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New movie adaptations featuring comic book heroes Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America are all due out this summer and are generating tremendous media attention already. And that’s with the first movie, Thor, not arriving in theaters until May 6.

The launch of a new comic book series where the hero is tasked with defending Israel on the battlefield of ideas has gone largely unnoticed though. The Jerusalem Post first reported early this year on Capt. Israel telling its readers it was “…created by international Israel advocacy group Stand With Us, (this) is a new, unabashedly Zionist addition to the Jewish superhero pantheon. The creation of artist Arlen Schumer bears a strong resemblance to Captain America. See the entire article here:

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There was much understandable indignation directed at the Malaysian politicians responsible for the trial of Anwar Ibrahim in 1998—most notably, of course, then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was Anwar’s mentor and the instigator of the trial that put Anwar behind bars when he began to challenge Mahathir’s leadership. It was a political exercise, and it was meant to get the up-and-coming Anwar out of the way—eliminate the coming dissent within the party structure.

But it also, as we have written here before, made Anwar a star—the hero in an exotic and anachronistic Malaysian drama. His supporters in the West took his side largely because of their sense of justice and his ability to play to their egos. And so, when Anwar was put on trial for the second time several years ago for sodomy, his supporters sprang to action once again. Paul Wolfowitz and Al Gore said he not only “has been charged under very dubious circumstances,” but also that “as a political leader, statesman and intellectual, Mr. Anwar possesses qualities that encourage hope for the future.”

Their sense of judicial fairness is important here, because new information has come to light in another trial—this one involving Anwar’s current political nemesis, Prime Minister Najib Razak. The difference this time around is that Anwar is the one who may have been manipulating evidence and fabricating his rival’s culpability. And this begs the question: Will Anwar’s champions speak as loudly for Najib as they did for Anwar?

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When Karl Marx’s collaborator Friedrich Engels referred to the Roman statesman/philosopher Cicero as “the most contemptible scoundrel in history” he could have just as easily been describing the politicians and municipal employees of Cicero, Illinois.

Over the last decade or so the reports of corruption and crime emanating from Cicero rival the other tales of dirty politics that Illinois has become so infamous for. Rod Blagojevich and his crew have nothing on the pols in Cicero.

The most recent story involves the town president, Larry Dominick and his wife Elizabeth Dominick. The current paid town spokesman who responded to the allegations is Ray Hanania–who Raoul Felder exposed as an Israel basher in 2002.

Here’s how The Chicago Tribune reported the latest Dominick story:

Elizabeth resigned on April 12 as “as director of Cicero’s health department, saying her salary was too low and her boss wouldn’t give her a raise. Her boss is Larry Dominick, who is her husband and Cicero’s town president. “My husband said it would look bad if he gave me a raise,” said Elizabeth after a board of trustees meeting at which she announced her resignation. Elizabeth was hired in 2007, three months after she and Larry were married, becoming one of several relatives of Larry Dominick’s who have been on the Cicero payroll. At the time, her annual salary was $60,319. She said Tuesday her current salary was $71,000.”

In 2009 The Huffington Post ran a headline that said “Cicero President Larry Dominick Denies Sexual Harassment Claims.” Those allegations from a female municipal employee led to a “federal sexual harassment lawsuit that Dominick groped her and made vulgar comments.”

In 2002 former Cicero president Betty Loren-Maltese was convicted in on racketeering charges in a case involving the theft of millions of dollars in municipal money. She was released in 2010.

With all this bad press, Cicero’s elected officials thought they needed to bring in a top notch public relations expert. They found Ray Hanania. Hanania has worked as an op-ed columnist and a stand-up comedian and is perhaps best known for his anti-Israel activism. There is nothing funny about his Israel bashing. Or the corruption in Cicero.

Here were Hanania’s comments about the latest Cicero scandal to The Chicago Tribune:

Hanania said he was shocked by her resignation. “We always got compliments about the way she ran the health department,” said Hanania. As for Elizabeth’s claim that some employees don’t show up for work, Hanania said that anyone aware of such a worker should contact a supervisor.

One blogger in December 2010 reported that Hanania makes $86,000 from his Cicero municipal job. The post is well worth reading.

Ray Hanania’s March 29, 2011 column in the Jerusalem Post is a prime example of just how radical the man is. The title of the piece was “Palestinian declaration of statehood is ‘least bad’ option.”

Here are some excerpts so you can see for yourself:

“(C)onflict is the only thing that seems to motivate Israel and the Palestinians to act.”

“(I)t might help Palestinians undermine the steady growth of Hamas and the fanatics, fueled largely by the continued occupation.”

“The West Bank and east Jerusalem were occupied in 1967, territories Israel calls “disputed,” even though it has spent years building Jewish-only settlements there. Is that not occupation?”

“Israel has always argued that Palestine was not a country…”

“(O)ver the past 63 years is that the only time change happens is when the level of conflict rises.”

“Palestinians seem to want another intifada – as evidenced by the popularity of Facebook’s Third Intifada page…”

“Maybe the declaration of statehood might be the one way Palestinians can heighten the conflict without violence, making it clear to Israelis that they want their state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

Hanania’s argument that Arab violence against Israel will somehow lead to peace is a fool’s gambit. It would just lead to more violence. Hamas cannot be undermined in Gaza – and Fatah is no match for them there. Hamas is part of the general revolutionary Islamist phenomena and its popularity with Gazans has much more to do with that than an “occupation” that ceased to exist in 2005. The most groundbreaking development in the history of the conflict was Sadat’s visit to the Knesset, which did not occur in the middle of any particular conflict. Israel does not call any part of Jerusalem disputed. Israeli government law regards all of Jerusalem as a full part of the State of Israel and the nation’s capital. There has never been a sovereign nation in history with the name Palestine.

Hanania views are repugnant and he gets his facts wrong.

Hanania has a history of calling for an Arab war against Israel as a solution to the situation. Raoul Felder wrote in 2002 that Hanania called for violence at that time:

“If the Arabs and Palestinians really want to get Israel’s attention and force them to take the peace process seriously, then the Arabs and the Palestinians must begin serious preparations for a new war against Israel.”

Hanania has no place in the Jerusalem Post. He never should have been granted a byline there in the first place. More alarming is that this radical receives a salary from American taxpayers. The people of Cicero should be demanding that Hanania be let go.

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Israel isn’t racist: Just ask black people.  The one good thing to come out of Israel Apartheid Week is a letter from the Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG) that all but essentially calls Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) liars who seek to inflame and popularize the stereotype that Zionism is racism.

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Its not very often that Senator John Kerry gets something correct–especially about the Middle East. Lets face it, this is the guy who, when running for President in 2004, tried to get the Jewish vote by announcing that he would make Jimmy Carter or James “F**k the Jews they won’t vote for us anyway” Baker as his Middle East negotiator. But I have to give credit where credit is due–this time the Massachusetts senator and heir to his wife’s ketchup fortune got it half right.

In a speech on Tuesday Kerry said that the approach taken by President Obama to seek peace between Israel and the Palestinians was a waste of time.  He also said that Obama’s approach may have caused the gridlock in negotiations happening today.

“I was opposed to the prolonged effort on the settlements in a public way because I never thought it would work and, in fact, we have wasted a year and a half on something that for a number of reasons was not achievable,” Kerry told the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, organized by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center. “I think it sort of put the cart ahead of the horse in a way here. The key is to get to the security and borders definition and if you can get the borders definition you’ve solved the problem of the settlements. But we can’t get that discussion right now.”

Not content with quitting while he was ahead, Kerry continued by saying that the president will step out very soon with a new initiative that might break the gridlock, forgetting the fact that it takes “two to tango.”

“I suspect that it’s very possible that President Obama will even step out ahead of that and will possibly–I say possibly–make his own contribution to where he thinks the process ought to go in the meantime. Conceivably, that can come together in a responsible effort that produces a transition here,” Kerry said. “I think we can get to borders and the fundamental issues fairly quickly and its conceivable that between now and September we will do that.”

By September, Sen. Kerry is talking about the Palestinian Authority’s effort to evade negotiations and get the UN General Assembly to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem, within the 1949 armistice lines.

Kerry’s original statement is correct, President Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. The U.S. continues to press Israel for a settlement freeze (and a freeze on Jerusalem), even though Obama’s strategy has totally fallen apart. The president’s demands have given the Palestinians an excuse to avoid negotiations and the other Arab nations an excuse to avoid making the “gestures” for which the President is looking.

What the President and his advisers perceived as a minor concession (a settlement freeze) was for Israel, a grave sacrifice. It also broke a Israeli/US agreement allowing the Jewish state to add housing to existing communities. This was a major error by the Obama administration. Their insistence on a freeze and their constant one-sided public berating of the Jewish state has turned the Israeli population against Obama, especially the Israeli left, whom Obama would look to for support.

Why why were the Palestinians so quick to use the “settlement” issue to delay negotiations? Because of something that President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, “Why The Long Face John?” Kerry, and most in the progressive community do not understand: the Palestinian leadership does not want a peace agreement, and never did.

The strategy has always been to look like a moderate in English call for war in Arabic.  Its why both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas each rejected deals which would have given them nearly everything that they were demanding.  It is also why the Palestinian Authority continues to praise or downplay terrorists attacks on Israeli civilians.

For example, the closest advisor to the PA prime minister claims the recent attack on an Israeli school bus which critically injured a 16-year-old child was exaggerated by those evil Zionists:


Or the recent ceremony where Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake visited the family of the terrorist Abbas Al-Sayid who planned the homicide  bombing in 2002, where the bomber entered a hotel in Netanya and detonated his bomb during the Passover seder dinner, killing 30 innocent people. A  photo in the PA newspaper shows the  minister handing the family an honorary plaque from the PA.  As Palestinian Media Watch has reported that honoring terrorists is an integral part of PA policy.

The leadership of the Palestinian Authority continues to demonize Israel and Jews because its good for business.

Arafat and his cronies famously stole billions of dollars of foreign aid slated to help the Palestinian Arab community. Abbas’ government has had similar problems with corruption (which is why Hamas won the PA election in 2006). Only by continuing the incitement against all Israel and Jews, can the PA leadership keep the heat off themselves.

Even today, despite what Kerry said the other day, the Palestinians have no desire to negotiate for peace.  And now they don’t have to; they are are just biding their time till September when the UN General Assembly will make a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. While it wont have the authority of a Security Council resolution, it will give the PA legitimacy, without having to make territorial, security, or any other kind so concessions to Israel.

John Kerry’s declaration was half right, Obama has spent the first half of his administration screwing up the Middle East peace process by focusing on Israel’s expansion of existing communities in Judea and Samaria as well as the building in Jerusalem. Unfortunately it is too late for the second half of his comments  to come true.  Why should the Palestinian Authority negotiate for something in May, when four months later they are likely to be handed all that they want on a silver platter?

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