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The Fern Sidman Commentaries:

It has been an exciting week here in the Big Apple. In the spirit of freedom of speech, New York City was the site for the UN sponsored convocation of worldwide terrorists to espouse their demonic views. As we know, diplomatic immunity was granted to the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjehad and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

New York City had just concluded its remembrance of the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that saw the destruction of the World Trade Center and the commemoration of close to 3,000 lives that were snuffed out on that day by the ilk of terrorists whose philosophy bears close resemblance to those who took the rostrum at the UN.

While attempting to tone down his usual incendiary rhetoric, Ahmadinejad took aim the United States for spearheading a campaign of international sanctions against Iran for its uranium enrichment program and its development of a nuclear arsenal. In a transcript of Ahmadinjehad’s speech at the UN, published on the National Public Radio web site, he states:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is a member of the IAEA and is committed to the NPT. All our nuclear activities are transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eyes of IAEA inspectors. Why then are there objections to our legally recognized rights? Which governments object to these rights? Governments that themselves benefit from nuclear energy and the fuel cycle. Some of them have abused nuclear technology for non-peaceful ends including the production of nuclear bombs, and some even have a bleak record of using them against humanity.

Which organization or Council should address these injustices? Is the Security Council in a position to address them? Can it stop violations of the inalienable rights of countries? Can it prevent certain powers from impeding scientific progress of other countries?

The abuse of the Security Council, as an instrument of threat and coercion, is indeed a source of grave concern.

Some permanent members of the Security Council, even when they are themselves parties to international disputes, conveniently threaten others with the Security Council and declare, even before any decision by the Council, the condemnation of their opponents by the Council. The question is: what can justify such exploitation of the Security Council, and doesn’t it erode the credibility and effectiveness of the Council? Can such behavior contribute to the ability of the Council to maintain security?"

Moreover, Ahmadinjehad states: "The question needs to be asked: if the Governments of the United States or the United Kingdom who are permanent members of the Security Council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the organs of the UN can take them to account? Can a Council in which they are privileged members address their violations? Has this ever happened? In fact, we have repeatedly seen the reverse. If they have differences with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roles of prosecutor, judge and executioner. Is this a just order? Can there be a more vivid case of discrimination and more clear evidence of injustice?

Regrettably, the persistence of some hegemonic powers in imposing their exclusionist policies on international decision making mechanisms, including the Security Council, has resulted in a growing mistrust in global public opinion, undermining the credibility and effectiveness of this most universal system of collective security."

In this clear reference to the United States as the chief opponent of nuclear development in Iran, Ahmadinjehad excoriates the United States for the development and use of nuclear weapons and refers to its support of other countries that have developed these weapons as well. It is time to make a clear distinction. While it is futile to debate the moral issue of nuclear weapon development, the United States and other countries that have this weaponry do not have the same track record of President Ahmadinjehad. He is a terrorist. His lexicon and vernacular are replete with promises to destroy the western world, and his most venomous words are aimed at his arch nemesis, Israel.

Ahmadinjehad’s track record deserves closer examination. According to journalist Joseph Farah in his report posted on September 20, 2006, on the World Net Daily web site, Ahmadinjehad’s hands are not free of blood. He states the following facts concerning the terrorist past of the Iranian President:

  • He has been identified by at least six U.S. hostages as a ringleader in the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover.
  • He has been identified by former Iranian President Bani Sadr as Ayatollah Khomeini’s liaison with the hostage takers.
  • He’s been accused of the murder of Kurdish leader Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou in Vienna by officials in Austria who say they have compelling evidence and want an arrest warrant sworn for him.
  • As mayor of Tehran, he was one of the principal forces behind a campaign to recruit and train suicide bombers specifically to attack the U.S., Israel and Britain.
So much for the man who stands before the world at the United Nations and speaks of such lofty concepts of peace, justice, love and equality. He states: "Today, humanity passionately craves commitment to the Truth, devotion to God, quest for Justice and respect for the dignity of human beings. Rejection of domination and aggression, defense of the oppressed, and longing for peace constitute the legitimate demand of the peoples of the world, particularly the new generations and the spirited youth, who aspire a world free from decadence, aggression and injustice, and replete with love and compassion. The youth have a right to seek justice and the Truth; and they have a right to build their own future on the foundations of love, compassion and tranquility."

While these words play well in front of the cameras, they are in stark contrast to the normally jingoistic and hateful statements he had made in the last two years. His hatred for the western world, and the United States in particular is common knowledge. His demonization of the forces of democracy and justice are well known. His vituperative against all non-Muslims and the labeling of these people as satanic is the cornerstone of his agenda. The term "Islamofascist" has become a rather ubiquitous one as of late, as we hear President Bush make use of it on some occasions. If anyone in this world could be named as the international leader of this ominous movement and philosophy, Ahmadinejad would be the leading contender.

Referring to the United States in his speech at the UN, Ahmadinejad says: "Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometers away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil and other resources and strategic routes, while others are bombarded daily in their own homes; their children murdered in the streets and alleys of their own country and their homes reduced to rubble."

He also said, Occupation of countries, including Iraq, has continued for the last three years. Not a day goes by without hundreds of people getting killed in cold blood. The occupiers are incapable of establishing security in Iraq. Despite the establishment of the lawful Government and National Assembly of Iraq, there are covert and overt efforts to heighten insecurity, magnify and aggravate differences within Iraqi society, and instigate civil strife. There is no indication that the occupiers have the necessary political will to eliminate the sources of instability. Numerous terrorists were apprehended by the Government of Iraq, only to be let loose under various pretexts by the occupiers. It seems that intensification of hostilities and terrorism serves as a pretext for the continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq."

Concerning Ahmadinejad’s position on Israel and the Jews, it couldn’t be clearer. Joseph Farah enumerates these words for us:
  • Oct. 26, 2005: "There is no doubt that the new wave (of terrorist attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this disgraceful blot (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world. ...As the imam (Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic revolution) said, Israel must be wiped off the map. Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, (while) any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."
  • Dec. 8, 2005: "Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps. Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned. … Let’s assume what the Europeans say is true. ...Let’s give some land to the Zionists in Europe or in Germany or Austria. They faced injustice in Europe, so why do the repercussions fall on the Palestinians?"
  • Dec. 14, 2005: "Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets. If you (Europeans) committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price? You have to pay the compensation yourself. This is our proposal: Give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country."
  • Jan. 5, 2006: “We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It’s a universal ideology that leads the world to justice. We must prepare ourselves to rule the world, and the only way to do that is to put forth views on the basis of the Expectation of the Return. If we work on the basis of the Expectation of the Return [of the Mahdi], all the affairs of our nation will be streamlined and the administration of the country will become easier."
  • Jan. 14, 2006: "They have created a myth in the name of the Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets."
  • Feb. 11, 2006: “I ask everybody in the world not to let a group of Zionists who failed in Palestine to insult the prophet. Now in the West insulting the prophet is allowed, but questioning the Holocaust is considered a crime. We ask, why do you insult the prophet? The response is that it is a matter of freedom, while in fact they are hostages of the Zionists. And the people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages to Zionists. We ask the West to remove what they created 60 years ago, and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them. Do the removal of Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
  • April 14, 2006: "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm. Believe that Palestine will be freed soon."
  • July 15, 2006: “Their (Israel’s) methods resemble Hitler’s. When Hitler wanted to launch an attack, he came up with a pretext. Zionists say they are Hitler’s victims, but they have the same nature as Hitler."
  • Aug. 1, 2006: “They (Israelis) know no limitations or boundaries at all any more for killing people. Are these people still human beings or just a bunch of bloodthirsty savages? They have made all notorious criminals in the world get a good reputation again."
  • Ahmadinejad’s words at the United Nations were not as candid as his aforementioned statements, however, without referring to Israel by name he said: "The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the Second World War. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that War, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants; it was placed under the control of some of the War survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world, who had not been even affected by the Second World War; and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness. This is a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps, and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land. Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?

    The pretexts for the creation of the regime occupying Al-Qods Al-Sharif are so weak that its proponents want to silence any voice trying to merely speak about them, as they are concerned that shedding light on the facts would undermine the raison d’être of this regime, as it has. The tragedy does not end with the establishment of a regime in the territory of others. Regrettably, from its inception, that regime has been a constant source of threat and insecurity in the Middle East region, waging war and spilling blood and impeding the progress of regional countries, and has also been used by some powers as an instrument of division, coercion, and pressure on the people of the region. Reference to these historical realities may cause some disquiet among supporters of this regime. But these are sheer facts and not myth. History has unfolded before our eyes.

    Worst yet, is the blanket and unwarranted support provided to this regime. Just watch what is happening in the Palestinian land. People are being bombarded in their own homes and their children murdered in their own streets and alleys. But no authority, not even the Security Council, can afford them any support or protection. Why?

    At the same time, a government is formed democratically and through the free choice of the electorate in a part of the Palestinian territory. But instead of receiving the support of the so-called champions of democracy, its Ministers and Members of Parliament are illegally abducted and incarcerated in full view of the international community.

    Which council or international organization stands up to protect this brutally besieged Government? And why can’t the Security Council take any steps?"
While Ahmadinejad reviles Israel, without even acknowledging its existence, he carefully omits mentioning the terrorist actions of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations. He is a clever terrorist who uses the power of words to change the victim into the aggressor and the aggressor into the victim. He chides the world for not condemning Israel and suggests that the UN is under the thumb of the United States, who is Israel’s chief supporter. He couches his rhetoric is palatable terms that can be embraced by the proponents of “peace” in the universe known as the academia and the media.

In response to Ahmadinjehad’s speech at the UN, over 20,000 people attended a protest rally opposite the UN organized by a multitude of Jewish organizations, ranging from the left wing Meretz party to the right wing Agudath Israel party. Speakers at the rally included Israeli Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni, US Ambassador John Bolton, New York State Governor George Pataki, Holocaust survivor and author Eli Wiesel and human rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz. According to a report from Arutz Sheva, "Also attending the rally and issuing emotional pleas for the release of their captive family members were Carmit Goldwasser, wife of Ehud Goldwasser, and Benny Regev, brother of Eldad Regev 'both being held by Hezbullah after being abducted at the beginning of the recent war.'"

Arutz Sheva also reported that Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein said that, "he doubted that any of the rally’s speakers would issue calls for an attack on Iran to prevent the Islamic republic from attaining nuclear capability, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised the UN it would continue to pursue." Hoenlein also said that, "the purpose of the rally is to show solidarity with Israel and to demand the release of the MIAs. Leaders of the world meeting across the street will have a hard time not hearing our message and Ahmadinejad will know that his threats to wipe out Israel are unacceptable. The US is obligated to let him into the country, but we are obligated to let him know what we think."

Little is gained in bemoaning the fact that rallies of this nature are totally ineffective. They receive very little or no media coverage and the placid and establishment nature of these rallies do not dissuade the likes of terrorists such as Ahmadinejad and his supporters. While it is commendable that people did take time out to attend this rally and to speak out against terrorism and in support of Israel’s kidnapped soldiers, there is no ongoing campaign in the American Jewish community to dramatically spotlight the issues confronting the State of Israel and the Jewish people. There is no organization that has devised and is willing to implement a ceaseless and relentless effort to vociferously counter threats against world Jewry.

If this wasn’t enough to digest for one day, the international body ostensibly dedicated to world peace, the United Nations also presented to the world, the words of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. As we know, Chavez is a key member of the troika of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He endorses the brutal and tyrannical regime of Fidel Castro and provides support and succor to Iranian interests.

When he took the stage, Mr. Chavez stunned delegates at the UN General Assembly by calling Mr. Bush "the devil himself" and saying he left the smell of sulfur hanging in the chamber from his appearance the previous day. He also said that Bush was trying to take over the whole world. According to a report by CBS News in New York, "At the start of his talk Wednesday, during which Chavez referred to President Bush as 'the devil', Chavez held up a book by Noam Chomsky, 'Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance,' and recommended it to everyone in the General Assembly, as well as to the American people. 'The people of the United States should read this ... instead of watching Superman movies,' Chavez later told reporters. As of Thursday afternoon, 'Hegemony or Survival,' originally published in 2003, had jumped into the top 10 of Amazon and Barnes & Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt, has ordered an additional paperback printing of 25,000 copies."

Isn’t it interesting that Chavez cites Jewish leftist, Noam Chomsky, the 77 year-old linguist and MIT professor who has been a long standing opponent of US foreign policy and classic Israel basher. It is noteworthy to mention that the decline of President Bush’s credibility in the world has been lead by Jewish liberals and leftists, "peaceniks" of all stripes. Isn’t it telling that one of the world’s greatest despots, Hugo Chavez reveres the philosophy of a Jewish anarchist?

