A Beautiful Story – for a change

How a German company quietly saved their Jewish employees.

by George Gilbert

The Leica Freedom Train

published in 2009

A Beautiful Story – for a change

The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product — precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that during the Nazi era acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty. E. Leitz, Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany’s most famous photographic product, saved the company’s Jews.

And Ernst Leitz II, the steely-eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, “The Photography Industry’s Schindler.”

As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country. As Christians, Leitz and his family were, of course, immune to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities.

To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as “The Leica Freedom Train,” a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas.

Employees, retailers, family members, and friends of family members were “assigned” to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States.

Leitz’s activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned throughout Germany. Before long, German “employees” were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz, Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry. Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom — a new Leica.

The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers, and writers for the photographic press.

The “Leica Freedom Train” was at its height in 1938 and early 1939, delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks.

Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders. By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes’ efforts.

How did Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it?

Leitz’s daughter was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland.

Leitz Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz’s single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.

Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews, and was freed only after the payment of a large bribe.

Leitz’s daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She was eventually freed, but had endured rough treatment in the course of being questioned. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of more than 700 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s. After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officier d’honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.

Why has no one told this story until now?

According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did “The Leica Freedom Train” come to light. It became the subject of a book, “The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train,” by Frank Dabba Smith.

From: www.aish.com

Killings in Norway not a random target.

No matter, Norwegians prefer blinders and anti-Semitism. Don’t confuse them with the facts.

Killings in Norway not a random target.

Something Rotten in Norway
Posted by Daniel Greenfield
Aug 1st, 2011
FrontPageMag.com

Anders Breivik’s attack on the youth camp of the Norwegian Labour Party has its most obvious precedent in the Maalot Massacre when Palestinian Muslim gunmen attacked an Israeli elementary school, taking over a hundred children hostage, and then using automatic weapons to kill as many of them as they could.

But the link between Maalot and Utoya is more than casual. The Workers Youth League which ran the camp had a long history of supporting the same kind of terrorists who had perpetrated the Maalot Massacre.

Lars Gule, is the Secretary General of the Norwegian Humanist Association, and a defender of Muslims having the right to discriminate against women and gays. (The two are not a contradiction in Norway.) He was the leader of the Workers Youth League at the University of Bergen and a DFLP terrorist.

The DFLP were the perpetrators of the Maalot Massacre. And two years after that attack, Lars Gule was trained by the DFLP and dispatched to Israel via Norway with explosives hidden in the covers of his books. “The Suspect had made it known to his employers that he wanted to take human life…  to strengthen Palestinian fighting spirit and morale,” Norwegian police records noted.

None of this impeded Gule’s career in any way. He went on to the University of Bergen and served as the head of the Workers Youth League, the organization that was targeted in the Utoya attack. Today he is a prominent figure on the left.

How can we make sense of this? Glenn Beck compared the Workers Youth League camp to a Hitler Youth camp. He was close, but not entirely right. The roots of the Workers Youth League are actually Communist.

Norway’s Labour Party was a member of the Communist International. The Workers Youth League was formed by the merger of the Left Communist Youth League and the Socialist Youth League of Norway. We often use “Communist” as a pejorative, but in this case the Utoya camp, literally was a Communist youth camp.

The day before the massacre, Norwegian Foreign Minister Gahre-Store visited the camp and was greeted with banners calling for a boycott of Israel, and Gahre-Store responded with an Anti-Israel speech to cheers from the campers. There is something ominous about such indoctrination of hate. It is not quite on the level of the Hitler Youth, but neither is it a world apart.

In the 1930′s, Germans were encouraged to blame their problems on the Jews. In this decade, Norwegians are encouraged to blame their problems on the Jews. There are few children of workers at the Workers Youth League camp. They are for the most part the children of the party, the sons and daughters of bureaucrats and party leaders, training the next generation to perpetrate the Labour Party state.

Breivik came from that same background. The son of the left wing elite. And if his parents’ marriage had not collapsed, with the young boy allotting a share of the blame to the Labour Party, he would likely have a comfortable spot in the socialist state. Breivik may have turned against his roots, but the idea that terroristic violence is a legitimate solution is one that he could have easily picked up on the left.

Gahre-Store may have been greeted with a banner calling for the boycott of Israel, but he would never have been greeted with one calling for a boycott of terrorists. And indeed if there is an Islamist terrorist group that Gahre-Store doesn’t support, it’s hard to find. Gahre-Store had called for negotiating with Al-Shahaab in Somalia, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, he spoke with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and called for a reconciliation with the Taliban.

Media commentators have made a great deal of Breivik’s radicalization, but despite his death toll, his radicalization seems to be an isolated event in comparison to the magnitude of radicalization at Utoya. If Breivik’s violence and bigotry is to be condemned– shouldn’t the species of violence and bigotry at Utoya be condemned as well?

The left can hold up Utoya as an example, but there are a legion of counterexamples. Nor the least of which is Lars Gule, traveling with explosives in his backpack, on a journey that took him from DFLP terrorist to Workers Youth League leader.

And behind that is the larger string of DFLP and Fatah atrocities. And that of other terrorist groups around the world. The Utoya attack cannot be viewed as an isolated event. It must be seen within the context of support for terrorism as a valid tactic. An idea that goes back to the Marxist roots of the Labour Party and which is embodied in its political support for terrorism. And its manifest hostility to the victims of terrorism.

Breivik and Lars Gule had their common origins in a country dominated by a political left which sees violence as a legitimate tool of political change, while dehumanizing its victims. Norway’s ambassador to Israel carefully distinguished between the Utoya attack and the terrorist attacks on Israelis. The latter would go away if Israel just followed Gahre-Store’s example and negotiated with Hamas.

But what Norway’s political elite failed to grasp is that the genie of terrorism cannot be kept in a lamp, to emerge only at your command. Once you legitimize terrorism as a tool of political change, you lose the ability to determine who will make use of it. Breivik followed the example of Lars Gule, that of the Marxist terrorists, whose intellectual legacy is the black tar that seeps through the painted walls of Norwegian foreign policy.

The hatred and terrorist collaboration on display at Utoya was the symptom of a larger disease. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” Marcellus proclaims in Hamlet. It’s equally rotten in Norway.

Breivik was one expression of that rottenness. But there are many others. Like Lars Gule, and his vision of a secular atheism living side by side with bigoted Islamism. Or Gahre-Store following in the footsteps of countless left wing foreign ministers by opening Norway’s doors to every Islamist terrorist group out there. Or the children being groomed to become the future leaders of Norway taught to hate as fervently as their Fatah associates.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

Obama’s hollow claim of commitment to Israel’s security

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1184

By MORTON KLEIN AND DANIEL MANDEL
08/01/2011

For a year, Obama prohibited any new US sanctions to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons – a looming existential threat to both Israel and the US.

Is President Barack Obama committed to Israel’s security? Reassuring bromides to that effect in his recent speeches are nullified by specific statements that spell out dangerous Israeli concessions and disregard for Israeli vital interests. Worse, the administration’s wider Middle East policies further denude those commitments of meaning.

