Friday, November 29, 2013
In my humble opinion, these are his best albums:
Thursday, November 28, 2013
A fast afterword on the death of Arik Einstein. The past 48 hours saw an interesting transformed Israel, where the funeral and ceremonies for Einstein dominated the news and the talk on the street, erasing Iran from the headlines, and every radio station has been playing nonstop Arik Einstein songs in an atmosphere that is a little like Memorial Day here.
In any case, since it is a little difficult for those who do not speak Hebrew to appreciate Einstein's music and lyrics, a collected from the web English translations for some of his better known songs. These are but a small portion of his entire repertoire but give you a nice feel for his style and diversity.
1. This is another Einstein Greek-imitation song but read the lyrics and their powerful Zionist message, one of his best songs of patriotism:
The Song of the Caravan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLKZi1pfRJs
English Translation of Lyrics: http://elmsintheyard.blogspot.co.il/2012/05/shir-ha-shayarah-caravan-song.html
*(Can you guess who the "old man" is in the song?)
2. One of Einstein's best loved songs: Clip - Drive Slowly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnRh-raz2s
Translation Lyrics in English: http://www.historama.com/online-resources/israeli-music/israeli_singers_bands_music_online.html#Slowly
3. How good you came home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Che2jea8z_Q
4. Clip: San Francisco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRQJ87yBPsM
English Translation of Lyrics:
5. Ani V'ata: Clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETqJxlBrQbc
English Translation Lyrics: http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=aniveata
6. Finally, one of the stranger of the Arik Einstein songs became the semi-official song of mourning for Rabin after he was assassinated by Yigal Amir. The song itself was originally written by Aviv Gefen as a song mourning a young personal friend of his who died, and in fact Gefen had written a separate song mocking Rabin and dismissing him as a bumbling drunk. Then after the assassination, the words to the mourning song were slightly altered and it became the universally played song in Israel to express the shock from the assassination, and Einstein's rendition of it is the best known and most "official." You can hear the song here:
To cry for you - clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtkHYM35CC8
English lyrics: http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=livkotlecha
See also this: http://www.haaretz.com/culture/arts-leisure/1.560395
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Israel is a much poorer country this evening, having lost Arik Einstein. He died last night at age 74.
I have over the years posted lists, especially around Independence Day, of what I love most about Israel and invariably Arik Einstein is high up on the list. Einstein was in many ways the epitome of the modern Israeli, the sabra. He is often described as a "folk singer" but that term is misleading. His music contained much of what is positive and beautiful in the contemporary Israeli soul. He was among the best that sabra Israeli culture has produced.
I believe that, of all the arts, Israel's greatest achievements are in its music, especially its popular music. There are many different styles and flavors and countless superb singers and performers. And in the midst of all this, Einstein always stood out. He was the secular sabra from the bohemian circles of Tel Aviv who refused to pursue the political fads of so many of the other members of the chattering artsy classes. His was a deeply felt if humble pride in his Israeliness. Judaism for him was captured in that Israeliness and needed nothing more, and he was not really a Jewish singer beyond being an Israeli singer. He never preached. He did not sing about religious themes. If he had political opinions, he kept them to himself. He never had the saccharine melodrama of singers like Yehoram Gaon.
It is said that Will Rogers never met a man he did not like. Well I do not think there is a single Israeli who did not like Arik Einstein. His appeal crossed all barriers and lines and classes and subdivisions. There are styles of Israeli music that appeal to only subsets of the population, like Oriental music or religious music. But Einstein was beloved by everyone from all walks of life. His secularism never alienated the religious. His quiet love of country never offended the politically correct. His patriotism was not a political proclamation but rather it was expressed in songs of affection for and attachment to country, to the land, to places, to Ein Gedi, to history.
He loved "Land of Israel" songs, ballads of love of country from yesteryear. He could sing songs from the Palmach from the 40s without sounding corny, stale, or archaic. He could sing old songs of the pioneers, and then transition into modern love ballads. One of his most famous songs was about the beauty of San Francisco, a song also filled with deep longing for home in Israel and anticipation of returning to the mundane of life in Tel Aviv. The Ashkenazi northern Tel Aviv bohemians saw him as one of their own, and even they raised no objection to his patriotism, as he sang, "This land, this land is OURS."
His was the life of the Ashkenazi sabra salt of the earth. Born in Tel Aviv, he made his musical debut like so many of the generation of the 1960s in Israeli army musical troupes. He worked in theater after completing his military service.
His humor was legendary and characterizes the many clips, movies, and performances of his. He played the young kibbutznik in the Israeli classic movie Salah Shabbati, one of the only Israeli movies ever made worth watching. His music was a bit of Paul Simon, a bit of Woody Guthrie, a bit of folk-rock, and a bit of so many others. And his musical career lasted for decades. Some 10 or 15 years back he stopped appearing. Rumors are that he was suffering from depression. The live performances ceased all the while his music continued to dominate many fhe airwaves. In 2010 a survey found that his were the most widely played and heard songs on Israeli radio of any performer. He spoke to the ordinary Israeli. His songs were about driving old cars, eating watermelon, strolling in Tel Aviv, doing reserve service in the army.
One of my very favorite songs of Einstein is this, "Fly Away Little Bird": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkiv2jHaWsg
It is a lovely description of the fears and hopes of parenthood as a child strikes off in independence. It is a song to which few parents can listen with dry eyes. The clip has Hebrew subtitles but you can see an English translation here:
http://ulpan.com/uf-gozal.html It is a highly typical Einstein song.
A highly atypical song, but another of my favorites, is Einstein's parody of Greek music. Einstein had a delicious sense of humor, and this is really worth watching:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cygVEtou0E The guy in beret with moustache is Arik.
Youtube has a large number of other clips if you are interested.
Arik was buried today in the Tel Aviv "Trumpeldor Cemetery."
Sunday, November 24, 2013
1. The past week or so all the media have been filled with stories and reminiscences about JFK and his assassination, and plenty of print space and air time have been devoted to the conspiracy theories. We now know that even John Kerry is an aficionado not only of Iranian nukes but also of the conspiracy theories about JFK.
Here is not the place for a whole debate and debunking of such theories. I just wanted to point out one small thing, and kept being reminded of this while listening to the newsreels.
Conspiracy "theories," not only about the JFK assassination but also about other things, including famously the Rabin assassination, invariably build upon "seeming puzzles." These are things that do not seem to make sense when staring too closely at them. It always reminds me of medical imaging. When one stares too long and too closely at medical images, lots of things seem puzzling and confusing and do not seem to make sense. Ditto for historic events.
But the problem with "seeming puzzles" in conspiracy "theories" is that if the "theory" were correct, then the number of seeming puzzles and inconsistencies would in fact be a thousand times worse than those of the actual events. The conspiracists never want to address THESE seeming puzzles contained within their own "theories."
I will mention but one of these and then give it a rest. If Lee Harvey Oswald were part of some grand conspiracy masterminded by evil geniuses (and not just a pathetic little communist as Jackie Kennedy called him), then how come his getaway from the Texas book depository building consisted of Oswald running out the building with thirteen dollars in his pocket trying to flag down a taxi and eventually taking a bus to escape?
[And if Yigal Amir was in fact a patsy who shot blanks and Rabin was killed by a Peres-Shin-Bet conspiracy, how come no one bothered to let Yigal Amir know and how come HE still insists that HE killed Rabin, as do his family members?
2. Current Events Quiz. Please take a look at this photo http://sports.walla.co.il/?w=//157/1560865/5/@@/media and see if you can answer this question. What is the difference between these two figures in the photo?
The answer is this: one of the two figures in the photo is in fact a brainless hand puppet while the other has brown fur?
I think you know which of the two is more qualified to be president of Israel.
Raed Salah is the head of the Islamofascist "Northern Islamic Movement" in Israel, a thinly disguised front for the Hamas. He is violent and pro-violence. He is also a naked anti-Semite who makes the Grand Mufti of the 1940s look tame.
Salah, you may recall, gave a talk at Haifa University a few years back in which he called upon Arab students to become suicide bombers. The administration of the University prohibited Jews from entering the lecture hall in which the jihadist sheikh Salah spoke, ordering guards to "select out" Jews trying to enter. This is the same administration now defending the "legal clinics" in the university's law school that are sending out students to counsel jailed terrorists.
A while back, the same Salah proclaimed the following in a speech in 2007: "We [Muslims] have never allowed ourselves to knead the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children's blood…Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the holy bread." (See http://www.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-court-convicts-sheikh-of-incitement/ ). In the same speech he called for violence against Jews.
Yup - the sheikh is repeating the medieval libels about Jews using the blood of Christian children to make Passover matzos. And no, Salah has never been jailed for this in Israel, because it is protected speech here, in contrast with criticism by non-leftists of the public political activities of leftists.
Now the above blood libel quote from Salah has played an interesting judicial role. It seems the Sheikh wanted to visit the UK. But the UK has a list of racist inciters that it bars from entry and ordered him deported after he got through. Never mind that its list is politically distorted and includes people like US radio personality Michael Savage, Moshe Feiglin, and some preachers against homosexuality. But it also includes some actual racist mongrels.
The UK ruled that the bloody Sheikh Salah was barred from entering or staying in Britain. But the local jihadis in Britain ran to the court and petitioned to have the ban lifted. The case went before an immigration judge named Ockelton. And the star witness for the Salah lobby was none other than Ilan Pappe, the notorious pseudo-academic fraud who fabricated the imaginary "Tantora Massacre," who has spent recent decades demanding that Israel be annihilated, and who lives in the UK now as professor of Jew-bashing at the University of Exeter. As "expert" witness, Comrade Pappe appeared in court and told the judges that the above quote from Salah was not referring to Jews at all but to Christians of the Inquisition who used the blood of Muslim children. Never mind that the Christians of the Inquisition never made religious use of the blood of Muslim children. Never mind that the quote is from a diatribe by Salah against Jews and not against Christians. Pappe's testimony was about as valid and reliable as everything else Pappe has ever written or said. The British court laughed Pappe out of the pub and dismissed the petition of the Salah lobby.
A while after this, the same quote by Salah was raised when there were calls in Israel to prosecute Salah under Israel's "anti-racism" law. That law of course is never applied to Arabs or to Jewish leftists. But a hearing was held over Salah's speech. The presiding magistrate judge was Judge Hannah Miriam Lomp. She ACQUITED the sheikh of the racism charge, although did convict him of incitement to violence, even though Salah was just minding his own business and shouting at a crowd of hundreds to murder Jews.
In the hearing before Lomp, Salah was represented by the Marxist lawyer Avigdor Feldman, who otherwise has specialized in defending Arab terrorists who murdered Jewish children, including the infamous torture/murder of 15 year old Haifa youth Dani Katz. Feldman went beyond Pappe. He argued that actually Salah's words in the above quote were a denunciation of Christians in Europe for carrying out pogroms against Jews, and so it was actually Salah DEFENDING Jews. He argued this with a straight face. AND JUDGE LOMP ACCEPTED THIS CLAIM AT FACE VALUE!!
That is correct. A sitting Jewish judge in Israel accepted without protest the Orwellian claim that an Islamofascist accusing Jews of drinking the blood of gentile children was REALLY defending Jews from Christian pogroms!
Even more amazing is the fact that Lomp herself is originally from a religious home (see http://elyon1.court.gov.il/heb/cv/fe_html_out/judges/k_hayim/87942962.htm) . Like so many, she seems to understand the writing on the wall and bends over backwards and to the left so as not to be accused of being prejudiced in any Jewish-nationalist ideological way. Here is another of her rulings, celebrated by the Far Leftist B'Tselem group: http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20130410_police_officer_convicted_for_beating_yunes_abu_ermeileh . To her credit she also has a couple of rulings against the police for mistreatment of rightwing protesters. She also convicted the leftist pederast Ezra Nawi of "insulting a public official" when Nawi called him a war criminal.
Of course there is nothing the public can do about unelected judges who make rulings such as that by Lomp concerning the blood libel. If we do not like it we can just Lomp it.
