October 31, 2005

The Third and Fourth Sexes on College Campuses

By Suzanne Fields, The Washington Times, October 30, 2005

A magazine cover story about post-modern life on the American college
Campus depicts three monkeys in cap and gown, covering their ears, eyes and mouth - a parody of the hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil caricature. But, students at many colleges actually get quite the opposite. They’re required to hear see, speak and study all about evil, as long as it’s the evil oppression of everybody in American society.

Parents, inoculate yourselves! It may be too late for your children. There’s an emphasis on multicultural studies and few campuses have escaped the disease, and it’s not yet Halloween. The title of a course taught to undergraduates in American studies at New York University for example, is called “Intersections: Gender, Race and Sexuality in United States History and Politics.”

You might think this is a strange way to get at American history. The class spends a week analyzing the murder of Teena Brandon (aka Brandon Teena), a young woman who pretended to be a man, and includes the screening of the movie, “Boys Don’t Cry,” the narrative version. The following week students study the life and murder of Tupac Shakur, the "gangsta” rapper whose rough and raw lyrics glorified drugs, abusing women and the violence that finally took his life.

There’s “Queer Lives and Culture”, “Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora"; and a discussion of the relationship of gender, race and war in Haiti through the lens of “Military Occupation and the Culture of US Imperialism.” One teaching assistant of this course describes herself as an “anti-racist queer activist feminist.” That covers just about everything except the tuition for a year at NYU, for which parents shell out $40,000.

Smith College, the elite school that once was only for women, and still is, sort of, has a different problem. About two dozen women who arrived as female have become male, more or less. The Financial Times reports that some of the more traditional “girls in pearls” on campus think the new “guys” should transfer to a co-ed college. Smith has long been “gay friendly; but now that girls have become “boys” Smithies joke that the school motto is “Queer in a year or your money back” It’s not a joke, and it costs $37,000 year.

Somewhere Sophia Smith is spinning. The Massachusetts woman that left her fortune to create a college where women “could develop as may be the powers of womanhood “ did not have a third sex in mind. Once known for their dedication to academic rigor, Smith students voted to change the school constitution to purge all ‘gender-specific language. No ”she” and no “her" but an all purpose “student.” The Rev L Clark Seelye, the first president of Smith College, said that the study of English should produce clarity of thought and expression.

Other seats of higher learning have gone farther, creating synthetic pronouns, using ‘hir for “her” or “his” and “ze" for “she” and “he”. You thought herstory for “history” was a joke.

Smith is not alone in disfiguring what passes for education. A popular introductory freshman course at the University of Pennsylvania deconstructs Herman Melville and other dead white males (if not white whales), seeking hidden meanings of homosexuality, pederasty and incest. Majors in the humanities are down, and why not? In “Binge: What Your College Student Won’t tell you,” author Barrett Seaman finds lots of colleges that promote gayety.

Vassar College-has a ”Homo Hop” and the Queer Student Union at Williams College holds a “Queer Bash” with gay pornography widely attended by straight students. Adrienne Rich, a lesbian poet, encourages young women to experiment with homosexuality and bisexuality.

An authentic liberal education promotes both character and understanding with a rigorous study of what Matthew Arnold called “the best that is known and thought in the world.” When dead white males like Thomas Jefferson and John Milton are replaced, or must compete with popular studies about transgendered males and newly minted homosexual heroes in classic novels, students are deprived of any trace of disciplined thought. They’re doubly vulnerable when at the same time they’re encouraged to indulge in undisciplined social experimentation without anchors of moral reference.

“Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Afro-American Studies, Women’s Studies, Gay Lesbian and ‘Transgender Studies,” writes Roger Kimball, author of “Tenured Radicals;’ in New Criterion magazine, “are not the names of academic disciplines but political grievances.

Parents are alarmed, rightly so, at the spectacle of their children going off to college one year and coming back the next year having jettisoned every moral, religious, social and political scruple they have been brought up-to-believe. These studies inhibit debate, corrupt young minds and infect learning with a virus for which, like bird flu, there is not yet an antidote.

Suzanne Fields is nationally syndicated and a columnist for the Washington Times.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2005

As to “insurgents, separatists, “Chechnyans” etc.

The Washington Times helps us understand media euphemisms like: “insurgents”, “separatists”, “revolutionaries”, “rebels”, "militants" etc.

Almost invariably most of the media is referring to Islamic fundamentalists for whom yet another euphemism has been coined - “Islamists.” Their goals are completely transparent to anyone who chooses to see through the fog the media has inexplicably created. Islam is again relentlessly attempting to regain the supremacy it experienced for a short period from the 7th to the early 13th Century. The only question is when will the rest of the world have the courage to open its eyes and face the peril immediately at hand.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Editorial - The Washington Times, October 30, 2005

In southern Russia on Oct. 13-44, 2005 Islamist terrorists proved themselves again to be a lethal menace. Fortunately, however, they do not currently pose an overriding threat to the country and its territorial integrity. Terrorists struck Oct. 13 in the Caucasus region, which has been a hotbed of Separatist and Islamist violence, particularly in Chechnya. The Islamists raided police stations and government buildings, including the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and a building used by Russia’s Federal Security Service, or spy agency, in the Caucasus city of Nalchik, which is in the predominantly Muslim republic of Kabardmo-Balkariya.

Terrorists struck after authorities had closed in on some of their operatives in an apartment building. The killers also took hostages at a police station, who were later freed. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered all exits from the city blocked and sent in convoys with trucks full of soldiers. More than 100 people, most of them militants, were killed in the attacks and ensuing police responses.

Russia’s deputy interior minister, Andrei Novikov, said two Islamist radicals with experience in Chechnya, Anzor Astermiroy and Ilyas Gorckhanov, had recruited fighters mostly among the local population. Chechen militants claimed responsibility on a Web site for the Oct. 13-14 violence. As the terrorist insurgency in Chechnya, which is over a decade old, has been increasingly, if brutally, contained, violence has spilled over to neighboring areas. Most memorably, in North Ossetia in the city of Beslan last year, 331 people, half of them children, died in a terrorist seizure of a school.

Apart from the obvious human toll, smaller scale attacks can have a profound psychological effect and can influence policy-making. Governments can ill afford complacency in the face of the on-going jihadist threat. Although it is highly unlikely that Chechen militants and those aligned with them would now be able to wrest regions in the Caucasus from the rest of Russia, their violence can make the area difficult to govern and can limit Moscow’s authority. The terrorists apparently think that they could improve their negotiating leverage with the Kremlin through their acts of terror.

Rampant corruption has made the area more vulnerable to attack, since terrorists have been able to purchase the aid or indifference of authorities. Also, in Chechnya, soldiers have even been willing to sell weaponry to insurgents. Given those problems with corruption and ineffectual local rule, it is no wonder Mr. Putin has been keen to extend central power in an effort to rein in the Islamist insurgency.

While Mr. Putin should strive to maintain a level of oversight over Russia’s far-flung regions, he also needs to allow the people of the Caucasus legitimate political outlets for their grievances. The region is particularly poor, and its prospects are only worsened by the corruption.

In Karachayevo-Cherkessiya this year demonstrators occupied regional
government headquarters twice to protest the alleged, involvement of the president’s former son-in-law in the killing of seven businessmen. The Oct. 13 attacks also illustrate that, despite their differences, Mr. Putin and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili face a common Islamist and separatist threat in the Caucasus. Though Mr. Saakashvili’s earliest priority as president was to establish his country’s autonomy from Russia, he has by and large accomplished that feat, and can now afford to coordinate with Moscow in improving security in the region.

The United States and its Western allies should also clearly demonstrate their solidarity with Russia and be prepared to assist with any counter-terrorism help. The attacks in Russia serve as yet another reminder of the danger posed by aspiring jihadists in other parts of the world.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2005

Conclusions from the Purchasing of Greenhouses for Arabs

By Dr. Alex Grobman

Jewish Press, October 21, 2005

When James Wolfensohn and Mort Zuckerman raised $14 million to buy the Gush Katif hothouses from Israeli farmers to give to the Palestinians, many people were surprised “We thought it was a chance to show the Palestinians that there were more benefits from cooperation than confrontation” Zuckerman explained.

Zuckerman’s New York Daily News reported on September 22 that “a week after they (Palestinians) descended like locusts on the greenhouses... looters continue to pillage what should be a prize asset for a fledgling Palestinian state.” In response to this wanton destruction, Zuckerman said, “I’m just sad that they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.... It’s almost inexplicable.”

Later in the same article, 29-year-old Samir Al-Najar explained why he and eight of his men destroyed a half-acre greenhouse at the Neveh Dekalim settlement. He would probably rebuild the greenhouses he said, “but I want the greenhouses to be our own, not Jewish ones.”

Attempting to convince the Arabs that they have more to gain materially by embracing the Jewish state than by trying to destroy it is not a new phenomenon. Yosef Gorny notes that in 1907 Yitzhak Epstein, an intellectual and teacher, declared that the Arab community “must for its own good let the Jews into the country, for it is powerless to improve its situation and to extricate itself from its poverty and ignorance by its own efforts; only our people can provide for their needs.” It was to be a win-win situation. The Jews would reclaim their homeland and the Arabs would be able to improve their lives.

In 1921, Winston Churchill, then colonial secretary, echoed the same theme of “economic blessing” on a visit to Palestine. He urged the Arabs to give Zionism a “fair chance,” since Zionism would be “accompanied by a general diffusion of wealth and well-being and by an advance in the social, scientific and cultural life of the people as a whole.”

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, said he shared the view of many early Zionists that Jews would be welcomed back once the economic progress they brought with them “would convey a blessing to the Arab people.” Years later Ben-Gurion admitted that he was “naïve then to imagine that the Arabs think like us.” In 1936, for example, he acknowledged that “the economic blessing” had no impact on Arab leaders: “Even if they admit - and not all of them do - that our immigration brings material blessing to the land -they say, ‘None of your honey and none of your sting.’

Al-Najar’s rejection of the Jewish hothouses reflected the same sentiment expressed to Ben-Gurion by a leading Arab intellectual in the 1960’s. The Arab leader acknowledged the achievements of the Jews in Israel, but they were irrelevant to him. He wanted the land to remain desolate until the Arabs themselves were capable of achieving these same feats. Even if this would take a hundred years, he was prepared to wait.

Disregarding the experiences of previous Israeli leaders (and continuing the naiveté’) Shimon Peres continued to espouse this failed approach in the early 1990’s when he said, “A higher standard of living is a precondition for mitigating the tensions among the Middle Eastern countries.” He wanted to fight poverty in the region “as if were a military threat.” That the Arabs have never renounced their desire to destroy Israel; that they persist in teaching hatred of Jews in their schools under Mahmoud Abbas; that they continue to assail Jews and Judaism in their mosques — all this is either ignored or only perfunctory demands are made that it be stopped.

In light of the Wolfensohn-Zuckerman fiasco, perhaps we should finally understand that the Arabs will not be bought off. Zeev Jabotinsky, leader of the Revisionists, appreciated this fact in 1925 when he wrote, “...I do not believe that we can reconcile them [the Arabs] to the possibility of a Jewish Palestine by offering them the bribe of economic amelioration...”

The destruction of the hothouses and of the synagogues in Gush Katif raises fundamental questions about the nature of Israel’s “peace partners.” What type of people delights in destroying synagogues, continues to live in squalor out of a sense of pride yet takes handouts from the UN, and when given a thriving business opportunity levels the site because they want to build their own someday?

The British, the U.S., the European Union and Israeli aid have enabled Arab leaders to engage in this self-destructive behavior for decades by giving in to their endless and unjustified demands, providing them with money that is rarely used for the welfare of their people, and refusing to hold them accountable to agreements they make. As long as the West and Israel continue this pathological response, the Arabs will wallow in their own self-pity, glory in their victim hood, and focus their energy on ways to destroy Israel and the West.

Dr Alex Grobman has an MA and Ph.D. from the Hebrew University in contemporary Jewish history.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2005

The Significance of Sharon’s Likud Central Committe Victory

By Moshe Feiglin, The Jewish Press, October 21, 2005

At first glance, it may seem that Sharon’s victory in the recent Likud Central Committee vote, in which the Committee decided by a small majority not to advance the primaries, was merely technical — a difference of one percent in Sharon’s favor whose only significance is that we will have to wait a few additional months until the primaries. This is the impression that Netanyahu tried to create immediately after the results of the voting were announced.

The truth, though, is completely different.
This was much more than a small tactical downfall. It was a severe strategic blow. Just after the Six-Day War, the extreme Left opened an offensive on the consciousness of the nationalist majority in Israel. That offensive has now culminated in a decisive victory. After the extreme Left had conquered the strategic, cultural, academic, judicial and media power centers. These same elites also took control of the security and economic systems, learning to rule the state regardless of the results of the elections. Throughout, though, the National Camp firmly opposed the elites. Even if it did not know how to lead, it at least managed to make its ideals heard.

Sharon’s latest victory in the Likud Central Committee has changed all that. The National Camp has folded its flags. Just as Sharon joined the Left—which he perceived as stronger — and began to serve its ideals, so the National Camp has joined Sharon and has just about eliminated itself.

Sharon’s slogan in the Gush Katif referendum, “It’s either me or Feiglin,” has turned out to be precise. While, in the past, we said, with justification, that Manhigut Yehudit, (Feiglin’s political party) expressed the aspirations of the National Camp while Sharon expressed an approach outside that camp, this no longer holds true. Today after the pogrom in Gush Katif succeeded, the nation — with the Likud as its authentic representative — has adopted Sharon’s path.

Most of the national forces in the Likud will likely lower their heads and jump on Sharon’s bandwagon. Only two essential forces will continue to oppose him: the Likud founders of Uzi Landau and Manhigut Yehutit of Moshe Feiglin.

The Founders will never give in. The people who proudly opposed the British Mandate and stood up against the persecution of the Left will not surrender now. However, lacking the power to attract the youth, to grow and to lead, so necessary at this point, they will not be a threat to Sharon and his cronies.

Manhigut Yehudit will also stand firm. Some people in the Orange Public may, understandably, not feel comfortable with the Likud. But like it or not, the Likud is the party that represents the nation. There is no other relevant political tool with which to achieve leadership of Israel and no other relevant political playing field. When that point is understood, the only logical conclusion is that it is more vital than ever to increase our power in the Likud.

Our immediate operative goal is to strengthen our numbers in the Likud, preparing for the day that reality will come crashing down around the other options. Be warned: because Manhigut Yehudit remains the only viable alternative to the hegemony of the Left, it will draw all the fire.
But that’s ok. We’re used to it.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2005

1. Why they despise President Bush 2. An Israel Cop-out exposed

1. Why they despise President Bush
By Tibor R. Machan in “For Liberal, No One is Evil” in the October/Nov. issue of Free Inquiry

2. An Israel Cop-out exposed
Interview of former US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Kurtzer
The Jerusalem Post International Sept. 30, 2005

…“What those who despise President George W Bush (and there are many, judging by the reaction to the last election) don’t get is that any philosophy or political vision that lacks the concept of evil will not fly with a great many folks in America.” …

…“Liberals tend to explain evil in the world as the product of bad luck, disease and other impersonal forces … assault, battery, robbery, burglary, theft, laziness, recklessness and the like —these are all due to sad circumstance in the lives of the offenders. It’s always in the stars, not in ourselves, that the fault lies….

…This is why when President has the gall to use the phrase ‘axis of evil,’ and when Ronald Reagan earlier referred to the Soviet Union as ‘the evil empire,’ Liberals smugly dismissed it all as shallow moralizing unworthy of sophisticated folks everywhere…

…“I am convinced that one of the. main reasons Bush won the election is that many Americans simply could not abide some of [Sen. John] Kerry’s supporters, academics and other intellectuals who scoff at the belief that there are morally right and wrong actions that people engage in throughout the world….

…“They supported Bush, who at least appears to acknowledge an elementary fact about human life: some folks act badly and are responsible for their actions, while others act decently and should be recognized. Not until Liberals produce a philosophical political vision that makes room for this position will they stop being at odds with the bulk of Americans”…

2. Final Interview of Ambassador Dan Kurtzer as his term ended Sept 13, 2005

Question: There is a widespread assumption here that the US won’t press Israel on big issues like settlements now so as not to make things more difficult for Sharon in the elections. Do you feel the need to dispel this perception?

Kurtzer: I could say with the experience of four years and two months that the US doesn’t pressure Israel. We have certain views, Israel has certain views, and we talk about them. In the case of disengagement, in fact Israel convinced the US that this was a good idea. In the case of the Road Map we helped convince Israel it was a good idea. So there has been no pressure in the past four years. Frankly I don’t need to pass on to my successor the need to dispel the idea that we are not going to apply pressure. We don’t.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2005

European Union Imploding

(As expected of any good old socialistic institution - jsk)

Redacted from Washington Times, October 23, 2005

If the European Union is truly intent on challenging America’s “unipolar” global power, it has a long way to go. For starters, Union countries would have to begin by putting their fiscal houses together. Then, they will have to consider what exactly the European Union is. While bureaucrats in Brussels see the future of the union one way, Europe’s populace has clearly demonstrated it has other ideas. To make matters more complicated, Germany, the European Union’s strongest economy, has been rendered rudderless by its inconclusive election, in which neither of its dominant parties won a majority. Towering illusions of an European uberstate are buckling under.

According to recently released economic data, five out of the union’s six biggest countries last year breached the deficit limits of the E.U Growth and Stability Pact; which back in the 1990s set economic guidelines for member countries. The pact was crafted to maintain a base of economic standards for those countries adopting the euro. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland all failed to meet the fiscal limit last year - that is 3 percent of each country’s gross domestic product.

Greece broke the record on busting the pact, with its deficit of 6 percent of GDP. Ten out of 25 member countries have failed to meet the stability pact guidelines. France and Germany have been serial violators of the pact, and therefore launched a campaign last year toy neutralize it. They have breached deficit targets so many times, though, that they may face penalties.

The main problem is that EU economic targets are incompatible with countries’ financing of cradle to grave public services. For the time being, the economic targets will be the victims of that incompatibility. Though EU members have trimmed some spending, much of the European electorate feels it is a country’s sovereign right to determine a national budget. That natural protection of sovereignty conflicts directly with the EU experiment.

If the directives of Brussels are to be shrugged off, what is to keep the union together - certainly not a EU constitution that was dealt a fatal blow by French and Dutch referendums in May. The EU electorate is itself polarized by divergent views of how much sovereignty should be surrendered to Brussels as evidenced by the German election.

The European Union did demonstrate its solidarity with its decision Oct. 10 to begin formal talks for Turkey’s accession, but the union will not be dealing with that decision for another decade at a minimum. At that point, Turkey’s integration would be subject to referendums in at least some member states.

The European Union is being dealt successive blows. Member countries should first concentrate on their economic performance before striving toward a super state.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:20 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2005

We Must Stop the Madness

Redacted from an interview with Member of Knesset, Uzi Landau

By Aaron Klein, The International Jerusalem Post, October 14, 2005

Question: You and Bibi Netanyahu tried last month to prompt early Likud primaries in hopes of deposing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as party leader, which would also have initiated new national elections. What is your plan now to get rid of Sharon?

Landau: We are preparing for the regular Likud primaries in April, in which I hope to be elected as the party leader. This allows another few months for the nation to see the enormous deficiencies brought about by the Gaza withdrawal and the price Israel will pay and is already paying for this great strategic mistake. Rockets are hitting Sderot and other Negev communities. Hamas is in charge in Gaza and ready to attack. The economy will suffer as a result. Time will only hurt Sharon as these truths become more and more clear.

Question: Israelis were stunned when Sharon’s microphone went dead during the Likud convention called to debate the early primaries. And he walked out without speaking. Apparently the mike failure was an act of sabotage, with Sharon’s camp blaming yours and some accusing Sharon of orchestrating the whole thing to make him look sympathetic. Sharon ended up winning that vote by a tiny majority. Do you think the microphone fiasco influenced the vote?

Landau: I think for sure this assisted Sharon. I myself got angry that someone deliberately tried to silence our prime minister. It obviously didn’t effect my personal vote, but I can see how it would influence the voting.

Question: Why do you feel you are best suited to lead the Likud?

Landau: Because my policies of being against unilateral concessions, of demanding we see action from the Palestinians — represent the rank and file of Likud voters and the national camp in Israel. It is clear Sharon has lost the party and has strayed entirely from what we are supposed to stand for. There is also a lot of corruption in the ranks and I am campaigning for a clean Likud. It’s time Likud has a leader that represents its true platform.

Question: And if you’re elected party chairman, your plan is to run for prime minister?

Landau: Absolutely. So far ‘the roadmap and the policies of Sharon have been a disaster.

Question: The Gaza withdrawal has already been carried out. Would you reverse it? Would you re-establish Gush Katif?

Landau: What has been done cannot be reversed, but now we need to return to our former policy of combating terror relentlessly. Until you defeat it, there is no chance of terror going away. The rocket attacks, for example, need to be met with a fierce and huge response. Which is something we haven’t seen yet. I think Sharon’s treatment of the Gush Katif refugees also highlights all that it wrong with the current government.

The refugees need to be treated on a human level. Put aside all the previous debates for or against the withdrawal. We now have a humanitarian crisis on our hands. These people are disgraced and have been turned into charity cases. They are wandering in hotels and have no jobs, no school system for their children. Even the temporary housing that was supposed to be ready for them is still not yet constructed. This is inexcusable. We need to be immediately compensating the refugees, developing new communities and special jobs for them.

There was a recent case where fish were re-located from the Dead Sea. Israel actually put together a careful long-term plan for the re-location of the fish. There was much thought and it was done properly. Here there are humans who we forced from their homes. How can we be treating humans this way?

Question: And what would be your policy toward the Palestinians?

I would make it clear to them that Israel will not take any steps until they do what they are committed to do — they need to dismantle Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the entire terror infrastructure and stop terrorism.

I am going to make the immediate demand of a total basic change in the Palestinian education system, which is the foundation for so much hatred. They need to stop teaching their kids to believe Jews are poisoning their wells and stop preparing little boys and girls to become suicide bombers.
All this needs to happen as a pre-condition for any negotiations, and it needs to be tied to the foreign aide the Palestinians receive, including aide from America and Europe.

Question: We talk about the Palestinian education system. What about the Israeli education system? Do you see major problems that need to be fixed?

Landau: Yes, and it is one of the gravest problems we face today as a country. I speak of the gradual loss of Jewish Zionism and a sense of proper direction. So many have forgotten where we come from, forgotten that this is a Jewish nation that is supposed to have values that set us apart.
And let me say when you hear the prime minister speaking at the United Nations so passionately about a Palestinian state and what needs to be done to help the Palestinians, it really has a poor effect because, what about us?
Speak about the future of the Jewish state and what needs to be done to help us. The Palestinians have many countries in the world that care for them. Who cares for Israel?

Question: You worked very closely with Sharon until you quit his government in 2004 to protest the withdrawal. What were Sharon’s motivations for evacuating from Gaza? Was this his own doing, or was it U.S. pressure?

Landau: This was Sharon acting on his own policies. He initiated all of this. I don’t know what his motivations were. I remember after [Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak] Rabin signed the Oslo accords 12 years ago, Sharon said to me he didn’t know Rabin anymore. That Rabin became a totally different man. This is the same thing now with Sharon. I don’t know him anymore. Sharon is a different man. There was no logic behind the Gaza withdrawal, we are inviting more terror and setting the precedent for future withdrawals.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem Bureau Chief for WorldNetDaily and a Jewish Press columnist.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2005

What President Bush said and what he left out


Redacted from THE JEWISH PRESS, October 14, 2005

(A truly outstanding commentary on the war on “Islamists” and the inconsistencies in President Bush’s apparently guarded approach - jsk)

I happened to hear President Bush’s speech last week in its entirety. It was a pretty mixed bag. Some of what he had to say obviously needed to be said — that there is no compromising or appeasing Islamic fascism is obvious. But he again either chose to ignore or was simply unwilling to bring up the fact that it’s not just Osama and al Qaeda we’re up against it’s a substantial part of Islam. In Britain, after the 7/7 bombings, over 6o percent of British Muslims polled said they would not help the British government against al Qaeda or other Islamic terrorists One wonders what the figures are here in the good old U.S. of A.

The president is dissembling when he states that “numerous Muslim scholars” have condemned terrorism and the murder of innocent people. In fact, while some have - Bush was able to cite one unnamed imam - the silence of much of the Muslim world is palpable. Interestingly enough, Mr. Bush chose to quote chapter 5, verse 32 of the Koran, which states that killing an innocent human being is like killing all humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all humanity. Perhaps he’s unaware of the Islamic doctrine of Abrogation, which gives precedence to later verses like this one:

“When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, beleaguer them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war” (Koran 9:5)

Or this one:

“So, when you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in fighting Jihad in Allah’s cause, smite their necks until you overpower them, killing, and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives.... Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving. Infidels until they submit to Islam.” (Koran 47:4)

There’s more — a lot more — but I think you get the point. Mr. Bush is undoubtedly correct that there are a lot of Muslims who despise Islamic terrorism — but there are also lots of them who obviously think it’s just fine.
Fact is, we’re doing very little to encourage moderate Islam, or even challenging American Muslims to take sides in this fight. If anything, we make it more difficult by giving the Saudis free reign — allowing them to fund mosques and madrassahs that preach Wahabism, send radical mullahs to our shores, underwrite biased chairs of Middle East studies in our major universities, and hire ex-U.S. cabinet members and diplomats as lobbyists and shills!

A forceful, unambiguous stance might just have the effect of bringing a lot of American Muslims into this war on our side. As it is, they’re getting every encouragement to keep their heads down and be passive at best, and to hedge their bets by giving at least tacit support to radical Islam at worst.
And that’s something Mr. Bush didn’t address at all.

And here’s another kicker: The president said that those who harbor terrorism and support it are the enemies of freedom and of America — and he specifically mentioned Iran and Syria, twice. Well and good. But when he refers to Saudi Arabia as our “friend” (?)

His aide and adviser Karen Hughes was just in Saudi Arabia politely asking the Saudis to please try and curb the hate literature and the words of the radical imams in the mosques and madrassahs they support in America and all over the world. Whom does Bush think he’s kidding?

We just had a second bombing in Bali by Jemaah Islamiyah. And the radicalization of Indonesia funded by the Saudis is so pervasive that the “spiritual head” of the movement, Abu Baker Bashir — mastermind of the first Bali bombing — is to be released by the Indonesian government after serving 20 months due to the lobbying of the Islamist political parties there.

Here in my native Los Angeles we experienced one of those attempted al Qaeda attacks the President spoke of — a group of local Muslims was planning to incinerate members of the Jewish community in their synagogues during the High Holy Days this month, and only got caught because one of them dropped a cell phone at a crime scene. Guess who funded the Islamic indoctrination these guys received in prison and in local madrassahs and guess who funded their mosques. Yes, indeed, our “friends” the Saudis.

And what about our “friends” in the Palestinian Authority? Funny, Mr. Bush didn’t mention them. It’s common knowledge that Hezbollah is training the Palestinians and supplying them with weapons — that goes back to Arafat and the Karine-A arms ship. And while Hamas is officially recognized by our government as a terrorist group, Abbas and company continue to harbor Hamas members while the U.S. government (not to mention the EU and the UN) continues to fund the PA. Maybe the president felt his speech was too long to bring up that little morsel of information and include Abbas and his boys as terror enablers.

