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Saturday, June 24th

The intellectual significance of Chomsky-ism: Perfecting the art of prevarication

Noam Chomsky's "Failed States" has elicited a perceptive analysis (you will have to read it in its entirety as Jeff Weintraub presented it here ) of the methods by which truths are converted to half-truths, half-truths to lies, and lies are transmuted to truth. Fascists can be given the moral protection of liberalism and Holocaust Denial is made respectable. When George Orwell wrote 1984, he could not imagine the potential of the method in the hands of a master. From Jeff Weintraub's compilation, quoting Peter Beaumont in the Observer:

Reading Failed States, I had an epiphany: that by applying a Chomskian analysis to his own writing, you discover exactly the same subtle textual biases, evasions and elisions of meaning as used by those he calls 'the doctrinal managers' of the 'powerful elites'. The mighty Chomsky, the world's greatest public intellectual, is prone to playing fast and loose.

It is important to recognise this fact because the Chomskian analysis has become the defining dissident voice of the blogosphere and a certain kind of far-left academia. So a sense of its integrity is crucial. It is obsessively well-read, but rather famished in original research, except when it is counting how often the liberal media say this or that in their search for hidden, and sometimes not-so-hidden, bias.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.24.06 @ 02:55 PM CST [link]

Friday, June 23rd

Presbyterian Assembly: Suicide Bombing and terror are crimes against humanity

It should not be a major victory, but rather common sense and decency, to condemn terror. Yet in fact, it is a major victory, because too many groups fail to do so. The Presbyterian Church USA has helped to show the way. Not only that, they have asked for international legislation to include terrorism and suicide bombing. The assembly was more stouthearted in standing up against terror than the Social Justice Committee which received the commissioners resolution. The Social Justice committee
had recommended disapproval of the resolution by a vote of 29 to 22. But the the assembly approved the resolution by a vote 75% in favor, and added "and terrorism" (in brackets below) against the wishes of the committee.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.23.06 @ 04:02 PM CST [link]

Thursday, June 22nd

American Conservatives love Bashar Assad, blame Israel

According to an article in American Conservative (July 3, 2006 Issue), Damascus is a cool place. A delegation of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) went there, and as they didn't see anyone being beaten up or gassed while they were seeing the sights, they are convinced it is a fine place to live, and Bashar Assad is a good fellow, meeting all the standards of Christian morality no doubt.

Damascus is not wealthy but seems quite sane. We saw no troops in the city, virtually no beggars, and the streets felt safe. The traffic flow reminded my (veteran world traveler) wife of China in the 1970s, jammed with motorbikes and little trucks. Black-and-white TVs were visible in businesses open late but not selling very much. In the Christian neighborhood where we stayed, the sidewalks were full of young men and women milling about in same-sex groups, eyeing one another but seldom mingling.

The head scarf is making inroads-- about half the women in the city now wear it, and as there are no religious police enforcing dress codes, it is a style freely chosen. While this surely reflects the growth of fundamentalist Islam, in Damascus at least it seems more a fashion statement and certainly not an effort to put a lid on female sensuality. Many “covered” Damascene women wear tightly fitted outfits and provocative eye makeup.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 07:14 PM CST [link]

Saudi Arabia admits to boycotting Israel in violation of WTO Rules

The Saudi ambassador to the United States has now admitted that his country continues to observe the Arab boycott of Israel in violation of WTO rules. US officials are making believe it never happened - again. This is consistent with the policy of hypocrisy that the United States government has been carrying out.

As representative Robert Wexler noted "either the Saudi Ambassador or American officials are not telling the truth."

Guess which is true.

See previous story here.

See below for details.
Ami Isseroff


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 02:07 PM CST [link]

Become a Jew: Riches and Power - All yours with this special offer

Dear non-Jewish friend,
Congratulations, you have been selected by our team to receive this special free offer. Yes, now you too can become a Jew. You've read about in national media, you've seen it in the Guardian, the Nation and the Independent.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 01:54 PM CST [link]

Another victory: International Red Cross admits Israel

Insistent and courageous advocacy by the American Red Cross has finally put an end to a bizarre and shameful chapter in the history of a humanitarian organization, by admitting Israel into the International Red Cross (ICRC) over the objections and obstructionism of Arab and Muslim states.

