Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Obama's Leftist Pseudo-Rabbi
Posted By Steven Plaut On February 25, 2015
A few weeks back the US Senate approved the appointment of "Rabbi" David N. Saperstein as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, to head the Office of International Religious Freedom in the United States Department of State, an office that tracks the denial of religious freedom to people around the world. The Obama administration has been bragging about its high-minded pluralism in appointing a Jew to the office, the first time it was held by a non-Christian.
A past leader in the "Rabbis for Obama," Saperstein long headed the so-called "Religious Action Center" (RAC) of the American Reform synagogue movement. Despite its name, there is nothing remotely religious about the RAC. It is a liberal-leftist advocacy center, a lobby for the entire range of politically correct social causes, occasionally dressing up its agitprop with perfunctory attribution to "Jewish ethics." Many of its positions are explicitly and diametrically opposed to the text of the Torah and to traditional Jewish values.
Saperstein is a "Reform Rabbi," which should not be confused with a real Rabbi, someone who has demonstrated expertise in and command of the Torah, the Talmud, and other traditional Jewish texts. Media commentators have speculated about how the appointment will go over with the anti-Israel lobby and Muslim countries, evidently not realizing that Saperstein is not particularly pro-Israel. Saperstein is married to Ellen Weiss, who ran for years the maliciously anti-Israel program "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio.
The RAC has operated under the direction of Saperstein for almost as long as North Korea has operated under the Kim dynasty. It has been wishy-washy in all that is related to Israeli defense. Basically the RAC supports the Israeli Left. It also supports anti-Israel groups, such as the far-leftist New Israel Fund (NIF), "J Street" and the pro-jihad "Jewish Voices for Peace." Saperstein has been active in such outfits as People For the American Way, set up by the television producer Norman Lear to save the world from Republicans. The RAC web site links to a gaggle of advocacy organizations from the Left, including ACORN.
The RAC is in favor of expanded Obamacare, gun control, gay marriage, LGBT "rights" – note the fashionable inclusion of the "T" in LGBT on the RAC web page, affirmative action, abortion on demand (including partial birth abortions), banning capital punishment, and it endorses virtually every fad emerging from the environmentalist movement. It goes without saying that none of these have any support or basis whatsoever in the Torah or in traditional Judaism. Every single policy position by Saperstein and the RAC is adopted in the name of "social justice." Yet there is virtually nothing at all in actual Judaism that mandates social (as opposed to judicial) justice, and certain nothing that mandates forced income redistribution. The RAC also repeatedly proves its economic illiteracy, such as in its promotion and endorsement of increases in the minimum wage.
In one of the greater ironies, the one social reform most desperately needed to ensure the continued survival of the American Jewish community is opposed by the RAC: expanded use of school vouchers. The RAC has long led the battle AGAINST all forms of school vouchers. Saperstein has also campaigned against "Islamophobia" and he has hobnobbed and worked with Muslim jihadist groups. His opposition to welfare reform has been so radical as to earn him the praise of the American Communist Party. When the American Jewish woman Lori Berenson was convicted in Peru of participating in the terrorist activities of the local Maoist movement, Saperstein and the RAC raced to defend her and demand her release.
Saperstein loves "kibitzing" in Israeli internal decision making. He and his people opposed the construction of a security fence by Israel designed to prevent Arab terrorists from murdering Israeli civilians. The RAC under Saperstein continued supporting the suicidal "two-state solution" long after the vast majority of Israelis rejected it as being no solution at all but rather a recipe for escalation of Arab aggression against Israel. Saperstein's crew, which does not risk being blown to smithereens in Israeli buses and cafes, announced that theyoppose administrative home demolitions of Arab terrorists. They prefer that terrorism be defeated by understanding the grievances of terrorists.
