IsraelAmerica

IsraelAmerica
IsraelAmerica

Friday, April 13, 2007

Are Democrats Anti-Semitic?



There’s debate and discussion over whether the Left has become anti-Semitic or tolerates anti-Semitism. This is occasioned because many Democrats tolerate the alliance with or participation alongside extremist groups and individuals supporting Palestinian and Arab charges against Israel.
Their primary defenses are, first, that they themselves hold no animus toward Israel or Jews or cause to be hostile; second, that it’s a free country in which one shouldn’t be judged by others on the same podium or leading or role in organizing or participating in an event; and, third, there are legitimate criticisms to be made of Israel that are independent of animus toward Jews.
As matters of independent principle, these defenses may hold some water. However, as matters of both fact and practicality these arguments are specious and deceptive. Acceptance of them by those making these arguments, further, is hypocritical self-deception. Worse, when from Jews, such arguments are self-destructive ignorance.
As any state, Israel is imperfect. When, criticism of Israel is one-sided, slanted, or knowingly factually wrong, and far worse behavior by Palestinians is ignored, excused, or lies parroted, that IS anti-Semitism.
In America, we treasure the right of non-violent free speech and association. That, also, includes the right and responsibility, for civility and self-preservation, to not speak or associate with those whose speech and associations are disagreed with or that support terrorism. Appearing with or sharing a podium with such people, outside of civil debate, is to legitimize them. That IS anti-Semitism.
Earlier generations’ anti-Semitic tracts and common speech have largely disappeared from America. However, they have been replaced by thinly veiled stereotypes that essentially connect anyone associated with vigilant defense of America, Western civilization, or Israel as a colonialist oppressor, and commonly emphasize the role of Jews in such activity as demonstrating a conspiracy. This permeates the attacks on “neocons,” or AIPAC, for example. The deep roots of Arab oil money funding Democrats’ organizations and political activities, or paying for radicals’ chairs in academia, is not mentioned, and can only be motivated by animus or corrupt profiteering. That IS anti-Semitism.
Democrats learned during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s that the survival of their liberal agenda, not to mention of America, depended upon taking matters into their own hands and vigorously excluding communists and fellow-travelers from their ranks or tolerance.
If Democrats don’t similarly act responsibly today, that IS anti-Semitism.


There’s debate and discussion over whether the Left has become anti-Semitic or tolerates anti-Semitism. This is occasioned because many Democrats tolerate the alliance with or participation alongside extremist groups and individuals supporting Palestinian and Arab charges against Israel.
Their primary defenses are, first, that they themselves hold no animus toward Israel or Jews or cause to be hostile; second, that it’s a free country in which one shouldn’t be judged by others on the same podium or leading or role in organizing or participating in an event; and, third, there are legitimate criticisms to be made of Israel that are independent of animus toward Jews.
As matters of independent principle, these defenses may hold some water. However, as matters of both fact and practicality these arguments are specious and deceptive. Acceptance of them by those making these arguments, further, is hypocritical self-deception. Worse, when from Jews, such arguments are self-destructive ignorance.
As any state, Israel is imperfect. When, criticism of Israel is one-sided, slanted, or knowingly factually wrong, and far worse behavior by Palestinians is ignored, excused, or lies parroted, that IS anti-Semitism.
In America, we treasure the right of non-violent free speech and association. That, also, includes the right and responsibility, for civility and self-preservation, to not speak or associate with those whose speech and associations are disagreed with or that support terrorism. Appearing with or sharing a podium with such people, outside of civil debate, is to legitimize them. That IS anti-Semitism.
Earlier generations’ anti-Semitic tracts and common speech have largely disappeared from America. However, they have been replaced by thinly veiled stereotypes that essentially connect anyone associated with vigilant defense of America, Western civilization, or Israel as a colonialist oppressor, and commonly emphasize the role of Jews in such activity as demonstrating a conspiracy. This permeates the attacks on “neocons,” or AIPAC, for example. The deep roots of Arab oil money funding Democrats’ organizations and political activities, or paying for radicals’ chairs in academia, is not mentioned, and can only be motivated by animus or corrupt profiteering. That IS anti-Semitism.
Democrats learned during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s that the survival of their liberal agenda, not to mention of America, depended upon taking matters into their own hands and vigorously excluding communists and fellow-travelers from their ranks or tolerance.
If Democrats don’t similarly act responsibly today, that IS anti-Semitism.
http://www.democracy-project.com/archives/003229.html

