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|David J. Langum||September 8th 2008|
When Random House recently reneged on its agreement to publish Sherry Jones’s manuscript, The Jewel of Medina, it was clear that the basis for repudiation was solely its fear that publication might offend some Muslims or even cause violence. While this novel that concerns Muhammad’s child bride might be a well or poorly-written book, and its contents good or bad history, Random House had already thoroughly vetted those issues, paid the author a $100,000 advance, and arranged for book club and foreign publication. It was only a warning of violence and Random House’s resulting cowardice that prompted the publisher’s repudiation. Most of us would be appalled if the heavy hand of government restrained the publication of any book. Yet there is no difference to readers if the restraint is made by a cowardly publisher. The public is as much deprived by cowardly self-censorship as by the hand of government. Moreover, this form of cowardice will only lead to more and more of this form of self-censorship and constitutes an affront to the integrity of literary publication. We all should stand up to it, in whatever ways are available to us. The Langum Charitable Trust (www.langumtrust.org) is a small foundation that gives book awards in various categories. The way of “standing up” available to us was to put Random House and its affiliates out of the running for our prizes until an English version of this book is actually published. Our foundation certainly holds no animus toward Random House. Last year’s winner of our American historical fiction award was a Random House title. Nor is there an issue of “what good” will come of our decision. For us, it was simply the right thing to do.
David J. Langum is director of the the Langum Charitable Trust, a foundation that awards book and media prizes.
|Esther Ferris||September 1st 2008|
Reading your recent article about Egyptian plans to outlaw organ transplants between Muslims and Christians ( Egypt Seeks to Ban Christian-Muslim Organ Transplants, Feature August 25) is nothing less than traditional eugenics played out in the Arab world. It is the blood the ruling majority does not want to mix. This time, the target group is the minority Christians. Racial purity here we go again. I am sure the same ban will soon apply to transfusions. We already have seen Muslim doctors in Britain refuse to render medical care to women as well as people suffering from diseases arising from sexual transmission and alcohol. What's next? Apartheid hospitals like they used to have in South Africa in the bad old days. Medical care in any society should be available to all without a religious, racial or ethnic test.
|Raul Lopez||August 25th 2008|
Reading your "cutting edge" coverage of America's corrupt financial institutions--from the Federal Reserve Bank to the Treasury Department to Merrill Lynch, it is obvious that the public cannot trust a word of what bank executives are saying. Their off-the-books losses based on years of accumulated sweeheart, reckless and predator lending has now crippled the country's financial system. I look forward to the day these executives are not permitted to buy their way out of their lies and deception with multi-billion civil settlements, but instead must do serious jail time. Has it not occured to anyone that the bank robbers are actually working for the bank. Keep up the great coverage.
|Leo Rechter||August 4th 2008|
Every month our organization, The National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors, send copies of our NAHOS newsletter to several officials at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as well as to Mr. Reto Meister, the administrator of the International Tracing Service archives in Bad Arolsen, Germany. Recently we received a letter from Mr. Meister, thanking us for receiving our newsletter and assuring us that he was reading our newsletter and recommendations with interest. It would have been gratifying to receive a similar letter from any of the USHMM officials. Shouldn’t they also pay attention to our wishes? After all, it is our families’ tragic fate that gave rise to their fields of endeavor. When will they stop looking with disdain or indifference upon the survivors, like simply being other objects that need classifying?
The writer is the president of The National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors.
|Lawrence Brandel||July 28th 2008|
In regards to Aaron Klein's article on Rev. Pfleger (The Cutting Edge News June 29, 2009) I have a quick comment on the Reverend's theology. On or about June 3, 2008 Rev. Pfleger was quoted in a Cathleen Falsani article in the Chicago Sun-Times about racism and the Bible. "I understand that," he says. "People say, well, I thought you were more politically savvy. Well, I would have been if I was speaking at a banquet, or if I were speaking at a press conference. But I didn't think this was a political time. I was speaking at a pulpit about an issue that is . . . the greatest sin against the Bible, about racism." I have not studied Black Liberation Theology, however the use of "Liberation" implies a liberation from something, or maybe a liberation to something. I am not necessarily sure what a "sin against the Bible" is. However, I understand the statement to rank racism above all other sins. As for ranking a sin in the Bible, racism is not #1. Idolatry is. One would think that a Catholic priest of 25 years plus service would know this. Application of this knowledge is another issue. Rev. Pfleger's ranking of racism over idolatry as a sin is idolatry in and of itself. And if he is preaching accordingly, he is leading his flock away from the teachings of God. I would like to know what the basis is for the Reverend to think racism is a sin. It is a sin because it denies God's created order. All sin starts with putting yourself ahead of God. I doubt that elevating the sin of racism to #1 is part of the Catholic curriculum. Maybe Cardinal George should send him back to school. Read more ..
|Maria Zedda||July 21st 2008|
In February 2003, my aunt-in-law, Eileen invited us to dinner at the beautiful plantation house she shared with her partner Meta, in the marshland countryside surrounding the romantic Charleston, where my husband and I lived at the time.
As we were chatting away in the kitchen, talking about new jobs and our new life in the Deep South of the United States, Eileen left the room for a moment to come back a few minutes later with the New York Times magazine in her hand. She gave it to me and she said, “I know you’re not working in disability anymore but I wondered what you thought about this. She’s a lawyer from Charleston.”
I looked down and there it was, Unspeakable Conversations: a huge article about disability and eugenics written by Harriet McBryde Johnson. I looked at her photograph, read the first few lines of the piece, and sat down and devoured it with a passion I hadn’t felt in a long time. The writer was a lawyer whose spinal muscular atrophy left her extremely thin and physically quite weak. Yet her spirit and writing and wittiness had the muscular strength of a Cyclops. She took so much risk in confronting herself and Dr Peter Singer, the professor of bioethics at Princeton University, that I was flabbergasted.
At the time I had reached “Disability Issues Burnout” as I called it then, as after years of working in this field—first in London in the UK , then in San Francisco in California, and then Bologna in my home country of Italy—I just simply could not find the motivation anymore to work around disability issues. Doubts were creeping up in my consciousness as to whether I was working in the disability field not because I really felt for it, but only because I could not find a good job in “mainstream” employment. Being severely deaf, wearing hearing aids and lip-reading, and talking with a strange deafy-Italian accent, I had almost never been unemployed since I had run away from my family home in Sardinia and found refuge in the UK. I was always striving to prove everyone wrong about my abilities, especially back home. Read more ..
|Tammy Hendricks||June 30th 2008|
I am probably speaking for many in saying that I was unaware of the the role Liquid Nature Gas production and shipment plays in the handbook of America's enemies--both our economic adversaries and terrorists. Your articles on this subject have not only brought this to the forefront for me, but makes me wonder why more in the mainstream media cannot tackle this topic. The fact that these shipments are so well protected does not reassure me as much as confirm just how vulnerable they are.
|Bryan Mitchell||June 23rd 2008|
West Yorkshire, UK
Your article "Liquefied Natural Gas Tankers Remain Giant Terror Targets" (Page One June 16) does nothing but perpetuate the myths about LNG shipping. The expert witnesses speaking in front of your congress have their own agenda to play up the risk, a risk which frankly is laughable.
The union representatives know nothing of our (UK that is) vetting or monitoring procedures, scaring the US public with visions of floating bombs manned by any Tom, Dick or Harry that choses to board is just so ridiculous I can't believe the politicians don't see through it. No one can sail on board any ship I have ever worked on without an official seaman's registration book issued by their own country and more commonly now the flag state of the ship registration as well. The flag state issues the identification document after verifying the national ID and certification. I (and every other certificated officer in the UK) am subject to a revalidation process every 5 years, the British government has my full history of the 40 years I have spent at sea. We come to the US and suddenly I am a security risk? I am master on one of the largest, latest generation LNG ships scheduled eventually to come to the US and I can tell you I don't like the idea at all.
The United States is the most hated shipping destination in the world, the authorities are inhospitable, the regulations so complex and unforgiving that the smallest mistake in completing a form leads to a fine of more than $25,000 and delays which can quickly end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars more. Furthermore, my ship, like many of the sister vessels being built at the moment, is registered in the Marshall Islands which is US territory and a US 2nd register, we are also classed by ABS the American Bureau of Shipping. Yes my ship is registered with a flag of convenience, with the head office in Richmond, Virginia. True, I'm not a US citizen, so they got that bit right.
The US is dependent on international not American shipping, without it the country would quickly stop, the only reason your union bosses insist on using the terror-threat card at every turn is for them to get their members on board my ship. Wake up, their is no terror threat from an LNG tanker bomber. LNG shipping has the best safety record of any sector in the shipping world; the ships are built to contain the cargo they hold. The cargo is almost impossible to explode and the notion that a ship can be blown up on demand is beyond belief and as for a Naval officer suggesting such a thing raises doubt on the creditablity of US naval intelligence services. LNG burns with a "lazy" flame, not an explosive one; in all probability any incident on a tanker would lead to fire nothing more, bad enough for those on board but this does not represent a major danger to surrounding areas. No large scale test has ever been conducted of the results of a leak of LNG, all results are an extrapolation of a test using very small quantities of LNG carried out in the early seventies. Everything being given as fact is far from it.
Set the record strait (sic). Stop slandering me and my colleagues and be honest with the American public. LNG ships have been around for almost 50 years and there has never been a major accident, I am sure this record will continue.
I wanted to share with your readers a letter that I had sent to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and his reply. My letter and his reply follows.
New York, NY 10158
I am writing to clarify my views on Jews, the Holocaust and the state of Israel, which have recently been the subject of news accounts.
I have devoted much of my adult life to combating anti-Semitism and supporting the state of Israel. My commitment to eradicating anti-Semitism, including its historic antecedents in the Christian community, has been central to my ministry.
Also central to my faith is a belief in an omnipotent, sovereign God. In a sermon in 1999, I grappled with the vexing question of why a loving God would allow the evil of the Holocaust to occur. I know how sensitive the issue of the holocaust is and should be to the Jewish community and I regret if my Jewish friends felt any pain as a result. I have always believed that the Holocaust was a tragedy unique in its evil and horror and I pledge to you that I will always work with the Jewish community and others of good will in fulfilling the words, "Never again."
I cannot deny the tenets of my faith. However, I will work to express my faith in a way that is sensitive to and respectful of others, including the Jewish community. This includes acknowledging the limits of our understanding in seeking to comprehend the mind of God.
In the heat of a campaign season, some have attempted to use my words to divide us. The stakes for Israel and its allies are too great for us to allow this to happen. So please accept this heartfelt expression as the first step towards our working together to promote a dialogue between Christians and Jews based on reconciliation and mutual respect. Read more ..
|Marie Salerno||June 16th 2008|
We have about four months before we elect a new President. The nominees are in their corners and the present President is more than one-and-one-half feet out the door. So it might be a good time to start reporting the news - not just the politics. We have a war going on, several in fact. The present administration put a pretty good blackout on pictures of the war and controversial reporting. Their time is over. It's time for the American people to see what these wars are costing them in terms of lives, injuries and damage both to our men and women in combat and the civilians from many countries. It's time for us to see the flag draped caskets. It's time we were able to see the wheelchairs, the crutches, the children, the blown out cities, the ruined equipment. It's time for us to take responsibility for all that we have done and are doing. It's time for us to take back our civil liberties and honor. It's time for the media to stop cow-towing to the administration. It's time for the Walter Cronkite's and Edward R. Murrow's of the day to make us stand up and take notice...whether we like it or not. And maybe then, maybe when we do take notice, the kids will start coming home and the money will stay in this country where it should be and the "war on terror" will end and it will stop being politics as usual. Maybe, just maybe, we could start once again being proud to be an American.
|Steve Ferguson||June 9th 2008|
Shai Agassi's electric car and his network [Shai Agassi's Electric Car Plan Good Enough to “Wipe out Gasoline Cars” says Deutsche Bank, May 26 Energy] is something that should have been available decades ago. The technology is old--it goes back to the the electric car networks of the 1990s. At some point our society and our government must hold Detroit's carmakers responsible for hooking our nation on gas guzzling automobiles. GM, Ford, Chrysler and others have been withholding or neglecting electric cars for years to create the present oil crisis. Nor are they the sole culprits. The foreign car companies such as VW, Honda, and Toyota could have brought these cars to our country--and they did not. After we list the car companies, we should place government officials at the top of the list because they ran a public policy that made this mess possible.
Maybe someone can explain why the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum allows Paul Shapiro to wage a standoff with Holocaust survivors with regard to their records at the International Tracing Service in Germany. Are there no supervisors at the Museum who can rein him in? Are there no Senators or Members of the House who can exercise any influence and allow these aging survivors to access their records? It's not about Holocaust tourism in Washington--it's about time. And that time for survivors to have instant access to their records is long overdue.
|Abraham Foxman||June 2nd 2008|
Seven Baha’i leaders recently arrested in Iran are members of an informal Baha’i national coordinating group established to help meet the needs of Iran’s Baha’i community. Six were arrested on May 14 and a seventh has been detained since March.
The arrests of these leaders of the Baha’i faith demonstrate the seriousness of the loss of basic religious freedoms and human rights in Iran. Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power, members of the Baha’i community have been harassed, physically attacked, arrested and imprisoned.
The U.S. government and leading human rights activists have likened the situation to the crackdowns on Baha’is immediately after the 1979 revolution in Iran, when 17 Baha’i leaders were arrested. They have never been heard from again.
Now is the time for world leaders to join together and insist that Iran release these religious prisoners.
Abraham H. Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
|Rich Michaels||June 2nd 2008|
The Red Cross is the world's pre-eminent humanitarian organization. Their first duty is to the victims. My question is this: If so many Holocaust survivors are umcomfotable with the actions of Paul Shapiro [of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum], and his so-called mismanagement of the Bad Arolsen records, why doesn't the Red Cross simply jettison the man? Why should he call the shots? Surely the Red Cross could simply turn to an independent committee of Holocaust surviors, that could be created by their grass-roots organizations and their peers, and allow them to decide the fate of their records. Naturally, such a committee would need to be truly independent and not under the domination of the Museum. I think Holocaust survivors deserve better than the grand standing and politicized experiences they have seen at the hands of Shapiro and his circle. It seems it is up to the Red Cross to show some spunk.
|Spencer Morgan||June 2nd 2008|
I am a student in college and have been hearing many stories about Israel and America on the campus that make my skin crawl.
I was accepted to University California Irvine, but decided against it. I heard Allyson Rowen Taylor speak at a Chabad event and she discussed the issues on the campus to a room filled with parents who had no idea what was going on in the public arena. After reading about UCI online, and speaking with others who have seen the campus antics, I decided to go elsewhere, not only for reasons of the intense hatred of Jews at UCI, but because I wanted to be free of the "apartheid walls" and the vitriol of speakers who create hate with my fellow students. I searched for a campus with high academics where study was a priority, and the influence of the MSU was minimal if not absent. While there are issues at my campus, they are tiny compared to the issues of the UCI campus.
Thank you for opening the eyes of others who have no idea what is happening to our universities.
Spencer Morgan is a member of the Vassar Class of 2011.
|Jennifer Levin||May 26th 2008|
It must be painfully obvious to all by now that Paul Shapiro and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are not working for the benefit of survivors in the Bad Arolsen records controversy. Just read the newsletters of survivor groups, the letters to the editor they have written, and their opinion pieces. Also look at Shapiro stonewalling the press and the Museum imposing media blackouts. The question remains: why can't survivors check out their own files online with local helpers? Why must they travel to Washington to check their files, or work with one one of the Museum's not-too-enthusiastic staffers via telephone. Survivors are all pushing for one thing in this matter--the right to see their own files where they live while they are still alive. Instead, the Museum and Shapiro have obviously set themselves up against the survivors so the Museum can raise money, and use the victim files as a gate attraction. Eventually, there won't be enough survivors to complain any more. Then the matter will be finally resolved in Shapiro's favor.
|A. David Cohen||May 26th 2008|
As a U.S. citizen I am worried. I am worried about exactly who is Barack Obama. If he becomes our next president, do I move to Canada or just hope what I see and fear is not really a problem. In today’s world we are losing our allies, money, stature, property, jobs, and just about all that we hold near and dear to us as Americans. If there ever was a time for a forceful and strong leader is now. All I see and hear coming from his mouth is he will talk to this murderer or this leader of killers. It reminds me of Neville Chamberlain talking to Hitler and being told to go home and all will be alright. I am a life long Democrat but I really feel I need a president who dictates to killers rather than listening to them.
|Alyssa A. Lappen||May 19th 2008|
Americans complain of the billions the Saudis spend in the U.S. to buy influence, strategic assets---and even media outlets.
Now, the public can benefit from the New York Libel Terrorism Protection Act, aka “Rachel's Law,” unanimously passed in the New York State' Assembly and Senate---and signed by Governor David Paterson on April 30th.
U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has now proposed the Freedom of Speech Protection Act (H.R. 5814). On May 7, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) unveiled their Free Speech Protection Act of 2008.
With very little financial support, and a bare trickle of major U.S. media coverage, a lone individual has waged the fight to protect U.S. free press rights from interference by bogus libel suits and rulings in foreign courts.
New York-based investigative journalist Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld countersued Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz in U.S. federal court, after he sued her in London in January 2004 following U.S. publication of her book Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop.
Dr. Ehrenfeld refused to acknowledge British court jurisdiction over a book written and published in the U.S. The London High Court awarded Mahfouz a default judgment, $225,900 in damages and expenses, enjoined British publication of Funding Evil and ordered Dr. Ehrenfeld to publicly apologize and destroy the book---all of which she refused to do. She is now effectively barred from traveling to Great Britain.
British law includes nothing like U.S. First Amendment protections for a free press. Rather, its libel laws favor the plaintiff. Dr. Ehrenfeld therefore asked a New York federal court to grant a declarative judgment, and to find the British Mahfouz default judgment a violation of her First Amendment rights---and unenforceable here.
In Ehrenfeld v. Mahfouz, New York's Court of Appeals (the state's highest court), however, ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to protect Dr. Ehrenfeld from Mahfouz' British High Court default judgment. If allowed to stand, this could undermine the ability of American journalists to expose financial and logistical networks backing terrorism. If U.S. courts lack jurisdiction to protect U.S. journalists writing and publishing---on U.S. soil---the First Amendment will lose its enormous traction.
“Rachel's Law” corrects the problem in New York, by declaring overseas defamation judgments unenforceable there---unless the foreign jurisdiction provides, in substance and application, the same free speech protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The law enables New York residents and publishers to have their day in court.
The law won't have teeth until it is tested. Dr. Ehrenfeld now hopes to return to court to win a U.S. federal declarative judgment against the Saudi libel terrorist. She cannot do so, however, unless Americans fund this ripe opportunity to stop Saudis from silencing the U.S. media. She is seeking tax-deductible contributions to the legal defense fund at the non-profit 501(c) American Center for Democracy that Dr. Ehrenfeld heads (http://www.acdemocracy.org).
Americans, known for flaunting their waste of energy, are finally feeling pain at $4 per gallon. Combined with the steady rise in electricity and natural gas prices, a global lesson in resource scarcity and how it affects the economy is being experienced. Like it or not, we're all in school again.The auto industry bet on inefficiency and lost. The American public bought into this inefficiency and now, instead of having several alternatives to oil, including and especially renewable electricity, we have virtually none. What we failed to make happen through the democratic process, the market will ultimately mandate. Unfortunately, instead of this stream of wealth going to our tax coffers where we have at least some semblance of control over how it's spent, it's going into the hands of the oil companies, the Saudis and others of their ilk. Welcome to the beginning of peak oil. This is how it starts.
Paul Scott is with pluginamerica.org.
|Marie Salerno||May 5th 2008|
Obviously it's election frenzy. First John McCain comes up with the bad idea of cutting gas taxes and now, a couple of weeks later, it's the great, new idea for Hillary Clinton. With a little long range thinking these two candidates, and much of the American public, would figure out that this is one of the worst bad ideas to date. Cutting the gas tax, which is less than 20 cents per gallon, does nothing to help this country and everything to help our so called "enemies," whether they be big corporations or OPEC. Gas tax funds go to building and maintaining roads in this country. Cutting those funds will make people slightly less hysterical for about two minutes, which will allow them to probably drive more which will use up more oil. We should be raising the gas tax, to help the environment and other internal structures of this country, not lowering it, which only one candidate seems to understand. We have the lowest gas prices in the world and all of that money goes overseas.
And while, we're at it, why doesn't someone point out that all that plastic we use and so dearly love - well guess what folks, it's made from petroleum. So we are buying plastic products mostly from China, who we are already indebted to, made with oil mostly from Saudi Arabia and our economy goes even more in the dumps, to put it mildly. Why is it that not one of the media pundits, who are so quick to point out how someone is phrasing a sentence, haven't figured out this is the political pander of the moment? Since most of the media is hell bent on programming the election process to their needs, maybe they should focus on what the real issues are and what should be done about them, not what the politicians think will get them elected.
|Leo Rechter||April 28th 2008|
We received word that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received recently from the International Tracing Service at Bad Arolsen copies of the names-records of Displaced Persons camps. Some 3.5 million names of Displaced Persons are in these so-called DP records. They had been scheduled to be delivered much later, but thanks to our – and the Museum’s urgings - they were transferred much earlier from Germany. Reportedly, they are not well organized and it will take the Museum some time to bring them in order, but these documents will make the search for Survivors much easier and more efficient. We urge in the strongest terms that the Museum’s leadership do their utmost--when these records are in reasonable order--to distribute them to other Jewish museums and libraries around the country. Survivors are still searching for missing relatives or friends and their days are passing.
Leo Rechter is the elected president of the grass-roots National Organization of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors.
|Richard B. Greissman||April 21st 2008|
Please help us quash a rumor that "UK" (AKA the University of Kentucky), in reaction to pressure from the local Moslem community, has reneged on its commitment to offer courses on the Holocaust. Simply put - it isn't so. This rumor is wholly unfounded and in fact may have its origins in a mistaken interpretation of the term "UK."
We are told that an email message, circulating among members of the Central Kentucky Jewish Federation [and elsewhere around the USA], refers to a news story about pressure in the UK to scale back curricular material on the Holocaust. "The UK" referenced in the story is the United Kingdom and not the University of Kentucky. Indeed, whether or not this is the source of the confusion, permit us to comment on the rumor, per se.
There are three vitally important points to be made:
(1) The local Moslem leadership in Lexington, Kentucky would not suggest such a blatantly offensive proposition. It has proven itself especially sensitive to the tenor and content of conversations across the divides of ethnicity and religion.
(2) The academic community on the University of Kentucky campus, from which religious studies programs are supported, would never capitulate to such a demand.
(3) The academic administration of the University of Kentucky would never permit such a grotesque lapse in its commitment to the principle of academic freedom. It would never capitulate to such a demand.
Let us bury this rumor. It is a distortion of the realities on and off campus.
Please see the online rebuttal here. Also see this most recent news release and an article that appeared in the New York Times here.
Richard B. Greissman is Assistant Provost of the University of Kentucky. Read more ..
|Audrae Erickson||April 7th 2008|
The March 31 column “The Problem with Corn,” does not reflect the latest science about high fructose corn syrup. Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health, Nutrition Department Chairman, told The New York Times in 2006, “There's no substantial evidence to support the idea that high-fructose corn syrup is somehow responsible for obesity.” In fact, obesity rates are rising around the world, including in Mexico, Australia and Europe, even though the use of high fructose corn syrup outside of the United States is limited. Research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is safe and no different from other common sweeteners like sugar and honey.
High fructose corn syrup has the same number of calories as sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “Generally Recognized as Safe” status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.
Consumers can get the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at www.HFCSfacts.com.
Audrae Erickson is president of the Corn Refiners Association.
|Nancy Sheftel-Gomes||March 31st 2008|
I read Edwin Black’s piece in the The Cutting Edge News [Barack Obama--Mentored by an Anti-American, Anti-Zionist Black Separatist, March 17, 2008] and as ever appreciate his clear reporter style and multi-faceted perspective on the issues. As a student of human behavior and a Jewish Educator (and having been married to my African American, Korean War vet, pre-affirmative-action husband for 39 years) I can't help feeling that some of what Reverend Wright has said is close to the truth about racial inequality in the United States today.
Inequality and persecution make for strange bedfellows. Five years ago I attended an anti-war protest at the Civic Center to stand against the looming war. I found it unnerving that anti-Zionists were present in full force.
While the issue of race has been openly thrown upon the table, where are concrete plans to change the growing gap between the haves and the have nots—from either candidate? The issue of race may be divisive, but in this political atmosphere it is a diversion and an opportunity for more useless political rhetoric between the leading Democratic candidates. The big question is will the Democrats have a candidate that can be elected? Not if they keep dancing around.
Nancy Sheftel-Gomes is the director of education at Congregation Sherith Israel in Sam Francisco.
|Janis Vikmanis||March 31st 2008|
Micah Halpern does well in efforts publishing good information [Riga -- Modern Latvia Flocks to Nazi Past, March 24, 2008] but there is a lack of historical knowledge concerning some events.
Nazis used Latvian soldiers as cannon fodder, putting them in the front lines to cover themselves. No one would think of calling the Finnish people Nazis just because they, with no option at hand, received the Nazis as allies.
Amongst the Latvians that killed Jews in forests were also drunken teenagers who had parents deported by the Communists some years earlier. One can ask Mrs.Valentina Lasmane, a former teacher of such kids who lives in Stockholm today. The Occupation of Latvia was well-arranged theatre performed by the Nazis. In 1939, in agreement with the Communists, the non-aggression Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty was drawn. Most likely the Nazis also left some loyalists dressed out to be Jews, cheering and welcoming the Communists. Before their occupation in 1941, the Nazis had withdrawn all those of German descent.
Communists killed a lot in 1940. This Latvians remembered once the Nazis returned. (Latvia was occupied by Communists in 1940, Nazis in 1941 and Communists again from 1945 to 1991). Such remembrance pleased the Nazis and was “well used” in Nazi propaganda released in 1941. Read more ..
|Mary Kay LaBrie||March 31st 2008|
I appreciate and agree with the article, "The Millions of Americans Barack Obama Forgot and Perhaps Does not Know" [Editorial, March 24, 2008.] Following Obama's speech, he also gave an interview in which he called his grandmother a "typical white person." My view, as someone who teaches how to manage diversity in the corporate world, is that Obama lacks two very basic understandings needed to truly be a uniter: you cannot generalize people (make assumptions) or make excuses for bad behavior.
My own grandfather was an immigrant from the Carpathian mountain region. After living a young life of having to speak a different language each time a new army invaded the area, and having his own father taken away to a Siberian work camp (he escaped), the family came to the U.S. to start a better life. My grandfather couldn't read or write English and, although older, he was thrown into the first grade. The teacher didn't want to deal with him, so she made him sit in a first grader's desk. He took this type of humiliation daily until he was 18 and graduated the sixth grade. He did not become bitter against America. He worked hard to change what he could. He became a self-made businessman and a union leader. He fought for voters' rights of people of all colors, and he fought for the U.S. in WWII.
These are the stories that make up America. Rather then defend Wright's hated, Obama should have separated himself (and his children) from this ranting and made it clear that he understands that many Americans suffered unjustly in the past. Without this basic understanding, Obama does not have the capacity to unite as he thinks he does.
|Susan Cohen||March 31st 2008|
My question is why must the International Committee of the Red Cross coordinate its admirable efforts on behalf of Holocaust victims with Paul Shapiro of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum? Who does he represent? Who appointed him? Shapiro, it seems, is in conflict with so many of the genuine grass-roots survivor organizations. Just read the remarks of the president of NAHOS for one [Survivors Rebuke USHMM’s Shapiro and ICRC over Bad Arolsen Discord Following Closed Door Meeting, March 3]. Mr. Shapiro has insisted on media black outs about a topic--the Holocaust details--that must never be kept in the shadows. He refuses to answer questions from reporters with difficult questions. And he has refused to come out in favor of the survivors getting into their records using remote computers where they live instead of traveling to Washington. In fact, he is the one who has blocked discussion of it. If the International Committee of the Red Cross really wants to help survivors access their records, they must do so by working directly with the victims, take the initiative to allow remote computers in other cities, and refuse to participate in any more USHMM events held behind closed doors without the press involved--something which only causes more confusion and embarasssment for all.
|Candice Koontz ||March 31st 2008|
Dana Point, CA
The more I think about it, the less I understand not only Bill Richardson’s endorsement but also his latest call for the Democrats to come together, I’ll assume, behind his chosen candidate: of Barack Obama. Didn’t Dorothy stop talking to the giant animated head once the true Wizard of Oz was revealed? Why does Richardson expect less from us? He is trying to sell me a ticket for the Titanic after it already hit the iceberg. No matter what he says there MUST be another ship out there.
The current situation may seem to be a huge debacle but hardly the disaster it could have been had Hillary dropped out of the race. We could have been committed to a nominee who would be destroyed by the Republicans over a whole host of issues. While it is true that Hillary cannot win enough delegates to clinch the nomination, guess what, neither can Obama. With more information on Obama coming to light, we now see that not only are the current primaries shifting major momentum, but quite a few people who have already cast their votes would like a chance to have them back.
For some, the Rev. Wright issue brings up separation of church and state. I could truly care less what your religion is but let us agree that none of the venom this man spewed had anything to do with religion. He is addressing social values and, after 20 years, one must share some of these ideals. By the way, Separation of Church and State was put in place to prevent the government from interfering in faith based affairs. In other words our bigoted racist founding fathers gave people like Wright the freedom to preach hatred.
My sympathies go out to the remorseful Obama supporters, but they did have some indicators when political backers and hip hop artist endorsers could not name any accomplishments or plans Obama had in his platform. It is a sad day in America when his largest demographic of voters cannot state anything this man intends to do to help them but they do know the color of his skin. I really hoped we were above that.
This is also fueled when, less than eloquent politicians, say that Obama can help smooth over relations with Islamic nations simply because “he is a black man”. Hopefully Israel will not discover his church bulletin supported Hamas. Funny, my church paper is full of dreary old bake sales and bingo nights.
Much of this would be a moot point if we weren’t facing the travesty that is the Florida primary. How is it that Democrats must suffer for something that happened at the hands of a Republican legislature? Looking at the current mess, I have an image of the GOP in a back room somewhere going “WOO HOO” and high-fiving each other. Additionally, the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida yet Obama spent 1.3 million to Hillary’s 130,000. Why did he spend that much knowing it wouldn’t count? He got a lousy return on that investment! He has consistently outspent Hillary three to one. That is a huge story to me. She has garnered almost the same number of votes using a fraction of the funds. The DNC should pay attention to this because it would take a fortune to try and convince voters to go for Obama in the general election. Read more ..
|Yared Bekele Mekonnen||March 24th 2008|
As an Ethiopian-American, I read with great interest your recent article focusing upon Rep. Donald Payne's embrace of terror-state Eritrea at the expense of U.S. allies Ethiopia and Somalia.
I offer my congratulations to The Cutting Edge News for truly living up to your name and delivering the cutting edge revelation of Rep. Payne's trip to Asmara. I do not recall reading about his strikingly low-profile visit to that terror-sponsoring regime in any other U.S. media outlet.
I share Abdirahman Warsame's righteous indignation regarding both the trip itself, as well as Payne's “misguided” vision for the Horn of Africa. I can only scratch my head in wonderment at how an individual clearly so out of step with rational U.S. Africa policies has managed to find himself in such a powerful position.
Evidence of just how detached Rep. Payne appears to be from reality emerged last week during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy options for the Horn of Africa. The transcript that I read of the hearing suggests that it was a wide-ranging conversation that competently illustrated the complex dynamics in the Horn, and explored how critical the region is in terms of American interests in Africa.
If there was one central theme that seemed to run through the testimony of the senior U.S. officials called upon to testify before the committee, it was the overwhelmingly negative role that Eritrea continues to play.
In her prepared statement and in answer to questions from the senators, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer assailed Eritrea, saying its human rights record is “deplorable and is steadily declining” and accusing the regime of sponsoring instability in neighboring nations and undermining the efforts of U.N. peacekeepers along its border with Ethiopia. Read more ..
|Abraham Foxman||March 17th 2008|
I wanted to share with your readers a letter that I had sent to Pope Benedict XVI last month. The letter follows.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City, Italy
We write you urgently to express our profound concern over news reports regarding the imminent announcement of a revised Good Friday prayer for the Conversion of Jews that would replace the 1962 Roman Missal text.
While these media reports state that the offensive language of veils and blindness are to be discarded in the supposed new formulation of this Good Friday prayer, they report that the framework and intention to petition God for Jews to accept Jesus as Lord will remain.
Alterations of language without change to the 1962 prayer's conversionary intent would result in cosmetic revisions while leaving intact the most troubling aspect for Jews, namely the desire to end the distinctive Jewish way of life. We do not understand how such an action could be consistent with the teachings and actions of the Catholic Church that began with Nostra Aetate and developed in numerous authoritative Catholic documents ever since. It is also hard to understand how a Good Friday prayer that for centuries was universally accepted as expressing the hope for Jewish absorption into Christianity could now be understood as being related to Catholic prayers for their own internal change of heart or teshuvah, as some news reports imply.
We wholeheartedly agree with your message delivered at the Roonstrasse Synagogue of Cologne on August 19, 2005 when you said: "We must come to know one another much more and much better. Consequently I would encourage sincere and trustful dialogue between Jews and Christians, for only in this way will it be possible to arrive at a shared interpretation of disputed historical questions, and, above all, to make progress towards a theological evaluation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. This dialogue, if it is to be sincere, must not gloss over or underestimate the existing differences: in those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge, and indeed precisely in those areas, we need to show respect for one another."
However we think that a revised Good Friday prayer that Jews abandon their own religious identity, as being reported in the news media, would be highly devastating to the deepening relationship and dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. That is why we hope these news reports have totally mischaracterized the nature of the expected revised prayer. We hope the reports are wrong and that any revised Good Friday prayer will instead show the same respect for the integrity and the continuity of Jewish religious life that has prevailed in the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council.
Your Holiness, before any revisions to the Good Friday prayer are promulgated, we respectfully ask you, in the spirit of dialogue, for the opportunity to consult with the appropriate Vatican authorities to learn what it is the church is teaching by these changes and create a common understanding.
Abraham Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
|Samuel M. Edelman||March 12th 2008|
Tuesday March the 4th Dr. Stephen Feinstein, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, died of an aortic aneurism that led to cardiac arrest while he was speaking at the Jewish Film Festival. Steve was 65. He died doing what he loved, what he was passionate about, what consumed him. He died talking about the Holocaust. His death leaves us, his family, his colleagues, and his friends, his students breathless, bereft, and stunned.
Steve was such a presence for all of us. He encouraged us; he supported us with positive ideas with suggestions of resources with exciting collaborations. His research and writing on art and literature of the Holocaust, getting recognition of the Armenian Genocide, on Darfur, on developing teaching materials on genocide was critical. His emails and his sharing of ideas and concerns with colleagues all over the world will be missed. He was the ultimate information source. Never to see his daily emails again is painful.
Most important of all was his gentle sense of humor and his smile. Steve was working with a group of us from the US and Poland to prepare to teach about the Holocaust to Polish teachers this summer. His death is an unbelievable loss not only to his wife and children, his colleagues, friends and students at the University of Minnesota but to all of us struggling to fight against the indifference and hate that leads to the greatest scourge of humanity—genocide.
Samuel M. Edelman, Ph.D. is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, American Jewish University
(formerly University of Judaism) and Co-director, State of California Center of Excellence for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance.
|Allyson Rowen Taylor||March 3rd 2008|
In reading the continuing saga of the ICRC and the International Tracing Service kowtowing to Paul Shapiro of the USHMM, one might want to ask why all Red Cross officials must first check with or coordinate with Paul Shapiro before any decisions are made such as allowing the media in on special survivor Washington briefings to watch out for misinformation. Keeping the media out and passing out of false information about the databases has created the extreme distrust survivors and leadership have the Bad Arolsen data transfers. It is my understanding that the ICRC is an international organization working with dozens of governments. The International Tracing Service is reported to be a multinational body responsible to 11 different countries. What hold does the Museum have over the ICRC and the ITS? By now it must be painfully obvious that the ICRC and the ITS are incapable of holding their own briefings, talking to Congressional committees, or doing anything else without somehow getting permission from the Museum and Shapiro--even if that means snubbing the survivors, alienating organizational or Congressional leadership, or obstructing progress on swiftly getting the Bad Arolsen information out. Shame on the ICRC and the ITS for not being independent enough to think for themselves?
|Abraham H. Foxman||February 20th 2008|
I wanted to share with your readers a letter that I had sent to Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow. The letter follows.
Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz
Archbishop of Krakow
ul. Franciszkanska 3
31-004 Krakow, Poland
We were deeply disturbed by reports that an anti-Semitic meeting was held in a Krakow church.
According to Polish newspapers, about 1,000 people came to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow for a meeting on February 9 convened by Radio Maryja and the Committee Against Defamation of the Church and For Polishness. The meeting was publicized with posters that declared: “The kikes will not continue to spit on us,” according to reports.
At the meeting, Prof. Bogoslav Wolniewicz reportedly declared, “The Jews are attacking us! We need to defend ourselves!” And Mr. Jerzy Robert Nowak of Radio Maryja reportedly said, “It’s important that we carry our fight to its conclusion, because [Jan Tomasz] Gross and his supporters are marginal, and we will not permit anyone to punish Poland.”
As we know from Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, these acts of anti-Semitism are sins against God. But for this meeting to be permitted inside the sacred space of a church is an abomination and a desecration of holiness.
We believe that these anti-Semitic statements, spoken with the appearance of the imprimatur of the church, constitute incitement to violence against Jews. Such sentiments are a troubling reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and well in Poland, and that the memory and lessons of the Holocaust, while still fresh for survivors of the war, is fading for ordinary Poles.
One of the great lessons the world learned from John Paul II is that ignorance and bias are never remedied unless all of us are willing to challenge them at every turn. We ask Your Eminence and the Polish Bishops Conference to publicly denounce these words and this group in the strongest terms, and to take steps to insure such gatherings never again take place in the holy space of a church, indeed anywhere in Poland.
Abraham H. Foxman
cc: Bishop Stanislaw Budzik
|Michael Zamczyk||February 4th 2008|
The publication of the Polish translation of “Fear- Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz” by Jan Gross has caused much soul searching among the Polish populace. The Krakow public prosecutor is looking at the possibility of indicting Gross for “slander of the Polish nation, under a law passed in 2006 making it illegal to accuse “the polish nation” of collaborating with the German occupiers and or the Communist government to commit crimes.
I can only speak of my own experience during and after the war in Poland to refute the attempt to silence Gross and accuse him of maligning the “Polish nation.” During the war, as an eight old child, I witnessed numerous acts of collaboration with the Germans. I do want to state, before I talk about specific events, that without the help of Polish Catholic friends of my father, I would not be alive today. My first encounter with Polish collaborators was in 1943 on the streets of Warsaw. A way of making quick money during that time was to grab a boy walking, pull him into doorway, and lower his trousers to see if he was circumcised. If he was, the nice Polish collaborator would, would extort money from the accompanying adult. If the adult refused to pay they would be turned over to the Germans. The Germans offered rewards to anyone turning in Jews. I was caught by these collaborators, a number of times and each time my Mother paid the extortionist. These extortionists were and maybe still are members of the “Polish nation.”
One other incident is still vivid in my mind. In April of 1943, I was in a park near the Warsaw Ghetto. There was a carousel with many children and their mothers. It must have been Easter vacation. The smoke from the burning Ghetto was in the air. I clearly remember a number of the women glancing at the smoke and saying to each other “the Germans are taking care of our Jews for us.” Read more ..
|Stanley A. Urman||January 28th 2008|
For the very first time, President George Bush raised the issue of Jews from Arab countries. He did this while on his official visit to Israel. In an article headlined, "Bush aware of Jewish Refugee' Plight," The Jerusalem Post said the U.S. President was "very conscious" that Jewish refugees fled to Israel from Arab lands after the 1947-49 war, and that one of the points that came up in Bush's discussion was the number of Jewish refugees that were created in the period after 1948.
This report of President Bush's interest in the plight of Jews from Arab countries, comes after the December visit to the White House by Maurice Shohet, a long time member of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries’ (JJAC), International Steering Committee. Joining Mr. Shohet at the White House were Professor Judea Pearl and Ruth Pearl, parents of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, all of whom spoke to President Bush on the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab counties. This followed the recent Annapolis Peace Conference, where JJAC issued a declaration which stated, inter alia: "The exclusion and denial of rights and redress to Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries will prejudice authentic negotiations between the parties and undermine the justice and legitimacy of any agreement." In preparation for Annapolis, JJAC sent a letter to President Bush asking that the issue of Jews from Arab countries be discussed in the context of Middle East refugees.
JJAC was grateful that the President had become cognizant of this important narrative - the violations of rights, and the displacement, of up to one million Jews from Arab countries. President Bush's words came at the opening of the 2008 Congressional session, at which consideration was being given to two bi-partisanship resolutions which called attention to the fact that Jews living in Arab countries suffered human rights violations, were uprooted from their homes, and were made refugees.
The Resolutions, Senate Res. 85 and House Res. 185, signify that, "it would be inappropriate and unjust for the United States to recognize rights for Palestinian refugees without recognizing equal rights for former Jewish, Christian, and other refugees from Arab countries." Far-reaching and comprehensive, these Resolutions instruct the President to ensure that in all international forums, when the issue of 'Middle East refugees'is discussed, representatives of the United States must ensure that any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees is matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity.
Over the next several months, JJAC will be working with Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) on promoting the Resolutions. JJAC is a coalition of Jewish communal organizations operating under the auspices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the American Sephardi Federation in partnership with the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, B'nai Brith International, the Jewish Public Council for Public Affairs and the World Sephardic Congress.
Stanley A. Urman is the Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries
|Richard Gordon||January 11th 2008|
Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli.
The magazine has turned down an AJCongress advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad (The Ad Ms. Didn't Want You To See) included a text that merely said, “This is Israel,” under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.
What other conclusion can we reach except that the publishers - and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers - are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?
When Director of AJCongress’ Commission for Women’s Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject - the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls over a period of weeks. Read more ..
|Jack Halpern||December 20th 2007|
I applaud President George Bush for signing of the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act (USIECA) into law as a provision of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The measure, passed by both houses of Congress within the last week, was signed by the President on Wednesday, December 19 at a special ceremony at the Department of Energy which I attended along with AJCongress Executive Director Neil B. Goldstein at the invitation of the White House. USEICA will help reduce American dependence on foreign oil by tapping into Israeli skills in solar energy, biotechnology, and chemistry, engineering and nanotechnology.
Jack Halpern is chairman of the American Jewish Congress Energy Independence Task Force.
|Kenneth L. Bobu||December 20th 2007|
We are familiar with the work and research Edwin Black and The Cutting Edge have conducted regarding the vast information that has recently been transferred from the ITC via the Red Cross to the USHMM.
Whereas, we have been puzzled for quite some time at the USHMM’s reluctance to approach the process of enabling access to the records in an open fashion, we understand that the suggestion has been made that there may be technical impediments to doing so.
Nothing could be further from the truth, Sir.
In fact, the process of making the millions of records available via the Internet is perfectly straightforward and not at all something that poses insurmountable technical complexities.
While not wishing to speculate as to the USHMM’s motivation to restrict access, and definitely not wanting to discuss how they obtained the records for all the victims regardless of their religious connection, it strikes us that the USHMM is being disingenuous at best in suggesting that such an endeavor would take years and cost many millions.
We believe that we could undertake this job and start having the records brought online within months, and certainly at a cost far more reasonable that what is being suggested by USHMM. Our technological record in dealing with millions of records has long been established, and we see this project as easily attainable. If ever it were true, this is THE project where time is of the essence.
Serious inquiries regarding the technical feasibility of this project can be forwarded to us via The Cutting Edge News.
Kenneth L. Bobu is the CEO of PMCentral Systems, Inc., a major provider of high-end content management services with offices in both the United States and Europe.
|Leo Rechter||December 14th 2007|
With regard to your coverage of the Holocaust-era of the International Tracing Service records now held at Bad Arolsen and being transferred to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, please note that an executive board member of a Holocaust survivor organization, Fred Taucher of Seattle, an expert and owner of a computer company, traveled to Bad Arolsen. He received a very cooperative welcome. But it took him and an ITS assistant 45 minutes of searching, following up and discarding wrong leads to find the records of his half brother.
His experience leads to two unfavorable conclusions: 1) The software that needs to be created to make the data searchable on the Internet might take several years. It needs to be tested and retested. 2) In many cases, the participation by the Survivor—who has the first-hand information—is imperative in the search process. Only the survivor can provide clues or links that will lead to an accurate match. That assessment supports our case for a widespread dissemination of access-ports in libraries and museums all over the country. To depend on a single access-gate at the USHMM in Washington, D.C., is bound to create intolerable bottlenecks and sufferings. We hope that the USHMM directorate will keep this fact in mind while the appropriate software is being developed.
Leo Rechter is the elected president of the National Organization of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors.
|Joseph K. Grieboski||December 13th 2007|
The US House of Representatives Tuesday adopted a measure intended to halt Burma's rubies and high-quality jade from entering the United States. The bill tightens already tough sanctions against a ruling military junta that killed peaceful pro-democracy protesters and Buddhist monks in September.
According to the bill, assets by Burma's leaders would be frozen and tax deductions would be curt off for any US companies working in Burma. Burma has a record of dodging US sanctions through laundering gemstones in third countries before selling them in the United States.
"Burma's generals fund this repression of their own people by selling off the country's natural resources, especially oil and gems, leaving the Burmese people in poverty," Tom Lantos, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. Tightened sanctions would "ensure that the United States stands up to these thugs."
To avoid US sanctions, the Burma regime tries to hide the origin of the gemstones it ships to the US. The bill would also stop Burma's leaders from using US financial institutions in third countries to launder their money. Officials involved in the crackdown would be banned from getting US visas, as would their families. The bill would also cut off tax deductions for US companies working in Burma.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Biden, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and with the co-sponsor of Senators McConnell, Boxer, Dodd, Leahy, and Feinstein.
The writer is President, Institute on Religion and Public Policy and Secretary General, Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom. He can be reached at http://www.religionandpolicy.org/.
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