Monday, March 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor - Financial Times

As has been documented by CAMERA and HonestReporting, the Financial Times never lets the facts get in the way of its Israel-bashing.

Kudos to Ed Kohl for sending the Financial Times this excellent letter.

To the editor,

Regarding Tobias Buck's March 26, "Netanyahu pressed to resist US amid anger at treatment" there is one glaring error that requires clarification.

The error "The issue at the heart of this crucial divide is the fate of occupied East Jerusalem." Unfortunately, facts get in the way of reporting. To educate your reporter and the FT editors here are some facts.

In a letter from President George Bush to Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, (March 20, 1990). "The basis of our position remains that Jerusalem must never again be a divided city."

In 1990, Congress passed a resolution declaring that "Jerusalem is and should remain the capital of the State of Israel".

During the 1992 Presidential campaign, Bill Clinton said: "I recognize Jerusalem as an undivided city, the eternal capital of Israel, and I believe in the principle of moving our embassy to Jerusalem."

Congress overwhelmingly passed Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. This landmark bill declared that, as a statement of official U.S. policy, Jerusalem should be recognized as the undivided, eternal capital of Israel.

Israel's building in their capital city, Jerusalem, is no different than building in the Chinese capital city Beijing, or Russia's Moscow or Sarkozy's Paris.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu stated "The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital."

Jerusalem is not "occupied".


Ed Kohl
West Bloomfield, MN

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wanting to believe

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
March 28,2010

Numbers, numbers everywhere, what do they mean? In today’s world of information dissemination all sides of a political argument seem to find security in the “right set of numbers”. Focus groups, language analysis experts and pollsters are at the call of the seller-there is no end to the flood of data we are receiving.
For example, one poll posted today says that USA Jews prefer Obama to Netanyahu (15% more popular). Inside this same poll Obama maintained his popularity with 59% of American Jews even after the President displayed disrespect to PM Netanyahu. Another stat that caught my eye was the pollster Gerstein indicated that 55% of American Jews supported Obama criticizing Israel. 1 One would conclude that the USA Jewish population is distant from Israel’s political stance and Israel should take heed. Permit two of many points to be made: 1. Nowhere in the “news” story were the details of the poll presented, i.e., target population polled, design of poll. 2. The poll was sponsored, e.g., paid for, by none other than J-Street. This is a professed Progressive or Left Wing organization that indicates it is pro-Israel. To say this is under dispute is putting it mildly. This poll is in direct contrast with polls in Israel that find only 9% of Israelis think Obama is pro-Israel. Like I said one can find numbers to support any narrative.
Why all the fuss over “the numbers”? Simply put they are used as propaganda to support one’s position and thereby develop and promote public opinion that is hopefully listened to by the elected officials. More often than not, in a democracy, these eventually help to shape the policies of respective countries. Of course politicians use these same tactics to influence the general population-it is a two-way street.
Besides the numbers we know that rhetoric can be even more powerful as a tool to have the public believe in a perspective and/or current leader. Certainly how one delivers a speech dramatically influences how one is perceived and in recent history how one is elected. Mr. Obama was elected because of the perception he was different, cared more about people and was sensitive to America’s “miserable” standing on the world stage. He even convinced people that he supported and continues to support Israel. Let us set aside “the numbers” and the eloquent rhetoric of the President and examine what he has actually done, i.e., actions speak louder than words.
An old saying shared often to me by my parents when I was younger, “you become who you choose as friends”. There are multiple variations of this and they all mean that we are dramatically influenced by the people we admire and associate with-is this not your experience? Did you not “hang out” with individuals you enjoyed and/or yearned to be with or accepted by? This is a perfectly human behavior. So who were Mr. Obama’s “friends” who in turn may have helped shape his points of view? By now you know many on this list, from his Pastor Wright to his extreme left wing colleague charged with bombing public buildings (Bill Ayers). These were not casual acquaintances; he interacted with them for decades. Here are some additional influences upon his evolving view of social justice in the world: Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Bernardine Dohrn, and even the anti-Semitic Farrakhan.2
Many others have discussed this part of Obama’s social and intellectual associations. Suffice it to say, given these individuals, his documented university experiences and his only “work experience as a community organizer, coupled with his long term interaction with ACORN through to his Presidency present an individual, over time, who associated with those who were and are to this day anti-Israel and frankly do not care for Jews. No conservative Jews among his “posse.”
The preceding certainly influenced Mr. Obama as he put together his team of advisors. Only a fraction of his desired appointees and actual appointees are to follow-please notice the nature of their backgrounds, philosophies and previous activities.3
Charles Freeman-aborted appointment to Chair of President’s National Intelligence Council -This is the man who declared on more than one occasion that he thinks all of America's problems with the Islamic world can be traced to its supposed open-ended support of the Jewish state.
Samantha Power is a product of the International Crisis Group, a think tank heavily funded by billionaire George Soros. She stopped short of saying Israel committed genocide in 2002 in Gaza.
Robert Malley is a good friend with Bashir Assad of Syria-has been close since 2006. It does appear that Mr. Malley has quite the influence over Obama and his decisions. Seems that Malley persuaded Obama to suspend enforcement of sanctions against Syria-remember they were on our terror list. He even had Obama reopen a US Embassy in Damascus-remember why we closed it?
Frederic Hof-this is the man Obama has recommended for the post in Damascus. He is an Arabist. He called the territories of Judea and Samaria “a cancer killing the Oslo Process.”
Chuck Hagel was appointed as an Intelligence Aide to the President. This is the same man who spoke at the pro-Arab J-Street “conference”. This is part of what he said: “…meeting the demand of the Palestinian Authority for a new Arab state within Israel’s current borders “is central, not peripheral, to U.S. vital security interests in combating terrorism.” He also said that the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel “must not come at the expense of our Arab relationships.”4
Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft are two “unofficial” advisors to Obama. You remember them, yes? Brzezinski is a former member of the carter Administration and works with Samatha Power on the board of the anti-Israel International Crisis Group. He ridiculed Israel’s concern for Iran’s push for nuclear weapons. Scowcroft was the hard line advocate against Israel during his days with George H.W. Bush. Scowcroft, Board member of US Middle East Project created a Board including 7 Arab members that favored imposing a Fatah/Hamas regime in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
It has been Mr. Scowcroft who has advocated loudly and continuously to keep the Palestinian plight on the front burner. He is very influential with Mr. Obama and we witness this every day. There are so many others to mention such as General James Jones and Susan Rice. Jones and other Obama officials who embarrassed IDF COS in Washington about a year ago-does this not sound familiar? Rice, she immediately asked for a seat on the UN’s “Human Rights Council”-this is hardly a pro-Israel group. For more thorough analysis of these advisors please read Bill Mehlman’s article listed in my endnotes.
The point is obvious-President Obama has surrounded himself with individuals who do not like Israel and suggest the USA begin a separation process. Several of his “advisors” border on being anti-Semitic. He hears every day, from “his people”, comments that bash Israel and their dislike for Jews. These are people who tell him to appease, appease, appease the Arabs and with several useful idiot type Jews pushing him on, it is no wonder Obama has arrived at his current stance vis ‘a vis Israel.
What messages would you be hearing each day if you had these and others with like viewpoints in your ear all the time? Let’s face it, the President has many items on his daily agenda and does not have time to do the research. This is the role and responsibility of his “team”. Couple this fact of life with his predisposition to the ideology of socialism and his years of tutelage by far left wing individuals his current actions are not surprising.
Let me ask you, when you invite a friend to your home for an evening of good discourse and dinner do you actually sit down with your guests and break bread with them? Would you consider it rude to tell your guests that you and your wife, upset with some things you may have discussed, are having dinner alone in the dining room-your guests can eat in the kitchen. This is how you treat a friend? Oh, then you announce this to your entire neighborhood and send out tweets and messages on facebook what you have done; you think this is how to act with a true friend?
Yet this is precisely what Mr. Obama did with the PM of Israel last week-you all heard some version of the story. This has become a tactic used by him and members of his staff. If you do not get what you want or do not like what you are told, then create a humiliating scene. I remember this from my upper elementary, junior high school days.
Let’s be honest and at least acknowledge that those we choose to associate with over time influence us. Our beliefs are formed by what we learn and what we experience. Ideologies are formed, learned and then these become the lens through which we view the world. Mr. Obama is no different than any of us in this regard-simply notice who he has chosen to make up his support team and group.
I understand the need to believe in something and/or someone. I also know needing and wanting to believe are two different modes of viewing the world. I offer that needing to believe takes personal power away from the individual and puts it into the hands of others. Wanting something really is about conveying information to another person understanding that in the end it is up to the individual (to me) to make a choice/decision. For multiple reasons Americans needed to believe in someone different than the previous leaders-I get it.
However, the very act of needing gave away your personal responsibility to know the facts. To hang onto your belief, that the current Administration from Obama through his advisors to his worker bees in the field, authentically support Israel is the perfect storm for “Needing to believe” in something that is simply not born out by the facts. Yes, I do understand that operating out of a position of need does not initially enable one to recognize or even acknowledge this possibility.

As someone who chooses to live in Israel, is an owner of two small businesses employing Jewish, Arab and Christian Israeli citizens I do challenge everyone to step back for a moment and consider the possibility the preceding is correct. Perhaps there are other solutions than the Obama Administration is opting to use. Maybe it is possible to coexist-I know that the path the President wants us to travel is not going to lead us to peace and harmony. Unfortunately, he is on a well-trodden path so many have been down before him!


1. Benhorin,Yitzhak. “Poll: US Jews prefer Obama to Netanyahu”, YNET News, March 28, 2010.
2. Haltman, Michael.
3. Mehlman, Bill. “Detailed Expose Of Obama's Anti-Israel Appointees In Key National Security Positions”,
4. Aggregated by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu. “Anti-Israel Appointees in Key National Security Positions,” Chuck Hagel as Intelligence Aide”, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Building a house in Jerusalem

The original for this is on tinsc's blog. He doesn't blog often, but when he does, he does it extremely well.

Why is it that I can't build a house in Jerusalem? I'm Jewish! Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People.

Nobody questioned whether a black man could move into the White House, the capital of the United States. Certainly not Jewish-Americans, 77% of whom voted for Barack O'Bama to be our President.

So why does this administration have such a problem with Jews building homes in Jerusalem and moving to the eternal capital of the Jewish People? Archaeological evidence shows that Jews founded Jerusalem 3000 years ago. Our liturgy mentions Jerusalem early and often as the capital of our people. It's only natural for Jews to live in Jerusalem.

I don't get it! Certainly in the history of mankind, far more cruel acts against humanity have been perpetrated than the mere building of houses. And let's face it! If someone said that blacks couldn't build homes in a neighborhood where they wanted, we'd hear a never-ending complaint of "racism" consistent with the American movement against segregation. That would be the morally correct position; one I would strongly support.

But for some reason, when Jews build homes in Jerusalem, it's a big federal case. Anti-Semitic Arabs get upset and our State Department thinks that this means that the Jews are causing a problem. This is an embrace of anti-Semitism by our State Department. I have a problem with that.

Even if someone were to say that Arabs have a sovereign right to forbid Jews to build houses in their country, it would be no less anti-Semitic. Why does the United States government embrace this attitude?

It is wrong; morally wrong. I would like the government of the United States to change it's policy to reflect our own American values that says people can build houses where they want to.

If the United States State Department felt insulted by Israel building homes in Jerusalem, let me make it clear that I feel no less insulted by the United State State Department when they tell me that I can't build a house in Jerusalem because I'm Jewish.

Comment & Analysis: Objectionable Letters

On Friday, March 26, The Hartford Courant published a biased and misleading letter, which may be found at,0,5983616.story, by James R. Bradley and The Connecticut Jewish Ledger published two such letters, by Henry Schwartz and Miriam Kurland, which may be found at

The editor of The Connecticut Jewish Ledger included the following note:

[Editor's note: For those who may note the duplication of language in the two letters included above, please be advised that this is the way in which they arrived - separately and with no apparent link - in the Ledger email inbox.]

