Wednesday, October 17, 2007
San Francisco Art Gallery Censors Writing and Art Work as Too Zionist
San Francisco Art Gallery Censors Writing and Art Work as Too Zionist
2. Generals playing leftists:
3. The Failure of Western Universities and the Islamofascist Lobby:
4. Washington State's Asaf Oron makes denigrating the IDF his passion
By Lee Kaplan
Benjamin Disraeli once said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned
lies and statistics.. Perhaps this is what attracted PhD candidate Asaf
Oron to the Department of Statistics at Washington State University
Oron.s claim to fame as yet another Israeli academic supporting the
Palestine revolution abroad against Israel is that he is one of the
original 53 .refuseniks. who signed a petition refusing to serve in the
IDF because of the .occupation.. Oron likes to write about his refusal to
do his reserve duty in the IDF by attacking the entire Israeli army, not
just the political aspects of his opinions. Of course, it is doubtful he
would be doing his reserve duty anyway as an Israeli expatriate ensconced
in an American university in Seattle where he is not subject to jail for
Assaf Oron also likes to claim that Israeli soldiers beat innocent Arabs
for no reason at all
to be macho and describes women in the IDF as tearing open mattresses
Arabs .with glee. at the checkpoints. One has to wonder if Assaf Oron
ever expressed glee when those girls in the IDF found a bomb in a mattress
that could have killed his fellow Israelis? As for his claims that IDF
soldiers beat Arabs for fun, the IDF is so media conscious that soldiers
that engage in abuse are court-martialed and disciplined regularly.
The name .refuseniks. is actually a bastardization of the term used to
describe other Israelis like Natan Sharansky who served time in Gulags in
Russia as persecuted Jews
not allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union. The radical Left that
seeks Israel.s destruction is masterful at using doublespeak to define its
movements and efforts. Its members who support and suborn terrorist
killers are .peace activists,. its acolytes who support pan-Arab
nationalism or Islamic exclusionism against Jews are .against racism.
while embracing racism against Jews, and the use of the word .resistance.
is the favored euphemism for killing the Jews and keeping the war on
Israel roiling forever. To these ends, Asaf Oron functions as a
mouthpiece who dedicates himself to denigrating the entire Israeli army
for protecting the people of Israel.
The Refuseniks Movement, just like Asaf Oron, always seeks to inflate
statistically its activities and numbers for political gain while
masquerading as benefiting society.
Indeed, Assaf Oron has written how this movement has .grown,. now totaling
about 1,300 signatories to a petition of those refusing to serve in the
IDF (the real number is probably 639 as many never really participated in
the IDF after high school). One .statistic. that the .refusers. avoid is
that Israel.s army, including reservists, stands at about 500,000 men and
women. So the entire number of refuseniks is about one tenth of one
percent of the IDF as a whole. Their original Combatant.s Letter
maintained that the Israeli .occupation of Gaza. was not protecting the
people of Israel or their families back home. However, anyone who follows
the events since the Israel completely withdrew from Gaza and knows about
the thousands of missiles fired into schools and day care centers in
Sderot in the Negev, can see the logic of such .refusers. like Asaf Oron.
Nevertheless, the Movement still attacks the Israeli government and
accuses the IDF of atrocities against the Arabs any time the IDF takes
Israel.s army is an institution where everyone serves, unlike America.s
all volunteer force. As such, your average college-based communist,
anarchist or general malcontent
gets drafted. Once inside the military, it.s not a life threatening issue
to refuse to serve
and the uniform can even be used to lend credibility. Asaf Oron bases his
attacks on the IDF because as a former member of the Givati Brigade he
allegedly saw incidences of hazing of troops by other troops within units
he was assigned as a non-commissioned officer. While hazing is common in
military-style institutions full of young men (anyone who has endured a
high school gym class no doubt has stories) one has to question Oron.s
leadership abilities as a sergeant-major who admits he engaged in such
activities himself, yet lacked the leadership qualities to prohibit it.
In addition, he claims that while serving in the occupied territories he
.abused. the Arab population as a normal procedure along with his fellow
soldiers. Now he blames the entire IDF for these alleged abuses he admits
to participating in.
In the IDF, officers are responsible for leading their men in battle and
as a unit. In combat officers are expected to be out in front of their
troops and due to this policy Israeli officers usually have the highest
rates of casualties in battle unlike in the American and other militaries.
Asaf Oron exhibits the narcissism of anti-Israel Israelis who will accuse
the Jewish state of alleged (and in many cases fabricated) human rights
totally ignoring Arab atrocities against Israelis or even criticizing the
For Asaf Oron, .abusing. Arabs and his fellow soldiers while he was in the
IDF was acceptable because he felt it was OK then, something he could have
.refused. to do while in the IDF as a leader. He chose not to. Once he
decided to no longer serve to protect the people of Israel, it became
equally acceptable for him to voice the rhetoric of Arab propaganda and
claim the IDF is rotten to the core, despite the fact that, given the
obligations of inexperienced 18 year-olds to control borders and
checkpoints where jihadist serial killers seek to enter Israel, the IDF.s
behavior has actually been exemplary.
The checkpoints have to deal with ambulances that transport explosives and
terrorists that the other side likes to claim are pregnant women
miscarrying due to delays. It is just this type of misrepresentation that
Oron is glad to present on a US college campus where being against Israel
is now considered to be .progressive. and can also advance one.s academic
opportunities in an atmosphere dominated by anti-Israel rhetoric fueled by
anti-Semitism and Arab petrodollars.
This is the real face of Assaf Oron. He wasn.t about to try and change the
IDF to make it a superior force, but must embrace those who the IDF seeks
to stop killing Israelis by claiming the entire IDF is made up of bad
apples like himself who were .forced. to be bad apples but bear no
personal responsibility. On top of this, he profits from it both
professionally and socially at Washington State University and in the
Leftist media (he posts a column at the virulently anti-Israel Daily Kos
where he claims to fight racism while supporting Arab irredentists and
their racism against Jews in Israel).
One has to wonder why Asaf Oron mentions on his personal website he began
his career with Intel at Qiryat-Gat in Israel. According to the Qiryat Gat
(http://www.intel.com/jobs/israel/sites/qiryat-gat.htm), it was .founded
in 1955 as the capital of the Lakhish region, is the heart of an
extraordinarily successful settlement. The population has grown to about
48,000. Qiryat Gat's industrial expansion includes major enterprises such
as textiles, cotton and sugar processing. Qiryat Gat is located near the
Qiryat-Gat is really no different than any Jewish communities in Judea and
Samaria (the West Bank) that Assaf Oron thinks are not deserving of
protection by the IDF.
Meanwhile, Palestinian propaganda falsely claims that that community was
.stolen. by Jews and ethnically cleansed in 1948, being originally the
Arab village of Al-Faluja
Al-Faluja was a nearby village in 1948 to Qiryat-Gat (not in the same
spot) with an alleged population of 5,400 Arabs, the Palestinian Arabs now
claim there are over 33,000 Arab .refugees. from Qiryat-Gat that really
belongs to the Palestinians who were ethnically cleansed!!! Qiryat-Gat was
set up by the UN as part of the state of Israel .
Of course, such claims by the Palestinian Arabs are what are used to
justify Arab terrorism against Israelis, something the people of Israel
rely on the IDF to protect them from.
One has to wonder at Assaf Oron.s lack of concern for the community he
came from. It.s OK to mention Intel.s presence there as a reference to
advance his background and career, but he doesn.t mind attacking the IDF
that protects that community from Arabs who would gladly fire missiles
into it from Gaza. While he served in the Givati Brigade,
he seems to have never served in serious combat and sought to avoid
service at checkpoints where he was at risk of being killed by bombs or
terrorists to protect others, yet likens himself to the young Chinese man
who faced down a tank at Tiananmen Square (who was executed as a result).
Such comparisons with Israel.s democracy and
the Chinese dictatorship while Asaf Oron defends the totalitarians in the
Palestinian Authority are extremely self-serving and scholastically
As such, such comparisons reveal the truth about the sensitive .human
rights. morals of Assaf Oron. Can anyone seriously believe that Assaf
Oron would run to Israel to fight as a reservist if the Arabs invaded his
hometown from Gaza to inside the Green Line from 1948? Not likely.
Talk about narcissism.
October 17, 2007
Mr. Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and
professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine
Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of
"Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-First Century"
(Replica Books, 2001).
Global Warming Delusions
By DANIEL B. BOTKIN
October 17, 2007; Page A19
Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect
life -- ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the
latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on
life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.
Kilimanjaro's shrinking ice cap is not directly related to global warming.
Case in point: This year's United Nations report on climate change and
other documents say that 20%-30% of plant and animal species will be
threatened with extinction in this century due to global warming -- a
truly terrifying thought. Yet, during the past 2.5 million years, a period
that scientists now know experienced climatic changes as rapid and as warm
as modern climatological models suggest will happen to us, almost none of
the millions of species on Earth went extinct. The exceptions were about
20 species of large mammals (the famous megafauna of the last ice age --
saber-tooth tigers, hairy mammoths and the like), which went extinct about
10,000 to 5,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, and many
dominant trees and shrubs of northwestern Europe. But elsewhere, including
North America, few plant species went extinct, and few mammals.
We're also warned that tropical diseases are going to spread, and that we
can expect malaria and encephalitis epidemics. But scientific papers by
Prof. Sarah Randolph of Oxford University show that temperature changes do
not correlate well with changes in the distribution or frequency of these
diseases; warming has not broadened their distribution and is highly
unlikely to do so in the future, global warming or not.
The key point here is that living things respond to many factors in
addition to temperature and rainfall. In most cases, however,
climate-modeling-based forecasts look primarily at temperature alone, or
temperature and precipitation only. You might ask, "Isn't this enough to
forecast changes in the distribution of species?" Ask a mockingbird. The
New York Times recently published an answer to a query about why
mockingbirds were becoming common in Manhattan. The expert answer was:
food -- an exotic plant species that mockingbirds like to eat had spread
to New York City. It was this, not temperature or rainfall, the expert
said, that caused the change in mockingbird geography.
You might think I must be one of those know-nothing naysayers who believes
global warming is a liberal plot. On the contrary, I am a biologist and
ecologist who has worked on global warming, and been concerned about its
effects, since 1968. I've developed the computer model of forest growth
that has been used widely to forecast possible effects of global warming
on life -- I've used the model for that purpose myself, and to forecast
likely effects on specific endangered species.
I'm not a naysayer. I'm a scientist who believes in the scientific method
and in what facts tell us. I have worked for 40 years to try to improve
our environment and improve human life as well. I believe we can do this
only from a basis in reality, and that is not what I see happening now.
Instead, like fashions that took hold in the past and are eloquently
analyzed in the classic 19th century book "Extraordinary Popular Delusions
and the Madness of Crowds," the popular imagination today appears to have
been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis.
Some colleagues who share some of my doubts argue that the only way to get
our society to change is to frighten people with the possibility of a
catastrophe, and that therefore it is all right and even necessary for
scientists to exaggerate. They tell me that my belief in open and honest
assessment is na.ve. "Wolves deceive their prey, don't they?" one said to
me recently. Therefore, biologically, he said, we are justified in
exaggerating to get society to change.
The climate modelers who developed the computer programs that are being
used to forecast climate change used to readily admit that the models were
crude and not very realistic, but were the best that could be done with
available computers and programming methods. They said our options were to
either believe those crude models or believe the opinions of experienced,
data-focused scientists. Having done a great deal of computer modeling
myself, I appreciated their acknowledgment of the limits of their methods.
But I hear no such statements today. Oddly, the forecasts of computer
models have become our new reality, while facts such as the few
extinctions of the past 2.5 million years are pushed aside, as if they
were not our reality.
A recent article in the well-respected journal American Scientist
explained why the glacier on Mt. Kilimanjaro could not be melting from
global warming. Simply from an intellectual point of view it was
fascinating -- especially the author's Sherlock Holmes approach to
figuring out what was causing the glacier to melt. That it couldn't be
global warming directly (i.e., the result of air around the glacier
warming) was made clear by the fact that the air temperature at the
altitude of the glacier is below freezing. This means that only direct
radiant heat from sunlight could be warming and melting the glacier. The
author also studied the shape of the glacier and deduced that its melting
pattern was consistent with radiant heat but not air temperature. Although
acknowledged by many scientists, the paper is scorned by the true
believers in global warming.
We are told that the melting of the arctic ice will be a disaster. But
during the famous medieval warming period -- A.D. 750 to 1230 or so -- the
Vikings found the warmer northern climate to their advantage. Emmanuel Le
Roy Ladurie addressed this in his book "Times of Feast, Times of Famine: A
History of Climate Since the Year 1000," perhaps the greatest book about
climate change before the onset of modern concerns with global warming. He
wrote that Erik the Red "took advantage of a sea relatively free of ice to
sail due west from Iceland to reach Greenland. . . . Two and a half
centuries later, at the height of the climatic and demographic fortunes of
the northern settlers, a bishopric of Greenland was founded at Gardar in
Ladurie pointed out that "it is reasonable to think of the Vikings as
unconsciously taking advantage of this [referring to the warming of the
Middle Ages] to colonize the most northern and inclement of their
conquests, Iceland and Greenland." Good thing that Erik the Red didn't
have Al Gore or his climatologists as his advisers.
Should we therefore dismiss global warming? Of course not. But we should
make a realistic assessment, as rationally as possible, about its
cultural, economic and environmental effects. As Erik the Red might have
told you, not everything due to a climatic warming is bad, nor is
everything that is bad due to a climatic warming.
We should approach the problem the way we decide whether to buy insurance
and take precautions against other catastrophes -- wildfires, hurricanes,
earthquakes. And as I have written elsewhere, many of the actions we would
take to reduce greenhouse-gas production and mitigate global-warming
effects are beneficial anyway, most particularly a movement away from
fossil fuels to alternative solar and wind energy.
My concern is that we may be moving away from an irrational lack of
concern about climate change to an equally irrational panic about it.
Many of my colleagues ask, "What's the problem? Hasn't it been a good
thing to raise public concern?" The problem is that in this panic we are
going to spend our money unwisely, we will take actions that are
counterproductive, and we will fail to do many of those things that will
benefit the environment and ourselves.
For example, right now the clearest threat to many species is habitat
destruction. Take the orangutans, for instance, one of those charismatic
species that people are often fascinated by and concerned about. They are
endangered because of deforestation. In our fear of global warming, it
would be sad if we fail to find funds to purchase those forests before
they are destroyed, and thus let this species go extinct.
At the heart of the matter is how much faith we decide to put in science
-- even how much faith scientists put in science. Our times have benefited
from clear-thinking, science-based rationality. I hope this prevails as we
try to deal with our changing climate.
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