There is however one bright ray of hope on the horizon. The wonderful law Professor Daniel Friedmann, who served as Minister of Justice, has long led the battle against judicial activist judges in Israel, meaning judicial tyranny. Friedmann is the main voice in Israel denouncing the anti-democratic behavior and ideology of the judicial Left. The very first serious error in judgment when Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister - and hardly his last - was the decision NOT to extend Friedmann's position as justice minister.
And Friedmann has just published a 620 page volume (Hebrew only for now) detailing the decades of abuse by Israel's "activist" judges. It is already the talk of the legal corridors and it may actually make a difference. It is devastating. The title is The Purse and the Sword, which is not exactly my first choice for title. But it is one of the most important books to come out in Israel.
Friday, November 22, 2013
1. The Israeli Supreme Court is ordering the Israeli government (executive branch) to appear in court and justify the fact that it is NOT suppressing freedom of speech.
No, that was not a misprint. The Supreme Court of Israel, which has never been willing really to defend freedom of speech, ordered the government to justify and explain why it refuses to prosecute two rabbis who wrote a controversial book, and also two other rabbis who recommended to people to read that book.
The whole case involves the controversial book "The Path of the King," also titled "King's Torah," written by Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur. It is a rabbinic text that discusses, among other things, circumstances under which Jews may kill non-Jews, such as in war. The book has been denounced as "racist" by the Left and also by some not on the Left. It appears to have been published by the authors less as an exercise in scholastic research and more as a provocation. Because of its sections discussing killing of non-Jews, it has long been featured by every Neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic web site on earth trying to paint Jews as ghouls. I have not read the book nor do I plan to read it. From my impression of it in the media reviews of it, I think it would have been preferable had the authors never published it.
The Supreme Court was petitioned by members of the Reform synagogue movement in Israel, which is deeply involved with the Israeli Left. They petitioned to have the two authors indicted for "racism," along with two other highly-controversial rabbis who endorsed the book, Dov Lior and Yitzhak Ginzburgh.
Now it is quite possible that the contents of the book are as upsetting as what its critics are claiming. So what?
Since when is it the job of the government in a democracy to arrest or indict people for exercising their freedom of speech? Suppose the book is really as "racist" as its critics are saying, although one should always bear in mind that in Israel the word "racism" in general is used merely to refer to people who disagree with the political agenda of the Left. So what? Since when is it legitimate for a government to arrest people for holding or expressing racist opinions and feelings?
It is not against the law in any real democracy to hold and express racist opinions. It might get you punched in the nose and a judge might even deal with the puncher leniently, but you will not be arrested for expressing your opinions. If you were to arrest every person in the United States who had ever expressed a racist or anti-Semitic thought or opinion, the bulk of the population would be behind bars.
So here we have the spectacle of the book-burners from the Reform-synagogue Left in Israel (itself a microscopic Israeli movement) petitioning the anti-democratic Supreme Court with a demand for the indictment of rabbis who exercised freedom of speech and who dared to express their opinions in a book. The Court then demands that the government appear and justify the fact that it has NOT indicted (yet) the rabbis for this felony.
And let us note the selectivity of the jihad against freedom of speech. Even if the rabbis' book is as bad as the media are saying, it still would be nowhere near as racist as the books by, say, Prof. Shlomo Sand from Tel Aviv University or Ilan Pappe, to mention but two members of the tenured anti-Semitic campus pogrom. Their books appear in every university library in Israel and are sold freely in book stores. No one has initiated a campaign to ban them. No one burns anti-Semitic leftist books. You can buy books in Israel by Walt and Mearsheimer, Chomsky, and even Norman Finkelstein. No one censors the anti-Semitic outbursts in the Israeli Arab media. No dogs in the airport attempt to sniff out anti-Semitic books being carried in by travelers.
A big part of the problem is that the devotion to and understanding of basic democracy and freedom of speech is extremely thin and weak and superficial in Israel, and this weakness extends all the way to the top of society. The number of law professors in Israel who protested the past persecutions of these and other rabbis when they exercised their freedom of speech or who protested other attempts to deny freedom of speech to non-leftists is exactly zero. The Supreme Court has yet to overturn the ridiculous law proclaiming the Kahanist factions terrorist organization, whose freedom of speech is denied in Israel. Israel's "anti-racism" law is simply an anti-democratic bludgeon used to persecute right-wingers and suppress their freedom of speech. It has never been used to prosecute leftists or Arab. Laws against treason in Israel are almost never applied against anyone.
Instead, for years the judicial Left, led by the guy who was just appointed State Prosecutor, attempted to silence the Right with police harassment and prosecutorial persecution. Settlers, a professor, teenagers who attended anti-Oslo protests, rabbis, and many others became the target-rich hunting environment for the judicial Left. Leftists openly calling for non-leftists to be murdered were never touched. The Supreme Court has never demanded that the government appear and justify its past prosecutions of rabbis for expressing opinions deemed "racist" by the fascist Left. To the contrary, it now orders the government to explain why it has not prosecuted them ENOUGH!
The anti-democratic hostility towards freedom of speech by the Israeli chattering classes continues to metastasize. It is today bordering on book-burning.
(news report on background to petition: http://www.timesofisrael.com/academics-petition-to-prosecute-torat-hamelech-authors/ ):
Shelly, whom I have long called Little Bo Peep, was the rather clueless chief of the Israeli Labor Party, preaching and dreaming of a grand socialist society based on 19th century socialist utopianist ideas. Yesterday she was defeated in a landslide by Isaac Herzog in the Labor Party primaries. The turnout was 53% of party registered members.
I had been hoping Shelly would win the primaries. That is because I think Labor is more likely to implode with Shelly in command. Herzog comes across as more intelligent and polished.
But do not hold your breath waiting for him to restore the Labor Party to the vision and values of David Ben Gurion.
3. Haaretz joins the Said campaign of lies:
I'm sure you remember how in 1999 Edward Said's life story was exposed (by Justus Reid Weiner in Commentary) as a total fabrication. Said claimed to have grown up in Talbieh in Jerusalem and to have fled with his family at the age of 12. Whereas in fact Said's family came from Egypt and, although born during a family visit to Jerusalem, he was raised in Cairo.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Kennedy Doctrine vs. the Obama Doctrine
Posted By Steven Plaut On November 20, 2013
When November comes around, it is hard not to remember the days of the John F. Kennedy administration, especially this year, the 50th anniversary of the assassination. But there now is an even more important reason why it behooves us to think back to those days. It is in order to understand the differences between the strategic doctrines of JFK and Barack Obama.
Both JFK and Obama found themselves facing a strategic threat from missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction amassed by a totalitarian enemy. But their methods of coping with the threats could not have been more different. Kennedy used military force and the threat of war to force the Soviets to back down. He placed a complete naval embargo on Cuba where the missiles stood; he called it a quarantine. Obama's policy for coping with Iranian nuclear weapons is basically geostrategic Obamacare: If you like your bombs, then you can keep your bombs. Instead of the Bay of Pigs, we are seeing the Bay of Ostriches.
Even today we are direct beneficiaries of the courage Kennedy displayed in the Cuban missile crisis and of his willingness to shove back the Soviets using brinkmanship. In contrast, 50 years later we have the spectacle of an American Administration being upstaged and made to accept instruction in courage from France. Camelot has been replaced by Spamalot.
Comparing Obamacare with the policy of striking a deal with the Mullahs is not as absurd as it may sound. In both cases, Obama and his people seek to resolve a major complex problem by having pieces of paper signed. The Iranian nuclear threat will go away as soon as the Mullahs agree to promise on paper not to build any bombs. This is a bit like thinking that the health system's problems can be solved by passing a law making it illegal for people not to buy health insurance.
I think it is a fascinating mental exercise to try to imagine how Barack Obama would have handled the Cuban missile crisis differently from JFK.
So try to imagine it was Obama at the helm in October of 1962. It was two years after Senator Obama won the presidential election running on a platform that warned Americans about the "missile gap," meaning that the US was in possession of too many missiles and this was making other countries feel insecure. American surveillance planes suddenly spot Soviet missiles being positioned on Cuba. President Obama places a few half-hearted trade sanctions on Cuba, but allows sugar to be exported lest its embargo cause human suffering on the island. He also allows the export to Cuba of medicine and food, two things the Communist regime there has never been able to provide to its citizens adequately, making Castro's regime so much more palatable.
Next, Obama demands that Cuba agree to participate in negotiations with UN representatives selected by the Soviet Union. The Soviet position is that it is its natural right to place its missiles anywhere it wants. It agrees to conduct negotiations just as long as this right will not be compromised or challenged. As a gesture of flexibility, the Soviets agree that their missiles will not be targeted at the entire non-Communist world but only at one country at a time.
Obama then lectures the country that the Soviets dislike America because Americans are too insensitive and materialistic. They need to learn more about the lifestyles and values of other peoples. He appoints a number of members of the American Communist Party to serve as his advisers on relations with the Soviets.
In the face of demands that the US threaten to launch aircraft and missiles targeting Soviet forces in Cuba, Obama in 1962 has his Secretary of State clarify that any such attack would actually be incredibly tiny and unbelievably insignificant. Khrushchev responds by escalating the shipments of war materiel to Cuba. When a number of Soviet naval vessels are spotted approaching Cuba near US ships, Obama orders the US ships to be removed lest they give the Russians an impression of American bellicosity. As a goodwill gesture, Obama removes the entire American base at Guantanamo Bay.
The Soviets and Cubans insist that the missiles in Cuba are there for peaceful purposes only. They are simply part of aeronautic research projects and are designed for civilian use.
President Obama takes to the TV screens on October 22 and explains to the US public that only a diplomatic solution can resolve the confrontation. Use of the military would be simply too disagreeable. When a reporter asks him how this would affect the confidence of America's allies in US strength and leadership, the president responds that all US allies except for Israel are themselves deeply interested in peace. In France, Raymond Aron writes in the October 29 issue of Le Figaro a denunciation of American cowardice.
On the evening of October 24, the Soviet news agency TASS broadcasts a telegram from Khrushchev to President Obama, in which Khrushchev warns that the United States' "outright piracy" will lead to war. Obama responds with a heartfelt apology and explains that American sanctions should not be regarded as acts of aggression.
When President Obama's military advisors propose threatening Cuba with a regime change if use of American military force should ever be deemed necessary, Obama dismisses the idea. We have to stop pretending to be the world's policeman, he explains.
Che Guevara proclaims from Havana the next day: "Direct aggression against Cuba would mean nuclear war. The Americans speak about such aggression as if they did not know or did not want to accept this fact. I have no doubt they would lose such a war." Castro is convinced that an invasion of Cuba is at hand, and on October 26, he sends a telegram to Khrushchev that calls for a preemptive nuclear strike against the US.
Some commentators point out that the Soviet economy is in such distress, and the Cuban economy even more so, that the time to pressure them into submission could not be more opportune. Nonsense, is the Obama response. It just means they will be even more flexible if we offer them some aid. We need to be listening less to the generals and more to Pete Seeger, he adds.
President Obama holds an emergency consultation with his special counselor Kathy Boudin. She proposes that the president defuse the crises by providing the Soviets with food aid and by offering it half of the territory of Israel.
Ultimately the crisis is resolved when Obama simply decides that the US will agree to pretend that the missiles in Cuba are not there.
Later, when asked how all this was consistent with the Monroe Doctrine, the president explained that he watched all the episodes of "Too Close for Comfort" and was certain that the Monroe Ficus character there would entirely approve of his policies.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Whenever the Likud has been in power, the first priority on its agenda has been to implement the policies of the Labor Party and those to the left of it. This is why Bibi "two states solution" Netanyahu appointed more leftist judicial activist judges than his Labor party predecessors did. This is why Netanyahu refuses to end agricultural bolshevism or break up the cartels and monopolies that operate in Israel, ironically including those for milk and for honey. This is why freedom of speech for non-leftists has been curtailed under Likud administrations. This is why Netanyahu scuttled laws that required disclosure of funding for leftist anti-Israel NGOs operating in Israel, along with other laws to defend Israeli democracy. This is why Netanyahu did nothing to end the governmental funding for tenured treason. Under Netanyahu governments, Israeli state prizes general go to anti-Israel leftists. Leftist institutions are coddled and often funded with state money. Netanyahu thinks that such decisions make him popular among the Left and its captive media venues, and make him appear a supra-partisan statesman.
