Sunday, March 29, 2015

On the Media From Within the Media

From Yaron Dekel's op-ed, Globus, March 23:

...When I returned from the post of IBA Washington's envoy, somewhere in 2007, I came across a harsh media disease. Kadima was its name. Ehud Olmert was God, followed by Tzipi Livni who was the Holy Spirit. You could not say a bad word about them. Any criticism was considered treason of the herd, the profession and the tribe. Even when it was clear that Netanyahu had a stemming bloc after the 2009 elections, the media continued to put together another coalition headed by Livni.

During these recent elections, most of the media sinned against its role. Criticism of Netanyahu passed the line between legitimate and necessary criticism over to an aggressive and uninhibited campaign. Netanyahu, the prime minister, may not be perfect, and there are many reasons to criticise him, but the bon-ton would view him as a dark figure who will bring about the end of the state and the end of Zionism. The fact, for example, that the prime minister was cautious and hesitant not to rush on decisions on military operations, was absent from the discourse. The blackening was almost total, and any statement about this situation was met by the self-righteous response, "but Netanyahu has a newspaper". Well, and if it has? So, then, there's no obligation to ethics, to fair coverage?

Now is a good time for drawing a proper accounting and conclusions, of a professional and personal soul-searching in the media. Why did the media again assume for itself a conception? Again, we went blindly, as in a chimney, after opinion polls. And now, in the absence of proper care in substance, again they seized the headlines, and made political coverage of the story as of Sweepstakes: superficial, biased, and, as it turned out last Tuesday, detached from the field. The media lives in a bubble created by itself, being overwhelmed by the smells of its own perfumes and is not sensitive to any significant or deep currents in Israeli society.

The late Minister Uri Orbach was a ground-breaker of the entry of right-wingers in to the mainstream media...there are not enough successors to Orbach. Only a significant entry into the established mainstream media of journalists with skullcaps, residents from the periphery and those holding a right-wing line, will change the situation and free it from its 'within-a-bubble' reality.

In a country where 80% of media consumers believe in God, the media mediators must create an identification in their consumers with the media. Not for right-wingers, or those who wear crocheted kippot. On behalf of the media, its credibility and its importance in a democratic society. Without such a determined course, its status will continue to erode, unfortunately.

The author is head of Army Radio.


J Street News: Head Wound Victim

My loyal long-time readers will forgive me for reading into this unfortunate San Diego Texas incident a connection to that Jewish group that purports to be pro-Israel:

Two people flagged down officers on J Street near 15th Street to report a man in the street, bleeding from a head wound.

To compound matters, the victim is expected not to survive:

A 47-year-old man who was shot in the head in East Village on Saturday is not expected to survive, San Diego police said.

Head wound did I read?

GraphicZionism: On the Yemen War



Lena Dunham and A Note on Humor

Lena Dunham is in dog, or is it Jew, trouble.  Her quiz is drawing condemnations as being anti-Semitic.

In any case, what I found most interesting was this comment from David Remnick, who said 

“The Jewish-comic tradition is rich with the mockery of, and playing with, stereotypes. Anyone who has ever heard Lenny Bruce or Larry David or Sarah Silverman or who has read ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ knows that. Lena Dunham, who is Jewish and hugely talented, is a comic voice working in that vein. Richard Pryor and Chris Rock do the same about black stereotypes; Amy Schumer does it with women and gender. I don’t mind if one reader or another didn’t find the piece funny. People can differ on that. But considering all the real hatred and tragedy in the world, the people getting exercised about the so-called anti-Semitism of this comic piece, like those who railed at Philip Roth a generation or two ago, are, with respect, howling in the wrong direction.”

I'd wish Remnick and friends would treat Israel's administration of Judea and Samaria with at least an equal equanimity.

And if you think that a joke, you have a Jewish sense of humor.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Peres, Arabs and Voting - and Netanyahu

In this week's Matzav HaRuach weekly, Hagai Huberman reprints two pages from the book "The Suicide", a recounting of the failure of Shimon Peres' 1996 election campaign in which he started out, after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, with a 20% lead over his contender, Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud.  The book was authored by Ben Caspit, Hanan Kristal and Ilan Kafir, subtitled "A Party Abandons Government", and published by Avivim Press. It contains on pages 279-280, a description of Peres attempting, in desperation, to get out the Arab vote after he realizes the Likud is, surprisingly, doing well in voter turn-out in its areas.

He did so to point to the hypocrisy of the critics of Netanyahu's call this month on election day.

Here is the original Hebrew of Netanyahu's call which rankled US President Obama:

In translation:

"The rule of the Right is in danger.  Arab voters are moving in large numbers to the voting booths.  Left-wing NGOs are transporting them in buses.  We don't have a V15, we have an Emergency Call-up #8, we have only you.  Get out to vote, bring friends and family.  Vote Likud to close the gap between us and Labour."

Going back to Peres, here are the two most relevant sections:


Peres calls up heads of Arab councils in a special personal effort and tells them "every vote is important, every vote in critical, it's a close contest".


Peres gets himself interviewed by Kol Yisrael's Arab affairs reporter who informs the country that Peres said, "Get out and vote, every vote is important."  And he yells at the Justice Minister David Libai, "we're losing the elections, get out to Baqa Al-Garabiya, get the people out into the streets."

In addition to what I wrote, here and here, I emphasize that the voting in Israel is via proportional representation which can favor an organized voting pattern as there are no constituencies.  The country is itslef one voting district.

But whatever you think of Netanyahu, think the same of Peres.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Do Jerusalem and Pamela Anderson Share?

The answer is .... banned advertisements.

In the case of Jerusalem, there was this earlier this month:

Britain's advertising watchdog has banned an Israeli government tourism advert for suggesting that the Old City of Jerusalem was part of Israel...The newspaper brochure showed a panorama of the walled Old City with the text "Israel has it all", and was ruled misleading by the AdvertisingStandards Authority (ASA), which said it implied the UNESCO World Heritage Site was part of Israel...Following a complaint, the ASA ruled the title of the brochure "Israel Land of Creation" and references to Old City attractions was misleading and banned the advert from appearing again in its current form...

"We understood that the status of the territories in question was the subject of much international dispute," the watchdog said.  "We therefore considered the presentation of the ad would mislead consumers into believing that the Old City of Jerusalem was part of Israel and into taking a transactional decision that they would otherwise not have taken."  The brochure included a photograph showing the golden Old City landmark and Muslim shrine the Dome of the Rock, with the modern buildings of Western Jerusalem in the background.

And two years ago, there was this:

A raunchy TV ad featuring ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has been banned for being sexist and degrading to women.  The ad, for web hosting service, featured the Barb Wire star in a boardroom full of men.  While addressing the board Anderson and her assistant, Vanessa, show a lot of cleavage and one of the men fantasises about the pair dancing in bikinis while covered in cream.
Dreamscape Networks, the parent company of Crazy Domains, said the dream sequence was not "gratuitous or pornographic".  Watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority received four complaints that the ad was offensive because it was sexist and degrading to women.



GraphicZionism: Obama Confronts Saudi Arabia



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Your Splurge for Pesach



An 18th Century Jewish 'Settlement'

Jewish residential locations these days are 'settlements' and not only in Judea and Samaria. And even when they're fake (or there's a typo = 1st century).

This is from a story on a new Jesus TV film:

Charlie Parsons, an executive producer and the channel’s vice president, surveys Antipas’ courtyard. He says this film stands apart in the recent boom of Jesus movies because it’s “a very accessible version of the story. We reach a broad audience and we’re trying to show what Jesus really stood for and present Jesus as a man, as a carpenter and as a man who walked among us. He was very touchable.”

Sleiman proved that a day earlier, and about 90 minutes away, at Tamnougalt. In the dusty courtyard of an 18th-century-Jewish settlement, flickering oil lamps bathed the red limestone with an amber glow as Jesus knelt to wash Peter’s feet before the Last Supper.

By the way, Tamnougalt is in ... Morocco.

And since Jesus died in the 1st century, what is he doing in an 18th century 'settlement'?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Neo-Paulinization of Zionism

In a conversation with a close friend, discussing the situation within the Jewish world and the status of Zionism as a necessary central component of Judaism and the Jews, an idea began to take form.

Blog posts, in my approach, are not for wasting words.  And so, in my formulation, my idea is based on what I see as a growing phenomenon of anti-Zionism, whether expressed minimalistically, but basically resulting in a distancing of oneself from becoming involved in any Israel-linked activity or "going over" to the Palestinian narrative or shades of in-between.

The matter is acute and here is another way of defining the problem:-

in some circles attitudes towards the ongoing existence of such a state are no longer as affirmative as they had been, and publicly voiced calls for the end of Israel are becoming more prevalent. These anti-Zionist views are emerging at a time when antisemitism is on the upsurge in Europe and elsewhere.  How, if at all, are these phenomena related? What exactly do people mean when they say they are not against Jews or Judaism but "Zionism?" What does “Zionism” signify to its present-day opponents? What motivates them to fixate, sometimes fervently, on what they see as the singular "injustices" and even "evil" of Zionism and Israel? Of what irredeemable sin do they find Israel to be uniquely guilty?

There are easily identified groups involved, across the spectrum of viciousness, such as the New Israel Fund, J Street (which can lead one away from Zionism), Jews for Peace, and many other groups that basically reject or are uncomfortable with nationalism.

They, I suggest, can be categorized as practicing a neo-Paulinism.

As we all should know, the former Shaul-cum-Paul

chose to ignore [the teachings of Jesus.] Instead he presented to the Gentile world a mystery religion in which he transformed Jesus into a divine spirit...One idea in particular must have caught his attention -- that of a sacrificial person who is offered as an atonement for sin.

Tolstoy's criticism of Pauline doctrine was expressed so:

...the centre of gravity of Christianity was permanently displaced till only the metaphysical portion was left...From the time of Constantine the Christian Church has prescribed no religious duties to its adherents...the Church, through affection for the world, expounds the metaphysical doctrine of Jesus in such a way as not to derive from it any obligation as to the conduct of life

Further, as has been succinctly noted

Paul's theology of the gospel accelerated the separation of the messianic sect of Christians from Judaism, a development contrary to Paul's own intent. He wrote that faith in Christ was alone decisive in salvation for Jews and Gentiles alike, making the schism between the followers of Christ and mainstream Jews inevitable and permanent. He argued that Gentile converts did not need to become Jews, get circumcised, follow Jewish dietary restrictions, or otherwise observe Mosaic laws to be saved. Nevertheless, in Romans he insisted on the positive value of the Law, as a moral guide.

These extensive quotations, I trust, make it clear that there is a clear, recognizable parallel in my suggested comparison to how this generation's non-Zionism is developing as a renewed stream of paulinization within Judaism.  It is not about bonding with the Jewish people and its future and fate.  It is not about caring for and comprehending the existential threats to Jewish lives and the very real possibility that it is a matter of national survival. 

It is about a new Jewish individualism.  About a desire to detach and to fulfill one's natural feelings for doing good by accomplishing good deeds outside the communal and national framework to justify one's human existence.  It is about freeing oneself from the burden of the 'group'.  Pressured by peers to seek out the universal, once again as happened with the Bundists and Communists, with those of the American Council for Judaism (and Neturei Karta) and others, we see these new Paulists at, for example, the J Street conference where they were proud, finally, to include a Republican guest: James ("F*ck the Jews") Baker.

The pro-Israel posturing of groups like these is simply a false portrayal to ease their way out, out of Jewishness, of anti-Semitism or in, into the general populace and its culture.

In centuries past, Jews like these simply converted or dropped out.  I presume that their Jewish quotient is still powerful enough to force them to attempt a justification for their betrayal.

Whatever, if they want to damage themselves, why injure and harm Israel, its Jews and Zionism?


Just after this was posted, I caught Stav Shaffir:

"We must occupy Zionism and reclaim it.”

