“It is not a war. It is murder.” | Noam Chomsky


‘It is not a war. It is murder.’
John Glaser

Here is Noam Chomsky’s statement on Israel’s latest aggression in Gaza:

“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace.

The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.

Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.

When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”

Chomsky recently visited Gaza, writing about ‘the world’s biggest open-air prison’ at length upon return.

Contrary to how it is being portrayed, aggression does accurately describe what Israel is doing. Israel initiated this conflict. Israel had several opportunities to pacify the situation and re-establish a cease-fire, and chose instead to escalate. Civilian and government infrastructure is being targeted. As of the time of this writing, the number killed in Gaza has surpassed 80, 22 of them children, 9 of them elderly; 709 have been wounded, 230 of them children, 50 elderly. Three Israelis have been killed by Hamas rocket-fire.

Obama is still acting as a vocal advocate of Israel’s actions in Gaza. And Israel continues attack Gaza with an impunity granted them by American tax dollars, American support, American depravity.

Top 10 Myths About Israel’s Attack on Gaza


Top 10 Myths About Israel’s Attack on Gaza

These misconceptions are spread by the American media.

1. Israeli hawks represent themselves as engaged in a ‘peace process’ with the Palestinians in which Hamas refuses to join. In fact, Israel has refused to cease colonizing and stealing Palestinian land long enough to engage in fruitful negotiations with them. Tel Aviv routinely announces new, unilateral house-building on the Palestinian West Bank. There is no peace process. It is an Israeli and American sham. Talking about a peace process is giving cover to Israeli nationalists who are determined to grab everything the Palestinians have and reduce them to penniless refugees (again).

2. Actions such as the assault on Gaza can achieve no genuine long-term strategic purpose. They are being launched to ensure that Jewish-Israelis are the first to exploit key resources. Rattling sabers at the Palestinians creates a pretext for further land-grabs and colonies on Palestinian land. That is, the military action against the people of Gaza is a diversion tactic; the real goal is Greater Israel, an assertion of Israeli sovereignty over all the territory once held by the British Mandate of Palestine.

3. Israeli hawks represent their war of aggression as in ‘self-defense.’ But the UK Israeli chief rabbi admitted on camera that that the Gaza attack actually ‘had something to do with Iran.’

4. Israeli hawks demonize the Palestinians of Gaza as “bad neighbors” who don’t accept Israel. But 40% of the people in Gaza are refugees, mostly living in refugee camps, from families in pre-1948 Palestine that had lived there for millennia.

They were expelled from what is now Israel in the 1948 Zionist ethnic cleansing campaign. Israelis are now living in their homes and farming their land, and they were never paid any reparations for the crimes done to them.[pdf] “Israel’s failure to provide reparations to Palestinian refugees over the past six decades is in blatant violation of international law.” Israel does not accept Palestine’s right to exist, even though it is constantly demanding that everyone, including the displaced and occupied Palestinians, recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Click to enlarge.

5. Israeli hawks and their American clones depict Gaza as a foreign, hostile state with which Israel is at war. In fact, the Gaza strip is a small territory of 1.7 million people militarily occupied by Israel (something in which the UN and other international bodies concur). Israelis do not allow it to have a port or airport, nor to export most of what it produces. Palestinians cannot work about a third of its land, which is reserved by Israel as a security buffer. As an occupied territory, it is covered by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 on the treatment of occupied populations by their military occupier. Indiscriminate bombing of occupied territories by the occupier is clearly illegal in international law.

6. Israeli hawks see themselves as innocent victims of bewildering Palestinian rage from Gaza. But Israel not only has kept Palestinians of Gaza in the world’s largest outdoor penitentiary, they have them under an illegal blockade that for some years aimed at limiting their nutrition without altogether starving them to death. I wrote earlier:

“The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition. A recent report [pdf] by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers. “

If any foreign power surrounded Israel, destroyed Haifa port and Tel Aviv airport, and prevented Israeli exports from being exported, what do you think Israelis would do? Oh, that’s right, it is rude to see both Palestinians and Israelis as equal human beings.

7. Israeli hawks demonize the Palestinian residents of Gaza as followers of Hamas, a party-militia of the Muslim religious right. But half of Palestinians in Gaza are minors, who never voted for Hamas and cannot be held collectively responsible for that party.

8. Israeli hawks justify their aggression on the Palestinians on grounds of self-defense. But Israel is a country of 7.5 million people with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, helicopter gunships and F-16s and F-18s, plus 400 nuclear warheads. Gaza is a small occupied territory of 1.7 million which has no heavy weaponry, just some old guns and some largely ineffectual rockets. (Israelis cite hundreds of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza in 2012; but until Israel’s recent attack they had killed not a single Israeli, though they did wound a few last March when fighting between Palestinians and Israelis escalated.) Gaza is a threat to Israel the way the Transkei Bantustan was a threat to Apartheid South Africa. As for genuine asymmetrical threats from Gaza to Israel, they could be dealt with by giving the Palestinians a state and ceasing the blockade imposed on them, or in the worst case scenario counter-terrorism targeted at terrorists rather than indiscriminate bombing campaigns.

9. Israeli hawks maintain that they were provoked into the attack. But actually Ahmad Jabari, the Hamas leader the Israelis assassinated earlier this week, had been engaged in talks with the Israelis about a truce. Assassinations achieved by the ruse of openness to peace talks are guarantees of no further peace talks.

10. Although most American media is a cheering section for the Likud Party,in fact the world is increasingly done out with Israel’s aggressiveness. Boycotts and sanctions will likely grow over time, leaving Israeli hawks with a deficit…

Juan Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan

Australia’s Disneyfied Israel


Australia’s Disneyfied Israel

by 

For two weeks this month, Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), visited Australia as a guest of the New Israel Fund Australia Foundation. Only 18 months old, NIF Australia has already achieved a significant aim of its creation: to begin anew a conversation about Israel and Judaism in Australia.

Hagai El-Ad standing in front of the Melbourne skyline. (Photo by Arielle Perlow via New Israel Fund Australia)
Hagai El-Ad standing in front of the Melbourne skyline. (Photo by Arielle Perlow via New Israel Fund Australia)

The Jewish community here—dominated by Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and migrants from South Africa and the former Soviet Union—is acutely aware of the importance of multiculturalism and of respecting human rights in Australia. But, paradoxically, though hardly uniquely, the communal leadership has ensured these values aren’t applied in its engagement with Israel.

Blinded by fear of anti-Semitism and the need to over-protect Israel and our conversations about it, the community has landed firmly on the Zionist Right. With a leadership composed almost exclusively of middle-aged Religious Zionist men, the community has developed a thinly veiled enmity towards left-wing Jews and Zionists. Instead of fostering a pluralist Zionist conversation, they largely promote a limited set of views. The lessons of tolerance, human rights, and equality have, over time, been lost and replaced with a myopic Zionism.

Though the establishment sets its “red lines” for inclusion as being anti-BDS and pro-two-state solution, it has embraced, or at best turned a blind eye to, groups on the right, like Ateret Cohanim, which are active campaigners against Palestinian sovereignty. Meanwhile, NIF guests like David Landau, despite firmly fitting the criteria, are demonized. Similarly, NIF’s credentials and leadership are constantly brought into question.

The math just doesn’t add up: Setting boundaries for Zionist conversation, and then ignoring those boundaries to welcome speakers with anti-Palestinian agendas and to undermine liberal Zionists is, quite simply, rank hypocrisy.

The community’s leadership also deliberately weakens public expressions of liberal Zionism. The cancellation of a visit by Naomi Chazan to Australia in early 2010 served as the precursor for a prolonged global campaign against the New Israel Fund. It was as if, to the communal leadership’s sudden surprise, NIF was full of liberals and left-wing Zionists, and was therefore unworthy of engagement. I have been a victim myself, having been terminated as a columnist at the country’s only Jewish newspaper for daring to support a boycott of settlement goods.

Fully understanding the causes of this dynamic is difficult, but the unbroken right-wing communal leadership and the impact of the Holocaust no doubt contribute to wanting to protect Israel and Diaspora Jews.

Which is why El-Ad’s visit is so crucial. Throughout, a common theme of his talks was an urge to have a “real relationship with a real Israelnot a fake relationship with a ‘Disneyfied’ version of Israel.” Each time he said that, I watched the crowd lift their heads. It was as if they paused, reflected back on his discussion of the human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, of Bedouin displacement in the Negev, of Israel’s mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and realized this was the first time they were actually engaging in these real-world-Israel issues.

His visits to Jewish day schools, in particular, provoked such responses. The occupation, when it is dealt with, is not understood as something that necessarily creates terrible human rights violations and undermines the long-term viability of the Jewish-democratic Zionist project. The ‘aha’ moment with regard to the occupation and the realities facing refugees and asylum seekers, when El-Ad spoke, was that Israel faces these issues, and that bringing them to light is okay. In a small way, his visit contributed to a wider understanding of Israel.

Given everything Jews have been through, and given how close Australian Jewry has been to these catastrophes, it’s not surprising there is a desire to shelter or be sheltered. But creating an atmosphere in which views held by loving and concerned Zionists are marginalized is precisely the wrong way to go, not only as a matter of principle, but because of the way young Jews are disengaging like never before.

El-Ad’s message of human rights and his plea to challenge assumptions ingrained over the decades has further challenged the self-perceived right of the communal leadership to act as marshals of Zionist conversation, deciding who is allowed in and which opinions are kept out. Recently, because of organizations like NIF, members of the community have begun rejecting that paradigm. Being exposed to Israel’s wrongs brings an appreciation for how we can contribute to curing them. These messages don’t delegitimize Israel, they add to its strength.

OBAMA | A Crushing Defeat For Racists, Bigots, Misogynists, Exploiters, Homophobes and Blowhards


Some thoughts on Obama: A stunning defeat for racists, patriarchs, exploiters, homophobes and blowhards

Sent by Alan Gilbert

I am – and most people I know are – enormously relieved and thrilled at Obama’s victory. These are some thoughts about it.

***

Bill O’Reilly spoke of the defeat of “traditional America” a “white America.” He spoke of the latinos as well as blacks who voted for Obama as just wanting “stuff.”

This is a standard pseudo-tea-party line (the Boston Tea party was an integrated revolutionary crowd…). It is wrong in three ways. First, no “tea party” advocate refuses social security, medicare or veterans benefits. “Keep the government’s hands off my social security” was an early tea-party sign which captures the racist ninnie-dom of its aging, not to say doddering “white” advocates.

That slogan is, of course, against the interests of people who believe it. Fortunately, in Ohio, many working class white people didn’t (even in the South, I suspect, a lot of poorer white people didn’t). And fortunately, fewer unmarried white women – a growing per cent of voters – and married white women didn’t.

Second, nobody gets bigger breaks or more “welfare” from the government than billionaires. They get special deals so they can hide their profits overseas from taxation. They get special tax incentives so the Romneys pay a lower tax rate, if any, on their multimillions than any of the people who clean up their many mansions…

Third, the executives at Goldman Sachs, AIG and Bain, for example, make money largely through speculation and gutting other people’s jobs. They are literally parasites or speculators – the creatures of “derivatives” and “credit default swaps” – who produce nothing and wrecked the world economy to boot.

There is another category of capitalists who produce something (Apple being a leading example). At their plant in China (Foxconn), however, 14 workers threw themselves off the roof this summer…

There is thus exploitation of people who actually work, physically, hard, at little pay, under coercion, often in despair, in the production of bright i-phones and computers. Many ordinary Americans are among their number.

Bill O’Reilly is a blowhard who speaks of others who want “stuff” and gets paid a lot of money for doing very little. His claims are projection, psychologically speaking. For the takers and I mean particularly categories two and three above, rich people, capitalists, bankers (some of whom have some self-possession and decency, but unfortunately not many), what they say of others is who they are.

It was their defeat. It was earned.

***

John Nichols emphasized this morning on Democracy Now that Obama’s victory, likely to be over 3 million votes, was decisive. It was a bigger victory than that of JFK, Nixon, Carter or W in either term. Remember W’s preening agenda – made possible only by the corporate media – to spend his “political capital” by stealing social security.

Obama needs to push decent immigration reform. Legalizing the immigrants who are exploited here, some 11 or more million people, will further shift the electorate over time – move further toward decency – and force the “Republican” party or some successor to stop being the party of bigotry and pseudo-Israeli, pseudo-Berlin “walls” against the world.

As Hurricane Sandy and the Colorado fires this spring underline, the oceans are warming. There is structural causality of climate change, the rising sea levels or increasing droughts – as well as particular causes – to the increasing dangers of nature. Obama needs to act on this.

But Obama will not act on anything without pressure from below. So we need to push hard on these things.

***

Presidential campaigns are always a spectacle. The attention and energy of millions of people is absorbed in them. Doing something about politics from below – as in the social movements like Occupy which made Obama a decent candidate – are temporarily weakened, go by the board. Yet see the bracing efforts of people on Occupy in flooded New York below.

***

After the election, even in victory, people are tired or need to have a life, get back to work.

So fighting for what needs to be done becomes, in this way, more difficult,

***

In his victory speech, Obama spoke of what is supposedly exceptional in America. This is partly true and partly just a de rigeuer politician’s slogan.

***

America has supported and is the biggest arms seller to oppressors abroad. We need a campaign to awaken Americans to the plight of the Palestinians – inside and outside the Occupied territories – by the state of Israel. We need a decent two state solution or a one state solution with human rights for all.

But Israel plays a destructive flaunter of international law role in the world as well as in American politics, as the Netanyahu-Romney couple showed. This needs to be stopped. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The settlements need to be challenged and reversed (or integrated – might be nice to trade some of the $3 billion military aid, not just to move settlers back to Israel, but to move Palestinians in…).

As the civil rights delegation of which I was a part saw, it will take a determined anti-aparteid movement from below to change this.

***

Unlike other Presidents running for reelection, Obama did not bomb Iran or support Israeli aggression during the campaign (see my Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?, ch. 1). But the dangers of American/Israeli aggression, too, will take a movement from below to head off.

***

That Obama, as an able African-American and mixed race candidate, weathered this storm – won despite 8% unemployment (15% in real terms, counting those who have given up looking for work or have part-time and would jump at full time jobs) and racism – the heart of the Romney campaign – is startling. The so-called Republican party (the imperial authoritarian party) has been the party of sabotage, of voting no to defeat Obama regardless of a common good.

That was what made Chris Christie’s behavior in the storm, along with Obama’s, exemplary. The Republicans, as Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, has rightly argued recently, are the zealous party of “no” at the expense of a common good, buoyed only by money, lies, the bought press, and of course, the fantasies and fears of many ordinary people.

It comes from what Obama said – standing for opportunity and decency for all Americans, inviting all into the community and from, for the most part, extremely able campaigning. The campaigning is, as the Presidency, during Hurricane Sandy, mainly efficient, doing competently what one might expect someone to do though candidates/politicians often don’t, and also inventive.

Most Americans want decency and opportunity for themselves and their familieis, and see that this is something that needs extension to others. And Americans are tired of imperial aggressions.

***

The Obama campaigns have been memorable for finding many new to politics, lost or forgotten or overlooked, reaching out to them, enabling them to mobilize. Their method reveals a new model of skill in figuring out how to mobilize the vote. Here Obama says some interesting things about himself and to his campaign workers about what they mean to him and about their future. It is pretty good.

The Republicans might catch up technically. But they don’t have the politics to reach voters – “white” land is not a place so many of us want to be. And of course, the spirit that mark the Obama campaigns is absent. Nonetheless, it is only if they and the whole spectrum shifts now to the center (or “left” in American terms) that they will be likely to win national elections.

***

Was Obama a favorite against Hilary Clinton? Against McCain (it took two losing wars and a financial collapse)? Against Romney?

Not a chance.

In terms of ability, this is a once in a lifetime candidate (team) and President.

***

The economy seems to be picking up. Bill Clinton worried that Romney might – if austerity and cutting the throats of poor people who actually spend the money they earn in America and thus exert a multiplier impact on growth (their buying leads to the employment of others who provide them goods) – reap the benefits. He won’t.

But the depression may continue. Obama needs to fight for genuine programs for jobs and using federal moneys to prevent state layoffs of teachers and other public workers.
Whether American capitalism can provide full employment at decent wages – even with a new burst for the green economy – remains to be fought for and, less likely, seen.

***

The movement that brought Obama back to power is not the reality of power in Imperial Washington. The rich, as Barack says, always have a place at the table, the militarists (a trillion dollar war complex) much more.

***

Obama’s speech in Iowa was a bit wistful, looking back on campaigning. His victory speech was generous and large, looking to, once again, lift everyone up.

It was what he had been cautioned against – given the depression – in campaigning. But it is much more who Barack Obama is.

One could hear the relief in his voice as well. It was no certain victory, particularly after the stylistic debacle in Denver. He could have been the one-term African-American president, the results largely erased.

The forces of racism were mobilized against him, baying behind Romney. Listen again to O’Reilly…

He mobilized the people to overcome them.

We overcame them. I join with everyone else in the feeling of relief and being thrilled by his reemergence as someone with a broader and decent vision for America.

***

But Obama is, again, the leader of the empire. If one expects too much from him or the Democrats, one is likely to be disappointed.

Obama is still the man of drones, every one he fires a war crime. As Democratic neo-neo cons blither, he kills less civilians than in neocon-Bush-Cheney-would-be Romney aggressions. He kills many.

He is making new enemies in Pakistan daily – those who hate us because the American President murders children and other innocents – for the United States.

***

Obama is still the man of state secrets. The Canadian government can pay damages to Maher Arar, the Syrian-Canadian engineer kidnapped by Bush from Laguardia and sent to be tortured in a coffin like cell in Syria, released when the Syrian authorities told the US monsters that he knew nothing). But Obama’s government will not allow him to sue for damages in the United States. The “Courts,” too, squeak “state secrets.”

***

There will be no hearings about torture. American war criminals like Richard Cheney and Condoleeza Rice strut around – inside the United States. But they and Bush can not go abroad (except for Bush’s recent visit, carefully planned, well guarded, to the Cayman islands to speak to the rich on how exploiters can shift their gains to avoid taxation…)

***

The victories of Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and the “amazons,” as Rachel Maddow put it, in New Hampshire are a heartening rejection of the disgusting patriarchy of the “Republican” party.

Warren stood up to Wall Street. The bankers wanted her, above others, gone.

For all our problems (I lived for many years in Massachusetts and much of my family does still), the people of Massachusetts are not fools. Elizabeth Warren is the successor of Ted Kennedy.

Warren (though not on foregin policy yet) is a voice for the future.

***

Gay marriage was, for the first time, upheld in two elections. There isn’t a single person in my class at Metro who has the slightest sympathy for bigotry. Obama is the first President to stand against homophobia and to include gay people in his victory speech.

America is changing before our eyes.

(Karl Rove’s explosion on Fox News was a wonderful revelation of this – the moneyman of evil and epistemogical closure was unable to deal with the shattering of his demented universe, telling the peons who was boss…)

***

Marijuana legalization won in Colorado. Three notes on this. First, tobacco, still pushed by the US government in Spain and China, inter alia, is lethal to people’s lives in a way that grass is not.

Alcoholism in America is also a far more startling danger than weed. We once had real prohibition – an abomination – for a reason. Drunkenness has always been a favorite drug for many people against a feeling of misery and oppression, generated by capitalism and by the amazing difficulties of family life.

Second, Tom Tancredo, a leading racist and an odious human being, is completely right about this. It is a matter of individual liberty whether one smokes marijuana. The prohibition against it has resulted in a pseudo- and failed “war” on drugs (i.e. a lot of violence comes into our lives from this attempted prohibition).

More importantly, as Michalle Alexander underlines in The New Jim Crow, America had 300,000 in jail in the 1970s. With the segregationists moving to the Republican party, the Congress passed mandatory sentencing. An 8 fold increase in prisoners to 2.3 million, 25% of the world’s prisoners, occurred.

Many people, particularly teenagers are in jail for possession of marijuana (80% of the increase is for victimless drug “crimes”).

The police permitted by the Supreme “Court” routinely violate the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures by stopping cars in largely black or chicano neighborhoods, searching them, and doing drug busts on the 5% with some marijuana. If they did it in Boulder or Cherry Creek or Scarsdale, they would be halted by middle class outrage.

It is despicable that Democrats like Michael Hancock blither about “gateway” drugs. It is now the time to push against the Obama administration’s crackdown on marijuana, to cut down the jails, and to restore hope i.e. chances for education and jobs for people to whom what is basically an American police state (the prison-industrial complex, nurtured in racism and affecting many whites as well) has denied it.

***

The choice in this election was between decency – this kind of democratic evolution, marked by protest movements from below – and an increasing police state of the .0001% (clinging to the older presudo-America by aggression, racism and repression). There is not much future, not just for the United States but for the existence of humans on this planet, in the second course.

That was what was in the balance. It will be still for many years.

Nonetheless, our reelection of Obama was a blow for decency.

***

Wild Storm Sandy Spawns Plethora of Insane Conspiracy Theories


Super-Storm Sandy Spawns Plethora of Conspiracy Theories

Posted in Anti-LGBT, Antigovernment, Conspiracies by Hatewatch Staff on October 30, 2012

Even before the winds of Hurricane Sandy began to moderate, conspiracy theorists of a variety of bents got busy explaining the real meaning of the storm. Because, of course, a monster storm can’t just come from something like “weather” or “climate.”

No, a storm like that just must be the product of nefarious or, perhaps, spiritual forces too big for most of us to understand. And so, while millions of Americans deal with the aftermath of what has become the largest Atlantic tropical storm in recorded history, lots more are busy explaining what’s behind all that wind.

Here, gathered over the last few days, is a sampling of their views.

• It’s the gays! We here at Hatewatch knew somebody would be sure to blame LGBT people. Sure enough, Pastor John McTernan of Defend and Proclaim the Faith Ministries started us off with the claim that the storm was God’s judgment on America for, as the pastor stated on his ministry’s website, “the government promoting homosexual `marriage’ as an ordinance.” America, he says, “has not repented of promoting the homosexual agenda, so the judgments will not stop.”

It’s not individual sex acts that is angering the deity, McTernan points out — it’s America’s support for homosexuals and marriage equality that’s behind the weather wallop. Of course, this isn’t the first time McTernan has blamed LGBT people/homosexuality for natural disasters. As reported in the EDGE, an LGBT news site, McTernan linked the recent Hurricane Isaac to New Orleans’ Southern Decadence festival.

• It’s bad policy toward Israel! Leave it to the folks at the conspiracy-riddled World Net Daily to publish this one. Basically, WND says, natural disasters in the U.S. correlate to attempts to divide Israel. At least that’s what a man named William Koenig — WND bills him as a “Journalist and White House Correspondent” — has been claiming for years. Says Koenig: “When we put pressure on Israel to divide their land, we have enormous, record-setting events, often within 24 hours.”

Because both American political parties have endorsed a two-state solution with regard to Israel, an angry God produced Hurricane Sandy. Oh, and in case you wondered, Koenig published a book that “proves” that natural disasters that hit the U.S. are tied to presidential policy toward Israel, specifically during the George W. Bush administration.

• It’s Obama/the government! It seems that President Obama “engineered” Hurricane Sandy in an attempt to sway the election. Or so says InfoWars, a website run by conspiracy theorist extraordinaire Alex Jones. Kurt Nimmo, the InfoWars editor who wrote the site’s piece last Friday, suggests that Obama would benefit by looking like a strong leader in the face of a major storm — and so he orchestrated the storm he needed.

How’d he manage that? Nimmo cites another website’s claim that there have been “unprecedented levels” of ionospheric phenomena in the upper atmosphere, supposedly created by the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which is a congressionally initiated program managed by the U.S. Navy and Air Force.

The actual purpose of the program is to create a center for scientists to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere in order to aid communications and navigation systems for military and civilian use. But conspiracy theorists claim that the government uses HAARP to manipulate weather (and exert mind control) using electromagnetic waves.

• It’s an excuse for the government to take your guns! Cam Edwards, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), went on conspiracy-monger Glenn Beck’s TV show Monday to warn not about the cause of the storm — but rather the way he says the Obama administration will use it.

Harping on a well-known far-right meme, Edwards referenced the story of Patricia Konie, a New Orleans woman who had a revolver confiscated by her city’s police department in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gun rights extremists have used the case ever since to claim that the government will use any national disaster to engineer a gun grab from its citizens. In fact, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass did order law enforcement officials to confiscate all civilian weapons after Katrina hit, but he resigned just a few weeks later. The NRA went on to sue New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Compass’ replacement.

The case was settled in 2008 and, in July 2012, the Department of Justice and New Orleans announced sweeping reforms to address serious issues in the police department, including a culture of excessive force, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and discriminatory arrests. But the NRA is dead certain that Obama is coming for your guns.

• The Department of Labor is using Sandy to delay the jobs report! And that means it’s trying to get Obama re-elected! The right-wing Drudge Report and conservative news organizations like Fox News claim that the government is planning to use Sandy to delay releasing its jobs report until after the election.

This, they claim, is an attempt to influence the election by delaying an inevitably terrible jobs report. They also claim that using a weather emergency to delay a jobs report “is unprecedented.” But, like much of what they write, that’s simply not true. The Labor Department delayed a jobs report in 1996 because of a budgetary stalemate and then a blizzard.

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/10/30/super-storm-sandy-spawns-plethora-of-conspiracy-theories/

Jewish Synagogue Gabbai Raped Disabled Boy


Synagogue Gabbai Who Repeatedly Raped A 14-Year-Old Developmentally Disabled Boy Gets Light Sentence – Even Though He Fled The Country To Avoid Prosecution
Israeli FlagIn another example of Israel’s ethically challenged legal system, a synagogue gabbai who fled prosecution for the repeated rapes of a developmentally disabled child gets a short prison sentence on his return to Israel.
Yehezkiel Greenbaum, a 41-year-old Jerusalem synagogue gabbai, was convicted in a plea bargain today to charges of sodomy and indecent assault against a 14 -year-old boy with low mental function and personality disorders, Ynet’s Hebrew website reported.

Greenbaum fled the country in 2010 just before he was to slated to sign the agreement. When he recently returned to Israel, he was able to get some of the related charges dropped or altered, which reduced his sentence.

But Greenbaum also tried to claim that he had not forced the boys, a claim the judges rejected because of the boys’ mental states.

“The age gap and the close relations between the defendant and the complainant, as well as cognitive and emotional state [of the complainant], made the complainant easy prey for the defendant,” the judges said.

Greenbaum was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

The victim was so traumatized by the ongoing sexual abuse that he needed psychiatric hospitalization.

Jewish Right Wing Extremist Sheldon Adelson’s Long And Malignant Reach


Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson

In the organized Jewish world, billionaires – no matter how objectionable – are lauded and courted.

Sheldon Adelson is no exception.

His high profile, embarrassing attempts to buy the American electoral process are reviled behind the closed doors of many Jewish federations and Jewish charities. But publicly, Adelson is praised for his donations to Jewish causes. The criticism he so richly deserves is absent, because the federations and the charities want a shot at getting some of Adelson’s money.

Israel has strict laws governing campaign donations from non-Israelis. The law has been skirted in years past. But to do in Israel what he’s done in America, Adelson would have to hold Israeli citizenship.

So the billionaire found another way to shape Israel’s political landscape, and with it the political landscape of Jewish communities worldwide.

He used the Chinese method of illegal trade to legally weaken and in some cases destroy the Israeli media.

The JTA reports:

…The past few months have seen an implosion of the Hebrew press. Maariv, a tabloid founded in 1948 and for its first 20 years Israel’s largest circulation daily, recently was placed in the hands of a court-appointed trustee and could shut down within weeks, leaving 2,000 people jobless. Haaretz, Israel’s leading broadsheet, did not print on Oct. 4 due to a staff protest of 100 proposed layoffs. Israel’s Channel 10 TV is in deep debt to the government and faces possible closure.

Many in Israel blame Israel Hayom, a staunchly conservative, freely distributed paper funded by American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, for aggravating the crisis in Hebrew media.

The tough environment “is exacerbated by the fact that in Israel we have the most generously funded free newspaper in the world,” said Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz, who before starting the site in February was editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post. “That’s made life hard for all the publications in Israel.”

The boom in English-language media in Israel is due in part to the limited audience for Hebrew-language news: Israel has fewer than eight million citizens, many of whom prefer the Arabic or Russian press to the Hebrew dailies. Editors of English publications here say Israeli media are looking for audiences overseas to sustain their operations, and there appears to be a limitless appetite around the world for news and opinion on Israel.

“There’s an audience for news coming out of the Jewish world,” said David Brinn, managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. And because most news content is free online, people interested in Israel news will visit any number of news sites — so new publications do not necessarily threaten older ones, Brinn said.…

Adelson put out a free daily newspaper to compete with Israel’s established media, a paper with a real (if very politically slanted) reporting staff, a paper that is not ad driven and has no real pressure to make money.

In effect, he gave away free t-shirts, jeans and hoodies at Walmart until most American t-shirt, jeans and hoodie manufacturers went bankrupt, giving Walmart a near monopoly.

But in this case, Walmart is Israel’s political right wing.

Adelson is an oligarch, a man who benefited from shady dealings with foreign governments, dealings that have made Adelson exceedingly wealthy – and many of his competitors and customers exceedingly poor.

Adelson also allegedly has ties with Chinese organized crime and is alleged to have laundered money for them along with promoting prostitution and violating a slew of American laws in the process.

If Adelson’s money turns out to be dirty – and I suspect that will eventually be the case – that would mean Mob money unduly influenced America’s elections and Israel’s social fabric and political landscape.

But even if Adelson’s money is clean, Adelson isn’t. He may not be a criminal under law, but he is still a malevolent actor seeking to buy election results and manipulate public opinion in a country he doesn’t even live in.

Thirty or forty years ago, someone behaving like Sheldon Adelson would have been almost universally ridiculed.

Today Adelson is treated like a king.

Money buys Sheldon Adelson many things.

Lets hope that the US election and the State Israel are not among them.

Fake Jew, Anti-semite and Holocaust Denier “Israel Shamir” is a Corrupt Orthodox Convert


Bishop Atallah Hanna on Israel Shamir, “Great Russian Thinker and Writer”
by Richard Bartholomew

Towards the end of September, Israel Shamir published an endorsement in Arabic by Bishop Atallah Hanna, written to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Shamir’s baptism by Hanna. The message refers to Shamir as “Adam Ermash”, and appears to describe him (via Google translate) as a “great Russian thinker and writer”. It goes on to list his publications, and to note their wide circulation. The message comes attached with a photograph of the two men, which Shamir states was taken “in the yard of the monastery in the Old City”.

Shamir has come to wide attention due to his association with Julian Assange and Wikileaks; he was profiled by Andrew Brown at the end of 2010:

WikiLeaks’s spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-semite and Holocaust denier; his son, who represents the organisation in Sweden and is handing out stories to selected papers there, has been involved in an earlier scandal where a story he wrote about the supposed Israeli control of Swedish media was withdrawn after several of the people in it complained of being misquoted.

…The two men involved are Israel Shamir, a Jew who has converted to Orthodox Christianity and passionate antisemitism, and his son Johannes Wahlström. Shamir was listed as a co-author of a story in Counterpunch, which suggested that the woman who brought a complaint of rape against Julian Assange was a CIA plant.

As I’ve noted previously, Shamir is also known for his links with the authoritarian regime in Belarus; in December, Charter97 reported that he had met with Uladzimri Makei, Head of the Belarusian President’s Administration. There is a concern that Wikileaks cables concerning opposition groups may have been brought to the attention of the authorities.

At the end of last month there was controversy when the Morning Star republished a piece by Shamir which described Pussy Riot as a Western plot; thepaper took the precaution of removing a sentence in which Shamir mentioned lack of free speech for “holocaust revisionists”. Also in September, Shamir decided to report from Cambodia, explaining that

The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life… As for the mass killings, these are just horror stories, averred my Cambodian interlocutors.

Shamir’s reasoning provoked a sarcastic response from the Phnom Penh Post:

We must admit we were swayed when Shamir provided conclusive proof that the KR genocides were either inept or out-and-out fabrications: he alerted us to the fact that the population of Cambodia has doubled since 1970. We eagerly await his next Counterpunch article, “Population of Europe has increased by a factor of six since 1939, therefore World War II never happened.”

Atallah Hanna, meanwhile, is the the highest-ranking Palestinian in the Orthodox church, and relations with the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus, appear to be strained; in 2009 it was reported that:

Rivalry between Arab and Greek clergymen in the Orthodox Church has resurfaced following a decision by Patriarch Theophilus to dismiss a senior member of the Kingdom’s church court last week.

…Atallah said he was informed last Tuesday of the decision to dismiss him from his post as vice president of the Orthodox Church court in Amman.

…Atallah considers the dismissal as part of a series of decisions targeting Jordanian and Palestinian clergymen in the Greek Orthodox Church.

In 2007, Theophilus suspended salaries of Atallah, Archbishop Atallah Hanna and Archimandrite Milathius Basal after they took part in an Amman meeting that called for revoking recognition of the patriarch because he did not fulfil commitments he had pledged prior to his appointment, according to sources from the Amman-based Orthodox Society.

These unfulfilled “commitments” probably includes resolving the murky issue of church-owned land was sold to Israeli settlers in 2005.

As I’ve also written previously, Hanna is an articulate defender of Palestinian rights, and he is sometimes incorrectly described in reports as being an Archbishop (or even as the “Archbishop of Jerusalem”). However, there is reason to regard him with scepticism, even aside from the link to Israel Shamir: in 2003 (before he became bishop) reports appeared which quoted him as supporting suicide bombing, leading to censure from Theophilus’ (later ousted) predecessor, Irenaeus. Hanna complained that the accusations were part of a “crusade” against him by people close to the then-Patriarch, but given that the quotes appeared in sympathetic Arab and Muslim media outlets this explanation remains mysterious.

Atallah is also a supporter of the regime in Syria: while calling for “reform”, he also rails against “conspirators” who “want to destroy the brotherly relations between Muslims and Christians”.

Rabbis Against Jewish Fascist Harpy and Hatemoger Pamela Geller


Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains message behind New York subway ads

Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains message behind New York subway ads

Inae Oh of the Huffington Post interviews Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, which took out an advertisementurging New York subway users to “help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors”, in an effort to counter Pamela Geller’s notorious “savages” ad. Rabbi Jacobs explains:

“I was very concerned that people might think that these ads speak for the Jewish community, as Geller couches her anti-Muslim message in the language of supporting Israel. The suggestion that she is speaking only about terrorists, and not about Muslims in general, falls apart as soon as you read her writings, which are fear mongering about Muslims in the U.S. and in the world, and about Islam as a religion.”

She adds: “I want to spread the message that 1800 rabbis – along with the majority of the American Jewish community – believes in partnership with our Muslim neighbors. We, of course, oppose all acts of terrorism. We will not, however, allow the actions of a small minority to be an excuse for dehumanizing an entire people.”

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/pamela-geller-professional-hatemonger-freaks-out/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/hate-zealot-pamela-gellers-fixation-with-sandra-flukes-vagina/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/pamela-geller-americas-most-deranged-blogger/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/loons-pamela-geller-and-terry-jones-make-hate-list/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/fear-incorporated-whos-paying-for-all-that-islamophobic-paranoia/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/catholic-and-jewish-right-wing-extemists-behind-anti-muslim-schlock/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/godly-terrorist-anders-breivik-inspired-by-american-catholic-fascist-robert-spencer-jewish-hatemonger-pamela-geller-fascist-religious-right/

https://theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/right-wing-jewish-bigot-pamela-gellers-ghoulish-obsession/

Talk To Iran Urges Ex Israeli Spymaster


Former Israeli Spymaster: We Need To Talk to Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) joined  Efraim Halevy (R) who succeeded outgoing Mossad chief Danny Yatom (L) in a toast  in the prime minister’s offices during Mossad handover ceremony.  (photo by  ISRAEL MOSSAD)
Efraim Halevy served as chief of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad,  under three Israeli prime ministers and led the secret negotiations with  Jordan’s King Hussein that made way for Israel’s historic 1994 peace treaty with  that country. Other assignments in a four-decade government career include  serving as Mossad station chief in Washington in the 1970s under then-Israeli  ambassador to the United States Yitzhak Rabin, for whom, as prime minister,  Halevy served as Mossad chief until Rabin’s 1995 assassination. Halevy also  served as Israeli national security advisor and Israeli ambassador to the  European Union in the late 1990s.

About this Article

Summary:

In an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor,  former Israeli spy chief Efraim Halevy said Israel and the US must engage in a  dialogue with Iran to understand how their adversaries think, a position rarely  heard from top Israeli officials. He faulted Republican candidate Mitt Romney  for making US policy toward Iran an issue in the presidential  election.

Born in Britain — Halevy moved to Israel in 1948 at the age of 14 — and  wearing a trench coat with a newspaper tucked under his arm on a drizzly morning  in Washington on Friday, Oct. 19, Halevy, 78, evoked George Smiley, the  protagonist in the John Le Carre British spy novels, who is burdened by the  knowledge of state secrets too sensitive and ugly to share. But it is Halevy’s  fierce advocacy for dialogue with mortal enemies such as Iran and Hamas,  combined with a biography laden with hard political experience, that makes him  so iconoclastic, especially in the current Israeli political and national  security landscape.

“I was 40 years in the business of dealing with adversaries — some of them  very bitter ones, some we fought successive wars with,” Halevy said in an  interview with Al-Monitor. “Over the years … I realized that, in order  to be effective with one’s enemies, you have to have two essential capabilities:  To overcome them by force if necessary … And do everything you can to get into  their minds and try to understand how they see things … and where if at all  there is room for common ground of one kind or another.”

“I think that what we have had over the years is an abundance of one side,  and a dearth of the other,” Halevy said.

Halevy most especially emphasized the need for dialogue with Iran, and to  try to understand the Iranians — a position rarely heard from top Israeli  officials, even those who have expressed opposition to unilateral Israeli  military action on Iran.

“The Iranians, in their heart of hearts, would like to get out of their  conundrum,” Halevy told Al-Monitor. “The sanctions have been very  effective. They are beginning to really hurt.”

In earlier episodes of his career that he described at length in the  interview, Halevy said, “I realized that dialogue with an enemy is essential.  There is nothing to lose. Although the claim was, if you talk to them, you  legitimize them. But by not talking to them, you don’t de-legitimate them. So  this convinced me, that we all have been very superficial in dealing with our  enemies.”

“What has happened, in order to meet public opinion, both Israel and the US  governments have tied our own hands,” Halevy said, referring to prohibitions on  US contacts, for instance, with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. “In the end, you create an inherent disadvantage for  yourself.”

“On Iran, you have to go much deeper,” Halevy said. “You have to understand  what it is that makes Iran tick.”

[This weekend, both the White House and Iran denied a New York Times report that the United States and  Iran have agreed to hold direct talks on Iran’s nuclear program after the US  presidential elections. “It’s not true that the United States and Iran have  agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement, adding the  US has “said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.” Meantime, an Iran analyst tells Al-Monitor that it is  his understanding there have been back-channel talks between a senior US arms  control official and an Iran official through Turkey.]

Striking a deal with Iran will be “extremely difficult,” Halevy said. “It  needs a lot of creativity. And courage, political courage.”

“The perception is that Israel is going through the stages of sanctions,  etc. not with the idea or conviction that at the end, the other side will  yield,” he said. “If the purpose was to exert pressure to bring the other  side to the table, the rhetoric should be different.

“Obama does think there is still room for negotiations,” Halevy said. “It’s a very courageous thing to say in this atmosphere. In the end, this is  what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a serious issue in the US  elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a heavy blow to the  ultimate interests of the United States and Israel.”

Halevy spoke to Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen over breakfast at the  Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Al-Monitor:  In a very interesting interview  you gave to Haaretz last month, you said, “What we need to do is to  try and understand the Iranians.” That was quite striking — especially  coming amid the height of Israeli thinking out loud about possible military  action on Iran. Can you elaborate on your comment?

Halevy:  Let me begin by  point of departure. I was 40 years in the business of dealing with adversaries — some of them very bitter ones. Some we fought successive wars with.

Over the years, both because of personal contact with some key figures on  the other side […] I realized, in order to be effective with one’s enemies, you  have to have two essential capabilities: To overcome by force if necessary — and/or to withstand their force if necessary. And do everything you can to get  into their minds and try to understand how they see things, what their concerns  are — their dreams, aspirations, hopes, feelings are. And where if at all there  is room for common ground of one kind or another.

I think that what we have had over the years is an abundance of one side,  and a dearth of the other. There has been a big emphasis, and rightly so, [on  overcoming adversaries by force]. But we have paid little attention [to  understanding one’s enemies.] And I have always had the feeling to look for ways  and means of creating channels for dialogue. I was involved in channels of  dialogue in one way or other, in major and minor roles, as of 1973-1974, when I  served here in Washington, D.C., as Mossad station chief.

There have been two, three instances, in which I have had a very massive  challenge which shook my self confidence in what we were doing. […]

I tried to understand what happened here. I began to realize, in terms  of what we were doing, the colors were not only black and white, but there were  all kinds of hues of gray. The picture is much more complex.

[…] in 1997, when I was [Israeli] ambassador to the EU. I was called in  hastily because of a problem in Jordan. Mossad had tried to assassinate Khalid  Meshal [a Hamas leader], it was a botched operation. This was three years after  Israel signed a peace agreement with Amman. Meshal was a Jordanian citizen, and  [Mossad] had attempted to assassinate Meshal, a Jordanian citizen, in the  capital of Jordan.

And I, in analyzing the situation as I was making my way to Israel, reached  the conclusion that to solve the problem, we had to do something very creative  and unexpected. I […] said we have to release Sheikh Yassin, the founder of  Hamas, from jail. Within 24 hours, [after first rejecting this], then Prime  Minister Netanyahu accepted this, and did it. I was then able to travel to  Jordan and meet the king, And [Jordanian intelligence chief] Prince  Hassan.

I spoke to the king, and he was not a very happy man that day. And he said,  “One thing I don’t understand: I did not get any response to the offer [I passed  on to your people] 10 days ago.” [Unbeknownst to Halevy, King Hussein had passed  to Mossad an offer from Hamas proposing a 10-year or 30-year truce.]

When I got back to Israel, it transpired that [then Mossad chief Danny]  Yatom didn’t think to bring [the Hamas truce offer] to the attention of the  prime minister. It was still sitting on his desk. At the same time he received  it, he was masterminding [what became the botched Meshal assassination  plot].

Al Monitor:  Why do you think the Hamas  long-term truce proposal had sat on a desk?

Halevy:  It was so removed from the mainstream of  thought, nobody in their right mind at the time would even think this was  something serious. Hamas was our implacable enemy.

Al Monitor:  Was there any thought to try to  salvage the offer?

Halevy:  It was too late. You can’t offer negotiations  after attempting to kill a senior figure.

Therefore, I realized that dialogue with an enemy is essential. There is  nothing to lose. Although the claim was, if you talk to them, you legitimize  them But by not talking to them, you don’t de-legitimate them. So this convinced  me, that we all have been very superficial in dealing with our enemies.  […]

Not everything you try succeeds. But you have to be willing to try. If you  fail 10 times, and succeed once, the success outweighs the failures.

What happened: In order to meet public opinion, both Israel and the US  governments have tied our own hands. There is a law […] which prohibits US  officials from talking to Hamas […] In the end, you create an inherent  disadvantage for yourself.

Al-Monitor:  You mentioned in a talk this week  the need for dialogue with Iran.

Halevy:  On Iran, you have to go much deeper. You have  to understand what it is that makes Iran tick.

Iran in the past did not have a religious regime. It was a secular regime.  The source of power was the shah and he was a secular ruler. Mossadegh in  1953 became prime minister. He tried to nationalize the oil industry. He  was overthrown by a coup initiated by the British and CIA.

Mossadegh was not a [radical or fundamentalist]. He was the scion of one of  the leading royal families in Iran. [In a recent biography of Mossadegh, it  notes that] Mossadegh’s wife was a devout Muslim. He one time joked with  her, if you respect God so much, why do you bother him five times a  day?

Major sections of Iran society were secular and for many years this is a  stain on their history: that two intelligence agencies in 1953 kicked out their  elected leader and threw them to the wolves. They treated Iran not even as a  partner [against the Soviet Union in the Cold War]. This [resentment] runs very  deep [in Iranian psychology].

What happened to the US in 1979, the embassy affair, was an outburst of  indignation. Not that I justify it, at all. But to understand it is not to  justify […] There’s a difference […] Many prefer not to know, the details  confuse you.

[Politicians often prefer to have] a clear sound bite rather than a  policy. “Axis of evil.” Three words. Solved the problem. It would be fine  if we could go in and overturn the [government, but we can’t]. The US is trapped  by the way it treated Iran in the past and […] it is limiting its  options.

Al-Monitor:  There were periodic efforts by US  administrations to try to test openings for thawing relations. During the  Clinton administration, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright apologized for the  US role in the overthrow of Mossadegh […] But they all seemed to run  aground.

Halevy:  The US President  acts within the confines of US law. So, for instance, American officials  are not allowed to deal with Hamas. This is the through point.

In 2006, the US, under the George W. Bush administration, decided that it is  in the interest of the United States that Hamas participate in the Palestinian  elections. It twisted the arm of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to  make it come about […] The outcome was they won, not by the popular vote.  […]

Why limit your options. Why limit the capacity of the government to deal with  deadly enemies, without accepting their ideology. It inhibits you. […]

Al-Monitor:  And you believe that Iran wants  to talk to the United States?

Halevy:  They have wanted it for years.

What do we want to do: We want to change their mindset. We want to  change the rules of the game […] In order to bring that about, you have to have  drama. You have to decide in advance, what you are willing to give up. I don’t  want to use the term “red lines.”  The prize here is something which has to  benefit both sides.

My view: Iran has to accept two things. There is an absolute necessity to  prevent Iran from getting a nuclear device. And it has to accept the existence  of the state of Israel. […]

Al-Monitor:  Many observers believe there  is a nuclear deal to be had. But it’s very hard to do, to even talk to them. Do  you think it’s possible to narrow the huge gulf between the two sides?

Halevy:  It is extremely difficult. It needs a lot of  creativity. And courage, political courage.

I remember for many years we [Israeli officials] used to come to Washington,  and used to say [to American officials], “You must help us strengthen our  strategic capabilities. We must always have ‘the edge,’ we called it.” For  two things. To protect ourselves, and we need to show, out of  a feeling of  confidence and safety, that we are negotiating out of strength and not out of  weakness.

Israel did negotiate […] two peace treaties, with Egypt and Jordan, and we  went part of the way with the Syrians and the Palestinians. We needed to be  strong in order to negotiate, in order to get that.

But we have forgotten the last part. Yes, we had to negotiate, or appear to  be negotiating, in order to strike [a deal] in the end. We have to prove in the  end [we tried everything else].

In Israel, [it has taken hold that] the Iran nuclear issue will not be  resolved except with a major confrontation. Here is the difference I see  currently between the Israeli position and that of the United States. It’s not  that we don’t have a common intelligence picture. The question is, what is the  end game?

The perception is that Israel is going through the stages of sanctions,  etc., not with the idea or conviction that at the end, the other side will  yield. If the purpose was to exert pressure to bring the other side to the  table, the rhetoric should be different. […]

Obama has placed emphasis on negotiations. In this current election for  the US presidency, his hands are tied. He cannot proceed, because he cannot  appear soft on Israel’s security.

Negotiating with Iran is perceived as a sign of beginning to forsake Israel.  That is where I think the basic difference is between Romney and  Obama. What Romney is doing is mortally destroying any chance of a  resolution without war. Therefore when [he recently] said, he doesn’t think  there should be a war with Iran, this does not ring true. It is not consistent  with other things he has said. […]

Obama does think there is still room for negotiations. It’s a very  courageous thing to say in this atmosphere.

In the end, this is what I think: Making foreign policy on Iran a  serious issue in the US elections — what Romney has done, in itself — is a  heavy blow to the ultimate interests of the United States and Israel.

It is not as if, if he wins the election, and gets into the White House, he  can back up. The Iranians are listening attentively to what he says. When  he says, he would arm the opposition in Iran. They understand.

Al-Monitor:  Obama has also seen the limits of  force in places like Afghanistan. The surge didn’t work.

Halevy:  The late Richard Holbrooke spent infinite  days talking to Taliban figures […] Holbrooke was one of the most brilliant  diplomats in the past half century of US diplomacy. He was a great figure. He  understood, that, in the end, in order to outgun the enemy, just brute force, is  not enough, it doesn’t work. […]

Al-Monitor:  Several former senior Israeli  national security chiefs, like yourself, have expressed opposition to a  unilateral Israeli strike on Iran. But you are one of the few […]

Halevy:  It is not a question of opposing a strike on  Iran. I don’t oppose a strike. I said, a strike should be the last resort,  and we should mean it. We have not reached a point where there is no other way  to resolve this. We have not behaved, or gone through the other steps.

The Iranians, in their heart of hearts, would like to get out of their  conundrum. The sanctions have been very effective. They are beginning to  really hurt.

Al-Monitor:  Are the Iranians paranoid the US  policy is regime change, even as I don’t think for the Obama administration it  is true?

Halevy: They are certainly convinced the policy [is  regime change]. And that is not the only regime the US has problems with in the  field of values. The regimes in Beijing, North Korea, Moscow […]

Romney has been very costly on Russia […] If you want to create situation,  where the only way to go about things is to go back to the Cold War, that is  what is being done here. It’s very dangerous.

I don’t think the US public wants to go to another world war over values in  this way. If it persists, it will be a slide down a very slippery  slope.

It’s a question of concept. Where are we going in the  21st century? Are we going to try to propagate policies on the  battlefields?

Al-Monitor: Beyond the heated US  campaign rhetoric, what do you make of the wider perception that, even  though Obama has actually used force quite a bit, and successfully oversaw the  operation that killed Osama bin Laden, that he is perceived, or misperceived, as  not wanting to use force, and the US is seen therefore as weak.

Halevy:  I think nobody who has been involved in  ordering the use of force can forget the angst, the days and nights of concern,  as to what and how it can be done.

Romney has said, Anybody could have decided to finish bin Laden. Even  [Jimmy] Carter. This again was a mistaken concept. President Obama didn’t  just decide [one day to kill bin Laden]. The operation to end the life of bin  Laden necessitated multiple points of decision by him. I know from operations I  have been involved with on a smaller scale.

They are very intricate. You don’t just give the order and wait in your  office for commanders to come three months later and say it’s done. No. This  kind of operation, which is accident prone, hands on operation, one has to make  one decision after the other […] It took courage and cool headedness and  leadership. Anyone who says it was an easy thing to decide, doesn’t understand  what he’s talking about. [Such comments] show a total lack of understanding of  what this kind of operation means.

Once I was in charge of an operation and Netanyahu was Prime Minister. One  day, because of the intricacy of what we were doing, I talked to him 10 times on  the phone […] Ten times. It was a Friday, a day I will not forget.

This kind of operation, every minute, an issue comes up, that sometimes  requires a decision on the political level.

The Libya story, the way it’s being used, is a sordid manipulation.  […]

Al-Monitor: In a recent dialogue with Iranian  officials, I was told the Iranian interlocutors used some formulation which  indirectly recognized Israel. They demanded that Israel become a signatory  to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Since the NPT only admits  states, was it a tacit recognition of Israel?

Halevy:  Not everything has to be spoken out loud […]  It is not naïve or foolish, that there has be a serious beginning of a process  of dialogue, which ultimately leads to mutual acceptance of the state of  Israel.

I have had opportunities to see Iranians […] All I can tell you is, after  the first round of P5+1/Iran nuclear talks in Istanbul in April, the Iranians  came out and said they were extremely happy. They were treated with  dignity.  And they were happy the conversations took place around a round  table [which made them feel symbolically an equal party to the talks with the  United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China].

You can smile and say it’s an insignificant detail. But though  insignificant, it is indicative of one aspect of the problem. [The Iranian  priority on the issue of dignity.]

There are two issues which have to be resolved in a clear way. Iran cannot  gain a nuclear military capability. And the existence of Israel ceases to be an  issue.

One thing the Israeli Prime Minister [Netanyahu] has done: He does not  induce confidence [in the Israeli public]. He is invoking Auschwitz twice a  week. He has created a situation in which he’s “damned if he did, damned if he  didn’t’’ bomb Iran, since he created such a buildup.

The Corruption of US Politics By Jewish Right Wing Extremist Sheldon Adelson


Sheldon Adelson Obliterates Democracy at Home and Abroad

“My political leanings are far to the right….
Attila the Hun was too liberal for me.”
–Sheldon Adelson, 2010If you’ve been paying any attention to Election 2012, you have undoubtedly become familiar with Sheldon Adelson. The casino magnate and Republican Party benefactor – worth $20.5 billion according to Forbes magazine – is fully committed to defeating President Barack Obama, and to that end has pledged to spend as much as $100 million.

Beyond Adelson’s anti-Obama advocacy lies two greater causes; un-wavering support for right wing Israeli politicians and organizations; and, urging the US government to take more muscular action against Iran.

In addition to dumping boatloads of money into Republican Party war chests, Adelson has almost single-handedly destroyed what has historically been a pretty vigorous newspaper culture in Israel.

The Gingrich factorInterestingly enough, by dropping millions into the coffers of the failed candidacy of Newt Gingrich, Adelson kept the disgraced House Speaker viable long enough for two Israel-related factors to unfold: 1) Gingrich’s promotion of extreme pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian views, which moved all the other GOP candidates (except Ron Paul) to the right on Israel; and, 2) the inability of religious right and the Tea Party to settle on one candidate, handed the nomination to Mitt Romney, a longtime friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Adelson’s influence “has turned the Republican contest into a competition of extreme rhetoric, in which there is no room for compromise or diplomacy, and the only answer to any international problem is unmitigated toughness,” Gal Beckerman reported in The Jewish Daily Forward in January of this year. “No one wants to be outflanked by the right when it comes to foreign policy (no one, I should say, besides Ron Paul) and so Gingrich’s apparent parroting of Adelson’s hardline attitudes about Israel — and, I should add, Iran — means that the whole tone of the race is affected.”

Adelson out-AIPAC’s AIPAC

Beckerman pointed out that Adelson’s “positions [on Israel] are unambiguously right-wing and hawkish to the extreme. When it comes to the Palestinians, there is no one to be trusted.”

Beckerman noted that Adelson split with AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) because it “was not far enough to the right for him”: “After being a diehard supporter — funding a new building in Washington, D.C. — he split with the group in 2007 when it decided to support a congressional initiative, backed by the Israelis, to increase economic aid to the Palestinians. ‘I don’t continue to support organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they want to jump,’ he said at the time by way of explanation. He had the same reaction when Ehud Olmert, whom Adelson had once befriended, came to the conclusion that he had to pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.”

Adelson told The Jewish Week last year that, “The two-state solution is a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Adelson’s involvement with Israeli politics is nothing new. In 2007, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Adelson “has been organizing delegations [to Israel] of Republican congressmen and senators for the past 15 years. ‘They all come back Zionists,’ Adelson said.”

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are major funders of Birthright, a project that sends young Jews on free trips to Israel. Earlier this year, jta.org reported that over the course of Birthright’s 13-year history, the Adelsons had donated more than $140 million to the project.

The casino magnate has also been involved with overt Islamophobic endeavors. AlterNet’s Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel recently reported that Adelson had been distributing copies of the 2007 film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West (2007) to Birthright participants. The film “demonizes all Muslims, and through explicit statements and rapid-fire images, makes clear the filmmaker’s view that there is a direct connection between Nazis and both Palestinians and Muslims,”

Adelson’s Israeli media grab

Adelson’s influence over Israeli politics has grown exponentially since 2007, when he founded a free daily newspaper, Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), that had “a strikingly pro-Netanyahu line that quickly became Israel’s most-read newspaper with nearly 40 per cent of the market,” The Globe and Mail recently pointed out.

In many ways, Israel Today closely resembles both the Reverend Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times, which since its’ founding has essentially functioned as a house organ for conservative politics while losing tens of millions of dollars, and the media properties of Rupert Murdoch.

Since its advent, Israel Today has been unabashedly pro Netanyahu. It gave him a “vital boost in the knife-edge 2009 election when he regained the premiership [and it] …. has helped counter the negative coverage that continues to plague his administration, The Globe and Mail reported. .

According to The Globe and Mail, “Critics say [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has effectively become part of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign at Adelson’s behest, creating a rift with Obama and damaging Israel’s ability to work with the United States to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“While Adelson’s newspaper is not the only right-leaning media organ, it is helped by its owner’s willingness to operate at a loss, a luxury not available to other Israeli media.”

The paper “costs Adelson more than $30-million a year, according to a former business partner, Shlomo Ben Zvi.”

In 2010, Adelson told a media conference that his “political leanings are far to the right.” He then added: “Attila the Hun was too liberal for me.”

Jewish Baby Penis Sucking Ritual Health Hazard | Herpes Transmission | Baby Deaths


Study Indicates That Herpes Frequently Sheds And Can Be Transmitted Even When Mohel Is Shows No Symptoms Of The Virus
Bris Milah Circumcision Metzitzah B'peh closeup

“At least 70% of the population shed HSV-1 asymptomatically at least once a month, and many individuals appear to shed HSV-1 more than six times a month. Shedding HSV-1 is present at many intraoral sites, for brief periods, at copy numbers sufficient to be transmitted, and even in seronegative individuals.”

Bris Milah Circumcision Metzitzah B'peh closeup
Metzitzah b’peh done in Israel, where it some Zionist Orthodox and Modern Orthodox mohels do the controversial oral sucking procedure, despite its risks to the baby.

Just in case your haredi rabbi says there is no evidence that herpes can be transmitted by metzitzah b’peh (MBP) – the direct oral-to-genital sucking done by many haredi mohels to the baby’s bleeding penis after removing its foreskin – even though babies have died and been maimed by herpes infections transmitted through MBP, or if he says that a mohel who has no outward signs of herpes can safely do MBP, you can cite this study, which shows both claims of your rabbi to be false:

Abstract: Asymptomatic Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in the Oral Cavity
Howard E. Strassler, DMD

Jan. 27, 2009
Inside Dentistry

Miller CS, Danaher RT. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2008;105(1):43-50.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the rate of herpes simplex virus (HSV) shedding from the oral cavity, because recent studies suggest that shedding is more frequent than originally reported. Factors that could influence the rate and duration of shedding from the oral cavity were examined.

Methods: Existing epidemiologic data from 22 reports of HSV shedding from more than 3,500 individuals were analyzed with regard to demographics, frequency of sampling, and methodologic assays.

Results: HSV-1 was more likely to be detected than HSV-2 in the oral cavity of asymptomatic persons (7.5 odds ratio, 95% confidence interval 4.4–12.8; P < .0001). The rate of shedding was highly variable among individuals, ranging from none to 92% of the days tested, and occurred in seropositive and seronegative individuals. In cell culture studies, the rate of detection on a single day was 6.3%. Polymerase chain reaction studies provided a different picture. HSV-1 DNA was present in 97 of 180 patients (53.9%) at multiple visits, with a rate of daily detection of 33.3%. The mean duration of shedding was between 1 and 3 days, but more than 3 days in about 10% of the patients.

Conclusion: At least 70% of the population shed HSV-1 asymptomatically at least once a month, and many individuals appear to shed HSV-1 more than six times a month. Shedding HSV-1 is present at many intraoral sites, for brief periods, at copy numbers sufficient to be transmitted, and even in seronegative individuals. The dental implications of these findings are discussed.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a significant human pathogen infecting most individuals early in life, predominantly at mucosal surfaces after exposure to infected secretions. It has been implicated in a range of diseases including labials and stomatitis, blinding keratitis, and, rarely, encephalitis. According to the data, more than 70% of adults have neutralizing antibodies and serve as reservoirs of the virus. The authors have done an excellent systematic review of the rate of shedding of HSV from the oral cavity. Asymptomatic shedding is generally defined as the presence of HSV in the absence of clinical lesions. Based on this review, the frequency of HSV shedding at virus numbers sufficient to be transmitted are significantly higher than most clinicians would suspect. These high frequencies of asymptomatic shedding suggest that HSV-1 is not as dormant during latency as previously believed. This translates to the fact that even without clinical lesions, the dentist, dental hygienist, and chairside assistant are at risk. This data emphasize the importance of being diligent in maintaining proper infection control procedures (eye protection, gloves, mask) when performing routine dental examinations and procedures. All efforts should be taken to minimize splashes and splatters of oral fluids even in the absence of HSV oral lesions. Also, medical conditions, eg, immunosuppression and traumatic oral surgical procedures, increase the likelihood of virus shedding in the oral cavity.

Howard E. Strassler, DMD
Professor and Director of Operative Dentistry
Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry
University of Maryland Dental School
Baltimore, Maryland

Baby Dies of Herpes in Ritual Circumcision By Orthodox Jews

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

Baby’s Death Renews Debate Over a Circumcision Ritual

How 11 New York City Babies Contracted Herpes Through Circumcision

http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/07/how-11-new-york-city-babies-contracted-herpes-through-circumcision/

Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Following Jewish Ritual Circumcisions that Included Direct Orogenital Suction — New York City, 2000–2011

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6122a2.htm

NYC Puts at Least One Restriction on Mohels Sucking Freshly Circumcised Baby Penises

http://gawker.com/5947500/nyc-getting-closer-to-banning-adults-from-sucking-freshly-circumcised-baby-penises

Banned Herpes Mohel Still Circumcising Babies

http://gothamist.com/2012/03/14/authorities_investigating_herpes_mo.php

Circumcision’s Deadly Fault Line: Rationality vs. the Metzitzah B’Peh

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/10/circumcision-s-deadly-fault-line-rationality-vs-the-metzitzah-b-peh.html

 

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Catholic and Jewish Right Wing Extemists Behind anti-Muslim Schlock


Inside the strange Hollywood scam that spread chaos across the Middle East

A group of rightwing extremists aimed to destabilize post-Mubarak Egypt and roil US politicians. They got their wish

Via:- Max Blumenthal

The Innocence of Muslims

Palestinians protest against The Innocence of Muslims. Officials confirmed ‘Sam Bacile’ was an alias used by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Photograph: EPA

Did an inflammatory anti-Muslim film trailer that appeared spontaneously on YouTube prompt the attack that left four US diplomats dead, including US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens? American officials have suggested that the assault was pre-planned, allegedly by of one of the Jihadist groups that emerged since the Nato-led overthrow of Libya’s Gaddafi regime. So even though the deadly scene in Benghazi may not have resulted directly from the angry reaction to the Islamophobic video, the violence has helped realize the apocalyptic visions of the film’s backers.

Produced and promoted by a strange collection of rightwing Christian evangelicals and exiled Egyptian Copts, the trailer was created with the intention of both destabilizing post-Mubarak Egypt and roiling the US presidential election. As a consultant for the film named Steve Klein said: “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”

The Associated Press’s initial report on the trailer – an amateurish, practically unwatchable production called The Innocence of Muslims – identified a mysterious character, “Sam Bacile”, as its producer. Bacile told the Associated Press that he was a Jewish Israeli real estate developer living in California. He said that he raised $5m for the production of the film from “100 Jewish donors”, an unusual claim echoing Protocols of the Elders of Zion-style fantasies. Unfortunately, the extensive history of Israeli and ultra-Zionist funding and promotion of Islamophobic propaganda in the United States provided Bacile’s remarkable statement with the ring of truth.

Who was Bacile? The Israeli government could not confirm his citizenship, and for a full day, no journalist was able to determine whether he existed or not. After being duped by Bacile, AP traced his address to the home of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a militant Coptic separatist and felon convicted of check fraud. On September 13, US law enforcement officials confirmed that “Sam Bacile” was an alias Nakoula used to advance his various scams, which apparently included the production of The Innocence of Muslims.

According to an actor in the film, the all-volunteer cast was deceived into believing they were acting in a benign biblical epic about “how things were 2,000 years ago”. The script was titled Desert Warrior, and its contents made no mention of Muhammad – his name was dubbed into the film during post-production. On the set, a gray-haired Egyptian man who identified himself only as “Sam” (Nakoula) chatted aimlessly in Arabic with a group of friends while posing as the director. A casting notice for Desert Warrior listed the film’s real director as “Alan Roberts”. This could likewise be a pseudonym, although there is a veteran Hollywood hand responsible for such masterpieces as The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood and The Sexpert who goes by the same name.

Before Nakoula was unmasked, the only person to publicly claim any role in the film was Klein, an insurance salesman and Vietnam veteran from Hemet, California, who emerged from the same Islamophobic movement that produced the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. Styling themselves as “counter-Jihadists”, anti-Muslim crusaders like Klein took their cues from top propagandists like Pamela Geller, the blogger who once suggested that Barack Obama was the lovechild of Malcolm X, and Robert Spencer, a pseudo-academic expert on Muslim radicalization who claimed that Islam was no more than “a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers”. Both Geller and Spencer were labeled hate group leaders by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Klein is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugged, where he recently complained about Mitt Romney’s “support for a Muslim state in Israel’s heartland”. In July 2011, Spencer’s website, Jihad Watch, promoted a rally Klein organized to demand the firing of Los Angeles County sheriff Lee Baca, whom he painted as a dupe for the Muslim Brotherhood.

On his personal Facebook page, Altar or Abolish, Klein obsesses over the Muslim Brotherhood, describing the organization as “a global network of Muslims attacking to convert the world’s 6 billion people to Islam or kill them”. Klein urges a violent response to the perceived threat of Islam in the United States, posting an image to his website depicting a middle-American family with a mock tank turret strapped to the roof of their car. “Can you direct us to the nearest mosque?” read a caption Klein added to the photo.

In 2011, during his campaign to oust Sheriff Baca, Klein forged an alliance with Joseph Nasrallah, an extremist Coptic broadcaster who shared his fear and resentment of the Muslim Brotherhood. Nasrallah appeared from out of nowhere at a boisterous rally against the construction of an Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2010, warning a few hundred riled-up Tea Party types that Muslims “came and conquered our country the same way they want to conquer America”.

Organized by Geller and Spencer, the rally was carefully timed to coincide with the peak of the midterm congressional election campaign, in which many rightwing Republicans hoped to leverage rising anti-Muslim sentiment into resentment against the presidency of Obama.

Through his friendship with Nasrallah, Klein encountered another radical Coptic separatist named Morris Sadek. Sadek has been banned from returning to his Egypt, where he is widely hated for his outrageous anti-Muslim displays. On the day of the Ground Zero rally, for instance, Sadek was seen parading around the streets of Washington, DC, on September 11, 2010, with a crucifix in one hand and a Bible implanted with the American flag in the other. “Islam is evil!” he shouted. “Islam is a cult religion!”

With another US election approaching, and the Egyptian government suddenly under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood, Klein and Sadek joined Nakoula in preparing what would be their greatest propaganda stunt to date: the Innocence of Muslims. As soon as the film appeared on YouTube, Sadek promoted it on his website, transforming the obscure clip into a viral source of outrage in the Middle East. And like clockwork, on September 11, crowds of Muslim protesters stormed the walls of the US embassy in Cairo, demanding retribution for the insult to the prophet Muhammad. The demonstrations ricocheted into Libya, where the deadly attack that may have been only peripherally related to the film occurred.

For Sadek, the chaos was an encouraging development. He and his allies had been steadfastly opposed to the Egyptian revolution, fearing that it would usher in the Muslim Brotherhood as the country’s new leaders. Now that their worst fears were realized, Coptic extremists and other pro-Mubarak dead-enders were resorting to subterfuge to undermine the ruling party, while pointing to the destabilizing impact of their efforts as proof of the government’s bankruptcy. As Sadek said, “the violence that [the film] caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people”.

For far-right Christian right activists like Klein, the attacks on American interests abroad seemed likely to advance their ambitions back in the US. With Americans confronted with shocking images of violent Muslims in Egypt and Libya on the evening news, their already negative attitudes toward their Muslim neighbors were likely to harden. In turn, the presidential candidates, Obama and Romney, would be forced to compete for who could take the hardest line against Islamic “terror”.

A patrician moderate constantly on the defensive against his own right flank, Romney fell for the bait, baselessly accusing Obama of “sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks” and of issuing “an apology for America’s values”. The clumsy broadside backfired in dramatic fashion, opening Romney to strident criticism from across the spectrum, including from embarrassed Republican members of Congress. Obama wasted no time in authorizing a round of drone strikes on targets across Libya, which are likely to deepen regional hostility to the US.

A group of fringe extremists had proven that with a little bit of money and an unbelievably cynical scam, they could shape history to fit their apocalyptic vision. But in the end, they were not immune to the violence they incited.

According to Copts Today, an Arabic news outlet focusing on Coptic affairs, Sadek was seen taking a leisurely stroll down Washington’s M Street on September 11, soaking in the sun on a perfect autumn day. All of a sudden, he found himself surrounded by four angry Coptic women. Berating Sadek for fueling the flames of sectarian violence, the women took off their heels and began beating him over the head.

“If anything happens to a Christian in Egypt,” one of them shouted at him, “you’ll be the reason!”

Is Obama Right to Snub Netanyahu?


Obama is right to ignore Netanyahu

By Andrew Cohen, Ottawa Citizen September 24

In the Jewish calendar, the interlude between Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is called the Days of Awe. During these 10 days, Jews reflect on themselves and their faith.

Like observant Jews everywhere, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will consider his conduct over the last year and seek forgiveness for his transgressions. He will have much to contemplate. Before the Days of Awe, Netanyahu had his Days of Audacity.

That’s audacity as in effrontery, not boldness. Netanyahu’s cardinal sin is interfering in the domestic politics of the United States, Israel’s friend, ally and benefactor, in a manner that is disingenuous, ungrateful and irresponsible.

Twice this month, Netanyahu has told the United States, publicly, to give Iran an ultimatum on its nuclear program. It should draw “a red line” that Iran cannot cross, he says. “Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red line before Israel,” he told a news conference this month.

His point: that if America is not going to set limits on the Iranians and nuclear weapons, it has no right to tell Israel what to do.

As if those dense Americans didn’t recognize themselves as “the international community,” Netanyahu later went on American television to drive home the point.

Let’s get beyond the coded conversation. The prime minister is saying that President Barack Obama is unreliable. He does this as the president seeks re-election against a Republican who attacks him for being soft on Iran and hard on Israel, who claims Obama is “throwing Israel under the bus.”

It is very simple and very dangerous, Netanyahu’s game. In portraying Obama as weak, he plays to the Republican canard that on Israel — as in events in Libya and Egypt — the president has no backbone.

This is beyond audacity. It is chutzpah.

No wonder Obama is snubbing Netanyahu when he visits the United Nations this week. He resents Netanyahu’s megaphone diplomacy, which tries to drag the U.S. into a premature, preventive war, as well as his ingratitude for America’s magnanimous financial and military support of Israel.

For months, Netanyahu has been warning that Iran is getting the bomb, a refrain from him and other alarmists we have heard for 20 years. In his messianic view of himself and Jewish history, Israel has no choice but to strike first.

Netanyahu continues to argue this amid growing opposition in Israel, particularly among influential insiders, such as Meir Dagan, who ran Mossad. Read Dagan’s assessment of Iran in the New Yorker, and see the emptiness — and recklessness — of Netanyahu’s declarations on Iran.

It was madness to speak of hitting Iran in January, when Netanyahu began his new season of sabre-rattling, and it is madness now. Attacking Iran isn’t about weak-kneed morality. It is about hard-headed practicality.

And practically speaking, it just doesn’t add up.

No credible intelligence suggests that Israel has the ability to destroy Iran’s capacity to make a nuclear bomb. It can delay it, yes, for six to 24 months.

Say Israel does attack Iran. Then what? Consider the consequences: a newly enfranchised but still illegitimate regime in Tehran, backed by popular outrage in the Arab Street; the expulsion of the international nuclear inspectors; a public commitment from Iran to developing the bomb “in self-defence”; a rain of rockets on Israel’s cities, launched by Hezbollah and Hamas; Israeli retaliation inviting regional war, drawing in Egypt.

No wonder Obama wants to let international sanctions and diplomacy play out. If they don’t, and the Iranians decide to build a bomb (which they have not yet), Obama might then decide to order an attack. If so, it would be carried out with America weaponry, with a better chance of success.

Apparently that isn’t enough for Netanyahu. He is gambling that a weakened Obama loses the election, and that Mitt Romney embraces Netanyahu’s view and takes his talking points from Jerusalem, much like the government of Canada.

That the United States has helped finance Israel’s (“Iron Dome”) anti-missile and other defence systems, that it has provided $168 billion in aid to the country since 1948, and that it has collaborated with Israel on anti-nuclear cyber-warfare against Iran — all does not give Netanyahu pause.

The prime minister’s audacity will bring him more trouble than he knows.

If he attacks Iran over the objections of the Americans, he risks shattering Israel’s most important relationship. If he doesn’t attack but continues to push the U.S. to present ultimatums, he risks shattering his relationship with Obama, who will be less tolerant of Netanyahu if re-elected.

In arguing for red lines, Netanyahu cited — and misread — John F. Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis 50 years ago. As Netanyahu tries to make the case for war, he would do well to heed JFK’s memorable warning: those who ride the back of the tiger often end up inside.

Andrew Cohen is a professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

 

Jews Must Be Converted | American Right Wing Nuts’ Hate Fest


Jews Must Be Converted: FRC Vice President
Submitted by Josh Glasstetter on Thu, 09/13/2012 – 12:25pm

Bad news for Eric Cantor. He’s speaking tomorrow at the Values Voter Summit, but he’s apparently still going to hell. Let me explain.

Jerry Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council and Tony Perkins’ right-hand man. FRC is hosting the far right conference that the House Majority Leader, who is Jewish, plans to address tomorrow.

Boykin, much like Bryan Fischer, has a penchant for saying exactly what’s on his mind – things which others know not to say, even when they’re thinking the same thing. While you may know Boykin from his prolific Muslim-bashing, he also has some interesting things to say about Jews.

In a 2009 speech on “Why We Must Stand with Israel,” Boykin spoke out against pastors who say that “the Jews don’t have to come to know Jesus,” complaining that those pastors were “destroying the efforts” to lead Jews to Christ:

Last year, Boykin said that “one of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme Right” because he was “an extraordinarily off the scale leftist.” He then lamented that “many Jews in America, for example, can’t identify with the Republican Party because they’re called the party of the Right, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”

Boykin also said that President Obama is creating a Hitler-sytle Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America. And in 2003, then-Lt. Gen. Boykin said that the U.S. was fighting a war “in the name of Jesus,” prompting a rebuke from the ADL and President Bush.

To be sure, the Religious Right hasn’t always had the best relations with American Jews. Jerry Falwell sparked a controversy in 1980 when he said that God “does not hear the prayers of unredeemed Gentiles or Jews.” He was speaking at a press conference in defense of the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who had proclaimed that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

More recently, however, Religious Right leaders have been careful to stress Judeo-Christian values and avoid explicit attacks. Boykin, however, doesn’t have any use for such niceties.

Yet Boykin was able to meet recently with Mitt Romney, and he has three speaking slots during the conference. He’s even leading a panel on Israel with his good friend Kamal Saleem. Saleem, who is considered to be a fraud, describes himself as a former terrorist who “completed his first bloody terror mission into Israel for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) at the age of seven.”

All of this makes me wonder if Cantor’s folks did their homework before agreeing to speak tomorrow. Perhaps something will come up, and he’ll have to decline FRC’s invitation, much like Ann Romney and Cardinal Dolan have done. We’ll find out tomorrow.

Looney Religious Right Promotes Fake “Crucifixion” | Religious Hoaxes


Jonathan Kay: Egypt’s “crucifixion” hoax becomes an instant Internet myth
Jonathan Kay | Aug 22, 2012 12:53 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 25, 2012 9:31 PM ET More from Jonathan Kay | @jonkay
PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images

PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty ImagesAn Egyptian anti-government demonstrator holds a cross and the Koran at Cairo’s Tahrir Square back in 2011.

Have you heard the one about how Christians are being nailed up on crucifixes and left to die in front of the Egyptian presidential place?

It’s a story worth dissecting — not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect medium of truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

The Egyptian crucifixion story gained critical mass five days ago, when WorldNetDaily, a popular right-wing web site that promotes anti-gay and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories from an Evangelical perspective, published a story entitled “Arab Spring run amok: [Mulsim] Brotherhood starts crucifixions.”

“The Arab Spring takeover of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood has run amok, with reports from several different media agencies that the radical Muslims have begun crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi,” author Michael Carl declared. “Middle East media confirm that during a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives ‘crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.’ ”

The article quickly went viral. It has been tweeted thousands of times, and has 14,000 Facebook “likes.” Education is apparently no defence against this sort of web-peddled nonsense: Some of the people who credulously sent me a link to the article in recent days included an Ivy League-educated U.S. lawyer, and a former Canadian Senator. Britain’s Daily Mail reported the story, as did thousands of blogs.

It is, of course, theoretically possible that Muslim radicals truly have “crucified” someone, somewhere, sometime, in Egypt. Islamist mobs have staged countless murderous attacks on Copt “infidels” in recent years — and a crucifixion would hardly be a more barbarous tactic than truck bombs and beheadings.

But the story doesn’t just allege that a crucifixion has taken place somewhere in Egypt: It alleges that multiple crucifixions have taken place in front of the presidential palace. That would be the equivalent of, say, mass lynchings taking place in front of the White House, or a giant gang rape taking place in front of Ottawa’s Centennial Flame fountain.

“If that happened, wouldn’t someone, you know, take a picture?” I asked one of the friends who emailed me the WorldNetDaily link. Maybe just a few shots with a cell phone camera from one of the tens of thousands of people who no doubt would have witnessed this Biblical horror in one of the most densely trafficked patches of real estate in the entire Arab world?

And yet, not one of the stories I saw had a photo — or even names or descriptions of any of the supposed crucifixion victims. So I decided to check out the “several different media agencies” that supposedly have reported the crucifixion story.

WorldNetDaily, and other sites that are reporting the story, all trace the claim of multiple Arabic sources to a Jewish web site called algemeiner, which has published its own highly-trafficked article on the subject, and to something called The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Like the cited Arabic sources, they in turn base their claims on reports from Sky News Arabic — a recently formed joint venture between BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. Sky is supposedly the original source on the story, everyone agrees. Yet neither algemeiner nor WND nor any of the other sources supply the original Sky reporting that purportedly outlines the facts.

That’s because there is no Sky report on the subject.

Yesterday I contacted the management of Sky News Arabic, and asked them about the crucifixions. According to Fares Ghneim, a Sky communications official, the crucifixion claim “began on social media. It started getting pick-up from there and eventually reached us.”

“Our reporters came across reports of the alleged crucifixions and a story very briefly appeared on the Sky News Arabia website,” he added. “The story — which was taken down within minutes — was based on third-party reports and I am not aware that any of our reporters said or confirmed anything along the lines of what is quoted in the article [by WorldNetDaily] … What’s unclear is where websites in North America got [the] Sky News Arabia bit from. As mentioned [previously], none of our correspondents confirmed this issue or commented on it. Clearly there is an intermediate source the websites got the info from, but as of yet we haven’t been able to identify it.”

Nevertheless, web surfers already had begun sourcing the story to Sky, at which point it went viral in portions of the Arabic media, and then on U.S. Christian web sites, and pro-Israel blogs. And thus was born an Internet urban legend. (Update: In response to my article, WND has posted a new article claiming they have confirmed the original Sky report — but the only relevant new evidence produced is an obscure Youtube video produced by a third party, which purports to reproduce text from the deleted Sky web story).

Enter the terms Brotherhood crucifying 2012 into Google and you get numerous hits, the most prominent being the articles I have discussed in this column. Every single one of them swallows this made-up story whole. Indeed, some are even more emphatic than the original WorldNetDaily story, such as a well-trafficked Free Republic headline that claims, plainly, “Muslim Brotherhood Are Crucifying People.”

Such sites also have carried other nonsense articles about the Muslim Brotherhood, such as that it plans to blow up the pyramids — which the New York Times thankfully took pains to debunk back in July. Yet till now, no one (that I can tell) has taken the time to investigate or debunk the crucifixion tale, even though it only took a few emails to Sky to show that it was bunk. (Ordinary Egyptians also could have helped debunk the story. Here’s how one Copt put it in an email to WorldNetDaily: “I am an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox, i.e. Egyptian Christian, my mother and members of my family live within a stone throw from the presidential palace. I talk to my mother every other day. If something like what you mentioned in your article took place, she [would] be the first one to know.”)

Why do so many people believe this made up story? For the same reason that people believe all urban legends — because they play to some deeply held narrative that resides in our deepest fears. In this case, the narrative is that the Arab Spring is part of an orchestrated Islamist plot to destroy Western civilization (beginning with Israel). Believers in this narrative (who are especially numerous in America’s right-wing Evangelical circles) are so hungry for news items that purport to offer confirmation that they ignore the credibility of the messengers. If they had checked out the credibility of WorldNetDaily, for instance, they would have found that the site’s past “scoops” have included the claim that drinking soy milk makes you gay, and that Barack Obama himself is gay (presumably from aforesaid soy milk).

As James Callaghan once put the old adage, “a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” He was British PM back in the 1970s, decades before the Internet expedited the process. These days, the truth doesn’t even bother rousing itself from bed. It just turns over its sleep, and puts a pillow over its exposed ear to drown out the nonsense from the world’s web-enabled conspiracists.

AUGUST 24 UPDATE Earlier this week, I debunked the story — spreading like wildfire on WorldNetDaily and other Internet sites — that Christians were being crucified by the Muslim Brotherhood in front of Egypt’s presidential palace. As I noted, the story was based on nothing more than a social-media rumor that had been posted for a few minutes on the Web site of Sky News Arabic, before an alert Sky editor deleted it. From that small seed of nonsense, it traveled far and wide, as such urban legends do in the Internet age.

In response to my debunking, WorldNetDaily published a new article purporting to “confirm” the original crucifixion story. But the only relevant new evidence WND provides is a link to a video that purports to show the deleted text from the Sky web site. Since I already reported the existence of the original, short-lived Sky article, I’m not sure what this is supposed to prove. (More generally, the article also supplies links to Arabic-media images of people who have been brutalized — allegedly at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. I have no reason to doubt that these photos are genuine. But as I made abundantly clear in my original article, I don’t dispute that Egypt’s hardcore Islamists are a nasty lot. My article was limited to debunking the crucifixion claim. And none of the photos provided show any hint of crucifixion.)

Over the last day or so, I have had an ongoing email correspondence with Michael Carl, the WND reporter who wrote the crucifixion article. He tells me he is sticking by his story. When I asked him if he has “any information from any of the tens of thousands of people who would have seen an actual ‘crucifixion’ if one really did take place in front of the presidential palace,” he told me that he had. Tantalized, I pressed him for details. Alas, he refused to divulge any of the evidence to me — or anyone else. If he did, he explained, the Muslim Brotherhood “would kill my sources.” And so ended our correspondence.

More enlightening than my emails with Father Carl (he describes himself as a priest, as well as a reporter), was a note I got from a reader pointing out that this is not the first time that Islamists in the region have been falsely accused of crucifixions.

As Nathan J. Brown pointed out in early 2009, on the web site of the Carnegie Endowment, an internet rumor circulated in late 2008 to the effect that Hamas was “celebrating” Christmas by crucifying Gaza’s non-Muslims. And amazingly, it wasn’t just the conspiracy theorists at WND who got sucked into this one. According to Brown, it was featured in blogs connected to such respectable publications as The New Republic, National Review and Commentary. Even the Simon Wiesenthal Center was pushing the story.

Here is the real story, as Brown describes it:

Some officials of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Justice (answering to Hamas) have been drafting a new criminal code based on Islamic criminal law. They have not released its work (at least outside of Gaza), but they did hold a workshop to discuss a draft. A copy of this document fell into the hands of a reporter for the Arabic daily al-Hayat. While that newspaper is generally reliable enough, the reporter made a significant mistake: He thought the draft had been fully and finally passed by the parliament, not that it was the subject of a small group discussion. And he quoted from some passages in the law — including the title of a section dealing with categories of punishment that mentioned crucifixion (a legal category in Islamic criminal law). There was no evidence that the law went beyond using the term as a legal category. And since the reporter did quote some fairly strong provisions in other areas it seems unlikely that he would have missed the opportunity to mention any actual provisions for crucifixion. The small (and mistaken) article in al-Hayat was picked up by the Jerusalem Post (it also circulated in some Arabic media outlets) which — in perhaps the only glimmer of responsible journalism in this strange episode — added that it could not confirm the report. But that qualification got lost. So did the explanation from Hamas legal officials that no law had been passed. One Israeli activist working hard to circulate the charge (Itamar Marcus) actually went so far as to cover up his mistake by claiming that the Hamas denial (which was actually quite accurate) was simply a “lie” … And so columnists (generally on the right side of the political spectrum) began to claim that Hamas had legislated crucifixion — in the more lurid report — for any “unbelievers,” “enemies of Islam,” or even Christians. And few could resist mentioning that the timing coincided with Christmas.

The people reporting this false story were not deliberately lying. As I noted in my original post, they have simply become so wrapped up in the idea that we are fighting an existential war against militant Islam, that they are willing to believe any nonsense story they come across without checking it. If it sounds like it could be true, then it must be.

The first casualty of war, as always, is truth.

National Post jkay@nationalpost.com Twitter @jonkay

Jewish Pedophile Son To Make Rebbe | Jewish Religious Perverts


Even Pedophile Son Will Be A Rebbe

Shomrei Emunim Rebbe Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Roth

The will of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, Avrohom Chaim Roth, was read Saturday night. In the will, the rebbe ordered that all of his sons should become rebbes in their own right – even the son currently in prison for pedophilia.

Shomrei Emunim Rebbe Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Roth The late Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, Avrohom Chaim Roth

Yeshiva World reports that the will of the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe, Avrohom Chaim Roth, which was read Saturday night, orders that all of his sons – even his son in prison – should become rebbes in their own right:

The rebbe instructed all of his sons to serve as rebbes, including the  one in prison, adding they are not to take on the leadership role until  his release, which should be in the coming months.

What is the rebbe’s son in prison for?

Apparently for child sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, obstruction of justice and incest.

In an interview published last fall, the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe referred to President Obama as a “black dog” and “Arab”:

Why all the nations, headed by the ‘black dog’ (the term used by the  Rebbe for US President Barak Obama), an Arab too, and he was elected  because he stood for assisting the Arab conspiracy, standing firmly  together against Israel.

Jewish Zealot’s Outrageous Holocaust Lies – AGAIN!


Updated: Haredi Rabbi Lies About The Holocaust – Again

Meir Wikler

“According to some experts, between 50%-70% of those murdered by the  Nazis, were “traditionally religious Jews.” There is no reason to assume  the percentage of survivors who were religious was any less.”

Meir Wikler Rabbi Meir Wikler

Yad Vashem only honors Holocaust’s secular victims Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed their own curricula to teach it to their children and are building their own museums to memorialize the martyrs.

By Meir Wikler • Ha’aretz

When Yad Vashem in Jerusalem opened its new wing, known as The Holocaust History Museum, in 2005, it was much ballyhooed as a state of the art, multi-million dollar Holocaust museum to top all others. While praise for the new museum wing has poured forth from dignitaries and laymen, the unified opposition of so-called ultra-orthodox, or Haredi Jewry, has stuck out like a sore thumb. Why have Haredim been so upset?

While Jewish religious life before World War II is illustrated at the museum, the testimony of haredi survivors is largely missing.

According to some experts, between 50%-70% of those murdered by the Nazis, were “traditionally religious Jews.” There is no reason to assume the percentage of survivors who were religious was any less. But in the rooms of Yad Vashem only one of the 50-60 video monitors playing taped testimonies of Holocaust survivors shows a Haredi Jew. By choosing to record and display taped testimonies of mostly secular Jews, Yad Vashem is giving a distorted picture of the religious affiliations of the survivors. This gives the false impression that few ultra-orthodox Jews survived the Shoah.

The spiritual heroism of the Holocaust is almost completely overlooked. The abundant examples of incredible courage to study Torah and perform mitzvot despite unspeakable suffering and incredible hardships are relegated to footnote status and all but eliminated from the museum. The clandestine yeshivot and Torah study groups in the ghettos, the lighting of candles on Channuka, the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashana and the daily donning of tefillin in the concentration camps – all under the penalty of death – are not mentioned at all.

The massive rescue work of Haredi Jewry has effectively been purged from the historical record of the Holocaust as presented by Yad Vashem. Rabbi Michoel Ber Weissmandl, for example, and the heroic efforts of his Working Group, are impugned and dishonored. Instead of crediting them with successfully delaying the transports from Czechoslovakia by bribing and outsmarting the Nazis, the paragraph written about them makes it sound as if they were the ones who had been duped.

Yad Vashem’s responses to queries on this subject have been disappointing. At one meeting, the Yad Vashem representative requested that the discussion be kept “off the record.” The institution’s written responses to published critiques have attempted to obfuscate the issue. The spokesperson cited, for example, the online services available to the Haredi community. They also pointed to the special Orthodox division of their tour guide training school and they emphasized how many Orthodox students make use of Yad Vashem archives for research purposes.

Yad Vashem’s underlying motives for all of this are open to speculation. Some Herdim believe that Yad Vashem feels that dealing more favorably with ultra-Orthodox Jews is antithetical to their secular, Zionist agenda. Others see this as a reflection of the anti-Haredi bias of some segments of secular Israeli society. And still others suspect that Yad Vashem simply suffers from the, “We know best,” mentality, so prevalent today in Jewish establishment circles.

However, there have been a few improvements made to the new Museum wing. For example, the immodest pictures of victims which were originally on display when the museum opened have since been removed. In addition, while the new building opened with no videotaped testimonies from any Haredi survivors, now there is one.

Unfortunately, these changes fall far short of what is needed. As the premier Holocaust museum under Jewish auspices, Yad Vashem dishonors the memory of the six million by continuing to present a distorted and incomplete record of the Shoah. No, not all those who perished in or survived the Shoah were Haredim. But many more Haredim did survive than the 2% represented by the one videotaped testimony currently on display.

In spite of the extremely rare but highly publicized Haredi use of Holocaust imagery against the State, the overwhelming majority of Haredim today take Shoah remembrance seriously. Yad Vashem, however, is seen by many as irrelevant. As a result, Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed their own curricula to teach it to their children and are building their own museums to memorialize the martyrs.

If many ultra-Orthodox Jews see Yad Vashem as irrelevant, why are some so outspoken in their criticism of the new Holocaust History Museum? Millions of visitors, both Jew and non-Jew, stream through Yad Vashem each year. The vast majority of them would never visit a Holocaust museum under Haredi auspices. Yad Vashem needs, therefore, to make further corrections to the new building for those visitors. And world Jewry must insist on it.
Yom HaShoah observances are designed to memorialize the martyrs. Nothing would honor their memory more, however, than being remembered as they would have wanted. We cannot save a single life that was lost in the Holocaust. We can, however, protest the distortions at Yad Vashem that dishonor the memory of religious victims because they can no longer do that for themselves.

Dr. Meir Wikler is a Brooklyn based psychotherapist, author and lecturer.

Meir Wikler is dishonest. He’s also a fool.

As I noted in May of last year in response to an ‘interview’ of Wikler in The Jewish Week [the quotes are from that ‘interview’ but are similar to what he wrote now above]:

1. “At least half, if not more, of all survivors were haredi.” This is complete hogwash. At the dawn of WW2, 2/3 of Warsaw’s Jews were  secular. The number of secular Jews was even higher in Paris, Amsterdam  and Denmark. And most of Budapest’s Jews were secular, as well. Even  smaller cities like Munkatch had large secular populations. And all  these areas had large populations of what we would call Modern Orthodox  or Zionist Orthodox Jews, as well. The vast majority of Europe’s Jews in  1939 were secular or non-haredi Orthodox. There are to my knowledge no  studies, no academic research, and no evidence to back up Wikler’s  claim. But there is much evidence against Wikler. Satmar, Bobov,  Klausenberg, Chabad and other American hasidic groups were broken by the  Holocaust. Most of the people who today call themselves hasidim are  descended from people who were secular or non-haredi-Orthodox after the  Holocaust, but who were recruited by hasidic leaders, many of whom had  difficulty getting a quorum for prayer in 1946.

2. “The description of Harav [Rabbi] Michoel Dov Weissmandel,  of blessed memory, [who led an effort to save Jews from the Holocaust]  depicts him as having been naïve and duped by the Nazis. The truth is  just the opposite. He was a brilliant rabbinic leader who outwitted the  Nazis at every turn.” All available evidence shows Rabbi  Weissmandl – the Slovakian rabbi who was courageous and tireless as he  tried to save Jews from the Nazis – was, in fact, duped by the Nazis and  achieved little. The only way to interpret the evidence differently  (besides lying, of course) is to say that the Allies would have allowed  American and Palestinian Jews to give the Germans tens of thousands of  trucks and other war supplies in exchange for Jews in the middle of war  they were fighting against those Germans

3. “There are videotaped testimonies of only two haredi  survivors in the New  Wing of the museum. Compared with the 50 or 60  testimonies of  non-haredi survivors, it gives the mistaken impression  that hardly any  haredi Jews survived, and by extension, that haredi  Judaism did not  survive the Holocaust.” I’ve known dozens of  Holocaust survivors on three continents. They include parents of  friends, Jewish communal leaders, Holocaust educators, simple Jews, and  even a Nazi hunter. Only one or two could be honestly described as being  haredi after the war. Before the war that number would be four or five,  at best. What Wikler does is define haredi in terms so broad the word  no longer has meaning. Therefore anyone with a onetime connection to the  haredi community, no matter how tenuous it may be – even if that  ‘connection’ comes from grandparent’s affiliation only, or even if that  ‘affiliation’ comes from Wikler defining non-haredi Orthodoxy as haredi  for the purpose of his argument – is defined by Wikler as haredi. That  pumps up his numbers and allows him to  lambaste Yad Vashem for, in  effect, following the normative definition of the word and then acting  on it. On top of Wikler’s behavior, there is the overall behavior of the  haredi community that did survive the war. Their leaders generally  refused to cooperate with Yad Vashem, which means haredim are  underrepresented there – but not to the degree Wikler claims. The fault  is not Yad Vashem’s – it is Yoel Teitelbaum’s and the other haredi  leaders who refused to cooperate with it.

4. It isn’t just that haredim do not commemorate Yom HaShoah. For  years, they did things that flew in the face of it, just as for years  haredim refused to stand still and be silent for the one minute of  silence observed for Israel’s fallen soldiers.

Past all this, Wikler ignores key facts that surely influenced and continue to influence Yad Vashem:

A. Haredim propagated and continue to propagate the most base and  bizarre conspiracy theories to ‘prove’ Zionists collaborated with the  Nazis and to delegitimize Israel. The ‘facts’ these conspiracy theories  are based on are largely false, and the little that is true is taken out  of context. They do this because the existence and success of the State  of Israel is an existential threat to the validity of their theology.

B. Any fair representation of haredi behavior during the Holocaust  must include the behavior of hasidic rebbes who ordered their flocks to  stay in Europe and then fled, leaving their followers to die horrible  deaths. The Satmar Rebbe did this. So did the Belzer Rebbe and his  brother. So did the Lubavitcher Rebbe.  And then there was Rabbi Elchanon Wasserman, a non-hasidic haredi  leader who forbade his followers from fleeing Europe, even telling  students not to accept offers to study at Yeshiva University in New  York. Wasserman hated YU because it was Zionist and because it was  Modern Orthodox. On a visit to New York, Wasserman himself turned down a  teaching position there and went back to Lithuania. He and many of his  students were killed by the Nazis shortly after.

C. There were rabbis – some haredi, some hasidic, some Modern or  Zionist Orthodox – who refused to leave their followers and accompanied  them to the killing fields and death camps. Most of them who survived  came out of that hell as Zionist or Zionist leaning.

D. Scholars who study the haredi reaction to the Holocaust –  including at least one haredi academic, Esther Farbstein – note that  haredi rabbis’ strong opposition to Zionism before the war, coupled with  Israel’s subsequent success and the poor behavior of the rabbis noted  in section B above, largely account for the haredi community’s rejection  of Holocaust studies and Holocaust memorials and its ambivalent and  sometimes hostile relationship with Yad Vashem. And, as I noted in  section A above, it is this cognitive dissonance that is the foundation  for the bizarre anti-Israel and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories common  in haredi communities.

Wikler lies with appalling regularity.

The sad thing is that haredi leadership and the haredi rank and file don’t even care.

Update 12:22 pm CDT – Here’s Yad Vashem’s response to Wikler’s lies:

Yad Vashem responds: We do pay tribute to Holocaust’s ultra-Orthodox victims Meir Wikler’s op-ed that the museum is biased toward the secular Jews who perished in the Holocaust is full of misinformation, writes Yad Vashem spokeswoman. By Iris Rosenberg • Ha’aretz

Meir Wikler’s latest article on what he perceives as bias against Haredim at Yad Vashem is replete with misinformation.

For example, Wikler says there is only one testimony of a Haredi survivor in the Holocaust History Museum; this is not true. He claims that blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, donning tefillin, lighting candles on Hannukah “are not mentioned at all”. Again, this is false.

Rabbi Weissmandl and the Working Group’s efforts, under impossible circumstances, to rescue Jews are respected by Yad Vashem and all the guides trained here. It’s unfortunate that Wikler chooses to see insults and slights where none exist.

To state that “spiritual heroism of the Holocaust is almost completely overlooked” is wrong and misleading, demonstrating a perception unrelated to reality. Yad Vashem seeks to meaningfully impart the story of the Shoah in all its complexity and variety with a special emphasis on spiritual heroism. The activities of Yad Vashem – its museums, exhibitions, online material (viewed by over 12 million people last year), educational approaches, publications, and more – prove the contrary.

Wikler says that Haredim have authored their own Holocaust history books, developed curricula and teach their children. Indeed, for nearly a decade, an ultra-Orthodox department in Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies has been working closely with Haredi educators and leaders to prepare educational material such as the multi-volume textbooks Years Wherein We Have Seen Evil in Hebrew and English and seminars – at Yad Vashem and elsewhere – serving Haredi educators and students throughout Israel.

Sincere dialogue between Yad Vashem and the leadership of Haredi Jewry and their representatives over the years has resulted in productive educational activity with the Bais Yaacov and other Haredi educational systems, and many Haredim participate in seminars at Yad Vashem, in genuine partnerships with Agudath Israel of America and the Belz community in Israel, to name just a few.

To claim, as his headline does, that “Yad Vashem honors only Holocaust’s secular victims” is outrageous and can only be a result of an unfounded bias.

I invite Haaretz readers to join the hundreds of thousands of people, including Haredim and other Jews and non-Jews of all backgrounds, who visit the Holocaust History Museum, and other sites at Yad Vashem, and experience it for themselves.

Iris Rosenberg is the Spokesperson at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

Why aren’t we up in arms about Jordan’s nuclear ‘threat’?


Why aren’t we up in arms about Jordan’s nuclear ‘threat’?

Jordan, Israel’s neighbor, has a nuclear program. And, unlike Iran, Jordan and Israel actually have a history of military confrontation.  So why isn’t Israel barking?

Yes, Israel has a peace treaty with Jordan, but if the Israeli and American hawks set their sights on Jordan’s nuclear ambitions, they would shriek that a peace treaty is not enough to secure Israel’s future. They would demand Jordan halt its uranium enrichment and dismantle its facilities.

If Jordan refused, and insisted that its nuclear program was for civilian purposes – as Iran has – Israeli leaders would threaten that Israel will do what she “has to do” to protect herself and the future of the Jewish people (more than half of which, mind you, do not live in Israel). I can just hear Netanyahu saying something like “Israel won’t hang its fate on a piece of paper.”

Then there are the Palestinians, a group that constitutes more than half of Jordan’s population. If the Palestinians and Palestinian refugees are really as fearsome and bloodthirsty as Israel makes them out to be – if the Palestinians are indeed terrorists bent on Israel’s destruction – wouldn’t a nuclear program in a country where they constitute more than half the population be of concern to Israel?

So why isn’t Israel barking about Jordan’s nuclear program? Because Jordan is a U.S. ally; because Jordan is open to Western influence.

Some would argue it’s also because Jordan’s program is for civilian purposes. But, the same could be said of Iran. In fact, American intelligence agencies believe that Iran stopped working towards a nuclear weapon in 2003.

As for Iran’s so-called intent to wipe Israel off the map, Jordan and Israel have actually had military confrontations, during the 1948 War and the Six Day War in 1967. If you had to pick who is a bigger threat, would you pick the kid you exchanged words with or the one who you actually had a fist fight with?

Regarding anti-Semitism, Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East, outside of Israel. Ever heard of Jordanian Jews?

That’s not to say that Jordanians are anti-Semitic but, yes, like most places in the world, there is anti-Semitism in Jordan. When I was in Jordan recently on a reporting trip, I attended a pro-reform protest in Amman. At one point the crowd chanted “Jews are pigs” and many an interviewee told me that they want to see a Palestine free of Jews. Still, Israel and the United States aren’t up in arms about Jordan’s nuclear program.

One last point: according to a 2010 study, Jordan is the fifth most militarized country in the world, with Israel, Singapore, Syria, and Russia taking the top four spots, in that order.

According to the same research, Iran came in as the 32nd most militarized country in the world, lagging far behind Israel’s neighbors Jordan and Syria.

By Israeli political standards, it sounds like a real formula for disaster, right? Israel’s neighbor – a highly militarized country with a history of armed conflict with Israel, a country full of Palestinian refugees, a country in which the largest political opposition party is the Islamic Action Front, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood – has a nuclear program. Yet Israel and the United States are mum, suggesting that the Palestinians, Islamists, and nuclear programs aren’t the existential threat Israel pretends them to be.

Sort of makes you wonder what all the fuss about Iran is really about, doesn’t it?

Jewish Zealots Busted For Holocaust Fraud


Haredi Charity Heads Busted For Holocaust Fraud

2 0f 10 arrested Hazon Yeshaya employees 4-2012

The heads of Hazon Yeshaya, a charity that claimed to run many soup kitchens and other services for the poor – especially for elderly Holocaust survivors – allegedly stole millions of dollars of donations – including large donations from the Conference of Material Claims Against Germany (for Holocaust survivors) – by using the money to buy food, and then selling that food to haredi schools and other haredi institutions in a type of money laundering. Hazon Yeshaya was originally a part of (and is probably still a part of) Shuva Israel, the charity of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, the Sefardi ‘kabbalist’ who is embroiled in several financial and other scandals. The Canadian and British Friends of Hazon Yeshaya shut down during the past year after each separately detected widespread fraud in the Israeli operation, including grossly inflated numbers of the soup kitchens it claimed to run and for the people it claimed to serve. So far, 10 Hazon Yeshaya employees have been arrested.

2 0f 10 arrested Hazon Yeshaya employees 4-2012

Hazon Yeshaya Shuva Yisrael name change to Hazon Yeshaya watermarked and annotated Above: Official name change from Mosdot Hazon Yeshaya Shuva Yisrael to Mossdot Hazon Yeshaya.

Israel Scandal:

Times of Israel.

Jerusalem Post.

Ynet.

British Scandal:

The Jewish Chronicle.

Jewish Fascism | Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran’s Refusal to Sing the National Anthem


The Hatikvah affair: This is what a Jewish state looks like

The storm about Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran’s refusal to sing the national anthem shows us just what a ‘Jewish State’ means.

A political storm broke out last week, when it turned out Supreme Justice Salim Joubran declines to sing the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah” (The Hope). Many Jewish Brotherhood MKs suffered from an unusually farcical attack of national erection. This was indeed another occasion to note that there is no practical (or even ideological) difference between Kahane’s representative in the Knesset, Michael Ben Ari, or Yisrael Beitenu’s David Rotem, or the Likud’s Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin. But that is not the main issue; neither is the fact that the Jewish Brotherhood’s attack on Joubran means they think that most of the Jewish population agrees with them on this point.

The issue is the single demand made by Netanyahu to the Palestinians recently: that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Joubran brouhaha is precisely the reasons they cannot accept this demand. A Jewish state is a state, which – inherently by its very existence and by its very declaration as such – discriminates against its non-Jewish citizens. It is a state, which, by its very definition, says they do not belong, that they are unequal and never will be equal, that they are nothing but temporary guests who exist at the sufferance of the Jewish majority. A Jewish state is one that proclaims itself to contain two types of populations, separate and not at all equal.

It would be herrenvolk state, where the will of the majority wouldn’t be just that the minority make it tea (as a famous Israeli song notes ironically) but that it should kowtow as it serves it. This would be a state where people would be ordered to sing, in a broken voice and a trampled soul, “The Jewish soul is moved,” so that day by day and hour by hour, they would be forced to remember their home is not their home. As of now, the Jewish Brotherhood targets justices; soon enough it will target school principals, physicians, advocates – anyone whose head is held too high. Therefore, it is clear that Abbas or any other self-respecting Palestinian leader cannot acquiesce to Netanyahu’s demand: doing so would be selling the rights of Israeli Palestinians down the river, something no one has authorized him to do. This, of course, is precisely why he presses for that demand.

This has happened before. Most Israelis have forgotten 1949-1966, when Israeli Palestinians were under military rule; most American Jews were never aware of it. Under this rule, Zionist Israel carried out a huge land grab – legal, of course; there is no villainy which state attorneys will not commit – which deprived the Nakba-surviving Palestinians of most of their lands. Policemen and secret policemen were on the hunt for any hostile utterance, any unpleasant wedding song, and Palestinian leaders had to learn “Hatikvah” by heart to maintain their position. We are no longer in the 1950s and 1960s, thankfully, but there are people who would like to take us back there.

As usual, one should be thankful for Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin for trying to save the dignity of the Knesset and of the Likud party. One should also thank, through gritted teeth, Bogie “Moshe” Ya’alon, who defended Joubran against his own home crowd, which takes courage anytime, but particularly these days. Both of them went on record saying that Israeli non-Jews cannot be expected to sing Israel’s anthem.

This unfortunately is not enough. In this way, they accept the concept of Israeli Palestinians as a tolerated minority, since we can’t demand it pretend to be Jewish. But that should not be the case: a country with a large minority should learn to accommodate it. Former state comptroller and supreme court justice Miryam Ben Porat, who came from a Revisionist home, had no qualms about suggesting some 20 years ago that “Hatikvah” be amended and a new stanza added, and that a new symbol be added to the flag so that non-Jews could also relate to an anthem and flag that, after all, are supposed to represent them as well. There have been other suggestions, like replacing “Hatikvah” with Shaul Tchernichovsky “Ani Ma’amin” (“I Believe”):

Mock me, mock my dreams of glory It is I who dreams, still bowed, Mock my faith in all things human As in you my faith stands, proud.

Yet my spirit still craves freedom Not sold out to calves of gold I still believe in all things human, Human spirit, spirit bold.

(Translated by Dena Shunra)

This did not happen and is not likely to happen soon. This is where we see the importance of civics lessons in schools: the right wing has been sabotaging them for a generation now, claiming they neglect the Jewish aspect of the state. But that, after all, is precisely the point of lessons in civics: to build the supra-religious, supra-ethnic, supra-tribal infrastructure that will create a civic consciousness, for Jews and non-Jews alone. The sabotage was not incidental.

The right wing does not want a civil state: it is looking for an ethnocratic theocracy. And not just the right wing: Yair Lapid, the most accurate barometer of the precise center of Israeli politics, recently wrote he opposes the separation of synagogue and state. Even he understands such a move will undermine the ethnocracy – and he chooses it over a liberal Israel.

There will be no reconciliation in this tortured land, if the country is considered first and foremost Jewish. This would mean a total victory for the Jewish nationalists and would significantly damage (and justly so) Israel Palestinians’ ability to identify with Israel. This ability is surprisingly strong, given the country’s history.

One is led to thinking that the mass hysteria of the past 20 years, the overpowering urge to emphasis Israel’s Jewishness, is the result of a deep fear among central parts of the Jewish population that if this is not achieved, then there will be no escape from living aside Israeli Palestinians. This, in turn, leads to the worst of Jewish fears: the loss of blood purity (AKA “assimilation”). This shouted insistence on Israel’s Jewishness is in some ways tactical: it says to Israeli Palestinians “go away, no matter how hard you try to be Israelis, Israel will never be yours. Keep away from us: you’re getting too close and it’s making us scared.”

And how do you treat a whole population driving itself into post traumatic stress disorder? This is not a question I’m sure I can answer.

‘Radicalised agnostics’ threatening to derail Middle East war process


‘Radicalised agnostics’ threatening to derail Middle East war process

nothing wrong with a little healthy disagreementThe irresponsible actions of a group of radical agnostics are threatening to jeopardise the glorious battle that awaits the holy lands, warned Israel and Iran today.

‘These people are dangerously sensible and naively human in their outlook,’ said Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a joint statement. ‘We have a clear roadmap for war in the region, but the soft-line approach to international politics of these fundamentalist equivocators could prevent millions of martyrs from fulfilling their destiny. The Middle East is like a powder keg that could explode any minute – the last thing we need is some crazed pacifists standing around with fire extinguishers.’

Radical agnostics have hit back at the attack, but insist they don’t want to offend anyone. ‘We’d just prefer it if religious leaders didn’t blow the world to oblivion,’ stated Daniel Olszewski, a spokesman for the group known as The Silent Unsure. ‘We may be in the minority, but we just think that mass human extinction through warfare should be avoided. Agnostics get a lot of stick from both believers and atheists for sitting on the fence, but the one thing we’re sure about is that we’re not quite ready yet to find out if there is an afterlife.’

Using insidious techniques such as writing sensible letters to people in power and offering to grovel if that would help, the group claims that war might be avoided if everyone just thought about things logically for a while. It’s a stance that has earned them some powerful enemies, but there were signs today that it might be beginning to bear fruit with Israel and Iran finding some common ground.

‘It turns out that we and America have a lot more in common than we thought with Iran, Russia and China,’ said Netanyahu. ‘When what you believe in most is under attack from the nagging voice of reason and an underground network of people that discusses things, listens to both sides of the argument and looks for compromise, it’s time to join with your enemies and act. Diplomacy, sanctions, military action – we will do whatever it takes to defeat this threat to international warfare.’

Right Wing Fox News Harpy Claims Jews Worst Enemies of the Country


Right Wing Fox News Harpy Claims Jews Worst Enemies of the Country

Sandy Rios Says Secular Jews Have Been ‘The Worst Enemies of the Country’
      Submitted by Brian Tashman on Mon, 03/05/2012 – 3:55pm

The American Family Association recently hired Fox News contributor and former Concerned Women for America president Sandy Rios to host her own show on American Family Radio, and here’s what we get to look forward to: attacks on Jewish Americans for supporting President Obama. Earlier today she spoke with the AFA’s Tim Wildmon and Bryan Fischer, where she suggested that secular Jews are enemies of America. Rios bemoaned that “the Jewish vote in this country is so confused, so many of the Jews in this country are atheist and their hearts are with this President.” “They’re far-left,” Wildmon said, “Most of the Jews in this country are far left, unfortunately.”  Rios said that “a lot of Jewish atheists are some of the ones who have done, just like former Christians or quasi Christians, people who have some dealing with Judeo-Christian ethics, sometimes turn out to be the worst enemies of the country.”

Later on in the show, Rios said that “there are very few” religious people in Israel, “by and large Israel is an atheistic country, they don’t really believe in the God of their fathers, there’s no question about that,” and maintained that Christians must “evangelize and pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Tzipi Livni Slams Lazy Jewish Haredim And Politicians Corrupted By Their Indolence


Livni Slams Haredim And Pols Who Are Corrupted By Them

Tzipi Livni

“I believe Yeshivas have place in the state, but they have turned into a haven for people who don’t serve and don’t work, even though they can.”

Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni of Kadima attacked haredim and members of her own party who are corrupted by them. This is how Ynet quotes her:

“These political tricks that are employed by my fellow party members, who take into account the haredi parties’ calculations… are invalid and compromise the people’s ability to unite. I believe Yeshivas have place in the state, but they have turned into a haven for people who don’t serve and don’t work, even though they can.”

Jewish Fist Fight | My Messiah is Bigger Than Yours


[They’re worse than fundi Muslim fanatics, imagine a world if these ultra Orthodox,  Jewish-religious crazies numbered in the 100’s of millions?!]

Video: Jewish Punch Up In 770

Fist Fight in 770 2-23-2011 Tzefatis v Americans

Students from Chabad‘s yeshiva in Tzefat, Israel – known for believing Chabad’s later rebbe, dead since 1994, is actually alive, well and living in 770 Eastern Parkway – spark more fighting in Chabad’s main synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

PANDEMONIUM: The Inmates Run Wild in the Asylum

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — No one ever believed 770 would devolve into utter chaos as it did this afternoon – not even the biggest sympathizers towards the Tzfati cause. Two members of the yeshiva’s hanholo, Rabbi Kuti Feldman and Rabbi Zalman Labkowski, were both physically and verbally attacked by the same hooligans who have been running wild and unrestrained these past few weeks.

Today’s episode began when Rabbi Labkowski was about to give his weekly Thursday Shiur at 1:30 in the downstairs of 770. About a half hour before the Shiur began, a Tzfati Bochur, Tzachi Cohen, stole the microphone that is usually used for the Shiur in retaliation for the revocation of one Tzfati’s visa.

Bochurim who wanted Rabbi Labkowski to give his shiur set up an alternative microphone – the Gabboim’s system (with their permission), and the Shiur began on time.

As the Shiur began, a Tzfati Bochur, Eliyahu Singawi – the one who had his visa revoked, ran over to the cabinet where the microphone system is kept and grabbed the wire, pulling it away in order to tear it.