One of the most aggressive enemies of freedom of speech and democracy under the Netanyahu governments has been Shai Nitzan. He served as the special button man for the Attorney General's office in Israel to harass and persecute the "Right." While Nitzan repeatedly attempted to prosecute "Rightists" for daring to exercise freedom of speech, including Rabbis who expressed opinions not to the liking of the Left, I personally think his very worst assault on democracy took place in the "Bukay Affair," which is described here: http://frontpagemag.com/2009/steven-plaut/the-bukay-affair-by-steven-plaut/ . I issued my own calls for the dismissal of Nitzan as early as 2009 (see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Israeli%20extremism%20-%20thought%20control%20in%20israel.htm ). While interrogating Soviet-style a nationalist professor (not me) for things he said in the classroom and prosecuting teenage children for attending rightist demonstrations, Nitzan refused to prosecute leftists and Arabs calling for murder and violence (see http://zioncon.blogspot.co.il/2011/07/open-calls-for-bloodshed-and-violence.html ).
Nitzan is so openly leftist that he ruled that leftist portraits showing Netanyahu in SS uniform are protected speech while anything that implies disagreement with the theology of Yitzhak Rabin or anything that "insults" any leftist public official (like a Supreme Court judge or Shimon Peres) is "incitement" and a crime that must be prosecuted.
This morning the Netanyahu government announced that Nitzan is to be the next State's Attorney, in essence the Israeli Chief Prosecutor.
The only conceivable reason for this seems to be that Uri Avnery or Tamar Goszansky (from the Israeli communist party) were not available to serve.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
More on the Haifa Campaign of Assistance to Terrorists
After Im Tirtzu movement issued a scathing report claiming that Haifa University legal clinics aid terrorists, university says, "Im Tirtzu are the ones who are crudely injecting politics into academics for the sake of their own publicity."
Israel Hayom Staff
|A day after the Im Tirtzu movement published a report decrying what it termed the politicized nature of Haifa University's legal clinics, reactions began flooding in from the university, terror victims and Knesset members.
Ilan Yavelburg, a spokesman for the university, described the report as "manipulative and biased" and deemed Im Tirtzu an "extremist political organization."
Haifa University's legal clinics are apolitical, he said, adding: "Im Tirtzu are the ones who are crudely injecting politics into the academy for the sake of their own publicity."
The report focuses on three clinics in particular: the Clinic for Prisoners' Rights, the Clinic for Human Rights in Society and the Clinic for the Rights of the Arab-Palestinian Minority. It says the causes chosen by these clinics are part of the "Arab nationalist struggle against Zionism." These causes, according to the report, include undermining the status of the national anthem, providing legal aid to Arab-Israeli security prisoners and opposing Jewish settlement in Acre and Meron. Furthermore, the clinics use public funds and enlist unsuspecting, well-meaning students towards an Arab nationalist agenda, the report says.
Out of more than 20 legal cases that the clinics have handled since 2009, only two were for Jews, the report stated. In all the other cases, the clinics represented Arabs against the State of Israel (in one case the recipient of legal aid was not even an Israeli citizen). And while out of more than 10,000 prisoners held in Israeli jails only 132 (just over 1 percent) are Arab-Israeli security prisoners, eight out of the 10 cases handled by the Clinic for Prisoners' Rights involved security prisoners, the bulk of whom are terrorists.
Yavelburg said that most of the specific cases described in the report ended several years ago and that in many cases the courts themselves approached the clinics to offer representation.
"The legal clinics receive thousands of queries each year on a wide spectrum of issues including education, women's rights, single mothers and more. It is no accident that Im Tirtzu chose to ignore this wide range of activity and to spotlight, in an intentional and biased way, just one narrow issue among many," Yavelburg said.
Reacting to Im Tirzu's report, Almagor, the terror victims' organization, sent a letter to the president of Haifa University on Monday.
"The feeling among the bereaved families and the wounded is sadness, anger and outrage," the letter said.
"In Haifa, there is a population of terror victims and bereaved families who in the past joined our legal battle to prosecute terrorists who hurt us, and we did not see the University of Haifa offer us its services, which it offers, ironically and unfortunately, to some of these terrorists.
"Therefore we ask you to stop providing legal assistance to the terrorists, or alternatively, to establish a clinic that will achieve justice for victims, according to the victims' rights law. Today we have no clinic that helps us to face the attorneys of the murderers, as well as government bodies working for plea bargains with ridiculous punishments, to shorten their punishments or to give them improved conditions in prison.
"We hope that in response to this letter you will shut down the track that allows terrorists to receive aid from the university. We would be happy if you would agree to meet with us," the letter said.
"This is another scandal at the University of Haifa, which under the cover of academic freedom harms the freedom of choice of students and imposes on them a post-Zionist agenda," MK Yariv Levin (Likud) told Maariv newspaper on Sunday.
Levin called on Education Minister Shay Piron to immediately intervene in the matter and to "defend the students who are led astray by these programs and the support they receive from the University of Haifa."
Lt. Col. (res.) Oren Tamam, brother of the soldier Moshe Tamam, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1984 by Israeli Arabs, Maariv that "radical left activists and students have worked in recent years to actively help murderers, including one of my brother's murderers, Walid Daka, with endless appeals to the Israel Prison Service, the state attorney, the courts, and the president. These appeals have allowed him to marry during his time in jail. He was able to study toward a bachelor's and master's degree, with funding provided by terror organizations."
Friday, November 15, 2013
Legal Support for Terrorism at the University of Haifa
Posted By Steven Plaut On November 15, 2013
In recent days the University of Haifa in northern Israel, where I am also employed, has come under intensive criticism because the "legal clinics" operated by its School of Law here are assigning law students the task of counseling and defending convicted Arab terrorists and mass murderers of Jews. The President of the University recently issued a statement defending the activities of these "clinics." The Dean of the Law School together with the head of the "clinics" went on the attack and denounced those who criticize the practice of the "clinics" to counsel and defend the terrorists.
The Dean, Prof. Gad Barzilai, is a radical active in leftist "human rights" groups and involved in academic politicization in Israel (Barzilai was a defender of the Department of Politics at Ben Gurion University – the worst anti-Israel agitprop center in the country – when an international panel of experts called for shutting it down). He claims that all criticism of the law school for its involvement with terrorists is politically motivated. In particular he denounced the Zionist student movement "Im Tirtzu" for criticizing the law school. Several faculty members at the University called for filing SLAPP suits against the students to silence them, and one anti-Israel faculty extremist complained that the clinics were not defending the terrorists enough.
Im Tirtzu claims that 80% of the cases taken on by the University of Haifa legal clinic for "prisoner rights" involved Arab terrorists and spies. One involved a terrorist and convicted rapist seeking a furlough. Dean Barzilai insists that the law school is simply devoted to "repairing society" and defending the "weakened populations" of Israel. In the past, the law school prohibited the singing of Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem, at its graduation ceremonies, claiming it would offend the sensitivities of Arab students.
On a discussion list for faculty members in the University of Haifa, I posted the following statement on November 13, 2013 as a response to the statement from the Dean of Law:
To: The Segel-Plus Discussion List
I am sure we are all grateful for the amazing statement distributed by the Dean of Law and the head of the "law clinics" in the school of law. It is chock full of impressive claims and arguments. There we learn how the law school is dedicated to achieving reforms of and repairs of society without any need for students (or faculty?) to study social science. We learn how the law school is dedicated to rehabilitation of prisoners without the need to take any courses or training in social work. We learn there is such a discipline taught at the law school entitled "feminist law," as well as dedication to supporting "Palestinian Israelis," whatever that is, and not only via prohibition of the singing of Hatikva, the national anthem. How fortunate that, unlike the Im Tirtzu student group, the law school is not politicized! And most importantly, we learn that the law school is dedicated to recruiting students to counsel and serve imprisoned terrorists and mass murderers because of the school's concern for "weakened populations," but clearly not counseling and serving the families of the victims of these terrorists.
Numerous questions arise from reading the distinguished statement by the Dean of Law and the head of the "clinics." First of all, we would all like to know whether the University's law clinics will be defending the gentleman who stabbed the soldier Eden Atias in the neck this morning in Afula, after which he bled to death. It goes without saying that the law school will not be sending any students to help the family of Atias defend itself or litigate. After all, they live in Upper Nazareth and so are not part of any "weakened population." After that, can we expect the law clinics to be sending out students to counsel and defend the convicted murderers of the child Dani Katz, who was kidnapped and murdered by Arab terrorists just a few steps from the campus? Surely they are as deserving of such counseling as the other terrorist clients of the law school clinics. And since the family of Dani Katz lives in Denya (a luxurious upscale neighborhood), they clearly are not part of any "weakened population" in need of any special attention from the clinics.
But why stop here? What about the terrorists who participated in the massacre of children in Maalot in 1974? I do not know if any of the perps are now in prison or will ever be, but – if they are – surely they are deserving of a special clinic in which students are sent out to promote social justice by defending them. As for the victims of the massacre and their families, these are no doubt well entrenched in the middle class these days and so there is no need for them to be treated as clients of the clinics. And why not get ahead of current events? Why should not the law school clinics offer their services to the leaders of Iran, so that, if Iran ever uses nuclear weapons against Israel, those Iranian leaders will know they can expect to get qualified legal counseling and representation from the clinics?
Among the folks who clearly can never be part of the "weakened population" are settlers, Ultra-Orthodox Chareidim, Russian immigrants, soldiers, and members of SHAS(religious party of Oriental Jews). More generally, would it not be simpler just to announce openly that the test for being part of a weakened population is participation in anti-Israel activities, while the test for being in a non-weakened population is to be the victim of any of the former? And since all anti-Israel political groups in the universe these days define themselves as "human rights defenders," while never of course defending the Jewish victims of Arab terrorism because clearly those folks are entitled to no human rights, the law school can form alliances with such anti-Israel groups in the name of human rights. Just as long as it never forms any alliances with any non-leftist or pro-Israel NGOs.
Finally, it is always refreshing when people openly promote the idea that the purpose of a university is to indoctrinate students in far-Leftist ideology and to engage in political advocacy. It helps prevent confusion of purpose. It helps to convey the single correct point of view. After all, alliance, collaboration, and semi-merger with far-Leftist anti-Israel activist groups is not political at all for a university department. Only the Im Tirtzu student group is political.
Want to tell the university heads what you think of all this? Write to
To whom can you complain?
University of Haifa:
President of the University of Haifa
Rector of the University of Haifa
Prof. David Faraggi
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Tel: 972-4-8288094 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 972-4-8288094 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Mr. Leon Charney
Law Office of Leon H. Charney
New York, NY 10018
University "Friends of" Offices Outside Israel are listed here: http://www.haifa.ac.il/html/html_eng/friends.htm
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Promote and Defend the Legacy of the Hero Yitzhak Rabin!!
Friends, Comrades, Fellow Inciters, lend me your ears.
I hereby call upon you to join the efforts on behalf of honoring Yitzhak Rabin. We need to unite in our support for Yitzhak Rabin and teach his legacy. We need to salute his wisdom and courage. We need to teach young Israelis to honor and respect Yitzhak Rabin and embrace his life and ideas. Yitzhak Rabin is a wonderful role model for all of us.
Now before you get too confused at my call for support and embracing of Yitzhak Rabin, let me clarify. I am not talking about the assassinated Prime Minister by the same name, the man who was killed by Yigal Amir. (By the way, now that John Kerry is proclaiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy, maybe Kerry will continue to read Barry Chamish and endorse the Chamish fictions about that assassination as well?)
No, my fellow Zionists, I am actually speaking about a DIFFERENT Yitzhak Rabin.
The Yitzhak Rabin of whom I speak and whose ideas are deserving of our compassionate embrace is an 18 year old Jordanian Arab now living in Israel. It seems that his mother named him Yitzhak Rabin when he was born in Jordan, shortly after the assassination of that OTHER Yitzhak Rabin. His mother was an admirer of Israel and its leaders. The locals in their home town however did not take kindly to the fellow with that name. People can be so insensitive at times, much as I discovered when I renamed a sewer rat living in the wadi off my street in Haifa as Shulamit Aloni. I mean, after that naming no one on the street would have anything to do with the cute cuddly little rodent. In fact, my devoted family cats, Reagan and Thatcher, tend to chase the rat down the sewer aggressively whenever it peeks out.
The Jordanian Yitzhak Rabin and his family were harassed and mistreated until at some point they asked for asylum inside Israel. Here Yitzhak Rabin decided he identifies completely with the state of Israel. He decided to convert to Judaism and is in the advanced stages of doing so, having kept kosher and Shabbat for years, unlike the other Yitzhak Rabin. He speaks Hebrew like a sabra and has ambitions of being an officer in the IDF. (Story is in today's Yediot Ahronot, Nov 12, but I am not finding it online.)
Yitzhak Rabin ran across some bureaucratic problems when he tried to enlist in the army, which ordinarily does not make Jordanian citizens into IDF officers. The Knesset held a debate about his request this week, and Labor MK Eitan Cabel proposed that he be allowed to enlist even before completing conversion. After all, Israeli Arabs may volunteer to serve in the military of their country and some do. So would it not be fun to have a Yitzhak Rabin here who was actually seeking to defend the interests of Israel? Maybe we could assign him the task of ridding the country of the ISM "solidarity" anarchofascist terrorists?
I rarely agree with Cavel but I think he is dead on when it comes to Yitzhak Rabin, the 18 year old Jordanian one that is, not the muddle-headed embarrassment of a Prime Minister who once ruled Israel with the same name.
So to this Yitzhak Rabin, I would like to welcome you into the tribe and into the IDF. Shalom Chaver!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
1. Here is a fast thought on how Israel is handling the newest silliness coming from the Pestilinians and their friends on the Right and the Left (a particularly silly one is here http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/08/israel-murdered-arafat/ ) concerning the "poisoning" of Arafat by polonium. Since there had been rumors for years that Arafat died of AIDS, the PLO chiefs seem downright ecstatic to have this new "theory" to play with!
Israeli leaders are trying to dismiss the accusations that Israel poisoned Arafat The Pestilinians and their Swiss scientific hired guns are claiming that "polonium," a radioactive element, was found on the carcass of His Ugliness. Israelis are pointing out that polonium only has a half life of 138 days and so, if His Ugliness had been poisoned with it, there would be none left to detect. Others are mentioning that strychnine works so much better than polonium and costs so much less, so why would anyone use polonium to off the terrorist? Strychnine also would have the advantage of drawing a mental association between Arafat and Hitler, since the latter liked to shoot up strychnine.
Anyhow, in my opinion, the entire Israeli approach is foolish. Instead, Israel should proudly take credit for the "poisoning" of Arafat. Not that I think for a minute that Israel actually poisoned Arafat. To my great sorrow and regret, Israeli leaders always lacked the courage to assassinate Arafat. But Arab conspiracism needs no facts and Israel should feed the Arab conspiracist machine and mindset. Let the "Palestinians" spend their days looking under their beds and testing their hummus for polonium! Sure, Israeli leaders should say: yup we gave him polonium and we will do the same with any other mass murderers of Jews.
In fact we should make polonium something of a national pastime and celebration.
Let's have soccer teams named the Poloniumists! Let's have polonium tournaments for high school chemistry students to see who can manufacture it at the lowest cost and in the fastest time. Let Israel replace all those old jokes about Polish mothers with jokes about polonium mothers. Let the Knesset hold a special evening of madrigal singing in which Knesset Members chant, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Polonium."
I am sure you can think up some other ideas that are even better than these!
2. The Knesset education committee will be holding an emergency session to discuss the "Aid-to-Terrorists" legal clinics run by the law school at the University of Haifa. These "clinics" have been in the news in the past couple of weeks largely thanks to a report on them released by the Im Trtzu Zionist student organization. The report was picked up and promoted by Maariv, including Op-Eds by a number of Maariv columnists demanding action against the University of Haifa, and also by Israel Hayom (the freebie newspaper that actually has the largest market share of any daily in Israel). See this story: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=13065
The chiefs of the University of Haifa report being inundated with outraged letters, and the parents of terror victims have issued a statement condemning the university. The law school at the University of Haifa is solidly and monolithically left-wing. I do not know of a single faculty member who teaches there who is NOT a leftist. The law school, you may recall, banned the singing of Hatikva at school graduation ceremonies lest it offend the delicate sensitivities of Arabs. Law school faculty there have studiously refused ever to speak out against infringements of freedom of speech when the speech rights by non-leftists are violated, but can be counted upon to sign any leftwing petition to roll off the bandwagon.
For more (in Hebrew) see http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/519/256.html?hp=1&cat=404
Friday, November 08, 2013
1. A Nakba a Day keeps the Terrorists Away
The Arabs and the anti-Semites have adopted the term "Nakba," which means catastrophe, to refer to Israel's creation. In fact, it is the term these people use to refer to the military victory of the Jews in the 1948-49 War of Independence. The term is sometimes also used to refer to Israel's military victory in the Six Day War in 1967, which has been referred to by some of them as the Second Nakba.
Since "Nakba" is in essence their term for Israeli victory, I think that all Jews and their allies should adopt the term and advocate with pride the idea of Nakba. Israel should pursue peace by means of military victory, that is, through means of additional Nakba. Re-Nakba Now! A Nakba a Day keeps the Terrorists Away.
John Kerry is threatening that Israel will face a third Intifada if it does not capitulate to the demands by him and his Palestinian friends. Israel's response should be that a Third Intifada will be met with a Third Nakba.
Here are some more ideas, taken from http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11654#.Unzq8q8UHQw
-One, two, three, MANY Nakbas!
The Israeli Far Left continues its war against Israeli existence. It likes to tell Israelis that they need to choose between the "Two State Solution" and the ""One-State Solution." There very well may develop a situation in which there are two states, one Jewish and one "Palestinian," especially if John Kerry and his Obamacare mentor have their way. But it will not be a solution to anything at all. There is no such thing as a Two-State SOLUTION. When the Left speaks about a "One State Solution," in which Israel is replaced by a bi-national Rwanda style political entity, what they REALLY want is the No-State Solution. They just do not have the courage to say so openly.
So let the rest of us say it for them. What the Left is advocating is a No-State Solution. One in which Israel will be obliterated and the Jewish population of the Middle East will be eliminated.
2. A shorter version of the following review appears in the current Middle East Quarterly:
Review of Joel Peters and David Newman, editors, "The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Routledge publishers, 2013, 475 pages
Reviewed by Steven Plaut, University of Haifa
David Newman is a geographer who largely built the notoriously controversial department of politics at Ben Gurion University single-handedly. Newman's vision for that department was for it to be a monolithic center for one-sided leftist agitprop. Last year a special international panel of experts appointed by the Israeli Council on Higher Education called for shutting down that department altogether due to its complete absence of pluralism and its very low academic standards, although later backed off after some cosmetic "reforms" were implemented there. Newman's department is renowned for the one-sided anti-Israel content of its courses and for the "academic conferences" in which no non-leftist is permitted to speak. Newman also uses his columns in the popular press to promote the agenda of the radical Left in Israel, down to and including justifying and defending world boycotts against Israel, while strongly opposing the extension of rights of freedom of speech to critics of the Far Left. Not only Newman but his entire department is passionately devoted to the proposition that there is only one permissible point of view with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and that is the point of view of the Far Left.
All of which is sufficient to explain the naked leftist bias and lack of pluralism that characterizes this supposed "Handbook" of the "Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." The bias fills the volume and appears on almost every page. The very choice of defining the Middle East war as the ""Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" in the title sets the tone; the war is NOT and decidedly never was a conflict between Israel and Palestinians but rather a conflict with the entire Arab/Islamic world. The chapter on Israeli Arabs refers to them with the fashionable far-leftist rhetorical invention as "Israeli Palestinians." The appendix of the book is crammed full of maps showing Israeli "settlements," but none showing Arab terror attacks or rocket attacks. Other appendices contain charters, treaties, and statements and these are included to give this pseudo-academic volume of propaganda the appearance of something scholastic. The chapter on the history of "Palestinians" by Ahmad Samih Khalidi is designed to make it appear that there existed some sort of Palestinian national identity or consciousness before 1967. Khalidi elsewhere churns out press columns about how Israel's existence is a catasprophe and promotes Israel's obliteration in what he calls a "one-state solution."
The list of contributors to this volume reads much like a Who's Who of the radical Left. It includes Galia Golan, a radical leader in the fringe "Peace Now" organization; Paul Scham, another leader of "Peace Now" who thinks that the difference between truth and lies is nothing more than a matter of competing "narratives"; Amal Jamal, a leading anti-Israel political science lecturer at Tel Aviv University; Naomi Chazan, who has headed the radical "New Israel Fund" when it was implicated in involvement in the nefarious Goldstone Report; Arie Arnon, probably the only Marxist economist at any Israeli university and active in the Israeli radical Left; Khaled Hroub, an apologist for the Hamas and writer for Al-Jazeera; Rosemary Hollis, a leader in the anti-Israel "Olive Tree Initiative". And that is just part of the menagerie.
The materials in the chapter on Palestinian "refugees" appear to be taken directly from the web site of the PLO. The chapter on the PLO criticizes it for allowing itself to be "co-opted" and converted into a tool that serves Israel. The Arab contributors to the volume all provide chapters with a pro-Palestinian agenda. Most of the Jewish contributors also provide chapters with a pro-Palestinian agenda. The chapter on terrorism focuses in large part on supposed "Jewish terrorism" against Arabs before 1948-9. Several chapters endorse the "New Historians," pseudo-historians engaged in "historic revisionism." The main exceptions to all this are a chapter by Gerald Steinberg on Israeli unilateralism, and two chapters by Steven Spiegel on the history of American foreign policy in the region. These are not permitted to voice a conservative pro-Israel set of positions, merely composing neutral non-ideological chapters, and appear to be non-leftist token contributors to allow Newman to roll his eyes when he is accused of bias.
Newman's co-editor in the volume is Joel Peters, also a faculty member in the same department at Ben Gurion University as Newman when he is not at Virginia Tech; he has long been promoting Israeli capitulation to Arab diktats and has ties to Palestinian and pro-Syrian organizations and institutions. Although not as extremist as Newman himself, Peters may be one of the few humans on earth still to regard Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and its conversion into Hamastan as a great success. His chapter in the volume is a post-modern exercise in exploring competing "narratives" about the Camp David summit, you know - that summit where Israel offered the PLO everything but the kitchen sink and where the Palestinians responded with new aggression, terrorism, and jihad-mongering.
The main use for such a volume will probably be in western campus "Israel Apartheid Week" festivities. No serious scholar will regard the book as anything other than a one-sided trunk full of leftist ideology.
 http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Samuel%20Forman%20-%20Review%20of%20the%20Bash%20Israel%20IGU%20Pre-Conference.htm and http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/BGU%20-%20Plaut%20enlightens%20David%20Newman.htm It also hosts one-sided pro-Marxist conferences.
 http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Joel%20Amitai%20-%20David%20Newman%20-%20Ducks%20the%20Issues.htm and http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/BGU%20-%20David%20Newman%20-%20Defames%20London%20Professor%20Efraim%20Karsh.htm
 http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/other%20-%20Interdisciplinary%20Center%20-%20Galia%20Golan%20-%20suppresses%20dissents.htm and http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/other%20-%20Interdisciplinary%20Center%20-%20Galia%20Golan%20-%20New%20History%20Revisionism.htm