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).

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.

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

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.

Ronnie Reagan’s advice to next Republican Presidential Candidate

Reagan Was Right

BY THE EDITORS, The Weekly Standard
JUN 27, 2011, VOL. 16, NO. 39

We at The Weekly Standard have had plenty of advice for Republicans on how to criticize (and occasionally to support) Obama administration foreign and defense policies. But as the GOP presidential campaign heats up, it seems that some candidates are more tempted to imitate the foreign policy orientation of George McGovern or John Kerry than of Ronald Reagan. So we thought it might be useful to remind them of what Reagan said when he took on and defeated a Democratic incumbent.

Here, then, are excerpts from Ronald Reagan’s acceptance speech to the 1980 Republican Convention:

…”When we move from domestic affairs and cast our eyes abroad, we see an equally sorry chapter on the record of the present administration. .  .  .

America’s defense strength is at its lowest ebb in a generation. .  .  .

Our .  .  . allies, looking nervously at the growing menace from the East, turn to us for leadership and fail to find it. .  .  .

Adversaries large and small test our will and seek to confound our resolve, but we are given weakness when we need strength; vacillation when the times demand firmness.

The Carter (Obama) administration lives in the world of make-believe. Every day, drawing up a response to that day’s problems, troubles, regardless of what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow.

The rest of us, however, live in the real world. It is here that disasters are overtaking our nation without any real response from Washington. .  .  .

I’ll tell you where I stand. I do not favor a peacetime draft or registration, but I do favor pay and benefit levels that will attract and keep highly motivated men and women in our volunteer forces and an active reserve trained and ready for an instant call in case of an emergency.

There may be a sailor at the helm of the ship of state, but the ship has no rudder. Critical decisions are made at times almost in comic fashion, but who can laugh? Who was not embarrassed when the administration handed a major propaganda victory in the United Nations to the enemies of Israel, our staunch Middle East ally? .  .  .

Who does not feel a growing sense of unease as our allies, facing repeated instances of an amateurish and confused administration, reluctantly conclude that America is unwilling or unable to fulfill its obligations as the leader of the free world?

Who does not feel rising alarm when the question in any discussion of American foreign policy is no longer, “Should we do something?” but “Do we have the capacity to do anything?”

The administration which has brought us to this state is seeking your endorsement for four more years of weakness, indecision, mediocrity, and incompetence. No American should vote until he or she has asked, is the United States stronger and more respected now than it was three-and-a-half years ago? Is the world today a safer place in which to live? .  .  .

We are not a warlike people. Quite the opposite. We always seek to live in peace. We resort to force infrequently and with great reluctance—and only after we have determined that it is absolutely necessary. .  .  . But neither can we be naïve or foolish. .  .  . We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted. .  .  .

Let our friends and those who may wish us ill take note: The United States has an obligation to its citizens and to the people of the world never to let those who would destroy freedom dictate the future course of human life on this planet. I would regard my election as proof that we have renewed our resolve to preserve world peace and freedom. This nation will once again be strong enough to do that. .  .  .

Reagan’s unapologetic defense of American strength is as timely today as it was three decades ago. Which Republican candidate will make a name for himself (or herself) by delivering a suitably updated version of this message?

Martin Luther King Would Be Repulsed By Black Anti-Semitism

By Clarence B. Jones, Martin Luther King’s personal attorney and adviser, and Joel Engel

The Jewish Press, May 10, 2011

Earlier this month, at a Los Angeles event for the national African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, the keynote speaker launched into an anti-Semitic tirade – directed at the fraternity’s guest of honor. The shocking episode shows just how far we’ve strayed from the original vision of the civil rights movement – and how far we have yet to travel to realize that vision.

The guest of honor, Daphna Ziman, an Israeli-American woman, had just received the Tom Bradley Award for generous philanthropy and public service. But instead of praise, the Rev. Eric Lee berated her. “The Jews,” he claimed, “have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.” (Mr. Lee would later apologize to Ms. Ziman.)

It was bad enough that the event took place on April 4, the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Even more galling, Mr. Lee is the president-CEO of the L.A. branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation – the very civil-rights organization co-founded by the slain civil-rights leader.

Martin would have been repelled by Mr. Lee’s remarks. I was Martin’s lawyer and one of his closest advisers, and I can say with absolute certainty that Martin abhorred anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism.

“There isn’t anyone in this country more likely to understand our struggle than Jews,” Martin told me. “Whatever progress we’ve made so far as a people, their support has been essential.”

Martin was disheartened that so many blacks could be swayed by Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam and other black separatists, rejecting his message of nonviolence and grumbling about “Jew landlords” and “Jew interlopers” – even “Jew slave traders.”

The resentment and anger displayed toward people who offered so much support for civil rights was then nascent. But it has only festered and grown over four decades. Today, black-Jewish relations have arguably grown worse, not better.

