Friday, March 30, 2007

A Passover Story

A Passover Story

By Steven Plaut

Once upon a time, somewhere in the steppes of Eastern Europe, in the
Pale that contained many a Jewish village or stedtel, there roamed two
beggars. One of these hoboes was Jewish and the other a gentile. The two
transients were friends and far too lazy to hold any real job or to do any
work. So they wondered carefree, aimlessly and uselessly from village to
village, begging for food, sometimes collecting discarded things to sell,
here and there stealing some eggs or fruits off farm trees. It was a hard
life and they often found themselves on the brink of starvation.

One day the two were looking for someone from whom they could "shnorr"
some food when they came upon a Jewish village, a stedtel, whose residents
were all buzzing about, hurrying, scouring pots and pans, cleaning their
homes and cooking. The Jewish beggar suddenly realized that it was but a
few hours before Passover was to begin. "We have extraordinary good luck
today," he said to his gentile comrade. "Tonight begins Passover, a Jewish
holiday. Indeed, it is in many ways the happiest holiday of the year, with
mountains of food and drink. So here is my plan. Let us come into the
village just before evening. We will stand in the back of the synagogue.
We will tell them that you and I are both Jewish wanderers, far from home,
traveling to do some trading and seek our fortunes. And the local Jews will
invite us to the most wonderful banquet of our lives!"

His gentile comrade agreed to the plan. They entered the village
towards sunset and stood in the back of the "shul". And just as the Jewish
beggar had predicted, the plan went off like clockwork. The locals competed
with one another to see who would have the honor of hosting one of the
beggars at his own Passover seder. In the end, two families were selected.
After the evening prayers, the Jewish beggar went off to feast with one
family, while his gentile friend, pretending to be Jewish, went off to dine
and celebrate with another family.

The gentile beggar's mouth was already watering with the thought of the
wonderful delicacies he was about to devour. His belly was grumbling with
anticipation. But things were not going the way he had expected.

His hosts ushered him into a chair at a large table, set with candles
and many empty dishes. In the center, however, he saw nothing but some
pathetic hard boiled eggs, a few leaves, and a single small shank bone of
meat. "This for the entire assembly?" he thought. Then, instead of
pouncing on the food, his host poured everyone a single cup of wine, but a
small one. The beggar guest would have preferred a large bottle of vodka or
a barrel of gin or even some German beer.

But things just got worse. His hosts finished drinking their small
glasses of wine and then offered everyone at the table a few small leaves to
nibble. Not even enough to satisfy a rabbit! And they even insisted that
he dip these into an awful salty solution, which only made him more thirsty
and desperate to drink some real grog. Then to celebrate this "meal", they
broke into song and laughter, which went on for a whole hour.

When he was expecting them to serve him his dessert, they handed him
instead a piece of bread, but not one like anything he had ever seen before.
It was dry, evidently having been left out in the sun for a week, and barely
resembled real bread. It was hard and it crackled when he chewed on it.
Moreover it was served plain, with no oil or molasses or fat. "This is the
feast my friend promised me?" thought the beggar to himself. This is the
mountain of food these Jews eat to celebrate their happiest holiday?

And then just imagine his horror at what came next. Each of the
people at the table was given the most bitter and disgusting glob of
horseradish, something he would never ordinarily eat even if he were
famished. They even blessed God when they swallowed that horrid-smelling
and evil-tasting slop!

Convinced the "meal" was over, the beggar excused himself, said he was
needed elsewhere with great urgency, and left his hosts with an apology. He
then wandered the streets of the village, looking for his Jewish beggar
mate, preparing to thrash him in rage and scream at him for his empty
promise of a full stomach and a glorious meal.

It was only four hours later that he found his Jewish friend. The
Jewish beggar was wandering through the alleys, his shirt buttons popping,
his belly overfull, picking at his teeth, belching his pleasure. He was so
full of food that he could only walk along at a relaxed pace, humming to
himself with pleasure. His gentile friend was so weak with hunger that he
was unable even to pummel his friend. The Jewish beggar examined his
starving comrade with surprise. "What happened?" he asked. "Some feast you
promised me!" said the other. And then he told the Jewish beggar what had
happened, how his hosts had offered him a thimble of wine, less than a
handful of pathetic leaves in brine, a stale piece of bread of some sort
with nothing on it, and - In the names of all Saints - some horrid bitter
glob. "At that point I decided enough is enough," he explained, "and I got
up and left."

The Jewish beggar could not control his laughter. You do not
understand, he explained. Those were simply the earliest preliminaries of
the feast. You have snatched hunger from out of the horn of cornucopia!
Had you stuck things out for just a few more minutes, you would have been
served the most sumptuous feast of your life, a meal for kings, food that
would have sufficed you for a whole week of wanderings. There would have
been more food than you could eat, fish, eggs, meat, delights you can only
imagine, along with wine and drink. But you see, you abandoned hope only a
few moments too soon. Had you just a little more patience and
determination, you would have a belly filled to bursting. It would have
been one of the happiest nights of you life. Because you were impatient,
you spoiled everything."

* * * * *
* *

The story of the two beggars is not a fairy tale nor a goodnight
fantasy for children. The gentile beggar in the story, the one who spoiled
everything because of his own ignorance and impatience, is the state of
Israel. Like the gentile beggar who did not understand where he was nor
what was going on, like the fool who misunderstood the preliminaries as the
entire meal, the state of Israel was on the verge of entering the most
wonderful, prosperous and liberated period of its existence in the early
1990s. Had it listened to the Jewish beggar, all would have been well.
Had it found patience and stamina to stick things out for just a little
longer, it would have achieved its deepest desires and fulfilled its
strongest yearnings.

By 1990, the "first Palestinian intifada" had been defeated, suppressed
by force of Israeli arms. The dimensions of Palestinian violence were
dropping each month. It would likely have been ended altogether had Israel
used more vigorous force against it. Those Israelis saying they thought
Israel should use MORE force to end the violence outnumbered those saying
less force should be used by perhaps four to one. It was a near-consensus.
Israelis were in no mood to appease or capitulate.

The intifada violence that had begun in the late 1980`s had petered
out, with fewer and fewer incidents of violence by the month and with the
terrorists so desperate for weapons that they were concocting zip guns out
of household materials and Molotov cocktails, far more likely to scorch the
throwers than any targets. The best that the terrorists could do in most
cases was to toss rocks at Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip or in parts of
the West Bank, a phenomenon that was unpleasant, but not life-threatening,
and certainly was no existential threat to the entire country. Other parts
of the West Bank were fairly tranquil, including Bethlehem and Jericho.
Jews could walk or ride in security in many parts of the "occupied
territories" and in all of Israel.

The leaders of the Palestinian terrorists were off in distant Tunis,
with a few others in Damascus, places from which they could do little more
than pout and bluster. The world -- or at least the United States -- had
made its peace with the Israeli position that the PLO was not an acceptable
partner in any Arab-Israeli peace talks and that the most that Palestinian
Arabs could hope for would be a limited autonomy, with no role whatsoever
for the PLO. There was enormous support in the United States, and in parts
of Europe, for Israel's position that limited autonomy without the PLO was
more than generous and the best for which the Palestinians could hope, a
fair and just solution. Even the Egyptians were formally on board behind
that program. The Jordanian border was tranquil and the impoverished
Syrians afraid to risk any confrontations. Sure, the world belly-ached
when Israel used force to suppress the rioters and rock-throwers. But -
within Israel - there was near-consensus that the cause for the rock
throwing and Palestinian hooliganism was the use of insufficient force by
the Israeli army, not Israeli "war crimes" and brutality.

Few took seriously the notion that Palestinians were a "people"
deserving of their own state. Israelis were willing to treat them as the
Palestinian branch of the Arab people, entitled perhaps to control their own
lives and conduct their own local affairs - in exchange for foreswearing
violence, and this was a formula backed by the United States. While a few
demagogues in the US spoke about a Palestinian "state" and "people", this
was not the American official position. Calls for "self-determination" for
Palestinians were something usually restricted to the Third World dictators
or the anti-American leftist extremists in the West. Israelis themselves
were in near-consensus that Palestinian "statehood" was a nonstarter, and
that limited autonomy for Palestinians alongside Jewish settlement of the
West Bank and Gaza were the only plausible long-term peace strategy.

Things became even more encouraging when the United States trounced
Iraq, after Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Israel had earned American gratitude
and support for its own interests by sitting tight and turning the national
cheek when Saddam hurled his SCUD missiles at Tel Aviv. Americans were
angry at Arab aggressors and looking to kick Arab fascist butt. The PLO had
lost any residual sympathy it might have had in the United States and parts
of Europe when it chose to play the role of cheerleader for Saddam's
aggression against Kuwait. The Israeli public still had fresh memories of
the Palestinians dancing on their roofs when Saddam's SCUDs fell, and there
were very few in Israel who were willing to listen to anything about
"Palestinian rights". After their behavior in the Gulf War, even a head of
the semi-Marxist Meretz party stated that the Palestinians could go get
stuffed. There was virtually no sympathy for the idea of making any further
"goodwill gestures" to the Palestinian barbarians who had danced in glee and
screamed, "Saddam, Saddam, Incinerate Tel Aviv."

In the early 1990s, the Israeli economy was booming, riding the crest
of the high-tech revolution. The country was being flooded with immigrants
from the countries that had comprised the Soviet empire. They were arriving
with their economic drive, their advanced degrees and skills, together with
others from Argentina and France. The standard of living in Israel had
reached the levels of the middle tier of Western European countries.
Israelis enjoyed their Scandinavian-style welfare benefits, their
almost-free medicine, their world-class universities. While many Israeli
Arabs voted for the anti-Zionist Stalinist Party to show their contempt for
their own country and their solidarity with its enemies, many others did not
and voted for the Zionist parties, maintaining cordial relations with Jews.
Tourism was recovering, as the intifada violence was suppressed. Even the
weather cooperated, with some wet winters, and the Sea of Galilee even burst
its banks, full of water.

And into this near-pastoral tranquility burst the Oslo ``peace
process", led by the ignorant beggar who did not understand that the
greatest of feasts was nigh. Oslo was based on the proposition that
economic interests and consumerism had replaced military power as the
determinants of international relations in the post-modern world. It sought
to reduce tensions with the Palestinian Arabs, who had just been defeated in
their intifada, by importing the PLO`s leadership from Tunis and Damascus
into the ``occupied territories`` and then allowing it to arm itself and
build up an army in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, bankrolled and
armed by Israel itself. Like the beggar who snatched starvation from the
jaws of plentitude, the Israeli government of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres
succeeded in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They turned the
near-tranquil Israel of the early 1990s into the Shadow of the Valley of

Peres and Rabin became convinced that the most promising path towards
peace was Israeli capitulation to Arab demands and appeasement of the
planet's worst Islamofascist terrorists. Peres and Rabin lectured the
country about how there was not peace because the Israelis were not strongly
desirous enough of it. They believed that the best strategy for achieving
Middle East peace was to flood Israel with billboards and bumper stickers
about how nice peace is and how nasty war is. The Israel Left used its
control of the government and mass media to attack the Israeli soul and
morale, hectoring Israelis about their "insensitivity" to the Palestinian

The PLO was invited into the outskirts of Israel's main cities. It set
up an army of tens of thousands of soldiers, now controlled by the Hamas,
possessing anti-aircraft missiles that threaten Israeli civilian and
military air traffic, and a system of police-state control over the
Palestinian population. The Palestinian stormtroopers possess anti-tank
weapons, Katyusha rockets, and al-Kassem rocket factories. The Gaza Strip
is today a large mortar and rocket factory. The goodwill measures of Israel
produced a campaign of Nazi-like hatred led by the Palestinian Authority,
down to and including virulent Holocaust denial accompanied by Holocaust
justification (never mind the contradiction).

Oslo was based on the proposition that armies are obsolete and so also
is patriotism, that appeasement of fascist terrorists is the surest path to
true peace, that Israeli self-abasement is the highest form of patriotism,
that cowardice is the highest form of valor, that the best way to end war is
to pretend it does not exist. The Rabin-Peres government adopted as its
mantra that old Peter and Gordon song, "I don't care what they say, I won't
stay in a world without love." Peres and Beilin decided that if reality is
ugly and tough, the solution is to live in fantasy. They refused to live in
a reality in which war is present and where people can not solve their
conflicts through building tourist hotels and internet web services.

Years into the ``peace process,`` Prime Minister Ehud Barak was ready
to hand over to the PLO the Old City of Jerusalem, including control over
the Western Wall, in addition to slabs of pre-1967 Israeli territory in the
Negev -- all this while the Palestinians were routinely murdering Jewish
civilians, many of them children. The PLO`s response to Barak's
obsequiousness was to launch a new war against Israel in the form of the
"Al-Aqsa intifada".

The Oslo era was accompanied by a massive assault upon Israel`s pride,
morale and confidence by its own leaders and intellectual elites. Israeli
intellectuals lectured the country about its original sinfulness. Israel
was flooded with ``New Historians`` and ``Post-Zionists`` who zealously set
about the task of rewriting history texts and school curricula to promote
the Arab ``narrative`` -- i.e. the false Arab version of history. Large
swaths of Israeli universities became the occupied territories of tenured
traitors, working for the enemy, seeking the destruction of their own

Israeli politicians, ever attentive to the zeitgeist of trendy
secularism, announced themselves ready to strip the country of all of its
Jewish national emblems, from the star on the flag to the words of the
national anthem. And, after 1,300 years of discrimination against Jews by
Arabs, Israeli politicians were implementing ``reverse discrimination``
programs, under which Arabs received preferences and Jews suffered from

One after the other, Israeli politicians mouthed the post-modernist
gibberish of the anti-Israel choruses from overseas -- how Israelis need to
stop ruling over another "people", how they have to learn to understand the
"Other," how they must bring themselves to commemorate the ``tragedies`` the
Jews had imposed upon the Arabs and make restitution. The Israeli public
school system was conscripted to proliferate Arab ideology. Israeli
politicians and leftist professors seriously proposed that Israel create a
National ``Naqba`` Day, in which it atone for the very fact of its creation
and the ``catastrophe`` that this creation caused to Israeli Arabs.

The Israeli media bludgeoned the country on a daily basis, promoting
Palestinian propaganda in editorials, Op-Ed columns and even ostensibly
objective news stories. This Israeli self-flagellation produced a situation
whereby each and every atrocity committed by Arabs was greeted with calls
from the Israeli chattering classes for further concessions and appeasements
by Israel. Some, including tenured extremists at the universities, went so
far as to justify and celebrate Arab acts of terror as necessary to force
Israelis to come to their senses and make peace on terms favored by these
extremists. The Left promoted insubordination and mutiny by soldiers in the
military, and some endorsed boycotts of Israel by overseas anti-Semites.
The Israeli press adopted the practice of overseas Israel-Bashers in
referring to Palestinian nazi terrorists and suicide bombers as "activists
and militants".

For 15 years the Israeli elites lived in a make-pretend world, in which
Jews were to blame for everything and Arabs were merely expressing
``frustration`` at being ``mistreated`` for so many years by Jews. The
psychological war by Israel`s elites against national pride, dignity and
self-respect -- indeed against national existence -- was accompanied by a
set of diplomatic policies expressing little more than self-loathing.

Israel was pursuing a policy that in effect let no act of Arab
violence go unrewarded. Ehud Barak surrendered to terror and withdrew
Israeli troops from Lebanon, and in so doing placed all of northern Israel,
the Haifa Bay and its refineries within rocket range of Hizbullah. Syria,
despite decades of aggression, sponsorship of terrorism and
government-sanctioned Holocaust denial, was begged by the same Barak to take
back not just the Golan Heights but also parts of pre-1967 Israel with
access to the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Miraculously, Syria turned down
the suicidal offer. The Israeli national policy of self-abasement was
accepted with equanimity by much of the Israeli public, which hoped against
hope that its leaders` promises of a light at the end of the Oslo tunnel
would come to pass. There was no light, other than from the flashes of
exploding buses full of children.

The 1990`s were the era in which it became evident that a great many
Israelis and most of the Israeli elite had lost their will to survive as a
nation. After centuries in which Jews maintained the most militant sorts of
pride and self-assurance even while being mistreated, despised and
humiliated, here were the Israelis, possessing one of the great armies of
the world, abandoning all pride and explicitly promoting self-humiliation
and self-destruction. The same Israeli military that had rescued the
Jewish hostages in Entebbe was suddenly incapable of rescuing a wounded IDF
soldier bleeding to death in Joseph`s Tomb in Nablus or protecting children
under fire in Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Here was an Israel unwilling to use force to prevent Palestinians from
firing rifles and mortars into civilian homes, instead begging the
Palestinian Authority to hold talks with those doing the shooting in order
to ``work out differences and reach understandings.``

An Israel no more than two generations removed from the Holocaust was
willing to hold ``peace talks`` with people who denied there ever was a
Holocaust and who insist that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make
Passover matzos. The same Jewish people that had fought against enormous
odds and won in 1948 was acquiescing in a ``peace process`` that involved
unilateral peace gestures from Israel in exchange for the Arabs continuing
to make war against the Jews.

Israel's leaders were given a very clear choice in the early 1990s.
They could have followed the lead of the Jewish beggar, hold back their
appetites for just a bit longer and defer their gratification just a bit,
suppressing the residual of Palestinian violence and denazifying the West
Bank and Gaza. And then they would have enjoyed a sumptuous Passover feast
like none before it. But they chose to behave like the foolish gentile
beggar in the story who had no idea of what was going on, who let his hunger
get the best of him, and who stormed out of the feast in irritation, just
before the delights of the feast were to begin in earnest. Because of
Israeli frustration at Palestinian guttersnipes tossing rocks at Israeli
troops, Israel swapped them for suicide bombers exterminating hundreds of
Jewish children and other civilians in Jerusalem and Haifa.

Is the foolish beggar still with us? That impatient one who does not
understand the rules of the seder? The one who is unwilling to control his
hunger pangs for just a little longer? Can we bring back the Jewish beggar
who correctly understands the rituals of the seder and understands Jewish
heritage, who knows how to wait patiently and achieve the delightful bloated
belly of satisfaction and prosperity?

I search, but do not find him anywhere. I do not know where he has

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Golden Reign of President Tibi the First

The Golden Reign of President Tibi the First

By Steven Plaut

The following is taken from Chapter 12 from the 10th grade history
textbook in use in the United Federation of Palestine, copyright 2013.

It was back in the glorious year of 2007, which was exactly 1429 years
since the Hijra, when Ahmad Tibi became President of Israel. That
auspicious development took place under some unusual arrangements in
Israel regarding the role and functioning of the President of the Jewish
state. Moshe Katsav had been President for some time when he was forced
to step down, due to his being indicted for sexual misconduct. Under
those circumstances, Israeli law declared that the Chairperson of the
Knesset assumes the position of Acting President in Israel. In the case
of the Katsav deposal, the Chairperson of the Knesset was Dahlia Itzik
from the Israeli Labor Party, who immediately assumed the mantel of Acting

Now under the rules governing the acting presidency, Itzik served as
Acting President for only as long as she was in the country and was
physically capable of fulfilling the presidential duties.

Things began to unravel when Itzik decided to attend a professional
conference on the educational merits of cosmetics, held in the Cayman
Islands, those very same islands in which so many Israeli politicians kept
their bank accounts back then. While she was basking in the Caribbean
sun, Itzik turned over the reins of the presidency to the deputy
chairperson of the Knesset, according to the operating rules for such an
event. And that is how Ahmad Tibi, the Deputy Chair of the Knesset,
became the Acting President of Israel in late 2007.

Tibi, unlike Katsav and most of the previous presidents of Israel, was
determined not to serve as a mere figurehead and butt of mockery heading a
powerless presidency. Tibi decided to harness the powers of clemency
granted to the President under Israeli law in order to promote his
political agenda.

That agenda of course was Israel's complete dismemberment and
annihilation. But President Ahmad Tibi was willing to restrain himself
and act cautiously and wisely.

His first order of business was to prevent the return to Israel of Dahlia
Itzik, which would have required that he turn back over to her the
President's Mansion in Jerusalem and the presidential powers. To prevent
that tragedy, he began a process of negotiation with all Labor Party
politicians facing impending indictment or imprisonment. He offered to
grant them blanket clemency in exchange for their voting to remove Itzik
from her position in the party and for ordering her to resign as Knesset
Chairperson. At the same time, Itzik's cooperation was assured when a
number of Hollywood ex-Israelis in the entertainment business made Itzik a
fabulously attractive offer to begin starring in films.

