May 30, 2007

Off-the-Wall Solutions

By Jerome S. Kaufman

(International Jerusalem Post, April 20, 2007)

SIR— About four years ago deputy director Dan Schueftan and a contingency of fellow liberals from the University of Haifa gave a panel discussion at Beth Ahm Synagogue in West Bloomfield, Michigan. I can remember being almost as enraged by the idiocy of Schueftan’s logic at the time as I am now reading his comments in the April 20 International Jerusalem Post (“A demographic doomsayer”).

Just as in the Post article, Schueftan advised us that giving up Israeli land to the Arabs had “Nothing whatsoever to do with peace; that the Arabs won’t stop being terrorists; that all the Israelis have to do is maintain a sustainable majority over the Arabs; that we will be able to do with less tanks and aircraft; My concern is not whether we will have peace because we won’t; the Arabs would like to undermine our national security,” etc.

Then Schueftan presented his solutions that, in fact, grossly added to the problems he had just enumerated! What are Schueftan’s solutions? Just give up the land where Arabs are a majority as in Gaza and Judea and Samaria and wherever else and cut off the funds to those awful religious, Israelis so they don’t have so many children. All this as if the Arabs had shown any inclination to be content with the land that has been given to them in the past?

Has Schueftan learned nothing from the disasters of the Security Zone withdrawal in Lebanon and the Gaza withdrawal wherein the Arabs have just swallowed up the land and created a far more dangerous and more convenient base from which to fire missiles and kill Israeli citizens?

I have always wondered what sent Ariel Sharon off at an irrational tangent giving up Gaza and starting on Judea and Samaria. Maybe Schueftan is not just an egomaniac? Maybe he did actually speak to Sharon and initiate the “Disengagement plan” in Sharon’s mind?

How awful for Israel and Diaspora Jewry If this “expert” continues to affect the decision making of our already impoverished Israeli leadership.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2007

Israel’s Government – A Sea Change Required (Read “Miracle”)

Redacted from an article by Professor Paul Eidelberg
The Jewish Press April 27, 2007

In a previous article, I raised the question: “What must be done to reform Israel’s inept and corrupt system of governance?” Here is my answer:

First, we need a candidate to head not just another political party but a revolutionary party, a party committed to “regime change.” This candidate must not be tainted by Oslo and by ”disengagement.” You dare not trust a politician who has given Jewish land to Arab terrorists or who supported the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes. Shun them as political idiots or as self-serving scoundrels or moral cowards.

we need a candidate that has the courage to face the truth about the so-called Palestinians.
• He must understand that these Arabs deem themselves part of the House of Islam, and that Islam does not recognize a land called “Palestine” as entitled to statehood.
• He must understand that that peace is not possible with Arabs who use their children as human bombs to murder Jews.
• He must understand that that it’s ignoble and suicidal to negotiate with people dedicated to your destruction.

Third, we need a candidate who understands why Israel’s system of governance is dysfunctional~ divisive, and self-destructive, and who is therefore committed to systemic change.

Fourth, we need a candidate committed to changing Israel’s foreign policy.
• He must advocate abrogation of the Oslo Accords
• He must advocate destruction of the terrorist network in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza
• He must advocate Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
• He must advocate a program to encourage Arabs in these areas to leave.
• He must advocate a Homestead Act and an Urban Development Program to attract foreign investment for settling 200,000 and more Jews in these areas.
• He must advocate basic change in the relationship between Israel and the U.S.
(To proclaim this new foreign policy, our candidate must have a strategy board consisting of experts in American politics and economics, international and domestic law, military strategy, commerce and industry, urban development, etc.)

Fifth, our candidate must establish a massive youth movement. He must offer the voters something really new — a larger Israel, a more democratic Israel, and a more Jewish Israel — one that will inspire mankind now steeped in nihilism and barbarism. He must transcend the sterility of secular Zionism, else he will succumb to the fate of Benny Begin. He must also transcend the timidity of religious Zionism, which has so often compromised its principles. He must think big and project a noble vision, else he will never attract the youth of this country. There will be one million floating votes in the next election — the equivalent of 40 seats. Our candidate must emphasize two issues:

1. NATIONAL SECURITY. This requires the elimination of the PLO terrorist network, justified by the slogan, “Moderation in defense of liberty is not a virtue.” National Security requires a national strategy, which in turn requires.

2. SYSTEMIC CHANCE — namely:
• A Unitary Executive Slogan: “A ship can have only one captain.”
• A Professional Legislature Slogan: “Party slates attract paltry politicians.”
• A Non-Political Supreme Court Slogan: “It’s not the role of the court to make public policies.”

Sixth, our candidate must go on a media blitz in the United States to augment his influence in Israel He must expose the myth of Israel’s dependence on the U.S.
• He should quote former Under-Secretary of state Joseph Sisco, who told author Shmuel Katz, “I want to assure you, Mr. Katz, that if we were not getting full value for our money, you would not get a cent from us.
• Our candidate should cite former U.S. Air Force Chief of Intelligence George Keegan who said that the Intelligence Israel provides the U.S. is worth five CIAs
Which means that America’s national security depends very much on Israel.
• Our candidate should reveal how Israeli hi-tech contributes to American prosperity.
• He should show that the American Constitution is rooted in Jewish principles, and that Israel should adopt these principles in forming its own constitution.

If you can’t find a candidate committed to systemic reform and a foreign policy such as I have outlined, all your criticism of government policies and all your protest demonstrations against this government will be equivalent to giving aspirin to a country suffering from a terminal disease.

PROFESSOR EIDELBERG is the founder and president of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy (FCD), a Jewish think tank for improving Israel’s system of governance. He can be reached through the FCD website at:

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2007

Israel’s Winograd Report – a Searing Indictment

An excerpt from an editorial by David Horovitz, Editor


For page after relentless page it continues, exposing, layer after horrifying layer, a picture of Israel’s military and political capabilities so dismal, so complacent and amateurish, as to defy belief. “It can’t really be this bad, can it?” - you find yourself saying as you turn the pages. Then, comes yet another clause, highlighting yet another untenable reality, to confirm that, yes, it really can be. And this, remember, is only the interim report of the Winograd Committee into the failings related to the Second Lebanon War. This is the critique of that part of the war that was widely supported by the public.

Having had six years to prepare, Israelis had reasonably assumed the IDF was ready and waiting with an effective response to Hizbullah. Chillingly and caustically, Winograd divests us of that misguided confidence, and heaps mountains of blame on those who left us so vulnerable. The final report, cataloguing the stubborn maintenance of the failed hit-and-hope response even as 4,000 Katyushas fell and 163 Israelis were killed, awaits us in the summer. The conclusions relating to the three key personalities centrally blamed for the failings have, naturally, made all the headlines since Eliahu Winograd delivered his earthquake on April 30. Unthinkably, to date, those unredeeming, damning conclusions have not begun to remake Israel’s political landscape in the way the authors plainly believe is vital and urgent.

But beyond the personal and what has been stressed repeatedly in these and other columns of The Jerusalem Post in the months since this acutely mishandled war was brought to its woefully unsatisfactory end is desperately reinforced by the Winograd panel investigation: The belief that changing a few faces at the top of our political and military guard will be enough to solve our problems is suicidal delusional for the state of Israel.

Winograd’s central concern in this interim installment is not that Israel was waging an unjust, inappropriate, or disproportionate war, as some critics have misrepresented it as asserting. Nor is its main focus the sad fact that most concerns the public — that, by the end of the fighting, decisive victory had not been achieved. This summation doubtless awaits, in all, its grisly detail in the final report.

What the commission emphasizes so starkly here is:

1) That Israel simply couldn’t go to war last summer in an instant response to the July 12 border incursion, the kidnappings and the killings (lest we forget, three soldiers were killed In that initial Hizbullah attack). Why not - Because the IDF was not capable of grappling adequately with Hizbullah. And:

2) That even the most cursory examination of the IDF’s state of non-preparedness by the political leadership would have immediately exposed this dire state of affairs — except that, astoundingly, the political leadership / didn’t take the trouble to check.

The individual politicians’ culpability has been thoroughly documented in the past few days, and none more so than that of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Paraphrasing Winograd, he made up his mind hastily, didn’t explore alternatives and didn’t consult. He’s heavily to blame for the unclear goals of the military response, and “made a personal contribution to the fact that the declared goals were over-ambitious and not feasible.” He didn’t adapt those plans when it became dear they weren’t working. All in all, he was guilty of “a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence.” Criticism of a national leader doesn’t get much more brutal than that.

As for the defense minister, he didn’t have the necessary experience, and didn’t understand “the basic principles of using military force to achieve political goals”! Yet, he didn’t systematically consult with those who knew more. He didn’t so much as “ask for the IDF’s operational plans” for the military response he was ostensibly overseeing. In fact, his presence, in the words of the panel, “impaired” Israel’s ability to respond well to its challenges. The man responsible for the security establishment entrusted with our protection actually made matters worse.

As for the chief of General Staff at the time, how wise he was to have resigned ahead of this bombshell. The portrait that emerges from these dense lines of excoriation is of insistent complacency as the drums of a war Israel was in no position to effectively fight beat ever louder. The message Dan Halutz was giving the inexperienced duo at the political helm was that everything was fine. What has been less strenuously documented, however, is the wider appalling picture set out in Winograd - the extent of military unreadiness, of misassessment, of absent political-military coordination, all of which must be remedied if we are not to face more and much greater tragedy in subsequent encounters with our enemies. …

In its sections on the six years preceding the conflict, the commission tracks a process in which the IDF concedes sovereignty at the Lebanon border to Hizbullah. Nothing less - An abandonment of the elementary protection of northern Israel in the face of an extremist guerrilla army utterly committed to the defeat of Israel. The policies of containment and restraint followed by every government since 2000 “essentially enabled Hizbullah to strengthen militarily, without any significant disturbance by Israel.” Hizbullah amassed its arsenal of missiles and rockets. It deployed along the border. And it gradually created a situation where it was able “to act when and how it wished, without any military response from Israel.” We all knew much of this, of course. However, the accumulation as presented in Winograd is shocking nonetheless.

