Archive for June 15th, 2011

“Iran a Few Weeks away from Having the Bomb” by Todd Strandberg

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

For the past several years, the International Community has been very concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. With all the unrest in the Middle East, everyone seems to have lost track of this danger. A new report by the RAND Corporation has sounded the alarm, saying the Iranian regime is closer than ever to creating a nuclear bomb.

Researcher Gregory S. Jones has looked at the uranium enrichment data, and he estimates that Tehran could have enough for its first bomb within seven weeks. According to Jones, Iran has produced a large quantity of uranium enriched at about 20 percent of the isotopes used in a bomb. If its centrifuges continue to work at the current capacity, it will take just under two months for the Iranian regime to produce the 20 kg of uranium enriched to 90 percent required for the production of a nuclear weapon.

Another troubling observation by Jones is our inability to stop Iran’s progress. He said airstrikes and sabotage can no longer stop their nuclear program. The U.S. would have to send in ground troops to prevent the Iranians from building a bomb. With our forces already busy with four other conflicts, this option is highly unlikely.

Any mention of an Iranian nuclear bomb has long been a taboo subject in Iran. The finish line must now be in their sight because Tehran is starting to speak openly about the day it will become a nuclear power. The following quote appeared on the Gerdab website, run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards:

Today is a normal day like any other. Like 90% of the year, there is news about Iran, and these are the headlines which can be seen on foreign news sites:

Reuters: Iran detonated its nuclear bomb
CNN: Iran detonated nuclear bomb
Al-Jazeera: The second Islamic nuclear bomb was tested
Al-Arabia: The Shia nuclear bomb was tested
Yahoo! News: Nuclear explosion in Iran
Jerusalem Post: Mullahs obtained nuclear weapon
Washington Post: Nuclear explosion in Iran, Shock and despair in Tel Aviv

I would really love to know what the Israeli government is thinking right now. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that Iran should never be permitted to develop nuclear weapons. In his May 24, 2011, speech before the United States Congress, he gave this warning:

A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world. I want you to understand what this means. They could put the bomb anywhere. They could put it on a missile. It could be on a container ship in a port, or in a suitcase on a subway. P> One only needs to look at North Korea to see how nuclear technology can embolden a rogue state. With no provocation, the North Koreans recently torpedoed a submarine and shelled an island, both belonging to North Korea’s southern neighbor. The U.S. and South Korea did nothing because they knew the North had about a dozen nuclear bombs, and they feared what would happen if they fired back. The problem with placating an aggressor is that it creates a series of escalations that eventually ends with open warfare.

What makes Iran so dangerous is that it has frequently called for the destruction of Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must hold the record for the number of times the head of state has made threats against another nation.

He is in a special class of crazy because he is so dedicated to the annihilation of Israel that he’s willing to suffer the total destruction of Iran to achieve this goal. When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev went to China to meet with Mao Zedong, he had planned to work out a deal that would provide China with nuclear technology. Mao told Khrushchev that they should use their nuclear weapons to advance communism even if it meant that millions of their citizens would die in the process. Khrushchev was so horrified by Mao’s recklessness, he left the country on the third day of a planned seven-day visit. Here we are, 50 years later, and the leaders in Moscow have zero concern about assistance they are providing to a nation that would gladly use the bomb to vaporize Israel.

My hope is that Jones is wrong in his assessment and that Israel or the U.S. still has time to act. Since the existence of the Jewish state is at stake here, I just can’t imagine that Netanyahu doesn’t have a plan of action. I still expect to wake up some morning to news of a surprise bombing campaign by the Israeli Air Force.

An Israeli attack or a nuclear test by Iran would totally transform the last-days landscape. The consequences will be so calamitous the global community will deeply regret having failed to taken preventive action against Iran.

“Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door” (NLT Mat. 24:33).

— Todd

Original Link.

California School District Cancels Fundraiser After Submission of Scripture-Inscribed Bricks

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

In yet another example of bigotry, bias and outright hostility to Christians, a California school district has gone as far as to cancel a fundraising event, in order to shut out Christian free speech. Read about it below.

A California school district has canceled a fundraising program featuring memorial bricks, scuttling proceeds of $45,000, after two women submitted Bible verses in their tributes.

