SARAH HONIG: REMARKABLY DEJA VU….SIMPLE SHIMON PERES THEN AND NOW President Shimon Peres these days casually dismisses talk of his return to politics as “mere speculation. I myself never said anything.” He rarely does. He just enjoys the hype. He relishes the buildup, the attention and excitement. But, despite the thrill and flattery, there really is no way Peres would have fallen for the […]

HAMAS ROCKETS FROM GAZA? WHAT ROCKETS? Violence between Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza this week is prompting the usual outcry from Islamist groups in America and abroad. Rallies are planned in major cities throughout the United States Friday. Twitter feeds teemed with righteous outrage at what Islamists describe as Israeli aggression. Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda Party issued […]


So here is a story that may make you shudder–one that has been relayed to me by three individuals, all confirming the validity of the following details.

This past Saturday night, thirty five year old Jacob Kimchy (full disclosure: a friend, and Algemeiner blogger) and his new bride Alecia Pulman attended a viewing of A Bottle in the Gaza Sea at the Other Israel Film Festival hosted by the Manhattan Jewish Community Center in New York’s Upper West Side. The film about an “email friendship between Israeli and Palestinian youths,” was described by Variety as “An Internet-age Romeo & Juliet tale in which the tragedy is more political than personal.” According to fashion executive and former editor of Manhattan Movie Magazine, Steven Elihu, who was in the audience as well, the film represents the Arab narrative 65-70% of the time, and the Israeli side for 30-35% of the film’s duration.

Following the viewing, the event moderator Isaac Zablocki, executive director of The Film Festival and program director of the Israel Film Center of the JCC, introduced a Swedish journalist named Caterin Ormestad as a Gaza expert who was supposed to engage in a question and answer session with the audience of about 200.

Ormestad opened by saying that she was impressed that so many people had showed up because, if the event would have been in Tel Aviv, no one would have come because Israelis don’t care about Gaza. (Whilst this quote is not exact, it has been corroborated by several people as the intent of her message.) Throughout the course of her talk she referred to an “Israeli occupation of Gaza,” and blamed Israel for a supposed lack of pencils in Gaza schools.


Was David Petraeus as great a general as the write-ups of his downfall routinely claim? This is a provocative question that I will begin to answer with another question: Did America prevail in the Iraq War? I suspect few would say “yes” and believe it, which is no reflection on the valor and sacrifice of the American and allied troops who fought there. On the contrary, it was the vaunted strategy of the two-step Petraeus “surge” that was the blueprint of failure.

While U.S. troops carried out Part One successfully by fighting to establish basic security, the “trust” and “political reconciliation” that such security was supposed to trigger within Iraqi society never materialized in Part Two. Meanwhile, the “Sunni awakening” lasted only as long as the U.S. payroll for Sunni fighters did.

Today, Iraq is more an ally of Iran than the United States (while dollars keep flowing to Baghdad). This failure is one of imagination as much as strategy. But having blocked rational analysis of Islam from entering into military plans for the Islamic world, the Bush administration effectively blinded itself and undermined its own war-making capacity. In this knowledge vacuum, David Petraeus’ see-no-Islam counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine would fill but not satisfy the void.

The basis of COIN is “population protection” — Iraqi populations, Afghan populations — over “force protection.” Or, as lead author David Petraeus wrote in the 2007 Counterinsurgency Field Manual: “Ultimate success in COIN is gained by protecting the populace, not the COIN force.” (“COIN force” families must have loved that.) Further, the Petraeus COIN manual tells us: “The more successful the counterinsurgency is, the less force can be used and the more risk can be accepted.” “Less force” and “more risk” translate into highly restrictive rules of engagement.


To date, 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud.
More than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, yet remain on the rolls nationwide.
There are over 1.8 million dead voters still eligible on the rolls across the country.
More than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state.
True The Vote recently found 99 cases of potential felony interstate voter fraud.
Maryland affiliates of True the Vote uncovered cases of people registering and voting after their respective deaths.
This year, True the Vote uncovered more than 348,000 dead people on the rolls in 27 states.

California: 49,000
Florida: 30,000
Texas: 28,500
Michigan: 25,000
Illinois: 24,000

12 Indiana counties have more registered voters than residents.

PHILLIPE KARSENTY FIGHTS ON YEARS AFTER EXPOSING THE AL DURA HOAX: CNAAN LIPHSHIZ He says he would let the matter drop were it not for the fact that so many, especially Israel’s enemies, still believe al-Dura died at the hands of Jewish soldiers. “The al-Dura myth lives on in the Arab and Muslim world,” he said. Postage stamps memorializing al-Dura have appeared in Tunisia, Egypt, Iran and […]


“Ambassador Rice’s credibility has been massively damaged because she misled the public (probably unknowingly) long after there was evidence that her claims were at least questionable and probably wrong. To the degree that she’s an “easy target,” it’s because the case against her and the administration is overwhelming. And the gallant Obama need not worry. The concerns about the negligence and misconduct of his administration don’t stop with Ms. Rice. Those concerns go right to the top.”

During his press conference yesterday, President Obama was asked about the statements by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who said if Susan Rice is nominated to be secretary of state, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination, and they simply don’t trust Ambassador Rice after her misleading accounts about the lethal attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11.

In response, the president, after lavishly praising Ms. Rice, said this:

As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. Ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous… When they go after the U.N. Ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me.

ALEX JOFFE: British Philo-Semitism, Once and Future


Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with public discourse about Jews in today’s United Kingdom can be forgiven for viewing the term “British philo-Semitism” as an oxymoron. But, as the eminent historian Gertrude Himmelfarb shows in her brief book The People of the Book: Philosemitism from Cromwell to Churchill, the phenomenon of philo-Semitism was part of the “Jewish Question” that played a significant role in defining England from the 12th through the 20th centuries—and remains crucial to what Britain will become in the 21st.

Jews are generally believed to have arrived in England with the Normans in 1066 (a few may have followed the Romans a millennium earlier). Within a century of their arrival, they were objects of persecution. In 1144 Jews were accused—the first blood libel—of the ritual murder of a 12-year-old Norwich boy; recently the bodies of 17 Jews, dating from the 12th or 13th century, were discovered in a Norwich well. In 1290 Jews were expelled from England, the first of the many European expulsions. These events mark the beginning of centuries of Jew-hatred at all levels of British society, documented in Anthony Julius’s compendious Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England.

But in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Bible, Hebrew, Maimonides, and Jewish texts from Talmud to Kabbalah became cultural touchstones as English Protestants were steeped in “Hebraism.” For them, contemporary affairs—law, government, and the treatment of minorities—were refracted through this lens. Some of them viewed the “Hebraic Republic” as a model of moral principle, although other thinkers, such as John Milton, regarded Biblical Israel as having been in “bondage” to the law and its citizens as “Judaizing beasts.”

But such philo-Semitism was abstract. Only a few English intellectuals were moved by it to tolerate, let alone embrace, Jews themselves. In the first half of the 17th century, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell was favorably inclined toward Jews; but the question of readmitting them to England remained controversial. It was finally decided by indirection. In 1656 England was at war with Spain and had expropriated the property of Spaniards living in England. One of these Spaniards petitioned the court to restore his property on grounds that he was in reality not a Spanish Catholic but a person “of the Hebrew nation.” The court restored his property and, in doing so, effectively settled the matter. Jews were formally granted residence in 1664.

SELF HATRED OR SELF HELP? BEN COHEN One of the most insightful scenes from Larry David’s comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, begins with David and his on-air wife, Cheryl, standing at the entrance to a movie theater. As they chatter aimlessly, David starts whistling a tune composed by Richard Wagner. Cheryl’s delight at the bewitching melody is offset by the reaction […]

WHO OWNS HISTORY? THE STAB-IN-THE-BACK MYTH By Yale Kramer **** See note please

My E-Pal and dear friend Dr. Yale Kramer is a psychotherapist, author and historian. This is an excellent essay…. no url…rsk

Who owns history?

Some would say those who win the struggle, others would say whoever claims it. The trouble with history is human nature. Even the best history cannot escape its powerful gravitational pull–the human nature of its principal actors, its writers, and its readers. If one doubts this, there is no better example than the history of the last several months of the Great War–from March 1918, to November.

We are approaching the one hundredth anniversary of the signing of the armistice between the Allied Powers and Germany at five a.m. on the morning of November 11, 1918 in the iconic railway car as it stood in the chilly darkness of the forest of Compiègne. It may be illuminating to review from today’s perspective the rapidly fading but dramatic and highly important events leading to that morning.

The United States Congress declared war on the Central Powers on April 6, 1917, after the Germans resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in February and went on to sink seven American ships. At the time our army was pathetically undermanned, consisting of around a hundred thousand men and ranked 16th or 17th in the world. But by the summer of 1918 four million American soldiers were in training and on their way to the Western Front. However, they were not yet ready to meet the onslaught of what the German High Command believed would be their tie-breaking offensive, finally forcing the Allies to beg for a negotiated peace.

On the whole, the military situation of the Central Powers at the beginning of 1918 was not at all bad. With the help of Lenin and the Bolsheviks they had forced the Imperial Russian Army out of the war, had easily conquered and occupied thousands of square miles of Russian territory, and forced the Bolsheviks to sign the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, ending the war on the Eastern front for the Germans and thus releasing thousands of men to fight the Allies on the still stalemated Western Front. From their point of view the Germans had at least won half of the war.

By the Spring of 1918 the military dictators of the Central Powers, Generals Paul von Hindenberg and Erich Ludendorff, were planning their final throw of the strategic dice–a monumental offensive using all of their manpower, even to their last reserves–to bring the Allies to the bargaining table. With their new infusion of first-rate troops from the Eastern Front they believed that they would have numerical superiority in the struggle.

Ludendorff conceived of the crucial new offensive based on his successful victory over the various Russian armies during the previous year–powerful and violent forward thrusts akin to the German Blitzkrieg of the early months of World War II. Beginning on March 21, 1918, the field commanders were ordered to push forward and keep moving no matter what; if they encountered resistance, to make an end-run around it and push forward.

The Germans understood the key to winning the battle was tempo. It meant beating the Allies quickly before the Americans could arrive in force. And for the first days of the powerful offensive things went well for the Germans. They stormed forward relentlessly and drove the British back with such force that by April 5 the Germans had advanced twenty miles along a fifty-mile front and stood within a few miles of Amiens, defended only by a group of makeshift units.

But in war things can change in the blink of an eye and several things took place within the German high command as well as on the field. First of all, as John Keegan, the British historian notes, “The accidents of military geography also began to work to the Germans’ disadvantage. The nearer they approached Amiens, the more deeply did they become entangled in the obstacles of the old Somme battlefield, a wilderness of abandoned trenches, broken roads, and shell-crater fields left behind by the movement of the front a year earlier.”

In addition, the men of the German army began to discover the niceties of the British rear areas, “…stuffed with the luxuries enjoyed by the army of a nation which had escaped the years of naval blockade that in Germany had made the simplest necessities of life rare and expensive commodities, time and again tempted the advancing German troops to stop, plunder and satiate themselves.”

Basking in the glory of their early success, the German generals split their forces into three different spearheads without realizing that none of the prongs would be strong enough to achieve a breakthrough. And shortly afterword the Allies counter-attacked and stopped the crucial offensive dead in its tracks, leaving the most elite units of the German army in tatters–a quarter of a million men killed or wounded. The German high command had to acknowledge that their greatest hope, the war-winning Kaiser Battle, was lost. More than ninety divisions were exhausted and demoralized. “The enemy resistance was beyond our powers,” Ludendorff finally recorded in his diary.