazine and is archived at
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/steven-plaut/the-so-called-klan-infiltration-of-oberlin-college/


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WHAT THE BDS ORGANIZERS SHOULD HAVE TOLD US BUT DIDN'T

Posted by Maurice Ostroff, March 08, 2013

With "Israel apartheid week" (IAW) currently spreading its hate message around the world, it is timely to consider some little-known facts about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) that very successfully promotes these activities. IAW is a well-funded highly professional annual series of events that take place in over 250 cities.

But did you know that BDS leaders oppose the Palestinian Authority?

Well-intentioned supporters of BDS will be shocked to learn the real attitude of BDS organizers to the Palestinian Authority. Omar Barghouti is a founder and leader of BDS and this is how he described the PA in a 2004 article in The Electronic Intifada

"In the West Bank you have a largely quisling [traitor] government that is completely supporting Israel in anything it wants to do. They get immediate support from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, which is an unelected authority imposed by an American general"

On October 2009 he wrote in Electronic intifada

"The PA government there has illegally appropriated the PLO's authority to conduct Palestinian diplomacy and set foreign policy, conceding Palestinian rights and acting against Palestinian national interests, without worrying about accountability to any elected representatives of the Palestinian people".

And did you know that BDS opposes the two-state solution

Many well-intentioned people believe the BDS movement is worthy of support because they mistakenly believe that BDS advocates the common goal to which the UN, the US, the EU and Russia as well as Israel all subscribe, namely two states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side within agreed borders. But these supporters will be shocked to learn that in reality the BDS organizers actually oppose the two state solution.

Omar Barghouti disclosed in an article in The Electronic Intifada in 2004, that the true aim of BDS in his words is "euthanasia" for Israel. The objective of BDS, he said, is one state to which all Palestinian refugees and their descendants will "return".

Barghouti is not referring to the original number of approximately 700,000 to whom the word "return" may apply but to the estimated 4.7 million presently defined by UNRWA as Palestinian refugees so as to kill the two-state solution. In his words

"The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really dead. Good riddance"

While most well-intentioned BDS supporters consider calls to end the occupation as meaning adjustment of the 1967 lines in terms of resolution 242, Barghouti rejects this concept outright. He doesn't recognize Israel's right even to the pre-'67 borders.

It is evident that well-meaning members of the public deserve to know a lot more about organizations and popular movements before giving them full support.

BDS use of the apartheid weapon

The word "apartheid" is widely used as a pejorative propaganda epithet in the full knowledge that the description is unjustified. As with every country in the world, there is much about Israel that justifies criticism, but apartheid is not among its warts.

Even Omar Barghouti, the most vocal critic of Israel admits that the apartheid description is inaccurate. In an interview with Electronic Intifada on May 31, 2009, he said,

" We don't have to prove that Israel is identical to apartheid South Africa in order to justify the label "apartheid."

Labeling Israel as an apartheid state comparable with the old South Africa is the most potent weapon in the armory of BDS promoters. The argument goes like this. Sanctions were justified against South Africa because of apartheid. Therefore if we merely associate Israel with apartheid, no matter that the appellation is unjustified, the world will simplistically support sanctions against apartheid Israel.

In fact, real apartheid enforced by legislation is currently practiced in many countries including Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but not in Israel.

See http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id289.html

Even the new South Africa has been criticized for apartheid by none other than Al Jazeera. In a TV program titled "South Africa''s new apartheid" Riz Khan asked

"Is class-based discrimination South Africa''s new apartheid?" http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/rizkhan/2010/11/2010112362142630788.html

In the Guardian of June 24, 2010, American Palestinian writer Ahmed Moor wrote that the vast majority of the 400,000 Palestinian refugees born and raised in Lebanon don't have anything approaching the privilege that he enjoys in the US. He said Lebanon is the most hostile country to Palestinian refugees after Israel.

"They are second-class citizens here. Racism is so widespread that African and Asian guest workers are openly barred from attending the beaches where Lebanese people frolic. And that''s saying nothing of the often inhumane working conditions they are subjected to on a daily basis".

See http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id289.html

Former US Ambassador to the UN, Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared categorically that the situation in Israel is not apartheid. He added that racism under apartheid was skin color. "Applied to Israel that''s a joke: for proof just look at a crowd of Israeli Jews and their gradations in skin-color from the blackest to the whitest".

In "The apartheid analogy: Lessons for Israel" (Jerusalem Post Feb. 20, 2011), Professor Gideon Shimoni, an acknowledged expert on the subject, wrote

"While Israel''s democratic constitution is certainly flawed, only hostile prejudice explains the ever-growing trend of comparing it with apartheid South Africa ..in the propaganda war against Israel an equation is fabricated insidiously between the present State of Israel and the former apartheid state of South Africa. This must be exposed as a malicious slander, and utterly refuted".

Maurice Ostroff is a founder member of the international Coalition of Hasbara Volunteers, better known by its acronym CoHaV, (star in Hebrew), a world-wide umbrella organization of volunteers active in combating anti-Israel media and political bias and in promoting the positive side of Israel His web site is at http://www.maurice-ostroff.org


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BARACK OBAMA DIES, LEAVING SHARP DIVISIONS IN THE COUNTRY

Posted by FSM Security Update, March 08, 2013

The article below was written by Daniel Greenfield who is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press. This article appeared March 8, 2013 in Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/the-arab-street-is-still-angry?f=must_reads

boycott

Much like Festivus, American diplomacy to the Middle East usually begins with an airing of grievances. These are not the American grievances over decades of terrorism and acts of violent hatred. These are the grievances that are supposedly infuriating the Arab Street. The list begins with Israel, continues on to the "Arab Dictators" supported by America and concludes with warnings to respect Mohammed by not making any cartoons or movies about him.

During his first term, Obama kept his distance from Israel, locked up a Christian who made a movie about Mohammed and withdrew his support from the Arab Dictators. The street should have been happy, but now it's angrier than ever. And much of that anger is directed at America.

Mohamed El Baradei, once the administration's choice to take over Egypt, has refused to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry. Joining him in this boycott is much of Egypt's liberal opposition.

When Mubarak was in power, the "Arab Street" of Islamists and Egyptian leftists was angry at America for supporting him. Now the "Arab Street" of Egyptian leftists, Mubarak supporters and some Anti-Brotherhood Islamists is angry at America for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The American foreign policy error was to assume that the political grievances of the Arab Street could be appeased with democracy. They can't be. The various factions are not truly interested in open elections. What they want is for America to elevate their faction and only their faction to power. When that doesn't happen, they denounce the government as an American puppet and warn of the great and terrible anger of the Arab Street if America doesn't make them its puppet instead.

Democracy is no solution, because none of the factions really wanted democracy for its own sake. They wanted it only as a tool to help them win. Now that the tool has failed most of them, they don't care for it anymore. And the Islamists who benefited from democracy have no enduring commitment to it. Like all the other factions, they see it as a tool. A means, not an end.

While the West views democracy as an end, the East sees it as only a means. The West believes in a system of populist power rotation. The East however is caught between a variety of totalitarian ideologies, including Islamists and local flavors of the left, who have no interest in power rotation except as a temporary strategy for total victory.

Contact FSM Security Update at info@familysecuritymatters.org


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ROCKS AND FIREBOMBS ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT

Posted by Arutz Sheva, March 08, 2013

The article below was written by Ernie Singer who is a newscaster and editor of written and audio material. This article appeared March 08, 2013 in the Temple Institute website and is archived at
http://templeinstitute.org/archive/08-03-13.htm

Worshippers started throwing rocks at security forces, Friday afternoon, at the end of Muslim prayers at Temple Mount mosques in Jerusalem's Old City.

Police stationed at the Mughrabi gate broke in and began to throw stun grenades to disperse the stone throwers.

The rioters responded with firebombs. One policeman was lightly injured and taken to hospital. A number of demonstrators were also injured.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that about 100 protesters, many of them masked, attacked police, who fired stun grenades in response.

"Petrol bombs were thrown at police," he told AFP. "Several police officers were injured by stones that were thrown and were evacuated to hospital."

An AFP journalist at the scene said the clash was triggered by Palestinian media allegations that a policeman at the compound, one of Islam's holiest sites, on Sunday kicked a holy book and trampled on it.

"That's completely incorrect," Rosenfeld said, adding that the Koran in uestion was being held by one of a group of women seeking to block a visit to the compound by Israelis when the book fell by accident. "They blocked them with a bench and one of the women who was sitting on the bench was reading a Koran," he said.

"When the bench was removed from the area the Koran fell on the floor. The Koran was picked up and returned to the lady and there was no misconduct by any of the police."

Contact Arutz Sheva at news@israelnationalnews.com


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PHILIPPINES: SYRIAN REBELS REMAIN FIRM ON HOSTAGE DEMANDS

Posted by Arutz Sheva, March 08, 2013

hostages

The 21 UN peacekeepers taken hostages in the Golan are expected to be freed on Saturday after the Syrian regime agreed to observe a ceasefire in deal with the United Nations, a watchdog said.

In New York the United Nations said efforts to secure the Filipinos would resume on Saturday after they were halted on Friday amid intense shelling of the area by regime forces.

"An agreement has been reached between the Syrian regime and the United Nations to stop the bombing between 10:00 am (0800 GMT) and noon (1000 GMT) on Saturday, in order to allow the evacuation of the 21 peacekeepers," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

"A Red Cross delegation should accompany the UN team to the area," to evacuate the peacekeepers."

The Observatory is in contact with the Yarmuk Martyrs battalion, the Syrian rebel group that on Wednesday captured the peacekeepers.

Earlier UN peacekeeping spokeswoman Josephine Guerrero said efforts to secure their release will resume Saturday.

"Arrangements were made with all parties for the release of the 21 peacekeepers," she said "but due to the late hour and the darkness it was considered unsafe to continue the operation. Efforts will continue tomorrow."

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said Jamla village where the soldiers are being held came under "intense shelling" on Friday.

That was denied by Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, who said Syrian forces were doing "everything in order to bring back safely the peacekeepers."

Abdel Rahman said a UN convoy entered Jamla to collect the peacekeepers on Friday but the army shelled the area.

"When the UN vehicles entered into Jamla, the Syrian army shelled a nearby village. The UN cars then withdrew from Jamla," he said.

Ladsous expressed hope that a possible ceasefire would lead to the freeing of the peacekeepers, who have been held by Syrian rebels since Wednesday.

"There is perhaps a hope, but it is not done yet... that a ceasefire of a few hours can intervene which would allow for our people to be released," adding that they were held in different locations within the village.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland accused the Syrian regime of "making it impossible for UN negotiators to get in there and try to resolve it."

The Filipinos, members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) monitoring the armistice line between Syria and Israel that followed the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, were abducted just a mile to the Syrian side of the line.

The rebels are demanding that Syrian troops move 20 kilometres (12 miles) back from Jamla, an area at the southern end of the armistice zone in the Golan, Philippine foreign affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

"We are trying to intensify our negotiations with the rebel groups," he said adding that the hostages were nonetheless being treated well.

The Observatory said the rebels had added a fresh demand.

"They are now demanding a new condition -- that the International Committee of the Red Cross guarantees the safe exit from the strife-torn area of Jamla of civilians," Abdel Rahman said.

In Manila, Xy-son Meneses, whose brother Captain Xy-rus Meneses is among the peacekeepers held in Syria, issued a televised appeal for the peacekeepers' release.

"They are not there to cause trouble but to help maintain peace in Syria so I ask if they can release them," he said.

Concern has been mounting that the abduction might prompt more governments to withdraw troops from the already depleted UN mission.

Israeli officials warned that any further reduction in its strength risked creating a security vacuum in the no-man's land between the two sides on the strategic Golan Heights, which it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Israeli army revealed that it helped eight other UN peacekeepers redeploy through Israeli-held territory overnight from an isolated post in the area where the hostages are being held.

An army spokeswoman said Israeli troops escorted them north to another UN base.

World powers remain at loggerheads over the way forward, with Western governments firm in their demand for President Bashar al-Assad to quit, and China and Russia equally firm in their opposition to any imposed regime change.

"You know that we are not in the regime-change game," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated on Friday. "We are against interference in domestic conflicts," he told the BBC.

On Friday the Syrian army pounded rebel areas in the central city of Homs with warplanes and tanks, the Observatory said, as protesters demonstrated against the army offensive.

A total of 121 people were killed in the Syrian conflict on Friday, the Observatory said.

This article was written by Arutz Sheva Staff and it appeared March 08, 2013 in Your Middle East and is archived at
http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/philippines-says-syrian-rebels-firm-on-hostage-demands_13502


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ORTHODOX JEWS AND THE ALIYA CRISIS

Posted by Michael Freund, March 08, 2013

It is time for American, Canadian, Australian, British and other Orthodox Jews to set an example for their brethren, leave behind the exile and finally come home.

nefesh

Last week, the Central Bureau of Statistics published a report that should have provoked an outpouring of public sentiment but was instead greeted with little more than a collective yawn.

According to the CBS, in 2012, just 16,557 people from around the world made aliya, which is slightly more than one-tenth of one percent of world Jewry.

At that rate, it would take nearly 1,000 years for the entire Jewish people to return to the Land of Israel. This lack of enthusiasm hardly bodes well for our nation's ageold hope "to be a free people in our own land," as the national anthem puts it.

Consider the following: last year's figure was the lowest recorded since 2009 and the third-lowest in the past two decades.

Indeed, in 2002, 33,567 Jews moved to the Jewish state, which means that the immigration rate has dropped more than 50% in the past 10 years.

No less disturbing is the fact that aliya from the West, where the bulk of Diaspora Jewry resides, managed to contribute barely one-third of the 2012 total.

Out of the five to six million American Jews, a paltry 2,290 members of the tribe made the journey home to Zion last year according to the CBS.

I've been to New York Knicks basketball games at Madison Square Garden with more Jews in attendance than that.

While aliya from France in 2012 was a respectable 1,653 strong and 569 Jews from the UK moved here, these numbers are still tiny when compared with the size of their respective communities.

Clearly, the appeal of aliya in recent years has begun to lose steam.

Despite the 2008 economic crisis and uncertainty over the future of the EU and America, the Jews of the United States and much of the West are quite comfortably ensconced where they are and don't appear to be moving to Israel any time soon.

It is difficult to overstate the gravity of this situation. The steady and continuing decline in Jewish immigration to Israel is no less an issue of national security than borders, terrorism or missile defense.

Aliya is the lifeblood of Zionism, a source of ongoing strength to the state as it develops and prospers. It is also the surest guarantee of a vibrant Jewish future — one free of assimilation, intermarriage and cultural decay. And that is why it is so crucial that a concerted effort be made to revitalize aliya from the Diaspora and especially from America and the West.

Just imagine the impact that an influx of a few hundred thousand American Jews would have on Israeli society. With their energy and activism, skills and talents, they could reshape this country and its civic life and have an enormous impact on various fields ranging from politics to business to the arts.

But thus far, this remains in the realm of fantasy because they simply are not coming here in droves.

It would be easy to try and pin the blame for this sorry state of affairs on groups such as Nefesh B'Nefesh, the Jewish Agency or even the Israeli government.

But such censure would largely be misplaced.

Those who bear direct responsibility for the lack of Western aliya are first and foremost Western Jews themselves, and especially their leadership and organizations, which make little to no effort to encourage emigration to the Jewish state.

Just surf the web and visit the homepages of various prominent American Jewish organizations and see if you can find something — anything! — about aliya.

Sure, there is plenty of material about pro- Israel advocacy and combating anti-Israel media bias. And if you are looking for ways to fight bigotry, help the poor in Rwanda or lower greenhouse gas emissions, you won't be disappointed.

But seeking information about leaving the exile behind and fulfilling the dream of generations by returning to the land of our ancestors? Fat chance! Even my fellow Orthodox Jews in America, who are committed to living according to Halacha, are just as guilty in this regard.

Take, for example, the Orthodox Union.

Surely, a venerable organization such as this, I told myself, one that is committed to Torah values and Judaism, would highlight the mitzva of settling the Land of Israel and give it pride of place on its website.

But when I went to its homepage, I could find no mention of aliya. Instead, I was greeted by a "Kashrus Alert: Tootsie Roll Large Pops" (in case you are wondering, some bags were printed without indicating that the product is dairy).

Now don't get me wrong. I love a good Tootsie Pop just as much as the next guy and I am certainly all in favor of the meticulous observance of Jewish law, by which I have chosen to live my life.

But this says a lot about American Orthodoxy, which in recent years has taken on greater levels of observance even while failing to appreciate the centrality of aliya in Jewish thought.

The Sifrei on Deuteronomy, for example, states unequivocally that "dwelling in the Land of Israel is the equivalent of all the mitzvot in the Torah." And the Talmud in tractate Ketubot declares that "he who lives in the Land of Israel is akin to one who has a God, while he who lives outside the Land is similar to one who has no God."

Centuries later, Nahmanides, the great medieval commentator, ruled unambiguously that the commandment to live in Israel is incumbent upon every Jew and applies even if the land is under foreign control.

The Pit'hei Teshuva, in his 19th century commentary on the Shulhan Aruch, notes that all the earlier and later authorities agree with Nahmanides that there is a positive Torah commandment to live in Israel.

Israel is described in the Bible (Deuteronomy 11:12) as the land "which the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year."

And, as the Or Hahaim noted in the 18th century, "There is no joy other than in residing in the Land of Israel."

On all sorts of issues, religious Jews seek halachic guidance from their local rabbi in order to ensure that their behavior conforms to Jewish law. A dairy fork was used to eat meat? Call the rabbi! A certain kind of medicine needs to be taken on Shabbat? Ask the scholar! But how many Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York, or Golders Green, London, or Marais in Paris have bothered to ask their rabbi a similar question about whether they are obligated to make aliya? My intention is not to cast aspersions on anyone or their personal decisions. But if people are concerned enough about Halacha to ask questions about what they put in their mouths, shouldn't they also ask for guidance about where they choose to live their lives? AT A time such as this, precisely when aliya is dwindling, it is incumbent upon each and every Orthodox Jew in America and elsewhere to look in the mirror and ask himself with unadorned honesty: Where do I really belong? A surge of Orthodox aliya from the West could potentially light a spark, setting an example for other Jews to follow.

It would make headlines, bolster Israeli society and remind Jews everywhere — including a number of our fellow Israelis — that our destiny as a people is in this Land and this Land alone.

As people of faith, Orthodox Jews have a special responsibility to put aliya back on the international Jewish agenda.

For two millennia, observant Jews have turned to face Jerusalem three times a day every day, pleading with the Creator to "gather us in from the four corners of the earth."

Now that we have a sovereign Jewish state, moving to Israel is easier than ever before.

So no more excuses! The call of Jewish destiny and the cry of previous generations must no longer be ignored. It is time for American, Canadian, Australian, British and other Orthodox Jews to set an example for their brethren, leave behind the exile and finally come home.

The article above was written by Michael Freund who served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. This article is appeared March 08, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Orthodox-Jews-and-the-aliya-crisis


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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOVERNMENT AMMO PURCHASES

Posted by The Patriot Post, March 08, 2013

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily." --George Washington

ammunition

The last few months have seen troubling news of massive government purchases of ammunition. Agencies from the Social Security Administration to the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Homeland Security have purchased millions of rounds. But is the whole thing more hype than substance?

Ever since Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, he has been selling guns and ammunition at a faster clip than any gun salesman could hope for. And since his re-election, citizens have been faced with severe shortages of both. This can only be exacerbated by large government purchases. The Social Security Administration (SSA), for example, purchased 174,000 rounds and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) bought 320,000 rounds. More understandable in purpose but also perhaps more staggering in scale, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put in a request for 450 million rounds, while the FBI intends to purchase 100 million.

The headlines are ominous, but some of the hype can be put in perspective by doing a little math. National Review's Charles C. W. Cooke does just that. The SSA's request for 174,000 rounds amounts to just 590 rounds for each of its 295 inspector general agents "who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes." Some of us might go through 590 rounds in an afternoon at the range. As for the USDA, 320,000 is enough to provide the same number of rounds for 542 agents, and, through the Forest Service, those agents have an area the size of Pakistan to cover.

When it comes to the bigger orders, Cooke writes, "The FBI and DHS's apparently vast orders are deceptively presented by the conspiracy theorists. It is true that in 2011, the FBI ordered up to 100 million bullets for its 13,913 special agents (which works out to 7,187 per agent). And, yes, the Department of Homeland Security -- a composite department that oversees USCIS, Customs and Border Protection, FEMA, ICE, the TSA, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, and the National Protection Directorate -- placed a request for up to 450 million rounds for its 65,000 armed personnel (which works out to 6,923 per agent). But in the real world, ammunition is not divided up and handed out on such a basis. What is bought is stockpiled and then allocated on the basis of need. The DHS's order is expected to last for at least five years, and it was placed up front primarily as a cost-saving measure." Indeed, DHS is not even bound to buy that much; they merely have a tab on which to order more rounds as needed.

That certainly doesn't mean there aren't questions or that we should simply shrug and look the other way. For starters, the Department of Education recently placed an order for "27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns." This might lead any reasonable person to ask, as Cooke does, "Whether it is in possession of one bullet or 1 million bullets, should the federal Department of Education be armed in the first place? If so, why?" We would add, should there even be a Department of Education? But that's a topic for another day. The DoE has been known to botch raids when it was the wrong enforcement vehicle from the start.

The same questions could be asked of any number of bureaucracies. Does the Social Security Administration really need an armed enforcement division? We've known some unruly seniors in our day, but that seems to be overkill.

Then there's the information that's just plain false. Reports have been circulating that DHS has procured 2,717 Mine Resistant Armor Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The truth is, DHS has had retrofitted MRAPs since 2008, and now has 16 of them for serving "high-risk warrants." The figure of 2,717 comes from a delivery to the Marine Corps, not DHS. None of that, however, takes away from the problem that these are more properly military vehicles for war zones, not law enforcement tools. The militarization of law enforcement is undeniably troublesome. Furthermore, DHS is the same bureaucracy that claims right-wing extremists pose a threat, and it's run by an administration that thinks that "weapons of war" shouldn't be on our streets. Unless they're the ones driving them, apparently.

There are certainly troubling trends here and very real threats to our Liberty, but we must be careful not to exaggerate. While readers know that we never minimize the outrageous growth of government beyond its constitutional bounds, it also doesn't seem to us that the government is, as some have put it, "stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest." Questions about procurements and functions? Absolutely. Apocalypse? Not yet.

Contact Patriot Post at no-reply@patriotpost.us


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PERSPECTIVE OF A RABBI

Posted by Margarte601, March 08, 2013

Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Rabbi from Teaneck, N.J. It is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful explanation of how our nation is changing. The article appeared in The Israel National News, and is directed to Jewish readership. 70% of American Jews vote as Democrats. The Rabbi has some interesting comments in that regard.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey.

The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo — for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.

And fewer people voted.

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn't get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues — the traditional American virtues — of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness — no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.

Every businessman knows this; that is why the "loss leader" or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama's America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who — courtesy of Obama — receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which "47% of the people" start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money — "free stuff" — from the government.

Almost half of the population has no skin in the game — they don't care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.

They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else's expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters — the clear majority — are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.

That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!"

Stevenson called back: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

Truer words were never spoken.

Obama could get away with saying that "Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules" — without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the "rich should pay their fair share" — without ever defining what a "fair share" is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to "fend for themselves" — without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.

Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.

He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions — in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.

Obama also knows that the electorate has changed — that whites will soon be a minority in America (they're already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that different

America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.

Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his "negative ads" were simple facts, never personal abuse — facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc.

As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil's bargain of making unsustainable promises. It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan — people of substance, depth and ideas — to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents.

Obama mastered the politics of envy — of class warfare — never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.

If an Obama could not be defeated — with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters — it is hard to envision any change in the future.

The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy — those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe — is paved.

For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel. They voted to secure Obama's future at America's expense and at Israel's expense — in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.

A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon — and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.

But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile.

The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.

The "Occupy" riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead — years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.

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Contact Margarte601 at margarte6012comcast.net


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ANOTHER TACK: WHY IT MATTERS

Posted by Borntolose, March 08, 2013

This article was written by Sarah Honig who is a veteran columnist and senior editorial writer who joined The Jerusalem Post while still in her teens. She served for many years as The Post's political correspondent (a position she also held on the now-defunct but once-influential Davar), headed the Tel Aviv bureau at thePost and wrote daily analyses of the political scene, along with in-depth features. Honig is a mother, an artist and an avid collector of antique and vintage dolls. View Sarah's website at www.sarahhonig.com This article appeared March 08, 2013 on the Sarah Honig's Blogsite and is archived at
sarahhonig.com/2013/03/08/another-tack-why-it-matters/

There might not be any point to responding if it were only Shaul Mofaz who wondered why we need harp on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

implausible jewish state

Mofaz has just barely managed to cross the Knesset entry threshold (having started out not too many months back with a 28- member parliamentary contingent). Since he nearly failed to hold on to his own seat, it's safe to conclude that he doesn't represent a powerful or even a relevant political camp. Therefore, what does any of his kibitzing matter?

Ordinarily it indeed wouldn't, except that Mofaz's professed failure of comprehension might reflect the intellectual indolence of others, alongside the trendy heedlessness popularized by assorted opinion-molders.

To hear them, it's perfectly fine to embrace this particular incomprehension — be it expediently feigned or an actual inability to grasp the basic cause for the war waged against Israel.

The premise for the apparent incomprehension is that demanding recognition for Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state is all much ado about not very much. As Mofaz put it, "Do we need a seal of approval from the Palestinians? We know we are a Jewish state and we shall remain so eternally, whether or not the Palestinians recognize us as such."

This pretty much echoes Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's oft-reiterated mantra, averring that the Israelis "can call themselves what they will."

But Abbas goes on: "We will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. We have rejected, and will reject, this demand. We know what Netanyahu's intention is. He wants to undermine the Palestinian-Arab presence inside Israel and prevent the return of refugees."

Yet what is Abbas's intention? His refusal to recognize the Jewish state's legitimacy means that he reserves for himself the right to Arabize the de facto entity provisionally known as Israel by overrunning it with millions of so-called refugees.

In other words, rather than be accepted as rightfully a Jewish state, Israel is regarded at most as a multinational temporary entity and a candidate for impending Arabization. It wouldn't be left in peace unless it submits meekly to said Arabization and the eradication of its Jewishness.

This is a surefire recipe for perpetuating the conflict (albeit by mutating means) rather than ending it, as presumed pursuers of peace would ostensibly wish to do. The refusal to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state is tantamount to affirming an enduring Arab aspiration to obliterate the Jewish state, subsequent to an arrangement that would falsely parade as peace.

This goes right to the very heart of the conflict between Jews and Arabs — a conflict which had long predated Israel's birth. This conflict isn't and never was about a Palestinian state. There would have been no strife were the establishment of such a state the ultimate objective of the Arab world. A Palestinian Arab state could have been declared independent in 1948 — together with Israel — but no Arab would hear of it.

This country's Jews cheered the 1947 UN Partition Resolution aimed at creating a Jewish and an Arab state. That resolution, however, was ferociously rebuffed by the entire Arab world. Hence it's inherently dishonest to deny that the feud is and always was about the creation and continued existence of the Jewish state.

The Palestinians and the entire Arab/Muslim realm demand strategic sacrifices of Israel that plainly jeopardize its survival prospects. All Israel demands in return is that the war against it cease. That can only happen when the initial pretext for the attacks on Israel is annulled. Since Israel was attacked because the very notion of a Jewish state was anathema to its Arab neighbors, then discontinuing the state of war must start with recognition of the very legitimacy of a Jewish state that was rejected from 1947 onward.

Now, gallingly, the demand for recognition of the right of Jews to a state is extensively portrayed as an obstructionist tactic. That tactic moreover is portrayed as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's own personal negotiation-paralyzing pet ploy. Such spurious spins serve both in-house political rivals doggedly snapping at Netanyahu's heels and foreign detractors whose automatic point of departure is that Israel can never be right.

Nonetheless, the still blatant refusal to concede the legality of Jewish sovereignty isn't a semantic quibble. True, we know who we are regardless of Arab acknowledgement but that acknowledgement is not inconsequential.

To understand this we need to set aside the acquired postmodern contempt for history. The past isn't insignificant. The present is a direct, ongoing attempt to resolve what was started yesteryear.

Without historical context there can be no valid evaluation of Israel's existential predicaments — certainly not of crucial continuities. That's why those who seek to obfuscate and skew do their utmost to erase telltale fundamental perspectives and portray whatever they focus upon as vital, isolated concerns. Disinclination to retrace the steps which, for better or worse, brought us hitherto messes with our perceptions and dictates profound misperceptions.

Those whose time count begins on the morning of June 5, 1967, invariably seek to advance a predetermined agenda, whereby all that preceded Israeli "occupation" is discarded, as is everything that triggered the direct outbreak of hostilities.

Their bottom line is to persuade the uninitiated that Israelis woke up one sunny day, and overtaken by uncontrollable and inexcusable territorial appetites, invaded their peace-loving neighbors' homes and usurped them arbitrarily. The cruel conquistadors then illegally settled in their neighbors' property, which impelled the downtrodden natives to resist the interlopers.

The propagandist logic here is unmistakable. Justice demands a return to the status quo ante — in other words to the situation as it was on June 4, 1967 (while failing to mention that on that date Israel was existentially vulnerable, surrounded and threatened with extinction by the aforementioned neighbors who blusterously bayed for Jewish blood).

An equally popular distortion is that all regional misery resulted wantonly out of the blue from Israel's birth in 1948. Everything which led up to that turning point is assiduously ignored. Tendentious rewriters of history prefer we forget that the conflict didn't begin in 1948 but reached its culmination then.

Forgotten quite expediently are recurrent pre-1948 massacres by Arabs shouting "Itbach el-Yahud" ("Slaughter the Jews"), denial of asylum to Jews fleeing the Holocaust and, not least, active and avid Arab collaboration with Nazi Germany.

The logic of this misrepresentation too is unmistakable. It inescapably leads to Israel's utter delegitimization. If Israel's inception is the original sin, then the only rightful long-term remedy can be Israel's termination.

But while Israel's independence formally began in 1948, its struggle didn't. The Arabs brutally opposed the Jewish community which existed in this country pre-World War II and which was ripe for statehood before the Holocaust. The "Great Arab Revolt" of 1936-39 — fomented by the still-revered Haj Amin al-Husseini and financed by Nazi Germany — delayed Jewish independence.

The Arabs denied asylum here to desperate Jewish escapees from Hitler's hell. Thereby they doomed these refugees to death. The blood of these exterminated Jews indelibly stains Arab hands.

But that's not all. Husseini, in the role of pan-Arab prime minister, spent the war years in Berlin, where he chummily hobnobbed with his financers and hosts — Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann et al. He broadcast Nazi propaganda, recruited Muslims to the SS and actively foiled the rescue of any Jews, even children, during the Holocaust.

This country's Arabs were avidly pro-Nazi, saluted each other with Heil Hitler, flaunted the swastika, hoarded arms, harbored German spies and planned to heartily welcome Rommel's invading Afrika Korps.

The war which the entire Arab world launched against newborn Israel, three years post-Holocaust, was explicitly geared to complete Hitler's unfinished mission. Not only was there no attempt to camouflage this genocidal goal, but it was broadcast boastfully for all to hear and be intimidated.

Its declared aim was to thwart UN General Assembly Resolution 181, adopted on November 29, 1947. That resolution called for the partition of western Palestine into two economically integrated states — one Jewish and one Arab.

Eastern Palestine, comprising nearly 80 percent of the total, was arbitrarily ripped off by the British Mandate in 1922 and handed over to a princeling from what has since become known as Saudi Arabia. Emir Abdullah's gift-package was artificially dubbed Transjordan, a country entirely unheard of in human history and whose bogus nationality is today known as Jordanian. It is, in fact, the product of the first division of Palestine.

Although on paper Jews received 54% of the remainder, they actually got three non-contiguous slivers, the largest of which included the Arava, eastern Negev and the Negev's far south (down to then-nonexistent Eilat). Most of the moonscape terrain wasn't arable and was certainly unsuitable for large-scale urban habitation. Another bit was wedged in the eastern Galilee around Lake Kinneret. The most densely populated mini-slice was an unimaginably narrow noodle along the Mediterranean, where most Jews congregated and which was chillingly vulnerable. Within it was enclosed the Arab enclave of Jaffa, while Nahariya was left outside the Jewish state.

Jerusalem and Bethlehem were to comprise a "corpus separatum," an international zone, this notwithstanding the fact that Jerusalem had an undeniable Jewish majority going back at least to the beginning of the 19th century (there were no censuses beforehand). But organized Christianity couldn't abide the affront of Jewish dominion in the holy city.

Untenable and implausible though this hodgepodge partition was, Jewish multitudes rejoiced in the streets. At that point it didn't matter how nightmarish and absurd the disjointed territorial splinters assigned to them were.

What mattered was that for the first time in 2,000 years Jewish self-determination — if even on a ridiculously diminutive and fragile geographical fragment — appeared increasingly like a viable reality, despite immediate Arab venomous denunciation of any compromise whatever with any Jewish entity.

This is what it was all about then. This is what it's still about. This is why it still massively matters. This is why Mofaz is so fundamentally wrong.

All Israel asks is that the Arabs belatedly accept 1947's UN Partition Resolution, which they violently violated merely because it provided for a Jewish state. That Jewish state became the Arab casus belli. The Jewish state still is the Arab casus belli.

Peace cannot begin to be made before the malignant characterization of Jewish statehood as a casus belli is recanted convincingly and comprehensively once and for all.

Contact Borntolose3 at borntolose3@charter.net


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SPOT ON!! EMAIL OF THE YEAR.

