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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘West’

Digging Up Arafat

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Suddenly, I received all of these phone calls from journalists asking me to talk about who murdered the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The news peg is that he’s being dug up to see if someone poisoned him. Guess who?

I tell them that in a sense Arafat was murdered. Excited, they ask who did it. And I respond: Fatah, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority, all organizations that Arafat headed. I don’t mean literally that they set out to kill Arafat but they were the ones really responsible for his death. Let me elucidate.

For many months before he was rushed to Paris for medical attention, everyone who followed him closely knew Arafat was sick. It was the subject of extensive discussion among Israelis and Palestinians. Anyone who saw him give a speech, whether live or on television, could see he was in bad shape. My mother-in-law, a doctor, saw him in one broadcast and easily rattled off a list of symptoms.

I was told the following story–in far more detail–not long after by a very reliable person who witnessed the conversation. One of Arafat’s Palestinian doctors and a leading Israeli physician were chatting at a conference. An Israeli reporter noted for his left-wing ideology and remarkably inaccurate story came up to the Palestinian and asked if Arafat was ill. “Definitely not,” he told the reporter who, well-pleased, rushed off to write up his scoop. The Israeli turned to the Palestinian and said, “But ____, you know he’s very ill.” The Palestinian medico responded, “Of course!”

Yet despite this fact, Arafat did not receive serious or competent treatment. It was no secret that the individuals who served as his medical staff were not very good doctors but chosen for political reasons. The biggest problem, however, was that the Palestinian leadership could not face the crisis honestly.

Remember, Arafat was their leader for as long as they could remember. He was well-known for making every decision, even the most minor, for the movement and for the institutions then governing the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinians in the know frequently pointed out that when Arafat was travelling literally nothing could get done.

So how could they face or admit the potential demise of the man on whom their fortunes and indeed the entire movement seemed to rest? Dictatorial movements or countries are like that. The courtiers all live in fear that the fearless leader will be no more. What will become of them?

And so if they had taken better care of Arafat he would have lasted longer. Of course, Arafat was never known for being solicitous of his own help. He was overweight, ate unhealthy food (honey was his cure-all), and didn’t exercise. The mere thought of Arafat trying to jog makes the last point effectively. He had been severely injured in a plane crash several years earlier.

Arafat himself refused to rest or to leave his headquarters despite its being under siege by Israel after all the terrorism he had ordered during his post-Camp David summit war against the peace process. It was not hard to see that this 75-year-old man was a mortality waiting to happen.

Just as Arafat’s cronies and lieutenants could not face his sickness, a good portion of the Western leftist, media, and intelligentsia refuses to face their own sickness. Only against the Jews would the modern-day version of ritual murder become credible, especially when it is based on a ridiculously obvious fabrication.

The current Arafat-was-murdered meme began when very large amounts of radioactive material were “discovered” on his clothing. This substance is scientifically known to break down on a very regular schedule. For such a quantity to be found there would have meant there would have been a gigantic amount—was he hosed down with radioactive poison?—when he died eight years ago. In other words, the stuff had been planted only hours at most before it was found, no doubt by the same people who put it there. In short, the accusation makes no sense but it is being treated seriously.

Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by respectable people in the West. The accusation is made by anti-Israel propagandists who spew out the most vicious antisemitic hatred and lies yet are given a large measure of credibility. Such is the way Israel is dealt with on many things by otherwise respectable people in the West nowadays.

Barry Rubin

Keynes vs. Hayek: Which Approach Won Over the Economies of the West? (Podcast)

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Keynes and Hayek were two of the most influential economists of modern times. But how did their economic philosophies and views affect the world today? Nicholas Wapshott, who wrote Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics and is the former New York bureau chief ofThe Times, editor of theSaturday Times of London,  founding editor of The Times Magazine, and political editor of The Observer, tells Doug about the differences in both economic systems and how the economies of the West have been shaped by them. Also enjoy listening to all of your favorite people on Goldstein on Gelt.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Events in the West

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Events in the West: This Shabbos YICC in the Pico-Robertson area of L.A. hosts Professor Isaiah Gafni, a leading Jewish historian, as its scholar-in-residence… The West Coast OU Torah Convention in L.A. is scheduled for December 20-23.

Kosher News: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Nut Trail Mix Chewy Granola bars bear an unauthorized OU… Wegman’s gluten-free double chocolate brownie cake mix has an OU – but it is OU-D… The CRC in Chicago reports that packaged barley has been found to have three types of bugs. They have created a process for you to rid other brands of this. Geffen barley is the only barley that doesn’t require the process.

The Jewish Press in Stores: If you don’t see The Jewish Press where you expect to see it, ask the cashier where your favorite newspaper is. Stores sometimes move the papers in order to set up a display.

Super Storm Benny was created to assist Jewish families in communities on the East Coast facing catastrophic destruction from Hurricane Sandy. You can participate in the rebuilding by donating appliances, kitchen equipment, baby gear, furniture, computers, bed and bath supplies, siddurim, Chumashim, and toys. All products should be new and in their original packaging. The deadline is Sunday, November 18. A 40-foot truck will drive across the country with the donations. You can also donate via credit card by visiting www.TeamBenny.net, or by sending a check to Ladies Bikur Cholim, 444 N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Super Storm Benny is sponsored as a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Binyomin Chaim ben Faigie Sarah.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Births: Moshe and Tzirel Regal, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Yossi and Sari Naiman)… Baruch and Ruchi Giberstein, a daughter (Grandparents Shlomo and Gila Giberstein)… Shai and Chana Samet, a son… Eric and Sarah Abitbol of NY, a son (Grandparents Alan and Etti Lowy; Sonia Rosenberg)… Yaakov and Rivki Tangy, a daughter (Grandparents Avraham and Tzafi Vickman)… Rabbi Jason and Lauren Weiner, a son (Grandparents Sidney and Marcia Teichman)… Jeffrey and Rina Barak of Encino, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Mark and Michelle Barak)… Shlomie and Ruti Hauer of Monsey, NY, a son (Grandparents Shmuli and Goldie Hauer; Great-grandmother Frida Berger)… Shloimie and Aliza Zeffren of Teaneck, NJ, a son (Grandparents David and Mira Zeffren)… Rabbi Moshe and Nava Adler, a son (Grandparents Benny and Audrey Adler; Great-grandmother Lilly Adler… Yisroel and Miriam Wohlgelernter in Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Daniel and Eileeen Wohlgelernter; David and Judy Hager)… Rabbi Shmuel and Elkie Einhorn, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Jake Garfinkel, son of Marty and Candice Garfinkel… Justin Hanelin, son of Jonas and Cari Hanelin.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Elisheva Gofman, daughter of Yasha and Nancy Gofman.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Shoshana Gres, daughter of Jerry and Debbie Gres, to Yosef Caplan, son of Jeff and Gale Caplan of Agoura, CA… Naftali Trainer, son of Rabbi Label and Lori Trainer, to Rochel Pollak of Valley Village, CA.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Saadua Liberow to Rebecca Kukurudz.

Congratulations: To Abbas Restaurant on its grand opening on La Brea.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Eli Zadik, son of Yossi Zadik and Anne Bakar.

VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA

Mazel Tov – Birth: Chaim and Samantha Hirsch of Hollywood, FL, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Corinne Blumenstein).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Alex Silberstein, son of Adam and Taaly Silberstein.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rochel Pollak, daughter of Rabbi Yehuda and Devora Pollak, to Naftali Trainer of L.A… Alisha Tal, daughter of Avi and Julie Handelman, to Yochanan Zomer of Yerushalayim.

DENVER, COLORADO

Mazel Tov – Birth: Rabbi Danny and Sara Wolfe of Albany, NY, a son (Grandparents Mike and Cindy Wolfe).

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Mazel Tov – Births: Mordy and Golda Fast of Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Steve and Ruth Fast)… Yona and Ariella Margolese, a daughter (Grandparents Melech and Chani Genauer).

Jeanne Litvin

Rep. West (R.) Demanding Hand Recount in Florida 18th

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has already declared victory over Tea Party star Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. West trails Murphy by 2,500 votes in the official count.

But West for Congress campaign manager Tim Edson on Wednesday announced: “This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.”

According to the West campaign, late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.

The campaign also complained of numerous irregularities at polls across St. Lucie County. The doors to polling places were locked when the polls closed, in violation of Florida law, preventing the public from witnessing the tallying.

“The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos,” said a campaign press release. “Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary.”

Yori Yanover

What the West is Funding: Palestinian Suppression of Free Speech

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -ed.] has come up with a new method to silence its Palestinian critics.

From now on, any Palestinian writer or journalist who dares to criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his policies or demand an end to corruption will be accused of “belittling the dignity of the state.”

Since the beginning of this year, at least 10 Palestinian journalists, bloggers and political opponents have been detained by various Palestinian Authority security services for writing about corruption and criticizing the Palestinian leadership.

Until recently, the Palestinian Authority, which is funded by the U.S. and E.U., used to throw its critics into prison.

But following condemnations from Palestinian and international human rights organizations, the Palestinian Authority decided to resort to a new method to silence its critics – this time by accusing them of “belittling the dignity” of a non-existent Palestinian state.

This charge is based on a 1960 Jordanian law still effective in the West Bank. Although the Palestinian Authority has its own laws, to achieve its goals it does not hesitate every now and then to resort to Jordanian laws.

But as the case of Jihad Harb shows, Abbas and his aides are more concerned about their own dignity than that of the imaginary state.

Harb, a Palestinian writer and political analyst, was summoned this week for interrogation by the Palestinian security forces in Ramallah and charged, on the basis of the Jordanian law, with “belittling the dignity of the state.”

Harb was told that the director of Abbas’s office had lodged a complaint against him for libel and slander because of an article criticizing Abbas’s policy of promoting public employees.

Entitled “Presidential Decisions Are Made In A Coffee Shop,” Harb’s article criticized Abbas’s decision to promote more than 500 civil servants over the past five years — noting that many of them were unfit to serve in their jobs.

Before he was summoned for interrogation, Harb received threats from from top Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah that he would be punished for hanging the dirty laundry in public.

The officials told the writer that he may would face trial for criticizing Abbas at a time when the US and Israel are “waging a fierce campaign” against the Palestinian Authority president because of his insistence on pursuing his request for membership in the UN.

Harb said that the decision to summon him for questioning was in the context of the Palestinian Authority leadership’s campaign to intimidate Palestinian writers and journalists and stop them from discussing internal issues.

Harb added that the decision was also in violation of Abbas’s recent statement that the “sky was the limit for freedom of expression” in the West Bank.

Palestinian writers and human rights groups have, meanwhile, expressed deep concern over the Palestinian Authority’s crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank.

International human rights groups, however, and countries that fund and support Abbas’s authority have yet to sound their voices.

Many Palestinian writers and journalists in the West Bank today live in fear of being harassed by the Palestinian Authority because of their views and writings. Some practice self-censorship, while others are writing under different names or have found themselves new and less dangerous professions.

There is no reason why those who are pouring millions of dollars on the Palestinian Authority should not demand an end to suppression of freedom of expression and the growing clampdown on writers and journalists in the West Bank.

Failing to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its actions will only drive more Palestinians into the arms of Hamas and the other radical forces.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Obama’s Greatest Foreign Policy Error

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Obama’s greatest Foreign Policy error was the same one that had been made by Bush and by numerous past administrations. The error was that the problem was not Islam, but Islamic violence. It was Obama however who took that error to its logical conclusion by pursuing a foreign policy meant to part Islamists from their violent tendencies by allowing them to win without the need for terrorism.

Violence, the thinking in diplomatic circles went, was inherently alarming and destabilizing. When Islamists don’t take over, they move to the West, preach radical theology, gather up followers and begin blowing things up. But let them take over their own home countries and they’ll no longer have any reason to draw up maps of London and New York, not when they’re beheading adulterers and burning churches back home.

The Arab Spring was to the Middle East what the betrayal of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis and the betrayal of the rest of Eastern Europe to the Communists was to 20th Century European history. It was the moment when all the diplomatic folly that had come before it came together in one great historical instant of national and international betrayal.

The diplomatic wunderkinds had never taken Islamist theology seriously, just as their predecessors had not considered the possibility that the Bolsheviks might be serious about their world revolution. And they had also failed to recognize that Islamic terrorism was not only a means to power, but also an end in and of itself, a way of harnessing the endless violence and instability in desert societies and turning them into power and profit.

What every Middle Eastern leader has always understood is that the violence, call it raids, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, gang activity, sectarian militias, military coups, desert banditry, was never going away. It was the tiger and the clever leader rides the tiger, rather than ending up inside it, harnessing and directing the violence, to remain in power.

Islam is a religion built around that violence, sanctifying it as a religious principle, and thus taking it out of the realm of Fitna and into the realm of Jihad. The difference between the two is a matter of theology and that theology is a matter of perspective. What is banditry and what is a holy war is a matter of where you’re standing and which way the bullets are flying.

The Islamists might be able to direct the violence, but they could no more shut it down than any of their secular predecessors could. They could kill their enemies, but only by unleashing the tiger on them and when the killing was done, they would still be left with a hungry tiger looking around for his next meal. So the Islamists, like the Saudis, were bound to fuse religion with realpolitik by making sure that the tigers were pointed our way.

Even if their violence were only a means to an end, the end would not come when every Middle Eastern country was run by Islamist governments. For one thing there would never be a means of agreeing on what a truly Islamist government was. The reactionary impetus of Wahhabism leads to an endless series of reforms meant to recreate a lost 7th Century theological paradise by purging those damnable 8th Century theological innovators.

To many Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood is just Mubarak with a beard. To other Salafists, those Salafists are just the Muslim Brotherhood with an untrimmed beard. After overthrowing Mubarak to end the perception that the United States supports UnIslamic dictators, maintaining ties with the Muslim Brotherhood would invite attacks from those Salafists in the hopes of ending US support for the Brotherhood, resetting that foreign policy accomplishment to zero. And the Brotherhood would wink and nod at those attacks to maintain its Islamist street cred and keep the violence going in the other direction.

As the attacks of September 11, 2012 showed us, the effect of putting the Islamists in charge of the Arab Spring countries was not to relieve tensions or improve America’s image, but to make it easier for Jihadists to launch attacks on America. And the argument advanced by Obma and so many others, that it was our support for dictators that inspired terrorists, had come to nothing. As Carter had done in Iran, Obama had stood behind the Islamists and against the “dictators”, only to have the newly Islamist dictators kick him in the face, first through mobs carrying out attacks against American diplomatic facilities under the guise of plausible deniability, and then through bolder confrontations.

But finally, the seizure of one Muslim country or two of them or a dozen of them is not the end of the Islamists. Islamists don’t recognize borders or national identities, no more than the Communists did. Their objective is not a flag of their own, but the territorial expansion of their ideology. This expansion is not measured in miles, but in populations. It persists regardless of lines on a map or country names. It measures its power in people, because people are the region’s only resource.

Daniel Greenfield

‘The Right Kind of Jihad’

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

The Iranian Green Revolution had brave Neda Agha-Soltan, and the Pakistanis have the stubbornly courageous Malala Yousufzai. At fourteen, when the Taliban tried to assassinate Malala for promoting education for girls, she had been defying the Taliban for years. Whether these girls are catalysts for sustained revolutions may well depend on how many in the West champion their heroism.

Russian dissident Natan Sharansky tells Westerners that demonstrators would rush to the streets for minutes, risking the gulags, in hope that “at least one foreign journalist was present so that, the next day, at least one Western news source would come out with a story that could in turn elicit a chain reaction of more and greater press attention and, we hoped, a vocal Western response.” The Russian dissidents knew that a vocal response from the West would lend a megaphone to their cause. How devastating it would have been if President Reagan and Americans had failed to rally with them.

One of the insistent voices currently calling on Americans to champion liberty in the face of aggressive “Shariahites” — Shariah is hardline religious code whether pushed under Shia, Sunni, Salafist, or Wahhabist banner — is self-described devout Muslim, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. At a time when the West is asking how to identify and trust moderate Muslims; wondering what to do about insular Islamist communities that are burrowing into city surrounds; and, calculating how to block Islamist political infiltration, Dr. Jasser suggests that moderate Muslims can play a pivotal role in exposing and discrediting the Islamist agents.

In his first book, A Battle For The Soul Of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith, Dr. Jasser demonstrates that his devotion to preserving American ideals against aggressive Islamism has required that he pledge of his own sacred honor as did the founding-era freedom fighters. Close observers would say he has also committed much of his life-energy and fortunes to speaking, writing, and organizing for the cause of American-style individuals’ rights.

Dr. Jasser was born to immigrant Syrian parents in Canton, Ohio. His parents, taking stock of their recent flight from Hafez Assad’s oppressive regime, taught Jasser reverence for the American model of consensual government based upon the rule of law created by elected representatives of the people. He wrote that he also learned what he calls an “intense love” for the American military and the symbolism of democratic alliances that the troops represent around the world.

Jasser’s maternal grandfather was head of the Syrian Shariah Supreme Court from 1975 to 1985; and his paternal grandfather was a journalist-turned-dissident, who ultimately lost his business and his home as exaction for his outspoken criticism of Baathist fascism. Inspired by his grandfathers, Jasser spent many hours with his father re-interpreting Islamic text to provide contexts based on reason and a modern perspective.

The record shows that Jasser, in a society that offered opportunities, excelled in scholarship, and served with distinction in the US Navy. Trained as in internist, he served as a physician on a Charlie-class amphibious cargo ship. Although the Black Hawk Down debacle occurred at this time, Jasser was not singled out as a Muslim for persecution or “hate” messages. He says he comported himself as “an American officer who happened to be Muslim.”

Before entering the private sector with a medical practice in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Jasser’s public service culminated with his selection to the highly competitive position of Attending Physician for Congress and the Supreme Court.

Dr. Jasser’s character was most vividly revealed — they say that adversity does not create character, but simply reveals it — in 1995 when he confronted an Islamist “Muslim brotherhood legacy group” head on. After presenting a paper at a medical convention, Jasser stayed an additional day for the opening of the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) annual convention to see what 15,000 Muslims — some in military uniform — had gathered to discuss. One of the headliners, Imam Siraj Wahhaj made claims about replacing the US Constitution, a suggestion that enraged Lt. Com. Jasser to the point where, in his dress whites, Jasser took to the microphone at the close of Wahhaj’s tirade to confront the sedition-like statements. Jasser encouraged military personnel who were in the audience to leave. However, even the most supportive of those who approached Jasser told him he was overreacting.

Karen Lugo

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-right-kind-of-jihad/2012/10/21/

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