Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jews and "warning signs"

The Forward has provided the full text of the e-mail that the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee sent to 75,000 Jewish voters in the state. It emphasizes the attacks and smears that have spread about Obama which would most raise Jewish voters fears:
Dear Fellow Jewish Voter: In the 5,769 years of our people, there has never been a more important time for us to take pro-active measures in order to stop a second Holocaust. Israel faces immeasurable threats from its neighbors, most especially Iran. The global community and the United Nations are strongly influenced by many Muslim nations and have therefore turned their backs to Israel and the Jewish community. We did not write this letter to scare you, but rather, to help you make an informed decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008. When voters elect a new President in less about two weeks, it is imperative that the Jewish community elects the one man who understands the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people—John McCain. John McCain has always been a friend to Israel and the Jewish people and as leaders of the community throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we want to remind you of the importance of your vote to the future of our Jewish homeland. John McCain has never wavered on the need to keep Jerusalem the capital of a Jewish Israel. He has even vowed to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

More importantly, John McCain understands that radical members of the Islamic faith from Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups seek to do us harm no matter how we try to appease them. He will not cave into the pressures to divide OUR homeland as a result of threats from people whose agenda is deleterious to the fate our people. John McCain is an American hero who has selflessly served the United States since he was 18 years old. America and Israel need John McCain as President of the United States NOW MORE THAN EVER. What do we really know about Barack Obama?

He has served in the Illinois legislature before joining the U.S. Senate in 2006 having sponsored no meaningful legislation in either body.

· Prior to beginning his legislative career, he served as a corporate lawyer and community activist.
· During his days of community activism, he taught members of ACORN to commit voter registration fraud.
· He associated with a known terrorist, William Ayers, who thought the terrorists didn’t do enough on 9/11. Later, Obama used Ayers’ home to launch his Senate campaign, but referred to Ayers as “just a guy in the neighborhood”. If a known terrorist lived in your neighborhood, would he just be a “guy in your neighborhood” or would you be calling the FBI to have him removed?
This is a ridiculous charge. Ayers did not say that the terrorists didn't do enough on 9/11. In the interview with him published in the September 11, 2001 edition of the New York Times, he was referring to what he and his comrades in the Weathermen had done while they were planting bombs to protest the Vietnam War. And the meeting in Ayers' house did not "launch" his Senate campaign - it was one of several local meetings held with people in Hyde Park when Obama was running for the Illinois legislature in 1995.
For 20 years, Obama and his wife attended the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright who called Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan “one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century.” (National Press Club Speech, 4/28/08)
· Farrakhan said Obama is the “hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better.” (Associated Press, 2/25/08)
Obama, as we know, has severed his relations with Wright and has publicly denounced anti-semitism - see the speech he made on Martin Luther King Day this year.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says: Israel is “a stinking corpse” and should be “wiped off the face of the earth.” (The Jerusalem Post, 5/8/08)

Ahmadinejad says: “The real Holocaust is what is happening in Palestine where the Zionists avail themselves of the fairy tale of Holocaust as blackmail and justification for killing children and women.” (The Jerusalem Post, 5/22/06)

Obama says: HAMAS and Hezbollah have “legitimate claims.” (David Brooks, Op-Ed, “Obama Admires Bush,” The New York Times, 5/16/08)

Obama says: “I would” when asked if he would be willing to meet separately, without precondition, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. (CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07) The World on Obama

The Wall Street Journal said Barack Obama’s foreign policy “could strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad.” (Jay Solomon, “Obama’s Foreign-Policy Pledge Sparks Criticism from Rivals,” Wall Street Journal, 3/26/08)

“We don’t mind - actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election…” HAMAS Political Advisor Ahmed Yousef (Mosheh Oinounou, “A Hamas Problem For Obama?” Fox News’ “Cameron’s Corner," 4/16/08)
Of course, Obama did not solicit this endorsement! If we're going to bring up this pseudo-endorsement, how about the statement made on an Islamist website that Al Qaeda wants McCain elected? Does that mean that McCain supports Al Qaeda? Of course not!
“The four years ahead are far too critical for global security to place the presidency of the United States in the hands of a leader whose campaign is leaving us with more questions than answers.” (Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon, Op-Ed, “Who Are You, Barack Obama?” The Jerusalem Post, 1/23/08)

Jesse Jackson said of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, “Jackson believes that, although ‘Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades’ remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.” (Amir Taheri, Op-Ed, “The O Jesse Knows,” New York Post, 10/14/08)
This is an article from the same man - Amir Taheri - who brought us the false charge that the Iranian regime was planning to force Jews to wear a yellow badge to identify them. Anything he says should be read with the greatest skepticism.
Do you really think that the Jewish community’s interests could be in line with that of William Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Louis Farrakhan? Do you really think that Barack Obama has shown proper judgment by associating with such individuals? Can America, Israel and the Jewish Community really rely on someone as dangerously inexperienced as Barack Obama? NO! Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008. Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let’s not make a similar one this year! As leaders of Pennsylvania’s Jewish Community, we strongly URGE you to VOTE for John McCain for President of the United States—a true friend of Israel and the Jewish Community. Thank you.

Sincerely yours, I. Michael Coslov Mitchell Morgan The Honorable Sandra Schultz Newman
Paid for by Republican Federal Committee of PA - Victory 2008
Of course, the most offensive line is saved for the last - that if we vote for Barack Obama, it's the same as our ancestors who made a "tragic mistake" in the 30s and 40s by ignoring the "warning signs." Not only is this an outrageous smear on Obama, it is offensively blaming Jews who died in the Holocaust for their own deaths, because they ignored the "warning signs." Unfortunately, many of those Jews who did see the warning signs were not able to leave Europe and gain refuge in the United States and other countries because we closed our borders to more than a trickle of Jewish refugees.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Academics support Bill Ayers

There are plenty of issues currently more important than whether Barack Obama was close to Bill Ayers - for example, the current meltdown of our economic system - but this minor issue has come to the fore due to the vile efforts instigated by Sarah Palin and John McCain to tar Obama with the terrorist brush..

Obama knew Ayers and worked with him in Chicago on educational issues. But he was not a close friend of his, and he's already denounced Ayers' terrorist past.

Now, some academics, with the perfect instinct for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, have set up a web site to defend Ayers - Suppport4 Bill Ayers - gathering signatures on a petition to support him for all the work he's done in the past twenty years in education. I could understand why colleagues and those who have used his research might want to support him, except for the fact that the petition engages in egregious whitewashing of Ayers' record during his Weathermen days.
The current characterizations of Professor Ayers - “unrepentant terrorist,” “lunatic leftist” - are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him. It’s true that Professor Ayers participated passionately in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did hundreds of thousands of Americans. His participation in political activity 40 years ago is history; what is most relevant now is his continued engagement in progressive causes, and his exemplary contribution - including publishing 16 books - to the field of education. The current attacks appear as part of a pattern of “exposés” and assaults designed to intimidate free thinking and stifle critical dialogue. Like crusades against high school and elementary teachers, and faculty at UCLA, Columbia, DePaul, and the University of Colorado, the attacks on and the character assassination of Ayers threaten the university as a space of open inquiry and debate, and threaten schools as places of compassion, imagination, curiosity, and free thought. They serve as warnings that anyone who voices perspectives and advances questions that challenge orthodoxy and political power may become a target, and this, then, casts a chill over free speech and inquiry and the spirit of democracy.
Italics mine. Ayers did not just "participate passionately" in the civil rights and antiwar movements - he joined the lunatic fringe of the antiwar left, the Weathermen, which committed terrorist acts which could very well have killed innocent people. They did manage to accidentally kill three of their own members in the Greenwich Village townhouse where they were making bombs.

And Bill Ayers never repented of his actions, and in fact has said in his own memoir of those days (Fugitive Days) that ''Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon.''

I don't know if he is a "lunatic leftist," but he certainly never repented of, never renounced, never criticized his own violent actions or the violent actions of his fellow Weathermen. Academics and intellectuals who sign this petition in his defense gloss over his original actions, and his self-justifications and obfuscations. They are guilty of intellectual dishonesty by ignoring the blatant evasion of the truth in this petition. People whom I respect have signed this petition - and I simply don't understand how they could lend their names to this dubious and dishonest project.

I am not sure, but I would wager that the reference to "crusade" at the University of Colorado points to another dubious case that some on the left have taken up - the defense of Ward Churchill. Ward Churchill lost his job for plagiarism - which was finally proven - not for his offensive political opinions.

The attacks of Sarah Palin and John McCain against Barack Obama are vile - but they are not correctly refuted by calling for support of a man who, in truth, never repented of his earlier terrorist actions.