For that, Martin would place fault principally on the shoulders of black leaders such as Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson – either for making anti-Semitic statements, inciting anti-Semitism (including violence), or failing to condemn overt anti-Semitism within the black community.

When American cities were burning in the summers before he died, Martin listened to any number of young blacks holding matches blame Jewish landlords or Jewish store-owners in the inner city – no matter that Jews were a minority of landlords and store owners.

He asked them, Who else might have bought the buildings that we lived in and rented us apartments? Who else was willing to come in and open stores and sell us the things we needed? Where were these Negroes with money who’d abandoned their communities? And if blacks had bought those businesses and buildings, would they have charged less for rent and bread?

As Martin wrote in 1967:

Negroes nurture a persistent myth that the Jews of America attained social mobility and status solely because they had money. It is unwise to ignore the error for many reasons. In a negative sense it encourages anti-Semitism and overestimates money as a value. In a positive sense, the full truth reveals a useful lesson.

Jews progressed because they possessed a tradition of education combined with social and political action. The Jewish family enthroned education and sacrificed to get it. The result was far more than abstract learning. Uniting social action with educational competence, Jews became enormously effective in political life.

To Martin, who believed the pursuit of excellence would trump adversity, Jewish success should, and could, be used as a blueprint and inspiration for blacks’ own success rather than as an incitement to bitterness.

Any blacks who subscribe to the views represented in Mr. Lee’s speech would do well to heed the words and deeds of the man whose name and legacy they claim to represent.

Israel with no more time for false hopes and naive dependency upon others must act.

EXPECTED EFFECTS OF AN IRANIAN NUCLEAR ATTACK ON ISRAEL
4 June 2011

By Louis René Beres
Professor, Department of Political Science
Purdue University
West Lafayette IN 47907

A just-released report by the IAEA, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency, pretty much makes it official: Iran’s entry into the Nuclear Club is now incontestably probable, and also sooner than expected. This once-preventable development will be the direct result of persistently false hopes in both Washington and Jerusalem. For Israel, especially, the remaining prevention options will now be severely limited. As to the plausible consequences of any significant strategic failure, these outcomes would be grave, or even unimaginable.

Will a newly-elected nuclear leadership in Tehran be fully rational? What will happen to Israel if Iranian leaders, endowed with nuclear weapons, should prove to value certain presumed religious obligations more highly than their state’s national survival? This is not a silly or disingenuous question. Many of Iran’s current leaders, including President Ahmadinejad, subscribe faithfully to the explosive narrative of a Shi’ite apocalypse.

Whether rational or irrational, any Iranian leadership that slouches toward inevitable conflict with the “Zionist Entity,” could, in less than three years, unleash nuclear war. Deliberately or inadvertently, as a “bolt from the blue,” or as a fully unintended result of escalation, whether out of an inexorable religious commitment to Jihad against “unbelievers,” or for much more mundane reasons of miscalculation, accident, coup d’état, or command-control failure, a nuclear Tehran could ignite a real-world Armageddon.

Thirty-one years ago, I published the first of ten books that contained authoritative descriptions of the physical and medical consequences of nuclear war, any nuclear war. These descriptions were drawn largely from a still-valid 1975 report by the National Academy of Sciences, and included the following very tangible outcomes: large temperature changes; contamination of food and water; disease epidemics in crops, domesticated animals, and humans due to ionizing radiation; shortening of growing seasons; irreversible injuries to aquatic species; widespread and long-term cancers due to inhalation of plutonium particles; radiation-induced abnormalities in persons in utero at the time of detonations; a vast growth in the number of skin cancers, and increasing genetic disease.

Overwhelming health problems would afflict the survivors of any Iranian nuclear attack upon Israel. These difficulties would extend beyond prompt burn injuries. Retinal burns would even occur in the eyes of persons very far from the actual explosions.

Tens of thousands of Israelis would be crushed by collapsing buildings, and torn to shreds by flying glass. Others would fall victim to raging firestorms. Fallout injuries would include whole-body radiation injury, produced by penetrating, hard gamma radiations; superficial radiation burns produced by soft radiations; and injuries produced by deposits of radioactive substances within the body.

After an Iranian nuclear attack, even a “small” one, those few medical facilities that might still exist in Israel would be taxed beyond capacity. Water supplies would become unusable. Housing and shelter could be unavailable for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of survivors. Transportation would break down to rudimentary levels. Food shortages would be critical and long-term.

Israel’s normally complex network of exchange systems would be shattered. Virtually everyone would be deprived of the most basic means of livelihood. Emergency police and fire services would be decimated. All systems dependent upon electrical power could stop functioning. Severe trauma would occasion widespread disorientation and psychiatric disorders for which there would be no therapeutic services.

Normal human society would cease. The pestilence of unrestrained murder and banditry could soon augment plague and epidemics. Many of the survivors would expect an increase in serious degenerative diseases. They would also expect premature death; impaired vision, and sterility. An increased incidence of leukemia and cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, ovary and uterine cervix would be unavoidable.

Extensive fallout would upset many delicately balanced relationships in nature. Israelis who survive the nuclear attack would still have to deal with enlarged insect populations. Like the locusts of biblical times, mushrooming insect hordes would spread from the radiation-damaged areas in which they arose.

Insects are generally more resistant to radiation than humans. This fact, coupled with the prevalence of unburied corpses, uncontrolled waste and untreated sewage, would generate tens of trillions of flies and mosquitoes. Breeding in the dead bodies, these insects would make it impossible to control typhus, malaria, dengue fever and encephalitis. Throughout Israel, tens or even hundreds of thousands of rotting human corpses would pose the largest health threat.

Reciprocally, all of these same effects, possibly even more expansive and destructive, would be unleashed upon Iran by Israel. An immediate massive Israeli retaliation for any Iranian nuclear aggression would be certain. In Iran, the once eagerly-expected joys of “martyrdom” would fade in a literal flash.

In its newest report, the IAEA “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities, involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Now, when effective preemption or “anticipatory self-defense” by Israel is no longer practicable, and when any sustained nuclear deterrence with Iran would be both unstable and unpredictable, even if there were a sudden end to Israel’s “nuclear ambiguity,” Jerusalem may need to place most of its ultimate survival bets on ballistic missile defense (the “Arrow”).

Should these bets fail, no lilacs could breed out of the dead land. Before anything fully human could ever again be born in such a necropolis, a gravedigger would have to wield the forceps.

No wonder over 90% of teachers vote Democrat!

Fat City

Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.

Redacted from an article
By Professor Emeritus David Rubenstein
Weekly Standard, May 30, 2011

After 34 years of teaching sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I recently retired at age 64 at 80 percent of my pay for life. This calculation was based on a salary spiked by summer teaching, and since I no longer pay into the retirement fund, I now receive significantly more than when I “worked.” But that’s not all: There’s a generous health insurance plan, a guaranteed 3 percent annual cost of living increase, and a few other perquisites.

Having over-invested in my retirement annuity, I received a fat refund and—when it rains, it pours—another for unused sick leave. I was also offered the opportunity to teach as an emeritus for three years, receiving $8,000 per course, double the pay for adjuncts, which works out to over $200 an hour. Another going-away present was summer pay, one-ninth of my salary, with no teaching obligation.

I haven’t done the math but I suspect that, given a normal life span, these benefits nearly doubled my salary. And in Illinois these benefits are constitutionally guaranteed, up there with freedom of religion and speech.

… Why do I put “worked” in quotation marks? Because my main task as a university professor was self-cultivation: reading and writing about topics that interested me. Maybe this counts as work. But here I am today—like many of my retired colleagues—doing pretty much what I have done since the day I began graduate school, albeit with less intensity.

Before retiring, I carried a teaching load of two courses per semester: six hours of lecture a week. I usually scheduled classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays: The rest of the week was mine. Sometimes my teaching began at 9:30 a.m., but this was hardship duty. A night owl, I preferred to start my courses at 11 or 12.

This schedule held for 30 weeks of the year, leaving free three months in summer, a month in December, and a week in spring, plus all the usual holidays. Every six years, there was sabbatical leave: a semester off at full pay to do research, which sometimes actually got done. The grandest prize of all is, of course, tenure. The tenured live in a different world than ordinary mortals, a world in which fears of unemployment are banished, futures can be confidently planned, and retirement is secure.

The only really arduous part of teaching was grading exams and papers. But for most of my classes I had teaching assistants to do this, graduate students who usually knew little more about the topic than the undergraduates.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Harvard, donating 4 to 1 in favor of Democrats in 2008, was one of the more politically diverse major American universities. Ninety-two percent of employees at the University of Chicago donated to Democrats. The University of California favored Democrats over Republicans, 90 percent to 10 percent. And William and Mary employees preferred Democrats to the GOP by a margin of 99 percent to 1 percent. Neil Gross of Harvard found that 87.6 percent of social scientists voted for Kerry, 6.2 percent for Bush.

Gross also found that 25 percent of sociologists characterize themselves as Marxists, likely a higher percentage than members of the Chinese Communist party. I would guess that if Lenin were around today he would be teaching sociology and seeking grants to fund the revolution.

An argument can be made that, compared with professionals in the private sector, college professors are underpaid, though according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “By rank, the average salary was $108,749 for full professors.” It is difficult to compare the overall goodness of different lives, but there is a back of the envelope shortcut. The rarity of quits and the abundance of applications is good evidence that the life of the college professor is indeed enviable.

And then there are the public schools. Because K-12 education is local, generalizations are difficult. But there are many egregious cases. Less than 2 percent of teachers in Los Angeles are denied tenure. In the last decade, according to LA Weekly, the city “spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district’s 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance.”

Protests against efforts to reform pay scales, teaching loads, and retirement benefits employ a “solidarity forever, the union makes us strong” rhetoric. What these professors and other government workers do not understand is that they are not demanding a share of the profits from the fat-cat bourgeoisie. They are squeezing taxpayers—for whom the professors purport to advocate—whose lives are in most cases far harsher than their own.

David Rubinstein is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Another Obama Personal Stimulus Package to relieve US Debt

Editorial: An entourage more royal than the Queen’s

By Dale McFeatters
Scripps Howard News Service editorials and opinion

The heads of government in London for the G-20 summit are discussing serious and weighty issues, which in time will be duly reported on, but right now the British press is entranced by the sheer size of President Obama’s traveling entourage. No wonder! Obama arrived with 500 staff in tow, including 200 Secret Service agents, a team of six doctors, the White House chef and kitchen staff with the president’s own food and water.

And, according to the Evening Standard, he also came with “35 vehicles in all, four speech writers and 12 teleprompters.” For sure, our president is not going to be at a loss for words. (No word as to how many teleprompters)

The press duly reported on Air Force One and all its bells and whistles but also on the presence of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, and a fleet of identical decoys to ferry him from Stansted airport to central London.

Among all those vehicles is the presidential limousine, which one local paper mistakenly called Cadillac One, but is universally referred to as the Beast. The limo, reinforced with ceramic and titanium armor, carries tear gas cannon, night vision devices, its own oxygen and is resistant to chemical and radiation attack. It is, marveled one reporter, a sort of mobile panic room. The Guardian called it “the ultimate in heavily armored transport.”

The president is entitled (Like all the other “entitlements” politicians use to attract votes and bankrupt the country) to all the security, communications and support he feels necessary to do his job but surely, when we’re trying to project a more restrained, humble image to the world, the president’s huge retinue could be scaled back to something less than the triumphal march from “Aida.”

http://www.scrippsnews.com

Birthcertifigate issue refuses to go away. Criminal Charges filed!

QUESTION OF ELIGIBILITY
Criminal complaint charges Obama birth record ‘forged’
22-page brief filed with FBI claims ‘irrefutable proof’ document a fraud

May 31, 2011

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2011 WND (World Net Daily)

This is the first of three articles on the criminal complaint that scanner-expert Doug Vogt filed last week with the FBI. An international expert on scanners and document-imaging software filed a 22-page criminal complaint with the FBI, charging that the long-form birth certificate released by the White House is criminally fraudulent.

“What the Obama administration released is a PDF image that they are trying to pass off as a Certificate of Live Birth Long Form printed on green security paper by the Hawaiian Health Department,” Doug Vogt writes, “but this form is a created forgery.”

Get the inside details on what could be the most serious constitutional crisis in modern history, in “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President,” autographed by the author!

Vogt’s criminal complaint asserts: “I have irrefutably proven that the Certificate of Live Birth that President Obama presented to the world on April 27, 2011, is a fraudulently created document put together using the Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator programs, and the creation of this forgery of a public document constitutes a class B felony in Hawaii and multiple violations under U.S. Code section Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, Sec.1028, and therefore an impeachable offense.”

When the Obama birth certificate “forgery” comes to the public’s attention, Vogt continues, “It will surpass all previous scandals including the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration.”

Since 1993, Vogt has owned Archive Index Systems Inc., in Bellevue, Wash., a company that sells a wide variety of document scanners worldwide and develops document imaging software.
Before that, Vogt owned Nova Typesetting for 11 years.

Read more: Criminal complaint charges Obama birth record ‘forged’

Israel thanks PM Stephen Harper and the Nation of Canada

Israel Thanks Canada for Defense at G8 Summit

by Chana Ya’ar

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman made sure to pick up the telephone and call his counterpart in Ottawa this weekend to thank him for Canada’s stance at the G8 summit last week. Lieberman told John Baird, who recently came into the post, that Canada is a “true friend of Israel.”

Israel’s foreign minister added that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been correct in his reading of the situation to know that the 1967-1949 Armistice lines are incompatible with the demographic realities in the Jewish State – and are indefensible as borders. Harper blocked the G8 from issuing statements with any mention of the recommendation, stated by U.S. President Barack Obama in his Middle Eastern policy speech a week prior.

Although G8 leaders called for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the group’s final communique issued Friday in Deauville, France, the “1967 lines” were not included. A day later, the Arab League issued its own communique, stating it would support the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to return to any negotiations.

Instead, the Arab League will back a bid by the PA to appeal directly to the United Nations for recognition of a new Arab country called “Palestine” in Gaza, Judea and Samaria with much of Jerusalem as its capital – including many areas where Jews currently live and work.

The “peace process follow up committee” at the Doha meeting in Qatar said it would request membership for the “State of Palestine” at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York in September. Qatar is set to chair that meeting, according to the current rotation.

As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pointed out in his speech to the US Congress last week, there are more than half a million Israelis, most of whom are Jewish, living in the areas claimed by the PA and they are not all leaving. Israel’s decision will be based upon Israel’s necessary defensive positions and demographic considerations long in place.

The least competent manager of our diplomatic portfolio in a long time.

By WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest magazine

The Dreamer Goes Down For The Count

I had never thought there were many similarities between the pleasure-loving Charles II of England and the more upright Barack Obama until this week. Listening to his speeches on the Middle East at the State Department, US-Israel relations at the AIPAC annual meeting and most recently his address to the British Parliament the comparison becomes irresistible.

“Here lies our sovereign king,” wrote the Earl of Rochester about King Charles: Whose word no man relies on. Who never said a foolish thing Or ever did a wise one.”

This seems to capture President Obama’s Middle East problems in a nutshell. The President’s descriptions of the situation are comprehensive and urbane. He correctly identifies the forces at work. He develops interesting policy ideas and approaches that address important political and moral elements of the complex problems we face. He crafts approaches that might, with good will and deft management, bridge the gaps between the sides. He reads thoughtful speeches full of sensible reflections.

But the last few weeks have cast him as the least competent manager of America’s Middle East diplomatic portfolio in a very long time. He has infuriated and frustrated long term friends, but made no headway in reconciling enemies. He has strained our ties with the established regimes without winning new friends on the Arab Street . He has committed our forces in the strategically irrelevant backwater of Libya not, as he originally told us, for “days, not weeks” but for months not days.

Where he has failed so dramatically is in the arena he himself has so frequently identified as vital: the search for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. His record of grotesque, humiliating and total diplomatic failure in his dealings with Prime Minister Netanyahu has few parallels in American history. Three times he has gone up against Netanyahu; three times he has ingloriously failed. This last defeat — Netanyahu’s deadly, devastating speech to Congress in which he eviscerated President Obama’s foreign policy to prolonged and repeated standing ovations by members of both parties — may have been the single most stunning and effective public rebuke to an American President a foreign leader has ever delivered.

Netanyahu beat Obama like a red-headed stepchild; he played him like a fiddle; he pounded him like a big brass drum. The Prime Minister of Israel danced rings around his arrogant, professorial opponent. It was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters go up against the junior squad from Miss Porter’s School; like watching Harvard play Texas A&M, like watching Bambi meet Godzilla — or Bill Clinton run against Bob Dole.

The Prime Minister mopped the floor with our guy. Obama made his ’67 speech; Bibi ripped him to shreds. Obama goes to AIPAC, nervous, off-balance, backing and filling. Then Bibi drops the C-Bomb, demonstrating to the whole world that the Prime Minister of Israel has substantially more support in both the House and the Senate than the President of the United States .

President Obama’s new Middle East policy, intended to liquidate the wreckage resulting from his old policy and get the President somehow on to firmer ground, lies in ruins even before it could be launched. He had dropped the George Mitchell approach, refused to lay out his own set of parameters for settling the conflict, and accepted some important Israeli red lines — but for some reason he chose not to follow through with the logic of these decisions and offer Netanyahu a reset button.

As so often in the past, but catastrophically this time, he found the “sour spot”: the position that angers everyone and pleases none. He moved close enough to the Israelis to infuriate the Palestinians while keeping the Israelis at too great a distance to earn their trust. One can argue (correctly in my view) that US policy must at some level distance itself from the agendas of both parties to help bring peace.

But that has to be done carefully, and to make it work one first needs to win their trust. Obama lost the trust of the Israelis early in the administration and never earned it back; he lost the Palestinians when he was unable to deliver Israeli concessions he led them to expect.

The President is now wandering across Europe seeking to mend fences with allies ( Britain, France, Poland ) he had earlier neglected and/or offended; at home, his authority and credibility have been holed below the waterline.

Everyone who followed the events of the last week knows that the President has lost control of the American-Israeli relationship and that he has no near-term prospects of rescuing the peace process. The Israelis, the Palestinians and the US Congress have all rejected his leadership.

Peace processes are generally good things even if they seldom bring peace; one hopes the President can find a way to re-launch American diplomacy on this issue but for now he seems to have reached a dead end — and to have allowd himself to be fatally tagged as too pro-Israel to win the affection of the Europeans and Arabs, and too pro-Palestinian to be trusted either by Israel or by many of the Americans who support it.

Internationally, this matters a great deal; domestically it matters even more. The President has significantly less capacity to act than he did a week ago. The Bin Laden dividend, already cruelly diminished by what The Daily Caller said was the administration’s “victory lap in a clown car” is now history. The GOP, in trouble recently as voters recoil from what many see as Republican extremism on issues like Medicare and public unions, will be able to use the national security card in new and potent ways.

As the stunning and overwhelming response to Prime Minister Netanyahu in Congress showed, Israel matters in American politics like almost no other country on earth. Well beyond the American Jewish and the Protestant fundamentalist communities, the people and the story of Israel stir some of the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the American soul. The idea of Jewish and Israeli exceptionalism is profoundly tied to the idea of American exceptionalism. The belief that God favors and protects Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects America .

It means more. The existence of Israel means that the God of the Bible is still watching out for the well-being of the human race. For many American Christians who are nothing like fundamentalists, the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land and their creation of a successful, democratic state after two thousand years of oppression and exile is a clear sign that the religion of the Bible can be trusted.

Being pro-Israel matters in American mass politics because the public mind believes at a deep level that to be pro-Israel is to be pro-America and pro-faith. Substantial numbers of voters believe that politicians who don’t ‘get’ Israel also don’t ‘get’ America and don’t ‘get’ God. Obama’s political isolation on this issue, and the haste with which liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi left the embattled President to take the heat alone, testify to the pervasive sense in American politics that Israel is an American value. Said the Minority Leader to the Prime Minister: “I think it’s clear that both sides of the Capitol believe you advance the cause of peace.”

President Obama probably understands this intellectually; he understands many things intellectually. But what he can’t seem to do is to incorporate that knowledge into a politically sustainable line of policy. The deep American sense of connection to and, yes, love of Israel limits the flexibility of any administration. Again, the President seems to know that with his head. But he clearly had no idea what he was up against when Bibi Netanyahu came to town.

As a result, he’s taking another ride in the clown car, and this time it isn’t a victory lap. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the next intifada got a lot closer this week. (Hashem forbid!)

How to determine the winner of the Obamacare/Medicare debate?

Redacted from the article, “Beyond Mediscare”
By Yuval Levin
The Weekly Standard, May 30, 2011

Do House Republicans want to kill the elderly? If you listen to the left these days, you’d certainly think so. Last week, a liberal advocacy group called “The Agenda Project”—which claims to advance “rational, effective ideas in the public debate”—released an ad showing a look-alike of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff. “Is America beautiful without Medicare?” the ad inquires of viewers. “Ask Paul Ryan and his friends in Congress.”

Nor is it only rabid interest groups that have succumbed to such appeals. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, said more or less the same thing earlier this month. When asked about the House Republican budget’s approach to Medicare, Sebelius said that, under the plan, “If you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you’re left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner. There really aren’t a lot of options.”

The president himself has come pretty close to this view. The Republican budget, Obama said in a speech at George Washington University last month, “says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck—you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.”

Clearly, the GOP Medicare reform has struck a nerve. Democrats seem unwilling to speak about it honestly. Maybe they know that the facts do not support their case.

Let’s start with “Medicare as we know it.” According to the Congressional Budget Office and Medicare’s trustees, the program has a long-term unfunded liability of more than $30 trillion. It’s about a decade from insolvency. The trustees’ latest annual report, released on May 13, notes that the Medicare trust fund is projected to run out of money five years sooner than was projected last year. Its current trajectory would swallow up the federal budget. Taxes could not be raised high or fast enough to keep up with its growth without crushing the economy.

The Democrats cannot deny the figures, but their solution is to let the crisis come. President Obama’s budget offered nothing beyond Obamacare as a solution. In an extraordinary letter affixed to the recent trustees’ report, Medicare’s chief actuary noted that Obamacare’s approach to the program—price controls determined by a board of experts and devoid of market-based reforms that could help health care providers improve their efficiency—would actually exacerbate Medicare’s troubles.

The Republican budget offers precisely such market-based reforms. It proposes not just to reduce the growth rate of Medicare spending, but to introduce consumer pressures into the system that would create financial incentives for providers to work more efficiently and reduce the growth of the health care costs that are at the heart of the problem.

Currently Medicare recipients play no part in determining who gets paid and how much, and have no sense of what their health care costs. Providers have no financial incentive to deliver better care at lower prices. And price controls that would reduce what Medicare pays per service (the Obamacare solution) would only create an incentive for providers to supply a greater volume of services to make up the difference. That is exactly what price controls have done in the past—drive efficiency down and costs up.

The House Republican proposal would change Medicare’s counterproductive design. It would leave today’s seniors and those now 55 or older in the current system, since they have planned their retirements around it. But everyone younger than that would join a redesigned Medicare when they retire.

Rather than pay all providers a set fee directly, seniors would use the money (in the form of a premium support payment that would start at current Medicare rates and grow with inflation) to choose insurance plans from a menu of guaranteed private coverage options. Poor seniors and those in the worst health would get significantly greater support, while the wealthiest would receive less.

And seniors would be buying guaranteed insurance with limits on out of pocket costs, not paying directly for care. Sebelius’s notion that they would simply “run out” of money if they got sick is nothing more than fear-mongering.

Insurers and providers would compete for seniors’ dollars. They would be free to find innovative ways to offer better quality at lower costs. That’s how markets produce efficiency: by letting sellers find ways to offer buyers what they want at prices they want to pay. Everyone agrees that such efficiency improvements are essential. As Ryan has put it, the basic choice offered by the parties’ competing approaches to Medicare has to do with how efficiency is achieved. It’s a choice between giving a board of experts the power to deny care to seniors based on its magisterial judgment of quality and value, and giving seniors the power to deny business to providers based on their individual opinions and priorities.

For politicians, it is also a choice between reforming a program that seniors are comfortable with and leaving it alone despite its fatal problems. Republicans have chosen to deal with that difficulty by leaving current seniors with all the benefits they are accustomed to in the current program and reforming it for the next generation.

Democrats have chosen to deal with it by pretending there is no problem, falsely insisting that any reform will harm today’s seniors, and leaving a colossal disaster for the next generation. Republicans, in other words, have chosen a policy solution that carries political risk while the Democrats have opted for political advantage.

Do you know what al-Hijra is? You had better!

Redacted from Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ Speech
Nashville Cornerstone Church. May 12, 2011

…Do you know why America is better than Europe? Because you enjoy more freedom. European and Canadian people are dragged to court for telling the truth about Islam.

I, too, have been dragged to court. I am an elected member of the house of representatives in the Netherlands. I am currently standing in court like a common criminal for saying that Islam is a dangerous totalitarian ideology rather than a religion. The court case is still pending, but I risk a jail sentence of 16 months.

…I am here today with an unpleasant message. I am here with a warning. I am here with a battle cry: “Wake up, Christians of Tennessee. Islam is at your gate.” Do not make the mistake which Europe made. Do not allow Islam to gain a foothold here. Islam is dangerous. Islam wants to establish a state on earth, ruled by Islamic sharia law. Islam aims for the submission, whether by persuasion, intimidation or violence, of all non-Muslims, including Christians.

Islam is an ideology of conquest. It uses two methods to achieve this goal: the first method is the sword. Do you know what figures are on the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country where Christian churches are banned and Christians are not even allowed to wear a tiny crucifix? There is a huge sword on that flag, just below the Islamic creed. The message is clear. Without the sword Islam would not have been able to spread its creed.

The second method is immigration. Islam’s founder Muhammad himself taught his followers how to conquer through immigration when they moved from Mecca to Medina. This phenomenon of conquest through immigration is called al-Hijra. In Europe we have been experiencing al-Hijra for over 30 years now. Many of our cities have changed beyond recognition. “In each one of our cities” wrote the well-known Italian author, Oriana Fallaci shortly before her death in 2006, “there is a second city, a state within the state, a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran.”

“Multiculturalism” is a disaster. Almost everyone acknowledges this today, but few dare say why. Let me tell you why: Multiculturalism made us tolerate the intolerant, and now intolerance is annihilating tolerance. Only two weeks ago, the British press revealed how the so-called “London Taliban” is threatening to kill women who do not wear veils in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

In some neighborhoods Islamic regulations are already being enforced – also on non-Muslims. Women’s rights are being trampled. We are confronted with headscarves and burqa’s, polygamy, female genital mutilation, honor-killings where men murder their wives, daughters or sisters because they do not behave in accordance with Islamic rules.

Among 15-year-old German Muslims, 40 percent consider islam more important than democracy. Among Muslim university students in Britain, 40 percent support sharia. One in three of those students considers it legitimate to kill in the name of islam.

Muhammad personally participated in the ethnic cleansing of Medina, where half the population once was Jewish. Muhammad helped to chop off their heads. On his deathbed, he ordered his followers to cleanse Arabia of all Jews and Christians.

To this very day, Christian symbols are prohibited in Saudi-Arabia. If you wear a cross in Saudi Arabia, they send you to jail. And now, Europe is beginning to look like Arabia. Just today, a poll revealed that in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, half the Islamic youths are anti-semitic. It is dangerous for Jews to walk the streets in Brussels.

If you wear a cross or a kippah in certain urban areas in Europe today, you risk being beaten up. In the capital of my own country, Amsterdam, a tram driver was forced to remove his crucifix from sight, while his Muslim colleagues are allowed to wear the veil.

In June 2008, the Christian church authorities in the Danish town of Arhus decided to pay so-called “protection money” to islamic so-called “security guards” who assure that church goers are not harassed by islamic youths.

On March 31, 2010, Muslims entered the Roman Catholic cathedral of Cordoba, Spain, and attacked the guards with knives. They claimed the cathedral was theirs.

Last month, the bishops of Sweden sent out a letter to priests advising them to avoid converting asylum seekers from islamic countries to Christianity, because the converts would risk losing their lives.

In the Netherlands, the city authorities in Amsterdam register polygamous marriages. The authorities in Rotterdam serve only halal meals in municipal cafeterias. Theaters provide separate seats for women who are not allowed to sit next to men. Municipal swimming pools have separate swimming hours for men and women, Muslim lawyers do not have to stand when the judges enter court rooms. Meanwhile Jews are no longer safe on our streets. Political “leaders” advise Jews to emigrate. Jews are already running for Israel. But, I say: Jews must not leave, violent Muslims must leave!

We can see what islam has in store for us if we watch the fate of the Christians in the Islamic world, such as the Copts in Egypt, the Maronites in Lebanon, the Assyrians in Iraq, and Christians elsewhere. Almost every day, churches are set aflame and Christians assassinated in islamic countries.

Rivers of tears are flowing from the Middle East, where there is only one safe haven for Christians. You know where that is. The only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe is Israel. That is why Israel deserves our support. Israel is a safe haven for everyone, whatever their belief and opinions. Israel is a beacon of light in a region of total darkness. Israel is fighting our fight. The jihad against Israel is a jihad against all of us. If Israel falls, we, too, will feel the consequences. If Jerusalem falls, Athens, Rome, Amsterdam and Nashville will fall. Therefore, we all are Israel.

A recent poll in post-revolution Egypt found that 85 percent of Egyptians are convinced that islam’s influence on politics is good, 82 percent believe that adulterers should be stoned, 84 percent want the death penalty for apostates. The press refers to the events in the Arab world today as the Arab spring. I call it the Arab winter.

Dear friends, here is my warning. Make no mistake: Islam is also coming for America. In fact, it is already here. America is facing a stealth jihad, the islamic attempt to introduce sharia law bit by bit. Last March, a judge in Tampa, Florida, ruled that a lawsuit against a mosque and involving the control of 2.4 million dollars, should proceed under Islamic law.

We must resist this invasion with all our might. You and I, Americans and Europeans, belong to a common Western culture. We share the ideas and ideals of our common Judeo-Christian heritage. We must pass this heritage on to our children and grandchildren, we must stand together, side by side, in our struggle against Islamic barbarism.

Yom HaShoa. Just because they were Jews? Impossible, Really?

Redacted from multiple internet sources.

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Please see Holocaust Documentary video at the end of this article

Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nissan. This year, on the English calendar, it occurs Monday, May 2, 2011.

Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah.

The Shoah (also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire,”) was initiated by the members of the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party, which seized power in Germany in 1933, with Adolph Hitler as chancellor. The Nazis believed in a doctrine of racial superiority, centering around the idea that people of Northern European descent were somehow better than members of all other races – especially the Jews, who were “unworthy of life.”

After taking power, the German Nazis gradually restricted the rights of German Jewish citizens and encouraged their followers to commit acts of violence and destruction against Jews and their property. During World War II (1939-1945), the Nazis implemented their “Final Solution,” a plan to concentrate Jews in camps and annihilate all European Jews. Jews were first crammed together in ghettoes and slave-labor camps, where disease, brutality, and malnutrition ran rampant.

Eventually, they were sent to death camps, where millions were murdered in special facilities designed to kill a tremendous number of people over a brief period of time. In addition to the six million Jews who died – two-thirds of the European Jewish population – the “willing executioners” (Please read Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen) of almost all of the other major countries of Europe (Poles, Austrians, Vichy French, Hungarians, Romanians, Estonians, Greeks, Latvians, Lithuanians, etc.) enthusiastically cooperated with the German Nazis killing millions of their own Jewish population that had live peacefully among them for centuries.

Also deliberately and systematically killed by the Nazi Germans and their “willing executioners” were Gypsies, Slavs, political and religious dissidents, the handicapped, gays and lesbians and hundreds of thousands of others.

Today, many Jewish communities commemorate Yom HaShoah by lighting yellow candles in order to keep the memories of the victims alive, declaring “Never Again” – which of course, remains to be seen – depending upon whether or not “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” are once again, ready to enlist.

Maniacs like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran proudly declares that he plans to eliminate Israel which now contains approximately 1/3 of the world’s remaining Jews. Who is going to stop him? Will the Western so-called civilized nations stop them? Will the UN stop them? Will the European Union stop them? Will the United States stop them? Will these august bodies give the Israelis full license to defend their own people in every way possible? Will the Israeli government have the courage to do exactly that? And most important, will the almighty
G-d see that this monstrous travesty against humanity does not indeed, happen again.

Video on the Shoah