Category Archives: Judaism

No Fly, No War?

The killings continue in Gaza as the Israel army continues its campaign to wipe out launching facilities that send rockets into Israel. A new twist on this story concerns decisions by most major airlines to cease any flights in or out of Israel. After all, if rockets are in the air, the last thing desired is to have planes up in the sky. One suspects this ban was never anticipated by those planing the invasion of Gaza. Then again, has the Israel government a plan to end death for its citizens that goes beyond the present moment in time? UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reflects the feelings of many nations in demanding that Israel halt its current attacks in Gaza. Each minute, each hour, each day, the number of deaths grows higher and higher.

Let me make clear, that every nation in the world has a right to respond to military attacks upon its soil. No nation has to sit idly by while rockets descend upon its people. The right to employ force against violence is NOT the issue. The issue, and it will continue to be the issue is: what is the future of Israel as a society? Is the goal seizure of the entire West Bank and removal of Palestinians from the area? Is so, then the current invasion of Gaza makes some sort of sense. BUT, if the issue is: how does the Israel government develop a policy which enables Palestinians to have their own government, then the invasion makes scant sense. Why? Because after the guns grow silent in Gaza, thousands of young Palestinians have only one dream– to revenge the deaths of family and friends. Perhaps, it takes a year, perhaps two years, but in the future there will be other rockets.

What then? Another invasion?

A Ukrainian Dialogue

We offer a dialogue that readily could have taken place in eastern regions of Ukraine. This is an alleged dialogue between the author of this blog and a Ukrainian separatist.

M: I gather your group had nothing to do with that missile?

S: We simply want to separate from the Fascists in Kiev.

3: Why do you call them “fascists?”

S: Let me point out: these Fascist leaders are in Kiev, they do not like to speak Russian, and everyone knows that Ukrainians are Fascists.

M: What do you mean by, “Fascist?”

S: I mean anyone who lives in Fascist Ukraine is a Fascist and they want to kill loyal Russians as they did in WWII!

M: But, Ukraine fascists in WWII were found in just about every region of the Ukraine.

S: But, it was the Russian army which drove out the Fascists. And, today, it is the Russian government which opposes the Fascists in Kiev, so that should make clear who are the Fascists.

M: But, what about those photos showing BUK missile launchers going through a village in eastern Ukraine?

S: In reality, the photo was changed from going through the streets of Kiev,which is controlled by the Fascists, and shifted to a site in eastern Ukraine.

M Are you saying that no missile was fired?

S: All I am saying is that IF a missile was launched, it could only have come from the Fascists!

3 Equals 550

Initially let me make clear the following analysis of events unfolding in Gaza and Israel and Palestine is not an attack on the presence of an independent6 state of Israel in the Middle East. Just about any criticism of Israeli policies results in cries they represent ANTI-SEMITISM! Those who care for the state of Israel believe its survival as a DEMOCRATIC nation depends upon its ability to forge meaningful relations with nations of the Middle East. Asa professor who has taught about the Middle East and mong the founders of a Holocaust Museum, it is clear that survival of Israel as a beacon of democracy depends upon its demonstration of leadership in the Middle East. At this moment, at leat 550 Palestinians are dead because initally three innocent Jewsih children were murdered. The numbver of Palestinian wounded has past the 3000 figure. There simply is no rational way of arguing that the murder of 3 requires the murder of 550 in order to demonstrate something.

OOps, there are now 25 dead Israeli soldiers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues, “all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas.” An intersting equation. In fairness, Bibi is right, Hamas thrives on the killing of Palestinians by Israel. It furnishes them a new set of martyrs who must be avenged. The result is that thousands of Palstinian youth flock to the banner of Deat. Reality check: Israel has prevously launched invasions of Gaza. In each sorty, the Israel government promised the Jewish people of Israel(20% are Muslim or Christian) that THIS invasion was the FINAL INVASION. Each time the promise of finality, but each time the end result is growth in the number of Palestinians wiling to becme martyrs for revenge. Sorry, THIS TIME is NOT the last time.

Death in Gaza, destruction of homes simply ensures a new generation of those willing to murder Israelis. Frankly, they don’t care if the Israeli is Jewish or Muslim, Death alone serves their cause.

At some point Israel MUST

1. Agree that 90% of the West Bank belongs to Palestinians.

Once that is accepted, the road to peace can become a reality.

P.S. Isn’t it time for Death To take a holiday from the Middle East???

Is God He?