Anelay's Unalike Analogy

It is reported:

The British Foreign Office is concerned that the Israel Antiquities Authority is supporting "radical settler activities" in and around the Old City of Jerusalem while purporting to promote tourism or protect Jewish historical artifacts, The Independent quoted Joyce Anelay, a Conservative Foreign Office minister [and a history teacher no less], as saying:
“We are aware of the link between the Elad [settler] group and the Israel Antiquities Authority. We are concerned that this link has led to Israel Antiquities Authority’s support of radical settler activities in and around the Old City under the guise of tourism and protection of Jewish history,” Anelay said. “Such actions not only aggravate mounting pressures in East Jerusalem but serve to increase tension around the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and further complicate future attempts to negotiate a political resolution on the city.”

Could anyone point out to her that

a)  drawing a link between Silwan and the Temple Mount is itself radical and aggravates tensions unnecessarily.

b)  Muslims destroy Jewish-period archaeological remains at the Temple Mount, not to mention their anti-Jewish violence and intolerance.

c)  Jews were ethnically-cleansed by Arabs from Silwan, an act assisted by inadequate British security measures in the 1930s.

d) there is no "guise" in protecting Jewish history.  it is a requirement.

e) there is nothing complicated in all this.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rihanna's Tattoo - Al-Aqsa? Oops. Dome of the Rock

If that tattoo could be viewed as Al-Aqsa, Dome of the Rock, all hell may break loose:-

But I checked:

The tattoo is of the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was depicted as the ideal mother and wife.


Heard of Dajjal?

Excerpt from a book review:

In 1941, a Harvard University anthropology professor named Carleton S. Coon traveled to Morocco, ostensibly to carry out field research. His true mission was to smuggle weapons to anti-German rebels in the Atlas Mountains, on behalf of the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime precursor to the CIA. The following year, as the United States prepared to invade North Africa, Coon and an OSS colleague, Gordon Brown, drafted propaganda pamphlets intended to soften up local reaction to the coming swarms of GIs. They settled on a religious idiom: “Praise be unto the only God…. The American Holy Warriors have arrived…to fight the great Jihad of Freedom.” The pamphlet was signed “Roosevelt.”

Nazi Germany’s leaders also harbored half-baked ideas about messaging to North Africa’s Muslims. Heinrich Himmler was the Third Reich’s most influential advocate of the instrumental use of Islam in war strategy. In the spring of 1943, as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s army in North Africa stumbled to defeat, Himmler asked the Reich Security Head Office “to find out which passages of the Qur’an provide Muslims with the basis for the opinion that the Führer has already been forecast in the Qur’an and that he has been authorized to complete the work of the Prophet.”

Ernst Kaltenbrunner of the Head Office replied with the disappointing news that the Koran had no suitable passages for such a claim, but he suggested that Hitler might be advertised as “the returned ‘Isa (Jesus), who is forecast in the Qur’an and who, similar to the figure of the Knight George, defeats the giant and Jew-King Dajjal at the end of the world.” Ultimately, the office printed one million copies of an Arabic-language pamphlet that sought to persuade Muslim Arabs to ally with Germany:
O Arabs, do you see that the time of the Dajjal has come? Do you recognize him, the fat, curly-haired Jew who deceives and rules the whole world and who steals the land of the Arabs?… O Arabs, do you know the servant of God? He [Hitler] has already appeared in the world and already turned his lance against the Dajjal and his allies…. He will kill the Dajjal, as it is written, destroy his places and cast his allies into hell. 



Dajjāl i...a common Arabic word (دجال) whose root is dajl meaning "lie" or "deception". Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, with the definite article al- ("the"), refers to "the deceiving Messiah", a specific end-of times deceiver. The Dajjāl is an evil being who will seek to impersonate the true Messiah.
...According to hadith, Muhammad is said to have prophesied that the Masih ad-Dajjal would be the last of a series of thirty Dajjal or "deceivers" (false prophets).
Muhammad is reported to have said:
...Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape...Narrated Ibn Umar: Once Allah's Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved. Then, mentioning Dajjal, he said, "I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed."... the Dajjal will gather an army of 70,000 Jews from Isfahan, of those he has deceived and lead them in a war against Jesus who shall be accompanied by an army of the righteous, along with Imam Mahdi.

