Saturday, September 25, 2010

They Really Have Conned The World!

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) also known as the Kill the Jews Commitee has voted that Israel committed War Crimes against the Mavi Marmara on May 31.
A report by three United Nations appointed human rights experts Wednesday said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine activists, earlier this year.

The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate.

Israel has maintained that its soldiers acted in self-defense when they shot and killed eight Turkish activists and one Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31. Israel Defense Forces released footage showing its troops coming under attack as they tried to board the boat.

The Human Rights Council blamed Israel prior to the investigation and it is no surprise that they condemn after, said Andy David, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, referring to the 47-member body's resolution in early June condemning the raid.
This is the same organization headed by that bastion of Liberty and Human Rights:  Libya.

Yes they excel in the pursuit of human rights for all people.  You can find such outstanding examples of their humanity here, here, and here.

Or listen to the words of Kristiana Venelinova Valcheva, a nurse from Bulgaria.

I am Kristiana Venelinova Valcheva, a nurse from Bulgaria. To make my identity clearer I will add a few keywords - Bulgarian medics, hostages, inquisitions, Libya, Qaddafi, death sentence, issued trice.

If someone told me eleven years ago that these words would become my "visit card", I would laugh. Because eleven years ago my life, the lives of my husband, Dr. Zdravko Georgiev, of another four Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor Ashraf., as well as the lives of our families were cut in the middle - before and after 1999.

It all began on February 9, 1999, in Benghazi. On that day we, five Bulgarian nurses, were abducted in a gangsters' manner by the Libyan authorities. They abducted us from our homes and workplaces, threw us into a bus with our hands, eyes and mouth tied, and carried us overnight one thousand and hundred kilometers away to Tripoli 1,100 km. In Libya they call this a lawful arrest.

We did not know why this was happening and what was coming after. We did not know that we ware a part of a sinister scenario of a dictator. We did not know that what was awaiting us were eight years and a half in the hell of the Libyan prisons.

For 14 months they kept us at a school for police dogs. For 14 months we were subjected to barbaric torture, humiliation and mockery.

They stretched me at a window frame and beat me with sticks and cables. Night after night they forced us to stand on one leg with our hands raised and if anybody tried to put his second leg on the floor out of exhaustion, that one would be mercilessly beaten. They would beat us over the soles of our feet, and then make us run with our feet swollen and black of beating, blood and lymph flowing from them. They injected me with drugs, undressed me totally naked, bind me to a metal bed and then the worst started -- inquisition by electrical shock.
You see that under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every Muslim nation is allowed to torture, falsely imprison, rape and even murder any non-Muslim in their land.  So it is ok for Libya or any other Islamic nation hellhole to do what they want without any repercussions from the rest of the world.  In fact they are rewarded for their actions!

Yes they have really conned the world!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Civil Rights and Hate Crimes

Gary Fouse

The revelations about how the Justice Department dropped charges against the New Black Panther Party over the incident that occurred in front of a Philadelphia voting station leads to a discussion of the entire issue of how to enforce civil rights law, which in turn, leads to a discussion on hate crimes. This also corresponds to a report issued this week by an Orange County agency named the OC Human Relations Commission. Don't ask me what they do. All I know is that they are led by an empty suit named Rusty Kennedy. As I have previously written, I wrote to Kennedy in 2008 complaining about anti-Semitism on the UCI campus, and all I got back was a nastygram because I had also criticized what I considered the lack of an effective response by the university. Anyway, here is the link to the OC Register article on the study on hate crimes in 2009 in Orange County followed by the report itself.

Note: If you go to the above website, you are going to wind up someplace else, so I suggest you go to the OCHRC main site below, see all the happy faces, read all the puff, and then click on the report, which is on the right.

So what are we to make of the situation in Orange County, which has evolved into a multi-ethnic county? As for the OC Register article, it is completely centered on hate against Muslims. Note the title and the statements from CAIR. Interestingly, it features as its lead photo, a shot of Muslim Student Union members at UC-Irvine as they were disrupting the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the US last February. I wonder if that incident was included in the stats. Eleven arrests would have had some kind of impact on the OCHRC results, would it not?

If you really look at this study, you are talking about 77 reported instances in 2009, most of which were vandalism and committed by unknown persons. There were only a handful of cases of serious violence. Not a bad record, but one case is one case too many.

First of all, is insulting someone and referring to their ethnicity or religion a crime? Two such incidents are mentioned in the OC Register article in which Muslims were insulted. I do not condone that action, but is it a crime absent a threat? (The boy in the restroom was, in fact, threatened. That is a crime.)

The article mentions that over half of the incidents involve graffiti or vandalism. That is a crime-and especially despicable if in occurs on a religious building, such as a mosque or synagogue. The question I have is whether legally, the offense should be enhanced because of the "hate" aspect. I still have a problem with charging people for what they think as opposed to what they do. Is the motive for a crime not an element of proof rather than part of the charge? For example, if I kill you because I want to rob you or I am a hired killer carrying out a contract, is that any more or less than if I kill you for racial or religious reasons? Of course, self-defense, temporary insanity etc are considered mitigating factors. If I kill you because I just saw you kill my daughter, that would also be a mitigating factor.

Some would argue, quite reasonably, that to assault someone because of their religion or race has implications far greater for society than just the individuals involved. Yet, I think there are some legal issues involved including whether they are applied equally as to who the victims and perpetrators are.

Back to the study. From reading this study, it would appear that non-white, non-Christian minorities are the chief victims. Keep in mind, there were 77 reported incidents. Do we know who the perpetrators are? Or do we just assume they are the old boogey man-whites? For example, who is attacking who? The best this study can tell us is that out of 77 reported cases, the majority of offenders are unknown, but that among known offenders, the majority are white -just as nationwide they add. The numbers on the screen are tiny, but by my adding, it looks like 16 out of 33 known offenders were white (offense not specified), but who's quibbling? They also came up with a figure of 75 cases of unknown perpetrators so it gets rather confusing to a simple guy like me. My conclusion is, since I follow the news, is that the vast majority of incidents in Orange County involve defacing or destruction of religious property (synagogues and mosques) and that the perps are unknown. All in all, we have a pretty good county when it comes to this issue. I wonder how much money this bunch gets paid to put out these statistics based on 77 incidents in a single year. Is it significant to say attacks against a certain group tripled during the year-from 2 to 7? Just nitpicking.

In Los Angeles (not in Orange County), the most serious attacks (deadly) against African-Americans are generally carried out by Hispanics-and vis-versa-due to the gang wars. Drop into any California state prison some time and see how the blacks and the Hispanics get along. Hell, the Hispanics are divided against each other according to whether they are Nortenos or Surenos (North or South-sorry, I can't get the diacritical marks down on my blog).

