Saturday, April 12, 2014

From Ian:

Mark Steyn: The Wretched Jelly-Spined Nothing Eunuchs of Brandeis
Jamie Weinstein: And people when they get honorary degrees, it's not like they only go to non-political people. Universities have awarded them in the recent past to people that want Israel to be wiped off the map and destroyed. Is that not right?
Mark Steyn: Yeah, that's true. And that was Brandeis, a guy called Tony Kushner... I stand back and occasionally roll my eyes at the dreary left-wing hacks invited to give commencement speeches, garlanded with state honors, things that if you trend to the right side of the spectrum, you know you're going to be labeled 'controversial conservative', and you'll never get anywhere near. But this woman is a black, feminist atheist from Somalia. And so what we're learning here, which is fascinating, in the hierarchy of progressive-politics identity-group victimhood, Islam trumps everything. Islam trumps gender. The fact that she's a woman doesn't matter. It trumps race. The fact that she's black doesn't matter. It trumps secularism. The fact that she's an atheist doesn't matter. They wouldn't do this if it was a Christian group complaining about her, if it was a Jewish group complaining about her. But when the Islamic lobby group says oh, no, we're not putting up with this, as I said, these jelly-spined nothings at Brandeis just roll over for them.
The J Street Challenge
What should happen then, if the conflict turns out to be absolutely insoluble? Let’s say even J Street, which defended every single “no” given by Palestinian leaders since 2000, comes to the conclusion that establishing a Palestinian State will not end the conflict, and the true dilemma will be between an existential conflict and giving up the only Jewish State in the world? What will J Street choose?
One of the intervewees, a young and enthusiastic J Street activist, has a simple answer to this difficult question: “I just have to believe that peace is possible.” But Daniel Levy takes this bull by the horns: “If we’re wrong, and if a collective Jewish presence in the Middle East can only survive because of the sword, if we can’t get recognition, and if they hate us not because of what we do but because of who we are, then if so, then apparently Israel isn’t a good idea.”
In other words, if it does turn out even to J Street that the very existence of a Jewish national state requires an unending struggle, than the whole thing isn’t worth it. If Zionism can’t match up with the values that Ben-Ami and Levy define as “Jewish”, then there must be a problem with Zionism itself. This is why Ben-Ami often quotes Peter Beinart: “We can’t teach our children to give up Jewish values for Zionism.”
Both Jeremy Ben-Ami and Daniel Levy left Israel after they failed to impose an “eternal peace” on the Middle East. They figure that if you’re going to experiment with human lives, better to do it in the safe comfort Washington or London, and not near the cafes and buses that might at any moment demonstrate the difference between utopia and reality. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Why Have American Taxpayers Supported Hamas Trainers?
Why would Hamas see nonviolence as a useful tool?
It’s not just acts of terror that makes groups like Hamas effective, but the story they tell to justify and frame this violence. And Awad’s Holy Land Trust, has given Hamas and other militant groups expertise in framing their acts of terror for Western audiences.
As I have written elsewhere, “Awad’s group, the Holy Land Trust, has taught Hamas and other militant groups that seek Israel’s destruction how to speak the language of peace activists in the West and appeal to the conscience of human rights activists in the U.S. and Europe.”
In addition to being irresponsible, it may also be illegal. Federal law prohibits providing terrorist organizations with material support, which according to the statute includes “training” and “expert advice.” That seems to describe what HLT has, by Awad’s admission, provided to Hamas and other militant groups.
Activists Want Israeli Justice Minister Banned from Britain
Livni is due to speak in London on May 15 at two events organised by the Jewish National Fund.
Anti-Israel activists claim her visit is "an outrageous racist provocation and an incitement to hatred".
May 15 is observed as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day in anti-Israel circles, as it is the anniversary of the failure by invading Arab armies to annihilate the newly declared state of Israel in 1948.

Caroline Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover
And yet, on Wednesday, Brandeis sided with CAIR and the thought police, against Hirsi Ali. Brandeis canceled its plan to confer its honorary doctorate on her.
And just as is the case with the New York UJA-Federation and the JCPA, Brandeis has no problem with double standard. As Daniel Mael, a Brandeis senior, noted in an interview with Andrew Breitbart, in 2006 Brandeis conferred an honorary degree on playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, the outspoken foe of Israel. Kushner has claimed that Israel’s establishment was a “mistake,” and that “it would have been better if Israel never happened.” His work, particularly the film Munich, is replete with demonization of Israel and of the notion of Jewish power.
Mael noted that at the time, then-Brandeis president Jehuda Reinhartz defended his decision to honor Kushner by arguing, “Mr. Kushner is not being honored because he is a Jew, and he is not being honored for his political opinions. Brandeis is honoring him for his extraordinary achievements as one of this generation’s foremost playwrights, whose work is recognized in the arts and also addresses Brandeis’s commitment to social justice.”
In other words, Brandeis’s commitment to “social justice” involves shunning defenders of Muslim women and girls and celebrating foes of the Jewish state, which ensures Jewish freedom.
Atheist Leader David Silverman Drops Support for Brandeis University Over Ayaan Hirsi Ali Controversy
David Silverman, president of American Atheists who graduated from Brandeis in 1988, announced that he is withdrawing his support from Brandeis University and its alumni association because the academic institution rescinded its plans to give an honorary degree to controversial social commentator Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
In an open letter on Facebook explaining his actions and reasoning, Silverman said that although he had fond memories of the activism and classes at Brandeis, he felt this history went contrary to the university's decision against Hirsi Ali.
"Today, that pride is gone as Brandeis has caved to religious intolerance masquerading as political correctness and uninvited a valuable voice in the discussion of religion in public life," wrote Silverman.
Michael Shermer Blasts Brandeis: 'Hirsi Ali is The Martin Luther King, Jr. of This Generation'
Michael Shermer, a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Brandies University, sent a blistering letter to Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence regarding the university's decision to rescind offering Ayaan Hirsi Ali an Honorary Doctorate. Shermer is the Publisher and Executive Director of the Scientific American.
I have received an Honorary Doctorate myself, so I know how important they are to both the recipient and the university. But in offering, and then retracting your offer, you have double shamed yourself and your university, because Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Martin Luther King, Jr. of this generation of civil rights activists and champions. Imagine if you would have had the opportunity to bestow upon Dr. King an Honorary Doctorate and have him speak at your campus, and then reneged on that because of “controversial statements” he made. That is, in essence, what you’ve just done. In the not too distant future you are going to look back on this embarrassing moment and ask yourself “what was I thinking?”
Of course oppressors do not like civil rights champions calling them out on their oppression! Of course the critics of Ayaan Hirsi Ali complained to you. That’s what all enemies of civil rights do—silence those who expose them and their oppression—and of all institutions who should understand that, it is Brandeis.
NYT Editor to Accept Honorary Degree from Brandeis Despite Controversy
New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is still scheduled to accept an honorary degree from Brandeis University next month, despite the firestorm over the school’s decision to rescind its honorary degree invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Abramson told the Washington Free Beacon she could not comment on the Hirsi Ali controversy because the Times is covering the story. She did not respond to questions about whether she still plans to accept the degree or whether this could also present a conflict with the paper’s Hirsi Ali coverage.
No, Israel Isn’t About to Turn Into a Theocracy
In other words, the idea that the ultra-Orthodox parties would suddenly join forces with their religious Zionist counterparts to impose Jewish law isn’t just risible–it’s exactly the opposite of what has actually been happening.
Now, none of this is news. In fact, the alliance between Israel’s secular population and its modern Orthodox contingent against the ultra-Orthodox–rather than some fantastical pan-Orthodox push towards theocracy–has been well-documented by none other than the New York Times. Just last month, Isabel Kershner wrote about the “culture war between the secular and modern Orthodox Jews and the ultra-Orthodox,” and how it was reflected in the popular push to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military.
If only the authors of the op-ed–and their fact-checkers–had been reading their own paper.
NYT Promotes Arch-Terrorist as Peacemaker
What it comes down to, according to Palestinian Arab fans of Barghouti that Rudoren is eager to quote, is simply: “Why not? Pollard is very important to Israel and Barghouti is important to us.”
But it happens that this quid pro quo is more the product of a feverish Rudoren imagination than the key to revival of peace negotiations. Still, Rudoren and the Times are determined to go the extra mile to humanize Barghouti.
Consequently, Times readers are told that Barghouti “has a roommate and a television with 10 channels.
He can read any newspaper published in Israel but cannot have a computer.” If the Times had its way, this nice Palestinian Arab fellow would not be so deprived.
Analysis: On Every Issue Important to the U.S., Abbas Was the Spoiler
In the days following PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ stunning declaration that he would turn to the UN, violating the premise of peace talks by unilaterally signing 15 treaties normally reserved for states (and most of which his Palestinian Authority is flagrantly violating), it has emerged just how overarching his rejectionist approach was pretty much from the get-go. The details suggest a premeditated effort to participate in talks without the intention of compromising on any issue of significance to the U.S.–and thereby to reap the benefits of negotiating without allowing any deal to emerge.
This was most evident in his reaction to the overall framework agreement, which Abbas dismissed as “insanity.” According to reports, Abbas “exploded in rage” when pressed on the subject by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. On the issue of the Jordan Valley — a swath of deserty land along the border with Jordan, which has extremely few Palestinian residents but is of obvious strategic importance to Israel, the U.S. had suggested a compromise in which Israeli troops remained for 10 years before withdrawing,
U.S. Criticizes PA Moves, Israel's Sanctions
The United States on Friday said it was against the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) turning to international organizations, but also expressed its displeasure with Israel’s sanctions on the PA.
"Unilateral moves by both sides will not accelerate the peace process, but will rather do the opposite,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney, according to Channel 10 News.
Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Israel freezing the transfer of taxes it collects for the PA is “unfortunate”.
In which the BBC ‘forgets’ to tell readers about $400 million of Palestinian debt to Israel
Hence – and not for the first time – readers remain unaware of the fact that “[t]he Palestinians owe Israeli companies hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, power and other services” or that the PA’s Minister of Labour recently admitted that:
“… the PA owes the Israel electric company alone some $400 million.”
Despite the fact that another aspect of the withholding of tax transfers has been noted by the Israeli media, the BBC – in keeping with its long tradition – avoids any mention of the subject of PA payments to convicted terrorists
Israeli Officials: No Chances that Talks Will Resume
Officials in Jerusalem were pessimistic on Friday about the possibility of the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) resuming anytime in the near future.
Those officials told Channel 10 News that there is “zero chance that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks” that will allow the talks to continue beyond an April 29 deadline.
The officials cited the departure of U.S. mediator Martin Indyk, who met with the sides on Thursday but left the region and is not due back until after the Passover holiday.
Pictures of Terrorists Hang in Israeli Arab City
Bereaved families have filed complaints against the mayor of the Arab city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, located in northern Israel near Hadera, after discovering signs around the city which show the terrorists who murdered soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.
The signs read, "Today you, tomorrow all the prisoners" and "You returned as heroes."
Moshe’s brother Oren Tamam, who filed the complaint, said on Friday, "The serious actions of the mayor of Baqa, who turned a blind eye as the families of the murderers or their representatives put up the signs, are incitement to violence."
With Just Over 2 Weeks to Go, Boastful Assad Seems Unlikely to Meet Chemical Weapons Goals
Syria now has only 17 days left to hand over the remainder of its chemical weapons stockpile or it will be in violation of a United Nations deadline that had originally been set as an alternative to a U.S.-led attack on Syrian military infrastructure, per comments made today by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and reported by the BBC:
"As of this week, the OPCW said it had only received 54% of Syria’s declared 1,200 tons of chemical weapons, and only 43% of “Priority One” materials – those too toxic to be sent to a commercial processing plant.
That means an estimated 552 tons of chemical stocks are still on the ground in Syria, waiting to be transported by armed convoy to the port of Latakia."
Iran says it has no plans to substitute UN envoy
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying that the Islamic Republic instead seeks to challenge the US decision through legal channels.
The US blocked Iran’s pick because it alleges Hamid Aboutalebi took part in the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.
Spanish village called ‘kill Jews’ mulls name change
The village of Castrillo Matajudios near Leon in northern Spain will convene its 60 resident families at a town hall meeting next week to discuss and vote on the first formal proposal to change the village’s name, the regional daily Diario de Burgos reported Friday.
Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez, who submitted the proposal, suggested changing the village’s name to Castrillo Mota de Judios, which means “Castrillo Jews’ Hill.” He said this was the village’s original name, but it was changed during the Spanish Inquisition.
Denmark, Norway resist calls to ban circumcision
Norway’s health ministry has submitted a bill that proposes placing some limitations and fees on ritual circumcision but not banning it outright, while Denmark’s health board issued guidelines stating that the practice is legal.
The Norwegian bill submitted Friday by Health Minister Bent Hoie proposes requiring that all non-medical circumcisions of males, including children, be performed in medical facilities and by a licensed medical professional, the news agency NTB reported.
Palestinian entrepreneur sees Israel as ally, not foe
It’s not too often that you find a prominent Palestinian agreeing with Economics Minister Naftali Bennett — but Ramallah-based entrepreneur Hani Alami is unique in that respect and many others. “There is plenty of blame to go around for the political situation,” Alami told the Times of Israel in an exclusive interview. “There are no men of vision on either side. But economically, there is no reason the two sides cannot cooperate, and in fact that would benefit both the Israelis and Palestinians.”
That is not far from the positions that Jewish Home and its leader, Naftali Bennett, profess. The right-wing Bennett supports Israel annexing the West Bank’s Area C, where most Jewish settlers live, while promoting civilian autonomy in the rest of the West Bank, with the Palestinian Authority in charge.
Here's the history of how Israel became a world wine powerhouse
If not for the Six Day War in 1967, Israel likely still would be producing lackluster wines. But the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in that war, turned out to be perfect wine terroir. A visiting enologist from University of California at Davis in 1972 pointed that out to his Israeli hosts and in 1976 the first grapes were planted there. In 1983 The Golan Heights winery imported a winemaker from California who brought modern techniques with him that eventually revolutionized the entire Israeli wine industry.
From 1987, Israeli wines have been recognized in international competitions next to the great names from the world’s most noble wine regions. Since the dawn of the 21st century, wine consumers worldwide have begun to recognize the quality revolution taking place in Israel. In 2008, Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 was the first Israeli wine to win a spot on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the year list. In 2010, Carmel Shiraz 2006 won an international and regional trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Little more than 100 years after the birth of its wine industry, Israel is making world-class, award-winning wines that deserve the attention of wine-lovers everywhere. (h/t Zvi)
Egypt Invites Jews Back As Slaves for Old Times’ Sake (satire)
Many analysts see Sisi’s move as a two-pronged strategy. “Of course he wants to take some of the heat off himself,” said Nate Thenlever, a fellow with the Brookings Institution, a think-tank. “Egypt is convulsing with political unrest right now. And if the general can reestablish the existence of a slave class to serve the rest of Egyptian society, that will relieve a good bit of the economic and social underpinnings of the revolution.”
Jews worldwide have responded with confusion to the overture. “Huh?” said Moshe Cohen, 75, of Ramat Gan, Israel. “My family was kicked out of Egypt after the 1967 war and had all our assets confiscated. Is Sisi going to give them back?” When informed that the Egyptian leader intends to take even more from Jews, Cohen muttered a phrase from the Passover Haggadah about being oppressed in every generation yet surviving.
In a related development, France announced it is planning several more Dreyfus Affairs.
BCF: Fresh CO. Supermarket Says Nothing Celebrates Passover Like Bacon!
Fresh CO. Supermarkets produced this beauty of a flier for Passover. Nothing says Passover like Toilet Paper & Bacon!
I can't wait for the Ramadan flier!
Billionaire Abramovich books entire Mitzpe Ramon luxury hotel for Passover holiday
Jewish Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club, has booked all 111 rooms at the luxury hotel Beresheet in Mitzpe Ramon in southern Israel for the Passover holiday, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
During the stay at the resort, Abramovich, his wife and their two children, along with their other guests, will hold a traditional Passover Seder in a specially-constructed tent in the desert outside of the hotel.


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