Monday, March 31, 2008
The Sacramento Union on the Gordon-Plaut SLAPP Suit
From the Sacramento Union
Steve Plaut: Life in Israel is Stranger than Parody
Karen Russo, Sacramento Union Columnist
Published: March 27, 2008
or Dr. Steve Plaut, getting crazy, hysterical phone calls is nothing new. By
day, Plaut is a mild-mannered professor of economics at the University of
Haifa, but by night, he becomes one of Israel's most popular right-wing
bloggers, a man with an uncanny ability to upset people—especially those on
Plaut is the Director of ISRACAMPUS, a clone of the U.S.'s "Campus Watch."
He also runs a personal blog, "Zionist Conspiracy," at
Think of him as an Israeli version of Rush Limbaugh; Plaut is a master at
using outrageous humor to make his point.
The problem with his humor? Life in Israel is so strange that it's hard to
concoct anything that's so extreme, so obviously a spoof, that at least some
people won't believe it to be true. That's when the phone calls start.
A few days ago, Plaut wrote a spoof press release about an upcoming
"pro-terror fest" to be held at the far-left University of Haifa. In the
fake announcement, Plaut said the university was mourning the "untimely
passing" of the Arab gunman who used his Israeli ID papers to enter the
Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva and murder eight innocent students. His ridiculous
advice – "Bring your own Hamas flags" – should have signaled a joke, but not
everyone got it.
"The University was inundated with outraged callers," he said, laughing
hard. "Zionist students arranged a counter-protest. Politicians called. Even
Israel's Chief Rabbi weighed in. It was nuts."
For Plaut, reality set in five years ago when he found himself in a
Kafka-esque quagmire that read like one of his spoofs. He ended up facing
the business end of a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation)
lawsuit, facing allegations of libel. Odd, because this time, the
55-year-old native of Philadelphia had written the absolute truth about a
Jewish Israeli neo-Nazi professor named Neve Gordon.
*The Man Behind the Blog *
"My father escaped from Germany, and my grandparents were murdered there. I
have strong feelings about the Holocaust. So when I see Israeli professors
publishing vile anti-Semitic material, it's too much," Plaut said. "So I'd
been targeting the infamous Norman Finkelstein, who in the beginning was a
minor player spouting ineffective neo-Nazi propaganda. But when Neve Gordon,
an Israeli professor, began supporting him and giving him credibility,
Finkelstein's popularity soared. So I attacked Neve Gordon's political
support for Finkelstein."
A small column penned by Plaut in a now-defunct California publication
triggered the lawsuit.
"In 2001, Gordon illegally met master terrorist Yasser Arafat in his PLO
headquarters in Ramallah, and their pictures – smiling, in a solidarity
handshake – were published all over Israel," he said. "I wrote a piece –
"Judenrat for Peace' – pointing out that just like during the Holocaust, the
Judenrat assisted in the killing of their fellow Jews, Gordon and his ilk
were doing the same thing today. I called Gordon a 'Judenrat wannabe.' I
didn't attack him personally—attacked his politics.
*Lawyered Up for Free Speech *
"Gordon read it, hired an Arab lawyer – Fareed Ghanam – and sued me for
libel. That's when the fun started."
In a libel lawsuit, truth is a defense, so Plaut looked forward to telling
the truth about Neve Gordon. But problems cropped up when Gordon went
forum-shopping, looking for a court where his views would find favor. He
chose the Arab stronghold of Nazareth.
"It didn't make sense," Plaut said. "Gordon lives in Jerusalem, he was
teaching in Beersheba. I live in Haifa. And he sued me in Nazareth?"
More trouble appeared when a female Arab judge was assigned, Magistrate
Court Judge Reem Naddaf. How much trouble became clear when she handed down
"It was unbelievable. The judge used her decision in the case to attack
Israel," Plaut said. "First she ruled that all of Israel is built on land
stolen from other people, then she went on to justify Holocaust revisionism.
As judge, she wrote things even Neve Gordon hadn't said. Then she imposed a
fine. Gordon hadn't alleged any financial losses, but Israeli law permits a
libel award of 50,000 [Israeli Shekels]. She fined me 100,000 [Israeli
The over-the-top decision attracted the outrage of Harvard professor Alan
"It is my opinion that Neve Gordon has gotten into bed with neo-Nazis,
Holocaust justice deniers, and anti-Semites," Dershowitz wrote in a
Jerusalem Post column. "He is a despicable example of a self-hating Jew and
a self-hating Israeli."
Then Dershowitz issued his own make-my-day challenge to Gordon: "Sue me,
too!" Gordon declined, calling Dershowitz' challenge "a cheap dare."
Plaut appealed the adverse decision, and on March 3, the appeals court
ruling came down. In no uncertain terms, the three-judge appeal panel
rejected all of Gordon's demands, and accepted virtually all of Plaut's.
One judge went even further. In his pleadings, Gordon had asserted that
Plaut called him a "Jew for Hitler" and a "Holocaust denier." Plaut claimed
he had never said that, but Naddaf sided with Gordon. This raised the
hackles of Appellate Judge Abraham Abraham, who not only criticized Judge
Naddaf, but also went beyond, saying that based on Gordon's record, even if
Plaut had said Gordon was a "Jew for Hitler," he would have been within his
Plaut's "free speech" victory in left-leaning Israel is unparalleled.
"To beat Gordon in the Nazareth court was like beating him in PLO
headquarters, or beating Ahmadinejad in court in Teheran," Plaut said.
Even so, Plaut was hoping the case would go to Israel's Supreme Court.
"I want the Supreme Court of Israel to go on record as saying that in
Israel, free speech isn't reserved just for anti-Semites, for the far-left
haters of Israel and for Arab politicians. I want the Supreme Court to say
that in Israel, you don't have to be a traitor to enjoy freedom of speech."
Friday, March 28, 2008
When the Hebrew University Employed one of the Worst Neo-Nazis on Earth (must read - from Isracampus.co.il)
The Legacy of Israel Shahak
By Paul Bogdanor
.And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his
decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew..
- Henrich Himmler
.My book is dedicated to Israel Shahak, who is in fact a Jewish person..
- David Duke
In the late Israel Shahak, the political heirs of Heinrich Himmler
discovered their very own A-1 Jew. They elevated him to that status over
three decades, while he served on the faculty of the Hebrew University of
Israel Shahak was a professor of organic chemistry. In his spare time he
was a disseminator of antisemitic lies. Almost every falsehood invoked by
the Nazis to justify the Holocaust was eventually ratified by this tenured
academic at one of Israel.s most prestigious institutions.
According to Shahak, the Jews think of nothing but making money for the
benefit of the Jewish state (.The force of Jewish devotion in assembling
money is thought to be infinite.). According to Shahak, the Jews plan to
dominate much of the world through an Israeli empire (.extending from
.Algeria or Morocco. from the west to China in the east, and from Kenya or
even South Africa in the south to the USSR in the north.). According to
Shahak, the Jews facilitate the spread of vice in order to enslave the
masses (.Part of the motivation. must be .encouraging drug addiction and
thus promoting political apathy.).
Shahak openly collaborated with the Israeli Communist Party and its
Frankenstein product, Matzpen. The Communist Party was, of course, a tool
of the genocidal Soviet dictatorship, while Matzpen was even more
If the Israeli Jewish masses are not split from Zionism. then there will
be another Holocaust. Eventually, the Arab revolution is going to win; if
the masses of the Israeli Jews are not incorporated in it, they will
necessarily be consumed by it.
Shahak not only raised no objection to this Hitlerian outburst; he joined
its author in usurping control of the once-respectable Israeli League for
Human and Civil Rights.
Shahak was the first Israeli Jew to be published by an organ of the PLO.
He was a constant contributor to the PLO.s main English-language journal.
There he disgorged a stream of antisemitic poison. He claimed that all
Zionists believe in .the rightness of biblically justified genocide,.
which he called .the other Holocaust.. He vilified Jewish
.Holocaust-mongers. who believe that .killing many children is just if it
is done for Jewish benefit.. He announced that .Israeli Jews, and with
them most Jews throughout the world, are undergoing a process of
Nazification.. He asserted that the Nuremberg Laws .are infinitely more
moderate than the .Gentile. regulations in Talmudic Law.. And he defamed
.the Jewish establishment in the USA and its intellectual slaves,. adding
that .Jewish terror is very kosher in the USA!.
Throughout his second career as an antisemitic propagandist for the
would-be destroyers of his country, Israel Shahak was protected by
officials at the Hebrew University. The excuses continued in the face of
mounting public outrage. Yediot Ahronot asked why .someone like Israel
Shahak is employed by our national university. when his conduct was
.tantamount to treason.. In Ha.aretz, the Dean of Tel Aviv University.s
Law School, Amnon Rubinstein, found .plenty of evidence. for treason
charges. He noted that Shahak .does not even support those who want a
simple war against Israel, but rather those who want the annihilation of
Rubinstein stressed that Shahak.s employers were also his accomplices:
In my mind, the most serious aspect in the Shahak affair concerns his
high-ranking position at the Hebrew University. A tenured job at the
university does not mean that it is possible to join with murderers while
retaining one.s job.
The Hebrew University does not act as one should expect of an academic
institution. Worse still: it promoted Shahak to the rank of associate
professor at the beginning of this year in the midst of his hate campaign.
But the campus bureaucrats were unmoved. The sole issue was .freedom of
speech,. declared the Rector of the University. Academics could not be
disciplined for inciting ethnic hatred and the destruction of their
country. As for Shahak.s recent promotion, this merely reflected the
merits of his chemistry classes.
Shahak delivered his own response in the newspaper of the Communist
Party: .The majority of the Jewish public in Israel (and also out of it)
believes that only Jews are human beings. according to Jewish Talmudic
law, legally valid in Israel today, any Gentile woman is considered as
impure, slave, Gentile and whore..
As this example illustrates, Shahak saw no need to pretend, for the
benefit of Western audiences, that the target of his hatred was .Zionism..
He always insisted that Israel was evil because it was Jewish. In his
scurrilous tract Jewish History, Jewish Religion, he warned that Israel.s
Jewish character was a danger to .all other peoples and states in the
Middle East and beyond.. Judaism was the focus of evil on earth: not only
had it created .one of the most totalitarian societies in the whole
history of mankind,. even its beliefs were .motivated by the spirit of
profit.. So malevolent are the Jews, wrote Shahak, that they secretly
worship the Devil:
both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands,
uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is
worshipping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on
the other he is worshipping Satan.
Shahak also found excuses for the near-genocidal Chmielnicki pogroms,
which he classified as a .revolt of the oppressed.. According to Shahak,
when the typical pogromist decided to murder Jews, it was because .Jews
profited from his state of slavery and exploitation..
Needless to say, Jewish History, Jewish Religion was endorsed by
Jew-haters everywhere. .I urge all of you to forego a movie or a dinner
and treat yourself to this book. (Ingrid Rimland). .It is a volume which
belongs in the library of every informed student of the world.s affairs.
(Russ Granata). But it would be wrong to assume that admirers of the Third
Reich have only just discovered Shahak. His services to these Nazis began
Ernst Zundel is the author of The Hitler We Loved and Why. He has been
described as one of the largest distributors of Nazi literature on the
planet. After deportation from Canada to his native Germany, he is now
serving a prison sentence on multiple counts of incitement to racial
hatred. Ernst Zundel proclaims that Israel Shahak was one of his idols
from the late 1960s. Meetings with Shahak and other anti-Zionist Jews
.opened up an entirely new world for me, the young German immigrant to
Canada.. At a public lecture in the late 1970s, .Ernst and his friends
demonstrated with signs outside the hall in support of Shahak.. According
to Zundel, .We had a personal chat before the meeting.. On Shahak.s death
his affection was undiminished:
Israel Shahak was quietly heroic. Decent people owe him a debt of
gratitude. He was a voice of reason and decency in a country where .the
people of the lie. live and hold sway . and, sadly, also govern. We will
sorely miss him and his honesty.
Shahak is applauded scores of times on the hatemongering Zundelsite. To my
knowledge, the Hebrew University never investigated the links between one
of its most prominent professors and one of the world.s most notorious
The story is by no means unique. .Dr. Israel Shahak risked all to bring
what he calls .decent humanity. to Judaism and the Zionist State,.
declaimed the American racist David Duke, paying tribute to his hero for
unmasking .hateful Judaic laws. that permit Jews to cheat, to steal, to
rob, to kill, to rape, to lie, even to enslave Christians.. Shahak
received pride of place, alongside Chomsky and Finkelstein, in Duke.s
pantheon of Jews who .expose the truth about Zionism and Jewish
supremacism.. Duke.s collected antisemitic ravings gave further evidence
of his esteem:
I will be the first to acknowledge that not all Jews support or share in
this supremacism. In fact, a number of courageous Jews suffer greatly for
opposing it. This book is dedicated to the memory of one of them: an
Israeli Professor, Dr. Israel Shahak. He persuasively argued that unless
both Jews and Gentiles courageously stand up against this supremacist
agenda and its power, it will continue to pose a severe danger to Jews and
In other words, an academic employed for thirty years by the Hebrew
University had inspired a former commander of the Ku Klux Klan to pen the
English-language sequel to Mein Kampf.
Today the Blood Libels of Israel Shahak are available on almost any page
on almost any Nazi website: AAARGH, Rense.com, Ziopedia, Jewish Tribal
Review, Jew Watch, and others too numerous to count. Shahak has received
hundreds of accolades from the aspiring death camp guards of Stormfront.
He has been praised to the skies by the frustrated death camp deniers at
the Journal of Historical Review. Supporters of the Committee for Open
Debate on the Holocaust can consult Shahak on The Laws Against Non-Jews.
Elsewhere antisemites can read the full text of Shahak.s Jewish History,
Jewish Religion (.Israel Shahak Speaks the Truth!.) or they can sample
Shahak.s views about The Jewish Hatred Towards Christianity
(.anti-Christian feelings are literally exploding in Israel.), The Jewish
Laundry of Drug Money (.New York Jews. play .the predominant part.) and
The Jews Who Run USA (.these .Holocaust memories. are a fake.).
In light of the above, the Hebrew University may want to reconsider its
assessment that the memory of Israel Shahak.s chemistry lessons will
outlast his legacy to international Nazism.
Paul Bogdanor is the editor, with Edward Alexander, of The Jewish Divide
Over Israel, due in paperback later this month.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
More Suppression of Freedom of Speech in Israel
offered tenure at Ben Gurion University :
2. I just found out that the Rev Wright went to my high school.
3. The latest from the Columbia Madrassah:
4. Judicial Tyranny and The Israeli First Amendment suppress freedom
of speech once again:
Six-Month Sentence for Asking: Should We Expel Arabs or Jews?
20 Adar Bet 5768, 27 March 08 11:38
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
(IsraelNN.com) Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, convicted over a private referendum he
conducted, was sentenced on Tuesday to 200 hours of community service,
along with a suspended sentence of six months in jail. Ben-Yaakov's parole
period is to last for three years. About 50 demonstrators, including some
musicians playing protest songs, showed up outside the Jerusalem
Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, where sentencing took place.
Ben-Yaakov, of Kfar Tapuach, was convicted for "incitement to racism" as a
result of a street referendum he designed prior to Israel's unilateral
withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. His referendum asked which was preferable:
then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan, which would expel
Jews from Gaza and Samaria, or an alternate plan to expel hostile Arabs
from Israel. More than 100,000 people from Israel's major cities
participated in the referendum, with over 90 percent saying they would
rather expel hostile Arabs.
"It's outrageous that a country that calls itself a democracy can put
someone on trial for making a referendum," Ben-Yakov told the press before
sentencing. "A referendum is the purest form of democracy..
Ben-Yaakov believes he was charged with incitement not because of the
nature of the referendum, but because it demonstrated to the government to
what extent the Disengagement Plan went against the will of the majority.
Participants in Ben-Yaakov's referendum were given a ballot card asking if
they "prefer the 'Sharon/Peres Disengagement Plan,' which includes
transferring Gaza and parts of the West Bank to Palestinian control and
expulsion of all Jews who live there. Or do you prefer the 'Jewish
Alternative Disengagement Plan,' which includes annexing these territories
and expulsion of the Arabs living there to an area outside Israel, deep
beyond a safe security buffer zone?"
Jerusalem-based Human rights activist Attorney Irving Gendelman calls into
question the validity of the incitement law and asks, "Would a person be
culpable if his alleged act of incitement was intended only to express an
opinion on political issues inherent in a democratic country?" Gendelman
says that use of the law at the expense of basic human rights inclusive of
the right to democratically oppose governmental political policies "is an
anathema." He concludes, "In Israel, it is debatable whether full freedom
of expression within democratic norms is permitted by the Israeli
Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, formerly known as Mike Guzofsky, moved to Israel from
New York. He ran the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center for one of the Jewish
Defense League branches in New York City.
5. Ms. Jihad:
6. Let us hope they are correct:
7. More Pestilinian Holocaust Denial: at http://www.jpost.com
8. Bashing Israel in Paris:
9. Another Jewish .academic. for jihad:
10. Condolences to Israel activist Adina Kutnicki of Elmwood Park, NJ
for the untimely passing of her husband Frank.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A Tale of Two Peoples
By Dennis Prager
FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/25/2008
The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps
once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion
would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would
be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel
as it now is on China.
But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited
and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded
Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's
oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own
ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese,
its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200
monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have
been tortured, murdered or exiled.
Palestinians have none of these characteristics. There has never been a
Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a
Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way
distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, "Palestinian" had always meant any
individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the
first half of the 20th century, "Palestinian" and "Palestine" almost
always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the
worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much
of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared
to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been
destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have
received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the
dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when
Israel was created.
None of this means that a distinct Palestinian national identity does not
now exist. Since Israel's creation such an identity has arisen and does
indeed exist. Nor does any of this deny that many Palestinians suffered as
a result of the creation of the third Jewish state in the area, known --
since the Romans renamed Judea -- as "Palestine."
But it does mean that of all the causes the world could have adopted, the
Palestinians' deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans' near the
top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state
of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the
world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a
morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.
So, the question is, why? Why have the Palestinians received such
undeserved attention and support, and the far more aggrieved and
persecuted and moral Tibetans given virtually no support or attention?
