Monday, December 31, 2007

Who’s On First?
by: Schvach Yid

Evangelical Zionists, that’s who. According to the December 26th edition of The New York Jewish Week, a deal has been struck between The Jewish Agency (you know, Israel’s Aliyah people) and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), whereby the IFCJ will donate 45 million dollars to the Jewish Agency over a three year period.

The rub? The President of the IFCJ, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein (common, you’ve seen him on TV) will be provided with a position on the Jewish Agency’s executive board.

Read it here at:

Rabbi(?) Eckstein has served on the board of the Jewish Agency as a non-voting member.

"It feels like we’re losing control," said Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, a co-founder of the Web site Jews on First, which criticizes the growing influence of the Christian right and Christian Zionist groups in America. "Those who will be in charge of the Zionist enterprise will not be Jews, but the senior partners with the most money."

Labor Knesset Member Colette Avital, the former Israeli consul general for New York who sits on the parliament’s committee on diaspora relations and immigrant absorption, called the accord "appalling." "This is the Jewish Agency for Israel. Not the Evangelical Agency for Israel. Why not put an Arab on the board as well?" Avital said.

Nina Penton, a Jerusalem municipal council member from the National Religious Party was unequivocal about the agreement. "This is a national disaster," she said, calling Eckstein a "servant" of the Christian right and the accord a "trap."

Isn’t this exciting? Uch!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

An Up and Coming Fashion?
by: Schvach Yid

It seem that non-Jewish families are able, and perhaps even prefer, to call on the services of a mohel for the circumcisions of their infant sons, according to a recent article, found on the Chaptzem Blog blogsite at:, on The Jewish Daily Forward website at: and on the Haaretz website at: .

Not to worry – it’s the same article posted on all three sites (it’s evidently making the rounds).

According to the article, written by John MacDonald of The Forward: While it's not clear exactly how many mohels offer nonritual circumcisions, the practice is, according to Shoulson - an Orthodox-trained mohel who has circumcised Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists and Hindus during his 50-year career - very widespread.

I had no idea. Bravo for the recognition of a valuable service that’s rooted in a Torah commandment, as well as in Jewish religious tradition and teaching.

When I was a youngster growing up in New York, The City of New York Public Health Department required (I think) all newborn boys to be circumcised regardless of religion (not so cool if the parents disapproved). But if done on request by non-Jews, it’s yoffie that we Yiddin are willing to provide this Jewish time-honored religious practice.

Photo credit: The Jewish Daily Forward

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Entropy Is Easy
by: Schvach Yid

It’s the natural state of things. Just ask any assassin, providing he/she hadn’t committed suicide in the process, or wasn’t ‘done in’ quickly (as were, for example, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald).

I don’t know how Benazir Bhutto felt about Israel; I have no idea how she felt about the establishment of the Jewish State in the Jewish homeland, but the business of this murder makes me sick. A fine gesellschaft’, as we yekes are prone to sarcastically proclaim.

Her only stance that I can recall offhand, aside for her efforts to establish a free democracy in her native Pakistan – no friend of Israel – was during her engagement to be married, when she said she just wanted to ‘be a good Moslem wife’.

As a ‘good Moslem wife’, she was a bit unconventional. I’ll leave the analyses to the experts; I’m no expert.

Photo credit: Atlas Shrugs

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Bat Noach and the Long Reach of the Chofetz Chaim
by: Schvach Yid

We are all aware of the importance of the spoken word. Speech, we are told by the Kabbalists, is one of three garments of the soul. Speech possesses the ability to teach, foster and nurture, or to humiliate, desecrate and destroy. Individuals and societies can be made or broken through the application of proper versus improper speech.

