Archive for March 26th, 2008

Group Honors Indited Abortionist George Tiller at NEA’s National Headquarters

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

If there was ever an indication of how liberal the National Education Association has become, this certainly shows it.

The National Education Association is being denounced for hosting an event honoring infamous abortionist George Tiller who is facing 19 criminal charges for performing illegal late-term abortions.

George Tiller, a man many pro-lifers call “Tiller the baby killer,” received a standing ovation at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference held recently at the NEA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. During his talk, Tiller attempted to justify his work by showing the approving audience pictures of babies he had aborted who had fetal abnormalities. The Feminist Majority Foundation then announced it was launching a new campaign designed to keep Tiller’s Wichita, Kansas, abortion mill open.

The activist’s husband, who is a teacher, had written the NEA about its hosting of the conference and its guest speaker. According to Hawkins, the NEA responded that it sometimes allows “likeminded groups” to use the building for a small fee or no charge at all. “So they’re classifying the Feminist Majority Foundation as a likeminded group,” she points out. “Now this is an extreme pro-abortion organization.”

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“Two Temples, But No Jews???” by Jack Kinsella

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

The Jerusalem Post ran a story this week about the long lines of tourists forced to wait in line for an hour or more before being allowed to visit Temple Mount.

“In a scene that has replayed itself over the last couple of weeks, the queue for non-Muslims to enter the site on Sunday morning stretched from the entrance to the compound at the Mughrabi Gate, adjacent to the Western Wall, all the way past the Dung Gate,” the paper reported.

According to Israel, the Temple Mount, currently occupied by the al Aqsa Mosque, is really the site of the threshing floor purchased from Araunah for fifty shekels of silver by King David of Israel.” (2nd Samuel 24:24)

But according to the Arabs, there was never a Jewish presence on Temple Mount prior to the construction of the al Aqsa Mosque by the Umayyads in 710 AD.

The structure has been rebuilt at least five times; it was entirely destroyed at least once by earthquakes. The last major rebuild was in 1035.

When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, Al-Aqsa became the headquarters of the Templars until it was recaptured in 1187 by Saladin. It remained in Muslim hands from 1187 until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

When the British captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Faisal al-Husseini, declared the al-Aqsa Mosque the ‘third holiest site in Islam’, claiming that it was ‘the furtherest mosque’ referred to by the Koran as the place where Mohammed ascended into heaven.

According to popular myth, the mosque had always been so regarded, but its very construction argues against it. Among Caliph Omar ib Khattib’s, (who captured Jerusalem in 638) advisors was a converted Jew named Ka’ab El Akhbar.

He proposed the mosque be built on the northern side of the Temple Mount so that worshippers could worship at the mosque while facing both the Mosque and Mecca.

Omar rejected the proposal as an attempt at “Judaizing” Islam and the mosque was subsequently built in the south, where the present-day el Aqsa stands.

Its construction forces worshippers turn their backs to the mosque in order to face Mecca.

In addition, the inside of the al-Aqsa mosque is ringed with verses from the Koran. The one verse NOT found among them is the one about the ‘Night Journey’ where Mohammed ascended into heaven from the furtherest mosque.

Finally, during the thousand-year Islamic occupation of the Holy Land, the city of Jerusalem, allegedly the third holiest city in Islam, languished, forgotten in its little corner of the Ottoman Empire.

In all those centuries, through a succession of Muslim conquerers, not once was Jerusalem ever elevated to the status of even a provincial capital.

It occupies no special place in Islamic history, was given no special status, and, until it was captured by the British, was simply another city in the Ottoman province of Southern Syria.

These three facts combine to provide strong evidence that the Muslims had not associated the al-Aqsa mosque with the ‘furtherest mosque’ until long after its construction in the 7th century.

That is one version of history, and it is the version that existed for about a thousand years.

The other version, the one invented by Faisal al-Husseini in 1917, is the version under which the rest of the world is operating.

According to this version, there was never a significant Jewish presence in what the Arabs call Palestine.

