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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Truth about J Street, Video


Saudi Arabia Gives Israel Clear Skies to Attack Iranian Nuke Sites

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times of London reported Saturday.
In the week that the U.N. Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defense sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass without hindrance, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defense systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defenses will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a U.S. defense source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [U.S.] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defense circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.
The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.

Why US State Declassified the Report on Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities

Israel’s foremost enemy is the US State Department.

by Lee Kaplan
The writer heads Stop the ISM. He is an investigative journalist and contributor to Front Page Magazine, senior intelligence analyst and communications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network, and also heads Defending America for Knowledge and Action (DAFKA). He appears frequently in the US media.


Normally when somebody wants something from somebody else, they show their best behavior toward the person they want it from. Even a child knows this and will do what its parents want in order to get that ice cream cone or trip to Disneyland.

Why is it we never see this normal human reaction from the Palestinians with regards to USAID and the President of the United States in order to get their “Palestinian state”? 

Machmoud Abbas continually praises terrorists who murder Jews, declaring memorials and naming streets after them.
Abbas makes daily threats to the long term existence of Israel.  

Even if they get that Palestinian state, they will take all of Israel later, he says, in mimicking the late Abu Amar. Palestinian TV, funded by USAID, runs children’s shows calling for the extermination of Jews and it is a known fact that kids are being groomed to be future terrorists. 

Murderers in Israeli jails are being paid salaries with money provided by the US taxpayer. That story broke, the aid never stopped and it won’t. Israeli leadership is equally guilty of looking the other way. Now that the election is over, Bibi is running to give the withheld tax money to the PA.

The simple truth is that the Palestinians have been promised behind closed doors by the United States that they will have their Palestinian state no matter what. 

Common logic should tell us this from the behavior of the Palestinians. They know something the average Israeli does not know; it doesn't matter how obnoxious or murderous they are, the US is going to get them that state. 

The Arabs know this and so does the US State Department. It didn’t just start under Obama but goes back to Bush 41 and before that.

Believe it or not, a member of Palestinian “royalty” lives on my street in America. We once had a conversation about the “peace process.” He told me the US promised the Palestinians a state no matter what they do, nor how long it takes. 

When Arafat was the only survivor of a plane crash in the Libyan desert, Ronald  Reagan dispatched a helicopter from a US aircraft carrier to save him.  Arafat could have been wiped out in Lebanon too in 1982 and in the Mukata  in 2002, but US intervention saved him and his terror movement.

Jewish Republicans in the US talk as if the Republican Party is the savior of Israel. And Democrats are more than willing to absorb accusations of anti-Israel bias from the other side of the aisle. But the fact is both parties are not such great friends to Israel.

 Israel’s foremost enemy is the US State Department

The presidents and politicians, are just the summer help to State. Obama and Kerry have just been more outspoken about carrying out State’s mandate than previous administrations that gave lip service to Israel, but also quietly stabbed her in the back.

Israeli politicians too, both the Left and Right, also play this game of ostrich with its head in the sand.  The open defiance of Abbas, of Hamas and the continuing daily knifings, stonings, and burnings of the common Israeli by terrorists are regarded as petty crimes and not worth disturbing the natural order of things.

Here is what is going on: 

The Arabs and to a greater extent the Muslims, have a vision for the world of Islamic supremacy. Serbia and Bosnia both fell to Muslim forces who attacked those Christian countries with mercenaries and jihadists while staging diplomatic maneuvers that ultimately turned them into Muslim states. 

The Serbs were winning their war until NATO and US planes joined in and bombed them. The same was true in Bosnia which today has as its main exports drugs and prostitution—but it’s Muslim and that’s all that matters.

The leaders of Israel fear the same fate that befell those two Christian states will ultimately happen to Israel. Abbas’s call to join the kangaroo court at the ICC is just a part of this grand scheme. 

Susan Rice has openly called for using foreign troops to “protect” the Palestinians from the Israelis. 

 Common sense should tell anyone after the Disengagement that a Palestinian state next door in Yesha is a non-starter. Yet the US State Department, Obama, and even Netanyahu (after a brief moment of clarity) are still talking of this.

Israel has become dependent on the US for trade, loans and military security. However, Israeli leaders know also the US State Department’s real plans:  Israel has to worry that one day the Arabs may get the EU and US to decide to send NATO forces to give them that state they were promised no matter how they behave.

Which brings us to the US declassification of Israel’s nuclear capabilities by State  while retaining security classification for similar capabilities for other allies like the UK and France. If the US decided to join NATO in forcing Israel to vacate Yesha and create a “Palestinian state”, Israel could sustain a war for two years at most, but most likely would be overrun—except for Israel’s own nuclear umbrella. 

In the event of such an attack, Israel could only hope at best for a Pyrrhic victory, but nonetheless, the deterrence against a repeat of Serbia and Bosnia is immeasurably stronger with those nukes.

ohn Kerry’s negotiations in Switzerland are an attempt by US State to stop an Iranian bomb, yes, but also to set up the Middle East as a nuclear free zone and prevent an arms race. 

No doubt Iranian negotiators have demanded of Kerry why they should not have a bomb when Israel has one. Common sense should tell us that Israel doesn't threaten to use theirs on anyone, or to attack other countries unless they pose an existential threat to Israel. But State doesn't think that deeply, nor does this current US President, Obama. I predict the US will soon put Israel’s nukes on the negotiating table as negotiations are extended.

The release of classified info on Israel’s nukes will become part of the US negotiations with Iran. If the US can get Israel to disarm its nukes in the name of “peace” in the region, then maybe they can get the Iranians to do the same. US State sees its new Middle East as having Sunni states aligned against Shiite Iran in a new map of the Middle East. And as usual, Israel is plop dead center of that map. If Israel no longer has nukes, then the US and EU can also do some map shifting as was done to Serbia and Bosnia, any threat to NATO forces from Israeli nukes would be mitigated so Israel could become, well, Palestine.

All the anti-Semitism and boycott nonsense we are seeing at American campuses was orchestrated by the US State Department. That goal is to groom future generations in America to oppose a Jewish state. The State Department quietly funds many such seminars at campuses that try to persuade the uninitiated that ending a Jewish state will mean “peace.” 

Even some of the Jews in America are falling for the ruse.

The infrastructure of Israel would still exist, but she would no longer be a Jewish state, but one dominated  by Arabs and the Muslim ummah. The resulting pogroms against Jews and Christians are an after effect that would be tolerated for the long term “good.” 

We’ve seen a reluctance to save Christians, Kurds and Yazidis besieged by ISIS here in the US,  so this will probably be the same scenario.

It’s time Israel begin an austerity program to distance herself from the US State Department. Israel needs to develop its own aircraft and arms export industry and  not take orders from Washington. Right now, Kerry is talking about giving the Iranians a ten year threshold to develop nuclear weapons later on.

Israel needs to tout its nuclear capabilities right now, its technological exports and most of all to stop playing ostrich whenever the Palestinians make existential threats.  It’s a myth that America has always been Israel’s number one ally. 

In 1948 the US put an embargo on weapons, in 1956 the US made Israel withdraw from Sinai for nothing in return, in 1973 the US was content to make Israel bleed until Golda Meir threatened to use those same nuclear weapons.

Like a spoiled child being told it’s time to leave home, Israel needs to wean itself from the US for its own security and safety. 

It could start by stopping US AID to Palestinian TV and other Palestinian  “charities” until it passes rigorous inspection by Israel. Politicians will only dither until it’s too late.

Monday, March 30, 2015

American Jews Can Only Rely on Israel, Not US according to Vice President Joe Biden

US Vice President makes shocking statement, telling American Jews :
'no matter how involved you are in the US, the only guarantee is Israel."


An incredible admission by US Vice President Joe Biden has been revealed, in which he told Jewish leaders that should the American Jewish community be in danger, it has only Israel to rely on - and not America.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden's home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama's administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.

"I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant - a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin - about the Six-Day War,” 

he recalled. “The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and...the press is taking photos. ...She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad...Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'"

Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting "I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program" - an ironic comment given the US's recent declassification of documents revealing Israel's nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.

But according to Biden, "she looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.'" 

Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, "we have no place else to go."
"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones," Biden said. "You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States...there’s only one guarantee."
"There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel," he stated.

Responding to the statement, Corey Robin of Salon wrote how disturbing the statement is, given that it consists of "a sitting vice president telling a portion of the American citizenry that they cannot count on the United States government as the ultimate guarantor of their freedom and safety."

"The occupant of the second-highest office in the land believes that American Jews should look to a foreign government as the foundation of their rights and security," 

she added. "A country that once offered itself as a haven to persecuted Jews across the world now tells its Jews that in the event of some terrible outbreak of anti-Semitism they should…what? 

Plan on boarding the next plane to Tel Aviv?"

Sunday, March 29, 2015

MTA must defend itself in court for refusing to put Ads on buses that state that Hamas kills Jews

by Pamela Geller

Last Tuesday, my ace lawyer David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) argued before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on our motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to enter an order requiring New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to run our AFDI anti-Hamas, anti-jihad ad on MTA buses.

I was there, and let me tell you, the foes of free speech made some telling and fascinating admissions.
The foremost of these concerned the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). 

Yerushalmi asked Jeff Rosen, the Director of Real Estate for the MTA — that is, the wonk who decides what ads to take and what ads not to take — this question: 

“The MTA does have a standard that prohibits libel, does it not?” 

Rosen acknowledged that it did. 

Yerushalmi then asked Rosen about our ads comparing CAIR to Hamas and identifying CAIR leaders who have been convicted of jihad terror-related crimes.
Then came the bombshell. Yerushalmi asked: 
“Now, after this ad ran CAIR contacted the MTA and asked it to remove it on the basis that it violated the libel standard, correct?”
Rosen answered, “On the basis that it was defamatory, yes.” 

Yerushalmi noted that the records that the MTA turned over to the court for this hearing indicated that the MTA declined CAIR’s request. 

Asked why, Rosen explained: “My understanding was that their stated objection was that — was not with respect to the naming of the individuals but with respect to the equating of CAIR and Hamas and we did not understand that — based on review with counsel, we did not understand that to be defamatory.”
Yerushalmi drove the point home — that “even when criticized or when challenged by the organization CAIR itself, the MTA allowed my client to criticize Hamas publicly.” 

He asked Rosen: “And would you understand as a lawyer that linking an organization such as CAIR to Hamas would be defamation, per se?” That is, if our claim had been false, but it wasn’t: 

Yerushalmi then reminded Rosen that the MTA had asked us for documentation of CAIR’s ties to Hamas, as well as records about the terror convictions of its officials pictured in the ad.
The bottom line: the MTA refused Hamas-CAIR’s demand that it take down an ad exposing its links to Hamas because the MTA knew our ad was accurate:

 CAIR really does have ties to Hamas.
The ad we won the right to put up at this hearing also involves Hamas; it features a quote from a Hamas music video: 
“Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.” 

We’re trying to call attention to Islamic anti-Semitism, and the MTA is determined that we don’t do that.
Yet Rosen admitted that he had no knowledge of First Amendment issues. So when he rejected our ad, he was making these decisions not with any awareness of our First Amendment rights, and not with an understanding of the legal implications of what he was doing.
Rosen and the MTA had rejected this ad, they have said, because they were afraid that it would lead to violence from Muslims who would mistake it for a pro-Hamas ad. 

That’s absurd enough on its face. But in his testimony that day, Rosen contradicted the previous declaration he had submitted to the court. 
The MTA acknowledges that this same ad ran in Chicago and San Francisco without incident.
Raymond Diaz, the MTA’s Director of Security, insisted under oath that our ads have been consistently subject to graffiti and vandalized. It is interesting that the MTA has never reported this salient fact to me. I don’t think what he was saying was accurate, and neither does David Yerushalmi, as there is nothing in the written record to suggest this, but he was certainly adamant. 

The Court asked Diaz if the graffiti was actually specific to my ads or was just the graffiti that is increasingly common once again in the New York subway system, as the city steadily abandons the law-and-order policies that Rudolph Giuliani adopted to turn New York around in the 1990s. Diaz never gave a clear answer to that question.
It’s clear that the MTA chose to challenge this ad out of all of our ads in order to establish that it constituted a true threat, or incitement, or fighting words — all legal grounds to keep from running it. They picked this particular ad hoping that they would get the ruling they wanted and establish a precedent against all of our ads, even though their discriminatory policies against our ads are purely content-driven and hence unconstitutional.
They tried to make the rejection of this ad a security issue. Having lost on first amendment issues, NYC now tried to come at free speech from a different angle: “security.” 