A Bat Noach has been interviewed by A Simple Jew concerning her search for a religiously more meaningful life, and of the importance the teachings of the Chofetz Chaim have taken in her life and in the lives of her children. These two blogs can be found at:
and at:

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, of Radin Poland, who lived from 1838 to 1933, expounded on and championed the Torah teachings of proper speech. A basic biography can be found at:

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Rebbe as Student
by: Schvach Yid

Here’s a pleasant blast from the past: the not yet Lubavitcher Rebbe, R’ Menachem Mendel Schneerson, seated (right) with his father-in-law, the then Lubavitcher Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, playing a nice game of chess.

Even the Rebbonim relax and play.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Resuscitation of an Old Bromide
by: Schvach Yid

There’s some hype over a new rendition of that old Jewish musical classic, Hava Negila, which according to the language chachamim translates as ‘Let Us Rejoice’ (frankly, I think this translation gives this time-honored musical piece a very un-Jewish Bach-like identity).

The act is caught on video by YouTube, and can be viewed and read about at:

The YouTube site has video links to a variety of renditions, including one that features Bob Dylan playing harmonica.

The big deal? Well, this rendering features a jazzed-up Sephardic/Mizrachi beat which I find refreshing, as opposed to the standard old version which has always bored me.

If you find the performance too teeny-bop, or in violation of Derech HaTznius (and it is!) just close your eyes or flip through a mag while listening to the tune. According to, the vocal performer, Lauren Rose (née Goldberg) is a mere 17 years of age; her audience participants are evidently much younger.


The Ethnic Discrimination Accusation Gone Awry
by: Schvach Yid

Here’s one for the accusers. Arutz Sheva has just posted a news item that reports a Hebrew University finding that soldiers serving in the IDF have a penchant for not raping Arab women, and that this conduct is motivated by political considerations.

You can read it here:

Okay, I’m weird, but this sounds like an argument in search of a brain; you know, something like ‘Arab women aren’t fit to be raped’, or some similar inane remark.

Perhaps there’s a paucity of rape by IDF-serving males because they tend to be Jewish, and Judaism just doesn’t permit rape. I know, I know, one might readily counter that many, if not most cultures forbid rape. What can I possibly say? I guess Judaism really means no on this matter, and we Jewish males have a great tendency to adhere to this edict.

Maybe it’s because we love the women in our lives.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Annals of Jew-Hatred: Vol. 1 Num. 1
by: Schvach Yid

You can catch the latest in Jew-bashing naches as related by Yo Yenta at: .

Frankly, it’s nothing new to us. I could write ad infinitum (notice the use of Latin rather than Hebrew or Yiddish) about my personal experiences with Jew-hating slurs spat directly into my face (‘I don’t want any of your Jew tricks’ is what one of my former bosses said to me on one occasion).

Well, it doesn’t end. Thank Gd the ones over here in the USA don’t detonate us to bits.

Happy reading.

Oh yeah – good Shabbos.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here’s One I Can’t Believe
by: Schvach Yid

It’s hot off the press from at:,7340,L-3484830,00.html, and,7340,L-3484830,00.html.

‘Settler Defense Forces’? What a comforting thought, but of course, Peace Now, who proposed this title as a criticism, has it all wrong – again.

Zionist certainly does not mean bigot; anti-Zionist, Jewish, and living in the Jewish homeland despite one’s conviction against the establishment of a Jewish homeland, certainly is bigoted. After all, what use does a non-religious Jew have for living his/her life in the Jewish Homeland under a fund of secular law, all the while opposing anything that so much as suggests Torah? Not to mention their conviction against what they are. I don’t get it. Will someone please explain this to me?

The scenery is nicer in the Peloponnese.

Mezuzah credit: Chabad Lubavitch

Gush Katif Remembered
by: Schvach Yid

Shifra Shomron has sent me an e-mail about her book on her life in Neve Dekalim- Gush Katif and her experiences as an expellee, titled: GRAINS OF SAND: THE FALL OF NEVE DEKALIM.

Here’s more: GRAINS OF SAND: THE FALL OF NEVE DEKALIM is published by Mazo Publishers, copyright 2007, $16.95/ 69NIS per copy, 185 pages, ISBN 978-9657344194 and is available from, Barnes & Noble, Mazo Publishers, select Jerusalem book stores, and other book stores. Please visit my website for additional book information, book reviews (including The Jerusalem Post), interviews (including A7 radio and TV)...

There’s also a trailer, at:

There’s Really Nothing New Under the Middle Eastern Sun
by: Schvach Yid

It appears that the Vatican’s number one man in the driver’s seat in ‘The Holy Land’, Archbishop Michel Sabbah, has announced that we Jews aren’t fit to have a Jewish State, especially Israel. He thinks it’s bigotry. Surprise!

Arutz Sheva quotes him as having said: (
“If there’s a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against,” Sabbah said. Sabbah, a Palestinian Authority Arab, did not mention the PA’s definition of its areas as Arab and Muslim. He blamed Israel for the conflict with the PA and PA-based terrorist groups, saying, “If Israel decides for peace, there will be peace.”

Additionally, Arutz Sheva reports the padre as having said: “Sabbah told reporters that Israel must abandon its Jewish character in favor of a ‘normal state for Christians, Muslims, and Jews’.”

Batya Medad provides her opinion of this in her A7 blog at: , titled ‘What’s Good for the Goose…’, as does Nissan Ratzlav-Katz at:

There seems to be plenty written by Yiddin about this one. Just do a search – there’s more.

So, what else is new? A Catholic cleric who just might be anti-Israel and anti-Jewish is nothing new. Take Martin Luther – please - who started out as a Roman Catholic cleric. Take the previous pope, John Paul II, who as a ‘friend’ to Jews, insisted that the soul of any person who has not accepted the Christian Savior is damned. There’s no need to be Arab - Palestinian or otherwise.

But the most immediate association was to recall that late, great figure of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship and administration, Father (Père) Roland de Vaux of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem.

Yup! Under his leadership, Jewish biblical scholars were excluded from viewing and studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the scrolls of Tanakh, until our hero (and I mean hero) Hershel Shanks, founder of the Biblical Archeology Review (, succeeded in his long campaign to wrest this exclusivity from the clutches of Father De Vaux’s disciples.

Regrettably, the Jewish world was greeted with the sad news that although the non-biblical scrolls had been rescued intact, as well as a completely intact scroll of the Book of Isaiah (one of Christianity’s favorites, I’ll have you know!), the remaining material of Tanakh writings was in fragments.

What a tragic coincidence. Can you say ‘spite’ - not that I want to cast fabricated accusations, but…

The story of the Dead Sea Scrolls is famed and lengthy. Regrettably, my brain fails the spontaneous recollection test on this one, so if you’re interested, start digging.

Well, ‘that’s all folks’. There’s nothing new about an old story, and this one is old.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Jews, Old Jews
by: Schvach Yid

A recent blog on the blogsite Jews By Choice at, posted on Dec. 5, 2007 by Chavy Jo, and titled When Worlds Collide: Transitioning, discussed the sensitive matter of ‘fitting in’. This was presented from the perspective of a Jew who has converted to Judaism through the aegis of the Reform Movement.

The task appears to be several fold: firstly, holding one’s own while convincing others that one’s new religious identity is legitimate, ie. being Jewish in a non-Jewish environment by people who reject one’s conversion; secondly, finding some solice in light of one’s need to convince others (should this need even exist?); thirdly, convincing oneself of the legitimacy of one’s conversion; and lastly, the family, both ‘new’ and ‘old’.

I’ve never converted to another religion. I’ve never considered nor explored this possibility. I’m very comfortable with Judaism and see no reason to even consider straying, but I have had the experience of meeting people who have made the switch to Judaism, with some interesting results. There’s one in particular.

As I’ve posted in the past, I grew up summering in a bungalow colony located in the Catskill Mountain region of New York State. Just a few years ago, I went back for a summer visit (the bungalow colony shut down, but the remnants of the old crowd has transferred to nearby digs) and was reunited with old friends.

During this visit one of the ladies of my parents’ generation talked about her oldest son and daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law, a native of the Bible Belt had converted to Judaism decades earlier when she and her Jewish husband married. The Jewish husband was born in Hungary and was never circumcised. Both his parents are Hungarian Holocaust survivors, but Judaism was never a part of the family’s life.

It was the daughter-in-law, newly converted to Judaism, who brought Judaism into that family, but in a matter I find most peculiar, she chose to join a havura of like converts to Judaism (in addition to their ‘regular’ synagogue membership; they have raised their children Jewish).

I could only interpret this as indicating a sense of doubt on her part concerning her legitimacy as a Jew. Alternatively, she doesn’t want to completely sever her ties with her native religion.

Similar problems of ease and self-perceived legitimacy exist for many native Jews, especially ba’alei t’shuva – religiously lax Jews who’ve chosen to go Orthodox.

The whole thing is enough to drive a Yid nuts, and it does! But self doubt and beating one’s head against the wall has never done anyone any good – I think.

Transitions tend to be tough, especially in the realm of religion. When I first started a new job a decade ago I met a graduate student at work. He greeted me, and as our conversation progressed we discovered our mutual Jewish identity. He told me he was a ‘Conservative Movement Jew’, that his girlfriend was with the Reform Movement, and that each week he baked mini-challot for Shabbos, would I like one.

Oh, oh! I knew exactly where he was headed – and without Chabad.

Over the next eight years (!) I bumped into him sporadically, but finally he had passed his dissertation defense, and was ready for graduation. And so there he stood in the elevator one fine day, yalmulka on his head, tzitzit hanging over his belt, untrimmed beard, minus his Reform Movement girlfriend.

But he wasn't so comfortable; he squeezed himself and pressed the back of his head against the back wall of the elevator car in an apparent attempt to conceal his yalmulka.

He proceeded to inform me of his post-graduation plan. ‘I haven’t decided yet. I’ve been accepted for a post-doctoral fellowship in a lab at Tel Aviv University, but I’ve also been accepted to several yeshivot in Israel. I’ll have to decide’.

No kidding he had to decide.

So Chavy Jo of the Jews By Choice blogsite, this is how it goes, for all Jews, convert or native. Get used to it.

More on Matisyahu
by: Schvach Yid

If you're into a bit of bio about Matisyahu, the Chassidic reggae champ, then here’s a link to an article written by Debra Nussbaum Cohen for The New York Jewish Week. Enjoy!

And if your into, or just curious, about the pursuits of a Breslover ba’al t’shuva, then try A Simple Jew at Simple Jew. He’s posted a three part ditty comparing and contrasting Jewish mysticism and Buddhism, posted on December 12, 13, and 14, 2007.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Screwing Up the Game
by: Schvach Yid

I don’t like sports; never have, never will. But the recent hubbub about former US Senator George Mitchell’s-led investigation into illicit steroid use by professional baseball players leaves one (or at least me) with a lousier sense of what has happened to America in the past decade or two.

As a kid, I summered with my family in a Catskill Mountain bungalow colony. The place ran a day camp for the kids which I was required to attend (by my folks). Each morning, immediately following the campers’ gathering at the flagpole and our reciting the pledge of allegiance, we played softball.

I hated it. I couldn’t have given a hoot about winning some lousy game. My concern was captivated exclusively by the bees the plagued my head as I spent each morning, under the beating sun, in left field waiting for the kid playing shortstop to screw up. Thank Gd for rainy days.

We Jews have played no small role in baseball. I don’t mean among the players. Who among them was Jewish? Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg. I can’t name any others; I don’t know the sport, and I don’t care.

I don’t mean Jews in the game. I’m referring to Jews in the organized labor movement – labor unions - to which professional baseball players belong.

The names of Samuel Gompers (kavod) and Jimmy Hoffa (shander) spring to mind, of course, but so do our labor players of not quite a century ago – the laborers and factory workers who participated in the creation of labor unions.

Thanks to the labor unions we have paid vacations, paid sick leave, and other employment benefits. The establishment of OSHA can be attributed to the labor movement. Union members or not, the American worker owes a great deal to the unions.

According to the ‘Mitchell Report’, the baseball players’ union wasn’t so hot to cooperate with the investigation. I don’t have the details. I really don’t care about the details. It’s the betrayal that counts.

I have a sneaking suspicion that baseball – or at least softball – played a major role in creating and training the generation of Americans who won the Second World War. I don’t think that’s a far fetched assumption.

Baseball is part of ‘American know how’. Despite my dislike for sports, I fully understand the important lessons provided to kids playing team sports, especially baseball, and so I don’t like to see the grownups screw it up.

Humor Transfer
by: Schvach Yid

Rubicon3 at has posted a video titled HDTV: a religious experience on Dec 13, 2007., also found at:

It’s not quite Zero Mostel, but enjoy just the same.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dinner at the Chabad’s
by: Schvach Yid

Tonight we light the Chanukah menorah for the last time this year, and already I feel ‘bummed out’. I don’t know why. But last night, I had a great time at my local Chabad House’s annual Chanukah bash, so let’s just call this post-party depression.

Last night we lit the big menorah that stands outside the front entrance of the Chabad House, along a well traveled thoroughfare. Each of us was given a Chanukah candle to light and hold while ‘the big one’ was lit. So what if a wind blew out all of our candles; so what if the second lamp of the menorah wouldn’t light. It was nice just the same.

Then the grub; with potato latkes, who needs food, right? So it was. I wolfed down lots of latkes. Forget about the chicken and corn, but I did have some tiny quantity of salad. Then dessert – sufganiot – jelly doughnuts, and home made. Lots of Chanukah music and nice people.

Perhaps I’m bummed out because tonight marks the 22nd jahrzeit of my maternal grandmother, from whom I heard about the family’s Nazi-provided experiences on an almost daily basis during my youth.

King Arthur (not Jewish) became depressed when he lost his sword, Excalibur. I’m not King Arthur, and I have neither kingdom nor sword. But I do have a yeshus, and mine needs management, so here’s a link to a sicha on yeshus:

On the other hand maybe I’m bummed out simply because Chanukah is drawing to an end, and this one, for some undefined reason, has turned out to have been particularly enjoyable.

Free At Last, Free At Last
by: Schvach Yid

Boy oh boy, are Dan Gellerman and his masters of the Olmert Squad grateful or what? Finally, Israel has been acknowledged as a contributing partner among nations at the UN, by the UN.

You can read it here folks, at:,7340,L-3481607,00.html

Yup, we be grateful. Perhaps Gellerman would like to take acceptance speech lessons from Sally Field.

Am I bit obnoxious? Good. The wannabe routine doesn’t fit Israel very well (or perhaps in recent years it does), and those go along lackeys should have gotten the message a long time ago, but rather than go from strength to strength, the loser leaders of Israel have instead chosen to go from stupid to stupider.

And the Israelis feel superior. Don’t they understand anything? Pardon me while I down a Dramamine or two. Bye!

Why Judaism is Important – the Sequel
by: Schvach Yid

According to Yahoo News, Islamic extremists in Thailand, ie. Moslems, crucified a fellow Moslem suspected of disloyalty, and beheaded 2 Buddhists. Here’s the link:

I’d rather be Jewish (and I am – thank Gd) and living in a free, civilized society (which I do – thank Gd).

Way back, when Cat Stevens transformed into a Moslem and took the name Yusuf Islam, he pronounced that Islam is ‘the pure religion’. He should have stuck with Peace Train and should now teach that to his coreligionists (co-Islamists?).

Judaism doesn’t permit vigilantism. We can’t commit murder in the name of any contrived justification (despite the merit of Pinchas in Parshas Balak), nor may we rape or immolate women accused of dishonoring family or community.

The political correctness scam of differentiating between ‘Moslem’ and ‘Islamic’ is just that, a scam; it doesn’t work. This ruse of assigning significance in meaning to synonymic designations for members of a group just doesn’t convince. In a disparaging spirit I’ve been called ‘Jew’, ‘Jew boy’, a ‘real Jew’, ‘Heeb’, and ‘kike’. ‘But that’s not the same’, one might protest. Baloney! Moslem is not Islamist minus politics, as in ‘on the street they’re Islamists, but in a mosque they’re Moslem’.

Judaism comes to the rescue, not as Superman (invented by two Jews, I’ll have you know – Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster) able to intercede and obviate the disasters intended by bad doers. No, no, no, that’s not it. One of Judaism’s great attributes is it’s insistence on, and obligation to, personal accountability.

That means no murder – ever! No rape – ever! No cholyerische (plague-like) behaviors – ever! By Judaism, people are not behemoth (beasts), and no beast-like behaviors are supported. Zealotry is not vigilantism, and violence is never condoned as devotion.

And Judaism doesn’t distinguish between the rich and the poor, or between the ‘high’ and the ‘low’; in other words, in Judaism, everyone is accountable to the same extent, and that’s the way it should be.

Those who insist on drawing an equivalence between Judaism and Islam as two ‘Abrahamic faiths’ are out of luck – that scam doesn’t work either. Torah tells us of the significance in difference between the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph – the Nation of Israel, and the descendents of Ishmael – whom the Chumash labels that ‘wild ass of a man’.

It’s true!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Acerbic Side of Pro-Israel Advocacy
by: Schvach Yid

It’s a blog site called Atlas Shrugs, hosted, written, and owned (?) by, I guess, Pamela Geller.
Here’s the link:

If you love the Jewish State of Israel and hate the Jew-haters and Jew-bashers, then you’ll probably find congruity, if not solice, in Pamela’s pro-Israel, pro-Jewish cyber-rants.

Here’s a link to a class-A sample:

And here’s a cartoon from another of her postings:

Desmond Tutu Goes to Boston
by: Schvach Yid

Last month, at Boston’s Old South Church, to attend a conference titled ‘Israel Apartheid’.

Here’s the link:

By the way, since Tutu has fashioned a clerical career with a theme – human rights and amicable race relations – it would be nice if he would follow the American model. Here in the States, when a public figure commits a racial gaffe, he/she is set to task - removed from the workplace and banished from further employment. When the offending racist dolt is finally permitted back into the workplace, he/she is permitted to do so only under the most stringent supervision, and forever condemned to sing the praises of ‘zero tolerance’, to say nothing of a commitment to recite a life long cacophony against the commission of like offenses by anyone else, to say nothing of an obligation to play up to and provide for members of the offended group.

Desmond Tutu is an Anglican minister – a high ranking (bishop) of the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church holds by Martin Luther. I have never come across a report which describes Tutu as renouncing, or at least voicing his disagreement with, the Jew-hating tirades of Martin Luther, to say nothing of his own tirades against the Jewish State.

Desmond Tutu has a lot to learn.

Matisyahu Does Chanukah
by: Schvach Yid

That is, for his fans, on day 2 of the Jewish Festival of Lights – Chag Orim – at Roseland in NY, backed-up by Bob Marley’s old band, the Wailers (which I find a bit confusing since Rastifarians supposedly don’t take to Yiddin). Matisyahu led the audience in the Shema, and a fellow chassid was recruited from the crowd to light the menorah. I love Chanukah.

Here's the link:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

With Potato Latkes, Who Needs Food?
by: Schvach Yid

Ulcer, schmulcer (to say nothing of a riled gall bladder), as far as candy goes, potato latkes lose first place only to matzah brie; otherwise, latkes are number one. On second thought, they’re tied for first. It’s a good thing they’re eaten months apart, otherwise, they’d have to battle it out.

