A group of Jews endeavors towards total domination of the blogosphere.

Saturday, May 10, 2003  

I'm still unsatisfied with the way we left our anti-Semitism discussion before Shabbos. Mobius has come back with a post saying that news of the gravestone toppling in Britain leads him to more serious questions about the anti-Semitic nature of Tam Dalyell's comments; he now, due to the violence, is "much less inclined to be forgiving of Tam Dalyell's remarks," adding, "I might go as so far as to say that this is potentially a direct result of his "mainstreaming" of such opinions."
This first point of his is pretty much implying -- intentionally or otherwise -- that anti-Semitism is acceptable when it doesn't lead to a violent reaction. He might similarly draw the line at discrimination, slurring, and the like -- I don't know, but I'd guess he would. In the meantime, he's assuming that Tam Dalyell's statements, if made in a vacuum, have no negative connotation. He pushes this point further when he says:

But I won't say this is the anti-war movement's fault as so much as the British government's. Maybe if Blair had respected the wishes of the majority of UK citizens and not gotten involved with Iraq, the Jews wouldn't be getting scapegoated in this particular scenario.
The thing on most readers' minds should be: "I can see these statements coming from an anti-Semite -- but what would a Jew mean in this context?" This is part of the general motivation among the more simple politically-minded folks who operate on a "bogeyman" theory of political science. The assumption is always that "I" am right, and therefore if someone contradicts me, they are being motivated by some sinister group/individual/gain. The search for the bogeyman will always bear some fruit if you look hard enough and dismiss enough basic principles. In the case of the war on Iraq, that bogeyman often became the Jew -- whether it was the "No Blood For Israel" slogan, or those weird memes circulating that Bush was being influenced by Sharon (as opposed to the reverse), or other odd assumptions.
There were some specific points put forward by the anti-war movement in America(I can't speak for Britain): the integrity of the budget, the UN, and some other things should be respected, and they assumed that Bush wasn't doing so. Some called Bush evil -- "Hitler" even -- and left it at that. Others looked further for the bogeyman, and many settled on the Jew -- the distinction between "Zionist Jew" and any other kind of Jew really wasn't made. As we've said time and time again, this argument lacked any reason, and was explicitly anti-Semitic.
I'll phrase it differently, one more time here, and hope that it sinks in. For the "Jewish conspiracy" theory to play out, one needed to overstate (a) how much "Zionist Jews" believed this war would benefit their cause, over and above their own and theircountrymen's safety in the US and UK, and (b) the degree to which these "Zionist Jews" could influence the policy of their respective countries. We know that (a) is crap, because taking down Iraq was not on top of the "Zionist Jew" agenda and because it's simply unbelievable to assume that these individuals would put Israel's safety over their own, even in the non-existent case that attacking Iraq would do that. But very of these anti-Semitic types seemed to get caught up in (a) very much -- they merely assumed it and went on to (b). We've had two statements that pretty much exemplify both ends of (b): James Moran, who overstated the influence of the Jews he was blacklisting, and Tam Dalyell, who overstated the Jewishness of the influential politicians he was blacklisting.
We won't always be able to get rid of the (b) part of the argument so easily; certainly, a Joe Lieberman presidency could not so easily parry the claim that Jews are calling the shots. And this is why part (a) is so essential to keep in mind -- because it is so blatantly and horrifically anti-Semitic to claim that Jews in the US will put Israel's security over their own and that of their countrymen (if the choice should ever come up -- and it's not likely it ever would; though we were probably saying the same about other US allies not too long ago and now might come to doubt that).
Having said that, the "proof of damage," or whatever you'd call it, of anti-Semitism isn't necessary to condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms at any time. That some tombstones were vandalized in England probably has almost no direct or indirect causation from the statements made by Tam Dalyell or those in his crowd -- violent anti-Semitism has existed there always, as it has in the States, with the variable being how much goes on. Apologizing for the non-violent kind (if it can be said to exist) simply because one cannot come to agree with a country's policies is precisely that: apologizing for anti-Semitism. Mobius should be have no misapprehension that this is what he is doing.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:22 PM |

Friday, May 09, 2003  

In the "Embarrass Our Friends/Credit Where It's Due Department" friend of the Elders Yair Sturm has been named valedictorian of Yeshiva College for the Class of '03. If we find a picture, we'll post it. Ladies looking to get in line to meet Mr. Sturm are encouraged to contact him through the Elders, who will serve as screeners. Good luck at Harvard Law, you punky, punky Canadian.
YAIR WRITES IN: "I am deeply honored to hve my accomplishments listed alongside the names of luminaries like yourself and Shmulli... Now if only I could get posted on onlysimchas I'd be set."

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 7:13 PM |

Here's a handy guide (via yada) to the cross-blog discussion between us here, Jewschool's Mobius, and Just Another Rant. In the meantime, the conversation's moved to Mobius's next post and its comments section. Check it out.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 4:37 PM |

For the greedy Yid in you: MBA Admissions Wire

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:58 PM |

I'd imagine that perceiving the "light behind the letters" isn't the best way to improve early-reading skills.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 1:30 PM |

I don't recall any posting on this but a little while ago, Madonna announced she'll be writing children's books based on Kabbalah. Any prognosis from some of our more mysticism-minded Elders or readers?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:19 PM |

Reader Ephraim sends a link to a t-shirt that proudly proclaims: "I wear a black hat and I love Israel."

I don't really do either, but you might.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:59 PM |

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)High
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
via blissfull knowledge...

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:28 PM |

Mobius responds to my response to his "do Jews run America" post:
Essentially, the response boils down to:

I feel like it's less of an attack on Jewish people or Judaism and more of an attack on the pro-Israel lobby which is heavily funded by Jewish philanthropists (thus it is still in effect, "the Jews"), and the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on people like Cheney and Rumsfeld. When you say, "Oh, well...they're Israel sympathizers," I think the argument being posed is that they've become sympathizers due to the lobby's influence.

I would understand what you're saying if Buchanan and Co. were content to attack AIPAC because they felt that it wielded a disproportunate amount of influence and was promoting interests that put America's own in danger. That would be similar to some liberal group denouncing the NRA, which, as we all know, happens all the time. If that were true, though, Buchanan and Co. would first and foremost be amazingly blind to politcal realities (despite the fact that they seem, generally, to be more or less astute), since AIPAC doesn't have half that much clout - come on (and see Elder I's addendum to my first response, linked above). Then you have to wonder wonder why, out of all lobbies to blow out of proportion, they chose AIPAC. But that's almost besides the point.

What further raises eyebrows is how AIPAC gets lumped with the neo-con thinkers and writers. The Kristols and Krauthammers have nothing to do with AIPAC, but to Buchanan they're all the same, even if they get to their similar conclusions (invade Iraq) from different perspectives (the former from being aggressively neo-con and the latter for being pro-Israel). Why? Because they're Jews, and obviously Jews would put America at risk to help Israel.
Mobiuis' response to this argument is:

I'm not saying that they're right and furthermore, I'm certainly not saying the Jews run America. What I'm saying is, I can understand why people would get that impression. And I believe there's an old Talmudic verse which says, "If it looks bad, you shouldn't be doing it.

In other words, Kristol and Krauthammer and the rest should stop expressing their own political viewpoints since some conspiracy-minded pundit might mistake them for Elders of Zion? Should AIPAC stop lobbying for Israel for fear that someone might link them to the ascendent neo-cons? Course not.

Even this doesn't address the question of how much influence this neo-con cabal really has. I might just as easily argue that Kristol and Krauthammer only seem to have influence because they're preaching to an administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld) who already subscribe to "neo-conism". I'd prefer to think that the VP and SecDef, with their decades of government experience, have formed their own viewpoints on things.

Besides, what about the Jews who lobby against the war, like Michael Lerner's Tikkun? What about the ambivalent columnists like Thomas Friedman? Imagine a liberal administration. Would Buchanan be complaining about how the Jewish Tikkun lobby was leading America towards some sort of disaster by demanding that the US take an active role in Israel-Palestinian negotiations? I'd bet he would.
[A point that bears repeating is that AIPAC did not lobby for or endorse the invasion of Iraq, something that all these conspiracists continually fail to acknowledge. In fact, only one Jewish group in the entirety of the United States was on-record in support of the invasion -- that being the radical, and decidedly non-influential, Zionists of America(ZOA). The continuing emphasis on the pro-Israel motivations of a few Jews who maintain relatively influential positions fails to acknowledge two basic realities: 1) Israel/Palestine is the most prominent continuing violence on the world stage, and everyone of any importance is expected to have a position on it; to assume that Bush/Powell/Rumsfeld would let their views of the world be corrupted so thoroughly as to take a position opposite of their thinking due to Jewish influence is beyond reason -- and when an argument that blames Jews goes beyond reason, it's anti-Semitic. 2) For as much as the Israel/Palestine situation is prominent for its violence, it is not necessarily the "lynchpin" of the Middle East -- take, for instance, lay Iraqis support of US invading forces, despite the US position on Israel. Those who continue to see it as a lynchpin fall into one of two camps: A) those who assume a pan-Arabic, monolithic mentality, which ignores the fact that there is a diversity of opinion and a willingness to act in self-interest that is fundamentally similar to that of whites, Asians, Africans, etc. This is a decidedly anti-Arab viewpoint, and it makes no sense. B) Those who see Jewish presence as outsized, inordinately influential and harmful. These types are either forgiving of anti-Semitism in those like Saddam Hussein, or anti-Semites themselves; plain and simple. One last point: mobius essentially ceded his argument when he said in response to Avraham "I want to begin by emphasizing the words "sort of" in my statement, "he's sort of right."" That's about as slippery as you can get. -- SIW]

