Archive for January, 2015

A RABBIS 2014 SERMON

Posted in MIDDLE-EAST POLITICS with tags , , on January 30, 2015 by drjgelb

Sermon of Rabbi Shalom Lewis

Etz Chain Synagogue

Marietta, Georgia


Delivered September 29th 2014




Ehr Daw (They Are Here!!)


I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”… “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday” – but then I thought too romantic.


And then I thought, how about the favorite classic we all learned as children – “Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques, Dormez-vous, Dormez-vous, Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines, Ding Daing Dong, ding daing dong. Are you sleeping, are you sleeping, Brother John, Brother John” but then I said to myself…too French.


Perhaps the story of Chicken Little – “The sky is falling. The sky is falling” and I thought getting closer but too childish.


What about Santayana’s “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Maybe, but too philosophical.


And then I remembered Joseph Conrad’s sadly, cynical observation – – “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness,” and sadly it felt right. And so, here we are in a place of unimagined chaos and cowardice, paralysis and brutality. The beast roams the earth; we are stymied, stunned and continue to fiddle.


My friends, “Ehr Kumpt. Part 2, the Sequel.”


This is not a time for delicacy. For tiptoeing. It is not a time to parse words nor worry about offending someone with unfiltered vocabulary. Time is no longer a luxury we possess. Distance, no longer provides protection. We are being threatened like no time before, by an enemy obsessed with an apocalyptic end game that will bring only disaster. An enemy that worships savagery. An enemy that celebrates depravity. An enemy that glorifies the death of the young.


There has been a seismic shift in our world. We feel it. We see it. We know it. We dare not deny it. Pick up any newspaper on any day, the first page, the second page, the third page, the fourth page and beyond – – most of the articles are about radical Muslims, not just ISIS, immersed in a vicious culture of blood and slaughter. Skip to the sports page or the crossword puzzle if you wish but that doesn’t make the uncomfortable news go away.


In fact, it brings joy to the jihadists who hope for our indifference. If we deny evil then we need not fight it. It doesn’t exist – just a few lunatics, thousands of miles away, pounding sand, blowing each other up and occasionally beheading an unlucky journalist. Not so bad.


For years we have been mercifully spared the ugliness and intimacy of war. The Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima were a black and white movie tone newsreel after Tom & Jerry and before the Pride of the Yankees. We planted victory gardens, rolled up tin foil, bought Liberty Bonds, said goodbye to fathers, sons and brothers. But the trenches were on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific. So too, every other subsequent conflict. The Yanks were coming but the shooting was “over there.” We suffered little. But today, war has been redefined and relocated. Geneva is finished. We are all combatants in the cross hairs. We are all on the front lines, like it or not. The battlefield has no boundaries and the war, no rules. The enemy targets deliberately, fiendishly, any place of innocence. All are vulnerable and so we must recalculate our strategy, re-examine our tolerance, re-energize our resolve and unequivocally identify the evil doers. Let us not be silenced by fear, by feckless goodwill, by reckless hope, by meaningless rhetoric.


There are one billion Muslims in the world and authorities agree that 5% are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5%. Thank God it’s only 5%. Now I could sleep soundly. But wait, let me figure this out, 5% of a billion is… 50 million Koran waving, Allah Akbar howling Muslim murderers out there planning to slit our throats, blow us up or forcibly convert us.


It only took 19 of Osama bin Laden’s disciples to bring down the Twin Towers, plow into the Pentagon and crash a plane into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 dead. Over $10 billion in damages on that sad day. 19 Al Qaeda. 50 million Islamists. Do the math.


But what disturbs me is where are the other 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists? Who are not bomb blasting, acid throwing, zealots? Where are the other 950 million Muslims who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, who are okay with Christians and Jews, crave a peaceful world and wish nothing more than a tasty bowl of hummus and a friendly game of Shesh Besh with a neighbor?


I want to believe they are out there for their sake and for ours. I want to believe they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star.


I want to believe – – but where are they? A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission – it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis – but it did not matter.


Most Russians were not Stalinists – but it did not matter. Most Muslims are not terrorists – but it does not matter. Stand up righteously or get out of the way. Perhaps in every mosque, in every midrassah, in every Muslim neighborhood, Edmund Burke’s powerful warning should be chiseled on a wall in Arabic, in Farsi, in Pashto, in Urdu, for all to read and heed. “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”


A couple of months ago, 3 young Israelis were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and killed. And so began Operation Protective Edge. But the Gaza war was much more than shooting down rockets and blowing up tunnels – it was the preview, the soft opening, for a much more serious war – a genuine world war. It was a test of resolve, of fortitude. It was a test watched carefully by the indecent forces of a rising Islamist world. Israel is only the beginning. The first prize sought in what promises to be a protracted, multi-generational Kulterkampf. Israel made the headlines but the front lines are all over the map – we just don’t know it yet. The whole world was watching and our performance was pathetic. We, the good guys, stumbled at the gate; tripped clumsily in an embarrassing display of moral confusion and ineptitude. It was amateur hour and the bad guys were licking their chops.


I say the following unapologetically and with a heavy heart. When the war began, the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, should have immediately, instinctively invited to the Oval Office, the leading Democrats and Republicans of the Senate and the House, his cabinet and all significant Washington political players. Every domestic and international news organization should have been notified and the following talk broadcast across the planet.


“Fellow Americans – a crisis has erupted once again in the Middle East and I have been told that the war between Israel and Hamas is complex and nuanced. I have been told that our great nation must be evenhanded- but I am here to say with no equivocation, with no hesitation, this war is not complex. This


war is not nuanced and we will not be evenhanded in this confrontation of good and evil, of right and wrong, of civilization and savagery. We Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives from sea to shining sea, stand together in unshakable support of Israel against foul, corrupt, murderers who sacrifice the lives of children in their pursuit of power. To Israel we say – do whatever you must. To Israel we say, take whatever time you need to crush this vile enemy and whatever you require, you can count on us. To the world we say, Israel is fighting for all of us – for our values, for our principles, for our civilization. Support her efforts, as we do, in every way possible. I will not tolerate any words of disparagement against our greatest ally and friend in the Middle East. God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America.”


But these words did not ring forth from the White House, the capital of the free world. What we did hear was “No victor, no vanquished.” This statement was our President’s strategic plan. No call for triumph over terrorism, but a weak kneed, stalemate with butchers – a tie between good and evil. Right and wrong. Civilization and savagery.


This did not go unnoticed.


Media coverage during the war was biased and shameful with a few notable exceptions. To permit Hamas spokesmen and Hamas sympathizers to speak and to defend their monstrous deeds to millions of viewers is morally shocking. To promote equivalency between Israel and Hamas is morally appalling. With my remote, I would channel surf, go from station to station and I could not believe what I was hearing on CNN, CBS, BBC, ABC, MSNBC, and all the rest. The grotesque propaganda, the repulsive distortions – the tolerance of the wicked.


And, this did not go unnoticed.


As I sat through these numbing broadsides, I wondered if our mainstream media during WWII would have invited the Germans and the Japanese to share their perspectives on the hostilities in Europe and in the Pacific. As they moaned about Dresden and the Doolittle Raid, would the anchors have nodded in sympathy? When the Germans and Japanese explained the need for the V1 and V2 bombardment of London and the necessity for the Bataan Death March, would the anchors have expressed understanding?


The obscenities and outright lies given airtime and legitimacy should be sickening to any person of conscience.


Words distinguish us from the beast. In a powerful Holocaust tale, Eli Wiesel painfully writes that when words lose their meaning, disaster follows. In today’s Middle East, lexicon; restraint means suicide. Terrorists have become militants. Self-defense is a war crime. Democracy is apartheid. Israelis and Jews have become Nazis. Warning civilians to get out of harm’s way has become genocide. 38 Muslim countries – 22 Arab countries and Israel, the only Jewish nation, must constantly defend her right to exist. Russia invades. Nigeria enslaves. China oppresses. Pakistan rapes. Iraq slaughters. North Korea starves. Iran nuclearizes. Syria massacres. Venezuela plunders. Afghanistan tortures. Sudan annihilates. ISIS beheads and Israel is the pariah state, put under the microscope by the morally noxious. And this did not go unnoticed.


Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher, wrote the following in 1968 – 46 years ago. His words have not grown stale with the passage of time. To the contrary, they are every bit as relevant and meaningful today, nearly 1/2 a century later.


I quote: “The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out 1,000’s, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey drove out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out, heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees. But, in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield, dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious on the battlefield, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in the world…Other nations when they are defeated, survive and recover, but should Israel be defeated, it would be destroyed…” Hoffers’ final words are chilling and prophetic. “I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will


it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us.” To those who are morally obtuse I say shame on you– from university professors to the useful idiots of the media, from liberal churches to Hollywood, from the United Nations to the clueless left – let me remind all the ‘misguided do-gooders” – your deeds do not go unnoticed.”


The world does not like a righteous Goliath especially if Goliath speaks Hebrew.


Let’s leave the Middle East and head to Europe. For those who have not been recently, it has changed. It has changed dramatically. The sights. The sounds. The crowds. The streets are much different than when we backpacked with our Eurorail passes – strolling down the Champs-Elysees, chasing pigeons at Trafalgar Square, wandering the backstreets of Amsterdam after dark. The continent that gave birth to Western civilization, the continent that defined high culture is crumbling before our very eyes. Because of well-intentioned tolerance and an undisciplined pluralism, Europe is returning to the dark ages. By most estimates, Europe will be unrecognizable by the middle of this century – crushed by a demographic tsunami. The birthrate of the Brits, the French, the Dutch and the rest of the EU is well below ZPG. The Muslim community’s birthrate is prolific. The danger, however, is that Europe has not been a melting pot, assimilating new Muslims. And these new Muslims, for the most part, are not interested in respecting the great democracies of Europe. They want Sharia law and Islamic culture to be ascendant and with their birthrate, the ballot box and their disdain for the West, in time, they will get it.


The element that is surging and redefining Europe are not the democracy respecting Muslims but those who are rampaging in nearly every capital. They are preaching hate for Jews, for Christians, for Israel, for America, for the entire Western world. It is not our grandfather’s Europe and it will not be a Europe our grandchildren will recognize.


For the record, Europe is being flooded not by freedom loving, tolerant, assimilating Muslims who wish to share in Western freedom, in Western tolerance, in Western culture but rather by violent Islamists, extremists who reject every value we treasure. We love ethnic communities – they are vibrant, exciting, magical faraway places only a walk away. Chinatown, Little Odessa, Greek town, Little Havana, Lower Eastside, Little Italy, but what is spreading across Europe are not charming, quaint neighborhoods enjoyed by locals and camera toting tourists in search of a charming restaurant. These are beachheads for invasion.


Want to stare down a guard at Buckingham Palace? Do it soon. Want to see the Follies-Bergere dance the Can Can? Do it soon. Want to sip wine at the vineyards of Tuscany? Do it soon. Want to sunbathe on the beaches of San Trope? Do it soon.


