What a tragedy that someone as intelligent in some areas as British physicist Stephen Hawking, can be so stupid or weak in others.
In what is unfortunately a big win for the forces fighting to destroy the Jewish state, Hawking capitulated to the demands of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement and cancelled his plans to attend a major international conference in Israel in June. He apparently cited “his belief that he should respect a Palestinian call to boycott contacts with Israeli academics,” the Associated Press story notes.
Boycotting academics because one has a quarrel with their government is as ugly and unfair as boycotting athletes for the same reason – it’s bullying; it’s blaming individuals for the policies of their government. It’s wrong. Particularly in a free country where the government is not overseeing the academics or the athletes. Academia, like athletics, is supposed to be above the political fray, but, of course, the refusal of the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes murdered during the Munich games proves otherwise, so, this should not be such a surprise, I guess.
Rumors flew for hours the other day when the story broke in the notoriously anti-Semitic British rag The Guardian.
He was boycotting, then he cancelled for health reasons, then he was boycotting again.
The AP headline read “Stephen Hawking backs boycott of Israeli academics.”
What a fine plan, to boycott one of the world’s most academically productive countries, where things are developed to better mankind all day long, in favor of the folks whose biggest claim to fame is the suicide bomber.
What kind of a moron is this guy, to lend his name to such an effort?
I will never be able to see him in the same light, again. And, hopefully, his stock in the academic world will suffer a fate similar to that of former movie great Mel Gibson, whose star has faded to the point that people think first of his anti-Semitic leanings rather than his latest film, when his name comes up.
My question to Mr. Hawking would be, was he unaware of the Israel/Palestinian conflict when he first agreed to attend this conference? Did this decades-old conflict come as news to him, so that rather than just not attend if he sides with the Islamists over the Jews, he had to hand the anti-Semitic anti-Israel forces a publicity coup? Does he not recognize the repugnant nature of depriving the world of what could be gained by including Israeli academics – arguably among the world’s most accomplished – in favor of an ill-conceived movement that threatens the entire region and the world?
The A.P. story says that “the University of Cambridge released a statement Wednesday indicating that Hawking had told the Israelis last week that he would not be attending ‘based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.’”
University officials said they had “previously understood” that Hawking’s decision was based solely on health concerns, but were later informed otherwise by Hawking’s office.
No one said so, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the good professor had received threats against himself or his loved ones that helped him reach his decision.
In any case, his decision is the wrong one, and the respect I had for the man before this has vanished like the morning fog. I hope I’m not the only one feeling this way, and that Mr. Hawking soon comes to understand the breadth of the wrongness of his decision and his handling of the matter.
There was this article in the Associated Press this week that, with a seemingly simple tale, really tells the whole story of the Israel Palestinian conflict.
It was titled, Disabled Gaza baby lives in Israel hospital, and it described the life of Palestinian toddler Mohammed al-Farra, who has never lived anywhere but “the yellow-painted children’s ward in Israel’s Tel Hashomer hospital.”
Because he was born with a rare genetic disease, the baby’s hands and feet had to be amputated, so his parents abandoned him. The Palestinian government won’t pay for his care, so the 3 ½-year-old lives in the hospital with his grandfather.
“There’s no care for this child in Gaza, there’s no home in Gaza where he can live,” said the grandfather, Hamouda al-Farra. “He can’t open anything by himself; he can’t eat or take down his pants. His life is zero without help.”
So, where is this child – a product of the people bent on the destruction of the Jewish state and the extermination of its people – being cared for? In Israel, naturally, by Israeli medical personnel.
This seems to me to say everything one needs to know about who each side of this conflict is.
But, there’s more.
The story goes on to explain that “Mohammed’s plight is an extreme example of the harsh treatment some families mete to the disabled, particularly in the more tribal-dominated corners of the Gaza Strip… and it also demonstrates a costly legacy of Gaza’s strongly patriarchal culture that prods women into first-cousin marriages and allows polygamy, while rendering mothers powerless over their children’s fate.”
So, what we see illustrated here is that the Palestinians have some very serious cultural issues that, if not corrected, doom them, and therefore their neighbors, to a terrible future, and that the Israelis possess all the compassion and humanity in the equation.
The story says that “Mohammed was rushed to Israel as a newborn for emergency treatment” because “his genetic disorder left him with a weakened immune system, crippling his bowels, and an infection destroyed his hands and feet, requiring them to be amputated.”
His mother was forced to abandon him, the story says because her “husband, ashamed of their son, threatened to take a second wife if she didn’t leave the baby and return to their home in the southern Gaza Strip,” where “polygamy is permitted but isn’t common.”
Incest, sexual slavery, no women’s rights, no compassion or mechanism for caring for the disabled, appear to be just the tip of this group’s cultural/societal deficiencies.
“In deeply patriarchal parts of Gaza — not in all the territory — men believe they have ‘first rights’ to wed their female cousins, even above the women’s own wishes,” the story says. “Parents approve the partnerships because it strengthens family bonds and ensures inheritances don’t leave the tribe.” It goes on to say, “Repeated generations of cousin marriages complicate blood ties.”
One doctor at the child’s hospital said “one third of patients in his department are Palestinians and most have genetic diseases that were the result of close-relation marriages.”
Then, having corrupted the gene pool and produced these disabled children, the children “are often stigmatized,” the story says. “Some families hide the children, fearing they won’t be able to marry off their able-bodied children if the community knows of their less-abled siblings. And they are seen as burdens in the impoverished territory.”
The article says nearly 11 percent of Gaza’s Palestinian Arabs “suffer some kind of disability that affects their mental health, eyesight, hearing or mobility,” and that “two thirds of young disabled Gazans are illiterate and some 40 percent were never sent to school, suggesting either their parents kept them home or did not have the means to educate them.” Over 90 percent of the disabled are unemployed, the story said.
What a set-up.
So, while these in-breeding parents (or others of their in-bred clan members) plot ways to damage or destroy Israel, this little boy’s grandfather stays with him in this Israeli hospital as his Israeli doctors raise funds to cover his bills.
The story notes that inside this hospital in Israel – a country the Islamist propaganda machine is convincing an anti-Semitic-leaning world is an anti-Muslim apartheid state – “patients and medics chatted in Hebrew and Arabic. Women in Muslim headscarves strolled in a corridor. An Orthodox Jewish woman affectionately patted Mohammed on his head. She nodded kindly at (his grandfather)…. as doctors’ fundraising has covered Mohammed’s years of treatment and one donor provided $28,000 for Mohammed’s prosthetics.”
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is supposed to fund transfers to Israeli hospitals, but stopped covering Mohammed’s bills six months after he arrived, an increasingly common practice, according to the story.
It seems like just one more way the Palestinians are using the Jews’ compassion and expertise against them, in the same way the 9/11 terrorists used the U.S.’s freedom of movement against it.
The grandfather, who is only 55, says he’s caring for the child to save his daughter’s marriage, as “a good deed,” but wants his life back.
He said wished he could find a foster home or caregiver for Mohammed.
“He needs many things in his life,” he said, “He needs a home.”
I would bet money that offers of that very thing have poured in since that story ran, and I would bet they came from the Jewish and not the Arab side of the Gaza border.
It doesn’t take a law degree to see what was behind our state’s archaic rape laws, now that it’s been brought into sharp relief by the recent case of Julio Morales.
Associated Press reports that Morales was initially convicted of impersonating the boyfriend of an 18-year-old woman so he could have sex with her while she slept. The woman filed rape charges after realizing the man in her bed wasn’t her boyfriend, the story notes.
Being a contemporary jury, living in today’s world and recognizing the equal rights of people of both genders, the rapist was convicted of the crime.
However, California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction in January, citing an 1870s state law that says perpetrators in such cases can only be guilty if the victim is married and the assailant pretends to be the spouse, according to the story.
Wow. I can’t believe such a law is still on the books.
But, I understand there are a slew of laws throughout the United States that are so outdated that they recall a different world or, in some cases, maybe an alternative universe.
For instance, in Missouri, it’s illegal to drive with an uncaged bear and in Maine, it’s illegal to keep your Christmas lights up after Jan. 14, according to various websites.
Those sites say that in Connecticut, it’s illegal to walk across a street on your hands while in Ohio, it’s illegal to get a fish drunk. Here, in California, women can’t legally drive in a housecoat and no vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
It boggles the mind to imagine the circumstances that triggered the adoption of these laws.
Clearly, this impersonating a spouse law is left over from the days when sexually active unmarried women were damaged goods.
This law is more about property rights than human rights.
So, I certainly hope SB59, a bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa, which fixes this outdated statute, passes the Assembly as it recently did the Senate, 37-0. If it fails, take down the names of those that voted “no” and remember them at election time.
At the conclusion of World War II, as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower surveyed the evidence of the carnage in Europe, he ordered photos taken and a permanent record made because he predicted that one day there would be those who would try to say it never happened.
And he was right.
Despite the existence of overwhelming documentation and even the first-hand accounts of still living survivors and witnesses, there are those who seek to deny the Holocaust and in so doing, blame the victims and set the stage for a repeat performance.
These things are happening worldwide in ever-increasing numbers.
The Simon Wiesenthal center reports that “Vicious attacks on the memory of the Holocaust from denial, to distortion, to revisionism are erupting in countries around the world.”
They note, for instance, “the senior Egyptian official in charge of appointing editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers declares, ‘The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented.’”
It also notes that, “led by Iran’s government, Iranian media, schools, books, speeches and religious teachers deny the Holocaust ever happened while threatening to finish Hitler’s genocidal vision against the Jewish state.”
In its attempt to prime the Iranian people for its plan to commit genocide in their name, that government “uses Holocaust denial as part of its… propaganda assault on Israel, labeling the Jewish people as serial liars and criminals, and depicting the Jewish State as a cancer,” the center notes.
And, unfortunately, this is not limited to the Arab world, unless you consider the parts of Europe being overtaken by Islamists as part of the Arab world, as the Islamists surely do.
The center reports that the UK’s Sunday London Times editors “published a cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall cemented with the blood and bodies of Palestinian men, women and children,” and in Lithuania, “authorities are whitewashing their own nation’s Nazi collaborators while claiming Nazi crimes should be commemorated along with the victims of communism among whom were those who aided and abetted Nazi Germany.”
An extremist parliamentarian in a far-right Hungarian political party calls for the government to create a list of Jews in that country who pose threats to national security, “eerily reminiscent of Nazi policies during the 1940s,” center officials point out.
And this stuff isn’t contained only to Europe and the Arab world. Just this week, the Associated Press reported on a New York high school English teacher who was suspended after school officials learned she had assigned her students a project to make persuasive arguments proving Jews are evil. The idea, the story says, is that the students were to research Nazi propaganda and “assume their teacher was a Nazi government official who had to be convinced of their loyalty.”
The assignment was brought to administrators’ attention by one student’s parent, the story says, adding that some students refused to write the assignment.
Like the case earlier this year in which a Manhattan teacher caused controversy by assigning fourth-graders math homework involving scenarios about killing and whipping slaves, this teacher’s assignment, which told students they “must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich,” just can’t be what it sounds like, it seems to me.
How stupid would a public school teacher have to be to out themselves as so hopeless a racist/anti-Semite as these assignments would imply, especially if they really were. Such people tend to sneak their poison into their lessons more stealthily than this. But, maybe the sensitivity training the latter case provoked will help. It couldn’t hurt. That kind of stuff can turn into the kind of stuff being experienced in much of the rest of the world, if left unchecked.
It was nice that the U.S. government, in the person of Secretary of State John Kerry, called the Turkish prime minister’s most recent anti-Semitic remark “objectionable,” and everything, but there are still problems with how the episode is portrayed in the press.
The Islamists in Egypt are evidently going full bore after the country’s Christians, and perhaps using the same blood libel-style ploy as has been used for millennium to such stunning effect against the Jews.
Armies move on their stomachs, they say, which may help explain why the Russian army forgot all about its soldiers’ feet for several hundred years.
Associated Press reported that Russia’s new defense minister recently realized the country’s soldiers have been using foot wraps since the 17th century and no one gave a second thought to this since.
Called “portyanki” in Russian, these rectangular strips of cloth are carefully wrapped around bare feet to prevent blisters from the soldiers’ tall, heavy, lace-less boots, the story says. I’ve seen these in movies, but never in person, and actually didn’t realize until now that these guys were using these instead of socks on purpose.
Czar Peter the Great evidently adopted the custom from the Dutch army in the late 17th century and then never looked back.
Now, though, this Russian official says “it’s time for the nation’s soldiers to switch from foot wraps to socks,” the story says.
The official, who took the post two months ago, reportedly said he was surprised to learn that some soldiers are still using “portyanki,” and told them to use socks instead.
At a televised meeting with military officers recently, he reportedly said, “In 2013, or at least by the end of 2013, we must forget the word portyanki.”
I suppose, if the wraps were considered the best alternative because of the lace-less boots, changing to socks would only be a better alternative if the boots have improved since the 17th century, which I suspect they have, though you never know.
Not earth-shattering information in any way, but interesting, I thought.
For more than 20 years, a self-confessed monster lived among us here in Vallejo, and only, it seems, by the grace of God, probably didn’t kill anyone until he apparently recently murdered his 90-year-old mother.
In an unbelievable display of chutzpah and/or a spectacular example of irony, a new Muslim Brotherhood official “called on Egyptian Jews to return to Egypt and leave Israel to the Palestinians,” JTA reported.
Really, how am I supposed to present Judaism and the Jewish people as unlike the enemy in, among other things, their treatment of women, when women keep getting arrested for wearing prayer shawls at Jerusalem’s Western Wall?
Decades too late, the Portuguese government this year overturned the anti-Semitism inspired conviction of an Alfred Dreyfus-like unsung hero, finally reinstating his good name, according to a JTA report.
I’ve been watching the coverage of the aftermath of the attack on America in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11, and trying to figure out why it’s so different depending on which news station you get it from. The principals behind what is clearly the new normal in the “journalism” business seems to be in play as this story and its aftermath, continues. Once upon a time, journalists prided themselves, and actually, their professionalism and believability were judged by, their impartiality in reporting. If the reporter had an opinion on something, the reader/viewer/listener didn’t know what it was. This is the only way one can be relatively certain the reporter is just reporting and not editorializing. It’s what’s kept the news from being gossip, or worse, propaganda. And that’s what kept the press, and therefore the rest of us, free. I use the past tense, here, because I think it’s clear that unbiased reporting is a dying art in this country. And this country is nearly the only place it really ever existed. Its loss probably means the eventual loss of everything we treasure in our way of life. I hope I’m wrong. You can judge how far we’ve fallen for yourself by watching the various news programs. I have, and this is what I believe I’m seeing. Although nearly everyone else can easily discern the political leanings of most news networks and most reporters on those networks these days, the purveyors themselves are not yet willing to completely drop any pretence of impartiality. So, what happens in most cases, is if some piece of news doesn’t fit into a media outlet’s particular narrative, it will at first only be reported by the networks/papers into whose point of view it does fit. It will vanish then, unless the story grows powerful legs and begins taking on a life of its own. At some point, then, it will appear on those other news broadcasts, but only if those networks feel they must address it or be called out as incompetent or intentionally biased. And they will try to find a way to report it that softens any potential negative fallout impacting their agenda. Take for instance this latest act of war that killed our ambassador to Libya and several other Americans. Most of the news networks reported it as a spontaneous riot in response to some stupid anti-Muslim film, probably because White House officials were saying that’s what it was. They persisted in that analysis for several days, with even President Obama alluding to it in his speech at the United Nations. However, Fox News, and as far as I can tell, only Fox News, has been reporting its suspicions to the contrary from the start. More recently, its anchors are reporting that there’s proof Obama Administration officials knew within a day or so that the assault was a pre-planned terrorist attack, timed intentionally to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Nevertheless, Administration spokespeople continued repeating what they now admit was misinformation. Fox continues to wonder out loud why the administration “lied” about the nature of the attack, refusing to let up on the issue, and it’s begun spreading via social media, so now, and only now, other venues are starting to make mention of the “self-evident” nature of the terrorism involved. As though they have always said it was terrorism. They never said it wasn’t. Up is down. Black is white. Orwellian doublespeak. This is how it seems to work in the news business these days, except for when the subject is Israel. As it is the miner’s canary for the world’s attitude and conscience, Israel (the state and/or the People) also appears to serve that function for the media. Nearly all news outlets long ago gave up entirely any attempt to appear unbiased in regard to the Jewish state, to the point that several have been sued and censured for doctoring photos and otherwise lying to further the anti-Israel agenda. Most recently, many outlets published photos of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations, in which he appears to be giving the Nazi salute. Very subtle. In that same speech, Netanyahu used a cartoon-like drawing of a bomb to illustrate where a so-called “red line” needs to be drawn past which the world won’t let the lunatic megalomaniacal Iranian leadership go toward its goal to acquire nuclear weapons without reacting in some decisive way. Media the world over is making fun of the graphic, but, you know what? Because of that cartoon, everyone the world over is talking about a speech few, not even many of our country’s leaders, bothered to watch or listen to. It’s the water cooler story of the hour. How about that?
With Iran’s Hitleresque megalomaniacal leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking to the United Nations on the holiest day of the Jewish year about his country’s intention to annihilate the Jews, and with the U.S. president making a milquetoast remark challenging those desires the day before, one must wonder where we go from here.
According to the FBI’s website, “Congress has defined a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
The condemned (to repeat history) Is the world a lost cause? Is it on the brink of being completely overtaken by Islam? How close are we to the ultimate clash of cultures pitting the West’s modernity against the barbarism that is radical Islam? Well, if recent goings-on surrounding the London Olympics is any indication, way too close.
Looking in the dictionary under the word “chutzpah” and the word “hypocritical” we find this recent JTA report: “The head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee called the campaign to hold a minute of silence for the 11 Israelis murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics ‘racism.’”