Conservative Colloquium

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Archive for February, 2008

Scary Islamic Doctrines

Posted by Tony Listi on February 29, 2008

The following are two specific Islamic doctrines that scare me. I wonder how mainstream they are, especially among Muslims who live in democracies. Do so-called moderate Muslims recognize them?

It is OK to lie to unbelievers?
Taqiyya and kitman (concealment and mental reservation from telling the whole truth with the intention to mislead) constitute the Islamic doctrines of religious deception against non-believers. As the prophet Muhammad said, “War is deceit” (Hadith 4:269). They have been adopted and practiced by both Shi’ites and Sunnis.

The Qur’an itself teaches deception of non-believers: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them” (3:28). The distinguished commentator Ibn Kathir explains this verse, “Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than believers.” However, an exception is made for “those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly.”

http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/bostonglobe080402.html : “One of the doctrines that emerges out of the Salafist school is ”Taqiyyeh,” Arabic for a process of concealment of true beliefs to confuse the enemy.”

The Qur’an’s tolerant verses have been cancelled?
Naskh or nasakhatha Ayat al-Sayf is the Islamic doctrine of abrogation. Basically, it means that Allah does not have to be consistent and can change or cancel what he tells Muslims: “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: knowest thou not that Allah has power over all things?” (Qur’an 2:106). Therefore, the violent verses of the ninth sura, including the Verse of the Sword (9:5), cancel/void the peaceful verses, because the violent verses were revealed later in the Prophet’s career.

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Posted in Islam, Politics and Religion, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Reason is Supernatural

Posted by Tony Listi on February 29, 2008

Excerpts from Miracles by C. S. Lewis (I encourage you to read the entire book.)
“All possible knowledge, then, depends on the validity of reasoning…. Unless human reasoning is valid no science can be true. It follows that no account of the universe can be true unless that account leaves it possible for our thinking to be a real insight…. Thus a strict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: ‘If my mental processes are determined wholly by the [random, uncontrolled] motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.’ (Possible Worlds, p.209) But Naturalism, even if it is not purely materialistic, seems to me to involve the same difficulty, though in a somewhat less obvious form. It discredits our processes of reasoning or at least reduces their credit to such a humble level that it can no longer support Naturalism itself…. Acts of thinking are no doubt events; but they are a very special sort of events. They are ‘about’ something other than themselves and can be true or false. Events in general are not ‘about’ anything and cannot be true or false. [They just happen by cause and effect.] Hence acts of inference can, and must, be considered in two different lights. On the one hand they are subjective events, items in somebody’s psychological history. On the other hand, they are insights into, or knowings of, something other than themselves…. And we cannot possibly reject the second point of view as a subjective illusion without discrediting all of human knowledge. For we can know nothing, beyond our sensations at the moment unless the act of inference is the real insight that it claims to be….”

“Reason is our starting point. There can be no question either of attacking or defending it. If by treating it as a mere phenomenon you put yourself outside it, there is then no way, except by begging the question, of getting inside again…. For him [the Christian], the human mind in the act of knowing is illuminated by the Divine reason. It is set free, in the measure required, from the huge nexus of non-rational causation; free from this to be determined by the truth known….”

“The knowledge of a thing is not one of the things’s parts. In this sense something beyond Nature operates whenever we reason…. We have seen that rational thought is not part of the system of Nature. Within each man there must be an area (however small) of activity which is outside or independent of her. In relation to Nature, rational thought goes on ‘of its own accord’ or exists ‘on its own.’ It does not follow that rational though exists absolutely on its own. It might be independent of Nature by being dependent on something else…. It is only when you are asked to believe in Reason coming from non-reason that you must cry Halt, for, if you don’t, all thought is discredited. It is therefore obvious that sooner or later you must admit a Reason which exists absolutely on its own…. Yet if any thought is valid, such a [eternal self-existent] Reason must exist and must be the source of my own imperfect and intermittent rationality. Human minds, then, are not the only supernatural entities that exist. They do not come from nowhere. Each has come into Nature from Supernature: each has its tap-root in an eternal, self-existent Rational being, whom we call God. Each is an offshoot, or spearhead, or incursion of that Supernatural reality into Nature….

“Reasoning doesn’t ‘happen to’ us: we do it…. The traditional doctrine that I am a creature to whom God has given reason but who is distinct from God seems to me much more philosophical than the theory that what appears to be my thinking is only God’s thinking through me…. It seems much more likely that human thought is not God’s but God-kindled….”

“We are interested in man only because his rationality is the little tell-tale rift in Nature which shows that there is something beyond or behind her….”

“Two views have been held about moral judgments. Some people think that when we make them we are not using our Reason, but are employing some different power. Other people think that we make them by our Reason. I myself hold this second view. That is, I believe that the primary moral principles on which all others depend are rationally perceived. We ‘just see’ that there is no reason why my neighbor’s happiness should be sacrificed to my own, as we ‘just see’ that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another. If we cannot prove either axiom, that is not because they are irrational but because they are self-evident and all proofs depend on them. Their intrinsic reasonableness shines by its own light. It is because all morality is based on such self-evident principles that we say to a man, when we would recall him to right conduct, ‘Be reasonable.’… If we are to continue to make moral judgments (and whatever we say we shall in fact continue) then we must believe that the conscience of man is not a product of Nature. It can be valid only as an offshoot of some absolute moral wisdom, a moral wisdom which exists absolutely ‘on its own’ and is not a product of non-moral, non-rational Nature. As the argument of the last chapter led us to acknowledge a supernatural source for rational thought, so the argument of this leads us to acknowledge a supernatural source for our ideas of good and evil…. If, like me, you hold that moral judgment is a kind of Reasoning, then you will say, ‘We now know more about the Divine Reason.’”

“Reason is something more than cerebral biochemistry…. The presence of human rationality in the world is therefore a Miracle….”

Posted in Moral Philosophy, Religion and Theology, Science and Religion | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

God, The Absolute Monarch of Ordered Liberty

Posted by Tony Listi on February 29, 2008

God is an absolute monarch, the absolute monarch of everything. Even Americans and Europeans, the most democratic of peoples, are subject to him though they may resist his commands. But he is also a benevolent and liberating monarch. Unlike human monarchs, he is a creator, the Creator of all that is good. He is an omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving monarch, and thus his rule is never despotism or tyranny. Unlike human monarchs (and all highly centralized government), he does not lack any power, knowledge, or good-will necessary to implement his policies. In a country ruled by absolute monarchy, the monarch is the whole of political life. So it is in heaven.  

Therefore, God is not only Love, not only the Way and the Truth and the Life, but also Politics. He is Government. And yet look how much freedom he allows and gives us (free will). If only governments on earth would reflect and emulate the Government and give their subjects/citizens more freedom, the world would be a better place though still imperfect. If only governments would learn to embrace freedom (especially economic freedom) with all its imperfections, as God has embraced his free people with all their imperfections.

God is also a monarch who respects the dignity of his free subjects (because it is a dignity he himself gave them). Thus, somewhat strangely, he enters into a convenant (or contract, to use a more modern term) with them. Basically, he enters into a deal or bargain with his subjects. This begins with the Jews: “You shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezk 36:28). The quid pro quo of the Old Testament convenant is hard to miss. God promises blessings in return for obedience to his commands, which demand both right belief and right action/behavior. And this convenant is continued, renewed, and fulfilled (in the sense that the fact that we can never fully keep our part of the bargain has now been taken into account)  in the New Testament. Yes, Jesus slightly modified or clarified some of the Law (mainly the punishments for its violation) for the time in which people then lived and he demands a personal faith and relationship with himself. But the basic responsibilities of both parties to the convenant have not changed; we must still believe in Him and act according to His will. We are free to carry out the responsibilities and receive our reward or neglect them and face the consequences.

Thus God is not only the giver of freedom (and thus all our human rights), he is a giver of Law and Order (just look at the Old Testament). God demands and commands very specific things of us. There is a purpose behind the freedom he has given us: to always choose all the good that all comes from him and that he commands us to choose. And yet he does not and will not attempt to control us or impose his will on his creation until the End of Time, the Final Judgment; he leaves us free to choose and suffer the natural consequences our disobedience (guilt, alienation, conflict, loneliness, depression, suffering, melancholy, pain, disease, etc.). God punishes, but usually through Nature, the natural order, the overarching framework of reality, that he has already created. Thus the physical laws of nature and the moral laws of human nature punish. Reward and punishment take the form of incentives and disincentives, not coercion (sounds very economical…). 

But here we come to the interesting and complicated question: does God punish through earthly government too? Or perhaps more appropriately phrased: should government become a means or tool for the punishment of God (especially since he has revealed certain laws)? For example, should government punish murder on behalf of God’s justice? How about rape? Theft? Dishonesty? Adultery? Greed? Pride? Sloth? Impiety? I think most of us would accept some of these as the purview of government but not others even though all of them are evil sins. Why? The correct answer is the master political virtue of Prudence: to prevent greater evils that will probably occur when sinners try to govern other sinners with regard to a particular sin. However, most people would probably appeal to the vague and somehwat unhelpful notion of the “separation of church and state.”  However, as easy as it is to separate church and state, it is impossible to separate religion from politics. These people would claim that certain sins or wrong doing are in principle off limits to government punishment. They are imprecise and thus slightly inaccurate in their analysis, though they may reach the same conclusion (I have libertarians in mind). The “harm principle” is ultimately meaningless without an adequate definition of “harm.”

Perhaps it would help if we asked what God has revealed with regard to his relation to government?

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom,To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
God intends an “increase of His government” in the future that he himself will establish.

Psalm 86:9 “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,And they shall glorify Your name.”
All nations will submit to his governance.

Mark 12:17 “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This must have been important because it is repeated in Mt 22:21 and Lk 20:25. Here Jesus articulates powerfully a separation between church and state in some sense. Specifically, he articulates a division between duties we owe to the state and those we owe to God. On a fundamental level, Jesus proclaims that there is a difference between the state and God! One should never confuse the two and make an idol of the state.

Rom 13:1-10 “Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Government is meant to establish justice as much as is possible. At its best, it is a servant of God.

Posted in American Culture, Christianity and Politics, Economics, Government and Politics, Political Philosophy, Politics and Religion, Written by Me | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Serves with Terrorist on Anti-Israel Board

Posted by Tony Listi on February 29, 2008

 http://www.jewishpress.com/displayContent_new.cfm?contentid=30283&mode=a&sectionid=1&contentname=Obama_Served_On_Board_That_Funded_Pro-Palestinian_Group&recnum=1

Obama Served On Board That Funded Pro-Palestinian Group
By:  Aaron Klein
Date Posted: February 27, 2008

JERUSALEM – Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director on the board of a nonprofit organization that granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe.” (Obama has also reportedly spoken at fundraisers for Palestinians living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps.)

The co-founder of the Arab group, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, is a harsh critic of Israel who reportedly worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization when it was labeled a terror group by the State Department.

Khalidi held a fundraiser in 2000 for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, at which Khalidi’s wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.

Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.

The $40,000 grant from the Woods Fund to AAAN constituted about a fifth of the group’s reported grants for 2001, also according to tax filings. The $35,000 Woods Fund grant in 2002 made up about one-fifth of AAAN’s reported grants for that year as well.

Headquartered in the heart of Chicago’s Palestinian immigrant community, AAAN describes itself as working to “empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities.”

Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled “The Subject of Palestine,” that featured works related to what Palestinians call the “nakba” or “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948.

The theme of AAAN’s Nakba art exhibit, held at DePaul University in 2005, was “the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life … under [Israeli] occupation … home demolition … statelessness … bereavement … martyrdom, and … the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom.”

Another AAAN initiative, “Al Nakba 1948 As Experienced by Chicago Palestinians,” seeks documents related to the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.

Although AAAN co-founder Rashid Khalidi has at times denied working directly for the PLO, he reportedly served as director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, a period during which the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi’s wife, Mona Khalidi, reportedly was WAFA’s English translator during that period.

Khalidi also advised the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991. During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an “apartheid system in creation” and a “racist” state. Critics have accused him of excusing Palestinian terrorism, a charge he denies.

He dedicated his 1986 book, Under Siege, to “those who gave their lives … in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon.”

While the Woods Fund’s contribution to Khalidi’s AAAN might be perceived as a one-time contact with Obama, there is evidence of a deeper relationship between the presidential hopeful and Khalidi.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the senator first befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. The professor spoke on condition of anonymity. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003; Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.

Asked during a radio interview with this reporter on WABC’s John Batchelor program about his 2000 fundraiser for Obama, Khalidi said he “was just doing my duties as a Chicago resident to help my local politician.”

Khalidi said he supports Obama for president “because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause.”

Khalidi also lauded Obama for “saying he supports talks with Iran. If the U.S. can talk with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, there is no reason it can’t talk with the Iranians.”

Concerning Obama’s role in funding AAAN, Khalidi claimed he “never heard of the Woods Fund until it popped up on a bunch of blogs a few months ago.” He terminated the interview when pressed further about his links with Obama.

Contacted by phone, Mona Khalidi refused to answer questions about AAAN’s involvement with Obama.

The Obama campaign did not reply to a list of questions sent by e-mail to the senator’s press office.

In addition to questions about his relationship with Khalidi, Obama may face increased scrutiny over his ties to William C. Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground terrorist group that sought to overthrow the U.S. government and took responsibility for a string of bombings in the early 1970’s.

Obama served on the Woods Fund board alongside Ayers (who is still on the board). Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has written about his involvement with the Weather Underground’s bombing of U.S. governmental buildings including the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.

Although charges against him were dropped in 1974 due to prosecutorial misconduct, Ayers told a newspaper reporter several years ago that he had no second thoughts about his violent past. “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough,” Ayers told The New York Times in an interview published, ironically, on Sept. 11, 2001.

In his memoir, Fugitive Days, Ayers wrote: “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon” – though he continued with a disclaimer that he didn’t personally set the bombs but his group placed the explosives and planned the attack.

Besides serving with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at several public speaking engagements.

Posted in Elections and Campaigns, Government and Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 35 Comments »

Michelle Obama’s Racial Mindset/World-view

Posted by Tony Listi on February 28, 2008

The Obamas world-view is  still dominated by race, no matter how they are campaigning. The whole “unity” jibber-jabber seems like a sham, a means to an end.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8642.html

Michelle Obama thesis was on racial divide

By: Jeffrey Ressner
Feb 22, 2008 04:20 PM EST
Updated: February 23, 2008 09:51 AM EST

Michelle Obama’s senior year thesis at Princeton University, obtained from the campaign by Politico, shows a document written by a young woman grappling with a society in which a black Princeton alumnus might only be allowed to remain on the periphery.” Read the full thesis here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Michelle Obama

“My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my ‘blackness’ than ever before,” the future Mrs. Obama wrote in her thesis introduction. “I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be black first and a student second.”

The thesis, titled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community” and written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, in 1985, has been the subject of much conjecture on the blogosphere and elsewhere in recent weeks, as it has been “temporarily withdrawn” from Princeton’s library until after this year’s presidential election in November. Some of the material has been written about previously, however, including a story last year in the Newark Star Ledger.

Obama writes that the path she chose by attending Princeton would likely lead to her “further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.”

During a presidential contest in which the term “transparency” has been frequently bandied about, candidates have buried a number of potentially revealing documents and papers. In Hillary Rodham Clinton’s case, there’s been a clamoring for tax records, White House memos and other material the candidate’s team has chosen to keep from release. The 96-page Princeton thesis, restricted from release by the school’s Mudd Library, has also been the subject of recent scrutiny.

Earlier this week, commentator Jonah Goldberg remarked on National Review Online, “A reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama’s thesis … is unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008, at the Princeton library. I wonder why.”

“Why a restricted thesis?” asked blogger-pastor Louis Lapides on his site Thinking Outside the Blog. “Is the concern based on what’s in the thesis? Will Michelle Obama appear to be too black for white America or not black enough for black America?”

……..

Posted in Government and Politics, Race, Racism, and Affirmative Action | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Obama Weak on National Security

Posted by Tony Listi on February 28, 2008

You don’t ensure the security of the US by disarming and cutting defense spending!! Is military spending “wasteful spending,” Barack?? The nuclear freeze movement was wrong during the Cold War; it is still wrong now. You think gutting the missile defense shield budget will make America any safer?

“Shame on you, Barack Obama.”

Posted in Elections and Campaigns, Government and Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Barack Obama, Israel, and Anti-Semitism

Posted by Tony Listi on February 28, 2008

January 16, 2008

Barack Obama and Israel

The ascent of Barack Obama from state senator in Illinois to a leading contender for the Presidential nomination in the span of just a few years is remarkable. Especially in light of a noticeably unremarkable record — a near-blank slate of few accomplishments and numerous missed votes.

However, in one area of foreign policy that concerns millions of Americans, he does have a record and it is a particularly troubling one. For all supporters of the America-Israel relationship there is enough information beyond the glare of the klieg lights to give one pause.  In contrast to his canned speeches filled with “poetry” and uplifting aphorisms and delivered in a commanding way, behind the campaign façade lies a disquieting pattern of behavior.

One seemingly consistent theme running throughout Barack Obama’s career is his comfort with aligning himself with people who are anti-Israel advocates. This ease around Israel animus has taken various forms. As Obama has continued his political ascent, he has moved up the prestige scale in terms of his associates. Early on in his career he chose a church headed by a former Black Muslim who is a harsh anti-Israel advocate and who may be seen as tinged with anti-Semitism. This church is a member of a denomination whose governing body has taken a series of anti-Israel actions. 

As his political fortunes and ambition climbed, he found support from George Soros, multibillionaire promoter of groups that have been consistently harsh and biased critics of the American-Israel relationship.
Obama’s soothing and inspiring oratory sometimes vanishes when he talks of the Middle East. Indeed, his off-the-cuff remarks have been uniformly taken by supporters of Israel as signs that the inner Obama does not truly support Israel despite what his canned speeches and essays may contain.
Now that Obama has become a leading Presidential candidate, he has assembled a body of foreign policy advisers who signal that a President Obama would likely have an approach towards Israel radically at odds with those of previous Presidents (both Republican and Democrat). A group of experts collected by the Israeli liberal newspaper Haaretz deemed him to be the candidate likely to be least supportive of Israel. He is the candidate most favored by the Arab-American community.
Joining Trinity United Community Church

When Obama moved to Chicago and became a community organizer, he found it expedient to choose a Christian church to join.  Even though his father and stepfather were both Muslims and he attended a Muslim school while living in Indonesia, suspicions based on his days as a child are overheated and unfair. Still, his full name alone conveys the biographical fact that he has some elements of a Muslim background.

Saul Alinsky, whose philosophy infused community organizing in Chicago, emphasized the importance of churches as a basis for organizing. There are literally hundreds of churches on the South Side of Chicago that Obama could have chosen from. He selected one that was headed by Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Junior. The anti-Israel rants of this minister have been well chronicled. Among the gems:
The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for almost 40 years now. It took a divestment campaign to wake the business community up concerning the South Africa issue. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community up and to wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism.
Jeremiah Wright, Jr.
Pastor Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan (who called Judaism a “gutter religion” and depicted Jews as “bloodsuckers”) and traveled with him to visit Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi, archenemy of Israel’s and a terror supporter. Most recently, as head of the UN Security CouncilGaddafi prevented condemnation of attacks against Israel. As Kyle-Anne Shriver noted,
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan received the “Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Trumpeteer” Award at the 2007 Trumpet Gala at the United Church of Christ. 
Wright routinely compares Israel to apartheid South Africa and considers blacks “The Chosen People”. Wright sees his role not just as a religious counselor but also as an educator and political activist. As part of his schooling, he has posted the following tutorial:
Q: How many UN resolutions did Israel violate by 1992?
A: Over 65
42. Q: How many UN resolutions on Israel did America veto between 1972 and 1990?
A: 30+
43. Q: How much does the U.S. fund Israel a year?
A:$5 billion
 48. Q: How many nuclear warheads does Israel have?
A: Over 400
49. Q: Has Israel every allowed UN weapon inspections?
A: No
50. Q: What percentage of the Palestinian territories are controlled by Israeli settlements?
A: 42%
51. Q: Is Israel illegally occupying Palestinian land?
A. Yes.
Tucker Carlson of MSNBC has called Pastor Wright a total hater and wondered why the ties that bind Obama to Wright have not been given greater scrutiny. Mickey Kaus of Slate has also wondered when the ties between Obama and Wright will receive more criticism, given Wright’s seeming bigotry, which is in contrast to the soothing melody of unity that Obama has trumpeted on the campaign trail.
Some in the media have taken notice. The New York Times did have one front-page article on Wright by Jodi Kantor in which Wright was quoted as saying that should more information come to light about himself, “a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell”. After the article came out Wright attacked Jodi Kantor, referring to her Jewish heritage in a way that might create discomfort.
This fear is why Pastor Wright was disinvited at the last minute from appearing with Obama when Obama announced his run for the Presidency. Wright admitted in a PBS interview that he understands this distancing from the Obama campaign since “he can’t afford the Jewish support to wane or start questioning his allegiance to the Israel”
Wright has been disappeared by the campaign; Obama has replaced him with high profile white ministers who do not preach the racial exclusiveness and racial superiority that is a hallmark of Jeremiah Wright; however, they seem to share an anti-Israel bias.
Fortunately, bloggers and others have started to note the views of Pastor Wright (which also include an unhealthy does of racial exclusiveness, in Tucker Carlson’s words)  and     . Finally these views may be crossing over to major media outlets. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen published a recent column that criticized the award to Louis Farrakhan of the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award — an award that supposedly was granted to a man who “truly epitomized greatness”. As Cohen noted, Farrakhan is not only a race-baiter but also an anti-Semite and a promoter of anti-Semitism. He falsely accused Jews of cooperating with Hitler and helping him create the Third Reich, has slandered Jews by his insistence that Jews have played an inordinate role in victimizing African-Americans (he has also called Jews “bloodsuckers”). Cohen questions why Obama has stayed steadfast in his allegiance to Pastor Wright over the years.
Obama has called Wright his spiritual mentor, his moral compass and his sounding board. He was the man who gave Obama the term, “The Audacity of Hope” after all. He was also the man who told Obama that there are more black men in prison then in colleges — a statement that Obama parroted until he was told that it was false. What other “facts” has Wright taught Obama? Has he taught Obama to blame 9/11 on America because of our foreign policy? 
Nevertheless, an Obama spokesman told the New York Times he is proud of his pastor and his church.The church also is the largest recipient of Obama’s charitable donations. The pastor married Obama and his wife Michelle and baptized his two daughters. Obama has shown continued allegiance to a man who preaches racial exclusiveness, the superiority of black values over white middle-class values, and whose teaching contains anti-Israel diatribes. All these are sharply at variance with what Obama himself preaches on the campaign trail.
One should also note that the governing body of the United Church of Christ has taken a series of anti-Israel actions over the years. A broad coalition of Jewish groups have rebuked the Church for these actions.
Has Obama, the most famous and prestigious member of the Church and an inspiring orator who can move millions, taken steps to work with his church to moderate its anti-Israel invective? No.
He has been honored repeatedly by the church and has been its keynote speaker at various national assemblies. Has he called for change in the anti-Israel approach of the church? No.
For those who claim that Obama is the next JFK (an absurd claim and an insult to a revered President that was skewered recently) he is certainly not a Profile in Courage.
David Axelrod is Obama’s chief political adviser, he is also the man who always comes out to explain that Obama (the master orator) did not really mean some of the offensive off-the-cuff statements he has made about Israel on the campaign trail (see below). Axelrod has also come out with the typical bland statements that Obama does not agree with all the things that Wright says and does. This is a lame defense.
Recall, this is a church and a pastor who Obama has relied upon to shape his views, to be his sounding board; the church is the largest recipient of his charity dollars; he proudly states that he admires the church and Jeremiah Wright, Junior. He prayed with Wright before he announced his candidacy for President. He is a beacon for Obama.
If a white candidate belonged to a church where the minister promoted an anti-black, anti-Semitic theology he would be roundly subject to criticism (assuming his candidacy would even be viable in the face of this background). Why should Obama get a pass?
George Soros
As Obama took steps toward the United States Senate he found a very powerful sugar daddy who would help fund his rise: George Soros. The billionaire hedge fund titan began supporting Obama very early — as befits a legendary speculative investor always looking for opportunities.   Obama coveted support from George Soros  and Soros responded  — along with many family members and probably the Soros ring of wealthy donors. Soros even found a loophole that allowed him and assorted family members to exceed regular limits on campaign contributions.
Soros is also a fierce foe of Israel, for years funding groups that have worked against Israel. He is also a man who has flexed his political muscle as a major funder of Democrat candidates and a slew of so-called 527 groups that are active in pushing their agendas (a reliance on international institutions, defeat of Republicans, Bush-bashing, Israel-bashing). He has also openly proclaimed his desire to break the bonds between America and Israel and has written of his desire to erode political support for Israel. 
Soros also called for concessions to Hamas — a terror group that has killed many innocent people and that has called for the destruction of Israel. When this came to light, some leading Democrats personally denounced Soros; Obama had a spokesman issue this rather bland statement:
“Mr. Soros is entitled to his opinions,” a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said. “But on this issue he and Senator Obama disagree. Sound familiar? It is similar to the response the Soros campaign has given regarding Obama’s close relationship with Pastor Wright.
This mild reproach did not prevent Obama from appearing a few weeks later with George Soros at a fundraiser.
Soros invests when he sees a large return as likely; he proverbially “broke the Bank of England” a few years ago speculating on the pound. Does he intend to break the American-Israel alliance?
“Blood on their hands”
Nor did anti-Semitism of another fundraiser seem to ruffle Obama or his campaign. A fundraiser was held at the home of Allan Houston, formerly of the Knicks, and a man who had previously very publicly proclaiming that Jews had Jesus’ “blood on their hands” and were “stubborn”. The American Jewish Congress protested and noted that Obama would not take any money from someone who had expressed the same sort of remarks about African-Americans. The very same spokesman who addressed the Soros controversy blithely dismissed the concerns of the Jews and said the campaign would not return the money or reject any of the contributions made by Houston.
Senator Obama’s stands
Obama has been a Senator for only a couple of years. His supporters will point to a string of votes that are supportive of the American-Israel alliance (foreign aid, for example). These generally are not controversial and routinely pass by large margins, precisely because they support an ally and serve American interests.
Iran
However, Obama did introduce the Iran Divestment Bill along with two Democratic Congressmen (Congressmen Barney Frank and Tom Lantos). Given that Barney Frank is one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress and chairs the House Financial Services Committee and knows the financial industry well, would know how to craft such a bill.  I suspect that Obama signed on as a co-sponsor for protective coloration, while Frank and fellow veteran Tom Lantos felt it could not hurt to have a rising star as a co-sponsor.
This bill would:
Require the U.S. government to publish a list every six months of those companies that have an investment of more than $20 million in Iran’s energy sector.  This comprehensive list will provide investors with the knowledge to make informed investment decisions as well as a powerful disincentive for foreign companies to engage with Iran.
Authorize state and local governments to divest the assets of their pension funds and other funds under their control from any company on the list. 
Protect fund managers who divest from companies on this list from lawsuits directed at them by investors who are unhappy with the results.
Obama supporters and Obama himself trumpet this bill as Obama’s efforts to somehow “sanction” Iran. This bill does not sanction Iran; it merely requires the government to publicize companies that invest in Iran’s energy sector. Such companies are already listed various think tanks. 
States and local governments are already divesting from these companies, so the second provision is superfluous. Protecting fund managers from lawsuits might be of help since we do live in a litigious society. 
But there are grounds to doubt Obama’s seriousness on the issue. He has openly advocated outreach towards Iran, a state that makes clear its genocidal intentions towards Israel, funds Hezbollah and terrorism against America, Israel, and Jewish targets around the world. Obama has seemed to excuse attacks against Americans by Iranian-supported terror groups because we have provoked Iran by trying to liberate Iraq (we are in their neighborhood or as Barack has put it, Iraq is under occupation by America  (which makes one wonder how he feels about Israeli settlements).
The bill languishes, not promoted or pushed; but does serve as a nice campaign prop every now and then.
Furthermore, there already are targeted sanctions in place now. They can be employed against Iranians and Iranian groups identified as being terrorists or terror groups. Yet when Congress voted to identify the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terror group-thus making it susceptible to sanction-Barack Obama was not just AWOL (as has been widely noted, Obama has a history of missing votes and avoiding unpleasant decisions) but harshly attacked his political opponents for voting to so designate the Guards as a terror group.  This is absurd: the Guard has been implicated in terror attacks against Americans in Iran, Argentinean Jews in bombing attacks in Buenos Aires, and has bolstered Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Designating this group as terrorists is crucial in weakening its power. Yet, Obama objected to characterizing them as terrorists. That does not bode well for how seriously a President Obama would deal with Iran or how supportive he would be of our ally.
Obama has called for withdraw from Iraq, which would destabilize the region and lead to a further expansion of Iranian power. He also introduced a Senate Resolution on Iran that strips President Bush of the authority to take military action against it. .
Unilateral nuclear disarmament for Israel
Obama has also called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the world and said that America, by not openly leading a campaign to end nuclear weapons is “giving countries like Iran and North Korea an excuse.”
This is naïve beyond belief and is identical to arguments made in the Arab world that justify their pursuit of nuclear weapons because Israel has nuclear weapons. We all know how such a program would operate in the real world: Western, open nations such as Israel would be stripped of the capability of nuclear weapons; dictatorships, such as Iran, would continue to operate their secret programs.
Israel’s nuclear arsenal has helped offset the strategic peril that comes from being surrounded by much larger nations openly declaring their goal of its destruction. Obama’s call would unilaterally work to disarm Israel.
Pressuring Israel
Obama has also blamed that “our neglect of the Middle East Peace Process has spurred despair and fueled terrorism”  implicitly blaming Israel for terrorism and a sign that a President Obama would pressure Israel. Obama seems to ignore the roles that schools play in the Middle East in the teaching of hatred; the roles of mosques and Imams in stoking terrorism; the glorification of violence and martyrdom in the media; the role of jihad in the Koran.
He also was the only Democratic Presidential aspirant to sign a Senate Resolution that would ban the use of cluster bombs. These are the types of weapons used by Israel to counter massed attacks by Hezbollah, and are vitally important to her security; Hezbollah also used the same type of weapons. Does anyone think Hezbollah will refrain from using these weapons? How about suicide bombers who rely on similar types of “ordinance’ to inflict mass casualties among civilians?  Once again, high-minded rhetoric conceals an agenda of unilateral disarmament of the Jewish state.
Advisors
Every Presidential candidate assembles a foreign policy team of advisers. A glimpse into the makeup of Obama’s team has leaked to the media.
Martin Peretz of The New Republic — a supporter of Obama and of Israel — had this to say about Obama’s Foreign Policy team:
“I have my qualms, as you may know, about Barack Obama, and most especially about what his foreign policy might be.  If elected (and actually before he were to be elected), the first decision he would have to make would be who would represent him in the transition to power from early November to January 20.  And, frankly, I get the shudders since he has indicated that, among others, they would be Zbigniew Bzrezinski (I don’t know much about his son, listed as Mark, but I can guess), Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Robert O. Malley.”
Lake and Brzezenski both earned their spurs in the Carter Administration.  The Carter era led to the fall of the Shah of Iran (a stalwart ally of both America and Israel), which gave birth to the Iranian revolution. We all know how well that has turned out. Jimmy Carter, of course, has led a very public campaign of vilification against Israel-defaming it as an apartheid state (a view that Obama’s Pastor would concur with).
Anthony Lake has been all but retired for the last dozen years-living on a farm in the Berkshires. This makes one wonder what he is bringing to the table, other than his Carter-era pedigree and beliefs. He has been reactivated though-one of his roles seems to be as ambassador to the Arab-American community
The appointment of Brzezenski elicited much dismay among supporters of Israel since Brzezinski is well known for his aggressive dislike of Israel. . He has been an ardent foe of Israel for over three decades and newspaper files are littered with his screeds against Israel. Brzezinski has publicly defended the Walt-Mearsheimer thesis that the relationship between America and Israel is based not on shared values and common threats but is the product of Jewish pressure. Brzezinski also signed a letter demanding dialogue with Hamas-a group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and is filled with threats to Jews around the world.
After Hezbollah launched attacks against Israel in the summer of 2006, murdered Israelis and took hostages, Israel tried to get its citizens back by moving into Lebanon. Warfare resulted. Brzezinski wrote that Israel’s actions amounted to the “killing of hostages” (the hostages being Lebanese caught in the battles). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-clemons/zbig-brzezinski-israel_b_25821.html
Brzezinski’s son, Mark, is also on Obama’s foreign policy team. Evidently the apple does not fall far from the tree. Mark recently co-wrote an op-ed advocating that America forge ties with Iran.
Susan Rice was John Kerry’s chief foreign policy adviser when he ran for President. One of the major steps Kerry suggested for dealing with the Middle East was to appoint James Baker and Jimmy Carter as negotiators. When furor erupted at the prospect of two of the most ardent foes of Israel being suggested to basically ride “roughshod” over Israel, Kerry backtracked and blamed his staff for the idea. His staff was Susan Rice.
Drilling down further we have Robert Malley. He was part of the American negotiating team that dealt with Yasser Arafat at Camp David. He has presented a revisionist history of those negotiations since then: presenting a view that blames Israel for the failures of the negotiations. His version has been radically at odds with the views of Americans and Israelis (including the views of American Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross-also an adviser to Obama- and President Clinton).
He has spent years representing the Palestinian point of view, co-writing a series of anti-Israel articles with Hussein Agha-a former Arafat adviser. Palestinian advocate. These have appeared in the New York Review of Books a publication that has served as a platform for a slew of anti-Israel advocates from Tony Judt to the aforementioned George Soros to the authors of the Israeli Lobby book Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. Malley has also called settlements “colonies” — implicitly condemning Israel as a “colonial” state. His writings have been so critical of Israel that the media-monitoring group CAMERA has a “dossier” on him. (CAMERA also has a listing for Brzezinski).
Then there is this disconcerting article in the Financial Times about Democratic Presidential candidates and Israel. One of the key advisers to one of the Presidential candidates admitted to some tactical moves to garner pro-Israel support in America:
“The plain fact is there is no upside for candidates to challenge the prevailing assumptions about Israel,” said one of their advisers, who asked not to be named. “The best strategy is to win the White House and then change the debate.”
One well-regarded blogger, Rutgers Professor Judith Apter Klinghoffer believes this adviser was Ivo Daalder, who was quoted throughout the article and who is one of the foreign policy advisers to Barack Obama. Professor Klinghoffer is skeptical about Daalder and his feelings towards the American-Israel relationship. .
A snapshot of Daalder’s views:  He has, like Obama, singled out Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz as being responsible for manipulating the levers of power to serve the interests of other countries  (it bears reiterating, Perle had no official position in the Administration; Bush, Powell ,Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice-those were the decision-makers). Daalder has seemingly advocated talks with Hezbollah, Syria, Iran. Daalder stated that Israel’s bombing of Qana (an attack targeting Hezbollah missile placements that resulted in civilian death) in the war against Hezbollah imperiled Israel’s claim to the moral high ground. These and assorted other positions lend credence to Professor Klinghoffer’s view.
Scott Lasensky has also been appointed a foreign policy adviser to Obama. This step should also be viewed with a gimlet eye. In a book to be published this month, he and co-author Daniel Kurtzer write glowingly of the George H.W. Bush and James Baker’s approach towards dealing with Israel, but faulted Bush and Baker for inadequately derailing the pro-Israel lobby which was more skeptical of the push against Israel into Yasser Arafat’s arms.
He has called for Islamists and Hamas to be brought into the “peace process,” before this Mideast moment slips away.
He has called residents of Israeli settlements “obstructionists” He has been given the stamp of approval by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, a notoriously harsh anti-Israel group .
He was also used by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to castigate Israel in her widely criticized CNN’s Jewish Warriors “documentary” — a documentary that has been heavily criticized for its bias and factual errors)
Lasensky has been hosted by the activist group Brit Tzedek v’Shalom   and will be hosted by Americans for Peace Now , both of which groups have been highly critical of Israel over the years.
He has recently called for aggressive American involvement in pushing for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians — calling for the end of the incremental approach (which is  “trust but verify” approach meant to test each side’s honesty and ability to bring about peace). Abolishing it would be a foolish and potentially disastrous leap of faith into the unknown. 
He has called for engagement with Iran.
The group for which he works, the Unites States Institute of Peace, was the key organizer of the Iraq Study Group that produced a report that has very troubling recommendations concerning Israel (James Baker, whose approach towards Israel Lasensky admires, was one of the two people who headed the Iraq Study Group). 
Obama supporters might counter that Obama has a wide range of foreign advisers and seeks input from people with a variety of views. Most likely, Dennis Ross-with deep ties to the American Jewish community-will be headlined in this argument. However, it is unclear what role Ross has on the team. He is clearly angling to join what may be the next Administration in the White House. How likely is it that Ross, who served the Clintons (now Obama’s opponents), will hold sway against the triumvirate of key Obama heavyweights: Lake, Brzezinski, and Susan Rice?
Obama and John Bolton
Conversely, Obama actively opposed the nomination of John Bolton as our Ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton’s track record in support of Israel is impressive.
As Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Bolton took started a new project, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), that has played a very important role in preventing hostile nations (including those in the Arab world) from developing weapons of mass destruction. Boats were interdicted on the high seas, for example, when suspicions arose that they carried suspect cargoes. The PSI was also responsible for helping to put an end to Libya’s nuclear program, which led to the unraveling of the A.Q. Khan nuclear weapons black market that has imperiled our friends in the region (and ourselves). 
While at the United Nations, Bolton was a stalwart defender of American interests and those of our allies. He was also a firm supporter of Israel (next to Patrick Moynihan, probably one of the best) — a thankless task given the pervasive anti-Israel bias at the UN.
Bolton has continued to support the American-Israel relationship after leaving government service — for example, writing a series of op-eds, the latest of which support Israel’s decision to bomb the likely nuclear plant in Syria. 
Regardless of Bolton’s evident talents and drive, Obama worked to derail his career. Was it his views that Obama objected to?
Congressional support
Similarly, Obama supporters might rely on the support Obama has drawn from various Democratic Jewish Congressman (Wexler, Rothman, Schiff among them) over the last year. These stamps of approval might be met with some skepticism (Wexler went so far as to talk of Obama’s “love for Israel” based on a single tip Obama took to Israel when he began considering a Presidential run).
These Congressmen are well aware that Obama might be the next President-certainly it never hurts to have a friend in the White House. They are also Democrats who would want to bolster a fellow Democrat-particularly if it helps them with their own African-American constituents. Obama is a very compelling speaker — he has campaigned for fellow Democrats across the nation. Having a chit with Obama might be very useful in during the endless campaigning these Congressmen will be facing in the years ahead
The team seems to reflect an approach that should come as no surprise.
Obama would place a great deal of reliance on international institutions — the same international organizations that have opposed America and Israel for many years.  Obama’s approach towards the Islamic world indicates an approach form weakness, as if, to invert Osama bin Laden’s dictum, people were attracted to the nicest horse.  He would organize a meeting between Muslim leaders from all over the world and Americans so we can move forward with them as partners with “dignity and respect.”
Partners? To be sure this may be flowery diplo-speak. But most of these are leaders who are responsible for spreading hatred throughout their societies: a hatred that manifests itself in violence.
We have shown respect and dignity in our actions in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and yes, Iraq, We have liberated millions of people from genocide and dictatorship-we have given much in the blood of our soldiers and the billions in aid showered on the Muslim world (as the oil kleptocrats spend their billions buying up our corporations). Where is the dignity and respect shown towards America from these Muslim leaders?  His approach towards terrorism was eloquently expressed by Wall Street Journal writer Dorothy Rabinowitz who wrote that a President Obama’s stance against terrorism would “consist largely of antipoverty programs, reassuring the world of our peaceful intentions, and attending Islamic Conferences.” 
Speeches and public remarks
There are those willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and rely on his speeches to give comfort. Most recently, the New York Sun took excerpts from a speech he gave to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Chicago last march. I was there, just a few yards in front of Barack Obama. His speech was desultory and lacking the spirit and energy that are a trademark of the gifted oratory of Barack Obama. He clearly seemed to be going through the motions. The content of his speech gave many listeners qualms, including me. Others have their suspicions about whether Obama truly believes what he is saying in his speeches before groups supportive of the American-Israel relationship. .
Beyond that, how valuable are a candidate’s speeches for determining what his (or hers) true beliefs are? There are media reports that indicate he has “recalibrated his words about Israel and the Middle East” as part of his efforts to court the Jewish vote.  So there are grounds for skepticism about relying on canned speeches as a guide towards divining Obama’s true views.  Obama is a skilled orator; he has shown an adroit ability to hide friendships that might harm him on the campaign trail. Why not also hide his views behind a smokescreen of aphorism and bromides?
I think a more accurate reflection of these feelings and ideas are found in unscripted, off-the cuff remarks. As Michael Kinsley wrote, a “gaffe is a mistaken utterance or action which actually reveals what a politician truly believes”. Obama has a record of off the cuff remarks that are disconcerting. There is, of course, his well-known remark in Des Moines that “Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people” (which sounds like Pastor Wright is being channeled) that created controversy. He later tried to revise history by insisting he had said “Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership”. However, the well-respected Fact.Check.org and the Des Moines Register newspaper (which has an audio record) dispute Obama’s “redo”.
He also has objected to Israel’s security fence that has all but ended the suicide bombing campaigns that killed so many innocent people. In an interview in 2004 he stated:
“…the creation of a wall dividing the two nations is yet another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace.”
There are not two nations (at least yet) and the security fence is not a wall, it is a fence (only a small percent, less than 5% can be considered a “wall” and that is only because of space constraints and the desire to prevent sniper fire from the Palestinians).
His use of the term Cycle of violence” has caused ripples of concern for its intimations of moral equality between the Palestinians and Israelis; as has his elevation of “cynicism” as a core problem in the Middle East, rather than say, terrorism.
At an anti-war rally he stated that he was
“Opposed to the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in the administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throat” .
This is disturbing. Obama ignored the role of Colin Powell, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and other movers and shakers in the Administration. But Perle (who never even served in the Administration) and Wolfowitz (who was a Deputy Secretary) have been lumped together by many anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists as Jews who led us into the Iraq War to serve the interests of Israel. Who has Obama been listening to? His moral compass, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Junior?
There are other remarks of Obama’s that have struck others as being less than supportive of Israel. . Among them are words that put the onus on Israel to change the status quo in its relations with the Palestinians. He was the only candidate at the National Jewish Democratic Council conference that burdens Israel with that role.
There are grounds to be concerned that he would discard the “Road Map” that provides guidelines for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He has stated that the “Israel government must make difficult concessions for the peace process to restart.”  The Road Map places obligations on both sides to take steps simultaneously on the road to peace. Israel is explicitly not obligated to take the first steps. This confirms the views he expressed to the NJDC that he would place the onus on Israel in future peace negotiations. .
Shmuel Rosner, the Washington correspondent of the liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz, noted that that the prediction that Obama would be least favorable of any of the candidates toward Israel may partly be due to the fact that his “supporters come mainly from the left-wing of the Democratic Party and from the African-American community — from constituencies which are traditionally not that supportive of Israel”.
But Obama has on his own volition assembled his networks of friends, mentors, financial supporters and foreign policy advisers. In his judgment — a judgment that he regularly trumpets as being superior to others – these people are worthy of advising him. There are among those friends and advisers key people who seem to display a great deal of antipathy towards the American-Israel relationship.
These are the constituencies and associates that should warrant concern among all those who care about a strong American-Israel relationship. His electoral success will send a message to all future politicians that they can willingly ignore the views of those Americans who value a close relationship with the sole democracy and our only true ally in the Middle East. We may see the ramifications of Obama’s ascent in the years yet to come.

Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker 

See also:

http://www.nysun.com/article/70615
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/2085
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/?p=2093
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/14/AR2008011402083.html
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/trager/2123
http://www.nypost.com/seven/01182008/postopinion/editorials/baracks_un_righteous_rev_760599.htm
http://www.forward.com/articles/12508/
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/02/019701.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/01/019669.php 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/5783.html
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0108/tobin012408.php3?printer_friendly

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Obama ‘repudiates’ Farrakhan??

Posted by Tony Listi on February 28, 2008

Can we believe Obama’s latest rejection of Farrakhan’s endorsement? 

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/01/obama_repudiates_farrakhan.html 

January 16, 2008

Obama ‘repudiates’ Farrakhan?

Ed Lasky
The New York Sun is reporting that Barack Obama repudiated the views of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that were discussed in Richard Cohen’s Washington Post column. Cohen’s criticism regarding Obama’s ties to the Church and the Pastor that gave an award to Farrakhan were reaching a large audience that included potential Democrat voters who might be swayed to withdraw support from Obama.

This statement by Obama is a political maneuver that should be given little credence. Obama is very actively involved in his church; he knew of this award long before Richard Cohen publicized its grant to Farrakhan. Furthermore, Pastor Wright has had a long relationship and alliance with Louis Farrakhan.
Obama did not object to these ties between Pastor Wright and Farrakhan before; nor has Obama rejected the anti-Israel diatribes of Wright. Regardless, Obama adheres to a church and a minister that have long espoused positions inimical to the American-Israel relationship, let alone the trumpeting of black values and racial exclusiveness.
This follows a pattern for Obama: he shows extreme loyalty to a church and pastor whose controversial views eventually become publicized. Then Obama “disappears” the Minister and Obama’s campaign (not Obama himself) issues a statement that Obama does not agree with everything that Wright espouses.
He solicits and gains support from the controversial George Soros, a man whose anti-Israel passions and allegations regarding America’s Jewish community and Congress are well-known. When these ties become publicized, Obama’s campaign (not Obama himself) issues a statement that Obama does not agree with Soros on this topic.
When Obama articulates anti-Israel positions in off-the cuff remarks, his campaign (not Obama himself-stop me if you have heard this before) issues clarifications that attempt to explain away the plain English import of Obama’s (the supreme orator) expressed views.
In other words, Obama only disavows when it is politically opportune to do so. He seems to have never objected to these views before they become publicized and create a political firestorm because they belie his image of peace, compassion, unity.
Obama is not a profile in courage and his disavowals are political pabulum.
For a review of Obama’s troubling stance toward Israel, see my article today, “Barack Obama and Israel.”

Posted in Elections and Campaigns, Government and Politics, Race, Racism, and Affirmative Action | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Cooling Measured by 4 Major Authorities

Posted by Tony Listi on February 27, 2008

http://www.dailytech.com/Temperature+Monitors+Report+Worldwide+Global+Cooling/article10866.htm

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on. No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here.  The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year’s time. For all four sources, it’s the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn’t itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let’s hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans — and most of the crops and animals we depend on — prefer a temperature closer to 70.

Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

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Obama’s Communist Mentor

Posted by Tony Listi on February 27, 2008

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/obamas-communist-mentor

 By Cliff Kincaid  |  February 18, 2008

In his biography of Barack Obama, David Mendell writes about Obama’s life as a “secret smoker” and how he “went to great lengths to conceal the habit.” But what about Obama’s secret political life? It turns out that Obama’s childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a communist.

In his books, Obama admits attending “socialist conferences” and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a “hard-core academic Marxist,” which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.

However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost like a son, with Davis, listening to his “poetry” and getting advice on his career path. But Obama, in his book, Dreams From My Father, refers to him repeatedly as just “Frank.”

The reason is apparent: Davis was a known communist who belonged to a party subservient to the Soviet Union. In fact, the 1951 report of the Commission on Subversive Activities to the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii identified him as a CPUSA member. What’s more, anti-communist congressional committees, including the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), accused Davis of involvement in several communist-front organizations.

Trevor Loudon, a New Zealand-based libertarian activist, researcher and blogger, noted evidence that “Frank” was Frank Marshall Davis in a posting in March of 2007.

Obama’s communist connection adds to mounting public concern about a candidate who has come out of virtually nowhere, with a brief U.S. Senate legislative record, to become the Democratic Party frontrunner for the U.S. presidency. In the latest Real Clear Politics poll average, Obama beats Republican John McCain by almost four percentage points.

AIM recently disclosed that Obama has well-documented socialist connections, which help explain why he sponsored a “Global Poverty Act” designed to send hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. foreign aid to the rest of the world, in order to meet U.N. demands. The bill has passed the House and a Senate committee, and awaits full Senate action.

But the Communist Party connection through Davis is even more ominous. Decades ago, the CPUSA had tens of thousands of members, some of them covert agents who had penetrated the U.S. Government. It received secret subsidies from the old Soviet Union.

You won’t find any of this discussed in the David Mendell book, Obama: From Promise to Power. It is typical of the superficial biographies of Obama now on the market. Secret smoking seems to be Obama’s most controversial activity. At best, Mendell and the liberal media describe Obama as “left-leaning.”

But you will find it briefly discussed, sort of, in Obama’s own book, Dreams From My Father. He writes about “a poet named Frank,” who visited them in Hawaii, read poetry, and was full of “hard-earned knowledge” and advice. Who was Frank? Obama only says that he had “some modest notoriety once,” was “a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during his years in Chicago…” but was now “pushing eighty.” He writes about “Frank and his old Black Power dashiki self” giving him advice before he left for Occidental College in 1979 at the age of 18.

This “Frank” is none other than Frank Marshall Davis, the black communist writer now considered by some to be in the same category of prominence as Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. In the summer/fall 2003 issue of African American Review, James A. Miller of George Washington University reviews a book by John Edgar Tidwell, a professor at the University of Kansas, about Davis’s career, and notes, “In Davis’s case, his political commitments led him to join the American Communist Party during the middle of World War II-even though he never publicly admitted his Party membership.” Tidwell is an expert on the life and writings of Davis.

Is it possible that Obama did not know who Davis was when he wrote his book, Dreams From My Father, first published in 1995? That’s not plausible since Obama refers to him as a contemporary of Richard Wright and Langston Hughes and says he saw a book of his black poetry.

The communists knew who “Frank” was, and they know who Obama is. In fact, one academic who travels in communist circles understands the significance of the Davis-Obama relationship.

Professor Gerald Horne, a contributing editor of the Communist Party journal Political Affairs, talked about it during a speech last March at the reception of the Communist Party USA archives at the Tamiment Library at New York University. The remarks are posted online under the headline, “Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party.”

Horne, a history professor at the University of Houston, noted that Davis, who moved to Honolulu from Kansas in 1948 “at the suggestion of his good friend Paul Robeson,” came into contact with Barack Obama and his family and became the young man’s mentor, influencing Obama’s sense of identity and career moves. Robeson, of course, was the well-known black actor and singer who served as a member of the CPUSA and apologist for the old Soviet Union. Davis had known Robeson from his time in Chicago.

As Horne describes it, Davis “befriended” a “Euro-American family” that had “migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago.”

It was in Chicago that Obama became a “community organizer” and came into contact with more far-left political forces, including the Democratic Socialists of America, which maintains close ties to European socialist groups and parties through the Socialist International (SI), and two former members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), William Ayers and Carl Davidson.

The SDS laid siege to college campuses across America in the 1960s, mostly in order to protest the Vietnam War, and spawned the terrorist Weather Underground organization. Ayers was a member of the terrorist group and turned himself in to authorities in 1981. He is now a college professor and served with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago. Davidson is now a figure in the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, an offshoot of the old Moscow-controlled CPUSA, and helped organize the 2002 rally where Obama came out against the Iraq War.

Both communism and socialism trace their roots to Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto, who endorsed the first meeting of the Socialist International, then called the “First International.” According to Pierre Mauroy, president of the SI from 1992-1996, “It was he [Marx] who formally launched it, gave the inaugural address and devised its structure…”

Apparently unaware that Davis had been publicly named as a CPUSA member, Horne said only that Davis “was certainly in the orbit of the CP [Communist Party]-if not a member…”

In addition to Tidwell’s book, Black Moods: Collected Poems of Frank Marshall Davis, confirming Davis’s Communist Party membership, another book, The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946, names Davis as one of several black poets who continued to publish in CPUSA-supported publications after the 1939 Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact. The author, James Edward Smethurst, associate professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, says that Davis, however, would later claim that he was “deeply troubled” by the pact.

While blacks such as Richard Wright left the CPUSA, it is not clear if or when Davis ever left the party.

However, Obama writes in Dreams From My Father that he saw “Frank” only a few days before he left Hawaii for college, and that Davis seemed just as radical as ever. Davis called college “An advanced degree in compromise” and warned Obama not to forget his “people” and not to “start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that shit.” Davis also complained about foot problems, the result of “trying to force African feet into European shoes,” Obama wrote.

For his part, Horne says that Obama’s giving of credit to Davis will be important in history. “At some point in the future, a teacher will add to her syllabus Barack’s memoir and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis’ equally affecting memoir, Living the Blues and when that day comes, I’m sure a future student will not only examine critically the Frankenstein monsters that US imperialism created in order to subdue Communist parties but will also be moved to come to this historic and wonderful archive in order to gain insight on what has befallen this complex and intriguing planet on which we reside,” he said.

Dr. Kathryn Takara, a professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who also confirms that Davis is the “Frank” in Obama’s book, did her dissertation on Davis and spent much time with him between 1972 until he passed away in 1987.

In an analysis posted online, she notes that Davis, who was a columnist for the Honolulu Record, brought “an acute sense of race relations and class struggle throughout America and the world” and that he openly discussed subjects such as American imperialism, colonialism and exploitation. She described him as a “socialist realist” who attacked the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Davis, in his own writings, had said that Robeson and Harry Bridges, the head of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and a secret member of the CPUSA, had suggested that he take a job as a columnist with the Honolulu Record “and see if I could do something for them.” The ILWU was organizing workers there and Robeson’s contacts were “passed on” to Davis, Takara writes.

Takara says that Davis “espoused freedom, radicalism, solidarity, labor unions, due process, peace, affirmative action, civil rights, Negro History week, and true Democracy to fight imperialism, colonialism, and white supremacy. He urged coalition politics.”

Is “coalition politics” at work in Obama’s rise to power?

Trevor Loudon, the New Zealand-based blogger who has been analyzing the political forces behind Obama and specializes in studying the impact of Marxist and leftist political organizations, notes that Frank Chapman, a CPUSA supporter, has written a letter to the party newspaper hailing the Illinois senator’s victory in the Iowa caucuses.

“Obama’s victory was more than a progressive move; it was a dialectical leap ushering in a qualitatively new era of struggle,” Chapman wrote. “Marx once compared revolutionary struggle with the work of the mole, who sometimes burrows so far beneath the ground that he leaves no trace of his movement on the surface. This is the old revolutionary ‘mole,’ not only showing his traces on the surface but also breaking through.”

Let’s challenge the liberal media to report on this. Will they have the honesty and integrity to do so?

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