http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3473/because-they-could Bad actors were reasonably sure that no one (U.S.) would protest and even more sure no one would stop them. The U.S. equivalent is 44,000,000 million people, who would have 15 seconds to find shelter. Before a radio interview this week, the host sent a list of questions that might arise. The answer to [...]
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3474/blasphemy-laws-europe The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries, is pressuring Western countries into making it an international crime to criticize Islam or Mohammed – all on the name of “religious tolerance.” The Dutch parliament has approved a motion to revoke a law that makes it a crime to insult God. Free [...]
N.B. Update on last week’s Let them eat their Pain au Chocolat: François Fillon will not accept defeat. He and his followers have launched a massive temper tantrum that has kept the UMP squabble on the front pages all week. There are predictions of two-way, three-way, four-way splits, demands for referendum, revoting, and intervention of former(ly disgraced) minister Alain Juppé and ex-president Sarkozy and reports that UMP activists are running off to the new Centrist UDI and, of course, the Front National. I stand by my prediction: the spat will be settled, the wounds will be healed. I think Copé will hold on to the presidency because he knows how to fight to win. To be continued…
Back in her home country, Dispatch International’s correspondent finds that the glow of Obama has worn off leaving disenchantment verging on cynicism
SOMEWHERE IN THE USA.« I did not know that death exile had undone so many… » Our old friend T.S. Eliot didn’t have in mind the stream of Americans of all sizes, shapes, and origins winding through the left to right, right to left, left to right & so on queue waiting to go through passport control at Dulles airport last Thursday afternoon, arriving just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Joined in the baggage claim area by the other stream of non-Americans that had passed through their checkpoint, we got stuck in a bottleneck at customs before finally reaching the arrival hall where greeters held up signs and families came forward to embrace the wayward sons and daughters. A tiny vaguely Oriental looking woman wearing a black sleeveless cocktail dress and a red flower in her hair asked me where I had flown in from. When I said Paris we switched to French and she was reassured… the lines are long… he’ll be getting through soon…
Less than an hour later I am “home” and unpacking the delicacies. Exquisite chocolates, foie gras, elegant little tinned terrines, exotically flavored mustards and, for the fourth generation, a notebook with a period drawing of the top of the Tour Eiffel. He loves it! His grandfather had just given him the other kind of notebook, one of those neither here nor there portable computers that can’t meet our needs but is a high tech delight to an 8 year-old. And he loves both notebooks and the Hanukah gelt from the same French chocolatier that delights his great grandmother. I wish I could have brought them a farm fresh turkey from the open market on boulevard Richard Lenoir. J. says, “If you dressed in a burqa you could bring a turkey and a goat.”
Four generations, stretching from 8 to 102 going on 103. Where did we come from, how did we get here, how did we fare and what’s in store? Europe, USA, some to Israel and back to the USA and a branch back to Europe and exogamy bringing in new shapes and angles and the spirit of adventure sending out tendrils. Here’s a picture of M.’s son, he’s studying in Osaka this year.
Something has changed. Talking politics is no longer forbidden. Because the glow of Obama has worn off, leaving a subdued disenchantment verging on cynicism. The distaste for Mitt Romney and the belief in his evil intentions was the prime mover. Benghazi? Not really a major concern. I don’t want to focus on the election or the candidates—what’s done is done—I want to grasp the contours of the public mind. En famille, why not? Young couples with children today are often not so young. Women postpone childbirth to lock into their careers first. In most cases it takes two wage owners to support a family. But the woman’s salary goes entirely for child care. No publicly funded daycare like we have in France? No. And it doesn’t end there. We have to send our children to private school. The public schools are terrible.
This week’s syndicated column
It is neither “racist” nor “sexist” to question U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s role in the Benghazi scandal. It is, however, almost entirely beside the point.
Rice wasn’t making life-and-death decisions on Sept. 11, 2012, when the U.S. compound in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack; President Obama was. Rice, therefore, is unable to answer the all-important question about what order President Obama issued upon hearing that U.S. diplomats in Benghazi were under fire. She can’t look America in the eye and answer whether the U.S. military was ordered not to rescue Americans fighting for their lives.
Nor is Rice likely to be the Obama administration official who first concocted the false narrative blaming a YouTube video for a (nonexistent) protest in Benghazi, which, the false narrative continues, “spontaneously” erupted into “unplanned” violence – the whopper President Obama told for two full weeks.
Another key piece of the puzzle Rice is unlikely to possess is why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, three days after the Benghazi attack, was out there flogging that same concocted story, as when Clinton tried to console the father of slain ex-SEAL Tyrone Wood by promising him the video’s producer would be arrested and prosecuted. Further, it is unlikely Susan Rice can explain why CIA Director David Petraeus went before the House Intelligence Committee, also on Sept. 14, in a closed session and similarly lied, deceiving members into believing that an “unplanned” attack left four Americans, including an American ambassador, dead.
These are just some of the red flags over Benghazi that can never be checked if GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire continue to monopolize the issue and focus solely on Rice and those not-all-that-interesting talking points. It’s almost as if they wish to tighten the lens over Benghazi so closely that we never notice that what’s really needed is a review of the administration’s Arab Spring policies. It is these policies, which, thanks in large part to Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and White House adviser Samantha Power, actually put Uncle Sam on the path to jihad in Libya by supporting al-Qaida and other jihad terrorists in their bid for power. Maybe that’s because the GOP largely supported these same disastrous policies, too.
Here are some of the Benghazi questions that still demand answers:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone – White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) – on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2012/11/a-few-notable-anniversaries-on.php?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=The+Palestinians%27+big+day&utm_campaign=20121130_m114417479_The+Palestinians%27+big+day&utm_term=Continue+reading___ With the nations of Europe and the rest of the world lining up to support the PLO bid to receive non-member state status at the UN General Assembly, it is worth noting two anniversaries of related but forgotten events. Of course, everyone knows the obvious anniversary – Nov. 29, 1947 was the day the [...]
Israel’s Institutions of Lowly Education Ruth King http://www.mideastoutpost.com/archives/israels-institutions-of-lowly-education-ruth-king.html It is alarming enough to witness the outright libel against Israel so prevalent in American media and academia. It is even more appalling when tenured academics in Israel are the genesis of these canards. Hebrew University is considered one of the world’s great institutions. How is it [...]
Israeli Politics: Back to Normal Rael Jean Isaac http://www.mideastoutpost.com/archives/israeli-politics-back-to-normal-rael-jean-isaac.html Recent polls suggest that in the coming January elections the Kadima Party will go from being the largest party in the Knesset (with 28 seats out of a total of 120) to what may well be the smallest, with a mere 2 seats. While this may [...]
The remarkable story of the Holocaust-era formation of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra by famed, Polish-born violinist Bronislaw Huberman is engrossingly recounted in the documentary “Orchestra of Exiles.”Writer-producer-director Josh Aronson (2000′s Oscar-nominated “Sound and Fury”) tracks Huberman’s early life as a child prodigy performing violin concerts across Europe through his adult years — transformed as they were by the rise of Nazi Germany.
How few and far between they are, real heroes. In these dismal days it is a gift to be reminded of what some of our fellow human beings are capable of and be cheered and inspired by the lives they lived.
A new film titled Orchestra of Exiles is about such a man and the difference he made in his world and ours. Bronislaw Huberman, all but forgotten today, was one of the great musicians of his day, a peerless violinist recognized worldwide. With just a touch of irony, filmmaker Josh Aronson, who produced, wrote and directed Orchestra of Exiles, has called Huberman a Jewish Schindler because of the nearly thousand Jews he saved from extinction at the hands of the Nazis.
Huberman was born in the Polish town of Czestochowa in 1882. A violin prodigy, he toured throughout Europe as a child but received no schooling other than in music. At the height of his fame he was shattered by the carnage of the First World War. He cancelled his lucrative concert schedule and enrolled at the Sorbonne, where he studied political science. Throughout the 1920s he devoted his time and energies to the Pan Europe Movement, an organization meant to prevent future wars which attracted such other notables as Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and Sigmund Freud.
Huberman was among the few public figures whose prescience measured the threat that Hitler and the rise of the Nazi Party posed to the Jews of Germany and to the culture of the entire civilized world. And when Jewish musicians began being fired by the orchestras of Hitler’s Europe, an idea occurred to Huberman which was to dominate the remaining years of his life, rescue many leading musicians from extinction at the hands of the Nazis, and create one of the world’s great orchestras. It is the realization of that idea that is portrayed in Aronson’s fascinating and moving film.
Orchestra of Exiles shows Huberman’s search for potential members of what would become the Palestine Philharmonic and later the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He traveled tirelessly throughout Europe to audition leading musicians, overcoming the odds against bringing them to Palestine, and using his influence to secure the permits necessary for them to stay. Along the way there are surprising–who knew?–moments and eminent historical figures portrayed in a seamless blend of documentary footage and the enactments that reproduce the characters and their milieux, faithful to their natures and their times. The actors chosen to represent Huberman and his various associates look much like their photographs, and their actions, for the most part voiceless, are filmed with a slightly veiled effect, with the result that one is drawn into the story with little awareness of where archival footage gives way to narrative film.
Because the story is true, because the unique gathering of musical talent that became first the Palestine and eventually the Israel Symphony Orchestra can be traced from its beginnings under Arturo Toscanini to the present, and because one man’s sacrifice of fame and fortune in order to realize his mission of rescue and his vision of a great musical heritage resonates with us today, Orchestra of Exiles is a must-see for anyone interested in music, in history, or in how both came together in the Yishuv. The film is an artistic as well as an emotional experience.
Rita Kramer’s books include Flames in the Field and When Morning Comes.
California Church to Become Site of Islamist Convention http://frontpagemag.com/2012/ryan-mauro/california-church-to-become-site-of-islamist-convention/ The Muslim Public Affairs Council’s choice of location for its 12th Annual Convention on December 15 is telling: The All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, California. The group, founded by Muslim Brotherhood followers, says this is the “next step in its mission by crossing the interfaith [...]
http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/the-working-class-and-the-government-class/print/ Forget all the talk about whether we will or won’t go over the fiscal cliff. We ourselves are the fiscal cliff and have been for some time now. The real fiscal cliff is not the point at which we run out of money, our credit rating sinks lower than Enron and everyone is fighting [...]