[This point is where the first video begins]

Rabbi Kuti Feldman went after the Bochur to get the microphone back, and was attacked by a gaggle of Tzfatis who kicked, punched and slapped him, eliciting cries of outrage from the hundreds of people who were present in 770.

[This point is where the second video begins]

That wasn’t enough; another Bochur began yelling at Rabbi Labkowski, while spitting at him and throwing things. He shouted: ‘you should die today,’ ‘yemach shimcha,’ and ‘you menuval.’

According to witnesses, all this took place in the presence of Gabbai R. Menachem Gerelitzky and R. Yosef Braun, both of whom did not intervene.

One bochur told Crownheights.info that a Poilisher chossid happened to be present, and he asked him if this was regular occurrence in the shul, and why nobody did anything about it. The bochur couldn’t answer.

The incident concluded when Rabbi Labkowski left 770, and Shiur was canceled.

[Hat Tip: WSC.]

Violent Jewish Religionists | US Issues Travel Warning


US Issues Travel Warning About Haredi Violence

Haredim throwing stones

Concerned by violence against women and children by so-called extremist haredim in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, the United States Department of State has issued a travel advisory for US citizens traveling to Israel recommending dressing in “modest” attire and not driving through or adjacent to haredi neighborhoods on Shabbat. “Most roads into ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on  Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays. Assaults on secular  visitors, either for being in cars or for being ‘immodestly dressed’  have occurred in these neighborhoods,” the US Consulate in Jerusalem wrote.

Haredim throwing stones

Haredim throwing stones at police in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel

US warns tourists against ‘immodest attire’ in Jerusalem Concerns over recent haredi extremism in Israel’s capital prompt US consulate to publish Jerusalem travel recommendations for American tourists Itamar Eichner • Ynet

The US State Department is concerned over recent violence exhibited by extremists in Israel’s haredi community and has published a travel recommendation for tourists: Do not walk around dressed immodestly in haredi neighborhoods for fear that extremists would assault you in the street.

The travel recommendations which were updated by the US State Department two weeks ago with the recent phenomenon of women’s exclusion and haredi violence in mind, calls on American tourists to dress appropriately when visiting religious sites in the Old City and in haredi neighborhoods and to avoid driving through those neighborhoods during the Sabbath.

“Most roads into ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays. Assaults on secular visitors, either for being in cars or for being ‘immodestly dressed’ have occurred in these neighborhoods,” the consulate said.

The travel recommendation follows on the heels of statements made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who, speaking at the Saban Conference two months ago, expressed her shock that some busses in Jerusalem allocated separate seating areas for women.

“It’s reminiscent of Rosa Parks,” she said, referring to the black American woman who refused to give up her seat to white passengers in the 1950s.
Referring to the decision of some IDF soldiers to leave an event where female soldiers were singing, she said it reminded her of the situation in Iran.

[Hat Tip: Seymour.]

Deceptive Israeli Firster Propagandist Pretends He’s From Canada’s CBC


Deceptive Israeli Firster Propagandist Pretends He’s From Canada’s CBC

VIDEO HERE:-
After all the negativity and attacks by anti-Palestinian groups, prior to the Penn BDS conference, the event itself has been a real celebration of solidarity among an incredibly diverse group of people.

I had the honor to give the keynote lecture last night to a packed auditorium. Here’s the recording of the live stream for anyone who wants to watch. Hopefully a better quality recording will become available in a few days.

The Jewish Daily Forward reported:

A prominent Palestinian rights activist said Saturday night that the recent fury around the first national conference advocating a boycott of Israel, being held at the University of Pennsylvania, signifies that the Mideast conflict is at an “end game.”

“This insane hysteria about the conference tells us something about the moment we are in,” said Ali Abunimah, a co-founder of the Electronic Intifada news site, in his keynote speech at the conference. “In terms of the battle of ideas, we are in the end game.”

Also read Sarah Smith’s report in The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Ali Abunimah spoke to a full lecture hall in Meyerson Hall on Saturday night as the keynote speaker of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference. Abunimah is a Palestinian-American activist and the creator of The Electronic Intifada, an online publication focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I reiterate the spirit in which we came together: we stand against all forms of bigotry,” Abunimah said.

Anti-Palestinian filmmaker poses as CBC “journalist”

Benjamin Doherty’s Twitter

@bangpound Benjamin DohertyPropagandists at #PennBDS are misrepresenting themselves as journalists from the CBC. http://t.co/TS2nFtBU Feb 04 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Mondoweiss also has featured great coverage of the conference including about Martin Himel an anti-Palestinian filmmaker whose crew misrepresented him as a journalist from Canada’s CBC and who briefly had me fooled.

Here’s what happened: on Saturday morning, I was approached by two women who presented themselves as producers from Canada who were there to cover the conference. One of them clearly told me they were from the CBC. I was a bit surprised that the CBC would send a team to cover the conference but I thought perhaps with all the publicity it didn’t seem unreasonable they might have sent a US-based team from New York or Washington.

I agreed to be interviewed but later on. After the morning breakout session, one of the women buttonholed me and asked if I minded doing the interview then. Since it was the lunch break I said that was fine. She took me to a room where they had a camera and lights set up. They miked me and sat me down, and then the interviewer appeared. I learned only later that it was Martin Himel.

But the moment the interview began, I smelled something fishy. It was more of an attempted set up rather than a professional interview. Himel presented me with what he claimed were anti-Semitic cartoons from Palestinian media and wanted to confront me with them. The only thing I could see is they were printed off from the anti-Palestinian website “Palestinian Media Watch.” Palestinian Media Watch, I told Himel, is notorious for anti-Palestinian propaganda and is funded principally by a man currently on the run for money laundering.

I answered that I had no idea where the cartoons came from and didn’t trust the source. He then started talking about alleged incidents of anti-Jewish statements from “Fatah TV.” I dismissed the questions saying I couldn’t comment on things I hadn’t seen and if he had wanted me to comment on them he ought to be able to show them to me.

Then strangely, he started asking me about what I thought about the Palestinian writer Mazin Qumsiyeh – I just laughed and said he should read Mazin’s brilliant books.

His other questions seemed to be about proving that the real reason for Palestinian hostility to Israel was Islamic religious fanaticism.

At this point Himel seemed nervous because I wasn’t taking the bait, and he said, “I’m just as tough on the Jews when I interview them.” I told him firmly I didn’t appreciate him making generalizations about “the Jews” because such language sounded anti-Semitic and I didn’t care to hear it.

I quickly cut the interview short and left the room. I never signed Himel’s release form. I immediately reported to conference organizers that Himel and his crew were misrepresenting themselves as CBC journalists in order to gain access to conference speakers with, I believe, the intent of setting them up and obtaining soundbites that could be distorted or used to defame them and the conference.

Another dirty trick foiled.

More coverage of the conference

Susan Abulhawa, author of Mornings in Jenin, opened the conference. From The Daily Pennsylvanian:

Comparing the Palestinian struggle to those of the civil rights activists, anti-Vietnam leaders and apartheid South Africa, Abulhawa condemned the United Nations for inactivity and called on Israel “to abandon their nation of superiority.”

“You will never break us,” she said as she neared the end of her speech. An overwhelming applause erupted from the crowd.

Jewish ‘Assassinate Obama’ Proponent Tearful On-Air Apology: ‘Call Me Naive’


Adler’s Tearful On-Air  Apology: ‘Call Me Naive’

By J.J. Goldberg

Andrew Adler, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, appears on a  local cable program to apologize for his recent  column proposing that Israel assassinate President Obama. It’s a  wrenchingly, gruesomely compelling scene of a broken man who plainly has no idea  how he got himself in this mess.

I was basically writing the column to draw, you know, draw interest I guess  to the Iranian situation and to get people’s reaction to it, and like in no  ways, means or form to advocate anything… I just felt I was doing my job as an  editor – an owner and publisher, to get the readers to wake up to what’s  happening with Iran and Israel and the nuclear situation…

That’s actually a bit disingenuous. What he wrote in the column was, “You  have got to believe, as I do, that all options are on the table.” In other  words, I mean what I say. On the other hand, he repeats this idea over and over,  that it was just a thought exercise, and you get the impression that he has  convinced himself he didn’t mean it.

Call me stupid, call me naïve, call me morally insane, whatever words you  want to apply… It’s storming outside as we speak and I’ve always felt that when  a storm happens, that God’s angry with me.

Still. “The intentions were good, to get more people involved, to promote  Israel’s side.” How could that be a bad thing?

One of the most intriguing threads is his recollection of his January 15  interview with Israel’s deputy consul general in Atlanta. Toward the end, he  says, “she wanted to talk about Iran”:

I forget what she said, but it wasn’t a pleasant ending if we don’t wake up  to what’s happening.

Again, as I wrote in my  post last night, this is the end result of a campaign of incitement. The  very healthy instinct among American Jews to want the best for Israel is  exploited, fed with a deliberately exaggerated sense of threat and  vulnerability, until anything seems imaginable. Let’s be clear: there is a real  threat. But it’s less than it was a generation ago. And yet it seems that as the  threat declines, the rage grows.

Most of us don’t cross the line, but there’s always someone who will. The  interviewer alludes to that when she suggests to Adler that “some might be  reminded” by his column of what happened to Yitzhak Rabin. His response is a  befuddled: “True – I wasn’t – to look back on it, I screwed up.”

I’m at a loss as to what tomorrow will bring, what time will bring, what the  next five minutes will bring. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest  of my life. … I deserve the repercussions. All can say is, I am devastated, I’m  stunned. I want to go to Israel. I probably won’t be welcome there now. I want  to go anywhere in the Jewish community, people will look at me like I did — … To  think that I could lose everything is devastating.

Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/150155/#ixzz1kXWeOBAy

Newt Gingrich | Dangerous Right Wing Freakshow


Via:-|Noam Sheizaf

Newt Gingrich: The most dangerous man in DC

There won’t be a real difference between another Obama term and a possible Romney presidency. But Gingrich – with his ties to the Israeli right, destructive track record from the 1990s and very personal connection to Netanyahu – could turn out to be a real nightmare

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. More electable than Romney (photo: Gage Skidmore / CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Watching the American primaries makes for a mix of fun and moments of deep anxiety. Most of the time it’s like a good sports match, but every now and then you are reminded that the identity of the winner might have a real and clear impact on your life. After all, Israel has stopped being a foreign affairs issue in Washington a long time ago. Our very local politics are part of the strange and unpredictable American culture war; and – to quote Dimi Reider – our policies are often shaped by the myths, values and fears of people living far-far away.

After signaling Israel as a topic through which they can score easy points against the administration, the Republicans are engaged in an all-out competition over who is more Zionist. Some of the ideas they are promoting would put them in the hard right in Israel, somewhere between the radical settlers and the heirs of Kahane. Often, they simply betray a very misinformed and shallow view of the political reality. For example, even a right-wing Israeli government would hesitate before following Rick Santorum’s advice to annex the West Bank, since it would constitute a formal adoption of apartheid.

The two remaining viable candidates, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, are more knowledgeable and less prone to statements whose meaning they don’t fully understand.

Romney is a careful man. Seeing himself as the “inevitable” candidate, he is careful not to box himself in positions that could make his life as president harder. The former governor hasn’t committed to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; he has refrained making degrading remarks like the one Gingrich made about the Palestinians, or from advocating ethnic cleansing like Mike Huckabee.

I would even go so far as to say that I don’t see a great difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Except for a brief moment in the first year of his presidency, Obama has continued with the approach of previous administrations, providing a diplomatic umbrella for the Israeli occupation while trying – with varying degrees of success – to somewhat slow settlement construction.

President Romney is likely to continue this path, while advocating the renewal of the “peace process” on Israel’s terms. One could even argue that a “moderate” Republican president would actually help progressives by forcing the Democrats to attack the administration’s Middle East policy from the left – something they are reluctant to do now. But even if you don’t buy this, given the last three years, there is little reason to believe that Romney would be that different from Obama or George W. Bush on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Newt Gingrich as the American Ariel Sharon

Newt Gingrich is a different story. Gingrich – a personal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu and a protégé of right-wing gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson – is a real supporter of the settlements and the occupation; his views of the Palestinians are as distorted as they come; and he has shown his inclination to be more “pro-Israel” than Israelis themselves, when he helped Netanyahu in the 1990s in his efforts against the Rabin government and the peace process.

America’s current policies are bad enough, but Gingrich is smart enough, well-connected to the Israeli right and ruthless enough to cause way more damage than any other president we have seen. Other candidates – especially those on the evangelical right – seem to be just saying anything that sounds conservative on the Israeli issue. If elected, their inflammatory statements will have to meet the test of political reality. Newt, on the other hand, seems to mean what he is saying. His madness is all too real. By following one of his “out-of-the-box” ideas, he will set the region on fire.

The common wisdom is that Gingrich is unelectable. I find this to be only half true. Of the two leading Republican candidates, I think Gingrich is the more dangerous one. He is the one who could lose big time, but also pull a stunning upset against a sitting president. Romney, on the other hand, seems like the guy who would finish an honorable second.

I shared this thought with some American friends and they all dismissed it, saying that the Democrats would thank their lucky stars if Gingrich were to beat Romney. Perhaps. But to me, Gingrich seems like the American Ariel Sharon – an unelectable, unpopular politician, who came back from the political desert to lead his party due to unique circumstances, and during the time of national crisis was able to change the national conversation and win elections in a landslide.

Ariel Sharon was a corrupt outsider with a strange personal history and a reputation for dark backroom deals – but ironically, at a certain point all this played in his favor: Nothing his political rivals threw at him helped, because the public had already heard all the allegations – and more – against him. Israeli voters, made anxious by the second Intifada, were ready to give Sharon a shot. Wouldn’t the American public do the same during the worst economic crisis in almost a century?

The prospect of Newt Gingrich in the White House and Benjamin Netanyahu (or Lieberman?) in the Prime Minister’s Office, unlikely as it may seem now, is something that could keep me up at night.

Read Also: 2012: Netanyahu’s shadow war for the GOP begins? The strategic use of the “anti-Israeli” label in US politics

Jewish Extremist Promotes Obama Assassination


Like fundi Islamist, Catholic, White Supremacist, Christian fascist and racist fanatics, certain Right Wing fanatic Jews also have an extremist bee in their bonnet with president Barack Obama and seek his murder.

As one Blog noted, “Who the fuck are these people? Where do they think that they fit into the “Land of the Free” ”

Gawker

Newspaper Editor: Israel Should Consider Assassinating Obama [UPDATE]

Newspaper Editor: Israel Should Consider Assassinating Obama [UPDATE]

Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly newspaper serving Atlanta’s Jewish community, devoted his January 13, 2012 column to the thorny problem of the U.S. and Israel’s diverging views on the threat posed by Iran. Basically Israel has three options, he wrote: Strike Hezbollah and Hamas, strike Iran, or “order a hit” on Barack Obama. Either way, problem solved!

Here’s how Adler laid out “option three” in his list of scenarios facing Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu (the column, which was forwarded to us by a tipster, isn’t online, but you can read a copy here):

Three, give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.

Yes, you read “three” correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?

Another way of putting “three” in perspective goes something like this: How far would you go to save a nation comprised of seven million lives…Jews, Christians and Arabs alike?

You have got to believe, like I do, that all options are on the table.

It’s hard to tell whether or not Adler is just some crank. But the Atlanta Jewish Times, which he purchased in 2009, appears to be a real community newspaper. It was founded in 1925 and, according to Wikipedia, claims a circulation of 3,500 and staff of five. To judge from its web site, it’s a going concern.

A nervous Adler told me over the phone that he wasn’t advocating Obama’s assassination by Mossad agents. “Of course not,” he said.

But do you think Israel should consider it an option? “No.”

But do you believe that Israel is in fact considering the option in its most inner circles? “No. Actually, no. I was hoping to make clear that it’s unspeakable—god forbid this would ever happen. I take it you’re quoting me?”

Yes. “Oh, boy.”

When I asked Adler why, if he didn’t advocate assassination and didn’t believe Israel was actually considering it, he wrote a column saying he believed that the option was “on the table,” he asked for a minute to compose himself and call me back. He did a few moments later, and said, “I wrote it to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from readers.”

And what was the reaction? “We’ve gotten a lot of calls and emails.”

Nothing from the Secret Service, though. Yet.

UPDATE: Adler has told JTA that he “regrets” the column and plans to publish an apology. Oh, and the Secret Service says it will “make all appropriate, investigative follow-up in regard to this matter,” according to ABC News.

[Image via Getty]

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