January 31, 2010

What the Pope Really Said


Just hours after Pope Benedict XVI exited Rome’s main synagogue from his historic Jan. 17 visit, news headlines around the world focused on what he apparently said about controversial World War II era Pope Pius Xll’s efforts to save Jews during the Shoah. But, the media got it wrong, while missing the bigger story. In fact, during his two-hour visit, the pope never mentioned Pope Pius XII by name, and made only a brief reference to how the Vatican had assisted Jews, during the Shoah, “often in a hidden and discreet way.”

But, what has not been widely reported is the important theological progress Pope Benedict XVI made in his speech, which will hopefully permanently deepen the understanding, respect and dialogue between Jews and Catholics. Theology doesn’t usually capture news headlines, but it is nonetheless profoundly important. As columnist Ross Douthat has written, “Theology has consequences. It shapes lives, families, nations, cultures, wars; it can change people, save them from themselves, and sometimes warp or even destroy them.”

With this in mind, I think it is crucial for us to reflect on what Pope Benedict XVI said at the Rome synagogue. The pope referred several times to Jews as the “people of the Covenant” or “the people of the Covenant of Moses.” In essence, and of great importance, is that Benedict continued the historic theological affirmation of his predecessor Pope John Paul II, who recognized Judaism as a living dynamic religion with its own continuing sacred purpose to do God’s will, as Jews, to help repair the world. This marked a profound positive transformation in the often tragic 2,000 year history of Jewish-Christian relations.

Prior to the 1965 Second Vatican Council, Christian tradition had assumed that God’s covenant with the Jewish people had been completely fulfilled, superseded, or rendered obsolete by the birth of the Church Pope Benedict’s positive perspective on Judaism’s covenantal relationship with God clearly rejects such views. The pope announced that Catholics should promote “a renewed respect for the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament.” This is a critical development in light of attempts by some Christians to deny the valid Jewish interpretation of Jewish Scripture, or Torah.

Pope Benedict XVI went even further by becoming the first pope to publicly quote from the sacred rabbinical work, The Ethics of the Fathers. By quoting the famous line of Simon the Just, that “the world is founded on three things: the Torah, worship and acts of mercy,” Pope Benedict made it clear that the teachings of the ancient rabbis, upon which today’s Judaism is built, are also meaningful for Christians. Taken together, Pope Benedict’s statements make it unmistakable that super-secessionism — the notion that Christianity had replaced an obsolete Judaism has no place in the Roman Catholic Church. This is all for the good.

Yet, a gray cloud continues to hover over the Jewish-Catholic relationship. Critical unresolved issues concerning the Holocaust continue to reverberate 70 years later. We remain troubled by Pope Benedict’s recent decision to put Pope Pius XII back on the path to sainthood without first opening the relevant Vatican secret archives from 1939-46. Opening the archives to qualified, independent historians and scholars to study the documents and determine what Pope Pius XII did and did not do to help Jews would bare the facts. We believe there can be no conclusions reached about Pope Pius XII by any side until the relevant Vatican archives are opened. For example, in 2007 I called for Yad Vashem to take down a museum photo caption that criticized the pope’s apparent silence because it was premature and judgmental.

Who the church makes a saint is the church’s business. But, when Pope Pius XII apologists increasingly claim that his rescue of untold numbers of Jews is part of his sainthood, then it becomes the business of the Jewish people and we have a duty to seek the historical truth and protect the memory of Holocaust victims and survivors. There will no doubt be new issues and topics for the Vatican and the Jewish people to discuss and resolve. With the positive words of Pope Benedict XVI at the Rome synagogue, we hope to be able to begin a new phase in this historic Catholic-Jewish dialogue in a new atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

Abraham H. Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2010

Senator SCOTT BROWN for President of the United States!

His Position Paper on the United States - State of Israel Relationship while candidate for the United States Senate

December 2009

I have always supported the important relationship between the United States and the State of Israel. Our two countries share a core set of national values including dedication to democracy, life, individual freedoms, religious faith & respect, the spirit of entrepreneurship and a vision of a peaceful future. Israel's accomplishments against the longest of odds are a testament to the power of these shared values.

If elected to the United States Senate by the citizens of Massachusetts I will continue in my unwavering support of the U.S.-Israel relationship and take actions to demonstrate it.

Supporting Israel's Right to Self-Defense

I stand steadfastly behind Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from state and non-state actors alike. I supported passage earlier this year of S. Res. 10 which reiterated Israel's right to defend itself during Operation Cast Lead.

And, with equal resolve, I oppose the rising tide of efforts worldwide aimed at undermining this fundamental right. The United Nations' commissioned Goldstone Report is a blatant manifestation of such an effort. Deeply flawed from the start, the "report" accuses Israel of war crimes with little reference to the fact that Israel held its fire for years while thousands of rockets were fired at innocent civilians. The report also fails to recognize that the Israeli Defense Forces, in the words of British Col. Richard Kemp, "did more to safeguard the rights of [Palestinian] civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare." This, as Hamas launched rockets from apartment buildings and hospitals. By attacking the victim without context, the Goldstone Report effectively weakens the ability of democracies to defend themselves against terror.

Despite these flaws, countries with unspeakable records on human rights are pushing the report forward aggressively at the United Nations. As Senator, I would join with other congressional leaders in calling on the Obama administration to quash the report and "strongly and unequivocally oppose any further consideration of the [Report] and any other measures stemming from this report."

I also firmly support the security barrier erected by Israel which has proven to be enormously successful at defending and protecting Israeli civilians against waves of deadly terrorist attacks. The barrier has also been moved and should continue to be moved when it can be done without compromising Israeli security and while minimizing the hardship it places on Palestinians.

Unabated Military Support for Israel

As the only elected official in the Massachusetts Senate - and the only candidate in this race -with military experience, I understand the importance of a strong defense. I am a proud member of the Massachusetts National Guard, where I have served for nearly three decades and currently hold the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps. I was also awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in homeland security following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

With a clear sense of our shared threats, I unequivocally support the recently executed ten-year memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Israel which will provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel until 2017. Since the vast majority of that aid is spent on American products, it is good for both American employment and the American economy. This provision, along with allowances to provide Israel with advanced systems required to defend against current threats, will allow Israel to maintain the military superiority required to protect itself while sending a message of support to Israel and the world.

Countering the Iranian Threat

Iran, the brutal theocracy run by a cabal of mullahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, represents an existential threat to Israel and a menace to United States interests. With visions of regional domination and international troublemaking, Ahmadinejad has stated with great clarity that the Holocaust did not occur and that Israel should be "wiped off the map."

Iran is now backing up their words and plans with actions. Despite being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has used lies, secrecy, evasion and delay to develop a nuclear weapons program. If left unchecked, Iran will have a nuclear weapon in short order. With training, money and weapons Iran also supports tenacious proxy forces in Gaza (Hamas), Lebanon (Hizbullah). Having already supported deadly terrorism in Argentina, Iran has now found a new hemispheric partner in Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

We should take these words and actions at face value, respond accordingly and without hesitation. If elected I would co-sponsor the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (S. 908) enhancing the President's authority to sanction entities that export refined petroleum products to Iran. I would support the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009 (S. 1065) which would authorize state pension funds to divest from companies that invest in Iran. I also would work to restore funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) which was recently cut by the Obama administration and support continued intelligence sharing by the Mossad and the CIA.

Locally, I have been a strident supporter the Iran Divestiture Bill currently working its way through the State Legislature. Massachusetts is not yet among the many states - including Florida and California - that have passed such important legislation which is designed to pressure Iran into ceasing its illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons. I look forward to the opportunity to vote on this measure soon.

The Palestinians & Peace

I stand with Israel and the majority of leaders in support a two-state solution as the best hope for peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Israel has made enormous sacrifices in an attempt to secure peace - including unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. However, with the Palestinian leadership now divided by a terrorist entity (Hamas) and the Palestinian Authority, we do not yet have the fundamental requirements in place to begin negotiations.

Hamas' original charter states unambiguously that it is determined to destroy Israel. Believing that we can achieve a peace treaty with Hamas that would include recognition of the Jewish state and a disavowal of terrorism is a mistake. Israel is a willing partner in peace with a history of making peace whenever it has a legitimate partner interested in peace, such as with Egypt or Jordan. Until there is a non-terrorist entity on the other side of the table, negotiations can not start.

Ultimately, however, I support a two-state solution that:

. Is premised on security for Israel and is not imposed by outside parties;

. Recognizes that a strict return to the 1967 borders is both unrealistic and unsafe;

. Requires the Palestinians to abide by agreements signed by past Palestinian leaders; and

. Re-affirms Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.

Also, in accordance to the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995,1 support moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem if available security measures make it safe to do so and Israel supports the move.

Improving Middle East Relationships

Israel's unconditional right to live in peace is equal to that of all other nations of the world. This right begins with encouraging Israel's neighbors to recognize its fundamental right to exist. Will support these rights by:

. Encouraging public alliances between Israel and other countries aiming to counter the Iranian threat;

. Speaking out against Arab boycotts of Israeli companies, goods and services;

. Calling out the demonization of Israel in all forms of communications including in children's educational materials used by neighboring countries who employ such tactics as a means to distraction from their own failings and

. Encouraging Israel's neighbors to grant their own citizens the democratic rights and individual freedoms enjoyed by their Arab brethren in the State of Israel.

I have a strong desire to visit Israel in order to gain a more profound understanding of the many complex security and strategic challenges that Israelis face each day. I am also eager to observe first hand how Israeli innovations in the arts, sciences, agriculture and aquaculture, renewable energies, bio and computer technologies can and will directly benefit the lives of the citizens of Massachusetts and the United States.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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

January 28, 2010

“No Problem. We’ll just hang it on GW.”

Redacted from a well-documented analytical article

By Noemie Emery
The Weekly Standard, January 25, 2010

Hard as it seems at times to remember, Barack Obama never ran against George W. Bush. That pleasure went to Al Gore and John Kerry, who did not seem to enjoy the experience. Obama ran in 2008 and won the election, but in 2010, into his second year as president, he still thinks he is running, and against the now-retired (and quiet) 43rd president.

He says, ‘the buck stops with me” but nearly a year into office President Barack Obama is still blaming a lot of the nation’s troubles—the economy, terrorism, health care—on George W. Bush,” wrote Ben Feller of the Associated Press a few weeks ago. “A sharper, give-me-some-credit tone has emerged in his language as he bemoans people’s fleeting memory about what life was like.

‘I don’t need to remind any of you about the situation we found ourselves in at the beginning of this year,’ Obama told people at a Home Depot stop last month. And then he reminded them anyway.” Someone should tell him he won the election, and that people will judge him not on what Bush did, but on what he is doing. And, what he’s been doing hasn’t been all that good.

In some ways, his reaction to the near-catastrophe on Christmas Day when a terrorist almost blew a hole in a plane over Detroit, seemed less involved with the war against terror than with the ongoing war against Bush. Trying hard not to seem too warlike or macho, he took three days before speaking, making time after tennis for what Toby Hamden of the Daily Telegraph called a “tepid address” in which he referred to the alleged suspect” as an “isolated extremist” (which he was not). Then, Obama went snorkeling. Only days later, when it was clear he was facing a public relations disaster, did he begin to edge by stages into a more forceful reaction, which wasn’t fully unveiled until January 7, almost two weeks after the attempted attack had occurred.

... As a tactic, the Blaming Bush mantra is starting to fade in effectiveness. It was one thing early on when the real Bush was being weighed against the supposedly ideal Obama who had never been tried. Consequently, he had never failed at any thing and the voter could dream would do everything perfectly. The real Bush against the real Obama is a whole different story, as the problems that stymied the 43rd president show no signs of yielding to the 44th’s charms. The terrorists hate us, and still want to kill us. Unemployment is higher than ever, stimulus packages notwithstanding. In addition, closing Guantanamo isn’t that easy and Iran and North Korea haven’t unclenched their fists.

Obama’s approval ratings are in the mid-40s, while almost equal numbers say they strongly disliked him. Half of the country thinks him a failure. When asked if the country would have been better off had John McCain won the election, 35 percent of voters say yes and only 37 percent say no. Worst, when asked to compare Obama with Bush, only 43 percent think Obama is better, as opposed to the 23 percent who see no real difference, and the 30 percent who think he is worse.

One might imagine numbers like these would move the Obama team to pull the plug on the blame-fest, but one would be wrong. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne (a staunch, blinders intact, Obama cheerleader – jsk) rang out the old year by urging Democrats to double down, claiming that only by painting the Bush age as a “squandered decade” that ravaged the country could Obama’s fortunes be revived. “Much of the contention surrounding Barack Obama’s presidency is simply a continuation of our argument over the effects of George W. Bush’s time in office,” he said. It isn’t: It’s about the spending, the deficits, the enormous expansion of federal power, and the incredible corruption, deal-making, and squalor surrounding the health care reform bill. ...

Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2010

The Amazing Israel Defense Forces’ Medical Corps in Haiti - Brotherhood at its Best.


Letter to his parents:

· In the lifesaving IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, doctors prevent disabilities. They administer aid to the sick; provide warmth, love and a human touch. They love the wounded.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents located in the middle of a hell, every complex medical case has an ethics review board.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, the chances of success are debated whether to amputate the entire leg of a child: the chances of a premature infant to survive while on a ventilator in a preemie unit in the tent.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there were no rods left to brace complex fractures. Each rod costs 5000 Euros. Money is not the problem. There simply isn't any. An emergency room nurse had an idea. She went with Munitions NCO to take similar rods to a local metal shop where they made dozens of new rods. They continue to save lives.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there is a networked computer system for patient management and tracking. X-rays taken in the radiation tent are viewed on a digital viewing system in the orthopedic tent.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation which came from Israel in the Middle East to Haiti, there are American volunteer doctors. They have no other useful installation in which to work in. A doctor and nurse from Germany came. They heard this is best hospital in Haiti. An emergency room team from Colombia arrived with all their equipment and asked if they could set up next to us to be part of our hospital.

England is the enlightened country in Europe, the one which has an academic boycott of Israel; twenty British doctors and nurses asked to work with us. All these people, without exception, stand together at the morning formation at 7 AM in the flag square. The flag of Israel, the flag of a country which was established after the USA was already superpower; After the British left a land under their control; After Colombia was already an established country; and after the Holocaust against the Jewish people.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, the Russian delegation asked the Israeli "superpower" for medical equipment.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there are religious ZAKA volunteers. They deal with the severed limbs and bodies of the dead and wounded from Haiti. They do this because of their respect for the dead and their respect for the Haitian Creole speaker, voodoo worshiper in the Caribbean Sea at the edge of the Atlantic.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, doctors ask permission to photograph the Haitian wounds, yet the Haitian patients do not understand why someone would ask such permission of them.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there is a shortage of plaster for casts. An innovative doctor spoke to a Haitian hospital nurse for help, but the hospital could not help. He was sent to a remote neighborhood between the fetid alleys to the Moroccan embassy in Haiti. There, he found a storeroom full of plaster which was brought back to the hospital. The Israeli doctor, by the way, is of Moroccan origin.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there is a delivery room. Babies are born there. Mothers are cared for. Babies that require aid are admitted to the preemie unit.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, the badly wounded patients have plastic surgery operations.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, the law of a patient's rights is observed. His right to privacy is respected. A patient's condition is explained to him in the Creole language via an interpreter.

· In the IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents, there are equal rights among all. Equal rights in Haiti, which was a nation of slaves; where even today there exists a great social divide between the rich and the poorest of the world's poor.

The IDF Medical Corps Delegation to Haiti which is housed in tents is the embodiment of ultimate human ethics - Brotherhood at its best. The epitome of the verse from the Hebrew Biblical portion of Kedoshim, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2010

Obama asks War? What war?

By Charles Krauthammer

Janet Napolitano — former Arizona governor, now over-matched secretary of homeland security will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: “The system worked.” The attacker’s concerned father had warned US authorities about his son’s jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers. Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. And, just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Mt Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over, that is, if it ever existed.

Mt Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately, Al-Qaeda has not, giving new meaning to the term “asymmetric warfare.” Linguistic and logical oddities littered Mr. Obama’s public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Mr. Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as “an isolated extremist.” This is the same president who, after the Fort Hood shooting, warned us “against jumping to conclusions” — code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan’s mass murder with his Islamist ideology Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Mr. Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Mr. Obama’s references to the terrorist as a ‘suspect” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device.” You can hear the echo of FDR: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy — Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Mr. Obama reassured the nation that this “suspect” had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant — an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Instead, he is dispatched to a Detroit area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point — surprise! He stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Mr. Obama’s declaration that “we will not rest until we find all who were involved.” Once we’ve given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed and sent him.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an Al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury no qualms. But, if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

The president said that this incident highlights “the nature of those who threaten our homeland.” But, the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as “extremist.”

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is, in fact, a jihadist. Jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and are openly pledged to war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But, a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy — jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon — turns laxity into a governing philosophy.

Charles Krauthammer’s e-mail address is letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2010



Published on DickMorris.com January 19, 2010

After Obama succeeds in jamming health care changes down the collective throats of his embattled constituents, his next move will be to bring overt socialism to the United States in the guise of regulatory reform.

The legislation he seeks to pilot through the Senate (it already passed the House) literally gives the Secretary of the Treasury the power to seize any company in any sector which, in his judgment, is in danger of insolvency and whose failure would cause systemic damage to the national economy (aka - too big to fail).

Once the government has seized a private business under this horrific law, the Secretary of the Treasury is empowered to fire its management, replace its board of directors, wipe out the equity of its shareholders, and close any divisions or parts of it he wishes. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez would envy such power.

Exploiting concerns that another global meltdown might be around the corner, the Obama legislation effectively brings socialism to the United States. There's no other term for it. Even the existence of such enormous power will have a chilling effect on economic decisions and political freedom.

CEOs of large companies will be constantly looking over their shoulders, worried about government seizure. Since there is no objective standard built into the bill - such as bankruptcy - they will never know when the feds will swoop down and lock the doors. This policy of economic terrorism will influence investment decisions, lead to companies scaling down their size just to avoid seizure, and refusing to take risks which, while good for job creation, might mark them as potentially insolvent.

Politically, corporate executives will have to think long and hard before they donate funds to Obama's political opponents or antagonize the Administration. The standards for government seizure are so flexible and judgmental that a political conflict can easily escalate into a corporate seizure.

This bill is Obama's plan to bring socialism to America. He will use the power this legislation confers widely and ruthlessly to force corporations to do his bidding, follow his policies, or face the prospect of seizure.

Corporate executives, in particular, will come to feel - rightly - that their jobs are on the line if they don't keep their relations with the Administration calm and smooth. Imagine if JFK had had this power when he balked at steel price increases in 1962. Or, if LBJ had used this power to coerce support for the War in Vietnam. Of if Nixon was able to use this kind of power in pursuit of those on his list of enemies.

This legislation, while cloaked in obscure language and replete with bureaucratic gobbledygook, is a dire threat to our freedom. It is part of the socialist trio that animates Obama's program: regulatory "reform", cap and trade, and health care. Among them, these bills will give him power over all major businesses, all utilities, all manufacturing industries, and all health care providers. There's not much left.

If Massachusetts delivers for democracy and elects Scott Brown to the Senate, we have a good chance of stopping the two legs of this triad that are still pending - regulatory reform and cap and trade. Parts of the regulatory reform bill are OK. The consumer agency it contemplates could do good things. But one suspects that these provisions are just window dressing to disguise the massive power grab behind the bill. Never before has our government had the power to seize corporations at will. And it certainly has never before been based on such subjective criteria.

But these issues may not excite the massive public opposition that health care reform did. The average American may not realize how dangerous these bills are. But we must mobilize and stop them from passing to preserve our freedom.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2010

I Israel’s “Disproportionate Response” in Haiti - Plus...

II Newly elected Massachusetts’s Senator Scott Brown – Position Paper Israel

Many countries and world leaders have accused Israel of responding
disproportionately to aggression from Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. However, it is time that the world press and media speak of another
disproportionate response from Israel.

The terrible disastrous earthquake in Haiti has generated responses from many nations. The US has sent supplies and personnel, Britain sent 64 firemen and 8 volunteers, France sent troops for Search and Rescue. Many large and wealthy nations of the world sent money - the Arab and Moslem world nothing.

Israel, a nation of 7.5 million people has sent a team of 220 people that include Medical personnel and will establish the largest field hospital in Haiti, treating up to 5000 people a day, an experienced Search and Rescue team and medical supplies. As in previous earthquake disasters, such as in Gujarat India in 2001 and in Turkey, in the bombings in Kenya, Israel has been one of the most generous givers of aid and assistance. Turkey seems to have forgotten this help as its extreme Moslem Government is cozying up to Iran.

Judge Goldstone, where are you now? Eating your heart out and hanging your head down in shame, I hope. The favorite occupation in the UN is Israel bashing. More resolutions have been passed condemning Israel than all the so called democratic nations such as Sudan, China, Russia and others for their crimes against their minorities. I think it is time that the world should know about Israel's disproportionate response.
(Author unknown)

II Senator Elect Scott Brown issued a position paper on the United States-- Israel Relationship before the election held this week.

(The full text can be found at:

Here are some excerpts from that paper:

“I stand steadfastly behind Israel's right defend itself against attacks form state and non-state actors alike.”

“I oppose the rising tide of efforts worldwide aimed at undermining this fundamental right. The United Nations' commissioned Goldstone Report is a blatant manifestation of such an effort. Deeply flawed from the start, the 'report' accuses Israel of war crimes with little reference to the fact that Israel held its fire for years while thousand of rockets were fired at innocent civilians.”

“I also firmly support the security barrier erected by Israel which has proven to be enormously successful at defending and protecting Israeli civilians against waves of deadly terrorist attacks.”

“As the only elected official in the Massachusetts Senate, I understand the importance of a strong defense.... I unequivocally support the recently executed ten-year memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and Israel which will provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel until 2017.”

Re: Iran's nuclear threat to Israel. "We should take these words and actions at face value, respond accordingly and without hesitation. If elected I would co-sponsor the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009...I would support the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act.........I also would work to restore funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center...and support continue intelligence sharing by the Mossad and the CIA.”

“I stand with Israel and the majority of leaders in support of a two sate solution as the best hope for peace between the Palestinians and the Israel.”

“Israel unconditional right to live in peace is equal to that of all other nations of the world. This right begins with encouraging Israel's neighbors to recognize its fundamental right to exist. I will support these rights by:

·Encouraging public alliances between Israel and other countries aiming to counter the Iranian threat:
·Speaking out against Arab boycotts of Israeli companies, goods and services;
·Call out the demonization of Israel in all forms... and
·Encouraging Israel's neighbors to grant their own citizens the democratic rights and individual freedoms enjoyed by their Arab brethren in the State of Israel.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2010

Israeli Government and Haiti

Jerusalem, 17 January 2010


At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 17.1.10:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"I would like to say a few words about the horrific tragedy that took place in Haiti. What happened there is a large-scale disaster of very great proportions. The lack of protective measures only deepened the tragedy. I think that it is our obligation, as the State of Israel, as the state of the Jewish People, to mobilize immediately – and this we have done. As soon as I learned of the dimensions of the disaster, I ordered that a team be dispatched. It left with the speed characteristic of the IDF, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry.

The defense establishment sent a team which has begun to work and is already saving lives. It is a field hospital with doctors, x-ray machines and other vital pieces of equipment that are in short supply in Haiti. I think that this is in the best tradition of the Jewish People; this is the true covenant of the State of Israel and the Jewish People. This follows operations we have carried out in Kenya and Turkey. Despite being a small country, we have responded with a big heart. The fact is, I know, that this was an expression of our Jewish heritage and the Jewish ethic of helping one's fellow. I hope that the team saves lives and that Haiti succeeds in recovering from this awful tragedy.

Tomorrow, I and several ministers, including Foreign Minister Liberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, will be leaving for Germany. We will hold annual discussions, which take place alternatively here and in Germany. Now it is Germany's turn and we will go there. We ascribe great importance to our good relations with Germany. They have major consequences for the Israeli economy, our diplomatic struggle around the world and for the security of Israel."

The Cabinet noted that Prime Minister Netanyahu will leave for Germany, at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, in attend to the Israeli and German governments' consultative forum tomorrow (Monday), 18.1.10. Pursuant to Article 16 of Basic Law: The Government, Minister Moshe Yaalon will serve as Acting Prime Minister for the purposes of summoning and conducting meetings of the Government in Prime Minister Netanyahu's absence, should this prove necessary.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2010

I 700 International Scientists Debunk “Consensus” Global Warming Claims of 2008 & 2009

II Ken Salazar, Obama Secretary of Interior, saves us and the planet, Earth.

I Redacted from a 255 page U. S. Senate Minority Report found readily online which lists dozens of the findings and personal statements from renowned scientists world-wide

U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee - Minority Staff Report

Over 700 dissenting scientists (updates previous 650 report) from around the globe challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore.

This new 2009 255-page U.S. Senate Minority Report -- updated from 2007’s groundbreaking report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming “consensus” -- features the skeptical voices of over 700 prominent international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated report includes an additional 300 (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the initial release in December 2007.

The over 700 dissenting scientists are more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grow louder in 2008 and 2009 as a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, analyses, real world data and inconvenient developments challenged the UN’s and former Vice President Al Gore's claims that the "science is settled" and there is a "consensus." On a range of issues, 2008 and 2009 proved to be challenging for the promoters of man-made climate fears.

Promoters of anthropogenic warming fears endured the following contradictions to their theories:

Global temperatures failing to warm;
Peer-reviewed studies predicting a continued lack of warming;
A failed attempt to revive the discredited “Hockey Stick”;
Inconvenient developments and studies regarding rising CO2; the Sun; Clouds; Antarctica; the Arctic; Greenland’s ice; Mount Kilimanjaro; Causes of Hurricanes; Extreme Storms; Extinctions; Floods; Droughts; Ocean Acidification; Polar Bears; Extreme weather deaths; Frogs; lack of atmospheric dust; Malaria; the failure of oceans to warm and rise as predicted.

In addition, the following developments further secured 2008 and 2009 as the year the “consensus” collapsed. Russian scientists “rejected the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming.” An American Physical Society editor conceded that a “considerable presence” of scientific skeptics exists. An International team of scientists countered the UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.”

India issued a report challenging global warming fears. International Scientists demanded the UN IPCC “be called to account and cease its deceptive practices,” and a canvass of more than 51,000 Canadian scientists revealed 68% disagree that global warming science is “settled.” A Japan Geo-science Union symposium survey in 2008 “showed 90 per cent of the participants do not believe the IPCC report.”

This new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's office of the GOP Ranking Member is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition challenging significant aspects of the claims of the UN IPCC and Al Gore. Scientific meetings are now being dominated by a growing number of skeptical scientists. The prestigious International Geological Congress, dubbed the geologists' equivalent of the Olympic games, was held in Norway in August 2008 and prominently featured the voices of scientists skeptical of man-made global warming fears.

Even the mainstream media has begun to take notice of the expanding number of scientists serving as “consensus busters.” A November 25, 2008, article in Politico noted that a “growing accumulation” of science is challenging warming fears, and added that the “science behind global warming may still be too shaky to warrant cap-and-trade legislation.” Canada’s National Post noted on October 20, 2008, “the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly.”

New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin noted on March 6, 2008, "As we all know, climate science is not a numbers game (there are heaps of signed statements by folks with advanced degrees on all sides of this issue)," Revkin wrote. (LINK) In 2007, Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking."

Skeptical scientists are gaining recognition despite what many say is a bias against them in parts of the scientific community and are facing significant funding disadvantages. Dr. William M. Briggs, a climate statistician who serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee, explained that his colleagues described “absolute horror stories of what happened to them when they tried getting papers published that explored non-‘consensus’ views.” In a March 4, 2008, report Briggs described the behavior as “really outrageous and unethical … on the parts of some editors. I was shocked.”

II By coincidence, I just heard on Cspan tonight, Ken Salazar, Department of Interior Secretary and Obama’s useful idiot expounding on the great virtues of wind and solar energy and how it was going to save the planet, save the environment, balance the budget and create thousands of jobs.

Unfortunately, Salazar, besides his truly idiotic demagoguery, is in a position to do this nation great harm. His latest project is described in the article below, recently appeared in Investors Business Daily, (Investors.com)

Salazar Slips Energy Policy In Reverse
Posted 01/06/2010 07:09 PM ET

Energy: As energy prices surge to uncomfortably high levels, a top administration official wants to make it harder for U.S. companies to get more oil and gas. Once again, we're shooting ourselves in the foot on energy.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar couldn't have picked a worse time to announce that he's placing new barriers on the development of oil and gas resources. Last year's rise in oil was the largest in a decade, and crude prices today have topped $82 a barrel. Yet Salazar on Wednesday announced plans, as the energy news service Greenwire put it, that "will require more detailed environmental reviews, more public input and less use of a provision to streamline leasing."
In short, private energy development efforts are going backward.

Worse, Salazar has politicized energy to an unseemly degree. In unveiling his new plans and trying to lay blame somewhere else for recent energy price jumps, he said: "The previous administration's 'anywhere, anyhow' policy on oil and gas development ran afoul of communities, carved up the landscape and fueled costly conflicts that created uncertainty for investors and industry."

This isn't the first time Salazar's turned our energy future into a political debate. In November, he lashed out at the oil and gas industry, accusing it of "behaving like an arm" of the Republican Party and decrying the industry's "untruths." "Trade groups need to understand that they do not own the nation's public lands," he said.

He's right. They don't own it. We do. And, because of Salazar's unwise and even hostile energy stewardship, we will likely suffer through years and years of higher prices for crude oil, natural gas and other badly needed resources. As the chart (not shown here) shows, oil jumped from $44 a barrel at the start of 2009 to $83 a barrel at Wednesday's close. It's no accident. Salazar's latest move partly reverses the clear intent of a 2005 law, passed by a Republican Congress, that would speed up and streamline permits for energy projects on public lands. In effect, he's pawning our energy future to political expediency.

The U.S. is sitting on an immense supply of oil and gas, probably larger than anywhere else in the world. We have at least 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore. As much as 35 billion barrels of oil lies waiting to be tapped in Alaska and the Chukchi Sea. A massive 2.2 trillion barrels of energy lies in our oil shale deposits in Utah, Wyo ng and Colorado.

(Yet, Salazar, with the blessings of the Obama administration, is doing everything to block access to these resources and bankrupt further the American economy. This will surely create yet another major disaster and give Obama and his far Left cohorts in the Democratic Party, more excuse for intrusion into what used to be our inalienable individual rights) Jsk

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

January 14, 2010

Effective Therapy for Islamic Terrorism as initiated by General Black Jack Pershing

General Black Jack Pershing was born September 13th. 1860 near Leclede MS
He died July 15th. 1948 in Washington, DC
Highlights of his life include:

Education West Point
1891 Professor of Military Science and Tactics University of Nebraska
1898 Serves in the Spanish American War
1901 Awarded rank of Captain
1906 promoted to rank at Brigadier General
1909 Military Governor of Moro Province. Philippines
1916 Made Major General
1919 Promoted to General of the Armies
1921 Appointed Chief of Staff
1924 Retires from active duty

Just before World War, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the Philippines by Muslim extremists.

Consequently, General Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts for execution. He then had his men bring in two pigs and slaughter them in front of the now horrified terrorists. Muslims detest pork because they believe pigs are filthy animals. Some of them simply refuse to eat it, while others won’t even touch pigs at all, nor any of their by-products. To them, eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc., is to be barred from paradise (and those virgins) and doomed to hell.

The soldiers then soaked their bullets in the pig’s blood, and proceeded to execute 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. The soldiers then dug a big hole, dumped in the terrorist’s bodies and covered them in pig blood, pig entrails, etc. They let the 50th man go. And for the next forty-two years, there was not a single Muslim extremist attack anywhere in the world.

And, rumor has it that one of the buried terrorists was named Obama!

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2010

Barack Obama's, Hillary Clinton’s and George Mitchell’s peace partners for Israel

They should live so (One of our family’s Yiddish expressions) jsk

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Israeli Government CABINET COMMUNIQUE

January 10, 2010

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Last week 20 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. I regard this very seriously. The IDF responded immediately; it attacked missile producing factories in the Gaza Strip and tunnels through which Iran smuggles missiles and rockets into the Strip. The Government's policy is clear: Any firing at our territory will be responded to strongly and immediately.

Not only missiles and rockets endanger security and push peace away. Words can also be dangerous. Sadly, there has been a retreat in this area in recent months, both within the Palestinian Authority and by its leaders. Whoever sponsors and supports naming a square in Ramallah after a terrorist who murdered dozens of Israelis on the coastal road encourages terrorism. Whoever declares those responsible for the murder of the late Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai, father to seven children, as holy martyrs – pushes peace further away.

At the same time, incitement continues in the Palestinian media and education system, in its official media outlets and in the schools under it supervision. These serious actions represent a harsh violation of the Palestinians' international obligation to prevent incitement. I say to the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority: Stop the incitement. This is not how peace is made. Peace is made by educating towards reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by developing mutual respect. Therefore, the cessation of Palestinian incitement is a necessary condition, not for entering into discussions, but so that we may complete them in a way that will bring about genuine peace between our two peoples.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2010

Obama’s Mentors - The Weatherman Who Helped Author Obama's Legislation

Redacted from an in-depth article by Patti Villacorta

Pajamas Media

Despite being profiled early on in Glenn Beck's czar series, Jeff Jones — who helped author the ObamaCare bill — has received far less scrutiny than Van Jones and some others. By now, though the barrage of radicalism may have inoculated you to the fact that a member of Obama's team is best-known for his mug shots, Jeff Jones does indeed warrant the country's attention.

Some people, not enough, are aware that Jeff Jones co-founded the Weathermen, led the Days of Rage in Chicago in 1969, and then went underground for the next eleven years with fellow revolutionary and current wife Eleanor Stein (who teaches "climate change" at Albany Law School). But, how many know that as late as 2007 Jones organized a re-branding of the SDS? Jeff Jones tried to reconstitute the SDS just two years ago.

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was a student activist movement in the United States that was one of the main iconic representations of the country's New Left. The organization developed and expanded rapidly in the mid-1960s before dissolving at its last convention in 1969. SDS was the organizational high point for student radicalism in the United States and has been an important influence on student organizing in the decades since its collapse. Participatory democracy, direct action, radicalism, student power, shoestring budgets, and its organizational structure are all present in varying degrees in current national student activist groups. Though various organizations have been formed in subsequent years as proposed national networks for left-wing student organizing, none has approached the scale of SDS, and most have lasted a few years at best.

The Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) became official at a conference at The New School. Fellow travelers on the left were giddy, though one nominated board member couldn't make it that day: Rashid Khalidi.

Who is Rashid Khalidi?

"In The 1970s, Rashid Khalidi taught at a university in Beirut, He Often Spoke To Reporters On Behalf Of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization."
“Khalidi Now Occupies A Prestigious Professorship Of Arab Studies At Columbia." "Many Of Khalidi's Opinions Are Troubling To Pro-Israel Activists, Such As His Defense Of Palestinians' Right To Resist Israeli Occupation And His Critique Of U.S. Policy As Biased Toward Israel."

"While Teaching At The University Of Chicago, Khalidi And His Wife Lived In The Hyde Park Neighborhood Near The Obamas. The Families Became Friends And Dinner Companions." "The Woods Fund In 2001 Gave A $40,000 Grant To The Arab American Action Network (AAAN), A Group Co-Founded By Anti-Israel Columbia University Professor Rhashid Khalidi. The Fund Gave AAAN A Second Grant Of $35,000 In 2002." (Editorial, "Obama's Terror Ties," Investor's Business Daily, 4/15/08) At The Time Of The Grants, Khalidi’s Wife, Mona Khalidi, Directed The Arab American Action Network. (Christopher Wills, "People Who Might Complicate Obama's Campaign," The Associated Press, 6/5/08)

Obama Offered A Testimonial At Khalidi’s 2003 Farewell Dinner; Other Individuals Giving Testimonials On Khalidi Included William Ayers And Bernadine Dohrn. (Sol Stern and Fred Siegel, "Mideast Parley Takes Ugly Turn At Columbia U.," The New York Sun, 2/4/05)

It was a bitter day in New York City (February 17, 2007) but did not prevent the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) from holding a well-attended conference at New York City's New School University with about 100 “progressives” were in attendance. Organizers were pleased with the turnout and excited about the election of Manning Marable as Chair of the new Board. Of course, nothing about the progressives is free of a connection to George Soros. It so happens Manning Marable heads the Soros-funded Center for Contemporary Black History at Columbia University.

Jeff Jones also hosted an event the previous week for the Rosenberg Fund [which didn't get much coverage despite the star power of guests Susan Sarandon and Ed Asner. And yes, the Rosenberg Fund is about those Rosenbergs.

Thai Jones, the son of Jeff Jones and Eleanor Stein, wrote about his life as the son of revolutionaries in a 2004 memoir. He writes of a father who can't seem to let the movement go. When the Weathermen re-grouped in the early 70s, changing its name from the Weather Underground to the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), Jeff Jones led the way by penning an underground manifesto.

Jeff had become an adult while he was underground. Fighting the war had been his primary purpose. With it over, he could have claimed victory and abandoned militancy. He might have surfaced, held a press conference, copped a plea bargain and gone on to pursue politics in the evenings like the rest of the movement people. But, neither he nor the others considered it. They had gone too far down the path to turn around and come home.

In fact, they would become more fanatical, study Marxist-Leninist theory, and talk more seriously than ever before about toppling the government, though the chances of succeeding were now slightly higher than they had been at any other time since 1968. By 2006, Jeff Jones, Bernadine Dohrn, and William Ayers had authored a book: Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiqués of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974.

More on Obama’s revolutionary background, mentors and his appointed Czars to follow.

Patti Villacorta


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2010


From: Lee Iacocca

This is the guy (Iacocca), who rescued Chrysler the last time around. He sought and secured loan guarantees from the federal government, not actual loans or gifts. He has always spoken his mind. Just as true today as it was when his book first came out. He was, and still is, a brilliant businessman! Often we need to be reminded of Iacocca's words. The man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He's now 82 years old and his latest book, 'Where Have All The Leaders Gone?'
Lee Iacocca Says:

'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers' money, much less build a hybrid car. But, instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'trust me the economy is getting better.' Better? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the Democrats out along with Obama!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But, someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Afghanistan, Iran is completing their nuclear bombs and missiles and nobody seems to know what to do. And, the liberal press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the 'America' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.) Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with thumb up your butt and talk theory. Or, send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war now with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. But, our soldiers are dying daily.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the world, and it's getting worse every day! We've lost the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are going to skyrocket again, and nobody in power has a lucid plan to open drilling to solve the problem. This country has the largest oil reserves in the WORLD, and we cannot drill for it because the politicians have been bought by the tree-hugging environmentalists.

Our schools are in a complete disaster because of the teachers union.
Our borders are like sieves and they want to give all illegals amnesty and free healthcare. The middle class is being squeezed to death every day.

These are times that cry out for leadership. But, when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point. Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping the government will make it better for them. Now, that's just crazy. Deal with life. Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, look what Obama did about it!

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But, these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry. I have news for the Chicago gangsters in Congress. We didn't elect you to turn this country into a losing European Socialist state. What is everybody so afraid of - that some bonehead on NBC or CNN news will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America. In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years since 9/11. Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It's our country, folks, and it's our future. Our future is at stake!!


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

January 04, 2010

Putting the myth concerning Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and the Jews to rest

Redacted from FDR and the “Voyage of the Damned”

By Dr. Rafael Medoff

The Jewish Press, December 25, 2009

Miami Beach was certainly a fitting choice as the site for this month’s reunion of passengers from the ill-fated SS St. Louis, the ship of Jewish refugees that sailed from Nazi Germany in May 1939. As children, they gazed at the lights of Miami as the St. Louis hovered off the Florida coast, hoping desperately for permission to land.

In the 70 years since that tragic voyage, the story of the St. Louis has been told and retold, taught and studied, researched and pondered. It has been to Hollywood, in the 1976 film “Voyage of the Damned,” starring Faye Dunaway. It was the subject of a U.S. Senate resolution expressing remorse over what happened. It was featured in a full-page political cartoon in the Washington Post (by Art Spiegelman of ”Maus” fame and this author). It was the focus of a project by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to trace the fate of each of the more than 900 passengers. And it continues to fascinate historians — including an Israeli scholar who has uncovered a new document that sheds light on President Franklin Roosevelt’s attitude toward the St. Louis.

Hans Fisher, today a professor at Rutgers University, grew up in the German city of Breslau. He still vividly remembers the torments he and other Jewish children endured there in the early years of the Hitler regime. “When my friends and I would come out of our school building, members of the Hitler Youth would be waiting nearby,” he recalls. ‘They would chase us, and if they caught us, they would beat us.”

His father, George Fisher, was one of the tens of thousands of Jewish men arrested during the November 1938 Kristallnacht program and sent to concentration camps. After nearly two months in Buchenwald, George was released on condition, he leave the country within two weeks. He secured a visa to Cuba and immediately upon his arrival, there began making arrangements for Hans, his sister Ruth and their mother to join him. They purchased tickets to sail on the SS St. Louis in May 1939.

All but thirty of the passengers had documents granting them entry to Cuba as tourists, which they had purchased in Germany, at the astronomical sum of $500 each, from an unscrupulous Cuban government official. Cuba’s authorities, furious at the backroom profiteering and sensitive to domestic anti-Semitism, refused to recognize the validity of the entry documents.

The St. Louis remained in the Havana port for several days as officials of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee negotiated with Cuban leaders. Meanwhile, relatives of the passengers rented small boats and rowed close to the St. Louis, hoping to catch a glimpse of their loved ones. The passengers sent a telegram to the White House, pleading for mercy and emphasizing that “more than 400 [of the refugees] are women and children.” The reply came in the form of a Coast Guard cutter, dispatched to the scene to make sure the St. Louis did not approach America’s shore.

To this day, FDR’s supporters continue to blame the 1920s immigration laws as the obstacle to refugee immigration in the 1930s. “It has always seemed to me a bit unfair to blame President Roosevelt for a law that was passed and signed by ... Calvin Coolidge,” military historian Gerhard Weinberg asserted in a recent radio interview. “Until the Congress changed the immigration law ... President Roosevelt, like any other president, was obliged to enforce the law.” But in fact, many lives could have been saved without changing a single law or fighting Congress. All FDR had to do was quietly instruct the State Department to admit as many refugees as the law allowed. That alone would have saved more than 100,000 German Jews before World War II — and nearly 200,000 more during the Holocaust years.

Meanwhile, just as the St. Louis crisis was escalating, members of Congress were considering legislation, introduced by Senator Robert F. Wagner (D-NY) and Rep. Edith Rogers (R-MA), to admit 20,000 German refugee children outside the quota system. Supporters of the bill included prominent church figures, leaders of the AFL and ClO labor unions, university presidents, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia, the 1936 Republican presidential and vice-presidential candidates, and former First Lady Grace Coolidge, who announced that she and her friends in Northampton, Massachusetts would personally care for 25 of the children.

FDK responded negatively to a private appeal to him by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for his support of the bill. He did tell Eleanor that he would not object if she endorsed it, but she refrained from doing so. When a congresswoman inquired as to the president’s position on the bill, FDR returned the note to his secretary marked “File No action FDR.”

A newly-discovered document offers a rare insider’s account of the Roosevelt administration’s response to the St. Louis. The document was unearthed by Dr. Bat-Ami Zucker, a historian at Bar-Ilan University in Israel who has written extensively on America’s response to the Holocaust and whose latest book is Cecilia Razovsky and the American Jewish Women’s Rescue Operations in the Second World War.

Cecilia Razovsky, a refugee advocate and senior official of the National Council of Jewish Women, went to Havana in May 1939 and took part in high-level discussions with Cuban and U.S. officials in an attempt to resolve the St. Louis crisis. In Razovsky’s papers, Dr. Zucker discovered an unpublished memoir about the St. Louis episode that Razovsky wrote after the war.

In the memoir, Razovsky described how, when the Cuban authorities refused to yield, she met with diplomats from “other South American countries” in the hope they would take at least some of the St. Louis refugees, but to no avail. (Canada also refused a request for haven.) Then Razovsky wrote: “We again at that time tried to get permission from Secretary of State Hull to take them but our State Dept. was unsympathetic and Franklin Delano was apathetic, although Eleanor did everything in her power to change their attitude.”

What could FDR have done to aid the Jews on the St. Louis? He could have issued an executive order placing the refugees in a temporary detention center until it was safe for them to return to Germany. He could have put meaningful pressure on the British to let the passengers go to Mandatory Palestine. 0r he could have leaned on America’s Latin American allies to take in the refugees. Instead, he was, as Razovsky put it, “apathetic.” He turned away, in effect forcing the St. Louis to return to Europe.

The same apathy would characterize Roosevelt’s response to the Nazi mass murder of the Jews in the years to follow. “Roosevelt was a very shrewd and conniving politician,” Hans Fisher recalls. “He did what was politically useful for him.

With America’s doors closed, the St. Louis slowly sailed back towards Europe. A Nazi newspaper, Der Weltkampf, gloated: “We are saying openly that we do not want the Jews, while the democracies keep on claiming that they are willing to receive them — then leave them out in the cold.” At the same time, however, the Joint Distribution Committee was negotiating with the governments of England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and convinced them to each accept a portion of the St. Louis passengers. For a time, it seemed the refugees were saved.

Those who were admitted to England did indeed survive the war. And some of those who went to the other countries found ways to escape Europe. Hans Fisher, his mother and sister were among those who disembarked in France, but within six months Hans’s father had managed to procure another set of Cuban visas for them. They left Europe for good in December 1939, on a ship carrying refugees from the Spanish civil war. But many of the others were not so fortunate. In the spring of 1940, the Germans invaded France, Holland and Belgium. Nearly half of the St. Louis refugees who were admitted to those countries were murdered in Nazi death camps.

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (www.Wymanlnstitute.org).

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 02, 2010

“The Year of the Spat-Upon Hand of Gratuitous Apology”

By Charles Krauthammer
Palm Beach Post, December 30, 2009

On Dec. 22, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not just reject President Obama’s latest feckless floating nuclear deadline. He spat on it, declaring that Iran “will continue resisting” until the U.S. has gotten rid of its 8,000 nuclear warheads. So ends 2009, the year of “engagement,” of the extended hand, of the gratuitous apology — and of spinning centrifuges, two-stage rockets and a secret enrichment facility that brought Iran materially closer to becoming a nuclear power.

We lost a year. But, it was not just any year. It was a year of spectacularly squandered opportunity. In Iran, it was a year of revolution, beginning with a contested election and culminating in huge demonstrations mourning the death of the dissident Grand Ayatollah Hossein All Montazeri and demanding no longer a recount of the stolen election but the overthrow of the clerical dictatorship.

Mr. Obama responded by distancing himself from this new birth of freedom. His responses: First, scandalous silence, then, a few grudging words; then, relentless engagement with the murderous regime. With offer after offer, gesture after gesture — to not Iran, but the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” as Mr. Obama ever so respectfully called these clerical fascists — the U.S. conferred legitimacy on a regime desperate to regain it.

Why is this so important? Because, revolutions succeed at that singular moment, that imperceptible historical inflection - when the people and particularly those in power, realize that the regime has lost the mandate of heaven. With this weakening dictatorship desperate for affirmation, why is the US repeatedly offering just ‘such affirmation?

We should be encouraging ‘and reinforcing the demonstrators. This is no trivial matter. When pursued, beaten, arrested and imprisoned, dissidents can succumb to feelings of despair and isolation. Natan Sharansky testifies to the electric effect Ronald Reagan’s Evil Empire speech had on lifting spirits in the Gulag. The news was spread cell to cell in code tapped on the walls. They knew they weren’t alone, that America was committed to their cause.

Yet so aloof has Mr. Obama been that on Hate America Day (Nov. 4, the anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran), pro-American counter-demonstrators chanted “Obama, Obama, you are either with us or ‘with them,” i.e., their oppressors Such cool indifference is more than a betrayal of our values. It’s a strategic blunder of the first order.

Forget about human rights. Assume you care only about the nuclear issue. How to defuse it? The only real hope is regime change. The revered and popular Ayatollah Montazeri had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons. And even if a successor government were to act otherwise, the nuclear threat’ would be highly attenuated because it’s not the weapon but the regime that creates the danger. (Think India or Britain, for example.) A non-aggressive pro-Western Tehran would completely change the strategic equation and make the threat minimal and manageable.

What should we do? Give the kind of covert support to assist dissident communication and circumvent censorship that, for example, we gave Solidarity in Poland during the 1980s. But of equal importance is robust rhetorical and diplomatic support from the very highest level: full-throated denunciation of the regime’s savagery and persecution. In detail, highlighting cases, the way Western leaders adopted the causes of Mr. Sharansky and Andrei Sakharov during the rise of the dissident movement that helped bring down the Soviet empire.

Will this revolution succeed? The odds are long but the reward immense. Its ripple effects would extend from Afghanistan to Iraq to Lebanon and Gaza where Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are arming for war. One way or the other, Iran will dominate 2010. Either there will be an Israeli attack or Iran will arrive at or cross the nuclear threshold - unless revolution intervenes. Which is why to fail to do everything in our power to support this popular revolution is unforgivable.

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