Facebook Embed Plug Script

"The Values for Our Future" panel from Orthodox Union's West Coast Torah Convention

At the 2010 annual Orthodox Union's West Coast Torah Convention, David Suissa, Rabbi Kalman Topp of L.A. Cong. Beth Jacob, Julie Fax (of L.A.'s Jewish Journal), O.U. National President Rabbi Stephen Savitsky speak at Young Israel of Century City on December 26, 2010.

If you have derived benefit from JooTube, or wish to help sustain this initiative to chronicle and disseminate eye-witness experience of key Jewish and Israel events and luminaries for the public, please make a non-tax deductible donation. Thank you!

'Anyone concerned about discrimination and justice in America should call Pres. Obama to task to release Jonathan Pollard'- EVP of national Young Israel, Rabbi Pesach Lerner

demonstrates outside the Foreign Ministry for the release
of Jonathan Pollard. 
Photo courtesy: Life.com
"Jonathan Pollard's unfair, unjustified and discriminatory sentence and treatment are a dismal symbol of Jewish vulnerability"- Caroline Glick

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, National Council of Young Israel's Exec VP, and personal rabbi to prisoner of Zion, Jonathan Pollard, presents a comprehensive, Judaic overview of who Jonathan Pollard is; the circumstances of his actions to protect Israel - and the new evidence which contradicts the grounds for his life-sentence; Pollard's situation as a virtual death-row prisoner; and what significance does the current groundswell of Jewish activism to get Pres. Obama to commute Pollard's sentence (and Obama's ultimate decision) have on Jewish voters' support for Obama.

Rabbi Lerner delivered these remarks (total speech video 1 hour 23 min) in Los Angeles, CA at Young Israel of Valley Village on Sunday, December 19th, 2010

In her recent essay "A Time to Shout," Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick characterizes "Pollard's unfair, unjustified and discriminatory sentence and treatment are a dismal symbol of Jewish vulnerability." Ms. Glick explains:

Caroline Glick
    "The new campaign calling for the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard from prison in the US is in many ways a curious development. Pollard was arrested in 1985 and convicted on one count of transferring classified information to Israel during his service in US Naval Intelligence. He pleaded guilty to the charge in the framework of a plea bargain in which the US attorney pledged not to request a life sentence.

Despite this, Pollard was sentenced to life. So far, he has served 25 years, much of it in solitary confinement and in maximum security prisons. His health is poor. He has repeatedly expressed remorse for his crime.

Pollard's sentence and the treatment he has received are grossly disproportionate to the sentences and treatment meted out to agents of other friendly foreign governments caught stealing classified information in the US. Their average sentence is seven years in prison. They tend to serve their sentences in minimum or medium security prisons and are routinely released after four years.

Secy of Defense Caspar Weinberger (courtesy World News)
The only offenders who have received similar sentences are Soviet spies Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames. While Pollard transferred documents to Israel over a period of 18 months, both Ames and Hanssen served the Soviets - the US's primary enemy - for decades. Their espionage led to the death of multiple US agents operating behind the Iron Curtain.

Pollard was given a life sentence because then secretary of defense Caspar Weinberger wrote a classified victim impact assessment to the sentencing judge in which he insinuated that he had transferred information to the Soviet Union as well as to Israel. Weinberger reportedly attributed the deaths of US agents to Pollard's activities.

Weinberger's accusations were proven false with the subsequent arrests of Hanssen and Ames. As it turned out, the damage Weinberger ascribed to Pollard was actually caused by their espionage.

OVER THE past five years, and with increased urgency over the past several months, several former senior US officials who had in depth knowledge of Pollard's activities have called for his immediate release. Former CIA director R. James Woolsey has stated that, contrary to Weinberger's allegations, none of the documents Pollard stole were transferred to the Soviets or any other country. A few months ago, former senator Dennis DeConcini, a past chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to immediately release Pollard from prison. And in October, Lawrence Korb, who served as assistant secretary of defense under Weinberger, became one of the most outspoken champions for Pollard's release. Korb currently works for the Center for American Progress, which is closely allied with the Obama White House.

On the face of things, it seems that this is a particularly inauspicious time to renew the campaign to release Pollard. This is true first of all because of the nature of the current president who is the only one with the power to release him.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama in J'lem. July, 2008
Photo courtesy: San Francisco Sentinel
By now there is little question that Obama is the most hostile US leader Israel has faced. It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which he would agree to do something for Israel that his vastly more sympathetic predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton refused to do.

The fact is that Obama has no interest in freeing a suffering Israeli agent who was railroaded by Weinberger and remains in prison due to the efforts of Israelhaters who wrongly insist he did untold damage to US national security. Indeed, many of Pollard's detractors are members of Obama's political camp.

Israel can't expect a lot of help on this from American Jews, although they stand to be major secondary beneficiaries if Pollard is released. The impact of his case on the US Jewish community has been debilitating. Although the US and Israel are strategic allies which share many of the same interests and fight the same enemies, Israel's detractors in the US foreign policy community use the Pollard case as an excuse for questioning the loyalty and patriotism of American Jews who serve in the US government and support Israel. His continued incarceration casts a long shadow over American Jewry.

The odds are poor that a public campaign to win Pollard's release will succeed. (But) Israel must act. Pollard's unfair, unjustified and discriminatory sentence and treatment are a dismal symbol of Jewish vulnerability. His personal suffering is inhumane, real and unrelenting. He needs us to stand up for him.

And so we must. And so we will. The time has come, against all odds to shout that Pollard must be freed. Now."

Among the column's Comments, a writer named Tuvia astutely makes the following argument:

    The Pollard case has created risk for the American Jewish community. I think she is correct to believe that the Pollard case could be used to drive a wedge between US Jews and Israel, especially when most in the American Jewish establishment lean Left.

Photo courtesy: World of Judaica
Leaning Left already, with a Left-leaning President they can finally love, this influential and powerful group could see Pollard as nothing more than all the proof they need to support Obama and not Israel. After all, this group is politically sophisticated. For the first time in decades, they have a President they can support. Why should they put any barrier between themselves and the President they want so much to help? They understand the subtleties of power, which means that, so long as Pollard is imprisoned, with his shame and treachery indelibly before them every year, they are reminded constantly how ‘treachery’ and ‘Israel’ can go together. A modern, powerful Jew does not need to be slapped in the face to be told which side his bread is buttered on, especially with a President who seems to share their Left-leaning beliefs. Pollard’s imprisonment does that already.

How might American Jews react (especially the secularized Jews who make up the bulk of the American Jewish power establishment) if this message of discredited evidence is repeated, loud and clear? Does the sentence match the crime, now that we know the ‘evidence’ provided at his sentencing might be discredited? ...
If, as expected, Pres. Obama continues to say no, then a properly-run public campaign might make a major impact on American Jews. Do the Jews who champion The Innocence Project, formed to save citizens from unjust arrest and prison sentences, believe that discredited evidence can be used to give an unjust sentence in our case alone?

Jews in the American Jewish power establishment have been known to use the phrases, ‘Tikun Olam’ and ‘Social Justice’ in the same paragraph or speech. If the facts surrounding the Pollard case have in fact changed sufficiently so that one can argue that he, too, has become a legitimate focus for their Tikun Olam efforts, then an opportunity opens: convince American Jews, especially the secular Jews who champion the Innocence Project, that Pollard’s case, in at least one sense—bad evidence—is the same as the prisoners they wish to free, then, I believe, you may also convince them to question Obama’s stubbornness in this case. Once those questions begin, others can follow, until Obama is revealed for what he is, an enemy of Israel.

If Pollard’s current and continuing imprisonment could be used by others to drive a wedge between US Jews and Israel, can a campaign to free him be used to drive a wedge between these same US Jews and Obama?

I think that such a case can be made. Perhaps Mr Pollard’s horrible imprisonment can create, in the end, both something for himself—and bigger than himself."

Both A Time to Shout and Tuvia's postulate are worthwhile reading in full.

Israeli journalist Ben Caspit demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formally request that Obama communte Pollard's sentence and release him from prison.

Since 2006, DemoCast Newsmedia has addressed the Pollard Affair and it's implications for global stability in  these articles:

On Thanksgiving, What Is America to You? DemoCast.com November, 2006

JooTube and DemoCast provide you a totally independent perspective on affairs affecting you and your world. To continue independent filming and publishing operations, please support us. If you feel that you have derived benefit from JooTube and DemoCast, help continue this initiative by making a donation of any amount. Thank you for your support. 

Israeli-American entertainer, Hedva Amrani, to perform concert in L.A. Tuesday 14 Dec

Hedva will perform a live concert of popular and Israeli music (including her classic song for peace between Muslims and Jews- "B' Lev Echad" ("With One Heart)" in L.A. on Tuesday, December 14th at L.A.'s American Jewish University. See http://www.hedvaamrani.com for ticket info.

Speaking at the 2010 Israel Film Festival premiere in L.A. with JooTube, Ms. Amrani discusses how Israelis from Arab countries embrace Arab culture - but Arab culture persists discrimination agains Jewish & Israeli culture.

Hailing of Yemenite parentage, Ms. Amrani teaches how Jews were considered patriotic nationals of every Arab country. After the League of Nations' ratified Israel as a Jewish sovereign, one after another Arab-Muslim state expelled all of its citizens of Jewish faith - totaling nearly 1 million. Today, 62-years later, the Arab countries continue to refuse to absorb Palestinian refugees (exploiting them as a political device to press Israel into detrimental concessions towards an eventual resumption of Muslim conquest of Israel) and as a distraction from inferior Arab political leadership. Ms. Amrani discusses her perspectives on Arab perpetual rejection of Israel (who extends the olive branch in good faith), and wrong-placed, international pressure on Israel to make concessions to her self-professed enemies.

Ms. Amrani will perform a live concert of popular Israeli and Anglo music (including her classic song for peace between Muslims and Jews- "B' Lev Echad" ("With One Heart)" in L.A. on Tuesday, December 14th at L.A.'s American Jewish University. See http://www.hedvaamrani.com for tickets.

3,000 years of Jewish history in 3 minutes- Orthodox Jewish families celebrate history; rededicate selves to proud faith at Universal CityWalk's public Chanukah concert

3,000 years of Jewish history in 3 minutes- Orthodox Jewish families celebrate history; rededicate selves to proud faith at Universal CityWalk's public Chanukah concert

American-Israeli singer references Jewish history in song - at public Chanukah celebration in Los Angeles, California.

As a result of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian campaign to vilify Israel to stir up dormant Jew-hatred, the number of cities around the world where Orthodox Jews can openly celebrate their holidays and cultural pride is shrinking.

Muslims campaign to distort Jewish and Israeli history for liberal journalists, with a little help from Pres. Obama's Cairo speech to the Muslim world. See how much biblical and modern Jewish history you recognize and know about here - where Schlock Rock's Lenny Solomon parodies Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire" with "We've got a strong desire" (from the Sgt. Schlocker's Magical Mystery Tour" album) at a Chanukah concert at North Hollywood's Universal CityWalk.

'Let's end this 'peace' facade until the Palestinian Authority will stop opposing Israel'- Israel's Vice-Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon addresses Christians & Jews at Sinai Temple in L.A.

Vice-Prime Minister, Lt. General Boogie Ya'alon addresses an audience of Zionistic Christians and Jews at Sinai Temple on Sunday 5 December. Organized by Israel-Christian Nexus and Alliance 4 Jerusalem. Total running time: 28 minutes

White House hosts Chanukah menorah-lighting reception; Pres. Obama identifying firefighting assistance US can offer Israel

THE PRESIDENT:  "Welcome to the White House.  I want to thank all of you for joining us in celebrating the second night of Hanukkah.  Happy Hanukkah, everybody.  (Applause.)
      We are joined tonight by Ambassador Michael Oren, of Israel.  Where’s Michael?  (Applause.)  He’s way back there.  And so I want to begin by offering our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all of those who’ve died as a result of the terrible forest fire in northern Israel.
      As rescuers and firefighters continue in their work, the United States is acting to help our Israeli friends respond to the disaster.  A short while ago, our ambassador in Tel Aviv, Jim Cunningham, issued a disaster declaration, which has launched an effort across the U.S. government to identify the firefighting assistance we have available and provide it to Israel as quickly as possible.  Of course, that's what friends do for each other.
      And, Mr. Ambassador, our thoughts and prayers are with everybody in Israel who is affected by this tragedy and the family and loved ones of those in harm’s way.
      Tonight, it’s an honor to welcome so many friends and leaders from the Jewish community and beyond.  And I want to start by recognizing my Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, George Mitchell, who is here.  Please give him a round of applause.  (Applause.)  And all the other outstanding members of the diplomatic corps who are here...
So on this second night of Hanukkah, let us give thanks to the blessings that all of us enjoy.  Let us be mindful of those who need our prayers.  And let us draw strength from the words of a great philosopher, who said that a miracle is “a confirmation of what is possible.”
      And now I’d like to turn it over to Susan, who by the way has been on this stage before, receiving a presidential award for her outstanding work.  But she happens to be joined by a beautiful family -- Donald, Ben, Molly, Dina and Rebecca.  (Laughter.)  Rebecca is down here.  So I want to turn -- there she is.  Yes, she is adorable.  (Laughter.)  As Michelle -- (Laughter.)  As Michelle said as we were getting on stage, she will be stealing the show.  (Laughter.)  So we’re going to turn it over to Susan and her family for the blessings.
      (The blessings are offered.)
      THE PRESIDENT:  So happy Hanukkah to all of you.  We’re going to see most of you downstairs.  Be patient in the line.  (Laughter.)  And I just want to let everybody know that, yes, they will be able to Photoshop my lip for the picture.  (Laughter.)  Happy Hanukkah, everybody.  (Applause.)"  (Full Transcript)

The story of Chanukah and its lessons for today - from Rabbi Moses Parry and entertainer, Matisyahu

Chanukah means "re-dedication" - but to what, why ,and how? Rabbi Moses "Moshe" Parry teaches the history of Chanukah and its lessons for Jewish people today.

The Maccabees (led by Matisyahu and his son Judah) were a small band of rebel fighters who battled against the Greek/Syrian Empire, led by King Antiochus. The name Maccabee is an acronym for the verse, "Mi Chamocha Ba'eilim Hashem" (Exodus 15:11) "Who is like you amongst the supernal beings, O'Lord." This acronym emphasizes that this was not a war fought for land, wealth, or sport. King Antiochus wanted to secularize the Jewish faith and pull focus from G-d and place the emphasis on logic and reason. The Maccabees fought to keep G-d in the equation of Jewish life, and their name reflected that. (Courtesy, songwriter Matisyahu and Simcha Levenberg in HuffPost)

Matisyahu says, "There are so many Christmas songs out there. I wanted to give the Jewish kids something to be proud of. We've got Adam Sandler's song, which is hilarious, but I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song. My boy Kojak was in town so at the last minute we went into the studio in the spirit of miracles and underdogs and this is what we came up with- the music video of "Matisyahu's Miracle on Ice.""

Author of "World War III - The War on the Jews and the Rise of the World Security State," Eugene E. Narrett presents 10-minute video interview

Ten Minutes with Eugene Narrett
Click Here to View The Video Titled: Ten Minutes with Eugene Narrett
Eugene Narrett addresses British and American government efforts to impede Jewish independence in his book,"World War III - The War on the Jews and the Rise of the World Security State."  View video interview on ExposureRoom (courtesy of Jim and Carol Long of  Lightcatcher Productions). 

Kitman TV - Melanie Philips - The World Turned Upside Down

Kitman TV - Politically Incorrect Documentaries Online: Melanie Philips - The World Turned Upside Down: "Q&A Brilliant and thoughtful speech in which Melanie Philips tries to answer the one question which I suspect is an underlying reason fo..."

Univ of Southern Calif to host filmmakers on Arab-Israeli conflict

Eyes on the Middle East
Visions and Voices
Saturday, November 20, 2010 - Sunday, November 21, 2010
University Park Campus
Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre (NCT)

Admission is free.

See below for event schedule.

The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is complex and controversial. Filmmakers on both sides are using cinematic media to express a variety of perspectives about struggles in the Middle East and the quest for peace. This two-day event will feature screenings of dramas and documentaries that offer diverse insights and alternatives to violence. Filmmakers from Israel, Palestine and the United States, including Hany Abu-Assad, Adi Arbel, Joseph Cedar, Barak Heymann, Ibtisam Mara’ana, Eran Riklis and Ari Sandel, will discuss their work, the issues that they are engaging and the powerful role cinema can play in increasing international awareness and understanding.


Saturday, November 20:
12:45 p.m.: Bridge Over the WadiDirected by Barak Heymann, the documentary Bridge Over the Wadi is about a binational and bilingual grade school with both Arab and Jewish children.
1:45 p.m.: Paradise Now 
Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the Academy Award–nominated film Paradise Now follows two close friends who are recruited by an extremist group to carry out a bombing in Tel-Aviv.
3:30 p.m.: 9 Star Hotel
Israeli director Ido Haar’s award-winning documentary (Best Documentary, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2006) focuses on a group of young Palestinians working construction in Israel.
5 p.m.: Be Quiet and West Bank Story
Directed by USC alumnus Ari Sandel, the Academy Award–winning short West Bank Story is a musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands in the West Bank.
6 p.m.: Panel Discussion
7:45 p.m.: Lemon Tree
Directed by Eran Riklis, Lemon Tree is about a Palestinian widow who defends her lemon-tree field from an Israeli defense minister.

Sunday, November 21:

11:30 a.m.: Salt of This Sea
Soraya, a young woman born and raised in Brooklyn, decides to “return” to Palestine—the home she has never known—to reclaim her family’s heritage.
2 p.m.: Panel Discussion (via webcast)
3:40 p.m.: Lullaby
Directed by Adi Arbel, Lullaby shows a distressing intimate encounter between the Palestinian mother of a terrorist bomber and the Israeli mother of a bombing victim.
4:30 p.m.: Campfire
Campfire is the story of a widow and mother of two daughters who finds her dreams of joining an Israeli settlement complicated when her younger daughter is sexually abused by boys from her youth movement.

Organized by Jeremy Kagan (Cinematic Arts), John Odell (International Relations), Dave O’Brien (Cinematic Arts). Co-sponsored by the USC Change Making Media Lab, the USC School of International Relations and the Levantine Cultural Center.
For further information on this event: visionsandvoices@usc.edu

Documentary: "Relentless: The Quest for Peace in the Middle East" by Wayne Kopping

Museum of Tolerance in L.A. to host International Film Festival, Nov 13-18

Screenings of tolerance-related, feature motion pictures begin Sunday afternoon, 14 November.

For his films encouraging tolerance, justice, and human rights, the Festival will present the first, annual MOTIFF Award to director Clint Eastwood on Sunday evening 14 November.

The Festival concludes Thursday evening 18 Nov with the screening of "Iron Cross" starring Roy Scheider.
Add caption

Benjamin Netanyahu appeals to Americans to thwart Obama's Palestinian-"peace" tactic to force Israel into self-endangering concessions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed an audience of North American Jewish Federations, convening in New Orleans, declaring that Israel's peace-preparedness is being undermined by the world's tolerating of Palestinian intransigence. PM Netanyahu perceives that the Palestinian Authority is balking at direct negotiations in the confidence that the Obama Administration will dictate concession-pressures against Israel that the Palestinians would not achieve on their own.

Mr. Netanyahu reaffirms that he is willing to make mutual compromises with the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinian refusal to negotiate directly without preconditions belies their true reticence to living peaceably alongside Jewish Israel.

Update 12  November:  Aaron Klein in World Net Daily:

Obama's Israel squeeze: Worse than you know

Demands Jewish state retreat from territory vital for survival

PA official told WND the Obama administration instead has adopted the Palestinian position that the Jordan Valley should become part of a future Palestinian state entirely.

The official said the U.S. had proposed that international troops, along with Jordanian and Palestinian forces, would patrol the area.

The Jordan Valley encompasses a massive swath of territory. Israeli security analysts and commentators long have argued the country is indefensible without the valley.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stated multiple times the Jordan Valley is so vital to Israel's security that Israel must control it in the future.

Netanyahu himself said at a Knesset faction meeting last February that Israel could never agree to withdraw from the Jordan Valley under any peace agreement signed with the Palestinians. 

Netanyahu told the Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Jordan Valley's strategic importance along the eastern border of the West Bank made it impossible for Israel to withdraw.

The Jordan Valley runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It continues another 96 miles south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba along the Jordanian border. The Jordan Valley forms the border between Israel and Jordan in the north, and the eastern strip of the strategic West Bank in the south.

Chabad Lubavitch celebrates clal Yisroel at annual gathering of emissaries

"The Banquet, International Conference of Chabad Lubavitch Shluchim" Dancing video courtesy Jewish Educational Media

The Anti-Semite’s Pointed Finger

Ruth R. Wisse published in "Commentary" November 2010

Ruth R. Wisse is a professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard University and the author of, among many other books, Jews and Power (Schocken/Nextbook). The present article is based on a talk delivered in August at the Conference of the Yale Interdisciplinary Initiative for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

... Yet here is the paradox: the fiercer anti-Semitism grows, the more it forces a choice on liberals. The choice is between protecting the Jews and protecting the orthodox liberal belief in rational compromise, world peace, “getting to yes,” and all the rest. Protecting the Jews requires confronting hostility that is not subject to rational persuasion, does not obey the liberal version of the rule of law, does not abide by liberal ideas of fairness, and does not extend peace and goodwill to others. To side with Israel, therefore, leaves one exposed to the same hostility that assails the Jews—an uncomfortable position for individuals and governments alike. The dictates of self-interest persuade some to ignore aggression that presumably doesn’t concern them, and then to justify their callousness by holding Jews responsible for the aggression against them. Some Jews try to demonstrate their own innocence by dissociating themselves from those of their fellow Jews who are under attack.

The politics of anti-Semitism strikes again: blaming the Jews succeeds by persuading liberals that it is aimed only at the “culpable” Jews. By casting these Jews as aggressors, it invites liberals to join the attack on them, on behalf of the Jews’ alleged victims. It congratulates liberals for joining the anti-liberal side by persuading them that they stand with the weak against the strong . . .

I have tried to show (a) that anti-Semitism cannot be arrested by any remedial action of the Jews; (b) that there are harmful consequences for pretending that concessions from Jews can stop the aggression against them; and (c) that anti-Semitism forces a choice between protection of the Jews and, under the guise of liberalism, complicity with their enemies. And though anti-Semitism is often compared to cancer, there is no comparable effort to finding a cure. The reason seems plain: where the carriers of an illness are also its casualties, they and their well-wishers have incentives to tackle the problem. But the carriers of anti-Semitism do not experience themselves as its apparent victims. At-risk Jews cannot halt the malignancy, because they are not itscarriers. And its carriers, the anti-Semites, will not seek a cure, because they don’t recognize its harm to them. Not until enlightened Arabs recognize that they, not the Jews, are its ultimate casualties will this political threat be contained.

What then? Some might argue that, even granting my thesis of a Zionist misdiagnosis, the scourge of anti-Semitism is so protean and so venerable that it can never be entirely expunged. They may have a point about the “entirely,” but I beg to differ about the realities of the present situation. A longstanding political attack has repeatedly called forth a defensive reaction of negotiation, accommodation, and no small amount of self-blame. This response has been shown to fail, and will go on failing with ever mountingconsequences.

To say that anti-Semitism persists and succeeds does not mean that anti-Semitism is politically invulnerable. Tactics in fighting anti-Semitism may and should vary. But what is required strategically, from Jews as from all decent human beings, is no more than what justice and truth and genuine liberalism demand: namely, to reject vigorously the role of defendant at the bar of world opinion and to instigate political, diplomatic, moral, and intellectual countersuits on every front.  Read full story . . .

A history lesson for ashamed, 'progressive' Jews by Briton, Ray Cook

Jewish actor visits West Bank camp in quest for peace

Miriam Margolyes, who plays Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films,
 with retired Palestinian farmer Said Ali Banat Hajarah.
 Photograph: Claudia Janke in The Guardian 

"Why I'm an ashamed Jew" by Raymond Cook

Yep, you read right. I’ve had to admit it. I can’t live a lie any longer. 
I’m deeply, deeply ashamed.

Ashamed of being Jewish? No way. I’m very proud to be Jewish and a member of the Jewish people.
Ashamed of Israel? Wrong again. I’m proud of Israel’s achievements. I worry about its policies, sometimes; I’m concerned, sometimes about some of its actions and those of some of its citizens, but I could say the same for Britain and I’m still proud to be British.
So why am I ashamed?
I’ll tell you. I’m ashamed of Jews who say they are ashamed to be Jews or Jewish.
I don’t hear Palestinians coming out to declare they are ashamed to be Palestinian and denounce suicide bombs or missiles.
I don’t hear Arabs writing they are ashamed to be Arabs because of Al Qaeda or Sudan or Yemen.
I don’t hear Muslims forming groups of shame because of what Sunni does to Shia, or 9/11, or 7/7, or Madrid, or Mumbai.
I don’t know of any Ashamed Catholic groups forming because of the paedophilia apparently rife in Catholic clergy.
In fact I know of no other group of people who so often announce their ashamedness to be who they are as Jews do.
And you know what? It makes me ashamed. I’m an ashamed Jew who is ashamed of ashamed Jews. If that’s a paradox, so be it.
And I’m not ashamed to declare my shame.
Shame on me!

I don’t see why Arabs or Muslims or Palestinians or Brits or Americans or Chinese or anyone else should be ashamed of what they are because of the actions of a few.

If I’m ashamed to be a Jew because I don’t like what Israel does that is a form of self-hating, it’s bigotry – by golly, its anti-Semitic. If I hate all of a group because of the actions of some, then I am a bigot. And if I am the target of my own bigotry then I’m a pretty sick bigot. 

On the Andrew Marr program this morning on BBC 1, the eponymous Scottish interviewer had the (Jewish) actress Miriam Margolyes in the studio, reporting on a recent visit to Israel and the West Bank.

We see her approaching a young Palestinian woman and asking through an interpreter whether she can see where she lives. The woman, carrying a young child, takes her to a canvas tent.

Miriam is shocked and says ‘no-one should have to live like this’.  

I absolutely agree with her. No-one in the West Bank should be living in a tent. So why are they? Miriam believes it’s because of the terrible Israelis who make her an ‘ashamed Jew’.
Neither she nor Marr question why this woman lives like this?  
No-one asks why after 62 years a young woman whose grandparents left or were driven out of what is now Israel should be a refugee and have refugee status uniquely different from all other refugee groups in history.

Neither Margolyes or Marr wanted to mention or even wanted to entertain the idea that refugee camps, so-called, exist for one reason and one reason only: to deliberately perpetuate the victimhood of Palestinians and to preserve the idea, which Margolyes and other ashamed Jews have swallowed whole, that it is Israel who is responsible for these conditions.

Margolyes appears unaware that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live comfortably on the West Bank in normal housing.  She seems unaware that despite the billions of dollars poured into the Palestinian economy, people are still allowed to live in tents and camps.

There is no need for it. Pakistanis are not living in tents three generations after their forbears fled India.

There are no refugee camps in Israel for the hundreds of thousands who were forced from their homes after 1948 from Egypt and Iraq and Syria and North Africa.

Marr asks ‘Do you think being a Jew gives you a different authority, ability to talk about [the Palestinian question]?’

‘The only authority I have is as a human being’, Margolyes replies. So far, so good.

Then she says that it should not make a difference being Jewish or not Jewish to be able to comment on the situation but then says, somewhat in contradiction that she is ‘embarrassed and ashamed’ (that word again) because ‘my “lot” is doing “it” to them’.  She then says ‘that’s why I wanted to go there, to see for myself’. Fine. But it appears she had already made up her mind that ‘her lot’ where doing ‘it’ to ‘them’.

Marr asks for her reaction and she then puts on a faux Arab accent and says that some said ‘why do you come? You are a Jew. We hate you.’  And then in her own voice ‘And I totally understood why’. Yet, she doesn’t understand why at all.

She doesn’t understand that this hatred predates the Jewish state. She doesn’t understand the daily diet of anti-Semitism that is fed to Palestinians in schools, newspapers and on TV.

Marr then asks a question which links the Holocaust to what he clearly believes is a given Israeli/Jewish paranoia.

He asks that, given Margolyes and her generation know what it’s like growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust, does she not realise that Israelis feel hemmed in and beleaguered by Iran, suicide bombs and missiles.

She admits her sympathy. She knows what anti-Semitism is. But ‘treating people the way the Israelis are treating the Palestinians is not making things better’. In other words, the blame for the situation is all on the Israeli side.

An then, lo and behold, the old ignorant trope comes out. ‘What people forget over there is that the Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust.’

Arghhh!  I’m so ashamed. What the hell has the Holocaust got to do with the situation? Is she suggesting that Israel exists because of Holocaust guilt? Is she suggesting that the Palestinians are paying for the crimes of Europeans?

If so, she is ignorant of her own people’s history.

‘They (Muslims) were not the enemy at that time’, she says. But THEY WERE! The Mufti of Jerusalem was a friend of Hitler and organised Muslim Nazi brigades in Yugoslavia. He assured Hitler that he would solve the Jewish Question in Palestine.
Hamas and the PLO are the ideological progeny of the Muslim Brotherhood and its anti-Semitic policies.
Margolyes and other ashamed Jews need to educate themselves. I am sick of being ashamed of them.
What is she saying now? Oh yes, the Israelis should understand and accept that they owe reparation to the Palestinians just like the Jews expect it from the Germans.
So she, perhaps unwittingly, makes a moral equivalence between the way Jews were treated in the Holocaust and  the way Palestinians, who have been hell-bent on another Holocaust for 100 years and certainly 60, have been treated by the Israelis.
Who attacked Israel in 1967? Why was the PLO formed in 1964 before there was any ‘Occupation’?
The Israelis are behaving ”so cruelly’. Yes, sometimes all those with power over others behave cruelly. Maybe she should understand why Israelis might do so to Palestinians who want to kill them, and blow up their children on buses and in their beds. Why can she only see one side to this conflict?
Even Marr has to remind her about suicide attacks and rockets.
And then we get the real answer to Margolyes ashamedness. She is not a two-state solutionist.
She wants  ‘those people to be back in their own villages, which is what they want.’
How ignorant is this. They just want to go back to their villages. But their villages are Haifa and Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Eilat and Beersheva. Margolyes is clearly advocating the end of the Jewish state as a deluded one-stater who believes the Palestinians, who she admits hate the Jews, just want to go back peacefully to their homes.
How often do we see people in the media like Miriam Margolyes, Jews and non-Jews, well-meaning, decent people who just do not understand. They live in their cosy left-wing bubbles dreaming of world peace where all will be luvvies.
Sorry Miriam. You are a very nice woman and a wonderful actress, but you are a deluded Jew. Go read some history. Go read the PLO charter and the Hamas charter.
Don’t pose as a woman of peace when you clearly want a second Holocaust – because if you don’t, then you need to wake up out of your deluded lefty dreams, you and all the ashamed Jews.
Until you do so, I will continue to be an ashamed-of, ashamed-Jews Jew.

Black talk-radio host, Rev Jesse Lee Peterson urges Los Angelenos elect Lubavitch Rabbi Nahum Shifren to Calif. State Senate 26th District to benefit all

Radio talk-host Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson delivers a fascinating, loving endorsement for inner-city, civic-conditions reformer, orthodox Rabbi Nachum Shifren, for Calif's 26th Senate District from Los Angeles over Curren Price, the black liberal incumbent. Rev. Peterson urges voting for character, not color.

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ author, Joseph Stein, 98, dies from fall in NYC

October 26  (JTA) -- Joseph Stein, the Tony Award-winning writer of "Fiddler on the Roof," has died.

Stein died Sunday in Manhattan after fracturing his skull in a fall. He was 98.

Stein wrote more than a dozen Broadway musicals, but is best known for "Fiddler," which won nine Tony Awards in 1965, including Stein's "Best Author of a Musical."

He began his career in writing after meeting comedian and actor Zero Mostel, who played Tevya in the original Broadway production of "Fiddler," and writing him some material, according to The New York Times.

Stein also wrote "Enter Laughing," a comedy based on an autobiographical book by Carl Reiner about a Jewish boy who wants to become an actor, as well as "Zorba" and "Rags." He wrote screenplays for three shows including "Fiddler," and also wrote a handful of television projects.

Stein earned a degree in social work from Columbia University in 1937 and worked for a decade as a psychiatric social worker.

While most think first of Fiddler's score, by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, it was story and dialogue like this introduction of Perchik to Tevye and the Anatevka villagers which gave Fiddler's characters their flavor.

(Courtesy Helleri2)

Rabbi Meir Kahane's spiritual teachings - the authentic, "Jewish Idea" explored in Los Angeles at at 20-year yahrtzeit of his martyring

Jews in Los Angeles gathered to commemorate the 20th Yarhtzeit of the assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane (zecher tzadik v'kadosh l'brachah). In these 2 videos, Rabbi Moshe Parry delivers a treatise on Rav Kahane's Magnum Opus, "The Jewish Idea," which interprets Jewish liturgy into a philosophy for living.

Rabbi Aaron Parry, scholar and teacher, teaches about the Rabbi Meir Kahane we never knew - a Tzadik, an historic teacher and leader of the Jewish nation.

Jerry Bloom tells how Rav Kahane changed his life:

Heshy Rosenwasser's first-hand experience learned that Rav. Kahane led by example:

The young generation was represented by Moti Cohen, who tells of how Kahane's ideas are still growing throughout Israel:

25th Israel Film Festival opens in Los Angeles with surprises from Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Ryan Kavanaugh

25th Annual Israel Film Festival opened at a gala dinner at the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday, 20 October. Founder Meir Fenigstein honored several Hollywood luminaries with relation to Israel and Israeli film. Actor, Topher Grace (star of "That 70's Show" and "Spiderman 3") presented the annual IFF Outstanding Achievement in Film Award to Relativity Media's CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Kavanaugh reveals his surprise Jewish identity and Zionist pride. He calls for greater media and public appreciation for Israel politically, the accomplishments of its society, and encourages support for Israel's media and film industry.

Also honored were actor Richard Dreyfuss (introduced by UCLA Hillel's Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller), "Avatar" producer, Jon Landau (introduced by Fox Film CEO, James Gianopulos), and Nu Image / Millenium Films' Israeli-American CEO Avi Lerner ("The Expendables") who was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Lerner was introduced by actor, Sylvester Stallone. Actor Dolph Lundgren also appeared in support of Mr. Lerner.

Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan called upon the Hollywood film community to break the drought since "Exodus" and convey more of Israel's history through movies.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Israel Film Festival’s mission is to showcase the finest new Israeli films. The film festival encompasses over 30 titles and runs through November 4 in Los Angeles. The schedule can be found at Israel Film Festival.com

Calif Gov candidate Meg Whitman confers with "Start-Up Nation" co-author Dan Senor; She pledges to Iranian-Jewish "30 Years After" confab she'll speak-up for Israel's rights to exist and self-defense

California's Republican gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, shares her familiarity with Israel from managing eBay's business. "Start-Up Nation" co-author, Dan Senor, interviews Ms. Whitman at "30 Years Later," Iranian-Jewish-American civic-affairs conference, on 10/10/10. Ms. Whitman professes her commitment to Israel's right to exist and Israel's right to defend herself- and she would use her position as Governor of California to promote those positions.

Kadima Knesset Member Yoel Hasson speaks to Iranian-Jewish group 30 Years Later in L.A.

Kadima Party Member of Knesset Yoel Hasson speaks in Los Angeles, courtesy of Iranian-Jewish civic association, 30 Years Later.

Complete length 1 hr. 34 minutes, but you may view it in whatever length of time you wish.

Pro-freedom congressional candidate, Bob Kunst (I-FL20) campaigns for Jewish voters seeking to clean-up Obama's Islamism-appeasing administration, starting with South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL 20) on Nov 2nd

Florida Congressional candidate, Bob Kunst (I), discusses how voters can help him to reverse the global instability and economic slide created through the Obama Administration's weak, Jihadism-appeasing foreign and domestic policies.

Mr. Kunst, who is Jewish, expresses his opposition to Jewish social and poltical organizations contradicting Judeo-Christian precepts about guardianship of the Land of Israel to appease the Obama Administration, which empowers Islamist imperialists, like Wahabism from Saudi Arabia, or Iran, in their quest to assert Muslim influence over Israel and America. This trend is avoidable, Mr. Kunst says, by patriots supporting and voting for Mr. Kunst to unseat the Obama Adminstration's anti-Zionism facilitator from south Florida's 20th District, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, on Tuesday, November 2nd.
Are you eligible to vote in Florida's patchworked 20th District?

Black activists allege dirty-pool in minorities' racism-mongering against critics of Obama or support for Calif State Sen candidate, orthodox Rabbi Nahum Shifren over black, liberal incumbent

Veteran U.S. Army Officer James Spence discusses why he feels that minority voters should elect Orthodox urban-activist Rabbi Nahum Shifren to better serve voters in L.A.'s 26th Senate District over Rabbi Shifren's black, liberal opponent, Curren Price. Mr. Spence calls to overcome the pigmentation politics mentality which keeps minorities from electing better public-servant candidates.

Lesley Jordan, an African-American conservative, argues to elicit support for Calif. State Senate Republican Candidate from L.A., Nahum Shifren- a white urban-activist running in a large minority district (26th) against an incumbent black liberal. Black-conservative Les Jordan exposes blacks' playing of racial politics against whites to derail criticism of Obama's Administration - despite what he feels is Obama's betrayal of blacks and whites to benefit alien Hispanics.

Les Jordan, America's Black Shield activist and blog-moderator, absolves non-black critics of Pres. Obama (and the Congressional Black Caucus) from fear of guilt of racism in this fascinating, in-depth discussion. Mr. Jordan reveals unethical black-racism against whites and blacks dissatisfied with Obama as president. He exposes the Nation of Islam as a mafia and asks uncomfortable questions about their ties with Obama.

Yom Kippur-like repentance before final sealing at Sukkot-ending, Hoshana Rabbah

Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashanah.

JooTube's 3rd annual, video glimpse inside the pious (Carlebach) Happy Minyan of L.A.- worshipping and celebrating Hoshana Rabah the finale of Sukkot.  

The Orthodox Union explains this under-recognized holiday:

Hoshana Rabbah is the seventh and last day of Sukkot, which is the day before Shmini Atzeres. Named for the fact that more hoshanot are said on this day than all the previous days of the festival. On Hoshana Rabbah the beating of the aravah, willow branch, is performed. Although Hoshana Rabbah was not accorded any different status by the Torah than the other days of Chol Hamoed, the Jewish people have observe many customs on this day and have invested it with a solemn character. For example, the white parochet, curtain on the ark, in shul remains up until after Hoshana Rabbah.

In the morning services of Hoshanna Rabbah, following Musaf (and some places after hallel) the hoshanot are said as written in the prayerbook, the congregation marches around the bima seven times, after which comes the beating of the aravah, willow branch. The aravahs are beaten against the floor five times. No blessing is recited over the beating of the aravah since it was merely a custom.

Hoshana Rabbah is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment, which began on Rosh Hashannah. During the festival of Sukkot the world is judged for water and for the blessings of the fruit and crops. The seventh day of the festival is the final sealing and since human life depends on water, Hoshanna Rabbah is somewhat similar to Yom Kippur. Hence there are additional prayers and quests for repentance as on Yom Kippur.