Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Circumcision: Newspaper Confronted With Situations

Nadene Goldfoot
Today's Letters to the Editor in the Oregonian contained two letters about circumcision and the Jewish faith. There is a case of a man who converted to Judaism who wants his 12 year old son to now be circumcised, but his divorced non-Jewish wife is highly against it. The case has gone to the courts have decided to not make a decision as yet, and have not sided with the husband.

Harley Sachs wrote in something that I did not know. Many Russian Jewish immigrants to the states wanted to confirm their Jewishness with circumcision, and it was done in a very simple way. He said, "they simply prick the foreskin and draw a single drop of blood". They do not do it as is done on an 8 day old male baby. Harley stated that going to court was not necessary.

I ask why the father of the boy did not look into this further? His Rabbi should have known these facts. All this publicity that made the front page of the paper a week or so ago could have been avoided.

In the same paper today was another article called, All circumcision "barbaric'. The writer, a man, compares Jewish circumcision with Muslim circumcision of girls and thinks that they are all barbaric practices and can't understand why we condemn the Muslims and embrace the Jewish. He thinks it is duplicity on our part.

I would like to tell him that the reasons for circumcision on the two sexes are completely different and for different reasons. On the girls in the Muslim faith, it is to stop the desire for sex, thus controlling the behavior of the female. On the boys in the Jewish faith, it is similar to baptism, confirming your faith in Judaism, but this practice has been found to be very effective in controlling disease involving the penis in men. This is why it is practiced in the United States. It's been the usual practice of all boy babies here as a matter of cleanliness,and unless a parent disagrees, it is done in the hospital before the baby goes home. In the Jewish faith, it is done on the 8th day of life and includes a big ceremony and party for the family and friends.

It's like this writer is comparing apples and oranges when talking about eating the outside of the fruit. We can eat the apple peel but not the orange. You can't compare the two procedures at all.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Republican Presidential Candidates Views On Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
My gut feeling is that the Republicans don't stand a chance in the presidential race. People want a change and want to get out of Iraq. I admire the Republicans that are running. None have a website that I have found like Hillary Clinton's telling of their accomplishments involving Israel, but all have visited Israel and have cultivated good rapport with Israel. In September of 2006 the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, asked four questions of the candidates, and I show the men's scores in regards to concern for Israel.

Rudy Giuliani, b: 28 May 1944 and Roman Catholic, the former New York mayor, ranks high by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz as being favorable towards Israel. He had many Jewish constituents in New York and is looked upon as a friend of Israel. He led them to believe that he would make a great effort to take military action to stop Iran's nuclear weapons plan. He returned a $10 million dollar donation from a Saudi prince after 9/11 following his comments on Israel. I'm not sure what the prince's motives were; to compensate for the bombing by Saudi citizens, a reward for his Israeli speech, or a bribe to not support Israel. Overall, he received a rating of 8.75.

John McCain, b: 29 Aug 1936 and Episcopalian, is the Arizona senator who believes that America must give Israel whatever equipment and technology it needs for defense, so he also supports Israel. He's 71 years old and has been a senator for 21 years. His father and grandfather were Admirals in the Navy. During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, McCain said Israel's response to the guerrillas was appropriate. "What would we do if somebody came across our borders and killed our soldiers and captured our soldiers?" said McCain. "Do you think we would be exercising total restraint? Such restraint should come from Hezbollah and the nations sponsoring it, notably Iran." John just won in South Carolina's race. He sees Israel as a strategic asset, and received an overall score of 7.63.
3/3/2008: In April 2002 in a speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee he said that no free nation can tolerate a terrorist state on its border. ... We can allow terrorists no role in the political process. "the Oslo accord failed because it was based on...Palestinians and Israeli could live peacefully together. Israel determines their security....there can be no comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians until Palestinians recognize Israel, forswear forever the use of violence, recognize their previous agreements, and reform their internal institutions. (May 2006). About a Palestinian state, it should be the "ultimate end,", but first there needed to be "peace,". Hamas is not a partner for peace so long as they advocate the overthrow of Israel. (Jan 26, 2006).

Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, is a Mormon and graduate of Harvard. He talked about Israel's security and said that "the United States must keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb", and that "he's helping a former Israeli prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) lobby Massachusetts to divest pension funds from companies that do business with the country (Iran). He opposed Khatami's recent U.S. trip, saying taxpayers shouldn't fund a man "who supports the destruction of Israel." Romney does view Israel as a strategic asset, but was not as strong about it as the other candidates. He received an overall score of 6.0

Mike Huckabee is the governor of Arkansas. He has made nine visits to Israel, including a trip to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. I take it that he wants to be informed. He has advocated forcibly transferring the Palestinians to other Arab nations. He has close associations with prominent End Times theological proponents like Pastor John Hagee, head of a Pentecostal congregation in San Antonio, Texas. They have 18,000 members and the executive director of Christians United for Israel belongs to this group. They are against the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis and are in favor of a military strike on Iran. Huckabee delivered two sermons there and received a standing ovation. He said that Hagee is one of the great Christian leaders of our nation. Hagee has written a book that I have, titled, In Defense of Israel. In it he states that he would not try to convert Jews and seems to respect our religion. This differs from the other evangelicals. Interestingly, Huckabee started preaching in 1980. Huckabee had his own television show in Arkansas called Positive Alternatives. Hagee's zealous support for Israel comes from his belief that Jesus will one day return to "biblical Israel" to usher in a kingdom of Heaven on Earth...We will live by the law of God and no other law." In 1989 Huckabee became the youngest president of the 500,000 member Arkansas Baptist State Convention. I wish that more people would read Hagee's book. He received an overall rating of 5.5.

References: Political positions of John McCain-Wikipedia
The Israel Factor:
Romney In Israel-Elections Blog-The Stump
Israel News: The Real Mike Huckabee: Israel and the Apocalypse

Democratic Presidential Candidate's Views On Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
Now that the candidates are speaking and people are voting, I am one of the 15% of Jews who consider what their views are about Israel. I think we are lucky to have such fantastic people in the running, but guess that some are more opinionated than others about Israel. I want the person who not only is the best for America, but also for Israel. We don’t need another holocaust there, and a good president will value the country and their lives.

First, I looked at Hillary Clinton, b: 26 Oct 1947 and Methodist. She is 60 years old and has been the senator from New York for 7 years. She graduated from Yale Law School. I quickly found that she has a marvelous website about her views and deeds involving Israel. Go to: I found it by googling: Clinton, Israel,
and read about her accomplishments concerning Israel. She has even gone against her husband’s decision about Jerusalem being divided. It appears right now that she would not push to divide it. I was very impressed with the information on her website and feel that this shows she is a well organized person who values the votes of the less than 1% of the Jews of America. She isn’t all talk and promises; she’s a doer and has done well so far. She was in favor of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I'm all for that! On Haaretz's ratings, she received an overall score of 7.63, which was high. However, the memory of Hillary's kiss for Yasser Arafat's wife Suha in 1999, after she accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian women and children, is still fresh in the memory of many Jews.

Next, I looked at Barack Obama, who just won in South Carolina, and was endorsed by the Kennedy family. He is 46 years old, b: 4 Aug 1961 and member of United Church of Christ for past 20 years, and has been a senator from Illinois for 3 years, since Jan 4, 2005.
2/25/08 He has selected his foreign policy adviser. Sadly, it is a man who supports Walt and Mearsheimer's volume against the Israel Lobby. He is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Harvard Professor from Poland who became a citizen in 1958. He was a part of Carter's team, so it is not surprising that he is also holding anti-Israel feelings. This foreign Relations Advisor to Obama will probably have a lot of clout with him. I note that Alan Dershowitz has contributed to Hilary Clinton's campaign. Alan is a Harvard law professor, and Obama graduated from Harvard. I heard a news bulletin today that told about how he felt about Israel, and it wasn't that promising; in fact, it was scary. I need to see it in print. I note from below that promises or support in Israel's welfare is changing, as is usual for many politicians. For example, just look at past presidents.

He made a speech to AIPAC on March 2, 2007 and stated these issues:
1. He ensures a strong US -Israel partnership
2. He supports Israel's right to self defense
3. He wants to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons
4. He supports foreign assistance to Israel
5. He works towards two states living side by side in peace and security
6. He wants to help Palestinian families get the aid they need without suppporting terrorism
7. He wants to limit Hezbollah's influence in the region.
8. He supports US-Israel research and development
9. He wants to achieve energy independence.
In his speech he mentions that our job is to do more than lay out another road map; our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region.

Ha'aretz Newspaper in Israel said that Obama sounds as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush and as friendly as Giuliani. He is pro-Israel. Period.

I could not find a website like Hillary’s, but have found some articles that are wary about his feelings about Israel. Ed Lasky has written several such articles. One thing he is concerned about is that Obama has only been a senator for two years, and has not done much to show how he feels in foreign policy. The problem I see is that Obama has been surrounded by friends that are not favorable towards Israel. Some troubling thoughts are things such as his name. He has a Muslim father. Though he was not raised by him, his mother did remarry another Muslim, and he had a smattering of Muslim education which is not favorable towards Jews , and it's been hard to find Muslims favorable towards Israel.

We all know that he is now a Christian, but the church he has been attending is the Trinity United church of Christ, and their Pastor Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan. In 1984 Farrakhan and Wright traveled to visit Col. Muammar al-Gadaffi, who is a supporter of terror groups and archenemy of Israel and America. Wright has been a severe critic of Israel. His pastor and mentor, being a fan of Louis Farrakhan, who called Judaism either "a dirty religion" or "a gutter religion," depending on the reading of the audiotape, causes concern. Obama has publicly distanced himself from Wright now that he is in the presidential race. Another friend of Obama to worry about is a well-known Chicago activist for Palestinian causes, Ali Abunimah. He met Obama in May of 1998 at a community fundraiser where the late Edward Said was the speaker. Edward Said was a severe critic of Israel. Abunimah has written columns for the Chicago Tribune and has been critical of Israeli and US policy. I would classify Obama as an extreme leftist Democrat. He has worked with the poor in the states and may be identifying the Palestinians as the poor ill treated people who problems are all due to the mean Israelis. When asked about Israel’s wall that was constructed to save Israeli lives from terrorists, he said, "the creation of a wall dividing the two nations is yet another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace." I note that Palestine is not yet a country or nation. The fence is saving the lives of many innocent civilians in Israel. Less than 5% is a wall; the rest is a fence.
3/16/08: Saturday's Oregonian article:Obama condemns pastor's words but won't quit church page A3. It amazes me that Obama has been attending this church for the past 20 years, yet claims that the pastor has never used such words as have been on TV the past few days villifying the USA and saying, "damn the USA" and He has always just preached the gospel, claims Obama.
Pastor Wright said that the United States invited the attacks by supporting Israel's treatment of Palestinians. This pastor is now retiring from his Chicago church. Obama has been busy denying. I can't help but wonder how much has influenced Obama and his wife's thinking after attending for 20 years. I heard his wife speak about how this is the first time she has been proud of America. It seems to me that she certainly was influenced by Wright's sermons if this is the first time, meaning that her husband is now running for president, that she is proud. This same church ha honored Louis Farrakhan with an award in Wright's name. Obama claims that his interest in the church is because of their work with the poor and homeless and those with HIV/AIDS. Obama says he strongly condems the statements. They make him feel uncomfortable.

If I were attending a synagogue that I did not agree with, it wouldn't even take me 6 months to change to another one. Why has he attended for 20 years? He and his wife, two super intelligent lawyers, had to learn at some point about how much of an agitator their pastor was and what he stood for politically. Nothing has been brought out that the Obamas tried to change him in any way.

What’s interesting is that the Republican, McCain, was just on television and spoke about how he knows how to have a fence between Mexico and the USA and all the things he would have on it to keep the Mexicans out. I don’t believe that Obama understands the value of such a fence at all. He doesn’t realize that in Israel, this fence or wall is saving lives. Obama now has the approval of billionaire George Soros who has tried to shake the American-Israel alliance by donating to Wesley Clark who is a severe critic of Israel, and has written an essay that is critical of the ties between America and Israel. Also approving Obama is ex President Jimmy Carter. In fact, some are calling him the next Jimmy Carter. Need I say more? That is the kiss of my vote not going towards Obama, I had felt before discovering the AIPAC speech. Now, I think I'll just say "present", and not yes or no. This is how Obama handled voting time in Illinois as a state senator many times. I know that everybody is speaking nicely and saying things we want to hear in order to win votes. What matters is: actions. On Haaretz's rating, he received an overall score of 4.88, which was the lowest score of all the candidates. He was weakest on his answer about if he would take military action to stop Iran's nuclear weapons plan. His highest was playing a role in the peace process and having an emotional tie to Israel. He talks about bringing change. I just hope that his change would not be to be against AIPAC , being it supports Israel but is chastized by Mearshimer and Walt and ex President Carter unfairly. He has never stated just what kind of change he would bring.
Edited 1/28/6:31pm. with positive information about Obama.

1/29/08 I keep finding more information on Obama, both good and bad. One of his inner circle friends is Robert Malley, a foreign policy critic of Israel. However, Obama just spoke to Jerusalem and Jewish reporters in a conference call from Florida at 12:00, just an hour ago. It it he states these views:

1. He opposes the return of all Palestinian refugees to homes they fled in Israel.
2. He says that Israel must remain a Jewish state. refugees should be resettled in a future Palestinian state.
3. Palestinians must set up a security force to make sure militants cannot attack Israel.
4. He is against talks with Hamas who control the Gaza Strip until it recognizes Israel's right to exist.
5. He wants diplomatic contacts between Iran and US, and believes in carrots and sticks.
Iran is Israel's biggest worry right now because Iran has vowed Israel's destruction, and the fear is that they might be developing nuclear arms. They say they only need energy.
4/5/08 Co chair for Obama's presidential campaign is General Merrill McPeak, resident of Lake Oswego, Oregon. He is against the Israel Lobby in the United States. He has spoken out against Israel's settlement policies in the Palestinian territories and U.S.'s lack of interference. He wants Israel to withdraw some of the settlements that are already there. This was voiced in 1976 in an article to Foreign Affairs Journal. He's also against the Christian Zionist movement's influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East. It appears that anyone that is supportive of Israel is someone he is against. There is an article about him in the Oregonian that came out on 3/27/08.

John Edwards is the former senator for North Carolina. He has said that Iran is a big threat to Israel and the Israeli people. When asked what the greatest threat to world peace was, he answered, "Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilites." This was not very positive in viewing Israel. He was strongest about viewing Israel as a stategic asset. His overall score was 6.25.

Edited 2/7/08 about Hillary and Obama
References: Hillary Clinton's website shown above
Thoughts on Israel: Ed Lasky on Barack Obama
American Thinker: Barack Obama and Israel by Ed Lasky
Obama'08 Israel Fact Sheet.pdf (35.6KB)
Obama speaks to Jewish voters on Israel:
Suzanne Field: "John McCain as Judah Maccabee"
Oregonian Newspaper; March 27 and April 5, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008 Letter to Oregonians on Gaza and Iran

Israel's Right to Live Without Fear
Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, and since then has been shelled by over 4,000 rockets. 74% of the children in Sderot, Ashkelon and other Gaza-border cities from the ages of 7-12 suffer from post-traumatic anxiety. Israel had held off as much as possible from routing out the terrorists, but the shelling has intensified and the Israeli citizens have voiced that something has to be done to stop it. Israel has the right to defend itself from these attacks that kill civilians indiscriminately. It doesn't matter how many have died from the rockets. The fear, the running to shelters, the constant stress is more than anyone should bear.
Hamas is backed by Iran. They used its financial resources and its electricity to fire rockets on Israeli women and children instead of helping its population.
The Gaza Strip is still receiving 3/4 of its electricity supply from Israel and Egypt, Hamas terrorists deliberately cut off the only power plant in Gaza, letting 5 Palestinians die in the hospital. They were able to provide all the electricity necessary for the launching of rockets into Israel.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Oregonian's Article by Mearsheimer and Walt

