Monday, January 26, 2009

The Words That Shape Our Lives

by Aliza Davidovit
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

Why We Were to Blame:

2008 indeed gave many of us a reason to drink. But now with our New Year’s Eve hangovers behind us, it’s probably wise to take a sober look at ’08 to see where we went wrong and how WE may be partially to blame.
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

Israel: Use more force

by Aliza Davidovit

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!"

2008: The year shame died

by Aliza Davidovit

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?"

Lead Us In the Promised Land

by Aliza Davidovit

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.

Barack Obama: 'Chicken Little'

by Aliza Davidovit

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.

How the West will be won

by Aliza Davidovit

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.

Grab your books, here comes a bomb

© 2009

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?

The house that God built

By Aliza Davidovit
© 2009

I am no Barack Obama lover. And I had no compunctions about darting a pointed pen at him in my op-ed "If you're in the pew, you share the view," in regard to his relationship with Rev. Wright. But as a Zionist and a modern observant Jew, I do have compunctions about putting the following painful points to pen. Nonetheless, 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 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.

To say that the extraction of Obama's personal note from the Western Wall and then the publishing of it by Ma'ariv are egregious acts would be a paltry employment of adjectives in defining misdeeds which are villainous, irreverent and profoundly un-Jewish in nature. Ma'ariv whose name has at its core the word "erev," night, has truly brought night to a nation that was supposed to be a light among the nations.

The Western Wall, in spite of the ravages and savages of time, is emblematic of its beleaguered nation and still stands defiant to those set to see it crumble. But stones alone do not a wall make, especially a wall of God's house. The integrity of the structure is also dependent upon the unifying moral grout – those tiny pieces of paper filled with trusting expressions of the soul, prayers and tears, questions and hopes, requests and dreams sustain the great Jerusalem stones. As if in unison with the worshipers bowing and bending before it, the wall, too, physically slants eastward, as though in deference to the Holy of Holies it once hosted. The stones and the people are interlocked in one destiny – past, present and future. They sustain each other; they need each other. But when the integrity of the grout is corrupted, can the house that God built still stand?

Whether you love Obama or hate him, his note to God written on stationery from the King David Hotel deserved respect, privacy and sanctity. Not everything today has to be a YouTube moment. And though we have become a voyeuristic, real-time TV society, nowhere by means of that reality TV acculturation have we earned the right to know everything about everyone. There are some things that must still remain private and sacred. Perhaps the next acceptable will be films of Bush at the proctologist or Hillary Clinton at the gynecologist. This breech of trust regarding Obama's note in the wall is equally violative, and by merit of its purported sanctity, profoundly worse. I refuse to read the contents of his letter, and I feel all should do the same. Ma'ariv should be banned by its readers for at least a week, and the student responsible for taking the note from the wall should be thrown out of the seminary and thrown out of Israel. His actions are unforgivable, inexcusable and thoroughly unJewish and sacrilegious. Obama's note was for God's eyes, not ours. I give due praise to the Fox News for refusing to divulge the contents of the note without consent from the Obama camp. As much as I wouldn't want to see Obama as the next president, this act is a betrayal not just of the senator but to all Jews, to the sacredness of the Kotel and to all of humanity who looks eastward for truth and righteous. Whether his note to God called for the end of the Jewish state or requested a cure for erectile dysfunction, it's none of our business. I'm embarrassed for my people, and I personally apologize to Obama for the hurt and violation he must feel.

And if Obama ends up being the next president of the United States, what trust will he have in the Jewish people or in Israelis if they violate the deepest link to their own existence. Jews are now in a period called the three weeks in which they mourn the destruction of the Temple. Today we must mourn twofold, for this time we destroyed the temple wall with our own hands. Jews around the world must cry out against this misdeed just as they do when Israel's enemies violate our holy places.

Israel's enemies may be conducting a war of attrition upon Israel's borders, but it seems that Israel itself is conducting its own internal war of attrition against itself. How can the House of David ever hope to stand again when we ourselves are chiseling away at the moral grout which defines us. Why is this happening? I believe it is a trickle-down effect from a failing, corrupt Israeli leadership. Israelis have no one to look up to anymore.

We have been led to the Promised Land, but who therein is leading us now? Is the Promised Land still the land of promise? It is unconscionable that there has hardly been an Israeli leader in the past few years who has not been involved in a scandal. Israel's leadership while caught up in power trips must not forget that the kavod, the honor, to be leader comes with the kaved, the burden and the weight of doing the right thing – for the sake of Israelis, for the sake of Jews, for the sake of humanity. They must get a handle on scandal. I deeply believe that if our leadership would morally stand strong for something, their people would not fall to such base behaviors.

Israel has so much of which to be proud. It built a desert country, one seedling at a time, into one of the most technologically advanced countries on the globe. Today, it has more companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange than any other country in the world. 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, our morals and integrity cannot equivocate like share prices fluctuating in the stock market. Our leaders must re-embrace integrity, and our people must follow suit and engage in acts which are Jew-worthy and serve to fortify the House of David, not destroy it. Guard your holy places my people, starting with the decency within.

New T-shirts have crowds going 'ga-ga' 'Today's challenge is to let our people know'


New T-shirts have crowds going 'ga-ga'
'Today's challenge is to let our people know'

Posted: April 14, 2008
10:16 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Celebrity interviewer Aliza Davidovit is launching a website that encourages visitors to go "ga-ga" over prominent heroes in Israel's history as the nation approaches its 60th birthday.

Personalities including comedian Jackie Mason, CNN journalist Larry King and Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan are joining the effort to go "Ga-Ga for Ben-Gurion," "Ga-Ga for Golda," "Ga-Ga or Dayan" and others.

However, Davidovit said there is a serious side to the publicity plan.

"If the Jewish homeland is to have a Jewish future," she says, "then we must excite the younger generation to get in touch with the past. These trendy T-shirts are a proud tribute to great leaders who have built and shaped the Jewish state.


New T-shirts have crowds going 'ga-ga'
'Today's challenge is to let our people know'

Posted: April 14, 2008
10:16 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Celebrity interviewer Aliza Davidovit is launching a website that encourages visitors to go "ga-ga" over prominent heroes in Israel's history as the nation approaches its 60th birthday.

Personalities including comedian Jackie Mason, CNN journalist Larry King and Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan are joining the effort to go "Ga-Ga for Ben-Gurion," "Ga-Ga for Golda," "Ga-Ga or Dayan" and others.

However, Davidovit said there is a serious side to the publicity plan.

"If the Jewish homeland is to have a Jewish future," she says, "then we must excite the younger generation to get in touch with the past. These trendy T-shirts are a proud tribute to great leaders who have built and shaped the Jewish state.

(Story continues below)

"They invite the youngsters to ask 'Who's that?' It gives those in the know the chance to explain the heroism of great people and what they lived and died for," she said.

Davidovit, a published writer, author, journalist and former TV producer, spent six years with Connie Chung at ABC News' "20/20," helped launch Fox News Channel's premier live audience news show and is contributing editor to "Lifestyles Magazine International."

She also is editor in chief of WritEffect Productions Ltd., a public company that engages in biographical books for individuals, histories and Holocaust memoirs.

Aliza Davidovit

She's interviewed Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Elie Weisel, Ivana Trump, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and others.

But she's also become increasingly concerned about members of the next generation, who know little about Israel's history and wouldn't know the difference between Ben-Gurion and Ben Gay.

"Today's challenge is not to 'let our go,'" she said, "it's to let our people KNOW."

Besides the tributary T-shirts, the site also includes a blog: "Who Are Your Ga-Ga For And Why?" that offers visitors a chance to extol the virtues of those who made life sacrifices for Israel.

The goal in addition to raising the level of awareness is to raise funds to help families victimized in Sderot through ONEFAMILYFUND, which works to rebuild the lives of Israelis shattered by terror.

The site, which also offers blogs to honor Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin and others, is scheduled to be launched tomorrow.

If You're in the Pew, You Share the View

By Aliza Davidovit

A sentence I once read many years ago came to life before my eyes and ears yesterday as I listened to Barak Obama speak about race and Rev. Wright. The sentence read: The making of a great orator is more in his sound than in his sense. Certainly, even those of us "with untrained ears" — Jews, whites, damned Americans — could be seduced by Obama's oratorical gift and grace. But let's bust the sound bite bubble and get straight to the sense and nonsense of WHAT was said.

To start, does this make sense: "Not once in my conversations with [Wright] have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms." If the reverend is indeed "like family" to Obama, does it fly with you that only at his pulpit before thousands of congregants, who could be anyone from the KKK to reporters, etc., that Wright feels comfortable to speak his mind about race and whites and about damning America, yet in the safe privacy of a conversation with Obama — who is like family to him and also an Obama who was on the rise and had potential to effectuate the "change" Wright preaches about — that only then the reverend would stop to express himself? Hmmm, sound likely?

There is not a person among us who has not at one time or another made a racist remark and most comfortably with our closest friends or family, all the while looking over our shoulder to make sure the Jew, the black, the Chasid, the Hispanic, the Muslim didn't hear us. That this entire logic is spun on its head by Obama is sound bubble number one busted!

But let's just pretend by a Disney stretch of the imagination that Obama never knew about the insidious speeches made by his beloved spiritual leader who is like family to him. Well, why didn't he? If he doesn't know what's going on in his own church, then how can we trust he really knows what's going on anywhere, for instance in such confusing places as Iraq or the West Bank, or America — necessary requirements for a competent commander-in-chief.

Next, that Obama tries to comfort us with the fact that Wright was ONLY his spiritual teacher is another spin-silken yarn. Nonetheless, that is what should be the most alarming part. If he had been his political advisor, or his academic educator or informational instructor, or some other mentor in the world of facts and figures where logic and rational thinking prevail, I'd say okay, it's a meeting of the minds. Minds can be changed when new facts reveal themselves — after all we live in the information age. But, it is precisely that this hate-spewing reverend is his spiritual leader who has gripped the presidential candidate by the soul and heart that scares me. Bloody histories have shown that indelible marks are more often made in the heart than the mind.

And as Obama himself said, "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother." Oh really? Why not, Obama. Remember the old saying 'you can pick your friends but not your family." If he can't disown him then he has clearly exposed where his heart strings are, and that is not a fraying yarn of silk but rather a much "heartier" tie. One of his aides had to resign for calling Hillary Clinton a monster, yet when his reverend calls to the good Lord to damn America, Obama is not incensed? In his address yesterday Obama distanced himself from the reverend — nice political move — but if he really believes "working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds," then why didn't he call to all blacks in that same speech to distance themselves from like sermons across the country.

Obama's disability to 'disown' anyone, not the blacks, not the whites, not the Reverend, says one thing clearly: He is politically pandering. Seems the only person in the whole country that he can find fault with is Hillary Clinton. An apropos quote comes to mind: A friend to all is a friend to none. This was also seen very clearly a few weeks ago when he failed to boldly say to Farrakhan "Please keep your endorsement and shove it, I don't want it?" We ask only that you 'disown' wrong Obama, don't pretend we asked for more — and don't hide behind the high drama of claiming your heritage.

And finally as a former rabbi's wife of ten years myself, and as journalist who has interviewed the who's who of the Jewish world for 19 years, and as a synagogue going Jew, I'm compelled to take on his comment: "I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed."

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 which 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. Yes, slavery is an egregious sin committed by white America and against blacks, but let's not forget the small fact that Jews are the most persecuted people in history and America was certainly not guilt free in its prejudice toward my people. Yet, still in synagogues across this country, Jews say every Sabbath the 'Prayer for the Welfare of the Government' (meaning the government of this country, not Israel) and certainly do not curse this country for past grievances. It's really very simple my friends: If you stay in the pew, you share the view!

I hope Americans will soon awake from their Obama bedazzlement and pay heed to sense not sound. In addition to all, he has zero experience for the job for which he is applying. Maybe may not everyone wants Hillary answering that phone in the middle of the night, but at least — day one — she knows where it is.

We already had a president who needed training wheels and this country has spun out of control.

How much longer will Barak Obama keep seducing lady liberty and whispering sweet nothings in her ear? And if he makes that final seduction on Election Day, America, will you respect yourself in the morning?

© 2009

A handle on scandal

© 2009

By Aliza Davidovit

That powerful men travel down the zippery slope of adultery should come as no shock. Testosterone intoxication brought on by heady power trips has a tendency to misadvise the otherwise wise. Many men have dropped their pants in the wrong places at the wrong times, from James Bakker to Newt Gingrich, from Dick Morris to James McGreevy, from Rudolph Giuliani to Gary Condit. President Clinton didn't even have time to put on his pants – that's why the media always caught him jogging around in his shorts.

Mostly, the reaction is to wag our fingers at some, forgive most and laugh with late night comedians at others. We even supported some cheats – Clinton's popularity rating went up every time he was engaged in a sex scandal. Some of these hot-blooded politicians surprised us more than others, but I can't remember ever being more shocked and disappointed than hearing about Eliot Spitzer, the man who has been called everything from Moses to Crusader, Man of the Year and the Sheriff of Wall Street. There is just something about this story that makes me angry. Short of catching Benjamin Netanyahu in a tutu, nothing could have thrown me more.

When I interviewed Gov. Spitzer for an in-depth profile and cover story, ironically titled, "Fight for Right," I was proud to get the byline. I admired him and supported him. He may not have been liked much, I thought, but he stood up for what he believed in and in his ruthlessness tried to do some good. I never imagined my next story about him would be titled, "Spitzer's 'spritzer' goes to Washington."

During our interview, I had asked why so many smart people got caught doing stupid things. He said he noticed one common thread among these high-profile and otherwise smart wrongdoers – they believed that by virtue of their position they were not bound by the rules that others have to live by.

Obviously, he felt the same applied to him.

He also told me that if he could ask God one question, he'd ask Him, "How can we do better?" If he had asked me that question instead of God, I would have advised him to avoid the Beltway, named in honor of the politicos who drop their belts on their way.

As a New Yorker, I feel betrayed. He destroyed people's lives by bringing down justice upon them while he himself hid dirty deeds. I guess what grates me most is NOT what he did, but that it was he who did it.

As a fellow Jew, I'm embarrassed by his behavior.

As a woman, I feel pain for his wife and family. But I do not believe that women should stand by their men after they've been lied to, cheated on and put them at risk of life-threatening STDS. What are these women teaching their young daughters? That "It's OK if someone treats you like crap and betrays you – stand by his side and forgive him."

Ladies, if he's a shmoe, then you should go!

As for the the frothing, gleeful gang of pundits and politicians who waste time hypothesizing about why he behaved so stupidly, some saying he hates himself, he's arrogant, he wanted to get caught, his mother didn't breast feed him – they ought to stop, especially since, given the opportunity, most of them would do the same. Nonetheless, the answer is as visceral as the reason: He's a man! Somewhere between being a smart power-hungry guy and a sneaky husband, his brains got caught in his zipper.

At the time, Spitzer said in my interview with him that there are indeed people to whom he owes an apology, but he wouldn't say to whom? Now we know!

Should we forgive him? I say no, not while our daughters are watching!

Can Scotch tape heal America?

By Aliza Davidovit
© 2009

Aliza Davidovit
Never have I appreciated freedom of speech so much until I exercised it against those who pretend to advocate it. Steadfast and resolute, the self-determined custodians of the First Amendment put forth stringent arguments why it was imperative to have Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia University, as if the whole Constitution was in imminent jeopardy if this proven terrorist and murderer didn't address the Ivy League student body.

I was against him speaking. So in the name of the freedom of speech, I spoke up against it, in quite a benign manner I might add. I said Ahmadinejad shouldn't speak and tore my diploma. The end! I didn't call for the end of Islam nor of Ahmadinejad himself. That's all! But what followed was a stream of insults, threats and harassment which hasn't ended. In news years, this story should be older than the gramophone. But no, the warped music still plays on.

Some have called for my liquidation; others have said I was bereft of any proof of brains since tearing my diploma (the writer in me can appreciate a great line). Why are their guts and gall only manifested against such a fragile target? Why didn't the advocates of free speech storm the stage at Columbia University, as they did against then-Minuteman Project leader Jim Gilchrist, when Ahmadinejad said there are no homosexuals in his country? Where was the gay pride parade then? Why didn't they storm the stage when he questioned the Holocaust? Where were the good, home-baked pies they threw at Ann Coulter? Were these brave advocates of free speech afraid? Why should they be afraid? Do they know something about Ahmadinejad that we don't know?

As a result, I have been called a Zionist bitch at best, and, well, the rest I need not expound upon. However, I was asked a good question. How, as a journalist, can I not be in support of the freedom of speech? OK! But being an advocate of the freedom of speech doesn't preclude one from being an advocate of using your brains. The first question God ever asked mankind in the book of Genesis was, "Where art thou?" Biblical exegesis explains it as meaning, "Where art thou" in this world? Where do you stand?

If you stand for nothing, then you fall for everything.

Does being a journalist mean you can never use your brains again? (Well, there may be some proof that supports that point). But truly, is there ever a judge or a journalist that is entirely objective to all things? I don't know about you, but I would be terrified of anyone who abandoned their instincts, their beliefs and their brains because they assumed a title that demanded you dismiss everything you ever knew.

I stood that day outside of Columbia University in protest, as a journalist whose empirical evaluations led me to know, not to hypothesize, that Ahmadinejad is an enemy to this country. He, as we all well know by now, is supplying ammunition to insurgents in Iraq that is killing our citizens. He is a denier of the biggest tragedy that befell the Jewish people in the 20th century and a hater of democracy and Western culture. Did anyone notice that he never wears a tie? The reason is that ties represent Western culture, and, thusly, no Iranians wear them.

Let's not pretend that it's all about Israel. As former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wisely pointed out, Israel in the Islamic world is but the small Satan; America is the big one.

It's quite amazing that Ahmadinejad calls for the end of Israel, and the liberal left say let him speak. He supplies our enemies with ammunition that kills our brothers, our sisters, our fathers, uncles and neighbors, and the left says, let him speak. He sponsors the terrorist organization Hezbollah; the left says let him speak. He burns the American flag; the left says let him speak. He kills more minors, women and gays than any other country in the world, and the left says let him speak. And yet, I simply say "don't let him speak" and tear no one's diploma but my own, and the vicious hate that has ensued – wow.

To add insult to injury, when I was interviewed by Alan Colmes of Fox News – who I regard as a good man in general but na?ve when it comes to important things – he offered me Scotch tape to repair my diploma and asked what I accomplished by tearing it up. Let's put aside the tremendous amount of support I got and the people I've inspired, but Scotch tape? Is that what the left thinks will this heal this country, appeasement and Scotch tape?

It is this same clueless view of the world that led Bollinger to invite Ahmadinejad to begin with. Someone once said that a desk is a very dangerous place from which to view the world.

Welcome to the worldview of these liberal-minded academics. From Bollinger's Ivy League desk, his view of the world is certainly tainted, ego-driven, extremely dangerous, and, at best, it's na?ve. Bollinger may be a great lawyer, but he's a terrible mathematician. If we are to add up what was gained and was lost by allowing Ahmadinejad to speak, the negatives certainly outweigh the positives, for the First Amendment was not about to fall before his pretense to uphold it.

He tore New York City in two. He tore the country in two. He insulted the vast number of Jewish denizens of New York. He allowed for the re-victimization of Holocaust survivors by accommodating a denier. He snubbed our greatest ally in the Middle East: Israel. He basically told the families of those with loved ones in Iraq, I don't give a hoot what you think. He spurned the memory of 9/11 only two weeks after commemorating it by hosting a terrorist and paying for his protection. And to top it all off, he insulted the very guest whom he hurt so many people by inviting. By doing so, he inflamed the sympathies of the Arab world that could only view such effrontery as an insult to Islam. In addition, by the mere invitation, he augmented Ahmadinejad's status in the extremist Arab world. Even back in Tehran, a leading Iranian reformer and Ahmadinejad opponent said that Bollinger's remarks only strengthened the Iranian president back home and made his radical supporters more determined.

If we are still doing math, after the whole "experiment" with freedom of speech – as Bollinger called it – Iran's parliament voted to designate the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Army as terrorist organizations. In the streets of Tehran, they once again called for the destruction of Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians and engaged in flag burnings of both Israeli and U.S. flags. Mr. Bollinger, as an alumna of Columbia, how can I thank you for upholding the First Amendment and the freedom of speech?

Bollinger said he wanted his students to learn about the real world. Let me ask, were his students so factually and historically equipped to listen to Ahmadinejad? How many of those students in all honesty know who the last president of Iran was? Did he perhaps expose unequipped students to Ahmadinejad's vitriolic agenda who wouldn't have a clue if he would make a fallacious but very convincing point?

When I was working at ABC News, I hired hundreds of very smart interns, students from Ivy League schools, but upon interviewing them would question them on world affairs: Who was the president here or there, and what year did this or that happen? Turns out there is an intellectual vacuum out there. Thank you Bollinger for inviting Ahmadinejad to fill in the blanks that the likes of you and your kind didn't get around to filling. In this country, we've raged against rap music because it might affect the way our youth think and behave. Just last week a college professor in Iowa was fired because he called the biblical story of Adam and Eve a "fairytale," but if you're a terrorist bent on my destruction, please, be my guest, speak your mind!

And then Bollinger's questions which he perhaps thought would realign world events. Were his brains on sabbatical? He asks Ahmadinejad why he supports terrorism, why he is supporting the insurgents against our troops, blah, blah. … Did he think those "tough questions" would have Ahmadinejad scratching his head in introspection and saying, "You know what, great questions. I never got around to those in therapy. Perhaps it all goes back to my mother. But then again, I wouldn't know, because I might have killed her along with the other women, minors and gays."

To Bollinger and the liberal-minded left: Scotch tape won't heal America. There is a war going on. It's a war between Western culture and extremist Muslims. Scotch tape, my dear Alan Colmes, won't help. What else do you have to offer?

Aliza Davidovit is a writer, author, journalist and former TV producer with a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is currently contributing editor at Lifestyles magazine. She specializes in interviewing and writing about the world’s most famous and influential people for cover stories. She worked at ABC News "20/20" for six years with Connie Chung and in the ABC News Terrorism/Investigations Unit with John Miller. She was also an associate producer and booker at the Fox News Channel.

On shaky ground

by Aliza Davidovit

It’s acknowledged that the Gay Pride Parade shakes up Manhattan every year, but never to the magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale. Yet that’s exactly what Shas Knesset Member Shlomo Benizri touted as the cause of Israel’s earthquake this past week: "homosexual activity practiced in the country.”

But, perhaps, Benizri shouldn't say it too loudly or Iran’s President Ahmadinejad might overhear and find cause to wipe Israel off the map; for, in his country, by his account, there are no homosexuals. But oddly, there are still earthquakes, such as the one of December 26, 2003 with a magnitude of 6.6 that killed 15,000 people - all were hapless homosexuals, I presume.

Oh, by the way, Mr. Benizri. My name, Aliza, means gay in Hebrew. Should I be quaking in my shoes?

Indeed, our ancient Jewish texts do speak of such things as floods and famines, hailstorms and maelstroms as punishment for human corruption and misbehavior. So while you're pointing the finger and citing the Gemara Mr. Benizri, why stop with gays? Perhaps Israel is on “shaky ground” because your religious party, which is supposed to stand on a moral, ethical ground, has been mired in scandal after scandal after the indictment and subsequent conviction and imprisonment of your former party leader, Aryeh Deri.

Or perhaps others in your party have tickled the Richter scale as well, including Raphael Pinhasi, Yair Lev, Ofer Hugi and Yair Peretz, who have all been convicted of offenses including fraud and forgery. Or are the Knesset walls now trellised with rosebuds because of your own indictment and charges by the State Prosecutor's Office for accepting bribes and breaching the public trust?

Knesset bullies

Perhaps Israel is on shaky ground because Shas continuously jeopardizes the coalition of every sitting prime minister if it doesn't like what it hears. They’ve become the Knesset bullies, granting themselves veto power over major decisions by constantly threatening to pull out of governments.

Perhaps the one most feeling the aftershock of Benizri’s remarks is Ehud Olmert. He’s likely stunned that finally something happened for which he isn’t getting blamed.

If as people of faith we Jews really do look to the universe for signs, then we should focus on the fact that the last strong quake that hit Israel on February 11, 2004 left a crack in the ceiling of the Knesset plenum, Israel's parliament, not a gay bar, not long before lawmakers were scheduled to take their seats for the day's debates.

The lesson is clear: Those who convene in a cracked Knesset shouldn't throw stones.

Aliza Davidovit is a writer, author, journalist and former TV producer with a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. Davidovit hosts her own website:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Journalist, Columbia graduate to rip diploma over Iran prez

'Tearing is a sign of mourning,
indeed it is a day of mourning'

If noted journalist and Columbia University alumna Aliza Davidovit walks onto the campus of her alma mater today, it won't be to recall fond memories of her college days – it will be to rip up her diploma from Columbia to protest the appearance of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"I once prized my Columbia diploma and degree, and in my career as a journalist I've done much to make my alma mater proud. But today I am very, very ashamed. I have removed my diploma from the wall and if Ahmadinejad speaks, I will tear it in two, " Davidovit told WND.

"In Judaism, tearing is a sign of mourning. And indeed it is a day of mourning – a day when the integrity of freedom died a little."

Davidovit, who earned her master's degree in journalism from Columbia, is a writer, author, journalist and former TV producer. She is currently contributing editor at Lifestyles magazine and specializes in interviewing and writing about the world's most famous and influential people for cover stories. She worked at ABC News "20/20" for six years with Connie Chung and in the ABC News Terrorism/Investigations Unit with John Miller. She was also an associate producer and booker at the Fox News Channel.

(Story continues below)

Today, in an exclusive WND commentary, Davidovit takes Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger to task for using the First Amendment to justify the university's decision to invite Ahmadinejad to speak on campus.

She writes: "Would he, in the name of free speech, advocate inviting pedophiles to speak at PTA meetings so parents could better understand why their kids should not be sent to playgrounds with no pants on.

"Would Columbia invite a world leader to speak who claims black slavery was a myth or who calls for all black people to be "wiped off the map"? The answer is certain. He wouldn't.

"If Bollinger wants his students, as he has said, 'to understand the world as it is and as it might be,' let him take his students on a field trip to the Walter Reid Medical Center where our troops our coming home without limbs and without faces because of Ahmadinejad. Let him bring them to the airports where families welcome home their loved ones in a wooden box. Let him take them to the Holocaust museum where they can view how university students their own age were turned into bars of soap and lampshades."