Thursday, April 12, 2007

When being thrifty is unjust


Next week's Holocaust Remembrance Day actually began on Tuesday, in an emotional and difficult discussion in the Knesset, in which Holocaust survivors participated. Some of the survivors said this year's remembrance ceremony should be boycotted because Israel is denying its survivors and the treasury officials are dragging their feet and are indifferent when dealing with the survivors' claims. The main claim of the Holocaust survivors is that in order to receive their disability allowance they need to prove to a medical committee that their disability was caused by Nazi persecution, which is not an easy task as 60 years have since passed. Who can determine today, with certainty, what is the result of starvation and abuse in the camps, and what is caused by the normal process of aging? The evidence brought by the Holocaust survivors before the MKs was difficult to listen to. One of them related that he suffers from a disease that has caused him complications in the mouth and the gums, but the medical committee (whose members' wages are paid by the treasury) told him that he will only be compensated for one tooth he lost during the Holocaust. One woman said that after the committee rejected her request for an increase to her stipend, officials at the treasury advised her to pretend to be psychologically unstable the next time. The say this might result in her being granted more funding.
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These complaints made by the survivors join similar claims heard two years ago, when it emerged that the Fund for the Welfare of Holocaust Survivors, which funds the needs of several thousand survivors who are chronic care patients, found itself in financial difficulties. The number of those supported by the fund increased as a result of the immigration of tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union, but the treasury refused to transfer the NIS 60 million the fund required to continue functioning. For years, Israel and Jewish organizations knew how to pressure the nations of the world, and especially Germany, to increase the compensation given to Israel and the survivors. The Jewish organizations also pressed companies and banks in Europe to pay generous compensation for property and money that was confiscated. In many cases the pressure helped and the compensation was paid. In view of the force behind the demands made of other countries, it is appropriate that we should now make those same demands of ourselves. After all, the Holocaust is the basis for the establishment of the State of Israel. Without the sense of guilt the nations of the world felt for the brutal murder of six million Jews, we would not have managed to receive, in 1947, a majority in the United Nations for the establishment of an independent Jewish State. The six million murdered in the Holocaust cannot be brought back but it is possible to treat the survivors differently. The survivors should not be viewed like any other lobbying group seeking to gain a larger piece of the budgetary pie. The sums are not astronomical. The basic stipend is NIS 1,040 per month, and there are 250,000 Holocaust survivors left in Israel, of whom only 40,000 receive disability payments from the state on the basis of the law of Nazi persecution. Therefore, in this special case, it is appropriate to adopt a historic approach and disregard the normal conduct of the treasury. This is not a matter on which to be thrifty.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Israelis, Palestinians Holding Talks


JERUSALEM — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet Sunday, an aide to the Israeli leader said, keeping their promise to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hold regular talks.
The venue was to be finalized later Wednesday, Olmert spokeswoman Miri Eisin said. Saeb Erekat, an Abbas confidant, said the Palestinians invited Olmert to meet in the West Bank town of Jericho, but hadn't heard back.
The two men last met March 11 but pledged during a subsequent Rice visit to hold talks every two weeks.
The Palestinians want to head straight to the core issues dividing the two sides, such as the borders of a future Palestinian state, the status of disputed Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees' demands to return to land they fled or were driven from when Israel was established in 1948.
Olmert's aides have said he would only talk to Abbas about security and humanitarian issues, and a "general political horizon." Divisive issues could be addressed once Palestinians halt their rocket fire into Israel from Gaza and release an Israeli soldier captured in June, they said.
Hopes of progress toward releasing Cpl. Gilad Shalit diminished Tuesday when Olmert's office balked at a list of Palestinian prisoners the soldier's captors want freed in exchange.
Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti has said the list included Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five consecutive life terms in the murder of four Israelis and a Greek monk, and Ahmed Saadat, leader of small radical faction suspected in the 2001 assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister.
In the past, Israel has hesitated to release Palestinians involved in killings, but has made exceptions. Public pressure has been building to make a deal for Shalit and two other soldiers captured three weeks later by Lebanese guerrillas in a cross-border raid that set off an inconclusive 34-day war last summer.
After Abbas meets Olmert, he and Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr plan to leave on a 10-day trip to Europe on a campaign to lift aid sanctions that have crippled their government.
Abbas aides said they hope to persuade their hosts to ease the blockade imposed after Islamic Hamas militants swept to power in January 2006 elections, now that a new unity government has taken office with members of the more pragmatic Fatah party.
Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad met European Union officials in Brussels on Wednesday and later told reporters that the new Palestinian government would need $1.33 billion in international aid this year.
"This is assistance we need to get back on our feet," Fayyad said after meeting with EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
On Tuesday, the State Department said Congress had approved $59 million in U.S. aid to Palestinian security forces and the money was ready to be disbursed.
The package, reduced from $86 million over concerns that some money might go to radical groups, soon will be on its way to security forces controlled by Abbas, spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Also Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Jewish settlers who moved into a disputed house in the volatile West Bank city of Hebron would be given notice to evacuate but would not be evicted until the legal appeals process is completed, which other officials said could take weeks.
The Israelis moved into the house in an Arab neighborhood on March 19, saying they bought it from Palestinians. Peretz said the settlers had not requested Israeli government authorization to live there and would be ordered to leave.
"In my opinion there is no reason why the presence in the house should continue, therefore I intend to exercise my authority and have them removed," Peretz told Israel Radio.
He did not give a time frame.
The Yesha settlers' council said it would fight Peretz's decision "with all its might."
Hebron is believed by Jews and Muslims to be the burial site of biblical patriarchs and is a frequent flashpoint. Israel controls the center, where about 500 settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves among about 160,000 Palestinians. The Palestinians control the rest of the city.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Israel launches raid in Gaza

Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian terrorist and wounded two in what is believed to be the fiercest exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorists since a ceasefire agreed to in November.
Residents said the helicopters fired at least two missiles at Palestinian terror hideouts near the Jabalya terrorist training camp early on Saturday.
An Israeli army spokesperson said the helicopters fired at a group of militants who had tried to plant an explosive device near the border fence.
Islamic Jihad said its terrorists and members of another terror group had been mounting an operation near the fence when the exchange of fire occurred.
Local residents said Israeli tanks had entered the area, which the army denied.

"The army has found 40 explosives planted in that area since the November ceasefire," an army spokesman said.

The IDF reports the men were planning an attack and had observed suspicious activity. As a result they say they were compelled to enter to respond to the preparation.

Peretz allows operations to stop terror attacks.

Amir Peretz, the Israeli defence minister, authorised the army on Monday to carry out operations against Gaza.
Some Palestinian groups have carried on firing rockets into Israel from Gaza despite the truce, and Peretz said the Jewish state would "not allow the continued strengthening and arming" of fighters in the coastal strip.
A local leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was wounded by Israeli fire on Saturday in the West Bank, residents said.

Zakaria al-Zubeidi, an al-Aqsa commander from the Jenin refugee camp, was shot in the shoulder by Israeli troops, members of the group said.

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky