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Election Edge

Obama's Mythology About Pastor Wright

April 21st 2008

Ronald Kessler
Ronald Kessler

In his speech on race, Barack Obama tried to explain away his longtime minister's denunciations of America by saying that for blacks of his generation, memories of "humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away."
But an examination by Newsmax of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s background reveals that Obama's characterization of his upbringing is mythology.

Described by Obama as his sounding board and mentor for more than two decades, Wright was born in Philadelphia in 1941. He lived in a racially mixed section called Germantown, which consisted of homes on broad tree-lined streets in northwest Philadelphia. The owners then were middle-class families.

For 62 years, Wright's father, the Rev. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, was pastor at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. He was one of the first blacks to receive a degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Wright's mother, Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright, was a schoolteacher. She was the first black to teach an academic subject at Roosevelt Junior High, the first to teach at Germantown High, and the first to teach at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She became vice principal of Girls High in 1968.

Rather than attend the more racially mixed Germantown High School at 40 East High St., Wright traveled a few miles to the elite Central High School at 1700 West Olney Ave., graduating in 1959. Opened in 1838, Central High has a distinguished past and admits only highly qualified applicants who are privileged to attend from all over the city. It is comparable to the Bronx High School of Science and Boston Latin School, both public schools known for academic excellence.

When Wright attended Central High, the student body was 90 percent white, according to students who attended around the same time. At least three-quarters of the students were Jewish. Former students of the period say racial tension did not exist.

Bill Cosby, who attended the school until transferring to Germantown High, has referred to Central as a "wonderful" school. In contrast to Wright, Cosby has denounced blacks who take refuge in self-pitying victimhood and seek to blame whites for problems in the black community. Read more ..


Inside Radical Islam

Hamas Children’s TV Continues to Teach Young Ones to Hate and Kill--this Time with Puppet Graphically Stabbing George Bush

April 7th 2008

Hamas Puppet Stabs Bush
Puppet Stabbing Bush on Hamas TV

A March 30 children’s program and broadcast by Hamas TV in Gaza shows a puppet graphically and gruesomely stabbing US President George W. Bush to death in revenge for killing his family. In the video, the child rejects any possibility of discussion and prefers the stabbing that is depicted with evocative groans and moans of satisfaction.

The recently broadcast clip increases international concerns that the isolated Hamas regime is using modern propaganda techniques to encourage children to launch terrorist attacks.

The script of the controversial sketch was translated into English by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), an independent non-profit organization which analyzes and translates Middle Eastern media. The puppet skit, aired on an al-Aksa satellite television children's program, shows a little boy confronting President Bush in the White House. The child berates Bush and his “criminal Zionist partners” for killing his father in Iraq, his mother in Lebanon, and his brothers and sisters in the “Gaza holocaust.” Read more ..


Inside the UN

UN Human Rights Council Members Dart Activist's Mention of Darfur, Hamas

March 31st 2008

Roz Rothstein at HRC
Roz Rothstein (left) and Roberta Seid at Human Rights Council.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) silenced an American human rights activist during recent deliberations regarding the upcoming 2009 so-called “Durban II” conference, a follow-up to its 2001 Durban I conference. The formal name of the event is the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” But the Council refused to allow an American human rights activist to speak without repeated interruptions when she brought up topics unpopular with many at the UN, namely the ongoing genocide in Darfur and anti-Semitism.

StandWithUs (SWU), International Director Roz Rothstein was invited to give a speech before the Human Rights Council in Geneva March 19, 2008. But her brief remarks and the response of the Egyptian and Iranian delegates created a veritable international uproar.

First, some background. In Sept. 2001, the UN's first conference to end world racism met in Durban, South Africa. Unfortunately, despite its idealistic agenda, the conference, and the attendant Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) meetings, quickly turned into an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel hate fest. Celebratory posters of Hitler were displayed. Jews were physically and verbally attacked and intimidated, and denied participation in various meetings. Israel was accused of racism, Nazi-like practices and apartheid, which paved the way for divestment campaigns from Israel.

In a tragic paradox, the conference to end racism fomented and embraced one of the world's oldest racisms—anti-Semitism. The late Congressman and Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos (D-CA) wrote that it was "the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I had seen since the Nazi period." The United States and Israel walked out. Read more ..


The Coming War with Hezbollah

Hezbollah after Mughniyeh

March 12th 2008

Imad Fayez Mughniyeh
Imad Fayez Mughniyeh

The recent killing of Imad Fayez Mughniyeh will not preclude Hezbollah from striking again -- and, judging from past experience, the Lebanese-based terrorist organization will eye Diaspora, as well as Israeli, targets.

For many of his victims around the world, the mid-February car-bomb assassination of Imad Fayez Mughniyeh -- one of the world’s most wanted terrorists for two decades -- has the ring of true justice. At least in the short term, the killing of Mughniyeh will have a deterrent effect and hamper Hezbollah’s capability to carry out a revenge attack.

It will not, however, preclude Hezbollah from planning a future strike -- and, judging from past experience, the Lebanese-based terrorist organization will eye not only Israeli targets for retaliation, but Diaspora Jewish ones as well.

Mughniyeh, the second highest official in the Islamic extremist group and seen as a possible successor to Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, showed no boundaries of brutality or location. He was on the FBI's Most Wanted list for the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 and murder of one of its passengers, U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem. The FBI posted a $25 million reward for Mughniyeh's capture.

Earlier in his terrorist career, Mughniyeh joined Fatah’s Force 17, the personal security apparatus of Yasser Arafat. Mughniyeh was one of a number of young Shia Muslims recruited to Force 17 and initially trained by Fatah. Read more ..


The Bad Arolsen Conflict

Survivors Rebuke USHMM’s Shapiro and ICRC over Bad Arolsen Discord Following Closed Door Meeting

March 3rd 2008

Paul Shapiro headshot
Paul Shapiro

Editor’s note: This summary and analysis of the Bad Arolsen archive transfer controversy was written by Leo Rechter, elected president of the National Organization of Child Holocaust Survivors, following the January 17, 2008 ICRC-USHMM joint briefing about the Bad Arolsen files. This was the second such controversial closed-door on federal Museum property and was marked by the exclusion of mainstream press.

On January 17th, the National Organization of Child Holocaust Survivors traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a special, private briefing for survivors’ representatives at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum regarding the International Tracing Services archives held at Bad Arolsen and now transferring to the USHMM.

The Museum staff ran a slide-show, demonstrating how an index card, transferred recently from Bad Arolsen, had provided valuable information to one of the Museum’s Survivor volunteers. After months of work, the Museum has now accrued 50 to 70 million digital images from the Bad Arolsen ITS files. In addition to the index cards, the collection contains camp and ghetto records, Gestapo records, forced labor records, records from DP camps, and migration records. Although those documents refer to about 17.5 million people, Museum officials warn that they are not a complete list of the fate of millions of additional victims and survivors. Twenty on-site computer terminals (on the Museum premises) have been assigned to the tracing service and 25 staffers have been trained to do the searches. The trained staff will presumably not only search the transferred archive, but will also cross-reference it with the Museum’s own archives. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Dissecting the Details of Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Progress

February 20th 2008

Iran Nuke
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

What a difference a year makes. In November 2006, Iran had slightly more than 300 gas centrifuges running at its pilot uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, approximately 200 kilometers south of Tehran. One year later, Iran has close to 3,000 centrifuges installed in a vast underground hall of the commercial-scale Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz. It has also stockpiled enough of the enrichment feedstock uranium hexafluoride to produce enriched uranium, whether for nuclear energy or for nuclear weapons, for years to come.

This period has also seen two UN Security Council sanctions resolutions: Resolution 1737 was adopted December 27, 2006, and its sibling, Resolution 1747 was approved only three months later, on March 24, 2007. Each demands that Iran suspend its enrichment program and imposes what are arguably mild sanctions, cutting off arms exports and curtailing certain banking and overseas investment. Iran has flatly ignored the call to suspend uranium enrichment, seemingly determined to have its centrifuges and run them too. It has flouted not only the Security Council but also and, perhaps, more importantly the Bush administration’s determination that Iran not achieve a nuclear weapons capability.

To be sure, despite installing close to 3,000 centrifuges, Iran is not enriching uranium on a sustained basis. Yet, neither the UN measures, nor unilaterally imposed sanctions by the United States and some European Union countries, have caused sufficient economic hardship for Iran to halt its enrichment program. Stronger and better-implemented sanctions, coupled with an aggressive and creative diplomatic effort, offer the most realistic means of turning back Iran’s nuclear program. Nevertheless, the date when Natanz can enrich uranium competently may not be far off. Read more ..


After the Holocaust

Dreaded Book on Deaths of Polish Jews Enters Second Print Run in Poland

February 4th 2008

World Citizens - Jan Gross via JTA
Jan Gross
JTA

Bookstores in Poland are restocking copies of a book on Polish anti-Semitism after World War II as a prosecutor investigates whether it violates a law prohibiting ``slander against the nation.''

The book, ``Fear. Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz'' by Princeton University professor Jan Tomasz Gross, sold out days after the first 25,000 volumes were published. A second print run of 20,000 is being sent to bookstores from today.

"We sold so many copies of the book, and so quickly we had a big gap in supplies,'' Monika Marianowicz, a spokeswoman for Empik Media & Fashion SA, that sells books in stores throughout Poland, said by phone today.
Gross's book, which blames the murder of hundreds of Jews after World War II on Polish anti-Semitism and greed, has been criticized by academics, the Catholic Church and ordinary Poles.

"This book is a pack of lies,'' said Lech Raczynski, a 64- year-old agricultural engineer from Kielce, where a 1946 pogrom took place in which more than 40 Jews were murdered. ``It's obvious that the Jews did it -- it was a purge by the communist leaders, who were all Jews, against the others. Poland isn't an anti-Semitic country at all.'' Read more ..


Palestine and Israel

After Annapolis Quick Action is Needed

December 20th 2007

Hanna Siniora headshot
Hanna Siniora

Despite the cynicism of the experts, the Annapolis meeting was a resounding victory for the persistent efforts of American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The presence of Saudi Arabia and Syria signaled the desire of the Arab League to demonstrate their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative.

The second leg of Annapolis, the December 17th Donor’s meeting, proved to be extremely supportive and generous. In the Palestinian Authority Development and Reform Plan for the next three years, the PA asked for US $5.6 billion dollars and received total pledges of US $7.4 billion, with $3.373 billion for 2008, $2.054 billion for 2009 and $2.054 billion for 2010.

Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad now have a concrete demonstration of the international community’s support for their leadership and the two-state solution. French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his foreign minister Bernard Kouchner excelled in the arrangements that provided the Quartet envoy, former PM Tony Blair, with the tools needed to jumpstart the Palestinian economy. President Abbas, always sensitive to his Palestinian constituency in Gaza, promised to spend more than half of the funds for the benefit of the destitute Gaza Strip. Read more ..


Reporter's Notebook

24 Hours in London

December 11th 2007

Contributors / Staff - David Horovitz
David Horovitz

I touched down at Heathrow at a little after one in the afternoon on Tuesday, knowing that I would be back at the airport precisely 24 hours later.

I'd been invited to London by the Zionist Federation, a venerable institution now undergoing a certain reinvigoration, which had organized a lecture to mark the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War.

I'd imagined that my talk would be one of a series of such events arranged by the Anglo-Jewish community, an opportunity to recall Israel's near-miraculous confounding of President Nasser's plans for our elimination and to inform another generation - Jews and the rest of the Brits - about the circumstances of that defining conflict.

But I was mistaken.

Despite the snowballing campaign in the UK to delegitimize Israel, and the consequent imperative for Israel's diplomatic representatives and the Anglo-Jewish leadership to seize any and every opportunity to promulgate a nuanced narrative, there was no such communal celebration and education program.

There had been a ceremony to mark the coincidental 25th anniversary of the shooting at the Dorchester Hotel of ambassador Shlomo Argov on June 3, 1982, the act of terrorism that precipitated what we must now learn to call the First Lebanon War. But this was a low-key, formal commemoration. The embassy had planned no major '67-related event.

A respected former cabinet minister flew in on the same day as I did to give lectures about the Six Day War anniversary, but it turned out these were private briefings to a select few. Read more ..


Culinary Edge

Iron Chef meets IndeBleu

November 18th 2007

IndeBlue Chef
Chef Ricky Moore

Washington’s tres chic Indebleu Restaurant has just appointed Chef Ricky Moore as its new Executive Chef.  He replaces Chef Vikram Garg who oversaw the Indebleu kitchen for nearly three years and helped establish modern Indian cuisine in Washington, DC area. Chef Moore will oversee all operational aspects of the kitchen while continuing to develop Indebleu’s modern cuisine featuring Indian flavors.


Chef Moore previously worked at several noted Washington establishments, including Agraria at Washington’s Waterfront, as well as Equinox, Galileo, Vidalia, and Lespinasse restaurants. He also served as exec chef at Parrot Cage and South Water Kitchen, both in Chicago. 
Chef Moore is scheduled to compete on a special Thanksgiving themed "Iron Chef America" November 18th on The Food Network. The restaurant will host its best customers for a special viewing that night in its lounge with the Chef on hand to serve themed appetizers.


Travel on Television

History Channel Finding Its way with Lost World--Masada

History Channel logo

No one should venture a trip to Masada without first viewing the History Channel's "Lost World" episode regarding Herod's monumental works in ancient Israel, especially at Masada.The "you discover" epsiode is packed with the type of computer graphics and visualizations that generate greater views and perspectives than the standard long shots of the ramps and staging areas below. Of particular interest is the explanation of Herod's innovative mountaintop mid-desert bath houses which generated both steam and cool water in an arid desert where nearby water did not exist. To bring even greater life to the history, trying viewing the two-part dramatic series Masada. The story of Masada is one of history's first great mass sacrifice for freedom, and enduring tale to this day.

Bad Arolsen Inside Story

USHMM's Shapiro At Odds with Red Cross Bid for Bad Arolsen Openness

August 29th 2007

Central Name File
Bad Arolsen files

During the week of August 20, Red Cross officials transferred to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum some 13.5 million embargoed files from its massive Nazi-era archive at Bad Arolsen known as the International Tracing Service. The hard drives were hand-delivered by ITS director Reto Meister. For the Red Cross, it was a significant moment that it had labored hard to achieve.

The highlight of the initial ITS handover was a special Museum briefing held August 23 for several dozen Holocaust survivors, Second Generation members, and Jewish organizational leaders. The meeting was a chance to connect with the Holocaust community face to face. Survivors flew in from around the nation to attend. By all accounts the exchange was successful and a tribute to the efforts undertaken by both the Museum and the Red Cross to accelerate the controversial transfer.

During the presentation, ITS director Reto Meister deftly explained the technical complexities in transferring the huge collection and what could be expected in the future, according to several in the audience. Meister’s presentation and response to questions, in spite of a few pesky challenges, was honest and convincing as he promised continued dedication to the process, according to multiple reports from audience members.

Ironically, the special Museum briefing was nowhere covered in the media, not even the Jewish media which normally covers such events. Why? Read more ..


Armenian Genocide Conflict

Armenian Genocide is a Historical Imperative

August 27th 2007

World Scenes - Armenian Genocide1 Bodies

Armenian Genocide Victims 

From 2000 to 2002, I led a graduate seminar entitled "Post-Holocaust Ethical and Political Issues” at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Among the topics covered was the politics of memory.

One of the case studies we explored was the controversy surrounding language and its power. We looked in depth at the massacre of Armenians and how its depiction had become a subject of fierce debate, primarily between Armenians, who insisted on calling the events of 1915 a genocide, and Turks, who adamantly refused to countenance the "G word." Essentially, this was a zero-sum game.

Either one supported the Armenian or the Turkish position, whether for historical or political reasons, but neither side allowed room for compromise. The basic Armenian argument was that up to 1.5 million Armenians were deliberately targeted and massacred by the Ottoman Empire, eight years before the modern Turkish Republic came into being. At the time, the word genocide didn’t exist. Read more ..


Sephardic News

Herzl's Sephardic Connection Revealed

August 14th 2007

World Citizens - Shelomo Alfassa headshot
Shelomo Alfassa

Over the many centuries, while the Jewish people were exiled from Eres Yisrael (the land of Israel), Jerusalem, Safed, Hevron and other holy cities, retained a sparse Jewish population, fed by a small but constant stream of pilgrims. A cursory examination of Jewish personalities demonstrates that Sephardim took it upon themselves to migrate to and fortify Eres Yisrael, driven by a sense of historic yearning for their ancestral home. Centuries later, Sephardim continued to not only settle in the land, but were key players in its modern development, although this fact has, regrettably, been often eclipsed in the historical narrative.

Few documents and small bits of history exist on Jewish national liberation and the development of Eres Yisrael, and how the country came to be with assistance and nurturing offered by Sephardic Jews. It is with tremendous ignominy that the Sephardim have been almost completely marginalized in the modern Zionist record of history. Whether they came from Spain, North Africa or the Middle East, what is fact and needs to be remembered is that Sephardim played a considerable role in the State’s origins and modern fruition. Through out their centuries in the Diaspora, Sephardim developed and devoted a sense of philosophical and spiritual nationalism that prepared the foundation for which modem Zionism stood on, and the resulting fruit which is the return of the Jewish people to their land. Read more ..


Ethnic Clashing

Congressional face off on Armenian Genocide Means Taking Sides with Horror

August 12th 2007

World Scenes - Armenian Genocide1 Bodies
Armenian genocide victims

Los Angeles–The Armenian Genocide debate pits moral values against realpolitik. For Jews, who know the horrors of genocide only too well it may be time to take sides?

The Turkish ambassador to the United States, Nabi Sensoy, dropped in at The Jewish Journal recently for an hourlong conversation with its editors. Archbishop Hovnan Derderian of the Armenian Church of North America recently stood on the bimah of Valley Beth Shalom, hugged its rabbi and called the occasion a turning point in Armenian-Jewish relations.

All the attention is flattering, but its underlying cause confronts the Jewish community with choices that — perhaps oversimplified — pits its moral values and sympathies against the realpolitik of American and Israeli policymakers.

At the root of the split is a wound that has been festering since 1915, when Muslim Turkey and its Ottoman Empire were fighting Russia, France and Britain during World War I. Charging that the Christian Armenian minority in eastern Turkey was collaborating with the invading Russians, Turkey deported, starved and brutalized much of its Armenian population.

According to the Armenians, backed by predominant historical analysis, between 1915 and 1923, Turkey killed 1.5 million Armenian civilians in a planned genocide. Turkey maintains that some 300,000 Armenians died, but that an equal number of Turks perished, and that both sides were victims of chaotic wartime conditions, disease and famine, not a predetermined extermination.

Turks refer to the wartime slaughter by the Arabic word mukapele, which Sensoy translated during a phone interview as “mutual massacre.” Read more ..


After the Holocaust

Ethel Black Inspired a Generation with Holocaust Survival

February 15th 2005

Auschwitz Selection

When 79-year-old Polish Holocaust survivor Ethel Katz died in West Palm Beach last week after a protracted illness, a profound legacy died with her. Ethel was born in Bialystok, Poland with the name Edjya Katz. For decades, her amazing story has been told and witnessed in newspaper and magazine articles, books, documentaries, TV presentations and lectures worldwide. Having personally seen the videos, testimonies, and confirmations from others, and also interviewed her in person ... one can only call her survival bone-chilling.

Her nightmare began in August 1943 in a shaking boxcar on its way to the Treblinka death camp.

As the 13-year-old Edjya squatted on the floor, hearing the thumping track below, it was impossible to comprehend the murderous plans for her and her family. At one point, her mother whispered to her, “You’re a skinny one, Edjya.” Her mother gestured toward the top of the boxcar, to the thin vent. Read more ..



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