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To Protect Jewish Students, California University Committee Recommends Ban on Hate Speech

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Each year at many California universities, pro-Israel students dread the inevitable arrival of “The Wall,”—the centerpiece of Israel Apartheid Week. These programs, sometimes known as Justice in Palestine Week or Palestinian Awareness Week, usually take place sometime between late-winter and spring and focus on charges that Israel is an Apartheid state that illegally occupies Palestinian territories.

But what if the wall wasn’t allowed to go up?

Speculation on the future of anti-Israel demonstrations on University of California (UC) campuses has increased in recent weeks after a mid-July report compiled by the UC President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate recommended that UC consider banning all hate speech from its nine campuses.

Between October 2011 and May 2012, a group of professionals handpicked by UC President Mark Yudof travelled to six UC campuses (Santa Cruz, Davis, Irvine, Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego) to assess the social conditions of Jewish students as well as Arab and Muslim students.

Jewish student leaders on the campuses were interviewed by the council, which evaluated the students’ biggest concerns as Jews on campus.

A separate report, providing background and recommendations on behalf of Arab and Muslim students was also released in mid-July.

Ultimately, the council recommended that hate speech, particularly anti-Israel demonstrations, be banned because of the unsafe and uncomfortable environment that can ensue on campus.

“UC does not have a hate-free policy that allows the campus to prevent well-known bigoted and hate organizations from speaking on campus such as the KKK,” the council wrote in the report. “UC should push its current harassment and nondiscrimination provisions further, clearly define hate speech in its guidelines, and seek opportunities to prohibit hate speech on campus.”

The council recognized that such a ban, if put in place, almost certainly would lead to legal action challenging it. Already, a petition asking Yudof to table the recommendations has gathered over 2,300 signatures.

Opponents of the recommendation claim that the report, released July 9, does not consider all viewpoints of Jewish students on campuses—particularly those of Jews who are critical of Israel.

In response, StandWithUs started a counter-petition urging the UC Office of the President (UCOP) to accept and implement the recommendations outlined in the report. While the first petition targets the hate speech ban proposal, the StandWithUs petition focuses on implementation of the entire report’s recommendations which include ensuring that kosher food options be available on UC campuses and that anti-Semitism be clearly defined and banned.

The advisory council also recommended that UC staff members receive cultural competency training and that accurate data be kept on Jewish students to better evaluate their needs.

There has been mixed reaction to the report in the pro-Israel community. Sharona Asraf, a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and board member of Tritons for Israel at UC San Diego, created a Facebook event promoting the petition and said she supports the Council’s recommendation to ban hate speech.

“This will verbalize protocol and will elaborate what the consequences are for hate speech,” Asraf said.

However, Daniel Narvy, President of Movement for Peace in the Middle East at UC Irvine, said that while he thinks hate speech should not exist, banning it on UC campuses could actually make life more difficult for pro-Israel students.

“I can promise that SJP will claim the university is Islamaphobic and complain until they get their way,” Narvy said. “Do I think the hate speech, which it clearly is, should be there? No, but the university cannot use prior restraint and just censor a club just because [some members of the club] are obnoxious .” Richard Barton, who is the national education chair for the Anti-Defamation League, co-wrote the report with Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP. Barton defended the report in an Aug. 23 op-ed in the San Francisco Gate.

“By including an examination of the climate for Jewish students, the Campus Climate Council has truly advanced the notion of honest and critical examination that lie at the heart of the UC’s core values,” Barton wrote.

Though UCOP is not expected to finish evaluating both the Jewish and the Arab and Muslim reports until late October, Yudof noted that ensuring a right to free speech would remain a priority.

“The Council will continue to address issues for a broad range of campus community members,” Yudof said in an August 8 open letter to the UC system. “None of this is designed to stifle free speech, but rather to ensure that our campuses are welcoming to a broad diversity of students, faculty and staff.”

Better Than They Are

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

On these shores, Americans commemorated the cold-blooded gleeful murder of thousands of their fellow men and women by bowing their heads and enlisting in one of the free work projects of the National Day of Service listed at Serve.gov, a combination that says all that needs to be said about our present day relationship with our government.

In newly liberated Benghazi, the city that Obama named as his moral imperative for fighting an illegal war against the will of the American people, gunmen opened fire on the American embassy and killed an American security guard. That dead man is the first American casualty in the Libyan War– a casualty that will be acknowledged and honored around the same time that someone in the media calls the Libyan War, a war, instead of sticking to the shameless lie of a No Fly Zone.

In Cairo, a mob of a thousand climbed the wall, tore down the American flag, tore it to pieces, burned it and tried to replace it with their own flag with the words, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger”. That message was the same one that the murderers of Americans have shouted, written and videotaped themselves chanting in one form or another.

As befits a great power, the US Embassy in Cairo responded by condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” The US Embassy’s statement was virtually indistinguishable from the one issued by the beleaguered Christian Copts of Egypt. The Christians of Egypt act that way because they live at the merciless mercy of Muslims. Apparently so do we.

When the Prophet-Criers climb our walls and murder us, we apologize for having offended their religious feelings. The same religious feelings that took down the World Trade Center as part of a murderous crusade going back over a thousand years. They kill us and we elect a man with a Muslim background to tour the world and explain to all the angry Muslims that we’re really very nice people once you get to know us.

If they want to be ruled by Muslim governments under Islamic law, we’ll give that to them. If they want a billion dollars, we’ll send it to them. If they want us to apologize for having free speech, we’ll do that too.

If they burn a couple more embassies, we’ll even see do something about that Bill of Rights which does not permit the gendarmes of tolerance to arrest a man for blasphemously calling Mohammed a pedophile and burning a Koran bought and paid for with his own money. Not like our more enlightened European cousins who put a stop to that behavior long ago and are sniffing around the flanks of Sharia law to see which parts of it can fit safely into their tolerant order.

And of course burning a Koran is ridiculous. So what if they burn American flags. So what if they burned 3,000 people, the ones who didn’t jump or kill themselves some other way. So what if their great ambition in life is to climb over all our walls and kill most of us and enslave the rest because the Koran, that most holy book which unlike New Yorkers must not be burned, tells them to do it. So what?

They can kill us because someone somewhere insulted their prophet. But when they kill thousands of us, then we must feel eternal shame because we renditioned some of the perpetrators, put them in a room and then, under medical supervision, poured water on them until they eventually told us about all their other plans to kill us.

The answer, you see, is that we are better than they are. And we get plenty of opportunities to show off how much better than them we truly are.

They kill us and we apologize to them. They kill us and we spend a fortune developing drones that will be able to take out the leader who ordered the attack with as little collateral damage as possible. And then when the natives dig up the daughters they murdered last week and the brother-in-law they beat to death last month in a clan feud, and dump them on the smoking vehicle, and the local stringers who have arrangements with Al Qaeda and the Taliban snap away at the wreckage, we will feel bad because after all the billions we spent developing and deploying a weapon meant to kill as few people as possible– there are the bodies that prove we are terrible people.

And when Karzai, whose prisons are full of raped and mutilated women, yells at us in front of the camera, before taking a hit of coke, and going off to have sex with one of his dancing boys, tells us that we are terrible people, we will believe it. Because we are better than them and we have a conscience.

This collective conscience does not respond to the mutilated bodies of Americans, in Afghanistan or in New York. It is a conscience deaf to the pain of the thousands of soldiers and their families who died or suffered crippling injuries because the new administration wanted to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, the only people who truly matter, by minimizing civilian casualties. But show that conscience a naked Muslim with women’s underwear on his head and it will shriek and clutch its pearls. It will turn that Muslim into the shame of America, while looking away from the Rape Rooms that same Muslim supervised.

After September 11 we could have struck back, the way we struck back at Japan, without mercy or empathy, with no concern for the enemy as anything but a faceless mass that hurt us. We could have leveled their cities, brought their civilization to the ground and done it with no more concern than a government legislator deciding how much money to squeeze out of the taxpayer for this year.

But we didn’t do that. We did not come to hurt them, but to save them from themselves and teach them how to be good people like us. We wanted to make them into the kind of kind noble people who only respond with the minimal amount of violence possible to an attack. The kind of people who will let thousands of their own people die rather for the sake of their conscience. Good people like us.

Our experiment at civilizing the savage failed miserably in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will go on failing as often as we keep attempting it. And at the end of the experiment, there will be burning embassies and savages crying, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger,” the same words that the bearded bandit who was one of the first Muslims and their many times great-grandfather was crying out as he was raping the shamelessly unveiled tribal woman who would become their many times great-grandmother.

“There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger” means that the Muslim need not waste time worrying about his conscience. His conscience is a Koran and that book says that he’s entitled to kill any time that an infidel offends Islam by mocking his prophet, walking in front of him or building a skyscraper that is taller than a mosque. The Muslim need not waste time pondering the ethical implications of killing another human being to know that he is better than we are. His little black book assures him that he is better than us, that he has every right to kill us and that if he fails, he will be raping demon virgins who are so anorexic that their bones can be seen through their flesh.

But, we oh what good people we are, we will apologize for having an embassy and for having free speech and for getting our embassy in the way of their mob and our free speech in the way of our religious sensibilities. And we will see about getting all of the above out of their way. After Muslims killed thousands of Americans we did everything we could to learn about their religion, to celebrate it and soothe their ruffled feathers. Like an anxious host, we are still rushing around to see that our Muslim guest has enough coffee and egg rolls while promising to do something about that free speech that offends him.

Like all good people, we are expert at blaming ourselves. Aside from the rabble who claim that there really were no Muslims on those planes and possibly no planes at all, just a vast conspiracy by the people in our own government who were not at all Muslims, there are the other rabble who claim that our foreign policy motivated the attacks. One way or another, we are to blame. That is how we know that we are good people… by blaming ourselves. The more we apologize and ask our murderers to forgive us, the better people we know ourselves to be.

One day, and this is our highest hope, we will look a Muslim terrorist in the eye right as he shoots us and beam into his soul a message of hope and peace, and just as the life bleeds out of our veins, the Muslim will fall at our feet and be filled with the understanding that all life is precious and sacred. And even if we are the last of our kind, our deaths will have been worthwhile if by the final sacrifice of our civilization we can elevate the savage out of his savagery.

We are you see, good people. Not moral people nor sane people. Morality requires values and sanity demands contact with some outpost of the real world outside the simulacrum of outraged noise on all the channels, real and virtual. Morality is hard, goodness is easy. Morality is about right and wrong, but goodness is about condemning those most like you in order to feel better about yourself.

Goodness is childishly easy. Go to a movie theater and wait for people to talk. Then feel good about not being one of the talkers. Goodness is watching thousands of people getting killed and feeling good because unlike those crazy rednecks or the bridge and tunnel crowd, you feel no yearning for vengeance. Goodness is watching Americans die and then picking out a Muslim convenience store and offering him whatever support he needs against all those bigots who are sure to show up with American flags and torches sooner or later, because unlike you, they aren’t good people at all.

We are a nation led by immoral people who think they are good, by politicians, professors, priests, rabbis, pundits, crackpots and activists who having no values are determined to excuse all the evil that they do by being relentlessly good people. When they sacrifice something, whether it’s a night out or your life, then they will make sure that everyone knows it. And when you protest, they will tell you about all the sacrifices that they are making, because despite all the blood and filth on their hands, they are good people. Good amoral sociopaths who learned everything they know about right and wrong from television and feel-good slogans.

The bigger their hypocrisies, the bigger their sacrifices, and they love nothing so much as sacrificing others. Their conscience is always bothering them and they put it to sleep with showy acts of public goodness. They will not feed a beggar on their street, but they will go around the world to feed an orphan, especially at someone else’s expense. And that way they remember that they are good people. Not just good people, but better people than us, the miserable mob waving torches and flags who don’t know the value of condescending to an Imam at an Iftar dinner or feeding a Bangladesh orphans on someone else’s dime or spending thousands of lives to enable Muslims to be the good people that they must be somewhere underneath all those ugly layers of murder, child-murder and mass murder.

So, no we will not fight back after September 11. Nor will we fight back when our embassies are attacked. The good people running things will take stock of what we have done that could have caused this and apologize for it and remind us to feel good about being such good people who diplomatically apologize to others instead of bombing them from the sky. They will feel worse about a burnt Koran than about a dead American because they are sociopaths with no more understanding of right and wrong than the teleprompters who feed them their lines. All their morality is learned behavior and their teachers were liars, morons and lunatics who passed on their disease to the next generation.

Embassies can burn and so can skyscrapers, but like all amoral people, they will cling to the moral high ground with their fingernails because it is the only thing between them and the abyss. They will tell us that we act the way we do because we, as a nation, are better than they are. We don’t lash out, we don’t get angry, we don’t go to war for revenge. We are not meant to feel anything except for the satisfaction of serving others, whether it’s picking up trash outside an inner city school on a National Day of Service, that happens to coincide with something called 9/11, or dodging Taliban bullets so that Afghan schoolgirls can get a proper education.

We are meant to be good people and that is what good people do. They give until it hurts and then die knowing that their giving natures kept them on the moral high ground of being six feet under.

We are good people. Too good to fight. Too good to defend ourselves. Too good to keep our laws and retain our traditions. Too good to be angry when we are killed. Too good to want to do anything but make our killers understand our pain. Too good to respond to our own murder with anything but immediate guilt.

We are better than they are. Not better at survival, but better at rationalizing our own destruction. We are so good that we open up our cities to our own murderers and close our eyes at the airport so as not to make a single one of them feel bad. We could fight back, but we’re too good. And if we start defending ourselves, then we will be forced to ask, “What is the difference between us and them?” Once we start killing, we will become murderers and it is better to be murder victims, it is better to mourn in defeat than to celebrate a victory, it is better to serve as Dhimmis than to live as conquerors.

We could fight back, but we are better than they are. That is a decision that our leaders have made and they remind us of it every September 11. They remind us that they are too good for victory. We could object, but they would only remind us that they are better than we are.

Charge: Facebook Pages Spew Blood Libels, Attack Jews and Aborigines, Mock Anne Frank

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

There is no scientific equation to determine what is hatred, but a Facebook picture of a smiling Anne Frank surrounded by the caption, “What’s that burning?  Oh it’s my family” is an easy one.  So is a Facebook picture of a baby on a scale emblazoned with a Jewish Star, where the bottom of the scale is a meat grinder with raw ground meat (presumably, a baby’s) oozing out.

Is there any doubt in your mind that those images constitute hate speech (one of the official categories for removal under Facebook’s Terms of Service) and should be removed from Facebook?  That was the basis for the complaints filed by the Online Hate Prevention Institute last month.

Facebook disagreed.  The pictures remain up.

The Australia-based Online Hate Prevention Institute was launched in January this year.  Its mission is to help prevent, or at least control, abusive social media behavior which constitute racism or other forms of hate speech.

Dr. Andre Oboler is the chief executive officer of OHPI.  Oboler has been involved in analyzing and monitoring online hate for five years.   In the time that he’s been monitoring Facebook, the response time has improved, but the results have not.

“OHPI submitted documented complaints following the Facebook complaint protocol, and, true to their word, we received a response within 48 hours,” Oboler told The Jewish Press.  “It’s quite amazing; the Facebook reviewers took down the images, reviewed them, and put them back up with a ‘no action’ decision within 48 hours.”

Oboler waited until the Facebook reviews were completed before posting OHPI’s findings.  The methodical process and the constructive suggestions OHPI made could be held up as models of what to do when confronted with hate speech on social media, except that at this point the diligence does not appear to have paid off.

The suggestions included:

1. Remove the offensive images

2. Close the offensive pages that are posting them

3. Permanently close the accounts of the users abusing Facebook to spread such hate

4. Review which staff assessed these examples and audit their decision making

5. Take active measures to improve staff training to avoid similar poor decisions in the future

6. To institute an appeal process as part of the online reporting system

7. To institute systematic random checks of rejected complaints

At this point, Oboler is hopeful that if sufficient attention is generated, Facebook will feel compelled to re-examine their procedures.  What he would like is for there to be a “systematic change to prevent online-generated harm in the future.”

One way to generate that attention, Oboler suggested, is for Facebook users who think the images described above are offensive to go to the Facebook OPHI site and “Like” it.  Another is to sign the OPHI petition urging Facebook to stop allowing hate speech on its site.

OHPI is also critical of the way in which Facebook has chosen to respond to complaints about offensive Facebook Pages.  Its standard response to pages that are entirely devoted to offensive material is to insert the bracketed phrase: [Controversial Humor] before the rest of the page title.  That phrase acts kind of like the warning label posted on cigarette packages.  The page remains vile, just as the cigarettes remain carcinogenic, but by slapping on the Controversial Humor disclaimer, it appears Facebook is seeking immunity from liability.  Or at least from responsibility.

OPHI discovered this Facebook method when it was engaged in an effort to eradicate hate-filled Facebook Pages dedicated to brutalizing Aborigines.  Remember – OPHI is based in Australia.  After engaging in some promising responses to OPHI’s complaints, Facebook ultimately responded that “While we do not remove this type of content from the site entirely unless it violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, out of respect for local laws, we have restricted access to this content in Australia via Facebook.”

But that just doesn’t make any sense, according to Oboler.  As he pointed out, “Facebook’s ‘Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’ says at 3.7 ‘You will not post content that: is hate speech’. We find it very hard to understand how Facebook can look at this material and decide it is not hate speech. Ultimately, this is where Facebook is going wrong.”

Is there anything Facebook has determined to be sufficiently offensive that it will be removed? Yes, but not much.

Oboler explained that thus far the only hate speech kind of content that has been permanently removed by Facebook is when it is directed against an individual, rather than at an entire race or religion.  In other words, the same problem that hate speech codes on campuses have encountered, plagues complainants hoping for a non-offensive inline community.  Unless the nastiness is directed at a specific person, the default Facebook position is to not remove it.

But really, is it possible for anyone to consider the words accompanying the Anne Frank picture anything but impermissible hate speech?  Facebook apparently does and will continue to do so unless enough people tell them they are wrong.

 

Israeli Medical Smartphone Spreading Freedom, Happiness, Around the World

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Israeli scientific breakthroughs are restoring freedom and ease to the lives of millions of patients throughout the world.

A breakthrough medical smartphone devised by an Israeli company will not only enable patients to consolidate ongoing medical tests and diagnostics in one handy place, but will also provide them the freedom of travel and ease of use lost with conventional medical monitoring.

LifeWatch Technologies , based in Rehovot, has introduced the new LifeWatch V Android-based phone, the first of its kind smartphone device to measure blood glucose levels, oxygen saturation, blood glucose levels, stress levels, heart rate, and body temperature, as well as chart diet, provide reminders to take medications, and even measure daily activity through embedded sensors.  Data and results are provided to the user and to third parties such as healthcare providers or caretakers, via email or text message.  The device wirelessly interacts with a remote cloud-based environment, enabling users to take advantage of related complementary medical and wellness-related services.  And it makes and receives regular phone calls. Medical information will also be sent to one of LifeWatch’s US emergency call centers – one for each time zone – with a center currently in development in Israel.

CEO Dr. Yacov Geva told Israeli science and technology website Israel21c that the device is particularly useful in managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, and said he thinks it is particularly appropriate for children, because it will not only enable parents to monitor health data while permitting children to conduct normal lives at school and elsewhere away from home, but will allow parents to keep an eye on the regularity of testing so they can provide reminders if they see a test is being missed during the day.

The stainless steel-framed phones will be manufactured by TechFaith Wireless Communication Technoogy of China according to Israeli specs and industrial design, and will provide interface options in Hebrew, English, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.  The device will cost between $500 and $700 a unit, and will likely be on the market next year, pending approval in the EU and the US.

New technology may be developed to assist the speech of those unable to communicate due to paralysis or disability, thanks to a joint study between scientists at Haifa’s Technion and UCLA who have uncovered how brain cells encode the pronunciation of vowels in speech.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the study showed that different parts of the brain are engaged in the pronunciation of different vowel sounds.

The study was conducted by Professor Shy Shoham and Dr. Ariel Tankus of the biomedical engineering faculty at Haifa’s Technion and Professor Itzhak Fried of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, in partnership with the neurosurgery department at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The study was based on knowledge about the brain’s predictable responses to bodily movements, and followed 11 American epileptics whose conditions could not be controlled with medication.

Data was gathered when the patients, who suffered from damaged portions of the brain, had electrodes implanted in their brains to measure neuron activity as they spoke.

The team studied how and where the neurons encoded vowel articulation, and learned that the two parts of the brain associated with the saying of vowels respond in different ways and to different vowels.

The scientists lauded the discovery as a potential starting point for developing neuro-prosthetic devices or brain-machine interfaces to decode the brain’s firing pattern for speech.

Providing freedom from severe clinical depression which has not responded to medication or therapy, the doctors at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem are performing a radical experimental procedure involving a “brain pacemaker”, which will provide Deep Brain Stimulation via electrodes implanted in the patients’ brains.  Four Israeli patients are taking part in the trial, and another six are being recruited.

The treatment  is covered in Israel by medical insurance, with patients being eligible only after failing at least three different drug treatments and electro-convulsive therapy.

The new device will deliver electric currents to areas of cranial overactivity to help regulate the mood.

So far, the treatment has achieved a 70 percent success rate.

RNC Nominee Romney Blasts Obama on Iran, Israel

Friday, August 31st, 2012

President Obama’s approach to Iran has made Americans “less secure,” Mitt Romney said in his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

“Every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order, and Seal Team Six took out Osama bin Laden,” Romney said Thursday evening at the Republican National Convention. “On another front, every American is less secure today because he has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat.”

He criticized Obama’s strategy of diplomatic engagement with Iran. “In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran,” Romney said. “We’re still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning.”

While the speech was mostly focused on introducing Romney to the nation and to attacking Obama’s economic record, the GOP nominee devoted several paragraphs to foreign policy. He accused Obama of having “thrown allies like Israel under the bus,” echoing language he had previously used in criticizing the president’s approach to the Jewish state.

Romney touched only briefly on social issues.

“As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage,” Romney said. “And I will guarantee America’s first liberty: the freedom of religion.”

He also disparaged the Obama administration’s emphasis on countering climate change.

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans,” Romney said, pausing amid laughter from the assembled delegates, “and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

Clint Doing the RNC (with Video)

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Lynne Lechter is on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition’s National Women’s Committee.  She is at the Republican National Convention as a guest of the RJC.  She is one of our good friend Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s sources on what Jewish Republicans have been up to in muggy Tampa. She’s been telling Lori this and that, until, last night, it all came to a giant crescendo with the appearance of the Man. Clint Eastwood.

Lynne wrote:

“It was unexpected. He was hard to hear from where we were, but he did get a lot of applause and chants – make my day. He got a lot of laughs from the empty chair routine and saying Mutt cant do that to himself as if Obama said it, got huge laughter. I think his early comment was about what I am doing here aren’t all Hollywood types liberal. And then saying there are a lot of conservatives in Hollywood. Being conservative they are more quiet about it.”

The note “Sent from my iPhone” explains some of the condensed nature of the text, but we get the gist of it. And we added the video, so you’ll see what she’s talking about. Clint is the man. Which is why they should have made the theme of “For a Fistful of Dollars” the campaign song.

I would totally vote Republican if Clint was running. Are you kidding me? But he’d have to drop the cigar stub. Federal buildings are a no-smoking zone.

Oh, yes, totally forgot – Some guy named Mitt Romney did the acceptance speech thing last night, too. Apparently he’s running for this or that federal post. I think Clint even recommended him…

Group Picture with a Congressman

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Here’s Congressman Allen West with the folks of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Reminder: the Republican Convention is on in earnest as of today, having escaped the ravages of Hurricane Isaac which is on its way to New Orleans (Please, God, not again…).

Allen Bernard West (formerly battalion commander of the 2d Battalion 20th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division), is the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 22nd congressional district.

Lieutenant Colonel West was fined and relieved of command in 2004 for the way he had handled an Iraqi suspect.

At his military hearing, near the end of his career, West was asked if he would act differently under similar circumstances in the future, and he testified, “If it’s about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.”

At a town hall meeting in Palm City, Florida, in April of 2012, West was asked what percentage of the American legislature are card carrying Marxists or International Socialists. West responded that he believed “there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party that are members of the Communist Party.” He then clarified that he was referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They may not be actual Marxists, but they might as well be, is what he meant.

In July of 2011, West brawled with Democratic Representative and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, emailing her in response to comments she had directed at him in a speech on the floor of the House, calling her “the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives,” adding that she was “not a Lady,” and advising her to focus on her own congressional district.

You don’t want to get caught in the crosshairs of Lieutenant Colonel Allen West.

On the economy, West is a flat tax guy, anti abortion and anti gay marriage. He is the only Republican member of the African American Caucus.

On Israel he is a straight friend. He concluded a speech on the topic with: “There are battle lines clearly drawn, I know where I stand, and that is to support the State of Israel. The lessons of history have been learned by me and I offer one simple retort, ‘Not on my Watch.’”

We wish the RJC and the RNC a fine, exhilarating convention. The Jewish Press is getting ready to endorse the Republican ticket come November, and I, for one, can find at least one excellent reason why the Republican convention should outclass the Democratic one: No Jimmy Carter speeches!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/group-picture-with-a-congressman/2012/08/28/

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