Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Haaretz and Israeli Media find a New Disgrace - Navy Admiral stopped in Nudy Bar

1. Hillary Clinton is in Israel, demanding that the new Netanyahu
government agree to a "two-state solution." That is amusing because there
IS no two-state solution that will produce peace in the Middle East.
Nevertheless, Hillary insists that there can be no starting point for any
attempt to resolve things other than "two states," and this axiom also is
proclaimed on the web site of the US Embassy in Israel.

So I thought I would offer my own two-state solution: Israel remains the
homeland and state of the Jews, whereas all of the Palestinian Arabs get
shipped off to Arkansas.

2. The Labor Party under Ehud Barak has set a single non-negotiable
condition for joining in any "national unity government" with the Likud,
and that is that Prof. Daniel Friedmann, the current Minister of Justice
be prevented from serving as Minister of Justice. The Labor Party opposes
Friedmann because the latter has led the campaign to depoliticize the
courts in Israel, ending "judicial activism," the form of judicial tyranny
that has sought to impose the political agenda of the Left on the country
undemocratically through the courts.

Meanwhile Avigdor Lieberman has set Friedmann's continuing as a basic
demand of HIS party joining a Likud coalition. And that is one of the
things I like best about Lieberman.

Friedmann is the best and most beneficial thing to have happened in
Israeli politics in a decade, and Friedmann is the most visionary man of
integrity to have served in the cabinet in recent years. That is
precisely why the Left is so anxious to get rid of him. And that is why
the first real test of Netanyahu's integrity will be whether he
re-appoints Friedmann.

3. One of the most amusing stories in recent days involves the leftist
media going bananas over the story that the admiral chief of the Israeli
navy attended a party for a friend that was held in a Tel Aviv strip club,
the "Go Go Girls Club." Admiral Eliezer Marom was seen in the club and
admitted being there. The media reported the story yesterday, and Haaretz
in particular is running a lurid front page headline about it
( ). In the print
addition, Haaretz makes a big stink out of the fact that the officer
claims he just stopped in to his friend's party there for 10 minutes,
whereas he was there for more than 10 minutes. Haaretz also cites
nameless sources who say he had been in the club before.

The Chief of Staff of the IDF slapped Marom's wrist for behavior
unbecoming. A Kadima back bencher postured his indignation and called for
Marom's dismissal ( ).

Gosh, an army officer went to a nudy bar. Good thing that never happens
in armies in OTHER countries. What next - a report that Admiral Marom
sometimes drinks beer? Visits an exhibit of Renoir paintings? Watched
while his wife engaged in breast feeding? Bought the swimsuit edition of
Sports Illustrated?

Now the sudden moral posturing of the anti-Zionist leftist Haaretz is
noteworthy. It never had much to say about a Hebrew University leftist
professor of sociology who used his research funds to buy vibrators,
before he was arrested for raping and sexually harassing his graduate
students. If the admiral had been gay and spent his evenings cruising gay
bars, Haaretz would by out there championing him as a great symbol of
progress and tolerance.

We would like to see an intensive investigation into the question of how
many Haaretz writers spend their evenings watching the blue channels on
cable. Haaretz was the leading paper in Israel insisting that Bill
Clinton's behavior was no reason to impeach him or even criticize him. It
was just adult behavior best left between himself and Hillary. And, by
the way, Haaretz has never gotten around to commenting on the fact that
the still-acting Labor Party Minister of Education has lobbied for "female

Now the moralistic rolling of eyes by Israel's media airheads over this
matter arouses associations in me with an old song by Phil Ochs. You would
need to be my decrepit age to remember it, but the lyrics are here:

Here is the relevant part:
Oh there's a dirty paper using sex to make a sale
The Supreme Court was so upset, they sent him off to jail.
Maybe we should help the fiend and take away his fine.
But we're busy reading Playboy and the Sunday New York Times
And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody
Outside of a small circle of friends

The real pornography is the politicizing of Haaretz and the Sunday New
York Times. I, for one, am happy that the Israeli Navy is headed by a
warm-blooded male who is still young enough to appreciate the female
anatomical shape and form.

I plan to send the admiral a foldout artistic photograph.