The ostensible issue that kept Israel out was Israeli refusal to use the cross as a symbol. The ICRC maintained that the cross was taken from the Swiss flag and was simply a symbol of neutrality, but of course there is a reason why the Swiss put the cross on their flag, rather than say, a Jewish star. This argument, redolent of religious bigotry and coercion, was leveraged by Arab and Muslim countries to keep Israel out of the ICRC for 58 years, and has kept the Magen David Adom out since the 1930s.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 01:27 PM CST [link]

Victory: Presbyterian Church USA reverses divestment - proactive for peace

The Presbyterian Church USA has reversed its divestment resolution, approved in the 216th assembly of 2004. This victory for sanity, decency and Jewish rights was won by the devoted work of Presbyterian volunteers and their Jewish counterparts, who put a great effort into the campaign to ensure fair witness for Israel, in many different forums and groups, and to bring about a reorientation in the stance of mainline Protestant denominations in the United States.

All of us who support Israel, good relations with people of all faiths and peace in the Middle East owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who are making these changes possible by their tireless work, both from within the Presbyterian Church - Committee to End Divestment Now and Concerned Presbyterians (see here and here and here, and in other "mainline" Protestant Churches (For example: Fair Witness).

Thanks to these friends, Presbyterians have sent a clear message to the world, that Christian support for Israel and concern for the Jewish people is not confined to conservative, evangelistic denominations. The resolutions call for investment in enterprises that promote peace in the Middle East. There is nothing that all the peoples of the Middle East need more than peace and economic development, and for that too, we must be thankful. We must also embrace with enthusiasm the frank and beautiful apology contained in these resolutions, and work for interfaith dialogue with renewed commitment and mutual respect.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 11:26 AM CST [link]

Moderate Islam vs Iran: In the Name of Islam

The Global Muslim Unity Week held in Laudium, Pretoria was used by some as a platform for the inevitable tragicomic hate Israel and hate the west propaganda. However, some clouds at least, have a silver lining. The conference inspired this keen and pithy analysis of Islam, and of the place of current Iranian ambitions and machinations in Islam, by Hussein Solomon at the Center for International Political Studies at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.22.06 @ 10:23 AM CST [link]

Tuesday, June 20th

Presbyterian Divestment Status

This report from Larry Rued in Florida seems to summarize the hopeful news from the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly. Note that the resolution has not been adopted yet, and that even if it is, the other side will not give up so easily. Efforts to ensure fair play for Israel and prevent PCUSA and other churches from being subverted unfairly to the Palestinian cause must continue. We hope that the groups that have produced this fine achievement will build on their success. It will be a lot easier to do this if we are careful not to needlessly and gratuitously antagonize political groups by using labels like "leftist." (See Joel Mowbray's comment about "leftists" below).

Ami Isseroff

I was in Birmingham for the ommittee hearings.  This report by Solomonia accurately depicts the divestment motion passed by committee.  The entire General Assembly votes on the divestment motion Wednesday afternoon.



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Ami Isseroff on 06.20.06 @ 12:55 PM CST [link]

Monday, June 19th

The biggest danger to Israel - or who's afraid of the peace process?

The Peace Process is the biggest danger to Israel proclaims Israpundit. That is a strange idea. What is the biggest danger to Israel? Ted Belman of Israpundit is certain that the biggest problem for Israel is the "danger" of giving up territory, but it is not.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.19.06 @ 06:59 PM CST [link]

Pallywood: German Expose of Palestinian media hi-jinx in Gaza beach tragedy

The German Suedduetche Zeitung ran the following article with a detailed examination of the evidence in the Gaza Beach shooting. It clarifies many of the problems with the story disseminated by the Palestinians and media.

The Middle East: The war of images
Seven casualties in a Gaza beach: Was it a shelling attack by Israel? Or an exploding Palestinian land mine? An example of how Palestinians sometimes bend the truth.
by Thorsten Schmitz

Source (in German, with photos: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/ausland/artikel/315/78237/5/

Last Friday ten year old Huda Ghalia rose early, although she did not have any school. She was excited. The last exams were written, and large summer holidays had begun. Huda's father Ali had promised his children to organize a picnic at the beach in northern Gaza on that Friday last week .

Huda is, a cousin tells us, one of the class scholars and loves math, ‎biology and classics. Their favorite poem is by Mahmud Darwish: Calling Card is a sad poem about a homeless Palestinian and his hate for settlers.


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Ami Isseroff on 06.19.06 @ 10:41 AM CST [link]


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