Archive for December 3rd, 2007

“CANADIAN UNIVERSITY HOSTS ISRAEL BASHER” by Fern Sidman

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

On Thursday evening, November 29th, the University of Toronto hosted a lecture by former De Paul University assistant professor of political science, Norman Finkelstein. Finkelstein, 53, is a controversial figure in the academic community, as he has assumed the position of chief apologist for Palestinian terrorism while espousing a hard line anti-Israel viewpoint, mixed with vociferous attacks on the legacy of the Holocaust, its victims and survivors. In June of 2007, Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul University and charged with “unprofessional attacks”. He was then placed on administrative leave for the 2007-2008 academic year, his single course having been cancelled. On September 5, 2007 he announced his resignation after coming to a settlement with the university on undisclosed terms.

Finkelstein is the author of seven books, receiving the most notices for his most recent books, “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” (September 2003) and “Beyond Chutzpah: on the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” (August 2005). Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust survivors, his mother having survived the Warsaw ghetto and the Majdanek concentration camp as well as two slave labor camps and his father having both survived the Warsaw ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp. Finkelstein’s underlying premise in both of his recent books is that Israel and Jewish organizations in America have exploited the Holocaust to deflect criticism from the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict and he has alleged that these very same organizations have used the plight of Holocaust survivors to extort monumental sums of money from Swiss banks and the rest of the world.

Despite presenting what superficially appears to be painstaking support of his arguments, backed up by irrefutable documentation, nothing could be further from the truth. His ostensible facts and research have not been corroborated in the world of academia and many of his specious hypotheses have had gigantic holes punched through them by legitimate scholars of the Holocaust.

Invited to speak at the University of Toronto by the Canadian Palestinian Educational Exchange, Prof. Finkelstein packed the hall in which he spoke. 400 students, mostly of Islamic background and with political sympathies towards Hamas attended his two hour lecture. The thrust of his lecture dealt with the apathy and indifference of North American Jews towards the plight of Israel. He lauded this trend and called on all Jews and non-Jews to condemn Israel in the most unequivocal terms for the continued “occupation” of the “indigenous” Palestinian population and for “apartheid” like tactics being employed, such as the security wall built by Israel to prevent further Palestinian terrorist attacks.

Finkelstein made no mention of Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism and questioned the right of Israel to exist as a legitimate entity in the Middle East. He also did not speak about previous territorial concessions made by Israel in the name of peace, such as the 2005 Israeli evacuation of Gush Katif; nor did he mention the daily, incessant Kassam rocket attacks by Hamas in to Israel proper, namely the Israeli town of Sderot. He mentioned nothing of the nefarious and pernicious aims of Hamas and Hezbollah, namely the total eradication of Israel. Finkelstein also conveniently neglected to remark on the egregious human rights abuses that take place on a daily basis in Muslim countries. He did not touch upon Muslim on Muslim violence, internecine warfare, the honor killings of Muslim women and the executions of political and religious dissidents that are endemic to many Islamic societies.

He assigned blame squarely on the shoulders of Israel for all of the economic, political and social inequities allegedly faced by the Palestinians in what he termed the “occupied territories”. His one sided, totally skewed version of the Israeli-Arab conflict was met with thunderous applause by the audience, many of whom were vocal in their support of Hamas. The notable exception came when several members of the Toronto based Jewish Defense League challenged Finkelstein’s premise with some insightful and vexing questions.

Outside the hall, Finkelstein was met with opprobrium by Jewish student activists who organized protests to counter the lies, half truths and propaganda espoused by Finkelstein. Rafi Yablonsky and Ben Feferman led a stoic contingent from Hasbara Fellowships and Orna Hollander led the members of the Jabotinsky based, Betar/Tagar chapter in Toronto. Meir Weinstein, a veteran Jewish activist from the Toronto area, led a mighty force of Jewish Defense League members. The groups distributed information pertaining to Finkelstein’s self-hating political track record and presented the Israeli side of the issue. The demonstrators carried signs saying “Hamas: Stop the Child Abuse” and “Stop the trafficking of women and children” as well as “Long live Israel: Israel is a Jewish State” and “No concessions for a false “peace”

Several JDL members were tossed out of the hall by local Toronto police when they refused to leave the building until Finkelstein answered their questions.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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Sen. Grassley Says Few Gov’t Agencies Verifying Employees’ Legal Status

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

If the government won’t do it, how do we expect anyone else to respect the law.

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) is calling on Fannie Mae and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide details regarding their use of H-1B visas when hiring new employees. The two agencies are the only federal government or government-chartered entities on the list of the top 200 companies that use the most H-1B visas.

The Department of Homeland Security requires that individuals hired to work for the federal government must be subjected to a check of their Social Security number to make sure they are in the country legally — even members of Congress are to be subjected to the check. However, according to Grassley, few government agencies are complying with the law.

“I gave a speech on the floor maybe three or four months ago in which I gave the statistics that there was only … a very small minority of the government agencies that were even following their own law on the hiring of immigrants,” comments Grassley. “In other words … if [I] were hired, [I] would have to be verified through Social Security. And they weren’t doing this verification.”

Original Link.

“All Roads Lead To Rome” by Jack Kinsella

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Nobody really expects much to emerge from the Middle East Peace Summit in Annapolis. Not the Israelis, not the Americans, and certainly not the Palestinians. At best, it’s a case of forcing somebody to do something, even if it is wrong, on the theory that any movement is better than standing still.

This flies in the face of the single most valuable piece of advice my father ever gave me, which was, ‘when you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything until you do.’ There is a similar saying down South — ‘don’t fix it til you know what’s broke.’

But Bush is just following the lead of his predecessors, from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton — all of whom tried to fix the Middle East without bothering to figure out what was broke first. At best, Annapolis is likely to set in motion what I call the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Jimmy Carter rammed through the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt in 1977, which led to the signing of a peace deal in 1979. The unilateral nature peace deal inflamed the Islamic world.

(In an Egyptian government poll taken only last year, after three decades of ‘peace’ ninety-two percent of the Egyptian public still views Israel as an enemy nation.)

Egypt was suspended from the Arab League in 1979. It resulted in the assassination of Anwar Sadat by the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the conspirators was a young pediatrician named Ayman al Zawahiri — who went on to become Osama bin Laden’s number two man.

Egypt’s realignment created a power vacuum in the Arab world that a young Saddam Hussein was only too eager to fill. Until Egypt’s fall from grace, Iraq had been only a secondary regional power.

Because of the vague language concerning the implementation of Resolution 242, the Palestinian problem became the primary issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict immediately following the Camp David Accords.

Camp David was the springboard that launched the process that gave the world Beirut in the 1980’s, Saddam Hussein in the 1990’s, the Oslo War in 2000, and Osama bin Laden in 2001.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter was looking for a way to distract attention away from the recession and runaway inflation, the energy crisis, the erosion of the dollar and high unemployment at home.

The Camp David Accords became his presidential legacy, and despite his presiding over what was arguably one of the worst presidencies in US history, the first line in historical bio will be his accomplishments at Camp David.

Bill Clinton rammed through the second Camp David Accords in an effort to keep Monica Lewinsky’s name out of the first line of his historical bio. His administration botched the 1993 Oslo Agreement by allowing Arafat to set the precedent of signing agreements he had no intention of honoring while requiring Israel to live up to the obligations those same agreements imposed on them.

Arafat grew accustomed to style over substance, and when he was forced into Camp David II, he sparked the intifada Israel now calls the “Oslo War.”

All the various agreements and deals brokered by the Bush administration between Israel and the Palestinians fell victim to the same fate, because every agreement since the Carter administration as attempted to fix what isn’t broken by ignoring what obviously is.

Israel wants peaceful coexistence with her Arab neighbors. The Egyptian government wanted the huge US aid package Carter tied to Camp David. The Egyptian population wanted the absence of war.

There is a difference between ‘peaceful coexistence’ and ‘the absence of war’. What exists between the US and Canada is ‘peaceful coexistence’. It is hard to imagine those two nations ever going to war.

Read the rest here.

Temple Institute Announces: High Priest’s Crown is Ready!

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

(IsraelNN.com) The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announces the completion of the Tzitz, the High Priest’s headplate – now ready for use in the Holy Temple.

The tzitz is made of pure gold, was fashioned over the course of a more than a year by the craftsmen of the Temple Institute, and is ready to be worn by the High Priest in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The words “Holy for G-d” are engraved on the headplate, in accordance with Exodus 28:36. A short video clip presenting the tzitz can be viewed here.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, explained to Arutz-7 that until it can actually be used, the tzitz will be on view in the Institute’s permanent exhibition display, together with other vessels and priestly garments fashioned for use in the Holy Temple by the Institute.

Legal Aspects: Impurity and Hekdesh
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Director of the Institute, explained some of the Halakhic [Jewish legal] aspects of the fashioning of the vessels for the Temple. “For one thing,” he said, “they are made in impurity – for now we are impure, and will remain impure until we are able to have a Red Heifer whose ashes can be used in the Torah-prescribed purification ceremony. If no Red Heifer is available, then the High Priest must even serve in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur in a state of impurity.”

Asked whether the fact that the vessels are dedicated for the Temple does not render them hekdesh (consecrated) and therefore forbidden for any other use, Rabbi Ariel explained, “There are two stages. First of all, we make it very clear to the donors and to the craftsmen that the ultimate purpose of these vessels is not to be used for exhibitions or the like, but rather for the fulfillment of Torah commandments in the Holy Temple. They must know this in advance. However, to gain the actual status of hekdesh, we similarly make it clear that this does not happen until the vessel is actually brought in to the Temple Mount for use in the Temple. This means that someone can try on and measure the headplate, for example, without worrying that he is benefiting in any way from something that has been consecrated to the Temple.”

Original Link.

Busy Morning

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

It looks like I’ve got a really busy morning ahead of me, so I’m going to post some news articles, but I don’t have time to make many observations about them. Please feel free to comment though.
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve

Sudanese President Pardons British Teacher Jailed for ‘Muhammad’ Teddy Bear

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

This whole event has been very enlightening. It showed once again the true colors of Islam.

KHARTOUM, Sudan — A British teacher jailed after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was released Monday hours after Sudan’s president pardoned her, a British embassy spokesman said.

Spokesman Omar Daair said Gillian Gibbons was in “British embassy custody,” but he would not give her exact location or say when she would leave Sudan, citing security reasons.

Earlier Monday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir pardoned Gibbons after two British Muslim politicians from the House of Lords met with him to plea for her release.

The pardon put an end to a case that has outraged Britons and Muslims around the world. In a statement released after her pardon, Gibbons said she did not intend to offend anyone and stressed that she had great respect for Islam.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, who met with al-Bashir along with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, said the case was an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and stressed that Britain respected Islam.

He hoped “the relations between our two countries will not be damaged by this incident,” Ahmed told reporters at the presidential palace after Monday’s meeting.

Ghazi Saladdin, a senior presidential adviser, said al-Bashir insisted that Gibbons had a “fair trial,” but he agreed to pardon her because of the efforts by the British Muslim delegation.

Original Link.