Wednesday, October 31, 2007
10/31/2007 05:43:00 PM
Subject: Israeli Leftists in Conference on Annihilating Israel
(The Post-Zionists' One-State Solution, photo)
For years the "one state solution" has been the preferred solution among the
Far Left to the "problem" of Israel's very existence. No, by "one state
solution" they do NOT mean that the Land of Israel will be under Israeli
control while the "Palestinians" can at best expect limited autonomy after
undergoing full denazification. When Lefties say "One-State Solution," they
mean Israel will be obliterated and it will be replaced with a single
Palestinian state with an Arab majority, at best allowing the Jews some sort of
dhimmi status, and at worst shoving the Jews into cattle cars.
Oxford University recently wanted to run a "debate" between Israel haters who
want to annihilate Israel via the "One-State Solution" and Israel haters who
want to annihilate Israel via the "Two-State Solution," meaning an Israel
inside the 1967 borders granting "Palestinians" a right of right to Israel plus
a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. No one would be allowed to
defend the 23 state solution, meaning the existing 22 Arab states remain plus a
single Jewish state in control of Eretz Yisrael. Planned for October, 23 2007
the debate was to be over the proposition as follows: .This house believes
that One State is the Only Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict.. Some
Israeli anti-Semites were to be on the side for the One State Solution, while a
notorious American Jewish Neo-Nazi, Norman Finkelstein, was supposed to be on
the other "pro-Israel" side! All particpants were actually to agree that
Israel must be destroyed, although they could debate just how! Alan
Dershowitz blasted Oxford for planning to hold such a conference. After
turning Oxford into an international disgrace, in the end the "debate" was
cancelled. Similar one-sided anti-Israel debates among Israel hating leftists
are common on campuses all over the world, including regularly at Israeli
But the Moonbrits who want to destroy Israel have not abandoned all hope. Now a
new "Let's Annihilate Dem Joos" conference is to be held on November 17 and 18
at the The Brunei Gallery, hosted by the London Middle East Institute (LMEI),
sponsored by the University of London, the "London One State Group," and the
notorious pro-terror SOAS Palestine Society. I guess Nuremberg was already
booked up for their torchlight parade.
Entitled "Challenging the Boundaries: A Single State in Palestine/Israel," the
event will be a one-sided advocacy of Israel's destruction, much like the
cancelled Oxford event. Among those who will be advocating Israel's
extermination (and also that of its population?) will be Ilan Pappe, until
recently on the faculty of the University of Haifa, Joseph Massad, the
notorious anti-Semitic professor from Columbia University, Haim Bresheeth, an
anti-Israel Israeli on the faculty of the University of East London, As'ad
Ghanem, a faculty member in political science at the University of Haifa, Amnon
Raz-Krakotzkin, a faculty member at Ben-Gurion University who has long
advocated Israel's annihilation (and he is not even the most radical Israel
hater at Ben Gurion University), and Eyal Sivan, an anti-Semitic Israeli
For the full program, see here.
Want to let the heads of the University of Haifa and Ben Gurion University know
what you think of their faculty members participating in such an event? For
University of Haifa, go here and here. For BGU write Professor Rivka Carmi,
President, P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel, e-mail =
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
10/30/2007 05:14:00 PM
1. New Career Ideas for Ex-MK'shttp://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Blog.aspx/1#2369
Haaretz October 30, 07 reports that ex-Knesset Members who failed to get
re-elected are having trouble finding careers and employment. You see, it
is almost de rigueur for Israeli parliament candidate not to have any
serious credentials or gainful employment skills. The Knesset is really a
large dole office for the unemployable and talentless.
So when a Knesset Member fails to make it into the chamber in the
primaries and elections, he or she faces a midlife crisis. A research
study in the UK by one Prof. Thickstone finds that ex-MP's there also have
crises. The Haaretz piece reports that Likud ex-MK Gila Gamliel is now
teaching cosmetics in the "Gigi Academy of Cosmetics." Ilan Gilon from
Meretz is a radio show announcer.
Now I am sure you will agree with me that this is a serious national
problem. Having served their country so well, we would not want these
valuable members of society to waste away in indolence and sloth!
So we at Israel National News have approached late night TV host David
Letterman to ask him to prepare a list of ten career suggestions for
unemployed ex-members of the Knesset. Pickpocket was too obvious, given
their previous experience, so we asked that it not be included. The
Ish-Michtavim was kind enough to help us out.
Ready? Here goes.
Tonight's Top Ten List from Dave Letterman! The top ten career suggestions
for unemployed ex-MK's:
10. Train as Gefilte Fishmongers.
9. Give them accordion lessons, teach them Russian, and send them
8. Teach them to drive bulldozers and aim them at the International
Solidarity Movement protesters.
7. Let them serve as human shields for important buildings in Sderot.
6. Assign them to take charge of turning off the electricity to the Gaza
Strip but don't show them how to turn it on again.
5. Pretend to be academics and get tenure at Ben Gurion University.
4. Try to find a single sentence written by a conspiracy nut that is
truthful. (A contest for this exists and there is money in it!)
3. Let them prepare the Knesset building for shabbas by spending Friday
tearing off squares of toilet paper.
2. Teach them to ask "Any fries with that?"
1. Assign them to give Ehud Olmert some very thorough prostate
The Left and the Term "Islamo-Fascism"
By Dennis Prager
FrontPageMagazine.com | 10/30/2007
Last week, at universities around America, the conservative activist David
Horowitz organized "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week." The week featured a guest
speaker, the showing of the documentary, Obsession, about radical Islam, and
As one of those speakers -- at the University of California at Santa Barbara --
I was particularly interested in the controversy Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week
engendered as well as in the larger question of whether the term
"Islamo-Fascism" is valid.
Various Muslim student groups condemned these awareness weeks and the term
itself, charging that both are no more than expressions of anti-Muslim bigotry,
i.e., "Islamophobia." Nevertheless, Muslim student groups decided not to
actively disrupt the week. Therefore, most of the opposition to Islamo-Fascism
Awareness Week events came from leftist student groups.
This opposition took the form of opposing funding of speakers invited to
campus; writing articles in campus newspapers attacking the speakers, the
Awareness Week, and the term "Islamo-Fascism" as essentially racist; and in
some cases disrupting the speech.
I experienced the first two forms of leftist opposition; David Horowitz
experienced the third as well. He was invited to speak at Emory University, but
leftist students packed the hall and shouted him down. Emory officials did
nothing to stop the harassment and the suppression of speech, and Horowitz was
unable to deliver his talk. It is considerably more difficult to get
conservative speakers invited to most American universities -- or for them to
be able to speak without being harassed -- than it is for a Holocaust-denying,
genocide-advocating leader, such as Iran's Ahmadinejad at Columbia University,
to deliver a speech at an American university.
In my case, about a quarter of the 300 students who came to my talk at UCSB
were leftists opposed to my coming. But they allowed me to deliver my remarks
without once trying to shout me down. There were, I believe, three reasons for
this. One is that UCSB has a relatively calm political climate. Second, there
was a serious police presence and it was clear that disrupters would be
removed, if not arrested. Third, students told me afterward that I disarmed
those who came to oppose me. Contrary to the demonized figure they had assumed
I am -- in one UCSB student newspaper column, I was compared to a Ku Klux
Klanner for speaking on Islamo-Fascism -- they saw a decent man, a sometimes
funny guy, and heard a low-keyed, intellectual speech that contained not one
word of gratuitous hatred.
It is worth mentioning that following my lecture, the student who wrote the
column comparing me to a Ku Klux Klanner came over to me and said he was
writing a column of apology to me and asked to be photographed with me. This is
not surprising. Students at most universities are almost brainwashed into being
leftist -- and the way they are taught to disagree with their political
opponents is by using ad hominem attacks. Conservatives are described over and
over as mean-spirited, war-loving, greedy, bigoted, racist, xenophobic,
Islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, intolerant and oblivious to human suffering.
Such ad hominem labels are the Left's primary rhetorical weapons. So when
leftist students are actually confronted with even one articulate conservative,
many enter a world of cognitive dissonance. That is one reason why universities
rarely invite conservatives to speak: they might change some students' minds.
Regarding the term "Islamo-Fascism," most students heard the arguments I
presented for the legitimacy of the term for the first time in their lives.
Very briefly summarized, these arguments were:
First, the term is not anti-Muslim. One may object to the term on factual
grounds, i.e., one may claim that there are no fascistic behaviors among people
acting in the name of Islam -- but such a claim is a denial of the obvious.
So, once one acknowledges the obvious, that there is fascistic behavior among a
core of Muslims -- specifically, a cult of violence and the wanton use of
physical force to impose an ideology on others -- the term "Islamo-Fascism" is
Second, the question then arises as to whether that term is anti-Muslim in that
it besmirches the name of Islam and attempts to describe all Muslims as
fascist. This objection, too, has a clear response.
The term no more implies all Muslims or Islam is fascistic than the term
"German fascism" implied all Germans were fascists or "Italian fascism" or
"Japanese fascism" implied that all Italians or all Japanese were fascists.
Indeed, even religious groups have been labeled as fascist. During World War
II, for example, Croatian Catholic fascists were called Catholic Fascists, and
no one argued that the term was invalid because it purportedly labeled all
Catholics or Catholicism fascist. When the left uses the term "American
imperialism," are they implying that all Americans are imperialists? Then why
does Islamo-Fascism label all Muslims?
Third, given the horrors being perpetrated by some Muslims in the name of Islam
-- from the genocide currently being practiced by the Islamic Republic of
Sudan, to the mass murders of innocents in Iraq, Israel, America, Britain,
Bali, Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere -- what term is more accurate
than "Islamo-Fascism"? "Islamic totalitarianism"? "Jihadists"? "Bad Muslims"?
The Left's organized crusade against Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was simply
the latest shame in the long and shameful history of the Left's inability to
confront those engaged in great evil -- like the Left's ferocious opposition
during the Cold War to labeling communism as "totalitarian" or "evil" and its
nearly universal condemnation of President Ronald Reagan's description of the
Soviet Union as an "evil empire."
That Muslim student groups and other Muslim organizations joined with the Left
in the ad hominem condemnation of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was most
unfortunate. Many Muslims know well that there is indeed such a thing as
Islamo-Fascism, and they should be the first to join in fighting it. It is not
those who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" who are sullying the name of Islam; it
is the Islamo-Fascists.
Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show based in Los
Angeles. He is the author of four books, most recently "Happiness is a Serious
Problem" (HarperCollins). His website is www.dennisprager.com. To find out more
about Dennis Prager, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Take back the campus:
3. Was Katsav innocent after all?
4. Important piece from NGO Monitor
The Treasonous Machsom Watch:
5. Mazuz serving his real constituents - the Palestinians:
6. Terrorists finds help in Walt and Mearsheimer:
7. Yet another Israel Hater from Ben Gurion University:
See original article for hyperlinks
An "academic conference" in London gives an Israeli quisling a chance to
shine: Prof. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin
By Lee Kaplan
Imagine if, before America's entrance into World War II, Hitler's Nazi
machine began a program of injecting German academics into all the German
Studies departments at universities and colleges all over America.
Professors from distinguished universities in the Reich, well-skilled in
English, would be sent on paid sabbaticals to American institutions of
higher learning where "academic freedom" (frequently misinterpreted
today), would allow them to teach bright-eyed college students about the
merits of the Third Reich as a misunderstood human rights and social
justice movement for the German people who were betrayed by Europe's Jews
For good measure, some Jewish academics would be included in the program,
highly paid, with excellent travel perks and profitable guaranteed
publishing rights, to present the Reich's case that Germany really has
nothing against Jews as Jews, but is really fighting Jewish Bolsheviks and
subversives who even control the media and all industry in America, and
whose nationalism as Jews is contrary to human rights and social justice.
Later, American-based professors who were part of such a program would
also be sent to Great Britain, then at war with Nazi Germany, to discuss
in British colleges the folly of opposing German goals of reunifying
Europe under one banner of equality and justice for all. But the main
spokespeople at such symposiums would be Jewish professors to lend the
utmost credibility to the program. For good measure, those Jewish
academics would always identify themselves as different from other Jews,
whose nationalistic and conspiratorial goals were different from other
Would the allies have won the Second World War?
A case in point is an "academic symposium" taking place in Britain this
month led by Palestinian irredentists. And, of course, there are the token
Israeli academics in attendance to lend credibility to the exercise.
After all, if Jewish intellectuals can agree with the goals of so many
Arab and Muslim intellectuals about their desperate need to dismantle a
Jewish state, how can the Arabs be wrong?
The event, at the University of London, is titled " Challenging the
Boundaries: A Single State in Palestine/Israel" to be held November
17th-18th in 2007 and features several British-based Arab "academics,"
as well as some other stars from the Palestinian revolutionary movement at
US universities against Israel like Joseph Massad of Columbia who
supports terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Here's an example of a description of just one of the panels at the
"This panel provides a platform for internal debate on the desired
institutional and constitutional formation of the state which is commonly
dichotomized into the bi-national model on one side and multicultural
democracy on the other."
If you had to read the above description more than once, to understand it,
you're not alone. Let me translate it:
"This panel is designed to develop new ideas of subversion affecting the
multicultural and pluralistic democracy that is Israel today, to prevent
the solution of two states side by side in peace from ever happening, and
trying to propose a single state of Palestine with an Arab majority and
new constitution of their own running things."
Never mind that the current constitution of the Palestinian Authority,
funded by USAID funds from pluralistic America and even with the consent
of pluralistic Israel, is based on Sharia Islamic Law , the same as the
constitutions of Saudi Arabia and Iran. And never mind that the other Arab
"academics" on the panel are in fact political activists with an axe to
grind like Joseph Massad, who addresses his Israeli students at Columbia
with comments such as "How many Palestinians did you kill today?" Ali
Abunimah , another symposium guest, is active with Al Awda (The Return)
whose motto is "From the river to the sea."
And true to form, the panel has its academic Jewish quislings to lend
support to its real purposes. One of those academics is Israeli history
professor Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin of Ben Gurion University.
Raz-Krakotzkin objects to Jews (but not Palestinian Arabs) seeking a
national homeland for both religious and secular reasons, and has used the
Arab term "Nakba" ("catastrophe" in Arabic, meaning the founding of
In discussing secular Israeli Jews, perhaps the majority of Israelis in
the only democracy in the Middle East, he says, "They are called 'secular'
because they reject or abandon the Halakha, the Jewish law, but the myth
that defines the so-called national-secular is itself based on an
interpretation of the theological myth, according to which the present
Jewish existence in Palestine is the return of the Jews to their homeland
(considered to be empty!) the fulfillment of Jewish history and of the
prayers of the Jews."
The above says a lot from this historian from Ben Gurion University. He
not only declares the Torah as replete with Jewish "myths" about the land
of Israel belonging to the Jews, a fairy tale among the religious (who,
and in contradiction by him, if they were true to the faith would not
want a Jewish state), but expands his interpretation to debunk secular
Jews who also feel a connection to a Jewish national homeland as a result
of world genocide and persecution as also being founded on the same myth.
He also ignores that the majority of land that made up Israel prior to
1948 was legally purchased by the Jewish Agency (who do you buy land from
in a country that's empty?!).
Meanwhile, Raz-Krakotzkin ignores what is principally the pan-Arab
nationalism and fascism mixed with good old fashioned Islamic hatred of
Jews that guides the side he is working with so as to promote the creation
of a single state of "Palestine." He does not mention that the Koran
also says the land of Israel belongs to the Jews, nor does he condemn
calls within that same document that is the basis of the current
constitution of the Palestinian Authority. In other words, his Arab
colleagues can have all the nationalist and religious aspirations they
want, including replacing Israel with one state, "Palestine," and a new
constitution to be supervised by the very clan that already rejects any
civil society by refusing to even condemn terrorism against Jews.
Raz-Krakotzkin continues, "Nationalism is not a replacement of the
theological myth but an interpretation of the myth. Therefore the very
distinction between "secular" and "religious" identities in Israel is
problematic. I do not want to undermine the differences, or to ignore the
real danger of religious-nationalistic groups. But I argue that the
origins of these radical right-wing groups are not to be found in Jewish
religion, but in the secular interpretation of the myth. Therefore,
without understanding these aspects, one cannot suggest a real alternative
to the ideology of the right-wing settlers. Israel is not a secular state
and not a nation state. It is considered as the "state of the Jewish
people" to include citizens of other countries, but through the exclusion
of its Arab citizens, and their systematic dispossession."
In short, Raz-Kratkotzin says that Jews have no claim to Eretz Yisrael
either biblically or as a secular ethnic movement, and the Jewish state
excludes its Arab citizens and "disposseses them." Of course, Israel
currently has a large Arab poplulation with equal civil rights , and even
affirmative action programs for them, and it's his Arab colleagues who
insist that Jews living in communities in Judea and Samaria built on
public lands are ok to dispossess as the Palestinians make the area
Jew-free and run their new country according to Islamic Law.
The United Nations legally set up Israel as a nation-state as well as a
separate one next door for the Arabs that the Arabs themselves rejected.
Had the Arabs succeeded in 1948 in driving the Jews who legally owned
property all over the Holy Land into the sea, can anyone serously believe
the Arab world would have given any land back today? Israeli Arabs today
get free health care and are entitled to equal rights as Israeli citizens
by law, so Raz-Krakotzin would seem less a historical scholar and academic
who knows what he's talking about than a mouthpiece for Arab propaganda.
He confirms this in a statement about the First and Second Intifadas:
"The Intifada started after the killing of seven people in the Mosque,
the day after the provocative visit of Ariel Sharon [to the Temple Mount].
In the beginning, it was mainly expressed in mass demonstrations, with
shooting against settlers - but at this stage there were no terror attacks
from the kind we knew later, with the suicide bombers."
He continues, "The sense of depression and disappointment among the
Palestinian people were well known. The peace process provided minimal
autonomy to certain parts of the Palestinians in the occupied
Some historian. The First Intifada resulted in the deaths of 160 Israeli
Jews who were killed merely for being Jews by Arabs and was not limited to
just Jews in the "occupied territories" of Judea and Samaria. Over 1,000
Arabs also died, most of them killed by other Arabs who accused them of
collaboration with the Jews , as well. More than 3,600 Molotov cocktail
attacks, 100 hand grenade attacks and 600 assaults with guns or
explosives were reported by the Israel Defense Forces . The violence was
directed at soldiers and civilians alike. The Mosque killings
Raz-Krakotzin refers to were the act of one insane individual, not Israeli
government policy whereas the PLO government organized and paid gangs to
attack Jews and other Israelis hundreds of times.
But Raz-Krakotzin also shows us his faulty scholarship in attributing the
Intifada to Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in the year 2000 as
being the catalyst, despite admissions by the leadership of the PLO that
the Second Intifada was planned in advance. There is audio and video proof
of this. Sharon's visit, a stroll by a Jewish leader who was demonstrating
Jews have a right to visit Judaism's holiest shrine (surrounded by a ton
of Israeli armed Israeli border guards to stave off attacks), was used as
an excuse to start the violence. Sharon did not enter or approach the
two mosques on the sites that comprise only 3% of the Temple Mount.
Despite these important facts, The Palestinian Arab narrative persists in
the media and in the classrooms of our major universities with the same
misinformation Israeli professors like Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin are more than
happy to repeat at this London symposium.
For an academic historian, symposiums like this provides world-renowned
attention as an "academic authority" and visits to far off cities like
London and New York where one can be taken as a serious intellectual. All
he has to do is repeat Arab propaganda and false history to promote
changing Israel into "Palestine."
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Sunday, October 28, 2007
10/28/2007 11:59:00 AM
1. Nadav Haetzni is hands down the best columnist and commentator in
the Israeli mainstream press. He writes in Maariv, the only newspaper
having a real semblance of political pluralism. Most of the columnists in
Haaretz dream of the day when the Israel is destroyed and replaced by an
Arab Palestinian state having a nice Jewish minority as dhimmis. (Having
tired of claiming how Israel is a warmonger trying to ignite a war with
Syria, Haaretz columnist Zvi Barel this morning writes that Israel is a
warmonger trying to ignite a war with Egypt!) Yediot
Ahronot is in the middle, having some non-treasonous columnists. But only
Maariv really allows non-leftists what almost amounts to equal time.
Unfortunately, Haetzni writes almost always only in Hebrew. He is a
prominent lawyer and is the son of longtime activist Elyakim Haetzni.
This past weekend Nadav has a superb article in Maariv. It is a bit long
to be fully translated here, but let me give you the gist and sum it up
Entitled "Assassination is Relatve," it begins by noting the obsessive
in the annual ceremonies about the Rabin assassination on the anniversary
of the murder. The death of Rabin has been turned by the Israeli media in
its annual commemoration into an event that dwarfs the Holocaust and the
splitting of the atom. In the same annual rituals, the Left and their
captive segments of the media smear the "Right" and demand that the entire
country rededicate itself to the "Rabin Political Legacy," meaning the
implementation of the Rabin policies of appeasing the "Palestinians" and
capitulation to what Haetzni calls the Ramallah gang. Amir killed one
Jew; Rabin's policies have killed about two thousand and placed Israel's
very survival in jeopardy.
The media contain endless pieces denouncing Yigal Amir, the actual
murderer of Rabin (in spite of what the psychotics and mental defectives
from the conspiracy "theory" cult say). They demand that he be denied
conjugal rights with his wife, unlike the Arab terrorists in Israeli
prison, some of whom have murdered dozens of Jews. Demonizing Amir is
the default option of the cowardly media, too pusillanimous to take any
serious position or to ask any serious question about the Oslo "peace
process" or the "Road Map."
But compare this with the indifference of the same Left and its media to
the near-assassination of Olmert, says Haetzni, news of which was released
in recent days. Where Abu Mazen, Olmert's favorite Palestinian
"moderate," released some terrorists from the resort the press calls the
Palestinian Authority's prison. These then were armed and making their
way to kill Olmert when they were apprehended. Olmert will now reward Abu
Mazen for the murder attempt on himself by appeasing the Ramallah gangster
some more in Annapolis.
Haaertz almost buried the story of the assassination attempt in its
cheery reporting of how desperately Abu Mazen and the PLO want peace.
That is of course not the only attempted murder or murder Abu Mazen's
people carried out. Just this past week a murder of a Jew next to Ariel
was carried out by the same people. Abu Mazen's TV station and newspapers
run the usual propaganda about Jews poisoning the wells and murdering
children, although you would never know that if you read Haaretz.
Haetzni asks what would have happened had the assassination attempt
against Olmert succeeded? Would the Israeli media imitate what it does
with Rabin? Turn him into a demigod? Organize annual events in which
Olmert's legacy is celebrated? Or would it immediately demand that
dialogue be held with the people behind the assassination? After all, one
can only make peace with the one-time terrorists and assassins! Would
the Left and its fellow travelers insist that the sponsors of the
assassination are the only true peace partners? The only candidates for
conducting dialogue? Haaretz would turn itself into a single-issue
propaganda sheet - demanding that dialogue with the assassins is the only
way to peace, for there are no military solutions. Shimon Peres would
grant clemency to the assassins, the same way he is about to do so with
So assassination is a relative thing, concludes Haetzni. It is only cause
for soul searching and rededication to a political legacy when Rabin is
involved. Any other killing of a Prime Minister would be reason to brush
the death aside and move on with the appeasement!
2. When Moonbats get Defensive:
Let's Kill Some Palestinians!
4. Another case of campus fascism:
5. More on the axis of evil:
6. Islaomfascism Awareness Week:
7. Kristallnacht: The Original Divestment Campaign
8. The Pogromchiks of Sabeel:
9. Oh, about hate speech:
10. More on those loyal Israeli Arabs:
11. You know how the media scream about "settlers" destroying the
crops of "Palestinians?" Well, as usual the inverse is the truth:
12. October 26, 2007
The Return of the Thought Police
By WENDY KAMINER
October 26, 2007; Page A17
I mean no disregard for the sufferings of crime victims when I say we
should be wary of laws named after them. However well-intentioned, penal
laws that memorialize victims deter reasoned debate about the rights of
the accused. They rely on emotional blackmail: Oppose a law named for a
murdered child, and you seem to insult her memory and exacerbate her
The Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is no
exception to this rule. By invoking memories of University of Wyoming
student Matthew Shepard's brutal 1998 slaying, it makes a sentimental bid
for expanded federal hate-crime legislation covering violent crimes
motivated by a victim's sexual orientation or "gender identity," as well
as race, sex, religion, ethnicity or disability.
Its prospects are dimmed by the threat of a presidential veto, but last
month the Matthew Shepard Act was attached to the Defense Appropriations
Bill by a 60-vote majority in the Senate; a companion bill passed the
House (with the support of 212 Democrats and 25 Republicans.) Naturally,
the bill enjoys the enthusiastic support of civil-rights groups, including
the historically civil libertarian American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU has withheld support from hate-crime legislation in the past but
wholeheartedly embraces this bill, which applies only to acts of violence
and has been carefully drafted to avoid criminalizing pure speech: It
provides that evidence of a defendant's hateful speech or associations are
only admissible at trial if they "specifically relate" to the offense
charged. In other words, speech could be offered as evidence that a
violent act was motivated by bias, but it would not be a crime in itself.
Still, distinguishing hateful bias crimes from other hateful acts of
violence punishes ideas and expression, no matter how scrupulously the
legislation is crafted. When someone convicted of assaulting one woman is
subject to an enhanced prison sentence or a more vigorous prosecution
because his assault was motivated by a hateful belief in the inherent
inferiority of all women, then he is being punished for his thoughts as
well as his conduct.
While motive or state of mind are routinely considered in criminal cases
(as mitigating or aggravating factors,) ideology is not routinely invoked
in determining the seriousness of an alleged crime. Hate crime
legislation, however, is expressly designed to punish particular thoughts
Its advocates argue that hate crimes demand differential treatment because
they are crimes against communities, not just individuals. Hate crimes
"are more serious than a normal assault because they target not just an
individual, but an entire group of people," New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler
asserts. So, without directly criminalizing speech, the proposed Matthew
Shepard Act (like other hate-crime laws) does effectively and
intentionally criminalize bias, when bias is shown to bear a direct
relationship to a violent crime.
It's not surprising that civil-rights advocates concerned with what they
view as epidemics of unaddressed violence against particular,
presumptively vulnerable groups support the criminalization of bias. Civil
libertarians, however, ought to be more sensitive to the creation of
thought crimes -- even when "bad" thoughts are only punished in the course
of punishing bad acts. Free-speech advocates who believe that misogynist
pornography should be legal, for example, should question whether evidence
of a defendant's porn collection should be introduced at a sexual-assault
trial in order to convict him of a hate crime. It's sophistry to suggest
that in such a case the defendant would suffer punishment only for his
conduct, and not his beliefs.
But freedom of thought is not the only liberty at stake in this debate.
The Matthew Shepard Act would also subject defendants to double jeopardy
for a single offense. The bill expressly states that defendants prosecuted
in state court may be prosecuted for the same crime in federal court, if
federal officials determine that "the verdict or sentence obtained
pursuant to state charges left demonstrably unvindicated the federal
interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence."
The constitutionality of this provision is not in question. The Supreme
Court has long allowed state and federal authorities to conduct separate
trials for the same offense, and reasonable people will differ as to the
justice of this, especially when the state has demonstrated an inability
or unwillingness to prosecute fairly a horrendous crime.
Civil Rights era cases offer the best argument for dual prosecutions by
dual sovereigns: In 1965, federal prosecutors convicted Klan member Collie
LeRoy Wilkins of a civil-rights crime in the killing of activist Viola
Liuzzo after his acquittal in Alabama state court. More recently, in a
controversial 1993 case, federal prosecutors convicted two police officers
of beating Los Angeles motorist Rodney King (and violating his civil
rights) after their acquittal by the state of California.
Still, exceptions to double jeopardy remain controversial for civil
libertarians: The ACLU officially opposes dual prosecutions, stating,
"There should be no exception to double jeopardy principles simply because
the same offense may be prosecuted by two different sovereigns . . . even
important federal interests do not justify balancing away a defendant's
rights under the double jeopardy clause."
This policy was briefly suspended by the ACLU board in 1992, in response
to the Rodney King case, but it was reinstated in 1993 after an
impassioned debate. The ACLU's unequivocal endorsement of the Matthew
Shepard Act violates its own stated, civil-liberties principles (which
will perhaps be amended soon).
Is it necessary or fair to expand federal criminal jurisdiction to allow
for dual federal and state prosecutions of alleged hate crimes? Arguably
-- if strong empirical evidence demonstrates that states are generally
unwilling or unable to prosecute these crimes. Otherwise federal
hate-crime legislation addresses an illusory threat to civil rights, while
it exacerbates an actual crisis for civil liberty.
The continuing expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction has given
federal law enforcement officials unprecedented power over each of us. As
Gene Healy of the Cato Institute has observed, the federal criminal code
is so vast and comprehensive that it enables prosecutors to "pick targets
they think they should get rather than offenses that need to be
prosecuted." Mr. Healy estimates that about 4,000 crimes are "scattered
throughout the tens of thousands of pages of the United States code,"
stressing that the exact increase in federal crimes has been difficult to
track. One frequently cited 1999 study by the American Bar Association
noted that 40% of all federal criminal laws enacted after the Civil War
dated back only to 1970.
While libertarians have mounted consistent, principled resistance to this
expansion of federal criminal jurisdiction (and Cato offered thoughtful
testimony against the federal hate-crime bill), generally both liberals
and conservatives have adopted result-oriented approaches to federalizing
crime: Liberals who favor decriminalizing marijuana possession oppose
federal laws prohibiting it, which conservative anti-drug warriors
support. Liberal gay rights advocates support the federalization of bias
crimes against gay people, which conservatives wary of expanding gay
This may look like pragmatism, but it's more like shortsightedness.
Expansions of federal criminal jurisdiction are often responses to
concerns of the moment -- from carjacking and cockfighting to child abuse
and juvenile crime -- that can be addressed adequately by the states
(especially with federal incentives). The necessity of many federal penal
laws is more often presumed than demonstrated, and outweighed by the
cumulative threat that this growing body of law poses to liberty.
Matthew Shepard's killers were convicted of homicide and kidnapping by the
state of Wyoming and are serving consecutive life sentences. His torture
and murder remain awful to contemplate, but civil libertarians ought not
be squeamish about questioning the consequences of the law that would bear
Ms. Kaminer, a lawyer and author of "Free For All: Defending Liberty in
America Today" (Beacon Press, 2002), blogs on civil liberties at
URL for this article:
Hyperlinks in this Article:
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
10/23/2007 11:05:00 PM
1. Israel's Inner Scourge:
Academic Treason in Israel
Get your copy today:
2. Islamofascism Awareness Week . Already a Success:
3. Proof that violence falling in Iraq:
4. The Iran Lobby:
5. Fighting the Asslibs:
6. Egads, a Zionist!
7. Funny story: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3462003,00.html
8. Latest on that Oxford "debate":
9. From the Wall St Journal: Getting Serious About 'Torture'
By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY
October 22, 2007; Page A19
The question of "torture" is again front and center in the ongoing debate
over how to fight the war on terror. Judge Michael Mukasey, President
Bush's well-qualified pick for the next attorney general, was questioned
closely at his confirmation hearings last week on whether torture is
illegal -- it is -- and what constitutes torture.
He rightly would not commit to answering that question, especially with
respect to the controversial practice of "waterboarding" (that is,
simulated drowning) without more information, and got attacked for his
candor. Yet, defining torture raises complex legal, policy and moral
issues, and cannot be done without taking into account all of the facts
and circumstances surrounding the use of any particular interrogation
technique. It is time for a national debate that involves those facts and
The Bush administration's critics invariably portray all coercive
interrogation methods, from forced standing to waterboarding, as torture.
This obviously gives them an advantage in the debate, since torture is
reprehensible and fundamentally inconsistent with United States policy.
They also act as if the mere asking of what constitutes the permissible
levels of coercion is immoral, at best, and unlawful at worst. Their
arguments, however, are flawed both as a matter of law and policy.
The law defines torture as the intentional infliction of "severe pain or
suffering." The intentional infliction of pain or suffering that is not
severe is not torture, although depending upon the circumstances it may
constitute forbidden "cruel, inhuman or degrading" (CID) treatment.
These terms, of course, are no less difficult to interpret than "severe"
pain or suffering. Congress attempted to give them some meaning in the
2005 Detainee Treatment Act (DTA). This law effectively excluded the U.S.
military from terrorist interrogations because it limits the Pentagon to
techniques approved in the U.S. Army field manual, a highly restrictive
document designed to govern the treatment of honorable prisoners of war
protected by the Geneva Conventions.
However, the DTA left the CIA free to use aggressive interrogation methods
on captured terrorists -- who do not enjoy Geneva protections -- so long
as they are not subjected to torture or CID. Congress further defined CID
by reference to the Constitution's due process and cruel or unusual
punishment provisions, which in turn generally involve a "shock the
The problem is obvious. Like the words cruel, inhuman and degrading,
whether or not a particular interrogation method shocks the conscience
depends very much on the circumstances.
For example, the harsh methods of Marine basic training, designed to break
the soft habits of civilian life and inculcate a warrior spirit and iron
discipline, might well be cruel or degrading if imposed on middle-aged
lawyers or politicians, but not when used on 20-year old recruits. And the
case law interpreting the Constitution leaves more than enough room for
argument about the methods allegedly utilized by the CIA. Based on
published reports, these include slapping, exposure to cold, stress
positions, interrupted sleep and waterboarding, alone or in some
combination. The Justice Department has reportedly approved all of these
Reasonable minds can disagree with this finding, although it is unlikely
that Justice signed off on these methods without regard to the level of
intensity or potential cumulative impact involved. Slapping a man's face
probably does not cause him severe pain. Breaking his nose probably does.
Similarly, forcing a prisoner to maintain an uncomfortable posture for a
period of time is not cruel, inhuman or degrading, although forcing him to
do so while naked, shackled to the floor in near freezing temperatures
might be. It is a matter of degree. The possible exception is
waterboarding, which presents unique issues because its sole purpose and
effect is to create a feeling of suffocation. This involves the
physiological and psychological responses to drowning.
It is difficult to see how this, in and of itself, does not constitute at
least severe suffering. At the same time, of course, there is no actual
danger of drowning or other injury, and waterboarding has been part of
U.S. military training programs on interrogation resistance. (If it is
torture, then it is impermissible for all purposes -- whether or not an
individual has consented.) This is, in short, a difficult and close
question, and an especially wrenching one for those who actually have the
responsibility to decide whether waterboarding should be used to obtain
intelligence that may well save innocent lives. Mr. Mukasey was right to
Regrettably, the response of administration critics to these questions has
largely been one of sweeping and outraged claims of "torture" -- not a
detailed and reasoned discussion of whether and why the approved methods
cross the line. Their bottom line seems to be that any form of coercion is
forbidden, period. That simply is not the law and, taken to its logical
conclusion, this position would effectively eliminate interrogations
By their very nature, every interrogation is coercive. The fact that it is
backed up by some element of force or the threat of force is what
distinguishes it from a mere conversation. More generally, varying degrees
of coercion are present in many public institutions, including
penitentiaries, boot camps for juvenile and adult offenders, police
training academies and many aspects of military life. These approaches
have been debated over the years by the American polity, at both the
federal and state levels, and continue to enjoy public support. All of
this suggests that, at a minimum, stressful interrogations consistent with
the U.S. military's basic training should be permissible as a matter of
course, with other methods to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
For their part, the administration's critics should identify which, if
any, interrogation methods they believe are legal and moral and explain
how their view fits within the broader existing societal consensus on the
permissibility of coercion in certain circumstances. Alternatively, they
should clarify why an American democracy facing an implacable and ruthless
foe should continue to use coercive techniques when training its own
military personnel, but should treat captured (unlawful) enemy combatants
with scrupulous tact and unfailing politeness.
Some, of course, have suggested that relationship-building interrogation
techniques are preferable -- as more reliable in the long run -- to
"stress" methods. If true, this is only a partial answer. What about the
hard cases, such as 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who may not be
susceptible to relationship building?
Many, probably most, Americans will find this debate uncomfortable and
embarrassing because all of the interrogation methods at issue, if not
cruel or degrading, are certainly nasty and aggressive. Whether the
question is holding a prisoner for hours in shackles, or subjecting him to
simulated drowning, this is not the type of activity Americans like to
associate with their government or themselves.
At the same time, Americans rightfully expect to be protected from attack.
But there is no free lunch. Coercive interrogations have been key in
preventing post-9/11 attacks on American soil. To preempt future attacks
the intelligence agencies must continue to have information that can often
be obtained only from captured terrorists. The intelligence agencies are
the first line of defense -- but the body politic cannot expect them to
"do what it takes" and then also claim the right to punish them for
crossing lines that have never been properly defined. We are all in this
Messrs. Rivkin and Casey served in the Justice Department under Presidents
Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and were members of the U.N.
Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights from
Monday, October 22, 2007
10/22/2007 01:54:00 PM
1. In the past the Israeli government rewarded Islamofascist terrorists
in Lebanon for murdering captured Israeli soldiers in cold blood. Israel
never avenged the murders, and released hundreds of live terrorists in
order to recover the corpses of the murdered soldiers.
If the report in Der Spiegel this week is true (see
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/123995 ), that the two
Israeli soldiers held in Lebanon by the Hezbollah have been murdered, then
the government of Israel is itself completely responsible for the murders!
The most important lesson that the Israeli political elite and chattering
classes have failed to learn: Appeasement produces murder, not peace.
2. The Left is confusing Itself:
3. Males cheating risk early death:
What are the implications for Bill Clinton?
4. Avoda Zara - Paganism among the Jews:
5. Bless you!
6. Thou shall not Kiss! (in Iran):
7. Beilin as partner of the Islamic Jihad:
8. Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein spreading hatred of Jews in Poland:
10/22/2007 12:27:00 PM
Lies of the Anti-Lobby Lobby
By Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | 10/22/2007
There is a nefarious lobby that controls American policy and subordinates
American interests to its own narrow interests. While representing but a
tiny portion of Americans, its power is nevertheless so large that it
effectively dictates decisions and prevents adoption of any policies to
which it objects. Moreover, it is difficult to find any politician willing
to adopt positions contrary to those it advocates. It controls huge
amounts of funds. It pressures Congress to allot endless grants and
subsidies for the cause it represents. It undermines the interests of
American taxpayers and consumers. Indeed, its power is not restricted to
Capitol Hill. Its appendages control policy in Europe and in other parts
of the globe.
I am referring of course to the farm lobby.
For decades, the American consumer has been fleeced by the farm lobby.
Agricultural policy is one of the last bastions of socialist control in
America. Congress has long feared applying free market economics to
agriculture lest it enrage the Farm Lobby. Farmers are only 2% of
Americans, a number almost exactly the same as the proportion of Americans
who are Jews. And in Europe the situation is even worse. There the
European Union has been largely a program of agricultural bolshevism, with
a thin political superstructure federation grafted on top of it.
Now if the Farm Lobby is so powerful, why is the press so devoid of any
discussion of it? These are the same media who rarely miss a day in which
they are not lambasting the "Israel Lobby." There are no books by
ex-Presidents denouncing the excessive powers of the Farm Lobby.
Respectable professors at Harvard and the University of Chicago do not
churn out books and articles demonizing farmers for their lobbying
First of all, the Farm Lobby is far more powerful than the "Israel Lobby."
When was the last time you saw a Congressman espousing a position that was
deemed by the farm lobby to be hostile to farm interests? But Congressmen
and State Department officials take positions hostile to Israel and
contradicting the opinions of the "Israel Lobby" all the time. The State
Department routinely pressures Israel to agree to adopt policies Israeli
citizens oppose. The media are overflowing with articles demonizing the
"Israel Lobby" and of course also Israel itself. Google reports more than
two million web sites about the "Israel Lobby," most of them hostile to
Israel, while Yahoo lists more than 10 million. If the Israel Lobby is
supposed by its enemies to be suppressing anti-Israel criticism, it is
doing a god-awful job of it.
Second, while it would be an exaggeration to say there is no Israel Lobby
at all, it would only be a small exaggeration. The main organization of
the "Israel Lobby" is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or
AIPAC. It is indeed a registered lobby group. Its activities are all out
in the open and its rather pathetic budget publicly scrutinized. There are
of course also other pro-Israel groups who attempt to persuade Congress to
support Israel, ranging from numerous Christian groups to the Zionist
Organization of America to the AFL-CIO. That is the whole "Israel Lobby."
Third, the "Israel Lobby," to the extent that it even really exists, is
but one of thousands of lobby groups, who promote thousands of different
causes in competition with one another. Lobbying is a legitimate, indeed a
necessary and beneficial, public activity in democracies. Not only do
those whining about the power of the "Israel Lobby" have nothing to say
about the sugar lobby and the cotton lobby, but they also have nothing to
say about the countless anti-Israel and anti-Semitic groups who lobby on
behalf of Arab aggression against Israel, and sometimes on behalf of
Islamofascism. Note how silent the media are about the Anti-Israel Lobby.
Fourth, why should the efforts of the "Israel Lobby" be any less
legitimate than the efforts of the Armenia Lobby or the affirmative action
lobby or the medical marijuana lobby or the gay marriage lobby?
The reason why the "Israel Lobby" is demonized is because it is associated
with Jews. In a country in which bashing blacks, Hispanics or homosexuals
is considered barbarian and uncivilized, bashing Jews is regaining its
popularity and acceptance in polite society and in academic circles. Open
anti-Semitism became unfashionable for a generation after the events of
World War II, but the Holocaust effect has now worn off.
The hysteria over the "Israel Lobby" and the efforts to paint a picture of
a Zionist bogeyman in hidden control of America is little more than a
resurgence of the old vile anti-Semitic canards and stereotypes, some
originating in the Middle Ages. The writings of the Anti-Lobby Lobby
strongly resemble the materials popular until the 1940s about a Jewish
cabal, a hidden Jewish conspiracy, secretly in control of the world,
pulling the levers of power from behind the curtain. It is only a very
short distance from the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a forgery from
Czarist Russia about the Jewish cabal later popular among Nazis, and from
the web sites of the fruitloops screaming about the "ZOG = Zionist
Occupied Government," to the "scholarly" denunciations of the "Israel
Lobby" of recent years. While the language of the pseudo-scholars is civil
and "academic," the message is the same: those evil Jews are imposing
their power upon the rest of us and undermining governments.
To the extent that American foreign policy is pro-Israel, the "Israel
Lobby" has little to do with it. The vast majority of American support
Israel and see the Arabs as the real cause of the Middle East conflict and
as the main source for terrorism in the world. There is no question that
American interests and Israeli interests very often overlap. In spite of
decades of propagandizing by the anti-Israel Lobby and its captive media
outlets, most Americans understand that Israel is the victim of Arab
aggression and not the other way around, and that Israel is the only
country in the Middle East where human rights, including the human rights
of Arabs, are protected in a democratic regime. Moreover, few Americans
doubt since 9-11 that Arab terrorism and Islamofascism are the main
threats today to American and world security. Americans on 9-11
experienced what Israeli Jews have been experiencing since the 1920s. This
has made it far easier for most Americans to understand, identify with,
and appreciate Israel's own defense needs regarding that same terror.
The simple fact of the matter is that the demonization of the "Israel
Lobby" is little more than an attempt to demonize and smear Jews. That is
why the Anti-Lobby Lobby unites a bizarre coalition that includes David
Duke and groups from the lunatic Far Right, Neo-Nazis and Holocaust
Deniers, far leftists, "anarchists," pro-terrorists and Islamofascists of
every imaginable stripe, an anti-Semitic ex-President, and numerous
(pseudo-?) academics. True, there is also a small handful of anti-Israel
Jewish leftists who participate in the anti-Lobby Lobby, but anyone
doubting that Jewish leftists themselves can be anti-Semites has been
hibernating in recent years. It is a pretty sure bet that any leftist
professor who spouts anti-Americanism today also despises Israel and the
"Israel Lobby." Ward Churchill is but a single example.
The entire hysteria about the "Israel Lobby" bogeyman is based on a non
sequitur. The anti-Lobby bunch argue that if the US supports Israel then
ipso facto it must be because of the Israel Lobby. But if the US supports
Korea it is not because of the Korean Lobby. If the US supports the
British it is not because of the British lobby. If the US supports India
it is not because of the India lobby. Only support for Israel is because
of machinations of a lobby.
Even more absurd are the whines from the anti-Lobby Lobby that the "Israel
Lobby" is supposedly silencing anti-Israel criticism on American campuses.
This charge was widely voiced after DePaul University recently fired
Norman Finkelstein. But DePaul University is a Catholic school, hardly an
appendage of the nefarious Jewish cabal. The jihadniks and anti-Semites
recently held a convocation in Chicago in which all speakers denounced the
"Israel Lobby" for conspiring to get Finkelstein canned at DePaul.
Neo-Stalinist anti-Semite Noam Chomsky was to be the key speaker, but
stood them up. Even an anti-Israel leftist extremist from an Israeli
university was there, ritually denouncing the "Israel Lobby." All agreed
that criticism of anti-Semites like Finkelstein is illegitimate and should
NOT itself be protected speech nor part of academic freedom. All agreed
that far leftists should be permitted to voice their "criticism" without
themselves being targets of criticism.
Finkelstein was fired by DePaul and by two earlier schools in New York
because he never published a single academic paper in a bona fide academic
journal, and because he spent his university time producing vulgar
obscenities and anti-Semitic hate screeds. In a few other cases,
anti-Semitic academics have indeed been fired or denied tenure in the US,
but in all these cases this has been because they had embarrassingly thin
publication records, consisting of little more than hate screeds and
Anyone who thinks the "Israel Lobby" has silenced criticism of Israel on
American campuses must have lived on some other planet these past decades.
Bash-Israel propaganda and anti-Jewish smears are extremely common on
campuses in the US and Europe. Anti-Semitic student groups operate in the
open on the same campuses that would ban any group attacking blacks,
Asians, homosexuals or transvestites as hate groups. Countless leftist
professors turn their classrooms into political indoctrination camps, in
which anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism are the dominant themes. They call
themselves "critical" analysts, but they oppose the rights of anyone else
to criticize them. Criticizing an anti-Israel critic and questioning his
real agenda is not legitimate freedom of speech in leftist academic
circles! University administrations, which are keen to adopt "speech
codes" outlawing insensitivity with regard to every other imaginable
group, have nothing at all to say about the anti-Jewish extremism common
on their campuses. Speaking out against anti-Semitism is a risky business
even for the most senior of administrators, as Lawrence Summers at Harvard
found out the hard way.
