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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Blurred Reality: Muslim Protesters’ Anti-Jewish Slogans

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Guardian’s recent edition of “Picture Desk Live,” Sept. 24, included this photo of more protests by Muslims over the anti-Islam film, as well as the recent caricatures of Muhammad by a French satirist.  This protest took place in Sri Lanka.

Here’s the picture the Guardian published:

And here’s the caption:

I noticed the word “Jew” on one of the signs, but the shot was taken too far away to make out the words on the sign, so I googled the image and was able to find a bit more information.

The Washington Post had a shot of the same protest, albeit with photos focusing much more closely on the scene.  Here’s what you can see:

Sign in middle reads: “Who’s behind the film? Jews.”

Here’s the caption:

The following sign (“France, Don’t Fall Victim to Jewish Propoganda”), from the same protest in Sri Lanka, is a reference to Charlie Hebdo, who published several caricatures of Muhammad (along with one of an orthodox Jew) in a French satirical magazine.

Sign reads: France, don’t fall victim to Jewish propaganda

As I observed in a post on Sept. 23 (and as Palestinian Media Watch reported on Sept. 24) the hypocrisy of the protesters, in condemning insults to Islam while continually engaging in virulent antisemitism, is stunning – a cultural habit which results in the absence of natural feelings of guilt or embarrassment most of us experience when holding two inherently contradictory views.

The Guardian, as with most of the mainstream media, in failing miserably to expose such groups to the kind of critical scrutiny which would necessarily challenge such moral hypocrisy, ensures that no lessons will be learned.

The significance of the MSM’s gross moral abdication when reporting on the recent riots in the Arab and Muslim world can’t be overstated.

A-Jad to Post – Palestinians Should Vote Away “Zionist Regime”

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the Washington Post on Sunday that Palestinians should be able to vote the “Zionist regime” out of existence as a way of solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“I think they should allow the people of Palestine in all the territories of Palestine to decide, and whatever they decide, that is what should be done,” Ahmadinejad told interviewer David Ignatius.  “This doesn’t need nuclear weapons, missiles rockets or destroying people’s homes.”

Ahmadinejad replied to a request from Ignatius to clarify whether he believed in the eradication of the state of Israel, by saying “I asked you if the occupation in the Palestinian territories comes to an end what would there remain? Is there a Zionist regime in existence without occupation?”

He also said he does “not take very seriously” a threat of a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israel.  “Of course they would love to find a way for their own salvation by making a lot of noise and to raise stakes in order to save themselves,” he said.

Romney Tells the Key Truth Needed to Comprehend the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.

So much has the debate been shifted “that what thirty years ago was a common-sense given is now considered a landmark breakthrough” (Victor Davis Hanson).

You see, here’s what you have to do. You’ve got to take the most basic logical statements—the ones absolutely necessary to understand reality—and rule them out of bounds. For example, there’s nothing wrong with the economy. To say so is, well, racist. And there’s nothing wrong with a government policy that refuses to control the country’s borders. To say so is, well, racist. In fact, you can’t criticize this U.S. government at all because to do so is, well, racist.

And you can’t point out that America’s problem in the Middle East is not due to an obscure video on You-Tube but to a massive revolutionary Islamist movement determined to destroy American influence in the region, take over every country there, smash the Christians, subordinate the women, impose a dictatorship, and commit genocide against Israel. Yep, you got it! Racist again!

This brings us to the latest attack on presidential candidate Mitt Romney. It is impossible to understand the Arab-Israel, Israel-Palestinian conflict or Israel’s situation without comprehending that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want real peace and a real two state solution ending the conflict. If things were different, they could have had a Palestinian state in 1948 or on numerous occasions thereafter, notably including at the Camp David meeting and with President Bill Clinton’s proposal (based on an Israeli proposal) in 2000.

