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Israel on Edge

Israel’s 2007 Decision to Attack a Syrian Nuclear Facility is History and Warning

July 29th 2019

Edwin Black

Jerusalem Post editor Yaakov Katz probably had no way of knowing that this would be a perfect time to release his briskly-selling Shadow Strike—Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power (St. Martin’s Press). Or did he?

The world’s attention is once again and inevitably riveted to the nuclear threat from Iran, generating kaleidoscopic theories about a potential military strike to disable Tehran’s program. So, Katz’s case study of the run-up and run-down to the Jewish state’s clandestine destruction of Syria’s nuclear attempt in 2007 is now an imperative read.

Katz flexes both his editorial sinews and his prior government connections (as a former senior policy advisor) to deliver a suspenseful chronicle, bolstered by rapid-fire precision and continuous in-room details. Understandably, this volume will be consulted time and time again by military theorists and diplomatic observers, wondering how it might be done—just in case it must be done again. Read more ..


Media on Edge

Watchdog Group Canary Mission Uncovers Longstanding ‘Disdain’ for Jews and Israel among Al Jazeera Staff

May 24th 2019

al-Jazeera

Amid the fallout over a video that denied the Holocaust, the anti-Semitism watchdog group Canary Mission has revealed that several members of Al Jazeera’s staff have held longstanding “disdain for Jews and Israel” that predate the video release.

The seven-minute video, which was published last week on the network’s online channel, AJ+, stated that Israel was the “greatest beneficiary,” and that the Holocaust happened, but “it’s different from how the Jews tell it.”

After international outrage, Al Jazeera retracted the video and announced that the makers of the video were to be suspended, and that staff were to undergo sensitivity and bias training.

Read more ..

Media on Edge

What if the New York Times Cartoon had depicted a Muslim, a Lesbian, an African American or a Mexican as a Dog?

May 2nd 2019

New York Times Bldg

Imagine if the New York Times cartoon that depicted Israel's Prime Minister as a dog had, instead, depicted the leader of another ethnic or gender group in a similar manner? If you think that is hard to imagine, you are absolutely right. It would be inconceivable for a Times editor to have allowed the portrayal of a Muslim leader as a dog; or the leader of any other ethnic or gender group in so dehumanizing a manner.

What is it, then, about Jews that allowed such a degrading cartoon about one of their leaders? One would think that in light of the history of the Holocaust, which is being commemorated this week, the last group that a mainstream newspaper would demonize by employing a caricature right out of the Nazi playbook, would be the Jews. But no. Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures. Read more ..


Authors on Tour

Human Rights Champion Edwin Black and Michigan Civil Rights Community Focus on Israel and International Law

April 10th 2019

Edwin Black

Renowned historian and investigative human rights journalist Edwin Black returns to Flint on April 16, 2019 to deliver what is billed as a "conversation-changing lecture" on understanding Israel and international law and its historical underpinnings. The event returns Black to Mott Community College where he appeared last month to discuss the pivotal involvement of Detroit automakers Ford and GM in Hitler’s mass murdering war machine and the Holocaust. Mott has hosted Black’s lectures annually for a half decade.

The New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of IBM and the Holocaust and War Against the Weak, has more than 1.5 million books in print. His work focuses on human rights, genocide, corporate criminality and corruption, as well as Middle East politics and our country’s addiction to petroleum.

Black’s April 16 return to Flint is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Mott Community College, and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Introductory remarks will be made by Department of Civil Rights deputy director Lee Gonzales, a Flint resident, and civil rights icon MSU’s William Anderson, a movement colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Author Black has received many humanitarian awards, including a Battle Creek DLA Citation and a special commendation by the Michigan State Legislature. He keynoted last year’s Michigan official Holocaust Commemoration held in Lansing’s Capitol Rotunda, where he coined the term "The Algorithm Ghetto" as a threat to individual freedoms.

Black--who has investigated genocide against Africans, the persecution of Shia Muslims, injustice against the deaf, corporate complicity in the Holocaust, the forced sterilization of Americans during this country’s eugenic crusade--explains, "I am returning to Flint for one reason--to address fast-spiking anti-Semitism throughout the nation and in Michigan." The author promised to declare a new syntax in the current effort to combat anti-Semitism.

Read more ..

Book Review

"Industry of Lies" is Solid Truth as It Spotlights the False Narrative in Academia

March 11th 2019

Durban anti-Zionism protest

Edward Said called Palestinians "the victims of the victims," and such Holocaust inversion has been baked into the Palestinian story, turning Jews and Israelis into Nazis. This strategy of feigned victimhood and weakness underlies the success story of the Palestinian narrative.

Yemini, former opinion editor at the Israeli daily Maariv and now a columnist for Yediot Ahronot, unpacks the relationship between Israel and its global image. The Industry of Lies argues that the global Israel-boycott movement has emboldened a growing disconnect between facts and perceptions. Yemini also highlights how academia has become fertile ground for cultivating lies about Israel, stating that "there are many intellectuals who will ... create a new reality, invent facts, publish innumerable tracts containing known lies and speak and quote each other." Read more ..


After the Holocaust

Ballad in the Key of 4G

March 4th 2019

Edwin Black

This is deeply personal. But what I have experienced should resonate with the entire Jewish community—the one we know and the one to come. In the whirlwind that seizes me and all who are communally aware, I have reached a new and stunning personal location, wedged between the searing past and the uncertain future.

See the Edyka video
Buy the CD Single

My story begins before I was born, when my grandmother Fanya seized her slender teen-aged daughter—my mother-to-be— Edyka, and pushed her out of the small vent at the top of a suffocating boxcar rumbling inexorably from Bialystok, Poland toward the Treblinka deathcamp. Together, they made the split-second decision that at least one person should escape. My mother became a "jumper." That day, she jumped into a hostile and dangerous Polish forest, was shot by local forces, and then buried in a hastily-arranged mass grave in the snow. Buried, yet one nearly lifeless limb protruded.

Teen-aged Herschel, an audacious forest fighter, came upon the area. Spying Edyka’s leg moving. He pulled her out of the pile. For two years, under cloak of night and by raw courage, they lived in the woods as brave partisans. They survived. After the war, believing millions of Jews had been killed, they decided to continue living as Jews, precisely because so many tried to kill our people. After two years in a displaced persons camp, they found their US home in Chicago. Their courage and determination allowed me to be born.

Growing up, I eagerly inhaled my Jewish heritage and love of Israel. With imbued purpose, I devoted my life to unmasking and addressing the hidden players and hidden hands behind the darkest evils and injustices. I adopted the identity of a Second Generation author long before the larger Second Generation movement developed its own national identity. Read more ..


Book Excerpt

From My Pashtun Rabbi--an Excerpt: The Big Lie

February 18th 2019

Books

You never forget the day, the five minutes, in which you come to a shocking new perception, a realization that knocks aside cherished, romantic and often naïve ideas. That moment resides in your present, but extends into your future, putting an end-point on your past. Yet there’s an irony to all this when your new perception is: "Nothing really changes, does it?"

That hit me, along with the thought that most likely nothing ever will, at the end of a lively session of Intro. As a further irony, this was the Wednesday following the historic Tuesday on which Americans chose a black man with a Muslim father as their 44th president. Hope. Hope?

As usual the a/c in my Building 66 classroom was broken and it was hot and stuffy for early November. I’d scrawled on the whiteboard behind me, in a rainbow of dry-erase colors, a quartet of buzzwords: Propaganda, Seek the Truth, Speak Truth to Power, and The Big Lie. My teaching plan was a lesson and discussion focused on uses and abuses of journalistic influence, not on the U.S. election.

Noura 1 was anxious to get the subversion going the moment class started. "We are so excited about Obama. He is our president, too."

"He is the world’s new hope," Fatima 4 exclaimed.

That word again. I’d arrived knowing the students would want me to go off-topic. With their first genuine exam set for the following Wednesday, they weren’t going to derail me easily. I stood firm. "We will talk about Obama and the American election another day. Today, we have other things to do."

Noura 1 persisted. "Are you glad he won, Doctor?"

Read more ..

Media On Edge

Soros, the NYT, and anti-Israel Propaganda

January 25th 2019

New York Times Bldg

Using the pretext of commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the New York Times Sunday Review published what Alan Dershowitz fittingly describedas, "one of the most biased, one-sided, historically inaccurate, ignorant and bigoted articles ever published by that venerable newspaper." The article, "Time to Break the Silence on Palestine", is an unhinged anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian rant.

The newspaper and the article were aptly criticized by Ruth King in the American Thinker, and by Ira Stoll in the Algemeiner. However, vitriolic smears against Israel are nothing new to the NYT. What is new about this slanted article is that it shows how George Soros's propaganda machine works. Read more ..


Media on Edge

Media Watchdog Condemns Killing Of Afghan Journalist

January 10th 2019

Afghani Taliban
Illustrative

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the killing of Afghan journalist Javid Noori, who was shot dead by the Taliban in his native province of Farah in Afghanistan's west.

Noori, who worked for the Farah regional government as well as hosting two programs on local Radio Neshat, was travelling on a bus with around 30 other passengers when it was stopped and searched at a Taliban roadblock on January 5, RSF said in a statement on January 8.

The Taliban militants shot Noori after finishing their search, it added.

"This summary execution is the first death of a journalist in 2019 to be registered on RSF's barometer," said Reza Moini, the head of RSF's Afghanistan-Iran desk.

"There is an urgent need to end such practices. We reiterate our appeal to the international community to condition the start of any talks with the Taliban on their giving an explicit undertaking to respect international humanitarian law's basic treaties, starting with the Geneva Conventions," Moini said. Read more ..


Media on Edge

NBC News Uses Old Photo to 'Prove' Obama's New Home has No Wall--But it Does Today

January 9th 2019

Obama with baseball bat

When President Donald Trump compared Barack and Michelle Obama's new security wall around their new home in Washington, DC to a border wall, the media ran fact-check after fact-check with claims that President Trump is wrong.

In his tweet on December 30, Trump wrote "President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!"

Left-wing media such as Snopes and NBC News rebutted the President and wrote fact-checks to tell their readers and viewers that there is no wall or fencing around the Obama home. A neighbor of the Obamas told The Washington Post on December 31 that there is tasteful fencing along the front of the house while the back of the house is protected by a chain-link fence. Former presidents and their immediate family are afforded life-long protection by the Secret Service according to the Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012.

Read more ..

Media on Edge

Tribune, Tronc And Beyond: A Slur, A Secret Payout And A Looming Sale

December 13th 2018

Newspapers

Several months after taking control of the troubled Tribune Publishing Co. in 2016, Chicago investor Michael Ferro convened a session of corporate leaders from within his own news empire, including chief news executives from such storied papers as the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun.

The group of about 20 people trooped from Chicago's iconic Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue to an upscale restaurant nearby. In a private room, participants dined on seafood and steak while Ferro, then the company's chairman, held forth on his plans.

His own net worth was newly in the nine figures. Associates and peers say Ferro held ambitions that were wide-ranging, even audacious, given the newspaper industry's stiff headwinds. Read more ..


The Digital Age

EU Copyright Law May Force Tech Giants To Pay Billions To Publishers

September 15th 2018

Books

Music companies, film-makers and media publishers could be in line for billions in payouts after EU lawmakers voted to accept controversial changes to copyright rules that aim to make tech companies including Facebook and Google share more of their revenue.

The proposed legislation, that surfaced two years ago with the aim to update copyright for the digital age, has unleashed a ferocious lobbying war pitting the likes of Paul McCartney, Placido Domingo, Adele and film-makers including Mike Leigh, against the Silicon Valley giants and their respective supporters, including internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

On Wednesday, the European parliament voted to approve amended versions of the copyright directive’s two most controversial provisions, articles 11 and 13.

A total of 438 lawmakers voted for the amended copyright proposals to be adopted, with 226 against and 39 abstentions.

The two articles had been rejected by the European parliament when it voted on the draft legislation in July.

Article 11, which critics have dubbed a “link tax”, would force news aggregation and search sites such as Google and Facebook to pay publishers for showing news snippets or linking to news stories on other sites.

Europe’s biggest news agencies have urged MEPs to vote for the law, as they accused Google and Facebook of “plundering” the news and their ad revenues, resulting in a “threat to democracy”. Read more ..


Author Interview

'Sword and Scimitar' Offers In-Depth Study of Landmark Battles Between Islam and the West

September 3rd 2018

Minaret

Editor’s note: Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman recently interviewed Raymond Ibrahim, formerly the associate director of the Forum and currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow. Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West—a featured selection of the History Book Club and current best seller in several Amazon categories—was released earlier this week and is available at a variety of book distributors

Roman: Welcome to this MEF interview, Raymond.  Tell us a little bit about your new book, Sword and Scimitar.


Ibrahim: Sure, Gregg, thank you.  As indicated by its title, the book is first and foremost a military history, narrated around the two civilizations’ eight most decisive clashes.  If truth is stranger than fiction, so were these real-life battles more dramatic than the make-believe “epics” playing on television screens everywhere. (Of course, since they were also occasioned by Muslims invading and terrorizing the West from every corner and for over a millennium—that is, since they contradict the mainstream narrative of Muslims “grieved” by Western aggression—Hollywood will not touch them with a ten-foot pole.)
 
But while these dramatic military encounters form the centerpieces of the book’s eight chapters, the bulk of the narrative chronologically traces and tells the general (but much forgotten) story of Islam and the West, and how their perennial conflicts changed the face of the globe.
Read more ..


Book Review

David Eden's Memoir "My Pashtun Rabbi" Offers Inclusion and Understanding

August 19th 2018

Buzkashi

A Jewish American working in the United Arab Emirates fears hostility but finds humanity in this debut memoir.

Fleeing divorce and midlife crisis, journalist Eden left Ohio in 2008 to take a teaching job at the United Arab Emirates University in the Emirati oasis town of Al Ain. There was much in the desert oil monarchy on the Persian Gulf for him to get used to: searing heat; arrogant but inept bureaucrats (who assigned his first class to meet in a women’s bathroom); and female students who were almost impossible to tell apart due to their similar names and their identical, all-covering black sheylas.

Read more ..

Book Essay

Memoirs of a Tennis-playing Diplomat

July 30th 2018

Stacks of old books

I first encountered Zvi Gabay at a meeting of activists for justice for Jews from Arab countries. A genteel, thoughtful man, his memoir, From Baghdad to the Pathways of Diplomacy, reflects modesty and restraint. Typically, his memoir understates his tireless advocacy in newspapers and fora for the rights of almost a million Jews driven from Arab lands.

In his book he barely mentions the issue which – apart from his love of Arabic poetry – has consumed much of his time since his retirement.

Born in Baghdad in 1938, Zvi Gabay (brother of the famous film actor Sasson Gabay) was just old enough to remember the turmoil of 1947, when the Iraqi government tried to divert popular attention away from domestic issues to the Jews. Iraq was among the seven Arab countries that declared war against the new state of Israel. Arrests of local Jews, executions and travel bans followed. The writing on the wall was clear to Zvi: the Jewish community of Iraq was doomed. Read more ..


Book Review

Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel Engraves a Comprehensive and Well-documented History

July 10th 2018

Judaism Zionism and the Land of Israel

Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel by Rabbi Yotav Eliach engraves a comprehensive and well documented history of Eretz Yisrael, that is, in my opinion, required reading for all
those who want to truly understand andappreciate what Zionism and the Land of Israel mean to the Jewish Nation. Rabbi Eliach skillfully presents the continuing drama of Israel’s struggle|
with its neighbors in such a gripping manner, it is hard to put the book down until you finish the last page.
Not only does this book trace the religious relationships of the three major faiths to the Land of Israel, it also serves as a scholarly primer on International Law. Thus, any conscientious law student may appreciate the intricate and delicate problems at hand. Spiritually uplifting and vastly informative, this book is simply what books should be-- a great read. Be forewarned--it is a heavy volume, weighing in at over 800 pages. But that took is what makes this volume a staple for any library, personal or academic. 
Constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote of this book: "The case for Israel  must  be  made anew in every generation and to every audience. Rabbi Eliach has been making the  case  to generations  of  high  school  students. Now he brings his insights and experience to a general public that is desperately in need of history and current realities." Historian Edwin Black, wrote, "A dramatic and incisive journey into Jewish and  Zionist history that will uplift any reader -  academic or religious -  into a new understanding of Israel and its place in our history--and our future."  And commentator Martin Barillas summed up the accomplishment as "the fruit of a lifetime of study and teaching." I found none of those were exaggerations.
Martin E. Ritholtz is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The Farhud

Why International Farhud Day Stymies Invented Palestinian History

May 31st 2018

Farhud book

When International Farhud Day was proclaimed at a conference convened at the United Nations headquarters on June 1, 2015, its proponents wanted to achieve more than merely establish a commemoration of the ghastly 1941 Arab-Nazi pogrom in Baghdad that killed and injured hundreds of Iraqi Jews. Farhud means violent dispossession. The Farhud was but the first bloody step along the tormented path to the ultimate expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from across the Arab world. That systematic expulsion ended centuries of Jewish existence and stature in those lands.

 

Jews had thrived in Iraq for 2,700 years, a thousand years before Mohammad. But all that came to end when the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, led the broad Arab-Nazi alliance in the Holocaust that produced a military, economic, political, and ideological common cause with Hitler. Although Husseini spearheaded an international pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish Islamic movement from India to Central Europe to the Middle East, it was in Baghdad—a 1,000-kilometer drive from Jerusalem— that he launched his robust coordination with the Third Reich. Read more ..


Significant Lives

Bernard Lewis: 100 Years in the Making

May 22nd 2018

Books

As three commercial airliners crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on the orders of Osama bin Laden, Lewis’s What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East was in galleys, almost ready for press. It became a major best seller.

With the publication the next year of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, Lewis had two number-one best sellers on the New York Times nonfiction list — one in hardcover and one in paperback.

“My historical studies suddenly became relevant,” he writes in his 2012 memoir, Notes on a Century. He was interviewed endlessly, and was invited to Washington, D.C., to educate politicians and to lecture at think tanks.

Even more than his vast erudition and capacious memory, it is his unparalleled ability to fit things together that has made Lewis one of the best-known public intellectuals of our time. It is not the historian’s task to predict the future, according to Lewis. “He can discern trends. He can look at what has been happening and what is happening and see change developing. From this he can formulate, I will not say predictions, but possibilities, alternative possibilities.” Long before 9/11, Bernard Lewis had been doing that as well as anyone in the world.

In 1976, he published an article in Commentary, “The Return of Islam,” that broke with the prevailing orthodoxy that the Middle East was rapidly headed toward a future of secular revolutionary movements. Read more ..


Book Review

Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel: New book Gives Context to Trump's Move on Jerusalem

May 18th 2018

Judaism Zionism and the Land of Israel

Rabbi Yotav Eliach’s new book, Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel, is the fruit of a lifetime of study and teaching, which seeks to frame the emergence of the modern state of Israel in a Biblical and historical reference. Rabbi Eliach has been a teacher for decades and is currently the esteemed principal of Rambam Mesivta High School in Long Island, New York. Bringing together his scholarship and spiritual leanings, he has produced a massive volume that bridges the gaps between the many elements of Jewish history, tradition and faith, in addition to the political and military history of the wider world.

Rabbi Eliach has written a work that begins with the Patriarch Abraham of some 4,000 years ago, continuing through the establishment of Jewish kingdoms under Solomon and David and to the times of occupations by Persian, Greek, Roman, Muslim, and British authorities to the foundation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. The relationship between God and His chosen people is woven throughout the book. Throughout the centuries after their dispersal from the land of Israel by the Romans during the First Century A.D., the Jewish people prayed to return to the land of the Promise. Rabbi Eliach also includes hard facts about the dispossession, marginalization and anti-Semitism that marked those centuries and that gave increasing impetus over nearly two thousand years to Zionism -- Jewish nationalism -- that brought to fruition the prayers and sacrifices of a people who had been far too long abused.

For Rabbi Eliach, the presence of God as a guiding force in the destiny of the Jewish people and the land that they claim is not to be dismissed. He writes: “The Israelites’ relationship to Hashem was based on a covenant binding God and Israel through a series of obligations.” As an eloquent and frank believer, Rabbi Eliach pays tribute in his book to the divine illumination that has aided theorists, diplomats, and warriors who sacrificed to make modern Israel a reality. Read more ..


Significant Lives

Tom Wolfe-- Journalist and Author of Bonfire of the Vanities, dies aged 88

May 15th 2018

Books

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe
journalist and novelist, born March 1930
died 14 May 2018

The writer Tom Wolfe, who has died aged 88, was a great dandy, both in his elaborate dress and his neon-lit prose. Although he was in his late 50s when he became a bestselling novelist, with The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), some 30 years before that he was already famous as a journalist, was indeed that extremely rare thing, the journalist as international celebrity.

It was a part Wolfe played up to, wearing showy tailor-made white suits, summer and winter, as well as fancy headgear and shirts with detachable collars. The overall impression was of a fashionplate from a bygone age. The sartorial fireworks fitted in very well with the highly eccentric literary style Wolfe used and which made such a name for him when he published The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965), which brought the world the first news of the 1960s counterculture in California.