Another questionable aspect of this study is that the lowest victim group is......whites, of course. Strange since we live in a society where you can pretty much say anything you want about whites and get away with it. Are you telling me that the OCHRC couldn't find a white guy who had never been insulted as a "white so and so"? Maybe they found two, but then again, insulting is not a crime unless it involves a terroristic threat (of violence). Surely, a few have been punched in the nose the past year by a minority.

Let me get a little more daring and lay out this scenario. Suppose I (a white guy) decided one night to take a drive to South Central LA and try out the nightlife. You know, hit a few bars, nightclubs, maybe hit on a few black ladies, maybe get lucky. What do you think is going to happen within the first hour or two?

If you guessed hate crime, you WIN!

Now I know there are still some places and bars in the US where a black guy would be ill-advised to spend the same kind of evening. Yet, the places I have frequented my whole adult life (and they are many) are not like that. The point is that it is all wrong. Expressions of hate toward another group is wrong. Civil rights in the US are supposed to be for all-even the group that historically discriminated against others. What we learned from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was that everyone should be treated equally. His message was not that only certain groups should be protected, but all groups.

That leads us to the mess in the DOJ and Eric Holder's little fiefdom. It is being alleged that current DOJ policy is to not pursue cases in which minorities commit an act against whites. Unless you believe in the principle of "pay-back" (which has no legal standing), these laws must be applied equally. We now have strong reason to believe that DOJ is not doing that.

Of course, political correctness tells us that society is divided into certain "victim" groups and "oppressor" groups, and that the victim groups deserve special protection. Yes, they deserve protection and a guarantee that we will never go back to "Jim Crow", but at the same time, everyone deserves the same protection. Let's not forget that many "hate crimes" or hateful statements are being made both to minorities and whites by.......other minority groups. If you don't believe me, you need to listen more to the words of the New Black Panthers and their spokesman Malik Shabazz. I have also written many times about anti-Semitic expressions made by Muslims though they are much more frequent and open in other parts of the world as opposed to the US.

That leads me to the topic of Islamophobia, however you wish to define it. Is there Islamophobia in the US? Of course. Millions fear Islamic terrorism. Millions still smolder over 9-11. The recent issue of the NY mosque, acts of terror world-wide, and other expressions of radicalism and hate toward others (mostly coming out of the Middle East) have convinced millions of people that Islam is violent, intolerant and bent on taking over the West. These are legitimate concerns and cannot be swept under the rug in the name of political correctness. The dilemma is how to deal with this evil-and it is evil-without harming innocent and peaceful Muslims in our country who simply wish to go about their daily lives, raise their children as best they can and be left alone.

A major part of the Muslim issue is that political correctness has determined that Muslims are now a major "protected group". Thus, if you talk about these issues or protest against a Ground Zero mosque, you are a hater, you are a bigot, and no American wants to be called that. It is also well known that American Muslim groups like CAIR and others are ready to file lawsuits on a moment's notice. Furthermore, we know that perceived "insults" toward Islam will be answered with violent protests in the Islamic world. Our news media will jump to pump up a story about a misguided pastor who wants to burn Korans, but ignore an imam in Lebanon on tape calling for the beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. (His name is Feiz Muhammad.)

The fact is that double standards have no place in American society. We are a multi-ethnic society, and we are still struggling to make the best of it-and we can. However, the laws and the rules must be the same for all. How sad that the man who was going to "bring us together" (President Obama) is dividing us. How sad that the Department of Justice, which I was proud to work for for almost 25 years in several Republican and Democrat administrations, has come down to the point where it is little different than a local Alabama courthouse in the 1950s.

As for the next OCHRC report on 2010- I can hardly wait. Hopefully, there won't be any incidents to report. Wouldn't that be great? Then Orange County can get rid of Rusty Kennedy and his Human Relations Commission.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mourning In America

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Hat tip to Wake Up America

In 1984, the Reagan reelection campaign set the standard for modern political advertising with its fabled "Morning in America" series, which included one of the greatest political ads of all time -- "Better, Prouder, Stronger." The ad captured the zeitgeist -- America under President Reagan was coming back, full of optimism and confidence in the future.

Today, the zeitgeist is exactly the opposite. Americans are worried about their future, and about a government determined to implement policies that just don't work. But like its predecessor, "Mourning in America" offers a new hope -- if we can just get our government to return to time-tested policies that can spark a rebirth of liberty.


The Original Morning

How have times changed!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Controversy over Congressional Muslim Staffers Ass. & Anwar al-Awlaki

Gary Fouse

Anwar al-Awlaki

A lot of web sites are featuring a story about the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association (CMSA) on Capitol Hill and whether there is a connection to radical Islamic ideology. Much of it centers around the fact that fugitive Anwar Al Awlaki gave a sermon to this group in 2002. One central question is whether Awlaki was already radicalized at the time he appeared on Capitol Hill. Here is the story by Patrick Poole on Pajamas Media. It contains a video clip of Awlaki speaking to the CMSA with an accompaning article (courtesy of the Investigative Project on Terrorism):

The video tape shows nothing objectionable said by Awlaki in the clip. It is noted that also present in the audience was Randall ("Ismail") Royer, a former communications official with CAIR and member of other Muslim organizations in America, as well as Nihad Awad, the head of CAIR. What does that prove? Well, at the least, it seems to demonstrate that our government is reaching out to the wrong Muslims when they go to the heads of these groups like CAIR, which was listed as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the Holy Land Foundation trial a few years ago in Dallas. Royer is now serving a long prison sentence for terror-related activities.

The article by the IPT counters the arguments that Awlaki was once a moderate who turned radical only recently. IPT presents CDs from the late 1990s that show Awlaki had radical views (see link).

Also mentioned in the IPT article from July 2010 (linked from the Pajamas Media article) is Abdulrahman Alamoudi, who was head of the American Muslim Council and founder of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center recently visited by Wellesley Middle School children (which has raised a recent furor). Alamoudi is now serving time for terror-related activities connected to a plot to kill the King of Saudi Arabia. Yet, he was a most influential man in Washington, who had access to the highest levels of power in both Republican and Democrat administrations. How is that?

Abdulrahman Alamoudi

I realize that this story has gone viral over the Internet and may be interpreted different ways as as to questions about who was in attendance when someone spoke. I do trust the words of the IPT as well as terror-expert Frank Gaffney, who is also linked.

At the very least, it indicates that our government leaders are reaching out to the wrong Muslim groups and individuals. There are several large Muslim organizations which are considered "moderate" or mainstream". Yet, time and time again, we find them linked to known radicals and Islamists-and in the case of Abdulrahman Alamoudi and Randall Royer, they themselves are convicted terrorists. One wonders why our leaders in Washington cannot spend more time consulting with true moderates, like Zuhdi Jasser and Steven Schwartz.

