Living in an a Dystopian America

Image source: BuzzFeed

Whenever I hear Obama and his minions claim that “Islam is the religion of peace,” I cannot help but think the President is utilizing several concepts drawn from writer George Orwell’s famous book, Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this political parable, he writes about how the people of Oceania are trained from childhood to be vigilant in detecting and persecuting anything that the State considers as “evil.” Simply put, the State defines what is good and what is evil. Succumbing to the Party is considered the greatest good; obedience and complicity constitute the “love” of Big Brother.  The State aims to pursue a merging of consciousness, where the State’s will—as defined by Big Brother—becomes the will of the individual.

Slogans play an important part of  the collective indoctrination of the people. Orwell describes an usually fictional language he calls, “Newspeak,” which is a controlled language that is designed to constrict the freedom of thought. Newspeak aims to eliminate concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Contrarian perspectives are typically regarded as “thoughtcrimes”

Big Brother uses another interesting too to enslave the minds of the people called  “Doublespeak.” Simply defined, it is a language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Wherever one goes in this dystopian society, the citizen always encounters the three slogans of the Party that stand out in bold capital letters: 

  • WAR IS PEACE
  • FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
  • IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Orwell intended to warn us about the dangers of people whose visions for a totalitarian utopias, whether political, economic, social, or theocratic. You can see this kind of “political correctness,” our now-passing rage of liberal conformity today. Often as Jews, we can see how the Left is castigating Israel and demonizing anyone who dares to challenge the status quo.

As we look in the present era, 2015, we can see how people who criticize Obama are routinely called “racist” and marginalized through shaming and other not-so-subtle techniques of intimidation. In Hollywood, actors who criticize the President’s agenda often do not receive acting jobs. There is an atmosphere of terror and the ghost of McCarthy  is reminding us that liberalism can be just as fascist as any political philosophy of the ultra-right.

This Orwellian phenomenon can be seen in our country’s universities, wretched parodies of what they are supposed to be, are veritable monuments of newspeak and doublethink.  Yet, as we witness the global rise of ISIS and observe how the Iranian mullahcracy continues to threaten both Israel AND the United States, as they stand at the threshold of developing nuclear arms—our President has the temerity to tell us:

  • ISLAM IS THE  RELIGION OF PEACE!
  • THERE IS NO GLOBAL JIHAD
  • BEWARE OF EXTREMISM

Consistently, Obama has never recognized a “global jihad” is shaping up before the entire Western word to see. Now that ISIS is taking over Libya (as Khadafi warned Hillary and Obama), ISIS is threatening Italy and announced, “: “You have seen us in Syria, now we’re right here, just south of Rome…”[1] Continue reading “Living in an a Dystopian America”

Shirley MacLaine: Aging Without Saging

 Shirley MacLaine is a better actress than she is a philosopher or theologian. Jewish groups are justifiably upset with some comments she penned in her new memoir, “What If… A Lifetime of Questions, Speculations, Reasonable Guesses, and a Few Things I Know For Sure.”

The quote that is generating a lot of criticism suggest, the six million Jews and others who died in the Holocaust were “balancing their karma” by paying for sins in a previous life.  But MacLaine did not stop with just the six-million Jews, or for that matter the other eighteen million people killed by one man’s hatred, she also compared  Stephen Hawking to Jesus, writing that just as Jesus chose martyrdom, Hawking “chose to live” with a debilitating disease.

Gee, that must make the Holocaust survivors along with their children really great knowing that somehow, they “karmically” managed to survive. As  a child of an Auschwitz survivor and as a parent of an ALS child, I take great offense to her words.

Let us briefly examine MacLaine’s comments:

  • What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before, when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the Crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity, soldiers with Hannibal, or those who stormed across the Near East with Alexander? The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee.” (pp. 240-241)

Over twenty-years ago, I encountered this kind of muddled thinking once before.  On one occasion I debated a Religious Science minister who said  something almost identical to MacLaine. The minister claimed that if a young child is raped or mutilated, it is I order to clear the child’s soul of his/her “karmic debt.” The Church of Religious Science is an example of a New Age religion sometime ago in the 1980s—based on the metaphysical theosophical thought of Ernst Holmes. Although Holmes never advocated anything that was even remotely similar to what this minister asserted, many of his disciples seemed to developed this idea on their own.

The popular New Age self-help writer, Louise Hay, author of  the NY Times best-seller “You Can Heal Your Life” maintains that every human being is responsible for creating every circumstance that occurs in one’s life. According to her, all disease comes from a lack of self-love and unwillingness to forgive others. This is true regardless whether you have headaches or hemorrhoids—all disease comes from a failure to “love yourself.”

A Pulitzer prize journalist named Michael D’Antonio wrote about a conversation he had with Hay. Her views on Third World nations and AIDS victims prove to be revealing:

  • People starve amid the “abundance of the universe” because of low self-esteem,” said Hay. “A poor self-image is more damaging than one might expect and attracts the kind of experience that seems appropriate. That’s why, she said, women who are raped are responsible for what happens to them. They attract the rapist because they expect and fear an attack. Similarly, the poor of the world are responsible for their plight, as are those afflicted with AIDS…[1]

In another conversation, D’Antonio commented about Hay’s remarks regarding the Holocaust. She mused that the AIDS victims were the reincarnated souls of the Nazis, who were being paid back for “their crimes against the Jews!”

And the Jews? Well, they too deserved their “karmic fate.” [2]

For Jews, this is nothing new. We have been accused of karmic crimes for a long time. Unfortunately, many of the Christian world’s greatest theological minds—ancient and modern—expressed  ideas that also resonated with MacLaine’s view of karma. After the night of  Dietrich Bonhoeffer became famous for saying on the night of Kristallnacht, ““If the synagogues are set on fire today, it will be the churches that will be burned tomorrow.” But who would imagine him, saying only minutes later to one of his colleagues, “that the Nazis were merely giving what was owed to the Jews. After all, “they nailed the Redeemer of the world to the cross,” they had been forced to bear an eternal curse through a long history of suffering, one that would end only “in the conversion of Israel to Christ”?[3]

Here is one more example of Bonhoeffer’s animus against the Jews:

  • The Church of Christ has never lost sight of the thought that the “chosen people” who nailed the redeemer of the world to the cross must bear the curse for its action through a long history of suffering…. But the history of the suffering of this people, loved and punished by God, stands under the sign of the final homecoming of Israel [the Jews] to its God. And this homecoming happens in the conversion of Israel to Christ…. The conversion of Israel, that is to be the end of the people’s period of suffering. From here the Christian Church sees the history of the people of Israel with trembling, as God’s own, free, fearful way with his people, because God is not yet finished with it. Each new attempt to solve “the Jewish question” comes to naught…[4]

Deicide is not a new accusation, it goes back to the earlier period of Christian history.[5] All of these attempts to explain the suffering of the Jews ignores what I believe to be the only truth worth discussing: Karmic reasons play no role whatsoever in why one people  suffers and not another. When looking at the real causes of human suffering, one thing is clear. Human beings are responsible for the moral evil they perpetuate against other people. Continue reading “Shirley MacLaine: Aging Without Saging”

A Contrast in Leadership: King Abdullah and President Obama

 

 

Some of us have short memories and some of us have long memories. This writer in particular will not ignore two noteworthy events that occurred in the last six months. Both of these events involved ISIS executing its hapless captives. Both of these events present two very different kinds of responses–as different as day and night.

President Obama took to the podium and said some appropriate remarks for the tragic death of the American journalist Tom Foley.

  • They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people. So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just god would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.[1]

What happened next proved to be more important than anything the President said at the podium.  In short, if a picture could tell a thousand words, the images that ensued within four minutes after the President’s speech could fill ten thousand volumes. Within four minutes after leaving the podium, Obama teed-off and could be seen laughing with friends and fist-bumping them during a five-hour round at Farm Neck Golf Course on Martha’s Vineyard  – his seventh 18-holes in ten days.

I cannot recall a president in recent memory who was so oblivious to the pain and shock that the entire nation felt, yet the game of golf had to go on! I can only imagine the European heads of states shaking their heads in disbelief. Putin and ISIS were probably laughing derisively at our President, who forgot about the “optics” of how he looked on camera.

Yes, Mr. Obama, we know why you detest the press.

After discovering how his popularity plummeted in the next several days, President Obama reluctantly admitted, “after the statement that I made, that you know, I should’ve anticipated the optics,” he said.

The second reaction was that of King Abdullah II of Jordan to  news that the Jordanian pilot Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, 27, had been burned alive while confined in a cage.

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah, himself a former general, angrily vowed to pursue ISIS until his military runs “out of fuel and bullets,” in a closed door meeting with U.S. lawmakers that followed the release Wednesday of a grisly video showing a captured Jordanian airman being burned alive in a cage by the terrorist army.[2]

Such resolve, such courage! Who would expect little tiny Jordan to act like the mouse who roared while the most powerful leader of the free world got upset that the world did not see him at his best.

Interestingly, King Abdullah II of Jordan was in the United States when ISIS released the video on the Internet. What did he do? The King immediately cut his trip short in order to return to Jordan to comfort the family of the lost pilot.

Can you—the reader—appreciate the difference between Obama’s and Abdullah’s reaction? I do not think for a minute that King Abdullah worried about the optics—his place was with the victims and with his people.

Winston Churchill has never been one of Obama’s heroes. When Obama first took the White House, one of the first things he did while he was in office was to remove the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and send it back to the British Embassy. The British probably felt surprised at this sign of presidential disrespect, for one never unilaterally returns a gift from a foreign leader!

In retrospect, it is not hard to see why.  Churchill once said: Continue reading “A Contrast in Leadership: King Abdullah and President Obama”

King Faisal–Weizmann Agreement – When the Arabs asked the Jews to return to Israel

Whenever you hear the Palestinian rhetoric, one would get the impression that Jews were nothing more than a European transplant who came over and seized all the Arab lands they could grab. Needless to say, there is much more history to this narrative than most people realize–including our President of the United States. When people ignore history, they change the narrative into the image of their device. Sadly, this has happened way too much in the last 40 + years, but armed with knowledge–we can change the public misconception about the real Arab and Jewish relationship concerning Palestine (as it was called at that time). Here is a fascinating article I think most of you will find enlightening:

Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence (March 1919)

Letter from Emir Feisal (Son of Hussein Bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca | Great grandson of the prophet Muhammad) to Felix Frankfurter, associate of Dr. Chaim Weizmann:

DELEGATION HEDJAZIENNE

Paris Peace Conference

March 3, 1919

Dear Mr. Frankfurter:

I want to take this opportunity of my first contact with American Zionists to tell you what I have often been able to say to Dr. Weizmann in Arabia and Europe.

We feel that the Arabs and Jews are cousins in having suffered similar oppressions at the hands of powers stronger than themselves, and by a happy coincidence have been able to take the first step towards the attainment of their national ideals together. The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. Our deputation here in Paris is fully acquainted with the proposals submitted yesterday by the Zionist Organisation to the Peace Conference, and we regard them as moderate and proper. We will do our best, in so far as we are concerned, to help them through: we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home.

With the chiefs of your movement, especially with Dr. Weizmann, we have had and continue to have the closest relations. He has been a great helper of our cause, and I hope the Arabs may soon be in a position to make the Jews some return for their kindness. We are working together for a reformed and revived Near East, and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is national and not imperialist. Our movement is national and not imperialist, and there is room in Syria for us both. Indeed I think that neither can be a real success without the other.

People less informed and less responsible than our leaders and yours, ignoring the need for cooperation of the Arabs and Zionists, have been trying to exploit the local difficulties that must necessarily arise in Palestine in the early stages of our movements. Some of them have, I am afraid, misrepresented your aims to the Arab peasantry, and our aims to the Jewish peasantry, with the result that interested parties have been able to make capital out of what they call our differences. I wish to give you my firm conviction that these differences are not on questions of principle, but on matters of detail such as must inevitably occur in every contact of neighbouring peoples, and as are easily adjusted by mutual good will. Indeed nearly all of them will disappear with fuller knowledge.

I look forward, and my people with me look forward, to a future in which we will help you and you will help us, so that the countries in which we are mutually interested may once again take their places in the community of civilised peoples of the world.

Believe me,

Yours sincerely,

(Sgd.) Feisal

Letter of reply from Felix Frankfurter to Emir Feisal:

Paris Peace Conference

March 5, 1919

Royal Highness,

Allow me, on behalf of the Zionist Organisation, to acknowledge your recent letter with deep appreciation.

Those of us who come from the United States have already been gratified by the friendly relations and the active cooperation maintained between you and the Zionist leaders, particularly Dr. Weizmann. We knew it could not be otherwise; we knew that the aspirations of the Arab and the Jewish peoples were parallel, that each aspired to re-establish its nationality in its own homeland, each making its own distinctive contribution to civilisation, each seeking its own peaceful mode of life.

The Zionist leaders and the Jewish people for whom they speak have watched with satisfaction the spiritual vigour of the Arab movement. Themselves seeking justice, they are anxious that the just national aims of the Arab people be confirmed and safeguarded by the Peace Conference. We knew from your acts and your past utterances that the Zionist movement — in other words the national aim of the Jewish people — had your support and the support of the Arab people for whom you speak. These aims are now before the Peace Conference as definite proposals by the Zionist Organisation. We are happy indeed that you consider these proposals “moderate and proper,” and that we have in you a staunch supporter for their realisation.

For both the Arab and the Jewish peoples there are difficulties ahead — difficulties that challenge the united statesmanship of Arab and Jewish leaders. For it is no easy task to rebuild two great civilisations that have been suffering oppression and misrule for centuries. We each have our difficulties we shall work out as friends, friends who are animated by similar purposes, seeking a free and full development for the two neighbouring peoples. The Arabs and Jews are neighbours in territory; we cannot but live side by side as friends.

Very respectfully,

(Sgd.) Felix Frankfurter

PART 3

Agreement Between Emir Feisal and Dr. Weizmann

Faisal–Weizmann Agreement

3 January 1919

His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, representing and acting on behalf of the Arab Kingdom of Hedjaz, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann, representing and acting on behalf of the Zionist Organization, mindful of the racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people, and realizing that the surest means of working out the consummation of their natural aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab State and Palestine, and being desirous further of confirming the good understanding which exists between them, have agreed upon the following:

Articles:

Article I

The Arab State and Palestine in all their relations and undertakings shall be controlled by the most cordial goodwill and understanding, and to this end Arab and Jewish duly accredited agents shall be established and maintained in the respective territories.

Article II

Immediately following the completion of the deliberations of the Peace Conference, the definite boundaries between the Arab State and Palestine shall be determined by a Commission to be agreed upon by the parties hereto.

Article III

In the establishment of the Constitution and Administration of Palestine, all such measures shall be adopted as will afford the fullest guarantees for carrying into effect the British Government’s Declaration of the 2nd of November, 1917.

Article IV

All necessary measures shall be taken to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil. In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.

Article V

No regulation or law shall be made prohibiting or interfering in any way with the free exercise of religion; and further, the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall ever be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.

Article VI

The Mohammedan Holy Places shall be under Mohammedan control.

Article VII

The Zionist Organization proposes to send to Palestine a Commission of experts to make a survey of the economic possibilities of the country, and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organization will place the aforementioned Commission at the disposal of the Arab State for the purpose of a survey of the economic possibilities of the Arab State and to report upon the best means for its development. The Zionist Organization will use its best efforts to assist the Arab State in providing the means for developing the natural resources and economic possibilities thereof.

Article VIII

The parties hereto agree to act in complete accord and harmony on all matters embraced herein before the Peace Congress.

Article IX

Any matters of dispute which may arise between the contracting parties hall be referred to the British Government for arbitration. Given under our hand at London, England, the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen

Chaim Weizmann Feisal Ibn-Hussein

Reservation by the Emir Feisal

If the Arabs are established as I have asked in my manifesto of 4 January, addressed to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I will carry out what is written in this agreement. If changes are made, I cannot be answerable for failing to carry out this agreement.

What happened then?
http://www.factualisrael.com/root-cause-conflicts-middle-east/

Kudos to factualisrael.com for their excellent article.

The Culture of Life vs. the Culture of Death

In my opinion, the brilliant 20th century Eric Fromm ranks as one of the greatest psychologists and social prophets of the century. I would also add that Fromm must rank as one of the least appreciated Jewish philosophers of his time as well.

One of Fromm’s greatest theories pertains to two opposite impulses that are struggling for supremacy in the world. He refers to them as necrophilia vs. biophilia. He explains that necrophilia, or the “love of the dead” is an ideation that is attracted to everything that is dead, e.g., corpses, decay, filth, dirt. As an illustration, Fromm mentions how the Nazi concentration camps were dedicated to the industry of death and genocide. Aside from killing the Jew, the Nazi genocide machine aimed to create an atmosphere of filth surrounding the Jew, who seldom ever had the opportunity to bathe. My father once told me that while he was in Auschwitz, he often bathed in the snow to keep his body clean, while the Nazi officers laughed at his behavior. According to Fromm, the goal of necrophilia as political and religious phenomena is to transform everything that is living into death. This culture dedicated to death defined Nazism for the evil scourge it was.

And yet, in our postwar illusions,we never dared to imagine that we would ever see this kind of menace threatening civilization again. It seemed too inconceivable.

But we were wrong—dead wrong.

The continuous attacks on Israelis only proves that the spirit of Nazism is alive and well–even thriving–in the Jihadist world today.

Whereas Nazism always remained a secular political philosophy dedicated to eradicating the world of Jews and other undesirables, today’s Jihadist movement poses a far greater threat to all of civilization because the engines that run its campaign of genocide derives from religion itself. Let us be clear: Jihadism is a death-force that aims to destroy life as we know it for the glorification of Allah, who behaves more like the bloodthirsty deity of the Bible known as Molech.

In fact, it is impossible to differentiate between the two.

Jihadists love saying, “We love death more than you love life”[1]

The worse part of necrophilia is that the people this philosophy affects makes them totally indifferent to life and even attracted to death. This would explain why being a martyr for Islam is so important. In the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians have museums celebrating the sacrifice of his human bombs; museums decorated with Israeli body parts across the wall.

Sounds like a museum made for Freddie Kruger.

The culture of Israel in contrast, corresponds to what Fromm calls, biophilia–the love of life, the attraction to everything that lives and grows. Preserving life and preventing death is one form ofbiophilia. Biophilous tendencies can be much more varied and tend to integrate and unite, to fuse with different and opposite. Biophilia is life that changes, grows, and develops to the changing circumstances of the environment. Fromm believed that for biophilia to emerge, there has to be certain circumstances to enhance its growth, e.g., the absence of injustice, the love of creativity, the presence of freedom, and the spirit to innovate.

Israel’s technological prowess continues to shape the world in new and exciting ways. This past week, Israeli companies announced they have invented a new way to recharge cellphone batteries instantaneously.

Contrast this with the new story about an A Palestinian baby who receives a life-saving bone marrow treatment worth $55,000—paid by an Israeli pediatrician. Most mothers would appreciate someone saving their child’s life, but what does this baby’s mother say?

While waiting for her son’s treatment in the Israeli hospital, Raida says that she would be happy to see her son become a “shahid” – an Islamic martyr for Jerusalem. “Like Arafat said? ‘A million shahids (martyrs) for Jerusalem?” asks the journalist Shlomi Eldar. “More than a million. All of us are for Jerusalem. All of our people,” she replies. “All of us, not just a million, we’re all for Jerusalem. Do you understand?”“Death is a natural thing for us. We’re not afraid to di[e],” Raida continues. From the smallest infant, even younger than Muhammad [her baby son,] to the oldest person, we’d all sacrifice ourselves for Jerusalem. We feel we have the right to it. … It’s heresy to say that Jerusalem isn’t ours.”[2]

In spiritual terms, biophilia encourages people to search for self-awareness, aspirations, and moral growth. Israel continues to develop technologies that improve the fabric of life while the Palestinian culture of death, which worships a god who loves shihads (martyrs) has produced a moral decadence that threatens the peace of humanity.

The time has come for the Palestinians and Israelis to work together and embrace a new paradigm of life that brings prosperity to all of its people.

Instead of putting more pressure to force Israel to  give up their land to a person that is hell bent upon their destruction, we need to put the pressure where it belongs by cutting off aid to the Palestinian government until it ceases its campaign of genocide against Israel and her people.

It is time for our country to do everything in its power to end the Palestinian paradigm of barbarism and savagery instead of rewarding their delinquent behavior with billions of American dollars and moral support.  In the meantime, every American Jew ought to be proud of Israel’s commitment to further the culture of life.

Golda Meir said it best, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

 

 

Welcoming a Real American Hero Home

 

 

This past Friday night, we rejoiced when we heard the news about Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who was finally released from having spent 214 days in a horrible Mexican prison.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this story, Tahmooressi was arrested on March 31 after he made a wrong turn in Mexico. Although he was aware he had entered Mexico with these weapons, he could not make a U-Turn because the flow of traffic did not allow him to do so, since the only turn was located in the farthest lane from where he was driving.  Unfortunately for him, he was carrying three weapons in his truck and this goes against Mexican law.

Little did he realize that he was entering the strange and peculiar reality known as “The Mexican Zone.”

U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Paul Tahmooressi was arrested March 31 after Mexican customs agents in the border city of Tijuana found three weapons in his truck. It is illegal to bring guns into Mexico.

The Mexican government treated him as if he deliberately set out to commit a crime, a crime that would have cost him 21 years in a very dangerous prison. Thanks to FOX news analyst Greta Van Susteren, she and several other people finally convinced a Mexican judge to let him out on humanitarian reasons because he suffered from PTSD.

While he languished in prison, Tahmooressi told his friend Mark Podlaski that he had been severely abused in the Mexican prison. Inmates beat him with a bat and dislocated his jaw. In addition, he was often stripped naked and chained or tightly handcuffed to a bed. As if that were not enough, by the time they finally released him at the end of a four week ordeal,  “he couldn’t even walk, he was crippled from such bad muscle dystrophy and joint pain and not being able to fire the muscles in his body.”

And throughout it all, the President did nothing to rescue this brave and decorated soldier, who spent several tours of duty in Afghanistan. Podlaski and others who knew  Tahmooressi, described him as a “Marine’s Marine.”

According to Jewish ethics, redeeming captives from prison is one of the most important mitzvoth of the Torah. The entire story of the Exodus out of Egypt is based upon this principle. When people face degradation because of their captivity, there is a moral response that every human being is commanded to participate: redeeming captives.

Several months ago, President Obama broke American law and traded several high-ranking members of the Taliban A-Team  in order to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan. As a justification, the President explained his rationale:

  • Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays, and holidays and simple moments with family and friends which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten”— not by his family or his hometown in Idaho, or the military. “And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind..

Any person with a modicum of humanity ought to wonder why the President didn’t ask our friendly neighbor, Mexico, to release Tahmooressi immediately after he was arrested. Yet, this never happened.

The immorality of our President’s behavior ought to fill all of us with disgust and disdain. Although the President met several times with the Mexican President and demand his release.

The Talmud expounded the verse, “You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor” (Lev. 19:16). The Sages teach us:

From where do we know that if a man sees his fellow drowning, mauled by beasts, or attacked by robbers, he is bound to save him? From the verse,  “You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor” (Lev. 19:16). [1]

When it comes to living an ethical life, we must make courageous decisions to get involved. Ignoring someone else’s suffering makes the observer morally guilty of murder. There can be no moral hedging on this matter. It is a pity that our President does not seem to have a moral compass guiding him to do the right and ethical thing.

As Americans and as Jews, we have a moral duty to speak out and tell our leadership that we will never tolerate immoral and evil behavior. If our President is unwilling to act like a mentsch, then the time has come for him to step down and let someone else more competent and just to preside as the leader of the free world.

====

Notes BT Sanhedrin 73a

Torah from Alexandria is now available on Amazon.com!

Dear friends,

It’s hard to believe that the birth of a concept I had when I was about 18, has finally come to fruition! The rest of the series is moving at warp speed and Exodus will be coming out sometime in November or possibly December. It looks to be a longer work, perhaps the longest of the series.

Leviticus will be out around Purim and Numbers will be out in the early spring of 2015. By summer of 2015, Deuteronomy will be out as well.

For anyone who has ever studied the weekly parsha with Rashi, Ramban, or Ibn Ezra, you will discover a new but long forgotten Jewish exegete–Philo of Alexandria.

Philo has a unique way of making the simple meaning of the Torah come alive! Volume 1 of Torah from Alexandria has lots of notes and comparisons between Maimonides and Philo, not to mention many other unique insights long forgotten by Jewish tradition. Arguably, Philo could be considered one of the very first Torah commentators of the 1st century. If nothing else, he certainly composed the first philosophical exposition of the Torah.

Enjoy!

http://www.amazon.com/Torah-Alexandria-Biblical-Commentator-Volume/dp/0692291725/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1412303037&sr=8-3&keywords=Philo+of+Alexandria+2014

 

Is Islam Really a “Religion of Peace”?

image

Cultivating moderate Muslim voices is a mighty challenge—especially given the paucity of moderate Muslims in Western societies. John Kerry recently spoke a dinner honoring Shaarik Zafar’s inclusion into the Department of Homeland Security as a senior adviser. Here are some of the salient points that Kerry made in his speech:

  • Let me be really clear as a starting point for today’s conversation: The real face of Islam is not what we saw yesterday, when the world bore witness again to the unfathomable brutality of ISIL terrorist murderers, when we saw Steven Sotloff, an American journalist who left home in Florida in order to tell the story of brave people in the Middle East – we saw him brutally taken from us in an act of medieval savagery by a coward hiding behind a mask.
  • The real face of Islam is a peaceful religion based on the dignity of all human beings. It’s one where Muslim communities are leading the fight against poverty. It’s one where Muslim communities are providing basic healthcare and emergency assistance on the front lines of some of our most devastating humanitarian crises. And it is one where Muslim communities are advocating for universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the most basic freedom to practice one’s faith openly and freely. America’s faith communities, including American Muslims, are sources of strength for all of us. They’re an essential part of our national fabric, and we are committed to deepening our partnerships with them.
  • Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid down in scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth. And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God. [1]

Moderate Islam is a loose construction of Islamic law, which ignores certain portions of it for the sake of modernity. The Prime Minister of Turkey seems to take umbrage with the term, “moderate Islam” and had these bold words to say, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

One would suspect that Erdogan would probably consider the Islam of organizations such as CAIR and its Western apologists as disingenuous.

So, this takes us to the substantive question we must ask regarding John Kerry’s speech: Is ISIS the real face of Islam?

Let us consider the facts: ISIS claims to have to anywhere between 80-100,000 people willing to fight for its beliefs. Their numbers could very easily grow exponentially in the next several years with their slick and sophisticated marketing. This is not a small cadre of thugs, it is part of a global jihad dedicated to conquering the Western world.

ISIS is seeking new fighters from Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia to help expand their caliphate. This poses a far more serious threat than global warming and climate change.

The vast numbers behind ISIS claim to practice their Islamic faith very seriously. Following in the footsteps of Mohammed, they grow their beards, shave their mustaches, pray five times a day, and show a willingness to die for their religion. To any one of us with  a modicum of common sense, the ISIS followers behave like pious Muslims. Across the Middle Eastern world and Africa, groups like  ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Taliban all bear the same Islamic label.

Making believe that Islam is a peaceful religion is an illusion. If Islam has so many “moderates” why are they so impotent in stopping the spread of the radical global Jihad movement?

To use a philosophical analogy, the skeptic Epicurus once asked:

  • Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.  Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

So, I must ask similar questions regarding “Moderate Islam.”

  • Is Moderate Islam willing to prevent religious fanaticism perpetuated in its name, but is not able? Then Moderate Islam is impotent. If Moderate Islam is both able and willing to do something to prevent evil deeds that is perpetuated in its name, then why are such acts of atrocity still continuing to occur on a daily basis everywhere in the civilized world? If Moderate Islam is neither able or willing to combat the fanaticism of the global Jihadists, then why call them “Moderate Islam”?

The civilized is appalled and dismayed by the Islamic countries that have done so little to prevent such a dangerous menace from growing.

Whenever they behead the kufar (non-believers), whether in the Middle East, London, or wherever, they are merely following the example of what Islam’s prophet Muhammad did to a Jewish tribe called Bani Quraiza mentioned in the Quaran Sura 47:4. There he stated, “, ‘When you meet the unbelievers and fight, smite their necks.’”  Such are the decrees of Allah. This is what we are hearing in countries such as Norway, Denmark, and other European countries that have historically never had much of an interest in Middle Eastern affairs and its problems.

Yes, by the testimony of the Quran, ISIS behaves likes good Muslims—whether the moderates like what they are doing or not.

Muhammad would be proud.

ISIS is not the only threat posed by Jihadist Islam. Iran and Hezbollah are just as dangerous—even now, as they aspire to make nuclear weapons along with a delivery system to threaten mainland America and Europe.

One of President Obama’s senior advisors to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a man named Muhammad Elibiary, who is an admirer of the Islamic teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini. Elibiary was invited as a guest speaker at a December 2004 conference in Dallas, titled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary,” which was held in honor of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. If Elibiary really opposed this Jihadist madman, why would he speak at conference honoring Khomeini’s legacy?  Why would our President put such a man in such a position of power as a senior advisor in the DHS? Could it be that somebody is spiking the “Moderate Islam” community cool-aid for gullible Westerners?

Like Erdogan, the admirers of Khomeini categorically rejected the notion of Islam as a religion of peace.  Khomeini made these words emphatically clear in his speeches:

  • Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war.   Those who say this are witless.  Islam says: ‘Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!  Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter their armies’. . . Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword!  People cannot be made obedient except with the sword!  The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and hadiths urging Muslims to value war and to fight.  Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war?  I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.’” [3]

While there are doctrinal differences between the Sunni and the Shiites, the one common thread that unites all global Jihadists is their goal to conquer the Western world.

Unfortunately,  there are practically no “Moderate” Islamic leaders who are willing to do anything to stop the radicals from completely commandeering their religion.

Mr. Kerry, global warming is not the problem we ought to be concerned about at this present moment in history. We need to stop deluding ourselves of the obvious truth: Jihadist Islam is not a small cadre of fanatics. Its forces are legion and we must come up with a viable strategy to combat it, defeat it, and ultimately eradicate this religious plague from the earth.

Notes:

[1] http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/09/231245.htm

[2] Elibary has often praised the late Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sayyid Qutb, whose ideas have define the modern jihadist movement – especially his call for violent jihad and for the purification of Islam from the forces of unbelief. See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2014/06/obamas-dhs-senior-dhs-adviser-mohamed-elibiary-inevitable-caliphate-returns.html/#sthash.BpIKSvx4.dpuf

[3]   Ibn Waraq, Why I am not a Muslim (New York: Prometheus Books, 1995), pp. 12-13.

Nero and Obama: A Remarkable Parallel in History

  • If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”—Sun  Tzu, The Art of War

The words of Sun Tzu convey new significance in light of President Obama’s disclosure. In his most recent speech, the President was asked an important and obvious question many Americans are asking themselves: How will we defeat ISIS? With blunt honesty and candor, the President said, “We don’t have a strategy yet.”

As I listened to his words, I found myself asking, “Did he really say that?” Then I wondered. “How is ISIS reacting this statement?”

Even the President’s media supporters are scratching their heads on the latest Presidential gaffe, whose optics makes our leader appear as though he is totally disengaged from an evil that makes Nazism pale in comparison. How can any moral and sensible human being say that the ISIS conflict is an Iraqi problem to solve? When we look at the decapitated heads of Shiite, Christian and Yazidi children,  how can we not take arms against a religious and political movement that joyfully slaughters in the name of psychotic Islam?

According to Maimonides, the first step in a person’s moral and spiritual rehabilitation involves coming to terms with one’s past sins and mistakes. Acknowledging  that one did anything wrong is perhaps the hardest but most significant step one can take.

For the President in particular, he has yet to admit the most obvious fact that is staring at his face: Jihadist Islam is at war with the United States and the Western civilization as a whole. It is also at war with other forms of Jihadist Islam, e.g., Shiite Islam as represented by the repressive Iranian regime. In short, Islam is at war within itself and it has been probably since the inception of its religion.

This is actually good news, for when a house is divided, it can be conquered much more easily. ISIS recognizes its Achilles heel and this is the principle reason why ISIS has targeted other Islamic movements and states (with the notable exception of Turkey, which is the only western country supporting ISIS—this is a subject for another article because of its seriousness).

Obama’s stark admission is all the more surprising since ISIS did not emerge ex nihilo over night. They have been a major thorn in our side since the beginning of the Iraqi war. This new political entity makes Al Qaeda pale in comparison. It has approximately two billion dollars of money it stole from the Iraqi people and it is offering salaries of $33,000 to any young dysfunctional thug who is willing  to join its ranks. Judging by the slick marketing, they are probably offering a nice retirement plan and other terrestrial incentives.

All right, in the interest of problem solving, what kind of strategy should our government be focusing on? Is it reasonable to expect that economic pressure will work, e.g., the threat of sanctions (as we have tried with Putin)? Will diplomatic pressure work? It appears that ISIS could care less about these possibilities. Military pressure with an objective of eradicating the infrastructure of this evil organization is the only viable solution. If left unchecked, hundreds of millions in human lives will die if we adopt a supine attitude.

In addition, Western media outlets such as YOUTUBE, Twitter, and Facebook need to all ban these retrograde people from using their technology from promoting Jihadism.

In addition we need real international leaders who will not take a neutral attitude about ISIS.

Thankfully, the English PM Cameron continues to model the kind of leadership we need in our country. Cameron said last week:

  • The threat we face today comes from the poisonous narrative of Islamist extremism. The terrorist threat was not created by the Iraq war ten years ago. It existed even before the horrific attacks on 9/11. This threat cannot be solved simply by dealing with the perceived grievances over Western foreign policy. We cannot appease this ideology. We have to confront it at home and abroad.

Applying his words to actions, the UK raised the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe,” Cameron said they will introduce new laws to fights terrorists and seize passports from terror suspects. He also plans to offer more details on the UK’s plans in a few days.

Cameron’s remarks remind us that we need leadership that understands the problems posed by Jihadist Islam.

Even the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has a message about Iraq for Barack Obama: Get back to the White House and do something:

  • I know it is the holiday period in our Western countries,’ Fabius told a radio interviewer Tuesday in France,’ but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.

Ditto.

In the Great Fire of Rome, historians—both ancient and modern—are unsure who caused this great conflagration. Some historians think that Emperor Nero instigated it and he fiddled, as Rome burned. Some blame the Christians because Nero persecuted them. In any event, some day historians may make a similar analogy about a morally confused President, who preferred to play golf and conduct Democratic fundraisers rather than defend his people when they needed him the most.

After 9/11, President Bush put together fifty countries to combat the Al Qaeda. Our President ought to be assembling a similar coalition, which may offer him an opportunity to demonstrate true statesmanship—if he is up to the moral task.

Jewish leaders in particular have also been too sheepish on this danger as it threatens not only Israel, but the United States.

  • Open borders with Mexico is viewed as a golden opportunity to create numerous attacks that could threaten the American homeland. If the President was really concerned about the border, he would close it up as soon as possible to minimize this threat from ever occurring.
  • ISIS can easily hire Mexican drug cartel terrorists to attack the country’s electrical grid. Were this to occur, there would be a paralysis that could result in tens of millions of people dying because of the collapse of our country’s infrastructure. An EMP bomb could easily lead to the death of 270 million Americans and take years to reconstruct.
  • President Obama should be building our military at this perilous time of history and use the country’s money to strengthen the electrical grid from terrorist attacks.[1]
  • Instead of cutting military aid to Israel, the President should be increasing greater aid to ensure Israel has the means to protect herself from ISIS and Iran.

The inclusion of Muslim Brotherhood leaders like Mohammed Elibary in Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is troubling. This is a man who considered the late Ayatollah Khomeini as a “great Islamic leader”[2] and even praised the emergence of a new Muslim caliphate taking place in Iraq on June 13 in his Twitter log, and in other places,[3] clearly shows that either Obama’s judgment is severely impaired, or that he is identifying with the Jihadist agenda in its effort to unite the Muslim world. Either scenario ought to make each of us cringe.

To conclude, as the philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Considering everything we  are witnessing in the world today, not only does it appear that we have learned nothing from the Holocaust, our country’s foolishness combined with the foolishness of the European community will lead to a destruction far greater than anything we have witnessed in the 20th century. However, this time it will be fueled by the religious zealotry of Jihadist Islam, the scourge of modern times.

Historically, Jihadist Islam threatened the world once before in the annals of human memory. The murderous Jihadist Timur Khan (1370–1405) wiped out close to twenty million non-Muslims as he carved out his empire in India, the Indian subcontinent, Pakistan, and parts of China, all of which constituted 5% of the world population.

Jihadist Islam has always been greatest mass-murdering force in the history of humankind. As a champion of freedom, the United States cannot take an apathetic stance regarding the expansion of ISIS and its legion of Jihadist supporters.

The Fly in the Coffee Cup

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What happens when a fly falls into a coffee cup? Here’s a list of responses:

The Italian  throws the cup and walks away in a fit of rage

The Frenchman takes out the fly, and drinks the coffee

The Chinese  eats the fly and throws away the coffee

The Israeli sells the coffee to the Frenchman, the fly to the Chinese, then buys himself a new cup of coffee and uses the extra money to invent a Device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.

The Palestinian blames the Israeli for the fly falling into his coffee, protests the act of aggression to the UN, takes a loan from the European Union for a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, the Frenchman, and the Chinese, are trying to explain to the Israeli why he should give away his cup of coffee to the Palestinian

Isn’t it amazing how the United Nations is sponsoring “war crimes” against Israel because of their incursion into Gaza?

Yet, while all this is going on, the UNRWA schools continue to be used as military bases to attack Israel. The latest death of a four-year old Daniel Tregerman, who was killed by a Gazan rocket as he was playing in his living room is one of the newest deaths produced courtesy of Hamas and the United Nations.

The  IDF is reporting that the Hamas mortar that killed 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman today was fired from near an UNRWA school being used as a shelter in Gaza.

How strange it is indeed. One of the reasons why the United Nations was created was to ensure that no more genocides would ever occur in the world again. Yet, as the latest Gaza-Israeli war has shown repeatedly how the United Nations Relief & Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has become an active combatant in the war to destroy all Jews living in Israel.

Rocket stockpiles have been found in many schools that is supposedly under their control. When the UN inspectors become aware of it, they hand the weaponry over to the local police. One would think they would confiscate the weapons and send them out of the country to be destroyed.

Their inept policies reveal a profound disregard for human life.

Then again, the war against Hamas has also demonstrated how the UNRWA supplies and building materials found in Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, have been used to smuggle weapons and carry out terrorist attacks against Israel. When Hamas missiles backfire and blow up hospitals and schools, yet, Israel is to blame.

Way to go, United Nations. You’re batting a thousand!

To date, the UNRWA has yet hold any individuals or organizations responsible for placing the weapons stockpile within a children’s school.

And guess who is paying for the UNRWA? You guessed it, the American taxpayer.

President Obama’s animus toward Israel shows how lopsided his foreign policy has been when it comes to the battle against terrorism, a word that the President prefers not to have in his political lexicon.

It is time to acknowledge the simple and obvious truth. Whenever Hamas uses the United Nations schools in Gaza as rocket arsenals, the President says nothing. Whenever Hamas beast Gazans who try to escape after being warned by the IDF, the President says nothing, The IDF discovered that Hamas was planning a large-scale attack of Israeli kibbutzim on Rosh Hashanah, and yet,  the President says nothing.

Mayhem, mass kidnappings don’t seem to register on the Obama Richcter scale, Although he said many times that Israel has the right to defend itself, he really didn’t mean it. In the grand scheme of things, the UNRWA and the President are both enablers of Hamas.

No truce is going to solve this problem unless the UN and the Western Nations demand and supervise the demilitarization of Gaza once and for all. As it stands, the UN’s complicity makes it a primary accessory and is responsible for much of the mayhem that has occurred in this conflict.