April 30, 2010

Generals Write to Obama on Israel

By Liran Kapoano

Additional Comments: "Israel as a Security Asset for the United States"

By Emanuel A. Winston
Freeman Center Middle East Analyst & Commentator

50 American Generals (ret.) who served their country as proud Americans speak out on America's positive and beneficial relations with Israel. They knew how Israel had assisted American via transfer of vital information, capturing enemy equipment on the field of war, providing and improving technology, penetrating Terrorist nations and their proxies.

As General George Keegan, Head of Air Force Intelligence, said: "Israel is worth 5 CIAs." But along comes President Barack Hussein Obama and his pro-Arab staff of advisors. They proceed to attack Israel in the court of public opinion and the working relationships with a key, staunch, dedicated ally who Obama is trying to destroy - with malice.

The Obama Coalition have virulently attacked the sovereign Nation/State of Israel over her reluctance to divide her Eternal Capital and the other lands won in defensive wars over to Palestinian Muslims whose Charter calls for the absolute elimination of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

How did Obama become Islam's Chief Spokesman - even for the worst of Terrorist nations for both Israel and America?

Who does Obama really belong to? And what is his true agenda?

Generals Write to Obama on Israel

By Liran Kapoano
Arutz Sheva 7

"Israel as a Security Asset for the United States"

(Israelnationalnews.com) 26 April 10 09:00

The next time someone tries to throw the non-sensical argument that sometimes Israel just needs some "tough love" to get it "back on track" or that treating the Jewish state like an immature child that needs be made to sit in the corner, is somehow beneficial to anyone -- tell them to go argue with these 50 retired admirals and generals.

They decided to do something in response to the recent ridiculous treatment Israel has gotten from the Obama administration. This group of about 50 retired United States generals and admirals put together the following letter urging him as well as Congress and the general American public to recognize how truly intertwined Israel's success is with America's.

Here is the unedited letter, directly from the officers:
Israel as a Security Asset for the United States

We, the undersigned, have traveled to Israel over the years with The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). We brought with us our decades of military experience and, following unrestricted access to Israel's civilian and military leaders, came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely. Israel is a democracy - a rare and precious commodity in the region - and Israel shares our commitment to freedom, personal liberty and rule of law.

Throughout our travels and our talks, the determination of Israelis to protect their country and to pursue a fair and workable peace with their neighbors was clearly articulated. Thus we view the current tension between the United States and Israel with dismay and grave concern that political differences may be allowed to outweigh our larger mutual interests.

As American defense professionals, we view events in the Middle East through the prism of American security interests.

The United States and Israel established security cooperation during the Cold War, and today the two countries face the common threat of terrorism by those who fear freedom and liberty. Historically close cooperation between the United States. and Israel at all levels including the IDF, military research and development, shared intelligence and bilateral military training exercises enhances the security of both countries. American police and law enforcement officials have reaped the benefit of close cooperation with Israeli professionals in the areas of domestic counter-terrorism practices and first response to terrorist attacks.

Israel and the United States are drawn together by shared values and shared threats to our well-being.

The proliferation of weapons and nuclear technology across the Middle East and Asia, and the ballistic missile technology to deliver systems across wide areas require cooperation in intelligence, technology and security policy. Terrorism, as well as the origins of financing, training and executing terrorist acts, need to be addressed multilaterally when possible. The dissemination of hatred and support of terrorism by violent extremists in the name of Islam, whether state or non-state actors, must be addressed as a threat to global peace.

In the Middle East, a volatile region so vital to U.S. interests, it would be foolish to disengage - or denigrate - an ally such as Israel.

Signed (so far):

Lieutenant General Mark Anderson, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Charles Beers, USN (ret.); General William Begert, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Stanley W. Bryant, USN (ret.); Lieutenant General Anthony Burshnick, USAF (ret.); Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan, USA (ret.); Admiral Leon Edney, USN (ret.); Brigadier General William F. Engel, USA (ret.); Major General Bobby Floyd, USAF (ret.); General John Foss, USA (ret.); Major General Paul Fratarangelo, USMC (ret.); Major General David Grange, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Tom Griffin, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Earl Hailston, USMC (ret.); Lieutenant General John Hall, USAF (ret.); General Alfred Hansen, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral James Hinkle, USN (ret.); General Hal Hornburg, USAF (ret.); Major General James T. Jackson, USA (ret.); Admiral Jerome Johnson, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Herb Kaler, USN (ret.); Vice Admiral Bernard Kauderer, USN (ret.); General William F. Kernan, USA (ret.); Major General Homer Long, USA (ret.); Major General Jarvis Lynch, USMC (ret.); General Robert Magnus, USMC (ret.); Lieutenant General Charles May, Jr., USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral Martin Mayer, USN (ret.); Major General James McCombs, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Fred McCorkle, USMC (ret.); Rear Admiral W. F. Merlin, USCG (ret.); Rear Admiral Mark Milliken, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Riley Mixson, USN (ret.); Major General William Moore, USA (ret.); Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, USMC (ret.); Major General Larry T. Northington, USAF (ret.); Lieutenant General Tad Oelstrom, USAF (ret.); Major General James D. Parker, USA (ret.); Vice Admiral J. T. Parker, USN (ret.); Major General Robert Patterson, USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral James Perkins, USN (ret.); Rear Admiral Brian Peterman, USCG (ret.); Lieutenant General Alan V. Rogers, USAF (ret.); Rear Admiral Richard Rybacki, USCG (ret.); General Crosbie Saint, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Norm Saunders, USCG (ret.); General Lawrence Skantze, USAF (ret.); Major General Sid Shachnow, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Jeremy Taylor, USN (ret.); Major General Larry Taylor, USMCR (ret.); Lieutenant General Lanny Trapp, USAF (ret.); Vice Admiral Jerry O. Tuttle, USN (ret.); General Louis Wagner, USA (ret.); Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson, USN (ret.); Lieutenant General Robert Winglass, USMC (ret.); Rear Admiral Guy Zeller, USN (ret.): from the American Thinker

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2010

A Desperately Needed Response to Islamic Extremism

An interview with Dr. Marvin Belsky

By Fern Sidman

The Jewish Press, April 23, 2010

The Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam, founded in May 2009, has held numerous political demonstrations, rallies and seminars aimed at bringing about a collective awareness of the perils of Islamic extremism. The Jewish Press sat down with Dr. Marvin Belsky, chairman of the board of HRCARI, to hear more about the goals and objectives of the group.

Sidman: How did HRCARI get started?
Belsky: Basically, HRCARl is a movement whose time has come. As radical Islam flourishes unabated, there are very few political organizations willing to take a,proactive stance in order to oppose it. Terrorism is on the rise and human rights abuses in Muslim countries are seldom featured in the news. The liberal establishment, the Western academy, and the media seem to be controlled by multicultural relativists who have become apologists for Islamic radicalism. We found that many people from many different backgrounds are seething with indignation about the deafening silence on this subject and have personally been adversely affected by such extremism. They wanted to do something about it, and as such HRCARI was born.

Sidman: You mention the anger of people from many different backgrounds. How reflective of that widespread anger is the membership of HRCARI? '
Belsky: Our organization is a rainbow coalition comprising a number of different groups including Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and even ex-Muslim dissidents. Our first official rally against radical
Islam was held in May 2009 in Times Square and featured members of families of 9/11 victims as well as activists who have been speaking and writing about this threat for years.

Sidman: What inspired you to become an activist?
Belsky: I am a retired medical doctor, an internist, and a Jew. I grew up in a family that was very concerned about the rise of fascism in Europe prior to World War II and the growth of the Nazi movement, so I learned from a young age that it is imperative to speak out against movements that can and will have catastrophic consequences. HRCARI seeks to publicize human-rights abuses that occur in Muslim countries.

Sidman: Can you give us a capsule summary of what's been going on?
Belsky: On January 19, HRCARI participated in a large demonstration outside the United Nations protesting the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt several weeks before. Egypt's small Christian population for many years now been relentlessly harassed and murdered by certain elements of the Muslim population. Over the years at least 22 Coptic priests have been murdered and it doesn't stop there. Murders of Christians and other "infidels" are common place in Muslim countries while— the world stands in abject silence.

Moreover, abuse of women of is rampant in Islamic culture as is evidenced in the alarming escalation of "honor murders" of women who are accused of transgressing Sharia law. Any woman who wishes to become more "Westernized," or to divorce her husband, or who has been raped, or who wishes to marry someone of her choice rather than someone her family selects is subjected to barbaric treatment, including murder. Not only does this take-place in every Muslim country, it has taken place throughout Europe and in North America. Western feminists who choose a politically correct posture and don't want to be viewed as racists remain silent while women's lives are hanging in the balance.

Hindus and Sikhs have also come in for abuse For hundreds of years, Muslims have engaged in heinous murders of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India and those who are not murdered are subjected to forced conversion to Islam. Such atrocities against Hindus include targeted attacks against their temples, open theft of Hindu property, and rape of young Hindu women. And we haven't even mentioned Israel's long, bloody experience with Islamic terror.

We are of course strongly supportive of Israel and stand with it in its battle against Muslim violence. Clearly, Jews have been subjected to the savagery of Islamic persecution for centuries. We have called upon the world to rise up in righteous indignation over the Iranian nuclear threat that will target Israel for destruction and have vociferously condemned heinous terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the PFLP, and other movements of that ilk.

At our rally in Times Square, a young Israeli man who survived an Islamic suicide bombing in Jerusalem told of other such attacks and how they have wreaked havoc on Israeli society. When Jews are wantonly murdered in their own country by their avowed enemies, it does not bode well for Jews around the world. While the international community consistently condemns Israel as an apartheid state, no one ever seems to raise a voice about how Jews are persona non grata in Muslim countries.

The facts cannot be disputed. Israel is a vibrant democracy that protects the rights of its Muslim citizens while Jews are afraid to walk in their own streets or ride their own buses. Media outlets like the New York Times, the bible of liberal activists, does not report the truth about Israel and, along with such groups as Human Rights Watch, in effect enables Islamists to be more effective. We work with an organization called Get Out The Facts which raises awareness among those who are apathetic or misinformed about Israel.

Sidman: Who are some of the other individuals and groups associated with HRCARI?
Belsky: Our board members include people like Dr.Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance; Andrew Upham, a noted attorney; and Satya Dosapati of the Hindu Human Rights Watch. We also work with celebrated author Dr. Andrew Bostom; Simon Deng, a freed former slave; Mohamed Yahya, leader of the Muslim Darfur group Damauoga; noted author and woman's rights advocate Dr. Phyllis Chesler; Rajinder Singh Khalsa and B. Singh Bhurji representing the Sikh community and Hindu Human Right leader Arish Sahani. Sahani.WeWe work with many Christian Zionist organizations and groups like americans for a Safe Israel, The David Project, Jewish Action Alliance, Jihad Watch, Mothers Against Terrorism, StandWithUs, and the Zionist Org. of America, among other organizations and individuals.

Congratulations to Dr. Marvin Belsky for this desperately needed, oft-times individual, initiative.

Jsk




Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2010

Obama’s Iran Pretense

By Stephen F. Hayes
Senior Writer and Fox News Panelist
Weekly Standard, April 26, 2010

Qn March 31, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed that the U.S. military had discovered a “significant shipment” of arms from Iran to Afghanistan. Responding to a question at a press conference in Kabul, Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, said he was disturbed by Iran’s increasing influence in Afghanistan. “I was advised last night about a significant shipment of weapons, you know, from Iran into Kandahar not too long ago, for example.” How significant was the shipment? “I was taken aback,” Mullen said.

Any shipment of arms from Iran to Afghanistan is worrisome. But the timing of this one, shortly before the surge fighting shifts to Kandahar this summer, is particularly troubling. Mullen added that the Iranians’ “desire to be influential is increasing.” Indeed. A week earlier, CNN reported that Iran was training Taliban fighters—in Iran. “We’ve known for some time that Iran has been a source for both materiel and trained fighters for Taliban elements in Afghanistan,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel Edward Sholtis.

Although the support from Iran is clearly growing, it is not new. Last fall, CBS reported that Iran had stepped up shipments of deadly EFPs (explosively formed penetrators) and armor-piercing bombs. “More worrying still,” the report continued, “U.S. intelligence believes Iran is supplying surface-to-air missiles to the Taliban—the very same weapon the United States supplied to the Afghan resistance to bring down the Russians.” The level of Iranian support for the Afghan insurgency does not yet match the crucial support Iran has provided to Shiite militias and Sunni militant groups in Iraq. And the insurgency in Afghanistan would exist with or without Iranian backing. But Iran’s aggressive and deadly activity in Afghanistan is growing, and its support for insurgents in Iraq continues.

Iran is the only nation that is actively supporting the forces fighting against the United States, in both places. This war—or proxy war—is not led by rogue elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard or military. It is directed by the Iranian government and approved at the highest levels. It is regime policy. This shouldn’t be surprising. Iran has been designated for years by the State Department as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. Tehran doesn’t hide its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. And it has long harbored senior al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden’s son.

All of which provokes two questions: Why doesn’t President Obama talk about Iran and terrorism? And why hasn’t this president, so quick to issue formal condemnations of Israeli apartment construction, ever once publicly rebuked Iran for arming and training those who are killing Americans?

Last week, world leaders gathered in Washington for a summit to address nuclear terrorism and proliferation. President Obama told them that nuclear terrorism is “one of the greatest threats to global security” Iran—an active sponsor of terror now racing toward nuclear weapons—should have dominated the agenda. It didn’t. In fact, the most serious discussion of Iran came at the closing press conference, when reporters asked why it had been overlooked.

Clearly, talking about Iran and terrorism complicates Obama’s diplomacy. Since the first moments of his administration the president has chosen to believe that the Iranian regime might voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons program. To a great extent, his approach depends on maintaining that assumption. It is hard to understand how Iran, in the context of its quiet war with the United States, will suddenly become a good faith negotiating partner on its nuclear program. And it becomes more difficult to pretend that the same Iranian leaders responsible for this aggression might willingly abandon a weapon that would instantly make their nation a regional superpower.

For the past two months, administration officials have told reporters (on background) that China and Russia will eventually support sanctions. And each time, a representative of the Russians or the Chinese downplayed the claim and raised questions about the effectiveness or the desirability of tough sanctions. Or both. And two weeks ago, when reporters from the New York Times tried to get Obama to embrace Hillary Clinton’s description of the sanctions his administration was pursuing as “crippling,” he balked.

So the Obama administration, after allowing the mullahs to miss deadline after deadline while it waited for some sign of compromise, is no longer even pushing for tough sanctions. And Iran, its centrifuges spinning, continues to supply those who target Americans with impunity. This is not going to end well.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2010

She told of their visiting “his home country in Kenya.”

Surrendering an ally is no strategy at all

By Wesley Pruden, Editor emeritus,
The Washington Times, April 19. 2010

Barack Obama has come up with an interesting strategy for dealing with the evildoers of the world. If you can’t beat 'em, join ‘em. Surrender your friends, if necessary. He wants to make Israel, our oldest and only reliable friend in the Middle East, the guinea pig to see whether the strategy works. What appeared to be a minor flap between old friends only a fortnight ago now looks like an exploitable opportunity for the man who learned about who’s evil in the world from a crazy Jew-baiting preacher in Chicago.

The public scolding of Israel and the warning that it must make nice with those determined to “wipe it off the map” are now revealed to be tactics in the plan to make the Middle East over in a way to please the Islamic radicals. The observant among us have seen this coming. America’s true friends — Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway and Poland in addition to Israel — have been getting the back of Mr. Obama’s hand from the day he took his oath. The commitment to constitutional government and the ancient traditions of intellectual freedom that make up the cultural heritage of the West have been snubbed when not ignored, the natural allies of America lectured to when not insulted


We are told that it is not nice, and maybe even racist, to notice that Michelle Obama, the elegant first lady who does so many things well, has cultivated her husband’s talent for strategic snobbery. She once conceded that she only became proud of America when her husband got to the brink of the Presidency, and in a remarkable video of a 2008 appearance that surfaced only this spring, she told of their visiting “his home country in Kenya.” Unless she was conceding that she, too, is a “birther,” she meant that Kenya is his ancestral and cultural home. This could explain a lot, and it certainly offers insights now into his determination to discard the Israelis in the affections of America and replace them with nations alien to the affections of most Americans. Why retain an emotional attachment to the sources of American law and literature when you could bow to the Saudi king and court the leaders of Iran, Syria and Venezuela?
Nothing would please the enemies and adversaries of America — the “outliers,” in the trendy term of the moment — like putting the Jews in their place.

Mr. Obama and some of his wise men, particularly in the State Department, which has traditionally looked for occasions to lend a hand to the Arab tormentors of Israel, now see their opportunity to impose a “settlement” of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Obama finally put his game in play last week when he told a press conference that resolving the conflict was “a vital national security interest of the United States.” Describing the conflict in these not-so-vague terms gives him the opportunity to prescribe any solution, however malignant or fanciful, just that way. The president, any president, must put the “vital national security interest” of the United States first and foremost.

Who could argue with that? Presidents before him, Democrat and Republican, have regarded Israel’s right to survive as unquestioned and inviolate, bound up with America’s own traditions of democratic government, and Mr. Obama continues to pay lip service to the American vow to defend Israel’s right to survive. But lip Service is not much defense against rockets gunfire end suicide bombs and the contempt of the despots of the world. Conflicts like the continuing small-bore war in the Middle East end up, the president says, costing US significantly in terms of both blood and treasure” Anyone can see where that argument goes.


This is on of a piece with the remarks of Gen- David Petraeus, the US. Commander in Iraq and Afghanistan to Congress that ‘the lack of progress in the Middle East creates a hostile environment for the United States. True enough, and the general’s frustration is understandable (and shared). Wars have I ways been dangerous places to be, which is exactly why we send soldiers to such places. If only the Germans had not been so hostile, the Americans and the British could have had a day at the beach D Day; Alas. hostile the environment was, and there was no picnic. But the civilizes world can be glad it never occurred to President Roosevelt to surrender France.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Czar in Action and your State is next!

Call or write your Congressman today

EPA water plan could cost billions, Florida says

By SUSAN SALISBURY
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The US. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed water regulations could cost Florida residents billions of dollars and result in the loss of more than 14,000 jobs, according to a report issued this week by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Florida agricultural producers are alarmed about the strict numeric standards the EPA is in the process of developing for the nutrient levels in the state’s lakes, streams and coastal areas. The agricultural community says the extremely low nutrient standards being proposed may be impossible to achieve and would put them out of business. The standards would apply only to Florida.
“There is no way Florida agriculture, including the $9 billion citrus industry can survive if the EPA actually follows through with their proposal. Of course we all want clean water, it is essential to our livelihood in agriculture, but we need to set reasonable goals,” said Michael Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual of Lakeland.

The study, conducted in conjunction with University of Florida economists, estimates that the total initial costs for Florida agriculture to implement the additional practices will range from $855 million to $3 billion. Recurring annual costs would be an estimated $271 million to 974 million. Lost revenues associated with land taken out of production to implement additional on-farm water treatment and retention practices are pegged at $631 million, the report said.

EPA officials could not be reached Friday, but the agency’s position is stated in a fact sheet on the issue. The proposed limits on the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus would (theoretically) improve water quality protect public health, aquatic life and the long-term recreational uses of Florida’s waters, which are a critical part of the state’s economy the agency said. During the past two months, the EPA has held six pubic meetings across Florida on the proposed regulations.

Charles Shinn, assistant director of government and community affairs, Florida Farm Bureau Federation in Vero Beach, said Friday “Any new regu1ations must be based on sound science that is peer reviewed. This is lacking with where the EPA is thus far.
U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (R) Tequesta, said Friday, “This report confirms what we have all feared. The economic ramifications of this proposed rule would .be devastating to our state. ... Now is not the time to punish Florida’s small businesses, workers and farmers with increased costs while they struggle to survive.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, has organized a bipartisan request from 20 members of Florida% Congressional delegation asking EPA to take more time and to involve a third-party scientific review.

Last month, EPA agreed to seek more public input and announced it would delay the implementation of some of the proposed rules until 2011. Comments on the proposed rules are due at the end of this month.

To read the report, go to wwwflcitrusmutual.com/industry-issues/water!numericnutiient.aspx.

susan_salisbury@pbpost.com

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2010

In a Nutshell – Astute Letter to the Editor from:

The Washington Times, April 19, 2010

Marxist

The commonality between the typical socialist economy and the Obama concept of “insurance” is expressed within the basic socialist creed: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. The historical figures responsible for the socialist concept are among the most ignorant, naïve, pseudo-philosophers of all time.

In the traditional concept of insurance, each participant voluntarily contributes a small portion of his income that the insurer holds in an interest bearing fund until such time as someone in the fund has an emergency that requires more than that person could normally accumulate through conventional savings.

There is no practical difference between compulsory insurance coverage and socialism. In both cases, the government decides who has the ability and who has the need and it looks like our current administration and Congress have decided that the people who have the ability are people who didn’t vote for them and those who have need are those who did.

Outside of the obvious immorality and unconstitutionality of this scheme, the biggest practical problem is that conservative peoples’ abilities are increasingly limited (in more and more cases by the government itself) while liberal peoples’ needs seem to be infinite.

(And, one cannot help but re-call Margaret Thatcher’s classic remark: “The only problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money,”) jsk

This health insurance scheme, not unlike socialism itself, has more in common with an organized crime protection racket than it does with a traditional model of insurance.

David Crawmer

North Greenbush, New York


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2010

Nuclear posturing, Obama-style - A slump in an insane direction

By Charles Krauthammer

Palm Beach Post, April 14, 2010

Nuclear doctrine consists of thinking the unthinkable. It involves making threats and promising retaliation that is cruel and destructive beyond imagining. But it has its purpose: to prevent war in the first place. During the Cold War, we let the Russians know that if they dared use their huge conventional military advantage and invaded Western Europe, they risked massive U.S. nuclear retaliation. Goodbye, Moscow.

Was this credible? Would we have done it? Who knows? No one’s ever been there. A nuclear posture is just that — a declaratory policy designed to make the other guy think twice. Our policies did. The result was called deterrence. For half a century it held. The Soviets never invaded. We never used nukes. That is why nuclear doctrine is important.

The Obama administration has just issued a new one that “includes significant changes to the U.S. nuclear posture,” said Defense Secretary Bob Gates. First among these involves the US response to being attacked with biological or chemical weapons. Under the old doctrine, supported by every president of both parties for decades, any aggressor ran the risk of a cataclysmic U.S. nuclear response that would leave the attacking nation a cinder and a memory.

Under President Obama’s new policy however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is “in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” explained Mr. Gates, then “the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten, to use nuclear weapons against it.”

Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is up-to-date with its latest IAEA inspections. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.) However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT non-compliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come. This is quite insane. Ws like saying that if a terrorist uses his car to mow down a hundred people waiting at a bus stop, the decision as to whether he gets (a) hanged or (b) 100 hours of community service hinges entirely on whether his car had passed emissions inspections.

Apart from being morally bizarre, the policy is strategically loopy. Does anyone believe that North Korea or Iran will be more persuaded to abjure nukes because they could then carry out a biological or chemical attack on the U.S. without fear of nuclear retaliation? The naiveté is stunning. Similarly, is the Obama pledge to forswear development of any new warheads and even to permit no replacement of aging components without the authorization of the president himself. This action is perpetrated under the theory that our moral example will move other countries to eschew nukes. To the contrary, the last quarter-century — the time of greatest superpower nuclear arms reduction— is precisely when Iran and North Korea went hell bent into the development of nuclear weapons.

It gets worse. The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review declares U.S. determination to “continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks.” The ultimate aim is to get to a blanket doctrine of no first use. This is deeply worrying to many small nations who, for half a century relied on the extended US nuclear umbrella. When smaller allies see the United States determined to move inexorably away from that posture — and for them it is not posture, but existential protection — what are they to think? Fend for yourself. Get your own WMDs. Do you imagine they are not thinking that in the Persian Gulf?

This administration seems to believe that by restricting retaliatory threats and by downplaying our reliance on nuclear weapons, it is discouraging proliferation. But the opposite is true. Seeing America retreat, they will rethink. And some will arm. There is no greater spur to hyper-proliferation than the furling of the American nuclear umbrella.

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


(Some believe Mr. Krauthammer is being extremely kind to Obama. Rather than calling his “posturing in an insane direction” a “slump” some consider it a deliberate move to weaken the US militarily, weaken our position as the predominant world power and hasten our descent into the level of third world, despotic, dependent nations that Obama embraces with such warmth. Whatever mentality drives Obama in this direction is beyond rational thought. Evidently, analysis will have to be left to the musings of the psychiatrists of the world - just as they have had to muse and disastrously too late, on the mentality of other destructive individuals that have cursed this Earth).

Jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2010

Another Obama Power Grab – The Environmental Protective Agency

(But, whom are they really protecting?) jsk

EPA’s Power Grab
The Washington Times, April 12, 2010

By Iain Murray

It’s a sure sign that a government agency has become over-mighty when it vastly increases its budget, grabs power unconstitutionally and treats Congress with contempt. All of this applies to the Environmental Protection Agency. Unless Congress acts quickly to curb the EPA’S power, it will become a huge drag on the economy.

Few bodies are more deserving of cutbacks now. This year, EPA’s budget (which had hovered at $7 billion to $8 billion since 1997) increased by 34 percent, to more than $10 billion for the first time ever. The budget increase does not translate into an upsurge in staffing level — which remains lower than its apex of more than 18,000 workers in 1999— but instead represents much more patronage in the form of grants to states.

This increased patronage comes at a time when the EPA is accruing much more power. It’s finding under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare goes way beyond the powers of the act. The agency has decided it has the power to:

• License California and other states to adopt non-federal fuel-economy standards within their borders.
• Act as co-equal (or even senior partner) with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in setting fuel-economy standards for the auto industry
• Establish climate and energy policy for the nation.
• “Tailor’ that is, amend, the Clean Air Act to avoid an administrative debacle of its own making.

As my colleague Mario Lewis has pointed out, in each of these cases, the EPA is ignoring the plain language of the statutes and, in some cases, the constitutional requirements of the Supremacy Court and separation of powers.The details of each of these actions are complicated, but the basic thrust of this four-step power grab is as follows:

By granting California the power to ignore federal fuel-economy standards, the EPA created a regulatory patchwork that imposes significant burdens on the auto industry. This led to the White House brokering a deal whereby the EPA muscles in on the NHTSAS statutory authority to regulate fuel-economy standards, something for which the EPA has no statutory authority.

The EPA claims this then compels it to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, thereby making it the effective arbiter of national climate policy — even as Congress debates what to do about the issue. Even the EPA seems to recognize the absurdity of the resulting regulations under the language of the Clean Air Act — which would lead to the EPA having to issue permits for fast-food franchises and large apartment buildings to emit greenhouse gases — so the agency took upon itself the power to tailor statutory language, thereby playing lawmaker, to avoid the regulatory debacle which it itself had put in motion.

Fortunately, some lawmakers have caught on to what the EPA is up to. Sen. Lisa Murkowski Alaska Republican, was so concerned that she wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking 13 simple questions about the proposed course of action. The reply she received was so evasive that it answered only two of the questions — and partially at that. Congress may soon get its first real opportunity to rein in this rogue agency.

Sometime between now and May 25, the Senate is expected to vote on Mrs. Murkowski’s Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval. This measure would veto the legal force and effect of EPA’s endangerment finding. The EPA’s nongovernmental allies are so worried about this resolution that they have engaged in a smear campaign, accusing Mrs. Murkowski and others of seeking to impose a “Dirty Air Act?’ She has not been intimidated, though, and her proposal is likely to come to a vote.

A rogue regulatory agency is like an oil tanker with sails. Once in motion, it takes a lot to stop it. Congress can take the wind out of the EPA’s sails through the Murkowski resolution of disapproval and a significant reduction in the agency’s budget.

On the other hand, if the EPA gets away with this power grab, we can expect further abuses of its authority in relation to the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Protection Act. If it gets its way, the agency’s $10 billion budget will look like chicken feed.

Iain Murray is vice president for strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2010

The new Marriage, Children and "Divorce American Style"!!

Redacted from Today's Highlights in THE PALM BEACH POST

APRIL 16, 2010

Part 1

Rocker Melissa Etheridge and her partner, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels Etheridge, have announced their separation. In a statement Thursday, they asked for "consideration and respect for our family as we go through this difficult period."

Part 2

The two held a "commitment ceremony" in Malibu,Calif., in 2003.

Part 3

Tammy Etheridge 35, gave birth to twins in 2006. The couple used an anonymous donor from a sperm bank.

Part 4

Melissa Etheridge, 48, shaes custody of daughter Bailey Jean and son Beckett with former partner Julie Cypher.

Part 5

Musician David Crosby was the sperm donor for the children, who were delivered by Cypher.

(I guess Cypher must be a gay obstetrician simplifying the whole endeaver?) jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2010

76 Senators and 333 Representatives rebuke Obama Administration

By Ben Smith

Politic.com April 13, 2010

More than three quarters of the U.S. Senate, including 38 Democrats, have signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implicitly rebuking the Obama Administration for its confrontational stance toward Israel. The letter, backed by the pro-Israel group AIPAC, now has the signatures of 76 Senators and says in part:

We recognize that our government and the Government of Israel will not always agree on particular issues in the peace process. But such differences are best resolved amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies. We must never forget the depth and breadth of our alliance and always do our utmost to reinforce a relationship that has benefited both nations for more than six decades.

A similar letter garnered 333 signatures in the House, and its support marks almost unified Republican support for Benjamin Netanyahu's government, along with strong, but more divided, public Democratic discomfort with Obama's policies in the region. Signatories include key Democrats like Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer, and Robert Menendez as well as all but four Republicans, with signers including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Scott Brown. Majority Whip Dick Durbin, however, did not sign; nor did Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and ranking member Richard Lugar.

The full Senate letter, circulated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Johnny Isakson, is here.
 
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We write to urge you to do everything possible to ensure that the recent tensions between the U.S. and Israeli administrations over the untimely announcement of future housing construction in East Jerusalem do not derail Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations or harm U.S.-Israel relations. In fact, we strongly believe that it is more important than ever for Israel and the Palestinians to enter into direct, face-to-face negotiations without preconditions on either side.

Despite your best efforts, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been frozen for over a year. Indeed, in a reversal of 16 years of policy, Palestinian leaders are refusing to enter into direct negotiations with Israel. Instead, they have put forward a growing list of unprecedented preconditions. By contrast, Israel's prime minister stated categorically that he is eager to begin unconditional peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Direct negotiations are in the interest of all parties involved - including the United States.

We also urge you to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together and to diligently work to defuse current tensions. The Israeli and U.S. governments will undoubtedly, at times, disagree over policy decisions. But disagreements should not adversely affect our mutual interests - including restarting the peace process between Israel and her neighbors and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

From the moment of Israel's creation, successive U.S. administrations have appreciated the special relationship between our two nations. Israel continues to be the one true democracy in the Middle East that brings stability to a region where it is in short supply. Whether fighting Soviet expansionism or the current threats from regional aggression and terrorism, Israel has been a consistent, reliable ally and friend and has helped to advance American interests. Similarly, by helping keep Israel strong, the United States has helped to reduce threats to Israel's security and advance the peace which successive Israeli governments have so avidly sought.

It is the very strength of our relationship that has made Arab-Israeli peace agreements possible, both because it convinced those who desired Israel's destruction to abandon any such hope and because it gave successive Israeli governments the confidence to take calculated risks for peace. As the Vice President said during his recent visit to Israel: "Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel." Steadfast American backing has helped lead to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

We recognize that our government and the Government of Israel will not always agree on particular issues in the peace process. But such differences are best resolved amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies. We must never forget the depth and breadth of our alliance and always do our utmost to reinforce a relationship that has benefited both nations for more than six decades.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer,United States Senator
Johnny Isakson, United States Senator

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2010

WHAT EXACTLY IS UNRWA (UNITED NATIONS RELIEF WORKS AGENCY)?

United States to Assist Palestinian Refugees
Office of the Spokesman, Washington, DC March 12, 2010

WHAT EXACTLY IS UNRWA – UNITED NATIONS RELIEF WORKS AGENCY?
From the Archives of Israel Commentary, March 29, 2008

A. United States to Assist Palestinian Refugees

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz welcomed Filippo Grandi, recently appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to Washington DC on March 11, 2010, and announced that the U.S. will make an additional planned contribution of $55 million to UNRWA.

The United States is UNRWA’s largest donor. The announced contribution of $55 million includes $30 million to UNRWA’s General Fund, which provides core services to Palestinian refugees across the region, and $25 million to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for the West Bank and Gaza. This additional funding will bring total U.S contributions to UNRWA thus far in Fiscal Year 2010 to $95 million. In 2009, the United States provided more than $267 million to UNRWA.

UNRWA provides emergency food assistance, critical health, education, job creation programs and humanitarian services to 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. Assistant Secretary Schwartz and Commissioner-General Grandi discussed UNRWA program requirements and the quantity and scope of essential materials entering Gaza.

Commissioner-General Grandi will also meet in Washington with Deputy Secretary of State Jacob J. Lew, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael H. Posner, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations Gerald C. Anderson.


B. WHAT EXACTLY IS UNRWA – UNITED NATIONS RELIEF WORKS AGENCY?

Barrier to Peace By Jonathan Spyer
Perspectives Papers No. 44, May 27, 2008

Executive Summary: The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) was created under the jurisdiction of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with the unique responsibility of solely aiding the Palestinian Arabs. Due to this special status, the UNRWA perpetuates, rather than resolves, the Palestinian refugee issue, and therefore serves as a major obstacle toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Like no other UN body, UNRWA’s definition of refugees includes not only the refugees themselves, but also their descendents. Moreover, refugees keep their status even if they have gained citizenship. UNRWA employs teachers affiliated with Hamas and allows the dissemination of Hamas messages in its schools. The Hamas coup in Gaza of July 2007 has resulted in a Hamas takeover of UNRWA facilities there. Therefore, UNRWA's activities require urgent action. The Agency should be dissolved and its services transferred to more appropriate administering organizations.

Background

Millions of refugees worldwide - over 130 million since the end of World War II - have come under the responsibility of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which aims to resettle and rehabilitate refugees. On December 8, 1949, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 302, establishing an agency dedicated solely to "direct relief and works 
programs" for the Palestinian Arab refugees - UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) - making it a unique body.

UNRWA exists in order to perpetuate, rather than to resolve, the Palestinian refugee issue. No Palestinian has ever lost his or her refugee status. There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, who are citizens of Jordan, for example. Yet, as far as UNRWA is concerned they are still refugees, eligible for aid. UNRWA, over the past 60 years, has transformed itself into a central vehicle for the perpetuation of the refugee problem, and into a major obstacle for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Problem of Definition of the word, Refugee.
When UNRWA first began counting refugees in 1948, it did so in a way without precedent - seeking to maximize the number of those defined as refugees. UNRWA counts every descendant of the original refugees as a refugee themselves - leading to an increase of 400 percent in the number since 1948. This was a politically motivated definition. Its implication was that either Palestinians would remain refugees forever or until the day that they returned in a triumph to a Palestinian Arab state that consisted of all Israel.


UNRWA admitted its figures were inflated in a 1998 Report of the 
Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for 
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (July 1997-30 June 1998). "UNRWA 
registration figures are based on information voluntarily supplied by 
refugees, primarily for the purpose of obtaining access to Agency services 
and hence cannot be considered statistically valid demographic data."

Fostering Conflict
In October 2004, then UNRWA Commissioner General Peter Hansen publicly admitted for the first time that Hamas members were on the UNWRA payroll, adding, "I don't see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant and we do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another." Consequently, taxpayers' money in countries where Hamas was legally defined as a terrorist organization, like the United States and Canada, was being illegally used to fund Hamas-controlled activities.

The increasing numbers of UNRWA teachers who openly identify with radical groups have created a teachers' bloc that ensures the election of members of Hamas and individuals committed to Islamist ideologies. Using classrooms as a place to spread their radical messages, these teachers have also gravitated to local Palestinian elections. Thus, UNRWA's education system has become a springboard for the political activities of Hamas.

Other notable Hamas graduates of the UNRWA education system include Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, the former Hamas chief.
UNRWA's budget has been supported by many countries of which the United States and Western countries have been the largest contributors. In 1990, UNRWA's annual budget was over $292 million, and by 2000, it had increased to $365 million.

Conclusion: The UN erred when it created a UN body devoted exclusively to one refugee population and with a modus operandi contradicting that of all other relief institutions. Four steps are required to bring the international approach to the Palestinian refugee issue in line with standard practice on similar situations.
First, UNRWA itself should be dissolved. Second, the services UNRWA currently provides should be transferred to other UN agencies, notably the UNHCR, which have a long experience with such programs. Third, responsibility for normal social services should be turned over to the Palestinian Authority. A large portion of the UNRWA staff should be 
transferred to that governmental authority. Fourth, donors should use the maximum amount of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.

Jonathan Spyer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global Research in 
International Affairs Center, IDC, Herzliya.


IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2010

The Incongruity of American Jewish Opinion

The data reported here are taken from the 2010 Annual Survey of American
Jewish Opinion, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
The 2010 survey was conducted for AJC by Synovate (formerly Market Facts), a leading research organization. Respondents were interviewed by telephone
between March 2 - March 23, 2010. The sample consisted of 800 self-identifying Jewish respondents selected from the Synovate consumer mail panel. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Data listed below from publication compiled by imra@netvision.net.il

Additional commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman

Date: April 11, 2010

In the survey American Jews answered as follows:

10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? "The goal of the
Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction
of Israel.‰" Agree 75 Disagree 20 Not Sure 5

If they already realize this - the rest of their answers obviously fail to correlate with this conclusion or "connect the dots" relative to the other questions in the survey. Then again - the Americans are not alone.  There are many Israelis who fail to connect the dots.

A. Obama Administration:

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job
as President? Approve 57% Disaprove 38% Not sure 6%

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling each of the following?

A. The economy: Approve 55 Disapprove 42 Not sure 3

B. Health care: Approve 50 Disapprove 48 Not sure 3

C. Homeland security Approve 62 Disapprove 33 Not sure 5

3. How would you characterize relations between Israel and the United States today? Are they very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative? Very positive 10, Somewhat positive 63 (?!), Somewhat negative   22 Very negative 4 Not sure 1

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of U.S.-Israel relations? Approve 55% (?!), Disaprove 37% Not sure 8%

(How could 55% of American Jews approve of Obama when he, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, et al, demand the relinquishing of virtually all of Judea and Samaria and won't even allow new housing in Jerusalem proper?) jsk

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the Netanyahu government's handling of
Israel-U.S. relations? Approve 57% Disaprove 30% Not sure 12%

6. As compared with one year ago, are you more optimistic about the chance
for a lasting peace between Israel and the Arabs, less optimistic, or do you
think the chance for a lasting peace is about the same as it was one year
ago? More optimistic 6 Less optimistic  22 Same as one year ago 72(?!) Not sure 1

7. In the current situation, do you favor or oppose the establishment of a
Palestinian state? Favor 48% Oppose 45% Not sure 7%

(How could anyone who believes the Arab ultimate goal is to destroy Israel, allow the Arabs the huge advantage, the huge leg up on the accomplishment of this goal by allowing them a PA state that will only become a hotbed for terrorism and Israel destruction?) jsk

8. In the framework of a permanent peace with the Palestinians, should
Israel be willing to compromise on the status of Jerusalem as a united city
under Israeli jurisdiction? Yes 35 No 61 Not Sure 4

(What "permanent peace" are they talking about - Have the Arabs made even one gesture suggesting that they are interested in a "permanent peace") jsk

9. As part of a permanent settlement with the Palestinians, should Israel be
willing to dismantle all, some, or none of the Jewish settlements in the
West Bank? All  8 Some  56 None  34 Not sure 2

(Again - "dismantle settlements" in order to help the Arabs in their ultimate goal?" Who are the 56% confused ones that agree to dismantle "some" settlements?) jsk

10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction
of Israel. Agree 75 Disagree 20 Not Sure 5

11. Do you think that Israel can or cannot achieve peace with a Hamas-led Palestinian government? Can 16 Cannot 80 Not Sure 4

(Nu? If 80% say peace with Hamas not possible, why allow a PA state or give up one inch of territory? Who do these Americans believe will govern this PA state?) jsk

12. Should the Palestinians be required or not be required to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a final peace agreement? Required 94 Not required 3 Not sure 1

(The weakness of those Jews that would even answer such an outrageous, brazen question is a source of painful embarrassment to me personally. We have to ask for the "recognition" by the Arabs or anyone else in this world after having been here for over 3000 years with our G-d and our Bible being the foundation of Western Civilization? How dare they such chutzpa and how stupid of us to even respond!) jsk

(The answers to most of the rest of the questions below simply further confirm the obvious inconsistency and lack of rational logic of the respondents. I can only wish good luck to the Israelis, the Jews and the rest of the world, that have to deal with such uninformed, obtuse and delusional views) jsk

D. International Issues

13. Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of
the Iran nuclear issue? Approve 47% Disaprove 42% Not sure 11%

14. How much of a chance do you think there is that a combination of
diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons?  Is
there a good chance, some chance, little chance, or no chance? Good chance 5
Some chance 27 Little chance 45 No chance 23 Not sure 1

15. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action
against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?
Support  53 Oppose 42 Not sure 4

16. Would you support or oppose Israel taking military action against Iran
to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons? Support 62 Oppose 33 Not sure 5

17. Barack Obama has approved the deployment of an additional 30,000 U.S.
troops in Afghanistan. Do you agree or disagree with this decision? Agree 62
Disagree 35 Not Sure 4

18. I would like you to rate your feelings towards some countries, with one
hundred meaning a very warm, favorable feeling, zero meaning a very cold,
unfavorable feeling, and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You
can use any number from zero to one hundred. How would you rate your
feelings toward . . . a. Russia 54 b. India 64 c. Venezuela 42 d. Jordan 47
e. Turkey 52 f. China 49 g. Egypt 49 h. United States 88 i. Saudi Arabia 34
j. Germany 57

E. Anti-Semitism

19. Do you think anti-Semitism in the United States is currently a very
serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?
Very serious problem 25 Somewhat of a problem 66 Not a problem at all 9
Not sure 0

20. Do you think anti-Semitism in Europe is currently a very serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all? Very serious problem 51
Somewhat of a problem 44 Not a problem at all 3 Not sure 2

21. Do you think anti-Semitism in the Muslim world is currently a very
serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?
Very serious problem 87 Somewhat of a problem 11 Not a problem at all 1
Not Sure 1

22. Looking ahead over the next several years, do you think that anti-Semitism around the world will increase greatly, increase somewhat, remain the same, decrease somewhat, or decrease greatly? Increase greatly 14 Increase somewhat 36 Remain the same 41 Decrease somewhat 7 Decrease greatly 1

F. Background Factors

23. In politics as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent? Republican 15 Democrat 50 Independent 32 Not sure 2

24. Do you think of yourself as . . .Orthodox 10 Conservative 24 Reconstructionist 2 Reform 26 Just Jewish 37 Not sure 1

25. How important would you say being Jewish is in your own life?
Very important 51 Fairly important 34 Not very important 15 Not sure 0

26. How close do you feel to Israel? Very close 30 Fairly close 44 Fairly distant 20 Very distant 5 Not sure 0

--------------------------------------------
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2010

Movie revises Bible and distorts history to malign Jews and Evangelical Christians

Shades of Mel Gibson and father.

Pro-Israel Christians Targeted by New Anti-Israel Movie

Israel National News
April 10 12:39

By Hillel Fendel
(Israelnationalnews.com)

A new evangelical film, “With God on Our Side,” is coming out this month in an attempt to persuade pro Israel Christians to champion the Palestinian cause.

Revising Theology:

Porter Speakman, the movie’s producer, has explained that it “takes a look at the theology of Christian Zionism, which teaches that… the Jews are G-d’s chosen people [and] have a divine right to the land of Israel… This film demonstrates that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn’t favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for both Jews and Palestinians.”

Speakman said that the film’s title was inspired by the incident in the Book of Joshua (5:13-14) in which Joshua asks an angel who appears at the battlefront, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” and the angel answers, “Neither. I am the commander of G-d’s army.” Speakman said, “We believe this verse is still true today, that G-d does not take sides with certain people groups, nations or agendas.” [INN: A close reading of the biblical text shows that  the angel did not say “neither.” His answer was “no”, as he was not there to fight as humans do. Two verses later, the angel clearly sides with the Israelites when he tells Joshua, “I have given Jericho and its king into your hand.”]

The film’s trailer claims, “Palestinian Christians lived here for centuries in this land.  Suddenly they meet Christian groups of people who say you are obstacles to the second coming of Jesus.  You need to move out to make room for the Jewish diaspora to come here.” Christian Arabs living in Israel have equal rights and complete freedom of religion. Those living in Palestinian Authority controlled areas lack basic rights and many have left for this reason.

Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, notes that “anti-Israel activists rightly see American evangelicals as key to U.S. support for Israel. That is why they are targeting evangelicals with messages of pro-Palestinian solidarity as supposedly central to Christian compassion.” Most of the millions of Evangelical Christians in the United States are staunch supporters of Israel politically.

Tooley explains that the film is an attempt to undermine Christian beliefs about modern-day Israel: “Here, of course, is the simplistic stereotype about pro-Israel evangelicals the film hopes to perpetuate. American evangelicals self-servingly only support Israel because a Jewish presence there is central to their bloody thirsty, apocalyptic dreams about the Second Coming.  The film soothingly implores evangelicals to consider a nicer path.”

The Message
Tooley writes that the film’s main message to evangelicals, is that the “Old Religious Right crassly imposed a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy based on its end-times theology, creating untold suffering among largely innocent Palestinians,” whereas “more thoughtful, more compassionate evangelicals” must instead stand with the Palestinians as “the victim group most needing Christian compassion.” Tooley calls this a “new mythology that the Evangelical Left hopes to perpetuate about the Middle East.”

The film interviews Ben White, an anti-Israel British journalist; Stephen Sizer, a Church of England priest and anti-Israel author who infamously has taken his message to Iran; Gary Burge, a professor at evangelical Wheaton College outside Chicago who is a critic of pro-Israel evangelicals; and Salim Munayer, a  professor at Bethlehem Bible College, which markets Palestinian Liberation Theology. Munayer says that American evangelicals must be more concerned about their self-image. “You need  to understand how American Christians have been perceived by Middle Easterners,” Tooley quotes him as saying. “We stand for wars, we want to be richer, we don’t care for the poor, we want only our interests, we stand for moral values that stand for our desires.  We stand for power and not stand for peace.” 

Tooley sums up:

“[The movie] ‘With God on Our Side’ wants increased U.S. pressure on Israel to accommodate Palestinian demands, facilitated by reduced U.S. evangelical support for Israel.  And the ultimate goal is what?  A Palestinian state based on the unstable 1967 borders and ruled by Islamists like Hamas or kleptocratic secularists like Fatah?  Or is it to dismantle Israel altogether in favor of a single nation, where an unrestricted ‘right of return’ for Palestinians leads to a collapse of Jewish democracy?  How are the dwindling numbers of Palestinian Christians faring under Palestinian rule now, and how would they fare under a victorious new, Islamic-dominated Palestinian state?

“Mostly, the Evangelical Left would prefer not to answer these questions, instead preferring guilt trips about supposed evangelical and American imperialist sins, and fantasies about a newly liberated and Christian friendly ‘Palestine.’   Fortunately, most evangelicals will remain un-persuaded, despite the saccharine appeal of a film like..[this one].’”

© Copyright IsraelNationalNews.com

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2010

Obama only blows smoke and Iran unimpressed

Iran: Obama Pours Fuel On The Fire

by Michael Rubin April 8, 2010

Containment and deterrence are both easier said than done. To treat containment or deterrence simply as a rhetorical alternative to military action without making the preparations to conduct military strikes is not only irresponsible, but can also encourage Iranian aggression.

Any containment against a nuclear Iran would require more than a single battle group or air base. The United States and its allies would have to ring Iran with bases and pre-positioned military equipment. The cost involved would be tens of billions of dollars. While Obama and his surrogates are willing to talk about containment, the president appears unwilling to acknowledge the necessity to back up engagement with force. And yet, the history of containment shows that adversaries always test resolve. Should the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear weapons, it may feel itself immune from the consequences of the actions of its conventional, irregular, or proxy forces. Should Obama ignore violations of U.S. redlines, it would embolden Iranian aggression. Under such circumstances, military action would become not a possibility, but a probability.

What then about deterrence? Successful nuclear deterrence requires that the Iranian leadership prioritizes the lives of Iranian citizens above its geopolitical or ideological goals, and that the White House is willing to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians should authorities in Tehran or their proxies ever use nuclear weapons. The president, however, is not. During his campaign for president, Obama criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton for declaring that the United States could "obliterate" Iran should the Islamic Republic use nuclear weapons. After such a reaction, neither the Supreme Leader nor any of his senior advisors believes Obama willing to pull the retaliatory trigger.

Still, realists suggest that Mutually Assured Destruction worked. They should reread history. Deterrence almost broke down on several occasions, bringing the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war: The Berlin crisis, Cuban missile crisis, and Korean Air 007 shoot down each nearly escalated beyond control. Simply put, the world got lucky, and that was with only two main nuclear powers: Any Iranian bomb would trigger a cascade of proliferation that would lead to half a dozen if not more nuclear Middle Eastern states.

Blame for Washington’s inability to stymie Iran’s nuclear progress should be bipartisan. The Clinton administration failed to recognize that the Islamic Republic’s lofty rhetoric of a dialogue of civilizations was cover for its drive to attain nuclear weapons capability. Tehran seized upon the incoherence of Bush administration policy to further develop capability. It did not take Iranian analysts long—usually no longer than the next interview with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage or Undersecretary of State Bill Burns—to conclude Bush’s rhetoric to be empty. Barack Obama entered office determined to engage, only to have his efforts encourage Iranian defiance rather than retard it.

Rather than gear strategy to prevent the Islamic Republic’s nuclear advancement, the Obama administration appears instead to acquiesce to contain or deter and Iranian bomb. Both former CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, argue that the United States can contain or deter a nuclear Iran. On July 21, 2008, for example, Abizaid said, "I don't believe Iran is a suicide state… Deterrence will work with Iran."

Failure to acknowledge the cost of containment suggests either a lack of White House seriousness if not incompetence. Operation Ernest Will, the Reagan administration’s reflagging of Kuwaiti tankers, lasted slightly over a year, and involved a relatively minor deployment to the Persian Gulf of an aircraft carrier, four destroyers, a guided missile cruiser, three frigates, and several smaller boats. The Pentagon has never acknowledged a price tag, but the operation easily cost several hundred million dollars. On the first day of operation, the reflagged supertanker Bridgeton hit a mine, the first of four mine strikes that month. After a mine crippled the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts, the Pentagon launched Operation Praying Mantis in which U.S. forces struck Iranian oil platforms. This hints at another aspect of containment: The strategy only works if Washington is ready to resort to kinetic action to support it. Reagan was.

George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton faced a similar dilemma when containing Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi leader’s unwillingness to abide by Security Council Resolutions sparked the creation of a no-fly zone above the 36th parallel in Iraq. The U.S. Air Force patrolled and defended this zone for over a decade at the cost of several billion dollars. When Saddam tested U.S. resolve, Clinton did not hesitate to order strikes on Iraqi targets.

And, while an ideological clash drove the Cold War, neither Moscow nor Washington believed the other side to be suicidal. The Islamic Republic ascribes to a value set far different than our own. Iranians may not be suicidal, but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who would have custody over Iran’s nuclear program may be far more willing to absorb mass death. As dangerous, should the regime collapse because of its own internal fissures, Revolutionary Guardsmen—their backs against the wall and only a day away from a firing squad—may feel they can launch a first strike without consequence, for no Western government would retaliate against Iran after it had already undergone regime change.

It may be comforting to believe that the United States can contain or deter Tehran’s worst ambitions but, absent any preparation to do so, the White House instead emboldens the Islamic Republic. It is trendy to talk about oil as the cause of war in the Middle East or, perhaps, a future water shortage. In reality, every war in the Middle East has as a common variable the aggressor’s overconfidence. Under such circumstances, therefore, it is curious that by his obsequiousness and by treating containment and deterrence more as rhetorical than expensive military strategies, Obama is willing to pour fuel on the fire.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2010

An Exercise in US and Israeli Self-Destruction

America's Shiny New Palestinian Militia

by Daniel Pipes

National Review Online;March 16, 2010

"The stupidest program the U.S. government has ever undertaken" – last year that's what I called American efforts to improve the Palestinian Authority (PA) military force. Slightly hyperbolic, yes, but the description fits because those efforts enhance the fightingpower of enemies of the United States and its Israeli ally. First, a primer about the program, drawing on a recent Center of Near East Policy Research study By David Bedein and Arlene Kushner

Shortly after Yasir Arafat died in late 2004, the U.S. government established the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator to reform, recruit, train, and equip the PA militia (called the National Security Forces or Quwwat al-Amn al-Watani) and make them politically accountable. For nearly all of its existence, the office has been headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. Since 2007, American taxpayers have funded it to the tune of US$100 million a year. Many agencies of the U.S. government have been involved in the program, including the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Secret Service, and branches of the military.

The PA militia has in total about 30,000 troops, of which four battalions comprising 2,100 troops have passed scrutiny for lack of criminal or terrorist ties and undergone 1,400 hours of training at an American facility in Jordan. There they study subjects ranging from small-unit tactics and crime-scene investigations to first aid and human rights law.

With Israeli permission, these troops have deployed in areas of Hebron, Jenin, and Nablus. So far, this experiment has gone well, prompting widespread praise. Senator John Kerry(Democrat of Massachusetts) calls the program "extremely encouraging" and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times discerns in the U.S.-trained troops a possible "Palestinian peace partner for Israel" taking shape.

Looking ahead, however, I predict that those troops will more likely be a war partner than a peace partner for Israel. Consider the troops' likely role in several scenarios:

No Palestinian state: Dayton proudly calls the U.S.-trained forces "founders of a Palestinian state," a polity he expects to come into existence by 2011. What if – as has happened often before – the Palestinian state does not emerge on schedule? Dayton himself warns of "big risks," presumably meaning that his freshly-minted troops would start directing their firepower against Israel.

Palestinian state: The PA has never wavered in its goal of eliminating Israel, as the briefest glance at documentation collected by Palestinian Media Watch makes evident. Should the PA achieve statehood, it will certainly pursue its historic goal – only now equipped with a shiny new American-trained soldiery and arsenal.

The PA defeats Hamas: For the same reason, in the unlikely event that the PA prevails over Hamas, its Gaza-based Islamist rival, it will by incorporate Hamas troops into its own militia and then order the combined troops to attack Israel. The rival organizations may differ in outlook, methods, and personnel, but they share the overarching goal of eliminating Israel.

Hamas defeats the PA: Should the PA succumb to Hamas, will absorb at least some of "Dayton's men" into its own militia and deploy them in the effort to eliminate the Jewish state.

Hamas and PA cooperate: Even as Dayton imagines he is preparing a militia to fight Hamas, the PA leadership participates in Egyptian-sponsored talks with Hamas about power sharing – raising the specter that the U.S. trained forces and Hamas will coordinate attacks on Israel.

The law of unintended consequences provides one temporary consolation: As Washington sponsors the PA forces and Tehran sponsors those of Hamas, Palestinian forces are more ideologically driven, perhaps weakening their overall ability to damage Israel.

Admittedly, Dayton's men are behaving themselves at present. But whatever the future brings – state, no state, Hamas defeats the PA, the PA defeats Hamas, or the two cooperate – these militiamen will eventually turn their guns against Israel. When that happens, Dayton and the geniuses idealistically building the forces of Israel's enemy will likely shrug and say, "No one could have foreseen this outcome."

Not so: Some of us foresee it and are warning against it. More deeply, some of us understand that the 1993 Oslo process did not end the Palestinian leadership's drive to eliminate Israel. The Dayton mission needs to be stopped before it does more harm. Congress should immediately cut all funding for the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator.

Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.


DanielPipes.org

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2010

Wrong - The Postulate that the Arabs will Over-whelm the Israelis with Babies.

The Case For Demographic Optimism

By Yoram Ettinger

The New York Jewish Week

The all time record of daily Jewish births at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, set on September 21, 2009, reflects the substantial rise in Israel's Jewish fertility. Delivery rooms function at 100% capacity. Anyone claiming that Jews are doomed to become a minority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean is either dramatically mistaken or outrageously misleading. An audit of Palestinian and Israeli documentation of births, deaths, school and voter registration and migration certifies a solid 67% Jewish majority over 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River (without Gaza), compared with a 33% and an 8% Jewish minority in 1947 and 1900, respectively, west of the Jordan River.

The audit exposes a 66% distortion in the current number of Judea & Samaria Arabs - 1.55 million and not 2.5 million, as claimed by the Palestinian Authority. In 2006, the World Bank exposed a 32% bend in the number of Palestinian births. Inflated numbers have provided the Palestinians with inflated international foreign aid and inflated water supply by Israel. It has also afflicted Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders with fatalism and erroneous demographic assumptions, which have impacted Israel's national security policy.

Refuting demographic fatalism, the robust growth of Israel's Jewish fertility (number of births per woman) has been sustained during the last 15 years, while Arab fertility and population growth rate (birth, death and migration rates) experiences a sharp dive. The number of Jewish births during the first half of 2009 accounted for 76% of all births, compared with 75% in 2008 and 69% in 1995. Unlike all other developed societies, the number of annual Jewish births has grown by 45% from 1995 (80,400) to 2008 (117,000), while the annual number of "Green Line" Arab births has stabilized around 39,000.

The secular, rather than the religious, sector has been chiefly responsible for the Jewish growth. For example, the Olim (immigrants) from the USSR arrived to Israel with a typical Russian fertility rate of one birth per woman; today, those women are giving birth to two to three children, the typical secular Israeli Jewish rate. Moreover, the Arab-Jewish fertility gap shrunk from 6 births per woman in 1969 to 0.7 births in 2008 (3.5:2.8), converging toward 3 births.

Arab fertility rate in Judea & Samaria declines rapidly (toward 3.5 births), as has been the case in all Muslim countries except Afghanistan and Yemen: Jordan (twin-sister of Judea & Samaria)) – 3, Syria – 3.5, Egypt – 2.5, Saudi Arabia – 4, Algeria – 1.8 and Iran – 1.7 births per woman.
The swift decline in "Green Line" Arab fertility rate reflects the impressive Arab integration into Israel's infrastructure of employment, education, health, trade, finance, politics, sports and culture.

The sharp decrease in Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate is the outcome of modernity. A 70% rural majority in 1967 has been transformed into a 70% urban majority in 2009, burdened by civil war, terrorism and severe unemployment. Elementary and higher education have expanded dramatically, especially among women. Median wedding age and divorce rate are at an all time high. In addition, Judea & Samaria Arabs have experienced a high emigration rate since 1950, further eroding population growth rate.

The current 67% Jewish majority west of the Jordan River (without Gaza) could expand to 80% by 2035, leveraging the aforementioned Jewish demographic tailwind and the potential Aliya resulting from the global economic meltdown and the rise in anti-Semitism (e.g. half a million Olim during the next ten years from the former USSR).

Baseless demographic fatalism has played a key role in shaping Israel’s state of mind and national security policy. It has eroded the level of confidence in the future of the Jewish State. However, well-documented demographic optimism now confirms that there is no demographic machete at the throat of the Jewish State, that demographic scare tactics are hollow and that Israel's challenge is not a "demographic time bomb," but rather a demographic "scare crow."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2010

A Cure for Why They Hate Us?

Why Do They Hate Jews?
A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad

By ROBERT S. WISTRICH

Random House, 1,200 pages

Review by WILFRED M. McClay
COMMENTARY, MARCH 2010

PS (I started to redact this review but, it is too good and well worth reading all 1900 words) jsk

FOLLOWING the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath from the safety of a southern college campus, far removed from the scenes of devastation unfolding in New York and Washington, I noticed something interesting in the public responses of some of my colleagues. On the electronic bulletin board set up for the use of faculty and staff, there were the expected messages of shock, horror, grief, and the like, along with a powerful sense of solidarity with suffering New Yorkers and a generous desire to help. But there seemed to be a tacit prohibition against directing anger at the perpetrators of this massacre, even when their identity and motives had been ascertained, On the contrary; one heard the plaintive cry ‘Why do they hate us?” and one saw an inordinate anxiety about the incident possibly causing a violent backlash among the American people, leading to harassment and hate crimes directed at individual Muslims.

Such a reaction suggested a very peculiar set of priorities, the unhealthy reflexes of a politically correct academic culture. How could such a barbarous attack on civilian targets and defenseless civilians not give rise to unbridled rage? How could it so quickly become an occasion for self-absorbed soul-searching and moral preening?

Such questions become more troubling when one considers that Muslims were not, and are not, targets of hate crimes in America, not in anything like the numbers and proportions of Jews—the group that happened to be one of the ultimate targets of the 9/11 jihadists. Indeed, recent FBI hate-crime statistics indicate that Jews outstrip Muslims by a factor of as much as nine to one and exceed in all other such categories combined.

I relate this small story because it exemplifies, one of the large patterns illuminated by A lethal Obsession, Robert S. Wistrich’s massive and utterly compelling study of anti-Semitism: the recurrent historical tendency toward inversion, in which transgressions by sworn enemies of the Jews are minimized or explained away, while the Jews (and their friends, the Americans) are accused of inflicting upon others the very offenses they have themselves suffered, and doing so disproportionately.

Hence the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, itself a product of an anti-Semitic conspiracy, comes to be seen as the grounding document for a worldwide Jewish conspiracy of world domination. Hence, the perversion of Holocaust rhetoric, in which Jews are seen as Nazis and racists, and Palestinians become the genuine victims of genocide and apartheid. Hence, the refusal to condemn the violently anti-Semitic discourse sweeping across the Muslim world, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s unvarnished Holocaust denial and eliminationist boasting, none of which leaves room for ambiguity—and all of which is presented in thorough and numbing detail in this book.

And as my story suggests, this way of thinking can insinuate itself even into the imaginations of good and decent people, who come to internalize notions of propriety in a way that causes them to misperceive even obvious things. Monumental, encyclopedic, definitive, comprehensive, deeply researched, cogently argued,

A Lethal Obsession is all these things. Impressively broad in scope and yet painstakingly detailed throughout, it will almost certainly be the standard historical account of the subject for years to come. Starting with the earliest stirrings of anti-Semitism in antiquity, Wistrich traces its development from its entrenched status in early Christian civilization, particularly in the Judeophobic charge of “deicide’ through its secularization in the 19th century in the racial doctrines of Richard Wagner and the anti-capitalist ones of Karl Marx, which mythologized “the Jew” as a demonic external source of evil.

This newly ideological anti-Semitism reached its logical apex in Nazism and Stalinism and then moved on without interruption into the postwar era, when the creation of the State of Israel supplied a new target for old passions and the locus of anti-Semitism passed to the Muslim world. Despite the book’s historical detail, it also is remarkably current, bringing us up to the moment and concluding with a detailed examination of the existential struggle with Islamic jihadism and the messianic and apocalyptic worldview of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

There is no doubt that Wistrich means his book not only as a scholarly account of the past but also as a clarion call to the present, at a time of potentially cataclysmic peril. It is hard to see how it could be otherwise with such a subject- “The lethal triad of anti-Semitism, terror, and jihad,” he writes, “is capable of unleashing potentially universal conflagration,” and so there is a “need for more resolute preventive action.”

Although the relentlessly irrational quality of anti-Semitism makes it an irresistible target for elaborate psychological theories, Wistrich largely and wisely steers clear of that quagmire, preferring to rest his arguments as much as possible on harder data, namely the verifiable words and behavior of persons and movements. The chief burden of his account, aside from its desire to be comprehensive and informative, is to demonstrate the remarkable persistence and essential continuity of anti-Semitism, from earliest times to the present.

In particular, he offers a persuasive argument for the use of terms like “Islamofascism” to describe present-day jihadist ideology and political practice as more than just a shorthand way of pointing to surface similarities. Far from being a fanciful term of vague disparagement linking incongruous things, Islamofascism points to effective lines of historical transmission and influence, real points of political contact and intellectual affinity; such as in Hitler’s extensive exchanges with Haj Amin, the multi of Jerusalem—in short, a living tradition.

“Hitlerism,” Wistrich writes, “did not really die in April 1945, nor, unfortunately, was Auschwitz truly ‘liberated?” The Holocaust did not end anti-Semitism; worse yet, it did not even discredit anti-Semitism in the eyes of much of the world. In the eyes of many in the jihadist archipelago, it is seen as a torch passed, a task to be completed. An influential essay by Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual father of today’s jihadism, is called Our Struggle with the Jews, a direct echo of Hitler’s Mein Kampf (in English, My Struggle).

The thousand pages of A Lethal Obsession present variations on a single theme - an extended testimony to the seemingly endless parade of delusions and hallucinations about the demonic and corrupting omnipresence of Jews. These are assertions obviously comical if they did not have such a murderous history associated with them, and if they did not promise consequences still worse in the years ahead. Still, Wistrich knows better than to seek an overly schematic and unified theory of anti-Semitism or to make a mechanical Luther-to-Hitler-style argument about its origins and trajectory. The historian is acutely sensitive to the variable effects of particular contexts, and anti-Semitism -- like an ever-mutating strain of a powerful infectious disease, is opportunistic and can adapt itself easily and go in many different guises while remaining recognizably the same thing.

The Zionist dream, that anti-Semitism would disappear once Jews gathered in their own land, was futile. For anti-Semitism’s “practitioners,” writes Wistrich, “have usually known how to link ‘the Jewish question’” with other causes, such as capitalism, Communism, globalization, and the like—really, any unsettling or threatening development on the political or social horizon, since “the Jew” can so easily be made to stand for “all the disorienting transformations of modernity?’ (Or even, if need be, for irrational and hidebound resistance to modernity.)

A key example of this mutability is the ever tighter-linkage of anti-Semitism to anti-Americanism in the postwar era. This is not, Wistrich insists, merely a post-1967 development, stemming from American support of Israel in the Six-Day War and its aftermath. The two anti-ideologies have a clear affinity. In the Weimar years, German writers connected them, portraying the United States as a thinly concealed Judenstaat whose policies, such as those behind the punitive Versailles treaty, were believed to be driven by Jewish advisers such as Bernard Baruch and Henry Morgenthau.

Hitler despised the “mongrel” culture of the United States, and Martin Heidegger saw America as “a demonic invasive force appropriating the soul of Europe and sapping it of strength, spirit, and creativity.” The “rapacity” of Wall Street came to stand for the peril of Americanismus, pushed forward by Jewish speculators bent on world domination.

So the stage was well set But there can be little doubt that with the establishment of Israel, and the growing convergence of interests between the two states, the yoking and even equation of the two anti-ideologies, in Europe as well as the Middle East, have become ever more pervasive. Both the United States and Israel are disparaged as rogue states, heedless of international law and multilateral organizations. The same organizations that disparage Zionism as racism, is another classic example of inversion. Both symbolize a multitude of threats, ranging from globalization to Judeo-Christian religious fundamentalism to neo-liberal economic exploitation and cultural arrogance.

As one European writer puts it, America is “an anti-Semitic fantasy come true, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in living color,” where all the organs of power are in Jewish hands. From this view, it seems plausible that, having captured the American superpower, “Jews, qua Israelis, finally do rule the world. Contrariwise, Israel serves as a pawn of the United States, or in the words of the British newspaper columnist Polly Toynbee “Ugly Israel is the Middle East representative of ugly America.”

What this analysis suggests is that the two peoples and two nations have come to be inextricably bonded, not only in their own eyes but also in the eyes of their enemies. There is no effective way now for either party to distance itself from the other for long, and as President Obama is finding out, nothing good is likely to come of the effort, since the minds of Israel’s enemies are never changed by adjustments in the margins or unrequited capitulations. A distancing is not only profoundly undesirable, not to say profoundly dishonorable, it is simply impossible now that anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are seen in so many circles as two names for the same thing.

Wistrich’s book leaves us, then, with a sense of keen and immediate peril and without any false hopes that honeyed words or extended hands on the part of would-be magical leaders will make much difference in the short run -except in causing us to let down our guard in ways we will regret. History is a better guide, and hope must be grounded in the bitter truth. Anti-Semitism’s extraordinarily long history and extraordinary tenacity, which is in part a function of its extreme irrationality, demands that it be viewed not as a problem to be solved let alone a mystery to be decoded and understood, but as a condition to be fought. Moreover, fought as if it were as permanent and as impervious as a force of nature, with no final victories against it to be had, only the hope of driving it back into mere latency. Given anti-Semitism’s frightening ubiquity and rising influence in the world we inhabit, including its increasingly mainstream status in much of the Middle East, the warning comes not a moment too soon. Perhaps it can find its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and quickly.

WILFRED M. MCCLAY is the Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)