The Mainstream Media are already in the process of demeaning and dehumanizing the Jewish victims of the Mumbai massacre.
They are routinely called “Ultra-Orthodox” and I have already read of them them being referred to as “missionaries”. Shabbat is approaching so I don’t have time to frame a complete response and as much as it is not my usual way to write in haste, I need to tell you, these are lies.
I know the Lubavitchers very well. When we went to Ukraine to adopt our two boys six years ago we spent Passover with the Chabad in the Grand Synagogue of Kiev. The soviets had used it as a marionette theater. It was virtually destroyed until it was lovingly restored by the Chabad. There was no condescending pretense that our (Conservative American) brand of Judaism was less Jewish than the full Lubavitch observance. There was only the open handed, loving hearted Chabad wish to help us be the best Jews and human beings we could be. Their hospitality ad open-mindedness are the only "Ultra" thing about them.
We also visited Zhitomir, the city where my grandfather was born. There too, a tireless and dedicated Shaliach welcomed us and treated us with respect and love. He showed us how they have restored the Shul, are reclaiming the Jewish cemetery and are, daily, sending out hot meals over hundreds of miles of decayed and neglected country roads all over the Zitomir Guberna (a political region, like a state that I think is about the size of one of our eastern states) to the elderly, isolated Jews who have survived first the Tsar, then Hitler and then The Soviets.
Since we brought our boys home, they have attended the local Chabad Jewish day school here in Boston, Shaloh House, where they have learned to excel in Mathematics, Science, English, Tanakh, Mishna and Hebrew. They have also seen, first hand, the love and gratitude the whole families of Russian immigrants whose children they study and play with, feel for America and Western Civilization- in all its diverse and chaotic glory. They are not insular and isolated, they are accepting and open.
We have attend religious services there and I can tell you, although the ritual basis is very traditional and strict, they are open and helpful for those who can't keep up.
The Rabbi at Shaloh House, Dan Rodkin is, as were the Rabbis we met in Ukraine, a luminous soul with not a missionary thought in his mind nor a derogatory word in his vocabulary. I am very sure that Rabbi Holtzberg of Mumbai was out of that same mold.
The mainstream media is ignorant (only some are intentionally so) but, in a way, you can't blame them- because so many of our fellow American "Jews" foster the "Ultra" canard about these beautiful souls who in so many way epitomize what it means to be a not just a Jew, but a “fully human being”. May Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife, at least, be the beginning of an awakening.
Tell the world: “They were neither Missionaries nor ultra-Orthodox zealots they were, simple, devoted and loving people serving a very high purpose.”
They were murdered by zealots for purely political and bloody purposes. Here is a question for anyone who still denies that Caliphate Islamism is a problem: If they could do this to the Holtzbergs, if they could do this to all the other innocents people in Mumbai and Madrid and Beslan and New York and Jerusalem, how long will it be before they do it to you or someone you love? When will you stop trying to minimize and even excuse what they are doing by denigrating their victims?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The tidal wave of bloody violence that followed the al Durah hoax, Pallywood’s single most destructive triumph, resulted not only in unbridled violence in Israel, The West Bank (left) and Gaza, but served as background or justification for a global tsunami of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and such world events as 9/11, Bali, London, Madrid and the beheading of Daniel Pearl (right).
Similarly, the premature cessation of the Lebanon War because of the Kfar Qana hoax has assured the death of the hostages, the buildup of Hizbollah forces and rocket supplies on northern Israel’s border, and strengthened Iran’s global reach. More broadly, allegations of massacres and brutality like the Jenin Hoax have at once crippled Israeli troops (who must consult lawyers before any major initiative), and incensed a Palestinian and Arab world enraged by the images of ruthless destruction. Rockets fired from civilian areas continue to rain down on Sderot and Ashkelon too, protected by Pallywood stunts like staged blackouts (right) and wanton assaults on Palestinian civilians. As a result, consumers of Western news have a radically distorted impression of the conflict. The nation with the most exceptional record of concern for enemy civilians appears as an oppressive war-monger, and the culture which targets civilians in the most depraved manner – suicide bombing – comes across as “freedom fighters.”
