His message is not wanted nor are his attempts to spread hatred using the university as a tool for this.
Fox News taped the incident at Emory… it can be seen below…
October 31, 2007 at 10:25 (Uncategorized)
His message is not wanted nor are his attempts to spread hatred using the university as a tool for this.
Fox News taped the incident at Emory… it can be seen below…
October 28, 2007 at 10:06 (Uncategorized)
… that non-Jewish Israelis can’t buy or lease land in Israel.
… that Palestinian license plates in Israel are color coded to distinguish Jews from non-Jews.
… that Jerusalem, both East and West, is considered by the entire world community, including the United States, to be occupied territory and NOT part of Israel.
… that Israel allots 85% of the water resources for Jews and the remaining 15% is divided among all Palestinians in the “territories”? For example in Hebron, 85% of the water is given to about 400 settlers, while 15% must be divided among Hebron’s 120,000 Palestinians.
… the United States awards Israel $5 billion in aid each year. Update: Here is a short clip from the documentary “Occupation 101,” exposing US Aid to Israel:
… that yearly US aid to Israel exceeds the aid the US grants to the whole African continent.
… that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons.
… that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections from its sites.
… that Israel currently occupies territories of two sovereign nations (Lebanon and Syria) in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
… that Israel has for decades routinely sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies.
… that high-ranking military officers in the Israeli Occupation Forces have admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed by the IOF.
… that Israel refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war.
… that Israel routinely confiscates bank accounts, businesses and land, and refuses to pay compensation to those who suffer the confiscation.
… that Israel blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship in international waters, killing 33 and wounding 177 American sailors.
… that the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders, is the Israeli AIPAC.
… that Israel stands in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
… that today’s Israel sits on the former sites of more than 400 now-vanished Palestinian villages, and that the Israeli’s re-named almost every physical site in the country to cover up the traces.
… that it was not until 1988 that Israelis were barred from running “Jews Only” job ads.
… that four prime ministers of Israel Begin, Shamir, Rabin, and Sharon, have taken part in either bomb attacks on civilians, massacres of civilians, or forced expulsions of civilians from their villages.
… that the Israeli Foreign Ministry pays two American public relations firms to promote Israel to Americans.
…that Israel’s government includes a party which advocates expelling all Palestinians from the occupied territories.
… that Israel’s settlement-building increased rapidly since Oslo.
… that settlement building under Barak doubled compared to settlement building under Netanyahu.
… that Israel once dedicated a postage stamp to a man who attacked a civilian bus and killed several people.
… that recently-declassified documents indicate that David Ben-Gurion in at least some instances approved of the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.
We often hear of Ehud Barak’s generosity about an alleged return of 95% of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. When Palestinians refused, they were blamed for “missing an opportunity.” The Palestinians have already accepted Israel’s existence on 78% of what was Palestine. For those who use the argument of the Bible: God said to Abraham, “Unto thy seed, I will give thy land.” Abraham had two sons. Ismael – the Arab son, and Isaac – the Jewish son. So even if one wants to go to the Bible, the land would belong to both.
… that Palestinian Christians are considered the “living stones” of Christianity because they are the direct descendants of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
… that despite a ban on torture by Israel’s High Court of Justice, torture has continued by Shin Bet interrogators on Palestinian prisoners.
… that Palestinian refugees make up the largest portion of the refugee population in the world.
WELL, NOW YOU DO!
WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT!?
THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS LET OTHERS KNOW
October 27, 2007 at 22:00 (Uncategorized)
Last month it was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that caused an uproar when he was invited to speak at Columbia University in New York City… yesterday it was a home grown neocon that caused a similar commotion. David Horowitz was invited to speak as part of the ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week’ festivities.
The mere concept of the theme is nothing more than a ploy of the Lobby to associate Islam with terror. A background of this fascistic attempt to spread the malignancy of zionism can be read in THIS link from AntiWar.Com.
An update of the Columbia University fiasco can be read in the following Associated Press report….
NEW YORK – Conservative author David Horowitz spoke at Columbia University Friday as part of so-called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,” which some Muslims say is fostering racism.
Horowitz is the latest in a string of controversial speakers to appear at the prestigious school.
Horowitz, a self-described former Marxist, said the week was an effort to distinguish “moderate Muslims” from “Islamo-Fascists.”
“This is nothing that could remotely be interpreted as an attack on Muslims. It’s a defense of moderate Muslims,” Horowitz told a peaceful lecture-hall audience of about 100 students and visitors.
The California-based activist was invited to Columbia by the College Republicans, who on Friday kept track of each person entering Lerner Hall – against a list of names submitted in advance. The audience included people who disagreed with Horowitz’s positions.
Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused an uproar when he was invited to speak at Columbia. He faced tough questioning and the university’s president introduced him by saying Ahmadinejad exhibited “all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”
And last year, the College Republicans invited Jim Gilchrist, founder of the California-based Minutemen Project which advocates action to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico. He was forced off the stage by protesting students. Gilchrist was invited back earlier this year, but the speech was canceled under pressure from student activists.
Horowitz, author of “Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom” and other conservative books, gave an hour-long speech in which he outlined his views on the role of Muslim fundamentalists through history, emphasizing the current danger posed by a group of people he said are “out to kill Americans.”
He said discussion of this subject has been “banished” from classrooms at Columbia, his alma mater. The school hires mostly “progressive” professors, he said, while failing to employ teachers who might offer students “diverse” ideas.
By contrast, when he was a Columbia student “50 years ago,” Horowitz said, “I wrote Marxist papers for professors who were undoubtedly anti-communist.”
Columbia officials declined to comment on Horowitz’s statements.
One protester, a senior majoring in religious studies, called Horowitz “a demagogue opposed to reasonable discourse.”
Joshua Schwartz, 21, said his view of Islamic fundamentalists as dangerous “comes from an old tradition of associating Islam with barbarism and violence.”
Sunsara Taylor, who joined the protest but is not a student, went one step further. Horowitz, she said, is “on a witch hunt to purge academia of professors who don’t agree with him.”
October 27, 2007 at 17:53 (Uncategorized)
Image by David Baldinger
Israel is not satisfied with Palestine literally cut in two. They are now attempting to widen that gap by ‘Israelisizing’ those Palestinians that live in Israel proper….a plan that is meeting with opposition as seen in the following report from Ynet…
Arab-Israeli MK: Don’t Israelify us
Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka: Attempt to have Arab volunteers in national service is part of attempt to Israelisize Arab youths, and we have a major issue with that
By Sharon Rofe-Ofir
Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka (Balad) took part in a protest conference against a government initiative to draft Arab youths for national service, and expressed his opposition to the idea on Saturday.
“Anyone who does national service will become a leper and Arab society will throw him up from its midst,” the minister told Ynet.
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs, one of the conference’s organizers, is taking a more moderate stance, and says it is carrying out an unending argument with those who chose to volunteer, and has launched a campaign to minimize the number of volunteers.
During the last year, the number of Arab-Israeli volunteers for national service doubled from 280 to 560. “If we did not launch our campaign, we would be seeing a number several times higher, and maybe even thousands would choose to volunteer for national service,” the Committee’s CEO, Abd Anbatawi said.
The conference, which took place in Haifa at the initiative of the Balanda (our country) charity in which many Arab youths from across the political spectrum are involved, also saw Knesset Members, heads of the Arab community, and youths from various political parties take part. Participants sought to protest the government initiative which is expected to make waves by the start of January 2008.
MK Zahalka said that former prime minister Ariel Sharon “suggested in the past that service be mandatory. We protested then and said we would ensure that initiative failed. In the government, they saw there was bitter opposition, and they decided to change direction towards national service. It’s clear to us that this is an exercise and it’s clear to us that volunteering will eventually become compulsory duty,” he said.
‘Other minorities also exempt from service’
Zahalka and members of his party, who set up the Balanda charity, are leading the campaign against volunteering for national service in Israel. “It’s our right as a national minority to safeguard our identity. Actually, we see volunteering for service as an attempt to Israelify our youths, and we have a major issue with that,” he said.
Addressing the question of how as citizens living in Israel Israeli Arabs choose to contribute to the state, Zahalka said, “we certainly contribute to society. We are a working society, we pay our taxes and we are loyal to the law. In every democratic country the rights are absolute and the duties are relative… in the past, other minorities in the country have been absolved from serving in the IDF.”
The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arabs is also seeking to unify the ranks through opposition to national service. But they are not seeking to throw out those who choose to volunteer. “We totally reject national service in all forms, but on the other hand we also are willing to consider fostering projects of the culture of volunteering towards (Arab) society,” Anbatawi said. Those who chose to volunteer, he said, “need to be argued with and explained the severity of the act of this volunteering, but not be thrown out of our midst.”
Two months ago, the government approved the setting up of a new project to encourage volunteers for national service. Project Head Dr Reuven Gal said then he aimed to place an emphasis on new fields of volunteering, including the recruitment of Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox. Dr Gal added that there were understanding with some of the local Arab authorities and a few Haredi rabbis on this issue. The aim, among others, is to have more Arab volunteers serve in the Arab sector, and close to their homes.
The initiative provoked bitter opposition among Arabs, and last month a new campaign was launched to dissuade Arab youths from volunteering, since this type of service is equivalent to IDF service.
October 27, 2007 at 13:37 (Uncategorized)
With Gaza isolated from the West Bank and a half-hearted peace conference looming, this is a significant (albeit bleak) period in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. For advocates of Palestine, it is a discouraging period—especially with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza reaching unprecedented levels, shut behind walls, and totally cut off from the world.
Prior to the economic boycott, Gaza was already second only to some African countries in its dependence on international aid… One can only imagine how desperate things have become since the West, in a hypocritical campaign spearheaded by the United States, halted aid to Gaza. I discussed some of these issues with Professor Loewenstein a few days ago in the following short interview.
Kris Petersen: As someone who has spent a great deal of time focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian situation (certainly among the most politicized subjects), how have you separated your academic responsibilities from your personal political beliefs—or have you?
Jennifer Loewenstein: Kris, When I teach these subjects I don’t pretend “objectivity”. Like any historian or social scientist, I weigh the facts I am able to gather and do my best to assess them. When one does this (as most of the genuine scholarship across national boundaries shows), the picture that emerges is one that closely supports my political views.
Historical facts, data documentation by NGOs, international legal institutions, UN bodies, treaties and accords, personal experience and other empirical evidence shaped my views; I didn’t go looking for things that would confirm them after the fact. As a result, I don’t need to put my views out front – or state them in advance of teaching. Of course I realize other people come to other conclusions and that mine are not the only “correct” ones. Any teacher who does not make this clear (and repeatedly) is not doing her job very well.
What is important is to point out the difference between documentable evidence and opinions that lack this. Anyone is entitled to an opinion but if it cannot be supported by facts (that are not deliberately selective) it’s just an opinion. It cannot be used as research or instructional material. God this sounds so pedagogical.
All this said, I think it is wrong to assume that the classroom is a place that should remain “value free”. Just as it would be inappropriate to fail to condemn crimes against humanity under Hitler, Stalin, Kissinger, Johnson, Bush, Cheney, Pol Pot or whoever else, it seems to me perverse to teach the subject – for example – of Palestine – describing the Nakba without reference to human suffering and cost; or, for example, to teach about the destruction of Jenin as a “military assault” without highlighting obvious or legally accepted facts (according to the international consensus on this topic) such as the illegality of Israel’s occupation and the disparity between occupier and occupied. This doesn’t mean a person should neglect the human issues on both sides; merely that they be put into an appropriate context or framework.
Slave owners were also human beings, some of whom suffered unjustifiably violent attacks at the hands of their slaves. What do we do with this information? Sum it up by saying “therefore both sides were wrong”? or try to make people understand what led slaves to lash out in ways that were often so brutal? This changes the entire equation without sanctioning acts of murder or violence.
In sum, one of my many academic responsibilities is to help my students to think about controversial topics responsibly: put the moral issues of the day with the academic ones from which they are ultimately inseparable. Otherwise what kind of citizens are we turning out of our universities?
KP: With the current isolation facing the Gaza Strip, what possible outcomes do you foresee? Perhaps you can comment on the humanitarian crisis and the economic and political status of Gaza.
JL: I haven’t got a crystal ball and sometimes I’m glad about this. Gaza is being slowly and (in all likelihood) fatally suffocated to death. Israel 1) doesn’t want the Gaza Strip (or at least its people); 2) is constrained by international public opinion such that it cannot just brazenly carry out genocide or ethnic cleansing; and therefore 3) has to find ways to do what it wants – get rid of the Gazan people – by piecemeal sadism that doesn’t focus the world media’s attention. The gratuitous savagery of the siege on Gaza would have taken place whether or not Hamas had come to power. That it has, however, is a gift to the Israelis seeking pretexts – in combination with a well-oiled propaganda machine – for the continued strangulation and starvation of an entire people. I don’t know when it will stop – or if it will stop. What I fear is an international event of such magnitude that attention will be focused elsewhere allowing Israeli brutality much freer reign than it already has. In that case, God help the people living there.
On the other hand, unanticipated international crises can also give rise to conditions that could bring positive changes. This seems less likely right now, given the devastation in Iraq, the instability in Lebanon and Syria and the focus on Iran. Still it is not impossible that something none of us foresees could bring about change for the better. Khalid Mish’al has said recently that he believes the balance is slowly shifting in favor of the Palestinians. He may be deluded or simply desperate to feel some kind of optimism. But he may also be correct. Israel can no longer offer the Palestinians anything that is unjust without it being completely transparent to the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians across the globe. This may indeed be a tipping of the scales.
Realize, however, that under the present circumstances – and in line with Zionist/Israeli history since 1947-48- Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian state. Had this ever been a real goal, it could have been brought about 60 years ago.
KP: Would you please provide your take on the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace conference hosted by the United States?
JL: It’s a pitiful and belated attempt by the United States to “get serious” about this issue as Iran rises in regional strength – and at precisely the time when Iraq is draining the US of its financial, human, military and political resources. Iran knows this and is supremely self-confident just now because it understands that the costs to the US of a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would be so high as to change the course of Middle East history on the spot. The same would be true of an Israeli (proxy) strike on Iran – it would boomerang back onto Israel and, by association, onto the US. We just have to hope that the Madmen in the Bush administration aren’t planning to go out of power in some inglorious inferno.
KP: As we now know, the United States has been pressuring Palestinian President Abbas to include Mohammed Dahlan in the regime. What is your opinion on this?
Dahlan has made it clear that he is willing to be a strongman for the US and to do its bidding. His coming to power would almost guarantee that any attempts by Fatah and Hamas to begin working toward conciliation would be ruined. This is one of Israel’s and the US’ goals – and probably also of other regional players, including Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – all of whom fear the rise of Hamas or of the “Islamic” element in Palestinian politics. Such an element only strengthens the Iran-Syrian-Hizbullah-Hamas fault line and would empower Islamist groups within these countries to begin seriously to contend for power.
There are some complex issues at hand here, however: first, Hamas is doing a terrible job in Gaza and is losing popular support. It could thereby indirectly aid Fatah in its attempt to rid Gaza of the Hamas leadership. This would make negotiating with Fatah the only viable solution for Israel and the US (just what they’d like but without the problem of Hamas in the background) and right now Fatah’s leaders look ready to sell Palestine to the Israeli buyers for nothing and without much remorse. They’d remain the nominal leaders of “Palestine” with all the external trappings of power, and we’d simply have to hope for yet another popular uprising. It’s just such a horrible thing to contemplate when you understand the physical, emotional, economic and social exhaustion of this people.
On the other hand, Abbas probably understands that if he gives Israel what it wants at the upcoming summit (or whatever it’s been called recently) that he, too, will lose all popular support. The Palestine National Movement has been transformed over the past seven years or more. In the past six months it has been severely weakened because of the open split between Hamas and Fatah. In the next six months to two years it will either die altogether – to the quiet applause of the Israelis – or it will be reborn in another form or forms and we won’t know what the long-term outcome will be for some time.
KP: Any additional comments?
JL: I don’t know what it will take for people on this side of the Mediterranean/Atlantic to understand that Israel is systematically destroying an entire people and its quest for national self-determination. It’s happening before our eyes each day – and in the most unspeakable ways – but barely gets any notice at all. Until there is a political shift here in the US my own mood will remain one of profound cynicism. That said, there are some signs of a “sea change” at the popular level here, however, and this keeps me going.
This interview originally appeared HERE.
October 27, 2007 at 09:19 (Uncategorized)
WHENEVER I am asked if I am optimistic about an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I say that I am not. Optimism requires clear signs that things are changing – meaningful words and unambiguous actions that point to real progress. I do not yet hear enough meaningful words, nor do I yet see enough unambiguous deeds to justify optimism.
However, that does not mean I am without hope. I am a Christian. I am constrained by my faith to hope against hope, placing my trust in things as yet unseen. Hope persists in the face of evidence to the contrary, undeterred by setbacks and disappointment. Hoping against hope, then, I do believe that a resolution will be found. It will not be perfect, but it can be just; and if it is just, it will usher in a future of peace.
My hope for peace is not amorphous. It has a shape. It is not the shape of a particular political solution, although there are some political solutions that I believe to be more just than others.
Neither does my hope take the shape of a particular people, although I have pleaded tirelessly for international attention to be paid to the misery of Palestinians, and I have roundly condemned the injustices of certain Israeli policies that compound that misery. Thus I am often accused of siding with Palestinians against Israeli Jews, naively exonerating the one and unfairly demonizing the other.
Nevertheless, I insist that the hope in which I persist is not reducible to politics or identified with a people. It has a more encompassing shape. I like to call it “God’s dream.”
God has a dream for all his children. It is about a day when all people enjoy fundamental security and live free of fear. It is about a day when all people have a hospitable land in which to establish a future. More than anything else, God’s dream is about a day when all people are accorded equal dignity because they are human beings. In God’s beautiful dream, no other reason is required.
God’s dream begins when we begin to know each other differently, as bearers of a common humanity, not as statistics to be counted, problems to be solved, enemies to be vanquished or animals to be caged. God’s dream begins the moment one adversary looks another in the eye and sees himself reflected there.
All things become possible when hearts fixed in mutual contempt begin to grasp a transforming truth; namely, that this person I fear and despise is not an alien, something less than human. This person is very much like me, and enjoys and suffers, loves and fears, wonders, worries, and hopes. Just as I do, this person longs for well-being in a world of peace.
God’s dream begins with this mutual recognition – we are not strangers, we are kin. It culminates in the defeat of oppression perpetrated in the name of security, and of violence inflicted in the name of liberation. God’s dream routs the cynicism and despair that once cleared the path for hate to have its corrosive way with us, and for ravenous violence to devour everything in sight.
God’s dream comes to flower when everyone who claims to be wholly innocent relinquishes that illusion, when everyone who places absolute blame on another renounces that lie, and when differing stories are told at last as one shared story of human aspiration. God’s dream ends in healing and reconciliation. Its finest fruit is human wholeness flourishing in a moral universe.
In the meanwhile, between the root of human solidarity and the fruit of human wholeness, there is the hard work of telling the truth.
From my experience in South Africa I know that truth-telling is hard. It has grave consequences for one’s life and reputation. It stretches one’s faith, tests one’s capacity to love, and pushes hope to the limit. At times, the difficulty of this work can make you wonder if people are right about you, that you are a fool.
No one takes up this work on a do-gooder’s whim. It is not a choice. One feels compelled into it. Neither is it work for a little while, but rather for a lifetime – and for more than a lifetime. It is a project bigger than any one life. This long view is a source of encouragement and perseverance. The knowledge that the work preceded us and will go on after us is a fountain of deep gladness that no circumstance can alter.
Nothing, however, diminishes the fear and trembling that accompany speaking the truth to power in love. An acute awareness of fallibility is a constant companion in this task, but because nothing is more important in the current situation than to speak as truthfully as one can, there can be no shrinking from testifying to what one sees and hears.
What do I see and hear in the Holy Land? Some people cannot move freely from one place to another. A wall separates them from their families and from their incomes. They cannot tend to their gardens at home or to their lessons at school. They are arbitrarily demeaned at checkpoints and unnecessarily beleaguered by capricious applications of bureaucratic red tape. I grieve for the damage being done daily to people’s souls and bodies. I have to tell the truth: I am reminded of the yoke of oppression that was once our burden in South Africa.
I see and hear that ancient olive trees are uprooted. Flocks are cut off from their pastures and shepherds. The homes of some people are bulldozed even as new homes for others are illegally constructed on other people’s land. I grieve for the land that suffers such violence, the marring of its beauty, the loss of its comforts, the despoiling of its yield. I have to tell the truth: I am reminded of the bitter days of uprooting and despoiling in my own country.
I see and hear that young people believe that it is heroic and pious to kill others by killing themselves. They strap bombs to their torsos to achieve liberation. They do not know that liberation achieved by brutality will defraud in the end. I grieve the waste of their lives and of the lives they take, the loss of personal and communal security they cause, and the lust for revenge that follows their crimes, crowding out all reason and restraint. I have to tell the truth: I am reminded of the explosive anger that inflamed South Africa, too.
Some people are enraged by comparisons between the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and what happened in South Africa. There are differences between the two situations, but a comparison need not be exact in every feature to yield clarity about what is going on. Moreover, for those of us who lived through the dehumanizing horrors of the apartheid era, the comparison seems not only apt, it is also necessary. It is necessary if we are to persevere in our hope that things can change.
Indeed, because of what I experienced in South Africa, I harbor a vast, unreasoning hope for Israel and the Palestinian territories. South Africans, after all, had no reason to suppose that the evil system and the cycles of violence that were sapping the soul of our nation would ever change. There was nothing special or different about South Africans to deserve the appearance of the very thing for which we prayed and worked and suffered so long.
Most South Africans did not believe they would live to see a day of liberation. They did not believe that their children’s children would see it. They did not believe that such a day even existed, except in fantasy. But we have seen it. We are living now in the day we longed for.
It is not a cloudless day. The divine arc that bends toward a truly just and whole society has not yet stretched fully across my country’s sky like a rainbow of peace. It is not finished, it does not always live up to its promise, it is not perfect – but it is new. A brand new thing, like a dream of God, has come about to replace the old story of mutual hatred and oppression.
I have seen it and heard it, and so to this truth, too, I am compelled to testify – if it can happen in South Africa, it can happen with the Israelis and Palestinians. There is not much reason to be optimistic, but there is every reason to hope.
Desmond Tutu is the former archbishop of Cape Town, chairman of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
October 27, 2007 at 07:43 (Uncategorized)
Ann Coulter’s stomach-turning comments about how Jews “needed to be perfected” by becoming Christian demonstrates not only her own bigotry but her abysmal ignorance of the teachings of Jesus. Judaism was the faith practiced by Jesus for his entire life, and from which he never wavered.
Indeed, Jesus declares in Matthew that “whoever goes against the smallest of the laws of Moses, teaching men to do the same, will be named least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who keeps the Law of Moses, teaching others to keep them, will be named great in the kingdom of heaven.” (5:19) It was lamentable that few of our evangelical Christian brethren, in whose name Coulter purports to speak, condemned her contemptuous disrespect of the faith of their savior.
In this new era of Jewish-Christian brotherhood, there can be no place for malicious abuse heaped by any Christian on Jews, or vice versa. As importantly, Christian dismissals of Judaism virtually guarantee that the Christian community will never have a deep understanding of Jesus.
Paul, of course, portrayed Jesus as a religious reformer whose mission it was to abrogate Judaism and begin a new faith. But the gospels themselves rebut this conclusion. Jesus derived all his principal teachings from Judaism. His aphorisms are restatements of earlier biblical verses, and his allegories are mostly teachings of the rabbis that are found in the Talmud.
HERE ARE A few examples from the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus’ famous statement, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). Coulter might be surprised to learn that this verse seems to be derived directly from Psalms 37: “The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Jesus’ teaching, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8) echoes Psalm 24: “Who shall ascend the mount of the Lord – the purehearted.” Jesus’ instruction that “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5:39) is a restatement of Lamentations 3:30: “Let him offer his cheek to him who smites him.”
Jesus’ promise to his apostles to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well,” (Matt. 6:33) is a reformulation of the pledge of Psalm 37: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
And finally, Jesus’ teaching “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you,” (Matt. 7:7), is a repetition of an earlier pronouncement of Jeremiah: “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jer. 29:13)
A much more famous example, however, is Jesus’ Golden Rule of Matthew 7: “Whatever you would that men would do to you, do you even so to them.” Jesus is here repeating the famous teaching of Hillel (b. 75 BC) “That which you hate don’t do unto others,” which is itself a reformulation of the biblical maxim (Lev. 19:18), “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
SIMILARLY, when Jesus instructs us to love our enemies, it is based on the biblical precedent of Exodus 23: ‘If you meet your enemy’s ox or your enemy’s ass going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.”
Christians often associate parables exclusively with Jesus and believe that he invented a new method of teaching. But anyone familiar with the Talmud will recognize Jesus’ parables as the common form of rabbinic expression in the Second Temple period. Jesus was a trained rabbi who thought like a rabbi, taught like a rabbi, and spoke like a rabbi.
In trying to prove Jesus’ break from the rabbis and tradition, the New Testament relates that Jesus allowed his apostles to desecrate the Sabbath. But in justifying the desecration, Jesus famously says: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” This pronouncement is actually a classic rabbinic statement.
Jesus’ disciples were in a field and they picked corn, which indeed violates biblical law. And while the New Testament does not give us the story’s background, the nature of Jesus’ answer to the critical “Pharisees” seems to supply us with a clue.
He refers to an incident in the book of Kings where David is fleeing his enemy with a few loyal men. Their lives are in danger and they have no food. David allows his men to eat the showbread in the Temple in order to save their lives, even though they were not priests and were thus not permitted to eat the showbread. What Jesus is thereby inferring is that he has allowed his students to break the Sabbath and pick corn because their lives are in danger and they are in desperate need of food.
THE TALMUD says, ‘The Sabbath was handed over to you, and you were not handed over to the Sabbath.’ This maxim, directly echoing Jesus’ words, is found throughout the Babylonian Talmud, for example in Yoma 85b. The Talmud takes it for granted that human life must be saved at all costs, and the question of keeping the Sabbath when life is endangered is quickly brushed aside.
In Matthew 9, Jesus offers his harvest parable: “The (work of) harvesting is great and the workers are few. Ask the owner of the harvest to bring (more) workers for the work of the harvesting.” What does this cryptic saying mean? This saying of Jesus derives from a well-known collection of rabbinic proverbs, “Ethics of the Fathers.” It reads (2:15): “The day is short and the work is great, the workers are lazy; the wages are high and the master is in a hurry.”
The implication of the parable is that life is short and there is so much virtuous work to do. God rewards you greatly for the good you do, and He is in a hurry to banish evil from the world and establish the reign of righteousness. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are lazy. They exchange a life devoted to justice for a life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. There are not enough “workers” to get the job, the harvest, done.
Perhaps Coulter could follow these beautiful teachings of the Torah and Jesus and use her God-given talent to add light, rather than religious hatred, to the world.
The writer is currently working on a book on the Jewishness of Jesus. www.shmuley.com
October 25, 2007 at 12:52 (Uncategorized)
Gaza City and Tel Aviv – Ratcheting up pressure on Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Israel prepared to cut electricity supplies to Gazans in retaliation for an escalation in cross-border rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian militants.
After declaring Gaza an “enemy entity” in September, Israel has kept Gaza’s borders sealed save for humanitarian foodstuffs and medicines. The policy has triggered dramatic inflation, shuttered businesses, and spurred demand for black-market goods smuggled through tunnels that were once used by gun runners and drug dealers.
“The market now takes all food that you smuggle, also spare parts and medication,” says Hashem, a tunnel-owner from the border town of Rafah who spoke on the condition that his last name not be used.
Analysts say the goal of Israel’s policy of isolating Gaza seems to be to pressure Gazans to turn against Hamas, which has led the area since it wrested control from the Palestinian Authority in June. Other observers warn that the pressure is likely to backfire, creating more volunteers for militant groups and stirring sympathy for Hamas.
The squeeze comes as the Palestinian Authority and Israel negotiate a joint statement on the framework of peace negotiations, a document scheduled to be a centerpiece of a regional meeting in Annapolis, Md., scheduled for late fall.
“The economy is just not functioning. People who are suffering, are being deprived of the right to work, and are dependant on religious charities are not going to become more moderate,” says Sari Bashi, the executive director of Gisha, a Tel Aviv-based nonprofit that focuses on alleviating movement restrictions on Palestinians. In the four months since Hamas has taken over, Israel has allowed almost no finished goods or produce to leave the Gaza Strip. With the onset of the winter picking season for Gaza’s strawberries and cherry tomatoes, millions of dollars’ worth of products are expected to rot.
In order to compensate for the high price of petrol, Gazan auto mechanics are installing equipment that will allow car motors to burn cooking gas. But to say that the economy has shifted to a black market because of the tunnels would overestimate the tunnels’ capacity to compensate for traffic over the Israeli border. “These are extreme conditions,” says Ms. Bashi.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilanai told Israel Army Radio on Wednesday about plans to reduce “dramatically” – by about two-thirds – the power that is supplied to the Gaza Strip. The comments followed a day in which 10 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, one hitting a residential building in the frequently targeted town of Sderot.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev defended the sanctions, saying that because Hamas has demonstrated its ability to reduce chaos in the Gaza Strip, Israel is being less forgiving in adopting blanket sanctions.
“If one wants to talk about exports from Gaza to Israel, the only export today is mortar shells and Qassam rockets. When we declared Gaza a hostile entity, we were actually just describing reality, which is that an extremist terrorist entity has taken control of Gaza,” he says. “Can anyone expect that Israel would continue a business-as-usual policy with Gaza? On the contrary, business as usual is impossible.”
Since Hamas took over, the group has attempted to regulate the smuggling of illicit goods. “Hamas said you can smuggle anything except weapons and drugs,” tunnel smuggler Hashem says. He has shifted from moving AK-47s and bullets to cheese, salted fish, and painkillers.
Israeli officials say intelligence reports indicate that sophisticated antitank weapons and rockets still flow into Gaza.
Up and down the coast, Israel’s policy of blocking imports has left store shelves so bare that it’s impossible to find a can of soda. The price of cigarettes has doubled, pushed up also by a tax that Hamas charges the smugglers. The price of 50-kg (110-lb.) sacks of flour rose 80 percent to 180 shekels ($45).
An absence of raw materials has forced most businesses to close, or work at minimum capacity; the lack of cement has silenced 95 percent of the building projects in Gaza. According to United Nations agencies, some 70,000 people have lost their jobs in a territory where 80 percent already live in poverty.
In the last week, there’s also been a spike in internal violence in the Gaza Strip. Hamas gunmen have waged separate clashes with Islamic Jihad fighters for control of a mosque in the border town of Gaza, as well as with gunmen from the Fatah-allied Hillis clan in Gaza City.
Munir Dweik, a cab driver who spends most of his days waiting for customers on the Palestinian side of the northern Gaza Erez crossing, says that although the clashes were not directly related to the economic sanctions, Gazans overall have become more prone to violence.
But instead of blaming just Hamas for the conditions in Gaza, fingers are pointing at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also called Abu Mazen, for contributing to the air of crisis. Many Gazans believe that the Fata-run government in Ramallah has given tacit support to the sanctions. “People are blaming both governments – in Ramallah and Gaza,” he says. “People are victims of the Abu Mazen and the Hamas governments.”
Safwat Al-Kahlout contributed reporting from Gaza City.
October 24, 2007 at 10:01 (Uncategorized)
The 4th of November, 1995, 12 years ago today on the Hebrew calendar, is known as ‘The Day The Music Died’ in Israel. It was on that day that Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin was murdered in cold blood just minutes after singing the praises of peace, a photo of the blood stained sheet music which was taken from his pocket can be seen above….
The words to the song can be seen HERE…
It was not only Itzhak Rabin that was murdered that day, it was the Oslo Agreements as well. Since that time the right wing has usurped power in Israel making the concept of a real peace nothing more than a distant dream, but one that we hold onto and work towards nevertheless.
A new technology enables viewers to get a clear view of what transpired on Nov. 4th, 1995: The three bullets that changed history, the video from that evening can be viewed HERE….
A Ynet report can be read below…
Special: Video of Rabin’s murder as never seen before
(Video)Twelve years after, new technology enables viewers to get a clear view of what transpired on Nov. 4th, 1995: The three bullets that changed history
“On November 4th, 1995, the prime minister was murdered.” This was the headline we awoke to, as if to a nightmare. The three bullets fired at the prime minister during the peace rally changed the face of Israel forever. Each of us harbors that moment within us, the moment we heard of the murder at the square.
Twelve years on, the enhanced video now clearly shows the moments of the murder.
It was 9:40 pm, and the security personnel accompanied the participants of the peace rally down the back stairs of the municipality building on the way to the prime minister’s car. At first, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres descended the staircase waving to the crowd with a smile. The prime minister descended next, with an assured step.
Suddenly out of the darkness the image appeared. The door of the prime minister’s car had already been opened. Rabin approached the back seat; the first shot was sounded, then another and another.
Yitzhak Rabin’s last steps were captured by the lens of Ronny Kempler’s camera. Now, thanks to new technology, for the first time viewers can see exactly what happened at the square on that night: The unbearable ease in which the prime minister was murdered from point-blank range.
October 23, 2007 at 15:18 (Uncategorized)
Image by David Baldinger
The last thing Israel wants is a panic attack…
With all the talk lately of Iran possibly getting hold of nuclear weapons in 3 to 5 years, attention is taken away from who the real enemy in the Middle East is (pictured above)… an enemy that is quite comfortably ‘in bed’ with Israel at the moment…
But, we now have a member of Israel’s leading Party, Kadima, issuing statements that Israel cannot be destroyed by nuclear bombs… is that supposed to make us more comfortable with the likes of Cheney and Bush still in power?
Hows about Israel taking the initiative of ridding its arsenals of the nuclear weapons they already have…. thereby eliminating the risk of a war that will clearly be their own fault.
The following YNet report deals with the statements made by the member of Knesset….
MK: Nuclear bomb won’t destroy Israel
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Isaac Ben-Israel tells Ynet, ‘Just like earthquakes we’ve seen, a nuclear bomb can’t destroy a state in which seven million people live. Adds: Iran 3 to 5 years away from bomb
“An atomic bomb, of the type being developed by Iran, can’t destroy Israel, period. It causes death in a 500 meter radius, but can’t destroy Israel,” that was the calming message given to Ynet Tuesday by Knesset Member Prof Isaac Ben-Israel, a major general in the reserves.
“A nuclear Iran,” the Kadima MK said, “is an intolerable threat to Israel – and Israel must do everything so that Iran will never have such a bomb.”
A nuclear Iran has a long line of consequences, the first of which is not necessarily a firing of a nuclear weapon at Tel Aviv. “There’s no chance in the world that if Iran will have a bomb the Arab Sunni states won’t follow suit,” Ben-Israel said. “Already, all Arab states termed ‘moderate’ have announced that they are commencing their own peaceful nuclear programs, out of fear from the Shiite revolution.
“That’s because Iran, in addition to its aim to destroy Israel, publicly declares its wish to export the Shiite revolution. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before they have a bomb,” He said. On the other hand, if Iran abandons the project, “it’s fair to assume that Arab states will sit quietly, as they have done until today.”
The next implication is the end of the Israeli ambiguity: “If the day comes in which Iran has a nuclear bomb, and other Arab states in the area follow it – Israel will have to end its ambiguity on the issue. From this point, not much time will pass until the Middle East will not only be unstable, but it will also be saturated with nuclear weapons,” the MK said.
“In such a state, where a war breaks out here every two days due to lack of understandings – one can only guess who will be the first to fire this weapon,” he said.
‘Similar response will come down on their heads’
Ben-Israel, who carried out a series of operational security roles, as well as intelligence and development roles, especially in the Air Force, completely rejected talk of ‘mutual nuclear deterrence’ between Iran and Israel.
“When one thinks about it to the end, it’s not reasonable. There are not two actors here but several actors, in an unstable region, and there is a state willing to pay an international price to advance its plan to wipe Israel off the map. Therefore, the day after is the worst day for Israel,” he said.
The bomb, Professor Ben-Israel maintained, doesn’t even have to be launched by the Iranians. “It’s enough that they think that this bomb neutralizes the effect of the Israeli bomb – and then they will want to maybe exploit the enormous numerical advantage of the Arab and Muslim world around us, for example, in order to try and attack Israel in other ways,” he said.
“They can do what they’ve always done: Attack Israel, perhaps through HIzbullah, Syria, and others. Another option is that Iran won’t take the risk of directly firing on Israel, so that it does not absorb a direct response, but could take (the nuke) from the facility and give it to a terrorist organization, which can blow it up at the Haifa port, for example. Just like they gave 11,000 rockets to Hizbullah.”
Ben-Israel said the Iranian threat of firing “11,000 rockets in a minute” was unrealistic. “No state in the world can do that, not the US, so let’s not give them that kind of credit. They don’t even have hundreds of missiles that can reach here, maybe only dozens. And even if they launch dozens of bombs, most of them will be taken down by the Arrow (anti-missile shield),” he said.
“Therefore, no more than a few dozen bombs will penetrate the defensive system. And beyond that, after the first or second are fired – and it will take them around ten minutes to arrive – a similar response will come down on their heads.”
Asked what the damage of a nuclear attack would be, Ben-Israel said, “Does a bomb destroy a country? Of course not. An atomic bomb of this type – a 10 – 20 kiloton bomb, such as the type that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causes death in the 500 to 1000 meter radius around the fall zone if it fell on Tel Aviv. That may sound like a big relief, but it isn’t.
“In Tel Aviv, 20 to 30,000 people live in a 500 meter radius, a number equivalent to the total count of casualties in all of Israel’s wars until today. And all of this in one bomb. In any case, just like earthquakes we’ve seen, it doesn’t destroy a state in which seven million people live. A hydrogen bomb, for example, has a more explosive force, but Iran hasn’t even begun to go in that direction,” he said.
How close is Iran to the bomb, and the minute it reaches the ability to produce it, what is the expected rate?
“If 3,000 centrifuges work for a full year, they make one bomb. Therefore, if the Iranians will reach the ability to run 3,000 centrifuges, they can produce one bomb a year. In the meantime, they haven’t been so successful in running them, despite the declarations, for all sorts of reasons – the world isn’t providing them with the materials, machines, and technologies needed for this. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) estimates that Iran is 3 – 8 years away from the bomb. I think 3 to 5 years is a reasonable estimate.”
October 23, 2007 at 11:06 (Uncategorized)
Since the day AlJazeera started their English broadcasting, Israel and its Lobby affiliated allies have complained that it was anti Semitic. This attitude has apparently changed, not because of a change in political views, but because it is cheaper than CNN….
When the new service started last year, I phoned the cable company requesting that the station be aired… their response was that there was not much demand for it. Now it seems that there is? A demand for AlJazeera or a demand for more profits for the cable company??
Whatever the reasons, I’m satisfied. I will still have access to CNN via the internet… so in effect, I will have the ‘best of both worlds.’ The following report from the Jerusalem Post deals with this.
A contract with the controversial Gulf-based news network “should be finalized within a few days,” a senior representative of HOT Television told The Jerusalem Post Monday. Should the deal be signed, it will put Al-Jazeera’s English-language offshoot on the air around the time HOT drops CNN, said Yossi Lubaton, the company’s vice president of marketing.
The announcement marks the latest programming shake-up by the cable provider, whose subscribers make up nearly two-thirds of Israel’s cable and satellite audience. Both HOT and its main competitor, Yes Television, already offer Al-Jazeera in Arabic, and Yes added Al-Jazeera’s English channel last year.
The removal of CNN and the addition of Al-Jazeera’s English version both stemmed from financial considerations, Lubaton said, describing the changes as part of a cost-cutting campaign launched last year by HOT CEO David Kamenitz.
“It’s an economic issue,” Lubaton said. “Most of the internationally famous news channels – Sky News, the BBC and Fox – for all of them the cost is significantly lower than CNN. [The move] to introduce Al-Jazeera in English comes at a much lower cost than CNN.”
Though HOT is prepared to cut ties with CNN at the end of the month, Lubaton distanced the company from statements released last week that appeared to question CNN’s competitiveness as a news organization, and which drew attention to the channel’s drop in the American ratings race behind Fox. “We are not arguing that CNN is not one of the leading news channels in the world, that CNN is not a good news channel,” Lubaton said.
But, he added, “We believe that the other news channels are sufficient to satisfy subscribers’ news demand.”
That position is debatable, however, at least as it relates to the arrival of Al-Jazeera’s English version, said Prof. Tamar Liebes, head of the Hebrew University’s Communications Department.
“Even to think of it as a replacement is a joke,” Liebes said, adding that few Israeli viewers would be inclined to “trust” the channel’s coverage of international affairs. Al-Jazeera’s Arabic network, which broadcast videotapes featuring Osama bin Laden soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks, has been criticized for what some call its anti-American and anti-Israel news coverage.
“It’s incomprehensible,” Liebes said. “Whatever functions CNN performed, none of them will be performed by Al-Jazeera. It’s a whole different kind of person who will watch.”
The channel has remained the international news leader in Israel, said Hagit Mendes, a spokeswoman for the network here. Her comments were echoed by Liebes, who named the network one of two channels Israelis turn to for coverage of breaking news stories overseas.
Asked about her channel’s imminent eclipse in Israel by Al-Jazeera in English, Mendes declined to comment.
“We have issues with HOT, not with other channels,” she said. “We welcome another international news channel. It’s a good thing to have as many channels as possible in a democratic society.”
October 23, 2007 at 08:59 (Uncategorized)
Is it an American sitcom about a group of young people that share every minute of their waking days doing things together?
Or might it be a wonderful organisation called the American Friends Service Committee? Let’s dwell on the latter for now…. this is a group of people whose lives are dedicated to making America and the world a better place for all of us. The group is commonly known as The Quakers, a name familiar to all of us who grew up in America.
The history of the group can be read in the links provided, but my intent here is to focus on their latest campaign to end the illegal war in Iraq… below are a series of hand outs that are being distributed throughout the United States, followed by a link to a petition, a petition to
Defund the war in Iraq
Refund human needs at home and in Iraq
Link to the petition HERE
October 22, 2007 at 15:12 (Uncategorized)
Watch THIS video, courtesy of CNN to find out….
And just think, the Palestinians are denied the Right of Return because they might be potential enemies of Israel…. HA!
October 21, 2007 at 10:18 (Uncategorized)
|Gorbachev heads new political group|
|Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia’s last Soviet leader, has founded a new political movement to rid the country of “extreme political forces” and champion liberal values.
A statement issued by the movement on Saturday said that “the potential for free democratic choice and political competition is being limited.
“This is why social-democrats are uniting to fight for the values of freedom and fairness.”
At the founding congress of the Union of Social-Democrats in central Moscow, Gorbachev told delegates: “We are putting our hopes in the efforts that [President Vladimir] Putin is making” to reform Russia.
Gorbachev was the last general secretary of the Communist Party and is widely detested at home where he is viewed as responsible for a period of political upheaval and economic collapse after the Soviet Union broke down in 1991.
Unlike Russia, the West credits Gorbachev with a major role in ending the Cold War and he is a frequent speaker at international events.
In a speech, Gorbachev praised Putin for not changing the country’s constitution to allow himself to run for a third consecutive term, when his period in office runs out next year.
“The president was under pressure and the fact that he did not give in to it is important from the point of view of democracy.”
Putin, unlike Gorbachev, remains very popular in Russia as he is seen to be the instigator of the country’s economic revival and with boosting Russia’s role in world affairs.
Russians are to elect a new president in March 2008. It is still unclear what role Putin could play in Russia’s political future and who his preferred successor might be.
Gorbachev’s new movement is not a political party and will therefore not take part in parliamentary elections in December.
|Gorbachev is loathed in Russia [EPA]|
October 21, 2007 at 07:39 (Uncategorized)
In what is clearly an indication that we are living in a very sick society, the following ‘incident’ made headline news throughout the world… the ‘outing’ of a fictional character in a novel as gay!!!
NEW YORK (AP) — Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.
J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall. After reading briefly from the final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds “true love.”
“Dumbledore is gay,” the author responded to gasps and applause.
She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings, adding that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down.”
Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his “great tragedy.”
“Oh, my god,” Rowling concluded with a laugh, “the fan fiction.”
Potter readers on fan sites and elsewhere on the Internet have speculated on the sexuality of Dumbledore, noting that he has no close relationship with women and a mysterious, troubled past. And explicit scenes with Dumbledore already have appeared in fan fiction.
Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.
Rowling, finishing a brief “Open Book Tour” of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and urged her fans to “question authority.”
Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.
October 20, 2007 at 22:48 (Uncategorized)
” The deliberate settling of Jews in the heart of East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods is an unacceptable act of incitement. Thirty years ago Mohammed Said Burkan wanted to buy a house in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and his request was denied. He turned to the High Court of Justice, and Justice Haim Cohen, who rejected his request, determined that there was no discrimination in the fact that the Jews would have a quarter of their own, as in the past. “Each quarter and its ethnic group,” wrote the justice. After the state denied Burkan, why shouldn’t the Arab neighborhoods remain Arab?
The settlers of Elad on the outskirts of the village of Silwan acquired mainly houses and land purchased at the time by Baron Rothschild. The same is being done by similar associations in East Jerusalem, which locate land and assets purchased before 1948 by Jews and demand ownership of them. The Arabs, on the other hand, cannot demand assets they owned in Jerusalem?s Katamon neighborhood, in Jaffa, in Haifa and all over Israel, because in the 1950s the Knesset passed a retroactive law that is far from being a credit to our law books, and that prevents Arabs from receiving their property.”
And people in Israel wonder why we are considered a racist state! No other democracy has these types of laws on the books.
Unlike other laws that were designed to establish Israel’s ‘legal’ control over lands, the body of law referred to by Rubinstein focused on formulating a ‘legal’ definition for the people (mostly Arabs) who had left or been forced to flee from these lands. Specific laws in this category include:
* The Absentees’ Property Law,
* The Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law,
* Absentees’ Property (Eviction) Law,
* Absentees’ Property (Amendment No.3) (Release and Use of Endowment Property) Law,
* Absentees’ Property (Amendment No. 4) (Release and Use of Property of Evangelical Episcopal Church) Law,
* Absentees’ Property (Compensation) Law,
As a result, two million dunams were confiscated and given to a specially created Israeli government agency, the Custodian of Absentee Property, who later transferred the land to the development authority. In addition to dispossessing Palestinian Arabs who fled the war and were not allowed to return, this law created the novel citizenship category of “present absentees” (nifkadim nohahim), that is, Israeli Arabs who enjoyed all civil rights-including the right to vote in the Knesset elections-except one: the right to use and dispose of their property”. About 30,000-35,000 Palestinians became “present absentees” – persons present at the time but considered absent. These people and their decendants today number about 150,000 souls, all citizens of Israel, who are still unable to exercise their property rights.
October 20, 2007 at 13:05 (Uncategorized)
Israel is faced with a problem…. hate sites are appearing on the Web calling for the extermination of Jews….with these sites appearing on Google….What is Israel to do?
Hows about they start by elimininating hatred in their own country…. as the old saying goes…’Clean up your own backyard’… Then maybe Google will listen to you.
The following from HaAretz deals with this….
Freedom of incitement
By Uri Blau
“May we be privileged to finish what Hitler started, to exterminate all the Ashkenazim wherever they may be, the offspring of the Jews who betrayed Germany … Because the Ashkenazim were the humiliators, the Ashkenazim took control of the country … We will eradicate them, we will continue Hitler’s path and thus sanctify the Name. Death to the treacherous abominated Ashkenazim.” (From a document by “Steven Malik,” which is being disseminated on Israeli Internet sites)
In the past few months, Jewish organizations have been wrestling with the question of whether it is right to put pressure on Google to remove links to anti-Semitic Web sites that are operating from various places around the world. The quotation above is not from one of those sites. It is part of a long, detailed racist document that has been disseminated on Israeli Internet sites in the past few months. Thus, concurrent with the controversy over Google and global anti-Semitism, an Israeli forum calling for the annihilation of Ashkenazim is being conducted without interference. On Israeli sites, it turns out, it is easier to disseminate racist doctrines attacking Arabs, leftists and Ashkenazim.
One of the extreme examples of the anti-Ashkenazi doctrine takes the form of a clip that was uploaded to the YouTube video sharing Web site. It originates with the same anonymous figure who is active on the Israeli sites. “You are about to view a handful of leftist Ashkenazim that Hitler and Eichmann didn’t manage to burn,” the clip declares. “Before we start, please remember: 90 percent of the moderate left are Ashkenazim!! 100 percent of the extreme left are Ashkenazim!!” This is followed immediately by a photograph of President Shimon Peres with the caption: “The Murderer!” (See photos.) Subsequently there are photographs of Benjamin Netanyahu, Yossi Beilin, Yariv Oppenheimer (the secretary-general of Peace Now), Ehud Barak, Yuli Tamir, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, followed by the caption, “Now, after you have seen these abominated Ashkenazim, how inferior the Ashkenazi race is, and what a pity it is that Hitler and Eichmann did not finish off the Ashkenazim, I ask that you search on Google for information about Steven Malik, that is where the ‘document’ will be waiting for you.”
Another Holocaust, amen
The freedom of expression that was taken from the extreme right following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin appears to have been restored to them under the anonymity of the Internet. And they are not operating in a vacuum. The “Steven Malik Forum,” which shelters under the Israeli portal 2all.co.il (in Hebrew, as are the other portals mentioned here), has been visited by thousands of surfers in the past few months. At the same time, Malik’s anti-Ashkenazi incitement is also being disseminated on various forums of the Tapuz portal, the goop.co.il portal and on YouTube. Excerpts and links to the document also appear on other Israeli sites, such as fresh.co.il.
In the past year, the Malik forum on 2all has published hundreds of announcements that were left by surfers who signed with various user names. One of them asserts that “our enemy is the Ashkenazim,” another that the time has come “to burn the Arabs and the Ashkenazim.” In another message, “Shriri86″ (Muscular 86) writes, “How to explain the ‘rare fact’ that all of Europe chose to annihilate the Jews of Ashkenaz? If this is not the fruit of the Holy One, then where did it come from? This kind of mass destruction of Ashkenazim is a spectacle that only the Holy One is capable of implementing. It is simply a spectacular and rare sight, you will agree. I congratulate the Holy One for the spectacular drama of exterminating 6 and a half million abominated cockroaches!!!! This is the proof that there is Holiness in the heavens!!!! May another Holocaust arrive for these Ashkenazim, amen, amen.”
The forum is updated every few days. One of the latest messages is about the death of the journalist Yisrael Segal. “Blessed be God, at long last the Ashkenazi journalist and writer Yisrael Segal has passed away! How delighted I was yesterday when I heard about it,” writes “Avi Hatehol” (Avi the Spleen) and continues, “Yisrael Segal the bastard denies the existence of God (Shema Yisrael, shocking), and God already was revealed to him in the past, but he still spoke against the Holy One Who resides in the heavens, and yesterday he died of a stroke. There is a God!”
The mysterious Malik
Who is Steven Malik? An attempt to discover his true identity was unproductive. According to the forum that bears his name, he is a Glasgow-born Jew “who decided to investigate and monitor the very existence of the Jewish Holocaust and its motives, which led to the murder of six and a half million Jews.” The brief biography adds that his anti-Ashkenazi theory brought about his frequent arrests in Britain, but that he was acquitted in all the trials against him.
According to the Haaretz investigation, the “Malik” doctrine is disseminated on the Web by an extreme right-wing activist who was connected to Baruch Marzel’s “Jewish Front” party and was ousted from it. “Shriri86″ and “power69″ are two of his frequent user names. Under the latter name, he runs a site that supports Marzel’s party and praises the work done by Rabbi Meir Kahane.
The site hazit.jer.co.il (Hebrew, with English-language links to Kahane and Jewish Defense League sites), which is administered by “shriri86,” is constructed in an almost identical format and has a similar address to two other sites to which Malik supporters are referred. One of them, which is described as a Malik site in English, is “under construction,” while the other, which bears the distinctly Nazi-oriented name of ssjew, is empty. All these sites, by the way, which are constructed with the aid of an Israeli site that helps build sites for free, contain a link to the Likud activists’ site, “Likudnik.”
Shriri86, who has placed photographs of his muscular arms on various sites, is also registered on Tapuz as one of the administrators of the closed commune of supporters of the Jewish Front. On israelbody.com he is described by one surfer as “holding views that are not only illegal but also intolerable in a Jewish state.” The writer adds, “The man ‘stars’ in the political forums of Tapuz in messages calling for the implementation of a second Holocaust of the Ashkenazi Jews, praises the memory of the Holocaust that took place and demeans the memory of the victims. He calls himself ‘shriri86′ but also ‘Original Shaolin’ and by another name that he uses in this forum as well.”
In addition to the texts on the various sites, there are also video clips containing quotations from Malik. Each clip gets dozens, even hundreds of viewers. There are a few clips on YouTube of a person with his face masked who praises Malik’s activity. The same person appears on goop.co.il in a video clip that attacks a Jewish-American right-wing activist named Chaim Ben Pesach and contains a link to Malik’s document. A check of flix.co.il found that a number of video clips relating to the subject had been removed from the Web.
An e-mail message to power69 asking about his connection to the dissemination of the Malik document was answered with a denial: “An outright lie. According to what did you reach that conclusion? I am warning you if you write slander against me.”
Itamar Ben Gvir, who is active in Marzel’s party, relates that he has heard the name Steven Malik several times in the past few months. He knows shriri86 as a young person named Ronny, who administered a forum of Front supporters that could be accessed via a link on the party’s official site.
“That guy tried to join us and be one of our activists during a certain period,” Ben Gvir says. “He is a very talented person. I know him mainly from the Internet. He got to us via Tapuz and started to administer some kind of forum together with others. He had ties, or wanted to have ties, with Baruch Marzel. I don’t know if he is Steven Malik, but the moment we saw that he has material against Ashkenazim I asked him a tough question: You know, Baruch himself is an Ashkenazi, and so was Rabbi Kahane, so how does that come together? He started to mutter all kinds of things that I didn’t exactly understand. The moment I saw that we were getting too many complaints about him we broke our ties with him and announced that the forum was shut down. We closed the forum because we were afraid he would try to take it over. Not that we had working relations or paid him money, but he was very dominant in the forum. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a provocation that someone tried to plant on us.”
Marzel, too, who says he does not condemn people easily, objects to his ardent supporter: “It’s very bad. There was this story about someone who simply expressed nutty views on the forum and we shut down the forum because of that. As soon as we saw that we could not control the entry of unacceptable and detestable opinions to the forum, we wanted nothing to do with him and we also dissociated ourselves from him publicly. It is very hard for me to agree with Haaretz, but I will agree with every word you say about that forum. You know that we are not types who object, dissociate ourselves and condemn, but in this case I can tell you that it is against the doctrine of Rabbi Kahane and against our doctrine. Any use of Nazism and things like that is unacceptable.”
Shriri86 / power69 / Ronny – whoever he is – is not the only Jewish anti-Semite on the Web. Dozens of video clips can be found on Israeli and foreign sites of a person named Chaim Ben Pesach, whom we encountered above, and who describes himself as having been Rabbi Meir Kahane’s assistant in the United States. Ben Pesach, who heads the JTF (Jewish Task Force), spent several years in prison in the United States for planting bombs in the consulate of the former Soviet Union, in the period when the USSR prohibited Jews from immigrating to Israel. Ben Pesach maintains that he is not allowed to enter Israel and that the last time he tried to immigrate to Israel he was deported back to the United States.
Ben Pesach’s texts, mostly in poor Hebrew (though also in English on YouTube, for example) are riddled with expressions of hatred for Arabs and sharp anti-left pronouncements. He wants the Arabs expelled from Israel and urges the establishment of a Kahanist government. He seems to have found quite an easy way to evade the strictures of Israeli law. The file-sharing site Flix on the Tapuz portal contains dozens of video clips of his, which get tens of thousands of hits a month. Thus, within a few months Ben Pesach became a far-right curiosity, and on a site that is aimed at children and teenagers.
Jonathan Klinger, a cyberights attorney who is researching the issue of freedom of expression on the Internet, relates that until now he has not encountered anti-Semitic content in Hebrew. The character of the forums and messages, he says, raises a suspicion of incitement to violence and racism, which is not protected under freedom of expression:
“The usage agreement of the portals states that racist content is not allowed, but also notes that the user is exclusively responsible for this. In my opinion, the right way to proceed is not to remove the document, but to show that it exists, deal with it and impose punishment. In any event, the removal of the item does not annul the suspicion that a crime has been committed, because the crime has already been committed.”
According to Klinger, the person who posted the offensive material can be located by identifying his IP address, which exists on the server (like identifying the source of a telephone call). “The portal can provide all the details to the police if a complaint is filed. That would make it possible to locate him easily, unless he posted the content via wireless Internet, maybe in a cafe.”
After Haaretz contacted Tapuz, the portal removed various correspondence of shriri86 and blocked the commune of which he was an administrator. Tapuz states: “The site’s regulations explicitly forbid offensive or illegal content from being posted on the site. Because of the vast amount of messages that are published in our different platforms, Tapuz is unable to supervise their content fully. At the same time, when the existence of offensive content is brought to our attention, we remove it, block the name of the person who wrote it, and sometimes contact the abuse department of the Internet provider so they can block the user’s access to the Web under a different user name. In light of a number of requests, including that of Haaretz, we have referred the subject to the police.”
Similarly, Dolev Poni, administrator of the 2all site, explains that he has no way to control the content of the tens of thousands of sites he helps establish every year. In the past, he says, he received complaints about sites that disseminated explanations about how to make weapons, and they were removed from the Web.
Doron Leibowitz, the owner of goop, stated that he will remove the content in question from the site.
No response was received from YouTube by press time.
October 19, 2007 at 09:11 (Uncategorized)
One would think that the Jews would be more sensitive to this question than anyone else… I guess I was wrong to assume that…..
For any group to deny a holocaust or genocide is wrong, be the victims Jewish, Armenian, Palestinian or anything else. The Jews especially cry out when ‘their’s’ is denied, why are they doing the same to others?
All I can say is SHAME ON YOU TURKISH JEWRY!
The following article from The Forward speaks of this shameful developement.
Turkish Jews Decry Armenian Genocide Bill
In its bare-knuckled lobbying to defeat a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide, Turkey has gained a valuable ally: its own Jews.
Last week an advertisement from the “Jewish community of Turkey” was published in the conservative Washington Times and was quickly passed around the capital by Turkey’s lobbyists. The ad warned that the overwhelming majority of Turks view Congress’s intervention as “inappropriate, unjust, and gratuitously anti-Turkish.”
The Turkish Jewish community’s ad appeared just before an October 10 vote in which the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted Resolution 106, which characterizes the Ottoman massacre of Armenians during World War I as “genocide.” The Democratic leadership is planning to submit the bill to a full House vote by mid-November, and a similar resolution has been introduced in the Senate with 32 co-sponsors.
“We cannot help but note that the world recognizes the Holocaust because of the overwhelming evidence, not because of the declarations of parliaments,” read the ad. “However, we have a more immediate concern, which is the viability of U.S.-Turkish bilateral relations.”
The ad, as well as previous statements from the Turkish Jewish community and a trip by its leaders to Washington this past spring, is part of a strategy by Ankara to stress that the Armenian issue is one that galvanizes Turkish society as a whole, and not just the government. The patriarch of the Armenian Church of Turkey recently came to the United States to convey a similar message, and several civil society organizations have supported the government’s view.
Turkish Jewish officials, however, have insisted that the initiative to weigh in on the issue has been theirs. Their leaders could not be reached for further comment.
During the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in March, a delegation led by community leader Silvyo Ovadya came to Washington to warn American Jewish groups that passage of a congressional resolution would alter Turkey’s pro-Western stance. The organized community also issued several statements in recent months as the Armenian issue gained traction on Capitol Hill.
Last week’s ad took a direct stab at the Anti-Defamation League, whose national director Abraham Foxman said in August that the massacre of Armenians was “tantamount to genocide” and then subsequently stated that a congressional resolution would be a “counterproductive diversion” that may “put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.” In the ad, the Jewish community stressed that it is “deeply perturbed” by the claim that their safety and well-being in Turkey could be put at risk by the resolution.
The ad was not the community’s first pointed criticism of an American Jewish group on the Armenian issue. In a private letter this summer, reported here for the first time, to American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris, Turkish Jewish leaders criticized him for writing in a blog posting that not recognizing the Armenian genocide could open the door to more Holocaust denial.
Earlier this year, Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and the resolution’s main sponsor, criticized the AJCommittee, B’nai B’rith International, the ADL and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for transmitting to House leaders another letter from the Turkish Jewish community expressing concern over his congressional bill. In a written complaint to Jewish groups, Schiff described the action of the American Jewish organizations as “tantamount to an implicit and inappropriate endorsement of the position of the letter’s authors.”
Schiff could not be reached for further comment.
The Bush administration has expressed its firm opposition to the non-binding resolution. Turkey’s lobbyists were also able to get all living former secretaries of state, as well as a number of defense secretaries, to send out letters stressing the need to preserve diplomatic and military ties with Turkey. And critics have denounced Schiff and fellow California Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, for what they describe as catering to parochial Armenian-American voters at the expense of a crucial ally.
In the wake of last week’s foreign affairs committee vote, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States to Ankara for consultations.
Turkey contends, not for the first time, that foreign parliaments have no business weighing in on such an issue. When France criminalized the denial of the Armenian genocide last year, Ankara retaliated by cutting back military contracts with Paris. While no clear threat has been issued to Washington, Turkey hosts a key American military air base that is a major conduit for supplying American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ankara could also make good on its recent vows to enter northern Iraq in order to stop Kurdish rebel attacks against its troops. On Wednesday, the Turkish parliament gave the government a one-year authorization to conduct military operations inside Iraq against the guerillas, who have killed some 30 soldiers in recent weeks.
October 18, 2007 at 08:59 (Uncategorized)
There is quite a lot of interesting, but wild, speculation running around the blog-o-sphere, progressive circles and just plain dinner conversation these days about whether BushCo will allow a peaceful and constitutional transfer of Executive power in the ‘08 elections.
Unless or until George Bush appears on our TV boxes one night, wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie with his hands sweatily clasped in a desperate death grip on top of his desk in the Oval Office, telling us that some catastrophic event, whether man-made or natural, has just occurred somewhere, and he must, for the good of the Homeland, declare martial law and “temporarily” suspend elections, the fears of many people are truly speculative. In my nightmare scenario, after George drops this fascist bomb and kills the rest of our Republic, he will tell us not to worry and to go about our holiday shopping, traveling and celebrating: it’s the American way, after all. God Bless America.
The order of events in the conversations I have heard or read go something like this: BushCo and Congress, Inc. are ramping up the rhetoric for an attack on Iran (true). In their little minds and black hearts they still assume that most of us are still stupid and we will believe anything they ever say again (true). Yet, they have told us that Iran and Ahmadinejad have done just about everything except try to assassinate George’s Pop (still true). So, if you believes that 9-11 was a “false flag” op, then you say that BushCo will engineer ANOTHER false flag op, blame Iran, declare martial law, (George can do that unilaterally now because of Presidential Directive 51) and attack Iran, possibly using “strategic” nuclear strikes on “military” targets. Then of course, when our Homeland is in such a terrible state of emergency, it would be an awful idea to “change horses in the middle of the stream,” you know, so we must suspend elections, thereby staging yet BushCo’s third coup in a row, the first two being the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004.
If, God forbid, any of this does happen, my guess is most of us will go shopping and have our holidays as usual; however, I am not so certain that martial law or even suspending elections will be necessary. Whoever becomes our president in 2008 will likely be more than happy to continue the neo-con agenda of global, imperial and military American hegemony.
The likely nominee for the Democratic Party will be Hillary Clinton, a Fem-Bush who has been virtually endorsed by George and accepts money from Rupert Murdoch, he of Fox “News” infamy and who will soon own every newspaper and cable news network in the Homeland. Hillary guarantees and assures us that if she is elected she could nuke Iran and maybe, just maybe have most of our troops home from Iraq by the end of her first term. One would have to step down onto the 2nd tier of Democratic hopefuls to find a candidate who would guarantee us a swift end to the occupation of Iraq, but they are no match to the money or machine behind the Clinton mojo.
I don’t want to even discuss who is likely to be the Republican nominee, because besides having little foreign policy difference between any of them and Hillary, any one of them would be a complete disaster on matters of war and peace, with the possible exception of Ron Paul (Tx). Even though many of them, (except Rudy Giuliani who had the “honor” of standing on a pile of rubble at Ground Zero with George after 9-11 and sharing a bull-horn with him), distance themselves from the miserable failure of the Bush regime, they will all joyfully allow themselves to be used by the military industrial complex, after all, every president since FDR has. There is no reason to think any Repug or Dem will break with this deadly pattern.
The “fix” is in, folks.
The “fix” stopped Al Gore, who really won the 2000 election, from fighting for our country and our constitution by supporting those Congressional members who begged him, through tears, to sign on to continue the recount in Florida. The “fix” stopped millions of Americans from pouring into the streets to protest the fact that the Supreme Court treasonously and treacherously appointed the less than mediocre governor of Texas as next president of the USA, (which wasn’t the Homeland, yet).
The “fix” is why Kerry cave into George faster then anyone could even say “recount” in 2004, breaking so many hearts and crushing so many hopes.
The “fix” is the elite establishment status quo of the way things have “always been.” We have always had just a Democratic and Republican Party, right? Wrong!
The “fix” is in the mainstream media, which rarely discusses any substantive issues and has in the past intentionally misled the Homeland in its partnership with BushCo to glorify war while hiding, or glossing over, its awful costs and consequences.
The “fix” is in compromised voting machines whose programs are written by the elite establishment and the “fix” is in the disenfranchisement, literally and spiritually, of hordes of voters who have seen their votes go uncounted for years and who see their “elected” representatives ignore the will of their constituents, in any case.
The “fix” is in We the People who believe that we some how owe any kind of allegiance or support to the elite establishment who have impoverished, imprisoned, oppressed and killed our children for generations while we furiously, but inexplicably, cling to a status quo that clearly only benefits a very chosen few. It is acceptable to protest obvious infractions like the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq…but don’t scratch the surface too deeply because we are not sure of what may ooze out. What emerges may be something that is very hard to acknowledge, let alone face and overcome.
George Bush simply does not want to be President any longer. You can see it in every twitch (when I think he is really trying to smirk), every gray hair and every line on his face. He desperately wants to go back to Texas and go on permanent vacation to give high paid lectures (?) to pad his bank account so he can jog, ride bikes, clear brush, and live the rest of his life with the moral certitude of a simpleton. He looks like he is barely being held together by baling-wire, spit and some judiciously placed wads of bubble gum. Stick a fork in him: he’s done. I do not even think that Dastardly Dick could force him to remain President after January, ‘09. I hope I am right, but there is still the “I can not put anything past the Bush Crime Cabal” factor.
Barring an electoral revolution of American citizens wanting to fix the “fix” by voting with our humanity, consciences and integrity, instead of out of fear that the greater criminal will win, we will be faced with two choices, depending on one’s perspective: Evil or Less Evil.
I will break my voting hand before I vote for Mr./Ms. Lesser of Two Evils ever again.
Join me in taking the Voters for Peace Pledge.
Thanks to David for sending this to me….