Monday, May 30, 2011
5/30/2011 11:12:00 AM
One Day in the Life of an Israeli Hospital
Posted By Steven Plaut On May 30, 2011
The Bash-Israel Lobby has now become a large choir of totalitarian
chanting about supposed Israeli "apartheid." Western campuses are
filled with the hate fests of "Israel Apartheid Week." Friends of
Israel attempt to engage the bigots in debate, attempt to challenge
their claims. Statistics are ladled out. Facts are cited,
documentation is presented. But the libels about Israeli "Apartheid"
are notoriously resistant to facts and truth, like mutant bacteria
that resist antibiotics. Anyone who knows anything at all about the
Middle East understands that Israel is the only country in the region
that is not an apartheid regime.
I must say that I find the "debates" about Israeli "apartheid" to be
boring and wearying. Instead, I would like to offer a simple window
into life in Israel and into Arab-Jewish relations inside Israel. It
is based on the routine inside an Israeli hospital, where I had the
"opportunity" to spend some time recently.
Apartheid? Make up your own mind.
Obviously, this is a country that has no shortage of world-class
Jewish medical doctors. The chief physician in my department in the
hospital is an Israeli Arab. He did not get his position out of any
gesture of "affirmative action," but rather simply because he is
immensely qualified. He leads a team of medical doctors that include
Jews and Arabs, as well as similar teams of nurses and other
personnel. My personal doctor in the ward is a young Arab. Russian
is the third most common language in the ward, after Hebrew and
Arabic; many of the best physicians of the one-time Soviet Union moved
long ago to Israel.
I notice that many of the younger Arab doctors have picked up basic
Russian. Many of them have additional academic degrees, like an MPH,
besides their MD. Among the medical students doing shifts in the ward
are a small but notable number of Ethiopian Jewish women,
first-generation Israelis. An Arab woman student is doing the ECG
checkups in the emergency room. As she finishes checking me, I ask
her if the machine can tell whether I am in love, and this has her
giggling. A young Arab from Haifa is working in the ward as a
volunteer. He just graduated from the highly prestigious Arab
Orthodox (as in Greek Orthodox) high school in Haifa and is building
up his resume as a volunteer to help him get into med school.
I think the most notable feature of life in the hospital ward is the
ready and cordial mingling and socializing of everyone, Jews and
Arabs, religious and secular, recent immigrants with old-timers, the
well-off with the poor. The socializing is not some sort of "social
engineering" program initiative, but simply occurs spontaneously and
naturally. Patient family members chat amongst themselves, comparing
patient histories, offering health tips and advice, suggestions,
information about tests and doctors, share foods, assisting one
another. Anyone who spends more than 3 minutes with the patients and
their families sheds any delusions about any imaginary Israeli
"apartheid." There are no politics on the floor of the hospital
"We will call the orderly to wheel you back to the ward," says the
Xray technician. "No need," says the elderly Arab man just behind me
in line, I will push him back, and we will swap stories along the way.
The odor of strong coffee sneaks into my room. I follow it in a
semi-trance to the eating area across the hallway. A large Druse
family is sitting there, and has brought their own coffee in a large
"finjan" coffee pot from the village. The smell of your coffee is
already restoring my health and strength, I tell them, and they insist
that I sit with them and share a few cups, a bit mystified by my
bizarre American accent, especially when I try to say a few words in
No one initiates the mingling and mutual support. Even though in
ordinary life Jews and Arabs usually move in different social circles,
as indeed do subgroups of Jews and subgroups of Arabs, they find
nothing strange about being thrust together in the hospital ward.
This may be the most difficult part of life in the Middle East to
explain to outsiders. All of the passions and politics and political
conflict are part of everyday life in Israel. I doubt that anyone,
Jew or Arab, changes his or her political notions and loyalties one
iota by spending days or weeks mingling socially. They will leave
with the same ideological orientations they held before coming to the
Probably the hardest notion of all to explain is that the Middle East
conflict has nothing at all to do with "getting to know the 'Other'"
or establishing personal social ties with members of the belligerent
community. As surprising as it sounds, there is no "alienation" or
unfamiliarity with the "Other" in Israel. It is apparent from the
first moment in the ward. Israeli Jews and Arabs are actually
enormously familiar with one another, which is why they mingle so
easily in the "artificial" and alien environment of the hospital ward.
They already know the "Other" quite well. I am told there is even
more intense mingling among families in the children's ward, but I
simply cannot bring myself to enter the ward to see for myself. I
find it too draining emotionally. I can cope with sick adults, no
matter how seriously sick, and have even visited people in the worst
psychiatric wards, but I am just too weak to come to terms with a ward
of sick children.
The presumption that unfamiliarity is what lies behind political
belligerence is a Western prejudice and is simply wrong. Most Israeli
Jews know some basic Arabic, and Israeli Arabs are so thoroughly
immersed in Israeli culture that when chatting amongst themselves it
is rare for them to complete an entire sentence without Hebrew words
and terms being interjected, when they convey an idea better than the
parallel word in Arabic.
There are decidedly different "cultures" of hospital visiting among
the different groups. Ashkenazi Jewish families tend to come in small
numbers, stay for short visits, and speak in near whispers. Rural
Arabs tend to arrive in large numbers, almost the whole village
showing up to entertain the patient in near festival tones. Druse
also come in large numbers, but tend to divide themselves into shifts,
with one team entering the patient's room as the previous team is
There are even more clear differences in the "hospital culture of
food" among the different groups. Arabs and Druse arrive with large
picnic coolers of home-made food from their towns and villages. It
goes without saying that their patients should eat home-cooked and not
the pathetic excuse for food that the hospitals wards serve up.
Invariably the supplies from home include the delightful "finjan"
filled with indescribably delicious coffee. The families invite
roommates of their sick to share.
Down in the lobby is an espresso bar. It is filled with Ashkenazi
yuppie families. There is a Middle East grill where the Sephardic
families hang out, and it is also my favorite source for lunch. There
are some fast-food joints where teenagers, Jews and Arabs, tend to
hang out. Older Arabs however prefer to hang out in the cafeteria
eating what they have brought from home, or in small gardens scattered
among the hospital buildings.
In a previous hospitalization 11 years ago, I spent the week next to
an elderly Bedouin who had been a legendary police "scout" in Israel,
solving crimes and exercising near-supernatural powers of forensics.
After leaving the hospital I published a book in large part about his
life and about Bedouins in northern Israel, "The Scout." Our
families have remained on warm terms since our ordeals.
It is all really the diametric opposite of that old mafia cliché about
it being business and not personal. Politics, war, ideology – in the
Middle East those are all "business." But there is no room for
business on the hospital ward. To the contrary, everything is
"personal." Relations go well beyond the "correct" to being truly
amicable. Such cordiality does not change the background
political-national-religious conflict, that which has been ongoing for
so many decades. Here is where one begins to understand the Middle
East. Do stays of intimate socializing at the personal level in the
hospital ward change loyalties, political affinities, ideological
passions for those involved when they depart? Not in the least. This
is the fundamental "contradiction" that underlies everything in this
Consider the following. The Wall Street Journal on May 25, 2011
reported this story: "A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka
Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over
half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the
woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic.
One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt.
Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her
Nothing in that news report really contradicts anything in my above
descriptions of life in the Israeli hospital ward. It is a pair of
ideas about which one needs to wrap one's mind. It is only when one
can digest both that one begins to understand Israel.
This is also the reality of life and of Arab-Jewish relations in the
Israel that is being increasingly demonized by bigots, anti-Semites
and Israel-bashers as an "apartheid" regime. I would say that a week
in an Israeli hospital is just what could cure such people of their
"ideas," but on second thought they would emerge with their hate and
bias intact. Israel's own radical leftists get sick as often as
other Israelis and are just as aware of the Jewish-Arab relations of
the hospital ward. They too ignore the reality to denounce their own
country falsely as "apartheid," because they are driven by hatred of
their country and desire for its destruction.
Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com
URL to article:
2. The Phantom of the Ephemera
By Steven Plaut
Reb Shunra quietly slips by my hospital room. He peaks inside
with his long grey whiskers. He regularly checks in on me, to see how
I am doing.
I suppose I should come clean right up front. Reb Shunra is a
cat. He lives on the walkways and scaffolding outside the windows of
the hospital ward on the top floor of Rambam Hospital. Being the top
floor, the windows are bolted so they cannot open more than a few
inches. So humans cannot slip outside to the realm of walkways, the
exclusive domain of Reb Shunra. He hops up on the window sills of
hospital rooms from outside, to check on his patients, happily
accepting any food scraps offered through the open window slots. No
one knows how long he has lived out there, but it looks like many
I have a secret theory about him. But you will have to have seen
the Phantom of the Opera to appreciate it, or perhaps to have read the
original book by Gaston Leroux, or seen the movie. There, briefly,
the "phantom of the opera" is Eric, who secretly controls the Opera
House, stalking about in its upper caverns and walkways. He allows
the opera house managers downstairs to delude themselves into
believing that they are really in charge. He keeps himself hidden
from most people, while moving about the scaffolding and secret
Rambam Hospital in Haifa is named after the extraordinary
medieval Rabbi, philosopher and medical doctor, Maimonides, Moses the
son of Maimon. It might be the only hospital on earth named for a
philosopher. The lobby of the hospital features exhibits with copies
of some of the original medical tracts written by the Rambam and
exhibits of some of his herb medicines. The main building of the
hospital is nine stories high.
Maimonides continues to exercise a hypnotic influence over the
modern mind. I think that a new book about him comes out every month
in Israel. A current bestseller is titled, "The Secrets of the Guide
to the Perplexed." It is written by Dr. Micah Goodman, a researcher
at the Hebrew University. It is a modern and fascinating analysis of
"The Guide," perhaps the most challenging and difficult text ever
written by the Rambam. Published in Arabic, "The Guide" was also one
of the most important philosophical tracts ever written.
* * * *
I am not sure what the very worst day of my life was, but I have
no doubt whatsoever which day was the very best day in my life. It
has no challenger day with which it has to compete. And it took place
five floors below. That is the Rambam Hospital floor with the
delivery rooms. And it was there that I became a father. Selecting
the happiest day of my life is easy for me, because that was it. I
confess I was a bit apprehensive that day. Before this, I was worried
about how I would adapt and behave and cope as a father. After all, I
tended to be impatient and distant from the very young children of
others, relating to them with difficulty.
But of course, that was all hogwash. The first day or two I was
afraid to pick up my baby daughter, afraid she might break, because
she was so small. But when I at last summoned up the courage, I
instantly fell in love with her and with being a father. I have never
found any other pleasure in life that could compare with it.
Now in the ward up on the top floor, I try to relive those
moments as I slip in and out of naps. Breakfast and lunch trays up
here are reasonable, but the dinner tray contains things only Reb
Shunra finds appetizing.
Opening my eyes I am overjoyed to see Reb Shunra at the window.
How amusing that the hospital management thinks that they are in
charge of what happens here, I ponder. They do not realize that the
phantom calling all the shots is prowling about the scaffolding
outside the rooms of the top floor. And he is a secret medical plan,
in and of himself. Every patient that he visits is forced to smile
and feels a little better, a little stronger. His services are not
even listed in the health insurance policies or the hospital
directory. He comes and goes as he pleases. He reveals his true face
only to a select few of the patients.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
5/29/2011 11:15:00 AM
1. Ah the poor, poor Israeli Radical Left. After working for years
for a world boycott of Israel in order to coerce the country into
ignoring Israeli voters and accepting the political platform of
Israel's Communist Party, suddenly some prominent Israeli Literary
Leftists are the targets of boycotts by anti-Semites. And that just
should not be, the Leftists are mooing. After all, THESE are OUR
people! These are writers who, like us, endorse capitulation by
Israel to Arab demands!
In particular, the Left is aghast that books by Amos Oz are to be
included in lists of books banned by groups in Scotland in retaliation
for Israeli "apartheid." See this report on that from the British
But OZ is a GOOD Israeli, whine the leftists. We all want to boycott
the EVIL Israelis, like Ariel University professors and students and
people who cross the Green Line illegally to pray at the Western Wall,
but surely NOT nice people like the Scarecrow of Oz. So the Left is
now calling on the Scottish anti-Semites to fix their boycott lists
and stop the ban on Oz.
2. This is a hilarious story of an Israeli ultra-treasonous leftist
group whining about the "intellectual terrorism" of Israel's "Monitor"
web sites that track and expose anti-Israel activism:
Some NGO called the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and
Information just sent out a frantic fundraising letter, which reads in
Dear Friends of IPCRI
The financial situation for the entire peace community in Israel and
Palestine is become increasingly difficult. Traditional supporters
such as European governments and Foundations are being frightened away
from funding these activities because of the aggressive work of groups
like Im Tirtzu which try to intimidate organizations such as the New
Israel Fund and its supporters, and from the intellectual terrorism of
the NGO Monitor which frightens donors to shy away and even completely
cease the funding of Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights
Boy, where to begin?
First, the degree to which "the" NGO Monitor is indeed influencing the
EU to reconsider their funding of radical NGOs who, far from promoting
peace, routinely go well beyond their "humanitarian" mandate to engage
in highly politicized campaigns to delegitimize and isolate the state
of Israel is a cause for celebration – as accountability, the last
time I checked, was still considered to be a progressive notion.
Also, its interesting how thin-skinned such groups are: large,
wealthy, and powerful (EU funded) NGOs who apparently feel
"intimidated" by one small watchdog group working to hold them
accountable by engaging in such insidious tactics as releasing long,
dry, well-researched, and generously footnoted monographs and, even on
occasion, a sharply worded press release!
Let there be no doubt, Gerald Steinberg's academic 'reign of terror'
is a chilling and ominous development, one which has evidently caused
a profound and palpable sense of fear across the land.
(Also, don't forget to purchase your "intellectual terrorism" gear, here)
3. The Cabbagehead president of Ben Gurion University, Rivka Carmi,
has an article in the Jerusalem Post today complaining about the evil
"Monitoring" web sites that track and expose anti-Israel extremism
among Israeli faculty members. I wonder whom she has in mind. In the
same piece, she ends up defending the Neve Gordons of her campus:
BGU President Rivka Carmi Hysterically Attacks groups that "Monitor"
anti-Israel Faculty Members in Israel
Defends the Neve Gordons as "Critical thinking and alternative perspectives"
Defends anti-Israel NGOs as "human rights watchdogs"
The truth is that these monitoring groups claim to be motivated by a
love of Israel, but in fact they have a clear political agenda which
they are willing to advance using the age-old method of blackmail.
Either Israeli universities accept their conditions and "remove" those
people with whom they disagree, or they will encourage donors to cut
These are the kinds of attacks that do not allow for critical thinking
or alternate perspectives, and have created an atmosphere in Israel
today such that pro-human rights groups are being dismissed as
"anti-Zionist," only adding to the polarization of Israeli society.
4. Commentary Magazine this month runs a remarkable expose of
"B'tselem," the extremist anti-Israel NGO posing as a "human rights
watchdog." Written by Noah Pollak, the report is a must read. It is
a bit too long to post here, but you can read it in full for free
5. It goes without saying that one always has to be skeptical of any
"news" reported in Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper published in
Hebrew. The anti-Israel political bias oozes from every page of the
"newspaper." In a weekend story about the 1948 battle between Jews
and Arabs for control of Haifa, the "newspaper," to my amusement,
contained a sentence saying something like SO-and-so claims that the
Jews in Haifa were the victims, in contradiction to the widely
accepted perception that the Jews were the aggressors. Widely
accepted perception? Well, among Haaretz writers, it really IS!
Anyhow, my point is that just because something is reported in
Haaretz, we should be cautious in dismissing that story automatically
as being false.
Which brings me to the story of the Israeli police Taser-ing leftist
violent hoodlums holding anti-Jewish "demonstrations" in Jerusalem,
leftist thugs attacking police and breaking the law. Yes, I agree
that nothing with political implications reported in Haaretz can be
automatically believed. But I am hoping so hard, hoping and hoping,
that THIS story is accurate.
Read it here:
Police use tasers against J'lem demonstrators
The activists accused police of using excessive violence and of
allowing settlers to abuse them after they were detained.
Jerusalem police said in a statement that the protesters tried to get
into the neighborhood. They then blocked the entrance, police said,
and were forcibly dispersed. According to police, the taser was only
used after a protester attacked a police officer.
Aryeh King said in response that "a group of miscreants trespassed on
private property, blocked a road and held an illegal demonstration."
"The ones with the flag were trespassing on private property without
permission," he said. King denied that the detainees faced any abuse
following their arrest.
"I personally offered and gave cold water to those who were detained," he said.
T is for the toughness we so yearned for
A is for the afterglow we feel
S is for the satisfying glimmer
E is for the elegance it speaks
R is for the rectitude of electrodes
Put them all together and they spell TASER!
Yes, TTTAAASSSEEERRRRR!!! TASER, my darling! Taser, my dear!