A German politician has created a furor by raising the question as to whether God has a gender designation. Family Minister Kristina Schroder wonders if God is really a He or whether she is a She or whether God lacks any gender and is simply God or It or something. Naturally, her comment aroused anger and confusion among a lot of folk who do not want their Christmas to become embroiled in a conflict as to whether God has a gender.

I assume the next argument is whether Santa Claus is a He or is she a She or do we have to ponder the gender of the reindeer. Frankly, I doubt that God will be visiting the USA this Christmas. Does He/She/It really want to be around nut cases from the NRA who want guns in the hands of everyone or does He/She/It wish to listen to the crazies of the Republican party who spend their lives in constant sorrow as to the plight of our wealthy folk who simply can not pay another 3% without having to sell their million dollar homes!

Perhaps, God is an IT. Perhaps, the rest of the universe does not have “he” or “she” designations? Perhaps, intelligent life forms never got around to sex gender stuff and simply just accept a life form as a life form??

“Too Much ABCD”

I am a citizen of the United States of America, you know, the land in which those with wealth decide who becomes president, the land in which it is perfectly OK in the eyes of half the population for a person to be denied health care due to lack of money. I live in a land in which one has the right to whip out a gun and shoot someone who gave an evil look to me that I regarded as “threatening.” So, it ill behooves me to make fun of those with strange customs concerning treatment of young girls. Maimuna Abdullah was married off by her parents for a couple of hundred dollars and sent to become the wife of Mahammandu Saidu, a person who never completed elementary school, and does not like to be around those who have education. OK, so he did promise his fourteen year old bride that she could go to school, but that was before he realized the problem of being married to a literate wife. After all, most of his friends did not have wives who could read or write or do simple math, so why should his wife be anything different?

He proceed to beat the hell out of her, broke her jaw, whipped her skin, and generally made life a hell. What was her problem? She had, “too much ABCD, too much ABCD.” He did not like being around a woman who “was educated and looking down on me.” She ran away, and dad beat the hell out of her and said return to your husband. Such was her plight as it is for a high percent of young girls in Nigeria. They are compelled to give up the idea of learning math, but above all, no more learning their ABCD!

Words Of Wisdom From Chairman Chris

I was aware that Governor Chris Christie was an expert on traffic conditions on bridges, and when it comes to the issue of ensuring his wealthy friends get tax breaks, the good governor of New Jersey leads the nation. So, it was surprising to discover that Chris is an expert on the Middle East. However, to be honest, he is an expert on what Sheldon Adelson desires in life. A few months ago, Chris dashed to Las Vegas and kissed the hand of Sheldon as well as falling to his knees pleading forgiveness. He referred to the West Bank as “occupied land.” Sheldon does not give money or blessings to anyone who doubts the entire Middle East belongs to Jews–God promised them the region. Anyway, Chris decided to really prove to Sheldon that he loves Israel above all, particularly the truth. He gave a speech and explained to Americans why there are problems in the Middle East. Take one guess: BARACK OBAMA!

According to Chris, “Israel is not sure that they have American full support like they used to, and that is the failure of then presidency now.” He went on to emphasize, “that what you see in the Middle East is caused, not completely, but in some measure by the fact that the president has not acted in a decisive, consistent way.”

Oh, as I recall, a president invaded Iraq seeking weapons of mass destruction that never existed. The best friend of Israel is John Kerry who has worked to achieve peace with Palestinians. If not for the US, the Security Council would be passing resolutions blasting current Israel policy in Gaza. Chris, focus on bridges, that is your expertise!

Kick Or Pray

The 2014 World Cup has finally drawn to a conclusion which means that about one billion people can get back to the ordinary hum drum of daily life. Writing as an American who simply does not share the fervor that is so often demonstrated in nations that regard who wins the World Cup as among the most important issues in their lives. I appreciate the sport fanatic since I am one. Alas, not for soccer or World Cups, but for my beloved New York Giant football team or my long lasting love affair with the New York Yankees, and my tormented suffering with the New York Knick basketball team. So, I was intrigued by a study conducted in Saudi Arabia by Marian Dujain al-Kadi which reveals that 60% of Saudi females decide which team to root for in the World Cup based on the good or bad looks of players. Of course, in Muslim Saudi Arabia not only are women banned from driving a car, they don’t even have time in school for physical education. One is left wondering do Saudi women have extra energy and are dying to bang away at a football more than even banging away with a man?

The other aspect of the World Cup in Saudi Arabia that captures my attention is what happens if the game conflicts with prayer time. Sheik Mohamed al-Mahmoud insists that prayer takes precedence over the game. “When it is time for late evening and Ramadan-specific night prayers, one must go to the mosque and pray.” These are definitely not the words or advice of a sport fan. On Yom Kippur I would flee from the synagogue to find some friendly Christian family listening to the World Series. Since they recognized while I was not Jewish, I was a devout Yankee fan, they allowed me to listen.

I hate to inform the Sheik, but God is a fanatic sport fan. And, he is really upset that Saudi women cannot kick a ball!

Unpolitical Obama

Each passing day reveals increaded evidence that Barak Obama has never grasped the importance of why a successful American president must be the political leader of his party as well as its intellectural head. Upon his election in 2008 as president of the nation, Obama has the enthusiastic support of millions of young people who wanted, not merely the end of a disastrous war in Iraq, but birth of a new era in which America was a shining light to the world. As of this date, Obama has never assumed the mantle of champion of our youth. He has ignored their issues, gone agaisnt their desire for an end to secrecy whose only goal was to intrude upon the lives of Americans. He never grasped that youth were the leading users of the Internet, and thus thos ewho would be most impacted by spying. Those of us over age 70 are not spending our lives on cell phone, Facebook or the Internet. By allowing the NSA, the FBI, the CIA to intrude into our lives, Obama has alientated America’s youth. In effecct, his failure to focus on their needs resulted in their drift away from politics.

What can a youth centered Obam do?

1. A dramatic bailout of Student Debt.

2. Reduce interest rates for Studen Loans to 3%. About wha the US spends on its loans.

3. Offer 2 year Public Service positions in exchange for end of Student Loans.

Basically, do something that makes youth want to become politically engaged because Politics directly impacts their lives.

What Comes Next??

It becomes increasingly clear that regardless of who is president of the United States of America our foreign policy will not reflect long term thinking. Both George Bush and Barack Obama are more similar than different in their approach to confronting issues in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry has been the only one in our government who thinks in long-term approaches, who seeks to assist in establishing the basis for permanent peace in the Middle East. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is riding the crest of a popular desire by many Israelis for an end to terror. His approach is to “out-terror” any Islamic terrorist. If they kill three Israelis, then he will kill a hundred. If they wound three Israelis, then he will wound 1200 Palestinians. For the short term, this approach might succeed in reducing rockets, but it is not a long term solution. At no point has Netanyahu offered a sensible compromise to the conflict with Palestine leaders other than to insist there will be more and more housing in the West Bank. Is there an end point to these settlements or do they proceed until no Palestinian is left on the West Bank?

Even the American government is now becoming frightened at the aggressive assault on Gaza. It is warning Israel not to send in ground forces. The UN is urging and urging Israel to reduce the assault and once again seek peace through negotiations. Naturally, Israel leaders insist prior efforts have only failed. Naturally, they blame President Abbas. This is the moment for Netanyahu to make a dramatic offer that can not be turned down. What might that be?

1. A promise that no further housing will be built on the West Bank.

2. An economic solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. The Israel economy can certainly handle one billion a year for the coming two decades.

3. A promise that Israel will initially request the UN to establish a commission that will investigate any Israel complaint prior to massive assault on Palestinians. The commission could not prevent action,but it might slow down the process.

Finally, the time has come for a UN sponsored negotiator who would be charged with proposing the basis of compromise between Israel and Palestinians. Both sides would have to respond to the proposal. The Palestinian delegation would have to include a representative from Hamas if Hamas is still part of the coalition. The Israel delegation would have to include representatives from at least two other Israel political parties. We propose John Kerry as the UN negotiator. This means he would have to resign as US Secretary of State.

Iran’s Seven Year Itch For Peace

There is some good news coming from Iran, or at least any sensible person would interpret new Iranian proposals as constituting good news. Then again, when US Secretary of State John Kerry has to conduct foreign policy negotiation with one eye focused on Congress, is it at all possible that he can succeed in anything related to the Middle East, Asia, Europe or Africa? Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif offered a deal. Iran would freeze its current nuclear program for seven years on condition that after that moment, it would be free to conduct the same nuclear programs as found in other nations. At this point, Kerry and his allies in negotiation have been demanding a ten year freeze. In simple, clear English, both sides ARE close to an agreement. So, let us propose a compromise:

1. Iran freezes its nuclear program for eight years!

2. Israel agrees to reduce by a factor of 20% the number of atomic bombs in its facilities.

3. Israel and Iranian leaders agree to establish a joint commission which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues between the nations.

4. America returns to Iran money that was frozen after the Shah was overthrown in 1979.

Believe it or not, peace IS possible in the Middle East!