The Jerusalem Post Conference, My Retrospective Perspective: Martin Sherman….see note please

This quote from this column is particularly good, especially for those P.R. groupies who harp on the fact that Israel should improve its “image”….rsk

“However, while promoting the numerous positive aspects that Israel has to its credit should indeed play a part in the way it presents itself to the world, this is hardly an effective approach to combating the assault on Israel’s legitimacy and countering the dangers that flow from it. For as the perceptive Dr. Shifftan deftly points out in the introductory excerpt, it is an approach in which the responses do not address the charges – and therefore will be of little avail in rebuffing them.After all, Israel is not maligned in international forums because it is accused of having poor medical care, shoddy irrigation systems, underdeveloped technological achievement, unattractive women, backward agricultural practices or uninviting tourist attractions.Accordingly, focusing on dispelling such assumed “misconceptions” is hardly likely to stem the tide of vicious vilification of Israel and the Zionist vision of a sovereign nation-state for the Jewish people in its ancient homeland.”

If the 2014 Conference can spur public brisk discussion on how to remedy the some of the policy deficiencies it exposed it will have made an enormous contribution to the long-term strategic well-being of the nation.
Dear Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the entire Netanyahu government, I asked you, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, a question this Sunday at the Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference… Your response was nothing but loaded rhetoric downplaying the existential BDS threat and the attacks against me on my campus for being a Zionist. Perhaps worst of all, you downplayed the anti-Semitic attacks on students across the United States, Europe and soon the world.

– Justin Hayet, “An open letter to Foreign Minister Liberman” – The Jerusalem Post, April 10

It is… time for Israel, as a collective, as a nation, to begin a long-term celebration of our assets.

– Ido Aharoni, Israel’s consul-general in New York, Jerusalem Post Conference, April 6.

Imagine a man accused of murder, rape and robbery, who in his defense claims that he is a good scientist, loves classical music and has a beautiful wife.

– Dr. Yoram Shifftan, an insightful E-correspondent, on trying to rebuff criticism of Israel by “positive branding.”

It probably would have been more timely to have written this column last week, but my sense of outrage, aroused by the asinine attempt by Tom Friedman to draw a parallel between the Judeophilic magnate Sheldon Adelson and Judeophobic mullah Ali Khamenei, dictated otherwise.

In light of his absurd allegation that the two men pose equal danger to the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, I felt compelled to use the public platform available to me to repudiate as robustly as possible his unfounded and unfair comparison.

Still sufficiently newsworthy

Much of what I had to say on the recent 2014 Jerusalem Post Conference remains newsworthy for discussion this week – particularly with regard to the fundamental policy implications (read “grave policy deficiencies”) that came to light during its proceedings.

Although I have no intention of confining myself to mere ex-post reportage of the conference program, or to presenting readers little more than a descriptive synopsis of addresses made and discussions held, some reference to them cannot be avoided.

So before moving on to a more substantive interpretation of what took place, allow me the briefest tour d’horizon of the event.

By any objective criterion, the 2014 Jerusalem Post Conference was a success.

The venue, the towering Marriott Marquis at Times Square on Broadway, was eminently prestigious. The organization seemed immaculate and the attendance impressive (reportedly up to 1,000) – despite the competition from other high-profile pro-Israel attractions on the same day.

Indeed, apart from expressions of disagreement/annoyance on specific matters with some speaker or other, nearly all the reactions I encountered from the audience seemed to indicate that the overall sentiment was that the experience had been interesting and worthwhile.


Cliven Bundy’s Justifiable Defiance: Part IOn a morning In April, 1775, the British army, based in Boston, Massachusetts, set out to seize and/or destroy caches of arms and powder stockpiled by colonists in anticipation of trouble with the Crown. Along the way, this “search and destroy” army, between 600 and 700 strong, encountered a tiny band of armed American colonists, about 40 in number, on Lexington Green. There was a confrontation. The commanding officer ordered the colonists, the “damned rebels” – who weren’t even blocking the path of the army – to lay down their arms. The colonists refused.

A shot was fired – from which side? That’s always been a subject of speculation, and it hardly matters. A “violent” confrontation was bound to happen, later if not sooner, and if not on Lexington Green, then elsewhere, as the Crown arrogantly pushed its weight around in an attempt to subdue resistance by the colonists to Crown rule and regulations.

The British fired a volley into the colonists. Some colonists returned fire before dispersing in the face of the superior force. The survivors of the volley faded into the woods.

The pattern was repeated on a far greater scale on Bunker or Breed’s Hill in June.

In April, 2014, in Nevada, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), together with the U.S. Park Service, sent in about 200 officers prepared for war against other Americans to seize the cattle of Cliven Bundy, a recalcitrant rancher who refused to pay “grazing fees” on federal land. This force was augmented with military-style communications, tasers, attack dogs, snipers in the hills, and the best weaponry money could buy. In response, hundreds of Americans, many of them armed and ready to defend Bundy, his family, and his ranch, arrived on the scene. On Saturday, April 12th, the BLM “backed off” from what promised to be a clash of arms between its hired guns and the impromptu American militia. Some cattle it had collected were released. It promised to pursue Bundy “administratively and judicially” in court.

The rapidity with which events unfolded in Nevada caused no little amount of confusion, two or three baker’s dozens of rumors and allegations, and muddled coverage of what Cliven Bundy did or didn’t do, what actually happened on April 12th, and what may happen next. This column is an attempt to sort the calves from the heifers.


In his own words: Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam Thomas Lifson

A website called Now The End Begins has compiled 40 comments by Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam. Collectively, they create quite an interesting picture. I admit that there may be instances of the president speaking as favorably of Christianity as he does of Islam, but I am not aware of them. I do remember in the 2008 campaign that he said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and that was in response to public awareness of his attendance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, Trinity United. What the president left unsaid is the nature of Jesus as understood in Black Liberation Theology. But that is a discussion for another time.

The list has been reprinted here and here. (hat tip: See what you think:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

Corrupt Democrat Machine Calls Voter ID “Racist” by TOM MCLAUGHLIN n

“Vote early and often for Curley,” was a lyric from one of Democrat Mayor, Congressman, and Governor James Michael Curley’s campaign songs I heard often while growing up a Boston-Irish-Catholic-Democrat in the 1950s. Democrat voter fraud was not only winked at, it was celebrated from the early 20th century onward. Sticking it to Yankee Republicans was a way of life when you grew up Irish in Massachusetts. Oppressed in the 19th century, the Irish ruled Boston and the state during the 20th and the spoils system became a way of life. By the time I was growing up, it was who you knew or who you were related to, and there was nothing wrong with that in the Boston-Irish-Democrat code of ethics. It’s the way things were done, and it swept the Kennedy dynasty into power during its heyday.

Kennedys are gone from the scene now. The Democrat coalition today comprises unions, blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, feminists, single women, and aging Irish pols like Richard Daley, John Kerry, and Joe Biden. Election fraud committed by people in any of those groups is winked at and publicly denied by Democrats and the mainstream media, which look the other way. They don’t sing songs about it anymore the way Curley’s people did. They celebrate it privately now.

Into a similar, but Texan Democrat political arena waded small business person and political neophyte Catherine Englebrecht. Starting in their garage, she and her husband Bryan had built a small manufacturing business outside of Houston which, after two decades employed thirty people. Then she started volunteering at the polls where, according to national, she became “appalled and dismayed to witness everything from administrative snafus to outright voter fraud.” She started attending local Tea Party meetings, eventually founding “True the Vote,” an organization that aimed to clean up voter fraud. Then she filed for 501.C.4 status with the IRS.


The Southern Poverty Law Center, which spent a great deal of time monitoring Miller, would never have thought to watch an institute whose board of trustees include a former New York Times editor, a music industry executive and a president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

When Miller ranted about “Bush and his Zionist bosses” or “The Zionist Jews and their gentile prostitute government managers”; his hate meshed with the hateful material that Blumenthal was putting out.

Blumenthal is mentioned over 300 times at VNN; mostly for his attacks on Jews and Israel. VNN members eagerly ate up Blumenthal’s conspiracy theories about Israel and every bit of negative reporting about Jews. One Blumenthal video even suggested that Rabbis were plotting to kill non-Jewish children.

The Nation Institute’s book arm, in partnership with the Perseus Book Group, published Goliath; Blumenthal’s furious attack on the Jewish State. The book, with chapters such as “How To Kill Goyim And Influence People” and “The Concentration Camp” was described by The Nation’s own reviewer as “The ‘I Hate Israel’ Handbook” and a potential selection of the “Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club.”


CBS does not want Middle America to watch. Chasing away older and conservative viewers by picking Colbert is not a bug, it’s a feature. CBS would like Colbert to ‘upscale’ its brand by turning its dying late night show into a low rated program watched by wealthy liberal urbanites whom advertisers will pay much more, per person, to reach.

Television networks aren’t being foolish by driving away older viewers. They’re working closely with ad agencies that want the same thing.

The Olympics multicultural Coca Cola ad and the gay rights cereal ads have courted controversy as an advertising strategy. That used to be something that marginal dot com brands did by firing a gerbil out of a cannon during the Super Bowl.

Now deliberately setting out to offend mainstream audiences is something that established brands do in a desperate race to show how youthful, how postmodern and how liberal they are.


The important-sounding Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has recently reiterated “its strong support for Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

Poor, destabilized, post-putsch Ukraine is to be congratulated for receiving something none of the 28 countries that actually belongs to the EU ever does: support for its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. (“Unity” is a more complicated matter, given the EU’s reflexive pox on separatist movements that might prefigure the breakup of the EU itself.) As the world’s pre-eminent transnational entity since the breakup of the USSR, the EU is all about eradicating its members’ sovereignty, independence and borders.

This, of course, is not something most Americans are aware of. When we hear talk of “Europe” vs. Russia, or the importance of extending “European values,” most Americans typically envision our longtime allies as they used to be – sovereign and independent within historical national borders. Their dedication to the democratically enshrined rights of their citizens as guaranteed for more than half a century, mainly by U.S. power, is beyond question.

It shouldn’t be. Anyone who thinks the bureaucratically grotesque and anti-democratic superstate model hit the junk heap of history with the USSR in 1991 needs to look more closely at the bureaucratically grotesque and anti-democratic Brussels monolith.

For starters, the elected members of the European Parliament may not introduce legislation or even introduce the repeal of legislation. Instead, they may (and frequently do) rubber stamp legislation for their member-states – much, as leading Soviet dissident leader Vladimir Bukovsky has pointed out, in the tradition of the old Supreme Soviet. All legislation and decision-making come from the unelected members of the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, which Bukovsky has compared to the old Politburo. (Some of the 28 EU commissioners are even former Communist apparatchiks.) Little wonder Bukovsky has dubbed the EU the “EUSSR.” With co-author Pavel Stroilov, Bukovsky documented 1980s-era discussions between Western and Soviet leaders recorded in Soviet archives that foreshadow the rise of the collectivist European superstate in a 2004 booklet titled “EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration.”

The fruits of this cross-pollination are now quite visible. For example, the London Telegraph reported this month that Viviane Reding, the (unelected) vice president of the European Commission, announced that “an EU Bill of Rights that overrides British laws is becoming a ‘reality.’”


NOW….The National Organization of Whiners should take note of this….but they are too busy getting the vapors over perceived “victimhood”…..rsk

As of 1996, if you were a woman, you could be a pilot in the Israeli air force. As of this year, you can keep being one even if you’re pregnant.

The Times of Israel reports that “the IAF…has opened the skies to pregnant pilots and navigators” and that “transport plane pilots will be allowed to fly until the 25th week of pregnancy.”

It was in 1995 that an Israeli woman named Alice Miller, who was already a civilian pilot and an IAF officer, petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court to strike down the IAF’s ban on female pilots. In 1996 the court ruled in her favor, and since then about 35 women have received their wings from the IAF.

It’s part of a general trend where more and more women are filling combat roles in the Israel Defense Forces. About 3% of its combat soldiers are now women, including 70% of the Caracal infantry battalion, 10% of the artillery corps, and 6% of the Border Police. Also this year the IDF appointed Oshrat Bachar as its first-ever female battalion commander.

One might think all this would make Israel a hero of the feminist left. But you’d be more likely to stumble upon an Israel Apartheid Week exhibit on a campus than see the left give Israel credit for much of anything these days.

It is not that women in combat roles are something new in Israeli history. In the prestate period and the 1948-1949 War of Independence, there was not much choice; the community was under Arab attack and outnumbered, and there simply weren’t enough men.

Obamacare Number Games: How Many Enrollees, Really? Posted By Rich Baehr

It has been a triumphant month for liberal journalists who have lived and died with the fortunes of the Affordable Care Act since its passage in March 2010. Ezra Klein and Jon Cohen have declared victory, describing an amazing recovery for the program and for President Obama since the dark days of near-total failure among people trying to sign up on the federal exchanges in October and November.

To listen to Obamacare supporters, Kathleen Sebelius leaves her post as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services with her head held high, as her legacy now includes shepherding across the finish line a major expansion of health insurance for low-income, previously uninsured Americans. Howard Dean says [1] the Republicans would be foolish to attack Obamacare in this year’ s campaign, now that the program has achieved so much success

Carl Sagan spoke [2] of “billions and trillions”; now the president and the Obamacare support media can talk of millions and millions newly insured.

But how many millions?

Prior to the opening of the exchanges in October 2013, President Obama claimed that the ability of families to keep children on their health insurance policies through age 26 had already added three million people to the ranks of the insured. This claim appears to be nonsense. Avik Roy — one of the few journalists who has actually been examining the data and drawing his own conclusions rather than regurgitating or looking to justify each of the administration’s assertions — estimates that the actual number of newly covered young people [3] is less than one-third of the number claimed, and perhaps far less.

In fact, the percentage of uninsured Americans aged 18 to 24 has not changed at all from 2008 — prior to the economic collapse — through 2013. And of course, the change in policy did not come free. Roy estimates that family plans now cost $160 to $480 a year more due to the new coverage — and that is for all families, including all those without children who are newly covered. Also, as with all the other “free things” offered on the screening side due to Obamacare, none of it is free as someone else has to pay for them.


Nothing says Passover as clearly as Moses’ exhortation from the Book of Leviticus: “Proclaim liberty throughout the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
That powerful phrase of highest nobility breathes through every thought in America’s twin founding papers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

That’s what we’re all about. Or so it used to be. Times change. People change.

America’s anthem also takes its cue from that line in the Hebrew Bible. But…

Land of the free? Ask Dinesh D’Souza, the writer/filmmaker who faces jail-time for displeasing Obama.
Home of the brave? Ask women’s rights champion Ayaan Hirsi Ali who was honored and finally dishonored from Brandeis University because she displeased Radical Islam and its cohorts on the Left.

Logically, given Islamic sensitivities, the next step at Brandeis has to be the bonfire of the vanities: book burning. Surely there are plenty of books throughout our PC-afflicted universities that are objectionable and fail to meet Sharia standards.
Note that on whoring with terrorists, Brandeis is not alone. See here how a former president at Penn State came to a Halloween party dressed as a suicide bomber.

Without much effort you will find that brainless and gutless university leaders are the rule, not the exception. But Brandeis has become something special. Columns keep being written. Letters keep streaming in. People are fearful that “Brandeis” may be a snapshot of our future.
If Brandeis came to test America about its resolve to fight the forces of intolerance, hello? We lose.


The Case of PA Accession to International Conventionsnstitute for Contemporary Affairs, founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation

Derailing the Peace Process

The enthusiasm with which the international community appears to encourage and pamper the Palestinians, and to play along with their attempt to accede to international conventions, under the flawed illusion that there exists a sovereign state of Palestine, will only serve to encourage the Palestinian leadership in its refusal to return to a negotiating mode in order to reach a final status agreement with Israel, solving all the relevant and outstanding issues that can be solved only through negotiation. As such, the Palestinian leadership assumes that the international community will go along with any Palestinian demand, thereby obviating any need for negotiation and agreement. This international pampering of the Palestinians, and utter ignoring of international law and solemn commitments, as well as the massive prejudgment of issues that should remain on the negotiating table, in effect signals a serious turning point in the peace process and raises the question whether there is any hope for progress in its present format.