I hope you’re enjoying our Festival of Lights as much as I.
Once again, Chag Chanukah Sameach!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Chag Chanukah Sameach – Again
by: Schvach Yid

I know, I’ve already post Chaunkah greetings, but there are eight
days of the Festival of Lights, so as Batya Medad of Arutz Sheva

has posted, ‘Chag Orim Sameach’

Photo credit: Michoel Muchnik,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Birthday
by: Schvach Yid

Belatedly, as is usual for me, I’ve learned that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the première of The Jazz Singer, which debuted the evening of October 6, 1927. This flick, starring Al Jolson in his now infamous and most politically incorrect black face, is noted as the first ‘talky’, even though it is in fact a combination talking/silent film.

Nothing is ever wasted – just ask whoever it was who concocted the Laws of Thermodynamics (I mean the list, not the phenomena of Physics).

Blogger rumor has it that at the recent ‘Annapolis Summit’, the Israeli (Jewish) delegation was required to enter the festival hall via a side entrance, while the eminent guests and their hosts entered by way of the grand entrance.

I don’t know if this is true or just blogger’s contrivance, but here’s a bit from the Jerusalem Post, at:

Evident everywhere, the discrimination against Israel received its starkest expression at the main assembly of the Annapolis conference on Tuesday. There, in accordance with Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs.

Who’s the nigger now, one is prompted to ask. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should have known better, one is prompted to exclaim. Believe me, they do, and that’s the problem. Anyone who works in the American workplace knows what this was about, or to paraphrase Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star in a TV interview some months ago, ‘there isn’t a Black person in America who has to fear the American workplace’. It’s not about fear, and for the US President and Secretary of State, the Annapolis conference was the workplace.

The Israeli delegation hadn’t a clue, and even if they had, I suspect they are too dull witted while on their feet to have responded appropriately, to say nothing of their general intimidation.

In 1988, the film Mississippi Burning was released, and promptly, civil rights critics jumped. The star of this movie, Gene Hackman, was taken to task on a TV talk show and given a class A tongue lashing by civil rights old guard and professor Julian Bond, who proceeded to dictate to his victim, and the TV viewing audience, that Hollywood is responsible for producing movies that inform and educate, rather than merely entertain and sensationalize.

Not long after, another civil rights old-timer, Bill Cosby, picked up and ran with the baton that movies and TV should educate (Bill sported a Malcolm X baseball cap in TV appearances following the August 1991 Crown Heights riot).

The marching orders had been given, and recently, they marched right into Annapolis, those cozy, get along, people of color.

So here it is - movies, education, the American workplace, and the Annapolis Summit. Two movies define the marching orders: The Boys in Company C, starring Stan Shaw (1978), and Trading Places (1983), starring Eddie Murphy.

For those of you who live outside the United States, I suggest you view these two ‘oldies but goodies’, and remember the pronouncements of Julian Bond and Bill Cosby. For those of us who work in America, no further explanation is needed for the goings on at the Annapolis Summit.

No number of prayer shawls would have consoled Al Jolson. I doubt Olmert and company have a clue.

Chag Chanukah Sameach
By: Schvach Yid

Enjoy the festival, and best wishes to all the readers of my blog, and to their families.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Sinews of Peace
by: Schvach Yid

It’s the title Winston Churchill gave to his ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, but I think ‘Sinews of Ambition’ might be more appropriate. Still, it’s nice to be recognized. Acknowledgement from ‘outside’ sources is almost as important as acceptance from those same sources. On the one hand, I appreciate the inclusion; on the other, I’m grateful to not be a politician, whether it’s kissing babies or kissing up. And yes, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Chabad Lubavitch, and my mother, like the current serving governor of California, is Austrian (but that's where the shared identity ends).

Smile - Chanukah is almost here.