So Romney stated this basic, easily provable and highly demonstrable truth, without which the whole issue makes no sense whatsoever. Woe unto him, as he is portrayed as being ignorant, bigoted, and troublesome for stating the basic pro-Israel position that most Democratic politicians accepted a few years ago. It was precisely what Clinton learned when Yasir Arafat turned down his very serious offer in 2000.

The whole attack on Romney is rather humorous since the left-wing magazine that had a series of “revelations” about a speech he made during his trip to Israel—“revelations” I’d all heard a week ago—is quoting things that make perfect sense.

Romney said that one of the two ways he considered looking at the issue—a major qualification—is:

“That the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

He then continued doing the most basic, responsible thing a statesman can do. Romney posited that a Palestinian state existed and then discussed how this might create terrible security dangers for Israel, including direct attack and the opening of Palestine’s territory to radical regimes’ armies. For the mean time, the only choice might be the status quo.

This is the kind of thing Israeli analysts, and many Americans, have been saying for decades and detailing. It is the basis framework of how any country must plan its survival, strategy, and national security.

What makes this even more ludicrous is that it is not so far from Obama’s own statements, though of course he did not say such things in so many years. The president admitted that he tried very hard to make progress and failed; noted that peacemaking was hard; grudgingly hinted that it wasn’t all Israel’s fault; and in practice put the issue on the back burner.

That behavior represents the conclusion that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not ready to make peace. It seems quite reasonable to posit that Obama has reached the same conclusion as the one Romney articulated.

To begin with, remember there are two Palestinian leaderships today. Hamas is openly against peace, though a surprising number of people seem to forget that periodically. The PA is genuinely relatively more moderate—a factor that has some benefits–and certainly far more subtle. But on this issue the bottom line is precisely the same.

Why doesn’t the PA want a real, lasting peace? For a lot of reasons. Much, not all but probably 90 percent, of the leadership still believes that they should and will take power in all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Even though they know Israel is not likely to go away easily or even at all, they hope that something will turn up. At any rate, as Palestinian leaders have often said, it is better not to make any concessions and to leave the issue open for possible total victory to the next generation.

Getting Priorities Wrong in Egypt and Syria: Three Media Case Studies

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/getting-priorities-wrong-in-egypt-and.html

As I lay here waiting for the gurney to take me into the operating room and read the hundreds of kind letters from so many of you I hope to fill in your time with one more article.

Focus is everything, knowing what the central problem is and dealing with it. Here I want to discuss three articles that I basically agree with to point out how they miss the key issue and thus are somewhat misleading. I’m glad to see these three articles being published but it’s a case of, to quote Lenin, two steps forward, one step back.

First, the Washington Post published an editorial entitled, “The time for patience in Syria is over.” It criticizes “America’s long paralysis in responding to the conflict in Syria,” pointing out that the war and horrific bloodshed is escalating. And it concludes:

“President Obama called on [President Bashar al-] Assad to leave office, a proper reaction to the brutality. But Mr. Obama has not backed his words with actions that might help them come true.”

It isn’t every day that a mass media organ criticizes Obama. Yet there are two problems. One is that the measures the newspaper proposes are very much out of date:

“No one is arguing for a Libyan-style intervention into Syria at this point. But the United States and its NATO allies could begin contingency planning for a no-fly zone, now that Mr. Assad is deploying aircraft against the opposition. Instead of providing only non-lethal support, such as medical supplies and communications gear, America could help supply weapons to the outgunned opposition fighters. It could work with Turkey and other allies to set up havens for them.”

Since the opposition has been asking for a “no-fly zone” for about six months, arguing that the NATO allies “could begin contingency planning” for one isn’t exactly a bold measure. Moreover, while the United States is only directly “providing only non-lethal support,” it is facilitating the supply of lethal weapons by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And third, there are already safe havens for the opposition fighters in Turkey.

So none of those three ideas are decisive or even highly relevant. The key point is mentioned in passing in another passage, calling on the United States, “…To get a better read on opposition forces and to encourage those less inclined toward sectarianism.”

