I mean the North Korean human rights violations . The name Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Deputy Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, brought to my mind the only time I met him. It was in Beijing at the opening of the first ever holocaust exhibit in China. It was a very festive affair filled with Chinese, American and Israeli diplomats.

My husband and I were teaching at the time at the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing. We were mingling when approached by a Chinese diplomat. “Could you do me a favor,” he asked. “Could you tell me if this quote is supposed to be good or bad?” We went to look for the quote. It turned out to be one by Himmler to the effect that Jews were superior, able people. “Bad”, we said in unison before proceeding to give the confused Chinese a lesson in modern anti-Semitism.
posted by Judith


He fails to understand the differences between democracies and tyrannies and, therefore, between Israel and the PA. In democracies, at election time, it’s always the economy, stupid. So, economic well being has always been important to Israeli governments, be they Labor or Likud. In fact, as Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters yesterday,

“We are in the midst of a big revolution, and Israel is becoming well-known in the international economy. We are growing faster than most developing economies in the world.”

The countries to compare Israel with is not the PA but Ireland and India. Not only are the three former British colonies engaged in a lengthy territorial conflict but they are also in the midst of a politically controversial but economically successful transformation from socialist to liberal economic systems.

Innovation is also the product of liberal democracies. Israel is a leading innovator and so is India. Indeed, the Israeli-Indian rapprochement is based in a large part on technological cooperation. China has to steal technology.

Democracies are messy but they work. I know that when one watches “Jaywalking,” one cannot but wonder. I believe the electorate is engaged in a mass exercise of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

In other words, democracies are not only moral, they are practical.
posted by Judith


Yesterday Michael Graham wrote in his column:

“I take no pleasure in saying it. It pains me to think it. I could very well lose my job in talk radio over admitting it. But it is the plain truth: Islam is a terror organization.”

He was suspended without pay pending investigation within hours, apparently, at the instigation of CAIR, a large organization with a mixed record at best.

Still, I am glad, as I explained in an old blog entitled We are engaged in a game of Go (Othello), not Chess.” we are either going to become like the enemy or the enemy is going to become like us. Graham extremist language is an example of us becoming more like the enemy, i.e., losing.

By the way, I also oppose applying the Geneva convention to terrorists. That convention, like the adoption of uniforms, was specifically designed to draw bright lines between governments, soldiers and civilians. If we are all soldiers, none of us are innocent civilians. By erasing the distinction, we erase the protection the distinction was designed to provide. Applying the convention to terrorists undermines the very purpose of the convention and would be a major victory for the religiously based mass murderers we are battling.
posted by Judith


Jerusalem Post reprots:

One Palestinian was seriously injured in an explosion in the city of Tulkarm, Judea and Samaria police reported Thursday afternoon.

The explosion appeared to have been caused by a “work accident” when a bomb being manufactured or transported exploded prematurely, police assessed.

The man was brought in critical condition to the Shavei Shomron intersection to be taken for medical treatment, police said.

posted by Judith


It took time but it looks good. Among the highlights:

1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.

2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.

3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives

posted by Judith


Founding fathers leave an indelible mark on their countries. Israel was lucky to have an founding father who hated terror. How vehemently? I only discovered doing research for my article on “Jewish Terrorism.” . I cannot forgo the opportunity to share a small part of it with you.

On December 18, 1946, in a closed meeting of the political committee of the Zionist Congress, Ben Gurion argued brilliantly against colleagues advocating terror. His words could not be more relevant today. He began by saying, “One thing is prohibited under any circumstances – murder. Murder – means spilling of innocent blood. Murder – No. I have to tell you that a soldier is a volunteer. I know what it means to be a soldier. The role of the soldier is to kill and be killed for a just cause. . . . But there is something else that is called murder. And there is not one of us who may permit it, and we may not give anyone permission to permit it, especially when it is done in our name.” . . .

Ben Gurion believed that terror is self-destructive, especially to the youth engaged in it. “We may not permit within our ranks the demoralizing education of ‘only thus,’ only with the gun, as it undermines the foundation of our movement,” he asserted. It is also wrong to underestimate the people’s ability to combine building with self-defense: “As to the question, raised in the Congress at the end of the political debate by one of our best men: “How can we combine these things? – I must answer that we were forced to combine them in reality…I went to plow with a rifle on my shoulder in Segera.”

Indeed, the alternative would result in the emergence of a generation which would lack the ability to handle peace: “Imagine: A miracle would happen tomorrow and we would receive a state on both sides of the Jordan, and all the earthly kings would ship Jews to the Land of Israel, and there will no longer be a basis for terror. I know that a few hundred or a few thousand Jewish boys and girls would be the most miserable. They have no other interest in life except to shoot people. They have not been educated for anything else. They will have no meaning to their lives. As this was all their purpose, dream, pathos and song.” . . .

“If you tell the youth . . . that the only thing to do is to shoot, it could no longer do anything else. It would be the worse exploitation of our brothers and sisters…who after 70 years of work in the land of Israel there are still poor neighborhoods to take their children, who do not have enough to eat, street children, and …make into murderous bands with the help of the theory ‘Only Thus!’ (with a gun).”xi

posted by Judith


The Ben Gurion principle holds. Torture is not an abstract notion. Somebody needs to do the torturing. Would you want to have a torturer as a neighbor? A son in law? A father of your child? This may sound like practical rather than moral reasoning. But I believe in the interdependency of the two.

Hence, as tempting as it may be at times, torture should remain the dirty word it is.
posted by Judith