web analytics
December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘letter’

Aging Rocker’s Failed Anti-Israel Crusade

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back in 1976, when the burgeoning punk movement began transforming the rock’n’roll landscapes of London and New York, a young punk rocker named John Lydon scrawled the words “I Hate…” on his Pink Floyd t-shirt.

With this one stroke, Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, demarcated the past from the future: eschewing the lengthy and ponderous compositions of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Rotten and his mates set about delivering sharp, angry tunes in a compact three-minute format.

Almost 40 years later, popular music has undergone numerous other transformations, but Rotten (who now calls himself Lydon again) and Waters have remained polar opposites. And as Israelis know better than most, that’s true both inside and outside the recording studio.

Back in 2010, Lydon rounded on critics of his decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv by telling them, “I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they [the Palestinians] are treated.”

By contrast, Waters, outwardly, a much more refined and eloquent fellow, has firmly hitched himself to the movement pressing for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Waters’s support for BDS is thought to be the reason that his scheduled appearance at the 92nd Sreet Y in New York City was canceled back in April, while more recently he tussled with the Simon Wiesenthal Center over an accusation of anti-Semitism that stemmed from a feature of his live show, in which a Star of David is projected onto a flying inflatable pig.

In his response to the Wiesenthal Center, Waters denied he was an anti-Semite, coming out with the standard response that hating Zionism and hating Jews are completely distinct. But a subsequent letter written in August to “My Colleagues in Rock’n’Roll” – his legendary pomposity remains unaltered – is certain to revive the charge. This time, it’s hard to see how Waters can wriggle around it.

The letter begins by citing another British musician, the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who slammed Israeli “apartheid” during a recent concert that was recorded by the BBC. “Nothing unusual there you might think,” Waters wrote, “[but] then one Baroness Deech, (nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement.”

Why did Waters think it necessary to point out the maiden name of Baroness Ruth Deech, a noted academic and lawyer? The answer is obvious: before she was Deech, a name that resonates with English respectability, she was Fraenkel, a name that sounds positively, well, Jewish. And much as she might try to hide her origins, the intrepid Waters is determined to out her, along with her nefarious Jewish –sorry, I mean, Zionist – agenda.

Sarcasm aside, this is anti-Semitism of the ugliest, most primitive kind. Appropriately, Waters’s letter appeared first on the website of the Electronic Intifada, a U.S.-based outfit that has emerged as one of the prime organizing platforms of the BDS movement.

The Waters letter ends as follows: “Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

In case it’s not clear, in the BDS movement, such elaborate formulations are code for “until such time as the state of Israel, which was born in a state of original sin, is finally eliminated.”

Here’s the rub, though: ten years ago, when the BDS movement was a relatively new phenomenon, statements like these would have set off a minor panic in the Jewish world. These days, we’re far more sanguine, and we’ve learned that Israel can survive and flourish no matter how many graying prog-rockers like Waters dedicate their lives to removing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.

As unpalatable as this may be for Waters’s digestion, the plain truth is that the BDS movement has failed. Its original aim was to replicate the massive outcry against South African apartheid during the 1980s, when songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” and “(I Ain’t Gonna Play) Sun City” ruled the airwaves. Instead, it has remained a fringe movement, a minor irritant that has had precious little impact on Israel’s economic life and garners media attention only when someone like Waters decides to shoot his mouth off.

Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.

“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.

The US Government’s Flip-flopping Views on Prisoner Release

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The news of the sudden release of a Mexican drug kingpin implicated in the murder of a U.S. DEA agent caused outrage in Washington. The Justice Department weighed in with its “extreme disappointment” while DEA officials past and present talked of bribes and corruption. There can be little doubt that the prisoner in question was involved in illegal activity that would include his ordering the murder of an American agent, but why is the U.S. so upset?

In October of 2011, Israel—which. like Mexico, is a staunch ally of the U.S.—let to go of more than 1000 terrorists in exchange for the captured soldier Gilad Shalit. Eighteen of those released had been directly involved in the murder and maiming of American citizens in suicide bombings and other violent attacks in and around Israel.

I can guarantee you that if you do a Google search for responses to that release, you will see no anger, no outrage, no disappointment, no official questioning—the U.S. simply did not care. After years of intense effort by this terror victim in anticipation of terrorists being swapped for Shalit, the most I could muster was a request—the day before the release—from the U.S. embassy to the Israeli prime minister not to release prisoners with American blood on their hands.

Israel completely ignored the request, and the U.S. said nothing. This official U.S. apathy is bookended by the Mexican release last week and the Scottish release of the putative “Lockerbie Bomber” in 2009. In the latter case, the current Attorney General wrote a blistering letter to his Scottish counterpart on the inappropriateness of the release of the convicted mass murderer.

American victims of Palestinian terrorists did not merit such a letter to the Israeli justice minister. The most some of us received was a letter in January 2012 from Holder telling us how hard they are trying to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who killed American citizens. As of today, Washington is 0 for 72 in these cases, the latter being the number of attacks in which American citizens were killed or maimed by Palestinian terrorists since 1993. Where there is no will, there is no way.

My son and I were injured in a suicide bombing in 2002. Since 2004, I have had contact with officials in the local U.S. embassy, the FBI, the Department of Justice and the State Department. I have begged, cajoled, and pleaded that the U.S. make the prosecution of Palestinian terrorists who harmed Americans a legal priority.

If words alone were enough, every such terrorist would today be in some Super Max facility in the mainland U.S.. We have been repeatedly told that our cases are very important, the DOJ is investing resources, that the FBI is working hard, etc. Yet, in spite of dozens of possible prosecution candidates, the U.S. has not arrested, tried, prosecuted or even extradited a single Palestinian terrorist. The question is why? In the past, we have been told how hard it is to prosecute such cases without full Israeli cooperation. Yet, I think that the reasons go far deeper than technical considerations. I think that the base reason is a pro-Palestinian attitude of officials in the State Department. When I corresponded with a senior official at State, she said that the U.S. would not prosecute Marwan Barghouti, who was implicated in supplying funds for our attack. When I asked why, her response was simple: “Because the Israelis caught him.” Apparently, the official in question had never heard of extradition.

American Jews who live or visit Israel are somehow seen as being “Israeli”, some how no longer deserving of American protections and law enforcement assistance. While I hold only U.S. citizenship and while two of the women from our attack were released from their life sentences in the aforementioned release, I know that the U.S. will never prosecute them or their colleagues from our attack, even though the anti-terror laws are on my side.

The U.S. government—under both George Bush and Barack Obama—does not see me.

The Second American Letter to Netanyahu

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Recently, a group of American Jews, including Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ); Rabbi David Ellenson, President of the URJ’s Hebrew Union College and Jewish Institute of Religion; Rabbi Eric Yoffie, previous URJ head; and Rabbi David Saperstein of the URJ’s Religious Action Center, signed a letter to Israel’s PM Netanyahu. Joining them were several prominent Jewish philanthropists, academics and liberal politicians.

The letter lauds President Obama’s ‘leadership’ for helping to bring about Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara affair, which I and others believe to be a disastrous mistake.

And — almost incredibly, given the recent history of Israeli withdrawals and concessions answered only by war, terrorism and further demands — the letter has the chutzpah to call for Israel to make “painful territorial sacrifices for the sake of peace.”

This point of view may have made sense thirty years ago, but the world, as they say, has moved on, with the rise of Hamas and its violent takeover of Gaza, the second Intifada, the 2006 Lebanon war and consequent re-arming of Hizballah, the abrogation of the Oslo accords by the PLO, the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Iranian nuclear program, the civil war in Syria … need I go on?

As always, the letter fallaciously conflates actual peace with the signing of a ‘peace’ agreement between Israel and the PLO and concomitant  concessions and withdrawals by Israel.

The endorsement of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish denomination in America, placed on this piece of obsequious stupidity is not surprising, considering that Rabbi Jacobs was an activist in the phony ‘pro-Israel’ group J Street as well as the New Israel Fund before being selected to head the URJ. Yet again the liberal Jewish establishment demonstrates that support for President Obama trumps concern for Israel’s survival.

The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), a conservative advocacy group which supports U.S. political candidates and policies favorable to Israel, put it remarkably well in its own letter to Netanyahu, which I reproduce here:

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:

We know you don’t need our advice on how to handle the peace process – but given the decision by a group of self-described American Jewish leaders to call for you to make “painful territorial sacrifices,” we felt it appropriate to convey our own thoughts on the matter.

Be assured that they don’t speak for us or for a majority of Americans. We not only question the wisdom of their advice, we question their standing to issue such an admonition to a democratically-elected prime minister whose job is not to assuage the political longings of 100 American Jews, but to represent – and ensure the security of – the Israeli people.

Indeed, it’s puzzling to us why a small group of American Jews believes it appropriate to demand “painful territorial sacrifices” of Israelis, when those issuing the demand will not experience the pain, or be compelled to sacrifice anything, should their advice prove foolish – as it has so many times in the past. We affirm the words of Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, who recently asked an American Jewish audience to “respect the decisions made by the world’s most resilient democracy.”

The “American Jewish leaders” who deign to advise you today are largely the same leaders who rarely, if ever, demand “painful sacrifices” of Palestinian leaders – or even demand that they come to the negotiating table, which they have refused to do in any meaningful way since 2008. From the safety of America, in the past they have recommended trusting Yasser Arafat, dividing Jerusalem, surrendering the Golan Heights to Syria, and withdrawing from territory that today is controlled by Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

Before rushing to issue new recommendations, we suggest that these oracles of bad advice might pause to reflect on the wisdom of the recommendations they’ve already made.

We, too, have strong opinions on the peace process – but one thing we never presume to do is instruct our friends in Israel on the level of danger to which they should expose themselves.

We trust, of course, that you are under no misapprehensions about any of this. But we felt it important that you heard from a mainstream voice in addition to the predictable calls from a certain cast of American activists for more Israeli concessions.

Sincerely,

William Kristol
Rachel Abrams
Gary Bauer
Noah Pollak
Michael Goldfarb

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Will the Writer of the Fake Gideon Sa’ar Letter be Caught?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Being a public figure isn’t easy on one’s personal life.  Israel’s Minister of Education Gidon Sa’ar just got a very painful lesson in that subject.

One of his enemies decided to knock him down a few levels and/or boot him out of politics by accusing him of sexual misconduct.  It was pretty easy.  The person just wrote a letter, signing with someone else’s “initials” and then sent it off so the public could hear about it.

After innumerable headlines and articles and television news time spent on the subject of the “evil Gidon Sa’ar,” communicating that the previously squeaky clean Likud politician was just like the others,  it has finally been revealed by the police that the letter is a forgery.

Now, I wonder if the police will devote the same time and energy to investigate, discover and prosecute the forger or forgers? People should know that if they try to destroy a person and that person’s career that they will be destroyed instead.

There’s so much internal fighting and intrigue in high places, whether politics, academia, finance, media and more.  It’s really frightening to think how easy it is for someone to just write one of these “letters” or notes which can totally destroy a person, his/her family, reputation, career and worse.

I really hope that the Israeli Police won’t rest until they discover, try and convict the guilty in this real scandal.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

No Sexual Misconduct by Gideon Sa’ar

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

As reported in JewishPress.com, many people were suspicious that the letter accusing Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar of sexual misconduct was a fake.

At a police conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino confirmed that theory, and said the letter is definitely fake.

The letter detailed serious allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Likud Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar towards a female employee in the Ministry of Education. The female employee in the office, with the same initials as that on the letters, denied writing it, and said that nothing detailed in the letter ever happened.

The letter had been sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to Likud Central Committee members, saying that Sa’ar shouldn’t be reappointed as education minister.

Netanyahu Condemns Terror Attack Against US Embassy in Turkey

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the terrorist attack against the US Embassy in Turkey, that happened on Friday.

Netanyahu sent the following letter to President Barack Obama:

Dear Mr. President,I was shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious terrorist attack against the US Embassy in Ankara.

Such acts of wanton violence remind us of the dangers faced by those who courageously represent us abroad and of the threats which those who despise freedom continue to pose to those who love liberty and life.

Our hearts are with you, with bereaved family members, and with the American people.

Sincerely,
Benjamin Netanyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-condemns-terror-attack-against-us-embassy-in-turkey/2013/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: