Choose Your Side: The New York Times or Judaism ? Edward Alexander “How long halt ye between two opinions?” – 1 Kings 18:21 American Jewry is often said to be divided between those who judge Judaism by the principles of the New York Times and those who judge the New York Times by the principles of Judaism. The former group was elated by Professor Joseph Levine’s […]


It is impossible to read this latest UN report, or to listen to its authors and its state sponsors, without knowing that the campaign to rid the world of Israeli settlements is a campaign to rid the world of Israel.

On Monday, March 17 in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council will hold a first-ever three-hour session devoted to the alleged human rights abomination known as the “Israeli settlement.” In the moral wasteland of the United Nations, a Jew living on Arab-claimed land is a violation of Arab human rights.

There were once an estimated 900,000 Jews across the Arab world, but today there are less than a few thousand. They were given a choice: die, convert or flee.

Now the 22nd Judenrein Arab state is in-the-making: Apartheid Palestine.

Meanwhile, 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab, and free Arab citizens sit on the highest courts of the land, represent Israel abroad, and hold political office. An Arab living (and thriving) in the Jewish state is fulfilling a human right.

How does this obvious contradiction make it past the human rights geniuses at the UN?


Jewish and Muslim, Bonding Over Dieting

A game-show-style nutrition quiz at a recent meeting of Slim Peace in Brookline, Mass. The group fosters cultural understanding.

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Your mother-in-law fixes you a plate of food. Does she determine what you eat, and how much?

The discussions at Slim Peace meetings range beyond members’ concerns about food and weight control.

Emma Samuels, left, and Aminah Herzig are the Brookline group’s leaders.

So went the question, part of a nutrition-themed game inspired by “Family Feud,” during a meeting of a women’s weight-loss group here the other night.

Charlotte Badler, 23, lunged forward to answer.

“What if you asked if you could wrap up the rest of it for tomorrow?” she offered, and then addressed an imaginary mother-in-law: “Because I would love to take it to lunch at work tomorrow.”

“I love it,” cheered her teammate, Adebola Yakubu-Owolewa, 29. The two leaned in for a high-five.

Ms. Badler is Jewish; Ms. Yakubu-Owolewa is Muslim. They and eight other women — five Muslims and five Jews — meet on Tuesday evenings at a Boston-area high school for lessons and activities around healthy eating and self-esteem. The group is the United States introduction of Slim Peace, a nonprofit organization that brings Israeli and Palestinian women together around the universal theme of weight-loss support.

Yael Luttwak, a documentary filmmaker, founded the first group during the second Palestinian uprising, more than a decade ago, hitting upon a formula of using women struggling with their weight as a tool for Israeli and Palestinian connection. She was in a Weight Watchers group in Tel Aviv and wondered if the leaders at the time, Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prime minister, and Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian Authority president, might be more likely to talk peace if they tried to lose weight together.

When Ms. Luttwak, who made a documentary film about the first Slim Peace group, visited American Jewish communities to talk about her work, they told her they had problems in their own communities with anti-Muslim sentiment and anti-Israel sentiment, and it occurred to her that the Slim Peace model could be brought here. After a talk and screening of her film in Boston, she was approached by Emma Samuels, who said that she would like to help start such a group here and that she had just the partner to run it with: Aminah Herzig, a close friend and fellow dietitian who is Muslim. They now lead the Boston group, facilitating conversations on healthy eating and cultural differences.

The plan is to expand Slim Peace to four other American cities — Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Washington — all of which have significant Muslim and Jewish populations. Groups are open to members of other faiths, and in Detroit, for example, the organization will be reaching out to the city’s large Arab-American Christian community.

“We are not a peace-dialogue group and not a conflict-resolution group,” said Ms. Luttwak, 40, who now lives in Washington. “But we are bringing dialogue and exposure.”

Mrs. Herzig and Mrs. Samuels said they were surprised by how quickly the women’s questions to each other revolved around their backgrounds and communities.

“They were hungry for that,” Mrs. Samuels said. “Here we were talking about fiber, dairy and water intake, and they wanted to talk about religion.”

Mrs. Herzig, 30, and Mrs. Samuels, 37, confide in each other about work and motherhood and take turns bringing dinner on Slim Peace nights. For the recent session, Mrs. Samuels brought steamed broccoli and chickpeas in a curry sauce atop a bed of baby kale.

The women swapped strategies for coping with cravings for food they find hardest to resist.

“I find it semihelpful to go to a substitute like an 80-calorie cookie bar,” said Debra Wekstein, a 45-year-old lawyer who is Jewish.

Hafsa Salim’s eyes widened under her brown hijab as she asked: “Do you really just eat one of those?”

“Yes,” Ms. Wekstein said. “I buy the ones that are individually wrapped.”

Mrs. Salim, 28, a part-time human resources manager, has become close to a Jewish member of the group, Julie Bailit, 41, who works at a health care consulting firm. Each has invited the other to worship services, and they check in between meetings.

Recently Mrs. Bailit was having a stressful day, and it was Mrs. Salim she reached out to, dashing off an e-mail, to which Mrs. Salim sent an empathic response.

Mrs. Salim’s skirt skims the ground, and she covers her hair in public. “When people see me they think I’m superreligious, but I have my struggles,” she said. “I feel I’m put on this pedestal, and it’s hard to live up to that.”

Mrs. Bailit told the group: “I had never spent any time with any Muslim people before this group. I feel like my whole life is Jewish.” She went on: “I’m really invested in my synagogue. I send my kids to a Jewish school. I hunger for diversity.”

Ms. Wekstein told of a Christian friend who asked if she was afraid attending these sessions. She replied that she was not. The friend, Ms. Wekstein recounted, went on, “But you would be more afraid if it was meeting with their husbands.”

“Yet another stereotype of Muslim men being violent,” said Anne Myers, 23, a Harvard divinity student who converted to Islam. “I hear it so many times, but it does not hurt any less.”

They discussed the popular assumption that Muslims and Jews are incapable of getting along.

“It’s insulting,” Ms. Myers said. “It’s not correct. I wish people didn’t think that way.”

They will continue to meet for monthly dinners at one another’s homes and possibly for workout sessions once their initial program ends. A recent meeting closed with each woman choosing one word to express how they were feeling. Words like “moved,” “joy” and “grateful” filled the quiet room.

“Sameach,” announced Ms. Yakubu-Owolewa, her face lit by a wide smile. “It means ‘happy’ in Hebrew.”

DIANA WEST: GENERAL PETRAEUS….NO WORRIES CNN reports that David Petraeus will make his first public appearance since resigning in multi-varied if only partly limned states of disgrace, all overshadowed by L’Affaire Broadwell. He will deliver a speech this month at a dinner honoring the military. The brief article cites two “persons” as sources. Petraeus will attend a March 26 […]

DR. BEN CARSON AT CPAC 2013 Dr. Ben Carson to CPAC: Obama ‘Trying to Destroy the Country’ Dr. Benjamin Carson, whose speech at the National Prayer Breakfast made headlines, said Saturday he is leaving medicine, and hinted at political aspirations that could even include the presidency. The neurosurgeon, speaking at the Conservative Political Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., said he […]

The Path to Radicalization: Following a German Salafist to Egypt By Takis Würger A year ago, a SPIEGEL editor met a Salafist in Hanover. Following several meetings in Germany, he traveled with him to his new home in Egypt. He could not have anticipated the danger he would encounter there. It’s night in Alexandria, and I can hear the Salafist breathing in the dark. He’s tiptoeing across […]

ALEX JOFFE: WHY ON EARTH IS OBAMA GOING TO ISRAEL? Why exactly is President Obama going to Israel? A variety of theories have been advanced as to why he is making the trip now and what might be accomplished. Some have suggested that Obama needs to reassure Israel, to hold their hands and tell them that the US-Israeli relationship is special. This suggests that […]


Egypt’s tourism sector was doing really badly, so the Muslim Brotherhood regime decided to finish it off. I don’t recall even the Saudis allowing freelance blasphemy arrests. And this is taking place in a country where much of the population thinks that being a member of a non-Islamic religion is blasphemy and being a Westerner means you are a spy.

So come to beautiful Egypt. If you don’t get attacked by a mob making a citizen’s arrest, you’ll get attacked by a rape mob and if you don’t encounter any of these, you get a t-shirt that says, “I Survived Egypt.”

The Egyptian prosecutor general for the Muslim Brotherhood regime (their equivalent of our Attorney General, Eric Holder) has enacted a new law permitting ordinary Egyptians to make what amounts to carte blanche arrests of foreigners in Egypt for things like suspicion of ‘spying’ or blasphemy, or pretty much anything else that goes against Egypt’s sharia based legal code:

Egypt’s Coalition to Support Tourism (CST) condemns the prosecutor-general’s decision to allow citizens’ arrests announced on Sunday, arguing it raises many worries among tourists.

Many tourism agents called the head of the CST, Ehab Moussa in alarm. He told Ahram Online that they wanted to confirm the rumour over what they feel is a strange decision.

“If a tourist rebuffed an Egyptian merchant, refusing to buy something, the merchant might accuse the tourist of spying and arrest him,” he said.

Moussa claims that tourists would then be mistreated and blackmailed in Egypt.

Only Islamist political powers, represented by the Freedom and Justice Party and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, welcomed the decision as an attempt to curb the security deterioration in the country.

Egypt has fallen to the lowest rank out of 140 countries in terms of safety and security, just behind Pakistan, Chad and Yemen, in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Travel and Tourism (T&T) competitiveness index released last week.

So if you have to choose between a tourism trip to Pakistan or Egypt, jump into the ocean. It worked for the Israelites.


Iraq: Ten Years Since Removing Saddam: on The Glazov Gang
by Jamie Glazov
Shant Kenderian, Michael Walsh and Josh Brewster reflect on the ten year anniversary of our war: Did we win? Should we have gone?

RUSSIAN NAVY SET TO ESTABLISH “A PERMANENT PRESENCE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN”….MORE OF OBAMA’S “RESET”? MOSCOW — Russia, a leading ally of Syria, has decided to establish a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea. Officials said the Defense Ministry has been funding a task force to protect Russian interests in the Mediterranean. They said the force would be supplied by the Syrian port of Tartous, the only […]