Sometime in the late 1950s, that world-class gossip and occasional historian, John F. Kennedy, told me how, in 1948, Harry S. Truman had been pretty much abandoned by everyone when he came to run for president. Then an American Zionist brought him two million dollars in cash, in a suitcase, aboard his whistle-stop campaign train. ‘That’s why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast.’ As neither Jack nor I was an antisemite (unlike his father and my grandfather) we took this to be just another funny story about Truman and the serene corruption of American politics.

Unfortunately, the hurried recognition of Israel as a state has resulted in forty-five years of murderous confusion, and the destruction of what Zionist fellow travellers thought would be a pluralistic state – home to its native population of Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as a future home to peaceful European and American Jewish immigrants, even the ones who affected to believe that the great realtor in the sky had given them, in perpetuity, the lands of Judea and Samaria. Since many of the immigrants were good socialists in Europe, we assumed that they would not allow the new state to become a theocracy, and that the native Palestinians could live with them as equals. This was not meant to be. I shall not rehearse the wars and alarms of that unhappy region. But I will say that the hasty invention of Israel has poisoned the political and intellectual life of the USA, Israel’s unlikely patron.

Unlikely, because no other minority in American history has ever hijacked so much money from the American taxpayers in order to invest in a ‘homeland’. It is as if the American taxpayer had been obliged to support the Pope in his reconquest of the Papal States simply because one third of our people are Roman Catholic. Had this been attempted, there would have been a great uproar and Congress would have said no. But a religious minority of less than two per cent has bought or intimidated seventy senators (the necessary two thirds to overcome an unlikely presidential veto) while enjoying support of the media.


http://www.thecommentator.com/article/1471/brazen_cheek_of_palestinian_racism_charge_against_mitt_romney They’re at it again. Fresh from telling the International Olympic Committee it would be spreading “racism” if it held a minute’s silence at the London Olympics for the Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Munich, the “moderate” Palestinian leadership has now lashed out at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Apparently, he’s “racist” because […]


“As progressives, Jews will be tempted to stick with Obama. As Zionists, they’ll be tempted to switch sides. The question is, which temptation will prevail?”


The news of recent days reminds us that, in a close U.S. presidential election (as the Obama-Romney contest is expected to be), Jews have an influence that far exceeds their numbers across America.

That’s because they congregate in key swing states (e.g., Florida, Ohio) and the wealthiest among them tap their resources for candidates and causes.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that, as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this past weekend, White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon has shared secret U.S. plans to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites if sanctions and diplomacy fail; that top Obama military and diplomatic officials have visited Israel often of late; or that Romney made Israel a key stop on his global tour.

Three months from Election Day, these very public displays of affection for the Jewish State are all about courting America’s Jewish vote; about proclaiming one’s Zionistic bona fides; about an incumbent and his rival each selling himself as better equipped and more likely to protect Israel from a nuclear weapons-seeking Iran and Jew-hating terrorists.

The key question, in this election cycle, is where Israeli security ranks in the pantheon of Jewish concerns.

That Jews overwhelmingly vote Democratic is no secret. That, as they do so, the precise Democratic share of their vote can fluctuate quite a bit is no secret either. That’s what makes this election so intriguing.

Yes, Obama will get more Jewish votes than Romney. The issue is whether Jews will give Obama about the same 78 percent that they did in 2008 or shift markedly to Romney, potentially swinging the election?


Distinguishing actual racism from the witch hunt of Isamophobimania could be critical if Britain is to avoid another episode like the Rochdale rapes


British Children’s Minister Tim Loughton recently announced a new plan to target child sex trafficking: investigate the conditions in residential childcare homes. The announcement comes after a trial that shocked Britain, wherein nine Muslim men were convicted of trafficking and raping dozens of non-Muslim British children.

While Loughton’s proposed initiative is necessary and laudable, the childcare homes are only half the problem. Initial findings suggest that childcare homes are often “clustered” in high-crime areas which bring the children into contact with high levels of criminal activity and registered sex offenders.

Loughton’s plan focuses on measures to protect children before crimes happen but fails to address the egregious failure of police and social workers to investigate the long-term abuse of children that had already occurred.

For more than a decade, police were aware of of child trafficking and gang rape groups in the Pakistani Muslim community but failed to take action because they were afraid of being labeled racist.

The nine men found guilty received a total of 77 years in prison for rape, aiding and abetting rape, conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.



Sheya Wieder owned a small old house on a large lot in Borough Park, Brooklyn, until about six years ago, he said, when he decided it was time to knock it down and build an upgrade. He was all set to go when it occurred to him that the big, shady tree, standing tall and proud right where his new stoop would go, might cause a problem. He took a branch to Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where he was told it was a mulberry tree.

“The rabbis wouldn’t let me take it down,” Mr. Wieder said. “They told me if there is any possibility, even if it costs you money, you should work around it.”

So he did.

Today, a black metal staircase wraps partly around the tree, and a beige wheelchair-accessible elevator stands beside it. The tree looks perfectly happy, right there in front of the door.

“It cost me over $100,000 to save it,” Mr. Wieder said.

In certain Orthodox Jewish communities, from Borough Park to Monsey, N.Y., rabbis say, there is a strong aversion to chopping down fruit trees, which results from some combination of biblical verses, Jewish law and mystical documents that prohibit destroying them wantonly. In New York City, where space is tight and the option to build out in another direction generally does not exist, that means friendly neighborhood foliage can present an especially hard challenge.

“It’s an extraordinary reminder of the kind of spiritual consciousness people need to be able to sustain, particularly in urban settings,” said Rabbi Saul J. Berman, an associate professor of Jewish studies at Yeshiva University. “You see this tree and the way it’s being guarded, and suddenly you realize there’s something going on here besides just human needs.”

This broader consideration, however, does not always come cheaply, as Mr. Wieder can attest to, or easily.

Others have wrapped more than just a staircase around a tree in the name of keeping it alive — like, for example, an entire building.

At Shloimy’s Bake Shoppe on 12th Avenue in Brooklyn, where flaky perfection can be found in the form of hand-rolled rugelach, there is a glass enclosure toward the back, right behind a giant oven and stacks of baking trays. Inside this glass box, which is open to the sky, is a berry tree.

“When we bought this place, we thought we would build all the way back, and then it became summer,” said Joe Leiberman, whose family owns the bakery. “We saw it was a fruit tree, and we changed all the plans.”

Interpretations may vary, but several rabbis, including Rabbi Berman, Rabbi Mayer Schiller and Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, who has written more than two dozen books on Jewish law and tradition, say this practice emerged from a passage in Deuteronomy: Even in wartime, one should not chop down your enemies’ fruit trees. There are also Talmudic sources, some said. And a mystical document called the Will of Rabbi Yehudah HaChosid, which dates back nearly 1,000 years and tends to hold more sway in Hasidic communities, took it further.

“He very cryptically asserted that it’s really dangerous to cut down a fruit-bearing tree because you’re tampering with God’s property,” Rabbi Berman said. “And if you want to tamper with God’s property, be cautious.”

Caution might also be advised to those left to deal with pre-existing fruit trees.

On a piping hot afternoon last week in Borough Park, a woman in a long black skirt struggled to get a stroller down the front stoop of her sister’s house. The double-wide buggy was empty and the stairs were tidy, yet the woman faced a distinct challenge: The steps extended from the house sideways at roughly a 45-degree angle to avoid a tree directly in front of the doorway.



Before Zionists built Israel’s first kibbutz, first university, or first luxury hotel, they built an art academy. The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design opened in 1906, not because the Jewish homeland needed an art school more than it needed a university but because the Zionist leadership thought an art school would be an effective motor of economic growth.

The man who built the art school was named Zalman Dov Baruch Schatz before he left his yeshiva to study art and changed his name to Boris. His sculpture won a silver medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle, but he couldn’t feed his family. So, in 1895, he accepted an offer to help train the first generation of artists for the new nation of—Bulgaria.

Bulgaria was established in 1878 on territory wrested from the Ottoman Empire. It needed almost everything: A language had to be created out of the local dialects, a king imported from a minor German duchy, and a Royal Academy of Art founded to train artists to express the culture and vision of the new nation.

There were so few artists in the new nation that it was necessary to hire a faculty of Czechs—and the Lithuanian Jew Boris Schatz. Although no distinctly Bulgarian artistic style emerged, Schatz explored the romantic nationalist notion that the soul of the nation resides in the peasants. He created workshops in which art professors could design and craftsmen produce folk art-inspired objects representative of Bulgaria.

Schatz’s comfortable life was disrupted in 1903, when his wife left him and news of the Kishinev pogrom shook Europe. Schatz was one of many Jews who took the pogrom as decisive evidence that Jews could have no future in Europe. He became part of the Second Aliyah.







http://www.investigativeproject.org/3691/on-death-and-palestinian-culture Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is taking criticism for remarks about culture in explaining Israel’s economic success compared to Palestinians’ during a speech in Jerusalem Monday. “Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said. While Romney denied on Tuesday that his reference was a criticism about Palestinian culture, Palestinian leaders immediately slammed the comment. Palestinian Authority […]

A Russian-Saudi-Turkish-Chinese alliance to contain the Muslim Brotherhood and Obama? David Goldman

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3232/a-russian-saudi-turkish-chinese-alliance-to I suggested during our conference call yesterday that the only friend the Muslim Brotherhood has in high places is Barack Obama. I didn’t mean that facetiously. Turkey’s application to join the SIno-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Organization following Prime Minister Erdogan’s July 19 pilgrimage to Russia is a diplomatic humiliation for the United States, and of […]

Where is Prince Bandar? by Pepe Escobar …SEE NOTE


Was Bandar Bush, 63, son of Prince Sultan (perennial Saudi Defense Minister,1963-2001), semi-perennial ambassador to Washington (1983-2005), and secretive jihad financier, killed by a Syrian intelligence death squad?

Thunderous silence prevails on Syrian, Iranian and Arab media (most of it controlled by the Saudis). The same applies for al-Jazeera. This is DEBKA’s somewhat fanciful take. http://www.debka.com/article/22225/Saudi-silence-on-intelligence-chief-Bandar’s-fate-denotes-panic

Dates are crucial. Prince Bandar may have pulled off “Damascus volcano” on July 18. He was definitely promoted to head of Saudi intelligence on July 19. And he might have been killed in a bomb attack on the Saudi General Intelligence HQ in Riyadh on July 22.

One Syrian rumor mill version rules that “Damascus volcano” came from Saudi intel – with logistics provided by the CIA. Highly unlikely; the CIA is clueless on how to penetrate Assad’s inner sanctum. The predominant Damascus-based rumor mill version is this was a white coup.