Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Celebrate Israel's 60th Birthday--Send Pizza or Burgers to IDF Soldiers on Active Duty

Are you wondering how to celebrate Israel's 60th Independence Day, coming up on May 8th? Well, for my part, first I am expresssing my gratitude to God for allowing me to witness what for almost 2000 years my ancestors prayed for, the restoration of the Jewish people in their own land, the Land of Israel, under their own rule.

Then I will honor those men and women who through their devotion to duty and the assistance of Divine Providence have allowed the State of Israel, although surrounded by mortal enemies, to survive to its 60th birthday--the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. Join me by sending pizza, or burgers and soda, to IDF soldiers on active duty in the field. You can send gifts to a jeep patrol, a section (10 soldiers) or an entire platoon. All food gifts are strictly kosher. All deliveries are coordinated with IDF security. Payments may be made online securely by credit card or Paypal. According to the website, gifts of over $250 are U.S. tax deductible. (Why not smaller donations as well? Don't ask me--I don't know.)

I treasure a letter I received from an Israeli soldier, after he returned home from active duty, telling me how much it had meant to his unit when they returned tired and hungry from a difficult patrol, and found hot pizza waiting for them, a gift from an American Jewish family.

Plutonium on the Euphrates

The Wall Street Journal says that it makes little sense to try to downplay the significance of Syria's secret attempt to build a plutonium breeder reactor, with North Korean assistance. Yet that is exactly what the U.S. State Department seems to be doing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Are African American Leaders Ignoring Darfur?

Why is it that one hears so little about the ongoing genocide in Darfur from African American leaders? Why isn't this a cause celebre for them? Arab Sudanese militias, the Janjaweed, have engaged in systematic slaughter, rape and looting of the non-Arab African population of Darfur. Entire villages have been destroyed. The survivors languish in refugee camps, which themselves become targets of Janjaweed raids.

Yet I dare say that the American Jewish community has been more outspoken about the genocide in Darfur than the African American community. Don't just take my word for it. In September 2006, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir blamed "Zionist organizations" for stoking public opposition in the United States against his government, through the organizing of nationwide protests against the violence in Darfur.

I ask this with pure motives and the hope that others will set me right: Are some African American leaders afraid to criticize Arab and Islamic interests, even in the face of black African victimization?

Ominous Sign: Iran and Sudan Military Treaty

Today's Sudan Tribune reports the ominous news that Iran and Sudan have entered into a full military cooperation agreement. (HT: Boker Tov, Boulder.)
As noted by JoshuaPundit, this treaty is part of an ongoing, comprehensive effort by Iran to spread its influence into the strategic horn of Africa and Central Africa. He writes:

"As I've noted previously, this is not the first time Iran has sought to extend its reach into Africa,using its Hezbollah proxy as a wedge. The Islamic Courts in Somalia are received assistance from Iran and Hezbollah, and Somali fighters from the Islamic Courts fought with Hezbollah against Israel in the last Lebanon War. This was part of a strategic jihad aimed at finishing off the resistance in Darfur, surrounding and marginalizing Christian Ethiopia and moving down into East Africa, where there are already substantial Islamist movements in Kenya and Tanzania.

"That plan was unexpectedly held up by the courageous efforts of the Ethiopian forces and their allies, who routed the Islamist forces and fought the jihadis to a standstill in Somalia.

"The new push by Iran involves a close strategic and military relationship with the jihadist regime of Omar al-Bashir in the Sudan, and an attempt to take over the neighboring country of Chad...and its oil and uranium."

The Sudanese-Iranian military pact is just one more sign that the next United States President will face the most daunting strategtic challenges, from Iran, from other Islamist forces, from Russia and from China. Who do you trust to be that U.S. President?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

White House Confirms that Israel Destroyed North Korean-equipped Nuclear Weapons Facility in Syria Last September

The truth finally did out, and now we no longer have to ferret it out from Syrian denials, as Dry Bones recommended back on September 24, 2007.

As reported in this blog in September and October 2007, on September 6, 2007, the Israeli Air Force, guided by Israeli commandos on the ground in Syria, destroyed a Syrian nuclear weapons facility under construction, which had been equipped and manned by North Korea.

At the time, some analysts, notably Obama campaign advisor Joseph Cirincione, questioned whether the destroyed structure actually had been a nuclear weapons facility. "This story is nonsense," Obama's adviser on nuclear threats told Foreign Policy magazine's blog. [For more on this angle, see Power Line.]

Today, the White House Press Secretary announced:

"Until Sept. 6, 2007, the Syrian regime was building a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium. We are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria’s covert nuclear activities. We have good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair on Sept. 6 of last year, was not intended for peaceful purposes. Carefully hidden from view, the reactor was not configured for such purposes. In defiance of its international obligations, Syria did not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the construction of the reactor, and, after it was destroyed, the regime moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence. This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities."

The Wall Street Journal was not impressed by the White House action. In a scathing editorial, the Journal questioned the commitment of the Bush Administration to stopping North Korean nuclear weapons development, and the proliferation of North Korean designed weapons programs. The editorial reads in part:

"Everyone who has looked at the incident has suspected as much [that Israel had destroyed a nuclear facility sold to Syria by North Korea], despite official refusals to talk about it. But the Administration's acknowledgment of it, even in classified briefings, makes its current stance toward North Korea seem odder than ever.

"The State Department has already given up on holding North Korea to its promise to disclose all of its nuclear activities. But now it appears that Foggy Bottom and President Bush are prepared to forgive North Korea for telling what the U.S. now agrees were lies about the North's nuclear proliferation to a Middle Eastern autocrat who is an enemy of America. At the same time, Bush Administration officials are saying that it is good policy to trust Kim Jong Il's declarations on his stockpiles of plutonium.

"So: Israel had to risk war with Syria to destroy a nuclear facility built with the help of lying North Koreans. But no worries, the U.S. says it can still trust North Korea to tell the truth about its current programs. This makes us wonder if the unofficial U.S. nonproliferation policy is to have Israel bomb every plutonium facility that the North Koreans decide to sell."

What is undoubtedly true is that the United State and the Western world owes another debt of gratitude to Israel, for stopping a nascent nuclear weapons program in Syria, just as it destroyed the Osirak nuclear plant in Saddam Hussein's Iraq on June 7, 1981. For that raid, Israel received only international condemnation, even from the Reagan Administration. That condemnation only changed to grudging thanks upon the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent Gulf War.

Israel's reward this time probably will be unrelenting pressure to make strategically damaging concessions to the Palestinian Authority in a misguided Bush Administration effort to earn its legacy through a Middle East peace agreement, the same shoals on which the Clinton Administration ran aground in its final months. It is both noteworthy and disheartening that the White House press statement failed to mention just how the Syrian nuclear facility was "damaged beyond repair on September 6 of last year." While the optimist in me wants to think that was White House cover for a still top-secret Israeli military action, the pessimist believes that for Israel, no good deed goes unpunished.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

AP Reports Syrian-Israeli Peace Talks, and Gets It Wrong, As Usual

The Associated Press, under the byline of a staff writer named Sam F. Ghattas, quotes a Syrian cabinet minister as saying that Israel has sent a message to Syria, stating that it is ready to agree to full withdrawal from the Golan Heights in exchange for a peace treaty. This is not news--Israel has continuously indicated its willingness to entirely withdraw from the Golan Heights in return for a peace treaty with Syria, most recently in early 2000, in an initiative launched by then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. I may view that policy as foolhardy, but that has been Israeli policy nonetheless.

However, the Associated Press incorrectly reports why Barak's peace feeler to the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, father to present President Bashar al-Assad (photo above left), faltered. According to Mr. Ghattas:

Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations broke down in 2000 over the extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which was seized from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war. Syria demands a full return of the territory, but Israel wanted to keep a small strip along the Sea of Galilee to ensure its control of its vital water supplies.

The truth is the "small strip along the Sea of Galilee" demanded by Syria was not Syrian territory under the 1949 ceasefire lines. In 1949, the Sea of Galilee (or the Kineret, as it is called in Israel) lay wholly in Israel, with the Syrian border 10 meters from the eastern coast. [Wolf, Aaron T., Hydropolitics Along the Jordan River, United Nations University Press (1995)] The 2000 peace negotiations broke down precisely because Syria demanded that its permanent border run to the east coast of the Sea of Galilee, including the 10 meter strip that had never been Syrian territory.

So how is it that the Associated Press got the story wrong? Well, reporters frequently make mistakes. But why is it that AP, Reuters and the other wire services, to say nothing of CNN and the rest of the Mainstream Media, so regularly make their mistakes in a way that makes Israel look bad. In this case, the AP story misinforms its readers that it was those nasty Israelis who torpedoed the 2000 peace negotiations with Syria, by not agreeing to "a full return" of all of Syria's territory, when the truth is that the talks fell apart because of Syria's additional territorial demands.

This Year's Model: The Perfect Democrat Candidate

From Ed Driscoll TV:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Return of History, With a Vengeance--Liberal Democracy Faces Off Against Secular and Islamic Autocracies

"Gallia est omnis divisa in partres tres," Julius Caesar famously wrote. "All Gaul is divided into three parts." Today Caesar might instead observe, "Mundus est omnis divisa in partres tres"--All the world is divided into three parts: liberal democracies, secular authoritarian autocracies and Islamic authoritarian autocracies.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, many political analysts exulted that no ideological challenges remained to liberal democracy. We had arrived at, as Francis Fukuyama most famously described it, "the end of history."

That illusion has dissipated. Robert Kagan has published a seminal article in The New Republic, entitled, "The End of the End of History." He argues that the 21st century will resemble the 18th and 19th centuries, in which the foremost ideological opponent of liberal democracy was the authoritarian, autocratic nation state. The difference now is that liberal democracy currently--but not necessarily permanently--is the dominant successful political/economic system. However, first China, and now Putin's resurgent Russia, have proven that there are alternatives to liberal democracy that can successfully combine economic growth and modernization with authoritarian government. Moreover, in both China and Russia, these alternatives to Western liberal democracy can legitimately lay claim to overwhelming popular approval. As Kagan writes:

"Growing national wealth and autocracy have proven compatible after all. Autocrats learn and adjust. The autocracies of Russia and China have figured out how to permit open economic activity while suppressing political activity. They have seen that people making money will keep their noses out of politics, especially if they know their noses will be cut off."

Kagan views Islamic autocracy as a smaller threat to liberal democracy, in part because he views the Islamist objectives of world domination and a retreat from modernism as unachievable.

However, Kagan notes, efforts to contain radical Islamism will be obstructed, if not crippled, by the resurgent rivalry between the secular autocracies, such as China and Russia, and the liberal democracies. That rivalry will also present secular, nationalist authoritarianism as a viable alternative to liberal democracy, an alternative that inevitably will be attractive to the petty dictators of the developing world.

Kagan has written a remarkable article that should be read and mulled over by every observer of international affairs. In particular, one hopes that it is read by all three of the current U.S. Presidential candidates.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Obama Has A Problem with Context and The Truth

Watch this split-screen video and listen for the words "great progress economically," as Obama claims McCain said those words, and then listen for those words in the McCain interview Obama is apparently quoting from:

This sort of thing is going to catch up with Obama soon. It may already be doing that.

Our Hedegehog Weekend Movie: 'Baracky"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yale Co-Ed Undergoes Multiple Abortions as Senior Art Project

This story from the Yale Daily News, which I wish were a hoax, but apparently is not, is possibly the most disturbing indicator I have seen of the degradation in the value of potential human life wrought by the pro-abortion movement. Yalie art major Aliza Shvarts (by her name, I am ashamed to say, apparently a fellow Jew) repeatedly inseminated herself over a nine-month period, and then took abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her senior art project will be an exhibition featuring video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process. Shvarts stated that she believes it is the nature of her piece to "provoke inquiry."

"I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity," Shvarts said. "I think that I'm creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be."

One would hope that the utter callousness and insensitivity toward potential human life displayed by Ms. Shvarts would give pause to most "pro-choice" advocates, if not to the most radical among them. In making that statement, I fully recognize that freedom to make a choice necessarily involves the freedom to abuse that right through irresponsible action. Yet some free choices have more serious social consequences than others. The degradation of society's perception of the value of potential human life is a very serious consequence indeed.

The seal of Yale University features the Hebrew words "Urim v'Tumim," which the seal translates into Latin as "truth and light." The Hebrew words in the Bible refer to the gemstones on the breast plate of the High Priest. During the era of prophecy, the nation of Israel would look to God for guidance by asking questions, and God would respond through lights shining in the Urim and Tumim. The Urim and Tumim were therefore understood by the founders of Yale University as the ultimate symbols of divine guiding light and truth. How sad that the ideals of this institution have been so trampled in the name of "inquiry."

Let me offer, as the Jewish counter examples to Ms. Shvarts, the Yale Five. These were five Orthodox Jewish freshman, men and women, who in October 1997, after months of fruitless negotiations with the University, filed a lawsuit challenging Yale's policy of requiring freshmen to live in co-ed dorms, or else pay a $7000 dorm fee. These students wanted only the option to live in single-sex apartments off campus, without paying the dorm fee, in order to avoid exposure to the standards of morality most recently exemplified by Ms. Shvarts. As their attorney, Nathan Lewin, wrote in a letter to the dean of Yale College:

"Their religious convictions forbid them from residing in dormitories that are readily accessible to members of the opposite sex for extended periods of time, including overnight visits. The experience of Yale students is that this is true of all Yale dormitories, including those that are designated `single sex....' The obligation to exercise care and modesty in living accommodations so as not to permit even inadvertent encounters between men and women is a long-standing rule of Jewish religious observance."

Yale refused this request, basing its position on its policy of encouraging on-campus life as an integral part of the Yale experience. Apparently the university viewed exposure to the sort of values that produced Ms. Shvarts' senior art project to be educationally essential for Yale freshmen.

In view of the recent brouhaha at Harvard over the institution of limited separate women's swimming hours instituted at a Harvard gymnatium pool at the request of Muslim women (an action by Harvard that, by the way, I support), it is interesting to speculate on how Yale would react today if the same request were made by Muslim students.

In any event, it appears that the modern Yale experience includes intentional serial insemination and abortion for the purposes of a senior art project.

This will be my last post before Pesach (Passover), which begins with the seder on Saturday night. In the Pesach Hagadah, the traditional seder ritual manual, we read about four iconic sons (children), the wise son, the wicked son, the simple son, and the son who is too young to ask questions. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, quoted by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz in a discourse I once had the merit of hearing, always said that the seder is not complete unless the wicked son is also present. In that spirit, I wish all of my Jewish brothers and sisters a happy and kosher Pesach, including Ms. Svarts, who I hope finds her way to a seder. And to my Brother Hedgehog and my non-Jewish brothers and sisters, may you receive the blessings of the Passover festival as well.

Thought for the Week

Small-town people of modest means and limited education are not fixated on cultural issues. Rather, it is affluent, college-educated people living in cities and suburbs who are most exercised by guns and religion. In contemporary American politics, social issues are the opiate of the elites.

--Prof. Larry Bartels, writing in the New York Times.Bartels is the director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University.

The entire piece is worth reading. Bartels' conclusion:

Mr. Obama’s comments are supposed to be significant because of the popular perception that rural, working-class voters have abandoned the Democratic Party in recent decades and that the only way for Democrats to win them back is to cater to their cultural concerns. The reality is that John Kerry received a slender plurality of their votes in 2004, while John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, in the close elections of 1960 and 1968, lost them narrowly.

Mr. Obama should do as well or better among these voters if he is the Democratic candidate in November. If he doesn’t, it won’t be because he has offended the tender sensitivities of small-town Americans. It will be because he has embraced a misleading stereotype of who they are and what they care about.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guest Post: Masks of Greedy Hands: Eagerly for, of, by Government

FROM THE PHONE BOOTH: The Smallest Space in Hollywood
by Steve Finefrock, Hollywood Conservative Forum

Analysts of liberalism include William Allen White, whose “Masks in a Pageant” includes this analysis in its introduction:

“[T]he liberal movement in world politics has had its rise, its day of power, its hour of tragedy and its passing. The liberal movement sought to make government an agency of human welfare. One of the major mistakes of the liberal leaders was that they sought to make government the only agency of human welfare. They forgot that masses who require the stimulation of a just prosperity for their happy well-being must themselves first learn to love justice in their own hearts before they can get much out of prosperity except food and clothes and shelter. Liberal governments brought much prosperity to Christendom, distributed the prosperity with something like equity – only to find that the classes they had improved materially were just as greedy and dull as their oppressors had been in the days before liberalism broke with the rusted chains of economic feudalism. Government helped as an agency of human welfare; it failed as the only agency.”

These insights are written in a different style than we normally encounter; they are observations still valid in this political era, though published in 1930 [written in 1928]. Before FDR had gotten his patrician paws on our economy, the Court and media – before the stock market crash had devolved into the Depression – before White would see the next rise of liberalism’s determination to be, if not the only agent, the primary and dominant [and domineering] agent of public welfare. History repeats itself, more than a mere echo or rhyme, more like a rampaging, repetitive reverberation of distraction, and destruction.

White writes about the late 19th century politicians, then through Wilson’s term, and a bit of a wrap with Harding. When his analysis of that era hit the book stands, Hoover was just wrestling with the growing grief of his gargantuan reputation [hard to imagine, but know it to be true: Hoover’s worldwide and domestic reputation was bigger at his peak than Reagan’s]. White’s long paragraph above erroneously credits liberalism with breaking the rusted chains of feudalism – a common mistake for the democrat author [though raised a republican] unlearned, and uninterested in learning, about how capitalism works to free us from medieval and mercantilist concepts of government decisions giving and government decisions taking away. White had no idea how government of Robin Hood’s Sheriff of Nottingham was to be repeated in FDR’s sheriff-like manner. It was yet still a wee bit down history’s yellow-brick road.

And White gets it wrong that liberalism ‘distributed’ the bounty of capitalism’s affluence, fairly or not – that is the process of the marketplace, a zipcode rarely frequented by democrats, then or now. But he did get it as right, and Right, as more recently has been set forth by Bill Bennett, Ronald Reagan, Hugh Hewitt, Charles Krauthammer, Dennis Prager, et al – that the needy classes “materially were just as greedy and dull as their oppressors” in the form of the coming unfettered power given unions by FDR’s dictum disguised as a mere Executive Order.

The copy of “Masks in a Pageant” in my hands is fragile – a special library loan, with instructions to be tender and caring in handling it. One recent op-ed cited “Masks” as the best rendering of political analysis of this period, and so it was a surprise to find the cited paragraph almost immediately. But not encouraging, since this repeat of stupidity is the continuing central cause of our agonies. That liberalism had been so identified – in its pre-1960 and pre-1932 definitions – as ultimately failing to deal with the urgent human needs for meaning – and to “love justice in their own hearts” at this distant marker in our history – is deeply discouraging.

Some wag has said that no one learns from history, another says that such folks are destined to repeat its mistakes. Still a third notes that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure do rhyme! All three are illustrated by this wee tiny discovery. As Reagan was maturing, and Bennett was learning, and Hewitt was yet to be a glint in his parents’ eye, William Allen White identified the problem that would plague us again, in FDR’s realm reaching to LBJ’s failed Great Society.

And which Barack wishes to visit upon us also – Have we not learned? Oh, WE have learned, we on the Right are on the Right because we have learned so very well these enduring insights. But America? The voters?

That’s our mission, to create a Weapon of Mass Instruction, and teach why conservatism is The Right Way, as in the correct way, to guide a government constructed of men who carry the burden of mankind’s flaws and sins. As I must be careful while handling “Masks in a Pageant” so we must be careful in handling how America sees conservatism – for a repeat again, a third repeat, after White’s documented era, followed by FDR’s era [culminating in LBJ’s not-so-Great-Society], might well be the one that breaks the American economic camel’s back.

Liberalism has twice had its supposed passing – let’s hope not to give it a chance to be thrice. That would not be nice, for us or others, which if America goes the way already taken by the rest of the world, then ask: Who will lead them back from the abyss, which so many foreign governments approach with their eyes blinded by socialism’s magic appeal? Reagan and White are dead – their observations are still very much alive and with us. That rhyme of the current time of Obama could be the last poem of American epic economic history.

Unfortunately it is not quite true – that “liberal … politics has had its rise, its day of power, its hour of tragedy and its passing” – for it continues its Greedy Hand [a term coined by “Common Sense” author Thomas Paine, of revolutionary fame], visible in those gesticulating pawings of Obama’s appendages as he greases the proctoscope for our body politic. That Greedy Hand does not believe its ‘hour of tragedy’ has had its passing.

They are striving for a third-time’s-the-charm return to power. And the Golden Dancer [see next Phone Booth] candidate may well inherit the wind of FDR and LBJ’s socialistic dreams. If not the Golden Dancer, maybe his Silver Sister in pants-suited cackles. Either way, the future will be turned into leaden decline.

Third time’s the Harm …. either of them in The Oval will put us, the U.S., into Harm’s Way, turning our economic fleet over to the socialist enemy, and enema, of this Most Important Nation. This third time at the proctologist will make their first two procto-politcos – FDR and LBJ – smile in their graves. JFK’s eternal flame of economic meddling will glow a bit brighter on that inaugural day, should either the Golden Dancer or Silver Sister take the oath.

And William Allen White’s 1930 book’s introduction will again be prescient, and an echo, a rhyme. And scary, petrifying proctologic provenance.

Monday, April 14, 2008

PLO Spokesman Says Its Ultimate Goal is Destruction of Israel

The myth that the American and Israeli public is constantly fed, not only by the mainstream media, but also by the Olmert government in Israel and the Bush Administration and U.S. State Department, is that there are two Palestinian camps. One is the radical Islamist camp, headed by Hamas, which rejects the legitimacy of Israel's existence, and has the avowed goal of destroying it. The other camp are the "moderates," headed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), who accept the legitimacy of Israel's existence, reject terroism, wholeheartedly support "the peace process," and want a Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel.

Unfortunately, this myth collides repeatedly with reality, usually when a spokesman for the PA or the PLO speaks in Arabic to an Arab audience. For example, before the Annapolis conference, lead PA Negotiator Saeb Erekat stated on Radio Palestine that the Palestinians will never acknowledge the existence of Israel as a Jewish State. Now, as reported by Israel National News, Abbas Zaki, the PA's ambassador to Lebanon, said the following on Lebanese television [translation courtesy of Middle East Media Research Institute]:

"In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine."

He futher defended "armed resistance," i.e., terrism, which the PLO supposedly rejected in the Oslo Accords, stating:

"We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return [of millions of Arabs and their descendants who left Israel in 1948 and 1967 -ed.] is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith."

Asked if this means he believes "in weapons, not just in negotiations," Zaki said that neither of them is effective by itself: "The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide."

The issue regarding violence, according to Zaki, is simply a question of tactics:

"The important thing is that in any [military] operation, Israel will pay a price. We don't want cases in which you [Arabs] don't kill even a chicken, but Israel kills 20 of you. I salute any operation that makes Israel pay a heavy price."

Zaki, by the way, was one of the masterminds of the PLO attack on the Israeli delegation to the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, in which Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes.

The PA, the PLO and Hamas all have the same stated goal--the destruction of Israel. They differ only in tactics, and in that Hamas brazenly announces its objective in English. When will the Israeli and American governments not only recognize this reality, but tell their citizens the truth?

I am actually grateful to Zaki for bringing home why Israel must never give up Jerusalem in negotiations with the PA. Zaki recognizes, even if Israel's secular leaders do not, that Jerusalem is the ultimate symbol of the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. If the Jews themselves do not believe that the Land of Israel, and its capital, Jerusalem, is our homeland, our only homeland, then, God forbid, the Arabs will indeed achieve their dream of destroying the State of Israel, and Jews will return to living as a remnant scattered among the nations, surviving at their sufferance.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jimmy Carter to Meet Hamas Leader in Damascus

Bolstering once again his credentials as one of the worst former U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter has announced his intention to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Damascus, over the objections of the U.S. State Department, which stated that the meeting went against United States foreign policy. Reuters reports:
"We have counseled the former president about having such a meeting," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, adding the advice was not to go ahead with such talks.

"U.S. government policy is that Hamas is a terrorist organization and we don't believe it is in the interests of our policy or in the interests of peace to have such a meeting," he told reporters when asked about Carter's plans.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jackie Mason Takes On Obama

And unlike the mainstream media, he doesn't hold anything back. Check out Jackie's insights in his videoblog on Senator Barack Obama and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. For those with too little time or who don't like to laugh, Mason holds that for Senator Obama to tell us that Reverend Wright has been his mentor and pastor for 20 years, but that he either didn't hear, or didn't listen to, or didn't agree with the Reverend's controversial opinions about our country, means that Senator Obama is a fake, a fraud, and unfit to be President of the United States. For those with real time on their hands, you could spend an afternoon browsing Jackie's videolog page here. Warning: Over the past months he has gone after Senators Clinton and McCain as well, and they fared only marginally better than Senator Obama. As always, Jackie Mason is an equal-opportunity offender.

Hillary Clinton Fires Mark Penn Over the Columbia Free Trade Pact

The Wall Street Journal theorizes today that the Clinton Presidential Campaign fired poltical strategist Mark Penn because he met with Columbia's ambassador to the U.S. to discuss the proposed Columbia free trade pact. If that is the case, it would be a tremendous reversal of Bill Clinton's support for free trade, one of the few laurels in his legacy. While the meeting may have produced the howls from organized labor that the Wall Street Journal claims, it strikes me that the evidence that this was the precipitating cause of Penn's dismissal (as opposed to the failing Clinton campaign) is weak. The interesting question is: Can John McCain make free trade a winning issue in the November election, when so many right-wing Republicans and independents have fallen into the anti-Nafta, protectionist camp?

4/9/2008 UPDATE: Well folks, this time the Kosher Hedgehog not only has been proven wrong on all counts, but he is delighted about it. News reports, such as this story in today's Los Angeles Times, confirm that the reason for the demotion of Mark Penn indeed was his meeting with the Columbian ambassador. Moreover, Hillary is doubling down in order to mollify her Big Labor supporters, reiterating her opposition to the Columbia free trade pact that Bill Clinton favors.

And in an editorial yesterday, the Los Angeles Times notes, "Either Clinton and Barack Obama secretly favor free trade but are pandering to blue-collar voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania by pretending they don't, or they actually believe their anti-trade rhetoric and simply employed campaign advisors who weren't on the same page." In either case, the Times' editorial concludes, "For Clinton and Obama, there can be no happy ending to this story. As president, they could either break their promises and embrace trade deals with the likes of Mexico and Colombia, thus disillusioning a key part of their base, or keep their word, thus badly harming foreign relations, damaging the U.S. economy and ultimately reducing job prospects for the very workers they purport to be trying to protect."

So yes, John McCain can make an election issue out of this, and one that not only appeals to independents and centrist Democrats, but also to the Democratic Party's Latino voters.

Perhaps McCain Hasn't Yet Won Over the Conservatives...

I spotted the above bumper sticker in Manhattan (although I found the photo on the web).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

Here's John Legend covering “Pride (In the Name of Love),” a U2 song.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hamas Children's TV Show Depicts Murder of President Bush and Conversion of White House into Mosque

From the folks who brought you Farfur, the AK-47 toting mouse, a Hamas children's television show presented a puppet show, in which the "hero" murders President George W. Bush with the "sword of Islam" and announces that the White House has been turned into a "big mosque for the Islamic nation and Muslim." A transcript of the puppet show and a link to a video showing it appears at the StandWithUs website and at Palestinian Media Watch. Hats off to Palestinian Media Watch for keeping the non-Arab world aware of the poison that Hamas and other Islamic extremists feed their children.

Anyone who somehow believes that only Israel, and not the U.S., has anything to fear from Hamas and its ilk is sadly deluded.