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‘Jesus Was a Palestinian’: The Return of Christian Anti-Semitism

Redacted from an in-depth investigative report
By the brilliant Melanie Phillips

COMMENTARY
June 14, 2014

Within the Protestant world, many churches are deeply hostile to the State of Israel. They present the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression while ignoring the murderous victimization of Israeli citizens at their hands. This much is generally known. What is less known is the even more disturbing fact that this perverse animus is increasingly fed not by the politics of the present moment but by theology.

This is all the more striking because millions of evangelical Christians are among the most passionate supporters of Israel in America and elsewhere. These Christian Zionists believe the Hebrew Bible’s account of how God chose the Jewish people to form a kingdom of priests and promised them the land of Israel. That religious belief has turned Christian Zionists themselves into a key target for evangelization on the part of those churches that have Israel in their crosshairs

The Christian world likes to forget it, but the history of its relationship with the Jews is terrible. In medieval Europe, the Catholic Church used blood libels to incite the population against the Jews, converted them at knifepoint, and murdered them in great number.

These pogroms were driven by a particular demonology called replacement theology, also known as supersessionism. Going back to the early Christian father Origen (182–254 C.E.), this idea holds that, because the Jews denied the divinity of Jesus, all the promises God had made to them now belong to Christians. Exiled from God’s love, the Jews had become the party of the Devil.

It is a variant of liberation theology, the doctrine propounded in the 1960s to suggest that socialist revolution was the proper fulfillment of the Christian duty to the poor. In this iteration, Jesus becomes a Palestinian persecuted by the Jews while Jesus’s descendants—who knew he had any?—become today’s Palestinians, crucified in the very land that was promised to them. Their liberation would, of course, require the dissolution of the Jewish state.

These malevolent concepts, spreading from Palestinian Christians to churches in the West, are rooted in an audacious strategy adopted by the Palestinian Authority to deny Israel’s right to exist by changing Jewish history to suit its own end. Part of this strategy involves denying that Jesus was a Jew from Judea and turning him into a Palestinian who preached Islam.

Clearly, this is a tall order: Rome didn’t change the name of Judea to Palestine until 136 C.E., and Islam first surfaced in the seventh century C.E. Nevertheless, the Palestinian leadership repeatedly claims that Jesus was a Palestinian!

In his Christmas message last year, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, described Jesus as a “Palestinian messenger.” In the same month, the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who had described Jesus as “Palestine’s first martyr,” said that Jesus was “the first Palestinian after the Canaanite Palestinians.”

While Jesus is represented as a Palestinian Arab, the Jewish people of today are apparently not Jews at all. As Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor in Bethlehem, said in 2010: “I’m sure if we were to do a DNA test between David, who was a Bethlehemite, and Jesus, born in Bethlehem, and Mitri, born just across the street from where Jesus was born, I’m sure the DNA will show that there is a trace. While, if you put King David, Jesus, and Netanyahu [together], you will get nothing, because Netanyahu comes from an East European tribe [the Khazars] who converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages.”

In a similar vein, Jewish statelessness has been turned into a theological invented imperative by those using the Bible originating from the Jews themselves to delegitimize Israel!

Increasingly, such claims are making inroads into Western churches, whose hostility toward Israel has long been fueled by their relationship with churches in Arab countries. This hostility has been heavily influenced by the World Council of Churches (WCC), which was founded in 1948, within months of Israel’s own founding. As a result, the WCC hardly ever mentions the persecution of Christians around the world. Instead, it displays an institutionalized obsession with demonizing Israel.

There have been repeated attempts to get these churches to withdraw their investments from companies connected to Israel. In 2005, the Virginia and New England conferences of the United Methodist Church passed resolutions calling for divestment. In 2004, a divestment resolution singling out Israel as a target was passed by the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). That resolution also claimed that Israel’s “occupation” had “proven to be at the root of evil acts committed against innocent people on both sides of the conflict.”

Although the Presbyterians subsequently rescinded their policy of singling out Israel as a target for divestment, in 2012 they voted for boycotting products manufactured in the West Bank.

As for the Church of England, Canon Andrew White, formerly the archbishop of Canterbury’s envoy to the Middle East and now the vicar of Baghdad, is a Christian Zionist. According to White, Palestinian-influenced replacement theology has now gone viral within the Church of England. The biblical God is viewed as the God of the oppressed; the Palestinians are the oppressed; and the Church must therefore fight for justice against their oppressor, the Jews, so the Palestinians can enter their promised land. This analysis, says White, in which politics and theology thus became inextricably intertwined, has influenced entire denominations, the majority of Christian-pilgrimage companies, and many of the major mission and aid organizations.

This shows breathtaking disregard for the facts. Located a few minutes’ drive down the road from Jerusalem, Bethlehem was once predominantly Christian. In 1948, some 80 percent of its population was Christian; now, with the Arab take-over, it is estimated at between 20 and 40 percent. According to Justus Weiner, a legal scholar at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the number of Christians in Bethlehem declined precipitously under Jordanian occupation from 1949 to 1967, when thousands of Muslims were settled in the town.

“Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human-rights abuses by Muslims,” Weiner has written. “There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are directly responsible for many of the human-rights violations. The situation of these Christians has become grim.”

The one place in the Middle East where Christians are safe and are thriving is Israel. According to Merkley, the Christian population of Israel rose sixfold from about 34,000 in 1948 to nearly 180,000 in 1998. It is the only country in the Middle East where, over the last half century, the number of Christians has grown in absolute numbers and has remained stable as a proportion of the whole population. Everywhere else Christian populations are in decline, in many cases precipitously.

This scapegoating of Israel is all the more astonishing considering the persecution of Christians at the hands of Islam. According to Open Doors, a nondenominational Christian group, about 100 million Christians are currently being persecuted around the world in more than 65 countries. Of the top 10 countries on the list—North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen, and Eritrea—eight are majority-Muslim states threatened by what Open Doors called Islamic extremism.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians have been attacked, murdered, and driven out. In Syria, whole towns have been emptied of their Christian populations. In December 2013, at least 1,000 Christians were killed in clashes with Muslims in the Central African Republic. “They are slaughtering us like chickens,” one Christian said. In the same year, seven Christian churches were torched by Muslims in Russia.

In February 2014, jihadists bombed churches in Zanzibar for being “dens of non-believers.” In March 2014, members of Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militia publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin after discovering they were Christians. The same month in Nigeria, more than 150 Christians were butchered in a massacre in Kaduna, one of innumerable attacks on Christians there. In Sudan, Christians have been hacked to death for refusing to convert to Islam or burned alive inside their churches. In Eritrea, more than 3,000 Christians are in jail. There are innumerable similar instances. Yet on all this carnage among their own flock, the churches are almost totally silent.

There are two main reasons that progressive Protestant churches have adopted an anti-Israel narrative. The first is the hemorrhaging of their base. Churches that were once in the forefront of social reform in both America and Britain have seen their influence dwindle along with their congregations. Championing the “poor and oppressed” Palestinians seems to offer a significant role in the national conversation.

The second reason is the eclipse of faith among the progressive clergy. Increasingly unwilling or unable to preach the literal truth of scripture, they have turned themselves into campaigners for the poor and oppressed.

Now there is an even more alarming development. The latest Christians to succumb to this delegitimization of Israel and the return of replacement theology are among the evangelicals, the very bedrock of Christian Zionism.

Sweeping Jews out of the land of Israel also means sweeping them out of their own history.

Hand in hand with Christian Palestinianism has come the steady Islamization of the Church. Increasingly ignoring its Jewish roots, the Church has reached out instead to Islam. In a paper published in 2007, Margaret Brearley, a British scholar of interfaith relations and former adviser to the archbishop of Canterbury, wrote that Anglicanism as a whole seemed to be gradually uprooting itself from its Judaic heritage. It was no longer normative for Anglican clergy to know Hebrew, and, if clergy studied another religion at theological college, it was now more likely to be Islam than Judaism.

The essential problem, says Canon Andrew White, is the lack of will in the church to face the difference between Judaism and Islam. “They don’t want to recognize that their faith comes from Judaism,” he said. “They talk instead of the ‘children of Abraham’ as if we are all in it together. The reality is, however, that although Islam and Judaism have a lot in common in terms of customs, they are as far apart as Christianity is from heathenism.”

As a result, the Church of England is conniving at an obnoxious historical revisionism. Muslims claim not only that they inhabited the land of Israel before the Jews but also that Islam was somehow the real Judaism before the Jews corrupted their own religion. The Koran says Islam came before Judaism and Christianity, and was the faith practiced by Abraham, who was a Muslim (3:67–68). It refers to Islam as the religion of Abraham many times (2:130, 135; 3:95; 4:125; 6:161).

This failure to address the theological roots of Christian anti-Jewish prejudice left the Protestant churches open to the politically opportunistic and revisionist Palestinian application of the doctrine and its use as a weapon against the State of Israel.

As Christians are murdered by Islamists across the world, some of their churches are directing their passions elsewhere. They are busily rewriting history, constructing a theology out of gross political distortion and lining up once again with historic forces of unfathomable darkness. It is not just the State of Israel that is being threatened as a result. Stamping upon its parent, the Church is embracing its own assassin—and the West’s nemesis.

About the Author
Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (London) and the author of The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (Encounter)
.

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Redacted from an extensive and instructive article:
Shavou’ot (Pentecost) – Guide for the Perplexed, 2014
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger
May 30, 2014

It has been customary to pave the road to the holiday of Shavou’ot – from the holiday of Passover – by studying the six chapters of The Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkey Avot in Hebrew) which is one of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah (the Oral Torah) – a compilation of common sense principles, ethical and moral teachings and underlying inter-personal relationships.

For example:
*”Who is respected? He who respects other persons!”
*”Who is a wise person? He who listens to other persons!”
*”Who is wealthy? He who is satisfied with his own share!”
*”Who is a hero? He who controls his urge!”
*”Talk sparsely and walk plenty;”
*”If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
*”Don’t be consumed with the flask, but with its content.”
*Conditional love is tenuous; unconditional love is eternal.”
*”Treat every person politely.”
*”Jealousy, lust and the obsession with fame warp one’s mind.”

Thus, the 49 days between Passover and Shavou’ot are dedicated to enhancing one’s behavior, following in the footsteps of the Jews, who forged/enhanced their own national character during the 40 years from the Exodus until their return to the Land of Israel.

Shavou’ot commemorates the receipt of the Torah, and its 613 statutes – an annual reminder of critical values which shape faith and human relationships. The Torah was received in the desert, on Mount Sinai which is not a dominating mountain, highlighting humility/modesty, the most critical values of human relationships and leadership. Humility/modesty characterized Moses, the exceptional law-giver and leader, who earned only one compliment by the Torah: “the humblest of all human beings.” Abraham (אברהם), King David (דוד) and Moses (משה) are role models of humility. Their Hebrew acronym (Adam – אדמ) means “human-being,” and is the root of the Hebrew word for “soil” (אדמה).

Shavou’ot reflects the 3,500 year old trilateral linkage between the Land of Israel (pursued by Abraham), the Torah of Israel (transmitted through Moses) and the People of Israel (united by David). According to King Solomon, “the triangular cord cannot be broken!” The Torah of Israel forged and enhanced the character of the People of Israel, and both have been nurtured by the Land of Israel – a unique territorial/spiritual platform. Shavou’ot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from the liberation of the People of Israel (the Exodus) to their spiritual liberation/enhancement through the Torah or Israel, in preparation for the return to the Land of Israel.

Shavou’ot is celebrated by decorating homes and synagogues/temples with Land of Israel-related crops and flowers.

Shavou’ot (Pentecost) was, originally, an agricultural holiday, celebrating the first harvest/fruit by bringing offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Following the destruction of the second Temple and the exile in 70 AD – which intensified the need to entrench Torah awareness in order to avoid spiritual and physical oblivion – Shavou’ot became a Torah-driven historical/religious holiday.

The Torah played a key role in shaping the US Constitution and the American culture, as well as the foundations of Western democracies.

Shavou’ot sheds light on the unique covenant between the Jewish State and the USA: Judeo-Christian Values. These values impacted the world view of the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances, the abolitionist movement, etc.

John Locke wanted the 613 Laws of Moses to become the legal foundation of the new society established in America. Lincoln’s famous 1863 quote – “government of the people, by the people, for the people” – paraphrased a statement made by the 14th century British philosopher and translator of the Bible, John Wycliffe: “The Bible is a book of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Shavou’ot and have a pleasant weekend,

Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem
Based on Jewish Sages, May 30, 2014, http://bit.ly/1kriyES

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II Video of Pope placing personal note at Western Wall

Pope Francis Lashes Out at Nazi Murderers During Yad Vashem Visit

By: Hana Levi Julian
May 26th, 2014

Pope Francis has had a busy day so far in the ancient Old City of Jerusalem.

He began his day on the Temple Mount, in the Al Aqsa Mosque, visiting with the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Waqf Islamic Authority. The pontiff was quoted as telling both, “May we work together for justice and peace.”

Given the violence that has emanated week after week from that quarter towards Christians and Jews alike, that would seem to be a tall order. There is no information about the response of the Arab officials to the Pope’s comments at the mosque. On the first leg of his journey to the Holy Land, yesterday, he made an unscheduled stop at the separation barrier that was built by Israel to prevent suicide bombers from infiltrating and murdering citizens in areas of the country that were under the government’s control prior to 1967.

The Pope was then led to Judaism’s holiest site for prayer by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. The Kotel (Western Wall) had been cleared of visitors for security reasons earlier by police. The pontiff bowed his head in prayer with his hand on the ancient stones. He followed those silent moments of communion with the Creator by placing a note in the Wall — an ancient tradition observed by nearly everyone who comes to the Wall — and embraced close Jewish and Muslim friends with him.

Francis met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres and made a quick visit to the Mt. Herzl cemetery where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the ‘father of Zionism,’ Theodore Herzl. He then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in a moving ceremony where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and greeted six Holocaust survivors. There the pontiff questioned the role of G-d in the slaughter of the millions of victims murdered by the Nazis.

“The Father knew the risk of freedom, he knew that His children could be lost, yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss,” he reflected. Having lit the memorial light in the center just minutes before, he compared the Nazi Holocaust to idolatry, and standing before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a survivor, lashed out against the murderers.

“Who convinced you that you were G-d? Not only did you torture and kill your brothers and sisters, but you sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god. Today, in this place, we hear once more the voice of G-d: ‘Adam, where are you?’ Hear “L-rd and have mercy,” Francis prayed. “We have sinned against You. You reign for ever.”

The Pope also received from Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev a reproduction of a painting of a Chossid engrossed in prayer created in the Lodz ghetto by a teenage victim of the Holocaust.

He is expected to celebrate Mass at the Cenacle, the upper room in the complex where some believe the tomb of the Biblical King David is located – and where Christians believe the Last Supper took place, sometime before leaving to return to the Vatican in the afternoon hours.

There have been protests against the Pope’s visit to various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem by both Muslim and Jewish groups, both saying the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church is intent on defiling their respective holy places of worship. (Always something for someone to complain about)

Hana Levi Julian Former Jewish Press columnist and senior correspondent and editor at Arutz-7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and numerous other media outlets.

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By Michael Freund
The Jerusalem Post
May 20, 2014

After several exasperating decades, one of the thorniest and most painful issues on Israel’s public agenda may at last be heading toward a resolution. In a move underlining the national consensus regarding the Temple Mount, Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Hilik Bar have reached across the aisle to prepare a joint bill that would allow Jews to pray at the nation’s holiest site.

The proposed law, which is slated to be submitted soon to the Knesset for approval, would right one of the most glaring wrongs on Israel’s human rights record. It would end discrimination against Jews who wish to commune with their Creator on the Mount without fear of arrest.

Don’t believe the media’s attempts to paint this bill as “controversial.” The only thing controversial about it is that there is a need for such a bill in the first place. Incredibly, despite Supreme Court rulings upholding the right of Jews to freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, the police have never — not once! — allowed this right to be exercised.

Instead, Jews who visit the Mount are subjected to humiliating restrictions designed to ensure that they do not pray. These include prohibitions on silently moving one’s lips, lest one clandestinely try to beseech God, or even bringing a Bible or prayer book to the site.

In recent months, several US congressmen visiting Israel under the auspices of the Yes to a Strong Israel organization headed by the indefatigable Ruthie Lieberman have witnessed this discrimination firsthand.

Indeed, just last week, Rep. Andrew Harris (R-Maryland) and Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), toured the site accompanied by the Temple Institute’s Rabbi Chaim Richman. Speaking afterwards to reporters, Harris said, “I’m actually surprised that access is so limited and especially [by] the discrimination against Jews above any other religion in visits to the Temple Mount. It surprises me as an American, believing in religious freedom, that such conditions would exist.”

And yet they do, despite Israel’s ostensible commitment to freedom of worship.

In a scandalous act of submissiveness, the government has allowed the extremist Muslim Wakf to call the shots on the Temple Mount, where it thumbs its nose at Israel and its laws and denies Jews their basic rights.

But hopefully, that is about to change.

As Labor MK Hilik Bar, a solidly left-wing parliamentarian, put it: “I believe that coexistence between Arabs and Jews begins with full equality also on the Temple Mount.” Bar added that, “The Muslims must understand that we too have a right to prayer there. If someone on the Left has complaints against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, it will be difficult for him tomorrow to speak out against harming the rights of other nations.”

Bar is absolutely correct, and he and Regev are to be commended for their bold stand on behalf of Jewish rights.

