Archive for July, 2012

Romney stirs controversy at $1 million fundraiser in Jerusalem

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

By Fern Sidman

While visiting Israel on the second leg of his overseas tour, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a political fundraiser at the storied King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday morning, July 30th. The breakfast gathering featured casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, who has emerged as the most magnanimous of Republican donors with a reported $10 million contribution to “Restore Our Future”, the super-PAC supporting Romney. Other notable personalities in attendance were: New York Jets owner Woody Johnson; Detroit developer John Rakolta; and, Lisa Spies, who is Romney’s finance chair. The Romney campaign garnered over $1 million in pledges from the 45 donors who paid anywhere from $25,000 – $50,000 to attend.

The fundraiser followed a day in which Governor Romney visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall (the Kotel HaMaravi) on the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar, known as the 9th day in the month of Av (Tisha B’Av). Donning a “Kippah” (traditional Jewish male head covering), Romney stood pensively at Judaism’s holiest site and stopped to pray as he placed a note in the cracks of the wall.

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Are Iraq and Turkey Models for Democratization?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

by Ofra Bengio*

In the wake of the upheavals that have shaken the Arab world since December 2010, activists, politicians, and analysts have all been searching for new, democratic models of governance that could come into force in these lands. The cases of Iraq and Turkey are perhaps the most obvious choices to examine based on the notion that these are the only examples of functioning democracies within Muslim-majority nations of the Middle East.

Hoping to turn post-Saddam Iraq into a model to be emulated by the Arab states, the Bush administration set out to create an Athens-on-the-Tigris complete with free elections and a constitution with separation of powers provisions. Although the Turkish model had a completely different genesis and evolution, it is worth exploring as Ankara has proclaimed itself a model for the post-revolutionary regimes. What lessons can be drawn from the Iraqi and Turkish experiences, and to what extent do they fit other Middle Eastern states?

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Mitt Romney Remembers Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem Address

Monday, July 30th, 2012

By Fern Sidman

Speaking in Jerusalem before the Jerusalem Foundation on Sunday, July 29th, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney recalled the painful history of the Jewish nation as he took note of the catastrophies that occurred on the 9th day in the Hebrew month of Av (Tisha B’Av).

“It’s remarkable to consider how much adversity, over so great a span of time, is recalled by just one day on the calendar. This is a day of remembrance and mourning, but like other such occasions, it also calls forth clarity and resolve,” he said. Remembering the words of late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on the meaning of Tisha B’Av, Governor Romney said, “We remember that day,” he (Begin) said, “and now have the responsibility to make sure that never again will our independence be destroyed and never again will the Jew become homeless or defenseless. This is the crux of the problems facing us in the future.”

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Romney’s Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential candidate, delivered a stem-winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation today, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land” directly contrasts with Obama’s crabbed statement in Cairo about “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history.”

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NBC censors British Olympic tribute to victims of savage, Muslim 7/7 terrorist attack

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

NBC, in its continuing and infinite politically-correct madness, has censored a British Olympic tribute to victims of the savage attack wrought against Londoners by Muslim terrorists on July 7, 2005. 52 innocent Brits were murdered and more than 770 injured. So NBC decided for its viewers that such an atrocity’s commemoration was not worthy of coverage for us “dumb Americans?” This is not the first time NBC has edited/censored reality.

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Syria’s Kurds stand alone after rejecting rebels and regime

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

Developments in Syria and Iraq have led some to speculate that the birth of an independent Kurdish state might be at hand. A closer analysis shows that a united Kurdistan is still unlikely, although a separate semiautonomous Kurdish community in Syria, with some parallels to the Kurdish Autonomous Region in Iraq, is a growing possibility.

In Syria, Kurds are sitting on the sidelines of the uprising against the Damascus regime. Indeed, the Free Syrian Army has accused members of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of hindering its operations in some areas against the Assad regime, according to the Kurdish website Rudaw.net. Leaders of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the PKK, have made it clear that they will not tolerate the spread of Syria’s conflict into the Kurdish-dominated areas of Syria.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: June, 2012

Friday, July 27th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

U.S.-backed rebels are committing Christian genocide in Syria, where they are sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory. A mass exodus of thousands of Christians is taking place, even as mainstream Western reporters like Robert Fisk demonize those same Christians for being supportive of the secular regime.

The bloody jihad waged against Nigeria’s Christians, which has seen hundreds killed this year alone, now includes plans to kill Christians with poisoned food, as part of the Islamic organization Boko Haram’s stated goal of purging Nigeria of all Christian presence.

During Egypt’s presidential elections, Al Ahram reported that “the Muslim Brotherhood blockaded entire streets, prevented Copts from voting at gunpoint, and threatened Christian families not to let their children go out and vote” for the secular candidate.

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Former TARP Special Inspector: TARP ‘was even worse than you think’ and ‘an abysmal failure’

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Most Americans have a sense TARP was a badly managed program that bailed out “fat cat” bankers at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. Well, it’s even worse than you think, according to Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for TARP (SIGTARP). …

- Yahoo! Finance, July 27, 2012

So was the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) program, supposedly meant to stop financial calamity in 2008, a smashing success? Was saving the banks “too big to fail” worth it? According to Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general for TARP, short-term it staved off a disaster, but longer-term it has and will dig us deeper into financial trouble. Decide for yourself by watching an interview with Mr. Barofsky below.

His position was that TARP was, by design, “bias[ed] towards the banks.” During his interview, key phrases like, “American Express got more help than all American homeowners facing foreclosure,” and, “more in the Obama administration than it did under Bush that I think brought to light most crystal clear the bias towards the banks over homeowners and main street,” stand out and hopefully will get Americans more engaged in protecting the future existence of the U.S.

Here’s a some more key points made by Barofsky:

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Video: Egyptian actors get violent with Israel hatred and call it patriotism

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Remember Allen Funt’s television series “Candid Camera?” Allen would set up pranks/traps for people to unknowingly get goofy in. The show was charming, innocent, tasteful, and very funny. Well Egypt — in the glory of its “Arab Spring” — has a “Candid Camera” of its own, though it’s ugly, bigoted, spiteful, and violent. Their idea of a joke is to convince guest stars that they’re being filmed for an Israeli TV channel, and watch the stars go all KKK. Egypt’s idea of “funny” is using Jim Crow-style “pranks” to bring out the worst and ugliest emotions from their victims. In all the time I’ve spent in the Arab world, and observing it, one thing is frighteningly absent from their society: a sense of humor. The virulent hatred harbored by so many Arabs/Muslims against Jews is disgusting, and here’s the proof, from the JTA, The Jewish Journal, and MEMRI, all caught on video (watch below):

Egyptian actors on a hidden camera television show reacted violently upon being told they were being aired on an Israeli TV channel. …

… In one show, Egyptian artist Ayman Kandeel attacks the producer, who had identified himself as Israeli, and slaps the host, causing her to fall to the floor.

Realizing he has been pranked, Kandeel tells the host that she brought it on herself and offers to rub lotion on her back where she has been hurt.

Actor Mahmoud Abd Al-Ghaffar also reacts violently, pulling a producer by his hair and fighting with other staff members.

“If you weren’t a girl, the moment you told me you were Jewish … I hate the Jews to death,” he said.

“We are all Egyptian. Long live Egypt,” the show’s host says.

In another episode, Egyptian actress Mayar Al-Beblawi calls all Israelis whiners and complains that all they do is “continue to cry over the Holocaust, or whatever they call it.”

The show’s host later praises the actors, saying “I didn’t know there could be such patriotism, but it exists in every Egyptian who breathes the air of this country.”

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Huffington Post, MSM Facilitate Destruction of Egypt’s Pyramids

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Because the article “Calls to Destroy Egypt’s Great Pyramids Begin” went viral on the Internet—read nearly 400,000 times on FrontPage Magazine alone where it first appeared—as expected, the infamous “hoax” charge has been made to lull the West back to sleep.

According to Daily News Egypt’s “Another hoax: cleric calls on President Morsy to destroy Giza Pyramids,” the calls from the Bahraini cleric I cited “urging President Mohamed Morsy to destroy the Giza Pyramids were issued from a parody Twitter account online, the Daily News Egypt has learned.”

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Unbroken Spirit: Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch Speaks

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

By Fern Sidman

In his new English language memoir entitled, “Unbroken Spirit: A Heroic Story of Faith, Courage and Survival” (Gefen Publishing), internationally renowned former Soviet refusenik, Rabbi Yosef Mendelevitch takes his readers on a compelling trajectory of his life in this deeply poignant narrative. As a young boy growing up as an atheist in the Stalinist era, Rabbi Mendelevitch soon embarked on a journey to his Jewish heritage and emerged as a dynamic leader in the Jewish underground movement in the former Soviet Union. After 11 grueling years in the Gulag of Siberian forced labor camps, his dream was realized when he immigrated to Israel in 1981. Today, he is a noted Orthodox educator in the religious Zionist movement. Rabbi Mendelevitch was recently on a book tour in the United States and took time out of his schedule for this interview.

Q: You had already published your memoir in Hebrew many years ago. Why did you decide to come out with an English version at this particular juncture in time?

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America’s Immigration Myths

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

By W.D. Reasoner, CIS.org

About a month ago, Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian appeared as one of the guest panelists on the PBS show “Need to Know”, hosted by Ray Suarez.The episode focused on America’s immigration policies.

Although I don’t agree with much of what I heard from the other panelists, the episode is well worth viewing. I’ve watched it several times. Like many radio or television shows focusing on the subject, some of the comments made are a combination of the arcane and the absurd, and in a relatively brief timeframe the panelists manage to touch on many of the myths that surround immigration to America.

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Understanding the Situation in Syria

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi and Oskar Svadkovsky*

It’s become an article of faith among policy makers and analysts in the West that Syria is a nation of minorities. Various sources put the share of non-Sunni Muslim minorities at around one quarter of the population. These minorities are believed to constitute the bulk of the support base of the Syrian regime. Some ventured as far as to suggest that the regime was deliberately stoking sectarian tensions with the massacres in Houla and Qubeir in order to consolidate its minority support base.

The commonly accepted percentages of Syrian minorities are: Alawites and Shia — 13%, Christians — 10%, and Druze — 3%. Syria, however, does not collect or publish data related to the sectarian composition of its population and trying to track the origin of common estimates usually leads nowhere.

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Hey progressives, doh!, Syria DOES HAVE WMD

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

For how long have people with common sense had to listen to the pure garbage being produced in mass quantities by the “left-wing,” “progressives,” “anti-war,” “occupy,” “peace activist,” yada, yada, yada crowd? These thugs, censors, and condescending bigots have been claiming for years that Syria has no weapons of mass destruction (see here and here), even though some of us have been warning to the contrary for years (see here and here). Well… guess… what… the Associated Press announced today that:

The Syrian regime threatened Monday to use its chemical and biological weapons in case of a foreign attack, in its first ever acknowledgement that it possesses weapons of mass destruction. … The announcement comes as Syria faces international isolation, a tenacious rebellion that has left at least 19,000 people dead…

19,000 people dead mostly at the hands at the “progressive’s” buddy, Syrian President Assad — a “socialist” dictator sponsored in the past by the USSR (Russian Empire) and now USSR II (Putin’s Russia). The “left-wing” is too busy spending all its time and efforts trying to destroy and delegitimize the only true liberal democracy in the entire Middle East, Israel, by spouting pure lies and hatred (see here, here, here, here, here, and here) and trying to shut up anyone who opposes their vicious, anti-Semitic prevarications (see here, here, and here).

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Has Baghdad Bob Moved to Tehran?

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

American reporters gave Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi Information Minister under Saddam Hussein during the American-led invasion of 2003, the disdainful name “Baghdad Bob” (and the British called him “Comical Ali”). He spouted wildly inaccurate propaganda during his daily press briefings, praising the Iraqi troops and telling fabulous tales how they crushed the foreign invaders, even as those invaders could be seen on the screen moving in on him.

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