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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Obama Cites Liberties, Israel in Heritage Month Declaration

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

President Obama cited the Jewish striving for freedom and the U.S.-Israel bond in his Jewish American Heritage Month declaration.

“Jewish immigrants from all over the world wove new threads into our cultural fabric with rich traditions and indomitable faith, and their descendants pioneered incredible advances in science and the arts,” Obama said Tuesday in declaring May as Jewish American Heritage Month. “Teachings from the Torah lit the way toward a more perfect Union, from women’s rights to workers’ rights to the end of segregation.”

Among other Jewish American contributions, Obama listed “scientists and teachers, public servants and private citizens, wise leaders and loving parents.”

He said Americans could see Jewish “accomplishments in every neighborhood, and we see them abroad in our unbreakable bond with Israel that Jewish Americans helped forge.”

Congress legislated Jewish American Heritage Month in 2006 and Obama was the first president, in 2010, to mark it with a celebration.

This year there will be no White House fete because of budget cuts.

Obama to Face Questions on Syria in Morning Press Conference

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

President Barack Obama has scheduled a press conference for 10:15 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, and he is all but certain to face questions regarding American intentions concerning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the continuing revelations of faulty intelligence on the Boston Marathon terrorists.

Gun control and spending cuts also may be on the agenda of journalists at the conference.

Deal with Muslims in Strength and Respect, Not Peace and Equality

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Points of contention between Muslims and non-Muslims have gradually increased in recent years. In the opinion of many, they represent the most serious risk for world peace. It is not merely a conflict between Israel and the Arabs, but rather, the policy of Iran and Al Qaeda, who openly express sheer hatred of Israel and the West. In the words of the Iranians, the United States is the “Great Satan,” while Israel is the “Little Satan”.

Moreover, dangerous conflicts are occurring between India and Pakistan, between the Chechnya rebels and Russia, and between the people of Uyghur and China. In the major cities of Europe – from France to Russia – tensions between native residents and Muslim immigrants are on the rise, as well. It appears these conflicts are not coincidental; rather, they reflect a core problem which, if not thoroughly understood by the Western world, will lead to increasing tensions, until the conflict is likely to result in terrible bloodshed throughout all of Europe and the Islamic countries.

Failures of Western Policy and its “Experts”

I have criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s position, who, in his keynote speech in Jerusalem, said that young Muslims want “the ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married and have a family.” He thereby expressed the prevailing view among those who believe that liberalism is the supreme aspiration of all mankind, while ignoring the extraordinarily powerful religious values that have motivated people and nations throughout history.

“To worship God in their own way” is the ambition of a person who believes in liberalism and wishes to reserve a certain place in his life for spirituality, irrelevant of how it is expressed. However, for someone motivated by time-honored religious beliefs, “to worship God in their own way” is highly inadequate. This is the reason why the U.S. and Western countries, whose positions are guided by basic liberalism, fail to understand Muslims, and consequently, do not know how to deal with them – despite the enormous resources at their disposal.

First, one needs to understand Islam’s exceptional strength – together with its virtues and shortcomings. I am far from being an expert on this, and I am also sure that the few books I have read on Islam were not accurate representations, because they were written by academics who find it difficult to properly understand what faith and religion are all about. But it seems that precisely as one who fully identifies with his faith, I am able to add a dimension missing from the understanding of Muslim culture and religion. Instinct tells me my inaccuracies are in the specifics, whereas most Western “experts” err in theory.

The Religious Point of View

The fundamental approach of Islam lies in a religious perception which views God as an all-powerful champion, to whom everyone must submit and accept His absolute authority. Out of the five major precepts of Islam, four deal directly with the honor of God and submission to Him: 1) accepting faith in Him. 2) To pray to Him five times a day, mainly involving bowing and reciting seven verses praising Allah, seventeen times, and accepting His authority. 3) To fast in the month of Ramadan. 4) The pilgrimage to Mecca. (An additional precept is giving charity to the poor, which expresses submission to Allah as well – for money belongs to Him and not man). Even praise and confession to Allah is performed out of a feeling of submission and honor.

Islam’s Influence on Personal Behavior

This approach extends to all interpersonal relationships which are based on honor. A wife must highly respect her husband, and a husband is obligated to take care of, support, and protect his wife – this is his honor. Needless to say, children are also required to honor their parents. Interpersonal relationships as well are based on great respect, producing a sense of noble generosity, which allows room for hospitality and brotherhood.

Seeing as honor is so important, offending a Muslim is intolerable, because it undermines the very foundation of his existence; consequently, he is obliged to respond with extreme gravity, leading, for instance, to the familiar and horrifying expression of “family honor killings.”

The Positive Aspects of Islam

Unmistakably, there are very positive aspects of Islam. The foundations of the religion were derived from Judaism, and tailored to the character of the Arab nation. These positive aspects and their contribution to the world deserve study, to clarify how useful the value of honor could be for the modern world, whose problems, to a large extent, stem from a lack of respect for God and of human dignity. The right to freedom is not a substitute for lost honor. The right of dignity in a democratic society is expressed merely by refraining from humiliating someone; it is void of positive respect. This allows for a feeling of apathy, arrogance, and contempt for others, and their values.

All the same, at present we are engaged in the tensions surrounding the followers of Islam, which naturally will present its less attractive sides.

Islam – A Religion of War

Following the five precepts of Islam, the next most important precept is the command of jihad. Resembling Allah, His followers must also act courageously, forcibly subduing those who do not succumb to His authority. Power and the sword play a central role in the Muslim religion, emphasizing the physical strength of the religion, and enhancing the greatness and honor of Allah by imposing His beliefs on all mankind. Even the calls to prayer over loudspeakers by the muezzin, day and night, are an expression of imposing the religion over wide-open areas, directed towards themselves, and all others.

It is no coincidence that the Arabs have succeeded in imposing Islam on many nations, to the point where, presently, it has approximately 1,400,000,000 followers. The genetic code of Islam is programmed towards a steadfast war of imposing Mohamed’s religion on the entire world by means of the sword. To achieve this goal, everything is legitimate. If they must kill, they will kill; if they must lie, they will lie. It was not the enchanting beauty of Islamic religion which enticed so many nations to accept it upon themselves, but rather, the clear threat of death.

All nations attained their achievements through confrontations and triumphs. Unlike other cultures, however, in Islam, the principle of compromise is intolerable, especially a territorial compromise. Compromise is an expression of weakness, whereas a Muslim is required to represent the heroism and strength of Allah, and must always clutch the sword, prepared to continue the war of imposing the religion.

Therefore, even when Muslims lack the power to defeat their enemy, there is no willingness to compromise. If they are compelled to agree to a cease-fire (tahadiya in Arabic), as far as Islam is concerned, it is only a respite which must be utilized to prepare for the continuation of the war. In the interim, if possible, they will weaken their opponent by means of terrorist attacks and raids. If they are unable, at the very least they will attempt to sedate him with lies, and when the opportunity arises, attack once again till he is defeated. This method is based on the conduct of their prophet Muhammad towards the tribe of Quraysh.

The Significance of the Sword in Islam

According to Muslim belief, the world is divided into two parts: Dar al-Islam are territories already conquered by Islam. Dar al-Harb are territories at war, which the Muslims are commanded to conquer, and after doing so, they become Muslim holy territories (waqf), which must not be relinquished under any circumstances. Even if this territory is re-conquered by another nation for hundreds of years, according to Muslim law, it is still considered “sanctified” land which must be returned to Muslim control.

Of course, the State of Israel constitutes a twofold problem for Muslims: first, it was established on territory that had been occupied by Islam since its inception (except for a period of some 200 years, when it was ruled by the Crusaders). Second, it is also located in the heart of Arab-controlled areas.

Some Muslims are more devout, others less; nevertheless, they all share the desire to regain Arab rule over the Land of Israel. The debate between the moderates and the extremists is over the question of whether they are able to conduct an overt, all-out war against us, or should they first emasculate and weaken the State of Israel by means of agreements and political pressure, and only afterwards take it by force.

How to Deal with the Islamic Threat

The only time Muslims are exempt from holy war is when they are entirely helpless – without the capability or opportunity to succeed. Only then, according to Islamic law, are they exempt from the necessity to wage war. In that case, Muslims would wait for years or even generations, confident that when the opportunity is presented, they’d return to wage war.

In contrast, any attempt to compromise with Islam would inevitably lead to the continuation and intensification of war and terror, because it is perceived as a weakness. Since, according to Muslim culture, if the Western countries had the power to defeat them, seeking a compromise would be unthinkable.

The West’s search for compromise can only be due to its inability to face the heroic attacks of Allah’s faithful, which means that its downfall is close at hand. The same is true regarding Israel – any attempt at compromise or looking for a “political horizon” instills hope in the Muslims that they can defeat her, and as a result, encourages terrorism and war.

Anyone wishing for peaceful and calm relations with Muslims must avoid presenting ambitions of peace, or any talk of it. The objective of Western countries must be to secure a durable ceasefire, and, at the same time, conduct respectable relationships. When this occurs, it will be possible to eventually reach a loftier and more profound peace. Such a peace, however, must not be discussed at this point in time.

The Mistake in Obama’s Cairo Speech

Instead, when President Obama spoke in Cairo four years ago, he erred twice: first, by calling the Muslims to peace, thereby intensifying their battle against America, and hastening the downfall of Arab rulers who supported the United States. Second, despite all the praise for Muslims, in truth, he was condescending, humiliating their beliefs by preaching to them to behave democratically, to grant equality to women, and to provide equal rights for minorities – when, in fact, Muslim values are based on honor, and not equality.

Had Obama firmly insisted on equality for Egypt’s Christian Copts, they would have respected his demands. But when he asked for this in the name of democracy and religious freedom, he damaged his status in their eyes, and endangered the Copts, whose situation has since deteriorated.

Let us conclude with the prayer: “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” As a result, Islam’s positive values will come to the fore, the nations will come closer to faith in God and fulfilling the Noahide commandments – each nation according to its own qualities and character – and true peace will come to the world.

Kerry Refuses Israeli Intel on Assad’s Use of Chemical Weapons

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Israel’s senior intelligence analyst  said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against the rebels, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted there is no proof.

“To the best of our understanding, there was use of lethal chemical weapons. Which chemical weapons? Probably sarin,” Brigadier-General Itai Brun told a Tel Aviv security conference.

President Barack Obama has said that he would order military action in Syria if chemical weapons are used.

Videos of Syrian civilians, many of them children, suffering from the effects of chemical weapons have surfaced at least three times this year. Britain and France also have said that they have been used.

But the American government wants documented proof and whatever else they can come up with to get out of acting on its word. Obama talked himself not a corner because it has become clear that no matter what happens in Syria, everyone loses in  the nears-term.

Kerry not only rejected Israeli intelligence but also tried to throw the responsibility on NATO.

“We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” Kerry said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

That is a clever way of taking the monkey off of Obama’s back, but it is pretty nervy to reject Israeli intelligence. First of all, Israel and Syria are next –door neighbors. Secondly, you can bet your bottom shekel that Israel has more intelligent agents than the United States who know Syrian turf and speak the language.

Thirdly, the United States has a history of making itself look silly by rejecting Israeli intelligence. Several years ago, Israel warned American officials that Iran was secretly working on its nuclear power program, but Washington categorically rejected the information. Its own bright-eyed experts knew 100 percent that Iran had dropped its plans for making a nuclear weapon.

Around two years ago, the U.S. government said, well, y’know, it looks like the Israelis are right again. And now the world is paying the price.

But just to be sure, how does General Brun know for a fact that Assad’s forces have unleashed the unthinkable?

He showed previously published pictures of a child, either dead or wounded, and said foam seemed to be coming out of the mouth.

But that still is not the hard proof the United States is demanding.

Brun is certain he is right. “The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate” he said.

Enter John Kerry. He knows that Israel has no proof of the use of chemical weapons because he talked with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who “was not in a position to confirm that in the conversation that I had.”

“I don’t know yet what the facts are,” Kerry added. “I don’t think anybody knows what they are.” Not even Gen. Brun?

No one knows what the context of the Prime Minister’s remarks were. Nor does anyone know if Prime Minister Netanyahu would prefer not to fall into a trap of telling the Secreatru of State and than being told to keep quiet. Or perhaps Netanyahu does not want to put Obama in a corner right now, despite Gen. Brun’s comments.

Meanwhile, the White House keeps pounding the podium that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and continues to wag fingers, saying woe to Assad if he is proven to have deployed them.

Back in the State Department, reporters are siding with Israel’s version.

At Tuesday’s daily media briefing, reporters peppered acting spokesman Patrick Ventrell with questions.

Asked about General Brun’s statements and about British and French claims of the use of chemical weapons, Ventrell said, “The bottom line is [to] continue to support an investigation of all credible allegations of chemical weapons used to establish the facts of exactly what did or didn’t happen. ”

The reporter shot back, “You are saying that we are supporting these investigations, but we all know the Syrian regime has been refusing UN team. How you are going to able to investigate it if the regime is not allowing you to do that? Or how long you are going to use this rhetoric even though nothing is happening on the ground?”

Kerry’s Heart Bleeds for Dead IHH Terrorists as for Boston Victims

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Turkish officials that the anguish of Americans over the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon helped him understand the frustration of Turks over the death of IHH thugs who were killed in the May 2010 flotilla clash after kidnapping and seriously wounding several Navy soldiers.

Nine Turks, members of the terror-linked IHH “charity” organization, brutally clubbed and knifed the commandos who reach the deck of the Mavi Mamara by climbing down a rope from a hovering helicopter and armed with nothing more than personal pistols and paint guns.

Kerry compared the American reactions to the terrorist attack in Boston with those in Turkey to the Israeli counterterrorist attack on the IHH.

“It affects the community, it affects the country. But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace,” he stated.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) criticized Kerry or his remarks. “It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Danon told The Times of Israel. ”The only way to deal with the evils of terrorism it to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators, wherever they may be.”

Kerry visited Ankara to try to bring Turkey and Israel closer together after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s four years of snubbing Israel and falling into his own trap by embracing Iran and Syria.

The new Secretary of State, who already is a candidate to surpass his predecessor Hillary Clinton’s record for traveling around the world several times, tried to pull his diplomatic weight to convince Erdogan not to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza next month.

The trip ‘‘would be better delayed and that it shouldn’t take place at this point in time… Our sense is that it would be more helpful to wait for the right circumstances.”

Kerry met with Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu but not with Erdogan, whose ego could not possibly allow anyone less than the President of the United States to sway his plans.

President Barack Obama used his trip to Israel last month to convince Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to offer an apology to Erdogan for the outcome of the flotilla clash and even agree to compensate families of those who planned and carried out the attacks on the commandos.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry quickly replied to Kerry’s request in the negative.

It would be wrong to evaluate these [Kerry’s statements] as a ‘U.S. reaction to Erdogan’s Gaza visit,’” an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told daily Hürriyet, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“For now there isn’t any change in the prime minister’s Gaza schedule. The issue will be discussed during Erdogan’s visit [to the United States] on May 16. This is what Kerry says, too. After the U.S. trip, Erdogan’s Gaza trip will be realized,” he said.

Perhaps President Obama can convince Erdogan to cool off a bit, especially if Turkey wants to feel more secure against the prospect of neighboring Iran as a nuclear threat.

In return, perhaps Erdogan can convince President Obama to compensate the families of the brothers who murdered three people, wounded 200 others and threw Boston into mayhem in the Boston Marathon Massacre.

Sunday Times: Israel Wants Use of Turkish Base to Bomb Iran

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Israel is about to offer missiles and advanced technology to Turkish in exchange for Ankara’s allowing the Israeli Air Force to use a base northeast of the capital, which is approximately  1,000 miles from the border with Iran, according to the Sunday Times of London.

It said that National Security Council chairman Yaakov Amidror will visit Turkey on Monday to try to put an end to the bitter differences between Turkey and Israel over the Mavi Mamara flotilla clash three years ago.

“Until the recent crisis, Turkey was our biggest aircraft carrier,” an Israeli military source told the London newspaper. “Using the Turkish airbases could make the difference between success and failure once a showdown with Iran gets underway.”

Iran is a mutual fear for both countries, and President Barack Obama used his visit last month to Israel to put an end to the diplomatic crisis that began to develop during the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist maneuvers against Hamas-controlled Gaza, when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned Israel from a long-term friend into a new enemy. He then embraced both Syria and Iran until realizing last year he chose the wrong side.

Israel is helping him climb down from the diplomatic tree and in principle has agreed to Erdogan’s demand to compensate the families of the nine Turkish IHH members who carried out a brutal pore-mediated attack on Israeli Navy commandos who boarded their ship virtually unarmed to keep it from sailing to embargoed-Gaza. After the IHH attackers kidnapped three commandos and wounded them and several others, the Israeli force overtook them, killing nine IHH terrorists.

The London newspaper reported that Amidror’s mission is to re-open a 1996 Israeli-Turkish agreement that allows the Israel Air Force to train in Turkey’s air space and use the Akinci Air Base, northeast of Ankara. In return, Turkish pilots were allowed to train at Air Force bases in the Negev.

With the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon staring at in its face, Turkey wants Israel’s advanced technology and missiles, such as the Arrow,  to beef up its defense not only against missiles from Iran but also from Syria.

Turkey is very worried by Iran’s missile ambitions,” the Israeli source told the Sunday Times. “With Israeli know-how based on the Jericho ballistic missiles, the time frame will be cut short.”

Gordon, Schulman Appointed to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Illinois Rabbi Samuel N. Gordon and public relations executive Maureen Schulman are the newest members of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Council, appointed on Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Rabbi Gordon is the founding rabbi of Congregation Sukkat Shalom in Wilmette, Ill. and is vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He also is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the Hebrew Union College and a senior rabbinic fellow of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Schulman is president of her public relations firm and director of public relations for The Eli’s Cheesecake Company. She is president of the board of The Happiness Club and a director of the Magnificent Mile Charitable Foundation.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gordon-schulman-appointed-to-u-s-holocaust-memorial-council/2013/04/10/

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