Yet this is the central issue! There is no point in supporting an opposition that’s going to procue a government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists! That’s the issue: The United States should do everything possible to help moderates—both defected officers and liberal politicians–gain the upper hand. It should work closely with the Kurds and press hard to make sure that Christians are protected and that the opposition (or at least parts of the opposition responsible) will be punished if it commits massacres.

Is that so hard to see?

But guess what? Senator Marco Rubio also never mentions the Islamism issue in his article on how the United States should intervene in Syria. He better get an advisor who knows something about the Middle East fast or he may end up as another John McCain on the Middle East.

Second, Vali Nasr has some good points in New York Times op-ed. But I perceive two very big flaws. One of them is a warning:

“If the Syrian conflict explodes outward, everyone will lose: it will spill into neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Lebanon and Iraq in particular are vulnerable; they, too, have sectarian and communal rivalries tied to the Sunni-Alawite struggle for power next door.”

Really? The issue is not that the conflict is going to spill over but that it is part of a Sunni-Shia battle that will be a major feature of the region in the coming decades. Lebanon and Iraq are merely other fronts in this battle and whatever happens in Syria isn’t going to start some new problem in those countries.

The question is merely who wins in Syria. A Sunni victory in Syria would empower a moderate-led Sunni community in Lebanon against Hizballah. As for Iraq, another Sunni power will make that government unhappy but isn’t going to intensify already existing sectarian tensions there. And Kurdish autonomy in Syria isn’t going to set off a Kurdish-Turkish war in Turkey either.

Of Truth and Belief

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/of-faith-and-belief.html

One of the most perplexing things for me to understand is the concept of Orthopraxy. As currently defined, an Orthoprax Jew tends to follow Halacha, but may question the existence of God or whether the Torah was given to us at Sinai . And yet such people do exist. My first encounter with such an individual was when I initiated this blog. He called himself “Misnagid”. And he guarded his anonymity “religiously”.

That came as a shock to me at the time. I could not understand why anyone would bother keeping the Mitzvos if he didn’t believe in God. If I recall correctly, his answer was that he was raised as an Orthodox Jew, married Orthodox, and lived in an Orthodox environment. It would have radically changed his life to “come out of the closet” so to speak. So he plays along, going through the motions for appearances sake. This even includes sending his children to an Orthodox Jewish day school.  Interestingly, he admitted that Shabbos still meant a lot to him… that this weekly day of rest was rejuvenating to his spirit – as it were.

I actually understand that.

Although not all Orthoprax Jews are atheists (some are just skeptics and simply doubt God’s existence – not going so far as to deny it) Misnagid is an atheist. How he became one is irrelevant to this post. The point is that he is one of many such people. They exist in all segments of Orthodoxy. I recall an interview in Mishpacha Magazine with a Charedi Posek who was one such individual! (Since his exposure he is no longer a Posek.)

I think few people are aware how many people are Orthoprax. How could they be? These closet skeptics and atheists must remain there if they want continue their lives without the major upheaval that often goes along with going OTD. They want to remain in the environment they are used to. They want the continued acceptance by their family and friends they have always had. So they remain Frum on the outside, and atheists on the inside.

The appeal of an Orthodox lifestyle can be seen among Baalei Teshuva. They will often choose to be observant for non-theological reasons. They believe that living their lives according to the Torah and its moral teachings makes them better human beings. And they are meticulous in their observances.

This appeal is apparently the case with some Jewish atheists. Like Zeke Emanuel, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual’s brother. In a Washington Post article he describes himself as a Kosher atheist:

Judaism isn’t about what people think, he seems to be saying. It’s about what they do. It follows, according to that argument, that it’s more Jewish to keep kosher than it is to believe unthinkingly in God.

In what has to be an amazing statement for an Orthodox Rabbi, especially one who claims to be a practitioner of the Chabad Chasidus and follower of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach seems to agree:

“Judaism,” he told me in a phone call, “is not a religion primarily of faith. It is a religion primarily of practice…”

How any Orthodox Rabbi can make an unqualified statement like that and still call himself Orthodox is beyond me. The most fundamental tenet of Judaism is the belief in one God. The first 3 of the 10 Commandments deal with matters of faith!

While it is true that Judaism is a religion based on acts, those acts presuppose a belief in God. All the Mitzvos in the world are spiritually meaningless if one does not believe in the ultimate Spiritual Being, God.

I understand that there is a practical side to observance that may even be its main selling point to those considering Orthodoxy. I know people who have told me that they became observant because the lifestyle appealed to them. They saw the community of religious Jews and found it much more rewarding than the hedonistic ways of their friends or even siblings.

I recall at least 2 weddings where the all the siblings and friends of two Baalei Teshuva getting married had lifestyles that were very self-centered and hedonistic. Lifestyles that included a great deal of non-marital sex and even drug use. None of them were interested in getting married and having a family.

Political Correctness Run Amok

Monday, August 6th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/political-correctness-run-amok.html

Until about a week ago, I never heard of Chick-fil-A. When I first heard the name, I thought it might be some sort of sleazy escort service.  Maybe that’s because I observe Jewish dietary laws. Keeping Kosher means not being able to eat at McDonalds or any other non kosher fast food restaurant chain. Which is what Chick-fil-A is.

Normally news about a non Kosher fast food chain of any kind is well below my radar. Why would I care after all about what its owner said? Well, in this case I do care.  The  president of Chick-fil-A who is a religious Baptist made what many have deemed to be a bigoted statement about gays. What was it he said? From USA Today:

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit… “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…”

To say that this statement is bigoted is so ridiculous that I would have thought it was some sort of parody were it not reported as fact. But it wasn’t ridiculous to a Chicago Alderman who vowed to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up a restaurant in his city. From the Washington Post:

Alderman Joe Moreno said Wednesday that unless the company comes up with a written anti-discrimination policy, Chick-fil-A will not open its first free-standing restaurant in the city as it plans to do.

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel expressed similar sentiments.

I have expressed my own attitude about homosexuals many times. The short version is that it is all about Kavod HaBrios and treating all human beings with the dignity they deserve – regardless of what their sexual orientation is. The biblical injunction is against a specific homosexual act. Not against someone with the desire to commit it. Nor is it our job to find out what goes on in the privacy of anyone’s bedroom. That is only between an individual and his Maker. It is our obligation instead to judge all people favorably.

What seems to be happening here goes far beyond understanding and tolerance. It goes far beyond treating our fellow man with love and compassion – regardless of the human condition that causes man to sin against God. Is there alive a man today that has not sinned? But the agenda of some gay rights activists is not  about respecting human dignity. It is about celebrating homosexuality!

For those of us who believe in the bible that is completely unacceptable.

And yet the current climate of much of western culture is to look at it in exactly that way. It seems that almost all the reporting about Chick-fil-A  has been negative. As if to deny anyone the right to see marriage only in a heterosexual context.

This has nothing to do with the whether one agrees with that or not. It has to do with the right to express an opinion. One based on a religious viewpoint no less!

Chick fil-A does not deny anyone the right to eat in their restaurant. They have gay employees and gay patrons. I am sure that many gay people have eaten at Chick-fil-A without incident. And yet for publicly expressing a religious view that has become politically incorrect – there are people who want to harm Chick fil-A financially!

As if to put an exclamation point on this – from the Huffington Post:

(LGBT) has filed complaints against Chick-fil-A, alleging that the franchise violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, made statements against gay marriage.

This is wrong. It is political correctness run amok! And anyone with any sense of fairness should see that. The fact is that despite the current approach by media, entertainment industry, and some political figures, the American people are not in lockstep with their attempt to stifle opinions they don’t agree with.

Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for an “Appreciation Day for Chick fil-A” – asking people to show up to support for the restaurant chain by eating at one of their restaurants on August 1st. Needless to say they had a record  number of people showing up that day.