There is the documentation of prime minister Ariel Sharon’s declared overview that whatever didn’t absolutely have to be done, simply must not be done in southern Lebanon - an insistence on restraint borne of the trauma of past Lebanon misadventure and the hope that the unfolding political process in Lebanon would ultimately benefit Israel. There is the detailing of border incidents in which the IDF was consequently refused permission to tackle overt terrorist threats, like the case in November 2005 “when the then OC Northern Command approved the opening of fire to destroy a terror cell that had emplaced itself along the border.” The chief of General Staff overruled him emphatically. Therefore, it came to pass that the IDF’s basic obligation to defend the North was blurred and eroded, and a rapacious enemy, never confronted, became ever more emboldened …

That any of those indicted here - and that’s what Winograd is, a searing indictment of fundamental incompetence at the top — have dared to try to cling on to office in the wake of its publication is beyond unworthy. Israel grapples with fleeting opportunities and faces innumerable dangers. It requires leadership with the expertise and knowledge to deal with both challenges effectively, and the humility to seek to supplement that expertise and knowledge. It needs an army that can defend its borders and the citizens within. Central to our very existence here is the imperative that Israel, under its new chief of General Staff and more capable leaders, overhaul the way it governs and defends itself. That is the urgent message at the boiling heart of the Winograd Report

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:06 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2007

Muhammad’s example

The Truth About Muhammad

By Robert Spencer

Redacted from a review by Andrew G. Bostom
The Washington Times, October 15, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutch Parliamentarian and secular Muslim reformer, courageously identified the taboo discussion which must take place to understand, and defuse the scourge of modern jihad terrorism: “In their thinking about radical Muslim terrorism most politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and other commentators have avoided the core issue of the debate, which is Muhammad’s example?’

This taboo is all the more puzzling, and dangerously delusional, given the public pronouncements of Muslim Brotherhood “spiritual” leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential contemporary Muslim thinkers. The immensely popular Qaradawi reaches an audience of tens of millions of Muslim sympathizers across the globe with his regular appearances on Al-Jazeera television. During a June 19, 2001 broadcast, Qaradawi delivered a sermon entitled, “The Prophet Muhammad as a Jihad Model:’ proclaiming”... Allah has made the prophet Muhammad into an epitome for religious warriors.”

Consistent with the Hadith (words and deeds of Muhammad recorded by pious followers) and earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammad, Qaradawi further acknowledged that Muhammad launched aggressive jihad campaigns, and also maintained that there is in fact a ‘jihad which you seek:’ i.e., invading other countries in order to spread the word of Islam and to remove, by force of arms, “obstacles” standing in the way of this coercive Islamization. More ominously, Qaradawi has made specific unabashed appeals for Muslims to wage a ‘jihad re-conquest” of Europe, recalling the millennial legacy of jihad wars waged by Arab, Berber and Ottoman Muslim conquerors and colonizers.

Disregarding murderous threats, and the prospect of social ostracism, the intrepid author Robert Spencer, a serious independent scholar of Islam for the past two decades, has taken up Hirsi Ali’s challenge in his compelling new book, “The ‘Truth About Muhammad.” Spencer’s stated purpose in writing the book was to elucidate, in particular, those aspects of Muhammad’s life used by Muslims today to rationalize violence or other behaviors incompatible with Western constructs of human rights and dignity. In addition, Mr. Spencer, whom I have come to know through my own independent research on Islamic doctrine and history fulfills admirably his pledge not to “deride:’ “lampoon” or “mock” Muhammad but instead composed a scrupulously accurate account of what he (Muhammad) said and did regarding these critical matters.

Despite his caveat that the book is “not a comprehensive biography” of the Muslim prophet, Mr. Spencer’s concise, pellucid narrative (which includes both an inclusive chronology and a glossary of key Arabic names and places) has remarkable breadth, chronicling Muhammad’s evolution from proselytizers to a prototype jihad conqueror and ruler. The final chapter is a brilliant analysis of Muhammad’s disturbing modern legacy. Mr. Spencer provides understated, scrupulous documentation of the consequences of Muhammad’s status as an “excellent example of conduct” (Koran 33...21), invoked by Muslim clerics, governments, journalists and jihadists alike - exploited child brides and general misogyny, sanctioned by law; Draconian, mutilating punishments such as stoning for adultery and amputation for theft; jihad violence against non-Muslims under Muslim rule.

He concludes with a series of logical, unflinching recommendations for non-Muslim government, all of which hinge, ultimately, upon an honest recognition of Muhammad’s bellicose example: Stop insisting that Islam is a religion of peace; initiate a full-scale Manhattan Project to find new energy sources; make Western aid contingent upon renunciation of the jihad ideology; call upon American Muslim advocacy groups to work against the jihad ideology; revise immigration policies with the jihad ideology in view”

Today, ‘P.V. Muhammad,” (supposedly “non-fiction” accounts by sycophants) prevails, while the authoritative biographies of Muhammad written in the mid 19th through early 20th centuries — by scholars such as William Muir, David S. Margoliouth and Leone Caetani— are now almost unknown to the public and chattering classes. Margoliouth recounted Muhammad’s accomplishment as a tyrant without apology or indictment:

“His career as Medina is that of a robber chief, whose political economy consists in securing and dividing plunder... He is himself an unbridled libertine and encourages the same passion in his followers. For whatever he does, he is prepared to plead the express authorization of the deity. It is, however, impossible to find any doctrine, which he is not prepared to abandon, in order to secure a political end. This is a disagreeable picture for the founder of a religion, and it cannot be pleaded that it is a picture drawn by an enemy...”

Policymaking elites must heed Mr. Spencer’s urgent concluding admonitions:
“It is difficult if not impossible to maintain that Islam is a religion of peace when warfare and booty were among the chief preoccupations of the prophet of Islam. Sincere Islamic reformers should confront these facts, instead of ignoring or glossing over them, and work to devise ways in which Muslims can retreat from the proposition that Muhammad’s example is in all ways normative. If they do not do so, one outcome is certain: bloodshed perpetrated in the name of Islam and in imitation of its prophet will continue.

“If no Western politicians can be found who are courageous enough to grasp this nettle, Western countries will eventually pay a stiff price, when the jihadists they have admitted carry out successful jihad attacks, or inspire native-born Muslims to do so — or when they advance Shari’a [Islamic Law] provisions by peaceful means, as in the campaigns in the United Nations and several European countries for the adoption of Islamic blasphemy laws in the wake of the Muhammad cartoon riots.”

Andrew G. Bostom, MD, (
Author of ‘The Legacy 0f Jihad” (2005) from Prometheus Books

PS: American Ambassador's slanderous rationalization.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:55 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2007

Attention: Communists, Socialists, Pseudo-Liberals and Useful Idiots

The Kibbutz Movement - A Collective Collapse

By Calev Ben-David

The International Jerusalem Post, April 5, 2007

In the summer of 1984, I had the pleasure of spending a month working as a volunteer on Kibbutz Deganya Alef, the “mother of collective settlements.” Founded in 1909 on the southern shore of the Kinneret, Deganya is rich in historical lore - from the Syrian tank wreck that pays testament to the kibbutz’s heroic role in the War of Independence, to the grave of founding father Aharon David Gordon, the “prophet of Hebrew labor” who exhorted Diaspora Jews to renew themselves through manual work on the good earth in the Land of Israel.

The mid-1980s may have been a traumatic time for the kibbutz movement as a whole, which suffered dramatic financial losses after making ill-advised investments in an era of hyperinflation, an economic blow from which it never fully recovered. However, Deganya certainly seemed to be doing well at the time - perhaps too well. Deganya’s grounds included a spacious swimming pool, well-maintained tennis courts, and comfortable volunteer quarters, all suitable for a little relaxation after a hard day’s work in the banana groves or cotton fields. I was puzzled though, that the community had decided to include among its recreational facilities a well-appointed workout room complete with the latest Nautilus weight-lifting machines. Kibbutzniks still putting in a hard day of manual work are not the most likely candidates to start pumping iron in their off-hours, so the gym remained largely empty that summer except for me and a few other volunteers.

It struck me as the kind of indulgence that suggested Deganya was perhaps losing its way. What, I wondered, would A.D. Gordon have made of such narcissistic non-productive effort in the very cradle of socialist Zionism where he had declared “the ideal of Labor must become a pivot of all our aspirations. It is the foundation on which our national structure is to be erected.”

Just two years after my stint on Deganya, it decided to stop accepting foreign volunteers. This was a growing trend among several kibbutzim, which felt that the young Americans and Europeans working by day and partying by night in their presence had become a disruptive presence in their communities, rather than a chance to make new converts to the socialist labor ideology on which they were founded. For me though, the decision bespoke a growing lack of confidence among the Kibutzniks themselves in their old values, especially as they turned increasingly to the use of cheap hired labor, first from Palestinians and than foreign workers imported from Asia

Deganya continued its slide away from its original collective ethos just last month, becoming the latest kibbutz to shift toward a more capitalist model. It has abandoned its traditional equitable socialist pay-scale for one in which individual members will be paid differing salaries based on the positions they hold within the kibbutz, or simply be allowed to keep and live on the money they earn on jobs outside the community.

The news wasn’t greeted with much surprise or regret. After all, well over half of all the 270 kibbutzim have now gone that route in recent years, and some one-fifth also now allow their members to buy their own homes. (Several have also, more controversially, sold off land - that was initially leased to them from the state for agricultural purposes - to private developers at great profit.)

Today only some 120,000 Israelis live on kibbutzim, and with rare exceptions no new ones have been founded in decades. It’s likely there will always be a few kibbutzim left of the purer collective sort in future years, just like one can still find communes of various kinds still carrying on across the globe. But the kibbutz as a “movement,” except as a bureaucratic administrative entity is surely - if not dead - certainly in its dying days.

As the kibbutz fades out as a historical phenomenon, its passing is accompanied by various works - personal memoirs, historical studies, films such as the recently acclaimed Sweet Mud - offering a decidedly revisionist view of its role in Israeli society. Despite all this though, there’s no denying the crucial role such settlements as Deganya played in the creation of the Jewish state. One can also argue that the ideology on which they were founded was a logical choice given the historical and material, circumstances at the time of their creation.

That time though, has clearly passed. No doubt, die-hard critics of capitalism will argue this only proves the old Marxist dictum that “islands of socialism cannot survive in a sea of capitalism.” As for me, whatever youthful socialist beliefs I once had were pretty much shed that summer in Deganya. Individuality, competitiveness, laziness, ambition, vanity and acquisitiveness are inbred human traits that seem far more suited to capitalism, with all its faults, than the unnatural collective ethos that ultimately could not be sustained on the kibbutzim. In truth, I never knew socialism to have a more human face than what I encountered on Deganya. But, even there, human nature eventually won out on the admirable, if ultimately unsustainable, dreams of its worthy founders.

The writer is the director of the Jerusalem office of The Israel Project.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2007

Attention: Supporters and Alumni - Brandeis’s Jewish Problem

By Caroline B. Glick
Jewish Press Feb 23, 2007

Last week it was reported that major supporters of Brandeis University have cut off their donations in retaliation for the university’s hosting of Israel and American-Jewry basher and former president Jimmy Carter on campus. Carter was invited to the American Jewish university shortly after fourteen Jewish members of an advisory board at the Carter Center resigned their positions in light of Carter’s malicious attacks on Israel and tolerance of Palestinian slaughter of Israelis in his recently published diatribe Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.

Although the recent storm of protest over Brandeis’s willingness to give legitimacy to Carter and his hostile message has received great attention, it is only the latest in a series of controversial and irresponsible moves that Brandeis has taken over the past year in relation to the war against Israel and the global jihad.

Last January Brandeis hired Khalil Shikaki, head of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah, as a senior fellow at its Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Shikaki is the brother of Fathi Shikaki, founder of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization who was slain n Malta in 1995. He was recruited to Brandeis by Shai Feldman, who heads the Crown Center and formerly directed Tel Aviv University’s leftist Jaffee center for Strategic Studies.

Shikaki’s ties to Islamic Jihad go far deeper than us blood ties to its founder and first terror master. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson detailed Shikaki’s deep links to the terror group in a dossier he compiled and published on his Investigative Project website last year. Emerson demonstrated that Shikaki was instrumental in setting up Islamic Jihad’s network in the US in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. He also played a central role in transferring funds to terror cells in Judea, Samaria and Gaza through early 1995.

In 1990, Shikaki was appointed director of the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a think tank set up at University of South Florida in Tampa by Sami al-Arian. The FBI has concluded that WISE served as a “front organization” for Islamic Jihad. Arian was indicted in October 2003 for financing, fund raising, and promulgating the ideology of Islamic Jihad in the US.

Ramadan Abdullah Shailah, the current head of Islamic Jihad, also worked at WISE with Shikaki and al-Arian. During al-Arian’s trial (he was acquitted of eight of the 17 charges in his indictment), federal prosecutors presented wiretapped conversations regarding al-Arian’s activities on behalf of Islamic Jihad. These conversations directly implicated Shikaki in transferring funds from the US to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza for the use of terror cells.

In light of Shikaki’s links to Palestinian terrorists, Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America (of which Brandeis’s namesake, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, once served as president), recommended that Brandeis donors “re-think their support for Brandeis if the university fails to address their concerns (about Shikaki’s links to terrorism) in a timely and appropriate manner” Klein has also stated that if it wishes to retain Shikaki in spite of his known past links to Islamic Jihad, the Jewish university should demand first that he apologize for his past support for the terror group and openly condemn by name Islamic Jihad, Hamas and all other Palestinian terrorist organizations. Furthermore, Klein stated, Shikaki should openly declare his recognition and support of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Feldman, who brought Shikaki to Brandeis, responded to ZOA’s protests by rejecting ZOA’s right to raise the issue. In an interview with the Brandeis school newspaper Feldman said, “I don’t deal with Mort Klein and I don’t deal with the Zionist Organization of America.” Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz also refused to contend with the documentary evidence linking Shikaki to the Islamic Jihad. He deflected the criticism of Shikaki by accusing Klein and ZOA of “Jewish McCarthyism”

Then, in December 2006, Natana DeLong Baa, a lecturer at Brandeis’s Near Eastern and Jewish Studies Department, was vacationing in Saudi Arabia when she gave an interview to a reporter for the London pan-Arab daily, Al Sharq Al-Awsat. DeLong Baa told the newspaper that she does “not find any evidence that would make me agree that Osama bin Laden was behind the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. All we heard from him was praise and acclaim for those who carried out the operation.” (!!)

This was not the first time the Brandeis faculty member acted as an apologist for Jihadists. Indeed, she seems to be making a career out of it. According to a expose of her career, in 2004 she published Wahhabi Islam: From Revival to Global Jihad, a work partially funded by Saudi Arabia that defends the extremist Wahhabi strain of Islam that has formed the basis of the belief system of men like Osama Bin Laden and the September 11 hijackers.

DeLong Baa has similarly provided impassioned defenses of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood which spawned such terrorist organizations as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad which, before being fused into al Qaeda, was headed by Bin Laden’s deputy Ayman Zawahiri.

Responding to criticism of the university’s treatment of the global jihad and the jihadist war against Israel, Reinharz recently protested, “I [do] not want to see Brandeis University become a battleground of the Middle East.”

Unfortunately, the main reason Brandeis is today “a battleground of the Middle East” is that under Reinharz’s leadership the university has sought to appease anti-Israel voices by giving legitimacy to views that are lies in the hopes of maintaining good standing among a leftist campus public that increasingly refuses to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. In so doing, Reinharz has allowed his university to become a base for attacking American Jewry and the State of Israel.

What Reinharz fails to understand is that if Brandeis truly wishes to be a fount of freedom and liberal inquiry and loyal to its heritage as a “nonsectarian university under the sponsorship of the American Jewish Committee, it would stop tolerating the likes of Carter, DeLong Baa and Shikaki and their Israeli apologists. That is, if Brandeis wants to cease to be a “battleground of the Middle East,” it should stop allowing its campus to be exploited by those who deny the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in its homeland and to lend aid and comfort to those who actively seek to destroy Israel. Until it does so, critics of Brandeis would be unfaithful to their American Jewish ideals were they to relent in their pressure on Brandeis to stop hosting hateful, anti-Semitic bigots.

Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.

PS American Ambassador makes slanderous statement

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:22 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2007

Who are the Real Racists?

Redacted from an article by FLAME

How can peace prevail in the Middle East in the face of Islamic bigotry and hate? When will moderate Muslims speak out? For years, the U.N., led by Islamic and Arab nations and their sympathizers, has accused Israel of racism, but the world consistently turns a blind eye to open, seething anti-Semitism in Islamic society.

In one of the most astonishing propaganda coups ever, a United Nations conference on racism, which took place in Durban South Africa in 2001, declared that Zionism is racism. No wonder the U.S. and Israel walked out of the meeting, which was dominated by representatives of Islamic and Arab states and other anti-Israel forces, and whose conclusions were predictable from the outset.

The supreme irony of this conference was that it accused no other nation of racism—only Israel. In truth, Israel is perhaps the most racially and ethnically diverse, tolerant country in the world. More than half of Israel’s Jewish population consists of people of color—blacks from Ethiopia and Yemen, as well as brown-skinned people from Morocco, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Israel itself. In addition, Israel’s population includes more than one million Arabs, who enjoy the same civil rights as Jewish Israelis. In Israel hate, speech is banned, and it is against the law to discriminate based on race or religion.

In contrast, anti-Semitism, a most poisonous form of racism directed specifically against the Jewish people—is rampant in most all-Islamic societies. Not only is anti-Semitism commonplace in Muslim nations, but also it is propagated shamelessly by their leaders, in state-sponsored media, and by Muslim clergy.

For example, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed declared in a 2003 speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference that, “today Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.” Imagine if an American president had made a similarly sweeping and bigoted statement about blacks, Latinos or any other race—what a justifiable uproar, perhaps even an impeachment, would ensue. Yet, there was no condemnation by the Muslim world of Mr. Mohamed’s comments. Rather, virtually all of the conference’s Muslim leaders actually voiced their approval.

In response to a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia in May 2004, Crown Prince Abdullah declared that “Zionism is behind these terrorist actions in the
Kingdom.” (Zionism is the code word often used by Islamic anti-Semites for Jews.) U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos called the Prince’s assertion “an outrage blatant hypocrisy”, but Islamic leaders were silent. In fact, millions of Muslims still insist that Zionists were behind the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Anti-Semitism is expressed, freely and ubiquitously in most Islamic societies that no citizen can escape it. During Ramadan in 2002, Egypt’s state-controlled TV aired “Horseman Without a Horse”, a program based on the notorious forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in which Jews allegedly use the blood of non-Jews to make Passover matzos. In Iran, a TV series, “Zahra’s Blue Eyes”, portrays “Zionists” kidnapping Palestinian children and harvesting their organs.

Perhaps nowhere is the hatred of Jews more virulent than among the Palestinians Most perniciously, Palestinian children are taught in school that Jews are descended from apes and pigs and that the most noble thing they can do is to kill Jews. Muslim clerics like Imam Ibrahim Madiras, an employee of the Palestinian Authority, declared in a 2005 television sermon, “Jews are a cancer” and later that, “Muslims will kill the Jews and rejoice in Allah’s victory.” No surprise, then, that the 1982 doctoral dissertation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas makes the astounding claim that “Zionists” collaborated with the Nazis to annihilate the Jewish people in order to drive the survivors to Palestine.

Islamic anti-Semitism permeates the Arab Middle East and creates an atmosphere in which Jews are reviled and represented as sub-human How can the Palestinian people embrace peace with a people represented by their religious and political leaders as dehumanized, evil beings? Even more importantly, how can Israel be expected to trust a so-called peace partner who expresses abject hatred and murderous intent toward Jews on a daily basis? Yet, the U.S. and many European nations continue to demand that Israel make one-sided sacrifices for peace with a people steeped in racism and committed to its destruction.

Until Islamic leaders muster the integrity to relentlessly condemn anti-Semitism (and its evil twin, anti-Zionism), we can’t expect Israel to accept a forced peace with the Palestinians. Likewise, until moderate Muslims reject racism in all forms, they can’t expect Islam to enjoy full respect as a political and spiritual force among the world’s people,

Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359, San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2007

A Coincidence?

Many Orthodox Jews believe that G-d’s presence surrounds our every activity. This Saturday, May 12 (Iyar 29) happens to be the yarziet (anniversary) of my Mother’s death, 53 years ago. On this anniversary day, I have always chosen to honor my Mother’s memory by reciting in Hebrew, before the congregation, the Haftorah portion of the Bible that is read for that week. This portion changes each year, depending upon where the anniversary falls on the calendar. Was it just a coincidence that the editor of Israel Commentary was given this particular passage to recite?

Jerome S. Kaufman

Redacted from a commentary on the text by Rabbi Dovid Siegel
Founder of Kollel Toras Chesed, Skokie, Illinois

This week’s haftorah, Parsha Behar, re-enforces the notion of our eternal relationship with our homeland, Eretz Yisroel. In the midst of a heavy Babylonian siege against Yerushalayim, (apx. 586 BCE), the prophet Yirmiyahu was instructed to make a most puzzling transaction. Hashem (G-d) informed Yirmiyahu that his cousin Chanamel was interested in selling his field and that Yirmiyahu should take full advantage of the opportunity. Although Yirmiyahu realized that the Jewish exile was imminent and that the Babylonians would soon take full possession of Eretz Yisroel, he followed Hashem’s direction and arranged for the purchase. Yirmiyahu wrote a legal contract and paid a large sum of money for the land. Yirmiyahu then preserved the document in an earthen vessel to secure its existence until such evidence would be useful.

Yirmiyahu then directed his words to Hashem in bewilderment and questioned, “Since the Babylonian war machines are in full gear and the Jewish exile is already on its way, of what purpose is this sale?” Hashem responded, “I am the Master of all; is there anything beyond My capabilities? The Jewish people will return and re-engage themselves in such purchases and the land will be resettled.” Hashem had sent many prophets to the Jews regarding their eventual return from the Babylonian exile. Why was it necessary to demonstrate their return through this tangible experience? It is certainly fair to assume that Yirmiyahu would not derive any personal benefit from this purchase. After all, he was on the way to a long and hard exile of seventy years without any indication of personally returning to Eretz Yisroel. Why then was he instructed to waste his money in securing what, for him, was a seemingly useless transaction?

In response it can be suggested that this purchase taught the Jewish people a very meaningful lesson. One can easily imagine the feelings of the Jewish people during that era. They were finally confronted with the reality that they would soon be forced to leave their homeland. Although they had enjoyed the privilege of dwelling in the palace of the king for nearly one thousand years, this privilege was now drawing to a close. Their minds were now focused on their unfortunate plight and they dreaded severing their ties with Eretz Yisroel. Although this painful thought surely tormented them but the reality was that their association with Eretz Yisroel was slowly beginning its decline.

At that exact moment the prophet Yirmiyahu was instructed to secure the purchase of a plot of land. Through this visible demonstration, the Jews were being told to rise above their inevitable predicament and to realize that their painful exile would only be temporary. They were encouraged not to despair and never to break their ties with their homeland, Eretz Yisroel. To reinforce this point their prophet Yirmiyahu was instructed to demonstrate his total faith in the Jewish people’s return. Yirmiyahu began setting his sights on the future and purchased property in preparation for the return. In Yirmiyahu’s mind this upcoming exile was but a passing phase and he rightfully pre-occupied himself in life after the brief Babylonian stay. Yirmiyahu taught the Jews that the Jewish people never really leave Eretz Yisroel and that they are always bound to their homeland. He taught them that they truly belong to Eretz Yisroel and that Eretz Yisroel would always belong to them.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2007

What does Israeli MK Michael Melchior think now?

Ariel Sharon, Elhannan Tennenbaum, Melchior, Olmert, Livni and Peretz

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Readers of Israel Commentator may remember an article March 8, 2006 reporting a speech by MK Michael Melchior in Palm Beach Florida wherein he had extolled the virtues of his participation and great assistance in formulating and finalizing the disastrous Oslo Accords in Norway in preparation for the infamous handshake between Arafat and Rabin on Clinton’s White House lawn in 1993. Melchior had been Chief Rabbi of Norway and had also, he claimed, succeeded in ingratiating himself with the various Arab potentates. Incidentally, Melchior also stated that he was still very much in favor of these Oslo accords.

Melchior went on to discuss his intimate involvement and success some years later with Ariel Sharon and the Arabs in the release of Elhanan Tennenbaum, an Arab-captured crony of Ariel Sharon. The deal was reported somewhat less favorably by David Essing in the Israeli daily Maariv of March 3, 2004:

"The Connection" - that's the banner headline in the Maariv daily which links Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Elhanan Tennenbaum, the IDF (Res.) Colonel who was captured by Hizballah while trying to set up a drug deal. Israel released over four hundred Arab terrorists in return for Tennenbaum and the bodies of 3 IDF soldiers who were kidnapped and killed by Hizballah.

After first lying about the drug deal, Tennenbaum is now being interrogated by polygraph to determine the truth about his capture by Hizballah. The Maariv story says Tennenbaum's former father-in-law, Shimon Cohen, was deeply involved, in the past, with marketing Sharon's farm produce in co-operation with the Prime Minister's late wife Lilly. There was sharp criticism in Israel of the prisoner exchange with Hizballah and the revelation that Tennenbaum was dealing in drugs."

But why now return to all this dirty laundry - perhaps because maybe we can make an attempt at some sort of preventative medicine?

A few weeks ago, Makor Rishon, an independent Israeli newspaper, reported that Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi determined that 35 Israelis have been murdered by prisoners released in the Tennenbaum deal. Hanegbi went on to say, "it is in Israel’s supreme interest to honor the principle that murderers are not released."

Unfortunately for Israel, the current leadership of Olmert, Livni and Peretz are contemplating yet another such deal wherein; an unfortunate captured and hopefully alive Israeli soldier may be exchanged for the release of hundreds of Arab killers of Israeli soldiers and citizens. It is certainly not hard to feel the pain of the captured Israelis loved ones. But, wherein lies the “supreme interest of Israel” as quoted by MK Tzachi Hanegbi? How many more Israelis will be later killed by those released in yet another vainglorious gesture by Israel’s inept and extremely dangerous leadership?

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2007

Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem Destroyed 1948 (and in 1721)

For those who believe that the killing of Jews by Arabs in Israel has anything to do with the re-birth of the State of Israel or Israeli settlements or the Tsunamis or Al Gore’s Global Warming or the United States involvement in Iraq or President GW Bush or VP Richard Cheney or President Bill Clinton or whatever

From the notes of Rabbi Elimelich Silberberg of Sara Tugman Bais Chabad Synagogue, West Bloomfield, MI

May 6, 2007 (18 Iyar, 5767)

The Hurva synagogue located, in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was captured and dynamited by the Arab Legion of Jordan during the battle for Old Jerusalem in 1948.

The synagogue was built in 1864 on the ruins of the synagogue built by Rabbi Judah Chassid (Segal) and his disciples in 1700, which was destroyed by Arab mobs in 1721. It was therefore named the "Hurvat Rabbi Judah HaChassid" -- the ruins of Rabbi Judah the Chassid, or simply "The Hurva" -- The Ruin.


The story of the Hurva Synagogue is perfect for use in a debate with those who are hostile to Israel. I just had such a debate on my campus and the next time I will be sure to use this example to explain the situation. Students respond better to specific examples than to abstract arguments. Thank you.


Dr.George Zilbergeld

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2007

The Bizarre Solutions of Deputy Director Daniel Schueftan

By Jerome S. Kaufman

About 4 years ago deputy director of the National Security Studies Group of the University of Haifa, Israel, Daniel Schueftan and a contingency of fellow liberal academics from the University of Haifa gave a panel discussion at Beth Ahm Synagogue in West Bloomfield, MI. I can remember being as enraged by Schueftan’s logic at the time as I am now reading his comments in the April 26, 2007 International Jerusalem Post.

Just as in the Jerusalem post article, Schueftan advised us that giving up Israeli land to the Arabs had “nothing whatsoever to do with peace: that the Arabs won’t stop being terrorists; that all the Israelis have to do is maintain a sustainable majority over the Arabs: that we will be able to do with less tanks and aircraft; my concern is not whether we will have peace because we won’t; the Arabs would like to undermine our national security,” etc. Then Schueftan presented his solutions that, in fact, exponentially added to the problems he had just enumerated!

What are Schueftan’s solutions - Just give up the land where Arabs are a majority as in Gaza and Judea and Samaria and wherever else and cut off the funds to those awful religious Israelis so they don’t have so many children! Simply ignore the fact that the Arabs had shown no inclination to be content with the land that has been given to them in the past? Evidently, Schueftan learned nothing from the disasters of the Security Zone withdrawal in Lebanon and the Gaza withdrawal wherein the Arabs have just swallowed up the land and created a far more dangerous and more convenient base from which to fire missiles and kill Israeli citizens?

I have always wondered what sent Ariel Sharon off on an irrational tangent giving up Gaza and starting on the surrender of Judea and Samaria? Maybe Schueftan is not just an egomaniac when he describes his earlier meetings with Sharon? Maybe he did actually speak to Sharon and initiate the “disengagement plan” in Sharon’s mind? How awful for Israel and Diaspora Jewry if this “expert” continues to effect the decision making of our already impoverished Israeli leadership?

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)