This evening is the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth, and to prepare you for the rest of the week, here are some highlights of the Simchath Beith HaShoeva at the Karliner Hassidim last year.
Let's go to the videotape. More after the video
Chag Sameyach - A happy holiday to everyone.
Because I am considered an Israeli in Israel under Jewish law, my holiday is only one day rather than the two days in the rest of the world. So I will be back, God willing, on Monday night after the holiday ends.
Charles Small's Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) is resuming activities this fall. As you might recall, Small's Yale Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism was shut down due to what was apparently pressure on the university by Muslim donors. The new institute will be spread across several campuses, including Harvard, Fordham and McGill. You can learn more about it and about its fall programs here.
We may be tired of the war on terror, but the terrorists and their supporters aren't
Walter Russell Meade tries to connect the dots between several events that the Obama administration would like us to believe are not connected. Here's his conclusion.
But sometimes truth needs to be told. We are killing people in acts
of war across Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa and expect to
kill quite a few more. We are fighting a battle first to contain and
then to defeat a vicious ideology of murder and hate that masks itself
as religious zeal. We are fighting this war both at home and abroad, and
there is not an inhabited continent anywhere on Planet Earth where this
threat is not a serious concern. All Muslims are not our enemies —
far from it, and many of our most important allies and associates are
decent, pious, enlightened Muslims who loathe the hate-spewing murderers
as much as anybody else — but all of our enemies claim to be fighting
in the name of Islam.
Basing war policy on the denial of facts is never smart, and the blow
back can be severe. It’s quite possible that President Obama will be
more frank about this conflict in his second term; whatever happens in
November the threat will be too real and our efforts to deal with it
will be too far-reaching for the United States government to pretend
that we don’t face a global security challenge as serious as a war.
Are Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria built on Arab land?
One of the many claims in the mainstream media that is taken for granted is that Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria are built on Arab land. That claim, write Rachel Neuwirth and John Landau, is patently false (Hat Tip: Sunlight).
Not even the so-called “unauthorized” or “illegal” Jewish
settlements, those that the Israeli government has not fully and
expressly authorized, are built on Arab-owned land. Both the authorized
and unauthorized Jewish communities were all built on what had been
completely unoccupied, uncultivated and uninhabited “waste land.” No
Arab homes were destroyed, no Arab residents were expelled, and no Arab
farmland was seized in creating any of these Jewish communities—whether
their construction was fully authorized by the Israeli government or
not. And under the land ownership laws of Judea and Samaria — which date
to when these territories were under Turkish rule, and which have been
respected by all subsequent governments, including the Israeli
administration — nearly all uninhabited and completely undeveloped
“waste land” belongs to the state, not to any private owner. While such
land could legally be purchased from the state, there were almost no
instances in which Arabs actually did purchase such “waste land,”
because they would have had to pay taxes on it while deriving no benefit
for the foreseeable future. Whatever few purchases of such land were
made, were made by Jewish philanthropists hoping to provide land for
future Jewish refugees or immigrants.
Why, then, have the notions that all of the Jewish “settlements” are
“illegal” and, what is more, built on Arab-owned land taken such a firm
hold on the belief-systems of the world’s governments and news media?
One major reason has been the activities of Israel-based “Human rights”
NGOs (“non-governmental organizations”) such as Peace Now, B’tselem,
Yesh Din, Yesh Gvul and many others. These soi-disant human
rights organizations, which are committed to ending the Israeli
“occupation” of all land outside the country’s June 3, 1967 cease-fire
lines, and to forcing the expulsion of the 600,000 Israelis who live
outside those cease-fire lines (which were never legal borders), have
published a series “reports” claiming that up to 30 percent of the land
on which Israeli-Jewish “settlements” on the “West Bank” are built exist
on what these groups describe as “privately owned Arab land” (or is it
38%? Or 32%? or 24% ? or 16%? Each “report” gives a different percentage
figure, and sometimes there are even two contradictory figures within
one “report”). These figures, as well as many other claims by the soi-disant human rights groups, are then immediately published as facts—first by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz,
which despite being published in Israel is actually a mouthpiece for
the Palestinian Authority and its network of affiliated
organizations—and then by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the The Washington Times, NPR, the BBC and a thousand other newspapers and electronic media services throughout the Western world.
However, when one actually reads in detail the lengthy reports on the
web sites of these “human rights” groups that purport to document the
supposed settler “land grabs,” one finds no credible evidence for these
percentage claims, despite many footnotes and long statistical tables,
charts, etc. Either these “reports” a) fail to give any original source
at all for the statistics, or b) they claim that they are supported by
thousands of Israeli government documents that these groups have
received under Israel’s Freedom of Information law—but without quoting from a single specific document that supports their claims about Jewish settlements on “privately owned Arab land.”
Sunlight asked me - and I'm sure others are wondering - whether there is written documentation of this land belonging to Jews. I'm not sure that there is any written documentation, or that if there is such documentation that the Israeli government can get its hands on it except maybe, possibly, through the auspices of the Jewish Agency (which is not a government agency). I also suspect that there are a lot of forces among Israel's elites who do not want such documentation to be available.
On the other hand, although it's been a lot of years since my first-year law school property course, my recollection is that possession is 90% of the law, and that the burden of proving otherwise is on the side that would seek to expel someone in possession of land. Clearly, that burden has not been met.
And so it was with President Obama’s usual visionary, inspiring,
historic, etc., address to the U.N. General Assembly the other day: “The
future must not belong to those who bully women,” he told the world, in
a reference either to Egyptian clitoridectomists or the Republican
party, according to taste. “The future must not belong to those who
target Coptic Christians,” he added. You mean those Muslim guys? Whoa,
don’t jump to conclusions. “The future must not belong to those who
slander the Prophet of Islam,” he declared, introducing to U.S.
jurisprudence the novel concept of being able to slander a bloke who’s
been dead for getting on a millennium and a half now. If I understand
correctly the cumulative vision of the speech, the future will belong to
gay feminist ecumenical Muslims. You can take that to the bank. But
make no mistake, as he would say, and in fact did: “We face a choice
between the promise of the future or the prisons of the past, and we
cannot afford to get it wrong.” Because if we do, we could spend our
future living in the prisons of the past, which we forgot to demolish in
the present for breach of wheelchair-accessibility codes.
And the crowd went wild! Well, okay, they didn’t. They’re
transnational bureaucrats on expense accounts, so they clapped politely,
and then nipped out for a bathroom break before the president of
Serbia. But, if I’d been one of the globetrotting bigwigs fortunate
enough to get an invite — the prime minister of Azerbaijan, say, or the
deputy tourism minister of Equatorial Guinea — I would have responded:
Well, maybe the future will belong to those who empower women and don’t
diss Mohammed. But maybe it’ll belong to albino midgets who wear pink
thongs. Who knows? Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the
future’s not ours to see. But one thing we can say for certain is that
the future will not belong to broke losers. You’re the brokest guy in
the room, you’re the president of Brokistan. You’ve got to pay back $16
trillion just to get back to having nothing, nada, zip. Who the hell are
you to tell us who the future’s going to belong to?
The excitable lads around the globe torching American embassies with
impunity seem to have figured this out, even if the striped-pants crowd
at Turtle Bay are too polite to mention it. Obama is not the president
of the Future. He is president right now, and one occasionally wishes
the great visionary would take his eye off the far-distant horizon where
educated women and fire-breathing imams frolic and gambol side by side
around their Chevy Volts, to focus on the humdrum present where the rest
of us have the misfortune to live.
In the America over which Barack Obama has the tedious chore of
actually presiding, second-quarter GDP growth was revised down from 1.7
percent to 1.3 percent — or, in layman’s terms, from “barely detectable”
to “comatose.” Orders of durable goods fell by 13.2 percent — or, as
Obama would say, the future must not belong to people who own household
appliances. Growth of capital stock (which basically measures investment
in new equipment and software — or, as Obama would put it, investment
in “the future”) is at its lowest since records began. There are 261,000
fewer payroll jobs than when Obama took office — in a nation where
(officially) 100,000 immigrants arrive every month. A few weeks ago, an
analysis of government employment data by the nation’s oldest
outplacement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, discovered that, of
the 4,319,000 new American jobs created since January 2010, 2,998,000 —
or about 70 percent — went to people aged 55 or older. This is a
remarkable statistic, even in a land of 31-year-old schoolgirls like
Sandra Fluke. You’d almost begin to get the vague, unsettling feeling
that the future does not belong to Americans aged 54 and younger.
A real plan for peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians'
Here's an interview with Mudar Zahran, a lecturer, publicist and 'Palestinian' blogger, who has a more realistic approach to peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians' (Hat Tip: David H).
“Actually, most of the
Palestinians are angry with and hate their Arab 'brothers' more than
they are angry with or hate the Jews. I have never heard about a
Palestinian woman dying of cancer and one of the neighboring Arab
countries, Lebanon for example, helping her. But I’ve heard of plenty of
cases where hospitals in Israel have offered help,” said Mudar Zahran,
39, a lecturer and publicist — and a Palestinian blogger — in an
interview with Israel Hayom. Zahran participated in an international
seminar on new media and public diplomacy given by the Public Diplomacy
and Diaspora Affairs Ministry this week.
One might have expected such statements to
come from a Jewish Israeli right-winger, not necessarily an extremist.
But anyone who knows Zahran and attended the seminar, which was held in
cooperation with the Ariel University Center of Samaria (which offers
advanced studies in new media toward a bachelor's degree) was not at all
surprised. This is not the first time Zahran has judged Israel
favorably while speaking against the Arab states when it comes to the
Palestinian question (just ask Jordan, which he accuses of practicing
apartheid in one of his essays).
Q. In other words, many Palestinians will never dare to express similar opinions in public?
“True. Among other reasons, I came to Ariel to
state clearly that the settlements are legitimate. The more Israelis
delegitimize the settlements, the more they’ll complicate the situation
and harm more Palestinians. You, the Israelis, need to wake up and
realize that most of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, for example,
want you to stay. I know polls that show that 70 percent of the
residents want that. I felt it was my duty as a Palestinian to speak the
truth, to present the Palestinians and to represent them. I hope I’ll
succeed in changing the situation.”
During the seminar in Ariel, Zahran listened
with an open mind to both sides of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. He
spoke about difficult moments at the checkpoints and the procedure that
Palestinians must undergo to enter Israel. On the other hand, he says,
“Every country on earth would do the same to protect its citizens if it
were living under the threat of terrorism. The extremists within the
Palestinian people are the ones who caused it.”
Zahran describes himself as a religious
Muslim. Although his parents wanted to give him a different kind of
education, he grew up in a community with an atmosphere of hatred toward
Israelis and, of course, toward Jews. “My parents had different
opinions,” says Zahran, setting them apart from other Palestinians and
continuing in that direction.
“Usually, in reality, most of the Palestinians
feel hatred toward Arabs more than they do toward Jews. We suffer
because of our Arab brothers, but we are also dependent on them. It’s a
bizarre situation because the Arab countries don’t really care what
happens to the Palestinian people.”
He adds, “The only assistance that we have
ever received from any country was from the ‘Zionist enemy.’ We really
have no other options. It’s not that I’m a Zionist. I care about Israel
for selfish reasons, but how long are we going to fight against the only
nation that helps us?” Of course, he does not understand the Israelis
who oppose the settlements, because in his words, “They’re just
encouraging the terrorist groups indirectly. They’re giving legitimacy
to Hamas.” Zahran, who deplores the lack of good education and good
leadership among the Palestinians, is certain that only cooperation with
Israel can help. “Nothing can be done without Israel’s assistance,” he
Read the whole thing. I can only wonder how many 'Palestinians' think like he does and would be willing to say so in public.
A program that provides subsidized phone service to
low-income individuals has nearly doubled in size in Ohio in the past
year — now covering more than a million people. At the same time,
federal officials say they’re reining in waste, fraud and abuse in the
The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that reforms
have saved $43 million since January and are expected to save $200
million by year’s end. In Ohio, savings are expected to be $2.9 million a
The savings were realized in part because the government gave out
fewer cellphones to ineligible people and took steps to avoid issuing
But the size of the program in the state — and profits to the
increasing number of cellphone companies involved — has exploded in
recent months, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of program
The program in Ohio cost $26.9 million in the first quarter of 2012,
the most recent data available, versus $15.6 million in the same
timeframe in 2011. Compared to the first quarter of 2011, the number of
people in the program nearly doubled to more than a million.
Growth could cost everyone who owns a phone. The program is funded
through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills — usually a
dollar or two per bill — and the amount of the fee is determined by the
cost of this and other programs.
A growth of $100 million in this program could result in an increased
fee of a few cents on the average bill, according to officials from the
agency that administers the program. The total cost of the program
nationwide was $1.5 billion in 2011, up from $1.1 billion in 2010.
A billion here, a billion there. Eventually it adds up to real money.
President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
reiterated his opposition to Iran possessing a nuclear weapon, but he
did not accede to Netanyahu’s request for a red line statement.
“The two leaders discussed a range of security issues, and the
President reaffirmed his and our country’s unshakeable commitment to
Israel’s security,” the White House Press Office stated in a readout of
Obama’s call. “The two leaders underscored that they are in full
agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear
In short, Obama’s position did not change despite Netanyahu’s high-profile appeal at the United Nations yesterday.
Later on Friday, Netanyahu spoke with Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Romney, who has repeatedly criticized Obama for not meeting with Netanyahu while the prime minister is in the U.S.,
told reporters after speaking with the Israeli leader that while he
believed diplomacy can resolve the standoff with Iran, military action
must not be ruled out.
“We spoke about his assessment of
where the red line ought to be drawn, and my own views with regards to
Iran,” Romney said of the conversation.
Netanyahu must feel like Chicken Little running around telling everyone the sky is falling while no one will listen.
“There has been an explosion. Something has detonated – we are certain
of that,” police officer Erik Liljenström said to local paper Sydsvenskan.
While damage had been done to the front door, the building itself was not damaged.
police brought two men in for questioning after their car was seen by
witnesses leaving the area at a high speed following the explosion.
Jewish community in Malmö was previously the target of anti-Semitic
attacks. Earlier this year, a rabbi was physically assaulted and in
2010, a group of Jews were attacked by Swedish Muslims during a peaceful
protest in support of Israel.
In August, several hundred Kippah-wearing Jews and non-Jews marched in Stockholm in solidarity with Malmö's persecuted Jewish community.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said on Friday that the United States has lost track of 'some' Syrian chemical weapons. How many? They're not saying. And no one knows whether the weapons are in the control of Syrian rebels, Iranians in the country helping the pro-Assad forces or someone else (Hat Tip: Sunlight).
“There has been intelligence that there have been some moves that have
taken place. Where exactly that’s taken place, we don’t know.” Panetta
said, in a Pentagon press briefing.
Panetta said that the “main sites” in Syria storing chemical weapons
with which the Pentagon is most concerned remain secured by the Syrian
military. But there is “some intelligence” that “limited” movements of
weapons from other sites have occurred, he said, “for the Syrians to
better secure what they – the chemicals.”
“But with regards to the movement of some of this and whether or not
they’ve been able to locate some of it,” he said of U.S. intelligence,
“we just don’t know.”
Following the briefing, Pentagon officials sought to clarify the extent of their grasp
on the status of Syria's stockpiles. "We've never had perfect visibility into
the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile, but we have excellent information
that accounts for most of it," said a senior defense offiical,
speaking on background. "We've seen it move, and we've been able
to make an assessment as to why it's been moved. This is a highly
distributed network of chemical weapons sites, and we have a good grasp
of what's going on inside that network."
What could go wrong? Well, that's not the end of it. It seems there's a lot about Mr. Panetta that we didn't know. Until now.
Here's Trevor Loudon addressing an enthusiastic crowd at the 2012 Gathering of
the Eagles crowd event in Turner, OR. Trevor is a libertarian activist
and political researcher from Christchurch, New Zealand and is founder
and editor of KeyWiki.org, a rapidly growing website with the goal of
unlocking the covert side of U.S. and Global politics. He is the author
of "Barack Obama and the Enemies Within". "Trevor Loudon does the job
that few in the media ever even attempt. This eye-opening book is proof
that one person really can make a difference, especially when they have
no agenda other than finding the truth." ~ Glenn Beck, #1 New York Times
Bestselling Author and Founder of GBTV.
Trevor Loudon has an awful lot to tell us about Leon Panetta, Barack Obama and the Communist party.
MTA changes their advertising rules, the Dersh calls new rules unconstitutional
Just one day after Mona Eltahaway was arrested in New York for vandalizing Pamela Geller's subway advertisements (see above), New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority changed its rules regarding ads like the ones in question.
The New York Times reports the MTA will prohibit any
advertisements that it “reasonably foresees would imminently incite or
provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace.” Those
“viewpoint” ads that do not meet this criteria will be allowed, so long
as a disclaimer is included saying the MTA does not endorse them. The
MTA met on Thursday to discuss the rules, which were approved
Self-proclaimed “proud-liberal Muslim” activist Mona Eltahawy served
as the impetus of the ruling after she spray painted a pro-Israel
advertisement placed in the New York City subway.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz says that the new rules are plain dumb and unconstitutional.
“A. it’s clearly unconstitutional” he said, and “b. it incentivizes
people to engage in violence. What it says to people, is that if they
don’t like ads, just engage in violence and then we’ll take the ads
“It’s very bad policy,” he continued, “and it’s just plain dumb, because it is going to encourage violence.”
Responding to the charge in an interview with The Algemeiner, M.T.A. spokesperson Aaron Donovan declined to comment.
The Law Professor also made clear that he is certain the decision
will face legal challenges. “It will be challenged, there is no question
about that,” he confirmed, “if the ACLU (American Civil Liberties
Union) doesn’t get into this case immediately, they are going to have to
write to me several times for my contribution this year. This is a
perfect case for the ACLU, the ACLU should be in there, opposed to the
“I would hope the ACLU would get behind the organization that put up
the ads even though I’m sure they disagree with the content of the ads,
as do I,” he concluded.
When asked by The Algemeiner if they had considered the
constitutionality of their decision, M.T.A. spokesperson Aaron Donovan
said that he wasn’t concerned. “All of the changes that were made to the
guidelines, were made within the framework of our understanding of
First Amendment law, we feel the guidelines as they have been amended
are firmly planted in the bedrock of the constitution, specifically the
First Amendment,” he said.
I wonder whether the ACLU will get behind Pam and her group. Hmmm.
In yet the latest example of an attempted coverup by the Obama administration of the President's outrageous personal spending at the taxpayers' expense, Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit to force the Secret Service to disclose how much it spent to take Malia Obama, 12 of her friends and 25 secret service agents on a Mexican vacation in March (March? Elementary school kids now have spring break when the colleges do?).
The Obama administration is unlawfully withholding public records
about the spring break trip to Mexico funded by taxpayers last March for
Malia Obama, according to a new lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog organization based in Washington.
It’s not the first blackout the government has imposed on the trip, Judicial Watch noted.
Press reports of the trip for the then-13-year-old, a dozen friends
and an estimated 25 Secret Service agents were erased from the Web on
orders from the White House.
The new lawsuit claims not only are the records for the expenses of
the trip required to be public, it is illegal for the administration to
“Contrary to federal law, the Obama administration has simply ignored
this basic [Freedom of Information Act] request. I have little doubt
that this stonewall is because of the embarrassment of the security
costs for the spring break trip of the Obamas’ daughter,” said Judicial
Watch President Tom Fitton.
The organization previously has ferreted out details, including
estimated expenses, for other Obama vacations at taxpayer expense.
Reports of the trip were removed from numerous websites (the article includes a list) at the request of the Obama administration on the pretense that they were 'not newsworthy.'
God willing the Obama administration's time in the White House will soon be over.
Let's go to the videotape to look at some of the consequences (Hat Tip: Jack W).
US Ambassador to the UN missed Bibi's General Assembly speech
The 'most pro-Israel administration ever's Ambassador to the United Nations missed Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech at the United Nations on Thursday, choosing instead to go play golfto lunch with Hillary Clinton or something like that. Who knows? Lazy Susan Rice spends so little time in New York, maybe she had to go pick up her cleaning.
Surprise! Hussein Obama lied when he said he wasn't available to meet Netanyahu
Shauva tov, a good week to everyone.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations on Thursday. Two weeks ago, he offered to travel to Washington on Friday to meet with the self-proclaimed 'most pro-Israel President ever,' Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Hussein Obama claimed he didn't have time to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu because he was too busy campaigningtoo busy appearing on David Lettermantoo busy consorting with the women of The Viewa scheduling conflict.
I'm sure you'll all be shocked - just shocked - to hear that when President Obama's schedule for Friday was released, it had a huge hole from 10:15 am to 4:20 pm. I'm sure the White House press corps will be all over this (/sarc).
Netanyahu spoke at the U.N. on Thursday. Today is the day he would have traveled to Washington—and Obama’s schedule shows that his entire afternoon is free.
9:45 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 10:15 am || Meets with senior advisers 4:20 pm || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; Capital Hilton, Washington 6:05 pm || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; private residence, Washington 8:25 pm || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; Capital Hilton, Washington
I wonder what 'as the first Jewish woman ever to represent Florida in Congress, I wear my love for Israel on my sleeve when I go to work every day' will have to say about this. Probably not a whole lot.
Those who want to keep fooling themselves that this President is pro-Israel may continue to do so, but please don't expect the rest of us to believe you. And please don't tell us that you care about Israel either. You don't. You're liars just as much as Barack Hussein Obama is.
A new, 18-minute mini-documentary follows the journey of Irina, a
23-year-old liberal, Jewish New Yorker who voted for Obama in 2008. Yet
as her connection to Israel has grown, and she has learned more about
the President's policies across the Middle East and towards Israel in
particular, Irina has come to realize that "when the chips are down,"
the President may not "have Israel's back" as he says.
The short film features:
Exclusive interviews with leading journalists and politicians in Israel
(Bloomberg, London Times, Jerusalem Post, etc.)
Why does Hillary Clinton need Huma to meet with Bibi?
Haaretz's Barak Ravid tweeted this photo of Hillary Clinton arriving at the Regency Hotel in New York for her Thursday meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
In a tweeted response, Laura Rozen identified the other people in the picture. That's Hillary in the front. The lady to her left (our right) in the blue pantsuit and pink wrap is Wendy Sherman, the United States' Iranian negotiator. The tall, thin guy behind her is policy planning chief Jake Sullivan. And the woman to Sullivan's right (our left) with the brown shirt, white necklace and off white pants is Hillary's administrative aideMuslim Brotherhood representative Huma Abedin.
What the heck is Huma doing there? Taking notes? For whom?
LATMA's tribal update studies the media's math and Egypt's honor
The Tribal Update with Flock Builder's explanation of how demonstrators
are counted. Egyptian Minister of Conspiracy Theories and fiasco expert
Yevava Ben-Whine defend Egypt's honor and about Israel's defeat in the
Yom Kippur War.
Jeff Jacoby writes that after promising to unite the world, Barack Hussein Obama has turned himself into the great divider.
As the 2012 campaign heads into the home stretch, a story in Politico notes
that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently
in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.”
The man who won the presidency by decrying “partisanship and pettiness
and immaturity” now seeks reelection by deploying slurs and aspersions
with abandon: A key aide suggests that Mitt Romney’s financial filings may amount to a felony. The vice president claims that Republicans want to put voters “ back in chains.” An Obama campaign video likens Romney to “ a vampire.”
“The Obama-led attacks on Romney’s character,” Politico concludes, “have been both relentless and remorseless.”
Obama’s brutal negativity can’t simply be brushed aside as the
inevitable surrender of idealism to realism. It’s true that presidents
have often lamented the shrillness of American politics. Abraham Lincoln
sought to “bind up the nation’s wounds.” George W. Bush originally ran
for office as “ a uniter, not a divider.” Even Richard Nixon said his “great objective” would be “ to bring the American people together.” But only Obama made national unity and bipartisan harmony the justification for his candidacy.
never happened. The 44th president has been nothing like the
healer-in-chief he promised to be. Early on he took the low road,
inflaming resentments, demonizing his critics, and, yes, pitting red
Americans against blue Americans. His defenders argue that he had no
choice — that in the face of unremitting Republican opposition, going
negative was his only option.
But all presidents face partisan
opposition. Democrats vehemently fought Bush; Republicans fiercely
battled Bill Clinton. Obama never conditioned “hope and change” on GOP
support for his agenda. His condition was that he be elected.
“2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear,” New York Magazine’s John Heilemann wrote last spring.
“For anyone still starry-eyed about Obama, the months ahead will
provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a
saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting,
red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler determined to do what is necessary to stay
Stocks of Palestinian
assets invested abroad in 2011 were about $5,233 million, while stocks
of foreign liabilities on the Palestinian economy were about $4,512
million, a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) report said on Wednesday.
PCBS and the Palestine
Monetary Authority (PMA) said in a joint press release on International
Investment Position (IIP) and External Debt statistics that primary
results of IIP for the Palestinian Territory by the end of 2011 revealed
that the net IIP had amounted to about $721.0 million, which means that
the Palestinian economy of its various sectors had invested outside
Palestinian Territory by more than the investment amount in the
Palestinian Territory from abroad.
The cash deposits of
local banks in foreign banks and foreign exchange in the Palestinian
economy had contributed majorly in the external assets, representing
63.6% of their total value, said the release.
The total stocks of
external assets for the Palestinian Territory (stocks of residents in
the Palestinian Territory invested abroad) had amounted to $5,233
million; foreign direct investment abroad contributed to 3.7%, portfolio
investments abroad reached 21.9%, while other foreign investments
abroad reached 64.9%, and reserve assets amounted to 9.5%.
And that doesn't even count Abu Mazen's Swiss bank accounts, let alone the accouatnts left over from Arafat....
But send them more money 'international community.' They're 'impoverished.'
Soros' and Silverman's contempt for Jewish education
Joel Pollak writes than an Obama election ad made by Samuel L. Jackson (pictured) and financed by the Soros family shows contempt for Jewish education.
Jewish education is all about profanity, bestiality, and
dishonesty--if George Soros, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Silverman are to be believed.
The so-called "Jewish Council for Education and Research," in reality
a super PAC backed by Soros's son Alexander, has produced a new
anti-Romney ad in which Jackson exhorts a family to "Wake the F--- Up!"
and work for President Barack Obama's re-election. Earlier this year,
the Jewish Council released an ad in which Silverman simulates sex with a
dog to mock Jewish GOP donor Sheldon Adelson.
There is nothing "Jewish" at all about these ads--far from it. Yet Alexander Soros--with money, no doubt, from Soros père--uses the "Jewish" label to give the imprimatur of respectability to these profane and profoundly unfunny ads. Not even the smug liberalism which emanates from some corners of the
Jewish institutional world would stoop as low as Soros. He has defamed
the enterprise of Jewish education and the Jewish community. In any
other context--i.e. if a Jew were not involved--the abuse of the
"Jewish" label would be considered antisemitic.
In addition to profound bigotry, what the "Jewish Council" ads
suggest is the desperation of Obama supporters in Washington and
Hollywood. The Jackson ad suggests that Democrats fear and know that
their supporters are less motivated to vote today than in 2008. It
repeats several outright lies about Romney--i.e. that he does not
believe in any kind of safety net--and in the end resorts to profanity,
not only from Jackson but from a child.
The irony of a self-described "Jewish" organization releasing such an
ad during the Jewish high holidays and at a time of profound threats to
Israel and to Jews in Europe suggests an insensitivity bordering on
Read the whole thing. I won't post the disgusting ad, but you can find a link to it at the link in this post.
Dr. Miriam Adelson, the very accomplished wife of Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, is furious that the Obama administration is attacking her and her husband.
My husband, Sheldon Adelson, a son of a poor Boston taxi driver,
started his business life at the age of 12, and has achieved everything
with his own hands. His companies have directly created more than 50,000
jobs and indirectly provided employment for hundreds of thousands of
Americans and people around the world. These jobs have in turn supported
an even greater number of families.
For my part, I have worked as a medical doctor for almost 40 years in
the areas of internal, emergency and addiction medicine. In those years
I have saved human life and helped countless individuals regain
Our belief is that it is one’s right and obligation to rely on
oneself, on one’s efforts, on one’s talent. This is the American way.
This is the dignified way — to be an entrepreneur, not a follower; to
rely on yourself, not to expect the government to take care of you; to
strive to do your work by yourself, not to demand others do it for you.
And if you succeed, then your success is exactly what America is about — proof of the American dream!
But the American dream is possible because of certain fundamental rights that are conferred and protected by our Constitution.
One of those rights is the freedom to support and donate to the
candidate you want, as long as you abide by the laws that protect us
Those who currently chase after my family, who demonize us for our
political positions, are acting on motives contrary to American values.
And those in the media who are collaborating with these people are also
acting from the same wrong political motives. Indeed, they are feeding
it with a media double standard — allowing for Democrats what is
forbidden to Republicans.
The reason is simple: to help the Democrats keep control of the executive branch of the government.
President Barack Obama is due to
speak to Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone on Friday - a day after
deputing Hillary Clinton to stand in for him by meeting the Israeli
premier in New York.
Carney, Obama's press secretary, confirmed that the two leaders would
speak as Netanyahu prepared to address the United Nations in New York.
Obama left the U.N. before he arrived and is spending most of Thursday
campaigning in Virginia.
White House rejected an Israeli request for Netanyahu to meet Obama,
either at the U.N. or in Washington - a sign of the icy relationship
between the two men.
And American Jews are still going to vote to reelect this moron? Fools.
So I missed by three minutes Israel time, but Thursday is Debbie Wasserman Schultz's 46th birthday and her opponent, Republican Karen Harrington, made this a birthday Congresscritter Wasserman Schultz will never forget.
"Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba," the PA president declared.
Abbas began his speech by referring to the "catastrophic danger of the racist Israeli settlement of our country, Palestine."
He claimed that during the past months, "attacks by terrorist militias of Israeli settlers have become a daily reality."
The Palestinians, he said, "are facing relentless waves of attacks against
our people, our mosques, churches and monasteries, and our homes and
schools; they are unleashing their venom against our trees, fields,
crops and properties, and our people have become fixed targets for acts
of killing and abuse with the complete collusion of the occupying forces
and the Israeli government."
Abbas accused Israel of carrying out a policy of "ethnic cleansing" against Arab residents of Jerusalem by demolishing their homes and denying them basic services. He also accused Israel of preventing "millions of Palestinians from freely accessing Jerusalem mosques, churches, schools, hospitals and markets.
called on the international community to investigate the conditions of
some 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. "They are
soldiers in their people's struggle for freedom, independence and
peace," he said of the prisoners.
A bunch of lies.
Let's go to the videotape.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spent most of his time discussing Iran. And he was the consummate orator as usual.
"At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran
from getting atomic bombs and that's by placing a clear red line on
Iran's nuclear weapons program," Netanyahu said in an address to the
United Nations General Assembly. "Red lines don't lead to war; red lines
"Iran uses diplomatic negotiations to buy time to advance its
program," he said. "The international community has tried sanctions, has
passed some of strongest sanctions. Oil exports have been curbed, and
the Iranian economy has been hit hard. But we must fact the truth that
sanctions have not stopped Iran's nuclear drive."
Citing data from the IAEA, Netanyahu said that Iran "doubled its centrifuges last year."
drawing a red line across a diagram of the Iranian bomb, that he held
up before the assembly, Netanyahu said that a red line must be placed on
Iran's uranium enrichment program: "Then Iran will back down," he
Awesome: The biggest anti-Obama, pro-Romney ad on Israel you've ever seen
The Republican Jewish Coalition presents "Perilous Times," a
mini-documentary in which Israeli experts and everyday citizens candidly
discuss their concerns about the U.S.-Israel relationship under Pres.
Among the notable experts consulted for this film are :
• Zalman Shoval, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and a highly-respected diplomat;
• Oren Kessler, foreign affairs correspondent at the Jerusalem Post;
• Barry Rubin, an expert on terrorism and Middle East affairs;
• Jacob Levy, Israel's leading pollster and founder of Gallup Israel;
• Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch; and
• Yair Shamir, leading Israeli businessman; former chair of El Al and Israel Aerospace; son of former PM Yitzhak Shamir.
For more information about the RJC, visit www.RJCHQ.org.
The fact is that Shia Iran is an isolated and ailing economy with no friends other than Syria in the predominantly Sunni Middle East region. We need to bear in mind that, historically, there is no love lost between Shia and Sunni Islam. We need only look at the murderous conflict between the two in Iraq.
In response to an attack against Iran’s enrichment facilities, young
hotheads would certainly take to the streets to burn Israeli and US
flags and effigies to call for jihad. Their leaders, from Riyadh to
Cairo to Amman would, however, quietly be breathing a sigh of relief
that someone had finally ended Iranian nuclear regional ambitions that
could well see a nuclear-armed Iran targeting them, not just Israel.
As the Pentagon’s Wiki-leaks emails revealed only too clearly, Iran’s neighbours,
deeply suspicious of Tehran’s ideological regional ambitions (and not
just as regards Israel), have privately been urging a U.S. military
resolution of the Iranian nuclear program for years.
Moreover, Russia may have helped build Iran’s nuclear facility at Bushehr but, as we reported in Has Russia Sold Out Iran for a Stake in Israeli Gas?, for all its public bluster, Moscow appears already to have sold its partners down the Moskva. In short, in the event of a strike on its nuclear facilities, Iran would stand alone.
Equally, as we have shown elsewhere, fears of an attack creating an oil scarcity, should Iran’s global contribution be interrupted, are entirely groundless.
While any interruption in Iran’s energy exports and the effect of a
regional conflict would temporarily spike world oil prices, sanctions
have already effected a significant reduction in Iranian energy exports.
Also, any attempt by Iran to close the Straits of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s oil passes, would quickly be prevented – as it was during the Iran-Iraq War in the 80s – by the arrival of U.S. warships. No doubt the Pentagon has plans in place for such an eventuality.
The IAEA’s evidence is clear enough: Iran is approaching its weapons-grade uranium enrichment goal. Israel clearly has the right to self-defence. In the case of a potential nuclear attack that clears the way for pre-emptive action. As Israel’s PM Netanyahu asked rhetorically on the historic remembrance of September 11th, “The World asks us to wait. Wait for what? Wait till when?”
Anyone who still believes that a country sitting on top of the world’s
second largest reserves of oil and gas is fast-tracking nuclear capacity
for domestic power purposes is clearly living in cloud cuckoo land.
The Israelis share no such fantasy. And for them, unlike for armchair
Western commentators, sitting back and waiting for Iran to achieve the
nuclear means to carry out its stated goal is not an option.
What if Iran launches an EMP attack against the US?
America is a relatively safe place. However, a regime halfway around the world could destroy our way of life.
the beginning, the current Iranian regime made it clear that America is
public enemy #1. One way to seriously damage America would be a nuke,
and one terrifying scenario is a nuclear bomb detonated at high
altitude. This is an issue that Congressional commissions and others
have investigated, and concluded that it is a credible threat. This
would cause severe damage or catastrophic destruction to the electric
grid across America.
In this day and age, everything ultimately
depends on electric power: communications, transportation, banking,
finance, food and water. The result of such an attach would mean that
within a short amount of time, it will be nearly impossible to get food
and water, pump gas, provide medical care, withdraw money or use
cellular phones. Moreover, without electricity, nuclear power plants
melt down. If their containment buildings are breeched, the areas
around them could become uninhabitable for centuries. Anarchy.
As long as the current Iranian regime is in power, we are NOT SAFE..
Livestream of Netanyahu and Abu Mazen speaking to UN General Assembly
The screen below is supposed to become a live stream feed of Prime Minister Netanyahu's United Nations General Assembly speech sometime between 6:45 and 7:00 pm Israel time on Thursday. I apologize in advance if the livestream of Prime Minister Netanyahu does not work out.
Abu Mazen ('Mahmoud Abbas') is supposed to immediately proceed Netanyahu so I'm putting this up early.
I also received some thoughtful responses, and read some in the
media, including one, in Haaretz, from Chemi Shalev who wrote the
following: "In the discussion that followed Netanyahu's appearance on
Meet the Press, it was instructive to hear Atlantic magazine and
Bloomberg blogger Jeffery (sic) Goldberg - whom right wingers consider
to be a leftie, left-wingers view as a rightie and most Jews embrace as a
voice in the middle - say that 'I have never seen a prime minister who
has mismanaged Israeli-US relations like Netanyahu.' And while
Goldberg's stature may be light years away from that of the legendary
Walter Cronkite, my immediate association was to the oft-told but
never-proven account of Lyndon Johnson's reaction to Cronkite's
assertion in early 1968 that the Vietnam War was unwinnable: "If I've
lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."
Light years away is right, but it is true, and worth underscoring, that
Netanyahu is making a hash of most everything right now. He's done a
fine job of concentrating the world's attention on the Iranian nuclear
program, but he's overreached with the American president, and he's
allowed the settlement movement, the vanguard of binationalism and
Israel's eventual dissolution, to steer state policy. And one more
thing. This is only anecdotal, but he seems to be alienating American
Jews at a rapid clip. One such Jew, a friend of mine in the media (we're
everywhere in the media, you know), told me that he was becoming
embarrassed by Netanyahu. This is not some sort of deracinated Jewish
media person I'm talking about, either. This is the real deal. And yet
he can't fathom Netanyahu's behavior, and Israel is not the source of
pride for him it once was. Now Israelis will say: Who cares if we're a
source of pride for someone in the Diaspora? Well, they will care when
their support in America dissipates, as it could do.
(For the record, Goldberg is not a centrist; he's a leftist. The only
reason that leftists consider him a "rightie" is because he isn't
reflexively anti-Israel, defends Israel's right to exist and often
defends Israel's right to self-defense.)
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel has been loudly demanding
that America publicly draw a “red line” in respect to Iran’s nuclear
program that would delineate exactly when the U.S. would launch a strike
against Tehran. Bibi is Winston Churchill when it comes to demanding
that the U.S. draw red lines, but he is a local party boss when America
asks him to draw a “green line” delineating where Jewish settlements in
the West Bank will stop and a Palestinian state might start. Oh, no!
Can’t do that, Bibi tells American officials. “I would lose my
coalition.” So America is supposed to risk a war with Iran, but Bibi
won’t risk anything to advance a deal with the Palestinians that might
create a little more global legitimacy and sympathy for Israel, and
America, in the event of a war with Iran. Thanks a lot.
In different ways both Goldberg and Friedman take the approach that Netanyahu is playing politics - and losing.
I disagree with the premise. To be sure Netanyahu taking a big risk by
going public with his fears. But consider that Netanyahu has learned
something since his first term as Prime Minister. He did what he could
to play along with Obama at least until May, 2011. It didn't win him any
warmth or sympathy from the President. But as Netanyahu's position in
Israel strengthened there wasn't much Obama could do about him either.
Also consider that Netanyahu returned to power after ten years in the
political wilderness. It isn't impossible to do that, but it requires
great political skills. According to Goldberg and Friedman, Netanyahu
simply threw away hard earned political capital to strike a blow at the
Obama administration. It doesn't make sense.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is running huge risks. If President Obama is
re-elected (and, although there are more than six weeks until the
election, most observers now think he will be), he can expect icy
relations with Washington for some time to come. His recent activities
will be read in the White House as a deliberate attempt to intervene in
American politics—not simply to lobby for more aid for Israel, but to
block the re-election of an incumbent. It is something that many
Democrats will never forgive and, certainly, something that President
Obama will not forget. If the President is re-elected, the power of
future Israeli prime ministers in the U.S., based in large part on their
perceived ability to shift U.S. domestic opinion, will have permanently
and significantly declined.
Nothing less than a truly serious threat to Israel’s existence could
justify such a high risk move; we must assume that this underlines the
sincerity of Netanyahu’s belief that the Iranian nuclear program is
about to reach a point of no return.
Keep in mind that Netanyahu's request for American red lines came shortly after Secretary Clinton's declaration
that "The US is 'not setting deadlines' for Iran and still considers
negotiations as 'by far the best approach' to prevent Iran from
developing nuclear weapons ..." His point that sanctions can hurt Iran,
but absent a "red line" nothing will stop Iran from developing nuclear
weapons. If anything, Netanyahu's request seemed to be a response to a
rejection of understandings that he had with the administration; not an
opportunity to score political points. It was coming more from
frustration than calculation.
Shortly after Netanyahu's request for "red lines," President Obama told "60 Minutes" that Israeli concerns about Iran's nuclear program were "noise."
Does Goldberg think that his dismissal of Netanyahu's urgency didn't,
in some way, influence the President's response. (Yes, the President
tried to justify his "noise" comment, after the fact. But that's because
he realized that standing by it was not good for him politically. His
original response, reflected his true feelings.)
There clearly is an urgency gap between Obama and Netanyahu regarding
Iran's nuclear capacity. If there weren't, Obama's supporters wouldn't
be criticizing Netanyahu, Obama wouldn't have dismissed Israeli concerns
as "noise," and Obama would have made meeting Netanyahu a bigger
priority than meeting David Letterman.
This is a point made in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Israel must be 'eliminated':
The world's civilized nations typically denounce such statements, as
the U.S. State Department denounced Mr. Ahamadinejad's on Monday. But
denouncing them is not the same as taking them seriously. Sometimes the
greatest challenge for a civilized society is comprehending that not
everyone behaves in civilized or rational fashion, that barbarians can
still appear at the gate.
The tragic lesson of history is that sometimes barbarians mean what they
say. Sometimes regimes do want to eliminate entire nations or races,
and they will do so if they have the means and opportunity and face a
timorous or disbelieving world.
No one knows that more acutely than Israeli leaders, whose state was
founded in the wake of such a genocide. The question faced by Benjamin
Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and other Israelis is whether they can afford to
allow another regime pledged to Jewish "annihilation" to acquire the
means to accomplish it. The answer, in our view, is as obvious as Mr.
Ahmadinejad's stated intentions.
Jonathan Schanzer reports that westernized 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Salam Fayyad may be on his way out. And if he goes, one has to wonder how the West will continue to justify pouring money into the bottomless pit known as the 'Palestinian Authority.'
Fayyad's crusade against corruption, coupled with his sustained
effort to construct real administrative institutions, is part of the
reason for his isolation. Over the years, the P.A. has earned a
reputation—first under the late Yasser Arafat and then under current
president Mahmoud Abbas—for nepotism and corruption. Arafat's former
advisor Mohammed Rachid (recently sentenced in absentia for corruption)
recently leveled a series of damning accusations against Abbas and his
inner circle. And while Fayyad is certainly not in cahoots with Rachid,
for the powerful Palestinian insiders who have established lucrative
monopolies under the Abbas regime, Fayyad's "Mr. Transparency" shtick
has become consistently irksome.
That's why some Palestinians speculate that regime loyalists
organized anti-Fayyad rallies. While they were not exactly
"rent-a-rallies," pro-Fatah chants were prevalent. And as Hugh Naylor of The National notes, the anti-Fayyad protests seemed to last a lot longer than other demonstrations decrying the PA and its policies.
Senior Palestinian officials have stood by Fayyad in public,
including longtime senior PLO figure Nabil Shaath and even Abbas, But
Abbas and Fayyad are both public faces of a failed government, which
Palestinians rightfully view has having fallen short of its sole mandate
-- to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel and create a
Abbas recently threatened to quit, but quickly stepped back from the
brink. Fayyad may be another story. Some insiders believe that he is
trying to buy time before he quits on his own terms. With few leaders
prepared to continue his important institution-building program,
Fayyad's departure would be a harsh setback for the Palestinian cause.
'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen has put the kaboshes on an investigation into a sex scandal involving one of his ministers until he returns from the United Nations General Assembly in New York (where he is due to speak on Thursday). The 'Palestinians' are already accusing 'people opposed to our statehood bid' of being behind the scandal, even though Abu Mazen has supposedly promised President Obama that he would not bring up the statehood bid until after the US elections on November 6.
Mahmoud al-Aloul, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said
the scandal was part of a scheme designed to foil Abbas’s renewed statehood
Ghazali quoted Abbas as telling two senior PA officials who
presented him with details of the sex scandal as saying: “Close the case until I
return from the US because this is a sensitive time and we are facing elections.
If the public learns about it, we will lose the presidential and municipal
election. We already have enough scandals and don’t need more.”
scandal erupted after a Palestinian woman complained that Hussein Sheikh, a top
Fatah official who serves as PA Civilian Affairs Minister, harassed her sexually
and tried to bribe her and her husband.
The woman, who works in Sheikh’s
ministry, said the minister summoned her to his office on the pretext that he
wanted her to help fix a computer.
Ghazali said that the woman, who is
married and has two children, spat in the minister’s face after he tried to
force himself on her while the two were alone in his office.
Ghazali, the minister later sent her a number of SMS messages to her mobile
phone in which he continued to harass her sexually.
The woman’s husband,
Ahmed Abu Alam, 30, also works in the ministry and is a former commander of
Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
Upon hearing from his wife
about Sheikh’s behavior, the furious husband stormed the minister’s office
carrying a pistol, but did not find him, Ghazali said.
According to the
investigative journalist, Sheikh later offered the husband $10,000 and a promise
of promotion for him and his wife in return for their silence.
said he and his wife filed a complaint against Sheikh with various PA security
forces in Ramallah and members of the Fatah Central Committee, but to no
He added that he also provided the security forces and Fatah
leaders with evidence implicating the minister, including the text messages and
The husband said that he and his wife have since been facing a
campaign of threats and intimidation to force them to withdraw their
Last week, Abu Alam and his two brothers, Nasser and Muhammad,
were detained for four hours by the PA’s Military Intelligence Force in
Upon his release, Abu Alam went to Abbas’s office and demanded
to talk to the PA president. “I was told that he had traveled to the US,” the
The Abu Alam's have fled to Jordan. A curse on their house and Sheikh's. Heh.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-one years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 9 to 29 years and five grandchildren. Our eldest daughter and eldest son are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com