Monday, October 26, 2009
Israel’s Left-leaning Haaretz could find no better way to celebrate the 14th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's death than to publish 10-year-old letters written by Rabin’s wife Leah in which she called Netanyahu a “nightmare” and a “monstrosity.” And those were just the compliments. How typical of the glossy-eyed Left who believe that peace with Israel’s murderous enemies is attainable, yet find it implausible to reconcile with their fellow Israelis who sit to their “right” --even when that Israeli is a sitting prime minister.
Following the national tragedy of Rabin’s assassination, some believed, including Leah Rabin, that Netanyahu's differences of opinion with her husband were woven into a rhetoric that had instigated the violence that took the prime ministers’ life. Netanyahu served as the scapegoat the Left so desperately needed at the time. Their dreams of an easy peace and of a "Disneyland" in the Middle East were not materializing. After the historic handshake on the White House lawn, which was supposed to end all terror, buses and cafes were still blowing up in the heart of Israel. Arafat, with his Nobel Peace Prize (that hard to come by honor) made fools of Rabin, Peres, Barak, and President Clinton. It turned out that Netanyahu , their arch enemy, was right all along. What the Left called “instigating rhetoric” was simply a call for reciprocity by Netanyahu who believed in give and take, not just give and give. He cautioned that peace at any price was untenable and said that in the end “you'll pay that price – and you still won't have peace."
It appears the Left has never forgiven Netanyahu for being right or for making a comeback. It is ironic that the left side of the brain is responsible for short term memory, as Israel’s Left appears to have already forgotten what divisiveness has cost the Jewish people. Golda Meir once said there will be peace when the Arabs learn to love their kids more than they hate Israelis. Today it can be said that Jews will have peace when they stop hating each other more than the enemies who want to see them dead. The same applies to the liberal Jews in America who supported Obama, who showed hints early on that he is not a friend to Israel--from the people he associated with to the quick pivot he made in his statements at AIPAC regarding an undivided Jerusalem. Liberal leaning Jews, though I respect their right to differ in opinion, need to stop looking for love instead of respect. Stop pleasing, stop appeasing and start standing up for your God-given birthright and the future of your people and Homeland. In today’s world gays are proud to be gays, and terrorists are proud to be terrorists (no moral equivalence). But Jews, God’s chosen people, a great and productive nation, cower under the cloak of liberalism. Let’s call our own prime minister names and maybe people will like us more and see how open-minded we are. Yes, so open-minded that your brains have fallen out.
To introduce the hateful letter against Netanyahu now, especially in light of the grave state of world affairs, is nothing more than a smear campaign against the prime minister based on long term grudges but short-term memory. Those on the left who have been wrong on just about everything (don’t take my word for it, ask the 1000 Israelis killed in the Second Intifadah, the “peaceful” progeny of Oslo) are jealous that the prime minister is talented, articulate, strong and capable. Every Jew around the world and every Israeli should thank God that Netanyahu is PM now. Yes, he has made mistakes, but he has learned from them and he has come back as a better person and a better leader. He has earned his place as head of the Knesset by incessantly fighting for the well-being of the Jewish Homeland. If Bibi's opponents have nothing more than a decade-old letter from a deceased yente to hold against him, they'd do better to keep their mouths shut. Perchance Bibi’s Jewish detractors are also part of the Goldstone fan club and prefer to gaze east from the gas chambers than from Mt. Scopus.
The Jewish state is in greater peril now than perhaps it has ever been since its coming into existence. It would serve our people much better to galvanize around the common purpose of survival rather than pulling out old letters or rabbits from hats. Perhaps in the sprit of Halloween they raise the voice of the dead Leah Rabin to haunt the tenure of the current prime minister. I can assure you, he will not be frightened. He has seen Ahmadinejad’s face and it is indeed much scarier. For certain, Netanyahu is shrewd, clever, politically savvy and maybe he’s not even “nice.” But thank God for that, seeing the current crop of “friends” we have in the White House and around the world. While the Haaretz news site leads today with the story that the Palestinian leader sees no chance of advancing the peace process with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they may also want to enumerate the many reasons Netanyahu is such a tough negotiator. Maybe because when peace was possible, with Ehud Barak offering the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all the Gaza strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees, they reciprocated with suicide bombs. Olmert offered them even more than Barak. Oddly, still no peace was to be found. The Left needs to take a hard look at its agenda and decide if it wants to bury the hatchet--or bury more Jews. by Aliza Davidovit
Thursday, October 8, 2009
In Genesis we learn that God created the world through the power of words. "And God SAID let there be light, and there was light." And just a few verses later we read how the snake also used words to manipulate Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and drive mankind from Eden. And so, from the very beginning, we see that words have the power to create and to destroy.
Today we live in a world where words are more dangerous than ever. With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, texting, email and others, the ability to "spread the word," for good or bad, is greatly facilitated. For this reason, I have become a word "worrier" – growing ever more concerned about the war of words and falsehoods accelerating with dangerous velocity against Jews and Israel.
The whole world, best represented by the U.N., has witnessed the Jewish state being increasingly demonized and have either remained silent or joined the mendacious chorus. But silence, too, helps grout a house of lies. For instance, back in December, Israel warned Palestinians to evacuate targeted areas prior to launching Operation Cast Lead to avoid civilian casualties. Such efforts are highly untypical of any army; nevertheless they were met with a typical response: "Disproportionate Use of Force" – the U.N.'s rubber stamp reply vis-à-vis Israel, albeit inked in Israeli blood. These lying words stuck and grew into investigations and into the notorious Goldstone Report. Resolutions ensued, boycotts, too, to the extent that patrons refuse to shop at stores that carry Israeli products.
And then there are the Israeli athletes, scientists and filmmakers who were disenfranchised by their confreres in their respective fields, such as the recent Toronto International Film Festival where the likes of Danny Glover and Jane Fonda protested the inclusion of Tel Aviv filmmakers. And let's not forget the recent expulsion by Spain of Israeli scientists from a solar energy competition.
WND's Aaron Klein gets to the heart of Israel's decline in his new book, "The Late Great State of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation's Survival"
Slowly but surely the snake's tongue is coiling around the neck of my people. The Holocaust is denied by an evil madman who crushed his own people for protesting against his dubious re-election, but the madman's words have an audience – world leaders listen; students listen, a university invites him for a speaking engagement; CNN offers him a platform, and the Hotel-InterContinental Barclay comfortably accommodates his stay in New York, but Trader Joe's is boycotted for hosting kosher Israeli pickles on its shelves.
Continually the tiny Jewish homeland, 16 times smaller than the state of California and 76 times smaller than Iran, is threatened to be wiped off the map,but the world just masturbates over fantastical sanctions as enriched uranium is piling up as quickly as the sands of time.
Today Israel has no friends, nor strategic allies. Only 32 U.S. senators signed a petition against the Goldstone Report. What happened to the other 68?
(Column continues below)
In a recent interview, Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Gabriela Shalev, told me: "Israel is the only country in the world whose survival is threatened on a daily basis." This threat even reaches out to the worldwide Internet where word mongers spread their hate. In addition to outright hate sites, even the likes of Facebook are accused of being complicit in the building of lies and the quashing of truthful words, as they are suspected of continually deleting or deactivating accounts and profiles that support Israel.
And so blatant anti-Semites, many behind purportedly respected news desks, don't let truth and facts get in the way of a good hate-fest. Continually, as Israeli archeologists find proof of the Jewish biblical connection to the Promised Land, Jews are still maligned and accused of taking a country in 1948 from a people who didn't even exist prior to 1967, the very same "peaceful"people who have made the word jihad a household term. The hateful words continue even at the Human Right's Commission where Jewish settlements make it to the top of the list as a human rights atrocity.
Wake up, my fellow Jews. With their words, our enemies are creating a new world – one that doesn't include an Israel. Remember, Hitler also began his war against the Jews with hateful words – until the words grew legs and the storm troopers came marching in. Only when Jews were ash did they unite in common purpose. We must unite now as a people and bite back at every word and every lie with proof and passion or whatever means and influence is available to us to stop the spreading of lies and instigation of hate. Wishing won't make them go away. Don't take MY word for it. Take the word of 6 million dead Jews who also wished their enemies would go away.
I end with a clarion call to my people: "Cock-a-doodle-doo." The rooster can tell the difference between night and day – why can't you? by Aliza Davidovit
Friday, September 11, 2009
His father was a survivor of the Holocaust where human beings walked into buildings and exited as ash and smoke. And as he gently pushed my hand away from brushing off his pants, he said. “This is not dirt, this is not dirt, this is human remains, the ashes of human beings people who also walked into a building as human beings and exited as smoke and ash.”
In 2002, I began to work with John Miller at ABC News, the first American journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden and author of The Cell, a book that recounts the events that led up to 9/11. As Miller set up his new office, it seemed strange to me that among the awards and stylish décor he put out a hat on display that seemed oddly out of place. The hat, he explained, was that of John O’Neil, his best friend and the Chief of Security at The World Trade Center—a man who for years was aware of and warned about the threat posed by al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Ironically and sadly, he too died that day. I wonder now, eight years later, will that hat alone be his 9/11 legacy and have we learned anything at all?
May God bless the memories of the victims and may their souls finally be at peace.
(In memory of Calvin Gooding--who once lived in my building until he died in the WTC.)
by Aliza Davidovit
Friday, September 4, 2009
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 4, 2009
Statement by the Press Secretary on Israeli Settlements
We regret the reports of Israel's plans to approve additional settlement construction. Continued settlement activity is inconsistent with Israel's commitment under the Roadmap.
As the President has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop. We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate.
We do appreciate Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity and will continue to discuss this with the Israelis as these limitations are defined.
The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is and will remain unshakeable. We believe it can best be achieved through comprehensive peace in the region, including a two-state solution with a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.
That is the ultimate goal to which the President is deeply and personally committed.
Our objective remains to resume meaningful negotiations as soon as possible in pursuit of this goal. We are working with all parties – Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states -- on the steps they must take to achieve that objective.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
There is an old joke that when Israel’s Golda Meir met President Richard Nixon, she told him that her job was much harder than his. “You may be the president of 200 million people,” she said, “but I am the prime minister of 2 million prime ministers.”
From Moses to Netanyahu the Jewish flock has always believed it knew better than its shepherds--and it never beat around the burning bush to criticize, to opine, or to dissent. Herein lies one of the greatest secrets of their success as a nation and a people: Jews have a generous ability to look at their own kind and find fault. The Israeli press corps is among the most free in the world to criticize its government--and it does so with glee.
Indeed, Jews are the most persecuted people in history but it has not resulted in a blind allegiance toward one another. And it is here that I pivot to African Americans and urge them to take a tip from the Jewish “race” book.
In late April a New York Times survey showed that 96 percent of blacks approved of the job that Obama was doing as president. In late July a Rasmussen poll revealed the president had a 97 percent approval rating among black voters. Tuesday a Marist poll showed that if an election was held now 99 percent of Black American's would favor Obama over Sarah Palin. Another Marist poll shows that 87 percent of African Americans report President Obama is handling the [healthcare] situation appropriately compared to 38% of whites who approve and 44% of Latinos.
But are African Americans doing themselves a favor by blindly supporting Obama simply because he is America's first Black president? If their aim is to have great success as a people, they should be doing the opposite and unabashedly criticizing and questioning his policies. Through scrutiny and close vigilance of their leaders, Jews have helped foster success and personal growth both on an individual basis and as a people. Similarly, African Americans should be harder on Obama than anyone else because just as they hold him in high regard as an icon of success--as they should--his responsibility toward them cuts both ways. He succeeded to make it as the first Black president—great--but will he make it as president. If he fails, will all blacks fall with him?
Whenever a Jew is in a position of power, for instance, Senator Joseph Lieberman, especially when he ran for vice president with Al Gore, all Jews began to get nervous that he would do or say something that would reflect badly on the Jewish people, especially because he was an Orthodox Jew. They made sure to let him know. He was termed “the conscience of the Senate.” How could he not be? He had the guilt trip of over 5 million American Jews and one Jewish mother tucked well under his yarmulke.
This self-serving censuring runs across Jewish life. Let me say with authoritative knowledge that there is rare a rabbi in this country and around the world who has not been lambasted, fired or censured by his congregants or his synagogue board for comments made that were deemed unacceptable. Rabbis get flack if their speeches extend five minutes into lunchtime, never mind for their content. Jews take each other on with great vigilance and often little mercy when they feel their own people are doing and saying something wrong. We saw no such reaction, however, from African American's in their churches or from Obama himself who sat in Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years while he damned this country and the Zionists. And I believe there is an equal reluctance now to confront Obama’s policies. African American’s can’t expect the world to be color blind while at the same time they support Obama blindly. A scaffold built of sycophants will never build true success but just sustain it for awhile. They must take their leaders to task.
No one is right 100 percent of the time and if people go unchallenged they become less right yet evermore righteous. True, I too get upset when I hear a Jew criticize another Jew or Israel publicly. The initial instinct is “we have to stick together.” But part of what made the Jewish people a successful people is the diversity and challenges we pose to one another. It’s a process of refinement. When I had to bash Israel, I did so abashedly. When I interviewed CNN Journalist Wolf Blitzer, a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors, I asked him how he had the gall to be critical of Israel in some of his reports. He answered, “My parents always taught me that you don’t do anybody any favors by covering up mistakes, otherwise people tend to repeat those mistakes.” That, my friends, is transparency!
A people’s potential is much like a muscle. If you offer it no resistance it will never grow or strengthen into greatness. Indeed, there was a time when both Jews and Blacks cried “let my people go." But now is the time to let their people “grow.”
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I was new to New York then—I didn’t understand that things of value such as Chanels and Guccis, Louis Vittons and Dolce Gabbanas could be imitated so cheaply. Just slap on a label and you could saunter down Madison Avenue with the best of them. But the concept slapped me on the head like an old woman pummeling a mugger with her lead-laden purse. People don’t care about the truth or the substance, they care about the show. Ouch! It was a harsh welcome to New York.
I deemed it then, as now, a fraudulent fashion faux pas that led me to much profounder questions about life. Those imitation handbags have since reminded me of swine and distinctly why pigs from all other non-kosher animals are the most vilified. The reason being that a pig has exterior features which suggest it’s a kosher animal—it has split hooves-- but it has internal qualities which make it intrinsically not so. Yet this duplicitous show-and-tell of our “external things,” I believe is the underlying cause for so much of our unhappiness today.
I guess it bothered me deeply because it was a strong symbolic shout out that we are all on a constant treadmill of lies, each trying to impress the other with B.S. And if we do serve to impress another with our “phony’ external trappings, titles, glitter, no matter what, on the inside we know the truth between what we show and what we truly are. And it is in that gap between “showing” and “knowing” where our better nature rots.
If today’s financial bust has taught us anything, it is to start being happy with less. Much of the crisis has come from people, governments and financial institutions living beyond their means and incurring unsustainable debt. Happiness was defined for so long as “more.” Yet, interestingly, surveys have shown that even as Americans grew richer over a 30-year period, there was no positive correlation with happiness.
It’s fascinating that not too long ago, before the economic collapse, bling was the thing-- it was fashionable for people to flaunt their possessions, wealth and success. Today, it is taboo. The new rage is for people to cry poverty in unison and commiserate how much they lost with Madoff or the market. Understated is the new flashy.
So what happens now? Can we no longer be happy because we are curtailed from showing off? Or perhaps now is the perfect time to reassess what happiness really means, authentically! We should seek happiness that is not manufactured in China or Italy, but rather from within by being kind, doing good, elevating the world, serving G-d and our better natures, and opening those handbags, designer or not, in meaningful and charitable ways. “You can stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. I’ve heard they’ve died of exhaustion.” (anonymous)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
And yet another one travels down the “zippery” slope of adultery. Is anyone shocked? Political pants have been falling since time immemorial. The Belt Way boys have always unbuckled their belts along the way. The First ladies may be first, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. The short list of political cheats includes Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, JFK, Rudolph Giuliani, James McGreevy, Gary Condit, Gary Hart, Newt Gingrich, John Edwards, and who of course can forget Bill Clinton, who allegedly dropped his pants so often that his zipper all but collapsed from metal fatigue. And then who can forget Elliot Spitzer, the “Hammer of Wall Street,” who went down the wrong street himself and became client number 9 when Spitzer’s shpritzer went to Washington. And now Gov. Mark Sanford admits that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. Well, look who’s crying now Governor, it’s certainly not Argentina, but rather, your wife, your party, your followers, your kids, your career and your G-d.
So what have we learned? That somewhere between being smart players and devoted family men, these politicians keep getting their brains caught in their zippers. Then they go on the apology tour and in time all is forgotten. But sorry shouldn’t be good enough.
I take greater umbrage with the women who stand by their men while every other women is on top of them. By what warped grading system do we give these women credit for sticking around after they’ve been lied to, cheated on, and put at risk of life threatening STDS. What are these women teaching their own young daughters? That “It’s okay if someone treats you badly and betrays you--stand by his side and forgive him. Be weak and accommodating.”
Ladies, if he's a shmo, then you should go!
And in the future, let’s start putting instructions on men’s briefs: Keep your fruit in the loom.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Some men will tell a woman anything to seduce her and vice versa. Why? Because, it’s human nature to say what you have to say when you desire something bad enough. For life, for liberty, for love, you find the words. But how about for land? The land lust the Palestinians have for the Jewish Homeland has had them not only salivating at the chops, but have had both peoples dripping with blood and sharing the good earth--underground. Yet what remains most telling of the Palestinian agenda is not so much what they won’t do as regards Netanyahu’s speech, but what they will not say: Israel has the right to exist and is the state of the Jewish people.
And that is why Netanyahu’s speech was very wise, despite the naysayers on all sides. (Indeed it is only the Middle East where you can’t please any of the people any of the time.) What Netanyahu’s speech served to do was multifold. To start, the location of the speech held at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies was certainly symbolic and a silent call to Arab leadership to emulate the courage of Anwar Sadat. (And by the way, is there a Rabin Center in any Arab University?) But in not mentioning the name of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu served to undermine Abbas’ already tenuous grip on power and as such sent him--the would be partner in peace--into a rhetorical tailspin evoking the next intifada. The demonizing of Israel is always a way to galvanize political support for Palestinian leaders. The juxtaposition of Abbas’ reaction to Bibi’s policy speech that invoked the word “peace” 43 times served well to illustrate the mentality and temperaments Israel is surrounded by. They won’t even whisper sweet nothings to get Israel into bed, they just want to shtup them right out. Though the West may refer to Abbas as “a moderate” it may serve to be reminded that he is a Holocaust denier, a denial which was the basis of his Ph.d. thesis making him a moderate who has a lot in common with Ahmadinejad. And whereas Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map, Abbas has yet to recognize that Israel is on it.
“We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors,” Netanyahu said in his address. “I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends; I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war.” But good thing Netanyahu was once coined the man most women would want to share a bomb shelter with or Abbas’ rejection might have left him hurt and lonely. To Bibi’s outstretched hand the Palestinians responded: "It's obvious, in the aftermath of this speech, that we are headed toward another round of violence and bloodshed," according to a Haaretz article. If a mere policy speech can launch a new intifada, hmmm maybe, just maybe the Palestinians aren’t quite ready to love their neighbors as themselves.
But students of history should not be surprised by the Palestinian leadership’s reaction to a chance for peace and prosperity for their people. When Israel evacuated the Gaza, instead of building the country they have gladly killed and died for, by developing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, businesses and a future for their people, the Palestinians have built downward, digging tunnels and digging graves. While they vilify Israel for denying humanitarian aid then instead of using those tunnels to smuggle in rockets, let them smuggle in a band aid, a tomato, medication, children’s books and other life enhancing things. And never mind Gaza. The Palestinians were offered a two-state solution in 1917, 1937, 1948, 2000 and 2008. “Ehud Barak shocked the world by offering the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding,” Alan Dershowitz writes in his book The Case for Israel, “including a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all the Gaza strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees.” They reciprocated with suicide bombs. That’s no way to enhance a love affair. Olmert offered them even more than Barak. He, too, was spurned. And now a right wing prime minister, Netanyahu, calls for a two-state solution and he is accused of postponing peace for 1000 years and “burying the peace process.” It’s quite obvious by their call to arms and denial of Israel that they’d much rather be burying Jews.
In his speech Netanyahu was correct in questioning, “If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace? Why has this conflict continued for more than sixty years?”
Perhaps the answer can be learned in Palestinian classrooms where a next generation is inculcated to hate, to kill and to die. Golda Meir was prescient when she said that there will be no peace as long as the Arabs hate Israel more than they love their own children.
And then along comes Obama, naive at best and certainly an ambiguous friend to Israel, who thinks he can realign the Middle East, dispel ancient grudges, synchronize grating ideologies, and usher in a new age. I simply suggest that if he has such talents let him begin in America and sit down with the KKK and charm them into liking Jews and Blacks. Then he should cast a spell on Democrats and Republicans to fall in love, and finally, he personally should make amends with Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and publicly exchange ideas with them before he tries it with Ahmadinejad. When he has accomplished these great peacemaking feats in his own country, perhaps then he can export his messianic powers to the Middle East.
His apparent lack of understanding of the region is dangerous. And thus if Obama was Netanyahu’s sole intended audience, then the Israeli leader was wise to give him a history lesson. “Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence,” Netanyahu said.”The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel’s independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the Six-Day War in an attempt to tighten a noose around the neck of the State of Israel. All this occurred during the fifty years before a single Israeli soldier ever set foot in Judea and Samaria.” Dear Palestinian leadership, Israel is a naïve mistress and even after all the bloodshed and rejection you may find a kind word goes a long way. Teach your children to respect instead of hate, tell Israel she has a right to exist as a Jewish homeland and you just may talk your way into a homeland. Words have power. Look what they did for Obama. “Yes we can” live in peace. Can you?
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The one thing about Israel’s enemies that I’m grateful for is that we know exactly where we fall with them. They want the Zionists dead, the Jews driven into the sea, and Israel, that tiny dot of a country whose land mass occupies only a 1/2 of 1 percent of the Middle East, wiped off the map. The entire Jewish homeland can fit into Iran alone 76 times. Thus, it is no wonder that Tehran is casting such an ominous and threatening shadow over Jerusalem.
An existential threat is consolidating with vigor and purpose as Iran gets ever closer to its nuclear ambitions.
And that, my dear readers is exactly why I would vote for Ahmadinejad. Duplicity is not his forte. He blatantly declares the first Holocaust never happened and he is committed to perpetrating the second one. I thank him for his honesty. After all, forewarned is forearmed. Therefore, when Iran holds its elections on June 12th, I hope Ahmadinejad wins instead of a more moderate face that will placate the West and buy Iran the time it needs. But regardless of which president will face the West, we can’t forget that the true power lies with Ali Khamenei who, on June 4th, will celebrate his 20th year as Supreme Leader of Iran. As Alan Dershowitz recently stated: “When Ahmadinejad incites genocide, he does so with the full force of the Iranian government behind him.”
But as for Israel’s friends? Do we know exactly where we stand with them? In a pre-election speech at AIPAC in 2008, Obama stated his commitment to the Jewish State with his oft repeated phrase, “Let me be clear… Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.” And then with a pirouette-like move that would make Baryshnikov envious, he modified his statement saying Jerusalem is a final status issue that has to be negotiated between the two parties. But that’s old news. What is new news is that the world is on fire and appeasement is the dangerously dry hose Obama believes will put it out. As such, he bows to the Saudi Prince, offers rogue nations an outstretched hand filled with “carrots” and its stalwart ally the stick, and tries to outsource our foreign policy to China and Russia, vis-a-vis North Korea and Iran. But America can’t outsource all its jobs, some have to be done here--like that of being a President.
Obama would be better off eating those carrots to enhance his long-term vision and sharpen his insight on global affairs. His administration’s adamant and vocal stance on the dismantling and freezing of settlements seems indeed unsettling relative to his reaction to North Korea and Iran. Basically, his logic is if you’re building a nuclear bomb lets sit down and talk, but if you’re building an extension to your house to accommodate “natural growth,” absolutely unacceptable! What a shame indeed that Ahmadinejad isn’t building houses, maybe then Obama would teach him a thing or two. It is fascinating and tragic that even in their own homeland Jews should not be allowed to build housing to accommodate their growing population. Can you imagine trying to apply that concept in Harlem and telling African-Americas that they cannot move into the area because room has to be made for white people. How racist! How unacceptable. And even if the Obama administration strongly believes houses are an impediment to peace--forget for the moment about Hamas, Hizbullah, suicide bombers, terrorist training camps, weapon smuggling in Gaza--if they were as concerned about Israel’s security as they profess to be, they would accommodate Israel’s need to use the settlements as bargaining chips in any future peace negotiation. But, in the meantime, Mr. President, please “Let my people grow.”
For certain the stage is being set to cast Benjamin Netanyahu as the pariah prime minister who ruined Israel’s steadfast relationship with the United States. It is already being orchestrated with the slight to Netanyahu that Obama sets out on his first trip as president to visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia and won’t be touching down in Jerusalem.
Nevertheless, let’s not forget our history. The love affair between Israel and the U.S. has had its lovers’ quarrels: In '56 Eisenhower threatened to cut off all political and economic support to Israel until Israeli troops withdrew from Sinai; in '75 Ford threatened a major shift in U.S. policy unless Israeli troops withdrew from the Suez Canal; in '82 Reagan warned the country that it would suspend U.S. aid if it continued its operations in Beirut; in '91 the first Bush administration threatened to cut off loans to Israel if it expanded settlements in the West Bank; and in ’98 Clinton promised Netanyahu that if he advanced peace by signing the Wye Agreement, Jonathan Pollard would be released. Netanyahu signed; Clinton reneged. Though Israelis may debate who was Israel’s best friend in the White House throughout the years, Washington never had to question who its best friend was in the Middle East.
But as for the current players directing the course of history, it is true that both Obama and Netanyahu have much in common. They are both telegenic, gifted orators, talented politicians who each at a young age outflanked their veteran competitors and surprisingly seized their respective helms. But Obama needs to understand one thing: politicians in Israel live life in dog years. What Obama has yet to learn Netanyahu has forgotten. Netanyahu, who I have interviewed after his last term in office, may have begun his journey as a glib politician but I believe he has emerged as a statesman. As a student of Churchill, the son of a famed historian, the brother of Entebbe’s killed hero, an advocate of reciprocity, and a custodian of the Jewish people in crucial times who longed to retake the office for 10 years to correct the mistakes of his prior tenure, he will not wait too long to figure out who his friends are. Interestingly, in a biography about Netanyahu, it is recounted that as a young soldier during military exercises and rescue missions he would never lay down on a gurney and play the victim. The symbolism is clear. Today, as Obama is bowing and bending and pandering to Israel’s foes, let us hope that Bibi’s backbone is as tough as his rhetoric and that he will do what he must to save his nation. He owes it to his forefathers and he owes it to his sons.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
We are certainly living in tough economic times and indeed many people have lost a lot. But this article is meant to take a more positive look at current events because even though many people have lost much of what they “have” they didn’t lose who they are. And if they think they did—they have it all wrong.
In the spirit of Valentines, I want to talk about love.
There is not a religion that does not preach “to love your neighbor as yourself.”
But just let us say we hate ourselves, does that give us license to treat our neighbor wrongly, meanly, abusively?
That religious tenet is predicated on the belief that we actually love ourselves.
So I question whether there is so much hate displayed toward each other in the world today because on some level most people hate themselves. Or HOW they love themselves is completely wrong.
For the many who don’t know me, I’m a journalist who has interviewed the who’s who for quite some years now. I have had the opportunity to meet billionaires to heads of state, from prime ministers to musicians. I have met them on their way up and some on their way down. I’ve seen them humble and often way too haughty. And what I have observed up close and personal is how many of these people (and not just them) come to define themselves and love themselves for what they own and their titles and their status. Many of them are hiding under the banners of success because they don’t love themselves enough to stand alone. Get into a conversation with anyone and within five seconds they ask you what you do for a living and vice versa. We have all become so impressed by external trappings that we come to mistake those things for who we really are. By our affiliations and titles we convince ourselves of our own greatness. And then some sad day comes along, such as today’s economic hardships, and all the materialistic things that have come to define us are swept away. And so many find themselves with an identity crisis and don’t quite know who they are or if they are worthy of love. They sink into depressions because they don’t have that business card to give out anymore that says, Vice President of Shmendriks Incorporated. And in order to hang onto their status and titles, or to secure them, many behave dishonestly, and they lose the better part of themselves for illusory gains. When you sacrifice the better part of yourself for success, how can you still love yourself? And if you love what's fake about you, how can you ever love what's real, authentic and simple in another?
All of life today feels like an American Idol contest or reality TV show with only one person who makes it to the top and everyone else, well, is considered the loser—not good enough. So no wonder we walk around paranoid, jealous, self hating and frequenting psychologists. And then we go to the book stores and therein we find thousands of books each book selling you on how to be the best lover, the best wife, the best cook, the best talker, the best YOUTUBE star, the best con artist. Basically what these books are saying is that we are not good enough—we have to be the best—and so again we walk away with a broken spirit because at the end of the day we are not the best computer-savvy-sweet-talking gourmet cook who’s awesome in bed and can sell anybody anything and earn $15 million if we study chapter 4 on “how to be the best at everything at all times by Wednesday morning.” There is a much better book that came out a long time ago called the Bible and maybe, if more people read it, they’d get back to the core and really become the “best” person they could be.
I am by no means diminishing ambition, the desire to succeed or success itself. But I really feel we have turned toward false gods and now that they have let us down, we are crumbling.
During these very hard economic times each of us should take a much more loving look at ourselves and realize that all the materialistic things we own, or don’t own, and the lofty positions we have held or have never held, are not what make us, US…And if you think they do—then you don’t really love yourself or know yourself.
Ask any survivor of the January airplane crash if they were thinking about their cars, their money or their jobs as their plane was plummeting into the Hudson. One guy even took off his pants after they crashed because he thought it would help him survive. I truly believe that when each of us will truly learn to love ourselves for who we are only then can we really love anyone else.
Don’t forget, the greatest people in history left us not golden treasures, but pearls of wisdom and a legacy of love.
There are those who say that when a person dies and goes before the heavenly court on his day of judgment, he is not asked why he wasn’t as good as Moses was, or as Jesus was, or Ghandi was, he is simply asked, why weren’t you as good as YOU could be. If you enter that contest you are sure to be, the next American Idol.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
You know we are living in sad times when a peanut butter sandwich can kill your kids. Poison in our lunch boxes, tax evaders running the treasury. What's next? Pedophiles running the board of education or Ahmadinejad running the missile defense program?
With so many depressing headlines, we can't help but worry about the future. But I fear we are forgetting to focus on the most important aspect of it – Generation Next – our youth. I'm not only concerned with the salmonella sandwiches we are giving them, but with what we are failing to give them: morality, values to live by and role models to emulate.
There are many causes behind almost every one of today's upsetting headlines: greed, corruption, official malfeasance – and let's not forget our own apathy to make all these wrongs right.
But I have news for you. Kids watch us silently, and when we fail to fight wrongdoings, we serve to endorse them. And the kids take it all in.
(Column continues below)
Did you know that today's youth spend approximately six hours a day in front of a screen, either the TV, the computer, video games, iPhones, etc.? So, who is filling the moral gap for them? Tom Daschle? Rod Blagojevich? Michael Vick? Timothy Geithner? Britney Spears? Can you imagine taking the morality of all these individuals, putting them in a blender and then pouring this slimy smoothie into an impressionable youth? You'd end up with an alleged mother-beating dog-killer who doesn't wear underwear while shafting the country as he auctions off a Senate seat for which he refuses to pay taxes. Just add a splash of vermouth to the mix and you have a future congressman.
The biggest oversight failure we are guilty of today is neglecting to morally edify our youth, to teach them right from wrong – not only by preaching but by doing. It has been scientifically proven that screaming at the anchorman on your TV will do nothing at all. So, don't just be a grouch potato; get up and make a difference. Lead the way by example. Activism is just as contagious as apathy.
This new generation is tomorrow's regulators and senators, and if we don't serve as active role models, tomorrow may very well be worse than today. There is already a trend for teens to text nude pictures of themselves over their cell phones. How truly revealing, literally, as to where they are heading.
That is why I am thrilled that Kellogg's didn't go soggy on this one and will not be renewing Michael Phelps' contract. Along with his medals came a duty of responsibility. Had he faced zero consequences, we would once again have taught Generation Next: You can do anything and get away with it. He got the "gong" because bong was wrong. Am I being a bit harsh? No, I'm being terribly merciful to the next generation. What saved everyone on Flight 1549 was that they had a consummate professional who lived his life by following the rules and perfecting himself. Can you imagine if it was some pilot who had cheated on exams and got away with it, who was an alcoholic and got away with it, who got his job because of nepotism or lofty connections and got away with it? Guess what? There wouldn't only be six dead geese; there would be 155 dead passengers floating in the Hudson.
We have to stop falling for all these people who cheat us and then go on the apology tour and cry on prime time about how sorry they are. We can't keep forgiving them like abused housewives. If we fall for everything, how can our youth ever learn to stand for anything. The future, yes, may very well be on all our minds, but let's never forget, it's in their hands.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Stop shouting at the TV anchor and please write, call, protest, and make your voice heard and be an active participant in your own future.
Monday, January 26, 2009
It has often been said that sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never harm you. But perhaps that’s a rhyme we should stop telling kids because, frankly, it is not true.
We have only to look back to the book of Genesis to see how powerful words are. God created the WORLD itself through words: God SAID let there be light and there was light. And with words He spoke each thing into existence.
If this past week has shown us anything, it is that the power of words and the power of silence really do shape the world we live in.
On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, we not only celebrated the life of a man, but the life of his words. “I have a dream” were words which once landed ON people’s hearts but took 46 years to get INTO people’s hearts. Nonetheless, they prevailed-- and with the election of Obama freedom did ring -- and words breathed history into life.
And Obama too gave us words to hope by, such as, “Change we need,” and “Yes we can.” But short of “Bush” whacking the definition of “change” went undefined and “what we can” is still a mystery. Nonetheless, America pinned its future on nice sounding slogans and Obama climbed his way to the top, not by experience, but by one sound bite at a time. And, we, still not quite sure of what we heard, have yet to see whether well-spoken words will help our economy, whether rhythmic rhetoric will keep us safe, and whether the gift of gab will turn Ahmadinejad and his like into Gandhis.
And then there are the “peaceful” word warriors at the UN whose favorite words, as regards Israel, were repeated once again: “disproportionate use of force.” The UN bangs those words on Israel like a rubber stamp that inks itself only in Palestinian blood (never victimized Israelis). They are pre-typeset words which can never accommodate truth or objectivity.
But when we fail to fix the falsehoods of words they become realities, they become accepted, they become truth. After Israel won the ’67 war, there was rare an Israeli who termed the West Bank or Gaza “occupied territories” but their Palestinian opponents fought harder and WON the word war. Now even the Israeli’s have adopted the word “occupied” into their terminology. Compounding that is the term “Palestinian” itself. Palestinians weren’t even called Palestinians. Until 30 some odd years ago, they were Jordanians and Egyptians. From this repeated appropriation that went unchallenged a new reality created itself in the Middle East.
And now a new war of words rages in the Gaza post Operation Cast Lead: Hamas declares a “victory” and Israel declares “objectives accomplished.”
Perhaps we have only to look back to Hitler to see how powerful words really are. Hitler did not begin his war against the Jews by sending them to gas chambers, he began it with hateful talk which paved the path to the ovens, proving that words are not benign and that they may very well be even mightier than the sword.
It may be intersting to note that the words abracadabra are Aramaic words which mean “I create as I speak.”
The power of words becomes evermore clear when they are left out. This week in China certain words were censored from Obama’s inauguration speech because they were deemed “anti-communism.”
While this week in the Netherlands a Dutch lawmaker was tried for insulting Islam and may soon be silenced by a prison term.
And just when we thought it only happens elsewhere, this week over a dozen radio STATIONS censored Rush Limbaugh’s commentary on the inauguration. Why? Because, he is among the few savvy listeners who didn’t tattoo “Yes we can” on his posterior.
And it gets much more upsetting because now President Obama himself warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to Rush Limbaugh. My dear listeners, sissent is the vital sign of a democracy and if Obama seeks to silence opponent,s I can only caution all to keep our ears evermore wide open before we are sweet talked into making a country we don’t recognize.
But the highlight of the week was not the silencing of words, but when silence itself was silenced. An Illinois judge made a ruling that prevents students from partaking in a moment of silence in class because it might lead to prayer.
Our mission is clear. Lady Liberty cannot allow talented orators to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. We must bite back at every sound bite. Let’s not forget how the serpent’s smart words seduced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and drove mankind from Eden. Our task is to keep our ears perked up to listen NOT only to what is BEING said but to what is NOT being said to ensure that THE words that shape our lives and gain our trust SAY what they mean and mean what they say.
Luckily, today we can fight back word for word. With blogs, diggs, texts, Facebook, and IM’s we can introduce our own words into the vocabulary that shapes our lives. We can Twitter til our twits end.
And I assure you, that THESE are words to live by.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
What comes to mind is the story of Adam and Eve. After they sinned and ate the forbidden fruit, they hid from God in the Garden of Eden. God soon comes along looking for them and asks, "Where are you?" Now, certainly, God knew where they were—after all, He knows everything.
The question was really meant to inspire self-reflection in them and for all mankind. Where are you in this world? What do you stand for?
In 2008 we were bombarded with headlines, one more shocking than the next. But how many of us did anything about it? How many of us asked ourselves where am I on this issue? Or, how many of us went apathetically into that good night.
Louisiana congressman "Bill" Jefferson was indicted in ’07 on 16 charges related to corruption and yet still ran for office in ’08 even after he was found hiding cold cash in his freezer. How does that happen? Because we let it. Because we care only until a hotter headline hits the papers. Take the case of Detroit’s mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was caught in an affair with his chief of staff and then also admitted to perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. And then he proclaimed that he was ready to make a comeback. Do we let him, or do we teach generation NEXT that actions have consequences?
And then when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we learned of another who couldn’t keep his fruit in the loom.Eliot Spitzer once called the hammer of Wall Street went down the wrong street, dropped his pants, and went from being governor to client No. 9. Now he, too, wants to reemerge into public consciousness—albeit without his yankee doodling dandy. Do we let him?
But these stories faded into oblivion when the 18 million cracks in Hillary’s famous glass ceiling came crashing down on her head after the liberal media--the supposed arbiters of fairness--turned on her and turned Obama into a messiah.Then a long came a plumber who did the dirty job the media wouldn’t dare to do: He asked a question. Did we lambaste the media for bias? Cancel subscriptions?
Then who can forget Reverand Wright, the Reverand who blatantly damned this country before millions and got away with it. Where was our outrage? That same reverand called Elizabeth Hassleback from The View "a dumb broad" and a "dizzy blond.” Where were the feminist groups to damn those sexist remarks? And then our president- elect who sat in an America damning church for 20 years also got away with it. I don’t find it a stretch to say, “If you’re in the pew, you share the view!” But that being said, I do take umbrage with Rush Limbaugh who said he does not wish Obama good luck. It reminds me of Golda Meir when she said there will be peace in the Middle East when the Arabs love their kids more than they hate Israelis. I think Limbaugh has to remember how much more he loves this country and its citizens than he hates liberals. You can’t wish the passengers a good flight while wishing for the pilot to crash.
But leaving Reverand Wrong,, hey what’s a few little hate sermons compared to a governor who allegedly tried to sell a senate seat. Governor Blagoyevich-- I’m just relieved that it clearly says “goy” in his name; I’d hate to see a Jew caught up in that one. But even with clouds hanging over his bad hairdo, he still got away with appointing a junior senator. Where were our voices? Where was our outrage?
And then there was Bernie Madoff who made off with everyone’s money and shows zero remorse. Now this Scum Dog Millionaire is out on bail under house arrest in his Park Avenue penthouse. If that’s the price of crime, please do me a favor and arrest me now.
And then, after oh so many financial institutions got their massive bailout, still no one could get a loan. The vaunted TARP funds are MIA.—and their executives aren’t even under house arrest, perhaps too busy going on their luxury vacations and counting their bonuses while the man on Main Street is singing, “Hey mister, can you spare a dime?”
How are we to blame? Because we I-tune out and let these outrages entertain us and corrupt us from headline to headline.
When these outrages happen, we need to form the same line outside of Congress that we form outside of Wal-Mart on black Friday. We have to let our voices be heard: Vote, blog, write to a senator, call the White House, picket, rally, volunteer. We have to fight back because when these wrongdoers do wrong they drive us all out of Eden.
I heard a slogan once for an insurance company that I really liked. It said, “It’s your future—BE THERE.
So in such chaotic times when in despair we turn to God and ask Him, "Oh, dear God, where are you?" perhaps the better question was asked by God Himself a long, long time ago, "Where are YOU?"
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Israelis may be savvy on the battlefield, but they never fail to lose the PR war. Both fronts are imperative to win and both lend to Israel's security and survival.
To start, the very name of their current initiative in the Gaza, "Operation Cast Lead," could not have been any worse if Hamas itself had chosen the name. What Israel is now fighting is Operation Homeland Security, Operation Save our Citizens, Operation Survival – titles that would certainly instigate acid reflux in BBC and Al-Jazeera journalists and their ilk.
But survival is what Israel is fighting for. So let us now take on this canard of "disproportionate use of force" and see what is truly disproportionate.
Imagine you're home in bed, your children are sound asleep, and then someone breaks into your house wielding a knife and screaming, "I'm going to kill you and your family!" You're about to reach for the gun hidden under your pillow, but then suddenly there's a news break on CNN: The United Nations has officially announced it not fair to use disproportionate force. So you forsake the gun and reach for the Swiss army knife in your drawer. Good luck cork screwing this invader into submission. There is none who would subscribe, in such a circumstance, to this gross stupidity called "disproportionate use of force." Oh, but wait, there is – it's called Israel.
As rockets poured into its country for years terrorizing and traumatizing its citizens, Israel was indeed guilty of reacting disproportionately – it did nothing at all. Israel not only responded with disproportionate patience and waited an unconscionable amount of time before defending its homeland, but it also compromised its own military edge by pre-warning Hamas where they were going to hit and urging them to vacate citizens from the premises. Has Hamas afforded innocent Israelis that decency? No? How disproportionate!
What appears to be disproportionate is the wide and wailing claims by Hamas that they care about the lives of innocent women and children. Facts seem to work against them. Just last week, Israel forewarned Nizar Rayyan, a prominent member of Hamas, to leave his house where he had hidden a weapons cache. He refused to leave, and in true bravery, let one of his wives and eight of his kids die along with him. But then again, his kids appeared to be dispensable to him, as he sent his own son on a suicide mission in Israel in 2001 that killed two Israelis.
What stands out here as disproportionate is that Israel, the vilified enemy, cares more for the civilians of Gaza than their own people do, which is further evidenced by the fact that Hamas hides themselves and their ammo and explosives in schools, mosques, universities and even their own homes. Israel ushers their people to shelters, while Hamas uses their own people as human shields.
What's disproportionate is that Hamas engages in anti-personnel warfare by launching non-guided missiles into Israel not caring who gets hit – a mother, a child, a school, a playground, a shopping mall – and so proud are they of their actions that they sign their ammunition (as per Alan Dershowitz). Yet Israel takes every measure possible to avoid innocent civilian casualties. And while on the subject of innocent civilians, let's not forget that these civilians voted for Hamas, who never made a secret of their extremist agenda and whose platform is the destruction of Israel.
What's disproportionate is that in 2005 Israel left Gaza completely, plucking out not only resistant Jewish settlers but also the graves of dead Jews. (The only Jew left in Gaza is the one Hamas kidnapped, Gilad Shalit.) Israel put full faith in the Palestinians that they would be partners in peace. Instead, their prospective peace partners have launched a non-stop campaign of terror, smuggled in 80 tons of explosives and brought in the guerrilla-warfare trainers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Similarly, when the Israelis left Lebanon, they were rewarded with rockets launched into northern Israel by Hezbollah. When they made unprecedented concessions during Oslo, they were rewarded with the second intifada. It's amazing how disproportionately silent the world was when "Jewicide" was the objective.
Let's not forget Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which affords every nation the right to engage in self-defense against armed attacks, and though many may be disappointed to learn, that includes Israel. And so, those wielding the term "disproportionate" should just really state what is disappointing them: that Israel continues to exist.
What's disproportionate is that Israel tempers its actions altogether against an enemy that proudly declares that its main mission is the eradication of Israel and who intends to reclaim Palestine through blood. Would America temper its reaction toward al-Qaida? Certainly not. After 9/11, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) was prepared to shoot down commercial airplanes filled with innocent passengers, if it deemed a flight had been hijacked and was targeting a national site.
What's disproportionate is that Israel gave the Palestinians their first sovereign territory in Gaza, something no other country in history had done for them, and instead of building the country they have gladly killed for and died for, by developing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, businesses and a future for their people, the Palestinians have built downward, digging tunnels and digging graves.
What's disproportionate is that there are 15 million Jews in the world and 1.5 billion Muslims with 22 countries of their own, yet the 5.7 million Jews living in Israel are censured, vilified, mortally threatened and "resolutioned" against for defending their tiny country, their biblical heritage, which is 16 times smaller than the state of California alone, a country that pre-1967 was nine miles wide at its narrowest point.
As Benjamin Netanyahu clearly pointed out: Is "disproportionate" assessed by body count? If so, he asks, were the British wrong to take on Hitler, since many more Germans were killed during World War II than Brits?
What's disproportionate is that the U.N. calls an emergency Security Council meeting on a Saturday night when Israel defends itself but not when Israel is bombarded by rockets from Hezbollah or Hamas. What's disproportionate is the public outcry and rallies around the world when Israel, as would any country and any person, defends itself. As Israeli consul general Asaf Shariv has said, "Yes, Israel's militarily is stronger, and we make no apologies for being so – if we wouldn't be stronger, then we wouldn't be at all!"
After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hid from God among the trees. "Where are you?" God asked them. Why ask? Certainly, the all-knowing Almighty knew their whereabouts. The question, as per exegesis, was meant to prompt self-reflection in them and for all of future mankind. Where are you in this world? What do you stand for?
As 2008 comes to a shameful close, we can only assume that most of have us have stopped asking ourselves these questions.
It appears that all the stalwarts we thought we could bank on (pun intended) have bitten into the proverbial forbidden fruit, and in their failings we have all fallen too. For as I monitor the news and the wires, I have yet to see any meaningful public outrage and outcry. We've submitted to the belief, "That's just how things are." We have momentary reactions and indignation, but, nonetheless, our very short attention span to these critical events reeks of facilitation, acceptance and, if not forgiveness, at least tolerance. Indeed, we live in quick-paced times where the sensationalism of a new headline blasts the former one to oblivion. We have gone from times when people said, "If I had only known I would have done something" to times when we know too much and don't want to do anything.
When Eliot Spitzer, once the "hammer" of Wall Street, went down the wrong street in a pants-dropping scandal that turned him from governor to client No. 9, the nation was stunned. The entertainment value was priceless, but as a society we all paid a price. Whether you hated him or loved him, everyone respected him, as he was a bedrock of justice. When he fell, we all fell. The former "hammer" hit a heavy blow against our trust and drove each of us a little bit out of Eden. Now, just seven months later, he wants to make a re-entry into public consciousness. Do we turn the other cheek after he spitz in our face, or engage in a public outcry and teach "Generation Next" that actions have consequences?
We live in a time where people have no shame and don't even bother hiding "among the trees." Why? Because, in our apathetic slumber, we let them.
From the Illinois governor who openly calls for his phones to be wire tapped as he allegedly puts a Senate seat up for sale to Rev. Wright who blatantly damns this country before millions and gets away with it, what we are seeing is a shameless society. A federal jury finds Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens guilty of accepting and concealing tens of thousands of dollars in free home renovations and other gifts. Does he hide? No, he continues to run for office. But that story was nothing compared to the much hotter one of fresh-faced presidential candidate John Edwards' cheating on his wife. It was really mind-gripping until Hillary made 18 million cracks in a ceiling that only crashed on her head after the liberal media turned on the Clintonian Camelot and turned Obama into a messiah. As the hungry spectators to this great show, did we take umbrage with the media for suspending the ethics and integrity of pure journalism? The supposed czars of fairness failed to ask themselves, "Where are we?" "What do we really stand for?" And so did we, the i-dazed masses.
But then came the economic maelstrom, and the issue of a biased press became less pressing. The greed, the mammoth corporate bonuses and the puff of Wall Street imploded. Again we all paid the price. As a punishment for their misbehaviors, the financial institutions received a $700 billion dollar bailout. In their remorse, AIG's top people retreated to a resort and spent $400,000. The Federal Reserve was implacable in its reaction and gave AIG an additional $37.8 billion. And after all the bailouts, the man on Main Street still can't get a loan, and the Bank of America, a beneficiary of the bailout, fired 35,000 employees.
Then along came the Big Three automakers who have run their companies into the ground through mismanagement, union greed and pandering to the oil markets. In 1981, according to the Environment Protection Agency, we had a fuel-efficiency rate of 20.5 miles per gallon; in 2008, we have 20.8 miles per gallon – what an improvement in 27 years. Please, let's just give them another bailout.
And so, at the end of 2008, many have found themselves without jobs, some face home foreclosures, and others' investments and security have disappeared with the collapse of the financial institutions, the recession and Madoff's Ponzi scheme. These are difficult but pivotal times.
The materialistic securities that have come to define us are gone and now perhaps more than ever it is the time to question, "Where are we?" "What do we stand for?" Perhaps now is the time to turn back to God to inspire our road ahead. We have for too long put our destiny in the hands of false gods: Wall Street, the media, pop-culture icons, AIG, Ford, GM, Chrysler, the unions, government, hedge funds, iPhones, pseudo-gurus and greed.
An October poll showed that only 10 percent of Americans regarded the country's moral and spiritual condition as their leading electoral criterion. Perhaps it's time to reconsider. Perhaps a dose of religious doctrine will inspire us to speak out and scream out against our leaders and establishments who let us down instead of letting these outrages amuse us and co-corrupt us from headline to headline. From the voting booth to blogs, to writing letters to congressmen and senators, to participating in rallies to volunteering, we must fight back and not apathetically gripe as wrongdoers drive us all out of Eden. Indeed, Rome wasn't built in a day and America won't be disassembled in a day, but 2008 clearly reflects that we are coming apart at the seams. If we don't guard what we believe in, we open our borders to foreign ideologies to come in and fill the void.
It may very well be that the secularization of this country is the problem. When a Washington governor permits a sign to be hung in a state capitol that defies and mocks God and religion, she has not served to separate church and state but only to separate decency and country. Let 2008 be exhibit A for my case. With the secularization of America that is manifested in such deep self-hatred and disdain for the fundamental Judeo-Christian values upon which this country was built, should we be surprised that this country is falling apart?
There is an ever-growing moral vacuum that has been filled with the most despicable villainy of human behavior. It's quite amazing how some people are ready to die defending what they believe in, and we are not even ready to live for it.
In such chaotic times when in despair we turn to God and ask Him, "Oh, dear God, where are you?" perhaps the better question was asked by God Himself a long, long time ago. "Where are YOU?"
I have become the wondering Jew.
As a Zionist and a modern observant Jew, I had compunctions about putting these painful points to pen. But if God Himself openly criticized the Jews in the most popular and widely read book in history, the Bible, we should take note. If we see a wrong among us, we are duty bound to point it out and correct it. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was permitted to speak at Columbia, my alma mater, I publicly and strongly spoke out against it and ripped up my master’s diploma from that institution. When my own people do wrong, I’m equally obliged.
Golda Meir once said that as long as the Arabs hate us more than they love their own children, there will not be peace. We can flip that thought onto Israeli leadership: as long as our leaders love themselves more than they love their country, their people and the future of Jews, then their leadership will be hateful, and their actions and decisions will remain highly questionable.
Egomania has not allowed the full term of a single government in almost a decade. To what end? The thirst for power is palpable, but grossly unpalatable. Israel’s current crop of leaders galvanize the people around passionate issues, stir up hearts, souls and minds, but then their convictions evaporate like footprints in the sand when a challenging tide rolls in. The only good thing is that if anyone wanted to target an Israeli leader, by the time they load up there’s a new leader in his stead.
Without naming names, it is unconscionable that so many Israeli leaders - not just the prime ministers - in recent years have been involved in scandals, or have been the subjects of inquiries and investigations, from ambassadors to Israel's former president to members of the Knesset. How shameful for representatives of a people who are supposed to be “a light unto the nations.” Instead, we have become a veritable “sight” among the nations. Indeed, headlines across the globe are fraught with stories of world leaders who behave inappropriately and vacillate on core issues, but it is not in those countries that people are dying every day protecting holy places and holy land. If our wise leaders would just pull their self-indulgent egos out of the equation, then they could weave great legacies instead of holding the reins by default in a faulty parliamentary system.
Just the other day, as I was looking through a beautiful book about Israel’s history - called To Be Free People written by Michael Bar Zohar, David Ben-Gurion’s and Shimon Peres’s biographer - my eyes filled with tears recognizing the passion and selflessness with which the country was built. I saw pictures of the pioneers young and old, tilling the land with their prayers and hopes. And when the land itself seemed to ironically persecute them (as did many of their native countries) - arid and unyielding or mired in malaria infested swamp and marshes - they did not give up building and bettering their country, their safe haven, their Promised Land. But I wonder if it is still the land of promise. We have been led to the Promised Land, but who therein is leading us now?
I’m sure it’s very exciting to be a prime minister, with all the clout, prestige and power the position yields, not to mention the mandatory ego boosting photo-ops with presiding American presidents that it provides. But striving for and delighting in those self-serving benefits does not a leader make. Along with the kavod, the honor, comes the kaved, the burden and the weight of doing the right thing, regardless of the political price.It must certainly be true that “ambition knows no father” - for our leaders have forsaken the way of our forefathers and, as such, are doing a great disservice to our sons and to our daughters.
This truth has turned me into the wondering Jew. I wonder what Ben-Gurion would say. I wonder, in 60 years from now, when the next generation will open up a history book about Israel, will they be proud too? I wonder if they will have role models to emulate?
Today, I envy and fear the passion that the Palestinians have toward their cause. We had it once. That passion built a desert country one seedling at a time into one of the most technologically advanced countries on the globe. Today, Israel has more companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange than any other country outside North America. But that is not enough. As the Israeli economy goes north, we cannot allow everything else we stand for to go south. As Jews, as mensches, as the chosen people, we cannot equivocate like share prices fluctuating in the stock market. Our leaders must reignite the hearts and passions of our people in a deep and meaningful way by reeling in their egos, embracing honorable positions and standing by them. Our greatest leader, Moses, has shown us that humility leads to immortality; ego can be found in ruins everywhere.
I beg of you, Israeli leadership, custodians of the Jewish people, please stand for something and stop falling for everything. You owe it to your fathers; you owe it to your sons.
How much longer can Barack Obama whisper sweet nothings to Lady Liberty? America, please tell me that on Nov. 5, 2008, you will respect yourself in the morning and wake up with McCain as the new president.
With a boilerplate speech Thursday from the textbook of Democratic demagoguery, Obama has the nerve to call for change. It's near comedic that he preaches change to a base of supporters who by virtue of age hardly even know what came before, or what they are changing from. Yet, even across the board, his call for change is more of an appeal to the insecure who believe America is always wrong, everyone else is always right, and prefer to be loved rather than respected. They'd prefer to show the world an accommodating face, rather than a strong backbone. As Robert Frost once said, "A liberal is someone who is afraid to take his own side in an argument."
Nonetheless, Obama's oratorical talent proves once again that good sound trumps good sense. His ability to mesmerize the masses is reminiscent of the dangerous demagogues of the last century. With the same methods, he galvanizes the crowds around a contrived scapegoat using Bush/McCain on the altar to fan the flames of fuming liberal coals. It is hard not to parallel clips we've seen of fascistic hypnotic speakers addressing packed stadiums with what we saw last week at the Democratic National Convention. With all the hot air sweeping across the convention, it is no wonder that a devastating hurricane was set into motion. If Democrats really care about the environment, they should really stop talking and spewing toxic gases. Voters must remember that great sound bites will bite us right back once the nice words vanish and serious challenges remain, leaving only incompetence at the helm.
Indeed, the DNCC was a great show. I was gripped for four days switching back and forth between Fox News Channel and CNN. All the hoopla, the fireworks, the entertainment, the stage props designed by Britney Spears' set designers, were right up there with a Broadway production. It was as bedazzling as "Phantom of the Opera" – and even bedazzled Oprah. But when the phantom's mask falls, will we like the face we see? When the show is over, who will lead this country? America doesn't need good actors; it needs a great leader.
Certainly, the overproduced convention was meant to mask all the weaknesses and the void that is Barack Obama. It's quite simple. We all know full well that a candidate picks a VP running mate to complement what he is missing; therefore, choosing Joe Biden is a blatant admission by Obama that he himself is not ready to be president.
If Obama, as he stated in his speech, really "puts the country first," then he would not be running for president now. He would step aside and let someone qualified run it, just as a novice brain surgeon would not operate on someone he loves but would defer the job to the more experienced and competent. That's true love! Perhaps Obama should first "go through the federal budget, line by line" before he runs for president and not do his homework on the people's clock. If Obama really put this country and the will of voters first, Hillary Clinton would be his running mate. But, he didn't care to put the voters, those very people who make up the country, first. He came first. Obviously, he was afraid and threatened by Hillary Clinton. As such, how can we trust he can take on Ahmadinejad and the other great threats facing this country if he's fearful of "the woman in the traveling pantsuits"? How would he deal with traveling terrorists and their exploding backpacks? Of course, dear readers, Obama will put the country first – because he needs something to hide behind. McCain, however, has stood before the country, on the frontlines of battle and, even more bravely, across partisan lines. He has born the "bullets," sustained the injuries and earned his medals, all the while Obama was polishing his speeches.
And behind the safety of brilliant rhetoric, Obama said in his acceptance speech that: "As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation." His actions, however, have told another story. As a senator and a churchgoing congregant, he didn't even have the courage and will to verbally defend this country from the hateful bashing of Rev. Wright.
In 2004, Obama said: "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America – there's the United States of America." If those were his views then – in 2004 – why didn't he ever give that same speech to Rev. Wright or his congregation? Why did it take him only one term to find egregious wrongs in the Bush administration but 20 years to see what's wrong with his reverend? Did he put his country first then? I'd say 20 years is no short hesitation to rise up in defense of his beloved country, which Rev. Wright, as we have all seen by now, so hatefully damned.
As I've said before: If you're in the pew, you share the view.
And finally, if I were a black voter in this country, I would be incensed by Obama's blatant omission of Martin Luther King's name during his speech this past Thursday. He never referred to him by name but rather as "a young preacher from Georgia." He mentioned everyone else's name, the Clintons, his wife and kids, Biden – why not MLK? It was MLK's suffering and sacrifices that made it possible for Obama to pursue and realize his owns dream. On the confluence of those two historic days, the anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech and the nomination of the first black presidential candidate in history, why did Obama leave his name out? Is he ashamed to be black, or was he pandering to the whites? Either way, he did wrong. Who else will Obama's ambitions toss by the wayside once their usefulness to him has expired? If he is not proud to be black, how can he be proud to be an American? If he is afraid to appear "too" black, how can he have the courage to be a leader? MLK deserved to be mentioned by name. It was tantamount to giving a eulogy and not mentioning the name of the person who passed. It could only be on purpose.
That, among other things, has led me to nickname Mr. Barack Obama "Chicken Little": He is a chicken, and he's done so little. And Mr. Obama, the sky is not falling, but indeed if you feel it bumping against your head, maybe it's because your ego is in the clouds and that you're surrounded by too many sycophantic dim-lit stars.
It is said that most people have one book in them. But not Herb London. There is nothing about this ebulliently brilliant man that can be contained in one binding, a man with his own strong "spine," the core axis around which the hundreds of thousands of pages he writes revolve. As one leafs through the wisdom of any of his 22 books, the integrity of his convictions and wit-whetted words engage the reader in such a way that leafing yields to hungry reading and then to deep thinking.
But who wants to think deeply with the splendors of summer bewitching Manhattan: the icy Cosmopolitans, outdoor dancing at Lincoln Center, the bird watching in Central Park, and the men watching in New York's Meat Packing District. Thus, when London suggested I read his new book, "America's Secular Challenge: The Rise of a New National Religion," I recoiled inside and the secularist voice within me castigated him as the enemy to the summer ease and sycophantic breeze. Nonetheless, one sunny day upon a park bench, I opened his book. Soon it became evidently clear that the enemy indeed is among us, but it's by no means Herb London.
As London points out, a secularist agenda has joined hands with fundamentalist Islam to destroy the Western way of life and replace it with its own ideology. Word after word it became evermore clear that the "summer delights" of secularism won't last if London's words – and those who think like him – are not heeded soon.
Quite simply put, his point is that the pervading threats against our very way of life cannot be met with accommodation and appeasement. He also deems it vital to win the war on terrorism.
London's book is a must read for anyone who cares about America and the future of the free world. He takes a scrutinizing look at the weakness and deleterious effects of liberal pacification and exposes its attritional consequences on patriotism and national fortitude. Quoting Robert Frost, London writes, "A liberal [is] someone who refuse[s] to take his own side in an argument." But that spineless stance leaves a dangerous vacuum for others to shape our future, London feels. He points out that the more open and liberal a society, the more likely it is a target for jihad.
He writes that "these radical secularists who oppose traditional religion yet embrace multiculturalism and cultural relativism, unbridled sexual expression, materialism and a belief in scientific rationality as the ultimate arbiter of human value have forged a view of life ill-equipped to meet the political and existential challenges of the twenty-first century."
London's concern with multiculturalism should by no means be confused with his full appreciation for diversity. "Multiculturism," he writes, is "an attitude that proclaims the equality of all cultures but paradoxically assumes that non-Western cultures are somehow more equal, more worthy, than their Western counterparts."
Secularists seem to not only hate themselves, but God as well. Religion and God have become casualties in their "enlightened" campaign of bettering the world, unless of course it's someone else's God – Allah, Brahma, Buddha. As for the Judeo-Christian One, well His usefulness has expired. "But the historical truth," London says, "is that our way of life, including the liberty ensconced in liberalism, emerged from and is sustained by Christian principles."
Why is London concerned? Because the naïve left continues to engage in suicidal tendencies as it humbly dispossess itself and this country of anything that may seem to resemble an opinion, a stance or a conviction. Meanwhile, a rapidly multiplying Islamist population is emboldening its own struggle to "destroy Israel, create a Middle East devoid of any religion but Islam, employ the oil empire to create caliphates from Madrid to Jakarta and then to launch a holy war against the West." And as the West increasingly becomes a senior partner in its own demise, London questions whether decades hence the West will have the means or muscles to resist, to fight back, to reclaim itself.
G.K. Chesterton's short story "The Yellow Bird" is not the best bedtime story to read your kids, but London tells it in his book to wake people up. "…[T]he protagonist, filled with libertarian zeal, frees his fish from its bowl and watches it die grasping for air. He then liberates his canary from its cage, only to see it eaten by a cat. He then attempts to liberate his mind from the confines of the brain – killing himself."
Perhaps Ann Coulter was not too far off when she titled her book "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans." As for London, he is not quite ready to serve up his head on a secularist platter that is so hospitably gilded with guilt, apathy and apologies. He will continue to keep his mind in his brain, his brain in his head and his head on his shoulders as he fights for the future of this great country and the principles which made it so.
Herb London was 15 years old when he first picked up his persuasive pen – and he hasn't put it down in 54 years. His goal is to change the world, and he has in some measure done just that by brandishing his most powerful and far-reaching weapon, his words, a sagacious unlimited artillery which he uses ever persuasively as weapons of mass instruction. As president of the Hudson Institute, a world-renowned nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., he seeks to guide global leaders in government and business on highly relevant and influential matters regarding domestic and world affairs. He has been listed among the Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, Directory of Distinguished Americans, Who's Who in Education, Who's Who in the East, Men of Distinction, Who's Who in America, Kingston's National Registry of Who's Who, and 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century. He is today a noted social critic who has been a guest lecturer on many major radio and television news programs, including the popular CNN "Crossfire," which he co-hosted for one year. His work has appeared in every major newspaper and journal in the country. In addition to London's television program, "Myths That Rule America," he created a 47-part CBS series entitled "The American Character." He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, such as the Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality for Citizenship as well as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, among numerous others. He also sits on the board of directors for more than two dozen important organizations that concern themselves with the betterment of this country.
London studied at Columbia University under Dr. Jacques Barzun, a leading American historian of ideas and culture. "I came to the realization that there is so much I wanted to know," he said. "I wanted to go to the library and learn everything from A-Z – know as much as I could." He graduated from Columbia in 1960 and in 1966 from New York University with a Ph.D. in history. By 1972 London was responsible for creating the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU and was its dean until 1992. He is also a professor emeritus and the former John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at NYU. When it began, the now famous Gallatin school – organized to promote the study of "great books" and classic texts – had a half-dozen students. Today it has 3,000. London has since built it from a $25,000 program to a $15 million one.
Always with the mission of changing the world for the better, London also entered the world of politics. In 1989, London was one of the Republican candidates for mayor of New York City. In 1990 he ran as the Conservative candidate for governor of New York, getting more votes than any third-party candidate in the state's history. In 1994 he was the Republican Party candidate for New York State comptroller, losing in a close election. Today, with no air of sour-grapes syndrome, he says he is glad he lost because he finds politics a dirty game. "Politics is very corrupt and I'm very earnest," London said. "I really had no recognition of how unseemly some of these people are."
Regarding his stint in politics London jokingly says, "It was a midlife crisis thing. It was either run for office or get a convertible and a blonde." Kudos to London, most politicos usually do both. But Herb London already has four beautiful women in his life: his wife, Vicki, a published author of steamy romance novels and his three daughters. His daughter, Stacy, who hosts the Discovery TV show "What Not to Wear," often tries to inspire him to jazz up his conservative wardrobe.
But from London we can see that the suit jacket doesn't make the man anymore than the book jacket makes the book. They are but lucky accessories if they are attached to Herb London – an elegant valiant warrior for humanity who continues his fight for right word by word and page by page.
It's been said that a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world. Thus, when it comes to accessing danger, I'd faster put my faith in seasoned generals than a pack of elitist academicians who use their posteriors almost as much as their brains as they pontificate from behind safe havens. Though, as a writer, I too live in the world of noble ideas, I would not take it upon myself to set the agenda for national security any more than I would perform brain surgery (even on a liberal), or vote for a novice such as Barack Obama to lead the free world.
But, it seems these suicidal tendencies of the liberal-minded academics of the West have traveled intact to the Jewish state. Tuesday in Israel the Council of University Presidents demanded that the security establishment, meaning Israel's Defense Ministry, stop intervening in the enrollment process at Israel's higher education institutions. The students in question: Palestinian students coming in from the Gaza and the West Bank who want to study in Israeli universities.
Wait a second; let's put this into perspective. Forget Israel's assessment of things, but the last time I checked the State Departments travel advisory, it prohibits American citizens from visiting Gaza and the West Bank and prompts Americans already there to depart immediately. The State Department enumerates several reasons, including the fact that Hamas, a State terrorist organization, has assumed control over the region and because it's a hotbed of terrorist activity, anti-West propaganda and has as its mission the destruction of Israel.
Extremist factions in the Gaza Strip have targeted Palestinian Christian groups and militants, have abducted Western citizens and have threatened attacks against U.S. interests. The American International School in northern Gaza was the target of an attack on April 21, 2007, and again on Jan. 10 and 12, 2008. In addition, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have intensified the launching of daily rocket attacks against Israeli towns as far north as Ashkelon. It is in this "loving" environment that these potential students are born and raised. They are suckled on hatred and nurtured on the hope of Israel's demise. They are sending us rockets and terrorists, boycotts and body bags, and for this we are giving them diplomas. I'm terribly sorry, but application denied.
I'm not saying that all these students are entering Israel with nefarious plots, and I do appreciate and respect the visceral yearning and desire to learn, to grow, to better oneself. In fact, I strongly believe that a highly educated Palestinian population would lead to its economic advancement and that that financial growth and equality may very well be the main means to an enduring peace. One of Israel's richest men, Eitan Wertheimer, Warren Buffet's partner, affirmed that very point. He says that the Palestinians are mired in a financial crisis while Israel's economy is galloping ahead, that religious fanaticism would be tempered by higher incomes. But, that being said, by which calling did it become Israel's duty to educate sworn enemies of its country at its own risk. Let's not forget that two of the 9/11 hijackers who entered the U.S. were on student visas – the guise of a student doesn't neutralize the potential for danger. And if danger does come, what will these academics use to shield others from attack, perhaps a hardcover copy of "Destroying Israel for Dummies"?
Regardless of concerns by the Defense Ministry, several professors have joined a petition to the High Court of Justice against the restrictions on the entrance of Palestinians looking to enroll in Israeli universities, saying such restrictions "assist those who support the academic boycott of Israel." Perhaps they too will next invite Ahmadinejad to address their students as did Columbia University. Their lack of insight into matters of defense, I can forgive, but as academics, I fault them for skipping over the vital chapters in history books which have proven that appeasement has never saved a life. Israel is boycotted not because it has quotas on Palestinian students, but because it is not Palestine.
As it stands, Palestinians are prohibited from enrolling in studies that "may be used against the State of Israel" and admission is limited to 70 students. The universities are also obligated to justify the admission of the selected students. But let it here be said that the Arab citizens of Israel are given full rights and access to Israeli academic institutions, as they should be.
In its letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the Council of University Presidents wrote, "Since its inception, the State of Israel has adamantly upheld the tradition of academic freedom," and went on to say that "Israeli universities open their gates to all those who meet the academic demands, irrespective of race, sex, religion or nationality."
Indeed, I too believe in higher education free of discrimination. So why don't these gifted intelligent students pursue that higher education in Jordan or Egypt or other countries that bemoan the horrific plight the Palestinians are in purportedly because of Israel. Or in this age of high-tech, why can't these students take online courses from Israel's universities while completing the practical application some of these courses demand in participating Arab universities or elsewhere?
When Palestinians end up in Israeli emergency rooms for health issues, they are treated without discrimination. Numerous Israeli doctors have told me they see only a human being before them, not Arab or Jew. But do Jews have to end up in emergency rooms or the morgue to prove that they are an accommodating, loving tribe? The enemies of Israel have spent 60 years trying to destroy it, yet Israel excelled and prospered in spite of every devastation, heartache and setback. Now it is expected to share the fruits of its labor with those who sought to poison the well?!
Further, if Israel is deemed the little Satan by these students' families, peers and communities, why are these students even allowed to set foot in a Jewish institution? If Israel is wrong about everything and is a country founded, according to its opponents, on lies and cheating and worse and it can never do anything right, then from where does this faith in its academic institutions arise? How irresponsible for these impressionable young students to be subject to the "satanic" influences of Israeli tutelage.
Another argument the universities make is that Jews themselves were victims of discrimination in academic institutions in Europe (and America) and it would be wrong to do the same. But there is a vital, crucial difference here. Jews and blacks were barred because of pure racist hatred and fear or envy of the perpetrators, not because they posed a physical or fatal threat. By no means were the institutions afraid that Jews would pack explosive matzo balls in their lunch bags. As Comedian Jackie Mason says, when did you ever hear two gentiles in a dark alley say in terror, "Let's get the hell out of here, here come two balding Jews."
Last week, thanks to the generosity of the American Jewish community, several boys from Sderot Israel were brought to the United States to participate in sports events and to attend summer camps with American Jewish kids. I sat with these handsome teen boys who told me how on a daily basis the rocket alarm is sounded in their town and that they have but 15 seconds to dash to a bomb shelter. Fifteen seconds between life and death. While attending camps here in the U.S., an attending counselor went on the loud speaker to tell campers that it was time to wind up their activity. All the Israeli boys had a panic attack. The sound of the loud speaker reminded them of Sderot where the same system accompanies the alarm that a death rocket is on its way. Like Pavlov's dogs trained to salivate at the ringing of a bell, these boys were conditioned to fear with the sound of an overhead speaker system. This, my dear beloved professors, is what they have taught our kids. Is there a diploma for that?