Thus, when Obama said Israel must have secure, recognized borders “different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967,” many missed the point that this means little, when the new borders are to be “based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps” and therefore be virtually indistinguishable from those lines. Indeed, with Palestinians unlikely to agree to any swaps, Obama gave the Palestinians a veto over any continued Israel presence beyond the pre-1967 lines.

Moreover, Obama’s unprecedented call for a Palestinian state to have “permanent Palestinian borders with… Jordan” would require Israel ceding the Jordan Valley, whose retention successive Israeli governments have regarded as vital–another first for a US president.

Obama has also become the first US president to suggest that issues of “territory and security” be agreed upon first, before proceeding to negotiations on all other matters, including Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants.

Upholding Israel’s basic security would also mean repudiating the repatriation of the refugees and their descendants. Bush did so in his May 2004 letter; Obama has not. On the contrary, he has supported the so-called Saudi peace plan, which demands not only a return to the 1967 lines, but also the return of all refugees and their descendants.

In May, Obama reiterated that the US “will hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions and their rhetoric.” But he never has – nor does he now.

When, in August 2009, Fatah held a conference in Bethlehem, reaffirming its refusal to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, glorifying terrorists, insisting on the so-called ‘right of return,’ and rejecting an end of claims in any future peace agreement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton astonishingly claimed that the conference showed “a broad consensus supporting negotiations with Israel and the two-state solution.”

When in 2010, the PA named a Ramallah square after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, Clinton falsely claimed that this ceremony was initiated by a “Hamas-run municipality.” Refusing to identify the PA as responsible, Obama has not penalized it.

INDEED, FAR from holding Palestinians accountable, Obama has consistently rewarded them, increasing aid to almost $1 billion per year. A Palestinian Media Watch report just presented to the US Congress documents that, in May 2011 alone, the PA paid $5,207,000 in salaries to Palestinians in Israeli jails, including blood-soaked terrorists. Last year the US provided $225 million to the general Palestinian budget from which these salaries are paid.

If Obama was genuine about holding the PA accountable, he would be demanding the disbanding of Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – a US- recognized terrorist group. He would demand the abrogation of the PA’s unity agreement with Hamas (which calls for a genocide of Jews) as a precondition of any future talks. He has done neither.

It is also difficult to imagine what conception of American and Israeli security interests led Obama in January to ditch Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and call for political “transition… now” when protests erupted in Cairo. Still less clear is why his administration spoke immediately of involving “non-secular actors” – a clear allusion to the Muslim Brotherhood – given its virulent hostility to the US and Israel. Now, Obama has legitimized the Brotherhood by initiating contacts with it.

THE NET result is that Egypt is on the road from lukewarm ally and peace-maker to a dependable enemy – one to which Obama has announced the sale of 125 state-of-the-art M1A1 Abrams tanks. It is also disturbing that Obama has not pressured Egypt to close its Gaza border at Rafah, whose recent opening has enabled the flow of weaponry into Hamas-run Gaza.

For a year, Obama prohibited any new US sanctions to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons – a looming existential threat to both Israel and the US. Indeed, further measures which must be taken to stop Iran is precisely what Obama left untouched in his recent speeches.

Thus Obama’s words and deeds not only fail to match his stated commitment to Israel’s security – they negate it.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London: Routledge, 2004).

My journalist granddaughter, Sammy, on her Birthright Israel Trip

10 Days in Israel

Written by Samantha Stratton on 07/27/201

Louisville Ky. Voice-Tribune Editor’s note:
Intern Samantha Stratton just returned from a 10-day trip to Israel with the Birthright organization, www.BirthrightIsrael.org. This is her story.

My journalist granddaughter, Sammy, on her Birthright Israel Trip

When I told my non-Jewish friends about the trip to Israel I was about to take, they were baffled. They couldn’t fathom that someone would just give me a free 10-day trip to Israel.

No, I didn’t win some kind of contest, I told them. No, you can’t just say you’re Jewish and they’ll let you go too. The questions were endless. After I explained that Birthright Israel is designed to connect Jewish young adults to the heritage and history of their religion, my friends didn’t understand why that connection would be important.
Even for some of my fellow Jews, the concept of Birthright seems a little over the top.

Why do young people actually have to go to Israel to learn about it? Books, movies and lectures could probably suffice. Birthright Israel’s mission is to help Jews ages 18 to 26 find some kind of connection to the place that is at the center of their religion by showing them the land, providing an Israeli guide to explain each area visited and letting them decide the next step for themselves. On July 10, 2011, my journey to find some kind of “connection” began …

I’ve just spent more than 10 hours on a plane, flanked by complete strangers, unable to sleep and unaware of what I’m getting myself into. My group and I gather at baggage claim to retrieve the luggage we’ll carry for the next 10 days. I’m hot and eager to get out of my airplane clothes. It’s only 7:30 a.m. in Israel, and I’m already exhausted.

Our Israeli guide tells us to quickly open our checked luggage and pack a daypack. Our next destination: Mount Arbel, which means we’ll be hiking. Then, we’ll have breakfast – after the airplane meal and lots of snacking, this will be my third “breakfast” of the day – and raft on the Jordan River. We won’t arrive at our hotel until around 6 p.m. Sounds like a sick joke, right? Well, this joke would soon become a sobering reality and possibly the best experience of my life.

During my second semester at American University, I decided on a whim to register for Birthright with two friends from my dorm. Here’s the gist of the program: If you’re Jewish and between the ages of 18 and 26, you’re eligible for a free trip to Israel. I figured, why not? I didn’t have much else going on this summer (I hadn’t yet secured my job at The Voice) and my mom had been practically begging me to sign up since I turned 18. If I had two friends joining me, it would be a lot less scary.

After I signed up and received an acceptance to the trip, I didn’t give it much thought. I saw the trip as filler for my summer boredom. I didn’t understand what Birthright was about except a free vacation with people my age. I’m now much more aware of Birthright’s mission.

Not many people actually know who started the program; all we know is that Birthright was founded by wealthy philanthropists who sought to send young Jewish people to Israel in order to bridge the gap between Israel and Jewish communities around the world. During our orientation, one of the Birthright staff members explained that this trip was a “gift” and that, in Israel, the program is called “Taglit,” which means “discovery” in Hebrew.

During that first meeting, I didn’t really connect with what this staff member was saying. However, after just a few days, I discovered more about my religion, the Middle East and myself than I could have imagined. Though referring to Birthright as a gift seemed cliché initially, I won’t hesitate to say that this trip was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.

I’m so grateful for my experience that it is difficult to put into words.

In fact, as the trip progressed, I became more and more apprehensive of even writing this article. How was I supposed to explain the highlights of my experience when almost everything we did and saw was a highlight?

We visited places I’d only heard of in Sunday School as a child. We floated in the Dead Sea, rode camels in a Bedouin village, experienced Shabbat at the Western Wall, learned about Kabbalah in Tzfat, ascended Masada by way of the Roman Ramp and so much more.

Looking over our trip itinerary, I’m still blown away by how much we fit into 10 days and how much I enjoyed each aspect.

We also built relationships with eight Israeli soldiers who traveled and stayed with us for a portion of our journey. Hearing about their lifestyles gave me a huge amount of respect for them. But, at the same time, I realized that they were all just like me. We were the same age and liked the same TV shows and places to shop. Just one thing separated us: When I turned 18, I was preparing for college; when my Israeli friends turned 18, they were reporting for duty in the Israeli Defense Force.

Now, I realize I might be starting to sound a little brainwashed by Israel’s charm. But don’t be mistaken. I’ve heard plenty of arguments opposing my experience.

During the early stages of our trip, friends and I discussed some of the negative views circulating the media about Birthright. Opponents of the program criticize it for being a tool to lure young Jews into becoming ultra Zionists and encouraging them to make “Aliyah,” immigration to Israel, which many Zionists consider one of the highest forms of worship.

I’ve heard several defenses against Birthright in the past month – before, during and after my trip. Some suggest that the Israeli tour guides assigned to each group preach Zionism and don’t give the full story of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Others even suggest that Birthright specifically selects good-looking Israeli soldiers to persuade young girls and guys that everyone in Israel is beautiful.

I won’t use this article to defend Zionism, Judaism or even Birthright. My only goal is to describe my wonderful experience as best I can.

I sat down on a plane to Israel with a group of 39 other Jewish college students a few weeks ago. I knew two people going in. I feared I’d be surrounded by a bunch of – excuse the term – Jewish American Princesses. I worried that I’d hate the food. I dreaded having talks about Judaism.

A few days ago, I exited a plane at John F. Kennedy airport. I had to say goodbye to 47 new friends, eight of whom are Israeli soldiers.

Instead of ultra-Jewish young adults, I met mostly secular and reform people like me, who’d never truly felt a connection to their religion.
I stepped on American soil and found myself craving falafel (although we’d had it every single day for 10 days straight).

I got on a plane to Louisville missing Israeli accents, debates about the Israel/Palestine conflict and the sweltering desert weather.

I tried to think of the moment I really felt something emotional for Israel, the Holy Land I’ve always been told I should have a connection with.

I remembered the Western Wall. We visited on one of the hottest days of our trip. Everyone had to cover his or her knees and shoulders out of respect for the holy place, which made us all even more uncomfortable. I wrote down a simple prayer on a piece of paper – nothing too emotional or soul bearing. I approached the wall to place my written prayer in one of the cracks. For some reason, I began to cry. These weren’t just a few tears, they were almost sobs.

I rejoined my friends and realized they’d been crying too. We agreed that there was this palpable feeling of sadness at the wall – hundreds of years of pain, suffering and struggle. It was something none of us had ever felt before. It showed me that I could feel something for my religion and its history.

Birthright changed me.

I won’t say it made me a better person. I’m not a staunch Zionist. I won’t even claim to be a more religious Jew. But I am more connected to my heritage, more educated about my religion and more respectful of the conflict currently affecting my homeland.

Contact writer Samantha Stratton sstratton@voice-tribune.com.

The Budget Crisis as in Ancient Rome

Republican Virtue

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1129

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL, Editor

The Weekly Standard
AUG 1, 2011, VOL. 16, NO. 43

Tempora, mores! O Cicero, (MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO, 106 BC–43 BC) if thou couldst be with us now! The corruption of our age is approaching that of your own! Who today speaks for the ancient Roman—and modern American—virtues of civic duty and personal responsibility?

Here’s who: the House Republicans.

The federal government has a problem. It’s hitting a debt ceiling limit passed into law last year by the Democratic Congress, and signed by President Obama. It’s doing so because of appropriations passed by that same Democratic Congress, and signed by that same Democratic president. Have the president and Senate Democrats proposed any legislation to deal with this problem? No.

House Republicans, on the other hand, did pass a budget earlier this year. Unfortunately, federal spending has gotten so out of control that even if the Republican budget were to become law, the federal government would have to borrow more money for several years to come. So House Republicans last week stepped up to the plate (to use a metaphor that might be unfamiliar to Cicero).

Their constituents hate the idea of voting to raise the debt ceiling. But the House GOP did what had to be done. They passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The legislation contains a debt ceiling increase and accompanies it with serious spending cuts, restraints, and the promise of a forthcoming vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget by capping spending. The House Republicans (and five Democrats) did their duty, in accordance with the procedures of Congress and in the light of day, proposing and passing legislation that their fellow citizens could read, debate, and judge.

And they are the only ones who’ve done their duty. Having failed to pass a budget for two years, Senate Democrats have done nothing to deal with the debt limit. President Obama has in effect withdrawn his February budget proposal, and hasn’t submitted a new one.

So the morally bankrupt leaders of our fiscally bankrupt government meet feverishly behind closed doors, out of sight of the public they’re supposed to represent, to figure out how to paper over the mess they’ve created. Gangs of senators occasionally emerge from their hideouts to announce deals that would raise taxes and gut defense in response to a crisis caused by domestic spending and entitlements.

The gangs roam the halls of the Capitol, invading television studios in order to terrorize the citizenry with the prospect of default and mayhem. They then retreat to their lairs, while Beltway insiders shower them with praise and scorn actual legislation passed by the House in accord with the norms of democratic government.

Enough! No more gangs! No more deals! Gangster government is unworthy of a democratic republic. We elect leaders, not dealers. These elected officials are responsible for the fiscal future of the United States. They aren’t negotiating with foreign enemies, when secrecy is often necessary. They aren’t authorizing covert intelligence operations, which have to be planned behind closed doors. They are supposed to be accountable to the people—much as many of our elites may resent that fact.

And so: All honor to the House Republicans. They refuse to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare how fiscal solvency and budgetary probity can be restored.

Meanwhile, liberal elites (and some conservative ones) tremble at the prospect of an honest debate on how to restore sound and responsible government. So, on July 22 Senate Democrats voted, 51-46, to table the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. No amendments were proposed or debated. No alternatives were offered. Democrats now stand before us as the party that, when faced with a deadline and a crisis, vote to .  .  . table.

For the next year and a half, real progress on the budget will be limited by the president and the Senate majority we have. The debt limit presumably will be increased, and the best House Republicans may be able to do is to insist on some spending cuts, prevent defense from being gutted, and keep tax burdens from rising.

Still: All honor to the House Republicans, who had the coolness, foresight, and capacity to introduce and pass legislation that is a rebuke and a stumbling block to the gangs of senators and the secret dealmakers. And to lay the groundwork for victory for the forces of limited and responsible government in 2012.

Michelle Obama takes gorging at public trough to new levels of expertise

Michelle O’s $800,000 Entitlement?

By M Catharine Evans
American Thinker
June 29, 2011

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1087

It’s evident by now Mrs. Obama will not yield to public opinion regarding her profligate globe-hopping. Michelle’s week-long junket to South Africa cost taxpayers nearly $800,000 according to an analysis by White House Dossier. The trip ended at a five-star hotel in the middle of a game preserve where rooms exceed $10,000 dollars per night. Michelle was accompanied by her daughters, brother Craig’s kids and granny who all enjoyed the “luxurious suites” and “one of the world’s finest art collections” at the Mateya.

The cost of local transportation, Secret Service protection, food for her family and staff members, and the cost of firing up “Air Force Two” not to mention the pre-trip preparations all contributed to the final amounts.

Mrs. Obama’s “goodwill tour” was supposed to “help youth leadership, health, education and wellness” in crime-ridden South Africa. The photos of her and the ‘fam’ showed them feeling “surreal” meeting Nelson Mandela, eating “fat cakes,” dancing and going on safari. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman “made clear that the trip was partially a personal pilgrimage for the first lady.”

A visit to South Africa is important for them as a family. She’ll be visiting many Struggle-era landmarks, including the Apartheid Museum (and) the Hector Pieterson Memorial.

Obviously Michelle doesn’t give a whit that she’s fleecing average Americans. Or that draping Malia and Sasha in South African flags is downright bizarre for a first lady representing the United States. Or that eating fatty foods, but telling others to “eat your vegetables” is downright Dante-esque. She told a crowd of young people at the University of Cape Town her favorite food is French fries, “I can’t stop eating them.” Michelle just blew her credibility in her vanity campaign against obesity. 

The mainstream press won’t talk about Michelle Obama’s unnecessary expenses or duplicitous campaigns at a time when the United States is having a debt crisis. The same liberal media who tore Bush up for spending too much time at his ranch in Crawford or demonized Nancy Reagan for replacing the White House china is more than happy to keep quiet about Michelle’s extravagant WOD (wife of dictator) lifestyle.

The Obamas are living it up while more and more people go on food stamps, lose their jobs and only dream of the vacations they used to take. Nothing’s changed for Mrs. Obama since last summer when she took a “Mommy and me” trip to Spain with Sasha, one of eight jaunts in a 4-month period. She continues spending other people’s hard-earned money while carting her friends and family all over the globe.

The public is becoming increasingly disgusted with her defiant attitude of entitlement. Michelle couldn’t care less.

Obama’s “Waterloo” – Debt-Limit Talks

GOP Should Make Debt Ceiling Crisis Obama’s “Waterloo”

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1074

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Washington Times July 18, 2011

Republicans have a golden opportunity to break Barack Obama’s presidency and that the debt ceiling crisis will be Obama’s “Waterloo.” Ambition cost Napoleon his empire. For Mr. Obama, the ‘big package’ strategy is the moment of colossal overreach. He wanted too much, too soon.

Now comes the long, humiliating and fatal retreat.” Kuhner further claimed that Obama is “not serious about confronting our debt bomb; rather, he seeks to consolidate his socialist revolution, paying for the expansion of the entitlement society.”

Republicans have a golden opportunity to break Barack Obama’s presidency, ensuring he will be a one-termer. Mr. Obama has backed himself into a corner on the debt-limit talks; the GOP can smash his re-election prospects if they have the will — and intelligence — to do it.

However, [Obama] understands one fundamental reality: European-style spending eventually requires European-style taxation. His aim has been to pile up such high deficits and debt so he can force America to accept massive permanent tax increases. Mr. Obama is using primitive class-warfare rhetoric, insisting on soaking “the rich.” He is not serious about confronting our debt bomb; rather, he seeks to consolidate his socialist revolution, paying for the expansion of the entitlement society.

Mr. Boehner should insist on a small deal — lifting the debt ceiling along with corresponding spending reductions. Every debt dollar raised should be coupled with a spending dollar cut. That way, the package pays for itself. More important, it places Mr. Obama in a no-win situation.

House Republicans will pass legislation that raises the debt limit. Therefore, they cannot be blamed for any economic fallout should America default. Mr. Obama can veto it, which means he will be solely responsible for the fiscal calamity. Or he can sign it — publicly standing down from his earlier threats. Thus, he will be denuded among his liberal supporters and the larger electorate, and shown to be a weak leader whose words mean nothing.

Either way, it will be his Waterloo — the effective end of his presidency. Ambition cost Napoleon his empire. For Mr. Obama, the “big package” strategy is the moment of colossal overreach. He wanted too much, too soon. Now comes the long, humiliating and fatal retreat.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist for the Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute

1. Michele Bachmann’s Moment 2. The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’

1. Michele Bachman’s Moment
By Donald Lambro
The Washington Times
July 4, 2011

2. Michelle Bachmann: The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’
By Robert Avrech
The Jewish Press, June 24, 2011

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1019

1. By Donald Lambro

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has singularly achieved what most of her colleagues only dream of doing but never will: Breaking out of the anonymity of 435 House members to become a national political figure in her own right and a candidate for the presidency.

She didn’t do it by ascending the ranks of the House Republican leadership or by championing legislative crusades. No major piece of legislation bears her name. She has piled up no political IOU’s by doing favors and playing by party rules. She chairs no committees.

Since she won her 6th District seat in 2006 – the first Republican woman elected to the House from Minnesota – she has been in a hurry to make her mark. She soon learned that she wasn’t going to become known by sitting through hours of tedious, inconsequential hearings, or listening to boring House debate or by pursuing a go-along-to-get-along career and patiently “waiting her turn.”

And she soon learned that in the Old Boys Club in the House she wasn’t going to be handed anything, either. So over these past six years, she became a fixture on virtually every cable television and broadcast network talk show in the business, denouncing President Obama’s health care law, bashing his trillion-dollar deficits and big government in general.

She embraced the Tea Party movement from its birth, organized and keynoted their rallies at the Capitol, and became the leader of Tea Party-backed lawmakers who won House seats in 2010. Her tireless efforts made her widely popular among the GOP’s conservative base, though she still was seen as an outsider and to some degree a loose cannon among many in the leadership ranks. After she audaciously made an unexpected bid in January for the House Republican Conference chairmanship, the No. 4 post in the party’s hierarchy, she withdrew her name in the face of certain defeat.

When House Speaker John Boehner picked Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the powerful Budget Committee chairman, to deliver the GOP response to Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address, she decided to deliver her own response on behalf of the Tea Party Express. She had another purpose in mind and that was to tell her party’s leaders, “Don’t ignore me.”

With Tea Party support from across the country and a growing campaign war chest (raising $1.7 million in the first three months of this year, the most of any House member behind Mr. Boehner), she set her sights on running for president. But could she match the heavy hitters in the crowded field of candidates, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the party’s front-runner?

Her poised, self-confident performance earlier this month at the CNN presidential debate in New Hampshire knocked that question out of the park. She had polished her delivery on countless TV talk shows, and it showed in her unflinching, well-thought-out answers.

“This election will be all about economics. It will be about how will we create jobs, how will we turn the economy around, how we will have a pro-growth economy. President Obama can’t tell that story. His report card right now has a big failing grade on it,” she said.

She officially announced her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa, where she enjoys strong support from Tea Party conservatives and is virtually tied with Mr. Romney in early polls. “The surprise is that Mrs. Bachmann, who a Fox News host suggested Sunday may be ‘a flake,’ has quickly become one of the more sure-footed candidates in the race for the Republican nomination,” the liberal Washington Post reported in a front-page story Tuesday.

“She has built on momentum generated in a widely praised debate performance and has sent a jolt of energy through a GOP electorate that has been hungry for someone to be excited about,” the Post said.
But there are huge obstacles awaiting Mrs. Bachmann, not the least of which is historical precedent. No House member has won the White House since James A. Garfield was elected in 1880.

Historically, at least in the modern era, presidents by and large have been former governors who have had executive experience in running a government, balancing budgets, overseeing an economy, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.

It’s a huge leap to go from representing a single congressional district, where your only constitutional job is to vote, to running the United States of America. Mrs. Bachmann’s other hurdle may be putting together a heavy-hitting team of national security and economic advisers to help develop a governing agenda. Her speeches thus far have not spelled out in any detail how she would expand economic growth and create jobs or deal with the myriad foreign policy and defense-related issues that await the next administration.

She’s shown herself to be a fiercely independent woman who is running on a set of core values that have made America the most successful country in the world. She’s not going to be a pushover in the primaries to come.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

2. Michelle Bachmann: The Liberal Elite’s ‘Next Jew.’
By Robert Avrech
The Jewish Press, June 24, 2011

… Michele Bachmann, the Republican congress woman from Minnesota and newly announced presidential candidate, is the Liberal elite’s next Jew. In the GOP debate last week, Bachmann dazzled she was articulate and knowledgeable. Clearly, she was enjoying herself: A majority of Americans want their politicians to be optimistic. Obama comes across as Jimmy Carter squared: petulant, dour, angry, resigned to an America mired in a future of diminishing returns.

Like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann is beautiful and glamorous, but not so glamorous that she threatens other women. Nor is she so sexy that she intimidates men. She dresses like a lady, modest but fashionable. I have never seen her in a pants suit. And she actually knows stuff. Unlike Obama, who seems to fashion himself a philosopher king – practical knowledge scorned – Bachmann is a skilled tax attorney and an entrepreneur.

It should come as no surprise that as a pious Christian, Bachmann, like Palin, is a huge supporter of Israel. My wife and I heard Bachmann at a Republican Jewish Coalition function last year and it was like listening to Golda Meir.

But here’s the main reason you can bet your bottom dollar the liberal lynch mob will go after Bachmann with jihadist fervor: Bachmann and her husband have raised five biological children. That’s way too many. Liberals cap families at 2.0 offspring. Anything more is so quaint and, well, churchy – and crowds the planet to boot.

Bachmann and her husband also raised 23 foster children. This, to the liberal mind, is unforgivable. Why? Because Michele Bachmann lives her conservative ideology by refusing to allow government to raise unwanted children. Parents who adopt children or take in and raise foster children are society’s greatest heroes. They repair the world. And for this, become an object of hate – A Jew to the jackals of the left.

Robert J. Avrech is an Emmy Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter arid producer. Among his numerous credits are “A Stranger Among Us” and “The Devil’s Arithmetic.” His novel “The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden” won the 2006 Ben Franklin Award for Best First Novel and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award for Notable Children’s Book of Jewish Content.

His website is Seraphic Secret (www.seraphicpress.com).

How the Nazis escaped Europe – The Myth of the Odessa File

The Despicable, $$ oriented perfidy of Simon Weisenthal! (jsk)

HOW DID SO MANY NAZIS ESCAPE JUSTICE?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=1056

An Interview with historian, Gerald Steinacher

By Elliot Resnick, Jewish Press Staff Reporter
July 13 2011

How did so many Nazis and Nazi collaborators manage to escape Europe after World War II? Who helped them flee and why? What routes did they take on their way to freedom?

These and other questions are answered in painstaking detail in a new book, Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice, by Gerald Steinacher, an assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The book, originally written in German, was translated into English by Oxford University Press and hit bookstores last month. The Jewish Press recently spoke with Steinacher.

The Jewish Press: According to your book, a great many Nazis escaped Europe through Italy. Why Italy?

Steinacher: Because the Allies were in Germany and Austria but had retreated from Italy. There was no Allied government there after December 1945, so once you were in Italy, you were free. This is one reason. The other reason is that for many people from Eastern and Central Europe the ports in Italy were just the closest in terms of geography.

Who gave Nazis the travel documents they needed to escape?

The International Committee of the Red Cross. They were in charge of giving documents to [the 12 million] Volksdeutsche – ethnic Germans – who were expelled from Central and Eastern Europe after 1945. But there was one condition for obtaining these documents, and this was that the person had to be stateless.

So war criminals like Eichmann, Mengele, and many others went to Italy and, once there, stated, “I’m an ethnic German from South Tyrol, Italy and I am stateless.”

Why would someone from South Tyrol, Italy be considered stateless?

That’s a good question. South Tyrol is a border region. It’s in Italy but it’s mostly German speaking. It was annexed to Italy after the first world war (it had previously been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for hundreds of years) and in 1939, as part of Hitler’s policy with Mussolini, the South Tyrol minority in Italy was given a choice: They could stay and become completely Italianized or they could become German citizens and move to the Reich or some newly annexed territory. Most of them became German citizens.

At the end of the war, this agreement between Hitler and Mussolini was not recognized by the Allies and these South Tyrolans were considered stateless like most ethnic Germans from Eastern and Central Europe.

But didn’t the Red Cross realize that some of these “South Tyrolans” applying for travel documents were in fact former Nazis?

They did. But you have to realize that the Red Cross had no, or at least not much, experience with issuing travel documents and they were completely overwhelmed. They told the Allies and the Italian authorities: “We don’t want to do this job anymore because we are not the police. We can’t screen the backgrounds of these people. We have to take for granted whatever these people tell us. If Adolf Eichmann tells us he is Richard Klement from South Tyrol and he’s stateless and he wants to go to South America to start a new life, we have to believe him.”

How many travel documents did the Red Cross issue?

Around 120,000-140,000 between 1945 and 1950.

How many “black sheep” were among them?

It’s extremely difficult to give exact numbers. One reason is definition. Are you only looking at Austrians and Germans who were perpetrators of the Holocaust? Then you have very small numbers. If you look at Austrians and Germans who were Nazis or in the SS, but maybe not technically or legally perpetrators of the Holocaust, then of course the numbers are much higher. And if you also include collaborators and fascists from all over Europe – from the fascist regimes in Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, Ukraine, or Vichy, for example – then you have tens of thousands of people. So it depends very much on definition.

What was the role of the Vatican in all this?

The Vatican relief commission for refugees worked in close cooperation with the Red Cross. A Nazi would come to the Red Cross with a reference letter from the Vatican commission, and say, “I’m stateless, this is my name, date of birth, location of birth” and so on, and the Red Cross officials wouldn’t ask questions because the recommendation came from the Vatican.

That’s how Franz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka extermination camp, escaped Europe.

Why would a Vatican official give Stangl a letter of recommendation?

In this particular case the official was a bishop by the name of Alois Hudal, who was known to be very pro-Nazi. In 1937, Hudal had written a book by the title The Foundations of National Socialism, which he sent to Hitler with a dedication.

But members of the clergy helped Nazis for various reasons. Some of them did it because they were former Nazis; others because they were pro-fascist; and others out of religious motivations. They said we want to help these people come back to the herd. They got lost; we have to bring them back into the church and forgive them. Christian mercy also played a role. In fact, there were some clergy who helped Jews hide during the war and then helped Nazis escape after it – both times acting out of mercy.

What’s your take on Pope Pius XII?

Well, I don’t think he was “Hitler’s Pope,” but it’s clear that he was very anti-communist and anti-communism played a crucial role in all of this. The fear of a communist takeover in Italy was widespread after 1945. There was a strong communist party in Italy, and the possibility that Rome – the heartland of the Catholic Church – would become communist was a horror scenario for many people inside the Vatican. So there was a strong motivation to help anti-communists even if they had a Nazi background.

In 1945 the Nazis were gone, but the communist enemy was still there and more dangerous than ever before.

You write in the book that the CIA also helped former Nazis escape Europe. Why would the CIA do that?

Again, you have to keep in mind the background of the early Cold War. These Nazis were anti-communists and the new enemy was the communists. The United States thought some of these Nazis could be useful. They didn’t have experts on the east who knew the Ukrainian, Yugoslavian, Italian and French communists, for example. But there were people who knew these communists and these were former German intelligence officers.

In your book, you discuss a popular theory – which you call a myth – that former Nazis helped each other escape Europe after the war through an organization called ODESSA. What is this ODESSA myth?

ODESSA is short for Organization of Former SS Members. The ODESSA story came up in ’45, ’46 based on some reports from the CIC, the American counter intelligence corps. This was picked up by Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi hunter, who proceeded to depict ODESSA as a worldwide organization, a kind of conspiracy of former SS members who had unlimited resources and bank accounts in Switzerland and gold and connections everywhere.

But this is a complete myth. There is no evidence of it whatsoever. Such a perfectly- and centrally-organized organization with these powerful means never existed. It’s an invention by Simon Wiesenthal and Frederick Forsyth, who wrote The ODESSA File, which was a best-selling novel – and later made into a movie – based on Wiesenthal’s reports.

Glenn Beck visits Israel and speaks to the Knesset

Glenn Beck is a friend of Israel. He is a friend of the Jewish people

Glenn Beck visits Israel and speaks to the Knesset

By Ben Shapiro
July 18, 2011 – Daily Mailer, FrontPage

Comment by Gail Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator:

One huge mistake, exaggeration, mis-perception that has been cast against Glenn Beck is that Glenn said: [paraphrased] “He is for a two-state solution. The Palestinians should have a state BUT: [this part has been deleted by the MSM Main Stream Media] BUT, A STATE NOT IN ISRAEL BUT, WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER.”

Since Glenn Beck’s dramatic rise to prominence two years ago, he has been portrayed by many members of the left as a kook. The members of the left condemning Beck most loudly, to my utter dismay, have been Jews. Jon Liebowitz, aka Jon Stewart, has dedicated his show to mocking Beck as a religious freak and a nut job; in his episode on Beck’s departure from his Fox News show, Stewart donned Beck-like glasses and then scoffed, “Glenn Beck was sent here by Jesus to take the 5:00 p.m. slot between Neil Cavuto and Shepard Smith for 27 months.”

Rob Eshman of the atrocious Los Angeles Jewish Journal said that Beck’s expose of self-hating Jew and anti-Israel fanatic George Soros was “the verbal equivalent of a Der Sturmer cartoon.” Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, which spends far less time targeting radical Muslims who want to murder Jews than commentators who love Israel, condemned that same Beck vs. Soros episode as “completely inappropriate, offensive, and over the top.” The Jewish Funds for Justice, a far-left Jewish organization, ran a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal taking on Beck.

Let me say this: I stand with Glenn Beck, and against these (frequently misguided and self-destructive) Jews and their organizations. Glenn Beck is a friend of Israel. He is a friend of the Jewish people. And anyone who argues otherwise is either lying or ignorant.

Beck possesses a moral clarity with regard to the Jewish State that has no equivalent in the leftist Jewish community. He recognizes that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians is not a conflict over land or over population exchange, but over fundamental values.

This week, Beck travelled to Israel, where he spoke eloquently about the Fogel family butchered in its sleep by Palestinian terrorists earlier this year. “There’s something bigger than politics here,” he stated. “I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve seen a more clear definition of evil that has been dismissed.” In fact, Beck dedicated several segments on his Fox News show to explicating the Fogel family slaughter, exposing the American people to the true face of moral monstrosity as embodied by the Palestinians who celebrate such murders.

In his speech to the Knesset, Beck explained that he understood the conflict between Israel and anti-Semites the world over: “I got my first death threat, because I came back and said the truth – the conflict is about the destruction of Israel and the end to the Western way of life …. What’s disturbing is that if a guy gets on television or the radio and says the truth, and that’s so unusual, then Israel and the Western way of life are in great danger.”

More impressive than his speech to Knesset is the fact that Beck does tell the truth to the American people about the Israel situation. Too many on the conservative side of the aisle – Israel supporters! – will not label the conflict in pure moral terms. They grant legitimacy to President Obama’s attempts to leverage Israel into concessions, or to the mad musings of Thomas Friedman, who believes that a few bucks can buy off Palestinian radicals. They pretend that if the conditions are made just right, then peace will be achieved.

Beck, on the other hand, sees the conflict as it is, in its stark contrast between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. And he stands with the forces of light in that battle. “Where you go, I will go,” he told Knesset, quoting the Book of Ruth. “Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people are my people. Your God is my God, and where you die I shall die.”

Israel has never had friends before like Glenn Beck and the religious conservative movement in America. Jews are afraid to embrace Beck because he is so overtly religious, so utterly unafraid of mentioning God in public or with regard to Israel. That is why Jews should embrace him. The Judeo-Christian notion of God is the unifying factor between America and Israel.

Beck sees the war, even though many Jews do not. Some Jews are too cosmopolitan for Beck – Jon Stewart, for example, doesn’t bear any great love for Israel, since that would presumably be “ethnocentric” and unprogressive. Some Jews are too parochial, like Eshman, thinking that Beck represents an old-school religion that will result in pogroms, or at the least, closed country clubs.

Those Jews are dead wrong. Beck is an ally, and a very real one. He represents millions of Americans who ally with Israel and the Jews. Jewish Americans ought to roll out the welcome mat to Beck. He’s certainly rolled out the red carpet for Israel.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

Israel cabinet communique from PM Benjamin Netanyahu


Israel cabinet communique from PM Benjamin Netanyahu

At the weekly Cabinet meeting JULY 10, 2011

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

“Yesterday, a new state was born, South Sudan. I hereby announce that Israel recognizes the Republic of South Sudan. We wish it success. This is a peace-seeking country and we would be pleased to cooperate with it in order to ensure its development and its prosperity. Greetings to South Sudan.

Last week, we stopped the defiant fly-in against the State of Israel. We acted methodically and successfully in a variety of spheres – diplomacy, intelligence, public security, migration control and others, in order to frustrate this provocation. And indeed the provocation was foiled. The agents provocateurs who tried to enter the State of Israel, a considerable portion of them were stopped at their points of origin, some were stopped at Ben-Gurion International Airport and some, a minority, entered the State of Israel and were detained here.

I would like to thank our many friends around the world who helped us in this matter. I also thank Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, whom I asked to coordinate the effort in Israel and who did so very well. I also thank Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Interior Minister Eli Yishai and his people. Thanks, of course, to Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and the police, and to the security forces and the Population Authority personnel. I would also like to thank all of the Government officials who worked successfully on this issue.