The MTA’s guidelines said that ads should only be rejected after a security assessment had been made, and it was “reasonably foreseeable that the display of the proposed advertisement would imminently incite or provoke violence or other immediate breach of the peace and so harm, disrupt, or interfere with safe, efficient, and orderly transportation operations.” 

But under questioning, Diaz admitted that he had contacted the New York Police Department twice for an opinion on whether our ad would provoke violence, and they refused to provide one.
That speaks volumes. This proves that there was no security concern. And the San Francisco transit authority, which clearly despises our ads, stated most emphatically that it had absolutely no problem whatsoever when the ad ran — despite the cajoling, the nudging, the leading of the witness by Diaz.
Diaz had his underling Phillip Hoffman, who works for the MTA’s Department of Security, write to Scarlett Lam, the Terrorism Liaison Officer and Coordinator and Manager of Emergency Management, Systems Security, and Special Events for the San Francisco Transit Authority. Diaz had Hoffman ask Lam if the “volatile language” of our ad led to a public outcry and violence. Lam answered “No” to all his questions; there was no violence resulting from our ad.
Then Yerushalmi asked the obvious question: 

“On what basis, what empirical factual basis did you assess that that ad would lead to reasonable foreseeability of violence or lawlessness?” 

Diaz answered that our ad “advocates violence.” 

He explained: “Well, you are telling us in the top of that ad that killing Jews is worship that draws us to Allah. So, in a radical’s mind, that killing Jews is going to bring us closer to God and that is this person who, I guess, that we are attributing that comment to, who, I guess, is a jihadist; that is his jihad, killing Jews.” 

He referred to “people who are easily radicalized.” He admitted that this would include “some Muslims.” Diaz unwittingly went off the politically correct reservation when he admitted: “I think most New Yorkers — and again, and I think there could be misinterpretation of the phrase, but I think the common interpretation of the phrase jihad is a call to violence.”
Yerushalmi then asked, “Is it important to you in your security assessment that this quote was from Hamas MTV?” 

Diaz answered that it was. 

He identified Hamas incorrectly as “the military wing of the PLO,” but acknowledged that it is “a designated foreign terrorist organization,” and that “if an individual provides material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization that that individual has committed a felony under federal law.”

 In other words, he admitted that the MTA’s claim that jihadis would see this ad and act on it as if it were a pro-Hamas ad was absurd on its face: no one would think that the MTA was running ads on behalf of a foreign terrorist organization.
Yet that was Diaz’s claim. 

He testified: “When I first saw this ad I said, well, I am reading something wrong here, because AFDI is a pro-Jewish organization, so why would they be sponsoring an ad such as this. And then, thinking about it more, I said, well, this ad could be taking both sides as a call to violence. Whether you are pro-Hamas or whether you are pro-Jewish, I think it would be the same interpretation because — and my thoughts were, if I saw this on a wall of a terrorist camp or if I saw this on the wall of an Israeli Army company, it would be getting the same advocating of violence. His jihad is killing Jews.Well, if it was in the Jewish camp, that’s his jihad, killing Jews, to the soldiers in the Israeli camp. What is your jihad? What are you going to do about that? What call to violence are you going to do?
Yerushalmi asked: “Now, is it really your security assessment, Mr. Diaz, that most reasonable New Yorkers would think that the MTA would take funds from Hamas or some group affiliated with Hamas and run an ad advocating the death of Jews?”
Diaz answered: “I don’t think most New Yorkers would want this ad to be run, if that’s the question.” 

Yerushalmi persisted: “Is it really your security assessment that the MTA would take funds from a designated terrorist organization — Hamas — or someone affiliated with a designated terrorist organization and post an ad calling for the death of Jews?” Diaz finally said, “We would not take money to do that, no.”
Then Yerushalmi asked him: “And, in fact, in this case, even knowing that my clients had no intent to advocate for jihad, in fact criticized jihad, your entire focus in your security assessment was how Muslims or Jews might react to this ad, correct?” Diaz agreed. 

Yerushalmi continued:

 “Part of your security assessment includes an assessment of the reasonable foreseeability risk that an individual is going to feel insulted by an ad — not advocated but insulted by an ad, and jump up and commit imminent violence, correct?”
To that, Diaz answered no. 

“Then why,” responded Yerushalmi, “did you include Jews in your security assessment?” 

Diaz explained again: “Once I read the AFDI and realized that this is not an ad that was proposed by Hamas but by pro-Jewish organization, I read it then conversely, that killing Jews is worship that draws us to Allah and saying this to the Jewish community, his worship is killing Jews, that’s his jihad, that’s his call to violence to further his religion, what is yours — asking the person of the Jewish faith, well, what is your jihad? What is your call to violence to counter his killing of Jews?”
Yerushalmi pointed out that Diaz had written: “Whether that violence or breach of the peace would be the work of a violent, self-radicalized, would-be jihadist like the man in Queens who attacked NYPD officers with a hatchet, or the apparently deranged man who, in early December, fatally stabbed an Israeli student in the head at the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn while screaming ‘I want to kill the Jew,’ or of a Jew driven to retaliation by anger and fear, I had no way knowing for certain, of course.”
Yerushalmi pressed Diaz on his moral equivalence: “Was the reasonable foreseeability of violence by the radicalized Muslim greater or lesser than the threat that a Jew would take umbrage at this ad and engage in violence?” 

Then Diaz admitted: “I would say that reading the first lines, the banner part of the ad, that of course that it would — I would lean towards the radicalized Muslim before someone of the Jewish faith.” 

However, he stuck to his ground: “I think they both, whether you read it from both sides, I think they both advocate violence… I think both sides — I think reading this ad from both sides, I think it proposes violence on both sides, yes. It would be tough to say equally.”
He said he was worried about Jews reacting violently to the ad, but if he was really worried about Jews acting out, how could he have allowed any ad critical of Islam, given how some Muslims react violently to the slightest thing they consider offensive? 

Yerushalmi then asked him, 
“So, based upon that testimony and your declaration, I understand that part of your assessment is to examine the risk that individuals will be angered by an ad, not agree with it, but be angered by it and commit violence, correct?”
Diaz answered: “Part of the assessment, yes. As part of my recommendation to the chairman I would add something else to it.” 

When Yerushalmi asked him what he would add, Diaz made a bombshell admission:

 “That this ad and we knew in the future that nobody was ever going to do that — if we could read into the future — but the fact is that 
it advocates violence.
 If nobody ever committed a violent act as a result of that, I thought that it advocated violence. I still don’t think it is an ad that we should have run.”
By this standard, anyone can threaten violence and get a denial of the free speech of anyone he dislikes.
Yerushalmi reminded Diaz about “all the other ads that my clients ran that were critical of Hamas, critical jihad, critical of Palestinians who engage in jihad against Israel and calling them savages.” 

He asked: “In your security assessment of the ads that you have described in your declaration, in some detail you indicated that there was no security assessment to be concerned about relative to all of those other ads that criticize Hamas, jihad, Islam, savages, what have you; correct?” 

Diaz denied this: “There were concerns — that is not correct. There were concerns but no concern that I thought that there would have been violation of the ad.”
Again Yerushalmi pressed him on his contradictions: 

“You mention these angry Jews relative to the Hamas ad because they would think the MTA authority was running a Hamas ad and they would get angry. Did you not think that all these radicalized Muslims, these mujahideen that are out there working in the city, would not see these ads that you approve that criticize Hamas, criticized jihad, call individuals savages?” 

Diaz admitted: “I would think there would be concern on that side too, yes” — yet he approved those ads.
Yerushalmi also pointed out: “The disclaimer at the bottom is fairly large print, correct?… It is fairly large, to be visible so that the MTA won’t be blamed in the ad.” In fact, it is fully 25% of the ad space.
Yerushalmi asked him: “The fact that there was no violence when those ads ran did not affect your assessment?”
Diaz answered: “No, it did not.” Incredible.
David Yerushalmi argued brilliantly, asking the court to enjoin the MTA’s speech restriction on First Amendment grounds. And we will win. If we don’t, it isn’t just us who lose — it’s anyone who values the freedom of speech.
What leftists who oppose us don’t get is that our free speech victories are their free speech victories. But today’s “journalists” don’t seem to have any understanding of the value of free speech.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the ResistanceFollow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.

37 lawyers force Virginia State Bar to Boycott Israel


37 Jew Hater lawyers  managed to influence 30,000 lawyers of the Virginia State Bar to boycott Israel!
They started an online petition to force the Virginia State Bar to cancel its conference in Jerusalem, that was already booked!

Who are those 37 bastards? 

Well, we are going to find out and post their cursed names for the world to see!

The Virginia State Bar (VSB) is the latest organization to capitulate to leftist and anti-Israel pressure, the Washington Post reported Saturday night - and has cancelled a planned trip to Jerusalem for November. 

"Certain members of the Virginia State Bar and other individuals have expressed objections to the VSB’s plan to take the Midyear Legal Seminar trip in November to Jerusalem," the Association stated in a letter to its members.

 "It was stated that there are some unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers to the nation."

"Upon review of U.S. State Department advisories and other research, and after consultation with our leaders, it has been determined that there is enough legitimate concern to warrant cancellation of the Israel trip and exploration of alternative locations," it added. 

The US State Department has become hostile toward Israel over the past year, and has made increasingly inflammatory statements against the Jewish state.
Recently, it rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's apologies to Israeli Arabs and implied that it is re-evaluating the US-Israel relationship; it also called on Israel to "end the Occupation." Travel advisories released to US citizens have also implied that Jerusalem and other areas are dangerous, with warnings against visiting eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem and even public parks after dark. 

VSB President Kevin Martingayle insisted to the Washington Times late Saturday night that the decision was not due to anti-Semitic views. 
“We are absolutely not making a political point we are making the point that we have to care about every single one of our members,” 

Mr. Martingayle said. “We are a large bar, we have over 30,000 members within the state bar and we have to meet the needs of all of them.”

However, the Times suggests that the decision may have been made following an online petition against holding the conference in Jerusalem by a mere 37 lawyers - a charge Martingayle similarly denies. 

Washington Post reporter David Bernstein also notes that the letter was submitted to the anti-Israel "Electronic Intifada" over two hours before it was sent to Bar members, and adds that it raises questions over who ultimately made the decision to cancel the already-booked conference. 

Obama’s race to chaos


by Michael Goodwin
If you’re confused about the Saudi Arabia-led air attacks against Islamist rebels in Yemen and can’t tell one group of head-choppers in Iraq and Syria from another, don’t despair. All you need is imagination.
Close your eyes and imagine that those countries and terrorists have nuclear weapons. Imagine their barbarism going nuclear as they blow up cities, wipe out ethnic and religious groups and turn the region into cinders.
Now open your eyes and realize you've seen the future, thanks to President Obama’s policies. It is a future that will be defined by Obama’s Wars. Yes, plural.
I've written frequently about the likelihood of a dystopian “Mad Max” scenario if Iran gets nukes. My thinking is guided by a belief among American military and intelligence officials
that a nuclear exchange would take place in the Mideast within five years of Iran getting the bomb. To judge from events, the future is arriving ahead of schedule.
The fact that a top Saudi official wouldn't answer a question about the kingdom’s plan to get nukes is an answer in itself. Proliferation in the world’s hottest spot was guaranteed once Obama abdicated American leadership, a decision that led our adversaries to conclude we would not stop them and our allies to conclude we would not protect them.
A future where it would be every nation for itself was trouble enough, but something far worse is unfolding now. Obama’s courtship of Iran and his willingness to let it go nuclear is speeding up the race to chaos.
Iran wants it both ways — nukes and a free hand to impose its Islamic Revolution throughout the region. Against all good sense and the lessons of history, Obama is saying yes and yes.
Sightings of the Revolutionary Guard leader, Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleimani, leading Iranian-sponsored militias against Islamic State in Iraq has spread alarm throughout the region. The fears reached a fever pitch when Iranian-allied Houthi rebels took over Yemen, chasing out our soldiers and allies with chants of “Death to America, death to Israel.”
Iran long held designs on a Shia Crescent and control over Arab lands, which helps explain why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others counted themselves as our allies. They are furious as they watch Iran get a nuclear pass from Obama and a green light to expand its power.
The nuclear program will have the United Nations stamp of approval, as will Iranian control of four Arab capitals — Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sanaa, Yemen. Indeed, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry suggest Iran even could be an ally in the fight against Islamic State and al Qaeda. Already there has been coordination there, leading critics to say America is acting as the Iranian air force.
Israel, of course, sees the pattern as insane and a threat because Iran has threatened to wipe it off the face of the earth. In retaliation for complaining about the nuke deal, Obama denounces our ally and threatens to “re-evaluate” our support for the Jewish state.
But Israel is not alone, with our Sunni Arab allies also viewing Iran as their mortal enemy. Sen. John McCain quoted one of those Arab leaders as concluding, “We believe it is more dangerous to be a friend of America’s than an enemy.”
These are unprecedented developments, veering so far from the norm and happening so fast that consequences are piling up faster than they can be comprehended. Alliances built over decades are shattered in a relative flash, inviting aggression and endless conflict. The toxic brew of Islamic fanaticism and nuclear proliferation could ignite a world conflagration.
These are grim thoughts, expressed because it is impossible to imagine any other outcome of Iran’s rise. It remains the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism and supports Hezbollah and Hamas and now the Houthis in Yemen. As for Iranian influence in Iraq, one analyst is calling Suleimani, the Revolutionary Guard commander, Iraq’s new “viceroy.”
Remember, too, Iran muscle and munitions are keeping Bashar Assad still standing in Syria. The wholesale death and destruction there — an estimated 200,000 people killed and millions displaced within the country and out of it — could be a prototype of its new empire.
While there are many dark and complex forces in play and blame to spread around, the most important catalyst of the violent disorder has been the reversal of America’s policies. Under Obama, we have switched sides, an abomination that ensures a legacy of infamy.

Soaps and Cosmetics Kosher for Passover?


by Rabbi Eliezer Melamud

Soaps and Cosmetics
The Poskim (Jewish law arbiters) disagree whether body lotions that contain ĥametz (leavened products) may be used on Pesaĥ. While soaps, shampoos, and creams are not made from ĥametz, but
they sometimes contain grain alcohol or other ĥametz derivatives, leading to queries about their status on Pesaĥ.

Some say that applying an ointment is equivalent, by rabbinic enactment, to drinking. Consequently, even if the ĥametz in these products is not fit for a dog’s consumption, it retains the status of ĥametz because it is suitable for anointing, and thus it is forbidden to use them on Pesaĥ. Accordingly, one must use soaps, shampoos, and creams that are kosher for Pesaĥ.
Others maintain that the Sages only equated the application of ointment to drinking with regard to Yom Kippur and anointing with oil consecrated as teruma (priestly gift). All other Torah prohibitions relate to eating alone, not anointing. Although it is forbidden to derive benefit from ĥametz, the ĥametz in these products was rendered unfit for a dog’s consumption even before Pesaĥ began and thus lost the status of ĥametz. It is therefore permissible to derive benefit from them and apply them to the body during Pesaĥ.


The Practical Ruling


Since this dispute relates to rabbinic law, the halakha accords with the lenient opinion. Therefore, creams that are absorbed into the skin, flavorless lipstick, and perfumes that contain alcohol need not be certified kosher for Pesaĥ, in keeping with the lenient opinion, since they are not fit for consumption and generally do not contain ĥametz ingredients.  Moreover, the vast majority of cosmetic products produced in Israel do not contain wheat-derived alcohol. Even the majority of products produced abroad do not contain wheat-derived alcohol, since it is more expensive than potato-derived alcohol.
Still, when one has a product and is not sure whether it contains wheat-derived alcohol, even if he is normally stringent he may be lenient, based on a combination of several uncertainties and doubts (See, ‘Peninei Halakha: Pesach’ 8:9).
Usually, after teaching this halakha, I am asked: “Rabbi, what do you do personally?” My reply is: If there is soap or cream Kosher for Passover, we prefer to use it. But if there was no suitable cream in the store, or it was significantly more expensive, or if someone is sensitive to a special soap or shampoo, we use the products regularly used during the year.


Toothpaste and Lipstick

Toothpaste and lipstick must be certified kosher for Pesaĥ because they are flavored, and as a result, are like any other food product.


Does Dishwashing Soap have to be Kosher for Passover?

Dishwashing soap does not need to be certified Kosher for Passover. And even though it comes in contact with dishes, since the taste is completely unfit for consumption – even if these substances were mixed with ĥametz, its taste was befouled before Pesaĥ and it is no longer considered ĥametz. Indeed, if a person had the intention of eating hametz unfit for consumption, since he considered it as food, he transgresses a rabbinic prohibition. But in this case, no one is interested in tasting the dishwashing soap on the dishes, and even if the dishes were not rinsed well and the taste of soap was left on them, there is no prohibition whatsoever.
Q: Why are there kashrut organizations that give certification for dishwashing soap?
A: This is a marketing gimmick of dishwashing soap manufacturers, who think that by doing so they gain an edge on their competitors, and it is extremely puzzling that the kashrut organizations collaborate with them by providing certification, thus using the Torah as a “spade to dig with” i.e. a source of profit.


Medicines on Pesaĥ

Medicines are the subject of some of the most common questions on Pesaĥ. There is concern that pills contain wheat-based starch. The purpose of the starch is to solidify and harden the pills. Had the starch been produced from potatoes or kitniyot, there would be no problem even for Ashkenazim, as for medicinal purposes one may swallow pills containing kitniyot. But what about starch extracted from a type of grain that can become ĥametz?


Flavored Medicines must have Kosher for Pesach Certification

The answer depends on the taste of the medicine: if it is flavored, like syrup, lozenges, or chewables, then one must ascertain that it is kosher for Pesacĥ. In case of doubt, its use is forbidden. Only a dangerously ill person whose medicine does not have a substitute is permitted to take medicine containing ĥametz, because saving a life overrides the prohibition of eating ĥametz. 


The Custom of the Stringent not to Take Even Bitter Medicine Containing Hametz

Some meticulously observant people try to avoid even bitter medicines that contain ĥametz. They show concern for the opinion of the few poskim who maintain that medicine is not considered unfit for animalconsumption since we deem it significant, and it is thus rabbinically prohibited. Other poskim permit bitter medicines that contain ĥametz starch for one who is bedridden or whose entire body is in pain, but rule stringently for one suffering from mild aches and pains.


The Majority of Poskim Rule Bitter Medicine is Permitted

However, most poskim maintain that bitter medicines containing ĥametz may be taken by any ill person, even only to reduce mild pain, as a prophylactic, or to fortify the body.
Practically speaking, if one is uncertain whether certain bitter or tasteless medicines contain wheat starch, he may swallow them without ensuring that they are free of wheat starch. As we have seen, most poskim maintain that medicines rendered unfit for animalconsumption before Pesaĥ may be consumed during Pesaĥ even if they are known to contain ĥametz. Even one who prefers to comply with the stringent opinion on this issue need not be strict if he is uncertain whether the medicine contains ĥametz. This is especially true nowadays, when we know that potato and corn starch are used more widely than wheat starch. Thus, in practice, one may consume bitter or tasteless medicines on Pesaĥ without ascertaining whether they contain ĥametz.
Therefore, it is permitted to take bitter medicines containing wheat starch even for the purpose of easing mild pain, preventing illness, or strengthening the body.


Tasteless Medicines Do Not Require Inspection

From what we have learned, all drugs that are tasteless, even though they are listed as not kosher for Passover, according to the majority of poskim, are halakhically kosher. Practically speaking this is also true, for even the machmerim (stringent) admit that since they are tasteless, the prohibition is of rabbinic status, and as is well-known, in rabbinic controversies halakha goes according to the mekelim(lenient), in particular when they are the majority.
Moreover, this is especially true nowadays, when we know that potato and corn starch are used more widely than wheat starch.
 

So in effect, on Pesach, one can take bitter or tasteless medication designed to be swallowed, without checking lists to see if they kosher for Passover (‘Peninei Halakha:Pesach’, 8:7).

This article appeared in the ‘Besheva’ newspaper, and was translated from Hebrew. For an overview of the holiday, click here. For the issue of kitniyot (and quinoa), click here. For how to kosher the kitchen for Passover, clickhere.