Thursday, March 26, 2015

America's Left-Wing Jews Ashamed of Israel's Jews

By Dennis Prager ·

American Jews on the left were beside themselves last week. Israel’s Jews did something that utterly infuriated these American Jews: Israel’s Jews overwhelmingly voted for a man of the right (or for other right-of-center parties). And not just any right-winger, but the only leader in the Western world to publicly differ from their hero, President Barack Obama.

To understand their fury, one must first understand that no one is more certain of their moral superiority than the left. This is true the world over, and among Jews it is particularly so. For the leaders of the American Jewish religious left (Reform, Reconstructionist, and now Conservative Judaism) Jews who are politically or socially conservative are a disgrace to Judaism, which, for left-wing Jews, is essentially the same as leftism. Both religious and secular Jews on the left regard Jewish conservatives as moral traitors to the Jewish people.

But certitude of their moral superiority is not the only reason American Jews on the left went ballistic last week. There are deeper, psychological, reasons.

Left-wing Jews live, work and socialize with left-wing non-Jews, and they believe that they are – to their great regret – identified with the Jewish state in the eyes of fellow leftists. Now, when Israel has left-wing governments – as it did in its first few decades and periodically after that – being identified with Israel is not problematic. But with Israel’s Jews repeatedly electing conservative governments, American Jews on the left believe that they must make it as clear as possible that they in no way support a right-wing Israel. Their moral self-esteem needs it and their left-wing credentials need it. Just look at how Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a lifelong Democratic activist and fervent liberal, has been ostracized from polite left-wing company solely because he is an outspoken defender of Israel.

As American Jews on the left see it, their moral credibility in the eyes of fellow leftists in the news media, Hollywood, and academia is threatened by Israel. They must therefore make it abundantly clear that a) they not only do not support the right-wing government of Israel; they do not even support Israel at this time; b) they regard Benjamin Netanyahu as a vile human being; and c) they are ashamed – simply ashamed – of Israel’s Jews for having voted for a right-winger.

Thus, to cite only a few examples:

In Time Magazine, Joe Klein wrote: "The great majority of Israel’s Jews are bigots.  [Netanyahu] “won because he ran as a bigot. … The public ratification of Netanyahu’s bigotry [confirmed this].”

Most Israeli Jews are as contemptible as history’s anti-Semites: “A great many Jews have come to regard Arabs as the rest of the world traditionally regarded Jews.”

Israel’s very founding was steeped in evil:  “[Read about] the massacres perpetrated by Jews in 1948 to secure their homeland.”

These Israeli Jews embarrass me. Don’t consider me one of them:  "This [victory] is shameful and embarrassing.”

In Israel’s Haaretz last week, left-wing American Jewish writer Peter Beinart actually advocated that America punish Israel and join the international fight against Israel:

“[This means] backing Palestinian bids at the United Nations. It means labeling and boycotting settlement goods. It means joining and amplifying nonviolent Palestinian protest in the West Bank. … It means pushing the Obama administration to present out its own peace plan, and to punish – yes, punish – the Israeli government for rejecting it. It means making sure that every time Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of his cabinet walk into a Jewish event outside Israel, they see Diaspora Jews protesting outside.”

In The Washington Post, Harold Meyerson, another American Jewish left-wing columnist, joined the hysteria with these calumnies against Netanyahu (and the equally reviled Republicans):  “At the rate he was going, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have called for stripping Israeli Arabs of the right to vote altogether.” “Bibi [is] henceforth the Jewish George Wallace.”  “Perhaps Likud and the Republicans can open an Institute for the Prevention of Dark-Skinned People Voting.”

Of course, as Charles Krauthammer, an American Jewish conservative, wrote last week, “There would be no peace and no Palestinian state if Isaac Herzog were prime minister either. Or Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert for that matter. The latter two were (non-Likud) prime ministers who offered the Palestinians their own state – with its capital in Jerusalem and every Israeli settlement in the new Palestine uprooted – only to be rudely rejected.

