Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CHSAA Commissioner tells basketball players to just Jew it and forget the Sabbath

Taken from SI.com
Sabbath conflict may end playoff run
Jewish boys hoops team won't play on Saturday
Posted: Wednesday February 27, 2008 6:48PM; Updated: Wednesday February 27, 2008 6:48PM

DENVER (AP) -- State senators have taken up the cause of a Jewish boys basketball team whose playoff run may be halted because its players can't play on the Jewish Sabbath.
The Herzl/Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy team could be headed for a regional championship on Saturday, March 8, if it wins one more game. But the Denver team's religious beliefs prohibit students from playing on the Jewish Sabbath between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

If Herzl/RMHA makes it to the regional championship and refuses to play a Saturday game, another school would be chosen to take its place, CHSAA commissioner Bill Reader said.
Earlier this month, the Colorado High School Activities Association, which governs sports and other high school activities, rejected the team's request for a schedule change.
At the end of morning debate in the state Senate on Wednesday, Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, called on the CHSAA to be more flexible.
Senate President Peter Groff, D-Denver, said the CHSAA's decision was ironic because it has a rule barring games from being played on Sunday for religious reasons.
Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Sedalia, said there must be a way for the CHSAA to accommodate the team.
"It just seems like the bureaucracy has run amok here," Wiens said.
Bruce H. DeBoskey, mountain states regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said the group was disappointed by CHSAA's decision.


More on the history of Jewish Basketballers:


by Jon Entine (From Aish.com)
As the Maccabiah Games open in Israel, we are reminded of the days when -- believe it or not -- Jewish players dominated pro basketball.

It was a hilarious moment in the 1980 comedy movie classic "Airplane!"
Flight attendant: "Would you like something to read?"
Passenger: "Do you have something light?"
Flight attendant: "How about this short leaflet -- Jewish Sports Legends."
With the once-threatened quadrennial Maccabiah Games -- the Jewish Olympics -- now scheduled to begin on July 16, the idea of an elite Jewish sports tradition hearkens back to the first half of the 20th century, when Jews actually dominated one sport, basketball. The Philadelphia team had a pint-sized but flashy star shooter. Its old school coach was more teacher than tough disciplinarian. References to the Biblical David abounded in the media.
Sounds like the Philadelphia 76ers, who captured the hearts of much of America with their gritty determination in this year's NBA playoffs?
Nope. It's a team of Jews -- the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association SPHAs (pronounced "spas") -- who dominated basketball in the 1920s and '30s.
The flashy shooter was set-shot expert Inky Lautman and the Biblical David was the six-pointed star on the early SPHA's jerseys. The "Hebrews," as they were called, eventually morphed into the NBA's first champion, the 1946-47 Philadelphia Warriors.
"The reason, I suspect, that basketball appeals to the Hebrew with his Oriental background," wrote Paul Gallico, sports editor of the New York Daily News in the 1930s, "is that the game places a premium on an alert, scheming mind, flashy trickiness, artful dodging and general smart aleckness."
Writers opined that Jews had an advantage in basketball because short men have better balance and more foot speed. They were also thought to have sharper eyes, which of course cut against the stereotype that Jewish men were myopic and had to wear glasses. But who says stereotypes have to be consistent?
OUT OF THE GHETTO
Basketball has always been a game of the inner city. At the turn of the century, European Jews flooded off immigrant ships into the ghettos of the booming Eastern metropolises. New York and Philadelphia were the epicenters of the basketball world, with the dominant team, the Hebrews, ensconced in South Philly.
"Basketball is a city game," notes Sonny Hill, an executive adviser with the Philadelphia 76ers. "If you trace basketball back to the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, that's when the Jewish people were very dominant in the inner city. And they dominated basketball."
The St. John's University team was dubbed the Wonder Five, and four Jews started on the 1929 team. After winning college basketball championships and amassing a 70-4 record in three seasons, the team moved intact into the American Basketball League as the New York Jewels.
"Every Jewish boy was playing basketball," said Harry Litwack, a SPHAs star in the 1930s and coach at Temple University for 21 years. "Every phone pole had a peach basket on it. And every one of those Jewish kids dreamed of playing for the SPHAs."
"It was absolutely a way out of the ghetto," said Dave Dabrow, a guard with the original Hebrews. "It was where the young Jewish boy would never have been able to go to college if it wasn't for the amount of basketball playing and for the scholarship."
In the early days, Jewish players earned $5 a game each -- big bucks for city kids.
ROUGH 'N TUMBLE
Basketball had a notorious reputation back then. The rules provided for few fouls, making the game a barely-controlled melee. In instances where the basket had a backboard, it was to keep spectators from interfering with the ball. There was no out-of-bounds on many courts, which were often ringed with steel mesh.
It was common practice to drive an opponent into the fence, and pile-ups were as frequent as at hockey games today. Players paraded on and off the court with bandaged legs and bleeding heads. This offended the Victorian sensibilities of the Protestant ruling class in many cities, leading to a temporary ban on the game at local YMCAs.
The Jews introduced a different style of play.
"It was a quick-passing running game, as opposed to the bullying and fighting way which was popular other places," explained Litwack.
Although New York turned out, in pure numbers, more stars that were Jewish, the Philadelphia SPHAs were basketball's best known and most successful all-Jewish team. From 1918 onward, the "Hebrews" barnstormed across the East and Midwest, playing in a variety of semi-pro leagues that were precursors to the NBA. In an incredible 22-season stretch, they played in 18 championship series, winning 13.
Playing 80 or more games a year and with no home court to call their own, they were sometimes called "The Wandering Jews." Then, with the emergence of National Socialism in Germany and an escalation of anti-Semitism in the U.S., the Jewish players faced incessant racial slurs and biased officials in the small towns in which they played.
"Half the fans would come to see the Jews get killed, and the other half were Jews coming to see our boys win," said Gottlieb. "...Whenever something would happen down on the court that those Brooklyn fans didn't like, they'd send [beer] bottles down at us."
The Jewish heyday lasted until the late 1940s, when dominion over the urban basketball courts passed to blacks, the fastest-growing group of urban dwellers who were migrating north from dying Southern farms in search of opportunity. The new generation of Jews began moving on to other pursuits -- into teaching, off to dental school, and out to the suburbs.
MODERN STARS
In the modern era, a handful of Jews attained basketball stardom. The Syracuse Nats (later Philadelphia) were led by Dolph Schayes, considered by some to be the greatest Jewish player in the history of basketball. NBA rookie of the year in 1949 after starring at New York University, Schayes led the Nats to the NBA title in 1955. He was also named to 12 consecutive All Star Games.
Schayes took over as coach of the 76ers in 1964, leading them to their first ever title the next season. He coached the Buffalo Braves during their inaugural 1970 season. Schayes was voted into the NBA Hall of Fame, and was recently selected as one of the game's top 50 all-time players.
After the war, the Jewish legacy in basketball focused mostly on the coaching ranks, frequently manned by former players. Nat Holman capped off his remarkable career in 1949-50, when his City College of New York squad became the first and last team to win the "grand slam" of American college basketball -- championships of both the NCAA and NIT tournaments in the same season. Arnold "Red" Auerbach joined the Boston Celtics in 1950 and led them to 9 titles in 10 seasons. William "Red" Holtzman took the reigns of the New York Knicks, where he won two championships. All of these coaches were elected to the Hall of Fame.
The gritty Philadelphia 76ers are coached today by Larry Brown, who starred on the 1961 U.S. gold medal team at the Maccabiah Games.
ISRAELI BALL
In Israel, the quadrennial Maccabiah Games showcases the continued Jewish love of basketball. Ernie Grunfeld and Dolph's son Danny Schayes are among the NBA players who have competed in recent Maccabiah Games.
The most revered player in Israeli basketball history is the legendary Tal Brody, who led the U.S. team to the gold medal in the 1965Maccabiah Games. A star at the University of Illinois, and the 13th player selected in that year's NBA draft, Brody returned to the U.S. to pursue his pro career. But he was courted and wooed by Israel's top officials, including Moshe Dayan himself, to return and help promote the sport in Israel. The next year, Brody made aliyah.
The highlight of Brody's career came in 1977, when Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's perennial basketball champions, defeated the Russian Army team, CSKA Moscow. The victory was a stepping-stone to Maccabi's clinching of the European Champion's Cup, and a symbolic event for the country. "We are on the map, and we are staying on the map," Brody said at the time. Brody was awarded the Israeli Prize in 1979 for his devotion to youth sports, which continues today.
Another Israeli basketball star, Micky Berkovitz, led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the European Cup in 1981, and was recently voted Israel's greatest sportsman in its first 50 years.
What's in store for this year's Maccabiah Games? The main attraction is a swimmer, American/Jewish/Soviet-born Lenny Krayzelburg, who won three gold medals in the Sydney Olympics. In basketball, the U.S. team are favored to win the gold medal -- coached by Clemson's Larry Shyatt, and led by USC star forward David Blumenthal.
Though it's a long way from the Philadelphia SPHAs, the Jewish love of basketball burns on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jews of the Nation unite and stop Obama

January 28, 2008
Barak Obama, Bad for the Jews
Of course we are tired of Clintons' lying and lynching machine. Of their cynicism and blatant corruption. This said, Barak Obama deserves some close look, especially when it comes to Jews and Israel.
American Thinker via PowerLine:
Barack Obama's Middle East Expert
By Ed Lasky Barack Obama's real thinking about Israel and the Middle East continues to be an enigma. The words he chose in an address to AIPAC create a different impression than the composition of his foreign policy advisory team. Several advisors have evidenced a history of suspicion and worse toward Israel. One of his advisors in particular, Robert Malley, clearly warrants attention, as does the reasoning that led him to being chosen by Barack Obama.
A little family history may be in order to understand the genesis of Robert Malley's views. Normally, one should be reluctant in exploring a person's family background -- after all, who would want to be held responsible for the sins of one's father? However, when close relatives share a strong current of ideological affinity, and when a father has a commanding persona, it behooves a researcher to inquire a bit into the role of family in forming views. That said, Robert Malley has a very interesting father.
His father Simon Malley was born to a Syrian family in Cairo and at an early age found his m├ętier in political journalism. He participated in the wave of anti-imperialist and nationalist ideology that was sweeping the Third World. He wrote thousands of words in support of struggle against Western nations. In Paris, he founded the journal Afrique Asie; he and his magazine became advocates for "liberation" struggles throughout the world, particularly for the Palestinians.
Simon Malley loathed Israel and anti-Israel activism became a crusade for him-as an internet search would easily show. He spent countless hours with Yasser Arafat and became a close friend of Arafat. He was, according to Daniel Pipes, a sympathizer of the Palestinian Liberation Organization --- and this was when it was at the height of its terrorism wave against the West . His efforts were so damaging to France that President Valerie d'Estaing expelled him from the country.
Malley has seemingly followed in his father's footsteps: he represents the next generation of anti-Israel activism. Through his writings he has served as a willing propagandist, bending the truth (and more) to serve an agenda that is marked by anti-Israel bias; he heads a group of Middle East policy advisers for a think-tank funded (in part) by anti-Israel billionaire activist George Soros; and now is on the foreign policy staff of a leading Presidential contender. Each step up the ladder seems to be a step closer towards his goal of empowering radicals and weakening the ties between American and our ally Israel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Merci Beaujew President Sarkozy

Sarkozy's Jewish ancestry has started to seep out(http://www.ajn.com.au/news/news.asp?pgID=3162) It was not looking good for Sarkozy in the Jewish world when he went to the mideast but skipped a visit to Israel. Maybe that was his plan not to scare his Muslim countrymen but then last week I found this:

Sarkozy defends Holocaust proposal amid uproar
Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:07am EST


By Richard Balmforth
PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy, facing a tide of criticism over his call for schoolchildren to "adopt" Jewish child victims of the Holocaust, hit back on Friday saying France had to raise children "with open eyes".
In a speech praising faith that also drew fire from secularists, Sarkozy told France's Jewish community on Wednesday that every 10-year-old schoolchild should be "entrusted with the memory of a French child victim of the Holocaust".
The proposal unleashed a storm of protest from teachers, psychologists and his political foes who said it would unfairly burden children with the guilt of previous generations and some could be traumatized by identifying with a Holocaust victim.
More than 11,100 French Jewish children were deported from France to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps in eastern Europe during the German World War Two occupation.
"The emotional burden can have negative consequences for a child who is developing," Gilles Moindrot, general secretary of the Snuipp-FSU trade union which represents most primary school teachers, said in a statement.
"One can not place on a child of 11 the responsibility for what happened back then."
The EMDH children's rights group said: "No educational project should be constructed on death."
But Sarkozy, speaking in Perigueux in central France, brushed off the uproar.
"It is ignorance that produces abominable situations. It is not knowledge," he said in a speech. "Let us make our children, children with open eyes who are not complacent."
"Believe me, you will not traumatize children by giving them the gift of the memory of a country ... Any psychologist will tell you: you have to tell a child the truth," he said.
With Sarkozy's popularity ratings already at a low point, the controversy could further hurt his political standing only a month before key local elections when France will deliver its first judgment on his nine months in office.
AMMUNITION FOR FOES
The clamor gave fresh ammunition to Sarkozy's political foes, who charge him with erratic behavior and say his hyperactivity masks a lack of real policies.
"Really this president is extraordinary! One day he is preaching God to us ... Now he has suddenly become a teacher. He is deciding what's a good and what's a bad way to go about educating young children," fumed left-wing Senator Jean-Luc Melenchon.
But Sarkozy won support from opposition Socialist leader Francois Hollande and the president's conservative UMP party rallied in support.
Education Minister Xaviet Darcos assured people the project would be handled in a practical, low-profile way. "We won't be putting a policeman in each classroom," he told reporters.
The storm around the Holocaust proposal coincided with publication of a new poll that suggested Sarkozy's public romancing of supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni was the factor that had hurt his national image most.
Sarkozy and Bruni married secretly earlier this month but his critics saw the highly-publicized affair as a distraction too early in office.
The OpinionWay poll, conducted on the Internet for le Figaro and news channel LCI, found 82 percent of respondents believed Sarkozy's private life fell short of that of a head of state.
(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Pineau in Perigueux; Editing by Michael Winfrey)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Iranian American Jews Blog






http://jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews/2007_10_01_archive.html

Only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, died this morning


Rep. Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, dead at 80
By Lisa Fernandez and Mark Gomez
Mercury News
Article Launched: 02/11/2008 06:37:15 AM PST

Rep. Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, died early Monday after a six-week fight with cancer, his spokeswoman said.
Spokeswoman Lynne Weil said this morning that the 80-year-old Lantos died at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in suburban Maryland. He was surrounded by his wife Annette Lantos, daughters Annette and Katrina, and many of his 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His wife said in a statement that her husband's life was "defined by courage, optimism, and unwavering dedication to his principles and to his family."

After being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in late December, the San Mateo Democrat announced he would not seek re-election in his district, which takes in the southwest portion of San Francisco and suburbs to the south including Lantos' home of San Mateo. Lantos, who became chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee last year, intended to finish his 14th two-year term while undergoing treatment.

"It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family, and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a Member of Congress," Lantos said earlier this year. "I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country."

Earlier this year, former state Senator Jackie Speier launched her campaign to run for Lantos' seat, apparently, the only serious Democratic contender for the spot at this point.
In a statement, House speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "The passing of Tom Lantos is a profound loss for the Congress and for the nation and a terrible loss for me personally." "As the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to Congress, Tom Lantos devoted his life to shining a bright light on dark corners of oppression. . . . Having lived through the worst evil known to mankind, Tom Lantos translated the experience into a lifetime commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism, Holocaust education, and a commitment to the state of Israel."

Many Jewish groups mourned the death of a congressman who helped champion causes dear to their hearts.

"For years people have looked to Congressman Tom Lantos as the conscience of the United States Congress," said Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director for the the New York-based Jewish Council for Public Affairs. "He rose from the ashes of the Holocaust to the hallowed halls of Congress."

Two years ago, Gutow and Lantos were both in Washington, D.C. protesting outside the Sudanese embassy against the current genocide in Darfur. Both were arrested for trespassing, handcuffed, put into a van, and taken to jail for a few hours.

"I looked at his face, and saw something deep, sort of haunting," Gutow said in a phone interview today. "I remember the depths of emotion I was feeling about him. Here's a man who suffered so greatly and now was so willing to open himself up, and in some ways, relive what had happened to him during the Holocaust, you know, shoved into a van like that. He was one of a kind. He was truly an important figure, his kind won't come for a long time, maybe ever again."

Even those who had once challenged him for his political seat had only praise for him, too.

Ro Khanna, 31, ran against the veteran congressman in the 2004 Democratic primary, even though the young San Francisco attorney knew it'd be a "longshot" to unseat the popular politician. At the time, Khanna was driven by the desire of the larger Indo-American community in Silicon Valley to have one of their own representing them in Washington.

"The day after Tom Lantos won, he invited me for breakfast and said, 'Young man, you ran a very spirited campaign," Khanna recalled Lantos saying. "You have a bright future. Don't quit on yourself. Keep building your Indo-American base.' He became a mentor. He just had such graciousness that spoke volumes. He's one of the most brilliant people I've met, and among the most substantive. He had a statesmanship that very few politicians have in today's day and age. It was one of biggest privileges in my life to have run against him." The last time Khanna saw Lantos face to face was a few months ago in San Francisco at a fundraiser for Pelosi.

The timing of Lantos' diagnosis was a particular blow because he had assumed his committee chairmanship just a year earlier, when Democrats retook control of Congress. He said then that in a sense his whole life had been a preparation for the job.

Born Feb. 1, 1928 in Budapest to a middle-class Jewish family, Lantos was 16 when the Nazis occupied Hungary and sent him to a labor camp. He escaped twice and eventually made it to a safe house run by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. With most of his family killed by the Nazis, Lantos joined the resistance. He arrived in the United States in 1947 on a college scholarship, earned a master's degree in economics at the University of Washington and a doctorate in economics at the University of California-Berkeley. Lantos taught for 30 years at San Francisco State University before winning a congressional seat in 1980.

In Congress, Lantos has spoken out for civil liberties, based on his commanding knowledge of world affairs. Lantos co-founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1983. In early 2004 he led the first congressional delegation to Libya in more than 30 years, meeting personally with Moammar Gadhafi and urging the Bush administration to show "good faith" to the North African leader in his pledge to abandon his nuclear weapons programs. Later that year, President Bush lifted sanctions against Libya.

Since becoming chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs a year ago, he has advocated tirelessly for human rights in China, Russia, Burma and Darfur. Late last year, he assailed Yahoo executives for handing over the identity of a Chinese activist, telling them in not quite politically correct fashion: "Morally, you are pygmies."

The date for a public memorial service has not yet been set.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Did Krewe Know about Jewish Mardi Gras?

A perfected Jew in my family forwarded me this article on the Jewish Mardi Gras -


Mardi Gras with the Krewe du Jieux
Gold bagels, Jewish grandmothers, cool Klezmer--and no pork in sight
Rodger Kamenetz

Your intrepid reporter is here to give you the latest on the fourth-annual New Orleans Jewish Mardi Gras Parade, which went off last Saturday night-almost without a hitch.
The Krewe du Jieux, the Jewish marching club of New Orleans, is the brainchild of L.J. Goldstein, a local entertainment lawyer, who serves as permanent Captain of the Krewe. K.D.J. is part of a larger dis-organization known as the Krewe du Vieux. In general, this special parade is known for its biting satire, outrageous costumes, and enlarged rubber body parts.
On Friday night, we gathered at L.J.'s to light Shabbos candles and pass the royal robes to this year's new "King of the Jieux," jazz musician Walter Payton, and his Jewish American Princess, Katherine Alpha.
King Walter, a veteran bass player who can be heard at the Meridian Hotel, belongs to Temple Sinai, as does Princess Katherine, a music student and aspiring cantor. We needed musical royalty for this year's theme:
"The Epic Shlep-a Journey to Jieuxland." The theme was picked in "honor" of Jazzland, a new amusement park opening here.
However, taking a Mardi Gras theme too seriously misses the point, which is to party, have fun, dance, and "act like a kid," as David Mervis, a veteran krewe member, puts it.
Saturday evening, the kids assembled at the Den of Muses in the Bywater, all decked out in our their Thrift City or Salvation Army blue or white suits, gleaming with glitter, spangles, ruffles, and outrageous slogans. Our float was parked with the others. Most of the work on this year's float was done by Donna Mussarra Mervis, a graphic designer who created, by mysterious means, a giant gold bagel Ferris wheel--the Bagelcoaster, symbol of Jieuxland. As the krewe huddled over lox and bagels--and beer--I spoke to her and learned she is also our Mistress of Vices.
What are they? I asked her. "Everything: Idleness. Sloth. Envy. Greed. Pork."
I didn't see any pork on the table. "No, there's no pork. I did see greed when you took the last bit of salmon on the plate."
Just then, King Walter arrived to rescue me, announcing to one and all, "We're going to Jewsy Jazzland." King Walter, with his white beard and long white caftan, had an Aaron-the-High-Priest look going. Princess Katherine wore a massive blue-and-white-feather wig and a silver lame gown.
After an hour or so of noshing and hanging out, the mules arrived. King Walter and Princess Katherine mounted their thrones. King Walter wore his royal crown and carried his Crown Royal while his princess poured champagne. Then The Big Macher--Yiddish for "big shot"--clambered up the float, all decked out in a white suit, white derby with a golden band, a massive golden bagel around his neck, and golden gloves. During the parade, The Big Macher passed his special "throws" to the adoring crowd--cans of Dr. Brown's Diet Cherry Soda.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jewish Surfers For Romney

Calling all Jewish surfers, join me and vote for Romney. If you do your research he is the best qualified candidate overall to run this country. Don't make him pay for what you see as the Bush Administration's misteps. There has not been someone as strong as Romney in 50 years. As a Jew and a surfer that is the direction the Unperfected Jew is heading. If he does get the nomination and subsequently the Presidency I will give you a money back guarantee on my blog if you are not 100% satisfied. Here, read this:
Taken From: http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid31383.aspx
Romney woos the jews.
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN
January 10, 2007 4:40:33 PM
MAZEL TOV!: Romney hopes to rack up campaign money with his new friends — the Jews. Much has been made of how Mitt Romney has been courting evangelical-Christian support for his presidential ambitions. But Romney is also seeking friends — and, more important, money — among Jews.
The Jewish vote consistently goes to Democrats, but Republicans have found a large and increasing source of campaign funds among wealthy, conservative Jewish Americans. Romney wants some of that gelt, and he’s going after it in a big way. In October, he hired Noam Neusner, former–White House liaison to the Jewish community, as an adviser. And when Romney announced his 10 national finance co-chairs last week, one was former ambassador Mel Sembler — a mega-fundraiser from Florida and honorary chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
It’s important that Romney is getting started on this task, says Bob Naboicheck, vice-chair of United Jewish Communities and head of Jewish outreach for Bush-Cheney 2004. “The game has started early.” All of the major Republican candidates are already making calls for money, touting their support for Israel. “As far as the Jewish community, I think they are all in good standing,” he says.
Naboicheck makes clear that, for GOP candidates, “Jewish outreach” differs from outreach to other ethnic and demographic groups; that was certainly true for the Bush-Cheney campaign. “Clearly the Jewish outreach had a fundraising component. You weren’t fundraising from veterans and Native Americans,” Naboicheck says.
Rich Jewish Republicans are especially up for grabs this year, since the political demise of Rick Santorum, the potential GOP presidential candidate considered by many to have the strongest support among that crowd — rivaled, perhaps, only by Newt Gingrich, who has not yet thrown his hat into the ring.
To stand out among the remaining candidates — McCain and Giuliani, in particular — Romney has made a point of attending high-profile Israel-related events since at least 2005, and of making statements sure to get attention among conservative Jewish voters — including his refusal to offer State Police protection for Mohammad Khatami, when the former Iranian president, who has been accused of issuing anti-Semitic public statements, made a September 2006 speech at Harvard.
Romney also recently blasted the Iraq Study Group’s linkage of an Iraq solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which the group’s report suggested underlies much of the regional violence. Many saw that as wrong-headedly blaming Israel for Sunni-Shi’ite tensions, and Romney echoed their concerns. He also got Zionist kudos for blasting the report’s recommendation that the US open direct negotiations with Iran and Syria, which Romney has called “terrorist regimes.” Romney recently told the National Review Online that it would be counter-productive to negotiate with Iran, which, he said, “sponsors Hezbollah, has nuclear ambitions, and has been clear in its intention to wipe our ally Israel off the map.”
Romney landed a big fish when St. Louis investor Sam Fox, one of the biggest Jewish GOP donors, who was recently nominated to be US ambassador to Belgium, gave $100,000 to Romney’s Iowa Commonwealth PAC in July. A few other big names in those circles gave lesser amounts to the Commonwealth PAC this past year, including Lewis Eisenberg, Marc Lipschultz, and Fred Zeidman.
Several others wrote large checks to the Romney-chaired Republican Governors Association, including Sheldon Adelson and Dawn Arnall. Eric Tanenblatt, a Bush “Ranger” (meaning he raised at least $200,000 for George W. Bush’s re-election campaign), has signed on as Romney’s Georgia finance chair. And Massachusetts businessman and Jewish philanthropist Theodore Cutler also has been a big Romney supporter. The mitzvah list is sure to grow in the coming months.

Hanging Ten in the Gaza Strip




Gaza Giving: Surfing for Peace with Dr. Dorian Paskowitz
Let me tell you something I bet you don’t know about Gaza: it is rumored to have some of the best beaches in the world.
While I wish we lived in a world where the only rivalry between the Palestinians and the Jews were who caught the biggest wave or had the best surfboard, that is far from the reality.
But let’s imagine.
What would the world be like if peace was based on making real improvements in the lives of regular people? Dorian and David Paskowitz provide a glimpse.
Founders of Surfers for Peace and both world class surfers in their own right, the father and son team read an article in the LA Times entitled “Gaza Surfers Find Freedom in the Sea” about how Palestinian surfers were facing shortages.
The solution? The Paskowitzes masterminded a plan to get 12 surfboards to Gaza through the famously secure Erez Crossing. They put together a team of supporters that included surfing legend Kelly Slater, pro-peace organization OneVoice, and Tel Aviv surfing activist Arthur Rashkovan, who convinced Israeli surfing companies to donate the boards. They then managed to garner the approval of the Israeli military to secure safe passage.
What motivated the Paskowitzes beyond their love of the wave? It is easy to believe that their own history played a role. Dr. Dorian Paskowitz learned to surf during the Depression, convincing his parents to move from Texas to California to be closer to the waves.
But Paskowitz is more than your average do gooder. He is credited with bringing surfing to Israel over 50 years ago:
“Paskowitz said he first arrived in Israel in 1956 during a war between Israel and Egypt. He tried to join the Israeli military but was turned down. So he surfed off the coast of Tel Aviv instead… and was mobbed by Israelis charmed by the strange sight of a man riding the waves standing upright on a board.”
Paskowitz’s vision doesn’t stop there. He foresees the new surfboards catalyzing a surfing empire in the Palestinian state.
“From a board comes a group of guys who ride. From the group comes a business, then an industry, then a fantastic amount of money. I’m talking about billions, all from one board.”
Upon transferring the boards to the Palestinian surfers, Paskowitz reported: “There were tears in their eyes.” And we know that passion promotes possibility, which is what peace is all about.
Let me also remind my readers that the LA Times article in question was published three weeks ago. That is a short time to promote such positive momentum. Take Dorian and David Paskowitz as your role models and think about practical changes you could make to improve the lives of ordinary people. Whose lives could you touch?
I have to wonder what would happen to the peace process if we handed it over to surfers. Of any group of people I could identify, they seem like a particularly reasonable bunch. All that time communing with the universe would surely pay dividends on the path for peace.
Learn More About the Paskowitz Family and Israeli Surfing Under the Cut
Quotes
I will leave you with these quotes from the good doctor.
- “When I say my prayers in the morning, I stretch out my arms, like a person gathering in wheat, I grab all the sunshine and fresh air. I try to fill myself with good things. Everything I do is an effort to align myself with the great vitality of life.” (Source)
- “So when you ride a wave, you are tapping into something much bigger, something that is cosmic. It is like skiing down a mountain. Gravity takes hold, and the skier becomes part of that cosmic force. In surfing, the mountains move themselves.” (Source)
- “I talk to God personally. I don’t want to sound like a kook, but I get out on my surf board and sit alone atop the deep blue sea and look around and just give thanks for being part of God’s great world.” (Source)
- “I consider myself a religious man, but I have nothing to do with religion. I don’t go to a synagogue, but I pray every day, several times a day, in fact. I put on the tfillin, the phylacteries of the ancient Orthodox Jews, but I have no truck with that stuff.” (Source)
- “I was there [in Tel Aviv] during Operation Desert Storm and saw Scuds flying over. We took our gas masks, hung them on a tree and went surfing while those bombs were dropping.” (Source)
- “God will surf with the devil if the waves are good. When a surfer sees another surfer with a board, he can’t help but say something that brings them together.” (Source)
“I’m 86 years old. I can’t stand up very well, I have a piece of titanium in my hip. But I still love it,” he said. (Source)
“I always felt that we had enough. We had our surf boards and the fish in the sea. But even better, we had each other.” (Source)