Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why the Right Is Wrong and the Left Is To Blame

"Stick and stones can break your bones but words can never harm you," is among the biggest lies generated by mankind. And as the author of a new book called The Words That Shaped Me, I can't go silently into this rhetoric war nightmare without offering a few words of my own regarding the Arizona shooting.

Although it has been proven in this tragic case that the rhetoric of the Right did not pull the trigger and that they were indeed "blood libeled" by the Left, let's not pretend that words don't matter.

Was it not we Republicans and conservatives who went down in shameful defeat in 2008 recognizing that a senator with a short resume assumed the most powerful job in the world not by experience, but by offering sweet sounding words such as "hope" and "change?" Those winning words may have very well fundamentally changed the course of America and world affairs.

Therefore, with all due respect to my favorite conservative talk show hosts, if words don't matter then why are they talking for a living? Maybe they should become mimes instead. But they can't have it both ways. If they feel their words and arguments can foment people to vote and reignite lagging patriotism, they have to also recognize that their words can lead people down many paths, even dangerous ones. I'm not just talking about deranged individuals, but also those in despair who feel they have nothing more to lose--like the man who just lost his job and whose house was just foreclosed on--or like the "over-patriotic" individual who feels it's up to him or her to "save" America by ANY means.

Personally, I am a strong advocate of the right to bear arms. But to repeat the oft said phrase, with rights come responsibilities. Conservatives need to speak softly if they want to keep carrying that "big stick." Metaphors such as "cross-hairs" and "reloading" have no place in our national dialogue. We can't continue stirring people up with such a lethal vocabulary or eventually there will be a shot heard around the world. For as the multi-billion dollar advertising industry has shown us if you repeat something often enough, it can affect human behavior. And it all starts with “words” as I expound upon in my book.

Perhaps we have 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; surely no society would accept that upfront. But he began it with hateful talk and hateful words and a vicious rhetoric (as found in his book Mein Kampf, the very same book the Arizona shooter was reading) which dehumanized Jews thus making it easier to murder them.

But my dear leftists don't get too excited that a conservative has called out her own. Because for the most part conservatives are merely standing up for the Constitution which the last time I checked was the law of the land. At the end of the day however, Palin may throw around one gun metaphor too many for my liking, but it is the Liberal Left, i.e., Hollywood, that has glamorized guns for America. Most American's contend that the greatest film ever made was The Godfather; it was so good we begged for more, hence the trilogy. Oh, and how about when The Sopranos was a national pastime? And who can forget such great movies as Bugsy, Goodfellas, Casino and Scarface? I'm quite certain that when watching we were all rooting for the bad guys; I certainly felt bad when my favorite mobster, Sonny Corleone, got whacked. Didn't you? And simply all that gun stuff was just so neat. I can’t think of a cooler movie scene than when Clint Eastwood pulls out a .44 Magnum revolver and says, "Go ahead, make my day."

Gee, isn't it the same liberal Hollywood who calls the Tea Parties gun-toting loons who can hardly make a movie today that doesn't have multiple shootings and semi-automatic weapons, violence, and bloodshed? I think I haven't seen a movie without an explosion since Doris Day. Don't these Leftists know that they are the trendsetters for the American dream, they create the role models that our children are watching, that we are all watching. I don't recall MSNBC's Keith Olbermann or the NYT's Paul Krugman lambasting the producers of today's action packed films and calling them "murderers" after the Arizona shooting. Though maybe, just maybe, they should question the next time a kid pulls a gun in school whether he wasn't inspired by Tony Soprano rather than Sarah Palin.

This week, as we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, maybe we can be reminded how he used passionate yet peaceful words to effectuate change. He appealed to our better natures and that's a "dream" we can all believe in.

Yes, the Right are wrong but the Left are to blame. They are all complicit in the destruction of this great country. My advice: Watch your words for they tend to take on a life of their own--unless of course that is what you were shooting for?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

David--A Personal Story

The name David means “beloved” in Hebrew. It’s my favorite name and I pray that one day God will bless me and I will hold in my arms a little baby boy to whom I can give that name of Israel’s greatest king and another man named David in my life.

David was just 5 years old when his mother Sarah died at 32 of rheumatic fever. She knew she was going to die and tried to prepare little David by pretending playfully she was dead. He would say, “Wake up mommy, wakeup.” She’d open her eyes and tell him “Dudaleh, one morning soon I won’t wake anymore. Be a good boy and be strong.” He was only a child but always remembered the softness of her voice and her twinkling eyes. The day of her funeral he ran after his mother’s coffin as they pulled her away upon a wooden bier in the small town of Sighet in Transylvania. “Mommy, mommy, don’t leave me mommy,” he cried. This time it was for real. His tiny pace could not keep up with the speed of the bier and the space between them grew as endless and wide as the grief and fear in his little heart.

The adults around him extended no warmth, no hand, no love, no compassion. He was a little boy alone in a cold and ever-darkening world. It was 1939, Hitler’s war had already begun and people’s minds were occupied with other matters. Although David did have a father, he cared nothing for his only child and viewed him as more of a burden than anything else. He was a womanizer, a bon vivant, a Hungarian bohemian who would endlessly spend his days and nights in smokey filled gambling houses until the morning’s early hours. Night after night David would sit under the table among the men’s feet and dirty shoes while his father played. His big blue eyes brimmed with tears as he sat there shivering in his own pee falling asleep against a wooden table leg.

This little, shy, sweet inconvenience named David was sent from aunt to uncle and passed along as a big burdensome platter at a long table at which no one can find the room to rest it down. He was finally shipped off to an orphanage in Israel (then called Palestine) in 1943. On May 16, 1944, the Nazis began the deportation of all of Sighet’s Jews to Auschwitz. David’s entire family, except his father, shared the same fate as the 20,000 Jews who had once lived in this ethnically eclectic town: They were murdered by the Nazis.

When Israel became a State on May 14th 1948, David turned 13, bar mitzvah age. Still in the orphanage, ever lonely and so alone, he was lucky to be alive. Yet the pride that the establishment of the Jewish homeland ushered in was nothing short of contagious, offering hope and a common sense of purpose. David eventually ran away from the orphanage, lied about his age and joined the Israeli army. It became his family, and his heart opened up again.

David was my father: David Davidovit. He took his mother’s maiden name because his father was too busy with himself to register his son with his own. My father wore that name with the same pride and honor as he did his army uniform because everything about him stood for decency. He was the little David who cried as they took his mother Sarah away and who one day would have to bury his own 3-year-old daughter who shared her name. He was the David who gave me the Hebrew name, Aliza, happiness, because that is what the land of the Hebrews had given him. Ironically, I was born May 16th, which for me is a symbolic triumph over the day the Nazis swept up Sighet’s Jews for extermination.

It was in my father’s story as a decorated veteran that my Zionism was born; it was in his longings for the beaches of Haifa and vivid tales about Ariel Sharon that Israel became my legacy too. It was in his patriotism that I came to romanticize about heroic Israeli men, and it was in his story that I learned that without the existence of the Jewish homeland every Jew is an orphan.

Yes, David means beloved. My beloved father who, like his biblical namesake, stood against life’s Goliaths and prevailed. And like the Star of David on the Israeli flag, he is forever my protector, my shining and guiding star and a radiant light sparkling over Zion.

God bless his soul!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Smear Campaign Against Netanyahu from the Grave--perfect for Halloween

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

The word warriors

By Aliza Davidovit
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

My Memories of 9-11

by Aliza Davidovit
On the 10th floor of ABC News 20/20, where I worked at the time, producers, anchors and interns gathered around the TV sobbing as the horrors of 9/11 unfolded. Some had parents, husbands, wives and friends who worked in the area—the cell phones were down the fates and futures of our loved ones were unknown. There was no rank among us that day—we were equal, united in grief, united in uncertainty, united by the hate and evil that was perpetrated against us. My ex-spouse who worked on Wall Street at the time, like so many others—if they were lucky enough to do so—had to walk miles and miles from downtown to get home. When I finally saw my husband, his pants were covered with ashes and soot; we both broke down and sobbed.

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

Obama doesn't accept legitimacy of continued settlement expansion


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

Racebook: What African Americans Can Learn from the Jews

by Aliza Davidovit

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.”