Chavez’s views on Israel are in sync with that of his political partner, Ahmadinejad. His flagrant condemnations of Israel were fast and furious during the summer war in Lebanon and he was quick to recall his ambassadors in Israel. According to a news report of August 7, 2006 Chavez renewed his criticism of Israel’s military offensive in Lebanon, calling it a "new Holocaust." Chavez’s comments in his weekly radio and TV broadcast came three days after he said he was recalling Venezuela’s top diplomat to Israel to express his government’s indignation over Israeli attacks in Lebanon and its actions toward Palestinians. "Israel has gone mad," Chavez said. "They are massacring children, and no one knows how many are buried," he added, accusing Israel of being guilty of a "new Holocaust" and the "terrorist" U.S. government of complicity.

And while we’re on the topic of Jewish leftists, it would appear that Iranian President Ahmadinjehad will have further opportunity to espouse his anti-American and anti-Israel hatred. He has now been invited to spew forth his vitriolic views at Columbia University in New York City. According to a report in the New York Sun, of September 21, 2006, it states: "Columbia University has invited the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to give a speech tomorrow at the Morningside campus, Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, announced late last night. Mr. Bollinger in a statement said he did not invite the president himself but learned yesterday that his university had extended the invitation to Mr. Ahmadinejad, who is in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly. It’s not certain, however, that the president will attend a world leaders academic summit that is taking place at the school. Because of the short notice, Mr. Bollinger said he couldn’t be sure that high-level security arrangements would be put in place in time. Columbia’s offer to the president, a Holocaust denier with nuclear ambitions who was labeled by Israel’s foreign minister yesterday as the greatest threat to the world’s values, is sure to re-ignite protest at a campus that was rocked by a controversy over its anti-Israel professors less than two years ago."

Columbia’s last-minute offer to Mr. Ahmadinejad was evidently made under secrecy and confusion. Last night, Columbia’s vice president for public affairs, Susan Brown, denied that the invitation had been extended, saying it was "rumors, rumors, rumors." Mr. Bollinger released a statement about it just before midnight.

The report goes on to say that, "Although he said he strongly disagreed with Mr. Ahmadinejad’s views, Mr. Bollinger said he would not stop him from speaking at the university’s world leaders forum, which began this week and whose top-billed speakers had been the prime ministers of Croatia and Papua New Guinea.

"I happen to find many of President Ahmadinejad’s stated beliefs to be repugnant, a view that I’m sure is widely shared within our university community," Mr. Bollinger said. "So whether or not all of the special arrangements needed for such a visit can be made in this unusually short period of time, I have no doubt that Columbia students and faculty would use an open exchange to challenge him sharply and are fully capable of reaching their own conclusions."

The invitation comes a day after Mr. Ahmadinejad told the General Assembly that Israel’s creation was "a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history" and that the Jewish nation "has been a constant source of threat and insecurity in the Middle East region, waging war and spilling blood and impeding the progress of regional countries, and has also been used by some powers as an instrument of division, coercion, and pressure on the people of the region."

There is no question that Columbia University is a hotbed of anti-Israel and anti-American sentiment. It has become the haven for various and sundry Jew haters and Israel bashers to promulgate their theories, all under the guise of freedom of speech and academic freedom. It has on its roster an entire panoply of anti-Israel professors. Columbia University has the dubious distinction of hosting an array of Jew haters, Holocaust denier and detractors of Israel. Several months ago notorious Jewish anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Prof. Norman Finkelstein graced the university with his presence at the invitation of both Jewish leftists and Arab students.

And there we have it. A neat, little recap of the day that the terrorists came to New York. As the hours approach before the onset of the Rosh HaShana holiday, as we prepare ourselves for the day of judgment, we can only look to the Almighty G-d of Israel for protection during these most dangerous times. We beseech the Almighty to inscribe us in the Book of Life, as we attempt to make amends for past misdeeds and we chant our fervent supplications to G-d to give us the strength and temerity and wisdom to battle our enemies. We ask that He give us the opportunity to return to His Torah, as we gird our loins and prepare to defend our faith.

Now is the time to storm the gates of Heaven with our most fervent and heartfelt prayers. Now is time to glorify the name of the Creator of the Universe and to fulfill our mission in this world.

May this Rosh HaShana be the beginning of the era of redemption and may we merit to be the harbingers of the coming of our righteous Messiah speedily in our days.

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