Sunday, August 08, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

IRIB Radio (Iran) on Kagan appointment: Obama doing "utmost to appease the influential Zionist lobbies"

Posted: 08 Aug 2010 11:10 AM PDT

They present this as a triumph for the "Zionist lobbies" and then go on to discuss her liberalism, which probably puts her in the camp favoring a softer approach to Iran. Do they draw the connection? You won't find out here:

The third Jewish member of the US Federal Supreme Court takes oath at the White House, today. Elena Kagan was elected as the new member of the US Federal Supreme Court by the US Senate on Thursday with 63 votes in her favor against 37 negative votes.

She is set to replace John Stevens in this legal and judicial organization as of October 1. The US Federal Supreme Court is considered as the highest judicial and legal source in the US and shoulders a number of obligations including interpretation of US Constitution, study of complaints leveled by US federal government against state administrations and vice versa, and issuance of final verdicts in US judicial establishment.

The introduction and confirmation of the 50-year-old Kagan is of importance due to a number of reasons. She is the second member appointed to US Federal Supreme Court by US president Barack Obama. The majority of members of this Supreme Court have been appointed in the past thirty years by Republican presidents and for this reason; the conservative viewpoints are stronger in the US Supreme Court. In fact, currently, five out of nine judges in the Supreme Court are well-known for their conservative standpoints, while the remaining four are classified as liberals. Meanwhile, with the resignation of John Stevens and entry of Elena Kagan to US Federal Court no major change and development takes place in the political makeup of this court. Nonetheless, the appointment of Elena Kagan changes the gender and religious makeup of the US Federal Supreme Court. Thereafter, and for the first time in the US history, three women will concurrently be present at the US Supreme Court.

Kagan is the third Jewish member of the Supreme Court. Jews are occupying one third of seats in the highest US legal and judicial source while only 3% of the American people are Jewish. Nonetheless, in the recent years, US presidents have tried their utmost to appease the influential Zionist lobbies through appointment of more Jews in the judicial establishment, especially the US Federal Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Protestants which constitute 51% of US population, and the ten million Muslims in the US currently do not have any representatives in the US Federal Supreme Court.

That last analysis was kindly supplied by the Ayatollah Buchananstani.
Obama's decision to introduce a liberal figure has led to the protests of a number of Jewish groups in the US.

Kagan is the only member of the US Federal Supreme Court who is a newcomer to this scene and has never had a record of conduct as a judge. Her critics believe she is not qualified to join the highest US legal and judicial source.

Their worst suspicions are proven . . .

Crossposted on Judeopundit

You're one of the destructive ones tom

Posted: 08 Aug 2010 02:50 AM PDT

I'm happy today that Thomas Friedman appreciates the difference between "constructive" and "destructive" critics of Israel.

I write about this now because there is something foul in the air. It is a trend, both deliberate and inadvertent, to delegitimize Israel -- to turn it into a pariah state, particularly in the wake of the Gaza war. You hear the director Oliver Stone saying crazy things about how Hitler killed more Russians than Jews, but the Jews got all the attention because they dominate the news media and their lobby controls Washington. You hear Britain's prime minister describing Gaza as a big Israeli "prison camp" and Turkey's prime minister telling Israel's president, "When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill." You see singers canceling concerts in Tel Aviv. If you just landed from Mars, you might think that Israel is the only country that has killed civilians in war -- never Hamas, never Hezbollah, never Turkey, never Iran, never Syria, never America.

I'm not here to defend Israel's bad behavior. Just the opposite. I've long argued that Israel's colonial settlements in the West Bank are suicidal for Israel as a Jewish democracy. I don't think Israel's friends can make that point often enough or loud enough.

But there are two kinds of criticism. Constructive criticism starts by making clear: "I know what world you are living in." I know the Middle East is a place where Sunnis massacre Shiites in Iraq, Iran kills its own voters, Syria allegedly kills the prime minister next door, Turkey hammers the Kurds, and Hamas engages in indiscriminate shelling and refuses to recognize Israel. I know all of that. But Israel's behavior, at times, only makes matters worse -- for Palestinians and Israelis. If you convey to Israelis that you understand the world they're living in, and then criticize, they'll listen.

However, the record shows that despite his claims to the contrary, Thomas Friedman is a destructive critic.

A few weeks ago he wrote a column, War, Timeout, War, Time ..., which compared Israel's limited wars against Hamas and Hezbollah to the Syrian massacre in Hama. I criticized the comparison at the time, as did others.

Or just consider two simple searches. One is a search on Friedman's name with the words "Israel" and "apartheid." You get 19 results. Now see how many times he wrote about thte Goldstone report. None.

The Goldstone report was the result of an effort to delegitimize Israel and effectively prevent it from defending itself. Friedman had no words to defend Israel. But he was willing, nearly 20 times, to warn that Israel was heading towards apartheid. Maybe he understands the difference between constructive and destructive critics of Israel, but Friedman belongs in the latter group.

In the next to last paragraph Friedman writes:

Destructive criticism closes Israeli ears. It says to Israelis: There is no context that could explain your behavior, and your wrongs are so uniquely wrong that they overshadow all others. Destructive critics dismiss Gaza as an Israeli prison, without ever mentioning that had Hamas decided -- after Israel unilaterally left Gaza -- to turn it into Dubai rather than Tehran, Israel would have behaved differently, too. Destructive criticism only empowers the most destructive elements in Israel to argue that nothing Israel does matters, so why change?

The effort to delegitimize Israel comes from the Arab world. The world Friedman claimed not so long ago was seeking to make real peace with Israel. He (and they) of course ignored the many tangible concessions Israel made to that point. Friedman has failed to take the Arab world to taks for this. It is as if Israel exists in a vacuum and that only Israel can make peace if only Israel .... But of course, peace is not at hand.

One point that Friedman fails to acknowledge was that many of the points made by Israel's "destructive elements" were correct: don't trust Arafat, withdrawing from southern Lebanon and Gaza would be risky.

Even today's column isn't a full defense of Israel, but an ambiguous one.

If Friedman really wants to be a constructive critic of Israel he really needs to find another party in the Middle East to blame first.

Crossposted on Yourish.

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