Friday, November 30, 2007
11/30/2007 11:32:00 AM
1. Upsetting the Haaretz McCarthyists - Haaretz smears Israel Academia
Monitor (IAM) for exposing academic anti-Israel extremists in Israel:
IAM must be doing something right!
2. Israeli Academics among those calling for Israel's extermination in a
new final solution: http://counterpunch.com/onestate.html
3. Highly recommended:
"Rachel Golem" recently completed an online parody of Amy Goodman and her
anti-Israel far-leftist Democracy Now show. In the parody she interviews
Chomsky, Finkelstein, Pol Pot and a few other people. I think it's quite
funny and makes them all look like the hypocrites they are.
It is located at:
She am currently writing under a pseudonym because my Rachel Corrie
parody caused a few "peace activists" to threaten me with bodily harm.
4. Leftist Propaganda in Israeli school book:
5. Have Academic Radicals gone Berserk?:
7. CLASSES TOO PRO-ISRAEL? GWU INSTRUCTOR QUITS AMID CHARGES OF BIAS
By Eric Fingerhut
Published in: Washington Jewish Week
November 26, 2007
For years, some pro-Israel activists have been troubled by university
professors who demonstrated bias against Israel in the classroom. But
last week was apparently a first: A George Washington University
instructor resigned after being accused of teaching a class that was
biased in favor of Israel.
Hanna Diskin told the students in her "Arab-Israeli Conflict" class on
Tuesday of last week that she would not be teaching the class for the
remainder of the semester - and would be leaving the D.C. university -
because she was upset that students in the class had complained about
her teaching to the head of the political science department.
Diskin, visiting from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told the class
that the course she had been scheduled to teach next semester had been
canceled due to the complaints. But a student in the class, senior Greg
Berlin, said that political science department head Christopher Deering
said that next semester's course merely had been deemed "inactive," or
on hold, pending a review of class evaluations from this term.
Calls to Deering and to Bernard Reich, who filled in for Diskin last
Thursday, were not returned.
Diskin declined to comment via e-mail. A GWU spokesperson also had no
Berlin and a classmate, senior Elizabeth Kamens, both said that the
problem with Diskin's teaching was that she focused only on Israel in a
course that was supposed to deal with the entire Arab-Israeli conflict.
"We would never cover the other side," said Kamens, who is Jewish.
"It became more of an Israeli politics class," said Berlin, noting that
while understanding Zionism is important to studying the Arab-Israeli
conflict, he wondered why they were they spending half of the semester
learning about it.
Berlin said that he and a number of other students had expressed their
"dissent" to Diskin in class about the way she was handling the course,
but became frustrated when they would ask for an Arab perspective on an
issue and Diskin would change the subject or talk over them. For
example, after Diskin cited the number of Israelis who died in a
particular military conflict, Berlin said, students asked for the number
of fatalities on the Palestinian side. Diskin, according to Berlin,
replied that only the Israeli figures were reliable, because only Israel
was a democracy.
"I'm Jewish myself, but I feel there's a line between objectivity and
teaching with a bias," said Berlin, who said he was one of a number of
students who expressed their concerns to leaders of the political
The students said they were assigned readings from only two books: the
scholarly A History of Israel by GWU professor emeritus Howard Sachar
and the book Myths & Facts.
Kamens said she was "a little surprised" that the latter book was
selected for an upper-level political science course because of the
book's structure. It outlines common "myths" about the Arab-Israeli
conflict and then provides evidence responding to those myths.
Myths & Facts originated as a American Israel Public Affairs Committee
publication decades ago and was updated by Mitchell Bard, executive
director of the Chevy Chase-based American-Israeli Cooperative
Enterprise, in recent years.
M.J. Rosenberg, who edited Myths & Facts when he worked at AIPAC in the
1980s, was surprised to hear it was being used in a college class.
"It's not a textbook," said Rosenberg, now the policy director at the
Israel Policy Forum. "It's counter-propaganda" that is "not designed to
show both sides," but to provide all the facts that support the
Rosenberg said it was "hard to believe" the book would be used in any
college class other than one studying propaganda.
Bard said his book is "all based on facts" and is the "most concise
collection" of information on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Coincidentally, Bard's organization, AICE, provided the funding to hire
Diskin as a postdoc fellow at GWU. Bard said AICE - which will fund 26
professors and six postdoc fellows at universities around the country
this school year - has no input on whom the university hires or course
content, other than that the visiting instructors teach Israel studies.
He said professors who teach under AICE auspices are expected to be
"If we're perceived as advocates, that would be counter to the idea
we're promoting," he said.
Bard said he was still attempting to get further information about
Diskin's departure, but said he had never heard a complaint that a
university instructor was too pro-Israel and that it would be "ironic"
considering the number of complaints that have been made about
Daniel Pipes, whose Middle East Forum set up a Web site titled Campus
Watch to monitor the statements of Middle East Studies professors for
bias, also said that an accusation of pro-Israel bias in the classroom
was "something I can't think of having happened before."
Pipes argued Diskin's departure signaled "another step" in enforcing
attitudes throughout academia that are "anti-American and anti-America's
He also defended the use of Myths & Facts as a textbook. "So far as I
know, it is a reliable source, perfectly reputable," he said.
Berlin said Diskin's decision to resign appeared to be her own, since
the political science department did not know anything about it until
she announced it to her students.
8. What Occupation?
9. The real winner at Annapolis:
10. The Road Map of Criminality:
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
11/28/2007 11:02:00 AM
1. I was sitting on a park bench yesterday in Haifa next to four
other fellas when suddenly my foot hit this strange looking bottle, like
an old oil lamp. No sooner was it kicked when a genie popped out. The
genie told each of us on the bench that we get a single wish, which would
be granted at once.
The first fella said his wish was that Israel's inflation rate and growth
rate be better than those in the US. Poof, in a flash of light, it was
so. The second said his wish was that Ehud Olmert should be targeted by a
large number of police investigations for corruption. Again a poof, and
it was so. The third fella thought a moment and said he wishes that Paris
would be inundated in violent riots by Arab thugs. And flash of light
later, it became so. The fourth guy said his wish was that Ilan Pappe
leave Israel, and that Baruch Kimmerling and Tanya Reinhart stop writing
anti-Israel propaganda. And lo and behold, 'twas so.
Then it was my turn. The genie asked what I wanted as my wish. I said,
let me get this straight. Israel's economy is in better shape than that
of the US, Olmert is facing multiple indictments, Paris is in flames from
a violent intifada, and three of Israel's worst academic anti-Semites are
neutralized? Just so, replied the genie. In that case, I said, I'd like
a Diet Coke.
2. Land for Kodak Moment: The Kodak Moment on the Chesapeake:
3. Peace Now does Goebbels:
The ad shows Jewish settlers and the Hamas as allied enemies of
4. Why is the Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University hosting anti-Semite Avi
5. Dissecting anti-Zionists:
6. The Pestilinians are not victims but victimizers:
7. Why Annapolis is a waste of time:
8. The World Doesn't Hate America; the Left Does
By Dennis Prager
9. Here is a statement by Deborah Lipstadt, from the OTHER David Irving
court case (not the one in Nazareth):
" In 2000 I spent 12 weeks in court defending myself against charges of
libel brought against me by David Irving. My defense team proved that
David Irving, in the words of the judgment issued against Irving,
.perverts,. .distorts,. .falsifies,. .misrepresents. the facts, and,
simply put, lies. The judge found his writings to be racist and
antisemitic. In the end we defeated David Irving by using facts and
demonstrating that nothing this man has said about the Holocaust . and
many other things -- can be taken at face value.
Why should the Oxford Union give one of its coveted places to a man such
as this or a man such as Nick Griffin, who spews hatred and racial
prejudice? I am firm believer in free speech. In my country the much
maligned First Amendment gives everyone a chance to make a complete .arse.
of themselves. However, the right to free speech does not mean that
everyone is deserving of a platform at the Oxford Union. If the Union
wanted to debate the issue of free speech and laws against expressions of
Holocaust denial and racism, there are many good people with severely
opposing views who could have been invited to do so. Inviting these two
men smacks of a stunt which gives them what they most need to survive:
The President of the Union has claimed that they are not being invited to
spout their views. What then is there for them to say? That they have
been denied the right to speak? Griffin has a platform anytime he wants
it and David Irving used and abused your courts as a platform to spew his
distortions of history.