Posted by Midenise, March 09, 2013

Food for Thought

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to get your parent's permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the only school curriculum allowed to explain how we got here is evolution, and the government stops a $15 million construction project to keep a rare spider from evolving to extinction ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book, but not to vote who runs the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hi jab is only subject to having her neck and head searched ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is "cute," but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If children are forcibly removed from parents who discipline them with spankings while children of addicts are left in filth and drug infested homes... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and free cell phones ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to approve NOT working with 99 weeks of Unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can't find work ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor buys iPhones, TV's and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more "safe" according to the government ... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

Contact Midenise at midenise@zahav.net.il


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LINCOLN AS BLEEDING HEART PEACENIK?

Posted by Steven Plaut, March 09, 2013

An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli Left, along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln, and is proclaiming him an honorary member of "Peace Now." Obviously it is thanks to the new Hollywood movie. Columnists in the Israeli media are claiming that Israel needs to follow the ethical leadership of Lincoln. Just as Lincoln freed the slaves, or so their mantra goes, so Israel must "free" the Palestinians from "occupation."

The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that, if Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, identification with Lincoln must clearly lead one to support the political agenda of the Israeli Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting Palestinian demands and "resistance."

So what should we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist Pro-Palestinian" campaign?

Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with American history would know that the two most important principles represented by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the ethical analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, and not a Peace Now whiner.

Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to order to prevent the partition or division of his homeland, and he was fully prepared to use massive military force to achieve this goal. Lincoln was in favor of peace but not under all conditions or at any price. Those in Israel proposing such a "two-state solution" are the 21st century's Copperheads.

Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason," and throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the Union war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign against treason. Those who supported secession or the Confederacy were engaging in treason, not academic debate. Lincoln did not mollycoddle traitors in the name of "understanding the Other." He did not insist that those opposing national interests be allowed to control the universities and the courts and the media.

Those who are trying to deconstruct Lincoln as the ultimate opponent of "occupation" will have to explain why his party imposed a severely harsh occupation on the member states of the Confederacy, one that continued for years. The analogue to the PLO and Hamas in the occupied Confederacy was the Ku Klux Klan, and it was suppressed mercilessly in actions that included Union militias acting as anti-Klan death squads. There were thousands of arrests of KKK "militants" and "activists," and martial law was imposed upon counties with Klan activities. No one proposed seeking peace by granting the Klan its own country.

Aside from the two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln, which make him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank, Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left squirm. Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had traitors executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of capital punishment. Among those executed, William Bruce Mumford was convicted of treason and hanged in 1862 for tearing down a United States flag. Some 500 people were executed by hanging or by firing squad during the War, some for desertion. At least one of those hanged was a woman, Mary Surratt (executed for her role in the assassination of Lincoln). Lincoln had no patience for terrorists, known in the Civil War as "bushwhackers," and ordered them to be executed by firing squad. "Bridge burners" were given the same treatment. He believed there was ONLY a military solution to the problems of terrorism.

Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and suppressed treasonous journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would handle the pro-Hamas radical Left in Israel? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference. Lincoln also sponsored the Homestead Act of 1862, perhaps the greatest settlements construction effort in history.

Perhaps most notably, Lincoln imposed an uncompromising blockade upon the entire Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who insist that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of humane morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will have a an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by their new-found moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. It was a policy proudly described by Lincoln as "starving the South." Food and civilian commodities were prevented from passing through the blockade. Guess how Lincoln would have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners?

Honest Abe used exactly the same blockade tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli Left is now sobbing its eyes out! And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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WHITE HOUSE SUSPENDS PUBLIC TOURS, BUT FIRST FAMILY TRIPS IN FULL SWING

Posted by Hadar-Israel, March 09, 2013

The article below was written by Barnini Chakraborty who is currently a broadcaster in Fox News Channel in Washington, DC and previously at Fox Business Network, Fox News Radio and Dow Jones Newswires.

WASHINGTON — Visitors to the nation's capital looking for a White House public tour are out of luck starting this weekend, courtesy of what the Secret Service says is its own decision to deal with the sequester cuts.

But while the agency said it needed to pull officers off the tours for more pressing assignments, the budget ax didn't swing early or deep enough to curtail a host of recent Secret Service-chaperoned trips like President Obama's much-discussed Florida golf outing with Tiger Woods and first lady Michelle Obama's high-profile multi-city media appearances.

Obama's pricey golf outings have been a particular target for Republicans who see them as examples of what they say are the administration's rather selective concerns with running up the tab of Secret Service resources. On March 5, Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert filed an amendment to a House resolution that would prohibit federal funds from being spent on Obama's golf trips until public tours of the White House resumed.

Gohmert referenced press reports pegging the cost of a recent Florida golf outing Obama took with Tiger Woods at $1 million. He also cited press reports saying 341 federal workers could have been spared furloughs if Obama had stayed home.

"The president's travel expenses alone, for the golfing outing with Tiger Woods, would pay for a year of White House visits," Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said Thursday. "So I suggest that perhaps he curtail the travel."

The price tag and draw on Secret Service resources involving promotional campaigns like Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative is less clear.

The Secret Service does not usually reveal how many agents and other resources are assigned to protective missions so it's not known just how much it cost taxpayers to ferry the first lady to events like her dance routine on Jimmy Fallon's show -- the highlight of a Feb. 22 media blitz in New York -- or her Feb. 27-28 visit to Mississippi, Missouri and her hometown of Chicago.

Those trips would all have involved Secret Service details traveling with the first lady, as well as advance work by teams of agents on location.

When asked by FoxNews.com if the first lady's office or schedule would be affected by the sequester, the White House issued a 100-word statement that made no mention of any specific cuts that might affect Michelle Obama's activities -- while making a generic reference to cuts affecting the "Executive Office of the President," which houses the first lady's office.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, asked how the White House was cutting back, on Friday said there would be furloughs and pay cuts.

On the decision to close the tours, Press Secretary Jay Carney a day earlier said "the President and the first lady have throughout the time that they've been here made extraordinary efforts to make this the people's house, and it is extremely unfortunate that we have a situation like the sequester that compels the kinds of tradeoffs and decisions that this represents."

It's also not clear what Secret Service resources were dedicated to a recent New York visit by 14-year-old Malia Obama, who was spotted dining with a group of friends at a New York restaurant shortly after President Obama signed off on the sequester. There were Secret Service agents in the restaurant, according to reports that said they stayed behind the group.

How much overtime these types of assignments cost the Secret Service may be an area of concern. Donovan told FoxNews.com that overtime costs factored into the decision to shut down the White House tours. By taking the 30 officers involved in the tours and assigning them to high-priority security posts, officers normally on those duties can log fewer hours -- in turn saving the Secret Service money.

"It reduces overtime costs overall for us," Donovan said.

The tours will not be rescheduled and will stay frozen until further notice.

That's bad news for groups like the sixth graders at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Iowa, who had been planning to take the White House tour on March 16. Fourteen students from that group and their teacher on Thursday took their frustrations to Facebook. In a web video, they held up handmade posters and chanted, "The White House is our house."

Some Republicans in Congress expressed their displeasure with the cuts more forcefully. "Canceling all self-guided White House tours is the latest shameless political stunt by the president, who is twisting basic government efficiency into an extreme consequence," Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., said in a statement March 5.

Contact Hadar-Israel at hadar-israel@verizon.net


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THE SAD TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRATION AND THE SEQUESTER

Posted by Hadar-Israel, March 09, 2013

The article below was written by David Bossie who is an American political activist. Since 2000 he has been President and Chairman of conservative advocacy organization Citizens United. This article appeared March 09, 2013 in Breitbart and is archived at
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2013/03/09/a-little-honesty-about-the-fence/

enforcement

Out of President Obama's sequestration doomsday predictions, the one which best encapsulates what famed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward described as "madness" involves illegal immigration. And it is no laughing matter.

As Fox News reported, a few hundred illegal immigrant detainees were released by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which probably led to the early "retirement" of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations Director Gary Mead. ICE plans to let loose between 5,000 and 10,000 additional illegal immigrants to meet the terms of the sequester. Confirming the story this week was The Washington Examiner.

But don't worry: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has informed us that the illegals being released are "very low-level, low-risk detainees." According to this New York Times profile, that can also be defined as illegals with convictions for "simple assault, simple battery, and child abuse." Are you comforted yet?

I have studied our porous Southern border closely. In 2006, I produced the award-winning documentary Border War: The Battle Over Illegal Immigration. Since that time, the situation and the drain on our social services and entitlement programs have become even more dire.

With President Obama rushing to give every illegal immigrant a pathway to citizenship, what he and our leaders in Congress should do is tell the truth about the state of the fence at our southern border and asking: Why hasn't the border fence been built?

To get that answer, we must look back to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. While it authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of "at least two layers of reinforced fencing," the law was subsequently amended heavily by then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and others who gave DHS bureaucrats the ability to use less secure fencing at their discretion.

As Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 80%of Alabama pointed out during a February 13 Judiciary Committee hearing, with more than $600 million in appropriations, and out of the 700 miles of fence we were promised, only 36 miles of doubled-layered fence actually exist. The rest of the fencing consists of single-layer fence or just small "vehicle barriers" designed to stop cars, which any pedestrian could easily hop over. This is an outrage and one of the reasons Washington politicians are so unpopular.

Now, while the border fence construction has essentially stopped, Mexican cartels continue to smuggle weapons, drugs, and illegals into our country who are more likely to commit crimes and fill our prisons. The United State Attorney General's office has released statistical reports showing crime rates along the southern border is increasing, with drug smuggling posing a serious organized crime threat for the country. And throughout the border, desperate Southern states have erected signs warning citizens to avoid certain federal lands because of the high levels of human and drug trafficking.

Before Congress discusses comprehensive immigration reform, we must enforce the laws on our books, finish building a legitimate and effective fence for the 21st century, and further secure our border with boots on the ground. With enemies throughout the world who do not wear uniforms, our liberty can only be secure if we know exactly who is coming into the country. If we are a nation of laws, we cannot reward lawbreakers while punishing those who wait in line to find a better life. And if we are to cut the size of government while reducing the burden placed on law enforcement and social services, conservatives must unite and finally get our border secured first.

Contact Hadar-Israel at hadar-israel@verizon.net


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HEBREW UNIVERSITY'S AMIRAM GOLDBLUM AS INTERNATIONAL DEFAMER OF ISRAEL AND JEWS

Posted by Steven Plaut, March 10, 2013

The article below was written by Ben-Dror Yemini who is an Israeli journalist. He has worked for the daily newspaper Maariv, and in Spring 2014 began writing for the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. This article appeared March 08, 2013 in IsraCampus.Org.il and is archived at
http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/HebrewU%20-%20Ben%20Dror%20Yemini%20denounces%20Amiram%20Goldblum.htm

And so the parade marches on. Amiram Goldblum, who was the initiator of the "Survey" about Israeli attitudes about annexation, managed to manufacture for himself a front-page headline in "Haaretz" claiming that most Israelis endorse apartheid. This is a lie long ago debunked. Even "Haaretz" itself publicly repudiated the claim, if only on an inside page. But Goldblum is not giving up. He is setting up his own new organization. It is not trying to battle against apartheid. To the contrary, Goldblum is trying to convince anyone and everyone that Israel is ALREADY an apartheid regime. Here is Goldblum: "Israel's holding the territories between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, whether these are formally annexed or not, makes Israel a de facto apartheid regime." Oh really? [Isracampus wonders why the US and Canada holding territory between the Atlantic and the Pacific does not make THEM apartheid regimes!]

Israel's control over territories is the direct consequence of Palestinian intransigence. Let's put aside the three infamous "NOs" of Khartoum, issued after the Arab states tried and failed to annihilate Israel. It seems we need to apologize for not being destroyed. Let's go to recent history. The Palestinians were offered their own state by Bill Clinton. They responded with rejectionism and an "intifada" of violence. Then they were granted Gaza by Ariel Sharon. They responded to this with Hamas, rockets, and their hate industry. Then from Ehud Olmert they got an offer that was at the furthest extreme reach of what even the Israeli radical Left was willing to offer. It did not matter. The Palestinians responded with a demand for their so-called "right of return" to all of Israel.

The Goldblums have eyes that simply are incapable of seeing. They have ears that can hear nothing. Instead of struggling for peace and reconciliation and mutual recognition, he and his ilk prefer to smear Israel and Zionism. ...

(Yemini then cites published surveys about the extent of racism in Britain, France and other parts of Europe)

What would happen if there were similar surveys with similar findings about Israel? Why, our Goldblums would be running off to the International Court of Justice in the Hague to file indictments against Israel for crimes against humanity!

But rest assured that no such group like Goldblum's will arise in Britain, France or Germany to fight against racism and apartheid. While the situation there is grave, those countries are not part of any conflict, they have no Hamas to deal with, no terrorism, and no campaign of unceasing incitement and demonization. Taking such things into account, there is no question that Israel is by far the more sane country, compared to those European states.

Ah but the facts simply do not matter. After all, we have our Goldblums to fabricate a danger of impending apartheid! The contributions to their budgets will already be on their way, perhaps even from the EU itself. Maybe from countries where hostility towards aliens and foreigners is FAR worse than in Israel.

Goldblum's lying "apartheid survey" has been thoroughly discredited and debunked. But lies retain their own feet, as the Hebrew saying goes. Goldblum's survey has enjoyed international popularity and "success." That is because those forever seeking to paint Israel as a monstrosity and abomination never forego any new ammunition. Donations are assured. Perhaps even from the New Israel Fund [on whose board Goldblum sits -- Isracampus]. Maybe also from Europe.

So we should have no delusions. Goldblum's new initiative, like so many others in his same industry, will do nothing to promote human rights and will not be engaging in any legitimate criticism. It will just be one more assault weapon in the campaign of demonization against Israel.

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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DESTRUCTIVE FANTASIES RELATIVE TO RADICAL ISLAM

Posted by Israel Commentary, March 10, 2013

The article below was written by Victor Davis Hanson who is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a commentator on modern warfare and contemporary politics for National Review and other media outlets. This article appeared February 15, 2013 in the Washington Times and is archived at
http:www//israel-commentary.org/?p=6066

Most things that we read in the popular media about radical Islam are fantasies. They are promulgated in the mistaken belief that such dogmas will appease terrorists, or at least direct their ire elsewhere. But given the recent news — murdering in Algeria, war in Mali, the Syrian mess, and Libyan chaos — let us reexamine some of these more common heresies.

Such a review is especially timely, given that Mr. Brennan believed that jihad is largely a personal quest for spiritual perfection; Mr. Kerry believed that Bashar Assad was a potentially moderating reformer; and Mr. Hagel believed that Iran was not worthy of sanctions, Hezbollah was not deserving of ostracism, and Israel is equally culpable for the Middle East mess. (Huh!)

1. Contact with the West moderates Radical Muslims

In theory, residence in the West could instruct young Muslim immigrants on the advantages of free markets, constitutional government, and legally protected freedoms. But as we saw with many of the 9/11 hijackers, for a large subset of Muslim expatriates, a strange schizophrenia ensues: they enjoy — indeed, seek out — the material bounty of the West. But in the abstract, far too many either despise what wealth and affluence do to the citizenry (e.g., gay marriage, feminism, religious tolerance, secularism, etc.) or try to dream up conspiracy theories to explain why their adopted home is better off than the native one that they abandoned.

Foreign students, journalists, and religious expatriates tend to congregate around American campuses and in liberal big cities. There, they are more often nursed on American race/class/gender critiques of America, and so apparently believe that their own anti-Americanism must naturally be shared by millions of Americans from Bakersfield to Nashville.

Take Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's new theocratic president. He should appreciate the US. It gave him refuge from persecution in Egypt. It allowed unfettered expression of his radical anti-American views. It schooled him in meritocratic fashion and offered him secure employment at the CSU system, despite his foreign national status. It gave citizenship to two of his daughters (apparently retained). But the result is that Mr. Morsi is an abject anti-Semite ("apes and pigs") and anti-American. He does not believe terrorists caused 9/11. He wants the imprisoned, murderous blind sheik, who was the architect of the first World Trade Center bombing, sent home to Egypt. And he is pushing Egypt into a Sunni version of Iran.

2. The West Must Atone for Its Past Behavior

I have noted elsewhere both the fantasies found in Barack Obama's Cairo speech and their general irrelevance to the Muslim world. Polls from Pakistan to Palestine — both recipients of massive US aid — show that the US is as unpopular under Obama as it was under Bush. All small nations have writs against large ones, especially the globally ubiquitous US. But America must be seen in comparison to ... what? Russia's artillery and missile barrage that leveled Muslim Grozny (which the UN declared the most destroyed city in the world)? China, which outlaws free expression of Islam and persecutes Muslim minorities? Both are largely left alone by al Qaeda, due to their unapologetic attitudes, possible unpredictable response, and inability to offer attackers a globalized media forum.

In contrast, no single nation lets in more Muslim immigrants than does the US. No non-Muslim nation gives more foreign aid than does the US to the Muslim world — Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine. No nation has so sought to save Muslims from dictatorial violence — whether bombing European Christians to save Muslims in the Balkans; jawboning Kuwaitis to spare Palestinian turncoats in 1991; trying to feed starving Somalis; aiding Muslims fighting Russians in Afghanistan; freeing Kuwaitis from Saddam; rebuilding Iraq; rebuilding Afghanistan from Taliban terror; trying to free Libyans from Gadhafi; and on and on.

The sources of radical Islamic rage are thus not past US actions. Read The Al Qaeda Reader to chart all the bizarre excuses that bin Laden and Dr. Zawahiri alleged were the roots of their anger at the US. So why exactly does radical Islam hate us?

Mostly because of the age-old wages of insecurity, envy, and a sense of inferiority — and the hunch that such gripes win apologies, attention, and sometimes money. In a globalized world, Muslims see daily that everyone from South Koreans to North Americans are better off. Why? In their view, not because of market economies, meritocracies, gender equality, religious pluralism, consensual government, and the Western menu of personal freedom.

To draw that conclusion would mean to reject tribalism, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, anti-Semitism, statism, authoritarianism, and conspiracy theory — and to admit indigenous rather than foreign causation. Instead, it is far easier to blame "them" for turning the majestic Islamic empire of old into the chaos of modern Islam — as well as to fault Arab secularists whose lack of religious zealotry allowed the West to move ahead. All antidotes to these deductive beliefs — foreign aid, democratization, outreach, better communications — have so far proved ambiguous at best.

3. Israel Is the Source of Muslim Rage

Note two facts about the current mass killing in the Muslim world, in Afghanistan, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Syria, and Yemen. First, it has nothing to do with Israel. Second, the Muslim world is largely silent about the carnage that dwarfs the toll of an Israeli response to missiles from Gaza. The Muslim world cannot do anything about Muslim-on-Muslim violence, but apparently thinks others can do a great deal about Israeli-on-Muslim violence, which is sporadic at best.

Why, then, do Westerners so often scapegoat Israel? A number of very human considerations, apart from the most obvious of anti-Semitism, the Arab world's oil wealth, and the vast demographic fact of 1 billion persons versus 7 million. We have influence with Westernized and liberal Israel, none with Mr. Morsi or the Libyan assassins or the Algerian hostage-killers.

Symbolic pressure is a psychological mechanism to excuse factual impotence. The Arab world is so complex and so torn by tribalism, religious schisms, and embedded pathologies that the Western mind seeks a simple sword stroke to Israel to cut such a complex Gordian knot. For now the problem is supposed to be Mr. Netanyahu, who in appearance and speech seems like an easily demonized American neocon.

Yet every writ against Israel is elsewhere in the world commonplace and mostly ignored: our drone killings trump their targeted assassinations; a divided Nicosia trumps Jerusalem; occupied islands off Japan or Tibet trump the West Bank; a million ethnically cleansed Jews from Arab capitals or 13 million Germans cleansed from Eastern Europe trump the Arab flight from Palestine. For a displaced German now to speak of a right of return to "Danzig" is creepy; for a Palestinian to demand residence in Haifa after a similar seven decades of absence is appropriate.

4. The US Can Solve the Muslim World's Problems

I supported the war in Iraq as a way of getting rid of a long-term enemy of the US, Saddam Hussein, in accordance with the 23 writs of action approved by the US Congress. We did that, ended the 12-year containment and no-fly-zones, and defeated a huge Islamist coalition that flocked to Iraq to wage jihad. That said, Iraq is more stable than Syria or Libya largely because a US presence baby-sat democratic change. To the degree that Iraq will revert to the usual Arab paradigm is probably contingent on the fact that the US refused to leave even a small garrison and simply pulled out lock, stock, and barrel.

Elsewhere, I don't think the Western intervention in Libya led to much of an improvement over Gadhafi's nightmarish dictatorship. Morsi may make the kleptocratic Mubarak look good in another year. Take your pick in Syria: the murderous security of the Assad secret police or the murderous chaos of Islamist gangs. I am sure that there are Google execs among all the dissidents, but I am also sure that none will come to power — and most will soon flee their respective countries.

No one now is pressuring 8th-century Saudi Arabia to become a 21st-century "democratic" Egypt. Eastern Europe — warped by a half-century of Soviet-imposed communism, torn by past wars between Russia and Europe, with a baleful legacy of Ottoman occupation in the southeast, and distant from the Renaissance, Reformation, and New World exploration — was saved by its Western heritage and its incorporation into Europe, at least for now. As far as the Muslim world, I see no such heritage or possible like-minded interventions from the West. Perhaps someday, globalization or Westernized oil-fed elites in the manner of a Dubai may make a difference — or perhaps not.

In this regard, the Obama administration's therapeutic approach (and deliberate media orchestrated delusion upon US citizens) — jihad is a personal journey; Major Hasan committed workplace violence and endangered the Army's diversity program; terrorism is a man-caused disaster; anti-terrorism is an overseas contingency operation; there is no war on Islamic terror; trying KSM in a civilian court; loud talk of shutting down Guantanamo; reading Miranda rights to terrorist suspects; loudly inventing under appreciated Islamic discoveries and inventions — is not just silly and embarrassing, but dangerous. The therapeutic approach sends the message to the young terrorist that we are in some way culpable for the violence that he intends to commit, that there may not be dangerous repercussions to his terrorist acts, or that we do not believe in the values of our culture as much as he does in his own.

5. We Are Largely Safe from Islamic Upheavals

While we are largely impotent in terms of modernizing the Arab and larger Islamic world, and while many of its conflicts do not involve any major US interests, I'm afraid we cannot simply wash our hands of radical Islam. September 11 taught us that premodern killers can still reach postmodern Westerners. Oil revenues will give Iran not just the bomb, but in ten years the ability to rocket it to Europe and perhaps the US. If there is to be a Persian nuke, there may well be soon an Egyptian or Saudi one as well. Pakistan at any moment could lose its warheads to al Qaedists. Rising Muslim populations in Europe — the embryo of the Holocaust — are already changing its geo-politics. Over forty terrorist plots have been uncovered in the US since 9/11. A characteristic of radical Islam is nihilism, the morbid desire to destroy all that it cannot create.

In short, we must continue our anti-terrorism vigilance, maintain our military strength, speak honestly to the public, and seek alliances with sympathetic nations who share our views about radical Islam.

What Then?

More importantly, it is time to reassess our posture in the Muslim world. Giving billions of dollars in aid to Mr. Morsi's Egypt is unsustainable, logically and morally. We should quietly chart a five-year plan to reach zero aid, a cut-off that could be reassessed should Morsi prove a reformer (fat chance). Ditto diminishing aid to Pakistan, and the Palestinians. The key is not loud lecturing, but just a quiet yet steady twist of the spigot in the off direction. If anti-Americanism earns US money (Pakistan and Palestine just polled the most anti-American of all nations), then perhaps no US money might earn a little pro-Americanism.

Our immigration policy in general is wrecked. But we should radically reassess granting visas to those from non-democratic countries in the Middle East. This hiatus need not be permanent, but again can send a quiet message that there are wages to anti-Americanism.

Oil and natural gas self-sufficiency are now possible in a way undreamed of just four years ago. In other words, there are now real answers to our age-old worries: a stop to predicating our national security on the Persian Gulf; an end to the Arab League holding our foreign policy hostage; a stop to berating Israel and courting Hamas; a curtailing of our disastrous imbalance of payments caused by importing over-priced oil — as well as the possibility of exchanging coal for clean-burning natural gas, creating millions of new jobs at home, and earning revenues to help pay down the deficit. Not developing new wells on public lands and canceling the Keystone pipeline are not just mistaken, but mistaken to the degree of lunacy.

To the degree that the administration quietly kept in place most of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols that it had in campaign-mode so opportunistically derided, and to the degree that its own loud new initiatives either were shelved or faced a storm of opposition in Congress, we have been kept safe for another four years. But if we believe any of the above five truisms, we won't be for long.

Contact Israel Commentary at israelcommentary@comcast.net


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THE VIOLENCE OF THE LAMBS

Posted by Tabitha, March 10, 2013

Sheep are usually valued as an excellent source of food and fiber, but what about the sheep at Brooklyn College, particularly the psychology and philosophy departments? Although these predisposed, mindless sheep of academia differ somewhat from their quadruped counterparts, they are also of value because, as a veterinarian noted, both can be worked on a year-round basis.

To another anti-Israel forum, add supportive pro-Palestinians who claimed their right to free speech, boot out the non-disruptive pro-Israel students who were denied the same free speech, and we have the makings of a lynch mob. Their head ram, gay activist Sarah Schulman who was trained to be ashamed of her heritage, takes the rank of herding sheepdog. Although history has proven that no matter how Jews assimilate and harbor hate against their own, they, themselves, will never escape antisemitism.

Following the political science department's Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) rally against the State of Israel, the psychology and philosophy departments are using City University of New York (CUNY)'s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality to continue the assault. They will supplement Schulman's claim of "Homonationalism and Pinkwashing," a bogus assertion that Israel is intentionally promoting their own gay rights to deflect from their violating Palestinian rights, when Israel has long provided freedom for all its citizens, including welcoming gays into the military. But the more bizarre the accusation and propaganda, the more it appeals to the ill-informed, those inclined to blame their lot in life on others, and to an extreme liberal academia whose ultimate intent is to deny America's exceptionalism, and the morality born of the Biblical Commandments and American Constitution. These activists prefer dictatorial officials, dishonesty, discord, and divisiveness, and to destroy the pillars of freedom and democracy inherent in Israel and the United States. If Ms. Schulman and her sheep can betray her Jewish heritage of ethics and morality, how long before she'll seek to betray her country, America, a beacon for freedom and opportunity around the world.

The truth has no place in their agenda, for they would then have to confront life for the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community under Islam. They would have to admit that gays have no rights in Islam, that they're treated as criminals in Iran, that they undergo severe forms of corporal punishment, flogging, imprisonment, and even execution. In any Islamic country, homosexuals are subject to brutal forms of torture and violence, mob assaults, lynching, and even being burned alive.

Schulman and her sheep would be compelled to confront the rights denied Muslims by their own culture — the right to live a happy, creative, productive life regardless of their sexual identification.

To begin with, Islamic women are victims of one of the most hideous, barbaric rituals — female genital mutilation. Treated no better than sheep, these untermenschen are forever demoralized and deprived of education, have no equality to men under the law, play no formal role in government, may take no action against spousal abuse or other forms of gender violence, and may receive no medical treatment without a man's consent. Women may not undertake domestic or foreign travel alone, qualify for inheritance equal to her brothers, expect a monogamous marriage to the man of her own choosing, keep her children in the event of divorce or widowhood, drive a car or sit in the front seat.

The everyday insults to women are to be constantly imprisoned in a shroud, never to feel the warmth of the desert sun or a light zephyr on her skin, and confined to wearing clothing that hampers her ability to run from the frequent attacker or rapist. Any breach of the repressive rules may result in her admonishment, a beating, or being stoned to death, because the man's strength and status are deemed divinely ordained. And, adding insult to injury, how best to show the value of their women and children than when they are positioned as shields at a rocket-launching pad to be included in the body-count accusation against Israel's retaliatory efforts.

Because of Islamic decrees of severe segregation for women (apartheid), many older men "of status" engage in homosexual sex while denying their homosexuality — "Women are for children, boys are for pleasure." This is prevalent, and what could be more damaging and frightening for a prepubescent young boy ("who do not have facial hair") than having to yield to rape and sodomy by a male adult, and relinquishing his childhood of play, creativity and independent thinking to an indoctrination of hate and militaristic exercises that may lead to his own death by explosion?

The more females and sexuality are demonized, and the amicable, respectful interaction between the sexes suppressed, the greater the increase of homosexuality between men and the abuse of boys by older men. Gender apartheid fosters a vicious misogyny where men may become physically ill at the sight of women, and rape young boys who experience deep humiliation and emasculation, which explains why terrorists sexually mutilate their male victims and attack women worldwide. Living without harmony, affection or equality, they surrender their humanity and willingly mutilate and violate others as they have been violated, their rage increasing, and they lust for death, when they will finally receive what they are forbidden in life.

Behind Schulman's rhetoric, encouraged by her flock of "willing executioners," she seeks to dissolve the rights of Israelis and delegitimize the sovereign State of Israel. Whatever lies behind her warped thinking, she pursues Israel's destruction by advocating citizens' rights for malevolent non-citizens. She would rather see these murderous Arabs enter Israel freely to continue their deadly stone-throwing Intifadas and bloody slaughter of peaceful families. But just as she hopes that Palestinians will overrun Israel, she agrees to a Judenrein Islamic Palestine. Schulman considers one small state for Jews, surrounded by 1.6 billion Muslims in a land mass a thousand times its size, as one too many. It is inexplicable that her plans are also self-destructive, when she works for the deligitimization and annihilation of the only country in the Middle East where she could live happily and without fear.

I am reminded and marvel at Yale's Whiffenpoof Song, written in 1909, and the relevancy of its lyrics now, more than a century later (2013), for Brooklyn College:

We are poor little lambs who have gone astray ...

Off on a spree,

Doomed from here to eternity,

God have mercy on such as we,

Baa, baa, baa.

Tabitha Korol began her political writing with letters to the editor, earning an award from CAMERA (Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) "in recognition of outstanding letter-writing in 2009 to promote fair and factual reporting about Israel." Her op-eds have appeared in Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) and she posts at Right Truth, NewMediaJournal, RenewAmerica, JewishIndy, NeverAgainIsNow, and others. Contact Tabitha Korol at unsopiro@sbcglobal.net


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MUSLIMS TO BUILD MOSQUE ON MT. SINAI?

Posted by GWY123, March 10, 2013

Of the many hundreds of towns on Long Island, NY, where do Muslims want to build a big mosque?

In a town called Mt. Sinai, named for the mountain ascended by Moses, from which he brought forth the Ten Commandments, Muslims are fighting to construct a mosque.

Evidence of how much Muslims are dying to get into Mr. Sinai, 2 years ago they petitioned for Muslim-only cemetery in Mt. Sinai: of-all-places-in-long-island-to-put-a-muslim-only-cemetery-they-have-to-choose-a-place-called-mount-sinai/

Moses ascended Mount Sinai, and G-d spoke to him the following words (Exodus 3-6): "So shall you say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel. You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and [how] I bore you on eagles' wings, and I brought you to Me. And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of princes and a holy nation."

moses

Newsday The 6,500-square-foot mosque would be on a 3.44-acre property owned by applicant Mohammed Sameen — specifically, inside his renovated backyard barn at Mount Sinai-Coram Road and Hamlet Drive, near the Willow Creek golf course. "My client looks forward to becoming an important part of the fabric of the community," said Sameen's attorney, Timothy Shea Jr. of Hauppauge.

At a meeting held by the Mount Sinai Civic Association last week, nearby residents spoke of concerns about traffic and congestion, according to civic association board member Deirdre DuBato. "People did not want to see anything change," she said of some commenters at the civic meeting.

community

Residents are arguing that a mosque in the community would disrupt the quality of life. They say their main concern is traffic, adding that a synagogue, church or any other house of worship in a residential area would have the same effect. According to residents, roads in the area are narrow, have no shoulders or lights and have already led to a high number of accidents. Dr. Mohammed Sameen and his attorney say that the mosque will only be used on Friday and Sundays.

VIDEO: http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/03/09/of-the-many-hundreds-of-towns-on-long-island-ny-where-do-muslims-want-to-build-a-big-mosque/

Many who died in the Muslim terror attacks on 9/11 were residents of Long Island, who made the daily commute to the Twin Towers on the Long Island Rail Road. So it's no wonder that Long Islanders are more wary than most about Muslims in their midst.

NY Times Muslims on Long Island say, they have been waging jihad. And they are saddened, but not surprised, when non-Muslims misunderstand what that means. "We do not believe in jihad the way suicide bombers do," said Bushra Butt, the president of the Ladies' Auxiliary at the Bait ul-Huda mosque in Amityville. "We teach other people who are not Muslims what the truth of Islam is. That is our real jihad."

The word literally means struggle, but properly used, it connotes a struggle for spiritual improvement, not a holy war born of hatred, said Dr. Faroque Khan, the president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, in Westbury. The name Islam itself means peace. (DING DING DING! Islam means submission, NOT peace)

Continuing terror attacks since 9/11 (more than 20,000 to date) committed in Islam's name by Al Qaeda and others keep renewing Islamophobia anti-Islamism, the obsessive justified fears, suspicions and prejudices that many people of other backgrounds harbor toward Muslims, religious leaders on the Island say.

And though a similar term has not yet been coined for it, (Yes there is, "Infidelophobia) many Muslims on the Island respond with a collective fear and suspicion of those outside their faith, and of the motives behind some of the post-9/11 security efforts that seem aimed at Muslims.

infidelophobia

As a result, many of the estimated 75,000 Muslims on Long Island keep as low a profile as they can. Of the 20 or more mosques on the Island, only 4 list their telephone numbers in the Yellow Pages and other directories. Most of the Island's mosques did not respond to letters and repeated phone calls seeking comment for this article.

Many non-Muslims on the Island expressed intolerance, and more willingness to suspect all Muslims of complicity in terrorism. "Why couldn't they find a sleeper cell on Long Island — they found one in Queens, they found one in New Jersey," said Cathy Costello, 63, a Hampton Bays legal secretary. "We should loosen up our laws just the way they do in other countries. They don't worry about the A.C.L.U. — they shoot first and ask questions later. Which is what I think we should do here."

courage

Margie Miller of Baldwin, whose husband, Joel Miller, worked for Marsh & McLennan on the 97th floor of One World Trade Center and died in the 9/11 attack, said she struggled to feel compassion for Muslims. "As a Jew, I should be more sensitive to the victimization that the Muslims say they are experiencing, but Pollyanna has left the building," said Mrs. Miller, 55, a recently retired Hebrew-school teacher. "If your house is burglarized, you change the locks so the burglars can't get in again. But I don't see that we've done that."

