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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘americans’

Philly Jewish Museum Posts Huge Sign Reminding Americans of Freedom of Religion

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH), located on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, has installed new building signage asserting George Washington’s promise of religious liberty to the people of the United States.

Quoting Washington’s iconic letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island in 1790, the enormous banner reads, “Happily the Government of the United States … gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” The Museum—a safe, open space for all—displays this text as a timely reminder of the ideals of inclusiveness on which this nation was founded.

Facing Independence Mall as it does, in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the Museum’s signage refers to one of the most significant documents in American history. George Washington’s letter, currently on view at NMAJH, was composed in August 1790 in response to a letter from the Jewish community of Newport. In it, Washington affirmed rights denied to Jews for millennia and underscored the nation’s commitment to respecting religious liberty and equality for people of all faiths. Washington described his vision of a country in which “every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

“George Washington’s call for religious pluralism is especially powerful today, given the rise in expressions of bigotry and exclusion in recent months,” states Ivy Barsky, NMAJH’s CEO & Gwen Goodman Director. “Just as Washington fervently promised to preserve this nation’s acceptance of all people, the National Museum of American Jewish History remains committed as ever to our mission of inspiring a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American experience and the invaluable contributions to this country by immigrants.”


PEW Survey: Americans Say 9/11 Was their Most Significant Event, Followed by Obama Election

Friday, December 16th, 2016

A full 76% of the American public include the Sept. 11 terror attacks as one of the 10 events with the greatest impact during their lifetime, according to a PEW national online survey of 2,025 adults conducted June 16-July 4, 2016.

The question they were asked was: “Please name the 10 historic events that occurred in YOUR lifetime that you think have had the greatest impact on the country. This could be one specific event, a series of related events or any other historic development or change that had an important impact on the nation.”

The top 11 answers were:

1. Sept. 11 – 76%

2. Obama elections – 40

3. The tech revolution – 22

4. JFK assassination – 21

5. Vietnam war – 20

6. Iraq/Afghanistan wars – 17

7. Moon landing – 17

8. Fall of Berlin Wall/end of Cold War – 13

9. Gay marriage – 11

10. Orlando shooting – 10

11. Gulf War – 10

The perceived historic importance of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon span virtually every traditional demographic divide, the Pew survey reports. Majorities of men and women, Millennials and Baby Boomers, Americans with college degrees and those without a high school diploma, and more than seven-in-ten Republicans and Democrats rate 9/11 as one of the 10 most historically significant events to occur during their lifetime.

For the oldest Americans, the unifying event is World War II. For Baby Boomers, the assassination of JFK and the Vietnam War. For Millennials and Gen Xers, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Obama election.

The Columbine school shooting makes the top 10 list of Millennials and Gen Xers but not Boomers or the Silent Generation. Millennials also included the Sandy Hook and Orlando/Pulse nightclub shootings, the death of Osama bin Laden, the Boston Marathon bombing and the Bush/Obama Recession, which appear in no other generation’s top 10 list.

David Israel

Turkey Under Martial Law; Coup Attempt by Turkish Military

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Gunfire was heard in the Turkish capital of Ankara late Friday as the Turkish military announced it was seizing control of the country, Reuters reported.

The military released a statement saying its armed forces have ‘fully seized control’ Turkish state television was seized by an entity calling itself the “Turkish Peace Council,” and the military chief of staff was taken into custody.

It was not possible to reach Israeli or U.S. contacts via social media; international journalists said social media access has been blocked.

Some 2200 U.S. troops and 1500 foreign U.S. citizens were warned to “shelter in place and stay indoors” late Thursday night.

Military tanks were seen rolling through the streets and low-flying jets were flying sorties overhead, eyewitnesses told Reuters.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed that a group within the military has indeed engaged in an attempted coup.

Eyewitnesses told international media they saw the jets and helicopters flying above Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and an ancient metropolis straddling both the continents of Europe and Asia, once known to historians as Constantinople.

According to the Turkish Daily Sabah website, both bridges in Istanbul that span the mightly Bosphorus strait that separates the two continents have been closed to traffic.

As of five pm Friday afternoon New York time, it was not yet clear what the outcome will be, but it is clear that whatever the outcome, the ramifications for the State of Israel will be serious either way.

Israel and Turkey had just reached a reconciliation agreement barely two weeks ago after a six year freeze in diplomatic ties. There are numerous Israeli business owners, artists and musicians who live in Turkey and/or travel to and from the country.

It remains to be seen how the current state of affairs will affect Israelis, Jews and Americans who are currently in Turkey, as well as those who regularly do business with their Turkish counterparts and travel in and out of the country.

Hana Levi Julian

Annals of Obesity: Israeli Kids Drink More Soda than Americans, Arabs More than Jews [video]

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

At least 50% of the world population suffer from overweight and obesity, compared with the situation in the 1980s, when only 10% of the population was obese, according to worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. If the rate of weight gain remains as it is today, close to half the people on planet Earth will be obese by the year 2030. Israel’s figures are relatively good compared with the rest of the OECD countries, but still, according to the Israeli Health Ministry, 1.7 million Israelis, or 25% of adults and 14% of children, are obese, and out of those 700 thousand are considered pre-diabetic, and 500 thousand already suffer from type 2 diabetes. Also, adding those who are overweight (BMI of 25 and up) to the 25% who are obese, shows that almost half the population in Israel is overweight.

To illustrate, according to The Marker, in one of the meetings of the commission to promote a healthy diet, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said ironically, “We fail to understand how come 50% of the population are not overweight, considering the current consumer culture.”

The Health Ministry has recently launched a campaign against the consumption of soda drinks, which are a kind of statewide plague. A survey conducted in local schools has shown that Israeli children are at the top of the world average in their daily consumption of sweetened drinks. The world average for consuming sweet drinks is 25% of girls and 32% of boys. The average in the US is 30% among girls and 37% among boys.

In Israel the average is 41% for girls, 45% for boys — while for Israeli Arab children it is even higher, as 51% of Arab children ages 11 to 15 consume a sweet drink at least once a day.

© JNi.media

© JNi.media

It is well-known today that an overweight child will likely suffer from obesity in adulthood. In Israel every fifth first grader (20%) is overweight, and by the seventh grade 30% — one in three children — are overweight.

Among Arab children the situation is even worse, with close to 40% of Arab seventh graders suffering from overweight.

In Israel, some 70% of the food being consumed is processed, which is why Israeli children and teens consume 12 grams of sodium daily, easily double the recommended amount.

Diabetes in Israel harms the weaker population strata, most notably the Arabs. The rate of diabetes among the poor is three times higher compared with middle and upper class Israelis. An estimated 25.5% of Israeli poor are diabetic, compared with 7.1% Israeli middle and upper class. The rate of the rise of diabetes among the poor in Israel is swift and alarming, jumping in 12 years from 7.8% in 2002 to 25.5% in 2014.

According to the Health Ministry, the cost of obesity is estimated at $1.55 billion annually, with a third of the cost coming from direct care for obese patients and two-thirds from indirect losses, such as reduced earning ability, sick days and nursing care. Israel’s largest HMO, Maccabi Health Services, has submitted to the Health Ministry data suggesting it spends on diabetic patients 53% more than it does on the average insured member.

Israeli Health Ministry’s anti-soda drinking campaign


We’re Not All Americans Anymore

Monday, June 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

Let’s get this straight.  It’s un-American – in fact anti-American – to do what the City of San Jose’s leadership did during the Trump rally on 2 June.  The police department made no effort to prevent attacks on the Trump supporters — the mayor and police chief basically justifying their selective law enforcement on the premise that they just don’t like Trump and what he represents.  (See here, here, here, and here as well.)

It’s equally un-American to do what the anti-Trump mob did.  These were not “protesters”; they were a violent mob, full stop, committing acts of terrorism against peaceful rally-goers.

The mob was not waving the American flag.  It was waving the Mexican flag and the “no borders” and “anarchy” flags.  That matters too.  It’s un- (and anti-) American.  Essential to Americanism is the idea that a specially-covenanted nation – one that is not breachable by outside forces, one that is consciously different from all the nations that are less free and have less respect for their people – protects our rights and liberties.  If you don’t agree with that idea, you can’t call whatever ideas are rolling around in your head American ideas.  They’re something else.

More than un-American, it’s vicious, immoral, unethical, lawless, and anti-human to do what was done by the anti-Trump forces in San Jose last week – both the city leadership and the mob.  But all those things make it un-American too.

Leaders on the right oddly muffled

There’s something else that’s un-American.  On the right, official and establishment voices have been, to all intents and purposes, silent about this ugly development.  It’s as though they can’t focus sharply enough to make a meaningful point.

The supreme point is that there can be no excuse for law enforcement to assemble, and then stand by watching peaceful citizens be attacked and do nothing.  No political antipathy justifies that.  Worse, policing in that manner is the pattern of banana republics, petty autocracies, dazed and confused Weimar Germanys – regimes that are about to fall to brutal, mob-driven dictatorship.

If you think it’s too incendiary to mention that last aspect of the problem, remember Reagan in 1964.  He didn’t fear to be very clear about what America faced if she did not fight back against the predatory global campaign of Soviet Marxism.  He didn’t fear to define the emergency.

But who in the upper ranks of the political right has managed even to focus audibly on the immediate point about citizens being mistreated during a rally?

It’s as if the right’s own leadership is dithering, unable to decide what it wants to say.  “Should we agree with the MSM that this is what happens when you elevate Donald Trump?  Or is it dumb to attack the guy who apparently will be our candidate in November?”

You don’t even need to answer those questions to say the right thing.  Which is that San Jose did it wrong no matter what.  On principle, the side of law and order was obvious in this situation.  And San Jose didn’t take it.

San Jose acted on the notion that law enforcement can be justified in being politically selective.  And the political right’s leadership has failed to define its own position clearly.  The silence from these people suggests they themselves are influenced by the un-American notion of law enforcement sometimes being, understandably, a selective tool of situational politics.

Admitting that little “understandably” to your mind – because, hey, it’s that ridiculous bozo Trump, after all – is the decision-matrix burble that paves the road to hell.  And it looks a lot like our political leaders on the right have admitted it.

From Democratic (and socialist) leaders, of course, I expect nothing principled on this matter.  Sadly, all of them — the leaders — are already ranged with the city officials of San Jose.

I don’t believe the most-visible people here – San Jose’s officials, the anti-American mob, the Republican or Democratic leadership – represent a majority of Americans (of any race or ethnicity).  I think there are still plenty of people in this country who hold the American view on principle, even if they hold it with different degrees of courage and urgency.  They don’t think any amount of political opposition to someone else justifies the forces of public order in leaving him to be attacked by a mob.

Reality bites

But it’s increasingly clear that we no longer have ideas and loyalties in common with some of our most prominent and politically active citizens.  Not just Obama’s true believers, not just Soros-bribed rent-a-mobs, not just “white-power” psychos, but elected officials and mainstream opinion leaders have a literally un-American view of the controlling principle for the San Jose situation on 2 June.

It’s reached the point where, too often, this lack of common purpose is the most noticeable aspect of our interactions as a people.  It can’t be papered over.

No matter who is elected in November, all those un-American ideas will still be out there, not just lying about their compatibility with everything it means to have an “America” and be American, but riding our apathy and ignorance to positions of public authority, and producing anti-American decisions.

Americans are in various stages of waking up to this.  It’s been latent for a long time, but now it’s being manifested in the actions of public authorities that affect our daily welfare: our safety in the streets, our ability to exercise our rights and liberties.  Those public authorities, and the mobs that make it convenient for them to treat the people unequally, are not “American” actors with whom we have purposes in common.  There is no compromise possible with them, because they don’t have any of the same goals as the people who live by American ideas.

(Trump can’t fix this, by the way.  He couldn’t really even define it; he’s impatient with political-principle talk.)

If you’re still ambivalent about the question of whether Trump supporters “brought this on themselves,” you are part of the problem.  You’re in for a dreadful, and probably fatal, awakening at some point, when you find out that there is no refuge from the mob mentality unleashed by your ambivalence.  You can never fear-grin enough to ensure that the mob doesn’t come after you.  If human history has taught us anything, it’s that.

This is a deeply sad and terrible situation for Americans, but it’s real.  The key to not despairing is to first acknowledge its reality.  My own view is that God doesn’t want to condemn us to this fate.  If the great story of God and man were summed up in one word, it wouldn’t be “condemnation” or even “justice.”  It would be “redemption.”

But only if we see clearly where we’re starting from, and make heroic decisions, can we get to a better future.

J. E. Dyer

Ipsos Survey: One Third of American Students Support Boycotting Israel

Monday, May 30th, 2016

One third of American students believe boycotting Israel is justified and constitutes a legitimate means of applying political pressure on the Jewish State, according to a yet to be released Ipsos survey, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported. Ipsos is one of the world’s leading market research firms for hire, managed and controlled by research professionals, offering comprehensive global research programs in 87 countries.

The original Channel 2 story mistakenly assigned those statistics to the US population at large. It was later corrected.

The survey, which will be officially released in advance of an International conference on the struggle against BDS to open on Tuesday, polled a sample of 1,100 American students. It suggests that 33% find a boycott against Israel to be justified. A similar survey conducted in the UK found that 40% of the students there agree that boycotting Israel is legitimate.

The good news is that a 62% majority of US respondents believe that the BDS movement is a form of modern anti-Semitism. About 50% of Briton students also condemn the BDS as being anti-Semitic.

The anti-BDS international conference, titled, “Building Bridges and Fighting Boycotts,” is organized by Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress, Keren Hayesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, and CAMERA. More than 1,500 are expected to participate, including students, representatives of anti-BDS organizations, Jewish American organizations, and opinion makers.


Goodbye Columbus, Goodbye America

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Columbus may have outfoxed the Spanish court and his rivals, but he is falling victim to the court of political correctness.

The explorer who discovered America has become controversial because the very idea of America has become controversial.

There are counter-historical claims put forward by Muslim and Chinese scholars claiming that they discovered America first. And there are mobs of fake indigenous activists on every campus to whom the old Italian is as much of a villain as the bearded Uncle Sam.

Columbus Day parades are met with protests and some have been minimized or eliminated.

In California, Columbus Day became Indigenous People’s Day, which sounds like a Marxist terrorist group’s holiday. While it’s tempting to put that down to California political correctness, in South Dakota it was renamed Native American Day.

The shift from celebrating Columbus’ arrival in America to commemorating it as an American Nakba by focusing on the Indians, rather than the Americans, is a profound form of historical revisionism that hacks away at the origins of this country.

No American state has followed Venezuela’s lead in renaming it Día de la Resistencia Indígena, or Day of Indigenous Resistance, which actually is a Marxist terrorist group’s holiday, the whole notion of celebrating the discovery of America has come to be seen as somehow shameful and worst of all, politically incorrect.

Anti-Columbus Day protests are mounted by La Raza, whose members, despite their indigenous posturing, are actually mostly descended from Spanish colonists, but who know that most American liberals are too confused to rationally frame an objection to a protest by any minority group.

About the only thing sillier than a group of people emphasizing their collective identity as a Spanish speaking people, and denouncing Columbus as an imperialist exploiter is Ward Churchill, a fake Indian, who compared Columbus to Heinrich Himmler. Ward Churchill’s scholarship consists of comparing Americans in past history and current events to random Nazis. If he hasn’t yet compared Amerigo Vespucci or Daniel Boone to Ernst Röhm; it’s only a matter of time.

The absurdity of these attacks is only deepened by the linguistic and cultural ties between the Italian Columbus Day marchers and the Latino Anti-Columbus Day protesters with the latter set cynically exploiting white guilt to pretend that being the descendants of Southern European colonists makes them a minority.

If being descended from Southern Europeans makes you a minority, then Columbus, the parade marchers, the Greek restaurant owner nearby and even Rush Limbaugh are all “people of color.”

Italian-Americans are the only bulwark against political correctness still keeping Columbus on the calendar, and that has made mayors and governors in cities and states with large Italian-American communities wary of tossing the great explorer completely overboard. But while Ferdinand and Isabella may have brought Columbus back in chains, modern day political correctness has banished him to the darkened dungeon of non-personhood, erasing him from history and replacing him with a note reading, “I’m Sorry We Ever Landed Here.”

But this is about more than one single 15th century Genoan with a complicated life who was neither a monster nor a saint. It is about whether America really has any right to exist at all. Is there any argument against celebrating Columbus Day, that cannot similarly be applied to the Fourth of July?

If Columbus is to be stricken from the history books in favor of ideological thugs like Malcolm X or Caesar Chavez, then America must soon follow. Columbus’ crime is that he enabled European settlement of the continent.

If the settlement of non-Indians in North America is illegitimate, then any national state they created is also illegitimate.

It is easier to hack away at a nation’s history by beginning with the lower branches.

Columbus is an easier target than America itself, though La Raza considers both colonialist vermin. Americans are less likely to protest over the banishment of Columbus to the politically correct Gulag than over the banishing America itself, which was named after another one of those colonialist explorers, Amerigo Vespucci. First they came for Columbus Day and then for the Fourth of July.

The battles being fought over Columbus Day foreshadow the battles to be fought over the Fourth of July. As Columbus Day joins the list of banned holidays in more cities, one day there may not be a Fourth of July, just a day of Native Resistance to remember the atrocities of the colonists with PBS documentaries comparing George Washington to Hitler.

These documentaries already exist, they just haven’t gone mainstream. Yet.

We celebrate Columbus Day and the Fourth of July because history is written by the winners. Had the Aztecs, the Mayans or the Iroquois Confederation developed the necessary technology and skills to cross the Atlantic and begin colonizing Europe, the fate of its native inhabitants would have been far uglier. The different perspectives on history often depend on which side you happen to be on.

To Americans, the Alamo is a shining moment of heroism. To the Mexicans who are the heirs of a colonialist empire far more ruthless than anything to be found north of the Rio Grande, the war was a plot to conquer Mexican territory. And neither side is altogether wrong, but choosing which version of history to go by is the difference between being an American or a Mexican.

A nation’s mythology, its paragons and heroes, its founding legends and great deeds, are its soul. To replace them with another culture’s perspective on its history is to kill that soul.

That is the ultimate goal of political correctness, to kill America’s soul. To stick George Washington, Patrick Henry, Jefferson, James Bowie, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and all the rest on a shelf in a back room somewhere, and replace them with timelier liberal heroes. Move over Washington, Caesar Chavez needs this space. No more American heroes need apply.

This is how it begins. And that is how it ends. Nations are not destroyed by atomic bombs or economic catastrophes; they are lost when they lose any reason to go on living. When they no longer have enough pride to go on fighting to survive.

The final note of politically correct lunacy comes from a headline in the Columbus Dispatch about the Columbus Day festival in the city of Columbus, Ohio. “Italian Festival honors controversial explorer with its own Columbus Day parade”.

Once the great discover of America, Columbus is now dubbed “controversial” by a newspaper named after him, in a city named after him .And if he is controversial, how can naming a city after him and a newspaper after the city not be equally controversial?

Can the day when USA Today has a headline reading, “Some cities still plan controversial 4th of July celebration of American independence” be far behind?

Daniel Greenfield

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/goodbye-columbus-goodbye-america/2013/10/15/

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