28 February 2012

Who Cares about the Murder of Jewish Children?

On the anniversary of the Fogel family's massacre, I am reposting an important article. Please take the time to read it. Also please take a moment to support One Family Fund, an organization solely focused on helping Israeli terror victims - they need all of us behind them.

The silence of the West

Op-ed: Fogel massacre anniversary reminds us that world tolerates murder of Jewish children
Giulio Meotti

One year ago the Fogels were slaughtered in Itamar: Father, mother and three children butchered during a night of horror. That night, a 12-year-old Israeli girl was out with friends until midnight, close to her village, where 100 families live. She arrived home. Nobody answered. She went inside with a neighbor and she saw her mother, father, three siblings (aged 11, three and three-months-old) with their throats cut.

Yet a year after the event, those who profess to deplore violence on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian equation have been completely silent on the Itamar massacre. No words of condemnation about the killing of innocents were heard from human rights groups and NGOs.

In Itamar, the daily diet of settler demonization had its intended effect. Killing a "demon" or the children of “monsters” or “devils” is not like taking the life of a fellow human being. Judea and Samaria’s citizens have indeed been called “leeches”, “snakes” and “parasites.”

In the midst of the second Intifada, when his own students were being butchered on buses and restaurants, Hebrew University Professor Ze’ev Sternhell declared that “the Palestinians would be wise to concentrate their struggle against the settlements.” Like Itamar. In 2001, after Arabs sadistically bashed the skulls of two “settler kids” in Tekoa, Israeli psychiatrist Ruchama Marton declared that “the settlers raise little monsters.” Moshe Zimmerman of Hebrew University said he regards settlers as Hitlerjugend.

Itamar also meant that no rational argument can be used against an ideology maniacally dedicated to Jewish destruction. The dark and glittering eyes of Itamar’s terrorists are telling of their desire to make the Mediterranean red with Jewish blood. It is no wonder then that during a recent program aired on Palestinian television, the aunt of one of the Fogel killers referred to him as a “hero” and “legend.”

The aunt went on to read a poem she had written in the murderers’ honor, while Hakim Awad’s mother sent her regards to her son and proudly boasted that he was the perpetrator of the Itamar massacre. In this context one should keep in mind that the Palestinian Authority's Television is also funded by the European Union, which often displays its blue flag during the broadcasts.

Yet there is something even more horrible than Awad’s sadistic hatred: Western’s complacency. In recent years we have seen plenty of saccharine movies about Jewish children killed in the death camps in their pajamas, but the same public opinion reacted with indifference to the images of the Fogel babies dismembered by terrorists.

Jew-hate socially acceptable
The Fogels, right down to the decapitated baby, were less human than the Arab victims and therefore less deserving of Western outrage on their behalf. The “settler kids” are invisible, as the northern Israel towns were during the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat’s terrorists murdered Israeli babies in Ma’alot, Kiryat Shmona, Misgav Am and Avivim.

Who knows the name of Shalhevet Pass, the Hatuels and the Shabos? Or Danielle Shefi from Adora, who was shot by terrorists while she was playing in her parents’ bedroom? Who remembers the name Shaked Avraham, a seven-month-old girl from Negohot, who was killed by a terrorist who infiltrated the community while residents were celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year? Shaked had just started walking at the time of her murder.

Itamar’s massacre has been excused, as the “anger” of the perpetrators is fully justified in international eyes. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said many times that “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land.” Such state would be the first to officially prohibit Jews or any other faith since Nazi Germany, which sought a Jew-free country.

That an Arab movement should call the presence of Jews an obstacle to peace is one thing. It is quite another for an enlightened and so-called liberal world to do so. But this is the precise reason why Itamar didn’t cause any global scandal. Because in a world less surreal than the one we live in, the act of bursting into a Jewish home and slitting the throats of babies would be the cause of moral and religious outrage.

Multiply this act by thousands and one might think it would prompt an international uproar. Yet in the world we live in, Itamar was just a footnote. The Vatican made no reference to the Itamar massacre; nor did UNICEF raise its voice against the slaughter of innocent Jewish children.

The media then fabricated the justification: Because Itamar’s babies were “settlers,” they brought the crime upon themselves. Indeed, after any killing spree of “settlers,” we all read the same comment in the mainstream media: If the Jews hadn’t been there, they wouldn’t have been killed. If Israel took this approach seriously, it would dismantle the entire Israeli state.

It is hard to escape the feeling that had similar attacks occurred in, say, London or Paris, rather than in a religious settlement in Samaria, the reaction would have been totally different.

Dutch writer Leon de Winter said it well: “Anti-Semitism Is Salonfähig Again,” using the German word meaning socially acceptable. Today, no other conclusion can be drawn. When the deaths of Jewish innocents go so unacknowledged, it is because Jewish lives do not count. This is the most important lesson of Itamar: the “civilized world” is already reconciling itself to the prospect of a new Shoah.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism

26 February 2012

Investigate the Muslim Student Association

It's made the headlines - New York's finest have been investigating Muslim Student Associations. Amazingly enough, people are upset about this investigation.
Yale President Richard Levin was among a number of academics who condemned the effort in a statement Monday, while Rutgers University and leaders of student Muslim groups elsewhere called for investigations into the monitoring.

"I am writing to state, in the strongest possible terms, that police surveillance based on religion, nationality, or peacefully expressed political opinions is antithetical to the values of Yale, the academic community, and the United States," Levin wrote.
It's scary how in a post-9/11 world how willing some are to overlook potential jihadists in training. 3,000 Americans murdered, and there are still more out there waiting to murder more of us.

It's time to expose the Muslim Student Association across North America as a gateway to jihad. These are not just vocal anti-US and anti-Israel students on campus - these are people with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, a true terrorist organization.
Terrorism expert Patrick Poole, however, told CBN News his investigation of the organization shows it's being used for another purpose.

"The Muslim Students Association has been a virtual terror factory," said Poole. "Time after time after time again, we see these terrorists -- and not just fringe members: these are MSA leaders, MSA presidents, MSA national presidents -- who've been implicated, charged and convicted in terrorist plots."

The roll call includes Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda cleric linked to terror plots from Fort Hood to Times Square and beyond.

Awlaki, now a target for assasination by the U.S. government, was president of the MSA at Colorado State University in the mid-1990s.

Then there is Ramy Zamzam. Before his conviction in Pakistan last year for attempting to join the Taliban and kill American troops, Zamzam was president of the MSA's Washington, D.C., council.

Omar Hammami, a leader of the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia, is another MSA alum. He was once president of the group's chapter at the University of South Alabama.

And the list goes on.

Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was national president of the MSA during the 1980s, was al Qaeda's top fundraiser in America and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence.
These are only a few examples - but it must be remembered that you only need one jihadist to do a tremendous amount of damage. Al-Awlaki, was in contact with Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter who murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers in cold blood.

It is certainly time to investigate the Muslim Student Association - I'm glad that the NYPD has taken up the charge.

14 February 2012

Could Thomas Friedman be Right?

It's really amazing that Thomas Friedman gets paid to write. Really. How come I can't find someone to pay me for ridiculous opinions?

His article, "We Need a Second Party", laments that the Republican Party has become radicalized and is no longer in touch with it's "conservative" base - creating an inability to settle on a candidate and therefore, the Republicans should consider sitting out the 2012 election. Seriously?

How convenient that Mr. Friedman forgets that the Democratic primary of 2008 stretched into early June with candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama happily bashing each other month after month. That was fun to watch.

The reason why Mr. Friedman believes that the Republican Party is no longer relevant, is because it has devolved into "conflicting ideological bases". Really? I'm quite sure what the party stands for - a smaller, limited, Constitutionally based government, lower taxes, fewer regulations destroying business, pro-gun (aka self-defense), pro-life, and marriage = one man & one woman. I'm not sure what's unclear about this, or how these ideas are "conflicting" or "radical" as he likes to say.

Considering the fractured nature of the Democratic Party, his thesis is in serious need of revision since the Democratic Party is mostly focused on identity politics - everyone needing for their hyphenated group to be heard over the cacophony of competing interests.

Two competing groups within the Democratic Party that made the news lately were the environmentalists and big labor. Remember the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada? That pesky project that would have created (not saved) thousands of jobs - yeah, that one. Labor wanted that project, the environmentalists did not... ergo, no pipeline, no jobs, no energy independence. Talk about conflicting ideas. I'm so glad the President has his priorities straight.

Friedman seems to be desperate to have a reformed Republican Party - someone the Democrats can work with.
What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country.

Without that, the best of the Democrats — who have been willing to compromise — have no partners and the worst have a free pass for their own magical thinking.
It seems that Friedman has some magical thinking happening in his own mind. He believes that the Democrats "have been willing to compromise". News to me. ObamaCare ring a bell for anyone? The monstrosity that is already trampling on religious freedoms in the name of the public "good". I vaguely remember that being jammed through Congress without the support of one Republican. Pass it so we can find out what's in it - to paraphrase Nancy Pelosi. Gosh, I have a master's degree in political science, but I don't remember learning that we read bills only after they've become law.

It seems that whenever Republicans have ideas - conservative ideas - the Democrats don't like them. Among these ideas is how to deal with that annoying 16 trillion dollar deficit. Republicans came up with the Ryan Plan - a conservative plan created to save our security net for those who need it and reduce the deficit so we don't end up like Greece and the rest of Europe heading down the financial toilet. Surprisingly enough, the Democrats didn't like it. Did they put forward a plan of their own? Of course not.

I'm sure that Friedman's issue with the Republicans isn't that they aren't being conservative. Understandably, it's more along the lines of frustration with the Republicans that they aren't willing to go along to get along with the Democrats and give them a free pass on spending.

Let's take the payroll tax cut that was being debated until this morning. Both the Democrats and Republicans wanted to extend it - however, the money collected from that tax goes to the Social Security fund (already in trouble). The Republicans originally wanted like to know how the shortfall was going to be paid for. Seems like a reasonable question. But it seems that instead of standing on the "conservative" ideals that the party is supposed to stand for, and Mr. Friedman is so concerned about, the Republicans decided to "compromise" with the Democrats and add a chunk more money to the Federal deficit. I don't hear the Democrats complaining that the Republicans aren't being conservative enough.

But, you know, the more I think about Thomas Friedman's article calling for a second party, the more I think he may have a point. Perhaps it is time to call for a second party, a reasonable party that realizes the financial straights we find ourselves in. Perhaps it is time to find a party to discuss big ideas with. Perhaps the Democrats would like to step up and volunteer to be that 2nd party?

12 February 2012

A Day of Tragedy - the Passing of Whitney Houston and Jeffrey Zaslow

Yesterday was truly a tragic day in more than one way.

Whitney Houston, queen of pop, died at the age of 48, the cause is still unknown.

Jeffrey Zaslow, bestselling metro Detroit author, died at 53 in a terrible car accident due to bad weather conditions.

What is tragic about Houston's death is that it was probably self-inflicted. While the official cause of death hasn't been determined - we do know that she was involved in alcohol and drugs. Someone so talented, beautiful and successful was still not a happy person, and as a result - she destroyed herself. It's a sad, but unfortunately not a surprising ending to her life.

But I find the death of Jeffrey Zaslow much more of a tragedy. A family man with a wife and three daughters taken away at such a young age.

Zaslow was a best selling author, his writing focused on real human relationships - about friends, about living and about dying.
Outgoing and equally self-deprecating, Zaslow had a knack for ferreting out details that riveted readers. He wrote books that inspired millions, unleashing the insight of Randy Pausch, the computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University whose lecture about dying from pancreatic cancer and achieving childhood fantasies became "The Last Lecture" in 2008....

His latest book, "The Magic Room," chronicled the happenings at Becker's Bridal in Fowler, near Lansing, a store with nearly 2,500 dresses, owned and operated by fourth-generation bridal shop owner Shelley Becker Mueller.

He followed eight brides -- including one who had her first kiss the day she became engaged, and a widow who found love again -- from the bridal store to the altar. And he chronicled the ups and downs of the store owner, whose own marriage failed.
The tragedy of Jeffrey Zaslow's passing is that we have lost a teacher - someone special who could find the lessons to be learned from life and share them with us.
And when I hug my kids now, what a gift it is to be able to do that. And that's sort of the story I'm telling in this book [The Magic Room]," said Zaslow, "which is we've got to hug our kids and make the most of each moment, because you never know.
We grieve for and with the Zaslow family today.

05 February 2012

Planned Parenthood Needs to Clean House

Now that we're all singing kumbaya again - Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is giving money to Planned Parenthood - we should take a moment to reflect on the possible reasons why Komen decided to drop funding to Planned Parenthood.

Perhaps it was the fact that Planned Parenthood is under Congressional investigation for it's "use of federal funds and compliance with federal guidelines concerning abortions. Additionally, the Subcommittee is looking into Planned Parenthood’s reporting of sex abuse cases to the proper authorities."

Or perhaps it's because of the "sting" operations done by LiveAction.org showing Planned Parenthood to be staffed by racists. Not that it should be a surprise, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's founder was a racist herself.

Here's a partial transcript from a call to a Planned Parenthood Development office:
Idaho representative: Autumn Kersey, director of development

Idaho donor: The abortion—I can give money specifically for a black baby, that would be the purpose?

PP Rep: Absolutely. If you wanted to designate that your gift be used to help an African-American woman in need, then we would certainly make sure that the gift was earmarked for that purpose.

Idaho donor: Great, because I really faced trouble with affirmative action, and I don’t want my kids to be disadvantaged against black kids. I just had a baby; I want to put it in his name.

PP Rep: Yes, absolutely.

Idaho donor: And we don’t, you know we just think, the less black kids out there the better.

PP Rep: Understandable, understandable.

Idaho donor: Right. I want to protect my son, so he can get into college

PP Rep: Alright. Excuse my hesitation, this is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I’m excited, and want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.
Or that "sting" of those willing to help a pimp with his underage sex ring without calling the authorities?

Or perhaps Planned Parenthood's claim that their clinics provide mammograms when they don't.

None of this looks good. If Planned Parenthood wants to really do some good then they are going to have to do some serious housecleaning. Susan G. Komen Foundation has every right to do what they choose with their money. We saw this week that those who would like to support Komen without supporting Planned Parenthood come out in support of Komen's initial action. We also saw that those who support Planned Parenthood make up the shortfall in the funding that they would have received.

Everyone - individuals and organizations alike - have a right to donate their money to wherever they like. If Komen decided to stop sending their money to Planned Parenthood - it was their right to do so. If an individual decides to send money to Planned Parenthood - it is their right as well.

There have been terrible comments floating around the internet calling the Susan G. Komen Foundation some horrible names. To besmirch this organization is a travesty. All I can say is that it's too bad Komen caved.

You Should Find the Anti-Koman Backlash Disgusting, Even if You're Pro-Choice by Daniel Foster (NRO)

MEMRI: US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Egyptians: Look to the Constitutions of South Africa or Canada, Not to the US Constitution

MEMRI: US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Egyptians: Look to the Constitutions of South Africa or Canada, Not to the US Constitution
It's amazing that she's our Supreme Court justice.

Just another reason why we must have a conservative president elected in 2012.

02 February 2012

Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the World Economic Forum

This important speech did not gain any attention outside of Canada. Prime Minister Harper made some excellent points - definitely worth your time.
Thank you Professor Schwab for that kind greeting.

Professor, you have made the World Economic Forum an indispensable part of the global conversation among leaders in politics, business, and civil society.

And in the face of continuing global economic instability, the opportunity this gathering provides is now more valuable than ever.

So I know everyone here joins me in thanking you for, in service of the common good, your vision and your leadership!

My greetings to Ambassador Santi, to the governor of the Bank of Canada, known internationally as chair of the Financial Stability Board, Mark Carney, to our hard-working minister of international trade, Ed Fast, and to the best finance minister on the planet, Jim Flaherty.

And let me just say that I’m especially proud to see so many outstanding Canadian business leaders making their presence felt here in Davos.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will use my time today to highlight Canada’s economic strengths and to frame the choices we face as we work to secure long-term prosperity for our citizens in a difficult global environment, that is likely to remain so.

Forbes magazine ranks Canada as the best place on the planet for businesses to grow and create jobs.

The OECD and the IMF predict our economy will again be among the leaders of the industrialized world over the next two years.

And, one more cherished accolade, of course, is that for the fourth year in a row, this body, the World Economic Forum, says our banks are the soundest in the world.

These evaluations are the result of sound fundamentals.

Among G7 countries, Canada has the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment.

Our net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in the G7 — and by far.

And, while we remain concerned about the number of Canadians who are out of work, Canada is one of only two G7 countries to have recouped all of the jobs lost during the global recession.

Indeed, more Canadians are now working than before the downturn.

How was this achieved?

We made historic investments in infrastructure.

We encouraged businesses to invest and helped them to avoid layoffs.

We put substantial funding into skills training.

And we extended support for workers who lost their jobs.

These things we did on a timely, targeted and temporary basis.

We did not create permanent new programs or government bureaucracy.

As a consequence, our deficit is now falling, our debt-GDP ratio has already peaked and we do not need to raise taxes.

I should add, we also did not reduce immigration or give in to protectionism.

Instead, we have maintained the high levels of immigration that our aging labour force of the future will require.

We have continued to pursue new trade agreements.

And we have taken action to make Canada, among G20 countries, the first tariff-free zone for manufacturers.

We have pursued these policies, ladies and gentlemen, because our number-one priority as a government is prosperity, that is, economic growth and job creation.

Now, that may sound obvious, almost cliched.

But is it really?

As I look around the world, as I look particularly at the developed world, I ask whether the creation of economic growth, and therefore jobs, really is the number-one policy priority for everyone?

Or is it the case, that in the developed world too many of us have in fact become complacent about our prosperity, taking our wealth as a given, assuming it is somehow the natural order of things leaving us instead to focus primarily on our services and entitlements?

Is it a coincidence that as the veil falls on the financial crisis, it reveals beneath it not just too much bank debt, but too much sovereign debt, too much general willingness to have standards and benefits beyond our ability, or even willingness, to pay for them? I don’t know.

But what I do know is this.

First, that the wealth of western economies is no more inevitable than the poverty of emerging ones.

And that the wealth we enjoy today has been based on — and only on — the good, growth-oriented policies, the right, often tough choices and the hard work, done in the past.

And second, that regardless of what direction other western nations may choose under our government, Canada will make the transformations necessary to sustain economic growth, job creation and prosperity now and for the next generation.

That further means two things: Making better economic choices now, and preparing ourselves now for the demographic pressures the Canadian economy faces.

On what we must do now: First, we will, of course, continue to keep tax rates down.

That is central to our government’s economic vision.

But we will do more, much more.

In the months to come our government will undertake major transformations to position Canada for growth over the next generation.

For example, we will continue to make the key investments in science and technology necessary to sustain a modern competitive economy.

But we believe that Canada’s less than optimal results for those investments is a significant problem for our country.

We have recently received a report on this — the Jenkins Report — and we will soon act on the problems the report identifies.

We will continue to advance our trade linkages.

We will pass agreements signed, particularly in our own hemisphere, and we will work to conclude major deals beyond it.

We expect to complete negotiations on a Canada-EU free trade agreement this year.

We will work to complete negotiations on a free-trade agreement with India in 2013.

And we will begin entry talks with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while also pursuing other avenues to advance our trade with Asia.

Of course, I will again be making an official visit to China very shortly.

We will also continue working with the Obama administration to implement our joint “Beyond the Border” initiative, our plan to strength and deepen our economic and security links to our most important partner.

However, at the same time, we will make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the United States, and specifically to Asia.

In this regard, we will soon take action to ensure that major energy and mining projects are not subject to unnecessary regulatory delays – that is, delay merely for the sake of delay.

This complements work we are already doing, and that we will move forward on, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to cut the burden of red tape on entrepreneurs.

We will also undertake significant reform of our immigration system.

We will ensure that, while we respect our humanitarian obligations and family reunification objectives, we make our economic and labour force needs the central goal of our immigration efforts in the future.

As I said earlier, one of the backdrops for my concerns is Canada’s aging population.

If not addressed promptly this has the capacity to undermine Canada’s economic position and, for that matter that of all western nations, well beyond the current economic crises.

Immigration does help us address that and will even more so in the future.

Our demographics also constitute a threat to the social programs and services that Canadians cherish.

For this reason, we will be taking measures in the coming months.

Not just to return to a balanced budget in the medium term, but also to ensure the sustainability of our social programs and fiscal position over the next generation.

We have already taken steps to limit the growth of our health care spending over that period.

We must do the same for our retirement income system.

Fortunately, the centrepiece of that system, the Canada Pension Plan, is fully funded, actuarially sound and does not need to be changed.

For those elements of the system that are not funded, we will make the changes necessary to ensure sustainability

for the next generation while not affecting current recipients.

Let me summarize by saying, ladies and gentlemen, that, notwithstanding Canada’s many advantages, we remain very concerned about the continuing instability of the global economy of which we are a part.

The problems afflicting Europe — and for that matter the United States — are not only challenging today but, in my judgment, threaten to be even greater problems in the future.

Having said that, each nation has a choice to make.

Western nations, in particular, face a choice of whether to create the conditions for growth and prosperity, or to risk long-term economic decline.

In every decision – or failure to decide – we are choosing our future right now.

And, as we all know, both from the global crises of the past few years, and from past experience in our own countries, easy choices now mean fewer choices later.

Canada’s choice will be, with clarity and urgency, to seize and to master our future, to be a model of confidence, growth, and prosperity in the 21st century.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your kind attention.