Monday, March 9, 2015

Two Brief Lessons in Contrasts

It was reported by Fox News that the Clinton Foundation has received substantial sums from Middle Eastern Arab countries. Their source for the data was the Clinton Foundation itself. A few examples. Contributions from Saudi Arabia totaled between 10 million and 25 million dollars. Kuwait contributed between 5 and 10 million dollars, with the U.A.E. trailing at 1 to 5 million dollars.

Saudi Arabia, as an example, has a less than stellar human rights record when it comes to women and freedom of religion and speech. Women may not travel on their own or get certain medical procedures without their male "guardian" giving approval. Women are barred from certain professions and may not intermingle with male coworkers. Women have very strict clothing requirements; and as of 2015 will be allowed to vote in local elections only.

One should definitely not attempt to bring either the Jewish Bible (Old Testament) or Christian Bible (New Testament) into the country. Christian churches are forbidden, and you can forget about Jewish synagogues. Just today, Fox reported that a Saudi man was sentenced to death for renouncing his Islamic faith, and other alleged acts of blasphemy. In justifying the Foundation accepting money from such sources, Bill Clinton had this to say: " gotta decide when you do this work whether it'll do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country..." This is the kind of "the ends justify the means" approach that we are so used to from the left.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA, a Saudi prince offered Mayor Rudy Giuliani 10 million dollars to help rebuild New York City. But the prince said that the U.S. needed to address issues that led to the attack. Among other things, the U.S. "should reexamine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause." The prince also said that "...our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek."

In rejecting the offer of 10 million dollars, the Mayor said: "I entirely reject that statement. There is no moral equivalent for their (terrorist) act. There is no justification for it." The Mayor accused those engaging in such moral equivalency of "not understanding the difference between liberal democracies like the United States, like Israel, and terrorist states and those who condone I think not only are these statements wrong, they're part of the problem."

There is no doubt that the City of New York could have used that 10 million dollars after 9/11. But Rudy Giuliani chose principle over expediency. Just remember that before casting your vote for Hillary Clinton.

President Obama participated in the commemoration of the march in Selma that occurred 50 years ago. It was certainly appropriate for him to do so. The attack on peaceful protesters 50 years ago was not one of our finer moments. Notwithstanding the claims by a few that nothing has changed in the past 50 years, most agree that there has been substantial change in protecting black and minority rights. Today, racism is roundly condemned; and you could not find a single mainstream politician or commentator to speak out on behalf of racist acts or comments. Those who engage in racism are ostracized.

So, while racism has been on the decline (yes, I know there are still incidents such as the one at the University of Oklahoma fraternity), anti-Semitism has been on the rise. It is widely believed by Jews of all political beliefs that we are living through the worst period of anti-Semitism since the Holocaust. The worst anti-Semitism in the USA seems to be on college campuses, where Jews are called abusive names, intimidated with threats and even assaulted. Thankfully, we have not seen the extent of anti-Semitism that has occurred in Europe and throughout the rest of the world.

So, while President Obama's security detail was somehow able to deal with the mass of people marching in Selma, it was claimed they could not do so in Paris, when world leaders marched in unity to support the right of free speech after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the murders at the kosher market. But those killed in the market were Jews, as were some of the Charlie Hebdo employees. And Charlie Hebdo poked fun at Islam, as they did with other religions. Given all the world leaders marching in Paris, security was extremely tight. Curious that Obama could not attend that march.