The two women, Lou Ann Hart and Sheryl Caronna, had filed a court complaint in January against the Desert Sands Unified School District after the district blocked them from placing the Bible verses on bricks to be installed in walkways at Palm Desert High School in Palm Desert, Calif., about 10 miles east of Palm Springs. The women sought an injunction against the district to compel it to allow the scripture bricks.

Instead, school district officials have decided to rescind the fundraiser and refund money of every community group or individual who purchased a memorial brick, according to a court filing last week with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The move has angered advocates of religious freedom in the public sphere.

“Christians should be allowed to express themselves on public school campuses just like everyone else,” David Cortman, an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a written statement. Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian organization, initiated the lawsuit for Hart and Caronna.

“It is cowardly to shut down everyone’s participation in this program simply out of animosity toward Christian speech,” Cortman said. “There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about a Bible verse on a brick when a school opens up a program for anyone to express a personal message. The school could simply have allowed the Bible verses, but instead, it chose to punish everyone.”

Hundreds of other messages had been accepted for the bricks, Cortman’s organization said, including inspirational and religious themes, such as a quote from Mahatma Gandhi and a Bible quotation — “Yes, it is possible” — written in Spanish.

Hart, of Palm Desert, and Caronna, of Rancho Mirage, were informed after submitting their bricks that they would not be included because the religious content risked an unconstitutional establishment of religion, Alliance Defense Fund officials said.

According to the court complaint, the bricks were offered in two sizes and prices: 4 inches by 8 inches for $100 and 8 inches by 8 inches for $250. Alliance Defense Fund officials told FoxNews.com a total of $45,000 was raised as a result of the sales.

Desert Sands Unified School District officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment. Robert Hicks, the school’s new principal effective on July 1, told FoxNews.com in an email that he was unable to comment.

According to last week’s filing, district officials agreed to provide a copy of guidelines to be used for approval of any future memorial bricks within the next two years at any school within the district.

In February 2010, the school’s parent-teacher organization announced the fundraiser, which was later approved by the school and the district. No limitations were given at the time as to the content of the messages, which were to be used to “create a legacy, commemorate a special event or given recognition to various entities,” according to Alliance Defense Fund.

Peter Lepiscopo, a San Diego-based attorney who served as local counsel on the matter, confirmed during a brief phone interview late Monday that the case had been finalized last week.

“The case has been settled,” he said.

Asked if the fundraiser is expected to be launched again, Lepiscopo replied: “We’ll see at this point.”

Original Link.

Also see “What Does the U.S. Constitution Actually Say About Religion?”

“CONTROVERSY ERUPTS OVER CLOSING OF YIISA” by Fern Sidman

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The hallowed halls of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut were rocked with controversy last week when it was announced that a well respected scholarly program called the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) was scheduled to be terminated. In a statement issued by the iconic ivy league institution, Donald Green, a political science professor at Yale and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies said that the decision was predicated upon YIISA “generating little scholarly work that earned publication in highly regarded journals, and its courses attracted few students”. Citing the Center for the Study of Race, Inequality and Politics as another example of an “underachieving program”. Dr. Green said that “YIISA suffered the same fate because it failed to meet high standards for research and instruction”.

These allegations have been zealously disputed by a veritable repertioire of top-tier academics, Jewish leaders and political commentators who have suggested that the university acquiesced to the strongly worded critiques of YIISA programs by leading Muslim personalities and organizations. Referencing the seminal and highly enlightening 2010 YIISA sponsored conference entitled, “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity,” Abby Wisse Schachter writes in a New York Post op-ed piece of June 7th that studying “Christian anti-Semitism is fine; political Jew-hatred, like communist or fascist anti-Semitism, no problem. But get anywhere near Muslim or Middle Eastern anti-Semitism, as presenters at YIISA’s conference did last year, and you’ve crossed the line.”

Schachter also imputes a conspiratorial tone to the decision to shut YIISA’s doors by reporting that subsequent to the conference, “the PLO representative in America scolded the school’s president, Richard Levin, complaining of the attention paid to anti-Semitism among Palestinians and Muslims.” The PLO “ambassador” in question, Maen Rashid Areikat expressed his umbrage to Levin in a letter saying, “It’s shocking that a respected institution like Yale would give a platform to these right-wing extremists and their odious views. I urge you to publicly dissociate yourself and Yale University from the anti-Arab extremism and hate-mongering that were on display during this conference.”