Some of those who have defended the Oxford Union have called for open
minds. The problem with people with open minds is that sometimes their
minds are so open their brains fall out. And that is the best that can
be said of the organizers of this evening.s debate. "
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ph.D.
10. A non-treasonous voice from the Left:
11. From Munich to Annapolis:
12. Alternative Peace Plan?
13. British Anti-Semitism goes global:
14. November 28, 2007
By MICHAEL YOUNG
November 28, 2007
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- In September, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner
canceled a meeting at the United Nations with his Syrian counterpart,
Walid al-Moallem, following the assassination of Lebanese parliamentarian
Antoine Ghanem. "I was, forgive me, shocked by this latest assassination,
as I am shocked every time," Mr. Kouchner explained. "I thought that I
should not meet my counterpart as planned. It's an intolerable situation.
We are trying not to be tolerant." He denied that he was blaming Syria for
the killing, but his statement could not be read in any other way.
Almost two months later the French managed to overcome their shock,
offering Syria normalized relations in exchange for facilitating the
election of a Lebanese president. French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent
two top aides to Damascus to secure a deal. Nothing came of it as Syria's
Lebanese allies and adversaries could not agree to a candidate. Now
Lebanon is without a president, with no clear sign of when an election
will take place.
However, the message from France was plain: The West is willing to
overlook Syria's violations of U.N. resolutions seeking genuine Lebanese
sovereignty and independence. Damascus is likely behind the assassinations
of anti-Syrian politicians, journalists and others in recent years, and is
using its Lebanese allies to undermine the government in Beirut. Yet
foreign capitals are increasingly engaging Syrian President Bashar Assad,
whether on Lebanon's future or on regional peace talks, as Syria's
inclusion in yesterday's Annapolis conference shows.
If this engagement is done clumsily -- as it has been so far -- we will
soon be reading the Cedar Revolution's obituary. The 2005 popular
demonstrations that helped end a 29-year Syrian military presence in
Lebanon and the election of an anti-Syrian majority in parliament will
have been in vain.
Syria has spent the past two years in the eye of a regional storm it has
helped create. The Assad regime has exported instability to Lebanon, Iraq
and the Palestinian areas, while strengthening its relations with Iran.
Yet far from paying a price in terms of international isolation, Syria has
seen foreign petitioners rush to its doorstep. They have attempted to
convince Mr. Assad that he is better off abandoning Iran, Hamas and
Hezbollah. But why would the Syrian leader have any incentive to do so
when it's his dangerous liaisons that are precisely what encourage foreign
visitors to talk to Syria?
Because of the fear that Islamists might replace Mr. Assad if his regime
fell, no one truly wants to see him destabilized. The Israelis told the
French as much during the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the
Russians and Chinese agree. The U.N. has an aversion to fiddling with
regimes, no matter how thuggish. And major European states -- particularly
those with military contingents in south Lebanon, such as France, Italy
and Spain -- worry about what Syria or its local partners Hezbollah might
do to their soldiers in the event of a confrontation with Damascus.
The Bush administration, meanwhile, has advocated "behavior change" in
Syria, not "regime change." That's reasonable, but Syrian behavior has not
changed -- and Washington, for all its post-2005 aid to Lebanon, has done
nothing about it. Indeed, the U.S. has not even made Syria regret
supporting the anti-American insurgency in Iraq.
A silent coup is taking place, with Syria striving to prevent the
consolidation of an independent Lebanese political order. Syria's strategy
for the presidential election was to agree with Hezbollah and the
followers of Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri (whose appointment
was engineered by Syria), to boycott the presidential election. Mr. Berri
simply refused to open parliamentary election sessions unless prior
agreement was reached on a "compromise" candidate, effectively meaning
someone acceptable to Damascus. The two parties were supported by
Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, who has tried to use his alliance
with pro-Syrian groups as leverage to become president of Lebanon himself.
While not technically illegal, the scheming by Syria and its allies
represented a travesty of democracy in denying the majority its rights. It
also undermined the spirit of the constitution by obstructing a vote.
European and Arab governments have backed this "compromise" demand. Even
the U.S. went along with Mr. Sarkozy's opening to Syria -- even though
France, by asking Syria to facilitate the Lebanese election, was
undermining Security Council Resolution 1559, which called for "a free and
fair electoral process...without foreign interference or influence."
Ironically, the anti-Syrian majority could momentarily benefit from this
stalemate. Lacking an elected president, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's
government, so reviled by Syria, has constitutionally taken over those
powers. Now the pro-Syrian opposition might demand an election so that a
new government will be formed in which it has a say. This could buy
Syria's adversaries some latitude to impose a president closer to the
ideals of the Cedar Revolution. But Syria still has plenty of means to
engender chaos in Lebanon.
Especially troubling are signs that the U.N. investigation into the
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri is faltering.
Former lead investigator Serge Brammertz of Belgium has until now refused
to name any suspects, although Lebanese press reports suggest he might do
so in his final report next week. His German predecessor Detlev Mehlis,
never hid his conviction that senior Syrian officials were behind the
crime. The fear is that Mr. Brammertz has been playing it safe, realizing
that the U.N. is not keen to subvert the Syrian regime. His recent
departure to the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a promotion of sorts,
suggests that his instincts may have been correct. Canadian judge Daniel
Bellemare will succeed Mr. Brammertz. And while we should give Mr.
Bellemare the benefit of the doubt, it is troubling that he has never been
in charge of an international terrorist case.
If the Hariri trial is abandoned in favor of an under-the-table
arrangement to protect the Syrian regime, the international community
would lose the only serious leverage it has over Damascus. Abandoned, too,
would be that rare instance in which the rule of law could have been used
to punish a political crime in the Middle East.
Mr. Young is opinion editor at the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut and a
contributing editor at Reason magazine.
URL for this article:
15. November 28, 2007
In Praise of 'Thought Competition'
By REBECCA SEGALL-WALLACE
November 28, 2007; Page A23
Monday: After a long day at his New York City private school, Ben, 16,
heads to my creative writing lab to work on his heartfelt memoir about his
parents' bitter divorce. Tuesday: Alison, 15, rushes from her elite
private school in the Bronx to work on her short screenplay about a
gifted, mean and eccentric boy. Lily, 13, pops in whenever she can to
polish her hilarious short story narrated by an insomniac owl.
Ben, Alison and Lily, along with another few dozen who attend my
afterschool writing program, also attend top-notch New York private
schools that cost upwards of $25,000 a year. So why, one might wonder, do
these kids need an extracurricular creative writing coach? The answer is
simple, though twisted: Their schools -- while touting well-known athletic
teams -- are offshoots of the "progressive education" movement and uphold
a categorical belief that "thought competition" is treacherous.
Administrators of these schools will not support their students in
literary, science or math competitions, including the most prestigious
creative writing event in the country: the Scholastic Art & Writing
Awards. So we at Writopia Lab help these kids to join the 10,000 young
literati from across the country who are hurrying to meet the event's
January deadline, as well as deadlines for other competitions.
For decades now, psychology and pedagogy researchers have been debating
the impact of competition on young people's self-esteem, with those wary
of thought competition taking the lead. Most New York parents of public or
private school students have felt the awkward reverberations of this trend
-- which avoids naming winners -- when Johnny takes home a certificate for
"participation" in the school's science fair. (Do you hang that one up on
But some, and ironically those who attend some of the most desirable
schools in the region, feel the reverberations in deeper, more painful
ways. "Two years after my son left a school that prohibited him from
entering a national math competition," says one mother, "he still writes
angry essays about why the jocks in his former school were allowed to
compete throughout the city while he wasn't allowed to win the same honors
for his gifts." Sam, her son, felt uncool in the eyes of his peers, and
undervalued (and sometimes even resented) by the administration.
"We don't want kids to compete individually, put themselves in vulnerable
positions as individuals," explains a leading administrator. "They can
compete within teams," explains another. "So the focus is on community
building rather than on personal value."
But what about Sam's sense of personal value? Aren't human beings
fabulously varied in their gifts and sensibilities? Excellent teamwork can
be important, but is it the only admirable achievement? Should any school
in the United States prevent broader acknowledgment of a young, creative
Mel Levine, a professor at the University of North Carolina and one of the
foremost authorities in the country on how children learn, believes the
impact of the collaborative education movement has been devastating to an
entire generation. When students are rewarded for participation rather
than achievement, Dr. Levine suggests, they don't have a strong sense of
what they are good at and what they're not. Thus older members of
Generation Y might be in for quite a shock when they show up for work at
their first jobs. "They expect to be immediate heroes and heroines. They
expect a lot of feedback on a daily basis. They expect grade inflation,
they expect to be told what a wonderful job they're doing," says Dr.
What is most surprising about the brand of educational progressivism that
denies creative and innovative teens the right to compete for public
acknowledgment is the seeming lack of interest in distinguishing between
positive or negative competitions. Positive competitions award a good
number of entries with a range of awards, and, in some cases, send
constructive comments back with the manuscripts. Negative competitions, on
the other hand, may charge high fees to enter or award only the top three
Last January, 28 of my students rigorously workshopped, edited and entered
45 submissions to the Scholastic event, and 28 pieces won recognition on
the regional level and another five on the national level. In April, 24 of
these students went to New York University to have honors bestowed upon
them by famous writers, and another five went to Carnegie Hall to receive
Still, students would quietly ask me over the following year why one of
their pieces was or wasn't recognized. We would compare how much time they
put into one piece over another, the risks they took in one, the original
elements of another, and how new a genre was to them. But most
importantly, the conversation turned to a defining aspect of an artist's
world: the reign of arbitrary judgment. My students know that they don't
each share the same response to their peers' work, and they proudly tout
individually refined sensibilities. So the real questions they should be
asking themselves are: Did they try their best? Have they learned in the
process? Are they excited to try again?
The goal of positive competitions is to help young people identify their
strengths, overcome their limitations to the best of their ability, and
process their disappointments. Luckily, there is an extraordinary range of
projects -- both collaborative and competitive -- that inspire kids to
produce their best work, bond with their peers and prepare fully for
Ms. Segall-Wallace is a New York-based writer.
URL for this article:
16. November 28, 2007
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
November 28, 2007; Page A22
What if they held a war movie, and no one came? That's the tale of woe at
this year's fall box office, where Tinseltown's bleak vision of Iraq has
many movie-goers taking a pass. Films from Brian De Palma's low-budget
screed "Redacted" to Robert Redford's star-studded "Lions for Lambs" are
playing to empty seats.
Small wonder. As Hollywood sees it, the fictionalized stories worth
telling about Iraq and the war on terror involve the rape and murder of an
Iraqi girl by American soldiers ("Redacted"); the kidnap and torture of an
innocent Egyptian ("Rendition"); the duplicity of the Army surrounding a
soldier's death ("In the Valley of Elah"), and other American perfidy.
"Lions for Lambs" has performed so poorly that it may not make back its
$35 million investment.
This hasn't been a good year at the box office anyway, but that only goes
halfway to explaining the numbers. Both "Rendition" and "In the Valley of
Elah" have taken in less than $10 million, despite headliners like Reese
Witherspoon and Tommy Lee Jones. Attendance at Mr. Redford's film dropped
by 57% after the first weekend, as word got out of the movie's antiwar
speech-making. One online site, filmcritic.com1, described "Lions for
Lambs" as an "op-ed masquerading as a motion picture." Entertainment
Weekly remarked of "Redacted" that "War is hell . . . and so is this
It is not impossible to make a successful antiwar film, as the "Deer
Hunter" and "Platoon" proved regarding Vietnam. But they also came several
years after that war ended, when our soldiers still weren't fighting and
the public was in the mood for perspective. That's a different audience
than the one now in theaters, which is less than thrilled at the
opportunity to spend 10 bucks to watch American soldiers depicted as
rapists and murderers while our own real-life troops are being killed by
It's always a difficult venture to turn tragedy into entertainment, but
war movies succeed when they capture the complex reality of the
battlefield, as well as the sacrifice and heroism that emerge from it.
Americans don't seem amused to see their countrymen or country portrayed
as immoral imperialists, and they prefer to win the wars they start. Bring
back John Wayne, or at least Clint Eastwood.
URL for this article:
Hyperlinks in this Article:
Monday, November 26, 2007
11/26/2007 11:39:00 AM
1. Bernard Lewis on the Jewish Question:
November 26, 2007
On the Jewish Question
By BERNARD LEWIS
November 26, 2007; Page A21
Herewith some thoughts about tomorrow's Annapolis peace conference, and
the larger problem of how to approach the Israel-Palestine conflict. The
first question (one might think it is obvious but apparently not) is,
"What is the conflict about?" There are basically two possibilities: that
it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence.
If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward
border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy,
but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.
If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly
it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between
existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is
going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.
PLO and other Palestinian spokesmen have, from time to time, given formal
indications of recognition of Israel in their diplomatic discourse in
foreign languages. But that's not the message delivered at home in Arabic,
in everything from primary school textbooks to political speeches and
religious sermons. Here the terms used in Arabic denote, not the end of
hostilities, but an armistice or truce, until such time that the war
against Israel can be resumed with better prospects for success. Without
genuine acceptance of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State, as the
more than 20 members of the Arab League exist as Arab States, or the much
larger number of members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
exist as Islamic states, peace cannot be negotiated.
A good example of how this problem affects negotiation is the
much-discussed refugee question. During the fighting in 1947-1948, about
three-fourths of a million Arabs fled or were driven (both are true in
different places) from Israel and found refuge in the neighboring Arab
countries. In the same period and after, a slightly greater number of Jews
fled or were driven from Arab countries, first from the Arab-controlled
part of mandatory Palestine (where not a single Jew was permitted to
remain), then from the Arab countries where they and their ancestors had
lived for centuries, or in some places for millennia. Most Jewish refugees
found their way to Israel.
What happened was thus, in effect, an exchange of populations not unlike
that which took place in the Indian subcontinent in the previous year,
when British India was split into India and Pakistan. Millions of refugees
fled or were driven both ways -- Hindus and others from Pakistan to India,
Muslims from India to Pakistan. Another example was Eastern Europe at the
end of World War II, when the Soviets annexed a large piece of eastern
Poland and compensated the Poles with a slice of eastern Germany. This too
led to a massive refugee movement -- Poles fled or were driven from the
Soviet Union into Poland, Germans fled or were driven from Poland into
The Poles and the Germans, the Hindus and the Muslims, the Jewish refugees
from Arab lands, all were resettled in their new homes and accorded the
normal rights of citizenship. More remarkably, this was done without
international aid. The one exception was the Palestinian Arabs in
neighboring Arab countries.
The government of Jordan granted Palestinian Arabs a form of citizenship,
but kept them in refugee camps. In the other Arab countries, they were and
remained stateless aliens without rights or opportunities, maintained by
U.N. funding. Paradoxically, if a Palestinian fled to Britain or America,
he was eligible for naturalization after five years, and his locally-born
children were citizens by birth. If he went to Syria, Lebanon or Iraq, he
and his descendants remained stateless, now entering the fourth or fifth
The reason for this has been stated by various Arab spokesmen. It is the
need to preserve the Palestinians as a separate entity until the time when
they will return and reclaim the whole of Palestine; that is to say, all
of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. The demand for the "return"
of the refugees, in other words, means the destruction of Israel. This is
highly unlikely to be approved by any Israeli government.
There are signs of change in some Arab circles, of a willingness to accept
Israel and even to see the possibility of a positive Israeli contribution
to the public life of the region. But such opinions are only furtively
expressed. Sometimes, those who dare to express them are jailed or worse.
These opinions have as yet little or no impact on the leadership.
Which brings us back to the Annapolis summit. If the issue is not the size
of Israel, but its existence, negotiations are foredoomed. And in light of
the past record, it is clear that is and will remain the issue, until the
Arab leadership either achieves or renounces its purpose -- to destroy
Israel. Both seem equally unlikely for the time being.
Mr. Lewis, professor emeritus at Princeton, is the author, most recently,
of "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" (Oxford
University Press, 2004).
URL for this article:
2. Oxford and the Neo-Nazis:
3. Taking apart the Scarecrow of Oz:
4. About that non-fashionable case of genocide that Abe Foxman did NOT
take a stand about:
November 26, 2007
STATE OF THE UNION
By VIKTOR YUSHCHENKO
November 26, 2007
Seventy-five years ago the Ukrainian people fell victim to a crime of
unimaginable horror. Usually referred to in the West as the Great Famine
or the Terror Famine, it is known to Ukrainians as the Holodomor. It was a
state-organized program of mass starvation that in 1932-33 killed an
estimated seven million to 10 million Ukrainians, including up to a third
of the nation's children. With grotesque understatement the Soviet
authorities dismissed this event as a "bad harvest." Their intention was
to exonerate themselves of responsibility and suppress knowledge of both
the human causes and human consequences of this tragedy. That is reason
enough for us to pause and remember.
