Mitt Romney stands accused of forcing elderly Jews to eat non-Kosher food (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).I'm more pissed off about what he said concerning Jonathan Pollard and the mere mention of the fake 1967 borders.
(Carl:) It’s a great campaign line for the former speaker, and the addition about George Soros is a nice touch. The problem is, Romney never actually “eliminated serving kosher food” to Jewish residents at state nursing homes, especially not in the way Gingrich describes.(Carl:) Well, isn't this fascinating.... Unfortunately, the availability of Kosher food at nursing homes in Massachusetts is an issue about which I know too much, as some of you know from private conversations.
In 2002, cuts in both federal and state subsidies to assisted living facilities, combined with the rising costs of maintaining the facilities, caused a couple of Massachusetts nursing homes to consider closing their kosher kitchens. It was an unfortunate decision, but there was never actually a concern that kosher residents would be forced to eat non-kosher food – the facilities were weighing several options, including busing in the food from other nursing homes or hiring catering services. The Jewish Advocate reported in January 2003:
[Nursing home owner Genesis ElderCare] decided in November to discontinue operating the Coolidge House’s kosher kitchen due to rising costs and decreased state and federal reimbursements. Management said although the kitchen would close, Coolidge House would continue to provide kosher meals either by serving pre-packaged food, contracting with a caterer to prepare and deliver meals, or bringing food over from the Heritage House, GEC’s nursing home at Cleveland Circle. Coolidge House officials say the kitchen will remain open at least through Passover, which starts in mid-April.The issue was the nursing home had to maintain the kosher kitchen for everyone living there, even though reportedly just a small percentage of its residents actually kept kosher:
For administrators at the Coolidge House, it comes down to the math: Only 30 percent of the 200 residents are Jewish, they say, and only 8 percent now keep kosher. By preparing meat and dairy foods in the same kitchen, administrators say, they would save about $200,000, or 14 percent of annual dining costs.Some Jewish community groups opposed the plans to bus in food, and instead requested additional state government funding in 2003 to help the kitchens operate. At the time, Massachusetts was struggling with a budget crisis, and Romney was trying to rein in costs by blocking additional spending. The kosher food bill that he vetoed would have provided an additional $600,000 in funding to nursing homes. Whether you believe he was right or wrong to veto it, this was clearly a position that made Romney appear insensitive to the elderly and Jewish communities.
“We understand the community’s sensitivities, but this is what we have to do to stay in business,” said Larry Lencz, executive director of Coolidge House. “The bottom line comes down to simple economics and changing demographics.”
In the end, the veto was overridden by the Massachusetts state legislature, and the facilities kept their kosher kitchens after all. But Romney’s decision was not, as Gingrich claims, a choice to “eliminate kosher food for elderly Jewish residents under Medicare.”
Coolidge House is a facility in the heart of the Jewish community in Brookline, which used to be Kosher and used to be owned by an Orthodox Jew whom I have known for over 50 years. My grandmother spent time there before she passed away in 1990, and both my parents were there in January 2003 when the incident Alana describes happened (Dad broke his hip; Mom could not be on her own by then). The last time I saw Mom conscious was in Coolidge House in 2004. She passed away in 2005; by the time I got there she was in a coma.
What's more interesting is that sometime in 2007 or 2008, Coolidge House not only went non-Kosher but banned Kosher patients from bringing in their own Kosher food. Not only is Coolidge House no longer Kosher, and not only do they not supply Kosher food for people who want it, you cannot bring your own food there. I was in Boston when this policy was announced and the rabbis in the community were horrified.
My Dad lived in an assisted living facility (not Coolidge House) in the center of the Jewish community in Boston from 2008 to 2010. That facility was Kosher when he got there, but six months before they decided they could no longer care for him (justifiably, by the way - he had physically declined too much to belong in assisted living), that place announced one night that it as going non-Kosher but would bring in Kosher food for those who wanted it (I won't get into all the technicalities of why, but I would not eat there anymore even if they gave me a Kosher meal, but I do go back to visit people there when I am in Boston so I do know what's going on). They gave six months of lead time for those who wanted to leave - how many of these people are capable of leaving?
When Dad left there, he went to a place that was not Kosher, and a month and a half later, I came in and arranged for Kosher food to be brought in privately. By then, Dad was becoming less aware (he has Alzheimers), and may not have realized what he was being fed. Today, he is in a Kosher facility and has been for nearly a year now.
Here's the key: In Massachusetts, you have no right to Kosher food (even today). In New York, for example, you have a right to Kosher food even if you're not in a Kosher facility. If what Romney vetoed (and it's not clear to me from the article) was a bill that would have granted a right to Kosher food, that's despicable. There are hundreds of elderly Jews in Massachusetts who are in Medicaid facilities (which means you had to spend them down to get them in) who cannot get Kosher food. That's just plain wrong. If, on the other hand, what he did was to allow facilities to close their Kosher kitchens, but still obligate them to supply Kosher food to those who wanted it, that's nowhere near as objectionable (although it's still not good).
(EOZ) Palestine Press Agency reports that the divorce rate in Gaza has been increasing, reaching 17% last year.Stay Classy Palestine
Yet the divorced people interviewed in the article give lots of reasons - none of which these analysts choose to mention.
One man divorced his wife because she liked to go out without his permission. Another did because of "extreme stubbornness and suspicious actions."
One woman said "I wish to live a life like I see in Turkish TV, where they are people who are civilized and respect the women and their privacy, and you cannot find this in Gaza, where the orders of her husband are a sword hanging over the neck of his wife."
Now, if you blame the higher divorce rate on Israel, who can you blame for a low divorce rate?
In fact, Palestinian Arabs used to brag that their divorce rate is the lowest in the Arab world.
In the first two years of the intifada, the divorce rate in the territories plummeted as much as 70% in Nablus - because, according to this book, men couldn't afford the expense of a new bride.
So poverty causes divorces, and it also causes a reduction in divorces - and either way, Israel is at fault!
Incidentally, recent divorce rates are 20% in Saudi Arabia, 24% in Bahrain, 25.6% in the UAE, 34.8% in Qatar and 37.1% in Kuwait.
I'm sure that Israel is to blame somehow for that as well.
US drone strikes in Pakistan over the past 8 years have killed at least 1,715 people, says the New America FoundationLabels: Drones» MQ-9 Reaper» Pakistan» predators» Reaper
Looks like Obama wants to get re-electedAccording to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan's tribal belt in 2009, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.
The New America Foundation think tank in Washington says drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in the past eight years.
Human rights campaigners have expressed deep concern over increased use of drone strikes. The State Department also confirmed it used surveillance drones to protect US diplomats in so-called "critical threat environments" overseas.
The United States had until now refused to discuss the strikes publicly, but the program has dramatically increased as the Obama administration looks to withdraw all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
(Yid With Lid) Someone please tell Al Gore to sit down, this "ain't" gonna be pretty. Two pieces of bad news were released earlier this week that put a dent into the argument that global warming was "settled science."Actually, allow me to put it a different way. Two studies were released that corroborate the statement that climate change is a hoax.when you can't market "Global Warming"... "Climate Change"!!!!!
One study reports that the earth hasn't gotten warmer for the past 15 years, the other indicates that the future might bring a bit of a cold spell. What makes these studies even more impressive is they both come from proponents of the global warming hoax.
The first piece of bad news comes from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (the folks who gave us climategate)--based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations it confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
A NASA study reports the sun is now heading towards a "low cycle" of output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.
Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.
We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.
Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.
However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.
Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, is the author of several papers that argue the Met Office climate models show there should have been ‘steady warming from 2000 until now’.Unfortunately in those three years, plenty of unnecessary damage can be done to the economy of the world and the United States by proponents of the hoax.
‘If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories,’ he said.
He believes that as the Met Office model attaches much greater significance to CO2 than to the sun, it was bound to conclude that there would not be cooling. ‘The real issue is whether the model itself is accurate,’ Dr Scafetta said. Meanwhile, one of America’s most eminent climate experts, Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said she found the Met Office’s confident prediction of a ‘negligible’ impact difficult to understand.
‘The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,’ said Professor Curry. As for the warming pause, she said that many scientists ‘are not surprised’.
She argued it is becoming evident that factors other than CO2 play an important role in rising or falling warmth, such as the 60-year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
‘They have insufficiently been appreciated in terms of global climate,’ said Prof Curry. When both oceans were cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle ‘flipped’ back from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also thought likely to flip in the next few years .
Pal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Centre, said some scientists found the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because doing so means admitting that the oceans – not CO2 – caused much of the global warming between 1970 and 1997.
The same goes for the impact of the sun – which was highly active for much of the 20th Century.
‘Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’
Meanwhile, since the end of last year, world temperatures have fallen by more than half a degree, as the cold ‘La Nina’ effect has re-emerged in the South Pacific.
‘We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,’ said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. ‘If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.’
(Carl) More than 4,000 Americans died so that Iraq could have a parliament, and one of the first actions that parliament is taking is to ban travel to Israel.Why not ban travel to Israel? Countries that are hip to the club scene like Dubai and Qatar already do. If I wanted to go back to the college I graduated from I couldn't take some classes because they are in Qatar. Why should Iraq be any different from any of the Arab nations that our media approves as exotic. Why would we be shocked? Try asking @Chevron on twitter if an Israeli is allowed to work for their energy company.... and meanwhile Nelson Mandela is calling Israel Apartheid. It all works in a certain consistent logic.
The bill was proposed following a number of incidents at the Bagdad airport. A local security officer working there said the passport had caught a number of Iraqi officials carrying passports with Israeli entry visas. The officer, speaking on a condition of anonymity, reported that the passports of some nine high-profile Iraqi politicians were clearly marked with Ben-Gurion Airport stamps as well.The West suffers from two delusions. One is that having elections means you have a democracy. And the other is that if an Arab or Muslim country has a democracy, it will no longer seek to destroy Israel.
According to the source, the politicians made their first trips to Israel after the Iraqi elections, held on January 2010, until around October that same year. The officer claimed that during questioning of the Iraqis, it was discovered that they were operating as envoys to Israel on behalf of Iraqi politicians.
In response to the report, Iraqi Parliament Member from the National Iraqi Alliance Mohammad Redha al-Khafaji declared that some 50 parliament members have already put their John Hancock to a bill proposing to ban such trips to Israel. Khafaji emphasized that in the past, Iraqi senior officials had visited Israel secretly.
Meanwhile, a member of the parliament's judicial committee said these signatures do not necessarily mean that such a law should be passed.
Forbidding a citizen from traveling is against the Iraqis' right to freedom, as written in the constitution. However banning travel to Israel has nothing to do with politics, she told Al Jazeera, explaining that Iraq has never had any diplomatic or political relations with Israel, nor has it acknowledged the State of Israel.
They forget that after World War II, the allied powers occupied Japan and Germany for a number of years to root out the toxic effects of Nazism and fascism, before turning those countries over to their own citizens who were ready to behave in a democratic way. Neither of those occupations had any time limit, but when it was time to end them, the allies (at least on the Western side of the Berlin Wall and in Japan) ended them.
Of course, to be able to do that without turning your troops into target practice dummies you first have to utterly defeat the other side militarily to the point of surrender. Has any country surrendered to a Western power since Japan? Not that I can recall.
Last week Diana West, the author of The Death of the Grown-Up, was interviewed by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN. (gatesofvienna.blogspot.com) During their hour-long conversation they discussed Hollywood, the Left, the growing threat of Islamization, the American military’s counterinsurgency strategy, and “nation-building” in the Middle East.
Near the end of the interview you’ll hear a particularly interesting exchange in which Diana points out how neatly the infantilized and politically correct culture of 21st-century America dovetails with the Islamic institution of dhimmitude:
A full transcript of the above interview is available at Q-and-A.org.
(Carl) I don't know who in Israel's foreign ministry thought up this brilliant idea, but they ought to be fired. Israel has congratulated and praised the Muslim Brotherhood on winning the Egyptian elections (Hat Tip: Catholic Lisa via Twitter and Voice of the Copts).Israel apparently has decided not to go head-to-head against an Egyptian regime headed by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and has congratulated it for its efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and economic development.What the heck are they thinking? What could go wrong?
The Israel Foreign Ministry has decided to take an optimistic view, at least publicly, and stated, “We send the new parliament our wishes of constructive and fruitful work for the well-being of the Egyptian public. We trust Egypt will continue to uphold the importance of peace and stability in our region.”
(Haaretz) Palestinian television aired an interview with the relatives of the Fogel family murderers earlier this month, praising the two cousins convicted with the brutal attack as "heroes."
The broadcast was aired as part of a weekly show on the Palestinian state-run station called "For You," which focuses on Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel.
The show featured the aunt and mother of Hakim Awad, who along with his cousin Amjad was convicted of brutally stabbing to death five Fogel family members in an attack on their home in the West Bank settlement of Itamar on the night of March 11, 2011.
Hakim Awad's mother sent her regards to her son, proudly describing him as the perpetrator of the Itamar attack and that he was sentenced to 5 consecutive life sentences.
Awad's aunt then proceeded to describe her nephew as a "hero and a legend."
The unusual broadcast was reported by the Israel-based media watchdog organization Palestinian Media Watch
Late last year Amjad Awad was convicted of the murdering Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their young child-ren, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, 3 months old, before fleeing the scene. His cousin Hakim was convicted a month earlier. Both men were sentenced to five consecutive life sentences by an IDF court.
Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to enslave women in Scotland | Vlad TepesLabels: Aberdeen» Behavior» Edinburgh» Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)» Gambia» Glasgow» Helena Kennedy» Kenya» Nigeria» Prostitutes» punters» Rape» Scotland» sex traffic» Somalia» Uganda» Witchcraft
(VladTepes) Multiculturalism at its multicultiest! And think of all the great restaurants these guys must own! Daily Record: Jan 27 2012
Exclusive by Annie BrownVICTIMS of human sex trafficking have told how they were enslaved by witchcraft, torture and death threats in modern-day Scotland. The harrowing stories of ten women were compiled by campaigners investigating the world’s fastest growing organised crime. Nine came from Africa, one from South America.In one of the testimonies to a Glasgow charity, a 21-year-old told how she was branded and forced to take a “witchcraft oath” to prevent her escaping. She said: “I had to take the oath. I was given this mark on my hand. I was told that this mark, if you tell anyone what has transpired, you are going to die. “They gave me a razor blade to eat, they took my armpit hair, they removed my nails from my toes and my fingers. “They removed the hair on my body, they tied it up and put it in this shrine, then they tear my body and told me that if I tell anyone, ‘you will just die’. When I saw the shrine, it was so big, I was so scared.”The women tell their stories in research commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The main centres for sex trafficking are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, Stirling and Falkirk but it also touches small towns and villages. So far Scotland has had just one successful prosecution – while there have been 150 in England and Wales. Human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy, who headed the investigation, said: “As a criminal lawyer I have heard and read many stories of women being beaten, abused and suffering psychological torment, so there is not much that shocks me. “However, the evidence that we took from women not only shocked me, as it would any woman, but resolved me to ensure their voices, their experiences, their insights, were heard.
“These are stories of ordinary women – mothers, daughters and sisters – vulnerable due to poverty and discrimination, being deceived into Scotland and subjected to horrifying sexual violation.
“These violations occur across Scotland, and not only in our cities; the women and girls are exploited indoors, in private “sex” flats, not in shadowy back streets. They may seem fine and in control when in fact they are mentally shackled and controlled by traffickers.
“It is now up to us all to work together – across our families and communities, our villages, towns and cities, and in our politics – to identify and, together, rid Scotland of the modern slavery in our midst.”
Kennedy published a report on Scotland’s failure to tackle trafficking last November – but this is the first time the voices of victims have been heard.
The research found women are trafficked from across the globe to Scotland but mainly from Nigeria, China and Brazil and many come via England.
But there is evidence that an increasing number are taken straight to Scotland.
All of the victims had been vulnerable in their home countries.
Many had lost family, were fleeing poverty, abuse or tribal violence and had turned to trusted community “aunties and uncles”.
The women were mainly locked in flats and rooms, forced to have sex with up to 15 men a day, beaten and not allowed to use contraception.
Their passports were taken and they were told their families would be killed if they tried to leave. Even when the women became pregnant they still had to have sex with punters.
Women who were considered “new” were particularly popular in brothels.
Some even talk of their children being held with them. One woman was locked in a room with her daughter who had to listen to her mother being raped.
She said: “There was a room attached to my bedroom with a toilet and a shower. The trafficker said that I should look smart as it is money I have to make.
“When men came, the trafficker would unlock the door and take my daughter away.
Women from Africa described their traffickers as powerful people within tribal communities who had connections with corrupt officials.
The EHRC report said: “These women report being controlled using oaths or juju magic.”
A 21-year-old described how she was forced to take alcohol and drugs so that she would be compliant.
Money was paid to a madam who forced her to work seven days a week and beat her if she failed to keep customers happy.
She said: “It was so painful, they were so rough, they didn’t care, they just wanted satisfaction.
“I saw more than 10 men a day and because I was new, everyone wanted to have me. People waited for me.
“When I finished with one they say go and have this liquid, wash up. My body was so painful.”
The ten women who gave their testimonies had all come through the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA), a Scotland-wide support service based in Glasgow.
The interviewees were aged 21 to 33, nine of them from Africa, including Somalia, Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda and Kenya, and one from South America. The women had all fled their traffickers.
A couple were helped to escape by regular customers but the men who intervened were the exception.
When one woman told a customer she had been trafficked he became more brutal, while another punter only helped a woman to escape so that he could use her for himself. He abandoned her when she fell pregnant.
One victim said she repeatedly told punters she was trafficked and needed help, yet only one assisted her.
The man, a regular trusted by the trafficker, took the girl to his house, gave her a little money and dropped her at the Scottish Refugee Council.
Another girl was freed when the police raided a brothel and one who had been captive for ten years was found unconscious by police and taken to hospital.
Many victims were told they were under constant surveillance but one Nigerian girl took a chance when her female trafficker went to London.
The victim said: “She said that I could not leave the house. She said that she had people watching me. All she would do was to call the house, if nobody answered then she would know.
“All of this time I was looking out the window. I was thinking to myself who could be watching me? Who would be watching if I just took a step outside? If I left the house? I was so scared. I cannot even remember leaving.”
The victim had been trafficked as a child to north-east England and was then moved to be sexually exploited in Glasgow.
In one account, a victim took a chance when, on her way to the toilet, she noticed the flat door was open.
“I was terrified the men had set a trap for me so I just went to the toilet.
“When I came out I saw the door was still open. I was very scared but I took a chance and ran out.
“I came to the landing and saw three doors. The first two I tried were shut fast. I thought about returning to the flat but the third door opened. I went through this door and there were stairs. I ran down many flights of stairs. I ran out of the flats.”
The victim had been trafficked from Africa and was only prostituted in Scotland. She was trafficked by a trusted community member she turned to after witnessing the murder of her parents and grandparents by the police.
When she ran out of the flat she stopped a couple of female passers-by – the first refused to help but the second took her by bus to the Scottish Refugee Council.
(JPOST)(PiP breast implant patients protest) MARSEILLE, France - Jean-Claude Mas, the Frenchman who sparked a global health scare by selling substandard breast implants, was arrested on Thursday as Marseille prosecutors build a case against him for manslaughter.
In the first arrests since the two-year-old scandal made headlines worldwide in December, Mas and a second executive at his now defunct company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) were seized at their homes in southern France shortly after dawn.
The detention could lead within hours to Mas being placed under formal investigation on suspicion of manslaughter and causing bodily harm. That could in due course lead to criminal charges, which would carry longer sentences than those he now faces in a fraud case expected to be tried around October
mouths are moving... no action. does anyone really care what the NYTimes writes at this juncture. If they had their way there wouldn't be an Israel. So why are we even reading them. I suppose then I wouldn't have anything to blog about. Perhaps ignoring the NYTimes is the best idea. No one takes it seriously anymore anyway... it's untouchable and partisan.(Carl) I don't remember whether I have ever said this on the blog, and given that it's Friday afternoon, I'm not going to look. But trust me on this - deep down, I don't believe that Iran will retaliate in any meaningful way if we take out their nukes. They might have Hamas and Hezbullah shoot off some rockets (and take the retaliatory hits), but I don't believe Iran is going to go to war with us over their nukes, just like Syria and Iraq didn't. At least not if we do it before they have a nuclear weapons capability.The New York Times reports that the working assumption of the Netanyahu government is that Iran will not retaliate. Or at least not very much.But conversations with eight current and recent top Israeli security officials suggested several things: since Israel has been demanding the new sanctions, including an oil embargo and seizure of Iran’s Central Bank assets, it will give the sanctions some months to work; the sanctions are viewed here as probably insufficient; a military attack remains a very real option; and postattack situations are considered less perilous than one in which Iran has nuclear weapons.
“Take every scenario of confrontation and attack by Iran and its proxies and then ask yourself, ‘How would it look if they had a nuclear weapon?’ ” a senior official said. “In nearly every scenario, the situation looks worse.”
The core analysis is based on an examination of Iran’s interests and abilities, along with recent threats and conflicts. Before the United States-led war against Iraq in 1991, Saddam Hussein vowed that if attacked he would “burn half of Israel.” He fired about 40 Scud missiles at Israel, which did limited damage. Similar fears of retaliation were voiced before the Iraq war in 2003 and in 2006, during Israel’s war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. In the latter, about 4,000 rockets were fired at Israel by Hezbollah, most of them causing limited harm.
“If you put all those retaliations together and add in the terrorism of recent years, we are probably facing some multiple of that,” a retired official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, citing an internal study. “I’m not saying Iran will not react. But it will be nothing like London during World War II.”
A paper soon to be published by the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, written by Amos Yadlin, former chief of military intelligence, and Yoel Guzansky, who headed the Iran desk at Israel’s National Security Council until 2009, argues that the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is largely a bluff.
The paper contends that, despite the risks of Iranian provocation, Iran would not be able to close the waterway for any length of time and that it would not be in Iran’s own interest to do so.
“If others are closing the taps on you, why close your own?” Mr. Guzansky said. Sealing the strait could also lead to all-out confrontation with the United States, something the authors say they believe Iran wants to avoid.
A separate paper just published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies says that the fear of missile warfare against Israel is exaggerated since the missiles would be able to inflict only limited physical damage.
Most Israeli analysts, like most officials and analysts abroad, reject these arguments. They say that Iran has been preparing for an attack for some years and will react robustly, as will its allies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Moreover, they say, an attack will at best delay the Iranian program by a couple of years and lead Tehran to redouble its efforts to build such a weapon.
But Mr. Barak and Mr. Netanyahu believe that those concerns will pale if Iran does get a nuclear weapon. This was a point made in a public forum in Jerusalem this week by Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, chief of the army’s planning division. Speaking of the former leaders of Libya and Iraq, he said, “Who would have dared deal with Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein if they had a nuclear capability? No way.”(Carl) I agree with the assessments that Iranian retaliation will not be much so long as they don't have a nuclear weapon. The Arabs are like a child throwing a tantrum - the screaming and crying is a lot worse than the actual physical consequences. The problem is that if God forbid they get a nuclear weapon, then it just becomes a question of pushing one button, and that's a whole different ballgame. That's why it's so important to stop Iran before they get a nuclear weapon.
JPost reports that US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who visited Israel last week, believes that a strike against Iran is premature.
"I do think the path we're on - the economic sanctions and the diplomatic pressure - does seem to me to be having an effect," Dempsey said. "I just think that it's premature to be deciding that the economic and diplomatic approach is inadequate."Dempsey admitted differences in opinion between the US and Israel's leadership on the Iranian threat and how soon to act against it.
"We have to acknowledge that they ... see that threat differently than we do. Its existential to them," he said. "My intervention with them was not to try to persuade them to my thinking or allow them to persuade me to theirs, but rather to acknowledge the complexity and commit to seeking creative solutions, not simple solutions," he said.(Carl) But saying that there are differences in opinion because to us the threat is existential is only half the story. This is from the Times again.
But this approach poses a difficulty. America’s weapons and equipment are far more powerful than Israel’s. So as Iran enriches uranium underground, Washington can wait longer to decide to attack and still be effective. Israel worries that in the coming year Iran will enter what officials call a zone of immunity, meaning its facilities will move beyond reach.And at this point, we have no commitment from the Obama administration to take military action to stop Iran - just vague speeches that Iran will be stopped - and I doubt most Israelis would accept a promise from Obama anyway. So Israel has to accept the reality that it may be up to us to stop Iran.
If we get past the US election and there is a new Republican administration that can be trusted (i.e. not Ron Paul), it may be possible to make an agreement that Israel will stand down for some period of time and let Washington deal with Iran.
Ron Paul representative Michael Scheuer on Judge Napolitano: "Israel's man power has ever been used to do anything?" "There are no resources?"No wonder we didn't get Bin Ladin till this guy was gone!
Is this the policy of Ron Paul? To belittle Jewish workers? Is this the kind of interview we can expect from Napolitano?Michael Scheuer depicts bin Laden as a rational actor who is fighting to weaken the United States by weakening its economy, rather than merely combating and killing AmericansIn his 22-year career, he served as the Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (aka "Alec Station"), from 1996 to 1999, the Osama bin Laden tracking unit at the Counterterrorist Center. He then worked again as Special Advisor to the Chief of the bin Laden unit from September 2001 to November 2004.
Israeli Hackers: We brought down official Iranian websites A group of Israeli hackers that calls itself "IDF Team" claims that it has brought down the websites belonging to the Iranian Health Ministry and an English-language Iranian television channel, Press TV. According to the group, the cyber attack came in response to Arab hackers' attacks on Israeli sites.(@ChallahHuAkbar)(#Israel)(#Iran)(YNet)(January 26, 2012)(Dudi Cohen and Aviel Magnezi)
(Arutz Sheva/Matzav) Shapiro, who met Wednesday with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in Jerusalem, was asked by the MK about the possibility that President Barack Obama might commute Pollard’s sentence to time served.All this is very clear with Newt. It obviously is unclear with Obama. It also is unclear with Romney and any other candidate. This is one of the primary reasons I trust Newt because of his courage to take a stand on this issue.
But the U.S. ambassador told the Israeli lawmakers that he “can’t speculate” on Pollard, and frankly does not know what will become of him.
Vice President Joe Biden eventually met with American Jewish leaders over the issue last year, after he was pressured by a group during the annual Jewish holiday gathering held in Washington D.C. who made it clear that a consensus exists on this issue across the spectrum in the U.S. Jewish community .
Pollard, a Jewish American, was sentenced to life in prison 27 years ago on a single charge of passing classified information to an ally - Israel.
MK Meir Sheetrit also asked the ambassador why MK Michael Ben Ari was unable to obtain a visa to enter the U.S., while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejaad and Hamas terrorists have been able to do so.
Shapiro replied that he is not responsible for these matters.
(Read more: Arutz Sheva/matzav.com)
(Washington Post) Zachary S. Welch/AP - Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China.
Although negotiations are in the early stages, officials from both governments said they are favorably inclined toward a deal. They are scheduled to intensify their discussions Thursday and Friday in Washington prior to higher-level meetings in March. If an arrangement is reached, it would follow other recent agreements to base thousands of U.S. Marines in northern Australia and station Navy warships in Singapore. ...(MORE)
"I thought it was Hitler who caused world war 2, not the American people who opposed going in." -Ron Paul when questioned about his opposition to WW2Labels: Ron Paul
(Dondero)It’s his foreign policy that’s the problem; not so much some stupid and whacky things on race and gays he may have said or written in the past.Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any b...usiness getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business. When pressed, he often times brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand, or that WWII was just “blowback,” for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such.I would challenge him, like for example, what about the instances of German U-boats attacking U.S. ships, or even landing on the coast of North Carolina or Long Island, NY. He’d finally concede that that and only that was reason enough to counter-attack against the Nazis, not any humanitarian causes like preventing the Holocaust. “He told me numerous times it was not worth it to intervene to save the Jews in World War II,” Dondero said. “I don’t think that’s because he’s an antisemite. It’s because he’s an extreme isolationist and he’s trying to be 100% principled–he doesn’t think there’s any reason to intervene for human rights or any other reason anywhere on the planet.” In 2007, the Congressman actually faulted Abraham Lincoln for using military force to end slavery in the Civil War: “He shouldn’t have gone to war… Slavery was phased out in every other country in the world and the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British Empire did; you buy the slaves and release them.”note the reason for terrorism is because we have military bases in places where we do business.
(TabletMag) Every Berber I have met has told me that Amazigh were the original inhabitants of North Africa and that all of that land was once theirs. As one Libyan Amazigh told me, “I’m tired of hearing about the Palestinians and how the Jews took their land. What about how the Arabs took our land?”Ann Marlowe uses conjecture to assume that the supposed father of workable counterinsurgency warfare through propaganda was less successful because he did not talk about his own North African Jewish background. I'm not so sure Ann is right about this (She seems to believe in the fiction of "Moderate Islam"), but the history here is interesting.
There is also the fact that the official language of all the North African countries is Arabic—yet in Morocco 60 percent of the population are Tamazight or Berber-speaking, in Algeria 30 percent, and in Libya perhaps 10 percent. In most of North Africa, the Arabophone majority has suppressed or (in the case of Qaddafi’s Libya) outright prohibited the use of Tamazight, a language that is estimated to be anywhere from 2,200 to 3,000 years old; its tiffinagh script has more than 30 letters, differing somewhat from region to region, and some of them look like ancient Greek.(MORE @ Tablet)
(newsmax.com) U.S. Rep. Allen West, who generally has deflected suggestions that he could be a vice-presidential candidate, now is saying he would “step up to the plate” if asked.my father seems to think that Santorum would be a VP for Romney. lolz... very amusing to hear how the left thinks the right would act. The GOP is not about accumulating power through partnerships... like Clinton and Obama. For example... the differences between the candidates in the GOP is very divisive. It's almost like Ron Paul is in an opposition party. No Republican will be picking Ron Paul as a VP and it's doubtful that Santorum would be a VP in a Romney presidency. Allen West is the logical choice.
The freshman Florida Republican and tea party favorite took that swing at pitches from three constituents at a town hall meeting, according to The Palm Beach Post.
In answer to the voters’ written questions at the meeting, West said: "If people come to me and ask me to continue to serve my country in a higher capacity, I'm not going to say no. It would be an incredible privilege and honor. I doubt that I'm on anybody's list.
(myrightword.blogspot.com) At the NYTimes, you can see an op-doc by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, writer and director of “The Law in These Parts,” which is screening at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He lives in Jerusalem and teaches film at the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film and Television School and read this introduction:
Israel’s Supreme Court is the body that provides checks and balances to the country’s executive and legislative powers, upholding constitutional standards...(My Right Word) left this comment there:
¶ In the four decades since the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the court has become a stage for an escalating conflict between two very different world views.
¶ Israel is the only modern state that has held territories under military occupation for over four decades. It is also unusual for a nation to allow residents of territories under a military occupation to petition its Supreme Court and request intervention in acts of state.
¶ Since the early years of the occupation...[rather] than functioning as the bastion of human rights that it was established to be, it has instead become the entity responsible for balancing the needs of a state engaged in a prolonged occupation with basic principles of democracy.
¶ This Op-Doc expands on one of the themes explored in my new feature documentary, “The Law in These Parts,” and asks about the role of the Supreme Court in the legal underpinnings of the longest military occupation in modern times.
RA is being petulantly picayune writing: "Israel is the only modern state that has held territories under military occupation for over four decade". Really?(My Right Word) left out Kashmir.
Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara has “only” lasted three plus decades. Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus – a mere 37 years. But Russia’s occupation of the Kuril Islands began in August 1945…
And Tibet has been occupied by China since 1949.
And many consider Northern Ireland occupied, even after the 1998 arrangements of an Executive.
But I suggest the term is "belligerent occupation", resulting from an Arab war of aggression in 1967 and by acting in defense, not only does Israel have the right to retain all or most of the territories it now administers, but as Schweible, Rostow and other international law experts claim, Israel has a better right than anyone to remain there in Judea and Samaria based on, at the least, discussions, declarations and decisions of Balfour 1917, the Versailles Peace Conference of 1919, the San Remo Conference of 1920 and the League of Nations 1922.
And isn't it amazing that none of this legalese was ever voiced when those territories were invaded by, illegally occupied by and illegally annexed to Jordan all through 1948-1967?
They say it like it is a bad thing
(cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com) Mike Groll/Associated Press ALBANY – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that whoever decided to show a film depicting American Muslims as extremists to nearly 1,500 city police officers “exercised some terrible judgment.”
Mr. Bloomberg said that neither he nor the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, had known at the time that the film, “The Third Jihad,” was being shown to officers. Speaking to reporters after testifying here at a state budget hearing, Mr. Bloomberg said that the film had not been shown at the Police Academy.
“It was done someplace else and as soon as they found out about it they stopped it and took it down,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Somebody exercised some terrible judgment. I don’t know who. We’ll find out.”
When the screening of the film for some officers was first revealed last year by Tom Robbins of The Village Voice, the Police Department’s main spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said it had been screened “a couple of times.”But an article in The New York Times Tuesday, based on documents received by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School through a Freedom of Information request, showed that it had been shown repeatedly for at least three months.
The film says that few Muslim leaders can be trusted. It also includes an interview with Mr. Kelly, which, Mr. Browne said, had been lifted from old footage.
(SultanKnish)Not only was the availability of food no longer associated with prosperity, but even the poor had begun to eat so well that fat began to carry working class and lower class associations. Fat was no longer wealth, instead conscientious fitness became a mark of prosperity... Now: The food may cost twice as much, but it's locally grown on a farm run by handicapped union workers who visit Cuba to receive free health care or by the indigenous peoples of Tuba-Tuba with the proceeds going to a complete sonic library of their chants and ceremonies.(MORE)
Back in 1638 when Rubens created this painting, this kind of female body was considered a kind of mature feminine ideal. The Three Graces are mythological figures representing charm, enjoyment and social goodwill, and as such are usually presented in art as cheerful and beautiful dancing women. (Rubens found @Fat Wars « Why Your Wife Won't Have Sex With You)
(via creepingsharia.wordpress.com image via hardinrepublic.com h/t Sandra Kushner Zlotkin) via Widespread support for burka ban, Kenney says.TORONTO – A month after Canada banned Muslim women from covering their faces during citizenship ceremonies, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the policy has won widespread support.Speaking at a Muslim Canadian Congress event honouring his “courageous decision,” Mr. Kenney said polling shows that eight out of 10 Canadians agreed with the decision while only 14% were opposed.“It is only a sign of respect for your fellow citizens, when you are pledging to them your commitment to live in a community with them, to show your face and who you are and that your pledge is heartfelt and authentic,” he said.He said he would not act on suggestions to hold separate citizenship ceremonies for Muslim women who cover their faces in public. “We are all becoming Canadians together,” he said. “We are not going to start segregating our citizenship ceremonies.”The Minister characterized the new rule as part of a broader strategy to strengthen the value of citizenship in Canada, which he said has the highest rate of naturalization of any country in the developed world. While the audience gathered at a Toronto hotel spoke mostly in support of the niqab ban, one woman said she was “extremely offended” by the comments she had heard. “If somebody believes in it [the niqab] then it’s their right to practise it,” said Fatema Dada of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association.Mr. Kenney responded that taking an oath was a public act and could not be done in a way that hides identity. He also recalled meeting Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, Egypt’s top Muslim authority, who told him face coverings were not a religious requirement.“He clarified for me that people in the West who think this is a religious obligation do not understand Islam law. So I am not going to second-guess the most pre-eminent Sharia authority in the Sunni world.”There was a tense moment at the event when a woman dressed in a burka approached the Minister and tore off the blue cloth to reveal she was actually author and women’s rights activist Raheel Raza. Writer Tarek Fatah also briefly wore a burka hand puppet.“The niqab or burka is a political tool by Islamists who wish to segregate Muslims into religious ghettos, cut off from mainstream society,” said Farzana Hassan of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “Islamists consider women who do not cover their heads and faces, which constitutes the vast majority, as sinners and lesser Muslims.”