Of the many controversial statements made by Senator Chuck Hagel over the years, none seemed to enrage Senator Lindsey Graham more than his remark that the Israel lobby intimidates U.S. Congressmen into advocating “stupid” policies. He challenged Hagel to name one such senator and to identify one such stupid policy.

The challenge created an unusual opportunity for Hagel, for there could be no better and conclusive evidence of the Israel Lobby’s power of intimidation of U.S. senators on the subject of Israel than these hearings themselves, and most particularly Senator Graham’s own behavior.

Unfortunately, Hagel could not take advantage of that opportunity. Had he done so, his nomination by President Obama to head the Department of Defense would undoubtedly have been dead in the water, for his former Democratic colleagues are no less guilty of yielding to that intimidation than Hagel’s former Republican colleagues.

But the truth of Hagel’s charge must be affirmed, particularly by those who are more concerned about Israel’s ability to survive as a Jewish and democratic state than about jeopardizing contributions to their own electoral campaigns. The truth that needs to be affirmed speaks not only to the existential dangers created by the current Israeli government’s illegal and often immoral behavior in the Occupied Territories but to the violation of the shared values that supposedly form the foundation of the unprecedentedly close ties between Israel and the United States.

It is not enemies of Israel but some of its most loyal and patriotic citizens, six former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet, the internal national security agency on which Israel’s security and existence depend, who blasted the policies of the government headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu as threatening Israel’s very survival because of its colonial ambitions in the West Bank and its lack of interest in reaching a peace accord with the Palestinians. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand lectured Senator Hagel that America’s ties with Israel are “fundamental” and not to be questioned, even if according to Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, its right wing government’s policies have put the country on a path to apartheid, a judgment with which two former Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, concur.

The heads of the IDF reportedly refused to implement a demand by Prime Minister Netanyahu to prepare for an assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities, believing it would have catastrophic consequences for Israel. Whether they are right or wrong—given their unanimity, the high likelihood is that they were right—no one can question the patriotism of these generals and security chiefs or their motives. Successive Israeli governments trusted them and relied on their judgments in safeguarding Israel’s existence. But such words of caution, when expressed by an American Congressman, are considered heretical, because the Israel lobby says so.

This record of Senate and House members’ gutlessness in their subservience to the Israel Lobby was exemplified by Senator Graham’s rudeness in his questioning of former Senator Hagel, repeatedly cutting him off as he was speaking. Apparently he believes that if he could have gotten Hagel to admit even one instance of disagreement with a policy of the current Israeli government, he would have made his case that Hagel is an enemy of the Jewish State, if not the Jewish People.

Of the many letters adopted by the Senate and the House to which Graham and other Senators referred, including letters criticizing Hamas, some of which Hagel would not sign onto, not one addressed the fact that the Likud, the party headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, to this day officially opposes a Palestinian state in even one square foot of the West Bank, or that even after Netanyahu made his speech committing his government to a two-state solution, members of his cabinet and his party established a “Greater Israel” Parliamentary Caucus whose official goal is the prevention of Palestinian statehood and the annexation of all Palestinian territories.

The attacks on Hagel for his occasional dissent from Israel’s policies came from a man from a political party that has established entirely new depths of abusive attacks on the policies and the personality of the President of the United States and on the policies of their Democratic colleagues. Neither Graham nor any of his Republican colleagues have, to the best of my knowledge, expressed publicly a word of criticism of colleagues who established as their goal the defeat of every policy proposal that would be made by President Obama, irrespective of its merit, in the expectation that their stonewalling would lead to his defeat in the upcoming presidential elections. Yet they proclaim that the slightest criticism of even the most reprehensible policies of Netanyahu and Israel’s government disqualifies a person from serving in a high office in the U.S. government. How does one explain the Senators’ bizarre notion that criticism of their own government’s policies is a responsible exercise of their duties but criticism of a foreign government’s behavior—in the case of Israel, of course, but not of any other foreign government—is not, except in terms of the Israel lobby’s “influence” (to use the term preferred by Senator Graham).

Senator Hagel’s confirmation has to await action by the Senate Committee and by the full Senate. But we do not have to wait for confirmation that with respect to the Middle East peace process, the U.S. Congress remains in the grip of the Israel lobby. This was more than fully confirmed at last week’s hearing.

Henry Siegman is the president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He also serves as a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

MARILYN PENN: FILM AS PROPAGANDA Last November, I wrote a piece concerning The Other Israel Film Festival at the JCC on the upper west side. Ironically, no Arabs would get to enjoy the Israeli filmmakers’ critical representations of their country’s politics and attitudes because Arabs exercise a wholesale boycott of all things Israeli. Now two Israeli films are nominated […]


There are many people who think and vote as I do, with an ever-vigilant eye to the security of America and Israel –two of the most dynamic, generous and productive democratic systems in the world. Dishearteningly, however, many of us have discovered that some of our blood relatives, even close family members, are oblivious to the existential dangers that these nations face. I am one of many afflicted with such kin. For the sake of this essay, I’ll call my cousin Clueless (“C”), since his own name, defined as “wise” in Latin, is a mis-aptonym at best.

He recently re-entered by life via the Internet, after our dissociation in 1996 when he displayed an extraordinary lack of compassion and understanding for a personal matter. But now, well over a decade later, he e-mailed me a superficial opinion of my latest articles that I assumed he had scrutinized. A retired, successful professional, C wrote that he sensed a “drive” in my writing; I explained it as survival instinct. I actually wound up asking him if he was pro-democracy, and he answered, “Apparently.” Certainly, I had hoped this man of few words might elucidate further. Instead, he advised me, “We are both intelligent people and we could agree to disagree”– a mantra that the self-styled intelligentsia use to inform those on the lower strata that they are simply too evolved to discuss existential matters. In point of fact, he discounts the distasteful, revises the worrisome, and blames the messenger for upsetting his harmony.

I wondered how C’s intelligence and expertise in Value Engineering helped him appraise the decomposition of our American Constitution, the destruction of the American Dream of freedom for our progeny, the evisceration of our military, and the increasing invasion of Islam worldwide – 20,392 jihad attacks to date since 9/11/01 – as well as the stealth jihad into the White House and our institutions of learning by the virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood. Rather than disagree with hard cold facts, he resorts to his leftist “feelings” and denies reality. He prefers his news in small, inoffensive portions and chooses to be “up-lifted.”


Have you thought what will happen if you succeed [in preventing the disengagement from Gaza]. Don’t you understand that if it happens we will disengage from you. We will say, “Your God is not our God, your land is not our Land.”Do you suppose we will simply give up what we see as our only chance for a normal life. Have you any idea how you will live in a country in which most of its inhabitants feel they have to sacrifice their lives – day after day, terror attack after terror attack – for you. – Yair Lapid, “To: The Opponents of disengagement,” June 24, 2005.

It [the disengagement] had nothing to do with the Palestinians, demography, the desire to make peace, the relative [fatigue] of the IDF, or any other explanation that was given. There was a totally different motivation behind the disengagement. The Israelis merely felt that the settlers should be taught a lesson in humility and perhaps in democracy, too. – Yair Lapid, “Things we couldn’t say during disengagement,” May 15, 2006.

In the interests of full disclosure, I voted for Naftali Bennett’s party in the recent election. But I am beginning to wonder…

Vote Bennett, get German?

After all, when I cast my ballot for Bennett, I didn’t realize that Yael German, former Meretz member, or Ofer Shelah, the decidedly left-wing former journalist, were of part of the deal. But this is precisely the situation that has been created by Bennett’s decision to march in lock-step on the issue of national service for the ultra-Orthodox with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid list, in which German and Shelah are in the No. 3 and No. 6 slots, respectively.

I am confident that many supporters of Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi were unaware that they were voting for a“package deal with Lapid’s Yesh Atid, in which Bennett would condition his participation in a Netanyahuled government on Lapid’s participation.

Had they believed that this was a tangible possibility, it is highly plausible that a considerable number of them, myself included, might well have voted differently.

By insisting on the acceptance of both his and Lapid’s demand regarding universal conscription of the ultra-Orthodox into national service as the sine qua non for his agreeing to join the coalition, Bennett is grossly distorting the will of his voters, and abusing the mandate given him by them.

Right goal, wrong tactic

Don’t misunderstand me. I think it is essential to enlist the ultra-Orthodox into the military, or at least some form of national service.

Since the early 1990s I have been urging right-wing parties to make this one of their declared policy aims, and warning that the failure to take the initiative on this issue was a massive blunder.

The current situation of mass exemption is both immoral and illogical and hence unacceptable, and without becoming ensnared in a discussion on details and the desired rate of implementation, I strongly endorse the initiative to induce, even coerce, far greater haredi participation in the workforce, the military and other national organs.

But as important as this matter is, it was not the cardinal issue for which Bennett and Bayit Yehudi were given the support they received. The primary banner that Bennett’s constituency rallied around was his opposition to Palestinian statehood, opposition which he was slated to spearhead.

This was the fundamental reason that many, including me, supported his party – despite grave reservations, some of which I have expressed on this page, concerning his operational proposal on how this should be undertaken.

True, Bennett and Bayit Yehudi are to be commended for it not being a narrow singleissue faction, and for presenting a multifaceted platform, addressing several vitally important socioeconomic problems plaguing Israeli society. However, these were never perceived or presented, prior to the elections, as being imperatives that had to be satisfactorily addressed before the party participated in a Likud-led coalition.

Certainly, voters were never put on notice that such participation was predicated on the approval of Yesh Atid on any issue – including the ultra-Orthodox one, a.k.a. “sharing/equalizing the burden.”

Right goal, perverse partner?

Whatever the manifest moral merits and potential political profits entailed in pushing for a more equitable sharing of the national burden, Lapid is a dubious – some might say, perverse – partner with whom to lock arms on this issue.

For unlike Bennett, who served as an officer in some of the IDF’s most elite special forces units, Lapid can hardly be presented as “leading by example.”

After all, despite being physically fit enough to engage in regular martial arts training, he elected to “share the burden” of military service as a reporter for the IDF journal, Bamahane – hardly the most arduous or hazardous “tour of duty” – which laid the foundation, at the taxpayers’ expense, for his subsequent successful journalistic career.

Now, while I am not implying that noncombatant service in general, and service in one of the IDF media organs in particular, is to be denigrated or dismissed, it can hardly be denied that Lapid’s personal history imparts a rather hollow – some might say, hypocritical – ring to his shrill castigation of haredi avoidance of “bearing the burden.”

Indeed, it makes him a highly unsuited – some might say, absurd – choice for the poster boy leading the charge for the ultra- Orthodox conscription.

Incompatible political DNA

Moreover, it must not be forgotten that Yesh Atid was born largely as a Center-Left party, and was billed as such in the election campaign. Indeed, alliances with Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yacimovich were pursued – albeit unsuccessfully. Much of Yesh Atid’s support came from last-minute ballots cast by a large bloc of hitherto undecided voters, who do not comprise committed hard-core party devotees.


Lars Hedegaard, co-editor in chief of Dispatch International is under police protection since an attempted assassination on February 5th. You can read a series of articles and follow links to the (rare) coverage of the attack in other media. As if press freedom only mattered when the media could display a “free of Islamophobia additives.” Of the few who even bothered to cover the incident, most did not hesitate to use the epithet “anti-Islam” to define Hedegaard. Strange world in which murderous jihadis are called freedom fighters and a man who defends freedom is labeled anti-Islam. After you’ve read the free-access article, how about subscribing to Dispatch to help defend our freedom? It is a bargain!!!N.P.

PARIS. Everything is flitting, flying, zinging, zapping in our developed world: Money, ideas, and information speed down cyber highways. People and their baggage zip around in fast trains and high flying jets. We go from the idea to the pitch to publication and remuneration in less time than it took to send a letter. Ordinary people carry in their pockets communications devices that CEOs didn’t have 20 years ago. Labor saving devices make household drudgery a museum item.

But it still takes nine months to carry a baby. Nine months of anatomical incongruity. If you have never carried a baby to term you can’t imagine the challenge of accommodating the beloved creature that presses on your bladder, weighs on your lower abdomen making it sting, pushes up on your diaphragm giving you heartburn, kicks you around by day and leaves you nowhere to turn in bed at night. Most pregnant women in developed countries have access to excellent prenatal care. They know better than previous generations how to keep fit during pregnancy and emerge with minimum damage. Though we don’t live in dread of dying in childbirth every minute from conception to delivery is still fraught with risk. Maternity clothes aren’t ugly anymore, even in Japan, where women used to wear potato sack maternity pinafores. Here in France, as might be expected, there’s no limit to the charm and chirpy bounce of sexy clothes adapted or designed for the mother to be. So much has changed but it still takes nine months to carry a baby and no one can help you pull the weight.


Christians in Syria are being targeted for shootings and kidnappings, in Nigeria they’re being blown up in their churches, and in Tanzania another Christian pastor is beheaded by Muslims.

But lest anyone think Christians are being blown up or beheaded by Muslims in Muslim countries only, think again, for it’s happening in New Jersey, as well (see below).

So why are leaders in the Christian world not speaking out about this?

Muslim Beheads Two Coptic Christians In Koranic Ritual

By Alan Bergstein

Muslim beheads Coptic Christians in NJ.jpg
[Screenshot] Muslim man accused of beheading two Coptic Christians in New Jersey.

Here we have another “silent” story about Islamic violence in our country with nary a word from the mainstream media about it. The country goes gaga over a beautiful model’s murder at the hands of an international legless sports hero, but the beheading of two Egyptian Coptic Christian men in New Jersey by a Muslim gets a pass. Why?

Simple. The gruesome beheading invokes the Muslim ritual, called for in the Koran. Koranic verse 8:12 reads: “I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingers off.”

Our media shuts its eyes, turns its head and stuffs its ears when anything negative about the primitive actions of Muslim occur.


Whose Side Are You On?’ Columbine Survivor Blasts Obama

Read more:

“Mr. President, these are your words: ‘And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.’“Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?”

President Obama says he wants to restrict Americans’ rights under the Second Amendment in order to “save lives,” but Evan Todd isn’t buying it.

Todd was one of the people injured in the infamous Columbine High School shootings, and in a recent open letter to President Obama, he pulled no punches.

“Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens?” he demanded. “Whose side are you on?”

It’s a question many people have wondered about.

The shooting survivor stresses that under Obama’s proposals, law-abiding Americans would be put in danger by being restricted from owning certain weapons or having the amount of ammunition they can carry limited.


LIFE IN THE AGE OF OBAMA The policies of this increasingly imperial president, and the uncritical support of his lackeys and sycophants in the mainstream media, may not seem funny, indeed they are dire, but there is a time for humor as a necessary tool to help overcome the unbearable. Take, for instance, what President […]

Wahhabi Alley Imam in Virginia Calls for Armed Jihad

Title: Wahhabi Alley Imam in Virginia Calls for Armed Jihad

A Washington, DC suburban Mosque, Dar al-Hijrah, infamous for fostering radicalism, is the focus of new allrgations about Imam Sheik Shaker Elsayed, a former leader of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) front, Muslim American Society, extolling armed Jihad to an audience of Muslim Ethiopian youths at a public high school in Fairfax County, Virginia. Dar al Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia is located in, what counter Jihadists leader Jim Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Shariah Task Force and others have called call Wahhabi Alley. Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County has a high concentration of Washington metro area fundamentalist Muslims exemplified by the location of the MB funded think tank, the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Herndon, Virginia . Anwar al Awlaki, the late American born Yemeni radical Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula , killed by a US drone attack in 2011 in Yemen had been a preacher at Dar al Hijrah and facilitated the transportation of two of the 9/11 perpetrators in the US. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Melvin Bledsoe. Bledsoe was a Muslim convert from Memphis who killed an Army recruiter in June 2009 at a Little Rock, Arkansas Mall as payback for fighting his brothers in the Muslim Ummah in Iraq and Afghanistan. Muhammad subsequently went to Yemen for jihadist indoctrination with the late American born radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki and allegedly may have received terrorist training with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Awlaki nurtured the jihadist actions of a frequent attendee at the mosque, Maj. Nidal Hasan who perpetrated the Fort Hood massacre that killed 13 injuring over 32 soldiers and civilians. Hasan is now awaiting the start a long delayed courts martial for the murders on November 5, 2009 in Killeen, Texas. An FBI raid in 2004 of a northern Virginia home hidden basement led to the secret plans of the MB for Islamization of America. Documents uncovered in that FBI raid were introduced into evidence at the 2008 Federal Dallas trial of the Holy Land Foundation who leaders were convicted of funneling upwards of $35 million in charitable funds to Hamas. The Holy Land Foundation trial also identified several Muslim Brother Fronts as co-conspirators, among them the Islamic Society of North America and CAIR.


SPARKHILL is, in many ways, typical of inner-city, 21st-century Britain in the age of austerity. The swimming pool is closed, money-transfer bureaux jostle with pawn shops in Stratford Road and the fast-food cartons tumbling in the gutters suggest street cleaning has been hit by cuts.

But scratch the surface in this corner of Birmingham and you find somewhere quite different from the rest of modern Britain. Life here is lived by the rules and allegiances of the rural Kashmiri community where most local families have their origins.

Dig a little deeper and you will also find a deep well of Islamist extremism and a widespread acceptance of jihad.

In 2000, a year before September 11, an al-Qa’ida bomb factory and a stockpile of HMTD explosive was discovered here. Moinul Abedin, the would-be bomber, was jailed for 20 years.

Eight years later, five men were jailed for a plot to kidnap and behead a British soldier home on leave from Afghanistan. Yesterday three ringleaders of a suicide bomb plot were convicted.

Scores of young men from these streets have travelled abroad for jihad and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised to finance Mujaheddin groups. The Maktabah bookshop was not just a gathering place for local radicals but a place known internationally for publishing and distributing jihadi propaganda