Friday, December 27, 2013
Fast afterword: it turns out that my Bash the Vegans piece that I sent out yesterday is triggering an unusually large amount of crank mail, hate mail, and other forms of emotive opposition. Here and there it is also resulting in actual arguments being raised. Some of these are in talkbacks on http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/judaism-and-eating-meat-letter-to-a-vegan-animal-rights-activist/2013/12/26/ I list a few, with my responses:
1. Adam and Eve in Genesis are vegetarians and in fact, according to tradition, eating meat became divinely permissible once after the Flood and Noah. Hence the original pristine preferred moral state of humans is to be vegetarians, so argue the Jewish animal rights nuts and the "Eco-Judaism" pagans. But if Adam and Eve's original vegetarianism is supposed to convey a moral and theological superiority for vegan diets, then the exact same logic should lead us to conclude that God really really wants us all to be nudists. After all, in their original pristine moral state and innocence, Adam and Eve also went about with no clothes.
2. During the 40 years in the Sinai wilderness, the Israelites were (at least at first) fed Manna alone and ate no meat. Therefore, once again, vegetarianism is the morally superior form of Judaism and human morality. SO sayeth the vegbats. Well, a few problems with this. First, the Israelites got all the nutrition they needed from the Manna, something vegans are incapable of doing from THEIR diet. The Manna could be made to taste like anything, including meat (and for that matter even pork). And even with the nutritional richness they got from Manna, the Israelites still craved meat and God granted them their request, in the form of quails. So this is hardly a ringing endorsement for the moral superiority of a vegan or vegetarian diet.
3. The Jewish animal rights nuts have a list of 4 or 5 prominent Rabbis who chose to be vegetarians. But the very fact that they can name 4 or 5 such rabbis really shows how few the vegetarian rabbis are, and for each of these vegetarian rabbis one can find 10,000 meat eating rabbis. Hardly a ringing endorsement for vegan diets.
4. Radical vegetarians like to argue that people who wish to eat meat should first be coerced into going to slaughterhouses and seeing with their own eyes how animals are slaughtered for food there. And if they refuse to do so, then they have no moral right to eat meat. This is a strange argument. This is like saying that people should be prohibited from engaging in sexual relations with their spouses unless they first attend porno film screenings in which they are forced to watch on screen every part of the act in its most infinitesimal detail in super magnification. I guess THAT could be one way that the human species would be eliminated altogether in order for animal rights nuts to achieve their real agenda! (Or, as a second example, no male will ever go for a physical if he is first forced to watch a film of a magnified prostate exam.)
5. Radical vegetarians love to proclaim how moral and ethical they are because they do not eat animal products, and for vegans this includes milk and cheese. But since almost all MDs agree that almost all people need some animal products (at least dairy) to get sufficient nutrition, then in fact a vegan diet is immoral and Jewish vegans are immorally ignoring their moral responsibility to care for their own body's healthiness.
On a somewhat related topic, the following news story is about how Norway has decided that soldiers in its army (or if you prefer its "army") will be forced to eat vegan diets one day a week. You may recall that the Norwegian army is a large contingent in the UN forces in Lebanon that are supposed to be making it difficult for the Hezb'Allah terrorists to attack Israel. You can now see why they are so ineffective. They are not getting enough nutrition to fight the terrorists! In any case, if you ever want to conduct a military invasion or conquest of Norway, I guess you know on which day of the week this is now a possibility!
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Judaism and Eating Meat: Letter to a Vegan Animal Rights Activist
By: Steven Plaut
Published: December 26th, 2013
Let me first say that I really do not care what you choose to eat. Therefore, I find it insulting and irritating that you should take it upon yourself to tell me what I should eat. You are not my doctor and in fact have no training in medicine.
Moreover, I find it infuriating that you presume to pronounce upon my own morality based on what I choose to eat while bragging about your own high ethical standards, all because you do not eat meat or animal products.
Perhaps the most obnoxious part of your posturing is your pretense that somehow Judaism itself endorses your extremist vegan choice of diet while it condemns my meat-eating one as ethically inferior.
Let us back up a bit. There is nothing in Judaism that condemns the eating of meat. Indeed, not only is vegetarianism not endorsed in classical rabbinic sources as some kind of morally superior life style, it is actually prohibited in halacha, at least with regard to the Passover sacrifice.
When the Temple was in existence, Jews were religiously obligated to eat roasted meat at least once a year on the evening of Passover. They could not abstain from doing so on grounds of hypertension or cholesterol dangers, nor could they substitute tofu for the grilled meat.
The eating of meat is to be found in virtually all Jewish texts. Abraham did not welcome the passing strangers into his tent with a hospitality dinner composed of lettuce and turnip daiquiris. The children of Israel ate quail while wondering through the Sinai wilderness. Donations and obligatory payments to the Temple were routinely made in the form of animals to be eaten.
While the Torah goes to lengths in several places to list animals whose consumption is prohibited, this is clearly done for the purpose of identifying animals whose meat can be consumed. Festivals in particular involved the eating of meat, and there are rabbinic opinions holding that a holiday meal without meat is not a true feast (even on Shavuos).
