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Palestinian Terror

Israeli Medics Save Palestinian Baby and Mother Even While Mourning Murdered Rabbi and Family

April 11th 2011

Israel Topics - Israeli ambulance driver

While Israel mourned the death of the members of the Fogel family, murdered in their beds by Palestinian terrorists, a near-miraculous drama unfolded nearby. In the same Jewish settlement where survivors of the attack that left Rabbi Fogel, his wife and 3 children dead on March 12, Israeli settlers and soldiers saved a Palestinian mother and her baby after the infant's umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck.

Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in the Neve Tzuf settlement to offer condolences on March 16, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community's entrance. Israeli soldiers and paramedics had discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl's neck, endangering both her and her mother.

The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother's and baby's life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members. Nineteen-year-old Corporal Haim Levin, an IDF paramedic, was the first medical team member recounted the drama he encountered. "When I arrived, I saw a woman covered by a blanket in a yellow Palestinian van. I moved closer and saw the baby's head and upper body," he told Ynet. "The umbilical cord was around the baby's neck; the baby was grey and didn't move." Read more ..


Egypt After the Revolt

Three Scenarios for Egypt's Future: The Good, The Bad and Ugly

April 11th 2011

Egypt - Qaradaqi in Cairo

The protestors have gone home and the world's attention has turned to Libya, but the future of the most populous and influential Arab country remains perhaps the most important issue affecting American interests in the Middle East other than Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. 
The decision to abandon Hosni Mubarak without knowing who would take power in his place has created uncertainty and unease throughout the region. Though no one can predict at this point what Egypt will look like in the days and weeks to come, it is possible to envision three scenarios that all pose potential problems for American policy.
Read more ..

America Remembers the Future

America's Current Leadership Can Learn Insightful Lessons from the Commemoration of the Civil War

April 11th 2011

History American - Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the American Civil War, and the next four years will see many commemorations of the terrible conflict that transformed forever the life of the United States. History in general overflows with lessons for leaders in all walks of life, but certain watershed events, like the fall of the Roman Republic, the French Revolution, and the World Wars of the 20th century offer more sharply-defined demonstrations of the dynamics of leadership -- and misleadership. The American Civil War is one such episode.

The prodigious figure of Abraham Lincoln continues to dominate all discourse on the Civil War, and there are few finer examples of practical wisdom and integrity for leaders today in politics, business, and the professions. A recent book, Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin explores Lincoln’s determination to pick the best people for the job, regardless of all-too-human inadequacies and the undisguised antipathy they sometimes showed towards him. He accepted personal responsibility for managing conflict and dissent within his team.

The fact that Lincoln could appoint and keep on board a man like Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War is a striking example. Stanton was an able and vigorous executive, astute and always deft in getting things done; but he could also be an abusive bully and downright deceitful in his dealings with colleagues. Even George McClellan, the Union commander whom Lincoln pressured relentlessly to use the massive logistical advantages his army enjoyed over the enemy, found Stanton’s vituperative reflections on the president behind his back unsettling. Yet Lincoln coaxed the very best out of his Secretary of War, conceding graciously whenever he believed his subordinate’s argument was superior to his own, and supporting Stanton strongly through many trials and tribulations. Read more ..


Oil Addiction

Obama’s Energy Plan was Simply to Play Good Politics

April 4th 2011

Obama Admin Topics - Obama - Energy April '11

President Obama had good reasons to welcome spring with a high profile energy policy address. The first anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig is just three weeks away. The President surely knows that this anniversary will give his opponents an opportunity to remind Americans of the unnecessary moratorium on offshore drilling. The President also knows that there is roughly a two to three months delay period before gasoline prices respond to increases in the price of crude oil. The recent spike in oil prices occurred about two months ago as riots began to spread throughout the Middle East so gas prices are expected to rise further. Read more ..

Religious Freedom

Norway’s “Boycott” of Pro-Israel Speakers

April 4th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz

I recently completed a “speaking tour” of Norwegian Universities on the topic of “international law as applied to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The sponsors of the tour—a Norwegian pro-Israel group—offered to have me lecture without any charge to the three major universities in Bergen, Oslo and Trondheim. Norwegian universities, especially those outside of Oslo, tend to feel somewhat isolated from the more mainstream academic world, and they generally jump at any opportunity to invite lecturers from leading universities. Thus, when Professor Stephen Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby—a much maligned critique of American support for Israel—came to Norway, he was immediately invited to present a lecture. Likewise, with Ilan Pappe—a strident demonizer of Israel—from Oxford. Many professors from less well-known universities have also been invited to present their anti-Israel perspectives.

My hosts expected, therefore, that their offer to have me present a somewhat different academic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be eagerly accepted, since I have written half a dozen books on the subject presenting a centrist view in support of the two-state solution and against civilian settlements on the West Bank.

Indeed, one of my books is entitled The Case For Peace, and former President Bill Clinton praised my blueprint for peace as “among the best in recent years.” Read more ..


Edge on Technolgy

The Digital Age of Freedom

April 4th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

There’s a relatively new collection of essays making its way around Washington circles asking a provocative question that, I’m sure, many have acted out in their own personal lives yet never really pondered what it meant—a book titled Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?

Gathered and compiled by editor John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, the myriad scholarly contributors examine just how the Internet has altered the course of an individual’s thinking. “A new invention has emerged, a code for collective consciousness that requires a new way of thinking,” Mr. Brockman writes. “The Internet is the infinite oscillation of our collective consciousness interacting with itself. It’s not about computers; it’s about thinking.”

Indeed, perhaps the single greatest invention of our time has changed the way we collect, process, analyze and share information; from the most meaningless such as a casserole recipe, to state secrets pilfered by rogue military personnel and scattered like ashes to the four winds. Not since the telegraph in the early 19th century has information moved so rapidly and efficiently. Read more ..


Religious Tolerance

The Duplicty of Great Britain on Israel is Relentless and Pervasive

April 4th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Isi Leibler headshot

British Jews who primarily interact with fellow Jews in their daily lives, and thus remain largely insulated from direct anti-Semitic confrontations, frequently underrate the impact of the relentless demonization of Israel on their standing in society. Others, who insist that the anti-Israeli onslaughts are unconnected to anti-Semitism, are simply in outright denial The principal barometer is the media which is now so consistently hostile to Israel that an occasional neutral or positive article is almost cause for celebration.

The poisonous atmosphere has now extended to the entertainment arena. In London, I saw the final episode of "The Promise," a four-part drama series televised during peak viewing time on Channel 4, which encompasses the history of the Jewish state from its birth to modern-day Israel. I doubt whether any production in the Western world has ever related to Israel with such vile bias and venom. Virtually every Jew is demonized as a duplicitous and heartless monster.

The drama focuses on a British soldier who witnessed the Nazi death camps and subsequently served in the British mandatory forces when the state of Israel was born. His granddaughter, the heroine, witnesses Israeli brutality against peace-loving Palestinian women and children. It concludes with the aged former British soldier pontificating that despite the Nazi death camps, the creation of Israel was a terrible event which dispossessed the Palestinian people. The historical events are utterly distorted; rich Jews celebrate as innocent Arabs are butchered; a Jewish sniper deliberately murders a young Arab child and Israeli soldiers continuously abuse elderly Palestinians. Read more ..


Islam's War Against Christians

Wounded Christians of Egypt Wonder at Lack of Discussion Over their Fate at the Hands of Islamists

April 4th 2011

Christian Topics - Coptic Christian prays at blood splattered wall

A disturbing feature of the crisis in Egypt has been the paucity of any discussion of the implications of the possible rise of fanatical Islamists for Christians, particularly the sizeable Coptic Christian population, estimated at between 10-15 percent of the Egyptian population. The few vague references to their fate were generally voiced as an afterthought to reflections on the repression of women.

This puzzling gap is characteristic of Western analysts who respond only to political and economic explanations. But these have little to do with the deeper social historical complexities of the Middle East and everything to do with religion and the culture. Western analysts seldom understand the importance of religion. Unless conflict has an overt political face it is usually a mystery to them. Yet Christians were out on the street with their fellow Egyptians when Mubarak was ousted, desperate to ward off an Islamic take-over. In fact the persecution of Copts has intensified over the past 20 years even though few in the West have paid attention to it. Read more ..


Edge on Schooling

Tortured Minds Bent on Eliminating Civics from American Education

April 4th 2011

Social Topics - Bill of Rights

“An American government exam taken by all high school students in Maryland would be eliminated next year under the proposed state budget, a surprising shift in policy that comes just three years after the test was made a graduation requirement. Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal cuts $1.9 million from the Maryland State Department of Education budget that would pay for the test and its grading … Some educators expressed immediate concern that social studies would get less attention in high schools if the test is eliminated.”
Baltimore Sun

Outside the front door of my house is a hundred year old Uncle Sam. He’s made of wood, and as long as he’s been with us, he’s not had any work done on him. After reading about Maryland’s intention to do away with its civics test, I am making arrangements for a visit to a rehab, after an emotionally charged intervention that had Uncle Sam thin lipped with rage and denial, while the wood and paint that covered him looked so uncared for and chipped, that we’ve stopped waving hello, not wanting to risk some outburst of irrational anger that would make his always wooden features peel and flake even more. Read more ..


American Jewry on Edge

A Leadership Reform Rabbi with a Troubling Agenda

March 30th 2011

Jewish Topics - Rabbi Richard Jacobs
Rabbi Richard Jacobs

I must express concern at the appointment of Rabbi Richard Jacobs as head of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Rabbi Jacobs is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street, the extremist, George Soros-funded lobby group that takes positions to the left of the Israeli Labor and far-left Meretz parties, recently opposed sanctions on Iran, and urged President Barack Obama not to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning as “illegal” Jewish homes and communities in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Jacobs is also a long-time board member and advocate of the New Israel Fund (NIF), which is a leading promoter and funder of organizations that advocate boycotting, divesting from, and imposing sanctions upon, Israel (BDS) as well as other groups involved in delegitimizing Israel and mounting ‘lawfare’ suits against Israeli political and military officials, causing these officials to not visit certain European countries. The ZOA, which I am president of, is also concerned by Rabbi Jacobs’ close association with J Street and NIF and thus at the prospect of the Reform movement becoming a captive of the beliefs and actions of both organizations. We hope the Reform movement, under Jacob’s leadership, will not become an unnamed arm and political ally of these organizations.

We are not alone in our concerns. Commentary magazine’s Alana Goodman recently wrote, “Jacobs involvement with J Street and the New Israel Fund is a troubling sign,” adding “The Reform movement has always leaned toward the political left, but its decision to tap Rabbi Richard Jacobs as its new leader signals that it might be shifting its focus toward a slightly different form of political activism.” Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

The Dilemma That the Tea Party's Michele Bachmann poses For the GOP

March 28th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Juan Williams
Juan Williams

If Capitol Hill is really one big high school, the “It” girl of the moment is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

A recent Gallup poll of Republicans found Bachmann had the second-highest positive intensity rating of any of the potential 2012 candidates in the GOP field. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and my colleague at Fox, came in first. In the last week alone, newspapers ranging from The New York Times to The Washington Times have run profiles on Bachmann full of speculation about her next move in the GOP presidential contest. She has made numerous trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, suggesting she might make a run for the presidency as either a Republican or a third party, Tea Party-backed candidate. TV’s John McLaughlin declared on his show that Bachmann will be the 2012 Republican nominee for vice president. Read more ..


BDS--The Economic Jihad

Lawsuits Launched against Colleges on Israel De-Legitimization, Intimidation and Harassment

March 28th 2011

History-Genocide - Antisemitic window UK

As the worldwide campaign aimed at de-legitimizing and demonizing Israel rages on worldwide, the campus has become a major battleground, especially in the U.S. and Canada. Indeed, Israel’s detractors long ago recognized the importance of influencing (and infiltrating) academia, at both the faculty and student levels.

In recent years, groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association have become increasingly hostile and incidents of intimidation and violence against Jewish and pro-Israel students and atmospheres of pervasive hostility and intimidation have been reported on numerous campuses. Read more ..


The Battle for Libya

Libya's Dubious Distinction for Aerial Bombardment

March 28th 2011

Arab Topics - Libya crushed jet

Libya now holds an unfortunate record. It is the country which has the longest experience of aerial bombardment. Libya was first bombed in 1911, by Italy; now, in 2011, it is being bombed by its own air force. That makes it just under a century from the first bomb to the latest.

It helps that Libya was the very first country to experience aerial bombardment from aeroplanes and from airships. I'm using the word 'country' here in a loose sense, as it was then part of the Ottoman Empire (technically, the provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica). Read more ..


The Edge of Terror

International Red Cross Sheltering Hamas Terrorist Officials

March 28th 2011

Israel Topics - Toteh (Hamas) in E Jerusalem
Muhammad Totah of Hamas

Hamas officials are praising March 23’s deadly bombing of a bus station in Jerusalem—a city they’ve vowed to conquer.

Jerusalem is also a place where wanted Hamas members have found safe haven from Israeli authorities—and they’re getting help from one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations. Although Hamas’s main headquarters can be found in Gaza and Damascus, over the past several months, three officials from the terror group have also set up shop at the International Red Cross office in East Jerusalem. Read more ..


The Obama Edge

Obama Pays Homage to Martyred Oscar Romero but Reagan's Minions are Still Afoot in Central America

March 28th 2011

Latin American Topics - Salvadoran soldier

In El Salvador, on the last leg of his Latin American tour, President Barack Obama paid a highly symbolic visit to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero, shot through the heart as he raised the Eucharist chalice during a mass, in March 1980. His assassination was ordered by Salvadoran military officer Roberto D’Aubuisson, a School of the America’s graduate.

As El Faro—an important online source of independent Central American news—put it: Obama’s homage to Romero is a “truly extraordinary” gesture, since D’Aubuisson not only ran private-sector financed death squads but was a founder of ARENA, an ultraconservative political party that until 2009 had governed the country for two decades and enjoyed excellent relations with Washington.

  Read more ..


Edge of Human Rights

Time to Reset the Human Rights Agenda

March 28th 2011

Islamic Topics - Saudi Human Rights

There was a time when the very phrase "human rights" represented, for a great number of world leaders, an insidious "western," not to say "Zionist," plot to undermine their titanic efforts to build utopia. Some of these leaders were communists, a few were Ba'athists, many more were populists and revolutionaries of one stripe or another, to be found reigning over countries from central America to southern Africa to north-east Asia.

There were important differences between all these colonels and generals and Secretary-Generals. What united them, though, was a contempt for those societies whose political arrangements encourage their citizens to look the state in the eye without fear, rather than nervously gazing up from a respectful distance. Indeed, the use of fear as a political tool by the state is what best distinguishes "closed" societies from -- flaws and all -- "open" ones. Read more ..


The Obama Edge

Much Ado About Nothing: The Chile Visit

March 21st 2011

Presidential - Obama and Pinera of Chile
Presidents Barack Obama (US) and Sebastián Piñera (Chile)

President Obama will touch down in Chile on March 21 to commence the second leg of his Latin American trip. Inevitably, this segment of Obama’s journey will suffer in relative importance by being compared to his earlier visit to Brazil, where he is scheduled to spend two full days as opposed to the shortened one-day agenda that is planned for Chile. This is namely because, as their respective press secretaries will tell you, if asked, the U.S. and Chile already have a strong bond which is rooted in democratic ideals, and a tenacious belief in the rewards of free enterprise. The visit will provide Obama with the platform to use glowing rhetoric to celebrate a hemispheric ally without making too many demands and requests by either side. Read more ..


The Fogel Massacre

Why They Celebrate Murdering Children

March 21st 2011

Terrorism - Fogel boy murdered 2

The commentary overflows.

Since five members of the Fogel family were murdered in their Itamar home, thinkers have been trying to grapple with the implications.

For this was not just a random murder. Members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the armed wing of “moderate“ Mahmoud Abbas’s party, entered a home and methodically stabbed to death two parents and three children—while they were sleeping. The youngest child was four months old.

It baffles the mind and people search for the genesis of the evil that could motivate such an action. Read more ..


Edge of Terror

It's Abu Mazen, Stupid!

March 21st 2011

Palestine Topics - Palestinans for Yeshua?
Abu Masan

The March 11, 2011 heinous stabbing to death of a Jewish family - while asleep on the eve of the Sabbath - including a three month old baby, a three year old toddler, an eleven year old child and their parents was carried out by graduates of Abu Mazen's (Mahmoud Abbas') hate-education.  This slaughter was not an anomalous phenomenon. 

The slaughter was a derivative of the infrastructure of hate-education and incitement via school text books, Abu Mazen-controlled media and Abu Mazen-controlled mosques.  It was installed in 1994 by Abu Mazen, then Arafat's deputy, and perpetuated, since 2005, by Abu Mazen, the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.  It is an extension of Palestinian incitement and terrorism, introduced by Haj Amin al-Husseini in the 1920s, and 1,400 years of Arab/Muslim hate-mongering and terrorism toward each other, but mostly against "the infidel." Read more ..


The Fogel Massacre

A Detox Program for Haters

March 21st 2011

Israel Topics - Fogel Family

Dear President Obama,

The murders of Uri and Ruth Fogel, along with Yoav, 11, Elad 4, and Baby Hadas, raise an elemental question. “How could somebody do something like that?” my children asked. Mr. President, as a father of young daughters, and a peace-seeking statesman, you also must answer that question.

To reply properly, we should ask who the victims were—or more accurately who they appeared to be. The Hamas thugs in Gaza who celebrated this slaughter see them as “Jews” and “Zionists.” According to the Hamas Charter, the Fogels deserved to die by being born Jewish, by being Israeli. Such Hitlerite anti-Semitism pollutes mosques and the Arab media, prompting calls by Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others to “wipe out” Israel. America’s boycott of Hamas reflects your understanding that interacting with these people is futile unless they repudiate this genocidal ideology—which often targets Westerners too. Read more ..


Islam on Edge

Responding to Muslims' Astonishing Request to Use Churches as Mosques

March 21st 2011

Islamic Topics - Muslim Street Prayer NYC
Prayers during NYC Muslim Day Parade

In a March 11, 2011 press release, the “Banlieuses Respect” Collective asked authorities in charge of the organization of the Catholic Church in France to place at Muslims’ disposal “empty churches for Friday prayers.” Hassan M. Ben Barek, a spokesman for the Collective, said the measure would “prevent Muslims from having to pray on the streets” and being “politicians’ hostages.”

In fact, for several years now, every Friday, alongside dozens of mosques in France, Muslims have blocked the surrounding streets for an hour or two, spreading mats on the roads to pray. In many cases, local authorities close their eyes to this offense, and in some cases the police are there to ensure the safety of those who block the streets. This situation is on the rise in France (for example, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier. Montreuil, Nice, Paris, Puteaux, Strasbourg, Torcy), in Italy (Albenga, Canicattì, Como, Gallarate, Milan, Modena, Moncalieri, Naples, Rome), and all over the world (Athens, Brussels, Birmingham, Cordova, Moscow, New York). In the Muslim world, this phenomenon is also present, especially in Egypt. On December 10, in Lyon, Marine Le Pen of the National Front denounced the Muslims’ “street prayers,” which led to negative reactions towards the Muslim community in France. Read more ..


Edge on Terror

Shahbaz Bhatti, R.I.P.: A Voice Silenced in the Wilderness

March 21st 2011

PakistanTopics - Shahbaz Bhatti
Martyred Shahbaz Bhatti of Pakistan

In the lingering winter cold, which is refusing to let spring emerge, we have been witness to another murder, which has further chilled us to the bone. Most of us, in our personal capacities, have been shocked to bits about our Minister for Minorities Affairs being shot dead in Islamabad in broad daylight. It is as if the white portion, which depicts the minorities on our flag, has been soiled so mercilessly yet again. It was bad enough that we lost the Governor of Punjab only two months ago to sheer intolerance, it is even worse to have the Minorities Affairs Minister murdered thus. And the sinking feeling in the gut is that this is not the last murder we have seen of someone killed because of bigotry and hatred. Read more ..


The Fogel Massacre

Day After Five Jews Massacred, P.A. Names Town Square After Jew-Killer

March 17th 2011

Terrorism - Al Bireh Square Dalal al-Mughrabi
Al Bireh Square named for Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi

Today, the Zionist Organziation, which I represent, called on the Obama Administration to demand that Mahmoud Abbas take action to immediately terminate incitement to murder Jews and commit violence against Israel, including rescinding the naming of dozens of streets, schools, city squares, youth camps and sports tournaments in honor of killers of Jews and ending incitement in its schools, media and speeches. Abbas has the complete ability to control the actions of his Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority.

The fact that the PA named a square Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, after the terrorist leader Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the Fatah terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were slaughtered demonstrates to the world a sick pride in murder and a rejection of any peace efforts. 

At the scene of the event, which was festooned with Palestinian flags and posters of Mughrabi, Fatah member Sabri Seidam said, “We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement” Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

The Primaries Favor Palin

March 14th 2011

Politics - Palin Candidate

It is difficult to believe, but the first election for the next president of the United States is less than a year away.

The New Hampshire primary is alive and well and headed toward a date of Valentine’s Day next year, but it will probably occur earlier, perhaps even on Jan. 3. That’s not a long time from now in campaign time, but the most interesting aspect of this fact is that no one knows who is the leading candidate in the potential Republican field.

I have participated in presidential primaries in New Hampshire since 1976. It is part of the fun of being from that state. There has always been a presumptive favorite or two. Not this year. The field is wide open, the names numerous with more to come, one expects, but it is difficult to see clearly who might be the nominee.

In the past, there would be an heir apparent or maybe two. It would be between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan or Reagan and George Bush or Bush and Bob Dole or Bush and John McCain, but not this year. There does not seem to be an envelope floating around with a winner in it. This raises the issue of how the process will evolve. Read more ..


The Battle for Libya

No American War in Libya is Needed

March 14th 2011

Arab Topics - Muammar Qaddafi with Flag

Recently, JINSA asserted that the U.S. Air Force could and should "flatten the Libyan Air Force."  We seem to have wandered through other people's conversations about a) no fly zones; b) ground troops; and c) helping the Libyan rebels. 

No, no. Managing a "no fly zone" implies a long term commitment the U.S. government should not make; our ground troops are quite fully committed elsewhere, thank you; and we have no particular interest in "helping" rebels we do not know and who, according to the newspapers, want their rescue to be divine and immaculate with no American or British fingerprints. None of that would be good policy.

