Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glenn Beck's Nazi Tourettes Continues

Glenn beck Nazi Analogy        In the same week that he compared the victims of a savage terror attack to the Hitler Youth. Glen Beck defended those remarks saying:
"if we cannot use Hitler analogies in "logical conversation," "We are going to be a society of gas chambers."

Well I'm calling bs on that. Nobody has said he can't use Hitler analogies. But he really shouldn't.

WAIT...did he say logical conversation? Logical? Glenn Beck does logical, like Elton John does subtle; like Donald Trump does modest; like Bill Clinton does chaste; like Rachel Maddow does dudes; or like Bernie Madoff does ethical. This guy compared President Obama to Hitler because he touted the virtue of empathy.

Also, in many European counties using Nazi regalia and even denying the holocaust is a prosecutable offense. I'm not defending those laws, but there aren't any gas chambers.

Glenn Beck himself, spends most of his time criticizing and vilifying anybody whose world view isn't in line with his. But, cannot sustain any criticism directed towads him. Courage indeed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mr. Beck, Please leave Israel

Seriously folks, this is not a guy we want on our side.

Today, Glenn Beck took a principled and courageous stance attacking victims of terror who are too dead to defend themselves. Continuing a long streak of bizarre Nazi references, he compared the Norwegian camp where a(non-Muslim) terrorist gunned down about sixty youths. The camp was a yearly retreat organized by Norway's Labor party.

Beyond the trivialization of Nazism. HE JUST ATTACKED TERROR VICTIMS. Not to mention they were children. I really wonder if it was because this guy was not-Muslim and white.

Let's get something straight terrorism is evil. No matter what your political views are, using civilians as a target to further your goals is wrong. Terror needs to be denounced at every avenue, especially if its done for a cause you have sympathy for.  If you don't denounce terror, you devalue the biggest political argument the Israelis have against the PA.

Beck has played the Hitler card so often, its maxed out. This includes one instance, when he called out Simon Greer (Jewish) for putting an emphasis on the "common good." Saying it would lead to "death camps."

Now, I would say that Beck has gone too far, but that train left the station years ago.

The problem with Beck is that he doesn't understand the true nature of Nazism. By comparing everybody who doesn't share his world view to the Third Reich devalues the Nazis. He lessens their significance in history. This is a bad thing. When he does this, he trivializes the holocaust and by extension, every injustice the Jews have endured in their glorious history.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Groups in Israel and why they already have courage

It takes courage to live in Israel regardless of who you are.

For young Olim (people who make Aaliyah and move to Israel) it takes courage to leave your life in the country you grow up in and move away. Often these Olim move way from countries with better economies (US UK) to a country with high unemployment and underemployment. They often move away from their friends and families to a country that has is surrounded by hostiles. 

Hasidim. The ultra-orthodox in Israel are amongst the most maligned groups in the country. Most of the country is moderate and non-religious and  critical of them. They face criticism for non-army service.  Also many of them protest vehemently against the state, while receiving protection from the state as well as social services while not working so they can study torah. Anybody who read that last sentence would have to admit that takes balls.

Politicians, David Ben-Gurion once told Truman that he had an easy job because  Truman was the president of  several million citizens, while he was the Leader of a nation of Presidents. Any politician who has the audacity to even open his mouth will face attacks from the left front and center. They will face subpoenas from the international criminal court, to assassination attempts from Arabs and Israelis.

Basically everybody who lives in Israel stays in a country that is always facing breaches of its borders, suicide bombers, missile attacks, boycotts and elements with in its on populace that wish to see it destroyed. Courage has never been in short supply.

That is except of course for Glenn Beck. Beck is traveling around the Holy Land with a security escort giving pro-Israel speeches to pro-Israel crowds; and charging a decent amount of money at that. I'm not sure exactly where the courage plays in. Maybe it was when he moved his "Rally to Restore Courage" off of the temple mount to avoid Arabs who might be there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Are the Goblins in Harry Potter Jews?

Griphook Jew
Normally, dismiss such things as folly. But, this creepy. In addition to resembling WWII era propaganda cartoons, they are money grubbing and duplicitous. Even if the correlation is coincidental, it's there. It should be noted, that the resemblance cannot be attibuted directly to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. This design of the character first appeared in the first installment of the film franchise directed by Christopher Columbus. Also, one of Potter's classmates at Hogwarts was none other than the (possibly half-Italian) Anthony Goldstein.
There are also many Jewish mystical themes throughout the books. It would be quite disappointing for all those bored Jews reading through the seven-book series on those long three day Yomtovim. Rowling doesn't escape all reproach however. Dobby the house elf(Zt"L) originally had a thick West-Indian/Jamaican type screetchy accent. We can probably thank George Lucas for making that accent box-office suicide with Jar-Jar Binks.

Keep Calm and Carry On

In the hardest of times, it is often most simple to lose control of one's faculties and to fogo common sense, reason and one's hardest held principles. However in the face of peril and uncertainty. We must maintain steadfast that our values are not compromised. Therefore we shall know for sure that even if we are injured, maimed, killed or conquered, our identity will survive. Keep calm and carry on.
Keep Calm and Carry On Israel

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glenn Beck's Reception in Israel not so Warm

In a Twist Beck is Accused of Being Anti-Israel

      Glenn Beck's public visit to Israel wasn't without controversy. The conservative commentator whose greatest hits include, trying his best to convince his viewers  that holocaust survivor George Soros is trying to take over the world; and comparing Reform Judaism to radical Islam, appeared before parliament to cheers.
Much of Beck's anti-Jewish slant is deliniated in a recent Huffington Post article by MJ Rosenberg

      Beck's Pro-Israel street-cred' includes his reporting on the "Freedom Flotilla" incident. According to Beck he was the only one in the media showing an IDF video showing Israeli soldiers being attacked by protesters. This was of course rubbish. Everybody was using that video.

      Not all Israelis were as warm to Beck. Zo Artzeinu founder Moshe Feiglin has declined to join Beck's 'Restoring Courage' event in August, voicing concerns about Christian involvement in Israel.Popular Zionist blog JIDF.ORG labeled Beck an Anti-Semite for some of this positions and hosting controversial pundits.Beck was also criticized from the right for saying he doesn't oppose a Palestinian state.

      One has to be at least slightly amused at this turn of events. Beck, whose Israel views are more anti-Arab than they are pro-Jew, has made a career out of baseless criticism. Many of his attacks on President Obama and others manipulate facts to create a dishonest narrative.

      For once, Beck is getting a taste of his own medicine.

  • His religion has become a liability. Much as he has attacked Muslims and Reform Jews.
  • Small statements are manipulated to change his views. Much as he has found a way to manipulate any statement to call political opponents Nazis
  • Finally, he is accused of anti-Semitism based on loose associations. (see Beck's  attacks on Van Jones)
It is only unfortunate that most of Beck's Jewish detractors are from the fringe. Hopefully soon more will see Beck for who he really is.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's the harm in a little Lashon Hara now?

lashon hara  `läshən `härä (ערה ןושל) is the prohibition in Jewish Law of telling gossip. Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising.
A culprit was named very quickly. Within hours of the announcement of the discovery of the body of young Leiby Kletzky, rumors spread of the name of a suspect. These rumors were later confirmed when NYPD Commissioner announced that the suspect,**** ****, gave statements implicating himself.

I hid the face click if you want to seeThe name and picture of the suspect spread quickly across the blogosphere, facebook and twitter. None of the rhetoric is terribly shocking. Many called him a "monster" and there are already a few groups on facebook calling for his execution, which won't happen (NY State has no Death Penalty statute).
The question though is, is it okay to speak Lashon Hara about somebody so clearly evil?
I would say no for two main reasons. Before I get into that, I want to make it abundantly clear I am not against the reporting of sexual abuse or the exposure of abusers. It has become clear  that this is an issue in this community and the desire to save the community from embarrassment has come at the expense of victims. If you are aware of such abuse you are morally obligated to report it, or you yourself are as guilty as the perpetrator. If not sharing information either allows an abuse to continue, or leaves potential victims unaware and therefore vulnerable to abuse, that is clearly bad. What I am opposed to is the gratuitous gossip within the community once the matter is cearly known. Clear? Good!
First, Facts in Cases Like This Tend to be Murky and Unreliable, Especially In the First Few Days and Can Have Bad Consequences.
I give you for example, the case of Richard Ricci. After the much publicized abduction of Elizabeth Smart in 2002, authorites announced that they had a suspect, Mr. Ricci. He was a loner, ex-con, who had worked for the Smart family and knew their home. He was placed into custody, while many in the media tried to uncover as much info on him as possible. Most concluded that he must be the culprit. There was even evidence to suggest suscpicious activity.  He died in custody, leaving behind his newly wed wife. Ricci of course, was not the kidnapper. It was another suspect whowas captured over a year later.
The urge to jump to conclusions not only lead to the death of an innocent man, but it took attention away from finding the true culprits. Furthermore, it subjected Ricci's wife to undue scrutiny and harassment.
The evidence against Leivy Kletzky's alleged killer is much more conclusive. However it is likely that it will only get more comprehensive as time goes on. The lesson learned is nothing is lost by reserving judgement for the time being. The police and district attorneys are doing their job.
Second, lashon hara is a bad habit to start and a hard one to get out of.
It takes a bit a strength to resist the urge to gossip. The urge is only greater when the infraction is as horrible as the murder of a child. However, if you wish to controll the urge, there is no greater test then when you are presented with somebody pure evil. If you can resist speaking lashon hara about Leivy's killer, you can resist speaking lashon hara about pretty much anybody.
Third, Focus Should Be on the Victim
In all the articles I've read about this horrible episode, I've read lots of facts about the suspect. I know he has two ex-wives. He worked in a plumbing store. I even know where his father worked. I've heard many descriptions of him from creepy, to quiet or even kind to children. However I've head almost nothing about Leivy. What did he like to read? How did he get along with his sisters? Was he an active child or was he shy? How can anybody honestly utter the words Zikhrono Livracha (of blessed memory) if we don't know anything about him. Where is the article in the post telling us he he was? Where is the group on faceook that describes his favorite play activities?
Finally, it Honestly Does No Good.
Cursing the name of the alleged murderer will not bring Leivy Kletzky back to his family. Talking about his previous arrest, will not expediate his conviction and sentencing. Speaking lahon hara in this case will not affect him; it can only affect you...negatively. Anger is not a healing force. It is only destructive. In the Tanya it is described as an evil characteristic emanating from the element of fire. It will only hurt; and I refuse to allow the murderer of a child affect me in any way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Understanding UN Bias Against Israel -- Invitation to Durban 3 NYC Sept 21

Caylee’s Law would not have saved Leiby Kletzky.

      After three days of searching, we have learned that Leiby Kletzky is indeed dead. The young boy from Boro  Park went missing on his way home from summer camp. When he went missing. According to news reports, he had begged his parents to let him walk home alone that day. The Kletzky’s compromised and agreed to meet their son halfway. They never did.

      The tragic tale begs comparison with the case of Casey Anthony. We all know the case of Caylee Anthony, who was missing for 31 days before her grandmother reported her missing to police. Despite the bizarre behavior of Casey Anthony, the mother, police and prosecutors were unable to find enough evidence to convict her of killing her daughter.
      In the aftermath, a number of legislators and citizens have come out in support of Caylee's law. The law wouldamek it a crime for a parent to not report their child's disappearance within a timely manner.
In both cases a child was reported missing. Only in one case, the Kletzky’s wasted no time in reporting the child missing. However, in both cases the result is the same; a gruesome demise for an innocent victim.  It should be stressed that Caylee’s law would not have saved Leiby Kletzky or Jaycee Dugard or Adam Walsh; and for that matter Caylee's law would not have helped Caylee Anthony.

Missing 9-year-old B'klyn boy found dead: sources -

Missing 9-year-old B'klyn boy found dead: sources -

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Attacked by Arabs, Saved by Arabs: The curious case of Nir Nachshon

In a matter of minutes, one man from Israel experienced the greatest extremes of Arab culture; extreme violence and benevolent hospitality. The incident highlighted disparities within Arab culture, and begs the question. Are negotiations pointless or are we talking to the wrong people?     

     Nir Nachshon suspected he might have made a terrible mistake, but wasn't sure until he heard the excited cries of a young boy.


     Nachshon had made a wrong turn into a predominantly Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Within moments, adults responded to the child's alarms with stones and bricks. His attackers pulled him from his car and began to beat him to death. Then  suddenly he was saved. A local  Arab community leader, along with a couple others pulled him from the mob and brought him into a house, where he was protected until the police arrived.

Darwish Darwish,  one of the men who helped save  Nachson(left with Nachshon)  expressed disappointment with the event, but also said he was concerned with the poor conditions of the area.

What does this mean?

Israel is ever vigilant, for violence against citizens can happen without warning and with extreme prejudice. It casts further doubt over whether or not Jerusalem could ever be divided. Sharing the city with a sovereign and hostile state, would leave citizens at risk for random attacks.

However it does give some hope. The actions of Darwish, lend credence to the idea that some Arabs are ready to live in a sovereign Israel.

Maybe instead of continuing fruitless negotiations with Hamas and Fatah, Arabs like Darwish should be invited to talks with Netanyahu. He voiced his concerns for the welfare of Arabs, but clearly demonstrated an opposition to violence against civilians.

I think clearly now

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An appraisal of the levels of anti-Israel bias

Anti-zionism, is not Anti-Semitism is one of the chief defenses of the anti-Israel movement. But, Is it right? As much we Jews have historical habit of finding enemies 'round every corner. The world has become more complex and identifying our enemies has become harder. Sure, the terrorists are against us, that's easy enough. They make no illusions about wishing death to Israel. But, what about politicians and activists. Who do we trust? Who do we keep an eye on? The answers are even harder to understand than the question. Every criticism of Israel is on its own level. Even reasoned critiques of Israel don't exactly mean anti-Israel bias. Or does it?
10.  The Fair Weather Friend: 
Barely qualifies as anti-Israeli but needs to make the list if for no other reason then to bridge the gap between a passionate loyal supporter of Israel and a peacenik. When a bomb goes off in the Jerusalem shuk, they will be there to condemn Hamas. However, when a picture of a dead Palestinian "protester" makes it way to CNN, they won't offer a strong defense of Israel's military actions. They might go so far as to say they are "disappointed" This person can be highly educated, so their position on Israel is unlikely to budge. Truth be told this person is harmless, but irritating at times. In favor of a two-state solution, in which Israel is dominant.
Note: If the entire world was "anti-Israel" in this fashion. The Jewish State would be in great shape.
Most likely to say:
“Israel has the right to defend itself, but they are heavy handed sometimes.”
Gets information from: New York Times International Section Activities: Arab/Israeli dialogue symposiums. Examples: Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington
9.  Moral Equivalency
Still not quite anti-Israel, but has sympathies with PA Arabs. They will readily acknowledge that terrorist attacks are evil and need to be stopped, but are unlikely to do so unprompted. They are likely to believe that Israeli Defense Forces' actions are responsible for provoking militant action by Hamas, Hezbollah etc. This person might not condemn terror attacks because it should go without saying. Ultimately this person believes in peace (a noble virtue) but believes that this goal can be reached with negotiations, land deals and cease fire agreements(ultimately naïve).A big difference between this type and other liberal critics of Israel is they are unlikely to ignore the human rights violations of dictators around the world, including Arabs. In favor of a two-state solution in which both sides make painful concessions to bring about peace.
Most likely to say:
“Terrorist attacks are immoral, but Israeli actions may ultimately provoke them.”
Gets information from: New York Times Editorial page, John Lennon's "Imagine" Activities: Visiting with Israelis, but also Arabs who have yet to renounce Terror Examples: Hillary Clinton
8. The Morally Superior Intellectual 
This Person sometimes seems like he has a real bug about him on Israel. They will criticize Israel's defense actions, but remain oddly silent after terrorist attacks. These are the guys who describe Israel as occupiers and use words like Apartheid. Are in favor of a two state solution, but one that ultimately favors more Israeli concessions. They have a hard time acknowledging Arab hatred of Jews as a motivation for terror.
Most likely to say:
“Peace not Apartheid”
Gets their information from: European Press, Al-Jazeera Activities: Writing books critical of Israel walking tours of Gaza Examples: Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Christiane Amanpour
7. The Fire brand out for "Justice": 
Wildly unfair in his appraisal of the conflict. This guy looks at the plight of the Palestinians and can only see the muzzle of an IDF M-16. They will condemn IDF attacks on civilians, ignoring that Hamas and Fatah have blurred the line between civilian and combatant worse than anybody North of the African continent in history. People in this category have held Israel to a higher standard than any nation at a war in the history of the world.
Most likely to say:
“The Palestinian people are under siege and there have been war crimes committed against them. The hostilities against them need to cease and the perpetrators need to be prosecuted..”
Gets information from: Biased reports by Arab civilians, Activities: Lobbying UN to prosecute Israeli "war criminals" Examples: Richard Goldstone, Amnesty International
6. Anti-Zionist Hasidim 
You will see these guys protesting at the Israeli Day Parade. Neturi Karta, their philosophy is that Jews should not take control of the holy land until after the coming of Moshiach. What's not really known is that many Hasidim share a similar view, including the Lubavitcher Rebbe who sent many shulichim (representatives) to Israel. The difference is that The Rebbe never advocated any move that would put Jewish lives in danger.
Now to be completely clear the people who you see visiting with Yaseer Arafat and Mahmoud Ahmedinejad are part of a splinter faction that doesn't represent most. Their activism is ironic, considering that many of them live in Israel and current allegiances notwithstanding, would probably be murdered if the Israeli state were to fall.
Most likely to say:
“Be gone, hated Zionists”
Get information from: Unusual interpretations of Talmud Activities: Parading with Palestinian flags, spitting on non-religious Jews  Examples: Moshe Hirsch
5.Kaffiyah Heads:
 This are they guys that everybody thinks of when you mention left-wing liberal anti-Zionists. Their view of Palestinians as victims is so narrow there is no room for error. Will often equate the second intifada with the Warsaw uprising (inaccurately) Any mention of terror, will have them screaming about dead Palestinian children but they will never address the morality of Arab/Muslim terror attacks on civilians.
 Are ever present at every on-campus protest wearing a Palestinian Kaffiyah scarf. The odd thing about the Khaffiyah heads is that they are idolizing Yaseer Arafat who was a terrorist and an odd idol for "peace activists"
Most likely to say:
“Not in my name.”
Gets their information from: Internet message boards: Fliers Activities: On campus Protests, vandalizing Israeli products in stores
4. Flotilla Flotsam
These guys are like Kaffiyah Heads on cocaine. These are the guys who take part in the "Freedom Flotilla" They will tell of Palestinians under siege, but their opinions are short of context. Furthermore, their charitable acts often have little-to-no actual impact. It is pretty much established that the Flotilla's goal was not to deliver aide, but to break Israeli's blockade of Gaza. The most perplexing thing about these guys is their priorities. If their goal is to alleviate suffering and fight oppression their are places in the world were such oppression is  far worse (Sudan, Somalia, Eritria, Syria, Saudi Arabia just to name a few.) Also, they seem to be oddly silent about Palestinians who are killed by other Palestinians or somehow find away to blame even those deaths on Israel. The most famous of whom is Rachel Corrie who was killed in an accident when she stood in front of a bulldozer that was razing a home in the Gaza strip. Of course then theirs Vittorio Arigoni, who was killed deliberately by Palestinian terrorists.
Most likely to say:
“End the occupation”
Get their information from: Hamas Activities: Flotillas, Jumping in front of bulldozers Examples: Vittorio Arigoni, Rachel Corrie
2.(Tie) Despots and Terror Supporters
These guys while not directly involved in terror. Are the ones who make it happen. They fund terrorism and espouse violent anti-semitic rhetoric. Their goal is not merely the reclamation of the "land of Palestine" but the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of all the Jewish people. While they claim moral superiority in their advocacy for the Palestinian people, they use them as pawns in the game of "try to destroy Israel".
Most likely to say:
“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.”
Get their information from: They're at the top so they must be making it up. Activities: Funding terror through telethons for Hamas. Denying the holocaust Examples: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Sadam Hussein, Bashar Assad
2.(Tie) Terrorists 
These guys are the murders; the scoundrels; the haters. They kill even their own people. They kill soldiers, politicians,  children, mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters, sons, brothers, friends, teachers, painters, old, young, Jew, Muslim, Christian. The argument that they are motivated by altruism or defense of their home land and people or anything virtuous is so utterly ridiculous its barely worth refute. Lets do it anyway. Anybody who kills a child purposefully. Does not belong on this world and has no right to justify is actions.
Most likely to say:
“We are going to win because they love life and we love death”
Get Their Information from: Madrassas, Radical Imams Activities: Murder, bomb making Examples: too many to mention but Osama bin Laden, Hasan Nasrallah, but in particular Samir Kuntar
1. Holocaust Deniers. 
You might be surprised to see anybody beat terrorist. However, the despotism of the Holocaust denier is particularly insidious. It is because with the politician, there is the attempt to maintain an appearance of fairness. With the activist there is a misguided altruism. With the terrorist there is at least the minuscule part that is motivated by wanting his people to be victorious. But the holocaust denier is motivated solely by hate and hubris. KKK head David Duke (right) once traveled to Syria to address a crowd of ravenously anti Jewish Arabs. He aligns himself with despots like Mahmoud Amadinejad and other terrorists who wish to destroy Israel and the United States.
Most likely to say:
“[Zionists] occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government…It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington D.C. and New York and London and many other capitals of the world.”
Get Their Information From: The Protocols of the elders of Zion Activities: Spreading hatred, attempting to infiltrate government Examples: David Duke, Mahmoud Amadinejad, Mahmoud Abbas

David Harris of the Huffington Post Sets out Liberal Case for Israel

In a brilliant post from, last year, David Harris states succinctly, a liberal defense for the state of Israel. He excoriates "the bizarre anti-Zionist coalition between the radical left and Islamic extremists." It is everything I've been saying about Israel for years.

He delineates the reality of Israel's internal politics which are largely liberal and contrasts with the politics of the majority of its neighbors whom are extremely intolerant of  religious rights. This is a fact that many in the liberal wing of the anti-zionist coalition have trouble addressing.

Just try to imagine what would become of so many people if Israel were allowed to fall. If you think there are Palestinians suffering now, it would be nothing compared to what would happen if Hamas were allowed to overrun the Holy Land. All of those African refugees, gone. All of those humanitarian missions (Israel was one of the first into Haiti after the earthquake) done.

Consider the riots in Syria, Egypt, Iran, Libya (insert Arab country name here.) If anything, the objective evidence suggests that despite the Zeitgeist of anti-zionist politics, the Palestinians are better off with so-called occupation.
Yes, I had the temerity to suggest such a thing. The problem with the emotional politics, is that they don't allow you to see a few steps ahead. Geopolitics is a game of chess, not checkers.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Times’ Flotilla of Moral Equivalence

The Times’ Flotilla of Moral Equivalence: "pIn today’s Sunday New York Times, Jerusalem Bureau chief Ethan Bronner attempts to unravel what he considers a sea of spin about the Gaza flotilla being organized in Greece. Following the model of moral equivalence that has guided virtually all coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict in recent decades, the conceit of his piece in the [...]/p"