Category Archives: Judaism

“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!

Sort Of Cease Fire

Every so often in the Middle East there arrives a moment, just a moment, when one is capable of considering the possibility that some sort of quiet might reign in the region. In Libya, they are firing rockets into cities, in Egypt, missiles are being fired by Islamists who hate the Islamist government of General Sisi which has imprisoned members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, under President Morsi, the Brotherhood imprisoned Islamists who did not agree with the other Islamists. Anyway, the Egyptian government persuaded the Israel government to hold off on further bombings that have left hundreds dead or wounded. The Arab League accepted the cease fire, Egypt supported the cease fire, Israel said OK to the cease fire, but Hamas continues to insist that firing rockets which result in the deaths of hundreds somehow, in some way, furthers the cause of Palestinian independence. Hamas leaders think something like this:

“If we can get Israel to kill a few thousand people in Gaza or in other parts of Palestine, the people will reject President Abbas and come running to us. Who else but we can guarantee that people die? The more who die, the more families that become radicalized, and the more followers flock to us. So, please Israelis, continue to kill and kill and help us recruit more fanatics filled with hatred. We of Hamas believe the road to heaven is filled with bodies of the dead. Just heap up the bodies and we can climb on them in order to reach Heaven.”

Leave it to Hamas and no one will be left to live in Palestine.

Just A Matter Of Time

At this moment that I write there are about 200,000,000 people on this planet who reside in a country that was not their native land. In other words, there are hundreds of millions who fall into the category of being An IMMIGRANT. My parents fled eastern Europe after the end of World War I seeking a place of safety and refuge from war or poverty as well as the vicious anti-Semitism that prevailed in their native lands. As I write, there are at least two million people whose native land is in Syria, but have fled because of war or religious hatred or not particularly enjoying life in Assad Syria. The majority who have fled are Muslims, but there begins the problem–which type of Muslim? Shiite or Sunni or whoever? The overwhelming majority are now in a Muslim nation. Alas, that is where the problem begins. Muslim nations in the Middle East never cease complaining about the evils of Israel, but when it comes to welcoming their fellow Muslims, the end result is anger, discrimination and refusal to offer assistance. No Middle Eastern nation has allowed refugees from Israel-Palestine– to become citizens. So, why should Turks behave any different?

There are over a million Syrians in Turkey whose government has responded to the crisis with care and concern. But, to the average citizen, an immigrant is “not one of us.” Over a thousand people in the province of Kaharmanmares rioted against local Syrian refugees and chanted words of hate and violence. I live in America, the land which is 100% made up of immigrants. Which nation of the world surpasses us in expressions of hate toward immigrants? Turkish demonstrators said immigrants were –criminals– words that flow from Tea Party followers. To be an immigrant is not to be a person who will get a welcome wagon greeting.

Bombs Away Bombs Away Peace

There is no question that the history of negotiations between Israel and Arab leaders reveals a story of missed opportunities, incompetent Palestinian leadership, and roads that were never explored. Yasser Arafat in 2001 refused the Clinton plan which gave Palestinians about 95% of what they desired, he wanted, 100%! Such has been the past. But, today, there is another Palestinian leader, President Abbas, who seeks a genuine solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Yes, there is the presence of Hammas. We can assume Israel’s claim that Hammas had something to do with the death of 3 innocent Jewish children. The response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bombings,words of hate and violence, will have consequences. Israel claims its bombings have destroyed missiles, weapon bases, militants, and, of course, a few dozen innocent Muslim children. A mosque has been hit, a center for disabled people has been hit, schools have been hit, all in retaliation for the death of 3 innocent children.

Death of a Jewish child is painful, so is death for a Muslim child, painful, as well as the child of an atheist or Christian. As I recall, there have been previous bombing campaigns with the promise that THIS time bad people will be killed, and there will be no more bombings or deaths of Israelis. Frankly, one has lost track as to how many bombing campaigns were launched that were the last bombing campaign. American colonists fought for seven years against the most powerful nation in the world, they lost 90% of the battles, but finally won the last one. Of course, the “end” only arrived when both sides sat down to negotiate peace. THAT is the only hope for peace in the Middle East. Netanyahu’s heroes are warriors. Perhaps, it is time to model another hero-Nelson Mandela who did not allow the deaths of innocent black South African children to get in the way of peace–even with those who had brutally killed the innocent!

War Knows No Respite In Gaza

The latest example of Middle Eastern madness began when some thugs murdered three innocent Jewish boys who lived on the West Bank. Their deaths on the West Bank is symbolic of what has happened between Israel and Palestinians. The West Bank was won from Jordan in the famous Six Day War in 1967. Israel leaders at that time wanted to return the West Bank in exchange for peace with their Arab leaders. If there is one thing that has rarely changed in the Middle East is the reality no Nelson Mandela or his equivalent can be found in the Middle East. The subsequent half century have witnessed an ever growing anger and failure to compromise over the issue of the West Bank. Three Jewish boys died. The latest count of Israel’s murderous bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip is that 156 Palestinians are dead and over 1,000 thousand wounded. Certainly, this has gone beyond an eye for an eye. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never been guilty of the crime of softness in the face of danger. He has shouted for revenge, and he has gotten revenge. Of course, the revenge began with three Israel Jews murdering an innocent Palestinian boy and it has escalated and escalated from that moment.

The problem with bombing revenge is that this is a TACTIC, this is not a plan nor a solution. I assume Israel can bomb and bomb and bomb. At some point in time, the bombing must cease. Then, what? PM Netanyahu has not presented any idea for a long term solution that would end the murders and bombings in the region. The UN has called for a cease fire. Netanyahu rejects it because more bombing must ensue. As I recall, Israel decades ago bombed, and Jewish Israelis(20% of Israelis are Muslim or Christian) were promised peace would result. Actually, since the bombings began Hamas and other groups have received thousands of more missiles. There is no evidence that bombings will bring peace.

Uman Omar,a Gaza woman summed up the problem of bombing when she saw her home destroyed by bombs. “Am I a terrorist? Do I make rockets and artillery in my home?”" Of course not, but to cease bombing such homes would get in the way of bombing.