Having dealt with the immediate threat of being forced out of the
Presidency by Itzik, President Tibi then approached the Likud politicians
facing imminent indictment and imprisonment. He promised all of these
blanket clemency in exchange for stripping Katsav of his residual claims
on the presidency and for conferring them formally and permanently upon
Tibi himself. Hence, President Tibi was no longer merely the Acting
President, but was the actual ninth president of the sovereign state of

President Tibi invited representatives of the Hamas and the Islamic
movement of northern Israel to the President's mansion to help him
celebrate his successful appointment. The gala celebration lasted 4 days.
Because the kosher cooking staff had been evicted from the mansion, the
Israeli Labor Party and Meretz were the only Zionist Knesset factions to
send representatives to the festivities.

Once the place was cleaned up, President Tibi could get down to serious
business. He approached the major political factions in the Knesset.
Playing one off against the other, he threatened each party to retract his
previous promise to grant clemency to party members facing imminent
indictment and imprisonment, but would reconsider and restore his previous
pledge as long as they assisted him in imposing his political vision and
agenda on the country.

Of course President Tibi was too clever to attempt all at once to bring
about the dismemberment and abolition of the Jewish state. Instead, using
his powers of clemency as the whip to keep the ornery politicians in line,
Tibi introduced new government decisions one at a time, in a sort of
salami tactic.

The first step was to make sure that Israel would not re-conquer the Gaza
Strip and drive out the Qassam rocket crews. So President Tibi introduced
the New Gaza Policy, under which Israel would exercise self-restraint and
respond to barrages of rockets or teams of suicide bombers entering from
Gaza with passive restraint and turning the other cheek. After each
attack, the country would simply call for more talks with the Hamas
government of the Palestinian Authority. Israel would also do absolutely
nothing against the operation of countless smuggling tunnels into Gaza
from Egypt.

Next, the government under the guidance behind the scenes of President
Tibi changed its Lebanon policy. Israel announced that in the event of
Katyusha attacks on northern Israel, the most that Israel would do in
response would be to bomb some empty buildings inside Lebanon. Israel
would decidedly NOT send in any ground troops. It would also express
willingness to negotiate the disputed Shabaa Farms territory.

After this, the new government, obeying its puppet-master President Tibi,
agreed that it would reward all Arab terrorist groups that manage to
kidnap Israelis by turning over to them hundreds of imprisoned Palestinian
terrorists. All the past squeamishness about "terrorists with blood on
their hands" was of course forgotten. Israel agreed to free hundreds of
imprisoned terrorists even when the kidnapped Israelis in question had
been murdered in cold blood during captivity.

That accomplished, the Tibi government began an initiative for a repeat
implementation of the ideas behind the Gaza "redeployment" in the West
Bank. The government announced that it was willing to cooperate with the
Saudi "Road Map" master plan, as well as with the outline for peace
prepared by the "Quartet". It accepted the Mecca arrangement by which the
Fat'h and the Hamas shared power in a government that refused to recognize
Israel, and Israel would immediately open talks with its representatives.

President Tibi was well along in his plans to abolish Israel when the most
amazing development of all took place. The Kadima faction in the Knesset,
led by Ehud Olmert himself, approached President Tibi with an official
protest. "Everything you have done so far - the New Gaza Policy, the new
policy of restraint regarding the Hizbollah, the redeployment initiative
for the West Bank, the wholesale release of imprisoned terrorists . ALL
these are really OUR policies and OUR ideas. We are outraged!"

President Tibi, being a modest and restrained sort of person, listened to
the complaints from the Olmerites from Kadima and took them all under
consideration. Rather than slapping Kadima down and dismissing its
members for their impudence, threatening to revoke his pledge of clemency
for all Kadima members facing imminent imprisonment and indictment,
President Tibi chose the path of accommodation and compromise.

"Here is what I suggest," responded President Tibi to the Kadima
complaint. "Rather than quibble over who deserves credit for all these
wonderful policies and strategies, let us simply combine forces and work
for our joint goals together!"

And that was when Kadima and the Raam-Taal party decided to merge to form
one single umbrella political faction, calling itself "Raadima", although
the press dubbed them the "Tiberts". The Tiberts recruited new members
from among Arabs and Jews from across the political spectrum. Its
platform and visions appealed to many politicians from the Likud and the
Labor Party. Meretz refused to join because the Raadima party did not
promise an immediate return to the 1947, one without any negotiations.

The Raadima faction swept the next elections and formed a government
coalition capable of implementing its peace plan at last. And that is how
Israel ceased to exist and was replaced by the United Federation of
Palestine, with capital in al-Quds.

For the history of the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Haifa, Tel Aviv
and Beer Sheba, see the next chapter in this textbook.

2. The War against Israel:

3. Aussie Nazis:

4. Three Cheers for Daniel Doron:

5. On refusing to learn:,7340,L-3382260,00.html
and also,7340,L-3382250,00.html

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Choir Performance about Terrorism

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Canadian Choir Finds a Terrorist - Samson!

The National Post of Canada, ever vigilant to report about political
correctness atrocities north of the border, reports this week that the
Victoria Philharmonic Choir will be performing a new work showing the
Biblical Judge Samson as a suicide-bombing murdering terrorist, similar to
those Palestinian terrorists so beloved by the PC crowds. The National
Post reports:

"Simon Capet, music director of the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, says he
wanted to update Handel's Samson oratorio to be relevant to today's
audiences by drawing comparisons to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East."
University of Victoria's view of Biblical Judge:

A pro-terror moonbette, the philosophy professor Shadia Drury, recently
compared Samson to World Trade Center bomber Mohammed Atta in a talk at
the University of Victoria, claiming that the Jews in the Bible invented
terrorism. Andrew Rippin, dean of humanities at the University of Victoria
and a specialist in Islamic studies, seems to concur.

I mean, Samson as long-haired vigilante bashing the rival gang members,
that I could see. But ironically, the Canadian moonbats attacking Samson
are simply recasting themselves as Philistines. But in order to know that,
they would have had to read the Bible.

They would much rather read al-Jazeera.

2. About those po' Israeli Arabs:

3. Racist Haaretz labels French Zionist professor "racist"

4. The Price of Palestinianism:

5. The Oslo Dayenu

When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Arafat would pursue peace.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Hamas would be more of a threat to the PLO than to Israel.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Arafat would fight the Hamas and Islamic Jihad "with no Supreme Court
or 'Betselem'" (in Rabin's immortal words).
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that terrorism would decrease.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that hostility to Jews in the Arab and the Western media would decrease.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that trade between Israel and Arab countries would flourish.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Palestinian Authority would be disarmed.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the PLO would cooperate strategically with the Israel Defense Forces.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that there would be an economic peace dividend.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Israeli Arabs would demonstrate increasing moderation due to the
"peace process".
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Hamas and Jihad would be persecuted and suppressed by the PLO.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that PLO arms would never again be used against Jews.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the PLO leadership would speak in terms of peace with the Jews.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the PLO would denounce and renounce anti-Semitism.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the PLO would encourage normalization and daily peaceful commerce
between Arabs and Jews.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Palestinian Authority would be forced to spend all its energies
on resolving domestic social and economic problems.
But they were ever so wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Palestinian Authority would have so many internal troubles that
it would not have the time or ability to pursue confrontation with Israel.
G-d, but they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the US would back Israel if the PLO reneged on its obligations or
displayed duplicity.
What a joke, they were so wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the US would cease to pressure Israel to endanger its security and
fundamental interests.
But they were mega-wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Europeans would rush forward to support Israel.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Japanese and Saudis would pour money into regional investments,
including into Israel.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Egyptians would end all animosity towards Israel, Zionism and
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the non-Arab Moslem countries would gush friendship for Israel.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Arab military expenditure would drop significantly.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Arab verbal threats against Israel would end.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Nazi-like propaganda in Arab countries would end.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Israeli Left would lead the retreat from the Oslo experiment it
if proved to be not working.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the Palestinian Authority would never behave as a tin cup Third-World
kleptocracy if granted power.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Jews remaining in Moslem countries would see their treatment
dramatically improved.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that liberals and leftists around the world would congratulate Israel for
taking risks for peace and rush forward with goodwill and support.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that the majority of Palestinians would denounce all violence and terror.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Israeli Arabs would exhibit moderation and increasing loyalty to the
state of Israel.
But they were wrong.
When they forced Israel to commit Oslo, the Israeli politicians assured us
that Palestinian chants of "Death to the Jews" and "Massacre the Jews"
would end.
But they were wrong.

Dayenu. Any one of these errors in judgment should have been enough to
end the career of a politician in a normal country, possibly even enough
to indict that politician and imprison him or her. But in Israel? The
politicians prepare for negotiations on the Saudi Plan and prepare for new
unilateral withdrawals from Judea and Samaria.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Is Marijuana Kitniot?

1. Important Passover Message
This is a special message with important information for all readers of
Tikkun Magazine. You know, Tikkun - the pro-drugs Sixties-fixated hippy
magazine for aging New Agers.

I am afraid I have some bad news for all you Tikkun fellas and gals out
there. It seems that there is some fear that your marijuana counts as
hametz because it contains kitniyot. According, you may have to get rid of
it before the holiday or sell it back to your supplier (but not at a
profit because that would amount to earning prohibited neshech interest on
the funds you had on deposit).

According to the Jerusalem Post this week, six rabbis in Israel were
interviewed about this cosmic issue. The conclusion?

As Rabbi Daniel Kohn of Bat Ayin explained, the issue ultimately boils
down to an individual decision by each rabbi about whether hemp seeds
themselves could be considered edible. If a rabbi decides that the seeds
are edible, then hemp - and, by extension, marijuana - would not be
considered permissible for Pessah. Israel's Green Leaf Party ("Aleh
Yarok") said it was not taking any chances. Following an inquiry by the
Post, a spokeswoman for the party said the group was sending out an e-mail
to members warning them about hemp's possible kashrut problems.
The pro-marijuana Green Leaf Party by the way has no Knesset parliamentary
reps. It just runs in each election so that Tikkun readers can vote for

Now if marijuana really is a form of kitniot, it raises several questions.
Can one smoke it the morning before the Seder as part of biur chametz?
What about selling it to one's non-Jewish pothead friends before the
holiday under a repurchase contract, to be restored to previous owners
after the last day of Passover? Are such contracts kosher? We are waiting
for Rabbi Cheech and Rabbi Chong to publish an authoritative opinion about
that in the Tikkun Passover issue.

Tikkun readers have already suffered a great deal for their devotion to
the commandment to smoke marijuana and get as stoned as the two tablets.
In the Shulkhan Arukh, marijauana plants or cannabis are already
prohibited for use as Succah coverage. They cannot be held together with
the lulav as a sort of Fifth Kind of Fifth Min. The Orthodox establishment
has failed to endorse the psak of several Tikkun Rabbis holding that
smoking hashish on the sabbath is not only permitted but is downright

The Jerusalem Post cites Dan Sieradski, an editor at who has
been at work on a book on Jews and drugs for several years. "Clearly, you
can use hemp in food (during Pesach)," he said. "You might mix it into
brownies. You aren't going to make bread out of it."

It is so tough being an observant Tikkun reading Jew....

2. Fighting Campus Pogromchiki:

3. Olmert's new Plan:,7340,L-3380891,00.html

4. Ethical Barometer:

5. Funding Terror University:

6. Israel's "College of Management" plans a one-sided anti-Israel
"academic" conference on the "occupation" of Hebrew, together with the
pro-terror anti-Israel "Association for Human Rights in Israel." See
where they advertise their "conference":

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Progressives" Against the Exodus, by Daryl Temkin

1. In his Jerusalem Post column this past weekend, Jonathan Rosenblum,
one of the Post's best columnists, wrote:

"No doubt the hatred directed at Jews and Israel wearies the soul. And
even more so the piling on of so many Jews here and abroad in that hatred.
Amnon Rubinstein described in Haaretz a few weeks back how the academic
discourse in many Israeli humanities and social science departments takes
place exclusively from Meretz leftwards. The president of one of Israel's
leading universities told him there are departments in which no one
espousing a Zionist worldview would be accepted."

2. Romancing Stalinism in NY:

Romancing Trotskyism in Israel:

3. New "rabbinic" moonbat:

4. "Progressives" Against the Exodus
March 20, 2007
By Daryl Temkin, Ph.D.
Why did Moses have to stop and take notice of that burning bush? Couldn't he have
simply walked past it and not have engaged in conversation?
In a progressive view, Moses became a radical Egyptophobe who publicly denounced
the terrible conduct of the Egyptian taskmasters, slave owners and, worse, he discredited
the words of Pharaoh. Moses exposed Pharaoh and embarrassingly demonstrated that
he was not a "moderate". But in spite of a mountain of evidence, the progressive
view insisted that Pharaoh's political leadership was just fine. Moses' view was
marginalized and seen as alarmist and extremist.
The "progressive" slaves hated Moses' freedom campaign because they saw it as disruptive
to Egypt, and a justification for anti-Jewish protests. The progressive intellectual
slaves proclaimed Moses to be a stupid stutterer who couldn't even pronounce basic
words. Although all the documents of Egypt consistently pressed for the annihilation
of the Jews, the progressives argued that Pharaoh was really benign and had recognized
the existence and rights of the Nation of Israel -- it was only for political reasons
that Pharaoh couldn't publicly state his recognition.
Two professors from the prestigious Nile University published research which indicated
suspicion that the Israelite nation was not politically supportive of Egyptian attitudes
and was organizing to achieve its own goals. Progressive slaves quickly argued in
favor of continued Jewish enslavement.

The fact that Moses the radical wanted the Jews to abandon Egyptian enslavement was
a terrible affront to Egyptian taskmasters and was a reason to initiate widespread
anti-Semitism. The progressives claimed that if the Jews would only stay and cooperate
with the Egyptian plan to kill them, then hatred of the Jews would not have to be
       The progressive slave position declared
that Moses was an "imperialist expansionist" whose goal was to have the Jews leave
Egypt and become a free people in their own land.  Leaving Egypt meant that
the Jews were planning to conquer the entire universe. The progressives warned that
the Jews who entered the Sinai desert would be the beginning of an unbearable occupation
and would create an unsightly refugee problem of Jews living in makeshift tents for
decades. The world would be in constant fear regarding where the Jews would settle
and which indigenous population would be displaced.
       In the face of trying to negotiate with
an administration that doesn't recognize you, Israel embarked on a unilateral decision
to leave Egypt.  The progressives protested the decision claiming that it
was misguided, it wouldn't lead to the betterment of the Israelites, and that the
Egyptians were given virtually no choice in the matter.
       By leaving Egypt, the Jews robbed the
Egyptians of their slaves.  Robbing a nation of its slaves was a human rights
violation of the Ramsee Convention's Protection of Slave Owners' Rights.  At
the Nile International Court of Justice, crowds of progressives joined Egyptians
chanting, "Give us back our slaves so they can serve us."
       The prosecution's legal argument stated
that the slaves couldn't leave Egypt because that would cause an enormous loss to
Egyptian brutality and would basically destroy Egyptian brick production.  The
price of bricks would skyrocket and cause the collapse of the international brick
       Progressive slaves joined the Egyptian
conspiracy theory stating that the Jews knew the opening and closing times of the
Red Sea and therefore planned the entrapment and destruction of Pharaoh's army.  Furthermore,
they claimed that the Israeli apartheid leaders had filled Egyptian swimming pools
with blood so that an entire generation of Egyptians couldn't learn how to swim.
 The enormous damage caused to Egypt with the loss of countless waterlogged
chariots, army uniforms, drowned horses and soldiers would be the fault of the Jews. 

Egyptian historians conducted conferences to prove that the Jews never belonged in
Egypt and that they only came to steal the Egyptian land.  Yet, the Egyptian-Goshen
two state solution was touted by progressives as being a safe and secure living condition
that would guarantee Jewish enslavement.  The security fence surrounding
Goshen would comfort Egyptians that no slave would ever escape.
       Moses realized that no matter how hard
Jews slaved away for the Egyptians, and no matter how many "Nile Prize" science awards
the Jews would earn, the Egyptians would continue publishing anti-Semitic school
textbooks.  No matter how perfect the Jews would be, the Egyptian media
would continue preaching that the Jews are the usurpers of the land, pariahs and
blood sucker expansionists whose only interest was to rob Egypt and to push the Egyptians
into the sea. In response to the blatant Egyptian anti-Semitism, the progressive
slaves chose to be silent and just act as if nothing was wrong.
       Using magical thinking, the progressives
claimed that eventually Egypt would recognize the Israelites and the Egyptian taskmasters
would stop killing Jews for sport. The progressives claimed that everything would
be fine if only  Moses would stop his demands and the Israelites would behave
as model cooperative slaves.  But if Moses continued to demand freedom and
liberty, the Egyptians and the world would be forced to hate the Jews.
       Although the progressive slaves would
fight ferociously for other people's right to be free, when it came to themselves,
it was better that they remain a no-people with no rights and no-land, and let the
nations of the world decide where and what should be done with them.
       Then, the progressives turned the discussion
of freedom up-side-down. They claimed that Moses was the real threat to the Jews,
not Pharaoh, and that Moses was the enslaver. They claimed that the world hated the
Jews because of Moses' plan to take the Jews beyond their borders.  The
progressives just wanted to be loved by those who articulated their plans to kill
       Pharaoh preached that he wasn't anti Semitic
-- after all, he was a Semite; so how could he be called anti-Semitic?  Pharaoh
was just "anti-Israel".  He just didn't want the Jews to go off and become
their own people in their own land. The fact that he made it legal to kill, murder,
and abuse the Israelites was just a minor detail which human rights groups would
choose to ignore.
       It is estimated that 80% of the Egyptian
Jews were against the Moses plan of seeking personal and religious freedom.  If
there had been a democratic vote, Moses would have been defeated by a landslide,
imprisoned, and likely lynched.
       The 80% of the slave community who sounded
so rational in their refusal to leave Egypt vanished; some say they disappeared during
the biblical Plague of Darkness.  Basically, they became invisible because
their beliefs led to the erosion and dismantling of the Jewish mission.
       How different are things today?  The
official progressive position is that Israel must work at becoming loved. They are
to accept Hamas and its non-recognition of Israel's existence Palestinian Unity Government.
Israel is expected to make more high risk concessions and accept more security restrictions.
 As Pharaoh of old, the new "PA Unity Government pharaoh" wants the same:
to make the lives of the Jews more vulnerable with very few rights to self protection,
fewer rights to self-preservation, and basically a renewed enslavement.
       Progressive, which means "to progress",
needs to be renamed, perhaps more accurately, "recessive".  For all who
consider what the Jews have brought to this world to be of great value, had the so-called
"progressive" ideology prevailed, the whole world would have all remained in a plague
of darkness.

Daryl Temkin is the founder and director of theIsrael Instiuteand can be contacted
at: [].

5. Fighting the Israel=Apartheid Moonbats:

6. Bringing back the Z word:

7. Next campus to be Ben Gurion University?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Israel's Politicians Get Tough with Crime!

SO let's se if we have all of this clear. The Minister of Finance
is evidently a crook who stole oodles and got caught trying to transport a
quarter million dollars in evidently criminal cash out of Poland. (Caught
by the Poles!) And the Israeli media and police hush it up for ten years.
Not a whisper in the press.
Then nary a day goes by without new information
about Olmert's own criminality. The heads of the income tax
administration get arrested for taking bribes. Haim Ramon gets convicted
for sexual harassment but is still Olmert's choice to replace the current
Minister of Finance when HE goes to prison. Ehud Barak, probably the
most corrupt politician ever to head the Labor Party, is the leading
contender to take it over again and has never been indicted for HIS many
corrupt financial dealings. Amram Mitzna was never indicted for his dirty
deals with oligarchs and just managed to hornswaggle the taxpayer into
subsidizing housing in his new hangout Yeruham in enormous amounts. Half
the mayors in Israel should be in prison for intentionally creating
astronomical deficits that the Histadrut wants to dump on the taxpayer.

The Olmert junta is trying to suppress information
on its colossal failure in the war last summer. Maariv reveals that one
of the katyusha missiles Ehud Barak placed in Lebanon landed smack in the
middle of the Haifa refineries and only by divine intervention did not set
the place ablaze, giving off poisonous gas. And the paper says there were
OTHER hits still classified.

And after ALL of that, who is actually going to jail? Poor little Naomi

Who? Naomi Blumenthal was a Knesset backbencher in the Likud. Frankly
I never liked her and think she is a fool. However, she is also one of the
politicians in Israel LEAST deserving of being imprisoned. Her heinous
crime? At a Likud primaries evening vote, she paid for some hotel rooms
for party central committee voters who lived too far to go home after the
vote and who cast votes for the Likud slate composition.

It is not even clear that there is anything wrong with that. So Naomi
just lost her last appeal and will do prison time to create the impression
in the press that Israeli politicians are intolerant of criminality and

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is the American Jewish Committee now Promoting the "Apartheid Israel" Libel?

1. The Socialist Workers endorse the Holocaust Denial Neo-Nazi
"cartoonist" Latuff:
Latuff won the Iran Holocaust Denial cartoon contest and is best known for
his caroons showing Ariel Sharon eating Palestinian children and Alan
Dershowitz masturbating.
He is close chums with Norman Finkelstein.
For a sampling of his filth, see this:

2. You know how the very liberal American Jewish Comnittee has a rep
among the moonbats for being rightwing? It is because the AJCommittee
nominally sponsors Commentary Magazine.

Well, now it appears that the AJCommittee is jumping on the Bash-Israel
Bandwagon and endorsing some of those assertions that Israel is an
apartheid regime. At least so says the Meretz USA web site here:

"Among the guest speakers who dropped by briefly, were Columbia U.
president Lee Bollinger (an impressively thoughtful individual) and Todd
Gitlin (the 60s-era radical and today's prominent liberal academic)....
The major distinction that was made is between those who use the
Apartheid analogy for 'eliminationist' or 'unconscionable' purposes -
with the intend of undermining Israel;s existence as a Jewish state - and
those (like Carter) who employ the analogy for 'conscionable' reasons, to
eliminate the inhumane hardships and injustices that the Palestinians
endure under occupation. The main difference of opinion seemed to be on
whether to simply refute or dismiss the Apartheid analogy or to allow the
truth of valid criticisms of Israeli policies. In the end, there was
consensus that a good response to the Apartheid analogy can be a nuanced
statement that would contain the following elements: 'Apartheid is not
the issue' but the issue includes ending settlement expansion and
occupation on the one side and the need to end violence and terror on the

Israel of course is the only Middle East regime that is NOT an
apartheid regime. So non-eliminationist assertions that Israelis an
apartheid regime are suddenly kosher for the AJCommittee members? Maybe
the AJCommittee will next claim - non-eliminationally of course - that
Israel was behind the 911 attacks on the US? Or that Jews drink gentile
blood for Passover?

Want to tell the AJCommittee heads what you think?
American Jewish Committee
P.O. Box 705
New York, NY 10150
(212) 751-4000
Fax (212) 891-1450

E. Robert Goodkind, President
David A. Harris, Executive Director
with more officers here:

Is Jerome M. Segal Repudiating his past Intifada against Israel's Existence?

1. The War in America against Israel:

2. Raping as Resistance:
Where are the feminizts?

3. Peace Now lies its toosik off:,7340,L-3379237,00.html

4. Is Jerome M. Segal Repudiating his Past Crusade against Israel?

Jerome Segal has long been considered by many to be one of the most anti-Israel Jews alive.Long acting as little more than a spokesman in the service of the PLO, the University of Maryland faculty member founded the pro-Palestinian "Jewish Peace Lobby," which would have better been named the Jewish self-annihilation lobby.He supported Israel turning Jerusalem over to the Palestinians.

He supported the Rwanda "bi-national state" solution to remove the problem of Israel's existence. He claims to have written a "constitution" for the state of "Palestine." He shilled for the Palestinian "right of return." He scribbled Israel-bashing screeds for The Nation.

Well, is Segal suddenly having second thoughts? Unfortunately, only in Hebrew, the very same Israel-bashing fella writes in YNET that there is no international legal justification for a Palestinian "right of return." Segal suddenly insists that there is no legal basis for it at all and that it is a stupid and harmful idea, adding that the only way to settle past scores is through compensation for losses of property.

First Benny Morris partly recants his old anti-Zionism, and now Mister Jewish Intifada follows in Morris's footsteps? I'd like to be the first to welcome Segal back to the Planet Earth.

Anyone spotted the Messiah coming?

5. Free Speech only for the enemy!

6. March 22, 2007
Free Speech Battles
Wall Street Journal:


Bong Hits 4 Jesus -- Explained
March 22, 2007
In a better world, the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" would take its place in
the library of eternal mysteries alongside "Bye-bye Miss American Pie," "I
Am the Walrus" and "It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding." Instead, it fell
Monday to the Nine Interpreters of the U.S. Supreme Court to deconstruct
"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" and decide for the rest of us whether it falls inside
the protections of the American Constitution.

Perhaps an explanation is in order.

Morse v. Fredericks, aka Bong Hits 4 Jesus, is a First Amendment
free-speech case. The phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" came to life as a 15-foot
banner, which Joseph Fredericks, a senior at the high school in Juneau,
Alaska, unfurled directly across from the school entrance as a parade
passed by bearing the Olympic torch for the 2002 Olympics. Whereupon, the
school's principal, Deborah Morse, ordered Mr. Fredericks to take down his
banner and later suspended him.

Some definitions: As defined by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, "A
bong, also commonly known as a water pipe, is a smoking device, generally
used to smoke cannabis [aka marijuana], but also other substances." The
entry also explains a "hit." "The user places his/her lips on the mouth
piece, forming a seal, and inhales. An inhalation is known as a 'hit'."
(For the still curious, the Wikipedia entry is long and lovingly prepared,
with beautiful color photos of bongs and explanations of "bong water" and
"health benefits.")

Principal Morse, who had had other run-ins with Mr. Fredericks, believed
his sign was undermining the school system's anti-drug policy, and so took
action. Within months, Mr. Fredericks sued, assisted by the Alaska Civil
Liberties Union, claiming violation of his free-speech rights.

Some history: Lawsuits over the free-speech rights of schoolchildren exist
because the Supreme Court legitimized them in 1969. Several years earlier,
a 13-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy decided to wear black armbands to
their schools in Des Moines, Iowa, to protest the Vietnam War. The schools
had a policy against wearing symbolic armbands at school and warned they'd
be suspended. They showed up with the anti-Vietnam armbands, were
suspended and in what today is the landmark Tinker case for school
"speech," Justice Abe Fortas famously wrote that students do not "shed
their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the
schoolhouse gate."

Two later cases, Fraser and Kuhlmeier, refined Tinker's scope, which we'll
see shortly is the background to one of the most hilarious -- and
revealing -- exchanges at oral argument ever in a school free-speech case.

In the years since, school officials and lower courts have struggled with
Tinker. The Massachusetts Supreme Court said a T-shirt, "Coed Naked Band:
Do It to the Rhythm," was protected speech. But schools in several states
have banned a T-shirt with "Abortion is Homicide. You will not mock my
God." (Religious groups filed amicus briefs for the Juneau "bong" banner
because they want similar protections to wear anti-abortion shirts and the
like.) A federal appeals court in California said schools could ban a
T-shirt calling homosexuality shameful because it was "injurious to gay
and lesbian students and interfered with their right to learn." But a
federal court in Ohio conferred constitutional protection on a shirt with:
"Homosexuality is a sin! Islam is a lie! Abortion is murder!" All these
cases involve public schools.

There are legal blogs on the Web which try to predict Supreme Court
rulings. Many say the result in the "Bong" case is a close call.

Should we care? Are we past caring?

Here is Chief Justice Roberts Monday on applying the First Amendment in
Juneau: "You think the law was so clearly established when this happened
that the principal, that the instant that the banner was unfurled,
snowballs are flying around, the torch is coming, should have said oh, I
remember under Tinker I can only take the sign down if it's disruptive.
But then under Fraser I can do something if it interferes with the basic
mission, and under Kuhlmeier I've got this other thing. So she should have
known . . ."

The lawyer for "Bong" replied that the principal took a course in school
law and so had studied Kuhlmeier, Fraser and Tinker. Chief Justice Roberts
replied: "So it should be perfectly clear to her exactly what she could
and couldn't do." The lawyer: "Yes." Justice Scalia: "As it is to us,
right?" (Laughter in the court.)

The Nine Interpreters know that Tinker has produced a morass since 1969.
Justice Roberts said, "I thought we wanted our schools to teach
something." A school isn't an "open forum," remarked Justice Scalia, "it's
there for the teachers to instruct." Justice Ginsburg wondered about
"reasonable rules of decorum." Justice Breyer ridiculed case-law standards
in these fights: "I don't think [the principal] has to be able to read
content discrimination, viewpoint discrimination, time-place. He doesn't
know the law, the principal. His job is to run the school."

Well, it used to be.

We live in hyperpoliticized times. With the Web drawing ever-greater
numbers into the daily game, no political offense is too slight to raise
waves of high dudgeon. And they roll into the schools. Justice Breyer
worries about "people testing limits all over the place in the high
schools." I worry about dumbing down the schools to the current level of
politics in the adult world.

Rather than just fiddle with the dials on the school-speech contraption,
the solution would be to take Tinker and throw it out the window. But they
won't. They'll tinker, telling us what to do, but unable to give coherent
reasons why we should do it.

The pious extension of First Amendment speech rights amid Vietnam from
adults to students prior to college was a mistake. The Bong case may be
another nail in the coffin of public schools. Parents, including liberals
who can afford it, will quicken the trend to sending their children to
private schools whose principals can exercise real discretion and in loco

One argument for the say-it-loud status quo is that kids should be free in
school to learn how "to deal" with different viewpoints. I'd bet all nine
Justices went to high schools with principals who put learning first and
Tinkered "speech" in its place. It doesn't seem to have stopped them from
growing up to drive people nuts with their opinions.

URL for this article:

Hyperlinks in this Article:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Setting the Record Staright! The Spokeswoman for Ben Gurion University Lied!

Since controversy has arisen about just what the President of Ben Gurion University did or did not say in her controversial interview about donors to her own school and about her own politics, we decided to set the record straight. Here are the exact words of Prof. Rivka Carmi from the interview in the relevant segments thereof. They are quite different from what the spokeswoman for BGU claimed in a letter to the Jewish Press.

The interview with Carmi appears in "Academia". Winter 2007. Academia is usually posted on this web site in Hebrew: however the web site is about a year in arrears and the current issue is not up there yet.

The Carmi interview is entitled "That's Right, I am a Big Dreamer", and stretches over several pages, starting page 34 and ending page 40. The article and interview are by Judy Lutz (I do not know much about her).

Much of the interview is not political nor controversial, and because it is so long, I am skipping non-relevant sections.

Near the beginning, Carmi is asked by Lutz: "Would you like to see students demonstrating on other issues (besides tuition)?" Carmi's response cited by Lutz: "Absolutely. Especially on social issues. And that is one of the reasons why I went out to them to the protest to greet and commend them. Because in my opinion now is the time to address social issues."

Lutz: "And if they had been standing there and chanting "End the Occupation/Conquest (Kibush in Hebrew), would you have gone out to greet them?"

Lutz writes that after a pause Carmi responds, "I believe so. Especially on THAT issue I would have trouble NOT going out to commend the students. You ask me what I would do if there was a protest in favor of something I oppose ideologically? I believe that I would NOT go out to greet the protesters. Those are the limits I set for myself. Not to lie to myself and shake hands with those with whom I disagree."

A few lines later, Lutz writes, "Carmi grew up in a socialist home and she remained loyal to the socialist ideology that she picked up in her youth and she answers candidly all questions that have political implications. She is cautious in her words but uncompromising. Her personal truth is important to her."

That is followed by about 2 pages about her election as BGU CEO and the fiscal situation at BGU. Then on page 36 Lutz asks her, "Lately there has been in the air the threat of a boycott on academic institutions of higher learning in Israel. Can you imagine circumstances under which you would endorse such boycotts of any institution?"

Carmi: "Only if I were to observe some crime within the academic club. I have considered this question and read the book 'Reading Lolita in Tehran', in which the author describes the terrible things that go on within the walls of academia, kidnappings, disappearances, and so on. If I were to have first-hand testimony about such things going on in any academic institution I would endorse a boycott, but only if there were real crimes and not just rumors."

Lutz: "And those periodic attempts in England to boycott Israeli universities are unacceptable for you?"

Carmi: "Of course. They involve no academic nor scientific thinking. I expect academics to pursue truth but what they are doing is superficial and populist."

Lutz: "Maybe that just expresses disappointment with Israeli academics. In a different interview you said that academics well earned their reputation for being inferior."

Carmi: "Not inferior but for being a closed ivory tower cut off from reality…"

A bit lower down, Lutz asks: "Universities are places in which people of spirit and culture develop for our future, and who - if not the academics - need to express an opinion about issues with universalist values such as the tearing out of olive trees belonging to Palestinians by settlers or the killing of children."
(Note, these are common and false smears against 'settlers' by the Israeli leftist media. -- SP)

Carmi: "To my regret even universal values today have political meaning. Every value that I considered absolute as a youth turns into, 'It all depends on how you look at it.' Recently I myself participated in a protest against the uprooting of Palestinian olive trees, but now.... (stops in mid sentence)."
(Note she did not mention going to any protests against terrorists murdering Jews – SP)

Lutz: "And if they were to write that the President of Ben Gurion University went out to protest against uprooting olive trees, what would then happen?"

Carmi: "The point is that as a university president you are not a private person and must be balanced."

Lutz: "And if a professor of literature were to express his opinion on this issue and gets a headline?"

Carmi: "Such things have already transpired. Medical doctors from here (BGU) went to the 'occupied territories' during difficult times to help Palestinian patients."

Lutz: "And how would you react to that as university president if your response were requested? Would you call them (the radical faculty) to order, encourage them, or ignore them?"

Carmi: "The problem is the image that could be created for the university by the behavior of individuals. Extremist behavior causes an image of extremism to attach to the university. There are sometimes terrible pressures on the university from donors. I raise here the issue of ethics and donations. Unfortunately we are all dependent on donations. So ask me how far donors should be allowed to go in dictating the university's agenda!" (emphasis added)

Lutz: "Ok, I am asking."

Carmi: "One needs to tiptoe as if among glass shards. I thought a lot about the question of where my red line is and where I would simply tell a donor - thank you very much I am foregoing your contribution."

Lutz: "You mean by threatening not to make a donation a donor can dictate the limits of academic freedom?"

Carmi: "Unfortunately there is that possibility. I do not know how often such things really happened but the danger is there and anyone who says it is not is simply lying. I do not want to say that we are confronted by this every day. Thank God, the statistics show that most people are in the center (politically? -- SP). Once they get explanations from us they usually understand that we are talking about legitimate academic discourse. But in extremist cases could a donor find our explanations unconvincing and condition his donation?" (Implying the answer is yes)

(The next topic of the interview is the public debate in Israel over whether to grant the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel status as a university. Carmi explains why she is opposed. More hypocrisy over pluralism? The rest of the interview is about other topics. The only other political matter is where Carmi expresses opposition to conducting special university programs for police officers and Shin Bet intelligence officers, an issue that has been a matter of debate in Israel, with the Left opposed to the programs.)

Spokeswoman for Ben Gurion University in the US turns to McCarthyist Lies

So let us see if we have this straight. Ben Gurion University's new
president shoots off her mouth in an interview and makes derogatory
comments about donors to her own university. That triggers roars of
outrage around the world. The head of the American Associates of Ben
Gurion University then decides that **I** am responsible for the whole
affair, and that there are no faculty at BGU who are calling for Israel to
be destroyed, that non-leftist Jews in the US have no right to express
their opinions (especially not if they are associated with the Zionist
StandWithUs group), unlike leftist Jews in the US like the one serving
as the head of the "American Associates of Ben Gurion University" (who
evidently does not know Hebrew). What am I talking about? See the
bottom 3 letters at
Note her gratuitous comments about that mysterious "BGU slanderer
convicted of libel in Israel."

What triggered that outburst from her is this article by Allyson Rowen
Taylor's description of Carmi's words in the controversial interview is
far closer to the truth than Saal's.

The Cult of Corrie

1. The Cult of Corrie:
Klingons Upon You, Rachel Corrie

2. Jewish Anti-Semitism again:

3. What is a "peace activist." In memory of Tanya Reinhardt.

-Prof. I. Barr,
Michigan, USA.
We were informed that Tanya Reinhardt died in her sleep in her apartment
in New York. She was called a "linguist" expert in syntax and probably
some other linguistic issues. She was called also a "peace activist."
Linguistically the words "peace activist" have the positive connotation
that a peace activist is not only a good person but that he/she is better
than most of us because this person is active. Most of us want peace. Go
to anybody in Israel or West Bank and even in Gaza and you find a majority
that wants peace. To be an activist you have to show the world that you
are doing something, to demonstrate your feelings. Those who are in
government or institution can plan steps that promote peace, a road map, a
series of agreements and alike. The plan for peace is known in advance and
thus may or may not be supported by the interested parties. An agreement
between two different groups of citizens should be an agreement that is
local and not dictated by outside institutions or countries. Heads of
state and their cabinet as rulers who have to come up with decisions and
are responsible to their consequences. "Peace activists" want their voices
to be heard. They do not necessarily have a comprehensive plan for peace.
They quickly understand that the louder they scream, the more extreme they
are, their voices are more likely to be heard. To say that you are for
peace is not enough. Most of us are such. But it is the psychology of "man
bites a dog" which makes news. The more extreme are the allegations the
more "peace activist" you are. So you wave the flag that you are Jewish
and than you say that you are Israeli too. You get some audience. But then
you have to come with more statements, Israeli are racist, do ethnic
cleansing, kill Arabs, occupation, Apartheid state, paria state and "worse
than the Nazi" and now you have a stronger title than your professorship:
You are an internationally renowned "peace activist." At this stage the
renowned does not have to come with a comprehensive peace plan. You trash
the Oslo peace accords and every agreements that were made between Israel
and the Palestinians. You blame Israel for war crimes while developing a
tunnel vision: you look only at Israel and it's deed. Every deed is
inherently bad, but the Palestinians never ever do anything wrong. There
is no mention of homicide bombing in Tanya Reinhardt book. It simply did
not happen. If Israeli civilians are killed it must have been done by IDF
itself to justify the "occupation." Indeed, many doors were opened for her
in the anti Israel anti-Semitic arena. The Palestinian media and activists
accepted her with open hands and probably were one of those who financed
her. But where is her peace plan if she is a "peace activist"? Reinhardt
claimed free speech, yet free speech is a privilege that has to follow
certain rules otherwise it is not free speech but a fascist dictate. Free
speech has to be fair, balanced and accurate. Otherwise free speech
becomes demagoguery. Free speech which criticizes has to allow to be
criticized. She published articles in Counterpunch knowing that this anti
Israel journal does not accept criticism and thus you can load your
articles with falsehoods, misrepresentations, exaggerations and straight
forward lies. You can ignore the Palestinians, Hamas, Hizballah, Islamic
Jihad and alike as if Israel exists in a vacuum. While doing so Reinhardt
did not carry any responsibility, she was not fair and was far from being
balanced. Her peaceful activism turned into bitter hate. Now Israel has to
be boycotted at any level, commerce, academia, culture and alike. This she
thought "peacefully" will force Israel to accept her theory that Israel is
illegitimate. Thus it came to the fact that the University and College
Lecturers' Union (NATFHE) voted for a motion to boycott Israeli academics
who do not condemn Israel's "Apartheid policies." Reinhardt was, of
course, accepted with open hands. Academic freedom, freedom of speech from
which Tanya was nourished did not matter. She was spitting into the well
from which she was drinking water. Tanya Reinhart did not leave behind any
significant linguistic research material, but she left behind tones of her
papers and lectures against Israel and by inference the Jews. One wonders
when did she have time to teach, to fulfill her duties at the University
of Tel Aviv, a duty for which she was paid. What did she really teach? Was
she indoctrinating her students? Was she able to separate her political
world from her academic duties? It seems that in reality she did not
advocate peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israeli. Rather
she did what ever she could to widen the gap and to delegitimize Israel,
to prefer Arab domination over Jewish right to exist. Tanya Reinhardt does
not deserve the title "peace activist." We only hope that she will not
become the Shahid of the radical left academics who are trying to follow
her steps.

4. From the WSJ:
March 21, 2007

KSM's Confession
March 21, 2007; Page A19

Last week Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) admitted to having been responsible
for planning no fewer than 28 acts of terrorism, including the horrific
September 11 attacks, from "A to Z." The sensational confession, made
during a military hearing at Guantanamo Bay, raises a number of serious
questions -- most pointedly about the decision of the 9/11 Commission to
rely on the CIA for information about this terrorist leader, who was
captured in 2003.

Although the 9/11 Commission identified KSM as a key witness in the World
Trade Center and Pentagon, it never was allowed to question him or his CIA
interrogators. Instead, the staff received briefings from a CIA "project
manager" -- who was himself briefed by other CIA case officers on what KSM
had putatively revealed during his interrogation. As the 9/11 Commission
chairmen noted, this was "third-hand" information; but it allowed the CIA
to fill in critical gaps in the commission's investigation. Now KSM's
claims throw this reliance on the CIA into question.

Consider the Feb. 26, 1993, attack on the north tower of the World Trade
Center. A 1,500 pound truck bomb was exploded by Islamist terrorists,
intending to topple the building. Over 1,000 people were injured, and
eventually five of the perpetrators, including the bomb-builder, Ramzi
Yousef, were caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Yousef is a relative of KSM, and was involved with him in a subsequent
plot to blow up U.S. airliners. Nevertheless, the 9/11 Commission
concluded that KSM had played at most a "cameo role" in the 1993 attack,
limited to providing Yousef with $600 and having a few phone conversations
with him. And it based this conclusion largely on the CIA briefings of
what KSM had said during his interrogation.

According to the CIA, for example, KSM had maintained that "Yousef never
divulged to him the target of the attack." The 1993 WTC bombing,
therefore, appeared unrelated to the 9/11 attack -- and so the 9/11
Commission had no need to investigate it, or the conspirators involved in

In his confession, however, KSM says that he was responsible for the WTC
bombing. If so, both it and 9/11 are the work of the same mastermind --
and the planning, financing and support network that KSM used in the 1993
attack may be relevant to the 9/11 attack. Of especial interest are the
escape routes used by Abdul Rahman Yasin and Ramzi Yousef, both of whom
helped prepare the bomb and then fled America.

Yasin (who is not even mentioned in the 9/11 report) came to the U.S. from
Iraq in 1992, at about the same time as Yousef, and then returned to Iraq
via Jordan. Despite being indicted for the World Trade Center bombing, and
put on the FBI's list of the most-wanted terrorist fugitives with a $5
million price on his head (increased to $25 million after 9/11), Iraqi
authorities allowed Yasin to remain in Baghdad for 10 years (In 2003,
after the U.S. invasion, he disappeared.)

His co-conspirator Yousef, who entered the U.S. under an alias on an Iraqi
passport (switching passports to his Pakistani identity), escaped after
the 1993 WTC bombing to Pakistan, where, after being involved in another
bombing plot with KSM, he was arrested and is currently in a U.S. prison.
But if indeed KSM had been behind the 1993 bombing -- and the 9/11
Commission had not been told the opposite by the CIA -- the question of
what support KSM had in recruiting the conspirators and organizing the
escape routes of the bomb makers would have become a far more pressing
investigative issue for the commission.

Of course, KSM's credibility is a very big "if." He might have lied in his
confession about his role in the 1993 WTC bombing; he might have lied to
his CIA captors (which itself would say something about the effectiveness
of their aggressive interrogation); or, in selecting bits and pieces out
of their full context, the CIA project officer may have accidentally
mis-briefed the 9/11 Commission staff.

But at the root of the problem is the failure of the commission itself to
question KSM. This was not for lack of trying. The commission chairmen
fully recognized the need to gain access to the author of 9/11, and took
note that their staff was becoming "frustrated" at their inability to get
information from KSM and other detainees. On Dec. 22, 2003 -- with less
than seven months remaining before they had to deliver their report --
they brought the problem up with George Tenet, then CIA director. He told
them, point blank, "You are not going to get access to these detainees."

The commission considered using its subpoena power, but was advised by its
general counsel that since KSM was being held in a secret prison on
foreign soil, it was unlikely that any court would enforce a subpoena. The
commission also decided against taking the issue public, believing it
could not win in a battle with the administration, at least in the time it
had left. So, lacking any viable alternatives, it allowed the CIA to
control the information it needed from KSM and other detainees.

The result is that basic issues concerning KSM's interrogation -- and the
dozens of crucial citations in the 9/11 Report -- are now in such doubt
that 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey suggested last Sunday, in his Daily News
column, that KSM be put on trial in New York, where presumably he could be
properly cross-examined. While that remedy may be far-fetched, some
resolution of this investigative failure is necessary.

Mr. Epstein is writing a book on the 9/11 Commission.

URL for this article:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


by Martin Peretz - The New Republic
Post date: 02.02.07
Issue date: 02.12.07

George Soros lunched with some reporters on Saturday at Davos. He talked
about spending $600 million on civil society projects during the 1990s,
then trying to cut back to $300 million, and how this year it will be
between $450 and $500 million. His new projects aim, in Floyd Norris's
words, to promote a "common European foreign policy" (read: an
anti-American foreign policy) and also to study the integration (or so he
thinks) of Muslims in eleven European cities. He included among his dicta
a little slight at Bill and Melinda Gates, who "have chosen public health,
which is like apple pie." And then, after saying the United States was now
recognizing the errors it made in Iraq, he added this comment, as reported
by Norris in The New York Times' online "Davos Diary": "To what extent it
recognizes the mistake will determine its future." Soros said Turkey and
Japan were still hurt by a reluctance to admit to dark parts of their
history and contrasted that reluctance to Germany's rejection of its
Nazi-era past. "America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in
Germany. We have to go through a certain deNazification process."

No, you are not seeing things. He said de-Nazification. He is not saying,
in the traditional manner of liberal alarmists, that the United States is
now where Weimar Germany was. He is saying that the United States is now
where Germany after Weimar was. Even for Davos, this was stupid. Actually,
worse than stupid. There is a historical analysis, a moral claim, in
Soros's word. He believes that the United States is now a Nazi country.
Why else would we have to go through a "certain de-Nazification process"?
I defy anybody to interpret the remark differently. The analogy between
Bush's America and Hitler's Germany is not fleshed out, and one is left
wondering how far he would take it. Is Bush like Hitler? If it is
"de-Nazification" that we need, then in some sense Bush must be like
Hitler. Was the invasion of Iraq like the invasion of Poland? Perhaps. The
more one lingers over Soros's word, the more one's eyes pop from one's
head. In the old days, the Amerika view of America was propagated by angry
kids on their painful way to adulthood; now, it is propagated by the
Maecenas of the Democratic Party.

But nobody seems to have noticed. I did not see Soros's canard reported in
other places, and on the Times' website on the day I saw it there were
only four comments. Imagine the outcry if a Republican moneybags--say,
Richard Mellon Scaife--had declared that Hillary Clinton is a communist or
that Bill Clinton's America had been in need of a certain de-Stalinization
process. But I hear no outcry from Soros's congregation. People who were
repelled by Bush's rather plausible notion of the "axis of evil" seem
untroubled by Soros's imputation of even worse evil to Bush. Because Bush
really is a fascist, isn't he? And Cheney, too; and Donald Rumsfeld, and
Antonin Scalia, and even Joe Lieberman, right? Or so I fear too many
liberals now believe. There seems to be a renaissance among liberals of
the view that there are no enemies to the left. I hear no Democrats
expressing embarrassment, or revulsion, at Soros's comment. Whether this
silence is owed to their agreement or to their greed, it is outrageous.

But if Soros lives in a Nazi state, what does that make him? I still
recall Karl Jaspers's devastating point, in The Question of German Guilt
in 1947, that every German shares in the guilt of Hitlerism. Such guilt
was not, in Jaspers's mind, an abstraction or a purely political matter.
But Soros does not appear to accept any responsibility for the Nazi-like
crimes he ascribes to the United States. Perhaps he thinks that, having
contributed $18 million to elect John Kerry in 2004, he was an American
hero, a dissident, a resistance fighter, the Grill Room's representative
of the White Rose. And if, in 2008, Soros's gang comes to power, how will
de-Nazification work? Whom shall we send to prison? Perhaps we should
prevent everybody who voted or argued for the war from running for office.
At the very least, the neocons must be brought to justice. (Maybe Ramsey
Clark can represent them.)

hat makes Soros's remark even more twisted is that he himself experienced
something of Nazism. He was 14 when the Nazis entered Budapest. On
December 20, 1998, there appeared this exchange between Soros and Steve
Kroft on "60 Minutes":

Kroft: "You're a Hungarian Jew ..."
Soros: "Mm-hmm."

Kroft: "... who escaped the Holocaust ..."

Soros: "Mm-hmm."

Kroft: "... by posing as a Christian."

Soros: "Right."

Kroft: "And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death
Soros: "Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my
character was made."

Kroft: "In what way?"

Soros: "That one should think ahead. One should understand that--and
anticipate events and when, when one is threatened. It was a tremendous
threat of evil. I mean, it was a-- a very personal threat of evil."

Kroft: "My understanding is that you went ... went out, in fact, and
helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews."

Soros: "Yes, that's right. Yes."

Kroft: "I mean, that's--that sounds like an experience that would send
lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it

Soros: "Not, not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't ... you
don't see the connection. But it was--it created no--no problem at all."

Kroft: "No feeling of guilt?"

Soros: "No."

Kroft: "For example, that, 'I'm Jewish, and here I am, watching these
people go. I could just as easily be these, I should be there.' None of

Soros: "Well, of course, ... I could be on the other side or I could be
the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense
that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny
way, it's just like in the markets--that is I weren't there--of course, I
wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away
anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a
spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in
taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt."
So this is the psychodrama that has been visited on American liberalism.
We learn Soros never has nightmares. Had he been tried in a
de-Nazification process for having been a young cog in the Hitlerite
wheel, he would have felt that, since other people would have confiscated
the same Jewish property and delivered the same deportation notices to the
same doomed Jews, it was as if he hadn't done it himself. He sleeps well,
while we sleep in Nazi America.

oros is ostentatiously indifferent to his own Jewishness. He is not a
believer. He has no Jewish communal ties. He certainly isn't a Zionist. He
told Connie Bruck in The New Yorker--testily, she recounted--that "I don't
deny the Jews their right to a national existence--but I don't want to be
part of it." But he has involved himself in the founding of an anti-aipac,
more dovish Israel lobby. Suddenly, he wants to influence the character of
a Jewish state about which he loudly cares nothing. Once again, he bears
no responsibility. Perhaps his sense of his own purity also underwrites
his heartlessness in business. As a big currency player in the world
markets, Soros was at least partially responsible for the decline in the
British pound.

Forget my differences with Soros's Jewishness. Call it shul politics. But
the characterization of the United States under Bush as Nazi is much
bigger, and more grave, than shul politics. It casts a shadow over U.S.
politics. In the same conversation at Davos, Soros announced that he is
supporting Senator Barack Obama, though he would also support Senator
Hillary Clinton. So my question to both of those progressives is this:
How, without any explanation or apology from him, will you take this man's

Martin Peretz is editor-in-chief of The New Republic.

2. Supreme Court Sleaze:

3. The New Blood Libel

New York Sun Staff Editorial

March 19, 2007

Since at least the Middle Ages, the approach of Easter has been marked
anti-Semites who make the false allegation that Jews slaughter gentile
children and use their blood to bake unleavened bread for Passover.
alleged bloodthirst among the Jews is a classic anti-Semitic myth,
known as
the blood libel, that has been used over the years to justify the
killing of many actual Jews.

This holiday season, a new blood libel is being bandied about, though
wielding it would be appalled to think they are dealing in the same
They are, after all, neither Cossacks nor rednecks marauding through
woods of Eastern Europe or the American South. We are not saying they
anti-Semites. They are a two-time Pulitzer-Prize winner and a
philanthropist, writing in publications that appeal to an intellectual
audience in America.

Here's the two-time Pulitzer-winner, Nicholas Kristof, in yesterday's
York Times: "B'Tselem, a respected Israeli human rights organization,
reports that last year Palestinians killed
17 Israeli civilians (including one minor) and six Israeli soldiers. In
same period, B'Tselem said, Israeli forces killed 660 Palestinians,
the number killed in 2005. Of the Palestinians killed in 2006, half
were not
taking part in hostilities at the time they were killed, and 141 were

Here is the billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, writing in the
York Review of Books of April 12: "The current policy of not seeking a
political solution but pursuing military escalation - not just an eye
for an
eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one -
reached a particularly dangerous point."

Aside from the fact that Israel was being attacked by the Palestinians
withdrawing to the 1967 borders of the Gaza Strip, here's some context
Mr. Kristof left out. B'Tselem is funded by German church groups, the
governments of Switzerland and the European Union, and the same Ford
Foundation that underwrote the anti-Israel agitation that preceded the
United Nations' Durban conference.

Moreover, the statistics Mr. Kristof cites don't include Israelis
killed by
other Arab terrorists working in league with the Palestinian Arabs and
funded by the same Iranian terror master. In 2006, that included 43
civilians and 117 Israeli soldiers who were killed in the war with
Lebanese-based Hezbollah. The B'Tselem statistics do include - but Mr.
Kristof omits - the 55 Palestinian Arabs killed in 2006 by other
Arabs, a figure to which can be added another 84 killed in intramural
violence in January and February of 2007.

For these deaths, it seems Mr. Kristof hasn't yet figured out how to
the Israelis. Nor does Mr. Kristof's selective use of the B'Tselem
statistics include the Americans and those from other countries who
killed by Palestinian Arab terrorists, such as Daniel Wultz, a
from Florida who was slain in a 2006 suicide attack on the old central
station in Tel Aviv.

More broadly, both Messrs. Soros and Kristof ignore an essential
The Israelis are out to minimize both their own casualties and those of
noncombatants behind whom their enemies hide. They build bomb shelters
every building and have established a culture where civil rights
independent commissions, and a Supreme Court investigate allegations of
misconduct beyond the collateral damage that is an inevitable
consequence of
any war.

The Palestinian Arabs, in contrast, are out to maximize casualties,
their children as suicide bombers in hopes that they will become
so that gullible Westerners who haven't thought the matter through will
their deaths to extract concessions from Israel. The Palestinian Arabs
attack Israeli civilian targets such as pizza parlors, banquet halls,
wedding parties, and buses as a matter of policy, while the Israeli
goes to great lengths to avoid targeting civilians.


Given Mr. Soros' significance as the moneybags of the activist core of
Democratic Party, it is going to be illuminating to see how the party
to the billionaire's call for the party to "liberate itself from
influence." In his New York Review of Books piece Mr. Soros comes
close to buying into the whole paranoia of Professors Mearsheimer and

Mr. Soros, who describes himself in the New York Review of Books as
a Zionist nor "a practicing Jew," claims to have a great deal of
"for my fellow Jews" plus "a deep concern for the survival of Israel."
says he is prepared to be subjected to "a campaign of personal
vilification." We don't desire to vilify either Messrs. Soros or
nor do we draw any conclusions about their motives. At a certain point,
though, people stop caring about what their motives are.

The fact is that they write at a time when a war against the Jews is
underway. It is a war in which the American people have stood with
for three generations. The reason is the same that moved America to
take the
side it took in the war against the Nazis and communists, from whom Mr.
Soros fled as a youth in Europe. The reason is that Americans are wise
enough to understand which side in the war against the Jews shares our
values - and to sort out the truth from the libels.

4. More NY Slimes:

5. March 20, 2007

Straight Talk on Palestine
March 20, 2007; Page A19

Even before the Palestinian "unity" government was sworn in Saturday at
least five European countries announced that they would resume their
business with the Hamas-led coalition.

The U.S. has endorsed Israel's position on the Palestinian government --
namely, that its political platform does not meet the conditions set by
the so-called "Quartet" of the U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia for ending the
boycott. Washington is now under heavy pressure from its Arab allies in
the Middle East to deal with it.

Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh.
But the U.S. should stand firm. The Palestinian government is not
committed to the Quartet's demands that it renounce violence, recognize
Israel and abide by agreements signed with Israel in the past. The
speeches delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his new
Hamas partner, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, at Saturday's parliamentary
session show that the Palestinians are determined instead to continue
their strategy of double-talk.

Neither the president nor the prime minister openly called for an end to
terrorism or for recognizing Israel's right to exist. And to add to the
confusion, the two men came up with a political program that contains many
contradictions and ambiguities.

The wording of the program was drafted in such a way as to allow both
Hamas and Fatah to argue that neither party had totally abandoned its
traditional position. The equivocal tone is also designed to appease the
Americans and Europeans. After all, the main goal of the new coalition is
to get the international community to resume desperately needed financial

With regard to the three main demands of the Quartet, the program leaves
the door wide open for different interpretations.

On the issue of terrorism, the program states that the new government
"stresses that resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people
. . . and our people have the right to defend themselves against any
Israeli aggression." But the program also says that the new government
will "work toward consolidating the tahdiya [period of calm] and extending
it [to the West Bank] so that it becomes a comprehensive and mutual

The program sets a number of conditions for halting the "resistance" --
ending the "occupation" and achieving independence and the right of return
for Palestinian refugees, as well as an end to Israeli security measures
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including the construction of the
security fence). In other words, Fatah and Hamas are saying that the
violence will continue as long as Israel does not meet these demands.

Regarding Israel's right to exist, the program does not even mention the
name Israel. Instead, it refers to Israel as "The Occupation." It also
makes no mention of the two-state solution. Rather, it reiterates the
Palestinians' opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state with
temporary borders.

Although the document declares that the "key to peace and stability is
contingent on ending the occupation of Palestinian lands and recognizing
the Palestinian people's right to self-determination," it does not specify
which "lands" -- those captured by Israel in 1967 or 1948.

Fatah representatives, of course, argue that the program refers only to
the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Hamas, on the other hand,
will be able to argue that the phrase "Palestinian lands" applies also to
all of Mandatory Palestine.

Referring to the third demand of the Quartet -- abiding by agreements
between the PLO and Israel -- the political program states that the new
government will only "respect" agreements signed by the PLO.

Hamas leaders have already explained that there is a huge difference
between "respecting" an agreement and making a pledge to fulfill it. In
other words, Hamas is saying that while it accepts the agreements with
Israel as an established fact, it will not carry them out.

Elsewhere in the program, the new government says that it will abide by
unspecified U.N. and Arab summit resolutions, leaving the door open for
Fatah to claim that this is tantamount to recognizing the two-state
solution and all the agreements with Israel. Fatah will cite the 2002 Arab
peace plan that implicitly recognizes Israel.

Hamas, on the other hand, can always claim that among the Arab summit
resolutions that it intends to abide by is the one taken in Khartoum,
Sudan, in September 1967. The resolution contains what became known as
"the three no's" of Arab-Israel relations: no peace with Israel, no
recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

Although the program makes it clear that the PLO, and not the new
Hamas-led coalition, will be responsible for conducting negotiations with
Israel, it also seeks to tie the hands of President Abbas by stating that
any "fateful" agreement must be approved by the Palestinians in the
PA-controlled areas and abroad through a referendum.

The program, moreover, closes the door to any potential concessions on the
problem of the refugees by emphasizing their "right of return to their
lands and property [inside Israel]."

The international community must demand an end to the era of ambiguity and
double-talk. If the new government is opposed to terror, there is no
reason why it should not state this loudly and clearly.

If it recognizes Israel -- as some of its members claim -- then why not
announce this in unequivocal language? The international community must
insist that the messages coming out of the Palestinian leaders be the same
in both English and Arabic.

There is no point in pouring millions of dollars on the "unity" government
as long as it's not prepared to make a clear and firm commitment to halt
terror and recognize Israel's right to exist.

Mr. Toameh is Palestinian affairs editor of the Jerusalem Post.

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