There is a song, well known among Jews, titled: “David, melech yisrael”
Rabbi Yossi Marcus of the Ask Moses website says that it means “David, King of Israel lives and endures!” and he goes on to write mostly about King David. He does however explain that the phrase has come to mean “am Yisrael chai (the nation of Israel lives!).” Indeed it does live. I do not mean to imply that Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyhu is equal to King David, that his rule will endure like that of King David, or that he will rule in the future, but that Israel (and hopefully America) will live. And we will endure. We will not go down, despite the evil that comes from today’s White House and from Iran (the former Persia), the setting for the story of Purim.
Purim begins this year on at sundown March 4th (Wednesday night). There is a link between Purim and the destruction of evil. For example on March 1, 1953 (Purim) Joseph Stalin was suddenly paralyzed and died four days later, thus averting a nation-wide pogram in the Soviet Union. The Gulf War in 1991 ended on the first day of the Feast of Purim. I still remember well that in the weeks leading up to the war’s end the repeated joke was that the war would end on Purim. Why? (Not only because ending that war would be a time for of rejoicing for Jews) but because it would end evil, just as it had ended evil in the days of Queen Esther. Netanyahu will have the story of Purim in mind on Tuesday night when he speaks before the joint houses of Congress.
No one and nothing will stop us, and Netanyahu, although born in Israel spent several years in the USA and is a graduate of Cheltenham High School near Philadelphia. This is a man who knows America. The Israeli and the American people and their nations are forces for good, as is the leader of Israel. Not perfect, but good, and aiming to be better. A Gallup poll recently found that Netanayhu’s favorable rating in the past three years has risen 10 points. The same poll found that in the last 15 years Americans of all ages have grown more partial to Israel in the Arab-Israel conflict but those 50 and over particularly so with support in that age group growing from 50% to 70%.
America can always recover from a failed domestic policy but how does she recover from a foreign policy that subjects her to the whims of homicidal zealots with nuclear arms?
A radical Iranian theocracy must never have access to nuclear power.
As victims of the most heinous crimes ever perpetrated upon a group of people, it is incumbent upon all Jews to be diligent in monitoring events around the world that violate the safety of all mankind. In this case, Jews must be in the forefront, leading the charge to end the Iranian threat. It is the mission of American Jews to ensure that The United States, the leader of the free world, never embraces a foreign policy that green lights Iran’s resolve to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth. Clearly, allowing Iran access to nuclear power guarantees that they will achieve their goal through nuclear annihilation. Preventing such a cataclismic occurence necessitates nothing less than our full commitment to triumph over evil.
"There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed among the other peoples in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people….If it please Your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction…."
Every Jewish child recognizes that miserable request as the whiny voice of Haman, the voice of doom for Jewry were it not for Queen Esther, who, when told, said, "How can I behold the destruction of my people?" thus setting in motion instead the destruction of Haman—and giving us the festival of Purim.
Now, by fate or coincidence, on the day before Purim, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to address the United States Congress. Like Esther, he will plead for Israel, threatened this time by the modern Haman in the modern Persia, busily assembling the very latest tools of destruction. For as an Iranian computer engineer said not long ago, according to YNet News, the Islamic Republic "could destroy the Jewish state in less than nine minutes." Apprised of that potential, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, approvingly said, "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed."
Last week Elie Wiesel noted the Purim connection, pleading for government leaders to join him at Netanyahu's speech, "in hearing the case for keeping weapons from those who preach death to Israel and America." The question is how many will indeed join Wiesel, in view of the fact that President Obama is overtly instructing Democrats to boycott the prime minister. This diktat should not be surprising, given Obama's open hostility toward Netanyahu. Recall the president's leaving Bibi to cool his heels in a White House meeting room while he, Obama, went upstairs to have dinner; recall Obama's "anonymous" taunt of Netanyahu as a "coward" and "chickens-t." Recall his crack to President Nicholas Sarkozy on a hot mike, "You're fed up, but I have to deal with him [Netanyahu] every day." And as we know, at this moment, Obama has his own campaign workers in Israel working against Netanyahu's re-election.
This commentary is about Obama, Israel and why he has done what he has done for the last 6 years.
A lot of people think that “President” Obama has done some very scatterbrained things, (You’re not going to get an argument from me!) a hodgepodge of actions that seem not to have any common sense or even a connection, But, regarding Israel, There is a method to his madness.
Most people will agree that The Islamic Republic of Iran and their lackeys in the Mid-East, are Israel’s main enemies. Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah (Palestinian Authority) and now of course the Sunni based ISIS or Islamic State. Since May 1948, the one thing the Great State of Israel have always been able to count on is the United States of America and a President that will always be there, thick or thin, side by side with the Jewish State. Since 2009, No More!
Now, there is a Far left Liberal minded, Palestinian supporting, President that desperately wants to be the President that settled the “Middle East Problem”... In his mind, with his zero fact based strategic understanding of the “on the ground” tactical situation in Israel, he has done nothing but create additional stress upon stress against Israel with his, “return to the 67 borders” mentality. He has repeatedly disrespected the democratically elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on various trips to Washington DC, he has failed to take action when Syria attached their own citizens with Chemical weapons, even though he said by doing so would be a “Red Line” to the United States. Why? The “Why”, in my view is quite simple:
Collins Bartholomew, the map-publishing company of world-leading publishers, Harper Collins, removed Israel from its Geography Atlas to accommodate “local preferences.” In other words, in the interest of selling maps to an enemy that hopes to also wipe America off the map, the company was willing to erase Israel, as well as dispense with scruples, integrity, conscience, ethics, and credibility. Let’s take this a step further.
I understand that Muslims cannot abide truth; thus they invented the accusation of Islamophobia – to squelch all things that reveal their essence. Islam is at war with the world and reality, and has been since the seventh century. Their culture is a dedication to war and conquest, so that even their people may not grow and prosper. From the moment their children are born, they are robbed of the human spirit – freedom, creativity, imagination – and are twisted into becoming hardhearted “weapons of mass destruction” against their perceived enemies. In the name of their god, they attempt to erase the past by destroying ancient artifacts, refute history to support their own supersessionist narrative, and call “offensive” all actions that lay bare their true nature, barbarism.
Above all, Islam teaches hatred of Jews, not to mention Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, idol worshipers and animists. But above all, it is the Jews, because Mohammed could not convert the Jews in Mecca, so he beheaded all the Jewish men. Yet, Muslims are still tied to Judaism through Abraham – and perhaps resent it. Muslims also need the Jews to blame for their failures and adversities, and while they also claim Jewish successes and world contributions for their own, it has been said that they also feel the shame of having to do so. Why else would there be a traveling world exhibition called “101 Inventions,” for which they claim scholarship and ingenuity, but whose originality may be traced to Jews and other captives forcibly converted to Islam? Why else would they begin claiming Moses, Jesus, Christopher Columbus, and Albert Einstein as Palestinian or Muslim, even if there were no Palestinians or Muslims during the times of Moses and Jesus?
Until recently America was a meritocracy, but no more. At one time in America and the rest of the Anglo-world, there was a hunger for knowledge that was manifested in the reading taste of the average man (and woman) who, although they may not have had the opportunity to attend college, wanted to obtain the knowledge attending college would have provided them. I remember in high school not being allowed to join the “Great Books Club,” (due to poor grades) so every day I would casually (but deliberately) stop in front of a notice board and read/memorize the name of one book. I could still read the book I just didn’t have the opportunity to join this select club. Such behavior was probably not that unusual at the time and afforded me an opportunity to read the same things, just not to join the book club that was limited to academic elites (who have yet to equal my academic achievements, but that’s another story). I seem to recall that Contra Apion was on that list for the Great Books Club.
In the event you have not read it, in the 1st century A.D. a Jew named Josephus wrote a book titled Contra Apion (i.e. against Apion’s ideas). A contemporary of the author, Apion was an Egyptian priest and the author saw right through him, and recognized that Apion was ignorant of the very topic he had written about. It is one of the funniest books I have ever read. Josephus figuratively tears Apion into little shreds, drops them on the floor and sets fire to the shreds. Of course one does need at least a passing acquaince with both history and theology to appreciate what he wrote, but this is not brain surgery (rocket science is extremely easy and it is a bit more than that).
Contra Apion has given me much pleasure over the years and conveniently when writing a piece of fiction recently I was able to mention it in passing. This is first time in years that I have been able to acknowledge Josephus’ splendid work at all. But I dare not tell anyone because I would be labeled and possibly sneered at, let them think I stumbled across it or was searching for something now obscure. What (knowing, reading Contra Apion) would have once garnered admiration or respect now only brings out the worst in my fellow citizens who know all about the latest gadget but do not always know the names of their senators or their state capitals, let alone ancient history or any history for that matter.
Contra Apion is just one book, but there are so, so many classics that are no longer taught, that so many so-called ‘educators’ may never even have heard of, but there is more. The ignorance of Western culture, of Western civilization, of music, art, literature, science, and so much more is astonishing. People refer to colleges and universities as places of learning. They are not. They are glorified trade schools for the most part (plus they are places to get drunk, do drugs, and hook up, but I digress). There are very few colleges or universities in America that are in anyway devoted to learning today. They are devoted to getting the maximum number of people to register as students in order to pay for their top heavy administrations and the bizarro-world courses they offer. The word ‘learning’ is just a red-herring used to deceive the gullible.
Try saying, even implying, that you might read something a little more serious, something a little more traditional or historical than the latest sleazy novel and you are immediately branded as an arrogant elitist. Actually that is pretty mild, in today’s world you are branded a Nazi and/or a racist, or even worst, and sense you are lucky not to have your head removed.
It has come to my attention, in various and diverse ways, that it is not unusual today for adults, people well over 21, to have poor spelling, grammar, math and writing skills – often despite having graduate degrees. In fact it is fairly common. Today one can be holding a fairly innocuous conversation only to discover that the other party doesn’t have a sufficiently large vocabulary to understand what one is saying even though one sticks to fairly common words. This is hardly surprising.
A C average in high school is usually sufficient to be accepted into any state university, where after one year one must choose a major. Those who cannot get into any other college on a campus are always welcome in the College of Education where courses are often limited to the History of Education, the Future of Education, Policies in Education, Procedures in Education, ad nauseam. Rarely do these ‘Education Colleges” require courses in content or any sort of subject beyond some theory* but the theories often state that something would, or must, work because of the theory.
When I was in graduate school twenty years ago the “College of Education,” for good reason, was known as the intellectual sewer to the rest of the university. This description or the ready explanation that other places are not different is something I have heard from other individuals from other states. Education degrees are not respected by those in the know, yet so many in our society continue to act as if an education degree still means something. It doesn’t.
Most schools are staffed and led by individuals who have degrees in education. These are the people who are teaching and leading the schools, they are rarely educated, let alone learned. They are at best sheeple, herded by their unions and required to deal with behavioral problems, follow curriculums devised by the educational establishment and/or their unions, and never, ever permitted to think for them self. They seem to be there primarily to collect their paychecks, and if forced (not all do), basically serve as babysitters. The teacher’s unions seem to believe they exist solely to collect union dues and the politicians rely on the unions to support their campaigns with money and volunteers.
I blame the situation on both the public school system and the teacher’s unions. As someone who didn’t attend public schools until graduate level I have always been mystified. Why do people think that a ‘free’ public school is a good idea? (it is not education, has not been for decades). Doesn’t anyone else know that old saying that “nothing in life is free?” Doesn’t anyone else (I’m talking to you on the right, those on the left are known as ‘low information voters’ for a reason) know that the 10th Amendment (passed in 1791) to the Constitution actually says that education is the responsibility of the states or the individual?
So, if state A wants free education through graduate school fine, but if state B opts out of providing any publically funded education, that’s fine too. This is what works for them, and people in that state are free to change the law or alternatively vote with their feet and move to a state that has policies to suit their beliefs/needs. Hence each state can craft an educational policy that is right for it.
Nearly every state is so different from the others, that education like so much else needs to reflect its needs and differences. It makes a lot of sense for some states to mandate that every child learn to swim. In other states mandating ability to swim makes no sense at all.
It is more than just the problem of national vs. state control. In Amerca state control of education makes sense, national control does not, and in fact is prohibited by the Constitution (note: many states are larger geographically, larger in population, etc. than many countries). Every state and every individual is unique, yet somehow it is thought virtuous by some to make things alike for all children in all locations. (And three cheers to you homeschoolers out there.) Nationalizing the educational system doesn’t really make a lot of sense if you think about it.
When America was a meritocracy it flourished. I’m not advocating a return to the past, that can’t happen, but we can return to some things that were cherished in the past and that is what is needed for the sake of America and Americans. Things such as merit, knowledge, and education, real education, as opposed to degrees and certificates or years spent incarcerated in an ‘educational institution,’ are things of lasting value and are still worth pursuing.
I must go, time for this autodidact to get back to studying the Constitution. Some things never grow old. Some things really are worth studying. The Constitution is one of them.
*It works because of the theory is an old Marxist approach to things. Laura Bush once said, “before we were married my husband and I had a few theories about raising children and no children. Now we have two children and no theories.”
One of these Christmases I fully expect the muslims to issue a defense of the 1st century arab, the late, great, Herod. They would make some outrageous claim that all he intended to do was to worship the child born in Bethlehem and that he'd been misunderstood and maligned for two millennia. The liberals and atheists would applaud and, to the accusation of infanticide, our politicians would assure us that the killers were evidently "lone wolves", acting outside of Herod's authority, and to suggest otherwise is racist....or something. The muslims would not have to seek far afield to find their own reason for the flight of the Holy Family: the nefarious Joos, this time in collusion with the Romans. It is not far-fetched to say that, were Herod alive today, he would qualify for a hefty handout from the western nations to help the dear man build schools and hospitals. Something just as absurd as this scenario is being suggested today, in David's (note that) City of Bethlehem.
Norah O’Donnell is called an “anchorwoman,” defined as “a television reporter who coordinates a broadcast to which several correspondents contribute.” However, would she not vet the material before airing erroneous contributions, or is there intentional complicity?
O’Donnell reported the brutal attack by two Palestinian boys in a Jerusalem synagogue, killing four rabbis and injuring seven. In fact, it was a massacre, with blood everywhere, including on the Torah - but she called the synagogue a “contested religious site.” Contested? Neither the Har Nof synagogue nor the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem is contested. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, has been the capital of the Jewish people through most of history, and was declared the capital when Israel became a state; therefore, the neighborhood and the synagogue are indisputably legal. If it is contested, it is only a war tactic by jihadists, who will use any method to garner supporters when they fear the possibility of loss by modern warfare. Does O’Donnell also contest the Christian churches or Bahi’a, Buddhist, or Hindu temples in Israel? Does she contest the Al Aqsa mosque, over which dominion was ceded by General Moshe Dayan, whether out of generosity or naïveté and his hope for peace with barbarians. How could he have known that the courtyard would someday be a soccer field for boys who use severed heads for sport? Perhaps he should have been more aware of Islam’s bloody 1400-year history!
Ahhhh, the Al Aqsa mosque should be contested, because it sits on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, where King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem as a monument to God and a permanent home for the inner sanctuary, which contained the Ark of the Covenant that held the two stone tablets that Moses received at Mt. Horeb. The ground under the Temple Mount to this day contains artifacts that verify the existence of the Jewish people who worshipped in that Temple; the coins of the monetary system used by the Jews before the Christian Era, pottery, stones with inscriptions, an arch, a colonnade, a grand stairway, Solomon’s Stables, thousands of mikvehs (ceremonial baths), and the continuation of the Western Wall now leading to the city walls and the Lion’s Gate. It should also be contested because the imams have the audacity to preach hate and death to all the Jews from the mosque that sits on Jewish land!
I would like to hear from CBS’s Morning news show and Norah O’Donnell concerning her contesting the Har Nof synagogue; I believe a sincere apology to the Jewish people and a statement of correction are in order.
As one holds a copy of Dr. Phyllis Chesler's updated book "The New Anti-Semitism" in their hands, we can all breathe a collective sigh and exclaim "this tome hasn't come a minute too soon." Thanks to the excellent research and prophetic analysis conducted by this acclaimed author, lecturer and activist, the reader is afforded the necessary context and perspective with which to understand the invidious phenomenon of contemporary Jew hatred.
Written over a decade ago in a compelling, easy to read and free flowing style, Dr. Chesler's premise was and still is that classical anti-Semitism as espoused by such nihilists and evil madmen as Hitler and the scores that preceded him has now been deemed to be "politically correct" by the trendy denizens of the Western academy and the "intellectual" crowds. Chesler was among the first to have seen and denounced the suicidal alliance between the Western intelligentsia and fundamental Islam. The anti-Semite needed a new and more acceptable veneer and the little place on the globe known as Israel would serve as the perfect subterfuge. Thus, Zionism does not equal racism but anti-Zionism does. In fact, it is part of what makes the new anti-Semitism "new."
There is no doubt that the al Aqsa intifada and the traumatic events of 9/11 served as an impetus for Dr. Chesler to pen this book as she naturally drew a correlation between the kind of terrorism that had become endemic to the state of Israel and the Jihadic terrorism that was let loose upon the world. "War and a new kind of anti-Semitism had been declared," she writes.
In the decades prior to the 9/11 and the advent of al Qaeda, Chesler is acutely aware of the festering anti-Semitism that appears to be increasingly more ubiquitous with each passing moment. She details major events that she personally encountered during her years as part of the vanguard of the second wave feminist movement and the reader can easily connect the proverbial dots to see and feel the palpable resentment of those who championed the politically correct cause against Israel, now known as liberalism.
Always sensing a strong undercurrent of such bigotry in the various human rights movements that came to define her raison d'etre, Chesler is most disheartened when women's conferences and forums such as Copenhagen and a pre-Durban one were hijacked by Jew hating agendas. She justifiably laments the fact that some important conferences are cancelled because of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias. "Women, you see, cannot be accused of racism - unless, of course, they are Jewish women," she sardonically writes.
Because she is keenly aware that anti-Semitism may start with the Jews but never ends with the Jews, she makes the logical connection between the opprobrium that is harbored for both America and Israel by those who assign blame to all forms of human oppression in terms of colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism. "The Palestinian uprising has increasingly been seen as the uprising of all oppressed peoples against their colonial oppressors, that is, Jews, Zionists and Americans," she ruefully observes. And, she notes, few understand that Muslim history is one of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, gender and religious apartheid, and slavery. Only the post enlightenment Judeo-Christian West are seen as mighty sinners.
Unlike other authors who have offered works of this genre, Chesler's meticulous research is beyond impeccable as she explores the genesis of post 9/11 Islamic terrorism specifically directed against the West and their global interests. Israel, of course is viewed as the little Satan by the retinue of pro-Palestinian apologists and their Western lackeys and Chesler takes the Big Lies and bold propaganda to task by exposing their motives. Case in point: The unfortunate Muhammed Dura incident and the use of "fauxtography" are given more than an ample dose of good old fashioned sunlight as she reveals one of the most egregious anti-Israel hoaxes ever sold to the public; however deceptively.
While reading this book, one is in retrospective mode as we imbibe a seemingly endless litany of horrifying anti-Israel and anti-Jewish events at university campuses that took place in the first decade of the new century and compare them to how much worse they are today. It should come as no surprise that the BDS movement and physical and verbal violence against pro-Israel Jewish students has gained a dangerous degree of momentum, power and economic viability in institutions of higher learning.
Chesler cites the palpable but surreal bellicosity that has become an endemic part of campus life for Jews who wish to express pro-Israel sentiments. Physical attacks, heckling of speakers, academic boycotts, incendiary street theater predicated on distortions, the lies being promulgated at the annual Jew roasting, better known as Israel apartheid week and the infinite amount of Orwellian rhetoric being circulated in every facet of academic life to just name a few. "The New McCarthyism on campus consists of the anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian point of view. No other view will be tolerated," she writes.
Chesler is under no illusions and does not even attempt to sugarcoat the obvious. European anti-Semitism is at pre-World War II levels and the flames of destruction are being consistently fanned not only by the "usual suspects" but by the formidable fourth estate. The European press she writes "have continuously held Israel accountable for Palestinian terrorism, and justified human homicide bombing as a function of Palestinian "despair."
This book is easy to read yet it is filled with a voluminous amount of facts and is definitely driven by concrete and verifiable data. What causes the words to leap off the pages, however, and to embed themselves in our collective psyches are the nuanced and urbane analyses proffered both by Chesler and by an extensive array of experts. Frightening as it may be, they provide us with the kind of perspective we need to tackle anti-Semitic diatribes.
Yes, Dr. Chesler cautions us to grant this matter the gravitas it deserves and not to dismiss it as mere blather. In the expanded last chapters of the book she prodigiously confronts the Big Lies and blood libels as she challenges the sheer mendacity of pseudo and rather lethal Palestinian narratives in ways that are both comprehensible and thought provoking. On an uplifting note she provides us with ways in which each of us can support Israel and Judaism, either through economic empowerment against boycotts of Israeli made products and development of community and college based pro-Israel programs connecting with individual Israelis as part of our families.
In one of her final exhortations, Dr. Chesler has stumbled upon what may be the most important component in staying afloat as a people as we navigate the turbulent tide of anti-Semitism. She writes: "Dare I say it? I must. I implore Jews to stop fighting with each other. Even if we disagree, we must try to do so respectfully, soulfully....We are an eternal people engaged in an eternal struggle with evil." Definitely words to heed.
To purchase a copy of "The New Anti-Semitism" please click on this link:
Israel’s Government has been contaminated by, the Moral Equivalency Syndrome, the MES. This MES is rampant in the democratic world. In this messed up world, Hamas, a terrorist organization that used its own children as human shields, has been raised to the level of Israel whose medical and agricultural discoveries have saved sick and starving people in Africa.
The Moral Equivalency Syndrome has metamorphosed into a more acute degeneration, the Moral Reversal Syndrome, which reminds us of Isaiah’s warning “Woe unto them that call evil good.”
Moral Reversal animated the Euro-American left-wing supporters of Hamas despite the latter’s use of women and children as human shields in Gaza.
Moral Reversal has been propagated by Euro-American social scientists, typically left-wing atheists.
Strange as it may seem, however, the Moral Reversal prevalent in the pedagogy of the Left is also evident in the political policy of Israeli Prime Ministers who have negotiated with the Jew-killers of the Palestinian Authority. PA Arabs, contrary to the MES, are “evil.” We apologize for using judgmental language, but if we are not to trivialize the behavior of Arabs who use their own children as human bombs to kill Jews, what else shall we call them? Shall we call them “martyrs” and thus justify the insult of Muslims who call infidels apes?
More significantly, if we call these Arabs evil, the Moral Equivalency Syndrome places Israeli Prime Ministers who consort with them on the same level! Let’s start a new page.
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