Muslim leaders on Long Island say, "We see our religion being hijacked," said Ahmed Yuceturk, 26, an imam who lives at the United American Muslim Association mosque in Dix Hills. "How many terrorists are there who are Muslim?"Islam cannot be used in the same sentence as terrorists," Mr. Yuceturk said. "They are opposites to each other, like fire and water in the same place."

imam

Mr. Imam, who emigrated from Pakistan in 1982, lives with his wife and family in Mount Sinai. He operates a pharmacy in Coram and serves as a trustee of his mosque in Selden. He frequently gives talks about Islam in schools, houses of worship and community centers in Suffolk. "The more we educate people, the more we will be better off," he said. "I give police officers who are graduating from the academy a copy of the Quran in English."

cair

Five women from Bait ul-Huda mosque in Amityville, were flying back to New York from a convention in Chicago. "We were sitting in the front rows of the plane, and it was time for our evening prayer," she said, but when they began to pray, "a couple of people got uneasy, and the attitude of the air hostess was hostile."

The flight attendant refused to serve them for the rest of the flight, she said, and a woman with a young child who was seated nearby moved to another part of the plane.

flight prayer

Mr. Alladin, 31, a project manager for Symbol Technologies who lives in North Babylon, remembered attending a function soon after Sept. 11. "A friend was playing with my PalmPilot, and 90 percent of the names in my address book were Muslim," he said. "And this person, whom I knew very well, said, 'If I ever find out you're a terrorist, I will kill you.' "

Judy Grimner of Baldwin, 53, who teaches sixth grade in Westbury lost her husband on 9/11, Dave Grimner, who worked on the 98th floor of One World Trade Center. "Everyone knew my husband had been killed," she said. "About one month after 9/11, a Muslim sixth grader came up to me and said he was happy the terrorists had blown up the World Trade Center. I was shocked and upset." Mrs. Grimner said she had heard that the student's father had taken him to Pakistan for a month over the summer.

Contact GWY123@aol.com


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LAUGHTER IN THE CEMETERY

Posted by Hebron, March 10, 2013

The article below was written by David Wilder who is spokesman of The Jewish Community of Hebron. You can contribute directly to The Hebron Press, POB10, Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100, hebron@hebron.org.il, 972-2-9965333 or write to The Hebron Fund, 1760 Ocean Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230, hebronfund@aol.com This article appeared March 10, 2013 in Hebron, City of the Patriarchs and is archived at
http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=840

cemetary

At about 5:00 this afternoon an Arab sniper shot and killed a 10 month old baby girl, Shalhevet Techiya Pass, and wounded her father, Yitzhak Pass, with two bullets in the legs. They were shot at the entrance to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. The baby was in the mother's arms at the time of the shooting and was hit in the head. Emergency medical teams arrived immediately. The father was treated and evacuated to hospital. The doctors were not able to save the baby.

shalevet

A Hebron spokesman issued the following statement: For seven months the Hebron community has been shot at from Abu Sneneh and Harat a'Shech hills surrounding Hebron. Before the hills were transferred to Arafat, 4 years ago, we warned that the hills would be a source of Arab gunfire, directed at the community. We were laughed at. Following the beginning of the war, seven months ago, we again warned that if the hills were not recaptured by the Israeli army, blood would be spilled. Several times, Arab snipers have barely missed hitting soldiers and civilians in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. This afternoon the sniper hit two people - a 10 month old baby in her mother's arms, and her father. If Ariel Sharon does not fulfill his promise to provide security for Hebron's residents - if he does not give orders to the army to retake the hills, Hebron's community will have no choice but to take appropriate action. Ariel Sharon promised security. Since he was elected, two innocent people have been killed. If Sharon does not react to today's shooting, why was he elected?

"We walked with Shalhevet in her stroller in the direction of the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, her grandparents, my wife's parents, and when we reached the entrance to the neighborhood, then, I remember the blast I felt in my legs, at the first moment I didn't understand what had happened, and when I turned around and saw that my legs were hit, I realized that I'd been shot. I lay down on the ground behind the soldier's station, my wife took Shalhevet from the stroller in the direction of a wall that could block them from the shooting, and when she held her head, she discovered that Shalhevet had been shot in the head. The soldiers started arriving, there was shooting, until I was evacuated. I remember it like it was yesterday." (Itzik Pass, two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the murder).

shooting

Terrorist shooting update:

Hebron's leadership held an emergency meeting tonight following the sniper shooting which left Shalhevet Techiya Pass, 10 months old, dead, and her father, Itzik Pass, wounded. He was hit in the legs and is presently undergoing surgery at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Hebron's leadership has demanded that the hills surrounding Hebron be retaken by the Israel Defense forces. During the meeting is was decided that the Hebron community would stage a 24 hour a day protest in the Arab market, next to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, until the hills are again under Israeli control.

It was decided to name the hills, (presently called Abu Sneneh), the Shalhevet hills, in memory of the murdered baby. (Shalhevet means "flame" in Hebrew.) Presently several Hebron leaders are meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem, demanding that he fulfill his campaign promise to provide security for Jews in Judea, Samaria and Gazza. Should Sharon refuse, it is expected that massive protest demonstrations against the Sharon administration will begin throughout Israel. Funeral plans are still pending.

shalhevet

Q. Shalhevet was your first born and at that time, only child. Since then your wife has given birth several times.

When Shalhevet was killed she was towards the end of her pregnancy. A few months later she gave birth to another daughter, Renana Nechama, and since then, thank G-d, we have two sons and three daughters, the last one was born two weeks ago and thank G-d, we see comfort in the children. This is one of the things that gives strength. We know that we still have reasons to continue and for what to aspire.

Q. What do you teach them, what do you tell them?

We tell them what happened, without hiding anything. I think that it's important that children, as soon as they are able to comprehend, should understand the reality and know that Hebron isn't like every other place in the world, that there are the complexities here. The children understand it, they live here and they know we're not in Tel Aviv, that here there are soldiers and Arabs, that sometimes we get hit by rocks. Sometimes they feel the realities and complexities, but the bereavement is part of our life. I don't think it should be blurred. It's important that the children should know that, first of all, there is a price for our faith, for what we think and what we do, and that we gave our most valuable possession for the sake of Eretz Yisrael, for the sake of settling the land. (Itzik Pass, two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the murder).

memorial

Before the short memorial service began this afternoon, some of the Pass children were running around in the cemetery. Itzik picked up one of his children, laughing. His father, standing next to him, seemed very surprised to see his son laugh, and so remarked. Itzik replied, 'a cemetery is a funny place.'

Thinking about this statement, I realized that Itzik has what to laugh about. True, he and his wife Oriya lost their first child. But the sniper's bullet was not meant to kill only Shalhevet. It was aimed at all Hebron, at all our men, women and children. For some reason, it hit and killed a tiny baby. But, in the end, Itzik and Oriya Pass defeated both the sniper and all those who sent him to perform his evil deed. For they are still here in Hebron, thriving in Hebron, raising their children in Hebron. Their victory is triumphal example to all, of dedication, determination, and self-sacrifice. Sure, tears can still be shed; the feeling of the loss is still tangible. But the Pass' conquest over evil, over terror, is too, tangible.

seating pretty

Q. Itzik, why did you stay here in Hebron?

First of all, we are stubborn. The Jewish people are stubborn, a stiff-necked people. We are enrooted in this land. Both in our personal family, and in a more general way, this is everything. There is nothing, not murder, not Arabs, which can uproot us from here, because we are a stiff-necked people. Despite what the Jewish people have experienced, we have been able to hold our heads high. We have to understand how they lived in Galut where anyone could do whatever he wanted to Jews, and here, and here, in Eretz Yisrael, we hold our heads high, standing straight and tall, no one will ever get us out of here. (Itzik Pass, two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the murder).

interview

VIDEO: http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=840

Contact Hebron at hebron@hebron.com


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CBC'S OSCAR-WORTHY PALLYWOOD PERFORMANCE

Posted by Honest Reporting Canada, March 10, 2013

The article below was written by Mike Fegelman who is executive director of HonestReporting Canada, a non-profit organization which ensures fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel. This article appeared March 10, 2013 in Honest Reporting Canada and is archived at
http://www.honestreporting.ca/cbcs-oscar-worthy-pallywood-performance/6744#.UTzSn2EkrnY

And the Oscar for best actor goes to... the CBC for refusing to atone for broadcasting unverified footage depicting a Palestinian man faking injuries allegedly sustained in an Israeli air strike.

At the height of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, CBC's flagship news program "The National" broadcast a report on November 14 by its Mideast correspondent Sasa Petricic showing dramatic footage of an apparently injured Palestinian man being picked up off the ground and carried away by other Palestinians.

Based on this dubious footage, CBC viewers were left to conclude that the man had been injured by Israeli ordnance, coupled with the CBC reporter's description in a voice-over commentary that "Many explosions shook Gaza killing 10 Palestinians including 3 children according to Hamas' health ministry. Israeli leaders are unrepentant." This reporter's characterization that Israeli leaders have no remorse for the alleged killing of innocents, specifically several Palestinian children, was inflammatory and without merit. Equally troubling was the CBC's reliance on Palestinian casualty statistics straight from a terrorist organization's own "health ministry".

But there was no blood, wounds, or damage visible on this individual's body and clothing. Importantly, the BBC also aired this same footage of the Palestinian man being carried off, only the BBC's version included additional footage showing the man staging a remarkable recovery, all caught on camera, as he was later shown walking around apparently unscathed.

Contact Honest Reporting Canada at info@honestreporting.ca


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THE DAY MY SON KILLED THE LION

Posted by Ted Roberts, March 10, 2013

Deep in the Northern Malaysian jungles there's a maturity rite in which the young Malaysian male must track down and kill by hand the giant Poison Quilled Porcupine, an irritable creature cursed by nature with a one-day mating season. And this ceremonial kill must take place on THAT day. A day of intense concentration for the Poison Quilled Porcupine.

Sociologists tell us that this custom only exists among the inhabitants of the Northwest. Further south they do the "lion thing". Armed only with his flimsy, 6-foot, Balsa wood spear, the challenged adolescent must bring home a lion skin. And it better not have a price tag from one of those tourist shops. The victory announces the maturity of the youngster. These kinds of rites, sociologists tell us, are found in every society; metaphorically, the dive into the blue lagoon for the perfect pearl.

The young Swiss male must eat four pounds of milk chocolate at a single sitting. Natives of Taiwan must assemble twelve VCRs with no defects. Honduran youths must knit a gross of plaid shirts with a maximum of three irregulars. And of course we Jews have the traditionally honored Bar Mitzvah ceremony.

In the US, for non-Jews, there's no formal ceremony. But after tithing for my kids' meals and entertainment for twenty years, I decided that the day my son bought me and his modestly-dressed mama (due to years of parental sacrifice) a meal - well, - forget the lion skin, that would symbolize his admission to adulthood.

You parents know how it goes. When the family goes out to eat, Papa pays. That's nature's way. The eagle brings the tender pigeon, untouched, to his nesting fledglings. The mighty lion lugs home gazelle burgers. Even the scaly and psoriasis-cursed crocodile brings home the catch of the day for it's young.

As I say, that's nature's way. And it also seems to operate in our urban society; because here I am at the head of a large table at the ritziest restaurant in town. It's a Roman banquet scene out of a Dino DeLaurentis movie and I'm buying the spiced wine and roasted peacocks. One child at the end of the table - who I dimly recognize through my tears as a grandchild - is talking directly to the waitress - without any parental control - about entrees. Frightening! His sister playfully sips a five-dollar bowl of soup with her Coca Cola straw. Those numbers on the right side of the menu might as well be written on their play blocks.

Glasses full of cola, milk, and unidentifiable, but expensive liquids crowd the table. My God, is that 7-up in front of my oldest grandson or a triple champagne cocktail? MY glass contains water, which I need to flush down aspirins between each course. Nobody's paying any attention to the right side of the menu.

Everybody's talking. Ordering, or even worse, replenishing their initial order with seconds. But when the check arrives - as thick as a paperback of Gone With The Wind - a hush falls over the room. The waitress, who lugs in the book with both hands, is reverential. But her eyes seem to say, "Here you are Sucker".

It's that final dramatic moment of the auction when chatter and sneezes and coughs stop - for fear any sound can mean "over here".

So, my smiling messenger of financial death brings the bill to me. How strangely this circus contrasts with the last meal I enjoyed with my oldest son.

I'll never forget that shining occasion. The stage for our father-son drama was an elegant establishment with a menu full of high-blown descriptions. We were having a great time reading the menu when finally we were aware of the waitress awaiting our pleasure. I hope she's rude, I'm thinking. There's nothing like a shrew of a waitress to make a man feel good about a lousy tip.

We were at a trendy new restaurant near Five Points. My son and his new wife ordered first. And with abandon - unlike their usual modest taste and tender concern for my retirement years. Then when I ordered - he even urged upgrading. And his thoughtful wife, when the meal was over, suggested a cordial for her loving and long-suffering father-in-law. (Why hadn't I noticed before how beautiful she was? A splendid addition to our family.)

It was only then, that I noticed the strange new light in my son's eyes. Ah, the day had come - it was time for the ceremony. The maturity rites - the Lion hunt - the dive into the blue lagoon seeking the perfect pearl. It was graduation day and he was valedictorian of the wallet.

As the waitress approached with the check, A document so thick it began with a table of contents — ended with an index. I kept both hands on the table. The check - a document of many pages - came to rest in front of my son. Instead of hiding in the men's room, he had preinstructed the waitress!

Somewhere over the chatter of the dining room conversation I could hear a lion roar - mortally wounded. And it was only ten years since his Bar Mitzvah

Ted Roberts is the Founder of PD and the Director of Clinical Treatment. Dr. Ted has been a leader in Pastoral Ministry since 1982, and has counseled individuals in sexual bondage since 1988. Dr. Ted is the author or co-author of several books including: Pure Desire, Living Life Boldly, Going Deeper, Sexy Christians, and Top Gun. Dr. Ted worked directly with IITAP and Dr. Patrick Carnes to create an officially recognized designation for pastors (PSAP) who work in the field of sex addiction treatment. This article appeared in the Scribbler on the Roof and is archived at
http://www.scribblerontheroof.typepad.com/


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U.S. BETTING ON THE WRONG EGYPTIAN HORSE

Posted by ACD/EWI, March 11, 2013

betting
Ultras attack Cairo police officers club

The Muslim Brotherhood continues the process of destroying Egypt with one ideologically driven catastrophic error in judgment after another. This weekend's involves yet more violence in Port Said. Riots there have been going on for months now and the latest episode is detailed below by James Dorsey. As has been the case, the riots are not about football, but the Egyptian regime's character and policies.

Mohamed Morsi et al. have mishandled the protest over soccer riot convictions so badly that now the police are on strike in more than a third of Egyptian provinces, including not only Port Said, where they've abandoned their posts, but also parts of Cairo. More than 50 people have died in Port Said in the past month.

According to the Guardian UK,

"Police have also refused to protect President Mohamed Morsi's home in the Nile delta province of Sharqiya. Among several seemingly contradictory grievances, police demand better weapons. But conversely, they also claim the Morsi regime is using them as unwilling pawns in the suppression of protesters who demand the regime's downfall."

The Guardian also reports that the government is trying to "Ikhwanise" the police according to junior police officers who don't approve of that.

That the Morsi government has bungled things in the Port Said protests is further attested to by rumors that the protesters, who hate the military more than anything because of repression during the Mubarak years, are starting to think maybe the military would be better than the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the New York Times, the Port Said protesters are saying "Military rule was bad, but they would be better. Where is the state? Where is the Interior Ministry, the government? Where are the decisions to protect the interests of the people? The military should take over until the police are ready."

Despite this and other distressing news out of Egypt, the U.S. is charging forward with what looks to the Egyptian opposition and observers from all over as a wholesale sellout to the Muslim Brotherhood. John Kerry's recent visit's gift of $250 million in U.S. assistance, would surely help the Morsi government.

If that we're enough, Kerry engaged in talks abut the Qualifying Industrial Zones accord, including negotiations regarding reducing the required proportion of Israeli components in Egyptian textiles granted tariff-free access to the United States. This, according to Al-Akhbar, which is critical of the extent to which Morsi acquiesced to U.S. demands.

Geopolitical analyst F. William Engdhal sums it up: "The U.S. Bet their money on the wrong horse by backing the undemocratic Muslim Brotherhood: "The US is wrong to cooperate with the current Egyptian authorities as the Muslim Brotherhood has a 'dictatorial authoritarian' agenda, with no intention to make democratic changes in Egypt."

As Engdhal sees it: "Some people around president Obama have the delusion that they could control what's basically a political Islamo-fascist movement. It's not a movement for democracy by any stretch of the imagination. And that's what this Brotherhood is — it's a secret society. They have a public agenda that sounds lovely, and they have a private agenda that we're seeing unfold in Egypt now."

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Center for the Study of Corruption & the Rule of Law, www.acdemocracy.org). She is an authority on the shadowy movement of funds through international banking systems and governments to fund terrorism. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Ken Jensen host the ACD Economic Warfare Institute website. Contact them Email at info@acdemocracy.org. This article appeared March 10, 2013, on the American Center for Democracy (ACD) website and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/u-s-betting-on-the-wrong-egyptian-horse-exclusive/


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THE "ROYAL" COUPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

Posted by Nurit Greenger, March 11, 2013

royal

People know I do not like the Obamas'. I am an Obamaphobe! of the "Royal" American couple

People tell me to keep my sentiments about the Obamas' to myself. If you have not realized yet, today in the United States you cannot express openly how you really think; you cannot object or agree to disagree. Political correctness, which is simply lying tactic, has shut us up, unless you agree with those who disagree with you. Even in public debates the moderator controls the debate and the public can only participate by listening, or, if one has a question one can submit it on paper but if the question is not to the liking of the moderator it is thrown into the waste basket, to never be heard or be answered.

Remember the debates Obama held with Romney, the moderator worked for Obama...

People think that my dislike of the Obamas' is personal, not policy related. It is both!

The truth is I do not like the Obamas' because of the way they behave, what they represent, their ideology, and certainly I dislike and disagree with Obama's policies and legislation. I make no secret of my contempt for the Obamas'; unlike many others who agree with me but do not express it as I do, I am certain I am right in having these sentiments expressed.

I don't like the Obamas' because they are committed to the fundamental change of my / our country turning into what can only be regarded as a Marxist - Communist state.

I don't hate the Obamas' by definition, but I see right to condemn them for they are the worst kind of racialists; they are elitist Leninists with contempt for the traditional, exceptionalist America. Obama displays total swagger disrespect for the sanctity of the office he holds, and for those who are willing to admit this, Michelle Obama's raw contempt for white America is rather translucent.

I don't like the Obamas' because they now convince me they think they are and conduct themselves as monarchs, we are the one and only one. I expect and demand respect for the Office of President; from the leader who was entrusted with its governance, I expect and demand genuine love of our country and her citizenry. I see none of this in the Obamas'.

President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan displayed an unparalleled love for the country and her people. The Reagans' made Americans feel good about their country, themselves and what we, as a nation and individually, can accomplish.

Obama's arrogance of appointing 32 Leftist czars (http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/29391/) who do not answer to anyone but him, and him constantly bypassing congress is an impeachable offense.

Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder is probably the MOST incompetent, unwise and arrogant DOJ head to have ever hold this job. Do you recall any other president who instructed his Justice Department to act like jack-booted thugs?

Presidents are politicians; all politicians are known, and pretty much expected, to manipulate the truth, if not outright lie. But even when using that low standard, the Obamas' have taken the lies, dishonesty, deceit, mendacity, subterfuge and obfuscation to new heights and depths. They are verbally dismissive and abusive to the citizenry, and they display an enmity for civility.

I do not like the Obamas' because they both, overtly, display bigotry, as in the case of Harvard Professor Louis Gates, who accused the Cambridge Police of acting stupidly and Obama sided with him and Madam Obama admitted she has never been proud of America till her husband became a president (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LINt1Px9mFY). I view this statement and this mindset as an insult to all those who died to provide us with a country where a Kenyan, his illegal alien relatives and his alleged progeny could come to America and not only live freely and be well educated, but rise to the highest, most powerful, position in the world, the president of the Unites States.

Indeed, Michelle Obama is free to hate and disparage white people because Americans, of every description, paid with their blood to ensure her right to say what she says and feel what she feels.

There is a saying, "the only reason a person hides things, is because they have something to hide." Right? No president in our 236 years history has spent over a million dollars to keep his records and his past concealed.

And what Barack, or Barry, and Michelle have shared has been proven to be a bunch of lies (http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/us-supreme-court-declares-obama-a-liar-obamacare-is-a-tax-obama-lied-about-tax-increases-obama-fraud-and-taxes-have-devastated-economy-and-job-market/). Among many lies, which is hard to keep up with, Barack lied about when and how he met Michelle; he also lied about his mother's death and the problems she had with her medical insurance. Michelle lied to a crowd pursuant to nearly $500,000 bank stocks they inherited from Barack's family. Barack lied about his father's military service, about the civil rights movement, ad nausea; in one of his State of the Union addresses he lied to the world about the US Supreme Court and he berated and publicly insulted a sitting Congressman.

Barack has surrounded himself with the most rabidly, radical, socialist academicians today; he opposes rulings that protected women and children that even Planned Parenthood will not go along with him. Barack is openly hostile to business and also aggressively hostile to that Jewish state, Israel, one of USA only allies; he is hostile to America's allies and friendly to all her foes.

Barack and his wife Michelle spend tax payer's money as if it is their personal American Express Black Card, arguably the most prestigious credit card in the world. I condemn them for that because, while people are suffering, losing their homes, their jobs, their retirements, their dignity and confidence the Obamas' are arrogantly showing off their extravagant life style of entitlements — while Barack goes on creating and fomenting class warfare.

I want people to join me with this public condemnation of the Obamas' and Barack's policies. We, the people, should condemn them for the disrespect they have shown and are showing us, the people; for Barack's willful and unconstitutional actions, disobeying the Constitution's parameters he is bound by, and his willful disregard for Congressional authority.

My dislike for the Obamas' has nothing to do with the color of their skin; it has everything to do with their behavior, attitudes, and policies; with the way they run the country. But I do have total disapproval and open scorn for the Obamas' constantly playing the race card and class warfare.

Four years have passed and I have see nothing positive in Obama's presidency. I could go on scolding and complaining here. Instead allow me to conclude with this: I condemn, in the strongest possible term, the media for not doing its job; for refusing to investigate the Obamas', as they did President Nixon and the Watergate scandal that brought him down, President Bush and President Clinton, and for refusing to label them for what they truly are, NO GOOD presidential couple for the entire America.

The Obamas' have received a pass simply for being dark skin people. The guilt the American society still carries from the days of slavery is profound. The question is why do children born in the 21st century, already having a $50,000 debt at birth, have to suffer for what happened over 200 years ago when the white man enslaved the black in the New Country?

There is no scenario known to man, whereby a white president and his wife could ignore the law, parading and flaunting their position, and lord over the people, as these two are permitted to do out of fear for if not it will be translated as racism. They get a pass simply for being dark skin persons, hired in the Affirmative Action system frame.

Politics is known to be a dirty game in all aspects and I accept it, however, I never thought I will witness such dishonesty, rudeness and fecklessness in a political leader. Barack Obama is the most mendacious political figure America has ever had and I have ever witnessed.

Even by the low standards of his presidential predecessors, Obama's narcissistic, recalcitrant and arrogance is unequalled. Using Obama as the bar, Roman Emperor Nero, who is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned", would have to be elevated to sainthood...

Many in America simply wanted to be proud to elect the first person of dark color skin for their president, this without doing the required due diligence. So, instead, they have been and are witnessing a person unfit for the job, a congenital liar, a first lady who has been ashamed of America her entire life, failed policies, intimidation, disrespect and indignant behavior hitherto not witnessed in any political leader.

I once said that the Obamas' wake up each morning, look at each other and ask, how can we best waste the money the stupid people who elected us to office have given us. The Obamas' view their life at White House paid but us, the people, as an entitlement, not as a privilege and duty to best serve the people — while, WE, the people, the citizenry, struggle, lose jobs and businesses, perhaps live with the threat to become homeless and hungry.

What have you done to yourself America?

Why do you accept to suffer because of Obama's ailed policies? Why you do not dissent?

I suggested and I suggest again for 5 million Americans to arrive to Washington and stay there until Obama resigns and Washington swears to sign on to uphold the Constitution the way our Founding Father meat it to be held.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at 4nuritg@ca.rr.com. Visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com. This article appeared March 10, 2013 in her own blog. Contact Nurit Greenger at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com


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URGENT CALL-EMAIL ORTHODOX UNION, "SAVE THE TEMPLE MOUNT": NEWS - ARAB FIREBOMBS ON MOUNT

Posted by Yosef Rabin, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by Gil Ronen, writer for Arutz Sheva. It was published today in Arutz-Sheva (www.Israel National News.com) This article is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166085#.VXnVS7yVsWN

Jewish Temple groups demand inquiry as videos show policeman's uniform alight after he was struck by a fire bomb.

Jewish Temple organizations demanded Sunday that the Prime Minister immediately establish an official commission of inquiry into Friday's events on the Temple Mount and the way the Temple Mount police handled them.

Friday's events were worse even than those that took place during the Great Terror War that began in 2000, the groups said. For the first time ever, they said, fire bombs were thrown at police on the Mount, and one policeman caught fire and miraculously suffered only slight wounds.

Police knew in advance of the intention to carry out severe violence but did not limit the age of worshipers allowed to enter or stay on the Mount, even after violence had broken out, the groups charged.

Videos posted by Muslims show police refraining from quelling the violence, the Temple groups said. In private conversations, policemen described feelings of humiliation and betrayal by their commanding officers, the temple activists added.

Contact Yosef Rabin at tmount.intl@gmail.com


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GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA UPON HIS UPCOMING VISIT TO ISRAEL.

Posted by Robin Ticker, March 11, 2013

Well first let me say thanks for the wonderful frank reminder of Gush Katif... It has been a delight getting to share a fellowship with you, to share a mutual passion with you, for the protection of the security of Israel. And I was asked earlier, "Why would a Goy, a Christian, be interested in Israel?" Sometimes I feel that my passion for the goodness of Israel, maybe exceeds even my Jewish friends — and I tell people, I say, "you have to understand — It is entirely possible to be Jewish and not have a complete relationship to Christians - but it is impossible to be Christian and not have a complete relationship with Judaism - because it is in fact the foundation upon which every Christian believes and every Christian understands - that Israel is G-d's Chosen Land! And we recognize that, and respect it and understand that the Nations Who Bless Israel Will Be Blessed And Those Who Curse Israel Will Be Cursed!

My first trip to Israel was exactly forty years ago this year, when in July 1973 just a couple of months before the Yom Kippur war, I made my first trip to Israel when I was just a teenager. I've been going back to Israel ever since 1973 for 40 years! You know Moses had the children in the wilderness for 40 years...There has got to be some connection there...

When I visited the Gush Katif Museum just a couple of years ago, it was a brutal reminder of what happens when politicians make decisions that don't involve their brains! Because in a way, when you ask people - no, when you demand that people abandon their homes, when you do it because you somehow believe you can trust radical Islamic fascists to keep their word and make nice if you make nice, then it shows a level of naiveté that make Chamberlain look like Churchill.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is time we recognize you don't negotiate with people who do not believe you have a right to exist -much less live next to you! I cannot understand why the Secretary of State visited Egypt and handed over a check of 250 million dollars when we are closing the White House to tours? That makes no sense at all! Why did he give F16's and Abram tanks to a country whose elected President is associated with a terrorist organization who has openly and publicly called Jews bloodsuckers and the descendants of apes and pigs. Why would you reward someone with that kind of behavior? And even in his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. John Kerry said they will be held accountable. I got to wondering, "Is accountability being given F16's, tanks and 250 million dollars?" Dear Mr. Secretary. Please hold me accountable 'cause I'd like 250 million dollars. And if that's what it takes, to make radical, ridiculous, offensive and inexcusable statements like this, then we should all share in the spoils.

This is absurd!

And now word is that when the President visits Israel later this month, that he will ask not the Israeli gov't leaders - because it would be seen as bad form to lecture them (although he's been willing to do it before) - but it is reported he will ask the Israeli people to make sacrifices for peace. If that is the case, I would like to escort him personally to the Gush Katif Museum and say, "Mr. President, the Israelis have made many sacrifices for peace, and show me one sacrifice that the Palestinians have made for peace! I have yet to see it!" I would say "Mr. President, I believe the Israelis have given and given and given and so far have received nothing in return!"

And every trip I make to Israel, I always venture into the Old City. I go into some of the shops where one can purchase a Palestinian map. This past month, in February, I had two hundred people that I took with me, most of whom were Christians, most of them had never been there before. I wanted them to understand what is unique about this situation. And I get one of these maps and I said. "By the way - Open the map up and show me where Israel is." And they opened it up and they didn't see it. And I said, "Interesting isn't it? And somehow the people of Israel are asked to make peace with a people who even in their published maps refuse to acknowledge even so much as the existence of the Nation of Israel?"

And that's why if our President makes the absurd suggestion that Israel should go back to the Pre '67 borders, I'm thinking "Well, if they are going to roll back, let's just roll all the way back to Abraham and let's let the borders be the borders that originally were established which goes far back as we can go!"

The Gush Katif Museum is a stark reminder that sometimes things happen in our past that we need to commemorate not because they were pleasant but because they are sobering reminders of the mistakes that have been made in the past.

We should not forget that Bull Conner turned the fire hoses on African Americans in the 60's. We should not forget the James Meredith who was not allowed to attend the University of Mississippi. We should not forget that the Little Rock Prime was blocked from the door of Little Rock High School by the Governor of the State in 1957.

These are not pleasant things, but they are important things because they remind us of what happens when politicians make the wrong decisions and how it affects people and how long it takes to come from beyond it.

And so I say tonight that the reason that I wish that the President - and I wish he would be accompanied by as many of the Israeli officials as is possible - would attend the Gush Katif Museum while he's there and watch those films, and talk to the people like Rivka (Rivka Goldschmidt) who is here tonight, who personally experienced it. I wish that, that could happen. So that the next time he suggests that the Israelis stop building bedrooms for their children, in the Land that is theirs, that instead he would spend his time not asking the Israelis to stop building bedrooms, but that he would demand that the Iranians stop building bombs pointing at Israel and the rest of the free world!

Israel often gets criticized for the acts that it takes to protect its citizens. The construction of the security wall which I have flown over almost in its entirety in a helicopter and personally have seen that security wall, and I tell you today, and you already know, that until that security wall was erected, it was a common occurrence for people to strap bombs to their bellies and board a bus and kill innocent children and citizen. And with the construction of that fence, those acts stopped immediately and permanently.

Shall we be critical of those who wish to protect their babies? Shall we truly be critical of those who wish to have peace in their neighborhoods, allow their children to play in a park or for their wives to be able to go to a Café or a supermarket without the fear of being blown up by a terrorist?

We would never tolerate in our own cities what the people of Sderot have been asked to tolerate. And I have been to Sderot and I have seen the thousands of Katyusha rockets stacked up behind the Police Station. I stood there with Dov Hikind and Joe Frager and Paul Brody and others who are in this room tonight and I can tell you that it is an absolute sobering experience to understand that people have fear every day that a Katyusha rocket would land on their children's bedroom, land in the park where they play, in the schools they attend, in the Synagogues where they worship. And we would not tolerate that!

And I'll ask Americans, "How many Katyusha rockets fired from Toronto into Buffalo NY, do you think it would take before Americans would demand that we do something and absolutely stop it? Five thousand? Four Thousand? Three Thousand? One hundred? NO! One Katyusha rocket. We would demand it STOP! And the Israeli's have been asked to let it go after thousands of them? I say NO! One is enough. Thousands are too many and it's time for the Israeli's to quit apologizing to the world and to say "We have a right for the secure and safe homeland — Not just for us but for those grandchildren and great grandchildren of our descendants and who come after us - a place that is a safe place, a haven."

And if anybody would wonder why that is so necessary - well it was brought back to me, not only by those repeated visits to Yad Veshem, but this past holiday. In January, my wife and I travelled to Poland. We went to Schindler's factory and then we went to Auschwitz and Birkenau. And I stood in the very room where 1.1 million of your relatives and your friends and your ancestors, were marched into that very room and were murdered in cold blood — and I stood there as the chills came over me as I realized what had happened in that room - and I prayed, "May the world never forget what happened". Because if we forget what did happen, it can happen yet again! And when people ask why it is important for Israel to have secure borders and safety, I would love to take them to Auschwitz, stand them in that room, and ask them, "Do you think for one moment that if these had been your parents and your grandparents that you would be a bit uneasy about being told that if would be all right for people who avow to exterminate and kill every one of you, to live as close as nine miles in a border? I think NOT!

And that's why I believe with all my heart that when the President goes to Israel, it is important that the American people give him the message - rather than him give Israelis a message! And the message is, "Mr. President, Americans stand with Israel because they are a mirror image of our freedom and our democracy in this country. And we suggest that before you make any demands of the Israeli's to give anything, you set down and look the Palestinians in the face and ask them 'What have they given up?' And tell them - as I would love to do if I was making that trip as the Chief Executive : Rather than say to the Israeli's "Stop Building in Judea and Samaria". I would suggest that YOU BUILD AS RAPIDLY AS YOU CAN, AND AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, AND AS MANY HOUSES AS YOU CAN! And tell the Palestinians that if they don't like that, the way they can fix it is to sit at the peace table and sign an agreement that they recognize Israel's right to exist within the borders that G-d gave them and to exist with safety and security!

