Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why the heck would a Zionist vote Democrat, let alone for Obama?

Okay, I get this one a lot. So, I'm used to it.  There is a long and short answer.
Short answer, my political views are some what all over the map.  I'm probably more of a moderate. That is not to say I'm caught in between sides, not able to make up my mind. It means that no one view is dependent on my view in other areas. Lets use an easy chart to explain.
  • I believe in liberal economic policy. Low taxes for poor, moderately higher for the wealthy; Regulation and government stimulus and intervention (That's not socialism folks its Keynesian economic theory)
  • I believe in Health care reform.
  • I do not believe in unlimited abortion rights (and belive the best way to reduce abortions is to provide pre/post-natal services to poor and single mothers)
If you haven't picked up yet views that are typically right leaning are in red and left leaning are in blue. Got it so far? good.
  • I believe in aggressive military policy and strong defense.
  • I think we should treat drug users rather than imprison them.
  • I believe in controlled levels of affirmative action
  • School vouchers (provided that public school funding isn't affected)
  • I strongly believe in Federal programs to help the vulnerable and disenfranchised.
I could go on, but that's not the point. As you can tell, a majority of my views fall to the left side of the aisle. However, I still believe strongly in the foundation, defense and the welfare of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. I also believe in G-d and belive that G-d has ordained that the Jewish people shall dwell in Israel.
I do not believe that the President of the United States has strong influence over Israel's fate.
Why? Well look at President Bush. As advocates of Israel go, he was one of the best. However, during his tenure as President of the United States,  we saw the Second Intifada, the disengagement from Gush Katif, and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
Are these things Bush's fault? Don't be ridiculous. Of course not. But this is exactly my point. He has no influnce. It's ordained from above.
Forgive me if I don't believe that the electoral college has stronger influence over the fate of the Jews than Hashem
Also, I object to the notion that Obama is anti-Israel. Don't get me wrong, I don't like his policies. But, I don't see the malice and anti-semitism That many of my friends do.  Heres why:
A majority of the reason that people believe  Obama is anti- Israel is his speach to the State Department in May 2011. Most people focused on just two words of one sentence of what I thought was a complex nuanced and thought provoking speach on the current state of affairs in the entire middle-east.
1967 Borders
Let me make this abundantly clear. Israel cannot return to the borders of 1967. They are indefensible and would leave Israel unacceptably vulnerable to aggression. However, President Obama shares this view. A lot of the attacks on his Israel policy are for views he doesn't have. He has advocated an undivided Jerusalem.
Finally, he stated rather emphatically that he thinks Israel and the PA should have the ultimate final word. In other words any final compromises would be obtained by negotiations between the two.
So, I find any charges that he wants to give Israel to the Arabs unfounded. In actuality, his policy is much more evenhanded than other policies. It still leans more towards Israel though. Hamas's repeated stated agenda is the destruction of Israel. Obama has stated in no uncertain terms that the survival and strong defense of Israel is a high priority. However he has stated a need for a two-state solution.

If don't like his policy, because you think he doesn't lean towards Israel enough, fine, I agreee. If you don't like is policy, because he has advocated settlement freezes during negotiations I agree. But to call him an anti-Israel, anti-semite, pro-muslim uberliberal is not fair.
He is not Jimmy Carter.
 I recommend re-reading/watching his speeches to AIPAC and the state department. Do it with an open mind. You might be surprised.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Since he's been gone.

In the 1826 days since June, 26th 2006.
  • The national debt has risen by over five trillion dollars
  • More than 30 Billion tweets have been tweeted on Twitter
  • Michael Jackson has passed away
  • 14 billion apps have been downloaded from the app store
  • Nearly 17,000 have died in the protests of Arab spring
  • There have been over 1,900 American Casualties in Iraq
  • Alex Rodriguez hit 181 homeruns.
  • 68 Stories of One World Trade Center have been built
  • Twenty shuttle launches
  • I personally have been to the hospital five times
  • Al -Qaeda has had three leaders
  • Two Soccer World Cups
  • Two Presidents of America
  • Two Prime Ministers of Israel
  • Boston has seen Championships from its Basketball, Baseball and Hockey teams (and almost football).
  • Southern Sudan has become a country
And Gilad Shalit has been seen exactly zero times by any human rights organization in the five years that he has been in captivity. It is long past due for him to return home. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are you a terrorist on the go who just doesn't have the time? There's an App for that

There is nothing that us Liberal elitists love more than free speech. That is, except maybe for our Apple gadgets.You might be appalled (although probably not shocked) to know that terrorists of entered the modern age and developed a Third intifada program to the apple app store. The application, which consists mostly of links to news content, videos and photos condemning Israel is available on iPodTouch, ipad  and iPhone(a real coup for any anti-semites who opted out of blackberry or Android)The site links to the website, a popular pro-palestinian blog/propaganda fest.
This latest application represents a disturbing trend. In the ongoing conflict. Just this year Facebook deleted a group calling for the Third Intifada.
"One can easily see that this is in fact anti-Israel ... the application calls for an uprising against the State of Israel," Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein
Edelstein wrote a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs urging that he delete the application from the store.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the application is the forums feature. It allows followers to post hate messages to a forum that also appears on the groups website. Potentially this could be used for people who wish to commit violence to network with each other.

The application is free to download.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Look at this Tool!

I scoped this video off Facebook. It shows what appears to be an American-Jewish protester being arrested in Jerusalem. Please, watch. 
Now, I have no problem with this kid. I believe he is misinformed and has been lied to. There is no sense in trying to argue is point. Anybody who goes through the effort of getting on a twelve hour flight and placing himself amongst people who would smack him around if nobody was looking is not going to be dissuaded by dialogue. I'll even give the kid credit it takes balls.
 If he were in PA territories protesting he would have been killed. This is why you never see a corresponding video of an American Arab protesting on behalf of Israelis.  In fact, just last year a pro-palestinian activist. Read that again pro-Palestinian activist was killed in Gaza earlier this year by terrorists.

The unidentified man being resisting arrest.
It appears from the video that he is stopped from protesting by Israeli police and arrested brutally.  But a few points should be made

  • First, the video is edited. There is no way to tell how much time passed in between his showing up at the march and being approached.
  • Second, he should have identified himself. Israel is a state that is on high-alert all the time. It is not unreasonable or absurd to be asked for your identification. Also he had his passport out for much of the time. If it was so important that he not hand it over, why did he display it so publicly?
  • Third, he resisted arrest. When the police tried to take him into custody, he ran, pushed back, screamed. Any injuries he sustained were his own fault.
Maybe he thought he'd never been seen again. Which, of course is illogical, because in Israel, even terrorists don't always get life sentences.

Who am I?

I was raised in a very liberal Jewish household. Like, with many liberals I was raised to be sympathetic to the plight of the oppressed (a notion I still feel today). For a long time, I identified with the plight of the Palestinian people. I felt ashamed that Jews could persecute another people like this.
It was in the early days of the past decade, during the second intifada. That I began to question the logic of the people I was friends with. They claimed that Palestinian terrorists were only defending their people, that   there battle wasn't about hurting Jews. Then, came the Passover bombing in Netanya; and of course there was the pre 9/11 Sbarro's bombing. I questioned actions that had no tactical purpose. They were for lack of a better term. Hate crimes.
A few years later, I visited Israel for the first time. It was in the midst of a fierce debate over the disengagement. I was shocked at how much disagreement there was between the people of Israel. I quickly came to one conclusion. No matter what I believed about Israel, this kind of dissent did not exist in the Arab countries and certainly not amongst the Palestinans.  I saw people of every color living together. This was a very different picture than the one painted by people who criticize Israel.

Eventually over the years, my sympathy for the Palestinian people has not changed. Every life, no matter how disadvantaged is worth living to the fullest of its potential. What has changed is my view on who is oppressing them. The Palestinian people deserve their freedom from Hamas and Fatah, even if they don't know it.
However, it is hard to balance my social values, political ideals and religious beliefs. Come along with me and we'll take a ride.