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Saturday, November 29, 2003

3 Kislev 5764 / 28 November 2003

Torah Reading: Gen. 25:19-28:9. Haftara: Malachi 1:1-2:7

In the holy structure built by the patriarchs to reveal HaShem to the world, Abraham is the initial thesis: expansive energy, revelation, kindness -- CHESSED. Isaac is the antithesis: restriction, control -- GEVURAH, while Jacob, who enters the stage in our parshah, is the synthesis: balance, order, beauty -- TIFERET. Jacob, the most "perfect" (SHALEM) of the patriarchs, came to complete the holy House -- the House of Israel, to whom all the nations will turn at the end of history in order to find HaShem: "And many nations will go and say, 'Go, let us ascend to the mountain of HaShem, to the HOUSE of the G-d of JACOB'" (Isaiah 2:3).

As thesis and antithesis, Abraham and Isaac represent two opposite tendencies, each of which has an extreme aspect, an aspect of excess, that must be transmuted and directed to the holy in order for perfect balance and harmony to reign. Thus Abraham and Isaac each had a "first-born" (the aspect of excess) who was rejected from the holy structure. The last section of the previous parshah, CHAYEY SARAH, completed the story of Abraham's "first-born", Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and his descendants, who embody the "excess" aspect of Abraham: religious fanaticism -- "before all his brothers he fell" (Gen. 25:18, closing words of CHAYEH SARAH).

In introducing Jacob, the perfect patriarch, our parshah of TOLDOS also introduces Jacob's challenger, his twin brother Esau, who embodies the excess aspect of Isaac: power and domination used arrogantly for the benefit of self instead of for G-d. The story of Esau is told partly in our parshah, left aside in next week's parshah of VAYETZE, which focusses exclusively on Jacob, and taken up again in the following parshah of VAYISHLACH. There the story of Esau and his generations will be concluded with the account of the "Seven kings who ruled in Edom before a king ruled over the children of Israel" (Gen. 36:31).

Kabbalistically, the Seven Kings who "ruled and died" represent the World of Devastation (TOHU) produced by the "Breaking of the Vessels" for the purpose of bringing evil into the world. From the following parshah, VEYESHEV, until the end of Genesis, the Torah concentrates on Jacob and his generations, who represent the World of Rectification (TIKKUN), in which evil is eventually vanquished completely through the House of Israel. The vicissitudes of Joseph and his brothers are paradigmatic of the vicissitudes leading to the eventual revelation of Messiah.

Historically, the descendants of Ishmael and of Abraham's other sons from Keturah brought certain aspects of the monotheism of Abraham to many parts of the world, especially to the east and south, including the Arab lands and many parts of Africa and Asia (the descendants of Noah's son Ham), through Islam. The descendants of Esau brought other aspects of the tradition of Abraham to the north and west -- to Europe, Russia and America (descendants of Japheth) as well as many other parts of the world through Christianity. (See Rambam, Hilchos Melochim 11:4 uncensored version). Although the land given specifically to Esau is Mount Seir, which is south east of the Land of Israel, Esau-Edom is particularly associated with Rome (see Rashi on Gen. 36:43 and also on Gen. 27:39). Rome put its unique stamp upon western culture and its influence is felt until today. (Thus the U.S. Senate is named after the Roman Senate.)
The holy structure to be built by Jacob was to be constructed only through struggle and effort: Jacob's struggle is the struggle to elevate Isaac's power (GEVURAH) through its use not for the benefit of self, but in order to bring the spirituality of Abraham (CHESSED) to rule over the fallen GEVUROS, the refractory material world of practical action as represented in the figure of Esau (from the Hebrew root ASO, "doing").

Only through the struggle to sift and clarify truth and goodness from falsehood and evil IN THE REAL WORLD is the light of truth revealed in all its beauty and perfection. The history of mankind has indeed been the history of the clash of cultures and civilizations. It may appear cyclical and pointless, but as revealed in our parshah, it has a purpose and an end goal. It is to reveal G-d's unity out of the intergenerational war between good and evil in all shapes and forms. The struggle has been protracted and painful, just as the struggle of the twins in Rebecca's womb was painful to her to the point of desperation. Yet the very pain itself forced Rebecca to "go to search out HaShem" (Gen. 45:22).

Similarly, the many pains and troubles later suffered by Jacob (as a result of the hatred and envy of Esau and Laban and family tragedy with Dinah and Jacob) brought him time after time to turn to G-d for help. The way to G-d's truth is indeed often painful and riddled with conflicts -- conflicts with others and conflicts within our very selves. However, it is possible to give meaning to our pain, struggle and hardship and to actually grow through them when we learn to turn our very pains and trials into a springboard to seek out G-d.
The two twins early showed their different traits. Esau, "man of the field", took after Isaac, who "went out to the field" (Gen. 24:63, last week's parshah). Esau the hunter exemplifies the extreme and unholy distortion of Isaac's holy GEVURAH. Esau's is the cunning brute force of the mighty over the weak and unsuspecting. (Esau wears the clothes of Nimrod.) Jacob, on the other hand, "dwelled in tents" -- not one tent but two: the "tents" of learning of his two teachers, the tent of his grandfather Abraham Man of Kindness (Abraham was still alive until Jacob was 13) and the tent of Jacob's own father Isaac, Man of Power. Jacob's mission was to synthesize the two "tents" and build out of them a "house": to combine the differing paths of the first two patriarchs (Abraham, the paradigm convert and Isaac, the paradigm case of one born into religion) into a unitary tradition capable of constant self-renewal. Jacob, the TAM, possessing the quality of simple honesty, sincerity and the search for truth, was able to do this. Esau was not: he was too clever, and knew only to ensnare -- for he himself was ensnared in the mesh of evil.

According to the Midrash, the episode of Jacob's "purchase" of the birthright from Esau for a cup of soup took place on the day that Abraham died. Jacob cooked the soup as SEUDAT HAVRA'AH, the "meal of comfort and invigoration" prepared for the mourners after the funeral. As Rashi teaches (on Gen. 25:30), Jacob's lentil soup was intended to convey a profound message to his father Isaac, who was mourning the loss of his father. "The lentil is similar to a wheel, and so too death and mourning are part of the cycle of the world." It is impossible to explain the meaning of death rationally -- the lentil "has no mouth", the mourner has nothing to say. We have no option but to accept death and mourning as an inevitable part of the cycle of destiny.

Jacob's ability to use a material object, the lentil, in order to teach a spiritual lesson, is what gave him power over ASIYAH as represented in ESAU. Esau was preoccupied with the material externality of the soup. Esau, the twin brother with whom Jacob was locked in perpetual struggle, was in and of the material world. Esau was exhausted from a day of "hunting". He was hungry. He wanted the tasty, filling soup. He had no time for spiritual meanings. Esau, locked in the time-bound material realm, knew only that he was going to die -- so "eat, drink and be merry NOW!" What need did Esau have for a spirituality that brought no immediate gratification? Esau was thus unfitted for the BECHORA, the choice first-born portion that was "acquired" by Jacob through his superior wisdom. The superior wisdom of the Torah is itself the choice portion, as indicated in the opening word of the Torah: BE-REISHIS, "for the sake of the first."

One of the deep mysteries of the Torah is that the natural, apparent first-born are repeatedly rejected in favor of the true, "spiritual" first-born. Cain was rejected while Abel's sacrifice was accepted. Japheth was made subordinate to his younger brother, Shem (Rashi on Gen.10:28) -- Shem and his descendants were the "high priests" who brought knowledge of HaShem to the world. Ishmael and Esau were rejected in favor of Isaac and Jacob respectively. Later on, Jacob's first-born Reuven was rejected in favor of Levi, Judah and Joseph. Ephraim was given precedence over Menashe. Kehas, the son of Levi, was given precedence over Levi's first-born, Gerhson... and Moses attained kingship over the firstborn Aaron, who was three years his senior. Yet through Aaron's humble, joyous submission to his younger brother Moses, whose spokesman he became, Aaron earned the priesthood. Through the balance between the lawgiver and the priest, the transgenerational struggle between brothers that started with Cain and Abel was brought to a satisfactory conclusion: religious service (as represented in Aaron) must be subject to religious law (Moses). Otherwise service turns into excess.
History repeats itself because lessons learned by one generation are forgotten by the next and have to be relearned. Just as the generation of Abraham had been afflicted by famine, so too was the generation of Isaac. Just as Abraham had been forced into exile, so was Isaac. Abraham dwelled among the Philistines in Gerar, and so did Isaac.

The popular association of "philistinism" with barbarity is fitting, for the Philistines represent the very opposite of the CHESED that is the driving force of the religion of Abraham. The numerical value of the Hebrew letters of PhiLiShTYM (Phe 80, Lamed 30, Shin 300, Tav 400, Yud 10, Mem 40) is 860. 86 is the numerical value of the letters of the divine name ELoKiM, alluding to GEVURAH, might, power, limitation and concealment. The Philistines (= 10 x 86) represent the forces of limitation and concealment in full array. In each generation their king, AVIMELECH (= "I want to rule") wants to steal the Shechinah (represented by Sarah and Rebeccah) for his own selfish pleasure. In each generation the patriarchs had to teach the lesson that the law of G-d must prevail. The kidnapping of a married woman is a crime against the universal law of the children of Noah. Abraham had taught the lesson in his generation, but it had been forgotten, and it had to be taught again in the generation of Isaac. This is because the forces of evil constantly conceal lessons learned by earlier generations.

"And all the wells that the servants of his father [Abraham] had dug, the Philistines had stopped up, and they filled them with earth." (Gen. 26:15). The mission of the patriarchs was to uncover the waters of spirituality and bring them to the world, but the Philistines closed up the very sources of the living waters of spirituality with earthliness and gross materialism. Rashi (ad loc.) points out that the Targum of the word "closed up" has the connotation of "closing up the heart" with insensitivity and foolishness. Accordingly Isaac had to start all over again, re-digging the very wells that Abraham had dug.

Isaac's very success -- which so aroused the ire and envy of the Philistines -- came about because he loyally followed in the ways of charity, generosity and kindness taught by his father Abraham. (Thus Rashi points out that Isaac was careful to assess the lands he sowed with a view to how much they could produce in tithes for charity, see Rashi on Gen. 26:12). Isaac was blessed because he wanted to share his blessings. Faced with the threat of military might from the Philistines, Isaac's response was to call upon the name of G-d. Instead of fighting his enemies, Isaac made peace with them. He practiced the ways of peace: "And he made a feast for them and they ate and drank... and they went from him in peace" (Gen. 26:30-31).
G-d "made the earth blossom forth every kind of tree pleasant to the eye and good to eat" and bestowed rich blessings upon man to enable him to come to know and attach himself to his Maker. Adam had been tricked by the serpent -- his own pride and arrogance -- into eating of the very tree from which he was forbidden to eat, thereby separating himself from his Maker. Being too clever for his own good, man mixed up good and evil. As a result Adam's descendants were condemned to a multi-generational struggle against that selfsame serpent of pride and arrogance. Adam's descendants must struggle repeatedly through all of time history to sort out the confusion.

The confusion was so great that the Blind Isaac was apparently ready to hand over the power of blessing which he had received from G-d (Gen.25:11) to the seeming first-born, Esau, even though Esau was in fact the very incarnation of the serpent (see Targum on Gen. 25:27, where "knowing hunting" is translated as NACHASHIRCHAN, having the connotation of NACHASH, serpentine).

The ultimate joke (Yitzchak means "he will laugh") is that Isaac, embodiment of GEVURAH, is overpowered and outwitted by his wife, Rebecca, who turns out to be his match in that attribute. Isaac's GEVURAH lay in the fact that he had been "born in" to the religion and brought up to a life of discipline, as symbolized in his being bound to the altar in the AKEIDAH that left his eyes blinded by the "tears of the angels" that dropped into them at that supreme moment. Rebecca's GEVURAH lay in the fact that even as a child, she had separated herself from the totally sinful environment in which she had been brought up -- she was the archetypal BAALAS TESHUVAH. Thus she knew the world better than "blind" Isaac -- and she knew that for the good of the entire world, it was vital that the blessings should go to Jacob. Since the serpent caused Adam's downfall by outwitting him and working on his wife, it was necessary for a woman, Rebecca, to outwit the serpent in order to restore Adam, incarnated in Jacob, to his true greatness. Thus Rebecca took Esau's beautiful clothes -- which he had stolen from Nimrod, who had stolen them from Adam -- and dressed Jacob with them.

"And [Isaac] smelled the scent of his clothes and he blessed him and said: See the scent of my son is as the scent of the field that HaShem has blessed. And G-d will give you of the dew of the heavens and from the fat of the earth and an abundance of grain and wine. The nations will serve you and the peoples will prostrate to you..." (Gen. 27:27-8).

Shabbat Shalom!
Avraham Yehushua Greenbaum

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Friday, November 28, 2003

Someone hacked into my blog - very amusing. And my mother-in-law had a stroke.
(Refuah Shlemah -> Batya bat Sarah).

Good Shabbos, everyone. Stay warm.

World Media reacts to Bush's Visit to Iraq

Analysis from AFP via Australia's ABC Online
"Electoral raid on Baghdad" read the caustic headline in the left-wing Paris daily Liberation which summed up European newspaper editorial reaction to President George W Bush's Thanksgiving Day visit to US troops in Iraq.

The brief visit, arranged in top secrecy, occurred too late for most papers to give it full coverage, and almost all ran the same wire agency photo of Mr Bush, clad in a grey army bomber jacket, carrying a large tray of roast turkey, potatoes and grapes through a crowd of smiling soldiers.

Those which did comment were mostly sceptical of Mr Bush's motives, with the US presidential election now less than 12 months away.

"The turkey has landed," ran the front-page headline in the London daily Independent.

"George Bush becomes the first US president to visit Iraq in order to provide the television pictures required by his re-election campaign," it said, noting that Hillary Rodham Clinton, "his undeclared Democratic opponent," was on her way to Baghdad from Afghanistan.

Liberation noted that more than 430 US soldiers had been killed in Iraq, 184 of them since Bush declared an official end to the war on May 1, and quoted a Gallup opinion poll this month showing that 54 percent of Americans disapproved of the way the post-war situation was being handled. "Bush knows that Iraq could become the Achilles heel of his campaign," it said.

The conservative London Times also did not run an editorial but its front-page report called the visit "one of the most audacious publicity coups in White House history."

Europe's leading business daily, the London-based Financial Times, used the visit to repeat its call for general elections in Iraq, rather than the US government's "top-down strategy built around favoured exiles and a timetable synchronised with President Bush's re-election campaign".

The daily Berliner Zeitung said the visit had two other aims. "Bush wanted to raise the groggy morale of his troops and at the same time to show Iraqis his determination," it wrote.

In Madrid, the centre-right daily El Mundo said the visit was "a publicity stunt which will not solve the problem of Iraq."

The daily Vanguardia, published in Spain's second city Barcelona, said Bush was trying to put a positive gloss on an increasingly difficult situation. It noted darkly that "George W Bush does not attend the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, but has dinner in Baghdad with those who dream of coming home alive."

The right-wing La Razon said "Caesar Bush" was exploiting Hollywood machinery to the full to send a message loud and clear to those who doubted the wisdom of his military policies.

In Rome, the daily La Republica described the visit as "a brillant stage-managed event and a courageous act". But it said it was also "obviously an electoral blitz, a Hollywood-style stunt of the kind we will see again and again throughout the campaign."

As the Arabic media saw the secrecy of Bush's visit as a sign of weakness amid spiralling violence in Iraq, newspapers in Israel said the stunt was bound to help the US president's ratings in opinion polls that had been falling alarmingly.

"Bush's popularity will undoubtedly go up in opinion polls this week, but on the condition that his army does not face another painful strike," said the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.

"It is like playing the last $100 dollar bill at the casino," said Maariv in an editorial, adding that "only one thing can ensure victory for Bush at the November 2004 polls: Saddam Hussein dead or chained up."

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said the secrecy of the visit, during which the only Iraqis whom Bush encountered were four members of the US-installed Governing Council, showed that Washington was afraid of the Iraqis. "The US president's sudden visit to Iraq was a sign of the US fear of the Iraqi people," said Mr Kharazi, whose country opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq.

"Bush 'infiltrated' Baghdad for two hours," scoffed the front-page headline of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat.

In Beirut, Al-Mustaqbal newspaper, owned by Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, announced that "Bush's secret visit to Baghdad opens presidential election season."

A front-page editorial in Lebanon's leading An-Nahar newspaper compared Bush to Roman emperor Julius Caesar, but said the US president could not repeat the phrase: "I came, I saw, I conquered." The editorial was headlined: "I came, I saw nothing, but I will conquer."

Many newspapers in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf, carried no commentary on the visit which took place as Muslims in the region were still celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holidays which follow the holy month of Ramadan.

-- AFP

See too "Bush wows troops with secret visit to Iraq" (also AFP), as well as the full text of Remarks by the President to the Troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving.
I bring a message on behalf of America: we thank you for your service, we're proud of you, and America stands solidly behind you. (Applause.) Together, you and I have taken an oath to defend our country. You're honoring that oath. The United States military is doing a fantastic job. (Applause.) You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country. You're defeating Saddam's henchmen, so that the people of Iraq can live in peace and freedom.

By helping the Iraqi people become free, you're helping change a troubled and violent part of the world. By helping to build a peaceful and democratic country in the heart of the Middle East, you are defending the American people from danger and we are grateful. (Applause.)

You're engaged in a difficult mission. Those who attack our coalition forces and kill innocent Iraqis are testing our will. They hope we will run. We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins. (Applause.)

We will prevail. We will win because our cause is just. We will win because we will stay on the offensive. And we will win because you're part of the finest military ever assembled. (Applause.) And we will prevail because the Iraqis want their freedom. (Applause.)

Awesome move, Mr. President!

President Bush surprises U.S. military troops stationed in Iraq with a secret Thanksgiving Day visit to personally honor their service and sacrifice, at the Baghdad International Airport, November 27, 2003. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Her thunder had been stolen by US President George W. Bush, but former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton nevertheless kept her date with American troops in Iraq. The senator arrived in Baghdad on Friday after sharing Thanksgiving dinner with US troops in Afghanistan on Thursday.

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The Anti-World, brought to you by Al Reuters

"Sharon Says Israel Must Cede Some Land for Peace" By Jeffrey Heller
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday Israel would have to give up some occupied land for peace with Palestinians but vowed to speed up work on a disputed West Bank barrier it deems vital to its security.

He also raised the possibility, in a question and answer session with Israeli editors, that he would take unspecified "unilateral steps" should talks with the Palestinians on advancing a U.S.-backed peace "road map" fail.

