web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

Surfer Rabbi Running for Senate, Ruffling Muslim, Tea Party, Feathers

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

A rabbi running for the U.S. Senate told a cheering audience, “I am an Islamaphobe and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9/11.”

Rabbi Nachum Shifren, aka the Surfing Rabbi, a Lubavitcher, was invited along with all the other candidates for the U.S. Senate from California, to a candidate’s forum on May 3 at the American Legion Hall in San Mateo, co-sponsored by the San Mateo County Republican Party and My Liberty, a local Tea Party group.

Afterwards, when asked directly by local reporters, Shifren responded: “Did I say that?”

Shifren’s declaration, that he is an “Islamaphobe,” and the rest of his speech at the Tea Party party has been called racist and hateful by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Shifren said CAIR are racist themselves.

CAIR, along with Jewish Voice for Peace and Progressive Christians Uniting released a joint statement Monday about the rabbi’s comments.

“There should be no place for hate speech of any kind in our nation’s political discourse. Whenever one faith or ethnicity is targeted by hate, it is our duty as Americans to challenge that hatred and to instead promote mutual understanding and tolerance,” the three groups wrote in a statement.

But if you’re not surprised by the fact that CAIR and some “peaceful” Christians and Jews are hating on Rabbi Shifren, you should know that his blatant speech was rejected by even a roam-free bunch like the Tea Party.

Leonard Stone, the Tea Party moderator of the event, was almost as critical of the surfer rabbi as the folks on the Left. Stone said Shifren’s comments about serving in the military turned him off even before he made the “Islamaphobe” comment.

“I don’t support him. He’s not a viable candidate,” Stone said.

Read the whole thing in “Rabbi’s speech called hateful,” by Bill Silverfarb in the Daily Journal.

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Turkey Concerned About Possible Obama Shift On Syria And Iran

Turkey has been surprised by a sudden behind-the-scenes change in attitude from the Obama administration regarding the embattled regime of Turkey’s foe, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Turkish diplomatic sources told this reporter.

The sources said that while U.S. rhetoric against Assad remains strong, the Obama administration is suddenly dropping the ball in supporting a NATO campaign against Assad. The sources said the U.S. is suddenly scaling back material support for the Syrian opposition.

The Turkish sources said Turkey and the Syrian opposition are “disappointed” with the change in attitude, which they claim comes without any diplomatic justification from U.S. officials.

The sources said some Turkish officials believe Obama may have made a deal with Syria or Iran.

Just last week this column quoted informed Middle Eastern officials as saying that Obama has undertaken secret, back channel talks with Iran, informing Tehran’s leaders that he fully opposes any Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The officials said the secret talks seek to secure an Iranian pledge that it will not retaliate against the U.S. in the event of any Israeli military strike.

It was unclear what, if anything, Obama offered Iran in exchange for an assurance against targeting U.S. installations, including in the Gulf.

The State Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the alleged back door talks.

Cell Phone Company Targets The Tea Party

A “progressive” cell phone company with ties to billionaire activist George Soros has set its sights on Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers, opening offices in their districts with the specific goal of booting the congressmembers from office.

The political action committee (PAC) of CREDO Mobile announced that it would set up offices in the districts of Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) to oppose the lawmakers.

CREDO has already opened headquarters targeting Tea Party favorites, including Republican Reps. Chip Cravaack (Minn.), Sean Duffy (Wis.), Frank Guinta (N.H.), Steve King (Iowa), Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Allen West (Fla.).

Becky Bond, the PAC’s president, told Roll Call that by the end of the week the group will have offices in all eight of the lawmakers’ districts, staffed by a total of 22 full-time organizers. “Not interns. These are hard-core field people,” Bond said.

CREDO Mobile is a privately held, for-profit company with a reported 110,000 mobile customers. It resells cell-phone airtime on the Sprint Network.

The cell phone company and its parent, Working Assets, have raised more than $65 million for scores of nonprofit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, the socialist-leaning Democracy Now, and even Color of Change, an advocacy group founded by President Obama’s disgraced former “green jobs” czar Van Jones.

CREDO Mobile has repeatedly attacked competitors AT&T and Verizon, complaining the companies support Tea Party-linked organizations.

One page at CREDO’s website, www.credomobile.com, says AT&T gave $386,000 to the Tea Party Caucus and to politicians such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

“CREDO would never give a dime to the Tea Party,” continues the site. “When you join CREDO, you’ll join a movement dedicated to defeating right-wing radicalism.”

