August 31, 2004

‘American Evita – Hillary Clinton’s Path to Power’

‘American Evita – Hillary Clinton’s Path to Power’
By Christopher Anderson

Review by John Smyntek, The Detroit Free Press, August 29, 2004

(And, Let America, Israel and the Jews take careful note before voting in 2008 - jsk)

Reflect on this insight: Christopher Anderson’s Evita” is the book counterpoint to the Michael Moore pseudo-documentary on film, “Fahrenheit 9/11”

Reading “American Evita” should more than soothe the feelings of Republicans and other backers of George W Bush who felt gored by Moore’s film skewering of their leader. After all, Andersen is not a satirist, but a serious biographer who has parted veils in the lives of Madonna, the late Princess Diana, John K Kennedy Jr., Jacqueline Onassis and Caroline. Schlossberg, and George W. and Laura Bush. He is the top pop biographer of our time.

His subject - and some would argue target - this time is Hillary Rodham Clinton, the First Lady turned U.S. senator who, if all goes according to what Andersen writes is “the Plan,” would be the victorious Democratic presidentia1 standard bearer in 2008. In turn, she would promptly appoint hr ex-presidential husband, Bill, to head up the Supreme Court – (Ugh!)- (Assuming such a vacancy would be there during her term).

Impossibly ludicrous? Unfortunately, No. Hillary Clinton, a former 1960s radical student, has a large following, largely from the feminist, and the liberal core. Hillary and Bill are a singular couple in American political history. Bill, twice elected and seemingly unshaken by his impeachment, is too young to be permanently separated from the government trough that has been his career. Hillary, infamous for standing by her man despite, disavowing the country song cliché, finds herself in the odd situation of hoping for a second Bush term so that she’ll emerge as the party’s best hope four years down the line.

Anderson, as in his previous biographies, has inhaled all the voluminous material written about the Clintons and has assembled a work that’s very hard to leave for long. You can read all about Bill’s reckless philandering, all about Hillary’s peculiar acquiescence to his wildcatting, all about her fiery temper and about how they keep on keeping on together no matter what the libidinous ex-president seems to do. She is what she is — a doctrinaire liberal socialist who wants to use government and its taxation power to re-weave society.

And Andersen indicates she might be the most pro- Palestinian president ever, a shock to the Jewish chunk of the liberal bloc.

Historians think Eleanor and Franklin 0. Roosevelt had a unique marital arrangement after his affair with Lucy Mercer. The Clintons make their deal look like some teen romance. Andersen alleges Clinton’s conquests are probably in the hundreds and continue now with women of stature far above White House interns.

Make Bill a Supreme Court chief justice even though he can’t even practice before the court because of his lying about his Monica Lewinsky involvement? Why not? Who’d have thought a boy- wonder politician who was ousted after his first term as Arkansas governor and with enough sexual baggage to fill several freight cars would have made it to the White House?

Perhaps Andersen does the Bush forces some harm in partially diverting the spotlight to 2008 and Hillary Clinton instead of 2004 and John Kerry and John Edwards. But it’s not the kind of heavy-handed damage Moore tried to inflict in his movie. In modern super-polarized American politics, it can be argued that neither Andersen nor Moore will change any votes and are preaching to the respective choirs. But that doesn’t mean the concerts aren’t interesting.

JOHN SMYNTEX compiles the Free Press Names&Faces column.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:51 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2004

Letter to CNN and American Newspapers and TV

Once again CNN and so many other networks indulge in their own version of what is called “political correctness” by some and “deliberate obfuscation of the facts” by the more direct.

Yesterday in their report on the latest horrific murder of the Black tribes in the Sudan, CNN ascribed the slaughter to “government militias.” At no time did they advise the uninformed viewer that these “government militias” were actually Arabs hell bent on removing the native Black people from Sudan in order to form another ethnically cleansed country ruled by Islam.

Of course, the very same thing happens with reporting from Chechnya and any number of other Islamic-induced wars around the globe. Who would know from the telecasts or broadcasts that Chechnya is another conflict wherein Islamists, aided by imported Arab terrorists, are using the very same political tactics to blow Russia out of Chechnya and make it yet another Islamic republic.

For whom is CNN and the other networks being politically correct – our great friends in the Arab world, that have been trying to destroy us as well, long before 9/11? Please read Norman Podhoretz’s illuminating article in Commentary, September 2004. The title is World War IV. Guess who are the antagonists.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004

Senator Edward’s Malpractice Suits Leave Bitter Taste in North Carolina

By Charles Hurt
The Washington Times, August 28, 2004

The American Medical Association lists North Carolina’s current health care situation as a “crisis” and blames it on medical-malpractice lawsuits such as the ones that made Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. John Edward a millionaire many times over.

One of the most successful personal-injury lawyers in North Carolina history, Mr. Edwards won dozens of lawsuits against doctors and hospitals across the state that he now represents in the Senate. He won more than 50 cases with verdicts or settlements of $1 million or more, according to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, and 31 of those were medical-malpractice suits.

During his 20 years of suing doctors and hospitals, he pioneered the art of blaming psychiatrists for patients who commit suicide and blaming doctors for delivering babies with cerebral palsy according to doctors, fellow lawyers and legal observers who followed Mt Edwards’ career in North Carolina.

“The John Edwards we know crushed obstetrics, gynecology and neurosurgery in North Carolina,” said Dr Craig VanDerVeer, a Charlotte neurosurgeon. ‘As a result, thousands of patients lost their health care?’

“And all of this for the little people?” he asked, a reference to Mr. Edwards’ argument that he represented regular people against mighty foes such as prosperous doctors and big insurance companies. “How many little people do you know who will supply you with $60 million in legal fees over a couple of years?”

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Edwards declined to comment beyond e-mailing his and John Kerry’s “real plan for medical-malpractice reform?’ The plan calls for one measure that Mr. Edwards previously had said is meaningless and does not impose caps on verdicts for economic damages or limits on attorneys’ fees.
One of his most noted victories was a $23 million settlement he got from a 1995 case — his last before joining the Senate — in which he sued the doctor, gynecological clinic, anesthesiologist, and hospital involved in the birth of Bailey Griffin, who had cerebral palsy and other medical problems.

Linking complications during childbirth to cerebral palsy became a specialty for Mr. Edwards. In the courtroom, he was known to dramatize the events at birth by speaking to jurors as if he were the unborn baby begging to be let out of the womb! “He was very good at it,” said Dr. John Schmitt, an obstetrician and gynecologist who used to practice in Mr. Edward’s hometown of Raleigh, NC.

“But the science behind a lot of his arguments was flawed?’ In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published a joint study that cast serious doubt on whether events at childbirth cause cerebral palsy. The “vast majority of cerebral, palsy cases originate long before childbirth, according to the study.
“Now, he would have a much harder time proving a lot of his cases,” said Dr. Schmitt, who now practices at the University of Virginia Health System.

Another profitable area of litigation for Mt. Edwards was lawsuits against psychiatrists whose patients committed suicide. In 1991, he won $2.2 million for the estate of a woman who hanged herself in a hospital after being removed from suicide watch. It was the first successful medical malpractice case in Mr. Edwards’ home of Wake County.

During jury selection, Mr. Edwards asked potential jurors whether they could hold a doctor responsible fir the suicide of their patients. “I got a lot of speeches from potential jurors who said they did not understand how that doctor could be responsible.” Mr. Edwards recalled in an interview shortly after the trial.” Those persons were excluded from the jury. In the end, Mr. Edwards scored $1.5 million for “wrongful death” and $175,000 in “emotional distress” for the woman’s children.

“One thing, I was grappling with was how to explain to the jury the difference between loss of companionship and society —the things under the wrongful-death statute — and emotional pain and suffering, which superficially sound like the same thing,” he said at the time. “What we did was to tell them the wrongful-death damages are for the loss of all the things that a mother does for the child. But the emotional pain and suffering damages represent the grieving. The pain is something you feel over the death of your mother:” ##

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2004

A Man of Passion, Fervor, Fiery Conviction?

An Evaluation of John Kerry by David Brooks, New York Times columnist

Detroit Free Press August 25, 2004

I’m launching a major investigation into whether the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization is being secretly financed by the Kerry campaign. Yesterday that organization began airing ads drawing attention to John Kerry’s 1971 testimony against the Vietnam War. If voters see that testimony, they will see a young man arguing passionately for a cause. They will see a young man willing to take risks and boldly state his beliefs. Whether they agree or not, they will see in Kerry a man of conviction. Many young people, who don’t have an emotional investment in endlessly re-fighting the conflicts of the late l960s, might take a look at that man and decide they like him. They might not realize that man no longer exists.

That conviction was still visible as late as the 198Os. When Kerry opposed aid to the contras or took on Oliver North. He did it with the same forthright fire.
But then in the early l990s, things began to evolve. First, Kerry relied on his post-VietNam convictions but ended up casting the vote against the first Iraq war that threatened his political future.

Then the political climate changed. Bill Clinton came to power and suddenly the old Viet Nam liberalism was no longer in vogue. The future belonged to triangulating New Democrats. Then Newt Gingrich came in and the frame of debate shifted further to the right. Kerry was now in a position to run for national office — and thus needed to be acceptable to a national constituency.

Kerry’s speeches in the 1990s read nothing like that 1971 testimony. The passion is gone. The pompous prevaricator is in. You read them and you see a man so cautiously calculating that he envelops himself in a fog of caveats and equivocations. You see a man losing the ability to think like a normal human being.

Tough decisions are evaded through the construction of pointless distinctions. Hard questions are verbosely straddled. Kerry issued statements endorsing the use of force in the Balkans so full of back door caveats, you couldn’t tell if he was coming or going. He delivered a tough-sounding speech on urban poverty filled with escape clauses he then exploited when the criticism came in.

Most people take pride in their own opinions. They feel attached to them as part of who they are. But Kerry can be coldly detached from his own views, willing to use them, flip them or hide them depending upon the exigencies of the moment. For example, on Aug. 1, Kerry told George Stephanopoujos, “I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just in Iraq but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps.”

When Bush outlined a plan along those lines, Kerry blasted the president, saying it was reckless to embrace the idea he had endorsed two weeks before.

Even more psychologically corrosive is Kerry’s continual suppression of sincere belief. Almost every American has a view about whether this Iraq war is worthwhile or a big mistake — except Kerry. He’s both called himself an anti-war candidate and said he would even vote for the war resolution. He’s either lost the ability to make a clear decision on this central issue, or he thinks it would he imprudent to express a view.

All this is odd for a person who is such a child of the l960s. Authenticity was a big concept then. Nobody would accuse the current Kerry of that. In fact, the Democratic convention dwelt obsessively on the period in his life when Kerry was authentic, so it could evade the last 20 years of rising inauthenticity.

In short, he’s not the flaming Liberal the Republicans sometimes try to portray. He’s not flaming anything. If today’s Kerry were called before that 1971 Senate committee, he would have prudently told the throngs that he was for the goals of the war but against the implementation, for the idea but against the timing, for the troops but against this nuance and that nuance and the other one.

Nobody accomplishes much in politics without a consuming ambition, but sometimes they are changed along the way. ##

David Brooks is a New York Times columnist, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard and a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:35 PM

August 23, 2004

PM Sharon vs. his own Likud Party re: “Unity” Gov’t with Labor

From Arutz Sheva (Israel Independent Radio and TV) August 20, 2004

Prime Minister Sharon addressing Likud Party Convention Aug. 18, 2004

"There are moments in the life of a nation that it must make difficult decisions. The State of Israel has reached this moment... This is the responsibility that is placed upon the Likud and its members, on me and also on you... Ever since I established this government, I knew that the current coalition is the best one. We could have continued with it, but it requires the entire Likud faction to support its decisions. Without that, there is no choice but to expand the coalition. (with the inclusion of Labor). One cannot demand that it not be expanded while at the same time working against its decisions... This behavior of some within the Likud is not worthy of members of the ruling party. It is liable to bring the Likud to the brink of a split..."

Deputy Minister Michael Ratzon opened by saying,

"The longing for the Land of Israel is the glue that unites us," and then read a poem of love for the land by Yemenite poet R. Shalom Shabazi. He later turned to Prime Minister Sharon and said,
"I recognize you as first among equals, but you must remember that all of us - those on the stage and those in the audience - are all equal... One cannot request [the Likud members'] support while at the same time ignoring [them] the entire way. The entry of the Labor Party would be a historic mistake that will lead us more and more to the left until we bypass even [Yossi] Beilin. We need not revive the dying empty Labor Party, whose future is behind her, and we need not turn the Likud into hostages of the Labor Party, which will then decide when to topple the government and remove us from power. But worst of all is that we are disengaging from our own public - the land of Israel, the people of Israel, the tradition of Israel - this is the true Likud! We must stand for our right-wing voters - traditionalists, residents of the outlying neighborhoods and development towns. Who will vote for the Likud if we join up with Labor and implement their ideology?"

Continuing to address Sharon, Ratzon said,
"I followed you for many years. I volunteered for a military high school because I wanted to be a hero like you. I defended you before the media when they called you a traitor and a murderer [in the early 1980's], I stood with signs supporting you when it wasn't popular, I was with you in Judea and Samaria in fighting terrorism and in establishing the settlement enterprise. To stand against you now is a crisis for me. But - what happened to you? Did the left-wing press scare you off? Certainly it's enjoyable to be warmly embraced - but by whom?! By [extreme left-wing] Yoel Marcus of Haaretz?!"

Minister Uzi Landau, head of the anti-disengagement camp in the Likud:

"I am in favor of peace with security, and I know that this has a price that involves painful compromises... But I am not in favor of the fact that we had to force the party to hold this convention by turning to the Likud Court. For two years, the Likud and its institutions have been trampled... We have been subject to hearing talk of 'occupation' and unilateral withdrawals and that those who object to this are an extreme fringe group...
"The government is stable, and it has a majority. [Mr. Prime Minister,] maintain the NRP, return the National Union, keep United Torah Judaism on our side - but don't include Labor! Listen to [Labor MKs] Vilnai and Mitzna and Ramon. They say that they will evacuate the Yesha communities with the Likud, and then they'll leave the government and cause new elections. We all know that with this government, you can - unfortunately - pass the disengagement plan, so why do you need Labor? Is there something we don't know? Maybe we should ask Ehud Olmert who said that quitting Gaza is just the beginning? Do you need Labor in order to help you continue the uprootings?"

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:39 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

John Kerry’s Foreign Policy and Teresa’s ‘Charitable” foundation

From the Washington Times, August 8 and 15, 2004

In his quest for the presidency John Kerry has sought to portray President Bush as someone with a mindless contempt for our European allies and the
United Nations. The way to achieve success in Iraq, Mr. Kerry says, is to elect a president “who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side.”

In a Dec.3 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry said that, if he were elected president, he would “go to the United Nations and travel to our traditional allies to affirm that the United States has rejoined the community of nations” This, Mr. Kerry would have us believe, is far superior to Mr. Bush’s approach to dealing with Saddam Hussein — one which did not win the approval of Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac or Gerhard Schroeder.

One would never know it from listening to Mr. Kerry, but his approach has been tried by the Europeans for more than a year in an attempt to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It has been an abject failure, while Mr. Bush’s more assertive foreign policy approach has achieved some important successes.

Mr. Bush, for example, ended any possibility that Saddam Hussein could build more weapons of mass destruction and intimidated Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi into ending his WMD programs. By contrast, diplomats representing the EU 3 (Britain, France and Germany) said Sunday that talks in Paris produced “no substantial progress” in restricting Iran’s nuclear activities.

On July 31, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced that Iran has resumed building centrifuges to enrich uranium for atomic weapons.Over the past year the International Atomic Energy Agency has issued a series of reports documenting Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons programs. During this period, the Bush administration has reluctantly deferred to the Europeans’ desire for a softer approach to Iran.

While this has been taking place, Mr. Kerry has actually attacked the Bush administration for being too tough on the dictatorship in Iran! In his Dec. 3 speech, for example, he said: “It is incomprehensible and unacceptable that this administration refuses to broker an arrangement. Iran.” Mr. Kerry touted the EU’s effort as a superior alternative to the Bush approach.

In February Mr. Kerry’s national security issues coordinator, Rand Beers, accused the Bush administration of blocking U.S-Iranian talks. That same month, the Kerry campaign sent a letter to the Tehran Times (a mouthpiece for Iran’s Islamist government) suggesting that the Bush administration is to blame for many of the world’s problems

Mr. Kerry’s formulation is quite simply false. When it comes to Iran policy, the fundamental problem thus far is that Washington has deferred to Mr. Kerry’s ideological soul mates in Europe, whose diplomatic approach to Iran has yielded absolutely nothing and given the regime more time to develop nuclear weapons. There are few better recent illustrations of the bankruptcy of Mr. Kerry’s foreign policy approach.

As to the “Charities” of Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry

In checking campaign finances, Teresa Heinz Kerry’s charities should not be overlooked. The Howard Heinz Endowment Foundation, which she controls, contributes heavily to the Tides Foundation, which, in turn, supports the following:

Numerous anti-war groups, including Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center.

The Democratic Justice Fund, a joint venture with billionaire Bush-hater George Soros. The fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim immigration from “terrorist” states.

Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) whose leaders have close ties to the terrorist group Hamas.

National Lawyers Guild, organized as a communist front during the cold war era. One of their attorneys, Lynne Stewart, has been arrested for helping a client, V Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, communicate with terror cells in Egypt. He is the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Barrio Warriors, a radical Hispanics’ group whose goal is to return Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas to Mexico.

The Ruckus Society, which organized the Seattle riots during the World Trade Organization meeting and which now plans to disrupt the Republican Convention while giving a pass to the Democrat Convention.

Mrs. Heinz Kerry also controls Senator John Kerry’s expensive life style through her pre-nuptial agreement. The thought of her influence in the White House makes one tremble.

John Davis in the Washington Times, August 15, 2004
Thorofare, New Jersey

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2004

What Does It Mean To ‘Choose Life’?

What Does It Mean To ‘Choose Life’?

By Rabbi Irwin Groner

The Detroit Jewish News, August 13, 2004

Shabbat Reeh: Deuteronomy 11:26-1617; Isaiah 54:11-55:5.

The Torah reading begins with Moses, speaking in the name of God and declaring, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse, the blessing if you obey the commandments ... the curse if you disobey.”

The passage is difficult to accept. Our simplest understanding is that if the people keep the Torah, they will be rewarded. If they don’t, they will be punished. Good things — blessings — will happen to good people, those who keep the Torah. Bad things will happen to bad people. But how could Moses or any mortal make such a promise?

As we continue reading, we discover a similar passage that provides us with a fuller understanding of Moses’ words. We find that the blessing and curse intertwined with the choice between life and death. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curse, therefore, choose life.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19)

What does it mean to choose life? Is life then ours to choose? As a rabbi I see people who are struggling to live knowing that the outcome is uncertain or worse. What does it mean to choose life? What is the relationship between choosing life and being blessed?

I quote Sigmund Freud, who taught that in the human psyche are not only the will to live, but also the will to die. Every human struggles with the task of strengthening the will to live and overcoming the will to die. We are all aware of that danger in certain lifestyles: the danger of sexual promiscuity; the danger in the use of drugs that affect one’s state of consciousness; the danger in the consumption of alcohol; and the danger of smoking.

“Choose life” means reject all that which weakens or diminishes our health and strength. Why do people take these risks, entering a twilight world so treacherous and fraught with peril? The answer is they want to flee the present moment. They seek to escape the burdens of choice and decision. Life is often stressful and painful and they wish to drop out and retire from life itself.

A second way of choosing life is by not wasting time. If we count the period spent in front of the television set, we don’t need an accountant to inform us that the hours soon become days and weeks and months. The simple act of turning off the TV and opening a worthwhile book is an example of choosing life.

In Hebrew, the modern term for going out and having a good time is levalot, which actually means to wear something out, to turn a usable garment into an outworn rag. Its equivalent is the American phrase “to kill time.” We should recognize the inherent destruction arising from the failure to manage time, to discipline one's use of time.

We can identify a third way to choose life in the broadest sense of the word. Not just life as the avoidance of death, but life in its fullest meaning. This emerges in a revealing verse in last week’s portion “Man does not live on bread alone, but by everything that proceeds from the mouth of God does man live.”

The commentaries distinguish between existence and life. Bread gives us existence, the ability to stand on our feet, to work, to survive. But that which emanates from God’s mouth provides life’s meaning and purpose and eternal value.

Victor Frankel, a psychiatrist who was a survivor of the Holocaust, wrote of his experience. He discovered in the camps the most important drive within humans is not pleasure or power but meaning. Those who clung to the higher meaning, who were involved in working out a mathematical or scientific problem or who kept a journal or who were writing a Sefer Torah or who were helping others, often managed to survive the death camp of Auschwitz. This search for purpose beyond physical survival, this quest for self-transcendence, this yearning for the infinite is what comes forth from God’s mouth, as it were. This is the true meaning of the life that we alone can choose.

An individual can commit suicide in one moment or in a lifetime of wasted moments. The years a person is given are not under our control, but we do have the moments God has given us. If we choose not to waste those precious moments, then we have chosen life. #

Irwin Groner is rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield, MI

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:46 PM | Comments (2)

August 12, 2004

The Democratic Convention in Boston re: the United States and Israel

By SHMULEY BOTEACH, The International Jerusalem Post, August 13, 2004

On the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, from where I was broadcasting my radio show, I found myself sitting 10 feet from Michael Moore. He was chatting with journalists, so I decided to ask if he would agree to be a guest on my radio show. I wanted to debate him about his Bush-hating Fahrenheit 9/11. But when he saw me approaching, he dismissed me with a single, condescending flick of his finger as if I were a bug crawling up his arm.

I was initially offended by his arrogant gesture and knowing of his hatred of Israel - he identified Israel as one of the three epicenters of evil in the world (New York Times, June 26 2004) - I wondered if his attitude had something to do with my yarmulke and beard. But then I remembered a recent New Yorker profile of Moore that portrayed him as something of a monster who treats his employees like garbage.

I walked away. A moment later I was shocked to see president Jimmy Carter walk up to Moore in front of a gargantuan television audience and give him a warm handshake and then sit next to him for the duration of Bill Clinton’s speech to the convention. Here was a former president lending his statute to a man who wrote on his web site last April that America brings immeasurable misery and sadness to the world. But then, Jimmy Carter, who rarely met a tyrant he didn’t like, has been embarrassing the United States with irresponsible actions for decades. Supporters of Israel need to question whether they wish to support a party that honors men like these.

The Democrats positively mobbed Moore wherever he went — and whose presidential candidate, John Kerry, said last year that he might send Jimmy Carter to the Middle East as his personal envoy. I fear that the increasing anti-war posture of the Democratic Party (not withstanding that Kerry voted for the war) will ultimately turn against Israel.

The delegates at the convention were Carter Democrats rather than John Kerry Democrats. Nine out of 10 delegates reportedly consider the war in Iraq a mistake and support a speedy troop withdrawal. The most common refrain heard throughout the convention was that:

‘America needed to restore its respect and popularity in the world.
What better way to do that than by ending its solid support for Israel.
America is hated by the nations of the world almost entirely due to its support of Israel and the war in Iraq. The United States is the great champion of Israel and is therefore loathed by a world that despises the Jewish state. Likewise, the US has incurred the wrath of the world by refusing to turn a blind eye toward Arab tyranny as embodied by Saddam Hussein.’

When Democratic Party leaders demand that George Bush be dumped so that America can be loved again by the French and the Germans, they are well aware that the only way that’s going to happen is by a radical change in American foreign policy. That would take us back to Bill Clinton’s days, when America was neutral on the Arab Israeli conflict and when it largely turned a blind eye to Arab tyranny.

But so long as America puts principle before profit by standing up for tiny Israel against half a billion Arabs and forcibly removing Arab tyrants, the world will continue to hate the superpower. Washington has become an international irritant by shaking up a complacent world order that couldn’t care less if the Arabs eventually democratize.

That America is hated for standing up for Israelis and Iraqis against aggressive Arab bullying should not surprise us. The Talmud teaches that Mount Sinai, which means “mountain of hatred,” earned its name because the Ten Commandments that were given there made the Jewish people the most hated nation on Earth. The world doesn’t want a conscience, and the Earth’s inhabitants have always sought freedom from a moral code.

Because the Jews were entrusted by God with commandments such as “Thou shalt not kill,” they immediately become the enemies of murderers.
Now that America has become the moral conscience of the world by aggressively promoting liberty and justice, it too is being demonized.

The Democratic Party would have us believe that there is something wrong in having the whole world oppose you. But the Jews have long known that there is honor in it as long as you are right and they are wrong. When all the world closes its eyes to slaughter and tyranny, Winston Churchill taught us in his opposition to Britain’s policy of appeasement that the noble dare not close their eyes as well — even if it means losing the “respect” of the world.

I personally do not need the respect of Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan. These are dishonorable men who used their influence to protect a wicked tyrant rather than his innocent victims. Nor do I wish for the respect of Jimmy Carter, a man who was the first American president to witness the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism but capitulated in the face of its threat. And I certainly do not seek the respect of a man like Michael Moore, who profits from portraying the United States as a murderous dictatorship and Israel as its chief partner in crime.

The writer is a rabbi and author and hosts a daily US radio show - www

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:08 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2004


Kerry's Choice = Arafat Yes-Man

By David Bedein, | August 2, 2004

Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry’s newly appointed Middle East advisor, Martin Indyk, has been working for years to garner American support for Yasser Arafat and his terrorist regime. As the Middle East Advisor to the Clinton administration, Indyk managed to help Arafat wrest complete control over the Palestinian people through deceit and subterfuge. And now, if he gets his way, American troops may find themselves in the middle of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip-providing cover for Hamas and Palestinian Jihad.

The Israeli newspaper correspondent, Natan Guttman, from Ha’Aretz, reported that Indyk has said he expected the Israeli government to pay more serious attention to John Kerry. Sources close to Indyk indicated the Kerry campaign felt miffed that the Israeli government had yet to dispatch its head of state to meet with Kerry, and that the Israeli government was simply too closely coordinated with President George W. Bush.

The very mention of Indyk, who served two stints as ambassador to Israel, sends shudders down the spine of senior members of the Israel defense and foreign policy establishment. For the past year, Indyk, in his new capacity as the head of the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, has conducted a campaign to dispatch U.S. troops to intervene in the Middle East conflict. Indyk has gone so far as to say that the U.S. should sent troops or create a protectorate over the West Bank and Gaza. Such a step would place the U.S. in a virtual state of war with the Israeli army, which has always viewed some of the West Bank and Gaza as vital to the security concerns of the state of Israel.

Indyk -- who, by the way, is funded by millionaire toy inventor Haim Saban, who also catapulted Ehud Barak into his disastrous short term as Prime Minister of Israel -- is generally looked upon as the man who planned the Oslo process that gave Yassir Arafat and the PLO armed control over most of the Palestinian Arab population.

In 1994, journalist Haim Shibi of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported that in 1987, Indyk had convinced more than 150 members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment that Israel should unilaterally withdraw from territories gained in 1967 Six Day War. Indyk oversaw every step of the disastrous Oslo process with this precise policy in mind of Israel giving up land vital to her defense.

And Indyk did not hesitate to misrepresent the intentions and policies of the PLO while doing so. Particularly, the PLO has never adhered to the basic commitment it made to cancel its covenant that calls for the eradication of the Jewish state. In September 1995, with the signing of the second Oslo interim agreement at the White House, the U.S. Congress mandated that the U.S. would only be able to provide funds to the Palestinian Authority and provide diplomatic status to Arafat if the PLO covenant was finally canceled. The Palestinians have never done it, yet the foreign aid money kept rolling in to the Palestinian Authority.

On April 24, 1996, the PLO convened a special session of its Palestine National Council (PNC) to consider the subject of the PLO covenant cancellation. Our news agency dispatched a Palestinian TV crew to cover that session, which filmed the event. The film crew brought back a videotape that showed a lively discussion, the conclusion of which was to ratify Arafat’s suggestion that the PNC simply create a committee to “discuss” the subject. I rushed the video to Ambassador Indyk for comment, but he did not respond to that request. In addition, he chose to ignore the decision of the PNC and instead to issue a falsified report to President Clinton and to the U.S. Congress that the PLO covenant had been canceled.

As a result, Arafat was provided with a red carpet greeting at the White House on May 1, 1996. The next day, Hebrew University Professor Yehoshua Porat, a former activist in Peace Now and an expert in Palestinian studies who is fluent in Arabic, convened a press conference in which he shared documents of the PNC session and the videotape that proved Arafat never canceled the PLO covenant. But the damage was already done. Thanks to the obfuscations of Martin Indyk, Arafat received the crucial diplomatic recognition and foreign aid that he needed from the U.S. to buttress the PLO.

In December 1998, Clinton himself came to Gaza, accompanied by Indyk, and asked for a show of hands from members of the PNC as to whether they want to cancel the PLO covenant and make peace with Israel. He got his true answer when the next day, Arafat’s trusted spokesman, Yassir Abed Abbo, told the Palestinian Arabic media that the PNC had, of course, not canceled any covenant.

In September, 2000, Dr. Uzi Landau, then serving as the head of the Knesset State Control Committee (the equivalent of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs), took the unusual step of filing a formal complaint against United States Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk.

Landau quoted the September 16, 2000 report in the Guardian of London that "the U.S. Ambassador to Israel yesterday urged Israel to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians.” Mr. Indyk said: “There is no other solution but to share the holy city..." and Landau also noted that Ambassador Indyk was similarly quoted by the Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz.

Landau went on to say that “the timing of the speech and the political context in which it was delivered leave no room for doubt that Ambassador Indyk was calling on the Government of Israel to divide Jerusalem. Indeed, the Guardian correspondent described the remarks as ‘a sharp departure from Washington orthodoxy in recent years.’”

In addition to his remarks concerning Jerusalem, Ambassador Indyk offered his views regarding secular-religious tensions in Israel and the role of the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism. He also intimated his tacit support for Prime Minister Barak's so-called secular revolution. As a commentator in the liberal daily Ha'aretz, noted: "readers are urged to imagine what the Americans would say if the Israeli ambassador to Washington were to come to a local religious institution and say such things."

Landau, who today serves in a ministerial post in the Israeli government that negotiates the sensitive relations between the U.S. and Israel, mentioned in his letter to Clinton that he wished to “strongly protest Ambassador Indyk's blatant interference in Israel's internal affairs and democratic process… I am sure you would agree that it is simply unacceptable for a foreign diplomat to involve himself so provocatively in the most sensitive affairs of the country to which he is posted.

If a foreign ambassador stationed in the United States were to involve himself in a domestic American policy debate regarding race relations or abortion, the subsequent outcry would not be long in coming. Ambassador Indyk's remarks about Jerusalem are an affront to Israel, particularly since he made them in the heart of the city that he aspires to divide. By needlessly raising Arab expectations on the Jerusalem issue, rather than moderating them, Ambassador Indyk has caused inestimable damage to the peace process. It is likewise inexplicable that Ambassador Indyk would choose to interject his private religious preferences into the debate over secular-religious tensions in Israel.”

Landau made it a point even more by stating that “this is not the first time that the American Embassy in Israel has interfered in our internal affairs. In February, I wrote to you in the wake of media reports that Embassy officials were lobbying Israeli-Arab leaders regarding a possible referendum on the Golan Heights. My fear is that such interference in Israel's affairs is rapidly becoming routine.”
Landau concluded his missive to Clinton with a “Request that you recall Ambassador Indyk to the United States.” Unfortunately, Landau’s protestations did not help.

Only two months later, in early November 2000, Arafat’s Second Intifada terror campaign was getting underway, and Indyk was strongly condemning Israel’s military actions against Arafat’s forces. Indyk remarked that what the Israelis had to do was to get Arafat to act against the perpetrators of the violence, such as Hamas, Tanzim gangs and the Islamic Jihad diplomatically. He did not mention that Arafat's own Force 17 bodyguard, Preventive Security and other Palestinian Authority forces were also responsible for a considerable portion of the violence. Indyk never wants to hold Arafat responsible when Arafat’s personal forces carry out terrorist activities and kill people.

And in late November 2000, when Israel issued a “white paper” on intercepted intelligence from Arafat’s headquarters that showed documentary evidence that Arafat and his mainstream PLO gangs were indeed facilitating the campaign of terror, Indyk made a special trip to Jerusalem to demand that the Israeli government withdraw its report. Indyk had just reported to the U.S. Congress that the Palestinian groups organizing the terror campaign were NOT under Arafat’s control.

Eight months later, on May 21, 2001, in an address to Ben Gurion University, Indyk stuck to his guns and continued to position Arafat and company as U.S. colleagues in the War on Terror by telling Israel: “What you do is you get Arafat to act against the perpetrators of the violence, Hamas, Tanzim gangs, the Islamic Jihad and you get the Israeli government to hold back the Israeli army while he does so. But that requires a great deal of energy and commitment on Arafat's part -- in very risky circumstances to take on the very angry Palestinian street -- and that requires a great deal of restraint and forbearance on the part of the government of Israel.”

Indyk’s admonition to Israel to turn the other cheek when it comes to Arafat has become his mantra. Meanwhile, Israelis and even some American citizens have died at the hands of the PLO.

In geopolitical circles, Indyk’s ideas of dispatching U.S. troops to an area where they could become targets of the PLO or be killed in crossfire between Israeli troops and Arafat’s forces had rendered him obsolete. That is until Senator Kerry appointed Inyk as his man for Middle East policy two days ago. Now they will have to take Indyk’s personal policy to hide the crimes of Fatah and the PLO and coerce American soldiers to protect Arafat’s terrorists seriously.

Imagine if the PLO fires upon Jewish population centers and American soldiers get killed in the crossfire. Because this is what the PLO wants. Furthermore, the PLO openly and verbally supports the insurgency in Iraq. How long will it be before American soldiers are taken hostage by Palestinian terror groups, or worse, killed like the 241 U.S. marines in Beirut in 1983?

Are American lives threatened by Kerry’s choice for his Middle East advisor? Time will tell. So will the November elections.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2004

International Court of Justice criticizes its own decision

By Malcolm Hoenlein, Jerusalem Post International, August 6, 2004

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion against Israel’s security fence has been harshly criticized. It lacks credibility, disregards the wider context of the conflict; ignores Palestinian terrorism, denies Israel’s right of self defense; and its history of the conflict is unbalanced. And that’s just from the ICJ judges themselves.

Despite the UN General Assembly’s overwhelming approval of the ICJ opinion a week ago, the separate opinions of the judges reveal a far more complex picture. Only the judge from the United States, Thomas Buergenthal, voted against the advisory opinion, yet the British, Dutch and Japanese judges all expressed serious reservations

Judge Buergenthal minced no words in his dissenting opinion. He wrote that Pa1estinian terrorist attacks “are never really seriously examined by the Court, and the dossier provided the Court by the United Nations on which the Court to a large extent bases its findings, barely touches on that subject.”

The British judge, Rosalyn Higgins, was equally blunt about the lack of context: “The Court states that it ‘is indeed aware that the question of the wall is part of a greater whole’ and it would take this circumstance carefully into account in any opinion it might give. In fact, it never does so.”

Elsewhere Judge Higgins called the court’s history of the Arab-Israeli conflict “neither balanced nor satisfactory.” She criticized the attempt to link this case with the Namibia case that condemned apartheid in South Africa, as did the Dutch and Japanese judges. Judge Higgins was clearly exasperated by the court’s ludicrous conclusion that Israel has no right of defense against Palestinian terrorists: “I fail to understand the Court’s view that an occupying Power loses the right to defend its own civilian citizens at home if the attacks emanate from the occupied territory.