Sharon's comments hardened hints floated in local media that he was prepared in the event of continued stalemate in the peace process to remove some isolated Jewish settlements and draw the boundaries of a Palestinian state along the route of the barrier, which cuts deep into the West Bank.

"It is clear that in the end we will not be in all the places where we are now," the right-wing premier said. "(But) we are accelerating the fence and we won't stop it because it is essential to the security of the state."

Washington said Tuesday it was penalizing Israel for the barrier and settlement expansion by deducting nearly $290 million from a multi-billion-dollar package of loan guarantees.

Sharon faces growing calls at home as well as abroad for bold action to end three years of violence and bolster the status of Palestinian moderates against militants by reining in settlers and lifting blockades imposed on Palestinian cities.

But opposition doves who have drafted an alternative, more far-reaching peace plan have dismissed Sharon's signs of flexibility as insincere, accusing him of a gambit to draw international attention away from their initiative.

Palestinians say the barrier, a swathe of concrete walls, electric fences and razor wire, is a bid to annex terrain.

"There is no viable Palestinian state if Israel continues to build the wall," Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie said in the West Bank city of Ramallah after Sharon's remarks.

President Bush last week called on Israel to stop the construction to avoid prejudicing future negotiations.


Applying pressure on Qurie, Sharon said Israel would not give the Palestinians "unlimited time" to make peace.

"It is possible I'll be convinced there is no use waiting for one Palestinian government or another (to negotiate) and (I will) take unilateral steps," he said, declining to elaborate on moves he might make.

Qurie told reporters his bureau chief would meet Sharon's office director soon to prepare for a prime ministerial meeting.

Washington has been prodding Israel to do more to implement the "road map" since Qurie took office this month and began negotiating with militants to steer them into a formal cease-fire to capitalize on almost two months without major violence.

But Sharon's suggestions that some isolated settlements might be scrapped has met resistance from right-wing allies.

"I don't intend to make any commitments to anyone about any place," Sharon, a champion of settlement-building, said in response to a question about the future of Netzarim, an isolated settlement near Gaza City.

Lashing out at the symbolic Geneva Accords peace deal, Sharon said the initiative by his left-wing opponents "does Israel damage and is a mistake."

The "Geneva Accords," due for a gala launch in the Swiss city Monday, envisage a Palestinian state like the road map. But the agreement goes further by mandating removal of most settlements and splitting Jerusalem into two capitals.

In London, senior Israeli and Palestinian officials -- including Sharon's son Omri and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's security adviser Jibril Rajoub -- were to discuss peace issues at an informal seminar. "The aim is to create trust and a better atmosphere between the Israelis and Palestinians," Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir, one of the participants, said from London.

Rajoub told Israel Radio: "(Sharon) must decide if he truly wants security or to continue occupying Palestinian lands."

In advance of Sharon's "unilateral steps," his Attorney General is ridding the Israeli press of any possible opposition. To quote Bernard Shapiro, this is
"more than an attempt by the Left to silence the major Zionist/religious media in Israel. The first step by all governments in history, when planning major unpopular actions, is to seize and silence any opposition media. . . To see it happen in Israel breaks my heart. It portends grievous actions in the future."


via Israpundit


Magnificent piece by Charles Krauthammer is Required Reading

Copy in its entirety and send to Secretary of State Colin Powell. I did.
Washington Post: On Monday, a peace agreement will be signed by Israelis and Palestinians. This "Geneva accord" has gotten much attention. And the signing itself will be greeted with much hoopla. Journalists are being flown in from around the world by the Swiss government. Jimmy Carter will be heading a list of foreign dignitaries. The U.S. Embassy in Bern will be sending an observer.

This is all rather peculiar: The agreement is being signed not by Israeli and Palestinian officials, but by two people with no power.

On the Palestinian side, the negotiator is former information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, who at least is said to have Yasser Arafat's ear. The Israeli side, however, is led by Yossi Beilin, a man whose political standing in his own country is so low that he failed to make it into Parliament. After helping bring his Labor Party to ruin, Beilin abandoned it for the far-left Meretz Party, which then did so badly in the last election that Beilin is now a private citizen.

There is a reason why he is one of Israel's most reviled and discredited politicians. He was the principal ideologue and architect behind the "peace" foisted on Israel in 1993. Those Oslo agreements have brought a decade of the worst terror in all Israeli history.

Now he is at it again. And Secretary of State Colin Powell has written a letter to Beilin and Rabbo expressing appreciation for their effort, and is now planning to meet with them.

This is scandalous. Israel is a democracy, and this agreement was negotiated in defiance of the democratically (and overwhelmingly) elected government of Israel. If a private U.S. citizen negotiated a treaty on his own, he could go to jail under the Logan Act. If an Israeli does it, he gets a pat on the back from the secretary of state.

Moreover, this "peace" is entirely hallucinatory. It is written as if Oslo never happened. The Palestinian side repeats solemn pledges to recognize Israel, renounce terror, end anti-Israel incitement, etc. -- all promised in Oslo. These promises are today such a dead letter that the Palestinian side is openly bargaining these chits again, as if the Israelis have forgotten that in return for these pledges 10 years ago, Israel recognized the PLO, brought it out of Tunisian exile, established a Palestinian Authority, permitted it an army with 50,000 guns and invited the world to donate billions to this new Authority.

Arafat pocketed every Israeli concession, turned his territory into an armed camp and then launched a vicious terror war that has lasted more than three years and killed more than 1,000 Israelis. It is Lucy and the football all over again, and the same chorus of delusionals who so applauded Oslo -- Jimmy Carter, Sandy Berger, Tom Friedman -- is applauding again. This time, however, the Israeli surrender is so breathtaking it makes Oslo look rational.

A Palestinian state, of course. Evacuating every Jewish settlement in new Palestine, of course. Redividing Jerusalem, of course. But that is not enough. Beilin gives up the ultimate symbol of the Jewish connection and claim to the land, the center of the Jewish state for 1,000 years before the Roman destruction, the subject of Jewish longing in poetry and prayer for the 2,000 years since -- the Temple Mount. And Beilin doesn't just give it up to, say, some neutral international authority. He gives it to sovereign Palestine. Jews will visit at Arab sufferance.

Not satisfied with having given up Israel's soul, Beilin gives up the body too. He not only returns Israel to its 1967 borders, arbitrary and indefensible, but he does so without any serious security safeguards.

Palestine promises to acquire and buy no more weapons than specified in some treaty annex. This is a joke. Oslo had similarly detailed limitations on Palestinian weaponry, and nobody even pretended to enforce them. Last year, a massive illegal boatload came in from Iran on the Karine A. What did the world do about it? Nothing.

Today, however, Israel still has control over Palestine's borders. Under Beilin, this ends. Palestine will be free to acquire as much lethal weaponry as it wants.

And on the critical question that even the most dovish Israelis insist on -- that the Palestinians not have the right to flood Israel with Arab refugees -- the agreement is utterly ambiguous. Third parties (including among others the irredeemably hostile Syria and its puppet Lebanon) are to suggest exactly how many Palestinians are to return to Israel, and the basis for the number Israel will be required to accept will be the mathematical average!

This is not a peace treaty, this is a suicide note -- by a private citizen on behalf of a country that has utterly rejected him politically. That it should get any encouragement from the United States or from its secretary of state is a disgrace.

Palestinian children play a game called 'Arabs and Jews'
in the Rafah refugee camp, south of the Gaza Strip. . .
(AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I am honored that Arthur has allowed me to post this.


by Arthur Bierman

It happened sixty-five years ago, a few weeks after my thirteenth birthday. I woke at seven to a gray and overcast Vienna morning, it had rained during the night, and I could see puddles on the pavement below. Hanging from balconies on the other side of the street, the red and black swastika banners looked soggy and wet. It was quiet in the apartment. My parents were still asleep in the next room, it was a recent development, their sleeping this late, but after losing their store to the Nazis they had lost also the desire for getting up early. For me, however, it was a regular school day, though school was a joke now, not the way it had been under the old regime.

In the old days my teachers had all been Christians, or Aryans as they were called since the annexation, and we were afraid of them. We leaped to our feet when they entered the classroom and didn't sit down until they told us to.. But in June they had expelled all the Jewish students, even those whose grandparents had converted decades ago. There was only one school left for us Jewish teenagers in all of Vienna, and that was the Chayes Gymnasium It was an religious institution, orthodox actually, which meant that they made you study Hebrew and the Torah on top of everything else, and who would want to go there when you could attend a regular school? But now we had no choice any more, so hundreds of Jews enrolled in Chayes and discovered at the start of the semester, that there weren't enough chairs for everybody. So some of us had to sit on the floor, some on the window sills, some even had to stand the whole hour, leaning against the wall, and school became a joke.

The teachers at Chayes were all Jews, of course, but how could you be afraid of them when they were scared, like rabbits, with terror in their eyes. They may have earned advanced degrees and even published scholarly books, but out on the street they were just filthy Jews, no better than any of their brethren -- which meant that any brown shirt who felt like it could smack them in the face or have them crawl in the gutter. They were afraid, our teachers, and it showed in their eyes, in the hunch of their shoulders and the stoop of their backs, and we despised them for their cowardice. So we would yell and shout and run around the classroom, and the teachers would stand there, angry, upset, helpless. It was a joke, that school, in the fall of '38, but I went anyway, not because of the learning, of which there was none, but because I had nothing better to do and because I had friends there and because it was fun, this sudden lifting of discipline...

Of course, this freedom held only inside the building, for as soon as we stepped outside, we had to be careful not to be caught by the Hitler Youth, brown shirted youngsters with swastika armbands, who loved chasing us and beating us up. It was a strange New World we found ourselves in, after the March annexation--much free time, no school work, our parents sitting idly at home or running desperately from one consulate to another, trying to find a country that would allow us in. Meanwhile we roamed the streets, but always on guard, watching out for the uniformed Hitler Youth.

So I jumped out of bed that Thursday morning, on the tenth of November, my parents still asleep in the next room, and after washing my face I ran down two flights of stairs and out into the street. It was a cold, gray morning, the pavement still wet from the night rain, you could smell the smoke of burning coal, winter was coming and people were firing up their stoves to take the chill out of the air. I stepped out into the early morning, walked quickly down the Denisgasse, the street where I was born, where I grew up and where I knew every stone in the pavement, every store between number 12 Denisgasse where I lived and our grocery store on the Treustrasse five blocks away .

Even now, seven decades later and six thousand miles away, I can still see those streets of my childhood, their images burnt permanently into my brain. Stepping out of my house, and hearing that heavy wooden door slam shut behind me, I would turn to the right and immediately pass the Schuster grocery store, a big one this was, not like ours, which had been a hole-in-the-wall. A gold mine my mother would say, enviously eyeing the customers massed inside the door. Then came the shoemaker, an old man, always wearing a black apron, then three houses without any stores, then a bakery, the pungent odor of fresh bread wafting out from its interior, then two more houses without storefronts, just heavy doors and blank windows and then came the corner, where the Denisgasse ran into the Webergasse and you had to choose. If you turned right, you would soon find yourself at the police station, a fearful place it had always been for me, even before the Nazis came. Huge, uniformed men, much bigger than my father, you could see them through the window; they carried night sticks and guns, and personified for me the brute power of the State, which could crush you like a fly, and, as it turned out, did precisely that just a few years later...

But this morning, on the tenth of November, on the way to school I turned left on the Webergasse, walked a short block to the Klosterneuburger strasse, a big Avenue it was, with streetcars clanging along every few minutes, and where our neighbor, Lilly Zuckerberg, had a small dress shop-- she who fled to Shanghai in '39 and lost her only child Erika to cholera in '46. I turned right on the Klosterneuburgerstrasse, and was surprised to see so many people about --and not just ordinary men and women, opening their stores or going to work or returning home from the bakery, fresh loaves in their bags, but brown shirted storm troopers walking briskly in two's and threes, and policemen guarding the street corners. I had not seen so many uniformed men since March when the Nazis had taken over, or February '34 when the Socialist workers had revolted against the Fascist coup. So I stopped at the newspaper kiosk at the corner and read that Ernst vom Rath, the German embassy's third secretary in Paris, had died after being shot by Jew Herschel Grynszpan. Revenge, the black headlines screamed, revenge for the spilling of sacred German blood.

I ran quickly across the street, trying to reach the Chayes Gymnasium which was only some twenty or so feet from the corner, but found myself blocked by a crowd of students who were standing silently near the entrance. Curious, I pushed to the front and saw our principal, a small, elderly man, bearded, always with skull cap on his head, being dragged down the long, narrow staircase by two burly storm troopers, his face bloody, one eye shut, the other still open but bruised, his broken glasses slipping down his nose, his jacket torn, his necktie awry. Down they came, the three of them, the principal moaning softly as he was dragged past me into a waiting car and driven away.

Heart pounding, I ran home to tell my parents but when I burst into the apartment they were already dressed and knew that a pogrom had started. They had been warned by some neighboring women -- in those days, when none of us had telephones, it was usually the women, not the endangered men, who would run from house to house, warning people of impending trouble. Of course, this didn't last long, this gentler treatment of Jewish women -- for the time would soon come when they too would be herded into cattle cars, concentration camps and gas chambers, just like their husbands, fathers and brothers. But this was still in the future, November '38 was still a civilized time, and the storm troopers who were revenging vom Rath's death, had mercy on Jewish women of all ages, on Jewish boys under 15, and even on Jewish men over 70.

So my parents had already been told that an Aktion had been launched, that's what the Nazis called this pogrom, an "action", and the women were reporting three such actions: That Jewish storefront windows were being smashed on the Wallensteinstrasse and the Jaegerstrasse and God knows where else; that the big temple on the Hannovergasse had just been torched and fire trucks were standing in front of it, the firemen with hoses in their hands, but only to prevent the flames from spreading to the adjacent buildings; and finally, that storm troopers were going from house to house dragging off all Jewish men from fifteen to seventy.

They left soon, the two women, with my mother moaning that my father had to hide, God in heaven, run, run, Jakob, but where can you go, there is no place to hide, and Jakob, he, the silent one, he, of the calm, almost lethargic demeanor, was already putting on his coat, hat and gloves, saying softly, as he went out the door, that he would go to our tailor on the Webergasse, he had alays been a decent man, we had used him for years, he would surely hide him, and furthermore, he was right around the corner, which was good since they were stopping men in the street, asking for their papers. So my father left and my mother started to cry, sitting, as usual, at the kitchen table, face in her hands, sobbing in anguish, and I stood there, saying nothing, for I had learned from years of experience that I could never console her when she was trapped, like this, in a terrible world of unspeakable grief. So I stood there in the kitchen, dry eyed, silent, feeling utterly abandoned.

Some time later, maybe half an hour later, my mother had calmed down and was resting on the sofa, when we heard a loud pounding on the door and there stood two storm troopers, I swear I can't remember their faces, but they seemed huge -- big, burly men who demanded to see Jakob B., my father. My mother rushed into the kitchen, crying that Jakob had gone out, she didn't know where he was, they pushed her aside, looked under the bed, looked behind the doors, it was a small apartment, only a kitchen, a small dining room, a bedroom, no closet even, no place to hide. And he, they asked, pointing at me, how old is he? Thirteen, she whispered and they shrugged their shoulders, I was small for my age, and out they went, slamming the door behind them.

As you can see, we were lucky that morning, my mother and I. The storm troopers had behaved like gentlemen, almost, they had not beaten us, they had not smashed any furniture, they had not screamed at us, they had not even uttered a single insulting word.

After the storm troopers left, we felt exhausted, my mother and I. She was calmer now, the Nazis had come, had looked around, but nothing terrible had happened, the worst was over. So after a while we went looking for my father but when we came to the tailor, there on the second floor of number seven Webergasse, the tailor looked astonished and said that he had not seen him, no, not this morning, and not yesterday either. No, he knew nothing about his whereabout, nothing, and he licked his lips nervously, hoping we would leave. Yes, he had known us for years, yes, we had been good steady customers, he had fitted all of us, pants, suits, dresses, yes, we were decent people, honest, as far as he could tell, not like some other Jews he could tell us about, but these were different times now, a new wind was blowing, he was just a little man and had to be careful. My mother stood there, stricken, her eyes black holes of despair, and I dragged her out of the tailor shop and down the stairs, she moaning, God in heaven, what will become of us, and I dragged her down the Denisgasse and into our house and up two flights of stairs and into our apartment and closed the door as she collapsed crying at the kitchen table.

Fortunately a friend soon showed up, I don't remember her name, but she knew what to do -- she took my sobbing mother into her arms, held her, stroked her face and hair, and gradually my mother calmed down, made some tea for the visitor who told us that we were lucky -- after all, we didn't really know whether Jakob had been caught. But other people were not so lucky, she went on, K., remember K., had been arrested right in front of his wife, also his brother-in law, the lawyer, and also M. who had owned the Pharmacy on the Wallensteinstrasse. My mother just sat there, nodding her head, in a daze, saying nothing. Soon another woman showed up, a distant relative, and she had big news, she told us in great excitement. We know now where they are taking our men. They are taking them to that school on the Karajangasse, they have sent the children home and turned it into a detention center, can you imagine, that's the Nazis for you, they take a school for innocent children and make it into a prison.

My mother leaped up and announced that she was going there, to the Karajangasse. Maybe Jakob was there, maybe she could see him, in any case, anything was better than waiting here, eating your heart out. So the women rose, and I put my coat on, and off we went, out into the cold, gray afternoon, the streets filled with brown shirts and policemen, they were excited, these men, you could tell it from their loud voices, their flushed faces and determined steps. This was an extraordinary day, an historic occasion, a day to be remembered, and they were important participants, actors of some significance. As we rushed along the street, the three women and I, we could smell the smoke and soon could see the smoldering fire from the temple, the firemen standing around and laughing, everything was under control, they had kept the flames from spreading to innocent Aryan buildings. Soon we reached the Karajangasse and saw a most extraordinary scene -- the whole street was filled with women and children, hundreds of them, massed in front of the building, moving around, stomping their feet, talking, crying, hoping to catch a glimpse of their arrested men. But the school, four stories high, was quiet, the windows were shut, dark, not a sound coming from it. Had it not been for the two brown shirts at the entrance you would not have guessed anything out of the ordinary. Occasionally, though, a truck would drive up, the two guards would push the women and children away from the entrance, storm troopers would run out of the building, open the rear of the truck and men would emerge, silently, with averted eyes, and be led into the building. A sigh would then rise from the crowd, a loud sigh from hundreds of chests, a collective groan, and names would suddenly be shouted -- Herbie, Adi, Heinrich -- an anguished cry, oh God in heaven, there he is and then silence again as the truck drove off into the darkening afternoon.

So we stood there, my mother and I, hemmed in on all sides by hundreds of people, we were tired, cold, stamping our feet and rubbing our hands, waiting in front of that dark and silent building, when I looked up and discovered that we were being watched by hundreds of eyes. On both sides of the block women were leaning out of their windows, some smoking cigarettes, some holding coffee mugs in their hands, some waving to friends in nearby houses, but excited they all were, you could tell it from their high pitched voices, from their eager laughter and their sparkling eyes. We were providing a dramatic scene, a spectacular event, one they would remember for years to come. I searched their faces for some signs of pity or compassion, but could find neither sentiment in their happy eyes and laughing mouths, and suddenly, for the first time since this day had dawned, I felt such rage in my heart that I turned my face to the darkening sky and implored the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to take into His hands this terrible street, these terrible women, this whole terrible city of Vienna, and burn it, oh Lord, Master of the Universe, burn it to ashes, just as You had burnt to ashes the cities of the plains, Sodom and Gomorra.

But of course, nothing happened. There was no message from heaven, no bolt of lightening, no fire and brimstone, not even a small roll of thunder, it got darker and colder, we saw no signs of my father, even the trucks carrying their cargoes of prisoners had stopped coming, so my mother and I left the slowly shrinking crowd, we went back home, past the pitiless stares of the Viennese women, past the storm troopers still going about their important business, past the policemen guarding the street intersections. We came home, listless, hopeless, the apartment was dark, no father, no husband, we ate, we went to bed, each of us grieving, silently, in solitude.

It must have been about eleven that night when we were awakened. Someone was knocking softly but persistently on the front door, we rushed to the entrance and found a young man in the dark hallway, we had never seen him before, blond hair, blue eyes, obviously not a Jew, he had a message from Jakob, he said, Jakob is all right, we are hiding him, we will keep him until it's all over. He was holding my sobbing mother in his arms suddenly, he was embarrassed, tears in his eyes, now, now, Frau B., everything will be all right.

And so it was all right, at least for that brief moment in time. We had been lucky again, my parents and I. An ordinary couple, old customers of my father's, not even friends, poor people, working people, they had opened their door to Jakob, they had risked their lives to hide this hunted Jew, and then they had sent their only son across miles of dark Vienna to bring glad tidings to Jakob's despairing family.

Later that night, lying on my bed and reflecting on the events of this remarkable day, on the three gentiles who had saved my father out of the goodness of their hearts, and also on the two storm troopers I had seen, dragging that bloodied old man down the stairs like a sack of potatoes, I was reminded of the story of Sodom and Gomorra. As told in the Torah, He, the Master of the Universe, enraged by these wicked cities and their wicked inhabitants, had decided to destroy them by fire and brimstone. But Abraham, our first Patriarch, a compassionate man, had pleaded with Him, the all wise, the all powerful, to suspend His punishment if He could find fifty righteous ones in Sodom and Gomorra. But after gaining God's agreement to the fifty, Abraham, suspecting the worst, had then proceeded to haggle the price down, first to forty five, then to forty, then to thirty, to twenty and finally to ten. But as it turned out, all his shrewd bargaining was of no help, since God could not find even ten righteous ones in Sodom and Gomorra -- which allowed the Almighty to pour fire and brimstone upon the cities of the plains, destroying them and all their inhabitants and all that grew upon the ground. So lying in bed that night and reflecting on the events of this terrible day, I wondered whether seven more righteous gentiles could actually be found in Vienna, and, if so, whether that ancient agreement would still compel Him to spare this wicked city and all its wicked inhabitants, right here, on the shores of the blue Danube.

I don't remember any more what I thought about the chances of finding seven more righteous ones in the city of my birth, but I do remember being distinctly uneasy about the wisdom of that biblical contract. Unjust it seemed, letting thousands of evil doers, storm troopers, Gestapo agents, SS men, pitiless women, escape their well-deserved punishment and only because they happened to have ten righteous neighbors. It wasn't fair, I thought, what Abraham had persuaded God to agree to. These criminals, these monsters, these brown shirted killers should be punished, regardless. There had to be a better procedure, I thought, some way of smiting the wicked without harming the righteous, but I did not really know how to accomplish this difficult feat. It can wait, I thought finally, after all, I was only thirteen years old, and there was time still, years and years of time, to figure out the solution. And thus I fell asleep, on the night of the tenth of November 1938, promising myself to tackle this problem later in life, not knowing, as I know now, that I had stumbled upon one of the most intractable problems bedeviling man's earthly existence.
Arthur Bierman is a professor of physics, emeritus, at the City College of the City of New York. Presently, he edits and writes for an online journal called Focus on Israel and lives in Boulder, Colorado. You may write to Arthur Bierman at arthur.bierman@comcast.net


A letter received by Arutz-7 this week:
I came back from Israel 2 weeks ago after not having visited in 7 years. I was shocked by the poverty all around me - the closed shops and restaurants in downtown Tel Aviv, the unemployment, the stories of hunger and hopelessness.

Living in the Diaspora, we all have the power to help. Every time you go to the supermarket, buy at least one Israeli product (they have pickles, cheeses, olives, sauces, soups, chocolates, cookies, candy, tehina, chumous, ready salads and dips, pretzels etc.).

There are 200,000 Jews in Canada. If everyone bought an Israeli product every 2 weeks, that would be around $200,000 making it to the desperate economy every few weeks just from Canada. If the idea caught on with American Jews, that could be $5.2 million every couple of weeks.

So, even if it you don't need it, if it is more expensive than a Canadian or American product, if it looks less appetizing than its North American counterpart, BUY IT . Help Israel. Tell all your friends. Jewish kids are going to school hungry. The economy is in shambles. Factories are closing. There are boycotts of Israeli products in Europe. You can make a difference. Buy blue and white. Tell all your friends. Pass on this email. Don't forget our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Kol hakavod to Eva Mozes Kor

Auschwitz Survivor Vows to Rebuild Torched Holocaust Museum in Indiana

Eva Kor talks before the start of a candlelight vigil for the CANDLES
Holocaust Museum in Terre Haute, Ind., Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003. Kor,
who is an Auschwitz survivor, founded the museum that was destroyed
by fire earlier in the week. Kor said she hopes to rebuild the museum
with tighter security.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

New York Times: TERRE HAUTE, Ind., Nov. 22 — An Auschwitz survivor has vowed to rebuild a Holocaust museum here that was destroyed by a suspicious fire early last Tuesday.

"We'll at least open as good as it was before, but I think it will be even better," said the owner, Eva Mozes Kor. "Even if it takes the last pennies in my account, it will open."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case as domestic terrorism and a possible hate crime because "Remember Timmy McVeigh" was found scrawled on a wall of the museum, said Doug Garrison, spokesman for the bureau's Indianapolis office.

Timothy J. McVeigh, executed in Terre Haute in 2001 for his involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing, was "the quintessential domestic terrorist," Mr. Garrison said.

The Anti-Defamation League is offering $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. "Without a doubt, we view this as a hate crime," Richard Hirschhaut, the league's Midwest director, said. "We believe this was a deliberate act of hate and those who committed it were hellbent on destroying a place of enlightenment and virtue."

On Saturday, Ms. Kor, a 69-year-old twin who was used in a number of painful experiments by the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, sifted through the blackened remains of the museum, which honors children who survived the Holocaust. Most of the memorabilia were ruined. Hundreds of copies of Ms. Kor's book, "Echoes From Auschwitz," were charred and soggy, but she did recover a gift from schoolchildren who had visited the museum: an angel holding a banner that read "Peace."

Ms. Kor, who bears a blurred number A-7063 on her arm, said she had forgiven the Nazis and her next task was to forgive those who had destroyed the tiny museum. "I am working on it," she said. "As long as I am holding on to that pain, I am not free from it."

Since the museum opened eight years ago, roughly 5,000 people a year have visited the 3,600-square-foot site, called Candles (Children of Auschwitz-Nazi's Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors).

When Ms. Kor learned of the fire, she said her first thought was, Why me? "But immediately after that," she said, "I thought I have only two choices when I see anything tragic: be destroyed by it or rise above it."

Two vigils have been held in her honor, and supporters have sent a few thousand dollars by mail.

Mark Potok, a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said 12 such groups were active in Indiana. "Hard-line sympathizers of mass murderers like Tim McVeigh are very much alive and well in this country," Mr. Potok said. "With all of this attention paid to foreign terrorism post-9/11, people tend to have forgotten that there is a real subculture of people in this country who believe that Jews need killing and who see Tim McVeigh as having entered the pantheon of great Aryan heroes."

Ms. Kor, who is from Transylvania, was deported with her family to Auschwitz in 1944. Her mother, father and two of her sisters died there.

But Ms. Kor and her twin sister, Miriam, survived and were subjected to painful tests and experiments performed by Dr. Mengele for nearly a year. Ms. Kor recalls sitting naked, arms tied to a bench, for six to eight hours while every part of her body was examined, measured and compared with charts in lengthy, demeaning observations several times a week. She said both she and her sister had suffered life-threatening illnesses as a result of Dr. Mengele's experiments.

"We were his guinea pigs," she said, adding that he came in every morning to count his test subjects.

Ms. Kor established the museum to help bring attention to the child survivors of the Holocaust, especially those who endured Dr. Mengele's experiments.

Now, as her museum sits in ruins, display cases destroyed, electronic equipment melted, posters covered in a layer of soot, Ms. Kor is hopeful. The arsonist, she said, was not entirely successful.

"As strange as it might sound, the world has learned about our little museum," she said. "If he was trying to destroy the message we were trying to teach, he has accomplished exactly the opposite."
To DONATE GENEROUSLY to C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Holocaust Museum click here.


"It can be concluded that the anti-Semitic incidents in the monitoring period were
committed above all by right-wing extremists and radical Islamists or young Muslims."
Haaretz: LONDON - European Parliament officials have slammed a decision by The European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) not to publish its comprehensive study of the causes of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the Greens Party in the European Parliament on Tuesday strongly denounced the EUMC for shelving the report. "The completely mad thing is that they didn't want to continue because they were afraid to offend a certain Muslim opinion in Europe," he told Israel Radio. "This is a completely crazy and wrong approach."

Cohn-Bendit, a leader of the French student left in the late 1960s, is currently on a visit to Israel. He said the decision to shelve the study was a "big, big, error" and that his party would question the move in the European Parliament at the first opportunity. "There is a danger of anti-Semitism in Europe, there is a danger of racism in Europe - both - and we must confront this reality, and we can't now postpone the debate on this," Cohn-Bendit said.

The report on anti-Semitism in Europe was shelved by the EU's racism watchdog after it found that Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents, the London-based Financial Times reported last week.

Haaretz has learned that the EUMC plans to meet today in Vienna to discuss the outrage over it decision. Senior sources in the European Commission say that they have ordered a new study of anti-Semitism, one which will include interviews with the leaders of Jewish communities in Europe. It is due out in March 2004.

The sources however rejected claims by Professor Werner Bergmann, one of the co-leaders of the study, that the EU "buried the report for fear that it could spark a civil war. The EU maintains that the report was tainted by anti-Muslim bias and the use of inappropriate research methods. "I think that the European Union buried the research out of fear of civil war, and from excessive political correctness," the top German sociologist told Haaretz.

The Financial Times reported that the EUMC decided not to publish the research after clashing with its authors over their definition of anti-Semitism, which included anti-Israel facts. The sources told Haaretz that "the decision not to accept the report was taken by the 18 members of the Management Board of the EUMC all of whom are eminent academics, researchers and campaigners in the field of anti-Semitism and xenophobia." They said the decision was made due to the "poor quality" of the study.

Bergmann said in response yesterday that "They say that the we have done a bad job, but we alerted them in advance about the difficulties and we said that some reports are not very good and some were excellent. But the EUMC said, 'okay, we know it, please improve the research,' and so we spent many months to fill all the gaps, especially for some countries. We put a lot of new material which was way beyond our original role."

Bergmann's partner in conducting the study, Professor Wolfgang Benz, termed the EUMC's grounds for rejecting the study "absolutely ridiculous. From our standpoint it verges on slander."

The report was commissioned by the EUMC following a peak in anti-Semitic activity in early 2002. Its leaked findings come just a week after the arson attack on a Jewish school near Paris and suicide attacks on two Istanbul synagogues.

A deputy board member not named by the paper confirmed that the directors of the EUMC had regarded the study as biased, adding that they had judged the focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators to be inflammatory.

An extract from the report obtained by the Financial Times stated: "It can be concluded that the anti-Semitic incidents in the monitoring period were committed above all by right-wing extremists and radical Islamists or young Muslims."

"The decision not to publish was a political decision," a source familiar with the report told the Financial Times. He said the report had uncovered a "trend towards Muslim anti-Semitism, while on the left there is also mobilization against Israel that is not always free of prejudice."

Beate Winkler, EUMC director, told the paper the report was shelved because of problems with time scales but also due to the overly complicated definition of anti-Semitism. "Of course there are people of Arab descent committing such acts. This will be represented in our next report," she added.

Bergmann said of the EU panel: "It was very difficult for them to accept the conclusions" of the report. "They asked us again and again to re-write the drafts, to soften the conclusions, to balance the arguments."

IDF Logistics: Motivation among new recruits remains high

Maariv (Hebrew only): 88% of physically-fit IDF recruits drafted in November have requested to serve in combat units, according to IDF Logistics Chief Brig.-Gen. Avi Zamir.

Arabs cut down their own olive trees to achieve propaganda "victory"

Arutz Sheva: Left-wing activist Arik Asherman admits that he knows of incidents in which Arabs cut down their own olive trees in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) in order to later blame the Jewish residents and thus benefit from a "propaganda" victory. So says Aviad Visouly, head of the Haifa/Northern branch of the Land of Israel Organization, in a letter to the Samaria/Judea Police Department.

Visouly, who has been looking into allegations that the most recent case of alleged olive-tree cutting was perpetrated by those who would disparage the Jewish residents, presented the police with a series of 15 pointed questions on the case. One of them pertains to the fact that Fawzi Hassan Hussein, who filed a police complaint against the destruction of his trees, said he does not even own the cut-down orchard, but rather another one near Yitzhar.

Fawzi also told Visouly that the PA's agriculture department pays the damages for cut-down trees from money arriving from Saudi Arabia.

Israel's first UN resolution . . . withdrawn

Resolution called for protection of Israeli children from terrorism
Reuters: After an uphill struggle, Israel withdrew a resolution on protecting Israeli children from terrorism, with its ambassador accusing the United Nations of hypocrisy, duplicity and double standards.

Ambassador Dan Gillerman said on Wednesday amendments from Egypt and others in a General Assembly committee amounted to a "hostile takeover" of his draft resolution, subverting its purpose, shifting its focus and erasing every reference to Israeli children.

"Today we put the United Nations to the ultimate moral test," Gillerman told a news conference. "It failed this litmus test miserably. This demonstrated just how far the hypocrisy, duplicity and double standard policy of the General Assembly and its committees go."

At issue was Israel's first introduction of a resolution since 1976, a draft condemning Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli children. It was meant to mirror a resolution adopted last week by the panel 88-4 with 58 abstentions demanding protection for Palestinian children.

Amendments proposed collectively by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and others would have substituted "Middle East" for "Israeli" children and inserted language condemning "foreign occupation" and "violation of international law."

Gillerman signaled that Israel, the target of hundreds of critical resolutions, was changing strategy and taking the offensive instead of just responding with speeches in the 191-member assembly that is traditionally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

"Israel will no longer sit back and be the target of Israeli-bashing," he told reporters. "We will try to do things differently, much more proactive and even aggressive."

Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian U.N. observer, in a separate news conference, called the Israeli draft an attempt to divert from the unique situation of Palestinian children.

He said Palestinian children were deprived of every right included in a 1990 U.N. treaty on the rights of the child beginning with the right of statehood up to the right of physical protection.

"The case is broader and has no comparison with Israeli children," al Kidwa said. "That is why it did not have any chance. What we need is a different set of policies. We need to end Israeli occupation."
Observations of Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations:
Israel withdraws its draft resolution and will not ask for it to be voted upon. We do so after the Egyptian delegation together with a number of other delegations have proposed hostile amendments to this resolution and have worked to ensure that its focus and intent has been perverted.

Israel presented its draft resolution only after the resolution on Palestinian children was presented to, and adopted by, the Committee. We would have preferred that no group of children be singled out. But once the plight of Palestinian children has been reserved for special attention, Israeli children certainly deserve no less.

In presenting this resolution, we presented a challenge before member states: could they avoid the selective treatment of Israel that so often plagues the UN and, at least on the issue of children, demonstrate the same sense of sympathy and compassion for Israeli children that has already been offered to Palestinian children? Those delegations that proposed these hostile changes, and those that quietly supported and tolerated them, have given their answer.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why the hundreds of Israeli children killed or maimed in brutal terrorist attacks deserve less sympathy and attention. A resolution that expressly recognizes that Israeli children are also suffering would contradict a worldview that Israelis are the villain, never the victim; that Israelis have responsibilities but no rights; and that the Palestinians have rights but no responsibilities.

The delegations that have opposed Israel's resolution at every turn and sponsored the proposed changes have demonstrated the shameless double standard that animates their conduct at the UN. These same delegations have for years used their numbers and their audacity to dictate their own blinkered worldview on the UN agenda as if the UN were their private property.

As long as this state of affairs is tolerated and appeased rather than forcefully confronted, no one should wonder why the credibility and relevance of the UN, and its role as a Quartet member, is sometimes questioned.
Searching Yahoo News Photos for {Israeli+children} this is the only image available. Out of 15 hits, 10 were photos of Palestinian children. In those captions, the word 'Israeli' described, not children, but the words: military, troops, tanks, forces, jail, and security barrier.

Israeli children walk past a synagogue as they head back home from
a kindergarden at the Jewish settlement of Netzarim, situated at the
center of the Gaza Strip (AFP/Yoav Lemmer)

And so, who cares for the Israeli children? One has come to expect callousness and antisemitism from the likes of Yahoo News and the United Nations, but to see so many Jews busy blaming and fighting other Jews, investigating Arutz Sheva (see below), taking off their kippahs and hiding under their beds . . . what will it take to pull together?

Can you say . . . Ahavat Yisrael?

Al Qaida Attack on Israel blocked by Jordan

(Maariv - Hebrew only): Five al-Qaeda terrorists attempted to infiltrate into Israel last Friday to carry out an attack, according to a report Wednesday on Israel TV Channel 10.

Shots were heard on the Jordanian side of the border near Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in the Bet Shean valley. According to the report, Jordanian forces shot one infiltrator near the border, who then led them to four others, all al-Qaeda activists.

Israeli security forces believe it is only a matter of time until al-Qaeda carries out an attack in Israel.

Israel's Attorney General Orders Investigation

State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein has ordered police to launch an investigation against the managers of the Arutz-7 News website citing a possible transgression of the law prohibiting incitement as the justification.

Rubinstein explains that a request was made by Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On claiming an article “expulsion not transfer” constituted a violation of the incitement law.
COMMENTS from Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Opinion Editor:
Who's next? This is outrageous! Ladies and Gentlemen, if you care about and depend on Arutz-7's English website, IsraelNationalNews.com, and if you care about and depend on freedom of speech -- now is the time to speak out.

If not, tomorrow may be too late.

Please contact:

Special Section Chief Talia Sasoon and/or
Atty Gen Elyakim Rubenstein
29 Saladin St.
PO Box 49029
Jerusalem 91490

Tel: 02-6466794
Fax: 02-6466731

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

AP: Unofficial Mideast Accord "Gains Momentum"

You have to laugh: Actor Richard Dreyfuss will be Master of Ceremonies at signing
An unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative to be signed the first of next month in Geneva is gaining momentum, with the likelihood that negotiators will take it to Washington, organizers said Wednesday.

"December 1 is not going to be the end, it's going to be the beginning," Ghaith al-Omari of the Palestinian delegation said at a joint news conference with Daniel Levy, representing the Israeli side.

The Swiss-sponsored accord contains many of the same basic elements making up the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan — including a Palestinian state and the removal of most Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.

The accord would give the Palestinians a state in 98 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and the Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem, as well as control over the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site.
[See also "Geneva Accords: Israel to surrender Temple Mount" at Jnewswire].
It would keep most refugees out of Israel, and also could divide part of Jerusalem with a bulletproof glass wall.

Al-Omari said the accord does not conflict with the road map, which is "officially the only game in town."

Organizers said they have been building support within the Palestinian and Israeli communities since their initiative became public Oct. 12 and are ready to step up their campaign both in the Middle East and globally.

A two-hour ceremony for the Dec. 1 signing will include music and the participation of hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis flown in for the event. Actor Richard Dreyfuss will be the master of ceremonies, al-Omari said.

What are we to think?

Israeli President Moshe Katsav, left, smiles while meeting Yossi Beilin,
right, former member of Israel's Parliament (Knesset) and one of the
Oslo agreement architects and former Palestinian Cabinet Minister
Yasser Abed Rabbo, center, in Jerusalem Wednesday Nov. 26 2003.
Katsav hosted the meeting with Palestinian and Israeli designers of
the Geneva initiative, an alternative peace plan sharply criticized by
Israeli officials. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Not mentioned in the caption
JPost: President Moshe Katsav reprimanded the Palestinian signatories to the Geneva Accord on Wednesday for signing the pact with Yossi Beilin instead of negotiating directly with the Israeli government.

Katsav hosted a Palestinian delegation, led by Palestinian Authority Minister of State Kadoura Fares, Planning Minister Nabil Kasis, and former information minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, for more than an hour. The Palestinians were accompanied by Beilin, and MKs Avraham Burg and Haim Oron.

The Geneva signers sought legitimacy from Katsav for their initiative ahead of Monday's signing ceremony in Switzerland. But Katsav refused to support the plan or say anything positive about it, other than saying that he believes it is important for Israelis and Palestinians to engage in dialogue.

"Only the democratically elected Israeli government has the legitimacy to negotiate and conclude a formula for peace," Katsav told the Palestinians. "Your decision to bypass the Israeli government may boomerang. It is a mistake to seek international approval for this initiative before trying to convince the Israeli people."

Katsav told reporters after the meeting that he does not believe that meeting the Geneva signers gives their pact legitimacy, because he made it clear to them that he opposes it.

Beilin responded that he did not ask for Katsav's approval and the mere fact that he hosted a concrete discussion of the plan gave it a boost.
There's lots more bad news, but it'll have to wait. I'm going to bed with Harry Potter :/

Anti-Semitism Report

Riverdale, NY: Graffiti painted on a kosher restaurant that reads "November 17" will be removed today by a group led by Amcha. November 17 is a Greek terrorist organization responsible for the murder of American citizens. The symbol was one of three recent incidents in the last two days in Riverdale, NY, home to many Jews and Holocaust survivors.

A swastika was painted on the side of a building at the corner of 236th and Riverdale Avenue yesterday morning, accompanied by the "November 17" logo. The logo was also painted on a store front on Johnson Avenue. These incidents follow comments made by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis in which, referring to Jews, he said: "We can say today that this small people is at the root of evil, not of good."

Marseille, France: Vandals desecrated tombs at a Jewish cemetery in southern France, carving swastikas and other Nazi symbols into the headstones, officials said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin condemned the attack in Marseille as a "hateful manifestation of anti-Semitism."

Seven tombs at the Trois-Lucs cemetery were covered with graffiti or damaged by pelted rocks, said Alain Marc, an official at the regional prefecture.

French President Jacques Chirac promised a tough crackdown on anti-Semitism after an arson attack on a Jewish school outside Paris this month. There were no injuries, but the building was gutted.

Paris: On Tuesday, the Paris office of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism said it received a letter containing a bullet and a note reading "Jews get out, the next (bullet) won't come through the mail."

The group, which filed a judicial complaint, said it has received threatening letters for months, some containing razor blades.
There's so much bad news, I don't know where to begin. How 'bout this for starters?

Reform Movement leader attacks Settlements
(only verbally, of course)

Arutz Sheva: Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the leader of the US Reform movement has once again come out on the attack against Jewish settlements. In a report recently filed by the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Yoffie stated that,
"Not all settlers are extremists. But their leaders are trying to impose an endless war on Israel and the Jewish people. For these zealots, their right to live anywhere in the historic Land of Israel takes precedence over Israel's democracy and, indeed, over her very existence. There will be no final agreement if settlement growth does not stop. I know that there are those who say that terror must end first and that it is too early to consider such a step. But our response is: Get your heads out of the sand. It is not too early; in fact, it is very nearly too late. With every passing day a two-state solution becomes more difficult and a single-state solution more likely. Surely the Jewish people did not dream of Zion for 2,000 years in order! to be a minority in somebody else's state."
Responding to Yoffie's comments, one pundit quipped, "The Reform movement didn't dream of Zion, period. Not for 2000 years or 2000 minutes. This Galut (exile) born movement heavily opposed Zionism at the start & Rabbi Yoffie's opposition to Jewish settlement today is a sad reversion to its incorrect early policies." Now in an interview with the Israeli paper Ha'aretz, there is some additional revisionism in Rabbi Yoffie's approach.

While the gist of the Ha'aretz interview is similar to the Jerusalem Post article there are some additional points made. First off is Rabbi Yoffie's hints that US military and political support should be fair game for US Jewry opposed to the Israeli government's policies. But the Ha'aretz article also ignores previous writings of Yoffie. According to Ha'aretz, "At the biannual conference of the Reform movement that took place two weeks ago in Minneapolis, Yoffie broke the vow of silence he had taken upon himself since the beginning of the intifada and sharply attacked the government's settlement policy, which he says endangers the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. . .Rabbi Yoffie was never considered a big fan of settlements and never hid his feelings about the issue.

But over the last three years, since the start of the second intifada (Oslo War), he has been careful to refrain from explicitly opposing the government's positions and from making statements that could be seen as criticism of Israel, which is in the midst of a terrorist onslaught." Clearly, though, this is not the case and Rabbi Yoffie has already broken the so-called 'vow of silence.'

In the past Yoffie has gone so far as to blame Israel, in part, and all Israeli governments who have expanded settlements for the collapse of the Oslo process and justification for Arab terror. In an article penned by Yoffie (Detroit Jewish News - Feb. 16, 2001) Yoffie states the following:
"We have all watched with sorrow the eruption of violence that began in late September. We must take note, with profound sadness, of the depth of Palestinian hatred for Jews and Israelis and the ease with which Palestinians have resorted to violence and terror. We are wise enough to know that the fault is not entirely theirs. After Oslo, governments of Israel of both the right and left expanded settlements and thereby undermined the principles on which Oslo was based. We are aware of the suffering of the Palestinian people, and of the degradation and cruelty that has sometimes resulted from Israeli policy in the territories. We know of the occasional overreaction of Israeli military forces in responding to Palestinian violence." (Morasha News 11/25)
I bet some of his best friends are Jews. We live in a tragic age, when some rabbis blame their fellow Jews and other rabbis tell us not to look like Jews. It's not enough, what's happening from the outside in? We have to destroy one another from the inside out?

Can you say . . . Am Yisrael Chai?

Bleak Assessment by VodkaPundit's Stephen Green

So stop with the hand-wringing already
Modern wars don't seem to end until one side is well and truly beaten. The exception to the rule is "wars of national liberation" (as the Soviets liked to call the actions of their little terrorist buddies), which end when the evil occupying nation gets sick of the whole mess and leaves. And even then the war doesn't really end, because the victors then turn against each other, like in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Anyway.

That's what gets me about the whole peace process -- it can't work.

If you think that the West Bank is an occupied nation, then you naturally think that all Israel has to do is to pull out -- and peace will suddenly break out like a pimple the day before Senior Prom. The problem is, the Palestinians, by and large, think that Israel isn't just occupying the West Bank, it's occupying, well, all of Israel. So simply pulling back to the Green Line won't end the war.

And that means that to Israel and Palestine, this is a war of survival.

And that makes this a very modern war, which won't end until one side or the other is burned, occupied, and crying uncle. Fact is, the Palestinians can't do that to the Israelis. Another fact is, the Israelis won't (but could) do it to the Palestinians.

And that is why you almost never see me write anything about the Middle East "peace process." The only process towards peace is the kind of war one side can't commit, and the other side won't.

So stop with the hand-wringing already. It just isn't going to get any better any time soon.

Huh, What?! Sharon Peace Initiative backed by Bush?

Jordan granting passports to 150,00 Jordanian Palestinians
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report: The unpublicized decision by Jordan’s king Abdullah and his prime minister Faisal al-Fayez to grant passports to 150,000 Palestinians from Gaza living in the Hashemite Kingdom could reduce to irrelevance the celebrations surrounding a welter of private alternative “peace accords” and their rationale: Prime minister Ariel Sharon’s alleged failure to come up with any political solution for the conflict with the Palestinians.

Amman’s decision is reported exclusively by DEBKAfile’s Palestinian and Washington sources. It is said to be the opening move in a novel Sharon initiative backed by the Bush administration to cut through to an acceptable peace formula on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

For half a century these Palestinians were stateless, as they have been in most of the Arab countries to which they fled from 1948 on. Now, they will be provided with passports to gain them entry at the only frontier willing to accept them: the Israeli crossing point into Palestinian-controlled territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, whether as tourists or to join their families.

It is inconceivable that Washington and Jerusalem were unaware of the Jordanian intention to open a back door for 150,000 Palestinians residing in Jordan to consummate their return to Palestinian soil. Hitherto, every Israeli government has objected adamantly to any form of Palestinian refugee repatriation. Even at Oslo, the 1993 agreement between Israeli and Palestinians on Interim Self-Government deferred the refugee issue to final-status negotiations, a principle repeated in the 1995 Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement.

None of the peace treaties between Israel and Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians, have ever granted the refugees a right of return. It was recognized that the problem of refugees is an unavoidable consequence of war.

For Jordan, it would offer a welcome chance to be rid of disgruntled third-class citizens largely hostile to the throne, who have been denied the right to travel, open businesses or buy housing and property, except through rapacious Jordanian middlemen.

If Sharon proves willing to allow this number of Palestinian refugees into Palestinian-controlled territory ahead of a permanent solution, he would have chalked up an epic departure from Israel’s conventional negotiating posture.

If the process goes forward past the myriad obstacles expected to stand in its path it will offer the new Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qureia – Abu Ala – a strong incentive to cooperate with Sharon. Qureia has declared he will not disarm the terrorist organizations, Clause One of the Middle East road map. Israel has accordingly not felt obliged to halt settlement activity. Washington has tacitly accepted the impasse by docking close to $300m from the $9bn loan guarantees provided Israel – because of the settlements. The security fence has sailed past the Washington obstacle course.

The Palestinians, if they give way on this point, stand to gain an independent state with the blessing of the US and Israeli governments, and limited consent for the return of Palestinian refugees as full citizens of this state.

It is beginning to look as though the Sharon government hopes, by giving way partially on the Palestinian refugee question, to be rewarded with acceptance of the security fence as a barrier between Israel and the West Bank – and even at the end of the day as a permanent border between the Jewish and the Palestinian states. In any case some 60,000 Jordanian workers are in the country, most of them Palestinians, and another 100,000 Palestinians have entered under one scheme or another. This means that some 300,000 Palestinians, the bulk of whom are refugees, have been admitted already.

Sharon’s headline-grabbing hints about possible unilateral Israeli peace moves have been left deliberately opaque. Together with the Geneva peace cavalcade, they are diverting attention from the most dramatic development of them all – a broad, innovative people-for-land trade potentially in the making.

Even before the Jordanian king’s gesture moves down the line, it offers the Likud prime minister a chance to upstage his denigrators when they gather in Geneva next Monday for a grand peace fest.

Two former US presidents, Jimmy Carter – the world’s most famous peace groupie – and Bill Clinton may be there to beam approval on Israeli and Palestinian “visionaries” at a star-studded ceremony presented by the actor Richard Dreyfuss. Israel’s most famous draft dodger, the singer Aviv Gefen, and most celebrated welfare mom, Vicki Knafo, will be on hand for what has been billed as a signing ceremony of the so-called Geneva Accord.

But wait a minute. The organizers are talking about launching, unveiling, or celebrating their peace agreement – anything but signing it. In fact, as DEBKAfile’s sources have ascertained, no one is actually going to sign the peace agreement cobbled together under the gaze of fly-on-the-wall television cameras by Israeli left-wing luminaries such as Oslo veteran Yossi Beilin, former Labor leader Amram Mitzna and the Palestinian ex-minister of propaganda, Yasser Abed Rabbo. It seems that the peaceniks who signed a draft of the accord several weeks ago at the Dead Sea are backing off from actually signing it in public.

The explanation is simple: Yasser Arafat. The wily Palestinian leader has told his minions not to attach their signatures to the document with the world watching so as not to commit him to any of the ersatz agreement’s peace obligations.

Read on . . .

How can you tell it's an Islamic HOLY day?

Maybe it's the guns

Palestinian children shout as some hold toy guns as they ride on the back
of a horse cart in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2003. Palestinians,
like Muslims throughout the world, are celebrating the holiday of Eid al-Fitr,
which is celebrated following the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
(AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

There should be ZERO TEOLERANCE for this CHILD ABUSE.

LGF's Outrage of the Day

but as Johnson says, "it's still early . . . "
Well, it’s still early, but I doubt there will be a more outrageous and disgusting story today than this: the British Political Cartoon Society has awarded first prize in their annual competition to Independent cartoonist Dave Brown’s appallingly antisemitic cartoon, depicting a naked Ariel Sharon eating a Palestinian baby while Israeli helicopters fly over a burning city.

Dave Brown's winning cartoon was published in the Independent a few months ago, when it was claimed that it was inspired by a Goya painting.

In the cartoon, Sharon says: "What's wrong? Have you never seen a politician kissing a baby?" The background shows Apache attack helicopters sending missiles from the cockpit with the message "Vote Likud" - the prime minister's party.

In his acceptance speech, Brown thanked the Israeli Embassy for its angry reaction to the cartoon, which he said had contributed greatly to its publicity.

The British leftist media has degenerated into something truly nasty, almost indistinguishable from Julius Streicher’s Nazi-era Der Stuermer, flaunting their Jew-hatred with sneering pride.

posted by Charles at 7:48 AM PST

According to HonestReporting, the Independent (UK) followed their publication of this cartoon with an entire series devoted to debating whether the cartoon was satire or anti-Semitic.


by Amnon Rubinstein

According to Jewish philosopher Emil Fackenheim,

Jew hatred has 3 stages: Coerced conversion, Expulsion, Destruction

You can't live among us as Jews
You can't live among us
You can't live
The message of the fourth stage is you can't live in your own country. In the 1930s, the streets of Germany filled with two kinds of graffiti: "Jews Out" and "Jews to Palestine." The call of the new anti-Semitism of our age is "Jews out of Palestine." It characterized not only the traditional Israel haters but also - and mostly - circles dubbed the left nowadays, in Israel, Europe and among "liberal" Americans.

The absurd thing is that negating Israel's right to exist, which provides the intellectual backing for the threats of its destruction, is being done in the name of the most supreme doctrines of human rights and equality. In other words, all nations have the right to self-determination - except the Jews. There is no substantial difference between that and the first stage of traditional anti-Semitism according to Fackenheim: "You can't live among us as a member of the family of nations."

The fact that the extremist intellectual left is now carrying the banner once hefted by the fascist right in Europe is as traumatic for many contemporary Jews as it was in the late 19th century. True, there are no pogroms and no Dreyfus trial, but the chief rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, goes on radio to tell Jews to avoid wearing a skullcap in public - a call that should have shocked the most secular Jews to their core. The European Social Forum, meanwhile, invites anti-Semitic Muslim intellectual Tarek Ramadan to join its ranks, and the left in general inspires only deep disappointment when it does not demonstrate alongside Jews who are afraid to wear a skullcap and are killed at prayers in synagogues.

Those not tainted with fashionable academic ignorance who read Moshe Lilienblum and Yehuda Pinsker nowadays cannot help but feel deep identification with those two writers. It's not only Jews who are hurt by the combination of extremist Muslims and anti-Semitic leftists. The French press - including the media very critical of Israel - was shocked by what has happened. On November 18, Le Monde justifiably praised the rapid response by President Jacques Chirac, who called a special session of his cabinet after arsonists struck a Jewish school in Paris on November 15. The newspaper warns of the combination of violent Islamic anti-Semitism and traditional French anti-Semitism. Le Figaro, on November 17, drew a connection between the events in Istanbul and Paris and the public opinion poll in which Europeans ranked Israel as the leading country endangering world peace. The newspaper added that the greatest success of the new anti-Semitism is its very banalization.

Gerard Dupuy, writing in Liberation on November 7, opens an editorial on the Turkish bombings with this stunning statement: "In 2003, a person can be killed simply for being Jewish - in Istanbul, Jerba, and Casablanca." He adds that anyone trying to explain the anti-Semitism, if not justify it, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is making a moral mistake, because it is a murderous trend, rooted in Muslim society, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just an excuse for it. French-Jewish jurist Robert Badinter, a former justice minister and now a socialist senator, was bitter in an interview with a Catholic publication about how the new anti-Semitism is guised in anti-Zionism. And German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced a special session of the European Council on Peace and Security to discuss the issue of the new anti-Semitism in the spring.

Maybe those same Israeli leftists who dismiss the charges about signs of the new anti-Semitism should read these articles that appeared overseas.
Ditto, European and American leftists . . . especially the JEWS among them.