Elder of Ziyon: Anti-semitism on the rise in Sweden, France, Ukraine, Norway
(Vimeo video on Sweden does not play)
The CFCA notes a report from France that shows that there were over 400 anti-semitic attacks there in 2011 - a number that has increased this year.
It also gives examples of extreme anti-semitism in an online newspaper in Volyn, Ukraine.
A new report shows one in eight Norwegians hold clear prejudices against Jews.
FP: The list of places in the world where there is no anti-Semitism rising is probably much shorter. See and watch, for example, Muslim Zionist's quest to battle anti-Israel bias: Formerly anti-Semitic Muslim Briton says UK media poisons public against Jewish state.
Bill Katz: CALIFORNIA, THERE IT GOES
If you think Wisconsin is crazy, you ain't seen nothin' yet. California also votes today, and California has gone bananas. It has a new electoral system. It is also broke, failing, and fading. But, hey, who cares, as long as we can do something new. Right? From the Washington Times:
California voters can head to the movies Tuesday to watch “Snow White and the Huntsman,” or turn up at the ballot box to see something not much different: “Dianne Feinstein and the 23 Dwarfs.”
A voter-approved overhaul of California’s election procedures has resulted in a whopping 24 candidates vying for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat in Tuesday’s primary election - including the incumbent herself.
Under the new rules, approved as part of the 2010 initiative Proposition 14, the top two vote-getters will secure spots on the November ballot, regardless of their party affiliation.
That ruling helped produce 23 primary challengers - none of whom polled above 2 percent in a recent SurveyUSA poll - for the three-term Democratic incumbent. Mrs. Feinstein was favored by 51 percent of those surveyed.
The challengers include 14 Republicans, five Democrats, one Libertarian, one American Independent, and two Peace and Freedom Party candidates. That’s because getting on the ballot isn’t as tough as it used to be: Instead of being nominated by a party, candidates may qualify for the Senate ballot by submitting 10,000 signatures or paying $3,480.
To make things even more confusing, Tuesday represents the first time candidates have run in the state’s newly drawn congressional and legislative districts.
“Nobody really knows what’s going to happen. It’s a course we’ve never taken before in California,” said Los Angeles political analyst Allan Hoffenblum.
The California Republican Party has endorsed Elizabeth Emken, 49, a former business executive and advocate for children with autism. The party is promoting her on its campaign mailings, but given that Republican registration in California stands at an all-time low of 30 percent, that seal of approval may not mean much.
What a joke California has become. It once was a pacesetter for the country. Now it has become a symbol of the nanny state, with Hollywood cheering the nannies on.
The American economy is weakening again, and California is on a precipice. It may need a federal bailout. After all, it's too big to fail, isn't it?
FP: A very sad joke. I feel compelled to go back to the saying of my native origins: “The country is burning and the old lady combs her hair”. Systemic senility.
Israel Matzav: The Nazis of 'Palestine'
FP: Reality check. And check out where the US (and Western) funds went: CAMERA: Where’s the Coverage? Palestinian Leaders Allegedly Pocket Hundreds of Millions in Aid Money. See also my earlier recommended read of Barry Rubin’s post on the subject.
Diana Muir Appelbaum draws my attention to a fine article by Shai Afsai, "The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man": Historical Fabrication and an Anti-Zionist Myth, relating to a story about the early days of Zionism. Vienna’s rabbis supposedly sent a delegation to scout out Ottoman Palestine; they reported back that “the bride [i.e., the land] is beautiful, but she is married to another man.” There’s no evidence that this happened. Avi Shlaim, Ghada Karmi and others have spread the fiction widely.
FP: Benjamin Kerstein commented:
Hardly surprising, unfortunately. We always hear about how Herzl used the "land without a people" line, when he never did.
To which Kramer responded:
Or Zangwill. Diana Muir Appelbaum wrote the definitive article about that "quote": "A Land without a People for a People without a Land".
Muir’s article is a must read.
Cardinal Dolan is listed, as of this writing, as among the invited and confirmed speakers for the Values Voters Summit, the premier annual political conference of the Religious Right. Held in September, it is sponsored by such leading groups as The Family Research Council and AFA Action, the political arm of The American Family Association.
Dolan is among those who have been invited but have not yet confirmed. He joins an impressive roster of conservative movement leaders, GOP politicians and Fox News celebrities. While the final mix will undoubtedly be different than the current page, I can't help but wonder whether the invitation will be quietly withdrawn or perhaps, quietly declined.
The reason for such a discreet move might be the extraordinary recent story about how when Dolan was Bishop of Milwaukee, prior to his promotion to New York, he paid off priests accused of child sex abuse with as much a $20,000 to leave the priesthood.
FP: Ah, yes, the source of morality strikes again—what would we have done without religion, how could we have known right from wrong?
Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, and other best-selling works of moral philosophy and anti-religious polemic, first began to wonder about life after death at the age of 13, after his best friend was killed in a bicycle accident. He looked for answers in books about the occult and eastern religion, and then re-invented the 1960s for himself, experimenting with psychedelics and traveling to India and Nepal to study with Buddhist meditation masters. In college at Stanford, Harris studied religion, philosophy, and neuroscience and concluded that nothing spooky or mystical happens after people die. The idea of an Omniscient Being who demands obedience from his followers in exchange for the promise of life after to death was crap--the kind of crap that starts wars, condemns hundreds of millions of people to ignorance, poverty, and disease and has a pervasive and dangerous effect on public policy.
An expert polemicist--funny, logical, fearless, and sometimes impulsive--Harris also possesses the rarer qualities of psychological suppleness and a willingness to admit when he's wrong. The son of a Jewish mother and Quaker father, he engages with the experiential components of belief in a deeply personal way. At the same time, he shows little patience for religious Christian leaders like Rick Warren, who Harris eviscerated in a public debate, or for Islamists, whose religion Harris regularly maligns in a way that has led both to outraged accusations of bigotry and actual death threats. Harris is equally unpopular with secular leftists, whose dogmas and pieties he also finds loathsome--starting with their sympathy for fundamentalist political movements like Hamas and Hezbollah.
FP: The strangeness of the bedfellows makes it clear he must be doing something right.
AS VIEWED FROM FRANK ALPAN'S CUBICLE, through the glare of two flat-screen monitors, the collapse of the housing market looks a lot like a crime scene. Clicking his way through electronic case files, he hunts for clues: a strange font on a pay stub, numbers on a W-2 form that don't add up. He is continually amazed at just how sloppy some suspects can be.
Alpan (whose name has been changed, as his company's policy forbids unauthorized employees to speak to the media) spends eight hours a day at this desk in Digital Risk's office building in suburban Maitland, Florida, reconstructing the exact circumstances that led so many Americans to buy houses they couldn't afford. The cases he has seen reveal a country gone berserk: a woman in Ann Arbor who refinanced her home five times in five years but neglected to tell her lender that she had quit her job; a concrete finisher in Las Vegas who applied for 15 mortgages in one week; pastors--dozens of them--who doctored bank statements, bought houses they couldn't pay for, and then filed for bankruptcy. "The nice thing about pastors is that their church shares information when asked," Alpan says. "Pastors are always an easy [fraud] claim."
Four years after the crash, most financial institutions still aren't equipped to find evidence of fraud in the toxic loans crippling their balance sheets. So they outsource the job to Digital Risk. The company's CEO, Peter Kassabov, calls Digital Risk the "watchdog of the financial world." Demand for watchdogs is high: the company, which has 1,100 employees, plans to double its workforce by the end of this year. Kassabov's recruits tend to have underwriting experience; many are refugees of the housing bust. One such hire was George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin in February (Zimmerman says he acted in self-defense). At the time of the shooting, Zimmerman worked as an auditor at Digital Risk, and before that, he was a mortgage broker.
For Digital Risk, the housing crash meant not just new business, but new talent: fully half of the company’s employees once worked in the lending industry. When Alpan reviews a loan, he sometimes finds that the person who brokered it is in the next cubicle, giving another bad loan the kind of scrutiny it should have received years before.
“Part of our job,” Kassabov told me, “is to teach them to forget some of their bad habits from the past.”
FP: Warrants no comment.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Where Are the Moderate Arabs and Palestinians? (Not here: Egypt's censor shuts down film that promotes peace with Israelis)