These from the Jewish Press, an Orthodox weekly.
‘Democrats’ Selective Indignation’
I am sickened by the politically induced brouhaha over Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” (“The Tucson Shootings and Sarah Palin,” editorial, Jan. 21). Though some may wish to keep that label for anti-Jewish invective – something I can understand but do not go along with – there is nothing evil about giving it broader application to serious, false accusations as Ms. Palin and so many others have done. Are all of them anti-Semites and insensitive to Jews?
In fact, Democrats in the past have shamelessly expropriated the term to bash their political opponents. If Sarah Palin can be justly criticized for her use of the term to defend herself against what she says are false accusations, what should we say about the Democrats’ use of the term for their own partisan purposes?
‘Jews vs. Palin’
How anyone can accuse Sarah Palin of being insensitive to Jewish history when she chooses a term Jews use to describe false accusations against them – “blood libel” – to characterize false accusations made against her? And how can so many Jews – Jewish politicians, Jewish organizational leaders, Jewish pundits – take such delight in piling on against a woman who, whatever else you think of her, is one of the staunchest and purest supporters of Israel in American public life today?
Short-sighted American Jews, with their lapdog devotion to liberal Democrats and their knee-jerk antipathy to conservative Republicans, should be grateful that most conservatives support Israel out of conviction rather than political expediency – otherwise, a lot of powerful and influential Republicans would have thrown in the towel by now.
New York, NY
Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.
The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.
America’s general weakness clearly affects its friends. But unlike Carter, who preached human rights even when it hurt allies, Obama sat on the fence and exercised caution. He neither embraced despised leaders nor evangelized for political freedom, for fear of undermining stability.
Obama began his presidency with trips to Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and in speeches in Ankara and Cairo tried to forge new ties between the United States and the Muslim world. His message to Muslims was “I am one of you,” and he backed it by quoting from the Koran. President Hosni Mubarak did not join him on the stage at Cairo University, and Obama did not mention his host. But he did not imitate his hated predecessor, President George W. Bush, with blunt calls for democracy and freedom.
Obama apparently believed the main problem of the Middle East was the Israeli occupation, and focused his policy on demanding the suspension of construction in the settlements and on the abortive attempt to renew the peace talks.
Now THIS is a fantastic idea! (from M. Joseph Sheppard)
We’ve been advocating for an ‘Artists for Palin’ or ‘Culture for Palin’ website, where ordinary Americans could contribute their words, their art, their music . . . their powerpoints – in behalf of our leader. Where the emotions of millions of Americans who are already aroused to fight the evil that has descended upon our land, upon our beloved country, could find expression. To our minds, this is a huge step in the right direction. (Better a website than a Facebook page, because the site would need to be juried.)
“Who Will Save the Family?” This was the name of a gathering held in Ramat Gan, at which Knesset Member Yulia Shamalov-Berkovitch of the Kadima Party stated opinions that are diametrically opposed to those of some of her female Knesset colleagues who are trying to promote a radical feminist agenda.
Though the assembly was held last month, it made the news recently because of some of the more controversial statements the Knesset Member uttered – which have only now been publicized by the media.
The seminar was organized by Gil Ronen and the Familism organization he founded. Familism’s website says that MK Shamalov is “the first female MK who wants to take upon herself the liberation of men from their current situation, as part of a pro-family process whose main goals are children’s welfare and the nation’s future.”
Among other things, MK Shamalov said: “It’s become some kind of bon ton to be a single mother who decided to have a child out of wedlock and then to come to the State and ask for benefits for this and for this and for that – and then everyone [mothers and women’s rights advocates – ed.] is happy. And in the Knesset, there is a competition who can pass the most laws for the ‘sector.’ I can promise you that I will never be Number One in that race.”
The Familism organization has made it its goal to fight what it calls the “[radical] feminist trend to teach women to be egotistical, demanding, suspicious and small-minded… We object to propaganda and legislation that are designed to poison the relations between the sexes and to render them based on suspicions and competition… We oppose the ongoing attempt to create a ‘new man’ who is more feminine, and a more masculine ‘new woman.’” The reference to feminism is not qualified and actually refers to left-wing radically feminist groups.
From Governor Palin’s editorial about Ronald Reagan in USA Today –
I had the privilege of coming of age during the era of Ronald Reagan. I like to think of him as America’s lifeguard. As a teenager, Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives as a lifeguard on the Rock River, which ran through his hometown of Dixon, Ill. The day he was inaugurated in 1981, a local radio announcer famously declared, “The Rock River flows for you tonight, Mr. President.”
The image of the lifeguard seems to represent what Reagan was to America and to the freedom-loving people of the world. He lifted our country up at a time when we were in the depths of economic, cultural and spiritual malaise. We were told that we must accept that the era of American greatness was over; but with his optimism and common sense, President Reagan held up a mirror to the American soul to remind us of our exceptionalism.
Reagan showed us that despite a deep recession, there could still be morning in America. He could speak to the economic troubles facing ordinary Americans because he understood what it was like to live through a Great Depression where families scraped to get by. And yet, he saw us recover from our Great Depression, and under his leadership we experienced the greatest peacetime economic boom in our history. He could speak to our fears that our years as a superpower were over, because he understood what it was like to see America at war and really fear that we might lose. And yet, he saw us win two world wars, and under his leadership we won the Cold War without firing a single shot. Reagan’s belief in American greatness was rooted in historic fact, not blind optimism. He was a sunny optimist because he knew that our best days are yet to come.
Today, when we hear the worry in the voices of Americans wondering where the jobs will be for our children and grandchildren and wondering if the world will be safe and prosperous in the years to come, we should remember Reagan’s faith in our inherent heroism and greatness. When we see people around the globe looking to the White House for leadership, we should remember Reagan’s steel spine. He understood America’s purpose in this world and what we need to do to secure liberty. As Margaret Thatcher said of him, “He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism.” He sought those things and he succeeded.
This year, as we celebrate the centennial of Reagan’s birth, let’s remember the lifeguard from the Rock River who rescued us with his optimism and common sense. We need more lifeguards like him.