Friday, September 05, 2008


Yes, hope. I didn't realize how hungry for it I was, how bereft of it I felt, until today...

I sit here, along with many others, and I watch how the world has been turning, and how the bad guys are gaining traction, and there is a small wedge of terror in my heart. I go about my business as if it weren't there. But the flicker of hope that rose up in me today reminded me of its presence, and of how serious are the issues we all face. Many Americans are also hungry for hope. That's why they've latched on to Barack Obama with such passion. He promises hope. But his promises are cheap and without substance. Many facts have been presented in these postings -- carefully documented facts -- that demonstrate his weaknesses and the problems inherent in his candidacy.

But now it must be said outright: The hope Obama promises is no more than vacuous, elitist egotism. There's no substance, no constancy to the man, and certainly no ability to stand strong before our enemies. ("Our" enemies: the enemies of Israel and the US are one and the same.) Barack Obama terrifies me.


So, why do I feel a flicker of hope now?

Because I listened to Gov. Sarah Palin's speech accepting the Republican nomination as vice president -- found on the Internet at And I was blown away. Because she's genuine and gusty, and she has values. And she talks about putting the country first.

So, I say to myself, maybe a McCain-Palin win is a possibility. Maybe the US won't implode into a shivering mass of appeasement after all. Maybe there will be a US administration that will stop pressuring us to give away half our land to a bunch of terrorists, and will mean what it says to Iran. Maybe... There is my hope.


Let us move for a moment from the usual topics discussed here to abortion -- since many people seem to think that McCain-Palin are unacceptable because of their pro-life stand. Liberals -- who are Obama supporters -- are pro-choice. But a solid case can be made for the position that "choice" is not a valid option -- a women cannot blithely dispose of the growing life inside her just because it doesn't suit her to have a baby. Jewish law (halachha) certainly does not acknowledge a woman's right in this respect. There are situations in which abortions are appropriate -- cases of rape, incest, emotional or physical inability of the mother to cope (and indeed the rabbis find ways to address these instances).

What is being said is that the McCain-Palin stand permits no abortions at all. But that beats Obama's position by a great deal. It was Michael Gerson, writing in The Washington Post a few months ago who called Obama's abortion stand "extreme." Obama opposed the legal ban on partial-birth abortions. Imagine: partially delivering a fetus -- a fetus close to being or perhaps already viable -- and then inserting something sharp into its brain to destroy it. This is OK so that a woman can have a choice? Forgive me, this is a moral obscenity. Saying it's very rarely done excuses nothing.

"And in the Illinois State Senate, [Obama] opposed a bill similar to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which prevents the killing of infants mistakenly left alive by abortion." How close to infanticide does it get?

It moved me today, to see Sarah Palin's husband cradling their baby son, while Sarah spoke about the unique joys and challenges of their special needs (Downs) child, the child she refused to abort . This speaks to me of character. Just as it speaks to me of character that John and Cindy McCain adopted a Bengali baby with a severe cleft palate from Mother Theresa's orphanage.

Maybe that's another source of my hope. There's been such a paucity of character in our leaders.

Please, see Jeff Jacoby's piece, "A stark choice on abortion":


More about Obama.

Journalist Kenneth Timmerman has just written that as a young man Obama was assisted by Khalid al-Mansour, who is "well known within the black community as a lawyer, an orthodox Muslim, a black nationalist, an author, an international deal-maker, an educator, and an outspoken enemy of Israel."

At the time that al-Mansour sought to give a boost to Obama, he was serving as an advisor to Saudi billionaires Abdul Aziz and Khalid al-Ibrahim, as well as to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia.

Why would al-Mansour have been interested promoting Barack Hussein Obama? I suggest that most Americans haven't a clue who Obama really is or what he stands for.


It's another flicker of hope I felt on reading news about Olmert today. This is a negative hope (is there such a thing?): The hope that we may soon be done with him, at long last. Things have dragged on so long that the end, when it comes, will be almost anti-climactic.

The evidence on Olmert with regard to at least three different cases -- it's not just the Talansky case -- are being consolidated by the police in the National Fraud Unit, who met today to discuss it. Within a week the decision as to whether to indict will be sent to the State Prosecutor, though it seems an indictment wouldn't actually be filed until late October, after the Holidays

It is my impression that if he were indicted he would be expected to step down -- even if a new government had not yet been formulated.


Syria's President Assad has announced that talks with Israel have been postponed because Olmert's aide, Yoram Turbowitz, who was heading up the indirect negotiations with Syria has resigned. A strange story here: he resigned but has offered to continue to do the negotiations on a volunteer basis. No, says Attorney General Mazuz, he has to be paid. Why does it matter? A volunteer has less accountability. Need more be said?


According to Assad, the up-coming fifth round of indirect talks, with Turkey as go-between, is supposed to lead to direct talks. He says he has now submitted proposals for peace to Israel.

There's a trap here, though. Assad is eager for international involvement in and support on these talks because then the international community would "make sure" that Olmert's successor followed down the same negotiating path. Allegedly, Olmert has agreed to give up the Golan Heights for peace. This man cannot be gone fast enough.


When MKs questioned him yesterday about Olmert's legitimate use of power -- since he has already committed to resigning -- Attorney General Mazuz replied that the government has characteristic in common with a transitional government.

The government is not formally transitional, as a new government is not being formed nor are we in the period before [announced] elections. However, decisions from the High Court regarding transitional governments elections should serve as guidelines here:

" the one hand, the government must provide stability and continuity so that there is no government vacuum. On the other hand, it must show restraint in applying its powers...[and] the government and its ministers must show restraint in applying their prerogatives regarding matters where there is no special, urgent need for taking action during the transitional period."

At this time, Olmert certainly has no business making promises to Syria that might have the effect of pushing his successor in a particular direction.


Olmert is allowing himself to be used by Assad, who is seeking a way out of his isolation.

Mere hours after making statements about peace with Israel, Assad was interviewed on Al Manar TV in Lebanon. He said:

"Syria has no interest in relinquishing its ties with Hezbollah. The Syrian stance towards Hezbollah remains unchanged.... Our attitude towards the resistance is clear wherever it may be; against the occupation in Iraq, Lebanon or Palestine."

As to negotiations with Israel, well, that was being done "in order to serve our own interests and not in order to give away any gifts."

If the present government moves to do any further negotiating with Syria, with Turbowitz or anyone else, it's even more obtuse and destructive than it has currently shown itself to be.


In a press conference yesterday, Riad al-Malki, PA Foreign Minister, declared that there has been no agreement between Israel and the PA on the smaller issues, never mind the core issues. He says not a word has been committed to paper.

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