The conference addressed the virulent nature of Islamic anti-Semitism, considered by experts in the field to be the most pernicious manifestation of modern-day global antipathy. Anti-Semitism in the Western academy was also meticulously examined and hundreds of pages of research materials were produced.

Led by the renowned sociologist Charles Small, YIISA was established in 2006 as the largest research unit in North America devoted to a nuanced exploration of anti-Semitism in its various incarnations with a focus on its urgent contemporary significance. Its clearly defined stated mission was “to explore this subject matter in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary framework from an array of approaches and perspectives as well as regional contexts.”

Each year, respected scholars who have published monographic studies on anti-Semitism have gathered for YIISA sponsored colloquiums. Among those scholars attached to YIISA programs include Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, David Hirsh of Goldsmiths College in London, Phyllis Chesler, emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at the City University of New York and Bassam Tibi, emeritus professor of international relations at the University of Goettingen.

The Jerusalem Post’s deputy managing editor Caroline Glick states in a June 9th article entitled, “Yale, Jews and Double Standards” that, “politics were in all likelihood the decisive factor in the decision” to close YIISA and adds that, “like nearly all university campuses in the US, Yale is dominated by the political Left.” Pointing to a possible causal relationship between YIISA’s programs and a boycott imposed upon Yale, Ms. Glick writes, “In January 2010, Iran announced that it was instituting a boycott of 60 institutions. Yale was among them. Although the regime did not explain the reason for the boycott, university officials attributed Tehran’s decision to YIISA’s activities in spotlighting the regime’s role in promoting genocidal anti-Semitism. Due to the boycott, Yale professors involved in research in Iran were forced to end their activities. These professors reportedly blamed YIISA rather than Iran for the cancellation of their research projects.”

Ms. Schachter of the New York Post corroborates Yale’s affinity with the Iranian regime by saying that in 2009 “a lecturer at Yale’s new Jackson Center for Global Affairs (Hillary Mann Leverett) took her graduate students to New York to visit with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad explained to the students that there is no hard scientific proof that the Holocaust happened.”

As a participant at various YIISA conferences, Dr. Phyllis Chesler calls the closing “a tragedy” and remarks in a June 13th article entitled, “Islam and Anti-Semitism at Yale” that appeared on the FrontPage Mag web site, “Yale has rendered racism respectable, has contributed to the academic isolation of scholars of contemporary anti-Semitism, and snuffed out truth-telling, genuine dissent, free speech, and academic freedom. This will be a permanent stain on Yale and on American academia.” Also offering realistic explanations for motivations behind Yale’s decision, Dr. Chesler said, “There is one other reason that Yale felt it could get away with shutting YIISA down. For nearly 50 years, Arab, Saudi, and Palestinian money men have patiently, carefully, silently, funded the American professoriate and media.”

Elaborating on this notion was Alex Joffe, who, in an June 13th article titled, “Anti-Semitism and Man at Yale”, said, “Yale has long been seeking support from wealthy Arab donors..In particular, it has wooed Saudi Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal, who in 2005 gave $20 million apiece to Harvard and Georgetown for Islamic-studies programs. (Yale, which competed vigorously for the prize, made it to the final round.) Spotlighting the authentic “educational” agenda of Muslim nations and rulers, Mr. Joffe adds, “true to their donors’ intent, such academic programs are faithful disseminators of the “narrative” of Muslim victimization. In the same connection, it should likewise be borne in mind that in 2009, alerted to the imminent publication by its own press of a scholarly book on the Danish-cartoons controversy, the Yale administration summarily intervened to yank images of the cartoons from the final product—on the grounds that their appearance might elicit “violence.”

Jewish organizations also weighed in on the decision to close YIISA. David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee said, “We hope Yale will review this unfortunate decision so that YIISA’s critical work can continue. In our experience working with YIISA, AJC has been impressed by the level of scholarly discourse, the involvement of key faculty, and the initiative’s ability, through conferences and other programs, to bring a wide range of voices to the Yale campus.”

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith offered a rueful observation of Yale’s decision by saying, “Especially at a time when anti-Semitism continues to be virulent and anti-Israel parties treat any effort to address issues relating to anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as illegitimate, Yale’s decision is particularly unfortunate and dismaying.”

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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.