Friday, December 24, 2010

Pro Israel forces blocked the Seattle anti-Israel bus ad campaign

How about these ads? I'd like to see these on busses

Palestine-another terrorist state
Palestinians train kindergardners to use machine guns
Palestinians shoot missiles from schools and hospitals
Palestinians aim missiles at schools and hospitals
Coming to a your neighborhood-another extremist Wahabbi mosque
Palestine-where Arabs can be terrorized and brutalized
Palestine-another Arab state where Christians will be terrorized

Why he speaks yiddish


This is a wonderful story. Be sure you read it all.

The South Bronx in 1950 was the home of a large and thriving community, predominantly Jewish. In the 1950s the Bronx offered synagogues, mikvas, kosher bakeries, and kosher butchers -- all the comforts one would expect
from an observant Orthodox Jewish community.

The baby boom of the postwar years happily resulted in many new young parents. As a matter of course, the South Bronx had its own baby equipment store, Sickser's.

Sickser's was located on the corner of Westchester and Fox, and specialized in "everything for the baby" as its slogan ran.

The inventory began with cribs, baby carriages, playpens, high chairs,changing tables, and toys. It went way beyond these to everything a baby could want or need. Mr. Sickser, assisted by his son-in-law Lou Kirshner, ran a profitable business out of the needs of the rapidly expanding child population.

The language of the store was primarily Yiddish, but Sickser's was a place where not only Jewish families but also many non-Jewish ones could acquire the necessary for their newly arrived bundles of joy.
Business was particularly busy one spring day, so much so that Mr. Sickser and his son-in-law could not handle the unexpected throng of customers.
Desperate for help, Mr. Sickser ran out of the store and stopped the first youth he spotted on the street. "Young man," he panted, "how would you like to make a little extra money? I need some help in the store. You want to work a little?"

The tall, lanky black boy flashed a toothy smile back. "Yes, sir, I'd like some work.." "Well then, let's get started."

The boy followed his new employer into the store. Mr. Sickser was immediately impressed with the boy's good manners and demeanor.
As the days went by and he came again and again to lend his help, Mr.Sickser and Lou both became increasingly impressed with the youth's diligence,punctuality, and readiness to learn. Eventually Mr. Sickser made him a regular employee at the store. It was gratifying to find an employee with an almost soldier-like willingness to perform even the most menial of tasks, and to perform them well.

From the age of thirteen until his sophomore year in college, this young man put in from twelve to fifteen hours a week, at 50 to 75 cents an hour.
Mostly, he performed general labor: assembling merchandise, unloading trucks and preparing items for shipments. He seemed, in his quiet way, to appreciate not only the steady employment but also the friendly atmosphere Mr.Sickser's store offered.

Mr. Sickser and Lou learned in time about their helper's Jamaican origins,and he in turn picked up a good deal of Yiddish.

In time the young man was able to converse fairly well with his employers,and more importantly, with a number of the Jewish customers whose English was not fluent. At the age of seventeen, the young man, while still working part-time at Sickser's, began his first semester at City College of New York. He fit in just fine with his, for the most part Jewish classmates, hardly surprising, considering that he already knew their ways and their language.

But the heavy studying in the engineering and, later, geology courses he chose proved quite challenging.The young man would later recall that Sickser's offered the one stable point in his life those days.

In 1993, in his position as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , two years after he guided the American victory over Iraq in the Gulf War, General Colin Powell visited the Holy Land . Upon meeting Israel 's Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir in Jerusalem , he greeted the Israeli with the word
"Men kent reden Yiddish" (We can speak Yiddish).

As Shamir, stunned, tried to pull himself together, the current Secretary Of State continued chatting in his second-favorite language. Colin Powell never forgot his early days working at Sickser's.

Have a wonderful day.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shemot, Exodus and Christmas

Jews in Germany were doing ok in the Weimer republic and then the bottom fell out. Hitler
for details see

Our parasha:

In Egypt, similar story. What happened? Why did things change? "A new King arose who knew not Joseph"
We don't know who it was "The many attempts to identify the proud Pharaoh of the Exodus have so far failed to provide convincing proof as to his identity. Unlike the Bible, secular ancient annals tend to treat failure with silence, and this Pharaoh was a spectacular failure". for the full article see

Without knowing who it was, hard to know why. Here is what the Torah says:

And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.

7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.

8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:

10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.

11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.

12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.

13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:

14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

Rabbinic: Rab and Samuel differed in their interpretation of Exodus 1:8. One said that the “new” Pharaoh who did not know Joseph really was new, reading the word literally. The other said that only the Pharaoh’s decrees were new, as nowhere does the text state that the former Pharaoh died and the new Pharaoh reigned in his stead. The Gemara interpreted the words “Who knew not Joseph” in Exodus 1:8 to mean that he issued decrees against the Israelites as if he did not know of Joseph. (Babylonian Talmud Sotah 11a.)

This parasha has the beginning story of the enslavement-the birth of Moses, the first part of the haggadah story.
Interesting we read about the birth of baby Moses the same week Christians celebrate the birth of the baby they think was God. Since most of our neighbors are Christians, it is important to understand our beliefs in light of what are basic Christian beliefs. We'll look at this Friday night and Saturday.

I find this interesting.


Was Jesus born on December 25, or in December at all? Although it’s not impossible, it seems unlikely. The Christian Bible does not specify a date or month. One problem with December is that it would be unusual for shepherds to be “abiding in the field” at this cold time of year when fields were unproductive. The normal practice was to keep the flocks in the fields from Spring to Autumn. Also, winter would likely be an especially difficult time for pregnant Mary to travel the long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem (70 miles).


Why do many Christians celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, if that is not when he was born?

The date was chosen by the Roman Catholic Church. Because Rome dominated most of the “Christian” world for centuries, the date became tradition throughout most of Christendom.

The original significance of December 25 is that it was a well-known festival day celebrating the annual return of the sun. December 21 is the winter solstice (shortest day of the year and thus a key date on the calendar), and December 25 is the first day that ancients could clearly note that the days were definitely getting longer and the sunlight was returning. Since no one knows the day of his birth, the Roman Catholic Church felt free to chose this date. The Church wished to replace the pagan festival with a Christian holy day (holiday). The psychology was that is easier to take away an unholy (but traditional) festival from the population, when you can replace it with a good one. Otherwise, the Church would have left a void where there was a long-standing tradition, and risked producing a discontented population and a rapid return to the old ways.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My study sheet for Dec 24-25 services

-New Testament falsifies truth about Jews killing Jesus.
1. Accounts written 50-200 years later. Paul never knew Jesus. Gospels contradict one another on details
2. At odds with Sanhedrin practices:
1. never met at night or day preceding Shabbat and Holidays
2. never reached verdict day-and crucifixion anti-Jewish law
3. death penalty very rare “one in seventy years” turn over Jew to Romans
4. Pontius Pilate actually slaughtered Galileans and Samaritans with impunity
5. NT falsifies truth because of
1. political (allay Roman concerns vis Christians)
2. theological-blame Jews to improve pr vis pagans for conversion
6. Vatican 2 officially nullified charge of Deicide for Jews among Catholics
-Jews don’t blame today’s Christians for 2000 years of pogroms. Why do some Christians blame Jews for supposed complicity in events 2000 years ago?
1. Faithful Jew. Message directed at Jews. All his apostles and earliest Christians were Jews. Jews did not kill Jesus, Jews produced Jesus.
He intended to reform Judaism, not start own religion. Steinberg-“he propounded no ethical doctrine in which Jewish tradition had not anticipated him….In the few respects Jesus deviated from the Tradition, he blundered.”
2. Not God. God cannot be a thing.
3. Not the Messiah. The Jewish criteria were not met. Many false messiahs.
Hebrew bible proofs?- mistranslations, misunderstandings, NT changed facts to fit the verses. Virgin birth stories common in Greco-Roman mythology. Prior to Constantine, Jews sources scarcely took cognizance of Christianity, regarded it as an irritant, an exasperating heresy among Jews who should have known better (Nuesner)
4. If Christians want to believe Jesus is God, no problem, just be good and don’t try and seduce Jews away from Judaism.
5. Jews for Jesus have renounced Judaism and are apostates.
6. Asking why Jews don’t accept Jesus makes as much sense as asking Christians why they don’t accept the Muslims assertions that Mohammed represents a newer, better revelation and convincing Muslims that Mormans have a newer, better revelation. Num. 12-Moses alone I speak to mouth to mouth. All others in dreams and visions. Judaism provides all the answers Jews needed to love the virtuous and holy life and we believe in the brit with God.

Desmond Tutu anti-semite

Lest I be remiss in reminding people—he was awarded America’s highest civilian honor(“The Presidential Medal of Freedom”) this year by Obama who. Was he vetted by Jeremiah Wright?

He recently joined his fellow honoree, Mary Robinson, in a Gaza trip that led to further bashing of Israel and a call by Robinson for a global campaign against Israel. Was Robinson vetted by Samantha (“it is all about the Jews”) Power?

Bishop Tutu Is No Saint When it Comes To Jews

by Alan M. Dershowitz
December 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Among the world's most respected figures is South Africa's Bishop Desmond. His recognizable face—with its ever present grin—has become a symbol of reconciliation and goodness. But it masks a long history of ugly hatred toward the Jewish people, the Jewish religion and the Jewish state. Bishop Desmond Tutu is no mere anti-Zionist (though Martin Luther King long ago recognized that anti- Zionism often serves as a cover for deeper anti-Jewish bigotry). He has minimized the suffering of those killed in the Holocaust. He has attacked the "Jewish"--not Israeli--"lobby" as too "powerful" and "scar[y]." He has invoked classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes about Jewish "arrogance", "power" and money. He has characterized Jews a "peculiar people," and has accused "the Jews" of causing many of the world's problems. He once even accused the Jewish state of acting in an "unChristian" way.

Were he not a Nobel laureate, his long history of bigotry against the Jewish people would have landed him in the dustbin of history, along with a dishonor roll of otherwise successful people, whose reputations have been tainted by their anti-Semitism such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Patrick Buchanan and Mel Gibson. But his Nobel Prize should not shield him from accountability for his long history of anti-Jewish bigotry, any more than it should for Yassir Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Jose Saramago.

Let the record speak for itself, so that history may judge Tutu on the basis of his own words—words that he has often repeated and that others repeat, because Tutu is a role model for so many people around the world. Here are some of Tutu's hateful words, most of them carefully documented in a recent petition by prominent South Africans to terminate him as a "patron" of the two South African Holocaust Centers, because he uses his status with these fine institutions as legitimization for his anti-Jewish rhetoric.

He has minimized the suffering of those murdered in the Holocaust by asserting that "the gas chambers" made for "a neater death" than did Apartheid. In other words, the Palestinians, who in his view are the victims of "Israeli Apartheid," have suffered more than the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He has complained of "the Jewish Monopoly of the Holocaust," and has demanded that its victims must "forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust," while refusing to forgive the "Jewish people" for "persecute[ing] others."

Tutu has asserted that Zionism has "very many parallels with racism," thus echoing the notorious and discredited "Zionism equals racism" resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations and subsequently rescinded. He has accused the Jews of Israel of doing "things that even Apartheid South Africa had not done." He has said that "the Jews thought they had a monopoly of God: Jesus was angry that they could shut out other human beings." He has said that Jews have been "fighting against" and being "opposed to" his God. He has "compared the features of the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem to the features of the apartheid system in South Africa." He has complained that "the Jewish people with their traditions, religion and long history of persecution sometimes appear to have caused a refugee problem among others." He has implied that Israel might someday consider as an option "to perpetrate genocide and exterminate all Palestinians."

He has complained that Americans "are scared…to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful." He has accused Jews—not Israelis—of exhibiting "an arrogance—the arrogance of power because Jews are a powerful lobby in this land and all kinds of people woo their support."

"You know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.] and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if Palestinians were not Semitic."

He has compared Israel to Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union and Apartheid South Africa, saying that they too were once "very powerful" but they "bit the dust," as will "unjust" Israel.

He has denied that Israel is a "civilized democracy" and has singled out Israel—one of the world's most open democracies—as a nation guilty of "censorship of their media." He has urged the Capetown Opera to refuse to perform Porgy and Bess in Tel Aviv and has called for a total cultural boycott of Jewish Israel, while encouraging performers to visit the most repressive regimes in the world.

He has claimed that his God sides with Palestinians, whom he compares to the Israelites under bondage in Egypt, and has sought to explain, if not justify, how Israeli actions lead directly to suicide bombings and other forms of terrorism.

He has been far more vocal about Israel's imperfections than about the genocides in Rwanda, Darfur and Cambodia. He repeatedly condemns Israel's occupation of the West Bank without mentioning the many other occupations in the world today. While attacking Israel for its "collective punishment" of Palestinians—which he claims is worse than what Apartheid South Africa did—he himself has called for the collective punishment of Jewish academics and businesses in Israel by demanding boycotts of all Jewish (but not Muslim or Christian) Israelis. (This call for an anti-Jewish boycott finds its roots in the Nazi "Kauft Nicht beim Juden" campaign of the 1930's.) When confronted with his double standard against Jews, he has justified it on phony theological grounds: "Whether Jews like it or not, they are a peculiar people. They can't ever hope to be judged by the same standards which are used for other people." There is a name for non-Jews who hold Jews to a double standard: It is called anti-Semitism.

Tutu has acknowledged having been frequently accused of being anti-Semitic," to which he has offered two responses: "Tough luck;" and "my dentist's name is Dr. Cohen."

I am confident that President Obama was not aware of Tutu's sordid history of anti-Jewish rhetoric and actions when he awarded him the Medal of Freedom in the White House in 2009. The sad reality is that Bishop Tutu's beneficent look is the new face of the oldest of bigotries.

The decent people of South Africa have become aware of Tutu's bigotry, because they have seen and heard it up close. It is time for the rest of the world to recognize that the Bishop is no saint. When it comes to Jews, he is an unrepentant sinner.

Though he is now retired, he still has the opportunity to repent and to end the sordid history of applying an unacceptable double standard to the Jewish state, the Jewish people and the Jewish religion.

stop the Seattle anti Israel ads

Despite continuing terrorist policies and refusal to negotiate in good faith wioth Israel, the supporters of the Palestinians want to take out ad space on Seattle buses to condemn Israel. Here are ways to help.

Thank you for your continued action and interest in the important events unfolding in Seattle. A lot is happening, especially on the political and media front! In red are suggested actions you can take – as you will see below, your effortsare making a difference. Thank you to all of you who submitted the information, and who took the actions, summarized here. Please continue to send me your ideas and updates, and I’ll compile and distribute. (If you did not receive the first batch, it’s appended below. And if you have had enough of this and want to drop off the list, just say so, no offense taken….)

Political Action
· According to King 5, Metro is “scrambling to reassess its advertising policies” in the wake of your protests and the outpouring of indignation and concern. YAY!!! Your indignant calls and emails are having an effect on Metro. And KIRO Radio reports that “A spokeswoman for Metro Transit says the county has received about 600 comments since plans for the proposed bus ad became known.” WOW – that’s grassroots activism at its finest. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer quotes Dow Constantine as saying, “These provocative ads bring in a negligible amount of revenue, but cost hundreds of hours staff time to address the intended controversy – time that is better spent providing bus service.” Constantine has asked Metro to review and update their policy regarding controversial or potentially inflammatory ads – if that’s done quickly enough, it may kill this campaign, if not for moral or political reasons, maybe only due to financial considerations for Metro. So….
· Keep the pressure on Metro, by calling their Customer Assistance Office (206-553-3060 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 206-553-3060 end_of_the_skype_highlighting), emailing, or submitting the form at I’m told that email and online comments can take a while to make their way through the Metro system, so phone calls are best.
· Please also keep the pressure on the King County management: County Executive Dow Constantine ( and the County Council members (listed at This is having an effect! King Councilmember, Bob Ferguson from District 1, wrote to a supporter, “I have travelled to Israel and am sensitive to the issues raised in your e-mail. I have received a great deal of feedback on this issue. This morning, I contacted Kevin Desmond, General Manager of King County Metro Transit, and Executive Dow Constantine to express my concerns. Executive Constantine has stated that Metro will be reviewing their policies regarding ads on buses.”
· King County Council President Pete von Reichbauer wrote to County Executive Dow Constantine (12/20), “I am a strong advocate of freedom of speech and a strong believer of common sense. And I believe very strongly that dangerous language can create dangerous environments in a society. I believe that this proposed bus advertising needs to be reviewed and reevaluated.” Von Reichbauer specifically mentioned the July 2006 murder at the Jewish Federation as an example of how anti-Israel rhetoric can provoke anti-Semitic hate crime. His letter was reported by King 5 and KIRO Radio (links above).
· You can also contact Linda Thielke, Transit Spokesperson for Metro at 206-684-1151 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 206-684-1151 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or

Press & Blog Coverage
· The original King 5 story is still generating a lot of traffic. Last night at 10pm there were over 16,000 votes posted, running very slightly in our favor (“No” votes). By today (1pm) that number has more than doubled, and 65% have voted “Yes,” so the “other side” is also effectively campaigning for this. Please continue to vote and forward the link to this poll, asking others to vote “No”:
· King 5 ran a follow-up piece about the community outrage,
· KIRO Radio has a similar story: You can add comments to the KIRO story.
· Dori Monson had Ed Mast on his show on KIRO 97.3 FM today. Barbara Lahav of Seattle J Street called in and did a fabulous job stating the community concerns, rebutting Mast, and avoiding the trap Monson tried to set for her to call for censorship of the offending ads. Rob Jacobs (StandWithUs Northwest) is scheduled to be on the show at 2:15pm Pacific Time today. You can listen to it live here: andpossibly call in. (I couldn’t find an MP3 archive of the show; let me know if you know of one.)
· Seattle Times: “Metro's acceptance of 'Israeli war crimes' bus ad draws complaints,” is also accepting comments.
· The Seattle P-I piece mentioned above:
· Word has reached Israel – this is clearly not a local issue only: is open for your comments.
· See also blog postings:
o David Brumer, 'Israeli War Crimes' signs to go on Seattle Metro buses: That's Right: Not Hamas War Crimes, but Israeli
o Judy Balint in Jerusalem, Anti-Israel Signs on Seattle Buses
o Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugged, Jew-Hatred Bus Ads Run in Seattle
o Elder of Zion, An answer to the anti-Israel Seattle bus ads
· Family Security Matters has a long and detailed exposé by Adrian Morgan on the people behind the campaign and its funding, in Seattle and elsewhere. Fascinating reading if you really want a deep dive:

Organizations Statements
· The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle statement to the media and supporters can be found at Federation has also created an online form petition – personal notes are always taken more seriously, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to write, you can add your name to the form letter here:
· The Seattle Chapter of the American Jewish Committee has also issued a statement titled “An AJC Analysis of Planned Metro Bus Ads.” I haven’t found this online but have it in email and am happy to forward to anyone who’d like to see it.

Pro-Israel Ads
· A number of people have proposed running a pro-Israel (or even anti-Arab) ad campaign, either to educate and promote an alternative message or simply to challenge Metro’s policies regarding what ads they will accept. A few of you creative types have even gone as far as designing actual ads. StandWithUs (and possibly other organizations) is considering this and open to your ideas. Send them my way & I’ll compile and share as appropriate.

Other updates
· Another Facebook group has been formed, “Stop The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign”, currently with over 450 members. If you’re a Facebook member, join it at
· Continue to mobilize Israel supporters, distribution lists, Facebook and Twitter friends…. Feel free to forward this message and let people know they can contact me ( to be added directly to future updates.
· An out-of-town activist proposed some “passive resistance,” such as sit-ins in front of buses with the ads so they can't leave station, or continuous calling to Metro’s lines to jam them. Once again, we do not condone or promote any illegal or disruptive behavior!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


ADL Highlights Top 10 Issues Affecting Jews in 2010

New York, NY, December 20, 2010 … The Obama Administration's efforts to jumpstart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism, the drumbeat of Israel delegitimization, the stubborn potency of global anti-Semitism, Iran's unyielding march toward nuclear weapons, and the fallout from the Gaza flotilla affair were among the top issues affecting Jews in 2010, according to the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) annual list.

"For much of the year there was a glimmer of hope that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would finally get off the ground, and yet our hopes diminished with each passing week as the parties failed to reach a consensus and the settlements issue became a major excuse for the Palestinians," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Meanwhile, the unrelenting global assault against Israel's legitimacy continued apace, with calls for divestment and sanctions against the Jewish state and efforts to undermine Israel's credibility in international forums and at the United Nations."

"The threat of terrorism once again hit close to home, with authorities thwarting multiple plots to detonate bombs on U.S. soil," added Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair. "While Jewish communities around the world largely remained safe and secure, anti-Semitism continued to be a concern, as did the threat of an attack motivated by Islamic fundamentalism."


* Mideast Peace Process Drags On
* Despite Stronger Sanctions, Iran Defiant
* Anti-Semitism Still A Potent Force
* Israel Delegitimization Continued Apace
* Jews Targeted for Terror
* Midterm Elections Shake Up Washington
* Human Rights Scorecard Mixed
* Flotilla Affair Sparks Backlash
* Catholic-Jewish Relations Tested
* Bullies & Anti-Semites Proliferate Online

Monday, December 20, 2010

Muslims support Bin Laden

a new poll shows that 130 million Muslims are sympathetic to Al Qaeda and Bin Laden , and that is from just 7 Muslim majority countries.

top ten anti-semitic slurs 2010

In response to an alarming rise in anti-Semitic statements, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has released its “Top Ten Anti-Semitic Slurs of 2010.” The list emphasizes the anti-Jewish statements publicly made by prominent figures from all over the world.

“Never before, in recent memory, has the Simon Wiesenthal Center seen such a proliferation of anti-Semitism going mainstream,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Center adding that “Our list of top ten anti-Semitic slurs runs the gamut of well-known personalities including journalists, government officials, celebrities, a prominent film director, and academics.”

Many of the quotes are classic Jewish conspiracy theories updated to reflect current anxieties, blaming the control of the media and banking sectors on Jews. “Unfortunately, our list shows that anti-Semitic canards normally thought to belong to the lunatic fringe have, in fact, been bought into by major elements of Western society,” Rabbi Hier concluded.

1) Helen Thomas, former UPI Senior White House correspondent

“Jews should get the hell out of Palestine. They should go home to Germany, Poland, America and everywhere else.” -May 2010 “Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street are owned by Zionists. They put their money where their mouth is.” -December 2010

2) Oliver Stone, film director

“Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it’s been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect.” -January 2010

“Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people,” [there is a greater focus on the Holocaust than on Russian suffering because of] “the Jewish domination of the media.” “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 U.S. foreign policy for years.” -July 2010

3) Former Malaysian Premier Mahatir Mohammad

“Jews “had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred.” ... “Even after the massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.” –January 2010

4) Al-Mutawakil Taha, Deputy Minister of Information for the Palestinian Authority

“The Jews have no historical or religious ties to theTemple Mount or the Western Wall. There is no archeological evidence that theTemple Mount was built during the period of King Solomon….” -November 2010

5) Thilo Sarrazin, Central Bank Executive for the German Government

“All Jews have a certain gene ... that makes them different from other people.” -August 2010

6) Karel de Gucht - European Union’s Chief Trade Negotiator

“...Don’t underestimate the power of the Jewish Lobby on Capitol Hill. ... You shouldn’t underestimate the grip it has on American politics, no matter whether it’s Republicans or Democrats.” – September 2010

7) Rick Sanchez, former CNN correspondent

“He’s [Jon Stewart] upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level… I’m telling you that everyone who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish are an oppressed minority? [sarcastically] Yeah.” – October 2010

8) Dr Petras Stankeras, historian and Interior Ministry advisor, Lithuania

“The [Nuremberg Trial was] the biggest legal farce in history… the legend about six million supposedly murdered Jews acquired a legal basis, even though the court did not have a single document signed by A. Hitler concerning the extermination of Jews….” –2010

9) Christina Patterson journalist, The Independent newspaper, UK

“I would like to teach some of my neighbors some manners… I don’t care if they wear frock coats and funny suits and hats covered in plastic bags and insist on wearing their hair in ringlets (if they’re male) or covered up by wigs (if they’re female), but I do think they could treat their neighbors with a bit more courtesy and respect. I didn’t realize that goyim were about as welcome in the Hasidic Jewish shops as Martin Luther King, Jr. at a Ku Klux Klan convention. I didn’t realize that a purchase by a goy was a crime to be punished with monosyllabic terseness or that bus seats were a potential source of contamination or that road signs and parking restrictions were for people who hadn’t been chosen by G-d.” – 2010

10) Social Networks and Anti-Semitism:

Yahoo Finance, Goldman Sachs Message Boards, 2010:
“da-m jew-s; bernanke and geithner’s free money scheme to the banks destroyed the value of the rational americans savings, and of the chinese economic development of asia.” “And what do ya know, Golden Slacks the leading jewry criminal organization!!! Where`s the Gestapo when you reall need them???” “I never hated people before.Today I hate the guts of JEWS. The JEWS have poisoned America. They have poisoned good people.
I never would have thought that I would hate the JEWS. For what teh JEWS have done to Americans, it is unforgiving…[sic].” “Irony how US always bail out the jews & jews end up screwing USA!!! [sic].”
“Stinking Jews finally getting what they deserve Burn all the jews up [sic]”

FACEBOOK 2010 sites include:
“Kill a Jew Year” and “Kill a Jew Day.”

“Droppin bows on jew nose, throwin cracks at wetbacks and pullin triggers on filthy…. well you get it.” “mrs. clinton runs scared of wars crimes by isreal the jewish vote rules the usa, usa is not a free minded places a control lap dog of isreal.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

How can anyone seriously suggest the Palestinians will ever seek peace

Jennifer Glick
Last Friday, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority's chief peace negotiator with Israel published an op-ed in Britain's Guardian newspaper in which he declared eternal war on the Jewish state. This he did by asserting that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians that does not permit the immigration of some 7 million foreign Arabs to Israel will be "completely untenable."
So as far as the supposedly moderate chief Palestinian negotiator is concerned, a peace deal in which Israel cedes Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians as the Israeli Left desires will not be sufficient for the Palestinians. Unless Israel also agrees to commit national suicide by accepting 7 million foreign Arabs as citizens, the Palestinians will continue to wage their war. So with or without a Palestinian state, as long as Israel exists, the Palestinians will continue to seek its destruction

The Israeli people don't need to hear about Erekat's declaration of war to know that the supposedly moderate Fatah party is just as committed to Israel's destruction as Hamas. Israelis know that the majority of terrorist attacks carried out by the Palestinians since 2000 have been conducted by Fatah. They know that the US- and EU-financed and trained Palestinian security services commanded the Palestinian jihad that began in 2000. They know that Fatah is behind much of the political warfare being carried out today against Israel throughout the world. The disparity between the pubic and the media comes across very clearly in a poll released last week by the Brookings Institute. A mere eight percent of Israelis believe that Israel and the Palestinians will achieve a lasting peace in the next five years. 91percent of Israeli Jews and 88 percent of Israeli Arabs think either that more time is needed or that there will never be peace.

The Israeli people don't need to hear about Erekat's declaration of war to know that the supposedly moderate Fatah party is just as committed to Israel's destruction as Hamas. Israelis know that the majority of terrorist attacks carried out by the Palestinians since 2000 have been conducted by Fatah. They know that the US- and EU-financed and trained Palestinian security services commanded the Palestinian jihad that began in 2000. They know that Fatah is behind much of the political warfare being carried out today against Israel throughout the world. The disparity between the pubic and the media comes across very clearly in a poll released last week by the Brookings Institute. A mere eight percent of Israelis believe that Israel and the Palestinians will achieve a lasting peace in the next five years. 91percent of Israeli Jews and 88 percent of Israeli Arabs think either that more time is needed or that there will never be peace."

Can Israel Turn Enemies into Peacemakers? - David Suissa
There is one area, however, where Israel's can-do attitude has been a big failure, and that is in making peace with the Palestinians.
With making peace, it's far from clear whether Israel has a product the Palestinians want to buy. Israel has been under enormous pressure over the years, internally and externally, to "do something" to bring peace. Israel has been too embarrassed to admit that "we can't solve this one," that the parties are too far apart, that peace, no matter how desirable, is simply not in the cards at the moment. What if there is nothing Israel can offer the Palestinians to get them to accept and deliver a durable peace with a Jewish state? What if the truth is that Israel can evacuate 300,000 Jews from the West Bank tomorrow and give up half of Jerusalem and that this would still not bring peace - and might even bring more war?
The Palestinian demand for a "right of return" is a deal-killer. So is a return to nondefensible borders, and so is the presence of a terrorist state in Gaza. The fact that peace is immensely desirable has nothing to do with the reality that it is immensely unobtainable. If anything, the more Israel has shown its desire, the more the price has gone up. The Palestinians have said "no" to every peace offer Israel has ever put on the table. The status quo may be untenable, but a fake peace process makes it even worse. Israel should fess up that it doesn't have the power to turn enemies into peacemakers. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Looks like a's not a tallis

Why can't we have a Christmas tree?

Jews unwelcome in Sweden

Wiesenthal Center tells Jews not to travel to Sweden
12/16/2010 03:34

Human rights organization issues travel advisory because Jews in Sweden "have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment."
Talkbacks (4)

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Los Angeles-based human rights organization, has taken the unusual step of issuing a travel advisory about security concerns in Sweden because of growing anti-Jewish discrimination.

During a meeting on Tuesday with Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask in Stockholm, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Dr. Shimon Samuels, who oversees the center’s International Relations department, outlined the reasons for the travel advisory.

WZO launches global effort to fight anti-Semitism
'I see no future for Jews in the Netherlands'

“We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes”, said the two Wiesenthal Center representatives in a statement.

Cooper and Samuels added that “a contributing factor to this decision has been the outrageous remarks of Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who blames the Jewish community for failing to denounce Israel.

The advisory aimed at Jewish travelers urges extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden.

It is not connected to this week’s terrorist bombing in the heart of Stockholm. Critics have accused Reepalu of failing to protect Malmö’s tiny Jewish population from anti-Semitic violence and stoking hatred of Israel.

Writing earlier this year in The Wall Street Journal Europe, Daniel Schwammenthal , an editorial writer for paper, noted that “faced with these attacks on the city’s Jewish population, Malmö’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, seems curiously unperturbed by, if not sympathetic to, the attackers.”

While screaming “Sieg Heil” and “Hitler, Hitler” in 2009, a violent mob of Swedish Muslims launched bottles and stones at a pro-Israel demonstration attended by a small number of Jews in the central square of Malmö. Media reports have documented widespread harassment of Jews and Jewish children have routinely been called “dirty Jews.”

Reepalu, a Social Democrat, blamed the city’s Jews for holding the pro-Israel demonstration, saying they refused to “distance” themselves from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

“The community chose to hold a pro-Israel demonstration” and that “may convey the wrong message,” said Reepalu.

He also termed Israel’s right to self-determination as a form of extremism by equating Zionism with anti-Semitism. “We accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism.

They are extremes that place themselves above other groups they think are less important,” said Reepalu.

Malmö attracted criticism during last year’s Davis Cup tennis match against Israel. The city authorities decided to segregate Israeli players from the competition because of a mass demonstration of roughly 6,000 leftwing and Muslim protesters against Israel. Amir Haddad and Andy Ram, Israel’s top tennis players, had to compete against their Swedish opponents in an empty stadium. Commentators said the authorities capitulated to anti-Israeli mob violence rather than defend the right of bias-free sport events.

It is unclear how long the travel advisory will apply to Sweden.

The Wiesenthal Center reviews its travel advisory every three months.

Many of Malmö’s Jews have fled the city because of the ubiquitous anti-Semitism. In 2009, there was a 50% increase of anti-Semitic attacks when compared to 2008. Approximately 20% of Malmö’s 290,000 residents are Muslims, most of whom are Swedish Arabs.

The Jewish community registered under 700 Jews earlier this year but the number has steadily decreased due to anti-Jewish hostility and a local government, which, according to critics, foments modern anti-Semitism.

Dr. Samuels, from the Wiesenthal Center, said “ It is unacceptable in a democracy committed to protecting its citizens, that the Swedish Jewish community is forced to pay for necessary upgraded security measures to safeguard their lives and property.”

Rabbi Schneur Kesselson, Chabad’s emissary to Malmö, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he had been harassed dozens of times by locals since he moved there six years ago.

“The vast majority of the attacks have been verbal, usually carried out by people from the Middle Eastern background,” the Chabad rabbi said. “They say not nice things. Usually in Swedish, in English it would be translated as bad Jews. Not anything I’d like to repeat.”

Kesselson recalled one occasion which could have caused him serious injury when he had to dodge a vehicle driven by an individual he said would have run him over. At the same time, the rabbi urged moderation in how the Jewish community should respond to such events.

“I think when we in the Jewish community exaggerate it doesn’t play in our favor,” he said. “If a travel advisory says it’s dangerous for a Jew to travel to Malmö, then it’s an exaggeration.

But if it’s saying hate crime could happen here then it could, and that’s a sad reality.”

Palestinians don't want peace

The Palestinians Are the Real Obstacle to Peace - Moshe Ya'alon
Unfortunately, what stands between the Palestinians and eventual statehood is their insincerity when it comes to real peace. Israel has repeatedly proposed the independence that the Palestinians ostensibly desire. But instead of concluding a deal with Israel, they have demonstrated a total unwillingness to compromise, often favoring terrorism. Is it any wonder Israelis find it ever more difficult to trust the Palestinians?
We do not yet have two states for two peoples because the Palestinians refuse to accept that there even exists a Jewish nation that lays legitimate claim to its land. They reject the entire premise of a state for the Jewish people - not only beyond the pre-1967 lines but even within the 1948 boundaries.
Israel remains committed to the cause of peace. We have no desire to govern the affairs of another people. But our acceptance of a viable Palestinian state awaits a similar Palestinian acceptance of the rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. Erekat, the Palestinian negotiator, recently wrote that such a step would require a modification of the Palestinian narrative. He's absolutely right. Until this happens, there can be no chance for peace. Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon, a former IDF Chief of Staff, is Israel's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs. (Foreign Policy)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kissinger, in Just-Released Tapes: Gassing Jews Would Not Be U.S. Problem

Kissinger, in Just-Released Tapes: Gassing Jews Would Not Be U.S. Problem
Published December 12, 2010.

*Henry Kissinger is heard saying on newly released Nixon tapes that the genocide of Soviet Jews would not be an American concern.

The tapes chronicle President Richard Nixon’s obsession with disparaging Jews and other minorities.

Kissinger’s remarks come after a meeting he and Nixon had with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973 in which Meir pleads for the United States to put pressure on the Soviet Union to release its Jews. Nixon and Kissinger, then the secretary of state, dismiss the plea after Meir leaves.

“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” The New York Times on Saturday quotes Kissinger, as saying on the tapes. “And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”

Nixon replies, “I know. We can’t blow up the world because of it.”

Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon rejected Kissinger’s advice to delay an arms airlift to Israel as a means of setting the stage for an Egypt confident enough to pursue peace. Nixon, among other reasons, cited Israel’s urgent need.

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants in a statement called for an apology from Kissinger, who is still consulted by Democratic and Republican administrations and by Congress on matters of state.

“Henry Kissinger’s comments are morally grotesque and represent a disgraceful perversion of American values,” said the statement. “He owes an apology to all victims of the Nazi Holocaust.”

Read more:

Me-Jews got so excited when they heard there would be many Gews surrounding Obama. Oftentimes our best friends are the non-Jews in high places.

Another President's (granddaughter) daughter marries a jew

George HW Bush's granddaughter announced she will marry a New Yorker of Jewish descent, reported The Jewish Chronicle on Tuesday.
Lauren Bush is engaged to David Lauren, the son of famous Jewish fashion designer Ralph Lauren.
The newspaper quipped that Bush, who is a designer and former model, will become Lauren Lauren after the couple is married next year, however, she is not expected to adopt Ralph Lauren's original name, Ralph Reuben Lifshitz.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why isn't hanukkah big fo christians? it should be

Jesus celebrated Hanukkah.John 10:22-24 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.”The Feast of the Dedication = Hanukkah.
So, it is clear that Jesus along of the Jews of that time celebrated Hanukkah.Why isn't Hanukkah a big holiday for Christians?

December 05, 2010 American Thinker
Hanuka For Jews and Christians
By Michael Zimmerman
Hanuka celebrates a spiritual and military victory in Israel nearly 2,200 years ago that has inspired generations of Jews and many Gentiles. A few faithful Jews were victorious over their assimiliationist brethren and the Hellenist Syrians of the Greek-founded Seleucid Empire.

The events commemorated by Hanuka were necessary for the continuation and ultimate spread of monotheism in that they insured the survival of Judaism. Less than two centuries later, Judea, in all its flux and difficulties under Roman occupation, was the scene of Jesus of Nazareth's life and teachings. While Jews have continued to celebrate Hanuka and remember, many Christians learn about the events by reading the Books of Maccabees in the Protestant Apocrypha and the Roman Catholic Canon of the Old Testament.

In the Middle Ages, tapestries and statues lionizing Judah Maccabee were created, and they are still in view in various European Christian communities (Cologne and Nuremberg, Germany; Innsbruck, Austria; Pierrefonds, France; Somerset, England; and more). A statue of the Maccabee warrior leader stands at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The awareness represented by those monuments may have faded somewhat for the moment, but it forms a basis, a tradition, for revival. As such, it is proposed here that Hanuka is the logical holiday to celebrate the Judeo-Christian ethic, so often appreciated and described as a common American heritage.

The long guerrilla war of the Jews, initially for religious freedom and later for national liberation, erupted following Seleucid decrees forbidding upon pain of death the observances of Judaism. The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was defiled, the Sabbath systematically desecrated, and the ritual of circumcision prohibited. Torah scrolls were burned. Jews were forced to worship pagan idols and eat forbidden foods or be tortured to death.

The object of the Hellenist Syrian Seleucids was not religious conversion, but rather the suppression of Judaism. The reasons for this are multiple and complex. There was a perceived need to dominate Judea, located en route between the competitive empires of Hellenist Syrian Seleucids in the east and the Hellenist Ptolemaic Empire centered in Egypt. Also, there was a desire to legitimize raiding the wealth of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a revenue source. The Seleucids probably misunderstood the attachment of the dedicated religious Jews living in the mountains as compared to other peoples of the Middle East, who took easily to Hellenism. Some Jews who had taken to Hellenism for professional and other reasons may have urged a forced pace of assimilation for the entire Jewish community. There was an element of civil war in the conflict commemorated by Hanuka.

Hellenist practices included public nakedness in the community gymnasiums, among other behaviors anathema to religious Jewry. The most direct cause of the war was Hellenist profanation of the Temple in Jerusalem: the Hellenists were polytheists and erected idols in the Jewish Temple. This was linked with efforts to eradicate Jewish monotheistic religious practices.

The Temple, the symbolic center of the Jewish nation and focus of the people, was turned into "the abomination of desolation" (I Maccabees 1:54). Pagan rites involving prostitution were carried out within the sacred enclosures. The sacrifice of pigs on the altar was institutionalized, with the blood being sprinkled in the Holy of Holies. Thus were Jews outraged; thus were they roused to action!

The freedom of Jerusalem and the cleansing and rededication of the Temple were the primary goal of the Jews in their war of liberation. The central motif of Hanuka today is celebration of the inspiring political-military event after four years of warfare in which Jerusalem's heart, the Holy Temple, was liberated, and of the religious moment that lasted eight days in which the Temple was reconsecrated.

Upon liberation of the Temple by the Jews, according to the popular account, only one day's supply of ritually acceptable oil was found to light the central menorah (candelabra). By a miracle, the story goes, the scant oil lasted eight days until the supply of pure oil was replenished. The lore about oil is not recorded in any of the histories from the times -- not in the Books of the Maccabees nor in the first century writings of Flavius Josephus.

It would appear that rabbis spiritualized Hanuka, reducing focus on its political and military origins, after the later military defeats by the Romans and the exile of many Jews from Judea in the first and second centuries. Also, many Jews had become anti-Hasmonean after the first generation of the Hanuka story, as the quality of Hasmonean leadership declined in subsequent generations until forces of the Roman Empire occupied Judea/Israel.

After the wars against the Roman occupation in the first and second centuries, the political environment was not conducive to Jewish celebrations of military victories, since Jews lived as a minority in an actively hostile empire. Not only did Roman emperor Hadrian expel most Jews from Judea ("ethnic cleansing"), but he also changed the name of Judea to a name based on a Jewish enemy from a thousand years earlier -- the Philistines, long gone from history -- and renamed the land "Palestine." Afterwards, Jewish leadership changed the profile of Hanuka from celebrating a military and political victory to celebrating a religious miracle about pure olive oil.

The eight days of Hanuka begin on the 25th of the month of Kislev, according to the Jewish lunar calendar, which usually falls in early or mid-December. Hanuka has nothing to do with Christmas; there is only the coincidence of the season in which they are celebrated, although in this essay I am proposing a connection for Christians.

The Maccabean period witnessed martyrdom on a mass scale for the first time in recorded history. The Maccabees' readiness to undergo martyrdom brought them the devotion of the Jewish masses and strengthened their camp. The spiritual and fighting resistance of the persecuted Judeans has served as inspiration to both Jews and Gentiles in each generation since. From the days of the Hellenist Syrian oppression, martyrdom became a hallmark of Judaism, and relatively soon after (two to three centuries), early Christians drew directly upon this source when they as well as Jews were persecuted by the Romans.

Artistic representations and monuments built in the Middle Ages honoring Judah Maccabee, the religious warrior-leader of the Judeans, among other heroes of chivalry are found in Christian communities of Europe. The great 18th-century German composer George Frederick Handel composed the powerful oratorio Judas Maccabaeus.

Thus we see Christians of some centuries ago focused upon and celebrating our subject. Perhaps in this post-Holocaust period of religious reevaluation, it is a suitable time to rekindle this interest as relevant and representative of the present discussion and understanding of Judeo-Christian ethics and values.

Hellenists had many gods; the Jews had One. Religious offshoots of Judaism today -- Islam no less than Christianity, not to mention Jews themselves -- are indebted to those outnumbered men of Judea who fought so courageously long ago against imposed conformity and debasement. Without Jewish success when Judaism was so sorely menaced by Hellenism and the Syrians, monotheism may well have perished.

In modern Israel, Hanuka symbolizes the victory of few over the many and Jewish courage to assert themselves as a people -- the impetus of the national renaissance twenty-two centuries ago and in our own times. Each year in Israel, a marathon torch relay race sets out from Modiin, where the Maccabean revolt broke out. Runners carry the torch to Jerusalem, where Israel's president lights the Hanuka lights with the flame from Modiin.

The Jewish nation/religion was tried, tempered, and strengthened by its fierce encounter with the despotic Seleucid Empire of Hellenized Syrians twenty-two centuries ago. The Maccabees aroused Jews; strengthened them; inspired the world with heroism, defiance and faith; and prepared the Jewish people for the ordeals to come against the Romans, in exile, and for the rebirth in our own time. The story of the Maccabees has heartened persecuted Christians who know the story.

Joint appreciation of the Hanuka and Maccabean stories can be a bridge to understand the common heritage of Christians and Jews. It might be well were Hanuka to be celebrated by both communities, as commemoration of the preservation of monotheism.

The continuing development of Judaism and its consequences for world history, including the advent of Christianity, were insured by the resistance displayed by and the successful struggle of those Jewish inhabitants of tiny mountainous Judea and Samaria in that fateful first decade of their war for freedom during the second century. If the Jews had not been victorious in keeping their faith 2,200 years ago, monotheism may have perished, and Christianity may not have come to pass.

Michael Zimmerman lectures about international politics and Jewish history. An American, he worked in Israel for several years as a political analyst and explored sites connected to the Hanuka story mentioned in the ancient sources.

some good news

Stuxnet Worm Still Out of Control at Iran's Nuclear Sites, Experts Say
By Ed Barnes
Published December 09, 2010
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Iran International Photo Agency, via AFP
Aug 21: The first fuel is loaded into the reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.
EXCLUSIVE: Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.
The American and European experts say their security websites, which deal with the computer worm known as Stuxnet, continue to be swamped with traffic from Tehran and other places in the Islamic Republic, an indication that the worm continues to infect the computers at Iran's two nuclear sites.
The Stuxnet worm, named after initials found in its code, is the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever created. Examination of the worm shows it was a cybermissile designed to penetrate advanced security systems. It was equipped with a warhead that targeted and took over the controls of the centrifuge systems at Iran’s uranium processing center in Natanz, and it had a second warhead that targeted the massive turbine at the nuclear reactor in Bashehr.
Stuxnet was designed to take over the control systems and evade detection, and it apparently was very successful. Last week President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after months of denials, admitted that the worm had penetrated Iran's nuclear sites, but he said it was detected and controlled.
The second part of that claim, experts say, doesn’t ring true.

Eric Byres, a computer expert who has studied the worm, said his site was hit with a surge in traffic from Iran, meaning that efforts to get the two nuclear plants to function normally have failed. The web traffic, he says, shows Iran still hasn’t come to grips with the complexity of the malware that appears to be still infecting the systems at both Bashehr and Natanz.
“The effort has been stunning," Byres said. "Two years ago American users on my site outnumbered Iranians by 100 to 1. Today we are close to a majority of Iranian users.”

Read more:

Tahara for burial makes the NYT
Rabbi Carie Carter, left, and two volunteers, Carol Diamond and Ilene Rubinstein, learned about ritual emersion from Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, right.
Published: December 12, 2010
The volunteers are taught to begin at the head, washing the face before proceeding to the neck and right shoulder. The right side is to be washed before the left side, the front before the back. There are prayers to say. Small talk is forbidden.
Enlarge This Image
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips explained how to prepare a coffin for burial. “What we do with the body at the end of life,” she said, “is very much like what we do with a child when it is born,” including washing the body and swaddling it in clean cloth.

The Jewish protocol for tending to the dead governs almost every interaction between the living and the deceased from the moment of death until burial. The ritual, which has been part of religious law for two millenniums, mandates the protection of the physical and spiritual remains.

But for many decades, most Jews in the United States have lost touch with those protocols — if they have ever heard of them — in favor of conventional funeral home services that replace volunteers with professionals who, by their nature, skip the more metaphysical and personal elements of the process.

Now, a movement to restore lost tradition has motivated a new generation of Jewish volunteers to learn a set of skills that was common knowledge for many of their great-grandparents: the rituals of bathing, dressing and watching over the bodies of neighbors and friends who have died.

It is a nationwide revival propelled in almost equal parts, experts say, by an emerging sense of mortality among baby boomers, a reaction against the corporate character of the funeral home industry and a growing cultural receptivity to past spiritual practices, even some that make many people squeamish.

Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, the founder and director of Vaad Harabonim of Queens, a national association of rabbis who promote traditional burial, has crisscrossed the country in recent years teaching the philosophy and technique. He described the approach as attending not just to the bodies, but also to “the feelings of the dead.”

“We don’t think of this being we are preparing for burial as a ‘body,’ ” said Rabbi Zohn, an Orthodox Jew whose knowledge of burial tradition is mainly sought after by the non-Orthodox. “It’s a person; and that person in our view is still alive in a parallel world, very much aware of what’s happening.”

People who can approach a deceased person in that spirit, he said, are potential members of a “chevra kadisha,” translated variously as a burial or sacred society.

In the New York region and on Long Island, where he has concentrated his efforts, Rabbi Zohn estimates that 25 percent of Jewish burials today incorporate the burial rituals, compared with about 2 or 3 percent 15 years ago.

His estimates are consistent with national trends, said David Zinner, executive director of Kavod v’Nichum, or Honor and Comfort, a Washington center for information on Jewish burial practice. “From approximately zero in the 1970s and ’80s, we now have literally hundreds of chevra kadishas operating in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, San Francisco, you name it,” Mr. Zinner said.

Two books, he added, are considered among the revival’s seminal influences: “The American Way of Death,” Jessica Mitford’s 1963 exposé about the funeral industry, and “A Plain Pine Box,” a 1981 work in which Rabbi Arnold M. Goodman describes a Minneapolis synagogue’s return to traditional burial practices.

For the most part, the volunteer tradition has been maintained in Orthodox communities, which make up about 20 percent of the American Jewish population, and lost among the others — Reform, Conservative or unaffiliated.

Members of the Park Slope Jewish Center, a Conservative congregation in Brooklyn that did not have a burial society within anyone’s memory, started a society about seven years ago, after the deaths of two congregation members in quick succession, both young mothers.

Rabbi Carie Carter, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, said the emotional aftershock of those deaths seemed to reveal a missing link in the chain of the community’s ties. There were temple groups organized for visiting the sick, and others for visiting families when a relative died. “But we were missing that space in between, caring for the dead themselves,” Rabbi Carter said.

In 2003, she and a member of the congregation, Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, a social worker whose interest had evolved from her work in 9/11 disaster relief, organized the Park Slope chevra kadisha with a handful of volunteers. There are now 70, about one in seven members of the congregation.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christians-they are after you too

n the wake of a series of attacks in Baghdad and Mosul, thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled abroad or to the relative safety of the Kurdish north. More Photos »
Published: December 12, 2010

QOSH, Iraq — A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to northern Iraq or abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country’s security forces are unable or, more ominously, unwilling to protect them.
Some fleeing Christians are finding sanctuary in Qosh. More Photos »

The flight — involving thousands of residents from Baghdad and Mosul, in particular — followed an Oct. 31 siege at a church in Baghdad that killed 51 worshipers and 2 priests and a subsequent series of bombings and assassinations singling out Christians. This new exodus, which is not the first, highlights the continuing displacement of Iraqis despite improved security over all and the near-resolution of the political impasse that gripped the country after elections in March.

It threatens to reduce further what Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East called “a community whose roots were in Iraq even before Christ.”

Those who fled the latest violence — many of them in a panicked rush, with only the possessions they could pack in cars — warned that the new violence presages the demise of the faith in Iraq. Several evoked the mass departure of Iraq’s Jews after the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.

“It’s exactly what happened to the Jews,” said Nassir Sharhoom, 47, who fled last month to the Kurdish capital, Erbil, with his family from Dora, a once mixed neighborhood in Baghdad. “They want us all to go.”

Iraq’s leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, have pledged to tighten security and appealed for tolerance for minority faiths in what is an overwhelmingly Muslim country.

“The Christian is an Iraqi,” he said after visiting those wounded in the siege of the church, Our Lady of Salvation, the worst single act of violence against Christians since 2003. “He is the son of Iraq and from the depths of a civilization that we are proud of.”

For those who fled, though, such pronouncements have been met with growing skepticism. The daily threats, the uncertainty and palpable terror many face have overwhelmed even the pleas of Christian leaders not to abandon their historic place in a diverse Iraq.

“Their faith in God is strong,” said the Rev. Gabriele Tooma, who heads the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, part of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Qosh, which opened its monastic rooms to 25 families in recent weeks. “It is their faith in the government that has weakened.”

Christians, of course, are not the only victims of the bloodshed that has swept Iraq for more than seven and a half years; Sunni and Shiite Arabs have died on a far greater scale. Only two days after the attack on the church, a dozen bombs tore through Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 68 people and wounding hundreds.

The Christians and other smaller minority groups here, however, have been explicitly made targets and have emigrated in disproportionate numbers. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, these groups account for 20 percent of the Iraqis who have gone abroad, while they were only 3 percent of the country’s prewar population.

More than half of Iraq’s Christian community, estimated to number 800,000 to 1.4 million before the American-led invasion in 2003, have already left the country.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an iteration of the insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, claimed responsibility for the suicidal siege and said its fighters would kill Christians “wherever they can reach them.”

What followed last month were dozens of shootings and bombings in Baghdad and Mosul, the two cities outside of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. At least a dozen more Christians died, eight of them in Mosul.

Three generations of the Gorgiz family — 15 in all — fled their homes there on the morning of Nov. 23 as the killings spread. Crowded into a single room at the monastery in Qosh, they described living in a state of virtual siege, afraid to wear crosses on the streets, afraid to work or even leave their houses in the end.

The night before they left, Diana Gorgiz, 35, said she heard voices and then screams; someone had set fire to the garden of a neighbor’s house. The Iraqi Army arrived and stayed until morning, only to tell them they were not safe there anymore. The Gorgizes took it as a warning — and an indication of complicity, tacit or otherwise, by Iraq’s security forces. “When the army comes and says, ‘We cannot protect you,’ ” Ms. Gorgiz said, “what else can you believe?”

There is no exact accounting of those who have fled internally or abroad. The United Nations has registered more than 1,100 families. A steady flow of Christians to Turkey spiked in November to 243, an official there said.

The Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq offered itself as a haven and pledged to help refugees with housing and jobs. Many of those who fled are wealthy enough to afford rents in Iraqi Kurdistan; others have moved in with relatives; the worst off have ended up at the monastery here and another nearby, St. Matthew’s, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world.

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Yasmine Mousa contributed reporting from Erbil, Iraq, and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul.

Hanukah ham

The photo is actually from 2007 and it had nothing to do with Walmart. It was taken at Balducci's, a specialty food store in New York City (of all places... shouldn't they know better?). A quick search for "Hanukkah Ham" on will also let you know that this poor choice in advertising occurred not at Walmart, but at Balducci's.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Israel news

A Three-State Solution? - Chuck Freilich
Israel's preeminent demand has been for an "end to conflict", i.e., to be able to live in security, without further demands, once an agreement has been reached. Hamas, however, will do everything it can to derail an agreement, including attacks on Israel and attempts to delegitimize and topple the PA. If Gaza is not part of the agreement, the conflict will not end.
Talks were to initially focus on the supposedly easier issue of territory which, if resolved, would inherently resolve the settlement issue. In reality, territory is one of the difficult issues. Under the 2000 "Clinton parameters," Arafat rejected an offer of 98-99% of the West Bank. In 2007 Abbas, the purported pragmatist, rejected Olmert's offer of 100% (including a 3.5% land swap). Is there reason to believe that anything has changed?
Rightly or not, the U.S. is perceived in the Arab world today as weak, preoccupied with its domestic problems, lacking in the determination and resources necessary to address the major issues facing the region, such as Iran and Iraq, let alone the intractable peace process. Major progress is unlikely as long as this perception persists. Rather than an imminent two-state-solution, the reality is that a de-facto three-state solution is evolving (Israel, West Bank and Gaza). The ongoing focus on settlements obscures the truth, that until the PA becomes a functioning, united entity, a final breakthrough is not feasible. The writer is a senior fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School. (Huffington Post)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jews being driven from Netherlands

Dutch pol: Muslims driving Jews out of the Netherlands
"Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews..." --
Qur'an 5:82

"No future for Dutch Orthodox Jews,'" from Radio Netherlands Worldwide, December
6 thanks to Fjordman:
Prominent VVD politician Frits Bolkestein believes there is no future for
'active' Jews in the Netherlands. The conservative politician made his remarks
in an interview with freesheet De Pers.
>In the interview, Mr Bolkestein says that when he talks about active Jews he
>means those who are recognisable as such, for instance Orthodox Jews. The former
>EU Commissioner says there is no future for this group in the Netherlands
>because of "the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers
>keep growing''.
>He feels that this group of Jews should encourage their children to emigrate to
>either the United States or Israel, because he has little confidence in the
>effectiveness of the government's proposals for fighting anti-Semitism....

Helen Thomas again

Helen Thomas Stands by Her Previous Israel Criticisms, Makes New Ones
3 days ago

Six months after the uproar that led to her forced retirement, Helen Thomas once again courted controversy, standing by her earlier comments on Israel and going further to claim that Zionists control U.S. policy, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

Thomas, a member of the White House press corps for 50 years, doubled down on her criticisms of Israel during a speech Thursday in Dearborn, Mich., on the topic of money in politics.

"Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion," Thomas, 90, told an audience of about 300 during a workshop on anti-Arab bias. "They put their money where their mouth is . . . We're being pushed into a wrong direction in every way."

In June, Hearst Newspapers announced Thomas, an Arab-American, would be retiring immediately after she told an interviewer on camera that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and "go home" to Germany, Poland or the U.S.

As they did last summer, Jewish groups once again condemned her remarks.

"Ms. Thomas repeated the anti-Semitic stereotypes that have been used for more than a century to incite hatred of Jews. Her comments should be condemned by all people who oppose bigotry," Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, told the Free Press Friday.

I thought it was latkes

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Editor's Notes: Exposed by WikiLeaks


Obama, we now know, had the diplomatic cables to prove that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was no obstacle to wide Arab backing for the toughest possible measures against Iran.

After the first meeting between newish President Barack Obama and new Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in May of 2009, I wrote in these pages about the “acutely uncomfortable clash of divergent outlooks” so readily evident at their media conference.

I noted that while the Netanyahu camp had “rushed to talk up a purported meeting of minds over Iran,” it was plain that there was a gulf between the two men on the issue. Specially, I wrote, it had been Netanyahu’s hope that he would persuade Obama of the imperative to halt the Iranian nuclear drive “as a precondition for encouraging Arab moderation and thus enabling progress with the Palestinians, and on this he failed.”

Instead, I pointed out, “Obama insistently placed tackling the Palestinian issue – which has defeated even the most generous and flexible Israeli governments – on the road to fixing Iran.”

While Israel had argued internationally that stopping Iran would enable headway with the Palestinians, and other foreign heads of state, senior ministers and diplomats had politely suggested it was best to try to chivvy both processes along simultaneously, Obama, I observed, “has gone all the way over to the other side, and done so in public.”

I was referring to the president’s assertion, publicly contradicting Netanyahu, that, “If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way. To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians – between the Palestinians and the Israelis – then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with a potential Iranian threat.”

In that column and many others since, I have often come back to Obama’s unconvincing assertion that Netanyahu, and much of Israel besides, has the Iran- Palestinian equation wrong. I often noted how illogical it seemed for Obama to argue that there was a good prospect of dramatic progress on the Palestinian front even while Iran, and by extension, Palestinian extremists, were in the ascendant, and how much more room for optimism there would be on the Palestinian front if Iran had been faced down, its nuclear march halted, and relative moderates throughout the region emboldened and empowered.

To my mind, the president’s thinking defied common sense. Now we know, however, that it also defied the concrete information he was receiving from his own diplomats.

THE OBAMA administration, it is now clear for all to see, was not pressing a reluctant Netanyahu to make settlement-freeze and other concessions to the Palestinians in part because it truly believed this would be helpful in generating wider support for tackling Iran.

Not at all. The United States, we now know courtesy of WikiLeaks, was being repeatedly urged by a succession of Arab leaders to smash an Iranian nuclear program they feared would destabilize the entire region and put their regimes at risk. Their priority was, and is, battering Ahmadinejad, not bolstering Abbas.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in 2008, had not urged the US to chivvy those recalcitrant Israelis toward concessions to the Palestinians as a pre-condition for grudging Saudi support for a firmer US-led position against Iran. Anything but. Never mind the Palestinians, the king simply implored Washington to “cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake.”

Likewise, with minor variations in the course of the following year, the rulers of Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

We are now starting to hear, courtesy of WikiLeaks, what Jordan and Egypt had to say on the matter too.

Obama, that is, was not the prisoner of a misconception, convinced in absolute good faith that if he could deliver Israeli concessions at the negotiating table he might stand a greater chance of getting the Arabs on board for the battle with the mullahs. No, he had the diplomatic cables to prove that the Israeli- Palestinian conflict was no obstacle to wide Arab backing, indeed wide Arab entreaties, for the toughest possible measures against Iran, emphatically including military action.

Either the president, it can be concluded, was so attached to his misconception that he refused to let the concrete information he had on Arab leaders’ thinking get in the way – sticking to his view of the region in defiance of the facts.

Or, more plausibly, he had internalized full well that he didn’t actually need the cover of a substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace process to generate Arab support for tackling Iran’s nuclear program, but chose to pressure Israel just the same, as a tactic, because he felt Israel was not being sufficiently forthcoming on the Palestinian front.

Neither explanation sits well, to put it mildly.

TELL NETANYAHU – who at the time of their first meeting had yet to endorse the two-state solution, and who is extremely unlikely to repeat the peace offer that Ehud Olmert had spurned by Abbas – that you feel he should be doing more? That’s fair enough.

What’s not fair enough is to indicate to the Israeli prime minister, when it’s patently untrue, that he ought to put aside some of his skepticism and take risks for peace because otherwise Israel might impede the US’s capacity to thwart the genocidal enemy, Iran.

In that May 2009 column, I noted that “If building international, and more specifically regional pressure on Iran is perceived to be contingent on dramatic progress toward resolving our vexed conflict with the Palestinians, the outlook may be bleak indeed. To judge by the fate of Israel’s peace overtures since the early 1990s, the Iranians, one can only fear, would be up to their eyes in enriched uranium before there’s a breakthrough here.”

So now here we are 18 months later. The peace process is deadlocked and Iran is indeed a good deal closer to the bomb. And the Obama administration has been pressing Israel for a second settlement freeze, even though Abbas wasted the last one, even though Netanyahu has demonstrably sought to encourage reconciliation by improving the economic climate on the West Bank, and even though Israel’s uncertainty about its Palestinian partner is magnified every time Fatah derides the legitimacy of a Jewish nation-state or the PA endorses “research” denying Jewish sovereign history here.

Until WikiLeaks, the US was presumably still reminding Israel of its view that the “linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process… runs the other way.”

That the route to thwarting Teheran runs via Jerusalem. That, whatever Israel’s misgivings, it should consider giving ground on the Palestinian front in part because of the demands of the wider struggle against Iran.

What’s the president going to tell Israel now?

Has the Obama Administration Failed Again?: No Freeze, No Talks, No Competence
By Barry Rubin

December 1, 2010

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While the outcome still isn't clear, it seems that a new example of failure and humiliation is unfolding for the Obama Administration's Middle East policy.

It appears increasingly unlikely that the president's high-profile effort to restart Israel-Palestinian talks will succeed during the remainder of 2010 or even well beyond that time.

This Administration has had a very clear idea of what it wanted to achieve:

1. A comprehensive Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli peace.

2. Getting rid of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the belief that this will reduce terrorism and strengthen US power in region and US interests.

3. Getting rid of the conflict to get Arab support on Iraq, Iran, and Aghanistan.

The embarrassment is taking place due to faulty assumptions about these goals and how to achieve them:

--That a high-profile effort would serve U.S. interests. By showing American engagement on the issue, the Administration thought it would please Arab and Muslim-majority countries so as to gain their support on other issues. This didn't work.

--That, at best, a high-profile campaign would be likely to succeed in bringing rapid progress toward comprehensive peace. That obviously isn't working.

--That , at minimum, they could at least get the two sides to sit down to pretend talks where nothing actually happened but at least it could be portrayed as a diplomatic achievement. Even that isn't working and that's really embarrassing.

Part of the problem is due to the Administration's additional wrong assumption that the Palestinians are eager to negotiate and get a state plus the belief that the current Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership could deliver a deal. In fact, both of these ideas are wrong, too. The PA leadership can't--and doesn't want to--deliver even on holding talks that go nowhere.

Most of the Palestinian leadership and the masses, too, are still locked into the belief that a combination of struggle and intransigence will bring them total victory some day in wiping Israel off the map. And even though they are more moderate than this, neither "President" Mahmoud Abbas nor Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are strong or determined enough even to attempt to change that orientation.

Another part of the problem is the Administration's mistaken view that it could pressure or bribe Israel and the PA into doing what it wants. Yet since neither side has faith in the Obama Administration, both know that it's weak, and Israel has seen that Washington doesn't keep commitments, their incentive for cooperation is reduced. In the PA's case at least, the United States doesn't even put on any pressure or criticism. In Israel's case the Administration has not put on the level of pressure that its more extreme officials (and outside supporters) would like to see, though that wouldn't work either.

But even that's not all. There's every indication that the Administration has incompetently handled the actual negotiations about holding negotiationsy. It focused on getting Israeli concessions without firming up the PA side, thus allowing the PA to demand more. The offer to Israel was presented in a confused manner and it still isn't clear what precisely is to be given in exchange for a three-month construction freeze.

Moreover, part of the package that led people to say that it was so "generous" that Israel was being "bribed" seems to consist of things that the United States has always provided, like support in the UN or maintaining Israel's strategic advantage over its enemies.

The whole thing has turned into a mess and this isn't the first time that's happened in Obama policy on the issue. To cite just four examples, there was:

--The raising of the construction freeze idea in the first place;

--The position that promises made by the Bush Administration would not be fulfilled by his successor;

--Praising Israel for a construction freeze that didn't include Jerusalem and then screaming when Israel fulfilled the agreed conditions;

--And announcing last year that intensive Israel-PA negotiations would begin in two months when no such agreement had been made by the PA.

Yet even that's not all. Why did the administration seek a three-month freeze (originally a two-month freeze) at all? What was the purpose of this clearly useless goal? After all, even if the Administration obtained the freeze there would only have been twelve weeks of stagnant conversation-purchased by the United States at a high price-followed by the break-down of the talks. As an election ploy the idea at least made sense but if that was the motive the whole frantic exercise is now useless.

So far the Obama Administration has achieved a remarkable record of failure on this issue. It is, of course, understandable that the U.S. government was unable to solve the long-standing conflict--though making over-optimistic claims over what might be achieved was a self-inflicted wound--but it actually succeeding in moving the diplomatic process backwards.

Has the Obama done much harm regarding Israel-Palestinian issues? Directly, not so much since there was never much chance for dramatic progress. Yet for the Obama Administration's own reputation and credibility in the region this has been disastrous. Finally and worst of all, it isn't clear that the current government has learned anything from the experience.

The above article could be taken as a highly critical bashing of the Obama Administration. But the sad thing is that it is totally accurate albeit not--in order to save time and to promote clarity--cloaked in bland language.