I would also like to make it clear that Israel will continue to
frustrate provocations and attempts to break through our borders, whether by land, sea or air.

Today, the Cabinet will decide on the demarcation of Israel’s exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea. This boundary will delineate the area in which the state enjoys exclusive economic rights, including the right to exploit the sea’s natural resources. The area that we are talking about borders on Lebanon and Cyprus to the north.

The outline that Lebanon submitted to the UN is significantly further south than the line Israel is proposing. It also conflicts with the line that we have agreed upon with Cyprus and, what is more significant in my eyes, it conflicts with the line that Lebanon itself agreed upon with Cyprus in 2007. Our goal is to determine Israel’s position regarding its maritime border, in keeping with the principles of international maritime law.

2. Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed the Cabinet on his visit to Romania and the Israel-Bulgaria inter-government meeting, and noted that both countries are interesting in developing their economic, security, technological and agricultural relations with Israel. He noted that the State of Israel’s relations with various states in the region, including Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria, are moving forward in a variety of areas and added
that these countries’ common interests are creating a new axis in the region.

3. Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz briefed the Cabinet on his recent meetings in Germany with leading scientists ˆ including Nobel laureates ˆ from around the world. He also discussed the Israeli-German scientific forum, half of whose 200 members are Israeli and half German, and noted the prestige and esteem that Israel receives in the scientific field.

4. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch briefed the Cabinet on the foiling of the fly-in this past weekend and discussed the inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation on the issue.

… Regarding the demarcation of the northern maritime boundary of the State of Israel’s coastal waters, and its exclusive economic zone, the Cabinet decided as follows:

The northern maritime boundary of the State of Israel’s coastal waters, and its exclusive economic zone, in the Mediterranean Sea is determined according to published geographic coordinates. A statement to this effect will be delivered to the UN by the accepted channels. The Foreign Minister shall have authority regarding implementation of this decision.

PM Netanyahu Meets with Greek President Karolos Papoulias
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Tuesday), 11.7.11, met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and thanked him for Greece’s great help during the Carmel wildfire and in stopping the flotilla. The Prime Minister noted the deep friendship between Greece and Israel and added that bilateral economic and tourism cooperation should be strengthened and enhanced.

Regarding the flotilla, Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that growth in the Gaza Strip stood at 25% and that all food items were entering the Strip. “Whoever wants to free Gaza must work to free it from the Hamas regime, which acts cruelly and harshly toward minorities ˆ and those who seek peace ˆ in the Strip,” he said.

Regarding the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he was ready to sit down with the Palestinians tomorrow morning and begin direct negotiations and expressed his regrets that they were refusing.
——————————————–

IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

Obama, his appointees and George Soros conspire to pervert US Constitution to Socialism

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=990

More White House Ties to Soros-Funded Organization

By Aaron Klein
The Jewish Press, July 8 2011

Still more White House officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, have ties to an effort funded by billionaire George Soros to push for a new, “progressive” U.S. Constitution.

This column previously reported that President Obama’s regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein, maintained extensive ties to Soros’s funding, particularly with regard to a movement that openly seeks to create a “progressive” consensus on what the U.S. Constitution “should” provide by the year 2020.

Now, it has emerged that Lisa Brown, Obama’s staff secretary, served as executive director of the Soros-funded American Constitution Society, ACS, a progressive legal organization that was behind the Constitution scheme.

Also, Holder has been closely tied to the ACS, serving on the group’s board of directors and even keynoting its 10th anniversary national convention earlier this month. In 2008, Holder also keynoted its convention. At that event, he reportedly urged young lawyers to get involved in the liberal legal network, saying America would soon be “run by progressives.”

In April 2005, Sunstein opened up a conference at Yale Law School entitled “The Constitution in 2020,” which sought to change the nature and interpretation of the Constitution by that year. The event was sponsored by Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Center for American Progress, which is led by John Podesta, who served as co-chair of Obama’s presidential transition team. Podesta’s center is said to be highly influential in helping to craft White House policy.

The Yale event on the Constitution was also sponsored by the ACS, which has received more that $2.2 million from Soros’s Open Society since 2002.

Sunstein himself has been pushing for a new socialist-style U.S. bill of rights that, among other things, would constitutionally require the government to offer each citizen a “useful” job in the farms or industries of the nation. According to Sunstein’s new bill of rights, the U.S. government can also intercede to ensure every farmer can sell his product for a good return. It also is granted power to act against “unfair competition” and monopolies in business.

All this and more is contained in Sunstein’s 2004 book, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’S Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever. In the work, Sunstein advanced the idea that welfare rights, including some controversial inceptions, be granted by the state.

How the Exemplary Chabad Orthodox Jewish Movement originated

An entire Jewish infrastructure has sprung up from the Embers which were kept alive for 70 years.

How the Exemplary Chabad Orthodox Jewish Movement originated

Russia – The cradle of Chabad. Here Chabad was planted and nurtured; blossomed, flourished and struck its deepest roots. From Liozna and Liadi, from Lubavitch to the furthest reaches of the Pale of Jewish Settlement, Chabad was renowned, revered and cherished.

Czar Cathrine II (“The Great”) established the Pale of Settlement in 1791 as a territory for Russian Jews to live. Created under pressure to rid Moscow of Jewish business competition and “evil” influence on the Russian masses, the Pale of Settlement included the territory of present-day Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belorussia. More than 90% of Russian Jews were forced to live in the poor conditions of the Pale, which made up only 4% of imperial Russia. Still, the Jewish population in Russia grew from 1.6 million in 1820 to 5.6 million in 1910. Even within the Pale, Jews were discriminated against; they paid double taxes, were forbidden to lease land, run taverns or receive higher education.

A liberalization period in the 1860s, which granted Jews some privileges was reversed under the May Laws of 1882. These laws restricted Jews in the Pale to urban areas, which were often overcrowded and offered limited economic opportunities. In addition thousands of Jews fell victim to devastating pogroms in the 1870s and 1880s. The pogroms, boycotts and other anti-Semitic depredations Jews faced in the Pale led to mass immigration to the United States (two million between 1881 and 1914) as well as a string of other developments, such as the controversial Haskalah movement, which sought to modernize Jewish culture. Zionism also took hold in the Pale. Only after the overthrow of the Czarist regime in 1917 was the Pale of Settlement abolished.

The Early Years: By the early years of this century, Lubavitch emissaries had reached the furthest corners of the Czarist empire. Sent by Rabbi Sholom Dovber (known as the Rebbe Rashab, 1860-1920, fifth leader of Chabad), they visited and inspired Jews in even the remotest communities. The unlearned descendants of the “Cantonists” — Jewish children torn from their families to spend their lives as soldiers of the Czar, oriental Jews in Bukhara, the mountain Jews of Georgia and Daghestan, all welcomed Chabad emissaries sent to teach them Torah and raise their standards of Jewish practice.

The First World War plunged Eastern European Jewish communities into chaos, uprooting large populations and disrupting the traditional Torah education system. Then came the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

The Revolution and the Stalin Era: The Revolution opened a frightening new era. Religious education of the young was banned, practice of Judaism was systematically obliterated, and observant Jews — particularly chassidim — were persecuted, arrested, exiled, tortured and shot. To circumcise a child required enormous courage; observing Shabbat and kashrut (the keeping of the kosher laws) became virtually impossible for the Jewish masses — who had been largely Torah-observant before the Revolution.

“Schneersohns Don’t Run..:” Most Jewish leaders took advantage of any opportunity to leave the country. But the destiny of Chabad was inextricably bound up with Russian Jewry. The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), son of the Rebbe Rashab, once told a Czarist police officer: “The Schneersohns don’t run away!” True to his word, he stepped into the gap as the only Jewish leader to remain active in the Soviet Union.

The Foundation: Throwing himself into the task at hand, the Previous Rebbe proceeded to build a widespread network of underground institutions — through the length and breadth of that vast land. Any vestiges of Jewish religious life in the Soviet Union today trace back directly to those foundations.

On a dark night in Moscow, in the winter of 1924, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Rebbe of Lubavitch, made a covenant with a group of young men. They vowed to fight to the end to preserve their religion for the Jews of the Soviet Union, even if it meant losing their lives.

Under the Rebbe’s leadership, an organized underground of hundreds of Cheder (Hebrew) elementary schools, Yeshivas and Mikvahs (ritual baths – one of the essence of orthodox Jewry) sprung up, from St. Petersburg in the west to Tashkent in the east, these dedicated men and women managed to keep the spark of Yiddishkeit (Judaism) alive in hundreds of towns and cities across the land.

The communists persecuted, chased and harassed the Rebbe and his operatives. Often within days, a new Mikvah would be filled with cement. A report would arrive of a teacher sent to the firing squad, his young students sent to Siberia. Through the years of communism, hundreds of Chassidic activists were executed. Thousands more were arrested and sent to Siberia for years of hard labor.

In 1927, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak himself was arrested and sentenced to capital punishment. Through the intervention of the Governments of United States, Germany, and Latvia and petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of Jews across the Soviet Union, the sentence was commuted. The Rebbe was banished from Russia.

New Start: In 1950, his son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, at 48 years old, became the Rebbe (The titular head of the Chabad movement). Under his guidance, the struggle intensified. Not a day would go by when the Rebbe would not struggle for the Jews of Russia. The Rebbe toiled endlessly for their physical and their spiritual well being. He sent couples, posing as tourists, as clandestine Shluchim (emissaries) bringing strength and determination to his Russian underground.

The couples would memorize hundreds of names and addresses. Russian border guards were left scratching their heads by Chassidic couples who would travel to Russia for a two-week stay, laden down with Kosher salami and Jewish books and films. The humanitarian aid was used to feed Jews in cities and shtetls across the land.

Perhaps more than anything else, the message the Shluchim brought the Jews of Russia was that someone on the other side of the curtain remembered and cared. Someone would not sleep and would not rest, until they would be freed from their bondage.
In 1989, the shackles began to break open with the fall of communism and Perestroyka. Immediately, the Rebbe began to dispatch Shluchim to bring Judaism above-ground.

With restriction on religion being officially released, the ashes, glowing for seventy years, finally burst into flame. The warmth of Judaism began to glow for the millions of Jewish men, women and children across Russia who didn’t even know the meaning of the word “Jew.” Schools, shuls, mikvas and community centers began to spring up. Once again, children were laughing in the hallways of Jewish schools. An entire Jewish infrastructure has sprung up from the Embers which were kept alive for 70 years.

Jerome S. Kaufman

(Article created from Chabad site and other sources online)

Delighted apology – Walter Williams article a hoax!

Dear Readers,

Several readers of Israel Commentary reported to me that the article, supposedly by Walter Williams declaring that the Republican Party is doomed to defeat against Barack Obama, is a hoax. I am delighted to report that I just checked with the authority on veracity, Snopes.com and Snopes declared, as shown below, that the article was falsely attributed to Williams.

My apologies,

Jerry Kaufman

Claim: Dr. Walter Williams penned an opinion piece entitled “No Matter What,” about President Obama’a inevitable re-election.

INCORRECTLY ATTRIBUTED

snopes.com

No Matter What
(I titled it: The ignorant are going to bury us)
By Dr. Walter Williams

“Can President Obama be defeated in 2012? No, He can’t …”

Now we can say accurately, I hope, “Yes, he can.”

Jerry Kaufman


US/Europeans/UN funneling $$ down bottomless Palestinian/Hamas drain?

http://israel-commentary.org/?p=958


By Peggy Shapiro

AMERICAN THINKER

July 11, 2011


Dan Greenfield recently determined that the Palestinian Authority is facing another budget crisis and requesting additional funding from the West. Before we take out our overdrawn checkbooks, it might be time to look at some of the numbers and decide if we can afford to pour more money down the Palestinian Authority drain.
 
 Greenfield makes the point that the Palestinians are better off than some of the people who are footing most of the PA bills. 


Percentage of the population who live below the poverty line:

West Bank (under PA control) 16% 
Washington, D.C. 18.9%. 

Greece 20%. 

Israel 24%.

 
 

Palestinians are already receiving more money in international financial assistance than other groups who are struggling in far more dire circumstance. 

Per capita Foreign Assistance 2009:


Palestinian Authority $725.00
Afghanistan $219.00

Sudan $56.00
 
Central African Republic $53.00
 
Ethiopia $48.00
 
Democratic Republic Congo $34.60

Niger $31.20
 Bangladesh $8.00
 


In fact, the Palestinians are the top per-capita aid recipients in the history of the planet. It’s not just how much, but how long Palestinians have received international welfare that breaks all records. For 63 years, the US, European nations and the UN have been nonstop donors.  While all refugees in the world receive assistance for a few years from the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, Palestinians have their own, seemingly eternal source of UN welfare under the auspices of the United Nations Relief United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  

Set up in 1949 with a temporary, three-year mandate (UNGA Resolution 302IV) to provide aid and jobs for 700,000 Palestinian refugees, UNRWA has grown into a permanent institution for the only people allowed to hold refugee status for over sixty years.  The number of “refugees” has inflated to 4,618,141 since refugee status is an inheritance which is passed on to all descendants and their descendants no matter where they live.
 
The Return on the investment to the Palestinian Authority is questionable at best.  It certainly hasn’t bought the peace it was expected to buy.

In 2007, eighty-seven countries and international organizations pledged $7.4 billion to the Palestinian Authority, an amount far in excess of any previous level of US or European aid to the Palestinians for the purpose of strengthening those Palestinians who favor peaceful coexistence with Israel.  
                                                                      
 

How much peace has $7.4 billion purchased? Not only has the Palestinian Authority formed a unity government with the terror group Hamas, it also passed a law in June which allows it to put imprisoned terrorists, even members of Hamas, on its payroll.

Rather than quell violence, foreign assistance to the Palestinian Authority has shown to correlate to an increase in violent attacks against both other Palestinians and Israelis.  
 
The billions of dollars, francs, marks, shekels and euros in Palestinian aid are not producing the desired outcomes and have had some dire consequences for the Palestinian people, who live with the resulting government corruption and culture of resentment and dependency. The welfare does not bring peace or prosperity to its recipients and we cannot afford to throw any more money down the Palestinian drain.