Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Come to Ipswich!

1. Cordial invitation to all members of the "Women in Black", the
group of communist activists seeking Israel's destruction:

Dear Sisters:
We would like to invite you all to a gathering on behalf of peace and
Palestinian liberation to be held in Ipswich, England. All expenses paid.
Dress casual.
. The Central Committee

2. Over the past week, Israel's Minister of Education, Yuli Tamir,
has been promoting a new idea. Tamir, a Beilinite Labor Party leader and
some-time professor at Tel Aviv University, was a founding member of
"Peace Now" (renamed: "peace now and thousands of Kassam and katyusha
rockets right after that").

Tamir wants all textbooks used in Israeli public schools to contain maps
in which Israel's borders are shown as the pre-1967 Green Line, the
"border" described by Abba Eban as Israel's Auschwitz Border. Tamir of
course wants Israel to withdraw to those borders so that it will be easier
for the rockets to land in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

So, being a helpful sort of fella, I wanted to add my own
counter-proposal. Instead of the Green Line, how about if all Israeli
school textbooks show the Biblical borders of Israel, stretching from the
"river of Egypt to the Euphrates", with all of the Bashan and southern
Lebanon in Jewish hands. Perhaps this could offset some of the
brainwashing and North Korean style political indoctrination already
imposed on the school curriculum of Israel's hapless children by the Left.

3. Anyone hear the rumor that next year the Iranians plan to hold their
annual Holocaust Denial conference at Ben Gurion University?

4. When it comes to economic damages to Israel, which is the worst
terrorist organization assaulting the country? If you answered the Hamas,
the Islamic Jihad, the Bovine in Black, or the Hizbollah, you are wrong?
None of the above!

The correct answer is of course the Histadrut, the largest organized crime
family in Israel. A few days back the Histadrut shut down the country
altogether, including the airports.

And what was the cause of the strike?

Well, we need some background here. For decades Israel's local
authorities (municipalities) have been allowed to get away with fiscal
murder. They dish out tax exemptions like hemp at a Tikkun conference.
They hire oodles of public servants, spend money like it is going out of
style, and run up enormous deficits. And then they present the taxpayer,
via the Treasury, with the bills for their bottomless deficits. If the
Treasury balks, they hold mass protests featuring various sad-looking
civil servants who have not been paid their salaries. The Treasury
usually caves in.

Among the worst Deficit-on-Purpose-and-then-Sock-it-to-the-Taxpayer
municipalities are many Arab towns, although the problem is hardly
restricted to them.

Under Netanyahu as Minister of Finance, a number of senior Treasury
officials were appointed who actually cared about the economy and
understood something about economics. The Left will never forgive
Netanyahu for that. Some of these have been refusing to underwrite the
open checks to the municipalities that the latter have grown accustomed to
receiving. So the municipalities paid a pilgrimage visit to the
Histadrut, the trade union federation that had been run by Amir Peretz
before he found a more amusing toy as Minister of Defense.

The Histadrut backs the entitlement of municipalities to run endless
deficits and never to exercise fiscal self-control. SO they called a
general strike to back that entitlement and are threatening new ones.

Meanwhile, very few Israelis have the slightest idea what the whole
business is about. They simply see some elderly women and men sobbing
that they did not get paid for 3 months by their municipality employer
cause of the insensitive and selfish people over in the Treasury, and they
respond like the audience at the Rikki Lake show. Haaretz today reports
in a poll that 73% of Israelis think the Histadrut strikes for the munis
are justified. So it is hardly surprising that many of these same people
can be convinced that Oslo is a peace process.

5. From Tom Gross:

Kenneth Stein, a professor of history at Emory University, who has been
associated with Jimmy Carter's Carter Center from its founding (he was
its first executive director, and its first academic fellow) resigned
yesterday saying he was "ashamed" by Carter for putting his name to a
book "based on unvarnished analyses, factual errors, copied materials,
superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments."

Prof. Stein continued "Aside from the one-sided nature of the book,
meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was
the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show
little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President
does not give one a unique privilege to invent information."


The world according to Carter
By Alan Dershowitz
The New York Sun
November 22, 2006


It's Not Apartheid
Jimmy Carter's moronic new book about Israel.
By Michael Kinsley
Posted Monday, Dec. 11, 2006, at 9:03 PM ET

In the six decades since the founding of Israel, there have been about one
and a
half new ideas for solving the most intractable problem on the map of the
In fact, ever since Britain's Balfour Declaration (1917) made incompatible
promises to Jews and Arabs struggling over the same tiny plot of land,
would-be solutions have counted on an outbreak of good will among the
East's warring parties. This tradition continues in the Iraq Study Group
which declares, "There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the
States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts," as a small
for tackling the problem of Iraq.

What a good idea! And then we'll cure cancer, to pave the way for
reform. Why, of course all of humanity should put down its weapons and
learn to
live together in harmony and siblinghood-most especially in the Holy Land,
birthplace of three great religions (so far). In fact, it is downright
inexplicable that peace and good will have not broken out spontaneously in
Middle East, even though this has never happened anywhere else, either.

This is what special commissions are for, even though this agreeably
tough-sounding demand for comprehension directly conflicts with the half
of an
idea mentioned above, which went by the name of "Road Map." It was only
half of
an idea-let's call it a notion-because this notion still depended on
close to a change in human nature. But the road map made this seem more
plausible. The notion was that abandoning the melodrama of a comprehensive
settlement and settling for a series of smaller steps over many years
might help
the parties to develop mutual trust. Or at least this was a better bet
expecting each side to make a leap of faith into the arms of the other.

Meanwhile, the one full new idea in the Israel-Arab conflict came from
Sharon, of all people. This oafish former general who supervised the Sabra
Shatila massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon back in 1982, as prime
more recently took up the philosophy of that Robert Frost poem: "Good
make good neighbors." Rather than wait a few million years for evolution
purge Israelis and Arabs of their animosity, just keep them apart with a
or a wall and related rules. Yes, of course, the walls and the rules
Israel and were a far greater burden on Arabs than Israelis. But that is
kind of thing you can negotiate.

Comes now former President Jimmy Carter with a new best-selling book,
Peace Not Apartheid. It's not clear what he means by using the loaded word
apartheid, since the book makes no attempt to explain it, but the only
reasonable interpretation is that Carter is comparing Israel to the former
racist government of South Africa. That is a foolish and unfair
unworthy of the man who won-and deserved-the Nobel Peace Prize for
Israel and Egypt together in the Camp David Accords, and who has lent such
luster to the imaginary office of former president.

I mean, what's the parallel? Apartheid had a philosophical component and a
practical one, both quite bizarre. Philosophically, it was committed to
notion of racial superiority. No doubt many Israelis have racist attitudes
toward Arabs, but the official philosophy of the government is quite the
opposite, and sincere efforts are made to, for example, instill
humanitarian and
egalitarian attitudes in children. That is not true, of course, in Arab
countries, where hatred of Jews is a standard part of the curriculum.

The practical component of apartheid involved the creation of phony
called "Bantustans." Black South Africans would be stripped of their
and assigned to far-away Bantustans, where often they had never before set
The goal was a racially pure white South Africa, though the contradiction
the need for black labor was never resolved. Here might be a parallel with
Israel, which needs the labor of the Arabs it is currently trying to keep

But in other ways, the implied comparison is backward. To start, no one
has yet
thought to accuse Israel of creating a phony country in finally
acquiescing to
the creation of a Palestinian state. Palestine is no Bantustan. Or if it
is, it
is the creation of Arabs, not Jews. Furthermore, Israel has always had
citizens. They are Arabs who were living in what became Israel prior to
1948 and
who didn't leave. They are a bit on display, like black conservatives at a
Republican convention. Israel is fortunate that, for whatever reason, most
their compatriots fled. No doubt they suffer discrimination. Nevertheless,
are citizens with the right to vote and so on. There used to be Jews
living in
Arab nations, but they also fled in 1948 and subsequent years-in numbers
equivalent to the Arabs who fled Israel. Now there are virtually no Jews
in Arab
countries-even in a moderate Arab country like Jordan. How many Jews do
think there will be in the new state of Palestine, when its flag flies
over a
sovereign nation?

And the most tragic difference: Apartheid ended peacefully. This is
thanks to Nelson Mandela, who turned out to be miraculously forgiving. If
is white South Africa and the Palestinians are supposed to be the blacks,
is their Mandela?

Michael Kinsley is American editor of Guardian Unlimited (London) and the
founding editor of Slate.

9. Funding Hamas:

10. Is Neve Gordon's guru in Tehran?
Is Norman Finkelstein in Tehran?
By Alan M. Dershowitz December 13, 2006

A neo-Nazi website has published the schedule of speakers at the Iranian
Holocaust denial conference:

Prominent among the speakers in the schedule is assistant professor Norman
Finkelstein of DePaul University. His name appears along with Professor
David Duke of the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management in Ukraine
and other assorted nuts, neo-Nazis, Islamo-fascists, and America- and

It is unclear whether Finkelstein actually attended the conference, since
the identity of many of the attendees has been kept secret, and the media
office at DePaul says it doesn.t know. But Finkelstein certainly fits
comfortably into the hate club, since he has allied himself closely with
the Holocaust denial movement by trivializing the suffering of its victims
and denying that many of them were victims at all. It would be natural
for the rulers of Iran to have invited this Jew-hater to their hatefest.
I don.t know if they did, or if Finkelstein accepted any such invitation.
But the burden is now on him to explain why his name appears in the
schedule and to produce all correspondence with the sponsors of the
conference. It should make interesting reading.

Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book is
Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways (Norton, 2006).

See also

11. Jews and genes - from the Wall St Journal:
December 8, 2006

Blood Brothers
December 8, 2006; Page W15

It all began with a "serendipitous feeling" that hit him while he stumbled
through Auschwitz in 2000. Like most visitors John Haedrich was deeply
moved by what he saw. But this was something different. A kind of
epiphany. Though raised a Christian, for reasons Mr. Haedrich cannot quite
articulate, he began to suspect that he might be Jewish. Gradually, this
hunch became too vital to ignore. He decided to investigate his origins by
taking a DNA test, the results of which confirmed that he had, according
to the test conclusion, "rather populous pedigree of Ashkenazi Polish

Though he readily admits to not having the "traditional paperwork," Mr.
Haedrich petitioned the Israeli government for citizenship under the Law
of Return, by which any Jew with at least a single, confirmed Jewish
grandparent can move to Israel. His appeal was denied on grounds that DNA
does not prove Jewish identity. Undeterred, the 44-year-old nursing-home
director from Glendale, Calif., took out advertisements in the Israeli and
American Jewish press pleading his case and established the Jewish by DNA
Research Institute. He hopes the institute will help others who want to
establish their Jewish identity on biological grounds. As "a matter of
principle," Mr. Haedrich will not convert to Judaism because, he insists,
he is already Jewish.

But is he? What exactly does it mean to be a "Jew by DNA"? Is it even
possible to define Jewishness biologically? And after Nazism perverted
similar notions about heredity and race to justify ghastly, mechanized
slaughter, is there something indecent about even posing the question?

"There is no biological marker that is unique to Jewish people," Raphael
Falk, professor emeritus of genetics at Hebrew University tells me. "There
are no markers that can define an individual, man or woman, as a Jew or as
belonging to any other community." A pioneer in the field, Mr. Falk is the
author of a fascinating new book, "Zionism and the Biology of the Jews"
(currently available only in Israel), in which he explores the science,
philosophy and history of various biological theories that have clung to
the Jewish people.

One of Mr. Falk's most provocative themes is how many leading Jewish
figures in the early 20th century embraced the language of race as a tool
of positive self-definition. This was an era when ideas about blood and
heredity enjoyed great intellectual prestige at the leading centers of
scientific inquiry. Both Jews and anti-Semites adopted these terms of
debate. At a press conference at the Hebrew University in 1934 renowned
Hebrew poet Haim Nahman Bialik declared: "I too, like Hitler, believe in
the power of the blood idea."

Many Zionists heralded these biological conceptions of race as objective
evidence of organic peoplehood. And both anti-Semites and Jews subscribed
to the myth of the degenerate Diaspora Jew as having, in the words of one
prominent Russian Zionist, "weak muscles, badly developed respiratory
organs, weak bone structure, slight physical strength, little capacity for
labor." While the anti-Semites warned that the disease-prone Jew presented
a grave threat to the racial vigor of those they lived among, the Jewish
nationalists insisted that a healthy "new Jew" could only be forged in a
Jewish state.

It is critical that these statements be placed in the proper historical
context. Eugenics did not then bear the taint of Nazism. In fact, it was a
"quite respectable scientific branch," according to Mr. Falk -- not least
in America.

In our own time the increasingly widespread use of genetic testing raises
a host of difficult questions about what it means to be a Jew. It seems
that not a day goes by without word of some newly discovered genetic
explanation for who we are physically, morally and spiritually. And it is
now conventional medical wisdom that certain diseases, like breast cancer,
are more common among the Ashkenazim. Some scientists even make the
dubious claim that this imbues Ashkenazi Jews with an inherited advantage
in intelligence.

But these genetic circumstances reflect not Judaism but rather the
relatively isolated history of the people who descend from Ashkenaz -- the
medieval Hebrew name for the vast lands of Central and Eastern Europe from
which Jews were exiled into the Pale of Settlement. The genomes of other
Jews, for instance the Sephardim who originate from the Iberian Peninsula,
reflect their different histories.

As it did to the early Zionists, the reasserting of Jewish distinctiveness
as biological fact may hold some appeal to those who fret about Jewish
continuity. A recent essay in Commentary magazine laments precisely this
erosion of "ethnic cohesiveness." The authors, Steve Cohen and Jack
Wertheimer, despair that American Jews, particularly younger ones, are
forsaking their "tribal" bonds. "American Jews are now regarded, and
appear largely to regard themselves, as part of the undifferentiated mass
of American whites," they write, "not as a distinctive group...."

But there is great peril in such a desire. If we accept that Jewishness
can be transmitted by DNA it would impose upon us a reductive, clinical
Judaism of molecules and genes, rather than texts and arguments.

Mr. Goldstein is contributing editor at Moment magazine.

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