Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Passover/Chag Pesach Sameach!

שמחה רבה, שמחה רבה,
אביב הגיע, פסח בא!
שמחה רבה, שמחה רבה,
אביב הגיע, פסח בא!

תפרו, תפרו, תפרו לי בגד עם כיסים.
מילאו, מילאו, מילאו כיסי באגוזים.

שמחה רבה...

שאול אשאל, שאול אשאל ארבע קושיות
שתה אשתה, שתה אשתה ארבע כוסות.

שמחה רבה...

וכוס גדולה וכוס גדולה אימי תכין
לאליהו, לאליהו הנביא

שמחה רבה...

Lots of joy, lots of joy
Spring is here, Passover is coming!
Lots of joy, lots of joy
Spring is here, Passover is coming!

Sew, sew, sew me clothing with pockets
Fill, fill, fill my pockets with nuts

Lots of joy...

I'll ask...I'll ask the four questions
I'll drink...I'll drink the four cups (of wine)

Lots of joy...

And a big cup...and a big cup my mom will bring
For Elijah...for Elijah the prophet

Lots of joy...

Sorry that it's not the complete song, the last time I posted a Jewish holiday song (on Purim) I almost got sued for copyright infringement! Who knew folk songs were "intellectual property" jeez!

But in all seriousness, to all my readers have a great Pesach/Passover and if you celebrate Easter have a nice one next week too. Just remember on this annual celebration of our freedom that not all of us are free today. Please do something to remember Gilad Shalit at your seder tonight or tomorrow. He needs all the help/awareness we can give him.

Hopefully this Pesach will be the beginning of a new attitude for all of us...where we stand up to our enemies and deliver ourselves from the oppression of others instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us. Remember, in the story of Pesach that not ALL of the Jews thought it would be wise to leave Egypt. Even after the miraculously destructive 10 Plagues, many were content to maintain the status quo and stay dependent on foreign rulers. There's a lesson in there somewhere for all of us today.

Have a great Passover everyone!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And I ran... Iran's so far away...

Right now, as you are reading this, there is a group of religious fanatics who are actively and aggressively seeking nuclear weapons. Right now this second, as these words are entering your brain there is a country whose government regularly interferes with oil prices...driving them up and with them the price of what you pay to fill your car with gasoline. Then they complain that they don't have enough access to cheap energy.

This same government has violently and ruthlessly suppressed any internal opposition to itself. This government has regularly made threats against you, your family, your country and your soldiers. This same government has already been indirectly (and sometimes directly) responsible for the deaths of scores of your soldiers. This same government has and will continue to target you at home and abroad. Furthermore this government has the CAPABILITY to reach you even as you go to work or school or take a bus or go to the mall.

You already know that I'm talking about Iran but what if I told you that the target I'm referring to isn't Israel?

It's America. It's you.

Well hey, at least there is some good news...apparently Ahemdinejad has discovered the cure for AIDS! Unfortunately it means destroying all of us...

Meet United Against Nuclear Iran or UANI for short. My friends over there are very serious about the Iranian threat to the entire Middle East and beyond. And they have very good reason to be concerned right now as everyday there seems to be a new article about how crazy Ahmedinejad is or that Iran has achieved another step toward producing a nuclear weapon or now an actual ICBM!! What peaceful purpose could an ICBM have? Only the ayatollahs must know the answer to that question.

But even if you're not worried about a new Cold War on the horizon (this time with a government run by truthers and suicidal lunatics) or doubt that Iran would ever actually use their nuclear device (that they spent decades of time and hundreds of billions of dollars developing) UANI wants you to know that the threat to America is not only very REAL but very CURRENT. Here is a summary from UANI of some of the ways Iran has ALREADY been attacking Americans:
• Iran has provided material and financial support to anti-U.S. forces in Iraq (as well as Afghanistan).

• According to U.S. State Department, Iran is already a major proliferator of conventional weapons and it has exported rocket and missile technology to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Hezbollah has taken U.S. citizens hostage and caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians and military personnel through its various campaigns—including the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that took the lives of 241 American servicemen

• Iran already has the ballistic missiles necessary to hit U.S. and allied troops stationed in the Middle East and parts of Europe. If Tehran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons, the threat to American military personnel would increase dramatically.

• During the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iran violated two of the most sacrosanct principles of international relations: 1) by invading the American embassy, a violation of basic state sovereignty, and 2) by taking hundreds of American diplomats hostage—a violation of the principle of diplomatic immunity.

• “Death to America” rallies are a common sight in the streets of Iranian cities.

• A nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to America’s allies in the Middle East.

• A nuclear-armed Iran would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
And lest you think it's all about nuclear doom and gloom, here are some fun facts about how Iran deals with its own citizens:
• The Iranian regime persecutes members of a wide range of minorities, social, and religious groups, including Christians, Bahais, homosexuals, women, labor activists, and student groups.

• Under Iran's strict apostasy laws, conversion to Christianity is a crime punishable by death.

• Since 1979, Iranian authorities have killed more than 2,000 Bahai leaders, arrested and imprisoned thousands more, and dismissed more than 10,000 Bahais from government and university jobs. (By the way, guess which Middle East country loves the Ba'hai)

• Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, and gay sex is considered a capital crime. The Iranian government targets gays with beatings, lashings and execution.

• The June 2009 presidential elections in Iran were marked by a fierce and massive campaign of government repression...hundreds of thousands of Iranians participated in the initial protests against the disputed results of that election. The ensuing crackdown killed at least 20 people, and some protesters claim that the actual death toll was closer to 250...over a thousand students and other protesters were detained, and many have yet to be released.
So if today the world is unwilling to stand up to this horrendous behavior, how will we do so when Iran can threaten us with nuclear reprisals? Think about it, any country with nuclear weapons can essentially guarantee that they CANNOT lose a war without their enemy (and/or its allies) losing a massive portion of their own population - if not all of it, as was the case during the Cold War. You think there are any Western leaders that would take action to defend gay Iranians if they knew they could lose a few million of their own civilians in the process? You think there's even one?

How many Russians were purged by Stalin for not being in line with Soviet ideology? How many free European nations fell behind the iron curtain? How many millions of Asians, Arabs, Jews, Christians, Cubans and others on every continent and in every hemisphere were enslaved by the horror of communist dictatorships while the West was powerless to stop the nuclear-armed Bolsheviks in Moscow?

How many innocent people will find themselves enslaved under the harsh ideology of the Supreme Leader of Iran?

This is what we are talking about here. It's not just about's not just about nuclear's about anyone and everyone that would fall under Iran's growing, nuclear-powered sphere of influence. It's about the millions of people who do not subscribe to the extremist, intolerant Shi'a ideology of the ayatollahs and would be trampled under the boots of these oppressors. As we have seen, this applies to women, homosexuals, Ba'hais, Jews, Christians, "impious" Muslims, people who like rap other words roughly 95% of the living, breathing world.

And make no mistake, the plan for Iran does not end with Iran. Or even Israel. We are talking about a movement that is very aggressive, very expansionist and has a very long memory that dates back to the times of the Crusaders. As we have seen, Iran has killed Americans in the past and is rapidly progressing towards building an ICBM. That's an Inter-CONTINENTAL Ballistic Missile by the way. The only reason you need one of those is to be able to hit a target on another CONTINENT.

Suddenly doesn't seem so far away does it?

Iran is also engaged in a massive disinformation campaign about its intentions. Despite the protestations from Ahmedinejad (and certain naive people who think he can be talked to) that ICBMs and long-range Shahab missiles are actually going to be used to rain flower petals over their targets instead of death and detruction, the evidence mounts everyday that Iran's facilities are too small for civilian use and too large to simply be research facilities.

Then, in addition to the usual dog and pony show about its nuclear program being only for peaceful purposes - that even the IAEA isn't buying anymore - Iran, through fronts like the Alavi Foundation, regularly funds politicians and universities all while raising charitable donations for - you guessed it - the Iranian government and by extension their nuclear program.

If you clicked on the universities link you would have read a CAMERA article about the Alavi Foundation giving over $100,000 to Columbia University and $351,600 to the Rutgers University Persian language program. This isn't the first time that we've reported on this site that Rutgers has been involved with questionable charities either. The $100,000 was only handed over to Columbia after they agreed to host Ahmedinejad for his 2007 exercise in cognitive dissonance (he declared at Columbia that there were no gays in Iran despite his regime regularly hanging them) - I wonder what Rutgers had to agree to in order to receive their donation. Aside from the obvious lunacy of a liberal college campus playing host to the biggest violator against liberal ideals alive in the world today, there is the disgrace of giving such a hate-monger a public forum to perpetuate his lies and infect the minds of students who likely have little to no background on the history of the region.

So what can we do about it? Well, for one thing if you are a student at one of these universities (or any college for that matter) you can form a local UANI chapter like they are doing at Rutgers as we speak. You can also write a letter to your university demanding an explanation for why they would accept funding from a terrorist regime like Iran.

If you're not a student you can join UANI's boycott of corporations that do business with Iran or accept funding from them. UANI has something they call the Iranian Business Registry - a list of these companies (some of which have received taxpayer handouts during the recent economic nuclear meltdown!) that you can stop buying from and tell your friends/family to do the same. You can demand answers from your representative in Congress about why you are funding the Iranian nuclear program with your taxes. Make sure you VOTE for politicians who recognize how dangerous of a crisis this really is...and if you choose NOT to vote for someone based on this issue - make sure they (and everyone else) know it. There's a lot you can do, but there's not really very much time to do it.

Check out the UANI site for additional ideas about how to raise awareness on this crisis. Remember, it may seem like it's too big of a task for an individual but so was the Berlin Wall and South African apartheid! Make enough noise and you'll be heard.

The alternative may seem like it's too horrible to even consider, but you must consider it and you must act on it. The people of Iran and the Middle East need you to speak up for them because they get killed for doing it themselves. But perhaps most importantly, your soldiers who fight, bleed and die everyday to defend your rights need you to speak up for them. Your children need you to speak up for them. YOU need to speak up for yourself. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

One (donkey) flew over the cuckoo's nest

Well Purim's over, I guess that means it's back to reality. Although in the Middle East, it's more like sur-reality...

Shmuel Rosner over at the Jerusalem Post has an interesting take on a recent Gallup survey about Israel:

Support for Israel among Americans is at a 19-year high, a February Gallup survey of American attitudes toward international affairs has found.

That's good...

The percent favoring Israel is the highest since 1991, when 64% said they supported Israel shortly after it was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf War.

Also good...

Well - not all Americans. While the upward trend is likely to encourage Israelis, there are also more worrisome signs in this poll. Republicans become more supportive of Israel, but with Democrats the picture is less rosy.

Uh oh...

the gap between Republican and Democratic support is higher than ever (37%!)

That's not good...

Two years ago, I wrote about another poll in which the difference was "significant": it was a mare 20%.

I wrote about this a few years ago too...when I did an overview of which party is favored by more anti-Israel groups. Guess who "won" that contest? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't the Republicans.

But back to Rosner. He gives us this chart breakdown (compiled by the same Gallup poll) by party of what countries they support: if I'm reading this right, Democrats as a whole support the following countries more than Israel:


Let's say France fine, Mexico, fine...after all who doesn't love croissants and drunken Spring Breaks, right? Ignoring for a minute my criticisms of those two countries...India, Russia and EGYPT are all more favored by Democrats than Israel.

This is the same Egypt, by the way that not even a year ago slaughtered 300,000 pigs in order to combat H1N1 flu, which at the time was still being referred to as "swine" flu. It's the same Egypt that puts its own citizens in jail when the government doesn't like what they say. The same Egypt that regularly jails the opposition every time another rigged, mockery of an election is about to take place. The same site of sectarian violence and discrimination against the native non-Muslim, Coptic Egyptians. And this is without even mentioning their treatment of Jews and Palestinians over the years. Ok, good call Democrats.

Next up, Russia.

You may remember a little issue between Russia and their neighbor Georgia from 2008 that left a few thousand people killed or injured and a hundred thousand or so people displaced in just over a week. Or maybe the First Chechen War that resulted in tens of thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians. Not enough? How about the Second Chechen War (still unresolved by the way) instead? And I'm sure you already know about President/Prime Minister-for-life Putin's Stalin-emulating purges and ownership of the media, right? By the way, take a look at this before and after picture of Grozny from the FIRST Chechnya war. And by the way, the only country to offer any tangible aid to Georgia in defending itself from Russia guessed it, Israel. Great job Russians. Great job Democrats.

"Oh, but Mr. Mossad," you'll cry out, "it's not the same because none of these countries are SUPPOSED to be liberal democracies like Israel is. It's not their FAULT, they just don't know any better!"

As absurd as that pathetic, apologist line of thinking is, it falls apart completely when you look at India.

Now me personally, I have a lot of respect for India. Located in a part of the world only slightly more stable than the Middle East...India is surrounded by hostile, autocratic neighbors - much in the way Israel is. India also has a very serious Islamic extremism issue, much in the way that Israel does. India has the added problems of a massive population and poverty that most Westerners just cannot even comprehend.

But let's be fair...Indians have killed more Muslims over their own version of the West Bank and Gaza in the 63 years since it became free of British rule than Israel will in 63 THOUSAND years. In fact, an overall estimate of over 500,000 killed and 14 million evicted is attributed to just the two year time-period when Pakistan was carved out of western India.

Still better than Israel, though...right Democrats? It's hardly surprising though since all the politically-correct appeasement talk has been coming out of the Left for years. What SHOULD be surprising (but unfortunately is not) is that this utter hypocrisy isn't recognized by Jews for what it is.

I swear, sometimes I feel like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...

...trying to get a bunch of lunatics to agree to watching the World Series on TV.

It can't just be me though, right? There have to be other people who realize how insane this all is. How is it, that not only don't Jews question these disturbing trends - they actually EMBRACE them and try to act as if it's all part of being pro-Israel in some very cleverly intellectual way that us knuckle-dragging "neo-cons" just would never understand.

And then just to add insult to insanity we end off with this:

Americans are no more optimistic today than they were last year that peace can be reached between Israel and the Palestinians -- and they are, in fact, less optimistic than they were toward the end of the Bush administration.

There's your hope and change nonsense. Is it time to start admitting that maybe just voting the party line in the last election wasn't the best thing for Israel and Jews? Or are we, as Jews, finally ready to admit that we have a highly disturbing 2,000 year old tendency to act against our interests? It's one or the other. It can't be both, it can't be neither.

You'd have to be CRAZY to think otherwise. Right?