John Mearsheimer, professor at U. of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, professor at Harvard, wrote a lengthy article in today's paper called Israel's False friends Candidates' unconditional support isn't right for Jewish state. I believe they have influenced the Bush Administration.

They write about presidential candidates giving their support for Israel, and how wrong this is. According to them a genuine friend would tell Israel that it was acting foolishly and would do whatever possible to get Israel to change its misguided behavior.

Again, they criticize AIPAC, Israel's only lobby. According to them, the less than 1% of Jews in the United States control money given to candidates to support Israel. I wish I were one of those people so well endowed with capital that I could donate money. I don't believe we few are that wealthy or large enough in numbers to sway candidates.

Their use of words is very damaging. They write: The key issue here is the future of Gaza and the West Bank, which Israel conquered in 1967 and still controls.

Israel was attacked in 1967 and won that war. They defended themselves and were not conquerers. It was the Arabs who were trying to conquer Israel. They haven't stopped yet!

Bush must be acting under the influence of these two writers, as he just went to Israel and demanded that Israel should end the occupation that began in 1967 and must make the most important concessions.

Israel didn't go out at attack and occupy. They suddenly found themselves responsible for a lot of land and have done the best they could with it considering the attacks really haven't stopped against Israel. Israel's security is completely overlooked by these three, but has been considered by US involvement since 1967 when it was a recognized fact that Israel needed security lines. Now Bush has stopped treating Israel as an ally, which it has been since 1948.

Now Israel has no partner for peace, though it hasn't occurred to Olmert as yet. Abbas has not recognized Israel as a Jewish state and has done nothing to stop all the terrorist bombings from Gaza, and now from Lebanon. Idealistically, Abbas and Palestine should be workable, but realistically, it hasn't happened. The one element needed is to recognize Israel as a Jewish State and accept her as a good neighbor, and the Palestinians are centuries away from that goal. Each American president would like to be known as the savior who brought peace to the Middle East, and Bush will go down with the distinction of being the one who really turned against Israel.

I just hope that the presidential candidates are more informed about Israel's history and struggles and what it has done for the United States than Bush has been. According to the two professors, the candidates who do give support for Israel are no friends of Israel. I don't think we need friends like Mersheimer and Walt. If they had their way, Israel would have been wiped off the map long ago, which is what the Arab nations have been trying to do.

References: Oregonian Newspaper 1/13/08 page E6

Friday, January 11, 2008

Answering Discouraging Newspaper Letter to Editor Concerning Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
Today's Letter to the Editor in the Oregonian had a very discouraging letter from a writer in Beaverton that I tried to answer in 150 words, but felt I could not address his accusations properly, so I will try to answer them better in my blog. My short answer will probably not even by published.

He wrote that our government and Israel have agreed to continue taking more Palestinian land for another year while punishing or killing any Palestinian who resists.

Perhaps he does not realize that on November 29, 1947, the United Nations ended the British Protectorate of "Palestine" and created a partition which the Arabs turned down. When Israel was created by the United Nations in May 1948, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Trans-Jordan and Iraq attacked Israel. Ever since then Israel has offered land for peace which the Arabs have continually turned down. Their intentions have not been honorable. They want to destroy Israel, not live next door to her.

By attacking Israel and losing in 1967, Israel found itself in charge of much more land than in 1948. Actually, in the original documents, Israel was to have a much larger piece of land, but a great deal was taken in the offer of a partition that wasn't accepted by the Arabs. In a sense, they gained back what was originally promised to them. However, this land came into Israel's hands fairly. When a country attacks and loses, they lose the land they were gambling on. Thus Mexico lost Texas. This is a part of international law.