The point was and remains that the Libyan military has undertaken indiscriminate action against Libyan towns and villages. The point was for the United States to punish the perpetrators, remove a weapon from their arsenal and show in a concrete and specific way that the United States does not accept the bombardment of cities and civilians. It was as much for us to make ourselves clear about the limits of our tolerance as it was for the Libyans. Read more ..


The Battle for Libya

Libyan Protesters Seek Justice—and Exiled Jews Should, Too

March 14th 2011

Jewish Topics - Libyan Jewish Women

I left Libya more than 42 years ago when the mobs were roaming the streets. They were not chanting for democracy or yearning for freedom—they were looking for Jews.

I am a Libyan Jew, though I have now lived in the Bay Area for 40 years. The upheavals sweeping Libya open old wounds. Violent political culture has often been part of Libyan society, especially toward its Jews.

There had been a Jewish presence in Libya since the 3rd century BCE—one millennium prior to the advent of Islam in the region. We were “tolerated” to varying degrees by successive rulers and continued to be part of a rich and ongoing thread in the fabric of Libyan society. Read more ..


Media on the Edge

Fox News Cleans House

March 7th 2011

Politics - Gingrich Santorum 2012
Newt Gingrich, left; Rick Santorum, right.

It’s the new shortcut to running for president. Forget about forming an exploratory committee, begging everybody you know for campaign contributions, then spending two years on the road, shaking hands and eating rubber chicken. There’s a far easier, less messy and more effective approach: Just get a job on Fox News.

Think about it. There’s no sweat involved. You just have to talk. As often as you want to. To a nationwide audience of likeminded conservatives. You don’t even have to know the facts. Nobody expects that from Fox. You just give your opinion, no matter how wacky it is. And you get paid for it!

It’s worked for Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Lou Dobbs, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum. Why do you think nobody takes Mitt Romney seriously? Because he’s so boring not even Fox would hire him. Read more ..


Unions on Edge

Union Power is a Sympton of What Ails the U.S.

March 7th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Star Parker, CURE
Star Parker

Government unions use the force model to enrich themselves at the direct expense of taxpayers to the point of bankrupting us all.  Unionized government workers who have taken to the streets to protest moves in Wisconsin and Ohio to limit their power are doing us all a favor.

How?

Our great nation today is sick and badly in need of therapy. The screams and protests of these government union workers should help all Americans identify these public unions as a major symptom of the sickness that is dragging us down and what we need to do to fix it.

America is about freedom -- political freedom and economic freedom. Our nation has been a human laboratory that has shown, for the entire world to see, that the moral truths that underlie our freedom produce bounty and prosperity.

It has been those moments when we have departed from the blueprint for freedom laid out so clearly in our Declaration of Independence -- that our Creator endowed us with certain rights and that men form government to secure and protect those rights -- when we have had pain.

The willingness of the founders to tolerate slavery in a country designed to be free produced a legacy of pain that haunts us still today.

Today's departure is the extent to which we have allowed a culture of force to take hold, limiting our freedom and the natural bounty it produces. The two fronts of this culture of force is the growth of government, where the institution there to protect us is now telling us what to do, and with union power, which goes hand in hand with government power. Read more ..


Pakistan on Edge

Shahbaz Bhatti: RIP - A Voice of Reason in Pakistan is Silenced

March 7th 2011

PakistanTopics - Shahbaz Bhatti
Shahbaz Bhatti

In the lingering winter cold, which is refusing to let spring emerge, we have been witness to another murder, which has further chilled us to the bone. Most of us, in our personal capacities, have been shocked to bits about our Minister for Minorities Affairs being shot dead in Islamabad in broad daylight. It is as if the white portion, which depicts the minorities on our flag, has been soiled so mercilessly yet again. It was bad enough that we lost the Governor of Punjab only two months ago to sheer intolerance, it is even worse to have the Minorities Affairs Minister murdered thus. And the sinking feeling in the gut is that this is not the last murder we have seen of someone killed because of bigotry and hatred. Read more ..


Labor on Edge

Wisconsin: The Question

February 28th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams
Armstrong Williams

Two points jump out at me as I watch the union protests in Wisconsin.

First, the “new era of civility” is over, and second, that union myrmidons continue to put their own self-interests above the rest of the taxpayers and nation.

If you recall after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, was shot Jan. 8, the left was quick to vilify the right for so-called vitriol and hostile rhetoric. They claimed the alleged shooter Jared Loughner to be the poster child for what happens to normal folks that listen to too much Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Except, we found out that was all a red herring; Mr. Loughner turned out to be a fairly apolitical nut job. But still, everyone from CNN to President Obama demanded that we “tone down the rhetoric.”

Yet I saw Mr. Obama accuse Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, of an “assault on unions.” Sounds like violent rhetoric to me. I also see that the union protesters are carrying signs comparing Mr. Walker and the Republicans to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Nazis, as well as several with Mr. Walker in target crosshairs. Well, I guess it was a nice, “civil” 3 weeks. Civility is not the main concern that the protests reveal, but I do find it both amusing and disappointing at the same time. Read more ..


Inside Islam

Understanding Shariah Finance and Islamic Banking in American Finance

February 28th 2011

Corporate Logos - Citibank

The Middle East, with its exotic tropical sirocco winds, is also now the haven and leader of a new form of finance that is enticing the world with the alluring scent of its petrodollars. Substantial profits are to be made, and gold plated Bentleys, mansions on the Palm Jumerah Island, and golf courses designed by Tiger Woods only add to the mystique behind the veils. However, more than Dubailand and dreams of riches lurk behind the Islamic ideologues who invented the concept of Islamic Finance, and they are ones who are promoting this form of "interest-free, Muslim friendly, ethical investment" worldwide. Read more ..


The Battle for Libya

Obama Should Flatten Libya's Air Force and the Criminal Qaddafi

February 24th 2011

Libya Topics - Libyan cargo plane

President Barack Obama finally stirred himself to address the carnage in Libya, saying the "suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable." Without calling on Muammar Qaddafi to step down - as he did to Mubarak for far less - he announced no sanctions or punishment. He left it to Qaddafi. "The Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence, to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need and to respect the rights of its people," he said. "It must be held accountable for its failure to meet those responsibilities and face the cost of continued violations of human rights." Read more ..

Lebanon on Edge

Hezbollah: Governing Faction in Lebanon, A Criminal Group Abroad

February 21st 2011

Terrorism - Hezbollah Troops
Hezbollah Soldiers

This week marked the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, killed in a Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005. Noting the solemn occasion, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon issued a statement paying tribute to Hariri and the other twenty-two people killed that day and reaffirming the UN's "commitment to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated." Read more ..


The Way We Are

The National Anthem: More than a Song

February 21st 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

I’ve read (and maybe even said) some incendiary things through the years that were designed to elicit a response or stoke the ire of readers in order to initiate a frank conversation. But a recent piece by national columnist Kevin Blackistone makes even the seasoned political watcher cringe.

In his recent missive entitled, “Time to Turn Off the National Anthem Before Sports Events,” Mr. Blackistone argues that the singing of the National Anthem at sporting events has outlived its purpose. He submits that very few Americans even know the song, and suggests that still fewer can recall why the words were written in the first place. There’s nothing about playing T-ball that should call forth memories of a lopsided British attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

“Sports,” Mr. Blackistone writes, “have and continue to ritualize [the Anthem] with barely a shred of relevance.”

Singing a song about soldiers raising a flag following hours of cannon bombardment may have little to do with the indoor soccer game parents are watching, but that same song does remind everyone at that game that they stand there because of American sacrifice. Blood was shed so that we might be free. When we say that soldiers “will never be forgotten,” shouldn’t we mean it? We honor and commemorate their lives and the sacrifices they made for us by remembering them. That’s why we sing the National Anthem at sporting events. We don’t do it because there’s some underlying connection between the American Revolution and sports, but because sports bring us together to enjoy something as a group. It unites us beyond our cultural and political differences. The stockbroker sits next to the dockworker, and both are united by their devotion to the local team. Isn’t that the perfect time to celebrate the nation that embodies that very idea? Read more ..


Iran on Edge

Straight Talk in Support of Freedom in Iran

February 18th 2011

Iran - Iran protest

Democrats and Republicans showed admirable bipartisanship as President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton led the nation through the crisis in Egypt. It wasn’t exactly a return to an era when politics stopped at the water’s edge, but it was a fair-minded recognition that the administration had no great choices and limited control over the direction of the Cairo protests. Stuck between a multi-decade autocracy on one side and potentially pushing a country of 75 million Muslims to the Muslim Brotherhood’s virulent political Islam through our lack of support for the protesters on the other, the President and our political establishment steered a steady course. Read more ..


Egypt After the Revolt

Egyptians Celebrate Democracy by Sexually Assaulting a Journalist

February 18th 2011

Egypt - Lara Logan
CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Egypt

A female journalist was sexually and brutally assaulted by a gang of 200 Egyptians in Tahrir Square. What does the terrible personal tragedy of Lara Logan tell us about “modern” Egypt and more broadly about the Arab culture?

The most remarkable thing about the incident is that this was not the making of an infuriated and frustrated crowd, but of liberated, relieved and jubilant men who had just gotten rid of their dictator. How did they choose to usher their newly born democracy? Sexually assault an infidel, preferably blonde.

Peaceful protest…

One need not look far and deep to understand a culture. Just look at basic behaviors. How people debate each other, how they mourn, how they drive and, yes, how they celebrate. Read more ..


Egypt After the Revolt

Putting to Rest the Myth that Egypt's Unrest is no Threat to Israel

February 14th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Mitchell Bard

The impact of unrest in Egypt on Israel's security will not be known until it is clear who will be leading the country. Whatever his failings as a leader within Egypt, Hosni Mubarak faithfully upheld the peace treaty with Israel. If, however, Mubarak--now unseated--is replaced by someone who does not keep the country's treaty commitments, Israel's security will be endangered.

Since signing the peace deal with Egypt in 1979, Israel has reduced the percentage of its GDP devoted to defense spending by nearly a third- from 23 percent in the 1970s to 9 percent today. 479 Israel also significantly reduced the number of soldiers stationed on its southern border and has been able to focus its strategic planning on other threats. Peace with Egypt has contributed to the economic growth of Israel and also was a catalyst for other peace negotiations. Psychologically, the treaty also showed to Israelis that peace with an Arab, Muslim state is possible. 

A change in regime could easily lead to the reversal of these trends. While Mubarak fulfilled the letter of the peace treaty, he was never fully committed to its spirit. The media, military and general public were never conditioned to accept Israel as their neighbor. The Egyptian media in particular has often been critical of Israel to the point of anti-Semitism and the military has consistently directed war games against Israel. Read more ..


Islam on Edge

Iraqi Bishop says the US and Europe are Blind to Islamization

February 14th 2011

Islamic Topics - Muslims London

The secular western world is incapable of fully understanding the threat of a “reawakening of Islam” in the Middle East, according to a Catholic bishop of Iraq. Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk called the Middle East a “scary volcano” because of the possible consequences of widespread unrest. Iraqi Christians, faced with numerous murders by Islamists, are leaving Iraq where they have lived for 2,000 years.

“There are Islamic forces and movements that wish to change the Middle East, creating Islamic States, caliphates, in which Sharia (Islamic law) rules,” he warned.

Radical groups such as al-Qaida and Ansar al Islam are calling on citizens in other Middle Eastern nations to inject an Islamic influence into otherwise general protests in places like Tunisia and Egypt. Archbishop Sako says these calls have “the clear intention of fueling ... a total religious change” in the area. “They are voices that could find fertile ground in Egypt and elsewhere and therefore should not be underestimated, also because there are regional powers whose leaders have defined these revolts as the 'reawakening of Islam',” he said. Read more ..


Economic Recovery on Edge

Playing Chicken with the Debt Ceiling

February 6th 2011

Contributors / Staff - Armstrong_Williams

While Congress prepares its budget for this year, threatening deep cuts to a $14 trillion debt, the first real test of the GOP’s fiscal constitution is shaping up to come in the form of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.

Years ago, no one wanted to talk about expanding the credit line of the U.S. Government. It was such a stark reminder of how bad a hole we were in, that both parties built the significant vote as a procedural move with other votes. In other words, they tried to bury the thing in hopes members would not have to rise in defense of an ever-growing nightmare.

What profiles in courage: both parties were part of the Ostrich Caucus, sticking their collective heads in the sand on some of the most important issues of the day.

And now here we are again, Republicans are at the helm, and Treasury Secretary Geithner and his minions are screaming like Chicken Little that if their opponents don’t “do the right thing” then the U.S. will default on its debt obligations.

Keep in mind this story barely made a ripple back in Feb 2010—the last time the nation’s debt ceiling was to be raised. President Obama couldn’t be bothered with such distractions, and the White House was all too eager to revert to Rule #1 of its administration: blame Bush. Read more ..


Inside Africa

2011 May Be the Year of Africa

January 30th 2011

Africa Topics - African school kids

January, 2011, has seen Africa in the world headlines more than usual; but these are not just “news events”, here today, forgotten tomorrow.

The countries affected by the “Jasmine Revolution” unfolding in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt –and Yemen just across the sea- have something in common, and uprisings haven’t just happened there one after the other, by coincidence. These are all popular demonstrations, protests against entrenched leaders who show no signs of handing over power, whose regimes are characterized by corruption, unemployment –the unemployed have nothing to lose by taking to the streets- food costs, and a government that is out of touch with its people. Read more ..



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