During the long decades of Soviet rule it was dangerous for Ukrainians to
discuss their greatest national trauma. To talk of the Holodomor was a
crime against the state, while the memoirs of eyewitnesses and the
accounts of historians like Robert Conquest and the late James Mace were
banned as anti-Soviet propaganda. Yet each Ukrainian family knew from
bitter personal memory the enormity of what had happened. They also knew
that it had been inflicted on them deliberately to punish Ukraine and
destroy the basis of its nationhood. It is to honor the victims and serve
the cause of historical truth that independent Ukraine is today working to
promote greater understanding and recognition of the Holodomor, both at
home and abroad.
We are not doing so out of a desire for revenge or to make a partisan
political point. We know that the Russian people were among Stalin's
foremost victims. Apportioning blame to their living descendents is the
last thing on our minds. Our only wish is for this crime to be understood
for what it truly was. That is why the Ukrainian Parliament last year
passed a law recognizing the Holodomor as an act of genocide and why I am
asking our friends and allies to endorse that position. A world that
indulges historical amnesia or falsification is condemned to repeat its
Genocide is a highly charged term, and there are those who still dispute
its applicability in the case of Ukraine. It is therefore worth looking at
how the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention legally defines the issue.
It describes genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole
or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" including
"deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to
bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." The Holodomor
falls squarely within the terms of this definition. Significantly, that
was also the opinion of Raphael Lemkin, the legal scholar who conceived
the Genocide Convention.
There is now a wealth of historical material detailing the specific
features of Stalin's forced collectivization and terror famine policies
against Ukraine. Other parts of the Soviet Union suffered terribly as
well. But in the minds of the Soviet leadership there was a dual purpose
in persecuting and starving the Ukrainian peasantry. It was part of a
campaign to crush Ukraine's national identity and its desire for
self-determination. As Stalin put it a few years earlier: "There is no
powerful national movement without the peasant army...in essence, the
national question is a peasant question." In seeking to reverse the policy
of "Ukrainianization" that promoted limited cultural and political
autonomy during the 1920s, Stalin decided to target the peasantry,
representing as it did 80% of the population. His solution to the national
question in Ukraine was mass murder through starvation.
Stalin's cruel methods included the allocation of astronomic grain
requisition quotas that were impossible to meet and which left nothing for
the local population to eat. When the quotas were missed, armed units were
sent in. Toward the end of 1932, entire villages and regions were turned
into a system of isolated starvation ghettos called "black boards."
Throughout this period, the Soviet Union continued to export grain to the
West and even used grain to produce alcohol. By early 1933, the Soviet
leadership decided to radically reinforce the blockade of Ukrainian
villages. Eventually, the whole territory of Ukraine was surrounded by
armed forces, turning the entire country into a vast death camp.
The specifically national motive behind Stalin's treatment of Ukraine was
also evident in the terror campaign that targeted the institutions and
individuals that sustained the cultural and public life of the Ukrainian
nation. Waves of purges engulfed academic institutions, literary journals,
publishing houses and theaters. Victims included the Ukrainian Academy of
Science, the editorial board of the Soviet Ukrainian Encyclopedia, the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church and ultimately the Ukrainian Communist Party.
This was a systematic campaign against the Ukrainian nation, its history,
culture, language and way of life.
The Holodomor was an act of genocide designed to suppress the Ukrainian
nation. The fact that it failed and Ukraine today exists as a proud and
independent nation does nothing to lessen the gravity of this crime. Nor
does it acquit us of the moral responsibility to acknowledge what was
done. On the 75th anniversary, we owe it to the victims of the Holodomor
and other genocides to be truthful in facing up to the past.
Mr. Yushchenko is Ukraine's president.
URL for this article:
5. The Madrassa on the upper west side:
6. Cleveland's Museum of Jihad:
7. Commie shilling:
Sunday, November 25, 2007
11/25/2007 10:50:00 AM
1. Free Speech a la Olmert: Democracy inaction? Egged cancels ad campaign
"Olmert escaping from
police - to Annapolis"
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 25 November 2007
Army Radio correspondent Guy Varon reports this morning that the Egged bus
company cancelled a protest ad campaign at the last minute of right wing
activists against prime minister Ehud Olmert, under the slogan "Olmert
escaping from police - to Annapolis".
Egged claims that the ad is improper because it offend the public
In the same spirit, Moshe Hanegbi, the legal commentator of Israel Radio,
recently said that one of the grounds for criminal charges against the
behind an ad campaign that featured Shimon Peres donning a kafiyeh is that
it is against the law to "offend a public servant".
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@...
2. In 2004 the following article appeared when the Israeli government
released hundreds of imprisoned murderers as a "peace gesture." The
result was a wave of new murders. A direct result was also the
kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in the summer of 2006, triggering the
make-pretend "war" that Israel then "fought" against the Hizbollah. Now,
as Ehud Olmert prepares to release hundreds of imprisoned murderers, I
thought it is timely to re-post this:
I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli
14 Kislev 5768, 24 November 07 10:51
by Steven Plaut
(IsraelNN.com) I have spent most of the past 12 years being ashamed to be
an Israeli. Israeli governments made me ashamed, and they did so by
abasing, disgracing and humiliating me as a Jew and as an Israeli.
I have been ashamed for 12 years at being an Israeli, because this was the
period in which the governments of Israel abandoned the struggle for
Jewish national survival. They stopped trying to defend me and all other
Jews. They lectured me that it was my fault that the Arab fascists were
attacking Jews, and that it was within my power to stop the carnage, if
only I would agree to demean myself sufficiently, to grovel before the
terrorists of the Middle East, and to appease the anti-Semites. I could
achieve peace if I would agree to place my neck in an Arab noose, but if I
refuse to do so, then I would be the impediment to peace and my obstinacy
would be to blame for all further carnage.
For 12 years, my government pursued a policy of defending me and my family
by abandoning all attempts to defend us. My government decided to pursue
peace by pretending that war did not exist. After two millennia of
anti-Semitism, my government decided that anti-Semitism does not really
exist, and that when people randomly murder Jewish children, it is because
they have some legitimate grievances, because they have suffered, and
because Jews have shown them insufficient sensitivity.
My government implemented policies based on the presumption that the
making of concessions to blood-thirsty terrorists would be rewarded with
moderation and goodwill, that importing armed Nazis into the suburbs of
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would cause them to seek peace. My government
followed policies based on the notion that the Jews were evil, insensitive
and selfish. My government decided that if Jews would only "share" their
land and resources with those who rule the entire territory from the
Atlantic Ocean to Central Asia, that is, with those who refuse to agree to
any "sharing" that allows a Jewish state to exist anywhere in the Middle
East, then there would be peace.
My government decided that rewarding terrorists for violence would end
violence, and then told me that there was simply no alternative to
coddling terrorists and Nazis. My government pursued peace by pretending
that war did not exist. My government sought peace through arming and
bankrolling terrorists. My government decided that anti-Semitism can only
be overcome by redressing the "underlying grievances" that it reflects. My
government fought terrorism by not fighting it, and by trying to appease
it. My government insisted that I must coddle anti-Semites and terrorists,
and must pander to their agenda and desires, for there is no other choice.
My government over the past 12 years preached to me that it was my own
pride and my parochial patriotism that was the obstacle to peace. It told
me I must seek peace through self-abasement and self-humiliation. My
government told me that if I would show willingness to compromise, then so
would the Arabs.
My government has been wrong about everything, but refuses to admit it has
been wrong about anything.
My government decided that Palestinians are a "nation" and that chunks of
my Jewish lands were in fact "Palestinian lands". My government decided
that Arabs may freely live any place they wish anywhere in the land of
Israel, but I may not live freely where I might choose if it happens to be
across the "Green Line". My government instituted discrimination against
me and against other Jews in the name of "affirmative action", quotas and
preferences for Arabs and directed against me.
My government fought for my survival through cowardice and endless
"restraint", turning my other cheek against my will, pursuing endless
"goodwill gestures", which only inflamed the violence. It did so despite
the fact that I and my fellow Israeli citizens voted repeatedly to revoke
the "Oslo approach" and voted in favor of pursuing war against our
enemies, not appeasement. My government abandoned all of northern Israel
to the mercies of the Hizbollah rockets, now aimed at me in the thousands.
My government abandoned the Jewish towns near the Gaza Strip to rocket
barrages from the PLO.
I have spent the past 12 years cringing in shame. My government made me
feel that way. But I have never felt as ashamed at being an Israeli as I
did this week, when my government decided to reward the Hizbollah for
murdering three of my fellow citizens in cold blood. My government also
abandoned Ron Arad, releasing his kidnapper, rewarding the terrorists who
kidnapped him, who "sold" him to Iran and possibly murdered him. My
government decided to release nearly 450 murderers with blood on their
hands in order to "buy" the release of the carcasses of three of my fellow
citizens, who were murdered by the Hizbollah after they had been kidnapped
My government had abandoned southern Lebanon to the Hizbollah and assured
me there would be complete tranquility thereafter. After the farcical
Israeli "withdrawal" ordered by my government, the Hizbollah has fired
almost daily into Israel, has sent in terrorists who murdered Israeli
civilians, and snatched the three soldiers (two Jews and one Bedouin Arab)
whose bodies were released this week, after murdering them in cold blood.
Last week, the Hizbollah murdered one more army officer working a
bulldozer; in response, my government punished some empty Hizbollah
buildings. The prisoner "deal" was possible only because my government
refuses to execute the murdering savages, the terrorists. My government
thinks capital punishment is inhumane, and its absence has made possible
the murders of 1,300 of my fellow countrymen. That is like twenty two
September 11ths, when measured proportional to population.
The Hizbollah also held as prisoner a man who had entered Lebanon for
criminal purposes, possibly a drug deal to pay off his gambling debts. I
opposed releasing any terrorists to get him released. I might have
considered agreeing to release a handful as payment to the Hizbollah to
keep him imprisoned there, if he is indeed a drug smuggler.
My government decided to respond to the murders of the three POWs by
rewarding their murderers, not by converting three Hizbollah towns into
large parking lots, not by bathing the Hizbollah leaders in napalm. My
government signaled to all my fellow citizens that it was unwilling to
avenge our deaths. My government let every Israeli soldier know that his
life would be worthless if captured by the enemy, because my government
would always seek "deals" with those who murder POWs. My government made
it known that by grabbing some Israelis as hostages, anyone could obtain
any concession they want from my country. My government also let every
soldier know that, if captured in war, he would be abandoned to his fate
by my government. My government agreed to this "deal" with the Hizbollah,
a deal that spit on the family of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad. The man
who kidnapped and "sold" Arad has been released by my government as
payment for the release of the common criminal.
My government is trying to cover its shame by boasting that it "held out
tough" and refused to release the baby-murdering terrorist Samir Kuntar,
the man who murdered the members of the Haran family in Nahariya. My same
government boasts that it would have released this arch-murderer had the
Hizbollah so much as told Israel where Ron Arad (or his grave) is.
So much for "standing tough".
My government is a disgrace. My government practices cowardice and
pretends it is courage. My government displays indifference to the
Israelis who will now be murdered by those released terrorists and
murderers. My government had the gall to pretend it was acting out of
compassion and morality when it signed this capitulation, when it placed
that smirk on the face of the Hizbollah chief terrorist, boasting of his
To drive home the point that the "deal" proves to the world that the Jews
are on the run, the terrorists blew up a bus in Jerusalem, the same
Jerusalem they pretend is holy to them, as part of celebrating the
stampede of Jewish flight. After all, the Hizbollah was being rewarded for
terror, so why should not the Palestinians follow their lead in obtaining
The bus atrocity in Jerusalem was carried out by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades, a PLO terror group under the direct command and control of
My government pretended it was suddenly acting out of Jewish ethical
values. My government would not know a Jewish ethical value if it popped
up in its face. My government pretends there is a "Part B" to this
capitulation, in which information about Ron Arad will be released. I do
not believe them. I think my government is lying, to window-dress this act
As I watch the victory smile on the mug of the Hizbollah chief terrorist,
my own government makes me cringe. My government makes me ashamed of being
3. Oh about that "Israel" Lobby:
4. Hmmm. The "Israel Lobby" anti-Semites crashed and burned in Euro
book fair: http://www.forward.com/articles/12071/
5. A Prime Minister about Nothing:
6. NY Jews under siege:
Friday, November 23, 2007
11/23/2007 01:21:00 PM
1. Four Cheers for "Stand With Us":
2. Leftist secularists at the Israel Democracy Institute find leftist
secularism is in decline:
3. Know people in the greater NY area who are planning a simcha? Please
advise them NOT to use the AISH Orchestra music groups. These are now
promoting the conspiracy "theories" of the 911 attacks on the US supposed
being an "inside job" by the "New World Order" (meaning the Teletubbies)
who placed bombs inside the WTC buildings:
Please pass it on . boycott these fruitnuts!
4. Nude leftists at Tel Aviv University demand that Israel give up its
defensive nukes: http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12385.htm
5. Teflon Arabs:
6. November 23, 2007
Terror's KGB Roots
By BORIS VOLODARSKY
November 23, 2007
A year ago today, my friend Alexander Litvinenko died in a London
hospital, leaving behind a wife and young son. Sasha was poisoned by a
tiny nuclear device containing polonium-210 -- which, the British Crown
Prosecution Service concluded, was planted on him by Russian secret
agents. In its way, his murder was an act of state-sponsored terrorism.
This is nothing new for Russia. The KGB has long used terrorist tactics
and worked closely with organizations like Yasser Arafat's PLO. The year
before, in July 2005, Sasha wrote in a confidential report prepared for a
special commission of the Italian Parliament investigating KGB activities
in Italy that, "Until recently the KGB had been in charge of all
international terrorism." The manner of his death suggests that Russia
today, under the leadership of former KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir
Putin, is up to its old tricks.
* * *
The KGB's forerunner, the Cheka (later NKVD), was created by Lenin and
Felix Dzerzhinsky expressly to eliminate Russia's aristocracy,
intellectuals and dissidents -- anyone who threatened the Soviet state
from the inside. Under Stalin, the NKVD started to murder its opponents
abroad: Ignatz Reiss near Lausanne in 1937, Yevhen Konovalets in Amsterdam
in 1938, Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. In 1953, the Soviet secret
service tried to kill Marshal Tito in Belgrade.
Stalin's death didn't dampen the Kremlin's appetite for international
terror. After the Litvinenko murder, the Russian foreign intelligence
service claimed that Russia had not taken part in any assassinations
abroad since 1959. That is not true. An Afghan leader, Hafizullah Amin,
was first poisoned and then shot by a KGB special squad in Kabul in 1979.
A former Chechen president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, was blown up by Russian
agents in Qatar in 2004.
In 1964, the KGB station in Mexico City set up a sabotage and intelligence
group led by Manuel Andara y Ubeda, a Nicaraguan KGB agent. He led a group
of Sandinistas to scope out the U.S. border with Mexico for possible
targets, such as oil pipelines, for KGB sabotage teams. Its codename was
Iskra, or "spark," inspired by the title of Lenin's revolutionary
newspaper. The KGB also trained and financed the Sandinistas who seized
the National Palace in Managua and dozens of hostages in 1978. They
briefed a senior KGB official on the plan on the eve of the raid.
In the Mideast, one of the KGB's star recruits was Wadi Haddad, the deputy
leader and head of foreign operations of the Marxist-Leninist Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 1970, the KGB made him an
agent, according to files delivered to British intelligence by Vasili
Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who defected to the U.K. in 1992. The
most dramatic terrorist strike organized by Haddad was the Sept. 6, 1970
attack on four airliners bound for New York. The hijacking attempt on an
El Al Boeing 707 departing from Tel Aviv failed after one of the two
terrorists was shot by an air marshal. The other three airlines were
successfully diverted to other landing strips by the hijackers. The
passengers and crew of a Pan Am Boeing 747 were evacuated and the plane
was blown up; in the other two cases, the terrorists negotiated prisoner
swaps. (Those were more innocent pre-9/11 times.) Thanks to the Mitrokhin
files, we know that the KGB provided arms to Haddad, and it is a fair
assumption that his handlers were aware of his plans.
A KGB officer, Vasili Fyodorovich Samoilenko, cultivated Arafat for a long
time. A 1974 photograph shows them together at a wreath-laying ceremony in
Moscow; during this visit, the Soviets called the PLO "the sole legitimate
representative of the Arab people of Palestine," a controversial stance
for that era that sealed their close alliance. From then on, the KGB
trained PLO guerrillas at its Balashikha special-operations training
school east of Moscow and provided most of the weapons used in its attacks
on Israeli targets. PLO intelligence officers also attended one-year
courses at the KGB's Andropov Institute; some of them ended up being
recruited by the KGB.
Soviet satellites did their share. During the late 1960s Arafat had also
been courted by the Cairo station chief of the Romanian foreign
intelligence service (DIE), Constantin Munteanu, who brought him to
Bucharest. Arafat and Nicolai Ceausescu became good friends. Late in 1972
Romanian intelligence formed an alliance with the PLO, according to former
KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky, who said the Romanians "suppl[ied] it with
blank passports, electronic surveillance equipment, and weapons for its
operations." Ceausescu told acting head of the DIE (and future defector)
Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa: "Moscow is helping the PLO build up its muscles. I
am feeding its brains." According to Mr. Pacepa's 1987 book, "Red
Horizons": "Arafat and his KGB handlers were preparing a PLO commando team
headed by Arafat's top deputy, Abu Jihad, to take American diplomats
hostage in Khartoum, Sudan."
According to various sources, Ilyich Ram.res S.nchez, better known as
Carlos the Jackal, the most notorious terrorist in the 1970s and early
1980s, was among those who attended Soviet and Cuban training camps. He
lived for a time in East Germany.
* * *
The murder of Sasha Litvinenko should be called what it really was: a
terror attack on British soil. Countless people were endangered by
radiation, traces of which were found on British Airways planes, in London
hotels and restaurants. In the meantime, the suspected murderer, Andrei
Lugovoi, is a candidate for the Russian parliament in next month's
elections, and openly mocks British attempts to have him extradited to
Sasha was right. Post-Soviet Russia is a breeding ground for terrorism
just like the Soviet Union was.
Mr. Volodarsky, an independent intelligence analyst who lives in London,
is a former GRU (Soviet military intelligence) special operations officer.
URL for this article:
7. From the Wall St Journal
(or, let's not mix kashruth with PC paganism!)
How Kosher Was Your Turkey?
Some Jews Demand Better Treatment for Birds
By JULIE WIENER
November 23, 2007; Page W11
Yesterday, 24 New York City households served turkeys that were not only
free-range, organic and raised on a nearby family farm -- but also 100%
kosher. For that, their guests can give thanks to Simon Feil, a
31-year-old actor who has devoted the past 1 years to starting Kosher
Conscience, a "kosher ethical meat co-op." The co-op, which 90 people have
expressed interest in joining when it begins regular poultry and beef
deliveries in a few months, will offer kosher meat that has been treated
humanely "at every stage," he says.
Judaism's taboos on pork and shellfish, as well as the requirement to
separate meat and dairy products, are well known even among gentiles. Yet
for many contemporary American Jews the taboos can feel arbitrary,
cumbersome and devoid of meaning (only 17% say they keep kosher homes). At
the same time, some Jews who do find spiritual meaning in the dietary laws
have become frustrated that kosher food production does not always reflect
Amid reports that animals destined to become kosher meat are raised in the
same conditions as their nonkosher counterparts -- along with recent
allegations of abusive labor practices and unsanitary conditions at
Agriprocessors, one of the world's largest kosher slaughterhouses -- some
Jews are re-examining the laws governing what is "fit" to eat. "We are not
in any way changing the traditional meaning of the word 'kosher,' but are
asking, 'What does it mean to be kosher in the 21st century?' " explains
Leah Koenig, editor of jcarrot.org, a blog on Jews, food and contemporary
issues. "Food that's drenched in pesticides or grown with unfairly paid
migrant workers, . . . is that consistent with Jewish values?"
The blog is one of many projects launched by Hazon, a Manhattan group at
the forefront of what it calls a "new Jewish food movement." Since 2004,
Hazon has helped start nine Jewish community- supported agriculture
programs (CSAs) nationwide (and one in Israel), in which individuals buy
shares in a local farm in exchange for a weekly portion of the harvest.
Hazon's second annual Jewish Food Conference next month will feature the
slaughter of a goat to spark discussion about kosher meat.
All of this has met a groundswell of interest among a range of people,
from Modern Orthodox to those who have little other connection to
organized Jewish life. Hazon received 27 applications this year from
Jewish groups wanting to start CSAs.
Rabbi Hillel Norry, whose Conservative Atlanta congregation started a CSA
this spring, says: "For a lot of people kashrut begins to take on more
meaning when it's part of a holistic way of thinking about food." In that
vein, activists in the Conservative movement are working to create a
heksher tzedek, or "justice certification," to assure consumers not only
that food is ritually kosher but that its production met other standards,
Is "ethical eating" a Jewish value? Judaism's sacred texts have much to
say on the treatment of animals, not to mention employees. "The
responsibility for having an appropriate work environment -- from hours to
pay schedule -- are part and parcel of Jewish tradition as much as the
laws of kashrut," says Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of Yeshiva University's
Center for the Jewish Future.
For centuries rabbis and scholars have puzzled over the reasons for
keeping kosher beyond simply that God commanded it. Some have argued that
the laws -- particularly the ban on pork -- were about health, while
others have claimed that kosher slaughter is more humane than other
methods. Religious leaders and scholars today tend to point to kashrut's
effect on keeping Jews from mixing excessively with members of other
religions and on reminding Jews that everyday life is holy.
David Kraemer, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the
author of "Jewish Eating and Identity," says kashrut observance has
historically reflected the times and places where Jews have lived. For
example, while Ashkenazi Jews once waited only one hour between eating
meat and dairy, in 15th- and 16th-century Germany and Poland -- when,
Prof. Kraemer says, Jews were relatively well accepted by the larger
society -- many adopted longer waiting periods to emphasize their piety
Prof. Kraemer applauds the recent efforts to bring ethics into discussions
of kashrut: "If this is who we are, people who care about the source of
our foods and the way animals we consume are treated -- which I think we
do -- then we will generate eating principles that are expressions of our
But Rabbi Avi Shafran, the director of public affairs for the fervently
Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, is concerned that some people are
"subjecting the word 'kosher' to a subtle redefinition." "There may be a
plethora of considerations people can, or even should, take into account
when buying their food," Rabbi Shafran wrote in an email. "But kashrut is
determined by the Torah's ritual laws, and is not dependent on whether
factory workers were unionized, an animal was hoisted or pesticide traces
are above or below a certain parts-per-million measurement."
Jack Wertheimer, a professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish
Theological Seminary, supports the effort to bring together "an
early-21st-century sensibility with a commitment on the part of some, at
least, to a far larger tradition of observance." But he wonders whether
all those aligned with the new food movement are actually committed to
kosher dietary laws as "a set of commandments that comes from outside of
us and doesn't always have a rational explanation immediately available to
us yet nonetheless we observe."
Not surprisingly, many officials in the kosher foods industry prefer to
stick to a narrow definition. Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Kashrut
Division of the Orthodox Union, the largest kosher certification agency in
the U.S., says matters of health, safety and workplace conduct are "not
trivial," but their enforcement is better left in the hands of federal and
Atlanta's Rabbi Norry disagrees: "Kashrut has got to mean more than a
symbol on a package."
Ms. Wiener is a columnist for the Jewish Week.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
11/22/2007 11:10:00 AM
Rightist wakeup call
Left has stuck to false agenda for many years; new rightist party aims to
counter flawed policy
I wanted to write a few words in support of the establishment of .HaTikva.
(the hope), a Zionist national party, and respond to all the critics who
argue against another apparent split in the .National Camp.. There is no
such thing. Forget about these mantras.
Leftists have an agenda. An erroneous, false, and deceptive one. But they
have been pursuing it for many years. At first they were marginal, and
only very few of them dared as much as mention the phrase .Palestinian
state.. However, today, unfortunately or regrettably, they managed to
bequeath their theory to American government institutions as well.
The National Camp, as it is being referred to erroneously, lacks the
determination of the leftist public. All we see there are a bunch of
pompous, egotistical politicians overcome by baseless self-importance and
lacking any clear ideology. They have already proved that a government
seat means more than anything to them.
This is how Benjamin Netanyahu and Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom
conducted themselves when Ariel Sharon led the process of expulsion from
Gush Katif and northern Samaria, and this is how the members of Rabbi
Ovadia Yosef.s court conducted themselves. Today, this is how Israel Our
Home leader Avigdor Lieberman conducts himself.
Therefore, when something bad is threatening the Jewish people.s national
home, we must speak out with full force, without thinking about all sorts
of considerations . and serve as a mouthpiece to the hundreds of thousands
of secular Israelis residing in large cities who did not hit the polls in
the last elections, or to those who expressed their disgust with the
corruption that has taken over the Likud Central Committee by voting for
the Pensioners. Party, for example.
David Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel, which
was defined as a Jewish state (a phrase that appears several times in the
Declaration of Independence) almost 60 years ago. When we heard Shimon
Peres, his loyal and trusted student, delivering a speech in his memory at
his gravesite, it was difficult not to feel that something fundamental,
irreversible, went wrong with us.
Perhaps this is not a complete or cohesive explanation, but this is the
reason why many members of the National Camp feel .homeless.. They do not
hear the politicians raising an outcry and heading to the town square in
order to tear their clothes in mourning. They also remember how Benjamin
Netanyahu, the current head of opposition, conducted himself when he was
prime minister. Indeed, Ehud Olmert can calmly travel to a God forsaken
town on the Eastern Coast of the US and trade in Israeli land.
Nobody believes in land-for-peace formula
It.s apparently difficult to draw the masses sitting in their bubbles and
feeling secure, with Qassam rockets only landing in Sderot and the
outskirts of Ashkelon, for the time being. Yet the big explosion shall
come. The residents of Kfar Saba, for example, should imagine what will
happen in their town once the West Bank town of Qalqiliya is handed over
to the Palestinians, or what will happen to airplanes at Ben Gurion
International Airport after the hills to the east of it will be populated
by rocket launchers.
After all, nobody really believes that handing over additional
.territories. would bring the long-awaited peace.
I, a native of Tel Aviv, a secular Israeli scared of what.s to come, am
offering my support to the establishment of the new party in order to try
and wake up the people and convey the anxiety that I.m feeling at this
The Oslo agreements were put into action, and we know how that ended. I
cried out against Yasser Arafat.s arrival to the Gaza Strip, and I failed.
I sought to prevent the escape from southern Lebanon, and failed there
too. I cried out against the .disengagement. . and again nobody listened.
How long will we keep on being right? Until there is no longer a way back?
2. A Leftist on Leftist Anti-Semitism:
3. Kramer responds to Liberuh hack:
4. Fight Occupation! Make sure no anti-Zionists get any benefits
from this breakthrough, lest they be regarded as collaboration with
5. So maybe he can get tenure now at Ben Gurion University!:
6. A year without Milton Friedman:
7. Palestinian Aggressors:
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
11/21/2007 12:55:00 PM
1. Treason du jour - Israeli leftists join British anti-Semites in
calling for Israel's annihilation:http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/926542.html
2. Blushing for the Jewish State . the Disgrace of Judt:
3. Norman Finkelstein - not ONLY a Neo-Nazi! (by Dersh)
4. More on Moonbrits:
5. Yeah, that should work well:
see also http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3473946,00.html
6. Ilan Pappe shills for PFLP terrorists:
Danish trial to decide PFLP and solidarity activist rights
By Ron Ridenour
Nov 18, 2007, 07:03
.If the Copenhagen City Court determines that the PFLP is a liberationist
organization it could have a positive impact for a peaceful solution to
Israeli-Palestine conflict and worldwide,. summarized Israeli historian
Pape, a defense witness for seven .Fighter and Lovers. solidarity
charged with abetting terrorism by selling t-shirts with PFLP and FARC
insignias. The police confiscated proceeds, which would have gone to media
projects for these groups.
Pape gave testimony during the resumed trial sessions, November 14-16, in
Copenhagen. The professor of the Arab-Israeli conflict for 25 years
moved from his teaching job at Hafa University to head the history
department at England.s Exeter University. Son of immigrant German Jews,
Pape has lived his entire life in Hafa.
Pape outlined the history since the state of Israeli was established in
1948. He said that Israel has systematically ignored and violated the UN
Charter, the Geneva Convention, and hundreds of UN resolutions ever since.
This gives the Palestinian people legal right to defend themselves and
for their sovereignty.
Israeli has forcefully expelled two-thirds of the Palestine population
their lands and occupied 92% of what was their country. It currently
imprisons over 10,000 Palestinians, has murdered several thousands more,
addition to frequently torturing Palestinians. It denies Palestinian
detainees the same civil rights of trial and defense as is granted
.The West Bank is now encircled by a wall higher than the Berlin Wall, all
against international law and condemned by the International Haag Court,
2004,. said Pape.
.Former President Jimmy Carter describes Israeli as employing apartheid.
Nelsen Mandela stated that what it does is, in some ways, worse than what
South Africa.s white regime did..
In the first years of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
1967 to 1974, it did employ the use of terror, Pape said, but has since
ceased this policy. Attacking armed civilians who illegal occupy
territory is a legitimate act of defense, he maintained, as are attacks
Pape testified that the PFLP is not a terrorist organization rather a
legitimate armed and political liberation group..a very important part of
Palestinian.s lives and political process..
.It is often impossible to divide the military from civilians as they
operate so closely together, especially in the illegal settlements,. he
.It is Israeli that is illegal. If it did recognize international law, it
could not occupy Palestinian lands granted them by the UN. Israel has
systematically destroyed over 12,000 Palestinians homes. Its objective is
take over the entire country. But the PFLP recognizes the rights of two
The defense introduced documentation showing that the PFLP has
on military targets throughout this century. It ceased using car bombings
2001, recognizing them to be imprecise and a cause of harm to innocent
civilians. PFLP also builds and runs social programs where Palestinians
live, and participates in local and national elections.
In October 2005, the PFLP won 50 seats on local councils, and later that
year won 4% of the votes in the legislative council election, giving it
three seats. It is the third largest parliamentary party after Hamas and
Ole Sippel, a Danish television journalist with 40 years experience in the
field, many of them in Israel-Palestine and throughout the Middle East,
testified for the defense.
.The occupied settlements are a main cause of the increased violence.
are 140 settlements now in and around the West Bank. Many of these
are in the army reserves, are well armed and often conduct unprovoked
attacks upon Palestinians. The military protects them but not the
Palestinians,. Sippel said.
Sippel knows many members and leaders of the PFLP.
.PFLP does not use terror as an integrated policy. It answers in kind to
Israeli liquidation of Palestinian leaders,. he said, in answer to the
Israeli accusation that it was a terrorist act when PFLP liquidated its
tourist minister, Rehawam Zeevi, on October 17, 2001.
PFLP chose Zeevi because he was a key member of the Israeli cabinet and
co-responsible for security forces. illegal and brutal attacks upon
Palestinians. It was also an act of revenge for Israel.s assassination.two
months before.of PFLP general secretary, Abu Ali Mustafa, who had recently
replaced its ailing founder, George Habash.
Israel arrested four PFLP members in connection with Zeevi.s death. US and
UK forces took them to a jail in Jericho. In March, 2006, Israel.s
attacked the jail and kidnapped the four.
The state.s case
Once again state.s attorney Lone Damgaard chose not to cross-examine the
defense witnesses, part of a .tactic., she said.
Her witness, Reuven Paz, was employed from 1971 to 1994 by Israeli General
Security Service, both as a researcher and with 17 years in the field. He
has since started his own research consulting firm specializing on Middle
The Israeli human rights organization, Btselem, and Amnesty International
criticize the IGSS for using torture in interrogation of Palestinian
Paz read his statement, in which he characterized PFLP as a terrorist
organization. Much of his testimony concerned its hijackings in its early
years, which it ceased in 1974. Most civilians killed since were armed
settlers in the illegally occupied territories, although Paz considered
these killings as terrorist acts.
Paz admitted that, unlike other Palestinians resistance groups, or, in his
words, terrorist organizations, the PFLP is secular and is not financed by
other countries or outside groups.
On cross-examination, Paz conceded that PFLP central command members
denounce the use of suicide bombings, of which a handful has occurred by
young PFLP members acting on their own.
Defense attorney Torkil Hoeyer asked Paz to explain why Israel is willing
negotiate and cooperate with Fatah.which forms part of the PLO alongside
PFLP.even though it is also characterized by Israel and the EU as a
.I don.t know,. he replied. Nor did the Middle East affairs expert know or
remember if Israel violated basic human rights and civil liberties of
.I am not an expert on international law.The United Nations works out of
political interests,. implying that Israel need not abide by it or the
Tomorrow, the Copenhagen City Court will hear a Danish intelligence police
and army analyst report on the PFLP. His testimony will be held behind
closed doors but will later be read to the interested public and media.
three-panel court should render a verdict later tomorrow.
8. Martin Kramer upsets the Asslibs:
9. Challenging the Cult of St Yitz:
10. Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran!:
11. Call MTV!: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3473827,00.html
Monday, November 19, 2007
11/19/2007 10:45:00 AM
1. Today's Campus Treason, from Israel:
An Arab lecturer in the Sapir College expels reserve soldier from class
he came in the military uniform:
Arab lecturer refuses to teach reservist
Student wearing IDF uniform arrives at Sapir College following long army
reserve service, ordered to leave classroom. Students say lecturer told
reservist, 'I don.t teach soldiers, policemen and officers in uniform'
A cinematography student at the Sapir College, who entered his classroom
wearing an IDF uniform, was ordered to leave by the lecturer.
First Lieutenant (res.) Eyal Cohen, an intelligence officer, arrived at
his college in southern Israel this week following a long and exhausting
army reserve service. He did not expect the welcome he got.
"He entered the classroom and was stopped by the Arab lecturer, who
refused to let him in," a student at the college recalled. "The lecturer
told him, 'I do not teach soldiers, policemen and officers in uniform.' He
was pretty shocked."
Cohen refused to leave the classroom and tried to protest the order, but
the lecturer did not let him talk. "Eyal sat down and refused to leave the
classroom," the soldier's friends said.
"The lecturer was unhappy with Cohen's presence at the lesson and kept on
making remarks like 'yes, commander' and talking negatively about the IDF,
while staring at him."
According to the other students, when Cohen tried to say something, the
lecturer interrupted him and said, "I told you I do not teach officers and
soldiers. Next time, come to class in civil clothes and I will give you 10
minutes to talk."
Cohen was angered both by the lecturer's remarks and by the fact that the
other students kept silent and failed to protest or leave the classroom.
"I thought that in such a situation the students should have left. I was
quite surprised when no one said anything or did anything about it," the
soldier told his friends after the lesson. According to the friends, Cohen
was agitated and said that he would not ignore the incident.
Cohen's friends said that they were not surprised by the lecturer's
"This is a lecturer who expresses similar opinions during the classes. He
has referred to the IDF as the army of occupation and does not speak
positively about the IDF. This time, however, is seems that a red line has
been crossed and the college must deal with it."
According to the friends, Cohen sought to file a complaint but did not
want to have the lecturer fired. "He only wants the lecturer to understand
the norms in a place where quite a few reserve soldiers study."
The Sapir College said in response that the management had received an
anonymous letter against the lecturer. "The lecturer is out of the country
at the moment. When he returns we will clarify the details of the incident
and issue an official response," a college official said.
The head of Sapir College is Prof. Zev Tzahor, whose fax is
His email is firstname.lastname@example.org
2. An interesting legal case:
Man cleared of causing suicide of prof who wrote of 'Jewish conspiracy'
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg Thursday acquitted an
Austrian journalist of "causing the suicide" of a German professor who
claimed that the Jews declared war on Germany in 1933. The ruling was
handed down in a complicated case involving freedom of speech, libel and
The court found in favor of veteran journalist Karl Pfeifer, ruling that
Austrian courts failed to protect Pfeifer's good name. The court ordered
the Austrian government to pay Pfeifer 5,000 euros in damages and 10,000
euros in court costs.
The verdict states that the Austrian courts violated article 8 of the
European Convention on Human Rights - the right to a private life. The
court was not convinced that the reasons put forward by the lower Austrian
courts concerning freedom of expression outweighed the right of the
applicant to have his reputation safeguarded.
In 1995, a German professor, Dr. Werner Pfeifenberger, published an
article about the "Jewish conspiracy," beginning with the 1789 French
Revolution. He claimed that the Jews declared war on Germany in 1933.
Pfeifer, who edited the Austrian Jewish community newspaper, responded
with an article in which he accused the German professor of underrating
the crimes of the Nazi regime.
Pfeifenberger sued Pfeifer for libel. Two lower appeals courts and a high
appeals court rejected Pfeifenberger's lawsuit in 1997 and 1998, ruling
that Pfeifer expressed an important opinion, based on facts. Five years
later, in 2000, the Austrian attorney general decided to charge
Pfeifenberger whose article, the indictment alleged, violated the law
prohibiting Nazi activity. Shortly thereafter, Pfeifenberger committed
In June 2000, right-wing weekly Zur Zeit - which receives hundreds of
thousands of euros in aid from the Austrian government - published an
article condemning the "Jewish journalist Karl Pfeifer" for conducting a
"manhunt" and accusing him of causing the suicide of the "Catholic
Editor Andreas Moelzer also sent a letter to subscribers accusing a gang
of "anti-fascists" of conducting a campaign against the newspaper and
again stating that the "Jewish journalist" Pfeiffer was part of the
"hunt". Moelzer is a member of the European parliament and active in a
In 2001 and 2002, Pfeifer sued Zur Zeit for libel and its editor for
slander and defamation of character. A Viennese court ruled in Pfeifer's
favor. However, the weekly and its editor appealed the verdict and a
higher court overturned that ruling in 2002. A judge at Austria's highest
appeals court, Doris Trieb, ruled that Pfeifer had "moral" responsibility
for Pfeifenberger's suicide. In 2003, Pfeifer appealed to the European
court against the Austrian courts and government.
Pfeifer told Haaretz Thursday after his victory that "it was hard enough
to stand three years in Austrian courts because I did not believe that
'the Jews declared war in 1933 on Germany.' But then to see Dr. Trieb
point her finger at me and accuse me of being responsible 'only morally'
for a man's suicide was even harder.
"Of course, this was also absurd. How could I have 'hunted' a man to his
death five years after a review I published in 1995? I am happy that I am
not at the mercy of Austrian justice. The fact remains that the
anti-Semitic rag Zur Zeit is subsidized by the Austrian government and the
Afterword . the same Pfeifer was one of the people who helped expose the
libel and lies invented by Ilan Pappe and his student Teddy Katz at the
Univeristy of Haifa, about an imaginary "massacre" of Arabs at Tantura by
the Hagana. Had the same case been filed in the Nazareth court with an
anti-Semitic jihadite judge, the result of the trial would have been
different. -- SP
3. More on Ron Paul's dubious connections:
4. End the Illegal Occupation:
5. Egyptian Hatred:
6. Let us hope they are correct:
Friday, November 16, 2007
11/16/2007 01:03:00 PM
1. The Left's First Amendment strikes again!
The Left wants to suppress freedom of speech by regulating "talkbacks"
because most talkbacks in Israel are from people who hate the Left:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3471837,00.html
2. Let's have a real right of return! Return Jewish property!
3. Daniel Friedman is the only man of integrity in the Israeli
4. Middle East Studies Association suppresses Middle East Studies:
5. Michael Oren: http://phoenix.swarthmore.edu/2007-11-15/news/17675
6. A Clear Perspective on Conflict
"Lessons from the Palestinian .War' against Israel," Policy Focus No. 64,
by Moshe Yaalon, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2007, 35 pp.
Reviewed by Asaf Romirowsky
7. Ron Paul is running for President. Please read:
Note the gaggle of Neo-Nazis and conspiracy nuts with which he is
associated. One might even say he is the Chamishite candidate for
President. Think that is out of line? Well, note that one of the people
mentioned in the article about Ron Paul, one David Ben Ariel, is cited
there from a posting of his on a malicious Neo-Nazi web site
(Libertypost). David Ben Ariel, despite his name, is a Christian
evangelist and one of the four or five remaining followers of Barry
Chamish! He runs a web site called http://yitzhakrabin.blogspot.com,
devoted to promoting Chamish's "theories." Another word for a Chamish
theory is - a lie.
8. The al Durah blood libel
Wednesday, 14th November 2007