Showing newest posts with label Iran. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label Iran. Show older posts

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And I ran... Iran's so far away...

Right now, as you are reading this, there is a group of religious fanatics who are actively and aggressively seeking nuclear weapons. Right now this second, as these words are entering your brain there is a country whose government regularly interferes with oil prices...driving them up and with them the price of what you pay to fill your car with gasoline. Then they complain that they don't have enough access to cheap energy.

This same government has violently and ruthlessly suppressed any internal opposition to itself. This government has regularly made threats against you, your family, your country and your soldiers. This same government has already been indirectly (and sometimes directly) responsible for the deaths of scores of your soldiers. This same government has and will continue to target you at home and abroad. Furthermore this government has the CAPABILITY to reach you even as you go to work or school or take a bus or go to the mall.

You already know that I'm talking about Iran but what if I told you that the target I'm referring to isn't Israel?

It's America. It's you.



Well hey, at least there is some good news...apparently Ahemdinejad has discovered the cure for AIDS! Unfortunately it means destroying all of us...

Meet United Against Nuclear Iran or UANI for short. My friends over there are very serious about the Iranian threat to the entire Middle East and beyond. And they have very good reason to be concerned right now as everyday there seems to be a new article about how crazy Ahmedinejad is or that Iran has achieved another step toward producing a nuclear weapon or now an actual ICBM!! What peaceful purpose could an ICBM have? Only the ayatollahs must know the answer to that question.

But even if you're not worried about a new Cold War on the horizon (this time with a government run by truthers and suicidal lunatics) or doubt that Iran would ever actually use their nuclear device (that they spent decades of time and hundreds of billions of dollars developing) UANI wants you to know that the threat to America is not only very REAL but very CURRENT. Here is a summary from UANI of some of the ways Iran has ALREADY been attacking Americans:
• Iran has provided material and financial support to anti-U.S. forces in Iraq (as well as Afghanistan).

• According to U.S. State Department, Iran is already a major proliferator of conventional weapons and it has exported rocket and missile technology to terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. Hezbollah has taken U.S. citizens hostage and caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians and military personnel through its various campaigns—including the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that took the lives of 241 American servicemen

• Iran already has the ballistic missiles necessary to hit U.S. and allied troops stationed in the Middle East and parts of Europe. If Tehran were allowed to develop nuclear weapons, the threat to American military personnel would increase dramatically.

• During the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Iran violated two of the most sacrosanct principles of international relations: 1) by invading the American embassy, a violation of basic state sovereignty, and 2) by taking hundreds of American diplomats hostage—a violation of the principle of diplomatic immunity.



• “Death to America” rallies are a common sight in the streets of Iranian cities.

• A nuclear-armed Iran poses a threat to America’s allies in the Middle East.

• A nuclear-armed Iran would spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
And lest you think it's all about nuclear doom and gloom, here are some fun facts about how Iran deals with its own citizens:
• The Iranian regime persecutes members of a wide range of minorities, social, and religious groups, including Christians, Bahais, homosexuals, women, labor activists, and student groups.

• Under Iran's strict apostasy laws, conversion to Christianity is a crime punishable by death.

• Since 1979, Iranian authorities have killed more than 2,000 Bahai leaders, arrested and imprisoned thousands more, and dismissed more than 10,000 Bahais from government and university jobs. (By the way, guess which Middle East country loves the Ba'hai)

• Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, and gay sex is considered a capital crime. The Iranian government targets gays with beatings, lashings and execution.

• The June 2009 presidential elections in Iran were marked by a fierce and massive campaign of government repression...hundreds of thousands of Iranians participated in the initial protests against the disputed results of that election. The ensuing crackdown killed at least 20 people, and some protesters claim that the actual death toll was closer to 250...over a thousand students and other protesters were detained, and many have yet to be released.
So if today the world is unwilling to stand up to this horrendous behavior, how will we do so when Iran can threaten us with nuclear reprisals? Think about it, any country with nuclear weapons can essentially guarantee that they CANNOT lose a war without their enemy (and/or its allies) losing a massive portion of their own population - if not all of it, as was the case during the Cold War. You think there are any Western leaders that would take action to defend gay Iranians if they knew they could lose a few million of their own civilians in the process? You think there's even one?

How many Russians were purged by Stalin for not being in line with Soviet ideology? How many free European nations fell behind the iron curtain? How many millions of Asians, Arabs, Jews, Christians, Cubans and others on every continent and in every hemisphere were enslaved by the horror of communist dictatorships while the West was powerless to stop the nuclear-armed Bolsheviks in Moscow?



How many innocent people will find themselves enslaved under the harsh ideology of the Supreme Leader of Iran?

This is what we are talking about here. It's not just about Israel...it's not just about nuclear fireballs...it's about anyone and everyone that would fall under Iran's growing, nuclear-powered sphere of influence. It's about the millions of people who do not subscribe to the extremist, intolerant Shi'a ideology of the ayatollahs and would be trampled under the boots of these oppressors. As we have seen, this applies to women, homosexuals, Ba'hais, Jews, Christians, "impious" Muslims, people who like rap music...in other words roughly 95% of the living, breathing world.

And make no mistake, the plan for Iran does not end with Iran. Or even Israel. We are talking about a movement that is very aggressive, very expansionist and has a very long memory that dates back to the times of the Crusaders. As we have seen, Iran has killed Americans in the past and is rapidly progressing towards building an ICBM. That's an Inter-CONTINENTAL Ballistic Missile by the way. The only reason you need one of those is to be able to hit a target on another CONTINENT.



Suddenly doesn't seem so far away does it?

Iran is also engaged in a massive disinformation campaign about its intentions. Despite the protestations from Ahmedinejad (and certain naive people who think he can be talked to) that ICBMs and long-range Shahab missiles are actually going to be used to rain flower petals over their targets instead of death and detruction, the evidence mounts everyday that Iran's facilities are too small for civilian use and too large to simply be research facilities.

Then, in addition to the usual dog and pony show about its nuclear program being only for peaceful purposes - that even the IAEA isn't buying anymore - Iran, through fronts like the Alavi Foundation, regularly funds politicians and universities all while raising charitable donations for - you guessed it - the Iranian government and by extension their nuclear program.

If you clicked on the universities link you would have read a CAMERA article about the Alavi Foundation giving over $100,000 to Columbia University and $351,600 to the Rutgers University Persian language program. This isn't the first time that we've reported on this site that Rutgers has been involved with questionable charities either. The $100,000 was only handed over to Columbia after they agreed to host Ahmedinejad for his 2007 exercise in cognitive dissonance (he declared at Columbia that there were no gays in Iran despite his regime regularly hanging them) - I wonder what Rutgers had to agree to in order to receive their donation. Aside from the obvious lunacy of a liberal college campus playing host to the biggest violator against liberal ideals alive in the world today, there is the disgrace of giving such a hate-monger a public forum to perpetuate his lies and infect the minds of students who likely have little to no background on the history of the region.

So what can we do about it? Well, for one thing if you are a student at one of these universities (or any college for that matter) you can form a local UANI chapter like they are doing at Rutgers as we speak. You can also write a letter to your university demanding an explanation for why they would accept funding from a terrorist regime like Iran.