The situation has simply become intolerable and Knesset action is long overdue.

To fully appreciate the absurdity of the police’s behavior, consider the case of activist Yehuda Glick, who has dedicated his life to educating the public about the Temple Mount. For years, Glick has taken countless groups to the site, explaining its history and significance.

A few months ago, the police informed him out of the blue that they were banning him from ascending the Mount, without explaining the reasons behind their decision. Glick’s numerous attempts to clarify why the police were hitting him with this draconian and decidedly undemocratic measure were met with stony silence.

So he launched an audacious hunger strike, which has stretched to over 50 days, seeking to get his fundamental civil right to visit the Mount restored, or at least to force the police to provide an explanation so that he can counter whatever allegations might exist against him.

This is no way for any self-respecting democracy to be acting. Government exists to protect the rights of the people, not to thwart them, and it is about time that Israel stopped preventing Jews from engaging in public worship on the Temple Mount.

This issue has nothing to do with extremism and everything to do with basic questions of liberty and freedom. The fact of the matter is that Jews and Muslims both pray at the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet outside Jerusalem, and at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. There is no reason why they cannot do so at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem too.

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Obamacare Myth-Making

Five phony success stories.

By Jay Cost
The Weekly Standard
May 19, 2014

With enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges now closed, Democrats and their friends in the media are ebullient. Obamacare is an enormous success, they say, and conservatives have been humiliated. On closer inspection, however, things seem decidedly less bullish for President Obama’s signature achievement.

Among the many exaggerations and inaccuracies the law’s defenders are touting, five stand out.

• First, they say that premium rates are down. In support of this, liberals cite research from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), but they misinterpret it. In fact, the CBO’s most recent estimate of premiums shows a decline not from what they were in 2013, before the implementation of Obamacare, but rather from what CBO estimated they would be in 2014. Studies from many outlets have shown that rates have gone up since 2013, substantially for many people.

This is no mystery. Obamacare basically outlawed insurance underwriting, so rates must go up as healthy people pay the price for the sick. Insurers, moreover, have also increased deductibles and co-pays and narrowed doctor networks and drug formularies.

• Second, supporters claim that Obamacare exceeded the enrollment target promulgated by the CBO. This is questionable. The CBO last year projected 7 million enrollees, and the Obama administration now gloats that 8 million people selected a plan in the exchanges. But not everybody who selected a plan will pay for it. The best estimate right now is that about 15 percent of initial enrollees are not paying their first premiums. If that holds, paid enrollment will come in slightly under CBO’s 2013 prediction.

But there is more. CBO downgraded its forecast earlier this year from 7 million to 6 million, and this month declined to update it even after the “surge” of last-minute enrollees began. The reason: The prediction is an annual average. By this metric, Obamacare will struggle to hit 6 million, with enrollment so weak in the first quarter.

• Third, liberals claim that insurers are happy, pointing to recent earnings reports from the biggest companies. But this is a non sequitur. The insurers have become clients of government. Federal subsidies to exchange insurers this year will hit approximately $10 billion, thanks to a program called “reinsurance” that reimburses Obamacare exchange enrollees for excessive claims. As a point of reference, $10 billion just about equals the combined profits of the top five insurers in 2013. Moreover, the total subsidy could go even higher, thanks to another feature of Obamacare known as “risk corridors.” Insurers on the exchanges are enjoying private profits and socialized losses. Who wouldn’t be happy? What will really matter is how insurers feel in 2017, when reinsurance and risk corridors expire and the exchanges must stand on their own.

Fourth, liberals claim the law is “working.” This omits the dozens of provisions that the president has suspended or delayed because they were not working—for budgetary or political reasons. The suspended or postponed provisions include the mandate that businesses cover full-time employees, the cancellation of noncompliant plans, and cuts to Medicare Advantage.

In fact, what is working is a very narrow segment of the law, the most politically salable part: the distribution of tax credits so people with low incomes can buy heavily subsidized insurance coverage. To say the law is working is like saying you “ate your dinner” when you gulped down your dessert and skipped the veggies. Just as your mother said you could not have one without the other, so the popular provisions of Obamacare are linked to the unpopular ones. Sooner or later, the administration will have to enforce the law—or watch a vast array of unintended side effects disrupt the national health care system.

Fifth, the left assures us Obamacare cannot be repealed. This is particularly rich, considering all the provisions the administration itself has effectively repealed when it found them inconvenient.

Irony aside, Obamacare’s future is still very much in doubt. Whereas Medicare and Social Security were designed to benefit everybody sooner or later, Obamacare creates vast classes of winners and losers. It is to the losers that many of the suspensions are directed. But the losers will eventually have to suffer the harm that Obamacare is set to deliver. And that creates the political space for repeal.

Imagine Republicans win the presidency and a congressional majority in 2016. Does anybody doubt they will go after Obamacare with every tool available? If they do, parts of the law will surely survive, but the finished product will be so different from what exists now that Democrats will bemoan Obamacare’s “repeal.”

The funny thing is that, for all the myth-making about Obamacare, the left still cannot sell it to the American public. Even after a month of glowing coverage, polls from the major media outlets show that support for the law is basically flat, stuck in the low 40s, well below the level of opposition.

Jay Cost is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.

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By Steve K. Walz
The Jewish Press
May 14th, 2014

JERUSALEM – Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen sentenced former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday morning to six years in jail on bribery charges stemming from his conviction in the Jerusalem Holyland real estate scandal during his tenure as Jerusalem mayor. Rozen also slapped Olmert with a fine of $290,000 (one million shekels) and ordered local authorities to seize another $150,000 in funds that Olmert procured as part of the Israel bribery case.

While Olmert defiantly maintained his innocence and his legal team vowed to appeal his sentence to the Supreme Court, Israeli legal experts and media commentators said that Olmert’s chances of avoiding jail time, which could begin as early as July, were almost nil.

Rozen excoriated Olmert for his claim of ignorance that the $150,000 (500,000 shekels) he received from Shmuel Dechner, the deceased businessmen turned state’s witness, was not a bribe. While praising Olmert as a “talented man who made significant contributions to the country” during his political career, the judge said that it was impossible for him to ignore what transpired during the Israel scandal. He found Olmert guilty of “moral turpitude,” essentially ending his chances for a political comeback. “Those who give bribes are corrupt, but those who receive it inspire disgrace and cause the public to lose faith in the state. A public servant who accepts bribes is akin to a traitor,” declared Rozen.

This is the first time in Israel’s history that a former prime minister has been convicted of a serious crime and sentenced to serve time behind bars. Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav is currently serving a jail term for rape and other moral offenses committed during his political career.

Rozen’s conviction of Olmert last month sent shockwaves throughout the political establishment, which has been tarnished in recent years by a growing number of scandals. After Olmert’s conviction, Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, who was fighting a series of bribery and corruption charges that could have sent him to jail for at least as long as Olmert, entered into a plea bargain last week with the state prosecutor. His plea deal will end his political career and reduce his jail sentence to about one year.

Other central figures in the Israel scandal — including former Bank Hapoalim chairman Danny Dankner; Israel complex owner Hillel Cherney; a “Israel Park” company founder, Avigdor Kellner; Jerusalem’s former chief engineer Uri Sheetrit; and Jerusalem’s former deputy mayor Eli Simhayoff – were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to seven years. They were also ordered to pay substantial fines.

Olmert’s former personal secretary, Shula Zaken, who turned state’s witness at the last moment, is expected to be given an 11-month jail sentence at a hearing next month. Former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, also convicted in the case, is reportedly in poor health and thus may have his sentence reduced.

Olmert’s problems could be compounded if the Israel Police recommend that the state indict him in the coming days for obstruction of justice in the Holyland case. Recorded conversations and testimony provided by Zaken and other persons of interest allege that Olmert tried to convince Zaken not to cooperate with the prosecution and that the former prime minister offered the services of top attorneys to defend her in court.

II The Olmert Affair And Unforeseen Events

Redacted from Jewish Press Editorial
May 14th, 2014

(And … Hashem, once again, came down on the side of the Jews preventing their insane leadership and their uninformed, ignorant supposed allies from destroying Israel and the remnants of the Jewish people) jsk

… Mr. Olmert was convicted of taking money to ease the way for the development of the widely unpopular Israel apartment complex in southern Jerusalem, and at his sentencing this week Judge David Rozen characterized Mr. Olmert’s actions as part of a culture of corruption in Israel that “must be uprooted.

We can’t help but note an intriguing political aspect to the Olmert story beyond the pervasive illegality it points to.

When accusations of bribery against Mr. Olmert first surfaced in 2009, he promptly announced he would resign the office of prime minister, which he’d assumed in 2006. At the time of his resignation he was deeply involved in negotiations with the Palestinians and reportedly was offering, among other concessions, to relinquish Israeli control of Jerusalem’s Old City and nearby areas and surrender large swaths of settlement areas beyond the Green Line.

Typically, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not go along even with those far-reaching offers. Mr. Olmert’s successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, abandoned key parts of Mr. Olmert’s plan, much to the consternation of Mr. Abbas, who’d envisioned the Olmert concessions as a floor rather than a ceiling for future negotiations.

Mr. Olmert apparently had no problem with Mr. Abbas’s intransigence and in fact acknowledged in 2011 that he’d been very close to a deal with Mr. Abbas when he found himself engulfed by the burgeoning scandal on the home front.

There is an interesting parallel here with the timing and details of another political scandal. In January 1998 President Bill Clinton was in the midst of a major effort to revive the foundering peace process based on the 1993 Oslo Accords. Both PA Chairman Yasir Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu were in Washington late that month for meetings with U.S. officials. The Clinton administration was prepared to ratchet up the pressure on Israel to make significant withdrawals from the West Bank and cease further settlement construction.

President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made no effort to hide their frustration with Mr. Netanyahu. In fact, the Israeli prime minister was denied the traditional lunch and joint news conference at the White House.

Mr. Clinton reportedly came down hard on Prime Minister Netanyahu at their meeting, as had been expected. But that meeting took place just before news broke of President Clinton’s relationship with young White House intern Monica Lewinsky. That story quickly overshadowed Mr. Clinton’s meetings with Messrs. Netanyahu and Arafat. Suddenly the president had a lot more than Middle East politics to occupy his attention.

Once again unforeseen events (read: divine intervention) made mockery of the plans of men. Coincidence? We’ll leave that for our readers to decide.

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Redacted from an article
By Steven Emerson, Executive Director
Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) News
May 7, 2014

Imam Pushing to Sanitize 9/11 Museum’s Al-Qaida Film
Slurs Jews

A Muslim religious leader who helped spearhead a push to get the National September 11 Memorial Museum to censor references to Islam in a short film about al-Qaida has said Jews “killed the Prophets and Messengers” and are a “cancer … in every generation as they get in power.”

Mustafa Elazabawy, imam at Masjid Manhattan, made the remarks in a December 2008 khutbah, or sermon, called “Children of Israel.” A recording of the sermon remains on the mosque’s website.

Elazabawy wrote a letter to museum leadership last month, complaining that the 6-minute film about al-Qaida’s rise “would greatly offend our local Muslim believers as well as any foreign Muslim visitor to the museum,” if it is not changed. “Unsophisticated visitors who do not understand the difference between Al Qaeda and Muslims may come away with a prejudiced view of Islam, leading to antagonism and even confrontation toward Muslim believers near the site.”

He also joined in a follow-up complaint sent to museum Director Alice Greenwald on behalf of New York Disaster Interfaith Services’ advisory group. Critics have taken issue with the film’s references to “jihad” and the hijackers’ Islamist ideology. “‘If generalized labels are needed, we suggest using specific terms such aAl Qaeda-inspired terrorism,’ the letter from the Interfaith Services group said.

Similar complaints were issued by Islamist groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The museum is scheduled to open in two weeks. Thus far, officials have indicated they do not plan to make changes to the film.

Elazabawy’s demands for interfaith sensitivity were absent during the 2008 sermon, which came during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead incursion into Gaza aimed at curbing Hamas rocket-fire toward civilian communities in Israel. He emphasized a series of Quranic verses depicting Jews as mischievous and corrupt.

“And after the mischievement (sic), they will seem arrogant,” Elazabawy explained after reading one verse. “‘We are the powerful. We are the most powerful people. We could defeat whomever we need.’ Arrogance actually came from the shaytan [devil] all the time.”

Later, he seemed to blame Jews for the war in Afghanistan.

“What they did, if you remember my brothers, the war in Afghanistan, behind that, the war is exactly the state of violence. They went in that land after Allah give the victory for the people of Afghanistan against Russia, they came because they don’t want anybody to have power, except them … and they bring all their allies to Iraq to finish Iraq, return Iraq, 100 years back. Why? Because Iraq used to be number four in power. They don’t want anybody in power. And they use the hypocrites of the Muslims to help them, and the Muslim follow them, because they control the money, they control the weapons, they do everything.”

Jews were spreading mischief in Egypt, Sudan and Somalia, he said.

“They are cancer in everywhere, in every generation as they get in power. People turn their face, and they know they are tyrants, they know they are oppressors. They know that they kill the children of Muslim[s] all the time. But everybody permits it because they controlling the money and the position in the whole entire world.”

At another point, Elazabawy said it wasn’t Jews that he opposed, but “the state of violence … that will kill even the Yahud [Jew].”

The rare Jews Elazabawy embraces are radical orthodox Jews who see Zionism, the belief in a Jewish homeland, as sacrilegious. Two months after delivering this sermon, Elazabawy joined Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss at a City College panel discussion in New York. Weiss leads Neturei Karta, which opposes Israel’s existence. Zionism, Weiss said that night, “is rooted in blasphemy, in, in a rebellion against God. But the whole concept of having a piece of land happens to be, in the teachings of the Torah, forbidden.”

In his khutbah two months earlier, however, Elazabawy said Jews rejected the prophet “because he came from the Arab and he did not come from them, what they said? They declare a war from the first day and hatred against Islam.” And in a world in which baseless anti-Semitic conspiracy theories like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion continue to circulate, Elazabawy told worshipers a story so grotesque it cannot be found on Internet trash sites.

During the Six Day War, then-Israeli military leaders Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon would butcher pregnant Palestinian women for sport, Elazabawy said:

“They kill our children. It’s halal [kosher] for them. It is a hero. It is a victory … Begin and Sharon in 1967, they used to bring the Palestinian women, pregnant Palestinian women. They used to bet between both of them is it son or girl, boy or girl, between Sharon and Begin. And then after all what they did, they killed with a knife, and they opened the belly of the woman to find out if there is a boy or there is a girl. If they found it’s a boy, they killed the boy and they leave it exactly the same what Pharaoh did with them before.”

It is a disgusting canard. Had it any legitimacy, it would be widely reported and invoked incessantly. But Elazabawy wasn’t interested in facts that day. And this is the faith leader who is admonishing the National September 11 Memorial Museum about language in a film about al-Qaida that is accurate.

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I Climate change affecting every region of US, new White House report finds

II http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8426 – A previous issue of Israel Commentary from Weekly Standard 1/27/2014
Global warming, a Surplus of Hot Air and the farce of Chinese involvement

I By Laura Barron-Lopez
The Hill
05/06/14 09:08 AM

A new White House report released Tuesday concludes that human-generated climate change is having dramatic effects on every part of the nation. The National Climate Assessment, which the administration touted as the most comprehensive look yet at global warming in the U.S., concludes that climate change is raising temperatures, making water more scarce and wildfires more common.

It said climate change has “moved firmly into the present” for the U.S., underscoring the need for urgent action to combat threats.“Americans are noticing changes all around them,” the report states. “Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer.” The report adds that coastal residents are seeing “more dramatic” changes with the increase of flooding. “Observations unequivocally show that climate is changing and that the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat trapping gases,” the report states.

(All the above statements, in a court of law or an honest scientific investigation, would not dare be presented. They are the most obvious of heresy evidence that would be discounted by the judge and any legitimate scientific investigator. They are not even attributed to anyone but the White House – hardly a reliable witness!) jsk

President Obama, who has made combatting climate change a central part of his second term, plans extensive outreach on Tuesday to spread the findings of the report.

Obama plans to conduct one-on-one interviews with national and local TV meteorologists Tuesday, in what some have called a new strategy for the administration to communicate his climate agenda.

Obama’s administration is pursuing new rules on carbon-emitting coal-powered plants as part of an effort to tackle climate change. The administration also recently punted a decision on building the Keystone XL pipeline, which environmental groups argue would significantly add to climate change.

Skeptics called the report another “scare tactic” by the administration. Many contend there is far from a consensus among U.S. scientists that the globe is in fact warming, arguing that the temperature changes have continually occurred throughout the last century.

“Facing a recovering, yet fragile, economy, with families across the country struggling to make ends meet, it is concerning that the Obama Administration is busy promoting its politically driven climate change agenda, instead of addressing the real issues plaguing our nation,” said Laura Sheehan, of the American Coalition for Clean Coal.

Critics of the Obama’s climate agenda argue that rather than pressing action on cutting emissions overseas, the administration should visit U.S. communities being impacted by the “costly regulations” on power plants it is working to finalize.

The highly publicized report comes on the heels of the United Nations global climate change report, which offered similar conclusions for the planet.

The new report includes research and evidence from 13 federal agencies. It found the average temperature in the U.S. has increased by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit, coming in at 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895.

A majority of that increase took place since 1970, the report states. And the most recent decade was the nation’s hottest on record, with 2012 being the hottest year on record in the U.S.

The change in climate in the last 50 years, the report concludes, is a result of human activities, mainly from the burning of fossil-fuel energy sources.

