Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How Long Has Jonathan Pollard Been in "Failing Health?"

Without getting too much into the details of the Jonathan Pollard case, one of the arguments that he should be let go is that he is in "failing health." But how long has he been in "failing health" for, according to his supporters?

  • December 2010 in the New York Times: "Mr. Pollard’s supporters argue that his life sentence was disproportionate, that the information he passed to Israel can no longer harm American national security and that his health is failing."
  • January 2008 in the Washington Post: "Esther Pollard said her husband's health has deteriorated in prison, which has included seven years in solitary confinement, and that he should be allowed to live out his years in Israel."
  • May 2007 in Israel National News: "The campaign comes on the heels of reports that Pollard's health, long impaired, has deteriorated severely in recent weeks. He is simply "living on miracles," his wife summed up."
In fact, according to his own website's records, these claims have been going on for nearly 20 years. From Ma'ariv in 1995:
"Over the last little while," Pollard's wife, Esther, said to Ma'ariv yesterday, "his health has just deteriorated. The stress which he is under - the slander and lies against him; the refusal to grant him Israeli citizenship; continuously having his path blocked and efforts to secure his release torpedoed - all of these things have taken their toll. I am very afraid for his health if something drastic is not done, and now!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Republican Haggadah: 5774 Edition (2014)

Note: For the 5777 (2017) edition of the Haggadah that has been mentioned in the media recently, go here.

So the National Jewish Democratic Council had an amusing post in 2012 entitled The New Republican Haggadah.

However, the Haggadah was highly abridged and would not be suitable for any serious Republican Jews, and probably not even for RINO Jews. I wrote a more complete version in 2012 (5772), but could not quite finish it. This is the complete and updated version.

Bedikat Chametz בדיקת חמץ

It is strictly prohibited for a Jew to own chametz (products of the five grains, wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats) during the Pesach holiday. On the night before the first Seder, traditional Jews make a formal search for bread crumbs (that have been placed around the house immediately before the search), and then burn them along with any other leaven products the following morning, afterwards saying the "Kol Chamira," an Aramaic declaration that any other chametz that may have been missed shall be considered to be dust of the earth.

Republican Jews should instead perform a bedikat aruchat tsohoraim בדיקת ארוחת צהרים. Instead of scouring their homes for leaven, they should scour the kitchens at their local schools for any healthy lunch options; it is particularly serious to allow a school to serve any leafy green vegetables during Pesach; an exception may be made if the child already has diabetes, ask your local GOP chair. The next morning, any healthy options that were found must be completely slathered in oil (one may use any oil except olive) or high fructose corn syrup before 10 o'clock the next morning.

To cover any healthy options that one has missed, one recites:
All manner of nutrition remaining in the School Lunch Program, whether it is visible to me or invisible, whether I have slathered it in unhealthy substances or left it untouched, shall be considered null and void, and accounted as if it were a bacon double cheeseburger with extra mayo served between two cinnamon buns.


Seder Plate

The Seder plate traditionally contains various foods fraught with symbolic meaning, and the Republican Jewish seder plate is no exception. From the top, counter-clockwise, it contains the following.
  1. Chick-Fil-A-this symbolizes the on-going fight against toeiva marriage.
  2. Fracking Water-The water byproduct of hydraulic fracturing is included on the Seder plate as an indicator that Republican Jews see no problems with drinking it. Note: Republican Jews should not, G-d forbid, actually drink the fracking water; instead, a "Seder goy" should be found to perform this task. Remember, if they are uninsured, any complications they suffer can be handled by their primary care doctor at the local emergency room
  3. Big Gulp-In honor of our freedom, Republicans believe one should consume at least a ke'diabetes of soda at a time, especially if one is in Mississippi.
  4. Twinkies-A reminder of the dangers of labor unions, which last year left America in grave danger of being without her sweet creamy center.
  5. Papa John's Pizza Box-To remember what Obamacare has done to you
  6. Olive Garden-In order to highlight Republican outreach to minority groups, one includes some authentic ethnic cuisine.

Kadesh קדש

The blessing over the first cup of wine is made before drinking it. However, one cannot just use any wine. There is widespread agreement among Republican Jews that it is prohibited to use French wine for the four cups; more stringent opinions also prohibit the use of wine from the tumahdik state of California.

Instead of reclining to the left while drinking the wine, Republican Jews of course recline to the right.

Urchatz ורחץ

Not only (as is traditional) is no blessing said (because we are not about to eat bread) during this washing of the hands, Republican Jews do not bother to get up to wash. Instead they wait for the water to trickle down.

Karpas כרפס

Traditionally, a green vegetable (such as parsley or lettuce) is dipped in salt water.
Republican Jews follow the ruling of the Rav Ronald Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is (usually) not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be.

Yachatz יחץ

Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikomen. At Republican Jewish seders, the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) keeps 99 percent of the matzah for himself and lets the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.(from the original)

Magid מגיד

This is the part of the Seder where the story of Pesach (Passover) is told.

Ha Lachma Anya (Bread of Affliction) הא לחמא עניא

In this case it's technically this is the bread of the job creator so should be something like (Ha Lachma Borei Melacha) הא לחמא בורא מלאכה
"At more than 20 dollars a pound, this is the bread of the job creator . Let all who are hungry be declared ineligible for Food Stamps. Let all who are needy suck it up. This year we are in America. Next year may we demagogue Israel to all get-out. This year we are slaves to the income tax. May next year be entirely tax-free.

Four Question (Ma Nishtana) מה נשתנה

The child with the largest trust fund asks:

Why is this night different from all other nights?

On all other nights we eat food picked and processed by illegal immigrants that take jobs away from real Americans. Why on this night is our matzah watched in the field by old Russian ladies?

On all other nights we eat all sorts of vegetables except arugula; after all, we're not elitist organic-loving hippies. Why on this night do we eat only bitter herbs (maror).

On all other nights we only dip once. Why on this night will we give Obama 100% of the blame for a potential double-dip recession?

On all other nights we eat in whatever position we like, sitting up or leaning. Why on this night do we lean even farther to the right than usual?

The Pesach Story

We were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt. When God brought us out of there with a mighty hand and outstretched arm, we didn't hold onto the plantation mentality. If the Holy One Blessed Be He, had not brought our ancestors out of Egypt, we'd still be slaves to the Pharaohs in Egypt because private property rights are sacrosanct. Since God knows we're not wise or knowledgeable or familiar with constitutional law, it's required that we tell the story of how we left Egypt.

It is related that Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy and Dave Camp spoke all night in the Cannon House Office Building about cutting benefits for the poor until morning when their interns came in with coffee and said, "Sirs, the time has come for the vote to end Medicare as we know it."

Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah said "I am a seventy year old man, and all the days of my life I live in fear of having to go before the Obama death panels." Ben Zoma explains that "all the days of my life" refers to the fact that the death penal brigades may even fly to your house in their black helicopters and break down your door at night. The sages, however, say this refers to the fact that the Democrat party sheep saw Obama's election as the beginning of the times of the Messiah.

Blessed be the Omnipotent Invisible hand of the free market.

Four Justices

There are four Supreme court justices we thought we could rely on: the "wise" justice (Scalia), the wicked justice (Roberts), the simple justice (Alito), and the justice who does not know how to ask (Thomas)

The "wise" justice, Antonin Scalia what does he say? Regarding the 98-0 re-extension of the Voting Rights Act, he says that must mean there's a problem with it, because "The Israeli supreme court, the Sanhedrin, used to have a rule that if the death penalty was pronounced unanimously, it was invalid, because there must be something wrong there."

The "wicked" justice, John Roberts, what did he say when he refused to overturn Obamacare? "Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices"

The "simple" justice Samuel Alito, what does he say when it comes to free speech that he considered inappropriate and therefore acceptable to ban? "Respondents' outrageous conduct caused petitioner great injury, and the Court now compounds that injury by depriving petitioner of a judgment that acknowledges the wrong he suffered."

The justice who does not know how to speak, Clarence Thomas.

In the beginning of our time in America our forefathers served the idols of socialism but now the GOP has brought us close to its service. As it is said, "Your forefathers used to live on the other side of the river in the Lower East Side, and they voted for Socialists for Congress."

And after 40 years in Chris Christie's George Washington Bridge traffic jam, I took your ancestors to the other side of the Hudson, and I led them throughout New Jersey, from Teaneck to Lakewood.
Blessed is he that calculated the end of our bondage under the oppressive Obama regime, as God said to Abraham, "Your seed will be enslaved by oppressive regulations and will suffer for four more years. But I will also cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to reach record levels and you will end up with great wealth.

Vehi Sheamda והיא שעמדה

This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one Democrat alone has risen against us to destroy us. From Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who didn't bomb the railway lines to the death camps. To John F. Kennedy, who destroyed the hat industry, making men dress immodestly. To Jimmy Carter, the rasha [evil man], about whom no more need be said. To Bill Clinton, who defiled our precious daughters of Israel! To the current socialist Kenyan Muslim Hussein Obama, in every generation they rise against us to destroy us, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands.

Come and learn what really happened to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, after they escaped the attempted destruction of the family by Lavan. As it says, "And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her; and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her."
"And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her" She did something to catch his eye. As it says, "And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land." Therefore, having gone out for some girl time, she was not doing her best to avoid getting raped and was pretty much asking for it.

"and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her." As it was taught (Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer 38), "Dina came out to see the young ladies, and [Shechem son of Hamor] caught her and slept with her and she conceived and bore Asenath." We infer from this that Dina was not legitimately raped, because, as Todd Akin says, "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Ten Plagues עשר מכות

In addition to taking ten drops out of the wine cups for the plaques, Republican Jews also take them out for ten types of taxation.

These are the ten forms of taxation which the Democrats, may their names and memories be erased, brought down upon us: The income tax, the social security payroll tax, the tax on dividends, the gasoline tax, the property tax, the cigarette tax, the alcohol tax, the sales tax, the "fee" that is actually a tax by another name, and finally, the death of the super-rich parent tax.

Rabbi Yehuda put them in three categories: the consumption taxes (gasoline, cigarette, alcohol, salex, fee), taxes on income (income tax, payroll tax), and the worst of all, the taxes on wealth (dividends,property, death of super-rich parent).

Rabbi Yose the Galilean, said: How can you assert that the Egyptians were smitten with ten plagues in Egypt, and at the Red Sea they were struck with fifty plagues. That's fuzzy math!

Dayenu דינו

If Obama increased sanctions on Iran, but not restored Israel's military edge, it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration, but not increased security assistance to Israel, it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, but hadn't boycotted Durban II and Durban IIIit wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had boycotted Durban II and Durban III, but hadn't increased U.S.-Israel military cooperation, it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, but hadn't vetoed one-sided anti-Israel UN resolutions,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, but hadn't stopped unilateral Palestinian statehood,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, but not opposed Goldstone, it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had vehemently opposed the Goldstone Report, but not stood with Israel against the flotilla, it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, but not intervened to rescue Israelis with Cairoit wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy, but had not given orders to help with the Carmel fire,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had given orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire, but hadn't supported the policy of nuclear ambiguity,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had given 'unprecedented support' for the policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons, but hadn't condemned Palestinian incitementit wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel, but not pulled out of exercises with Turkey,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel, but hadn't pushed for more Iron Dome money,it wouldn't have been enough.
If President Obama had pushed for more money for Iron Dome to protect Israelis from Gaza rockets, but had not called Israel an unparalleled story of redemptionit wouldn't have been enough.
If Obama had called Israel an unparalleled story of redemption, but had not quoted Gemara while planting a tree in Israel,it wouldn't have been enough.

Of course, Obama has done all of those things, and has had a Seder at the White House every Passover, but it's still not enough.

Rabbi Rick Perry said, those who become president and do not eliminate three departments have not fulfilled their duty, namely Education, Commerce, and ... he can't remember the third one. The Sages say the third department is the Department of Energy, but Ron Paul says in the name of Rabbi Ludwig von Mises that above all things we must End the Fed.

The Department of Education, why do we cut it? Because only a snob like President Obama believes everybody ought to go to college.

The Department of Commerce, why do we cut it? Because it contains the Census Bureau, and who trusts the Acorn thugs with that kind of information.

As for the Department of Energy, we cut it so that we may, as it says, "drill, baby, drill."

In every generation, it is required for true red-blooded Americans to deny that their ancestors ever left the land of intolerance and poverty to immigrate to the United States.

Rachtza רחצה

One washes their hands again, this time with a blessing since bread will be eaten.
May it be your will before us, Hashem our God and God of our ancestors, to eliminate the restrictive government requirements that employees wash their hands with soap after using the bathroom.

Blessed are you, Hashem our God, ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us concerning washing our hands.

Motzi Matza מוציא מצה

Blessed are you, Hashem our God, ruler of the universe, who has brought forth bread from the earth; as for the poor, let them eat minei mizonot

Maror מרור

After making the blessing, one dips the maror into the charoset and eats it to remember the bitterness of Democrat social spending.

Korech כורך

Traditional Jews make a sandwich of matza and maror in honor of the custom of Rabbi Hillel in the times of the Holy Temple. If the Seder does not fall on a Sunday, Republican Jews add chicken to the sandwich in honor of the steadfastness of the Chick-Fil-A corporation, inventors of the chicken sandwich, in opposing toeiva marriage. On Sundays, in honor of Chick-Fil-A being closed, this part of the Seder is skipped.

Shulchan Orech שולחן עורך

The meal. Strict Republicans have a custom to buy and use only completely unprocessed foods for the Seder to avoid the big government intrusion of the USDA.

Tzafun צפון

At this point the children search for the hidden afikomen. Most Jews allow the child or children who find it to bargain for a reward. Republican Jews have the custom of bringing in union-busting thugs to force the children to part with the afikomen for far less than the fair market value.

Barech ברך

This portion of the Seder consists of the Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after the meal. The blessing generally begins with the zimun, the formal invitation to one's fellow diners to say the blessing. In traditional Judaism, this is done only if three or more adult males (or three or more adult females and no males) are present. Republican Jews believe that if the meal was eaten on corporate property, one may count the corporation as one of the three, because, as it said, "corporations are people, my friend" and you, your friend, and the corporation make three. However, if one is including a corporation, one must be sure to say ברשות איחוד האזרחים נברך אלוקנו שאכלנו משלו (with the permission of Citizens United we will bless our Lord from whose food we have eaten)

The GOP Birkat Hamazon

Blessed are you, Hashem our God, Ruler of the Universe, who nourishes the entire world, with grace, kindness and mercy. He gives nourishment to all flesh, so we can feel good about steep cuts in food stamps, because Paul Ryan's presidential aspirations are eternal.

Hallel הלל

Please Hashem, save us from Obama.
Please Hashem, save us from Obama!
Please Hashem, give us success in 2016.
Please Hashem, give us success in 2016!

Nirtza נרצה

The Seder is now complete. Next year may the US recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

Chad Gadya

Chad Gadya, Chad Gadya! Which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad gadya, Chad Gadya.
Then came the cat and ate the kid, which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad gadya, Chad Gadya
Then came the dog and ate the cat which ate the kid, which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad gadya, chad gadya
Then came Barack Obama who ate the dog that ate the cat which ate the kid which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad gadya, chad gadya.

Update: Praise for the New Republican Haggadah by Jewish Republicans.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary and editor of the New York Post: "a witless parody of conservative thinking."

armchair conspirator, future Republican Governor: "this is my haggadah"