Category Archives: Judaism

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?

Arabs, An Appointment In Samarra

There is an old Arab folk tale which should be read every morning by every leader in Hamas. “Once upon a time, a servant went out into the market place to shop for his master. As he gathered up fruits, he suddenly noticed that Death was in the marketplace. He ran home and told his master that he had seen Death in the marketplace. His Master grew frightened and decided to flee to the town of Samarra. He left in a hurry. The servant returned to the marketplace and walked up to Death. He berated Death for frightening his Master. Death apologized if his presence frightened his master and told the Servant that he had merely halted for a few hours because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The leaders of Hamas have an appointment in Samarra. The problem is that they will not go to that town, but people living in Gaza will be forced to head in that direction. The 72 hour ceasefire ended, and Hamas sent 35 rockets headed toward Israel. Naturally, Israel artillery responded with shells. Naturally, more civilians in Gaza will receive a premature appointment in Samarra.

Leaders of Hamas insist they won the recent war. The last time they fought the Israel Army only about ten Jewish soldiers were killed, but during recent weeks they killed 60. A Hamas spokesperson said there would not be a ceasefire until Israel agrees to its demands. On which planet are Hamas leaders living? The only “victory” for anyone is–an end to violence!

Collateral Damage In Iraq

Since day one of the great invasion of Iraq that was initiated by the dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, the collateral damage of this conflict has simply been ignored by the American government and media. For example, how many Americans know that in March, 2003 there were nearly a million Christians in Iraq who traced their ancestry back nearly 2000 years? How many Americans know these were descendants of early Christians who followed the word of Jesus Christ? Today, thanks to the Born Again Christian, George Bush, only about 400,00 of these CHRISTIANS still remain in Iraq. George and the boys created a Muslim fanatic government which did not intend to grant Christians any favors. Of course, the Kurds in northern Iraq said “goodbye” to Iraq and went their merry way of independence. In fairness to George, he is not responsible for the flight of 150,000 Jews who left Iraq by the 1970s.

Let me explain something to the Dynamic Trio–Christians were a second class minority within Muslim societies. They lacked power and existed due to sufferance of Muslim rulers. Saddam Hussein granted them equality in order to have a group that was disliked by Muslim clerics. In other words, “my friend is the enemy of my enemy.” By the way, Georgie boy, as you chop wood and go to church on Sunday in Texas, just remember, YOU are the one responsible for the flight of Iraq Christians from their homeland.

Today, yet another example of Collateral Damage. There is a minority Muslim group called the Yazidi. They are deemed heretics by Muslim clerics. They have been around for several hundred years. However, since growth of ISIS, the latest form of fanatical Muslims, the Yazidi have fled their towns. Over 100,000 are now in Kurdistan. About 40,000 are trapped on Mount Sinjar. As one refugee noted: “we are being told to convert or to lose our heads. There is no one coming to help.”

How about contacting George Bush? At least he could provide wood for your fires!

HALT THE INVASION!

I thank God that America has citizens who are willing to risk their lives in order to protect this nation from an invasion of ruthless, savage, job destroying CHILDREN! A thirty car convoy is winding its way align the border with Mexico, it is filled with God fearing, decent, gun toting members of the National Rifle Association, and they are prepared to risk their lives in order to secure the border against the hordes of children seeking to violate our security system. There are unconfirmed reports these children are armed with dolls that talk. It is rather unclear if the talking dolls are speaking in some form of code that is being conveyed to drug lords back in Mexico. As the leader of these patriotic Americans noted, the goal of the convoy “is to defend America against an invasion.” He also noted the convoy has received “death threats.” It is unclear whether the death threats came from the children or their dolls. As the convoy went through Arizona, they halted in order to picket the offices of Senator John McCain, the author of many “pro-invasion legislation.” This blog believes Senator John McCain should be investigated, after all, he spent four years as a prisoner of the Viet Cong in Vietnam, why did he allow his plane to be “shot down?” Frankly, I never believed he was “shot down,” it was simply a ruse to become a prisoner so that he could be tortured.

Good News from Texas. Governor Rick Perry has alerted Texas Rangers to the invasion threat. Perry is fighting against “government funded programs” that seek to allow these children into our beloved land. Who knows what these young females will do? I have received reports they seek to take jobs away from decent American female prostitutes!

What Should Be US Foreign Policy?

The ongoing complaint of this blog is lack of a foreign policy on the part of the United States of America that goes beyond handling the current crisis of the day. Since the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and that of Iraq in 2003, American foreign policy essentially is based on the premise that our nation does not like bad people. We got rid of the bad Taliban, then we got rid of the bad Saddam Hussein, then we got rid of the bad Libyan dictator Gaddafi because he was bad–at least for this moment. America does not like Chinese leaders because they are dictatorial, but we DO like dictators in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt. I assume they are among the “good dictators.” The only clear aspect of US foreign policy over the past decade is our concern for “dictators.” Of course, even though we are against dictators, we really mean “some dictators.” From 1946 until 1991, American foreign policy was based on the theory of Çontainment. In the end, the Soviet Union imploded, and Çontainment wound up proving accurate as a foreign policy.

What then can be a foreign policy for the Middle East?

1. Our goal should be creation of a Mediterranean Union that includes all nations in the region.

2. Creation of the MU should not be predicated on the assumption that all nations participating in the Union were, at this moment, democracies.

3. Our goal should be an Israel agreement with Palestinian leaders that results in formation of an independent state of Palestine which governs 95% of the existing West Bank and Gaza.

4. The US should take the lead in creating a modern Marshall Plan for the MU to stimulate economic development.

These four goals have nothing to do with democracy. The end result of this policy would be peace in the region and economic development. Period!

A Jew With A Conscience!

I am the child of east European Jews who fled hatred, discrimination, and possible death from anti-Semites in Poland and Russia. From an early age, the ideals of Socialism were embedded in my mind. I was raised to believe that Jews could not be free until ALL persecuted people were free. The very concept that JEWS would inflict oppression on others had no place in my mine or thoughts. We were JEWS and thus, above all people of the world, we understood the consequences of hatred gone wild against those unable to defend themselves. Gideon Levy writes for the Israel newspaper, Haaretz. These days when he enters a restaurant, people move away from his table. It is common for Levy to be cursed when he walks in the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. A member of the Israel Parliament, Yariv Levin, told Israelis that “It is time that we stop regarding despicable phenomena like this with tolerance” He was referring to columns written by Levy in which he attacks the method by which the invasion of Gaza occurred. In the Israel of 2014, if one disagrees with any action taken against Palestinians then one is a comrade of terrorists and should be regarded as a traitor to the state of Israel.

According to Gideon Levy what is different this time in Israel from other crisis situations, “is the anti-democratic spirit.” There is zero tolerance for any dissident voice. “The very young people are the worst. More ignorant. MOre brainwashed.” The young no longer convey a spirit of cooperation with Palestinians their age, now, if you are one of “them” then you are a terrorist who must be hunted down and killed. Few young Jewish Israelis have friends among non-Jew Israelis, let along among Palestinians. As the famous Israel writer, Amos Oz notes, life for them has become “black and white.” Naturally, Jews are the guys in white hats!

These are not the Jews I grew up with.

DID YOU KNOW?

DID YOU KNOW?

The last President to have a balanced budget was Democrat Bill Clinton.

The last President who had a $200 billion surplus in his budget was Bill Clinton.

Two thirds of our National Debt came from Republican Presidents.

Under Barack Obama’s tenure twice as many illegal immigrants have been returned to Mexico than under George Bush.

Barack Obama has yet to fire any head of a secret service agency.

The Affordable Care Act has resulted in lowering medical costs.

Not one mass shooting of students occurred in an urban school.

The vast majority of those blasting away in schools are white, from middle class families, and live in the suburbs.

The top tax rate in World War II was 90%!

The top tax rate in the 1950s when Republican Dwight Eisenhower was president was –90%!

There is absolutely NO correlation between tax rates and job creation.

One third of American bridges are in danger of collapsing.

Guns Of August Are Silent

For the moment, and I do mean, the Moment, the guns of August have grown silent. Under sponsorship of Egypt both Israel and Hamas representatives are meeting to discuss what now happens? Should there be a resumption of the Guns of August resuming in order to bring into reality, the Guns of September or the Guns of October? For the first time in a month, no one got killed in Gaza or in Israel. According to a Hamas spokesperson, “Netanyahu has failed 100%.” We have now entered the stage of: we beat you, nah, nah. You can’t do anything to me, nah, nah.” I do not doubt for a moment that Hamas leaders are proud of the fight they wages, and interpret the current truce as a sign of Israel weakness, and their great victory. Of course, Israel leaders are proud they destroyed most Hamas tunnels. Naturally, on both sides there is a touch of regret at the collateral damage that occurred due to fighting. The Collateral damage is 1875 dead and thousands wounded on the Gaza side while 64 Israelis are dead.

So, where does the situation now stand?

1. Hamas believes it won a great victory and is entitled to fruits of success. Hamas insists Israel move away from the border and allow concrete and other weapons of war to enter in order to rebuild the tunnels.

2. Israel believes it won a great victory and wants Hamas to disarm.

3. Egypt is supporting Israel and wants an end to Hamas.

4. The US is lost. John Kerry did everything in his power to avoid this calamity, and now is hated by Netanyahu and supporters of Israel.

5. Barack Obama is out doing what he can do –raise money for an election.

6. Those who died are now voiceless.

Prediction: Another war, more deaths.

Was Anyone There?

Today, for some strange reason, no one is getting killed in Gaza. The war is now in a lull moment. However, there are more important issues that remain. During the closing years of the 19th century, rulers of the Ottoman Empire decided to invite Jews to farm land in what was then the province of Palestine. An assumption was that native Palestinians were backward, and the region was in need of modern ideas, particularly in the area of agriculture. There were thousands of young Jews in eastern Europe desperately seeking to “return to the land” since Russian officials refused to allow Jews to become land owners. Thus, was created two modern ideas– Palestinians were not good guardians of the land, and Jews were interested in modern agricultural ideas. Thus, among those Jewish settlers(thousands of Jews did live in Palestine who traced their ancestry back to Biblical times, but they were poor and lacked funds to become farmers) an idea became accepted. Jews were the ones who made the land blossom because Muslim Palestinians lacked the will, the intelligence, or desire to make dessert areas bloom with crops.

Inherent among many Zionists was a belief that no one was farming the land so it stood to reason that Jews had a right to farm land lying fallow. From this belief it was a short jump to conclude that Jews were entitled to possess the land in the absence of Muslim Palestinians who were anything other than lazy, incompetent farmers. Over time, Zionists developed ideas that it was the Jews who deserved to settle in Palestine and eventually transform it into the modern state of Israel. This form of thinking was remarkably similar to English colonists who arrived in America, and discovered some people, who they called, “Indians.” Since Indians did not focus upon agriculture(there was limited farming) English colonists concluded they had a right to farm land that had been fallow.

It is time for Israel leaders to recognize that Palestinians HAVE lived in the area we term, Palestine, for a few thousand years. Establishing Jewish settlements is simply an act of stealing land from those who inhabit it. BOTH peoples are native to the region. From that point, the only issue is how to determine which people should control which areas of land?

Suffer The Civilians

A hundred years ago today, thousands of German troops crossed the border of Belgium on their way towards Paris. Thus, began World War I, an experience in death that would take the lives of over twenty million people, including a few million civilians. It is not surprising that during the first month of war, hundreds of Belgium civilians were murdered by German troops because they resisted, rather than accepted the dictates of their invaders. Oh, these killings were carried out by Christian men, not Muslim militants. German artillery blasted away at cities, destroying churches and homes. Ironically, this was the first twentieth century murder of civilians. There were shouts of horror from neutral America, but the Germans argued, speed of their armed forces was necessary in order to quickly end the war. All military forces employ some form of excuse if they are set on murder of the innocent. In all honesty, throughout human history, civilians have been murdered. But, between 1815 ti 1914, Europe basically enjoyed a hundred years of peace without a major war, and without civilians dying.

Fast forward to 2014. Another Israel bomb exploded in a UN schools. ONLY ten civilians died. OH, a few dozen were wounded. But, we are living in the twenty first century, a time when we humans have advanced from the days of Hun warriors sweeping across the plains of Europe murdering all in their way. WE are modern humans. We do not send hordes of horsemen to murder, we remain far from the source of death and simply send in the missiles of destruction. Isn’t is wonderful that we no longer are barbarians??