That my friend will probably never happen!

So I say, "POUR THE CONCRETE, BUILD THE HOUSES AND LET ISRAEL BE STRONG!"

That is the message we need to give to the world!

Thank you and G-d Bless You

Contact Robin Ticker at faigerayze@gmail.com


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RELEASING POLLARD. MY LETTER PUBLISHED BY THE JERUSALEM POST MARCH 10.

Posted by Falkson, March 11, 2013

The Letters Editor,
The Jerusalem Post
letters@jpost.com

Sir,

I spent a difficult afternoon listening to Israeli members of the Knesset speaking out against the continued incarceration of Israel's spy, Jonathon Pollard, for the past 27 years. (March 7.)

Speakers reminded listeners that Pollard never spied on the U.S. Nor did Israel instruct him to do so. The information he imparted was material he believed should have been passed on to Israel because she had a right to know.

I suppose Netanyahu does not have the diplomatic gall to ask President Obama as they face the TV cameras when they meet soon, whether he can publicly say that the U.S. has never spied on Israel. It would be a fair question, since it is no secret that its multi-storied US Embassy in Tel Aviv houses dozens, if not scores, of intelligence officers.

Obviously all these guys are not handling visa or green card applications.

A positive PR suggestion: the Speaker of the Knesset should introduce each daily session by announcing the number of days Pollard has been in prison.

Yours truly,

Jock L. Falkson

Contact Falkson at falkson@013.net


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THE BAKUM INITIATION

Posted by Sergio HaDar Tezza, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by David M. Weinberg who is a lead columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom newspapers, writing on Israeli diplomacy, defense and politics; on religion and state; and on Israel-Diaspora relations. In addition to writing his widely-read newspaper columns (which are syndicated across the Jewish world) and to public speaking, Weinberg serves as director of public affairs at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies; Israel office director of Canada's Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs; and senior advisor of the Tikvah Fund in Israel. This article appeared March 11, 2013 in Israel Hayom and is archived at
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3673

I've lived in Israel for 23 years. I speak polished Hebrew, live in an Israeli neighborhood with very few Anglo neighbors, work for several major national institutions, write a regular diplomatic column in two Israeli newspapers, and have held a senior position in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Five of my six kids were born in Israel, and I have an Israeli-born son-in-law who is an officer in IDF Military Intelligence.

But it wasn't until today that I became a real Israeli.

Today I drove my eldest son, Dovi, to the "Bakum," the IDF's main induction center at Tel Hashomer, where he joined a frontline, elite infantry combat unit for mandatory military service.

I cried, a lot. Now I am an Israeli.

It is amazing how the oldest clichés sometimes turn out to be true. That the core difference between being an Israeli Jew and a Diaspora Jew is that Israeli Jews literally put their lives on the line for the State of Israel. Or that the difference between Israeli Jews who serve in the army and those who don't is "madad ima" — the concerned mother index.

This index contrasts mothers (and fathers) with sons in the IDF who lie awake at night wondering where their sons are, what they are doing, what danger they are in, and when and whether they will be coming home; with mothers whose sleep is undisturbed by such existential worries.

I can tell you that last night, my wife didn't sleep much, and Dovi is just starting out on his first tour of duty!

Dovi and I had a private talk after morning prayers on Sunday, in which he asked me if I had any pre-draft advice. Since my military career is gloriously close to non-existent (I served in the IDF for a grand total of one week!) there wasn't a lot of practical advice I could give him, except to take care of himself physically, guard himself spiritually and religiously, protect his platoon buddies and the country to the best of his ability, and to try to call home every day.

I also told him that when in doubt and in direct personal danger from apparent enemy combatants, shoot first and ask questions later. He should worry more about his own safety and that of the country, than Human Rights Watch or Amnesty investigations. If necessary, I'll get him a good lawyer.

But mainly Dovi and I had an in-depth conversation about Jewish identity, destiny, mission and responsibility. He didn't really need the talk, but I did.

To Dovi, the task resting on his shoulders was, and is, clear: To defend his family and the country, to do so in the most moral way possible, and in the process to bring about a "kiddush Hashem," a sanctification of G-d's name in the world. Also, he said: To rectify thousands of years of Jewish defenselessness and victimhood.

My need for the conversation was primitive. I needed to refortify and remind myself why it was that I was sending my son off into danger; why I was propelling him into a playground filled with Tavor automatic rifles and sniper scopes; and why I ought to be proud that he'll be spending the coming years lying in ambush on the Syrian or Sinai borders instead of studying medicine in university or Torah in yeshiva.

This, of course, is so strange, because I'm the one constantly lecturing people on the grand historical drama of the Jewish return to Zion and the unique privilege that our generation has to rebuild the People of Israel in the Land of Israel in accordance with the Torah of Israel. I'm the guy always hectoring my haredi (ultra-Orthodox) relatives about the nobility and religious obligation involved in military service. I'm the speaker at pro-aliyah events explaining to prospective immigrants how their children, and Jewish history, will thank them for making the move to Israel. And yet, here I was searching for reaffirmation to assuage my fears and doubts.

But then I reminded myself of the day my wife and I came on aliyah, during the first days of the first Gulf War. At the airport, they handed us our Israeli identity cards and a set of gas masks, and welcomed us to Israel. So it's not like I didn't know from the get-go what I was getting myself into by moving to Israel. Then I remembered my time in hesder yeshiva during the first Lebanon War, when my Israeli roommate was called-up for active military service in the middle of the night and ran off to the pay phone to call his mother, while I, then a "golus Jew," went back to sleep. So, again, it's not like I didn't know from the get-go what I was getting myself into by moving here.

The Bakum initiation

I've lived in Israel for 23 years. I speak polished Hebrew, live in an Israeli neighborhood with very few Anglo neighbors, work for several major national institutions, write a regular diplomatic column in two Israeli newspapers, and have held a senior position in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. Five of my six kids were born in Israel, and I have an Israeli-born son-in-law who is an officer in IDF Military Intelligence.

But it wasn't until today that I became a real Israeli.

Today I drove my eldest son, Dovi, to the "Bakum," the IDF's main induction center at Tel Hashomer, where he joined a frontline, elite infantry combat unit for mandatory military service.

I cried, a lot. Now I am an Israeli.

It is amazing how the oldest clichés sometimes turn out to be true. That the core difference between being an Israeli Jew and a Diaspora Jew is that Israeli Jews literally put their lives on the line for the State of Israel. Or that the difference between Israeli Jews who serve in the army and those who don't is "madad ima" — the concerned mother index.

This index contrasts mothers (and fathers) with sons in the IDF who lie awake at night wondering where their sons are, what they are doing, what danger they are in, and when and whether they will be coming home; with mothers whose sleep is undisturbed by such existential worries.

I can tell you that last night, my wife didn't sleep much, and Dovi is just starting out on his first tour of duty!

Dovi and I had a private talk after morning prayers on Sunday, in which he asked me if I had any pre-draft advice. Since my military career is gloriously close to non-existent (I served in the IDF for a grand total of one week!) there wasn't a lot of practical advice I could give him, except to take care of himself physically, guard himself spiritually and religiously, protect his platoon buddies and the country to the best of his ability, and to try to call home every day.

I also told him that when in doubt and in direct personal danger from apparent enemy combatants, shoot first and ask questions later. He should worry more about his own safety and that of the country, than Human Rights Watch or Amnesty investigations. If necessary, I'll get him a good lawyer.

But mainly Dovi and I had an in-depth conversation about Jewish identity, destiny, mission and responsibility. He didn't really need the talk, but I did.

To Dovi, the task resting on his shoulders was, and is, clear: To defend his family and the country, to do so in the most moral way possible, and in the process to bring about a "kiddush Hashem," a sanctification of G-d's name in the world. Also, he said: To rectify thousands of years of Jewish defenselessness and victimhood.

My need for the conversation was primitive. I needed to refortify and remind myself why it was that I was sending my son off into danger; why I was propelling him into a playground filled with Tavor automatic rifles and sniper scopes; and why I ought to be proud that he'll be spending the coming years lying in ambush on the Syrian or Sinai borders instead of studying medicine in university or Torah in yeshiva.

This, of course, is so strange, because I'm the one constantly lecturing people on the grand historical drama of the Jewish return to Zion and the unique privilege that our generation has to rebuild the People of Israel in the Land of Israel in accordance with the Torah of Israel. I'm the guy always hectoring my haredi (ultra-Orthodox) relatives about the nobility and religious obligation involved in military service. I'm the speaker at pro-aliyah events explaining to prospective immigrants how their children, and Jewish history, will thank them for making the move to Israel. And yet, here I was searching for reaffirmation to assuage my fears and doubts.

But then I reminded myself of the day my wife and I came on aliyah, during the first days of the first Gulf War. At the airport, they handed us our Israeli identity cards and a set of gas masks, and welcomed us to Israel. So it's not like I didn't know from the get-go what I was getting myself into by moving to Israel. Then I remembered my time in hesder yeshiva during the first Lebanon War, when my Israeli roommate was called-up for active military service in the middle of the night and ran off to the pay phone to call his mother, while I, then a "golus Jew," went back to sleep. So, again, it's not like I didn't know from the get-go what I was getting myself into by moving here.

This morning, Dovi and his friends danced together in the IDF induction courtyard, singing "Am Yisrael Chai" (the People of Israel live) and "Am Hanetzach lo mefached" (The Eternal People is not afraid of a long and arduous journey). Then I gave him the traditional priestly blessing, and he boarded a bus headed for a tent base on the Egyptian border.

The Bakum initiation is a great refresher course in, and a test of, raw Zionist ideology and commitment. I'm sure that Dovi is up to the test. I hope that I am too.

Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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SIGNED IN ICE; NOT CARVED IN STONE

Posted by Yoram Ettinger, March 11, 2013

The Middle East is burning. The façade of the Arab Spring has long since fallen away, and it has become apparent that this is simply another round of the type of turmoil that has long defined the region.

"We have not experienced an Arab Spring or a March to Democracy or a Facebook Revolution," former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger told Israel Today. "What we have experienced is typical, endemic intra-Arab violence in our region."

Alan Baker, a former Israeli diplomat who worked on the peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, concurred: "I laugh when I hear 'Arab Spring' because I think it's wishful thinking on the part of the Europeans. There's no such thing as an Arab Spring. It's a tragic Arab Winter."

Ettinger says Western leaders need to learn the lessons from current events: "The riots in Tunisia and in Egypt, the ongoing tribal war in Libya, and the civil war in Syria all shed light on the reality of the Middle East, which for the past 1,400 years has consisted of unpredictability, violent intolerance, instability, unreliability and fragmentation."

So the regime changes across the region don't signal a transformation to democracy. "Any new arrangement in the Arab countries will be subjected to the above tenets of the Middle East," Ettinger continued. "In other words, any arrangement by definition would be provisional. Agreements in the Middle East are signed in ice, not carved in stone."

Even the moderate and relatively stable Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will not be immune. "Jordan has already been impacted by the surge of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, will be affected by the civil war in Syria and has felt the effects of the fragmentation of Iraq, which is becoming an Iranian outpost," Ettinger said. "The Hashemite Kingdom will be swept away. The only question is when, not whether."

In the midst of all of this, Israel has emerged as an island of stability. Yet Israel is still singled out as the source of the region's troubles and the one that must make concessions to restore calm.

"How can President Obama and the Europeans come along and say to the Israelis, 'Oh, ignore what's happening all around you. You have to show more willingness to compromise with the Palestinians!'" asked a bewildered Baker. "Why? Why do we have to do this? If the whole area is crumbling, why do we have to place ourselves in a riskier situation?"

Ettinger argued that it's time for the international community to stop zeroing-in on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. "Those gullible observers or policy makers who refer to the Arab-Israeli conflict as the Middle East conflict should reassess because it has never been the main conflict," he noted. "Over the past two years, none of the seismic events from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf have had any relevance to the Palestinian issue."

Baker says Israel cannot safely sign a peace agreement in this atmosphere without substantial Western guarantees, but it's still an enormous risk. "If after 34 years the peace treaty that has been the most stable element of Arab-Israeli peace in the Middle East is being destabilized by the Egyptian leadership, what hope would anybody have of achieving genuine, lasting agreements with the Syrians or the Lebanese or the Palestinians?" he wondered.

Ettinger agrees: "If the Arabs have so easily and violently violated domestic and regional agreements among themselves, can anybody reasonably expect them to handle agreements with the Jewish state in a more peaceful manner?"

Therefore, the safest bet for Israel is to hold on to vital territorial assets. "Logically speaking, the more unpredictable, the higher the security threshold," stated Ettinger. "And a higher security threshold underlies the importance of Israel maintaining control of the strategically important mountains of Judea and Samaria."

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is an editor and consultant who lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il


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HOW TO WEAKEN AN ECONOMY

Posted by Sergio Hadar Tezza, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by Victor Davis Hanson who is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a commentator on modern warfare and contemporary politics for National Review and other media outlets. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson is perhaps best known for his 2001 book, Carnage and Culture. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer, growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California, and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. This article appeared March 11, 2013 in PJMedia and is archived at
http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/how-to-weaken-an-economy/

It is not easy to ruin the American economy; doing nothing usually means it repairs itself and soon is healthier than before a recession.

But don't despair: there are plenty of ways to slow down even an inherently strong economy. History offers plenty of examples. But as more contemporary models, take your pick of successfully ruined economies — the Venezuelan, the Cuban, the North Korean, the Greek, the Italian, the Portuguese, or pretty much any from Mediterranean Africa to the Cape of Good Hope. There are certain commonalities about why and how they fail. Let's review some of them.

Government

The state can never be too big. Ensure that it is unaccountable and intrusive, in constant need of more money and more targets to regulate. The more government, the more people are shielded from the capital-creating, free-market system. Think the DMV or TSA, not Apple. The point is for an employee to spend each labor hour with less oversight, while regulating or hampering profit-making, rather than competing with like kind to create material wealth. Regulatory bodies are a two-fer: the more federal, union employees, the more regulations to hamper the private sector. The more federal mandates, like new health-care requirements and financial reporting, the less employers profit and the fewer employees they can hire. Washington should be a growth city, absolutely immune from the downturn elsewhere, a sort of huge and growing octopus head with decaying tentacles. State jobs should be redefined as something partisan — whose expansion is noble and helps the helpless, and whose contraction is evil and the design of a bitter and aging white private-sector class.

On the other end of the equation, ensuring 50 million on food stamps, putting over 80,000 a month on Social Security disability insurance, and extending unemployment insurance to tens of millions all remind the jobless that life is not too bad (thanks to the government), and certainly a lot better than working at a "low-paid" job that equates to giving up federal support. To paraphrase Paul Krugman, the more and the longer the jobless receive, the less likely they are to take chances looking for a job. That too might be again a good thing if you wish to slow down the economy. In general, even Arnold Toynbee, a man of the Left, acknowledged that the greedy drive of the scrambling private sector was not as pernicious to civilizations as the collective ennui produced by vast cadres of lethargic and unaccountable public "servants" doing supposedly noble work.

The Law

To ensure capriciousness and unpredictability for both suspect employers and investors, make the law malleable, even unpredictable from day to day, in the style of an Argentina or Venezuela. Redefine the law as what is deemed socially useful. For federally subsidized bankrupt auto companies, creditors should be paid back on the basis not of contractual law, but of nobility — why borrow to give a rich man a return on his superfluous investment, when a retired auto worker might have to pay a higher health care premium? Boeing wants to open a non-union plant in South Carolina? Have the NLRB try to stop it (and illegally staff the NLRB with recess appointments). Illegal aliens? They are neither illegal nor aliens, as federal immigration law is itself a capricious construct. Does the Senate really have to present a budget? Do presidents need to meet budget deadlines? Who said there is a Defense of Marriage Act?

What law says that gays cannot serve overtly in the military or women cannot fight at the front — some reactionary construct? The point is to restore a simulacrum of popular sovereignty: the law is what 51% of the people are perceived by technocrats to want on any given day. I would hammer away at legal fictions like the very idea of borrowing and paying back loans and debts. Soon the popular culture would respond in kind, and run ads constantly on radio, TV, and the Internet in a way rare just a generation ago: how to renegotiate IRS debt, how to renegotiate mortgages, how to renegotiate credit card debt, and how to renegotiate student loan debt.

The man who owes $50,000 has been taken advantage of; the man who is owed $50,000 already has enough without being paid back. The aim is to create a general climate where when one borrows, one does not necessarily have to the pay back the full sum for a variety of legitimate considerations. The more bubbles — housing, student loan, credit card — the more avenues for government intervention and relief. Do all that and perhaps lending itself might slow down, again not a bad thing for our purposes. The debtor, not the lender, is the true American success, as our collective debt underscores.

Sergio Tezza can be reached at Hadar-Israel@verizon.net


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THE GREAT SABBATH

Posted by Barbara and Chaim Ginsberg, March 11, 2013

This article comes from the Jewish Virtual Library and is archived at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/kahane.html

It is the necessary, the indispensable preface and introduction to Passover. It is the explanation that cries out the ultimate message of the holiday, the basic lesson of the feats of our freedom. It is the foundation of foundations that raises Passover from an insipid, saccharine social custom beginning and ending with recipes printed in the New York Times women's section; from a golden opportunity for Manischewitz to return to Jewishness through capitalist Passover profits even as the truly frum, raise their level of religiosity by raising the level of prices; from a Jewish people that marches on its Seder stomach even as it moves on to the annual national lie. "Next Year in Jerusalem." It is the Great Sabbath, which attempts to save Judaism from myopic ritualism, to make the Jew, Jewish and the Orthodox, religious.

Sabbath Hagadol, the great Sabbath. The Sabbath preceding the Passover, the Sabbath that cries out the basic, the ultimate message of the enormous Exodus from Egypt, of Passover itself. Sabbath Hagadol that gives us the lesson without which Passover, the Jewish people itself, lose all reason for being. Sabbath Hagadol commemorating the basic lesson of Judaism: Faith, real faith, faith in G-d who really is greater than the mighty Pharaoh, or the regal Reagan or the burningless Bush — Sabbath Hagadol. The great Sabbath, that began more than 3,000 years ago on a Sabbath in Imperial Egypt.

"Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying: In the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb..."

It is a special, an awesome commandment, one that is given to every Jew, hence the unique words "Speak unto all the congregation." Take a lamb and bind it up for four days.

You believe that this is a simple commandment. Hardly. The lamb is more than an animal; it is the very god of Egypt. It is a deity, a hallowed creature before whom the Egyptian bows and whose meat dare not touch his mouth. And the Jews, "every man" thereof, are commanded to take this lamb, this Egyptian god, the deity of their masters, and tie it to their beds, to their posts, bind it up. And when the astonished and outraged Egyptian masters will ask: "What are you doing? The answer shall be: We shall soon slaughter this lamb, the deity, your god, and eat it.

Do you still think this is a simple, bland commandment? It is a commandment fraught with danger to life, a commandment that surely sent fear down the spines of the Jewish slaves, that, without a doubt, led scholars to rush and ponder whether pikuach nefesh, danger to life might perhaps demand the postponing of the dangerous commandment.

Nor does the Almighty stop there. He insists on a policy of extremism, of goading the gentile. Not content with a commandment that cries desecration of the Egyptian god, that taunts him with the sight of his deity bound up, the G-d of Israel insists that the Jew add salt to the wound.

"And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire... eat it not partially cooked, nor boiled in water, but roasted with fire, its head with its legs and with its insides complete."

Awake and consider! This is what Passover is all about; only this! This is Judaism what Judaism is all about; only this! This is what the duty and the role and the essence of the Jew is all about; only this! To affirm to the world, but first to ourselves that the L-rd, the G-d of Israel, is. That He truly does exist, that He is the One, the only One, that He, only He, directs the world, the fate of man, the destiny of His people. That whatever will be for the Jew will be only because He so decrees. That the gentile has no relevance to the Jewish fate, that the Pharaohs of all time, the ones in Egypt and the ones in Washington are utterly irrelevant to what will be with the Jew.

On the Great Sabbath in Egypt, the L-rd taught us the lesson that we trampled in the dust, the dust of secularism and the dust of the yeshiva world alike: The lesson that the Jew must raise high, must flaunt the glory and Omnipotence of his G-d. That the world must be compelled to see their deities, their gods and idols, bound up and humiliated and destroyed. That one must goad the gentile in order to raise high the banner of the L-rd. That Kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of the Name of the G-d of Israel, demands an open, fearless, flaunting sacrifice of the idols and deities of the gentiles that deny the uniqueness of the G-d of Israel, His exclusiveness, His Oneness! The lamb is openly tied and those who tremble and whisper: "But we dare not goad the gentile," are silenced with thunderous contempt. The lamb is slaughtered and roasted whole and fully and openly. It cannot be hastily covered in a pot where it will not be seen. Its identity cannot be disguised by cutting its body into pieces. We cannot escape the danger of the gentile by avoiding confronting and goading him. No. Precisely the opposite!

The same gentile who thundered and thunders: "Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd and will not let Israel go!" must be taught the eternal lesson of: "The L-rd is G-d, the L-rd is G-d!" The gentile does not wish to "know" G-d, to acknowledge His exclusive kingship. He must be taught that lesson in an open and bold and humiliating way. He and his idols must be humbled and broken. The lamb is taken openly. The lamb is slaughtered openly. And those who cringe in populism and whisper: "But one dare not goad the gentiles..." are silenced by the thunder of the L-rd, whose commandment is eternalized by the Rabbis of the Great Sabbath, Sabbath Hagadol. So, let that Sabbath be understood and appreciated and embraced. For without it, there cannot be a Passover, an understanding of what that Passover really is. And without that, when the Jewish child asks for the meaning of this night, the pathetic father who knows not what to tell him will doom his child to become a pathetic as he: practitioner of Jewish ritual, but never, never a religious Jews.

Contact Barbara and Chain Ginsberg at barbaraandchaim@gmail.com


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A VIOLENT KIND OF SILENCE

Posted by GWY123, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by Mary Nicholas who is Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Lehigh University. She is the author of Writers at Work: Russian Production Novels and the Construction of Soviet Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2010)., as well as numerous articles on Soviet and post-Soviet art, prose, and poetry. This article appeared March 10, 2013 in the American Thinker and is archived at
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2013/03/a_violent_kind_of_silence.html

Remember the feminists of the '60s? Women's liberation? Remember the women who made feminism the issue of the day? They demanded roles in government, careers, independence, and the right of women to control their reproductive lives. They marched and formed NOW, which describes violence against women as one of their core issues.

The book that started the second wave of feminism was The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, the doyenne of feminism, who described the bored housewife in the suburbs as the "problem that has no name."

On the other side of the world, we can see many problems for women in Muslim societies. But contrary to Friedan, these problems "have names": honor-killing, stoning for adultery, rape, child marriage, sex slavery, and female genital mutilation (FGM). FGC/FGM (pictured at right) refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons. Type 2 is the excision of the clitoris, with partial or total excision of the labia minora. Most girls and women are traumatized from this; many die of infection, and those who survive suffer complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

FGM is a barbaric practice widespread in many countries, but the vast majority are either Muslim-majority or home to a large number of Muslim immigrants. Those who claim that it is "cultural" fail to link the approval given to it by Reliance of the Traveler, a manual of Islamic jurisprudence certified as "reliable" by Egypt's Al-Azhar University.

Child marriage is another problem in Muslim countries, following the example of Mohamed himself, who at 53 married Aisha, a six-year-old, and consummated the marriage when she was a child of nine. Yet Muslims believe that Mohamed provided a "beautiful pattern of conduct." The number of child brides is on the rise -- the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, recently issued a fatwa authorizing marriage to girls as young as 10 years old, and in 2011, a similar fatwa by Salafi preacher Sheikh Mohamed al-Maghrawi permitted girls as young as nine to marry. So here you have children subjected to the destruction of their innocence and sold for abuse. The New York Times reported on this phenomenon in Yemen, where a nine-year-old ran away from her husband and demanded a divorce because of sexual abuse. And in Britain, authorities are now reporting the forced marriage of girls as young as nine on British soil. By contrast, Betty Friedan was outraged that young women of 19 and 20 chose to drop out of college to get married.

Rape of women is not uncommon. The reporter Lara Logan was viciously raped in Egypt during the "Arab Spring." In fact, sexual harassment and rape have increased dramatically since Morsi's rise to power. Recently, to quell the opposition, Morsi's Muslim Broherhood paid gangs and thugs to rape protesting women in the streets. Also, an Egyptian Salafi preacher described the Coptic Christian women who protest at Tahir Square as "crusader prostitutes who go there to be raped on purpose."

This presents a unique problem for women in the Muslim world, since they are often afraid to report sexual assaults for fear of reprisals from their families. Some women are blamed for the rape, and others who are married end up being divorced if their husbands find out. For example, in 2009, a Saudi woman who had been gang-raped was sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes. And John Kerry, our new secretary of state, just announced a package of $250 million in American aid to support Egypt's "future as a democracy."

Another issue for women and girls is sex slavery. It is estimated that 27,000,000 people throughout the world are enslaved in the sex trade today, and 2,000,000 of these are children. Not all are Muslims -- indeed, the majority probably are not -- but Islam condones sex slavery. Muhammad captured slaves in battle, had sex with them, and instructed his men to do the same. The Qur'an contains numerous verses assuring Muslim men that they can keep women as sex slaves.

Salwa-al-Mutairi is a female activist from Kuwait who wants to "revive the institution of sex slavery." In 2011, she asked a mufti in Mecca: "What is the law of sex slaves?" His reply: "With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war."

As a matter of fact, sex slaves in Islam are under a different law from those of the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not -- she needs only to be purchased by her husband, and that's it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.

But these examples are all in the far-off lands of the Arabian Nights, right? No. Lars Hedegaard, president of the Danish Free Press Society, who recently ducked a bullet to his head, was initially tried in Denmark because of private remarks he made about sex abuse in Muslim families. Theo van Gogh was assassinated in Holland for making the film Submission, which highlights the repression of women in some Islamic cultures. In the U.K. just last month, three Muslims were found guilty of abducting a 13-year-old infidel schoolgirl in London, where she was kept as a sex slave. In another incident in the U.K., a group of Muslim men sexually exploited and raped six girls between the ages of 11 and 15 from 2004 to 2012.

Closer to home, Muzzammil Hassan, from Buffalo, NY, beheaded his wife in 2009. This was not simple domestic violence; it was an honor-killing, defined as "a murder carried out as a commission from the extended family, to restore honor after the family has been dishonored. As a rule, the basic cause is a rumor that any female family member has behaved in an immoral way."

In 2008, there was the tragic killing of Amina and Sarah, 18 and 17, respectively, in Texas by their father because the daughters had adopted "Western ways." While honor-killings are just a minority of total domestic violence in the United States and Canada, according to a study of 50 instances in North America, Phyllis Chesler concluded that they represent a distinctive phenomenon and can be differentiated from domestic violence.

Some interpret the punishment in Islam for adultery as death by whipping or stoning, while many deny this. A brief study of the question reveals that it depends on the particular country and its interpretation of sharia law. Stoning still exists in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This YouTube shows a stoning from 2010.

So here we "have names": honor-killing, rape, stoning, child marriage, sex slavery, and FGM. Never in the history of the United States have we had such powerful women in office: Hillary Clinton; Nancy Pelosi; Valerie Jarrett, who drags the title of chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Susan Rice; Kathleen Sebelius; Human Abedin. Yet the radical feminists have been strangely silent on the oppression of Muslim women. Granted, "Global Women's Issues" by the State Department has taken a strong position against female genital mutilation. But we need more than just words. Action must be taken.

These practices constitute violence, plain and simple. They continue to leave scars on women and children -- and now we have documentation of a group in the U.K. that stopped the forced marriage of a two-year-old! The inherent dignity of women has been a part of the Judeo-Christian culture in the West, and women are treated with honor. And civilized countries have always given protection to the innocent. Is a woman held in sex slavery "controlling her reproductive life"?

Nonie Darwish, who left Islam, in commenting on a movie she saw on marriage, says she was struck at the "holiness of the marriage vows, especially when the husband promised to love, honor, and cherish his one and only wife 'till death do us part[.]' ... [M]y innocent mind was touched ... by the way a Christian woman was honored and elevated by her husband and society[.]"

Think of the young girl in Yemen who ran away from a marriage. When asked why, she said, "I thought about it...I thought about it." Anyone who does give it thought realizes that the body and the sexual act have more than just a physical meaning. Through it we see the face of "another," someone outside pure biology and anatomy. Something within us, our inner being, recognizes that the body has a deeper existential meaning.

But these practices which have names reflect the stranger's body as a "thing" to be used, to be borrowed like a car. The radical feminists in their utilitarian pursuits of control over their reproductive lives seem not to have given this much thought. We're waiting to hear them break their silence.

Contact GWY123 at GWY123@aol.com


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PA PLANS TO PROSECUTE ISRAEL VIA INTERNATIONAL GROUPS

Posted by GWY123, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by David Lev who is a writer, radio producer and radio presenter, and media consultant. He is both founder and chief executive officer of Say Yay Media, having previously founded and headed the consulting branch of Lev David Media.

David studied economics at the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal), before working for the regional radio station East Coast Radio as executive producer of the "Morning Drive Show" in 2001. Having resigned from East Coast Radio in 2005 to pursue other interests, David is now involved in the development of television series, radio features for several radio stations and various new media initiatives. He continues to write humour for the print media. This article appeared March 11, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166072#.UT28ftaYL0c_

PA officials are clamoring to enhance the Authority's position in the international community as a tactic to pursue Israel.

Caption Text
Mahmoud Abbas

Issa Karaka, the Palestinian Authority's Minister for Prisoner Affairs, is urging PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to enroll the PA in as many international organizations as possible as quickly as is feasible, in order to capitalize on the recognition the PA received at the United Nations last year and use its standing in the international community to sue and prosecute Israel.

At a press conference in Ramallah Sunday, Karaka said that the PA should join the Geneva Convention, and once admitted, use the Convention's provisions to prosecute Israel in the International Criminal Court for "crimes against the Palestinian nation," he said.

Speaking at the press conference, the head of the Al-Haq organization, Shawan Jabrin, said that international law was an excellent tool for the PA to pursue its agenda against Israel. "All the issues that are outstanding, such as settlements, the security fence and prisoners, can be used to achieve the rights of the Palestinians," he said.

Last week, speaking at the AIPAC convention, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said that the PA was planning a massive legal assault on Israel. "The PA's aim is to take Israel to the International Criminal Court in the Hague," said Baird. "This will certainly have implications for Canada's relationship with the PA."

Baird expressed hope that the PA would keep to its agreements and refrain from taking Israel to court over these issues.

Contact GWY123 at GWY123@aol.com


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"NOT QUITE"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, March 11, 2013

I was going to send this posting out yesterday. It was substantially written. But, I saw that there had been progress in the negotiations on the coalition -- it was looking more rational, more hopeful. That is, according to credible rumors. And so I thought if I held off a bit I might be able to announce a government. Silly me.

From rumors of "very close" we suddenly moved to an announcement of a breakdown in the negotiations. At this point I am pointing my finger at Lapid. Likud is accusing him of reneging on an agreement that had been reached, and Bennett is saying that what Lapid is now demanding with regard to draft regulations would hurt nationalist yeshivas and is unacceptable to him (i.e., Bennett). There have been round the clock negotiations aimed at coming to a final agreement, but as I write, still no resolution. More talks are scheduled for tonight.

I had pegged Lapid from early on as someone too sure of himself, too arrogant -- exhibiting neither a willingness to compromise (which is what politics is often about), or to understand that changes don't happen all at once. He's about "fixing" everything immediately (as he perceives the need to do fixing) because he got 19 mandates.

It is likely that a coalition will come together in short order. Netanyahu has only until this Shabbat and he's out of time. What we must wonder, however, is how long a coalition that has such tensions built into it can remain stable.

~~~~~~~~~~

What I will mention here is that the names being floated for various ministries have me more hopeful than I had expected to be at this point. All specifics will follow when the assignments are announced. It's being said that Lapid wants to be Finance Minister. That would be regrettable, for as far as I can discern, he knows zilch about financial management; Yuval Steinitz (Likud) has done a fine job in that department and really would like to retain the post. And there's talk about dissension over the education ministry, which Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) has managed exceedingly well.

The issues of the Finance and Education Ministries are two instances of a problem that has arisen: As members of other factions are being considered for a number of major posts, members of Likud are disgruntled and feeling left out, ironically even as theirs is the ruling faction. The problem of ministry assignment is exacerbated by the fact that part of the coalition negotiations involves reducing the number of portfolios.

To add to the problem, some of the younger members on the Likud list, serious vote-getters (I have in mind Tzipi Hotovely, pictured), are being passed over by Netanyahu for old guard cronies. This is not sitting well with those whom the prime minister would ignore.

international news

What a business this is!

~~~~~~~~~~

As the clock on the coalition negotiations ticks away, Netanyahu surely has the coming visit of Obama in mind. Meanwhile, the president is making his own preparations for coming. Significant among those preparations is an off-the-record meeting he had with close to 24 American Jewish leaders last Thursday, during which he assured them that he wouldn't be bringing a peace plan with him.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to reports from participants of that meeting, when asked what actions he will take to stop Iran, Obama said:

"I'm not going to beat my chest to prove my toughness on this."

A snide and decidedly non-reassuring comment.

He then provided a quote, frequently attributed to a Chinese military tactician, regarding the need to give "a golden bridge" to a "proud people" in order to provide them with a face-saving way to retreat to a diplomatic solution.

So...Obama's still being Obama, still clinging to his fantasies. His refusal to beat his chest, figuratively, comports with his routine refusal to be tough, insisting that enemies can be won over better with kindness.

Why he imagines that the Iranian leaders are looking for a face-saving way to retreat to diplomacy is beyond me, and what I worry about is what "golden bridge" he hopes to offer them.

~~~~~~~~~~

About the same time that Obama was talking about giving the Iranians a chance to step down to negotiations, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was declaring that Western nations had only acknowledged a "fraction" of Iran's nuclear rights. "Western nations did not accomplish anything that can be construed as a concession" -- which, of course, he insists Iran is entitled to.

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2013/mar/07/khamenei-tweets-iran-needs-more-concessions

~~~~~~~~~~

Barry Rubin has just written about Obama's foreign policy approach, hardly for the first time:

"On the eve of President Obama's first visit to Israel as chief executive, I have just returned from briefing a high-ranking official of country x about the Middle East. We kept coming back to a vital theme: the incredibly shrinking power of the United States. Try to explain American behavior to neutral, open-minded third parties for whom U.S. policy activities have become just plain bizarre!

"...there's been for all practical purposes a profound—albeit possibly temporary—transformation in the governance of the United States. Regarding foreign policy, all the old rules don't apply—credibility; punishing enemies and rewarding friends..."

http://www.gloria-center.org/2013/03/why-as-president-obama-is-a-disaster-and-why-as-a-country-israel-should-applaud-obama/

~~~~~~~~~~

The Palestinian Arabs in PA areas are also preparing for the Obama visit to the region. Activists associated with a group called "Palestinians for Dignity" are calling for "huge demonstrations" because Obama's policies are "supportive of the occupation." They said he was "persona non grata in Palestine" because of US support for Israel. And they are calling for "demonstrations against the idea of returning to the negotiations."

Will Obama also offer them a "golden bridge"?

~~~~~~~~~~

For his part, Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh has declared Obama's visit a "trap" and calls upon Abbas not to fall into it:

"We are convinced that Obama's visit will not produce the necessary breakthrough for our people."

Obama's visit "will focus on regional developments and will only address our cause in a way to undermine Palestinian national reconciliation efforts and to relaunch the absurd so-called negotiations."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/166045

~~~~~~~~~~

Haniyeh's assessment of Obama's intentions is, of course, on the mark. What's noteworthy here is that this statement by a Palestinian Arab leader with whom Abbas is supposed to be negotiating "unity" makes it harder for Abbas to accept Obama positively. He will be labeled a traitor, one who sacrifices the good of the people in order to please the American president.

In other words, radical is "in."

~~~~~~~~~~

On Friday, the Muslim Sabbath, following afternoon prayers at the mosques on the Temple Mount, worshippers began throwing rocks at the Israeli officers stationed at the Mughrabi Bridge -- this is the bridge that runs between the Western Wall Plaza and the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate available for non-Muslims to enter the Mount.

When Israeli police entered the Mount, rioters not only threw rocks at them, but also two fire bombs. Six of the police required hospitalization for treatment.

Police -- calling the situation a "new escalation" -- used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Situations such as these are not only enraging but remind us how badly we have lost sovereignty over what is rightfully ours.

~~~~~~~~~~

The situation in Syria, right at our border, is escalating. IDF soldiers can hear guns firing, and see the battles.

Last Wednesday, 21 Philippine peacekeepers were kidnapped by the Martyrs of Yarmouk rebel forces in an attempt to force Assad forces to withdraw from the Jamla area. The peacekeepers were part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that has been monitoring a ceasefire line between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights since 1974. They have now been released to Jordan, but there is talk of the UN force withdrawing.

Now rebels operating near the Golan border have vowed to "liberate" the Golan from Israel after Assad has been taken down. Assad, they have declared, is severely remiss for not having done this a long time ago.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Ayal Zisser, former director of the Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies:

"A significant number of the rebels in the Golan Heights area belong to the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, but alongside that group are a whole host of other armed militias. These groups lack a central leadership and are mainly composed of outlaws and bandits out for a fight. These gangs seek control of the rural regions and the Syrian periphery."

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3635

~~~~~~~~~~

There is a reasonable anticipation not simply of trouble on the Golan border with Syrian rebels, but with Hezbollah, which is surely acquiring advanced weapons from Syria in the midst of the current turmoil.

What I repeat here has been said before, and I consider it of the utmost importance in terms of Israeli policy. Last week a senior IDF officer, who declined to be identified, said:

We want to preserve the quiet, and we want the other side to know that if they take a step that necessitates we exact a price, they will pay dearly.

"The way they behave will have repercussions on the population and infrastructure of southern Lebanon.

I don't in any way expect the casualty ratio to be similar. I want things to be as bad as possible for the other side and as good as possible for us."

The officer said Israel would try to give Lebanese non-combatants time to evacuate, but recognized that there would be non-combatant casualties.

~~~~~~~~~~

This is all about the despicable, the immoral, habit -- engaged in by Hezbollah and Hamas equally -- of deliberately storing weaponry and establishing rocket launching sites in civilian areas, assuming that Israel will be afraid to hit those areas. But the more Hezbollah has sophisticated weaponry that can do serious damage to the Israeli population, the more important it becomes for the Israeli military to take out that weaponry before many Israelis can be killed. Intentions are to act very fast indeed.

The moral responsibility for this situation falls on Hezbollah shoulders. Israel responsibility is to the lives of Israeli citizens. Bad press cannot be a factor here.

~~~~~~~~~~

We know full well how quickly the world points a finger at Israel.

During Operation Pillar of Defense in November, two of the Palestinian Arab dead were the baby son of a BBC Arabic Service journalist and his 19-year-old sister-in-law.

A Times of Israel reports,

"Images of the bereaved father tearfully holding the corpse of his 11-month-old baby went around the world."

And Human Rights Watch declared that according to "news reports and witnesses," Israel was responsible.

Well, guess what? A UN report now says that it was a Palestinian Arab rocket that killed the child and the woman. The UN.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/un-clears-israel-from-charge-it-bombed-11-month-old-baby/

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il. And visit her website at www.arlenefromisrael.info


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ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA FOILED BY THE FACTS

Posted by UCI, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by David Ha'ivri who is an Israeli settler and political activist. He emigrated with his family from the United States to Israel at the age of 11 and served in the IDF. Ha'ivri lives with his wife and eight children in Kfar Tapuach in the West Bank. This article appeared May 6, 2013 in Your Middle East News and is archived at
http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/opinion/david-haivri-antiisrael-propaganda-foiled-by-the-facts_11911

Social media, university campuses and newspapers around the world overflow with statements by self-proclaimed "human rights activists." They tweet day and night, labeling Israel as a racist apartheid state which discriminates against Arabs based on their ethnic background.

They call Israel's security barrier an "apartheid wall," in spite of the fact that both Jews and Arabs live on both sides of it. They call roads in Judea and Samaria "apartheid roads," in spite of the fact that both Jews and Arabs drive on them freely. They call on Jewish residents of the region to move out, while at the same time, they accuse Israel of racist policies. Is there a better definition of hypocrisy and lies? From their disinformation, you would never learn that Israel manages constant security threats from internal and external terrorist operations. Israel goes to great effort to ensure security considerations don't affect the lives of the civilian population, regardless of those citizens' ethnic affiliation.

This past week, Jerusalem witnessed a new level of this hypocrisy. Egyptian blogger/dissident Maikel Nabil came to Israel to give a speech at the Hebrew University. This invitation, in itself, should challenge to the racism claim. But there is more. Nabil, who has been jailed in Egypt for being a conscientious objector, when asked by the press if he came to Israel in support of Netanyahu, said that on the contrary he "came to Israel to convince people not to vote for Netanyahu." He refused to be interviewed by Israel's army radio, posting to his Twitter timeline: "I refused to give interview to IDF Radio today; I want soldiers to leave the army and become farmers and artists." If you think that that might put into question claims that Israel limits freedom of expression to Arabs who oppose its policies, consider the following.

News services reported that Palestinian students at Hebrew University staged a protest against Nabil's talk there. They heckled his speech by shouting out that he brings shame on the Egyptian revolution by calling for peace with Israel. So much for the "apartheid" claim. It turns out that during the time Palestinian students achieve their academic accreditation at Israel's flagship university (while enjoying Israeli subsidies for their studies), they are free to not only openly criticize the policies of the State of Israel, but to openly mock those who call for peace between Israel and the Arab states.

It is about time that the anti-Israel propaganda movement get their story straight. If Arab students study and are free to voice their opinions in Israeli universities, what are they talking about when they call Israel "apartheid"?

To quote Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Contact UCI at unitycoalitionforisrael.org


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JOINT JEWISH-ARAB YOUTH PROGRAMS: GIVE IT UP ALREADY!

Posted by Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by Elhanan Gruner who is a hardline violent settler from Yitzhar, visited the prosecutor to complain about a restraining order. This article appeared March 10, 2013 in Esser Agaroth and is archived at
http://esseragaroth.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/joint-jewish-arab-youth-programs-give.html

(Translated) Last week, students from a school in Yoqne'am attended an activity day, with the atmosphere of "coexistence" with students from an Arab school in Sakhnin. At the end of the activities, the bus carrying the Jewish students was pelted with rocks by their Arab "friends" from the joint activity. (cont.)

rockthrowers

The Ministry of Education, the of the promoter of the joint operation has thus far refused to respond to inquiries into the affair by the media.

This is not really news. HaKol HaYehudi should be commended for reporting this event. But, it is a mistake to think of it as news.

From where did they acquire those masks? At what age are they trained to make makeshift ones so quickly out of the scarves and bandanas they just "happen" to have on them? Pretty young, I would imagine.

Even as far back as 1991, during the First Gulf War, the joint activities attempted in Yaffo were a disaster, as the Arab children cheered every time an Iraqi scud rocket hit Israel.

Almost a year ago, I was in Nazareth, visiting a school for work. I saw that in one of the classrooms, there was a drawing which incorporated the flag of the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], with the English words "Palestine will be free!" interspersed amongst the Arabic.

This Nazareth Municipality school had just won an award for the teaching of "coexistence."

displayingmap

Since the "Palestinians" want all of what is Israel, and want to push the Jews out. they have said over and over again, that Jews will never reside within a "Palestinian" State. We Jews have very short memories. The Palestinian authority sees ALL of Israel as an eventual "Palestinian" State.

Some "coexistence," huh?

Ya'aqov Ben-Yehudah was born and raised in San Diego, CA. With an M.S. in Counseling/Clinical Child Psychology from California State University; he worked as a school psychologist, until making aliyah in 1997. For most of his Israeli life he lived and taught school in the Shomron (Samaria). He now lives and works in Jerusalem, where he writes about life in Israel and on being Jewish.


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THE MAN I THOUGHT I KNEW

Posted by Borntolose3, March 11, 2013

The article below was written by Jonathan Rosenblum is the director, spokesperson, and founder of Jewish Media Resources, an organization which attempts to clarify journalists' understanding of Haredi Jewish society. This article appeared February 28,2013 in the Jewish Media Resources and is archived at
http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/1593/ki-sisa-5773-the-man-i-thought-i-knew

I thought I knew Reb Meyer Birnbaum, zt"l, who passed away last Friday in his 95th year. But I didn't know him at all.

Nearly twenty years ago, Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, who had been a long-time neighbor of Reb Meyer's and often travelled with him on his morning drive to the Kosel for the haneitz minyan, had the idea of a book based on stories he had heard from Reb Meyer over the years. Reb Meyer would dictate his life story onto tapes and I would transform those tapes into a book.

Rabbi Zlotowitz envisioned the book centering on Reb Meyer's experiences during World War II as a frum soldier and officer — the Normandy landing, liberating Buchenwald, and then remaining in the DP camps for six months after he was entitled to return stateside and be discharged.

Reb Meyer initially resisted the idea of a first-person memoir. But Rabbis Zlotowitz and Nosson Scherman persuaded him that by talking about what he had witnessed and the great people he had known he would be removing the focus from himself, whereas a third-person book would suggest that he was someone of inherent distinction.

Next, certain members of his family opposed the book, but by now Reb Meyer was enthusiastic about the project. "If I can be mechazek one person," he told a son who objected to an autobiography in his lifetime, "it will be worth it." In the end, he was mechazek tens of thousands, and his son admitted that he had been wrong.

WHEN I FIRST MET REB MEYER, he was already 75-years-old. A tall man, he still stood fully erect, and would continue to do so into his '90s. At that first meeting, he told me to pretend I was trying to stab him, and showed me a few judo moves from his days in U.S. army. His grip was still vise-like.

Unfortunately, his financial condition was not equally good. He had once been the successful proprietor of Mauzone Foods, but the business had gone bankrupt, through no fault of his own. He did not even own a life insurance policy, and still had a number of children left to marry. His only marketable skill, at that point in life, was his recipe for an unrivalled, unsalted herring and delicious pickles. Though he lectured annually on his wartime experiences at a few seminaries, most prominently Rebbetzin David's BJJ, these were non-remunerative.

Then Lieutenant Birnbaum appeared, and opened another chapter of his eventful life. On the basis of the book, Reb Meyer was launched on an international speaking career. For the next fifteen years, until he was close to ninety, he held audiences across the globe transfixed for four hours or more, as he related his experiences.

For the rest of his life, Reb Meyer was known everywhere as Lieutenant Birnbaum. The name appeared in English on the Hebrew notices of his petirah, and the hapless fellow announcing the levaya going through Jerusalem's religious neighborhoods struggled mightily to pronounce the word lieutenant.

The title Lieutenant Birnbaum captured something essential about Reb Meyer. He was Hashem's soldier, in chapter after chapter of his life: as one of a group of idealistic youth in the impoverished New Lots/East New York neighborhood, in whom a passion for Yiddishkeit burned, despite their lack of any yeshiva education; in the DP camps after the war; and in his critical role ending the scourge of totally unnecessary autopsies in Israeli hospitals in the '60s. Before entering the hospital for the last time, he told his son Rabbi Akiva Birnbaum, "This may be my last fight. But I'm going to fight all the way."

Lieutenant Birnbaum struck a chord and quickly became one of ArtScroll's all-time best-sellers. Readers recognized a "normal" person like themselves, placed in extraordinary circumstances. Reb Meyer's life had not been a bed of roses. He experienced hunger as a youngster, the loss of a younger brother in the Normandy landing, divorce, and bankruptcy. Yet his simchas chayim, in the words of his daughter-in-law Rebbetzin Blimie Birnbaum, was palpable. He could put any problem on the shelf and not just carry on, but do so with boundless gratitude to whom Hashem. He felt himself to be the Ribbono shel Olam's beloved "ben yachid."

People in pain, wrote to him from around the globe. He kept thousands of letters from readers who had been uplifted by Lieutenant Birnbaum, and tried to answer all of them. Something about his story moved and gave hope to many who were suffering — abused wives, off-the-derech children — just as he had once given hope to those in the DP camps who thought they had nothing left to live for.

In the later capacity, said the renowned Mashgiach Rabbi Don Segal in his eulogy, he "blew ruach chayim (the breath of life) into those who were nothing but bones." He assured despondent survivors that he was a rich man and would provide them with jobs when the arrived in America. Though the first part was far from true, the great figures of that era, such as Irving Bunim and Mike Tress, made good on the promise. Wherever he went in his later years, he was accosted by survivors who remembered the tall American soldier who had delivered thousands of letters and packages to survivors sent through the Army Post Office.

The fame from Lieutenant Birnbaum allowed him to fulfill his favorite role — that of a loving father giving to his children. (He had sixteen children of his own.) In the heyday of Mauzone Foods, it was a factory of chesed. He used to put a long finger under the scale to hold it up, while measuring out the orders of widows and wives of talmidei chachamim. Only Rabbi Aharon Kotler's rebbetzin, ever caught him doing so.

For more than thirty years, he packed his car and later a Mitsubishi van in a manner that would have done credit to any college fraternity for his morning drive to the Kosel, where he had special permission, in his last years, to drive all the way to the entrance to the men's section. Later in the day, he would cruise the streets looking for people in distress to transport. Every Shabbos, the Birnbaum home was filled with either yeshiva bochurim or seminary girls eager to soak up his joy and hear his stories first-hand.

DESPITE ALL I KNEW ABOUT LIEUTENANT BIRNBAUM, nothing prepared me for the sight of hundreds of talmidei chachamim at his levaya just before Shabbos. Besides his son Rabbi Akiva Birnbaum, the maspidim included Rabbi Yitzchak Ezrachi of Mirrer Yeshiva, a long-time neighbor; Rabbi Tzvi Cheshin, the recognized ari shebe'chabura of Mirrer Yeshiva for four decades; and Rabbi Don Segal. Other major Torah figures wanted to be maspid, but time did not allow. Rabbi Ezrachi expressed his kinas sofrim for Reb Meyer's portion in the World to Come, and said that he did not know if there was another person in the generation with as many zechuyos (merits) as Reb Meyer.

In the midst of the hespedim, a very old man entered the hall sobbing. He kissed the niftar's feet, and then cried out, "These are the same tefillin."

This old Jew and two friends had escaped from a Nazi prison camp in the last days of the War. Freezing in their skimpy prisoners uniforms, they put on the uniforms of slain Nazi soldiers whom they found lying in the woods. The Jew in question subsequently encountered an American convoy wearing the uniform of a high German officer. When he reached into his pocket, the American soldiers thought he was grabbing a grenade. They were about to shoot him, when he cried out, "Ich bin a Yid" Fortunately for him, Lieutenant Birnbaum understood what he was saying, and ordered his men not to shoot. In the Jew's pocket was a pair of tefillin that he had been moser nefesh to guard throughout the war.

Gedolei Torah recognized greatness in Reb Meyer. He exemplified the temimus (simplicity/purity) that Reb Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz used to say characterized his generation of Americans. His kavod for rabbonim was without limit. Reb Meyer and friends like the late Reb Moshe Swerdloff gathered around Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner upon his arrival in New York from Europe, and later did everything possible to help Rabbi Leib Malin and other great survivors of the Mirrer in Shanghai establish Yeshivas Bais HaTalmud.

Rabbi Beinisch Finkel, the late Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir, was famous for never accepting a favor from anyone. Yet he accepted a ride from Reb Meyer, from the very first day the latter started driving to the haneitz minyan at the Kosel, and would even ask Reb Meyer to drive him to various simchos. He knew that he was giving Reb Meyer boundless joy by doing so.

Every morning at the Kosel, Reb Meyer would read through pages of names of people in tzar before the start of davening. Once, in his last years, he exclaimed, "Ribbono shel Olam, I have no more strength, You have to bring Mashiach." His Rosh Hashanah berachah to his fellow mispallelim at the Kosel this past Erev Rosh Hashanah was: "Next year, may we be zocheh to gather on the other side of the Kosel."

May he continue to implore Hashem, Whom he always addressed as a beloved son speaking to his Father, on behalf of Klal Yisrael, from his high place on the other side.

Contact Borntolose at borntolose3@charter.net


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NETANYAHU IS A GUTLESS POLITICIAN * TURKEY IS THE ENEMY OF ISRAEL * JEWISH TOWN ALEPPO IS LOST FOREVER

Posted by Steven Shamrak, March 11, 2013

Netanyahu is a Gutless Politician!

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met President Shimon Peres and asked him for a two-week extension in which to put together a coalition of parties and form a new government, and received the extension.

If Netanyahu fails to cobble together a coalition within a fortnight, however, he will be in serious trouble. Peres could decide to task someone else with creating a coalition, or new elections could be called.

We are, therefore, entering the "money time" of coalition crafting.

There is anger and a feeling of vindication in the Bayit Yehudi party, following reports in at least two major news sources that Likud/Yisrael Beytenu has promised Yesh Atid to tear down Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria if it joins a coalition without Bayit Yehudi.

Together with reports that Likud made contradictory overtures to Bayit Yehudi, they portray Netanyahu in an unflattering light and are no cause for pride, for supporters of Likud/Yisrael Beytenu.

MK Orit Strook said: "It is very sad that Likud continues to make every effort to establish the Livni-Abu Mazen government instead of establishing the social government for the people of Israel , in line with the way the public voted." (Netanyahu systematically betrays the Zionist charter of the Likud party and brings political enemies into his government. But the saddest part of the story is that the party apparatus and membership allow him to conduct this shameful treachery of Jewish national aspiration!)

It's not Their Business Where Israel Builds

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165782#.VXsYULyVsWM

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, spoke about his trip to Israel and how much he enjoyed being there. He told the crowd how he sang Hebrew songs together with a group of rabbis at the Western Wall, even though he had no idea what the words meant. However, the statement that received thunderous applause was, "It is not our job to tell Israelis where they can or cannot build." (It is nobody's business - Israel has historic and legal rights to all Jewish ancestral land, Eretz-Israel, known as the Palestinian Mandate!)

No-man's Land is up for Grabs

https://warsclerotic.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/syrian-no-mans-land-bordering-israel-and-jordan-is-up-for-grabs-2/

The four Syrian mortar shells exploding on the Israeli side of the Golan on Saturday, March 2, flashed a signal to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the moment is at hand to step in and decide how to dispose of the expanse of southern Syrian bordering on northern Israel. The collapse of Bashar Assad's defense lines on the Israeli and Jordanian borders has left a large Syrian expanse of no-man's land and generated a new strategic situation of major importance for both Israel and Jordan. There is still time to pre-empt developments that would be detrimental to Israel's security. (The fact is that thousand of dunams of Jewish land, purchased by the Jewish Agency since the Leage of Nations allocated as Jewish land, Eretz-Israel, are still occupied by Syria. It is time to reclaim our land!)

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak

In the age of a current fake political correctness and international anti-Israel smear campaign confusion and many unresolved problems have been created about the question - Who is a Jew? Not long ago, most of those Jews who married out denounced their Judaism. They and their children were hiding their 'shameful' Jewish origin - their Jewishness. At the same time there were not many courageous gentiles who would be interested to become a "righteous convert"! Under the Jewish law marriage is not a legitimate reason for conversion to Judaism. Conversion must have a spiritual component - a need to "return"!

It is Clear - Turkey is the Enemy of Israel

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Erdogan-says-Zionism-crime-against-humanity

In attempt to restore its relationship with Turkey, Israel sent messages to Ankara over the last few weeks that it is interested in creating a more "positive dynamic" in its badly strained relationship with Turkey so the two countries can work together to further common interests. The messages were sent prior to John Kerry's maiden trip abroad as US secretary of state, a trip that will take him to nine countries in 10 days, including Turkey. Response from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was prompt and clear - at the Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN forum for West-Islam dialogue. He called Zionism a "crime against humanity" likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia. (The saddest part of this story is that he was not kicked out from this so-called "Alliance of Civilizations". It would be more appropriate to call it "Alliance of International anti-Semites" - it has no moral integrity!)

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/sunday-review/the-holocaust-just-got-more-shocking.html?_r=4&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1362236748-5jy69MPKaw0svfJWxthXZQ&

Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler's reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.

PA Students do not Want to Hear about Peace

Scores of violent Arab students forced the British Consul General, Sir Vincent Fean, to make a hasty departure from a university in Ramallah, where he came to deliver a lecture on Britain's policy in the Middle East and the prospects for peace. A consulate official confirmed that Fean was unable to deliver his prepared address due to the riots. In February 2000, Arab protesters at Bir Zeit threw stones at then visiting French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, demanding he leave the university over a speech he delivered at Tel Aviv University in which he called Hizbullah a terrorist organization.

Washington: Hezbollah has got Chemical Weapons

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/03/washington-hizballah-has-got-hold-of-chemical-weapons-2585026.htm

For the first time in many years, voices in the US administration were criticizing the Israeli defense forces for under-reacting and, in this case, also underestimating the chemical weapons threat emanating from Syria and neglecting to pursue counter-measures. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak heard when he met US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon that intelligence estimates confirmed for the first time by an American official that Hezbollah has been able to procure a quantity of chemical weapons from Syria. (Israel is criticized when it acts and when it does nothing!)

Must the West Help Islamic Terrorists in Syria?

The Islamist Martyrs of Yarmouk command kidnapped 21 UN observers close to the Golan village of Jamla near Israel. So-called rebels demand the withdrawal of Assad regime units from the village: "If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours, we will treat the 20 hostages as prisoners." (The UN observers offered no resistence to terrorists - greate security for Israel! Islamists tried to use UN observers as a human shields, violating international laws. Help - not condemnation - is still flowing to the terrorists even from democratic countries. The same democracies have been supporting the PA terrorists in their objective to destroy Israel!)

US Finances Islamization of Egypt

During his visit to Cairo the US Secretary of State John Kerry talked at length to Egyptian President Morsi about Egypt's calamitous economic straits, relations with Israel, democratization and essential reforms. Morsi nodded politely but was completely wrapped up in the ongoing plan he and the Muslim Brotherhood had hatched for Islamizing Egypt and seizing 100 percent of parliament in the next election - April or June. (Hundred million of the US taxpayer dollars are given to support this endeavor!)

PA Unity is a Joke

As unity talks failed, the Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 66 Hamas supporters in the West Bank during the month of February. Hamas said that among those arrested were 32 former prisoners (held by Israel), three university students, a journalist and a teacher. (Ideological foes, Hamas and Fatah, will never come to any political agreement. Only common hate for Israel keeps them from mutual annihilation!)

Quote(s) of the Week:

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when?" (Ethics of the Fathers 1:14).

Jewish Town Aleppo is Lost Forever

by Joseph Dana

The northern Syrian city of Aleppo, once a pillar of Jewish existence worldwide, is slowly being destroyed by the fighting that has engulfed Syria. A Free Syrian Army rebel warned that soon "there will be nothing left to destroy in Aleppo."

What made Jewish existence in Aleppo so unique and vibrant? For thousands of years, Aleppo was an unofficial capital of the Sephardic Jewish world. Fueled by wealth from international trade and waves of Jewish immigration, the city's Jews sustained a pious community revered for educational excellence and as a guardian of traditions with roots in ancient Israel. Aleppine folklore - some even say that one of Kind David's generals personally laid the foundation for its great synagogue - hints at the prestige of the city in Jewish history.

Starting in the late 10th century, Aleppo grew to serve as a passageway between the Jewish communities of the Babylonian center and Israel. Its geographic position and impressive sphere of influence bridged the divide from Persia to the lucrative markets of southern Europe.

Aleppo was the center of Jewish life for many centuries. Distinguished rabbis studied there and it was a center of significant Torah learning. Among the reasons for Aleppo 's importance in Jewish learning is a document known as the Aleppo Codex. It is believed that a member of the famous Ben-Asher family wrote the Aleppo Codex over 1000 years ago. The text shows the final vocalization and punctuation of the Biblical text. Some believe it is the Biblical text which Rambam refers to in his Hilchot Sefer Torah.

Steven Shamrak was born in the former Soviet Union (USSR) and participated in the Moscow Zionist "refusenik" movement and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He publishes internet editorial letters on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak.e@gmail.com


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TUNISIA IN CHAOS

Posted by Darlene Casella, March 11, 2013

Tunisia sits between Algeria and Libya in North Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. She has enormous history which includes Hannibal the 2nd century Tunisian General, one of the greatest strategic military commanders in history. He defeated the Roman Army which had invaded Tunisia at Carthage. The Romans reclaimed it a century later. Carthage remained one of the three most important cities in the Roman Empire until the Muslim Conquest destroyed it in the 6th Century. This was followed by the Ottoman Empire and then protectorate disagreements with France and Italy. General George Patton led the Tunisia Campaign in WWII; the Battle of El Guettar was the first battle in which US forces defeated the experienced German tank units. Patton believed in reincarnation and wrote that he had been in Carthage; speculating that he had been with Hannibal and those brave warriors.

Habib Bourguiba was the first president when Tunisia became an independent state in 1956. He suppressed Islamic fundamentalism and established women's rights. In 1987 he was replaced in a bloodless coup by Zine el Abidine Ben Ali who respected the secularist position. In spite of corruption during Ben Ali's autocratic regime, he was an important ally of the United States; and a large middle class with liberal social norms and gender equality for women had evolved.

A Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire protesting the confiscation of his wares and harassment by government officials; Mohamed Bousazizi died before his 27th birthday. With the death of Bousazizi, the January 2011 Jasmine Revolution began. The torch of Arab Spring was lit. Within days dozens of protestors were dead; President Ben Ali and his wife fled to Saudi Arabia.

The cosmopolitan capital of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Jerba , the sands stretching south to the Sahara, and the coastal resorts of Monastir had beckoned adventurous tourists prior to the Arab Spring.

An assembly was appointed to govern until parliamentary elections would be held. The Ennahda Islamist Party campaigned on a moderate pro democracy stance comparing itself to Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP). They claimed victory in the October 2011 elections with 41% of the vote.

Moncef Marzouki of the Islamist Ennahada became the interim president and reassured secularists that the new constitution would respect women's rights and would not impose a Muslim moral code on society. He appointed Hamadi Jebali as Prime Minister; and Ali Larayedh as Interior Minister. Each Minister has since resigned.

Anti Islamist Ennahda Party demonstrations were led by Chokri Balaid of the Popular Front and the General Tunisian Workers Union. Poverty, economic and social problems remain, especially unemployment; which is around 30%. Political promises have not been kept. Smuggling is rife. Milk, tomatoes, pasta, other foods, and mineral water are frequently exported to Libya to be sold for more than in Tunisia. This causes shortages. Gulf States are not loaning or giving money to Tunisia. Foreign investments are down. Taxi drivers and petrol stations strike to protest increased petrol prices.

Chokri Balaid was murdered last month. It is speculated that he was killed by Islamic Salafists, whose influence has grown. His killing plunged the nation into deeper political crisis and sparked the largest demonstrations in more than a year. Protesters demand the dissolution of the Ennahda militia which they accuse of brutal acts. They accuse Ennahda of violence which include the attack on the US embassy and on Sufi Shrines. The country remains in turmoil since Balaid's death.

Since Ben Ali fled office, Tunisia has been in a state of emergency, Parliament remains divided over the future political system, Ennahda announced that their government will step down; a new coalition government headed by Islamist Ali Larayedh will be formed with a new cabinet. It is estimated that new elections will take place in 2014. Chaos prevails.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that democracy requires an informed educated electorate. Plato posited that a benevolent dictator was the best government. Arab Spring has deposed dictators. Lives are not improved. Protests and riots have become the norm for unhappy citizens that crave a better life; and are angry at the corruption of leaders, at the western world, and especially the US. The Islamists use this to win elections and take control. The countries of Arab Spring burn; the US Administration fiddles.

Darlene Casella is a former English teacher, stockbroker, and president/owner of a small corporation. She lives with her husband in La Quinta, California and can be reached at darlenecasella@msn.com


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TERRORISM IN CYBERSPACE

Posted by ACD/EWI, March 12, 2013

Out of site in Afghanistan's caves, or hiding in clear sight in Pakistani digs, Osama bin Laden wasn't easy to catch, but was detectable, as are Iran's nuclear facilities. Technological development, however, are rapidly changing cyberspace's virtual reality into the new battle ground for terrorist and criminals alike. This is how it works:

IN A SCENE IN THE 1990 MOVIE DIE HARD 2, TERRORISTS TAKE CONTROL OF COMPUTER, TRAFFIC CONTROL, AND AERIAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, IMPERSONATE RIGHT INSPECTORS, AND FEED IN FALSE DATA, THUS LEADING THE PILOT AND PASSENGERS TO THEIR DEATH IN THE MIDST OF A SNOWSTORM WITH THE PLANE CRASHING ON THE RUNWAY. SECURITY PERSONNEL ARE HELPLESS, INCAPABLE OF PROVIDING A RESPONSE; THE MOVIE'S HERO, JOHN MCCLANE (PLAYED BY BRUCE WILLIS), LACKS THE MEANS TO SAVE THE DOOMED RIGHT AND IS LEFT STANDING POWERLESS IN THE FOG ON THE LANDING STRIP, WAVING TWO IMPROVISED BEACONS AT THE APPROACHING AIRCRAFT.

At first it would seem that the movie is nothing but another Hollywood fantasy, dismissible as a wild exaggeration carriedto yet further extremes in the sequel, Die Hard 4. However, the events of 9/11 and the changes in the nature of security threats over the last decade indicate that even the most far-fetched scenarios crafted in Hollywood studios are liable to and real-life expression in the public and security sphere in this day and age.

The use of cyberspace as a primary warfare arena between enemies or hostile nations has always been fertile ground for fantasy and lurid scenes on the silver screen. However, cyberspace is rapidly becoming a genuine central arena for future wars and hostile actions undertaken by various types of adversaries. These may include terrorist organizations, although until now they have relied primarily on physical violence to promote their own goals and those of their sponsors. In light of such threats, many nations in the West have in recent years established special authorities to use innovative technological means to prepare for war-like actions against strategic infrastructure targets.

The Cyber Threat from Terrorist Groups-

Today there are some main groups that use or have the potential for future use of cyber-attack tools:

1)states developing offensive and defensive capabilities as a growing part of their force capabilities;

2)criminal elements motivated primarily by illegal commercial interests;

3)commercial companies, primarily in the defensive mode (as the scope of cyber-attacks in the commercial context is significantly growing), though some may resort to offensive moves against competitors;

<4)terrorist organizations, out of cost-benefit considerations and other inherent advantages, are liable to try to carry out cyber-attacks; and

5)anarchists opposed to the existing establishment who are interested in undermining it from within and without, and who endeavor to attack the entire system of computerization, which today is the basis for managing life as we know it, in order to disrupt or even destroy states' current social order and their fabric of life.

Cyber offense has the potential to change society's balance of power because it empowers those engaged in asymmetrical conflicts that operate from a position of inferiority, especially terrorist organizations. Capabilities in this sphere may enable them to attack installations, systemic processes, and sites while causing heavy physical damage and wielding a

significant psychological impact on the society and public under attack. They thus acquire capabilities other than those familiar from conventional terrorist attacks, such as suicide bombings, booby traps, hostage situations, hijackings, and kidnappings.

Cyber offense affords several advantages;

First, it removes the necessity of physical presence at the target. It is possible to damage communications networks and control systems of installations and processes from afar and thus avoid physical barriers and human systems.

Second, it affords a wider scope of damage. Cyber-attacks occur not only in the physical space but also carry the potential for severe and sustained damage to control and infrastructure systems. Thus, while most conventional terrorist attacks are limited in time and space, a cyber attack monies terrorism's psychological impact through fear and intimidation.

Third, it is easier to conceal the identity and source of the attack; in cyberspace, identities and boundaries between states are more easily blurred. Terrorists attacking in cyberspace can not only conceal their identity but can also feed false information as to the source of the attack, for example, by attacking a site inside the target state using addresses of a friendly nation.

Fourth, cyberspace attacks are cost effective. Using the cyber platform for attacks maximizes the cost-benefit ratio from the perspective of a terrorist organization, endowed with fewer resources and capabilities than the states it targets. Assuming that terrorist organizations would prefer less defended targets rather than well-protected ones, they presumably would be able to gain access and insert malicious code into target sites, or use technologies that are becoming ever more accessible to wider audiences.

Fifth, cyber terrorism can be non-lethal. It can cause signicant damage without direct fatalities or physical injury, granting terrorists success by means of intimidation and disruption of the routine. This gives the perpetrators the ability to devise a defense and logical explanations for their deeds, which after all did not spill blood but were only an indirect cause of lost lives. The innovativeness represented by such action would also garner terrorist organizations widespread media coverage and enable them to engage in non-lethal threats in which a price would be extorted in exchange for removing the threat of a cyber-attack.

It has been claimed that terrorist organizations are not interested in cyberspace because they prefer showcase attacks with much higher visibility rather than the anonymity that supposedly is conferred by attacks in this domain.

However this claim does not take into account the basic rationale of terrorism strategy, which holds that terrorist activity should focus on minimizing the power differential in the struggle against a stronger enemy with more powerful means, carry out destructive actions while identifying the weaknesses in the enemy's defense, and achieve a position of superiority at tolerable costs given the relatively poor means at the disposal of the perpetrators. Already today global jihad terrorist organizations are making use of cyberspace, though still in limited and relatively undeveloped fashion, to realize these advantages.

A study examining the cyberspace warfare capabilities of jihadist organizations identied a number of major features that serve to build and improve the organizational and operational infrastructures of terrorist organizations in the following ends:

Propaganda: using the web to disseminate ideas, decrees, directives, speeches, and opinion pieces by clergy and terrorist leaders.

Recruitment and training: using the web to identify and recruit potential members as well as to transmit instructional and training materials.

Fund raising and financing: using the web to fundraise under the guise of charities and aid organizations as well as to steal identities and credit cards.

Communications: using the web for operational communications while employing a range of tools, including accessible encryption tools.

Identifying targets and intelligence: using information available on the web to identify targets and gather intelligence.

It is thus clear that an essential upgrade of cyberspace tools available to terrorist organizations, from logistical and propaganda tools to actual operational tools, is liable to generate an innovative, dramatic, and relatively cheap type of attack with the power to effect severe damage, even if carried out with a low signature or in total anonymity. Therefore every terrorist organization, especially one seeking fame and wanting to affect the public psyche and morale in the targeted enemy, sees such an attack as an important and worthy challenge. Innovation would also guarantee the perpetrators international fame and transform them into role models.

Thus, sub-state entities with more limited technological capabilities than the nations with which they are at war are liable to join the trend of using advanced technology needed for cyber warfare for their own benefit, either by receiving assistance from supportive nations or by acquiring such capabilities themselves in the future, by recruiting and operating individuals with the necessary skills in this end.

As for states supporting terrorism, cyberspace is very attractive for use of proxy organizations because of the anonymity afforded by the domain, the difficulty in proving the identity of the perpetrator, the high level of deniability by states about their involvement, and the satisfaction of causing severe damage to the enemy. Even if suspicions are aroused, it is still hard to prove guilt. Furthermore, the public under attack may perceive a cyber-attack to be less outrageous than a terrorist attack that employs rearms and causes direct death and destruction — even if the damage caused is greater, more destructive of property, and takes more lives than a violent terrorist act.

Despite these advantages of cyber-attacks, to date no such attack has been traced to a terrorist organization. Development of significant capabilities in this old requires surmounting a considerable intelligence and technological threshold. At this stage one may assume that terrorist organizations and it hard to identify, harness, and maintain such high technological capabilities and access that would allow them to cross that bar.

It is true that this limitation can be partially overcome through the assistance of state supporters of terrorism, but at least for now this is not enough to give terrorist organizations the significant, stable technological platform required for maintaining effective cyber-attack capabilities. In addition, terrorist organizations face limitations posed by cyber surveillance and state intelligence and technological capabilities that enable them to identify suspicious conduct on the web, identify attempts at organization, and mount a defense against them and against threats to specific targets.

Weaknesses and Responses

Although to date terrorist organizations have not been able to overcome the difficulties in achieving offensive cyber capabilities, civilian systems and routine civilian life presumably remain their preferred targets, because these are much more difficult to protect than security systems. Strengthening defenses of critical national infrastructures such as electric, water, and communications supply networks would likely encourage terrorists to seek out less protected targets in the civilian and commercial sectors. Even though systems in these sectors are usually not included in the rubric of critical and protected infrastructures, from the terrorist perspective an attack against them could be effective, by breaching ordinary citizens' basic sense of security and enhancing the terrorists' image by instilling fear.

A significant part of constructing a defense against cyber-attacks is general and independent of the source of the threat, whether terrorist, state or criminal. This is rejected organizationally — consider Israel's Information Security Authority and ministries specializing in cyber defense in various nations — and also in certain components of defense from the fields of information systems and general security. In contrast, in fighting terrorist organizations it is also necessary to activate two designated components that require sustained development and improvement.

The first is intelligence. Effective gathering of accurate, high quality intelligence requires using a range of sources including open sources and material from the terrorists' own computers and networks.

To this end it is necessary to develop capabilities of infiltrating these systems covertly and inserting information effectively and continuously. The challenge that must be overcome is the widespread global deployment typical of terrorist organizations that use many chat rooms and transmit messages using unique code words. Intelligence agencies must be able to intercept these transmissions and decode them within the relevant timeframes and at the same time provide cyber defense systems with the tools needed to protect against and even disrupt the planned actions.

The second component is disruption. Unlike defense systems, which do not try to prevent an attack but rather obstruct its success once it has already been launched, the goal of disruption is to thwart the execution of the attack or to hamper its progress. Establishing an effective disruption structure against cyber-attacks by terrorist organizations requires intelligence monitoring and control that can identify the organization of an attack before it takes place and operate effectively to foil it. This aspect relies primarily on tactical intelligence gathering capabilities, both from computers and from communications networks used by terrorist organizations.

Disruption attempts can also be directed towards damaging the organizational infrastructures of the organization. An example of this occurred in England when British intelligence hacked the online issue of the British al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. In addition, in recent years the various components of the electronic jihad have been targeted for occasional cyber-attacks largely attributed to Western governments: the Taliban's website has been hacked time and again, as have exclusive jihadist forums and high profile fundamentalist websites. Meanwhile, American, Saudi Arabian, and Dutch authorities have extracted valuable information about potential Islamic terrorism from jihadist websites serving as honey traps for high quality intelligence.

At the same time, it is necessary to deepen the defenses of civilian systems that represent the greatest weakness and therefore are also preferred terrorist targets. For example, the British government began taking legislative steps that include authorizing the use of invasive techniques such as telephone wiretaps, surveillance of emails in police unless connected to crimes of terrorism, torpedoing internet radicalization processes, and specialized training of police units to confront cyber threats. Nonetheless, in most states the defense of civilian systems is still in its infancy.

Most states' cyber defense resources are allocated to security systems and to what are considered critical national infrastructures. Deepening the defense of civilian systems requires radical changes on a national scale that must be supported by appropriate regulation.

Conclusion:

"In December 2001, at a meeting in New York shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the philosopher Jacques Derrida presented his understanding of the changes generated in the world as a result of those events. According to Derrida, the attacks were still part of the "archaic theater of violence," the real, visible world, in which events are still conducted in "clear and great order." However, according to him, cyberspace presents us with a more potent threat to our political and physical world; the dangers inherent in it change the relationship between terrorism, in the psychological and historical sense of a violent attack, and the concept of territory.

Now, in the new techno- scientific world, the threat we knew in the past as real has become an invisible, quiet, and swift threat, devoid of bloodshed, which, according to Derrida, is worse than the 9/11 attacks, which at least were directed against a known location at a particular point in time. Now we are facing a challenge that threatens the social and economic fabric of life that connects all of us and upon which all of us depend in every place and at every moment.

The rapid technological developments and innovations of recent years in the domain of cyberspace have indeed created a battlefield that simultaneously brings together many varied populations, local and international, representing a desirable target and fertile ground of activity by sub-state entities.

Since thus far there has been no known cyber-attack perpetrated by a terrorist organization, the threat does not seem acute. The challenge facing those who would try to use cyberspace for malicious purposes is three-pronged: attaining high level intelligence, the ability to crack computerized systems protected with advanced technology (or accessibility to such ability), and very high levels of calculation and computerization skills.

However, the advantages afforded by attaining cyberspace capabilities as described in this essay are liable to serve as an incentive for terrorists to develop, acquire, or harness such capabilities in the future. Gaining control of the advanced technological and intelligence capabilities required in cyberspace is likely to give these elements who seek to seriously damage their enemies by causing massive destruction and sowing terror and intimidation in the public at large the ability to disrupt the normal routine of civilian life, undermine civilian trust in their governments, and of course gain valuable prestige and media stature.

Therefore, Western nations must work diligently to meet this threat and improve the effective intelligence and defensive capabilities of civilian systems; while at the same time construct accurate intelligence gathering capabilities and the ability to disrupt cyberspace organization and attack by terrorists. Neglecting the civilian cyberspace domain, which is an attractive target for terrorists, is liable to prove disastrous in the future and place security personnel, when the time comes, in the same position as that fictional Hollywood hero of Die Hard 2 trying to save airplanes from crashing using nothing other than improvised beacons."

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI). She has authored hundreds of articles and several books on terrorist financing and political corruption. This article appeared March 12, 2013 on the American Center for Democracy (ACD) website and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/terrorism-in-cyberspace/


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DO THESE STATISTICS BOTHER YOU AT ALL?

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, March 12, 2013

Hey it's only money, and we won't have to pay .... but the next generations have to, but won't be able. A real mess bu the Oybamas had a ball, and the so did the free loaders, many of whom put him there. ENJOY !!

Re-redistribution of $1.4 billion each year

What can you buy for $1.4 billion a year? You can buy the most luxurious and costly royal presidency in history. Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.

In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Author Robert Keith Gray writes in "Presidential Perks Gone Royal" that Obama isn't the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.

Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the "total cost of the presidency," factoring the cost of the "biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever," a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One "running with the frequency of a scheduled air line."

Perspective: $1.4 billion is equal to spending seven times Mitt Romney's entire net-worth every year. If Romney had to pay for Barack and Michelle's lifestyle this year, he would have been bankrupted by the third week in February.

Now, can we please get back to talking about the evil, freeloading rich people, who didn't build anything and who need to "pay a little bit more."

Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il.


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ARROGANCE AND APPEASEMENT

Posted by Michael Travis, March 12, 2013

Ilana Freedman is Editor of GerardDirect.com. She has been an intelligence analyst in defense and counterterrorism for over twenty-five years. This article appeared March 10, 2013 in the Gerard Direct and is archived at
http://gerarddirect.com/2013/03/10/uss-f-35-and-f-22-americas-costly-boondoggles-the-victims-of-arrogance-and-appeasement/

F-22 and F-35: America's Costly Boondoggles Are the Victims of Arrogance and Appeasement

appeasement

If you thought that canceling the White House tours in order to save the Federal Government $74,000 per week was desperate, what do you think about the $40 billion that we have already spent on a 'state of the art' fighter plane that was designed by an international committee and can't fly!

The development of the latest US fighter planes over the last several decades has been one of the most costly examples of bad military spending in US history. In these days of fiscal crisis and sequestration, the story of the $120 billion development fiasco of the the F-22 and F-35 jet fighter plane is particularly egregious. The F-22 was less than expected, and in a recent report from the US Department of Defense, leaked to the public last week, the F-35 was considered unfit to fly. The report, called "F-35A Joint Strike Fighter: Readiness for Training Operational Utility Evaluation," was released by the Office of the Secretary of the in February 2013, and a declassified version was posted on March 6, 2013.

Three reasons stand out for this colossal and costly fiasco:

1. The decisions to move forward with the development of these two fighter jets have been political, not military;

2. The idea that a fighter jet can be designed by committee in order to accommodate bad foreign policy in a 'global economy' is patently absurd; and

3. In order to placate Muslim (particularly Turkish) objections, the one country whose technological expertise and experience in building what are arguably the best equipped fighter jets in the world — Israel — was shut out of all development.

Background

The F-22 Raptor entered the fleet of the US Air Force in December 2005. A product of Lockheed-Martin aircraft, it was reputed to be the best overall fighter in the world. It was characterized by its supposed stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities. However,the aircraft's stiff price tag, cost overruns, development and production delays, a Congressional ban on Raptor exports, and the ongoing development of the F-35 which was considered more versatile, resulted in demands that F-22 production be ended. Production was halted on December 13, 2011.

In the summer of 2012, at the international Red Flag Alaska training exercise where the planes were matched against Australian, German, Japanese, Polish and [NATO] aircraft, the "most advanced stealth fighter jet in history, the F-22 Raptor" proved that while the plane excels at modern long-range air combat, it is only "evenly matched" with cheaper, foreign jets when it comes to old-fashioned dogfights.

In the meantime, back in October 2001, Lockheed Martin won the contract to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to replace the F-16, A-10, F/A-18, and AV-8B tactical fighter aircraft. The government planned to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft for an estimated US$200 billion. The purchase was to provide the centerpiece of the US armed services tactical air power to the US military.

According to the DOD report, the F-35 was intended to be a "multi-service, multi-national program consisting of a single-seat, single-engine aircraft built in three distinctly different variants intended to perform a wide array of missions to meet an advanced threat (year 2010 and beyond). The variants include a conventional take-off configuration (F-35A), a short take-off/vertical landing configuration (F-35B), and an aircraft carrier-compatible configuration (F-35C). "The international market included Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, and Turkey, who were invited to join in the development program. The aircraft was also to be sold to Singapore, Japan, and Israel, although they were not invited to participate in its development.

Ironically, the same optics, avionics, and software packages that have kept the F-15, F-16, and F-18 Hornets as well as the Apache and Cobra helicopters flying long after their 'sell-by' date of 1984, could have easily been applied to the F-22 and F-35 projects. However, in the interest of appeasing Islamic sensibilities, because these technologies were developed by Israeli companies such as Elbit, Elisra, and Raphael, they were not consulted and their technology was not utilized.Instead, the F-35 was designed by a committee of manufacturers from the US, Canada, and Europe.

As a possible result, the F-35s now represent such a danger to pilots that according to the leaked report , they are not even fit for training purposes. A comparison between the 1960s designed F-16, which Israeli technology has continually upgraded since 1984, and the F-22 and F-35, which have failed to meet their promised potential, demonstrates how using the best technological advances can — in the case of the F-16, they have enabled it to maintain its well-earned reputation as the finest fighter jet in the world — still. The US has employed all of these Israeli modifications into their entire fleet. Until the development of the F-22, when Israel was cut out of the development loop.

The fact that Congress and not the military made the decision to develop the F-35, that the program used a committee approach to the F-35′s development, that the development team relied on computer models to make key decisions in the final design before flight testing, and that the lack of Israeli know-how in critical areas, all contributed to the failure of the F-35 project. It failed to meet even minimum performance standards although billions of dollars were thrown at the project. Complications during the development included huge cost overruns, delays in development, and international espionage in which several terabytes of data related to the aircraft's design and its electronics systems were stolen.

The aircraft has been haunted by what the report calls "fatal flaws" that make even the first configuration. An operational evaluation of the F-35A "Joint Strike Fighter" by the Department of Defense's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, the aircraft was considered "unacceptable for combat" and even "unfit for training".

USAF test pilots have noted a lack of visibility from the F-35 cockpit during evaluation flights and said that this will get them shot down in every combat. Defense spending analyst Winslow Wheeler concluded from the flight evaluation reports that the F-35A "is flawed beyond redemption".

On 22 February 2013, the U.S. fleet of F-35s was grounded after a routine inspection of a F-35A at Edwards Air Force Base found a crack in an engine turbine blade.

The report also identified a host of additional problems, including:

  • Aircraft software is inadequate for even basic pilot training.
  • Ejection seat may fail causing pilot fatality.
  • Multiple pilot-vehicle interface issues exist, including feedback failure on touch screen controls.
  • The radar performs poorly, when it works at all.
  • Engine replacement takes an average of 52 hours, instead of the two hours specified.
  • Maintenance tools do not work.
  • Elements of the helmet made it harder, not easier, to see outside the aircraft

In short, the F-35 is a failure of enormous proportions, and the colossal waste of money is difficult to justify. The $40 billion cost for just the F-35 alone, which has been termed "flawed beyond redemption", might well have been saved, but for the arrogance and willful extravagance of those who put this program into action.

The Loss of Israeli Input

Over 4,500 General Dynamics F-16 have been built since production was first approved in 1976. Israel has been involved in the evolution of the F-16 since it received its first planes four years later, and quickly adapted the aircraft to its own specific requirements, adaptations which were shared with the US. In 1981, Israel had its first success in air-to-air combat against a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter over Lebanon. In that same year, eight Israeli F-16s, escorted by F-15s, executed Operation Opera, the raid that took out Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.

Despite Israel's leading position in avionics and weapons development, an illusion remains that Israel is dependent on the United States for the qualitative advantage of its weapon systems. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Over the years, Israel has made hundreds of modifications to the F-16, which is still the mainstay of its air fleet. Israeli technology improved nearly every system with the most advanced avionics, weapons, and radar technology for which Israel is famous.The US has benefited greatly from this technology and in the past has depended on Israeli input for many critical technological upgrades. Israel's technological expertise and ingenuity has continued to keep the F-16 at the head of the pack, where it still remains the finest jet fighter in the world.

Conclusion

It is possible that Israeli input into the development of the F-35 could have made a significant difference in the outcome of its development. These decisions, in which the lives of our finest pilots are on the line, should not be made on the basis of politics or foreign policy. They should be made on the basis of how the finest technology available should be applied to provide the safest and most effective product for our military personnel. Here, we have failed miserably and, $120 billion later, the F-22 and F-35 debacle is the proof. In particular, the abysmal failure of the F-35 needs to be assessed carefully, without political prejudice, and a new set of priorities needs to be established before billions more are spent on sloppy and wasteful development projects.

Contact Michael Travis at michaelmgr1@gmail.com


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DON'T CRY FOR CHÁVEZ

Posted by Dave Alpen, March 12, 2013

The article below was written by Ayelet Ben Naim who is a writer at Israel Hayom. This article appeared March 7, 2013 in Israel Hayom and is archived at
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3633

Living in Venezuela, we had everything — a large family, a thriving business, a circle of friends both within the Jewish community and outside it, and a general feeling that we were at a good place in life. All of this was turned upside down when Hugo Chávez was elected president.

I was not among the Venezuelans who shed tears of sorrow over the president's death. As someone who lived in the country's capital of Caracas for 12 years, I felt that Chávez's reign was in direct opposition to freedom, democracy, human rights, and above all — my Jewish identity.

I came to Venezuela in 1991 to be with my husband, who was born there and whom I met while he was living and studying in Israel. In Caracas he worked as a fashion designer and managed a chain of clothing stores. The family business prospered, as did many other local Jewish businesses. Of course, the regime that preceded Chávez was not lacking in corruption, but at least it did not treat Jews with a heavy hand and allowed us to conduct our lives in peace. All this changed in 1999 when Chávez was elected president.

Chávez's many anti-Jewish statements in the media, like calling Jews pigs, denying the Holocaust and accusing Israel of genocide against the Palestinians, contributed to an atmosphere of anti-Semitism that grew worse year by year. Suddenly it became frightening to walk down the street after dark, for fear of being harassed. Our synagogues and Jewish community buildings were spray-painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans and there was a feeling that Chávez was egging on the populace and speaking the "people's language" against the Jews.

He was always quick to say that Venezuela's large businesses are controlled by Jews "stealing the nation's money," and we felt the results directly in our bottom lines. Everyone in the Jewish community felt their financial situation decline over time. I particularly remember the closing of a large Jewish-owned shopping mall in Caracas. Chávez decided to nationalize the property for the benefit of the state. Because many of the mall's shop owners were Jewish, we felt that the motive was anti-Semitism, pure and simple.

The Jewish community did not merely suffer from economic harassment. Government operatives would frequently follow children from rich Jewish families in order to kidnap them and demand ransom. In other instances, after Chávez had gained control of the police and the army, the defense forces would occasionally place a closure on the Jewish community schools, with the children inside and their parents unable to gain access to them. The pretext was that the Jews had hidden weapons inside and that searches had to be conducted to confiscate them.

The harassment, restrictions and overall atmosphere made my life as a Jew in Venezuela unbearable. But I hoped that the nation would have its say and replace Chávez with another leader. What finally broke my resolve and "persuaded" me to leave everything behind and accede to my husband's urgent pleas to leave was a law passed by Chávez concerning children. This law stipulated that children up to the age of 3 belong to their parents, afterward until the age of 10 they move to a school that is under control of the government, and from 10 until age 18 they study in a military boarding school. From that moment I understood that my future and the future of my children lies elsewhere. Almost all of our family agreed to come to Israel with us, and the rest fled to the United States, Spain, Peru and other countries.

Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@bezeqint.net


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THE SHAME OF ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK

Posted by Laura, March 12, 2013

The article below was written by Matthew M. Hausman who is a trial attorney and writer who lives and works in Connecticut. A former journalist, Mr. Hausman continues to write on a variety of topics, including science, health and medicine, Jewish issues and foreign affairs, and has been a legal affairs columnist for a number of publications. This article appeared March 13, 2013 in Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13007#.VX863byVsWM

Israel is not an apartheid state under any definition of the term, and to argue otherwise requires the repetition of odious lies and the denial of historical facts.

The blood libel seems to have gained respectability in the halls of academia now that Israel Apartheid Week has become an annual rite on college campuses across North America. Characterized by hate-speech promoted as political discourse, Israel Apartheid Week ("IAW") proclaims its goal "is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement." Its architects contend they are not antisemitic. However, Israel is not an apartheid state under any definition of the term, and to argue otherwise requires the repetition of odious lies and the denial of historical facts. Because the claim of Israeli apartheid is a malicious fiction, the antisemitic motivations underlying Israel Apartheid Week cannot be minimized or ignored.

The International Criminal Court's Rome Statute of 2002 defines "apartheid" as a crime consisting of acts similar to crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime." Though the term evokes images of South Africa under Afrikaner rule, it just as easily could describe any country in which racial and ethnic minorities are systematically segregated and discriminated against by operation of law. An argument could be made that Sharia states qualify insofar as they subjugate and isolate "infidels" in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. The past confinement of Jews in the mellah in Morocco or in ghettos and separate towns in Iran offer apt examples.

In contrast, Israel is a democracy in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights under the law. The Arab-Muslim world and its left-wing allies accuse Israel of apartheid despite the absence of any Israeli laws or policies creating such a system. Israeli Jews and Arabs generally live where they choose and benefit from the same health, welfare and infrastructure policies and programs. The only difference is that Israeli Arabs are exempt from military service, whereas all other Israelis, including Jews, Druze and Circassians, are not. Thus, Arab citizens receive the same governmental benefits as other Israelis without being required to bear any of the national cost. Although the promoters of IAW contend that Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, they in fact enjoy the highest standard of living, highest rates of longevity and literacy, and lowest rate of infant mortality of any Arab-Muslim population in the Mideast.

Israel also has an open political system in which Arabs vote, run for office, and serve in government. Moreover, they have freedom of speech to a degree not tolerated in the Arab-Muslim world — as demonstrated by those Arab Knesset members who openly identify with Israel's enemies and engage in seditious conduct that would not be countenanced in other countries. Whereas American law requires all who serve in Congress to swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Israel presently requires no similar pledge of loyalty. Clearly, Israel does not practice apartheid, and in fact does not even employ the same kinds of safeguards against sedition and treason that are taken for granted in the United States and other western democracies.

When the canard of Israeli apartheid is deconstructed, it clearly resembles the "Big Lie" preached and perfected by the Nazis, who believed that the constant repetition of audacious lies would promote their acceptance by the public and facilitate the spread of propaganda. The Nazis believed that the most brazen lies would resonate most deeply because of the common perception that unbelievable stories would not be repeated if they weren't true. Thus it is with the slander of Israeli apartheid, for which there would seem to be no greater proof than the endorsement of academia. Given the leftist orientation and pro-Islamist bias of many university faculties, college campuses have become natural staging grounds for anti-Israel agitprop.

Brooklyn College in New York was the site of IAW activity this year with a program entitled, "BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) Movement against Israel," which was co-sponsored by the political science department. Despite public criticism against allowing the event on campus, and though the college administration disclaimed any official endorsement, it would not bar the program or condemn it in any meaningful way. The program featured speakers who denied Israel's right to exist, praised Islamist terrorists who attack civilians, and called for the blacklisting of Israeli academics.

The college took the position that co-sponsorship by one of its departments did not imply institutional support for the program, but the hollowness of this explanation was exposed by the failure to provide equal time to opponents wishing to voice their opposition. Supporters denied antisemitic bias and claimed that the event implicated free speech. However, the program featured speakers who advocated conduct, i.e., the blacklisting of Israeli professors, that is intended specifically to discourage free and open discourse. If Brooklyn College truly cared about speech rights, it would have provided a forum for those wishing to address the event's factual distortions and expose it as propaganda. The failure to do so indicates only a fair-weather commitment to freedom of expression, and raises the question of whether the college in fact endorsed the program through its conduct despite its disclaimers.

Furthermore, allowing such a blatantly provocative program on campus seems inconsistent with the institution's own "Commitment to Pluralism and Diversity," which provides:

Brooklyn College is committed to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures. In fact, the college's cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity-our pluralism-is one of our distinguishing characteristics. Our student body and our workforce are notably composed of people of color, of women, of immigrants, of older adults, and of persons with disabilities. Students at the college can trace their ancestry to more than 120 different countries. To reap the rewards of diversity, the college has developed and will continue to develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms and will build on the strengths offered by our multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational campus.

(http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/offices/diversity/commit.php.) It is difficult to see how providing a forum for anti-Israel and antisemitic speech, while denying equal time to opposing viewpoints, shows a commitment "to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures" or is consistent with the college's pledge to "develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms..." Indeed, Brooklyn College's failure to acknowledge the program as hate-speech suggests that its diversity statement is applied only selectively.

The malicious intent of Israel Apartheid Week is clear considering its connection to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The conceit of BDS is that it feigns kinship to the movement that helped bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa through coordinated efforts to turn that country into a pariah state. It uses terms like "occupation" and "colonialism" to perpetuate the falsehood that Israel is a colonial state and that the Palestinians are an ancestral people whose country was dismantled by foreign Jewish interlopers. In so doing, the BDS movement disparages Jewish national claims that are a matter of historical record and not based, as are Palestinian claims, on myth, polemic and doctrinal hatred.

In truth, the Jews are indigenous and have the longest record of habitation in their homeland. At no time was there ever a sovereign nation called Palestine or an ancient Palestinian society that created any touchstones of nationality or unique culture in the Jewish homeland. As the late Zahir Muhsein famously stated in the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977, "[t]he 'Palestinian People' does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel." Arafat made similar admissions in his autobiography. Thus, in pretending that Israel is a colonial creation and that Jews are strangers to the Mideast, the BDS movement engages in the same deceit and dishonesty.

If BDS partisans were truly concerned about forcing change in repressive regimes, one must wonder why they ignore Saudi Arabia, where women are suppressed, freedom of religion is unknown, and money flows to support terrorism abroad; or Iran, where religious minorities are harassed and discriminated against, Jews fear for their lives and gays are put to death. Why are they not concerned about Egypt, where Copts are slaughtered and their churches desecrated, or Sudan, where Arab Muslims engage in genocide against African Christians? The BDS movement's pernicious intent is exposed by its pathological focus on Israel, which has the only open society in the Mideast where all citizens are free to live where they choose, speak as they will and worship as they please. By claiming Israel to be what she clearly is not, the movement perpetuates a colossal fabrication evocative of the Big Lie. And by actively promoting the BDS farce, those who sponsor, support or enable Israel Apartheid Week do the same.

Reasonable minds can disagree over specific policies of any government, including Israel's. However, those who deny her right to exist and accuse her of apartheid when she actually has the only democratic society in the Mideast are not engaging in neutral criticism. They are promoting antisemitism. The singular focus on Israel for imagined offenses such as ethnic cleansing and apartheid, coupled with the refusal to target countries where such atrocities actually occur, constitutes antisemitism purely and simply. Not surprisingly, the demonization of Israel has become de rigueur on the political left. Unfortunately, it has also found an audience among members of progressive Jewish groups, such as J Street and the New Israel Fund, whose commitment to left-wing ideals causes them to rationalize, support or provide forums for those who impugn the Jewish State.

There is also a disturbing trend on college campuses of progressive student groups protesting mainstream Jewish organizations that oppose the BDS agenda. The Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance, for example, recently organized a protest against the campus Hillel's ban on partnering with organizations that support BDS programs. Ironically, although progressives and their supporters typically invoke free speech principles to shield Israel bashers, they are quick to brand dissenting opinions as hate-speech in order to silence those with whom they disagree. Likewise, they jump to label any critical discussion of political Islam as "Islamophobia," but remain silent regarding the doctrinal antisemitism that is so prevalent in the Muslim community.

Ironically, Gentile supporters are often quicker and more willing to come to Israel's defense, as they have done in Canada with Israel Truth Week, a conference dedicated to combating the dissimulation of Israel Apartheid Week. Israel Truth Week has become an annual event in Hamilton, Ontario, drawing speakers, academics and legal experts from Canada, the United States and Israel. Though the event was created by a dedicated group of Jews and non-Jews working together, it would not have grown so quickly without the commitment of Gentiles who support the Jewish State for reasons of history, justice and equity.

The inspiration for this conference came from Mark Vandermaas, a Canadian whose family history made him acutely aware of the horrors of antisemitism. Vandermaas was adopted and raised by Dutch parents who lived through the German occupation of the Netherlands, where they saw their Jewish neighbors deported for slaughter and where his father was interred in a Nazi work camp from which he escaped. Vandermaas was motivated to act upon hearing of unrestrained antisemitism roiling the campus of the University of Western Ontario, where Jewish students were physically abused and harassed, and his indignation gave rise to Israel Truth Week. What started as a grassroots program has grown and begun attracting the attention of major Jewish organizations in Canada.

Although Israel Apartheid Week is now in its ninth year, mainstream Jewish organizations have yet to formulate a unified, systematic response. Some organizations have issued strong denunciations while others have resolved not to work with progressive groups that support the BDS movement. Still others have displayed timidity in choosing to ignore it. But ignoring it lends credence through silence. Instead, Israel Apartheid Week should be answered with thoughtful, coordinated counterprograms. Though Israel Truth Week is only in its second year and has not yet ventured beyond the borders of Ontario, the breadth of its agenda and the diversity of its speakers should provide a model for Jewish organizations to follow. If some Gentiles can be so assertive in advocating on behalf of Israel, there is no reason why Jews cannot do the same.

Contact Laura at lel817@yahoo.com


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WHEN CHRISTIANS REPENT

Posted by Michael Freund, March 12, 2013

The underground bomb shelter in the hotel at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel hardly seems like a place where history might be made.

Located on the second floor beneath street level, it is a large rectangular room in which the air conditioning does not work and the interior design appears to have been copied from the Soviet Union's pre-Brezhnev era: drab, dull and dreary. Appearances aside, though, the confined space served as the improbable venue last week for a remarkable scene, as dozens of Christian leaders from 40 countries on five continents gathered together to discuss... Jews.

The occasion was the fourth bi-annual leadership forum of Christians for Israel, a non-denominational Christian organization that was established in Holland in the 1970s by Karl van Oordt and which has grown to boast hundreds of thousands of members around the world.

The group lobbies European parliamentarians in Brussels on Israel's behalf, supports soup kitchens in places such as Beit Shemesh, assists Diaspora Jews to make aliya and even partnered with the Jerusalem Foundation to restore the Montefiore Windmill in Jerusalem's Mishkenot Sha'ananim neighborhood.

Their goals are sincere and unequivocal: "Christians should repent of the treatment of the Jewish people by the Church over the centuries, fight anti- Semitism in all its forms and guises, pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and comfort the Jewish people."

No missionizing, no proselytizing, no hidden agendas.

It says a lot about the way in which relations between Christians and Jews have evolved in recent years that we have come to take such things almost for granted.

Christians supporting the Jewish state? It hardly seems like news anymore.

But let's put things in perspective. Several centuries ago, a similar gathering of worldwide Christian leaders would surely have devoted its energies to finding new ways to harm the people of Israel.

Nowadays, they come together to help.

But what really set this event apart, and underlined the sea-change taking place, was the keynote speaker for the evening: the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger.

In a rousing and emotional address, Rabbi Metzger surveyed relations between the two faiths, neither shying away from the darkness of the past nor ignoring the challenges we collectively face. He described how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis had not invented the idea of a Jewish ghetto, but rather had adopted the practice from the medieval model created by Christians.

At one point, as he related a story about Holocaust survivors, the rabbi choked up, prompting many in the audience to shed tears of their own.

Rabbi Metzger also vigorously defended Israel and condemned the culture of hate of our foes, messages which resonated with the audience and met with their accord.

"I want to give you our thanks for your support and to say that you are truly the sons of Abraham and our brothers," he told them. Before concluding, the rabbi added an important final point, telling the audience: "If you know of someone who wants to come here to try and convert Jews, tell them not to do it," pointing out that such proselytization efforts damage relations between Jews and Christians.

As I watched the chief rabbi address the Christian leaders, I could not help but think how extraordinary this scene was. Just 20 or 30 years ago it would have been unthinkable for such a thing to occur.

Moreover, the rabbi's remarks were like those between friends, without a hint of antagonism or enmity.

Afterwards, Andrew Tucker, the Christian group's executive director, presented Rabbi Metzger with framed copies of a document in English and Hebrew entitled, "A Call to Repentance, A Word of Hope." As Tucker began to read the text aloud, he too grew emotional and had to pause to compose himself before continuing.

"We acknowledge with deep shame," he said, "that the Church for centuries has rejected, persecuted and murdered the Jewish people in the name of Christ. We repent of the supersessionist theologies of the Church which have claimed all of G-d's blessings for themselves, and have denied any continuing place for the nation of Israel in G-d's plan of redemption for the world. We cut the root and stole the fruit."

Tucker, along with the group's international chairman, Harald Eckert, and its president, Rev. Willem Glashouwer, all reaffirmed their commitment to remorse for the past and resolve for the future.

Now I know that there are many Jews who are still skeptical about Christians and their intentions. And we certainly must be vigilant against those who seek to convert Jews, an act which cannot and must not be tolerated. But we must also learn to differentiate between them and those who truly wish to forge bonds of amity and goodwill. Not all Christians are out to get us, and to suggest otherwise is simply fatuous and misleading.

To be sure, we can neither forgive nor forget what was done to our people over the past 2,000 years in the name of Christianity, the persecution, pogroms, massacres and forced conversions, expulsions and blood libels. But when Christians nowadays take responsibility for the actions of their forefathers, seek atonement and extend a hand of friendship, it behooves us to respond in kind.

Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu. He is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel/Israel Returns -- www.shavei.org and www.IsraelReturns.org -- a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to Zion. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for The Jerusalem Post. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. He has lived in Israel for the past 16 years and remains an avid New York Mets fan. Email Michael at msfreund@earthlink.net. View Michael's website at www.shavei.org

This article appeared March 11, 2013 in the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.michaelfreund.org/13047/christians-repent


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A "PEACE PROCESS"? OR A ....

Posted by lademain, March 12, 2013

death spiral. We believe it's not a "peace process," it's a "death spiral" ... so we recommend referencing it for what it is.

It is a carefully thought out "death spiral" and has been so from the very beginning. You might ask: "Who fashioned it?". We believe the scheme originated with the British Foreign Office (BFO) the arm of the British government that befouled the middle east the instant they set foot in the region last century and thereafter during the days of "Lawrence of Arabia." (A myth further expanded beyond reality in such cinematically gorgeous films as "Lawrence of Arabia.") A myth of the BFO aristocracy planted in the young mind of the impoverished and socially ambitious Rhodes scholar who later became POTUS: Bill Clinton. The British have always assumed the deserve to be omnipotent throughout the middle east and have therefore used their myths to buttress their support for the arab tribes who used terrorism to gain control over the lands that became Saudi Arabia and its oil fields. The Britz performed these self-serving acrobatics whilst Jews, who had the sole legitimate claim to the region then known as "Palestine" were rounded up and exterminated. The Jews who survived the massive genocide, which, in our opinion, had been silently supported by the Britz (or, not opposed) had been taught a savage lesson, and the smug Britz knew how to "exploit their shame of survival" after millions of other Jews had been betrayed, tortured, and slaughtered.

It is our considered opinion that Israel's leadership, from the very beginning and even before 1948, behaved as if they were either ignorant of British intellectual cunning or as time passed, far too eager to be perceived as a "light unto the world" and therefore "willing to sacrifice themselves for peace." Anti-Jew propaganda bubbled up once again and thrived because the men occupying Israel's high places were gulled into buying into what eventually crystallized into the "peace process" scheme. Many were ghetto Jews who remained mute because they were more concerned about being perceived as "holier than thou" and thus they remained impervious to the vast body of international law that supported Israel's claim to the entire region then known as "Palestine". It is our opinion that many of them were either pathologically anxious or confused or deranged as a consequence of the horrors they had witnessed or survived. Singular individuals amongst them apparently believed they could best the British at their game by going along to get along, imagining that they were so innately intelligent they could win this perverse game. But they lacked the essential language skills and semantic tools necessary to quash the propaganda war churned out by the BFO. So putting a finger upside their nose, these Jews behaved as if they were know-it-alls, when in fact, they were unwitting foils in a game designed to guide Israel into committing suicide in the name of "peace." Only a few of them dared to say: "Hell NO! How DARE you!" The rest of the Jews in Israel and the US squabbled with each other in their effort to portray themselves as as every good thing to every bad person, hence they never learned how to unite in order to save their new nation from "the death spiral" attack being sold to Israel as a "peace process."

The Muslims around the world have already employed the semantic tactic of repeating their lies until their lies were taken for the truth, a la Herr Goebbels, writ large. For example, it was not for nothing that Hanan Ashrawi attended the U. of VA to study language skills and propaganda, emerging with a PhD in literature and thereafter serving as Arafat's propagandist. To Israel's great shame, instead of promptly and tersely speaking truth to Islamist lies, Israel merely complained about anti-Semitism and was swiftly portrayed as a whiner, or, in Hanan's words: "the oppressor" of Muslims who were for the most part nothing more than arab emigrants that she and the British had reinvented as "palestinians." We do not aid Hanan in her quest to delegitimize Israel's sovereign rights, and thus we refer to the anti-Israel and anti-US Muslims occupying the Jewish Homeland as "arab invaders." Israel allowed Hanan and her sponsors to get away with this stuff. There are some Jews in Israel who even encouraged these arabist-Muslim propagandists to strut throughout the Jewish Homeland and to step on Israel's flag, the very symbol of Israel's legitimacy. And don't ever forget how the Soddies took the lead and picked up Arafat's tab.

Well, here's some sound advice: Just because Muslims and arabs did this to the Jews need not under any circumstances bar Jews from doing exactly the same. (Far too many Jews exhibit a knee-jerk reaction to arab cunning by "out-stupiding" them, or worse still, by behaving as if Israel were a princess too lofty and pure to dirty her petticoats.) A propaganda war fashions the creation of future political realities and thus Israel, the intended the victim of the propaganda war, must fight it with both water and fire. Remaining silent in the face of false accusations and verbal abuse in a propaganda war and in lieu of resistance, swallowing insult after insult by offering apologies and concessions is naught but a fool's bargain. A vain and wish to be perceived as "clean" and "above the fray." Thirty years of un-rebutted anti-Israel and anti-Jew propaganda ought to have taught all of Israel that the "princess-stance" is a FAIL. Be not fools! If a ploy works for the Muslim invaders, it damn well will work for the Jews. Combatting false propaganda with terse retorts and strongly-worded accusations and ridicule and loud mockery will sanitize the bad odor of moral weakness emanating from Israel. Israel must repeatedly speak truth to Islamist lies. The strongest and bravest Jews amongst you must unite and fashion your own "Israel First" narrative and repeat it over and over and over again. Ignore the quavering, rheumy eyed rabbi who wrings his hands and, expecting blows, runs back under a bridge to scribble reams of worrisome prose. Call out the British for their crimes against Jews. Expose French avarice and French ambition to regain at least some control over the Algerian oil fields. If you are met with internal resistance, point out how Israel's antagonists (political and otherwise) picked off whom we believe are some key members of Israel's Jewish leadership with false and empty promises and other shameful devices. Not all Jewish leaders, of course, but some, and Israel cannot afford even one weak link in its chain. Remove the weak links from the chain.

Good luck and fight for what's right for your nation. We here in the US do not think Soddies are allies. Soddies are users. Always have been. They are Vendors. Nothing more---and regrettably, much less. Israel is an ally, and must cease allowing itself to be treated as a disposable tool.

Contact Lademain at lademain@verizon.net


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JUDEA AND THE FALKLANDS...

Posted by Gerald A. Honigman, March 13, 2013

The following was the headline of NBC's World News report on March 12th... "Message ... to the world: 99.8 percent of Falkland Islanders vote to retain British rule."

No matter how many times this subject comes up, the irony never dissipates nor ceases to amaze. It would be funny if not so downright duplicitous.

It appears that the history of human habitation of Las Islas Malvinas, aka the Falkland Islands, was intermittent and goes back at least five centuries. Serious exploration and colonization of the archipelago did not take place until the 18th century, and arriving Europeans encountered no native population. At various times in history, the islands, off the Argentine coast, have been claimed by France, Great Britain, Spain, and Argentina. With the exception of latter, they sit thousands of miles away from those other claimants--in Great Britain's case, over 8,000 miles from home.

It boggles the mind how imperial, colonial powers from afar can repeatedly stake claims to lands where they have no prior historical connections while at the same time taking Jews to task who assert that they have rights in lands in which their forefathers have called home for some four millennia.

The very word "Jew" comes from the land of Judea--and that, originally, from Judah, one of Jacob/Israel's twelve sons.

No, this is not Zionist propaganda--unless the Roman conquerors of the land were Zionist propagandists. Open http://q4j-middle-east.com to see a Judaea Capta coin issued by Rome after the first revolt of the Judaeans--Jews--for freedom in 66-73 C.E. Here's one of my favorite quotes from a contemporary Roman historian explaining this connection further:

It inflamed the emperor's (Vespasian's) ire that the Jews were the only nation who had not yet submitted...Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea...he commanded three legions in Judaea itself...To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria...amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations (Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus).

Not that British imperialism was worse than that of the French or Spanish (it was much more extensive), but Las Islas Malvinas became known as the Falkland Islands the same way that Judea and Samaria became renamed the "West Bank"...as a result of British imperial shenanigans.

As I am forced to remind too many folks who either simply don't know or choose to remain ignorant, soon after the Ottoman Turkish Empire (which ruled most of the region for over four centuries) was defeated in World War I, in order to distinguish the western part of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine from the Emirate of Transjordan which the Brits created in 1922 for their Arab allies on the east bank of the Jordan River (some 80% of the Mandate's total area), the name "West Bank" came into use. This was further reinforced after Transjordan grabbed that non-apportioned area of the Mandate for itself after it invaded a re-born Israel in 1948. Holding both banks of the river, the Emirate renamed itself Jordan soon afterwards.

If there is a difference between such things as the Brits' recent referendum and declaration of sovereignty over the Falklands and the Jews' connections and claims elsewhere, it's that long before there was a France, Spain, Argentina, or Great Britain, Jews were living, making history, and changing the world forever in the moral and spiritual legacy they left behind in Judea and Samaria.

A thousand years before Yeshua (Jesus), David was born in Bethlehem, was crowned King of Israel in Hebron, and had children there. He would later make Jerusalem his capital—over three millennia ago.

And a thousand years before David, Abraham made Hebron known to the world in the first place by purchasing a burial plot there for many of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people.

Hannah dedicated her son, Samuel, to the service of G_d in the care of the High Priest, Eli, in Shiloh, and G_d renewed the promise of the Promised Land to Abraham's grandson, Jacob, at Bethel.

In one of the most moving stories in the Hebrew Bible, Jacob would later make peace with his brother, Esau, at Penuel and by doing so was thus transformed by G_d into his higher moral self—Israel—in the process.

The oldest known version of Biblical scripture ever found was located in the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in the Judean Wilderness, and the Jews held off the mighty Roman Empire for years at the fortress of Masada.

Regarding my Christian friends, does the Gospel of Matthew say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea or Bethlehem of the West Bank?

The list goes on and on...

All of those places above are in Judea--where much of the world now insists that no Jew may live. Over one million Arabs can live without fear in Israel--the freest Arabs anywhere in the Middle East--but no Jew may live in Judea. Is there not something wrong with this picture?

Keep in mind that we are talking about Jews who indeed owned land and lived on the "West Bank" clear up until they were massacred by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. This is not just ancient history, and recall that the land in question was/is indeed non-apportioned territory of the original 1920 Mandate--where all the Mandate's inhabitants had the legal right to live, regardless of Arab claims to the contrary.

When Jews dig in the soil of Judea, Samaria, and Israel—despite their forced exile, Diaspora, and Arabization of the land and its people after the Jihadi invasions of Muhammad's successors in the 7th century C.E.—Jews continuously find their own roots and history. They are indeed home...

What do the Brits find when they dig on the Falklands? Where is the British Qumran, Hebron, Temple Mount, or Masada?

Okay, it's true that, unlike the Falklands, the land in dispute between Jews and Arabs has been inhabited continuously for millennia, and the mix of peoples has varied over time. So, a territorial compromise is in order.

But, the plain fact is that the Falklands sit a few hundred miles off the coast of Argentina—and over eight thousand miles away from Great Britain. Yet the latter acquired them a third of Planet Earth's circumference from London in the name of its own sovereignty, fought a war to retain them, and just conducted a referendum in which the Islanders' loyalty to Great Britain was almost unanimously proclaimed.

Judea and Samaria are in Israel's very backyard and have been an integral part of Jewish history for most of man's recorded history.

Keep all of this in mind as more and more pressure is exerted upon Israel--even (or especially) by its friends--to make Judea and Samaria Judenrein.

The new Israeli government, being formed just as the American leader gets ready to make his first trip as President to the Jewish State, must insist upon a more just solution.

The framework for that solution has already been provided...decades ago. If followed, it will allow for a reasonable compromise over the lands in question.

In the wake of the June '67 War, the architects of the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242 spent much time constructing this fair and balanced piece of wisdom. Israel's leaders must have the backbone to insure that the justice built into it will not be abandoned.

Gerald A. Honigman, a Florida educator, has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in both the print media and on websites. Contact him at honigman6@msn.com or go to his website: http://geraldahonigman.com/blog.php


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WORSE AND WORSE IN SYRIA

Posted by David Hornik, March 13, 2013

assad.redcross.jpg

One doesn't know what to make of murky reports this week about the U.S., Britain, and France training a small force of purportedly moderate Syrian rebels in Jordan—especially with the Obama administration taking the official line that it does not directly aid the Syrian opposition.

If there was ever a time to build a coherent, more or less trustworthy, genuinely moderate Syrian opposition to replace the Assad regime—and it is a questionable proposition—that time would appear to have passed, as the Syrian chaos worsens and the radicals gain strength by the day.

How badly the situation has deteriorated was evident from a report in Israel Hayom on Monday that "Syrian rebels...near the border with Israel threatened...to fight to regain the Golan Heights from Israel following the toppling of Syrian President Bashar Assad."

The report includes a video in which a "rebel fighter" in the Syrian part of the Golan—just across from the Israeli part—declares:

These lands are blessed and the despicable Assad family promised to liberate them, but for 40 years the Syrian army did not fire a single bullet. We will open a military campaign against Israel. We will fire the bullets that Assad did not and we will liberate the Golan.

The report also quotes Yigal Palmor of the Israeli Foreign Ministry acknowledging Israel's "great concern that uncontrolled elements at the service of extremist ideas will manage to take over smaller or bigger separate territories inside the Syrian borders.... The 'Somalization' of Syria is a great concern...."

That the worries go to the top of the Israeli defense establishment was clear from an Israel Hayom report on Tuesday about a talk given by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.

Gantz told the prestigious annual Herzliya Conference that

the threat of the situation in Syria spiraling out of control is quite high.... Every week there is an incident that has the potential to...ignite a regional conflagration....

The situation in Syria has become...extraordinarily dangerous. Even though the probability of a conventional war with Syria is low, the terrorist organizations fighting against Assad could see us as their next challenge. The Syrian army's substantial arsenal of strategic weapons could fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.... What we have here is a strategic detonator that could blow up at any moment.

A few days earlier—while 21 Filipino UNDOF soldiers were still being held by rebels on the Golan—David Schenker and others warned that UNDOF was in trouble. Though the 21 have since been released, Schenker and colleagues noted that their abduction was only "the latest in a series of assaults on the UN peacekeepers" and that

Already, the deterioration in security has prompted Japan, Canada, and Croatia to withdraw their longstanding personnel contributions from UNDOF. If the trend continues, the remaining contributors are all but certain to curtail their commitments as well, ending the only effective international monitoring mechanism along the Israel-Syria border.

UNDOF—the UN Disengagement Observer Force—has been in place since just after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For those claiming that international forces were one of the keys to solving Israel's conflict with its neighbors, UNDOF was about the only purported success story they could point to.

Israel, for its part, while it has never had illusions about the Assad (père et fils) regime, knew it was a rational actor that had been deterred for forty years. Since the Syrian revolt broke out exactly two years ago, the Israeli authorities' attitude has ranged from skepticism to trepidation. Of late, fears threaten to materialize.

For that matter, Israel was never optimistic about the revolution in Egypt or the "Arab Spring" generally. Going back to President George W. Bush's first term ten years ago, Israel was deeply skeptical about democratizing Iraq and warned that Iran posed a much greater threat.

President Obama will be visiting Israel in exactly a week. He should try respecting its knowledge of the region it inhabits and stop treating its prime minister as an annoying fool.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. Contact him at hornikd@actcom.co.il


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COME TO EGYPT — WE'LL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY & TERROR TOURISM

Posted by ACD/EWI, March 13, 2013

Come to Egypt — We'll Take your Breath Away.... Literally.

Walking out of the sparsely occupied once luxurious hotel in Cairo, you may consider buying a 6,000 to 20,000 volt tazer, or an electric shock baton to protect yourself from robbery, sexual harassment, or even rape. However, there is a good chance that strong anti-American sentiments could entice the vendor who sold you the tazer to accuse you of stealing or spying. Your newly acquired tazer would do little to prevent the vendor, jihadist militias, or members of the Moral Police -all armed with their own tazers and electric shock batons — from exercising their newly decreed power to carry out"judiciary policing" (citizen's arrest). The chances are you'll never make it to Giza, Abu-Simbel temples, Luxor, or Sharm el-Sheikh.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood rule has left the pyramids and the great sphinx of Giza, deserted. While the government claim 30 percent decline in tourism, industry experts figures are closer to 90 percent. And as if the rampant violence wasn't enough, police stations across Egypt are on strike — even refusing to protect Morsi's residence. They protest the Minister of the Interior's "Brotherhoodstion" of the police.

Adding fuel to the fires, the interior ministry announced it will, "carry out its full obligations... through the use of all powers... and the gradual use of force."

How could Egypt's tourism Industry survive?

J. Millard Burr,ACD/EWI Senior Fellow and regular contributor to the Blog, has an intriguing idea:

TERROR TOURISM-

A few years ago I was please to attend a California Historical Society of San Francisco exhibition of my great-aunt's photography. Of especial interest was a film taken somewhere in East Africa while she was on Safari with her sister sometime in the second decade of the 20th Century. It was rather exotic scenery in a pre-King Solomon's Mine milieu, even though most scenes were taken from the backseat of a huge convertible touring car that sped along on huge balloon tires and sported an in-house cocktail lounge.

My great-aunt, and her sister, were to my way of thinking, the first of the "terrorist tourists." They were always looking for trouble. Earlier, they had sped off to Cananea, Mexico, to photograph a bloody strike at a copper mine. And after numerous South Seas adventures, they had been kidnapped in southern Yugoslavia and held for a $10,000 ransom. When the cable sent by a Balkan bandit demanding payment for their release arrived in San Francisco, the reply by their exasperated father was a succinct: "You got 'em You keep 'em."

I was reminded of my great aunt when a few days ago I read Egypt's Ahram Online article, "Enactment of citizens arrest deals blow to Egyptian tourism," A recent decision taken by Egypt's prosecutor-general had just empowered citizens to arrest citizens who were deemed to have committed a crime. This led a coalition of tourist organizations to condemn the decision, arguing, "it raises many worries among tourists." In reality, it raised many worries within Egypt's tourist industry including one leader who warned: "the decision "could lead to a civil war in Egypt if the citizens are given the right to arrest each other." Another analyst worried that "if a tourist rebuffed an Egyptian merchant, refusing to buy something, the merchant might accuse the tourism of spying and arrest him." Anyone who has ever visited a bazaar in Cairo knows this concern is not far-fetched.

Egypt is now ranked no, 137 among 140 countries surveyed for safety and security in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism competitive index released in March 2013. Egypt's ranking behind Pakistan, Chad and Yemen, calls for desperate measures to revive the Egyptian tourist industry, which has lost more than three million visitors a year since the beginning of the Arab Spring. A new approach is needed to draw the tourists back to Egypt:

The answer: TERROR TOURISM (Perhaps a new Reality Show?)

Egypt should challenge the jaded world traveller. He or she should be enticed to avoid the jejune tourist package and instead book passage on an Egyptian terrorism tour. Such tours could include, but are not limited to:

Attempt to cash a check anywhere in the Sinai; Book a room in the Semiramis Hotel, Cairo. Attempt entering the Egyptian Museum located just off Tahrir Square. Take a taxi from Cairo to the pyramids at Giza. Take a balloon ride in Luxor. Spend a weekend in a beach hotel in the Salafist stronghold of Mersa Matrouh. Spend a day shopping in Port Said, amidst thousands of demonstrators clashing with the police; . Go to soccer game or ant other public sporting event anywhere in Egypt. Visit the Islamist watering-hole of Assiut and ask for a Stella beer. Join the rioters in their daily revelries in Alexandria. Take your topless bathing girlfriend to the beach at El Arish. Race a car from Rafa, Sinai along the border with Israel to the Sharm el Sheikh dive-spot. Join the Libyan crazies in a drive from Mersah Matruh to the ancient Siwa Oasis. Meet the locals by joining a queue in the hope of purchasing a few liters of diesel. Then Join a queue in the hope of purchasing a few pounds of flour. Join a queue Again...and again....

Well, you get the point. However, if you are the subject of a citizen's arrest, be aware that neither NBC nor ABC will come to your rescue. The U.S. Embassy's likely response to the Egyptian government/militias will be: You got 'em. You keep 'em.

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is the Director of the New York-based American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI). She has authored hundreds of articles and several books on terrorist financing and political corruption. This article appeared March 14, 2013 on the American Center for Democracy (ACD) website and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/come-to-egypt-well-take-your-breath-away-terror-tourism-exclusive

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LONELY IN THE CLASSROOM

Posted by Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, March 13, 2013

The article below was written by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff who is a the daughter of an Austrian diplomat, and was partly educated in Iran, where she was present during the Islamic revolution of 1979. She worked at the Austrian embassy in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. She subsequently worked as assistant to the Vice Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Mr. Wolfgang Schüssel (1995-1997), at the Austrian Embassy Kuwait, Visa Section (1997-2000) and the Austrian Embassy Tripoli, Libya (2000-2001). Since 2001, she has been an ESL and TOEFL teacher at an English language institute in Vienna. In 2010 Sabaditsch-Wolff was a speaker at a conference sponsored by the Freedom Defense Initiative at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, entitled: "Jihad: The Political Third Rail -- What They Are Not Telling You." This article appeared March 11, 2013 on Gates of Vienna and is archived at
http://gatesofvienna.net/2013/03/lonely-in-the-classroom/


This week marks a sobering anniversary for Austria: seventy-five years since the Anschluss of March 1938. The occasion prompted Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff to express some thoughts about what happened back then, and the parallels with what is happening now across Europe and the entire West.

sovereignty.oldpix

This week we Austrians commemorate one of Austria's darkest days: on March 12, 2013 we remember the 75th anniversary of the so-called Anschluss. Adolf Hitler's triumphant return to his native country marked the end of Austria's sovereignty and one of the culminating points of the rampant appeasement politics of the time — for which Neville Chamberlain was the premier example.

I am not going into the historical details, which may be found here. I will discuss the significance of the Heldenplatz, and the Hofburg surrounding the Heldenplatz. It was here, from that famous balcony, that Hitler delivered his famous speech, cheered by 200,000 Austrians, saying:

"The oldest eastern province of the German people shall be, from this point on, the newest bastion of the German Reich" followed by his "greatest accomplishment" (completing the annexing of Austria to form a Greater German Reich) by saying "Als Führer und Kanzler der deutschen Nation und des Reiches melde ich vor der deutschen Geschichte nunmehr den Eintritt meiner Heimat in das Deutsche Reich." Translation: "As leader and chancellor of the German nation and Reich I announce to German history now the entry of my homeland into the German Reich." Hitler later commented: "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say: even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier (into Austria) there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."

1. Liulevicius, Vejas Gabriel (2009). The German Myth of the East: 1800 to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 184.

2. Educational|accessdate=2007-03-11

3. Educational|accessdate=2007-03-11

As official Austria commemorates this terrible date by looking back and finally coming to grips with the fact that Austria was not just a victim, but that many — too many — Austrians marched alongside the "invading" army, we should never forget that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Learning from history does not only mean looking back, but also doing everything to prevent evil from happening again.

balcony  same as prev pix

Every time I walk across the Heldenplatz, on my way to another conference — be it an OSCE gathering or the recent one sponsored by the Alliance of Civilizations — I glance up to the balcony and remind myself why I do what I do. I think about the millions of people who were blinded by a mad dictator. I think about the many weak politicians who appeased this madman to secure "peace in our time", most likely without ever bothering to take a look at either the NSDAP's party program or Mein Kampf. I think about the hatred spewed against "the other" by the National Socialists and the many Austrians who either supported or were indifferent to the incorporation of Austria into the Third Reich.

And as I look at the balcony from which Hitler mapped out his plans and was rewarded by cheers, I ponder the tragedy unfolding before our very eyes, today, 75 years later.

We have not one Chamberlain, but thousands.

We have another Hitler in the making, there is appeasement on a never-before-seen level (we need more funding for more dialogue!)

And we are once again discussing this appeasement on the Heldenplatz, in the Hofburg.

Like 75 years ago, there is open hatred for the "other", there are Jews fleeing many European cities, and Europeans are threatened into silence about what they see every day.

In so many ways, the current situation is more worrying than what our forefathers witnessed more than seven decades ago. The indifference among Austrians, but especially an the part of the politicians, with regard to the many immigrants who do not share our values — it is truly, staggeringly maddening.

But — God help me if I become complicit in this history-repeating-itself exercise. I will continue to be warned by that famous balcony every time I pass it. I will continue to be vigilant. I will continue to speak out. I will not be silenced by bullies and thugs.

I have learned my lesson from what transpired in 1938, and will continue to do so.

Sometimes I feel very alone in the classroom.

[To the left of whoever is standing next to Adolf Hitler is the entrance to today's OSCE headquarters.]

Contact Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors at doris@cjhsla.org

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THE SHAME OF ISRAEL APARTHEID WEEK

Posted by Israel_politics2, March 13, 2013

The article below was written by Matthew M. Hausman who is a trial attorney and writer who lives and works in Connecticut. A former journalist, Mr. Hausman continues to write on a variety of topics, including science, health and medicine, Jewish issues and foreign affairs, and has been a legal affairs columnist for a number of publications.

The blood libel seems to have gained respectability in the halls of academia now that Israel Apartheid Week has become an annual rite on college campuses across North America. Characterized by hate-speech promoted as political discourse, Israel Apartheid Week ("IAW") proclaims its goal "is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement."

Its architects contend they are not anti-Semitic. However, Israel is not an apartheid state under any definition of the term, and to argue otherwise requires the repetition of odious lies and the denial of historical facts. Because the claim of Israeli apartheid is a malicious fiction, the anti-Semitic motivations underlying Israel Apartheid Week cannot be minimized or ignored.

The International Criminal Court's Rome Statute of 2002 defines "apartheid" as a crime consisting of acts similar to crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

Though the term evokes images of South Africa under Afrikaner rule, it just as easily could describe any country in which racial and ethnic minorities are systematically segregated and discriminated against by operation of law. An argument could be made that Sharia states qualify insofar as they subjugate and isolate "infidels" in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. The past confinement of Jews in the mellah in Morocco or in ghettos and separate towns in Iran offers apt examples.

In contrast, Israel is a democracy in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights under the law. The Arab-Muslim world and its left-wing allies accuse Israel of apartheid despite the absence of any Israeli laws or policies creating such a system. Israeli Jews and Arabs generally live where they choose and benefit from the same health, welfare and infrastructure policies and programs. The only difference is that Israeli Arabs are exempt from military service, whereas all other Israelis, including Jews, Druze and Circassians, are not. Thus, Arab citizens receive the same governmental benefits as other Israelis without being required to bear any of the national cost. Although the promoters of IAW contend that Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, they in fact enjoy the highest standard of living, highest rates of longevity and literacy, and lowest rate of infant mortality of any Arab-Muslim population in the Mideast.

Israel also has an open political system in which Arabs vote, run for office, and serve in government. Moreover, they have freedom of speech to a degree not tolerated in the Arab-Muslim world as demonstrated by those Arab Knesset members who openly identify with Israel's enemies and engage in seditious conduct that would not be countenanced in other countries. Whereas American law requires all who serve in Congress to swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Israel presently requires no similar pledge of loyalty. Clearly, Israel does not practice apartheid, and in fact does not even employ the same kinds of safeguards against sedition and treason that are taken for granted in the United States and other western democracies.

When the canard of Israeli apartheid is deconstructed, it clearly resembles the "Big Lie" preached and perfected by the Nazis, who believed that the constant repetition of audacious lies would promote their acceptance by the public and facilitate the spread of propaganda. The Nazis believed that the most brazen lies would resonate most deeply because of the common perception that unbelievable stories would not be repeated if they weren't true. Thus it is with the slander of Israeli apartheid, for which there would seem to be no greater proof than the endorsement of academia. Given the leftist orientation and pro-Islamist bias of many university faculties, college campuses have become natural staging grounds for anti-Israel agitprop.

Brooklyn College in New York was the site of IAW activity this year with a program entitled, "BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) Movement against Israel," which was co-sponsored by the political science department. Despite public criticism against allowing the event on campus, and though the college administration disclaimed any official endorsement, it would not bar the program or condemn it in any meaningful way. The program featured speakers who denied Israel's right to exist, praised Islamist terrorists who attack civilians, and called for the blacklisting of Israeli academics.

The college took the position that co-sponsorship by one of its departments did not imply institutional support for the program, but the hollowness of this explanation was exposed by the failure to provide equal time to opponents wishing to voice their opposition. Supporters denied antisemitic bias and claimed that the event implicated free speech. However, the program featured speakers who advocated conduct, i.e., the blacklisting of Israeli professors, that is intended specifically to discourage free and open discourse. If Brooklyn College truly cared about speech rights, it would have provided a forum for those wishing to address the event's factual distortions and expose it as propaganda. The failure to do so indicates only a fair-weather commitment to freedom of expression, and raises the question of whether the college in fact endorsed the program through its conduct despite its disclaimers.

Furthermore, allowing such a blatantly provocative program on campus seems inconsistent with the institution's own "Commitment to Pluralism and Diversity," which provides:

Brooklyn College is committed to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures. In fact, the college' s cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity-our pluralism-is one of our distinguishing characteristics. Our student body and our workforce are notably composed of people of color, of women, of immigrants, of older adults, and of persons with disabilities. Students at the college can trace their ancestry to more than 120 different countries. To reap the rewards of diversity, the college has developed and will continue to develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms and will build on the strengths offered by our multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational campus.

(http://www.brooklyn .cuny.edu/ bc/offices/ diversity/ commit.php.) It is difficult to see how providing a forum for anti-Israel and antisemitic speech, while denying equal time to opposing viewpoints, shows a commitment "to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures" or is consistent with the college' s pledge to "develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms…" Indeed, Brooklyn College' s failure to acknowledge the program as hate-speech suggests that its diversity statement is applied only selectively.

The malicious intent of Israel Apartheid Week is clear considering its connection to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The conceit of BDS is that it feigns kinship to the movement that helped bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa through coordinated efforts to turn that country into a pariah state. It uses terms like "occupation&qu ot; and "colonialism&q uot; to perpetuate the falsehood that Israel is a colonial state and that the Palestinians are an ancestral people whose country was dismantled by foreign Jewish interlopers. In so doing, the BDS movement disparages Jewish national claims that are a matter of historical record and not based, as are Palestinian claims, on myth, polemic and doctrinal hatred.

In truth, the Jews are indigenous and have the longest record of habitation in their homeland. At no time was there ever a sovereign nation called Palestine or an ancient Palestinian society that created any touchstones of nationality or unique culture in the Jewish homeland. As the late Zahir Muhsein famously stated in the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977, "[t]he 'Palestinian People' does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel." Arafat made similar admissions in his autobiography. Thus, in pretending that Israel is a colonial creation and that Jews are strangers to the Mideast, the BDS movement engages in the same deceit and dishonesty.

If BDS partisans were truly concerned about forcing change in repressive regimes, one must wonder why they ignore Saudi Arabia, where women are suppressed, freedom of religion is unknown, and money flows to support terrorism abroad; or Iran, where religious minorities are harassed and discriminated against, Jews fear for their lives and gays are put to death. Why are they not concerned about Egypt, where Copts are slaughtered and their churches desecrated, or Sudan, where Arab Muslims engage in genocide against African Christians? The BDS movement' s pernicious intent is exposed by its pathological focus on Israel, which has the only open society in the Mideast where all citizens are free to live where they choose, speak as they will and worship as they please. By claiming Israel to be what she clearly is not, the movement perpetuates a colossal fabrication evocative of the Big Lie. And by actively promoting the BDS farce, those who sponsor, support or enable Israel Apartheid Week do the same.

Reasonable minds can disagree over specific policies of any government, including Israel's. However, those who deny her right to exist and accuse her of apartheid when she actually has the only democratic society in the Mideast are not engaging in neutral criticism. They are promoting antisemitism. The singular focus on Israel for imagined offenses such as ethnic cleansing and apartheid, coupled with the refusal to target countries where such atrocities actually occur, constitutes antisemitism purely and simply. Not surprisingly, the demonization of Israel has become de rigueur on the political left. Unfortunately, it has also found an audience among members of progressive Jewish groups, such as J Street and the New Israel Fund, whose commitment to left-wing ideals causes them to rationalize, support or provide forums for those who impugn the Jewish State.

There is also a disturbing trend on college campuses of progressive student groups protesting mainstream Jewish organizations that oppose the BDS agenda. The Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance, for example, recently organized a protest against the campus Hillel's ban on partnering with organizations that support BDS programs. Ironically, although progressives and their supporters typically invoke free speech principles to shield Israel bashers, they are quick to brand dissenting opinions as hate-speech in order to silence those with whom they disagree. Likewise, they jump to label any critical discussion of political Islam as "Islamophobia, " but remain silent regarding the doctrinal antisemitism that is so prevalent in the Muslim community.

