CLAUDIA ROSETT: THE CROOKED WAY OF UN RULES AND RICHARD FALK You remember Richard Falk — the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur who last month wrote an article blaming America for the terrorist bombings of the Boston Marathon. Falk suggested these horrific attacks were part of the post-colonial world’s natural “resistance” to “the American global domination project.” In response, more than two dozen [1] […]


“The Palestinian academics who are delighted to have such a renowned figure legitimize their cause have failed to mention that had Hawking hailed from their home towns, he likely would have died long ago from neglect, societal scorn, and inadequate medical assistance. It is this kind of black hole that Hawking ought to be contemplating these days.”

The blogosphere went wild this week trying to get to the bottom of British physicist Stephen Hawking’s cancellation of a trip to Israel next month. Though Hawking had decided not to attend the fifth annual Israeli Presidential Conference, where he was scheduled to be a key speaker, “based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the [academic and cultural] boycott [of Israel],” it was initially reported that he wasn’t coming due to ill health.

It was easy to believe the latter. First of all, Hawking, 71, has a degenerative motor neuron disease related to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He is virtually paralyzed and undoubtedly suffers from various related ailments. Secondly, Cambridge University’s communications department either hadn’t been informed of Hawking’s reason for backing out or was trying to cover it up. After all, it doesn’t reflect well on them that Hawking accepted the invitation and then changed his mind mere weeks before the scheduled event.

Once it became clear that Hawking has clearly and simply aligned himself with Israel’s enemies in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, all hell broke loose on Facebook, particularly among those who had apologized for jumping the gun and believing that the great, wheelchair-bound genius was anti-Israel. Feeling angry, then guilty, then betrayed, these people went on the attack. This is not to say — as Arab propagandists have been asserting since then — that all of them crossed the line into inappropriate comments. On the contrary, most of the criticism lodged at Hawking was political and ideological. Only a handful made nasty remarks about his physical disabilities.

The US-Israel Win-Win, Mutually-Beneficial, Two-Way Street: Amb.(Ret.) Yoram Ettinger While struggling to turn around an expanding (5%) budget deficit, Israel sustains its unique role as a pipeline of commercial, defense and homeland security technologies to the US and the Free World.  Israeli technologies, shared with the US industry, have enhanced the US employment, research & development and exports. 1.  Facebook about to acquire […]

Pamela Geller Banned By a Canadian Synagogue — on The Glazov Gang

Pamela Geller Banned By a Canadian Synagogue — on The Glazov Gang
A freedom fighter who stands up for oppressed Muslim women isn’t welcome in Canada — while Islamic terrorists are.


Over 3,000 years ago, a band of Hebrew scouts left their dusty Sinai outpost and trekked deep into the heart of Canaan to survey it and see what kind of country it was. These 12 men had heard much about a land flowing with milk and honey, but they had never seen it with their own eyes. Forty days later they returned crestfallen and hopeless. The land was indeed a paradise, they told the Israelite congregation, but it was occupied by giants. Despite God’s inflated promises, Israel had no future there. Joshua and Caleb dissented, but the majority carried the day.

Fast forward a few millennia. I’m sitting on a plane at JFK about to embark on my own investigative mission to Canaan. My goal is research, not conquest, and my point of departure is New York, not Sinai. But on this, my very first trip to Israel, I feel just as exhilarated and anxious as those 12 spies must have felt.

I know a great deal about Israel. As a Christian, I have read through the Hebrew scriptures many times; as a student of Middle Eastern history I’ve examined the region extensively from an academic perspective. Yet I have never seen the land in person. As my plane leaves the tarmac, I suddenly wonder if I too will be disappointed by what I find.

The trip goes by in a blur and three weeks later I return. Friends and family immediately bombard me with questions: What is Israel like? How are the people? Is the country in which they dwell good or bad? My Israeli friends are especially interested to hear my thoughts. Was Israel what I expected?

Israel is a paradise, I tell them. The immense Jerusalem sky, the ancient hills, and the sun-washed shores of the Mediterranean are beyond breathtaking. I ramble on about the aromatic food, the endearing people, and the surprising array of cultures. I try my best to impart some sense of Israel’s spiritual energy, struggling to convey what it’s like to walk in the cool confines of the Garden Tomb, pray at the Western Wall, and stand before the Golden Gate at twilight listening to the cry of the muezzin inside Al-Aqsa.

My listeners nod and smile, mildly amused. They are probing for something deeper, something more substantial. Based on what I saw, they ask, is there any future in Canaan?

Here my voice softens a bit. I can’t lie—I saw some giants.


David Charter Berlin
Published at 2:57PM, May 9 2013

A German opera company today scrapped its Nazi staging of a Wagner opera after the artistic transposition from the bucolic Middle Ages to the gas chambers of the Third Reich proved a goose step too far.

“Numerous” audience members at the Deutsche Oper Am Rhein’s opening night production of Tannhäuser “suffered psychological and physical stress so intense that they required medical treatment,” the opera company, based in Duesseldorf, said.

The most upsetting scene involved the central character – intended by Wagner to be a medieval travelling minstrel – dressed in SS uniform and carrying out a realistic execution of an entire family by shooting them individually in the neck.

Burkhard Kosminski, the director, who was booed at the premier on Saturday night, refused to compromise his artistic vision by removing individual scenes despite a growing chorus of outrage, the opera said in a statement yesterday.

After four days of internal wrangling, the company decided to ditch his vision altogether and carry on with the four-and-a-half hour opera tonight as a simple concert without staging and costume.

“The management of Deutsche Oper am Rhein was aware in advance of the Tannhäuser production of Burkhard C. Kosminski that its concept and implementation would arouse controversy,” the opera said in a statement on its website this morning.

“Our paramount concern was to respond to some scenes, especially the realistic shooting scene, which caused numerous visitors to suffer psychological and physical stress so intense that they required medical treatment.”

One woman contacted the Rheinische Post newspaper to complain that she had to take her husband to the doctor afterwards “because his blood pressure was significantly raised.”

Another member of the audience from Romania was seen leaving by the newspaper’s critic “bathed in sweat” complaining that the violence brought back terrible memories.

The statement continued: “After considering all the arguments we came to the conclusion that we cannot justify such an extreme impact of our artistic work….In intensive conversation with the director Burkhard C. Kosminski we discussed the possibility of changes to individual scenes. He refused for artistic reasons. As a matter of course, and also for legal reasons, we have to respect the artistic freedom of the director.

“We have therefore decided to perform Tannhäuser in concert from May 9.”

All tickets remained valid but could be exchanged, the opera added, without saying how many pre-booked seats had already been returned following the outcry.

EILEEN TOPLANSKY: BDS AND THE INTELLECTUALS As a graduate student of English literature, I was constantly dismayed to discover that far too many literary luminaries held deeply anti-Semitic beliefs. Mary Ann Evans a.k.a. George Eliot was a notable exception and it was her book Daniel Deronda that gave me hope that intellect coupled with perceptive appreciation and empathy can sometimes […]

Mistaking Cause and Effect in Syria By Shoshana Bryen Russia’s President Vladimir Putin called Prime Minister Netanyahu during Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to China, surely a diplomatic oddity.  (Chinese Premier Li Kegiang answers the hotline in Beijing and says, “Oh, sure.  Hey, Bibi, it’s for you.”)  President Obama called him there as well, making Netanyahu appear to be the most important man in the […]


‘There is no video that justifies an attack on an embassy,” the President of the United States told the United Nations last September 25, one of six “video” references in his speech. A fortnight after the deadly attack on America’s mission in Benghazi, Obama was still insisting that Innocence of Muslims, an obscure, anti-Islamic YouTube video, had fueled the mayhem. Presumably, a spontaneous protest spun out of control and unleashed lethal violence.

But, as he addressed the General Assembly, Obama surely knew that it was an al-Qaeda–propelled assault, not a YouTube video, that had killed U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

As Wednesday’s sworn testimony by three State Department whistleblowers demonstrated, this was just one of many lies deployed by Obama and others high atop the U.S. government. These lies nurtured the myth that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” as Obama claimed at a Las Vegas campaign rally the evening after the Benghazi onslaught. With the truth kept conveniently obscured up to November 6 and beyond, Obama won reelection as the man who supposedly killed both Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. In fact, only the former is dead.

The truth behind this monstrous cover-up finally is emerging, too late to defeat Obama at the polls, but perhaps in time to speed his early return to Chicago.

In gripping testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, these top diplomats broke their silence and shattered Team Obama’s carefully crafted post-Benghazi narrative.

The Benghazi Patsy : The Man Who Made the Video That Didn’t Cause the Attack Has Been Made a Scapegoat. By Rich Lowry Nakoula Basseley Nakoula deserves a place in American history. He is the first person in this country jailed for violating Islamic anti-blasphemy laws. You won’t find that anywhere in the charges against him, of course. As a practical matter, though, everyone knows that Nakoula wouldn’t be in jail today if he hadn’t produced a […]