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 2:18 AM |

Thursday, May 08, 2003  

Heeb's LA party.(via Romenesko)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:30 PM |

"Actually, I think this all just goes to show that the X-Men are Jewish."

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:06 PM |

Controversy surrounds publication of student Op-Ed piece that wondered: "Is anti-Semitism ever the result of Jewish behavior?" (via Romenesko) The paragraph about repercussions to the editor for running it is kind of weird:

But little did sophomore Kristinae Toomians, 19, anticipate the ensuing ruckus: She received four death threats, a swastika poster was left on her car,
self-proclaimed white supremacist groups praised the article on the Internet, and the campus' Jewish faculty, staff and students were deeply offended. There were suggestions that a prepublication panel should review each issue of the paper.
Who leaves a swastika on a car for printing anti-Semitic material? Aren't anti-Semites supposed to be putting swastikas on our cars? How surreal. And isn't it odd that receiving praise from white supremacist groups is considered "ruckus"?
Meantime, the student who wrote the piece isn't getting haunted by anybody -- that's really unfair.
Meantime, the death threats are obviously serious and hopefully under investigation. Who made them? No one knows. Except, apparently, some snarky assholes at IndyMedia, who posted the story with the headline "Jewish group Threatens To Kill Editor Of College Newspaper." To quote Jeff Jarvis, "It's really sad when you can Fisk a headline."
The end of the IndyMedia post has what they claim is the original article -- though I don't know where they got it, as the student paper doesn't seem to be online. The opening sentences: "Israel is the largest and most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. Israel is currently and has been historically involved in a genocidal war against the Arab world." According to the article linked above, the journalism prof overseeing the newspaper had no problem with it because it was not libelous; now, I'm not really sure how you can libel a country, and how, if at all, that country could respond in a court of law, but that is an incorrect statement meant to characterize the subject in a negative manner. Though it's probably just as true that the author, Kevin McGuire, was unaware of how stupid he is -- so he wouldn't be held responsible under US law, as far as I know. If he'd said the same about a social club or specific incorporated group in the States, it'd have a serious case against him. Apparently having clearly false or non-falsifiable information printed as fact is OK with this professor. Before I post the rest of the piece, note the closing quote of the SFGate article:
The incoming chair of the Department of Communications Studies, Mark Nelson, said he didn't think the resolution passed Wednesday was necessary.
"If this was a sports story filled with errors, faulty logic and bad spelling," Nelson said, "I doubt the Oak Leaf would be looking into its journalistic ethics."
Firstly, the paper should be looking into its etchics if it's screwing up on this scale with the sports page. Second, this guy sounds like one more complainer about having to be a non-anti-Semite. Here's the whole of the kid's idiocy:
Is Anti-Semitism Ever The Result Of Jewish Behavior?
By Kevin McGuire
Israel is the largest and most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. Israel is currently and has been historically involved in a genocidal war against the Arab world.
The Zionist Jews believe they are the 'chosen people' of god and that the world was given to them and is their possession.
The Zionist Jews want to establish a Jewish holy land with no non-Jews present.
They currently occupy Israel but are constantly trying to expand their borders with their superior military power over their Arab neighbors.
No fewer than 2,265 Palestinians have been murdered by the Israelis in the last three years since September 28, 2000.