The report breaks the U.S. into seven regions, detailing specific climate changes in each.

It said climate change is leading to drought in the Southwest, greater heat waves and precipitation in the Northeast, and lower crop yields as a result of rising carbon dioxide in the Midwest.

II http://israel-commentary.org/?p=8426

Global warming, a Surplus of Hot Air and the farce of Chinese involvement
Read More About: Global warming remains little more than a cudgel to advance a left-wing political program. Any cure for the problem will be worse than the disease.

President Obama just spent a whole lot of time in his speech addressing a problem described below that does not even exist and upon which he has already wasted billions of tax payer dollars in his rush to destroy this great country. That is his primary objective. Wake up America. jsk

A Surplus of Hot Air
THE Weekly Standard JAN 27, 2014
Redacted from editorial BY THE SCRAPBOOK

The political debate over what to do about global warming rages on, largely because liberals refuse to have an honest discussion about their plans to deal with it. The heart of their every proposed “solution” to climate change is a radical economic program that would threaten the livelihood and well-being of millions, based on computer models of dubious accuracy trying to project weather patterns decades into the future. Via Bloomberg News, last week we got an unsettling glimpse into just how extreme the economic plans of the climate commissars really are:

China, the top emitter of greenhouse gases, is also the country that’s “doing it right” when it comes to addressing global warming, the United Nations’ chief climate official said, “They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.” China is also able to implement policies because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S., Figueres said.

In other words, if international bureaucrats could impose economic restrictions and reduce energy production by fiat, we’d be well on our way to healing the planet. Of course, the Communist party in China comprises only a small minority of the Chinese people, and the idea that they do anything because it’s in the “national interest” is laughable. China’s ruling party only cares about enriching themselves and holding on to power, which is why their exploitative and repressive economic program has resulted in environmental calamities on a colossal scale.

About half a billion Chinese lack access to safe drinking water and 99 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air that would be considered unsafe by EU pollution standards. But because the Communist party is paying lip service to a renewable energy program, U.N. officials are falling all over themselves to uphold the country as an environmental model.

So long as concern over global warming remains little more than a cudgel to advance a left-wing political program, any cure for the problem will be worse than the disease. Of course, there’s also ample evidence that the dangers of global warming have been overhyped — to the point where credulous people are increasingly willing to sacrifice anything precious on the altar of environmentalism.

Rolling Stone recently received widespread and well-deserved mockery for an idiotic article titled “5 Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” Said reforms were all essentially tenets of communism, including “guaranteed work” and the abolition of private property. When the writer, Jesse A. Myerson, was challenged about his retrograde views, his response on Twitter was curious: “If I have to answer for Soviet gulags, these market/capital twits have to answer for climate collapse, the greatest genocide in history.”

Well, so far the global warming death count is hypothetical, unlike the tens of millions actually killed by Mao and his henchmen and the Soviet terror. And not to forget, China is currently the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases. Whether you care about global warming or humanity, it’s pretty easy to conclude that communism is certainly not the answer.

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BY WILLIAM KRISTOL, Editor
The Weekly Standard
APR 28, 2014, VOL. 19, NO. 31

Polls are overrated, but they can be still instructive. So what’s to be learned from a Fox News survey of 1,012 registered voters conducted April 13-15?

Republicans are in pretty good shape for this fall. President Obama is unpopular. He’s got a 42 percent job approval rating, compared with 51 percent disapproval, and his personal favorable/unfavorable rating isn’t much better at 45/51. The Republican party has gained ground in recent months and is now as well regarded as the Democratic party, with both about even in approval/disapproval. What’s more, other polls show the generic ballot about even (and Republicans almost always outperform the generic ballot on Election Day), and state by state surveys confirm that the Republicans could well win control of the Senate and pick up some additional House seats.

So 2014 looks fine; 2016 doesn’t.

This is despite the fact that Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, has only a 49-45 favorable rating in the Fox poll, down from 56-38 last June. This result (and similar findings in other surveys) suggests she’s not an unbeatable candidate. When Barack Obama won the last open-seat presidential race in 2008, his favorable rating in the Fox poll on Election Day was 57-39. So 49-45 isn’t daunting.

But it’s good enough to beat any of the Republican candidates tested in the Fox News poll. In fact, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz all have net unfavorable ratings. And so Clinton beats them all by at least eight points. Other surveys also have Clinton defeating various possible Republican nominees quite easily.

At the moment, then, Republicans seem likely to win in 2014 and to lose in 2016. The good news is that the 2014 election comes first, and the Democrats don’t seem to have much chance to change this year’s dynamic. Republicans do have the time and opportunity to change the dynamic of 2016. The bad news is the most likely Republican presidential candidates seem to have little inkling of how to do so. An ever more intensive clobbering of Hillary Clinton will reach a point of diminishing returns. It’s quite possible, even likely, that a majority of Americans will be unenthusiastic by November 2016 about the prospect of a Clinton presidency. But it seems very unlikely that critics will succeed in disqualifying her, in the eyes of a majority of voters, as a potential president.

Which means a Republican is actually going to have to win the presidency in 2016.

It’s been a long time since a non-incumbent Republican has actually won a presidential election. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote. In 1988, Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater succeeded in demolishing Michael Dukakis, and George H. W. Bush was able to secure what was in effect Ronald Reagan’s third term. In 1980, Ronald Reagan ran against a deeply unpopular incumbent, and in 1968 Richard Nixon defeated the incumbent vice president of a failed Democratic administration. In 1952, Americans liked Ike. But…

We don’t have another Ike. Probably the best model for 2016 is Reagan in 1980. In addition to benefiting from Jimmy Carter’s problems, Reagan did run on a big and bold governing agenda at a time the country sensed it needed one.

Do Republicans have such an agenda today? Not yet. Do they have candidates who are in search of such an agenda? Not clear. It’s not merely, as is often said, that the Republican presidential field lacks a Reagan. It’s that the Republican party seems to lack leaders who even want to be a Reagan. Reagan was a full-spectrum conservative. But even more important, he was a full-spectrum candidate.

Such a candidate would explain how he would stand up to Vladimir Putin, and he would stand up for Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He would not just offer a critique of Obamacare but would set forth an alternative to it, and he would also be championing alternatives to other features of nanny-state liberalism. He would embody the best impulses of the Tea Party while channeling the sentiments of Middle America. He would seek not to contain Obama-era liberalism but to transcend it, explaining why it should go down as some bizarre chapter in American history whose last pages are even now being written.

Every poll shows the American public, by about two to one, thinks the nation is on the wrong track. That’s the track of contemporary liberalism. It’s the track Hillary Clinton has diligently chugged along for her entire adult life. As president, she’d be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline. The American people deserve better. If given a real choice between an invigorated conservatism and a decadent liberalism, voters might well make the right decision. Will they be given that choice in 2016?

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“Folks, you’re missing the point about Donald Sterling”

By former Congressman Allen West
April 30, 2014

“Upon further review, the ruling on the field (court …” These are the words stated by referees after they’ve gone to the reply booth (monitor) in order to clarify a controversial call. Often, the reason for the review is because of a coach’s challenge. Therefore, in the same light, let us review the case of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?

It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved. Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.

The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.

But have we come to a point in America where being a jerk is grounds for confiscation of a private property? It was Englishman John Locke who first proposed that individual rights as granted under natural law were life, liberty, and property. It was Thomas Jefferson who in the American Declaration of Independence used that paradigm to propose our unalienable rights from our Creator being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sterling’s comments were repulsive, but they were stated in the privacy of his own home — at least he thought it was private.

So where do we go from here?

Have we come to the point that private conversations can be taped and released in the public domain in order to ruin the livelihood — pursuit of happiness — of private citizens? Ms. Stiviano, or whomever, knew exactly what they wanted the end result to be as they released this tape to TMZ.

Is this the “new normal?” Is this a violation of our privacy rights? Ok, so what types of conversations occur in the privacy of the NBA locker rooms, or the homes of the players? Yes, this is indeed a slippery slope as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban asserted.

Fox News host and commentator Greg Gutfeld applauded this moment because of the consensus outrage being displayed. But I believe this outrage misplaced, or more accurately, mis-prioritized. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling’s behavior was “dangerous to the NBA.”

Where is the cultural, public outrage over a behind closed door comment such as referring to the State of Israel as an “apartheid state?” Probably most of America doesn’t know who said it or even what “apartheid” means.

Or how about the outrage that should have come when our own president leaned over to then-Russian President Medvedev saying, “Tell Putin that after my re-election I will have more flexibility” and of course Medvedev said, “I will tell Vladimir.” And now we know what that “flexibility” has allowed.

Aren’t those “private” chats reflective of behavior that is dangerous for the United States?

Or how about the lies and deceit of President Obama on healthcare and of course Benghazi, which we now know a video had nothing to do with.

Has our culture devolved to the point that the private statements of an NBA owner draws more outrage than the lies and deceit of the President of the United States?

Donald Sterling’s behavior is despicable, but so is that of President Barack Hussein Obama — and whose abhorrent behavior has more impact on our country?

The difference is that the media lead us along like sheep to the slaughter, turning us into reactionary, shallow thinking, low information voters along the way. We know more about Sterling than Benghazi — or the IRS scandal.

Sterling is a jerk, an unlikeable fella, but is he guilty of a crime that demands his property be confiscated? Uh, no.

We’re told however that Obama is a likable fella — regardless of the incessant lies, deceit and abject failures. What is happening to American culture and values?

I don’t like jerks, but I really don’t like jerks who are liars, do you?

Allen West

Jsk personal aside: Thank you Congressman Allen West for your enlightening perspective. Please allow me to look at yet another angle. How is it that the media and the whole liberal self righteous proud world including the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the rest of the race hustlers and the many hypocritical owners of the NBA franchises and its new commissioner pile on to the obvious AH, Donald Sterling, with such zeal?

I can’t help but wonder if the whole world would get so upset if someone were caught telling someone, “Those fuckin’ Jews have all the money, they smell, they are dirty and I despise them and I don’t want you bringing them around to my golf club, my house, my restaurant, my hotels and as far as I am personally concerned you can f–k them any time you want.

What would the world, the media, the Jewish organizations do except make a lot of noise? Not a damn thing! And how jealous am I? It is politically incorrect to publicly say anything nasty about “African-Americans” but the Jews have always been fair game for unabashed declared malignant hatred. And no one closes the perpetrator’s business, their property is not confiscated and exorbitant punishment fees are not levied against them.

Of course, that is all not to say that Stirling is anything but an AH but, how are his remarks different from those of every committed Jew hater in the world? I think not. Hurray to the Blacks for making awful remarks about them politically incorrect and punishable by social ostracism for starters.

How about the Jews taking a lesson from the Blacks and shed the shtetl mentalities they garnered in the ghettos of Europe? Make their enemies pay the price for their mindless expressed hatred. Jewish blood is no longer cheap. Ask the enemies of the Israelis.

Jerome S. Kaufman

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Does it stand for Middle East peace or does it seek Israel’s destruction? (Guess!)

Leaders of the effort to boycott, divest from and apply sanctions against Israel — the so-called BDS movement — say they stand for an “end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” “justice in Palestine” and “freedom for the Palestinian people.” But what are the real motives of BDS leaders — do they really want peace between Israel and the Palestinian people?

What are the facts?

While the BDS movement uses highly emotive language in their appeals for support—such as “ending repression” and “Israeli war crimes”—a closer look at the real motives of the movement reveals a more sinister goal.

First, note that the BDS movement focuses only on alleged war crimes and repression by Israel—and ignores real war crimes and tyrannical repression by other Middle Eastern nations and terrorist organizations. When Hamas and Hezbollah target thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian populations in violation of international law, BDS utters not a word of criticism, let alone a call for boycotts or sanctions. When Iran’s government violently crushes peaceful protests and Egypt stifles its press and political opposition with a dictatorial hand, BDS is likewise silent. Why?

By singling out Israel for criticism and economic pressure, BDS employs a double standard—a hypocritical and dishonest tactic frequently used by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hate groups.

The reason, as we’ll see, is that the BDS movement is not really interested in alleged war crimes or repression. Rather its purpose is to delegitimize and then destroy Israel.

The second critical fact about the BDS movement is that while it masquerades behind words like “freedom” and “occupation,” one need only listen closely to its rhetoric to realize that these are code words for the elimination of Israel.

BDS leaders oppose a two-state solution — why? While the United States, Western European powers, Israel and the U.N. Security Council have embraced a “two-state solution” as the basis for peace in the Middle East, BDS leaders, such as Ali Abunimah and Omar Barghouti, are clear: They openly and outspokenly oppose a two-state solution. Why?

Because when BDS supporters talk about “the occupation of Palestine,” they refer not to disputed West Bank territories, but to all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — including all of Israel. When they talk about “freedom,” they don’t mean freedom from security roadblocks, they mean freedom from Jews in their midst. When they talk about “occupation,” they mean not just Israeli security forces in the West Bank, they also mean Israelis “occupying” the state of Israel.

The third telling fact about the BDS movement is that it consistently and vehemently opposes any efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to work in peace and on peace. For example, BDS leaders advocate boycotting cultural exchanges between Israelis and Palestinian artists. They condemn educational cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian universities. Most revealingly, they oppose peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian leadership, calling them “collaborationist.”

BDS is not about “occupation.” In short, BDS is not about peaceful coexistence or ending the “occupation” of the West Bank. Indeed, Omar Barghouti, a graduate student at Tel Aviv University and BDS founder, admits, “If the occupation ends . . . would that end support for BDS? No, it would not.

Not only do BDS leaders admit this, but they implacably support the “return” of nearly five million descendants of Arab refugees who left during Israel’s war of independence in 1947. In fact, most of these Palestinians are not truly refugees — fully 95 percent of them have never set foot in Israel.

Most importantly, the immigration of millions of Arab refugees’ descendants to Israel would make Jews a minority in their own state. As President Obama has correctly noted, “The ‘right of return’ would extinguish Israel as a Jewish State, and that’s not an option.” Yet destroying Israel by flooding it with millions of Palestinians is precisely what BDS leader Barghouti insists upon: “This (the right of return) is something we cannot compromise on.”

BDS’s goal: “Extinguish Israel as a Jewish State.” BDS unequivocally rejects Israel’s many peace offers—including numerous land-for-peace proposals supported by the United States—and rejects Israel’s willingness to sit down to direct peace talks without preconditions.

Thus, the facts make BDS’s intentions clear: Rather than being a movement that seeks peace and freedom, it is a movement motivated by an obsessive hate of Zionism and Jews and opposition to the Jewish State—one bent on fomenting strife, conflict and enmity until Israel is utterly defeated.

If you support peace between Israel and the Palestinians, if you support two states for two peoples—living side by side in cultural, social and economic harmony—please oppose the ill-intentioned BDS movement in your community. Speak out against hateful, one-sided campaigns to boycott Israeli goods, to divest from companies that do business with Israel and to enact sanctions against the state of Israel. This is not the path to peace!

Facts and Logic About the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
Gerardo Joffe, President

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I Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Newsletter
April 24, 2014

II Zionist Org. of America Statement on PA/Hamas Agreement

Israel Government Security Cabinet statement

PM Netanyahu: “Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace.”

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Cabinet today (April 24, 2014), unanimously decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel. Abu Mazen has formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to fight and kill Jews. Hamas has fired more than 10,000 missiles and rockets at Israeli territory and has not halted terrorist actions against Israel even for a minute.”

The agreement between Abu Mazen and Hamas was signed even as Israel is making efforts to advance the negotiations with the Palestinians. It is the direct continuation of the Palestinians’ refusal to advance the negotiations. Only last month Abu Mazen rejected the framework principles proposed by the United States. Abu Mazen has refused to even discuss recognizing Israel as the national state of the Jewish People. He violated existing agreements by unilaterally applying to accede to international treaties and then formed an alliance with Hamas.

U.S. State Dept. –– “Now Israel Can’t Be Expected To Negotiate”

II Zionist Org. of American: U.S. & Israel Must Terminate Relations With Abbas Following Fatah/P.A./Hamas Reconciliation Agreement.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged the Obama Administration and the Israeli government to terminate relations with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA), following its conclusion of a reconciliation agreement with the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas, which controls Gaza. The State Department designates Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Top Hamas official Hassan Yousef announced that the terror group would not renounce its commitment to violence and the destruction of Israel, will not recognize Israel and “will not give up the resistance” [i.e. terrorism against Israelis] Washington Free Beacon, April 23, 2014).

Fatah calls in its Constitution for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an indispensable element in the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19). Fatah terrorists have murdered over 500 Israelis since Yasser Arafat launched his terrorist wave against Israel in September 2000. Hamas calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the worldwide murder of Jews (Article 7), while Hamas terrorists have also murdered over 500 Israelis since September 2000.

Palestinian media outlets are already reporting that Hamas members are set to fill the PA’s ranks, and may even head the new government. Following the announcement of the reconciliation deal, Israel said it would not attend a negotiation session planned for Wednesday evening. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier said Mr. Abbas would have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas, saying, “Does [Abbas] want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other” (‘Hamas and Fatah unveil Palestinian reconciliation deal,’ BBC, April 23, 2014).

In a press briefing, the State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, responded to the news of the reconciliation deal, saying, “it’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist.” Asked if U.S. financial aid to the PA would be a casualty of this move, Psaki replied, “Well, obviously, there would be implications.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said,

“By concluding a reconciliation agreement with Hamas, a movement intent on a genocide of the Jews, Abbas’ Fatah/PA has shown conclusively that it is not only not a peace partner, but an avowed enemy of Jews and the Jewish State. As we have argued for many years now, we know from long, bitter experience that the PA is unlikely to accept even the most generous Israeli peace proposals, even ones that would endanger Israel, such as Ehud Barak’s 2000 peace offer or Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer. Indeed, they have frustrated American attempts to bring about peace negotiations in recent months by adding new demands and also refused even to talk to Israel for almost the whole of the past five years.”

“Abbas’s PA has not fulfilled its commitments under the Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that helps fuel the conflict. It has repeatedly and explicitly refused to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish State. Even without the Fatah/Hamas deal, talks with the Fatah/PA are devoid of purpose.”

“We therefore urge both the Obama Administration and the Israeli government to terminate relations with the Fatah/PA forthwith.”

Additional Israeli reactions to the Fatah/Hamas reconciliation deal:

The secular left-of-center party Yesh Atid’s leader, Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, said that Hamas is “a jihadi terror organization that is proud of killing civilians — women, children, the elderly — just because they’re Jewish. If the Palestinians really want a treaty with Israel … how did they not demand from Hamas to say it is abandoning terror, to commit to not hurting innocent people and to follow international law?”

The Jewish Home party leader, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, “We don’t talk to murderers … The agreement between Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad brings the Middle East to a new diplomatic era. The Palestinian Authority turned into the largest terrorist organization in the world, 20 minutes from Tel Aviv.”

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The Slave Mentality’s Long Shadow
By Sara Lehmann
The Jewish Press
April 11, 2014

Aside from the clichéd quip about Pesach (Passover) preparations mirroring Jewish labor in Egypt, a concept I can well relate to, Pesach is universally regarded as the Jewish holiday of emancipation. The precept of Zeman Cheiruseinu (Season of our Liberation) is so fundamental to our Jewish identity that it is not consecrated solely on Pesach but is repeated throughout the year in much of our davening, berachos (prayer and blessings) and practices.

This idea of Jewish independence from other nations and dependence on Hashem (G-d) alone has guided Jewish thinking and influenced humanity as to the innate worth of the individual. And it is a reason so many Jews have found themselves at the forefront of liberation movements over the years.

Which is why the abandonment of this course by many Jews nowadays is so baffling. Despite the enormous accomplishments of their people, in Israel and elsewhere, some Jews seemingly find it difficult to recognize their own sovereignty, frequently bowing to foreign gods rather than to God.

In his renowned 19th century commentary on the Haggadah, Rabbi Dr Marcus Lehmann offers a description of this phenomenon that eerily portends present-day realities. “It is a historical fact,” he writes, “that slavery produces a slave mentality…. The slave still remains a slave when his shackles are finally sundered. Even if the Israelites had been freed from the servile yoke of Pharaoh and Egypt by some political upheaval, they would have long since lost the capability of becoming a free and noble nation. Therefore the Haggadah rightly says that if God had not freed us, then we and our children and our children’s children would still have to bear the servile yoke of Pharaoh, even when Pharaoh and Egypt had long ceased to exist.”

Despite the exodus thousands of years ago and our break from the ghettos hundreds of years ago, the slave mentality follows us like a long shadow.

Israeli leaders since 1967 have exhibited that mentality in their continuous pandering to contemporary taskmasters at the expense of their Jewish brethren and homeland. Oslo, the Gaza Disengagement, “Peace” negotiations and prisoner releases all point to a deteriorating pride in Jewish heritage and identity.

And the mentality is not limited to Israeli leaders. (Think AIPAC, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, in particular) How else can one explain the subservient attitude of Jewish leaders in America who year after year kowtow to whatever administration happens to be in power? During one of Obama’s humiliating foreign policy faux pas this year, he succeeded in rustling up high-profile U.S. rabbis and Jewish leaders to petition Congress to authorize American military intervention in Syria. (This against the better wishes of the American public and at a time when the Israeli government was trying its best to maintain silence and neutrality.)

More recently, American Jewish leaders did an about-face on the Iranian threat. At Obama’s behest, they ceased lobbying Congress for support of the Iran Sanctions Bill after America’s disastrous November capitulation to Iran. They furthered this ignominy by using every creative way possible to avoid discussion of the topic at the recent AIPAC convention.

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of Israel’s prisoner releases is that they constitute an elemental affront to Jewish decency. No other government prides itself on such intense loyalty to its citizens on and off the battlefield yet simultaneously mocks that fidelity in a warped political farce aimed at placating world leaders. And Netanyahu’s latest refusal to release the last batch of Palestinian prisoners was less a defiant unburdening of American shackles than a grudging recognition of the binding shackles of his own political coalition. One member of that coalition, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, has been the government’s Jiminy Cricket, condemning further prisoner releases and threatening to resign if a release goes through.

I spoke with Danon last week, and even with John Kerry scrambling to clinch a deal by throwing in the sweetener of a Jonathan Pollard release, Danon was not budging. “I have been fighting for Pollard for the last twenty years,” he said, “and I continue to fight for him to come back to Israel. But I don’t think we should make a linkage. Even if Pollard will be released I will still resign as deputy minister of defense. This is a moral decision. We should not allow murderers to walk freely.”

Danon condemned Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy as “unacceptable” and lamented how “in the past Netanyahu said there will be no pre-conditions and then we saw that a settlement freeze and releasing murderers became pre-conditions. Even now we are negotiating about the price to continue to talk. We need tell our friends in the U.S. that there are red lines that we are not willing to cross.”

Is it mere coincidence that these negotiations, which serve only as a vehicle for Jewish self-immolation, are unraveling at a fast and furious pace as the holiday of our redemption approaches?

The lessons of Hashem’s deliverance of the Jewish people became all the more crystallized when I heard Danon admit he was “very concerned” about Kerry. “He is adopting the Palestinian ideology and talking about two states and two capitals in Jerusalem, meaning that we have to go back to the 1967 lines.”

Danon’s solution? “We should count only on ourselves, despite our friends in the Jewish community and in both houses of Congress. Israel is preparing itself for all options, even the option of dealing with the threat of Iran by ourselves.” (And … let us say, Amen)

Welcome words from a politician whose ascent in Israeli politics is not accompanied by selling out the citizens he represents. Coupled with reliance on Hashem, this should be a wake-up call to other policy makers who suffer from an affliction of Jewish insecurity that threatens the security of us all.

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.

Jsk Addendum: This painful but brave and factual article brings to my mind a beautifully descriptive, newly coined Hebrew word — “Mamlachtiyut”

Mamlachtiyut, a neologism (The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders which eludes English equivalents but which, in this case, roughly translates as “ The ability to act in a sovereign-like manner,” thus employing and preserving a nation’s power).  

By mamlachtiyut, Ben-Gurion meant the Jews’ ability to handle power — military power as well as democratic and political power — effectively, justly, responsibly.  The Jews of Israel, Ben-Gurion knew, might succeed in repelling Arab armies, in absorbing many times their number of new immigrants, and in creating world-class governmental and cultural institutions, but without mamlachtiyut, without the ability to deal with power and take responsibility for its ramifications, they could not ultimately survive.

The above Ben Gurion quote is from former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren 2006, who himself suffers from a lack of mamlachtiyut, as he continually recommends that Israel give up Judea and Samaria to the Arabs – a virtually guaranteed step toward Israel’s ultimate self-destruction, Hashem forbid.

Jerome S. Kaufman

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How the Vatican Aided Mussolini

A new account of a grievous historical record

Redacted from a much more detailed, must-read publication

By Kevin J. Madigan
COMMENTARY, APRIL 2014

NATIONAL MEMORIES, like personal ones, tend to be self-flattering, soothing, and often glorious. So it comes as a shock when historical research shows those memories to be false. It is even more shocking when research unearths new historical narratives that are awkward, shameful, or even intolerable. Since the end of the Second World War, both the Catholic Church and Italy have treasured heroic memories of their supposedly contentious relations with Benito Mussolini, his Fascist regime, and the anti-Semitic racial laws of 1938.

The traditional, self-consoling narrative goes something like this:

The good people of Italy opposed Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the racial laws it produced. The Catholic Church in Italy resisted Italian Fascism. Its cantankerous pope, Pius XI, fought Mussolini and his dictatorship, as did other high-ranking Vatican churchmen. When Italy’s racial laws were published in 1938, church leaders protested them vigorously. They were appalled that Jews would be disenfranchised, marginalized professionally and educationally, ostracized socially, defined by race, and declared ethnically and culturally inferior to their European neighbors. Only semi-heathen and politically illiberal Germany could possibly have championed this sort of pre-Christian tribalism and discrimination.

David Kertzer, the distinguished historian of modern Italy at Brown University and author of the brilliant, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, (Vintage, 1998), tells a much different story in his latest, meticulously researched, and captivating book.

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe (Random House, 529 pages) is based in large part on tens of thousands of documents made available only in 2006 in the Vatican Archives, covering the pontificate of Pius XI (1922-1939), as well as a treasure trove of newly available sources for the same period in the Jesuit archives, along with the rich Fascist archives for these years.

Among Kertzer’s conclusions are that the Vatican bureaucracy, far from resisting Mussolini, enabled and sustained led the Mussolini dictatorship. Several important Jesuits, including the order’s Superior General, helped support the Fascist regime and tried to muzzle papal criticism of Hitler. These Jesuits also did much to sustain the notion that there was a worldwide conspiracy of Judea-Bolsheviks intent on subverting healthy Christian society and establishing a Communist empire in the West. Not only did the Church fail to resist the 1938 racial laws; church-approved writings provided much of the rationale for discriminating Italy’s tiny Jewish population.

Among those who suppressed criticism of the Italian racial laws and sought to ease tensions between the pope, Mussolini and Hitler was the Vatican secretary of state, Pacelli, who would succeed Pius XI in 1939!

Most of all, Pius XI and the dictator, who both came to power in 1922, depended on each other for support and for achieving mutual goals. They shared many political ideas; both loathed democracy and Communism.

Pius gave sacred legitimacy and removed obstacles to Mussolini’s Fascist regime. Mussolini restored many ecclesiastical prerogatives that had been lost over the previous decades. Only near the end of Pius Xl’s pontificate, when the aging pope grew enraged with Mussolini and his friend and ally Hitler, did the unholy union begin to unravel. But the unraveling was knit up after Pacelli became Pius XII.

… Eventually, Pope Pius XI concluded that it would be best to throw his support to the Fascist Party. In 1922, he had his secretary of state send a letter to bishops forbidding priests from joining any party, and in 1926 the Popular Party was disbanded altogether. Pius XI had done a critically important favor for Mussolini, and upon Il Duce’s assumption of power in 1922, the new leader was eager to communicate his gratitude to the new pope. He ordered his men to kneel in prayer for a moment.

As Kertzer observes, Mussolini was well aware that the support he had received from the church was “priceless.” Pius XI made sure that never again would the Vatican-vetted Jesuit journal, Civilta Cattolica, denounce Fascism. Indeed it would legitimatize it. Just before the first election held under Mussolini, in 1924, the journal reminded readers of all the benefits provided by the Fascists and of how tirelessly Mussolini had already worked to improve church-government relations.

…When Pacelli was elected Pius Xl’s successor,”Kertzer reports, “Mussolini and the other Fascist leaders felt as if they had woken up to find an irritating sore that had long plagued them was miraculously gone” Within 48 hours of his election, Pius XII summoned the German ambassador, Diego von Bergen and said he was eager to assure the Nazi government that he sought a new era of understanding. After telling Bergen how close he felt to the German people as a result of his many years in Munich and Berlin, the new Pope came to his main point. He understood, he said, that different countries adopted different forms of government. Amazingly, he concluded that “it was not the pope’s role to judge what system other countries chose”

While much attention has been paid to Pius XII’s relations with the genocidal Nazi regime, until now very little has been written on the same man’s earlier role in quelling criticism of the Nazi and Fascist regimes and in preserving the Vatican’s good relations with Mussolini. Indeed, there is a serious movement within the Catholic Church to make Pius XII a saint!

Will the new material Kertzer has uncovered and expertly analyzed make it into his canonization dossier? Not very likely. More likely, Pacelli’s apologists, ever alert to protect Pius XII no matter what the evidence suggests, will (if recent history is any guide) accuse Kertzer of all manner of scholarly dereliction.

On the other hand, intellectually honest historians who have the requisite philological and historical expertise will credit Kertzer with a remarkable achievement in bringing to light, through researches wide in scope and profound in depth, a previously hidden history.

And Roman Catholics eager to purge their church of all vestiges of anti-Semitism will welcome his expose of this unhappy and deliberately ignored history. Perhaps Francis I — Pope, Jesuit, and philo-Semite — will finally enable historians to uncover this history in all its fullness.

KEVIN J. MADIGAN is Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School and the author, with Jon D. Levenson, of Resurrection: The Power of God for Christians and Jews (Yale University Press, 2008).

PS (It never ceases to amaze me how these evil Church and Lay leaders, these perpetrators of awful deeds against their own people, conveniently find a way to blame the Jews —  no matter what their number or total lack of power. The Jews of Italy happen to constitute 1/10 of 1% of the entire Italian population!) jsk

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The NY Times column on anti-Zionism is a reminder of its own publisher’s past

By Rafael Medoff/JNS.org

(Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C., and author of 15 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust. The latest is “FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith.”)

The New York Times raised some eyebrows in the Jewish community with a lengthy feature about four self-described religious Jews who oppose Israel. In an apparent attempt to legitimize Jewish anti-Zionism, the article stressed that Zionism “was not always the norm among American Jews” and that it was only “the persecution of European Jews [which] turned many American Jews into Zionists.”

Interestingly, one of the most famous “religious Jews” who opposed Zionism did not change his mind even after the Holocaust. That was the Times’s own publisher from 1935 to 1961, Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

Sulzberger was a devout adherent of classical Reform Judaism. In his view, Jewish identity should consist only of religious beliefs, not any sense of peoplehood, nationalism, or ethnic affiliation. He even rejected the existence of Jewish war veterans organizations on the grounds that they were examples of “Ghetto living.”

As Prof. Laurel Leff explains in her critically acclaimed book, “Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper,” Sulzberger instructed Times editors to bury news of the Nazi genocide on the back pages, and to tone down or eliminate references to the fact that the victims were Jews. Sulzberger worried that if the Times reported what was happening to the Jews in Europe, someone might accuse it of being a “Jewish newspaper.”

As news of the Nazi atrocities moved many formerly anti-Zionist Reform rabbis and leaders to recognize the need for a Jewish State, Sulzberger pushed back. He was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic supporters of the American Council for Judaism, a group created by a handful of Reform rabbis in 1942 to oppose Zionism. The Times gave frequent and generous coverage to the activities of the tiny Council.

Even a visit to former Nazi concentration camps in 1945 did not alter Sulzberger’s anti-Zionist convictions. In a speech the following year, Sulzberger said that while he felt sorry for the Jewish survivors living in Displaced Persons camps in Europe, they were “but a minor percentage of the total of displaced persons” and therefore should not be receiving so much attention.

The Times publisher even went so far as to claim that Zionism was to blame for some of the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust. He alleged, in that 1946 speech, that the refugee crisis during the war had been “a manageable, social and economic problem” until “the clamor for statehood introduced an insolvable political element” into the issue. “It is my judgment that thousands dead might now be alive” if “the Zionists” had put “less emphasis on statehood,” Sulzberger asserted.

One of the Jewish anti-Zionists profiled in last week’s New York Times article described himself as a fan of the late Judah Magnes, who advocated a binational Arab-Jewish Palestine instead of a Jewish State. Sulzberger, too, thought highly of Magnes. In June 1946, Sulzberger tried to organize a dinner at Manhattan’s Hotel Pierre to raise funds for Magnes’s work. The Times publisher invited 23 of his associates. Only three accepted. The dinner was canceled.

The increasingly isolated Sulzberger grew more and more frustrated. A pro-Zionist statement by the formerly anti-Zionist president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in early 1947 prompted Sulzberger to write to a friend, “Apparently if you are a Jew you have to contribute Jewishly, eat Jewishly, think Jewishly, part your hair Jewishly… Gosh I’m sick!”

On another occasion, Sulzberger was horrified to see the AJC and other Jewish groups listed as affiliates of the United Jewish Appeal in an advertisement in the Times. “The only thing I miss is the Jewish Chiropractors’ Society,” he complained. “In other words, J E W is to be the common denominator for everything we do. God help us!”

In his final years, Sulzberger’s anti-Zionism never eased. He resigned from one of the Reform synagogues to which he belonged after it introduced the singing of Hatikvah along with the Star-Spangled Banner. He apparently considered visiting Israel on one occasion, but changed his mind after Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made a speech that he disliked. Ironically, however, after Sulzberger passed away in 1961, his widow established a scholarship in his name at Hebrew University. It seems unlikely he would have approved.

(A personal aside: For those not familiar with the Hebrew term, aliyah, it literally means rising up spiritually as one is called to read Torah or physically referring to one’s emigration to the Biblical land of Israel. During the synagogue service, individual congregants are sometimes asked to rise up to participate in the Torah service when they are honored for some achievement or in memory of one of their deceased love ones).

(On occasion it is sometimes my habit to snidely claim, when addressing the politics of the Sulzberger family, that they finally made the ultimate aliyah, at least to their minds. They became Episcopalians — thus solving many of their own personal problems and those of the world itself via their New York Times — that is, Hashem forbid, until another Hitler finds out that they were Jews after all and deals with them accordingly)

Jerome S. Kaufman

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