SOLDIERS OF IDF VS ARAB TERRORISTS

SOLDIERS OF IDF VS ARAB TERRORISTS

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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Senator Menendez Opening Remarks at Hearing on “Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress”

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the following opening remarks, as prepared for delivery, at today’s hearing titled “Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress.”
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing on the status of negotiations.
“I share your concern that the Iranians are playing for time. Over the past 18 months, we have been moving closer to their positions on all key elements – on the Arak reactor, on Fordow, on enrichment, and on Iran’s disclosure of the military dimensions of its nuclear program.
“I think we need to review how we got to this point. Iran deceived the international community and violated UN Security Council resolutions to arrive within weeks of achieving nuclear break-out capacity. Iran came to the table only after the cumulative impact of years of sanctions began to affect the regime’s economic and political stability. For us to give up the leverage of sanctions - which would take years to re-impose – we need a deal that truly reverses their nuclear program, rather than just buying a little time.
“This is why I’m concerned about more than break-out time. I’m concerned that the agreement won’t provide a clear picture of the military dimensions of Iran’s program – so that we know just how close Iran is to being able to make a nuclear weapon and I’m concerned that – instead of dismantling and closing Arak and Fordow – the Arak reactor will be converted, and Fordow - a facility built under a mountain – will be re-purposed.
“After 18 months of stalling, Iran needs to know that there will be consequences for failure – and that consequence will be additional sanctions. While we are playing nice, Iran is playing an asymmetrical game – violating the spirit and intent of sanctions.
“In November, Iran violated the interim agreement by feeding uranium gas into its IR-5 centrifuge at the Natanz research facility.  The issue of whether this was a violation of the interim agreement is only an issue because – at the time of the interim agreement – the IR-5 had not been used for enrichment and hence the agreement only prohibited Iran from making advances on the IR-6. That is “spin” if I’ve ever heard it. But, in any case, the action clearly violated the intent of the agreement to halt enrichment advances at Natanz –and it violated IAEA and U.N. Security Council resolutions.
“In December, the UN Panel of Experts that monitors sanctions compliance said in a report that Iran has been illicitly trying to buy technology for the Arak research reactor, which – as originally designed –would produce plutonium for a bomb and has been referred to by experts as a bomb making factory because of the quantity of plutonium output. Under the interim agreement, Iran agreed to make no further advances in the construction at Arak.  Iran's position is that any purchases alone would not contravene the agreement, only new construction.  If you believe that I have a reactor to sell you.
“And – just last week – Iranian President Rouhani announced that construction had begun on two new nuclear reactors at Bushehr. While not a technical violation of the JPOA – the announcement is clearly intended to leverage further gains in the negotiations.  And the very next day the Iranian regime announced that Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned for 178 days, had been referred to the Revolutionary Court that handles sensitive national security cases.
“As the Washington Post said in a recent editorial, “It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Mr. Rezaian is being used as a human pawn in the regime’s attempt to gain leverage in the negotiations.”
“Iran is clearly taking steps that can only be interpreted as provocative. Yet the Administration appears willing to excuse-away any connection between these developments and signs of Iran’s bad faith in negotiations.
“It seems that we’re allowing Iran to shuffle the deck and deal the cards in this negotiation and that we’re playing dealer’s choice. Frankly, that’s not good enough. We need to get into the game.
“Up until now, Iran has not been motivated to make tough decisions. I hope that there will be an agreement in March, but I also believe we need to make clear that there are consequences to no-deal – and that means being prepared to act.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing and I look forward to hearing from our witnesses.”

ZOA Praises Sen. Menendez For Courageous Fight For Iran Sanctions & Forthright Criticism of Pres. Obama's Anti-Sanctions Policy

NEW YORK, January 22, 2015 -- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for his courageous, forthright and principled stand in favor of legislation to reimpose tough economic sanctions on Iran if it fails to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The ZOA has also praised Senator Menendez for specifically criticizing President Barack Obama's policy of appeasing Iran and fighting tooth and nail to prevent Congress from merely legislating for re-imposition of previously existing sanctions in the event of Iran refusing to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. 

Following President Obama's statement in his annual State of the Union address, in which he vowed that he would veto any Iran sanctions legislation while negotiations are in progress, Senator Menendez said during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "The more I hear from the administration in its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran." 