Indeed, the only case that comes to mind of vegetarianism in the Bible is in the Book of Daniel, and there it is clear that the practice was embraced reluctantly because no properly prepared kosher meat was available.
While you go through all sorts of contortions to invent a case for Judaism prohibiting the eating of meat, a far more persuasive case may be made for Judaism prohibiting strict vegetarianism altogether, particularly vegan diets.
I know you like to toss out the usual claims from the animal rights lobby about how all animal products are terribly harmful to your health. We will come back to those claims in a moment. But suppose – just suppose – the medical profession reached complete consensus that eating animal products was good for your health, not harmful to it. Would you then agree that Judaism unambiguously prohibits vegetarianism on the grounds of the need to preserve one's health?
I already know what your answer is. You would still oppose all eating of meat and animal protein. Which, of course, proves my point. You are not opposed to eating meat because it is unhealthy for humans to do so. You are opposed to the eating of meat because you have embraced a pagan quasi-worship of animals and their "rights" – where the "interests" of animals trump the interests of humans.
That is why you also oppose medical experiments involving animals. You would rather that millions of humans die of cancer than subject lab hamsters and monkeys to experimentation for the advance of science.
The consensus among doctors that eating animal products is not, in and of itself, hazardous to one's health is about as close to unanimous as is possible regarding any medical question.
You try to downplay this by citing evidence that obesity and high cholesterol are serious health hazards. This has become the modus operandi of the animal rights lobby. You make your case by describing extreme situations and then extrapolate from those to advance your agenda against all consumption of animal products.
Yes, obesity and high cholesterol are serious health problems. But any food – salt, sugar, pepper, even water – consumed in extreme quantities can be a health hazard. The fact that extreme consumption of meat is unhealthy does not mean that all consumption of meat is unhealthy. Not only is moderate consumption healthy, it is difficult for most people to obtain sufficient protein without consuming animal products.
Since you raise Judaism as a false flag of endorsement for your vegan agenda, let us note that the authentic Jewish approach toward such things is moderation –distancing oneself from extremes. Do not consume huge amounts of sugar and salt but do not forgo them altogether (the body, after all, needs sugar and salt). Do not forgo wine and alcohol but do not become an alcoholic. Do not forgo meat but do not "pig out" on extravagant servings.
Even with all the modern concerns about the dangers of overeating and obesity, there is still an unambiguous positive correlation between life expectancy and consumption of meat in the world today, especially when making international comparisons. Countries where people live longer are countries where more meat protein is eaten.
Strict vegetarians have a considerable health challenge in terms of obtaining sufficient protein. In fact, I suspect that a serious investigation of vegan diets would prove that, just like "organic foods," they are downright unhealthy.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The Jewish List Of The World's Shortest Books
I suppose everyone has seen lists of the "World's Shortest Books."
Since I think we Jews could use our own special list, I have as a public service prepared the first annual Official Jewish List of the World's Shortest Books.
1. "The Laws of the Torah We Follow and Practice," by the leaders of the Reconstructionist movement.
2. "Reform Rabbis I Have Admired," by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
3. "Illegal Narcotics Progressive Jews Should Avoid," by the editors of Tikkun magazine.
4. "Koshers Foods I Enjoy," by Yossi Sarid.
5. "My Beauty Secrets," by Shulamit Aloni
6. "Books I Have Read," by Rev Al Sharpton.
7. "The list of Palestinian contributions to Mankind," by Shimon Peres.
8. "How Likud Differs from the Labor Party," by Benjamin Netanyahu.
9. "Ideas for Conflict Resolution Through Meditation and Quilting," by Sheikh Raed Salah.
10. "Arab Terrorists I Have Condemned," by the B'Tselem Human Rights Group.
11. "Our record of Defending Freedom of Speech for Non-Leftists," Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
12. "My Understanding of Free Speech and Democracy," by Israeli Attorney General Shai Nitzan.
13. "Romantic Moments From My Marriage," by Senator Hillary Clinton.
14. "Non-Leftists Who Work for Us," by the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
15. "Things I Did to Deserve a Nobel Prize," by Shimon Peres.
16. "Things I Did to Deserve a Nobel Prize," by Jimmy Carter.
17. "Things I Did to Stop Iran from getting Nukes," by Barack Hussein Obaa
18. "Thoughts I Have Had," by the Reverend Al Sharpton.
19. "The Essence of Patriotism," by Zehava Galon.
20. "Israeli Vital Interests That Need to be Guarded," by John Kerry.
21. "My Cozy Home Life With the Chairman," by Suha Arafat
22. "Liberal Causes I Have Opposed," by Leonard Fein
23. "Jews I Admire," by Patrick Buchanan
24. "Pro-Israel Columns We've Run Over the Years," by the editors of the Los Angeles Times.
25. "Pro-Israel Columns We've Run Over the Years," by the editors of Haaretz.
26. "Lessons in Palestinian Democracy," by Abu Mazen.
27. "Documented Facts in My Autobiography," by Edward Said.
28. "My Struggle against anti-Semites," by Eric Yoffie
29. "Communist Atrocities I Have Condemned," by Noam Chomsky.
30. "Things I Like About the United States," by Noam Chomsky.
31. "Tips From My Dental Hygienist," by Yasir Arafat.
32. "Things I Remember About My Lobotomy," by Shimon Peres.
33. "Israeli Universities Not Dominated by Leftists," by Steven Plaut.
34. "My Plans for Commemorating Israel's Next Jubilee Year," by Bashar Asad.
35. "My Memories of Rabbinic Seminary," by Tikkun editor Michael Lerner.
36. "Favorite Stir-Fried Recipes for Preparing Tasty Animals," by Arthur Waskow and the Eco-Judaism movement.
37. "Illegal Drugs whose use I have Condemned," by Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun.
39. "Terrorists we have Condemned," by leadership of Peace Now.
40. "Sexual Perversions we have Condemned," by the Reform synagogue Religious Action Center.
41. "Our Ritual Lessons from the Torah," by the Reconstructionist Rabbinic College.
42. "Non-Leftists to whom we have granted Honorary PhD degrees," by president of the University of Haifa.
43. "Our Action Plans against Academic Traitors," by Rivka Carmi, president of Ben Gurion "University."
44. "Non-leftist Columns we have Published," by Haaretz publisher and Yediot Ahronot.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Newman is a far-leftist crony of people like Neve Gordon. He also is a Jerusalem Post columnist, one who ferociously opposes freedom of speech for non-leftists.
See this on his juvenile misbehavior:
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The Pseudo-Jewish Fetish with "Tikkun Olam"
By Steven Plaut
"The central mitzvah or commandment for out era is the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam. It is the defining mission of Jews to strive for the repair of the world by making society more just, fair, egalitarian, and sensitive. Judaism demands that we repair the world by striving for social justice. It is the mission of Jews in the Divine Plan for the universe to repair the world by repairing man, by improving and advancing mankind."
The above paragraph is a fair representation of what has become the defining raison d'etre of Judaism as conveyed by non-Orthodox liberal Jewish organizations and synagogues in America. It is not a direct citation from any, but is an accurate paraphrase of what has become the canon of non-Orthodox Jewish liberalism, in essence the orthodoxy of the non-Orthodox. It is the "modernized" and contemporary "reinterpretation" of "Jewish ethics" as defined and inculcated by much of the Reform and Conservative movements. It is also the entire "theology" of the pseudo-Jewish radical leftist groups operating at the fringes of the Jewish community, including the "Renewal/ALEPH" movement, the "Eco-Judaism" groups, the "Tikkun community" of people and groups that are satellites to the magazine by that same name published by pseudo-Rabbi Michael Lerner, and what remains of the "Reconstructionists." Lerner discovers "repair of the world" even in LSD consumption.
So just what are we to make of the above "Tikkun Olam" proclamation and manifest?
The most important thing that must be understood about the Tikkun Olam catechism of non-Orthodox Judaism in the United States is that each and every sentence in the above proclamation is false.
First of all, there is no such thing as a mitzvah or commandment of "Tikkun Olam." Jews are nowhere commanded to "repair the world." In all the authoritative or traditional compilations of the commandments of Judaism, none list "Tikkun Olam" as one of them. The expression itself does not appear anywhere in the Torah or in the entire Bible. Those assimilationist liberals who insist that the entire "ethics of the Prophets" can be reduced to the pursuit of "Tikkun Olam" will have to explain why none of the Books of the Prophets use the term. "Tikkun Olam" is used sporadically in the Talmud, but as a technical term for resolution of certain judicial problems that arise before rabbinic courts. The only place where the expression appears in Jewish prayer is in the "Aleinu" and there it clearly has nothing at all to do with social justice. In the "Aleinu," Tikkun Olam is explicitly explained in the prayer text itself as the quest to eliminate pagan superstition and to see God's rule of the universe implemented. In other words, it is a theological notion, not a social or political or environmental one. In Judaism, the world does not get repaired by redistribution of income and wealth nor by cutting carbon emissions but by humans subordinating themselves to God's will.
Secondly, "Tikkun Olam" does not mean that Jews are obligated to strive to make the earth a more just, clean, fair and equal place. Nowhere in Judaism are Jews commanded to restructure or re-engineer the societies of the nations. Jews have a certain obligation to participate in the Jewish community and to assist other Jews, especially Jews living in hardship, including through Tzedaka or charity. Even within the Jewish community, there is no religious imperative or justification for coerced schemes of income or wealth redistribution, aside from payments to the Levites and priests. And while there is no prohibition as such upon Jews using their resources to assist the downtrodden among the non-Jewish nations, there is also no Judaic imperative to do so and such generosity would be considered morally inferior to the assisting of other Jews.
The Torah and the Prophets do speak out about the plight of Jewish widows, orphans, and converts, but in every single case where the matter is brought up the concern is for protecting the rights of these groups in courts, assuring they do not face judicial discrimination. There is no official obligation to transfer resources to these disadvantaged groups except for the "tithe for the poor" collected out of agricultural produce in two years out of seven. (If you do the math, it averages out to about 3% of farm resources per year.)
The idea that it is somehow the religious duty of Jews to "repair mankind" is not only complete nonsense, but it is a manifestation of the ignorant megalomania of assimilationist Jewish liberals. The simple fact of the matter is that in actual Judaism, it is none of the business of Jews to fix or repair humanity. More generally, in Judaism it is the job of Jews to repair the Jews, not to repair the world. Non-Jews are not in need of being "repaired" by Jews, at least as long as they observe the seven "Noahide Commandments," the rules of living that Jews interpret to be conferred upon all humans, all descendents of Noah, by God. Beyond that, what the gentiles do and how they do it is none of the business of Jews, and Jews simply have no religious standing to interfere. It is certainly not the job of Jews to instruct non-Jews about matters such as income and wealth distribution, abortion, environmentalism, health care provision, or discrimination. Jews are commanded to speak up only if they witness non-Jews tearing off limbs from live animals and eating them, and in a very small number of other cases.
Indeed, the very notion that Jews are so ethically superior that they are entitled to instruct non-Jews in ethnics is completely foreign to the Torah. The self-image of Jews in the Torah/Bible is that of a group of people awash in their own moral failures and foibles, from the Golden Calf to the paganism of the era of the kings of Judah and Israel. The moral imperative of the Torah is for the Jews to improve and reevaluate their own behavior, not to pretend to have the moral superiority to preach to the entire non-Jewish world. "Man" may very well be in need of redemption and improvement and repair, but it is not the business or job of the Jews to carry these things out. And it would be hubris to think that Jews are morally equipped to do so. Jews have more than their hands full in attempting to repair Jews.
Jews are in general not obligated to oppose or reform unjust laws of the nations, at least as long as those laws do not require Jews to bow down to idols. It is the religious moral imperative of Jews to obey the law and that is all. In democracies in which Jews may vote and express ideological positions, there is no Torah-based objection to their doing so. But at the same time there are generally no Torah-based ideological positions when it comes to the same policy questions. A Jew is free to favor or oppose Obamacare, shale oil extraction, and Quantitative Easing for any reason he or she sees fit. It would be a sacrilege and disrespectful to drag the Torah into the debate as the basis for the Jew's opinion. The Torah has more important matters on its theological plate.
It is just as obscene to attempt to recruit the Torah and "Tikkun Olam" as artillery support for ideological positions regarding the various other fashionable questions of the day. Probably one of the most common misuses of "Tikkun Olam" by the assimilationist liberals involves environmentalist trendiness. But the only real environmentalist statement by the Torah is that God will never allow planetary destruction to take place, and that every time one sees a rainbow in the sky one should remember that the doomsday warnings by the radical environmentalists about man destroying the planet are complete nonsense.
As for the insistence by the "Eco-Judaism" groups that vegetarianism is the highest form of "Tikkun Olam," the REAL position of the Torah on the subject needs to be mentioned. The Torah completely prohibits vegetarianism at least once a year, on the evening of Passover, and, while it does not exactly prohibit it for other holidays, eating meat on those holidays is strongly recommended. As for the recruitment of "Tikkun Olam" as the moral basis for other trendy political positions, some of the clearest ethical positions in all of Judaism are the SUPPORT by the Torah for capital punishment and its strong OPPOSITION to homosexual relations.
The Torah does not exactly say that inequality in the world is a good thing, but it also does not say that it is a bad thing. Humans are free to try to do something about it if they so please, just like they are free to end slavery (which the Torah and Talmud never mandate be ended). No one is religiously commanded to drive an SUV or to use disposable diapers, but neither is there any Jewish basis for opposing such things. One is free to oppose them all one wants on the grounds of their own merits and demerits. But one should at least have the common courtesy to do so without misrepresenting Judaism and "Tikkun Olam" as the basis for one's political position.
The bottom line is that, at the hands of the assimilationist liberals, "Tikkun Olam" has become a nonsense mantra representing nothing more than the replacement of actual Judaism with a pseudo-theology consisting entirely of the pursuit of liberal political fads
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Ah how amusing it is to read the latest bleatings of the "Boycott Us cause We's SOOOO Evil" crowd, the tenured anti-Zionists who demand that Israel be boycotted as long as the government refuses to buckle under and agree to implement the policies advocated by the furthest-left quarter of one percent of the population. They tell us that to refuse to implement the policies demanded by Uri Avnery and Haaretz columnists is simply undemocratic. How dare Netanyahu drag his feet in pursuing the Far Left's notion of peace!! So what if 99.8% of the population opposes the Far Left's agenda!?
What the Academic Far Left needs is its own song of devotion to its own righteousness and its passion for recreational posturing. And what song better does the job than the old swing classic "All of Me, Just Take All of Me," sung by Frank Sinatra and many another.
The original lyrics for "All of Me" as sung by Frank Sinatra appear here:
But the new version of the song for the tenured Fifth Column, prepared as a public service, is as follows:
Why not divest from me
Can't you see
I'm no good around you
Take my funds
I want to lose them
Take my arms
So I'll never use them
Left me with eyes that cry
How can I
Justify our refusal
Abuse me now
Let me grovel and bow
So why not
Just boycott me
All of me
Divest from all of me
Can't you see
I'm no good for nothing now
Slap my face
Then come and sue me
Cut off your ties
And help to abuse me
Leaves me with eyes that cry
Though as for me
I am righteously glowing
Now be a chum
Of all terrorist scum
So why not
Just boycott me
Monday, December 16, 2013
A cynical disqualification
by Dr. Haim Shine
The University of Haifa decided not to give an honorary doctorate to Nobel Prize winner Professor Robert Aumann. The reason: His right-wing views, which contradict the left-wing, pro-Palestinian spirit of the university. We recently learned that the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee will reportedly discuss the university's law clinics' practices of late, a third of which have focused on Palestinian rights, including the rights of Hamas terrorists serving prison sentences in Israel.
Aumann, a leading scholar of mathematics and game theory, does not need the University of Haifa's respect. His academic excellence does not require the university's affirmation, which is rather small by comparison. Every important international institution has opened its doors to him. Students the world over have flocked to Jerusalem to study under Aumann, learning the basic tenets of human logic.
The Executive Committee's disqualification of Aumann oozed politics. A post-Zionist Israeli university has rejected an internationally recognized scientist just because he is Zionist. Aumann's biggest sin is that he believes, in accordance with game theory, that the left-wing's obsession with concessions is illogical and totally dangerous. After several years' experience, one no longer has to be a distinguished professor to understand that capitulation, withdrawal and concessions do nothing to advance peace. On the contrary, they push peace further away. Honorary doctorates are given for scientific merit, not political opinions, and that is very important to understand. Academic disqualification based on political beliefs is reminiscent of humanity's darkest days.
Executive Committee Chairman Ami Ayalon (a former head of the Shin Bet), one of Yasser Arafat's eminent defense attorneys against Ehud Barak, is behind this bad decision. Ayalon accused Israel of triggering the Palestinian frustration that sparked the Second Intifada. He also advocated withdrawing to the 1967 borders, even unilaterally, to establish the Palestinian state. If these are the Executive Committee chairman's principles, it is no wonder that demonstrations against the Israel Defense Forces pop up during military incursions into the Gaza Strip, or that tensions flourish on campus during commemorations for the Nakba.
While Israel is struggling on every international stage against mixing science and politics, the University of Haifa is jumping in, throwing its support behind Israeli academia's most ardent adversaries. If Aumann is disqualified at the University of Haifa for his nationalist opinions, it is no wonder that universities in Britain reject Israeli scientists just because, in their eyes, the Haifa campus is located in occupied Palestine. The Executive Committee's decision cuts off the very branches supporting the university. Overseas, they don't distinguish between Israeli universities. As far as they're concerned, all of Israeli academia is contaminated.
Aumann will not play the university's game -- indeed, he's an expert in game theory. My advice to the university is that it apologize to Israel's Zionist citizens.
Shaked to Haifa University: Where is Freedom of Expression?
MK Ayelet Shaked appeals to the board of Haifa U. over decision to reject the degree of Professor Aumann due to his political views.
A bit to my surprise, the Israeli cabinet actually passed a bill that would heavily tax "donations" from overseas to Israeli traitorous NGOs. This is the latest attempt to block anti-democratic intervention by foreign hostile governments and agencies when they support picayune anti-Israel NGOs operating in Israel by far Leftists. In the past Netanyahu cowered and prevented passage of such "defense of democracy" bills. The report about the new bill is attached below.
The leftist Attorney General in Israel in Netanyahu's government has already announced that he will refuse to defend this new bill in court if it becomes law. He says it is unconstitutional, a rather strange claim given that Israel does not have a constitution. It is his position that he only has to defend laws with which he agrees and not any law that the elected representatives of the people in the Knesset pass. The fact that Netanyahu has not fired him on the spot for this statement tells you a great deal about Bibi's backbone.
NGO bill approved by ministers despite controversy
Ministers approved the controversial NGO bill proposed by Knesset members Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Sunday. The bill passed a vote of the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs, with the support of ministers from Shaked's party and from Likud-Beiteinu.
Representatives of the left slammed the proposal, calling it "dangerous and dictatorial," noting the bill was intended to silence any one who dares to criticize the administration and think differently. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she intended to appeal the proposed legislation.
The bill proposes a 45% tax charged on nonprofit foundations and organizations that receive foreign donations and that take part in the following activities:
Habayit Hayehudi welcomed the approval of the bill, saying: "The bill will help defend IDF soldiers from perverse lawsuits funded by foreign actors. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni's appeal against the bill is an irresponsible move."
The statement added: "Every day in which the bill does not become law, IDF soldiers are in danger and their operational ability is damaged. Minister Livni would do well do put aside political considerations and stop delaying this bill."
'Narrow-minded, anti-democratic decision'
Minister Livni said during the discussion that being patriotic means not passing anti-democratic legislation: "The State of Israel wants to protect IDF soldiers in international tribunals and the rule of law in Israel affects the decisions of these tribunals."
She added that "Habayit Hayehudi's proposal will harm IDF soldiers, not protect them. This is a populist proposal under the guise of patriotism, which will hurts Israel's ability to defend IDF soldiers."
Yesh Atid ministers joined Livni in opposing the bill.
Chairman of the opposition, Isaac Herzog said: "The decision of the ministerial committee in the name of the Israeli government is narrow-minded, anti-democratic and shuts down any one who dares not emulate her thinking. The next stage of this bill's implementation is forming a thought police that will determine who pays fines for an opinions and who doesn't, who is blacklisted politically and who isn't."
According to Herzog, "Israel is becoming less and less democratic. Everyone who loves the country and holds it dear must oppose this law with all their might. It is up to the prime minister and the Knesset plenum to cancel the decision of the ministerial committee."
The left said the proposal is a witch hunt of those who dare oppose the government. Before the committee's discussion, Meretz chairwoman, Zahava Gal-On said: "Woe to the administration that supports it."
On Friday, the Justice Ministry announced that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein opposed the proposal. In the opinion presented to the committee it was noted that Weinstein thinks the bill is unconstitutional and is meant as a means of punishment to foundations, which will thwart donations to them and hurt the public dialogue in Israel.
2. Quip of the day. On the Left's complaints about Santa being too white, from http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/santas-white-privilege/
If the Left complains that Santa is not portrayed often enough as Black, then how come it has nothing to say about the fact that Santa is never portrayed as Jewish?
Friday, December 13, 2013
The University of Haifa finds a Pariah, or, Academic Bolshevism in Red Haifa
Haaretz reports that the University of Haifa has decided not to grant an honorary doctoral degree to Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Aumann because the University disapproves of Aumann's political opinions. He is decidedly non-Left.
The story in Hebrew appears here: http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/education/.premium-1.2189627
A few months ago the same University of Haifa had no problem granting an honorary PhD degree to Shulamit Aloni, and has granted similar degrees to other far leftists.
Prof. Aumann won the Nobel Prize in 2005 for his pathbreaking research in game theory and strategy.
The University of Haifa has been in the news recently for the naked politicization of some of its academic units. The university's law school was the focus of a blistering report by the Im Tirtzu Zionist student organization exposing the fact that some of its law clinics were coercing students into providing legal aid to convicted terrorists and are also collaborating with anti-Israel radical NGOs such as Adalah. The law school had earlier prohibited the singing of the national anthem Hatikva at its graduation ceremonies. Other university universities are similarly politicized and the School of Education operates an indoctrinational "peace education" program. The University also continues to allow the anti-Semitic "ALEF LIST" chat list to operate under university auspices and to proliferate anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate propaganda (see http://isracampus.org.il/ALEF%20Watch.htm for details). In the past the University of Haifa employed Ilan Pappe and granted him tenure. All of this has been in the name of "pluralism and diversity."
It turns out that Prof. Aumann is not covered by the University's devotion to pluralism and diversity.
Want to tell the University heads what you think of all this?
President of the University of Haifa
Rector of the University of Haifa
Prof. David Faraggi
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
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
Thursday, December 12, 2013
(Apologies for posting item yesterday that included the address list in CC instead of BCC - had a senior moment!)
The Knockout Game and Leftist Language Control
December 12, 2013 by Ann Coulter
The Times even helped push the bogus idea in the 1990s that black church burnings were a "trend" — which turned out to be a complete lie. This led to one of Bill Clinton's more colorful lies, about his "vivid and painful" memories of black church burnings in Arkansas in his youth.
(After a massive investigation involving the state historian, the Arkansas NAACP, the Regular Arkansas Baptist Convention and the Arkansas Black History Advisory Committee, it turned out no black churches had been burned in Arkansas.)
2. About that story of a drunken black youth attacked by anti-gay Hassidim:
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
'Intolerance': Ex-Labor MK Blocked From Leftist Conference
Former MK Wilf excluded from Peace Now-sponsored conference for being on NGO Monitor council, criticizes 'intolerance'.Ari Yashar
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Thank you, Stalin; Kudos, Uncle Joe
By Steven Plaut
I would like to propose that the Jewish people of the world find a day in which to express their gratitude to Joseph Stalin for liquidating Jewish members of the bolshevik party. The Jewish people is much better off these days thanks to so many Jewish members of the bolshevik party having been removed by Stalin from the Jewish gene pool. Israel is also a better place thanks to this, for, without their liquidation, many of these communists may have found their way ultimately to Israel. And indeed the world is a better place without them.
Now none of this is to belittle the level of absolute perfidy and evil that characterized Stalin and his regime. It is simply to note that, in the midst of all that evil, there were actually a few items of long term benefit that emerged from Stalin's regime of horror. Of course, alongside these Jewish communists, Stalin murdered millions of innocents, including many innocent Jews. No one condones that. We just need to be a little bit grateful that thousands of Jewish mischievous communists did not survive Stalin's repressions to show up in Israel and help the Radical Left there undermine the state. A small communist party did operate in Mandatory Palestine starting in the 1920s, but it never amounted to much. A second Marxist party, MAPAM, played a role in the growth of the Jewish institutions in the Land of Israel. It was denounced by Moscow, and generally treated as a pariah by David Ben Gurion and the mainstream Zionist movement. What remains of it today is a splinter inside the tiny Meretz Party, a leftwing opposite group.
Sure, Stalin was a deranged anti-Semite. Just see this book about that. And we all know about the Stalinist fabrications with regard to the supposed Jewish Doctors Plot and other cases of his anti-Semitic conspiracism. I do not make light of any of that.
Joseph Stalin was one of the most truly awful persons in all of human history. He is surpassed only by Hitler on the scale of evil, and in a few areas he himself actually managed to exceed the level of evil in Nazism. Stalin mastered the intentional genocidal famine as an instrument of state policy to terrorize the Ukrainians and others. In the Holdomor in the Ukraine, many millions were intentionally starved to death. Stalin's favorite instrument of reign was state terror. He ordered untold millions shot and tortured in the Great Purge, including much of the Red Army and the Bolshevik Party. He signed the "deal" with Hitler in the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, and his people were among those who paid the price for this treachery. He launched wars of aggression against his neighbors. And Stalin was an anti-Semite. His anti-Semitism dominated his last years of life but was present well before that.
Bolshevik state terror did not begin with Stalin. Lenin was the original figure who advocated massive terror as official state policy. (And Trotsky was at least as devoted to the idea of state terror as Stalin; Trotsky just was annoyed that it was not HE who was running the state terror instead of Stalin!) To Lenin's credit, he had a generally positive attitude towards Jews (unlike Marx), even while he opposed all political expression by or organization of Jews, including in the Bund (which advocated Yiddish language-based cultural autonomy). Lenin thought Jews were more civilized and better behaved than Russian and Ukrainian peasants or urban ungenteel lowbrows with their poor tailoring. Lenin opposed all forms of Jewish nationalism, separatism and even autonomy, not just in the form of Zionism, but admired Jews as disciplined sober literate individuals, as long as they were willing to join his party and obey him.
It is also true that the early bolshevik party had more than its share of Jews. These were by and large anti-Semitic Jews and devoted communists. As it turned out, non-communist Jews were often the first victims of communist parties that acceded to power, and not just in the USSR. The bolshevik party was never a Jewish party, in contrast with the libels that the anti-Semitic putrescence always asserts, and indeed the bolshevik party was actually in many ways an anti-Jewish party. Nevertheless, for reasons best worked out by psychiatrists, quite a few Jews were attracted to early bolshevism and many rose in its ranks for a while.
On the eve of the February Revolution in 1917, the Bolshevik party had about 10,000 members, of whom 364 were Jews. Between 1917 and 1919, Jewish Bolshevik party leaders included Grigory Zinoviev, Moisei Uritsky, Lev Kamenev, Yakov Sverdlov, Grigory Sokolnikov, and Leon Trotsky. Lev Kamenev had a Jewish father. Trotsky was also a member of the ruling Council of People's Commissars. Among the 23 Narkoms between 1923 and 1930, five were Jewish.
According to the 1922 party census, there were 19,564 Jewish Bolsheviks, comprising 5.21% of the total. Jews made up 7.1% of members who had joined before October 1917. Among members of the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets in 1929, there were 402 ethnic Russians, 95 Ukrainians, 55 Jews, 26 Latvians, 13 Poles, and 12 Germans. Liquidation of these bolshevik Jews began with the assassination of Moisei Uritsky in August 1918. Then Yakov Sverdlov died supposedly of disease in March 1919 and Sokolnikov was eliminated. In 1922, Jewish members in the Central Committee, the Politburo's new name, had shrunk to three: Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev. Eventually they were all liquidated by Stalin: Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1936 and Trotsky in 1940.
Stalin renewed the killing of Jewish bolsheviks after World War II, including members of the wartime "Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee." Solomon Mikhoels was assassinated on Stalin's personal orders in Minsk. His murder was disguised as a hit-and-run car accident. Other leading members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were arrested, charged with treason, bourgeois nationalism and planning to set up a Jewish republic in Crimea to serve American interests. In all, some 110 JAFC members were arrested or killed. During Stalin's purge of the Red Army, when 40,000 officers were executed, 169 Jewish generals were among those killed.
What is interesting in all this is that nearly every Jewish member of the Soviet Union's bolshevik party was murdered by Stalin. Certainly the senior party members were, but so also were many rank-and-file communists. Among those murdered were Jewish communists who decided to migrate to the Soviet Union from other countries to help build "socialism" there. These even included Jewish communists from the parties operating in Mandatory Palestine. (Jews were not the only bolshevik pilgrims to the USSR; others, notably Finns and Armenians, were similar dupes.) At least one "kibbutz" was built in the Crimea in the USSR by Jewish communists from the yishuv in "Palestine." Again, with very few exceptions, these were all killed by Stalin.
