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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘ground’

So Progressive: anti-Israel Activists Find Common Ground with the Alt-Right

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

In the aftermath of the US election, proudly progressive Israel-haters have been happy to tell everyone who’d listen that they have been right all along – alt-right, to be precise. About a week after the election, Ali Abunimah informed his Electronic Intifada readers that Trump might be “bringing ‘white Zionism’ to the White House.” He explained what “white Zionism” is supposed to be by citing the – in my view well-deserved – criticism of Steve Bannon’s leadership role at Breitbart News, which “regularly published materials designed to stoke fears about African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other groups, and to explicitly normalize white nationalist and white supremacist beliefs.” Abunimah then declared triumphantly: “This so-called alt-right ideology has been described by one of its key promoters as a form of ‘white Zionism.’”

Well, to Ali Abunimah it must have seemed like a golden opportunity: when half of America was in shock about Trump’s unexpected election victory and appalled by the prospect of an empowered alt-right, why not seize the moment and come up with a spin that might convince all these people that Zionism was just as bad and despicable???

But Abunimah was by no means the only one to demonize Zionism as the Jewish version of white supremacism:  at the hate site Mondoweiss, Phillip Weiss accused renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah E. Lipstadt of “advocating a double standard” if she was denouncing “white nationalism as a white supremacist ideology” without condemning “Jewish nationalism” in the same terms.

A more recent post at Mondoweiss gloats about the widely reported failure of Hillel rabbi Matt Rosenberg at Texas A&M University to respond to alt-right leader Richard Spencer’s claim that Jews refused to assimilate and thus remained “a coherent people with a history and a culture and a future,” and that he just wants the same for whites. As Mondoweiss contributor Jonathan Ofir concludes, “Spencer masterfully put Rosenberg in a checkmate” by exposing “how Zionism and white-supremacy in fact dovetail.”

It’s good to know that alt-left anti-Israel activists would feel so elated to have their demonization of Zionism validated by the ‘masterful’ leader of the alt-right… The intellectual depth displayed here reminds me of Rania Khalek’s excuse when she was caught linking to a Holocaust denial site and then claimed it had just been “an error,” insisting at the same time that the book she had recommended from the site was “completely factual.” As I wrote at the time, Khalek was apparently convinced that a site devoted to minimizing Nazi crimes and defending people “not believing in the existence of gas chambers” can be trusted to feature a “completely factual” book that presents Zionist Jews as Nazi collaborators – which is obviously an idea that deserves as much ridicule and contempt as the notion that a white supremacist site would be a good place to find a “completely factual” book on blacks.

What anti-Israel activists who feel that the alt-right’s supposed affinity for Zionism validates their own “anti-Zionism” really tell us is that their view of Zionism has little to do with realities in the world’s only Jewish state.

Let’s look first at what Spencer means by “White Zionism”. This is how he put it at an alt-right gathering in 2013:

“For us ‘immigration’ is a proxy for race. In that way, immigration can be good or bad: it can be a conquest (as it seems now) . . . or a European in-gathering, something like White Zionism.  It all depends on the immigrants. And we should open our minds to the positive possibilities of mass immigration from the White world.”

More recently, Spencer told the notorious alt-right gathering in Washington D.C. something very similar as he told Hillel rabbi Matt Rosenberg at Texas A&M University:

“The Jews exist precisely because they were apart, precisely because they had, maybe you could say, a bit of paranoia about trying to stay away — please don’t quote paranoia,” Spencer said.”

Right, let’s not quote “paranoia” – it’s perhaps not the best word to describe the results of more than a thousand years of antisemitism…

But in any case, others at the gathering agreed that the Jews provided an excellent example for white nationalists. As one participant put it: “The opposition to intermarriage. The creation of their own state. The recreation of their language. This is the greatest triumph of racial idealism in history.”

So let’s start with intermarriage (and leave aside that I’m writing this as a naturalized non-Jewish Israeli citizen who “intermarried” with a Jew). While the alt-right hopes to be able to mainstream their ideas under President Trump, they presumably know that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism and married a Jew. So if white nationalists want to emulate Jews, they’ve surely developed some ideas about how non-Whites can convert to being white?  And another interesting question: what language do white nationalists plan to recreate?

Anyway, to clarify things a bit more, I thought white nationalists might find it useful to contemplate this image before praising Israel for any supposed “greatest triumph of racial idealism in history”…

Mhm, you think this is how white nationalists would want their army to look? And, incidentally, how do you think white nationalists would feel if they knew the story of former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of sexual offenses and sentenced to a lengthy prison term by a well-respected Christian Arab judge? If white nationalists see Israel as their example, maybe we should expect that they’ll have well-respected Black Muslim judges in their state?

I could go on, but I agree with Gilead Ini’s recent remark on Twitter: taking the alt-right’s professed admiration for the world’s only Jewish state seriously, and trying to show how insincere and uninformed it is, may not make more sense than countering other libels, like “arguing that Zionism isn’t Nazism or that Jews don’t drink blood.”

But the alt-left’s eagerness to embrace the alt-right’s fantasy of Israel as a validation of campaigns aimed at eliminating the world’s only Jewish state shows how alike both fringes are: the alt-right wants a white state without Jews, the alt-left wants a world without a Jewish state – and if their respective visions were to come true, the alt-right couldn’t care less about the fate of Jews in the diaspora, while the alt-left couldn’t care less about the fate of Jews in Israel.

Petra Marquardt-Bigman

Ground Zero for the Iran Deal: Rosenthal Versus Nadler

Friday, September 16th, 2016

More Jews live in New York’s tenth congressional district than in any other district in the United States. Philip J. Rosenthal – the kind of guy who could easily be a character on television’s The Big Bang Theory – wants its citizens to elect him as their representative.

Jerry Nadler, however, has been representing that area of New York, first in Albany beginning in 1977, and for the past 14 years in Washington, D.C.

So, why not vote for Nadler? Nadler voted for the Iran Deal, that’s why.

And if you don’t recall, the Iran Deal was the one issue behind which nearly all of the organizational Jewish world united against. The Iran Nuclear Deal which many Americans, especially Jews, and most especially Jewish New Yorkers, realized at the time was a deal only for Iran but a disaster for the safety of the United States, Israel and much of the West.

And yet, thumbing his nose at his constituents, Cong. Jerrold Nadler came out in support of the disastrous Iran Deal. Many folks in his district felt badly betrayed by Nadler. Some saw him as bowing to the wishes of the Democratic administration while ignoring their wishes and their safety. Nadler was the only Jewish member of the New York delegation who came out in favor of the deal.

Into the breach now steps Philip J. Rosenthal, a shiny example of a Bronx boy made and does good.

Rosenthal grew up facing a train yard and across the street from Bronx High School of Science, from which he graduated (“salutatorian, my father would want me to tell you,” he says.) Rosenthal went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in Physics, “summa cum laude, phi beta kappa,” he says, sheepishly, again hearing his father’s voice echoing in his head).

Where next? The California Institute of Technology, where Rosenthal studied string theory and cosmology, garnering both a master’s degree and a PhD. Ouch.

When queried about whether he actually understood those topics, Rosenthal’s retort is pure Big Bang-ish: “Physics is beautiful, elegant, it’s the essence of everything; it’s politics that’s messy!” But back to that later.

As if Rosenthal’s resume wasn’t already impossibly impressive, after Cal Tech he went to work on a program dealing with Pluto. And this is when he began to realize that the American dream was no longer as assured as it had seemed.

“It used to be that America led the world in everything – today if you want to work in space, you need to hitch a ride with the Russians,” Rosenthal said.

“As a child I was inspired by the American space program, but now the greatest fundamental physics labs, the particle accelerators, they’re in Europe, at CERN labs, on the French/Swiss border.”  Rosenthal explained that is where the best research, the most exciting laboratories in the world are. That’s a huge economic and national security disaster for our country, he says.

Rosenthal wants America to again be the global leader. And the key to economic leadership and national security is for America to be second to none, Rosenthal insists. We need to focus on science, space and technology,” and, he says, we’re not doing that anymore.

Rosenthal’s sites began shifting away from science. In 1996 he graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to the venerable Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, where he practiced, amongst other things, nuclear law.

Without access to legal research technology, Rosenthal recognized that individuals and even solo and small firm practitioners are unable to compete with the big guys. But legal research software is very expensive.

So Rosenthal, with a friend, created a new kind of legal research software that is far more affordable, faster and easier than the standard software packages. In addition, his company, FastCase, utilizes different kinds of tools which the old guard systems do not.

“There is a great lack of access to legal justice. We founded FastCase in order to democratize the law.” FastCase is being used by nearly a million lawyers today, and the FastCase legal app is both the first of its kind and absolutely free.

So what does Rosenthal want to do in Congress?

Though he’s been many places since his Bronx boyhood, Rosenthal still has the concern for the little guy that has long animated New York politics.  His focus on making the law more accessible to everyone also shows up in his platform — he’s a strong advocate of making sure poor Americans have access to the legal services they need to help them protect their rights, their homes, their jobs and their families.  And he’s strongly committed to helping the homeless in real ways — not just by feeding them today, but also by investing in them and their skills so they can become productive men and women tomorrow.

Last summer, when signing the anti-BDS legislation passed by Congress, President Obama announced that on his watch the U.S. would not be enforcing the provision of the law which prohibits boycotts of Israeli products in the disputed territories.

Rosenthal practically explodes: “Really? The President proudly tells everyone that boycotting certain Jews is acceptable? Where was our representative?” Incensed that Nadler didn’t make a peep about this, Rosenthal goes on to list the other ways in which this administration – without sufficient or any pushback from Nadler and others – has disrespected and mistreated Israel.

And he once again draws the conversation back to the Iran Deal. “This district is literally Ground Zero and our representative supported the Iran Deal? Is no one paying attention?”

Unlike many members of Congress, Phil Rosenthal has actually read every page made public of the Iran Deal. With his science and legal background, Rosenthal is confident we could have done much better, just as he knows America could and should be doing much better in the global economic arena.

“This is a wonderful year to run as an outsider. I haven’t been on Capitol Hill for the past dozen years, but,” he ticks off, “I have a background in physics, in law, I’m an entrepreneur, my dad was in manufacturing. I have experience in the real world.”

Most importantly, Rosenthal says he knows that the people in New York’s tenth congressional district deserve better representation than they have. And, he says, he’s ready to provide that.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Hamas Recruits ‘Suicide Donkeys’ to Fight Against Israel

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Hamas terrorists have pity on no one. Not their wives, not their children. Not even their donkeys.

In their latest creative attempt to attack Israelies, Gaza’s terrorist rulers are recruiting ‘suicide donkeys.’ This weekend, they sent a donkey wearing a explosive pack on a suicide mission.

Donkeys are a common method of transportation throughout Gaza, Judea and Samaria, and are also used by Arabs to transport goods from market to home. They are a common sight along the highways of Israel, particularly around the south and in the rural areas of the north and Jerusalem.

That makes the newest method of terrorism even more dangerous.

On Friday night, one poor animal was sent towards an IDF position night near the town of Rafah, straddling the Gaza border with Egypt.

Israeli soldiers, who had received prior intelligence the terrorists would attempt precisely this tactic, were forced to fire at the animal and blow him up.

It’s unbelievably cruel on a number of levels; for the animal, of course – but especially the soldiers who were forced to fire at the donkey. The visual impact is particularly traumatic and the emotional pain is almost as bad, when a young soldier is forced to shoot a donkey and then watch him explode, knowing the creature was helpless to prevent his fate at either end.

The terrorist who devised this method – which is a variant of the ‘human shield’ – is an expert at psychological warfare, someone with a psychopathological streak. If and when he is ever taken into custody, this is one who should join the list of “life without parole forever.”

Hana Levi Julian

The Collective Jew

Monday, August 19th, 2013
I keep trying to make this point to show what I believe is the unique Israel. In the last few weeks, three incidents have happened that once again reinforce what I have known all my life. Am I wrong to believe there is no other country in the world that would do these things?

Here’s the first amazing story:

A young cancer patient on the way to the US with a bunch of other sick kids can’t find her passport.

With no other choice, the young girl was removed from the plane and the plane prepared to depart after a fruitless search on the plane, in the airport, everywhere. Minutes before takeoff, while the plane was taxiing to the runway, they found the passport in another child’s backpack.

Too late, no? The stewardess told the pilot – the pilot radioed the tower and was given permission to turn back. The story appears here.

As the child cried, so too did people on the plane – and the stewardesses, and people on the ground. Amazing.

And the second story…

David Finti is 19 years old. He is a Romanian Jew. While boarding a train, David was electrocuted and severely burned. The local Jewish community contacted the Jewish Agency. They recognize the collectivism of our people just as on the Israeli side it was recognized as well. And so, Israel flew the young man to Israel, making him an Israeli citizen so that he could get critical care free of charge. David and his parents were flown to Israel and are now at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital. The story appears here.

Yet another story in the last few days has come to light. Israel recently managed to bring in another 17 Yemenite Jews – leaving 90 left.What amazes me is that we were able to bring another group here to Israel and more, that we know how many remain. We are watching, waiting, hoping to bring the last remnants of what was once a great community here to Israel.

It is what we do. Three stories of how Israel watches, Israel waits, Israel acts.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula Stern

Crossword Puzzle – Got Juice

Friday, December 7th, 2012

 

Across

1. Apple leftover

5. Concert equipment

9. Grad. school tests

14. The ___, counting time

15. Torah mariner

16. Gets promoted

17. Stallion’s mate

18. “Beetle Bailey” dog

19. “Live ___ ___ Legs”, Pearl Jam album

20. Cry by He-Man, or when removing the third word a statement made by the lucky ones last month

23. Preserve, in a way

24. Letters before DVD

25. Dimness

27. Dylan of the Mets

28. Arid

30. Squared cracker?

32. Kind of action figure, or possible title for one providing juice?

36. Sch. with a bear mascot in Little Rock

37. Decorative pitcher

38. Tail action

39. Kind of agreement

40. “Wheel of Fortune” buy

41. Like G-d

45. Seek a seat

46. Make like Eli

47. Poet’s “before”

48. Davidic song

50. Napoleon in literature, e.g.

51. Wetland

54. 1992 Morgan Freeman movie

58. Color of one of the Avengers

60. Wren or hen

61. Country of conflict on the political stage

62. Kind of church

63. Hodgepodge

64. Foul mood

65. Unpopular name at the moment

66. Seals’ meals

67. Belonging to Chaya, e.g.

 

Down

1. Rickles or Regan

2. Poker game

3. Played again

4. Day before

5. One more

6. Cocoon exiters

7. Head

8. Factory

9. An unfriendly dog, e.g.

10. Actor Sal

11. Kind of artificial ground

12. Driver’s helper?

13. Common ID

21. Penultimate fairy tale word

22. Shrek, e.g.

26. Region across from Hong Kong

27. Jewish stranger?

28. Ginger cookies

29. Waffle brand

31. Washington locale, with “the”

32. Orchard item

33. Admit

34. A Miramax founder

35. Cobblers’ tools

39. Bonanza find

41. Very much

42. Light antique?

43. Odd folk

44. As a result

49. Coming up

50. Jeopardy

51. Carried by

52. Broadcasting

53. Fellows

55. Cousin of a bassoon

56. Sly trick

57. Abode for Jonah, once

58. Astronaut Grissom

59. Biochemistry abbr.

 

(Answers, next week)

Yoni Glatt

Be A Savior

Friday, December 7th, 2012

A child, who can’t swim, jumps into the deep end of the swimming pool. A man chokes on his food while eating in a restaurant. A friend goes into shock. A woman faints. All of these scenarios share common ground. They all include a victim who is lacking oxygen. People need to know what to do in these emergency situations.

Approximately 330,000 people die annually because they do not reach the emergency room in time. This number would decrease rapidly if the emergency room paramedics weren’t the only ones who know what to do. Recently, I was at a friend’s house. There was a platter of candy and gum near us, and her little sister was inhaling more of it than could fit in her mouth. She started choking. We all started screaming, but not really doing anything. We were five girls who had no clue what to do. Yet, just knowing a few simple steps can save a person from possible brain damage.

First off, if someone can talk or breathe, they aren’t choking. Have them continue to cough until their airway is clear. There are certain signs that can tell you if someone is choking. For example, if a baby is choking, his or her skin will change to a reddish color, and then turn blue. An adult’s neck might start to bulge, and his or her face will turn red and puffy. If you are qualified, and you see that someone is choking, start to employ CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Place a fist below the victim’s ribcage and do thirty rapid compressions in less than eighteen seconds, but on a child or infant, remember to do the compressions in a more gentle manner.

There is a mnemonic device that can help you remember the steps to follow in an emergency situation: DR911ABCD.

D-DANGERS. Look around you and make sure that there are no dangerous objects near the victim, such as fire, glass, gas, or open wires. Assess the victim.

R-RESPONSIVENESS. Check to see if the victim is responsive. You can do this by inquiring as to whether he or she is okay and if you can help.

911- Call 911 and report your emergency.

A-AIRWAYS. Make sure that none of the victim’s airways are blocked.

B-BREATHING. Make sure the victim is breathing

C-CIRCULATION. If the victim is not breathing, start doing CPR. After four to six minutes without oxygen the heart will stop beating. Brain damage is certain after ten minutes, so time is of the essence.

D-DEFIBRILLATION. If the victim is not breathing, and the CPR has had no effect, use a defibrillator. An AED (automated external defibrillator) interprets heart rhythms. Two heart rhythms can mean cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is when the heart stops beating. Ventricular Fibrillation (VF), when the heart is shaking like jelly, and Ventricular Tachycardia (V-Tac), when the heart pumps 200-300+ a minute. Chances of survival decrease 7-10% for every minute waiting for defibrillation.

The DR911ABCD measures can be used for most emergencies, in addition to hypothermia (when the body temperature is 95 degrees or lower), and shock (when there is a lack of oxygen in body tissue).

This past summer, my two-year-old cousin was at the pool. As the whole area emptied, he ran back, alone. He slipped and fell in the deep end. He didn’t know how to swim, so he sank to the bottom. The lifeguard on duty didn’t see him. She finished up and started to walk out. Glancing down, she saw a blue form at the bottom of the pool. Instinctively, she dove in and pulled him out. Screaming for help, she started to do CPR. My cousin was brought to the hospital, and now, Baruch Hashem, he is fine. His parents have started a program called Project Moshe- Learn to Save a Life.

Do you want to be ignorant or knowledgeable? The information that you can acquire may be the very thing that saves someone. While you may convince yourself that this isn’t something you need, trust me, you do. It could be your mother, sister, cousin, or best friend. Don’t take the risk! Learn CPR, and learn how to save a life.

Adina Jaffa

‘Because they Could’

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Before a radio interview this week, the host sent me a list of questions that might come up on the show. The answer to an extraordinary number of them was, “Because they could.” Because bad actors were reasonably sure no one (read: United States) would protest and even more sure no one would stop them.

For example: Why did Jordanian Palestinians join the protest calling for the overthrow King Abdullah II of Jordan? Why did Iran attack a U.S. drone in the international waters of the Persian Gulf? Why did Mahmoud Abbas go ahead with the U.N. General Assembly vote on observer status over pointed U.S. objections? Why did the Emir of Qatar visit Gaza and give Hamas $400 million? Why did Ansar al Shariah attack the U.S. Consulate/CIA Annex on 9-11? Why did Mohammad Morsi take on dictatorial powers in Egypt? Why is Iran using Sudan as its staging base for the export of arms to Gaza?

That is not to say there are no other answers, and indeed, there are many, but the abdication of American leadership in the Middle East/Persian Gulf region encourages those whose aims are inimical to the West to believe they can advance themselves with impunity.

This stands in odd contrast to the questions about Israel: Why did Israel bomb Gaza? Why didn’t Israel take its ground forces into Gaza?

The answer to the first set of questions is, “Because it had to.” The answer to the second is, “Because it didn’t have to.”

Because Israel Had To

Operation Pillar of Defense was not only retaliation for Hamas rocket fire — although that would have been reason enough for a civilized country to go to war. The attack was a response to the discovery that Hamas had acquired perhaps 100 Iranian Fajr-5 rockets. These are the same type of rockets that someone destroyed in a Sudanese weapons factory in October, and their presence in Gaza was unacceptable to Israel.

By way of comparison: The other rockets and mortars in Hamas’s arsenal made life difficult for more than a million Israelis across the southern part of the country — the U.S. equivalent is 44,000,000 people. Every one of them would have 15 seconds to find shelter and shelter their children and elderly parents. Geographically, the radius of the otherHamas rockets superimposed on New York would cover Hurricane Sandy-land and more.

The Iranian Fajr-5 added Tel Aviv (Israel’s commercial center) and Jerusalem (its capital) to rocket range — over 1,200,000 residents in the cities, plus suburbs with over half a million more. The equivalent of an additional 75,000,000 Americans, give or take.

Of course, there are those who do not have a problem with Israelis facing attack at the whim of an enemy determined to kill as many civilians as possible. Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton acknowledged that, well, okay, rocket fire from Gaza is “reprehensible,” but “let’s be clear: The overwhelming majority of rockets fired from Gaza are like bee stings on the Israeli bear’s behind.” You wonder what he would think if it were 130 million Americans having to rush for shelter on 15 seconds’ notice.

Because Israel Didn’t Have To

Hamas tried desperately to lure Israeli troops into Gaza. Having trained for a ground invasion, laid mines and planted booby-traps, Hamas wanted nothing more than IDF trophies, dead or alive. Increased rocket fire (more than 1,500 rockets between November 14th and 21st — an average of eight per hour or one every eight minutes) was intended to create not only an increase in Israeli civilian casualties, but irresistible pressure from the citizenry on the government to “do something.”

Although the Israeli public strongly favored a ground incursion and the government mobilized the reserves, it did not happen. Why?

The Israeli Air Force removed the Fajr-5 threat and decapitated Hamas leadership without a ground offensive. More than 1,600 targets in Gaza were hit, including rocket launching sites, storage facilities and terrorist infrastructure. Thirty senior Hamas operatives trained in Iran were killed, unable to transmit their knowledge. Iron Dome’s 85% success rate intercepting rockets aimed at population centers allowed the Israeli government to make decisions without the pressure of civilian casualties. And finally, knowledge that there were 75,000 soldiers mobilized and ready reassured the Israeli public that the government was prepared to do more if necessary.

Shoshana Bryen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/because-they-could/2012/12/02/

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