Displaying posts published in

June 2012



“There is a common quip Israelis use in relation to the nearly 89-year-old Peres and his endless energy, to the effect that he will be around to dance on all of our graves. Sadly, too many of our graves already exist due to “peace” plans he supported with his eyes shut.”

President Shimon Peres is living proof of the fact that Israeli political leaders never die, neither literally nor figuratively. No matter how many times they get voted out of office or humiliated in some other way — not only through financial or sexual misconduct, but also in those cases — they keep popping back up like those annoying ads on the Internet.

This is not their fault. The system enables it, the public expects it, and the players involved understandably would rather remain on the scene than to retire into oblivion.

It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. If so, it is no wonder that the public feels such disdain for its elected officials. The Jewish state is so tiny that even Average Joes are likely to have some kind of personal association with the figures who determine their fate.

But let us not forget that familiarity also provides comfort. So it is often easier to bemoan the lack of leadership and complain that the younger generation is not producing quality politicians than it is to see strangers at the helm. At least we know exactly at whom to hiss during the nightly news. We feel free to get up and make coffee without worrying about missing something he or she said in our absence.

Predictability is as soothing — and snore-inducing — as a lullaby.



When both reason, reality fail to impact on two-staters, Arab-appeasers, Muslim-mollifiers, perhaps all that remains is ridicule.
Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.– Euripides

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.– George Orwell

I must admit to a growing sense of exasperation and impatience with the imbecility (or iniquity) of the Israeli Left and the impotence (or insincerity) of the Israeli Right. So if my frustration expresses itself more intemperately than usual – my apologies.

The crumbling edifice

But when confronted with such infuriating dogmatism on the one hand, and inept dereliction on the other, everyone has his limit when it comes to courtesy and decorum.

And there are indeed limits – a limit to how long one can extend the benefit of the doubt to those who insist on advancing a consistently failed policy and still continue to believe they are doing so in good faith.

Or a limit on continuing to believe that those who ostensibly oppose this policy, but refrain from offering any real alternative, are sincere in their opposition to it.

The entire edifice of conventional wisdom regarding the Arab-Israel conflict is collapsing. The bedrock upon which the traditional approaches to a resolution of Middle East hostilities are based is crumbling, the fabric of accepted thinking unraveling.


Accurate Muhammad Film Coming?

A courageous ex-terrorist is committed to the dangerous project.

The remarkably courageous Ramallah-born Mosab Hassan Yousef, the eldest son of Hamas cofounder Sheikh Hassan Yousef and a former Hamas activist himself, served time on several occasions in Israeli prison. Yousef is also known as “the Green Prince,” his code name per the Shin Bet (Israeli security agency), with whom he later collaborated for a decade to thwart numerous terrorist attacks during the second intifada, sparing hundreds of Israeli lives.

Now living in the U.S., two years ago Yousef published the book Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue and Unthinkable Choices. The book elaborated his rejection of Hamas’ inherent jihadist violence, his personal forsaking of Islam and conversion to Christianity, and his decision to assist Israel clandestinely for approximately a decade starting in 1996.

Now Yousef is undertaking another profoundly dangerous task: producing an accurate film biographyof Muhammad, the Jihad Model (as so designated by Muslim Brotherhood “Spiritual Leader” Yusuf Al-Qaradawi), based on the earliest, most complete pious Muslim biography of Islam’s prophet: The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah.

W.H.T. Gairdner, the great Arabic linguist and scholar of Islam, noted with understatement in 1915 what is readily apparent from Muhammad’s actual biography (as opposed to the treacly Muslim hagiography) based exclusively on the reverent Muslim sources:

As incidents in the life of an Ara


“Amazing how they can re-write the history of the 2nd World War to turn the Serbs into the Nazis they fought against and get away with it, when it was obvious to EVERYONE during the war that the Serbs sided with the Allies.”

UNPRECEDENTED: First Time that Someone in U.S. Officialdom Puts Brakes on WWII-unrepentant Croatia’s EU Entry

Unfortunately, it’s a bit late. This former Under Secretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat, might have spoken up when Croatia was put on the fast-track in the mid-2000s, or even as late as last year, when the final stage of accession began; Croatia will be an EU member by mid next year.

Still, one is grateful for the following item from Thursday’s Haaretz (and please don’t be fooled by the paper’s — likely not Eizenstat’s — clumsy efforts at moral equivalence where there is none, via the strained insertion of Serbia):

EU should hold Croatia and Serbia accountable for Holocaust roles, says U.S. diplomat (June 21)

Former Under Secretary of State Stuart E. Eizenstat tells Haaretz in a wide-ranging interview that if Croatia wants to join the democratic body, it must follow rule of law and come to terms with its past.

By Mordechai I. Twersky

A leading U.S. diplomat and former ambassador to the European Union is calling on the EU to encourage Croatia and Serbia to take responsibility for their roles in the Holocaust before granting them EU membership.

“Now is the time for the European Union to exact the maximum amount of leverage,” said Stuart E. Eizenstat, a former U.S. under secretary of state, who served as the Clinton administration’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues. “Once they’re in, the leverage is lost.”

Eizenstat, who gave a wide-ranging interview to Haaretz while attending the President’s Conference in Jerusalem yesterday, noted that Croatia’s president, Ivo Josipovic, was also in attendance. He said Josipovic must go beyond his apology, issued last February, for his country’s role in the crimes committed against the Jews during the Second World War. He called on him to commence with a restitution program and the formation of an independent commission of international scholars to examine the country’s wartime past.

“Neither one of those is being done right now with respect to Croatia,” said Eizenstat, who has negotiated agreements with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and other European countries with regard to restitution of property, compensation for slavery, recovery of looted art and bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies for Holocaust victims.

According to the Yad Vashem’s website, 30,000 of Croatia’s Jews died during the Holocaust – 80 percent of the country’s Jewish population.

Croatia is expected to gain EU membership next year.

Serbia applied for EU membership in 2009 and may be granted entry as early as 2014. Yad Vashem estimates that 14,500 Jews were exterminated in Serbia during the Holocaust.

“This is a time to say, ‘Look, if you’re going to get into a democratic organization with rules of law, you have to demonstrate that the rule of law applies to you as well, and that you’re going to find ways to deal with your past,’” said Eizenstat, America’s ambassador to the EU from 1993-1996, who accused the EU of not holding Central and Eastern European countries accountable.

“It’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” said the 69-year-old diplomat, a native of Atlanta, Georgia. “They need to take the lead, and they simply haven’t.”

Haaretz attempted to reach the Croatian delegation attending the Jerusalem Conference but did not receive a response before press time. […]

Perhaps “it’s never been on the EU’s agenda,” Mr. Eizenstat, because the EU was, after all, conceived by “former” Nazis in 1957, and modeled on a less malevolent version of Hitler’s vision.

The stats mentioned by Haaretz — 30,000 Jews killed by WWII Croatia — naturally neglect to mention the 750,000 Serbs that Croatia killed, many of them alongside Jews at the notorious but unknown-to-Westerners concentration complex of Jasenovac, WWII’s third-most efficient death camp and in fact its first, laying the blueprint for the rest.



In reading the brief interview with Diane von Furstenberg in the Wall Street Journal (6/21), I was struck by two remarks she made. The first concerned her love for China, where she has opened several stores: “I love being here, and really truly, if I were younger, I would live here.” I found this disingenuous (read: phony) coming from a woman with homes in NYC, Connecticut, Paris and the Bahamas – all places associated with great luxury and high society. Ms. von Furstenberg, now married to mega-rich Barry Diller, was originally married to Egon von Furstenberg, a German prince who was heir to the Fiat fortune. At the time of her first marriage in 1969, Diane Halfin was a Jewish girl from Belgium whose parents had sent her to finishing schools in Switzerland, Spain and England (read: sent her to mingle with the wealthy). Diane, now a philanthropic do-gooder for politically correct causes, doesn’t strike me as the kind of gal who’d be comfy in China where dissidents are punished immediately and summarily and where the western concept of human rights has little to zero application (read: A Chinese equivalent of DVF wouldn’t have the freedom to express a similar thought about choosing to live here).

Her second comment was in answer to the question “who has been your best role model:” “My mother was my role model. Before I was born, she was a prisoner of war in Germany. She went to the death camps and survived….” A prisoner of war? That is defined as a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. Protocols such as the Geneva Conventions apply to prisoners of war who are visited by humanitarian organizations to determine that the code of agreed upon rules of imprisonment are being followed. The Jews of Europe were not fighting any war – they were civilians, stripped of their citizenship, brutally rounded up like vermin, generally with the willing compliance of countries where they had lived for centuries, and sent to concentration camps and death camps for purposes of forced labor, starvation, sadistic torture and experiments, and immediate or eventual extermination. Did the former Princess von Furstenberg think that it elevated her mother’s experience to refer to her as a prisoner of war? Did she feel that since she herself married a German prince, she needed to dignify what was done to her mother with a more military cachet? Was it more chic to choose prisoner of war with its martial connotations over holocaust victim living in filth and excrement? Many designers fashion clothing that references military style from camouflage cloth to epaulets (read: shlifkes) ; few create clothing to resemble the rags worn at Auschwitz.



A revised DREAM act, which could have dealt in an orderly way with the children of illegal aliens in our midst, is dead. Barack Obama couldn’t wait to get the corpse out of the parlor.

“Only the heartless want to see the innocents, like the children brought here by their law-breaking parents, sent back to a primitive society and culture they never knew. But allowing a president to make policy based on what he needs to win an election, without consultation with anyone but his campaign handlers, is a heartless disregard of the rule of law we have always held high as the standard that makes America special.”

The president’s remarkable amnesty by fiat – an amnesty that dare not speak its name – has the immediate effect of giving a permanent temporary pass to 800,000 of these children of illegals. But there’s more to this mercy than the casual eye sees.

This amnesty defers until after the election, and probably for good, comprehensive immigration reform of the sort envisioned by Sen. Marco Rubio. He had offered a revision of the DREAM Act that would have enabled some children of aliens who enroll in college or join one of the military services.

Mr. Rubio has all but given up. “People are going to say to me, ‘why are we going to need to do anything on this now?’ It has been dealt with. We can wait until after the election. And it is going to be hard to argue with that.”

This is exactly the result that President Obama and the open-borders Democrats envisioned. The president prefers not to consult with Congress, which is messy, like democracy itself, and congressmen occasionally ask questions that interrupt the messianic oratory. Careful comprehensive reform would have meant sharing the credit and the gratitude; this way Mr. Obama gets all the credit and by making it seem “temporary” he can keep the kids and their parents uneasy about their future. Keeping the peasants uneasy about the future, extending suffering and rationing the aspirin, is the oldest trick in the politician’s playbook.

But there was even more method in the president’s madness. By springing this remarkable expansion of presidential prerogative now, he can test congressional concern for the Constitution and courage to do anything about it, however revolutionary the damage inflicted. An earlier president attempting to bypass Congress and enforce only the laws he likes would have provoked Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, to stand up on its hind legs and roar defiance and retribution. Alas, those hind legs of Congress have withered, replaced by little lady-like nubbins.



“Hence, in just 45 years, since the miraculous victory of the Six Day War, the number of Jews living in Israel’s ancient heartland has gone from zero to 700,000 and it is still growing at a hefty clip.” (YIPPEE!!!)

The announcement on Tuesday that a deal had been reached between the government and the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood will hopefully bring a peaceful end to an otherwise painful episode.

After months of wrangling, the two sides reached an accommodation that will bring about the relocation of the homes at the heart of the dispute along with additional building in other parts of Beit El.

This entire affair, which threatened to resurrect old wounds in Israeli society, was the opening salvo in a campaign by Israel’s Left to force the government to demolish Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria that it deems to be illegal. In the coming months, similar conflicts are likely to arise over other Jewish outposts such as those at Givat Assaf and Migron, as the Left seeks to turn back the clock and undermine Israel’s presence in the territories.

But the ideologues on the Left are missing the point. The battle over the future of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is over. To put it simply: the Left has lost, and the Jewish people have won.


http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/obama-political-phoenix/ Are we watching the meltdown of Barack Obama, soon to become a radioactive pile from which voters will run come November? Or are we instead witnessing the stirrings of a kind of political phoenix heretofore unseen in American history? By any traditional measure, news in the past week or two alone should sink Barack […]


An e-pal P.K. sent me a note after viewing the video in which four admittedly nasty kids hurled admittedly nasty invectives and taunts at the aggrieved school monitor.

Dear Ruth,

The bullies on the right bore me – not as much as those on the left – but there is such shallow thinking. Middle school boys near Rochester, NY verbally abused a “bus monitor” this spring. Glenn Beck claims these boys aren’t human.Bus monitors need to be like cool baseball coaches. Mrs. Klein was ill suited for the job. My son Noah is shy and wouldn’t be involved is such a thing. But he has classmates that I have coached with aggressive temperaments that would – and they aren’t all bad boys and I have a real problem with Glenn Beck’s unloading on them. …..Peter…..

I agree with Peter and I remember that I grew up in the East Bronx with a lot of bullies and “bad kids”….As my brother reminds me half of the bullies became thugs but the other half became cops…..rsk


Online Outrage Over Bullying of School Bus Monitor By JENNIFER PRESTON

More than $380,000 has been raised online for a 68-year-old school bus monitor from Rochester, N.Y., after a cellphone video went viral this week, showing a group of seventh-grade boys on the school bus mocking and taunting her.

The monitor, Karen Klein, who drove a bus for the Greece Central School District for 20 years before becoming a monitor three years ago, was sitting in the back of the bus on Monday afternoon when the boys began pelting her with vile remarks and one profanity-laced insult after another about her weight, her hearing aid and her sweat glands.

One of the four students captured the incident on his cellphone and posted it on his Facebook page. It found its way to YouTube, where it now has more than 1.6 million views. The video prompted outrage as well as a discussion about bullying that led to the creation of an online “vacation fund” for Ms. Klein.


http://www.newcriterion.com/posts.cfm/Judaic-Studies-and-Western-Civilization–6815 I’ve yet to see, among the criticisms of college ethnic and gender studies departments, a similar criticism of Judaic Studies departments. Is this because, as some charge, Jews have a privileged place in our universities? The pervasiveness of anti-Israel sentiment on campuses, usually with carte blanche or often support from faculty and administrators, argues […]