June 30, 2010

Conservatives decry Obama’s pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender moves.

By Cheryl Wetzstein

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
June 28, 2010

As the Obama administration hustles to fulfill President Obama's campaign promises to create equality for “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans” conservative groups are crying foul.

Last week, the Department of Labor announced that the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will now allow employees other than parents to take unpaid leave to care for a child. This specifically includes same-sex partners who are adopting or raising a child together. The EMLA change was part of the "Blueprint for Positive Change " - a series of pro-homosexual policy actions that could be done without Congressional action, said the Human Rights Campaign. HRC worked with Department of Labor staff to move this important change forward, it added.

Other pro-homosexual moves by the administration include advising hospitals to allow homosexual men and lesbians to freely visit their partners when they are patients, and reopening the discussion about changing the Food and Drug Administration's blood-donor policy to allow homosexual men blood if they have been sexually abstinent for a certain period of time.

At a recent dinner held at the White House in honor of Gay Pride Month, Mr. Obama said he was "pushing hard to pass a bill outlawing work place discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that he has already "issued an executive order to extend as many benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees as possible under current law."

Two more changes are in the works, too, the president added. "Because I believe that committed gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. I have called for Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act," Mr. Obama said. "And finally, we're going to end don't ask, don't tell military policy. We have never been closer to ending this discriminatory policy, and I'm going to keep on fighting until that bill is on my desk and I can sign it."

Traditional Values Coalition leader Andrea Lafferty chided the president for hosting the gay pride event when he had "no time" to host the National Day of Prayer event in May. She also faulted Mr. Obama for talking about families with
"two fathers" in his Father's Day proclamation. "He’s far more interested in pushing the agenda of cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals and homosexuals than upholding traditional marriage and the mother-and-father families," she wrote on her blog. "Obama fishes for rainbow clout" said the Family Research Council, another conservative stalwart.

"I would say there's an unprecedented onslaught of harmful legislation here in Washington," said FRC President Tony Perkins in his "Washington Watch Weekly" radio show. It's "anti-faith and anti-family" he said. Opening the FMLA to homosexual parents is "a huge leap" because it affects private employers, too, said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at FRC. But employment "nondiscrimination" is a core part of a 40-year-old homosexual rights agenda, he wrote in his new booklet, "The the Ten Myths about Homosexuality."

The Obama administration has fulfilled a few other items on its agenda Mr. Obama has already enacted a law making it a federal crime to assault some
one for their sexual orientation or gender identity, and lifted a ban on using HIV/AIDS funding to run "needle-exchange" programs for drug users. But the administration has some other unfinished business, such as repealing "don't ask, don't tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act, and extending adoption rights to homosexual couples.

Special interest groups have a request or two, too. This month, the Center for American Progress released a report on "gay and transgender" homeless youth. They have asked that Mr. Obama write and executive order to identify these youth as a special needs population. and the Congress to allocate 3 million to fund programs for them.

(Do you really want to vote for Obama and his pro-gay, pro-lesbian, pro-bisexual and pro-transgender agenda? Have you not considered that this is just another arrow in Obama’s bow to destroy the very fabric of this great country.)
jsk

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:44 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2010

Explaining "Cap and Trade" and its Projected Results

Senate Energy Proposal all Pain, no Gain

From: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)

June 21, 2010

Robert Bradley, Jr., head of the Institute for Energy Research, has it right: The policies contained in the so-called "American Power Act," the 987-page Kerry-Lieberman energy bill, are a paean to "postmodernism," another anti-Enlightenment worldview that claims there is no external reality to which our beliefs should conform. Bradley compares Sen. John Kerry's assertions that "we're trying to keep it simple" to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling telling the world after the Enron collapse that "Enron was a great company."

CFACT advisor Bonner Cohen explains that some of the proposals in Kerry-Lieberman were drafted to favor big companies - including BP, General Electric, and Goldman Sachs - which would benefit from the allowance trading scheme that none now dare call "cap and trade" but which would impose huge costs on US energy consumers.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Senate initiative still pursues a cap and tax approach, but with new and larger subsidies, outright corporate bribes, and much political palm-greasing. Like Waxman-Markey, the Kerry-Lieberman cap and tax policy sets targets to lower CO2 emissions from 2005 levels of 17% by 2020 and 83% by 2050.

According to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, reductions this drastic legislation would lead to a net loss of 3.6 million US jobs and a net increase of 48% in electricity costs. Moreover, there is also a system of "linked fees" for transportation fuels that amounts to a huge gas tax that would devastate farmers, families, large and small businesses, and rural Americans who drive long distances.

As Bradley explains, Enron applied a postmodern attitude to its money-losing investments in solar power,wind power, and energy efficiency services. Gaming the regulations and fleecing taxpayers were justified in the name of being "progressive" and "green" and preaching "corporate social responsibility."

Similarly, the policies contained in Kerry-Lieberman promise to wreak havoc on the US economy while doing literally nothing to make the world a better, or cleaner, place to live. But its authors appear comfortable justifying their back-room deals as a necessary price to pay for the appearance of being green and good.

CFact
P.O. Box 65722
Washington, DC 20035

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

June 27, 2010

As to the EPA's TV Polar bear stranded on the melting Glacier

ScienceDaily (June 5, 2010)

The Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest mountain region on Earth with glaciers whose meltwater provides the water supply for more than 1.3 billion people through several of the largest rivers in Asia. In a thesis in Physical Geography from Stockholm University, Jakob Heyman shows that the glaciers in Tibet have remained relatively small and have not been much larger than today for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years back in time.

The study deals with the growth and decay of glaciers in Tibet far back in time, with the aim of attaining better knowledge of glaciations and their link to climate variations. The results show that the glaciers in Tibet have varied in size but that they have been fairly small far back in time. In several places the glaciers seems to have been similar in size to today's glaciers or just slightly larger during the entire last Ice Age.

Considering that Tibet, often called the roof of the world or the third pole, is where the largest number of glaciers outside the polar regions are located, this is remarkable."At the same time as huge ice sheets covered northern Europe and North America during the last Ice Age twenty thousand years ago, the glaciers in Tibet were not much larger than today," says Jakob Heyman.

The field data can be used, together with a mathematical model for the growth of a glacier, to find out how large the climatic variations have been during the last Ice Age. Preliminary results show that the climate was probably somewhat colder than today but was nevertheless relatively stable.

"If today's temperature in Tibet were to decrease by five degrees or more, which is not much for an Ice Age cycle, a large ice sheet would probably start growing. No ice sheet seems to have existed in Tibet, and the cooling can therefore not have been that strong," says Jakob Heyman.

To determine how large the glaciers have been, satellite images have been used to find landforms created by former glaciers, and field studies have been performed to find sediments and erratic boulders deposited during past glaciations. To find out when the ice disappeared, samples have been collected from boulders left by the ice and the number of particular isotopes formed in quartz when hit by cosmic rays has been measured. Because the cosmic ray intensity is known, the number of isotopes can be used to calculate the age for when the boulders were melted out of the ice.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2010

A Needed Respite from the Aggravation of Politics

And one that, as an ex-husband and golfer, cracked me up!

For Husbands and Wives Everywhere

Marriage Counseling 

After 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife came for counseling.  When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in their years together.

It was an extensive list:  neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured.

After her long tirade, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow.  The woman quietly sat down as though in a daze.  
 
The therapist turned to the husband and said, "This is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week.  Can you do this?"

"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I play golf."

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2010

I Obama’s Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar gets a butt-kicking

By Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

II (Below) Salazar, with Obama's blessing, to try end-around Judge's ruling,

By: MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press 06/23/10, 6:40 PM EDT

For all his John Wayne rhetoric on the BP oil spill, President Obama has failed to administer a swift kick to the ample, deserving rump of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. No matter. Federal judge Martin Feldman has now done the job the White House won’t do.

In a scathing ruling issued Tuesday afternoon, New Orleans-based Feldman overturned the administration’s radical six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling – and he singled out Salazar’s central role in jerry-rigging a federal panel’s scientific report to bolster flagrantly politicized conclusions. In a sane world, Salazar’s head would roll. In Obama world, he gets immunity.

The suit challenging Obama’s desperately political ban was filed by Covington, La., rig company, Hornbeck Offshore Services, which spoke on behalf of all the “small people” in the industry whose economic survival is at stake. As the plaintiffs’ lawyer argued in court, the overbroad ban promised to be more devastating to Gulf workers than the spill itself. “This is an unprecedented industry-wide shutdown. Never before has the government done this,” attorney Carl Rosenblum said.

Scientists who served on the committee expressed outrage upon discovering earlier this month that Salazar had — unilaterally and without warning — inserted a blanket drilling ban recommendation into their report. In fact, seven panelists explicitly opposed a blanket ban as “punishing the innocent.”

As Feldman recounted in his ruling:

In the Executive Summary to the Report, [Salazar] recommends “a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs.” He also recommends “an immediate halt to drilling operations on the 33 permitted wells, not including relief wells currently being drilled by BP, that are currently being drilled using floating rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Much to the government’s discomfort and this Court’s uneasiness, the Summary also states that “the recommendations contained in this report have been peer-reviewed by seven experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” As the plaintiffs, and the experts themselves, pointedly observe, this statement was misleading. The experts charge it was a “misrepresentation.” It was factually incorrect.

Allow me to be more injudicious: Salazar lied. Salazar committed fraud. Salazar sullied the reputations of the experts involved and abused his authority.And for what purpose? To exploit the Gulf crisis, appease the eco-extremists, and stymie the economic recovery to which the Obama White House pays oily lip service.

The scientists whose views were misrepresented reportedly received an apology from the evidence-doctoring Salazar, but where are the consequences? Where is the accountability? Terrific news: Salazar, the report-rigger, is in charge of overseeing the new overseer. That’s right. The Teflon Interior Secretary spent Monday afternoon swearing in another bureaucrat, litigator Michael Bromwich, who will head the newly-named “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement” (formerly the beleaguered Minerals Management Service).

According to Salazar, Bromwich “will be a key part of our team as we continue to change the way the Department of the Interior does business.” Present company exempted, of course.

Judge Feldman soberly illuminated the way the Department of Interior does business in concluding that Salazar’s “invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country.”

Salazar, with his boss’s blessing, imposed the blanket moratorium on Hornbeck and 33 permitted rigs without a shred of threat/safety analysis. Of course, Hope and Change have always been exercised with Arbitrary and Capricious power.
The White House immediately announced plans to appeal the ruling. But for once, Chicago-on-the-Potomac has run smack in the rule of law and lost. For all the other small people over whom the Obama administration has run roughshod, let’s hope it sets a lasting precedent.

II Salazar (via Obama, of course) will try end-around Judge’s decision.

Nevermind the harm guraranteed to wreck upon the American economy and the huge majority of citizens living directly on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts demanding the continued repeal of the ban on drilling so that they can at least make a living.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says new drilling moratorium could have "flexibility."

By: MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press 06/23/10 6:40 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — A new order imposing a moratorium on deepwater drilling could be refined to reflect offshore conditions, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday. Salazar has said he plans to issue a new drilling freeze after a federal judge struck down a previous ban on Tuesday. But Salazar told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday said the new ban "might be refined." ...

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 12:32 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2010

I beg you to watch this video

In this video a courageous, no nonsense Brit who has experienced Islam destroying his own country tells it all. He is shocked by the dolts who run America allowing Islam to literally spit in our face by constructing a huge Mosque right adjacent to Ground Zero, the 9/11 site of the Twin Towers massacre in New York City.

I beg you to watch it. After watching it please send it to every living soul you know. This one video could very well save our country and the rest of the head-in-the-sand world.

Again, I beg you to watch it.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2010

Obama's Forced Unionism to the Detriment of the United States of America

Its Consumer, Its Gross Domestic Product and our Ability to Compete in the World

Unfortunately, Exactly what He and his Cohorts Had in Mind.

The National Right to Work Foundation

With union partisan Obama in the White House and big majorities in Congress, Big Labor is seizing every opportunity it can to ram through a radical forced unionism agenda. The union bosses are moving with lightning speed to demand payback for their crucial role in shifting power to the left. Right now. Big Labor is working overtime to force through legislation tightening the union boss stranglehold on America's economy and workforce, including Card Check Instant Organizing, the Pushbutton Strike bill, and the Police and Firefighter Forced Unionism bill.

Meanwhile, Right to Work analysts have revealed that the ObamaCare proposals are actually a Trojan Horse for the forced unionization of America's health care system. These forced unionism power grabs amount to a new Wagner Act, which plunged America into a deeper Depression in the mid-1930s. President Obama will sign these draconian laws as soon as they get to his desk. He has made no bones about it, saying: "I owe those unions."

And, union bosses are helping Obama pack the federal judiciary with Big Labor cronies, along with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Labor Department, and many other federal agencies. Make no mistake: Americans face a major union push for higher taxes, more government spending on wasteful projects under the guise of "stimulus," more economy-wrecking regulations on entrepreneurs, and, most of all-Americans face a major union push for higher taxes, more government spending on wasteful projects under the guise of "stimulus," more economy-wrecking regulations on entrepreneurs, and -- most of all — more forced unionism.

The fact is that compulsory unionism harms all Americans, not just the millions of employees forced to support unwanted unions or be fired from their jobs. Union officials have extraordinary coercive privileges, under a system of federal and many state laws, to force employees to accept unwanted union representation and pay union dues. Big Labor now brings in an estimated $20 Billion in annual revenue, a large chunk from dues money that workers are forced to pay to keep their jobs. It is forced unionism that sustains the power of union officials like the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka to push a radical political agenda. Union officials know this and devote vast amounts of their resources to maintaining that power.

Patriotic Americans like you must take action right now to counter Big Labor's newfound power. But time is short. The National Right to Work Foundation is the only nation wide legal organization focused on reining in Big Labor's government-granted forced unionism power -- the engine that drives the far left political machine.

The National Right to Work Foundation is one of the few groups effective against this relentless onslaught Its attorneys have gone to toe with union lawyers at the U.S. Supreme Court 14 times, to say nothing of literally thousands of other cases. They seek out cases that have the potential to establish new precedents increasing individual workers' rights and curbing union abuse. The reason they can fight and win these battles is because the Foundation enjoys a broad base of support from thousands of Americans who understand the importance of what the Foundation has achieved in the courts.

Their Supreme Court litigation program has dramatically expanded the rights of workers forced to pay union dues or who face other abuses of compulsory unionism. High Court victories like Hudson, Abood, Ellis, Lehnert, Beck, Miller, and Davenport are just the beginning. The National Right to Work Foundation is the only nationwide legal organization protecting 22 state Right to Work laws across America -- crucial laws that ensure no one is forced to join or pay dues to a union boss just to get or keep a job.

Right to Work laws are despised by Big Labor because they end their ability to seize compulsory union dues to play politics.That's why Foundation attorneys must be ready with lawsuits to stop all assaults by Governors and other politicians seeking to undermine them by Executive Orders and legal loopholes. The fact is that, in the dangerous days that lie just ahead,the National Right to Work Foundation's legal program will be the last line of defense against union officials and the sweeping new powers for which they lust.

Please take a moment right now to rush your most generous, tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation today so that it can respond immediately to Big Labor's imminent power grabs. There is no time to delay. All across America in the months ahead, employee free choice will be under assault by dangerous union boss power grabs that could strike a devastating blow to our economy and our freedoms. With your help, the Foundation must gird for battle right now and be ready to:

• Prosecute union activists who illegally seize and spend forced-dues money to get their cronies elected and to lobby Congress and state legislatures for bigger government, higher taxes, or more forced unionism privileges.

• Protect popular state Right to Work laws that make union affiliation voluntary in 22 states. Union bosses are mounting end runs around these laws, and now they may try to wipe them completely off the map by repealing Section 14(b) of the federal Taft-Hartley Act.

• Expose Big Labor's misdeeds. Every time Foundation attorneys file charges against union bosses for breaking the law, misappropriating union dues, or instigating violence against workers, the Foundation hammers the union bosses in the press for their ugly abuses.

It is absolutely crucial to our country's future that the Foundation steps up its legal counterattack, especially its precedent-setting legal program that shapes the law through the courts, including the US Supreme Court. Even though the union bosses will begin immediately placing their cronies on the federal bench, they will not be able to dramatically change the character of the court system or the U.S. Supreme Court for some time. That's why the Foundation's legal program is so important, particularly now. It's vital to make a full court press right now to get cases to the High Court before President Obama packs it with union stooges.

Please take a moment right now to rush a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation - $1000, $500, $250, $100, $50, or $35. With your help, Foundation attorneys will be able to take aggressive action immediately against Big Labor's forced unionism power grabs. The union bosses hope people like you will do nothing, so Big Labor can radically re-shape America. They are DEAD WRONG.

P.P.S. A generous Foundation supporter has just agreed to match your gift dollar for dollar! That means your contribution will be doubled. Please respond today.

Please make checks payable to:

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
8001 Braddock Rd.
Springfield, VA 22151-9988


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2010

“Peace-loving” Muslims

A Holocaust Survivor's View on Islam

Emanuel Tanay M.D.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march... It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans,Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts -- the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on!
Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too late.

Dr. Emanuel Tanay MD is a well-known forensic psychiatrist and himself, a Holocaust survivor.

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

June 16, 2010

Al Gore, environmentalist extraordinaire, hits bump in the road

(This environmental business evidently pays very well. Gore's assets went from one million in 2001 to 100 million in 2007! How lucky for Tippy! And, is Obama next? He should also be very well paid by the environmentalists and socialists (read "communists") for destroying our coal and oil industries and the viability of this once great nation while he promotes windmills. It will be interesting to see what happens to his assets after four years in public office.) Jsk.

Property in the Balance
By William Kristol, Editor
The Weekly Standard
June 14, 2010

THE SCRAPBOOK has no official observation on last week's surprise announcement that Al and Tipper Gore have separated after 40 years of marriage. Other than the obvious, of course: namely, that it is never good news when a marriage which has endured for four decades comes to an end by way of press release; and presumably, the Gores will be seeking a divorce. In which case, since their four children are grown, there will be some mutually agreed upon division of assets and property before any final decree. Which brings us to our friends at the Washington Examiner, who provide an interesting accounting of the Gore family holdings.

Before he left public office in January 2001, Vice President Al Gore's family net worth was estimated to be in the range of a million dollars. Six years later it was thought to be somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million—an impressive jump, even by the standards of Bush-era prosperity.

But what really widened THE SCRAP-BOOK'S eyes was the list of residences
owned and inhabited by the former Second Couple. Just a few weeks ago the Gores purchased a 6,500-square-foot villa in the gated community of Montecito, California, featuring five bedrooms and nine baths, a spa, swimming pool, and ocean view (price: $8.8million). This was in addition to their muti-million dollar mansion in Nashville's exclusive Belle Meade neighborhood, a Tudor-style house in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va.; the famous Gore family farm in Carthage, Tenn. (where young Al used to "plant, raise, cut, and dry" tobacco), a condominium in San Francisco, and a 100-foot houseboat called Bio-Solar One.

Far be it from the Scrapbook to begrudge anyone enjoying the fruits of their labor or procuring enough space to house their Shaker furniture and stamp collection. But by our rough calculation, the eco-minded, empty-nested, Nobel laureate Gores seem to occupy something well in excess of 20,000 square feet of planet Earth, with all the attendant electrical outlets, sewerage hook-ups, gas mains, labor-saving devices, land lines, water pipes, light bulbs, heaters and air-conditioning units, ranges, microwave ovens, computer paraphernalia and Internet connections, assorted motors, compressors, generators, and crankcases—not to mention the cost of transportation between the houseboat and the condo, Arlington and the farm or Christmas in Belle Meade followed by New Years in Montecito.

Surely, that's a carbon footprint worthy of Al Gore's stature and ought to keep the family lawyers busy for a while.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2010

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on Obama's "charm offensive" with the Jews.

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Jewish Press, May 28, 2010

Fearing that the Jewish community now perceives him as hopelessly unsympathetic to Israel, President Obama has launched a Jewish charm offensive. Last week alone, 15 rabbis and 37 Jewish members of Congress were invited to the White House. An invitation to the White House is a big deal and can play all kinds of tricks on people's convictions, which might explain why so many of those who visited emerged with newfound praise for the president even though the administration has changed none of its positions on Israel.

The president is still demanding that Jews build no new homes in Ramat Shlomo, a neighborhood that is entirely Jewish. He has yet to repudiate his administration's position that the Arab-Israeli conflict - and by implication Israeli intransigence - fuels Arab extremism. And he has yet to apologize to Prime Minister Netanyahu for the humiliating treatment he dished out to him in March.

Most of all, the president (how come I gag each time I link the exalted word, "president" with the name Obama? jsk) has not reversed his biased policy of apportioning the blame for lack of movement in the peace process squarely on Israeli settlements rather than the decades-old Arab refusal to accept Israel as a permanent and legitimate fact. We have yet to hear the president forcefully condemn the Hamas charter calling for the destruction of Israel or the Palestinian Authority's recent naming of a public square after Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 Coastal Road terrorist massacre that killed 37 Israelis.

Still some rabbis seemed quite swayed. Aaron Rubinger, for example, who runs a Conservative Synagogue in Orlando said, Our president is very bit as committed to Israelis safety and security as any previous administration." But those of us who have not yet curried enough favor with the president to be invited before his august presence can but wonder what secrets were shared that might have won these leaders over as enthusiastic endorsers of Obama as Israel's friend-in-chief when there has been no discernible change in policy.

But even Rubinger's praise pales beside the truly bizarre comments that came from Congressman (D) Steve Rothman of New Jersey's Ninth District. Rothman began by blaming the Republicans for misrepresenting Obama on Israel: "We discussed Iran, the situation in the Middle East, the efforts of the Republican Party to distort President Obama's positions on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

So the president's contemptible treatment of Israel's prime minister, which earned universal scorn from virtually every corner of the American Jewish leadership, turned out to be, according to Rothman,just a canard dreamed up by the Republicans. But, Rothman went further. Obama, Rothman maintained, is "the best president on U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation in American history." No doubt even Obama, who has done his utmost to demonstrate to the Arabs that he repudiates George W. Bush's unconditional support for Israel, was scratching his head over that claim. One wonders whom the good congressman would name as first runner-up - Jimmy Carter, perhaps?

Rothman would have been better off following the wise example of Senators Lieberman and Schumer who attended the president's meeting but issued no statements afterward. They understood that issuing knee-jerk declarations of support would cost them credibility in the pro-Israel community across the United States. Rothman is the same lawmaker, now running for election, who urged me publicly to accept the presence of the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations living rent-free next door to me, saying, "I hope everyone will be appropriately good neighbors."

Just recently, Libya was elected to the United Nations Council on Human Rights, making the council as big a joke as its predecessor from which the Bush
administration courageously withdrew to protest the inclusion of repressive states. The Obama administration reaction was a little bit different. Asked by the media to comment on the stomach-turning spectacle of one of the world's most brutal regimes being elected to a body meant to supervise other nations' conduct on human rights, Ambassador Susan Rice said it would be unhelpful to condemn Libya

And therein lies the problem with Obama. Simply stated, the man does not seem to hate (Islamic, anti-American - jsk) evil. He continues to believe he can charm wicked regimes into doing good and that personal charisma can persuade tyrants to lay down their arms and beat their swords into plough shares. This was the policy the president first pursued with Iran and Ahmadinejad. It, of course, yielded no results other than to embolden a vile regime that promptly stole an election and began to slaughter its own people in the streets.

The president turned up the charm with Hugo Chavez with the result that the Venezuelan dictator has now has become one ofObama's most strident critics. Will the president and his advisers learn that charm offensives can never take the place of moral policy? All the smiles, hugs, and bows in the world are never going to soften the hearts of tyrants. The American Jewish community should not be so naive as be charmed by words that are not matched by changes in policy. If the president wishes to win over American Jewry, he should know ours is a religion that places action before speech and character before personality. It is not charm that move us but a robust, moral posture. Equating a thriving and free democracy like Israel with the Arab tyrannies that surround it is a misguide policy that even a White House invitation cannot obscure.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is founder of This World: The Values Network. He has just published "Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life." His web site is www.shmuley.com


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

June 10, 2010

Columnist, Radio Host Ben Shapiro addresses his fellow Jews....

Ben Shapiro is a rarity. He's Jewish; has a Harvard Law degree....but he's also a Conservative. Here he addresses his co-religionists on their servile penchant for cultural and religious suicide.

Redacted from Very Straight talk letter:

June 5, 2010

Dear American Jews,

I write to you as a charter member of the tribe. I'm not only Jewish, I'm religious. I'm married to an Israeli girl (she'll receive her citizenship next year and she is a proud soon-to-be American). I go to synagogue regularly, keep kosher, keep the Sabbath.

American Jews, I have one request of you: please pull your heads out of your posteriors. I mean that in all sincerity. Your continued support for Democrats and
an administration that is openly anti-Semitic is a disgrace. Your embrace of a party that seeks to hamstring Israel in the name of a wholly fictitious Middle East peace process is contemptible. Your loyalty to a president who consistently sides with Palestinian and Iranian mass murder-supporters is disgusting.
 
Your backing of a man who has spent his life surrounding himself with the worst anti-Semites America has to offer -- Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi (former Palestinian terrorist spokesman), Louis Farrakhan ("I don't like the way [Jews] leech on us"), Samantha Power, Robert Malley, to name a few -- is nothing short of reprehensible.

Rahm Emanuel's presence in the Obama cabinet doesn't ameliorate Obama's
anti-Semitism -- it just provides it convenient cover. Al Sharpton wrongly called Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell "house negroes"; Emanuel is a kapo. (Jewish prisoner in the concentration camps who did the dirty work for the Nazis against fellow Jews)
 
Even as you continue to buttress a president who seeks the destruction of your co-religionists, you demonstrate your myopia by rejecting the tea party movement and evangelical Christian Israel-supporters. The tea party movement is your ally for three important reasons. First, it supports capitalism against the forces of socialism -- and capitalism keeps America strong enough to provide Israel with a hand against its evil adversaries.

Second, American Jews are, by far, the highest-earning religious group in the United States -- the tea party fights for your right to keep the money you have earned. Third, the tea party stands against government overreach -- and in an era when government overreach promotes anti-religious secularism, Jews must stand with the tea party.
 
Your rejection of evangelical Christians is even more idiotic. Evangelical Christians are the only major voting bloc preventing President Obama from breaking ties with Israel . When Janet Porter, an evangelical Florida talk show host, heard about Obama's anti-Israel tyranny, she responded by asking her listeners to buy dozens of yellow roses to send to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office as a show of support. The price per dozen: $19.48, in honor of the year of Israel 's founding (1948). Over 14,000 flowers were delivered.
Meanwhile, Adm. James Jones, Obama's national security adviser and the man who brought Jew-hater Zbigniew Brzezinski into Obama's inner circle, was busy telling anti-Semitic jokes before the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
 
"But they want to convert us!" (a stupid accusation deliberately designed to create a barrier between Jews and their true Christian friends) many American Jews shout. Would you sacrifice the support of millions of good-hearted Christians because a few insensitive ones want to discuss Jesus with you? If your own belief system is so fragile, the weakness is yours, not theirs. While you expend energy whining about Jehovah's Witnesses who show up at your door with a Bible, Obama supports radical Muslims who would show up at your door with a gun -- or, as in the case of Daniel Pearl, a butcher's knife.
 
Now, I understand, American Jews, that most of you don't care about Israel . I understand that you're more concerned about a woman's unconditional right to abort and ignore the vast river of Jewish history in favor of a chimerical morality that values libertinism over liberty. I understand that many of you -- all of you above age 70 -- still think FDR is alive. He isn't, but Jimmy Carter is. I understand that some of you still think that conservatives and Republicans are the same folks they were during the 1950s, when they banned you from country clubs. They aren't.
 
The simple fact is this: There is only one mainstream political ideology in this country that asks you to check your principles and cultural history at the door in the name of the greater good -- leftism, the same ideology that virtually exterminated Judaism in Russia and Europe . While the left exploits your adherence to bagel-and-lox Judaism by appealing to your watered-down and perverted "tikkun olam" sensibilities, you are enabling your own destruction.
The same people who urge you to reach out to terrorists will be the first to sacrifice you to those terrorists' tender mercies. The same people who urge you to worry about same-sex marriage rather than religious freedom will be the first to take your religious freedoms away.
 
I love you, my brothers and sisters. That's why I'm writing to you. Time is running out; the clock is winding down. Pick a side. 

 

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2010

Obama administration's defense budget portends strategic retreat and decline

BY THOMAS DONNELLY & GARY SCHMITT

The Weekly Standard
June 7, 2010

On the 65th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe in early May, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas. His speech was not about America's unprecedented, massive marshaling of resources, men, and materiel to defeat the forces of fascism that threatened to overwhelm the West. Instead, its underlying message was ultimately one of strategic retreat—signaling his and the Obama administration's view that the richest country in the world can no longer afford to sustain the military's current force structure and capabilities.

Channeling his inner President Eisenhower, Gates sought to make this message sound not only reasonable but morally justified by belittling Washington, the town where he has spent most of his career. Pandering to those on the left who always see defense spending as dangerous, he raised anew Eisenhower's overwrought concern about the creation of a "garrison state" and a "military-industrial complex." Pandering to those on the right who see the Pentagon as a gigantic sink hole for tax dollars, he dredged up the old saw about the Pentagon being a "Puzzle Palace" and stated that the attacks of September ll,2001,opened a gusher of defense spending. The secretary, along with the Obama administration, wants Americans to believe there is no choice but to cut the defense budget given economic and fiscal realities.

Just as there is no crying in baseball, however, there arc no inevitabilities in politics. The administration is indeed squeezing defense spending more and more tightly, but that is a product of decisions made and policies chosen. They can and should be revisited. Speaking of gushers, compare for a moment the size of the Obama stimulus package in 2009—nearly $800 billion, with the more than $300 billion Gates has already cut from the Pentagon's budget and the planned "flat-lining" of defense expenditures in the years ahead. And while the secretary talks about cutting overhead by getting rid of unnecessary generals and consultants, the administration has been busy hiring tens of thousands of new federal workers.

Gates himself wants to add some 30,000 to the Pentagon's rolls to oversee military acquisitions. Surely, civil servants arc not needed more than additional Marines or soldiers, given the back-breaking pace of deployments in recent years and continued overuse of the National Guard and reserves. And who in the administration or congressional leadership is arguing for tough love when it comes to so-called non-discretionary spending (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and service on the debt)? Right now, those programs cost three times as much as defense, and by the end of a two-term Obama administration they will cost closer to five times as much.

... Gates's speech at the Eisenhower Library was off the mark in many respects. The United States never became the garrison state many feared at the start of the Cold War and even in the wake of the attacks of 9/11, the re-balance of civil liberties and security has been minimal, nor is the "military-industrial" complex a real problem. Defense companies amount to less than 2 percent of Standard & Poor's total market capitalization for the country's 500 largest companies — hardly the dark and dangerous behemoth many on the left imagine.

But Gates was right in one respect: The nation is at a critical juncture when it comes to defense resources. The problem is the administration's response. If Obama and his team prevail, they will have created a spending dynamic that puts the United States on the same road as the same road as the countries of Europe where domestic welfare crowds out all but minimal spending for defense. America's role in the world will decline, not because we have tried to do too much abroad, but because we have chosen to do too much at home. For less than a nickel on the dollar of US GDP, we can maintain our preeminence in the world and with prudent taxing and spending at home, revives America s economy as well. This shouldn't be an either or choice. It hasn't ben in the past, and America and the world have been the better for it.

Thomas Donnelly is director of the Center for Defense Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Gary Schmitt is director of AEI's Program on Advanced Strategic Studies



Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2010

Charles Krauthammer: Those troublesome Jews

Friday, June 4, 2010

The world is outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers. But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal.

Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel -- a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded ("quarantined") Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren't the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel's offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza -- as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza. Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel's inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that? But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel's fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself -- forward and active defense.

Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense -- fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own. Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks.

It is for the same reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so you don't have to fight them here.

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

June 04, 2010

Israel was victimized twice this week ...

June 4, 2010

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, JINSA Report #994

Israel was victimized twice this week, first by terrorists hiding yet again among the civilian population (one Turkish-sponsored jihadi boat traveling with five more-or-less civilian boats) and second by a world all too ready to blame Israel for the violence engendered by those who sought a bloody death for themselves and any Jews they could take along. By the end of the week, things began to look more normal-those who are already against remained against; those who try to split the difference split it (consider the "abstain" list below); and a few stood honorably above the rest.   

1) Italy, Netherlands and the United States voted against resolution A/HRC/14/L.1, "Grave Attacks by Israeli Forces against the Humanitarian Boat Convoy" in the UN "Human Rights" Council. It is of note that the major Italian newspapers supported Israel editorially as well. In the United States, public opinion ran strongly in Israel's favor, as usual. 
 
After a nasty and public denunciation of Israel by President Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Kouchner, France abstained, probably reminded that in 1985 French commandos sunk a Greenpeace ship in what was called Opération Satanique. (You know what a threat those satanic environmentalists pose to Paris.) France was joined by Belgium, Burkina Faso, Hungary, Japan, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Ukraine and UK.
 
Voting in favor of the commission whose conclusion is in its title were Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, and Uruguay. 
 
Surprised?
 
2) President Obama: He almost got it right in a TV interview, but missed the essential point. "You've got a situation in which Israel has legitimate security concerns when they've got missiles raining down on cities along the Israel-Gaza border. I've been to those towns and seen the holes that were made by missiles coming through people's bedrooms. Israel has a legitimate concern there.  On the other hand, you've got a blockage up that is preventing people in Palestinian Gaza from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in trade and have opportunity for the future."
 
The President doesn't know, or didn't say, that Hamas is responsible both for the attacks on Israel and for the misery of the Palestinians in Gaza. Instead, he wanted to "work with all parties concerned-the Palestinian Authority, the Israelis, the Egyptians and others-and I think Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process once we've worked through this tragedy. And bring everybody together..."
 
Aside from the fact that Turkey is fully complicit in the incident and thus should forfeit any seat at any future table, the Palestinian Authority has not represented Gaza Palestinians since Hamas evicted it in a bloody putsch in 2007. Instead of hoping to "bring everybody together..." the President should be working to evict Hamas from Gaza, for the sake of the Palestinians as much as anyone else.
 
3) The Czech Republic: Small countries that know what it means to disappear when others find them inconvenient stick together and we are grateful that they do. The President of the Czech Senate, Dr. Přemysl Sobotka, told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, "As a doctor, I certainly regret any loss of life, but there is no doubt that this was a planned provocation designed to drag Israel into a trap... Many in the European community feel as I do, but they are afraid to speak out publicly... I support the position that views Hamas as a terrorist organization... It is too bad that European countries present an unbalanced position on this matter. Unfortunately, the positions of the international community are not always to my taste, particularly in Europe."
 
We are reminded that 18 months ago, the Czech foreign minister issued this statement: "I consider it unacceptable that villages in which civilians live have been shelled. Therefore, Israel has an inalienable right to defend itself against such attacks. The shelling from the Hamas side makes it impossible to consider this organization as a partner for negotiations and to lead any political dialogue with it."

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs | 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 515 | Washington | DC | 20036

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

June 03, 2010

Ancient Middle Eastern Christian communities — e.g., Copts, Maronites, Chaldeans — are under assault, virtually powerless ...

Their numbers shrinking in Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

By Clifford D. May
National Review Online, www.nationalreview.com
May 27, 2010

The ‘Second Israel.' How being Kurdish is like being Jewish.

Halabja, Iraq — Twenty-two years ago, in this dusty town hard up against the mountainous border with Iran, Saddam Hussein’s military used chemical weapons to murder 5,000 Kurdish men, women, and children. The Halabja massacre was only the most infamous atrocity of Operation Anfal, a name Saddam took from a sura of the Koran that details permissible conduct against enemies of Islam. Of course, most Kurds are Muslims. But they are not Arabs. Kurds have had their own distinctive culture and language since long before armies from Arabia embarked on the first jihads — wars of Islamic conquest — in the seventh century.

The goal of Operation Anfal was genocide. At least 150,000 Kurds were slaughtered, many having first been herded into concentration camps, where mass executions were conducted. More than a million Kurds were driven from their homes. Kurds have not forgotten that, in 1991, Americans established a “no-fly zone” over Iraq’s Switzerland-sized Kurdish region, to provide them some protection from Saddam’s predations. They regard America’s 2003 military intervention in Iraq as their liberation. Iraqi Kurds now enjoy substantial self-rule. Kurds living as minorities in Syria, Iran, and Turkey do not.

Six months after the collapse of Saddam’s regime, the Kurds erected a memorial on the edge of Halabja. It includes haunting photos; those of mothers clutching babies to their breasts as they died in the streets are perhaps the most heart-wrenching. A sign, in fractured English, gets its point across nonetheless: “Live and victory for all nations. Death for all kinds of racism.”

One result of this experience: Kurds see Americans as their allies and friends. “We appreciate the sacrifices Americans have made to liberate Iraq and bring the possibility of freedom,” Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Regional Government, tells me and other members of a delegation of journalists and think-tank analysts.

Many Kurds also have empathy for — and even feel an affinity with — Israelis and Jews. Unusual as this is within the “Muslim world,” it makes sense when you think about it: Like Kurds, Jews are an ancient Middle Eastern people. Like Kurds, Jews have been targeted for genocide. Like Kurds, Israelis face an uncertain future among neighbors who range from merely hostile to openly exterminationist. At a university in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, students meeting with our delegation express admiration for Israelis’ courage – somewhat to the chagrin of their American professor.

A Kurdish driver, discovering that he and I both speak Russian, launches into a lively conversation that begins with praise for America. He soon tells me there is one other country he’d like to visit: Israel. Why? Because Israelis, like Kurds, have been persecuted yet have managed to survive, achieve, and prosper. A Kurdish journalist says that Iran’s Islamist rulers cannot be trusted, noting that they recently executed five Kurds “because they were Kurds.” He adds that Iran “supports Hezbollah. And we know what Hezbollah does to Israel.”

Publicly, Kurdish officials state that Iraq ought to have peaceful relations with all its neighbors – without exception. Some go farther: “We have no problems with Israel,” explains Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Relations. “They have not harmed us. We can’t be hating them because Arabs hate them. We think it is in the interest of Iraq to have relations with Israel. And the day after the Israelis open an embassy in Baghdad, we will invite them to open a consulate here.” He notes that Israel is one of the few functioning democracies in the region and that Kurds, too, are attempting to build durable democratic institutions both in their homeland and in the rest of Iraq. Kurdistan, Bakir adds, is sometimes called “the second Israel.”

Historically, Jews are not strangers in this land. They settled here as early as the eighth century B.C. In pre-Islamic times, some Kurdish royalty is believed to have converted to Judaism. Even today, such prominent families as the Barzanis have Jewish members.

Of course, Jews once lived throughout the broader Middle East, from Morocco to Afghanistan. However, after World War II and the founding of the state of Israel, Arab governments turned on their Jewish minorities. As recently as the 1940s, Jews constituted as much as a third of Baghdad’s population. By the early 1950s, almost all had been expelled, their properties confiscated. The Iraqi government forced Kurdish Jews into exile as well. Many went to Israel, where they harbored an understandable resentment toward Iraqi Arabs — but not toward Iraqi Kurds. In the 1960s and 70s, Israelis provided assistance to Kurdish rebels.
 
Kurds today appear to grasp this equation: If there is no place for Jews in the Middle East, there is not likely to be a place for Kurds either. The ongoing religious and ethnic cleansing of the “Muslim world” may be the biggest story journalists are not telling, political leaders are not highlighting, and human-rights activists are not protesting.

Ancient Middle Eastern Christian communities — e.g., Copts, Maronites, Chaldeans — are under assault, virtually powerless, their numbers shrinking in Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Somewhat more attention — though little meaningful action — has focused on the plight of the Darfurians of Sudan and the Baha’i of Iran.

Kurds say that, in their land, they are committed to tolerance — and they use the word not in the literal sense of abiding those who are distasteful but in the American sense of respecting minority rights and valuing diversity. This is not a common perspective in the modern “Muslim world.” But Kurdistan is unique in many ways. Here it is recalled that Saddam Hussein not only had weapons of mass destruction — he used them. Here the arrival of Americans troops did cause people to dance in the streets. Here, it is possible to imagine Middle Eastern Muslims, Jews, and Christians living in peace, improbable as that has come to seem.

— Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:58 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2010

Zionist Org. of America Condemns Terrorist Flotilla Who Refused Peaceful Option

Calls for Investigation of Turkey...

June 1, 2010

Contact Morton A. Klein at: 917-974-8795 or 212-481-1500

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the media and foreign government attacks, including from China, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey, on Israeli defensive actions against the Gaza terror ship. This ship, part of the ‘Gaza flotilla’ which was organized by a Turkish Islamist group, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi – IHH),  deliberately attempted to breach the lawful Israeli blockade of Gaza, a territory at war with Israel, run by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist regime whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the world-wide murder of Jews (Article 7) and which has fired thousands of missiles into Israel in recent years.

The violence of the Hamas supporters on one of the six ships in the Gaza flotilla, including the use of knives, axes, bats, firebombs and metal rods, as well as seizing and using of Israeli personnel’s side-arms, led to clashes and exchanges of fire that has resulted in the reported deaths of 15 people onboard the flotilla. Seven members of the Israeli boarding party, whose non-aggressive intent was evident from being armed principally with paint-ball guns (usually used in crowd control situations, not armed confrontations) were also wounded and injured, some seriously.
 
The ZOA calls for an investigation of Turkey, the country in which the organization assisting Islamist terrorists and responsible for the flotilla is based; from which the flotilla set sail; and whose government wrongly assured that the flotilla cargo had been duly inspected and found to consist purely of humanitarian supplies and had found no weapons. Yet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged no Turkish responsibility, condemned Israel and demanded punishing Israel for the calling it a “bloody massacre.”

To call the deaths of the 15 on board, as Erdogan did, a “massacre” when shooting did not occur until half an hour after Israeli personnel boarded the vessel and were assaulted by Hamas supporters in the manner already described is an obscene and absurd charge. It was only when the lives of Israeli personnel were in serious jeopardy that the Israelis begin to defend themselves. If those on board had not brutally assaulted the Israeli soldiers, not one Israeli shot would have been fired and no one would have been harmed.
 
The ZOA also rejects international criticism of the lawful Israeli action to board and inspect the vessels of the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla and contrasts this criticism with the relative silence and lack of interest in North Korea’s recent, unprovoked torpedoing of a South Korean vessel, resulting in the deaths of 45 South Korean servicemen. That the United Nations and the world said virtually nothing over North Korea’s unjustified and unprovoked action exposes the hypocrisy of the hue and cry against Israel for a lawful boarding of the Gaza flotilla that encountered unnecessary, unjustifiable and deliberate assault from the Hamas supporters ion the flotilla.  
 
The IHH is not a peaceable, charitable institution – it is a Muslim Brotherhood connected, Islamist organization, outlawed by Israel in 2008 for involvement in Hamas’ global fund-raising machinery. It has been similarly involved in assisting violent Islamist groups in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. In 2006, the Danish Institute for International Studies demonstrated the IHH’s connections to al-Qaeda. The IHH belongs to a Saudi-based umbrella organization known to finance terrorism called the Union of Good (Ittilaf al-Kheir in Arabic), chaired by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who is known best for his religious ruling that encourages suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. In November 2008, the U.S. Treasury designated the Union’s leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organization.”’
 
The Gaza flotilla is also the brainchild of prominent members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), including ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf, who has described suicide bombings as “noble” and argued that Palestinian so-called resistance “must”’ include violence.
 
The ZOA condemns those journalists and media outlets that grossly mislead the public by falsely identifying the Hamas-supporting Gaza flotilla members as “peace activists” and who virtually eliminated from their account any reference to the violence initiated against the Israeli boarding party and who were silent about the video evidence showing the initiation of violence by the flotilla members against the Israeli boarding party. These inexcusable omissions and distortions enabled them to mislead the public by writing of “Israel’s deadly commando raid on ships taking humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip.” Such reports have given aid and comfort to the terrorists by helping produce condemnation and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Europe and the Arab and Muslim worlds.
 
“Israeli searches fully legal. Blockades and embargoes are time-honored and legal measures of warfare, designed to prevent weapons and war-making supplies entering the territory of forces with whom a country is at war. Americans know only too well this fact from the decades-long economic embargo of Cuba, with which the U.S. is not presently at war. Some have claimed that it is illegal to intercept ships on the high seas, but that is untrue: blockading ships have often done that. Such a view would certainly be news to the U.S. when it put Cuba under a naval quarantine in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis or to the British during the 1982 Falklands War. Gaza is run by Hamas, a terrorist group seeking Israel’s destruction and the murder world-wide of Jews.

Hamas has refused to recognize or make peace with Israel. It has assaulted Israel with thousands of rockets since seizing control of the territory in 2007, including over 150 rockets alone just this year. It has kidnapped an Israeli serviceman and denied him elementary rights owed to captive servicemen. It has smuggled into Gaza offensive weaponry. Commonsense and international law alike affirm a states’ right to close off delivery of weapons to a belligerent. Israel was well within its rights to search and inspect any vessel approaching Gaza, not least those run by pro-Palestinian activists seeking to assist Hamas.
 
“The flotilla insisted on a violent confrontation: The IDF offered a commonsense, peaceable solution to the arrival of the Gaza flotilla in Gaza waters: that the flotilla dock in the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod, have its allegedly humanitarian cargo inspected and then have the cargo, if it indeed proved to be nothing else except humanitarian supplies, transferred directly to Gaza – no need for interception at sea, no need for violence, no need for loss of lives. Indeed, five of the six ships involved did not offer violence and as a result there was no violence and casualties. Had the Hamas supporters on board the sixth vessel behaved similarly, not a single person on board would have been harmed.

“The Hamas supporters assaulted the Israeli boarding party, they did not conduct themselves as humanitarian aid workers. To the contrary – they were bringing in weapons and war materiel on board. Humanitarian aid workers do not do that. They assaulted Israeli personnel who rightfully and without violence boarded their ships to inspect their cargo. The Hamas supporters assaulted the Israelis with crowbars, metal rods, knives and other weapons. One Israeli was stabbed while another was seized in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to kidnap him. Moreover, the Hamas supporters seized two Israeli side-arms, which had not been drawn, and directed fire at the Israeli personnel. This ensured that violence escalated to the use of firearms. They also threw over the side an Israeli soldier. Such things simply do not happen when dealing with genuine humanitarian and workers.
 
“The aim of the Hamas supporters on board the Gaza flotilla is not delivering food and supplies – they’re interested in making it difficult and expensive politically for Israel to maintain its blockade aimed at keeping weaponry and materiel entering Gaza. They’re interested in making it easier for weaponry to come into Hamas hands in Gaza. They’re interested in delegitimizing Israel. These goals have nothing to do with providing humanitarian supplies to Gaza and it behooves the world not to assist them.”
 
 

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:27 PM | Comments (0)