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The EU vs Israel

Applying Israeli Sovereignty: Changing the ‘When,’ Not the ‘What’

May 13th 2020

euro flags

European Union foreign-policy chief Josip Borrell put forward a surprise resolution on Israel’s new government that included the following: “The E.U. does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank. The E.U. reiterates that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law.” But E.U. statements have to be unanimous, and Borrell was thwarted by members of his own club. The details aren’t clear yet, but Hungary and Austria were definitely opposed, and an Israeli diplomat noted that the largest number of E.U. delegates to date opposed a resolution aimed at Israel. Read more ..


ran on Edge

Is Iran Going Home?

May 8th 2020

Iran-US Hatred

If you are Iran, it seems, 2020 is not your year.

Aside from the devastation of the Wuhan virus, Iraq closed its 1,000-mile southern border with Iran for "security reasons" after months of Iraqi protests against Iranian interference in its domestic affairs.  Oil prices flirted with zero in the wake of the Russia-Saudi oil war, and demand dropped owing to the virus, further gutting Iran's treasury.  Iran harassed U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, but according to Navy sources, the action was clearly for domestic consumption and posed no actual threat (although a mistake on either side could have had major repercussions, making President Trump's warning more than reasonable).  Germany, Tehran's strongest defender in Europe, pulled the plug on Iran's proxy army Hezb'allah.  More than 390 members of the U.S. House of Representatives — including Ilhan Omar, not normally an opponent of the Iranian government — called for extending the international arms embargo against Iran, set to expire in October.

Read more ..

The War Against Israel

Soros' Anti-Israel Funding

April 6th 2020

Sunset in Jerusalem

George Soros seems to have developed a special dislike of the State of Israel. He has rewritten Middle Eastern history to better jibe with his idea of the "poignant and difficult case" of "victims turning perpetrators." Soros, much like the virulent anti-Semitic graphic daily propaganda in Arab, Palestinian, and Iranian newspapers, has been comparing Israel's self-defense against repeated attempts of annihilation by Islamist/Arab terrorists to Nazi atrocities. The successful defense against terrorism, especially preemptive actions, is never appropriate in Soros' book. Read more ..


The Edge of Nature

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole

March 28th 2020

Glaciers

In October 2019 the icebreaker RV Polarstern sat trapped in thick sea ice atop the central Arctic Ocean—the only landmark in a vast expanse of nothingness. Another icebreaker, the Akademik Fedorov, approached it slowly, hauling a load of supplies and personnel. Scientists and crew lined the balconies of each ship, gripping the ice-crusted banisters as they peered across the void. They could see the smiling faces of their colleagues just feet away—but they were two time zones apart.

At the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. It’s simultaneously all of Earth’s time zones and none of them. There are no boundaries of any kind in this abyss, in part because there is no land and no people. The sun rises and sets just once per year, so “time of day” is irrelevant as well. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Coronavirus Delivers the Latest Devastating Blow to Iranian Regime

March 24th 2020

Iranian Rial Close-Up

The coronavirus pandemic has hit Iran hard, and not only on the health front. The virus has delivered the latest in a succession of blows to the Iranian regime's domestic status, fractured economy, and already-low credibility level at home. It also appears to be slowing down its malign activities across the Middle East.

The Iranian regime has, in recent months, absorbed one upper cut after another. The setbacks include a deteriorating economic crisis fueled by U.S. sanctions – a crisis with no clear resolution – the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, the Ukrainian aircraft downing fiasco that followed soon after, and the growing anti-regime demonstrations driven by an Iranian public demanding a better quality of life. Read more ..


The Battle Against Covid-19

Staying Free and Faithful in a Pandemic

March 18th 2020

Star Parker right crop

The coronavirus crisis presents challenges to us as a nation and as individuals. There are principles we should keep in mind. Let's remember how our nation works. We have a Constitution that assigns limited, defined powers to the federal government and leaves the rest to the states and individuals.

Some governors, like J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, don't seem to understand this. At a time when political leaders should be inspiring confidence, Pritzker is attacking President Donald Trump, accusing the federal government of being "completely unprepared." He wants to lay blame for crowds and delays at O'Hare Airport on the president.
President Trump acted with deliberation, doing his job, shutting down flights from China and then Europe. As Americans massed back to their home country, airports were predictably backed up. The great Maj. Gen. George S. Patton observed, "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." This exactly captures President Trump's behavior as this crisis began to unfold. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Can Netanyahu Be Justly Prosecuted for Media Manipulation Crimes in a Democracy?

March 17th 2020

Edwin Black

“Seeking favorable publicity or offering it to a candidate or public official simply cannot be a crime in a democratic nation that reveres a free press.” This was the clear warning in the well-documented conclusion of the “Legal Memorandum,” submitted in October 2019 to Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, opposing the prosecution of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for media bribery. The 22-page brief, studiously authored in mid-September in Jerusalem by famed American constitutional and Jewish rights attorney Nathan Lewin, was co-signed by four eminent attorneys: Alan M. Dershowitz, Abraham Bell, Joseph Tipograph, and Richard D. Heideman.

The brief failed to convince Mandelblit.

Of course, it failed. The allegations against Netanyahu are so beyond the laws of journalistic and democratic physics that the arguments can only partially dampen a determined prosecutor who has already made up his mind. It would be easier to rationalize why an apple could levitate up to the tree and instead of fall from it, thus confounding the laws of gravity. Little in the Lewin brief persuaded Mandelblit because the charge against Netanyahu and the apple rising instead of falling are both unthinkable. A rational rebuttal cannot overcome an irrational argument. Hence, the most salient and powerful parts of the memo were the signatures, and the attendant shimmer of those names.

Israel veering off the democracy road is especially troubling for the concept of democracy itself as well as the very notion of western justice and free press. Hence, the issue of Netanyahu’s innocence or guilt is not anywhere as important as the claim that his high-handed dealings with media moguls constituted not just a disheartening act but also a prosecutable crime. Doing the right thing matters so profoundly for Israel because justice and democracy are the fiery alter egos of the nation itself. Read more ..


The Edge of Justice

Would a Pending Criminal Charge Disqualify Netanyahu Under American Law? Answer: No.

March 8th 2020

Supreme Court Lady Justice

Opponents of Prime Minister Netanyahu are urging the Knesset to enact a law that would disqualify anyone charged with crime in Israel from forming a government. Because Netanyahu has been formally accused by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, he should be barred, they say, from forming a coalition government and occupying the nation’s highest elective office.

Would such a law meet American constitutional and legal standards? The answer is a resounding no.

In Israel average citizens cannot check the authority of the prosecutor to initiate a criminal case. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that no felony charge can be made without an indictment by a grand jury. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Arab Parties Wreak Havoc With Netanyahu’s Overwhelming Victory, As Gantz Prepares Parliamentary Putsch

March 5th 2020

Palestinian Rock Attackers

Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents claim that the results of the three elections the country has held over the past 12 months have been essentially unchanged, with the embattled prime minister and his right-wing bloc repeatedly proving unable to muster a parliamentary majority. But the actual numbers from Monday’s election paint a completely different picture. Looking at them, one wonders just how many votes Netanyahu needs to win by for the entire electorate to declare his victory.

Netanyahu and his bloc received more votes than ever before, at the expense of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s anti-Netanyahu but ostensibly Zionist center-left bloc. Excluding the Arab parties, which are self-declared anti-Zionists, the pro-Netanyahu bloc defeated the pro-Gantz bloc by 11 seats. That’s compared to a gap of just three seats in the Sept. 17 elections—a dramatic increase in a 120-seat parliament. Read more ..


The Battle for Iraq

The Dangerous Consequences of U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

March 2nd 2020

Baghdad Women

The rapid escalation following the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani has threatened the already precarious state of U.S.-Iraq relations. Now, Iraq must decide how to respond, while considering the unintended consequences that any action will bring.

At present, it seems the Iraqi government’s recent 170-0 vote—in the absence of Sunni and Kurdish blocs—to expel U.S. troops may worsen Iraq’s economic crisis, shift the balance of power in the region, and worsen the political divides within Iraq. The Iraqi Parliament claims the United States violated its sovereignty by killing Qasim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, the Deputy of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in an airstrike.

Read more ..

War Against Women

Who is Responsible for Palestinian Honor Killing?

February 5th 2020

victim

The young woman looks saucily at the camera, half-smiling, her hijab tightly wrapped to conceal her hair. Her lips are colored red, her eyes outlined heavily in black. Hers is the mischievous expression of a woman dutifully modest in her dress, yet delighting in the accoutrements of female vanity, even sexuality. She looks like someone it would be fun to know.

But Israa Ghrayeb, a 21-year-old Palestinian makeup artist, is no more, murdered last August by her family at the hands of her own brother.

It was a long, torturous death, punishment for posting a photograph of herself and her fiancé on Instagram before their engagement had been officially announced. Lawmakers from her home village of Beit Sahour in the West Bank refused to call it an honor killing. Read more ..


Deal of the Century

Understanding Muslim Rejection Deal of the Cenury

January 29th 2020

Koran and prayer beads

On the historic "Deal of the Century": BRAVO!  The Palestinians (really the Muslims of pre-1948 British-mandated Palestine) answer to any deal - certainly this one - had to an unequivocal NO.

According to them, any territory ever captured by Muslims must remain Muslim forever. All of Israel and the West Bank were captured by the Muslims in 637-638 AD/CE.

That means all of this land - from a Muslim perspective - cannot ever by under non-Muslim sovereignty. According to Islam, it must be ruled by Muslims forever. Non-Muslims therefore cannot have sovereignty over any land ever captured by Muslims. (That means also that Spain, which Muslims ruled from, 712-1492 AD/CE still belongs to the Muslims. )  Tel Aviv therefore is, from the Muslim perspective, as much a settlement as any of the Jewish communities are in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria.)  Jewish, from a Muslim perspective, cannot have sovereignty over either, because they are Muslim lands forever. Read more ..


America and Oman

Death of a Sultan: Oman Matters--Why Such a Slow US response?

January 16th 2020

Arab Oil Derick

Stuck out in the periphery of Arabia, Oman may be a long way from the United States but it is, or should be, central to Washington’s concerns about Gulf security. True, not much happens there — the capital, Muscat, is pleasantly sleepy — but that is, in part, a consequence of the firm hand of its ruler, the Sultan.

The killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq have drowned out the arguably almost as consequential death of Sultan Qaboos, who ruled Oman for 50 years, and his replacement by an untested cousin, the new Sultan Haitham.

The importance of Oman to the West was highlighted by Britain’s promptly sending Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to offer condolences. Prince Charles may not have better things to do (other than to sort out the royal crisis involving Harry and Meghan) but Johnson certainly has. This was clearly more than an occasion for monarchies to show support for each other.

Read more ..

Vote 2020

The Democrat Party’s Third Rail: Israel

January 7th 2020

Vote Buttons

In 2020, the electorate will likely have two very different candidates from which to choose. In particular, due to the dramatic pull of far-left elements in the Democrat Party, Democrats of both the extreme and moderate varieties are presenting starkly different views than Republicans of America’s relationship with Israel. American Jews, who for decades have felt at home in the Democrat Party, are now facing a predicament as Democrats become more comfortable taking anti-Israel positions and making statements previously unheard.

When President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, he made it clear that the new sheriff in town would insert daylight between the United States and Israel. He distanced us from our most strategically important ally in the region and realigned diplomatic relationships while removing the pax-Americana that had maintained relative stability for decades. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

New Israel Fund Continues to Support Anti-Israel BDS

December 1st 2019

boycott Israel t-shirt

Over the past few weeks, headlines worldwide have featured a new European Union requirement that goods produced in Israeli settlements must not carry the generic "Made in Israel" tag and must be specially labeled. 

In reaction to this decision, across America, Israel and civilized people worldwide, there was outrage.

For example, The United States State Department said that the ruling encourages the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The State Department said the U.S. “unequivocally opposes” any efforts to “economically pressure, isolate, or otherwise delegitimize Israel.”

Israel's Foreign Ministry said this decision sets a "double standard" that unfairly singles out Israel when there are dozens of territorial disputes around the world. Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said the decision was "another example of Europe continuing its surrender to Israel's enemies. Read more ..


Turkey on Edge

Erdoğan’s Undeserving and Underwhelming Visit to DC

November 17th 2019

Erdogan

Foreign leaders have long coveted invitations to Washington to meet with the President in the White House. Such encounters should be hard to come by, but President Trump has thrown open the Oval Office doors to a number of undeserving foreign officials, including Egypt’s authoritarian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Hungary’s self-declared illiberal Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who met with Trump Wednesday, is the latest on that list. For Trump, the meeting with his Turkish counterpart was a welcome distraction from the impeachment hearings playing out on Capitol Hill. Aside from demonstrating the already well-established warm chemistry between the two leaders, however, the meeting produced no major breakthroughs on a range of contentious issues in the U.S.-Turkish relationship.

Read more ..

The Edge of the Universe

Modern Physicists Continue To Explore Heavens and the Earth as Perceived by our Ancestors

November 5th 2019

NCG 6604 and environs

Down here; up there: Cleaving the universe in two is as old as civilization. “In the beginning,” begin innumerable creation myths before enumerating what was in the beginning. Those primordial contents are almost always the same across cultures and continents, seas and millennia—what 20th-century mythology scholar H. J. Rose called “the primeval pair”: earth and sky.

The reason we conceive of the universe as two parts is gravity. We unthinkingly identify with down here because that’s where gravity anchors us, and we unthinkingly don’t identify with up there because that’s where gravity won’t let us go. The two realms are, to our intuition, in opposition to each other. If we flew like a bird or swam like a fish or dissolved time and space like a photon, our physical relationship to the part of the universe that’s not us would be different.

But this fundamental division isn’t just physical; it’s psychological. Gravity renders up there not only distinct but distant, and that distance can blind us to a fundamental unity. With a little effort—and a little historical context—however, we can bridge that abyss. Read more ..


Media on Edge

The Washington Post and its Bizarre Obits for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

October 30th 2019

Star Parker right crop

The Washington Post obituary read, "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48."

"(A)ustere religious scholar"? How about terrorist?!

After Twitter world went berserk, The Post obituary reappeared with a new headline: "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48."

At a time when we should all share President Trump's exuberance about catching and destroying a terrorist, mass murderer and rapist — a threat to our nation and all the civilized world — The Washington Post accused the president of "creating spectacle" around this great achievement. Once again we are made aware of the enormous chasm that exists in America between the right and the left. Read more ..


Israel and Germany

The World Jewish Congress Shames World Jewry

October 29th 2019

Angela Merkel in orange

The World Jewish Congress purports to represent Jewish communities throughout the world. Although its president (and prime funder), Ronald Lauder, at times feels free to ignore governance on issues related to Israel, the WJC has successfully issued streams of positive statements on Jewish issues which the media frequently quotes. Next week, on October 28, the Executive Committee will meet in Munich and will invite all Congress constituents to participate.

The highlight of the meeting, which has been widely promoted, is the award of the Theodor Herzl Prize to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This prize is awarded to recognize individuals who “work to promote Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people.” Previous recipients include Israeli President Shimon Peres, Elie and Marion Wiesel, and, posthumously, former US President Ronald Reagan and German journalist and publisher Axel Springer. Read more ..


The Edge of Choice

What Does Pro-Life Mean?

May 22nd 2019

Star Parker right crop

When we talk about "pro-life" in our national discussion about abortion, "life" is understood to be about the unborn child in the mother's womb.

But it would serve us well to expand our understanding about what "pro-life" means.

We should understand that respecting the sanctity of life is key to the values and behaviors in general that sustain and nourish all our lives today and create the necessary conditions for our future.

A just-released report from the National Center for Health Statistics, a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that the total number of births in the United States in 2018 was down 2 percent from 2017 and is the lowest number of births in the country in 32 years.

It also reports that the general fertility rate — the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 — was also down 2 percent and is at a record low. 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 ..


Vote 2020

Can Republicans get Elected in Nonwhite America?

March 13th 2019

Star Parker right crop

The Pew Research Center has produced a projected profile of what the American electorate will look like ethnically in the 2020 elections.

The portrait shows a continued trend of America becoming an increasingly nonwhite nation and electorate.

Pew projects that 66.7 percent of eligible voters in 2020 will be white. In the presidential election in 2016, 71 percent of voters were white. In 2000, 76.4 percent of eligible voters were white, 10 points more than Pew projects for 2020. When President Reagan was elected in 1980, 88 percent of the electorate was white.
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

'ISIS Bride' Hoda Muthana Was an ISIS Propagandist, Not Some Brainwashed Child

February 28th 2019

ISIS Army

Lawyers and supporters of the woman dubbed the American "ISIS bride" portray her as a misguided, "brainwashed" girl who simply made a mistake. In fact, she was an ISIS propagandist and strategist whose innovative ideas proved to be operationally effective.

Much of Hoda Muthana's online activity disappeared when her accounts were suspended, along with some 125,000 others shut down between mid-2015 and February 2016. But the tweets that have survived reveal far more than just some harmless cheerleading for the Islamic State.

Read more ..

Venezuela on Edge

Venezuelans Warn Americans: 'Don't Fall for It--People are Eating from Trash Bags'

February 11th 2019

Nicolas Maduro

Victims of Venezuelan socialism who have come to America recently attended a Venezuela Freedom Rally in Washington, D.C., where Campus Reform asked them for their message to Americans who support socialism.

“Bernie Sanders is your enemy. Do not ever, ever get involved with this individual or any of the other socialists,” one man who escaped Venezuelan socialism warned. “People are eating from trash bags in the streets,” one woman said. “In Venezuela, there is no food, no medicine, education. No, nothing, nothing,” another woman added.

Others warned Americans not to fall for socialism’s false promises, and to beware its gradual usurpation of citizens’ freedoms: Read more ..


American Jewry on Edge

American Jewish leaders--Where are you?

February 2nd 2019

Isi Leibler headshot

Israel is once again facing major new international military and political challenges. Yet despite our dysfunctional political system and the chaos associated with the impending elections, we have never been as militarily secure as we are today. We share a broad consensus across the nation and, allowing for minor nuances, any government elected will almost certainly maintain the broad outlines of the current security policy. These can be summed up as a desire to separate from our neighbors but an inability to do so until we have a partner for peace and can ensure our security. Alas, as of now that is not even on the horizon.

However, we need to brace ourselves because our international position is becoming increasingly fragile. The Europeans are intensifying their biased policies against us and Britain may soon elect an outright anti-Semitic leader.

The continued support of the U.S. government at this time is thus immensely important. But there are perturbing developments.

President Donald Trump has thus far been a very good friend to Israel but displays erratic tendencies and at times ignores his own advisers as exemplified recently when he announced the withdrawal of American forces from Syria. There are also unsubstantiated but disturbing hints that the American peace plan may have some unpleasant surprises that Israel may find unacceptable. At the same time, the Democratic Party’s radical and anti-Israel wing is growing and is already threatening the favorable congressional bipartisan consensus toward Israel which has prevailed for many years. 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 ..


Broken Borders

UN Tries To Grab Control Of Worldwide Immigration Policies

January 19th 2019

Immigration Protest

While President Donald Trump seeks funding for a bordering! wall, the United Nations is seeking control of migration policies worldwide, with a campaign configured to undermine America's sovereignty and control over its own borders. And, yes, if the U.N. has its way, America will help pay for it.

As with many of the U.N.'s turf grabs, this campaign to co-opt national migration policy has been years in the making. Incremental in its origins, and swaddled in U.N. jargon and procedure, it has largely escaped the U.S. headlines. But it's now reached the stage of becoming dangerous. The spearhead of this U.N. campaign is an international agreement with the high-minded name of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. That's not remotely what this document boils down to. While proclaiming a utopian "unity of purpose" among the 193 highly diverse member states, this Global Compact would have the U.N.'s largely unaccountable, self-aggrandizing and often opaque bureaucracy, operating in service of its despot-infested collective of governments, set the terms for all.
Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

Palestinians: While Abbas and Hamas were Hurling Insults at Each Other

January 13th 2019

Syrian security forces

It has been another tragic year for Palestinians living in Syria, but the international community, including pro-Palestinian advocacy groups and mainstream media in the West, seem to have missed the misery.

The latest reports from Syria reveal that 82 Palestinians have died as a result of brutal torture in prisons run by the Syrian government in 2018. The report states that a total of 556 Palestinians have been tortured to death while being held in various Syrian prisons the past few years.

According to the Action Group for Palestinians of Syria (AGPS), a human rights watchdog organization that was established to monitor the situation of Palestinian refugees in war-torn Syria, the real number of the Palestinians tortured to death could be higher: those are just the ones they know about; the Syrian authorities do not provide any details about detainees. In addition, AGPS pointed out, the families of the victims are afraid to announce the deaths of their sons and daughters for fear of being targeted by the Syrian authorities.

Read more ..

Canada on Edge

Islamic Party of Ontario Organizes in Canada

January 9th 2019

Muslims pray on a rug

As people around the globe celebrate the New Year, for me 2019 is beginning just the way 2018 did — with a threat against me.

Leading up to 2018, the threats against me were quite blatant, leading last year to the arrest of two would-be assassins in India.

Even in Toronto, a Muslim cab driver pointed his fist at me in pistol fashion saying, "I have a special gun for you," as he sped away.

Yet towards the end of 2018, a much more subtler death threat was addressed to me, this time by the head of Canada's newest aspiring political party, the Islamic Party of Ontario. Read more ..


American Jewry on Edge

Why the Majority of American Jews Feel Alienated From Israel

December 18th 2018

Western/Wailing Wall

The very sad truth is that a large part of American Jewry has decided not to educate their children and grandchildren to be Jewish in any shape or form. This reality sits at the heart of the present divide between these American Jews and the State of Israel.

As someone who has been involved in centrist, Orthodox Zionist education for close to four decades, I have seen the results when Jewish children receive this education; they almost always maintain their religious identities. They overwhelmingly affiliate with Judaism, mitzvot, torah, Jewish holidays, values, etc. This also includes being connected to Israel on multiple levels. But if a population has almost no knowledge of Judaism, its history, or its values — is it any surprise that they feel “alienated” from the Jewish state? These non-affiliated Jews have been brought up to be citizens of the world, and many are liberal and progressive. In my view, those political ideologies clash with Judaism’s ideas and values, and especially its idea of nationhood and nationalism. Their alienation is not a function of a certain government in Israel or a certain politician.

Read more ..

Campus Anti-semitism

Supporting Faculty on Israel: Now More than Ever

December 17th 2018

Brandeis

With the normalizing of anti-Semitism comes the normalizing of BDS. Professors and academics who support and advocate for BDS feel empowered and emboldened by the belief that their actions respond to the policies of current White House. Moreover, Israel is seen today as a right-wing issue, especially on campuses dominated completely by the political and cultural left. This allows every anti-Israel voice to be treated as normal and moral.

Faculty opposed to Israel are at the forefront of BDS, hiding behind the increasingly thin façade of academic freedom to launch systemic attacks on Israel, its supporters, and on the structure of the university itself. Read more ..


The Digital Age

OMG! California wants to Tax Text messaging?

December 12th 2018

Smart phone

Texting your sweetheart that you’re on your way home? California may soon charge you for that.

This is no LOL matter, critics say.

State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business-sponsored advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”

It’s unclear how much individual consumers would be asked to pay their wireless carrier for texting services under the proposal. But it likely would be billed as a flat surcharge per customer — one of those irksome fees at the bottom of your wireless bill — not a fee per text.

Read more ..

Oil Addiction

Our Oil Addiction Hampers our Response to Saudi Atrocities

November 13th 2018

Saudi Oil

Pressure is mounting on the U.S. government to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the death of American-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Our complicated relationship with the kingdom, held together for decades by oil and arms, narrows our palette of options.

Saudi officials have acknowledged that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had been critical of the Saudi government, was killed with “premeditated intention” inside the Saudi consulate in Islamabad, Turkey, on Oct. 2.

Will it matter? The United States is so dependent on Saudi oil and investments that it’s hampered in reining in its strategic ally for any transgression, past or present. Read more ..


The Race for Ethanol

The Problem for Colin A. Carter: Facts and the Real World Keep Getting in the Way

October 21st 2018

Energy Tax

Colin A. Carter is a professor of agricultural and resource economics at University of California, Davis. In October 2007, Mr. Carter delivered a Power Point presentation titled, "The Ethanol Boom." The presentation kicks off with three quotes about the ethanol business in America - one was favorable to ethanol, two were critical of ethanol.

One of the negative quotes (from Cato Institute) said, "If ethanol were an economically intelligent investment, you would not need to subsidize it from stem to stern."

The second negative quote (this from the Wall Street Journal) said, “Ethanol Industry is Losing Clout.” Read more ..


The Race for Ethanol

Time To Shut Down The Anti-Ethanol Propaganda Machines

September 30th 2018

Oil Barrels

Early Friday afternoon, I received an email from my business partner, Bob Gordon, concerning two laughably wrong stories about ethanol published under one common heading: “Is it time to end the ethanol mandate for automotive fuel?

This double-header appeared on the Tri-City Herald newspaper website. The newspaper is based in Kennewick, Washington; and is one of the McClatchy newspapers.

The first part of the dud-namic duo of stories is "Yes: Ethanol in gasoline is a boon for farmers, but rips-off American consumers." The second part is " No: Ending ethanol in fuel mandate will create economic and environmental disaster." It looks like this is a point/counter-point set-up in which the newspaper poses the original question and then leaves it to two writers to duke it out - one arguing against ethanol, and then one arguing for ethanol. Read more ..


Personal Story

Warsaw and Auschwitz: Words are Only the Beginning

September 24th 2018

Holocaust cattle cars

Politics is about power. Political rhetoric is about control over people’s thinking, decisions and behavior. Sometimes power comes from votes, sometimes from violence. No matter how power and control are won, the struggle begins with words and images.

Politicians use words to create images to persuade and cajole voters, to rouse and unify people, to uplift and praise or to condemn and vilify, to propose a vision or to besmirch. But the struggle for power and control always starts with words and images.

The  Power  Of  Negative  Speech

Representative Maxine Waters, an award-winning icon of Leftist political and emotional rhetoric, speaks openly of “knocking off” President Trump, words that have several meanings. Mrs. Waters says she does not encourage violence. Instead, she opts repeatedly for impeachment.

Read more ..

Media on Edge

Character Assassinations by New Jersey’s Star-Ledger

September 22nd 2018

Newspapers

The Star-Ledger’s smear of terrorism expert Steve Emerson and Arab-American Emilio Karim Dabul is a textbook case of journalistic malpractice, providing the quintessential example of what honest journalism should avoid.

On August 5, the Star-Ledger called for the removal of Dabul, a New Jersey US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office spokesperson, in part by attacking Emerson with a variety of false or misleading claims. At least three other NJ papers then published similar stories about Emerson and Dabul: WNYC (which incredibly sought comment from the Council on American-Islamic Relations — CAIR — but neither Emerson nor Dabul), NorthJersey.com, and MSN.com. Adding to the damage, La Opinion ran a similar piece in Spanish. The Hill also ran an article inspired by Star-Ledger’s August 5 article, but promptly removed it after hearing Emerson’s objections. Read more ..


Redefining Palestinian Refugees

Palestinians, You Don't Have to Live Like a Refugee

September 12th 2018

Palstinian refugee camp

Dramatic shifts are rare in American foreign policy. One undeniable example is the Trump administration's decision last week to cease funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. agency giving aid to Palestinians. At once a nearly 70-year-old Gordian knot has been cut, but what comes next?

From Unrwa's 1949 founding on, each U.S. administration had ignored the agency's central role in prolonging the Arab-Israeli conflict. As we pointed out in our 2013 book, "Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief," the U.S. has aimed since the early 1950s to stabilize Palestinian society through the delivery of aid, providing more than a quarter of Unrwa's funding. But the effect has been to foster Palestinian dependence on foreign support. As the current administration recognizes, Palestinian elites continue to demand aid even as they fulminate against the U.S. in every way. Read more ..


Significant Lives

The Flawed Retrospectives on John McCain

September 5th 2018

Star Parker right crop

The passing of Senator John McCain was marked by a sea of eulogies mourning the end of an era of civility and compromise.

What has happened, they ask, to those noble, bipartisan days of yesteryear, and how have we descended into today's crude and primitive tribalism?

I read this stuff and wonder where I was during those wonderfully tranquil, civil days gone by.

Maybe because I am black, I see American history through a different lens. The truth as I read it in our history, and as I have experienced it in my life, is that America has always been a battlefield of ideas and interests.

What is unique about our great country is not the absence of conflict but rather that it occurs openly and honestly — and that we survive it, time and again, with our national institutions intact. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

Defund UNRWA – Now, More Than Ever

August 29th 2018

Nakba day protests 2011

(This article was originally published in 2014)

The UNRWA is on the front lines of the Hamas War in Gaza. In the headlines, its schools are forever being fired on or found to be stockpiling rockets. If individual Gazans are being used as human shields, the UNRWA often seems as if it is one big organizational human shield.

But the UNRWA isn’t Hamas’ human shield. The UNRWA is Hamas.

The “UN” part of the UNRWA, the blue logos and symbols, fool us into thinking of it as an international humanitarian organization. But the UNRWA in Gaza functions as a large Palestinian Arab organization with a smattering of foreign supervisory staff. Read more ..



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