The first reason is terror. Some time ago, the Palestinian leadership
decided, with the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people, that
murdering as many innocent people -- first Jews, and then anyone else --
was the fastest way to garner world attention. They were right. On the
other hand, as The Economist notes in its March 28, 2008 issue, "Tibetan
nationalists have hardly ever resorted to terrorist tactics." It is
interesting to speculate how the world would have reacted had Tibetans
hijacked international flights, slaughtered Chinese citizens in Chinese
restaurants and temples, on Chinese buses and trains, and massacred
The second reason is oil and support from powerful fellow Arabs. The
Palestinians have rich friends who control the world's most needed
commodity, oil. The Palestinians have the unqualified support of all
Middle Eastern oil-producing nations and the support of the Muslim world
beyond the Middle East. The Tibetans are poor and have the support of no
nations, let alone oil-producing ones.
The third reason is Israel. To deny that pro-Palestinian activism in the
world is sometimes related to hostility toward Jews is to deny the
obvious. It is not possible that the unearned preoccupation with the
Palestinians is unrelated to the fact that their enemy is the one Jewish
state in the world. Israel's Jewishness is a major part of the Muslim
world's hatred of Israel. It is also part of Europe's hostility toward
Israel: Portraying Israel as oppressors assuages some of Europe's guilt
about the Holocaust -- "see, the Jews act no better than we did." Hence
the ubiquitous comparisons of Israel to Nazis.
A fourth reason is China. If Tibet had been crushed by a white European
nation, the Tibetans would have elicited far more sympathy. But, alas,
their near-genocidal oppressor is not white. And the world does not take
mass murder committed by non-whites nearly as seriously as it takes
anything done by Westerners against non-Westerners. Furthermore, China is
far more powerful and frightening than Israel. Israel has a great army and
nuclear weapons, but it is pro-West, it is a free and democratic society,
and it has seven million people in a piece of land as small as Belize.
China has nuclear weapons, has a trillion U.S. dollars, an increasingly
mighty army and navy, is neither free nor democratic, is anti-Western, and
has 1.2 billion people in a country that dominates the Asian continent.
A fifth reason is the world's Left. As a general rule, the Left demonizes
Israel and has loved China since it became Communist in 1948. And given
the power of the Left in the world's media, in the political life of so
many nations, and in the universities and the arts, it is no wonder
vicious China has been idolized and humane Israel demonized.
The sixth reason is the United Nations, where Israel has been condemned in
more General Assembly and Security Council resolutions than any other
country in the world. At the same time, the UN has voted China onto its
Security Council and has never condemned it. China's sponsoring of Sudan
and its genocidal acts against its non-Arab black population, as in
Darfur, goes largely unremarked on at the UN, let alone condemned, just as
is the case with its cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and military
occupation of Tibet.
The seventh reason is television news, the primary source of news for much
of mankind. Aside from its leftist tilt, television news reports only what
it can video. And almost no country is televised as much as Israel, while
video reports in Tibet are forbidden, as they are almost anywhere in China
except where strictly monitored by the Chinese authorities. No video, no
TV news. And no TV, no concern. So while grieving Palestinians and the
accidental killings of Palestinians during morally necessary Israeli
retaliations against terrorists are routinely televised, the slaughter of
over a million Tibetans and the extinguishing of Tibetan Buddhism and
culture are non-events as far as television news is concerned.
The world is unfair, unjust and morally twisted. And rarely more so than
in its support for the Palestinians -- no matter how many innocents they
target for murder and no matter how much Nazi-like anti-Semitism permeates
their media -- and its neglect of the cruelly treated, humane Tibetans.
March 24, 2008
By JAMES TARANTO
March 24, 2008
On Friday we noted1 that Barack Obama's "spiritual mentor," the Rev.
Jeremiah Wright, had reprinted a Hamas op-ed in his church bulletin. It
turns out that Obama issued a quiet condemnation of Wright's editorial
decision, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency2 reports:
"I have already condemned my former pastor's views on Israel in the
strongest possible terms, and I certainly wasn't in church when that
outrageously wrong Los Angeles Times piece was re-printed in the
bulletin," Obama said in a statement emailed to JTA late Thursday, and
referring to critics who noted that Obama had been in church when Wright
had made controversial statements. "Hamas is a terrorist organization,
responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and dedicated to Israel's
destruction, as evidenced by their bombarding of Sderot in recent months.
I support requiring Hamas to meet the international community's conditions
of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence, and abiding by past agreements
before they are treated as a legitimate actor."
That could hardly be clearer, could it? But a year-old article from
ElectronicIntifada.com3 suggests that Obama has, fairly recently, held
views on the subject that are completely at variance with those he now
espouses. The author, Ali Abunimah, is a co-founder of the site:
I first met Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama almost
ten years ago when, as my representative in the Illinois state senate, he
came to speak at the University of Chicago. He impressed me as
progressive, intelligent and charismatic. I distinctly remember thinking
"if only a man of this calibre could become president one day." . . .
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen
times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago
including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the
keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I
heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago
professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his
criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the
The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in
Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary
campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate
seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.
As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him.
He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more
about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping
when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism,
including columns I was contributing to the The [sic] Chicago Tribune
critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"
Abunimah argued that Obama, in an effort "to woo wealthy pro-Israel
campaign donors," had made an "about-face":
He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will
continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.
It is possible that Obama had a sincere change of heart--that he came to
see the merits of the Israeli side of the argument. It is also possible
that Obama has no sincere views on the subject--that when he was traveling
in radical-chic Chicago circles, he told people like Abunimah what they
wanted to hear, and now that he has gone national, he has switched to
telling a more mainstream Democratic constituency what it wants to hear.
But what does Obama really believe--about the Middle East, about Wright's
"black liberation theology" or about any other complicated and sensitive
topic? The question is a Rorschach inkblot; the answer reveals more about
one's emotional response to Obama than about Obama's intellectual response
to the world.
If Obama makes you feel good about yourself, you will give him the benefit
of the doubt and assume that his beliefs are similar to yours. See, for
example, Obama enthusiast Marty Peretz4 expounding on Obama's sympathy for
the Jewish state, or Douglas Kmiec5, a judicial conservative and onetime
Romney adviser, explaining that even though Obama has shown no sign of
agreeing with him on "important fundamentals," he is "convinced based upon
[Obama's] public pronouncements and his personal writing that on each of
these questions he is not closed to understanding opposing points of view,
and as best as it is humanly possible, he will respect and accommodate
If you are unmoved by Obama, by contrast, there is ample reason to be
skeptical about whether he holds beliefs congenial to yours, or indeed any
beliefs at all. This skepticism is only amplified by over-the-top
accolades for Obama, such as this one from Frank Schaffer6, a
self-described "survivor" of "an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood":
Obama offers civility in the midst of a drunken national bar fight. Obama
speaks in complete sentences, well-turned paragraphs, offers thoughts with
intellectual depth, nuance, humility and compassion. Obama is a reasoned
essay cast before sound-bite swine who seem ready to tear anything that
falls into their sty to shreds.
By providence or blind luck, we are being given a second chance. In Obama
our founders appear once again stepping from the mists of time to offer a
wayward great, great grandchild an opportunity for redemption. . . .
Obama stands in the tradition of our founders, a citizen running for
office, not a "professional" striver. But the cry goes up, "He doesn't
have the experience!" Experience? At what? Playing games with our
country's soul while the only real game in our nation's capitol is hanging
on to power, enriching oneself at the political trough through
connections, taking us to war after war, making us hated throughout the
world by catering to our insatiable, unreasoning fears.
Obama is the man who reaches out to help a dying passerby and the passerby
snarls, "What do you really want?"
Obama's supporters are proud that they are acting out of "hope" rather
than, as Schaeffer puts it, "insatiable, unreasoning fears." But what kind
of "hope" is it that dehumanizes detractors, deeming them "swine"? And
isn't fear, or at least serious unease, an appropriate response to a
politician who, however soothing his own demeanor, seems to have a knack
for inspiring such unreason?
Damning With Faint Praise7
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico endorsed Barack Obama Friday, and we
got a kick out of Obama's praise for Richardson, reported by CNN:
Obama said, "I am extraordinarily grateful to have the support of one of
the great public servants of these United States."
"He's done the kind of work that you want from your public servants,
somebody who's driven not just by raw ambition, not just by an interest in
personal aggrandizement," Obama added. "He's been somebody who's been
motivated by the desire to make the lives of his constituents and working
people a little bit better."
So according to Obama, Richardson is driven in part by "raw ambition" and
"an interest in personal aggrandizement." But he also is interested in
making people lives "a little bit better," and that's enough to make him
"one of the great public servants of these United States."
Obama sure is cynical about his fellow politicians, isn't he?
See also http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3523359,00.html , by
Israeli leftist journalist.
And also http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125688
3. Make you proud to be an Israeli?
4. Gathering Storm:
5. Feminazis against Israel:
6. Islam and Free Speech
By PETER HOEKSTRA
March 26, 2008; Page A15
The Netherlands is bracing for a new round of violence at home and against
its embassies in the Middle East. The storm would be caused by "Fitna," a
short film that is scheduled to be released this week. The film, which
reportedly includes images of a Quran being burned, was produced by Geert
Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament and leader of the Freedom Party.
Mr. Wilders has called for banning the Quran -- which he has compared to
Hitler's "Mein Kampf" -- from the Netherlands.