The curious style came about by chance. In 1963, commissioned to write about custom cars for Esquire magazine, Wolfe got as far as writing hurried notes and told his editor, Byron Dobell, to give them to someone else because he could not produce the finished piece. Dobell read the notes and printed them as they were.

The peculiar style, full of exclamation marks, words elongated for special effect, and words in capital letters, gave the impression of news that was too hot for the simple declarative sentence; also that it was highly complicated to explain but that Wolfe himself knew all there was to know about it, and from the inside. As the news was from the counterculture or, later on, from the world of the New York new rich, the prose seemed to fit the passion. Read more ..


Inside Books

Why New Book, Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel, Fills a Void

May 5th 2018

Judaism Zionism and the Land of Israel

For decades, Rabbi Yotav Eliach, esteemed principal of Rambam Mesivta High School in Long Island, has accumulated his teachings, writings, and those of many other scholars and rabbinical authorities, tracking the history of Israel. His mission was not just to chronicle the dispossession and repossession of a people, as Walter Laqueur did in A History of Zionism, but to go beyond. Rabbi Eliach completes the circle and ties in the religious component— spiritual Judaism itself. The result is a massive and incisive tome, Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel. It is designed to bridge the intellectual space between Israel’s cultural, political, intellectual, diplomatic, juridical, and historical pillars. Skillfully and doggedly, Rabbi Eliach weaves in the Biblical and Talmudic quintessence that laces it all together.

Buy
Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel

The work spans the millennia between Abraham’s covenant with God right through the fiery twentieth century and into the modern, post-Oslo Accords era. In this compilation, God is an acknowledged factor as much as turning-point wars, crumbling international agreements, and fractious diplomacy. On an early page, Rabbi Eliach writes, “The Israelites’ relationship to Hashem was based on a covenant binding God and Israel through a series of obligations.” God is written about as a real and all permeating force, an ipso facto that functions as the alpha and omega of the story—dwelling above all events.
The Divine is a part of the Israel equation that many modern commentators do not emphasize. But Rabbi Eliach magnifies the role of the Lord, intertwined with those of skillful diplomats and brave warriors, from the perspective of a believer, as one who walks in the aura of understanding that too many analysts in the secular world circumvent. Read more ..


Significant Lives

Jay Bushinsky, Veteran Journalist and War Reporter, Dies at 85

May 3rd 2018

Newspapers

Veteran prizewinning journalist Jay Bushinsky died on Wednesday at his home in Savyon. He was 85. Bushinsky covered the Middle East for American and Canadian newspapers, radio stations and television networks, and occasionally wrote for The Jerusalem Post as well.

He was the Israel bureau chief, columnist or correspondent, or a combination of all three for several prestige media outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Times and The Atlanta Constitution.

He also opened the Jerusalem bureau of CNN in June 1980.

An op-ed piece that he published in the Post in 2012 focused on war correspondents. He wrote there that they should not take unnecessary risks, and that their host countries should do everything possible to ensure their safety. Read more ..


Media on Edge

Drew Cloud Is a Well-Known Expert on Student Loans--But He’s Not Real

April 29th 2018

New York Times Bldg

Drew Cloud is everywhere. The self-described journalist who specializes in student-loan debt has been quoted in major news outlets, including The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and CNBC, and is a fixture in the smaller, specialized blogosphere of student debt.

He’s always got the new data, featuring irresistible twists:

One in five students use extra money from their student loans to buy digital currencies.

Nearly 8 percent of students would move to North Korea to free themselves of their debt.

Twenty-seven percent would contract the Zika virus to live debt-free.

All of those surveys came from Cloud’s website, The Student Loan Report.

Drew Cloud’s story was simple: He founded the website, an "independent, authoritative news outlet" covering all things student loans, "after he had difficulty finding the most recent student loan news and information all in one place." Read more ..


Inside TV

Record Number of Network Pilots Filming in NYC

April 2nd 2018

Campus crime

It seems the Big Apple is beating Hollywood at its own game. On Thursday March 22nd, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment announced that the NYC broke its record of Network drama pilots being filmed locally this season. Three of the major networks have opted to film 12 drama pilots in our city. By Contrast, eight pilots will be filmed in Los Angeles. NYC’s boost represents both the largest number of productions across the country and the biggest jump in any city across the nation. “Today’s announcement bodes well for our city’s continued dominance as the episodic TV capital of the world, providing long-lasting, good jobs to New York-based crew members and actors alike,” said MOME Commissioner Julie Menin.
Read more ..

Book Accused of Constituting a ‘Terrorist Organization’ by Turkish Court

March 30th 2018

Erdogan

Prominent Turkish investigative journalist Fehim Taştekin, whose reports on Syria have attracted wide public interest, on Wednesday issued a statement on his Twitter account criticizing a court ruling that banned his book “Rojava/Kürtlerin Zamanı” (Rojava/Time of Kurds).

Following a verdict rendered by the Kahta Magistrate’s Court of Adıyaman province in eastern Turkey, Taştekin’s book was banned from public consumption due to accusations of terrorist propaganda. In his tweet Taştekin pointed to the absurdity of the court decision, which accuses the book of “having the properties of a terrorist organization.” Read more ..


Author Interview

New Book Exposes Depth of Anti-Israel Hate on American Campuses

March 29th 2018

Brandeis

About six months after Andrew Pessin posted on his Facebook profile a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign. The school paper published articles defaming him. The administration hosted condemnations of Pessin from across the campus community on the school's website, and tolerated other anti-Semitic activities that only worsened the climate for Jews and Israel supporters. Pessin received death threats and, in the spring of 2015, took a medical leave of absence. The Connecticut College administration offered no meaningful protection or support to Pessin, and never issued any apology for its role in his abuse. Read more ..


Book Review

Islam Wins World War III in Provocative New Science Fiction Novel

March 16th 2018

Osama bin-Laden preaching

Gary Morgenstein’s fifth novel A Mound Over Hell is a powerful and explosive story about a nightmare – what if America and the West loses World War Three to Islam? In the novel, Israel has been wiped out and world Jewry decimated. Europe is now Muslim Europe. Out of the ashes, America, surrounded, has created a new society based on love and ethics, led by Grandma, head of The Family.

All acts of patriotism, from flying the flag to singing the National Anthem, are illegal. Social media has been banned under the Anti-Narcissism Laws. Religion, associated with Islam, is also illegal. In a nation where children are revered, abortion and the use of contraceptives are capital offenses along with pedophilia. Banks, lawyers, psychologists and the entertainment industry were banned by the Anti-Parasite Laws I and II. Robots with faces are also outlawed; during the 2030s the AIs caused havoc by posing as humans and blending into society. Read more ..


America on Edge

2018 Oscars Get Abysmally Low TV Ratings; Politics Cited

March 12th 2018

Television Array

The 90th Annual Academy award was an unmitigated disaster. The decision to bring back one of the most polarizing figures of late night TV Jimmy Kimmel was not very wise. The ratings tanked, Kimmel bombed and the Red Carpet award show on E! was an embarrassment.

The 90th Academy Awards on Sunday drew an average 26.5 million viewers, making it the lowest rated Academy Awards show ever, as per Variety

It’s a nearly 20% drop from last year’s telecast, which brought in roughly 33 million viewers.

Several factors can be contributed to these horrible numbers. First the movies nominated for Best Picture were not very popular films to begin with. Seven of the nine films nominated for best picture averaged just $47 million at the box office, which means only about 5 million people saw them, according to Breitbart News. Second, Jimmy Kimmel. Read more ..


Inside Film

How Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Saw Into the Future

March 10th 2018

Astronaut

A broad slate of top aerospace and computer companies were brought on board as advisers for ‘2001.’ Photo: Mary Evans/Everett Collection

Fifty years ago next month, invitation-only audiences gathered in specially equipped Cinerama theaters in Washington, New York and Los Angeles to preview a widescreen epic that director Stanley Kubrick had been working on for four years. Conceived in collaboration with the science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, “2001: A Space Odyssey” was way over budget, and Hollywood rumor held that MGM had essentially bet the studio on the project.

The film’s previews were an unmitigated disaster. Its story line encompassed an exceptional temporal sweep, starting with the initial contact between pre-human ape-men and an omnipotent alien civilization and then vaulting forward to later encounters between Homo sapiens and the elusive aliens, represented throughout by the film’s iconic metallic-black monolith. Although featuring visual effects of unprecedented realism and power, Kubrick’s panoramic journey into space and time made few concessions to viewer understanding. The film was essentially a nonverbal experience. Its first words came only a good half-hour in.

Read more ..

Hollywood on Edge

Jimmy Kimmel Targets Pence's Faith, Hollywood's Laughter Show Anti-Christian Bias

March 6th 2018

Television Array

Vice President Mike Pence has come under attack once again by media leftists for his conservative Christian beliefs – this time it happened at the Oscars in front of millions.  

Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about a film that features a homosexual romance between a teen boy and a man – a story that some might consider pedophilia.

And Hollywood loved it, laughing at his joke and giving the controversial film, "Call Me By Your Name," an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

During a politically correct evening that was laced with anti-Trump political statements and marred by low ratings, apparently, the one group Hollywood still finds it acceptable to offend is Christians.

Read more ..

Author's on Tour

Author Launches Israel @ 70 Series at Manhattan East Synagogue

March 2nd 2018

Edwin Black

New York Times best-selling historian Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust, appears March 20 at 7 PM at Manhattan East Synagogue to launch a 15-city lecture series outlining Israel’s history from ancient times to its most recent diplomatic dilemmas. No PowerPoint or slide show is used. Instead, as many as 80 live URLs are used to display that is settled knowledge that anyone can access on the Internet.

The presentation, Israel and International Law—the Historical Underpinnings, was described in one newspaper with this comment: “It was nothing short of spectacular. I thought I had a pretty good amount of knowledge … In reality, I knew almost nothing. Mr. Black gave us an education beyond anyone’s expectations.”

Black has assembled an impressive panel of expert questioners to lead the Q-A session afterword. Manhattan East Synagogue’s Rabbi Elie Abadie will head up the panel, followed by Israel lecturer Ken Abramowitz, and Rambam Mesivta High School Principal Rabbi Yotav Eliach, the author of a forthcoming exhaustive book chronicling the history of Zionism.

Black says, “Bring on the experts. The history projected onto the screen delves deep, and brings numerous threads together in a way that will change the very fabric of understanding most people have for Jewish State and its place in the geo-political word. Even the experts will learn. I myself am constantly updating the visuals.” Award-winning author Black has delivered versions of the presentation to university campuses and synagogues across America, but has freshly updated it to include the latest developments on Jerusalem recognition and Palestinian finance, as well as the significance of Israel at 70. Read more ..


Book Essay

The Immorality of Arguing That There's a Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

February 21st 2018

Oil Barrels 400px

In 2014, a young man named Alex Epstein - who's described as a "philosopher, energy theorist, and industrial policy pundit" - wrote a book titled "The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels."

Alex used this book to springboard to a career arguing the merits of his case on a website, magazine articles, YouTube videos and live debates. His website states that Alex will "accept a debate any time, any place." (I'll get back to this challenge later on).

Also, in 2014, Kathleen Hartnett White wrote a short book titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case." Kathleen has held a number of very senior positions with government agencies and industry groups as an environment and energy expert. Read more ..


Book Review

"No Resting Place--Holocaust Poland" Sears and Stuns as it Probes

January 18th 2018

Holocaust cattle cars

No Resting Place: Holocaust Poland by Rick Halperin and Denise Gee; photographs by Sherry Aikman SMU Embrey Human Rights Program/Terrace Partners (October 2017). Hardcover (11.75” x 11”); 168 pages; 206 color images; $39.95. ISBN 978-0-692-85960-5

No Resting Place/Holocaust Poland achieves searing power to illuminate the dark burning reality of Nazi concentration camps in Poland. Merely holding this volume burns the eyes, the mind, and even the hand.

Buy the book
Preview the Book

Southern Methodist University's Embrey Human Rights Program director Rick Halperin and SMU's program photographer Sherry Aikman have documented the horror of Poland's and Germany's darkest corners -- Auschwitz, Stutthof, Gross-Rosen and other camps -- both by the ineffable bestiality of the sites and how Embrey program pilgrims were transformed by the experience of visiting them during various winter tours led by Halperin. Poignant photographs burst large across the oversized volume's pages bring readers painfully close to the artifacts, architecture, and arrhythmia of life and death in Hitler's mass murder centers.

Read more ..

Author's on Tour

Marc Rauch, Auto Channel's Co-Founder, To Speak at National Ethanol Conference

January 7th 2018

Marc

The Auto Channel is pleased to announce that Marc J. Rauch, the company's co-founder and executive vice president, has accepted an invitation to speak at the forthcoming National Ethanol Conference (NEC). Marc is an outspoken advocate of all biofuels and alternative energy. This is the 23rd Annual National Ethanol Conference, and the theme is Ethanol Strong: Empowering Dialogue to Grow Markets. The event will take place February 12-14, 2018 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort Spa in San Antonio, TX.

The National Ethanol Conference is the most widely attended executive level conference for the ethanol industry. Since 1996, the Renewable Fuels Association’s NEC has been recognized as a preeminent conference for delivering accurate, timely information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry. With numerous networking opportunities, more business meetings are conducted and contacts made at this conference than any other ethanol conference. RFA expects more than 1,000 attendees at this year's event.


Marc will be discussing the hypocrisy surrounding the petroleum oil industry's attacks on ethanol. His session takes place on February 14th at 9:30AM.

"Valentine's Day is the perfect time for my love message to ethanol haters," said Marc Rauch. "Actually, I think that everyone will be quite surprised to learn that the oil industry has historically loved ethanol fuel, despite what they now say about ethanol. It'll be fun, lots of laughs, and I'll have the opportunity to share some important information."

Recently, Marc delivered four ethanol-related presentations in South Dakota in conjunction with the South Dakota Farmer's Union, Glacial Lakes Energy, and Lake Area Technical Institute. In 2016. Marc was a keynote speaker at the Australian National Biofuels Conference; he spoke (for the 2nd time) to a Congressional Ethanol Debriefing in Washington, DC; and he travelled to Taiwan to speak at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Marc is often heard on broadcast radio shows, such as Bob Long's "AutoWorld" program, talking about alternative fuels and other automotive matters. Read more ..


The Book World

Pirated Ebooks Threaten The Future Of Book Series

January 3rd 2018

E-book readers

The bestselling American fantasy novelist Maggie Stiefvater is leading a chorus of writers warning readers that if they download pirated ebooks, then authors will not be able to continue writing because they will be unable to make a living.

Stiefvater, author of the Shiver and Raven Cycle series, raised the issue after she was contacted on Twitter by a reader who told her: “I never bought ur books I read them online pirated.” On her website, Stiefvater later explained that, when ebook sales for the third book in the Raven Cycle – Blue Lily, Lily Blue – “dropped precipitously”, her publisher decided to cut the print run of the next book in the series to less than half of its predecessors.

“This is also where people usually step in and say, but that’s not piracy’s fault. You just said series naturally declined, and you just were a victim of bad marketing or bad covers or readers just actually don’t like you that much,” wrote Stiefvater, who had seen fans sharing pdfs online and was “intent on proving that piracy had affected the Raven Cycle”. So she and her brother created a pdf of The Raven King, which consisted of just the first four chapters, repeated, and a message explaining how piracy affected books. Read more ..


The Book World

Guinness World Records Claims Publisher Trying to Copy Them

December 19th 2017

law books regulations green

Guinness World Records claims education publisher Scholastic is trying to steal its business with a “Book of World Records” that “obviously copies” Guinness’ planned publication for 2018.

Both record books feature a colorful background and a title in large, three-dimensional black and white print, while Scholastic’s also includes pictures of celebrities like The Rock.

Scholastic designed their cover after it saw a mock-up of Guinness World Records’ at a 2017 business meeting, Guinness claims in a Manhattan federal court lawsuit.

Guinness has published its tome since 1955, selling more than 138 million copies in more than 100 countries, “rendering Guinness World Records itself the holder of a world record as the owner of the bestselling copyright title of all time,” according to court papers it filed against Scholastic. Read more ..


The Book World

Why Is It So Goddamned Hard to Make a Living as a Writer Today?

December 15th 2017

Books

Reprinted from the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of the Authors Guild Bulletin.Doug Preston was the keynote speaker at the inaugural New Mexico Writers Dinner at La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe on March 2nd. We reprint his remarks here with his permission and our thanks.

I have no doubt that almost all of you in this room struggle with a central question in your lives: Why is it so goddamned hard to make a living as a writer today?
A recent study by the Authors Guild showed that from 2009 to 2015, the average income of a full-time author decreased 30 percent, from $25,000 a year to $17,500 a year. For part-time authors, the average income decreased 38 percent, from $7,250 a year to $4,500. Full-time authors with more than 25 years of experience saw the greatest drop — a 67 percent decrease from $28,750 to $9,500.

The collapse of authors’ incomes is not a problem. It’s not even a crisis. It’s a catastrophe. And not just for us, but for our nation as a whole. Writing is the lifeblood of American culture, of democracy, and of freedom. It is under assault as never before in the history of the Republic.

As a nation, we’ve always been on high alert against censorship. When a book is banned from a school library, when a journalist is arrested covering a protest or sued for libel, we pay attention. These events make the newspapers.

But what about the even more serious problem — when an important book isn’t even written? Not written because the author couldn’t get a decent advance or was rejected — not because the idea was bad, but because the publisher was unable to take the financial risk. Read more ..


Balfour 100

Author Edwin Black Finales Historic Balfour 100 Tour at AZM Annual Conference in Washington

November 14th 2017

Edwin Black

New York Times bestselling author Edwin Black will conclude his three-week, coast-to-coast lecture series commemorating the Balfour Declaration 100 Years Later and its unique place in the history of Israel and international law during a panel discussion at the American Zionist Movement annual conference in Washington D.C. The three-day AZM conference features dozens of prominent speakers, November 15-17, 2018 at the Liaison Hotel, with some events at the Israeli Embassy, and the Congressional Visitors Center.

 

Black’s panel will feature an in-depth look at the Balfour Declaration text and its impact. Other panelists in Black's session include Col. Richard Kemp, Baroness Ruth Deech of the House of Lords, and author Mitchell Bard. The session is moderated by Elana Heideman.

 

see the Edwin Black event flyer

 

The Balfour Declaration, issued November 2, 1917, has ignited continuous controversy since its release. Although just a brief and non-binding 67-word letter, issued by British Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, its far-reaching implications set in motion the indispensable international policy pivot that led to the creation of the State of Israel. Its revolutionary text mandating democracy was replicated in the San Remo Agreement, the Mandate for Palestine, and other international instruments. Its essence was preserved in the UN Charter. Yet, Balfour Declaration remains one of the most misunderstood, misportrayed, and misquoted diplomatic documents since the dawn of the twentieth century.

 

"I have only 7 minutes at this panel to do what I have done in 90 minutes for most audiences, said Black, adding, "but I can pack enough revelation into those 7 minutes to revamp the conference's understanding of the powerful Declaration and its distinguished place in world history." Read more ..


The Book Business

From Amazon, a Change That Hurts Authors

November 11th 2017

Amazon box

Last March, Amazon quietly changed the way it sells books. An obscure and seemingly harmless modification to its website has opened the door for some third-party sellers to deceive Amazon’s customers by selling books as “new” that may not come straight from a publisher or its wholesaler, thus depriving authors of royalties they should have earned from the sale of a new book.

Amazon decided to allow third-party sellers to be featured atop the primary purchase button for new books, a spot previously reserved for Amazon’s own inventory, which comes directly from the publishers. Approved third-party sellers “win” this placement through a secret algorithm that considers, among other things, price, availability, seller’s rating and shipping time. In doing so, Amazon abdicates its role as the prime retailer on its own website. The main requirement is that the books offered by the third-party seller must be “new.”

So when you, the customer, hit that main buy button, you should always expect to get a brand-new book, right?

Read more ..

The Book Business

Internet Archive Gives New Life to Old Books

November 4th 2017

Books

The Internet Archive has announced a promising initiative aimed at giving new, online life to 75-plus-year-old books. Although the Internet Archive has sometimes been cavalier about copyright and dismissive of the needs of authors, we are happy about this project, which aims to make 10,000 or more out-of-print books published between 1923 and 1941 available to researchers, historians, and readers. Helping libraries as well as authors take advantage of new digital opportunities is an Authors Guild priority.

Beginning with the pioneering Project Gutenberg, programs to scan printed books and make them available online have mostly been limited to those old enough to be in the public domain. That’s why Google’s notorious book-scanning project is able to display only small excerpts of copyrighted books, mostly with the cooperation of publishers. As a general rule, the cutoff date for displaying books in their entirety is 1923—all books published before then are automatically in the public domain.

The people at the Internet Archive, a San Francisco nonprofit founded by Brewster Kahle, are relying on an important feature of the Copyright Act that allows libraries and archives to copy books for researchers and scholars in the last 20 years of the books’ copyright life, as long as they aren’t commercially available. The exception was added to Section 108, the part of the copyright law that provides special exceptions for libraries and archives, in 1998 when the copyright terms were extended by 20 years. The rest of Section 108 was enacted in 1976, when the idea of “copying” didn’t envision the internet, and so section 108 badly needs updating. We’re working with the Copyright Office on this. Read more ..



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