The sun never set on the British Empire but now there is a cold darkness settling on Europe. A Nihilism. A corruption. A perversion in the name of Allah. A Kristallnacht of European and Western culture is coming that will destroy a millennia of creative genius. Don’t listen to me. Listen to what the Islamists preach. Don’t listen to me. Look at what the Islamists do. It is not a leap into fantasy to perceive a dystopian future that is irretrievably ugly and inconceivably vile.


· The Sistine Chapel demolished for portraying God’s image.


· The Pieta, Venus de Milo, David smashed. Idolatry.


· Botticelli’s and Goya’s and Renoirs and Rubens torched – paintings of women not wearing a hijab and chador.


· The Guttenberg Bible. The Magna Carta. Tossed into a bonfire. Profane literature.


· Museums all across Europe vandalized by marauding Islamist fanatics.


Even the Nazis saved the masterpieces.


· Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart silenced.


· The end of opera. Rossini, Verdi, Puccini gone.


· For Shakespeare, Cervantes, Moliere. The Final curtain, a dark stage.


Even the Nazis enjoyed the classics.


I must assume there are skeptics out there – folks who disbelieve my warnings and might label me an alarmist – a Paul Revere wannabe – galloping across the Pyrenees through the European heartland in the shadow of the Alps crying out “The Muslims are coming. The Muslims are coming.” I weighed each and every word carefully. Repeatedly. Was I treading into bigotry? … into melodrama?


Speak with the ‘canaries in the mine’, the Jews of Europe, fleeing in record numbers. Synagogues fire bombed. Jewish businesses vandalized. Children threatened on their way to school. Kippot buried in their pockets.


Mezuzot. Hamsas. Magen Davids dangling on chains tucked under shirts and under blouses to hide Jewish identity. Israeli products pulled off store shelves. This is not the 1930’s nor the 1940’s and yet it is. 68 years since the Nazis defeat but their descendants are making Hitler proud picking up where he left off.


“I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us.” Slip in the word “Jew” for Israel and we see the future of Europe. This ever-growing tragedy doesn’t end neatly in Europe, in the Middle East, in Mumbai or the Philippines. Most of us have never tasted the bitterness of war. Witnessed its horror. Clawed our way out from beneath tons of rubble. But we dare not be complacent and cry out confidently – “we have 2 oceans and the TSA to protect us.” We live in a shrunken world. In a porous country. In an open society. We have become perilously naïve. Recklessly evenhanded. Unacceptably tolerant. Dangerously comfortable.


The greatest generation has spawned the clueless generation. I say it again loudly, slowly and clearly – we are at war, here in America as well, with radical Islamists. We have been attacked repeatedly and yet we continue to turn away. We euphemize the enemy. Disguising his identity and his intent. There will not be armadas chanting “Allah Akbar” landing on the beaches of Malibu and Boca. No vast battalions chanting “Allah Akbar” while crossing the Rio Grande or the 45th Parallel – but make no mistake – we are at war, right now, this very minute. The tactics have changed. The battlefield is different. The rules of engagement have been redefined but we dare not make the mistake that all is well and that Islamic terrorists are simply violent criminals. That Islamic terrorists are just a bunch of unemployed losers, no part of a vast network hell bent on destroying our country. Their disunity in numbers but their unity in purpose is their power. The Lone Wolf is deadly and we are the prey.


Ask the man or woman on the street when did this all start and most would reply: “On 9/11.” That was a catastrophic day, but not the start. For us here in America, the war began in Teheran in 1979 when our embassy was taken over. It has continued ruthlessly and without pause ever since. Lockerbie and Scotland, TWA Flight 840, the USS Cole, embassies and American interests bombed and Americans killed in Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Spain, Kenya, Germany, Egypt, Kuwait, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.


Connect the dots.


Here on American soil, before 9/11, the Twin Towers were attacked in 1993. The Times Square bomber. The Tsarnev brothers in the Boston Marathon bombing. The Fort Hood massacre was not work place violence but the calculated, cold blooded murder of 13 American soldiers by a Muslim Jihadist yelling “Allah Akbar.” The shooting up in Little Rock, Arkansas of an army recruiting station. The murder of 2 CIA agents outside Langley by a Pakistani whose final words before meeting his maker were “There is no God but Allah.” The indignant, impious, arrogant claim By CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic relations-that anyone who commits an act of violence is by definition, not a Muslim. Therefore, a Muslim terrorist, a Muslim killer, a Muslim suicide bomber, is a misleading term of bigotry and Islamophobia. The slick, masterful ISIS recruitment in Minneapolis. New York. Colorado. On Facebook. On Twitter and across the country. Connect the dots.


Let’s get Jewish-personal. A Zim Line cargo ship was prevented from offloading it’s cargo for 3 days because of pro-Palestinian mobs in Oakland, California. A young man from our shul on his 1st day of university was taught by his PhD, tenured professor that Israel committed ethnic cleansing in 1948… In Dade County a synagogue was defaced with swastikas and the words Hamas scrawled on its walls. A JCC in Seattle was attacked. A pro-Palestinian rally in Miami called for “the massacre of the Jews.” University campuses across the country, hot beds of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish hostility. A local merchant in Roswell told one of our members (not realizing she was Jewish and vocal) that she was fed up with Israel’s brutal treatment of the children of Gaza. We are not Europe but connect the dots.


I am concerned, as we all should be, of the alarming surge in Islamist rhetoric, violence and influence. I am equally concerned, as we all should be, of the alarming silence and inaction of mainstream Muslims. I fear political correctness run amuck. I fear the worship of multiculturalism. I fear progressive voices of repression. I fear a distorted media tolerant of intolerance. I fear politicians who prefer the easy, still of the night to the noble, necessary struggle of the day. I fear we are not so far away from where we thought we would never be. Three thoughts to ponder. This past year many of us saw the Book of Mormon at the Fox. An irreverent, vulgar, hysterically entertaining musical about the Mormons. We parked our car at the Georgian Terrace and crossed Peachtree Street. In front of the theater were a half dozen, well dressed, mannerly Mormons handing out literature. “Sir, if you would like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” a young woman said to me as I took her brochure, “Please go to our website.” I thanked her. She smiled, wished me a pleasant evening and turned to speak with another ticket holder. I thought, “God bless these folks. This is how we disagree in America.” At the same moment I had another thought. What if Trey Parker and Matt Stone came out with a tasteless, bawdy musical that was hysterically entertaining entitled “The Quran, Allah’s Holy Book.” What would happen? It doesn’t take much imagination to answer that question.


Jeff Foxworthy correctly wrote, “Have you ever wondered why it’s okay to make jokes about Catholics, the Pope, Jews, Christians, the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Chinese, the French (including French Canadians)…but it’s insensitive to make jokes about Muslims?” A few years back, a Danish newspaper “Jyllanns-Posten” printed 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad to illustrate an article. If the photos published were of Moses or Buddha or of the Apostle Paul, the event would have been met with a yawn. But not so with our Islamist friends. The reaction? Not a letter to the editor. Not a request to submit an op-ed. Not a friendly visit to the publisher – – but worldwide rage. Riots. Boycotts. Embassies burned. Ambassadors recalled. Attacks on Christians and on churches. 200 killed.


Soon after, a professor from Brandeis wrote a book on this outrageous event entitled, “12 Cartoons That Shook the World.” It was published by Yale University Press located at 302 Temple Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States of America. But what was missing in the book? What Yale University refused to print were the 12 cartoons and images of Muhammad. This self-censorship was shameful, cowardly, un-American and a sniveling submission to Islamic narcissism and intimidation. Where is a great university’s courage? Where is Freedom of the Press? This happened in America. In the land of the free and in the home of, I hope, still the brave.


I recall, as we all do, the good old days when air travel was a pleasure. When I flew here to Etz Chaim in my commuting, student days, I’d catch a cab outside my apartment on the upper West side and be at LaGuardia in about 20 minutes. I’d check my bags in 2 minutes and be at the gate in 4 minutes, just in time to board my flight. I even got a meal. In those days, flying was an adventure, even in coach. Today it is irritating and exhausting.


What happened? What changed? Who’s to blame? Who has created the need for a multibillion dollar security industry? Who has created a tedious need for us to remove our shoes and belts, empty our pockets, pack only 3-1/2 ounces of Listerine, go through metal detectors and x-ray machines, submit to frisks and wand searches? Arrive hours before departure? Who is responsible? Let’s see – – not the Italian Mob, not skin heads, not neo Nazis, not Columbian drug cartels, not the Russian mafia, not the Crips nor the Bloods nor the Aryan Brotherhood, not the Ku Klux Klan.


So who is it that has irretrievably ruined worldwide air travel? So, think of a Muslim play on Broadway. Think of a scholarly text on Muhammad. Think of flying Delta or United or AirTran. Think about it and connect the dots.


For us, WWII lasted 4 years. It has been 13 years since 9/11. 35 years since the invasion of our Iranian embassy and like it or not, we are still at war with radical Islam. Declaring we are not at war with radical Islam does not make it so. Roosevelt and Churchill got it and understood that the stakes were not just the Sudetenland and a few islands in the South Pacific.


From the White House and 10 Downing Street, they understood it was planet earth. Today, the radical Islamists seek the same prize – not just Bagdad or Benghazi – but planet earth.


This is not dramatic fiction but the real thing. A handful of us, here today experienced the real thing about 11 weeks ago in Israel. We didn’t see the real thing on the nightly news nor read about it in the evening paper or hear about it in a long distance phone call from uncle Moshe in Tel Aviv. We were there as Kassam rockets rained down on Israel, on us, targeting, not military bases, not Merkava tanks, not IDF divisions, but children at play, families enjoying dinner, friends laughing over a beer, lovers strolling through a park, teenagers playing volleyball on the beach. The world watched and preached and judged and only now has begun to stir from their slumber of hypocrisy and inaction. Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas. They are all the same. Hezbollah. Islamic Jihad. Al Shabab. Muslim Brotherhood. Boko Haram. Al Qaeda. Taliban. Iran. The only difference, is the length of the knife they use in their butchery.


Israeli blood bleeds the same red as the blood of James Foley, of Steven Satloff, of David Hawthorne Haines of Christians and Yazidis. Let’s reason, some suggest. One last Hail Mary negotiation. Maybe we can figure out what’s bothering these troubled Muslims and perhaps they’ll tell us what we can do to resolve the friction. I am all for dialogue, but we are dealing with a moral species that eats its own, kills it’s young and celebrates innocent death as homage to God.


Osama bin Laden eluded capture for 10 years. Ever wonder why? There was a $25 million bounty on his head. That’s a lot of money. $25 million can buy a lot of plastic surgery. A new identity. Rosetta Stone tapes. Elocution lessons. A suburban home. A Brooks Brothers wardrobe. New partners. New friends. Surf and turf every night and a round of golf every day.


In 10 years, there was not one betrayal of Osama bin Laden – – not one. And I asked myself, “why not?” – $25 million is a great amount of money and can easily facilitate a luxurious disappearance. The answer is simple. These Islamist criminals are unlike us in the most basic of ways and we have yet to accept and understand their total immersion in moral debauchery. The enemy has eyes and ears. Fingers and toes. Speaks with lips. Runs with legs. Eats. Drinks. Has the face of a human being – but, has a much different heart and a much different soul.


Three years ago on this bima, on this very same day, standing at this podium, I cried out, “Ehr Kumpt – they are coming.” 3 years later on this bima, on this very same day, standing at this podium, I cry out not “Ehr Kumpt – they are coming,” I cry out, “Ehr daw – they are here.”


The fury of ultimate evil is upon us and we must act – not to contain it. Not to degrade it. Not to manage it. Not to tolerate it, but to exterminate it utterly and absolutely.


If we fail in this holy crusade, we will live in a world bereft of color. Empty of music, of art, of romance, of laughter, of freedom, of invention. A world barren of all beauty. Depleted of all virtue.


We are divided today not by faith nor holy book. We are divided today by decency and indecency. By right and wrong. By moral and corrupt. By courage and cowardice. By righteousness and evil.


The good citizens of earth must rise up. Gather on the mountain top and proclaim in thundering unison the words of Isaiah:


“Hoy ha’omrim lera tov v’la’tov rah – woe to them that call evil, good and good, evil. Who present darkness as light and light as darkness. Who call bitter, sweet and sweet, bitter.


We must turn back the evil.


We must turn back the darkness.


We must turn back the bitter.


My friends – Ehr daw – they are here.

MY RESPONSE TO JUST ONE OF MANY CRITICAL REVIEWS OF AMERICAN SNIPER

Posted in MIDDLE-EAST POLITICS with tags , , on January 30, 2015 by drjgelb

A review so characteristic of self-loathing, blind progressives, whose knowledge of Islam is derived solely from appeasers and historical revisionists. Were it not for Obama’s retreat, designed to sabotage & halt the anti-jihadist victory within grasp of Coalition Forces, the revival of the Caliphate would not have been possible. Published in 1982 by Muslim Brotherhood central command and again in edited form by Al Qaida in 2000, the “Manifesto” or “Project” lays out the Sunni/Salafist schedule of Global Jihad. Establishing the Caliphate was scheduled for 2013-2016………mission accomplished! Why a journalist fails to utilise these sources when writing about the gravity of the threat underpinning the brutal war in Iraq is unclear to me but I suspect is due to ignorance of Islamic Supremacist source material, rather than maliciousness. Al Qaida, who spawned ISIS, are following a published seven stage schedule of Global Jihad with completion expected by 2050-2060. Why so long? The Global Jihad will depend for success on the Global Muslim population reaching a critical mass or tipping point, at which time, the end game of mass conquest will be prosecuted against non-Muslims in lockstep with Qur’anic mandate & instruction. This isn’t conspiracy theory! Rather, evidence can be directly adduced from the documentary evidence available from the two prior failed attempts at establishing ISLAM as the sole world religion. Rather than demonise the U.S. Armed Forces’ 1st decade efforts to confront Global Jihad (supported by 40% of British Muslims), commentators must begin to research the Holy Islamic Source Texts themselves, rather than relying on dishonest “Islamic Scholars”! When Egypt’s El Sisi, fixes the Grand Mufti of Egypt with a rapier stare at Al Azar University (est. 962AD) and demands that Global Jihad be abandoned, he is correct to term it a call to “revolutionise ISLAM”. Why would El Sisi ask the gathered Imams if they are really wanting to pit 1.6Billion Muslims against over 6Billion non-Muslims? He pleaded and warned & his message was more effective than bullets……Islam of 632AD does not translate to the 21st Century and failure to reform can only lead to the shocking, primitive brutality we have seen from all sides. BUT recall the origins of this clash of civilisations – NOT oil or wealth! But from a Supremacist, Fascist ideology masquerading as a monotheistic religion, a diabolically clever construction by a consumate psychopath 1000x more effective a cult leader than the JIM JONES’ & DAVID KORESH’s of the 20th Century. To an atheist, psychiatrist with 30yrs forensic experience and no ethnic, racial or religious affiliations to distort my scientific analysis of Islamism, the current global conflict conforms to an horrific example of murderous sibling rivalry for the ultimate approval of Allah/God/Father and the right to claim the birth-rights (rewards) of the “first-born” (dominant, pious, good) son. A motive for homicide since the dawn of time, such archetypal paradigms are useful in understanding seemingly crazy, mutually destructive behaviour. Think about this Mr Rowlands and apply the paradigm to American Sniper, even just as an intellectual exercise and review the subliminal, subtexts of the film in the context I am hypothesising, in order to suggest novel explanations for the film’s great success and the celebration of the outcomes portrayed. Superficial examination of this film, lead to nothing but glib, fatuous conclusions.


ps. I saw American Sniper today and found it a fascinating, portrayal of innate patriotism, loyalty and courage, inspired by a man’s gut feeling that the enemy is a truly formidable existential threat to all he believes is sacred about his country, its founders and its people. No-one should under-estimate or second guess what Chris Kyle saw in Iraq, or how horrified it made him to imagine that evil arriving at America’s shores. With that in mind, his heroism is even more astounding than so far spoken and I believe the astonished American public are reacting from their gut feelings that this man and others like him, have seen the Devil and have been prepared to die to stop its consumption of all that’s good in this world. You want Superheroes? Look in your own backyards!

ATTACKING YOUNG FEMALE CELEBRITIES IS AN ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 21, 2015 by drjgelb

I am totally sick and tired of the “haters”, “trolls”, “armchair critics” and misogynist “slut-shamers” that seem to have nothing better to do than attempt to cut tall poppies down. Despite yards of skin visible on Red Carpets coast to coast (no objections from a self-confessed lover of the female aesthetic and no objectification either), certain individual celebrities who have their tongues firmly in their cheeks (or stuck out for all to see in a subconscious act of defiance), attract vitriol way out of proportion to that directed at all the rest combined. I just had to comment on a particularly nasty piece of envy based hatred that I came across this morning re Miley Cyrus, a talented entertainer, managed by her ever attentive mother, supported by her commercially aware father and a delightfully normal American family. In show-business since wandering onto the set of a TV interview of her dad when she was two years old and delighting the audience and performing ever since, there has rarely been an entertainer that has exceeded the sheer hard work, dedication and commitment applied to their art as exhibited by Miley Cyrus. 


As a psychiatrist, I am all too aware of the explosion of vicious cyber-bullying over the last 10yrs and the horrible human toll that has resulted amongst vulnerable youth. When I come across it I condemn it in a variety of ways, depending on the audience likely to see my posts and the nature of the sites on which the hateful posts of these bullies are found. 

Today, I wrote this:

Sad, isn’t it? What some call “morality”, I call nonsensical, petty prudishness! Freedom of Expression means more than allowing people to speak or publish. It extends to freedom to dress and adorn as you wish. Adults can & must work out for themselves what is safe, what is not, what hurts others and whether that should change how one behaves or not, etc. 

There’s a disease or condition very common in Western Democracies that chips away at our freedoms…..it’s called “love of rules, regulations and conventions” and it is a crippling disease. Add malicious gossip, envy fuelled trolling, slut-shaming and other hateful judgementalness……they are all actively damaging our freedom of expression. Miley Cyrus is a young, free woman living in a notionally young, free society, hurting no-one and bringing joy to millions (or billions!). Those criticising her appear to want to fashion her, to sculpt her into their template of who they demand she should be. 

Freedom of Expression is the First Amendment of the American Constitution for a very good and carefully thought out set of reasons. America’s Founders didn’t place it First by accident! Those learned men knew how obsessed people could be in opposing the freedom of expression of others by chipping away at it. Haters of harmless entertainers and other celebrities, are saying “express yourself only as I tell you to”. Miley is very sensible to ignore them, as she’ll never cure them of their envy and low self-esteem but as a non-celebrity with my own freedom of expression intact, I say Fuck the Haters!! Thank goodness they do not have the power to prevent my protest!

TAKE A JOURNEY TO OUR NEIGHBOURING GALAXY – ANDROMEDA (via Hubble)

Posted in PERSONAL, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 9, 2015 by drjgelb

ANDROMEDA

Do you feel insignificant enough now?
What do you make of our World’s constant conflict? In the big scheme of things? 
No wonder religion was a necessary and understandable psychological defence mechanism!!!

GIVE ME A YELLOW STAR! A MOVING AND TIMELY ESSAY.

Posted in PERSONAL with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2015 by drjgelb

Yellow-star

This appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the European Edition of The New York Times

By Eitan Chitayat, TOI

A dreary, cloth patch sewn in the shape of a Star of David that every Jew was forced to wear in Nazi Germany along with every country the Germans conquered; every country allied with Germany ; every culture looking to expose the hated Jew.

The guilty Jew. The filthy Jew. The stealing Jew. The disgusting Jew. The less-than-human Jew. The Jew that can only do wrong – for that is, of course, all we do.

The yellow star was forced on us. Rammed down our throats. It stood for dishonor and was associated with anti-semitism as you probably know. It was to be a badge of shame like Hawthorne’s Scarlet letter. But 6 million times worse.

Today? Shame, can take a hike. Give me a yellow star. Find one and give it to me, quick.

I want to wear a yellow star above my left breast where each and every Holocaust victim was forced to don one. I want to walk around with a yellow star on every solitary piece of clothing I own. On my American Apparel V-neck, my Nike sweatshirt, Ralph Lauren sweater, my Champion hoodie, my Diesel button-down, H&M jacket, Adidas jersey and Gap blazer. I’ll wear it at the beach on my bare chest if I have to.

I want to walk down the streets of Paris and confront people like this. Outside the White house near these friendly haters confronting an ex-marine. In Brussels, the Netherlands, the mosques of Berlin, in streets of Canada – and England especially – to meet this idiot. I’d like to go to campuses in the States, like this one at the University of California, San Diego to talk to this girl here – I’ll be wearing my yellow star.

I want everyone to see me with it and hear them say as I walk in,

‘Hey, here comes the Jew’, he’s just like the rest of them.
He thinks he’s so cool and different.
But he’s just a dirty Jew.
A mass murderer.
He kills Christian and Muslim children and then uses their blood for matzah, just like the rest of the Jews.
They carpet bomb people.
They think they’re so great with their studies and their success.
They kill children, those Jews.
Don’t you know? It’s the Jews who own Hollywood, the media, the banks.
They’re the scum of the earth. They steal things.
Hitler was right. What was that hashtag?
#Hitlerwasright.
Let’s go spraypaint swastikas on his grandparents’ graves.
Let’s go beat him up.
Let’s kill him. Let’s murder a rabbi in Miami.

That’ll teach them — to exist’.

I want that yellow badge so bad, my blood is boiling.

B*tch, to me that yellow star is a symbol of everything that is good. Not just for me, but for the world.

It’s a symbol of surviving evil. It’s heritage and knowledge. Tolerance and optimism. It’s strength and confidence in the face of the weakness and insecurity of those not being taught well enough what their good mamas should have taught them. That yellow star is courage. It’s education. Resilience. It’s right over wrong. It’s bravery and sacrifice, conviction, and it is life.

It is testament to all who tragically died wearing it, may their memories be blessed, so that their future surviving brothers and sisters know to never be afraid of who they are again. To never be silent again. Whether a Jew or an Israeli, to not apologise for surviving. Thanks to them and indeed, for them, this yellow badge ceased being a badge of shame a long time ago.

For me, it’s a yellow F**k-You-I’m-Here-to-Stay star.

It’s a star that blinds out any other emblem that preaches hatred. It drowns out the form, shape and color of swastikas, the black flags of ISIS and Al Qaeda, and the green of Hamas or the yellow of Hezbollah.

I hope I get to meet any liar that calls me a baby killer or accuses me of genocide or of mass murder. I’ll smash my yellow star in their face, and I’ll smash it in there good. Let them see and remember what true genocide is. What real baby killing is. What ethnic cleansing and mass murder really looks like. What (attempting to) wipe out a race really is. And where ignorance and hatred and the lies you choose to get behind will lead you. Those accusers won’t have to look at history. Because it’s happening all around us. Right now. Across the globe, there’s no escaping what we’re seeing.

Before being herded off to the gas chambers around 70 years ago Jews wearing their yellow star were hearing ‘Kill the Jews’, ‘Heil Hitler’, ‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’, ‘Stealing Jew!’ – and all that before being ostracized from their communities, stripped of their belongings, property, identities, humanity and eventually, their lives. They were hearing words. It happened in many other countries too. Like my father’s country – Iraq. A country he was expelled from for being a Jew. For being a dirty Jew.

It Always. Begins With Words.

The same kind of words we’re hearing now here on social media. At demonstrations. In conversations. Words that have nothing to do with Israel. Palestine. Politics. The Middle East or anything. You might not be down with ISIS and Hamas, but if you aren’t trying to expose them 24/7 for who and what they are, then you’re not part of the solution to rid the world of them.

The world’s abuzz right now with anti-Israel and anti-semitic words. Anti-semitic words that Jews like myself are used to. I’m talking to you, Dieudonné,  Mel Gibson, Roger Waters. And I’m talking to you, Radical Islamic leaders, standing behind your pulpits preaching lies and hate and division in the name of Allah.

I’m talking to you, blind followers of radical Islam, congregating and chanting hatred in your city squares, at town demonstrations, plotting Jew hatred in your homes or openly amongst friends, in the media, and online – in democratic countries taking advantage of the free speech the West gave you, amongst mostly free-loving people.

I’m talking to you, supposedly liberal minded people – friends of mine, even – who spend way too much time talking about my Israel fighting for its existence in a defensive war, but very little talking about hundreds of thousands being murdered in Syria. In Iraq. About people being murdered for being followers of any other religion save Islam. Very little talking about ISIS taking over the middle east and putting heads on spikes, shooting people in ditches by the thousands. Very little time talking about Syrians being gassed and a puke-inducing Turkish Prime minister spewing the kind of virulent anti-semitism which ends with only one thing.

You, my left-wing liberals, are choosing the side of hate. You’re decidedly ignorant. And you suck. Saying death and war is awful and that killing should stop is as far as we’ll agree. But until you provide a solution for ISIS, Hamas, Hezballah, Al Quaeda and the other folks you seem to send your Jib Jab Christmas cards to, just do the civilised world a favor and go back to your Fascist newspaper articles who seem to know how to write, but do nothing else. And don’t forget 9/11, London’s 7/7, Spain’s Madrid train bombings or the Boston Marathon while you’re at it.

Take a good hard look at my yellow star. Look at where it came from. Look what was done after we, the Jews, were forced to wear it and then ask yourselves, are we doing the same to others? Us Jews? Us Israelis? Are we hellbent on exterminating people? Is that really what we want? Or are others doing that which you think we’re doing – others you refuse to be vocal about nor condemn with a simple post or click of your “Like” button.

Fools, I’m not going anywhere.

Never again. Though some might wish it, NEVER AGAIN.

For anyone else reading this from afar who might agree with what I’m saying, Jews and non-Jews alike, don’t feel sorry for me, my family, my friends. Don’t feel sorry for us. We’re fine and we’re not afraid. I’d like to think you know the score and that you’re probably in this with us. Not just because you know it won’t stop with us, but because you’re sane and you’re not blind.

Don’t be afraid because I’m not intending to be a victim. None of us are. And I hope you aren’t either. My yellow star is staring extremism in the face. All of our yellow stars are staring everyone in the face. Blinding extremists with motherf*****g light in a world that’s becoming increasingly black.

Am I down with the yellow star? You’re damn right I am.

Read more: Down with the Yellow Star | Eitan Chitayat | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-with-yellow-star/#ixzz3LrGFiN5H Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook.

TIMELINE OF DISTINGUISHING CLOTHING FOR JEWS:

Medieval and Early Modern Europe

1215
Fourth Lateran Council headed by Pope Innocent III declares: “Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress.” 
1219
Pope Honorius III issues a dispensation to the Jews of Castile. Spanish Jews normally wore turbans in any case, which presumably met the requirement to be distinctive.
1222
Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton orders English Jews to wear a white band two fingers broad and four fingers long.
1227
Synod of Narbonne rules: “That Jews may be distinguished from others, we decree and emphatically command that in the center of the breast (of their garments) they shall wear an oval badge, the measure of one finger in width and one half a palm in height.” 
1228
James I orders Jews of Aragon to wear the badge.
1265
The Siete Partidas, a legal code enacted in Castile by Alfonso X but not implemented until many years later, includes a requirement for Jews to wear distinguishing marks.
1267
In a special session, the Vienna city council forces Jews to wear Pileum cornutum (a cone-shaped head dress, common in medieval illustrations of Jews); the badge does not seem to have been worn in Austria.
1269, June 19
France. (Saint) Louis IX of France orders all Jews found in public without a badge (Frenchrouelle or roueLatinrota) to be fined ten livres of silver. The enforcement of wearing the badge is repeated by local councils, with varying degrees of fines, at Arles 1234 and 1260, Béziers 1246, Albi 1254, Nîmes 1284 and 1365, Avignon 1326 and 1337, Rodez 1336, and Vanves 1368.
1274
The Statute of Jewry in England, enacted by King Edward I, enforces the regulations. “Each Jew, after he is seven years old, shall wear a distinguishing mark on his outer garment, that is to say, in the form of two Tables joined, of yellow felt of the length of six inches and of the breadth of three inches.” 
1294, October 16
Erfurt. The earliest mention of the badge in Germany.[3]
1315–1326
Emir Ismail Abu-I-Walid forces the Jews of Granada to wear the yellow badge.
1321
Henry II of Castile forces the Jews to wear the yellow badge.
1415, May 11
Bull of the Antipope Benedict XIII orders the Jews to wear a yellow and red badge, the men on their breast, the women on their forehead.
1434
Emperor Sigismund reintroduces the badge at Augsburg.
1528
The Council of Ten of Venice allows the newly arrived famous physician and professor Jacob Mantino ben Samuel to wear the regular black doctors’ cap instead of Jewish yellow hat for several months (subsequently made permanent), upon the recommendation of the French and English ambassadors, the papal legate, and other dignitaries numbered among his patients.
1555
Pope Paul IV decrees, in his Cum nimis absurdum, that the Jews should wear yellow hats.
1566
King Sigismund II passes a law that required Lithuanian Jews to wear yellow hats and head coverings. The law was abolished twenty years later.
1710
Frederick William I of Prussia abolished the mandatory Jewish yellow patch in return for a payment of 8,000 thaler (about $75,000 worth of silver at 2007 prices) each.

Nazi Europe

1935, 15 September
The Nazi regime announces the Nuremberg Laws, which strip Jews of German citizenship and ban intermarriage between Jews and those of German blood.
1938, August 17
Jewish Germans and stateless Jews with Austrian citizenship are required to adopt additional middle names (mostly Israel or Sarah, few other derogatory names considered “Jewish” were alternatively possible) to be used at any occasion such as signatures, visit cards, addresses, firms etc.
1938, October
Jewish Germans had to turn in their passports to get them stamped in a black J. As Jewish Austrians had been denied German citizenship, their Austrian passports became void.
1939, January
Jewish Germans and Austrians had to adopt special identity cards to be carried on them whenever away from home.
1939, September and October
A number of local German occupational commanders ordered Jewish Poles in their areas to wear an identifying mark under the threat of death. There were no consistent requirements as to its color and shape: it varies from a white armband to a yellow Star of David badge.
1939, 23 November
Hans Frank ordered all Jewish Poles above the age of 11 years in German-occupied Poland to wear white armbands with a blue Magen David on.
1940
A popular legend portrays king Christian X of Denmark wearing the yellow badge on his daily morning horseback ride through the streets of Copenhagen, followed by non-Jewish Danes responding to their king’s example, thus preventing the Germans from identifying Jewish citizens. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has explained that the story was not true. No order requiring Jews to wear identifying marks was ever introduced in Denmark.
1941, June 4
Jews in Independent State of Croatia ordered to wear “Jewish insignia”.
1941, July
Jewish Poles in German-occupied Soviet-annexed Poland, Jewish Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians as well as Soviet Jews in German-occupied areas were obliged to wear white armbands or yellow badges.
1941, August 8
All Romanian Jews were ordered to wear the yellow badge.
1941, August 13
The yellow badge was the only standardised identifying mark in the German-occupied East; other signs were forbidden.
1941, September 1
Jewish Germans and Jews with citizenship of annexed states (Austrians, Czechs, Danzigers) from the age of six years were ordered to wear the yellow badge when in public.
1941, September 9
Slovakia ordered its Jews to wear yellow badges.
1941/1942
Romania started to force Jews in newly annexed territories, denied Romanian citizenship, to wear the yellow badge.

 

Two Jewish women in Occupied Paris in June 1942 wearing Magen David badges as required by Nazi authorities.

1942, March 13
The Gestapo ordered Jewish Germans and Jews with citizenship of annexed states to mark their apartments or houses at the front door with a white badge.
1942, April 29
Jewish Dutch people forced to wear the yellow badge.
1942, June 3
Jewish Belgians forced to wear the yellow badge.
1942, June 7
Jews in occupied France were ordered to wear a yellow star, but the Vichy Regime refused to comply with that.
1942, August
With the German annexation of Luxembourg, the yellow badge was introduced there.
1942, August
Under German pressure, Bulgaria ordered its Jewish citizens to wear small yellow buttons, but contravention was not prosecuted.
1942, November
With the occupation of the French Zone libre Jews there were also forced to wear the yellow badge.
1944, March 31
After the occupation of Hungary, the German occupants ordered Jewish Hungarians and Jews with defunct other citizenships (Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Yugoslavian) in Hungarian-annexed areas to wear the yellow badge.
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