While granting lip service to the need for Israel to defend itself from security threats, most of the efforts over the years by Saperstein and his RAC SWAT Team regarding Israel have been devoted to promoting the leftist agenda inside Israel, including in at least one violent demonstration. The RAC operates an office inside of Israel and virtually all of its activities and efforts are devoted towards promoting "social justice" fads, including feminism and "gay marriage." Israeli RAC people have openly identified themselves with the tiny Far-Leftist "Meretz" party, which enjoys support from perhaps 3% of Israelis and is currently struggling to retain any parliamentary seats at all in the upcoming election.
The small Israeli RAC office has repeatedly demonstrated hostility to freedom of speech in Israel. It demanded that "racist" (meaning supposedly anti-Arab) books be banned in Israel and that Rabbis expressing opinions the RAC deems racist be prosecuted and indicted. When two rabbis composed an esoteric book discussing conditions in Rabbinic law under which enemy civilians could be targeted (such as in wartime), the wannabe book-burners from the Israeli RAC filed a petition to the Supreme Court demanding that the writers be indicted for the crime of expressing their opinion. Curiously, the RAC in the US has never dared to demand that the First Amendment be suppressed in order to stop "racism."
Israeli RAC has opposed proposals that would require Arab members of parliament to take an oath of loyalty to the country, something it regards as "racist." It tends to endorse carte blanche all demands from Israel's Arab radical groups, justifying these endorsements as part of the "battle against racism." It has never once had anything to say about Arab anti-Jewish racism. It also demanded and "achieved" the construction of paved roads for illegal Bedouin squatters living on state lands they do not own, and it supports Bedouin squatters in other legal matters. It has led the battle to allow unlimited numbers of illegal African infiltrators from Eritrea and Sudan to remain in the country and be naturalized.
Saperstein and his people have lobbied for what they call "religious pluralism" in Israel. By "pluralism" they mean the granting of official recognition to "Reform Judaism" as having a status on par with actual Judaism. The problem with this is that the percentage of Israeli Jews identifying with the "Reform synagogue" movement is miniscule, far less than 1% of the population, although slightly more will describe themselves in polls as "Reform oriented" when they really mean they are secularist non-religious. The RAC is particularly enraged that its "clergy" are not acknowledged within Israel as authorized to conduct conversions to Judaism, although immigrants to Israel who underwent Reform conversions abroad are usually quietly accepted as Jews under Israeli law. The main problem is that the "Reform Movement" demands that Israelis accept as a bona fide movement of Judaism what is essentially a political movement that mis-defines Judaism as the pursuit of liberal-leftist political fads. Reform "conversions" are suspected as being processes in which anyone who supports Obamacare, affirmative action, and action against global warming are considered to have converted to Judaism.
The biggest problem is that the same Reform leader now serving as Obama's point man on religious pluralism and diversity has made it clear that political pluralism has no roomwhatsoever in the his own "Reform" movement or in the RAC. Non-liberals are not welcome. Neither are people who practice actual Judaism. Saperstein's "theology" is a form of pagan political fundamentalism, impervious to challenge. It believes that the best chances of survival for the eternal and timeless religion of Judaism are through repackaging it so that it can appeal to Berkeley college students, drag queens in Provincetown, and actors in Hollywood. His "Political Liberalism as Judaism" pseudo-theology dominates the main institutions of the Reform synagogue movement, including its Central Council of American Rabbis (CCAR). The bottom line is that the Religious Action Center (RAC) and its Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom promote "religious action" that rarely, if ever, has anything to do with religion.
2. More Women fly F-16's in Israel than drive cars in Saudi Arabia.
3. No longer any question - the "New Israel Fund" is a terrorist organization
4. The leftist Jews for a second Holocaust: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/2015/02/22/jewish-voice-peace-takes-off-mask/
5. Ari Shavit and Leftist Lies about Israel's War of Independence
6. Shame Israel does not have such a courageous leader: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2964707/The-Islamist-death-cult-declared-war-world-PM-announces-STRIP-jihadists-citizenship-s-revealed-THIRTY-extremists-returned-home-Australia-Middle-East.html
7. The Jerusalem Mayor stops and apprehends terrorists. The New York City mayor is a communist who supports terrorists.
8. AFP discovers Israel has dams next to Gaza that it opened:
9. From 1998: http://www.jewishmag.com/10mag/opinion/opinion.htm
Saturday, February 14, 2015
1. The Israeli Labor Party and its Meretz mentors have a new election strategy: Forget talking about security issues - they know all Israelis blame THEM for what happened in Gaza. Forget economic and domestic policy - all Israelis know they just want higher taxes, more regulation, more spending, and more controls.
Their new strategy is "It is Us or HHHIIIIIMMM." In other words, try to capitalize on the public's dislike of Bibi. Bibi is a monster, a horror, a threat, chime the Left's gongs in unison. Just do not ask us what WE represent!
Except the public does not dislike Bibi. He is at least 3 times as popular as weenie Herzog and almost everyone in Israel considers Tzipi Livni and Zehava Galon (from Meretz) to be uber-dingbats. Bibi is disliked only by the people with whom Herzog, Livni, and Galon socialize. And they represent a tiny minority. The fact that they do not understand this reminds me of the professor at a leftist college who insisted that Reagan could not possibly have just won the election because HE (the prof) did not know a single person who voted for Reagan!
2. You know how the tenured Left and their fellow travelers in the media are suddenly all wringing their hands over the "politicization" of the Israel Prizes? Because Netanyahu decided that there should be some non-leftists on the committees, which in recent years more often than not consist of leftists handing out prizes to other leftists? THAT status quo was NOT politicization, whines the Fascist Left. Politicization is when the political monopoly of the Far Left over the prizes is challenged! Democracy is threatened when the hegemony of the radical Left is challenged anywhere by the elected representatives of the majority!
Well, here is something worth noting. Not a single one of the whiners over the supposed "politicization" of the prizes by Netanyahu raised any objection to politicization when the University of Haifa decided that it was forbidden to grant an honorary PhD to Nobel Prize Laureate Yisrael Aumann because he holds incorrect political opinions.
The Left's hysteria about Netanyahu purging the Israel Prize committees: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/netanyahu-purges-the-bias-out-of-the-israel-prize-committees/2015/02/11/0/
3. Want to know why all the election polls in Israel keep getting it so wrong? The polls are conducted among samples of those with land lines. Many many young Israelis have only a cell line and are not included in the samples. Young Israelis fought in Gaza and are far less likely to be leftists than the older chattering classes.
4. Q: How did they really find out that Brian Williams was lying his ass off?
A: It was when he claimed he was there when the Palestinian nation was first born.
5. One of the ironies in the merger of the United Arab party, a mix of Stalinists and jihadists, is that it will attract some of the Jewish leftist voters for Meretz and may lead to Meretz following below the vote cutoff to get into the Knesset at all.
6. Psychologists have developed a bizarre form of "conversion therapy," which is the controversial form of therapy designed to alter one's sexual orientation. The new form of the therapy is designed for male heterosexuals who seek to alter their sexual orientation. All they have to do is stare at this photo:
7. The appeal by the parents of Rachel Corrie to the Israeli Supreme Court was just tossed out. See http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Supreme-Court-rejects-Rachel-Corrie-wrongful-death-case-390836 Then see this earlier piece about the ISM Pancake from Washington State:
8. Academic freedom at the publicly funded "Sapir College": http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191262#.VNye0eaUc3
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Netanyahu Purges the Bias out of the Israel Prize Committees
By Steven Plaut
The big headline in pre-election Israel this week has been the uncharacteristic decision by the Netanyahu government to exercise its powers to govern. Specifically, much too little and much too late, Netanyahu has decided to challenge the leftist hegemony over the awards of the "Israel Prize." The leftist media in Israel are aghast. Labor and Meretz politicians are filing official complaints with the State Comptroller.