"This is not ancient history. This is 2000, 2001 and 2008 – three astonishingly concessionary peace offers within the past 15 years. Every one rejected.”

But none of that matters to the left. The left lives in John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” Thus, the left imagines that if Israel completely withdrew from the West Bank and allowed a Palestinian state to be created now, it would be completely unlike Gaza and completely unlike Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Libya; it would be a peaceful Arab Muslim island in the midst of the cruel sea of Arab Muslim countries that surrounds it.

But what if they were wrong and rockets then rained down on Israel?  The Kleins and the Beinarts and the Meyersons wouldn’t retract a word. As I wrote some 30 years ago: “Being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Anyway, only those bigoted Israelis would pay the price.



The modern day slavers


More government waste and incompetence

This is getting to be a rival of Boston's "big dig"

As we have noted several times, the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was $5 billion over budget and ten years late. Despite all that time and money, safety issues with the bridge seem to be getting worse, as Jaxon Van Derbeken of the San Francisco Chronicle explains. For example, the high-strength steel rods that secure the base of the tower “show more widespread cracking than Caltrans officials had previously acknowledged.” Further, “rust and microscopic cracking were found after one of 424 fasteners intended to keep the tower from being damaged in an earthquake was removed for testing last year.” A “botched grouting and caulking job” left “many of the 25-foot-long fasteners stewing in water for several years.” And as Van Derbeken notes, cracks were also found at the top, a troubling development “because such cracks can get worse over time, leading to total failure, possibly during a quake.”

Caltrans bosses Will Kempton and Malcolm Dougherty told the reporter they had no record of overseeing the manufacturing process or testing the tower rods before they were installed. Chief engineer Brian Maroney lamented that Caltrans can’t even conduct ultrasonic tests that could reveal whether one of the tower rods has already snapped. And for Steve Heminger of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission it was the construction budget that was “under severe stress.”

Charles McMahon, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on steel embrittlement, told Van Derbeken that those in charge of the bridge were “clueless” on the selection of materials and “had no idea what they were doing. The whole thing is a disaster.” Such concerns emerged last year in Sacramento hearings, where whistleblowers called for a criminal investigation. None took place. Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, who conducted the hearings, has moved on to Congress. And as we observed, Tony Anziano, the lawyer who managed the bridge construction for Caltrans, has conveniently retired.

So here’s how it all adds up: $5 billion in excess costs, plus 10 years, equals an increasingly troubled bridge. And as Rep. DeSaulnier told reporters, “it’s frustrating that there’s never been anyone in the management of the bridge who has been held accountable.”



This Longtime IHOP Owner Sold His 16 Restaurants Because of Obamacare

The IHOP in Terre Haute is located on South 3rd Street, just a few minutes from the Interstate 70 interchange and a short drive from the Holiday Inn where we had stayed the night before. As we sat in the back of the bustling restaurant waiting for Womack to arrive, we ordered french toast, omelettes and other IHOP specialities.

At the time, Womack employed about 1,000 people at his 12 restaurants. When the Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010, he had big plans for his franchise. He had purchased a development agreement in 2006 that would expand the company to 14 new IHOP locations in Ohio.

“You have to fund your development through your profits,” Womack said during my 2011 visit to Terre Haute. “And if you have no profits, you’re not building restaurants.”

During his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Womack said those plans were now in jeopardy—and with it hundreds of jobs, not just at his restaurants but also in industries such as construction and manufacturing that would support his expansion.  “Let me state this bluntly,” Womack told lawmakers, “this law will cost my company more money than we make.”

The cost of Obamacare’s mandates—Womack estimated it would be $7,000 to provide health care coverage for each full-time employee—left him with few options: cut costs, eliminate staff, reduce hours or convert workers to part-time status.

Womack, a 30-year restaurant veteran, faced unique challenges in the industry, where profit margins ranged from 5 percent to 7 percent. Restaurants already produce the lowest revenue per employee, meaning there was a high labor cost associated with implementing the new law.

Four Years Later

Facing the prospect of Obamacare’s employer mandate on Jan. 1, 2015, Womack opted to sell his 16 IHOP restaurants last year to Romulus Restaurant Group. (The company, which operates 74 restaurants in nine states, didn’t get back to me but Womack believes everyone who worked at his restaurants remains employed.)

The restaurateur who got his start as a busboy and cook, then landed a job as an IHOP manager, decided the cost of running casual-dining restaurants under Obamacare wasn’t profitable.

“We had to keep evaluating the nature of the business and the impact of Obamacare along with all the other pressures on labor,” Womack told me. He cited actions by the National Labor Relations Board and the threat of a minimum-wage hike as other challenges.

Womack said he was able to weather the recession. He remained hopeful Congress would make changes to the law or the 2012 election would usher in a president who would repeal it.

When that didn’t happen, he simply wasn’t confident about the long-term prospects of running a casual-dining operation. IHOP, with servers and cooks, is a labor-intensive business. At the time he sold last year, Womack had 16 restaurants and more than 1,000 employees.  “We felt that environment was not the place to be for the next 10 to 20 years,” he said.

Much more HERE



Benjamin Netanyahu forms majority Israeli government "Benjamin Netanyahu has already been able to form a majority Israeli government after he crushed the socialist Zionist Union (with Obama funding) in the Israeli election. There are only two factions of the Knesset that wouldn’t join Netanyahu’s coalition government: The Joint Arab union and the socialist Zionist Union party.

Brain Scientist Tries to Uncover Why White People Are Prejudiced Against Gypsies:  "From the New York Times, an article about how a brain scientist is going to use brain scans to try to figure out the mystery of white flight in Hungary from heavily Roma (Gypsy) schools. What kind of brain defect causes white Hungarian parents to hold delusional stereotypes about Gypsy children being lazy, dishonest, and less interested in academics? Perhaps Science can someday figure out why white Hungarians hallucinate so bizarrely about Gypsies!

The food-security charade:  "Federal spending on food aid has skyrocketed in recent decades, and the feds are now feeding more than 100 million Americans. Yet, according to the Agriculture Department (USDA), far more Americans are 'food insecure' now than before the mushrooming of subsidized feeding programs. But rather than seeing this as evidence of a government failure, a chorus of activists and pundits insist that it proves that even more people should be encouraged to depend on Uncle Sam for their next meal."

New Mexico Passes a Sweeping Bill to Protect Innocent People's Property from Civil Asset Forfeiture:  "The New Mexico Legislature passed a sweeping civil asset forfeiture reform bill last week to protect innocent people's property and due process rights. The bill, HB 560, effectively bans the pernicious practice, requiring a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited to the state.  Before the passage of HB 560, New Mexico had relatively bad laws on the books concerning this issue, basically empowering overzealous police departments to seize assets through a relatively low standard. In its 2010 report, Policing for Profit, the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest firm, gave the Land of Enchantment a "D+" for its civil asset forfeiture laws.

Supreme Court lets Wisconsin voter ID law stand:  "The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a major challenge to Wisconsin's voter ID law, delivering a victory to Republicans who favor tougher election laws. The decision is a setback for civil rights groups that contend the law could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of residents who lack proper ID — particularly racial minorities, seniors, students and people with disabilities.

The excitement's gone for the Left.  Murder of black homosexual politician was just another black on black crime:   "A Mississippi man on Thursday was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of murder in the 2013 slaying of an openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale. Jurors in Quitman County deliberated less than two hours before convicting Lawrence Reed, 24.  Reed testified that he strangled Marco McMillian, but said he did so because he feared McMillian was trying to rape him. "I'm sorry for what happened, but I can't take it back," Reed told Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster"


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


No comments: