Thursday, January 01, 2009
Rockets on Beer Sheba as Ben Gurion Faculty Member Supports the Hamas
The notorious Solidarity-with-Terrorism duo Neve Gordon, chairman of the
political science department at Ben Guion University, and Jeff Halper ,
the latter who used to teach anthropology at ben Gurion University,
denounce Israel in the leftwing neo-nazi web magazine Counterpunch for
bombing terrorists holed up in an Islamofascist "university" in Gaza.
They do so on the very same day that Gordon's own university, Ben Gurion
University, had to shut down because of rockets landing in Beer Sheba. In
other words, they are upset that Israel attacked the very same terrorist
"university" in Gaza that was being used as a warehouse for rockets being
aimed at Ben Gurion University and Beer Sheba! One of those rockets hit a
Beer Sheba classroom yesterday that was fortunately empty at the time. No
doubt Counterpunch magazine editors were terribly upset that no children
Their filth is at http://counterpunch.com/gordon12312008.html
See also: http://myrightword.blogspot.com/2009/01/ah-irony-of-it.html
Please take a few moments and let the heads of Ben Gurion University know
what you think of this:
Prof. Rivka Carmi, President
P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel,
Fax 972 (8) 647 7659
Prof. Jimmy Weinblatt, Rector
P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel
Other officers listed here:
University "Friends of" Offices outside Israel are listed here:
2. The Olmertocracy already announced that it would not condition any new
ceasefire on Gilad Shalit being released:
http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3648455,00.html In other words,
it would like the Hamas to kidnap more Israelis.
3. At the Solidarity-with Hamas rally in Philadelphia this week, the
featured speaker was a lesbian pseudo-rabbi named Linda Holtzman. She is
a Rabbi in the same sense that I am a ballerina. A lesbian she is though,
and proud of it. She wrote a book bragging about it.
She claims to be a Reconstructionist "rabbette". You can see her puss
here: http://www.mishkan.org/rabbis.html Her email, in case you want to
send her something scatological, is Rabbilinda@mishkan.org.
Reconstructionism is a branch of Judaism in the same sense that I am a
4. The sudden unexpected patriotism of Meretz lasted less than a week.
Today the press in Israel is full of Meretz ads demanding a ceasefire and
demanding that Israel not send in any ground troops to fight against the
Hamas. You know, if Israel sends no ground troops the Hamas will be safe!
5. The REAL war:
The Battle of Gaza and The Real War
Posted By Michael Ledeen On December 29, 2008 @ 10:03 am In Uncategorized
| 62 Comments
It was only a matter of time before Israel lashed out at Hamas in Gaza.
Even the appeasers in Israel, of whom there are many, could not
indefinitely accept thousands of rockets landing in civilian centers,
especially after the battle against Hezbollah in 2006, which was widely
viewed as a fiasco for the Israeli Army and for the leaders in Jerusalem
who are facing an election in two months. Defense Minister Barak says
it.s .all-out war,. which suggests ground operations. The usual rule in
these cases is that Israel doesn.t have much time to accomplish its
objectives; the .international community. rallies to the side of Israel.s
enemies, and Israel.s leaders invariably convince themselves that if they
play ball, they.ll be rewarded for it. But that never happens. So far
the Brits and the Vatican have already demanded an end to operations
against Hamas, and by the time I finish typing this there will be more.
Israeli leaders say they want to bring an end to the rocket and missile
attacks from Gaza. But, as opposition leader Netanyahu said, that can.t
be done without regime change.
Our goal should be twofold - stopping the attacks on our cities and
eliminating the threat of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.Stopping the
attacks can be done within a short period of time, while eliminating the
threat of rocket attacks from Gaza will entail toppling the Hamas rule
over the Strip and uprooting the Iranian base there.
The last five words are key, because, as others have said, this is one
more battle in the terror war in which we have been engaged since 2001.
The Battle of Gaza cannot be understood as a thing in itself, but only as
part of a broader whole: the war against the terror masters. And Iran is
the most lethal, the most dangerous, and the most aggressive terror master
in the world today.
Step back from the Gaza battle for just a second, and look at the war
itself: it extends from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, to Somalia, to
Gaza/the Palestinian Authority/Israel, to Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi
Arabia, with occasional skirmishes in the vast Kurdish domain (which
embraces areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran), across Europe, into the
United States and Canada and down to South America, including Cuba,
Venezuela, Bolivia, with attendant terror/narcotics mafias that in turn
operate in West Africa. Iran is present in all these theaters, primarily
via its proxies Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards (Quds Force).
Like the global totalitarian movements and regimes that threatened Western
civilization in the last century, the Iranians come with a messianic
ideology that admits no compromise with its enemies. This war will only
end with a winner and a loser, not with two contented negotiators. We can
win this war.we.ve delivered a stunning defeat to Iran and her proxies in
Iraq, for example.and our most powerful weapons are political, not
military. Had we taken the war to Tehran, the terror forces in Gaza
would, at a minimum, be a lot weaker today, as they would be in
Afghanistan and Lebanon. But we continue to dither, and the new American
leaders are fooling themselves when they say that vigorous diplomacy can
induce the mullahs to retreat. It won.t happen, any more than the
Israelis got the terrorists to retreat from all-out war against the Jews
when the Oslo Agreement was signed, or when Rabin shook hands with Arafat.
It only delayed the days of reckoning, at the cost of many lives, mostly
of innocents, on both sides.
There is a disgusting conceit that underlies the .realist. position that
negotiations will solve these problems: the conceit that tyrants will be
easier to deal with than free peoples. Rabin and Peres actually said
this, once upon a time, with their smug statements to the effect that
Arafat and the others would control the terrorists because they didn.t
give a damn about the Geneva Conventions or other legal niceties. They,
and those who think the same applies to the Iranians, forget that our
enemies want us dead or dominated, they don.t want a world at peace in
which they will have to deal with real problems of governance. They are
waging jihad, not diplomacy.
It follows from this that you cannot .solve. Gaza by fighting in Gaza
alone, you have to win the terror war. And to do that, you must
accomplish regime change, just as Netanyahu said. But the crucial regime
change must be accomplished in Iran. Whatever Israel accomplishes in Gaza
(and the same holds for our battles in Iraq and Afghanistan), it is only a
matter of time before the mullahs reorganize, rearm, and return to battle.
And the next battle may involve nuclear weapons.
Paradoxically, those people who fume at the very idea of challenging the
Iranian regime are actually making a truly terrible war more likely, not
less. Those few of us who believe that support for Iranian democratic
dissidents could bring down the mullahs are almost universally scorned,
and even accused of seeking war. It is just the opposite. The same
accusations were directed against us when we supported Soviet dissidents,
and called for regime change in Moscow. And yet the Soviet Empire came
down. The Iranian regime is far weaker than the Soviet state. An
overwhelming number of Iranians oppose the regime, and are dreaming of the
day when we finally embrace their cause. Perhaps there are still some
brave men and women in the Democratic Party who understand that America is
a revolutionary country, and that we are bound by our honor, our
principles, and our national interest to support the democratic forces in
Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, the three leading terror masters, along with
those in Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, now scurrying to jump on the
bandwagon of Islamic tyranny.
Finally, if I am right, it is impossible to address the Arab/Israeli
conflict by itself, for the context is all wrong. Nobody in Gaza or the
West Bank, nor in Amman or Cairo, can guarantee peace for Israel. Today,
that decision rests in the hands of Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of
the Islamic Republic of Iran. Until there is a different government in
Tehran, there cannot be peace between Arabs and Israelis, any more than
there can be peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Lebanon.
It.s a big war, but we.re a big country with enormous capacities. Time to
fight the real war.
6. The brainless scarecrow of OZ:
background to this astonishing piece, see this:
7. YNET just translated the David Moriah piece of which I sent out a
partial translation. Theirs appears here:
9. Nice web site: http://www.stoptheism.com/
10. An actual moderate Arab:
11. On a different topic, from the WSJ:
Before Stalin Lowered the Curtain
By ROBERT GRESKOVIC
One bright-eyed elderly woman scrutinizing the items on display in the
Jewish Museum's exhibit "Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish
Theater, 1919-1949" was eager to express her enthusiasms to anyone who'd
listen on the day I was there. "Did you know," she asked in the direction
of a total stranger, "that if you didn't both cry and laugh at the
performances put on by this Yiddish theater, you could ask for your money
I certainly didn't, but she swore this was true and I decided to believe
her. Just about everything I now know about this fertile and fascinating
theatrical period of Russian Jewish history, which can variously provoke
smiles and sadness, I learned from the annotated artworks, and film and
audio clips, that make up the show.
Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater, 1919-1949
The Jewish Museum
Through March 22
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), the fantastical, broadly popular Russian Jewish
artist whose name headlines the exhibit and who is likely a big,
brand-name draw, is only one part of the story that enfolds in the
200-plus pieces that cover the museum's first-floor galleries. Chagall is
not the show's star in the show-business sense of the word. That title
would rightly go to Solomon Mikhoels (mi-KHOY-els), a revered actor
(1890-1948), hitherto unknown to me, who led a good number of the theater
productions detailed here. Still, Chagall qualifies, as far as these
visual works are concerned, as the seedbed of this study.
Brightening the third gallery, as if by so many windows flooding in
natural light, is a seven-canvas installation of what became known in 1920
as "Chagall's box." The room, carefully set to recall its original
configuration, reflects the 90-seat, second-floor theater opened in Moscow
by Gosket, the State Yiddish Chamber Theater, later renamed Goset. Invited
by the critic Abram Efros to design the theater's initial Moscow season,
Chagall chose to turn the converted living quarters into a "total"
theater. His murals, as much drawings as paintings, depict the troupe's
aims and heritage as they surround the audience area.
Executed in water-based paints on bedsheets-turned-to-canvas, the scenes
and figure studies, which depict Music, Dance, Theater and Literature, all
possess a lightness sometimes at odds with the heavier hand for which the
artist is more widely recognized. Think, especially when looking at
"Introduction to the Jewish Theater" -- the long, almost scroll-like mural
that goes the length of one side of the room -- of a richly rendered and
tinted Al Hirschfeld caricature.
Besides the murals, Chagall also designed the settings and costumes for
the three Sholem Aleichem plays that constituted Gosket's premiere Moscow
season. His "total theater" aims even included painting each of the
actors' faces. While putting the finishing touches on Mikhoels's makeup as
Reb Alter in "Mazel Tov," Chagall reportedly groaned: "Oh, Solomon, if
only you had no right eye, I could make you up perfectly."
Chagall's fanciful stylization and painterly details at Gosket were much
informed by his recent stay in Paris, where he absorbed that city's
modernist trends, notably cubism, as well as by the constructivism and
suprematism of the Soviet Union's own burgeoning avant-garde. His work at
this Yiddish theater seems to have set the tone there, even for future
productions with which he had no direct connection.
Alongside all this is the related work of Habima, a slightly older Russian
theater group that performed in Hebrew. Like the evolving Gosket/Goset,
Habima was optimistic that Jewish life would have a newfound freedom to
thrive within post-czarist Russia.
Under the direction of Evgeny Vakhtangov, a prot.g. of the Moscow Art
Theater legend Konstantin Stanislavsky, Habima's productions of such
now-classic works as S. Ansky's "The Dybbuk" and H. Leivick's "The Golem"
had an expressionist edge. Both plays inhabit the realm of mysticism, and
the respective designs on view by Nathan Altman and Ignaty Nivinsky reveal
those dimensions in appropriately stylized line, color and shape.
Both troupes tried to work to the satisfaction of the Soviet authorities,
often, in the case of Goset, belittling in their satiric productions the
old ways and religious traditions of the outland villages where the Jewish
populace was forced to live during the repressive era of the czars.
With the rise of Stalin, and a crackdown on avant-garde productions,
optimism waned. Habima left Moscow in 1926, and eventually became the
national theater of Israel. Goset's visionary director, Aleksei Granovsky,
who had worked closely with Chagall in 1920 Moscow, refused directives to
return to Moscow from a 1928 tour. While his actors went home, he remained
in Berlin and continued to work in Europe.
Mikhoels, along with other Goset personnel, was not so lucky. The
exhibit's chronology of productions climaxes with a look at what was
perhaps the actor's biggest triumph, leading Goset's 1935 production of
"King Lear." In Aleksandr Tyshler's designs, the staging looks more formal
and medieval and decidedly less artfully cockeyed and expressionist than
earlier stagings. A haunting photo from the production shows Mikhoels
luminous both from the picture's lighting and from the palpable inner
light he obviously had as a charismatic personality. (After seeing Goset's
production, legendary English theater practitioner Gordon Craig declared
there was "no Lear worthy of the name in Britain" because "we have no
actor like Mikhoels.")
Liev Schreiber's beautifully narrated audio tour to the exhibit notes how
some in Soviet Russia recognized a veiled depiction of a sinister Stalin
in Mikhoels's mad Lear. Eventually, years after this triumphant Yiddish
run of Shakespeare's play, Mikhoels was set up for assassination by
Stalin's orders, then given a huge state funeral as if he'd died
This grotesque end to Mikhoels's life was followed by the shutting down of
Goset in 1949. Some of the displayed works on paper bear the singed edges
they acquired when a suspicious fire in the Soviet archives almost
consigned these artifacts to oblivion.
A documentary film about Mikhoels's demise closes the exhibit. But it's
the actor's undeniable and ineffable expressiveness -- in a vivid portrait
painted by Altman, in a snapshot of his Chagall-painted face, and in
numerous other photos and film clips over 30 years' time -- that may still
stay most strongly with you.
Mr. Greskovic writes about dance and related performing arts for the
When the Big Spenders Fail, Who Will Save Jewish Charity?
By LUCETTE LAGNADO
Jonathan Sarna, the prominent American-Jewish historian, likens the
affluent Orthodox Jewish community of New York where Bernard Madoff found
so many of his victims to "a kind of shtetl -- a very wealthy shtetl." Its
borders may be the sweeping expanses of Park and Fifth avenues, from the
East 60s to the East 80s in Manhattan. But to Prof. Sarna it remains a
small insular world, comparable to the ghettos of Eastern Europe, where
money and religion blended seamlessly and personal trust was the single
most important prerequisite in choosing a life partner.
Or a business partner.
The Madoff scandal has shaken the American Jewish community to its core --
maiming institutions large and small, wiping out life savings and
triggering soul-searching: How could one man deceive so many? And what
does the affair say about American Jewish values?
The pain is being felt especially intensely in philanthropic circles,
which may never fully recover. Some Jewish nonprofits -- such as the
Robert Lappin Foundation, which tried to enhance Jewish identity among the
young; the Picower Foundation, which funded assorted Jewish medical and
cultural causes; and the Chais Family Foundation, which promoted, among
other endeavors, educational excellence in Israel -- have shut down.
Several large institutions, Hadassah and the American Jewish Congress
among them, have been seriously wounded. Then there is the blow to the
community's sense of self -- the confidence and prosperity that enabled it
to build magnificent houses of worship, Jewish day schools that rivaled
the finest secular ones and, more recently, charities with impressively
As a resident of the shtetl referred to by Prof. Sarna -- my home is on
East 89th Street, albeit toward Second Avenue, the slightly shabbier
boundary -- I have watched first-hand the prosperity and confidence,
symbolized by the parade of synagogue-goers on a typical Saturday morning.
The men wear elegant suits and discreet yarlmulkes; the women don
fashionable coats and dresses and elegant hats. Members of this gilded
shtetl gather not simply at the opulent "KJ" -- Kehilath Jeshurun -- or
the Fifth Avenue Synagogue but at the local kosher butcher store, Park
East, which has the intimacy of an old-world meat shop and the prices and
gourmet fare to fit the appetites of its upscale customers.
The butcher shop may remain the same, but American Jewish charity has
experienced a watershed event. For the past several years, Jewish
nonprofits had been relying on "fewer -- but larger -- gifts," according
to Jack Wertheimer, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New
York. United Jewish Communities, which represents 157 Jewish Federations
across North America, has seen a steep decline in its ranks of donors in
the past 20 years -- even as the total funds raised have continued to
In 1988, the Federations, whose amalgam of communal groups support the
Jewish elderly, Jewish day schools and other causes, had about 814,000
donors; by 2006, that number had plunged 36.25% to 519,000 donors. The
decline continued in 2007, when donors dropped below half a million. The
UJC's fund-raising, though rising in real dollars, has actually fallen
when factoring in inflation. Larger checks from a few donors have kept the
picture from being a lot worse.
The Federations pursued the "top end" of donors, remarks Paul Kane, a
senior vice president at the UJA Federation of New York. There was so much
wealth out there that it seemed more cost-effective than going after
smaller donors. Once upon a time, he recalls, particularly during periods
when Israel was at war, grass-roots support was overwhelming: "People
would line up outside Federations with their money -- they came out of the
But all of that has changed in the era of the megadonor. Some of these
wealthy individuals created their own Jewish foundations and
philanthropies. "There are people out there who can write six-, seven-
and, in some cases, eight-figure checks," says Mark Charendoff, who heads
the Jewish Funders Network. His organization, founded 19 years ago, now
has some 400 member foundations and individual donors who give out more
than $800 million annually to causes that are either Jewish or rooted in
Thanks to Mr. Madoff, Jewish charity may have to return to its roots,
becoming once again a widespread communal effort, instead of being
concentrated in a few powerful hands.
But would that really be so bad? I don't have a great solution to the
Madoff problem or to the damage that it has wrought. I have a more limited
suggestion: I would like to see the comeback of the pushke -- the little
collection box that was once in every Jewish home. To be sure, I don't
want Jewish charities to suffer; it is simply that in our post-Madoff
universe I find myself longing for the kind of more humble, more
individual tzedakah, or personal charity, that took place before the rise
of the uber-Jewish foundations and zillionaire philanthropists.
There was a time when every Jewish family was expected to have a pushke.
It was part of a simple and deeply felt tradition of individual giving
that called for everyone, even little children, to donate some coins as a
show of faith and a commitment to charity. My own home had multiple boxes,
and every once in a while, typically on a Sunday, a rabbi would appear to
collect the contents and we would start again.
I recall how good it felt when, as a child, I dropped a quarter or a dime
into the pushke on Friday afternoon before the Sabbath. I loved the feel
of the box when it was full. When I walked on the streets of Bensonhurst,
Brooklyn, then a very Jewish area, I would sometimes see women in the
street shaking their boxes for favorite causes.
Back then, instead of relying on a few megadonors, the Jewish community
relied on donors like my dad. He favored charities in Jerusalem, and
regularly would dispense two-figure checks of $10 or $20 to his pet causes
-- orphanages, trade schools, even a bride's fund designed to help
orphaned girls obtain wedding dresses and veils for their big day.
It would be lovely to see the return of little checks -- the donations
everyone could afford to give and often did. Neither they nor the pushkes
require the fund-raising galas and the elaborate administrative structures
that have become the norm across the Jewish charitable world.
Some Jewish leaders may blanch at my words. Prof. Wertheimer notes that
"Jewish organizational life has become much more expensive -- nickels,
dimes and pushkes aren't going to do it." Though Mr. Kane at the UJA and
others now hint at new strategies to broaden the donor base, some Jewish
leaders are ready to return to business as usual, sending the message that
we must get in some big checks to replace the money that was lost. But
this scandal makes me wish we could remember the values of our shtetl and
think small again.
Ms. Lagnado is a reporter for the Journal.
Write to Lucette Lagnado at firstname.lastname@example.org