I am not prepared to indict the CMSA for their choice of a speaker in 2002, who may or may not have been known then as a radical, nor do I object to them having their own group. However, it is amazing to see who is freely walking around the halls of Capitol Hill. Is anybody up there paying attention?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Indoctrination of our Kids

Gary Fouse

ACT for America has sent me this article and video, which was produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a Boston-based organization of Christians, Jews and Muslims truly committed to inter-faith peace-without bowing to Islamic extremists. It is run by Charles Jacobs, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting. This is an organization worthy of support.

In this article, a local mom in Wellesley, Massachusetts described how she accompanied her child on a field trip to a Boston mosque (Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center), which has come under considerable suspicion recently. (I have written about this mosque previously.) The bottom line here is that PUBLIC school children (Wellesley Middle School) were subjected to religious indoctrination. Here is the article and video. Watch as the kids are actually led into prayer.

Imagine the outrage had these public school kids been taken to pray at a Christian church. Is there not supposed to be a strict separation of church and state in public schools? This is obviously a violation, and those at the Wellesley Middle School who are responsible should be held accountable.

This is not an isolated case. I have reported on two schools that use textbooks that give a positive and misleading account of Islam. The reason is that Muslim activists have inserted themselves into the school offices that decide on textbooks. This is going on nation-wide.

There is no law in the US against proselytizing, nor should there be. That, however, does not extend into our public school systems. Furthermore, given the history of this particular center's leaders, this is no place school children should be taken in the first place.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some History About Israel and its Enemies You May Not Know

Gary Fouse

1951- Jews in Baghdad line up in front of a synagogue to surrender their assets and register to obtain exit permits

Hat tip to Miggie for the article

This article by Richard Z. Chesnoff is a must read for those of you Westerners who have been fooled by the pro-Palestinian version of the conflict in the Middle East. Read it, and read the referenced book by Sir Martin Gilbert. You might learn a few things about the issue and its history you didn't know.

Surprise, Surprise! Palestinians Won't Recognize Jewish State

By Richard Z. Chesnoff

" The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state … Such a declaration would directly threaten the Muslims and Christians in Israel and prevent Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and villages a number of decades ago, from being granted the right to return to them."

— Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, shortly after the start of US sponsored peace talks

"This rather shocking comment made at a Ramallah press conference last week by one of the supposedly more "moderate" members of the Palestinian leadership produced headlines throughout both the Arab world and Israel.

Amazingly it received nary a mention in the major American media!

As Mr. Shaath well knows, Israel was established and internationally recognized as a Jewish state more than 60 years ago. He also knows that Arab refusal to recognize that fact is at the very core of the Mideast conflict. So how does Shaath expect to win Israeli confidence and concessions for peace if Palestinians still refuse to accept Israel's Jewishness?

And why is Mr. Shaath so worried about Israel's Arabs, that 20 percent of Israel's population of 8 million whose forebears were smart enough not to run away during the 1947-48 Arab-launched war? Surely he knows that Israeli Arabs -- Christian, Druze and Muslim -- are full fledged citizens of the Jewish state. They occasionally face problems, but they always vote, elect their own members of parliament, work in the Israeli government, in Israeli industry, agriculture and commerce, are doctors and nurses in Israeli hospitals, teachers and professors in Israeli schools and universities, serve in the Israeli army if they wish, share in a democratic system unmatched in the Middle East and enjoy a standard of living that is the highest of most Arabs anywhere!

Mr. Shaath also fails to explain that when he speaks of "a Right of Return" he's not referring merely to survivors from 1948's original 700,000 or so Palestinian refugees. He is talking about all their descendants -- four (sometimes five) generations of them -- roughly 4 million souls by Arab count! Does the Palestinian leadership really expect Israel to commit demographic suicide as part of a "peace deal"?

The Palestinian exodus during the Arab war on nascent Israel is part of history. Most fled out of fear of war, others because they were urged to make way for "victorious" Arab armies, and some -- but certainly not most -- because Israeli troops drove them out in the heat of battle.

Other mid-20th century refugee problems were all quickly settled (the millions who simultaneously fled Pakistan and India, for example). But the Arab refugee problem was made to fester with the compliance of the Palestinian leadership. Israel, with millions of Jewish refugees at its gates, understandably refused to allow a hostile Arab refugee mass back onto Israel's sliver of land.

The Muslim world turned its back on its brethren. With the exception of Jordan, no Arab state has ever granted Palestinian refugees citizenship, let alone a permanent home on any of its millions of open acres . Instead Palestinian Arab refugees were kept penned up in overcrowded refugee camps - tent cities that have become squalid towns. They still live off massive international welfare doles, are used as political pawns by corrupt officials, and sit waiting for Israel to be destroyed so they can invoke a "Right of Return".

Compare that to the other, lesser know Mideast refugee crisis that coincided with Israel's birth - the forced exodus of almost 900,000 Jews from their centuries old homes in the Arab world; from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Aden, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia , Algeria and Morocco.

These Jewish communities, some of which had existed 1000 years before Islam, were rich in culture, with their own Judeo dialects and traditions, their own scholars and religious literature. The true story of this other Mideast refugee saga, is now told in a powerful new book by prize-winning British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert called In Ishmael's House; A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (Yale University Press).

To be sure, says Gilbert, Jews in the Arab world were subject over the centuries to occasional violence and forced conversion. Nor were they ever accepted as anything but Dhimmi -- "protected" but always second class citizens.

Still, by 1947, close to a million Jews lived in the Arab world. Many played primary roles in local economies, global trade, and medicine. Some became senior advisors to kings and presidents and helped enrich the cities of the Arab world ( Baghdad's pre 1948 Chamber of Commerce was 50% Jewish).

The historic decision to establish the State of Israel changed all that. Outraged by the idea of even a tiny Jewish state in their midst (and with an avaricious eye on their Jewish citizens' belongings), the Arab world turned on its Jews, targeting them with legislated discrimination, government sponsored anti-Semitic riots and murderous pogroms. Faced with growing threats, outright violence (some were hung for public amusement) and moves to completely disenfranchise them, close to 900,000 Jews were forced to abandon their ancient homes between 1948 and 1967 . In Cairo, the former home of of one of Egypt's wealthiest Jews became the residence of the Egyptian president.

Almost all were eventually "allowed" to leave their native lands on condition they signed agreements never to return and -- most important -- to leave their property and belongings behind. Recently uncovered documents indicate that much of this massive theft was a coordinated scheme by several Arab governments to grab Jewish property worth as much as $100 billion today.

Today, with the exception of small communal pockets in Morocco, the Arab world is effectively Judenrein. Egypt which once had 180,000 Jews now literally has a handful of mostly aged Jews living in Cairo and Alexandria; Iraq which had 160,000 Jews now has 10, Libya and most other Arab states have none.

But here comes the difference between the fates of Arab and Jewish refugees. While the corrupt Arab world condemned Palestinian Arabs to statelessness, squandered opportunities to make peace with Israel and stole mega-millions in welfare funds, the Jewish state and the world Jewish community worked tirelessly to resettle its fellow Jews from Arab lands. More than half a million have settled in Israel where, after early years of economic and sometimes social hardship, they and their descendants have been successfully integrated and now form more than 50% of the Jewish population. Others found new homes in South America, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada -- rebuilding lives while trying to retain their own unique cultural ties and communal institutions.

Most important, not a single Jew from the Arab world remains a "refugee", not one lives in a squalid camp or demands UN funding or a "Right of Return" to the Arab world. Above all, not one angry, Arab-born Jew has ever strapped a terrorist suicide bomb to his or her waist and climbed aboard a bus to murder dozens of innocents.

There are reports Shaath is fighting to win the primary seat on the Palestinian negotiating team. The buzzing swarm of apologists for the Palestinians will argue that Nabil Shaath's statement was strictly for "Arab street consumption." Therein lies the problem. It's time for the Palestinian leadership to tell their people that the only hope for peace is a two state solution -- to recognize Israel as the Jewish one, to build permanent homes for Arab refugees in the Palestinian Arab one and to seek resettlement for those who can't fit on it in other Arab lands.

Won't somebody please send Mr. Shaath a copy of Sir Martin's new book?"

* Richard Z. Chesnoff, a prize winning veteran of more than 40 years of global news work, has covered many of the major stories and personalities of our times. A former foreign correspondent for Newsweek and executive editor of Newsweek International, he was senior correspondent of US News & World Report from 1985 to 2003 and has been an op-ed columnist for The NY Daily News since 1994.

-Huffington Post

Well, shiver me timbers. That great "independent scholar with a PHD from Princeton", Norm Finklestein (above) never told us that. (Don't call him Norm; he doesn't like that.)

To all you college students, the next time your professor or some invited anti-Israel speaker at your campus starts to rail about the "Nazi state of Israel", why don't you ask them about some of the above historical facts? It will be interesting to see how they respond.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Father Of The Merkava Dead At 86

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

Israel Tal, father of the Merkava, and Israeli Armor, passed away yesterday at the age of 86.
Major General Israel Tal (res.), one of the Israel Defense Force's most prominent commanders and military theorists, died Wednesday, after suffering from a prolonged illness.

Tal, who was a week shy of his 86th birthday, is known as the "father" of Israel's main battle tank, the Merkava, and served as the commander of the IDF's Armored Corps during Israel's "War over the Water" in the 1960s, as well as the commander of the armored division which broke through the northern Sinai in the Six Day War.

The former Major General eventually reached the portion of deputy IDF chief of staff and the commander of Israel's southern front against Egypt in the final stages of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

In one famous incident Tal, as commander of the southern front, refused an order by then IDF chief of staff David Elazar and defense minster Moshe Dayan to engage Egyptian forces after the war had ended, insisting on receiving authorization from then prime minister Golda Meir and the Supreme Court.

While Tal eventually won the argument, the incident virtually eliminated Tal's chances of being nominated chief of staff after Elazar stepped down in the wake of the report by the Agarnat commission, which investigated the conduct of Israeli political and military officials during the war.

Upon his release, Tal was nominated deputy minister of defense under Shimon Peres, and remained in that position even after returning to active duty during Ezer Weizman's stint as defense minister.

During this period Tal, following Weizman's request, prepared plans for central ground forces command, an offer which was intercepted by two chiefs of staff, Mordechai Gur and Rafael Eitan, fearing Tal would be named chief of staff following the command's establishment.

Later, defense minister Moshe Arena erected a downsized version of Tal's command, which was later restructured as the GOC Army Headquarters.

In 1999 Tal suffered from a stroke, following an argument over the Yom Kippur War with Maj. General Doron Almog. Following a rehabilitation process the former top IDF officer partially regained his health, only to fall ill again a few months ago.

Tal left a wife, daughter, son, and grandchildren. His military funeral is expected to take place on Sunday.

President Shimon Peres said in response to Tal's passing on Wednesday that regardless "of which rank he bore on his shoulders he was, and will remain, a man above others. In his eyes, moral considerations were equally important to technological advances."

"The tank he designed, was meant to be the best in the world, and it seems that it so regarded," Peres added, saying that Tal, above anyone else, was able to articulate a "strategy that distinguished between the need to save the country and to fortify it."

The president added that the former IDF officer knew that "there wasn't an alternative to victory, but he also believed that the alternative to war is the sought-after peace, which was at hand."

"He was Israel's inexhaustible dew ['Tal,' in Hebrew]. May his memory be blessed," Peres said.

At the Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor at Fort Knox, Kentucky there is a wall with several framed portraits-prints mounted on a black cloth background. This is known as the International Commander’s Wall.
The wall, created by the Armor Association and the Patton Museum Foundation, recognizes the boldest and most innovative Armor leaders. It bears witness to their courage, skill and tactical genius, and recognizes the contribution to the art of war reflected in operations of modern mechanized forces – armor and cavalry of the 20th Century.

These leaders are recognized simply by name, and while they fought many battles, one of the most noteworthy for each appears on his print. They are: General Field Marshall Erwin Rommelat the 1942 siege of Tobruk; Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. at the 1943 battle of El Guettar; Lieutenant Colonel Creighton W. Abrams, Jr. at the 1944 battle to relieve Bastogne; Major General Israel Tal, Israeli Defense Force, as commander of the “Steel Division” in the 1967 Six Day War; Major General Moshe “Musa” Peled, Israeli Defense Force, leading his division attack along “The Road to Damascus” in defense of the Golan Heights, in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
When asked which tank would win in battle General Tal replied:  "The one with the best tank crew."  Thus summing up his philosophy and that of the IDF.

The Merkava In Action

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John Esposito Attempts to Dilute the Honor Killing Issue

Gary Fouse

John Esposito

Pro-Arab, anti-Israel Georgetown Professor John Esposito has written an article posted in the Huffington Post pointing out that so-called honor killings are not committed solely by Muslims. He chiefly points the finger at Hindus.

To which, Phyllis Chesler has taken him to task in Pajamas Media, in which she points out that Hindu honor killings are basically confined to India and not exported to the West, as they have been by Muslims.

Not to steal Ms Chesler's thunder, but there are a couple of other points I would like to add.

First of all, if Hindus in parts of India are also engaging in this practice, I will gladly condemn that as well. Were they to attempt to continue that practice in the West, I would react in outrage as well. According to Ms Chesler, that is not the case. It is the case among certain Muslims, however, as has been demonstrated in Europe, Canada and the USA.

"Studies show that gender equity is cited as a reason for the public's mistrust of Islam. Mass media message and biased campaigns -- such as the one Ms. Pamela Geller waged in Chicago in August -- that link so-called honor killings to Islam miss the opportunity to address what is truly intolerable: Gender-based violence. Such violence refers to crimes committed against females and cuts across numerous faiths, cultures and societies."- Esposito

True enough, but "gender-based violence" includes a lot of categories; rape, date rape, wife-beating, spousal murder, and so on. Those things occur across the world.
Shall we talk about OJ Simpson here?

Yet, the idea that a family could murder a daughter, sister or wife because of infidelity or leaving the religion (Rifqa Bary) or adopting Western customs etc is something we can never allow to gain a foothold in our free and tolerant societies. For Esposito to attempt to blend honor killings in with all these local problems we already suffer is misleading and disingenuous.

"So-called honor killings occurred in ancient civilizations, including Babylonia, Biblical Israel and Rome."-Esposito

So what? They also crucified people for religious heresy.

"The Geller ad campaign omitted that in recent years, Muslim scholars, commentators and organizations have condemned these so-called honor crimes as an un-Islamic cultural practice. To illustrate, the Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a prominent Shii spiritual leader, issued a fatwa banning so-called honor killing and describing it as a "repulsive act, condemned and prohibited by religion." Shaykh Ali Gomaa, Egypt's grand mufti, also has spoken out against these crimes.- Esposito

Yes, there are always a handful of imams and clerics who will speak out, but Esposito cannot come up with more than that handful as he has appropriately been challenged by Chesley. The sad fact is that that handful of clerics is outnumbered vastly by those clerics who will support honor-killings or who simply remain silent.

"The United Nations has also taken actions to comprehensively address gender justice and has not addressed so-called honor killings are an exclusively Islamic problem."-Esposito

Of course they have. The same UN that has placed Iran on the UN Council on the Status of Woman even as they are in the midst of lashing a woman 99 times and preparing to stone her to death for adultery and being photographed without her veil. That same UN, which is pretty much under the thumb of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. Of course, the UN will take the stance that honor killings are a problem in every society.

Not surprisingly, Esposito finds a willing forum on the politically-correct Huffington Post. He will find a receptive audience among the so-called feminists in America, who have studiously ignored the plights of women like Rifqa Bary and the poor woman in Iran who awaits her barbaric fate. The end result of Mr Esposito's contribution to this debate is to prolong the practice and sentence yet more unfortunate Muslim women to this horrible fate.

Who will speak for them? Surely not John Esposito. For him, they are just lost in the mix of "gender-based violence".

Monday, September 6, 2010

The UC-Irvine Decision-What do the Poseurs and Congratulators Say Now?

Gary Fouse

"One person's hate speech is another person's education."

Now that retired Vice Chancellor Manuel Gomez (not surprisingly) reduced the punishment of the campus Muslim Student Union to a slap on the wrist as he waltzed off into retirement, the question should now be asked;

"What do all those who congratulated UC-Irvine on (finally) cracking down on the MSU say now"?

Well, if you are the OC Jewish Federation, you declare victory and keep repeating the mantra to your members and donors that "only your working with the university produced the 'great victory' of a 10-week suspension".

The Jewish Federation was not the only one who complimented the university (prematurely, in my view) for what was only the preliminary recommendation of a low-level UCI official, while the appeal process (with subtle or not-so-subtle threats of lawsuits) was sure to come.

So what does it all mean now? Not a whole lot. For the next 10 weeks, the MSU and their supporters will play the victim card. Next May, we can all look forward to another week of Israel Apartheid Week. Another round of radical Israel-hating, America-hating, and in some cases, Jew-hating loons will show up to speak. To be sure, Amir Abdel Malik Ali will grace us with his loving presence at his "home-away-from home", calling Jews the "new Nazis", declaring his support for Hamas, Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad, and promising death and destruction to Israel if they don't get the Hell out of Palestine.

Perhaps, the hapless "independent scholar with a PHD from Princeton University", Norman Finkelstein, will return-if he dares after being thoroughly embarrassed at UCI this year.

Amazing likeness, wouldn't you say?

If not he, then at least one other person of Jewish heritage will be recruited to lend "legitimacy" to the events.

Probably, we will see radical professors from other universities like Hatem Baziem from Berzerkley or William Robinson, the infamous e-mailer from UC Santa Barbara, who will quote the immortal pronouncements of that international world affairs expert, Noami Klein as his source for whatever absurd statements he makes.

If we are lucky, British clown George Galloway will return to take up another collection for Hamas, just like he did in May of 2009, another black eye for UCI-which resulted in a whitewash-with not a word from the Jewish Federation, by the way.

(That's Georgie in red.)

And of course, we can also look forward to an attempted resolution of divestment from firms doing business with Israel to take up the time and energy of the student government.

And once again, UCI will resume its place as the most notorious campus in the nation when it comes to this ugliness. They have had their few months basking in the sun and accepting congratulations for the initial suspension. Come January 1, 2011, it will be time to start dealing with the brickbats again. 2011 should be a fun year.

Friday, September 3, 2010

UC-Irvine Reduces Suspension of Muslim Student Union

Gary Fouse

"One person's hate speech is another person's education."

Today, UC-Irvine administrators have announced that the suspension of the Muslim Student Union for one year has been upheld but reduced to one quarter, which will expire December 31. In addition, there will be a two-year probation coupled with one hundred hours of community service imposed on the organization. (Hopefully, that will not include the MSU's annual Israel Apartheid Week.) Individual disciplinary measures are protected by state university privacy rules. The original suspension, which was appealed was a result of the disruption of the speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UCI on February 8 that caused an outcry both in the US and Israel.

"This has been a difficult decision," said UCI Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Manuel Gomez in a statement. "But in the end, this process demonstrates the University of California, Irvine's commitment to values, principles and tolerance. Although this has been a challenging experience for all involved, I am confident that we will continue to move forward as a stronger, more respectful university community."

Interestingly, Gomez, who was supposed to make the final decision, retired effective the end of August. Whether he made the decision as he walked out the door or left it to someone else is not yet known to this writer. My questions would be whether this was a negotiated settlement and who at UCI made the actual decision.

*Late update: According to the below LA Times article, it appears Gomez made the final decision.,0,656430.story

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Went on at DOE/OCR During the UC-Irvine Investigation?

Gary Fouse

Hat tip to Miggie for bringing this article to my attention

Ken Marcus (whom I have met) is the former head of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (during the first George W. Bush term). In the below-linked article in Commentary Magazine, Marcus exposes what occurred behind the scenes in the OCR during its "investigation" of the complaint lodged against the University of California at Irvine by the Zionist Organization of America over alleged anti-Semitism on that campus. This is an issue that I have been involved in as a part-time teacher at UCI. I have written numerous articles here on this blog over this issue. In the below article, Marcus charges that the initial finding by the field investigator that substantiated the charges was turned on its head by supervisors in Washington.

A Blind Eye to Campus Anti-Semitism?


September 2010

During the first years of the 21st century, the virus of anti-Semitism was unleashed with a vengeance in Irvine, California. There, on the campus of the University of California at Irvine, Jewish students were physically and verbally harassed, threatened, shoved, stalked, and targeted by rock-throwing groups and individuals. Jewish property was defaced with swastikas, and a Holocaust memorial was vandalized. Signs were posted on campus showing a Star of David dripping with blood. Jews were chastised for arrogance by public speakers whose appearance at the institution was subsidized by the university. They were called “dirty Jew” and “fucking Jew,” told to “go back to Russia” and “burn in hell,” and heard other students and visitors to the campus urge one another to “slaughter the Jews.” One Jewish student who wore a pin bearing the flags of the United States and Israel was told to “take off that pin or we’ll beat your ass.” Another was told, “Jewish students are the plague of mankind” and “Jews should be finished off in the ovens.”

When complaints were lodged over these incidents, which took place in 2003 and 2004, the university responded either with relative indifference or with little urgency. But when the federal government was asked in 2004 to intervene to deal with incidents that its own investigators had determined to be clear-cut violations of the civil rights of Irvine’s Jewish students, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights failed to prosecute a single case. Indeed, it has finally become clear that the current policy of the office charged with enforcing civil rights at American universities involves treating anti-Jewish bias as being unworthy of attention—a state of affairs in stark contrast to the agency’s quite justified alacrity in responding to virtually every other possible case of discrimination. While one cannot identify the motive for this astonishing double standard with complete certainty, the justification for it involves an unwillingness to treat Jews as a distinct group beyond considerations of religious adherence.

Faced with the demand to address anti-Semitic actions verified by its own investigators, the federal government passed on prosecution because it was unable to define the group that was the victim of the assault. Washington found itself unable to answer the question “Who is a Jew?”

The lack of a coherent legal conception of Jewish identity has rendered the Office for Civil Rights (henceforth, OCR) unable to cope with a resurgence of anti--Semitic incidents on American college campuses, of which the Irvine situation is enragingly emblematic. The problem stems from the fact that federal agents have jurisdiction under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act over race and national-origin discrimination—but not over religion. And because they have been unable to determine whether Jewish Americans constitute a race or a national-origin group, they found themselves unable to address the anti-Semitism at UC-Irvine. This confusion has led to enforcement paralysis as well as explosive confrontations and recriminations within the agency.


In Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964, Congress prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in federally funded universities and public schools. Over the years, other statutes have expanded the list of suspect classifications to include sex, age, disability, and even membership in the Boy Scouts and other patriotic youth groups. Yet adhering closely to its congressional mandate, OCR has generally declined to pursue anti-Semitism allegations, because none of the pertinent statutes mentions religion. Over the years, there have been suggestions that OCR should ban anti-Semitism under its race and national-origin jurisdiction, but OCR has been reluctant to suggest that Jews are members of a biologically or nationally distinct group. One can acquire Jewish identity by a process of conversion, and it was, after all, Adolf Hitler who insisted that “Jewry is without question a race and not a religious community” before he began his program of mass murder.

Yet even though being a Jew is not strictly a matter of ancestry, it is a group identity that involves more than adherence to a particular faith. Indeed, the idea that Judaism is nothing more than a religion in which Americans are merely practitioners of a “Mosaic” or “Hebrew” creed—a point of view once advocated by the founders of the Reform movement of Judaism—is now widely rejected by virtually every denomination of Judaism. In 2004, when I ran OCR during the first term of the George W. Bush administration, the office pledged for the first time to enforce Title VI against those forms of anti-Semitism that are based on Jewish ethnic or ancestral heritage. With that pledge, I conceded that purely religious discrimination is not prohibited under this law. Yet drawing on a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1987, we at OCR declared that discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or ancestry was no more permissible against groups that have religious attributes than against groups that do not. That decision—in the case of Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb—held that Jews are a “race” within the meaning of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, because Congress had, at the time of the 1866 Act’s passage, considered Jews a racial group. My argument was that the 1866 Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be read together, because the latter statute was intended in part to fulfill the mandate of the former. This policy was largely disregarded, however, during the second George W. Bush administration and has also been disregarded during the Obama administration.

This failure to enforce the law is illustrated by the government’s refusal to respond to the situation at Irvine. In a lengthy, detailed, and disturbing 2004 complaint filed with OCR against UC-Irvine, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) charged that the school fostered a hostile environment for Jewish students in violation of Title VI. With extraordinary specificity, ZOA detailed the situation Jewish students faced. As ZOA demonstrated, campus speakers were delivering lectures that some Jewish students considered to be anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish, or both. OCR would later observe that many of these speakers were known for using “strong rhetoric” when criticizing the State of Israel and, in some cases, denying Israel’s right to exist. In fact, this “strong rhetoric” included virtually the entire arsenal of traditional anti-Semitic propaganda: Holocaust inversion, racial hatred, ethnic stereotypes, conspiracy theories, physical intimidation, and even the medieval blood libel.

As the case proceeded before OCR, ZOA argued that one frequent Irvine speaker, Amir Abdel Malik Ali of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in Oakland, California, used Irvine’s podiums to advance many of the most potent anti-Semitic stereotypes. In February 2005, Malik Ali argued, “This ideology of Zionism is so racist, so arrogant, based so much on ignorance.” Invited to return the following year, he called Jews “the new Nazis ... they’re saying ... when you see an Israeli flag next to an American flag, they’re saying we’re with imperialism. We are down with colonialism. We are down with white supremacy.” He warned Jewish students, “You settle on stolen land, you got to deal with the consequences.” More bluntly, he threatened that “now it’s time for you to live in some fear ... because you were so good at dispensing fear. You were so good at making people think that y’all was all that and the Islamic tide started coming up.” He railed against “liars. Straight up liars, Rupert Murdoch, Zionist Jews.” He used the conspiracy stereotype to anticipate and defuse the inevitable anti-Semitism charge: “They say it’s anti-Semitic if you say Jews control the media.” He argued that “anti-Semitism” charges reflect Jewish arrogance and racism: “They have taken the concept of the chosen people and fused it with the concept of white supremacy.” He explained, “Once you take the concept of chosen people with white supremacy and fuse them together, you will get a people who are so arrogant that they will actually make a statement and imply that [they] are the only Semites. That’s arrogance and it’s the same arrogance they display every day and that’s the same type of arrogance that’s getting them into trouble today.” Malik Ali culminated his remarks by invoking the classic blood libel, which Christians used from the Middle Ages onward to justify the indiscriminate killing of Jews: “You all definitely don’t love children and you know why? Because you kill them.”

Irvine’s administration was, ZOA argued, “silent and passive” in the face of these and other incidents. This, for example, was ZOA’s view of the administration’s response to a Jewish student who expressed her fears to several Irvine administrators, including its chancellor at the time. The student wrote: “Not only do I feel scared to walk around proudly as a Jewish person on the Irvine campus, I am terrified for anyone to find out. Today I felt threatened that if students knew that I am Jewish and that I support a Jewish state, I would be attacked physically.” ZOA claimed that the school’s then-chancellor, Ralph J. Cicerone, never responded to the student’s letter. The student-services administrator who did respond, Thomas Parham, allegedly recommended that the student seek professional counseling. Irvine’s administration vigorously defended not only the right but also the value of anti-Semitic hate speech. Vice Chancellor Miguel Gomez, for example, allegedly insisted that “one person’s hate speech is another person’s education.”

Yet after investigating the Irvinecase for more than three years, OCR dismissed the ZOA complaint on November 30, 2007, on grounds of timeliness, the adequacy of Irvine’s response, and failure to provide sufficient factual information to proceed. In reply, Irvine officials proclaimed that their institution had been fully exonerated. Irvine’s much-heralded law-school dean, Erwin Chemerinsky, insisted that the “Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education did a thorough investigation and concluded that there was no basis for finding that there was a hostile or intimidating environment for Jewish students on campus at the University of California, Irvine.”

It should have been clear to Chemerinsky that he was, at the least, overstating his case. In fact, OCR had dismissed several of ZOA’s claims on merely technical grounds, some claims have still not been resolved, and those that OCR did resolve are still under appeal. But the most important thing that Chemerinsky and his colleagues did not say (and what the public did not know until now) was that career OCR officials in California had reached the opposite conclusion but were overruled by political appointees in Washington.

What follows is the hidden history of OCR’s Irvine investigation, which has come to light largely through the testimony of OCR officials, not in the Irvine case, but in an employment discrimination case that OCR’s California regional director, Arthur Zeidman, subsequently brought against the agency.

According to OCR’s western regional leadership, the office’s top Washington appointees at the time—Deputy Assistant Secretary David Black and Assistant Secretary Stephanie Monroe—were disinclined to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism but were also reluctant to make their position clear. Paul Grossman, OCR’s regional counsel, complained after the fact in a deposition taken in the Zeidman case that “it was pathetic to try to reach a legally sound conclusion to the Irvine investigation without headquarters guidance on the scope of our national origin jurisdiction but that, originally, is what our office was told to do.”

So the western regional leaders muddled through under Arthur Zeidman’s command, trying to read what tea leaves Washington might provide on the case. In December 2005, just a year and change after the original case was filed, Zeidman sent his final report to Washington. OCR’s San Francisco office had determined that “the totality of the circumstances at UC-Irvine constituted a hostile environment based on national origin.”

This report by the regional staff concluded that ZOA was right that Irvine students faced levels of discrimination that were so severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive as to limit their educational opportunities. Indeed, OCR career officials actually had drafted, revised, and prepared in final form a letter to Irvine informing campus leadership of their findings. Zeidman, however, was not yet prepared to find Irvine in full violation of Title VI. Reviewing the actions that Irvine had taken to address the campus climate, he determined that it had made sufficient amends: “UC-Irvine took adequate steps to address the hostile environment, and was therefore in compliance with Title VI.” In other words, Zeidman split the difference: the Irvine campus would be revealed as a hotbed of anti-Semitism, but its senior administrators would be acquitted based on the actions they had taken.

David Black’s position on the Irvine case was quite simple: “The allegations in the UC-Irvine case were religious discrimination” and were therefore outside the scope of his office’s responsibilities because “OCR doesn’t have jurisdiction over religion.” He would have preferred to send the case to the Justice Department, if Justice would take it. Stephanie Monroe, who outranked Black, indicated that she wanted OCR to handle the matter itself rather than ship it off to another agency. Juggling this political hot potato, Black told Zeidman that the investigation was incomplete and sent him back to reinvestigate. Black wanted more careful scrutiny of certain technical issues—and also insisted, oddly, that Zeidman’s staff “investigate whether Jewish students were Americans or of Israeli origin.”

OCR headquarters did not act on Zeidman’s proposed resolution until August 2006, when ZOA’s Susan Tuchman complained to Monroe that OCR had still not interviewed a single Irvine administrator. “This is deeply disturbing,” Tuchman admonished, “and raises questions about how vigorously OCR is investigating the ZOA’s complaint.” In the course of a subsequent employment investigation, Sandra Battle, who was Zeidman’s supervisor, claimed that she and other senior OCR officials were very upset to read in Tuchman’s letter about how cursory Zeidman’s investigation had been. In fact, it appears that their real problem was not so much with the brevity of Zeidman’s investigation as it was with the nature of his conclusions. Black “was very blunt with me,” Zeidman recalls, “and ever so critical.” In Zeidman’s view, the hostile environment at Irvine had been fully established without need for further investigation because the facts spoke so clearly for themselves. Perhaps, he speculated, Black was simply delaying the process because he could think of no better way to avoid resolving the case in ZOA’s favor, given just how badly things had gotten at Irvine. When Zeidman defended his staff’s handling of the Irvine case, Black decided to rate Zeidman’s performance for the year as “minimally successful”—the first such negative rating Zeidman had received in his long career.

Despite their concerns, headquarters staff prepared a letter for Monroe’s signature, assuring Tuchman that its complaint “is being investigated in a rigorous and complete manner.” The letter did not acknowledge that the case had been dormant between December 2005 and July 2006. Nor did Monroe inform Tuchman that Black had been expressing precisely the opposite view in his disparagement of Zeidman. Most important, Monroe gave Tuchman no indication that her career staff had determined that Tuchman was right—and that, despite this, Monroe and her political appointees were in the process of overruling them. For his part, Zeidman argues that Washington officials were attempting “to coerce me to find a way to close the Irvinecase on a misinterpretation of the law or on an unjustified technicality.”

In June 2007, under congressional pressure, Black sent four respected OCR lawyers to wrest control of the case from Zeidman. The most senior of the four, Randy Wills, does not recall Black’s expressing dissatisfaction with the thoroughness of San Francisco’s investigation. Black emphasized to Wills, however, that he was not pleased with the San Francisco office’s conclusions. Specifically, Wills recalls, Black “was not pleased with the determination that some of these incidents, anti-Semitic incidents, allegedly perpetrated against Jewish students who were born in America constituted national origin discrimination, such that they would be subject to our jurisdiction.” Clearly, then, this new legal team understood it was being tasked with reaching different conclusions, one way or another, despite the original investigators’ findings.

Paul Grossman, who works as chief counsel in the San Francisco office of OCR, has argued that the Washington home base’s difficulty with the Irvine case arose from an unresolvable conflict: officials had determined that they should not intervene to protect the Jewish students, for complex reasons, but that they did not want this position known, for obvious reasons.

Zeidman came to the conclusion that OCR’s political leadership intended to establish, in his words, “some notion that Jewish Americans were not protected under Title [VI], but Jews of Israeli origin were.” According to this interpretation, the law protected Jews from Israel who were subjected to the abuse that had become routine at UC-Irvine, but it did not protect American Jews.

In the end, OCR’s final closure letter, which was signed by Charlie Love, Zeidman’s top deputy, and seconded by the regional director acting under instructions from Washington, featured a finding that was 180 degrees from the conclusions the two men and others at OCR had actually reached. Love announced that “although offensive to the Jewish students, the . . . events at issue were not based on the national origin of the Jewish students, but rather based on opposition to the policies of Israel.” For this reason, Love concluded, “these incidents, therefore, were not within OCR’s subject matter jurisdiction.”

Beyond ignoring its own publicly stated policies and Supreme Court precedent—and aside from the questionable practices surrounding the entire investigation—OCR’s Irvine approach misunderstands Jewish identity. OCR’s current assumption that Jews are only adherents of a faith tradition fails to appreciate that Jews share not only religion but also bonds of ancestry and ethnicity.

The use of an anti-racism provision to protect Jewish Americans from discrimination inevitably raises sensitivities about whether Jews can be considered a distinct “race.” Most commentators have long agreed that the weight of contemporary science rejects not only the notion that Jews are a racial group but also the entire racial concept, except as a means of describing social constructions. However, the decision to use provisions of the law that were designed to combat racism to also defend citizens against anti-Semitism is both legal and necessary because both varieties of hate are founded on irrational or inaccurate group identifications. The modern understanding of anti-discrimination provisions, following the Supreme Court’s 1987 Shaare Tefila decision, asks only whether Jews share ethnic or ancestral ties, not whether they are biologically or nationally distinct.

The Irvine case continues to shape discussions and perceptions of campus anti-Semitism. The events there have had an enormous impact on many of the students. Surprisingly, the person who has most vehemently decried anti-Semitism in that case is the man who was charged with investigating it: Arthur Zeidman. Zeidman believes, moreover, that a defining feature of that case was deeply entrenched anti-Semitism, not only at Irvine, but also at OCR. In a formal complaint, Zeidman has charged—and both Love and Grossman have agreed—that the agency responsible for protecting students from bigotry is guilty of the very evil it was established to combat.

An administrative-law judge recently dismissed Zeidman’s complaint against OCR. Nonetheless, it is remarkable that the senior OCR officials who worked most closely on the Irvine case could devise no better explanation for OCR’s handling of this case than anti-Semitism within the highest levels of the civil-rights agency (an accusation that Black and others understandably deny). Paul Grossman, for example, testified in the subsequent employment litigation that “the most likely reason” for Zeidman’s troubles with his Washington superiors “is that Mr. Zeidman is Jewish.” Charlie Love testified that anyone who denies that Zeidman’s Jewish identity was a factor in the manner in which headquarters treated him “was lying.” Whether they are right or not, the suspicions of OCR’s western regional leadership speak volumes about the mishandling of the Irvine case.

The Obama administration’s OCR chief, Assistant Secretary Russlynn Ali, has described her position on Title VI and anti-Semitism in terms that echo the unsatisfying view expressed in the letter sent by Stephanie Monroe to ZOA. “It has long been OCR’s policy,” she wrote in a letter to a member of Congress last year, “that Title VI does not cover discrimination based solely on religion, including anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.” In this way, Ali lumps “anti-Semitic harassment” in with other forms of nonactionable religious discrimination. Her only public concession thus far has been that “when cases include allegations of race, color, or national origin discrimination in addition to religious discrimination, OCR would have jurisdiction over the portion of the complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.” In other words, anti-Semitism is not enough. OCR will support Jewish students, under Ali’s apparent interpretation, only if they are also victimized by other forms of discrimination, as might happen for instance to Israeli Jews, black Jews, or Hispanic Jews.

The government’s failure to address the outrages at Irvine has created a significant anomaly in the law, one in which Jews are treated differently from virtually any other group. African-Americans, Arabs, Hispanics, women, older students, and even Boy Scouts who charge their schools with discrimination can have their cases investigated by the federal government.

Coincidentally, Obama’s secretary of education, Arne Duncan, recently announced in a major address that his department would significantly step up enforcement of civil-rights laws. Meanwhile, the Irvinecase remains under appeal at the Office for Civil Rights, which is directly in his purview. The outcome of this case will determine the credibility of Duncan’s pledge.

Fousesquawk comment:

As a career US Government employee (DEA), I can well understand what happens when the suits in Washington at the HQs level get involved in delicate issues. Still, this is a troubling allegation. Perhaps, a little background is in order.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act governs questions of discrimination in public institutions of education. At the time Congress passed the act, the issue of religion was deliberately left out when it came to schools because many private schools and universities are religiously oriented, and it would create a nightmare of litigation if say, Notre Dame tried to favor Catholics in their programs and someone objected. Thus, as Marcus' article points out, it gets down to splitting hairs when it comes to Jews; are they strictly a religion or an ethnic group?

Yet, could not similar questions be asked of Muslims, for example? Muslims are not a nationality. They are not all Arab. There are nations in Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia) that are mostly Muslim. There are converts to Islam all over the world, people of various skin colors and religions from which they converted. Similarly, Jews are found in various nations and accept converts from wherever. My question would be why should Muslims be protected under Title VI, based on religion, but not Jews? (And I think Muslims should be protected under Title VI).

It seems to me that in the present day, DOE needs to study this dilemma and come up with a solution. Today, there are two world religions that are under increasing fire-Jews and Muslims. Anti-Muslim feeling is undeniably on the rise because of world events. Similarly, Anti-Semitism is on the rise also largely because of world events (Israel). Further, in the case of Jews, the focus of the surge in anti-Semitism in the US and Canada is in the universities in my view. UC-Irvine is but one example.

Because of that, the DOE/OCR has to take a second look at this. Yes, it is uncomfortable to argue whether Jews are a religion or an ethnic group, largely because Hitler hated them as a race not as a religion and that resulted in the Holocaust. Yet, to split hairs as to whether a victimized Jewish university student is an American Jew or an Israeli Jew is ludicrous. German Jew or Polish Jew, Hitler hated them all.

And to buttress my argument, we now have the FBI's latest statistics on hate crimes, which were recently issued (for 2008). When it comes to religious-based hate crimes, here are the figures:

Religious bias
Of the 1,732 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:

66.1 percent were targeted because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
7.5 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.
5.1 percent were victims because of an anti-Catholic bias.
3.6 percent were victims because of an anti-Protestant bias.
0.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
12.8 percent were victims because of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
4.0 percent were victims because of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group). (Based on Table 1.)
(source: FBI)

As to suggestions of anti-Semitism within the OCR, I have no idea. It may have been a case of political correctness at work. Nonetheless, it leaves the impression that OCR, for whatever reasons, shied away from the UCI case at the HQs level and overruled their lead investigator at the field level.

This issue should be referred to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. He has recently announced that he will step up enforcement of civil rights violations within his jurisdiction. We should hold him to his word. He should be asked what he plans to do to address this Title VI conundrum and what he plans to do to address the problem of rising anti-Semitism on university campuses.