November 2011 Archives


Note:  Dr. Duane Christensen is a retired Old Testament Professor, a Septuagenarian, who has taught at several theological seminaries.  Theology is the “study of God”.  Duane and his wife, Martha, have an extensive mailing list.  Cecilie is the Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace.  See:….  I voted, as well.   Peace, Roy

Article posted on October 7, 2011, by Cecilie Surasky under CensorshipJewish Federation, for….

What does Chabad Rabbi Manis Friedman have that I don’t have? Is it the beard? The religious authority? Or is it the record of advocating for the killing of Arab women, men and children?  Why does he get to stay on the Jewish Federation’s much promoted Jewish Heroes competition list, while I was unceremoniously deleted- without explanation- this morning, less than 24 hours after a story about my nomination appeared in JWeekly, the Bay Area Jewish paper.

Friedman and I have been running in the top ten for Jewish communal professionals for weeks. And though he’s a rabbi and I’m not, I was nominated by a young rabbinic student sincere in his commitment to a Jewish future. Heck, I even once helped raise thousand of dollars for the Fed after going on a mission to Israel– and my uncle was once a 6-figure fundraiser for the Federation and board member. But my nomination represents hundreds if not thousands of Jews in communities across the US who are heroically working to make equality between Palestinians and Jewish Israelis a reality.

Which is, presumably, why it was nixed and my organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, made subject to a modern day form of Jewish banishment. This despite the competition’s tagline: “We honor those making strides to repair the world.” (Picture at left: mynomination page now says Page Not Found and is blank.  Here is thecached version-what it used to look like before today. And I’m off the leaderboard completely.)

ut what about Friedman, who still remains riding high at number 4 on the leaderboard?

To continue reading this article click here.


Note: Alan Dershowitz is the sort of Jew who can always be depended upon to reinforce the stereotype.  He’s forever rushing to the defense of Israel.   Dershowitz told the students at Barnard: “It is futile to negotiate with people like Chomsky.”  Dershowitz explained:  “It’s like you put the dollar into the soda machine, and the dollar doesn’t come out, and the soda doesn’t come out.”  Dershowitz makes other (personal) derogatory statements (cheap shots) about Chomsky which you’ll find mentioned in the article pasted below.   Peace, Roy

Article by Ben Gittelson from…. Published on October 19, 2011.

Phoebe Lytle / Senior staff photographer

See also Spectator’s coverage of Chomsky’s speech.

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a nearly packed house at the Kraft Center’s Rennert Auditorium Sunday evening.

The Columbia/Barnard Hillel, in cooperation with LionPAC, a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” advocacy group, arranged for Dershowitz to speak in response to linguistNoam Chomsky’s speech at Barnard on Monday.

Dershowitz addressed issues ranging from a two-state solution to academic freedom to the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the one-hour session, which included a speech, questions from the audience, and a series of questions from David Fine, CC ’13 and the editor-in-chief of The Current, a student journal that focuses on current events and Jewish affairs.

Dershowitz emphasized the need for a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the urgency to restart negotiations. He said that it’s futile to negotiate with people like Chomsky.

“It’s critically important that you appeal to the center, that your arguments go to those who are undecided,” Dershowitz said. “You will never convince Noam Chomsky. It’s like you put the dollar into the soda machine, and the dollar doesn’t come out, and the soda doesn’t come out.”

He stressed that audience members should be both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli while still acknowledging both sides’ faults.

Dershowitz repeatedly challenged Chomsky’s viewpoints and accused him of putting forward “absolute fabrications” and “total lies.” He encouraged his audience to attend Chomsky’s speech the next day and challenge him.

“[He is] living on Planet Chomsky,” Dershowitz said. “On Planet Chomsky, the truth is not held in high regard.”

To continue reading this article click here.



Note: Noam Chomsky is commonly regarded as a Jewish Intellectual.  Notice the subtlety in the irony in the article pasted below as he refers to “people” and “unpeople”.  There are times when Noam reminds one of Uri Avnery (03:29).  I have highlighted the concluding six (6) words in this article in order to emphasize their importance.   Peace, Roy

Article by Katie Bentivoglio from…. Published on October 19, 2011.

Christina Phan / Senior Staff Photographer

Chomsky said that the United States and Israel share a history of removing indigenous peoples from their lands. “We did it, so it’s got to be right. Jews are doing it, so it’s got to be right,” he said, explaining why the two countries make natural allies.

Painting the world in stark dichotomies, famed linguist Noam Chomsky explained the Israel-Palestine conflict in simple terms to a crowded audience in LeFrak Gym: “Israeli Jews are people and Palestinians are ‘unpeople.’”

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University, Chomsky’s speech “America and Israel-Palestine: War and Peace” was a harsh critique of American foreign policy in Israel. Professor of Linguistics Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chomsky is one of the foremost American intellectuals to speak against American foreign policy concerning Israel and Palestine.

In a speech that read like a laundry list of Israeli-Palestinian history, he returned to the people/unpeople theme many times to explain Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and America’s acquiescence.

“Remember, these are all ‘unpeople,’” he said. “So naturally, no one cares.”

In addition to his psychological analysis, Chomsky focused on what he considers to be the greatest obstacle to moving forward in the peace process: the United States. The United States is one of Israel’s last allies, offering political and financial support to the country despite decades of criticism from the international community.

“Israel offers a lot to the United States,” Chomsky said, referring to American investments in Israel—especially in military capital and military technology—and its role as a strategic American ally in the Middle East. He also referred to “cultural” similarities, saying that both the United States and Israel share a history of removing indigenous peoples from their lands. “We did it, so it’s got to be right. Jews are doing it, so it’s got to be right,” he said.

In the end, Chomsky said there are two simple options: that things continue the way they are or Israel and the United States allow for a two-state solution.

“If you’re opposed to a two-state settlement at this point, you’re telling the Palestinians to get lost,” he said. “Of all the problems in the world, this has to be the easiest to solve,” he said.

Following his speech, questions ranged from aggressive attacks on his political positions to practical inquiries about the details of his proposal for peace.

One student challenged Chomsky’s claim that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak walked away from a peace settlement during the 2000 Camp David Accords, saying it was Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat who refused Barak’s offer to give Palestinians all of Gaza and most of the West Bank. But Chomsky said that the terms of the agreement were unworkable from the beginning. “Clinton recognized that no Palestinian, no Arab, would ever accept the terms that they proposed,” he said. “There’s no need to discuss it.”



Note:   There’s a lot of stuff that would be worthwhile for local discussions in the article pasted below.  Note the use of the word “co-opt (takeover, appropriate) and the word “leaderless” in this sentence:  “Clergy emphasize they are participants in the aggressively leaderless movement, not people trying to co-opt  it.”  Also please note, if you will, the concluding paragraph (one sentence) of the article Food for thought. Peace, Roy

Article by Jay Lindsay for…, posted on October 24, 2011.

BOSTON (AP) — Downtown Dewey Square is crammed with tents and tarps of Occupy Boston protesters, but organizers made sure from the start of this weeks-old encampment that there was room for the holy.

No shoes are allowed in the “Sacred Space” tent here, but you can bring just about any faith or spiritual tradition.

A day’s schedule finds people balancing their chakras, a “compassion meditation” and a discussion of a biblical passage in Luke. Inside, a Buddha statue sits near a picture of Jesus, while a hand-lettered sign in the corner points toward Mecca.

The tent is one way protesters here and in other cities have taken pains to include a spiritual component in their occupations. Still, Occupy Wall Street is not a religious movement, and signs of spiritually aren’t evident at all protest sites.

Clergy emphasize they are participants in the aggressively leaderless movement, not people trying to co-opt it. Plus, in a movement that purports to represent the “99 percent” in society, the prominent religious groups are overwhelmingly liberal.

Religion might not fit into the movement seamlessly, but activist Dan Sieradski, who’s helped organize Jewish services and events at Occupy Wall Street, said it must fit somewhere.

“We’re a country full of religious people,” he said. “Faith communities do need to be present and need to be welcomed in order for this to be an all-encompassing movement that embraces all sectors of society.”

Religious imagery and events have been common since the protests began. In New York, clergy carried an Old Testament-style golden calf in the shape of the Wall Street bull to decry the false idol of greed. Sieradski organized a Yom Kippur service. About 70 Muslims kneeled to pray toward Mecca at a prayer service Friday.

To continue reading this article click here.




The N.E.M.


The White House coffee pot is on a timer.  So the First Family’s coffee is ready for immediate consumption when Michelle comes in to open her e-mail.   Michelle: Hon, you don’t want your coffee to get cold.  President: I’ll be out in a jiffy.   Michelle: There’s a post from Dante.   President: I might have known.  Michelle: This one’s important.   President: Start reading.  I can hear you.  Michelle: No, hurry up.  President:  I’m all dressed.  I can put on a tie after breakfast.  I’ll need you to pick one out.  It’s not that I’m indecisive.  I just don’t remember colors.

Michelle:  Dante says it’s urgent that you read the article pasted below at your earliest convenience.   President:  What’s it about?   Michelle: You’ll see.

Michelle: Dante says that he and his Allies in the International Community are using the Internet to OCCUPY JERUSALEM once and for all … because … Mideast Peace = Peace of Jerusalem = World Peace.  He reminds us that attitudes influenced in Cyberspace create facts on the ground.  He mentions another advantage to waging the Peace of Jerusalem on the Internet.  No blood gets shed in Cyberspace.  He says he hopes you’ll join in the movement without trying to co-opt it and that you’ll help us resolve the crisis in the Holy Land our way (the people’s way).  He says there’s no reason for you to worry about what you should do (for a while).  Just have faith that your fellow Human Beings will show you the way to lead us.  Sharing Jerusalem will be a learning experience for us all.   President:  Well, tell young Dante that I’ll read the post immediately.  And I’ll certainly give the matter a great deal of thought.  Tell him that he’ll be hearing from me soon.   Michelle: Dante says be sure and read the post all the way to the bottom, and be sure to notice who’s saying what to whom.