Palestine cannot be sufficiently an international entity to be invited to these proceedings and to benefit from ‘humanitarian law, but not sufficiently an international entity for the prohibition of armed attack on others to be applicable. This is formalism of an uneven handed sort.” Judging by the strength of her objections, it is surprising that she did not vote against the opinion.

The two Arab judges were not satisfied with depriving Israel of its right to self- defense. The Jordanian judge, Awn Shawkat Al Khasawneh attacked the Road Map, the only peace plan accepted by Israelis, Palestinians and the Quartet mediators. His legal opinion was that the road maps “mutual and reciprocal obligations” no longer exist

What are the primary Palestinian obligations under the road map? Ending terrorism, reforming the political process and ending corruption.
The opinion of the Egyptian judge, Nabil Elaraby, best exemplified how this court did not let facts get in the way of its opinion. He wrote that Security Council resolution 242 “called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the territories occupied in the conflict”

In fact, resolution 242 calls for Israeli withdrawal “from territories” captured in the 1967 Six Day War, neither “from the territories” nor “from all territories.” Arthur Goldberg, US ambassador to the UN when the resolution was negotiated, confirmed that understanding: “The notable omissions — which were not accidental — in regard to withdrawal are the words ‘the’ or ‘all’ and the ‘June 5, 1967 lines’ ... the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal.”

Less subtle Is Judge Elaraby’s justification of Palestinian terrorism:
“Throughout the annals of history, occupation has always been met with armed resistance. Violence breeds violence.” Not content with distorting facts, Judge Elaraby also invented them: “Over 100,000 civilian noncombatants have been rendered homeless and hapless” due to the construction of the fence, he wrote.

If 100,000 Palestinians had been made homeless by the fence, it would certainly be a tragedy except that it’s a lie. Even the April 2004 report of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics tells a very different story - Ten destroyed and 14 partially damaged residential buildings due to the fence.
Israel should not be asked to respect the court’s opinion, when several of the court’s own judges find it so difficult to do so. The complaints go far beyond normal dissent. They show exasperation with the biased request from the General Assembly to condemn this nonviolent response to terror without reference to the terror that necessitated it.

The opinion is an obstacle to peace, not an expression of justice. It sustains the illusion that violence pays and will be rewarded, negating the possibility of negotiations. It is regrettable that yet another important world body has been demeaned and diminished by those with extremist political objectives in the relentless drive to isolate Israel.

The writer is executive vice-chairman, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:30 PM

August 04, 2004

This is a war on radical Islam not “Terrorism.”

Word games don’t change the facts.

By Nolan Finley, Editorial page Editor, The Detroit News

The last thing Nick Berg heard as his head was being sliced off in Iraq were the chants of his executioners, ‘Allah is great.” Same for American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan two years ago, and for contractor Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia last month and for the other unfortunates beheaded in this peculiarly sadistic ritual which has become the signature of Muslim radicals.

Allah is great. The chant is mostly glossed over, treated as just another war cry; the Arab equivalent of the rebel yell. But we ignore the religious motivation of our terrorist tormentors at our own risk. This is a religious conflict, not a political one. That’s a key distinction, because there’s a chance that political disputes can be resolved through negotiation, compromise, and shifts in policy. Settling religious battles generally demands more blood.

The Bush administration has bent over backwards not to associate this war with Islam, choosing to call it a war on terrorism. But that’s like calling World War II a war on Zero fighter planes and Panzer tanks, instead of on the fascist states of Germany, Japan and Italy.

The enemy today is radical Islam, an ultra-conservative and extremely intolerant religious movement that has taken root in the Middle East and is fast becoming a beacon for dispossessed and disenchanted Muslims worldwide. Its followers are willing to kill the infidel — everyone who is not them — without conscience.

They don’t hate us because of our freedom, democracy and capitalism, as President George W Bush repeatedly insists. They hate us because our theology doesn’t match theirs. Understanding this may keep us from making disastrous mistakes.

We cannot quiet this enemy by forcing a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, as is the compelling wisdom in places like the United Nations and European Union. Nor can we win peace through realignment of our relationships in the Arab world, discarding old friends and choosing new ones. And we certainly can’t prevail through appeasement, by pulling out of places where they don’t want us to be.

We can defeat terrorism only by recognizing that it is merely a tactic employed by extremists to achieve extremist goals. Our mission isn’t to wipe out the suicide belts and car bombs but to wipe out the ideas that drive their zealotry. Doing so will require the cooperation of those who profess to be moderates in the Muslem world. They can’t be allowed to continue harboring extremist leaders and permitting their ideas to flourish in state-sponsored schools.

Targeting crude bomb factories and terrorist leaders in their caves is necessary but our targets must also include the radical mosques where the militants are nurtured and encouraged, and the clerics who fuel their hatred.
Getting to that point requires getting comfortable calling this what it is – a war on radical Islam. That doesn’t mean a war on all of Islam, just the twisted evil part. Differentiating between a war on terrorism and a war on radical Islam is more than semantics.

Refusing to clearly identify the enemy makes the enemy impossible to defeat.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:46 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack