Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Freedom of Speech and the Savage Nation

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
--Pastor Martin Niemoller

From the people who brought you the wildly successful WWII-era appeasement policies...the following is a partial list of the 101 people that have been listed as "unwelcome" in Great Britain by the United Kingdom's Home Office:

Yunis Al Astal - Hamas terrorist and radical preacher who urged his subjects to conquer Rome
Stephen Donald Black - Former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of StormFront
Erich Gliebe - White Supremacist and CEO of the National Alliance neo-Nazi group
Samir Kuntar - terrorist and convicted murderer of 4 Israelis including a four year old whose head he smashed with the butt of a rifle
Nasr Javed - senior operative of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba
Shirley Phelps-Roper - anti-gay activist and member of the Westboro Baptist Church which conducts demonstrations at the funerals of American soldiers and AIDS victims thanking God for killing them
Michael (Alan Weiner) Savage - conservative radio personality of the Savage Nation, the 3rd most popular talk show in the United States


An American TALK SHOW HOST is on the same list as convicted murderers, terrorists, neo-Nazis and people who disrupt the funerals of heroes for some insane, twisted religious agenda? A list of people that are barred entry into one of the great Western democracies includes a former botanist...? That seems a little out of line, doesn't it?

Well, let's take a look at the reasons for this. The Home Office states the following on their site:

Statement from the Home Secretary

Jacqui Smith said, 'Coming to the UK is a privilege and I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life. Therefore, I will not hesitate to name and shame those who foster extremist views as I want them to know that they are not welcome here.

'The government opposes extremism in all its forms and I am determined to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country. This is the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behaviour.'

All right...people who abuse Great Britain's "standards and values" and "foster extremist views" are banned in Britain. Well, if that's the case, here is a short list of people who apparently DO NOT abuse any British standards and must not be extremists in the eyes of the Home Office.

Yasir Arafat
Bashar al-Assad
Hugo Chavez
Robert Mugabe
King Abdullah
Hu Jintao
Hosni Mubarak

All of which are included on this year's Parade Magazine "World's Worst Dictators" list...except for Arafat because he's dead and Chavez because I guess he's not "out of the closet" yet, since technically he is still winning "elections" and all.

In any case, none of those men made the British Home Office's list and all have visited London within the past decade. Between them on the list, these dictators have been responsible for the following:

1. Violence against their opposition, including killing supporters of their rivals
2. Repression of women - barring them from working, traveling or driving (hmmmm maybe not such a bad idea...hardy har har just kidding Britain please don't ban me too)
3. Forced "dissidents" (loosely defined as anyone who disagrees with the government) into "reeducation camps"
4. Complete and total strangulation of all media
5. Promoting international terrorism, often against British citizens or British allies
6. Countless deaths, often literally as their countries' news services do not report them, of their own subjects due to political purges, denial of medical services, horrendous domestic policies aimed at social "progress" or enforcing religious law. Between them they arguably have the blood of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.

Many of these dictators have committed several of these offenses, by no means are they limited to only one. All have been welcome in Britain. None have been named by the Home Office.

But Michael Savage has.

Now make no mistake...Michael Savage has said some highly offensive things in his day. I've been an on-again-off-again regular listener since at least 2004. So I know a little about him and a little about the show. I can tell you I disagree with most of what he says...especially when he launches into tirades about Obama-related conspiracies to monitor your health records from birth or when he opines about autistic kids or when he refers to Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck as "the leprechaun" and "the hemorrhoid" respectively...

However, Dr. Savage (as his army of devoted listeners - estimated at 8 to 10 million - refer to him) has also been a staunch defender of Israel, a tireless crusader for individual rights and freedom of speech, a major critic of unnecessarily big government and enemy of terrorism and fascism the world over. He has used his show as a platform to rail against Islamic totalitarianism and has been a leader in exposing many issues - such as the Van Jones disaster - long before the mainstream media gets involved.

Critics claim he is a "hate-monger" and "homophobe" but frequent listeners will tell you that many of his bombastic claims and rants are part of his legendary ability to get on free-association rolls. In all, much of the criticism leveled at him is taken out of context. And of course some of it may be justified. If you disagree with his viewpoints, you will have a lot to disagree with - as Savage holds nothing back and pulls no punches whatsoever. In fact, he even has the following statement before every show begins:

"Warning: The Michael Savage Show contains adult language, adult content, psychological nudity. Listener discretion is advised."

In other words...expect to be offended and if you don't like that, change the station quickly. Frequent readers of mine will remember that this isn't the first time a controversial radio show was the inspiration for a post on this blog, so this has never been a problem for me personally. It also wasn't an issue for the reporter who did a rather positive profile on Savage for the New Yorker - which could not be confused for a right-wing publication by anyone's wildest fantasy.

In any case, it's clear that Savage, whether you agree with his views or not, has said some very outlandish things that most would consider offensive and many might even consider hateful.

Guess what. Whether he offends you or me or your mother is IRRELEVANT.

Let's go back to the list of people the Home Office didn't ban. Do you know what they all have in common? BLOOD.

Michael Savage is an ENTERTAINER. His job is to ENTERTAIN people. And his fans adore him. He's not getting on his radio show and telling people to blow up cars or bomb buildings...he's just expressing his opinions which is his Constitutional right in this country and should be in any other self-respecting democratic nation. For Great Britain to put him on a banned list for SPEAKING while ignoring the TANGIBLE ACTIONS of repressive dictators and terrorists who force religious law and totalitarian rule on their subjects is a disgrace of the highest order.

What honest democracy could possibly hope to govern fairly if there are limits on what the citizenry can and cannot say? You may not like Michael Savage or his viewpoints, but a lot of people agree with him and he represents a movement in this country that can not and should not be stifled. You can paint him as a hate-monger, but in reality he just says a lot of things that you and your friends probably say to each other when you think no one can hear you. And if you don't? Who cares! If you don't like it, change the station. Censorship is wrong in a liberal democracy. It's wrong when it's applied to anyone, whether they are political commentators, shock jocks, Geert Wilders or just random people walking down the street.

People like to act as if shutting up opposing viewpoints will make them go away. But they won't. In fact, all you accomplish by stifling viewpoints that you disagree with is to create an atmosphere of repression instead of creating an atmosphere of open debate. One option has the potential to actually settle disputes in a civilized way and bring both sides to understand each other. Repression on the other hand leads to other things...

Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.
Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.
--Heinrich Heine, 1821

You see there is something very annoying about hearing things you don't want to hear. No one wants to be subjected to listening to people they don't like, saying things they don't like. And it is very satisfying to silence these opposing viewpoints after you've heard them.

But it never stops with just "shock jocks" like Michael Savage. Nor will it stop with him just being barred entry to a country he probably wasn't heading towards anytime soon anyway. Expect every introduction and conversation about Savage to include a tag line such as "notorious shock jock Michael Savage, who was recently BANNED from entering Britain" as part of the movement to have him taken off the air in the United States as well. Remember Savage was already fired once for telling a caller to "get AIDS and die" on MSNBC. Offensive? Sure. But who forced you to listen or watch in the first place?

No, it never ends with this. Because once these people have acheived this power they start to feel like they need to go after other viewpoints they don't like. Hannity, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck - all have made offensive comments in the past...but it is their Constitutional right to do so. And what they say is no worse than the Bill Mahers and Jon Stewarts of the world. Are we going to go after them too? Will they too be banned in Britain? Will anyone who says something Jacqui Smith (or her replacement) doesn't like be denied an an entry visa? Where does it end?

How about instead of going after entertainers, comedians, political commentators and Michael Savage we focus our energy on people like Mugabe, Assad, know, people who have ACTUALLY BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR REAL DEATH DESTRUCTION AND VIOLENCE - as opposed to just talking about it like the talk show hosts. How about instead of banding together to support a self-admitted child-molester like Roman Polanski, we rally in support of real freedom of speech and expression??

They won't do it - because they don't want to hear Michael Savage. But someday, there may be someone who doesn't want to hear them either.

And then who's going to be left speak up for them?

Who's going to speak up for you?

Click here to sign the petition to free Michael Savage

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Time to Repent: Yom Kippur

It's been a busy year at but here we are again as another Yom Kippur is upon us. And again there is much to atone for, much to repent for.

The United Nations must ask forgiveness for being an ineffective, bloated, irrelevant organization that is more concerned with maintaining the status quo and reversing roles between victims and perpetrators.

The mouthpieces for the administration who reside on J Street must apologize for throwing their people and their homeland under the bus. They must beg forgiveness for allowing the rest of the world to use them and the nation they claim to represent as scapegoats. They must repent for the worst sin of all, that of surrender to (and therefore willing embrace of) evil.

Our president must atone for claiming to represent the forces of hope and change, while continuing in the time-honored tradition of blaming Jews for the problems of the world.

I'm not even going to waste my time with the terrorists and their supporters because evil never apologizes for itself anyway. The one advantage however of dealing with pure evil is that at least it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't...

Jon Stewart and the rest of the Jewish sellouts who are willing to denigrate their nation, religion, people and homeland during a war of self-defense just for "laughs" and ratings must atone for embarrassing their people and causing an entire generation of Jews to answer for the words and actions of people who purport to represent us, but in reality do little more than cause trouble for us.

The Vatican, Ban Ki-Moon and the entirety of civilization must apologize for continuing to obsess over a conflict between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror while ignoring the suffering of millions...literally MILLIONS of Africans, Sri Lankans, Darfurians, Iranians and others that die in civil wars, purges, epidemics and other disasters. The world must repent for attacking the legitimate rights of a democratic country to defend itself while allowing tyranny and evil to claim the lives of countless innocent civilians all over the world.

The "truthers" must repent for wasting countless hours of my life and the lives of decent, hard-working Americans, all in a desperate effort to raise doubts about our moral right to fight our murderers, thereby weakening our resolve and ability to do so.

And finally...the appeasers. Those who assume in their naivete that sacrificing their friends in order to give a monster what it wants will somehow prevent it from eventually devouring them as well. In the end, they too will be consumed and in their final moments they will realize that their pathetic attempts to delay the inevitable actually ENABLED it to occur.

Wow all this in just the past 12 months...

I too would like to ask forgiveness for anyone that I have wronged, insulted, offended or otherwise upset unnecessarily.

However, I will NOT ask forgiveness for having my opinions and I will NOT ask forgiveness for telling the world what they are. Nor should you. Nor should anyone.

On this Yom Kippur, this day of atonement, this time to repent, let us all reflect on what we could have done differently this past year so that next year we will do better. But let us never apologize for doing what it takes to survive, to thrive...and to just EXIST.

To all who are fasting I wish you a safe and MEANINGFUL fast. Please take this time for reflection seriously and may you have nothing but good things and happy times in the coming year.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered for the UN...way to go Benjamin Netanyahu!

So what do you do when you're the leader of the only real democracy in the Middle East and just had to sit through the following:

1. A biased, ridiculous report by the "Human Rights Commission" that placed the blame on you for responding to terrorists firing rockets into your backyard, 80 times a day, everyday for YEARS.

2. A rambling, babbling, incoherent stream-of-consciousness by a washed-up dictator who also placed the blame for all the world's problems on you and your country despite his blatant support for terrorism.

3. An anti-Jewish/Israeli diatribe directed at you and your country by one of the most vile dictators of the young 21st century. During this speech he chastises your country for false Human Rights violations as his own military beats and shoots and kills and attacks and destroys protesters in his own.

4. Decades of lies, condemnations, allegations and disgraces directed at your country in the very room you are standing, by the very body that voted to create that country, almost immediately after that vote.


You spend 30 minutes giving it right back to them. Bunch of hypocrites, collaborators, terrorist-sympathizers and appeasers that they are at the "United" Nations...

This is exactly what Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the Jewish State of Israel did today. His speech should be required reading for anyone who claims to care about freedom, justice and real pro-Israel advocacy. I also highly recommend the video, immediately following the transcript, which follows below.


Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?

This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.

But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?

A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.

What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.

Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.

The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?

Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.

Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

Benjamin Netanyahu
Speech to the UN's General Assembly
September 24th, 2009


Videos of the speech:

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

It should be noted that despite receiving applause during the speech and what seemed like a standing ovation at the end, the sole Palestinian delegate present got up and left as Netanyahu was speaking.

Regardless if it changes anyone's mind or actually gains support for the cause...just hearing it SAID it to those hypocritical embarrassments to democracy was unbelievable.

Way to go Benjy - you did great today.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy New Year

שנה הלכה, שנה באה
אני כפי ארימה
שנה טובה לך, אבא,
שנה טובה לך, אמא
שנה טובה, שנה טובה!

שנה טובה לדוד גיבור
אשר על המישמרת
ולכל נוטר, בעיר, בכפר,
ברכת "חזק" נמסרת.
שנה טובה, שנה טובה!

שנה טובה, טייס אמיץ,
רוכב במרום שמיים,
ורוב שלום מלח עברי,
עושה דרכו במים.
שנה טובה, שנה טובה!

שנה טובה לכל עמל
בניר וגם במלט,
שנה טובה ומתוקה
לכל ילדה וילד!
שנה טובה, שנה טובה!

A year has gone, a year has come
My hands I will be raising;
A good year to you, Dad,
A good year to you, Mother,
a good year, a good year!

A good year to a strong uncle
who is on guard duty
and to each guard, in the city or the village
a "be strong" blessing to you
a good year, a good year!

A good year oh brave pilot,
riding in the heights of heavens,
and much peace oh Hebrew sailor,
making his way in the water
a good year, a good year!

A good year to those working hard
in the field or with cement
a good and sweet year
to every girl and boy!
A good year, a good year!

Let's hope 5770 is better than 5669. By the way, if you clicked that last link you'll have read a brief part of the story of the settlement of Kfar of the "settlements" vacated in 2005. Check out what year it was established and who occupied it before Israel.

(I'll give you a hint, it was long before 1967 and the occupiers weren't Jews)

Shana Tova to all my readers and to everyone on God's green Earth. May the new year bring nothing but good for all of us. And I mean REAL good, not fake good.

PS this is another Jewish New Year that Gilad Shalit is away from his family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why the Obama Cairo speech was bad for Israel, the Jews and Western Civilization in general

Following up on our discussion on J Street and the problems they cause for the real pro-Israel (read: ZIONIST) movement we come now to the speech that inspired all this.

On June 4th, President Obama gave a speech to the greater Islamic world. At the time, I had intended to do a breakdown of Obama's speech but never got around to it. Luckily, thanks to J Street I have finally been suitably inspired. And I'm not alone. Many prominent Jewish organizations, leaders and commentators have criticized this speech as being damaging to public perceptions of Israel and may even go so far as giving terrorists a pretext for committing their atrocities.

But not according to J Street's "Obama Smear Busters" campaign. According to Smear Busters:

Latest Smear:
Obama threw Israel under the bus in Cairo speech? Nope. A nasty smear claims President’s Cairo speech was the “end of the America’s strategic alliance with Israel” or worse. That’s nuts – did they even watch his remarks?

Yes. We did watch his remarks. And read them. Or at least I did. And nuts is right. Smear Busters continues:

As a senior Obama Administration officials said about the speech, “The President went before a Cairo audience in a speech co-sponsored by Al-Azhar with Muslim Brotherhood members in the audience and spoke of America’s strong, unshakable support for Israel. He could have gone to a million different venues to say this, but he went to Cairo, and it wasn’t exactly an applause line.”

Wow, an unnamed Obama Administration official liked what Obama had to say. What a tremendously authentic, non-partisan authority on Zionism! But enough of the stupidity, because as Smear Busters itself tells us:

...don’t just take this advisor’s word for it. Read the speech transcript below – or watch the video (also below) and make your own conclusions:

Indeed we will.

For starters, Smear busters doesn't even give us the entire speech on their here to read the whole thing.

For seconders even the parts they quote has several issues. The following is a selection of the more unsettling statements and some rebuttals for them:

Obama statement:

and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied."
Rebuttal: The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is NOT "rooted in a tragic history" - it's rooted in the right for self-determination. We don't deserve Israel because the world feels guilty or bad for us, we want Israel because it is historically our homeland and it is our RIGHT to have one. Obama's statement plays into the "it's to make up for the Holocaust so go get your land from Germany" argument that Israel haters always like to throw around. That this is BOLDED by the J Street writer shows that he/she either has no understanding of the situation or is also on Team Hamas. Strike 1.

Obama statement:

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people -- Muslims and Christians -- have suffered in pursuit of a homeland.
Rebuttal: Holocaust on the one hand, Palestinian suffering "on the other hand". I see, 6 million dead in 5 years, 99.9999% of which are innocent civilians brutally massacred just for being alive VS maybe 6,000 dead over 22 years, half of which are terrorists or their collaborators and 70% of which approve of the terrorists and were tragically caught in the crossfire of a war that their side instigated. Right. Totally the same thing. Great linkage there Mr. President. Strike 2.

Just for fun by the way, check out where the overall Arab-Israeli conflict ranks on the list of conflicts since 1950 with over 10,000 fatalities. I'll give you a hint - if it was the Billboard Top 40 list you'd never hear it on the radio. That's Gwar territory.

Obama statement:

Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations -- large and small -- that come with occupation.
Rebuttal: Why are they in refugee camps exactly? It's been several decades and billions of dollars in aid already. Shouldn't the Palestinians have built up some infrastructure during that time, using that money? Or know...a few permanent houses? Why hasn't Hamas, Fatah, Jordan (which administered the West Bank for almost 20 years in an ACTUALLY apartheid occupation), or Egypt (which administered GAZA for almost 20 years) done anything to build anything other than rockets, bombs and terrorist summer camps for children? Why keep the Palestinians in refugee camps? It's pretty clear why...if they're in refugee camps they're angry. If they're angry they fight the "Zionist occupation". If they fight the "occupation" they're too busy to realize how badly their leadership is screwing them on a daily basis. Which keeps the leadership in power.

And why is there an occupation anyway? Is it a land grab? Is Israel just keeping the Palestinians down for the sake of keeping them down? Or is it because every Palestinian that crosses into Israel is a potential exploded bus or restaurant or mall or school. To be very clear, not all Arabs who cross into Israel-proper are terrorists. The vast majority of them want to work in Israel's economy and bring Israeli money back to their families.

However, nearly every attack in Israel has originated in the West or Gaza. If the Palestinians did a better job of reining in the murderers, there would be no need for checkpoints or "humiliations" of any kind. When there is quiet, restrictions are relaxed. When there is violence, the military does what it needs to break it up and prevent it from affecting innocents. To suggest otherwise only feeds into the enemy's propaganda. Thanks Mr. President! STRIKE THREE.

Obama statement:

And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
Rebuttal: Who doesn't give them dignity? Israel? Check the standard of living for Arabs living in Israel VS say... Arabs living in Egypt. You know where Palestinians have the least amount of dignity and opportunity? In Gaza, which is also the only place on Earth where they happen to have a de facto state of their own. And Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and the rest of the Arab states are in a 22-way-tie for 2nd-worst conditions. Strike 4.

Obama statement:

For decades then, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations
Wrong again. There have been numerous opportunities for the Palestinians to achieve their national aspirations and they have declared war at every opportunity. Israelis have legitimate aspirations for peace and security. Palestinians in large part and especially their leadership, have aspirations to destroy Israel. Is that legitimate? I think not...what say you Smear Busters? J Street? Mr. Obama? Jimmy Carter? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

Strike 5.

Obama statement:

each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive.
Rebuttal: There's that ridiculous equivalency again. Holocaust = Palestinian rejectionism? Again, I think not. Remember, no one asked the Jews if they WANTED to be brutalized by the Nazis or any of the other groups that have tried to put an end to our way of life over the centuries. Palestinians have been asked SEVERAL times if they want a state or prefer violence and destruction. They have chosen war every time. Strike 6.

Obama statement:

It's easy to point fingers -- for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel's founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond.
Rebuttal: Whoops! There's that false moral equivalency again. Displacement? How come there are more Arabs living in Israel today than in 1948? Compare that to the number of Jews in Arab countries today VS the 40's and I'll school you a bit about the term "displacement", sir. Strike 7.

Obama statement:

But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth...
...that this is a terrible speech.

Obama statement:

For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at
the center of America's founding.
Rebuttal: This is possibly the most egregious and insulting error of all. Drawing a comparison between the non-violent struggle of Blacks in America to the ultra-violent rocket attacks, bus bombings, pizzeria explosions, hotel massacres and all-out war of the Palestinians is absurd. Comparing the ACTUAL enslavement of Africans...their kidnappings and forced transportation to be beaten on the plantations of the reality of Palestinian life in Israel is embarrassingly false, only serves to cheapen the narrative of Black history in America and pushes the view that Israel is some kind of "apartheid" society for Palestinians. Which again, is not true and only feeds into their propaganda. Palestinians are not slaves. PERIOD. They have no non-violent Martin Luther King and their struggle is EXTREMELY violent. PERIOD. Strike EIGHT!

Obama statement:

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's.
Rebuttal: This too is a false equivalence. Regardless of whether or not the Palestinians should have their own country (they should)...comparing a theoretical independent Palestine to the established state of Israel (which had a tradition of independence for a thousand years before it was destroyed once and for all by the Romans...who then renamed it as the province of Palestine as a final insult to the conquered Jews and to prevent a re-emergence of rebellion) removes legitimacy from Israel much more than it grants it to "Palestine". I will say this emphatically, there has never been an independent state of Palestine ever. EVER. There is no equivalency. Acting as if there is, is something Israel's enemies do in their propaganda. It is NOT something our alleged BFF should be doing. MAJOR strike 9.

Obama statement:

The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (MASSIVE APPLAUSE from the crowd)
Rebuttal: Which settlements precisely are you referring to Mr. President? Are you talking about those guys who squat in trailers in outposts that are frequently vacated by the Israeli military? Or are you talking about Ariel? Gilo? The Old City? Tel Aviv? WHICH SETTLEMENTS. Furthermore, we have already established that the presence of Israeli settlers are NOT the cause of Middle Eastern strife, as violence existed there long before any "occupation" of the West Bank or Gaza. Strike 10.

Obama statement:

This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop (APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE).
Disgusting. Strike 11.

Obama statement:

And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.
Rebuttal: WHAT!?!?!?!?! Did he get this right out of the Hamas "how to brainwash ignorant Americans without really trying" handbook? Does Obama even know what the biggest source of money for Palestinians is? Money that they feed their families with! Money that ironically, they also use to build rockets and suicide bombs. Is he serious? Because if he really doesn't know who provides Palestinians with more assistance and economic opportunity than ANYONE including the Arab states, I'll give you a starts with "Is" and almost ends with "real". Too bad this speech was real.

And in other news, the West Bank economy is booming! Mahmoud Abbas says he has a "good reality" and that his people are "living a normal life". How terrible! Please note that the statements from Abbas came out almost a full WEEK before the Cairo speech. This is an astonishing willful ignorance of the facts my friends. Strikes 12, 13 and 14 ALL ROLLED INTO ONE!

Obama statement:

The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems.
Rebuttal: So this is what we get in return?! Palestinians get a nice chunk of prime real estate and we get.................the opportunity to not be used as propaganda tools? Shouldn't this be a basic expectation for all civilized countries and UN members? Enough already! This is absurd! If Obama could pick up this many strikes in bowling he'd be the national champion! And I haven't even touched the Iran stuff yet!

The argument I always get from pro-Obama Jews (like J Street) is that they're citizens of America, not Israel and it's not the president's job to defend a foreign country like Israel. The world expects impartiality, so that's what they should get. Right? Well, that's really great and everything if this issue was only limited to Israel. While al Qaeda and other worldwide terrorist organizations do not take their orders from Hamas, Hizballah, Fatah and all the other organizations who want to turn me into a shish kabob...they are necessarily linked together by their common ideology.

Their war isn't against Israel, it is against all of Western Civilization. Israel is just their most immediate target...and as we have learned from history, totalitarian dictatorships are never satisfied with their first target. A shark is never satisfied with its first meal. And you can keep feeding it and feeding it - until you run out of food...and then guess what?

YOU become the food.

To hell with this speech and to hell with anyone who tries to defend it. This was a stab in the eye for all of us and to try to tell me that it was anything but that, is a massive insult to my intelligence. You got that, "Smear Busters" ? You get it J Street? You got that Jimmy Carter? And no, it's not racist to point this out by the way - you naive clown.

That a group of supposed pro-Israel lobbyists defend it speaks volumes about their organization. That the president is pushing them as a legitimate voice for Israel says even more.

Now go stick that in your smear pipe and smoke it.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

J Dead End Street

אם אין אני לי מי לי

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14


In weeks leading up to the 8th anniversary of 9/11, I had the misfortune of coming across J Street's absurdly titled Obama Smear Busters campaign. Specifically, a friend of mine forwarded to me their impassioned defense of his speech in Cairo...any criticism of which is regarded by them as a "smear". Of course this is ridiculous because his speech itself was more a smear of Israel than any criticism of it. But more on that later. First, a short background of who "J Street" is.

From J Street's website:

J Street was founded to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. We support a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and a broad public and policy debate about the U.S. role in the region.

Awesome...hope and change for the Middle East. This is gonna be great!

J Street supports diplomatic solutions over military ones, including in Iran; multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution; and dialogue over confrontation with a wide range of countries and actors when conflicts do arise.

And of course we all know that negotiating with totalitarian dictatorships never fails...

But hey, if it worked at Model UN club it HAS to work in real life! Right?

J Street brings together Americans who seek a new direction for American policy in the Middle East and broader public and policy debate in the U.S. about ways to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

So these are American Jews, trying to dictate to Israeli Jews how to run their country. Excellent.

A negotiated end to the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts serves both U.S. and Israeli strategic and security interests. Achieving it must be a priority for the current U.S. administration;

Why does the solution have to "serve" US interests? And what if it doesn't? What if Israel, a sovereign nation finds a solution that serves its own interests? Should Israel be concerned with whether or not building a border fence between Texas and Mexico serves its strategic interests? It's not ACTUALLY the 51st state you know.

What to do about Iran’s nuclear program and support for terror against Israel and elsewhere in the region remains one of the most hotly-debated foreign policy issues of our time

Really? Is it as "hotly-debated" as Kanye West crashing the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards?? Ridiculous!

Way to reduce the gravest threat to the Jewish people in decades to buzz-words normally used when discussing the latest absurd celebrity scandal.

This however, is where things stop being polite...and start gettin' real.

The future Palestinian state will require unprecedented levels of international economic and political support to succeed, including a resolution of the refugee issue within the new Palestinian state and in current host countries

Excuse me? What do you mean by "resolution" of the Palestinian refugee issue?

A comprehensive regional peace that builds on the Arab Initiative

Oh I see. The same initiative that heavily favors a Palestinian right of return that would effectively end the Jewish State. Great pro-Israel advocacy there guys! Really stellar! By the way, any word on the JEWISH refugees that were ACTUALLY thrown out of Arab countries in 1948? Oh no, of course not - because they don't count for anything, do they J Street?

Israel's settlements in the occupied territories have, for over forty years, been an obstacle to peace. They have drained Israel's economy, military, and democracy and eroded the country's ability to uphold the rule of law.

Well this just isn't true. And it's disgraceful to feed the other side's propaganda machines with this kind of misinformation. Keep in mind that they're not even talking about illegal settlement outposts, they're talking about ALL settlements. ALL of them are an impediment.

The arrangements that have been made for the benefit of settlers and for security – checkpoints, settler-only roads, the route of the security barrier* – have all made daily life more difficult for Palestinians, deepening hostility and increasing the odds of violence and conflict.

NO. This is INCORRECT. Checkpoints and security fences are not "for the benefit of the settlers" they're for the security of innocent Israeli civilians. And the "settler-only roads" are not for the "benefit of the settlers" it's to KEEP THEM ALIVE after the numerous Arab shooting attacks on them over the years. They're also to protect Palestinians from Israeli military operations that defend these innocent civilians from their unprovoked attacks. As always, Israeli policies are designed to protect Israeli civilians (be they Jewish OR Muslim) while minimizing Palestinian casualties. Anything suggesting otherwise is a FALSE STATEMENT that feeds the terrorists' propaganda narrative.

In advance of negotiations, all sides should refrain from unilateral actions – including new construction of Jewish housing in the eastern part of the city, evictions, and demolitions – that will make the ultimate resolution of this issue even more difficult.

Why only Jewish housing in the eastern part of the city? What about Arab housing in the western part of the city? Why does East Jerusalem need to be Judenrein, but West Jerusalem can be crawling with Palestinians? Do the Arabs do anything wrong at all? Or is it all just a Jew-bashing-fest here?

American elected officials should respect the decisions of the parties on this issue and refrain from steps, rhetorical or practical, that inflame an already tense situation – for instance, moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem.

Unbelievable. They're against moving the American embassy to the capital. What other country is expected to accept this kind of treatment from its closest allies? Imagine we demanded that Britain move their only embassy from Washington to New York City? Ridiculous! What other country would be expected to operate under these conditions? And these are the people that purport to represent the pro-Israel camp? This is disgusting.

At least there's no partisan agenda here, though. There's certainly no ulterior motive to all this because as their site says on the bottom:

J Street and the Jewish Alliance for Change are 501(c)(4) organizations that primarily focus on nonpartisan education and advocacy on important national issues.

Oh thank God! I was worried for a minute there that there might be an agenda here beyond just a terrible excuse for Israel advocacy.

More from J Street:

J Street in general is supportive of President Obama’s effort to engage Iran diplomatically.

Barack Obama is most likely the last American President who will have the opportunity to lead the way toward a two-state solution

Providing President Obama with support as he pursues the two-state solution will be J Street’s number one priority in 2009 and 2010.

J Street supports President Obama’s call for an immediate and total freeze of settlement construction.

WOW! How incredibly unpartisan! Incredible! Suddenly it all becomes clear. These guys are part of the Obama "here's-a-bunch-of-sellout-Jews-who-support-me-so-you-don't-have-to-feel-guilty-that-I-conned-you-into-voting-for-me-and-will-ensure-you-vote-for-me-again-in-2012" strategy that you're all falling for again. Which is why he surprisingly invited their (for the most part previously unknown) representatives to a meeting in which the "mainstream" pro-Israel groups...

...told Obama that “public disharmony between Israel and the U.S. is beneficial to neither” and that differences “should be dealt with directly by the parties.” The president, according to Hoenlein, leaned back in his chair and said: “I disagree. We had eight years of no daylight” — between George W. Bush and successive Israeli governments — “and no progress.”

So clearly there is some distance between Mr. Obama and the representatives of the pro-Israel lobby that have successfully generated support for Israel over several decades. Indeed, as we told you, "change" for America and America's foreign policy also meant a change in Israel's standing with the president. Enter J Street, a perfect alternative to the "politics of the past" that have produced the close bond between Israel and the United States. Bonds by the way, that are based on mutually beneficial conditions. Nevermind the fact that as we established, J Street isn't actually concerned with improving Israel's situation.

All the Israel stuff is just a front. And for what?

Report a smear, huh? I guess the "report-a-dissident" email campaign is still alive and well. It's all very disturbing...and even more disturbing that a supposed pro-Israel group has attached itself so strongly to a political party and president. It's as if they're saying "whatever Obama says, is the right thing to do" - historically this attitude has brought nothing but disaster for the Jewish people. While it is absolutely imperative for Israel and the United States to continue their mutually beneficial alliance, acting as if Israel is subservient to the United States is a major violation of sovereignty. And the key word here is "mutually beneficial" - America's actions have not always been beneficial to Israeli interests and vice versa. Both nations must continue to pursue their own often (but not always) overlapping goals.

The whole point of founding a Jewish state was the notion that no one can look out for me the way I can and will. If I am not for myself, who will be? Forcing Jerusalem to take orders from Washington is a major violation of this principle and is a surefire path to the bad old days when Jews were enslaved by their host countries' mood of the day. And we all know, more often than not, how wonderfully that has turned out for us.

Like other ignorant or even outright anti-Israel Jews, J Street most absolutely does NOT speak for me. At best they are a distraction from reality - at worst (and in all likelihood) they are actually counterproductive to the cause they purport to advance. These guys are a very poor excuse for pro-Israel advocacy and frankly embarrass the real Zionists with every factual error they publish and every pathetic capitulation they support.

J Street most certainly is NOT the "political voice of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement". To qualify for that honor you must actually be PRO-Israel. Nor is J Street the "new address for Middle East peace and security". Again, to qualify for that you must ACTUALLY be PRO-SECURITY. After all, peace without security, is not peace.

Next time, we'll look at the actual Obama speech that J Street so vigorously defends and why it was bad for Israel, the Jews and the civilized world in general.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lights in the night sky over New York City

No, not those lights...

These lights:

View from the Jersey City waterfront of the ghost of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers

How did this happen? I mean Why? It is so insane that human beings actually killed themselves to crash airplanes into buildings full of people. On purpose. It should be unfathomable...but yet there it is.

Shine on in remembrance of 9/11. Shine on in memory of the lives that were lost in the name of insanity. Shine on in memoriam of the World Trade Center, the Twin Towers and the innocence of the 1990's...a decade where it seemed as though the world was finally going to be "OK". How naive of all of us.

I hate this day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wish you were here...8 years and counting

This year on 9/11 I thought I would let others do the the talking. I spent enough time this year fighting with conspiracy lunatics to say much more than I've already said on the topic. So instead, I have a few speeches and excerpts here that I thought were pertinent reading for so solemn a day. I highly recommend spending time reading the entire Netanyahu statement - what he said was dead-on in 2001 and is still just as relevant (if not more so with the looming Iranian catastrophe) today. And if you're looking for some inspiration (and don't feel like being depressed) skip to the end and watch the video of Bush's speech from the rubble of Ground Zero from September 14th, 2001.

But before we get to all that, as always here are today's most-read stories from for the first time, the top trending twitter topics:


1. ACORN staff allegedly advise on prostitution
2. Women face trial for plot over cheating hubby
3. IAAF cautious over Semenya intersex claims
4. September 11 victims remembered
5. Death penalty sought in Sandra Cantu's death
6. Jessica Seinfeld wins plagiarism case
7. School district turns away 'illegal' students
8. British PM apologizes to gay code-breaker
9. Commentary: Where's Osama bin Laden?
10. Yale student disappears, police say

Number 4 and number 9 on usual our country is more concerned with dreck and nonsense than reality. They're still out there you know.


1. Follow Friday
2. Sept 11
3. God Bless America
4. Facebook Lite
5. Coast Guard
6. WTC
8. Jay-Z
10. Potomac River

Looks like on Twitter it's 4 out of 10 topics and 2 more are related to panic spawned by a Coast Guard training exercise in Washington, DC. Why in the world would they run a training exercise in DC, right outside the Pentagon on 9/11?? WHY??? It's only been 8 years! If our own leadership is so callous as to schedule training maneuvers where there are reports over radios of "shots fired" by Coast Guard ships on this day...they obviously are not recognizing the gravity of the day.

If they themselves don't recognize the gravity of the day, how can we expect them to prosecute the war to set it straight?

I miss you guys:

Ain't that the truth...

Onto the speeches...

(bold added by me for emphasis)

The Bin-Laden Fatwas:

Terrorizing you, while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally demanded duty. It is a legitimate right well known to all humans and other creatures. Your example and our example is like a snake which entered into a house of a man and got killed by him. The coward is the one who lets you walk, while carrying arms, freely on his land and provides you with peace and security.

Those youths are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting and in operations. These youths are commendation and praiseworthy.

Excerpt from Bin-Laden's 1996 fatwa against the United States and Saudi Arabian government
August, 1996
Full text can be found here

All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life." On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."

This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: "And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"

We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.

Excerpt from Bin-Laden's 1998 fatwa against the United States and Israel
February 23, 1998
Full text can be found here

Burn in hell forever for doing this to us, you insane, psychopathic, racist, misogynistic, murdering, half-baked, 2nd-rate-embarrassment-to-real-evil-geniuses, lunatic! God damn you for bringing us to this point Osama.

Words from President Bush on 9/11:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I unfortunately will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the lieutenant governor will take the podium and discuss education. I do want to thank the folks here at Booker Elementary School for their hospitality.

Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of New York, to the director of the FBI, and I've ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand.

And now, if you'd join me in a moment of silence.

(Moment of silence.)

May God bless the victims, their families and America. Thank you very much.

President Bush At Emma Booker Elementary School
September 11th, 2001

Good evening.

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.

President George W. Bush
9/11 Address to the Nation
September 11th, 2001

Too bad your successor doesn't seem to understand it as you did Mr. President. Wish you were still here...

Netanyahu's speech to the US House of Representatives:

The first and most crucial thing to understand is this: There is no international terrorism without the support of sovereign states. International terrorism simply cannot be sustained for long without the regimes that aid and abet it. Terrorists are not suspended in mid-air. They train, arm, and indoctrinate their killers from within safe havens on territory provided by terrorist states. Often these regimes provide the terrorists with intelligence, money, and operational assistance, dispatching them to serve as deadly proxies to wage a hidden war against more powerful enemies.

Here is what Arafat’s government controlled newspaper, Al Hayat Al Jadida, said on September 11, the very day of the suicide bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon:

The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the U.S. Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon]. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history They are the most honorable people among us.

A simple rule prevails here: The success of terrorists in one part of the terror network emboldens terrorists throughout the network. This then is the Who. Now for the Why.

Though its separate parts may have local objectives and take part in local conflicts, the main motivation driving the terror network is an anti-Western hostility that seeks to achieve nothing less than a reversal of history. It seeks to roll back the West and install an extremist form of Islam as the dominant power in the world. It seeks to do this not by means of its own advancement and progress, but by destroying the enemy. This hatred is the product of a seething resentment that has simmered for centuries in certain parts of the Arab and Islamic world.

For them the mission was clear: The West had to be first pushed out of these areas. Pro-western Middle Eastern regimes were toppled in rapid succession, including in Iran. And Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and its purest manifestation of Western progress and freedom, must be wiped off the face of the earth. Thus, the soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West -- because they see it is an island of Western democratic values in a Moslem-Arab sea of despotism.

We have received a wake up call from hell. Now the question is simple: Do we rally to defeat this evil, while there is still time, or do we press a collective snooze button and go back to business as usual? The time for action is now. Today the terrorists have the will to destroy us, but they do not have the power. There is no doubt that we have the power to crush them. Now we must also show that we have the will to do just that. Once any part of the terror network acquires nuclear weapons, this equation will fundamentally change, and with it the course of human affairs. This is the historical imperative that now confronts all of us.

And now the third point: What do we about it? First, as President Bush said, we must make no distinction between the terrorists and the states that support them. It is not enough to root out the terrorists who committed this horrific act of war. We must dismantle the entire terrorist network. If any part of it remains intact, it will rebuild itself, and the specter of terrorism will reemerge and strike again. Bin Laden, for example, has shuttled over the last decade from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to the Sudan and back again. So we must not leave any base intact. To achieve this goal we must first have moral clarity. We must fight terror wherever and whenever it appears. We must make all states play by the same rules. We must declare terrorism a crime against humanity, and we must consider the terrorists enemies of mankind, to be given no quarter and no consideration for their purported grievances.

This is the great mission that now stands before the free world. That mission must not be watered down to allow certain states to participate in the coalition that is now being organized. Rather, the coalition must be built around this mission. It may be that some will shy away from adopting such an uncompromising stance against terrorism. If some free states choose to remain on the sidelines, America must be prepared to march forward without them -- for there is no substitute for moral and strategic clarity.

I believe that if the United States stands on principle, all the democracies will eventually join the war on terrorism. The easy route may be tempting, but it will not win the day. On September eleventh, I, like everyone else, was glued to a television set watching the savagery that struck America. Yet amid the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers one could make out the Statue of Liberty holding high the torch of freedom. It is freedom’s flame that the terrorists sought to extinguish. But it is that same torch, so proudly held by the United States, that can lead the free world to crush the forces of terror and secure our tomorrow. It is within our power. Let us now make sure that it is within our will.

Benjamin Netanyahu
Excerpts from his statement to the U.S. Government Reform Committee
Delivered September 20, 2001
Full text can be found here

Too bad we didn't listen to you then Benjy.

President Bush: Thank you all. I want you all to know -- it [bullhorn] can't go any louder -- I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens

Rescue Worker: I can't hear you!

President Bush: I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!

Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

President Bush: The nation -- The nation sends its love and compassion --

Rescue Worker: God bless America!

President Bush: -- to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for makin' the nation proud, and may God bless America.

Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

President George W. Bush
Bullhorn Address to Ground Zero Rescue Workers
September 14th, 2001

I remember how I felt when I saw this moment for the first time. I actually felt like we were going to win this thing. AND WE STILL CAN. We just need the resolve and the leadership to do it.

Til next year...