President Romney’s First Trip Will Be to Jerusalem, Says Campaign’s New Official Jewish Department

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

It was inevitable, the only question is why it took so long: on Tuesday, the Romney Campaign announced the launch of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition.

The launch comes on the heels of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel, which the candidate says persuaded him that “now, more than ever, America needs to stand with Israel. I will extend the hand of friendship because our partnership is not merely a strategic alliance but a force for good in the world.”

To date, the Romney campaign website lists these supportive communities: Catholics for Romney, Jewish Americans for Romney, Juntos con Romney, Lawyers for Romney (!), Polish Americans for Romney, Veterans and Military Families for Romney, Women for Mitt, and Young Americans for Romney.

Joining Romney in the announcement of this coalition was House Majority leader Eric Cantor and former US Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, who are two out of a short list of Honorary Chairmen.

Cantor invoked the standard talismans of “strong bonds” and “Israel’s security” in endorsing Romney and encouraging all Jewish Americans, “Democrat, Republican and Independent alike” to give Romney’s candidacy “serious consideration.”

Coleman, a former member of Congress, used stronger language both in terms of why American Jews will be better off under President Romney, who “will succeed in turning around the U.S. economy where Barack Obama has failed,” and in articulating what Coleman says is Romney’s understanding of the dangers facing Israel: “He understands that Israel is targeted by the failed states of the Middle East as a convenient scapegoat. He understands that there is a worldwide campaign to demonize the Jewish state.”

In the announcement of the new official coalition, there was one concrete pledge made.  Coleman said that, if elected, Mitt Romney pledged he will make his first foreign trip as president to Jerusalem.

What was not present in either the announcement of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition or on the issues page of the MittRomney.com website were other specifics.  For example, in the speech Romney gave in Jerusalem that was widely lauded and shared by many in the pro-Israel community, Romney referred to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  There is currently no mention of Jerusalem on the website.

In fact, much of the language found on the Romney Israel Issues page of his website could just as easily be found in his challenger’s talking points.  That this candidate will “work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge” is hardly a bold pledge, and President Obama has also repeatedly said that, as Romney’s website states, efforts to unilaterally decide issues “designated for final status negotiations” is unacceptable.

While the site promises that with “regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mitt’s policy will differ sharply from President Obama’s,” at present it is hard to find much foundation for that promise.

Perhaps it is merely the website that really seems to be in the “Not Ready for Prime Time” stage, because the candidates and their respective campaigns have been assiduously wooing the Jewish vote, what with Governor Romney visiting Israel and the president’s recent campaign stop to Century Village, a large gated community in heavily-Jewish south Florida.

A Gallup poll from last month shows a dip in Jewish support for President Obama.  In 2008 the president received 78 percent of the Jewish vote, and while that margin has shrunk to 64 percent, it’s hardly a close race.  The latest Rasmussen Poll conducted last week shows Romney with a very slight overall edge over Obama, 45 – 44 percent. However, Obama is beating the challenger in two of the critical swing vote states, he’s ahead by 6 percentage points in both Florida and Ohio.

While Romney was in Israel showcasing his support for the Jewish State and his close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Obama signed a measure passed by congress that will strengthen US-Israel military ties and announced he was releasing $70 million in congressional-approved funding for Israel’s short-range rocket shield known as “Iron Dome.”

Members of the Jewish Americans for Romney Coalition Advisory Board include  former White House Liaisons to the Jewish Community Tevi Troy and Jeremy Katz.  Other members include several who served in the State Department under Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, several former Ambassadors, such as Mitchell Reiss and Eric Edelman, and Eliot Cohen, who in 2006 penned a powerful piece in the Washington Post responding to Steven Walt and John Meirsheimer’s book “The Israel Lobby,” deeming it anti-Semitic.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/president-romneys-first-trip-will-be-jerusalem-says-campaigns-new-official-jewish-department/2012/08/02/

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