And Pallywood just keeps on coming. Just last week Palestinians produced a heavily edited video of an encounter that purported to show Israeli settlers attacking innocent Palestinian farmers. Closer inspection in the court showed that the settlers had only been armed with prayer shawls and that the Palestinians had instigated the assault. In the initial days, however the settlers had been arrested (by Israeli officials!) and the Palestinians had made their inflammatory allegations.
The producers of Pallywood are, you can be sure, working overtime on their next Hoax. It is only a matter of time before there is a new “Intifada,” a new blood bath. The difference is that today, we have it in our power to prevent Pallywood Hoaxes from gaining credence and producing lies and hatred with the same success as they once enjoyed.
With a new president in the White House who has been drawn to the likes of Robert Malley, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Lugar and Samantha Power, who thinks that Israel would be crazy not to accept the Saudi “Peace Plan,” and with an uncertain political situation in Israel it is more important than ever that we can produce the ultimate weapon in Israel’s hasbara arsenal -- clear, accurate undistorted and timely information.
Second Draft has, from the start, taken a leadership role and has unexcelled experience in this crucial work. Our work on al Durah, Gaza Beach and Kfar Qana has broken new ground in exposing some of its fundamental mechanisms -- both technical and psychological -- and given us an analytical framework with which to combat Pallywood on its own terms. We have come to understand that the key to a successful defense is the ability to identify the threat immediately, serve notice on the media that there is a problem before the story becomes too widespread and to inform the public completely and credibly.
An informed public and a cautious and honest media are our only guarantee that tomorrow will not bring dangers that surprise and, even, overwhelm us. Democratic culture, with its magnificent commitment to self-criticism via a free press, faces a wide range of foes in the 21st century, and cannot afford to be blinded by our own well-intentioned but manipulated and manipulative news media. The mission of Second Draft is to create an educated public, to make that public aware of the distorting effect of media bias and provide that public with the resources to resist and rebuke the mainstream news media when appropriate.
Our most critical project is to pull together our Immediate Response Team of internationally recognized forensic experts who will be on stand-by for the next “made for media atrocity” that experience has shown will accompany the inevitable confrontation between Israel and her enemies in Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria. And the Western media is still too eager by half to regurgitate them as news. If you will help us position ourselves to oppose Pallywood swiftly and effectively, you will be striking a blow against lies and manipulations and, in fact, not only saving lives, but contributing to the possibility of peace. For as long as the Palestinians can successfully pull off Pallywood and blame Israel for the violence, they have no reason to keep their commitments.
We need your donations, now. to put these important safeguards in place. We know that times are difficult for many of you and there are a lot of ways that you can help other than direct donations. Introductions to friends by way of gatherings and speaking engagements can be even more helpful than cash. If you could help us put together a small gathering or event with some other concerned people who could help us, it would be a great help to us and, I can assure you, a real benefit to Israel and all Jews. Please, help us to be ready to stop the lies before they get started this time.
Our new Web Site (pictured on the right) is ready to go. We have a world-class international team of experts ready to devote their skills to whatever “they” can throw at us. We just need your help to put it all into action! You can donate online at our current site address below, send donations by mail to the address below or contact us at this email or the phone number below for other options.
Thank you for your consideration!
Yaacov ben Moshe
P.O. Box 590591
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Call 508 612-1110
Posted by Yaacov Ben Moshe at 1:04 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Free Speech is an absolute necessity for a free society. It is a right and an obligation. Like all rights Free Speech carries with it a counterweight of responsibility. The only binding responsibilities of free speech should be honesty and accuracy. Imagine a world in which physicians could not refer to sociopaths, sexual predators and serial killers as "mentally ill" or "dangerous" or even "in need of treatment" because it might hurt their feelings. That would be suicidal for a society.
In Canada, legislation that was originally well intentioned, has been used to an even more suicidal effect. Some of the fellow bloggers I admire most have been brought before the Human Rights Commission as a means of punishing them for speaking freely, accurately and honestly about real threats to the safety and integrity of their country. As an American, I want to express my solidarity with them and their cause. They are currently engaged in supporting an effort to change the flawed laws that have put the power to persecute them for their opinions and statements of undisputed fact into the hands of people with very destructive intentions.
Human Rights Commision is an ironic name for an organization that can be used to squelch an absolute and essential right like free speech in favor of a non existant right such as the "right not to be hated" or "the right not to be offended"
I urge any of my Canadian readers who are not aware of this effort (not likely, I know) to help in this effort and all you Americans, Aussies, Israelis and others who have Canadian friends and relatives to urge them to get behind it too.
Here are some interesting and relevant thoughts from Solzhenitsyn's Harvard speech in 1978- He saw a lot of this so clearly back then because he knew a lot more about the reality of Human nature, the value of freedom and the sanctity of responsibility than anyone born in America (or Canadia) ever could.
First, what he says about the balance between legal rights and values:
The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man's sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse.
Then he talks about what a "statesman" (it applies to any citizen- especially Canadian bloggers) has to put up with in order to do anything of real value:
...has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless... The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
I believe that honesty, accuracy and the responsibility to publicly identify and speak out against threats to the system that provides the right of Free Speech are the greatest of those obligations. That is why it is important to support My Canadian friends in this effort!
Finally, here is the declaration of support for the changes that a group of bloggers released today. I am honored to post here in support of every honest, self-reliant and plain-speaking soul in Canada. God bless you all!
We strongly support those members of the Conservative Party of Canada who seek to repeal Sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Sections 13 and 54 of the Canadian Human Rights Act are a direct attack on the freedom of expression guaranteed to us under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The provisions of these sections allow the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to prosecute anyone alleged to have said or written something "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt" whether there is a living, breathing victim or not.
Vague concepts such as speech or writing "liable to cause hatred or contempt" are the basis of expensive state-funded prosecution of individuals. The statute provides no objective legal test for "hate" or any objective means of determining what constitutes "contempt". As a result, the CHRC is used by various groups and individuals, as a risk-free taxpayer funded method to silence their critics and those they disagree with. CHRC investigators have testified that that "freedom of speech is an American concept" and therefore not valid in Canada . Such statements are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but are standard operating procedure at the CHRC.
Commissioners of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, who are not judges and are often not even lawyers, have held that "truth" is not a defence against prosecution under Section 13. Intent or fair comment are also not defenses. In fact, there is not a single listed defence under Section 13! Because of the lack of any defenses, the Tribunal has a 100% conviction rate since 1978. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal routinely ignores the principles of fundamental justice, such as the rules of evidence, and these kangaroo courts, even allow hearsay evidence. The CHRA provides for each Tribunal to make up the rules as they go.
Every journalist, writer, Internet webmaster, publisher and private citizen in Canada can be the subject of a Human Rights complaint for expressing an opinion or telling the truth. Given the ambiguity of Section 13, it is virtually impossible for any individual to determine if they might be in violation of Section 13. Arbitrary censorship and punishment are wrong, and cannot be justified in a free society."
Kathy Shaidle has a book about it all The Tyranny of Nice
Blazing Cat Fur writes often and intelligently about it.
Small Dead Animals
Ghost of a flea
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
God Bless our President Elect.
Well, now we get to find out whether he is a socialist ideologue who has been plotting to “change” the best most productive country in the world to something less or just a canny politician who was, as an ambitious young man, able to grab the greasy rope net of affirmative action, clamber aboard the radical socialist pirate ship, rise to prominence among the America-haters and demagogues of the welfare state and, from there swing himself onto the deck of our ship of state ready to change into the uniform of and abide by the constitution of The United States of America. Count me as one of the ones who was, and still is, skeptical. I was certainly against giving him the opportunity to prove himself in this way; but if he turns out to be the latter, I confess I will be sorely tempted to forgive him his methods and wink at his pluck.
This is a particularly bad time for us to be taking this risk but he has the presidential seal now and he is my president. I take whatever cheer I can from the hope that he is not the ideologue but the ambitious politician and will, as others have in the past, be transformed by the grandeur of the office and the vitality of the constitution, which defines its powers and responsibilities.
As an American, I honor that constitution and the office. I wish Barack Obama well in assuming it. Americans are also called upon by our system to be vigilant and vocal and I intend to fulfill that duty too.
There are some things that are unalloyed good about this. Chief among them is that we have proven once again that, without question, this is the greatest land of opportunity on earth. As much as I regret what I perceive to be the character of the man and dislike his policies and despise so many of his friends and supporters, I can’t help but have a deep pride that he has been able to become the most powerful man in the world as a black man in America.
The other really good thing is that, if he is just a canny politician, the leftist radicals he used on his way up are in a no-win situation. If he lives up to the demands of the office, they will have lost what might be their only opportunity to have their kind of “change” in this century. If he doesn’t, I have faith that our system will flush him out the way it did Jimmy Carter and it will be a very long time before the American public trusts another candidate with those kinds of friends and associates again.
I pray for his safety and for ours. I pray that he will prove to have statecraft equal to the political drive he has shown and that he will govern with humility, wisdom, strength, compassion and, most important of all, understanding of and respect for the constitution, system and people that have given him this opportunity.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I have edited and updated my Yom Kippur Prayer because I am praying very hard this evening...
We are once again besieged.
Our financial markets are in turmoil.
Every one of us, rich and poor alike, fears for the future.
Oh Lord, we are on the eve of a great decision. We have been virtually sleepwalking through a world that, increasingly, is murderously hostile toward us.
Our people are taking rancorous positions in a political fight for the soul of this great land.
Please, oh Lord, hear my prayer.
Give us the grace and clarity to remember who we are. Help us to bear in mind that a handful of the most courageous and practical men of their generation designed this republic not just to survive but to get stronger in times like these.
Our enemies within are more of a danger than our enemies from without. Give us the vision to recognize and resist both the dead hand of the corporatization of our economy while, at the same time, you give us the strength to see through the bluster and emotional blackmail of those who seek to expand the government’s reach into our lives in the name of “the disadvantaged poor”. What’s good for giant corporations is only sometimes good for the country and serving the needs of the poor are a benefit of a free society, best done by maintaining a climate of growth and opportunity not through bureaucratic coercion charity which oppresses both the poor and those whose help is expropriated.
Give us the wisdom to elect a leader who recognizes that there are times that call for sacrifice- as long as the sacrifice is honorable- a leader who will defend us with confidence and vigor. Put the sword of this, the greatest military power on earth, in the hand of one who knows that power and it limits and will use it judiciously. We depend on our leader to know when talking and negotiation can lead to peace and when it is futile and leads only to the slaughter of innocents. Please, be compassionate to those under our new leader’s protection and help us select the leader who knows that peace is not a “natural” condition or a cause and must be won through strength, preparedness and intelligence.
Help us have the courage to turn back the tide of the exclusive belief in human rationalism as the ultimate wisdom and government as the divider of the wealth of the nation. If history has taught us anything it is that human reason is too easily influenced by emotion and when governments take responsibility for health and welfare of individuals, it is only a short step to taking control of what they think and believe.
Whether or not (or how) our fellow citizens believe in you is irrelevant, our great country was founded on separation of church and state for the very reason that the founders in their wisdom knew it is wrong for a nation to take upon itself God-like powers. So preserve us from those who are in the habit of setting themselves up as “organizers" and “teachers” to instruct us in how to change our country for a new order. All of the leaders in history who have assumed the mantle of “teacher” have been bad for the people they have undertaken to instruct. That includes the one who called himself by the German word for teacher – “The Fuehrer”.
We know in our hearts that we will be served best by a man who sees himself as a “servant” of the people. One who has regard for the wealth of people who have worked for it and will be enough of a maverick to help us break the stranglehold of corporate monstrosities that use people as spare parts and deny them fair recompense.
Lord, in this time of trepidation, help us to stay true to the wisdom of Jefferson, Adams and all the others who gave us this gift of republic on this blessed soil. Only by keeping her strong, free and aware will we continue to offer a sanctuary in which the needy may, by their efforts rise to prosperity and an arsenal and protector for other democracies around the world.
Help us, Lord, protect the powerful economic engine that has always redeemed the rest of the world from recessions of the past. Give us the wisdom to see that the Socialist Nations of Europe and Asia will be looking to a free, open and virile America to be the dynamo of the next recovery, not to sit with them in the waiting room of collective economies waiting for the next miracle.
We ARE THE MIRACLE! Help us to resist the temptation to throw it away!
Give us the wisdom and strength of purpose to remember the dictum of the great sage Lao Tzu: "Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it."