6. And yet another reason for celebration:
7. Middle East Tutorial:
Saturday, May 28, 2011
5/28/2011 09:32:00 PM
The "Nakba" Debunked
By Steven Plaut
The world media are filled with Goebbels-style Big Lies about the
"Nakba," the supposed "catastrophe" and "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs
when Israel was created in 1948.
But now an interesting source has come along to debunk this massive
campaign of lies and disinformation.
Consider the following citation, emphasis added: "The Arab armies
seemingly entered Palestine (in 1948) to protect the Palestinians from
the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, FORCED THEM TO
EMIGRATE AND TO LEAVE THEIR HOMELAND, imposed upon them a political
and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the
ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe, as if we
were condemned to change places with them. The Arab States succeeded
in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity."
Ok, current events students, name the source for that quote!
The answer is … (drumroll) … Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), the
"President" of the Palestinian Authority, who wrote this in an article
in the Beirut magazine Falastin el-Thawra, in March 1976. (Item cited
in the weekly column by Ben Dror Yemini in Maariv, May 27, 2011)
And that is not the ONLY useful citation from Abu Mazen, also cited in
the same column by Yemini. It turns out that last week the very same
Abu Mazen had an article in the NY Times, in which he claims to tell
his own personal "Nakba" family story. There he claims that the Jews
expelled the Arabs right after the UN's partition resolution of 1947
(which called for creating two new countries, a Jewish and an Arab
state, in the area of the British Mandate). Abu Mazen also writes
there that he and his family were expelled (from Safed) to Syria and
forced to live there in an old canvass tent.
Well, Ben Dror Yemini does some homework. The UN resolution, first of
all, was in November 1947. The battle for Safed took place in May
1948. Second, Abu Mazen's family in Safed was very wealthy, with more
than enough ready capital to coast along comfortably for quite some
time. But most significantly, Abu Mazen's family went to Jordan, not
to Syria. Only much later did they move to Damascus. In addition,
Safed Arabs fled in large part in 1948 because they were expecting
retaliation for the pogroms they themselves had launched against the
Jews of the city in 1929.
And just who is the source for claiming that Abu Mazen was lying
through his fangs in that NY Times piece?
Why, none other than Anu Mazen himself, again! In 2009 he gave an
interview to the Palestinian Authority TV channel, telling about his
family's wealth and their move to Jordan.
Oh, and the same week, Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper published
in Hebrew, quotes one Ismail Fahr a-Din from the Golan Druse village
of Majdal Shams as claiming to remember very clearly the Palestinian
refugees arriving in that town (back then still under Syrian
occupation). Only one itsy bitsy problem though. Turns out the
"witness" is 57 years old and so was born 6 years after Israel's war
More generally, I think that any time anyone suggests that we need to
empathize with the "Nakba" of the "Palestinians" – they should be
directed to contemplating East Prussia.
East Prussia, where in many ways World War II began (in Hitler's
campaign for Danzig), was emptied out near the end of the war, with
hundreds of thousands of Germans fleeing the approaching Red Army and
the impending battles, and with hundreds of thousands more evicted
after the Soviets pushed through East Prussia into Berlin. In all,
1.8 to 2.2 million East Prussians were driven out or fled. That is 4
times the number of "Palestinian refugees" from 1948-49. Parts of
East Prussia were annexed by Russia, the rest being incorporated into
And what about mourning for their "catastrophe?" No one, not even
the worst bleeding heart in the West, has ever believed East Prussians
deserve any sympathy or support or compensation for their "plight."
They were part of the German monstrosity that had launched the war and
they became refugees as a direct result of the crimes and aggressions
of the German people, crimes they most enthusiastically endorsed and
in which they participated. Exactly like the circumstances under
which "Palestinian Arabs" became refugees as a result of launching a
genocidal war of aggression and then losing.
Think the "Palestinians" deserve compassion? Sure, right after the
East Prussians are granted a "Right of Return."
Friday, May 27, 2011
5/27/2011 10:21:00 AM
1. A Simple Peace Plan - Re-Nakba Now!
2. There is a now booklet available that has just come out about
Jewish Anti-Semites in the US and in Israel, especially in academia.
Entitled, "Jewish Enablers of the War against Israel," the 64 page
booklet is written by me and published by the Davir Horowitz Freedom
Center in California. They are selling it for $3 but much less for
bulk orders. I am not sure if there is a postage charge. If you are
interested, you can order copies from
Elizabeth@horowitzfreedomcenter.org and at POB 55089, Sherman Oaks, CA
It is a detailed expose of the worst Jewish anti-Semitic rogues. It
could be very useful for campus activists. If you are not in the US,
you might be able to get them to waive the dollar fee.
3. As usual, the best way to evaluate political developments in
Israel is to watch "Haaretz" Op-Eds and editorials. If they are
hysterical and screaming, something very good must have happened.
And the foaming at the mouth hysteria this week at Haaretz in response
to the Netanyahu speech in Congress says it all. It is amusing
watching the Israeli radical Left spout its "frustration" and
disappointment" over the Netanyahu speech.
To put this into perspective, it must be emphasized that the only
speech that Netanyahu could have given that would NOT be a grave
disappointment for Haaretz and the Left would be if he stood up in
Congress to announce the total capitulation of Israel to all Arab
demands. If Bibi had announced immediate withdrawal to the 1967
borders, expulsion of all Jews from the West Bank, including from
Jerusalem suburbs, turning all of Jerusalem over to the savages,
acceptance of an unlimited Palestinian "right of return," creation of
an Arab parliament inside Israel that has veto power over Knesset
decisions, and a confiscation of 2/3 of the wealth of all Jews in
Israel to be turned over to the "Palestinians" as reparations – only
THIS would be accepted by them as a satisfactory performance. But was
the Left seriously expected Bibi to do all that? If not, then just
what did it find "disappointing"?
4. The notorious anti-Semite Juan Cole from the University of
Michigan will be a keynote speaker at Ben Gurion University in a "show
conference" run while the university Board of Governors is in town,
held June 2, supposedly to speak about Iran.
Just who is Cole?
5. We recently reported that the University of Haifa showed
uncharacteristic good sense when it banned a campus appearance by the
Islamofascist terrorist Sheikh Salah, who runs the Islamist
fundamentalist movement inside Israel. The bloody sheikh, arrested
for his role in the flotilla aggression, was invited by the local Arab
student union. Last year the same sheikh spoke at Haifa U and called
for Arab students to become suicide bombers.
No sooner does the University of Haifa display common sense than Tel
Aviv University does the opposite. The very same Sheikh was invited
by Tel Aviv University and did indeed appear. See this:
'The Sheikh was arrested in February for allegedly damaging and
setting fire to a Eucalyptus forest in Southern Israel. Prior to that
he was released from the Ayalon Prison in Ramla last December after
spending five months behind bars for attacking a policeman. In 2010,
Salah was also arrested after taking part in the calamitous aid
flotilla to Gaza. '
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
5/10/2011 10:41:00 AM
1. GLOBAL VIEW - Wall St Journal
• MAY 10, 2011
From Chomsky to bin Laden
How fitting that Noam Chomsky would waste little time denouncing the
killing of Osama bin Laden as the "political assassination" of an
"unarmed victim" whose complicity in 9/11 remains, in the professor's
mind, very much in doubt. Osama was fond of quoting the MIT sage in
his periodic video messages—Jimmy Carter is another American so
honored—so maybe the eulogy was just a matter of one good turn
Then again, philosophical fellow traveling is always interesting, not
least for what it tells us about ourselves.
In 1946, Martin Heidegger, incomparably the most significant
philosopher of the 20th century, was banned from teaching for five
years at the insistence of occupying French forces. The crime? He had
been a Mitläufer—a "fellow-walker"—of the Nazi Party during its time
in power. He had extolled the "inner truth and greatness of this
movement." He had tormented Jewish professors. True, he had done so
with caveats and reservations, and from a philosophical vantage that
operated according to its own logic, distinct from simple National
Socialism. But he had done it all the same.
Does anyone today doubt that the teaching ban was justified? Most of
us would say that far worse was due the man who lent Adolf Hitler an
aura of intellectual respectability.
Mr. Chomsky is no Martin Heidegger: His contributions to linguistics
and cognitive psychology, considerable as they are, pale next to
Heidegger's contributions to political philosophy. Nor is he a
Heidegger in the sense that he has brought no material harm to anyone,
as Heidegger did to his mentor Edmund Husserl.
