Friday, November 16, 2012


  1. Mobilizing in Israel's Defense

    "As Philadelphia-area Jews grappled with an uncertain and fluid situation in southern Israel and braced for the possibility of a protracted conflict, pro-Israel activists echoed a common theme: Israel must be allowed to defend herself.

    Noah Feit, president of Penn Friends of Israel, said his group was “preparing for the worst on campus,” as the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated this week. He said he expected the conflict to give renewed voice to anti-Israel forces on campus.

    Barely a day into the escalating crisis, students at Penn were mobilizing to write op-ed articles and hold one-on-one discussions with their peers. On Wednesday, as the situation escalated, a “Red Alert” Facebook post went viral among Penn’s pro-Israel students. That evening, dozens of students showed up at Penn Hillel wearing red as a way to show solidarity with Israel.


    "Local politicians have issued statements of support for Israel. U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) both co-sponsored a Senate resolution affirming Israel’s right to self-defense. On Nov. 14, Casey also met with Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

    “Israel is our greatest friend in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world,” Toomey said. “In the face of unrelenting attacks from a terrorist organization bent on destroying the Jewish state, Israel has every right to defend its borders and its citizens. I’m glad President Obama has voiced his support for Israel during this trying time, and I urge our allies around the world to do the same.”

    U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Bucks County, also released a pro-Israel statement.

    Elad Strohmayer, Israel’s deputy consul general in the region, said statements from members of Congress really do add to the international pressure on Hamas to cease its rocket attacks.


    I'd like to hear from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (her district includes parts of Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County suburbs - she's also rumored to be a candidate for governor in 2014 or US Senate in 2016), Pennsylvania's only woman, and only Jewish member of Congress, soon too...

  2. I love the Exponent's new web site...

    Rallying in Support of Israel

    "For an hour, pro-Israeli demonstrators stood on one side of 19th street, singing “Hatikvah” and “Am Yisrael Chai” and chanting “Yes to peace, not to terror” while pro-Palestinian demonstrators, including many Jews, stood on the other side, chanting “no justice, no peace.” Oftentimes, the chants and songs were drowned out by overpowering honks from trucks and taxi cabs: Some of the drivers were expressing support for the Israeli cause and others clearly sympathized with the Palestinian side.

    And a few times, the loud blast of the shofar pierced the din of the city. The instrument was blown by Susan Warren, a Christian who came from Delaware to attend the rally.

    Both the ZOA and the pro-Palestinian demonstrators hold court on 19th Street every Friday, but this week’s standoff was much larger.

    Speaking with a megaphone, Howard Katzoff, co-president of the ZOA chapter, told the crowd that “if you have a relative or friend in Israel, call them, let them know that you were here and stood united with many in the Philadelphia area.”

    Another Drexel student, Ariel Arbely, said he was energized by the number of people waving Israeli and American flags.

    “I love being able to see so many people who support Israel,” he said.

    Several ZOA members pointed out that no one on the pro-Palestinian side displayed an American flag.

    1. Yet they're so concerned about how American tax dollars are spent, right?

      Could it be that they're only 'concerned' Americans when it comes to attacking Jews?

    2. Great pic, Mike! That's my world in the Sabbath. That's how it was, going for 25 hours without any news updates, pure bliss which, if interrupted, is interrupted only by something real, like an air raid siren. As it happened, there was one just after Minhah (the afternoon prayer), two rockets of which one was shot down by the newly installed Iron Dome. But I didn't let worries occupy this heavenly day. I reckon even near the Gaza region the Jews made the most of Shabbat, even if it was hours inside a bomb shelter. In fact, all over Israel, a lot of bomb shelters are used as synagogues during peacetime so the place wouldn't be wasted, and so in times like these there's little to be changed.

      As for the detractors of Israel during these times... they're predictable as they're despicable. But even from them there's a lesson to be learned. Policies by Israel are just a pretext. You can see it when you point out the over 100 rockets that preceded Operation Pillar of Cloud. On DKos as on all lairs of Far Leftists, if you scratch a person who complains about Israel's policies hard enough, eventually you reach the accusation against Israel that has nothing to do with policy, and everything to do with essence: That the Jews have set up their state on stolen land. It seldom comes up so clearly as that old post by the pest "jon the anti-zionist jew" where he pointed out that Sderot is situated on the pre-1947 Arab village of Najd, but the subtext is always there. It always, always comes to down to "Original Sin," to the idea that Israel is a wrong in itself and therefore its Jewish inhabitants ought to acquiesce to terrorist attacks, rocket barrages et cetera as "comeuppance." We have "sinned" and we must take those attacks as our "cross to bear." Eric Hoffer's observation in 1968 that the world expects the Jews to be the only true Christians is no idle statement. And yet, it still falls short, because Christianity's "Turn the other cheek" applies only to individuals, not to states (this is something numerous Christian believers have told me). So, Israel as her detractors would have it behave would be hyper-Christian—and suicidal to boot.

      That, in short, is why I prefer to answer Israel's detractors not by justifying Israel's policies, but by engaging their root arguments head-on. I say to them: The Arab nation already has enough, well beyond what a single nation needs or deserves, and cannot justly demand the one and only place in the world that the Jews and only the Jews have an inseparable connection to; the Arab/Muslim hostility to the Jewish state is quite plainly imperialist aggression. The tables must be turned on Israel's detractors; they must be accused, relentlessly, without fail, of being supporters of colonialism (Arab) and imperialism (Islamic). By putting them on the dock, we foil their plan to do that to us.

    3. Just read the introduction to Wistrich's book on leftist antisemitsm

      Wistrich says leftism has always been ambivalent or hostile to zionism because of an antisemitic element that caused it to overlook the genocidal core of Nazism even after the Holocaust.

  3. Glad to see the support. Israel needs it with speculation of a 7 week scenario. Plus reports are coming in that rockets have been fired from Egypt. That's all Israel needs. No way Morsi will do anything to stop it and if Israel retaliates who knows what might happen.

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