October 31, 2012

The European Left and Its Trouble With Jews


LAST week, Twitter shut down a popular account for posting anti-Semitic messages in France. This came soon after the firing of blanks at a synagogue near Paris, the discovery of a network of radical Islamists who had thrown a hand grenade into a kosher restaurant, and the killing of a teacher and young pupils at a Jewish school in Toulouse earlier this year. The attacks were part of an escalating campaign of violence against Jews in France.

Today, a sizable section of the European left has been reluctant to take a clear stand when anti-Zionism spills over into anti-Semitism. 

Beginning in the 1990s, many on the European left began to view the growing Muslim minorities in their countries as a new proletariat and the Palestinian cause as a recruiting mechanism. 
The issue of Palestine was particularly seductive for the children of immigrants, marooned between identities.

Capitalism was depicted as undermining a perfect Islamic society while cultural imperialism corrupted Islam. The tactic has a distinguished revolutionary pedigree. Indeed, the cry, “Long live Soviet power, long live the Shariah,” was heard in Central Asia during the 1920s after Lenin tried to cultivate Muslim nationalists in the Soviet East once his attempt to spread revolution to Europe had failed. But the question remains: why do today’s European socialists identify with Islamists whose worldview is light-years removed from their own?

In recent years, there has been an increased blurring of the distinction between Jew, Zionist and Israeli. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah, famously commented: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli.”

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Hurricane Biberman

Meretz Chairperson Zehava Gal-On coined the nickname for the new mega-party on the right, which will likely deny the left access to governing for some time.
Meretz Chairperson Zehava Gal-On coined the nickname for the new mega-party on the right, which will likely deny the left access to governing for some time.
The person I like least in the Knesset, the person I detest by far more than I do Haneen Zoabi, or Ahmad Tibi, two openly pro-Palestinian Arab MKs who are on occasion very hard to take – the one person who awakens the angry Jew in the pit of my stomach is MK Zehava Gal-On, leader of the now-minuscule, ultra-leftist Meretz party, who looks and sounds like the aging Communists who used to gather at Union Square for fiery speeches on May Day, except her voice reminds me of fingernails screeching down a glass window.

The same Zehava Gl-On, last night, on one of the local TV channels in an interview that followed the Netanyahu-Liberman announcement of their upcoming wedding, has come up with the perfect name for the new political creature born by the happy couple: she named it Biberman.

She invested this nickname with all the Jew-hating zeal of the left, which by now has stopped bothering to hide its anti-Semitism. This is not the left of Hubert Humphrey or even George McGovern, not to speak of David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. This is the left of the Yevsektsia and gulags, whose repulsion of things Jewish is pathological. When Gal-On calls the new deal of the two major right-wing parties "Biberman," she spatters the name like an evangelical Christian decrying the Prince of Darkness.

But I must tell you, having provided the emotional and historical context for the new name, I must admit that I love it, and that come January 22, I'm most likely going to vote Biberman. As will many other Israelis, I trust, who have in the past voted for neither Biberman partner.

The short announcement by the two men last night—there were no questions from the reporters in the room—described a logical union of Likud, with its 27 seats in the outgoing Knesset, and Yisrael Beitenu, with its 15 seats, to create a powerful new party with the potential to attract more seats than its sum total of 42.
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The Real Islamophobia

Photo Credit: YY
Many critics of the West's policy in the Middle East and Western attitudes towards the Islamic faith are keen to invoke Edward Said's theory of Orientalism, which posits that our study of the East is unavoidably distorted by the West's inherent ideological biases. It is clear, however, that if such an absolute predisposition exists, through their support for "moderate" Islamists and rejection of secular Muslim liberals, the Europeans who regard themselves as defenders of the East are the true perpetrators of such prejudice.

For example, in claiming Islam and Islamism as one and the same, by painting criticism of Islamism as bigoted, and by defining multi-culturalism as cultural relativism, when innocent Muslims are slaughtered by their co-religionists, Western comment or criticism is condemned as Islamophobic intolerance.

Defining the question of Islamophobia is especially critical in Europe. There, Islamophobia is dishonestly claimed by many to be that to question or comment on virtually any tenets of Islam is a wicked, bigoted act. By accepting discussion of religion as "Islamophobic," we provide a dangerous legitimacy to the claims of extremists within the Islamic community, while we abandon those Muslims who desire a reform or modernization within Islam, and greater assimilation with Western society.
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Why Some US Jews Don’t Get Israel

Photo Credit: YY
Part of my job — not my paying job, the one I do for the sake of shamayim — is to talk to my Jewish friends and try to explain why the existence of a Jewish state is essential for all Jews, wherever they live, why a good relationship with the US is essential for Israel, and why the support of American Jews is in turn essential for such a relationship.

I meet a lot of resistance, which is unsurprising when you consider that if you leave aside Arabs and other Muslims, the worldwide movement to end the Jewish state is disproportionately led by people of Jewish descent. Here are some of the reasons it can be tough to be a Zionist in America:

The politicization of Israel

My job recently got a lot harder because of the introduction of Israel as an issue in Republican-Democratic politics. President Obama (for multiple reasons that I won’t go into here but have written about at length) is no friend of Israel. His administration and informal advisers also lean toward anti-Zionism, some of them pretty sharply.

The Republicans have noticed this, and have made a pitch for Jewish votes. So now, any discussion about Israel becomes a discussion about Obama vs. Romney.

That is very unfortunate, because Jews are still overwhelmingly liberals, and criticism of Obama’s attitude and policy toward Israel is understood as “Republican propaganda.” Many liberal Jews seem to think that ‘Republican’ means ‘right-wing’ means ‘fascist’ means ‘Nazi’. Even if they don’t go that far, some of the social and economic positions of today’s Republican party are anathema to liberals.
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Will the US Help the Muslim Brotherhood Take Jordan?

Controller General Sheikh Hamam Sai'd
Controller General Sheikh Hamam Sai'd
Photo Credit: YY
It might be helpful now to start wondering what sort of ideas Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, and its leader, Controller General Sheikh Hamam Sai'd, will advance if they seize power in Jordan -- possibly with the blessing and encouragement of the United States.

Sheikh Sai'd, of Palestinian origin, was elected to the leadership of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood in 2008 by its hardline faction. They support a partnership with Hamas and the overthrow of Middle Eastern leaders who side with the United States.