PRIMER notes that much of the text in the two very similar letters, including the line "Those of us who truly care about Israel know that President Barack Obama is right to confront Israel over new settlement construction plans in East Jerusalem," is taken from the Americans for Peace Now web site at .

PRIMER Comments re Bradley's letter:

Bradley: "Rabbi Stephen Fuchs decries a perceived lack of balance in public reaction ..."

Analysis: Rabbi Fuchs wrote: "When focusing on Middle Eastern politics, most of Israel's supporters offer nuanced yet passionate critiques of every Israeli action, while Israel's enemies want only to wipe her off the globe" and "What is lacking is a sense of balance. It is important to remember that if Palestinian rights are less than those of Jews in the tiny sliver of Mideast real estate that Israel occupies, Jews often have no rights whatsoever in the vast territory that comprises the other nations of the region."


Bradley: " events in Israel and occupied Palestine."

Analysis: There is no "Palestine," although there is territory (poorly, at best) governed by the Palestinian Authority. Roughly 95 percent of the Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza live in that territory, so for most practical purposes any so-called "occupation" ended long ago.


Bradley: "No fair person can ignore the Palestinian contribution to the intractable standoff that prevents a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Analysis: This is a gigantic understatement. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers of almost the entire disputed territory, including portions of Israel's capital, and today refuses to engage not only in direct negotiations with Israel but even indirect negotiations.


Bradley: "But in rightly condemning the perverse notion of a "Judenrein" East Jerusalem, one surely cannot defend the construction of "Araberrein" housing on disputed land."


It's nice to see Bradley effectively join in the justified criticism of President Obama's current insistence, in conflict with his previous insistence that Jerusalem remain both the capital of Israel and undivided, that disputed portions of Jerusalem be made judenrein.

Just as there is no "Palestine," there is no "East Jerusalem." Ramat Shlomo, like most of what's so often incorrectly referred to as "East Jerusalem," isn't even in the eastern part of Jerusalem; it's in the northwest portion of the city.

Although Ramat Shlomo is predominantly occupied by Jewish residents, Israeli courts have in the past rejected efforts to prevent Arabs from buying or renting in Jewish areas.

One wonders whether Bradley has ever condemned the massive and often illegal construction of purely Arab housing on disputed land?

PRIMER Comments re Schwartz letter:

Schwarz: "Israel continues building and expanding West Bank settlements and Jewish housing in Arab East Jerusalem."


There is no "Arab East Jerusalem."

Israel is currently observing a freeze on construction in disputed areas of Judea and Samaria and the government has not constructed any new communities there since the start of the failed Oslo Experiment in 1993.


Schwarz: "They are slicing and dicing lands that would become a Palestinian state."

Analysis: It's impossible to determine exactly what will become part of a Palestinian Arab state unless and until the Palestinian Arabs start negotiating seriously.


Schwarz: "One can't help but think that they don't really want a two state solution and are intentionally undermining that possibility. Such a solution however appears to be the only viable way to bring long term peace."

Analysis: Israel has been virtually begging the Palestinian Arabs to negotiate a peace agreement, but even the supposed "moderates" in the Palestinian Authority refuse to negotiate.


Schwarz: "Those of us who truly care about Middle East peace know that President Barack Obama is right to confront Israel over its approval of a new settlement construction plan in East Jerusalem."


There is no "East Jerusalem."

The approval was not for "new settlement construction," whatever that's supposed to mean, but for additional and greatly needed apartments in an overcrowded neighborhood in the northwest portion of Jerusalem.


Schwarz: "He understands that settlement expansion weakens any prospect of peace."

Analysis: Obama's misguided targeting of construction of housing for Jews has already resulted in more than a year without any negotiations and is clearly weakening any prospect for peace. He has removed any incentives for the Palestinian Arabs to negotiate, effectively assuring them that everytime they reject even talking with Israel, he will simply apply more pressure on Israel for unreciprocated concessions.


Schwarz: "We know that peace for Israel is in America's vital interests. Peace talks will not succeed without genuine, sustained American leadership."

Analysis: Obviously, nobody wants peace more than Israel. The greatest progress, including the peace treaty with Egypt, the peace treaty with Jordan and even the start of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, occurred when the parties met together and often in spite of America's role. The key, currently missing ingredient is a desire on the part of the Palestinian Arabs to make peace.


Schwarz: "All sides must know that there will be a price to pay for frustrating peace efforts. President Obama enjoys my support when he demonstrates such leadership."

Analysis: Unfortunately, President Obama has been rewarding the Palestinian Arabs for their continued obstruction of peace efforts.

PRIMER Comments re Kurland's letter:

Most of Kurland's letter consists of slight rewordings of portions of Schwarz' letter. We will not repeat our analyses of those portions, but will comment on one remark which is not in Schwarz' letter.

Kurland: "We know that peace for Israel is more important than the expansion of settlements."


While some may disagree, most Israelis and most supporters of Israel would agree that the need for peace would trump the injustice of ethnically cleansing portions of Eretz Yisrael of Jews. Even Ariel Sharon was not only willing to completely uproot thousands of Jews living in Gaza, but did so.

There are two principal problems:

The first is one of simple justice and morality: it's simply wrong to insist areas be cleansed of any Jewish presence, especially areas in Eretz Yisrael and even more especially areas of Yerushalayim.

More important, singling out Jewish communities in the disputed territories is counterproductive and is an impediment to hopes for any real peace process. Obama's unfair and unhealty fixation has already prevented direct negotiations for more than a year and is currently preventing even indirect negotiations, themselves constituting a step backwards by two decades.

A more productive stance by President Obama would be to encourage Israeli construction in the disputed areas and make it clear to the Palestinian Arabs that obstruction and rejectionism is no longer a winning proposition for them; bringing home to them a realization that the longer they delay the less territory they'll ultimately get might finally give them some incentive to make peace rather than prevent peace.