Senator Menendez also rightly observed, "Over the past 18 months, we have been moving closer to their positions on all key elements -- on the Arak reactor, on Fordow, on enrichment, and on Iran's disclosure of the military dimensions of its nuclear program ... Iran deceived the international community and violated UN Security Council resolutions to arrive within weeks of achieving nuclear break-out capacity. Iran came to the table only after the cumulative impact of years of sanctions began to affect the regime's economic and political stability. For us to give up the leverage of sanctions -- which would take years to re-impose -- we need a deal that truly reverses their nuclear program, rather than just buying a little time. This is why I'm concerned about more than break-out time. I'm concerned that the agreement won't provide a clear picture of the military dimensions of Iran's program -- so that we know just how close Iran is to being able to make a nuclear weapon and I'm concerned that - instead of dismantling and closing Arak and Fordow - the Arak reactor will be converted, and Fordow -- a facility built under a mountain -- will be re-purposed."

"After 18 months of stalling, Iran needs to know that there will be consequences for failure -- and that consequence will be additional sanctions ... In November, Iran violated the interim agreement by feeding uranium gas into its IR-5 centrifuge at the Natanz research facility ... In December, the UN Panel of Experts that monitors sanctions compliance said in a report that Iran has been illicitly trying to buy technology for the Arak research reactor, which - as originally designed -would produce plutonium for a bomb and has been referred to by experts as a bomb making factory because of the quantity of plutonium output."

"Under the interim agreement, Iran agreed to make no further advances in the construction at Arak.  Iran's position is that any purchases alone would not contravene the agreement, only new construction.  If you believe that I have a reactor to sell you. And -- just last week --- Iranian President Rouhani announced that construction had begun on two new nuclear reactors at Bushehr. While not a technical violation of the JPOA - the announcement is clearly intended to leverage further gains in the negotiations." ('Senator Menendez Opening Remarks at Hearing on Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress,"' January 21, 2015).

 ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "We praise Senator Menendez for his  courageous, forthright, and principled stand in favor of legislation to reimpose tough sanctions on Iran if it fails to agree to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. Congress has met with stiff opposition from President Obama on this score and Senator Menendez's stance is therefore all the more timely and important, for all the reasons he stated.

 "We already know that Iran has already enriched enough uranium for almost two nuclear bombs. Iranian President Rouhani has also just announced that Iran will build two new reactors.

 "The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 , which Senator Menendez and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) co-sponsored, which would re-impose sanctions waived against Iran by the deeply flawed Geneva Interim Agreement if negotiations fail to produce an agreement by July 6, deserves wall-to-wall support on Capitol Hill and we praise Senator Menendez for strongly making the case."

RJC Responds to Hillary Clinton Comments on Iran Enhanced Iran Sanctions are needed

Washington, DC (January 22, 2015) - Today, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), the only national grassroots Republican Jewish organization, responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's opposition to enhanced Iran sanctions.

The RJC is concerned about recent comments by Secretary Clinton that were reported in the Jerusalem Post, disagreeing with efforts in Congress to impose enhanced sanctions on Iran for continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons program.  Speaking at a conference in Winnipeg, Canada, Clinton ignored the fact that Iran continues to negotiate in bad faith and instead said enhanced sanctions would "guarantee that diplomacy fails."  Clinton went further, asking, "why do we want to be the catalyst for the collapse of negotiations," overlooking the fact that Iran continues to spin centrifuges in pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said:

"For four years Hillary Clinton proved to the world that her foreign policy judgment and skills are clearly lacking.  Now, former Secretary Clinton fails to realize that after exhaustive negotiations with Iran, rewarding them with more time is a catalyst to empower and embolden the Iranian regime further.  Giving Iran more time puts our national security and our Middle Eastern allies' security - especially Israel's - at risk.  As Senator Menendez has said, the talking points from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem to have come directly from Tehran.  Congress should pass enhanced sanctions, showing Iran that we are serious about stopping their nuclear weapons program."

After Paris, we choose to wear our yellow star Being an Orthodox Jew in the Diaspora – that is, being openly and defiantly different – is not easy. Avital Chizhik



It begins with an innocent weekend trip to Moscow, to visit my fiance’s family.

