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English: Jonathan Pollard, U.S. Navy I.D. pict...

BI-PARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL LETTER CALLING FOR POLLARD’S RELEASE UNITES AMERICAN JEWRY

Jewish Leaders Thank Congressmen Engel and Smith for Spearheading Unprecedented Bi-Partisan Effort

As an historic bi-partisan “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives in support of clemency for Jonathan Pollard, a coalition representing the full spectrum of American Jewry has united to urge Members of Congress to sign this urgent plea to President Obama, and to express its gratitude to the lawmakers who initiated this extraordinary bi-partisan effort. Representatives of the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jewish movements have issued written pleas to lawmakers, as well as to their respective constituencies, to generate support for this unprecedented effort to free Pollard. Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), both of whom are veteran members of the House of Representatives, are soliciting signatures on a letter to President Obama, which urges the President to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served. The letter marks the first time Congressional Democrats and Republicans have joined forces in an effort to secure Pollard’s release.

“Acting on the broad consensus of its member organizations, the Conference of Presidents has long supported humanitarian interventions to gain clemency for Jonathan Pollard now in his 27th year of imprisonment,” said Richard Stone, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The Congressional letter led by Rep. Engel and Rep. Smith and joined by a large bipartisan group of their colleagues is an important initiative. We urge our member organizations to reach out to their members and affiliates to secure as many co-sponsors as possible. The growing number of elected officials and leaders of all faiths who have called on the President to grant clemency is a recognition that Pollard has served longer than anyone for a comparable crime and it is time for him to be released,” continued Stone and Hoenlein. “On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, with membership of more than 1800 Reform rabbis, we write to request your support for clemency for Jonathan Pollard and to urge you to join a letter to that effect to the President, currently being circulated by Representatives Eliot Engel and Chris Smith,” wrote Rabbi David Saperstein, the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, in a letter to Members of Congress. “Mr. Pollard has been imprisoned for 27 years, one of the longest prison terms of any American ever convicted of spying for an ally of the United States. Our reason for supporting clemency for Mr. Pollard’s sentence is not out of a belief that he is innocent, but instead is motivated by a need for fair and just criminal sentencing….[W]e urge you to join this call for clemency, asking the President to act with mercy and grant Jonathan Pollard long-overdue clemency,” continued Rabbi Saperstein. 

“Reps. Eliot Engel and Chris Smith are co-sponsoring this letter to President Obama urging him to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard,” wrote the Rabbinical Assembly, which is the international association of Conservative rabbis, in a letter to its membership. “The RA has passed four resolutions most recently in 2011 urging the President to release Mr. Pollard from prison. He has served 27 years, the longest sentence ever given for spying for an ally. We ask those of you residing in the US to communicate with your representative asking him/her to sign the letter being circulated by Reps. Engel and Smith.” “We write on behalf of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, to request your support for a grant of clemency to Mr. Jonathan Pollard. Specifically, we urge you to co-sign the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter to the President currently being circulated by Representatives Engel and Smith,” wrote Dr. Simcha Katz, President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Rabbi Steven Burg, Managing Director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and the International Director of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth, and Nathan J. Diament, Director of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America’s Institute for Public Affairs, in a letter that was sent to Members of Congress. “As Reps. Engel and Smith state, Mr. Pollard broke the law and deserved to be punished for his crime. However, his health is reportedly declining – he has recently been hospitalized for kidney and gallstone problems. It is also clear that Mr. Pollard, who has already been in prison for 27 years, has served a disproportionately severe sentence. The Orthodox Union has joined with others in the Jewish community to state that we believe the time has come for the President to grant him clemency.”

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, which has more than 25,000 member families and approximately 140 branch synagogues throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, noted that the National Council of Young Israel has also been working to generate additional support for the “Dear Colleague” letter. The National Council of Young Israel has been intimately and actively involved with Jonathan Pollard’s plight for approximately 20 years, and has been one of the vocal and most ardent supporters of the movement to free Pollard. Rabbi Lerner communicates regularly with Jonathan Pollard and his wife Esther, and is considered by Jonathan to be his clergy. The Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard stands united with the coalition of American Jewish leaders in urging people across the United States to contact their Congressional representatives as soon as possible to request that they sign onto this historic bi-partisan letter. People can go online to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ in order to identify their Congressional representative and get his or her contact information. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and the National Council of Young Israel strongly encourage their members, congregants, and rabbis to call their representative’s Washington, DC office and ask to speak to, or leave a message for, the representative’s Chief of Staff and let them know that as one of their constituents, you are asking them to sign onto the bi-partisan Engel-Smith “Dear Colleague” letter that is circulating in the House of Representatives, which calls for clemency for Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard has spent more than 26 years of an unprecedented life sentence languishing in a federal prison for passing classified information to Israel, an ally of the United States. The median sentence for this offense is 2 to 4 years. No one else in the history of the United States has ever received a life sentence for this offense. Pollard received his life sentence without benefit of trial, as the result of a plea agreement which he honored and the government abrogated. Pollard has repeatedly expressed his remorse publicly and in private in letters to many Presidents and others. His health has severely deteriorated after nearly three decades in prison. 

Shira’s note: Please voices out there, shout and be heard!! Do Something About It!! Let’s get Jonathan out. Let’s pray for his soul….

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IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis: Website: www.imra.org.il

 

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I wrote this during my group sessions here in Kona, and I wanted to share this with you like I did them.  They inspired me to share it.  It’s about healing…

Decisions are based on one’s love for oneself and their perspective deity.  The connection lies in the fact that “God” is within each of us.  How are we to be aware of His love for us if we cannot find our own?  God is inside oneself.  Love is inside oneself through God.  The only way to see it is to be aware of this love and let it grow.  Through goodness and the right decisions, the love inside will grow through God to you.  There’s the spark, the candle that lights the love inside and one needs to remember that the light flickers and dies and darkness takes over.  All one has to do is light the candle in the blackness of the soul and all darkness is diminished.

Here is another one:

Letting go:  Walk away from the problem for I am the only one with the key.  My key is rusted and weathered, and the key hole is antiquated and ugly; barely any space for the key, but I will push – I will persevere and my struggle to be free will be met with fortitude, and I will unlock, eventually and with strength, the door to my own prison to be free, and I will walk away and not look back.  There will be peace.

A New Book – A New Chapter

big island of Hawaii

big island of Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been missing in action for sometime now.  There is much to say, but I will only state that I’m back.  I’m ready to start writing again, and mostly, I want to share my experiences thus far.  As it stands, I’ve moved to Hawaii, on the Big Island.  How I got here to live is another long story that I will post as soon as I’m ready.  Let’s just go with moving here has been the best thing for me, and as such, very healing.

I’ve continued to read all about our world crisis and will start blogging on all the news that we are engulfed in, and I will try to sort out all of the nonsense and find the truth as best I can.

So, here’s to you, me and education towards the way to tolerance, on our way to benevolence, and on our way to making a difference.

Thanks for reading,

Shira

Shira’s note:  This is a lesson in making sure you do your news homework in that always get as much info as you can so as to make yourself aware of all of the facts before you make an opinion or judgment.  This is a prime example of how news can be twisted to the bias.  Please share…

 

Today’s speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, about the sanctions on his country and its determination to persist in its quest for nuclear capability was a significant news event. Khamenei served notice on the United States that he would not be bluffed into giving up his nuclear plans. Though he conceded the economic […]/p

via Iran Threatens Israel With Destruction, But the Times Doesn’t Hear It.

Shira’s note: I saved this editorial from February and it is just now coming to light what is really happening in Egypt. Mr. Borchgrave had it right. Make sure to make note the facts of the Brotherhood’s own words and goals. This is not going to go away. Please share… S.

Gullible amnesia

Published: Feb. 22, 2011 at 6:35 AM: By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, UPI Editor at Large http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/02/22/Commentary-Gullible-amnesia/UPI-47511298374510/#ixzz1EjRvmENI

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Groupthink that portrays “dangerous” as “innocuous” has led to censorship by omission. The Muslim Brotherhood, according to the conventional wisdom on the left, is now a responsible Egyptian political organization that will compete in the first free elections Egypt has known since the late 1940s.

Until now, the Muslim Brotherhood has done well under a different name and still managed to pull 20 percent in elections rigged to favor the deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s party. Now the Muslim Brotherhood plans to enter candidates under its own name — and straw polls indicate it may muster up to 40 percent of the vote. Not to worry, say their liberal admirers in the United States and other Western countries. They have reformed; they are no longer religious extremists. The fact that they burned or trashed some 300 buildings in Cairo on Jan. 26, 1952, was then and this is now.

Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood has camouflaged its strategic objectives in charitable social work, sports clubs and prayer meetings. Its messages are also tailored to disarm its critics. The Muslim Brotherhood’s disinformation arsenal contains the political equivalent of dental laughing gas, designed to elicit lightheadedness as well as warm and fuzzy feelings.

Conveniently overlooked, in what was described as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Western-style demand for freedom, are these inconvenient facts:

— Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 84, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief theoretician, banned in the United States and Britain, advocate of violence against Israel as well as U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned to Egypt after a 50-year absence to address a million-plus crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. State TV said it was 2 million. He also reaches tens of millions worldwide on al-Jazeera, the Doha-based Arab network.

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, said upon his elevation last September, that the group’s objectives could only be attained “by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”

— In 1989, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Action Front won 23 out of 80 seats in Jordan’s Parliament. King Hussein tried to check its influence by changing election laws. But in 1993, they became the largest group in Parliament — and strongly opposed the Jordanian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1994.

— Despite a rigged vote that gave Mubarak’s followers almost 80 percent of the seats in the Egyptian Parliament dissolved by the new supreme military authority in mid-February, the Muslim Brotherhood still garnered 20 percent.

— the Muslim Brotherhood’s official Web site says Jihad is Islam’s most important tool in a gradual takeover, beginning with the Muslim nations, moving on to restoring the caliphate over three continents for a conquest of the West, with a global Islamic state as the ultimate objective.

— For the immediate future, the Muslim Brotherhood remains closely linked to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Muslim Brotherhood’s second in command, Rashad al-Bayumi, said in a recent interview that the Muslim Brotherhood’s would join a transitional Egyptian government with one objective: Canceling the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s platform says that government rule in Egypt “must be republican, parliamentary, constitutional and democratic in accordance with Islamic Shariah law that ensures liberty for all.”

— The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide — it has more than one — Mohammed Mahdi Akef said the Muslim Brotherhood opposes American democracy because “it is corrupt, serves the American agenda and wants to destroy the Islamic nation, its faith and tradition.”

— Akef says the United States spends billions of dollars “and endlessly plots to change the Muslim way of life (by waging) war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the pharaohs.”

— Jihad has a global strategy beyond self-defense — attack every “infidel rule” to widen the global caliphate until all mankind lives under the Islamic flag.

For Egypt’s new government, whatever it turns out to be, accommodation with the Muslim Brotherhood is bound to be the line of least resistance. Whether 1 million or 2 million were on Cairo’s Tahrir Square to listen to Qaradawi in his first public appearance in Egypt in 50 years is irrelevant. Countless millions the world over listen to his politico-religious sermons.

More important, the hero of Egypt’s latest revolution, Wael Ghonim, the Doha-based head of Google marketing in the Middle East whose Tweets and Facebook postings were credited with laying the groundwork for the popular uprising, was barred from the stage in Tahrir Square. Qaradawi’s bodyguards elbowed the cyber-activist to the exit ladder.

“The Yuppie Revolution in Egypt is Over, the Islamist Revolution Has Begun,” captured the essence of Egypt’s 18-day upheaval. It was what Cornell Law School’s William A. Jacobson’s blog called a “Legal Insurrection.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest asset: Gullible Westerners on both sides of the Atlantic.

It was the same syndrome that enabled the same segment of Western opinion to applaud Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini‘s moderation as he gave daily news conferences near Paris in 1978 while waiting for his religious revolutionaries and their yuppie helpers to overthrow the shah.

For those with a little more memory, there is also the case of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, described for years as moderate agrarian reformers. No sooner in power than they established the “killing fields.” By their own reckoning, they slaughtered 2 million of their own people.

This is just my opinion, as much as I have learned through reading, witnessing, hearing, etc., it all comes down to this, it’s all about oil, period.  If we rack our brains around this, most intelligent people can see that whoever controls the oil, controls me, you, and the rest of the world. We can scream our asses off in being against any war, it doesn’t matter because wherever in the world there is war, they are fighting for oil.

On the premise, we see something else about those wars, and you know why, because we don’t want to think that people are dying because of our reliance on oil. News media won’t tell you what the truth is because they want to brainwash you into believing it is something else, but it’s not. It’s because we need oil to survive and the countries that know it are laughing at us and not only laughing but killing us, literally.

Most people also do not want to acknowledge the fact that we are hated, vehemently. It does not matter what we do, say, give in billions of our taxes, share, or anything civilized, these people will not change until all of us are dead, all of us.  Remember, it does not matter what we do.  These people are playing us and our stupidity is giving them the opportunity.

Back to oil, think about it.  Read and find out all there is about it; what countries we buy our oil from, why sanctions don’t work in Iran because we buy our oil from them, why the Egypt so called Spring is not working, why we have to negotiate with terrorist countries because of our reliance on oil. Once you know, once you have gathered enough information on the matter, and it’s just oil mind you, will you start to get the big picture.  All of our wars, all of the hatred, all of the deaths, and all of the evil that makes humans kill other humans, comes down to oil.  Realize this and things will fall into place.

Lastly, and this is really the reason why I wrote this piece is the fact that dependence on oil is our downfall.  We as consumers are killing our earth and it’s not looking great for the future. If things make you mad enough to deny it, all the more in killing Her. The story goes thus, protesters in ending the war in Afghanistan, protesters about our consumption of oil, protesters to get us out of every country we are so called occupying, and of course the old scapegoat of Israeli hatred because we chose life, drop their signs, put away their masks, plan other hate driven acts, and get in their car and drive home.  Get it, get in their car and drive home! How can they assume that wars are not for them to get in their car and drive home, drive to work, drive to the grocery store, or drive the kids to school? We are all hypocrites, myself included.  Although my answer to this principle is stop driving and/or give up the car, I know it is almost impossible, but is it? If we want to end the wars, stop driving.  If we want to save the Earth, stop driving. If we want peace, don’t let other countries that hate us hold us by the, well, you know what. Realize something strongly and if it is so, then things are not so impossible.  It can be done.  It starts with you and me.  Before I end this essay, I did sell my car and now ride an electric bike (smallplanetevehicles.com) to get around. It’s all local, which it should be.

If you have some information to share, please let me know and we can learn together.  Shira

I wrote these while at a restaurant this morn. I was inspired by the environment I put myself in.

I have no title for this one; maybe you can name it for me. It’s about eating:

Strapped in gluttonous revelry

Looking beyond the bondage

Tastes begotten, glorious infusion

It’s a mixed up world with plastic plates and

Confinement of plastic booths

Each and for every stomach-bellied lies

Masticate in each other’s pleasures

Enabling the famine

Delight the hunger

Happy Thanksgiving

On the other hand (name this one too!):

Touching, feeling, delight

Harvesting the joy of thanks

Always grateful for the gifts

Notwithstanding greed of others and ourselves

Keeping faith above reason

Single prayer for simple pleasure

Giving eternal in one’s course

Inviting spirits as below, so above

Victory a word in breath, pushing through our lips

Intriguing to understand and be aware

No one is alone

God is calling, cherish, thanks, and give always

Here’s to us all, bad and good. It’s time to elevate ourselves to an already higher cause. Time to move on and time to make a difference in your life as well as others, especially the not-so-fortunate souls.

Shira’s note: I came across this video this morn. It is very thought provoking to some. For others, it is downright wrong. All I know for sure is, it is more factual than some might agree. For this, it brings out the very worst in people. If truth be told, it should be the other way around. Shira

Shira’s note: I am one who strives for the facts, which hopefully is truth. In our times it is hard to trust any medium, no matter which one we subscribe to.

Here in PM Netanyahu’s speech the facts are laid out for us to learn from, for us to see inside the government’s predicament they face today. The article is extensive, but must be read if we are to disseminate the circumstances Israel is under factually. We need to get the truth out and not let biased, anti- Israeli agendas dominate the news. Please read more and educate as many people as we can. There are links of which to follow here on this blog.

PM Netanyahu’s Speech at Opening of the Knesset’s Winter Session.

Dealing with the reality of the Shalit deal and Hannibal Protocol:

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 19 October 2011

I received a lot of angry mail when I wrote earlier in the week that thanks to the very lopsided prisoner swaps, the IDF policy today is to do everything possible to kill IDF soldiers who appear to be in the process of being captured by terrorists.  Many couldn’t believe that this was indeed the policy of the IDF.  So I put up a video on YouTube of a Battalion 51 commander briefing his Golani troops on the eve of their entry into Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvlP6yM15ws

“The strategic weapon, the ‘Judgment Day Weapon’ that Hamas wants to acquire, is to capture a soldier. But no soldier in Battalion 51 will be kidnapped at any price. At any price. Under any condition. Even if it means that he blows himself with his own grenade together with those trying to capture him. Also even if it means that now his unit has to fire a barrage at the car that they are trying to take him away in. There is no situation. No situation that they will have this weapon.”

This was not some faked video. I copied from a video report broadcast on Israel Television Channel 2 News 16 October 2011

You can see the full report for yourself:

http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/security/Article-778ae8d014e0331017.htm

Now what does this all mean?  Am I saying that the Hannibal Protocol is wrong?  No. Not under the circumstances.  All I am saying is that we have to address the decisions we make with mature honesty.  The reason that we trade a thousand terrorists for a single soldier is not because of our commitment to do everything in our power to get our soldiers back home alive.  We do it because, as indicated by the polls, we don’t have the stomach to see soldiers as POWs once we know who they are. And since a key element of the equation is that this feeling only goes into play when we see their name, faces, etc., we as a society have a very different attitude about soldiers being killed before we see their name, faces, etc. And that is why we would rather kill a soldier being taken captive then have him sit somewhere being held by terrorists.

That is where we are.

And we have to deal with it.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis) (Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava) Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730 INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il

Website: http://www.imra.org.il

Shira’s note: Does this mean I’m indifferent, apathetic? It’s very conflicting for me. No, I am not that in my soul. If we understand acts of war and the knowledge that any goodness we have to fight evil is futile in a war of existentialism, then the above applies to us all whether we acknowledge it or not. We as a people have to sacrifice for the good in humanity. As such, if I’m to put myself in that position, as a soldier in the IDF, and if Gd willed, yes, I would be sacrificed for the people, namely, the children of Israel. So it is, if that is what is willed from on High. Reality is what it is…there are no words, actions, or opinions that would deter us from the truth, of which many try to oppress or try to prevaricate, in which the entire of humanity, governments, groups, or religions do to hide from their hypocrisies.