Even Stalin could not eliminate all the Jewish communists. Some survived. Alas, one finds them today at the fringes of Israeli politics, and a couple of departments at Tel Aviv University consist entirely of Jewish communists. Notable TAU Stalinists include the fanatically anti-Israel Yoav Peled, Shlomo Sand, and Yehouda Shenhav. Tel Aviv University regularly holds Stalin Days and the University officially collaborates with the communist party. See this and this. A communist party leader ran recently for mayor of Tel Aviv and was trounced.
But the presence of such fringe political rubbish in Israel is not Stalin's fault. After all, Stalin certainly tried his best to eliminate all Jewish bolsheviks, and the fact that he fell short should not detract from the worthiness of his efforts in this regard. Without Stalin's purges of Jewish communists, Israel might have ended up with thousands of Tamar Goszinkies and Dov Khenins (leading Jewish Stalinists in Israel's predominantly-Arab Communist Party today).
Stalin was born on December 18, which usually falls around Hanukka time. [Interestingly, Stalin died on Purim. Think about Haman when you ponder that!] Yes, I agree that it behooves us all to denounce Stalin's countless crimes and unfathomable evil. But I guess December 18 is as good a day as any for Jews to remember that, thanks to good ole Uncle Joe, Israel and the rest of the Jewish world were spared the need to cope with thousands of demonic Jewish communists. If people prefer to hold the celebrations in better weather, August 20 is also an appropriate date. That is the date on which a Stalinist agent introduced Leon Trotsky to mountain climbing equipment.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
With Pearl Harbor Day just behind us, I thought the timing might be ripe for re-posting this.
It appeared in the Jerusalem Post on June 7, 1994 - when Peres was Foreign Minister in the Rabin government:
The Holocaust According to Shimon Peres
by Steven Plaut
Recently Foreign Minister Shimon Peres expressed a "Two-Holocaust" theory of the events transpiring during World War Two. According to Peres, the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews and the American dropping of atomic bombs on Japan constituted twin Holocausts, and presumably this means they were morally parallel or equivalent to one another.
Such a comparison has by now become fashionable in certain politically-correct circles in Western countries, and it would not represent the first instance in which the thinking of the current government was motivated by a passionate desire to conform with international political fashion. But going beyond political fad, it is intriguing to attempt to reconstruct the thinking of our Foreign Minister, leading up to this remark in his "Shoah Show".
If the Holocaust of the Jews is analogous to the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Peres' "mind," then it follows that he views the Holocaust of the Jews as an event that must have occurred in the course of an all-out conflict deliberately launched by the Jews, in which they, like the Japanese, enslaved the better part of an entire continent, pillaging and tormenting the populations while systematically murdering millions. German actions must have also been taken to prevent much greater suffering and far larger numbers of victims.
If the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews is analogous to the American bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Peres' "mind", then the former must have been a moral imperative and absolutely justifiable. The bombing of Hiroshima brought an end to the War in the Pacific without necessitating the ground invasion of Japan. In such an invasion, hundreds of thousands - perhaps millions - of Allied soldiers would have died. Millions of Japanese would also have died.
Shortly before the atomic bombings, 7,000 US soldiers were killed and 18,000 wounded taking a desolate island called Iwo Jima. Then 12,000 US soldiers were killed and 35,000 wounded taking Okinawa, making that a battle on a par with Gettysburg. On Okinawa 100,000 Japanese were killed. (Okinawa was then held by the US as a militarily-governed "occupied territory" for four decades with never a hint of an intifada. Can you guess why there was no intifada?) All this is indisputable proof of how severe the carnage would have been on the Japanese main islands from an Allied invasion and conquest.
It is estimated that 55 million people died in World War Two. If the atomic bombs shortened that war by merely a week, the carnage they wrought was one of the greatest "bargains" of human history.
The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki rank as one of the most moral, high-minded, humane, and unambiguously justifiable acts in the history of mankind. It is true that tens of thousands of Japanese died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that many of these were also "innocents." It is also true that the number killed in both cities dwarfs in comparison with those killed by the Allies with conventional weapons in the bombings of Tokyo and Dresden, to name only the two most notorious examples in World War Two.
In Dresden alone tens of thousands of Germans were killed, doubtless many of these "innocents." If the 70-100 thousand killed in Hiroshima justify ranking that event as a "Holocaust," morally equivalent to the destruction of European Jewry in Peresian "thinking," then I suggest that Peres should have the courage of his convictions and speak out about the "Triplet-Holocausts," adding Dresden to the cohort. He would just be repeating what certain circles of Europeans have already been suggesting. Better yet, why not add the 200,000 Republican Guards of Saddam Hussein, mercilessly butchered by Allied weapons in the first Gulf War, many of whom were doubtless innocents, and raise the size of the cohort to quadruplets?
Let us have some consistency here.
What is much harder to explain is how it could be that the Number Two politician in the Israeli government could voice such a position, 50 years after the real Holocaust.