The largest problem of Likud governments ever since the first time the Likud won an election has always been the unwillingness of the Likud to govern. Likud leaders have always been afraid to exercise their right to rule. Simply winning an election was not deemed sufficient. Instead, they have generally tried to co-opt the Left, perhaps hoping that this will make them popular with the media, largely the occupied territory of the Left. Likud governments have always financed the institutions of the Left while in office, including the kibbutzim, the leftist colleges and universities, and the Histadrut. Likud governments have appointed a long series of Attorney Generals who are more leftist than those appointed by Labor governments. And for decades the Likud turned hegemony over the award of national prizes to academic representatives of the Far Left sitting in prize commissions. The Likud seems to have feared being accused of being philistine or unsophisticated if it exercises its right to govern with regard to these prizes and prevent their being awarded to anti-Israel far Leftists.
The Israel Prize is supposed to be the most prestigious national prize in Israel, awarded in a wide number of areas for various disciplines. While in Israel's early decades the prizes were awarded for merit, in recent years the prize is very often granted to far-leftist anti-Israel radicals from various fields, especially in the areas of political science, literature and film. In technical areas, like physical sciences, in Judaism or Bible research, and in a few other esoteric fields, the politicization has been minimal.
The prizes are nominally under the power of the Ministry of Education, but in reality there are unelected public committees of "judges" who decide upon the awards, and these committees are generally dominated by the academic Left. Ultra-leftists have been more likely to be granted the prize under Likud governments than under Labor governments. Sometimes this is because the Ministry of Education under Likud governments is controlled by non-Likud coalition partners, such as was the case recently, where the minister was from Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party. But things were no better back when Likudnik Limor Livnat was the Minister. Once in a blue moon, right-wingers have gotten the prize, mainly just in two exceptional instances, one for a rightwing rabbi and one for the one-time Knesset Member Geula Cohen.
A fast review of some of the more outrageous Israel Prize awards in recent years will illustrate the point:
The leftist advocacy group "Israel Democracy Institute" was granted the Israel Prize for "lifetime achievement." Zev Sternhell, the hardcore Marxist anti-Zionist pseudo-academic best known for calling on terrorists to murder settlers, was granted the prize in "political science." The malicious Israel-hating propagandist Judd Neeman (from Tel Aviv University) was granted the prize in film. Far leftist professor Avishai Margalit (Hebrew University) got the prize in philosophy. The vile vulgar ultra-leftist politician Shulamit Aloni was granted the prize for "lifetime achievement," and her achievement largely included malicious bigotry and slander against Orthodox Jews. The far-leftist education professor Gavriel Salomon was granted the prize for developing in-classroom propaganda centers in "peace education." The anti-Israel Arab writer Emile Habibi was given the prize soon after he also accepted the Yassir Arafat Prize. Far leftist Yehuda Bauer was granted the prize, as was Shlomo Avineri, a recovering Marxist now moved to the moderate Left. Amos Oz was given the prize and you all know where he is politically. The junkyard "artist" Yigal Tumarkin, who built a pig wearing tefillin and who says he really understands why the Nazis would want to murder Orthodox Jews, won the prize for "sculpture" in 2004. Leftist Yediot columnist Nahum Barnea won the prize in "communications." Marxist sociologist Sami Samoocha won the prize in sociology, for his pseudo-research on ethnic inequality in Israel. Ultra-leftist feminist Alice Shalvi won the prize for lifetime achievement, which I guess means mainly implementing quotas and dumbed-down affirmative action standards. And we could go on. My guess is it is only a matter of time until anti-Semite Shlomo Sand gets a prize.
Suddenly this past week, Netanyahu decided to disqualify some of the more openly political ideologues sitting as judges in the committees that award the prizes. One of those disqualified (Ariel Hirshfeld) is a radical professor who has long promoted insurrection and "refusal" by soldiers to serve in the military. Unlike those "judges," Netanyahu has been elected to office by the people of Israel.
The Left is throwing conniptions. The Left never had any problems with "politicizing" the prizes, just as long as the committees of judges were controlled by leftists and the prizes were going to ultra-leftist extremists. The Left never raised any objections when a Maariv journalist (Shmuel Schnitzer) was denied award of the Prize by a petition to the Supreme Court motivated by the man's non-leftist ideological opinions. The basis for the Court's Borking him? He had written a column about the incidence of AIDS infections among Ethiopian immigrants and the public's right to know about this. (For more, see this: http://www.jewishmediaresources.com/673/selective-sensitivity ) It is unnecessary to point out how many Supreme Court justices are leftists. All of them are unelected.
Some of the "judges" have resigned from the prize award committees in protest. None ever resigned when the prize was granted to Sternhell, Aloni, or the IDI. The leftist media are denouncing Netanyahu for his "philistinism" and his "politicizing" the prizes. Haaretz, the monolithic anti-Israel propaganda machine now advocating for the anti-Israel Arab United List party, is leading the bellyaching about supposed "politicization." This from a newspaper about as pluralistic as was Pravda under Brezhnev. ( see http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.641519 and http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.641912 ).
But now, how dare Netanyahu and the Likud exercise their power to govern simply on the basis of the fact that they were elected to power!!? That, you see, is undemocratic.
And after all, why should Israel Prizes be restricted to recipients who do not hate Israel?
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Just what doe the Israeli Labor Party Want?
By Steven Plaut
The "brand new" Israeli Labor Party has revealed its brand new political platform and brand new agenda and we thought we would sum it all up for you. Here are the fundamentals of Labor Party ideology:
Appeasement is the highest form of resistance and vehemence.
Cowardice is the highest form of bravery.
Weakness is the best manifestation of strength.
Treason is the highest form of patriotism.
Censorship is the highest form of democracy.
Impoverishment is the highest form of equality.
Capitulation is the highest form of victory.
Monopoly is the highest form of competition.
Uniformity is the highest form of pluralism.
Quotas are the optimal method to ensure equal opportunity.
Disarmament is the highest form of defense.
Past failure is the highest guarantee of future success.
Raising prices is the best way to ensure low prices.
Production quotas are the best way to ensure adequate supply.
Government bureaucrats are the most qualified people to decide what should be produced.
Foregoing use of force is the best way to achieve peace.
Self-defense is the ultimate form of terrorism.
Terrorism is the ultimate form of protest.
Taking away income and wealth from people is the best way to ensure their wellbeing.
Discrimination is the ultimate form of equality.
Unanimity is the ultimate form of diversity.
Barring people from the labor market is the best way to ensure full employment.
The best guarantee of democracy is when the media restrict themselves to correct ideas and opinions.
The people who know best what citizens and consumers need are government officials.
Anti-terrorism policy should never be based on killing terrorists.
Monday, February 02, 2015
1. I am not making this up.
Israel is suddenly awash with disclosures about the dirty campaign finances of the Israeli Labor Party. Shady under-the-table and behind-the-barn campaign financing is an old Labor Party technique. It was particularly slimy in the 1999 elections in Ehud Barak's campaign, where the campaign manager was none other than Isaac "Bozi" Herzog, the current head of the Labor Party. (Many Israeli politicians have infantile nicknames.) Illegal front groups were used to channel funds illegally into the earlier campaign for Barak. Among those indicted for criminal violations of campaign laws was the founder of Peace Now, Hebrew University Professor Amiram Goldblum, although the leftist Attorney General later decided to "freeze" that prosecution and not to proceed. See http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/HebrewU%20-%20Amiram%20Goldblum%20-%20Criminal%20Indictment%20Filed.htm
In the current campaign, a new crop of dubious and probably illegal campaign organizations working for the Labor Party again is operating, led by something calling itself "V15". See http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Likud-likens-V15-activity-to-past-corruption-allegations-against-Herzog-389578
But the really amusing part of all this is the reaction of Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew. In Haaretz every single page of the "newspaper" is devoted to promoting the radical anti-Israel ideology of its owners and writers. The Haaretz gang is pretty openly cheerleading for the new Arab Unity Party, a strange shatnez mixing Stalinists with jihadi Islamists. Haaretz in its editorial today screams that everyone should stop complaining about the underground financing by V15 and its Labor Party clones. Instead they should be focusing on the biased media campaigning of Israel Hayom!! The daily freebie newspaper Israel Hayom is fairly conservative and pro-Netanyahu. That constitutes illegal under-the-table campaigning for Netanyahu, screams the editorial in the newspaper that cannot print the weather report without weaving it into an anti-Israel diatribe.
Here are a few excerpts from today's editorial at the completely non-partisan Haaretz:
'The daily paper Israel Hayom has worked since the day it first appeared to perpetuate Netanyahu's rule, and it frequently aligns with his immediate political interests. Israel Hayom is distributed for free; it has a large distribution; is financed by money from abroad; and its support for the prime minister is unreserved, both in normal times and during campaigns. The state comptroller's lame conclusion in the past – that it's a legitimate paper with an agenda – is unconvincing. Strict enforcement of the limits on campaign finance and campaign advertising must be applied equally, to parties on both sides of the political map.'
Truth or Dare?!
By: Steven Plaut
Published: February 1st, 2015
Before casting your vote in Israel, ask yourselves:
Q: Who turned southern Lebanon over to the Hezb'Allah savages?
Q: Who created Hamastan in Gaza?
Q: Who invited Yassir Arafat and his stormtroopers to enter the West Bank and Gaza from Tunisia and set up terror armies there?
Q: Who converted Israel's policy of offering the "Palestinians" autonomy into offering them statehood in the Lands of Israel?
Q: Who kept Israel impoverished and underdeveloped for decades in order to maintain corrupt dirigiste socialist control and politicization of the Israeli economy?
Q: Whose incompetence nearly resulted in the annihilation of the country in 1973?
3. Peace Now - not a new sickness: http://digilander.libero.it/asdfghj2/dossier/042204o.htm
4. I assume you have been following the latest part of the Israeli media campaign to defeat Netanyahu. It is Bottlegate - the endless media attempt to scandalize and discredit Netanyahu because his wife supposedly returned some recyclable bottles from the Prime Minister's offices and kept the deposit change. Really. If it had been a Labor Party official's wife involved instead of Bibi's, the entire media would be chanting in unity how wonderful their commitment to the environment was!
The new media marching song is this:
As the Left implodes, its captive media invent Bottlegate!
99 bottles of leftist media bullshit on the wall,
5. Marxist anti-democratic anti-Zionist Hebrew University professor Zev Sternhell, best known for his calls for terrorists to murder "settlers," calls for Destruction of the Israeli economy so that Israel will be forced to capitulate to the agenda of the Far Left and end "occupation".
Who is Komrad Sternhell? See: http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Shaul%20Sadka%20-%20Sternhell%20Israel%20Prize.htm
Excerpt from Sternhell in Haaretz this week:
'A radical change will not happen here as long as the present regime does not bring about a major national crisis. A failure such as Operation Protective Edge is not enough, since the heavy price of that conflict was paid primarily by the Palestinians.
'Therefore, the realistic alternative lies in external intervention that will be massive enough to shake Israelis out of the placidity of their comfortable lives.
'Only when everyone among us can feel the price of the occupation in their flesh, will the end to blue-and-white colonialism and apartheid come. Only when the economy is hit in a way that affects the overall standard of living, or when security is undermined as a result of a serious threat to American interests in the region, will the real treatment for eliminating the occupation and guaranteeing our future begin.'
6. Mickey must be beheaded; http://culturalmarxism.net/saudi-arabian-cleric-mickey-mouse-must-die/
7. Sand gets the bum's rush at the Riviera: http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20Shlomo%20Sand%20-%20Riviera%20Bum%20Rush.htm
8. Guess who funds the B'tselem anti-Israel propaganda: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/190804
9. Not activists and militants?
Oh how intolerant!