There was never a Jewish Temple within the walls of the city, and Israel’s claim is an historical invention designed to allow the Jews to seize control of Arab lands.

By 1967, the revised version was so ingrained in the public psyche that Moshe Dayan surrendered control back to the Muslim Waqf immediately after capturing it in the Six Days War to preempt UN calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the newly-captured West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

In this revised view, Judaism’s holiest site on earth is actually an Islamic holy place under Israeli occupation.

We opened by discussing the long lines of non-Muslim tourists this year waiting for their chance to visit the Temple Mount.

The visitors were, for the most part, Christians.

The Jerusalem Post noted that nearly 240,000 non-Jewish tourists were permitted by the Islamic Waqf to visit the Temple Mount this year — an increase of forty percent over last year.

But only 5,200 Jews have been permitted to visit the Temple Mount — and they live there!

Try and see it from the perspective of an observant Jew.

The Temple Mount, purchased by King David as an eternal possession, the site of both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples, a place so holy that, in Jesus’ day, non-Jews who entered the sanctuary were put to death.

Today, anyone can tread the same ground upon which David placed the Ark of the Covenant — except Jews.

If the situation was infuriating before, it is even more infuriating in light of recent archeological discoveries.

On February 28, an excavation in Jerusalem’s Old City of David uncovered bits of pottery and several seals dating to the 8th century BC.

The discovery should have been front page news worldwide; here was incontrovertible evidence of a Jewish presence at precisely the time and place recorded by Scripture. But it barely made the back pages.

That shouldn’t have been too surprising, when one thinks about it. The Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple stands in the middle of Jerusalem for all to see.

Despite its commanding presence, the myth of a late Jewish presence in Jerusalem remains the UN’s default political position.

This week, the dig at the City of David, conducted less than a hundred yards west of Temple Mount, uncovered more remains from Solomon’s First Temple period. The dig first revealed the remains of a magnificent colonnaded street from the Late Roman period (2nd century AD).

The Romans had built a road over the older site, which effectively prevented the site from being looted over the millennia.

Under the road, among the artifacts found at the dig was a personal seal inscribed with the name of its owner, “Netanyahu ben Roush.”

Since it was during the Netanyahu administration that Arafat officially claimed there was never a Jewish historical presence on Temple Mount, finding a seal inscribed with Netanyahu’s name is particularly ironic.

In addition to the personal seal, a vast number of pottery vessels were discovered in the dig, including three jar handles that bear stamped impressions.

An inscription in ancient Hebrew script is preserved on one these impressions and it reads: “[belonging] to the king of Hebron.”

The discovery marks the first time in the history of Jerusalem archeological research that building remains from the First Temple period have been exposed so close to the Temple Mount.

At last! The historical mystery has been solved. The most controversial question of our time has been put to rest. The Jews did not steal Arab land, they reclaimed their ancestral homeland.

Nobody has ever dug up anything with Arafat’s family name on it, but Netanayahu’s Holy Land heritage dates back to the 8th century before Christ.

As I said earlier, this should be front page news! The truth is revealed, and the truth shall set you free!

But it isn’t. And it didn’t.

It isn’t even back page news. Search Google News for the words “1st Temple Period” and there are exactly TWO news reports on the archeological find — and BOTH of them are from the Jerusalem Post.

Think of it! This discovery completely destroys the working principle behind the peace process, which is that Israel was carved out of an Arab country and given to the Jews.

The entire Arab claim rests on the fact the Jews are ‘occupying’ stolen Arab territory.

The claim is accepted by the UN, the EU, the majority of UN member states, and it is a bedrock article of faith to the Islamic world. If true, then Israel owes the Arabs it displaced.

If not, then the Arab claim collapses.

So instead, the world just looks the other way and pretends it doesn’t know any better.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

And the conflict rages on.

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“Scapegoating Israel is Fashionable. Balancing Feminist Sorrows with Israel’s Right to Exist” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

In June of 1982, in the pages of Ms. Magazine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin earned her reputation as a Jewish feminist by writing about anti-Semitism among feminists. She did so by standing on the shoulders of other Jewish feminists who had been wrestling with this “problem without a name” since the early 1970s and whose cries Pogrebin finally heard.

Pogrebin’s article in Ms. Magazine was brave and she was, at the time, both attacked and disbelieved. But she was also respected for writing the piece. By 1991, Pogrebin had expanded her article about Jew-hatred among feminists into a book about Judaism and feminism, Deborah, Golda and Me. The book’s index contains at least 30 references to anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism and the women’s movement. There is also a whole chapter titled ”Special Jewish Sorrows and Women and Anti-Semitism.” Since Pogrebin published her book, she has risen to prominence as a spokeswoman for all things Jewish and feminist.

During the same decades, however, Israel’s enemies have successfully made it into a pariah nation. The constant campaign of suicide killings, international boycott campaigns against its scholars, United Nations resolutions, rocket and shooting attacks upon innocent Jewish civilians both in Israel and in the West — all accompanied by a steady drumbeat of propaganda that hardens the heart of the world against Jews, and against Israel—-has transformed the victim Israel into the transgressor/aggressor and villain in the eyes of much of the world. PRESS HERE

[WorldNetDaily]

[The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs]

[Jerusalem Post]

[MSNBC]

It is at precisely this historical moment that Pogrebin has chosen to attack the American Jewish Congress for their campaign to place a pro-Israel ad in the pages of Ms. Magazine: she does so in her latest column in Moment Magazine. PRESS HERE.

[Moment Magazine]

Pogrebin is a founding editor of the original Ms. Magazine and a friend and ally of Gloria Steinem’s. This entire “Ad Affair” must have given Pogrebin a serious headache. She feels she has been “forced” to choose between her feminism and her Zionism, between the preservation of her own feminist legacy and her pro-Israel and pro-Jewish principles.

The AJCongress is a liberal Jewish American organization that finally felt desperate enough about the defamatory anti-Israel propaganda to pay Ms. Magazine $3700.00 to run a neo-feminist pro-Israel ad. Ms. decided not to run the ad, which featured three powerful Israeli women over the headline: “This is Israel.” At this point, the AJCongress was genuinely frustrated and outraged: perhaps they also viewed this as an opportunity to garner headlines which might, in turn, garner funding. Whatever their motives, as a result, on January 15, 2008, the AJCongress held a press conference that challenged Ms.’s decision.

(Full disclosure: I was one of the speakers and letter-writers whose words and ideas Pogrebin characterizes in her column as “hysterical rants.” The others include Blu Greenberg, Susannah Heschel, Francine Klagsbrun, and Cynthia Ozick.) You may read the AJCongress press release, my speech, and see us all on YouTube. PRESS HERE

[American Jewish Congress]
[Pajamas Media]
[YouTube]

Subsequently, The Nation magazine, a far-left, relentlessly anti-Zionist publication which Ms. magazine increasingly resembles where Israel is concerned, accepted the ad—which acceptance, coupled with a phone call from the very influential Pogrebin, apparently settled the matter for the AJCongress. The Congress was apparently unperturbed by the column which Katha Pollitt wrote on February 21st, 2008 for The Nation which mocked both the ad, the Congress, and the press conference. PRESS HERE TO READ POLLITT’S FEBRUARY 08 COLUMN.

[The Nation]

On March 18, 2008, Pogrebin released her column on the internet. It is titled “The Ad War: American Jewish Congress vs. Ms. Magazine.” In it, Pogrebin justifies what Ms. has done and attacks the AJCongress for what they have done. (Only Orwell can fully capture the times in which we live). She concludes that “Ms. was right to reject the ad not just because it was nationalistic but because it violated truth in advertising.”

It seems that Pogrebin has also suffered at the hands of the AJCongress. In her column, Pogrebin describes having worked hard for the Congress in order to create an international Jewish feminist conference in Jerusalem -– only to discover that once the headlines had died down, the Congress had no serious interest in continuing the work. (Those of us who worked on the Women of the Wall struggle experienced a similar frustration).

Thus, I happen to agree with Pogrebin that the AJCongress is not a feminist organization and that it has not supported certain feminist projects for which it has nonetheless claimed credit and solicited funds. But over the years, many feminists have argued that Ms. Magazine has done something similar. Nevertheless, the AJCongress at least finally tried to Do Something, however misguided.

Why should Pogrebin attack and shame them for trying to take a principled stand — and indeed, for daring to potentially offend their own liberal funding base “for love of Zion?” What does Pogrebin gain by defending Ms.’s decision and by quoting only left-feminists (Katha Pollitt, Claire Kinberg, etc.) to support her view? Indeed, over the years, with very few exceptions, the Israel that Ms. Magazine has profiled is the Israel according to Israeli left-feminist critics of Israel.

Playwright David Mamet has written an elegant book titled The Wicked Son, in which he analyzes not only the opportunism and cowardice but the religious hunger gone awry that may account for the ways in which many progressive secular Jewish men savagely critique—or at least spurn—too close an association with Israel or with religious Judaism. He likens this syndrome to that of the “wicked son” at the Passover seder who does not think that the story of Jewish slavery and redemption has anything to do with him.

However, Pogrebin does not fit that mold. She is religious, she is also a Zionist, and she is far from being a self-hating Jew. Therefore, Pogrebin’s left-ward shift , both in general and in her column is even more troubling: it is certainly more heartbreaking to me. Pogrebin may not believe that her current ideological point of view has deadened her to certain “Jewish Sorrows.” But, based on Pogrebin’s column, one may conclude that Israel’s life-and-death struggle has nothing to do with Pogrebin. She magnifies serious social inequalities in Israel. (which exist everywhere, even more so in Muslim countries), and minimizes Israel’s unique existential struggle for survival.

In her column, Pogrebin focuses mainly upon the suffering of Israel’s women at the hands of Israeli and Jewish patriarchy. The women are suffering. Pogrebin is not wrong about this. But I despair when her emphasis suggests that only such evils are worthy of her deepest concern. To her, there is no “larger” jihadic war that has targeted Israel, Jews and the West: there is only the war against women waged mainly by: Men? Jewish and Israeli men? American, Republican, war-mongering men?

Please understand: Pogrebin speaks for many American Jewish feminists who may also wish to escape the burden of being associated with an increasingly-defamed Israel, and with an Israel that has, in their eyes, failed to hear the cries of its most vulnerable female citizens.

Such Jewish-left feminists are reluctant to criticize the far greater barbarisms of the Islamic world, including its system of gender and religious apartheid, lest they be viewed as “racists.” But they can and do criticize religious misogyny and violence against women in a demonized Jewish Israel without either risking their reputations or their lives. Indeed, scapegoating tiny Israel for the crimes that are actually indigenous to the larger Islamic world is both safe and quite fashionable.

For the record, let me be very clear: I am not saying that Israel is a feminist paradise. Far from it. And yet: There is a feminist and civil rights movement in Israel which is fighting back. And, Israeli women (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druses), have many more freedoms and opportunities than do their counterparts anywhere in the Arab, Muslim Middle East. As the AJCongress ad points out: The President of the Israeli Supreme Court is a woman, as is the Speaker of the Parliament and the Foreign Minister. While this may not be enough, it’s not just chopped liver either!

But most important: If Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and al-Queda have their way, the secular feminists of Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Negev will all be blown to smithereens, together with their haredi, right-wing opponents. Thus, I implore Pogrebin to think of both dangers at the same time because both surely exist. Let us agree to balance our righteous feminist criticism of Israel with similar criticism of other countries and to “never forget” that such criticism will invariably be used against Israel’s right to exist.

This article is dedicated to Isaac Meyers z’l (may his memory be for a blessing) who was hit by a truck in Cambridge, Massachusetts on his way to an early morning shiva minyan.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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