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Not Buying Anything at Borders--It is Like Buying Stolen Goods

January 28th 2011
I am not buying anything at Borders, including their electronic reader. Who can trust this company. I won't even walk into the store. I do not buy stolen goods off the back of a truck. Nor will I step into a Borders to buy a paperback or even a cup of coffee, if the publishers and suppliers are not being paid. I can buy anything I want off Amazon, and make my own coffee doing it.

National Book Chains Like Borders were Built to Fail

January 24th 2011
For those who think switching their allegiances between a bankrupt Borders that has refused to pay publishers, and the bigger Barnes and Noble which drove out countless independents, let me say this. Many of us in San Francisco consider it wrong-headed to even get a cup of coffee in a Borders or a Barnes and Noble. If you support the existence of independent book shops as I do, you know that giving your business to a national chain is like contributing to the demise of the most important part of the book-selling world-- the local bookstore. Yes, Border and Barnes and Noble tried to drive them out of business, and in many cases succeeded. Those superstores were built to fail. But in some cities--and I am happy to say San Francisco is one of them, the public has stubbornly maintained its loyalty to local, independent shops. You get what you pay for, and America has paid for the mess Borders and Barnes and Noble have created.

Buying at Borders May be Akin to Stealing

January 23rd 2011
I agree with the sentiment of a prior letter writer that buying at Borders is probably not the best idea if you care about authors and publishers. If they are not being paid by Borders, I would feel the purchase was akin to stealing. Until I hear otherwise, I am buying from my local independent as I do not trust Barnes and Noble any further than Borders.

Think About Not Buying at Borders Until they Pay Publishers and Authors

January 21st 2011
I wonder if the public is aware that when they purchase books at Borders instead of independent booksellers--always preferred--or Barnes and Noble, that they are in effect hurting the publishing industry. I have a friend who works for a small West Coast publisher and she will soon be let go because Borders has stopped paying for books it has purchased and is selling and keeping the cash. My local bookstore complains that they must pay for their books to remain afloat, but Borders is running hundreds of giant stores that compete with independent bookstores, and all the while Borders is not paying for many of the books it sells. I urge everyone to think about fairness before they purchase a book at Borders. Independent bookstores, publishing companies, and authors are all being hurt by Borders's behavior.

Sign Language Film’s Selection a Good Start

January 18th 2011

The news about “The Preservation of the Sign Language,” the film produced by the National Association of the Deaf under George Veditz being included in the National Film Registry is very significant not only because it is among a limited number of films selected. It is among some of the most significant historical documentation of cultural genocide against the Deaf community during a time when eugenics was on the rise as described in Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak. There is more work left to do such as advocating for American Sign Language-English bilingual education of Deaf children, promoting greater recognition and acceptance of American Sign Language for foreign language credit in colleges and universities, and spreading awareness regarding eugenics and cultural genocide. I have great hope that positive changes and acceptance in society will continue to make this world a better place for Deaf people which science, medicine and technology alone cannot accomplish.

Sarah Palin Inappropriate on Tuscon Shootings

January 12th 2011

It is unfortunate that the tragedy in Tucson continues to stimulate a political blame game. Rather than step back and reflect on the lessons to be learned from this tragedy, both parties have reverted to political partisanship and finger-pointing at a time when the American people are looking for leadership, not more vitriol. In response to this tragedy we need to rise above partisanship, incivility, heated rhetoric, and the business-as-usual approaches that are corroding our political system and tainting the atmosphere in Washington and across the country. t was inappropriate at the outset to blame Sarah Palin and others for causing this tragedy or to accuse her of being an accessory to murder. Palin has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks, and we agree with her that the best tradition in America is one of finding common ground despite our differences. till, we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase “blood-libel” in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others. While the term “blood-libel” has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.

Abraham H. Foxman is National Director of Anti-Defamation League.

Uncivil Discourse in America Lead to Giffords Shootings

January 10th 2011
The uncivil discourse we are seeing on our campuses and our evening cable shows, in tandem with a wild conspiracy-stoking Internet, fosters a mindset among unbalanced minds that resulted in the mass murder in Tucson of Representative [Gabrielle] Giffords and so many other innocent in that parking lot. When will the cable instigators and political hacks, such as Sarah Palin, understand that when they put the cross-hairs on people, some unbalanced individuals can take it seriously. It is not time to reload. It is time to rewind and do things differently.

Obama's Policies Are Destroying Economy

January 6th 2011
I did not take your poll regarding the "success" of Obama's economic policies as you did not define "success." Do I think they will succeed? Yes they are aimed at Obama's goal of destroying our economy and so far are working beyond all expectations, thanks to a compliant Congress that refuses to follow our Constitution.

Coptic Church Bombing Heinous Enough Without Conspiracy Theories Blaming Israel

January 3rd 2011

The New Year’s bombing of a Coptic Church in Alexandria was a heinous act of terrorism and another deadly example of the threat posed by religiously motivated extremism. This horrific attack comes on the heels of an especially violent year for Egypt’s ancient Coptic community. People should never be targeted for violence because of their religious beliefs. We are appalled by media reports that the Egyptian Bar Association accused Israeli intelligence of carrying out the bombing. Conspiracy theories blaming Israel and Jews for violence, scandals and crises in Egypt are all too common and must be repudiated. We call on President Mubarak and the Egyptian government to publicly declare that such fundamentally incendiary and outlandish accusations have no place in Egypt.

The writer is National Chair of the Anti-Defamation League.

Black's Farhud Book a Necessary Nightmare

January 3rd 2011
Lyn Julius' review of Edwin Black's new book The Farhud (see Edwin Black's 'The Farhud' Makes for Uncomfortable but Necessary Reading, Arts December 27, 2010) prompted me to purchase a copy. The reviewer was most appropriate in quoting Black introductory remarks. Black wrote and Julius quoted: "This book is a nightmare... I regret that I was the one who had to write it. I hope it never becomes necessary to write another like this one." Having read the entire book over a tormented three-day period, I could not agree with the author more. Black's book is indeed a nightmare, but it is a necessary nightmare of historical truth with a penetrating reality for our current world. If Muslims are to live in peace with Jews and Israel, and the Christian world, they must face up to their past and the legacy of hate that has driven them to join forces with the Nazis in the most odious crimes of the last century. This legacy drives too many Muslims today to commit crimes in the name of a God that would never sanction their violence.

Arab "Peace Intention" is to Destroy State of Israel

January 3rd 2011

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman in a recent editorial contends that we can be optimistic that Israelis and Palestinians can find peace soon. If only that were true. But it would be self-deceiving to think that such a moment has arrived. The truth is that there is no Arab/Israeli war: there is an Arab war on Israel. This war is not defined by land, Jerusalem or Palestinian statehood. Rather it’s a war to eliminate the Jewish state grounded in Arab and Muslim supremacism and anti-Semitism. A recent American Jewish Committee poll shows 75 percent of American Jews conclude the same. As Yasser Arafat told a January 1996 secret meeting of Arab diplomats in Stockholm, reported by Arutz Sheva and later confirmed by Norwegian journalists: “[We intend] to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian State … I have no use for Jews; they are and remain Jews! We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under total Arab-Muslim domination!” When Palestinian Authority clerics preach that Jews are “the enemies of humanity,” “a virus resembling AIDS” and “descendants of monkeys and pigs,” and when Mahmoud Abbas honors Jew-killers like Munich massacre mastermind Abu Daoud, and Dalal Mughrabi, who led the murder of 37 Israelis in a bus hijacking, we are talking of anti-Semitic dehumanization of Jews, not a territorial dispute. Sadly, to use Rabbi Hammerman’s phrase, this is not one of those “feuds” that are “melting away.”

The writer is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America.

The WWI Christmas Truce Revisited--Why Not Every Day?

December 27th 2010

I was fascinated by the historian revisiting the so-called Christmas truces that were recorded in World War I (see The Reality of the Mythic Christmas Truces of World War I, Features December 21, 2010). The letter by the Scottish-Canadian soldier recounts the celebratory ceasefires at the front during the holiday. I have always asked myself this one question. Why not every day?

Counteracting Lunacy on Islamic Hate Speech

December 27th 2010

Some months ago, Anwar al-Aw’laki—the pestering and festering American-born imam hiding out in Yemen—has issued a fatwa (an obligatory and legal Islamic ruling) calling for the death of Molly Norris, the woman who dared pen an invitation to draw Mohammad on Facebook. Apparently, Mohammad’s saintly purity and demi-god status is at risk—and must be countered with murder—by this utterly minor development. Apparently, the true believers are so insecure, so delicate that their lives and the meaning of their existence are threatened by amateur drawings of their prophet. Ms. Norris, like many infidels before her, must now fear for her life. The million-dollar question, the elephant in the room, looms. How do we counteract this lunacy and its threat to our freedom of expression (and peace of mind), a basic tenet of our unique civilization? Just last week, even the peace-loving socialist Swedes were subject to terrorist bombs because of a re-printed cartoon of Mohammad. Clearly, negotiation and persuasion is a waste of time in the face of such childish fanaticism.

Instead, Congress must pass a new law, outlawing (as it does hate speech and murder as an accomplice) this type of international and unmitigated incitement to murder. In each case of a don’t-do-or-say-that-or I’ll-kill-you fatwa from an influential fanatic against a US citizen, the government should pass a judgment in absentia, declaring this dangerous nonsense criminal and illegal. The law could be particularly applicable if the fanatic was a US citizen, like our dear Mr. al-Aw’laki. If ignored, the judgment should give the US military the right to treat those perpetrators as criminals, to be captured and if not to be eliminated, just as we do Al Qaeda members and those that make our country’s demise their personal fetish. Perhaps this policy will finally turn the tables on those issuing murderous fatwas with impunity. When these bloodthirsty radicals become the object of our efficient and capable military—when the proverbial sword that they so barbarously unsheathed cuts both ways—they will surely be more circumspect in initiating murder.

Assange and Blaxthos Poster Boys for Internet Legislative Reform

December 22nd 2010
The Wikileaks debacle courtesy of Julian Assange, Wikipedia revisions on Holocaust topics courtesy of those such as Blaxthos, and newspaper comment pages have become poster boys for legislative reform on Internet accountability and liability. We need to plug the gaps. In some countries, legislation is now brewing that would require websites such as Wikipedia and the New York Times to reveal the names of anonymous posters who slander, libel, or otherwise damage individuals, and do so without a court order but upon written request. This raises the possibility that if an American website shows in a country, compliance with local laws in that country could trump the protections of the Communications Decency Act. I think it is only a matter of time before the new Republican Congress starts the ball rolling and updates the Communications Decency Act to subtract those carte blanche protections. There is no reason for violators and transgressors on the Internet should have protections they would not enjoy in the printed medium.

Attempts to Wipe Away American Sign Language Are an Assault against the Deaf

December 21st 2010
Attempts to wipe away American Sign Language are an little more than assault against the Deaf. Genocide treaties make it clear that obliterating one group's culture is a form of genocide. I suggest people see Edwin Black's seminal work War Against the Weak to see how the most elite in our country mustered the best of intentions to create a master race where the so-called inferior would not exist. Turns out that those in power considered ninety percent of everyone else to be "inferior." We must not let this happen again.

Pickens Plan and Windmills A Lot of Hot Air

December 21st 2010
The Pickens Plan for arrays of windmills as a solution to transportation is far-fetched and mainly hot air. How much brain is needed to know that automobiles do not run on windmill power. True, they will create electricity for the grid and that is a good thing. But that has nothing to do with converting to natural gas vehicles or electric cars. Pickens wanted to create a wind farm. Great. But the saturation campaign was distorted as a transportation issue. Please bear this mind.

Philadelphia Enquirer Soulless in Running anti-Deaf Article

December 16th 2010

Like another reader who commented, I agree that The Philadelphia Enquirer was soulless to run the article by Dom Giordano marginalizing ASL (American Sign Language) which is the defining commonality for Deaf culture. The Philadelphia Enquirer, in publishing such a fringe article, seemed to give sanction to the move to eliminate the existence of deaf people. I wonder if this newspaper will allow letters from the deaf community in rebuttal. We have as much a right to our culture as any Jewish person or Hispanic person in Philadelphia speaking Hebrew or Spanish.

Rosenberg Speaks in Las Vegas

December 16th 2010

Your readers should be aware that Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg will be the keynote speaker at a weekend gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their families Dec 17-19 at The Venetian Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rabbi Rosenberg is spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El in Edison N.J. and teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey and Yeshiva University in New York. He serves as Holocaust chairman of the New York Board of Rabbis and was associate editor of the New Jersey State Holocaust education curriculum. Dr. Rosenberg frequently appears on national T.V. and is the author of numerous books. His topic will be " How to preserve Holocaust memory before it is too late."

Philadelphia Enquirer Published anti-Deaf Culture Article--As good as Condoning Cultural Genocide

December 16th 2010

I just read opinion article originally published The Philadelphia Enquirer by Dom Giordano, now making the rounds, about American Sign Language and Deaf culture. I could not believe that The Philadelphia Enquirer would publish such an extremist article. It's like publishing an article written by a neo-Nazi degrading Hebrew and Jewish culture and exerting superiority over the people who belong to it.  And on top of that, it's like publishing an author who openly condones genocide. As a Deaf person myself, what I got from reading his article is that I'm less human and I need to be fixed medically, therefore my language and culture is inferior and it's acceptable to wipe it out through cultural genocide.  That's the kind of extremist and offensive message which gets many talk show hosts removed from the air. Freedom of speech is a right, but The Philadelphia Enquirer has discretion over who it hires and what it publishes.

The Tobacco Lobby and the Case of Corporate Genocide

December 13th 2010

I write to praise your recent investigation of the global tobacco lobby (see see The Tobacco Lobby Goes Global, Page One, November 29, 2010). As you wrote, this pernicious industry’s product is the planet's leading source of preventable death. It is responsible for the deliberate death of millions and in the next decade or so is expected to directly cause scores of additional millions to die, according to the best experts. Even if the experts are half wrong--many, many millions will perish worldwide. If there ever was a basis for a claim of corporate genocide or corporate homicide--this is it. Triple that for the third world.

Gallaudet University Should be an Example of ASL Leadership

December 12th 2010
Tim Riker's insightful article (see Gallaudet University's Identity Struggle Continues, Opinion December 6, 2010) regarding Catherine Murphy as pr director at Gallaudet University hit the mark. With ASL (American Sign Language) under assault by forces from the California legislature to eugenics-minded "reformers," Gallaudet University should be an example of leadership. Is there no one in America with a command of ASL available to the school for this sensitive position? Praise to The Cutting Edge News for covering Deaf issue.

Blaxthos Not a Typical Wikipedia Editor--Do not Judge the Whole Community

December 12th 2010
Emphasis on Wikipedian Blaxthos is misplaced. Few would disagree he has been involved in his share of combative episodes. Check out his many arguments. The best Wikipedians use their real names, or permit their real names to be displayed next to their online identities. Do not judge Wikipedia by the likes of Blaxthos. Like any community, Wikipedia has it good ones and its bad ones, and shades of gray within that.

Blaxthos Probably Just Lonely and Afraid to Use his Name

December 11th 2010
All the hubbub about Blaxthos on Wikipedia strikes me as overblown. In my opinion, Blaxthos seems like a man who is probably just very lonely, afraid to use his real name, hides behind a silly nickname, and inflates his sense of self-worth via anonymous posts on Wikipedia. Of course, Wikipedia actually encourages same. Anyone who checks out the Blaxthos track record on Wikipedia--which itself is a complete waste of time--will discover that he gets into lots of arguments with lots of people about lots of topics. Delving just beneath the surface, he seems to have mastered the art of gaming the system, complaining, protesting, appealing, and interpreting the so-called rules any way he sees fit until some one in authority makes him go away, or he gets his own way. Those of us who appreciate the value of Wikipedia know that the system is imperfect--like any community. Wikipedia has its excellence and nuisance. I will leave it to the Wikipedia world to figure out which side of that balance Blaxthos tilts.

Arrest Made of Wikileaks Attackers Should be Wake-up Call to Wikipedia

December 10th 2010
News today from Holland indicates that teen-aged boy is now looking at six years in jail after he confessed to cyber attacks against Mastercard and Visa credit card companies over their cancellation of WikiLeaks accounts. The young man was grabbed by the Dutch hi-tech police while he slept in The Hague.This should be a lesson to all those at Wikileaks and Wikipedia that they are not above the law--civil or criminal. I have no doubt that the repercussions of this will be a wake-up call to American lawmakers to change the Communications Decency Act provisions that extend pornography freedoms to all corners of the world wide web. Wikipedia people and Wikileakers take note. Changes, they are a-coming.

Blaxthos is at it Again

December 9th 2010
Just for the record, the anonymous poster known as Blaxthos is once again editing the Wikipedia page of Edwin Black. Blaxthos was among the subjects of a stinging investigation by Black (see Wikipedia—The Dumbing Down of World Knowledge, Page One, April 12, 2010). If that doesn't earn Blaxthos a conflict of interest disqualification, I cannot imagine what would. Doesn't Wikipedia have prohibitions on such people editing such articles?

Gallaudet University Identity Crisis

December 9th 2010
Congratulations to Mr. Riker for his excellent article (see Gallaudet University's Identity Struggle Continues, Opinion December 6, 2010) highlighting the problems surrounding the selection of Catherine Murphy as pr director at Gallaudet University recently. His assessment is more than correct. Her selection is nothing less than proof positive that this once noble institution is undergoing an identity crisis.

All Pretense of Wikileaks as Journalism Gone Due to Cyberattacks

December 9th 2010
The misguided souls that tried to claim that Wikileaks was a journalistic enterprise now surely know better. All pretense of that is now gone. First of all, journalism requires reporting, context, and original writing--not just raw document dumps. Most importantly, the recent attacks by Wikileaks surrogates against Master Card, Visa, and Paypal, among others, shows that Wikileaks and its supporters are just a band of cybervandals, stealing documents and holding themselves above the law. Many of the cables are of course revealing. But that is simply not their call. These documents belong to the government.

Wikipedia Should be Judged by Accuracy not Criminal Contributors

December 9th 2010
Apropos a recent question about criminals modifying pages on Wikipedia, the inclination is probably that burglars and dope peddlers should not be contributing to pages on alarm systems and drug cartels, but that is a bit simplistic. Someone may have committed an infraction ten or twenty years ago--maybe they smoked pot, or shoplifted. All that is now irrelevant in their life and the eye of society. I think the better measuring stick is not the criminality of the contributor, or lack of it, but the accuracy of the information. Wikipedia's normal vetting process takes care of accuracy.

Wikileaks Criminals Reminds One of Wikipedia Criminals

December 9th 2010
The current mess over Wikileaks, and what appears to be a growing criminal enterprise, complete with cyberwarfare retaliation, brings to mind another Wiki problem in our world--namely, Wikipedia. Does Wikipedia have a policy against those with criminal records manipulating and editing its pages? There is at least one American gentleman editing there now, who has a criminal record for a computer crime, yet he gets to edit articles involving computer technology. Another in Holland has a record involving sexual matters, yet this man is permitted to edit pages on gender and sexuality issues. What is Wikipedia's policy on that?

Impact of Global Climate Change will be Swifter than we Think

December 7th 2010
Your recent article on icebergs and the processes that shatter the ice shelves (see Understanding How Icebergs Form May Lead to Better Forecasts of Global Warming, Sci-tech Dec. 6, 2010) was a good reminder that what lies in store as the global climate changes will be swift and shocking. I refer to your sentence, "The Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica—a 2,000-square-mile, 700-foot-thick slab that had been stable for thousands of years—disintegrated in about six weeks between January and March of 2002." Imagine a great iced over pond warming. First we will see shattering, then large cracking, thinning, and then a sudden collapse of the ice over that pond. In the years to come, our planet will see one climate catastrophe after another. Great and unbearable heat producing more moisture leading to continuous flooding and massive snowfalls. All the science makes clear that we only understand a fragment of what is in store. When the catastrophes come, they will be swift and stunning.

Why Boycott Israel in Light of Farhud Revelations?

December 6th 2010
Here in the Bay Area, we have been assaulted by a wide band of calls for boycotts against Israel, claiming and alleging religious and other discrimination by Israelis against Palestinian Arabs. In light of the revelations in Edwin Black's Farhud book about the heinous Palestinian Arab massacres of Jews just for sitting down while praying (see When Arabs Massacred Jews Because they Sat While Praying, November 15, 2010, Page One), it is a total distortion to believe that the situation would become humane under Arab rule. I have done a little research, especially but not exclusively at The Cutting Edge News, enough to ask a few intelligent questions. Should we replace Israeli products with Egyptian ones, knowing that Egypt sanctions the burning of Coptic Christian churches? Should we replace Israeli products with Saudi ones, knowing that Saudi Arabia sanctions discrimination against all non-Islamic religions? Should we replace Israeli products with Turkish ones, knowing that Turkey sanctions discrimination against the Armenian Christian churches and fosters intolerance of Catholics? Should we replace Israeli products with Iranian ones, knowing that Iran sanctions discrimination against Bahia's and persecutes them viciously? Should we replace Israeli products with Palestinian ones, knowing that Hamas sanctions discrimination against women including honor killings? I am not switching any buying or purchasing until I see more enlightened regimes in the Arab and Muslim world who respect other religions. So hypocritical calls for me to boycott Israel won't work any time soon.

Blue Fin Endangered because of Appetities and Unscrupulous Fishing

November 29th 2010
Your article Mediterranean Feeding Frenzy on Blue Fin, November 22, 2010 proves that we need to do much more to protect these fish from the likes of predator fishing companies and appetites that do not consider the damage they are doing to this diminishing species. Only when unscrupulous fishing enterprises are exposed, can we make the start to recognize the damage this industry is having on our seas and on vulnerable fish life.

Farhud Violence--Arabs Against Praying Jews--is Shocking

November 22nd 2010
I thought I had heard it all. But to think that Jewish people in the twentieth century were massacred by Arabs at the Wailing Hall in Holy Jerusalem and in Hebron in 1929, as related in Edwin Black's book and article on The Farhud (see When Arabs Massacred Jews Because they Sat While Praying, November 15, 2010, Page One), shows how far the Arab peoples are from accepting people of other religions as neighbors. It does not matter if you cross yourself, kneel, touch the ground, or sit down when you pray. There is no excuse for what the Arabs did then, and I can only wonder what would happen if that group again gained control over Jerusalem. Freedom of religion must guaranteed for all.

Airport Pat Downs Not Needed--Just Go for the Scan

November 22nd 2010
The current hysteria about airport pat-downs and frisking is completely unnecessary. While it is true that pilots and flight attendants should not have to subject themselves to radiation numerous times daily, for the average person flying once or twice per month--or double that, the full scan is convenient and not a bother for me at all. Naturally, if you opt-out of the normal scanning, then you subject yourselves to the pat-down. Suggestion: just go for the scan, keep the hysteria down, and let our TSA workers do their job.

Airport Pat Downs Prove We Must Profile Muslims

November 22nd 2010
Common sense shows that we must treat the Islamic threat to our airports as we would any criminal threat. We must respond with criminal-style profiling of this threat. This means unfortunately, that our Muslim neighbors must be subjected to special attention, along with all Muslims entering this country. I never thought I would say this in a letter, but I have. If the threat is from the IRA, then we pay special attention to and profile the guys called Kelly and O’Keefe coming in from Ireland, and even if they are here since the potato famine. If the threat is Hassidic Jews, then we profile all the guys with hassidic outfits. If the threat is related to the Mafia, and it involves my own from Sicily, go to it, and profile all those named Luciano and Palumbo, or hailing from Sicily. Italians have been profiled for Mafia for decades. Mexicans have been profiled forever for drug smuggling. I guess it is time to admit that the unifying theme in this terrorism is not age, nationality, or skin hue. It is Islamic extremism. If we don't start profiling Muslims now—with apologies to Paterson NJ—then soon we will be forced to do cavity searches. If you watch the news, the Yemenite terrorists are inserting explosives in their cavities—not just their underwear. So if we have to choose between a cavity search for every man, woman, and child and recognizing the threat, then so be it.

Palestinian Checkpoints and American Airports

November 22nd 2010
The next time Palestinian protesters want to to complain about Israeli checkpoints, I would invite them to visit American airports where men, women, and children must be publicly patted down in their private parts because of Arab and Islamic terrorism. Apparently, the Israeli people have come to grips what we in America are just discovering. I suggest profiling is the answer, and this way my 73-years grandma does not need to be touched in humiliating ways.

Mexico's Violence is Stunning and Must Be Contained

November 22nd 2010
The horrific violence in Mexico that is revealed by The Cutting Edge News in its in-depth regular coverage of the Mexican drug wars is stunning beyond belief. This violence and these gangs now control much of Mexico, and will soon be controlling our border areas unless contained. How does one reconcile ordinary crime with the rampant beheadings, torture, and dismemberment that have become hallmarks of these cartels. Yet this is what is on display daily throughout Mexico. While we are fighting a brutal insurgency overseas, while another is brewing just across the river. We need to get our priorities straight. I thank The Cutting Edge News for having the guts to publish the articles we do not receive on the nightly news.

Black's Latest Book--The Farhud--a True Nightmare

November 19th 2010
Now that I have read Edwin Black's latest book, The Farhud, and read his article on the 1929 Hebron events (see When Arabs Massacred Jews Because they Sat While Praying, November 15, 2010, Page One), I can fully agree that the content of the book is shattering, as a prior letter writer commented. Black spoke in Cleveland on this matter last month, giving us a sneak preview of the book to come, and I finally got our family’s book a few days ago. I stayed up all night reading it. The article in The Cutting Edge News was nothing compared to the full content of the book. It is a book everyone should read, but be prepared for a nightmare. In fact, the author’s first words in his introduction are: “This book is a nightmare.” He was correct.

ADL Denounces Torching of Coptic Christian Homes in Egypt

November 18th 2010

The torching of at least 10 houses belonging to Coptic Christians in southern Egypt, following rumors that a Christian resident had an affair with a Muslim girl, is outrageous and shocking. We have called on the Egyptian government to vigorously prosecute the perpetrators. These arsons are only the latest in a series of escalating attacks on Coptic Christians, a minority religion in Egypt making up about 10 percent of the population. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, Egypt needs to send a clear message to the world that it intends to fully protect freedom of religion and its religious minorities against acts of terrorism.

Abraham H. Foxman is National Director of Anti-Defamation League.

Academic Boycott does not Endanger Academic Freedom

November 18th 2010

There is a flaw in the argument made by Yitzhak Santis in his article “Foreign Entities Endanger Academic Freedom in the US.” Santis (see Foreign Entities Endanger Academic Freedom in the US, Slices November 15, 2010) seems to believe that suspending the Bill of Rights on the basis of protecting some imaginary "national security" is the same as suspending academic freedom to liberate people from real oppression. By holding academic freedom as a sacred and holy absolute, would Santis agree that a professor's academic freedom should not be limited even if that professor produces anti-Semitic or other bigoted work? After all, suspending it would invite tyranny as he says. All this aside, Santis seems to have deliberately disregarded the entire statement by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), which if read carefully, explains that the academic boycott does not infringe on the individual rights and academic freedoms of Israeli academics, whom American academics are not being asked to boycott, but targets the institutions that are complicit in Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. Moreover, Santis misconstrues the part of the letter he does quote. When PACBI says "the protection of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas cannot be the only norm dictating the political engagement of scholars," what is meant is that this academic freedom cannot come at the expense of the dispossession, disenfranchisement, and outright oppression and occupation of another people. It follows the same principles that I'm sure we all agree with regarding freedom: Your freedom stops when it begins to oppress mine. The idea is that we must uphold academic freedom but not at the expense of the freedom of Palestinians, especially when Israeli academic institutions are complicit in allowing for this oppression (there is a very good report detailing some of this by the Alternative Information Center that can be found at http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/980-the-case-for-academic-boycott-against-israel). Furthermore, we are always told that we must uphold academic freedom, yet nobody talks about the academic freedom of the Palestinians.  Indeed, academic freedom should be enshrined, but it can never be held higher than a people’s more general right to live freely. The question then becomes: what do we prioritize and consider being of higher value, academic freedom or the freedom of Palestinians? I leave readers to make that decision in good faith.

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