After concern about the film led Mr. Wilders's Internet service provider
to take down his Web site, Mr. Wilders issued a statement this week that
he will personally distribute DVDs "On the Dam" if he has to. That may not
be necessary, as the Czech National Party has reportedly agreed to host
the video on its Web site.
Marked for death: Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Reasonable men in free societies regard Geert Wilders's anti-Muslim
rhetoric, and films like "Fitna," as disrespectful of the religious
sensitivities of members of the Islamic faith. But free societies also
hold freedom of speech to be a fundamental human right. We don't silence,
jail or kill people with whom we disagree just because their ideas are
offensive or disturbing. We believe that when such ideas are openly
debated, they sink of their own weight and attract few followers.
Our country allows fringe groups like the American Nazi Party to
demonstrate, as long as they are peaceful. Americans are permitted to burn
the national flag. In 1989, when so-called artist Andres Serrano displayed
his work "Piss Christ" -- a photo of a crucifix immersed in a bottle of
urine -- Americans protested peacefully and moved to cut off the federal
funding that supported Mr. Serrano. There were no bombings of museums. No
one was killed over this work that was deeply offensive to Christians.
Criticism of Islam, however, has led to violence and murder world-wide.
Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Muslims to kill Salman
Rushdie over his 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses." Although Mr. Rushdie has
survived, two people associated with the book were stabbed, one fatally.
The 2005 Danish editorial cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad led to
numerous deaths. Dutch director Theodoor van Gogh was killed in 2004,
several months after he made the film "Submission," which described
violence against women in Islamic societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former
Dutch member of parliament who wrote the script for "Submission," received
death threats over the film and fled the country for the United States.
The violence Dutch officials are anticipating now is part of a broad and
determined effort by the radical jihadist movement to reject the basic
values of modern civilization and replace them with an extreme form of
Shariah. Shariah, the legal code of Islam, governed the Muslim world in
medieval times and is used to varying degrees in many nations today,
especially in Saudi Arabia.
Radical jihadists are prepared to use violence against individuals to stop
them from exercising their free speech rights. In some countries,
converting a Muslim to another faith is a crime punishable by death. While
Muslim clerics are free to preach and proselytize in the West, some Muslim
nations severely restrict or forbid other faiths to do so. In addition,
moderate Muslims around the world have been deemed apostates and enemies
by radical jihadists.
Radical jihadists believe representative government is un-Islamic, and
urge Muslims who live in democracies not to exercise their right to vote.
The reason is not hard to understand: When given a choice, most Muslims
reject the extreme approach to Islam. This was recently demonstrated in
Iraq's Anbar Province, which went from an al-Qaeda stronghold to an area
supporting the U.S.-led coalition. This happened because the populace came
to intensely dislike the fanatical ways of the radicals, which included
cutting off fingers of anyone caught smoking a cigarette, 4 p.m. curfews,
beatings and beheadings. There also were forced marriages between
foreign-born al Qaeda fighters and local Sunni women.
There may be a direct relationship between the radical jihadists'
opposition to democracy and their systematic abuse of women. Women have
virtually no rights in this radical world: They must conceal themselves,
cannot hold jobs, and have been subjected to honor killings. Would most
women in Muslim countries vote for a candidate for public office who
supported such oppressive rules?
Not all of these radicals are using violence to supplant democratic
society with an extreme form of Shariah. Some in the United Kingdom, the
Netherlands, Germany and Denmark are attempting to create parallel Islamic
societies with separate courts for Muslims. According to recent press
reports, British officials are investigating the cases of 30 British
Muslim school-age girls who "disappeared" for probable forced marriages.
While efforts to create parallel Islamic societies have been mostly
peaceful, they may actually be a jihadist "waiting game," based on the
assumption that the Islamic populations of many European states will
become the majority over the next 25-50 years due to higher Muslim birth
rates and immigration.
What is particularly disturbing about these assaults against modern
society is how the West has reacted with appeasement, willful ignorance,
and a lack of journalistic criticism. Last year PBS tried to suppress
"Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," a hard-hitting
documentary that contained criticism of radical jihadists. Fortunately,
Fox News agreed to air the film.
Even if the new Wilders film proves newsworthy, it is likely that few
members of the Western media will air it, perhaps because they have been
intimidated by radical jihadist threats. The only major U.S. newspaper to
reprint any of the controversial 2005 Danish cartoons was Denver's Rocky
Mountain News. You can be sure that if these cartoons had mocked
Christianity or Judaism, major American newspapers would not have
hesitated to print them.
European officials have been similarly cautious. A German court ruled last
year that a German Muslim man had the right to beat his wife, as this was
permitted under Shariah. Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan
Williams, stated last month that the implementation of some measure of
Shariah in Britain was "unavoidable" and British Muslims should have the
choice to use Shariah in marital and financial matters.
I do not defend the right of Geert Wilders to air his film because I agree
with it. I expect I will not. (I have not yet seen the film). I defend the
right of Mr. Wilders and the media to air this film because free speech is
a fundamental right that is the foundation of modern society. Western
governments and media outlets cannot allow themselves to be bullied into
giving up this precious right due to threats of violence. We must not fool
ourselves into believing that we can appease the radical jihadist movement
by allowing them to set up parallel societies and separate legal systems,
or by granting them special protection from criticism.
A central premise of the American experiment are these words from the
Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." There are similar
statements in the U.S. Constitution, British Common Law, the Napoleonic
Code and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, hundreds of
millions in the U.S. and around the world enjoy freedom of speech, freedom
of assembly, freedom of religion and many other rights.
These liberties have been won through centuries of debate, conflict and
bloodshed. Radical jihadists want to sacrifice all we have learned by
returning to a primitive and intolerant world. While modern society
invites such radicals to peacefully exercise their faith, we cannot and
will not sacrifice our fundamental freedoms.
Mr. Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands, is ranking Republican on
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on
7. Anyone interested?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Idiotic Campaign over Rachel Corrie
2. The Myth of Rachel Corrie
By Judy Lash Balint
FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/20/2008
Jerusalem: The news that a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Shadi Sukiya,
was captured by an elite anti-terror unit of the Israel Defense Forces
while hiding out in the Jenin offices of the International Solidarity
Movement (ISM) did not make a ripple in the flood of coverage from the
Iraqi front in late March 2003.
Just eleven days earlier, on March 16, the ISM did make world headlines
when Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old ISM member, was run over by an Israeli
bulldozer in Rafah and died of her injuries.
Maybe the fact that a "peace organization" was found to be defending
terrorists twice in a two-week period will factor into the inquiry called
by several Washington state congressional representatives into the
circumstances of Rachel Corrie's death.
With the fifth anniversary of Corrie's death having just passed us, only
one thing remains certain about the events of March 16: Corrie died in
Rafah, on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, under very questionable
The questions remain: Is Israel responsible for Corrie's death, or do the
doctors at the Arab hospital where she was taken still alive after the
accident bear any responsibility? What about the ISM that organizes
protests in a closed military zone and encourages its members to play cat
and mouse among the tanks and bulldozers? Or the Arabs who invite the
"internationals" to risk their lives in a war zone? How she died, exactly
where she passed her last moments and who should take the blame for Rachel
Corrie's death are questions that demand answers.
The inconsistencies in eyewitness testimony raise doubts about the
simplistic conclusions drawn ever since the event.
By all accounts, Rachel Corrie was one of a group of protesters attempting
to disrupt the work of two IDF bulldozers leveling ground to detonate
explosives in an area rife with terrorist activity. The bulldozers moved
to a different area to avoid the protesters, and Corrie became separated
from the group. Some of the agitators stood with a banner, while Corrie
picked up a bullhorn and yelled slogans at the driver encased in the small
cabin of the dozer. This went on for several hours on the afternoon of
March 16. It's the kind of activity favored by the young pro-Palestinian
types who make up the ISM.
There wasn't enough action for Corrie. According to fellow Evergreen State
College student, Joseph Smith, 21, who was at the site, Corrie dropped her
bullhorn and sat down in front of one of the bulldozers. She fully
expected that the driver would stop just in front of her. "We were
horribly surprised," Smith told me by phone from Rafah the day after the
incident. "They had been careful not to hurt us. They'd always stopped
before," he said.
As the dozer plowed forward heaping up a pile of dirt and sand, Corrie
scrambled up the pile to sit on the top. Smith says she lost her footing
as the bulldozer made the earth move beneath her feet. She got pulled
down, he says. "The driver lost sight of her and continued forward. Then,
without lifting the blade he reversed and Rachel was underneath the
mid-section of the dozer, she wasn't run over by the tread."
Capt. Jacob Dellal of the IDF spokespersons office confirms what Smith
says about the driver: he lost sight of Rachel. Inside the cab, some six
feet off the ground, visibility is very restricted. The protesters should
have known that and kept within the driver's line of sight to avoid
getting hurt, Dellal asserts.
The strange thing about this part of the story is the discrepancy over the
photos given to the press and posted on several pro-Arab websites.
As Smith describes to me his version of events, I ask about the series of
photos printed in an Arab newspaper I picked up the morning after the
incident, in Jerusalem's Old City. "They aren't of the actual incident,"
he states firmly. "We'd been there for three hours already, we were tired,
we already had a lot of pictures."
Yet these are the pictures used on the ISM website to document the before
and after of Rachel's interaction with the bulldozer. The same pictures
are featured as a photo-essay on the site of Electronic Intifada, where
they're even attributed to Joseph Smith.
There are several shots of the back of a woman with a blond ponytail
facing a bulldozer. She's standing in an open field, wearing an orange
fluorescent jacket, holding a megaphone.
Even Michael Shaik, the ISM media coordinator at the time, wouldn't
confirm that these are pictures of Corrie taken the day she died. "I'm
fairly sure they're of the incident," he tells me by phone from his
Bethlehem office. In the same conversation, Shaik asks me not to contact
Joe, Greg or Tom, the Rafah ISM eyewitnesses again directly: "They're
still in trauma."
The pictures should have raised all kinds of questions to photo editors,
but all the major newspapers and wire services chose to run the photos
regardless. If there are pictures of Rachel before and after, why didn't
the same photographer consider it important to document the act of the
bulldozer running her down?
Where is the mound of earth Rachel clambered up and was buried in? The
woman shown lying bleeding from her nose and mouth is lying on a flat
piece of ground.
So, Corrie was either knocked down by the dozer, or fell in front of it.
ISMers assume that she was intentionally run over, but there's no proof
that was the driver's intent.
The real issue is, was Rachel alive when she was taken by Palestinian Red
Crescent ambulance to Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital? In other
words, where did she die? Were adequate efforts made to save her in the
Again, there are conflicting stories. Joseph Smith tells me in a telephone
interview the day after the tragedy, "She died in the hospital or on the
way to the hospital." CNN also reported that Rachel died there. (Israeli
bulldozer runs over 23-year-old woman. CNN, Monday, March 17, 2003)
In his account posted on www.arabia.com, ISMer Tom Dale has a slightly
different story. On March 17 he writes: "I ran for an ambulance, she was
gasping and her face was covered in blood from a gash cutting her face
from lip to cheek. She was showing signs of brain hemorrhaging. She died
in the ambulance a few minutes later of massive internal injuries."
But Dr. Ali Mussa, director of Martyr Mohammed Yousef An Najar Hospital
where Corrie was taken, seems confused. On the day of the event, Dr. Mussa
tells AP Gaza reporter Ibrahim Barzak that Rachel died in the hospital.
(American Killed in Gaza. AP. March 16, 2003)
One week later, in a telephone interview, Dr. Mussa states definitively to
me that Rachel died at the scene, "in the soil," as he puts it. The main
cause of death was suffocation, Mussa asserts. There were no signs of
life, no heartbeat or pulse when she arrived at the hospital, he says.
Mussa states that Rachel's ribs were fractured, a fact determined by
Doesn't quite jive with the photo essay on the pages of the Electronic
Intifada website for March 16, 2003. (Photo story: Israeli bulldozer
driver murders American peace activist by Nigel Parry and Arjan El Fassed,
The Electronic Intifada, 16 March 2003.)
A caption under one photo of doctors leaning over a female patient reads:
Rachel arrived in the Emergency Room at 5:05 p.m and doctors scrambled to
save her. By 5:20 p.m, she was gone. Ha'aretz newspaper reported that Dr.
Ali Mussa, a doctor at Al Najar, stated that the cause of death was skull
and chest fractures. Dr. Mussa told me he was one of the treating
physicians, yet he alone maintains that Rachel was dead before she was put
into the ambulance.
To further complicate matters, on that same website, a report from the
Palestine Monitor is cited. Here, the writer says that Rachel fractured
her arms, legs and skull. She was transferred to hospital, where she later
died, says this report.
Just who is Dr. Ali Mussa? Clearly a man in favor with the Palestine
Authority hierarchy. Dr. Mussa's views are aired on the official website
of the PA's Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation: (January
There, Dr. Mussa accuses Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "terrorist
government" of deliberately killing Palestinian children in Rafah.
A few days after the incident, ISM Media Coordinator Shaik tells me by
phone from Rafah that three ISMers, Tom, Alice and Greg were in the
ambulance with Rachel. She died in the ambulance on the way to the
hospital, says Michael.
But Greg Schnabel, 28, who is quoted in numerous wire service and
newspaper stories, never says he witnessed the death of his comrade in the
ambulance. In his account published a few days later on the ISM website,
he carefully states that she died twenty minutes after arriving at the
What happened to Rachel's body after her death? Depends whom you ask. Dr.
Mussa says it was kept for 24 hours at the hospital before a Red Crescent
ambulance transported it to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, via the border
where an Israeli ambulance took over. l Shaik says "we lost track of it
(her body) after she died." Three ISMers tried to escort the body, but
only one was permitted on the ambulance on the Israeli side. According to
his account, the ambulance drove straight to the Israeli Forensic
Institute at Abu Kabir, where an autopsy was performed. The Israelis are
trying to say she died from a blow to the head by a rock, Shaik recounts.
Speaking about the autopsy, one of Rachel's ISM trainers, Iowa native
LeAnne Clausen, a fieldworker for the Christian Peacemaker Team based in
Beit Sahour, tells me: "The general sentiment within ISM is that the
Israelis are trying to suggest perhaps Rachel was on drugs."
In reality, IDF spokesperson Dellal says that initial Israeli
investigation results indicate that the cause of death was most likely a
blow to the head and chest by a blunt object, possibly a chunk of cement
dug up by the bulldozer.
In keeping with ISM sympathies, Rachel received a shaheed (martyr)
procession in Rafah, the day after her death. But here again, there's
confusion between reality and photo op. Some accounts noted that her
coffin draped in an American flag was paraded through the streets. Yet a
picture on the site of her college town's peace movement, the Olympia
Movement for Justice and Peace, shows Arab women holding a coffin covered
by a Palestinian flag with the caption: Palestinian funeral for Rachel.
Confusion and obfuscation seem to be a trademark of the ISM. In May 2002,
a number of ISMers raced past Israeli soldiers into the Church of the
Nativity in Bethlehem, where dozens of Palestinian terrorists had holed up
to evade capture by the IDF outside. After an agreement was reached, the
ISM members refused to leave the church, holding up the solution. Then
they charged that they were mistreated by clergy, who claimed the ISMers
desecrated the church by smoking and drinking alcohol.
Another revealing ISM action took place shortly before the Bethlehem
incident, when a number of protesters managed to make their way past IDF
barricades into Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound to protect the terrorist
Strange, given the fact that most ISMers are avowed anarchists decrying
any kind of governmental authority. Corrie's Swedish boyfriend and fellow
ISMer told a reporter for Seattle's The Stranger newspaper, (April 4,
2003) that Corrie could be described as an anarchist.
Still, the politics of the Ismers are predictable. Another Evergreen
student who arrived in Israel around the same time as Corrie says he has
"been at war with the multinational corporations for some time now." His
"baptism of fire" took place at the World Trade Organization protests in
Seattle, he proclaims.
Joe Smith, recounts his motivation to join forces with the ISM . "Because
I felt it was one of the best ways for me to use my privilege as a white
middle class American male to directly serve impoverished people of color
who are under-privileged due to the Israeli and other Western governments,
I have dedicated my life to serving such people (ed. Arabs), as I believe
my over-privilege is a direct result of their under-privilege. I have
benefited from their suffering, and this must stop."
ISM activity in Rafah has more to do with being used to defend terrorists
than preventing suffering of the masses. IDF efforts in Rafah were
concentrated on preventing the flow of arms and explosives over the border
from Egypt into the terrorist's dens that riddled the area. Less than a
week after Rachel died defending terrorists, Israeli tanks moved into
Rafah , surrounded several houses, and arrested two Hamas members. IDF
spokesperson, Dellal calls Rafah, "the most dangerous area in the West
Bank and Gaza," and decries the provocative protests of ISM. "There's
nothing wrong with civil disobedience, but these people crossed the line
of what was safe for everyone," Dellal says.
So, while the memorial services laud and remember Rachel Corrie as a peace
activist murdered by Israeli occupation forces, the truth lies elsewhere.
An Israeli bulldozer injured Corrie as she tried to prevent it doing its
job of protecting Israeli civilians, but she was alive when she was taken
to An Najar Hospital, according to at least three eyewitnesses. Only Dr.
Mussa, a man intent on accusing Israel of child killing, claims otherwise.
None of Rachel's comrades have stated they were with her in the hospital
when she died. No one has commented on the extent of efforts to preserve
Corrie's life at An Najar.
And all the while, the ISM continues to encourage misguided young people
from around the world,like Rachel Corrie, to spend time in the Middle East
providing cover for terrorists.
Judy Lash Balint is a Jerusalem based writer and author of Jerusalem
Diaries: What's Really Happening in Israel (Xulon Press). She blogs at
3. In Ben Dror Yemini.s column from last weekend
(http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/709/510.html ) , he discusses the
latest group of Jews for a Second Holocaust in Israel, a group calling
itself .Zochrot.(remembrances). No it is not a group trying to maintain
memory about the past century of atrocities done to Jews by Islamofascism.
It is a group trying to .memorialize. the locations and names of villages
and other cites occupied by .Palestinian. interlopers in the Land of
Israel before the 1948 war and declaration of independence of Israel. It
demands that signs be erected by the Israeli government with my money to
mark the locations and villages abandoned when these Arabs fled the battle
zones in 1948-9, including on JNF lands. The JNF has agreed and
.Zochrot.s. political agenda is quite openly the .Palestinian Right of
Return,. meaning its right to destroy Israel and expel the Jews. Its reps
participate din the .Let.s destroy Israel and replace it with a Single
Arab state. conference in London recently, in which several other Israelis
for a Second Holocaust participated. And to top matters off, the Tel
Aviv Municipality is co-sponsoring a photo exhibit with these people about
Arab Jaffa in dem olde days.
The ZOCHROT web page is here: http://www.zochrot.org/index.php?lang=hebrew
4.. Have they no decency?
GOLDIE HAWN HECKLED AT JEWISH CHARITY DINNER IN GLASGOW
Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn was heckled by demonstrators outside a
fund-raising dinner hosted by the Jewish National Fund in the Scottish
city of Glasgow. About 150 demonstrators screaming curses about Israel
and Jews jeered Hawn as she arrived at the event on Sunday March 9.
dinner was to raise funds for a reservoir in the Galilee that benefits
both Jews and Arabs.
Separately, the Israeli ambassador to Britain has been disinvited from
giving a talk at Edinburgh university after threats and protests from
anti-Israeli student groups.
And also in Scotland, two leading Scottish newspapers, the
Edinburgh-based daily The Scotsman, and The Glasgow Herald, are being
by the police after virulently anti-Semitic comments were posted on
their websites alongside articles containing mistranslated comments
Israel threatening to inflict a "Holocaust" on Gaza. The Scotsman has
said it is cooperating with police to try and identify readers who
posted comments urging people to kill Scottish Jews and praising
One of Britain's leading Muslim politicians, Shahid Malik, the
government's minister for overseas development, called upon Britons to
sure that criticism of Israel's actions did not spill over into
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Israel's Pusillanimous "Leaders"
Cute story for you.
As you know, Isracampus contains a new feature, Alef Watch, which exposes
what is spread via the ALEF list, often anti-Semitic and even Neo-Nazi
Well, the heads of Haifa U are feeling the pressure about this. In a new
posting on ALEF, its head - Avraham Oz (a Pappe clone) reports that he has
been summoned to the Dean to explain himself!
Here are his words:
This message was posted last night to the faculty circuit of the
University of Haifa by the notorious Steven Plaut, a radical right wing
Professor of Business Administration at the University, who has recently
resorted to energetic political activism on the circuit, having reduced
for some reason his regular contribution to (web site) (sic), in which he
urged his readers to send hate mails to a group of Israeli dissenting
university professors, providing our addresses.
Do open the link below: it speaks for itself. You may be relieved to know
I have immediately been summoned to the Dean. Let's see what happens.
For better days,
Message cited from Haifa U professors' chat list:
Please open http://isracampus.org.il/ALEF%20Watch.htm
2. Article published Mar 15, 2008
Israel's fear of world opinion
March 15, 2008
By Edward Bernard Glick - As Israel's enemies see the Palestine problem,
the Jewish state, with the weakest and most unpopular prime minister in
its history and an army that failed in the second Lebanon war, is in
political, military and public-relations free fall. Its military neither
intimidates nor defeats its enemies. In spite of repeated assassinations,
barrages and incursions, the terrorists continue to lob rockets and
missiles into Israel at will. The principal reason, in their view and in
mine, is Israel's paralytic fear of negative world opinion and of
inflicting enemy civilian casualties. As Fouad Ajami of The Johns Hopkins
University has observed, the terrorist "always works with the winks and
nods of the society that gives him cover."
So, if the Jewish state does not conquer its fears and inflict more, not
less, collateral damage in the places from which the terror emanates, it
will surely die.
Those who wish and work for Israel's destruction do not shrink from
killing innocent civilians. So they are unimpressed by Israel's failed
policy of limiting and apologizing for such casualties, and then begging
for forgiveness from a world that masks its politically incorect
anti-Semitism with politically correct anti-Zionism.
Israel's foes would be more impressed if it followed the dictum of its
late chief of staff, Lt. Gen. David Elazar. After a commando raid in
Beirut in 1973, during which a 70-year-old Italian woman was killed, Lt.
Gen. Elazar expressed his regret but added: "Israel won't play by the
rules of partial war; wars are not won with a strong defense."
Israel's enemies remember, even if Israel's leaders do not, that Germany,
Italy and Japan surrendered in 1945 only because Allied might overwhelmed
them and made them lose their will to fight and to be led by political and
military losers. Israel's enemies remember, even if Israel's political and
military leaders do not, that the Axis Powers were defeated only because
the Allied Powers applied slow, sustained and superior force over a number
of very bloody years. And Israel's enemies remember, even if Israel's
political and military leaders do not, that avoiding enemy civilian
casualties was never a serious issue for America's Franklin Roosevelt,
Russia's Joseph Stalin or Britain's Winston Churchill.
Israel must also stop going berserk whenever one of its soldiers or
civilians is captured. This happens in war. It must cease releasing
hundreds or thousands of enemy combatants in exchange for one or two of
By any calculation, it is proper to sacrifice one soldier in order to save
10, 10 to save hundreds, hundreds to save thousands, and thousands to save
millions. Because of the symbiosis between victory and casualties, Israel
must also apply this principle to its civilian casualties. In their 1948
war of independence, in order to establish their state, at least one
percent of Israel's population of 650,000 gave their lives. But, now, when
Israel's population is 10 times larger, its leaders erroneously believe
that Israelis will not endure a far lower percentage of fatalities in
order to preserve their state.
The Israelis must stop fretting about world opinion. The only opinion that
matters, and only to the point where it does not threaten Israel's
existence, is that of diaspora Jewry and American opinion. During the 2006
Lebanon war, Americans from President Bush down to the proverbial man and
woman in the street hoped and prayed that the Israelis would be much more
audacious and victorious than they were. To survive, Israel will have to
fight by the rules of its neighborhood. The first rule is "Never let the
fear of casualties trump your military judgment." The second rule is "If
you don't win in this neighborhood, you lose, and you deserve to."
Edward Bernard Glick, author of "Between Israel and Death," is a professor
emeritus of political science at Temple University.
3. Of course he is not:
(see talkbacks, esp #90, which is the most accurate)
4. Forget Eliot Spitzer! Look at THIS scoop:
Tehran police chief caught with 6 prostitutes
Reza Zarei, who was in charge of 'moralizing the city,' forced to step
down after being caught nude in local brothel
Tehran's police chief, Reza Zarei, has been arrested after he was found
nude in a local brothel with six naked prostitutes, the Farda news website
Zarei stepped down from his post following the raid, the report said.
According to another popular Iranian website, Gooya, the order to raid the
brothel was given directly by Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, chief
of the judicial authorities.
Over the past year Zarei was in charge of enforcing the Islamic dress
code on Iranian women with the purpose of "moralizing of the city."
It is alleged that in the past six months, hundreds of young people have
been arrested in Iran for not respecting the Islamic code of behavior.
Rumors of the brothel incident had been spreading in Iran for the past two
weeks, and last week Zarei was replaced after four years as chief of
police in Tehran.
The arrest was not reported by any of Iran's official news agencies. Farda
News, which broke the story, is a website said to be close to the mayor of
Tehran and former chief of the police forces, Mohammed Bagher Qalibaf and
is considered reliable.
Bill Clinton said to be considering bid to be nominated Tehran police
5. More ex-Israelis working for a second Holocaust:
6. Those loyal Israeli Arabs:
7. Will the Israeli Prosecutor indict these inciters against peace?
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Nuremberg Rally at Oxford:
2. Oxford holds a Nuremberg Rally:
Poor Barry Chamish
by Steven Plaut
Your favorite conspiracy fiction writer and UFO nut, Barry the Chamish,
the chronically unemployed inventor of "theories" for Neo-Nazi
organizations and web sites, has a timeless investigative technique.
Above, Chamish with the source for his investigative reporting.
It is called lying and fabrication.
Chamish is incapable of putting more than 6 words on a page without lying
and usually also not without several grammar and spelling errors.
Chamish does not like me because I proved that his entire "theory" about
the Rabin assassination is a collection of lies. It is not necessary to
disprove his other "theories," about UFOs and space aliens and such, etc.
Anyhow, to "discredit" me, Chamish regularly invents imaginary nameless
people who Chamish claims have run to him with lurid gossipy stories about
me. Actually most of Chamish's sources about everything are nameless
imaginary people. He once claimed a nameless student of mine had come to
him to tell him what an awful lecturer I am, as if an MBA student would
actually talk to a Chamish. Well, in his latest epistle to his remaining
eight followers, the Chamish claims a female school mate of mine from dem
olde country, naturally nameless, wrote him about how unpopular I was with
the girls there back in school, and I pulled their pigtails and such. It
is as truthful as anything else Chamish has ever crayoned.
Poor little Chamish.
Someone should tell him that I went to an all-boys school in Philadelphia.
No sooner does Chamish get clobbered in court for lying about Ben Gvir and
hit with a 36,000 NIS fine than he tries to invent a female school mate of
mine from yesteryear from an all boys school!
How was he to know? Our intrepid investigative reporter flunks once
4. Hamas Yes, Feiglin No, in Britain:
5. Leftist Thugs:
6. Dersh on Hamas:
7. Kuwaiti paper denounces yeshiva attack
Jersualem Post march 11, 2008
A Kuwaiti newspaper on Tuesday published unprecedentedly harsh
the terror attack which killed eight students at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Cheering the Murders of the 8 Yeshiva Children, as spread via University of Haifa
State and Israel?
Answer: In New York State the head of the government was a client of
prostitutes. In Israel, the heads of the governments ARE the prostitutes!
(PS. Since when are liberals, who generally want to see prostitution
legalized and "institutionalized," so upset when someone uses their
2. There are some people in Israel who are losing their cool when it
comes to dealing with the domination of the Israeli media by the Left.
Consider what befell Ari Shamai. Shamai is a leftist lawyer and sports
journalist. He has campaigned for legalizing drugs. Curiously, he
represented Yigal Amir in his petition to allowed conjugal visits with his
wife (perhaps in order to get himself publicity).
Well, two days back, Shamai was on the Channel One TV show "Tribunal" when
the MC asked the pro-terror Islamofascist Knesset Member in the studio,
Taleb a-Sana, to apologize on behalf of the "Sons of Sakhnin" soccer club
(Sakhnin is an Arab town) because they refused to observe a moment of
silence at a soccer game on behalf of the eight children murdered last
Thursday in the Jerusalem yeshiva. Before the Knesset Member had a chance
to respond, Shamai pounced on the MC and justified the behavior of the
soccer hooligans. He challenged the MC: "When a (mentally deranged) Jew
shot several Arabs (actually they were Druse) in the town of Shfaram (a
few years back) did the soccer league observe a moment of silence? No, so
Arabs are Class B citizens and stop the hypocrisy!"
Well, I do not know if the soccer league did or not, but I doubt any Jew
in Israel would have objected to such a moment of silence. In any case,
the two incidents are hardly comparable . the murderer in Shfaram was a
lone mentally ill person who was universally denounced by Jews. The
murderer in the yeshiva last week was trained and sent out on his mission
by an Arab terror group and his crime is widely celebrated by Arabs and
Shortly afterwards, two men attacked Shamai near his radio station in
Rishon L'Tzion and pummeled him, beating the bejeebers out of him. He was
hospitalized in moderate condition.
You can see what he looked like after the attack here:
3. This is NOT a spoof!
I thought you should see what sort of anti-Semitic hatred is being
disseminated via the "ALEF" chat list, supposedly of Israeli academics,
operating under the auspices of the University of Haifa. The following
message cheering the attack on the yeshiva children was disseminated via
this ALEF list on March 10:
[alef] Arabs to the Gas Chambers, Medical experiments on Arabs - Mercaz
HaRav - a training centre for illegal occupation and murder
tony greenstein tonygreenstein at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 10 19:56:37 IST 2008
I've just come across this excellent article from Scottish Palestine
Solidarity Campaign on how the Yeshivah that was bombed last week is
probably one of the most vile institutions one could imagine. A veritable
centre of neo-Nazi or Judaeo Nazi ideas.
Medical experiments on Arabs, Arabs to the gas chambers
Mercaz HaRav - a training centre for illegal occupation, murder and
"Arabs to the Gas Chambers"
A Palestinian killed eight Israeli students in a settler movement
training centre, in retaliation for Israel.s massacre of over a hundred
Gazans, mostly civilians. Hundreds of the seminary students later chanted
"Death to the Arabs" at the gates of their seat of learning.1 This was
somehow missed by the BBC.
British prime Minister Gordon Brown, following Bush, hurried to condemn
"the murders" of the Israelis at the settlers. training centre.2 This
contrasts with his deep silence during Israel.s recent massacres in Gaza.
The BBC would have us believe that Mercaz HaRav yeshiva is a normal
school where 'religious students' 3 pursue esoteric religious studies. In
fact Mercaz HaRav is the main educational and training centre of the
fanatical Israeli settler movement, Gush Emunim, what the British
newspaper,The Independent, somewhat disingenuously calls the
"controversial settler movement". Many Mercaz HaRav graduates fill the
ranks of Gush Emunim,4 which organises attacks on Palestinians from
Jewish-only military settlements across the West Bank as part of its
declared aim of dispossessing Palestinians of 100% of Palestine.5
The Mercaz HaRav yeshiva is based on contempt for all Gentiles, not only
Arabs. The parent organisation, Gush Emunim, is heavily armed and carries
out the most revolting crimes against innocent Palestinians across the
West Bank.6 This writer has visited the Palestinian village of Yanun after
settlers had washed their dogs in the Palestinians. drinking water.7 A
Medieval ideology goes hand in hand with Medieval tactics - Hebron
settlers poison village wells with putrescent chickens. They beat and
shoot Palestinians, poison their sheep,8 generally act like the violent
thugs they are. One well-known graduate of Mercaz HaRav, Rabbi Moshe
Levinger who founded the colonies of ultras in Hebron was such a vicious
psychopath towards Palestinians that he was even found guilty of killing a
Palestinian by an Israeli court, for which he served three months in
detention.9 Rabbi Levinger was also found guilty of unprovoked assaults on
women and children, unusually, since the settlers
enjoy complete immunity10; many a Palestinian has been found guilty by
the Israeli authorities of beating himself up in the vicinity of Jewish
Mercaz HaRav yeshiva was founded by Rabbi A.Y. Kook, and later led by
his son, T.Y. Kook. The manner in which young minds are shaped at this
Yeshiva can be guessed from one of A.Y.'s spiritual pronouncements, that
"The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews . all of them
in all different levels . is greater and deeper than the difference
between a human soul and the souls of cattle."11 Kook's classification of
Palestinians as non-human allows the graduates of Mercaz HaRav to ignore
those commandments that forbid stealing, murder and coveting.
Since non-Jews are similar to another species in the Kooks. world-view,
the very notion of human rights governing the relations between Jews and
others is naturally repugnant to his followers; human rights are
definitely not on the syllabus at Mercaz HaRav. The Kooks. primitive god
is similar to that of their American Christian fundamentalist
counterparts. Both groups of fundamentalists believe that the coming of
the Messiah is imminent (they disagree on whether this is a first or a
return visit) but they agree that the normal forms of human decency are no
longer in force. For reasons that need not concern us here, the beginning
of the messianic age allows the activation of the rule, as expressed by
another unlovely Gush Emunim Rabbi, Shlomo Aviner, that "While God
requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of justice and
righteousness, such laws do not apply to Jews."12
The suspension of .such laws. extends to non-Jews. right to live and
breathe. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, another settler leader, asked
pragmatically whether "If a Jew needs a liver, can he take the liver of an
innocent non-Jew to save the Jew?"13 He replied in the affirmative,
supporting an Israeli fundamentalist theology that should make anyone
think twice before taking the kids on that beach holiday in Israel.
Palestinians have to take Ginsburgh.s ideas seriously, though, for the
learned Rabbi leads a heavily-armed gang of settlers,14 past graduates of
the classrooms of yeshuv Mercaz HaRav.
Ginsburgh also defended one particular massacre of Muslims, the killing
of 29 Hebronites at prayer in the Al-Ibrahimi mosque, on the religious
basis that a Jew is permitted to kill any non-Jew and not be deemed to
commit murder. He added, in case anybody didn.t quite get the message,
that killing even innocent Palestinians to exact revenge is .a Jewish
virtue.. Another Mercaz HaRav graduate, Rabbi Dov Lior, in 2004,
instructed his settler followers, parents of those killed in the yeshiva
recently, that the Israeli occupation forces are allowed to kill innocent
Palestinians.15 Mercaz HaRav alumni all sing from the same savage hymn
Mercaz HaRav graduates don.t just believe they can use your, or any
passing Palestinian.s, liver. Gentiles can also be useful to science. The
Israeli Attorney General was forced to intervene to bar Rabbi Lior.s
election to Israel.s top religious body following concern over his public
proposal to use captured Arab .terrorists. to conduct medical
experiments.16 (Gush Emunim considers all Palestinians to be
'terrorists'.) Lior is reputed to be the top student of Kook fils. Note
that Lior had to be barred by adminstrative methods after he had secured
enough votes from his supporters to secure a seat on Israel's Supreme
Lior recognised a kindred spirit in American-Israeli Baruch Goldstein,
who murdered the 29 Palestinian worshippers (and wounded another 150) in
the Hebron mosque. Lior eulogised the mass killer thus: "Goldstein was
full of love for fellow human beings. He dedicated himself to helping
The idea of using Arabs for medical experiments ought to be a clue to
something bigger. Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, in Jewish
Fundamentalism in Israel, spell it out: "the similarities between the
Jewish political messianic trend and German Nazism are glaring. The
Gentiles are for the messianists what the Jews were for the Nazis."18 If
you think that stealing peoples organs is just your average settler
yeshiva ghoulishness, Gush Emunim settlers. idea of leisure time
activities after yeshiva is out is to decorate Palestinian homes in Hebron
with "Arabs to the gas chambers".19
The Israeli settlements where Mercaz HaRav sends its graduates are
centres of military power and domination of the Palestinians in the West
Bank. Since secular Jews are no longer very much interested in building
settlements in densely-populated Palestinian areas, where there is a risk
of armed Palestinian opposition, only the religious fanatics are prepared
to undertake this task. That is why they are so strongly supported by the
army20 which is still mainly controlled by secular Zionists.
