IsraelAmerica

IsraelAmerica
IsraelAmerica

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pee-wee Herman’s Crazy Dad

Pee-wee Herman's Crazy Dad

by Zachary Solomon,
Those antics had to come from somewhere.

Hours after Ben-Gurion announced Israeli independence, Arab forces launched a massive ground invasion. Days later, the American pilot Milton Rubenfeld volunteered for the brand new Israeli Air Force. The young man from Peekskill, New York, his recruitment officer later told an historian, was "so cocky he seemed to swagger even while sitting down."

But Rubenfeld was more than just swagger. He quickly proved himself a skilled pilot, though he was no match for the Arab missiles that shot down his Avia S-199 and forced him to bail over the Mediterranean. As he swam to shore, Israeli farmers began to shoot, thinking him an Arab pilot. As the story goes, Rubenfeld knew no Hebrew to prove himself a compatriot. So he improvised, shouting, "Shabbos, gefilte fish! Shabbos, gefilte fish!"

Rubenfeld's storied life continued after the war. He returned to America and had 3 children, one of whom was Paul Reubens, i.e. Pee-wee Herman. Reubens even cast his father as an extra, earning Rubenfeld, along with his military accolades, his very own IMDB page.

Original Page: http://thejewniverse.com/2013/pee-wee-hermans-crazy-dad/

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Prof. Hawking, a boycott is a black hole too


Dear Prof. Hawking:

When I was a boy in ninth grade, I received a book as a birthday present. It was your successful work, A Brief History of Time. At that time, we did not yet have the internet, so I scoured the papers and the news on radio and television for any scrap of information about you. I was incredulous: "How is it possible that a man in a wheelchair who can barely speak has made such important discoveries about space?", I asked my father. Since then, 25 years after your book was published, my ears have been listening out for the sound of your name - for a return to those moments of my youth, to the sense of wonder at someone - you - who had proven that it is possible to do the impossible. That is, until Wednesday. Because Wednesday you announced that you were canceling your participation in the Israeli Presidential Conference. The reason was that you feel obligated to respect the academic boycott against Israel because of its treatment of the Palestinians. Your announcement was endorsed by spokespeople of a body called: "The British Committee for Universities in Palestine", another in a long list of organizations that are instigated by Palestinian elements and their partners in the cheap propaganda campaign known as BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel). Boycotts are flawed in principle. But there is something even more outrageous when intellectuals, scientists and cultural leaders in particular boycott an entire people, any people. Because if there is one field in which there must be room for dialogue, for a cultural bridge, for moral change, it is precisely here, on the same platform on which you and your colleagues stand. If I had to define this in your scientific language, I would say that the boycott creates reverse, negative energy, a vacuum. In my words - it leads to extremism, a hardening of positions, and deterioration. Yes, a boycott leads to a void that does not allow for dialogue, persuasion or discussion. Not with the boycotted people and certainly not with your colleagues, Israel's scientists, researchers, artists and writers. How often it happens that we find a song that has made us think differently about something, about somebody, about a particular people? How often we realize that the discovery of a foreign scientist, whose name we can barely pronounce, has changed our lives forever? How often it is that the director of a political film has caused us to say to someone next to us: "You know, apparently it really isn't ok." Professor Hawking, if you wanted to have an influence on the future of the Palestinians and on what you claim is Israel's problematic treatment of them, then it would be important for you to be here, in Jerusalem, Israel's capital, to say those things. Say them so that they resonate, provoke debate, make headlines. Say them so that we will listen, so that we nod our heads, so that we go back to our loved ones and say, "You know, I heard Prof. Hawking today and there's something in what he says..." Because as hard as it is for us to hear what you have to say, Israel is still a vibrant and lively democracy, one with freedom of speech that is unparalleled, not only in the Middle East but also in the Western world from which you come. Because it is permissible and appropriate to expect that an intellectual of your stature would face the questions, would try to understand that there is a grey area of reality between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I, Professor Hawking, have grown up. I am no longer a boy. I have come to understand that reality is generally not simple. It is not black or white, but mostly gray. It is a pity that you of all people, the object of my admiration, should have chosen to boycott me, the same child with a dream. It saddens me that you have chosen the black option, the option of boycott - the one that creates black holes in the relations between people's and countries, the same black holes that swallow up all that crosses their path. It is just this that I learned from the book that I got as a present, A Brief History of Time. And what will be with the next young reader who gets your book for his birthday? Will he or she also learn the same important life lesson that I was privileged to receive in my youth? Sadly, your support for the boycott passes down to the next generation the failure of the culture of dialogue and the betrayal of all that is right and good in our millennia-old basic values: the values of science, culture and art. Attorney Tzahi Gavrieli has served as an advisor to Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Olmert

Original Page: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4378746,00.html

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Pakistan's Sharif seeks to ease mistrust with India


By John Chalmers

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - Nawaz Sharif, poised to become prime minister for a third time after a decisive victory in Pakistan's election, said on Monday the mistrust that has long dogged relations with India must be tackled.

Sharif said he had a "long chat" with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday and the two exchanged invitations to visit - a diplomatic nicety in some parts of the world but a heavily symbolic step for South Asia's arch-rivals.

Asked by an Indian journalist if he would invite Singh for his swearing-in as prime minister, Sharif said: "I will be very happy to extend that invitation."

"There are fears on your side, there are fears on our side," Sharif added during a news conference at his home on the outskirts of Lahore. "We have to seriously address this."

Sharif's power base is Pakistan's most prosperous province, Punjab, which sits across the border from an Indian state with the same name. A free marketeer, he wants to see trade between the two countries unshackled, and he has a history of making conciliatory gestures towards New Delhi.

In 1999, when he was last prime minister, Sharif stood at the frontier post waiting to welcome his counterpart - Atal Behari Vajpayee - to arrive on the inaugural run of a bus service between New Delhi and Lahore.

It was a moment of high hope for two countries that were divided amid bloodshed at birth in 1947 and went on to wage war three times in the decades that followed.

But by May of 1999, the two sides were sucked into a new conflict as the then-army chief of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, sent forces across the line dividing the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. And by October, Sharif had been ousted by Musharraf in a bloodless coup.

Sharif's return to power 14 years later has raised concern that he will again cross swords with the military, which has long controlled Pakistan's foreign and security policies.

But Sharif said he "never had any trouble with the army", just Musharraf, and as prime minister he would ensure that the military and the civilian government work together on the myriad security and economic problems confronting Pakistan.

Musharraf resigned as president in 2008 and went into self-imposed exile abroad. He returned in March to run in last Saturday's elections. Instead, he was arrested for his crackdown on the judiciary during his rule and put under house arrest.

OPEN TO LIKE-MINDED ALLIES

Sharif said his Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) - won enough of the 272 National Assembly seats contested in the election to rule on its own, but suggested he was open to allies joining his government.

"I am not against any coalition. But as far as Islamabad is concerned, we are ourselves in a position to form our own government," Sharif told the news conference. "All those who share our vision, we will be happy to work with them."

The election was a democratic milestone in a country ruled by the military for more than half its history, marking the first transition from one elected government to another.

However, Sharif inherits a stack of challenges from a government led for the past five years by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which failed to tackle corruption, poverty and a Taliban insurgency.

Another bailout from the International Monetary Fund to avoid a new balance of payments crisis is seen as inevitable. Sharif has suggested that he would be willing to implement politically sensitive reforms to secure an IMF lifeline.

He has picked senator Ishaq Dar as his finance minister in the new cabinet, a party spokesman said on Monday.

Dar, who served as finance minister in a previous Sharif cabinet in the 1990s, has said he plans to lean on provincial governments to collect agricultural taxes, a policy that could set him on a collision course with some of the Pakistan Muslim League's (PML-N) wealthy supporters.

Sharif said ahead of the election that Pakistan should reconsider its support for the U.S. war on Islamist militancy and suggested he was in favor of negotiations with the Taliban.

Pakistan backed American efforts to stamp out global militancy after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and was rewarded with billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

But many Pakistanis have grown resentful, saying thousands of Pakistani soldiers have died fighting "America's war".

As prime minister-elect, Sharif chose his words carefully on Monday, saying Islamabad and Washington have "good relations" and "need to listen to each other".

Asked about U.S. drone strikes against militants on Pakistani soil, which many Pakistanis regard as a violation of sovereignty, he referred to it as a "challenge" to sovereignty. "We will sit with our American friends and talk to them about this issue," he said.

Underlining the security issues facing Sharif, a truck bomb destroyed the home of the police chief in the western province of Baluchistan on Monday. The police chief survived but at least five people died and 68 were injured. It was not clear if the Taliban or Baluch nationalists were responsible.

(Additional reporting by Gul Yousufzai in Quetta; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Original Page: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE94C0JM20130513?irpc=932

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky