June 29, 2008

Senator Joe Lieberman Statement on Supreme Court Detainee Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling granting terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay the right to sue in federal court:

“Under our system of separation of powers, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of whether a statute is Constitutional. I respect the Supreme Court’s role, but I strongly disagree with its decision today. Enemies of the United States committed to attacking America and killing Americans who have been captured on the battlefield and designated alien enemy combatants are entitled to the protections afforded by the Geneva Convention, not the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s decision changes that and does so in a way that will only increase the burdens and responsibilities placed on our brave men and women in the military.

The Supreme Court’s decision fails, in a dramatic way, to appreciate that we are at war and that our enemies are relentless in their pursuit of our destruction. Let us not forget that at least 30 prisoners that have been released have already returned to the battlefield. “I regret the outcome of the majority’s opinion and I hope that our country is not rendered less safe as a result. To the extent there are opportunities to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to change the outcome of the Court’s decision, I promise to do so.”

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:41 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2008

Malik Obama confirms his half-brother Barack grew up a Muslim

By Israel Insider staff
June 13, 2008


Apparently the Obamas of Kenya have been reading those scurrilous emails to which Barack likes to refer, because they have no doubt -- contrary to the claims of the Obama campaign, that the presidential candidate was raised a Moslem. They take that as a given.

As the Jerusalem Post reports, "Barack Obama's half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background. In an interview with Army Radio he expressed a special salutation from the Obamas of Kenya."

The Obama brothers' father, a senior economist for the Kenyan government who studied at Harvard University, died in car crash in 1982. He left six sons and a daughter. All of his children - except Malik -- live in Britain or the United States. Malik and Barack met in 1985.

In a remarkable denial issued last November that still stands on the official campaign website, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs issued a statement explaining that "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian."

Apparently Malik Obama, himself a Muslim, had not read the press release.

Melanie Phillips is the most recent commentator to draw attention to the massive body of evidence that leaves no doubt that Barak Hussein Obama was born a Muslim (Islam is patrilineal) and raised a Muslim (so registered in school, acknowledging attending Islamic classes, reported accompanying his step-father to the mosque, and able to recite the Koran in the original Arabic).

Reuven Koret, Aaron Klein and Daniel Pipes have previously pointed to the attempts by Obama and his campaign to conceal the candidate's Muslim background. The well documented evidence draws upon the on-the-ground interviews by researchers in Indonesia and Kenya, published quotations of Obama's childhood friends and his school records, as well as the candidate's own autobiography.

It is not clear whether Barack Obama will now disown his half-brother Malik, or throw him under the campaign bus, for acknowledging that shared family background. In any case, some one should notify "Fight the Smear" tout de suite. Perhaps they can get him with the program.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2008

Pat Buchanan, Dedicated Anti-Semite Re-visited

By Jason Maoz, Senior Editor

The Jewish Press, June 13, 2006

Running this column from a few years back is more than apropos, as Patrick Buchanan is back in the news with the release of his new book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, which argues that World War II and all its death and destruction was ultimately the fault of the Allies, particularly Winston Churchill. When considering Buchanan’s thesis, it’s important to recall previous statements and writings.

Pat Buchanan’s strange concern for former Nazis (Alan A. Ryan, Jr., a former Justice Department prosecutor, once characterized Buchanan as “the spokesman for Nazi war criminals in America”) is coupled with a disdain for Holocaust survivors, whom he’s described as suffering from “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics.”

A constant critic of the late Kurt Waldheim during the latter’s tenure as UN secretary general, Buchanan suddenly became supportive when the nature of Waldheim’s wartime activities was made public. The ostracism of Waldheim by the U.S. and other countries, wrote Buchanan, had to it “an aspect of moral bullying and the singular stench of selective indignation.”

Buchanan actively lobbied then-Attorney General Edwin Meese on behalf of Karl Linnas, who had headed a Nazi concentration camp in Estonia (Meese ignored Buchanan’s entreaties and Linnas was deported to the Soviet Union), and made his unhappiness known when the U.S. apologized to France for having sheltered the “Butcher of Lyons,” Klaus Barbie. (“To what end,” Buchanan asked rhetorically in a column on the Barbie matter, “all this wallowing in the atrocities of a dead regime.

Buchanan, in his autobiography describes being brought up in a milieu of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism by a father whose “sympathies had been with the isolationists, with Charles Lindbergh and the America First Committee.” As a result, he seems always to be spoiling for a religious war, particularly when he feels that his church has been slighted or trumped by Jews or Jewish interests. His deep-seated resentments are perhaps best summed up in his complaint about what he calls “the caustic, cutting cracks about my church and my popes from both Israel and its amen corner in the United States.”

The controversy that erupted in the late 1980’s over the desire of some Carmelite nuns to erect a permanent convent at Auschwitz was made to order for Buchanan. Upset with conciliatory statements made by the late Cardinal John O’Connor and other church leaders, he sneered: “If U.S. Jewry takes the clucking appeasement of the Catholic cardinalate as indicative of our submission, it is mistaken.

“When Cardinal O’Connor of New York ... declares this ‘is not a fight between Catholics and Jews,’ he speaks for himself. “ Be not afraid, Your Eminence; just step aside, there are bishops and priests ready to assume the role of defender of the faith.” Although he likes to say that he was at one time an “uncritical apologist for Israel,” Buchanan was already on record as early as the mid-1970’s imploring Congress not to listen “to the counsel of the Jewish lobby” and criticizing legislation designed to counter the Arab boycott of Israel.

In 1982, Buchanan referred to the mass killing of Palestinians by Lebanese Christians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps as the “Rosh Hashanah massacre,” and opined, “The Israeli army is looking toward a blackening of its name to rival what happened to the French army in the Dreyfus Affair.” And so Buchanan already had a history when he gained notoriety, shortly before the 1991 Gulf War, by describing the U.S. Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” and claiming that “There are only two groups that are beating the drums...for war in the Middle East: the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.”

As international-affairs scholar Joshua Muravchik wrote some years ago in Commentary, Buchanan “is hostile to Israel.... sprinkles his columns with taunting remarks about things Jewish...rallies to the defense of Nazi war criminals, not only those who protest their innocence but also those who confess their guilt ... [and] implies that the generally accepted interpretation of the Holocaust might be a serious exaggeration.”

When confronted with a man who does all these things, suggested Muravchik, a fair conclusion would be that his actions are consistent with the succinct definition of anti-Semitism — “an embedded hatred of Jewish people, manifest in writing and conduct” — given, in a 1990 column, by none other than Patrick J. Buchanan himself.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:36 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2008

The Illusion of Global Warming and the American Taxpayer

The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2008

By Senator James Inhofe (R) Oklahoma

With average gas prices across the country approaching $4 a gallon, it may be hard to believe, but the U.S. Senate is considering legislation this week that will further drive up the cost at the pump. The Senate is debating a global warming bill that will create the largest expansion of the federal government since FDR’s New Deal, complete with a brand new, un-elected bureaucracy.

The LiebermanWarner bill (America’s Climate Security Act) represents the largest tax increase in U.S. history and the biggest pork bill ever contemplated with trillions of dollars in giveaways. Well-heeled lobbyists are already plotting how to divide the federal largesse. The handouts offered by the sponsors of this bill come straight from the pockets of families and workers in the form of lost jobs, higher gas, power and heating bills and more expensive consumer goods.

Various analyses show that Lieberman-Warner would result in higher prices at the gas pump, between 41 cents and $1 per gallon by 2030. The Congressional Budget office (CBO) says Lieberman-Warner would effectively raise taxes on Americans by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. The federal Energy Information Administration says the bill would result in a 9.5 drop in manufacturing output and higher energy costs.

Carbon caps will have an especially harmful impact on low-income Americans and those with fixed incomes. A recent CBO report found: “Most of the cost of meeting a cap on CO2 emissions would be borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households.”

The poor already face energy costs as a much higher percentage of their income than wealthier Americans. While most Americans spend about 4% of their monthly budget on heating their homes or other energy needs, the poorest fifth of Americans spend 19%. A 2006 survey of Colorado homeless families with children found that high energy bills were cited as one of the two main reasons they became homeless.

Lieberman-Warner will also hinder U.S. competitiveness, transferring American jobs overseas to places where environmental regulations are much more lenient. Instead of working to eliminate trade barriers on clean energy and lower emitting technologies, the bill imposes a “green,” tariff-style tax on imported goods. This could provoke international retaliatory actions by our trade partners, threatening our own export markets and further driving up the costs of consumer goods.

My colleague, Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio), warned last week that Lieberman-Warner “could result in the most massive bureaucratic intrusion into the lives of Americans since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service.”

Mandating burdensome new layers of federal bureaucracy is not the solution to America’s energy challenges. This bill is ultimately about certainty. We are certain of the huge negative impact on the economy as detailed by numerous government and private analyses. We are certain of the massive expansion of the federal bureaucracy.

Furthermore, we are certain the bill will not have a detectable impact on the climate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis, by 2050 Lieberman-Warner would only lower global CO2 concentrations by less than 1.4% without additional international action. In fact, this bill, often touted as an “insurance policy” against global warming, is instead all economic pain for no climate gain.

Why are many in Washington proposing a bill that will do so much economic harm? The answer is simple. The American people are being asked to pay significantly more for energy merely so some lawmakers in Washington can say they did something about global warming. I have been battling global warming alarmism since 2003, when I became chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. It has been a lonely battle at times, but it now appears that many of my colleagues are waking up to the reality of cap-and-trade legislation.

The better way forward is an energy policy that emphasizes technology and includes developing nations such as China and India. Tomorrow’s energy mix must include more natural gas, wind and geothermal, but it must also include oil, coal and nuclear power, which is the world’s largest source of emission-free energy.

Developing and expanding domestic energy sources will translate into energy security and ensure stable supplies and well-paying jobs for Americans.
Let me end with a challenge to my colleagues. Will you dare stand on the Senate floor in these uncertain economic times and vote in favor of significantly increasing the price of gas at the pump, losing millions of American jobs, creating a huge new bureaucracy and raising taxes by record amounts? The American people deserve and expect a full debate on this legislation.

Mr. Inhofe, a Republican senator from Oklahoma, is ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2008

There Is a Military Solution to Terror

By Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2008

Sadr City in Baghdad, the northeastern districts of Sri Lanka and the Guaviare Province of Colombia have little in common culturally, historically or politically. However, they are crucial reference points on a global map in which long-running insurgencies suddenly find themselves on the verge of defeat.

For the week of May 16-23, there were 300 “violent incidents” in Iraq. That’s down from 1,600 last June and the lowest recorded Since March 2004. Al Qaeda has been crushed by a combination of U.S. arms and Sunni tribal resistance. On the Shiite side, Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army was routed by Iraqi troops in Basra and later crumbled in its Sadr City stronghold.

In Colombia the 44 year old FARC guerrilla movement is now at its lowest ebb. Three of its top commanders died in March, and the number of FARC attacks is down by more than two-thirds since 2002. In the face of a stepped-up campaign by the Colombian military (funded, equipped and trained by the U.S.), the group is now experiencing mass desertions. Former FARC leaders describe a movement that is losing any semblance of ideological coherence and operational effectiveness.

In Sri Lanka, a military offensive by the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has wrested control of seven of the nine districts previously held by the rebel group LTTE, better known as the Tamil Tigers. Mr. Rajapaksa now promises victory by the end of the year, even as the Tigers continue to launch high profile terrorist attacks.

All this is good news in its own right. Better yet, it explodes the mindless shibboleth that there is “no military solution” when it comes to dealing with insurgencies. On the Contrary, it turns out that the best way to end an insurgency is, quite simply, to beat it.

Why was this not obvious before? (And why is this not so obvious to the Israelis, never mind the US. Jsk). When military strategies fail—as they did in Vietnam while the U.S. pursued the tactics of attrition, or in Iraq prior to the surge, the idea that there can be no military solution has a way of taking hold with Civilians and generals eager to deflect blame. This is how we arrived at the notion that “political reconciliation” is pre-condition of military success, not a result of it.

There’s also a tendency to misjudge the alms and ambitions of the insurgents - to think they can be mollified via one political concession or another. Former Colombian president Andres Pastrana sought to appease the FARC by ceding to them a territory the size of Switzerland. (Just the Israelis have foolishly given up Gaza and in the suicide business of giving up the Golan and Judea and Samaria, G-d forbid. Jsk). The predictable result was to embolden the terrorists who were adept at sensing and exploiting weariness.

The deeper problem here is the belief that the best way to deal with insurgents is to address the “root causes” of the grievance (ala Cond. Rice – jsk) that purportedly prompted them to take up arms. But, what most of these insurgents seek isn’t social or moral re-dress. It’s absolute power. Like other “libertarion movements” (the PLO comes to mind), the Tigers are notorious for killing other Tamils seen as less than hard line in their views of the conflict. The failure to defeat these insurgencies thus becomes the primary obstacle to achieving a reasonable political settlement acceptable to both sides.

This isn’t to say that political strategies shouldn’t be pursued in tandem with military ones. Gen. David Petraeus was shrewd to exploit the growing enmity between al Qaeda and their Sunni hosts by offering former insurgents a place in the country’s security forces as “Sons of Iraq.” (The liberal use of “emergency funds” aka political bribes also helped.) Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has more than just extended amnesty for “demobilized” guerillas; he’s also given them jobs in the army.

But these political approaches only work when the intended beneficiaries can be reasonably confident that they are joining the winning side. Nobody was abandoning the FARC when Mr. Pastrana lay prostrate before it. It was only after Mr. Uribe turned the guerrilla lifestyle into a nightmare that the movement’s luster finally started to fade.

Defeating an insurgency is never easy even with the best strategies and circumstances. Insurgents rarely declare surrender, and breakaway factions can create a perception of menace even when their actual strength is minuscule, It helps when the top insurgent leaders are killed or captured: Peru’s Shining Path, for instance, mostly collapsed with the capture of Abimael Guzmán. Yet, the Kurdish PKK is now resurgent nine years after the imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, thanks to the sanctuary it enjoys in Northern Iraq.

Still, it’s no small thing that neither the PKK nor the Shining Path are capable of killing tens of thousands of people and terrorizing whole societies, as they were in the 1980s. Among other things, beating an insurgency allows a genuine process of reconciliation and redress to take place, and in a spirit of malice toward none. But, those are words best spoken after the terrible swift sword has done its work.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2008

I Al Jazeera interviews wrong guy


II More by Professor Mordechai Keidar

From: Israel Commentary October 2003

October 04, 2003


By Dr. M. Kedar, Department of Arabic Studies, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Muhammad, the Prophet, hardly made any innovations when he established Islam. He used the hallowed personages, historic legends and sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity and even paganism, by Islamizing them. Thus, according to Islam, Abraham was the first Moslem and Jesus and St. John (the sons of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron) were prophets and guardians of the second heaven.

Many Biblical legends, which were familiar to the pagan Arabs before the dawn of Islam, underwent an Islamic conversion and the Koran as well as the Hadith (the Islamic oral tradition), are replete with them. The practice of Islamization was performed on places as well as persons: Mecca and the holy stone - al-Ka'bah - were holy sites of the pre-lslamic pagan Arabs. The Umayyads' Mosque in Damascus and the Great Mosque of Istanbul were built on the sites of Christian-Byzantine churches that were converted into mosques. These are good examples of Islamic treatment of sanctuaries of other faiths.

Jerusalem underwent the same process. At first, Muhammad attempted to convince the Jews near Medina to join his young community, and in order to persuade them he established the direction of prayer (kiblah) to be to the north, towards Jerusalem, like the Jews. But after he failed in this attempt, he fought the Jews, killed many of them and turned the kiblah southward, to Mecca. His abandonment of Jerusalem explains the fact that this city is not mentioned in the Koran even once.

After Palestine was occupied by the Moslems, its capital was in Ramlah, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, since Jerusalem meant nothing to them. Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Muhammad's death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem which was under his control.

In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (sura 17, verse 1) which states (translation by Majid Fakhri): "Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts we have blessed, in order to show him some of our signs. He is indeed the All-Hearing and All-Seeing.

The meaning ascribed to this verse is that "the furthest mosque" (al-masjid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem and that Muhammad was conveyed there one night (although at that time the journey took three days by camel), on the back of al-Buraq, his magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, the tail of a peacock, and whose hoofs reach to the horizon. He tethered the horse to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and from there ascended to the seventh heaven together with the angel Gabriel.

On his way he met the prophets of other religions who are the guardians of heaven: Adam, Jesus, St. John, Joseph, Seth, Aaron, Moses and Abraham who accompanied him on his way to the seventh heaven, to Allah, and who accepted him as their master, (see the commentary of AI-Jalalayn on this verse). Thus Islam tries to gain legitimacy over other, older religions, by creating a scene in which the former prophets agree to Muhammad's mastery, thus making him Khatam al-Anbiya" ("the Seal of the Prophets").

The strange thing here is that this fantastic story contradicts a number of the tenets of Islam: How can a man of flesh and blood ascend to heaven? How can a mythical creature carry a mortal to a real destination? Questions such as these have caused orthodox Moslem thinkers to conclude that the whole story of the nocturnal journey was a dream of Muhammad's. Thus Islam tried to "go one better" than the Bible. Moses "only" went up to Mt. Sinai, in the middle of nowhere, and drew close to heaven, whereas Muhammad went all the way up to Allah, and from Jerusalem itself.

So why shouldn't we also believe that the al-Aqsa mosque is in Jerusalem? One good reason is that the people of Mecca, who knew Muhammad well, did not believed this story. Only Abu Bakr, the firs t Calif, believed him and thus was called "al-Siddiq" ("the believer"). The second reason is that Islamic tradition itself tells us that al-Aqsa mosque is near Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula. This was unequivocally stated in "Kitab al maghazi,” a book by the Moslem historian and geographer al-Waqidi (Oxford UP, 1966, vol. 3, pp. 958-9).

According to al-Waqidi, there were two "masjeds" (places of prayer) in al-gi'ranah, a village between Mecca and Ta'if. One was the "the closer mosque" (al-masjid al-adana) and the other was "the further mosque" (al-masjid al-aqsa), and Muhammad would pray there when he was out of town.
This description by al-Waqidi was not “convenient” for the Islami propaganda of the 7th century.

In order to establish a basis to the awareness of the “holiness” of Jerusalem in Islam, the Califs of the Ummayid Dynasty invented many “traditions” upholding the value of Jerusalem, which would justify pilgrimage to Jerusalem to the faithful Moslems. Thus was the al-kasjid al-aqsa “transported” to Jerusalem. It should be noted that Saladin also adopted the myth of al-Aqsa and those “traditions” in order to recruit and inflame the Moslem warriors against the Crusaders in the 12th Century.

Another aim of the Islamization of Jerusalem was to undermine the legitimacy of the older religions, Judaism and Christianity that consider Jerusalem to be a holy city. Thus, Islam is presented as the only legitimate religion, taking the place of the other two because they had changed and distorted the Word of God, each in its turn. (About the alleged forgeries of the Holy Scriptures, made by Jews and Christians, see the third chapter of: M. J. Kister, "haddith U 'an bani isra'll wa-laharaja", IDS 2 (1972), pp. 215-239. Kister quotes dozens of Islamic sources).

Though Judaism and Christianity can exist side by side in Jerusalem, Islam regards both of them as a betrayal of Allah and his teachings, and has done and will do all in its power to expel both of them from the city. It is interesting to note that this expulsion is retroactive: The Islamic announcers of the Palestinian radio stations keep claiming that the Jews never had a temple on the Temple mount and certainly not two temples. Where, according to them, did Jesus preach?

Arafat, himself a secular person (ask the Hamas), is doing today exactly what the Califs of the Umayyad dynasty did: he is recruiting the holiness of Jerusalem to serve his political ends. He must not give control of Jerusalem over to the Jews since according to Islam they are impure and the wrath of Allah is upon them (al-maghdhoub 'alayhim, Koran, sura. 1, verse 7, see al-Jalalayn and other commentaries;

Note that verse numbers may differ slightly in different editions of the Koran). The Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs (s. 5, v. 60). (For the idea that Jews are related to pigs and monkeys see, for example, Musnad al-lmam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, (Bey rut 1969) vol. 3, p. 241. See also pages 348, 395, 397, 421, and vol. 6, p. 135.)

The Jews are those who distorted the holy writings that were revealed to them (s. 2, v. 73, s. 3, v. 72) and denied God's signs (s. 3, v. 63). Since they violated the covenant with their God (s. 4, v. 154), God cursed them (s. 5, v. 16) and forever they are the inheritors of hell (s. 3, v. 112). So how can Arafat abandon Jerusalem to the Jews?

The Palestinian media these days is full of messages of Jihad calling to broaden the national-political war between Israel and the Palestinians into a religious-Islamic war between the Jews and the Moslems. READ THEIR LIPS: for them Christianity is as good as Judaism, since both of them lost their right to rule over Jerusalem.

Only Islam, Din al-Haqq ("the Religion of Truth") has this right, and forever (shaykh 'Ikrima Sabri, the mufti of Jerusalem, in Friday's khutbah 4 weeks ago, Sawt falastin - the PA official radio). Since the holiness of Jerusalem to Islam always was and still is no more than a politically motivated holiness, Arafat is putting his political head on the block should he give it up.

Must the whole world bow down to myths concocted by Islam, long after Jerusalem is, and has been, the true center of Judaism and Christianity? Should UN forces be sent to the Middle East just because Arafat recycles the Umayyads' political problems or even Muhammad's dreams about Jerusalem?

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2008

Shari’a (Islamic law) no interest loans and other fallacies.

Redacted from Editors at Family Security Matters

There has been much talk about Shari’a compliant finance (SCF) in recent months, but many Americans are still in the dark about exactly what it is and what it portends for the American economy and the freedoms Americans enjoy. This may be why the judge in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas last fall, declared a mistrial and five of six defendants face a retrial (one was found not guilty of most of the charges against him).

Terror expert Douglas Farah surmised at the time that part of the reason might have been because “perhaps the prosecution tried to cram too much information in with a group of jurors largely unfamiliar with anything to do with the case.” Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism had a heated exchange with Alan Colmes of Fox News about whether the mainstream news media had even managed to get the story right.

SCF is a part of Shari’a law (also known as Islamic law), and dates back to the 9th Century. Shari’a law encompasses every facet of one’s life, and those who seek to impose it upon Muslims – and the world – look to regulate everything from aspects of religious and social customs to political and military responsibilities. Shari’a law is, in fact, the law in countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran. The Taliban also recognizes Shari’a law, and subjected all of Afghanistan to it before U.S. forces entered that country after 9/11.

Earlier this year, Britain’s Archbishop of Canterbury faced a firestorm after he suggested in a BBC interview that the adoption of Shari’a law in Britain “seems unavoidable. As a matter of fact, certain conditions of Sharia are already recognized in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system.” While his seemingly willing acceptance of this might shock, UK Muslims on welfare are eligible to receive extra benefits if they have more than one wife – even though polygamy is considered illegal under British law. In essence, the Archbishop was correct when he said “certain conditions” of said Shari’a law are already recognized in today’s British society!

Here is a partial listing of the effects of Shari’a law:

· Women must obtain permission by their husbands or other male family members to do just about anything, including leaving the house – which she must do in the company of a male family member.
· Women and girls who are considered “disobedient” may be beaten into submission. (Mahmoud Salash, an imam in Lexington, Kentucky, said men “should beat them lightly” and it is acceptable because “it’s in the Koran.”)
· Those who dishonor the family are subject to “honor killings.” Typical reasons include a woman being raped or a woman dating/marrying a man against the will of her family. (Earlier this year, two girls in Irving, Texas were the victims of an alleged “honor killing” by their Muslim father, who is said to have disapproved of their American boyfriends and lifestyle.)
· >Dhimmitude (inferior status) of non-Muslims.
· Death for those who slander Islam and for Muslims who leave the faith (apostates).

Under SCF provisions, profits must not benefit from anything considered haram (forbidden) in Islam such as gambling, alcohol, entertainment, pork products, etc. As such, Western financial institutions wishing to obtain some of the billions of petrodollars from the Middle East are offering services that meet these requirements. Still, not all profits will meet these stringent constraints and so to “cleanse” or “purify” them, they are donated to Islamic charities. Charity sounds well and good until you stop to think that some of these charities could support Islamic Jihad. In fact, the three largest Shari’a-compliant charities in the United States were closed down by the government for funding terrorist organizations: the aforementioned Holy Land Foundation, the Benevolence International Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation.

How many Americans would approve of SCF if they knew its full implications? Deroy Murdock makes an apt comparison:
Turn your clock back 70 years. Imagine that Wall Street banks and brokerage houses sold Nuremberg-compliant bonds and stock funds in 1938. American Nazi sympathizers bought financial instruments certified by Berlin-based advisors as free of “Jewish profits” from, say, Salomon Brothers and Bloomingdale’s. In turn, a percentage of such funds’ gains underwrote pro-Nazi charities, like the German-American Bund, and similar organizations in the Fatherland, like the Hitler Youth.

By investing in SCF schemes, Western financial institutions not only give Shari’a law credence but also ultimately aid Islamists in their attempt to use our own financial system against us. As it is, the West is subject to the ups and downs in the Middle Eastern oil industry. Could SCF be the next sub-prime crisis in the making? Think about it: the more money that is invested in the Middle East, the greater ability for the Middle East to pipe the tune the West dances to.

Make no mistake. So-called “Sharia-compliant financing” is neither about religion nor about God. It is about Islamist control and collectivization of Muslims against “the West” and free markets. Transnational Islamist movements of Muslim theocrats seek SCF systems as nothing more than a ruse. Islamist theocrats exploit Western deference to religious freedom in order to lay the foundations of economic systems which feign religion in order to strangulate the economic freedoms of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

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

June 12, 2008

Who Is Obama? Where Is the Press?

By Tony Blankley

Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Times

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How would one sneak a left-wing radical into the Oval Office in broad daylight? Perhaps the same way that President George W. Bush got two strong conservatives on the Supreme Court: Find a candidate without a paper trail on the most controversial issues. For those of us who suspect but cannot yet prove that Barack Obama is a genuine radical leftist, his lack of much of a voting record is going to make it difficult to prove what his real values, policies and motives are to be president.

This is particularly the case because the media is so obviously going to give Obama cover not only for his current revelatory gaffes but also for embarrassing bits from his past. For example, back on June 2, National Review Online ran an extraordinary article by Stanley Kurtz that closely assessed a 1995 article about Obama by Hank De Zutter titled "What Makes Obama Run?" The essence of his thesis is the following:

"De Zutter's article shows us that the full story of Obama's ties to Pfleger and Wright is both more disturbing and more politically relevant than we've realized up to now. On Obama's own account, the rhetoric and vision of Chicago's most politically radical black churches are exactly what he wants to see more of. True, when discussing Louis Farrakhan with De Zutter, Obama makes a point of repudiating anti-white, anti-Semitic, and anti-Asian sermons. Yet having laid down that proviso,

Obama seems to relish the radicalism of preachers like Pfleger and Wright. In 1995, Obama didn't want Trinity's political show to stop. His plan was to spread it to other black churches, and harness its power to an alliance of leftist groups and sympathetic elected officials.

"So Obama's political interest in Trinity went far beyond merely gaining a respectable public Christian identity. On his own account, Obama hoped to use the untapped power of the black church to supercharge hard-left politics in Chicago. He created a personal and institutional political base that would be free to part with conventional Democratic politics.

By his own testimony, Obama would seem to have allied himself with Wright and Pfleger, not in spite of, but precisely because of their radical left-wing politics. It follows that Obama's ties to Trinity reflect on far more than his judgment and character (although they certainly implicate that). Contrary to common wisdom, then, Obama's religious history has everything to do with his political values and policy positions, since it confirms his affinity for leftist radicalism."

Now, given how much the media has covered both the Pfleger and Wright matters, when a respectable journal, such as National Review, runs an article by a journalist of established credibility, such as Stanley Kurtz, that suggests a different and far more disturbing interpretation of Obama's relationships with Wright and Pfleger. A responsible mainstream media would seek out Obama and, at the minimum, ask him whether the things the 1995 De Sutter article quotes him as saying are, in fact, things he said. They might even ask him to explain himself. Because if the 1995 article is an accurate reflection of what Obama said, then most of what he has said in the past few months about the Wright affair and Trinity United Church of Christ could not continue to be viewed as believable.

A much more recent example of the media not even going through the motions of being responsible is their almost complete avoidance of a recent statement Obama made:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen." Is there absolutely no curiosity at The Washington Post, The Associated Press or even The New York Times about the assertion by the man who is considered likely to be president of the United States come noon Jan. 20, 2009, that letting Americans eat as much as they want is "not going to happen"? Doesn't that shockingly dictatorial assertion deserve comment and inquiry?

Yes, it is true that Obama was saying explicitly that what wasn't going to happen was "other countries (saying) OK" to Americans eating as much as we want. But a fair reading of the whole passage suggests that Obama agrees with those other countries. And as president, what exactly would he try to do regarding Americans who want to eat as much as they want or drive SUVs or set their own thermostats)? Dictator or democrat? Radical or liberal? Who in the world is this man? Where in the world is the responsible media? What's going on?

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Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2008

61 Members of Knesset back bill against Israel leaving Golan Heights

By Tovah Lazaroff and Rebecca Anna Stoil

The Jerusalem Post, May. 26, 2008

A multi-party bill designed to make it harder for the government to cede the Golan Heights to Syria received an initial promise of 61 signatures Monday even before it was filed by MK Eliyahu Gabbi. Sixty of those parliamentarians, including coalition minister and Shas party leader Eli Yishai, have already signed a petition in support of the bill on Monday. The 61st MK has promised to sign it Tuesday morning, at which point Gabbi intends to submit it to the Knesset.

While 61 signatures are required to pass the bill, Gabbi did not need that
many names to file the legislation. However, he gathered them nonetheless as a show of strength both in support of the legislation and against any governmental steps to return the Golan to Syria. The proposed law would require a two-thirds parliamentary majority - 80 MKs - in order to approve any concessions on the Golan Heights. At present, the Golan could be given away with only a majority of votes.

Among those who have signed the anti-Golan withdrawal bill are Labor MK
Yoram Marciano, Kadima MKs Ronit Tirosh, David Tal, Marina Solodkin, Tzahi
Hanegbi, Otniel Schneller and Ze'ev Elkin. In addition, members of Likud,
Shas, Israel Beiteinu, the National Union-National Religious Party and the
Gil Pensioners Party, as well as its breakaway faction, have signed on.

To emphasize their opposition to the Golan withdrawal, almost 30
parliamentarians attended the first meeting of the newly convened pro-Golan
lobby, which was held in the Knesset. The vast majority of those present were members of right-wing opposition parties, including Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu. However, the meeting drew a number of coalition members such as Marciano, the lone Labor signer on Gabbai's proposed bill. "I came here to support the Golan. I signed onto [Gabbi's] bill," said Marciano. "I have signed onto your fight. I say "no" to returning the Golan."

Elkin, who lives in the West Bank and is among the more right-wing members
of his party, said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lacks Kadima support for the measure. "There is no support for territorial concessions in the Golan, not in [Olmert's] party, not in the government and not in this Knesset." He said giving up the Golan is not part of the Kadima party platform and so there is no mandate to act on it. During the last elections, Kadima promised the people in the Golan to support them and secured many votes there as a result, including in Katzrin in the Golan, where Kadima won a majority of support.

He called on Olmert to reveal what he has really said during the negations
with the Syrians or to step down. "Kadima has no place for a leader that wants to give back the Golan," Elkin said. "I will work to take him down if he pursues this course."

MK Effi Eitam (NU-NRP) said all those parliamentarians who truly love the Golan should put their money where their mouth was and vote for a
no-confidence motion against the prime minister. "And we'll see who votes," Eitam said, adding that it was impossible to support the Golan and the government at the same time. His comments drew a retort from Shas MKs, who noted that one could oppose a Golan pullout without toppling the government.

Eitam, a Golan resident and long-time advocate on its behalf, warned that
Olmert and other proponents of a Golan pullout would manipulate three points
in their campaign: security, peace and US policy. The government would say that it is in Israel's security interest to withdraw, he said, but most security experts believe it is impossible to defend Israel against Syria without the Golan.

The government had promised that Israelis would be able to eat hummus in
Damascus, but after 30 years of peace with Egypt, he said, they still can't
have hummus in Cairo - far from pressuring Israel to make peace with Syria,
the US is opposed to the talks. "What we have with Egypt is quiet, but we also have that in the Golan,” Eitam said. "We have to stop the virtual expectations that won't come to fruition." He said he was not opposed to negotiations with Syria, as long as they did not lead a withdrawal. What is dangerous in this case, he said, is that withdrawal is the starting point for the negotiations rather then the end of the process. "Negotiations mean that we have agreed to return the Golan."
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

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

June 08, 2008

Obama vs. McCain on Israel

By Daniel Pipes

Jerusalem Post, June 5, 2008

With the Democratic Party primaries over, American voters can focus on issues of political substance. For instance: How do the two leading candidates for U.S. president differ in their approach to Israel and related topics? Parallel interviews with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, who spoke in early May with Democrat Barack Obama and in late May with Republican John McCain offer some important insights.

Asked roughly the same set of questions, they went off in opposite directions. Obama used the interview to convince readers of his pro-Israel and pro-Jewish bona fides. He thrice reiterated his support for Israel: "the idea of a secure Jewish state is a fundamentally just idea, and a necessary idea"; "the need to preserve a Jewish state that is secure is … a just idea and one that should be supported here in the United States and around the world"; and "You will not see, under my presidency, any slackening in commitment to Israel's security."

Obama then detailed his support within four specifically Jewish contexts.

· Personal development: "when I think about the Zionist idea, I think about how my feelings about Israel were shaped as a young man—as a child, in fact. I had a camp counselor when I was in sixth grade who was Jewish-American but who had spent time in Israel."
· Political career: "When I started organizing, the two fellow organizers in Chicago were Jews, and I was attacked for associating with them. So I've been in the foxhole with my Jewish friends."
· Ideas: "I always joke that my intellectual formation was through Jewish scholars and writers, even though I didn't know it at the time. Whether it was theologians or Philip Roth who helped shape my sensibility, or some of the more popular writers like Leon Uris."
· Philosophy: "My staff teases me sometimes about anguishing over moral questions. I think I learned that partly from Jewish thought, that your actions have consequences and that they matter and that we have moral imperatives."
In contrast, McCain felt no need to establish his Zionism nor his pro-Jewish credentials. Taking them as a given, he used his interview to raise practical policy issues, particularly the threat from Iran. For example, asked about the justness of Zionism, he replied that "it's remarkable that Zionism has been in the middle of wars and great trials and it has held fast to the ideals of democracy and social justice and human rights," then went on: "I think that the State of Israel remains under significant threat from terrorist organizations as well as the continued advocacy of the Iranians to wipe Israel off the map." Again referring to Iran, McCain committed himself "to never allowing another Holocaust." He referred to the threatened destruction of Israel as having "profound national security consequences" for the United States and he stressed that Tehran sponsors terrorist organizations intent "on the destruction of the United States of America."

A second difference concerns the importance of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Obama presented it as an "open wound" and an "open sore" that infects "all of our foreign policy." In particular, he said, its lack of resolution "provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions." Asked about Obama's statement, McCain slammed the idea that radical Islam results mainly from the Arab-Israeli confrontation: "I don't think the conflict is a sore. I think it's a national security challenge." Were the Israeli-Palestinian issue resolved tomorrow, he pointedly continued, "we would still face the enormous threat of radical Islamic extremism."

Finally, the two disagree on the import of Israelis continuing to live on the West Bank. Obama placed great emphasis on the topic, commenting that if their numbers continue to grow, "we're going to be stuck in the same status quo that we've been stuck in for decades now." McCain acknowledged this as a major issue but quickly changed the topic to the Hamas campaign of shelling Sderot, the besieged Israeli town that he personally visited in March and whose predicament he explicitly compares to the mainland United States coming under attack from one of its borders.

Goldberg's twin interviews underscore two facts. First, major-party candidates for the U.S. presidency must still pay homage to warm American ties to Israel, no matter how, as in Obama's case, dramatically this may contradict their previously-held views. Second, whereas McCain is secure on the topic, Obama worries about winning the pro-Israel vote.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2008

Excuse me Secretary Rice but...

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice addressed a huge audience at the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting in the Washington DC Convention Center, June 3, 2008. The audience listened with rapt attention as she said all the right things and they cheered practically every time the word Israel was mentioned.

“It is always my pleasure to be among friends here at AIPAC to have a chance to thank you, all of the members of the organization, for strengthening one of the most vital relationships that our nation has: our alliance with the state of Israel.” (Applause.)

It’s indeed a joyful coincidence that we are also commemorating this year the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding. (Applause.) Sixty years ago, David Ben-Gurion and his fellow founding fathers proclaimed Israel’s independence. 11 minutes later, the United States became the first nation in the world to recognize the democratic Jewish state of Israel. (Applause.)

... Today, it makes me immensely proud to say that, after 60 years, Israel has no better friend in the world than the United States of America. (Applause.)

...I remember all-too-well the awful days of 2001 and 2002, when Israelis feared that every bus ride, every night out, was another Passover massacre waiting to happen. Moreover, I know the anguish and anger that all Israelis feel, and that we Americans feel, as the terror of random rockets still rains down on innocent people in towns like Sderot and Ashkelon. (Applause.)

Then she dropped her other shoe. She shifted gears and got to her real message:

This brings us to another opportunity, and that is with the Palestinians and the current effort to end the conflict and build an effective, peaceful Palestinian state. A comprehensive peace, including Lebanon, Syria and other members of the Arab League, is a worthy goal.

... The opportunity before us has been created by painstaking work since 2001; painstaking work that rejected the leadership of Yasser Arafat and said that it could not be that peace would be made by a corrupt leader who had one foot in terrorism. (Applause.)

(Evidently Rice does not know that Mahmoud Abbas was Arafat’s right hand man for 40 years and his Ph. D paper, obtained in Russia, denied the Holocaust, declaring the number of Jews killed was 800,000 not 6 million and the whole event was a conspiracy between the Nazis and the leaders of the Zionist movement! So, in fact, we have two corrupt leaders with at least one foot in terrorism)

Finally, Secretary Rice’s tell-tale disconnect:

I’ve had the honor and the pleasure of knowing many Israeli leaders and patriots. One of them was Ariel Sharon. (Applause.) Now, we had a wonderful relationship because I saw him as a man of courage and a man who deeply believed in the democratic Jewish state, but also in the desire for peace ... (by engineering the withdrawal from Gaza!) ... “Sharon was deeply pained by that. (Making the withdrawal) ... But that is what great leaders do - They make hard decisions confidently for the sake of peace.”

What peace! What peace has the withdrawal from Gaza or any other bit of Israeli territory wrought? How dare she extol the virtues of the withdrawal from Gaza and this garbage about making hard decisions for peace? Minutes before, in her speech, she expressed her anguish that “the terror of random rockets still rains down on innocent people in towns like Sderot and Ashkelon. Where does she think the rockets are coming from?

This deliberate disconnect of Condoleeza Rice from her heralded political achievements and their actual results is beyond comprehension. Gaza has become, as predicted, a base for terror, a stronghold for Hamas. It immediately became the launching pad for hundreds of missiles into the Sderot and Ashkelon that she had bemoaned earlier in the speech.

Sderot is barely holding on to its very existence and Ashkelon, just up the coast a few miles, is next. Of course, Tel Aviv, as soon as the Arabs develop a little more range in their missiles, will quickly follow. Maybe then the Israelis will finally wake up to the impact of the great blessings of Secretary Rice and US State Dept. policies. Maybe then, demanding the relinquishing of more Israeli territory and more Israeli victims for “peace” will not be greeted by the Israelis and the AIPAC audience with such applause? But, by that time, it will probably be way too late. G-d forbid.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2008

Politically Correct anti-Semitism

Who are its advocates? What are its goals?

The Holocaust, in which over six million Jews were brutally murdered by the Nazis and their enthusiastic collaborators, happened over 60 years ago. So horrific were the events that — even today, about two generations later — nobody would wish to identify himself with them. Yet, a new anti-Semitism is now rearing its head. It is important to be aware of it.

What are the facts?

Who are the new anti-Semites? The new anti-Semites do not publicly proclaim their desire to bring about a second Holocaust or to subject the Jews to mass murder or annihilation. The hatred is aimed against the state of Israel, which, according to the new anti-Semites, represents all that is evil in the world and which is the main violator of human rights and guilty of virtually every other abuse that can be conceived. This poison is now so widespread that a poll taken in Europe not too long ago found Israel to be the greatest menace to the peace of the world — far ahead of such murderous regimes as those of Iran or of North Korea.

The leaders and instigators of this new anti-Semitism are concentrated on the political left, its most active and vocal spokesmen being found in our prestige universities. Such is the anti-Zionist (anti-Semitic) focus of the left that, almost incomprehensibly, it includes a fair number of Jewish professors and other “intellectuals,” not just here in the United States, but even in Israel itself.

Those on the extreme left call for the abolition of the State of Israel outright, although they do not tell us what they propose to do with the five million Israeli Jews. They would presumably be left to the tender mercies of the Arabs, who would of course, have no greater joy than to emulate or perhaps even to “improve” on the Nazi model and to give “final solution" to the Jewish problem” once and for all. That isn’t going to happen, of course, not because anybody in the world would lift a finger to prevent it, but because, fortunately, Israel is a very strong and most capable nation.

A Death Wish for Israel.

In deference to “world opinion" and to the wishes of the United States, Israel has allowed itself to be pressured into innumerable concessions to those who are sworn to destroy it. However, it seems clear that, when the chips are really down, a most decisive response on the part of Israel can be expected.

With the possible exception of Carthage during the Punic Wars, almost 2500 years ago, no country in the World, no country in recorded history, has ever been threatened with extinction Israel is the one exception. Fueled by the extreme left, the “legitimacy” of Israel is a constant topic of discussion. The abolition of the “Zionist entity” gets serious attention, even in the hallowed halls of the United Nations.

Iran feverishly pursues the Holy Grail of atomic weapons. Its president has publicly declared — not once, but repeatedly — that Israel is a “tumor” that must be excised and that it must be wiped off the map of the world. Medium-range missiles (so far, fortunately without atomic warheads) are being paraded through the streets of Teheran, with signs attached to them, shamelessly giving their destination as Jerusalem. A few eyebrows are being raised around the world, but otherwise nothing is being done about it.

Because the memory of the Nazi Holocaust still lingers after all these years, the new anti-Semitism is disguised as the socially more acceptable “anti-Zionism.” It is pursued and propagated by the radical left. Every leftist demonstration — be it about the war in Iraq, against globalization, for or against whatever else — does inevitably include appeals against “Israeli subjugation of the Palestinians,” the “occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel,” or simply asks for the elimination of Israel. Sadly, quite a few Jews, having been saturated with Leftism from their early years, participate in such demonstrations.

While the propagation of the new anti-Semitism by prestige universities started in Europe (mostly in England), it has found fertile ground among the universities of the United States. The active participation in the new anti-Semitism by the American clergy (beginning with the Presbyterians) is a scandalous reality.

Surely, not everybody who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite. The actions of Israel, just as the actions of any other country are subject to examination and criticism. But the viciousness, volume and consistency of this criticism against Israel is such that it cannot be considered as anything but anti -Semitism — the new anti -Semitism, disguised as anti-lsraelism or anti-Zonism.

The foolish professors and the hypocritical preachers are besotted by their Leftism and by their hatred against Israel and America. Overt vilification of America has to remain muted — it’s somewhat dangerous to be too outspoken about it — but Israel, perceived as the satrap and the handmaiden of the United States in the Middle East, is an easy target. Nobody should be fooled. Anti-Semitism is Jew-Hatred in whichever way it may be disguised.

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

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