Many of these victims were children, 22.8% were less than 18 years old and 12.8% (that's 291 killed) were less than 15 years old ( The Israelis carry out these attacks with armored tanks, helicopter gun ships and fully automatic rifles. The Palestinians must defend themselves with rocks. A typical plan of attack involves ramming an Israeli tank through the home of a Palestinian family and shooting anyone who happens to survive, including children. Then, once the cleansing process has been completed, the town is re-occupied with so called "Jewish settlers". This attitude of racial hatred and genocide is also reflected in the Torah: "Destroy all of the land; beat down their pillars and break their statues and waste all of their high places, cleansing the land and dwelling in it, for I have given it to you for a possession" Numbers 33:52,53. Israel is in violation of far more international laws than Iraq. Although bound by the same laws as Iraq, Israel is 'allowed' not only to possess chemical and genocidal race-specific Anti-Arab biological weapons, but they also have over 300 known nuclear bombs. These weapons, being held in the hands of proven Israeli terrorists, pose a much greater threat to world peace than all of the other terrorist organizations combined. This threat is partially to be blamed on us as American citizens, for doing nothing to prevent it. The Jewish war of genocide is being funded by us, the American tax payer. Since 1973, Israel has officially received $2,500,000,000 in US Foreign aid. Divide that by the current US population and it's over $5,700 paid per US citizen. On average Israel receives $6.3 billion per year, or $17 million per day. (
US aid to Israel makes up a full quarter of the Israeli annual budget. In addition to money, we also supply them with military gifts, such as F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, gun ships, tanks, machine guns, missiles and bullets. Without the heavy US aid to Israel that they are currently receiving Israel would no longer be able to continue its program of genocide.
Each of us contributes directly to the Israeli holocaust waged against the people of Palestine and we each personally purchase the intense Arab hatred for America which caused the 9/11 attacks.
American funding of Jewish genocide is not only felt by Arabs in the Middle East. On September 11, 2001 our nation was targeted by Arab terrorists not because they 'hate our freedoms', but because we are supplying the bullets that kill their children. Not only are we forced to pay a serious amount of money to fund the Jewish holy war which benefits America in no way, but American lives are also being sacrificed in service to Israel. Our national 'leaders' say nothing, do nothing, and deny the facts. Israel is the most powerful and dangerous terrorist organization in the world and they have hi-jacked America. Our spineless national 'leaders' refuse to even discuss the Israel issue because the Israeli-American lobby in Washington DC, funded by Zionist Jews, is the most powerful lobby in existence, wielding even more power than the NRA.
It is now politically incorrect to question our Israeli policy, because any resistance to demands by Jews is anti-Semitism and that is "hate," the label politicians fear most. Our corrupt weakling politicians know that any mention of the Israel problem will be career suicide. They place their own selfish, greedy career and power interests over those of our national interests and the interests of the American people.
In closing, here is a 1998 quote from Osama Bin Laden:
"So we tell the Americans as people, and we tell the mothers of soldiers and American mothers in general that if they value their lives and the lives of their children, to find a nationalist government that will look after their interests and not the interests of the Jews."
The continuation of tyranny will bring the fight to America, as Ramzi Yousef and others did. This is my message to the American people: to look for a serious government that looks out for their interests and does not attack others, their lands, or their honor.
And my word to American journalists is not to ask why we did that, but ask what their government has done that forced us to defend ourselves. It is our duty to lead people to the light."

UPDATE: One of the responses at IndyMedia says:
This is not the original article, which contained references from National Vanguard News, a right wing white supremist news organization. This post also fails to mention the street organizing by Resistance Records and other white power groups happening around Santa Rosa Junior College. Or the history of racist organizing in Sonoma County and it's roots in scapegoating "Jews"
So the piece may have been even worse than the one we've read. Which, if true, means that the IndyMedia guy probably edited that out before posting it -- so he knew there was something wrong with the source of the argument, just wouldn't admit the fallaciousness of the argument itself. And isn't it odd that white supremacists would be railing against "imperialism"?
Read all of the comments there -- it's enlightening.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 4:23 PM |

Jewschool's mobius's latest post runs through the controversy brewing over Tam Dalyell and his quote how a "Zionist cabal runs policy on Israel" in the US and UK and is the driving force behind the war in Iraq (and beyond, maybe, before this is all over). Mobius' conclusion: "well... he's sort of right". How so? This Ha'aretz article about the "neo-cons" is proffered as evidence. The only problem? Zionism or Israeli interests vis-a-vis Iraq don't come up in that article even once.
Conclusion: you might be right about a small group of neo-con elites running the show. However, that cabal includes the Cheanys and Rumsfelds of the world - it doesn't control them. Also, they see their war as one for America's interests - NOT Israel. To suggest that the Kristols, Krauthammers, and Wolfowitzs of the world are pushing for actions that they see as damaging to American interests because they help Israel's position is insulting to those men as well as anti-Semitic.
[It's also worth noting Michael Kinsley's piece on AIPAC's claims about its influence, which responded to James Moran by basically saying, "well, if we make the claim, we can't be angry that others make the claim." The thing is, firstly, that Kinsley was wrong about what claims were being made. He said in his piece "It asserts that the top item on the Zionist "agenda" is curbing the power of Saddam Hussein." The thing is, it didn't -- the top item on the agenda at the time was Iran, not Iraq, which Kinsley conceded to me by e-mail as a likely mistake on his part. The thing is, Kinsley was wondering how we can be so angry about that statement when we let AIPAC get away with it all the time. I, frankly, think we shouldn't let AIPAC get away with it, but such is life. But the fundamental difference between both AIPAC and Kinsley and Mobius is that Mobius is the only one buying the hype. And it's so ludicrous and stupid, for the reasons asserted above by Elder Avraham, among others. And, because there's no basis for it, it is an anti-Semitic statement, plainly and clearly. -- SIW]

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 4:22 PM |

Just when you thought the level of discourse in the Jewish Press couldn't get any lower, someone throws you a shovel:
It started innocently enough two weeks ago with an article by Shlomo Mostofsky, President of National Council of Young Israel on the state of Modern Orthodoxy. Not a particularly intelligent piece, but still pretty good. In last week's issue, one Yaakov Stern wrote a letter(scroll down to find it) that said, in part:

Shlomo Mostofsky attempts to dispel the notion of Modern Orthodoxy’s imminent demise. While I would agree that Modern Orthodoxy has its fair share of adherents, I believe that it is for the most part spiritually bankrupt and essentially irrelevant...

Would a Modern Orthodox Jew ever ask his friend how his religious studies are progressing — and if so, would he be troubled if they surpassed his own? Not likely, because the group members define themselves by their material possessions.
Well, consider the gauntlet thrown. Enter this week's letters section, which includes such rejoiners as:
Anybody who takes a walk through Boro Park sees overdone multi-million dollar homes with luxury cars in the driveway. Everyone knows that in the right-wing world shidduchim are based on money, boys are constantly advised to learn at such and such a yeshiva so that they might land a wealthy father-in-law. Huge, extravagant weddings are the norm...

There has been scandal after scandal of fraud and embezzlement in the right-wing community, each one constituting a tremendous
chillul Hashem. When we see the perpetrators of these crimes in the media, they never look Modern Orthodox. The minyanim at the federal prisons invariably are comprised mostly of right-wing Jews, not Modern Orthodox Jews...

If we are going to generalize by example, let me offer the following:
The young man with a hat as big as his ego who told my elderly mother, after she had just secured a parking spot in front of a fish store in one of your neighborhoods on a busy Friday afternoon moments before he got there, that she should give up the spot to him because "You old people had your turn already, it`s my turn now..

And we're supposed to be working on inter-demoninational dialogue?

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 11:29 AM |

Maybe End the Madness was really ripping off and old Purim issue of The Commentator? (Thanks, Ephraim)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:06 AM |

Some see Jewish shift toward GOP. Of course, they don't notice that there seems to be a national trend toward the GOP.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:04 AM |

Palestinian diplomat: Israel looted Baghdad museum. Statements by Wasef Mansour, a diplomat with the Palestinian mission in Morocco, made the remarks in an online discussion titled "What Israel Gains From the Occupation of Iraq," on Islam Online. Article courtesy of WorldNetDaily. The salient quote:

We should also note what Israel has already done, by sending agents as soon as the American forces entered Baghdad; they looted the museums, information banks, and financial banks.

That's OK, though. I'm sure by next week Ann Coulter will have found a way to blame the looting on Bill Clinton.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:24 AM |

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  

Received an interesting forward, blaming Democrats for failing on national security. Here goes:

An important message about Israel and the terrorists, including bin Laden and Ata:
Do you remember this??
The other day they were playing an old news video of Lt.Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration. It was 1987!
There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!
He was being drilled by a senator; "Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?"
Ollie replied, "Yes, I did, Sir."
The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, "Isn't that just a little excessive?"
"No, sir," continued Ollie.
"No? And why not?" the senator asked.
"Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir."
"Threatened? By whom?" the senator questioned.
"By a terrorist, sir" Ollie answered.
"Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?"
"His name is Osama bin Laden, sir" Ollie replied.
At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. Why are you so afraid of this man?" the senator asked.
"Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of", Ollie answered.
"And what do you recommend we do about him?" asked the senator.
"Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth."
The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.
By the way, that senator was Al Gore
Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called "political prisoners."
However, the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands, The American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, "insisted" that all prisoners be released.
Thus Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified. It was censored in the US from all later reports.
If you agree that the American public must be made aware of this fact, pass this on.

A very imaginative story -- too imaginative, as it's slaughtered here and here.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:47 PM |

My father got quoted by the Jewish Week! And he might have been talking about me...
Thanks to jewschool for the link to the article - I saw it there first.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 4:53 PM |

Secular Photographer Tries to Capture Siren Violators on Film - article from Shema Yisrael, where a newsreporter came to ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak to photograph the locals ignoring the Yom HaShoah sirens. As it turned out, the only one ignoring the sirens was himself. Irony doesn't do this one justice.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 3:34 PM |


posted by Steven I. Weiss | 12:38 PM |

Iraqi Documents on Israel Surface on a Cultural Hunt Interesting NYT article on an Indiana Jones type hunt for a 7th century Talmud text (which would rival the oldest fragments extant today) in the basement ruins of the Mukhabarat's Israel-Palestine department. The Talmud is described in the article as a "book of oral law," which makes sense to those in the know, but still sounds something like an ancient book on tape, which isn't that far from the truth, come to think of it.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:16 PM |

Tuesday, May 06, 2003  

Palestine Chronicle's take on the Tam Dalyell situation: "British Jewish MP Censures Blair For Toeing Zionist Line"

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 11:42 PM |

Anti-Semite British MP and Father of the House Tam Dalyell gets the smackdown in - of all places -- The Guardian, in a column by Jonathan Freedland. The sub-Hed points to a different sort of nefarious idea developing:

Tam Dalyell's belief that a 'cabal' of neoconservative Jews controls Bush is gaining currency in liberal circles.
He opens:
The good news is that Tam Dalyell's outburst to Vanity Fair - in which he suggested Tony Blair was unduly influenced by a Jewish cabal - has not been ignored. His remarks made all the papers, proof that anti-semitism is no longer an uncontroversial part of public conversation.
That's welcome. If there is bad news it's that Dalyell has been treated as a naughty boy - "incorrigible," said Peter Mandelson - rather than as a man who has uttered a racist slur. Bad news, too, that so far much of the condemnation has come from Jews rather than Dalyell's comrades in Labour and on the left -who one might have hoped would be queueing up to denounce such a whiskery old prejudice in their own ranks.
In a way, this episode is a test for Britain. American journalists covering the Dalyell story say the same comments would be a career-ender in Washington - much as Republican Trent Lott's expression of nostalgic sympathy for racial segregation recently cost him his place at the helm of the US Senate. Admittedly Dalyell does not hold leadership rank in Labour, but it seems Britain's intolerance for intolerance is not quite as advanced as America's.
I guess news of James Moran didn't make it across the ocean. Freedland apparently did catch my Hitler-comparision meme, though:
Two of his sinister troika - Mandelson, Jack Straw and Middle East envoy Lord Levy -do not identify as Jews at all. (Indeed, only the Linlithgow MP and Hitler's Nuremberg laws would count Straw and Mandelson as Jewish.)

Read the whole thing.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 10:27 PM |

AUSTRALIAN Defence Force (ADF) Bishop Tom Frame has apologised for offending the Jewish community with his controversial comments on ABC Radio - but insists that "some people over-reacted"
The Statement In Question:

The problem of Israel continues because there is Judaism and Zionism and when those two things are brought together, there is a real ugliness in many places that seems not to be compatible with the desire for peace and justice for anyone.

As opposed, of course, to when Zionism and Southern Baptism are brought together...?

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 9:50 PM |

End the Madness got screwed recently, when a couple of rabbis with a Saturday-night radio show ripped off his concept with a special show devoted to "Ending the Madness of Dating." On the show, they apparently used the term throughout, though they never once mentioned the website or the efforts of Chananya Weissman, who runs the whole thing. They also used guests that Weissman had used at his symposia, including R' Allan Shwartz, and at one point even used as an uncited anecdote a dating story that Weissman was quoted as telling in an article about him in the Jewish Week. What a sham. Credit where credit is due -- we know you're changing the world for those who are daters out there...maybe someday you can help us confirmed bachelors.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:42 PM |

Speaking of wacko Jews, "Daniel Pipes, Middle East Commentator and Scholar, to Deliver Keynote Address at YU's 72nd Annual Commencement, May 23." The link currently isn't working. What on earth are Yeshiva's Powers That Be thinking?
(Thanks, Ephraim)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:19 PM |

Speaking of wacko Jews, Dr. Laura strikes back at Susan Sarandon. Cited in this article is a letter Dr. Laura received from Teresa, allegedly an 8-year old listener:

When are you going to come out and shout from the rooftops about how these Hollyweirdo hypocrites silenced your free speech? I want to see you on every news channel exposing how Susan Sarandon and her ilk went after your TV and radio advertisers. Where are you, Dr. Laura? Please tell your story and tell it loud!

If Teresa really is eight, this could be the strongest argument against homeschooling since Kyle Williams

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 12:01 PM |

I hadn't realized to what extent wacko Jews are attacking Joe Lieberman. Now I know, kind of.
(Thanks, Ephraim)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:30 AM |

What do people think of the "big stories" section I added to the sidebar? Specific stories you think should be added?

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 8:00 AM |

Consider yourselves warned.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 7:59 AM |

Monday, May 05, 2003  

Certainly to become a major favorite phrase of Elder Sam, "numismatic powerhouse."

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 9:00 PM |

Elder Pinky had been assembling a post a while ago on anti-Semitic comments by a British MP, but Blogger ate it. Since then, Patrick Belton, OxBlog's new boy, posted on it, linking to a story that quotes Father of the House Tom Dalyell referring to a "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers" pushing Tony Blair towards war, as well as to Dalyell's coulda-shoulda-woulda-been apology, which he chose to waste by characterizing his remarks as not anti-Semitic, but merely "candid." Which makes him quite a bastard, squared.
Who were these Jewish advisers?

In an interview with Vanity Fair, the Left-wing Labour MP named Lord Levy, Tony Blair's personal envoy on the Middle East, Peter Mandelson, whose father was Jewish, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has Jewish ancestry, as three of the leading figures who had influenced Mr Blair's policies on the Middle East.
It's not in this story, but in the one Pinky and I had been discussing (don't have a link), Straw was described as having a lone Jewish grandparent -- or one-eighth Jewish. Which led me to wonder: wasn't that Hitler's requirement?
It's really embarrassing -- leaving aside horrifying for a moment -- that prominent politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are coming up with Protocols-esque theories regarding the Jewish role in world governance. How utterly vacuuous their arguments must be if they have to rely on anti-Semitism to get their points across. How absurd.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 7:49 PM |

There's something entitled "Virtual Kibbutz" being discussed at YadaYadaYada, but it's a book, not a video game. Wouldn't that be cool, though? You have to pick up shekels you find on the road to buy a cheap moped; put in enough hours on the combine and you can borrow the car to take your family south; etc.
Two anecdotal comments about shekels: Was at the mini-market with my older sister yesterday & she was buying a pack of gum, it had a price tag of 4.59, which induced quite some sticker shock. The proprietor explained that that was the shekel price (so, apparently, the item is sent to a store, unpacked & priced, then sold to the States -- quite a model of business efficiency).
In the subway yesterday, a guy was selling batteries & hats, calling out the price in dollars and then the corresponding Spanish figure in "pesos"(meaning dollars)...then, to make people laugh, he started calling out "One Yen, one shekel, one drachma" -- he's lucky no one took him up on it(and apparently his gum doesn't gum pre-labeled in shek).

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 6:40 PM |

In conversation with a friend, she said of the Sun: "my friend, the columnist there, siad that sun is winning some award for the fastest growing newspaper in america."
My immediate reply was, "well, fungus tends to grow quickly."
I think our readership can do better. Send wittier-than-I responses to me.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 6:08 PM |

Israeli cop mistaken for stripper...:

An Israeli policeman responding to neighbors' complaints about a rowdy all-female party received an unexpected welcome at the door when revellers mistook him for a stripper and began to take off his clothes and stroke him.
(Thanks, Zion)

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 5:54 PM |

Reader David points out that a co-author of the Jewish Week DEC article is one Elli Wohlgelernter, who is "described as 'a FORMER editor and reporter at The Jerusalem Post'." The JP, you will remember, published an article about DEC that was written by - guess who - Elli Wohlgelernter. Hmmm....
[Great catch! Media consolidation hits the Jewish press, as Gary purchases those who can produce what he cannot. -- SIW]

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 5:26 PM |

A Chasid living in Williamsburg, not content to surf the internet and maintain a blog (called Hasidic Rebel, no less), but also reads books about comparative religion, like Entrance to the Garden of Eden by Yossi Klein Halev, is worth note. Especially if he links to protocols.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 5:17 PM |

According to Arutz Sheva, this music video (subtitles added, I think, by Palestinian Media Watch) has been airing on PA television. As might have been said years ago, this is definitely a violation of the Oslo accords.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 10:07 AM |

When I received an invitation to Jews for Racial and Economic Justice's annual dinner (actually, its "Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taker Awards"), it wasn't an overwhelming surprise to see Adam Shapiro as a primary honoree -- though, I didn't know much about the guy. I'd heard he'd been a human shield in Ramallah and actually kissed Arafat on television or something, and I knew that he'd gotten married (I'd heard to a non-Jewish Palestinian) in the same city on the same night as two of my Bnei Akiva friends (which was really only useful information because it allowed me to remark that they probably didn't have to worry about fighting over guests). His parents had also supposedly received death threats -- and I think disowned him, as well. All of this, I suppose, qualifies as "risk-taking" for this group.
The invitation says of him (actually, "Adam Shapiro & The Shapiro Family" is the honoree listed):

Adam co-founded the International Solidarity Movement, which brings activists from around the world to participate in non-violent direct action assisting Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Shapiro Family stood by Adam in the face of attacks and death threats from sectors of the Jewish community.
"Non-violent" being the key term there, according to a New York Sun article(subscription required, but 4 weeks free at every e-mail address you set up), which reported on Friday that Congregation B'nai Jeshurun quit as host of the event in light of the Shapiro award. Says the Sun:
The alarm caused by the choice of Mr. Shapiro as an honoree largely stems from an article he wrote last year for an Internet magazine, the Palestine Chronicle.
In it,he wrote,"The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics — both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly, it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement."
JFREJ responded in the article:
Esther Kaplan, co-chairman of the board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, said Mr. Shapiro does not support any form of violence against Israel. She praised him and his group as a rare advocate for nonviolence in the conflict.
"Their entire mission is to promote nonviolence," she said. "That’s why we’re honoring them. They are one of the only groups that is trying to do with the right thing." She said every volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement must sign a pledge of nonviolence.
The reporter makes no effort to verify that last claim, which would be helpful. Irrespective, JFREJ is obviously incorrect if it asserts that Shapiro embraces non-violence -- unless he's retracted his comments, but JFREJ seems unaware that he made them in the first place, which is irresponsible on their part. If I have time, I'll do some research and post more on this.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:57 AM |

There's some interesting posting going on over at Jewschool. Check it out.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 2:20 AM |

Sunday, May 04, 2003  

Forget Herzl being reinterred in Israel forty-five years after his death. Ramses I is coming home to Egypt. Check out the photo gallery - he's looking, well, remarkably well-preserved, anyway.

posted by Voice From The Hinterlands | 8:42 PM |

2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage holds ``Mimouna in Manhattan,'' a celebration of the North African holiday of Mimouna; One Battery Park Plaza.

AS ALWAYS, Reader Ephraim explains everything:

The Mimouna and its festivities are celebrated by Israel's Moroccan Jewish community immediately following the conclusion of Passover.
The community opens its doors to all who may decide to enter with warm hospitality and the entire following day is spent in celebration of friendship and peace. Tables are set with special foods and festive costumes are worn. Tents are pitched, and picnics are enjoyed.
The word Mimouna, which contains the Hebrew word, Emunah, faith, and its celebration, can be traced to the anniversary of the death of Rav Maimon, the father of Maimonides.
Modern Israel has seen different ethnic communities continue to observe rites and celebrations that became a tradition of their own diaspora.
Some better-known celebrations include the afore mentioned Mimouna, unique to Moroccan Jewry, on the day after Passover, celebrating the renewal of nature and its blessings; and the Saharana of Kurdish Jewry, after Sukkot, which was the national holiday of the Jews in Kurdistan.
Another event is the Sigd holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community, in mid-November, a celebration which began in Ethiopia, expressing their yearning for Zion, and continues in Israel today as an expression of their thankfulness.

posted by Steven I. Weiss | 1:58 PM |
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