It gets weird:

Muslims sages say the Dajjal’s campaign of mischief will begin between Syria and Iraq; and that he’ll reign for fourteen months and fourteen days, and have “70,000 Jews from Isfahan (i.e., Iran) wearing Persian shawls, and Bedouins, and illegitimate people carrying blue helmets”, among his first followers. The latter possibly referring to UN peacekeepers who’d endorse his claim that he’s ostensibly a man of oecumenical peace for the war-torn Middle East...Dajjal also means to cover something with another thing more beautiful or precious; which has been interpreted as referring to his role as a deceiver who’ll advocate the Jews’ coming scam of mandatory global e-commerce based on the virtual collateral of Jewish gold.

Muslim sages have also said that ‘those who hear about the Dajjal should stay far from him. By Allah! A person will approach him thinking him to be a believer, and upon seeing his amazing feats [i.e., as an imitator of Israel’s prophet Elijah] he will become his follower.’ While others have said that he’ll have very thick body hair, like an Edomite, and be blind, like Moshe Dayan, in one eye; which can, of course, be reconciled with the biblical verse that says: ‘the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.’

And weirder:

Based on various Islamic traditions, Muslims believe that the Dajjal will be Jewish.  The title of a book by Muslim author Matloob Ahmed Qasmi, Emergence of the Dajjal, the Jewish King couldn’t make this point more clearly.  Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi of the Palestinian Authority articulated the Islamic perspective regarding the expectation of the Jewish people quite well in one of his sermons:

The Jews await the false Jewish messiah, while we await, with Allah's help… the Mahdi and Jesus, peace be upon him.  Jesus's pure hands will murder the false Jewish messiah.  Where?  In the city of Lod, in Palestine. Palestine will be, as it was in the past, a graveyard for the invaders 
Samuel Shahid, a Christian Arab scholar in his scholarly study of Islamic eschatology says of the Dajjal that he will be, “the embodiment of the Jewish hope and longing.  The bulk of his army is recruited from the Jews.”

As mentioned in the last chapter, the followers of the Dajjal will primarily consist of Jews and women.  It is mentioned that women are very ignorant and as such are easily misled.  Veliankode states, “Meanwhile, women will also fall to the deviant line of the Antichrist because of their unawareness and ignorance of Islam.” 

Now what?


Just in:

PA TV host and Muslim preacher:
"If a fish in the sea fights with another fish...the Jews are behind it"
 "Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land.  Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land"

Has Obama denounced the rhetoric of the Palestinian Authority recently?

Did I Insult Derfner?

Ron Kampeas posted on Facebook on March 19 at 6:43pm this:

If Bibi's message was to Arab Likud voters, why didn't he make it in Arabic, and why didn't he say "leftist" voters sted "Arab" voters?

Comments followed. Like:

Perry Schafler
The point was not to Arab voters but about foreign interference using Arab voters. He would have better said some other way but it was racist blatant interference to target foreign assistance to arab voters in the first instance. Why not development town voters or elderly incapacitated voters or haredi voters or a mix? Bibi did not mince words.

so I jumped in:

Yisrael Medad
If he would have said "the kibbutznikim are being bused to the polls", would that be okay?
If Herzog had said "too many 'settlers' are voting"?  If Gal-on had said "too many mezuzah-kissers"? But more. The fact is that there was/is an Arab list. Their candidates were 90+% Arab. Their main language in their electioneering was Arabic. A major portion of them was anti-Zionist and they didn't even sign an agreement with the far-left Meretz because they were Zionist. A large Arab vote, like a large Russian vote, or Haredi vote or Sfardi vote hurts Likud. His was a legitimate political call. And what did he expect Netanyahu to call them?  Palestinans?

And it went on:

Ron Kampeas
So if he said "the sfardim are being bused to the polls", no outrage? or "The haredim?" And Herzog and Gal-on would not have been subjected to outrage for using those terms? Are you arguing that those terms should enter the political lexicon? The distinction is characterizing an ethnic rather than political entity. If he had said "leftists" or even "voters for the Joint List" there would have been a couple of accusations of dog-whistling, but no one would otherwise have paid attention. The question is, why, when he could so easily have used a more ambiguous, acceptable term, did he choose not to?

Yisrael Medad
you can't quite read? oh well. i await your reaction to the part about the Left's depracatory remarks. you don't think them okay, right?

Ron Kampeas Of course they're not okay. But do you think Alona Kimhi as opposed to the Israeli prime minister, merits the attention of the White House? And are you arguing that it would be okay in Israel, that there would be no consequence, if a major party leader were to say the Sfardim or the Haredim are being bused to the polls in droves?

Stuart Schnee Ron Kampeas there is non stop reference to the Haredi vote. And lapid's party sent out very nasty anti Haredi text messages. And of course the anti Sephardi/religious statements at the left rally in tel Aviv were pretty disgusting (although a great way to get out the Likud vote!) I am not pointing this out to justify or explain away anything. But only to give context.

Ron Kampeas Stuart I did not know about the YA text messages. That's also disheartening, for sure.

Ruthie Blum It should be noted that, prior to his statement, Hamas publicly urged Israeli Arabs to go out and vote. I think that says it all.

Ron Kampeas Yisrael, I liked for that story, which is excellent.

Larry Derfner What's the problem? Don't Christian politicians in U.S. and Europe call on their supporters to go vote because "the Jews are going out to vote in droves"? Happens all the time, no one complains.
Yisrael Medad
Hamas calls on Arabs to vote for Joint List
Izaddin al-Qassam urge Israeli-Arabs to cast their vote, bring about "liberation" in "occupied land."

Yisrael Medad before Larry begins paroxysms, we have a proportional representation system and again, if a party is an Arab List, you can call it Arab. In Germany, there actually is a Christain Party. Get over it you guys.

Ruthie Blum Larry, as you know, no matter what's going on, I adore you -- which just goes to show how charming you must be.

Larry Derfner You're a sweetheart, too, Ruthie, we shall overcome.

Larry Derfner Yisrael, it's not called the Arab List, it's called the Joint List. There is even a Jewish MK on it. But carry on.

Yisrael Medad the list was the Arab population's response to Liberman's 'brilliant' idea of raising the threshhold. it was championed as their answer. they appealed overwhelmingly to the Arab population and their support came from the Arab populace. Yes, one Jew. ...See More

Yisrael Medad "New MK Osama Sa'adi was disappointed with the change that did not end up coming: "The national right-wing camp and Netanyahu came out with a surprise and kept their reign. We are the third largest faction and this is the first time something like this...See More

Daniel Sieradski You gotta love how people who spew racist shit about Palestinians all day long are now working over time to prove Bibi isn't a racist now that their boy is back in office. In another week they'll be back to spewing racist shit again.

And then this:

Larry Derfner Yisrael, I may not be the most charming person, but based on your little insult up there, you're just a plain old asshole. And the name of the party is the Joint List. And if you ever hear gentile politicians warning their supporters to get out and vote because "the Jews are going out to vote in huge quantities," you will be the last one with the right to complain.

So, I responded:
Yisrael Medad Larry, if you clarify for me my insult, i promise to be as charming as you are. As for asshole, well, there goes your charm quotient.

And he helped:

Dan Friedman Yisrael Medad, I know who you are and you know who Derfner is. My advice is let him go in good health, or better still, just go.

Still can't figure out my supposed 'insult'.


Foot Over Foot

This is a detail from an Esquire cover:

Sorry, but I did indeed censor it.  But what truly caught my attention was what I circled: Chelsea Handler's foot position.

And that reminded me of something and I found it confirmed here:

found in Marriage Customs of the World: From Henna to Honeymoons by George Monger.


GraphicZionism: All Black and White

In his first public comments on Tuesday's elections in Israel, Obama's deepest discomfort was saved for Netanyahu's Election Day warning about Arab Israeli voters going to the polls "in droves."
"We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel's traditions. That although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly," said Obama. "And I think that that is what's best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don't believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country."

I repeat:  did Obama slam the campaign rhetoric against Mizrachim, religious, etc.?