'Islamophobia'-Example of Irresponsible Behavior:re-visited

GS Don Morris

March 27,2010

One year since I last wrote about this topic, we see the persistence in our enemy. This strategy, ongoing and continued publication of a concept, even though non existant, overtime will become believed by the majority of people.

A headline from a year ago: Eurasia Islamic Council: Islamophobia is "one of the greatest obstacles to world peace."

"The meeting was attended by over 100 scholars from 42 countries. Participants at the event said Islamophobia was one of the greatest obstacles to world peace, adding that acts of terrorism and violence should be condemned regardless of who commits them or why. A joint declaration released after the meeting called on countries and their leaders to provide better educational opportunities for their citizens. According to the statement, steps that have been taken in the field of education worldwide are promising, but must be encouraged further."6
Today we have the following headline and story-once again demonstrating the persistence of those who want to silence critics of Islam. Create a term that demonizes others, use it often and persist in its use-soon it will become as though it were true.

Saturday, March 27, 2010
UN Human Rights Council condemns "Islamophobia"-no surprise!
Oddly enough, the Council said not a word about non-Muslims denied religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. "UN rights body passes Islamophobia resolution," from Middle East Online, March 25 (thanks to Twostellas):

GENEVA - The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday passed a resolution condemning Islamaphobic behaviour, including Switzerland's minaret building ban, despite some states' major reservations. The resolution "strongly condemns... the ban on the construction of minarets of mosques and other recent discriminatory measures."

The process of turning a myth into reality is quite an interesting behavioral phenomenon. This occurs when one group of people wants to challenge, infuriate, demand, dictate, and control the ideas and beliefs of another group of people. The motivation is direct and to the point. The outcome is usually for political and/or social engineering reasons to determine for others how they should act, speak, and behave. One of the best examples of this is the application of the term 'Islamophobia' directed to those of us who challenge or question practices of Islam within the Western culture. Islamic organizations regularly accuse non-Muslims of 'Islamophobia' - a fear and disdain for everything Islamic. As recently as May 17 this accusation bubbled up again as foreign ministers from the Organization of the Islamic Conference called Islamophobia "the worst form of terrorism." Ministers from multiple countries attending the conference 'warned- according to the Arab News - that this form of discrimination would cause millions of Muslims in Western countries, "many of whom were already underprivileged," to be "further alienated."1 How does something like this come to be.?

Let us examine Islamophobia from a different perspective. Allow me to submit that a formula or a blueprint exists for those people who want to marginalize and/or invalidate someone or something. It consists of the following steps - not necessarily exactly in the order presented:
Create a new term that describes a new behavioral phenomenon
Within the term use descriptors that sound plausible yet are also familiar to the general population
Ensure that identifiable behaviors are described and shroud them in a negative bent
Enroll experts in supporting this phenomena such as university academics, psychologists, human peace activists, human watch groups, and governmental agencies along with the popular media
Develop strategies to identify individuals who display this 'terrible human behavior' and condemn them for displaying it
As often as is possible, in public settings , use the term as a means to alienate people from one another-begin a 'name-calling' campaign
Use this phenomena to discredit anyone who may challenge your point of view-never respond directly to the charge, rather, reverse the situation and 'attack' the individual taking issue with your point of view
Move to make this display of behavior illegal ; pass local/regional and national legislation that criminalizes the behavior
Threaten legal action and/or actually take such action even though you know you do not have a case; it puts your antagonist on the defensive- right where you plan to keep him/her
This is a reasonable list of descriptors involved in the process. When one applies the preceding criteria steps to the development and implementation of Islamophobia you find it to accurately describes what has occurred particularly in the West during the last 5-10 years. Values Contrary (VC) Islamists and their non-Islamic supporters have used this to deflect criticism, deny facts, to divert attention, to defame, invalidate, and condemn anyone who challenges the practice of VC Islam.2

In order for Islamophobia to be effective the society upon which it has been thrust must operate within a 'makes me - believe' communication construct3. Without this operational construct in play, Islamophobia would have no impact upon the general population. It is because we actually believe that we can make someone feel or think something and/or that someone or something can do the same to us, the 'communication table' has been set. Afraid that one might OFFEND another person or cause someone to feel insulted or uneasy, we refrain from speaking/arguing or even questioning our antagonists. The West enemies know this and use it as a weapon against us.

We have become afraid to speak up and to challenge VC Islam and their followers. In the process we are afraid to stand for our own values, grounded within another set of beliefs. We do not defend our way of life; we acquiesce to a behavioral set that we do not belief in nor do we want to have as the basis for our social milieu. Said another way, We stand down on our long held values and meekly go forward into the future.

Allow me to provide some examples of the preceding process. Aside from the previously mentioned May 17 activity, In America, perhaps the most conspicuous organization to persistently accuse opponents of Islamophobia is the Council of American Islamic Relations. CAIR has taken up the legal case of the "Flying Imams," the six individuals who were pulled from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis this past November after engaging in suspicious behavior before takeoff. Not long ago, CAIR filed a "John Doe" lawsuit that would have made passengers liable for 'malicious' complaints about suspicious Muslim passengers. In an interview at the time, CAIR spokesman Nihad Awad accused Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) of being an 'extremist' who 'encourages Islamophobia' for pointing out what most people would think is obvious, that such a lawsuit would have a chilling effect on passengers who witnessed alarming activity and wished to report it4.

An Islamist group named Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to bring the world under Islamic law and advocates suicide attacks against Israelis. Facing proscription in Great Britain, it opened a clandestine front operation at British universities called "Stop Islamophobia," as reported by the Sunday Times and presented by Daniel Pipes5.

Accusations of Islamophobia, Mr. Malik adds, are intended "to silence critics of Islam, or even Muslims fighting for reform of their communities." Another British Muslim, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, discerns an even more ambitious goal: "all too often Islamophobia is used to blackmail society."5

In Great Britain this term is used as a weapon. Hizb ut-Tahrir's manipulation of "Stop Islamophobia" betrays the fraudulence of this word. As the Sunday Times article explains, "Ostensibly the campaign's goal is to fight anti-Muslim prejudice in the wake of the London bombings," but it quotes

Anthony Glees of London's Brunel University to the effect that the real agenda is to spread anti-Semitic, anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh, anti-homosexual, and anti-female attitudes, as well as to foment resentment of Western influence.5

For many people immediate credibility exists if the United Nations supports a position, term, or behavioral action. Within this international organization the term has achieved a degree of linguistic and political acceptance, to the point that the Secretary-General of the United Nations presided over a December, 2004 conference titled "Confronting Islamophobia" and in May a Council of Europe summit condemned "Islamophobia."

There are literally thousands of examples available to demonstrate the points I have presented. Does this mean that Islamophbia exists? I offer to you now that it does not-it is not real. You cannot see, touch, breathe or hold onto it. Any thinking, caring person knows that this is simply a humankind term used to describe a behavioral phenomenon that only exists because we allow it to exist. The degree to which we submit to its implementation will adversely impact the values of Western civilization and allow the emergence of a fifth column within our society whose ultimate intention is to replace our way of life with one our enemies cherish.

I leave you with the following: "It's a long-standing rule of apologetics and dissimulation: Keep it general, and the uninitiated will project what they want to hear onto the generalities, thus guarding against uncomfortably specific questions…Of course, it's always entirely up to the West to stop Islamophobia. Muslim countries couldn't possibly consider a few simple steps of their own."7

End Notes

1.Tawfik Hamid, How to End 'Islamophobia', posted Opinion Journal from the WSJ May 25, 2007

2.GS Don Morris, Political Correctness-It is Killing Us, May, 2007,

3.GS Don Morris, Political Correctness-It is Killing Us-Part One, April, 2007,

4.Tawfik Hamid, ibid

5.Daniel Pipes, Islamophobia, NY Sun, October 25, 2005

6. Today's Zaman, "Islamophobia denounced at Eurasia Islamic Council meeting," May 16, 2009

7. Jihad Watch, Islamophobia …",May 16,200

Friday, March 26, 2010

Open Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

I was already very troubled by your administration's handling of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly with respect to Israel's recent announcement of building plans for Jerusalem during Vice President Biden's visit.

* The new apartments, while technically over the Green Line, are to be built in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem.

* Ramat Shlomo already has a population of 18,000, larger than many towns in the US.

* The location, called "East Jerusalem" by the press, is actually west of the Old City and is actually immediately north of downtown Jerusalem.

* No Arabs live there and no Arabs live between Ramat Shlomo and Jewish Jerusalem.

* Ramat Shlomo has been included in US peace proposals as being inside Israel under a final peace settlement.

* Construction of apartments, synagogues, commercial stores and community centers in Ramat Shlomo has been going on for 14 years, without US condemnation.

I admit that the timing of Israel's building announcement was inconvenient.

However, by choosing to disbelieve Prime Minister Netanyahu, by rejecting his apology, and by instead turning this issue into a crisis with Israel, your administration has made it just about impossible for the Palestinians to return to talks.

Now you have poured salt on the wound by being rude to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There has never been any doubt in any final solution negotiations that Jerusalem would continue to be Israel's capital.

That aside, why should Israel not be allowed to build housing wherever it wants to so long as the land is available or the landowners are appropriately compensated? Why is it ok for the Palestinian Authority to continue to enforce a decades-old Jordanian law that made it a capital crime to sell land to Jews.?

Why is your administration making a big deal about Israel building houses, but not criticizing the PA for that or for educating their children to glorify suicide murderers or to use textbooks that do not show Israel's existence on any maps?

How has the US' angry response lambasting Israel moved US policy forward?

I understand that Secretary of State Clinton has communicated a list of unreasonable requirements which your administration is imposing on Israel in order to restore confidence in bilateral talks and to open the way for resuming negotiations.

I do not believe that Israel can or should hold out for "Greater Israel" or can achieve peace without making concessions. However, in this instance Israel should not be pressured or expected to reverse its totally reasonable building plans, and certainly should not be pressured or expected to release Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has consistently been ready to negotiate all of the issues required to make peace and provide for the formation of a Palestinian State. In contrast, the Palestinians have consistently put barriers in the way and imposed preconditions before negotiating. I am disappointed that you have not shown more leadership by challenging them on that.

I believe that the responsibility for reducing the recent tensions rests with you and your administration. You owe Israel and Mr. Netanyahu an apology! I am now not sure why I voted for you (despite your recent success with healthcare).

Isaiah D. Cooper

President Obama Needs a More Evenhanded Mideast Policy

This is a letter published in the Connecticut Post on March 26, 2010. It was sent in response to a misguided column by Trudy Rubin published in the Connecticut Post on March 21. The column may be viewed at

Trudy Rubin's column (CP - March 21) is filled with errors of fact and unwarranted assumptions that make a mockery of what are supposed to be desired peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis. As Rubin reported, President Obama took grave offense at an Israeli municipal action to approve building new Jewish homes in Jerusalem that he alleged was disruptive to peace. Close examination reveals that there another side to this story.

The expectation has always been in the various Middle East "peacr" processes that issues between the Arab and Israeli parties are to be worked out in negotiation, not through arbitrary dictates and certainly not through violence.

The fact is that, pending the crafting of a final agreement, Israel has the right to build homes in Jerusalem. Jewish building in Jerusalem has continued for decades even during prior negotiations and does not constitute a change in agreed on procedures or commitments.

In the case of the recent approval of 1600 apartments by the Jerusalem municipality, this is a project in the northwestern part of the city -- not in any disputed post 1967-War part -- and is sandwiched between two existing, large Jewish neighborhoods. This is an area that all prior negotiations have identified as within the part of Jerusalem that Israel will continue to hold irrespective of how final negotiated borders are drawn. It is in this light that President Obama's sudden intrusion into this matter, taking extreme offense on what is a routine act by an Israeli municipal official, appears most unwarranted and arbitrary.

Interestingly, it was not until a few days after approval by the municipal agency was announced that V.P. Biden, already in Israel, bestirred himself, under the direction of President Obama, to publicly take offense at the Israeli action. This immediately emboldened the Arab side to similarly object and to initiate violent demonstrations throughout Israel. The Arabs also halted the beginning of a long awaited new negotiation and now they demand a rescinding of Israel's project as the price of continuing.

The picture that emerges is that the stoking of violent Arab unrest and disruption of negotiation has been the result of President Obama's attempt to impose a new, unilateral concession on Israel. This clearly undermines negotiation and has the effect of compromising trust in the US as a neutral arbitrator between the parties.

It is relevant that the Arab side had for more than a year refused to negotiate and only recently agreed to begin "proximity" talks.

These use a US mediator as the interface between the parties, sidestepping direct Arab contact with Israelis. This arms-length approach hardly demonstrates the "trust" that the Arabs and President Obama say is essential.

Finally, Rubin fails to take note that the Arab side has persistently indulged in terrorist violence and carries on school programs teaching hatred of Israel -- violations of their long standing promises to cease such action. This is hardly the kind of conduct that will lead to a successful two-state solution that Rubin thinks is in Israel's interest.

The point is that no thinking person should expect that Israel will find it in its interest to be railroaded into allowing a dangerous Arab enemy to emerge with statehood. In keeping with its grave danger to its people, Israel could be forced to react with painful and overwhelming force against such an advent, hence, care must be taken bring along a peace process within a context promoting trust.

It is unfortunate that President Obama has so unwisely intervened.

It creates a division between an important US ally, Israel, and is hardly a contribution to a wise strategic policy needed in the peace process.

David Basch
Fairfield, CT

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Next year in …: An open letter to Rahm Emanuel & David Axelrod

[This open letter was sent by David Wilder to Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. It is posted with the permission of David Wilder.]

David Wilder
March 15, 2010
Nisan 1, 5770, 3/15/2010

Dear Rahm and David,

I'm writing this as I sit and watch, via live internet, the ceremony marking the rededication of the Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem, in the area you would classify "east Jerusalem", disputed territory, or perhaps, 'occupied territory' over the 'green line' adjacent to 'Temple Mount.'

Before asking a few questions, I'd like to describe to you several men who took part in tonight's celebration.

First, there is Reuvan 'Ruby' Rivlin, presently speaker of the Knesset. A seventh generation Jerusalemite, Ruby is a 'Rivlin' from both his mother and father's side, descended from both Rebbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem Tov and the Gra, the Gaon, Rebbi Eliyahu from Vilna.

Rivlin, a seasoned politician, had trouble controlling his voice as he spoke, his words quivering with emotion, as he repeated the words of his great-grandfather, who spoke at the rededication of the destroyed Hurva shul a hundred and fifty years ago.

Also speaking briefly was former Prisoner of Zion, former minister, and present chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, who described how, in 1992, he convinced the entire Israeli government to unanimously approve reconstruction of the Hurva, destroyed by the Jordanians following their occupation of the Jerusalem in 1948.

But the man who most impressed me was David Rabinovitch, an Israeli Russian, who contributed heavily to the renovation of the Hurva. Rubenstein spoke briefly, albeit in Russian, and announced that he and his partners, whose financial fortunes built the Hurva, would participate in rebuilding the nearby Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, also destroyed by the Arabs during the War of Independence. These men, who grew up without any Jewish background, and who today barely speak Hebrew, are investing their life's fortunes in synagogues, in Jerusalem.

And you, Rahm and David, what are you investing your lives in?

Rahm, it is said that you are the cornerstone of your boss' policy towards Israel and the Middle East. Since this administration took office, you are quoted, time and time again, as forcing a 'two-state solution' on Israel. "Israel now faces a moment of truth - it can either acquiesce to international demands and in return have its most serious threats dealt with, or maintain the status quo and have those threats persist." In other words, Israel's future, as a state, and in large part, the continued existence of the Jewish people, is dependent on Israel 'towing the line,' obeying US policy, and acquiescing to US-Arab terrorist demands.

And David, just a few days ago you publicly turned Israel over your knee and paddled her, saying, "What happened there was an affront,…It was an insult. ... This was not the right way to behave." This, of course, in reference to the announcement that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem.

Is this the behavior of two good Jewish boys, who, it is said, love Israel?

Rahm, truthfully it's very difficult to understand your actions. You belong to an orthodox synagogue in Chicago. You grew up in a Jewish home, with a strong affinity to Israel. Your father was born in Jerusalem and your uncle, for whom you were named, was killed by Arabs in Jerusalem. But you still support a position forbidding Jewish building in Jerusalem!?

And David, you too are no stranger to Judaism. Born on the Lower East Side in New York, you always knew you were Jewish. Yet you see fit to push your own people into security situations which jeopardize the continued existence of the Jewish State.

How is it that two men whose lives have always been saturated with Judaism do not comprehend simple truths understood by others who grew up in Soviet Russia, knowing almost nothing about their Jewish roots.? Even your names reflect your Jewish souls: David - dating back to King David - the eternal King of Israel; and Rahm - meaning 'high,' hinting at the Creator, and in your case, a form of the word Rachamim, meaning mercy. Upon who do you have mercy, Mr. Emanuel? Perhaps both of you should repudiate your names, changing them, as did Hellenistic Jews in Israel during the time of Greek occupation of Israel. How can you carry such "Jewish names' yet, at the same time, assist in pushing your people to the brink?

I have one other question for both of you men. Tonight marks the first day of the new month of Nisan, the month of Geula, of redemption from Egypt. In exactly two weeks we will begin the Passover holiday, commencing with the Seder, the first Pesach meal, when we relate the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt.

It is said that last year, both of you were invited to the President's Passover Seder, but skipped it, preferring to eat Matza with your families, at home. Very touching. But why?

What I really want to know is not how you begin your family Seder, rather, how you end it. Normally, Jews finish the night's ceremony declaring "Next year in Jerusalem" or Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem."

Rahm Emanual and David Axelrod:







Isn't it time you left the White House and came home to your real home, in Israel, in Jerusalem where you too can stand proudly at the Kotel and recite, as Jews have for eternity "Next year in [Jewish] Jerusalem."

The Jewish Community of Hebron
POB 105 , Kiryat Arba-Hebron 90100

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Crossing the Line: Journalistic Irresponsibility at The Hartford Courant

On March 21, The Hartford Courant published a commentary by Bessy Reyna (email <>) entitled "Amid Repression, Provocations of Palestinians, It's Business As Usual," (available at,0,6910479.story) which not only crossed the line separating even harsh but legitimate criticism from a hateful screed, but which contained numerous blatant factual errors.

The following email was sent to the editorial page editor of The Courant. PRIMER awaits a response.

I was disappointed to see yet another Bessy Reyna commentary about Israel published, the second of which I'm aware since our 2008 meeting at which we were told she had been instructed to stop writing on that subject.

Besides her expected extreme bias and sins of omission which go beyond any responsible commentary, Reyna again included several blatant factual errors. On behalf of PRIMER-Connecticut and in line with the responsibility of newspapers when factual errors are published, I request that corrections be issued.

Among the factual errors:

•" … the announcement of Israel's plan to build a new settlement of 1,600 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem."

The plans are not for a "new settlement." They are for additions to an existing community. (The Israeli government hasn't approved any "new settlements" since the start of the failed Oslo process.)

There also is no entity by the name of "East Jerusalem," despite the widespread, but incorrect use of that term. Ramat Shlomo is not even in the eastern portion of Jerusalem; it's actually in northwest Jerusalem

It's also highly questionable to refer to the area as occupied, since it isn't even in the portion of Jerusalem that had been occupied by Jordan but it's in what had been a "no man's land" between the Israeli portion and the portion occupied by Jordan from 1948-1967.

•" … prompted by Israel's decision to name the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron- a Palestinian place of worship since the seventh century - and the Mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah in Bethlehem as Jewish heritage sites, thus limiting Muslims' access to their own mosques."

Including these sites on a list of Jewish heritage sites (which they clearly are) in no way limits the access of Muslims. Indeed, the improvements planned will actually increase the accessibility for Muslims. (One might consider the latter assertion as a matter of opinion, but Reyna's statement was asserted as fact and is clearly false.)

It's also false to refer to the first as a "Palestinian place of worship since the seventh century," since it is indisputable that there was no "Palestinian people" at that time.

What Reyna misleadingly refers to only as the "Ibrahimi Mosque" is the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It has had some significance to Muslims, but that is predated by millennia by the holiness to Jews, something Reyna completely omits.

Similarly, what Reyna misleadingly refers to only as the "Mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah" is actually Rachel's Tomb, similarly revered by Jews long before Islam arose.

These omissions may not technically be factual errors, but are certainly misleading distortions which qualify as egregious violations of journalistic responsibility.

•…"The peaceful demonstrations which have resulted as a reaction to the taking of these mosques …"

The demonstrations were far from peaceful. Some of them involved throwing stones at people trying to worship at the Western Wall. (This affected me personally, since I happened to be in Jerusalem at the time, was planning to visit the Western Wall and changed those plans primarily because of the violent demonstrations.)

To refer to "the taking of these mosques" is also totally false; nothing has been taken.

•"Known as the Goldstone Report, it concluded that there was strong evidence confirming that numerous serious violations of international law, both humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by Israel during the military operations in Gaza from Dec. 27, 2008, to Jan. 17, 2009."

This is also false and contradicted by the words of the author of the report. Judge Goldstone himself has stated "If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven."

One can reasonably question the wisdom of certain Israeli actions, but like Reyna's previously commentaries on the Arab war against the existence of the only Jewish state in the world, this column was venomous, goes far beyond the line of reasonable criticism, contains unacceptable distortions resulting from what can only be inferred to be the deliberate omission of highly relevant facts and contains blatant factual errors.

Again, on behalf of PRIMER, I request The Courant appropriate issue official corrections for the blatant factual errors and in the future refrain from staining its pages by publishing additional commentaries which so blatantly cross the line separating legitimate criticism from hateful screeds.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Letters to the President, Vice President and Secretary of State

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

March 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President:

It's generally understood that in any Arab-Israeli peace agreement, almost all the concessions are going to be made by Israel. Given that reality, it's obvious that Israel must be able to trust the United States to stand by its word and its commitments.

It's hard to believe Israel would have any trust left after the recent actions and rhetoric coming from your administration.

In June, 2008, I listened to you insist Jerusalem must remain the undivided as the capital of Israel. Your current Secretary of State said much the same thing, while your Vice President co-sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act making that United States policy.

The severe criticism leveled at Israel allegedly because of a routine announcement about ordinary housing in its capital is inconsistent both with your statements and the policy declared in that act, especially since the building will be in an area where even those supporting the redivision of Jerusalem recognize would remain part of Israel.

Meanwhile, while your administration has been busy unfairly criticizing Israel and undermining trust, the Palestinian Authority has taken a despicable action is an indication of how little it is interested in peace and which merits harsh criticism.

As soon as Vice President Biden left, it rushed to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel's history. Dalai Mughrabi led a bloody attack murdering 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.

It is clear that for peace to ever become possible, the Palestinian Arabs must completely change their society and their values.

Your administration's ignoring of their provocations while pandering to their unreasonable demands undermines any chance of peace and helps prevent the emergence of any real peace process.


Alan H. Stein

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Vice President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

March 13, 2010

Dear Mr. Vice President:

It's generally understood that in any Arab-Israeli peace agreement, almost all the concessions are going to be made by Israel. Given that reality, it's obvious that Israel must be able to trust the United States to stand by its word and its commitments.

It's hard to believe Israel would have any trust left after the recent actions and rhetoric coming from you during your recent trip to Israel and from others in the Obama Administration.

In 1995, you cosponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act, declaring as official American policy that Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of Israel. In June, 2008, I listened as then Senator Obama asserted his agreement with that policy, as did Secretary of State Clinton when she was a Senator.

The severe criticism you have leveled at Israel, allegedly because of a routine announcement about ordinary housing in its capital, is inconsistent both with your statements and the policy declared in that act, especially since the building will be in an area where even those supporting the redivision of Jerusalem recognize would remain part of Israel.

Meanwhile, while the Obama Administration has been busy unfairly criticizing Israel and undermining trust, the Palestinian Authority has taken a despicable action is an indication of how little it is interested in peace and which merits harsh criticism.

As soon as you left, the Palestinian Authority rushed to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel's history. Dalai Mughrabi led a bloody attack murdering 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.

It is clear that for peace to ever become possible, the Palestinian Arabs must completely change their society and their values.

The continued ignoring of their provocations while pandering to their unreasonable demands undermines any chance of peace and helps prevent the emergence of any real peace process.


Alan H. Stein

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

March 13, 2010

Dear Madame Secretary:

It's generally understood that in any Arab-Israeli peace agreement, almost all the concessions are going to be made by Israel. Given that reality, it's obvious that Israel must be able to trust the United States to stand by its word and its commitments.

It's hard to believe Israel would have any trust left after the recent actions and rhetoric coming from your administration.

As Senator and as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, you repeatedly expressed your agreement that Jerusalem remain the undivided capital of Israel. In June, 2008, I listened to President Obama say the same thing, while Vice President Biden even co-sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act which made that United States policy.

The severe criticism leveled at Israel allegedly because of a routine announcement about ordinary housing in its capital is inconsistent both with your statements and the policy declared in that act, especially since the building will be in an area where even those supporting the redivision of Jerusalem recognize would remain part of Israel.

Meanwhile, while the Obama Administration has been busy unfairly criticizing Israel and undermining trust, the Palestinian Authority has taken a despicable action is an indication of how little it is interested in peace and which merits harsh criticism.

As soon as Vice President Biden left, it rushed to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel's history. Dalai Mughrabi led a bloody attack murdering 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children.

It is clear that for peace to ever become possible, the Palestinian Arabs must completely change their society and their values.

Ignoring the incitement and provocations of the Palestinian Authority while pandering to its unreasonable demands undermines any chance of peace and helps prevent the emergence of any real peace process.


Alan H. Stein

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Biased and Incomplete Reporting

This is the heart of an "alert" sent to the PRIMER Email Response Team. The texts of the articles to which it refers are omitted here but most can be found on the papers' web sites. Since they were all wire service articles, they appeared in many newspapers around the country.

During the last two days, The Hartford Courant, New Haven Register, Waterbury Republican-American and likely other Connecticut newspapers have published "news" stories which are effectively biased, are infused with opinion inappropriate to a news article and present a very incomplete picture.

The publication of these articles help illustrate the need to constantly present the balancing viewpoints, through letters and op-eds, even during periods that seem relatively quiet.

Most of the articles refer the plans for building a handful of apartments in Israel's capital and are written from a perspective assuming the Arab complaints are perfectly reasonable, that America's pandering to those complaints is also perfectly reasonable.

Left out is any perspective, including the fact the building is in an area that has no chance of ever being turned over to the Palestinian Arabs under any conceivable agreement. There is not even a suggestion about the obvious fact that if the Palestinian Arabs had any real interest in reaching a peace agreement they would no more be making any fuss about building housing for Jews than Israel is making about the massive construction of homes for Arabs in the disputed territories, no less complaining about building in areas that are obviously never going to be under their jurisdiction.

The article in the Register refers to Vice President Joe Biden warning "actions that 'inflame tensions,'" in a manner that makes it clear it refers to the routine Israeli announcement about the building plans. There is no reference to actions taken by the Palestinian Authority, particularly regarding incitement, which really do inflame tensions and keep pushing any prospects for peace further and further away.

Included near the end of this email is a bulletin from Palestinian Media Watch about plans by the supposedly "moderate" Palestinian Authority to name a square for the terrorist Dalai Mughrabi. The ceremony was planned for today, March 11, the anniversary of one of Mughrabi's terror attacks that killed 37 innocent Israelis.

It appears (although it's not perfectly clear) from the PMW report that, under pressure from both Israel and America, the PA has either postponed or cancelled today's ceremonies. Regardless of whether this particular ceremony has been cancelled:

(a) The fact that the PA would even consider so honoring such a brutal terrorist (as it has honored many others) is a strong indication that it has no real interest in living together with Israel in peace.

(b) We have seen no reporting of this in any Connecticut newspapers. Actions taken by the Palestinian Arabs to undermine prospects for peace, and clear indications that they are not interested in peace, are obviously not considered newsworthy by Connecticut newspapers.

(c) However one feels about "settlements" or growth of communities, that's not what determines whether there will be peace negotiations. It's often used as an excuse by the PA to avoid negotiations, and it's waved about by some in order to exploit the issue's divisiveness, but the questions of peace negotiations and of a "two (or three or four)-state solution," which the Arabs may very well not want, involve much broader and more fundamental issues than the building of a handful of homes.

(d) Barry Rubin has a very cogent article about the building announcement. It may be viewed at

(e) It appears that Abbas has already reneged on his agreement to engage in even indirect talks. An update at,7340,L-3861093,00.html says "Chief Palestinian neogiator Saeb Erekat confirmed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas notified the Arab League that he does not intend to renew peace talks with Israel unless construction is frozen in east Jerusalem."

One final item on which some may wish to comment. The article in the Register refers to Biden reassuring the Palestinian Arabs that they "deserve a sustainable, independent state."

One wonders why it is necessary to keep insisting the Palestinian Arabs deserve a state, while few ever insist the Tibetans, Kurds or dozens of other stateless national groups with far longer histories deserve states. Could it be the way the Palestinian Arabs have made such effective use of terrorism? If so, what kind of message is that sending to other groups?