A ‘Concerned’ US is Monitoring the Rise of Anti-Semitism Worldwide :SAM SOKOL, MICHAEL WILNER ….see note please

Jewish leaders meet with Kerry to discuss ‘prevalence’ of attacks.

Jewish leaders converged on the State Department to discuss rising anti-Semitism across the globe, which is of “deep concern” to the Obama administration, US officials said this week.

Meeting with the group for four hours on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry shared in worries over “the prevalence and pervasiveness of anti-Semitic threats and attacks,” the State Department said.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman led the discussions, attended only briefly by the secretary. Several other senior State Department officials participated the meeting.

Jewish representatives included leaders from the Jewish Federations of North America, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, B’nai B’rith, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and European Jewish communities.

While generally satisfied with efforts by the State Department to mobilize against the rising movement, several figures in attendance told The Jerusalem Post that Kerry’s presence was merely a “photo op.”

“The secretary came in only for a photo op in order to show his support for Ira Forman and the endeavor, and to show that this is a serious issue for the US State Department,” a source familiar with the matter said.

US officials say the department is “monitoring reported incidents, reaching out to Jewish leaders to better assess conditions on the ground and working closely through diplomatic channels to encourage governments to speak out against the rise in anti-Semitic threats and violence,” in light of a spike in anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence throughout the summer.

Sotloff Family Challenges Islamic State’s Leader to a Debate on the Koran ……(Huh????!!!!)

Speaking in Arabic, spokesman for family of slain journalist issues challenge to terror group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by Islamic State militants, said on Wednesday he was “a gentle soul”, and challenged the group’s leader to a debate on the peaceful teachings of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Family spokesperson Barak Barfi ended the statement with off-the-cuff remarks in Arabic, saying “Steve died a martyr for the sake of God.”

He then challenged Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to debate Islam, saying, “Woe to you. You said the month of Ramadan is the month of mercy. Where is your mercy?”

“Abu Bakr, I am ready to debate with you. I come in peace. I have no sword in my hand and I am ready for your answer,” added Barfi, who is an Arabic scholar and research fellow at the New America Foundation think tank in Washington.

Islamic State released a video on Tuesday (September 2) purporting to show the beheading Sotloff, raising the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over US air strikes in Iraq.

Following the beheading of journalist Jim Foley last week, Sotloff’s mother made an emotional plea to Islamic State, requesting they release her son.

The Sotloff family has yet to speak personally to media following their son Steven’s death and requested to mourn privately.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg :The Return of Europe’s Sleepwalkers

The U.S. administration is obviously overwhelmed, but EU leaders don’t even worry about not knowing what to do.

The European Union named new leadership on Saturday. Yet the latest EU summit in Brussels was just another beauty contest with layers of geopolitical cosmetics, lacking any promise of a new beginning. After months of institutional paralysis, European leaders still find ways to rationalize why the EU is not ready to act. In the past year, national and European-level elections and then the summer break have left the EU in an extended freeze.

But Eurocratic excuses don’t stop the Earth from spinning. Wherever we look, we see horrifying disarray in the world. On Europe’s eastern border, there has been a war going on for months. In the Middle East, a lunatic terrorist organization is taking over vast areas with looted, high-tech U.S. arms. Israel and Gaza are on and off cease-fires, and Libya is imploding on the shores of the Mediterranean.

While the U.S. administration is obviously overwhelmed by the variety and gravity of the crises it faces, EU leaders don’t even worry about not knowing what to do. They simply have not realized that this is primarily their challenge.

At first glance, recent events like the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the lightning advances of the Islamic State terrorists, and anti-democratic expressions of admiration for Vladimir Putin by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in July are not connected.


The President’s Public Enemies
Forget ISIS and Putin; Obama has identified the real enemy—the Republicans.

Barack Obama went on the attack late last week. The president delivered blistering speeches at a Democratic fundraiser in Westchester County, N.Y., at the Seafair mansion in Newport, R.I., and to unionists in Milwaukee on Labor Day.

Mr. Obama’s purpose in these three similar speeches was to leave his audiences with one thought, one takeaway. The following two quotations are from the speech at Seafair, where some 60 people paid up to $32,400 to hear the president talk about the world. Herewith a pop quiz for readers who couldn’t be there: Who did President Obama identify as the greatest threat to mankind?

“Internationally, we’re going through a tumultuous time. And I don’t have to tell you, anybody who has been watching TV this summer, it seems like it is just wave after wave of upheaval, most of it surrounding the Middle East. You’re seeing a change in the order in the Middle East. But the old order is having a tough time holding together and the new order has yet to be born, and in the interim, it’s scary.”

Now this:

“The reason government does not work right now is because the other party has been captured by an ideological, rigid, uncompromising core that ignores science, is not particularly interested in facts, is not particularly interested in compromise, but is interested in having its own way 100 percent of the time—and that way, in large part, includes dismantling so much of what has created this incredible middle class and this incredible wealth here in America.”

As is his habit, Mr. Obama answered the question himself: “So the answer to our challenges is actually pretty simple—we need a better Congress.” That’s right, the greatest threats to America today are . . . Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Looking at events the past five years, we’d say Mr. Obama has cut Vladimir Putin more slack than he has the Speaker of the House.

OJ Simpson Converting to Islam:Lori Lowenthal Marcus

O.J. Simpson may find Islam appealing as it apparently forgives all prior sins for those who convert. Simpson will remain in prison for many years.

It is not hard to imagine why a religion that promises to forgive all previous sins upon conversion would be attractive to someone sitting in a prison cell with no hope for release any time in the foreseeable future. And perhaps that is why former football great but convicted felon O.J. Simpson is converting to Islam.

Simpson has been imprisoned in Nevada for the past six years. He’s there because he was convicted of armed robbery of a Las Vegas hotel and casino during which sports memorabilia was taken from the Palace Station hotel. He received a 33-year sentence for the robbery and a kidnapping conviction.

The 67-year-old former darling of the sports and entertainment worlds lived a glamorous California life as a sportscaster and all-purpose celebrity. That ended abruptly when his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were found stabbed to death in 1994. Although acquitted of the murder charges by dint of an incredible stable of legal talent, a many Americans believed Simpson was guilty of the two murders.

Kerry’s Eulogy for Decapitated Journalist Gilded With Empty Claims: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Kerry’s eulogy for decapitated journalist was stirring, but his claim that the U.S. will always hold accountable those who murder U.S. citizens abroad is simply – tragically – not true.

By now most sentient beings are aware that ISIS – currently the world’s foremost bloodthirsty Islamist terrorist gang – has beheaded yet another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff. Cue Foggy Bottom, and right on time an eloquent eulogy for Sotloff is issued under Secretary of State John Kerry’s name. The prose in praise of Sotloff fairly sings:

Steven Sotloff’s reporting was as empathetic as his killers are evil. He focused on the stories of average people trapped in war, and documented their day-in and day-out struggle for dignity. Like Martha Gellhorn, he chronicled humanity in the face of inhumanity, and he told the story of enormous generational events as if they were happening to someone you knew from your own life.

And the condemnation of the evil warmongers is unsparing: Sotloff was “taken from us in an act of medieval savagery by a coward hiding behind a mask.” Not only that, but the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL) members practice “unfathomable brutality”and are “terrorist murderers.”

Who could disagree?

But then Kerry, or one or several of his writers had to muck it all up. They had to veer off from eloquent eulogies and deserved denunciations onto a path of self-congratulatory braggadocio, of no-Americans-left-behind posturing that is tragically false.

Kerry could not pass up the opportunity to make the ludicrous claim that the United States did everything in its power to try and bring home Sotloff and also James Foley. Foley, of course, was also brutally decapitated by ISIS and the video of that murder, using sophisticated techniques and equipment, was shared with the world just last week.

In his Sept. 3 statement, Kerry claimed both that the U.S. did everything in its power to save the lives of kidnapped Americans, and that it will hold accountable every barbarian who has murdered Americans abroad, no matter how long it takes.

The U.S. Government has used every military, diplomatic, and intelligence tool we have, and we always will. Our special operations forces bravely risked a military operation to save these lives, and we’ve reached out diplomatically to everyone and anyone who might be able to help. That effort continues, and our prayers remain – as they always are – with the families of all hostages who remain trapped in Syria today. Barbarity, sadly, isn’t new to our world. Neither is evil. We’ve taken the fight to it before, and we’re taking the fight to it today. When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.

Another Beheading: Can Jon Stewart Change the Channel? Evacuate to where, Israel? Jack Engelhard

Must be great living in a place where you can simply tune out when something comes along that makes you cringe. We should all be so lucky.

Precisely, we should all be as lucky as Jon Stewart who feels that he’s taken enough backtalk as the result of his anti-Israel slant on his Daily Show.

The criticism keeps on coming. Stewart does not find it funny.

At the height of the recent Gaza war, Stewart chided Israel for its so-called disproportionate response to ceaseless rocket-fire from Hamas.

Israel routinely advised Gaza civilians ahead of time to seek shelter from incoming retaliation. Stewart felt that Israel’s gesture was insufficient. “Evacuate to where?” he quipped. I added my own critique of Stewart in a July 17 column along these pages titled “Want Proportionality? Give Israel 22 Countries.”

Moreover, I did not know what Stewart did last summer.

He was busy making a movie. I learned this just today from reading the Hollywood Reporter. I will skip that part since Stewart needs no help from me to promote that flick. However, during a wide-ranging interview with the Reporter, Stewart (originally named Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) touched on his Jewishness, or lack of it, leading to this response about his critics as follows:

“If there is something constructive in what they’re saying, hopefully I’m still open enough … to take it in and let it further inform my position. But I’m pretty impermeable to yelling. As soon as they go to, ‘Your real name is Leibowitz!’ that’s when I change the channel.”


Moderate Islam is Our New Religion

I have been searching for moderate Islam since September 11 and just like a lost sock in the dryer, it was in the last place I expected it to be.

There is no moderate Islam in the mosques or in Mecca. You won’t find it in the Koran or the Hadiths. If you want to find moderate Islam, browse the newspaper editorials after a terrorist attack or take a course on Islamic religion taught by a Unitarian Sociologist wearing fake native jewelry.

You can’t find a moderate Islam in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but you can find it in countless network news specials, articles and books about the two homelands of their respective brands of Islam.

You won’t find the fabled land of moderate Muslims in the east. You won’t even find it in the west. Like all myths it exists in the imagination of those who tell the stories. You won’t find a moderate Islam in the Koran, but you will find it in countless Western books about Islam.

Moderate Islam isn’t what most Muslims believe. It’s what most liberals believe that Muslims believe.

The new multicultural theology of the West is moderate Islam. Moderate Islam is the perfect religion for a secular age since it isn’t a religion at all.

Take Islam, turn it inside out and you have moderate Islam. Take a Muslim who hasn’t been inside a mosque in a year, who can name the entire starting lineup of the San Diego Chargers, but can’t name Mohammed’s companions and you have a moderate Muslim. Or more accurately, a secular Muslim.


My son is a senior at a relatively small Catholic school. He is on the tennis team that rents courts at one of the three middle schools of a large public school district. Our private school lacks funding for such things as courts, football field, etc. The tennis complex we use has eight excellent courts and I noted at the first match last week that the fencing around them was freshly painted. This school district recently constructed a beautiful new high school. It has two basketball annexes, with four courts each, running track and exercise rooms. These annexes are in addition to the schools’ regular athletic facilities. No expense (actually debt at $122 million) is too much for our common core kidlets. The citizens of this district (my family included) really exemplify the civil society our Founders foresaw. While living our lives none of my peers have any awareness that America, Europe, Japan etc. are insolvent. We are still painting our tennis court fences every year like we have unlimited digital currency.

Through little fault of our own we have been encouraged to live way beyond our means, and we have obliged. 70 percent of GDP is consumer spending and political and financial leaders (sic) have cheered us on. Whether spending our own funds or the government-dependent groups spending collectivist bucks, we have made these leaders very happy. But this party is coming to an end.

While the popular- themed Federal Deficit amount is an “astounding” $17 trillion, this isn’t even close. Including all of the unfunded obligations, the true amount of debt is more than $100 trillion. Every so often a figure close to this wanders into the MSM and is quickly surrounded and attacked, like a bacteria. Usually two points are made to remove the scare from $100 trillion. First, this amount will be needed over many decades, so no problem. Secondly, we owe it to ourselves. Nothing to see here, just keep driving to the mall.

“I Have Measured Out My Life With Coffee Spoons” By Marilyn Penn

In all likelihood, T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” is no longer part of the canon of English Literature, if one still exists. So the title quote may not resonate with people under 40, but it seems poetically accurate as to where our society is drifting and to which minutiae we are giving our judicial attention.

Two news items today fall into the category of small issues, affecting a tiny percentile of our population which have gained national attention and the court’s valuable time. The first concerns the rights of prisoners to sport beards for religious reasons, despite the strictures of penal institutions that the possibility of hiding razors and other sharp objects in beards poses security concerns. Nevertheless, the case of Gregory Holt, an Arkansas inmate aka Abdul Maalik Muhammad has now come all the way to the Supreme Court. Mr. Holt/Muhammad is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery, an innocuous term for slitting his ex-girlfriend’s throat and stabbing her repeatedly in the chest. The real question that the court should address is whether after attempted murder, one deserves the right to ask the state to worry about one’s religious rights. Should the state be involved in offering religious succor to people who made every effort to kill?

The second case involves a 16 year old “gender-nonconforming” boy who insists on the right to wear full makeup for his driver’s license photo. The South Carolina Dept of Motor Vehicles stipulates that makeup on a boy is a form of disguise and that it has a formal policy regarding requirements for the license photo. The mother of the boy is suing the DMV for gender discrimination. Should a minor be allowed to determine that he is a different gender than his biological one for the purpose of official documents? Shouldn’t that be subject to the attainment of adult status? More significantly, should we be encouraging young people to insist that society/government bend to every phase they go through and every idiosyncratic feature they possess or should we be stressing that for bureaucratic simplicity, people follow the simplest norm and reserve their individuality for their personal lives. This is not about sitting in the back of the bus or not being allowed into school – it’s about conforming to the rules of the state at least until you’re an adult. It’s common for young people who claim to be transgender to change their minds during and after adolescence so why not agree that decisions affecting legal documents be postponed until adulthood.