Has President Barack Obama ‘got Israel’s back’? When policy is compared to rhetoric, the answer is no. Thus, when Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews, launched a new round of rocket assaults on Israel, Obama declared, “We support [Israel’s] military efforts … No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory.”

But Obama’s policy is entirely different –– imposing what he calls “an immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire that ends hostilities now.” Moreover, Secretary of State John Kerry informed Hamas via Qatar that Hamas’ demands for weakening the Israeli blockade would be met. In attempting to reach this cease-fire, Obama has bypassed the Palestinian Authority and Egypt –– Hamas antagonists–– and worked closely with Qatar and Turkey –– both munificent Hamas supporters.

In short, the idea that Israel should stop defending its citizens and territory from Hamas assault is not President Obama’s policy position –– merely his policy objective.

It is surely obvious that if one supports a country dealing militarily with terrorist assault, then calling for an immediate cease-fire that preserves the terrorists’ infrastructure and awards them concessions flatly contradicts and nullifies this support.

Other developments in recent weeks also suggest that Obama has Hamas’ back, not Israel’s:

1. He supported the formation of a Hamas/Fatah Palestinian Authority (PA) unity regime, meaning that Hamas, a Nazi-like terrorist organization that calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews, would be part of the PA.

2. He had Secretary of State John Kerry announce last week $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which, as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has observed, “is in effect $47 million for Hamas … Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.”

3. He had the the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) impose, not merely a warning, but an astonishing ban on flight to Israel –– something not see on far more hazardous destinations like Iraq, Pakistan or Ukraine –– creating the suspicion that it was a form of pressure on Israel to agree to his ceasefire.


Having entered the 21st century with 9/11, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the threat from Iran, confronting Islamist terrorism is the defining mark of Western civilization.

The war. We are consumed by it. Our sons and theirs are dying; ours to protect us and theirs to kill us.

Sirens warning of missile and rocket attacks wail across Israel. Alerts of impending attacks interrupt Israeli radio and TV broadcasts. News on Internet sites and cellphones informs us of what is happening.

We are all in information tunnels filled with stories, unable to satisfy our need to know, pushed and pulled by fear and loathing, unable to escape the bondage of the unknown, like remaining at a horror movie because we want to know how it ends.

Like shoppers waiting for a sale, we crave good news and try to avoid the bad. Like addicts, we are driven by impulse, our instincts trying to measure details, the need to make sense of chaos. We join the fight in our imagination, breathing battle smoke in the careless breeze that swirls around us, clinging to reality.

It is not enough. It is too much. We try to balance what cannot be balanced, the scales always tipping against us, pain and grief weighed against survival, losses and wins, miracles and tragedies. War is a casino of life and death; we hope that we will come out with something in our pockets, with our hearts still intact, our minds still able to think.

Only the insane start a war; only the sane finish it. And even then, in victory parades and honors, we know deep down that it’s not over; enemies don’t disappear – they only change places, clothing, faces.

For us, and them, it is a holy war; our holiness against their holiness. Righteousness against Evil. If we do not win, they will slaughter us.


What is a Jew?

Forgive my ignorance, but what, exactly, is a Jew? What is a Semite?

There’s been so much intermarriage over the course of centuries, I’m not sure if “Jew” is a valid designation of a race. What are all these anti-Semite protestors and blood-thirsty barbarians referring to when they call for gassing the Jews again? I confess my ignorance. There is the Hebrew language, which only Jews and scholars can fathom. But a language is not a race.

As I remarked in an earlier column, I wouldn’t know a Jew on the street, not on sight. Jews don’t wear their “race” on their sleeves, not unless they’re of the Hassidic or other strict sect. Jews come in all sizes and races. There is no distinctive facial definition of a Jew. Contrary to the Nazis’ cartoonish stereotyping and vilification, not all Jews have hawkish noses and heavy eyebrows. Dress an Amish farmer and a Hassidic rabbi in the same T-shirts, jeans, and Nike tennis shoes, and I dare anyone to play that two-card-Monte game and win by pointing out which is which. It’s only if they open their mouths and say something that a distinction can be made.

One of my first jobs when I moved to New York City in 1968 was as a backroom clerk for a big stock brokerage. Most of the men in the room were Jewish. I picked up more foul language there than I had in the Air Force. I won’t repeat any of the raunchy terms I learned in that big, noisy room where we sorted through stock certificates and reconciled ownershps. But raunchy language is not the monopoly of Jews. Blacks have their own, as do Italians and Poles and Russians and there is a variety of Latino patois. I employ many black street terms in my Roaring Twenties novels.

Later in my itinerate and very checkered work life, I worked as a teletypist for Société Générale in New York, and picked up some French obscenities. (The French, they are a very snobbish people!). Once, having a coffee break with an American black woman who was in charge of ciphering international transactions for the bank, I told her not only that her most immediate ancestors came from Louisiana, but from which coast of Africa her remote ancestors came (remote, meaning the American colonial period). She gaped at me, open-mouthed, absolutely dumb-struck, and asked me how I knew all that. She was unmarried and had a French surname. And her skin color corresponded with the numerous light-skinned African slaves who were brought over to America from the West Coast. (Most of the truly ebony slaves came from the East Coast, where Muslims monopolized the slave trade, and still do, although they’ve now branched out into enslaving Filipinos, Indonesians, and the hapless members of other ethnic groups.)

But I could never tell if a Jew’s ancestors came from Russia or Poland or the Ukraine or Munich or Iraq or Persia. It’s the difference between Upper and Lower Swabia to me. That person would need to tell me. Then I’d know. But I otherwise wouldn’t even venture a guess. Racial or national origins mean nothing to me. Culture and ideas do.

Syrious Balkans Jihadists and Not So Syrious Kosovo Analogies: Year in Review, July 2013-July 2014:Julia Gorin

Kosovo police detain 3 terrorism suspects (AP, June 26, 2014)

Kosovo police say they have detained three people for allegedly forming a terrorist group and recruiting followers.

In a statement Thursday police said they found military uniforms and propaganda material when they searched the suspects’ homes in southern Kosovo.

A police officer, who was speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing, said the three allegedly plotted to carry out an attack inspired by radical Islamist teachings.

Local media reported the suspects were ethnic Albanians with suspected links to radicals in Syria, where at least one of them allegedly fought alongside Sunni rebels.

Prompted by the surge of volunteers joining militants in Syria, Kosovo lawmakers recently passed legislation [after criticism for being silent on the issue] with prison sentences of up to 15 years for those joining armed groups abroad.

I guess they just didn’t see that trend coming when they tore away from the host society to be all on their Muslim own.

It seems it’s time for an update on Balkans jihadists in Syria, where as of January this year, 15 “Bosniaks” (11 from Bosnia and four from Serbia’s Sandzak) have been killed. There was this from May:

Another Macedonian Albanian Reported Killed in Syria (Balkan Insight, May 14, 2014)

A 31-year-old man formerly convicted of planting a bomb in Kumanovo has reportedly been killed fighting in Syria, increasing the number of Macedonian citizens killed in the violence there to at least six.

Thirty-one-year-old Adnan Rexhepi from Kumanovo, northern Macedonia, died on Saturday while fighting with a rebel group against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Albanian-language media in Macedonia have reported.

“We have received the news that our brother Adnan died as a martyr in Sham, Allah have mercy on him, we feel proud that we had him,” friends were cited writing on Facebook by the Albanian-language INA news agency.

Rexhepi was a former insurgent of the now defunct National Liberation Army, NLA, which fought the Macedonian security forces during the conflict in the country in 2001. [NLA being as “defunct” as the KLA, wink-wink. Yet another example of Albanian terrorists who cut their teeth as our allies (NLA is an offshoot of our KLA buddies), predictably moving on to other jihads.]

Harper Leads, Obama Stumbles in the Middle East By Jason Stverak August 4, 2014

If you’re pro-Israel and you back President Barack Obama, you’ve had a lousy month.

The president’s backing for Israel in its war with the terror group Hamas has been palpably tepid. Israel has the right to defend itself has become the mantra of the administration, but it has been entwined in so many contradictions that it now lacks credibility.


1. Weeks earlier, the Obama administration had openly supported the Palestinian unity government that included Hamas, whose charter calls for both the destruction of Israel specifically and Jews generally.
2. From the onset of the current conflict, the Obama administration has worked with the Turkey and Qatar, all adversaries of the Jewish state, to call for an immediate cease fire. In the face of Israeli intelligence about Hamas’ planned operation to kill large numbers of Israeli civilians on the high holy days of the Jewish New Year, saying Israel has a right to defend itself but not permitting it to finish the mission to accomplish this is an act of whimsy – or pure hypocrisy.
3. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an unprecedented ban on American flights to Tel Aviv, even as flights continued to Ukraine, where a passenger jet had been downed and two military jets were shot down just days later. Active war zones like Baghdad and Damascus continued to receive American flights. The obvious conclusion: the administration was using Israel’s economic vulnerability during the height of the tourist season to bend Israel to its will.
4. And then there was John Kerry’s original ceasefire plan, which would have saved Hamas from the might of the Israeli military and handed Hamas what it wanted. The deal was so pro-Hamas that some observers quipped that Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas, probably wrote it while waiting out the conflict in his five-star Qatar hotel and faxed it to Kerry.


My e-pal Ed Cline discusses Netflix on today’s Ruthfully. I watched a movie on Netflix last night which has not been seen in the theaters. It is called “La Rafle”- translated…..”The Roundup”…. I cannot comment on it as a movie. I go to Marilyn Penn’s excellent reviews for that.

It is a movie recounting the horrors of France’s roundup of Jews during the Holocaust; of their willful participation; of the evil and racism and cynicism of Rene Bousquet, a French collaborator who was displeased with the speed and numbers of the unprecedented house to house search for Frnace’s Jews- those who sought succor in France from Eastern Europe as well as French nationals.

It is unendurable to watch…..their mounting fear, their family play with the most adorable children, their disbelief, their hopes that are soon dashed by their round up and deportation to the horrific conditions of the Drancy prison, and ultimately to the gas chambers.

As the French say “The more things change the more they are the same”….but this time they are not the same. The French, as recent events show are the same, but this time for the Jews, there is Israel. …..rsk

The Month That Was July 2014: Sydney Williams

Aided by science, civilized society is supposed to move forward over time. In many respects it has. In communication, information processing, our ability to combat disease, creating better alternatives for consumers in retailing, we are light years from where we had been a few years ago. Two examples of the thousands out there: The Apple iPhone 5S has more computing power than Voyager 1 that recently left the solar system. Amazon is considering “Prime Air,” a drone-based system that will be able to deliver an order thirty minutes after purchase.

But, in other ways we have retreated. On July 20th, 1969 – two years before my youngest son was born – Apollo 11 landed on the moon, a development that was beyond the wildest dreams of one my age at the time. Three and a half years later, Apollo 17 saw the sixth and final landing of humans on the moon. Since, that lunar orbit we see on clear nights has not experienced any steps of man, small or otherwise. Government is now focused on the more mundane, providing free condoms and ensuring its citizens are happy and comfortable. In the meantime, our infrastructure is crumbling, our rights are being eroded and exploration has been left to others. We blithely live in the present with little concern or planning for the future.

Forty-five years ago, the nation was focused on what men could accomplish with technology and human will – gifts for all mankind. A robust economy was seen as necessary. Today we develop technologies that allow men and women sitting in consoles to cleanly kill enemies with no risk of self injury. Social media has become common for children over the age of six. Teen-agers spend hours on their cell phones instant-messaging and sending photos and videos. We have developed at least 26 methods of birth control, allowing pleasure without consequences. (Don’t get me wrong. I am in favor of birth control and I, too, like my pleasures unhindered. But I suspect our world has become more self-absorbed. There is less of John Kennedy’s ‘…what I can do for the country’ and more of the Barack Obama’s ‘…what the country can do for me.’)

July, like all months, was filled with the serious and the trivial, the joyful and the sorrowful. Two plane disasters occurred during the month, killing 416 people. Combined with the 227 who died on Malaysian Air 370 in March, those three crashes killed 645 people. Last year, of 3.1 billion air passengers, 173 died in crashes, suggesting the odds of being killed in a plane accident were about 18,000,000 to one. (In contrast, an estimated 35,000 Americans were killed in auto accidents last year. The National Transportation Statistics Bureau estimates that the odds of being killed are roughly ten times greater in a car than in a plane.) Malaysian Air 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, either by Ukrainian separatists, or possibly by Russians. Either way, the missile and its launch pad were most assuredly Russian; though it is my guess the militants thought they were firing at an enemy plane, but have been unable to admit to such a stupid and tragic mistake. Air Algérie 5107, on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers, crashed in a remote region of northern Mali, killing all 118 aboard.

The biggest news story has been Israel’s defense against the terrorist group Hamas, which now controls the Gaza strip. Israel is not only faced with an enemy that has sworn to “wipe them off the map,” they are also fighting a PR battle, as Hamas is expert at putting children and civilians in harm’s way. (For example, the other morning, listening to CBS radio, the newscaster announced that Israel had targeted a school and some 19 children were killed. The nonchalant ignorance of the announcer almost made me physically ill.) “War is Hell,” William Tecumseh Sherman allegedly once said, and he would have known. It is easy for us sitting in the comfort of our homes to become influenced by the photos and news stories emanating from Gaza City and feel sympathy for hapless Palestinians living there. Israel is fighting for its survival against a small group of Islamic extremists who are committed, not only to that country’s destruction, but to that of the West with its Christian-Judeo heritage. With 24-hour news coverage, we must take care and not let the distraction of ignorant commentators cause us to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Jon Voight Rips Into Anti-Israel Celebs By Mark Tapson

Among the celebrities I wrote about last week who are speaking out for and (mostly) against Israel during the Gaza conflict were Spanish husband-and-wife actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. They, in addition to dozens of other Spanish artists, signed an open letter condemning Israel for its “genocide” of the so-called Palestinians. In response, Jon Voight, Hollywood’s most vocal conservative actor, penned a strong open letter of his own for The Hollywood Reporter, advising Cruz and Bardem to “hang your heads in shame.”

In a statement on Wednesday Penelope Cruz tried to walk back her denunciation of Israel. After prefacing her clarification with an acknowledgement that she is “not an expert on the situation,” Ms. Cruz explained that “My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza.” Well, that’s what we all hope for, but some of us understand that peace is not going to come from the hatemongering terrorists of Hamas, and some of us, like Ms. Cruz and her husband, seem to believe that Israel is the problem.

Bardem released a statement as well, in which he tried to clarify his position and complained of the backlash against him and Cruz: “I am now being labeled by some as anti-Semitic, as is my wife — which is the antithesis of who we are as human beings. We detest anti-Semitism as much as we detest the horrible and painful consequences of war.” Bardem went on to try to make a distinction between his criticism of “the Israeli military response” and his “great respect for the people of Israel and deep compassion for their losses.”

As I wrote last week, that distinction would carry more weight if Bardem and others like him didn’t always direct their condemnation toward the one nation in the Middle East that holds the values which liberals like Bardem and Cruz claim to cherish: human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, equality between Jews and Arabs, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and all the rest.

Instead, in addition to his signature on the open letter, Bardem had also written an op-ed for a Spanishnewspaper, in which he unjustly labeled Israel’s military operation “genocide” and “a war of extermination… where hospitals, ambulances, and children are targets and presumed to be terrorists.” “Right now,” Bardem wrote in the op-ed, “there is NO place for distance or neutrality.” He’s right about that, but unfortunately he chose to throw his support behind the terrorists.

In his more recent statement, Bardem noted that “Too many innocent Palestinian mothers have lost their children to this conflict. Too many innocent Israeli mothers share the same grief… There should not be any political reason that can justify such enormous pain on both sides.” But there is a reason for the enormous pain – the Palestinian leadership’s relentless determination to kill Jews and wipe Israel off the map. Any further pain would cease overnight if the terrorism ended and Palestinians demonstrated a willingness to coexist in peace.

‘Exodus’ – French-Style By Stephen Brown

The lights are going out in the land of the Enlightenment.

The violent, anti-Semitic nightmare Europe thought it would never see again after the Nazi Holocaust is raising its ugly head once more, this time on French soil.

Jew-hatred, mostly among France’s six and a half million Muslims, is reaching such threatening proportions that an increasing number of the country’s 500,000 Jews feel forced to leave their native land to ensure their safety. At one Jewish agency that assists French Jews to emigrate to Israel the telephone, it was reported, “does not stop ringing.

“For 2014, one will have to register a record number of departures of French Jews for Israel since its creation in 1948,” the agency’s director told the French newspaper Le Figaro. “It will safely exceed 5,000 people. In 2013, there were already 3,300, an increase of 73 percent compared with 2012.”

And one can expect the numbers to climb even higher after the recent displays of Jew-hatred in France that “shocked” and “dumbfounded” the country’s Jewish community. In two demonstrations on successive July weekends in central Paris, demonstrators, mostly Muslims of North African and Middle Eastern descent, allegedly protesting Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip, shouted anti-Semitic slogans, attacked police, burned vehicles and damaged stores.

Authorities banned the second demonstration after the first one saw two synagogues and a kosher grocery store attacked, all accompanied by shouts of ‘Death to the Jews’. But the ban didn’t make any difference. The demonstration went ahead anyways. Mob rule and barbarism won out over law and order. And the government’s apparent powerlessness, or unwillingness, to enforce the ban was very noticeable.

“Saturday at the synagogue, there was only talk of packing one’s suitcases,” said the publication manager of a Jewish newspaper after the riots. “One has the feeling that this is only the start, that this is going to become more radical…”

According to Le Figaro, some young, French Jewish families are leaving both because of the country’s increasingly anti-Semitic climate, which, they believe, endangers their children, and the French economy’s poor performance. Representatives of France’s Jewish community told the newspaper parents fear putting their children into Jewish schools and summer camps because of possible anti-Semitic attacks. And who can blame them when one recalls French jihadist Mohammed Merah, who murdered four people, three of them children, at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.

Conservatives Triumph in Border Bill Victory By Matthew Vadum

Conservatives in Congress scored a major triumph last week as the House approved emergency legislation that strengthens border security and attempts to rein in a lawless president.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a conservative champion, took a well-deserved victory lap in an interview with the WND news website.

The “legislative miracle” approved by the House represents a “stunning turnaround” and “a huge victory for the conservatives in Congress.” Its approval is also a big win for the American people who, Bachmann said, “saved Congress from itself” by jamming the congressional switchboard to state their opposition to President Obama’s planned immigration amnesty.

Bachmann noted the legislation pays states to place National Guard troops on the border, doubling funding for that program. It also responds to the president’s threat that “he would act alone, lawlessly, to grant work permits to 5- to 6 million illegal foreign nationals.”

“We have taken the strongest possible action, legislatively, to stop him,” Bachmann said. “We’ve put the president on notice by saying, ‘You better not issue these work permits because we’ve said no. You better not try it, Mr. President.’”

The bill also provides funding to immigration agencies to house illegal alien children and also amends a 2008 law that was created to block the sex trafficking of young people but which has been used to provide asylum to illegals coming from Central American countries.

Bachmann also marveled at the fact that the bill was even tougher in her view than what anti-amnesty stalwarts Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had thought was politically possible to achieve.

She also rejected President Obama‘s mischievous comment Friday afternoon in which he attacked conservatives for supposedly preventing the House from approving a border-fix measure.

That comment was “infantile,” Bachmann said, noting that the Democrat-controlled Senate is the chamber that has yet to approve a border bill. Republicans hope Senate Democrats take a public relations drubbing in coming weeks for failing to act.