Steven Plaut

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


1. The moonbatocracy is coming out of its holes to defend Larry
Derfner, the columnist at the Jerusalem Post who was just fired for
endorsing terrorist murders of Jewish children and civilians. The
Left is suddenly whining that the firing of Derfner is undemocratic
and contradicts freedom of speech. Not a single one of those whining
about it being democratic has come out in defense of freedom of speech
for non-leftists. Not a one denounced the harassments and arrests of
Rabbis who recommended that people read a controversial book. You can
imagine how they would react if someone were to suggest that killing
Arab civilians is a legitimate and justified form of resistance.

Here is one example, written by a clown named Dimi: http://972mag.com/ir5/

I strongly suggest that he start to spell his name Dhimmi.

Derfner by the way never offered to volunteer his own entire set of
family members to be murdered by the Palestinians in legitimate and
justifiable acts of resistance. He only wants to see YOUR children
murdered for peace. It is not too late to write to the Israeli
Attorney General and demand that Derfner be prosecuted. For those who
do not have my original email about this, you can get all the
information about how to do so here:
http://zioncon.blogspot.com/2011/08/call-to-arms-please-help-put-larry.html

Oh, and if you are suddenly feeling sorry for poor little Derfie,
don't. Take a look at this report by himself about his getting
arrested as part of a violent airport protest against Israeli
"apartheid" from a few weeks back:
http://972mag.com/derfner-2017-872011/

2. If you missed your chance to help get Derfner fired, here is
another opportunity to take action against a different moonbat. You
will sleep better after you jot off a note:

http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Ari%20Ben%20David%20-%20TA-Jaffa%20College%20-%20Ofer%20Cassif%20-%20publication-less%20wonder.htm

Tel Aviv-Jaffa College - Ofer Cassif (Dept of Political Science), the
publication-less "Academic" wonder
We tried to track down the academic publications of Ofer Cassif to see
just what it was about him that inspired the Tel Aviv – Jaffa College
to hire him to teach students in political science. Alas, we could not
find any. All we could find were a handful of anti-Israel Op-Eds in
the internet, mostly in Hebrew. Cassif claims to be some sort of
expert on "Social Justice," whatever that is. But we could not find
anything academic he has published about that either, anywhere.

... Cassif's main "academic contribution" seems to consist of an Op-Ed
that claims that Israel's citizenship law, which requires an oath of
allegiance to non-Israelis who apply for Israeli citizenship, is at
least as bad as German Nazism. The fact that most other countries have
similar oaths of allegiance does not convince Cassif that THEY are
Nazi regimes. Only Israel is so honored in his writing.


Tel Aviv-Jaffa College - Meet Ofer Cassif (Dept of Political Science),
the Proud Stalinist "Academic"
By Ari Ben David
29/8/2011
We tried to track down the academic publications of Ofer Cassif to see
just what it was about him that inspired the Tel Aviv – Jaffa College
to hire him to teach students in political science. Alas, we could not
find any. All we could find were a handful of anti-Israel Op-Eds in
the internet, mostly in Hebrew. Cassif claims to be some sort of
expert on "Social Justice," whatever that is. But we could not find
anything academic he has published about that either, anywhere. He
teaches a course about it at the College, whose reading list is filled
with Marxists and fellow travelers. We could not spot any non-leftists
on his syllabus except Rawls. He also gives courses at the so-called
"Socioeconomic College," which is actually a communist party front
entity that dabbles in Marxist indoctrination for "students" who have
too much time on their hands.
Cassif's main "academic contribution" seems to consist of an Op-Ed
that claims that Israel's citizenship law, which requires an oath of
allegiance to non-Israelis who apply for Israeli citizenship, is at
least as bad as German Nazism. The fact that most other countries have
similar oaths of allegiance does not convince Cassif that THEY are
Nazi regimes. Only Israel is so honored in his writing.
Cassif is a card-carrying member of the Israeli Communist Party, a
member of its "central committee," and is sometimes a featured speaker
at its events. Israel's Arab-dominated communist party has never quite
gotten around to repudiating Stalinism. The party loves having a token
Jew to show off. His PhD thesis was entitled, "On Nationalism and
Democracy, A Marxist Examination." Just in case you want to read it.
Cassif spends his time defending the communist party from its
detractors, including those who criticize the party for not being
quite communist enough. He was a loud voice defending the decision of
the Israeli communist party to support and defend Syria's President
Bashar Asad when the party justified the bloody armed suppression by
Asad of the Syrian protesters against his regime. Cassif appeared at a
party rally alongside Udi Adiv, an Israeli convicted spy who had
undergone training in Syria and served a long jail sentence in Israel
after being apprehended. Adiv today sometimes attacks the communist
party for not being Stalinist ENOUGH! Cassif has been cited in the
media for giving "academic lectures" in which he denounces the Israeli
patriotic student organization "IM TIRTZU" as a fascist organization,
one that should not be allowed to exercise freedom of speech.
Cassif is featured as one of the anti-Semitic worthy "righteous Jews"
selected for honor by a web site of Holocaust Deniers and Neo-Nazis.
Cassif is also on record as favoring the annihilation of Israel and
its replacement with a "secular" Arab-dominated Palestinian state.
If you are confused as we are about why such a Stalinist is teaching
students at the Tel Aviv Jaffa College, why not ask the College's
president, Professor Israel Zang at israelza@mta.ac.il and Director
General Mr. Dror Amir droram@mta.ac.il, with a copy to their PR
officer: Email: liatweis@mta.ac.il


3. There are now a number of "Israel Studies" departments in American
universities. Together they operate as members of the "Association
for Israel Studies." The problem is that "Israel Studies" in some
places is undergoing a transformation similar to what happened to
Middle East Studies. Some such departments are morphing into those
devoted to anti-Israel Studies, that is, to bashing Israel and
Zionism.

Think I am exaggerating?

Take a look at the newest initiative of the Association for Israel
Studies: http://www.aisisraelstudies.org/kimmerling.ehtml

It is awarding "researchers" a special prize, the Baruch Kimmerling
Prize. The first problem with this is that an Israel Studies group
having a Kimmerling prize makes exactly as much sense as an American
Studies Department someplace having its own Admiral Yamamoto Prize, or
Polish universities having a Ribbentrop-Molotov Commemoration Award.

The late Baruch Kimmerling was a Marxist sociology professor at the
Hebrew University, a pseudo-scholar who devoted much of his career to
manufacturing a "history" for the "Palestinian people." Kimmerling
was openly anti-Zionist and openly endorsed terrorist attacks by Arabs
against Jews, Derfner style. You can learn more about Kimmerling
here:
http://isracampus.org.il/Isracampus%20-%20shmootz%20corner.htm
http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Lee%20Kaplan%20-%20Baruch%20Kimmerling%20-%20illustrates.htm
http://www.meforum.org/1610/politicide-ariel-sharons-war-against
and
http://www.meforum.org/1608/the-palestinian-people

The second thing to notice is that all three "judges" for the award of
the Kimmerling Prize are extremist anti-Israel lefties. The first is
Hanna Herzog, a leftist "feminist" professor of sociology at Tel Aviv
University, one whose name appears on most anti-Israel petitions. The
second is Ian Lustick, the groupie of Norman Finkelstein from Penn, a
notorious collaborator in the war against Israel (see
http://frontpagemag.com/2010/01/05/collaborators-in-the-war-against-the-jews-ian-lustick-by-steven-plaut/
). He is so anti-Israel that he was one of the founders of the
Association for Israel Studies. The third "judge" is one Mary Totry,
a far leftist instructor in "Women's Studies" at the University of
Haifa (http://multiba.haifa.ac.il/women_study/staff/mary_t.htm ),
awarded her PhD by none other than Ilan Pappe, and an associate of the
radical Arab anti-Israel NGO Mossawa Center. She is part of its
efforts to paint Israel as a racist fascist regime.
(http://www.mossawa.org/default.php?lng=3&dp=2&fl=9&pg=33 )

There are lots of other ideas for special prizes that the AIS
might award. We could have the Haman Prize for creative scholarship,
the Tawana Brawley Award for original research, the Helen Thomas
Award, and of course the Larry Derfner award for journalism.


Monday, August 29, 2011


1. Just a fast update and note of thanks to all of you who sent
letters of protest to the Jerusalem Post editors. The traitor Larry
Derfner, who published a column last week justifying and celebrating
the murder of Jewish civilians, was fired today by the Jerusalem Post.
He announces his own firing here:
http://israelleft.com/2011/08/29/i-got-fired-by-the-jerusalem-post-today/
(That web site, Israel Reconsidered, is one that he runs together with
the unemployed pro-terror anti-Semite blogger Richard Silverstein,
best remembered for having published smear attacks against his own
parents. For details, see this:
http://kapodickie.blogspot.com/2009/03/oh-boo-hoo-kapo-dickie-whines-about.html
)

I am still hoping that Derfner will be prosecuted under Israeli laws
that criminalize justifications and celebrations of murder.

Thank you – for all of you who helped!


2. Benjamin Disraeli once claimed that there are three kinds of lies:
lies, damned lies, and statistics. In Israel however there are lies,
damned lies, and Haaretz.

One of the best examples of journalistic standards at Haaretz can be
seen in its "report" today about the town of Jisr al-Zarqa. The town
wants to expand by grabbing some lands that belong to neighboring
Jewish jurisdictions. According to official stats, Jisr is the
poorest town in Israel. But that is because so many of the people in
the town who are employed do not report their income to the tax
authorities and so appear as if they have no income. Aside from tax
evasion, this allows them to get welfare and unemployment stipends.
The main Haifa-Tel-Aviv highway passes by the town and anyone can see
all the luxurious single-family mansions springing up all over the it.
The towns residents by the way came originally largely from Sudan
about a hundred years back. You know, making them Palestinians with
roots that go all the way back to the Canaanites and the right to
national self-determination. (Why not in Sudan?)

Anyhow, the most magnificent part of the Haaretz "report," (although
this sentence is not in the English translation on the Haaretz web
site) is where our reporter writes that the population density in the
town is 7730 people per square kilometer, while for Israel as a whole
the population density is only 321. Oh those poor Sudanese
Palestinian oppressed impoverished Arabs suffering apartheid
discrimination by the Jews, right?

Well, only one itsy bitsy problem. The 321 population density is a
national average and includes large swaths of the Negev in which the
population density is zero, and the Sea of Galilee, where it really is
zero, and the Ayalon Highway, where it is zero. The newspaper for
thinking readers is not comparing the density in Jirs to Jewish towns
and cities, where the density is even higher than in Jisr al-Zarqa.
The population density per kilometer for the solar system is even
lower!


The 50 Rules of Leftist Debate
By Steven Plaut


The following are the basic principles and axioms upon which all
public debate must be conducted if you wish to be a true progressive
and leftist person who cares:

1. Leftists should be free to call everyone else nasty names, because
they are so moral, but no one should be permitted to call leftists
anything.
2. For a leftist to call someone nasty names shows social concern and
awareness. For someone to call a leftist a nasty name back is
immature and impolite and is avoiding the issues.
3. When leftists smear others, it is freedom of speech. When critics
of leftists disagree with the opinions of leftists or question the
motives of leftists, it is libel.
4. Leftists need never document their claims All leftist claims are
self-evident.
5. Whenever a leftist is presented with documentation of facts that
contradict the leftist's theology, the leftist must insist that no
evidence has been presented at all.
6. No scientific sources that present facts contradicting leftist
theology are admissible. They must be dismissed as being right-wing
and neocon.
7. All arguments may be settled by telling a non-leftist that he
reminds you of Rush Limbaugh of Glenn Beck.
8. When in doubt, dismiss anything you dislike as "neo-liberalism."
Never be tricked into attempting to define that nonsense term.
9. Everything wrong with the world is because of the United States.
Anything left over that is wrong with the world is the fault of the
Jews.
10. Never ever take an economics course. There is a serious threat in
it to your ideology.
11. Never recognize the fact that every idea of Marx's was debunked
over 160 years ago. Never admit that you know that Marx was a racist
and anti-Semite and misogynist.
12. Never enter the library. There are too many reactionary books
and magazines on the shelves. You can spend your life on the internet
without reading anything that contradicts your political theology.
13. If there are proportionately more blacks in prison than whites,
it is because the courts and police are racist. If there are many
more males in prison than females it is because males commit more
crime.
14. Never study statistics or public policy analysis.
15. Always support proposals that make real problems of the world
worse, just as long as advocating them can make you feel caring and
righteous.
16. Always say "people of color" so that everyone will know you care.
Always refer to Israeli Arabs as (occupied) Palestinians.
17. Recycle.
18. Whine.
19. Pretend that you do not care about material things, but never
sell your DVD or cellular phone or condo in order to help out those
living in misfortune.
20. Never admit that life ever involves tradeoffs. After all, when
there are tradeoffs it is harder to feel righteous.
21. Never admit that anything could be positive about the United States.
22. Pretend that you have never heard that communism produces
starvation and cannibalism.
23. Always insist that there are few world problems that could not be
improved through the destruction of Israel.
24. Always insist that you have no idea at all what political correctness is.
25. Always use the female pronouns half the time or more. That way
everyone will know you are egalitarian.
26. Insist that you are more caring and compassionate than anyone else.
27. Always pretend you think the United States controls an empire.
Use the word "empire" at least as frequently as you use commas.
28. Remember, you would prefer that poor people in the Third World
starve rather than that they should embrace capitalism and live like
you do.
29. Other people must always be required to relinquish their material
things so that you may pursue social justice and feel idealistic and
righteous.
30. Your property is sacred; other people's property is to be used
for social engineering and doing good.
31. Eating meat is murder. Partial birth abortion is not.
32. Use the term Islamophobia often. Never use the term Islamofascism
33. Anything that involves defending Jewish civilians from Islamist
mass murderers must be ruled out as oppressive and racist.
34. Arabs can never be racist. Anti-Zionism must never be described
as a form of racism or bigotry.
35. The terms "Genocide" and "Nazism" must never be used in discourse
unless they are describing Israel and Zionism.
36. Acts of violence against Jews or Americans are never terrorism.
They are resistance. All acts against those who are trying to murder
Jews or Americans must be described as terrorism.
37. The term "apartheid" must only be applied to regimes that are not
apartheid, and never to those that are.
38. Insist that capital punishment does not deter crime.
39. Insist that terrorism is caused by poverty.
40. Insist that SUVs threaten life on earth. Insist that the planet
is in imminent danger of destruction unless everyone does what you
want them to do.
41. Affirmative action is not about lowering standards. Affirmative
action never has anything to do with quotas.
42. Insist that Marxists care about people. Conservatives hate all
people and small animals and are not as smart as leftists.
43. If one country is rich and another poor, it must be because the
rich one stole all the wealth away from the poor one.
44. Insist that the bombing of Hiroshima did not save any lives and
was done because Americans are racists.
45. Poverty is caused by low self-esteem. Poor school performance is
caused by low self-esteem.
46. Liberalism is based on compassion and caring.
47. Pretend that you really believe the transgendered are a gender
and that transgendered people are normal
48. Insist that people riot and loot because they are oppressed.
49. Insist that communism could really work and it just has never
really been tried out or tested.
50. Demand social justice as long as you are never required to define
what it means or explain how to achieve it.


***

PS A Nice Commentary on Traitor Larry Derfner
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=235769


Friday, August 26, 2011


Beckaphobia


Israeli leftists have long had an intense hatred towards American
conservatives. This is in spite of the fact that American
conservatives are almost all pro-Israel. On second though, the hatred
of Israeli leftists towards them is precisely BECAUSE they are
pro-Israel.

Israeli leftists insist that Israel should only allow itself to be
befriended by foreign leftists. Never mind that the search for
pro-Israel foreign leftists is about as productive as the search for
human life on other planets. The Left outside of Israel is almost
entirely anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, and foreign liberals are by and
large (although not entirely) anti-Israel. Israeli leftists want
foreign pro-Israel conservatives to be regarded as persona non grata
by Israel. A few years back, Amiram Goldblum, a professor at the
Hebrew University and a founder of Peace Now, called upon Israel to
prevent American evangelist Christians from entering Israel. He
objected to them because they are too pro-Israel. (See this about
Goldblum: http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/HebrewU%20-%20Amiram%20Goldblum%20-%20terroist%20fellow.htm
) The Israeli Left is outraged that Israeli cable TV carries Fox
News, because it is pro-Israel. The anti-Israel BBC and CNN channels
though are fine.

The most dramatic manifestation of the Israel's Left's hatred of
pro-Israel foreign conservatives is evident this week in widespread
Beckaphobia. The Israeli Left is suffering from an intense phobia
regarding Glenn Beck.

Beck was in Israel this week (and has been here a lot in recent
months) for one purpose only – to support Israel. Beck is an
outspoken and well-spoken American conservative. He is more
entertainer than serious scholar, and was until recently a staple on
Fox News. He sometimes gets things wrong, and his economics are
rather shallow. But his political opinions are solidly conservative
and you cannot listen to his recent speech in Jerusalem
(http://www.glennbeck.com/israel/ ) without being convinced of his
sincerity in his love of Israel and solidarity with Jews, and you
might be moved to tears.

The Israeli Left has been jihading all week against Beck. Yossi
Sarid, the ex-head of Meretz, ran Op-Eds demonizing Beck, and the same
Sarid has an Op-Ed in Haaretz today claiming that Israel fought the
Six Day War out of a Nazi-like quest for Lebensraum (his word) and
expansionism. Really – it is here:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/lebensraum-as-a-justification-for-israeli-settlements-1.380787
. Sarid was joined by lots of Haaretz writers. And even the
normally sensible Maariv editor Ben-Dror Yemini decided to gripe about
Beck. Naturally, Peace Now denounced the decision to allow Beck into
the country (http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/274/065.html ).

The Leftists demanding that Beck be regarded as a persona non grata
are almost without exception the same people who protested when Israel
declared Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein or anti-Semitic Stalinist Noam
Chomsky or pro-jihad pseudo-academic Richard Falk as persona non
grata. The lesson is clear – the Left's mantra is this: Israel, Hate
it or Leave it! Here is the Haaretz editorial about Beck:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-extreme-israeli-right-s-alliance-with-lunatics-1.380546
.

Beck of course is also the right-winger that the American
Left-wingers most love to hate. But those who hate Beck in almost all
cases also hate Israel. True, some American liberal "Reform Rabbis"
denounced Beck for criticizing George Soros, but if anything Beck
should carry their condemnation as a badge of valor. And lots of
those "Reform Rabbis" are supporters of JSTREET or New Israel Fund or
Tikkun Magazine of worse.

Some American Jewish liberals squirm when Beck's name is mentioned
because they have a hang-up about Mormons. Beck was not raised Mormon
but later converted. Mormons are overwhelmingly pro-Israel and
friendly towards Jews. True, they would prefer that Jews convert to
Mormonism, but members of all religions would like Jews to convert to
their religions. So what? Jews above the age of puberty should have
skins thick enough to be able to interact with people who regard
Judaism as incorrect theology, although I will not berate you if you
turn the garden hose on Jehovah's Witnesses. (I say that because a
team knocked on my door in Haifa this week to peddle their theology.)
I suppose I find it slightly disrespectful when missionaries attempt
to convince me that my own religion is "wrong," but I think part of
being an adult is to realize that there are battles worth fighting and
battles not worth fighting. A lot of people also regard my political
opinions, tastes in music, and fashion sense as wrong.

Give me a nice team of Mormons over liberal Jewish
pseudo-clergypersons preaching that all of Judaism is really "social
justice" and pursuing the liberal political agenda any day! Mormons
may invite you to join their faith and pray for you to do so. Liberal
pseudo-rabbis fraudulently misrepresent Judaism and are guilty of
Chilul Hashem. I feel great with the former. And I salute Glenn
Beck.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Call to Arms!


. I would like to ask you take a few minutes in order to help
remove the criminal anti-Semite Larry Derfner from his position of
columnist at the Jerusalem Post and to petition that he be indicted
and jailed for supporting mass murder against Jews.

Derfner is fairly well known to most of you. He is probably the
most extremist leftist columnist writing at the Jerusalem Post. He is
also probably the stupidest. There is of course nothing wrong with
the Jerusalem Post running leftist columnists or stupid columnists.
The Post is probably the most pluralistic and politically balanced of
all Israeli newspapers, more so than the Hebrew media. (By
comparison, Haaretz is less pluralistic and balanced than was Pravda
back in the days of Brezhnev, and Yediot Ahronot only slightly less
biased.)

Being stupid is also not a reason for a newspaper to refuse to
employ a columnist. In Israel it is often not only the necessary
condition for a person to be so employed, it is also sometimes the
sufficient condition. Derfner is unusually stupid even for a leftist;
as one indicator, he has teemed up to run a web site with the
anti-Semitic Seattle blogger, subliterate Hamas apologist, and serial
libeler Richard Silverstein, a fellow who has never heard of a murder
of a Jew he does not seek to justify and celebrate.

Derfner however is not just stupid and not just leftist. He is a
racist and traitor who is calling for mass murders of Jewish
civilians.

The credit for the exposure of Derfner's treason and his calling
for mass murders of Jews belongs largely to ace journalist Sam
(Shmuel) Sokol, whom I have cited in the past. He has a full-length
expose of Derfner's criminal behavior, which I will attach in a monent
below.

Derfner's celebratory justifications of mass murders of Jewish
civilians were not a prank. The calls appear on Derfner's blog:
http://israelleft.com/2011/08/21/the-awful-necessary-truth-about-palestinian-terror/
. I expect him to take this down once the doodoo hits the fan, so you
might want to keep a downloaded copy of the text.

As you can see, he open there with these comments:

'I think a lot of people who realize that the occupation is wrong also
realize that the Palestinians have the right to resist it – to use
violence against Israelis, even to kill Israelis, especially when
Israel is showing zero willingness to end the occupation, which has
been the case since the Netanyahu government took over (among other
times in the past). But people don't want to say this, especially
right after a terror attack like this last one that killed eight
Israelis near Eilat. And there are lots of good reasons for this
reticence, such as: You don't want to further upset your own
countrymen when they are grieving, you don't want to say or write
anything that could be picked up by Israel's enemies and used as
justification for killing more of us. (These are good reasons; fear of
being called a traitor, for instance, is a bad reason.) But I think
it's time to overcome this reticence, even at the cost of enflaming
the already enflamed sensitivities of the Israeli public, because this
unwillingness to say outright that Palestinians have the right to
fight the occupation, especially now, inadvertently helps keep the
occupation going.'

You can read the rest, if your stomach allows.

Let us note that under Israel's "rules" of restricted freedom of
speech, no one has the right to call for mass murder, even though
leftists are never prosecuted for doing so. You may recall the recent
case of the Ben Gurion University faculty member Eyal Nir, whom I call
Doc Jihad, who issued such calls (see
http://zioncon.blogspot.com/2011/06/meet-ben-gurion-universitys-doc-jihad.html
). A non-leftist and especially an Orthodox Jew who would suggest
that, under some circumstances of war, a gentile civilian may be
targeted, would be immediately arrested and indicted in Israel for
"racism" and for "incitement," and many such people have already been
prosecuted. The leftist anti-democratic Deputy Attorney General Shai
Nitzan is building an entire political career upon prosecuting
non-leftists who exercise their freedom of speech to express opinions
he finds "objectionable."

Well, there has never been a more glaring example of a leftist
endorement of atrocities and mass murders of Jews than Larry Derfner's
latest rant. He ends that rant with the comment, "Writing this is not
treason. It is an attempt at patriotism" He is wrong. It is not
patriotism and it IS treason. It is also a felony.

I would like to ask you to take a moment and send a note to the
editor of the Jerusalem Post insisting that Derfner's employment at
the newspaper be immediately terminated. There are, after all,
plenty of non-felon leftists who can write columns for the Jerusalem
Post demanding that Israel capitulate to Arab terrorism and duplicate
Gaza in the West Bank or embrace communism as economic policy. They
do not need Derfner to do those things. The current editor in chief
is Steven Linde, at email steve@jpost.com . (He recently replaced
David Horowitz) If you have the energy, the names and emails of the
other senior Jerusalem Post editors are all on this page:
http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/AboutUs.aspx . Sending CC copy to
the wonderful Caroline Glick at caroline@jpost.com is a good idea.

Derfner himself has email address: lderfner@gmail.com

As I say, any non-leftist promoting and celebrating mass murder of
civilians would long ago have been arrested and indicted in Israel.
To demand that the rules for the goose also serve as the rules for the
lemming, and to demand that Larry Derfner face criminal indictment for
his racism and incitements to murder, please write to


Yaakov Neeman, Israeli Minister of Justice
Fax 972-2- 6285438
Email: sar@justice.gov.il
Mail Address: 29 Salah a-Din Street
Jerusalem, 91010 Israel

The Attorney General of Israel (same mail address)
Phone 972-2-6466521 or 522 at the end
Fax 972-2-6467001
And you can also type your complain into this form:
http://www.forms.gov.il/globalData/GetSequence/GetSequence.aspx?formType=yoetzmishpati1@justice.gov.il
The form is in Hebrew, but you can write in English. The bottom part
of the form is where the complaint goes. The upper part is your name
and contact details

If you fax, send a copy also to the director of criminal prosecution
in the Ministry at fax 972-2-6271783

I suggest also sending a complaint to the Israeli Prime Minister. You
can do so online in English here:
http://www.pmo.gov.il/PMOEng/Public+Applications/PublicApplications/


The following expose of Derfner appears in the American Orthodox "Ami" magazine.
AMI EXCLUSIVE: Jerusalem Post columnist calls Eilat terror attack "justified"
By Samuel Sokol, Ami Magazine

JERUSALEM- Calling his comments "an attempt at patriotism," Jerusalem
Post columnist and well known political commentator Larry Derfner
endorsed the use of violence against Israeli citizens this week in an
article posted on the self-described left-wing Zionist blog "Israel
Reconsidered."
Derfner, well known as a staunch advocate for a two-state solution,
posted a link to his article on Facebook on Monday, drawing praise
from friends for his contention that "Palestinians have the right to
resist [the occupation] – to use violence against Israelis, even to
kill Israelis." This is especially the case, Derfner wrote, since
"Israel is showing zero willingness to end the occupation, which has
been the case since the Netanyahu government took over."
According to Derfner, Israelis, many of whom he regards as secretly
agreeing with him, do not want to come out and say this, however, for
"fear of being called a traitor." However, he asserted, "it's time to
overcome this reticence, even at the cost of enflaming the already
enflamed sensitivities of the Israeli public, because this
unwillingness to say outright that Palestinians have the right to
fight the occupation, especially now, inadvertently helps keep the
occupation going."
Continuing to explain his thesis, Derfner argued that since the
continuing Israeli presence in the territories validates Palestinian
terrorism, "the Left's ritual condemnations of terror are translated
in the Israeli public's mind – as justification for the occupation and
an iron-fist military policy."
"But if, on the other hand, we were to say very forthrightly what many
of us believe and the rest of us suspect – that the Palestinians, like
every nation living under hostile rule, have the right to fight back,
that their terrorism, especially in the face of a rejectionist Israeli
government, is justified – what effect would that have?" he asked. "A
powerful one, I think, because the truth is powerful."
Stopping short of actively calling for terrorism, however, the
columnist -a Los Angeles native who immigrated to Israel in 1985-
asserted that while he "think[s] the Palestinians have the right to
use terrorism against us, I don't want them to use it, I don't want to
see Israelis killed."
As an Israeli," he explained, "I would do whatever was necessary to
stop a Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my
countrymen."
Still, I don't think Hamas and their allies need any more
encouragement, so whatever encouragement they might take from me or
any other liberal Zionist is coals to Newcastle," Derfner quipped.
He also stated that he is opposed to "encouraging Israelis in their
blindness" that prevents them from seeing that they are "compelling
[the Palestinians] to engage in terrorism." Such encouragement, he
explained, "endanger[s] their lives and ours, their country and ours,
much more than if we told the truth and got quoted on Hamas websites."
Concluding with a brief discussion of last week's triple-terror attack
in Eilat, Derfner said that "Whoever the Palestinians were who killed
the eight Israelis near Eilat last week, however vile their ideology
was, they were justified to attack."
The government of Israel, which he termed "harsh" and "unjust," is "to
blame for those eight Israeli deaths."
"Writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism," Derfner
explained.
Responding to comments on Facebook, Derfner summed up his thesis by
saying that "the occupation makes Palestinian terror justified and
inevitable." After all, he asked, "if non-violence doesn't convince
Israel to end the occupation, what are [the Palestinians] supposed to
do?"
These shocking comments, coming as they do on the heels of a national
tragedy that almost led Israel to war, will certainly create a stir.

The Jerusalem Post has indicated that it is looking into the matter of
Derfner's statements.


Here is Derfner's full blog entry:


The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror
Posted on August 21, 2011 by Larry Derfner
I think a lot of people who realize that the occupation is wrong also
realize that the Palestinians have the right to resist it – to use
violence against Israelis, even to kill Israelis, especially when
Israel is showing zero willingness to end the occupation, which has
been the case since the Netanyahu government took over (among other
times in the past).
But people don't want to say this, especially right after a terror
attack like this last one that killed eight Israelis near Eilat. And
there are lots of good reasons for this reticence, such as: You don't
want to further upset your own countrymen when they are grieving, you
don't want to say or write anything that could be picked up by
Israel's enemies and used as justification for killing more of us.
(These are good reasons; fear of being called a traitor, for instance,
is a bad reason.)
But I think it's time to overcome this reticence, even at the cost of
enflaming the already enflamed sensitivities of the Israeli public,
because this unwillingness to say outright that Palestinians have the
right to fight the occupation, especially now, inadvertently helps
keep the occupation going.
When we say that the occupation is a terrible injustice to the
Palestinians, but then say that Palestinian terror/resistance is a
terrible injustice to Israel, we're saying something that's patently
illogical to anyone but a pacifist, and there aren't many pacifists
left, certainly not in Israel. The logical, non-pacifist mind
concludes that both of those statements can't be true – that if A is
hurting B and won't stop, then B damn sure has the right to hurt A to
try to make him stop. But if everybody, not only the Right but the
Left, too, is saying that B, the Palestinians, don't have the right to
hurt A, the Israelis, then the logical mind concludes that Israel must
not be hurting the Palestinians after all, the occupation must not be
so bad, the occupation must not be hurting the Palestinians at all -
because if it was, they would have the right to hurt us back, and
everybody agrees that they don't. So when they shoot at us or fire
rockets at us, it's completely unprovoked, which gives us the right,
the duty, to bash them and bash them until they stop – and anybody who
tries to deny us that right doesn't have a leg to stand on, so we're
just going to keep right on bashing them. And when the Palestinians
complain about the occupation, we Israelis can honestly say we don't
know what they're talking about.
This, I'm convinced, is how the Left's ritual condemnations of terror
are translated in the Israeli public's mind – as justification for the
occupation and an iron-fist military policy.
But if, on the other hand, we were to say very forthrightly what many
of us believe and the rest of us suspect – that the Palestinians, like
every nation living under hostile rule, have the right to fight back,
that their terrorism, especially in the face of a rejectionist Israeli
government, is justified – what effect would that have? A powerful
one, I think, because the truth is powerful. If those who oppose the
occupation acknowledged publicly that it justifies Palestinian
terrorism, then those who support the occupation would have to explain
why it doesn't. And that's not easy for a nation that sanctifies the
right to self-defense; a nation that elected Irgun leader Menachem
Begin and Lehi leader Yitzhak Shamir as prime minister.
But while I think the Palestinians have the right to use terrorism
against us, I don't want them to use it, I don't want to see Israelis
killed, and as an Israeli, I would do whatever was necessary to stop a
Palestinian, oppressed or not, from killing one of my countrymen. (I
also think Palestinian terrorism backfires, it turns people away from
them and generates sympathy for Israel and the occupation, so I'm
against terrorism on a practical level, too, but that's besides the
point.) The possibility that Israel's enemies could use my or anybody
else's justification of terror for their campaign is a daunting one; I
wouldn't like to see this column quoted on a pro-Hamas website, and I
realize it could happen.
Still, I don't think Hamas and their allies need any more
encouragement, so whatever encouragement they might take from me or
any other liberal Zionist is coals to Newcastle. What's needed very
badly, however, is for Israelis to realize that the occupation is
hurting the Palestinians terribly, that it's driving them to try to
kill us, that we are compelling them to engage in terrorism, that the
blood of Israeli victims is ultimately on our hands, and that it's up
to us to stop provoking our own people's murder by ending the
occupation. And so long as we who oppose the occupation keep
pretending that the Palestinians don't have the right to resist it, we
tacitly encourage Israelis to go on blindly killing and dying in
defense of an unholy cause.
And by tacitly encouraging Israelis in their blindness, I think we
endanger their lives and ours, their country and ours, much more than
if we told the truth and got quoted on Hamas websites.
There's no time for equivocation anymore, if there ever was. The
mental and moral paralysis in this country must be broken. Whoever the
Palestinians were who killed the eight Israelis near Eilat last week,
however vile their ideology was, they were justified to attack. They
had the same right to fight for their freedom as any other unfree
nation in history ever had. And just like every harsh, unjust
government in history bears the blame for the deaths of its own people
at the hands of rebels, so Israel, which rules the Palestinians
harshly and unjustly, is to blame for those eight Israeli deaths – as
well as for every other Israeli death that occurred when this country
was offering the Palestinians no other way to freedom.
Writing this is not treason. It is an attempt at patriotism.

http://israelleft.com/2011/08/21/the-awful-necessary-truth-about-palestinian-terror/


Monday, August 22, 2011


Some fast thoughts:

1. This is actually from a talkback comment on Frontpage Magazine
about something else but I think it sums up the Israeli tent
protesters deliciously::

'My favorite part is when "Anarchists" who are too historically
illiterate to know that Anarchism means to be AGAINST having a
government, commit violence to show how much they want state
benefits.'


2. The tent protesters are demanding a "solution" that results in
dramatically lower housing prices. Allowing unlimited rockets to be
fired into Israel from Gaza may be the most effective such "solution."
As Haifa saw after it was blanketed wit Hezb'Allah rockets, housing
prices drop when housing units are being bonmbarded. Hamas and
Hezb'Allah rockets can now reach Tel Aviv.

But there is another problem. If the Israeli government really found
a way to lower housing prices dramatically, this drop would seriously
hurt the prospects of many of the protesters to purchase their own
home. The reason? The real estate equity of their parents (and
grandparents) would be cut dramatically if housing values drop,
lowering the ability of those family members to raise money for a down
payment for junior's flat and to assist their kids in getting housing.
True, the really poor would not be so affected because their own
parents are probably not in a position to raise capital to help in the
first place. But the protesters keep insisting they demand a solution
for the "middle classes," to which college students and young yuppies
belong.


3. Speaking of the "middle classes," just who do the protesters think
will be bearing the burden for any tax increases the government
decides upon in the name of financing social justice? The protesters
think the rich will be soaked and cover the costs. But there is a
problem with that assumption. First, there just are not that many
multi-millionaires and billionaires walking about. SO even if these
were hit with outrageously high tax rates, we are not talking about
all that much money collected in total. The rich are already paying
higher tax rates than the rest. Yet the bulk of actual government
revenue comes from the middle class, not the rich, cause there are so
many members of the middle class and not all that many of the
super-rich.

Second, soaking the rich with high taxes assumes that the rich will
not respond to those high taxes by reducing the amount of their
taxable income or shifting their taxable income into investments and
tax havens where the income will be safe from those high taxes. Give
the rich some credit. If they are rich, they can afford to hire good
tax consultants. The bottom line is that not only will the amount of
additional tax revenue collected from soaking-the-rich taxation not be
anywhere near what the protesters think, tax revenue might not even go
up at all. If those rich being so soaked are on the "wrong side" of
their Laffer Curves, raising tax rates for them will actually LOWER
government tax revenue. A simple solution for an overtaxed rich
person would be to retire and stop exerting effort to generate income
altogether.

So since the rich are unlikely to provide much more milk for the tax
office dairy, most additional tax revenue will really come from the
middle classes. Those same middle classes the tentsters claim to want
to protect and benefit.

(For more on this, go to
http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2011/8/17/main-feature/1/whats-behind-israels-middle-class-revolt
)


4. Most of the tent protesters make little effort to hide the fact
that they are well to the Left on questions like "the occupation" and
"settlements," and quite a few are open communists. They mix "end the
occupation" banners and tee shirts with "social justice" slogans.

So here is a question for them. Suppose, just suppose, that tomorrow
all the "settlers" were to be evicted en masse from the West Bank and
marched back across the Green Line at bayonet point by peace-loving
social-justice-seeking leftists. Just what do the protesters think
would then happen to Israeli housing prices inside teh Green Line from
this massive jolt to demand?


5. As already noted, but worth repeating, today anyone who insists
that the occupation be ended and that the occupation is the source of
all evil is really a person who seeks to duplicate Gaza in the West
Bank.


6. A leftist for converting Gaza into a parking lot:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4112001,00.html


7. The Blitz vs the Blitz
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4111960,00.html


Sunday, August 21, 2011


1. Reprint of piece from 2006:

http://www.jewishpressads.com/pageroute.do/20072/

THE ROCKET BLITZ

By: Steven Plaut

Date: Wednesday, December 06 2006
A fascinating question of history is what might have happened
had Neville Chamberlain not resigned in May 1940 but continued on as
British prime minister, with Winston Churchill never taking command.
What would have happened during the blitz as bombs and rockets
exploded all over London, killing and maiming men, women and children?

After careful consideration, the following is a virtual history
of the London blitz without Churchill:

As the rockets begin to land and explode around London,
Chamberlain announces that he recognizes the German Reich and the
right of Germany to set up its own state in areas released from Czech
and Polish occupation. Britain appeals to Hitler to arrest those
enemies of peace who are launching rockets at London. Chamberlain
appeals to the political leaders of the Reich to denounce the rocket
terror and begin negotiations to end the attacks.

Hitler insists he is trying his best to stop the violence but is
having trouble controlled the radicals who have taken over the German
parliament. The British foreign minister agrees. To help calm the
situation, the British government agrees to send food and medicine to
Germany. The RAF targets and assassinates some Luftwaffe pilots and
base personnel, but several German civilians are killed; Britain is
denounced for this by the international community and by the British
Labor Party.

Hitler speaks at a large rally in Nuremberg and exhorts the
masses to remember the martyred German pilots who were killed while
dropping bombs on London, and to strive to continue their mission.
Chamberlain praises Hitler's speech for exhibiting moderation and
restraint. He begins sending small arms to the Germans to help control
the anti-peace German underground opposition groups.

During a lull in the bombings, Chamberlain makes a speech in
which he says he is more concerned about the invasion of Britain by
Hollywood movies than he is by buzz bombs (to be echoed decades later
in an Oslo-era speech by Shimon Peres, in which Peres would say he is
far more worried about the infiltration into Israel of cable
television than the infiltration of terrorists).

When more bombs explode, the calls increase inside Britain to
strike back at Germany. The British Union for German Human rights
denounces this as racism and bigotry.

Chamberlain points out that massive retaliation would be the very
worst option possible. Britain must endeavor to make peace with its
German peace partners, not feed the fires of hatred. This is the only
way to achieve a New Middle Europe, he insists. And besides, if Hitler
is not supported and strengthened, an even more radical and violent
leader will emerge in Germany.

As more rockets fall, Chamberlain points out that the dead are
simply martyrs for peace and Britain must carry on with its peace
process, since there is no alternative. A pro-German member of the
British parliament travels to Berlin and calls for Britain's
annihilation. Chamberlain allows Oswald Mosley's fascist party to run
in the election. Mosley's people exercise hegemony over the British
universities and the media.

After more rockets explode, Chamberlain loses his temper and
decides to take action at last. He assigns extra police to guard the
Underground stations in London. He orders British critics of his peace
process to be arrested for criminal incitement against the government,
accusing the critics of undermining peace efforts and endangering
security. Chamberlain meets with British antiwar poets and writers and
they issue an appeal to the British public to remain firm in the face
of adversity and continue to strive for peace. Stiff British upper lip
and all that.

Chamberlain again appeals to President Hitler, as the legitimate
leader of the Teutonic peoples, to arrest those responsible for the
rocket aggressions. But he reminds British citizens that the
unbearable alternative to negotiations with the Reich would be to send
British soldiers back into the territories of Central Europe. Teams of
pro-German professors from British universities tour the world
demanding a boycott of all commerce and trade with Britain.

More rockets land. Chamberlain proposes speeding up the peace
process and disarming the Royal Navy as a show of good will. The
representatives of Vichy France come for a state visit, congratulating
Chamberlain and the British and German peoples for their devotion to
peace in the face of provocation.

Some more rockets land. Chamberlain proposes, as a retaliatory
measure, arresting some ethnic German pro-Nazi spies inside Britain,
but British civil rights lawyers appeal to the Court of Appeals and
the ruling is overturned. The government considers proposals to turn
Stonehenge over to the Germans as a goodwill gesture, since it is a
holy shrine for all pagans.

Even more rockets land. The British Peace Now movement notes
that there would be no violence at all if the British would just
disarm altogether and stop making Hitler feel insecure. Besides, they
say, the British should not be occupying Scotland and Wales at all,
lands in which they don't belong. Chamberlain opens secret
negotiations with Germany to transfer London's East End, Greenwich and
Docklands areas to German sovereignty.

Many more rockets land. That's it, yells Chamberlain. The
proverbial camel's back is broken. It is time to fight German terror
with all means at our disposal. This is the Moral Equivalent Of War,
he yells - MEOW, for short. There is no alternative.

We must, he declares, initiate talks with Germany at once so that
we can conduct unilateral withdrawal as quickly as possible from Devon
and the Midlands.


2. The return of RRH

http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/30483


ISRAEL'S RRH DOCTRINE REVISITED

By: Steven Plaut

Date: Wednesday, March 05 2008
Back in the fall of 2005 I wrote, in an Internet article responding
to one of the early rounds of rocket attacks on Sderot from Gaza
following Israel's "disengagement" from the area:

"The PLO and its affiliates now have all the freedom they need to
upgrade their rockets. The new, improved Kassam rockets will be able
to hit Ashkelon from Gaza. Sharon's Gaza capitulation will turn the
Negev town of Sderot into Israel's Stalingrad."

This past week that prediction became fact. Ashkelon became the next
victim of the Sharon-Olmert strategy of defeating the terrorists by
waiting for them to run out of ammunition. The Olmert government is
suddenly upset that Ashkelon was hit by Hamas GRUD rockets and is
meowing that this really is intolerable and crosses all the red lines.

Translation: firing thousands of rockets into Sderot and turning it
into the Israeli Guernica is tolerable and was never crossing red
lines because who cares about those backward, religious Moroccan
blue-collar workers in Sderot?

Olmert's people are saying that if the blitz on Ashkelon does not
end, Israel will hit back really, really hard. Of course Israel has
been making empty threats to hit back really, really, hard for more
than two decades. It did send some troops into Gaza in response to the
latest atrocities, but it was much too little, much too late. Only a
comedian would consider it to be hitting back really, really hard.

I've long suspected that it is the Israeli grand strategy to defeat
the Palestinians by forcing them to laugh themselves to death. That
seems to be the only possible way to understand the latest
resuscitation of the RRH Doctrine, which has dominated Israeli policy
toward the Palestinians and the Arab states since the early 1990's.

The RRH Doctrine was invented in the early days of Oslo. Israeli
governments would make deals to hand over most of the West Bank and
Gaza Strip to the PLO, while reassuring Israelis that there was no
reason for worry - if the Palestinians misbehaved, Israel would hit
back at them. Really, Really Hard.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf was a far more credible strategist.

Even if, perchance, anyone ever took the RRH threats seriously, by
the mid-1990's RRH was little more than a long-running standup shtick.
Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres had threatened it during the early days
of Oslo. Later, after each successive act of terrorism, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu would loudly invoke RRH, but did little, if
anything, to retaliate.

After Netanyahu came Ehud Barak, who also threatened RRH regularly.
But his only implementation of it consisted of chopper attacks on
empty Palestinian buildings - and only after the PLO was given advance
notification so that all humans and terrorists could be evacuated.

RRH was also used by a series of Israeli prime ministers to threaten
Hizbullah in Lebanon and their Syrian puppet masters. After each
Hizbullah attack on Israeli towns or forces, Israel threatened the
most serious RRH. But in the end, the only action taken was a
panicked, unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which left
Hizbullah sitting smack on Israel's border with thousands of its
rockets aimed at northern Israel.

Almost as old as the RRH Doctrine is the
Who-Could-Have-Ever-Predicted-THAT Syndrome. Since Oslo, every new
Israeli concession has resulted in escalated Palestinian violence. And
each time the Israeli chattering classes would sigh and ask, "Who
could have possibly foreseen this?"

Israel's media and intellectual elite could not foresee any failures
stemming from the Oslo capitulations and appeasements because the
media and universities are by and large occupied territories of
Israel's radical left. The answer to the rhetorical question "Who
could have foreseen the failures of Oslo?" is "Anyone not blinded by
ideology."

Predicting that cowardice in the face of rocket attacks on Sderot
would lead to similar attacks on Ashkelon hardly required the
prophetic skills of a Jeremiah.

A few weeks after the handshake on the White House lawn in 1993, I
wrote my first article predicting the complete failure of the
Rabin-Peres Oslo initiative. I said the PLO would simply use any
territory turned over to it by Israel to build a terror infrastructure
and launch attacks on Israel. I wrote of future rocket attacks and
sniper fire against Israeli towns from the Palestinian-controlled
areas years before they actually began in earnest. And I was hardly
alone in 20/20 foresight.

Let's give the Arabs some credit. Israel has made so many threats of
RRH since the Oslo "peace process" began that a Palestinian leader
would have to be learning disabled to take any of them seriously. If I
consider them a joke, why should Abu Mazen and the Hamas leaders take
any of them seriously?

The fast incursion that killed a few dozen terrorists in Gaza this
week will hardly make a difference.

The Palestinians know what we all know: Olmert is afraid to take the
only action that, in the end, can end the shooting of Kassam rockets
into Israeli homes: R&D - Reoccupation and Denazification.


I think that the time has come to send messages of greetings and
felicitations to the heads of Iran for their arresting three American
"hikers" and convicting two of them over the weekend for "espionage."
The convictions seem to be empirical proof that God has a sense of
humor.

Why? Because all three are long-time activists in the "BDS"
Boycott-Israel and Cheer Palestinian Terrorism "solidarity" movements.
There are numerous sources for this claim, a few attached below.

The details of the arrest, from the blog of the third arrestee (Sarah
Shourd, who was released on half a million dollar bail, showing that
some jihadis are sitting on very large endowment funds from mommy and
daddy) are here:

'On July 31, 2009, three Americans, Sarah Shourd (32), Shane Bauer
(28) and Joshua Fattal (28), were detained by Iranian border guards
while allegedly hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran claims the three
crossed into Iranian territory, but the three Americans claim they
were kidnapped from within Iraq. Sarah Shourd was released on
$500,000 bail by Iran on September 14, 2010, on humanitarian grounds
due to her declining health. The trial of the three hikers began on 6
February 2011; Sarah Shourd will not

'In June 2010, an article in The Nation alleged that two villagers
said the hikers were accosted by Iranian authorities while they were
on the Iraqi side of the border. The three, anti-war, social justice
and Palestinian solidarity activists, had been living and active in
the Middle East, and were on holiday in Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous
region of Iraq free from the sectarian struggle that dominates much of
Iraq. They had been advised of the suitability of the region for a
holiday by friends who had been there and through Internet research;
and were recommended the Ahmed Awa waterfall, a popular Kurdish
tourist destination, by a number of local people whilst they were in
Sulaymaniyah. After visiting the waterfall, they continued walking
within what they believed to be Iraqi Kurdistan, up to and including
the time they were detained by Iranian border guards. According to
the BBC, they were not "publicly charged" with a crime by Iran; but
according to the New York Times, they have been held on espionage
charges since their arrest.'

The Nation is supporting them? That sure convinces me they are guilty!

Well, all I can say is that there is lots of room in the Iran gulag
for lots of other "BDS" and "International Solidarity Movement"
pogromchiks. Come to think of it, why should't Israel ship its
tenured radical leftists to Kurdistan to do some border hiking?


For more on our hiking pogromchiks, go to


http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/why-the-u-s-cares-little-about-the-jailed-hikers-in-iran-hint-its-about-palestine/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evin_Prison

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Shourd/136974762991964


Saturday, August 20, 2011


1. Would it not be nice if people simply said what they mean? All
those tent protesters whining about "piggish capitalism" and yearning
for "Scandinavian socialism" when what they really want is free
handouts, rent controls with the housing in consequential shortage
being granted to them, and a comfortable standard of living without
having to work too hard. And then, when Israeli leftists denounce
the "occupation," insist that the "occupation" is the root of all
evil, demand an end to the "occupation," what do they REALLY mean?
What they all really mean when they demand an end to the "occupation"
is the duplication of Gaza to the West Bank.

Once they end the "occupation," events like those near Eilat last
week will be daily events in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.


2. You might have seen that famous movie "The Terminal" with Tom
Hanks, where the character played by Hanks gets stuck in an airport in
limbo for a long period, living there, because of bureaucratic idiocy.
Well, that ain't nothing compared to what Israel's pointy-headed
bureaucrats are capable of doing!

I thought that the following story is probably the best
illustration of what is REALLY wrong with Israeli economic policy.

As you know, there are a handful of Jews still in Yemen, and every
once in a while a few manage to get out quietly. Well, according to
the weekly "Shvi'i" this week, a religious magazine, one such Yemenite
Jew named Yosef Hamadi managed to make it all the way to Ben Gurion
Airport near Tel Aviv from Yemen. The problem was that the local
Israeli customs officials wanted to refuse to allow him in. Why?
Because Hamadi had brought with him a Torah Scroll from Yemen, and
there are high tariffs or import taxes on Torah scrolls brought into
Israel, probably to protect the wages of the local Sofrim. There are
also high import taxes on food, designed to make it expensive for
Israelis to eat, and on some construction materials, making it
expensive to build housing.

In fact, the new arrival from Yemen almost played Tom Hanks. He
was ordered to pay 7200 NIS in customs taxes to bring the scroll in
with him. Otherwise the scroll would be blocked from entering, as
would be he, unless he left it behind. Israel, you see, still has a
mercantilist 18th century set of policies from before the British Corn
Laws governing imports. These contribute to the high cost of living
and the perpetuation of monopolies and cartels inside of Israel and
even to the gross distortion of the exchange value of the shekel.

Eventually Gilad Mizrachi, the Deputy Minister of the Environment
in Israel, personally paid the import tax so that the Torah scroll and
its owner could enter Israel.


3. Remember when the slogan that summed up the American elections and
the collapse of the Republican Party at the end of the Bush
administration was, "It's the economy, stupid."

Well, I wish I could take credit for this quip, but I think the best
comment so far on the Woodstock on the Yarkon tent protests in Tel
Aviv is in the column by Uri Elitzur in Makor Rishon this weekend. He
describes how he would sum up the tentster protests if he were writing
a memo to Manuel Trachtenberg, the head of the committee on "social
change" appointed by Netanyahu to try to buy off the tentsters.
Trachtenberg is a professor of economics, with specialization in the
economics of technology. Elitzur sums up the tent protests with the
quip, "It's the stupid people, economist!"


4. There is one other item in this weekend's Makor Rishon which I
wish I had written. Actually it is written by Rabbi Haim Navon. He
is mocking the tentster protesters and their demands. He suggests
that in the next round of protests they issue a series of demands
related to the hot summers in Israel. According to Navon, these
should include:

1. A law that limits how hot it can get in Israel in August.
2. In order to make productive use of solar energy Israel needs to
destroy all settlements in the West Bank at once and replace them with
large solar panels.
3. Israel will officially cut July and August down to 15 days each
and insert a new month in between them – the month of chill and
solidarity.
4. All factories in the Israeli periphery that emit pollution will be
converted into igloo manufacturers.
5. Tens of thousands of igloos will be distributed for free to
Israelis living in hardship, especially to Negev Bedouin squatters
living illegally on lands that do not belong to them.
6. Since greenhouse gases are causing global warming, all Israeli
power plants will be shut down in August, making it a cooler month.
7. Being realists, the protesters understand that Israel would still
need a source of power and so they are proposing that it be generated
by conscripting tens of thousands of unemployed Israelis and assigning
them to peddling stationary bike exercise machines attached to a
generator to generate electricity, while earning high wages
8. Every Israeli citizen will receive an organic air conditioner unit
that generates its own energy with compost and love.
9. The government will be asked to provide subsidized air tickets for
young Israelis wishing to go to cooler countries in August.
10. And the most important way to make August cooler is to get rid of
Bibi and his government.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This evening a shorter version of the article that is pasted below
came out in the NY Jewish Press, and can be read at
http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/49383

I am taking advantage of your patience by pasting here the longer
fuller version of the article. The shorter version can be read from
the address just mentioned.

Is the Talmud anti-Christian?
By Steven Plaut


For centuries Jews have been accused of studying anti-Christian texts
and materials supposedly contained in the Talmud. Such allegations
are the staple fare of anti-Semitic organizations and web sites and a
favorite calumny of Neo-Nazis.

But is there any truth to it?

First of all, just what exactly is the Talmud? It is an edited set of
protocols of scholarly debate and discussions that took place in
rabbinic "academies" operating between the second and late fifth
centuries. There are in fact two Talmuds. The more authoritative one
is the Babylonian Talmud, composed in Jewish academies located in what
is now Iraq in the pre-Moslem era. It was composed in jurisdictions
outside the Roman empire, and so also outside the realm of
Christendom. The participants in the Talmudic discourse in "Babylon"
lived under pagan rule and had no reason for reluctance in expressing
criticism or dissent from Christianity, if they were of such a mind.
The second, shorter Talmud is the Jerusalem Talmud, composed in
academies in the Land of Israel, and so subject to the censorship and
rule of Rome and later of the Byzantine Empire.

The subject matter of the Talmud is by and large Biblical law, ranging
from laws about torts, property, court procedure, marriage, and
divorce to rulings regarding religious ritual and custom. Because the
Talmud is essentially the collection of protocols of debates, it also
includes sections of digressions that were made by the participants in
those debates, when they would meander off and discuss folklore,
gossip, medical advice, legend, history, and humor. Some of the
comments are biting insults by one scholar challenging another. Only
parts of the Talmud have survived the ages; some other sections or
"tractates" were lost. The language of both Talmuds is Aramaic, mixed
with Hebrew, although each Talmud is in a different dialect of
Aramaic, making their mastery an enormous challenge that requires
decades of work and effort to accomplish properly. Of the
traditional charges made by anti-Semites that the Talmud is somehow
anti-Christian, all such accusations are directed at the Babylonian
Talmud. None are directed at the Jerusalem Talmud.

A complete set of the Babylonian Talmud takes up several shelves in a
library, and consists of thousands of pages and dozens of book
volumes. There is more than one version of the Talmud, with minor
differences in the text. The standard "Vilna" version, often
considered the most reliable, has nearly 6000 pages, and versions
including translations or additional commentaries can be longer. The
"Schottenstein" translation of the Talmud into English consists of 73
volumes.

Traditional anti-Semitism has claimed that the Talmud is filled with
derogatory comments about Jesus, Mary and Christianity. Such
allegations have been made for so many centuries that even some
civilized and fair-minded people accept them at face value. Because
of such allegations, throughout the centuries volumes of the Talmud
were often burnt, sometimes at the instigation of the Church.
Talmudic texts were often subject to censorship in Christian nations,
but usually not in Moslem countries - since the Talmud predates the
Qur'an (Koran).

As it turns out, every single accusation and allegation about Talmudic
anti-Christian texts is based upon creative "deconstructing" of
Talmudic references to sinners or those who are punished, falsely
alleging that these actually refer to Christian figures. The
deconstruction operates even when the sinner in question has a
completely different name, or no name.

In fact, there are no explicit references to Christianity at all
anywhere in the Talmud. There are no specific references to Jesus or
Mary although there are references to people who have names somewhat
similar to theirs. Thus while the traditional Hebrew name for Jesus
is Yeshua, there are mentions of several people named Yeshu, generally
people who live in different eras, either long before Jesus or long
afterwards. There is also a story about an immoral woman named
Miriam, but again there is no reason why anyone should assume this is
referring to the New Testament's Mary. The names Miriam and Yeshu
appear in the Jewish Bible (the "Old Testament"), where they obviously
do not refer to the Christian figures, and both names were evidently
commonly used in the era of the Talmud.

Out of the massive volume of Talmudic text, traditional anti-Semitism
claimed to find a handful of passages that refer to Jesus. The most
lurid and common accusation involves a single passage in the Talmudic
tractate Gittim, a section of the Talmud that generally involves laws
of divorce. Anti-Semites claim the page describes Jesus in the
Afterworld being punished by being boiled in excrement. Among current
anti-Semitic web sites making this accusation are that of David Duke,
that of Holocaust Denier Michael Hoffman II, and those of countless
other Neo-Nazis and anti-Semitics.

There is a tradition among Jews of studying a full Talmudic page each
day, a daunting challenge that takes up at least a full hour, or more
if it is done properly. As it turns out, this week it was my turn to
study Gittim page 57, that selection of the Talmud. So I am not
relying on the reports by others who have studied the page in question
but on my own eyes.

As it turns out Jesus is nowhere mentioned on the page, nor is there
anyone with a name resembling that of Jesus, like Yeshu. What
actually is on the page is a digression by the sages participating in
a debate about land ownership law, who get sidetracked into a long
discussion of legends concerning Roman Emperors, starting with Caesar
and ending with Titus. The immoral behavior of Titus is discussed at
length (he is said to have had sex with a prostitute inside the Holy
of Holies of the Temple in order to desecrate it). The various
indignities and punishments Titus suffers later in his life are
described, with the presumption that these are divine retributions.
Having discussed Titus's life at length, a relative of Titus is then
discussed. The nephew of Titus was named Onkeles son of Kelonikos,
and he converted to Judaism, becoming one of the leading scholars of
his age. One of the earliest translations of the Bible (into Aramaic)
was performed by this same Onkeles and is still an indispensable tool
for understanding the Bible.

In the Talmudic legendary digression about the life of Onkeles, it is
said that when he was at first contemplating converting from Roman
paganism to Judaism but had not yet made up his mind, he conjured up
his dead uncle, Titus, from the Afterworld. Titus describes his
torments there to his nephew. Onkeles then conjures up two other dead
sinners: one is the evil Balaam discussed in the Book of Numbers, who
lived many centuries earlier, and the last is a nameless Jewish sinner
who had mocked the teachings of the sages. Both are suffering
torments in the Afterlife, with the last sinner being boiled in feces.
The first two sinners advise Onkeles not to convert, while the last
sinner advises him to embrace Judaism, in spite of the sinner's own
posthumous sufferings.

Balaam is a symbol of evil used in Jewish texts going back many
centuries before Jesus was born. Anti-Semites claim, somewhat
inconsistently, that Balaam in this page of the Talmud is a secret
code word being used to mock Jesus, and also that the nameless Jewish
sinner being discussed is Jesus. They cannot both be referring to
Jesus. Clearly neither are.

Balaam was a pagan priest in the Bible, serving the king of Moab. In
later Jewish texts, when Jews living under Roman or Christian rule
wished to criticize or protest the behavior of the rulers, they used
"Edom" and the "descendents of Esau" as code for Romans or Christians.
Never "Moab." In fact Moab gets some good publicity in Judaism
because the great grandmother of King David is a Moabite woman, Ruth,
and Moabites are descendent from Lot, the nephew of Abraham. The
nameless Jewish sinner included in the story is clearly added to
illustrate the somewhat different torment of a disrespectful Jew
compared with the punishments of the pagan sinners.

In short, nothing on this page of Talmud refers to Jesus. There is
also nothing that refers to Christianity or Christian figures.
Dredging up this as "evidence" that the Talmud is anti-Christian is a
bit like claiming that Cain or Dotan or Korach are secret Biblical
references to Jesus in an attempt to paint the Old Testament as
anti-Christian propaganda. It is very much like claiming that
criticism of a Hispanic named Jesus, which is a common name among
Latinos, is a secret form of anti-Christian blasphemy.

While that Talmudic segment may be the one most widely cited by
anti-Semites as "proof" that the Talmud is little more than
anti-Christian incitement, the other segments cited by anti-Semites in
"evidence" are, if anything, even sillier.

There is a nameless person, called Plony, which is a Biblical term for
an unnamed person - like John Doe, who is described in the Talmud as a
bastard. Anti-Semites claim it refers to Jesus. It obviously does
not. The John Doe in question evidently lived long after Jesus.

In a different Talmudic segment there is a reference to a nameless
immoral woman, a descendent of princes, who hung out with carpenters.
Evidently because of the carpenter reference, anti-Semites claimed
this was referring to Mary. There are no Christian sources that claim
that Mary was descendent from any princes. The woman in question is
mentioned in the Talmud as someone who practiced sorcery like Balaam.
Anti-Semites claim that the original text here, later removed by
censors, named the woman "Miriam the Hairdresser." Just why anyone
would think that a hairdresser descendent from princes was referring
to the Mary of the New Testament is unclear.

There is indeed a Yeshu discussed in the Talmud, but he is the wayward
pupil of a Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachiah, and they lived long before
Jesus was born (under a Hasmonean King who ruled a century before
Christ), spending much of their lives in Alexandria, Egypt. This
Yeshu's sin was that he made a comment about the eyes of a married
woman. The Talmud elsewhere says that this Yeshu had close ties with
the government. No one thinks Jesus was politically well-connected
with the Romans.

If this were to be some sort of Talmudic diatribe against Jesus,
surely the sages involved could have come up with something better
than disapproval of a comment made about a woman's eyes. And from the
biographical details, it is clear that it could not be referring to
the Jesus of Christianity. The only "evidence" here is the name
Yeshu, which was a common one. There is even another Yeshu who is not
Christ mentioned in the New Testament (Collossians 4:11). A different
Yeshu is mentioned in the Talmud having five disciples, four of whom
have names that do not resemble any of the disciples of Christ, and
one is named Matai, a common name, which some claim resembles Matthew.

In other segments of the Talmud one can find references to a Son of
Stada, who was a sinner executed on the eve of Passover in Lud after
being judged by a Jewish court for sorcery. Anti-Semites have claimed
this is a code reference to Jesus. But Jesus was not executed on the
eve of Passover, the execution was not in Lud, his father was not
Stada, he was judged by a Roman court and was not accused of sorcery,
and the Son of Stada evidently lived a century after Christ. The
Talmud cites a dissenting source that Stada was actually the name of
the mother of the Son of Stada, and that she left her husband to have
an affair with a man named Pandira. This is the section where Stada
is also referred to as the Hairdresser Miriam. The first husband of
this hairdresser is discussed elsewhere in the Talmud and is known to
have lived a century after Christ. So none of this can reasonably be
considered to be referring to Jesus.

None of this is to suggest that the Rabbis of the Talmud believed in
Christ or were secret Christians. They had their theological disputes
with Christianity, but these are not matters that are the focus in the
Talmud. While in its earliest phases, Christianity was a minority
theological movement of Jews who were practicing Judaism, the Rabbis
who participated in the Talmudic debates were not part of that
movement. In the debates in the Talmud they are preoccupied with
other matters.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


1. Goatgate

http://thejewishpress.blogspot.com/2011/08/we-need-to-investigate-senator-leahys.html

I would like to propose that the Knesset investigate whether
Senator Patrick Leahy is romantically involved with goats.

I can think of no more appropriate response to Leahy's call to cut
aid to Israel because of the actions taken by Israel's three most
elite military units: Shayetet 13 unit, undercover Duvdevan unit, and
the Israeli Air Force Shaldag. Because budgets are fungible, this
does not really threaten the operation of those units. But it puts
Leahy suddenly in bed with the worst of the BDS (boycott, divest,
sanctions) guttersnipes who want to solve the world's problems with
economic sanctions against Israel.

Leahy of course is the ultra-liberal Senator from Vermont who has
made a career out of promoting political correctness and leftism. The
strongest promoter in the Senate of affirmative action apartheid, he
led the campaign for "gay marriage," Obamacare, and opposes free
trade. He opposed the Patriot Act and favors unconditional unilateral
US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Wikipedia says he is a great
fan and collector of Batman comic books.

Leahy, while in the past sometimes pro-Israel, is now chummy with
JStreet (http://jstreet.org/senator-patrick-leahy-d-vt-statement-regarding-violence-gaza/
) . He has been the leading Sentor denouncing Israel's supposed
mistreatment of Palestinian children (see this:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/03/patrick-leahy-friend-of-israel/9723/
), and compared that to the sufferings of Irish children during the
Great Irish Famine. He has long been trying to cut support for
Israel (http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2007/07/how-patrick-leahy-tried-and-fa/index.shtml
).

The elite military units Leahy wants castrated financially are
Israel's main line of defense against Palestinian mass murders and
genocidal terrorists. Leahy says these need to be defunded because
Israel does not sufficiently investigate the human rights abuses
perpetuated by those units. In other words, Goldstone Commission
style, let's assume Israel is guilty of routinely carrying out human
rights abuses and then have sanctions against Israel for not indicting
and convicting itself for those abuses. Curiously, Leahy has never
demanded investigations into the human rights abuses perpetuated by
the family members of Americans killed in the 911 attacks, nor by the
families of the kids killed in the Breivik killings in Norway. In
fact he has never even demanded an investigation into human rights
abuses perpetrated by couples married under Vermont's gay marriage law
nor by people who collect Batman comic books. It goes without saying
that he did not call for a halt to aid to the "Palestinians" for their
countless atrocities.

And that is why I really seriously think the Israeli Knesset should
respond to Leahy's initiative by calling for an investigation into the
question of whether Leahy is romantically involved with goats! I
mean, how else are we to know whether or not there exists such an
alarming and abusive relationship?!

You can find more details and Leahy's contact information here:
http://www.onejerusalem.org/2011/08/democrat-senator-threatens-isr.php


2. The infantile tent protest festivals in Israel have now morphed
into the battle of the meaningless committees.

You remember that old quip about how a camel is really a horse
designed by committee?

Well, Netanyahu has decided to buy off the tent protesters by setting
up a committee of more than 60 people (!!!) to study all about "social
justice" and the economic problems of Israel, to be manned by
students, professors, tentsters, and others. The committee will not
do anything, and no one seriously thinks a committee of more than 60
can hope to understand, let alone fix, economic problems. (How many
committee members have ever taken freshman economics?) But Netanyahu
hopes it will take some wind out of the tentster sails, and by the
time the committee makes its recommendations, the rains will be here
and the tentsters and their kids will be back in school.

Meanwhile, a counter-committee has been set up by Israeli communists,
far Leftists, and their fellow travelers, to challenge any proposals
that might come out of the "Trachtenberg Committee," the name of the
meaningless Netanyahu committee. This counter committee is being
called the Yonah-Spivak committee. It is headed by anti-Israel far
leftist sociologist by Yossi Yonah, from Ben Gurion "University" who
is also on the staff of the semi-Marxist Van Leer Institute. You can
read about him here:
http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/BGU%20-%20Rivka%20Carmi%20-%20Nuremberg%20Rally.htm

His sidekick is Avia Spivak, who is ordinarily an intelligent guy, an
expert on pension fund financing, and possibly the only member of the
"counter-committee" who is not a Marxist.

The easiest way to recognize a Marxist these days is to spot people
who use the nonsense word "Neo-Liberal." By that they do not mean
liberal, but simply non-Marxist. Neo-liberals are what Marxists call
people who think that markets should usually be allowed to operate.
One of Israel's leading denunciators of Neo-Liberalism is Joseph
Zeira, a radical leftist and anti-Israel activist from the Hebrew
University. He will also be on the "counter-committee." It is hard
to find an anti-Israel petition he has not signed. He is joined on
the committee by the ultra-leftist anti-Israel Dani Filc, Neve
Gordon's mini-me and currently the chair of the department of politics
at Ben Gurion "University." Also on the committee is Mordecai
Kremnitzer from Tel Aviv University Law and from the leftist Israel
Institute of Democracy, who has made a career out of defending the
human rights of terrorists and denouncing Israel's policy of defending
its population (see
http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Joel%20Amitai%20-%20Mordechai%20Kremnitzer.htm
). Also there is Itzhak Galnoor, the inventor of affirmative action
quotas in Israel and the chief McCarthyist denouncing those in Israel
who criticize the Left as McCarthyists. They are joining by a Jewish
Marxist woman who has no academic job and an Arab woman who has no
academic job, both described by Haaretz as "professors." Plus a few
other leftists, and one token rabbi (Shai Peron), from the
ultra-leftist "Rabbis for Human Rights." .


Sunday, August 14, 2011


This is not the most earthshaking news item but it is one of the most bizarre.

Let us tell you about Judgette Shira Scheindlin. She does not think
that the First Amendment entitles Jews in prison to eat matzos and
drink grape juice. Here is the story:

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/judge+rules+inmate+constitutional+right+matzo+juice/5249612/story.html


U.S. judge rules inmate has no constitutional right to matzo, juice
Reuters . Aug. 13, 2011 | Last Updated: Aug. 13, 2011 3:03 AM ET

A U.S. federal judge has ruled an inmate in a New York jail does not have a
constitutionally protected right to matzo and grape juice. Christopher (!!!)
Henry, who was charged with first-degree sodomy, claimed permanent trauma
and malnourishment, and requested nearly US$10-billion in damages for
violating his First Amendment right to religious freedom. The man didn't
request matzo, right, for Passover, during which it is traditionally eaten.
He demanded to have the unleavened bread served daily and grape juice every
Friday. Judge Shira Scheindlin held the Rikers Island, N.Y., jail could deny
his request to maintain order and keep costs reasonable. "Providing
individualized meals to a single inmate might well foster an impression of
favouritism, which could lead to jealousy and resentment among the inmate
population," she wrote.


Well, here are some followup items. Please open this news story about
the Judgette marrying off her son:
http://amarillo.com/stories/082910/ann_announce2.shtml

I will add no comment.

Except one. The daughter of the Judgette Shira named in the piece,
Dahlia Scheindlin, has now become one of the worst academic leftist
anti-Israel radicals in Israel. At Ben Guiron "University" of course,
where else? You can learn about her here:

http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Lee%20Kaplan%20-%20BGU%20-%20Dahlia%20Scheindlin%20-%20Flotilla%20with%20the%20Jihadis.htm

She helps run a leftist anti-Israel web magazine that censors out
pro-Israel opinion at http://972mag.com/author/dahlias/


Friday, August 12, 2011


Does Scandinavian Socialism Work?

http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/12/does-scandinavian-socialism-work/

Posted By Steven Plaut On August 12, 2011 @ 12:35 am In Daily
Mailer,FrontPage | 1 Comment


There is nothing like a good stock market bear run to get all the
media wags out and chattering about the "death of capitalism."
Invariably the same folks take to lecturing the rest of us about how
the only hope for humankind is "social democracy" in the form of
Scandinavian-style "socialism."

It would be hard to understate the extent of romanticizing and fantasy
concerning Scandinavia's economic and social systems to be found among
the Western "intellectual classes," and that clearly includes the left
wing of the Democrat Party. Scandinavians themselves are often not
as convinced that Scandinavian socialism is all it is cracked up to
be, and Sweden's own ex-Prime Minister Carl Bildt (current Foreign
Minister) has pronounced it a failure.

Scandinavian countries are "socialist" in some senses and vibrantly
capitalist in other senses. They are "socialist" in the sense that
they have very high taxes with very generous social welfare services
provided by the state, the famous "cradle-to-grave" welfare state.
They are vibrantly capitalist in the sense that they have low levels
of interference in markets by the government, low levels of
regulation, low levels of nationalization of industry and capital, and
almost no protectionism. Interestingly, Scandinavian countries,
especially Sweden, manage to maintain those levels of taxes and
expenditures while achieving high levels of national wealth and
production, and a standard of living among the world's highest. As a
result Western groupies of Scandinavia hold its "socialism" up as the
model for the rest of the world and certainly for the bastions of
capitalist inequality and class conflict, especially the
English-speaking nations.

The wealth and riches of Sweden of course are at least in part the
byproduct of Swedish cowardice and moral depravity. Sweden sat out
both World Wars, and emerged from them with its economy completely in
tact. In fact, "neutral" Sweden made money trading with Hitler's
Germany and providing the Nazi war machine with war materials, even
while its fellow Scandinavian nations were being overrun, brutalized
and devastated.

Be that as it may, Sweden in particular and Scandinavia in general are
hailed as the great champions of humanism and egalitarianism, as the
countries that have cured poverty and eliminated hardship and material
suffering. Here is not the place for an overall assessment of
Scandinavian societies, which – like all countries – have their
positive points and also their problems. The question here is whether
Scandinavian "socialism" is really the panacea for poverty.

Sure enough, poverty rates are comparatively low in Scandinavian
countries compared with most of the rest of the world. In fairness,
it should be noted that they are not the ONLY countries with low
poverty rates. Ultra-capitalist Switzerland, which no one would
mistake for a socialist country and which has a population similar in
size to that of Sweden, appears to have poverty rates lower than those
in the Scandinavian utopias. But there is a serious analytic issue
that must be addressed and it is this: Are poverty rates in
Scandinavian countries low because Scandinavian-style "socialism"
works, or are they low because Scandinavians work?

Let us begin by noting that while the dimensions of poverty are
relatively small by international standards, Scandinavian countries
definitely do have poverty. Scandinavian "socialism" has not
eliminated it.

Poverty rates of course are highly dubious things to compare across countries.

The definition of "poverty" and its measurement are both highly
problematic, and both vary dramatically, making inter-country
comparisons difficult. In all countries there are serious problems
with the measures. Wealthy people are sometimes counted as part of
the population below the poverty line, as long as their current income
happens to be low. Examples are retired people and students. The
poverty statistics are based on reported incomes, meaning that lots of
people living high on the hog are counted as poor because they do not
report their income at all to the tax authorities, earning income from
the "shadow economy." Poverty is generally measured by income, not
consumption. It is often measured as a percent of median income, not
by material hardship, or by the rather silly "Gini coefficient." If
every single person discovered a petroleum well in his yard, poverty
rates would not change much.

Even if we accept the definitions and measures within each country at
face value, there are still problems in making comparisons across
different currency zones. And some countries, including some
Scandinavian ones, just do not report an official poverty rate of any
sort.

Having noted all of that, by most estimates the Scandinavian countries
are in relatively good but not remarkable positions relative to the
rest of the world in terms of the dimensions of poverty. Denmark's
poverty rate, with its bloated welfare state, is 12%, the same as the
poverty rate in the US according to this source. And poverty in
Denmark is growing – it was estimated at 6% back in 1997 in a EU
study. (It should be noted though that Denmark has no official
poverty measure. Neither does Norway.) Most other estimates put the
US poverty rate higher than 12%. Other estimates of poverty rates for
Sweden, Norway and Finland run at about 6%, although some sources put
it much higher. The sources that estimate the US poverty rate as 18%
also estimate the rates for Sweden and Norway at 9%. A Finnish
source estimates Finland's 2010 poverty rate at 14%. We will leave
Iceland out of the comparisons, since the entire population of that
country has been driven into insolvency by events in recent years.

While Scandinavian countries have relatively low poverty rates,
Switzerland's, as noted, is evidently even lower. (I say evidently
because Switzerland has no official measurement of poverty. This web
site puts it at 6.9%, slightly more than half that of Denmark's.) A
summary of other estimates of poverty rates from different sources can
be found here. "Child poverty rates" are a separate story, but are
low in Scandinavian countries, in large part because there are so few
children there being born.


So Scandinavia has not eliminated poverty. The interesting question
is whether the low poverty rates there are thanks to the economic
system or thanks to Scandinavians being hard-working thrifty
disciplined people. That Scandinavians are hard-working is evident
from the fact that in spite of enormous benefits in Sweden for the
unemployed and for those who do not work, creating incentives to avoid
work, Sweden has a labor force participation rate that is one of the
highest in Europe.

One way to test our question is to examine Scandinavians who do not
live in Scandinavia. There is a large Scandinavian population that
lives in the bad-old-selfish-materialist-capitalist United States.
Well, it turns out that Scandinavians living under its selfish
capitalism also have remarkably low poverty rates. Economists Geranda
Notten and Chris de Neubourg have studied Scandinavians living in the
US and in Sweden and compared their poverty rates. They estimate the
poverty rate for Scandinavians living in the United States as 6.7%,
half that of the general U.S population. Using measures and
definitions of poverty like those used in the US, the same analysts
calculate the poverty rate in Sweden using the American poverty
threshold as an identical 6.7% (although it was 10% using an
alternative measure). So low poverty among Scandinavians seems to be
because Scandinavians work, whether or not Scandinavian "socialism"
can be said to work.

But an additional reason for the low poverty rates in Scandinavian
countries is that these are countries that have very few immigrants.
Poverty rates are high almost everywhere in Europe among migrants into
those countries. Scandinavian countries with the exception of Sweden
have very few immigrants, both in absolute numbers and in terms of the
portion of the overall population.

Here are the numbers:

Foreign born as a percent of total population by country:

Country Migrants as Percent of Population
Finland 2.7%
Denmark 7.4%
Norway 8.3%
Sweden 14.4%

UK 9.4%
France 11.7%
Germany 12.5%
USA 14.5%
Canada 22.4%
Switzerland 25.1%
Australia 27.4%

Source: OECD data (based on period close to 2000)
International Migrants in Developed, Emerging and Developing
Countries: An Extended Profile – December, 2010

Because the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany are large countries,
the absolute numbers of their immigrants are also very high, not just
in percentages.

So is poverty low in Scandinavian countries because their "socialism"
works, or because they have relatively few poor immigrants entering?
And if poverty is low because Scandinavian "socialism" works, should
it not be working for migrants in those countries as well?

Separate poverty data for the migrant populations in Scandinavian
countries are available and there are numerous indications that these
are quite high. According to one study, "While first and second
generation immigrants constituted 44% of the poor children in 1997,
they were 65% of all poor children in Sweden in 2008. Only 5% of
native Swedish children live in poverty. For immigrant children with
both parents born outside of the Sweden, the child poverty rate is
39%." Poverty rates have also been shown to be high for immigrants in
Denmark. According to a recent study of poverty rates among
immigrants in all Scandinavian countries, "While native children face
yearly poverty risks of less than 10 percent in all three countries
and for all years investigated the increasing proportion of immigrant
children with an origin in middle and low income countries have
poverty risks that varies from 38 and up to as much as 58 percent."

So Scandinavian "socialism" is doing a remarkably poor job in
eliminating poverty among non-Scandinavians living in those
Scandinavian utopias.

The conclusion can only be one thing. The low poverty rate among
Scandinavians in Scandinavian countries is thanks to the fact that
Scandinavians work. It is NOT because socialism works!


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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article:
http://frontpagemag.com/2011/08/12/does-scandinavian-socialism-work/


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