April 30, 2007

The Darfur Cover-up

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Is it abject fear of Islamo-fascism and reluctance to face our sworn enemy that has gripped the West and its media and suffocated the facts of the Darfur slaughter? Descriptions of the slaughter are couched in such skewered terminology that the truth is obscured and, as a result, we have become complicit in the slaughter. Unfortunately, this misinformation seems to have also affected the President of the United States.

Mr. Bush was kind and considerate enough to give a warm, empathetic speech commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, April 18, 2007. In his remarks the President addressed a series of important subjects, including the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, the Iranian leader’s denial of the Holocaust, and the genocide in Darfur.

Some of the President’s direct quotes relative to Darfur:

“For 22 years, Sudan has been plagued by a civil war between the north and south that has claimed more than 2 million lives.”

“That war came to an end in January 2005, when Sudan's government and rebels in the south signed a comprehensive peace agreement that the United States helped to broker.”

“Unfortunately, just as peace was coming to the south, another conflict broke out -- where rebel groups in Darfur attacked government outposts.”

“To fight this rebellion, the government in Khartoum unleashed a horse-mounted militia called the Janjaweed, which carried out systematic assaults against innocent civilians.”

“The human toll has been staggering. More than 200,000 people have died from the conflict -- or from the malnutrition and disease that have spread in its wake. And, more than 2 million people have been forced from their homes and villages into camps both inside and outside their country.”

OK. Can you figure out the good guys from the bad guys? Who is the government? Who are the “Rebels”, the Janjaweed? What “civil war.” Does this in any way sound like the same war Islamofascism is waging against the West in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indo-China, India/Pakistan, Chechnya, etc., etc.?

Charles Moore, a syndicated columnist in the United Kingdom, presented the problem succinctly in his September 9, 2006 article, “This is why there is slaughter in Darfur:”

“... What is perplexing is that our leaders, and most of the media, do not really explain why Darfur is as it is. Even now, the thing is presented almost as a natural disaster. It is seen as a humanitarian crisis, and reports focus on how aid can get through. Of course it is a humanitarian crisis, but not a natural disaster. It is not even one of those uncontrollable, anarchic situations in which rival factions of bandits charge round killing one another (though there certainly are plenty of such groups). The death in Darfur is the result of a policy. The policy is that of the Sudan government, which is now, in effect, the government of northern Sudan. That government is Islamist and Arab.

Even before the Islamists came to power in 1989, the north imposed sharia everywhere. In 1990, it declared jihad against the south. It seeks to dispossess Christians and to assert Arab dominance of the north over the black population of the whole country. In Darfur, it destroys black villages through the Janjaweed.

Southern Sudan is all but unique in the modern world in having recently overthrown sharia rule. After years of officially imposed Islam, in schools, the civil service and preferences for jobs, Christians no longer have to live in daily fear. The blow to Arab pride if the south became independent would be tremendous. The threat to the south is, therefore, huge. "We are the wall to the penetration of the Islamic religion to the whole of Africa," Bishop Micah said. What occurs in Darfur concerns not only the fate of its refugee, raped, hungry, dispossessed people. The outcome will also tell the north whether it can get away with what it wants. If it discovers that it can, it will start again on the much bigger prize of the south.”

The immediate history is studiously ignored:
Following independence of the Sudan from the British in 1956, the Sudanese government acquired a strong Arab character and civil war began between the Arab dominated government and the non-Muslims defending their rights and now pejoratively referred to as “rebels.” In 1983, the Second Sudanese Civil War ensued when the president declared Sharia law in the south.
In February 2003, two “rebel’ groups accused the government of oppressing non-Arabs in favor of Arabs and attacked government forces and installations. The government response was to mount a campaign of aerial bombardment supporting ground attacks by an Arab militia, the Janjaweed, recruited from local tribes and armed by the government.

These killers have methodically and unmercifully attacked non-Muslims and Muslims not sympathetic to their cause, driving them from their land, burning their villages, raping and then killing their women and children and taking possession of the land - all under the subterfuge of Shari law and with no end in sight.

These Mr. President are the true facts behind the nebulous cloud that has been deliberately constructed. If we are to have any hope in winning the multiple world-wide wars which we now face, help us first define our enemy - no more vague, obfuscated, “War on Terrorism” or “Genocide in Darfur,” Instead, please tell it as it is and again unite the entire world, as we did in WWII, to defeat an even more dangerous, all-consuming form of fascism dedicated to our destruction.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2007

The British Press Corps, Israel and Columnist, Richard Cohen

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Hard to believe but columnist Richard Cohen almost defended his own people! In his latest column he asks, “Why choose Israel for a Boycott.” Cohen rightfully takes umbrage at the British National Union of Journalists declaring a boycott of Israel.

Cohen wonders how this supposedly knowledgeable group, by a vote of 66-54, chooses to ignore the horrendous attacks on civil liberties in Iran where a young couple was killed for holding hands on the street; in China where 60 pregnant women were forcibly aborted; in Sudan where hundreds of thousands of Christians and opposing Muslims are slaughtered and driven from their villages to death and poverty by the Janjaweed Arab militia; in Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe continues to beat to death any political opponents; in Gaza where the Brit’s own BBC buddy, Alan Johnston, is held captive, if not already put to death, by the Palestinians, etc. Despite all this, these same inane journalists ignore all of the above, single out Israel and issue instead “a gesture of support for the Palestinian people.”

But then, Cohen reverts to his usual anti-Israel position and displays his own ignorance and disregard of history, managing to blame the Jews in great part for whatever has transpired with the Arab Palestinians. He sticks it to the Israelis with his familiar distortions. He speaks of Israeli “land lust”, “morbid fear of terrorism”, “uncritical support of Israel by the United States”, “efforts by Jewish Organizations to suffocate criticism” and “accusing critics of anti-Semitism.”

The “plight of the Palestinians” as Cohen admits is in fact, the direct result of the self-destructive actions of their own elected government in Gaza. Cohen also neglects to mention that the Arabs of Israel have a far higher standard of living than any of their brethren in the surrounding Arab nations. And, once again fails to acknowledge that since the re-birth of the Jewish nation in 1948, Israel has repeatedly reached out desperately for peace with its Arab neighbors. The Arab response has been consistent and unequivocal –attacks by the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia in the major war Independence war of 1948, the Sinai war of 1956, the Six Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, with constant terrorist attacks against its civilian population every day in between.

The minimal amount of land the Israelis have had at any moment has nothing to do with the Arab need to exterminate the Jew. As to “land lust” – the land that Israel has regained is land that should have been Israel in the first place. A cursory review of world history, world politics and millions of Christian and Hebrew bibles will confirm this irrefutable fact.

As to the United States support of Israel – Americans and their representatives recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s cause. They also understand that Israel is just postage stamp size - 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the 22 Arab nations that surround it with near 300 million Arabs and 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide overwhelming the 5-6 million Jews of Israel. Americans also root for a fellow democracy, an unequivocal staunch and dependable military ally and in fact, our point man in the Middle East.

So, thank you, Mr. Cohen, for pointing out the absurdity of the British Press Corps boycott and relegating it to plain Jew hatred but, as to Israel itself, Mr. Cohen, I am afraid you still don’t get it.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2007

Iran and the Second Cold War

... We should not fear to call this conflict by its name: It is the Second Cold War, with Iran as the approximate counterpart of the Soviet Union. Like the USSR, Iran is an enemy that even the mighty United States will probably never meet in full force on the battlefield and instead must fight via its proxies, wherever they are found.

Like the Soviet Union, the Ayatollahs’ regime is based on an ideological revolution that repudiates human liberty and subjects its political opponents to Jihad and the Sunni and Shi’ite insurgencies of Iraq; through its relentless pursuit of nuclear arms, long-range missiles, and a space program; through its outsized armed forces and huge stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons; through its diplomatic initiatives around the world; and through its ideological battle against democracy, Zionism, and the memory of the Holocaust. For the forces of Islamic extremism and political jihad, Iran has become the cutting edge of clarity.

The West, on the other hand, enjoys no such clarity. In America, Iraq has become, the overriding concern, widely seen as a Vietnam-style quagmire claiming thousands of American lives with no clear way either to win or to lose. (As the bells of the 2006 Congressional elections continue tolling in American ears, it is hard to hear the muezzins of the Middle East calling upon the faithful to capitalize on Western malaise.)

Europeans continue to seek “diplomatic solutions” even as they contend with powerful and well-funded Islamists in their midst and their friends among the media and intellectual elites—forces that stir public opinion not against Iran and Syria, who seek their destruction, but against their natural allies - America and Israel.

Throughout the West we now hear increasingly that a nuclear Iran is something one has to “learn to live with,” that Iraq needs an “exit strategy,” and that the real key to peace lies not in victory but in brokering agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and “engaging” Syria and Iran.

The Israelis, too, suffer from a lack of clarity: By separating the Palestinian question from the struggle with Hezbollah and Iran, and by shifting the debate back to territorial concession and prisoner exchange, Israelis desensitize aggression and terror, ignore the role Hamas plays in the broader conflict, and send conciliatory signals to the Syrians. Like the Americans with Iraq, Israelis have allowed themselves to lose sight of who their enemies arc, how determined they are, and what will be required to defeat them.

… The greatest dangers to the West and Israel lie not in armaments or battle plans, but in our thinking. Like World War II and the Cold War, this conflict cannot be won without first achieving clarity of purpose. Even the most urgently needed actions, such as stopping the Iranian nuclear effort, require leaders who understand the nature of the threat and have sufficient public support to enable them to act decisively. To achieve this, however, requires a major, immediate investment in the realm of ideas—a battle for understanding that must be won before the battle for freedom can be effectively engaged.

Israel, in particular, has a pivotal role to play. As the front-line state in the conflict, and the lightning rod of Islamist aggression, the world looks to Israel to see how it will respond. From its birth, Israel has served as a model to the West: In deepening its democratic character while fighting a series of wars; in fighting terror effectively, from the defeat of the PLO in the early l970s in Gaza, to the Entebbe raid in 1976, through Operation Defensive Shield in 2002; and striking preemptively against enemies who combined genocidal rhetoric with the acquisition of sophisticated weapons, as with Egypt and Syria in 1967, and Iraq in 1981.

Israel can again serve as a model of a state proud of its heritage, a democracy that knows how to fight against its tyrannical foes without sacrificing its own character. But to do this will require that Israel, too, disperse the conceptual fog in which it has been operating, recognize the strategic costs of ambiguous outcomes such as with the Lebanon war last summer, and adopt a clear and coherent vision and plan of action. If the West is to act decisively and with clarity, it may need Israel to show the way.

Redacted from an article:
By David Hazony, Azure Magazine Spring, 2007

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2007

World-class bum rap for Paul Wolfowitz

World-class bum rap for Paul Wolfowitz -The less sensational side of the story

April 20, 2007

On taking office, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz set two priorities for the world’s premier development institution. He asked for a focus on Africa’s persistent poverty, and he targeted corruption that diverts aid dollars from the poor. African leaders endorsed this vision but not all bank bureaucrats were thrilled by Mr. Wolfowitz or his policies. Still, any friend of the bank’s work should be dismayed by the disruption caused by a manufactured scandal at a time when the bank needs to replenish its coffers.

The imbroglio rattling the World Bank during its spring meeting of finance ministers is a rehash of its clumsy attempt to resolve the status of Shaha Au Riza, a veteran bank professional and Mr. Wolfowitz’s longtime romantic partner. The authors of this acrid affair have forgotten the standards of fairness and due process owed Ms. Riza, who is a member of the bank staff association and entitled to its fiduciary protections. And the scandalmongers have recklessly ignored a written record of bank documents that serves not to condemn but to exculpate Mr. Wolfowitz.

Moreover, the case reveals the bank’s executive board and its ethics committee as organs of haphazard judgment. In 2005, the ethics committee surprisingly denied Mr. Wolfowitz’s written request that he be allowed to recuse himself from all decisions touching on Ms. Riza’s status because of their relationship. Then it disqualified her from remaining at the bank yet insisted that she be compensated ~for this disruption to her career. Next it insisted that Mr.
Wolfowitz re-enter the chain of command to execute its advice concerning Ms. Riza. And now, board members apparently have criticized Mr. Wolfowitz for doing exactly what the ethics panel directed?

To be sure, news stories about Ms. Riza have revealed that the pay of World Bank staff far exceeds what comparable professionals would earn elsewhere. And, because the bank is an international institution, staffers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not taxed by Washington. A foreign bank employee with a salary of $132,000 can support the same lifestyle as someone with a taxable gross income of more than $200,000. This should be changed.

But this does not excuse a mob mentality that abuses the reputation of a particular female professional, much less a bank president The internal documents released last week — at Mt Wolfowitz’s request — show that this slow-moving institution had no protocol for figuring out how to accommodate the career of a professional woman when her spouse or partner came to work in the same chain of command. This is becoming a more serious problem in today’s workplace. Ms. Riza was a veteran of the bank, working as a senior communications officer in the Middle East/North African public outreach program before Mr. Wolfowitz was picked as bank president in 2005.

The bank’s ethics committee in July 2005 gave “informal” advice that Ms. Riza had to give up her eligibility for promotion and leave the bank. It acknowledged that this step would disrupt Ms. Riza’s career for a substantial period. For a 52-year-Old bank employee facing mandatory retirement at age 62, losing a promotion and a long period of service is not trivial. The ethics committee thus reasonably concluded that Ms. Riza should receive some compensation for her forced transfer.

According to the documents on the bank’s Web site, it was the ethics committee’s own idea — not Mr. Wolfowitz’s — to give Ms. Riza a promotion as she was being moved out for four years. She was transferred to the U.S. State Department to work on a grass-roots democracy project that has been praised by Secretary Condoleezza Rice. She was given the midrange salary for her new level. This was a lot of money, but it was based on the bank’s existing pay scales.
It was certainly not a corrupt favor to a girlfriend.

The amazing thing is that all the facts were reviewed for a second time by the World Bank ethics committee last year, and again it found nothing wrong. It is hard to square the record with the entertaining claim that the World Bank’s president somehow concocted a do-nothing job for his girlfriend. It’s a bum rap, and one about which other women professionals in dual-career families might worry.

Ruth Wedgwood is professor of international law and diplomacy at Johns Hopkins University. She wrote this article for the Los Angeles Times.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2007

Holocaust Education in the United Kingdom

Over the past weeks there have been a number of rumors circulating via email regarding Holocaust education here in the UK. The emails suggest that the UK Government is removing Holocaust education from the National Curriculum and that in general British schools steer away from teaching what they might consider, a 'controversial' subject. We want to make it clear that our understanding is that the Holocaust is and will continue to be on the National Curriculum and therefore continue to be taught in all UK schools.

Background

These rumours stemmed from a piece that featured in a number of newspapers including the Daily Mail, Guardian, and The Telegraph at the beginning of April.
·
The news stories came about as a result of a report commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) and undertaken by the Historical Association. The report, 'Challenges and Opportunities for Teaching Emotive and Controversial History 13-19 (TEACH)', addresses both the challenges teachers face, as well as the good practice that is occurring when teaching all emotive and controversial historical issues such as: Slavery, the Crusades and the Holocaust. The full TEACH report is available on the HA website:

In light of this story the Holocaust Educational Trust would like to clarify what to our knowledge is the situation in the UK.

Holocaust Education in the UK:

The Holocaust became part of the National Curriculum for History in 1991. It is statutory for all students in England and Wales to learn about the Holocaust at Key Stage 3 usually in Year 9 History (aged 13 -14). Many students will study the Holocaust in Religious Studies, English and Citizenship lessons.

. The UK holds a national Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th (marking the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau), and this is marked widely in primary and secondary schools across the country.

. The UK has a permanent Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London, visited by 1000s of people each year.

. The British Government sponsors two students (16 - 18 year olds) per secondary school/further Education College to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau through the Holocaust Educational Trusts Lessons from Auschwitz Programme (This is due to a £1.5 million grant from the Government every year from 2006-2008)

. School groups and private individuals visit the permanent Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, the Jewish Museum, London, and The Holocaust Centre, Beth Shalom in Newark and educational establishments work with resources and educational programmes provided by other important organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust (UK), London Jewish Cultural Centre, and the Wiener Library.

. Teacher training ensures that 100s of newly qualified teachers are provided with skills and materials to ensure effective Holocaust education for their students.

. Existing teachers participate in training around the UK, and specialist programmes run by Holocaust education organisations including the Holocaust Educational Trust, Imperial War Museum and Beth Shalom.

Within the TEACH report from the Historical Association, there is one particular line relating to Holocaust education which has been the focus of the press and various alarmed emails. It features in the section addressing why teachers avoid teaching certain subjects and states: '. A history department in a northern city recently avoided selecting the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework for fear of confronting anti-Semitic (sic) sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.

The key points regarding this statement are:

. This does not refer to Holocaust education on the National Curriculum - it is a post-14 History GCSE course (publicly examined course) . History at GCSE is not compulsory (only a 1/3 of pupils opt for history post-14). This is an anecdotal response from one teacher in one school out of 4500 secondary schools in the UK. While we cannot say what happens in every single school, our understanding is that this is highly unusual and not general practise of teachers around the country. . All schools can choose which history topics they wish to study for coursework at GCSE level. . There is no suggestion that this or any other school is failing to cover the National Curriculum in teaching about the Holocaust at Key Stage 3, Year 9 (age 13 - 14).

At no point does the report from the Historical Association suggest that the Holocaust be removed from the National Curriculum for England and Wales.

Obviously we and all Holocaust related organisations in the UK take this very seriously, however on this occasion we want to allay all fears and impress upon everyone that the Holocaust is not being removed from the National Curriculum. This particular incident does of course merit further investigation but in no way represents all the good work in our schools across the country.

Should you require further information please do contact us at the Holocaust Educational Trust by emailing

With best wishes

Karen Pollock
Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust
BCM Box 7892, London WC1N 3XX

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2007

Daily Living within the “Palestinian State.”

Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Apr. 5, 2007

Palestinian Authority officials on Thursday expressed fear that the United
Nations may formally declare the Gaza Strip a dangerous zone - a move that
would result in the evacuation of the remaining foreign nationals from the
area and drastically hamper international humanitarian aid to the
Palestinians.

PA security sources told The Jerusalem Post that 25 Palestinians were killed
in the Gaza Strip last month in internal fighting. Another four were killed
in the West Bank, the sources added.

"We're moving very quickly toward such a scenario," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, member of the PLO executive committee and a close aide to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "The Gaza Strip is full of thugs and gangsters who are responsible for the ongoing anarchy. Soon the Gaza Strip may be declared a dangerous zone, which means that all international organizations would have to leave." The UN has yet to issue any formal statement to such effect.

Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat warned that a "dangerous zone" declaration
would increase the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and called on the PA security forces to start working to end the state of lawlessness and anarchy.

"The Gaza Strip has become worse than Somalia," a prominent human rights activist in Gaza City told the Post. "Thousands of gunmen continue to roam the streets and the new government hasn't done anything to restore law and order. Every day you hear horror stories about people who are killed and
wounded. The situation is really intolerable."

Muhammad Dahlan, who was recently appointed PA National Security Adviser, said it was time to admit that a "curse has hit" the Gaza Strip. "Anyone who does not admit that there's a curse in the Gaza Strip does not know what he's talking about," he said.

Dahlan expressed concern over the wave of kidnappings in Gaza, noting that a local engineer who was abducted several months ago was still being held by his captors. He said that the National Security Council was now preparing a security plan that would end the state of anarchy in the PA-controlled
areas. "The Palestinian security establishment needs to undergo major surgery," he added. "The situation is catastrophic and many young men prefer to work for clans and not the security forces."

Dahlan met earlier with the British consul-general in Jerusalem, Richard
Makepeace, and briefed him on the PA's efforts to release kidnapped BBC
correspondent Alan Johnston, who was snatched by masked gunmen in Gaza City three weeks ago. Hassan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that the commanders of the PA security forces knew where Johnston was being held, but were doing nothing to release him. "What's the point in having 85,000 security officers if they can't free a foreign journalist who has been held in the Gaza Strip for three weeks?" he asked.

Dozens of Palestinian journalists demonstrated outside Abbas's office in
Gaza City on Thursday to protest against the abduction of Johnston.
Addressing the journalists, Abbas said he was doing his utmost to secure the
release of the BBC corespondent. "This case will be resolved very soon," he said without elaborating. "We will not allow such things to recur." Abbas's bodyguards fired into the air to prevent the protesters from approaching his office. No one was hurt.

Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh agreed to form a joint
"operations command" to follow up on the case of Johnston. The new PA government is expected to hold an emergency meeting in Gaza City
on Saturday to discuss ways of restoring law and order. But many
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip expressed pessimism, saying it was too late
to talk about ending the state of chaos. "There are too many gangs and weapons out there," said the human rights activist. "No government will be able to create a new situation."

He pointed out that at least 46 civilians had been kidnapped in the Gaza
Strip in the past four weeks. The latest kidnappings took place on Thursday,
when unidentified gunmen abducted three people, including one woman, in
separate incidents. Most of the kidnappings were related to family feuds and rivalries between political groups, particularly Fatah and Hamas. Also Thursday, the bullet-riddled body of a Hamas security official, Muhammad Abu Hajileh, was discovered east of Gaza City. Abu Hajileh was a member of Hamas's "Executive Force" in the Gaza Strip.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2007

Our "MODERATE" SAUDI “FRIENDS” THREATEN ISRAEL WITH WAR

IF IT DOES NOT ACCEPT ITS "PEACE PLAN"

Press Release - Zionist Organization of America

New York -- Saudi Arabia, which has been called "moderate" for touting its 2002 so-called "peace plan," has threatened Israel with war if it does not accept the plan in its entirety. Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal, issued an ultimatum to Israel this week, saying that its plan is non-negotiable and suggested that Israel would be to blame if war broke out as a result of its failure to swallow it whole. Faisal told the London Telegraph, "It has never been proven that reaching out to Israel achieves anything … [If Israel does not agree to the offer, it will be placing its future] "in the hands of the lords of war" ( Washington Times, March 29).

The Saudi "peace plan" demands, in return for Arab recognition and "normalized relations," Israel's withdrawal to the pre-June 1967 armistice lines; the creation of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital; and the Israeli acceptance of the morally and legally baseless so-called 'right of return' by Palestinian Arab refugees of the 1948-49 war and their millions of descendants to Israel, thereby inundating Israel with hostile Arabs and ending its existence as a Jewish state.

Israel would therefore have to surrender not only eastern Jerusalem with its holiest Jewish sites, but also all of Judea and Samaria, where over 400,000 Israeli Jews live, including the strategically vital Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights. Moreover, the Saudi initiative insists on the 'right of return' and rejects any substitute for it, assuring "the rejection of all forms of Palestinian partition which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab host countries," meaning the rejection of settling of the refugees and their descendants in neighboring Arab countries and the granting of citizenship to them.

The Saudi threat makes it clear that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's intention to promote the plan as a basis for future discussions is not accepted by the Saudis. Also, the Saudi King Abdullah this week opened an Arab summit meeting in Riyadh by calling "illegitimate" the U.S. military presence in Iraq and denouncing as "oppressive" the embargo on the terrorist-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) government.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "Saud al-Faisal's words and those of Saudi King Abdullah denouncing American efforts, paid for in American lives and treasure, to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq, as well as the embargo on the Hamas/PA terror regime simply underscore that the Saudi "peace plan" is anything but. It also confirms that Saudi Arabia is not a moderate, but an extremist regime.

"It is simply unacceptable that the Saudis, who bear deep responsibility for the world-wide spread of Islamist fanaticism and hate education through funding extremist mosques and publications around the world, seek to dictate terms to Israel with veiled hints of war if the fails to concede to all its demands. This is the opposite of moderation – it is saber-rattling and war-mongering. Since when is a peace plan a take-it-or-leave it proposition?

"It is clear that when the Saudis propose a plan with impossible demands that Israel could never accept, it is not a peace plan at all, but simply an effort to gain positive press, not a real peace. There is not a shred of seriousness to the Saudi plan. Saudi Arabia should be censured by the U.S. and all its allies for its bellicose posturing which only underscores the unacceptability of the 'peace plan' it has promoted."


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2007

Will the Real Global Warmer Please Step Forward?

By George F. Will
April 12, 2007

In a campaign without peacetime precedent, the media-entertainment-environmental complex is warning about global warming. Never, other than during the two World wars, has there been such a concerted effort by opinion-forming institutions to indoctrinate Americans, 83 percent of whom now call global warming a “serious problem.” Indoctrination is supposed to be a predicate for action commensurate with professions of seriousness. For example Democrats could demand that the president send the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate so they can embrace it.

In 1997 the Senate voted 95-0 to oppose any agreement which would require significant reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in America and some other developed nations but would involve no “specific scheduled commitments” for 129 “developing” countries, including the second, fourth, 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th largest economies (China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia) Forty-two of the senators serving in 1997 are gone. Let’s find out whether the new senators disagree with the 1997 vote.

Do they also disagree with Bjorn Lomborg author of The Skeptical Environmentalist? He says: Compliance with Kyoto would reduce global warming by an amount too small to measure. But the cost of compliance just to the United States would be higher than the cost of providing the entire world with clean drinking water and sanitation, which would prevent 2 million deaths from diseases such as infant diarrhea a year and prevent half a billion people from becoming seriously ill each year.

Nature designed us as carnivores but what does nature know about nature? Meat has been designated a menace. Among the 51 exhortations in Time magazine’s global warming survival guide” (April 9), No. 22 says a BMW is less responsible than a Big Mac for “climate change,” that conveniently imprecise name for our peril. This is because the world meat industry produces 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions - more than transportation produces. Nitrous oxide in manure (warming effect: 296 times greater than that of carbon) and methane from animal flatulence (23 times greater) mean that “a 16 ounce T-bone is like a Hummer on a Plate.”
Newsweek says most food travels at least 1200 miles to get to American plates, so buying local food will save fuel. Do not order halibut in Omaha!

Speaking of Hummers, Perhaps it is environmentally responsible to buy one and squash a Prius with it. Toyota’s Prius hybrid is, of course fuel-efficient. There are, however environmental costs to mining and smelting (in Canada). 1000 tons a year of zinc for the battery powered second motor, and the shipping of the zinc 10,000 miles trailing cloud of carbon — to Wales for refining and then to China for turning it into the component that is then sent to a battery factory in Japan.

A report from CNW Marketing Research (“Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New Vehicles from Concept to Disposal”) concludes that in “dollars per lifetime mile,” a Prius (expected life: 109,000 miles) costs $3.25, compared to $1.95 for a Hummer H3 (expected life: 207,000 miles).

The report states that a hybrid makes economic and environmental sense for a buyer living in the Los Angeles basin, where fuel costs are high and smog is worrisome. But environmental costs of the hybrid are exported from the basin.
We are urged to “think globally and act locally,” as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done with proposals to reduce California’s emissions 25 percent by 2020. If it achieves this, at a cost not yet computed, it will have reduced its contribution to global greenhouse-gas emissions 0.3 percent!

The question is: Suppose the costs over a decade of trying to achieve a local goal are insignificant. And suppose the positive impact on the globe’s temperature are insignificant — and much less than, say, the negative impact of one year’s increase in the number of vehicles in one country (e.g., India). If so, are people who recommend such things thinking globally but not clearly?

George F Will is a syndicated columnist for The Washington Post

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2007

Who exactly is being resuscitated?

Letter to the Jewish Press, March 15, 2007

By Jerome S. Kaufman

The Jewish Press, March 9, 2009 contained an article, “Saudis Breathe Life into Diplomacy” by Leslie Susser. I read with total astonishment how, according to Susser, Saudi Arabia had, in the minds of Israel’s political strategists, suddenly become an ally of the State of Israel and how fortunate for Israel that Saudi Arabia was now in the same mix with the United States and would bring all the Arabs around!

The Saudi ability to do this has been spearheaded by the Saudis re-presenting their “Saudi Peace Plan” of March 2002. Have the Israelis really read the Saudi Peace Plan or have they read it and elected to ignore the obvious impossible impasses? The main problem, as stated by the Israelis, is the Arab desire to have unlimited “return” to Israel of the generations of phantom refugees that supposedly left Israel under duress in 1947-48 and post 1967.

Another objection, barely mentioned, is that the Saudi Plan also demands that Israel return to the 1967 borders. Maybe the Israeli politicians believe they have a different border in mind than the Saudis and the rest of the Arabs and believe the Arabs will accept that border? Have the Arabs accepted any border? The only border they have ever unanimously accepted is that the Mediterranean Sea constitutes both the Eastern and Western borders of the State of Israel.

Even returning just to the Green Line, according to the Arabs, includes relinquishing a huge portion of Jerusalem including the entire Temple Mount, the land upon which is built the Knesset, the Israel Supreme Court, the Hadassah hospital on Mt. Scopus, all of Maale Adumin, Ariel, all of Judea and Samaria, etc., etc. – all outside the Green Line. And do any Israelis truly believe that the Saudis and the other Arabs have any real intention of stopping there? And, what are the Israelis to get in return if they were to accept the deal – a return to “normal relations” and the Arab “recognition of Israel’s right to exist!

Are you kidding me? Have the Israeli politicians currently in power learned nothing from the Oslo disaster, the Lebanon withdrawal disaster, the Gaza withdrawal disaster, the creation of the pseudo-Palestinian Arab and his fictitious state disaster?

Evidently not.

Jerome S. Kaufman

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

April 09, 2007

The Jews and Easter

Responses by a learned Catholic friend

Jerry:

Happy Passover or Easter. I am sure you know that the painting, The Last Supper, some believe, was a depiction of Jesus and his disciples holding their own Jewish Passover Seder.

I also vaguely remember something about women being in the original painting but later being erased so as to diminish their importance and thus justify priestly celibacy. But, I may have gotten my pictures mixed up. What is the Church's position on both issues?

Paul:

“The Synoptics gospels (Synoptic relating to or being the first three gospels of the New Testament, which share content, style, and order of events and which differ largely from the gospel of John) all portray the painting, The Last Supper as a Jewish Seder - quite consciously and clearly.

The Church's position agrees with this, as is quite clear from the Holy Thursday celebration. Some time you should ask a Catholic friend to bring you to a Holy Thursday mass. It's the most Jewish day in our liturgical calendar.”

”As to the absence of women in the painting, there would likely have been women at the Seder, though the gospels specify only the twelve apostles (the number, of course, reflects the number of the tribes of Israel). The importance of women is implied otherwise in that women are the ones who discover the empty tomb of Jesus and thus are the first to proclaim the good news that He has risen.

Peter, at least among the 12 disciples, was married. The idea of celibacy came way later.”

Hag sameach shel Pesoch to you and yours.”

Paul

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:57 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2007

Monica Lewinsky - Courage and Redemption

(You may re-call: Bill Clinton was impeached for lying – not, thinking people might believe - for the larger moral crime of encouraging and seducing a naïve, star-struck young woman) Jsk

By Richard Cohen, Syndicated Columnist
January 2007

In the various books I’ve read about the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal - a scandal because of what was done and a scandal because the president was impeached for it - the same story is told over and over again. When the prosecutors or lawyers or whoever finally got to meet the storied Monica Lewinsky they were floored by her. She was smart, personable and as the record makes clear, dignified. This is more than can be said about some of the people who write about her.

I will not name names. But in recent days, Ms. Lewinsky is back in the news. In December she graduated with a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics. Her thesis was titled “In Search of the Impartial Juror: An Exploration of the Third Person Effect and Pre-Trial Publicity. “ Her thesis might well have been called “In Search of the Impartial Journalist” because she was immediately the subject of more poke-in-the-ribs stories about you know what. The Washington Post, a better paper than it was that day, called her “dumb-but-smart.” It was more than could be said for that piece.

It does not take a Freudian to appreciate why Ms. Lewinsky chose the topic she did. She is a victim of publicity and her life has been a trial enough to floor almost anyone. But in Ms. Lewinsky’s case, she took a bad situation and made something good of it. That hardly makes her “dumb-but- smart,” but rather once young and now older and incomparably wiser, an approximation of this befalls us all. But before we got to become wise and prudent in all things, we were probably irresponsible, outrageous and wild — in other words, young.

Fortunately for me - and probably this applies to you as well—my outrageous deeds are known to only a few and some of them, after a lifetime of bad marriages and poor investments, probably have forgotten them. In Ms. Lewinsky’s case, her youthful indiscretion has been forgotten by no one. On the contrary, it’s recorded for the ages, in House and Senate proceedings, in the files of the creepy special prosecutor, in the databases of newspapers, in presidential histories and the musty joke files of second-rate comics.

She is a branded woman, not an adulterer, but something even worse — a girl toy, a trivial thing, and a punch line. Yet she did what so many women at that age would do. She seduced (or so she thought) an older man. She fantasized that he would leave his wife for her. Here was her crime: She was a girl besotted. It happens even to Republicans.

But she is now a woman with a master’s degree from a prestigious school and is going to be 34 come July. Her clock ticks, her life ebbs. Where is the man for her? Where is the guy brave enough, strong enough, admirable enough to take her as his wedded wife, to suffer the slings and arrows of her outrageous fortune — to say to the world (for it would be the entire world) that he loves this woman who will always be an asterisk in American history?

I hope there is such a guy out there. It would be nice. It would be fair. It would be nice, too, and fair, also, if Ms. Lewinsky were treated by the media, as it would treat a man. What’s astounding is the level of sexism applied to her, as if the wave of the women’s movement broke over a new generation of journalists and not a drop fell on any of them. Where, pray tell, is the man who is remembered just for sex? Where is the guy who is the constant joke for something he did in his sexually wanton youth? Maybe, here and there, some preacher, but in those cases the real subject matter is not sex but hypocrisy. Other than those, no names come to mind.

This is the year 2007, brand new and full of promise. It would be nice if my colleagues in the media would resolve to treat Monica Lewinsky as a lady, to think of her as they would themselves, to remember their own youth and the things they did and to understand that from this day forward anyone who takes a cheap shot at Ms. Lewinsky has a moral and professional obligation to look in the mirror. To proceed otherwise is to miss the joke entirely. No longer is it Monica Lewinsky It is now the people who write about her

Richard Cohen is a columnist for The Washington Post. His e-mail address is cohenr@washpost com

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2007

With Friends Like These …

A Letter to the Editor of Commentary Magazine

By Morrie J. Amitay

Former Executive Director, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Currently Founder and Treasurer of the Washington Political Action Committee

(PS I would really like to underline this whole letter) JSK

Having been directly involved with the Democratic party, Congress, and Israel since 1969, I am in general agreement with Gabriel Schoenfeld’s views regarding the growing political nexus between the Democratic Left and Muslim organizations.

Back in the 1970’s, it was leading Democrats like Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson who personified congressional support for Israel. This has changed today as some left-leaning lawmakers have gradually come to view Palestinians as victims and Israelis as oppressors.

We now find that Israel’s most outspoken champions in Congress are Republicans. In terms of antagonists, there is now a core of 30-45 House Democrats and a handful, at most, of Republicans who can be considered unfriendly to Israel. Recent polls also demonstrate a gradual diminution of support for Israel among Democrats as opposed to Republican voters.

But while this shift in sentiment among Democrats is disappointing, it does not reflect any newfound political clout of American Muslims. The American people continue to side with Israel in its conflict with the Arabs by a margin of as much as four-to-one. Although Muslim groups like CAIR have proliferated in recent years, they cannot compete with the pro-Israel community in providing tangible support to potential congressional allies. One measure of this inequality is the lopsided 30-1 ratio of pro-Israel political-action-committee (PAC) contributions over pro-Arab PAC contributions to candidates in the last election cycle

The real threat to continued strong American public and congressional support for close U.S.-Israel ties comes from anti-Israel bias in the major media, elite universities, and most importantly from ultra-liberal Jewish organizations like Americans for Peace Now and individual Jews who seem to have difficulties dealing with their own Jewishness. These “useful idiots,” to borrow Lenin’s term, legitimize scurrilous attacks on Israel by its adversaries.

We all know who they are, have seen them fawn over the late Yasir Arafat, incessantly criticize Israel for “human-rights abuses,” convene to consider a competing organization to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and, in general, provide aid and comfort to Israel’s enemies. Some of these Israel bashers, going beyond the definition of a liberal in that old saw as “someone so broad-minded he won’t even take his own side in a fight,” actually cheer for the other side.

Unfortunately, many of these Jews are also important supporters of the Democrats because they share views on a host of domestic issues. So we sometimes have a situation where they seek to burnish their liberal credentials at Israel’s expense. The correlation between those promoting a far-Left “progressive” agenda and those expressing anti-Israel sentiment is palpable.

It is fair to say that the damage they are doing to American support of Israel far surpasses the efforts of Muslim Americans. So before Jews go looking for enemies outside the fold, it may be more useful to expose the motives and counter the activities of those within their own ranks.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:33 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2007

Global Warming or Al Gore’s Fevered Imagination?

Redacted from an article by Duncan Currie
The Weekly Standard, April 2, 2007

Speaking before a joint hearing of two House panels on March 21, Al Gore likened the fight against “the climate crisis” to the battle waged against overwhelming odds by a band of Spartan warriors at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., dramatized in the new movie 300. “This Congress is now the ‘535,” said the former vice president, facing “a true planetary emergency.” He urged U.S. legislators to find “uncommon moral courage” and “redeem the promise of American democracy.” That way, they can tell future generations, “This was our Thermopylae.”

Gore’s testimony at twin House and Senate hearings the same day was long on metaphors. He mentioned the trials overcome by America’s “greatest generation,” drew parallels to the Cold War and the Marshall Plan, and fired off sound bites like “Nature is on the run” and “The planet has a fever.” “If your baby has a fever,” Gore quipped, “you go to the doctor. If the doctor says, ‘You need to intervene here,’ you don’t say, ‘Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action.”

His noisiest Senate foe was James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who has called global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Inhofe showed a frame from Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, which asks viewers: “Are you ready to change the way you live?” He then challenged Gore to take a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge” to “consume no more energy for use in [his] residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.” And please don’t mention “offsets” or any other “gimmicks” used by the wealthy, Inhofe added. Gore dodged. “We do not contribute to the problem,” he insisted, arguing that his family, whose massive energy consumption recently made headlines, purchases “wind energy” and other “green energy” to ensure their lifestyle is “carbon neutral.”

Gore has warned that global warming could lead to “killer heat waves. ”But Danish statistician Bjørn Lomborg, who testified before the House panel right after Gore, noted that any increase in heat-related deaths must be balanced against the corresponding decrease in cold-related deaths. Other experts concur

The Kyoto Protocol, which the Bush administration famously rejected, expires in 2012. “I’m in favor of Kyoto,” Gore said. “We should work toward de facto compliance” and toward a new, “tougher” CO2 treaty by 2010.
But what about China and India? Though among the world’s biggest CO2 polluters, they, and other developing countries are exempted from Kyoto.
In a report released last November, the International Energy Agency (lEA) predicted that China, which is building new coal plants at a furious pace, will eclipse America as the largest emitter of CO2 “before 2010.”

With reference to planning for the future, Gore conceded that nuclear energy might be “part of the solution” (though only “a small part”). “I’m not a reflexive opponent of nuclear,” he told GOP senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. The Energy Department has projected that U.S. electricity consumption will jump nearly 50 percent by 2030. As former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, a pro-nuclear green Republican, points out, “Renewables and conservation aren’t gonna get us there.” Nuclear power is a low-carbon alternative to coal, and can deliver far greater capacity than solar or wind. Then again, nuclear energy presents a raft of safety, proliferation, and cost concerns. But as Gore himself emphasized last week, there are no free-lunch solutions to this particular planetary emergency.

Duncan Currie is a reporter at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)