Yet when it comes to making excuses for monsters, the two thinkers are
evenly matched. Among the subjects of Mr. Chomsky's solicitude have
been Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson (whom he described as a
"relatively apolitical liberal"), the Khmer Rouge (at the height of
the killing fields), and Hezbollah (whose military-style cap he
cheerfully donned on a visit to Lebanon last year).
As for bin Laden, Mr. Chomsky asks, rhetorically, "how we would be
reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound,
assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.
Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden's."
Ho-hum: Can anyone be surprised anymore by what Mr. Chomsky thinks and
says? Not really. In one of those little ironies of leftist politics,
the author of "Manufacturing Consent" has become a victim of what my
former colleague Tom Frank likes to call "the commodification of
dissent," in which even the most radical ideas come stamped with their
own ISBN number. In the West at least, the marketplace of ideas is
also the great equalizer of ideas, blunting edges that might once have
had the power to wound and kill.
So it is that Mr. Chomsky can be the recipient of over 20 honorary
degrees, including from Harvard, Cambridge and the University of
Chicago. None of these degrees, as far as I know, was conferred for
Mr. Chomsky's political musings, but neither did those musings provoke
any apparent misgivings about the fitness of granting the award. So
Mr. Chomsky is the purveyor of some controversial ideas about this or
that aspect of American power. So what?
Here's what: Dulled (and dull) as Mr. Chomsky's ideas might be in the
West, they remain razors outside of it. "Among the most capable of
those from your side who speak on this topic [the war in Iraq] and on
the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky, who spoke sober
words of advice prior to the war," said bin Laden in 2007. He was
singing the professor's praises again last year, saying "Noam Chomsky
was correct when he compared the U.S. policies to those of the mafia."
These words seem to have been deeply felt. Every wannabe
philosopher—and bin Laden was certainly that—seeks the imprimatur of
someone he supposes to be a real philosopher. Mr. Chomsky could not
furnish bin Laden with a theology, but he did provide an intellectual
architecture for his hatred of the United States. That Mr. Chomsky
speaks from the highest tower of American academe, that he is so
widely feted as the great mind of his generation, that his every
utterance finds a publisher and an audience, could only have sustained
bin Laden in the conceit that his thinking was on a high plane. Maybe
it would have been different if Mr. Chomsky had been dismissed decades
ago for what he is: a two-nickel crank.
Now bin Laden is dead. Yet wherever one goes in the Arab world, one
finds bookstores well-stocked with Chomsky, offering another
generation the same paranoid notions of American policy that mesh so
neatly with an already paranoid political culture.
In 1946 a self-confident West had no trouble demanding that Heidegger
be banned. Ideas, it was understood, had consequences. Today nobody
would dream of banning Mr. Chomsky from anything. Yet ideas have
consequences even today.
2. Bin Laden's One Mistake
by Shmuel Sackett, INN
(Israelnationalnews.com) One thing made Osama bin Laden public enemy #1.
One thing made him a target for Americas hit squad.
One thing and only one thing made his assassination justified and
praised by world leaders.
He didn't just kill Jews.
Had he limited his terrorism to Jews only, he would not have been targeted.
The same world leaders, who today take great pride in his death, would
have celebrated his life.
He would not have been killed by President Obama, he would have dined with him.
He would have been invited to the United Nations.
He would have been a featured speaker on the world speaking tour.
He would have won the Noble peace prize.
Think I'm crazy?
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran. His resume includes a
lot more than just politics. It has been proven that he personally
ordered the attacks against the Jewish community of Argentina where
hundreds of Jews were killed. He has stated time and again that he
wants to destroy Israel. He wants to kill the 6,000,000 Jews
(interesting number) who live there and he is feverishly working to
build a bomb that will do just that.
Has he been targeted?
Is this animal on any one's hit list?
Actually, just the opposite is true.
He recently spoke in the UN.
He was a guest speaker in Columbia University.
Why? Because he is only interested in killing Jews.
Khaled Mashaal is the leader of Hamas.
Hamas is the sworn enemy of Israel.
It has killed over 1,500 Jews in the last 10 years.
It has fired over 5,000 missiles into Israel, aiming for Jewish homes
and hoping to kill Jewish children.
Has he been targeted?
Is this beast on any ones hit list?
Actually, just the opposite is true.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently invited Mashaal to Moscow.
Former USA President Jimmy Carter has embraced Mashaal and considers
him a partner for peace.
Why? Because he is only interested in killing Jews.
Yassir Arafat was the founder and leader of the PLO.
He has more innocent blood on his hands than Osama bin Laden.
Yet, this murderer was invited numerous times to dine with President
Bill and First Lady Hillary Clinton in the White House.
He spoke in the UN.
He was accepted around the world as a leader and spoke in over 30 countries.
He won the Noble Peace Prize.
Why? Because he was only interested in killing Jews.
Although I can go on, I will give just one final example: Adolph Hitler.
The world knew about concentration camps as early as 1933.
The world knew about Kristellnacht back in November of 1938.
Yet, the entire world called this monster; Herr Hitler.
They gave his respect.
They recognized him as a leader.
All that changed when Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939.
From that point on he became an enemy.
Why? Because until that day he was interested in killing Jews only
Osama bin Laden violated the golden rule: In addition to killing just
Jews, he also killed non-Jews. That is why he was targeted and for n
The message to Jews and the State of Israel - is very clear.
Learn to defend yourself.
Learn to take revenge yourself.
The world will not help you with Iran or Hamas.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
5/04/2011 07:06:00 PM
1. Osama's last words: "Oy vey, I need those Navy Seals running
around my home just like I need two more holes in my head!"
2. Thought of the day: Five cheers for waterboarding!
Bin Laden versus Yassin
Op-ed: Hypocritical world that slammed killing of Hamas' Yassin now
lauds bin Laden hit
The flurry of international reactions to the killing of Osama bin
Laden by the American army provides Israel with a great opportunity to
demonstrate the double standards applied against it by so many in the
Western world and elsewhere. All one has to do is compare the
reactions of major institutions and leaders with those after the death
of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. This leader of the Hamas terrorist
organization was killed by Israel in 2004. He was directly responsible
for many lethal attacks on Israeli civilians including suicide
On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that "the
death of Osama bin Laden, announced by President (Barack) Obama last
night, is a watershed moment in our common global fight against
terrorism." Yet after the killing of Sheikh Yassin, then-UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan said "I do condemn the targeted assassination of
Sheikh Yassin and the others who died with him. Such actions are not
only contrary to international law, but they do not do anything to
help the search for a peaceful solution."
The now-defunct UN Commission on Human Rights condemned "the tragic
death of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in contravention of the Hague Convention
IV of 1907." At the Security Council, the US had to use its veto power
to prevent condemnation of Israel.
After the bin Laden killing, the leaders of the European Council and
European Commission stated that his death made the world a safer place
and showed that terrorist attacks do not remain unpunished. Following
the Yassin killing, then-EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said,
"This type of action does not contribute at all to create the
conditions of peace. This is very, very bad news for the peace
process. The policy of the European Union has been consistently
condemnation of extra-judicial killing."
British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated President Obama on
the success of the bin Laden assassination. Cameron considered it a
massive step forward in the fight against extremist terrorism. Former
Prime Minister Tony Blair also welcomed bin Laden's demise.
However, the killing of Sheikh Yassin was called by the then-British
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw "unacceptable" and "unjustified." The
official spokesman of then-Prime Minister Blair condemned the
"unlawful attack" and observed: "We have repeatedly made clear our
opposition to Israel's use of targeted killings and assassinations."
A case of anti-Semitism?
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Bin Laden's killing as a
coup in the fight against terrorism. He called President Obama,
praised his determination and courage and all others who had pursued
the head of al-Qaeda for 10 years. Sarkozy added that the two heads of
state had agreed to continue the just and necessary fight against
terrorist barbarity and those who support it.
Yet after Sheikh Yassin's death, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman,
Herve Ladsous, said, "France condemns the action taken against Sheikh
Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any
extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law." Foreign
Minister Dominique de Villepin declared that "such acts can only feed
the spiral of violence."
German Chancellor Angel Merkel said at a recent press conference, "I'm
glad that killing bin Laden was successful." She also called it "good
news." Then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer had stated after the
killing of Sheikh Yassin that "the German government is deeply
concerned about the development."
Russia released a statement regarding bin Laden which the Voice of
America quoted as saying that retribution inevitably reaches all
terrorists and that Russia is ready to "step up" its coordination in
the international fight against global terrorism." After the Yassin
assassination, a foreign ministry spokesman said that Moscow was
deeply concerned about the situation.
President Abdullah Gul of Turkey declared that the killing of bin
Laden was a message for terrorist organizations all around the world.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called the killing of
Yassin "a terrorist act" and said that "the assassination was not
This comparison gets even more meaningful when seen in the context of
the definition of anti-Semitism as regularly used in the European
Union. It was prepared by one of the EU agencies. It gives examples of
the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the
State of Israel, including the following: "Applying double standards
by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other
Israel could considerably improve its public diplomacy by using the
comparison of the two killings and other comparisons of events which
occur with great frequency to stress such double standards. This is
one of the many ways that Israel can fend off at least part of the
unjust criticism against it.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, several of these deal
with anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism
4. Send a condolence card to a leftist for Bin Laden's death:
10 Leftists Who Need Condolences on the Death of their Hero Osama bin Laden
Posted By Megan Fox On May 4, 2011 @ 2:55 am In Email,Feature,Main,The
Feminist Hawks' Nest | 5 Comments
Inevitably, following the general pleasure at the news the Osama bin
Laden is finally residing in Hell, it will come to light that certain
members of the Left are quietly miserable over his passing. They are
the ones for whom evil is not really definable, terror is in the eye
of the beholder and America is always wrong. In other words, most of
the hard Left and virtually the entire media elite. That's a pretty
big list, so I thought I should narrow it down to the ones who will be
the most despondent over this delightful news for America.
In accordance with the new tone of civility, NRB suggests you send a
personal sympathy card to each grieving individual on the list. You
can click here and email this highly appropriate condolence with just
the right touch of maudlin snark. (Contact information will be
10. Patty Murray
Dubbed the "dumbest woman in congress" (although I think Cynthia
McKinney is suing for the rights to that title), Patty Murray once
lauded bin Laden's kindness and generosity in comparison to the
callous and brutal America. No, really.
Trying to explain why Osama bin Laden might be popular in the Arab
world while Americans were not, she said he was "building schools,
building roads, building infrastructure, building day-care facilities,
building health-care facilities, and the people are extremely
grateful. We have not done that."
Nah, America hasn't built any schools or roads or infrastructure,
unless you count the 133 health clinics built by Americans at a cost
of $345 million or the water treatment plants now serving almost 2
million people that cost the American taxpayers $1.6 billion or the
new sewer system benefiting over 5 million people to the tune of $254
million. Nope, according to Murray we just bomb stuff and bin Laden
is the real hero.
To send Senator Murray a condolence card, post on her Twitter page
(@PattyMurray) or her Facebook page and show her you care. After all,
one man's brutal dictator is another man's fuzzy-wuzzy love-muffin who
9. Medea Benjamin and the staff of Code Pink
Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink and famed champion of the Muslim
Brotherhood and bloody die-ins, is searching for meaning in the death
of Bin Laden.
Let us give meaning to the death of Osama Bin Laden by putting an end
to the violence. Sign the petition to President Obama: Enough — Let
the Peace Begin.
Yes, let's search deep within ourselves to find meaning in the death
of a madman who seriously had it coming. That sounds like a ginormous
waste of time. While the Left is doing that, I'm going to clip more
coupons to help offset the skyrocketing inflation. I can feel the
What confounds me about Benjamin is for all we know she might have
been working for bin Laden! But since the word "traitor" has
absolutely no meaning anymore she's free to traipse about the globe
stabbing her country in the back. She has hand delivered a letter from
Hamas to Obama. She has hand delivered $600,000 to militant Muslim
insurgents responsible for killing American soldiers. She's a courier
for terror! Despite her machinations to appear glad that bin Laden is
dead, I would bet it's just the opposite.
You can send your deepest sympathies to Benjamin on her Twitter
account (@medeabenjamin) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Cynthia McKinney
Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, most famous for socking a
Capitol Hill police officer in the face for asking her for ID, has a
long history of embarrassing herself and her nation. But while her
"Jerry Springer Show" antics were kind of funny at home, it got ugly
when she took the show on the road.
While trying for the second time to get through an Israeli blockade to
deliver "humanitarian" supplies to Hamas (which usually amounts to
large amounts of cash that gets used to buy more rockets to shoot at
Israeli children) McKinney was arrested. From an Israeli prison, she
penned this laugh-riot.
Zionism has surely run out of its last legitimacy if this is what it
does to people who believe so deeply in human rights for all that they
put their own lives on the line for someone else's children. Israel is
the fullest expression of Zionism, but if Israel fears for its
security because Gaza's children have crayons then not only has Israel
lost its last shred of legitimacy, but Israel must be declared a
I agree that Israel is a failed state; they failed to rid us of
McKinney. I was hoping for a life sentence. Considering McKinney's
hatred of Israel, she has lost a kindred spirit in bin Laden in the
fight against the evil Zionists.
Send your e-greeting of sympathy to McKinney via Twitter or Facebook.
7. Michael Moore
Michael Moore famously stated emphatically after the towers fell that
there is no terrorist threat. And since Moore doesn't believe in
terrorists, it's not surprising he finds himself very concerned over
Bin Laden's burial at sea. He tweeted his disapproval.
OBL buried at sea according 2 Muslim tradition. Yes most Muslim
funerals I've attended, we got in a chopper & tossed the deceased in
Personally I think he should be glad the special forces bullets
weren't dipped in bacon fat. But more sensitivity is called for in
this situation because as unhinged as Moore is, there's no telling
what will push him over the edge. Moore is torn up over his favorite
non-terrorist biting the dust and he deserves some sincere
Send him your warmest wishes and salutations at email@example.com.
6. Roseanne Barr
I know you've probably gone out of your way not to see or hear from
Roseanne Barr since she butchered the national anthem. Me too. But if
there was ever a woman crying out for help, she's it. Christian
charity simply means nothing if you can't reach out to the hideously
lost and so with that in mind, someone should try. Roseanne has gotten
more and more bizarre over the years. Recently, she claimed the
Israelis were shooting rockets at themselves.
I think rockets are being fired by your own sources, since less than
ten israelis have been killed by them. You are bullshitting the world
as you pocket money made from arms sales, along with bibi and your
agents in Hamas. step down all men in power!
These kind of theories could have been written by Bin Laden himself.
For all we know, that's where she got them! Maybe she was a big
YouTube fan of his. I guess we'll never know. Her recent tweets
suggests she's glad he's dead, but I don't think she really understood
him. If she had, she would realize he supported all the same things
she does like the destruction of Israel, lying about Israel and
ginning up hate stories about Israel. And I heard he liked to dress up
like Hitler and bake little replicas of Jews in his oven too.
Send cards to Roseanne on Twitter (@TheRealRoseanne).
5. Helen Thomas
Jobless and now losing a fellow anti-Semite, Helen Thomas must be in
the depths of despair. Thomas has never made any secret of her hatred
for Israel and support of Hamas and can always be counted on to give
the Hezbollah point of view, as the late, great Tony Snow so
wonderfully pointed out. The final straw that sent Thomas to the
unemployment line was her caught-on-video statement regarding the Jews
and her view they should return to Germany and Poland.
Unfortunately for us, Thomas couldn't be persuaded to return to
Lebanon from where her parents immigrated. With the depth of feeling
Thomas has in her shriveled little heart for members of terrorist
organizations, bin Laden's death is sure to hit her hard.
Send your sympathy greetings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Jane Fonda
Considering how much Jane Fonda hates America and Americans at war, as
evidenced by her traitorous activity in Vietnam including but not
limited to posing with anti-aircraft guns that killed Americans and
lying about the conditions in which our prisoners of war were kept,
we're fairly certain Fonda is a sad sack upon hearing a fellow
America-hater is dead. People who hate America tend to stick together.
Not only does Fonda love the commies, but she's BFFs with Code Pink's
Jodie Evans who personally traveled to Afghanistan and met with
leaders of the Taliban! Good gracious! It makes one dizzy just
thinking about the audacity of these dopes.
Fonda is also a Palestinian sympathizer who once scheduled a meeting
with Yassir Arafat. And even worse:
[J]ust days after terrorists had killed some 3,000 people on 9/11,
Fonda said that instead of retaliation, the U.S. should try to
understand the "underlying reasons" behind the murderous attacks.
The retaliation must be tearing her up inside.
To comfort Fonda in her time of sorrow, send your e-sympathy greeting
to her on Twitter (@JaneFonda).
3. Noam Chomsky
It's time to play "Guess Who Said It!" Your choices are Noam Chomsky
or Osama bin Laden.
We should not forget that the U.S. itself is a leading terrorist state.
If you guessed bin Laden, you would be wrong. Chomsky, a
self-described anarchist and general America-hater is probably working
furiously on a manifesto indicting the United States for breaking
international law by killing bin Laden right now. Chomsky has been
highly critical of the American response to Islamic terrorism and
frequently downplays the 9/11 attacks:
Chomsky dismisses the atrocity of 9/11 as one that was dwarfed in
magnitude by Bill Clinton's 1998 missile attack on a factory in the
Sudan following the bombings of two U.S. embassies by al Qaeda, in
which no one was injured.
Telling an MIT audience of 2,000 that the U.S. military response
against the terrorists in Afghanistan was a calculated "genocide" that
would cause the deaths of 3 to 4 million Afghanis, Chomsky denounced
America as "the world's greatest terrorist state." He also traveled to
the Muslim world to repeat the charges of U.S. genocide and terror to
millions in Islamabad and New Delhi.
Not surprising. It's likely that Chomsky has a pretty big soft spot
for bin Laden after the murderous terrorist praised him as "one of the
most capable" citizens of the United States. He could definitely use
an e-card and probably some tissues.
Send sympathetic musings to email@example.com.
2. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn
Pentagon bomber and attempted cop-killer Bill Ayers joined Code Pink
in their protest in Gaza against the Israeli blockade when Hamas was
lobbing mortars into Israel. It's pretty interesting how connected
everyone on this list is. I bet they've all been to the same cocktail
party a time or two where they tell Bush jokes and plot to subvert the
Constitution. Ayers and his terrorist wife Bernardine Dohrn must be
singing the bin Laden blues. He did what they had plotted
unsuccessfully to do. You can't tell me they weren't pleased as pie to
watch the Pentagon go up in smoke. These are the same people who
thought Charles Manson, who randomly and brutally killed a pregnant
Sharon Tate, her husband and their friends for no reason other than he
is a complete psycho, was a freedom fighter.
"First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room
with them, then they even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach!
Wild!" In greeting each other, delegates to the war council often
spread their fingers to signify the fork.
Ayers is famous for equally alarming statements.
Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring
the revolution home, Kill your parents.
Osama bin Laden is clearly a kindred spirit with these two American
terrorists and I assume, much like their unwavering love for communist
dictators, bin Laden won't be left out of their list of "greats."
To send your regards, contact Ayers and Dohrn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Louis Farrakhan
Often called the craziest bastard on earth (okay, maybe just by me),
Louis Farrakhan tops the list of those who are mourning the death of
the last craziest bastard on earth. (It is also important to note that
Farrakhan and Bill Ayers live in Obama's Chicago neighborhood.
Coincidence? Or have we at last located the doorway to Hell right in
the heart of Hyde Park? Somebody alert George Noory!)
Now that bin Laden is dead, Farrakhan can take his place in the
outrageous Jew-hating category.
Some of you think that I'm just somebody who's got something out for
the Jewish people. You're stupid. Do you think I would waste my time
if I did not think it was important for you to know Satan? My job is
to pull the cover off of Satan so that he will never deceive you and
the people of the world again.
Losing a soul-brother like bin Laden is going to leave a serious hole
in Farrakhan's pool of resources for new material against Jews.
Luckily, he still has his alien friends.
You can reach out to him via Twitter (@TheOfficialHMLF).
Leave your suggestions in the comment section for other leftists who
could use our comfort and sympathy as they mourn the death of their
terrorist hero, Osama bin Laden.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
5/03/2011 08:40:00 PM
1. Yesterday on Yom Ha-Shoah a new archive of half a million
documents was officially opened. It is on the web site of the "Joint
Distribution Committee," a Jewish welfare agency, at this address:http://archives.jdc.org/sharedlegacy/search-names/
I searched and found three documents there related to my paternal
grandparents. They lived in a small town in Germany. The documents
are from the period before my own father was able to escape Germany
and enter the US. His sister, my aunt, was already living in the US.
Her husband made bank deposits, evidently three of them, in order to
provide collateral for a request to get visas for my grandparents to
come to the US. I found documentation of those deposits in the new
In the end, the American authorities refused the visa request. My
grandparents were murdered. My grandfather evidently died in
Auschwitz. My own father managed to reach the US.
The family did not have those documents in our possession before the
new archive was opened yesterday.
2. There is so much being said and written about the elimination of
bin Laden that I will not burden you with long lists of interesting
commentaries. There is just one article that appears today in the
Israeli leftist daily Yediot Ahronot that I think is worth
It is written by Prof. Daniel Friedmann. He is not only one of the
unusually bright Israeli professors (of law). He also was one of the
best cabinet ministers in Israeli history. He was Minister of Justice
under Olmert, and – as such – used his position to launch a broad
assault against anti-democratic "judicial activism" (meaning judicial
tyranny) in Israeli courts. For this he was demonized by ex-Chief
Justice Aharon Barak and his coterie.
When Netanyahu was elected, his first litmus test of courage was when
he had to decide whether to re-appoint Friedmann so that the latter
could continue his battle against court abuse. Netanyahu flunked that
test (and many subsequent tests) and refused to re-appoint Friedmann.
In any case, Friedmann writes what I think is the best Op-Ed on the
bin Laden dispatch. It is only in Hebrew and not on the Yediot web
site, so here is my translation:
Suppose, just Suppose that it had been Israel that Carried Out the Assassination
By Daniel Friedmann
(or, American Chutzpah)
We are lucky that bin Laden was taken out by the American military. I
tremble at the thought of what would have happened had he been killed
by Israeli forces. Would there not have arisen a deafening outcry
against cold-blooded murder without a trial? Would there not have
been calls to investigate whether bin Laden could have been captured
unharmed, to be put on fair trial, where he could defend himself
judicially? Would not the soldier who had shot him be indicted,
because perhaps he could have merely wounded bin Laden by shooting at
his legs, thus avoiding an unnecessary loss of human life? And what
about those other "collateral" deaths in the compound? Was it really
necessary to kill THOSE people without even putting them on trial?
Let us bear in mind that the operation was carried out in the
territory of a friendly foreign country allied to the US – Pakistan.
Since when can a country just go in and kill suspects in another
country that has its own police and courts? One must keep in mind
that at this stage bin Laden was merely a suspect – since he was never
convicted of any crime by any court, including for the destruction of
the WTC towers in the US. Under the circumstances, should not the US
forces have warned him and demanded his surrender before opening fire,
and - if such a warning was given to bin Laden - was it a sufficient
To all these "questions" others would then be added. Under such
sensitive circumstances, is it really appropriate for the US military
itself to examine its own behavior and performance? Would it not be
better to have some outside commission of investigation, one that will
enjoy public trust? Indeed, a local commission of investigation
would be insufficient and surely many would demand an international
investigation, one in which the international community could place
its faith! Like one by the UN or its commission on human rights.
There are other issues. How did the Americans decide to toss bin
Laden's carcass into the sea without first consulting bin Laden's own
family members and violating his human right to a dignified burial.
And why did the American government do all this without even
soliciting a single learned scholarly legal opinion from an
international expert on human rights?
And I almost forgot. In such an important matter it is
unthinkable that action should have been carried out without first
petitioning the Supreme Court, which in Israel at least routinely
interferes whenever the military wants to assassinate terrorist
leaders. Hence the Supreme Court should contemplate who should now be
indicted for the abuses in the operation, after the commission of
investigation completes its work.
And even that is not the end of the story. The names of the
soldiers and officers involved in the operation must be made public at
court order, because of their involvement in the killings. The
individuals involved might someday seek public office. Even more
important is the fact that one day it may be desirable to conduct a
thorough legal evaluation of these people, given the fact that their
behavior produced human deaths.
3. THE BARENBOIM LESSON
Daniel Barenboim has, unwittingly, taught a lesson about music. He
shows that it is an activity that is, intrinsically, morally neutral.
The Nazis could play beautiful Mozart's beautiful music as the
background to the Jewish civilians that were being led to be murdered
by the Nazi firing squads. In the same way, Barenboim can lead an
orchestra to play in Gaza in support for the community that voted for
Hamas -- one of the most virulent of the Islamic movements that want
to destroy Israel and the Jewish people -- and its rocketing of
surrounding Israeli cities.
Of course, Barenboim thinks he makes a statement about the morality of
music in associating it with Gaza, supposedly affirming this latter,
modern incarnation of the Nazi killing machine. Do you suppose, if
Barenboim were around at the time, he would have volunteered to lead
those Nazi string quartets that served to soothe the nerves of the
Nazi firing squads mentioned earlier?
What we witness in Barenboim is a pseudo moralist attempting to assert
the universality of music in its link to his deluded vision of the
universality of the doctrine of "self-determination," the doctrine
under which Hitler was able to achieve the rape of Czechoslovakia and
plunge the world into war. He thinks that this is the right of the
Arabs and triumphs over the rights given by the League of Nations to
the Jews to establish their homeland.
Apparently, nothing can dampen Barenboim's conception that his
self-styled morality is indeed some kind of universal "high-morality"
-- the kind the Nazis believed in that gave them the illusion that
they had the right to "lebensraum" and the right to murder men, women,
and children as an expression of this "high-morality."
Make no mistake about it. Music is wonderful and, in that it brings
out the highest expressions of the emotionality of beauty, is a form
of "the good" -- something to be desired for itself. But it is not
otherwise intrinsically a moral agent. It is what it is and may be
coopted in a neutral fashion by good and the evil agents, as Barenboim
The only lesson to be drawn from the Barenboim orchestra in Gaza is
that he himself is a self-deluded, swinish in supporting evil and in
using the glory of music to cast a fog -- confusion -- over the moral
implications of what he does.
Hereafter, those who support the musical activities of this morally
blind agent should know that, through him, they are in danger of
supporting the evil to which he joins himself, which has nothing to do
with music he drags along
4. Those moderate peace partners of ours: Fatah military wing calls
Bin Laden killing "catastrophe"
5. Subject: Alan Dershowitz: Targeted Killing Vindicated
Targeted Killing Vindicated
6. J Street Jihad: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/143869
Monday, May 02, 2011
5/02/2011 06:51:00 PM
1. After Israel was created, there was intense debate as to what
would be the appropriate date for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day.
The decision to hold it several days after Passover, near the end of
the Jewish month of Nissan, struck many as inappropriate. Nissan is
the month of Passover, of liberation, of rejoicing. Even minor
expressions of grief, such as some of the prayers containing emotions
of sadness, are not recited in Nissan. So holding Holocaust
Remembrance Day was flying in the face of millennia of Jewish
tradition. Some suggested that the 10th day of Teveth was a more
appropriate day. It is the traditional day in which Jews mourn those
whose date of death or circumstances of death are unknown. And
holding it then would avoid the ambiguity of a date in Nissan.
On the other hand, the second half of Nissan already holds some
emotional ambiguity. Aside from the joy of Passover liberation, there
is the period of the counting of the Omer, beginning the evening after
the Seder, which begins in Nissan and also is a period of sadness and
commemoration. So more ambiguity.
Being Jewish is so complicated!
And this year that ambiguity is taking place in exaggerated measures.
It is Yom Hashoah in Israel. When the sirens went off at 10 AM I was
in a minibus with other riders. The Christian Arab driver of the
minibus pulled over and politely invited all passengers to get out for
the two minute siren and stand at attention in silence, the unique
expression of commemoration of the Holocaust that has been Israel's
since it was created.
But of course today was also the day of celebration of the elimination
of Osama bin Laden. I feel as much elation about that as any of the
people in the crowds of celebration across the US.
More emotional ambiguity!! Perhaps it is the true Zeitgeist, the
inevitable experience of all Jews in the 21st century.
2. There are so many stories and documentaries related to the
Holocaust that fill the Israeli media this week, so I will not bore
you with any retelling.
There was one story that I found intriguing, and I doubt you have
heard of it. It appears today in Haaretz, of all places. It is not
exactly a story of great heroism or partisan battle or horror or
suffering. Actually it is a story of a simple fellow, a quiet guy.
It is just a strange story, one that illustrates how bizarre and
multifaceted the modern Jewish experience is.
I will summarize the story, because it is a bit too long to translate
the entire Haaretz report.
It is the Holocaust story of Yisrael Tzubri, a Jew in Yemen. He lived
in the capital city of Yemen, Sana'a. He became a small merchant back
before World War I, where he sold eggs to Turkish soldiers stationed
in Yemen. Later he opened a clothing store and after that opened a
hotel, the only one at the time operating in Sana'a. Being the only
hotel, European merchants, diplomats and spies frequented it. Tzubri
spoke about 10 languages fluently, including Middle Eastern and
The ruler of Yemen at the time, the Imam, shopped in Tzubri's store
and had close personal connections with him. Tzubri was a frequent
guest in the palace and sometimes served as an informal advisor. A
Hungarian historian who visited Yemen at the time described him as the
only person in the country who did not try to cheat the historian.
Prof. Yosef Tubi (from the University of Haifa – literature, who has
written about Yemenite Jewish poetry) wrote a book about Tzubri (in
Hebrew) titled "A Jew in the Service of the Imam."
In the mid-1930s, the ruler, the Imam, decided to expand and
strengthen his military. To do so he sent Tzubri as procurement
liaison and representative to Germany, which was already under Nazi
control. Based in Hamburg, Tzubri purchased weapons and other
products on behalf of Yemen and arranged for their shipment. He kept
careful documents, today preserved in Yad Vashem, the main Israeli
museum of the Holocaust. As World War II approached, Germany was
unsafe for him, and so was Yemen, where cronies of the ruler were
whispering in the Imam's ears against Tzubri. While most foreign
Jewish merchants who were still in Hamburg for one reason or another
were seeking ways to escape to the US, Tzubri and his daughter chose
to go to Israel. He arrived in 1939, just as the war was breaking
He ran a small hotel in Tel Aviv, had a house in Jerusalem. He worked
as a small merchant. Other family members from Yemen rejoined him in
Jerusalem. He died in 1967.
3. From the current (summer 2011) Middle East Quarterly:
Review of Amal Jamal, "The Arab Public Sphere in Israel: Media Space
and Cultural Resistance," Indiana University Press, 2009, 182 pages
Reviewed by Steven Plaut, University of Haifa
My guess is that the only reason that the folks over at Indiana
University Press even published this book is that they were so excited
by the novelty of any book about Israeli Arabs written in English by a
tenured Israeli academic claiming to be an Arab. The author, Amal
Jamal, is in fact an Israeli Druse, although one of the minority of
Druse intellectuals who claim that the Druse are themselves Arab
The problems with this book begin with the title: "The Arab Public
Sphere in Israel." The book is not at all about the Arab public
sphere. It is a superficial review of the differences between the
Hebrew and Arabic media operating in Israel and of those consumers who
make use of them.
Jamal is essentially a young groupie of the fringe ideas of
Leninist Michel Foucault and the German Jurgen Habermas, the latter
someone who thinks that nice talking can solve all the world's
conflicts. Habermas refers to such nice talking as "communicative
action," a term showing up obsessively throughout Jamal's book.
A Druse from the Galilee village of Yarka, Jamal is today a radical
anti-Israel ideologue. He studied at the Hebrew University and
later got a PhD from the "Free University of Berlin." He is today a
tenured member of the political science department at Tel Aviv
University and is serving as department chairman. Many of his
publications appear in the "Journal of Palestine Studies" and similar
ideological magazines and venues, including the radical Mada al-Karmel
Center. He is involved with some leftist groups like the "New
Israel Fund," on whose board he sits.
The main part of the book, the only part even remotely "academic,"
is the middle section, in which the results of two surveys about the
use of media venues by Arabs are presented. Neither of the two
surveys was particularly scientific, neither scientifically
representative of the population. The first consisted of interviewing
594 Arab "participants." The second consisted of interviewing 229
Arab politicians, professors and public figures, whom Jamal decided
speak for the Israeli Arab population. One would have expected the
survey methodology to be regarded as an embarrassment even if it were
to form the basis of an undergraduate seminar paper at Tel Aviv
The results of the surveys essentially show that Arabs read and
listen to the Hebrew media less than do Jews, who in turn listen to
and follow the Arabic media less than do Arabs. This conclusion is
not only trivial but teaches nothing at all useful about Israeli
society. No doubt few Canadian English speakers read and listen to
the French media in Canada, and fewer Anglos in Florida read the
But Jamal is not content with printing a few tables and statistics
taken from his surveys. His real aim throughout the book is to twist
things obsessively to conform to his conspiracist take on Israeli
society, according to which Israel is plotting to control the minds of
its Arab citizens (referred to throughout the book by Jamal as
"Israeli Palestinians") and to subjugate them by means of media
control. Pity the poor reader who does not realize that Israel does
not control any of the country's Arabic media.
Jamal's agenda is apparent everywhere in the book in his choices
of rhetoric. The secondary title of the book is "Media Space and
Cultural Resistance." The book overflows with bias and anti-Israel
bile. With no sense of his own self-contradiction, Jamal insists that
Israel is obsessed with control of the Arab media, with surveillance
over it, and also with ignoring Arab opinion and the Arabic media
altogether. He sees the media in general not as institutions that
reflect public opinion, but rather as those that control thinking and
opinion. He uses the term "hegemonial" with obsessive regularity.
Israel has a "ferocious military government" (p.47), engaged in
"cultural imperialism" (p. 96) via its "media policy" against its
Now the book is most notable for what it is attempting to hide.
As it turns out, Israel is the only place in the Middle East where
Arabs enjoy a free press, so free it is often openly seditious. The
Israeli media, except for a TV station and some radio stations, is all
private sector. There IS no "media policy" in Israel at all, and the
private-sector Israeli Hebrew media are predominantly leftist. And if
the free Arabic press in Israel is not free enough for Jamal's tastes,
the explosion of internet technology and countless Arab blogs make his
conspiracist pseudo-academic nonsense about "control of the media" and
"mind control through the media" simply laughable.
Jamal's book is an ideological assault against Israel disguised as
an academic exploration of the Arabic media inside Israel. By hiding
from his readers that Israel's Arabic media are the only Arabic media
in the Middle East that are NOT controlled by the regime, he does his
readers an injustice and makes a mockery of his academic pretensions.
Nowhere in his book can one find references to the fact that
Arabs and Druse inside Israel are themselves beneficiaries of numerous
affirmative action preferences. One can only see possible evidence of
affirmative action in the decision by Indiana University Press to
publish this book in the first place and in the decision of Tel Aviv
University to grant Jamal tenure.
5/02/2011 03:51:00 PM
1. An Open Letter from President Shimon Peres to President Barack Obama
Relayed to the world by Steven Plaut
Dear Mr. President,
I am shocked, Mister President, truly shocked. After all the hope you
have inspired for a new America, after your denunciation of American
arrogance, after your pledge to solve problems with the world's
terrorists through talking, here you go and order the American
imperial forces in Pakistan to violate the human rights of Osama bin
Laden. Your people killed him in cold blood - without so much as
reading him his Miranda rights!
Have you lost your senses? Why could you not have learned from the
lessons offered to you by Israel in its successful strategy to deal
with Palestinian activists and militants! What happened to your
promise to deal with all forms of Islamic activism in the world
through dialogue and civilized talking?
Mister President, I have a great amount of experience in dealing
successfully with terrorism and violence, and this is why I wish to
explain to you why your actions were unjustified and unforgivable.
The first thing you must realize is that one can only make peace with
one's enemies. With one's friends there is no need to make peace.
There is no military solution to the problems of terrorism, and this
is why you should have sought a diplomatic solution to the matter of
bin Laden's activities. "No Justice, No Peace," as they say. You
must now invite the leaders of al-Qaeda to the White House to seek to
reduce the passions of the conflict. You must learn to feel their
pain and understand their needs. But most importantly, you must end
the illegal occupation of territory that does not belong to you!
First, American colonial forces must be removed from Pakistan and
Afghanistan, where they are trampling upon human rights. Second, you
must withdraw from Guam and Hawaii and remove all the illegal
Anglo-Saxon settlers there. But that is just a beginning. Large
sections of the United States, including the Southwest, are illegally
occupied territories, stolen from Mexico. Some even have a Hispanic
majority. And of course you must release at once all captured
al-Qaeda militants in a goodwill peace gesture, including those being
held at Gitmo.
The ultimate solution is to create two states for two peoples inside
Illinois itself. One will be for the Americans and the other for the
activists of al-Qaeda.
Then there is the matter of the status of Washington, DC. As you
know, it has a sizeable Moslem minority, many of whom drive taxis.
Your selfish insistence that the District of Columbia remain American
is racist and insensitive. You must end the apartheid regime inside
America and turn Washington into the shared capital of two states.
Then you must pay compensation to the families of the Pakistanis
mercilessly killed in cold blood by your forces, including those
killed by Predator drones. You must grant them survivor benefits from
the American social security administration and lands inside
Yellowstone Park. This is not even the first time that you Americans
violated the civil rights of al-Qaeda members.
If you do not strike a peace deal with the current leaders of
al-Qaeda, they will be replaced by really violent terrorists! That
will just make things worse. You must offer the al-Qaeda leaders
Internet web services and five-star tourist hotels in exchange for
their promising to abandon violence. After all, that is how we turned
Yasser Arafat and the PLO into our peace partners. You see, military
force serves no role any more in the post-modern universe. It is
passé. It is archaic. Today, consumer interests dominate the world,
and the al-Qaeda activists of the earth will surely wish to make peace
in exchange for some profits from participating in global trade.
Begin by declaring a unilateral ceasefire! Mister President, blessed
is the peacemaker. Remember Martin Luther King! Go meet with the
legitimate representatives of the al-Qaeda organization. The entire
world will support you and congratulate you.
All we are saying is give peace a chance. Yitzhak Rabin would have
approved. Yes, chaver, what you need is shalom, salaam, peace. You
will be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition. Do not allow
yourself to be drawn down into the endless spiral of retaliation.
Violence never achieves anything.
History has no lessons. History is the dead past. Follow my example!
Provide al-Qaeda with anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles so that
they can battle against the true radicals and extremists. And they
will do so with no ACLU or Supreme Court to restrain them!
Demonstrate your humanity by paying pensions to any widows and orphans
of the militants killed by your forces in Pakistan.
Mister President, my own peace policies have eliminated war, bloodshed
and terror from the Middle East. We now have only peace partners. If
you follow in my footsteps, you can achieve the same lofty goals.
Shimon Peres, Peacemaker-at-Large
You may recall that after 911, Michael Lerner, the Rabbi-Impersonator
who publishes Tikkun Magazine, called on the world to feel Bin Laden's
pain. Lerner has always held a soft spot in his heart for bin Laden,
or in Mikey's jargon I guess he would be Rabbi Osama. Lerner has
long shown his admiration for bin Laden's agenda by denouncing
American (and Israeli) hegemonism, imperialism, and colonialism.
We assume that Lerner and all his "Tikkun" movement, including the
Waskovians of the "Renewal" ashrams, will be saying a special kaddish
for the tragic demise of Rabbi Osama.
Well, if bin Laden felt pain after 911, just imagine how much pain he
felt yesterday when US troops dispatched him to his 72 virgins!
I think you should send a condolence card or electronic "card" to
Michael Lerner, expressing your wish that he manage to overcome his
grief at the tragedy that took place in Pakistan and that he will no
longer have to cope with such sadness. You can email him at
email@example.com, that is – if your keyboard does not explode in
laughter when you type rabbilerner, or use this form:
3. Followup on the Olive Tree Atrocity:
4. I have only one complaint. Why was bin Laden's carcass dumped in
the sea instead of burying it in a pig skin???
Just one other thought. News reports are saying that along with bin
Laden, his own son was killed while the son was hiding behind a woman
he had grabbed and was using as a human shield. The US Navy SEALS
failed to spare the woman human shield and killed BOTH of them.
Now by the new rules of warfare invented for Israel, this makes the US
guilty of war crimes! A UN commission into the cold blooded murder
of the woman human shield must be launched at once, led by Justice
Goldstone. Palestinians who hide behind human shields and cause the
shields to get killed have long been the reason why Israel is
demonized and denounced as a war criminal. Sauce for the gosling
should be sauce for the seal!
Sunday, May 01, 2011
5/01/2011 04:08:00 PM
You may recall the infamous MA thesis in sociology at the Hebrew
University, which claimed that the fact that Israeli soldiers do not
rape Arab women proves that the Jews are such racists. That thesis
was supervised mainly by sociology professor Ayal Ben Ari, who was
later himself accused of raping women students in the university and
has now been suspended without pay for two years (a slap on his, er,
wrist). See thishttp://zioncon.blogspot.com/2011/02/hebrew-university-leftist-prof.html
and the earlierhttp://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2008/07/professor-who-thinks-non-rape-is-racism.html
and this http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2010/07/19/a-tale-of-two-professors-steve-plaut/
Well, I am reminded of that great academic saga because of the news
coming out of Libya. It seems that, according to the mainstream news
media, Muammar Qaddafi's troops are being given Viagra to help them
rape Libyan women in areas re-conquered from the Libyan opposition.
Of course, based on that Hebrew University thesis, which so well
illustrates the level of academic standards these days at the Hebrew
University, mass rapes of Arab women by Qaddafi's troops just proves
they are NOT RACISTS! To be racists, they would have to abstain from
raping Arab women, like Israeli soldiers do!
Meanwhile, we thought you would all be relieved to hear that there
will be no need to go shopping for Father's Day cards for Muammar
Qaddafi this year.