Ironically, Gentile supporters are often quicker and more willing to come to Israel's defense, as they have done in Canada with Israel Truth Week, a conference dedicated to combating the dissimulation of Israel Apartheid Week. Israel Truth Week has become an annual event in Hamilton, Ontario, drawing speakers, academics and legal experts from Canada, the United States and Israel. Though the event was created by a dedicated group of Jews and non-Jews working together, it would not have grown so quickly without the commitment of Gentiles who support the Jewish State for reasons of history, justice and equity.

The inspiration for this conference came from Mark Vandermaas, a Canadian whose family history made him acutely aware of the horrors of antisemitism. Vandermaas was adopted and raised by Dutch parents who lived through the German occupation of the Netherlands, where they saw their Jewish neighbors deported for slaughter and where his father was interred in a Nazi work camp from which he escaped. Vandermaas was motivated to act upon hearing of unrestrained antisemitism roiling the campus of the University of Western Ontario, where Jewish students were physically abused and harassed, and his indignation gave rise to Israel Truth Week. What started as a grassroots program has grown and begun attracting the attention of major Jewish organizations in Canada.

Although Israel Apartheid Week is now in its ninth year, mainstream Jewish organizations have yet to formulate a unified, systematic response. Some organizations have issued strong denunciations while others have resolved not to work with progressive groups that support the BDS movement. Still others have displayed timidity in choosing to ignore it. But ignoring it lends credence through silence. Instead, Israel Apartheid Week should be answered with thoughtful, coordinated counterprograms. Though Israel Truth Week is only in its second year and has not yet ventured beyond the borders of Ontario, the breadth of its agenda and the diversity of its speakers should provide a model for Jewish organizations to follow. If some Gentiles can be so assertive in advocating on behalf of Israel, there is no reason why Jews cannot do the same.

The blood libel seems to have gained respectability in the halls of academia now that Israel Apartheid Week has become an annual rite on college campuses across North America. Characterized by hate-speech promoted as political discourse, Israel Apartheid Week ("IAW") proclaims its goal "is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement."

Its architects contend they are not anti-Semitic. However, Israel is not an apartheid state under any definition of the term, and to argue otherwise requires the repetition of odious lies and the denial of historical facts. Because the claim of Israeli apartheid is a malicious fiction, the anti-Semitic motivations underlying Israel Apartheid Week cannot be minimized or ignored.

The International Criminal Court's Rome Statute of 2002 defines "apartheid" as a crime consisting of acts similar to crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

Though the term evokes images of South Africa under Afrikaner rule, it just as easily could describe any country in which racial and ethnic minorities are systematically segregated and discriminated against by operation of law. An argument could be made that Sharia states qualify insofar as they subjugate and isolate "infidels" in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic doctrine. The past confinement of Jews in the mellah in Morocco or in ghettos and separate towns in Iran offers apt examples.

In contrast, Israel is a democracy in which Jews and Arabs have equal rights under the law. The Arab-Muslim world and its left-wing allies accuse Israel of apartheid despite the absence of any Israeli laws or policies creating such a system. Israeli Jews and Arabs generally live where they choose and benefit from the same health, welfare and infrastructure policies and programs. The only difference is that Israeli Arabs are exempt from military service, whereas all other Israelis, including Jews, Druze and Circassians, are not. Thus, Arab citizens receive the same governmental benefits as other Israelis without being required to bear any of the national cost. Although the promoters of IAW contend that Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens, they in fact enjoy the highest standard of living, highest rates of longevity and literacy, and lowest rate of infant mortality of any Arab-Muslim population in the Mideast.

Israel also has an open political system in which Arabs vote, run for office, and serve in government. Moreover, they have freedom of speech to a degree not tolerated in the Arab-Muslim world as demonstrated by those Arab Knesset members who openly identify with Israel's enemies and engage in seditious conduct that would not be countenanced in other countries. Whereas American law requires all who serve in Congress to swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Israel presently requires no similar pledge of loyalty. Clearly, Israel does not practice apartheid, and in fact does not even employ the same kinds of safeguards against sedition and treason that are taken for granted in the United States and other western democracies.

When the canard of Israeli apartheid is deconstructed, it clearly resembles the "Big Lie" preached and perfected by the Nazis, who believed that the constant repetition of audacious lies would promote their acceptance by the public and facilitate the spread of propaganda. The Nazis believed that the most brazen lies would resonate most deeply because of the common perception that unbelievable stories would not be repeated if they weren't true. Thus it is with the slander of Israeli apartheid, for which there would seem to be no greater proof than the endorsement of academia. Given the leftist orientation and pro-Islamist bias of many university faculties, college campuses have become natural staging grounds for anti-Israel agitprop.

Brooklyn College in New York was the site of IAW activity this year with a program entitled, "BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) Movement against Israel," which was co-sponsored by the political science department. Despite public criticism against allowing the event on campus, and though the college administration disclaimed any official endorsement, it would not bar the program or condemn it in any meaningful way. The program featured speakers who denied Israel's right to exist, praised Islamist terrorists who attack civilians, and called for the blacklisting of Israeli academics.

The college took the position that co-sponsorship by one of its departments did not imply institutional support for the program, but the hollowness of this explanation was exposed by the failure to provide equal time to opponents wishing to voice their opposition. Supporters denied antisemitic bias and claimed that the event implicated free speech. However, the program featured speakers who advocated conduct, i.e., the blacklisting of Israeli professors, that is intended specifically to discourage free and open discourse. If Brooklyn College truly cared about speech rights, it would have provided a forum for those wishing to address the event's factual distortions and expose it as propaganda. The failure to do so indicates only a fair-weather commitment to freedom of expression, and raises the question of whether the college in fact endorsed the program through its conduct despite its disclaimers.

Furthermore, allowing such a blatantly provocative program on campus seems inconsistent with the institution&# 39;s own "Commitment to Pluralism and Diversity," which provides:

Brooklyn College is committed to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures. In fact, the college' s cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity-our pluralism-is one of our distinguishing characteristics. Our student body and our workforce are notably composed of people of color, of women, of immigrants, of older adults, and of persons with disabilities. Students at the college can trace their ancestry to more than 120 different countries. To reap the rewards of diversity, the college has developed and will continue to develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms and will build on the strengths offered by our multicultural, multiracial, and multigenerational campus.

(http://www.brooklyn .cuny.edu/ bc/offices/ diversity/ commit.php.) It is difficult to see how providing a forum for anti-Israel and antisemitic speech, while denying equal time to opposing viewpoints, shows a commitment "to values and policies that enhance respect for individuals and their cultures" or is consistent with the college' s pledge to "develop programs that combat bigotry and other biases in all their forms…" Indeed, Brooklyn College' s failure to acknowledge the program as hate-speech suggests that its diversity statement is applied only selectively.

The malicious intent of Israel Apartheid Week is clear considering its connection to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The conceit of BDS is that it feigns kinship to the movement that helped bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa through coordinated efforts to turn that country into a pariah state. It uses terms like "occupation&qu ot; and "colonialism&q uot; to perpetuate the falsehood that Israel is a colonial state and that the Palestinians are an ancestral people whose country was dismantled by foreign Jewish interlopers. In so doing, the BDS movement disparages Jewish national claims that are a matter of historical record and not based, as are Palestinian claims, on myth, polemic and doctrinal hatred.

In truth, the Jews are indigenous and have the longest record of habitation in their homeland. At no time was there ever a sovereign nation called Palestine or an ancient Palestinian society that created any touchstones of nationality or unique culture in the Jewish homeland. As the late Zahir Muhsein famously stated in the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977, "[t]he 'Palestinian People' does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel." Arafat made similar admissions in his autobiography. Thus, in pretending that Israel is a colonial creation and that Jews are strangers to the Mideast, the BDS movement engages in the same deceit and dishonesty.

If BDS partisans were truly concerned about forcing change in repressive regimes, one must wonder why they ignore Saudi Arabia, where women are suppressed, freedom of religion is unknown, and money flows to support terrorism abroad; or Iran, where religious minorities are harassed and discriminated against, Jews fear for their lives and gays are put to death. Why are they not concerned about Egypt, where Copts are slaughtered and their churches desecrated, or Sudan, where Arab Muslims engage in genocide against African Christians? The BDS movement' s pernicious intent is exposed by its pathological focus on Israel, which has the only open society in the Mideast where all citizens are free to live where they choose, speak as they will and worship as they please. By claiming Israel to be what she clearly is not, the movement perpetuates a colossal fabrication evocative of the Big Lie. And by actively promoting the BDS farce, those who sponsor, support or enable Israel Apartheid Week do the same.

Reasonable minds can disagree over specific policies of any government, including Israel's. However, those who deny her right to exist and accuse her of apartheid when she actually has the only democratic society in the Mideast are not engaging in neutral criticism. They are promoting antisemitism. The singular focus on Israel for imagined offenses such as ethnic cleansing and apartheid, coupled with the refusal to target countries where such atrocities actually occur, constitutes antisemitism purely and simply. Not surprisingly, the demonization of Israel has become de rigueur on the political left. Unfortunately, it has also found an audience among members of progressive Jewish groups, such as J Street and the New Israel Fund, whose commitment to left-wing ideals causes them to rationalize, support or provide forums for those who impugn the Jewish State.

There is also a disturbing trend on college campuses of progressive student groups protesting mainstream Jewish organizations that oppose the BDS agenda. The Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance, for example, recently organized a protest against the campus Hillel's ban on partnering with organizations that support BDS programs. Ironically, although progressives and their supporters typically invoke free speech principles to shield Israel bashers, they are quick to brand dissenting opinions as hate-speech in order to silence those with whom they disagree. Likewise, they jump to label any critical discussion of political Islam as "Islamophobia, " but remain silent regarding the doctrinal antisemitism that is so prevalent in the Muslim community.

Ironically, Gentile supporters are often quicker and more willing to come to Israel's defense, as they have done in Canada with Israel Truth Week, a conference dedicated to combating the dissimulation of Israel Apartheid Week. Israel Truth Week has become an annual event in Hamilton, Ontario, drawing speakers, academics and legal experts from Canada, the United States and Israel. Though the event was created by a dedicated group of Jews and non-Jews working together, it would not have grown so quickly without the commitment of Gentiles who support the Jewish State for reasons of history, justice and equity.

The inspiration for this conference came from Mark Vandermaas, a Canadian whose family history made him acutely aware of the horrors of antisemitism. Vandermaas was adopted and raised by Dutch parents who lived through the German occupation of the Netherlands, where they saw their Jewish neighbors deported for slaughter and where his father was interred in a Nazi work camp from which he escaped. Vandermaas was motivated to act upon hearing of unrestrained antisemitism roiling the campus of the University of Western Ontario, where Jewish students were physically abused and harassed, and his indignation gave rise to Israel Truth Week. What started as a grassroots program has grown and begun attracting the attention of major Jewish organizations in Canada.

Although Israel Apartheid Week is now in its ninth year, mainstream Jewish organizations have yet to formulate a unified, systematic response. Some organizations have issued strong denunciations while others have resolved not to work with progressive groups that support the BDS movement. Still others have displayed timidity in choosing to ignore it. But ignoring it lends credence through silence. Instead, Israel Apartheid Week should be answered with thoughtful, coordinated counterprograms. Though Israel Truth Week is only in its second year and has not yet ventured beyond the borders of Ontario, the breadth of its agenda and the diversity of its speakers should provide a model for Jewish organizations to follow. If some Gentiles can be so assertive in advocating on behalf of Israel, there is no reason why Jews cannot do the same.

Contact Israel_politics2@yahoogroups.com


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AND I SHALL TAKE YOU TO ME FOR A NATION

Posted by B'Ahavat Yisrael, March 13, 2013

As we approach the joyous holiday of Pesach (Passover) and we prepare for the festive seder, we are reminded of the verse in the Torah in which G—d tells the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "And I shall take you to Me for a nation" (Shmot 6:7).

After many years on foreign soil, subject to mistreatment and persecution by others, G—d miraculously releases the descendants of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and forges them into a nation to be guided to the Holy Land promised by G—d to our forefathers many years beforehand.

It is during this holiday that we celebrate our independence as a nation and as a people, with our own unique characteristics and customs — the Nation of Israel.

Being a part of a nation, G—d reminds us throughout the Torah, brings with it a responsibility towards fellow members of that nation and an obligation to care for and sympathize with them.

In fact, as we begin to recite the hagada, the description of the exodus from Egypt and G-d's precepts commemorating that glorious event as well as an expression of thanksgiving for our liberation, we read "This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and join in celebrating the Passover festival." Caring for others of our nation who are hungry or in need is part and parcel of commemorating this holiday. As we give thanks for our liberation, we are to consider fellow members of our nation who need to be liberated from their hardships too.

Along these lines, is an intriguing anecdote reported from the life of the renowned latter day Torah scholar R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. One day before Pesach, a man came to his house to ask a question. He asked the famous rabbi of Brisk if a person could fulfill the obligation of drinking the four glasses at the Pesach seder with milk. R. Yosef Dov asked the man if he was ill, to which the man responded that he was healthy but wine was too expensive this year for him to afford. The rabbi, being both wise and generous, took out 25 rubles but the man was proud and did not want to accept it. "I did not come for charity; I came to ask a question." The rabbi told him to consider it a loan, only to be paid back when G-d affords him the opportunity. After the man left, the rabbi's wife asked why R. Yosef Dov gave the man 25 rubles when 2 or 3 rubles would be enough for wine, to which the rabbi retorted, "If he ate meat then he would not be able to drink the milk; therefore he did not have enough money for meat and all that is necessary for Pesach." R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik demonstrated that one should not only care for his fellow Jew but should be attuned to his fellow Jew's heart and mind — especially for the special holiday of Pesach.

Moreover, the great medieval Torah giant Maimonides stresses (Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Yom Tov 6:18): "And when one eats and drinks [at the holiday meal] he is obligated to feed the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, along with other unfortunate poor. However, one who locks the doors of his courtyard, and eats and drinks with his wife and children, and does not feed and provide drink for the poor and suffering people, this is not a celebration of G-d's commandment, but rather a celebration of his stomach...and this type of celebration is a disgrace."

Also, in the very first of the laws of Pesach found in the Shulchan Arukh (Orach Chaim 429:1), R. Moshe Isserles (1520 — 1572), known as the Rama, points out "the custom to buy wheat and distribute them to the poor for the purposes (needs) of Passover." And, R. Yisrael Meir Kagan, famous as the Chafetz Chaim, notes in his Mishna Brurah, ad locum, the grave consequences awaiting those who stand by and avoid helping those in need as the holiday of Pesach approaches.

As in previous years, B'Ahavat Yisrael will be doing its part in helping to liberate our fellow Jews from their hardship. But this can only be done if our fellow Jews open their hearts and minds, like R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. And this can only be done if, as Maimonides tells us, we do not lock the doors of our courtyards and think only of ourselves.

As we give thanks for our liberation and our establishment as a nation, we must consider fellow members of our nation who need to be liberated from their hardships too. In the spirit of R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, we must open our hearts and minds to our fellow Jews' needs. We dare not, as Maimonides instructs us, make our celebration a disgrace.

Please take a few minutes to browse the contents of the packages that B'Ahavat Yisrael will be preparing for the needy amongst our beleaguered brethren in the Shomron region of Israel to help them share in a meaningful holiday with fellow members of the Jewish nation.

May we, in merit of truly caring for fellow members of our nation and opening our hearts and minds to them, have a very safe, healthy and joyous Pesach holiday.

Contact Rabbi Yisrael Associate Director, B'Ahavat Yisrael at bahavatyisrael@yahoo.com


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EGYPT'S ARMY WILL NOT INTERVENE

Posted by Besa Center, March 13, 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Hopes or expectations that the Egyptian military will intervene in the deteriorating political and security crisis are probably misguided. The army is loath to take on the well-organized and powerful Muslim Brotherhood because the majority of its soldiers support the Islamist government. It also wants to avoid losing financial backing from the US, which would not support a military coup.

Those calling for the Egyptian army to intervene, or believe that it will do so to avert growing unrest, range from former Egyptian justice officials and minor Egyptian politicians to journalists both within and outside Egypt. However, such hopes or expectations are probably misguided. The probability that the Egyptian army will be willing to retake the reins of power — or is even capable of doing so, after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi unceremoniously sent its leaders back to their barracks in August 2012 — is highly unlikely, if not impossible.

Taking over the reins of power means, above all, removing Egypt's first elected president, as well as confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood, by far the most disciplined and organized political force in the country. Such a move would inevitably spur massive urban demonstrations and, further down the line, wide-scale urban guerrilla warfare.

This is where the lessons gleaned from the American experience in Iraq and the two-year standoff between Bashar Assad's Alawite-led army and the Free Syrian Army come into effect. Both experiences demonstrated that even well-trained, well-equipped, and motivated armies cannot control dense urban areas. The Americans and their Iraqi allies never totally subdued the Sunni guerrilla movements, and Assad's Alawites have proven to be even less successful in their confrontation with Syrian rebels. These forces operated in urban areas ranging between 2.5-3.5 million people, while the Egyptian army has a megalopolis of 12 million inhabitants to contain. At best the Egyptian army would face a long war of attrition. Unlike the US force manned by motivated volunteers and a Syrian army composed mostly of loyal Alawites who fear the fall of an Alawite regime, the Egyptian higher command can only be worried about the loyalty of its rank and file in backing them in such a move.

For starters, the Egyptian army has never been indoctrinated to defend the home front. Under former presidents Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak it was the Central Security Forces (CSF), Egypt's gendarmerie, which was allotted the task. These leaders balked at using the armed forces against the jihadist threat that plagued Egypt in the 1980s and mid-1990s partially because of the successful penetration of Islamists into army ranks. The leader of the team that assassinated Sadat was a lieutenant-colonel.

The problem is hardly a matter of a small number of infiltrators. At least half of the army recruits, it must be assumed, are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, who comprise 30 percent of the Egyptian electorate. The Egyptian army hardly recruits Copts or the Sunni Egyptian upper class that equals roughly 20 percent of the population. The implications of such a recruitment pattern are that the secular and liberals are severely underrepresented in the army and the Islamists overrepresented. It is only a small section of the former group that would support the army's intervention in the political crisis.

Both the nature of indoctrination and the army's composition explain why the army, neither during Mubarak's ouster or ever since, has not been willing to confront demonstrators, and why the scene of junior officers and soldiers joining protesters became so common.

A most recent example was the city of Port Said, where protesters have been involved in widespread violence protesting the harsh sentences meted out to supporters of the local football team for their role in the killing of 72 Cairo football fans during a match last year, and which has since taken a political turn against the Muslim Brotherhood government. As headlines from the world's newspapers informed their readers that the army intervened to quell unrest, the photos showed troops joining forces with demonstrators against the CSF. Since Mubarak's ouster, only very small units within the army, the military police, or its naval counterpart have confronted demonstrators. In those cases, officials were protecting public buildings and had wide-scale public backing to do so.

An additional reason why the military has not intervened in the political crisis is the carrot that Morsi's new constitution offered the military — budgetary autonomy — and a recent hefty salary rise. One can therefore hardly expect the military to intervene politically and even less to act effectively once it intervenes.

Finally, the army realizes that the United States is strongly opposed to military intervention almost anywhere, and especially so against the Morsi government it presently backs. In toppling the Morsi government the army would be jeopardizing United States aid amounting to over one-fifth of the Egyptian military's budget ($1.3 billion out of a total $5.85 billion), a considerable transfer of technology, and spare parts and replacements its American-equipped forces inevitably need.

Resolution of Egypt's political problems rests solely on Egypt's politicians and citizens. Morsi is counting on his ability to complete his constitutional takeover of power with the running of parliamentary elections in April. The liberal and secular opposition is banking on continued instability and economic hardship to tarnish the image and popularity of the Morsi government and force it into making a grand bargain with them.

The whole situation is fraught with danger and worries that the bargaining process will get out of hand and degenerate into civil war. At least one scenario is unlikely: the return of the army to the corridors of political power.

Prof. Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar Ilan University, and a senior research associate at the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studie


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ISRAELI CHIEF RABBI GREETS NEWLY ARRIVED BNEI MENASHE IMMIGRANTS

Posted by Shavei Israel, March 13, 2013

Last Thursday, Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, along with members of his staff, paid a special visit to Shavei Israel's Absorption Center in Givat Haviva to congratulate the 274 Bnei Menashe immigrants from India who arrived in the Jewish state in recent months as part of a renewed wave of aliyah.

The meeting between the Bnei Menashe and the Chief Rabbi was by all accounts remarkable. As the Chief Rabbi's car approached the absorption center, the Bnei Menashe literally ran out to meet it, singing and dancing along the way until the car could drive no further. The Bnei Menashe then escorted Rabbi Amar into the center where their enthusiasm continued.

We have the whole story here, plus some fabulous videos from the event. Here's one of a group of Bnei Menashe children reciting the Shema Israel prayer and the entire text of the 10 Commandments.

Contact Shavei at info.shavei@gmail.com http://www.shavei.org


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ISRAEL'S BOLD NEW QUEEN

Posted by Daily Alert, March 13, 2013

The article below was written by Daniel Estrin who is a print and radio journalist. His stories have been featured in outlets including The Associated Press, The Atlantic, NPR and Public Radio International. This article appeared March 13, 2013 in the Tablet and is archived at
http://tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/126845/israels-bold-new-queen

aynaw

For anyone familiar with the saccharine judges of America's prime-time beauty pageants, it might be jarring to hear how the director of Israel's national competition describes Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, the Ethiopian-born 21-year-old who was just crowned Miss Israel. "I think she was not the most beautiful, by classic beauty," said director Iris Cohen, comparing her to the 19 other finalists in this year's competition. But she does give Aynaw this: "She stands on the stage and you cannot ignore her."

The new Miss Israel is just as blunt. Sitting with her last week in the green room at the Tel Aviv offices of La'Isha magazine—the Israeli equivalent of Vogue and sponsor of the annual pageant—I told her about the stereotypical American beauty queen who seeks to impress the judges with her earnest hopes for world peace. "To say a sentence like that, in my opinion, is to sound retarded," Aynaw replied. Then she stopped and wondered out loud if she should have said that. She changed "retarded" to "stupid," and barreled on. "Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, China is trying to become a superpower," she said. "To say that I want world peace, of course I want it. It's a dream. But I don't think it will happen now."

Israelis are better known for their grit than their grace, but Aynaw's got both. Almost 30 years since the first clandestine Israeli airlift of Ethiopian Jews—the fabled descendants of the lost biblical tribe of Dan—to the Promised Land, the Jewish state has finally anointed one of them Israel's most beautiful woman. Asked by judges why she deserved the title, Aynaw said it was about time that a black woman wore the crown.

I met Miss Israel a day after one of her first solo photo shoots. Aynaw was wearing a blue sleeveless dress with silver studs lining the shoulders. She teetered a bit in gold-strapped heels, but confidently strutted down the hallways of the magazine offices, one slender leg cutting across the other like scissors. Measuring in at 5 foot 9, not including her bun, she towered over the rest of the magazine's editorial staffers, who congratulated her as she walked past their offices. She attributes her beauty to her Ethiopian heritage. "We have these chiseled faces. Everything is in the right place," she said. "I never saw an Ethiopian who was stuck with some big nose." She looks like a fiercer version of Tyra Banks, one of two role models she named in the competition. The other one was Martin Luther King.

The Miss Israel pageant has been held uninterrupted for the last 63 years. That's a startling feat in a country only 65 years old, in a culture that typically rejects pomp and circumstance, and where most long-standing annual events commemorate tragedy and war. The late Hemda Nofech-Mozes, who married into the country's most powerful media family, founded La'Isha magazine a year before Israel's war of independence in 1948 and instituted the competition two years later. "Everyone was talking about war, everyone was talking about settlement. She said, wait a minute, there is a nation here ... there are beautiful women," said Cohen, the current pageant director.

You can learn a lot about the face Israeli society has tried to put forward by the faces its judges choose each year. In 1952, at the height of tensions between Israel's European veterans and Middle-Eastern Jewish newcomers, Yemen-born Ora Vered became the first Miss Israel of Middle-Eastern Jewish descent. In 1993, in the midst of Israel's tidal wave of Soviet immigration, Kiev-born Jana Khodriker won, and in 1999, the peak of Israel's optimism that Arab-Israeli peace was imminent, judges crowned Rana Raslan the first Arab Miss Israel.

In the early days of the competition, each Miss Israel cast away her ethnic name for pure Hebrew ones; Israel's first beauty queen, Miriam Yaron, was born in Germany as Giselle Freilich, while Ora Vered's original last name was the Yemeni name Jamili. Similarly, in the last 30 years, many Ethiopian newcomers have adopted Hebrew names.

Not Aynaw, whose given name is connected to the circumstances of her birth. "I was born sick, but my mom believed I had a future," she told me. Yitayish is Amharic for "look," or as Aynaw explains it, "looking toward the future."

"I'd never change my name," said Aynaw. "Ever."

Aynaw's biography is, as she calls it, a Cinderella story. Born in a small township near Gondar in northwest Ethiopia, she was orphaned by age 10. Her father died a year after she was born—she never found out how—and a decade later her mother died of a sudden illness. Her mother's parents, who had already uprooted to Israel in 2000, arranged for her and her brother to move, too.

Aynaw grew up like many Ethiopian Jews, dreaming of going to Israel. "I was told this was the land of milk and honey," she said, laughing. "That I'd go on the street, bend down, and pick up golden coins. I'd open the faucet and milk would pour out."

In March 2003, Aynaw and her brother flew via Kenya to Israel. Her grandparents, whom she had hardly remembered, brought them to their hardscrabble immigrant neighborhood in the seaside town of Netanya. Without knowing a word of Hebrew, she was shuffled off to a religious Jewish boarding school in Haifa catering to new immigrants. Today her Hebrew is accentless and expressive. "They threw me into the deep water. But that's how you learn to swim the best," she said.

In fact, Aynaw stood out from the pack from the beginning. She became student council president, excelled in track and field, and won first place in a national student film competition. Her short feature film, which she wrote and directed, told the story of an Ethiopian immigrant girl in Israel who tried to ignore her heritage—a character she says was based heavily on her classmates. When Aynaw would show up in a traditional Ethiopian white kamis as her costume for the Purim holiday, or when she brought homemade injera bread to school, her Ethiopian-born peers became embarrassed. "We immigrants want to integrate into society. And we forget where we come from," she said.

After graduation, Aynaw, then 19, joined an army course that trains talented Ethiopian-born Israelis to be military commanders. She missed the cutoff date to be in Karakal, Israel's co-ed combat unit, so she ended up a military police commander responsible for 90 rowdy soldiers. In their three-month training, she taught her soldiers how to fire a weapon, perform security checks at checkpoints, and detect bombs. "For three months, they would never see my smile," she said, flashing a grin that's hard to imagine she once concealed.

"I taught them to be human," Aynaw said of her soldiers, who checked Palestinians driving through military checkpoints. "My soldiers would ask, 'How can I be so nice when there were instances of a 9-year-old kid or a pregnant woman blowing themselves up at a checkpoint?' " She'd tell them: "There are many Palestinians who have a wife waiting at home, a family waiting for dad to bring bread home."

In October 2012, while most of her friends traveled to popular post-army destinations in India and Thailand, Aynaw spent the savings she'd earned in the army on a ticket to Addis Ababa. She wanted to come to terms with her mother's death and face her history. "I never looked at her photos, I never talked about her. I decided to erase everything," she said. It was a defense mechanism: "I needed to succeed," she added. "I don't have parents that I can crash with till I'm a 40 year old."

A distant relative brought her to the Jewish graveyard where her mother is buried. She was shocked by the condition of the cemetery: Headstones were cracked, and rainwater would flow in streams around the graves. She hired the groundskeeper to cover her mother's grave with marble, to add a Hebrew verse from Psalms next to the Amharic inscription, and to encase the grave in a roofed structure. She waited three weeks in Addis until it was completed. Aynaw showed me photos of the refurbished grave on her cracked iPhone screen.

"Poor thing, I'm upsetting you with my stories," Aynaw said to me suddenly. She adjusted the large sunglasses on her head, and we switched topics to a recent photoshoot in the Mediterranean sea, when photographers struggled to make her hair look drenched. "How do you give me a wet look? I have an Afro!" she said.

Aynaw's win comes after a year of rekindled accusations of racism toward Israel's Ethiopian Jewish community. Ethiopian Jews took to the streets in January 2012 to protest after Israeli landlords in a low-income southern town refused them rent. And a month before, Ethiopian Jewish spiritual leaders made noise after Israel's rabbinate announced it would phase them out because their customs run against normative Orthodox Judaism. Aynaw's victory certainly has its critics; some say she won because of her skin color alone. Others have posted derogatory jokes on Facebook, like calling her "toffee queen," instead of yoffee (Hebrew for beauty) queen, or saying that it was too bad her poor family couldn't watch the pageant because they don't own a television. "Tell me I'm ugly. That would hurt less," she said of the racist jokes.

And yet, these past few years have been trailblazing ones for Ethiopian-born Israeli women. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of American Idol. In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassador, sent to represent the Jewish state in her native Addis Ababa. And in January, Pnina Tamano-Shata became the first Ethiopian-born woman to be elected to parliament. "There is hope that Israeli society has gotten a little bit more open," said Semai Elias, a spiritual leader in the Ethiopian Jewish community, about their accomplishments. "The community has been given a chance."

Still, there are virtually no black faces on Israeli billboards and in magazine ads. That should change with Aynaw's expected appearances in ads by Israeli casual-wear line Golf and high-end jewelry seller H. Stern, co-sponsors of the pageant. Aynaw also wants to make a social impact during her tenure: She wants to institute dance and drawing activities for Ethiopian kids like those in her immigrant neighborhood who roam the streets after school. Someday, she wants to be an Israeli diplomat.

Aynaw will get a taste of foreign relations this year: This week she flies to New York to address a gala at the Waldorf Astoria for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. This winter, she'll be in Paris. And pageant director Cohen says organizers of this year's Miss World competition in Indonesia—a country with which Israel shares no diplomatic relations—are working on securing a visa for her to compete.

If Aynaw makes it to the international competition, she'll be asked to strut down the runway wearing her national dress. Japan has kimonos, and Brazil has carnival costumes. But what gown represents the melting pot of Israel?

This year, that decision will be easy for Israeli fashion designer Berta, said Cohen. "Berta will go with an Ethiopian theme," she said.

Contact Daily Alert at dailyalert@list-dailyalert.org


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WILL PRESIDENT OBAMA PRESS ISRAEL TO AGREE TO A POLICY OF CONTAINMENT?

Posted by Dr. Richard Swier, March 13, 2013

The article below was written by Saul Loeb, an international news as a staff photographer. Saul has had assignments in over 55 countries on 6 continents and his work has been honored by the White House News Photographers Association and Pictures of the Year International.

In college he worked as the editor in chief of the 17,000 circulation Arizona Daily Wildcat, the student-run newspaper. After freelancing in Phoenix for several years, Loeb made the move to Washington, where he had previously spent two summers interning for the Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Service. His photos have appeared in nearly every major national and international publication including USA Today, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Sydney Morning Herald, Toronto Globe & Mail, Stern, Le Monde, Time Magazine, Newsweek and others. This article appeared March 5, 2012 in Two-Way and is archived at
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2012/03/05/147964848/u-s-israel-stand-together-on-iran-issue-obama-and-netanyahu-say

oval office

With Iran and its nuclear program looming over the discussions, President Obama said this morning that "the United States will always have Israel's back." The president's comment came with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is at the White House for talks today, by his side.

For his part, Netanyahu told reporters that the U.S. and Israel stand together on policy toward Iran, The Associated Press reports.

The two leaders just held something of a photo op. Other reports on what they had to say:

— "At start of mtg w/ Netanyahu, Pres Obama reaffirms 'unbreakable' 'rock solid' commitment to Israel. Says US will always have Israel's back. ... On stopping Iran's nuclear pgm., Pres Obama says US policy is prevention not containment. Says all US options on the table: 'I mean it.' ... Pres Obama says there is still a window for a diplomatic solution with Iran & that both US and Israel prefer to resolve it diplomatically." (Tweets from CBS News' Mark Knoller.)

— After referring to the "terrible bloodshed" in Syria and the upheaval elsewhere in the Arab world, Obama said that 'In the midst of this we have an island of democracy and one of our greatest allies in Israel. ... The bond between our two countries is unbreakable." (From the "pool" audio.)

— "Both the prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically," Obama added, referring to the Iran issue. "We understand the costs of any military action." (From the "pool" audio.)

— Netanyahu said that "Americans know that Israel and the United States share common values, that we defend common interests and that we face common enemies. Iran's leaders know that too. For them you're the Great Satan, we're the Little Satan. For them, we are you and you are us. And you know something, Mr. President? At least on this last point I think they're right. We are you and you are us. We're together. ... Israel and America stand together."

While the two leaders spoke of unity and common interests, the talks between Obama and Netanyahu are complicated because of Iran and the issue of its nuclear ambitions. As The New York Times has reported:

"Mr. Netanyahu ... is hoping to prompt more clarity from Mr. Obama on how he sees increasingly tough sanctions and diplomacy with Iran playing out in the coming months.

"He also wants to press Mr. Obama on where his red line lies: how and when the United States will decide whether sanctions are succeeding or failing, and how committed he is to the use of force, officials and analysts following the discussions on both sides said in recent days.

"For Mr. Obama, the challenge is to deliver two competing messages. He wants to join Mr. Netanyahu in warning Iran to abandon its nuclear program or face military action, but also to press him to give time to sanctions and diplomacy and hold back his military."

And as The Washington Post writes, 16 years after first raising the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran, Netanyahu "seems to have finally rallied the West to his cause, successfully thrusting Tehran's nuclear ambitions to the top of the international agenda. And in his second term as prime minister, he faces what could prove to be the most critical decision of his career, weighing whether to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, possibly over the objections of his staunchest ally in Washington."

For its part, Iran says it is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET. Some Early Analyses:

— "While the tw