And it’s hardly enough to make harsh noises about Iran while leaving the problem in the decisive hands of the European Union! Seems to me if President Bust were really serious about stopping the mullahs from getting nukes, a devastating raid on the Iranian oil fields would be a lot more effective than any sanctions or attempts to knock out underground bunkers.

Mr. Bush is correct to compare Islamism to communism — it’s the first time he has ever done that. And the challenge we face in defeating is similar to that which we confronted in the Cold War. Mr. Bush deserves a great deal of credit for finally putting this into words. But to gloss over a significant source of the problem was dishonest on the face of it.

Just as dishonest is suggesting that poverty and a “lack of hope” are responsible for Islamism. In fact, Jihad’s most fervent practitioners - bin Laden, the London bombers, Mohammed Atta — were and are overwhelmingly from the wealthy or middle classes of Islam. And what about our aforementioned friends in the House of Saud, for that matter?

Perhaps the president is more comfortable with the Saudis since he’s known them for so long. I can actually understand that, even though it is an error of historic magnitude. It’s normal to think well of one’s friends. Perhaps Mr. Bush is unaware of the Islamic concept of “taqiya” or “dissembling” to non-believers in order to advance the basic goals of Islam.

Even on Iraq, where the president is justifiably proud of the progress being made politically, he omits the fact that the Saudis put intense pressure on him to push the Shiites and Kurds to make major concessions to their Sunni pals, who happen to be the main obstacle to the Federalist Democracy he envisions there.

So what we have, as I said earlier, is a very mixed bag. President Bush definitely articulated a commitment to victory but held back from fully identifying the enemy. He asked for “sacrifice and commitment” but refrained from going into specifics about what “sacrifices” he’s talking about. And, most important, the president failed to be completely honest with the American people about what we are fighting and how we’re going to go about fighting it - certainly a step in the right direction, but hardly an epiphany.

President Bush would do far better to level with the American people and call for their direct assistance in winning this war. He might be surprised at just how unified and effective their response would be.

Robert Miller writes on geopolitics, Islam, and the Middle East and is the author of a forthcoming book on Islam and the West. His commentary can be read on his webs site, joshuapundit.blogspot.com

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2005

A perversion of funds, goals, moral standards - You name it

Redacted from an article by Yelena Giderman

The Jewish Press, September 30, 2005

The Koret Foundation endowed by Joseph Koret, a Polish Jew, left $300 million when he passed away. He was a generous donor to the Orthodox day school, Lisa Kampner Hebrew Academy, for a number of years, and the Koret Foundation continued to fund the school after his death.

Unfortunately, last year, the Koret Foundation cut all of our funds. Instead, backers of the Reform movement invested $50 million in a new Reform high school which is home to a gay club, where one flyer proudly boasts the school as a “Gay-Lesbian-Bisexua1-Transgender Safe Zone.”

The school’s slow progress looked unimpressive to the investors who reviewed our alumni and saw successful graduates at the finest universities, yeshivot, and seminaries, and working in a myriad of fields in the professional world. We are a threat to them because we are operating under a Torah lifestyle, which explicitly states that their kind of lifestyle is unacceptable. We were left without the $50,000 we had expected to help us pay for student scholarships and many other large school expenses.

In the 2003 Funds List, the Koret Foundation provided an enormous sum of Jewish money to various non-Jewish organizations. They gave $1 million to San Jose State University for the construction of the Koret Athletic Center, $1 million for the Korean Art Department at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and $500,000 to the National Hispanic University. This year, we are the only Jewish day school which received no funding.

60,000 Russian Jews rely on the support of this foundation. Stacks of signature lists tower my desk at home, exhibiting the Russian community’s dissatisfaction and hurt. The Alumni Association - has launched an international campaign to win over public opinion and ultimately achieve our-goal of sitting down with the board of the Koret Foundation, which had written that they would not meet with us.

I am no longer a student at the Lisa Kampner Hebrew Academy. I now live in New York City, where Orthodoxy is almost synonymous with Judaism. Yet, I have not left behind my school, and I ask you to please sign our petition, and encourage others to do the same. I, and the rest of the Alumni Association has launched an international campaign to win over public opinion until justice is served - until Russian-emigres can attend a school which is financially comfortable, not struggling to survive on a day-to-day basis.

I have learned the hard way, that our Russian accents don’t fare. well among the well-established American Reform community; that our struggle to regain our Jewish identity is in some way a threat to them. These children who are becoming Orthodox and prominent pro-Israel activists on their respective campuses need to look outside of our repressive community for support. The future of Orthodoxy in San Francisco lies within the walls of our school. I’m proud to be its activist. Please visit the Alumni Association’s website and online petition:

www petitionkoret com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2005

“A Jolt of Reality”

Redacted from The Washington Times editorial, October 2, 2005

To the people of goodwill who want to see an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, the anarchy and chaos that have engulfed Gaza since Israel uprooted its settlements and withdrew its military has been a very ugly jolt of reality.

Both President Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have sought to give the Palestinian Authority led by President Mahmoud Abbas, a chance to build a democratic country that would live in peace next to Israel. Instead, Gaza is coming to look more like Afghanistan under Taliban rule than a viable democracy.

Today, it is a place where masked Hamas terrorist operatives openly parade in the streets and vow to destroy Israel and commit mass murder; where terrorists, no longer having to worry about the Israel Defense Forces and routinely smuggle aims and contraband across the Egyptian border, despite the existence of an agreement between Egypt and Mr. Abbas to police the Philadelphi Corridor given üp by Israel. And where armed gangs drag people from their homes and loot and destroy property turned over by Israel to the control of the PA without interference from the Palestinian security forces.

The weapons smuggling and general anarchy in Gaza has spilled over into the Egyptian-controlled Sinai, where local Jihadists are operating. Israeli officials report that some of the smuggling goes directly from Egypt into Israel. Given Hamas’s determination to replicate its Gaza terror network in the West Bank, this creates another security problem for Jerusalem. If the situation along the Gaza-Egypt border continues to deteriorate, Mr. Sharon faces a very difficult choice.

In the absence of a Palestinian security force willing to prevent Palestinian terror, does he allow Hamas to continue rebuilding the terrorist infrastructure that the Israeli military largely destroyed in the war that lasted from 2000 until 2004, knowing that, by doing so, he runs the risk that Hamas will be in a better position to target Israelis in the near future? Or, does Israel take preemptive military action against the terrorists, knowing that he will be blamed for failing to “give diplomacy a chance. (Was there some mystery wherein Sharon did not anticipate exactly this chaos occurring? Not likely and there is no explanation for this entire tragic farce - Jsk)

The dilemma faced by Mr. Sharon is the latest example of what has been taking place since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the first Oslo agreement 12 years ago: Israel makes tangible concessions (in this case, Mr Sharon’s decision to remove Jewish settlers and soldiers from Gaza) ceding territory captured in defensive wars to the Palestinians. Mr. Arafat or Mr. Abbas promises to take action to prevent terrorism and anti-Jewish incitement, but that almost never happens.

Instead, the Palestinians pocket the Israeli concessions but fail to exercise their security responsibilities and permit the incitement to flourish. In Mr. Arafat’s case, he took this a step further, and five years ago, after rejecting Israel’s offer of a Palestinian state comprising virtually the entire West Bank, as well as Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, he opened a war of terror.

Ever since President Bush’s June 24, 2002 address laid out a vision of creating a Palestinian state willing in co-exist peacefully with Israel, the Bush administration has attempted to give Palestinians the opportunity to break with Mr. Arafat’s legacy of murder, tyranny and corruption. Washington supported democratic elections for Palestinians in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza. Washington has tried, using economic and diplomatic support, to help Mr. Abbas, elected president in January, build a government with genuine democratic institutions and the rule of law.

Realizing that no Palestinian government could survive unless it has functioning security forces, President Bush dispatched Lt. Gen. William Ward to Gaza to help Mr. Abbas. But Gen. Ward, a respected soldier, has been hamstrung by the failure of Mr. Abbas and Palestinian security forces to go beyond speeches and platitudes when it comes to stopping terrorism. (To be sure, Lt. Gen. Ward is not the first American to try to persuade the PA to reform its security forces. From 1998-2000, President Clinton sent CIA Director George Tenet to try, unsuccessfully, to revamp the Palestinian Authority’s security services, but Mr. Arafat’s decision to go to war against Israel killed any chance of implementing the Tenet reforms.)

Aside from the anarchy itself, the most disturbing aspect of the current situation is the Palestinian effort to blame Israel for its own malfeasance. For example, the PA claims Isràel destroyed Palestinian security forces in the recent war. Never mind the fact that these same forces were often involved in terror themselves, and that the Palestinian Security forces, numbering in the tens of thousands, are far larger than Hamas and other terrorist groups. Now, despite its own chronic failures, the Authority oljects to Israel’s insistence on maintaining security control of Gaza’s seaports and air space for the time being.

Through his inaction, Mr. Abbas has permitted Hamas to become the most powerful political movement in Gaza. Judging from the Nuremberg-like rallies that group has been staging in the streets of Gaza, Hamas sounds like it intends to plunge the Palestinians into another war against Israel.

Big surprise!

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005

As P.M. Sharon and Israel once again abjectly fail to address a gargantuan lie

Whose continued acceptance can only lead to its own destruction.

By David Singer
The Jewish Press, September 30, 2005

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon missed a golden opportunity to address the future of the West Bank before the 170 world leaders who had gathered at the United Nations to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of that organization.

Instead he uttered sweet music to the ears of most of those leaders, justifying the vitriolic War of Words waged by their countries against the Jewish state in complete betrayal of the promises given to the Jewish people by the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations.

Standing at the podium, Mr. Sharon meekly repeated the mantra continually preached by these countries: “The Palestinians are also entitled to freedom, and to a national, sovereign existence in a state of their own.”
This was a far cry from the defiant words uttered by Mr. Sharon in the April 17, 1989 issue of Time magazine: “Jordan is Palestine! The capital of Palestine is Amman. If Palestinian Arabs want to find their political expression, they will have to do it in Amman.”

No attempt was made in Mr. Sharon’s speech to retrace the history of Palestine, a territory created with defined boundaries for the first time ever by the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and the League of Nations in 1922 after the defeat of Turkey and Germany in World War I.

He could well have quoted Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, the late Abba Eban, who eloquently summarized that history when he said the December 2, 1974 issue of Newsweek:

“Palestine comes into modern history as a region extending on both sides of the Jordan, comprising the present sovereign territories of Israel and Jordan and the administered areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Of this original Palestine, 80 per cent became an exclusively Arab domain through the separation of Trans-Jordan from Palestine.”

A modicum of research could have enabled Mr. Sharon to also remind the gathered world leaders, particularly King Abdullah of Jordan, of the statement made to the United Nations by Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Blum on December 3, 1979:

“Let me remind the Jordanian representatives of the record. Between 1922 and 1946, Trans-Jordan remained an integral part of Mandated Palestine. In 1946 it became the independent Palestinian Arab state in that area. When King Abdullah came to the Jericho Conference in December 1948, which was attended by Palestinian Arabs west of the Jordan River, he was crowned “King of Palestine.” Abdullah, in fact, wanted to rename his country “The Kingdom of Palestine.” King Hussein, in his memoirs, indicates clearly that TransJordan was arbitrarily siphoned off from the rest of Mandated Palestine. Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan, in the Jordanian National Assembly on 2 February 1970, stated unambiguously. “Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine The nation is one and the land is one”

Given the current leadership tensions between Mt Sharon and Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Sharon would probably have found it difficult to quote what Mr. Netanyahu told the United Nations on December 11, 1984, although the national interest certainly dictated Mr. Sharon should do so:

“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two States in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some 3 million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains four-fifths of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over 4 million of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than one-fifth of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab state in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab state in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.
Having reminded the world leaders present of these past statements, Mr. Sharon should then have told them the following:

“The League of Nations and the ‘United Nations promised the Jews that they would ‘be entitled to resettle and reconstitute the Jewish National Home on land from which they had been dispossessed 2,000 years earlier by Roman invaders provided nothing was done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” No political rights were conferred or intended to be conferred on those communities then or in the future. This promise to the Jew extended to the West Bank, which you now obscenely call ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ and from where you wish to see all Jews removed to create a state solely for the Arab residents contrary to the ‘terms of the Mandate and article 80 of the United Nations Charter, which the United Nations has consistently ignored but which it must now confront and, acknowledge.”

“The Road Map, calling for the creation of a sovereign Arab state between Jordan and Israel in the whole of the West Bank and Gaza, now supported by the United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union, is the very opposite of what the United Nations has pledged to fulfill in accordance with its own Charter.

Israel now enjoys peace treaties with its neighbors Jordan and Egypt. The path to peace in the West Bank and Gaza must involve the division of sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza between these three nations in trilateral negotiations chaired by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Israel stands ready to enter into such negotiations to cede sovereignty of the heavily populated Arab areas of the West Bank to Jordan. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza indicates its willingness to cede sovereignty in Gaza to Egypt or Jordan and not rule over its neighbors.

I urge you all to abandon the idea that Jews have no legal right to settle in the West Bank and reconstitute their national home in that area. If international law is to have any meaning in regulating the conduct of the international community, then you must give legal effect to the Mandate and article 80 of the United Nations charter. Seize the day, because the time is short.”

If the 170 dignitaries present were not prepared to listen, at least the 15 million Jews all over the world would be applauding Israel’s prime minister for his principled stand instead of recoiling at his abject acceptance of Jewish rights being trampled on in their own homeland by a United Nations acting in breach of its own charter.

David Singer is an Australian lawyer and organizer of Jordan is Palestine International — an organization calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor states to the Mandate for Palestine.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2005

The Inequality Taboo

(Must reading for social engineers, academics and so-called Liberals - jsk)

By Charles Murray

Redacted from: Commentary Magazine, September 2005

WHEN THE late Richard Herrnstein and I published The Bell Curve eleven years ago, the furor over its discussion of ethnic differences in IQ was so intense that most people who have not read the book still think it was about race. Since then, I have deliberately not published anything about group differences in IQ, mostly to give the real topic of The Bell Curve - the role of intelligence in reshaping America’s class structure - a chance to surface.

The Lawrence Summers affair last January made me re-think my silence. The president of Harvard University offered a few mild, speculative, off-the-record remarks about innate differences between men and women in their aptitude for high-level science and mathematics, and was treated by Harvard’s faculty as if he were a crank. The typical news story portrayed the idea of innate sex differences as a renegade position that reputable scholars rejected.

It was depressingly familiar. In the autumn of 1994, I had watched with dismay as The Bell Curve’s scientifically unremarkable statements about Black IQ were successfully labeled as racist pseudoscience. At the opening of 2005, I watched as some scientifically unremarkable statements about male-female differences were successfully labeled as sexist pseudoscience

The Orwellian (relating to, or evocative of the works of George Orwell, especially the satirical novel 1984, which depicts a futuristic totalitarian state) disinformation about innate group differences is not wholly the media’s fault. Many academics who are familiar with the state of knowledge are afraid to go on the record. Talking publicly can dry up research funding for senior professors and can cost assistant professors their jobs. But while the public’s misconception is understandable, it is also getting in the way of clear thinking about American social policy. …

(8 pages later and please read at Commentary, Sept. 2005)…

…WHAT GOOD can come of raising this divisive topic? The honest answer is that no one knows for sure. What we do know is that the taboo has crippled our ability to explore almost any topic that involves the different ways in which groups of people respond to the world around them—which means almost every political, social, or economic topic of any complexity.

Thus my modest recommendation, requiring no change in laws or regulations, just a little more gumption: Let us start talking about group differences openly—all sorts of group differences, from the visuospatial skills of men and women to the vivaciousness of Italians and Scots. Let us talk about the nature of the manly versus the womanly virtues. About differences between Russians and Chinese that might affect their adoption of capitalism; About differences between Arabs and Europeans that might affect the assimilation of Arab immigrants into European democracies. About differences between the poor and non-poor that could inform policy for reducing poverty.

Even to begin listing the topics that could be enriched by an inquiry into the nature of group differences is to reveal how stifled today’s conversation is. Besides liberating that conversation, an open and un-defensive discussion would puncture the irrational fear of the male-female and black-white differences I have surveyed here. We would be free to talk about other sexual and racial differences as well, many of which favor women and blacks, and none of which is large enough to frighten anyone who looks at them dispassionately.

Talking about group differences does not require any of us to change our politics. For every implication that the Right might seize upon (affirmative action quotas are ill-conceived), another gives fodder to the Left (innate group differences help rationalize compensatory redistribution by the state).

But if we do not need to change our politics, talking about group differences obligates all of us to renew our commitment to the ideal of equality that Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he wrote as a self-evident truth that all men are created equal. Steven Pinker put that ideal in today’s language in The Blank Slate, writing that “Equality is not the empirical claim that all groups of humans are interchangeable; it is the moral principle that individuals should not be judged or constrained by the average properties of their group.”

Nothing in this essay implies that this moral principle has already been realized or that we are powerless to make progress. In elementary and secondary education, many outcomes are tractable even if group differences in ability remain unchanged. Dropout rates, literacy, and numeracy are all tractable. School discipline, teacher performance, and the quality of the curriculum are tractable. Academic performance within a given IQ range is tractable. The existence of group differences need not and should not discourage attempts to improve schooling for millions of American children who are now getting bad educations.

In university education and in the world of work, overall openness of opportunity has been transformed for the better over the last half-century. But the policies we now have in place are impeding, not facilitating, further progress. Creating double standards for physically demanding jobs so that women can qualify ensures that men in those jobs will never see women as their equals.

In universities, affirmative action ensures that the black-white difference in IQ in the population at large is brought onto the campus and made visible to every student. The intentions of their designers notwithstanding, today’s policies are perfectly fashioned to create separation, condescension, and resentment—and so they have done.

The world need not be that way. Any university or employer that genuinely applied a single set of standards for hiring, firing, admitting, and promoting would find that performance really is distributed indistinguishably across different groups. But getting to that point nationwide will require us to jettison an apparatus of laws, regulations, and bureaucracies that has been 40 years in the making. That will not happen until the conversation has opened up. So let us take one step at a time. Let us stop being afraid of data that tell us a story we do not want to hear, stop the name-calling, stop the denial, and start facing reality.

CHARLES MURRAY is the WH. Brady Scholar for Freedom and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute. His previous contributions to COMMENTARY, including “The Bell Curve and Its Critics” (May 1995, with a subsequent exchange in the August 1995 issue), can be found at www.commentarymagazine.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2005

WASPs and Israel

By Winfield Myers

Redacted From: Outpost, A Publication of Americans for a Safe Israel
September, 2005

(The term WASP is used so often that we know it by connotation but you might be interested in reviewing the exact definition of the word before we go any further - Jsk)

(WASP - an acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, is a term that denotes the culture, customs, and heritage of the American élite Establishment. The term was first popularized by E. Digby Baltzell in his 1964 book The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy & Caste in America. It originally included members of the U.S. Protestant upper class: the descendants of colonial-era immigrants from the British Isles—especially England, Wales and Scotland (irrespective of the fact that Scots and Welsh people are Celts, not descendants of Angles and Saxons) —who belonged to the Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Episcopalian (Anglican) denominations of Protestanism. Usage of the term is growing in other English-speaking countries settled in part by similar groups, such as Australia.)

Most people who follow politics know that some of Israel’s strongest supporters in America are evangelicals and Catholics who, seeing the Jewish state as a democracy surrounded by hostile neighbors, are determined not to let America’s commitment to Israel waver. Against them are arrayed most members of the liberal establishment -- the mainstream media, the professoriate, foundations, and the remnants of what were once correctly described as the mainstream churches.

And while there is some variation of opinion within these groups -- liberal Catholics are often indistinguishable from liberal Protestants in their suspicions of Israel, while some prominent journalists and academics are strong supporters -- they represent fairly consistent blocs of opinion.

That fact is driven home by a front-page article in the New York Times, Aug 6, 2005, Titled “Threat to Divest is Church Tool in Israel Fight,” it reports on a decision by the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), to target several large corporations for divestment unless they cease doing business with Israel. In a failed attempt to appear even-handed, the Presbyterians placed Citibank on their list because, they say, it helped the Arab Bank transfer funds to terrorists.

The other companies are Caterpillar, Motorola, ITT Industries and United Technologies, and the case against each, along with the church’s total investment, is described on the church’s web pages. Here are the church’s objections to United Technologies: “United Technologies is a large military contractor whose subsidiary has provided helicopters to the Israeli military. They have been used in attacks in the occupied territories against suspected Palestinian terrorists. The company also provides other military hardware.”
And to ITT: “ITT Industries is a diversified manufacturer that supplies the Israeli military with communications, electronic and night vision equipment used by its forces in the occupied territories.” Read through the objections, and it becomes clear that the left-wingers who run the central office of the PCUSA object, at base, to Israel’s ability to defend itself against terrorists crossing over from the West Bank to kill and maim as many Israeli civilians as possible. And that’s not to mention the mortar rounds, rockets, shoulder-fired grenades, and other modern weapons systems employed by Palestinian terrorists to inflict casualties on Jews.

But, according to the PCUSA, the problems in the region stem from Israel’s determination not to be driven into the sea -- and not to repeat the mistake of trusting the likes of the Presbyterian leadership to protect them.
What’s behind the PCUSA leadership’s move? It must be stated unequivocally that part of the motivation is little more than resurgent WASP disdain for “those people,” the Jews, the trouble-makers, the folks who run the world through the neo-con conspiracy. Here the good liberals in the church are linked with far right voices, such as Joseph Sobran and the Institute for Historical Review, at whose 2002 conference Sobran said, “I am not, heaven forbid, a ‘Holocaust denier.’ I lack the scholarly competence to be one. I don’t read German, so I can’t assess the documentary evidence!” Which leads us to Sobran’s conclusion: “Benjamin Netanyahu has written that Israel is ‘an integral part of the West.’ I think it would be truer to say that Israel has become a deformed limb of the West.”

And the Presbyterians? I’m not sure of their excuse, but a glance at their home page reveals what are, at best, some misplaced priorities, and it gives us a peek into what else ails them regarding Israel:
“The Mission Responsibility through Investment (MRTI) Committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced that it will begin its process of ‘progressive (dis)engagement’ with five companies it says contribute to the ongoing violence that plagues Israel and Palestine. The Committee’s action is in response to a resolution passed last year by the Church’s General Assembly and is consistent with the Church’s long-standing practice of ensuring its investments are used to further the Church’s mission.

This is less theology than political action; food not for the soul, but for the activist. And, at heart, it’s the reason the leadership of the PCUSA seems more concerned with engagement in left-wing political crusades than in winning souls for Christ as I, a Presbyterian, was raised. But any religious polity that strives for earthly salvation rather than spiritual solace will find itself mired in temporal controversies better left to legitimate governments.

That’s particularly true for a body that has been as thoroughly captured by the secular left as has the PCUSA. Under the leadership of the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, the PCUSA has scurried to remain at the forefront of the declining liberal establishment’s cause dejour. It has lost over a million members since the mid-1960s And, like the main stream media, academe, and other declining institutions, it continues on its merry way, step by step into a well earned obscurity.

Winfield Myers is managing editor of American Enterprise.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2005

Thomas Friedman’s sarcastic wish in NY Times goes unanswered

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Once more Thomas L. Friedman trumpets his deluded left wing sentiments and recommendations using his usual foul language against people he fears do not share his inane view of world politics. He again distorts the facts that get in the way of his political prognostications. He calls the Likud party that the Israeli public elected overwhelmingly the “lunatic right.” He chooses to ignore the fact that Barak lost to Sharon and the “lunatic’ Likud, in Feb, 2001 by the largest margin in any Western democracy with the Knesset seats ending up 67-33 for the right wing parties.

In 2003, Sharon and the so-called “lunatic” Likud defeated Amram Mitzna even worse, to the point that Mitzna and his left wing views of give away Israeli territory quickly gave up his leadership of the party.

The Labor Party of Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, Amram Mizna and the great hope of Thomas L. Friedman, that tried to sell the give-away concepts of Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Sharm - el - Shiek and Taba, has been made to virtually disappear in the last two Israeli elections. Their political power was decimated as they received the smallest vote in their history obtaining only 15 Knesset seats.

Unfortunately, for some ungodly reason, Ariel Sharon virtually joined the ranks of Labor almost immediately after the election. He has proceeded upon an agenda completely opposite to that demanded by the Israeli electorate. He did not vanquish Israel’s enemies as generals are supposed to do. He did not protect their borders and encourage Israeli growth in the territories that were to have been theirs in the first place. He did not present a strong Israel to the world. Instead he presented the policies of those he resoundingly defeated.

As to Friedman’s latest fantasy of a new political party of central left, central right, central absurd, whatever, that is going to make a “final settlement” with the Arabs, what a joke! The last 12 years, since the beginning of the Oslo Accords, has taught Friedman and his kind nothing - final settlement with what Arabs - those of Friedman’s delusions?

The fact that Israel has empowered its mortal enemy who every day grows stronger as a result of the Left’s and now Ariel Sharon’s attempts to appease them and label them “Peace Partners” and the fact that Oslo with the disastrous return of Yasir Arafat turned a handful of kids throwing stones in 1993 to a well armed force every day closer to their constantly announced goal of throwing the Jews into the sea, still has not registered with the pathologically blind Friedmans of the world.

Unfortunately in this week’s Likud deliberations, Friedman did not get his sarcastic wish. Netanyahu did not win. Sharon’s party power politics again coerced the Likud party unfaithful to vote in his favor. The Likud elections will not be advanced as Sharon’s opponents had hoped. It was Sharon’s plan to not advance the party vote so that he could get past the tragedy of Gaza in the public’s mind and continue with his own agenda of destructive give-away appeasement. He now has that opportunity.

But, it is said that G-d works in strange ways. Maybe he is simply giving Sharon more time to hang himself. Maybe the Israelis will finally wake up to the disaster that he has become and, when the elections do come in November 2006, they will throw him out. Once again they will search out a new Moses. They will try and finally elect a leader that indeed returns them to the Promised Land. They will not be returned to an indefensible ghetto along the Mediterranean coast where, G-d forbid, the Arabs may finally get their sick wish that the Israelis and the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto becoming one.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2005

L’Shanah tovah from Crawford, Texas!

Today, President Bush issued his annual message to those observing Rosh Hashanah.

As we celebrate the New Year, the President recognized, "This year, we mark the completion on an especially joyous occasion, the 350th year of Jewish life in America. Throughout America's history, Jewish Americans have strengthened and enriched the character of our Nation …"

I add my own wishes to the President and Mrs. Bush's for a happy and healthy New Year.

L'shanah tovah,

Jeff Berkowitz
White House Liaison to the Jewish Community

Office of the Press Secretary

September 29, 2005

Rosh Hashanah, 5766

I send greetings to all those observing Rosh Hashanah.

On this holy occasion, Jews around the world are called by the sound of the Shofar to gather in celebration of the beginning of the New Year and the creation of all life. For the Jewish people, this marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a special time to reflect on the past year and welcome the year to come.

It is also a time to reflect on the history of the Jewish people, from the days of Abraham to the present, and remember God's faithfulness to them. This year, we mark the completion of an especially joyous occasion, the 350th year of Jewish life in America. Throughout America's history, Jewish Americans have strengthened and enriched the character of our Nation.

Laura and I send our best wishes for a blessed Rosh Hashanah. L'shanah tovah.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)