Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.


It has been several days since I saw this (via Atlas):

Jewish York students flee from mob

Posted On 11/27/07
By: Atara Beck

TORONTO  – York University saw the worst antisemitic display ever on that campus last week, said Ben Feferman, senior campus coordinator for the Canadian region of Hasbara Fellowships, an Israel advocacy organization spearheaded by Aish Hatorah.

The Betar-supported Campus Coalition of Zionists (CCZ), together with Hasbarah, manned a table in Vari Hall, with permission from the university, with pamphlets and brochures about the danger emanating from Iran.

However, the situation became very difficult for the students who participated. They were vastly outnumbered by pro-Arab students who surrounded them, and eventually the pro-Israel activists fled. As they left, there was cheering by the pro-Arab mob.

According to Feferman, “I’ve never seen anything like this at York. We weren’t even discussing the issues anymore. It was pure Jew hatred. That’s what it’s come to.”
In fact, Feferman noticed an acquaintance there and said hello, but received no acknowledgement. She emailed him later that day to apologize, explaining that she didn’t want everyone to know she was Jewish. To Feferman, this episode is a red light. “We know there’s a crisis when a student on campus is afraid to reveal she’s Jewish and feels unsafe,” he said.

Another disturbing issue that day, according to Feferman, was that a Hillel executive was standing nearby, watching. Feferman can’t understand why he didn’t take action or get his students to help out.

When asked why they didn’t offer to support Hasbarah and CCZ, Tilly Shames, associate director, Hillel of Greater Toronto, did not answer the question directly referencing a program Hillel had held previously that experienced no protest.

They fled?!  What the hell is that?!  What were they afraid of?  A confrontation?  A fistfight?  Only those who flee can be sent to the gas chambers.  And this headline is adding insult to injury.  I just want to hang my head in shame.

Someone might ask me: "What would you do?"  Well, this is one of few instances when I know exactly what I would do: I’ve been in situations like this one.  Suffice it to say, I would not "flee", and neither would my friends.

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December 3, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About that phone call…

OK, last Monday morning I did call the White House, the Israeli Embassy and the State Department.  There was nobody, not even a machine, answering at the White House.  After saying "hello" several times I heard a beep.  I attempted to leave a message, but I think that that beep was the phone disconnecting.  The Israeli Embassy did not call me back: for some reason the system on that web site did not work for the Israeli Embassy.  The State Department call came through successfully, and I was able to leave my message.  I did not get a chance to try this again.  Of course, all 3 places can be contacted via e-mail, but the phone calls are usually more effective.

Now, some people are skeptical about making these phone calls, especially those who are originally from the former Soviet Union, like myself.  They don’t believe that they can influence the Government.  So I’d like to tell a story about people influencing their government in a very unlikely place.

Back in 1987 I was still living in Odessa, Ukraine.  One of the historic streets in Odessa is Primorsky Boulevard (Seashore Boulevard).  It has beautiful historic buildings on one side and a slope leading to the Black Sea shore and Odessa Sea Port on the other side.


Between these beautiful buildings and slopes are old trees and benches.  Essentially, it’s a park.  Well, in 1987 a Chief Architect of Ukraine decided that these trees block the view of the buildings from the see.  So, he gave orders to dig the trees up and replace them with some bushes.  The work had begun.  But the people of Odessa protested and demonstrated against it.  People even organized patrols to guard the trees during the night.  One evening I also went there and confronted the representatives of the authorities.  In the end the people won.  The trees were left alone.  Some bureaucrat from Kiev was not going to dig up our trees.  So, if it was possible for the people to have influence in the old Soviet Union, don’t you think it is much more likely for the people to have influence in this country?

Returning to the subject at hand, here is an update from Jewish Russian Telegraph:

We Jammed State Department’s Lines

Thank you to all activists who responded to our and other groups appeal and made a call.
We jammed the lines and sent a message.

Coordinating Council for Jerusalem:


Innovative Grassroots phone calling campaign overwhelms State Department

 New York, NY/Washington, D.C. – November 28th, 2007 – The Coordinating Council on Jerusalem ( is proud to announce the phenomenal success of their revolutionary Internet activated grassroots phone calling system. Calls facilitated by the CCJ’s system are overwhelming operators at the White House, State Department and Israeli Embassy.

By visiting the website, and taking 90 seconds out of the day, anyone who opposes U.S. pressure on Israel and believes in the significance of maintaining a unified Jerusalem, will be connected directly and free of charge to the various agencies to send a simple message expressing their opinion to the U.S. and Israeli leadership participating in Annapolis. The website has been up for less than 48 hours and has already proven to be a vastly effective grassroots technique; over 10,000 calls have been made already.

“The results are very gratifying and the turnout is incredible for a virally marketed campaign.” says Jeff Ballabon, the political consultant coordinating the strategy of the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem. “We have created a new way literally to give a voice to the Pro-Israel community’s thoughts and the calling volume is growing every hour.”

Even groups not officially affiliated with CCJ have jumped on the bandwagon. “Everyone from the Rabbinical Council of America to G Gordon Liddy are utilizing and promoting our  system to their bases,” says Ballabon. “We welcome them and encourage others to join.” In response to reports that the State Department has begun to advise callers that their mailbox servers have been filled, the Coordinating Council on Jerusalem will be requesting that the State Department increase the space in the voicemail boxes in order to accommodate the increasing number of Americans who want to petition their government against pressuring Israel.

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December 3, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment