Archive for September, 2008

Senders of Islam movie ‘Obsession’ tied to Jewish charity

Posted in Media Watch with tags , on September 29, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Tampabay.com
September 26, 2008

A nonprofit group that has shipped out 28-million copies of a controversial film on radical Islam refuses to reveal the source of its funding, but numerous ties connect it to a well-known Jewish education group that vehemently denies any involvement with the film.

The backing for Obsession: Radical Islam’s War with the West and the intent of its distributor, the Clarion Fund, has been the subject of speculation since the DVDs were distributed beginning Sept. 14.

Clarion Fund, which was incorporated in 2006, distributed Obsession in 14 states, including the key presidential battlegrounds of Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The DVDs were distributed by mail and as an advertising supplement in 58 Sunday newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times.

“We don’t have to say who its directors are or give financial information until Nov. 6, 2008,” said Clarion spokesperson Gregory Ross.

Not good enough, says the Council on American Islamic Relations, which filed a complaint Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

“American voters deserve to know whether they are targets of a multimillion-dollar campaign funded and directed by a foreign group seeking to whip up anti-Muslim hysteria as a way to influence the outcome of our presidential election,” Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, said in a statement.

There are a number of connections between the Clarion Fund and a well-known organization called Aish HaTorah, an international charity founded in Israel in the 1970s.

Ronn Torossian, spokesman for Aish HaTorah, said that his group would in “no way be involved with Clarion Fund or Obsession because Aish HaTorah is a charity and must remain apolitical.”

Ross, the Clarion spokesman, was listed as an Aish HaTorah international fundraiser on a federal election donation form in June 2007.

Elke Bronstein is the name written on the mail permit for the bulk mailing of Obsession DVDs in mid September from Freeport, N.Y. Reached on her cell phone, Bronstein said she worked for Clarion, but would not provide more information.

The receptionist at Aish HaTorah in New York said Bronstein worked for Aish Discovery, which produces high-tech programs and films for Aish HaTorah. Torossian said Bronstein could easily have separate jobs.

“What? You’re going to find four, five or six people who work for Clarion and Aish and claim a worldwide conspiracy? I don’t think so,” he said.

Clarion’s address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah International are also connected to a group called HonestReporting, which produced Obsession. Honest­Reporting’s 2006 tax return uses the same address.

“It’s news to me,” Torossian said.

Two of the three Clarion Fund directors at the time of its incorporation in November 2006 appeared as Aish employees on Aish Web sites at the same time. The third appeared on the Aish executive committee. Torossian said the overlap meant nothing.

Aish HaTorah’s main purpose is to “broaden the knowledge of individuals to their Jewish heritage.” Barbara Walters, Steven Spielberg and Bill Clinton have praised the charity.

A June 15, 2001, article in the Jerusalem Post said that Aish HaTorah provided $150,000 in “seed money” to create an organization called Media Watch International that took over HonestReporting, the group that made Obsession four years later.

“This is true,” said Torossian, “but that association ended” before Obsession was made.

The Aish Web site offers information on Jewish heritage and religious issues, as well as links to numerous videos on Mideast politics. One of the links is to Obsession.

“Aish also tells about a woman meeting Paul McCartney. Does that mean we’re connected to him?” Torossian asked.

Washington tax attorney Marc Owens, who was IRS director of the Exempt Organizations Division for 10 years, says that if IRS investigates and finds a link between the film and Aish, it will ask: Was the film designed or distributed to have an impact on the election? Is this film an inflammatory hate message instead of a charitable, educational message?

“If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question,” said Owens, “the involved charities could lose their tax-exempt status.”

Despite a disclaimer by the filmmakers that Obsession does not represent all Muslims, the 2005 film has been criticized for unfairly portraying the religion as violent.

In the film, men in traditional Middle Eastern dress burn an American flag. The planes fly into the twin towers. Peaceful scenes of Muslims at market and prayer are interspersed with violent scenes and commentators critical of Islam.

Clarion disputes there is any political motivation for distributing the film now. However, about a week ago, a Clarion Web site linked the film to the presidential candidates.

“McCain’s policies seek to confront radical Islamic extremism and terrorism and roll it back while Obama’s, although intending to do the same, could make it worse,” said the site. This statement was later removed.

“We are not telling people who to vote for,” Ross, the Clarion spokesman, said in an Associated Press story. “We’re just saying no matter who gets in office, the American people should know radical Islam is a real threat to America.”

It is not clear who paid for the extensive mailing of the DVD from Freeport, N.Y. The permit number belongs to Clarion Fund, but Clarion Fund had no money in its bulk-mail account, according to postal administrators.

“The bulk mailing of this was made possible by a third party, other than Clarion,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Debbie Waller. “We’re looking into it.”

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/article827910.ece

Contact Meg Laughlin at mlaughlin@sptimes.com.

Senders of Islam movie ‘Obsession’ tied to Jewish charity

Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio

TIU

Daily Kos

American troops land in Israel

Posted in Media Watch with tags on September 29, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Israel Today
September 28, 2008
For the first time ever American soldiers have been deployed to Israel on a permanent basis to man a new early-warning radar system.

Defense News reported that 120 US military technicians and advisers will be based permanently in Israel to operate the FBX-T radar system, which should give Israel advanced warning of any Iranian missile attack.

The radar and its operating crew arrived in Israel aboard more than a dozen US European Command (EUCOM) aircraft last Sunday.

The deployment is believed to be part of the Bush Administration’s compensation to Israel for not backing an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

According to reports last week, Israel wanted to attack Iran as early as May of this year, but was denied the needed support from Washington. The Bush White House also reportedly turned down a later request for a flight corridor through Iraqi airspace.

The US did, however, approve the recent sale of 1,000 advance bunker-buster bombs to Israel, which will significantly improve the ability of the Israeli air force to carry out a successful raid on Iranian targets.

This article can be fount at Israel today
And here’s the above-mentioned Defense News article:

U.S. deploys radar, troops to Israel
Defense News
September 26, 2008

US European Command (EUCOM) has deployed to Israel a high-powered X-band radar and the supporting people and equipment needed for coordinated defense against Iranian missile attack, marking the first permanent US military presence on Israeli soil.

More than a dozen aircraft, including C-5s and C-17s, helped with the Sept. 21 delivery of the AN/TPY-2 Transportable Radar Surveillance/Forward Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T), its ancillary components and some 120 EUCOM personnel to Israel’s Nevatim Air Base southeast of Beersheba, said sources here and in Stuttgart, Germany.

Among the US personnel is at least one representative from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), though officials said the agency had little to no say in the deployment decision. MDA involvement has been confined to providing equipment and advice on technical aspects of its deployment, one official said.

The Raytheon-built FBX-T system is the same phased-array radar that was deployed to northern Japan with the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) in 2006. The high-powered, high-frequency, transportable X-band radar is designed to detect and track ballistic missiles soon after launch.

Its ancillary gear included cooling systems, generators, perimeter defense weaponry, logistics supplies and dozens of technicians, maintenance specialists and security forces to operate and defend the US installation.

EUCOM has repeatedly deployed troops and Patriot air defense batteries for joint exercises and Iraq-related wartime contingencies, but has never before permanently deployed troops on Israeli soil.

A EUCOM spokesman declined to comment. MDA officials referred to the US State Department, which did not provide comment by press time.

An Israeli military spokesman said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enjoys longstanding strategic cooperation with all branches of the US military.

“This cooperation is varied and comes in multiple forms, and it is not our practice to discuss details of our bilateral activities,” he said.

Nevertheless, in previous interviews, US and Israeli officials confirmed that the X-band deployment plan was approved in July, first by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi; and then by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Shaving minutes from reaction time

The radar will be linked to the US Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS), which receives and processes threat data transmitted by US Defense Support System satellites. According to US and Israeli sources, JTAGS will remain in Europe, but its essential cueing data will stream into the forward-deployed X-band radar, where it instantaneously shares information with Israel’s Arrow Weapon System.

Once operational, the combined US and Israeli system is expected to double or even triple the range at which Israel can detect, track and ultimately intercept Iranian missiles, according to Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.

During a visit to Israel in early August, Obering said the X-Band radar could add precious minutes to the time in which Israel has to respond to incoming missile attacks.

“The missile threat from Iran is very real, and we must stay ahead of the threat … that’s why we’re working so hard with all our allies to put the most optimized, effective, anti-missile capabilities in place,” Obering said.

“In the context of Israel, if we can take the radar out here and tie it into the Arrow Weapon System, they’ll be able to launch that interceptor way before they could with an autonomous system,” he added.

Ilan Biton, a brigadier general in the Israel Air Force (IAF) reserves and former commander of the nation’s air defense forces, could not comment on the latest developments associated with the X-band radar. However, he said that an IAF air defense brigade established during his 2003-2006 tenure has continuously demonstrated its ability to interoperate well with American forces.

“We advanced tremendously on multiple levels and have developed very impressive cooperation,” Biton said at a Sept. 22 conference in Herzliya. Referring to bilateral Juniper Cobra air defense exercises and the 2003 deployment of Patriot batteries prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq, Biton noted: “At the human level, we’ve developed a common language and at the technical level, we’ve put in place the interfaces that allow our systems to speak to one another.”

The end result, according to Biton, is a combined ability “to manage battles, execute debriefs and implement corrections, all in real time.”

Twin Messages

As US public affairs officers last week mulled whether to publicly disclose the Israel deployment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, continued to defend his country’s nuclear enrichment and missile development program.

“Iran’s [nuclear] activities are peaceful,” Ahmadinejad said Sept. 23, adding that in Israel, “the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse.”

A US government source said the X-band deployment and other bilateral alliance-bolstering activities send parallel messages: “First, we want to put Iran on notice that we’re bolstering our capabilities throughout the region, and especially in Israel. But just as important, we’re telling the Israelis, ‘Calm down; behave. We’re doing all we can to stand by your side and strengthen defenses, because at this time, we don’t want you rushing into the military option.'”

But in Israel, frustration is mounting at what is roundly perceived as a lack of international resolve to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons drive. At a Sept. 21 meeting of the Israeli Cabinet, an Israeli military intelligence officer reported that Iran is accelerating the pace at which it enriches uranium, and that Tehran already possesses possibly half of the fissionable material needed to produce its first nuclear warhead.

Reflecting Israeli concern about the ineffectiveness of sanctions against Tehran, Brig. Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence’s research department, reported: “The international front against Iran is weak and not consolidated, and isn’t putting enough pressure on the regime to stop enriching uranium.”

According to selected excerpts from the briefing released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, Baidatz warned that Iran is “galloping toward a nuclear bomb.” He added, “The sanctions have very little influence and are far from bringing to bear a critical mass of pressure on Iran.”

Vago Muradian contributed to this report from Washington, Barbara Opall-Rome from Tel Aviv.  

This article can be found at Defense News

American troops land in Israel

Israel Shamir exposed! A fake or a plant?

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on September 27, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

UK IndyMedia
April 26th, 2005

Israel Shamir, the “Israeli-Jewish” enemy of Zionism (and now of Judaism too) has a secret identity which he won’t deny or speak about. He just smears his critics. Here is photgraphic evidence that Shamir, the darling of White Supremacists, the BNP and other racists is a Swedish bloke called Joram Jermas.

The man known as Israel Shamir

For twenty years the Jewish Israeli journalist Israel Shamir has been living a double life as a Swede called Jöran Jermas. Official files show Shamir’s own picture and Siberian place and date of birth (11 June 1947) on the Swedish man’s passport. It’s not another of Israel (Adam) Shamir’s many pen names; it’s a completely different identity. None of this appears in the résumée promoted on his website as The Shamir Legend: so where does legend end and mythology begin?

It was a simple enough question – “Who are you?” But for once the voluble Shamir fell silent when he saw our evidence. From Arizona his publisher Carol Adler at Dandelion Books said “I have not yet heard back from him; I emailed him; I know he is aware you copied me on your correspondence to him.”

A brand new ‘super-dissident’ essayist was launched into cyberspace four years ago: it was a linguistic adventure too, it being his first work in English. The obscure middle-aged Russian translator became an instant celebrity, feted as a straight-talking Jewish Israeli whistle-blower. He was rewarded with international speaking tours, books about the Palestine conflict and positions on committees.

Shamir now says he quit Judaism some time ago and joined the orthodox Christian Church of the Holy Land. He writes that he grew disgusted not just with Zionism but with what he now considers the racist and predatory nature of the Jewish faith itself. Jews tricked the Romans into crucifying Jesus Christ, he reasons, and so Jews today can be called “Christ-killers” – which he does in his writings.

Today a number of Palestine campaigns in Europe and the US commend Shamir’s website and circulate his material. That’s how I came across his recent essay, ‘Tsunami in Gaza’. Nor was I alone. Internet fans of the American white-supremacist, David Duke, were urged to read the “very brave Israeli writer, the intrepid Israel Shamir” and to note “the depth of anti-gentile feeling in the Jewish faith” to which his essay testifies. In the UK, the British National Party endorses Shamir’s views online.

‘Tsunami in Gaza’ expands on an Israeli press report of orthodox Jews rushing to Thailand hoping to give Jewish corpses a religious burial. However, Shamir’s essay makes a shocking new claim (which he doesn’t substantiate); that the Thai government agreed to delay mass burials just to please the Jews, and so exposed countless Thai survivors and rescuers to greater risk of deadly epidemics. How did a small army of journalists miss that one? Nonetheless, this is all ‘evidence’ of Judaism’s wilful inhumanity and “nasty exclusiveness”.

“In face of the huge tragedy in South East Asia, this insistence of `not being counted among the goyim’ is especially offensive, bordering on denial of our common humanity. What is so bad about Thais, French, Chinese and other people who found their death in the catastrophe that you can’t leave your dead lying next to them?

“Personally,” a British supporter of the Palestinians wrote to me, “I didn’t find Shamir’s article anti-Jewish but certainly I did find it anti-Israel or anti-Zionist. I presumed he was Jewish himself so unless we follow the tortured example of the Zionists’ thinking and consider him a ‘self-hating Jew’, then how can he be anti-semitic? (sic)”

Israel Shamir is equally comfortable with overtly anti-Jewish and White supremacist groups among his fan-base: “It is not White Racist Supremacism oppressing Palestinians,” he writes. “If I were a Palestinian, the White Nationalists would be my legitimate allies.” In his view they have “a common enemy”, the Jews. If you’re intrigued to learn, for example, “Why Zionism is Racism but anti-semitism is not” then Shamir’s website is the place for you. Judaism is behind it all – and they’re all in it together. It’s the Jews’ fault Americans are dying in Iraq: their fault a hundred thousand Iraqis have been slaughtered. This is all hidden from us because Jews also run the media.

On the Shamir website is one apparently critical item – “The Shamir Legend” by Ratibor Petrushkin – Shamir’s former colleague at the far-right Russian weekly Zavtra. It starts well enough, mentioning 27 reasons why Shamir cannot really exist. Disappointingly it fails to outline a single one of them. Instead it copies a 560-word tribute from another Shamir website, the “First unofficial Russian site of Israel Shamir”, and then simply clears him of all 27 charges (whatever they were).

According to the authorised legend, Shamir was born in Novosibirsk in Soviet Siberia, the great-grandson of a rabbi. He was a brilliant student and a radical Russian writer. He migrated to Israel in 1969 and fought in the 1973 war. He spurned a career in law to become a journalist, spending time in the Far East and London. By 1980 he was back in Israel writing for papers and producing a book. He returned to the Soviet Union in 1989 and reported on its collapse until 1993 when he set up his present home in Jaffa.

Such is the legend. However, Israel Shamir first appeared on the Swedish census in 1984 (when the legend has him in Israel). In 1989 he wrote from his Stockholm address trying to sell the original Himmler’s war service diary to the Holocaust revisionist, David Irving. Shamir said he was acting for unnamed Russian businessmen. It fell through, but the correspondence is still on Irving’s website.

Publicly available Swedish government files show Shamir later became a citizen and is still registered as living in Stockholm, with his second wife – not in Jaffa. His first wife and their two sons also live in Stockholm. In 2001 Israel Shamir changed his name to Jöran Jermas. He was already a Swedish citizen, now he had the name to go with it. Finally, the National Passport Registry has provided a copy of Jöran Jermas’ passport file. It contains Israel Shamir’s photograph and his place and date of birth. We copied the file to Mr Shamir and his American publisher. We invited him to comment on this evidence, to explain it or denounce it – but he has said nothing.

By contrast his fellow Swede, the Palestine-born activist Ammar Makboul, was happy to speak about Israel Shamir: “Refuting one type of scapegoating with another is to substitute the demand for freedom, human rights and a just peace, with racist conspiracy theories. And that’s the reason that we cannot accept Shamir as part of the Palestinian solidarity movement.” The Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden has shunned Shamir’s latest collection of essays and sales are low. In October Shamir’s “L’autre Visage d’Israel” (Israel’s Other Face) was de-published by Balland/Blanche in France. They removed it from bookstores and stripped it from public libraries less than a fortnight after going on sale.

One puzzle has been solved, but questions remain: “Who is “Israel Shamir”? Is he “Jöran Jermas”? Or are they both fictional? What about his other aliases, “Vassili Krasevsky” and “Robert David” (inter alia?)? More important still, whoever he is, what’s his game?”

© 2005 Manfred Ropschitz

Manfred Ropschitz is a journalist and broadcaster based in the UK. He’s an anti-Zionist Jew, the son of a Polish Holocaust survivor and an active supporter of Palestinian rights since the late 1970’s.

manfred ropschitz

Please also checkout Israel Shamir on 9/11: “The Panamanians

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/04/309818.html

Israel Shamir exposed! A fake or a plant?

Is Internet2 here?

Posted in Media Watch with tags on September 27, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

Internet2.org
September 19th, 2008

Internet2 is a network that was “designed to provide next-generation production services as well as a platform for the development of new networking ideas and protocols. With community control of the fundamental networking infrastructure, the Internet2 Network provides the necessary scalability for member institutions to efficiently provision resources to address bandwidth-intensive requirements of their campuses such as, collaborative applications, distributed research experiments, grid-based data analysis and social networking.”

Does this mean the end of “Internet1” — and its associated freedoms of communication and expression — is on the horizon…?

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) startup was transmitted in EVO the 10th of September. For the world wide LHC first beam event that took place at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, we provided the live videos in EVO.

We would like to apologize to all the users that have faced some problems to connect to EVO the 10th of September. Our web server have been under attack at that time. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Despite of those inconvenience EVO broke lot of records! Read Bellow:

1250 sites connected on the same meeting.
250 sites connected at the same time in a single meeting.
More than 6500 connections on the First LHC Beam meeting.
2500 users registered in 2 days (even if the registration have been stopped for 5 hours).

http://evo-wiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/EVOPublic/CERNFirstBeamDay

LHC progress report, week 1

Geneva, 18 September 2008. After a spectacular start on 10 September, the LHC enjoyed a mixed first week of commissioning with beam. To get beams around the ring in both directions on the first day exceeded all expectations, and the success continued through the night, with several hundred orbits being achieved.

The next step in the commissioning process is to bring in the radio-frequency (RF) system that keeps the beams bunched, rather than spreading out around the ring, and will eventually accelerate them to 7 TeV. The RF system works by ‘capturing’ the beam, speeding up the slower moving particles and slowing down the faster ones so that the beam remains bunched into fine threads about 11 cm long. Without it, the beam quickly dissipates and cannot be used for physics.

On Thursday night, 11 September, beam two, the anti-clockwise beam, was captured and circulated for over half an hour before being safely extracted from the LHC. The next step is to repeat the process for beam one, and that is set to begin this week.

The intervening time has been spent recovering cryogenic conditions after the failure of a power transformer on one of the surface points of the LHC switched off the main compressors of the cryogenics for two sectors of the machine. The transformer, weighing 30 tonnes and with a rating of 12 MVA, was exchanged over the weekend. During this process, the cryogenics system was put into a standby mode with the two sectors kept at around 4.5 K. Since the beginning of the week the cryogenics team have been busy re-cooling the magnets and preparing for operation with beam, which is currently forecast for today. The next stage of the commissioning will be single turn studies using beam one, followed by RF capture and circulating beam in both rings.

The LHC is on course for first collisions in a matter of weeks. Next update 24 September at the latest.

http://lhc-first-beam.web.cern.ch/lhc-first-beam/News/lhc_080918.html

Is Internet2 here?

Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

The Jewish Daily Forward
March 19, 2008

The history of comics has been big recently, and there’ve been a number of books and articles about it. Because so many Jews were there at the creation of both the comic book and the great superheroes who served as the main attraction, you have to ask the obvious question: What, if anything, does it mean that the industry was so heavily populated by Jews?

Your answer to this will depend on what you think “comic books” really do. In “Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero,” Danny Fingeroth seems to assume that the most important comics tell tales of superheroes. He is mostly interested in what he calls “The Golden Age” — from 1938 until the end of the Second World War — when caped crusaders and men of steel patrolled the streets of Gotham City and the skies of Metropolis. Fingeroth, a former comics editor at Marvel, also gives due attention to the “Silver Age” of the 1960s and beyond — the heyday of oddball heroes, like Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, the narrative he constructs leads him to breeze over what happened to the comics between the golden and the silver ages, to the fact that after the war, comic book buyers got bored with the squeaky-clean defenders of the innocent. They were more interested in Wonder Woman’s breasts.

As David Hajdu points out in “The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America,” overt sex sold, horror reigned and the villains stole the stage from the superheroes. Magazines suddenly sported racy titles, like “Crime SuspenStories,” “My Secret Life” and “The Crypt of Terror.” These, too, were created by Jews. As far as Hajdu is concerned, you need to look at the whole industry — at both “Superman” and “The Crypt of Terror” — to understand what the comics mean. Hajdu demonstrates that the comics’ particular meanings and their particular forms of Jewishness cannot be divorced from their specific — and distinct — histories.

Fingeroth admits that it’s “hard to tell” where the comics themselves are properly Jewish. It probably is. Superman presents a relatively easy case: Jules Feiffer has argued that the Man of Steel really came “from the planet Poland,” while Gerard Jones, in his excellent 2004 book “Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book,” suggested that Superman quite literally embodies the Jewish immigrant’s dilemma (he has to pretend he fits in, while knowing that he has special, unseen and potentially unappreciated powers). The “secret” of Superman’s success also rests on the fact that his is the dilemma of every geeky and not-so-geeky kid. A hero on the inside, he’s prime bully bait on the outside. So Superman’s dual identity fits a number of important bills. DC Comics, Superman’s publisher, profited from all of them.

But what about Batman? Hardly an immigrant and definitely not Jewish. And the rest of that alliterative and hardy crew of caped and costumed heroes who bashed the bad guys all through the early 1940s? Again, hard to tell. Nevertheless, Fingeroth wants to tell. The trouble is that he has to hyperextend in order to tease out what he calls “shreds of Jewish meaning” from the superhero comics. Unfortunately, that’s all they are: shreds.

According to Fingeroth, some heroes are stand-ins for Moses, some for survivors. Because comics script writers were ambivalent about not being professionals themselves, they created heroes who were established professionals in their day jobs. (Sorry, Mom.) You get the idea. Perhaps the oddest of Fingeroth’s claims is that Captain America’s writers were particularly Jewish in that they wanted every story to be “universal.”

In “The Ten-Cent Plague,” Hajdu makes the interesting case that postwar comics were the first shot in a coming youth revolt. By the early 1950s, cities were banning comics. Prodded by their parents, kids were burning them. The Senate was investigating them. Hajdu indicates that the sex and mayhem stories that caused such a ruckus represented the flip side of the superheroes’ adventures. He suggests that we see them as expressions of a particularly Jewish — though likely unconscious — mistrust of assimilation, of its enforced conventions and unavoidable authority. So if DC’s Superman appealed to the nerd in all of us, the sleazy comics peddled by companies like EC spoke to an inchoate but increasingly independent youth culture.

This new buying public of rebels without a cause — the same kids who would turn Elvis into a superhero of a different kind — scared the daylights out of their parents. Even though there was no overt proof, psychologists, politicians and the chief crime fighter in the land, J. Edgar Hoover, claimed that reading comics led directly to juvenile delinquency. In 1954, psychologist Frederic Wertham published his most famous work, “Seduction of the Innocent,” which made it sound as if he wanted to protect our children from the pernicious influence of the comics. But Hajdu makes an excellent case that the anti-comics brigades wanted protection from our children. The seduced, it seems, resembled other paranoid fantasies of the Cold War: all those fifth-columnists in the State Department and the communist dupes in the schools, those invasive germs in the kitchen and the brainwashed automatons lurking in the streets.

While Hajdu explicitly refuses to draw a parallel between McCarthyism and the attacks on the comics industry, they are linked by a common fear of contagion and subversion. And, though Hajdu won’t go this far, it would be fair to guess that there was more than a touch of latent antisemitism in the comic book affair. The Catholic Church, the American Legion, towns without many Jews and towns with too many Jews all ganged up on the comics. Jewish comics editors and publishers like Bill Gaines (hopped up on amphetamines and aggression) came up before televised committees of such manifestly upright, proudly non-Jewish lawmakers as Estes Kefauver and Robert C. Hendrickson (and, as Michael Chabon shows in “Kavalier and Clay,” the Jews did not come out so well). In an era when the most famous American traitors were a pair of down-at-the-heel communist Jews, it’s hard to imagine that the great comics scare was not a sideshow in the even greater Red Scare.

Hajdu’s book winds up in the mid-1950s with the exemplary case of EC’s Mad magazine. Mad’s caustically anarchic humor — sometimes gross, and often puerile — matched up Jewish snarkiness with adolescent rebellion. It was a hit. Having incurred the anger of the powers that were, EC turned Mad into a “real” magazine, upped its price and found a different distributor. EC and Mad lived to fight another day.

In the glory days of the depression and World War II, millions of people read about Superman, Batman and the scores of other superheroes who rode in on their cape-tails. Though a lot fewer people now buy comics, Fingeroth is right to say that these heroes still saturate our culture — if mostly at the movies. In the final chapter of “The Ten-Cent Plague,” R. Crumb is quoted as saying that he never got over “Mad.” We have never gotten over Superman, either.

For better and for worse, the comics, cranky and grandiose as they frequently are, really do express the various fantasies of American Jews. What’s more — and this is absolutely critical to their success — they seem to reflect the fantasies of everyone else. Of course Jews and non-Jews sometimes dream of different things, but that might be the most important point. The comics can mean so much because they can skillfully coordinate so many dreams.

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
By David Hajdu
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 448 pages, $26.

David Kaufmann, cultural critic for the Forward, teaches English at George Mason University.

This article can be found at http://www.forward.com/articles/12974/

Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero

Israelis suspected in pre-9/11 stock-shorting spree

Posted in Media Watch with tags on September 25, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

TBR News
April 15, 2003

Between August 26 and September 11, 2001, a group of speculators, identified by the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Israeli citizens, sold “short” a list of 38 stocks that could reasonably be expected to fall in value as a result of the pending attacks. These speculators operated out of the Toronto, Canada and Frankfurt, Germany, stock exchanges and their profits were specifically stated to be “in the millions of dollars.”

Short selling of stocks involves the opportunity to gain large profits by passing shares to a friendly third party, then buying them back when the price falls. Historically, if this precedes a traumatic event, it is an indication of foreknowledge. It is widely known that the CIA uses the Promis software to routinely monitor stock trades as a possible warning sign of a terrorist attack or suspicious economic behavior. A week after the Sept.11 attacks, the London Times reported that the CIA had asked regulators for the Financial Services Authority in London to investigate the suspicious sales of millions of shares of stock just prior to the terrorist acts. It was hoped the business paper trail might lead to the terrorists.

Lynne Howard, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), stated that information about who made the trades was available immediately. “We would have been aware of any unusual activity right away. It would have been triggered by any unusual volume. There is an automated system called ‘blue sheeting,’ or the CBOE Market Surveillance System, that everyone in the business knows about. It provides information on the trades — the name and even the Social Security number on an account — and these surveillance systems are set up specifically to look into insider trading. The system would look at the volume, and then a real person would take over and review it, going back in time and looking at other unusual activity.”

Howard continued, “The system is so smart that even if there is a news event that triggers a market event it can go back in time, and even the parameters can be changed depending on what is being looked at. It’s a very clever system and it is instantaneous. Even with the system, though, we have very experienced and savvy staff in our market-regulations area who are always looking for things that might be unusual. They’re trained to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Even if it’s offshore, it might take a little longer, but all offshore accounts have to go through US member firms — members of the CBOE — and it is easily and quickly identifiable who made the trades. The member firm that made the trades has to have identifiable information about the client under the ‘Know Your Customer’ regulations (and we share all information with the Securities and Exchange Commission.)”

Given all of this, at a minimum, the CBOE and government regulators who are conducting the secret investigations have known for some time who made the options puts on a total of 38 stocks that might reasonably be anticipated to have a sharp drop in value because of an attack similar to the 9/11 episode. The silence from the investigating camps could mean several things: either terrorists are responsible for the puts on the listed stocks or others besides terrorists had foreknowledge of the attack and used this knowledge to reap a nice financial harvest from the tragedy.

Adam Hamilton of Zeal LLC, a North Dakota-based private consulting company that publishes research on markets worldwide, stated that “I heard that $22 million in profits was made on these put options…”

Federal investigators are continuing to be so closed-mouthed about these stock trades, and it is clear that a much wider net has been cast, apparently looking for bigger international fish involved in dubious financial activity relating to the 9/11 attacks on the world stock markets.

Just a month after the attacks the SEC sent out a list of stocks to various securities firms around the world looking for information. The list includes stocks of American, United, Continental, Northwest, Southwest and US Airways airlines, as well as Martin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., AIG, American Express Corp, American International Group, AMR Corporation, Axa SA, Bank of America Corp, Bank of New York Corp, Bank One Corp, Cigna Group, CNA Financial, Carnival Corp, Chubb Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Hercules Inc, L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., LTV Corporation, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., MetLife, Progressive Corp., General Motors, Raytheon, W.R. Grace, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Lone Star Technologies, American Express, the Citigroup Inc. ,Royal & Sun Alliance, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., Vornado Reality Trust, Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co., XL Capital Ltd., and Bear Stearns.

The Times said market regulators in Germany, Japan and the US all had received information concerning the short selling of insurance, airlines and arms companies stock, all of which fell sharply in the wake of the attacks.

City of London broker and analyst Richard Crossley noted that someone sold shares in unusually large quantities beginning three weeks before the assault on the WTC and Pentagon.

He said he took this as evidence that someone had insider foreknowledge of the attacks.

“What is more awful than he should aim a stiletto blow at the heart of Western financial markets?” he added. “But to profit from it? Words fail me.”

The US Government also admitted it was investigating short selling, which evinced a compellingly strong foreknowledge of the coming Arab attack.

There was unusually heavy trading in airline and insurance stocks several days before Sept.11, which essentially bet on a drop in the worth of the stocks.

It was reported by the Interdisciplinary Center, a counter-terrorism think tank involving former Israeli intelligence officers, that insiders made nearly $16 million profit by short selling shares in American and United Airlines, the two airlines that suffered hijacking, and the investment firm of Morgan Stanley, which occupied 22 floors of the WTC.

Apparently none of the suspicious transactions could be traced to bin Laden because this news item quietly dropped from sight, leaving many people wondering if it tracked back to American firms or intelligence agencies.

Most of these transactions were handled primarily by Deutsche Bank-A.B.Brown, a firm which until 1998 was chaired by A. B.”Buzzy” Krongard, who later became executive director of the CIA.

More serious was an article in the Sept. 28, 2001 edition of the Washington Post stating that officials with the instant messaging firm of Odigo in New York confirmed that two employees in Israel received text messages warning of an attack on the WTC two hours before the planes crashed into the buildings! [LINK]

The firm’s vice president of sales and marketing, Alex Diamandis said it was possible that the warning was sent to other Odigo members, but they had not received any reports of such.

The day after, the Jerusalem Post claimed two Israelis died on the hijacked airplanes and that 4,000 were missing at the WTC.

A week later, a Beirut television station reported that 4,000 Israeli employees of the WTC were absent the day of the attack.

This information spread across the Internet but was quickly branded a hoax.

On Sept. 19, the Washington Post reported about 113 Israelis were missing at the WTC and the next day, President Bush noted more than 130 Israelis were victims.

Finally, on Sept. 22, the New York Times stated “There were, in fact, only three Israelis who had been confirmed as dead: two on the planes and another who had been visiting the towers on business and who was identified and buried.”

Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a clandestine but official effort to resolve the market manipulations. There has been a great deal of talk about the insider trading of American stocks by certain Israeli groups both in Canada and Germany between August 26 and the Sept.11 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

Government investigators have maintained a diplomatic silence about a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe of possible profiteering by interested parties with advance knowledge of the attack.

On Sept. 6, 2001, the Thursday before the tragedy, 2,075 put options were made on United Airlines and on Sept. 10, the day before the attacks, 2,282 put options were recorded for American Airlines. Given the prices at the time, this could have yielded speculators between $2 million and $4 million in profit.

The matter still is under investigation and none of the government investigating bodies –including the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and DOJ — are speaking to reporters about insider trading. Even so, suspicion of insider trading to profit from the Sept. 11 attacks is not limited to US regulators. Investigations were initiated in a number of places including Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Spain. As in the United States, all are treating these inquiries as if they were state secrets.
This article can be found at http://tbrnews.org/Archives/a048.htm

 Israelis suspected in pre-9/11 stock-shorting spree

Zionism morphes into newspeak

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , on September 24, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

The Jewish Daily Forward
Wed. Jun 27, 2007

There is a Jewish conspiracy at work. It is not the one portrayed in the pernicious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” It is not Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust hoax, or a Zionist plot to undermine Islam. Nor is it Jewish control of the media or the world economy as Jihadists, Ku Klux Klanners, neo-Nazi skinheads and Mel Gibson conjure up for themselves. It is not even the so-called apartheid security wall that so inflames Britain’s self-righteous, hypocritical, antisemitic academics and labor unions.

No, the only real Jewish conspiracy is the one aimed at undermining the future existence of Israel, and, consequently, the survival of the Jewish people worldwide. Iran, Holocaust deniers, the British left and all the rest of the mosquitoes carrying the antisemite bacillus are child’s play compared to this threat.

There is a Jewish conspiracy to prevent massive immigration of North American Jews to Israel.
The plot began when the word Zionism was hijacked by the professional Jewish and Israeli world and applied to every possible Jewish enterprise other than aliyah. Need a term for Jewish education in the Diaspora? Why not use Zionism? Need a word for patriotic Israeli spirit? Zionism. Need a word for Jews who contribute money, use Israel as a booster program for Jewish identity, or even just for tourism? Call all that Zionism, too. Nice, concise and misleading.

In a way exceeding the machinations of George Orwell, the word Zionism has morphed into newspeak to the point of losing its core meaning and providing an umbrella for any old thing that functionaries, bureaucrats, fundraisers and Jewish identity wonks can use to make a living. Having obfuscated the term’s meaning, the conspirators have set about suppressing the notion of aliyah.

What are the motivations? On the North American side it is simply to prevent the kinder from considering aliyah as an option and threatening the vitality of golden Diaspora. Birthright participants can see Israel as a museum, a Holocaust memorial, a refugee absorption center, the home of soldier-heroes and a catalyst for Jewish identity. They can meet generals, prime ministers and suffering Ethiopian immigrants.

But God forbid, don’t let them meet with people exactly like their parents who actually moved to and live in the real Israel, because they might get some ideas.

Israelis have preferred taking in American Jewish money over taking in large numbers of strong competitors laden with human and financial capital. The vested interests here are fully aware that many patterns of behavior would be very difficult to maintain if another half-million North American Jews made aliyah.

How would Moshe Safdie’s backward, environmentally unsound plan for developing West Jerusalem even emerge from committee? How would the Orthodox establishment hamstring conversion processes? How could politicians behave corruptly, impervious to notions of accountability? How could the education system continue to teach rote knowledge and base admission to university on psychometric puzzles, rather than on the skills of independent thinking, broad horizons and competent writing skills? How could the World Zionist Organization have its annual meeting and dream up all kinds of fatuous programs but not once mention aliyah?

Aliyah is the Occam’s Razor for so many problems, and yet it is the only solution not considered for any of them.

The Reform movement decries the conditions of its members in Israel? Send money, but sending more members, forget it. North American Jews have identity problems? Invest billions in convoluted educational programs that lead nowhere, but don’t give every American Jew a direct link to an actual cousin who lives in an actual Jewish state.

Jerusalem Day is conducted under the cloud of a lost Jewish majority in the city? Disenfranchise the Arabs of East Jerusalem, but don’t change the balance by actually getting more Jews here. Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and says it was an excuse to create Israel? Hold conferences, speak indignantly, give him attention he doesn’t deserve, but don’t disabuse him and make his claims irrelevant by proving that masses of Jews want to live in Israel by choice, and not only as refugees.

When the history of Zionism is written, it will become clear that post-Zionism started when the word “Zionism” became an instrument of this conspiracy.

Unless organizations dedicated to — and only to — aliyah garner the lion’s share of Jewish philanthropy in place of expenditures on Jewish identity fetishes and continued waving at post-Zionist windmills, these philanthropic efforts will fail every cost-effectiveness test one can imagine. Unless young Jewish minds in North America are exposed to the idea that aliyah is a realistic option that can ensure the future of Israel and the Jewish people everywhere, the next century will find the Ahmadinejads, Ismael Haniyehs and Ken Livingstones of the world wondering why they worked so hard when the Jewish conspiracy succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

And no one will be left to read the Book of Lamentations.

David Chinitz, a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health in Jerusalem, made aliyah from Washington in 1981.

URL:The Jewish Daily Forward

Zionism morphes into newspeak