I ask him if he will hide his yarmulke and he says no, he will not apologize for who he is, he will wear his skullcap wherever we are – in Charles de Gaulle on our layover on the way, in Moscow, and in Schiphol on the way back.

My heart drops, and I nod. Decades of Soviet paranoia flash before me. Europe, after all, is not what it was – it’s not the Europe of 1938, but it’s not the Europe of 1998, either.

“Can you ask him to wear a cap at least?” my mother asks me in Russian the Shabbat before, eyeing me carefully.

The debate over whether to wear obvious Jewish signs abroad is a common and heated one in the Orthodox community. Does one choose one’s ideals and principles? Or does one err on the side of safety? After all, it takes just one lunatic.

I shake my head slowly. “I can’t ask him that. It’s a real principle of his. He will not hide it.”

The table is silent. My parents, Soviet Jewish emigrants, and I, their daughter, who inherited every one of their traumas, exchange looks and switch to a new conversation topic.

Being an Orthodox Jew in the Diaspora – that is, being openly and defiantly different – is not easy.

It means every day, everywhere, one declares one’s difference by dressing differently.

As a journalist living in and writing about my Orthodox community, I have been preoccupied for years by this question of outside and inside, external perceptions, how they shape our identity, and how they affect our most important decisions.

And being raised in the New York area, but on a healthy diet of Soviet nightmares, taught me to obsessively avoid being obviously Jewish or Orthodox when stepping outside our community.
Tribalism terrified me. I spent hours scouring department stores for dresses and blouses that looked effortless, skirts not an inch too long, always a pair of heels. I wanted to be perceived as a young career woman who simply chose to dress conservatively.

“Dress British, think Yiddish,” I would tell myself. I was secretly proud of my light eyes and “goyish nose,” which my grandparents would often praise me for.

My relatives beamed at me, “You’d never think she’s Jewish.” When one aunt once disagreed, announcing that I looked like a zhidovka and there was no escaping it, I left the table to cry.

Fast-forward some years, and at age 23, a month ago, I married a rabbi.

There is no more hiding my own difference. Standing next to my husband, I am learning to be proud of who I am, to embrace it. Slowly, I am learning the simple ability to be different. As we walk home together from synagogue here in Manhattan – he in his yarmulke, me in my married woman’s wig or hat – I am constantly reminded that we are different.

But recent events have hit me with the uncomfortable realization that to be different is no longer a sweet schoolroom lesson in U.S. pride in diversity, the kind of posters displayed in kindergarten, of children of all colors. To be different, even in 2015, can bear a heavy price.

By being different, we are branded. If something happens, we become more than different – “we become a target,” I think in Russian.

These days, I quietly marvel over how merely stepping outside has become an act of courage in my mind. When I step into my Upper East Side gym in a modest skirt and headscarf, I swallow the lump in my throat and force myself to ignore the stares. Everywhere – a hotel bar, a corporate office – I try to muster the ability to walk proudly, insist on being who I am, to be unafraid of being The Jew.

After all, isn’t the experience of a writer, an independent opinion, the essentially Jewish experience? Being that inevitable Other, foreigner? Whether one is a woman in a man’s world, a religious person in a secular world, or an independent-thinking journalist in a homogenous society, one bears the brunt of being different.

This is the inescapable condition of the Diaspora Jew. And the Orthodox may feel it more potently: How many secular colleagues and relatives laugh nervously at the way we dress, the way we name our children, the way we choose these consuming lifestyles? “Do you have to be Jewish in everything you do?” Because we show our difference on our sleeves. We choose to wear our yellow stars.

These days, here in New York, we are privileged; the life of the Orthodox Jew engaging in the modern world has never been easier or freer. Yet in a kosher restaurant, a dinner with a Knesset member and several Jewish businessmen – sleek, well-dressed, as polished as gentiles – the discussion turns to the Diaspora Jewish condition today, the way we still see everything as still fragile.

“Are you any different from the Jew in Paris?” one of the businessmen suddenly shouts, his hands flying. “In London? What makes you think you’re any different?” He gestures around the room - chandeliers glisten, bankers and their wives dine around us, waiters scuttle, some people look up startled. “How do you know, ah? How do you know you’re any different?”

We raise our voices in turn, demanding, growing in fervor: “This is America, for heaven’s sake! What are you saying, exactly?”

An endless argument in our shtetl.

As our phones buzz with news from France, we shake our heads here in the free Diaspora but continue going about our daily lives, this sort of illusory fairytale for Jews: to our own Hyper Cacher supermarkets, haggling with the butcher, rushing home to knead challah dough, to set our tables and prepare our candlesticks. “That’s just France,” we think to ourselves. “That’s what you get for being a Jew and still living there.”

And on the Sabbath here in New York, we sit in our dining rooms, passing the kale and the brisket, in our diamonds and furs, hushing: No, no, this will never happen to us, no.
But that looming sense of apprehension remains, uncomfortably so - the sense of inescapable difference, and one wonders if it’s self-perpetuated or if it comes from outside.

I had been confident that things were finally different for my generation, that one could live life as a Jew openly anywhere, and soon enough we could go on colorful expeditions anywhere we wanted.

And now I wonder, as I stand before my silver candlesticks, if I am fated to whisper the same prayers, with the same fears, that my great-great-grandmothers surely whispered in front of their own candlesticks? Perhaps they ushered in the Sabbath with the same secret thoughts? “When will they come for us, too?” These are the thoughts I think but am too afraid to voice at those Sabbath tables. And I know I am not alone in these thoughts. I know we all think them and then, in unison, push them away with a defiant shove.

A terrible secret part of me wonders what music they may or may not play when they make films 50 years later, as they stage our Sabbath-table conversations. Will it be an Itzhak Perlman violin, or Chopin with an Adrian Brody in the leading role?

And the script they’ll write for us, what kind of humor will the young screenwriter include? Jokes that will no doubt be ironic, foreboding, that the cinematic versions of us will crack about some harmless madmen? Surely the audience will laugh nervously as they watch these clueless Jews on screen, insisting that they themselves would never be so blind?

The chairs around the table shift. Booklets are passed around for the Grace After Meals, and as the room hushes for prayer, I’m still hushing those violins in my mind. I scold myself for falling prey to the neuroses and victimhood narratives I’ve inherited, which somehow my college courses did not fully erase: Not here, not now, not in such a civilized world, I declare. And anyway, if things get too uncomfortable, we can always move to Israel. It’s Israel that makes everything different now.

In the wake of Paris, I step outside onto Lexington Avenue, and these tiny nagging fears come with me. They live in the yellow star inside my coat. 
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Huckabee on Iran Sanctions: 'You Don't Take the Chain Off a Rabid Dog'

Mike Huckabee said on "The Kelly File" tonight that he is very proud of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and other Senate Democrats for standing up to President Obama in the showdown over what to do about Iran's nuclear program.
Menendez blasted administration officials at a Senate committee hearing over their pushback on efforts to set up new sanctions against Iran.
Menendez said the more he hears from the Obama administration, "the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran. And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization."
Huckabee asserted that the sanctions on Iran were working and put the U.S. in a position of strength. He said he doesn't understand why the Obama administration decided to ease up.
"You don't take the chain off of a rabid dog when you have him already on the leash. And that's what we've done," Huckabee said.
"It doesn't matter who's at the table. If the people at the table don't have any table manners, you don't invite them to the table," he added.
"The way you stop the school bully is you put your fist in his face and you put his butt on the ground."
Huckabee said we're not dealing with rational, reasonable people, but radicals who want to kill us.
"The sooner we understand that and we admit it, the sooner we bring safety to the American people," Huckabee said.

"ISIL is not Islamic" - Barack Obama

Anti-Semitic Facebook Page Still Up

FB-jewish-ritual-murder-770x400

An anti-Semitic Facebook page called Jewish Ritual Murder is still up and growing one year after Facebook drew intense criticism for claiming the page did not violate its community standards.
The page was originally flagged by CAMERA”s media analyst Dexter Van Zile, in February 2014. It depicts an assortment of conspiracy theories about Jews, including accusations that Jews use the blood of Christians for their religious rituals.
At the time, Van Zile lambasted Facebook for refusing to remove the page. However, he also expressed a small measure of optimism that the social media giant would come to its senses in a matter of time.
“Will the page eventually be removed? Probably. But why doesn’t Facebook delete this stuff when first apprised of its presence on their website?” Van Zile wrote last February. “Why should it take any more than one complaint for Facebook to do the right thing?”
As pressure increased, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement calling on Facebook to remove the page. In August, Facebook informed those who complained thatthe page had been removed.
Within 24 hours, however, the page was up again, and Facebook announced that “We revised our decision,” and “found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”
When the page was first restored, it had 662 members. The number is up to 799 today, with posts as recent as September 2014. Posts from the past year include links to download anti-Semitic literature.
Facebook, however, remains firm in its stance that the page falls with its community standards. As recently as this week, an HonestReporting reader filed a report against the group and received the following response:

FB-response

According to HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker, the ongoing presence of anti-Semitism on Facebook demonstrates the need to keep pushing the site to take definitive action.
“Facebook needs to understand that they can’t allow anti-Semitism and still claim to pursue a “safe and welcoming environment,’” Plosker said. “Facebook cannot simply sweep the issue under the rug, even as the page grows and infects more people.”

72 Virgins Fail WARNING: GRAPHIC

This morning’s terrorist on the Tel Aviv bus didn’t end up a martyr, didn’t go to paradise and he didn’t get his 72 virgins.
Instead he got this video of himself publicized all over the Internet.
On a Hamas forum, Hamas supporters are talking about getting the video deleted from the Internet because it embarrasses their “hero”.
ياريت الاخ اللي نزل الفيديو للبطل يحذفه
على الاقل احتراما لهذا البطل
But if that’s what it takes to convince one more Muslim to NOT become a terrorist, that would be a good thing.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE OF INJURED TERRORIST SCREECHING IN PAIN:
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Finding bias at the New York Times is like shooting fish in a barrel.

My first draft of this post was surprisingly complimentary to the New York Times, trying to give credit where credit was due. But much as the Times changes its headlines over the course of a day, I’ve now had to revise this post. Yesterday morning, the New York Times’s headline actually attributed yesterday’s terror attack in Tel Aviv to a Palestinian and not, like other media, to a sentient bus.
NYT headline
If you had seen that headline and thought that it was unbelievable that the Times would publish it, well, you would have been right. Someone on the editorial side apparently could not live with a headline that actually attributed agency to this man, and we now have the passive
NYT headline
The article itself doesn’t appear to have changed much and seems fine. The first sentence quite properly explained exactly what had happened (“A Palestinian man stabbed and wounded up to a dozen Israelis on Wednesday as he rampaged through a bus in central Tel Aviv during the morning rush, the police said”). The article further included a statement about the motive for the attack:
The police said that during an interrogation, Mr. Matrouk said he was motivated by the recent fighting in Gaza, tensions over a contested holy site in Jerusalem,and radical Islamic broadcasts that spoke of “reaching paradise.”
“He said he decided to achieve that by carrying out an attack,” a police spokesman said.
Rudoren bigger
Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren
(emphasis mine). Finally, the article was accompanied by a picture of one of the victims. How earth-shattering, I wrote yesterday, it must have felt for the staff at the Times’s Jerusalem Bureau to be actually reporting the news for a change, rather than pumping out Hamas propaganda. I sincerely hoped that this was an indication that the Times had actually taken some of the criticism it has received recently to heart. But with the change in the headline, now it looks more like an indication that Jodi Rudoren just had a rough night and arrived to work late yesterday morning — but just in time to go back and fix the headline.
If only that were the end of this post. Sadly, it’s not. Monday’s coverage in the Times of the Miss Israel/Miss Lebanon dispute was absurd and bizarre, basically adopting the view expressed by some critics that taking a photograph together constitutes an act of aggression by Miss Israel, with the headline “Miss Israel’s Selfie Puts Another Miss in a Bind.”
miss israel miss lebanon
Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon
Most rational people instinctively understand that an important aspect of international contests, whether they are beauty contests, sports contests, or any other tournament, is transcending differences and bringing people from around the word together — even people from countries that are hostile to each other. Most rational people would also understand that this was the spirit in which the picture was intended. But such nuances are clearly lost on the Times’s Anne Barnard.
As is often the case, however, the bias at the New York Times is evidenced not only in what they print, but also in what they omit. Most English language Israeli news sources covered some aspect of the testimony being presented by Israeli citizens to the Schabas commission. I’ve been unable, however, to locate any report on this testimony in the New York Times.
The Times of Israel reported on Eshkol Council chief Haim Jelin’s heartrending testimony before the commission:
Daniel Tragerman little boy killed by Hamas mortar south Israel
Daniel Tragerman, age 4
Jelin broke down crying while describing the death of Daniel Tragerman, a 4-year-old boy killed by a mortar shell on August 22. “Every day between 100 and 120 mortar shells explode in our communities, with almost no IDF response, and on Friday Daniel Tragerman, a child 4.5 years of age, who understands that when he hears the Color Red siren he needs to reach shelter… but he doesn’t make it. This is his photograph: a child 4.5 years old. What is he to blame for? He’s to blame for not making it in 15 seconds to the safe room.”
I can’t find a word of it in the New York Times. Nor was I able to find any mention of the testimony of Tragerman’s mother, Gila Tragerman. Even at the time of his death, Daniel Tragerman merited no more than a passing mention at the Times. The paper’s silence speaks volumes.

Eitan Katz sings Shuvu at Chupa

PM Netanyahu and Japanese PM Abe Attend Innovation Exhibition in Jerusalem

Former NYPD Jewish Cop Suing City Over Anti-Semitic Comments, Vandalism

Former NYPD Officer, David Attali holds up one of many anti-semitic texts at his attorney's office in Lake Success Tuesday afternoon. Atali faced harassing text messages and notes on his locker at World Trade Center Police Command because he is Jewish. Atali, an ex-NYPD cop claims he was subject to such virulent attacks on his Jewish faith by fellow cops. (Courtesy NY Daily News)

New York – An ex New York City police officer says he was attacked with anti-Semitic slurs and vandalism of his personal belongings by other officers at the World Trade Center police command, forcing him to resign.

According to NY Daily News (http://nydn.us/1CcSmGa ) David Attali, 31, says other officers filled his locker with hateful messages, called him “dirty Jew,” would greet him with “Heil Hitler,” sent him text messages with racial slurs and a photo of Adolf Hitler.
Attali, who was an officer for six years, is suing the city and the five officers who he says were involved, along with four supervisors for refusing his transfer request.
Attali first reported the harassment in May 2014 to the NYPD Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, showing them pictures of his locker covered with advertisements for pork, a newspaper reading “Hail Hitler” and a swastika carved into a sticker. When he was not transferred, he quit in August.
Attali also says he has copies of text messages and recorded audio.
Months after he left, Attali was told that EEO confirmed vandalism of his locker, but the verbal harassment claims were denied by the other officers.
Attali said the harassment may have started because he got Saturdays off to observe the Sabbath. He currently works as a driver for a water-meter inspection company.
Information taken from NY Daily News
Former NYPD Officer, David Attali holds up one of many anti-semitic texts at his attorney's office in Lake Success Tuesday afternoon. Atali faced harassing text messages and notes on his locker at World Trade Center Police Command because he is Jewish. Atali, an ex-NYPD cop claims he was subject to such virulent attacks on his Jewish faith by fellow cops. (Courtesy NY Daily News)

Why Hitler Wished He Was Muslim The Führer admired Atatürk’s subordination of religion to the state—and his ruthless treatment of minorities.

‘It’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion,” Hitler complained to his pet architect Albert Speer. “Why did it have to be Christianity, with its meekness and flabbiness?” Islam was a Männerreligion—a “religion of men”—and hygienic too. The “soldiers of Islam” received a warrior’s heaven, “a real earthly paradise” with “houris” and “wine flowing.” This, Hitler argued, was much more suited to the “Germanic temperament” than the “Jewish filth and priestly twaddle” of Christianity.

ATATÜRK IN THE NAZI IMAGINATION

By Stefan Ihrig 
Harvard, 311 pages, $29.95
For decades, historians have seen Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as emulating Mussolini ’s 1922 March on Rome. Not so, says Stefan Ihrig in “Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination.” Hitler also had Turkey in mind—and not just the 1908 march of the Young Turks on Constantinople, which brought down a government. After 1917, the bankrupt, defeated and cosmopolitan Ottoman Empire contracted into a vigorous “Turanic” nation-state. In the early 1920s, the new Turkey was the first “revisionist” power to opt out of the postwar system, retaking lost lands on the Syrian coast and control over the Strait of the Dardanelles. Hitler, Mr. Ihrig writes, saw Turkey as the model of a “prosperous and völkisch modern state.”
Through the 1920s and 1930s, Nazi publications lauded Turkey as a friend and forerunner. In 1922, for example, the Völkischer Beobachter, the Nazi Party’s weekly paper, praised Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the “Father of the Turks,” as a “real man,” embodying the “heroic spirit” and the Führerprinzip, or führer principle, that demanded absolute obedience. Atatürk’s subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler’s strategy toward Christianity. The Nazis presented Turkey as stronger for having massacred its Armenians and expelling its Greeks. “Who,” Hitler asked in August 1939, “speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”

ISLAM AND NAZI GERMANY’S WAR

By David Motadel 
Harvard, 500 pages, $35
This was not Germany’s first case of Türkenfieber, or Turk fever. Turkey had slid into World War I not by accident but because Germany had greased the tracks: training officers, supplying weapons, and drawing the country away from Britain and France. Hitler wanted to repeat the Kaiser ’s experiment in search of a better result. By 1936, Germany supplied half of Turkey’s imports and bought half of Turkey’s exports, notably chromite, vital for steel production. But Atatürk, Mr. Ihrig writes, hedged his bets and dodged a “decisive friendship.” After Atatürk’s death in 1938, his successor, Ismet Inönü, tacked between the powers. In 1939, Turkey signed a treaty of mutual defense with Britain, but in 1941 Turkey agreed to a Treaty of Friendship with Germany, securing Hitler’s southern flank before he invaded Russia. Inönü hinted that Turkey would join the fight if Germany could conquer the Caucasus.
As David Motadel writes in “Islam and Nazi Germany’s War,” Muslims fought on both sides in World War II. But only Nazis and Islamists had a political-spiritual romance. Both groups hated Jews, Bolsheviks and liberal democracy. Both sought what Michel Foucault, praising the Iranian Revolution in 1979, would later call the spiritual-political “transfiguration of the world” by “combat.” The caliph, the Islamist Zaki Ali explained, was the “führer of the believers.” “Made by Jews, led by Jews—therewith Bolshevism is the natural enemy of Islam,” wrote Mahomed Sabry, a Berlin-based propagandist for the Muslim Brotherhood in “Islam, Judaism, Bolshevism,” a book that the Reich’s propaganda ministry recommended to journalists.
By late 1941, Germany controlled large Muslim populations in southeastern Europe and North Africa. Nazi policy extended the grand schemes of imperial Germany toward madly modern ends. To aid the “liberation struggle of Islam,” the propaganda ministry told journalists to praise “the Islamic world as a cultural factor,” avoid criticism of Islam, and substitute “anti-Jewish” for “anti-Semitic.” In April 1942, Hitler became the first European leader to declare that Islam was “incapable of terrorism.” As usual, it is hard to tell if the Führer set the tone or merely amplified his people’s obsessions.

Like Atatürk, Hitler saw the Turkish renaissance as racial, not religious. Germans of Turkish and Iranian descent were exempt from the Nuremberg Laws, but the racial status of German Arabs remained creatively indefinite, even after September 1943, when Muslims became eligible for membership in the Nazi Party. As the war went on, Balkan Muslims were added to the “racially valuable peoples of Europe.” The Palestinian Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, recruited thousands of these “Musligermanics” as the first non-Germanic volunteers for the SS. Soviet prisoners of Turkic origin volunteered too. In November 1944, Himmler and the Mufti created an SS-run school for military imams at Dresden.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the founder of Palestinian nationalism, is notorious for his efforts to persuade the Nazis to extend their genocide of the Jews to the Palestine Mandate. The Mufti met Hitler and Himmler in Berlin in 1941 and asked the Nazis to guarantee that when the Wehrmacht drove the British from Palestine, Germany would establish an Arab regime and assist in the “removal” of its Jews. Hitler replied that the Reich would not intervene in the Mufti’s kingdom, other than to pursue their shared goal: “the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space.” The Mufti settled in Berlin, befriended Adolf Eichmann, and lobbied the governments of Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria to cancel a plan to transfer Jews to Palestine. Subsequently, some 400,000 Jews from these countries were sent to death camps.
Mr. Motadel describes the Mufti’s Nazi dealings vividly, but he also excels in unearthing other odious and fascinating characters. Among them: Zeki Kiram, the Ottoman officer turned disciple of Rashid Rida, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood; and Johann von Leers, a Nazi professor who converted to Islam and became Omar Amin, an anti-Semitic publicist for Nasser ’s Egypt.
Some of the Muslim Nazis ended badly. Others stayed at their desks, then consulted for Saudi Arabia in retirement. The major Muslim collaborators escaped. Fearing Muslim uprisings, the Allies did not try the Mufti as a war criminal; he died in Beirut in 1974, politically eclipsed by his young cousin, Mohammed Abdul Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, better known as Yasser Arafat. Meanwhile, at Munich, the surviving SS volunteers, joined by refugees from the Soviet Union, formed postwar Germany’s first Islamic community, its leaders an ex-Wehrmacht imam and the erstwhile chief imam of the Eastern Muslim SS Division. In the 1950s, some of Munich’s Muslim ex-Nazis worked for the intelligence services of the U.S., tightening the “green belt against Communism.”
A revolutionary idea must be seeded before, in Heidegger ’s words, “suddenly the unbound powers of being come forth and are accomplished as history.” Seven decades passed between Europe’s revolutionary spring of 1848 and the Russian Revolution of 1917. The effects of Germany’s ideological seeding of Muslim societies in the 1930s and ’40s are only now becoming apparent.
Impeccably researched and clearly written, Messrs. Motadel and Ihrig’s books will transform our understanding of the Nazi policies that were, Mr. Motadel writes, some “of the most vigorous attempts to politicize and instrumentalize Islam in modern history.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sen. (DEM) Menendez blasts Obama administration for ‘Tehran talking points’

Robert Menendez just took off the gloves in what is becoming an extraordinary fight over Iran sanctions between a leading Democratic senator and a president of the same party.
Menendez, the New Jersey senator who is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday morning — hours after Obama’s State of the Union speech — told two top Obama administration officials that what they’re saying “sounds like talking points straight from Tehran.”
That barb and others seemed all the sharper because exchanges between Republicans and Democrats on the committee and by the two witnesses, Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen, were otherwise polite and friendly.
Menendez has chafed for over a year at Obama administration pushback against efforts he is leading with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to pass sanctions that would go into effect should Iran walk away from talks with major powers over its nuclear capabilities.
The Senate Democrats, in the leadership last year, managed to quash the Menendez-Kirk initiative. Now that the Republicans are in the Senate majority, it’s back on, and Menendez says he’s ready to push ahead. The Kirk-Menendez bill, although it has yet to formally appear, is strongly backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
President Obama, in one of his two most important foreign policy pronouncements in the State of the Union speech Tuesdaysaid he would veto new sanctions.
Obama, in resisting new sanctions now, has the backing of some top Senate Democrats, including Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calid.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and two Republicans: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
So it’s not clear that Kirk-Menendez has the 67 votes needed to override Obama’s veto. Additionally, the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) repeatedly made it clear during Wednesday’s hearing that he was not as interested in new sanctions as he was in his proposal to subject any final deal to an up or down congressional vote. Blinken suggested that such a proposal, passed as congressional legislation, would not violate the agreement governing the talks with Iran; previously, the Obama administration had resisted such a condition.
Menendez’ outburst principally had to do with administration claims that new sanctions would violate the agreement governing the talks. He says they would not, and accused Blinken and Cohen – and by extension Obama – of virtually holding Congress in contempt.
“Why is it possible that Iran will treat its parliament better than the administration” treats Congress, he said, referring to the likelihood that the Iranian government would have to approve a deal, although no such mechanism is in place yet in Congress. He also said Iran “does not believe” the Obama administration will show a credible use of force if talks fail.
Menendez’ rage has been building up; last week, the New York Times reported that at a closed meeting between Democratic senators and Obama, Menendez took offense at Obama’s claim that some senators were getting pressure from donors on the Iran issue.