The inimitable Edward Alexander has done it again—produced a book of essays, Jews Against Themselves, as devastating as it is witty and erudite. That Alexander writes so beautifully makes the painful nature of his subject—the large number of Jews who have turned against Israel– bearable.
Alexander notes: “There will always be readers who express astonishment that there are Jews who question the Jewish right to live as a natural right, or hate Israel and are ashamed to have a state. Surely they are as rare as singing mice or card-playing pigs. Alas, no.”
Says Alexander: “I have not attempted a systematic taxonomy of all the species of Jews arrayed under the genus ‘enemies of Israel,’ a monumental task that would require an encyclopedia to include the following: Jewish progressives against Israel; Jewish queers against Israel; Haredim against Israel; Holocaust survivors against Israel; children of Holocaust survivors against Israel; Jewish Voice for Peace; grandchildren of Holocaust survivors against Israel; survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto against Israel; J Street; Jewish postmodernists against Israel; Jewish Berkeley professors against Israel; post-Zionists against Israel; Jewish members of MESA (Middle East Studies Association) against Israel; Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG, also called, seasonally, London’s Jewish Christmas carolers against Israel); and so on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”
Even if you have read one or more of these essays when they first appeared (in places like The Weekly Standard, Commentary, Algemeiner), reading them together is far more powerful. For example, this is from an essay in the book not previously published: “How many adult Jews in 1948 could have imagined that the Holocaust would cast its specter of blood and shame over the Jews well into the next century, that its lesson would be not ‘Never again,’ but—for the victims—‘It happened once, it can happen again’ and—for the perpetrators—‘We did it once we can do it again.’”
The book is published by Transaction and available on Amazon.
Fair Housing Comes Home for Hillary HUD has rewritten the definition of “fair housing.”
Here’s a question for Hillary Clinton: Should a U.S. attorney threaten a county with more than $1 million in fines if it refuses to pressure local officials to approve a housing development?
The issue is not at all hypothetical. It’s front and center right now in Westchester County, N.Y. – and the housing development in question would be built in Chappaqua, the hamlet where Hillary and Bill Clinton live. And it’s of much more than local interest. The action threatened against Westchester officials may presage a similar approach by HUD against the 1,200-plus governments across the country that accept federal community-development funds. Indeed, HUD has announced that it plans to adopt its new interpretation of “fair housing” nationwide.
In August 2013, Allen Henson, a veteran-turned-photographer, visited the Empire State Building with his girlfriend. Henson took a topless photo of her on the observation deck and never imagined what would follow.
In 2014, the Empire State Building filed a lawsuit against Henson for over $1 million, arguing he used the premises for commercial purposes (though Henson insists it was not a photoshoot and was exclusively for personal use) and ruined the building’s “reputation as a safe and secure family-friendly tourist attraction,” reports the Huffington Post.
But Henson is not to be silenced. He is countersuing for $5 million and is focusing much of his art on fighting censorship, including a topless photoshoot Thursday at the New York Supreme Court.
“There are a lot of serious issues, and I don’t know if this is one of them. But as an artist, I find it threatening to have this kind of censorship. To have a private entity come after me for expressing myself freely is deeply troubling,” Henson told Mic.
On Thursday, Henson took a bold stand against censorship of art and the female form by conducting a photoshoot of topless models on the steps of the city’s Supreme Court, a symbolic move given the courthouse’s literal embodiment of the law.
Conservative Rep. Mark Meadows on Tuesday introduced a resolution to oust John Boehner as Speaker, ushering in the most direct challenge yet to the Ohio Republican’s hold on the gavel.
GOP leadership aides quickly downplayed the move, noting that the North Carolina Republican’s motion is headed to the Rules Committee, where Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a Boehner ally, could simply ignore it.
But the motion to “vacate the chair” represents a dramatic escalation of the feud between House conservatives and Boehner that flared up again this summer after moves by leadership to punish dissenters.
Meadows, one of nine co-founders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was stripped of his Oversight subcommittee gavel last month for voting against a procedural measure to bring up a trade package. Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) reinstated Meadows a few days later after an outcry from conservatives.
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday declined to say whether she supported the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, telling a New Hampshire voter that if the matter is still undecided by the time she becomes president, she will give him an answer then.
“I am not going to second guess (President Barack Obama) because I was in a position to set this in motion,” Clinton said, referencing environmental reviews conducted by the State Department that began when she was secretary of state. “I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide.”
There have been two historic speeches given in the past year. You’ve probably not heard of either one because they were given by foreign leaders in Egypt and Britain and have nothing at all to do with our presidential election next year.
It’s time for another break from the who-trumps-Trump ongoing media circus so that we can pay attention to events that might actually affect our national security, foreign relations and national future.
The predicate for these speeches appeared in The Economist, a liberal British magazine, in its July 5, 2014 issue. It noted that the fruits of the “Arab spring” had rotted and ended by engendering more autocracy and fanaticism. It said that “…only the Arabs can reverse their civilizational decline.” It said that Islam is at the core of the Arabs’ deep troubles.
The first of the two historic speeches that followed was given on January 1 by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In it, al-Sisi called radical Islam to account.
He did so in what would be shocking, intolerable terms if they had been spoken by a non-Muslim. His central theme was the insanity of Islam trying to set itself apart from – and to conquer – the rest of the world. His words flew in the face of all the terrorist network leaders saying, “It is inconceivable that the wrong ideas that we sacralize should make the entire umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing, and destruction for the whole world. This is not possible.”
“Death to America!” scream Iranians who have just negotiated an agreement that has won them invaluable concessions from Americans, which includes the releasing of over $100 billion in assets that had been frozen. That deal assures that in fifteen years or less – a long time for an ADHD country such as ours, but a short time for a patient Islamist – the Mullahs who govern Iran will be able to get the “bomb.” Keep in mind, these are the people who besides wishing us dead have called for the annihilation of Israel.
At home, debt and future entitlements, which have been kicked down the road for decades, are forecast to impoverish future generations. The Democrat front runner warned against the “gig economy” and the “erosion of work-place protections.” Is her interest protecting consumers, or is it cronyism designed to safeguard existing businesses and regulators? We have been warned that man-caused global warming will cause the planet’s destruction…unless we purchase Tesla’s, Prius’ and solar panels, with the support of tax payers – effectively a regressive tax, with the wealthy benefitting at the expense of the middle class. Technology has made life easier, but it has also given government and others the ability to monitor our daily lives. Our politics are characterized by division, polarization and cronyism. Racism and class warfare negate any attempts at community outreach.
While many in the international community and media hold Israel fully responsible for the plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abrash offers a completely different perspective.
Referring to widespread corruption under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, the former Palestinian minister reveals that Palestinian academic institutions, including universities and colleges, have become “commercial projects for granting certificates that have no scientific value or content.”
This is a voice that is rarely given a platform in mainstream media outlets in the West, whose journalists continue to focus almost entirely on stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Western journalists based in the Middle East tend to ignore Palestinians who are critical of the PA or Hamas, because such criticism does not fit the narrative according to which Israel is solely responsible for all the bad things that happen to the Palestinians.
Abrash’s criticism of Hamas and the PA — whom he openly holds responsible for the suffering of their people — actually reflects the widespread sentiment among Palestinians. Over the past few years, a growing number of Palestinians have come to realize that their leaders have failed them again and again and are now aware that both Hamas and the PA, as corrupt as ever, are hindering efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip.
With Islam, how it is possible to dialogue with a faith that denies the divinity of Christ, regards the Bible as corrupt, believes that all Christians are the inferiors of Muslims and are destined to hell fire? What is there to talk about if both sides are to be honest about their beliefs?
When members of ISIS murder apostates, it is hard to condemn them, as that is what the Prophet did. When they take slave girls as war booty, that is what the Prophet did. Waging jihad is an injunction in many chapters of the Qur’an.
I do not know what copy of the Qur’an Pope Francis has been shown, but it is clearly very different to any copy in my possession, whether the original Arabic or a translation.
When hate preachers in British mosques convey a violent or intolerant message to their congregants, they do so by quoting the Qur’an as the Word of God, thereby sanctioning acts of jihad. To ignore this is to hamper us in our efforts to bring Muslims into peaceful relations with the West, with all non-Muslims and especially with one another.
Here in the desert fastness of Santa Fe, the air is thin and Donald Trump seems very far away. I have been partly amused, partly alarmed, by the frenzied cataract of abuse Republicans have heaped upon the Donald. Just a few weeks ago, he was merely an annoyance, entertaining if you like bluster, but certainly not serious. Then he made his remarks about John McCain not being a war hero, or at least, not the sort of war hero he, D. Trump, really likes . I was at a dinner party the day Trump made that remark and was assured by a prominent pundit that Trump was now finished and good riddance. That hasn’t happened yet. In fact, Trump seems to keep rising in the polls. Today’s RealClearPolitics running average  has Trump at 18.2 with someone named Bush a fairly distant second at 13.7. At this point in the game, that same pundit assured us assembled serious thinkers, polls don’t matter. So we can discount the numbers.