CREDO Mobile was founded by longtime Democratic activist Michael Kieschnick. He is one of three co-founders of the Soros-funded Secretary of State Project, which seeks to get Democrats elected to office, and has worked alongside the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

Kieschnick was recently invited to the White House, where he says he briefed President Obama on CREDO Mobile’s activism.

More Koran Burnings?

Rev. Terry Jones warned that he would burn copies of the Koran if Iran doesn’t release an imprisoned pastor sentenced to death after converting from Islam to Christianity.

The Florida pastor said in an interview that Iran has until April 28 to release Youcef Nadarkhani, currently facing death for preaching Christianity in Iran. He made the comments on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio.

The religious figure is infamous for setting off deadly protests when he threatened to burn copies of the Koran in June 2010 to protest the 9-11 attacks.

Jones also announced his Koran burning intentions in a press release and during a protest earlier this week outside the largest mosque in Michigan.

Muslims rioted when Jones last threatened to burn the Koran. In Afghanistan protesters attacked a United Nations mission, killing at least 30 people, including seven UN workers, and injuring at least 150 people. Jones carried out the burnings in March 2011.

During the radio interview, I asked Jones whether he realizes his Koran burning threat could again result in deadly riots.

“Yes, we do realize that,” he replied. “Something has to be done. We have few alternatives that we can do. That is something that does get the Muslim community’s attention…. Fourteen hundred years of history has told us that backing down doesn’t work.”

A Tale Of Two Movements

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Like many other families this past Sukkos, my husband and I took the kids to the park over Chol Hamoed. But we left our mitts and bats in the car when we arrived. This was a trip to Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

We were curious to see the much publicized protestors of Occupy Wall Street, and I wanted our kids to get a taste of “history” in the making. And, rest assured, this is a piece of history my kids will remember.

The first thing that greeted us as we parked our car several blocks away and got closer to the police barricades surrounding the park was the odor. It was a terrible stench that crept up on us and, both physically and figuratively, never left us until we moved out of the Wall Street area the protesters now claim as their own.

I repeatedly warned my kids not to touch anything as we navigated our way through clusters of sprawling protesters on grounds littered with empty food plates, grimy tarps propped up by poles to cover sleeping bags, and a distinctly strong smell of marijuana. It was dark when we arrived at the park and a large group of protesters were loudly and almost absurdly communicating via their “mic-check” system.

These Occupy Wall Street protesters were predominantly young and white. Most of them looked like college students from universities like the New School or residents of the Village. They did not exactly impress me as being “disenfranchised.” Indeed, the only truly poor people I was able to make out were a couple of homeless men eating donated food from a makeshift open kitchen, surely blessing their luck and hoping the supply won’t run out anytime soon.

I stopped some protesters and asked them what they hoped to achieve. I was dumbfounded. Apparently the caricature of brain-dead college kids hanging out in the park is not an exaggeration. The first several protesters gave answers in an inane and almost adolescent tone: “We want a better world.” “We want equality.” “We’re here for a better planet.”

Though we finally did strike up a conversation with one hardcore opponent of the capitalist order – a young psychology teacher with no real working knowledge of finance – most of the protesters simply struck me as Woodstock wannabes.

I was relieved when we left the park. Relieved to end a conversation with one of the protesters, a teacher who told us how proud he was to be part of “the 99%” – the protesters’ phrase for the percentage of Americans supposedly united against the one percent of our country’s top earners. It wasn’t “fair,” he claimed, for so few people to have so much wealth – never mind that many of them worked hard to earn it – and it was only “fair” to demand the government tax them further to ensure that everyone shares in that wealth.

What a difference from the last protest I took my daughter to – a Tea Party rally in midtown Manhattan. Besides the common bond of a shared philosophical affinity, there’s something comforting in taking your child to a gathering where you see a patriotic man dressed up as a founding father rather than a man holding a sign proclaiming “Queers love the 99%.”
The Tea Party rally was a G-rated event to which you could bring the whole family. It promoted family values over vulgarity, work ethics over entitlements, and independence rather than dependence for 100 percent of Americans.

As an Orthodox Jew I not only felt welcome but validated. Tea Party goers waved Israeli flags along with American ones, while Occupy Wall Street protests are laced with signs that read “Hitler’s Bankers,” “Gaza Supports the Occupation of Wall Street.” and “Congress Should Print the Money, Not the Zionist Jews.”

The difference between Occupy Wall Street protesters and Tea Party rally-goers is greater than just one group wanting more government intervention and one wanting less. It’s more than a difference between one group contesting American capitalism and one wanting to restore that capitalism to its earlier glory. It is an intrinsic conflict between two peoples and two social ideologies, between protesters with no real message who want to continue on the downward moral spiral that began in the 1960s and rally-goers yearning for the bygone era of “Leave it to Beaver.”

One cannot separate fiscal and moral values. They are intrinsically intertwined. Work ethics and work go hand in hand. Internalized values that restrict misbehavior and encourage good behavior cut across the spectrum of our daily lives. And caps set in place to govern social conduct and prevent misconduct are similar to caps erected to govern monetary behavior and prevent financial liability. Those bent on an agenda of accepting monetary entitlements and forcing others to grant them look for entitlements in other areas of life as well.

I didn’t just sense the difference between the rally at Zuccotti Park and the Tea Party. I felt it. And I resent the Wall Street protesters co-opting percentages of fellow citizens in their quest to collapse our existing capitalist and social structure. No – alas – I am not one of the “millionaires and billionaires.” But don’t lump me together with the anarchists in “the 99%.”

Sara Lehmann is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn.

A Tale Of Two Movements

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Like many other families this past Sukkos, my husband and I took the kids to the park over Chol Hamoed. But we left our mitts and bats in the car when we arrived. This was a trip to Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.

We were curious to see the much publicized protestors of Occupy Wall Street, and I wanted our kids to get a taste of “history” in the making. And, rest assured, this is a piece of history my kids will remember.

The first thing that greeted us as we parked our car several blocks away and got closer to the police barricades surrounding the park was the odor. It was a terrible stench that crept up on us and, both physically and figuratively, never left us until we moved out of the Wall Street area the protesters now claim as their own.

I repeatedly warned my kids not to touch anything as we navigated our way through clusters of sprawling protesters on grounds littered with empty food plates, grimy tarps propped up by poles to cover sleeping bags, and a distinctly strong smell of marijuana. It was dark when we arrived at the park and a large group of protesters were loudly and almost absurdly communicating via their “mic-check” system.

These Occupy Wall Street protesters were predominantly young and white. Most of them looked like college students from universities like the New School or residents of the Village. They did not exactly impress me as being “disenfranchised.” Indeed, the only truly poor people I was able to make out were a couple of homeless men eating donated food from a makeshift open kitchen, surely blessing their luck and hoping the supply won’t run out anytime soon.

I stopped some protesters and asked them what they hoped to achieve. I was dumbfounded. Apparently the caricature of brain-dead college kids hanging out in the park is not an exaggeration. The first several protesters gave answers in an inane and almost adolescent tone: “We want a better world.” “We want equality.” “We’re here for a better planet.”

Though we finally did strike up a conversation with one hardcore opponent of the capitalist order – a young psychology teacher with no real working knowledge of finance – most of the protesters simply struck me as Woodstock wannabes.

I was relieved when we left the park. Relieved to end a conversation with one of the protesters, a teacher who told us how proud he was to be part of “the 99%” – the protesters’ phrase for the percentage of Americans supposedly united against the one percent of our country’s top earners. It wasn’t “fair,” he claimed, for so few people to have so much wealth – never mind that many of them worked hard to earn it – and it was only “fair” to demand the government tax them further to ensure that everyone shares in that wealth.

What a difference from the last protest I took my daughter to – a Tea Party rally in midtown Manhattan. Besides the common bond of a shared philosophical affinity, there’s something comforting in taking your child to a gathering where you see a patriotic man dressed up as a founding father rather than a man holding a sign proclaiming “Queers love the 99%.”

The Tea Party rally was a G-rated event to which you could bring the whole family. It promoted family values over vulgarity, work ethics over entitlements, and independence rather than dependence for 100 percent of Americans.

As an Orthodox Jew I not only felt welcome but validated. Tea Party goers waved Israeli flags along with American ones, while Occupy Wall Street protests are laced with signs that read “Hitler’s Bankers,” “Gaza Supports the Occupation of Wall Street.” and “Congress Should Print the Money, Not the Zionist Jews.”

Financial Crisis Debate: What Are The Democrats Afraid Of?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

If Republicans in high elective office had urged the media not to report on the ideas of Democrats on contentious issues because such reporting would tend to legitimatize really absurd notions, the protests would be deafening, especially from the likes of The New York Times. Likewise if Republicans had taken to referring to Democratic legislators who outmaneuvered them in a losing political battle as “terrorists.”

 

Yet when these claims were actually made by Democrats against Republicans, there was barely a ripple. In fact, the Times was complicit in the effort. This not only says a lot about the intolerance of the left, but also about its hesitancy in debating issues on the merits. It further suggests that unless the Democrats stop treating as crackpots those who argue a policy of less spending and no new taxes is the way to rein in our runaway debt, there will be no end in sight to the economic woes now gripping the nation.

 

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, former presidential nominee and current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the most powerful Democrats in government. In the course of lamenting the broad public support for Tea Party views on dealing with the debt ceiling issue, he said:

 

And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely, the media in America has a bigger responsibility than it’s exercising today. The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everyone knows is not factual. It doesn’t deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea about what you do. And the problem is everything is put into this tit-for-tat equal battle and America is losing any sense of what’s real, of who’s accountable, of who is not accountable, of who’s real, who isn’t, who’s serious, who isn’t?

 

We suppose Mr. Kerry has forgotten his civics lessons about America being “the marketplace of ideas.” Or that a key to our democracy is a fully informed citizenry that decides what policies to support, and that to further that end it is the critical responsibility of a free press to report the news, not to serve as a gatekeeper for one political party or another. One might have thought the senator would urge more exposure of Tea Party ideas rather than less, if only to invite critical comment. And of course in addition to calling for censorship of views he opposes, he is seeking the boycott of the views of elected members of Congress. What exactly is this senior Democrat telling us about his views of democracy?

 

And then there’s Vice President Biden. Citing “several sources in the room,” Politico reported last week that in a closed-door meeting with House Democrats about the debt limit controversy, Biden said of tea party Republicans, “They have acted like terrorists.”

 

The vice president’s office initially denied the report but Mr. Biden himself later explained, “What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists. I never said that they were terrorists or weren’t terrorists, I just let them vent.”

 

What is not disputed is that earlier that day Mr. Biden told Senate Democrats that GOP leaders have “guns to their heads.” So whether he did or did not utter the precise words, it is pretty clear where his head is at. Nor is there any doubt about the feelings of the Democratic negotiators who “vented.”

 

              In an editorial last Saturday, The New York Times supported this blatant attempt to stifle debate by raging against members of Congress who insisted on sticking to their principles:

Texas Brouhaha Seen As Jewish ‘Test Case’ For Tea Party Movement

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010


WASHINGTON – In Texas, the Tea Party passed its first Jewish test even before its legislators had been sworn in.


Deeply conservative forces in the Lone Star State firmly repudiated the effort by evangelical Christians to unseat the powerful Jewish speaker of the Texas House of Representatives because he wasn’t a “true Christian conservative.”


Speaker Joe Straus still faces opposition from his right flank because of his relatively moderate views, but his opponents have made clear that Straus’s Judaism is not a factor in the Jan. 11 race to be speaker.


“There is absolutely no place for religious bigotry in the race for Texas speaker, and I categorically condemn such action,” Rep. Ken Paxton, one of Straus’s two challengers in the race, said in a statement to the Houston-area Jewish Herald Voice. “Furthermore, it is just as shameful for anyone to imply that I would ever condone this type of behavior.”


State Rep. Warren Chisum, Straus’s other challenger, wrote him directly.


“I assure you that those sorts of attacks on a man’s religion have absolutely no place in the race for speaker,” he said. “I absolutely reject all such attacks or insinuations.”


The controversy in Texas was important because many Jews nationally had been watching it as a test case to see whether the Tea Party’s deeply conservative base was receptive to anti-Jewish ferment. The considerable Christian rhetoric in the Tea Party movement has stoked some concern among Jews, particularly as candidates from the movement cited Scripture in explaining their opposition to abortion, church-state separation and the teaching of evolution.


As it turned out, the strong response against statements singling out Straus for being Jewish was a relief, said Fred Zeidman, the most prominent Jewish Republican in Texas after Straus. Straus had turned to Zeidman to manage the crisis as soon as it emerged in e-mails from a small cadre of grass-roots conservatives.


“The big fear was, what are the elected guys going to do knowing this is their base,” said Zeidman. “But they didn’t take the bait – everybody either spoke up or stood down. Nobody followed the lead of this guy in Lumberton.”


“This guy in Lumberton,” a small town in east Texas, was Peter Morrison, who in a newsletter that reaches much of the state’s GOP leadership noted that Chisum and Paxton “are Christians and true conservatives.”


Morrison wasn’t the only Straus opponent calling attention to his religion.


“Straus is going down in Jesus’s name,” the Dallas Morning News quoted one Republican e-mailer as saying.


Ken Myers, the chairman of the Tea Party in Kaufman County, in sending a mass e-mail in support of a prominent state House critic of Straus, Rep. Bryan Hughes, wrote that “We finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”


Kaufman County, in suburban Dallas, coincidentally is named for David Kaufman, the first Jewish speaker of the Texas House – in the 1840s, when it was a republic.


On Nov. 30, The Texas Observer published an e-mail exchange among members of the state’s Republican Executive Committee in which committee member John Cook launched  a salvo against Straus’s faith.


“We elected a House with Christian, conservative values,” he wrote, referring to the supermajority that Tea Party conservatives had helped win for Republicans in the state House. “We now want a true Christian conservative running it.”


But other executive committee members repudiated Cook, and Straus now claims the support of 79 Republican members of the 150-member House, as well as 49 Democrats.


Some Tea Party members said the issue wasn’t that Straus was Jewish, but that the term Christian was being misapplied or misunderstood.


“I think people have been intellectually lazy in using ‘Christian’ and ‘conservative’ interchangeably,” Felicia Cravens, a Houston Tea Party founder, told Fox News. “And there’s a lot of that in Texas.”


Straus, whose wife and children are Christian but who is active in San Antonio’s Jewish community, seemed unfazed by the flare-up.


“Our country was founded on the rock of religious freedom and the Judeo-Christian values of the dignity and worth of every individual,” he told the Jewish Herald-Voice. “At its core, America believes in the freedom of every individual to worship as his or her conscience dictates, and it would be most unfortunate for anyone to suggest someone is more or less qualified for public office based on his or her faith.”


Straus faces a strong challenge from his right flank precisely because he has proven able to work with Democrats. The House was almost evenly divided in 2009 when he was elected speaker – the second most powerful position in the state because of the power to shape the legislative agenda. Straus angered conservatives with his successful challenge of longtime speaker Tom Craddick.


Straus’s moderation – and the challenge he is brooking from his right flank – reflects the other challenge facing the Jewish community as Tea Party conservatives assert their strength both in state Legislatures and in Congress. Straus has voted against restricting late-term abortions or gay adoption rights.


The bottom line, said Marlene Gorin, director of the Dallas-area Jewish Community Relations Council, was that the outbursts of anti-Semitism disappeared as suddenly as they had appeared.

 

“It came out of the blue – we have excellent relationships with all the legislators,” she said.  “Even to bring it up was disgusting, but I think now it is behind us.”

(JTA)

Empowering Israelis To Express Themselves

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Imagine if 100 million Americans participated in the Tea Party movement. And then imagine that the movement had no impact on American politics. Finally imagine that in the wake of the Tea Party movement, Republicans embraced President Obama’s positions on spending and taxation.

 

These scenarios are of course, unimaginable. Anywhere from a million to ten million people participated in Tea Party protests in the U.S. over the past year. At best that’s perhaps three percent of all Americans.

 

Yet this was sufficient for the citizens’ movement calling for fiscal restraint, spending and tax cuts to have a defining impact on the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. The Republican establishment is being challenged and in many cases unseated by Tea Party politicians. Owing in large part to the Tea Party movement, just two years after Obama was elected president the American political map has been transformed. The American people are abandoning leftist socialist domestic policy formulations in favor of supply side Reaganomics.

 

Now look at Israel. Seventeen years ago the Rabin government adopted the radical policy of appeasing the PLO. Since then, around two million Israelis – that’s approximately 30 percent of the country’s population – have participated in protests against this policy. In four of the six elections since then, the Right has won by pledging to abandon this policy. And in one of the two elections won by the Left, Ehud Barak triumphed in 1999 by running on a rightist platform.

 

The resistance Israelis have demonstrated to the government’s policies toward the Palestinians is arguably unprecedented in modern history. And yet, the unimaginable scenarios for the Tea Party movement in the U.S. have been the glum reality in Israel for 17 years.

 

Presently, Prime Minister Netanyahu is implementing the Left’s appeasement policy toward the Palestinians with as much enthusiasm as Shimon Peres before him. On Monday Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s most trusted adviser, told Politico.com that a leader is defined by the contempt he feels for his voters. As Dermer put it, “The test of leadership is doing things that are not popular with your base.”

 

There are many explanations for what is going on. The most cited are Israel’s indirect elections system in which leaders are unaccountable to voters, the weakness of Israel’s politicians, and the poor quality of their advisers.

 

While all are true, another explanation is more compelling. In Israel the Left exerts almost complete control over the political and social discourse. Unlike the situation in the U.S. – particularly in the era of Fox News – there are no significant communications outlets in Israel that are not controlled by the Left. Even Yisrael Hayom, the free newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson that has eroded the market shares of Israel’s leading tabloids, is not a rightist newspaper.)

 

The Left’s monopoly over the public discourse is not only expressed in the media. In the worlds of culture, academia and entertainment, all the leading figures are leftists. They cultivate one another in an elite universe that is affected neither by reality nor by the convictions of most of their countrymen.

 

This has led to a situation in which a small minority of Israelis behaves as if it were a large majority. They use their control over the public discourse to present the sentiments of the majority of Israelis as if they were the views of a small, fanatical minority.

 

This distorted presentation of the convictions of most Israelis has induced a number of pathologies within Israeli society. Most pertinently, it has caused leaders of the Right to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to win the support of a ft that despises them. And as Dermer made clear, motivates men like Netanyahu and former prime minister Ariel Sharon to betray their voters in favor of the leftist agenda they were elected to reject.

 

In a bid to begin contending with this dismal reality, in early 2009 I launched a Hebrew-language media satire website called Latma. Latma is an Arabic term for “slap” that has been adopted in Israeli slang.

 

Latma combines short, pithy blog posts ridiculing the daily media coverage of events with a weekly television show on the Internet called The Tribal Update. The show parodies the broadcast media in Israel while exposing the absurdity of the leftist political and cultural narratives they trumpet.

 

The insight guiding Latma is that people do not fear what they laugh at. By exposing the failure of Israel’s cultural elites in a humorous way, Latma empowers the majority of Israelis to express their views without fearing leftist demonization.

 

While Latma is only one small voice, entirely funded by charitable donations, its impact has been enormous. It is one of the most visited websites in Israel today with close to a million page views per month. Our broadcasts are eagerly awaited by tens of thousands of Israelis. Week after week, our shows become viral within hours after we post them on YouTube.

 

Our work is doing more than making the case for a strong Zionism. It is undermining leftist stereotypes about the nature of the Israeli Right and making it cool to be Zionist again.

 

Latma’s greatest international success to date was our clip “We Con the World,” which we produced three days after the IDF takeover of the Turkish-Hamas terror ship Mavi Marmara. “We Con the World” was seen by more than a million viewers in one week and has been viewed over five million times since we produced it. The song changed the tone of the media coverage of the operation. Perhaps most importantly, it empowered Israel’s supporters to stand up to anti-Zionist intimidation throughout the world.

 

Building on that success, and subsequent successes with English language clips like “The Three Terrors” and “The Iranian Bomb Song,” we are recruiting a team of English-language satirists to produce clips directed at an international audience on a regular basis.

 

Liberal media outlets and other cultural institutions in the U.S. went to enormous lengths to belittle and demonize the Tea Party movement. They failed because over the past generation American conservatives have developed alternative media outlets and cultural institutions to which the general public and politicians alike pay attention.

 

I believe Latma’s success must serve as a springboard for cultivating an alternative elite in Israel whose members reflect rather than demonize the convictions of the majority of Israelis. Given the massive dimensions of the public’s rejection of the Left’s worldview, if these alternative media outlets and cultural bodies are properly conceived and managed, I am certain that, like Latma, they will not only be rapidly successful but also have a profound and salutary impact on the behavior of Israel’s political leaders – who will finally recognize that the true test of leadership is standing up to a hostile world and keeping faith with the Israeli people.

 

  

Caroline Glick is senior contributing editor at The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of every other month. Look for her next column in the Jan. 28, 2011 issue.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/empowering-israelis-to-express-themselves/2010/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: