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 August 28-29, 2007    

                                                                        Vol. 1, Number 120  

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     San Diego Jewish World
             August 28, 2007

  (click on headline below to jump to the story)

Israel and Middle East
President Bush wars American Legion of threats by 'Sunni extremists' and 'Shia extremists'

Israelis, Palestinians authorize joint meetings of|
 various agencies to foster wide-ranging cooperation

Sarkozy speaks out against nuclear Iran, 'Hamastan'

Israel to begin new settlements inside Green Line

Dutch refuse Palestinian troupe's request that Israel dancers be banned from international dance festival

Israel arranging a laptop for every teacher

Search and rescue cadets perform in surprise drill

ADL-Israel condemns statement by Rabbi Ovadia

Peres confers with Martin Luther King III

Israeli authorities arrest California fraud suspect

European Socialists join in protest of Magyar Garda

Polish bishops divided over leadership of Rydzyk

Wiesenthal Center urges EU to withhold funds from
radio group while its headed by Tadeusz Rydzyk

United States of America
AJCongress urges Bush appoint 'non-partisan' AG

Columbus, Ohio, policewoman posts anti-Semitic videos; Anti-Defamation League makes protest

NCJW says Katrina recovery far too slow

Dr. Alex Grobman: A eulogy for Rabbi Judah Nadich, chaplain who interceded for Jews in displaced person's camp

Jewish Grapevine

News Sleuths

Greater San Diego

Back-to-school barbecue at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School: food, fun, and sign-ups

Chabad of University City will have Selichot concert, then music by three cantors over the High Holidays

Eileen Wingard, family to give Selichot concert

Arts & Entertainment
Norman Manson: It's the story of Kaiser Permanente—or is it?

Dorothea Shefer-Vanson: Dorel Golan is a pianist you'll be hearing from

President Bush warns American Legion of threats by 'Sunni extremists' and 'Shia extremists'

RENO, Nevada (Press Release)—Following is a partial transcript of a speech given today by U.S. President George W. Bush to the national convention of the American Legion here.

The murderers and beheaders are not the true face of Islam; they are the face of evil. They seek to exploit religion as a path to power and a means to dominate the Middle East. The violent Islamic radicalism that inspires them has two main strains. One is Sunni extremism, embodied by al Qaida and its terrorist allies. Their organization advances a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies the murder of innocent men, women, and children in the pursuit of political power. We saw this vision in the brutal rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, where women were publicly whipped, men were beaten for missing prayer meetings, and young girls could not go to school.

These extremists hope to impose that same dark vision across the Middle East by raising up a violent and radical caliphate that spans from Spain to Indonesia. So they kill fellow Muslims in places like Algeria and Jordan and Egypt and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to undermine their governments. And they kill Americans because they know we stand in their way. And that is why they attacked U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and killed sailors aboard the USS Cole in 2001 [sic]. And that is why they killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. And that is why they plot to attack us again. And that is why we must stay in the fight until the fight is won. (Applause.)

The other strain of radicalism in the Middle East is Shia extremism, supported and embodied by the regime that sits in Tehran. Iran has long been a source of trouble in the region. It is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran backs Hezbollah who are trying to undermine the democratic government of Lebanon. Iran funds terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which murder the innocent, and target Israel, and destabilize the Palestinian territories.





Iran is sending arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which could be used to attack American and NATO troops. Iran has arrested visiting American scholars who have committed no crimes and pose no threat to their regime. And Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.

Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. And that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late. (Applause.)

I want our fellow citizens to consider what would happen if these forces of radicalism and extremism are allowed to drive us out of the Middle East. The region would be dramatically transformed in a way that could imperil the civilized world. Extremists of all strains would be emboldened by the knowledge that they forced America to retreat. Terrorists could have more safe havens to conduct attacks on Americans and our friends and allies. Iran could conclude that we were weak -- and could not stop them from gaining nuclear weapons. And once Iran had nuclear weapons, it would set off a nuclear arms race in the region. (Jump to continuation)


               Israel and Middle East

  Israelis, Palestinians authorize joint meetings of|
 various agencies to foster wide-ranging cooperation

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met on Monday evening (27 August) with Palestinian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Salam Fayyad.

FM Livni expressed appreciation for the action taken by the Palestinian security forces Monday morning in Jenin, in rendering assistance to the IDF officer who entered the city by mistake:

"Such action demonstrates the strengthening of the Palestinian government in its efforts in the field to combat terrorism. Terrorist elements are trying to undermine the joint efforts of moderates in Israel and the Palestinian Authority to improve security in the area. Action such as that taken this morning prevents a decline in the security situation and helps to safeguard the daily lives of both Israelis and Palestinians."
Livni and Fayyad agreed on enhanced economic and civilian cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, in the form of meetings to take place between joint Israeli and Palestinian committees in the fields of economics, social affairs and environment protection.

It was also agreed to hold direct meetings between Israeli and Palestinian municipal heads of and representatives of organizations in order to advance joint projects. The two leaders will meet again soon in order to continue their talks and follow up on progress on these issues.

The preceding story was provided by Israel's Ministry of Foreign affairs



Sarkozy speaks out against nuclear Iran, 'Hamastan'

PARIS (Press Release)—The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has called on Western nations to redouble their efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions and to avoid a scenario that could lead to “the bombing of Iran”.

In his first major speech on foreign policy since his election in May, Sarkozy made it clear he intended to apply the same energetic approach to French diplomacy as he has to domestic policy. Speaking to 180 French ambassadors, the French president said a nuclear-armed Iran would be "unacceptable" and that the only response was to tighten sanctions while being open to talks if Iran suspended nuclear activities.

"This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran," he said, adding that it was the biggest crisis facing the world.

Sarkozy was equally outspoken on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that France would not allow a "Hamastan" to be created in the Palestinian territories after the takeover of the Gaza Strip by the radical Islamic group Hamas in June. "I have the reputation of being a friend of Israel, and it's true. I will never compromise on Israel's security," he said.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress

Israel to begin new settlements inside Green Line

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—The Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this morning (Tuesday), 28 August 2007, unanimously approved the establishment of a rural-community settlement district that will include seven - mostly new - communities in the eastern Lachish area. (roughly 15 miles north of Be'er Sheva)

This historic decision combines the development of a region within the Land of Israel with a solution for Gush Katif evacuees. Five groups - including approximately 200 families from Gush Katif - have already expressed willingness to settle in the region. They will be joined by other families who are interested in becoming involved in tourism enterprises, including guesthouses and vineyards that will be developed there. 

The Government has decided that boosting settlement in the region is an important national interest that justifies budgetary allocations and providing appropriate incentives.  Five hundred residential units are planned in the first stage: 150 in Hazan, 100 in Shomriya, 60 in Mirsham, 60 in Amatzia, 70 in Haruv, 45 in Keramit and 20 in Shekef. The green and rural eastern Lachish region will be developed so as to enable residents to live in maximum comfort while maintaining its rural character. Road #358 will link the area to Be’er Sheva and Kiryat Gat (via Road #35). This will cost approximately NIS 200 million; work will begin forthwith.

Prime Minister Olmert said: "I welcome today’s decision. The time has come to stop talking and start doing. If developing a new community in Israel is genuinely exciting, how much more so the development of seven communities that will turn a thinly settled region into a genuine national and tourist treasure. This is settlement inside the Green Line, which is very significant.  Approximately 100 families live in the region today while Palestinian settlement increases beyond the Green Line. This region has great potential and we are interested in it becoming one of Zionism’s major developments in the 21st century. I foresee thousands of families in the area, which will be only 30 minutes from the center of the country on Highway #6 and which is both green and has especially scenic vistas. This region will be based on agriculture, tourism and local industry."

Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur, who chaired the directors-general team that formulated the plan to strengthen the eastern Lachish region said: "We want to create strong settlement groups. This is one of the most prestigious areas in the country that the state can offer its residents. It has a rural character and is accessible to the center of the country."

  The preceding story was provided by the office of Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert




Dutch refuse Palestinian troupe's request that Israel dancers be banned from international dance festival

AMSTERDAM (Press Release)—A Palestinian dance troupe’s attempt to get Israel banned from participating at a Dutch dance festival has backfired, according to a report by the ‘Jerusalem Post’ newspaper. Members of the group ‘El Founoun’ had informed officials of the Netherlands' ‘Dancing on the Edge’ festival that the organizers should either rescind their invitation to the Israelis, or forfeit the participation of the Palestinians, a request which was refused.

‘El Founoun’ has thus withdrawn from the week-long festival. Instead, the piece ‘Wish Upon a Star’, choreographed and performed by Smadar Yaaron from Israel, will feature dancers from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, as well as from two Palestinian dance groups that did not call for an anti-Israel boycott, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Sponsored by organizations including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dancing on the Edge is scheduled to take place in mid-December in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Groningen. In addition to the dance performances, the festival will include lectures, workshops and public conversations with the artists, as well as networking opportunities for the performers.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress


Israel arranging a laptop for every teacher

JERUSALEM—Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this evening launched the “Laptop for Every Teacher” project, in the framework of which 60,000 laptop computers will be distributed over the next five years to teachers throughout the country.  The first computers are due to be distributed in Be’er Sheva, Yeruham and Arad.

The Education Ministry, the Teacher’s Federation, World ORT, Microsoft, Intel, the Mirage Foundation and Fujitsu-Siemens are overseeing the project, which has been initiated by the Athena Foundation chaired by Uri Ben-Ari.
Prime Minister Olmert said: “This project will significantly affect every student.  We have great schools, exemplary teachers but I am not certain that over the years we have given them the appropriate conditions to fulfill their responsibilities, as we would have liked.  The education system is changing faster than we have tended to assume and what we are doing today is an attempt to change the status of Israeli teachers.  The start of the academic year will be a new beginning for many students and for many teachers as well, who will fulfill their responsibilities with greater pride and greater joy.”

The preceding story was provided by the office of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

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Search and rescue cadets perform in surprise drill

By Dor Blech

JERUSALEM—Having finished two and a half months of intense training and studies – and being a mere two weeks from concluding their training in its entirety - the cadets of the Home-Front Command Search and Rescue NCO Course were mobilized to conduct a training drill that slightly differed from the norm.

The exercises were held in a simulated disaster area in the Command's training base and were a culmination of what was taught in previous months.   The participating soldiers practiced exercises such as the search and extraction of the injured, and dead from burnt or destroyed buildings. The drill was designed to test mental and emotional strain. Soldiers were cast as actors and makeup specialists ensured that the
Cadets performing evacuation procedures

wounded  would look as real as possible. Many others were on the scene to play the part of members of the media, unsettled citizens, and other characters that could potentially distract the soldiers. The cadets had no prior notification of the drill; and they did not know where their destination was, or what the purpose of their surprise departure from the base could be.
Upon arrival at the base yesterday evening the soldiers were shown the disaster area which contained burnt and destroyed buildings.   Amongst the buildings, "injured civilians" lay near collapsed electrical systems and needed to be to be extracted in complete darkness.  Minutes after the start of the search and rescue mission, the soldiers portraying media personnel arrived at the scene and attempted to enter the zone, forcing the soldiers to keep them from entering so that they would neither endanger themselves, nor interfere with the evacuation efforts .   The actors' makeup and portrayal were so realistic, that it gave the cadets a chance to feel shock at the initial sight of the wounded.
"The site looked so real, with all the fire and smoke, and injured civilians crying and screaming out for help," said one of the cadets while lifting a wounded civilian into a rescue vehicle.   "If I weren't certain that I was in a training base I would really have thought that we were actually conducting operations in a disaster area, because we are nearly prepared for active duty."
The Home-Front Command Search and Rescue NCO Course runs for nearly three months, and is regarded as one of the most prestigious courses in the IDF.   Its graduates are known as the most successful worldwide, and have conducted search and rescue missions many times over in disaster areas worldwide.  Recent examples include missions in Nairobi last January; operating after the earthquake in Turkey which took place a number of years ago; and countless others.

he preceding story was provided by the Israel Defense Force

ADL-Israel condemns statement by Rabbi Ovadia

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—The Israel Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the incendiary and disrespectful statements made by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during a sermon on July 26.

According to reports, the former chief Sephardic rabbi said Jewish soldiers were killed in war because they were not observant. "Is it surprising if soldiers are, God forbid, killed at war?  When they don't observe the Sabbath, don't observe the Torah, don't pray every day, don't put on phylacteries every day?," he was quoted as saying. 

ADL's Israel Office issued the following statement:

We are shocked and saddened at the incendiary and derogatory statements reportedly made by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. We call on Rabbi Yosef, as a religious authority with political influence, to refrain from such language and instead speak of the pursuit of peace and respect for all people in order to heal rifts in Israeli society, particularly between secular and observant Jews.

The preceding story was provided by the Anti-Defamation League


The Peres Diary

Peres confers with Martin Luther King III

JERUSALEM (Press Release)—Israel’s President Shimon Peres met with Martin Luther King III in his office on Sunday, August 26. King is the son of the legendary Martin Luther King who was murdered in 1968 while leading a stubborn fight for complete equality between Blacks and Whites in the US.

King asked to meet with the President in order to tell him about the ramified activity that he is promoting all over the world, on behalf of equality among all races, religions and colors.

At the start of their meeting the President told King that he knew his father, whom he perceived as an extremely inspired leader who
proved that dreams can be turned into reality and, despite his
President Peres receives book from Martin Luther King III

murder, he left the US and the entire world a great heritage that denies discrimination on the basis of religion, color and sex, and stands for freedom and equality among mankind.

“I visited the US in the 1960s and I saw the manifestations of discrimination between citizens and today one can say that the great fight that your father waged was a success. People of all sexes, religions and colors hold the highest positions in American society, the economy and the establishment.
The sentence, ‘I have a dream’ has become a watchword of tremendous significance conveying a message to the whole world: It doesn’t matter what color a person’s skin is or what he believes in. Knowledge, talent and initiative are the things that will determine a person’s success in the modern era. I am extremely proud of the world and of the new order that your father achieved in his fight of behalf of each and every one of us,” said the President.

Martin Luther King III thanked the President warmly for his statements and said that whenever he visits Israel he is moved anew by the warmth and love of the Israelis. “Whenever I visit I learn new things from all of you,” he told the President, adding that at present, at a time when it seems as if there is once again a genuine chance for peace between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, he is keeping his fingers crossed and would like to contribute to the success of the peace process in any way he can.

King added that he is working to eradicate discrimination and violence in Darfur and is also operating a number of educational programs in South Korea. King said that around the world there are still severe manifestations of discrimination adding: “I, along with the people in my organization, which comprises my father’s longstanding activists and the children of leaders from around the world, continue to act and disseminate my father’s doctrine in every corner of the earth where we encounter discrimination.
King also mentioned the US Presidential elections and said that presidential candidate Barak Obama constitutes a role model and an American success story for many young people in the US, and his character and style are attracting hordes of activists who are interested in working alongside him and joining in his success. “The fact that a man like him is running for the topmost position in the US hierarchy is a source of hope for millions of other young people and proves that my father’s struggle was a success and that genuine social mobility exists in the US.”
At the end of the meeting King told the President that he thanks him for the meeting and would like to continue to meet with him on his subsequent visits to Israel as well. The President replied in the affirmative and the two men agreed on future mutual cooperation.

The office of Israel's President Shimon from time to time releases accounts of his official activities. We have been publishing them as they are made available.


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Israeli authorities arrest California fraud suspect

SHERMAN OAKS, California —California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner today announced the arrest of a Sherman Oaks man for insurance fraud, grand theft, identity theft, and federal charges. Moshe "Sanny" Assoulin, 35, was arrested in Israel on August 1  by Israeli National Police. Assoulin is an Israeli national who grew up in the San Fernando Valley.

"Insurance fraud results in higher premiums for all California consumers," said Commissioner Poizner. "My Department is committed to halting fraud perpetrators, and will continue to crack down on scam artists."

A warrant for Assoulin's arrest was issued in October 2005, following the results of an investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). The investigation revealed multiple fraudulent automobile insurance claims were allegedly submitted to car rental and insurance companies by Assoulin and co-conspirators. Nine defendants have pleaded guilty to various insurance fraud related charges in connection with this case. In May 2005, Assoulin was awaiting sentencing for federal charges when he became aware of CDI's insurance fraud investigation. At that point, Assoulin fled to Israel.

The CDI Fraud Division's 2005 investigation revealed that from 2000 to early 2002 Assoulin participated in a scam in which fraudulent insurance claims were submitted to car rental and insurance companies. Under the alleged scheme, a person would rent a vehicle from a car rental company and return it a day or two later with slight damage. The renter would report that he or she had accidentally struck a parked unoccupied vehicle. Another person would then contact the car rental company as the owner of the parked unoccupied vehicle, and submit a claim for property damages. The same vehicles with the same damages were used repeatedly in multiple claims.

One of the vehicles, a 1997 Mercedes Benz SL600, was used in ten claims, and various insurance companies paid more than $100,000 in settlements for alleged damages to the vehicle. The potential loss to the various car rental and insurance companies is estimated at nearly $500,000. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, as well as multiple car rental and insurance companies, assisted in the investigation.

The CDI Fraud Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration jointly submitted to Israel a request for the arrest and extradition of Assoulin through the US Department of Justice Office of International Affairs. The request was reviewed by the Israeli Ministry of Justice, and an Israeli arrest warrant was issued. On August 19, Israeli National Police located and arrested Assoulin. The Los Angeles County District Attorney is prosecuting this case.

The preceding story was provided by the office of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner


European Socialists join in protest of Magyar Garda

BRUSSELS (Press Release)— The chairman of the European Socialist Party issued a statement condemning the setting up of the Hungarian Guard. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark, called on the conservative European People's Party to issue a similar statement.

Hungary’s culture minister Istvan Hiller called on the Catholic, the Calvinist and the Lutheran churches to publicly declare their dissociation from the three church representatives who had blessed the flags of the Hungarian Guard at the swearing-in ceremony held Sunday in Budapest.

So far, all the three churches have said is that none of them sent representatives to the event. The deputy leader of the main opposition Fidesz, Zoltan Pokorni, said that the only real beneficiary of the establishment of the Hungarian Guard was Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, because the wave of protests sidetracked people from current ‘burning problems’ in the Hungarian economy. Pokorni said he did not know whether the Hungarian Guard was the brainchild of "well-meaning but thoughtless people," or "the deliberate calculation of built in provocateurs."

Earlier Gyurcsány sent a letter to the president of the World Jewish Congress stating that he would keep a close eye on the far-right Jobbik party's paramilitary arm, the newly formed ‘Magyar Garda’ [Hungarian Guard]. Gyurcsány's letter was a reply to a joint appeal from the presidents of the World Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder and Moshe Kantor, calling on him to do his utmost to prevent Jobbik from setting up an armed guard. Members of the Hungarian Guard wear black fatigues and use a flag associated with the WWII Hungarian Nazi party, which was responsible for thousands of Jewish deaths.

In his letter, Gyurcsány said he had declared a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for exclusion and all forms of incitement of hatred. He added that he had asked the country's president to voice an opinion on the matter and that he was seeking a political solution that would guarantee that far-right ideologies and movements would not find political allies or supporters in Hungary among members of the political parties with seats in parliament.

Last week, Gyurcsány had asked the country's chief prosecutor Tamas Kovacs to closely monitor the Hungarian Guard "with special attention ... and act without delay in case of acts counter to the laws in force or the Hungarian constitution." In a letter to Kovacs, Gyurcsány wrote "I share the opinion of those who say that the creation of the ‘Magyar Garda’, based upon the facts and statements known so far, carries with it the direct danger that our most important common values may be harmed – the respect for human dignity, the right to everyday life without fear and the respect for each other's culture, descent and world view,"

Following reports about the WJC/EJC letter in the Hungarian press, the president of the main opposition party Fidesz and former prime minister Viktor Orbán also wrote to Lauder and Kantor, saying that his party was “committed to the liberties and emancipation of individuals and their communities, including the Jewish community in Hungary, and the inviolable nature of their basic rights and freedoms.”, although the letter does not specifically mention the ‘Magyar Garda’.

In a letter to Gyurcsány, WJC president Lauder and EJC president Kantor had called the guard formation an “extremely alarming development.” They wrote that the “impending creation of an armed guard, under the false guise of ‘sporting and shooting clubs’, with uniforms resembling those worn by fascists in World War II,” was a danger to democracy and had to be stopped. The WJC and EJC presidents urged Gyurcsány to do his “urgent utmost to see to it that any political party which manifests expressions of hatred and bigotry, whether by speech, threats to arm, and other incitements to racial violence, is stopped.”

On 25 August the Hungarian Guard held a public swearing-in ceremony at Buda Castle, where Hungary’s president resides. The guard’s founder, Gabor Vona, said 300 people had applied to join the group. Fifty-six were reportedly sworn in at the ceremony. The uniforms of the guards carry the red and white Arpad stripes used by the pro-Nazi ‘Arrow Cross’ movement during World War II, whose members killed thousands of Jews and were involved in the deportation of hundreds of thousands to the Nazi death camps. Lauder and Kantor wrote that as a member of the European Union and the Council of Europe, the Hungarian government should “immediately take all the necessary steps to ban this threat.” Jobbik is not represented in the national parliament but has representatives on several local councils.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress 

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Polish bishops divided over leadership of Rydzyk

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland (Press Release) —Some Catholic bishops in Poland reportedly want the controversial priest Tadeusz Rydzyk removed as head of the country's influential right-wing ‘Radio Maryja’ station. However, a meeting of bishops in Czestochowa this weekend failed to take a decision on the matter according to a report in the ‘Rzeczpospolita’ newspaper.

Archbishop Jozef Michalik, the head of the Polish Episcopalian Conference, said that “it was not possible to judge a man because of an inconsiderate statement.”

The Redemptorist priest Rydzyk has become one of Poland's most controversial clergymen, following a number of anti-Semitic comments. Cultivating an audience of predominantly poor and elderly rural listeners, Radio Maryja has become a platform for right-wing politicians seeking voters. Rydzyk was most recently embroiled in a controversy over having apparently called Poland's first lady Maria Kaczynska a ‘witch.'

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress

Wiesenthal Center urges EU to withhold funds from
radio group while its headed by Tadeusz Rydzyk

LOS ANGELES—The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging the European Union to withhold a funding of a proposed $21.1 million (15.5 million Euros) grant to the controversial Polish Catholic media group Radio Maryja unless its outspoken anti-Semitic founder, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, is removed. 

The request was reportedly on the shortlist of projects being presented to the EU by Poland. “By funding a media entity that has served as a sounding board for extremists and headed by an anti-Semitic priest, the EU would be violating its own mandate and would in fact be helping to promote bigotry and anti-Semitism to the people of democratic Poland,” said  Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center.

Word of the request for the EU grant comes on the heels of reports in the Polish press the Catholic Bishops Conference in Poland will ask the worldwide head of the Redemptorist Order, to discipline Rydzyk, and to remove him as head of its Radio Maryja.

“The Jewish community and other friends of Poland hope that these reports are true and that Rydzyk’s superiors take this necessary and appropriate action. In doing this and making this move, the Catholic Redemptorist Order will deal a severe blow to the forces of intolerance,” concluded Rabbi Hier.

When recordings of antisemitic remarks made by Rydzyk were made public earlier this summer, the Wiesenthal Center launched a petition campaign where over 25,000 Center members called on the Polish bishops to discipline the priest. The Center was joined by other Polish theologians, intellectuals and politicians, including former Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who sent their own joint statement.

The preceding story was provided by the Simon Wiesenthal Center


              United States of America

AJCongress urges Bush appoint 'non-partisan' AG

NEW YORK (Press Release)—Richard Goron and Neil B. Goldstein, respectively president and executive director of the American Jewish Congress issued the following advice to President Bush in the wake of the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

The American Jewish Congress commends the decision of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, finally putting an end to the long controversy over his service.  By the time of his resignation, Mr. Gonzalez’ performance as Attorney General had become a major distraction, rendering untenable his continued stewardship of the Justice Department.

While we congratulate President Bush for the historic decision to appoint the nation’s first Hispanic American Attorney General, Mr. Gonzalez’ tenure proved to be disappointing -- marred by a pattern of decision-making that gave excessive weight to partisan political considerations and that appeared to smack of cronyism at the Department of Justice, rather than to professional management of the Department.

President Bush came to office promising that he would unify the people of our nation.  But his appointment of Mr. Gonzalez ended up leading to division, rather than helping to unite us.  Attorney General Gonzalez failed to build a national consensus on how to reconcile the Constitution’s protection of civil liberties and its guarantee of due process of law with the need to fight terrorism.  Too many Americans have concluded that the government erred by giving too little weight to civil liberties and, whether they are right or not, that widely-held belief has emerged as an obstacle to fair consideration of measures necessary to combat terrorism.  Mr. Gonzalez’ failure on that subject has been compounded by the scandal over the firing of U.S. attorneys that has created an impression of cronyism and the subjugation of the protection of due process of law to partisan political interests.  Attorney General Gonzales was at the center of both debates.

To restore faith in our system of laws, we therefore call on President Bush to appoint a person of the highest caliber to this important post, without regard to political affiliation and without regard to his or her past relationship to the President or his political party. The next Attorney General should be a fighter for the American people instead of a blind defender of the Administration that appointed him. We also call on the Senate, now dominated by the Democrats, to quickly confirm such a nominee once the White House makes its choice known.

The preceding story was provided by the American Jewish Congress.

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Columbus, Ohio, policewoman posts anti-Semitic videos; Anti-Defamation League makes protest

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Press Release)—The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned racist and anti-Semitic videos allegedly produced and posted to the Web site of an off-duty police officer from Columbus, Ohio.  The videos, posted to a site allegedly created by Columbus Police Officer Susan Purtee and her sister, Barbara Gordon-Bell of Florida, contain virulently racist and anti-Semitic expressions.

"We were deeply disturbed by the message of these videos, which is anti-Semitism, racism and hate," said Shari Kochman, ADL's Ohio Regional Director.  "It is frightening that such hateful views would be held by a member of the Columbus force.  We commend both Mayor Michael Coleman for acknowledging this as unacceptable conduct for a police officer and the Chief of Police for ordering an administrative investigation into the matter."

With titles such as "The Jews," "Ebonics" and "Cubans, Miami's Vice," the videos contain statements from the two women alleging that Jews backed busing, desegregation and civil rights so that they would have opportunities to make money.

In one video, titled "The Jew," a woman identified as Purtee is shown telling viewers that "as long as you're a Jew, you still have that feeling that everybody else is beneath you…the purpose of the Old Testament was to say that Jews are going to be the rulers of the world."  During the video, Gordon-Bell holds up a sign that says, "JEWS ARE THE PROBLEM."

In the video "The Jews, Part II," the women say that Jews are destroying America.  Other videos featuring the women contain racist and stereotypical remarks about African-Americans.

The preceding story was provided by the Anti-Defamation League


NCJW says Katrina recovery far too slow

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed its deep disappointment and frustration at the slow pace of recovery from Katrina on the Gulf coast, especially in New Orleans. NCJW President Phyllis Snyder released the following statement:

"On the second anniversary of Katrina, the pace of recovery on the Gulf Coast, particularly New Orleans, is excruciatingly slow. Housing and public services are still in dire straits. Public transportation is practically nonexistent, and the number of schools, hospitals, and child care centers reopened is grossly insufficient. Two years later, the lack of focus and urgency is inexcusable. By nearly every measure the recovery effort has fallen short.

"After Katrina, NCJW partnered with Women of the Storm, a broad based group of Louisiana women organized to bring congressional attention to the magnitude of the disaster there. With them, we again call on Congress and President Bush to jumpstart our failing recovery program with much-needed funds and expertise.

"NCJW remains in awe of the determination and resilience of so many in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to reestablish their homes and communities. With signs of devastation still overwhelming in many neighborhoods, it is clear that the efforts of government at all levels do not match the resolve of the people still there. As a nation, we must do better."

NCJW is a volunteer organization, inspired by Jewish values, that works to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families and to ensure individual rights and freedoms for all through its network of 90,000 members, supporters, and volunteers nationwide.

The preceding story was provided by the National Council of Jewish Women

A eulogy for Rabbi Judah Nadich, chaplain who interceded for Jews in displaced person's camp

By Alex Grobman, PhD

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. —Much will be written about Judah Nadich, rabbi emeritus of the Park Avenue Synagogue and founding board member and honorary trustee of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School who died last week. He was an icon in the Conservative movement.

During World War II, Rabbi Nadich was an American Jewish chaplain. After the liberation of Paris in August 1944, he served at the Office of the Theater Chaplain in the city. By virtue of his position, he became an unofficial spokesman on Jewish affairs for the foreign correspondents of the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and other members of the American press in the region.

He and other American Jewish chaplains alerted American Jewish organizations and leaders about the problems confronting the Jews of France: the need to return to the Jewish community the children who were placed in convents, on farms and elsewhere by parents who were no longer alive; the urgency of providing relief to a significant proportion of the Jews during the upcoming winter months; the importance of resolving legal issues of how to recover confiscated property and the legal status of foreign Jews in the country; and the difficulty of reuniting families.   

After Earl G. Harrison, a former U.S. Commissioner of Immigration, visited Germany and Austria to assess the condition of the Jewish DPs, his negative report about the plight of the Jews in Europe created a great deal of criticism throughout the U.S. President Harry S Truman was disturbed that military government officers had not provided the Jewish displaced persons (DPs) with proper housing or treated them humanely.

As a result, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, reluctantly agreed to assign a chaplain as special advisor on Jewish affairs to the Theater Commander of the U.S. Forces in Europe, until a prominent civilian could be appointed.

The need to respond immediately to Truman prompted Eisenhower to find a Jewish chaplain. Chaplains were already in Europe, knew the issues facing the DPs and understood how the army functioned.

Jacob Trobe of the American Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC) recommended Nadich to the position. Nadich was picked over another chaplain because of his experience at the Office of the Theater Chaplain, and because he had impressed him.

In his role as advisor, Rabbi Nadich also became the liaison between the army and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRRA), the JDC, the Jewish Agency, the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Congress, and other Jewish organizations in the U.S., Great Britain and Palestine.

On August 27, 1945, Nadich began a tour of the Zeilsheim displaced persons camp outside Frankfurt. Two days later he began an extended tour of the camps in Bavaria, and then two days in Berlin. He also made an extensive inspection around Heidelberg under the command of the Seventh Army.

Upon his return to Frankfurt, Nadich met with General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s chief of staff, highlighting the importance Eisenhower attached to Nadich’s mission.

Smith was disturbed to learn that in the Third Army area, under General George S. Patton, American soldiers stood guard at the gates of the DP camps, Jews had to obtain exit passes, only 10 percent of the camp population was permitted to leave at any one time, and the surrounding villages and towns were off limits to them.

Smith’s response was swift. He immediately called a number of the generals in the Third Army, including Patton, to demand that conditions be improved. On September 15, Smith conveyed the substance of Nadich’s report to Eisenhower.

After Eisenhower issued a memorandum to his commanders to provide the DPs with adequate housing, nourishing and sufficient food, allow them to guard the camps themselves, and make regular inspections to remove all incompetent personnel, Nadich explained why much more was needed, especially in the Third Army area.

Judge Simon Rifkind, U.S. district court judge, replaced Nadich after arriving in Frankfurt on October 22, 1945. Nadich remained for another three weeks to assist in the transition. He then returned to the U.S. where he was discharged from the army.

Rabbi Nadich later wrote about his experiences in his book Eisenhower and the Jews. The American Jewish chaplains played a vital role in helping the Shearith Hapletah, the remnant of the Shoah. Rabbi Nadich will be remembered for having been an advocate of the survivors at the highest level of the American military.

Tehey nafshoh tzerurah bitzror hachaim: May his soul be be bound in the bond of everlasting life.

Grobman wrote about Rabbi Nadich in his book Rekindling The Flame: American Jewish Chaplains and the Survivors of European Jewry 1944-1948.


The Jewish Grapevine                                                  

San Diego Jewish World appreciates and thanks those individuals and organizations which recommend stories of interest to the worldwide Jewish community:

Israel's Consulate General:
A YNet News article reporting that Gilad Shalit spent a second birthday in captivity since his capture in Gaza in June of 2005 by Hamas. He turned 21 years old today.  Here is the link.

Jay Jacobson: A briefing paper by Nick Francona of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Hamas' military capacity since the Gaza takeover.  Here is the link.

●Eliot Schubert:  A moving tribute by Captain Stephen Ellison, MD to the veterans and victims, including a Holocaust survivor, of World War II.  Here is a link.

Phil Snyder: An article by Sue Fishkopf of the Jewish Telegraph Agency appearing on Interfaith Family.Com about people who consider themselves "half-Jewish."  Here is the link.

United Jewish Communities: A story about how the Egyptian Actor's Union is investigating an actor who appeared in a film about Saddam Hussein in which the lead part was played by an Israeli.  Here is the link.


U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (Democrat, New Hampshire) said regulations drawn up by federal bureaucrats administering the children's health care program could deprive 2,000 children from poor families of coverage they are entitled to.  He said the law requires children to be enrolled if their families make less than three times more money than the poverty line.  But proposed rules would say before people who make three times the amount could be admitted to the program, more than 90 percent of people who make two and a half times the standard would have to be enrolled.  Such a high percentage almost never is reached, he said.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Democrat, New York), whose district includes the former site of the World Trade Center, today issued the following statement following the World Trade Center Health Registry’s findings that rescue and recovery workers who worked on the "pile" without respirators developed asthma at a rate 12 times above the normal population. "Today’s important findings from the New York City Department of Health again underscore the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency and other government actors failed the first responders and other workers at Ground Zero by not telling the truth about air quality and by not demanding absolute adherence to workplace safety measures. If any good is to come from this tragedy, the government must ensure that a plan is in place to properly protect the public health in the event of a similar catastrophe. The government must provide absolutely truthful environmental risk communications, and it must not give workplace safety regulations short shrift. I will continue to work with my colleagues to bring to light the truth about 9/11 air quality and to ensure that the federal government provide comprehensive, long-term health care to all those affected by the environmental aftermath of the 9/11 attacks."


(Return to top)

 News Sleuths:

Watching the media gathering
and reporting the news
of Jewish interest

Who: Tom Casey, deputy spokesman, U.S. State Department
What: U.S. reaction to today's meeting between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas
Where: U.S. State Department briefing room
When: Noon today
Source: U.S. State Department transcript

Can you say anything more Secretary Rice's discussions with Abbas and Olmert before their meetings yesterday? Specifically, I understand that President Abbas was asking for specifics related to the Middle East conference: where it will be, when it will be, that kind of thing. What was her response to that question?

MR. CASEY: Well, first of all, I'm going to let the players involved have a certain amount of privacy in their discussions. But again, let me just repeat a little bit of what I said this morning. These were opportunities for her to talk with the Prime Minister and the President about their upcoming meeting, to also encourage them to move forward and to make progress not only in dealing with some of the day-to-day issues that are out there, but again with issues that are on the political horizon. It's important that we do see progress made between the parties as we head towards a meeting later this fall with a variety of international players involved. And we think it's very positive and welcome that the President and Prime Minister have again had an opportunity to meet. I understand they will be doing so again a little bit later in September, so we look forward to those discussions continuing.

In terms of the specifics of what they discussed, what the Prime Minister and President discussed during their meetings, I -- at this point, I'll leave it to them to give you a fuller readout of it.

QUESTION: And there are no further details about the conference?

MR. CASEY: No, in terms of the international meeting itself, we are still working on specific dates and venue for it. Again, I think we are continuing consultations with not only the Israelis and Palestinians, but with a variety of other players in the region, including some of our friends and allies in neighboring states.


Click the ad above to go to the "I'm there for you baby" website


              Greater San Diego County

Back-to-school barbecue at Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School: food, fun, and sign-ups


SIGHTS AT SOILLE—Nu? Rabbi Avram Bogopulsky of Beth Jacob Congregation seems to be asking in top
left photo, what does one do at a back to school barbecue? Well, you could sign up for the PTA, and who
could say no to the young ladies at top right?  Or like Rabbi Simcha Weiser, headmaster of the school, at bottom left, you could have a delicious grilled kosher hot dog; or like Michael and Debra Rosen, middle; you could just kvell over your beautiful and growing family.  Or, if you're young enough, you could kick off your shoes and head for the jump house to work off a little excess energy.  On Wednesday, it is back to the books.

Chabad of University City will have Selichot concert, then music by three cantors over the High Holidays

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)— Israeli/American singer Bruce Brill will be performing in San Diego at a special pre-Selichot Concert on Saturday night, September 8 at 9:30 p.m., at the Chabad Center of University City, 3813 Governor Drive (Just west of Genesee)

Following the concert, Brill will speak about his life on the West Bank in Israel and its many challenges.  Tickets are $12 per person and will be available at the door.

Selichos prayers will follow at 12:45 a.m.  

The public is also invited to attend High Holiday services at the Orthodox/ Chasidic congregation for Rosh Hashana Sept. 13 and 14, and Yom Kippur Sept. 21 and 22.  Children's programs will be available during both holidays.

Rabbi Moishe Leider, spiritual leader of the congregation, said three gifted Cantors: Shlomo Fellus, Dovid Leider, and Tzvi Hillel Schwab, will participate in the services, promising to make the High Holidays exceptional.  He added that there will be lively singing in the Chassidic, Israeli and Carlebach traditions.

For more information on this and on the upcoming High Holidays, call us at 858-455-1670, or email us at Miriam@chabaduc.org

The preceding story was based on materials provided by Chabad of University City. 

{Marc Kligman, who combines being a sports agent with his life as an observant Jew, invites you to listen. Click on the ad above for more information}

Eileen Wingard, family to give Selichot concert

SAN DIEGO (Press Release) —Beautiful music will help prepare for the New Year at Ohr Shalom's Selichot services, Sept. 8,  at 8:30p.m. featuring retired San Diego Symphony Orchestra violinist Eileen Wingard accompanied by family members Myla and Lou Rosen.

Wingard will be playing viola and will be joined by her daughter,
Myla Wingard on violin and Lou Rosen, Myla's husband, on mandolin.   They will be playing two movements from a piece by Zikmund Schul (a young composer who perished in Terezin), some Klezmer piece(s), Flatbush Waltz and Los Bilbilicos.

Wingard is well known in the music and Jewish community, having played with the SD Symphony Orchestra, (recently retired), the SD Opera Orchestra and the La Jolla Chamber Orchestra.   Currently, she serves on the Music Committee of the SD Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family JCC and lectures for senior groups under the auspices of Jewish Family Service.

Myla Wingard, Jewish educator and entertainer, played with the San Diego Symphony for two summer seasons, substituted in the Jerusalem Symphony when she was in Israel,  performed for productions at the San Diego Repertory Theater, and is currently the violinist in Beth Israel's Shabbat Band. Lou Rosen, a Physical Medicine Doctor with Kaiser, plays guitar, mandolin and cello.  He is the bass guitarist with Beth Israel's
Shabbat Band.

The service is free and open to the public. Ohr Shalom is located at 2512 Third Ave (at Laurel) SD 92103.   For more information, please call (619) 231-1456.

he preceding story was provided by Ohr Shalom Synagogue


              Arts & Entertainment

People of the Books

It's the story of Kaiser Permanente—or is it?

Courage to Heal by Paul Bernstein, MD; Sunbelt Publications; 229 pages, $14.95. 

Reviewed by Norman Manson

SAN DIEGO—The controversy over health care, essentially involving managed care versus fee-for-service, remains one of the leading issues of current American life, a political hot potato in any number of campaigns. This has been true for several generations, and appears likely to remain in the forefront for the foreseeable future.

Thus, Dr. Paul Bernstein's Courage to Heal  is certainly a relevant work, for it traces the beginnings of the managed care concept during and shortly after World War II, as envisioned by Henry J. Kaiser, Dr. Sidney Garfield and their associates. Their long-running battle with the medical establishment, personified by the American Medical Association and its local branches, deserves to be remembered as a key element in the evolution of U.S. medical philosophy and practice.
However, Bernstein has chosen to write his account as a novel, and when a controversial issue is depicted in a work of fiction, the question inevitably arises: How much of the book is history, and how much is a figment of the author's imagination? This is the troubling conundrum that pervades Courage to Heal as one reads through it.
Bernstein details the bitterly disputed birth of  the first and probably foremost non-profit health care plan, Kaiser Permanente, which is still a leader in the field today.
Much of the credit for this institution deservedly goes to the man whose name still graces it, Henry J.Kaiser. It is somewhat ironic that, to the current generation, it is only through the health care plan that the name of Kaiser endures. For during and immediately after World War II, Kaiser was a towering figure in America's monumental drive to victory over Germany and Japan. Mainly through his unstinting efforts, our nation turned out the thousands of ships that carried men and materiel to the far-flung battlefronts. And, in the immediate postwar era, the Kaiser enterprise turned out automobiles, appliances and other products much in demand as the war generation returned to civilian life.

Still, it is the innovative idea of managed medical care, of preventive medicine rather than merely treating the sick, that forms the main thrust of this story. With Kaiser's aid and encouragement, a young physician named Sidney Garfield challenged the medical establishment and instituted a managed care plan, first for the employees of the burgeoning Kaiser industrial complex, and later for a multitude of other workers.
The virtually constant war waged by Kaiser, Garfield and their associates against the AMA and its local affiliates is what makes this book tick. There also are a few romantic boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl interludes as a sort of change of pace.

Kaiser and a few other characters obviously are the stuff of history. But how about some of Garfield's associates and his adversaries, not to mention Judy and Victoria, his intermittent love interests?

And Bernstein does take a few liberties with historical facts, most of them not vital in pursuing his narrative. He has Garfield driving up Highway 5 in 1949 - it didn't exist until the '60s. He discusses "the McCarthy trials" in 1949 - they didn't occur until well into the '50s. Finally - and this is an essential part of his story - he has Kaiser and Garfield going to Washington in 1949 to talk to the secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, a Cabinet department not established until 1953. Coming upon these factual errors stirs a degree of skepticism about other "facts" discussed.

Also, there is a little too much surgical terminology used, as it appears the author is seeking to shows off his erudition about surgical procedures. Some of this material is unintelligible to the lay reader, and makes for somewhat difficult reading.

Bernstein has latched on to a timely, provocative subject, but writing it as history rather than fiction would have given it more impact. While this book does stir the reader's interest, the subject could have been handled with more insight and clarity.


A Herald in Zion....
      Notes from Mevasseret Zion
Dorothea Shefer-Vanson

Dorel Golan is a pianist you'll be hearing from

MEVASSERET ZION, Israel—Dorel Golan. That’s a name to remember. We first heard this talented young pianist at a music festival in Eilat in the winter, where she played Saint Saens’ second piano concerto with an aplomb and virtuosity that belied her twenty-five years. While playing brilliantly she also managed to inject a sense of fun into the event, causing the audience to quiver with enjoyment. For an encore she played a riveting version of Mozart’s ‘Rondo alla Turca’ from his sonata no. 16, in which the variations and harmonies were quite unlike anything Mozart ever dreamed of, but which once again combined humour and musicality in a way that simply took one’s breath away.

Recently the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra series brought Dorel to Jerusalem, where she played the same concerto and concluded with the same encore. The somewhat more seasoned audience was entranced, once again, by the amazing power and musicality of this wraith of a girl.

When we took our seats near the back of the hall we noticed two gentleman deliberating in Russian over a camcorder on a tripod. The upshot of the conversation, which was conveyed to us in Hebrew, was that the owner of the camcorder had failed to charge the battery, and hence it would be impossible to record Dorel’s performance for posterity. “Never mind,” the other gentleman said, “she has it already. We recorded it at another performance.”

This aroused our curiosity, and in response to our enquiry it transpired that the gentleman in question was the pianist’s father. He was, of course, delighted when we told him that we had heard his daughter play some months earlier and had been mightily impressed.

Is this perhaps another of those ‘only in Israel’ incidents?


              Story continuations

Bush-Islamic Extremism...
(Continued from above)

Extremists would control a key part of the world's energy supply, could blackmail and sabotage the global economy. They could use billions of dollars of oil revenues to buy weapons and pursue their deadly ambitions. Our allies in the region would be under greater siege by the enemies of freedom. Early movements toward democracy in the region would be violently reversed. This scenario would be a disaster for the people of the Middle East, a danger to our friends and allies, and a direct threat to American peace and security. This is what the extremists plan. For the sake of our own security, we'll pursue our enemies, we'll persevere and we will prevail. (Applause.)

In the short-term, we're using all elements of American power to protect the American people by taking the fight to the enemy. Our troops are carrying out operations day by day to bring the terrorists to justice. We're keeping the pressure on them. We're forcing them to move. Our law enforcement and intelligence professionals are working to cut off terrorist financing and disrupt their networks. Our diplomats are rallying our friends and allies throughout the region to share intelligence and to tighten security and to rout out the extremists hiding in their midst. Every day we work to protect the American people. Our strategy is this: We will fight them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America. (Applause.)

In the long-term, we are advancing freedom and liberty as the alternative to the ideologies of hatred and repression. We seek a Middle East of secure democratic states that are at peace with one another, that are participating in the global markets, and that are partners in this fight against the extremists and radicals. We seek to dry up the stream of recruits for al Qaeda and other extremists by helping nations offer their people a path to a more hopeful future. We seek an Iran whose government is accountable to its people -- instead of to leaders who promote terror and pursue the technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. We seek to advance a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians so they can live side by side in peace and security. We seek justice and dignity and human rights for all the people of the Middle East.

Achieving this future requires hard work and strategic patience over many years. Yet our security depends on it. We have done this kind of work before in Europe. We have done this kind of work before in Japan. We have done this kind of work before -- and it can be done again. (Applause.)

The future course of the Middle East will turn heavily on the outcome of the fight in Iraq. Iraq is at the heart of the Middle East. And the two dangerous strains of extremism vying for control of the Middle East have now closed in on this country in an effort to bring down the young democracy.

In Iraq, Sunni extremists, led by al Qaeda, are staging sensational attacks on innocent men, women, and children in an attempt to stoke sectarian violence. Their operatives have assassinated those seeking to build a new future for the Iraqi people. Their targets include everyone they consider infidels -- including Christians and Jews and Yezidis and Shia, and even fellow Sunnis who do not share their radical distortion of Islam. Their ranks include foreign fighters who travel to Iraq through Syria. Their operations seek to create images of chaos and carnage to break the will of the American people. These killers don't understand our country. America does not give in to thugs and assassins -- and America will not abandon Iraq in its hour of need. (Applause.)

Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people. Members of the Qods Force of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are supplying extremist groups with funding and weapons, including sophisticated IEDs. And with the assistance of Hezbollah, they've provided training for these violent forces inside of Iraq. Recently, coalition forces seized 240-millimeter rockets that had been manufactured in Iran this year and that had been provided to Iraqi extremist groups by Iranian agents. The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased in the last few months -- despite pledges by Iran to help stabilize the security situation in Iraq.

Some say Iran's leaders are not aware of what members of their own regime are doing. Others say Iran's leaders are actively seeking to provoke the West. Either way, they cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis. The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops. I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities. (Applause.)

For all those who ask whether the fight in Iraq is worth it, imagine an Iraq where militia groups backed by Iran control large parts of the country. Imagine an Iraq where al Qaeda has established sanctuaries to safely plot future attacks on targets all over the world, including America. We've seen what these enemies will do when American forces are actively engaged in Iraq. And we can envision what they would do if we -- if they were emboldened by American forces in retreat.

The challenge in Iraq comes down to this: Either the forces of extremism succeed, or the forces of freedom succeed. Either our enemies advance their interests in Iraq, or we advance our interests. The most important and immediate way to counter the ambitions of al Qaeda and Iran and other forces of instability and terror is to win the fight in Iraq. (Applause.)

The transcript, including notations of when the crowd applauded, was supplied by the White House