If you're not a student you can join UANI's boycott of corporations that do business with Iran or accept funding from them. UANI has something they call the Iranian Business Registry - a list of these companies (some of which have received taxpayer handouts during the recent economic nuclear meltdown!) that you can stop buying from and tell your friends/family to do the same. You can demand answers from your representative in Congress about why you are funding the Iranian nuclear program with your taxes. Make sure you VOTE for politicians who recognize how dangerous of a crisis this really is...and if you choose NOT to vote for someone based on this issue - make sure they (and everyone else) know it. There's a lot you can do, but there's not really very much time to do it.




Check out the UANI site for additional ideas about how to raise awareness on this crisis. Remember, it may seem like it's too big of a task for an individual but so was the Berlin Wall and South African apartheid! Make enough noise and you'll be heard.

The alternative may seem like it's too horrible to even consider, but you must consider it and you must act on it. The people of Iran and the Middle East need you to speak up for them because they get killed for doing it themselves. But perhaps most importantly, your soldiers who fight, bleed and die everyday to defend your rights need you to speak up for them. Your children need you to speak up for them. YOU need to speak up for yourself. What are you waiting for?


Friday, October 9, 2009

What. The Hell. For.

Let's just get right into this because I'm sure you've heard enough about it already in the past 24 hours:

Barack Obama wins at life! Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in landslide victory!

Oslo, Norway -- "Obama! Obama! Obama!"

No, it's not a scene from the 2008 American presidential election. This is downtown Oslo and what you're hearing are the throngs of supporters for Barack Obama who gathered today to declare in one clear voice:

"You win at life, Mr. President!"



Since there is no official Nobel "Win at life" award, the committee settled instead for handing the American president the Nobel Peace Prize a mere 9 months months into his term. Despite Iran moving steadily closer to nuclear-ly destroying the only Jewish state in the entire universe and
unemployment rates in the United States flying towards 10%, the Nobel selection committee felt that Obama was such an upgrade over "that jerk who came before him" that they decided for the first time to award the prize based on potential for change rather than actual accomplishments.

"You see, Mr. Obama has worked so hard to apologize for the vile crimes of that jerk who came before him that he's made us all feel so much better about ourselves," committee chairman Thorbjørn Jagland said in a statement today.

"George Bush the warlord never apologized for creating Hurricane Katrina and infecting us with swine flu. President Obama has worked so hard to do the right thing for South Park and set the record straight by placing the blame where it belongs! On those sneaky Israeli Zionist settlers! I used to love that show [referring to South Park] and lately they've just been so full of themselves. Kind of like the Jews."

He later added: "And did you hear his delightful speech in Cairo? Mesmerizing. Add to the fact that he's the very first Black American President? He wins at life brother, no doubt yo!"

Obama joins other prominent terrorism/genocide enablers such as former president James Carter and such esteemed world leaders as Yasir Arafat in receiving the prestigious award which will be officially renamed as the "Nobel Obama Win At Life Award" beginning in 2010.

President Obama is the first sitting American president since Woodrow Wilson to receive the award. Mr. Wilson could not be reached for comment as he has been dead for several decades, but reports from his family are that noises that are consistent with the sound of a body turning over in its grave have been heard from his burial site.
Ok so that's not exactly what the article said...but it might as well have.

Let me get this straight...Obama, who in 9 months has not actually followed through on a single one of his major...



(and we do mean MAJOR)


...campaign promises gets an award for........what exactly?

Here's what the Nobel Prize committee actually said:

"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples"

The statement continues:

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.

And further:

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.

See? I wasn't really that far off...I was just more direct. I mean honestly, a peace prize for "capturing the world's attention" and "giving people hope" - is this for real? Put him up there with people who signed historic peace treaties and actually fought to stop the spread of totalitarianism. People like Martin Luther King Jr or the guy that established the Red Cross. Are they serious? We're getting rewards based on POTENTIAL for success now?

But none of this would spark the kind of outrage we're seeing if it was actually legitimate. That would just make it a farcical mockery and nothing more. Yes, giving a million dollar prize and prestige of a Nobel award to someone based on what they might, possibly, hopefully do in the future would be a complete joke - but it could be swallowed if not for the obvious political implications of the move. And worse, what those political implications are doing for the future of freedom, democracy and of Western Civilization in particular.

Because you see, a major component of the prize wasn't just based on the hope and change fantasy-land that has surrounded Obama since he was running for Senate. They think he's actually ACCOMPLISHING GOOD. Witnesseth the following:

The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

EXCUSE ME?

There is RIGHT NOW a BRUTAL, theocratic, military dictatorship in the Middle East that is furiously pursuing nuclear weapons while being run by genocidal maniacs with a massive suicidal death wish, that Obama has allowed to continue their action for over nine months - and you call that working for a world without nuclear weapons?

How DARE you.

How DARE these people set this precedent.

THIS is why the award is a problem. It would be bad enough if Obama had just "done nothing" to earn it...but because of some misguided obsession with attacking George W. Bush, the "Peace Prize" committee is actually PROMOTING being passive in the face of nuclear proliferation as if it was the same as working against it! How DARE they!

By setting this precedent, instead of encouraging the work of people who are ACTUALLY trying to stop nuclear proliferation and preventing what is apparently becoming an inevitable nuclear confrontation - they are encouraging ineffective methods and are ensuring that the proliferators succeed! Remember, under these circumstances intentions are irrelevant...only the results matter. If Iran actually achieves nuclear capabilities we will have Obama and his naive approach to the Middle East to thank for it. And his Nobel committee cheerleaders will share in the blame and responsibility for the fruits of their naive labor.

It's NOT about left and right, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican. This isn't an Olympic embarrassment being spun for partisan politics! Nor is its criticism reserved only for "right-wing extremists". This is the REAL DEAL. A Nobel prize is the peak of achievement in the democratic West. This is a nightmare - an absolute nightmare. It is the latest example of the very manifestation of an apparently self-immolating, suicidal West embracing its own demise.

How are we doing this to ourselves? How are we taking these people - who are putting forth the very policies that will lead to our children fighting our wars for us - and lifting them up as heroes? Obama and Mohammed El Baradei are working towards preventing nuclear devastation? By allowing Iran to continue its not-so-clandestine quest to vaporize my Israeli friends and relatives? This is insanity!

But so it goes. And so it goes. I can already see the headlines for the 2010 winner:

Ladies and gentlemen, for his tireless work in preventing genocide and apartheid in occupied Palestine by creating a deterrent to unchecked Israeli military aggression. For his numerous attempts to reach out to former American Warlord George W. Bush to have dialogue instead of violence. For his efforts to maintain a stable and safe environment for his citizens at home and promote the culture of peace and tolerance. For his ability to remain open-minded and question cultural norms even when taboo.

Ladies and gentlemen...you've heard his message of hope and peace at such prestigious institutions as Columbia University, the Durban Peace Conference and the United Nations.

Ladies and gentlemen...will you please welcome YOUR 2010 Nobel "Obama Win at Life" Award winner:



Mahmoud Ahmedinjad!



"Mahmoud! Mahmoud! Mahmoud! Mahmoud! Allah-u Akbar! Allah-u Akbar! Allah-u Akbar! Allah-u Akbar!"

And why not? We are clearly on an already slippery slope and we keep dropping more and more ice cubes on ourselves.

Don't think it can't happen.