The prominent Jordanian journalist, Osama Al-Rantisi, published an article on July 14, 2011, in the Jordanian daily newspaper, Al-ghad, in which he alleged that Sai'd had held a meeting in Turkey with "recently-retired officers from the CIA and the internal counter-intelligence and security agency, the MI5."

This was followed by Al-Arabiya TV Network, which also ran an article on its website on May 22, 2012, detailing allegations made by Al-Rantisi that:
Dr. Hammam Sai'd and former Egyptian Brotherhood leader Dr. Kamal Halbawi had met last June [of 2011] in Istanbul, Turkey with former CIA deputy director Steven Kappes, and former MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller.

Al-Rantisi goes on to say that both Kappes and Manningham-Buller pledged in the meeting that, "The U.S. government and its intelligence services will support the Muslim brotherhood goals of coming to power," and "urging them [Muslim Brotherhood members] to fight terrorism and to establish peace with Israel."
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Egypt’s Sinai Problem and Ours

A striking photo essay [here] from EgyptSource focuses on the stark realities of Sinai and the multiple challenges it poses to the Egyptians. EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, 
follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era...

Needless to say, given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle.

The essay that accompanies the images, by Mosaab Elshamy and published yesterday, starts this way:
Army checkpoints on the road to Sinai are almost an indication of a region at war. The vast peninsula bordering Egypt with Gaza and Israel rose to the forefront of the new Egyptian government's troubles after an army checkpoint was attacked by unknown militants last Ramadan, killing 16 soldiers. This was not the first attack of its kind in Sinai - the region has been a hotbed of militants long before the revolution, but even more so after the fall of Mubarak. This was, however, the deadliest attack seen in Sinai, and the first under President Morsi's rule. Backed by public anger, the military launched Operation Eagle to hunt down those behind the attack. Different claims have been made regarding the outcome, but what is evident from my visit to the region is that little has changed.

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Link between Hizbullah and Mexician Cartels...

October 30, 2012   
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) is warning that the federal government is ignoring a growing Hizbullah presence in Mexico, with the Lebanese terror group increasingly joining forces with drug cartels, Fox News reported.

There are reportedly hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners living in Mexico, many of whom may be radicals using routes established by drug networks to sneak into the United States.

“I don’t have a lot of faith in the Department of Homeland Security,” said Myrick. “They should be looking at these groups in Mexico much more closely.”

The ties linking Mexico to Islamic terrorism were highlighted earlier this year when an alleged Iranian operative plotted to assassinate a Saudi diplomat in Washington using a hired gun on loan from a Mexican drug cartel.

Mansour J. Arbabsia, a used-car salesman from Texas, had been accused of conspiring to hire assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million to kill the ambassador.

At the time the charges were announced, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said the plot had been “directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Quds Force,” part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

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Italy, Land of Islam...

October 31, 2012   

The Italian authorities have capitulated to hatred.

Last week Italian education minister Francesco Profumo proposed that Islam be taught in public schools alongside the traditional teaching of Catholicism, while Bishop Mariano Crociata, secretary general of the Italian Episcopal Conference, announced that the Vatican is in favor of building new mosques in Italy.

Tthe European Bishops met with European Muslims in Turin to proclaim the need for the “progressive enculturation of Islam in Europe”.

And it began when thousands of Muslims marched in front of Milan’s Duomo to protest against Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, burning Israeli flags and chanting anti-Jewish slogans, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, John Paul II’s spokesman for 22 years, defended the “freedom of expression” of the Muslims who burned the Star of David.

Now, Sheikh Abu Iyad is the major Islamist wanted for the terror attack against the US consultate in Benghazi, Libya. It was just been discovered that two of his handmen are Sami Essid Ben Khemais and Mehdi Kammoun. They both lived in Italy between Milano and Gallarate and they spent seven years in Italian prisons for terrorism.

Italy leads the ranking in Europe as paradise for “martyrs”, imams of hatred and terrorists involved in major terror attacks.

Twenty-nine of the suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan came from Italy.

Eight of the terrorists jailed in Guantanamo Bay are Italians.

Hussien Saber Fadhil, who has been called “the caliph”, is the Iraqi arrested in Venice and considered the Italian link with al Qaeda. He sent money to the Palestinian Arab terror groups as well.

The most well known “Italian” terrorist is Abu Farid Al Masri, the suicide bomber who destroyed the United Nations’ building in Baghdad in 2003, killing dozens of civilians.

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Israel is losing the PR War.....

October 31, 2012   Israeli soldier girls 65
For over forty years Israel has been losing a public relations war to the Arabs and now to the Palestinain Arabs. And no one in Israel seems to care.

Dr. Ron Schleifer, a professor at Ariel University, and an expert research academician on Psychological Warfare and military-media relations, has been studying the phenomena for years and has tried to sound the alarm on the importance of changing the way Israel uses the media. He has just returned from a trip to the United States in which he gave the Israeli perspective at a pro-Zionist conference that included thinker Bernard Lewis and Pamela Geller of subway ad fame.

“Subconsciously, we still have this attitude that the goyim hate us anyway so why bother with public relations” said Schleifer. “The answer should be that this question is totally irrelevant.”

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October 30, 2012

A Letter to America’s Rabbis: Drop Obama


To My Fellow Rabbis:

I write to you at this time of dire trouble for our country and for Israel.
Last week America was under attack. Our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were slaughtered by Muslim extremists. This was not a spontaneous "protest" against an admittedly stupid video. This was an organized military assault, coordinated expressly for execution on 9/11.

Likewise, the "protests" in Cairo at the American embassy where our flag was shredded, and the black Islamist flag of al-Qaeda was raised in its place. Reliable sources say the US was forewarned of both attacks -- probably by Israel. But America's State Department ignored those warnings. Why?

The Obama administration's reactions to these outrages was sadly typical. The very next day, President Obama incongruously flew off to Las Vegas to raise funds. Lamentably, our government still apologizes for that inane video, made by an Egyptian Coptic.

Where is the leadership here? What has such ongoing appeasement gotten us? President Obama once promised a "reset" of America's relationship with the Muslim world. But the reality has been far different. The Islamic world holds us in greater contempt than ever, seeing Obama's America as weak, and as incapable, or unwilling, to defend our interests and our friends.
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Carter and Obama: ‘He Who Is Merciful to the Cruel Ends Up Cruel to the Merciful’

Cover image: To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the "Arab Spring"

When the Iranian student revolutionaries took American hostages in 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter chose a path consistent with his character, but inconsistent with the American character.  He tried desperately, again and again, to prove to the Islamist revolutionaries and their ruling Mullahs that the big bad United States would not be a bully or resort to violence to enforce its views or to protect its assets, even when those assets are American citizens.  His strategy failed.

That strategy is still a failure. And, by all accounts, our current president is hell-bent on employing it whenever he can.

In a book that shows clearly the parallels between the dilemma posed to America by Iran during Carter's regime and the one Iran presents to our current president, To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the "Arab Spring," Ruthie Blum brings the not-so-distant-history alive.

Blum's book is a must read for those who lived through and remember that first Iranian assault on American leadership. But it's also for those too young to remember that episode - and really, it's for everyone now living through the current Iranians' attack on America's role as leader of the free world and bulwark against the unfree world.  In both cases the Iranians have played America for a fool, and in both cases they had a U.S. leader who willingly, maybe even eagerly, took on that role.

For those old enough to remember, in 1979, when Jimmy Carter was president, he was furiously engaged in an effort to persuade the Islamists in Iran that the United States harbored only "genuine good will" towards them.  What he most sought from them was "dialogue," not disagreements.  His timidity encouraged rather than discouraged those who sought to overthrow America's long-time ally, the Shah of Iran.  Instead of reaching out to meet U.S. overtures, Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers refused to meet, let alone negotiate, with Carter's emissaries.
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A Nation Of Kreplach

By: Dov Shurin

Hoshana Rabbah is, according to tradition, the day the judgment of Yom Kippur is sealed and finalized. There are some changes in the morning prayers. We circle the bima seven times with our lulav and esrog and then we put them down and take five aravos and beat them on the synagogue floor as if to say, “These are being beaten instead of me.”

Then we return home for a festive meal in the

At this meal we include soup with
kreplach. Kreplach are globs of dough with a piece of meat hidden in the middle. Why? Because we are not sure that this day is such a festive occasion that it requires a wine and meat meal, as on Shabbos or festivals. And as we await the arrive of Eliyahu to answer these types of questions, we hide the meat in the heart of the dough – thus, kreplach.

After what happened to me this Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah, I must say I’ve gone deep into the heart of the
krepel (singular for kreplach) and have concluded that indeed there is more to the krepel than meets the eye.

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Bank of China Behind Murder of Yeshiva Students

Naftali and Elisha, brother and father of Avraham David Moses HY"D, one of the 8 students killed in a shooting attack at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, at his funeral, March 7, 2008.
Naftali and Elisha, brother and father of Avraham David Moses HY"D, one of the 8 students killed in a shooting attack at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, at his funeral, March 7, 2008.
Photo Credit: Anna Kaplan/ Flash90
A $1 billion lawsuit filed on Tuesday in New York state court against the Bank of China alleges that it "intentionally and recklessly" provided services to terrorist groups via its New York branch. The suit was filed by the families of eight Israeli high school students who were murdred on March 2008 in a shooting in Jerusalem, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The civil lawsui alleges that the Bank of China made dozens of wire transfers for the Hamas terrorist gorp, to the tune of several million dollars, starting in 2003.

The money transfers were coordinated by the Hamas from Iran and Syria, according to the lawsuit, and was processed through the U.S. branches of the Bank of China, then sent to a Bank of China account in China owned by the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. From there the money was transferred to the Gaza strip and the PA territories, to fund terrorist attacks.

According to the lawsuit, Israeli officials met with officials of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and China's central bank in 2005, to urge them to prevent the Bank of China from making these wire transfers, but they were ignored.

A representative for Bank of China in New York could not be reached by Dow Jones Newswires.

Five families are named as plaintiffs in the Bank of China suit seeking $1 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Eight students died on March 6, 2008, when Islamist terrorist entered the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem and started shooting at the students.


by Barry Rubin

No, it sure isn't the age of Aquarius or of Multicultural, Politically Correct love-ins. It's the age of revolutionary Islamism, especially Sunni Islamism. And you better learn to understand what this is all about real fast.
(Shia Islamism, important mainly because of Iran and especially because of its nuclear ambitions, is number two on the threat list. But that's not our topic today.)
Focusing on the Sunni revolutionary Islamist tidal wave, the foundation of knowledge is that there are three types and they are all bad, very bad. A lot of people are going to be misinforming you about this and getting others — never themselves, of course — killed.
Sometimes people ask me why I use the phrase "revolutionary" Sunni Islamism. The reason is to remind everyone that this is a revolutionary movement like those of the past that seek to use a variety of strategies and tactics — of which violence might be only one — to seize, hold, and use state power to transform societies.
Some ask why I use the word "Islamism" and the reason is because this is a specific, conscious set of organized political movements. However theology is related to this issue the problem is political, not theological. Anyone who watched over decades as I have how the radicals had to sell the idea that "jihad" today meant picking up guns, cutting off people's heads, overthrowing governments, and assembling mobs of thousands screaming for death and destruction, would have no illusion that they had an easy time of it.

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Obama Again Spreads False Claim That Thomas Jefferson Hosted First Ramadan Iftar Dinner At White House
Obama said during his iftar at the White House on August 10, 2012: "As I've noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago." The State Department retailed the same PC myth last year in this article, 'Thomas Jefferson's Iftar,' July 29. 2011."[1] From Family Security Matters, August 10, 2012.
A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
A Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
"The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago." — Barack Obama, speaking on August 14, 2010, at the "Annual Iftar Dinner" at the White House
Really? Is that what happened? Was there a "first known iftar at the White House" given by none other than President Thomas Jefferson for the "first Muslim ambassador to the United States"? That's what Barack Obama and his dutiful speechwriters told the Muslims in attendance at the 2010 "Annual Iftar Dinner," knowing full well that the remarks would be published for all to see. Apparently Obama, and those who wrote this speech for him, and others who vetted it, find nothing wrong with attempting to convince Americans, as part of their policy of trying to win Muslim hearts and Muslim minds, that American history itself can be rewritten. A little insidious nunc pro tunc backdating, to rewrite American history. And that rewrite of American history has the goal of convincing Americans, in order to please Muslims, that the United States and Islam, that Americans and Muslims, go way back.

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Two Men, Two Prayers, Two Miracles

My column on prayer last week touched sensitive chords in many hearts. It is apparent that in our troubled times people are struggling with the entire concept of prayer. Does it really work? Is there Someone listening, or is it a waste of time?

I will share two stories that shed some illumination on the subject. To protect the privacy of all involved, I have used pseudonyms.
Man #1

Arthur lived in the community where my husband, Rabbi Meshulem HaLevi Jungreis, zt”l, was the rabbi. He was a member of a Reform temple and we had never met him until the day he came knocking at our door.

“Rabbi,” he said, his voice filled with emotion, “my wife has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s very serious and she is scheduled for surgery. I am coming to you because you are a man of G-d and I need a miracle.”

My husband, in his usual caring, loving way, invited him in and put his arm around him, indicating he was there for him. “Miracles,” he explained in his gentle voice, “are all around us – the entire world is one big miracle. So now we have to appeal to G-d for yet another miracle – the miracle of refuah sheleimah – the blessing of healing.”

“That’s it, Rabbi! That’s exactly what we need. How do we make it happen? I’m ready to do whatever it takes.”

“Let’s start with your own and your wife’s Jewish names.”

Arthur searched his mind and finally said “I am Avraham and my wife, Lisa, is Leah.”

My husband proceeded to explain to him the significance and power in our Jewish names. Arthur was overwhelmed and repeated, “So let’s make it happen, Rabbi. Tell me what I have to do.”

“We have a threefold formula that gives us access to G-d’s direct line and puts us through to His inner chamber,” said my husband. “It’s as simple as that.”
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Modern Orthodox Dropouts

Orthodox dropping out
Photo Credit: Yori Yanover
There has been a lot of discussion about young people abandoning Mitzvah observance (going OTD) over the past few years. A lot of that discussion took place here.

Indeed it has been declared a crisis by some. The focus of this issue in the religious media has been primarily in the Charedi world. Many theories have emerged as to why children go OTD. Among them: being sexually abused and the negative reactions to it by family and community, dysfunctional family situations, faulty educational environments, teachers unprepared to deal with questions of faith, or being overly sheltered from the world so that rebellion occurs when they are exposed to it unprepared.

I’m sure I missed a few reasons, but suffice it to say there are many reasons or combination of reasons to explain the phenomenon in the Charedi world. This problem is non discriminatory and touches even the best of households. Much ink has been spilled on horror stories of good and decent parents who have one child who has completely crashed and has become – not only OTD, but even a societal outcast (e.g. use of hard drugs and generally dropping out of society).

What has not been discussed much is the phenomenon of Modern Orthodox children going OTD. As though it wasn’t a problem for them. Of course that isn’t true. MO kids go OTD too. But I was amazed to find out the rate. According to an excellent blog post by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky there is an unpublished study claiming that 50% of Modern Orthodox high school graduates go OTD within two years of their graduation!

That is a shocking statistic. It almost justifies claims I often hear by the right that whatever problems they have with OTD, it is a drop in the bucket compared to our problems with it. My answer to them is that their drop is a very large drop which has been declared a crisis by many of their own leaders. But their point is well taken if that 50% statistic is anywhere near true.

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An Open Letter to Religious Zionist Rabbis

Dear Rabbi:

With elections approaching in Israel, I am searching for a religious political party for which to vote. When I think about voting for Shas, I remember their support for Oslo, the surrender of parts of Eretz Yisrael, giving rifles to our enemies, and the terrible sea of Jewish blood that was spilled after the Oslo Accords were signed. That is not the Torah I am searching to find.

When I think about voting for Degal HaTorah and Agudah, except for a few lone voices, I remember their silence leading up to, and during, the Disengagement from Gush Katif, when fellow Jews were thrown out of their homes and pieces of Eretz Yisrael were handed over to our enemies. That is not the Torah I am searching for.

When I think about voting for the Bayit HaYehudi-National Union merger, I see that their leading candidate in the polls has chosen a very pretty young woman as a running mate. Please understand that I have nothing against women, and I am sure this candidate is a very talented and idealistic person, but I wonder if in a public situation like politics, it is appropriate to include a young attractive woman in the leadership of the party, especially for a party that promises to defend Torah ideals.

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Mitt Romney for President

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover
I am not a partisan voter. My voting record clearly shows that. Here is my voting record since 1968:

Humphrey (D) McGovern (D) Carter (D) Reagan (R) Reagan (R) Bush (41) (R) Clinton (D) Clinton (D) Gore (D) Bush (43) (R) McCain (R)

I choose candidates based on who I think will be do the best job for the country, for Israel, and for the Jewish people. I do not vote by party.

Although I have finally made my decision - for the first time I am not as sure as I usually am about which candidate will actually be the better President.

The last debate added nothing toward that end. The two candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain the same in my eyes. Their views were not made clearer at all on any of the issues that are important to the American people nor to me as a Jew.

I recently wrote that their views on Israel though not identical are both positive - and not all that dissimilar. I also said that for the first time my decision would not be based on that issue. Instead -“It’s (still) the economy, Stupid!” Of course the economy matters to Jews just as much as it does to everyone else. But it is definitely not a Jewish issue.
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The Innocence of Obama

Ten years ago most left-thinking liberals were constantly worried about the erosion of civil liberties under the War on Terror though they could rarely name an instance where an American citizen had actually experienced such an erosion.

This was after all before the days when naked scanners and drone strikes had entered the vocabulary and the best they could do was to haul out Jose Padilla, aka Abdullah al-Muhajir, ACLU's choirboy of the month, a Brooklyn-born convert to Islam who was being held in jail for no reason at all except aiding terrorists and plotting to build a dirty bomb.

Ten years later the lefty civil liberties types were proven right. The War on Terror did erode our civil liberties and America's first political prisoner in generations has spent a month in jail for making an inconvenient movie at an inconvenient time.

When Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Navy SEALS who died fighting in Benghazi, met with Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State assured him that, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And they got him, officially on charges of violating parole, unofficially on charges of violently offending violent Muslims.

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In Mixed Reactions, Some Call Likud-Beitenu Move Brilliant, Some Warn of Losses

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud (R) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beitenu announced their two parties' joining forces ahead of the upcoming Israeli general elections.

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beitenu) said at an interview show that the union between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu had come as no surprise to him, as it was clear that after the election the two parties would seek to establish a nationalist government together. "The leaders of the two parties, Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu, have done well to join together before the election," said Ayalon, adding that the move has clarified for the voters what is at stake: choosing between a large, experienced and cohesive block, representing the will of the Zionist majority—those who work, serve, and shoulder responsibilities—and splinter parties, some of them fashionable, with no experience or a proven leadership ability."

But over at the Likud, many appear unimpressed by their party leader's bold move, which is expected to be voted on at the Likud conference on Monday. Several Likud ministers are weighing a vote against the union. Minister of Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan has so far been the most vociferous against the move, saying he fears that Likud would suffer from this rightward turn.

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A Red Carpet for Radicals at the White House

A year-long investigation by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has found that scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, meeting with top administration officials.
Court documents and other records have identified many of these visitors as belonging to groups serving as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other Islamic militant organizations.
The IPT made the discovery combing through millions of White House visitor log entries. IPT compared the visitors' names with lists of known radical Islamists. Among the visitors were officials representing groups which have:
  • Been designated by the Department of Justice as unindicted co-conspirators in terrorist trials; Extolled Islamic terrorist groups including Hamas and Hizballah;
  • Obstructed terrorist investigations by instructing their followers not to cooperate with law enforcement;
  • Promoted the incendiary conspiratorial allegation that the United States is engaged in a "war against Islam"— a leading tool in recruiting Muslims to carry out acts of terror;
  • Repeatedly claimed that many of the Islamic terrorists convicted since 9-11 were framed by the U.S government as part of an anti-Muslim profiling campaign.
Individuals from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) visited the White House at least 20 times starting in 2009. In 2008, CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist money laundering case in U.S. history – the trial of the Holy Land Foundation in which five HLF officials were convicted of funneling money to Hamas.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis later ruled that, "The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the association" of CAIR to Hamas, upholding their designations as unindicted co-conspirators. In 2008, the FBI formally ended all contact with CAIR because of its ties to Hamas.

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Are You a Baal Teshuvah?

A friend of mine was discussing the changes he’s made in his lifestyle over the last 10 years.
Hailing from a family where the traditions of Judaism were an afterthought at best, he has gradually adopted a number of observances into his life.

With the encouragement of rabbis and other mentors, he now puts on tefillin once a week, buys only kosher meat and is a semi-regular synagogue attendee. He and his wife have just enrolled their children in after-school Hebrew lessons.

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Bomb the bomb

A policy that does not work is wrong. Yet the West persists in its non-proliferation approach.

International condemnation and sanctions have prevented no country from developing nuclear weapons.

Pakistan and North Korea are extremely unstable, hostile regimes. No one knows the exact number of nuclear bombs they have, let alone the whereabouts of the bombs. Pakistan is a confirmed nuclear proliferator which has helped scores of rogue regimes—including North Korea, Iran, and Libya—to develop nuclear weapons. The father of the Pakistani nuclear program, Ahmad Khan, wages his private jihad against the West, deliberately disseminating nuclear technology and sending Pakistani nuclear scientists abroad. While formally ousted from his leading position at the Pakistani nuclear conglomerate, Khan continues to control the enterprise to the extent of using military planes for private trips. Intelligence services cannot account for at least twenty nuclear bombs produced in Pakistan.
North Korea is dirt poor, hostile, fearless, and opportunistic. It would sell the bomb to any cash bidder.

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Two Reasons for Increased Anti-Semitism (1990)

What has happened? What has happened in natural terms? Of course, in divine terms, the Almighty is ending it for us. But what is happening in natural terms?

Two basic changes have taken place in this country over the last twenty years. It began slowly, now it is reaching its crescendo. We have seen the death of what I call the “Auschwitz syndrome”. What is the “Auschwitz syndrome”?

After World War II, it was hard to be an anti-Semite, even for an anti-Semite. It was just difficult. And then the years passed – ten years, twenty years, twenty-five years, thirty years, and a generation arose which was not born at that time. And the “Auschwitz syndrome” began to fade away, and the guilt began to fade away. No matter how many Holocaust programs were shown on television, every year they had less and less impact. Indeed, they reach a point whereby they encourage anti-Semitism, whereupon the anti-Semite says: “ Hey, you know, I know Jews, and the Nazis, and they were probably right.” That’s what happens today. It fades away. And to help things along, there was the rise of a strong Israel.

Suddenly, Israel was winning. And that allowed the anti-Semite to cut the albatross. Now it was OK. You see, the Jew are Nazis, and they persecute the Palestinians, and now it was OK. So the “Auschwitz syndrome” faded, and it’s gone for all practical purposes. And you hear people speak about the holocaust that the Israelis are perpetrating upon the Palestinians.

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Capitalism at the Tipping Point

There is a strong feeling in Israel that the State has become wealthier but the people have become poorer. This is due to the fact that the means for productivity are concentrated in the hands of a small minority. The first and foremost means of productivity was and remains land.

Israel's economic leadership has conducted itself according to the best criteria known to it: capitalism. This saved Israel from descent into the depths of socialism that had previously brought us triple digit inflation and has toppled the economies of Europe right before our eyes.

There is no such thing as a socialist economy. Economy means creativity, productivity, creation and life; emulating the Creator. Socialism is a euphemism for robbery and self-righteous theft – perpetrated by the law. Creation and robbery go together like life and death. There is not and cannot be a socialist economy.

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Either it's This is our Land, or it's Run for Cover

Either it's This is our Land, or it's Run for Cover.

There is a simple solution to the terror raining down from the skies on southern Israel: A return to the "This is our Land" mentality. When Israel believed that this is our land, the residents of Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon lived in peace.

Instead of incessant talk about defeating terror, Israel must focus on victory. A prerequisite to victory is the firm belief that Gaza is part and parcel of the Land of Israel. Until our leaders return to the "This is our Land" mentality, the residents of Israel's south will unfortunately have to keep running to the bomb shelters.

Moshe Feiglin

US President John Adams Embraced a Jewish Homeland

President John Adams

The correspondence of John Adams, second president of the United States, reflects the complexity with which Jews and Judaism were viewed in early national America.

Most “enlightened” American Christians such as Adams saw Jews as an ancient people who, by enunciating monotheism, laid the groundwork for Christianity. He also saw them as individuals who deserved rights and protection under the law.

Like many of his peers, Adams venerated ancient Jews and thought contemporary Jews worthy of respect, but found Judaism, the religion of the Jewish people, an anachronism and the Jewish people candidates for conversion to Christianity.

In an 1808 letter criticizing the depiction of Jews by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire, Adams expressed his respect for ancient Jewry. Adams wrote of Voltaire, “How is it possible [that he] should represent the Hebrews in such a contemptible light?

They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth.

The Romans and their Empire were but a Bauble in comparison of the Jews. They have given religion to three quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily, than any other Nation ancient or modern.”

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President Lincoln and his Jewish Friends

Lincoln: And so the Children of Israel were driven from the
happy land of Canaan.
Kaskel: Yes, and that is why we have come to Father
Abraham, to ask his protection.
Lincoln: And this protection they shall have
at once.

Cesar J. Kaskel, apprising  Lincoln of General Grant’s Order Number 11

In his scholarly study of American Jewry and the Civil War
(Philadelphia, 1951), Bertram W. Korn writes that in the eulogy Rabbi Isaac
M. Wise delivered after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, he
claimed: “the lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone
and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew
parentage. He said so in my presence.” There is no shred of evidence to
substantiate Wise’s assertion, Korn declares, and “Lincoln is not known to have
said anything resembling this to any of his other Jewish acquantances.” But,
Korn asserts, Lincoln “could not have been any friendlier to individual Jews, or
more sympathetic to Jewish causes, if he had stemmed from Jewish ancestry.” He
also points to the Robert Todd Lincoln Collection of Lincoln Papers in the
Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress as a prime source “for the
elucidation of Lincoln’s contacts with various Jews … in particular …
Abraham Jonas and Isachar Zacharie.”

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Early American Awareness of Islamic Terrorism

Founding Fathers America

Since the 18th century, American founding fathers and scholars have been aware of deeply-rooted Islamic violence, terrorism, intolerance and hatred toward other Muslims, as well as non-Muslims.

Early American leaders and thinkers were endowed with deep appreciation and unique knowledge of global history, international relations, ancient cultures, ideologies and religions. They spoke and wrote candidly about global threats, including the Islamic threat.

In 1830, New York University Professor George Bush, the great-granduncle of George H. W. Bush, considered one of the most profound American scholars of the mid-19th century, published “The Life of Mohammed.” He was not concerned about political correctness, was low on delusion and top-heavy on realism. His 1830 reference to the Islamic threat was consistent with the 2012 state of intra-Muslim atrocities, hate-education, tyranny, anti-U.S. stormy Arab winter, intolerance of criticism, global Islamic terrorism in general and suicide bombing in particular.

According to Professor Bush, ”[Muhammad] promised robes of silks, marble palaces, groves and fountains and beautiful virgins to those who fought for the faith … offering his enemies the alternative; the Koran or the sword. …

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Paul Eidelberg - Policy & Politics

Eidelberg has drafted a Constitution for the State of Israel, which has influenced various Knesset Members interested in constitutional reform.
Eidelberg is on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy Research, which has published many of his policy papers. In addition to writing more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and scholarly journals in the U.S. and Israel, he is a weekly guest on The Tamar Yonah Show on Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio.

In 2003, Eidelberg's Yamin Israel ran with Herut – The National Movement for the Knesset elections of that year. The joint list fell 8,000 votes short of the electoral threshold. After the elections Herut and Yamin Israel parted ways.

In 2005, Yamin Israel merged with the Jewish National Front. Eidelberg stood number seven on the JNF's list for the Israeli Knesset for the March 28, 2006 election. The party did not pass Israel's electoral threshold. Yamin Israel and the JNF have since parted ways due to political and ideological differences.

Eidelberg has a weekly column in the Jewish Press, a leading American Orthodox Jewish newspaper.


Romney VS Obama

The parameters of Obama's ME stance and particularly on Israel have to viewed in a Jewish light.
How we define that light is perhaps what defines each of us as Jews.
Do you believe that we have the biblical right to all of Israel?
Do you believe in a TSS?
Do you believe that humanitarian concerns are a higher priority then protecting the Jewish people?

Obama has decided that Israel has no right of self-determination and instead of standing back and allowing Israel to defend herself...he insists on Iron dome strategy and the like to keep control of Israel.

I believe that Israel has the right to biblical boundaries and also to self determination.
I believe that Israel has the Geo-political right to annex all land captured in defensive wars.
I believe that Israel also has the right to expel all people in Israel that they consider terrorists or a threat to Israel and Jews.

I believe that Israel will be better off with a Romney Presidency.

Bibi - Sellout or Politician?

Bibi with Avigdor L, an alliance that on the outside seems good for Religious Jews and Israel....but on the inside is it Bibi just selling out to keep power?

Is it Bibi being a politician to keep power or to do what is right for the Country of Israel?

Where does Bibi stand?

We all continue to hope that these PM's talk positively about the TSS, but know that it will never happen and that they want to court world opinion.

October 23, 2012

T’shuva Brings Healing to the World

Shut the latches of the spaceship. Fasten your seatbelts. Get ready for another magic mystery tour through the galaxies of t’shuva, as illuminated for us in the writings of Rabbi Kook.

If you were like me, you’d order the book, “The Art of T’shuva” (available online) already today, so you can hurry up and do as much t’shuva as you can before the Almighty searches you out in His Big Computer in the sky and views all the personal youtubes you’ve starred in during the year when you thought no one was watching. But you’re not like me, and so you probably won’t buy the book. That’s one of the reasons why I’m in Israel and you’re still in Flatbush or Boro Park.

As we learned, mankind is always involved in t’shuva. The fact that there are many non-religious people today should not be held as a contradiction. T’shuva must be looked at in an encompassing perspective that spans all generations.

A story about Rabbi Kook may help illustrate. One day, Rabbi Kook was walking by the Old City in Jerusalem with Rabbi Chaim Zonnenfeld, one of the leading rabbis of the Ultra-Orthodox community.

“Look how awful our situation is,” the Rabbi observed. “See how many secular Jews there our in the city. Just a few generations ago, their father’s fathers were all Orthodox Jews.”
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The World’s Leader: Israel

Flag of Israel
We have learned that the force of t’shuva is perpetually at work, propelling all of life toward perfection. While the enlightenment of mankind is a gradually developing process, the day is soon coming when the wonder of t’shuva will capture all imaginations and hearts.

In this saga of universal redemption, where do the Jewish People fit in? What role do they play? Just as one might expect, Am Yisrael is to be the leader, blazing the trail for all other peoples to follow. Rabbi Kook writes:
The Jewish People, because of their enhanced spiritual nature, will be the first nation in the world to do t’shuva. The special spirit of t’shuva will initially be revealed in this portion of humanity.Israelis propelled from within to be united with God’s light in the world, which is free of transgression and wrongdoing. Every falling away (from its connection to God) blemishes the wholeness of its inner perfection, yet in the end, its powerful life-force will triumph over the deviation, and it will return to complete health. This complete health will start to invigorate (the nation) with great strength and the light of t’shuva will shine within her first. Afterward, Israel will be the special channel to spread life’s inner yearning for t’shuva to all of the world, to lighten the world’s darkness and elevate its stature (Orot HaT’shuva, 5:8.  See also The Art of T’shuva, Ch. 16).
As we mentioned in a previous blog, Israel’s enhanced spiritual nature lies in its unique holiness and connection to God. “For thou art a holy people to the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God has chosen thee to be a special people to Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Devarim, 7:6).

The Nation of Israel has an exalted inner content which radiates God’s blessing to the world. This segula, or unique Divine connection, encompasses all of the Jewish People. It is our national soul. Blemishes caused by sin are always external to the soul of the nation, leaving no permanent scar.

Israel’s deep, inner yearning to be connected to God, triumphs in the end, banishing all darkness. We are not speaking about a spiritual awakening of scattered individuals. THE WHOLE NATION RETURNS TO GOD. True to the prophecy of Moses, the whole nation will return to live by the Torah. Politicians and soldiers, artists and farmers, teachers and judges will have one common purpose — to sanctify life’s every endeavor. Israel will return to being itself — “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Shemot, 19:6).

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Rashi Was a Zionist Racist

Almost everyone is familiar with the famous first Rashi on the Torah. He asks why does the Torah begin with the account of Creation? After all, since the Torah contains the commandments which Hashem gave to Am Yisrael, it should have begun the precept concerning Rosh Chodesh - the first commandment given to the Israelite Nation.

Rashi answers his question by quoting a Midrash of Rabbi Yitzhak which explains that if the nations of the world claim that we stole the Land of Israel from them, we can answer that since the Holy One Blessed Be He created the world and appointed different countries to different peoples, He can take Eretz Yisrael away from them if He chooses and give it to us.

Did Rashi have political savvy? Did he foresee the day when the Arabs, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the Chinese, and the Zulus in Africa, would callIsraelthieves, claiming that we stole Eretz Yisrael from the Palestinians? Maybe, but I don’t think he was meaning to tell Bibi what to answer in one of his UN speeches.

Furthermore, the Land of Israel isn’t even mentioned in the first verse of the Torah, or in the second, or the third. Why does Rashi talk about it here? True, Adam was born on the Temple Mount and only later placed in the Garden of Eden, but that’s learned from different source, and not from the very first verse of the Torah. So why talk about the Land of Israel here in a commentary, in Rashi’s own words, that deals with the straightforward meaning and pashat of the text?
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Sarah Silverman is Not to Blame

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover
To be perfectly honest, until yesterday, I had never heard of Sarah Silverman. I never saw a photo or a video of her; I never heard her jokes, nothing.  While a great deal of junk American culture seeps into the Land of Israel, still we are sheltered from much of it, thank G-d, and I never heard her name mentioned in Israel at all. Until yesterday, when to my surprise and chagrin, I saw the immodest photo of her on the homepage of The Jewish Press, in her sleeveless top and her butt sticking into the air. Gevalt!

Reading on about the silly fuss, I was further chagrined. Rachmonis on rabbis in America if this is where their heads are at. First of all, looking at photos and videos of young ladies like Sarah is the Torah transgression of straying after one’s heart and one’s eyes. From the description of her comedy routines, listening to her is a violation of taking part in a gathering of mockers and scorners. So what is a rabbi doing in a place he doesn’t belong?

Furthermore, is he now going to set out on a campaign to rebuke every Jewish comedian in Hollywood, and every Jewish actor, director, playwright, musician, politician, Facebook inventor, and Jewish Federation president who married a gentile? Why single out Sarah? Pick on Simon and Garfunkel instead.
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Ask Any Eight-Year Old

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash90
Give this week’s Torah portion, “Lech Lecha,” to an eight-year old to read, ask him where God wants the Jewish People to live and he will answer “the Land of Israel” right away. Give it to a gentile to read and ask him the same question. “The Land of Israel” he will answer without batting an eye. Give it to a Jew in the Diaspora and ask him the same question, and you’ll get a dozen different answers:

“Well, it depends….”

“It’s not the same for us today….”

“What was true for Avraham isn’t a general rule….”

“In Brooklyn, New York….”

“In Australia….”

“Until the Moshiach comes, a Jew can live anywhere he wants….”

But the fact is that God starts off His relationship with the Jewish People by telling our first forefather, Avraham, “Get thee forth to the Land that I will show you.” God doesn’t tell him to keep Shabbat.
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The price of moderation

Supporters of two-state solution have sown seeds for the de-legitimization of Israel- Martin Sherman

“…The maximum that any government of Israel will be ready to offer the Palestinians … is much less than the minimum that any Palestinian leader can accept.”
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, Febuary 2009

The foregoing citation from the former chairman of Israel‘s National Security Council underscores the essential futility of pursuing what has become to be regarded as the sine qua non for a resolution of the Palestinian issue and hence a lasting Middle East Peace – and by implication for eradicating the basic cause of friction between the West and Islam: The two state solution.

Future historians will be baffled as to how such a manifestly disastrous and unworkable concept came to be so widely and warmly embraced – not only by those who had a vested interested in feigning support for it, but by those who had a vested interest in exposing it as the duplicitous subterfuge it is. They will be mystified as to why – despite the fact that it entailed devastatingly detrimental consequences for all involved – both Arabs and Jews – it became the acknowledged hallmark of refined reason.

An instructive example was the recent defense, by prominent Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, of Israel’s right to present its case which focused on the February 2010 incident at UC, Irvine, when Ambassador Michael Oren was prevented from addressing students by Palestinian hecklers. What made this particularly egregious in Dershowitz’s eyes was the fact that Oren was “a moderate supporter of the two-state solution”, thus, inadvertently perhaps, hinting that this would not be so had he opposed such an approach.

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Go figure Tom Friedman

Tom Friedman is journalist of undoubted talent. He has produced numerous insightful and thought-provoking columns on both US domestic politics and on international affairs that range from the ascent of modern India to the potential profitability for inventiveness in environmentally friendly technologies. However, when it comes to Israel – specifically the Israel-Palestinian question – his writing morphs from the lucid to the ludicrous. 

Indeed, since the beginning of the Obama Administration in late 2008, Friedman has sallied forth with series of articles that have not only been harshly critical of Israel, but also decidedly haughty and hostile. But as irritating as his condescending and contemptuous style may be, what is far more troubling is how the substance of his writings has become so detached from reality and/or so devoid of context. 

In his Driving Drunk in Jerusalem (March 2010), Friedman adopted the most malevolent and mendacious aspects of anti-Israeli slander. In it, he suggested that the Israel government was putting the lives of American troops at risk – all because during a visit by Vice President Biden in Jerusalem, it approved an interim planning stage for the future expansion of an existing neighborhood in its capital, situated closer to the Knesset than Du Pont Circle (in central Washington DC) is to the Capitol.

Approvingly he quoted Biden mindless allegation that “What you are doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and endangers regional peace.”

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The Sheer, Small-L Liberalism of ‘Rabbis for Romney’

Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg
Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg
Despite recent polls suggesting Jews may not be voting as a monolithic bloc for the Democratic ticket, at least in this presidential race, it still has to be lonely being a rabbi who has publicly committed to supporting Mitt Romney for U.S. president.  And it must be even lonelier for someone who publicly committed to creating an organization called "Rabbis for Romney."

But when you talk to the man behind that organization, you discover that not only is he not lonely, he is not a particularly partisan individual. In fact, he's a registered Democrat, whose sole purpose for starting Rabbis for Romney  is that he didn't want there to be rabbis united for only one candidate, when he knows that there are Jews who also support Romney.

And while, unlike Rabbis for Obama, Rabbis for Romney does not boast hundreds of members, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg is confident that the hundreds of hours and thousands of emails he has written has had an impact.  He knows there are people who are just a little bit better informed because of the efforts he and his dozens of volunteers have put in.

Rabbi Rosenberg makes it very clear that he is not a conspiracy theorist and he insists that "the president of the United States deserves our respect," he explained to The Jewish Press.
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Obama’s Last Stand

donkey in the air
Photo Credit: YY
Democrats do not have a great track record in the White House. The number of Democratic presidents who have won second terms is small and becomes much smaller with the second half of the 20th Century. Unlike Congressional shifts which reflect regional politics more than a national referendum, the Presidency is a referendum on the usages of the nearly unlimited power of its holder.

The Democratic strategy has been to substitute iconography for competence and their iconic presidents have invariably been men of dubious character. FDR rode to power on the coattails of the Roosevelt name, after conducting a smear campaign against Teddy Roosevelt’s son who would have been the natural candidate.

Once in power, FDR assembled a grab-bag of bad ideas from European Socialists and Fascists and employed a small army of writers and artists as propagandists to lionize his programs. Marginally competent, Roosevelt the Second cultivated an aristocratic paternal air, surrounded himself with experts and programs to create public confidence.

FDR did not fix the economy, but he did lead the country through World War II while preemptively losing World War III, which was enough to give him the iconic status that had made his presidency possible.

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Election Trash Talk....

 obama, ahmadinejad, iran, nukes, elections,media, kirschen : Dry Bones cartoon.

Jordan is Palestine' Israel's Best Policy Move

Aryeh Eldad
Aryeh Eldad

Opening his campaign for the Knesset as head of the Hatikvah party, MK Aryeh Eldad told students at the Ma'oz pre-military academy Monday that his “Jordan is Palestine” campaign was Israel's best policy move at this time. Recognizing the historic fact of the division of Palestine by the British into an Arab state and a territory designated for the Arabs of the Land of Israel was a positive policy move for Israel that would help frame a proper solution to the Israel-Arab dispute, he said.

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Extinguish Islam

The West has several historically standard options to deal with the world of Islam.

The most common approach, extermination of the hostile population, is not practical because the Muslims are too many. Is it immoral? Well, Red Indians are still stereotyped in America.

Another approach is exemplary punishment. Rome was famous for that tactic; it was generally benevolent, but sometimes reacted with extreme cruelty and local extermination campaigns. If that sounds too harsh, recall Sudafend, Coventry, Dresden, and Hiroshima. Did the world change after the world wars? Recall Setif or Arpalik. Perhaps the Americans are different from the bloodthirsty French or Greeks? Recall the Hanoi bombings or My Lai, a village where a random sampling of US soldiers shot civilians, from babies to eighty-two-year-olds, at point-blank range in a manner entirely reminiscent of the massacres of Jewish people by German police battalions. Perhaps My Lai was an isolated incident? Then read the eyewitness accounts of anti-communist journalist Katsuichi Honda, who describe the incessant murder of Vietnamese civilians by American troops. The Americans aren’t evil at all, but nice and moral most of the time.

Jews, too, are generally nice and moral: except in the places like Dir Yassin, or when shooting POWs or rolling over them with tanks. The first ethical commandment is, Do not murder. Since wars violate that basic prohibition to begin with, no ethics survive the battlefield experience. Mild wars, such as in Iraq and Lebanon, leave room for moderation; really dangerous wars don’t. The Western conflict with the world of Islam is a major conflict.

Exemplary punishment has to be short and terrifying like Hiroshima, not persistent like Vietnam. People, especially the poor, get used to ongoing violence. Long-term military operations are costly to the empire.

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Messiah is us

Judaism is a religion of deeds; Jews must act on our beliefs. Some actions are profound, others are bothersome but acceptable, but a few are plainly dangerous.

In the last case, cowardice veils itself in extreme religiosity. Jews know that all the authorities from Torah to the Rebe have concurred: the Promised Land entirely belongs to the Jewish state, and no piece of it should be given to Arabs.

During the Gush Katif protests, however, religious Jews appealed to much less significant rules, such as obedience to the state, to justify their peaceful action—which amounted to inaction. Now many religious Jews abstain from active opposition to the treacherous Israeli government. They claim powerlessness, and demand the true Messiah to lead them.

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To the Wavering Voter

Dear Wavering Voter:

No, abortion rights and access to contraception will not be jeopardized if Mitt Romney becomes president. Not remotely, not vaguely, not even close. No woman in America, including Sandra Fluke, will have war made upon her by a President Romney.

Maybe you think the job of a president is to be our DJ-in-Chief and set the mood music for the country. In that case, the slow-jam Obama administration has everything to recommend it, while a Romney presidency may get on your nerves like a hokey country song. But it won't get in your way.

How am I so sure? It's not a question of Mr. Romney's sincerity on social issues. It's the fact that since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land almost 40 years ago, Republican presidents have named seven justices to the Supreme Court, while Democratic presidents have named only four. Guess what? Roe v. Wade is and will remain the law of the land.

No, we will not have another war in the Middle East. Not even if President Romney orders Iran's nuclear sites bombed to smithereens.

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