4. Introducing affirmative apartheid to philanthropy:
. MARCH 3, 2009
Philanthropy and Its Enemies
Activists want to redistribute foundation wealth based on racial quotas.
Nonprofit leaders are reeling from the recent news that President Barack
Obama's proposed budget would limit tax deductions on charitable
contributions from wealthy Americans. But now the philanthropic world has
something else to worry about. Today the National Committee for Responsive
Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy group, will release a report
offering "benchmarks to assess foundation performance." Its real aim is to
push philanthropic organizations into ignoring donor intent and instead
giving grants based on political considerations.
The committee is part of a rising tide of politicians and activists who
are working to change the face of American philanthropy -- and not for the
The report, titled "Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best," advises
foundations to "provide at least 50 percent of grant dollars to benefit
lower-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized
groups, broadly defined." The committee looked at 809 of the largest
foundations in the country, whose combined three-year grants totaled
almost $15 billion, and concluded that the majority of foundations are
"eschewing the needs of the most vulnerable in our society" by neglecting
"marginalized groups."
Two years ago, an advocacy group in San Francisco called Greenlining began
releasing similar reports. Greenlining's aim then was to pass legislation
in California mandating that foundations report to the public the
percentage of their dollars given to "minority-led" organizations and the
percentage of their boards and staffs made up by racial and ethnic
minorities. The legislation was dropped when several foundations promised
to donate money to causes Greenlining favored.
Now Greenlining has put out reports in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York
trying to shame foundations into distributing grants differently, as well
as pressure them into recruiting more "diverse" board and staff members.
The NCRP report picks up on this theme to suggest that foundation boards
and staffs should include people with a "diversity of perspectives."
Earlier this year, the Council on Foundations, an umbrella organization
for philanthropies, released a study called "Diversity and Inclusion:
Lessons from the Field," in which the leaders of several foundations
touted new steps they were taking to "embed diversity and inclusive
practices" into their organizations. The head of the W.K. Kellogg
Foundation, for example, wrote that his organization decided to "strive to
be an anti-racist institution." Representatives of the Jessie Smith Noyes
Foundation offered a head count of their board. The original donor,
Charles Noyes, had chosen "family, friends and business associates as
board members, all white with similar life experiences," they said, but
now the foundation's board is 41% people of color and 71% female. The
California Endowment bragged that it is giving money to Hispanics in
Philanthropy and Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues.
Does any of this have anything to do with effective giving? The National
Committee for Responsive Philanthropy begins its report with the premise
that a grant maker "best serves the public good by contributing to a
strong participatory democracy that engages all communities."
Really? What about the foundations founded to save whales or cure heart
disease? Do they need to contribute to a participatory democracy? And who
decides if a foundation is giving to a "marginalized" community anyway?
The idea, put forward in the report, that giving grants to "large cultural
or educational institutions" doesn't benefit minorities is offensive.
Black people don't go to museums? Hispanics don't go to college?
Looking at the recipients of some grants doesn't tell you anything about
who the real beneficiaries are. The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is
devoted to reforming K-12 education. It gives plenty of grants to white
men studying schools. But if these grants lead to real reforms, presumably
the biggest winners will be racial minorities, who are most at the mercy
of bad public education. Eric Osberg, vice president of Fordham, finds the
idea behind the NCRP report "worrisome." He says, "We see ourselves
serving all communities by advocating more school choice, higher standards
and better teachers in the classroom."
Which brings us to another one of NCRP's recommendations -- that at least
25% of grant dollars be used for "advocacy, organizing and civic
engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice in our society."
This might be a worthy mission, but whose mission is it? Philanthropists
give money to foundations with a particular cause in mind. And promoting
"justice in our society" may not have anything to do with it. Indeed,
foundations that redirect funding to match the NCRP criteria may have to
violate donor intent in order to do so.
The best way for a donor to make sure that his money is given for the
purposes he wants is to choose people for his board who agree with him.
Whether these people are family members, co-religionists or old college
buddies, what is important is that they share his philanthropic vision.
This seems to be of little importance to the folks at Greenlining, the
Council on Foundations and the NCRP. The committee's report argues that
"diverse groups make better decisions and that a minimum of five people
are needed for a plurality of perspectives to reflect collective or social
preferences." But foundations are not legislatures, and their purpose
isn't to reflect the preferences of society as a whole.
This same coalition of groups has argued that because foundations are
tax-exempt organizations, they should yield to pressure to serve public
interests. But by this logic, the public has a right to tell you what to
do with your house because you took a mortgage deduction on your income
taxes last year.
If foundations are supposed to align their funding with public
preferences, then why should they give grants at all? Why not just direct
donor checks to the IRS? Indeed, if every foundation adhered to NCRP's
recommendations, the world of philanthropy would look curiously
monolithic. The diversity among foundations is not measurable by
simplistic racial and gender head counts.
What makes Americans give billions each year is not pressure from
activists or government mandates. It is a diversity of interests, freely
chosen and passionately pursued.
Ms. Riley is the Journal's deputy Taste editor.

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