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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why We Fight: In Defense of Preemptive Offense

I believe it is peace for our time... And now I recommend you to go home and sleep quietly in your beds.
--Neville Chamberlain upon signing the Munich Agreement, September 30th, 1938

Every one of the hundred million Arabs has been living for the past nineteen years on one hope – to live to see the day Israel is liquidated…There is no life, no peace nor hope for the gangs of Zionism to remain in the occupied land.
--Cairo Radio, on the eve of the 6 Day War

One never knows when aircraft come towards you what their intention is.
--Abba Eban, explaining Israel's actions before and during the 6 Day War

The United States reaps the thorns its rulers have planted in the world.
--Saddam Hussein, referring to the 9/11 attacks, September 12, 2001

Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken. Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned and this regime is on its way to annihilation.
--Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, May 9, 2008

והתורה אמרה: אם בא להורגך – השכם להורגו
And the Torah said: if he comes to kill you - rise up to kill him (first)
--The Talmud, Berachot 62B


______________________________________________________________________

World events do not happen in a vacuum.

In the history books, intentions are not remembered - only results are. If I intend to save a life by driving my car recklessly in order to reach an injured person in time and in the process run over and kill someone else...society will not be impressed that I attempted to be a hero, history will only remember the fact that I took a life.

Likewise if a nation's leader signs an agreement that sacrifices another nation in the name of peace...and that agreement not only doesn't result in peace but is a direct path to WAR - his intention is meaningless. His actions led to the destruction of innocent lives. Those extinguished lives are as much his responsibility as they are the responsibility of the actual aggressors of the conflict.

Furthermore if a nation's leader directly threatens to destroy another nation, or even to harm one single life in that nation and he has the means to do so, his intention is irrelevant. It doesn't make a difference why he says it...whether it's to distract his people from a bad economic situation or to win an election...it matters not. If someone has a loaded gun pointed at your wife, has his finger on the trigger and says to you that he is going to kill her right in front of you, are you going to take the risk that he is indeed bluffing?

Because it also follows that if you have the means to prevent the murder of your wife and you choose not to because you feel the gunman did not have the INTENTION of pulling the trigger or because you had the INTENTION of resolving the conflict peacefully - and you turn out to be wrong when he shoots her in the face - that you are nearly as culpable as the actual murderer himself. No one will care WHY you stood by and allowed her to die, all they will remember is that you had the opportunity to act but chose not to for some misguided reason.

And finally, if a weaker nation threatens to overrun a stronger nation and does not have the ability to do so what should happen? Should the stronger nation take the steps to prevent this from occurring? Or should the leaders of that country wait until their enemy actually has the means to do so? Or even worse, should they give their enemy the means to do so? It would be preposterous if they did. No one, no matter how naive, no matter what misguided intentions they had, would actually willingly give their rival the ability to destroy them, right?

Did you read the first quote in this essay? Because that's exactly what happened in 1938.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made a deal with the devil and effectively gave Hitler control of all of Czechoslovakia's vital industries and natural resources. He also gave him the courage to continue his plan to dominate all of Europe to the point that Hitler later remarked:

Our enemies are little worms, I saw them at Munich...Now Poland is in the position I wanted...I am only afraid that some bastard will present me with a mediation plan at the last moment.



In fact, if you believe this site, Chamberlain may have inadvertently kept Hitler in office and thwarted a plan to have him removed from power by his generals. You see at the time, Germany had little military might to back up their threats. A war with Britain and France at this point would prove disastrous. Hitler's generals knew this and planned to have him arrested the moment he gave the order to invade. The Munich Agreement prevented this invasion and gave his staff no pretext to have him deposed. If this is indeed a fact, than the blood of millions is on Neville Chamberlain's and the rest of the appeasers' hands.

So instead of averting the greatest nightmare of the 20th century, the wheels of history continued to turn. Evil was permitted to win the day, Germany was granted the time to continue building its war machine and the prestige of the British Empire dwindled to the point that Hitler became fearless of it. By the time the West decided to act, in defense instead of on offense, it was too late. One Holocaust, two nuclear fireballs and countless battles later, over 50 million people paid the price for Britain's lack of resolve at Munich. Chamberlain's intentions and ideals are irrelevant in the grand scheme of history. Sleep quietly in your beds everyone, your government has it all under control...

Fast forward now to June, 1967. The newly established State of Israel has fought two full-scale wars for survival, dozens of pitched battles against her Arab neighbors and has somehow beaten the odds to claim victory both times. Prime Minister of Israel, Levi Eshkol finds himself in a highly precarious situation. Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser has united the Arab states of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq under the banner of finally destroying the 18-year old "Zionist entity" (the phrase that is still used by many Arab and Iranian leaders when referring to the as-yet-unrecognized state of Israel). Egypt was blockading Israeli shipping interests, had recently evicted UN peacekeepers from the Sinai peninsula and was mobilizing huge numbers of soldiers. All across the Middle East, state-run newspapers and radio broadcasts screamed about the impending doom that the Jews of Israel were facing. The United States and Israel did not yet have the relationship they have had in recent years and besides that, the Americans were too busy trying not to win the Vietnam War to get involved anyway.

Not willing to sacrifice Israeli sovereignty by surrendering territory and not willing to wait until his country was completely surrounded by Arab forces, Levi Eshkol decided to act.



On the morning of June 5th, 1967, 200 Israeli planes took off from various airfields throughout Israel. In what was arguably one of the most successful air campaigns in the history of warfare these planes effectively destroyed the combined air forces of all four enemy nations - mostly while they were still on the ground. With instant air superiority, Israel smashed the armies that surrounded it and more than tripled its land size. The gains it made during this war allowed Israel to eventually make peace with Egypt, previously its greatest rival and instigator of several wars against it. In addition, the divided city of Jerusalem was reunited and Jews returned to their ancient capital for the first time in 2,000 years.

Two cases. Both are situations where a militarily weaker nation threatened to destroy a military stronger nation. In one case the result was appeasement. The weaker nation (Germany) used the time it was granted to catch up militarily to the stronger nations (Britain and France). Utter disaster followed. In the other situation, the result was a preemptive strike. Israel (the stronger nation) did not allow the instigator, Egypt (the weaker nation) time to build its defenses. Israeli leaders, with the memories of the Holocaust still fresh in their minds, would not repeat the mistakes of Europe from 30 years earlier. They would not allow Egypt to fight on its own terms, when it was ready for battle. Israel would not allow Syria and Egypt to sit on her border, having their militaries trained by Soviets and getting more access every day to the latest in Soviet military technology.

This is war. This is war for survival. And in a war for survival you do not sit around and allow your enemy to fight on equal footing. If you have the advantage, you must take it. Your ideals and your intentions go right out the window when there are hordes of AK47-toting barbarians rampaging through your cities, destroying your farms, raping your women, slaughtering your children and laying waste to the society you've built up out of the sand.

Hitler said to Chamberlain: "I am going to destroy you." Chamberlain responded by giving him the tools to do so.

Nasser said to Eshkol: "I am going to destroy you." Eshkol responded by rising up to destroy him first.

Intentions are meaningless, only results matter.

If we apply this logic now to the Iraq war, the motivation for going becomes a little more understandable. Put aside any conspiracy theories or oil nonsense. Taken in the context of a post-9/11 world and with this historical background, acting preemptively should have been the only option on the table.

People often forget (or choose to forget) that Saddam Hussein had been terrorizing his neighborhood for decades and made frequent threats against America and her allies. This site has a list of anti-American, anti-British, anti-Saudi Arabian and anti-several-other-countries quotes from Hussein and his state-controlled media that span many years. Regardless of what his intentions were, President Hussein made it clear with those statements that he was clearly on the side of the 9/11 terrorists when it came to killing Americans in Manhattan, Riyadh or wherever they could be found. His statements threatened international terrorism against Americans as well as chemical and biological attacks. Here are a few select quotes, some of which were made within weeks of the attacks on New York City and Washington:

"If the attacks of September 11 cost the lives of 3,000 civilians, how much will the size of losses in 50 states within 100 cities if it were attacked in the same way in which New York and Washington were? What would happen if hundreds of planes attacked American cities?"
Al-Rafidayn, September 11, 2002 (State-controlled newspaper)

"[I]t is possible to turn to biological attack, where a small can, not bigger than the size of a hand, can be used to release viruses that affect everything..."
Babil, September 20, 2001 (State-controlled newspaper)

"The United States must get a taste of its own poison..."
Babil, October 8, 2001




This goes along with YEARS of belligerence against American and allied interests. Keep in mind, we are dealing with a dictator, who quite frankly was responsible for a LOT WORSE than Nasser was before the 6 Day War or Hitler was before WWII. The ruins of the Twin Towers are still smoldering and a genocidal maniac is talking about biological warfare and viruses. Remember, intentions are irrelevant here, only results matter.

Shall we wait to see if he is bluffing for publicity? Do we wait to see if he is serious, knowing he has already performed all the acts he is threatening us with on his own people and neighbors? Keep in mind that this man fired dozens of scuds during the first Gulf War into civilian areas of Israel which was a non-participant in the fighting. Keep in mind that he was still viewed by many Arabs as a hero for standing up to the mighty US military during the first Gulf War and living to talk about it. Keep in mind that like Hitler, he had already attempted to annex a neighbor previously. Keep in mind that even if he wasn't directly involved in the 9/11 attacks he had contributed at least $35 Million to international terror campaigns and housed an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist-training center.


An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
--Sir Winston Churchill


Regardless of what weapons inspectors said. Regardless of whether or not in 2003 he posed an actual threat to you or me living in our nice American suburbs. Regardless of whether or not Colin Powell was given good or bad intelligence. Regardless of all of that, we were dealing with a very dangerous regime that either possessed or was trying to possess the means to attack the United States and its allies. The information I am sharing with you here was all publicly available at the time...and several of us who followed the news and history of the Middle East felt that regardless of what the administration said were its reasons for going to war - these facts, when viewed through the prism of history meant that preemptive action was REQUIRED.

We could either take the path of Chamberlain and seek to appease a man who told us he wanted to kill us or take the path of Eshkol and rise up to destroy him before he had the ability to.

Now we have a new President Hussein, this time in charge of the United States of America. And a new threat is rapidly approaching the breaking point. A new evil has been menacing the Middle East in the guise of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollahs that pull his strings. The time will soon come that we find out whether Iran is serious about incinerating Israel and instigating a nuclear war that will consume the entire Middle East. Or perhaps we will find out if Iran will simply balance out Israel's perceived nuclear deterrent and allow the Palestinians and their puppet masters to launch full-scale attacks on Tel Aviv once more.

We stand once more on the precipice of all-out destruction, with the United States in the position of Britain and Iran in the position of Germany.

Israel will never allow herself to be sacrificed in the name of mindless appeasement the way Czechoslovakia was.

But the fight will only become more difficult with every day that passes. Everyday brings Iran closer to military-equivalence to the West. Everyday brings Iran closer to the Bomb which will make the situation exponentially more precarious.

Please Mr. Obama, do not allow this day to come. Do not be fooled, like Chamberlain was, that the enemy's ambitions will end with a few regional power plays. It will start with Israel, like Germany started with the Sudetenland, but it will not end there. The goal of this evil is to overrun every last corner of the Earth where freedom and liberty are a way of life. We have been down this road before.

Although we will never know what would have happened had Israel not struck first against Egypt, we know for a fact what the result was of allowing Germany carte blanche to do as it pleased - the greatest terror the world has ever known. Therefore, in the end it boils down to two options. You can either:

1. Allow your enemy the time to prepare his attack, build his strength and eventually reach and kill you...

2. Or rise up before he can and kill him first.

It's either one or the other. The history books will only remember the results of the choice, not the intentions behind it.

The clock is ticking...




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Saturday, August 8, 2009

In the end...it doesn't even matter... #iranelection

Tehran, I believe, is ground zero of a civil rights movement that will leave no Muslim or Arab country, or even Israel, untouched.
--Hamid Dabashi, of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

The unrest in Iran makes me green with envy.
--Gideon Levy, Haaretz reporter

However, we will not abandon the great achievements of Iranian scientists. I too will not suspend uranium enrichment.
--Mir Hussein Mousavi, recent loser of the Iranian presidential "election"


Let's not fool ourselves over here.

There is a misconception flying around the West that the recent "election" in Iran was between the forces of good (Mir Hussein Mousavi) and evil (Mahmoud Ahmedinejad). The subsequent protests, violence, chaos, death and destruction that erupted were seen as an uprising of civil rights for the oppressed Iranians who yes, deep down inside just want to live in peace and harmony and shop at the Gap and Walmart just like the rest of us.

Not so fast my friends.

While it's easy to get caught up with the hype and excitement of a seemingly never-ending stream of young protesters, marching through the streets of Tehran chanting Allah-u Akbar, kicking over cars, setting fire to buses, fighting with soldiers and police...wait a minute, this isn't peaceful at all! It kind of looks like those anarchists who went bonkers in Seattle back in 1999.




The American Revolution...this isn't


On Youtube, videos of the chaos began popping up almost immediately. And all across the Twitter-verse, people anxiously checked online as @Change_For_Iran kept us enthralled with updates, allegedly from downtown Tehran about protests and riots breaking out. With posts like "tear gas #iranelection" and "my eyes are burning hard to keep them open #iranelection" Americans and other Westerners were able to follow along with up-to-the-minute updates from Iranians being chased by club-wielding police from the comfort of their own living rooms. As unlikely as it is that someone being chased by Iranian Revolutionary Guards would stop to type out a pithy "Tweet" - it didn't stop tens if not hundreds of thousands of young Westerners from jumping entirely onto the "support Iranian freedom" bandwagon.

Facebook statuses declared their solidarity for the "green movement" in Iran. Profile pictures were colored in green in solidarity. To this day (nearly two months after the elections) the #iranelection hashmark on Twitter is still a top-trending topic. "Free Iran" and "Where is my Vote" protests broke out all over the world and continue to this day. Pundits on both sides of the political spectrum delivered rousing, breathless pronunciations that a new day was dawning in the Middle East and a new, lovely, tolerant Iran would emerge from this chaos, led by the open-minded, tolerant, lovely Mir Hussein Mousavi. America, especially young Americans had fallen in love with a Persian for the first time since Aladdin.




First thing's first - this "election" was a sham regardless of who won, how they won, how much they won by or how rigged the election was.

There is NO democracy in Iran. There never has been.

Did that register? In case it didn't, let me say it again and I would ask you to please say it with me.

THERE IS NO DEMOCRACY IN IRAN. PERIOD.

Regardless of who "won" this "election" - the only prize was the right to be the mouthpiece for the mullahs and ayatollahs and sheiks and scum of the Earth that dictate the day to day lives of all the Iranians, Hizballah and lately, Syria. The "president" of Iran does NOTHING. The real power in a theocracy like Iran comes from the THEOCRATS, not the winners of these absurd contests that do nothing but create an illusion for their subjects that they have some kind of say in their daily lives. It's a joke. It's a scam. It's meaningless. It didn't matter if Ahmedinejad won by a million votes or 100 million votes. It didn't matter if Mousavi won. In the end, all they do is what the Ayatollah tells them to do.

But what of the great reformer, Mousavi? Perhaps he could exert some kind of reformist, positive influence on his ayatollan masters during conversations with them?

From a Weekly Standard posting before the election:

In 1981, when Mousavi first appeared, UPI explained that "Appearances aside, Mousavi heralds a more vigorous propagation of the radical Islamic foreign policy of exporting Iran's revolution." In 1987, Reuters quoted Mousavi at a demonstration in Tehran saying "Tomorrow will be the day we step on the Great Satan. Tomorrow is the time for America to see our iron fists."

Uh-oh. This doesn't look good...

Iranian Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi yesterday called Israel a "cancerous tumour" and said the Palestinian move to accept UN Resolution 242 would anger Muslim revolutionaries.

Oof.

In 1989, Mousavi called for Salman Rushdie to be killed.

Ouch.

From his profile on about.com

In that 1981 interview, Mousavi defended the taking and holding of American hostages by Iranian militants for 444 days as serving the revolution’s purpose. “It was the beginning of the second stage of our revolution,” following the overthrow of the shah, he said.

Well, that's not very liberal. Or moderate. Or anything short of completely insane.

But in all honesty, these quotes and incidents are mostly from the 1980's. What about the fact that unlike Ahmedinejad, he has not denied the Holocaust? Surely his statements on this topic at least will be clearly sympathetic to the 6 million Jews who had their lives snuffed out by a similarly evil ideology to the one he used to subscribe to but now allegedly doesn't.

From Der Speigel:

SPIEGEL: President Ahmadinejad does not believe that there is historic evidence of the mass murder of the Jews. Do you also feel that more clarification is needed?

Mousavi: We have a cemetery in Tehran where Polish immigrants are buried. They fled to Iran to escape the injustices at the time. Something must have happened.


Wow! What rousing support! "Something must have happened" indeed! Jews had to flee from "injustices" apparently. That's an odd way to describe a murder...

In local news today, a convenience store clerk was the victim of an injustice during an armed robbery. Witnesses say the alleged perpetrator pulled out a gun and injusticed him when he refused to open the cash register. Full story after these words from our sponsor!


Ok, but at least he doesn't politicize the Holocaust to advance his agenda like Ahmedinejad, right?

SPIEGEL: Your president has repeatedly denied that the Holocaust happened, and that the Germans killed 6 million Jews. Do you, too?

Mousavi: It is not a question of the number of people killed. Nor is it a question of who committed the crimes. No matter who was responsible, we condemn them for it. But the issue is this: Why should the Palestinians have to pay for what happened back then in Europe?


What does he mean “no matter who was responsible” – the GERMAN NAZIS AND THEIR ALLIES were responsible. Who else could be responsible? Maybe the Soviets? Maybe the Americans? Or maybe Jews brought it upon themselves? RIDICULOUS! And oh yes, the Palestinians shouldn’t "pay" for the crimes of the Nazis. That old story again.

Nevermind the 4,000 year connection that Jews have had to Israel since Biblical times. Nevermind the fact that there was a contiguous Jewish presence in various Israeli cities (including Jerusalem) that go back to the Roman era, predating any Arab or "Palestinian" invasion during the 600's. Nevermind all that. Because inevitably the path we are on, takes us to...

SPIEGEL: Do you recognize Israel?

Mousavi: No, I do not recognize it. For the past 20 years, we have called for a solution to the problem by taking a poll of all Palestinians. This referendum should also include Jewish and Christian Palestinians living in the region. They should decide whether they wish to live in one state or two states.


Oh wow thank you so much Mr. Mousavi! You'll ALLOW the "Jews and Christians" - who in your version of "Palestine" are a hopeless minority - to have their land and sovereignty ripped out from underneath them by the overwhelming Muslim majority in one of your absurd "elections" ! How pragmatic and moderate of you! Please notice by the way that he lumps the Jews and Christians together, continually reaffirming the notion that this is a war between Islam and everyone else, not just Jews and Israelis.

And yet, as long as he frames his worldview as being sympathetic towards the plight of the Jews "just not at our expense" - you're likely to find gullible buffoons and self-haters in the West who will fall for it. His interview with Der Speigel shows he is well versed in the practice of creating moral and political equivalency between a truly democratic Jewish state and a harshly autocratic theocracy like his own or the one he and Hamas would like to replace Israel with.

And yet all across America and Europe, young college students wear green in solidarity. Haaretz and New York Times and Huffington Post reporters rush to support this wonderfully liberal "green revolution" that they've created in their heads. Muslim and Iran apologists highlight this supposed outbreak of human rights as if to say "here look, we don't need the stupid Jews or Americans to show us how to do this, we can do it ourselves just as well!" But's it's not the same. It's an illusion.

Because what the apologists don't tell you, what the "peace activists" fail to grasp and what this ignorant administration cannot realize is that green isn't the color of Iranian freedom.

Green is the color of Islam.

It is the color of Hamas. And Hizballah. And the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Taliban. And al Qaeda.

This is not democracy breaking out in Iran. These aren't moderates fighting extremists. It's just one faction of extremists fighting another faction. Like Hamas VS Fatah. Or the Shiites VS the Sunnis. In the end, it doesn't even matter which side wins. These young Iranians getting beaten and killed in the streets are suffering for nothing. You are supporting them for nothing. They are fighting for an illusion. The results of the election are insignificant because even before the first "vote" was cast, the outcome was certain:

Continued pursuit of nuclear weapons. Continued hatred and incitement of Jews and Christians. Continued rule by the mullahs and ayatollahs. Mousavi is just different packaging of the same evil.

And you're all falling for it.




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Thursday, July 30, 2009

This doesn't have to happen...


בָּכוֹ תִבְכֶּה בַּלַּיְלָה, וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל לֶחֱיָהּ--אֵין-לָהּ מְנַחֵם, מִכָּל-אֹהֲבֶיהָ: כָּל-רֵעֶיהָ בָּגְדוּ בָהּ, הָיוּ לָהּ לְאֹיְבִים

She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

--Lamentations 1:2


And here we are again, on the anniversary of our destruction.



Tisha B'Av is a very difficult day in our nation's history. Much war, destruction, bloodshed and violence has been wrought upon the Jewish people over the centuries...but the worst has befallen us on this day, the 9th of Av. Temples have been destroyed, Inquisitions have been declared, ghettos liquidated and whole populations judged for expulsion and death, all on the same terrible day on the Jewish calender...the 9th of Av.

Every year Jews all over the world commemorate these events by fasting, not eating or drinking anything from yesterday's sunset until an hour after sunset tonight. Jews are to refrain from doing anything enjoyable such as listening to music or having sexual intercourse and it is customary (as when in mourning) not to shave or tell jokes or even sit on chairs. When one listens to the recitation of the Book of Lamentations in synagogue on Tisha B'Av one sit on the floor and contemplates the grave nature of the day.

We remember the terrors that have befallen us for our various sins. We beg God to protect us from future terrors.

Looking around at the world today, it is easy to feel we are on the brink of disaster once more. Just as the Book of Lamentations describes - everyday our enemies grow stronger and our friends prepare to betray us.

A recent report from the Associated Press said that Iran was only six months away from having the capacity to detonate an atomic weapon. While everyone agrees that the Iranians lack a delivery method (an accurate missile system for example), having the capacity to detonate a nuclear bomb is bad enough. Does anyone think that it's beyond the Iranians and their recently "re-elected" president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to look the other way while a Hizballah terrorist scurries off with a bomb?

This reality and all of its doomsday possibilities may only be six months away. Six months, by the way, is a very short time. Just over six months ago Israel had its closest ally ever in the White House and now here we sit, on the floor, and wonder just how we have gotten to this point.

For at the same time that Iran (who has the potential to be Israel's greatest enemy since the Romans) is furiously working towards acquiring the means to destroy our homeland...

The United States (who has been Israel's greatest friend since GOD) is being led by a man who's biggest priorities are to lecture you on how to buy health insurance, to lecture Cambridge policemen about why they're racists and of course to lecture Israel on why it is the source of all problems in the Middle East. But don't worry, at least one of these lectures will happen while drinking beer, so it's "cool".

It's to the point that even the ISRAELI LEFTISTS at Haaretz are noticing.

From the article:

"the more time passes, the more it appears that the demand to freeze settlement construction was meant to demonstrate a distancing from Israel."

A DISTANCING. Our great friend wants to DISTANCE himself from us.

"Now, the US administration must convince the Israeli public that it has a friend in the White House, and that the administration's positions correspond with Israel's national interests. After talking to the Arabs, Muslims and Iranians, in speeches and on television, it is only right that Obama also address the Israeli public..."

Doesn't seem like very much to ask. Just TALK to us Barrack.

"...there is something naive, not to say infuriating, about his policy of dialogue and about the whistle stops he has chosen in his travels regarding our issue. He spoke in Turkey, he spoke in Egypt, he appeared before students in Saudi Arabia, Paris, England, Ghana and Australia. Even there the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was mentioned... The only place he hasn't been is Israel. He has spoken about us, but not to us."

Infuriating.

"Obama assumed he did a great thing when he spoke in Cairo about the Jewish people's suffering in the Holocaust," the "implied distortion: that we deserve a state because of the Holocaust" is "infuriating."

While the Holocaust should have proven to the world (and to Jews) that a sovereign Jewish state is the only way to prevent Tisha B'Av-style disasters (it didn't), clearly it is NOT the end-all/be-all, raison d'être for Israel's existence.

by basing Israel's claim to statehood on the Holocaust rather than the Jews' historic connection to this land, he has fed the Arab fantasy that Jews are colonialist interlopers with no right to be here, and that the Palestinians are being sacrificed to atone for European misdeeds - thereby fostering Arab intransigence and unwillingness to end the conflict.

With the exception of the last one, every one of those quotes came from far-left Israelis who were all wildly supportive of Obama during the election. The gist of the Jerusalem Post article was to say that if even his biggest supporters are questioning his actions, are "infuriated" by this one-sided framing of the issue and are wondering why he has yet to visit his only real ally in the Middle East...clearly the leader of the first country to recognize the Jewish state is being perceived to be...less than enthusiastic with support than his predecessors, by the very people who were ecstatic in their support for him as a candidate!

The disgraceful condemnations of the Israeli operation in Gaza that came out of Europe, Turkey and other alleged Israel allies adds to the growing perception that our list of friends shrinks by the day.

So it is easy to feel as the writer of the Book of Lamentations felt that our enemies grow stronger while our friends turn their backs on us.

However, unlike the destruction of the Temples - our fate is far from being a foregone conclusion. Unlike in the ancient times of the Babylonians and Romans...we still today hold military superiority over our enemies. We do not have to watch as our capital, Jerusalem is violated by Palestinian rockets (as Sderot and Ashkelon have been) as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as Tel Aviv is laid barren by Iranian nuclear devastation as we still have the ability to prevent these attacks from occurring. We do not have to watch as one by one our friends disappear into the shadows as we weaken to the point that they can deliver us on a silver platter to those who seek our destruction.

We can still stop this.

Like the "angry Left" in Israel, we must demand that Obama:

"...come to Israel and declare here courageously, before the entire world, that our connection to this land began long before the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Holocaust, and that 4,000 years ago, Jews already stood on the ground where he now stands."


We MUST demand that he either take action on Iran or get out of our way while we do it ourselves.

We CANNOT fall into the trap of Lamentations and sadness and feeling sorry for our miserable lot in life.

We CANNOT have a defeatist attitude and assume that just because we have seen suffering all through our history that we must continue to suffer and be beaten down by the other nations.

There is still time. It doesn't need to be this way.

Reliving this history today, on the ninth of Av, should only spurn us towards taking the appropriate steps to ensure that we limit ourselves to one day of mourning per year. One day is enough to feel sorry for ourselves, to reflect on our actions and to regret them. Today is enough for tears. Today is enough for sorrow. Today is enough for suffering.

Today we mourn.

Tomorrow we act.




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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Death sentences for juveniles, real estate brokers and pigs: just another week in the Middle East

Shifting gears after the emotions of Israel Independence week and a sanity-draining trip down the rabbit hole, it's time to get back to business with some news items from around the Middle East.

Yesterday, Iran executed a woman named Delara Darabi for a murder that she allegedly committed when she was 17. From the article:

Amnesty International said it was "outraged" at the execution, drawing particular attention to the fact that her lawyer was not informed about it, despite the legal requirement that he should receive 48 hours' notice.

"This appears to have been a cynical move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international protests which might have saved Delara Darabi's life," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program. Darabi was executed despite her having been given a two-month stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary on April. 19, which Sahraoui said indicates "that even decisions by the Head of the Judiciary carry no weight and are disregarded in the provinces."

Darabi was convicted of murdering a relative in 2003 when she was 17. She initially confessed to the murder, believing she could save her boyfriend from the gallows, but later retracted her confession. She was being detained at Rasht Prison in northern Iran since her arrest in 2003.


RIP Delara Darabi 1986-2009

So...the "authorities" told her on April 19th that she was off the hook for at least two months and on May 1st she was swinging from the noose with NO WARNING and NO OPPORTUNITY for her lawyer to do anything. What a lovely system of "justice" they have in the Islamic "Republic" of Iran. This is nothing new though as Iran executes juvenile offenders like Americans eat donuts...



What caught my attention was the fact that Amnesty International is "outraged" by this act, as if this kind of barbaric behavior is something new in the Middle East. Maybe if they stopped wasting all their time being obsessed with condemning Israel for acts of self defense they would have time to pay attention to what's actually going on in the world around them.

Blatantly silent however, is Amnesty International on this story about a Palestinian who had the audacity to conduct a real estate transaction...with a Jew. From the British Broadcasting Corporation:

A Palestinian military court has condemned a man to death by hanging for treason for selling land to Israelis. Anwar Breghit, 59, was convicted by a court in the West Bank town of Hebron. He sold property near his village "that he did not own", prosecutors said.

You know on second thought, maybe executing shady real estate salesmen in the US and A isn't such a bad idea...the article continues:

Only two people have had death sentences against them carried out, although others have been summarily executed over suspicions that they sold land to Israelis.

Paging Amnesty International...come in Amnesty International...

Not to be outdone however, the amazingly impartial BBC writer wraps up the story with a brief history lesson:

Israel occupied the West Bank and other Arab territory in the 1967 war. It has settled more than 400,000 of its own citizens in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - illegally in the eyes of international law, although Israel disputes this. The continued presence and expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is one of the main points of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Friction between settlements and the more than two million Palestinians in the West Bank frequently leads to violence and bloodshed.

They also throw in this picture and caption, just in case you naively believed they were blaming anyone other than Israel for this:


Israel has settled hundreds of thousands of its citizens on occupied land

Whaaaat?! In an article about a businessman being sentenced to DEATH for the crime of selling land to Jews, 4 out 10 paragraphs as well as the picture and caption (almost half of the entire article!) were devoted to reminding you that Jews don't belong in Judea and Samaria at all! Where are the worldwide condemnations from human rights groups? Where is Hilary Clinton? Barack Obama? The EU? The UN? Is there any leadership in the West at all? Where is the reaction from moderate Palestinians who condemn this insanity? Oh that's right there aren't any...because the people doing the sentencing here, Fatah, ARE the moderates.

We don't hear anything from the wise leadership of Obama or the UN because these are the people they want Israel to negotiate with in exchange for their support against Iran! We don't hear anything from human rights groups on this (but we do hear about Darabi) because as we have already explored previously - deep down they don't back Israel at all. Hence also why the BBC writer feels the need to put a context around this. You need to know that this event would not take place if Israel was not "occupying" the West Bank so that you can be sure to understand that all these people want you believe that in the end...this too is the fault of the Jews.

And just in case you thought that this wholesale barbarism that surrounds the only real democracy in the Middle East is limited to intelligent human beings who should know the difference between right and wrong, we shift our focus now to the Arab "Republic" of Egypt panicked "leadership's" response to the swine flu hysteria.


An Egyptian butcher carries a pig in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, April 30, 2009. Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government's order. (AP Photo/Nasser Nouri)

Nevermind of course that swine flu isn't actually being spread by pigs at this point or that by all accounts the forecasted "global pandemic" is (as usual) turning out to be a bust. Nor is this the first time Egypt has instituted an unnecessary mass-slaughter of defenseless animals either. From the Associated Press article:

Egypt, which has no swine flu cases, is the only country in the world to order a mass pig slaughter in response to the disease. The move mirrored Egypt's battle with bird flu, in which the government killed 25 million birds within weeks in 2006.

Am I the only one who's blown away by these numbers? I mean, I'm no vegetarian or anything but isn't there something fundamentally unnecessary about ending the lives of 25 MILLION birds or 300 THOUSAND pigs? Put aside the fact that these tactics have proven entirely ineffective in the past...these animals are living beings after all. But you won't hear anything about it from PETA who's too busy campaigning against kosher food to care about what's going on in the Middle East.

Having human rights groups AND animals rights groups so unbelievably biased against you might seem strange somewhere else, but not in Israel.

Over there, it's just another week in the Middle East...


Monday, April 27, 2009

Catastrophe

Following our previous look at 175 years of Palestinian suffering on the anniversary of the Nakba (the Arabic word for catastrophe), it is important to remember that at the same time that the well-known and publicized Arab refugee crisis was developing, there was another catastrophe taking place all over the Middle East.

In 1945, there were approximately 1 million Jews living in various Arab countries across the Middle East, as well as Iran/Persia, Afghanistan and other Islamic, non-Arab countries. From Tehran to Baghdad to Beirut to Cairo to Tripoli to Tunis and beyond, bustling Jewish communities thrived for thousands of years. These indigenous peoples predated even the Arabs (and certainly the Muslim invaders who came in the 600's) by over a thousand years! The first Jews to arrive were forced out of Israel and Judea by the Assyrians and Babylonians after the destruction of the FIRST Temple and were later joined by additional refugees of the Roman exile as well the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition and various other atrocities committed against them.

I recently had the privilege to attend movie showing and speech on the topic that was produced by The David Project. The film, entitled The Forgotten Refugees, relates the story of these communities and the terrible conditions that forced them out.




As the Jewish state was forming, the Arabs launched pogroms all over the Middle East. With scenes reminiscent of Kristallnacht from just 10 years earlier, Jews were taken out of their homes, beaten, hanged, robbed, looted and raped. In just a few short years, centuries upon centuries of Jewish culture were erased and these communities fled their homes in terror.

I'm not much of a movie reviewer but I will say that I myself was very affected by what I saw. Growing up, I knew a large percentage of Israel was made up of "Mizrahim" or "eastern" Jews (from Arab lands) but the fact that whole COUNTRIES were literally ethnically cleansed of Jews was not something I had really wrapped my head around before I saw the movie. The movie is filled with documentary footage as well as personal interviews with some of the survivors of these events. But perhaps the most shocking part of the movie was when they displayed a graphic that detailed the Jewish populations of these countries in the 40's and compared them to today...

Aden
1940's: 8,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Afghanistan
1940's: 5,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Algeria:
1940's: 140,000
Today: 80

Egypt
1940's: 80,000
Today: 40

Iran
1940's: 100,000
Today: 20,000

Iraq
1940's: 150,000
Today: 16

Lebanon
1940's: 5,666
Today: 20

Libya
1940's: 38,000
Today: JUDENREIN

Morocco
1940's: 265,000
Today: 5,000

Syria
1940's: 27,770
Today: 26

Tunisia
1940's: 105,000
Today: 1,500

Yemen
1940's: 55,000
Today: 100

Source: The Forgotten Refugees, this collection of statistics from Wikipedia and this BBC article on the last Jew in Afghanistan



And lest you think that these Jews were even allowed to take their personal belongings with them or that these people were not productive members of society, this estimate from 2007 that you never read, claims over $300 billion-worth of property lost and the deeds to over 100,000 square miles of land confiscated by the Arab governments. To give you some context - that's over FIVE TIMES the size of the entire state of Israel as it stands today. To give you a little more context, in 1948 (after the "Nakba" was over) the Palestinian population of Israel was 156,000.

Today that number has become 1,498,000.

A TENFOLD increase.

Conveniently, the Arab world has seen to it that the Jewish communities that used to exist in their own lands have been stricken from the record. The Jews who fled have been turned into forgotten refugees because to admit the facts is to admit that the crocodile tears they cry over the Palestinians are exponentially MORE hypocritical when taken in the context that the accusers are actually GUILTY of the behavior they falsely pin on the victims! In reality, if Israel was really looking to "ethnically cleanse" itself of its Arab population - they would do much better to follow the example of the very neighbors who are the loudest to dump this crime on them.

So, as tonight marks the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day, the RONMOSSAD blog would like to dedicate this space to those forgotten refugees and the memory of those who did not make it to a better life in Israel or elsewhere. While the hypocritical West and United Nations pass hundreds of resolutions on worldwide refugees (including over 100 on the Palestinian refugees) and create "Bureaus on committees on exercises" to deal with the problem...as usual not a word is said about the catastrophe that befell the Jews of the Middle East at the same time! Instead those victims are demonized and cast as the oppressors.

I hope you will now join me in taking every opportunity you can, to remind those who seek to eliminate the Jewish communities of the Middle East from our memories, that we will not allow them to rewrite history and to hijack the narrative for their political gains.

The world must know that Israel is NOT made up of "European invaders" - rather that these communities existed in Israel and in the Middle East for thousands of years before the first Zionists set foot in Petach Tikvah.

That the descendants of these now-destroyed Jewish communities are still very much alive and part of society and that they will not be silenced by a world that finds their existence inconvenient.

That they will be forgotten and cast aside no longer.

Skip to the next post in this series: Triumph or the previous post: Nakba


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Purimfest!

This week was one of my favorite Jewish holidays of the year -- and not just because of the rabbinic decree to dress up in costumes and drink yourself into oblivion (although that is a consideration). That's right boys and girls I'm talking about Purim, one of the few great post-King Solomon stories of Jewish triumph. Without going into too many details of Esther's Megillah, I'll give a brief summary of the story:

The Jews are exiled all across the world. A new Persian king, Achashverosh (you may know him better as Xerxes, of 300 fame) comes to power and throws a big party during which he wants to show off his gorgeous wife Vashti by having her dance naked in front of his disgusting princes and ministers. She refuses in one of the first acts of feminism in recorded history. Naturally her drunk, Iranian husband has her killed...and immediately regrets it. He ends up choosing a new wife, Esther - who's cousin Mordechai orders her not to tell her new husband that she's in fact Jewish, lest he divorce her at the thought of having the entire Persian treasury spent on nosejobs and Sak's Fifth Avenue. Mordechai then spends his days sitting at the entrance to the king's palace waiting for word from his cousin. One day he overhears a plot to kill Mr. Xerxes and in one of the first acts of Jewish assistance to their gentile rulers, warns and saves the king so he can go on to kill the Spartans and overrun Greece. Naturally, this act goes unrewarded and instead the Jews are targeted for stereotyping and oppression.

Enter the villain, Haman. The king's new hotshot prime minister is so full of himself that he has everyone bowing down to him on penalty of death. The only man who doesn't do it is Mordechai, in one of the first (and last) acts of Jewish resistance in recorded history. Naturally his arrogant, Iranian persecutor decrees that all Jews must die on the same day as a result. He decides to leave it up to the gods for when this day will occur so he spins a wheel with all the dates of the year on it and picks whichever date it lands on. After being miserable for a few days, Mordechai realizes that destiny has handed him the ultimate trump card. The king's new wife is not only Jewish but she's Mordechai's cousin! Mordechai now has a direct link to the throne - he convinces Esther that she was placed into her position as queen by fate specifically for this reason and she must fulfill her destiny of saving the Jews.

Esther invites the king and Haman to a party just for a three of them and tells Xerxes that Haman plans to kill her. Xerxes storms out of the room to compose himself and Haman begs and pleads with Esther not to have him killed. He throws himself at her feet - just as Xerxes walks back into the room and in a rare (for the Bible) and hilarious misunderstanding assumes he is trying to put the moves on his wife while he is in the house! The ultimate in disrespect!





Xerxes is not amused


Haman is executed - hanged on the same gallows he had built for Mordechai. The Jews are allowed to defend themselves from their Persian attackers and have parties of their own to celebrate. Mordechai is named prime minister instead of Haman (and in true gangster fashion moves into the deposed man's house), Haman's 10 sons are hanged from the same gallows as their father and Xerxes goes to the Greek isle of Ahnus to launch his war against Sparta. All live happily ever after. Except for Leonidus of course.

The holiday is named named "Purim" because it is the ancient Hebrew word for "lotteries" which is how Haman decided which day to exterminate the Jews.

So great story - but is there any real relevance for us today? Well aside from the fact that here we are thousands of years later being threatened by yet another Persian loudmouth there are a few passages which are brought up in this story that speak volumes about Jewish history and culture. For example when Haman is expressing to the king his desire to destroy the Jews he describes them as follows:

יֶשְׁנוֹ עַם-אֶחָד מְפֻזָּר וּמְפֹרָד בֵּין הָעַמִּים, בְּכֹל מְדִינוֹת מַלְכוּתֶךָ; וְדָתֵיהֶם שֹׁנוֹת מִכָּל-עָם, וְאֶת-דָּתֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵינָם עֹשִׂים, וְלַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין-שֹׁוֶה, לְהַנִּיחָם

There is one nation, which is scattered and spread amongst all others, in all the lands you rule. And their views/religious beliefs are different from all others. They refuse to do the will of the king and there is no reason for you to tolerate their existence.

Wow.

Could there be a better description for the way the rest of the world has viewed the Jews for thousands of years? Could there be a better description for the way we Jews have viewed OURSELVES for thousands of years?! And furthermore, later in the story when the Jews come out on top, the narrator describes it in the following way:

בַּיּוֹם, אֲשֶׁר שִׂבְּרוּ אֹיְבֵי הַיְּהוּדִים לִשְׁלוֹט בָּהֶם, וְנַהֲפוֹךְ הוּא, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁלְטוּ הַיְּהוּדִים הֵמָּה בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶם.


On the day in which the enemies of the Jews had chosen to rule over them...it was the opposite as the Jews ruled over those who hated them.

Even then it was considered "opposite day" when the downtrodden, exiled Jews exacted vengeance over their would-be murderers. It is no surprise then that when 10 of the worst perpetrators of the Holocaust were hanged in Nuremberg after the war was over, the subject of Purim came up. The last man to be brought up to the gallows, Julius Streicher made quite a spectacle by screaming "PurimFest 1946!" to the room. What makes it even more interesting (aside from the coincidence of 10 Nazi executions to go with Haman's 10 children) is that the Nuremberg hangings occurred about six months before Purim and there was no reason for Streicher to declare that day as "Purimfest."

Or was there?

Many rabbinic interpreters have pointed to the similarities between the 10 literal sons of Haman and the 10 ideological sons of Hitler. All sought to destroy the Jews. And what makes it even creepier was that there were supposed to be 11 Nazis executed on that day but Hermann Goring (who often dressed as a woman) killed himself by swallowing a cyanide capsule earlier in the day. While it's not in the megillah itself, there is a rabbinic tradition that Haman had a daughter...who committed suicide. Could it be that these 11 murderers were in fact somehow connected to Haman's children? Maybe reincarnations of them? It sounds like something more suited for Halloween than Purim (both holidays also involve costumes by the way).

I have a different interpretation than the rabbis - although I have to admit that's a lot of coincidences and if nothing else, does make a pretty excellent ghost story. Streicher was a master propagandist and expert on Jewish history and culture. It is also extremely likely he was also an admirer of Haman and knew the story of Purim well. So it is only natural that a man who sought the destruction of a people who had historically almost never come out on top of their enemies would think of the Jewish story whose theme was "opposites" on the biggest opposite day of his entire life.

In reality - the only other "opposite days" the Jewish people have had since that Purim were the story of Chanuka (when the Jews defeated the Greeks) and the foundation of the state of Israel (when the Jews defeated an seven Arab nations at the same time). Although one could argue that everyday that Israel exists is another miraculous opposite day that without a doubt drives our current oppressors insane in much the same way that Mordechai's lack of respect for Haman drove him insane.

Here's hoping that we will again soon see a victorious nation of Israel and another Persian oppressor put to the gallows.



Here's to Purimfest 2009...