What is wrong with anti-Israel criticism and why is it not legitimate?
There is nothing illegitimate about criticism of Israel and its policies.
I criticize Israeli policies all the time and disagree with 75% of the
decisions of the Israeli government. (Of course that is because I favor
free market economics and a much more forceful defense policy by Israel.)
The problem is that the bulk of anti-Israel criticism in the media and by
leftist academics is not motivated by any desire to see Israel adopt
polices that produce improvements in the welfare and wellbeing of its
citizens, but rather by the goal of demonizing Israel, delegitimizng its
very existence, and justifying its annihilation.
The distinction between legitimate and illegitimate criticism of Israel in
the media, on campus, and elsewhere is very simple and is differentiated
using two simple litmus tests.
The first test is whether the critic is using criticism of Israeli
policies and decisions in order to justify anti-Israel military
aggression, jihad, and terrorism, and whether the critic concludes that
Israel has no right to exist and defend itself. Someone who disagrees with
US farm policy is a critic. Someone who concludes from the fact that US
farm policy is harmful that anti-American terrorism is justified, that the
9-11 attacks on the US were legitimate, or that the US has no right to
exist, is an anti-American. And a moonbat. A related version of the test
is to see what the same critic has to say about the injustices in other
Middle East regimes besides Israel. The answer, of course, is usually
nothing at all.
The second litmus test is the double standard. Is the critic applying a
standard of criticism that singles out and demonizes Israel only? Respect
for human rights inside Israel, including for Israeli Arabs, is a thousand
times better than in any other Middle East regime. It is far better than
in any Western democracy finding itself at war. Israel never placed its
Arabs in internment camps like the US did in World War II with Japanese
Americans. It does not censor the press nor jail those openly supporting
the country's enemies as Churchill did in Britain in WWII. If the critic
only denounces Israel for its human rights "abuses," real or imaginary,
having nothing at all to say about human rights abuses in Arab and Moslem
states, then the critic is a bigot. He is singling out Israel because
Israel is a country composed mostly of Jews.
Income and wealth inequality are part of the human condition.
Socioeconomic inequality exists in all countries. If a critic singles out
Israel because of socioeconomic inequality there and concludes that,
because of this inequality, Israel has no right to exist and to defend its
citizens, then that critic is an anti-Semite. Pure and simple. No other
country is deemed to lose its right to exist and use force against its
enemies because of social inequality. As it turns out of course, Arabs
live far better inside Israel, with higher levels of schooling, better
health, and better protection before the law, than do Arabs in any Arab
country. And the only place in the Middle East where Arabs enjoy freedom
of speech and the right to vote is in Israel. Actually the only place in
the Mideast where Arabs can freely demonstrate against Israel is . in
Israel. When Arabs held an "illegal" demonstration against Israel in
Jordan a few years back the Jordanian army mowed them down with gunfire.
Or take the absurd "apartheid" charge. Israel is the only Middle East
state that is NOT an apartheid regime. Every Arab country IS an apartheid
regime. Yet everyone from Jimmy Carter to the Neo-Stalinists at
Counterpunch denounce Israel daily for its "apartheid."
The anti-Lobby Lobby is not motivated by legitimate concern for human
rights, for American interests, or for peace. Its real agenda is little
different from that of other groups and people screaming about Jewish
plots and conspiracies, even if their rhetoric appears academic and
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
10/19/2007 01:36:00 PM
1. From Israel Academia Monitor:
Israeli Law Professor makes career of smearing Israel:http://www.dafka.org/NewsGen.asp?S=4&PageId=1812
2. The Left is Having Conniptions over Being Monitored and Exposed:
"Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist
Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure
articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they
will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you've also posted, will be
scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night."
So let's have more of it! Support Israel Academia Monitor and Campus
3. Interesting how the moonbats take any story they think might make
Israel look bad and shoot it up into a banner headline. This past week a
minor story was making the rounds about a mentally ill person in Israel
who was once a member of some Kahanist factions but was kicked out for
being a crackpot and a kook. Embittered he started posting messages on
the web about how all the Ashkenazim are evil and how it is a shame that
Hitler did not finish off the Ashkenazim.
A single psychotic is ordinarily not news. But anti-Israel web sites
all over the world immediately featured the "story." Norman Finkelstein,
the unemployed Neo-Nazi ex-professor, has it at the top of his web page.
And today, Haaretz has a full cover story in its weekend magazine devoted
to the "story." See this: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/914613.html
Notice how Haaretz never devotes any space to the blatantly anti-Semitic
pronouncements of Israeli far leftists, including tenured traitors!
Earlier another "story" that was making the headlines concerned a
handful of non-Jewish Russian teenagers living in Israel who like to write
nazi graffiti on walls and like to give Heil Hitlers when they think it
will get them some press attention. These are basically bored teenage
guttersnipes, of the sort that one can find stealing hubcaps and guzzling
beer and piercing their nipples in any city in the world. But yahoos and
hooligans in Israel are
declared by the media to be a "Nazi Party forming in Israel," and make the
headlines. Why? Because it makes Israel look like a sick evil society
Oh and speaking of REAL Israeli Nazis, let us remind you of Herr Uri
Avnery, Israel's longtime Lord Haw Haw. In recent days he was denounced
by Avigdor Lieberman as a "kapo," to the bellowing and shrieks of all the
Bleeding Hearts upset by such rhetoric except when it is directed against
Zionists. Recently stories have emerged about how Avnery published a
nazi magazine in Germany in the 1930s:
Now it turns out that Avnery's Bash-Israel propaganda is being
distributed by bona fide Neo-Nazi organizations and web sites. The
following was sent out this week to a long list of Neo-Nazi groups (see
the ending especially!):
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 13:44:40 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [JihadNewsDesk] An Honest Jew Reviews "The Israel Lobby
and US Foreign Policy"
An Honest Jew Reviews "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy"
Uri Avnery (illustration) is a journalist, peace activist, former member
of the Knesset, and leader of Gush Shalom, a peace movement in Israel .
Two Knights and a Dragon -- by Uri Avnery (Wednesday, October 3, 2007)
"The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject
which is absolutely taboo in the United States , a subject nobody in his
right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel
lobby on American foreign policy."
There are books that change people's consciousness and change history.
Some tell a story, like Harriet Beech Stowe's 1851 "Uncle Tom's Cabin",
which gave a huge impetus to the campaign for the abolition of slavery.
Others take the form of a political treatise, like Theodor Herzl's "Der
Judenstaat", which gave birth to the Zionist movement. Or they can be
scientific in nature, like Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species", which
changed the way humanity sees itself. And perhaps political satire, too,
can shake the world, like "1984" by George Orwell.
The impact of these books was amplified by their timing. They appeared
exactly at the right time, when a large public was ready to absorb their
message. It may well turn out that the book by the two professors, John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy", is
just such a book.
It is a dry scientific research report, 355 pages long, backed by 106
further pages containing some thousand references to sources.
It is not a bellicose book. On the contrary, its style is restrained and
factual. The authors take great care not to utter a single negative
comment on the legitimacy of the Lobby, and indeed bend over backwards to
stress their support for the existence and security of Israel . They let
the facts speak for themselves. With the skill of experienced masons, they
systematically lay brick upon brick, row upon row, leaving no gap in their
This wall cannot be torn down by reasoned argument. Nobody has tried, and
nobody is going to. Instead, the authors are being smeared and accused of
sinister motives. If the book could be ignored altogether, this would have
been done - as has happened to other books which have been buried alive.
(Some years ago, there appeared in Russia a large tome by Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn, the world-renowned laureate of the Nobel Prize for
Literature, about Russia and its Jews. This book, called "200 Years
Together", has been completely ignored. As far as I know, it has not been
translated into any language, certainly not into Hebrew. I asked several
of Israel 's leading intellectuals, and none of them had even heard of the
book. Neither does it appear on the list of Amazon.com, which includes all
the author's other works.)
The two professors take the bull by the horns. They deal with a subject
which is absolutely taboo in the United States , a subject nobody in his
right mind would even mention: the enormous influence of the pro-Israel
lobby on American foreign policy.
In a remorselessly systematical way, the book analyzes the Lobby, takes it
apart, describes its modus operandi, discloses its financial sources and
lays bare its relations with the White House, the two houses of Congress,
the leaders of the two major parties and leading media people.
The authors do not call into question the Lobby's legitimacy. On the
contrary, they show that hundreds of lobbies of this kind play an
essential role in the American democratic system. The gun and the medical
lobbies, for example, are also very powerful political forces. But the
pro-Israel lobby has grown out of all proportion. It has unparalleled
political power. It can silence all criticism of Israel in Congress and
the media, bring about the political demise of anyone who dares to break
the taboo, prevent any action that does not conform to the will of the
In its second part, the book shows how the Lobby uses its tremendous power
in practice: how it has prevented the exertion of any pressure on Israel
to for peace with the Palestinians, how it pushed the US into the invasion
of Iraq, how it is now pushing for wars with Iran and Syria, how it
supported the Israeli leadership in the recent war in Lebanon and blocked
calls for a ceasefire when it didn't want it.
Each of these assertions is backed up by so much undeniable evidence and
quotations from written material (mainly from Israeli sources) that they
cannot be ignored.
Most of these disclosures are nothing new for those in Israel who deal
with these matters.
I myself could add to the book a whole chapter from personal experience.
In the late 50s, I visited the US for the first time. A major New York
radio station invited me for an interview. Later they cautioned me: "You
can criticize the President (Dwight D. Eisenhower) and the Secretary of
State (John Foster Dulles) to your heart's content, but please don't
criticize Israeli leaders!" At the last moment the interview was cancelled
altogether, and the Iraqi ambassador was invited instead. Criticism was
apparently tolerable when it came from an Arab, but absolutely not coming
from an Israeli.
In 1970, the respected American "Fellowship of Reconciliation" invited me
for a lecture tour of 30 universities, under the auspices of the Hillel
rabbis. When I arrived in New York , I was informed that 29 of the
lectures had been cancelled. The sole rabbi who did not cancel, Balfour
Brickner, showed me a secret communication of the "Anti-Defamation League"
that proscribed my lectures. It said: "While Knesset Member Avnery can in
no way be considered a traitor, his appearance at this time would be
deeply divisive." In the end, all the lectures took place under the
auspices of Christian chaplains.
I especially remember a depressing experience in Baltimore . A good Jew,
who had volunteered to host me, was angered by the cancellation of my
lecture in this city and obstinately insisted on putting it on. We combed
the streets of the Jewish quarters - mile upon mile of signs with Jewish
names - and did not find a single hall whose manager would agree to let
the lecture by a member of the Israeli Knesset take place. In the end, we
did hold the lecture in the basement of the building of my host's
apartment - and functionaries of the Jewish community came to protest.
That year, during Black September, I held a press conference in Washington
DC , under the auspices of the Quakers. It seemed to be a huge success.
The journalists came straight from a press conference with Prime Minister
Golda Meir, and showered me with questions. Almost all the important media
were represented - TV networks, radio, the major newspapers. After the
planned hour was up, they would not let me go and kept me talking for
another hour and a half. But the next day, not a single word appeared in
any of the media. Thirty-one years later, in October 2001 I held a press
conference on Capitol Hill in Washington , and exactly the same thing
happened: many of the media were there, they held me for another hour -
and not a word, not a single word, was published.
In 1968, a very respected American publishing house (Macmillan) brought
out a book of mine' "Israel Without Zionists", which was later translated
into eight other languages. The book described the Israeli-Arab conflict
in a very different way and proposed the establishment of a Palestinian
state next to Israel - a revolutionary idea at the time. Not a single
review appeared in the American media. I checked in one of the most
important book stores in New York and did not find the book. When I asked
a salesman, he found it buried under a heap of volumes and put it on top.
Half an hour later it was hidden again.
The book dealt with the "Two States for Two peoples" solution long before
it became a world-wide consensus, and with my proposal for Israel 's
integration in "the Semitic Region". True, I am an Israeli patriot and was
elected to the Knesset by Israeli voters. But I criticized the Israeli
government - and that was enough.
The book by the two professors, who criticize the Israeli government from
a different angle, cannot be buried anymore. This fact, by itself, speaks
The book is based on an essay by the two that appeared last year in a
British journal, after no American publication dared to touch it. Now a
respected American publishing house has released it - an indication that
something is moving. The situation has not changed, but it seems that it
is now possible at least to talk about it.
Everything depends on timing - and apparently the time is now ripe for
such a book, which will shock many good people in America . It is now
causing an uproar.
The two professors are, of course, accused of anti-Semitism, racism and
hatred of Israel . What Israel ? It is the Lobby itself that hates a large
part of Israel . In recent years is has shifted even more to the Right.
Some of its constituent groups - such as the neo-cons who pushed the US
into the Iraq war - are openly connected with the right-wing Likud, and
especially with Binyamin Netanyahu. The billionaires who finance the Lobby
are the same people who finance the extreme Israeli Right, and most of all
The small, determined Jewish groups in the US who support the Israeli
peace movements are remorselessly persecuted. Some of them fold after a
few years. Members of Israeli peace groups who are sent to America are
boycotted and slandered as "self-hating- Jews".
The political views of the two professors, which are briefly stated at the
end of the book, are identical with the stand of the Israeli peace forces:
the Two-State Solution, ending the occupation, borders based on the Green
Line, and international support for the peace settlement.
If this is anti-Semitism, then we here are all anti-Semites. And only the
Christian Zionists - those who openly demand the return of the Jews to
this country but secretly prophesy the annihilation of the unconverted
Jews at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - are the true Lovers of Zion.
Even if not a single bad word about the pro-Israel lobby can be uttered in
the US , it is far from being a secret society, hatching conspiracies like
the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". On the contrary, AIPAC, the
Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Federation and the other organizations
vociferously boast about their actions and publicly proclaim their
Quite naturally, the diverse components of the Lobby compete with each
other - Who has the biggest influence on the White House, Who scares the
most senators, Who controls more journalists and commentators. This
competition causes a permanent escalation - because every success by one
group spurs the others to redouble their efforts.
This could be very dangerous. A balloon that is inflated to monstrous
dimensions can one day burst in the face of American Jews (who, by the
way, according to the polls, object to many positions adopted by the Lobby
that claims to speak in their name.)
Most of the American public now opposes the Iraq war and considers it a
disaster. This majority still does not connect the war with the actions of
the pro-Israel lobby. No newspaper and no politician dares to hint at such
a connection - yet. But if this taboo is broken, the result may be very
dangerous for the Jews and for Israel .
Beneath the surface, a lot of anger directed against the Lobby is
accumulating. The presidential candidates, who are compelled to grovel at
the feet of AIPAC, the senators and congressmen, who have become slaves of
the Lobby, the media people, who are forbidden to write what they really
think - all these secretly detest the Lobby. If this anger explodes, it
may hurt us, too.
This lobby has become a Golem. And like the Golem in legend, in the end it
will bring disaster on its maker.
If I may be permitted to voice some criticism of my own:
When the original article by the two professors appeared, I argued that
"the tail is wagging the dog and the dog is wagging the tail". The tail,
of course, is Israel .
The two professors confirm the first part of the equation, but
emphatically deny the second. The central thesis of the book is that the
pressure of the Lobby causes the United States to act against its own
interests (and, in the long run, also against the true interests of
Israel.) They do not accept my contention, quoted in the book that Israel
acted in Lebanon as . America .s Rottweiler. (to Hizbullah as . Iran .s
I agree that the US is acting against its true interest (and the true
interests of Israel ) - but the American leadership does not see it that
way. Bush and his people believe - even without the input of the Lobby -
that it would be advantageous for the US to establish a permanent American
military presence in the middle of this region of huge oil reserves. In my
view, this counter-productive act at was one of the main objectives of the
war, side by side with the desire to eliminate one of Israel's most
dangerous enemies. Unfortunately, the book deals only very briefly with
That does not diminish in any way my profound admiration for the
intellectual qualities, integrity and courage of Mearsheimer and Walt, two
knights who, like St. George, who have sallied forth to face the fearful
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4. Hitler spoke at Columbia:
5. Conference outs the Jewish leftist Anti-Semites:
6. Oxford's Jihadniks:
7. The Left is Soiling itself over Islamofascist Awareness Week:
8. The Jews of Iwo Jima
February 20, 2005
Yesterday marked the 60th anniversary of the start of the battle for Iwo
Jima. I thought it appropriate to spotlight some news and information
about the Jews who fought and died in the five-week battle between 70,000
American Marines (1,500 of which were Jewish) and an unknown number of
deeply entrenched Japanese defenders.
The Metro West Daily writes about Sam Bernstein, a 20-year-old (Jewish)
Marine corporal at the time of the battle.
Bernstein chuckles when he remembers the Tootsie Rolls he put in his
I chose Tootsie Rolls because they wouldn't melt and they were just the
size of a bullet. At the same time, I strapped on three or four bandoliers
full of ammunition. Still, if the officers had known what I was doing,
they probably would have shot me instead of the Japanese!
He does not chuckle when he remembers the two men who were killed in his
foxhole. Or the day he helped the Jewish chaplain bury some Marines.
An interesting fact that many of you may be unaware of is the historic
events that surrounded a Jewish chaplain on the island.
Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, assigned to the Fifth Marine Division, was the
first Jewish chaplain the Marine Corps ever appointed. Rabbi Gittelsohn
was in the thick of the fray, ministering to Marines of all faiths in the
combat zone. His tireless efforts to comfort the wounded and encourage
the fearful won him three service ribbons. When the fighting was over,
Rabbi Gittelsohn was asked to deliver the memorial sermon at a combined
religious service dedicating the Marine Cemetery.
Unfortunately, racial and religious prejudice led to problems with the
ceremony. What happened next immortalized Rabbi Gittelsohn and his sermon
It was Division Chaplain Warren Cuthriell, a Protestant minister, who
originally asked Rabbi Gittelsohn to deliver the memorial sermon.
Cuthriel wanted all the fallen Marines (black and white, Protestant,
Catholic and Jewish) honored in a single, nondenominational ceremony.
However, according to Rabbi Gittelsohn's autobiography, the majority of
Christian chaplains objected to having a rabbi preach over predominantly
Christian graves The Catholic chaplains, in keeping with church doctrine
opposed any form of joint religious service.
To his credit, Cuthriell refused to alter his plans. Gittelsohn, on the
other hand, wanted to save his friend Cuthriell further embarrassment and
so decided it was best not to deliver his sermon. Instead, three separate
religious services were held. At the Jewish service, to a congregation of
70 or so who attended, Rabbi Gittelsohn delivered the powerful eulogy he
originally wrote for the combined service:
"Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago
helped in her founding. And other men who loved her with equal passion
because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to
her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and Whites, rich
men and poor, together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews
together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises
him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each
group are admitted or allowed.
"Among these men there is no discrimination. No prejudices. No hatred.
Theirs is the highest and purest democracy! Whosoever of us lifts his
hand in hate against a brother, or who thinks himself superior to those
who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and the bloody
sacrifice it commemorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this then, as our
solemn sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: To the right
of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of White men and Negroes alike, to
enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
"We here solemnly swear this shall not be in vain. Out of this and from
the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come, we promise,
the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere."
Among Gittelsohn's listeners were three Protestant chaplains so incensed
by the prejudice voiced by their colleagues that they boycotted their own
service to attend Gittelsohn's. One of them borrowed the manuscript and,
unknown to Gittelsohn, circulated several thousand copies to his regiment.
Some Marines enclosed the copies in letters to their families. An
avalanche of coverage resulted. Time magazine published excerpts, which
wire services spread even further. The entire sermon was inserted into
the Congressional Record, the
Army released the eulogy for short-wave broadcast to American troops
throughout the world and radio commentator Robert St. John read it on his
program and on many succeeding Memorial Days.
In 1995, in his last major public appearance before his death, Gittelsohn
reread a portion of the eulogy at the 50th commemoration ceremony at the
Iwo Jima statue in Washington, D.C. In his autobiography, Gittelsohn
reflected, I have often wondered whether anyone would ever have heard of
my Iwo Jima sermon had it not been for the bigoted attempt to ban it.
Posted by Lt Rubin in Great Stories, History.
9. Subject: A history lesson
A little history lesson. If you don't know the answer make your best
Answer all the questions before looking at the answers.
Who said it?
1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above
2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few,
few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility
for shared prosperity."
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above
3) "(We) ...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means
has to be taken away from some people."
A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above
4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to
a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above
5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A. Karl Marx
D. None of the above
6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most
profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above
Scroll down for answers
(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton
Be afraid, Be very afraid!!
10. From the Wall St Journal:
October 19, 2007
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
DOW JONES REPRINTS
What Happened at Haditha
October 19, 2007; Page A18
The incident at Haditha -- or the massacre, as it is often called -- is
due for a wholesale rethinking. The allegations are that in 2005 U.S.
Marines went on a killing spree and deliberately executed 24 Iraqi
civilians. The casualties have drawn an extraordinary amount of political
attention, becoming an emblem for everything critics say is wrong with the
Iraq war -- in the common telling, another My Lai.
Thus Congressman Jack Murtha, a decorated combat veteran, made accusations
of war crimes and said the Marines had killed "in cold blood." These are
serious charges; and military justice continues to deal with them
seriously, though thankfully at a slower pace than politics. Now the
prosecutions have mostly unraveled. It seems Haditha, though tragic, was
exploited politically, and the allegations were exaggerated, if not
* * *
Here is what we know. On November 17, 2005, Kilo Company of the First
Marine Regiment's Third Battalion was returning from a routine logistics
mission in Haditha, a town 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. Haditha is in
Anbar province, a heart of the Sunni insurgency with one of the highest
U.S. casualty rates in Iraq. The security situation at the time was
Shortly after 7 a.m., an improvised explosive device detonated under the
last vehicle in Company K's four-Humvee convoy. It instantly killed Lance
Corporal Miguel Terrazas and wounded two others. Windows were shattered
for 150 yards, and smoke and debris were everywhere.
An oncoming white sedan had been waved over near the stalled convoy. Five
military-age occupants exited and disobeyed orders in Arabic to halt; at
least one began to run. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, the squad
commander, and Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz opened fire, killing all of them.
The men were suspected of being spotters for, or remotely detonating, the
As a quick reaction force arrived, headed by First Lieutenant William
Kallop, Company K began taking small arms fire from several locations on
either side of the convoy. While taking cover, they identified at least
one shooter in the vicinity of a nearby "trigger house." Lt. Kallop
ordered SSgt. Wuterich and a makeshift team to treat the building as
hostile and "clear" it.
They forced entry and shot a man on a flight of stairs, then another when
he made a movement toward a closet. The Marines say they heard the sound
of an AK-47 being racked, so threw grenades into a nearby room and fired;
they killed five occupants, with two others wounded by grenade fragments
SSgt. Wuterich and his men pursued a runner into an adjacent house. They
led the assault with grenades and gunfire, in the process killing another
man. Unknown to the Marines, two women and six children were in a back
room. Seven were killed. It was chaotic and fast-moving in the dark,
close-range quarters, and accounts diverge on the chronology and offensive
After the firefight ended, around 9:30, the Marines noted men suspected of
scouting for another attack "turkey peeking" behind the wall of a third
house. A team followed to find women and children inside (who were not
harmed). They moved to a fourth house off a courtyard and killed inside
two men wielding AK-47s and two others.
In March 2006, Time magazine broke the story, which erupted in the press.
The accounts relied on a narrative that the Marines had gone berserk after
the killing of Cpl. Terrazas and murdered Iraqis in retaliation.
"Eyewitnesses" reported that the riders in the car had been lined up and
executed, and that there had been a rampage through the houses targeting
women and children. A coverup by the top brass was also asserted.
* * *
After the incident became public, the military was unusually aggressive.
It launched at least two exhaustive, months-long inquiries. Four of the
enlisted men from Company K were charged with unpremeditated murder --
essentially, killings without sanction. Four Marine officers who were not
on the scene were charged with dereliction of duty for improperly
reporting and investigating.
Before courts martial, all charges are referred to Article 32 hearings,
the military equivalent of a grand jury. The senior investigating officer
for the infantrymen, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware, had a chance to look at
all the evidence, not just that selectively leaked or filtered. The result
is that the charges are being reduced or dismissed altogether.
In separate Article 32 proceedings, two of the officers have been
exonerated; one, the highest ranking, has been recommended for a court
martial, and the other case remains pending. Of the four infantrymen, two
have seen their charges dismissed (one in exchange for testimony); and
charges against a third have been recommended to be dismissed. Ten of
SSgt. Wuterich's indictments have been recommended for dismissal, and the
seven others reduced to negligent homicide, essentially, accidental or
negligent killings. Why?
The first imperative is to understand the complex, asymmetrical combat
conditions in Iraq. The Marines were (and are) facing a determined enemy
who dress as civilians and use homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as
their bases of operation. They try to goad killings among the civilian
population because it foments domestic opposition against U.S. troops
while undermining them with elite international opinion.
In this environment, accusations of U.S. atrocities against civilians
occur after almost every military operation. That partly explains why the
Marines did not immediately investigate the Haditha killings. They viewed
some Iraqi claims as part of insurgent "information operations" and did
not suspect any misconduct. That day also saw citywide violence and
multiple combat actions, and the killings seemed, regrettably but
Perhaps, ex post facto, the officers might have erred on the side of
scrutiny, though it is more exactly the duty of commanders to report
accurately up the chain of command. Aside from some glitches, such as an
erroneous public affairs statement that some of the civilians had been
killed by the roadside bomb, they seem to have done so. There are also
accusations that the delay in the full probe compromised the case. One
indication of affairs in Haditha is that the heavily guarded investigators
came under a coordinated insurgent attack.
Still, negligence, if proved, does not constitute a cover-up. Even the
most fault-finding Haditha inquiry, conducted by Army Major General Eldon
Bargewell, rejected the idea of some upper-level conspiracy. As for the
infantrymen at Haditha, Lt. Col. Ware's investigation concluded, in a
representative statement, that "No trier of fact can conclude SSgt
Wuterich formed the criminal intent to kill." The allegations of a
deliberate massacre are entirely unfounded. They are contradicted by
credible testimony, and remain a "story unsupported by evidence."
If any of the reduced cases do move to courts martial, as some likely
will, they will turn on the rules of engagement. Decisions made in the
heat of battle are hard to judge from the outside. At the critical moment,
hesitation can result in a soldier or his unit getting killed. Thus
military justice usually presumes a benefit of the doubt if decisions that
were reasonable in the line of fire appear wrong in hindsight. A bad
result does not imply a bad decision.
* * *
At Haditha, did the Marines act reasonably and appropriately based on
their training? They were in a hostile combat situation where deadly force
was authorized against suspected triggermen for the IED, and were ordered
to assault a suspected insurgent hideout. In retrospect, the men in the
car had no weapons or explosives; in retrospect, the people in the house
were not insurgents. No one knew at the time.
Innocents were killed at Haditha, as they inevitably are in all wars --
though that does not excuse or justify wrongdoing. Yet neither was Haditha
the atrocity or "massacre" that many assumed -- though errors in judgment
may well have been committed. And while some violent crimes have been
visited on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, overall the highly
disciplined U.S. military has conducted itself in an exemplary fashion.
When there have been aberrations, the services have typically held
The same cannot be said of the political and media classes. Many,
including Members of Congress, were looking for another moral bonfire to
discredit the cause in Iraq, and they found a pretext in Haditha. The
critics rushed to judgment; facts and evidence were discarded to fit the
Most despicably, they created and stoked a political atmosphere that
exposes American soldiers in the line of duty, risking and often losing
their lives, to criminal liability for the chaos of war. This is the
deepest shame of Haditha, and the one for which apologies ought to be
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