The Gush Emunim settlers are highly militarised zealots who can be
relied upon to fight in the army and to abuse and beat Palestinian
.cattle. at the hundreds of checkpoints they help to run across. These
zealots are increasing their influence throughout the Israeli military21
as the Labour Zionist-run core of the state is eaten away with corruption
and failure to defeat the Palestinians or Hezbollah. Their settlements
vote overwhelmingly for ultra-right parties, groups that the late Israeli
philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz termed "Judeo-Nazis".22
Why did some Gazans celebrate the Mercaz HaRav attack? We might find an
answer if we ask why the US refused to allow the UN Security Council to
condemn the Jerusalem Yeshiva and the Gaza killings together.23 The US has
a high limit on the number of Palestinian Arabs it allows Israel to kill,
and the it doesn't object that some of the huge volume of US arms pumped
into Israel find their way to settlers. These thugs combine their guns
with creative methods to harm the farmers whose land they covet. When one
man strikes back against the most genocidal settler group it is bound to
bring a grim satisfaction to those crouching under Israeli-imposed siege
in the Gaza Killing Zone. Bush, Brown, the EU, and the UN have delivered
these Gazans to Israel.s tender mercies. They well remember the hideous
settlers inside Gaza who treated them like 'cattle'.
Jerusalem, like Palestine as a whole, is saturated with armed Jews,
uniformed soldiers and police as well as gun-toting settlers. Both groups
cooperate to control the Palestinian population, who are kept unarmed in
order that they can be dispossessed. This dispossession is achieved by a
combination of the illegal occupation.s .legal. means combined with the
settlers. violent extra-legal actions. Any armed Palestinian is killed on
sight. Jerusalem, like all of Palestine, pits Jewish supremacism and
military power against a colonised population, whose anger at their status
and hostility towards their occupiers and violators is natural and
healthy. Should they kiss the whip held over their heads? Palestinians
continue to resist and we should be inspired by their courage, fortitude
and endurance against an enemy that threatens them openly with a
Alaa Abu Dheim killed eight students who were being trained to oppress
and dispossess him, his family, his entire people. He was himself killed
by an armed student. Abu Dheim's sister, Iman, said he had been deeply
affected by the Israeli massacres in Gaza. She said her brother had told
her "he wasn't able to sleep because of the grief".25 Rafael Eitan, a past
Army Chief and Deputy Prime Minister explained the rationale behind
Israel's incessant brutality:thew crushing of the Palestinians. "When we
have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be
to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle".26
Israel.s brutality towards Palestinians is a means to the Zionists.
declared end, shared by dominant groups in both secular and religious
camps, to dehumanise the .cattle., the .cockroaches.. Israel was cleared
for immigration in 1948 by terror, and is still to this day based on
terror against the entire Palestinian people. Gideon Levy claims that
"Most of the delusional right-wing perpetrators and the mongers of hate
for Arabs came from this flagship,"27 but the atheists who founded the
state of Israel were no slouches at using terror to drive out the
natives,28 nor are their secular descendents. 29 Mercaz HaRav graduates,
however, take second place to none in the history of Israeli demonization
and dispossession of Palestinians.
(Mick Napier is Chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
affiliated to PSC-UK. This article represents his personal views, not
necessarily those of the Campaign)
5. Shahak, I. And Mezvinsky, N. (1999) Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel,
London, Pluto Press, p.20
11. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.ix
12. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.71
13. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.43
17. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.103
18. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.65
19. http://electronicintifada.net/artman2/uploads/1/gaschambers235.jpg &
This writer has seen a lot of this Nazi graffitti by Mercaz HaRav
graduates in Hebron.
Western media flag up the risk of Pakistan.s nuclear weapons falling into
the hands of fundamentalist Muslim groups in that country, The lunatic
graduates of Mercaz HaRav are inching up the ladder of the military of the
Israeli nuclear super-power.
21. Shahak & Mezvinsky, p.65
"We offer our solidarity and support to the victims of this brutality
and to those who mount a resistance against it. For our part, we will use
all the means at our disposal to expose the complicity of our governments
in these crimes. There will be no peace in the Middle East while the
occupations of Palestine and Iraq and the temporarily "paused" bombings of
Tariq Ali / Noam Chomsky / Eduardo Galeano / Howard Zinn / Ken Loach /
John Berger &
Want to tell the heads of Haifa University what you think of this?
To whom can you complain?
University of Haifa:
President of the University of Haifa
Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze.ev
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Rector of the University of Haifa
Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi
University of Haifa
Mt Carmel, 31905 Haifa Israel
Chairman of the Board of Governors
Mr. Leon Charney
Law Office of Leon H. Charney
New York, NY 10018
University "Friends of" Offices Outside Israel are listed here:
Institute the Death Penalty Now
4 Adar Bet 5768, 11 March 08 08:53
by Rabbi S. Weiss
(IsraelNN.com) Desperate times call for drastic measures. The savage
attack on teenagers studying Torah and celebrating the advent of Adar - by
tradition, the happiest month in the Jewish calendar - brings home a
terrible reality many of us already knew: the Palestinian terror machine
has no red lines. Every gathering of Jews, anytime, anywhere, is a
legitimate target for these murderers; on a plane, at a Pesach Seder, in a
school library, a kindergarten or a hospital. There is no "Geneva
Convention" to restrain them, no moral boundaries in which to confine
Like Amalek of old - the archetypal Jew-hater par excellence - these
contemporary Hamans prey upon the innocent as their primary targets. They
enter hospitals with explosive-belts under their clothes; they lay in wait
to shoot at passing cars; they blow up school buses as they load or unload
their young passengers. And when they have perpetrated their "courageous"
deeds, an ecstatic Palestine dances in the streets and hands out candies,
displaying overwhelming, enthusiastic support for the outrage. Even the
"good" terrorists like Mahmoud Abbas mutter only the most tepid and
half-hearted of condemnations, never declaring that the crime was wrong,
saying only that "it harms Palestinian interests."
In such an environment, we must take drastic action. One of the things
Israel must do is activate the death penalty - used just once in our
history, when architect of the Holocaust Adolf Eichmann was executed by
hanging on June 1, 1962 - against any terrorist who survives an attack, or
against those who directly assisted him in carrying out his crime.
Capital punishment is not a popular subject these days. The European Union
bars member states from using the death penalty, and human rights
activists scream "bloody murder" at the prospect of innocent people being
wrongfully executed. Some religious leaders decry the unfairness of anyone
taking a life other than the G-d who gave it (though they are strangely
silent about euthanasia).
Jewish sources, too, tend to lean against capital punishment. The Talmud
calls a Jewish court that executes one person in 70 years a "bloody
court." And Maimonides writes: "It is better to acquit a thousand guilty
persons than to put a single innocent one to death." Yet, the Talmud, not
to mention the Torah, cites numerous occasions when criminals were
executed, ruling specifically that capital punishment can be instituted
"when the times demand it."
And in the United States - which suspended executions in 1973 but resumed
them in 1977 - a 2006 Gallup poll found that 60% of the population not
only supports the death penalty, but believes the sentence is not being
carried out often enough.
There are three compelling reasons why terrorists should be executed and,
as in the Eichmann case, their remains cremated and unceremoniously dumped
at sea in an unknown location. First and foremost is justice. These
animals who target civilians have no right to live. They have forfeited
the most basic human right by virtue of their crimes, and any punishment
save death is too good for them and is an obscene insult to the grieving
victims of terror.
Secondly, killing a terrorist insures that he or she will not be
committing any more murders. We have seen all too often how murderers with
bloody hands are set free, only to kill many more innocents. As long as we
have morally-misguided men like Binyamin Ben-Eliezer - who, incredibly,
goes around calling for mass-murderer Marwan Barghouti to be freed - we
can never be sure these criminals will stay behind bars.
Unless we execute them.
Finally, there is certainly an element of deterrence created by capital
punishment. In America, there is a clear correlation between the number of
executions and the decrease in homicides. The most striking example of
this is in Texas, which executes more murderers than any other state.
According to the Justice for All organization, the Texas murder rate fell
by 60 percent after the state began to aggressively enforce capital
punishment. And while Mideast terrorists often proclaim their willingness,
even zeal, to be martyred, the accomplices to terror, the parents and even
some terrorists themselves may certainly be influenced by the knowledge
that their lives will be forfeited for their crimes.
Critics may say that executing terrorists will only inflame the situation
and endanger Israeli lives even more. But anyone who has an inkling of
what Hamas is all about knows the absurdity of that argument.
Judaism, more than any other religion, cherishes the sanctity of life and
will go to great lengths to protect it. But that is precisely the point:
Anything less than the death penalty for terrorism is an insult to the
victim, to society and to life itself.
Haaretz, Tue., March 11, 2008 Adar2 5, 5768
Prof.: End to farm subsidies to counter shortage
By Ofri Ilani
Israel's water crisis can be helped if it stops subsidizing
agriculture, says Prof. Hillel Shoval, an expert on water management
and head of the environmental health department at Hadassah College
In a recent essay, Shoval says the farmers who claim they need more
water for their crops because they provide nourishment for the
population are misleading the public.
5. Palestinian group Hamas admits that its fighters are trained in Iran
The Sunday Times March 9, 2008
Marie Colvin, Gaza City
THE Palestinian group Hamas, blamed for last week's massacre of eight
students at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, has revealed that hundreds
of its fighters have been trained in Iran.
A senior commander interviewed by The Sunday Times said 300 of the
group's "best brains" had been secretly sent to Tehran.
6. Genocide chic: