At sundown on Monday, April 14, Jews around the world will celebrate Passover with the traditional Seder dinner. Passover is about the exodus from Egypt and a reminder that they were slaves until led to freedom by Moses. Passover is an annual reminder of the survival of Jews and Judaism against extraordinary odds.

Conquered and exiled people in the past often disappeared. As Wikipedia notes, the first appearance of the name “Israel” was an Egyptian inscription dated around 1200 BCE. The term “Land of Israel” is found in the Torah, also called the Old Testament. Around 722 BCE it was conquered as was Judah in 586 BCE. Later, in 165 BCE the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom was established, lasting 99 years and destroyed after the Romans captured Jerusalem in 66 BCE.

Until the State of Israel was reestablished in 1948, a constant Jewish prayer was “Next year in Jerusalem.” When Israel’s independence was declared, it was immediately attacked by five neighboring Arab nations who were to various degrees defeated.

In 1967 Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, but they were again defeated. 1n 1973, the Yom Kippur war took its name from having been attacked on its most holy of days by Syria and Egypt. While other nations are granted the lands they capture in war, particularly a war of defense, Israel continues to be accused of “occupying” them.

Israel has never really enjoyed peace with the nations that surround it and others in the Middle East. These days it is continually under attack from the Palestinians who protest their refugee status, but nothing is ever mentioned of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who became refugees when they were forced to flee from Middle Eastern nations in which many had lived for generations; double the number cited for Palestinians displaced in 1948.

CBS, Colbert and Contempt for America By Daniel Greenfield

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Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives have expressed bewilderment over CBS’s abandonment of the “American Heartland” by choosing Colbert to replace Letterman.

Ed Driscoll has contrasted the pick with the Letterman and Leno succession battle. But the real lesson of that battle is that while Leno won on performance, beating Letterman in the ratings, Letterman won on image, retiring as an honored figure, despite his abusive behavior, while Leno was booed out the door

Leno is no conservative, but he left with the baffled bewilderment familiar to many on the right of being the better man who is despised for his success, while his rival who failed miserably as a boss, a human being and a comedian, is leaving with a media ticker tape parade.

The issue wasn’t The Late Shift or Conan’s nervous breakdown; it was cultural. Leno appealed to a more middle class audience, while Letterman, like Conan, was the darling of a trendy wealthy liberal crowd.

NBC entertainment president Warren Littlefield picked Leno over Letterman after asking the guys he played basketball with which of the men they wanted to watch. It was a practical move that wouldn’t be repeated today.

Nobody would ask the basketball guys if they would rather watch Colbert or someone funny, because they don’t matter.

Putin’s ‘Russian Spring’ The West’s Betrayal of Ukraine is Playing into his Fascist Game Plan. By Robert Zubrin

On April 6, Eurasianist storm troopers operating under Kremlin coordination launched assaults, seizing government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lugansk, and several smaller cities in eastern Ukraine; declared themselves to be the assemblies of independent governments; and immediately invited Russian troops to invade and annex their respective fictional statelets.

There can be no doubt that many of the thousands of invaders involved were in fact Eurasianist storm troopers, and not, as reported by some media outlets, “pro-Russian protesters.” They carried the outward-radiating eight-arrowed flag of Putinist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin’s fascist Eurasianist movement and shouted and displayed its slogan for the operation, “Russian Spring.” There can be no doubt that their moves were made in coordination with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, because he, for his part, has positioned 50,000 Russian troops just across the border, armed and equipped to carry out the requested invasion.

None of this should have been a surprise. Dugin actually published the plan for the current operation under the name “Scenario Russian Spring” on his Facebook page March 9. But no action was taken by Western leaders to prevent the invasion. Far from it; the Obama administration and its European counterparts have been rolling out the red carpet.

It’s hard to say which Western government has been the worst betrayer of Ukraine’s hopes for freedom, but my vote goes to our very own, which has mocked the Ukrainians’ desperate plea for arms by offering them $3 million worth of prepackaged Meals Ready-to-Eat instead. This comes after a series of stern threats of strong sanctions (if Russia invaded Crimea, if Russia annexed Crimea, if Russia began to destabilize Ukraine, etc.), followed by actions so weak as to be utterly risible when Putin went right ahead and took each forbidden step in turn. Thus, following the “absolutely unacceptable,” “illegal,” “intolerable,” etc. annexation of Crimea, the administration’s primary response was to freeze the U.S. bank accounts of eleven midlevel Russian officials who do not have U.S. bank accounts, leaving hundreds of other Russian officials who also do not have U.S. bank accounts to cheekily demand the same treatment.

The Influence Merchants of Venice Tony and Heather Podesta Represent a Culture of Rich Vulgarity. By Kevin D. Williamson

Political Washington is having a great deal of fun following the contentious divorce of “super-lobbyist couple” (as the Washington Post put it) Tony and Heather Podesta, which should be organized under the headline “Lifestyles of the Rich and Odious.” Matthew Continetti and others have chronicled the usual assortment of high-class problems — skirmishing over the multimillion-dollar Kalorama mansion, allegations of unauthorized lock-changing at the couple’s home in Venice, questions about the disposition of their 1,300-piece art collection (“I don’t know why it is, but I have artworks where the women have no heads,” he says), her new relationship with the cinematic auteur behind the fourth installment in the Griswold family’s “Vacation” franchise (Vegas Vacation, in case you’re wondering), and a great deal more.

Divorce is always a little bit sad, though its sting is diminished by repetition — it is his second marriage, her third — and by the absence of children. The nastiness is sometimes delicious: Mr. Podesta, who brought to the relationship wealth that included not only homes and art but overseas vineyards, archly notes that before taking his name the future Mrs. P. was earning only $55,000 a year: “Ms. Podesta has used Mr. Podesta’s name and reputation to advance her own business and interests,” his legal filings argue. Her own lawyers, not content for her husband’s legal team to make her look like a scheming climber, declared that the two “strategically cultivated their public image, and worked to build the ‘Heather and Tony Podesta’ brand for the success of their shared enterprise.”

GOOD ADVICE FROM JOHN FUND FOR THE GOP…. Sometimes the Tea Party Picks the Best Candidates, but Sometimes the Establishment Does. PRIMARY CHALLENGES SERVE THE GOOD PURPOSE OF KEEPING INCUMBENTS HONEST TO CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES….THEY SPARK DEBATE AND HIGHLIGHT ISSUES….BUT FUND IS RIGHT…SOME TEA PARTY CHALLENGES HAVE BEEN DISASTROUS….RSK Tea-party conservatives have become so suspicious of the primary recommendations of establishment GOP figures such as Karl Rove that they dismiss them out of hand. That’s wrong. […]

Desmond Tutu’s climate change boycott madness
If, heaven forbid, Desmond Tutu’s having chest pains and calls the emergency services for help, perhaps he’ll tell them not to send a fosil-fuelled ambulance. His arguments are very silly, but very revealing

If there’s a fashionable political bandwagon to jump on, you can bet your boots these days that one-time anti-apartheid figurehead Desmond Tutu will jump on it.

He’s already well known for that most cliched of all political causes for the vacant-minded and desperate — irrational hostility against the State of Israel. Now he’s on the climate change bandwagon. And guess what he’s calling for? “Boycotts, divestment and sanctions.” Sound familiar?

But this time it’s against fossil-fuel energy companies. To save the earth, you understand.

If, heaven forbid, he’s having chest pains and calls the emergency services for help, perhaps he’ll tell them not to send a fosil-fuelled ambulance. If he’s relying on medics on bicycles one hopes he doesn’t live at the top of a hill.

But apart from the lack of perspective, it’s the absolutism of his message that really leaves one shocked (though not overly surprised given the antics of most other alarmists). Savour this from his piece in Thursday’s Guardian:

For Unproven Theory, Scientists Propose Unproven Solutions By Rick Moran

What’s even more dubious than claims of catastrophic warming? Claims that scientists know what to do about it.

The IPCC released a report warning that unless a “rapid shift” to green energy is undertaken, we’re all going to die…or, something.

And even that may not be enough. The group is saying that we “might even need to enlist controversial technologies that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

We’ll get started right away on those gigantic atmospheric scoops to remove all those offensive greenhouse gases.

It’s more of the same from the IPCC, with a little more hysteria to get our juices flowing.

USA Today:

“There is a clear message from science: To avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual,” said Germany’s Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-chaired the IPCC report, the third in a series released in the past year. The Working Group III report, written by 235 scientists from 57 countries, looks at myriad ways to fight climate change and serves as a potential road map for policymakers who plan to negotiate a new climate treaty next year in Paris.

“If we do nothing, temperatures will continue to rise,” co-author Leon Clarke, a scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said from Berlin after wrapping up a week of discussions there to finalize the report’s wording. “It’s not necessarily a phaseout of fossil fuels,” he said, but rather “a phaseout” of power plants and other facilities that don’t capture the carbon they emit.

Asians Derail Affirmative Action In California By John Rosenberg

The express train hurtling to return racial preference admissions to California — in the form of State Constitutional Amendment 5 [1], which if placed on the ballot and approved by voters would have overturned Prop. 209 —has just been derailed [2] by an outburst of opposition from Asian Americans.

The eruption of opposition caught SCA 5’s Democratic sponsors by surprise and caused a crucial three Asian American senators to withdraw their support, depriving the measure of the two thirds senate majority required to place an initiative on the ballot. “Prior to the vote on SCA 5 in the Senate,” Senators Ted Lieu of Torrance, Carol Liu of La Canada Flintridge, and Leland Yee of San Francisco wrote [2] Assembly Speaker and lead sponsor John A. Pérez, “we heard no opposition to the bill. However, in the past few weeks, we have heard from thousands of people throughout California voicing their concerns about the potential impacts…. As lifelong advocates for the Asian American and other communities,” they added, “we would never support a policy that we believed would negatively impact our children.” (Or at least never again, a skeptic might observe.)

The three changed their minds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports [3], ”when they started hearing from Asian American constituents who feared that giving preferences to African American and Latino students would make it harder for their children to get into competitive University of California campuses.”

Feared? That’s rather like saying Jewish parents in the early 20th century feared that Jewish quotas would make it harder for their children to be admitted to Ivy League schools. Of course lowering admission standards for some students based on race or ethnicity inevitably raises the barrier for those of unpreferred races and ethnicities. And in fact, not just in logic, the passage of Prop. 209 prohibiting racial and ethnic preferential treatment produced a dramatic surge in the admission of Asians to selective California campuses.


Dartmouth College students recently staged an overnight sit-in the office of their president Philip Hanlon. They had over seventy demands. Apparently, they grew out of their alleged suffering at the hands of “racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, trans-homophobic, xenophobic, and ablest structures.”

Translating into English, the students elaborated [1], “Our bodies are already on the line, in danger, and under attack” — suggesting conditions similar to the teen-aged Marines who stormed Fallujah in November 2004, or perhaps the iron-workers who tip-toe on girders 1,000 feet above Manhattan, or an acquaintance of mine whose work clothes reveal that he pumps out quite messy rural cesspools. As redress for their suffering, the oppressed students issued Orwellian calls to ban particularly hurtful vocabulary, to create new faculty positions based entirely on race, and to ensure gender-neutral student housing.

Most of the students represent the .01% of American society. They can enjoy their four- to five-year hiatus from the American rat race, either due to wealthy parents or to charity in the forms of grants that allow them to pay the $60,000 per year plus in room, board, and tuition. Again, most Americans either do not have such money or access to such money to afford the quarter-million-dollar “under attack” Dartmouth experience.

President Hanlon apparently felt the students’ pain of what they had called “micro-aggressions,” [2] or the day-to-day psychodramatic angst that these young elites feel that are their own versions of the world of the Wal-Mart checker, the roofer in Delano who nails in 105 degree August heat, or the tractor driver who has disked half-mile long rows day in and day out on the farm. If you have never done such things, and you have $60,000 a year to spend on Dartmouth, then I suppose you could conceivably dream up a micro-aggression of being tortured to read woman for womyn, or having to use either the boys’ or girls’ bathroom.


WATCH: Will Israel’s flag fly on the moon in 2015?

Israel Hayom Insider panelists Ruthie Blum and Steve Ganot talk about SpaceIL, the Israeli entry to Google’s Lunar X Prize competition • Will the Israeli initiative succeed in landing a robot on the moon by the end of next year?

Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL aims to land Israel’s first robot on the moon as part of Google’s Lunar X Prize competition.

The robot is to be the size of a washing machine and to travel on lunar surface using Israeli nanotechnology.

Is this just a feel-good story or will it have a ripple effect on Israeli students and schools?

As Jews convene around the Seder table this week, perhaps we should say, “Next year on the moon.”