Saturday, July 31, 2010

Israel's amazing contributions

Friday, July 30, 2010

moonbats vs Israel

Alan Dershowitz
Posted: July 28, 2010 09:31 AM
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Moonbats Against Israel
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Read More: Iran , Israel , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , Oliver Stone , World News
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It must be the summer heat but the moonbats seem to be loonier than ever when it comes to Israel and Jews.

Oliver Stone urges us to see the positive side of Hitler and Ahmadinejad, while imitating his two heroes by railing against Jewish control of the media. (To his credit, Stone has apologized for his bigoted statements.) According to Newsweek, Meg Ryan canceled a scheduled appearance at an Israeli Film Festival, despite the fact that this artistic festival is well-known to feature pro-peace and even pro-Palestinian films. Ryan's publicist insists that the film star never agreed to attend the festival. If that is true, Ryan should issue a public statement denying that she has boycotted, or would boycott, an Israeli film festival.

Doctors Without Borders suddenly erects borders when it comes to Israeli doctors who flew to the Congo to treat 50 local villagers who had been severely burned. The Israeli volunteers worked around the clock, treated the burn victims and trained local doctors to perform skin grafts, and donated tons of medical equipment. But the bigoted Doctors Without Borders refused to work with them and treated them "as though we were occupiers." This should not surprise people who have been following Doctors Without Borders over the years. Dr. Marie Pierre Allie, President of the French Branch of the organization, said that Israel's self defense actions in Gaza were actually worse than the Darfur genocide in the Sudan. Only a blind moonbat could even make such a comparison! As one critic put it well, these are doctors with borders but without scruples.

J Street, a leftist organization that pretends to be pro Israel, puts out a TV ad suggesting that I am against peace between Israel and the Arabs and that I agree with Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin in opposing the two state solution and supporting expansion of civilian settlements. When told that this was a lie, the head of J Street publicly acknowledged that, "He [Dershowitz] does support the notion of a two-state solution," but he has kept his mendacious ad unchanged.

Radical leftist, who support the expansion of rape law to cover obtaining sex by fraud, rail against Israel when Israel actually enacts such a law and applies it. An Israeli court sentenced a married Arab man to several months in prison for having sex with a woman after claiming that he was an unmarried Jew interested in marrying her. The Israeli courts had previously applied this law to Jewish men who had perpetrated comparable frauds. Though I personally think these sex-fraud law are seriously misguided (except in extreme cases such as lying about AIDS), I find it hypocritical in the extreme for radical leftist, who generally favor such laws, to use them as a club against the Jewish state and only the Jewish state.

A fifth rate French University has cancelled a writer's conference that was supposed to deal with "writing today in the Mediterranean Region: exchanges and tensions," because some unnamed participants refused to take part in a dialogue that included an Israeli Jewish author. This university, Provence Aix Marseille would have been lucky to attract any accomplished Israeli authors, but the conference could not go forward because the president of the school, to his credit, would not allow a conference to be held by bigots who would exclude others on the ground of religion or national origin.

New names for Conservative Judaism

JTS Chancellor Eisen said maybe it is time for a new name. Ideas floating aroundfrom colleagues:

some are meant to be funny

Normative Judaism


Just Judaism

Catholic Israel

The people who have three sets of dishes

The Commandment Keepers (usually)

Bnai Hillel

Religious but not Meshugah Jews

Jews R Us

Frum in Shul Judaism

Its Okay to Drive Judaism (but not in Israel)

The Seventh Day Triennials

United Synagogue

Divided Synagogue

The Shul You Wouldn't go to if they Paid You Judaism

The Yiddin

The Chosen

Middle Class Suburban Judaism

Torah True Judaism
>>> Middle of the Road Judaism
>>> Orthodox-Lite
>>> Fanatical Moderates
>>> The Real McCoy
>>> Pretty Traditional Judaism
>>> The Responsive Readers
>>> Nisht a her, nisht a hin Judaism
>>> Hazy, not Crazy or Lazy
>>> Schecterians

Yes No Maybe So
>>> Judaism"?
> > 1.
> > Masorati - Yiddishkeit with horsepower
> >
> > 2.
> > The Absolutely Positively Hysterical School of Judaism
> >
> > 3.
> > Majority Rules, and Minority Rules too
> >
> > 4.
> > Goldilocks Judaism - our porridge isn't too
> > hot, and it's not too cold. It's JUST RIGHT
> >
> > 5.
> > Tzimtzum Judaism - Shrinking for the 21st
> > Century
> >
> > 6.
> > Tradition and Change Judaism What the flux?
> >
> > 7.
> > Jokers to the left of me; Zealots to the right
> > here I am back in the middle with Jew (okay, you have to know the song)
> >
> > 8.
> > Beth El Realty Synagogues for sale
> >
> > 9.
> > Ultra-Conservative Judaism - when being
> > Conservative isn't enough
> >
> > 10.Arnie’s Army

The Bagel Eaters

The People With Whom God Broke Every Promise Made in the Torah Judaism

The Second or Maybe Third Group to Ordain Women Judaism

The Judaism is Really Just for Rabbis Judaism

The Shul with th Pool Judaism

TzivOT Hashem

Ethical Mom-othisists

Ethical Dad-othisists

The Bar Mitzvah Factory.

Those Who Eat Chinese Food Judaism

Conservative-Liberal Judaism

Liberal-Conservative Judaism

Thursday, July 29, 2010

want to go to Italy with us March 21?

why are Israelis so happy?

kosher stretched

More Than Matzo Balls: Kosher Cooking Revisited
Published: July 29, 2010

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Filed at 11:58 a.m. ET

JERUSALEM (AP) -- The men behind a unique six-hour eating marathon in Jerusalem want diners to know two things about locusts: First, they taste great stir-fried, and second, they're kosher.

When 240 observant Jews sat down to the 18-course dinner earlier this month, they were served a veritable zoo of animals that were unlikely candidates to be eaten under traditional Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut.

Eating kosher, the organizers want to say, does not just mean chicken soup and matzo balls; the list of animals eaten by Jewish communities around the world throughout history is longer and stranger than most people think.

''It's about keeping a 2,500-year-old tradition in our hands,'' said Ari Greenspan, one of the organizers. ''We have such a rich tradition but because of commercial food production, the only things slaughtered today are those that are financially feasible and grow quickly.''

The biblical rules that govern Jewish diets include a blacklist of animals that may not be eaten, like pigs, vultures or fish without scales. Beef is kosher, pork is not. Trout is kosher, crab is not. Religious Jews abide by these rules to the letter, but probably wouldn't think to replace standards like beef or chicken with permitted alternatives like the water buffalo or pheasant served at the dinner.

The dinner's organizers -- Greenspan, a dentist, and Ari Zivotofsky, a rabbi, both 47 -- have spent decades investigating the nether reaches of the kosher kitchen.

The two met as teens in a Jewish religious school near Jerusalem. When they learned kosher slaughter, they realized the list of permitted animals was under threat because people were dying and taking little-known traditions with them. Some dietary directions not spelled out clearly in the Bible -- particularly methods of poultry slaughter -- must be passed down orally by a living witness, Greenspan said.

Without witnesses, more animals may go the way of the peacock. It was one of 30 birds pictured in a 150-year-old Italian book on kosher poultry, but no one alive remembers how to slaughter it in a kosher way, the organizers said. So today peacock is off the Jewish menu.

The two traveled to more than 40 countries, interviewing aging kosher butchers and documenting traditions like eating locusts, common among the Jews of Yemen.

The research culminated in the July 22 dinner.

Dishes included sparrows, doves, deer, roasted elk and grilled cow udders. Pheasants flown in from Rome were rolled into cinnamon pastille pastries. Greenspan and Zivotofsky found three kosher butchers, from Algeria, France and Israel, who remembered how to properly slaughter guinea fowl.

A cadre of rabbis and academics explained each course to the diners. They also discussed long-running debates over the kosher status of some animals, such as swordfish, which was also served.

Zivotofsky read from a ruling by a 16th-century rabbi who said that swordfish has scales in water, meaning it is kosher, though the rabbi claimed the scales fall off when the fish is out of the water. That made it suspect enough that Zivotofsky wouldn't eat it at the dinner, though others did.

The organizers also restored a species to the kosher menu: the shibuta, a fish mentioned in the Talmud, the ancient commentary on the Bible that defines Jewish law. It is believed to refer to the Barbus grypus, a carp that grows in the Euphrates River. After the U.S. invaded Iraq, Greenspan said, he asked a military rabbi to confirm the fish was kosher. It was. At the dinner, shibuta from Turkey was served as a fried fish cake.

The locusts were nearly a disaster.

''We had someone raising them for us in Israel, but then there was a heat wave,'' Greenspan said. ''They all died. We were up a creek. Locusts are the big hit of dinner.'' The organizers heard about an institution in Britain that grows insects, and Greenspan called a British cousin who brought the locusts to Israel in his suitcase.

Accountant Gadi Levin tore off the six legs of one of the brown locusts, about the length of his thumb, and bit into its crunchy body. Stir-fried, the locust was earthy and redolent with soy sauce.

''It was delicious,'' said the 37-year-old South African-born Israeli. ''It tasted like a barbecue crisp.''

Protest Oliver Stones antisemitism

to Showtime send your individual protest to
Showtime, mailto e Chairman's email address:
boycott all Stone's movies

"Does Showtime really need an irresponsible ideologue creating a series that
purports to "understand" Hitler in context? I deeply resent Stone's ignorant
and uninformed assertion that Jewish control of the media is preventing an
open discussion of the Holocaust. There has been open discussion of the
Holocaust for decades. Honest Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic scholars from
the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland,
the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and Israel have worked diligently to
understand and make publically available knowledge of the Holocaust,
National Socialism, and Hitler. Stone's cheap attempt to get media attention
cannot compare to the enormous amount of honest work that has been done on
these subjects. Speaking personally, I have devoted more than half a century
to this endeavor. Moreover, I have lectured on the Holocaust in the United
States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Israel and France, including
lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and major German universities.

I understand that Stone has "apologized," a cheap and costless gesture after
the damage has been done. He has impugned the honesty and integrity of
hundreds of scholars who have devoted their careers to this study. When HBO
and some of the other major studios produced films on the Holocaust and
National Socialism, they have at least used internationally recognized
consultants like Dr. Michael Berenbaum to get their facts straight.

Stone has demonstrated that he is incapable of producing an honest
historical work on Hitler, Stalin, and the Holocaust. If Showtime must
proceed, it can retrieve its reputation by replacing Stone with a
knowledgeable producer who is untainted by the demons that appear to plague

Richard L. Rubenstein, STM (Harvard Divinity School); PhD (Harvard);
Post-doctoral Fellow (Yale)"

Rabbi Brad Hershfield
Of late however, he seems to be moving from his typical love of whacky conspiracy theories to rather more ugly ones.

Stone's newest project, a Showtime documentary entitled "The Secret History of America" will, Mr. Stone claims, put Hitler "in context". Stone wants to make sure that our understanding of Hitler does not remain a product of "the Jewish dominated media", as he claims it has been.

I am all for expanding our understanding of even the most terrible events in history. In fact, it is those events, including the Holocaust, which are most often addressed in dangerously over-simplified ways. But somehow, a filmmaker who describes his work in terms reeking of Jew-hatred does not seem likely to make any constructive contributions on this issue.

Of course, that was this weekend. Mr. Stone is turning apologetic, issuing statements in which he says he "made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry".

Which is the "real" Oliver Stone? Is he the conspiracy theorist who resents the mythic power of Jews or the contrite artist seeking to bring deeper understanding to one of the darkest moments in human history?

My guess is that he's a bit of both. But because he simply calls his words a "clumsy error" and refuses to explore how they are actually part of his ongoing approach to world events, one in which some evil external force is always driving decent "little people" into horrible circumstances, I suspect that we have not heard the last of such claims about Jews from Mr. Stone.

There is no doubt that we need fuller explanations of the Holocaust, more sophisticated than those which invoke a demonic individual, Hitler, at whose feet all blame can be laid. In fact, to the extent that Stone demands a wider picture of accountability -- an appreciation that there is plenty of blame to go around in a world which stood largely silent as millions of human beings were murdered simply because of who they were -- I am with him. The list of those who bear responsibility should grow, not shrink, with the passage of time. That is what it means to be increasingly morally sensitive.

There is also no doubt that the Jewish community would do well to more fully appreciate, articulate and memorialize the horror of the Holocaust for people other than Jews. This is crucial if for no other reason than that it is only when the Holocaust can be remembered as a tragedy for all of humanity, that we can expect all of humanity to properly remember it.

None of that will be accomplished by minimizing the unique horror of the Nazis' "Final Solution" to the "Jewish problem", and certainly not by those, like Mr. Stone, who perpetuate some of the central underpinnings of the methodology which fueled the hatred which led to it.

Oliver Stone is no Nazi, but both his work and his words reflect something far more sinister than one clumsy error. They reflect deep and long-held hostilities of which Mr. Stone should be ashamed.

Let's hope the next Hollywood influential who wants to present a new angle on the Holocaust, can do so without resorting to any of the motifs and myths of those who perpetrated it. And let's hope that those new stories help all people to appreciate that all suffering is epic, when it happens to those about whom we care.

Follow Brad Hirschfield on Twitter:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Romance day Tu B Av

Boycott all Oliver Stone productions-clear antisemite

Oliver Stone says that Hitler caused more damage to the Russian people than to Jewish people, but that the American focus on the Holocaust stems from the "Jewish domination of the media."

Update, Stone apology below

The director made the controversial claim in an interview with London's Sunday Times (behind a paywall).

"Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein," Stone said (via The Telegraph). "German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support...

"Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than [to] the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed]." ( difference Stone does not get was he wanted to exterminate the jews, but the Russians, who suffered grievously was causalities of war.)

The reason few people know this, according to Stone?

"The Jewish domination of the media," he said. "There's a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States "

Monday, July 26, 2010

the fabulous day of the 15th of AV, a glorious and romantic day throughout Jewish history

Michael Zaroovabeli
We are entering one of the finest days in the Jewish calendar, the fabulous day of the 15th of AV, a glorious and romantic day throughout Jewish history.
While in the days of the Temple there were once many religious traditions for this holiday, today there are no specific religious customs, apart from the omission of Tachanun (a penitential prayer) after the shacharit (morning) and Mincha (afternoon) prayer services.
The Gemora states that there were no holy days as happy for the Jewish people as Tu B'Av (15th AV) and Yom Kippur. Various reasons for celebrating on Tu B'Av are mentioned by the Gemora and Torah commentators:
The fifteenth day of Av was a popular holiday during the Second Temple. This day celebrated the wood-offering brought in the temple. We learn in the Tanach in the book of Nehemiah about this. It was on this day that cutting of the wood for the main altar in the Temple was completed for the respective calendar year. Then they stopped gathering wood for a few months after this day.
According to the Gemora, Tu B'Av was a joyous holiday in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem: It was a time when unmarried girls would dress up in simple white clothing (so that the wealthy could not be distinguished from the less financially well off) and go out to sing and dance in the vineyards around Jerusalem and the young males who had not yet married would go to view and select among these girls a partner they found to be suitable. It is a romantic day in the Jewish calendar, a day when it is proper to treat ones wife to a gift. It is also a very popular day for Jewish couples to get married.
In the book of Judges (Shoftim) in Chapters 19 to 21 we learn that the tribe of Benjamin was allowed to intermarry with the other tribes after the incident of the Concubine of Gibeah, which left the tribe of Benjamin with only 600 single men as the rest of the people died, now they were allowed to marry and repopulate.
Another great occurrence on this day was that while the Jews spent forty years in the wilderness, female orphans without brothers could only marry within their tribe, this was to prevent their father's inherited plot of land in Israel from switching on to other tribes. We learn about the specific family of Tzelophchad and his daughters in Parshah Pinchas and Masei, the daughters married at a time when the ban was lifted. On the fifteenth of Av of the fortieth year and final year in the wilderness, this ban was lifted.
It was also on this day in the same year, that in the fortieth year in the wilderness, any who had been decreed to die due to the ‘sin of the spies’ died and the last of the deaths took place on the 15th Av and no more Jews died in the wilderness on this day.
It was on this day that the Roman occupiers allowed the burial of the victims of the massacre at Beitar, where hundreds of thousands of Jews lives were cruelly lost. Miraculously, the bodies had not decomposed despite the bodies were left dead already over a year. We acknowledge thanks to Hashem for this miracle in one of the paragraphs of the grace after meals we recite after eating a meal. The bodies were allowed to be buried on this day!
The night of Tu B’Av is a great night to learn Torah, and many say that one who especially learns Torah on the night of Tu B’Av (15th AV) will get special merit from Hashem.
Read more on this at
Hope you all enjoy this day! Shavua Tov! Michael Zaroovabeli

humanitarian crisis in Gaza-not enough sales

Ekev lessons learned from Olympics

Parashat Ekev video

Thursday, July 22, 2010

new video on Dreyfus affair

Frank Sinatra and the jews



FRANK SINATRA'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE JEWS Francis Albert Sinatra (1915-1998) may have been one of America’s most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting life-long commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel. Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940s, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine” rally (1947). He sat on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center. (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.) As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries. Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, by serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war. The Copacabana Club, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York. The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the back door with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier. The origins of Sinatra├»’s love affair with the Jewish people are not clear but, for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender. Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather. As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could not arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra again -- threatened to punch him in the nose. Sinatra famously played the role of a Jewish pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's war for independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth, and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film. Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 45-minute featurette he made in which he sang In the Still of the Night and Without a Song. He also starred in The House I Live In (1945), a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.

Conversion bill stalled

As Conversion Bill Stalls in Knesset, Jewish Diaspora Leaders Can Claim Victory
By Gal Beckerman
Published July 21, 2010, issue of July 30, 2010.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced July 18 that he would oppose a controversial bill dictating who could perform conversions in Israel by saying that it would “tear apart the Jewish people.” This particular turn of phrase and the fact that Netanyahu’s opposition has now effectively derailed the progress of the bill mark a clear victory for the forces of Diaspora Jewry, who saw in the legislation an attempt to define Jewish identity in a way that would exclude them.
Faithful Moment: A woman faces questions from a rabbinic panel in Jerusalem as part of her conversion process.
Faithful Moment: A woman faces questions from a rabbinic panel in Jerusalem as part of her conversion process.

From the moment that the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the bill July 12, a broad coalition representing much of North American Jewry took a strong and at times fiercely emotional stand in opposition to its passage. Both the Reform and Conservative movements, along with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel, led the charge and managed to get a vote on the bill postponed at least until after the current two-month recess, if not indefinitely.

The bill was introduced by David Rotem, a Knesset member from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, and its original intent was to simplify the process of conversion for the roughly 350,000 Russians in Israel who are not considered Jewish, many of whom are Yisrael Beiteinu’s constituents. But as it was debated and rewritten in committee, the bill took on, as one observer put it, “a life of its own.” Rotem’s proposed law would decentralize the conversion process so that city rabbis could perform it. But in order to gain support for this move from two religious parties in the Knesset — Shas and United Torah Judaism — Rotem also had to do something that would seemingly undermine his initial purpose: He would codify, for the first time, the authority of the Chief Rabbinate over all conversions.

For Reform and Conservative Jews, this meant that one kind of Jewish identity — the strict Haredi practice of the current Chief Rabbinate — would take precedent over any other denomination. And even though the bill encompassed conversions only in Israel, they feared that once the rabbinate was given authority over the practice, the earlier Supreme Court precedents that allowed those converted by Reform and Conservative rabbis outside Israel to gain citizenship could be overturned.

“I think it’s an issue of civil rights,” said Steven Wernick, executive vice president and CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. “The Haredim, the Orthodox establishment, whether in the United States or in Israel, they are never going to acknowledge Conservative Judaism. I don’t want them to. I don’t need them to. I do require that the State of Israel, if it’s truly going to be the homeland of the Jews, that it be a homeland for all the Jews.”

“And part of what angered so many people is that you can’t ask me to go to the Hill, to the White House, and be an advocate for Israel against de-legitimization from our enemies and then tell me in the same homeland that I’m advocating for that I don’t matter, and that the Jewish expression that motivates me to fight for Israel as a Jewish issue is not good enough,” he added.

The draft of the bill that was approved in committee also included new language that surprised and shocked many of its opponents. It said that all conversion courts had to follow “acceptance of the burden of the Torah and commandments as required by Jewish law.” According to observers, this would mark the first time that the word Halacha, “Jewish law,” was entered into a piece of legislation, a noticeable departure from the secular identity of Israel’s democracy. It also left power in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate to interpret which practices adhered to Halacha and which did not.

Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, took the unusual step of inserting himself into the debate over the bill. He was in Israel on a visit when the committee vote unexpectedly took place, and he remained so that he could help sway opinion. Silverman was particularly dismayed by the inclusion of the word Halacha into the legislation.

“This word has never been used,” Silverman said. “And so the question becomes one of precedent, and we have to ask where is the government and the state going. We look at the immense amount of investment that is going in to try and tie North American Jewry and Diaspora Jewry to Israel, whether it be young people and Birthright or high school and college programs, and all the work that we’re doing in really supporting the State of Israel within the U.S., within the world. Then there’s this language that frankly has a de-legitimizing effect on the Jews in the Diaspora.”

The deep involvement of Silverman — who worked closely with Natan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency — proved decisive. In the week after the committee vote, the Diaspora leaders effectively branded the legislation as one that would undermine Jewish unity. Up against this description of what his bill represented, it was hard for Rotem to make his argument.

“I am willing to talk to them. I am not willing to be hostage,” Rotem told NPR, speaking of the leaders of the Conservative and Reform movements. “I am not willing to be threatened, and I’m not willing to be blackmailed.”

Rotem has argued that since the bill deals with conversions in Israel, there is no reason that Diaspora Jews should feel affected by it. And his views have been echoed by some members of the Orthodox community in America. In a recent statement, the Rabbinical Council of America said, “It ill behooves us to intrude on Israel’s democratic processes, or to threaten, even indirectly or by implication, a lessening of our full and unequivocal support for the State of Israel, if our views do not prevail.”

But according to Seth Farber, an Orthodox rabbi who runs ITIM, a not-for-profit that assists people whose conversions are called into question, supporters of the bill failed to understand that the particulars were not as relevant as its potential implications. Farber himself had a nuanced reading of the legislation’s provisions, but when he saw how much it had angered North American Jews, he decided to vocally oppose the bill.
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* On Conversion, Alienating Israel’s Friends

“I changed my tune when I realized the extent to which this issue had become highly emotional for North American Jewry and no longer an issue about the substance of the bill,” Farber said. “As soon as the impression was given that this would de-legitimize, I completely joined the forces of the anti-bill.”

It was the emotional tenor of the opposition that ultimately had the strongest impact. Even normally staid and sober supporters of Israel expressed their dismay in highly personal terms.

David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, wrote an op-ed for The Jerusalem Post, in which he described his own difficulties proving his Jewishness to an Orthodox rabbi when he tried to get married. “He asked us endless questions about our identity, later insisting on a paper trail a mile long,” he wrote. The experience soured him and clearly affected the way he saw the current debate.

“For those seeking to keep the Jewish people whole and the Israel-Diaspora intact for generations to come,” Harris wrote, “such moves are downright dangerous, with potentially profound implications.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mormons and dead jews

The Los Angeles office of the American Jewish Committee, led by the
outstanding efforts of Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, worked with leaders at the
highest levels of the Church to resolve the problem. The resolution? A commission
comprised of Jews and Mormons was established to make sure every name
recognized as Jewish even names that may only sound Jewish
was removed from the IGI the International
Genealogical Index and are thus unavailable to be used.
Moreover, every Proxy Baptism performed for a victim of the Shoah who
was annulled, voided and removed from the record except when the victim
was proved to be a relative of a Mormon. Safeguards under the provisions
of New Family Search that actively block all Jewish or
Jewish-sounding names from being put on the list for Proxy Baptism. The
block cannot be lifted without specific proof of family linkage.

Official Church Policy forbids Proxy Baptisms for Jews with one
exception: Mormons may do Proxy Baptisms for their own blood relatives
as revealed through their individual genealogical work. Individual
rogues and zealots violate that policy from time to time, but they
directly violate Church policy when they do and the Church works very
hard to identify and stop them.

Let me close by adding that the Church has extraordinary and specific
resources for helping Jews to trace their ancestry. The Church is
actively engaged in a world-wide project to locate, translate, digitize,
preserve and make available to all Jews our individual genealogical
family histories. Please contact me if you would like more information.

My mother 10 commandments in yiddish

10 commandments in Vaetchanan

Parasha of the week-vaetchanan

Govt may fall over conversion bill

Monday, July 19, 2010
Govt may fall over conversion bill
The struggle over the conversion bill is not quite over and the remarks
of Rabbi Amar yesterday have now made clear what many of us have been
saying all along: it is aimed at preventing non-Orthodox conversions.
Amar called for haredi parties to withdraw from the coalition if the
bill is not passed and said, "I told Prime Minister Netanyahu if, heaven
forbid, he permits Reform conversion, we will be turning the people into
two parts,meaning one part will not intermarry with the other....Pass
the conversion law or we will leave..." Amar is not concerned with the
bill because it will make conversion for Russians easier, but because it
will make 'Reform' conversions (and that includes us) harder - and this
from the rabbi we have been told for years is really liberal! I don't
know if Rotem really believes what he says when he tells us that it
won't harm our conversions or not but it is obvious what his partners
believe. He can have a bill that will help by leaving out the parts that
strengthen the authority of the Chief Rabbinate, but if he does that he
will loose the support of Shas and the Haredim whose agenda is not to
encourage conversion but to assert Orthodox monopoly not only in Israel
but throughout the world. In case this was not clear before, it should
be now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

winning the PR debate on Israel

worries about conversion bill

the most direct concern to us is the formal
public explicit declaration in the bill that the Chief Rabbinate now will
have exclusive jurisdiction over conversion, like it has enjoyed in the
State of Israel from the "Status Quo Agreement of 1947" over marriage and
divorce. This declaration certainly calls into question the future of
non-Orthodox conversions in Israel for the purposes of being registered in
the Population Registry (Mirsham Ha'Ochlasin) as Jewish but also by
extension could be used to invalidate the conversions performed in the
Diaspora on behalf of concerts who are making aliyah by any rabbinic
authority (Reform, Conservative and Liberal Orthodox) not recognized by the
Chief Rabbinate. So yes, non-Orthodox converts and even some Orthodox
converts could lose the right to make aliyah under the Law of Return if the
Ministry of the Interior decides to apply these same criteria from the law
to Diaspora converts. Again, this is speculation but not unfounded fears.

Proposed Conversion Law:
How good intentions turned into abhorrent legislation

By Rabbi Uri Regev, Advocate
President & CEO of Hiddush
1 Av 5770
July 12, 2010

"Jerusalem was only destroyed because they zealously applied the
strict letter of the Law [Torah] and not going beyond the letter of the
law." (Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia 30B)

1. The proposed conversion law [formally titled: The Chief Rabbinate bill
(Amendment - Powers in Matters of Conversion), 5770-2010] in the formulation
presented today to the Knesset Constitution & Law Committee is the worst and
most damaging in the sequence of conversion bills that MK Rotem, who chairs
the Committee, has proposed. It represents an unsavory surrender to the
rabbinical establishment and the ultra-Orthodox politicians. The proposal
is designed to expand the authority of the Chief Rabbinate and undermine
conversions done by the major religious movements within the Jewish people.
It pretentiously claims to facilitate easier access to conversion for new
immigrants and halt the increasing trend to nullify conversions after the
fact on the grounds of non observance of commandments. This proposal does
not solve the problems faced by new immigrants, and it puts at risk Israel's
strategic interests, by jeopardizing the cooperation and solidarity with
Diaspora Jewry. It places Israel on an inevitable collision course with
most Jews of the world today - and represents an unfortunate example for
highly objectionable legislation. It may have started with good intentions,
but after passing through the ultra religious political mill it has become
an appalling bill which must be rejected outright.

2. In article 1 the authority of the chief rabbinate is expanded, by
granting it "responsibility over conversion in Israel". This authority never
been granted to the Chief Rabbinate, and it is in clear contradiction with
consistent rulings of the Supreme Court, which negated the authority of the
Chief Rabbinate over conversion matters that are not tied directly to
issues of personal status. This expansion contradicts the principle of
"Freedom of Religion and Conscience" promised in Israel's Declaration of
Independence, and the desire of the majority of Israeli Jews to see
religious life here firmly based on pluralism and equality of all streams
of Judaism.

3. The article's language worsened in comparison to the draft that was
presented to the Knesset Committee in March. It now states explicitly that
the authority of the Chief Rabbinate "will not harm conversions that were
done by the Special Rabbinical Courts that were appointed by virtue of
government decisions and Rabbinical Courts that operate according to law".
In his recent visit to the US and in meetings with heads of the Jewish
federations and the non Orthodox Jewish streams, Rotem stated that the
formulation of the Bill that was presented in March,[the language of which
stated that the "Responsibility of the Chief Rabbinate over conversion
would not diminish the rights of other authorities to conduct conversion in
Israel according to any law"] provided for continuation of the recognition
of Reform and Conservative conversions. We doubted his statements on this
issue that were aimed at silencing criticism from the non-Orthodox movements
against the proposed law. Now it is patently clear that this was never the
intention, and that the new legislation attempts to undermine the continued
recognition of these conversions, and is intended to enable the Ministry of
Interior to argue before the Supreme Court that the legal situation has
changed and that non-Orthodox conversions, which do not fall within the new
language of the "exemptions" to the authority of the Chief Rabbinate, may no
longer be recognized.

4. Article 2 aims in part to expand the ranks of converting rabbis, in hopes
that among the "City Rabbis" and the "Local Council Rabbis" there will be
some with a moderate approach. The present draft adds an explicit condition
to the validity of their conversions; that they "will be recognized .only if
the conversion was conducted according to the religious requirements . after
acceptance of the yoke of Torah and commandments according to Halachah".
Beyond the ridiculous nature of this condition, which implies that the Chief
Rabbinate and the ultra Orthodox politicians entertain doubts as to whether
the "City Rabbis" and "Local Councils Rabbis" will act according to Jewish
Law, there is here a severe set of conditions in the most sensitive area of
converting new immigrants. Namely - the law states that even conversions
conducted in these new Orthodox rabbinical courts will be invalid if they do
not sufficiently comply with the requirement to accept the "yoke of
commandments". So long as the Chief Rabbinate does not publicly clarify to
what extent it is prepared to adopt lenient rulings regarding the demand to
accept the "yoke of commandments" from new immigrants - the new legislative
exercise is doomed to failure from the outset. Everyone who deals with
conversion knows exactly the nature of the challenge, and if Rotem and the
Chief Rabbinate are not prepared to recognize the reality and reconcile with
it - it is best they do not delude the new immigrant population and not push
the State of Israel into a collision course with the Jewish People

5. The present draft also includes a threat and sanctions against rabbis who
serve on the "Special Rabbinic Courts" if they do not satisfy the chief
rabbis as to requiring acceptance of the "yoke of commandments" by the
converts. The Bill authorizes the chief rabbis to forbid these rabbis from
continuing to officiate in conversions.

6. The proposed law professes to block the growing trend of retroactive
nullification of conversions, whether by "Regional Rabbinic Courts" when
adjudicating matters of personal status, or by City Rabbis who refuse to
recognize lenient Orthodox conversions and do not approve weddings for these
converts. Instead of drawing the logical conclusion and removing from
Rabbinic Courts and City Rabbis the State exclusive authority, and basing
their function on voluntary choice of those who accept their authority as
in every other democratic society. The present Bill tries "to eat its cake
and have it too." The Bill attempts to bypass the extreme rabbinic courts
by instructing that to rule on the validity of past conversions you first
have to refer it to the original court that conducted the conversion, and
that appeals against its decisions will require approval of the president
of the High Rabbinic Court. Likewise the Bill creates an alternative channel
for convert marriages, by a member of the converting rabbinic court, instead
of the "recalcitrant" City Rabbis. The time has come to recognize the truth
- the politicization of religion and creation of an Orthodox monopoly has
brought about the growing extremism and Haredization. . The answer is to
abolish the monopoly - not establish an apparatus of "rabbinate B" to bypass
"rabbinate A."

7. The proposed Bill makes it possible to nullify conversions if the
converting rabbinic court, or a Rabbinic Court of Appeal, decides that the
conversion "was conducted on the basis of misleading information". As is
known, the candidate for conversion is required to promise before the
rabbinic court to observe the commandments and give religious education to
his/her children. There is no doubt but that those who wish to may easily
nullify conversions after the fact, holding that the promise given the
rabbinical court was not sincere. This is how "nullifiers" acted in the
past, and they can continue to do so in the future.

8. Requiring the approval of the president of the High Rabbinic Court as a
condition for nullifying conversions is a dubious block against this
phenomenon. Rumor as to Chief Rabbi Amar holding a lenient approach have
not been proven, and nothing has been heard from him directly and
unequivocally as to his position regarding the vexing question of accepting
the yoke of Torah and commandments by converts. But what is no less
important is that in the best case scenario - this is a patchwork remedy
that does not provide a real solution. Rabbi Amar will conclude his term in
office in a few years, and there is no doubt but that the path of the Chief
Rabbinate is leading to even more religious extremism. Therefore, there is
no point in placing the matter in the hands of the president of the High
Rabbinic Court to close up the gaping hole in this dam, and it is clear that
nullification of conversions will continue.


Article 3 of the Bill changes the Citizenship Law in a way that reduces
recognition of converts according to the Law of Return and the Citizenship
Law, and creates a distinction between Jews-by-choice and Jews-by-birth. .
This is an outrageous initiative, which contradicts Jewish tradition and
particularly harms converts from abroad whose attraction to Judaism was
enhanced by a visit to Israel. This is a most grievous change of the legal
situation, which will hurt many converts and make them into "second class"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

winning the pro-Israel debate/pr war

Winning the Israel debate:
You often have a one sentence chance-they’ll say
“How can you support Israel when it: illegally occupies others? Steals innocent Arab land? Kills babies? Responds disproportionally with massive firepower?
YOU say:
Responses: use any and all
You have it totally backwards
1. Only Israel cares about harming innocents and does everything it can to avoid it, The Arabs PURPOSELY, deliberately try and kill Israeli children
2. How can you support the Palestinians when they: note 2 below
a. Kill their daughters for dating –honor killing
b. kill gays for being gay
c. Inspire their kindergarteners to be suicide mass murderers
d. name streets after mass murderer terrorists of Jews
e. stole Jewish land. It was promised to Jews 4000 years ago, Jews lived there steadily and unbroken 4000 years, the Jews who left only left as slaves in chains-not willingly . Read the Bible if you don’t believe me.
f. are given total control of Gaza and instead of living in peace send 8000 missiles from inside mosques and schools and non military targets in Israel . Israel totally withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and Hezbollah still wants to destroy Israel. Would you trust them as your neighbor? There is NO WAY to satisfy Arab grievances and let Israel survive.
g. proudly say in polls they support suicide mass murder of Israeli children
3. The Palestinians have a country-Jordan. The rulers there are carpetbaggers the British installed from Saudi Arabia. Why should the Palestinians have 2 countries and the Jews none? Let them complain to Jordan. Jordan controlled the west bank from 1948-1967. The blame for no Palestinian state #2 is theirs, not Israel.
4. Why reward Arabs/ Palestinians for violence? The Palestinians had a chance at a second country in 1947 when the UN offered it and they turned it down to gamble on destroying Israel which was one day old and mass murder the Jews there. Why should they be rewarded for that?
5. There is no Arab Palestinian people. It is all made up. Check any history book about any date before 1930. All references to Palestine and Palestinians were Jewish. The Arabs stole the title “Palestinian”just for more anti-Semitism-to steal jewish land.
6. Disproportionate? US nuked 2 Japanese cities, firebombed Dresden vs Israel, at cost of own soldiers, went house to house to try and stop the 8000 missile throwers from Gaza. Guess you don’t care if Jews are killed. The Palestinians shoot from hospitals, put children in front of their soldiers, dress as civilians, fire from crowded civilian areas. Would you ask your govt to do nothing to protect your family?
7. What have Palestinians done for peace? Offered nothing but hateful rhetoric, teaching 5 year olds to hate, honor mass murderers of Jews, refuse face-to-face negotiations, lie about Jewish 4000 year presence in Israel, lie about how many Arabs were born inside Israel, call for Israel’s destruction, start intifadas, shoot missiles at Israel schools,
Israel, on the other hand, has agreed to 2 states in that tiny area, eliminated checkpoints once terror eased, allowed more goods in Gaza even though they know they will be used for weapons, made it known some parts of Jerusalem could go to the Arabs, begged for face-to-face meetings, given the Sinai up for peace with Egypt, pulled out of Gaza 100%. The Arabs give 0 except more violence and hateful rhetoric. Time to demand they stop the violence and hate from the Arabs and then peace will come easily. See note below

8. Apartheid wall? Many nations put up protective barriers, including the USA. Israel only did it to stop the many suicide bombers killing hundreds of Israelis. It stopped it 100%. Wouldn’t you want to protect your child going to school. The only nation in the entire Arab world the Arabs have equal rights is the jewish state. Do you know there are 13 Arabs in the Israeli government? Jews have no rights in any Arab country-850,000 were expelled from 1948-1950.

9. The Muslims have done nothing for the world except bring terror. Jews and Israel are saving the world in countless ways. You suffer from the psychological “Stockholm syndrome”-identifying with the violent aggressor.
10. It is the Arabs who persecute their citizens , have horrible living standards, practice apartheid etc see
11. Israel is self-critical when it errs or oversteps, vs Arabs/Palestinians which make murder, persecution, death, violence, terror their main program
12. There can be no peace until Palestinians change. Tragically, because of the actions of the PA and the attitudes toward Israel of its citizens, peace remains an illusion. Israel has already given away all of Gaza and one-half of the West Bank. Yet the Palestinians continue their incitement, refusal to arrest terrorists, and to truly accept Israel’s right to exist. Until the actions of the Palestinian Authority change to promote a real peace, and until President Obama seriously pressures the PA to make those changes, no amount of friendly photo-ops and friendly public words will change the reality that peace is not yet at hand.

13. What Palestinian suffering? West Bank Arabs among highest standard of living and freest in entire Arab world. Israeli Arabs live better than American minorities. On measures of health, they do better than the American white majority. Palestinian Arabs living in the Israeli-controlled West Bank and Gaza Strip have fared better in terms of life expectancy, adjusted real income, and educational attainment than many fellow Arabs, according to the United Nations. Most of their problems are because of their anti-Israel attitudes. Notes below

14. Israel is the David, Arabs the goliath. 6 million people vs 400 million /15 mile wide country vs millions of square miles of Arab territory. 1 country vs 21 Arab countries. Oil vs no oil.

15. Can’t believe anything Palestinians say: Abbas phd was to deny Holocaust, claims Israel no historic tie to Jerusalem, doctors photos, claim genocide all the time when they cause it, deny journalists, threaten journalists

16. Your just anti-Semitic; impose standards on Israel that no one else has

17. Palestinians bulldoze Palestinian homes: Hamas destroys dozens of homes in southern Gaza
May 16 02:59 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said. Gaza's militant Hamas rulers said the homes were built illegally on government land. Newly homeless residents were furious over Palestinians on bulldozers razing Palestinian homes.

From former USA National US Debate champion Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

2. To make matters worse, the PA has permanently glorified killers of Jews by naming over a hundred streets, schools, and sports teams after them. Last month a new song was performed by a Palestinian children’s choir about the glory attached to “martyrdom” – dying a violent death while waging war and terrorism on infidels, in this case, Jews, has become a hit on Arabic websites. Not to mention that no map in the PA shows Israel – only Palestine.” The PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayaad visit the homes of murderers of Jews and publicly call them martyrs.

7. Fatah/PA officials from Abbas down declare that they do not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Abbas has openly stated “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah … to recognize Israel.” Senior Fatah figure Nabil Shaath recently asserted that Hamas need not end terrorism or recognize Israel to be part of a Palestinian unity government.

And this incitement has consequences. Polls have shown that 75% of Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist. In April, an An-Najah University poll found that more than-two thirds of Palestinians rejected a peace encompassing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In January 2009, a Jerusalem Media & Communications Center poll found that Palestinian support terror attacks on Israelis by 55% to 38%.

13. Within Israel, there are too many Arabs studying in Israeli universities and living alongside Jews to justify the term 'apartheid' other than as an anti-Semitic screed.
There are gaps in opportunity between Jews and Arabs in Israel, but they are largely the responsibility of the Arab community itself. And the problems of Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza likewise reflect Arab more than Jewish activity.
The common problem of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza is a failure to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, and to participate with it. Rather than cooperating politically for mutual benefits, both groups of Arabs persist in extreme rejection. Palestinians hold onto keys to doors that no longer exist, and demand the return to conditions before 1948. They along with Israeli Arabs deny any responsibility for the fate that befell them, and cling to a sense of having a monopoly of justice. Instead of accepting a decent offer in the summer and fall of 2000, Palestinians embarked on an intifada. Rather than accept as a partial success the withdrawal of settlements from Gaza, they persisted in rocket attacks. These responses have earned them the deepened distrust of Israelis, and helped produce a government that is not inclined to offer the same deals as its predecessors.
Israeli Arabs have not learned the lesson of American minorities, i.e., to play within the system and exchange political support for material benefits. Most of the Arabs elected to the Knesset persist in harsh criticism from outside the major parties, rather than deals negotiated from inside. The Palestinians of Jerusalem refuse even to participate in local elections. They give up the opportunity to select a third of the local council and be a deciding factor in the mayoral elections. As a result, they live in neighborhoods with sub-standard facilities. When asked why they do not cooperate with the Israeli establishment, the Arab mantra is that cooperation is bound to fail due to Israeli 'racism.'

new Pro Israel group

New conservative group will oppose Obama Mideast policy
By: Ben Smith
July 12, 2010 03:54 PM EDT

Leading conservatives will launch a new pro-Israel group this week with a scathing attack on Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, the first shot in what they say will be a confrontational campaign against the Obama administration’s Mideast policy and the Democrats who support it.

The Emergency Committee for Israel’s leadership unites two major strands of support for the Jewish state: The hawkish, neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, many of whom are Jewish, and conservative Evangelical Christians who have become increasingly outspoken in their support for Israel. The new group’s board includes Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and Gary Bauer, the former Republican presidential candidate who leads the group American Values, as well as Rachel Abrams, a conservative writer and activist.

“We’re the pro-Israel wing of the pro-Israel community,” said Kristol.

While President Barack Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to put the best public face on their differences after a White House meeting last week, the two leaders have had a contentious relationship. Some American backers of Israel, as well as many Israelis, remain deeply suspicious of Obama’s efforts to press Israel toward specific policy shifts and to improve American relations with the Muslim world.

The new committee declined to disclose its funding — as a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, it isn’t required to — but said it had raised enough to air its first ad, starting this week, on Fox and CNN and during a Philadelphia Phillies game. The ad attacks Sestak for signing a letter criticizing Israel’s blockade of Gaza while not signing a defense of Israel circulated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and for appearing at a fundraiser for the Council on American Islamic Relations, which it describes as an “anti-Israel organization the FBI called a ‘front group for Hamas.’”

CAIR denied the 2008 allegation, and no charges were ever brought against it.

“Does Congressman Joe Sestak understand Israel is America’s ally?” asks the ad’s narrator.

A spokesman for Sestak, who defeated Sen. Arlen Specter for the Democratic Senate nomination, rejected the ad’s characterization.

“Joe is a strong supporter of the State of Israel,” said April Mellody, referring to the congressman’s service as a naval officer in the first Gulf War. “It’s political silly season, so it’s not surprising these conservatives are trying to distort Joe’s record.”

The Emergency Committee plans to advertise in other congressional races as well, according to Noah Pollak, its executive director.

“We want to be hard-hitting; we want to get into the debate and shake things up and make some points in a firm way,” he said.

The group will target races for the House and the Senate, but there’s little doubt the larger target is the Obama administration, which Bauer told POLITICO is “the most anti-Israel administration in the history of the United States.”

Along with earlier pressure on Israel to restrain building in Jerusalem, critics point to suggestions that the U.S. won’t seek to block an investigation led by the U.N. secretary-general into its raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza and new pressure on Israel to disclose its nuclear program.

Much of the traditional relationship between the U.S. and Israel remains unchanged, notably strong military-to-military ties and arms sales. Israel has also been pleased by increasing American pressure on Iran.

A White House spokesman, Ben Rhodes, declined to comment on the new group but provided a string of recent comments from Netanyahu on the strength of the countries’ relationship.

“I trust Barack Obama, the president of the United States, to carry out with me the policies that have joined Israel and the United States in what Barack Obama has called the unbreakable bond,” Netanyahu told CBS’s Katie Couric last week. “We have common goals, common interests, and we now have a job to do to get on with our common goal of achieving peace with security. I trust we’ll be able to do that together.”

The Emergency Committee will fit into a broadening spectrum of American pro-Israel groups, many of which have followed AIPAC’s lead in seeking to avoid open rifts with the White House and the political parties. Kristol said this group was inspired in part by the new liberal group J Street, whose ability to amplify criticism of the Israeli government showed, he said, the power of a small new group — if on the other side of the debate.

“There are some who say they’re pro-Israel but aren’t really,” he said, referring to J Street. “Then there’s AIPAC, which is a wonderful organization, but one that’s very committed to working with the administration, so they pull some punches publicly.”

One official at an American Jewish organization welcomed the group to the degree that it would make criticism of Democrats “mainstream,” but also expressed concern that a group with such Republican origins would contribute to a deepening partisan cast to the debate over Israel, with Republicans lining up behind the Israeli government while some Democrats align themselves with Netanyahu’s American critics.

Bauer dismissed that notion.

“I encourage our Democratic friends to have a competition with us on who can be more pro-Israel, because I think it’s in the interests of the United States and not a political party,” he said. “I’m really hoping that people like Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and others will aggressively speak out for Israel at a time like this.”

And the group’s emergence has already provoked rancor on the left. After a liberal foreign policy blogger noticed that the group had quietly registered a website, the national security editor for the blog of the Democratic-aligned Center for American Progress, Matt Duss, tweeted sarcastically, “Because the world really needs another astroturf Israeli propaganda outfit.” A spokeswoman for CAP said he spoke for himself and not the group.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Netanyahu states it clearly

Palestinians Have to Say "The Conflict Is Over," As Sadat Did - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
After meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York on July 7:
"We don't want to govern the Palestinians and we don't want them to be either our subjects or citizens of the country. We also want to make sure that they have their own independent dignified life, but that they don't threaten the State of Israel....In addition, the Palestinians have to do something that they so far have not done. And that is to do what Anwar Sadat did - to come forward and say, 'It's over. The conflict is over. There is no more war, there is no more bloodshed and there will be no more conflict.'"
"One thing that unites all of us is that we all know that we are not foreign interlopers in the Land of Israel....We have nearly a four-thousand-year connection to this land and the return of the Jewish people to Zion, the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in our ancestral homeland, is not just one of the great events of modern times, it's one of the greatest events of all time....For the Jews...Zion is only one place - Israel - and the connection between our people and the Land of Israel is as strong and enduring as any people's connection to any place on earth."
"All responsible countries say that Israel has a right to defend itself, but virtually every time we seek to exercise that right, we are nearly universally condemned....So it seems that, even after six decades, many around the world are still uncomfortable with the idea of Jewish sovereignty. Perhaps they have not internalized the fact that the Jews will no longer be passive victims of history. We are now actors on the stage of history. We now chart our own collective destiny and that requires Israel to have a secure and unchallenged right of self-defense that is accorded to other nations as well."
"For 2000 years, the Jews were the perfect victims. And perfect victims may be perfectly moral but they're still victims. The purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives. And in that defense, the standard that must be applied to Israel is not perfection but a standard that is applied to any other country faced with similar circumstances."
"What other country has suffered thousands and thousands of rockets rained on its cities?...Britain. And yet Israel's response to the rocketing of its cities is a fraction, a fraction, perhaps a percent or less of the response in terms of casualties inflicted by Britain on those who attacked it."

will the Presbyterians side with the murderers, suicide bombers, terrorists?

Presbyterians Debate Anti-Israel Measures

July 8, 2010

Dear Friend of Israel,

The Presbyterian Church (USA) -- one of the “mainline” Protestant denominations that used to make up the religious establishment in this country -- is once again embroiled in controversy for its stance on Israel. In the past, the denomination was at the forefront of the anti-Israel divestment movement. At its biennial General Assembly the group has considered an array of resolutions and statements harshly critical of Israel.

As I write this, the PCUSA is again holding its General Assembly, and is again considering adopting controversial statements against Israel. On the agenda this year is a report titled “Breaking Down the Walls” by the church’s Middle East Study Committee (MESC). Critics have lambasted the report for legitimizing doubts about Israel’s right to exist, for endorsing a notorious document authored by virulently anti-Israel Palestinian leaders , and for calling on both Iran and Israel to “refrain from nuclear arms proliferation” -- as if peaceful, democratic Israel and bellicose, authoritarian, Israel-hating Iran pose a similar threat to the Middle East.

But the tide may be turning against the anti-Israel faction in the PCUSA. It is significant and heartening to note that more and more people, including Presbyterians, are speaking out against the MESC report. One pastoral letter signed by a number of prominent Presbyterians called the report “unbalanced, historically inaccurate, theologically flawed, and politically damaging.” Guastav Niebuhr, a prominent religion writer and great-nephew of Reinhold Niebuhr, perhaps the preeminent Protestant theologian of the 20th century, said in a blog post co-written with Katharine Henderson that the report “strays from this path to peace-building and instead deals in neatly-assigned roles Israel as oppressor, Palestinians as victims.”

Still, the fact that such resolutions are even considered for approval at all is a sign that the anti-Israel sentiment in mainline Protestant denominations like the PCUSA runs deep. Despite their lessening influence, the decisions made by these denominations do have an effect on public opinion, and can help influence policy. That is why we must continue to hope and pray that their influence diminishes and that the influence of the majority of Christians who love and support Israel continues to rise.

The PCUSA likely won’t make a decision on “Breaking Down the Walls” until their General Assembly ends later this week. But there is much you can do as this denominational debate continues. First, you can stay abreast of these developments on our Stand for Israel blog. If you are a member of a PCUSA congregation, ask your pastor to speak out against this anti-Israel document. Voice your support for Israel in the political realm. And, of course, pray that the world will come to a truer understanding of the dynamics in the Middle East and stand united in support of God’s chosen people.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

what have Palestinians done for peace?

Over the past year, Netanyahu (1) formed a coalition government with parties to both his right and left, (2) proposed immediate negotiations with no preconditions, (3) formally endorsed a two-state solution (as long as one of them is Jewish and the other is demilitarized), (4) removed scores of West Bank roadblocks and checkpoints, (5) implemented an unprecedented settlement moratorium, and (6) plans even more gestures to the perpetually confidence-impaired Palestinians to encourage them to join negotiations to give them a state.

During the same period, the Palestinians have been unwilling to commence direct negotiations unless Israel first conceded the principal issues to be negotiated, and Obama has acted as if he were the Palestinians’ attorney – not bound by U.S. commitments to Israel (the 2004 Bush letter), ignoring longstanding understandings on the meaning of a settlement freeze, manufacturing a crisis about future Jewish housing in the Jewish area of the capital of the Jewish state, voting for a UN resolution singling out Israel on its most sensitive defense issue, etc.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

why isn't Obama's anti-semitism czar condemning this?

Remember Obama attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged President Barack Obama to condemn veteran Jew-hater, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, for his latest outburst and threats against Jews in letters he sent to 14 American Jewish organizational leaders, including ZOA’s Morton Klein, ADL’s Abe Foxman, Conference of Presidents’ Alan Solow, AIPAC’s Lee Rosenberg, Jewish Federation’s Jerry Silverman, American Jewish Congress’ Richard Gordon and Hillel’s Wayne Firestone. The letter came enclosed with two volumes of hateful new works published by the Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, volume two; and Jews Selling Blacks: Slave Trade by American Jews. Farrakhan has also said that he has sent copies of the volumes to various media outlets and members of the Obama Administration.

In his letter to American Jewish leaders, Farrakhan accused Jewish leaders of using accusations of anti-Semitism as a means to hide the truth and to silence criticism “of what I and many others feel is Jewish behavior that has ill-affected Black people and others.”

Farrakhan’s letter claimed “… an undeniable record of Jewish anti-Black behavior, starting with the horror of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, plantation slavery, Jim Crow, sharecropping, the labor movement of the North and South, the unions and the misuse of our people that continues to this very moment … Armed with this knowledge from the pens of Jewish scholars, Rabbis and historians, we could now charge you with the most vehement anti-Black behavior in the annals of our history in America and the world. We could charge you with being the most deceitful so-called friend, while your history with us shows you have been our worst enemy.”

Farrakhan’s letter ended with a threat: “should you choose to make our struggle to civilize our people more difficult, then I respectfully warn you … that the more you fight and oppose me rather than help me lift my people from their degraded state, Allah (G-d) and his Messiah will bring you and your people to disgrace and ruin and destroy your power and influence here and in the world.”

Also, in a speech some weeks ago entitled ‘Who are the Real Children of Israel?,’ in which he said that he would be sending copies of the books to Jewish leaders, Farrakhan accused Jews of exploiting the talent and artistry of blacks. He said, “Today the Jewish people have developed a new strategy … They have always tied themselves to Black people. They attach themselves to our talent. They are the managers, the agents and they are the accountants and that’s why our black artists loved fame and got fame but died poor because somebody else got their money. No black man or woman becomes a multimillionaire without friendship in the Jewish community.”

President Obama’s former church in Chicago, Trinity United, which he, his wife and daughters attended for 20 years and whose former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, he called a “friend” and “mentor,” in 2007 awarded Farrakhan a Lifetime Achievement Award. Wright said of Farrakhan in the church’s magazine, Trumpet: “His depth on analysis [sic] when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye-opening … He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest” (Quoted in Ronald Kessler, ‘Obama and the Minister,’ Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008). When this award came to the fore during the 2008 presidential campaign, the-Senator Obama falsely claimed that this award was given to Farrakhan for his work with black prisoners. President Obama helped organize and attended Farrakhan’s Million Man March. During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Obama denounced Farrakhan and, under public pressure from Hillary Clinton in a live TV interview, rejected statements Farrakhan made supporting his White House bid.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Louis Farrakhan’s letter is not only vicious anti-Semitic nonsense but deliberately threatening. Basically, he is saying that unless American Jews cooperate with whatever scheme of ‘helping’ his movement that he may have in mind, Jews everywhere will be endangered. This is a veiled call for violence against Jews. As such, it deserves to be repudiated and condemned. Who better than to do that than a black president who has spoken about healing racial divides, including that between Jews and African-Americans, and reducing the anti-Semitism that comes from some sectors of the African-American community? As noted historian Paul Johnson wrote in A History of the Jews, ‘One of the principal lessons of Jewish history has been that repeated verbal slanders are sooner or later followed by violent physical deeds. Time and again over the centuries, anti-Semitic writings created their own fearful momentum which climaxed in an effusion of Jewish blood.’

and then

Rev. Jeremiah Wright: Jews Control Flow of Info
Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010 12:38 PM
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By: Ronald Kessler

As might be expected, the mainstream media have ignored the latest rant from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., President Obama’s minister, friend, sounding board, and mentor for 20 years.

As reported recently by the New York Post, Wright told a seminar he taught at the University of Chicago that Jews control the flow of worldwide information and oppress blacks in Israel and in the United States.

“White folk done took this country,” Wright said. “You’re in their home, and they’re gonna let you know it.” Addressing blacks in his class, Wright said, “You are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be, a brother to white folk. And if you do not realize that, you are in serious trouble.”

Wright said the educational system in America is designed by whites to mis-educate blacks “not by benign neglect but by malignant intent.”

The civil-rights movement was never about racial equality, Wright said. Instead, “It was always about becoming white . . . to master what [they] do.” He added, “We probably have more African-Americans who’ve been brainwashed than we have South Africans who’ve been brainwashed.”

Finally, Wright stood up for Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan, who has made serial anti-Semitic and anti-white comments, documented on the Anti-Defamation League’s website. Wright criticized black leaders for “cuttin’ and duckin’” at the mention of Farrakhan’s name.

During the 20 years Obama sat in his pews, hate speech was Wright’s specialty. In sermons, he claimed America created the AIDS virus to kill off blacks. His church’s website and newsletters were replete with screeds against Israel.

Yet Obama, in his speech disavowing Wright in Philadelphia, said of his self-described longtime friend and adviser, “Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect.”
That is as believable as a friend and mentor of Adolf Hitler saying he never heard him disparage Jews.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

apologize Tom Friedman

Thursday, July 1, 2010
apologize Tom Friedman
Op-Ed: Tom Friedman must apologize for slandering Israel

By Shmuley Boteach · June 30, 2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- I don’t often read Tom Friedman in The New York Times. True, he is one of the most lucid writers in America, and his crystal-clear prose helps in understanding some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. He can also be repetitive, tiresome and a little too in love with his own ideas.

As a triple winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Friedman is a man of considerable influence. But he is always lecturing Israel. If only the Jewish state would listen to his recurring advice, manna again would rain from the heavens, the dead would be resurrected and the Arabs would welcome Israel with daises and lilies.

Friedman certainly is entitled to his view. But he is not entitled to slander Israel, and last Sunday he did so with relish.
In words that blur the line between commentary and defamation, Friedman wrote of the “brutality of Israel’s retaliations” against Hezbollah and Hamas, and how Israel “chose to go after them without being deterred by the prospect of civilian casualties.” He then crossed a line of common decency when he irresponsibly accused Israel of using “Hama rules” in its war against the twin terror groups.

“Hama Rules,” he explained, “are named after the Syrian town of Hama, where, in 1982, then-President Hafez el-Assad of Syria put down a Muslim fundamentalist uprising by shelling and then bulldozing their neighborhoods, killing more than 10,000 of his own people.”

This is a straightforward blood libel. To accuse Israel of indiscriminately murdering thousands of civilians the way the butcher Assad did in Hama is to equate a democratic state whose actions are open to international media and scrutiny and constant judicial review with a bloodthirsty dictator and tyrant who held on to power without any restraint of law.

In his book "From Beirut to Jerusalem," Friedman himself writes that he had heard through friends that Assad’s brother, Rifaat al-Assad, had boasted that the Syrian government had killed 38,000 people in Hama. Is he seriously suggesting that Israel has ever been guilty of anything remotely approaching such wholesale slaughter?

In accusing Israel of the murderous immorality of Syria, Friedman has severely compromised his credibility and objectivity as an honest and fair-minded journalist. He is being dishonest and he knows it.

Israel is at the forefront of world militaries in trying always to diminish the civilian casualties of war. When it came to Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel endured years of provocation as both terrorist groups fired thousands of rockets at hospitals, schools and homes before Israel decided that no nation could long endure with its civilian population living amid such staggering death and fear. Only then did Israel invade.

Even then, while Hezbollah and Hamas launched their rockets from nurseries and infirmaries, Israel behaved with unparalleled restraint, doing everything in its power to warn civilians of coming offensives and then using state-of-the-art munitions with laser-like precision to reduce, as much as humanly possibly, collateral civilian casualties.How does Friedman propose Israel fight Hezbollah and Hamas, two of the world’s most bloodthirsty terrorist groups, who pride themselves on dismembering innocent civilians?

The United States rains hellfire missiles on Taliban and al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan on a regular basis, blowing them to smithereens along with their wives and children. On May 21, U.S. airstrikes killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the No. 3 leader of al-Qaida. His wife and three children were killed with him. Friedman never condemned the attack.

Perhaps it is because he sensibly understood that terrorists purposely travel with civilians and have contempt for the lives of even their own children. Yazid knew he was a marked man; he could have left his children in safety. But he banked on the belief that the United States would not touch him as long as his kids were around. President Obama rightly understood, however, that in this case it was a choice between his children and American children, that if this terrorist continued to live, Americans would continue to die.

I believe that you will never see Friedman pen a column suggesting that America is an immoral power because it attacks terrorists undeterred by considerations of civilian deaths because he knows that there would be hell to pay, even for the New York Times readership. But like so many Jewish apologists who are ashamed of what the tiny Jewish democracy must do in order to simply survive, he judges Israel by impossibly high, and usually double, standards.

Want to talk about brutal? In Operation Gomorrah of July 1943, the U.S. Air Force and Britain's Royal Air Force carpet-bombed Hamburg, killing some 50,000 civilians and practically destroying the entire city. The bombing created a whirling updraft of super-heated air, bringing about a 1,500-foot-high tornado of fire that incinerated thousands of civilian noncombatants.

In February 1945, when Hitler and Germany were headed to certain defeat, the U.S. Air Force and the RAF sent 1,300 heavy bombers over Dresden, dropping 3,900 tons of high explosives that destroyed nearly the entire city center and killed approximately 250,000 civilians. Six months later, on Aug. 6 and 9, President Truman ordered the atomic destruction of two Japanese cities, killing 90,000 to 166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki.

Where is Friedman’s column condemning Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill as monsters who ordered attacks on Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan “without being deterred by the prospect of civilian casualties”? If Friedman ever writes the column I’ll eat my yarmulke. That triumvirate today are regarded as three of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century.

Why would highly moral men have ordered the indiscriminate destruction of so many innocent lives?

It was because they were fighting an evil that had no precedent, and they had to make a terrible choice between the lives of their own countrymen and those of the civilians of enemies sworn to the destruction of Western democracy. They put their own countries and the freedom of the West first.

Israel, possessed of nuclear weapons and one of the most powerful air forces in the world, has never even contemplated carpet bombing any Arab city, irrespective of the horrendous civilian losses it has endured from 60 years of nonstop Arab aggression. It continues to bury a steady steam of civilians and soldiers when, if it truly wished to employ Hama rules, the war in the Middle East would have ended long ago.Friedman can do better than this, and he owes Israel an apology. He should be man enough to write it.

(Rabbi Shmuley Boteach hosts "The Shmuley Show" on WABC-770 AM in New York City. His most recent book is “Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life.”)
Posted by Rabbi yonatan at 1:38 PM 0 comments