http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323375204578271681410646810.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop The overreaching White House has prompted a court to reverse nearly two centuries of constitutional practice. A year ago this month, President Obama bypassed the Senate’s advice-and-consent power by naming three new members to the National Labor Relations Board and appointing Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mr. Obama declared that […]
Fury is brewing at Rocky Mountain High School, in Colorado, after a multicultural student group were encouraged to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker in Arabic – replacing ‘one nation under God’ with ‘one nation under Allah’.
Following Monday’s pledge, Principal Tom Lopez has been inundated with complaints from outraged parents concerned that saying the Pledge in any language other than English is unpatriotic.
Standing by his controversial decision, Principal Lopez has said that despite the irate telephone calls and emails, he is not in any way or form trying to push an Islamic agenda at the Fort Collins school.
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‘These students love this country,’ said Lopez to Fox News.
‘They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.’
At the school, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited once a week and on Monday, a member of the Cultural Arms Club at Rocky Mountain High School read out an Arabic version.
The pupils sought the permission of Principal Lopez, who previously had allowed the Pledge to be read out in French and Spanish.
However, the backlash began from students hours after the recital and has continued through the week as angry parents have waded into the controversy.
‘We understand not everybody would agree with the students’ choice,’ said Danielle Clark, communications director of the Poudre School District to Fox News.
2013.01.30 (Sabari, Afghanistan) – Two small children are pulled into pieces by a Taliban bomb planted at a market.
2013.01.29 (Narathiwat, Thailand) – A Buddhist married couple, who worked as school janitors, are brutally shot to death by Islamic ‘insurgents’.
2013.01.29 (Mogadishu, Somalia) – A Shahid suicide bomber takes out six locals.
2013.01.29 (Kala, Pakistan) – A guard for a polio vaccination team is gunned down by Islamists.
2013.01.28 (Mosul, Iraq) – A 4-year-old girl is among two civilians taken out by Mujahid gunmen.
2013.01.28 (al-Bayda, Yemen) – Eight locals are disassembled by a Fedayeen suicide bomber.
In my last column, I argued that culture trumps politics, since when many readers have demanded to know what exactly I meant. Well, look no further than the very first post-election issue Republicans were told they needed to address: getting on the right side of Hispanics by neutralizing the illegal-immigrant issue. A population perhaps the size of Australia’s or four mid-sized EU nations’ strolled into America and decided to stay. In doing so, they broke the law. Literally. That’s to say, some of the most basic laws of the nation lie shattered and discarded. Municipally, we have “sanctuary cities.” At the state level, Illinois is merely the latest to consider issuing driver’s licenses and other legal ID to persons who are in the country illegally. Federally, the president himself has decreed by executive order that the laws of the nation not be enforced — and, indeed, anybody minded to try enforcing them (Arizona) gets hauled into court.
This is a highly legalistic society with laws against everything and most of them with stiff jail sentences attached. Yet a group of squatters has rendered the law irrelevant. Four of the September 11 terrorists obtained the picture ID they used to board the plane through the illegal-immigrant day-worker network in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven in Falls Church, Va. But 3,000 corpses wasn’t enough to persuade either the citizenry or their representatives to end their indulgence of such networks. Indeed, it’s estimated that half of the “undocumented” have come here since 9/11: That’s to say, they broke into a country on Code Orange alert. The culture frames the issue, starting with the appropriation of language: These are “hard-working families” willing to do “the jobs Americans won’t do,” notwithstanding the strains they place on hospitals and schools, the contributions they make to gang crime and drunk-driving statistics . . . Once upon a time they were “illegal,” then “undocumented,” now just “immigrants,” a word with longstanding emotional resonance in America but nevertheless one that used to mean guys who stood in line at consulates, filled in the paperwork, and paid the application fees, and whose redefinition into something entirely different has been accepted as a fait accompli.
In an “exit” interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued the theme that, during the Bush administration, requests for monies from Congress to secure embassies and consulates were rejected.
When asked by Van Susteren whether, in the wake of the Benghazi attack in which four American diplomats were murdered, Americans could now feel safe or satisfied that our consulates, embassies, and diplomats are secure, Clinton responded:
Well, as to the first question, you know, the accountability review board made a set of recommendations. We are embracing and implementing all of them, and making sure that we apply them.
Now, it’s not all a question of money. I am the first to say that. You know, you have to have the right people and the right job, making the right decisions. But money is a factor. And ever since the Bush administration, our requests for security monies from Congress have not been met. So you’ve had to make priority decisions. And it’s been difficult.
So I am determined to leave the State Department safer and stronger when I walk out the door. And I know that John Kerry will just pick up the ball and run with it.
In October, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Charlene Lamb testified that the size of the attack, and not the money, was the central issue. When asked, at that hearing, whether there was any budget consideration that led her not to increase the security force, Lamb responded, “No,” and added, “This was an unprecedented attack in size.”
The Times of London’s sister newspaper, the Sunday Times, bungled badly when it carried, on Holocaust Memorial Day of all days, an ill-conceived anti-Netanyahu cartoon by Gerald Scarfe that’s been widely compared to a blood libel. But the centre-right Murdoch press is at core soundly pro-Israel, and yesterday’s Times carried a robust op-ed by two of Europe’s most prominent political figures, José Maria Aznar and David (Lord) Trimble.
Both founders of the splendid Friends of Israel initiative, the Spanish former prime minister and the Northern Irish former first minister caution against the perception that Hezbollah’s activities and influence are confined to Lebanon or that its political and military wings are separate from one another.
OPINION – José María Aznar/David Trimble: Don’t mince words. Hezbollah are terrorists
Jihadi terrorism is still alive and, as events in Mali and Algeria show us, poses a direct threat to us. The turmoil in North Africa reminds us that jihadism has no boundaries and that when confronting terrorism it is always better to prevent it rather than deal with its consequences. The EU, however, sometimes refuses to face the reality of terrorism. One strong case in point is Hezbollah.
In July last year a bus full of Israeli tourists was blown to pieces by a young suicide bomber in Burgas, Bulgaria — five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver were killed. All the evidence points to it being a plot conceived and executed by Hezbollah.
Yet despite this atrocity some European governments are not willing to declare Hezbollah a security threat and put it on the EU terrorist list. This refusal is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the group. Hezbollah is not just a Lebanese militia group and political party. It is the long arm of Iran. From its conception by Tehran in 1982, it has been committed to the revolutionary goals of the international expansion of Shia Islam, as dreamt of by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
The fact that it holds seats in the Lebanese Parliament and posts in the Cabinet does not mean that its leaders see themselves as just another Lebanese faction — albeit one that murders its political opponents (a UN tribunal found that the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister was a Hezbollah plot).
LAST WEEK, ISRAELIS WENT TO THE POLLS – with some surprising results. Instead of walking away with the election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, which had joined forces with the Yisrael Beitenu Party led by Avigdor Lieberman, won with a much narrower margin than anticipated. Perhaps even more surprising, the newly-formed Yesh Atid party, led by Yair Lapid, surged ahead to take second place in the vote.
What does it all mean? At press time, the process of forming a coalition government had only just begun to take shape with Netanyahu and Lapid reportedly meeting for about two and a half hours the night of Jan. 24 to discuss their potential coalition. To find out what the vote signified – and what might lie ahead — we spoke with two well-respected experts in Middle East politics and culture: Dr. Donna Divine and Dr. Fred Lazin.
Dr. Donna Divine
Dr. Donna Divine
Dr. Donna Divine is Morningstar Family Professor in Jewish Studies and Professor of Government at Smith College, as well as associate faculty member at the University of Haifa and Bar Ilan University in Israel.
A resident of West Hartford, Divine spent the month of June co-facilitating a study and internship experience in Jerusalem, part of Smith’s Global Engagement Seminar program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and her PhD from Columbia University. Fluent in three of the major languages of the Middle East, Arabic, Hebrew, and Turkish, she has written on Zionist immigration to Palestine during the British Mandate.
Dr. Fred Lazin is professor emeritus of local government at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Lazin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and received his MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. He has written and edited 10 books dealing with public policy in the U.S., Israel, and developing countries; Israeli politics and society; and Jews in American politics.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=301568 From biblical sources to modern times; a brief history of the Golan Heights. Referred to as “Bashan” in the Bible, the Golan Heights was considered part of the Land of Israel. Its main city, “Golan in Bashan,” (Deuteronomy 4:43, Joshua 21:27) was designated a “City of Refuge” (for those who had committed involuntary manslaughter). […]
http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/statehood-war-and-terror-the-un-plan-for-palestine-and-its-aftermath-first-of-four-parts/2013/01/30/0/?print Louis Rene Beres Intentionally or unwittingly, by allowing the Palestinian Authority’s recent end-run around authoritative international law, the U.N. General Assembly set the stage for Israel’s incremental dismemberment. The same must be said about the world organization’s now ritualistic condemnations of Jewish settlements in Jerusalem. What must Israel’s leaders be thinking? For a start, […]
http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/novelists-view-world/2013/jan/30/women-combat-dont-girls-just-wanna-have-fun/ WASHINGTON, DC, January 30, 2013 – Now that we’ve skipped over “an orgasm in every bed,” to “a woman in every foxhole,” it’s time for some serious thinking. There is still a generation out there that thinks of women as “sweethearts,” that is to say, girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters and daughters. Asking us to […]