Israel is not continuing to take "Palestinian land". Israel pulled out of Gaza completely, and this was for peace. What has happened is that it is now a hotbed of terrorists who have not stopped shooting rockets into Israel. I'd say that was a bad move. The "West Bank" which is actually Judea and Samaria, originally Jewish land, has been designated to become "Palestine'. Olmert has said a million times that he will honor his promise, but first expects the Palestinians to stop their terrorism and stop attacking Israel. This was agreed to in the Oslo agreements and we are still waiting to see a stopping of attacks.

Israel is not taking Palestinian land and killing people who resist, but the Palestinians still allow terrorism and the attacking of Israel. If they want a Palestinian state, they first have to stop terrorism and reeducate their students to stop hating Israel by using better textbooks.

He stated that the USA should withhold further military aid and funding from Israel until it agrees to recognize Palestine on the pre-1967 borders. Israel has been the only democratic state in the Middle East, and shares its military expertise with the USA. He's asking the country that won the wars to give in to 1967 borders as if Israel were the loser. Since when does a country have to give in to the bullies? I'm afraid Olmert has even extended much of this on the condition of peace, which isn't being offered. Palestinians have not wanted to accept or recognize Israel. Why should we give back land to a people who want to do us in? We're not that stupid.

The writer also added that Israel should stop its illegal occupation and vacate all settlements. Bush even used the term "occupation" in Israel today, and Olmert had to let that one roll by. I guess we should stop our illegal occupation of Texas and vacate the Alamo. Israel is not occupying any land illegally. Attack and lose ground. That's what has happened with the Arabs in Israel. A crime needs punishment. It was a crime to attack Israel. The punishment is the loss of land they never wanted in the first place. They only want it now because Israel has done something with it. The commandment, thou shalt not covet, includes wanting Israeli land, and they have have been highly coveting.

The man in Beaverton ends his letter by stating that all settlements are an illegal aggression against Palestine. Israel feels that the land rightly belongs to them and they can build as they wish and need. Palestine is not an entity yet, and may never be until they wise up and stop their aggressions against Israel. No country in its right mind wants to have a state bent on the destruction of itself.

Interestingly, a new poll found that 62% of Palestinians (Israeli Arabs) who are living in Israel say they would prefer to live in Israel rather than a Palestinian state. They know that, despite problems in Israel, Israel is still a democratic state that offers them freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the press and respects human rights in general and women's rights and gay rights in particular. All these rights would be denied under Palestinian rule.

Reference: Oregonian Letters to the Editor 1/11/08
Mitchell Bard Myth #284. Palestinians prefer to live in a Palestinian state.
Prelude to a Palestinian Bloodbath by Alan Caruba

Portland's Sister City Ashkelon hit by Rocket

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, believed to be a Soviet-stype "Grad", landed near a hotel on the beach of Ashkelon, our sister city on Thursday morning. Claiming responsibility first was the Popular Front, then the Jihad's al-Quds Brigades and Salah a-Din Brigades, two other Islamic terrorist groups.
This is the third time that Ashkelon has been hit by a rocket from Gaza. Two other rockets landed in fields south of Ashkelon and on the outskirts of Sderot. A school and the town's port were hit in earlier attacks on Ashkelon.
The mayor Roni Mehatzri said this is an escalation against Israel.
Also, Sderot was hit by two Qassam rockets on Thursday. In all, 10 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip on this one day.

Israel retaliated for the rockets by targeting buildings used by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Israel stated that rocket fired at Ashkelon was the longest-range rocket ever fired from Gaza. Israel sent searchers into Gaza looking for terrorists responsible for the cross-border rocket salvos. Palestinian terrorists were shooting at Israeli soldiers from civilian areas. The result was that Israel killed nine Palestinians. More than 30 were wounded. Three of the dead were civilians.
References: JTA the Global News Service of the Jewish People 1/3/08
ynet (Khadeshote News)