Israel Demonstrates Lack Of Character in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

My very first post on this blog in July 2007 addressed a Middle East problem, the larger aspect of it that has not been resolved in these 14 years. The recent international headlines testify to that fact. Then it concerned a soldier captured in Israel and taken to Gaza, while now the tensions are rightfully high as Israeli efforts to remove Palestinians from strategic parts of Jerusalem continue.

In 2007 I wrote that Israel through its actions only invites more anger and resentment by Arabs pointedly stating, the harsh reality is that at some point soon America needs to have a stern conversation with Israel.

Israel desires to have complete Jewish control over East Jerusalem. That is, obviously, unacceptable.

Most newspaper readers are now aware of a single Jerusalem neighborhood that is central to the larger thrust by the current right-wing movement in Israel to again marginalize and damage the lives of Palestinians. As the news was being reported late this afternoon Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, had fired rockets at Jerusalem. Then Israeli airstrikes left at least 20 Palestinians, including nine children, dead.

That offense followed Israeli soldiers raiding and actually launching grenades inside the Aqsa mosque. Let me put that in the most basic and clear context I can. That site is the Islamic world’s equivalent to the Vatican. That is the level of behavior that Israel now engages in, and somehow think the world will accept.

One word, again, sums up the actions by Israel.

Proportionality.

And with that word comes mine from over a decade ago. Israel through its actions only invites more anger and resentment by Arabs.

What Israeli government officials are allowing to happen in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem is appalling, immoral, heartless, soulless, and without anything other than pure meanness as a guiding force. Homes, families, children, pets, lives, aspirations, and plans for the future are being tossed aside as Jewish residents eye the homes and property of Palestinians. Hmmm…what does that sound like from the pages of history? Is it any wonder that many support Hamas and their threats to respond to Israeli provocations in Jerusalem?

The headlines now are catching the attention of many readers but the ills that have been caused from years of tyranny from Israel towards Palestinians also need noting. Israeli restrictions on building permits in East Jerusalem, as just one clear example, have forced Palestinian residents to either leave the city–which they should not need to do– or to build illegal housing and risk demolition.  See, I do not think that is how a ‘Godly ordained” country should act.

The Israeli occupation has been a decades-long cancer that has crippled and severely damaged the long-term interests of the rightful residents of the land–the Palestinians. To remedy, in part the behavior of the right-wing government in Israel there should be a severe cutting in the US taxpayer funding of the regime. While that will not happen due to the control of the Israeli lobby, the truth remains that nation has been a constant ache to everyone since 1967 and their wars aimed to take over lands they did not own.

That source of trouble is now front and center as it inflicts damage on the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The world stands with the men, women, and children who live there. And should be able to continue to do so.

And so it goes.

Brett Favre Needs To Pay Back Mississippi Welfare Fund…Should Not Cheat System Of $600,000

The last time Brett Favre was mentioned at length on this blog he had made news for sending pictures of his penis to a former New York Jets game-day hostess. At the time, I asked if his penis tap danced or did tricks…otherwise, why would anyone care to see it? The NFL had fined Favre, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback, $50,000 for a “failure to cooperate” with the investigation into the matter.

Why his tawdry behavior even made this blog was that the episode simply was not the type of behavior that we should expect from someone who is termed ‘a hero’ by too many impressionable young boys.  It has long been a sore point of mine when national role models succumb to the dark side after having been presented to the public as images our nation’s kids should emulate.  In reality, there are limited national figures in our country who have the qualities and characteristics that most parents would want their child to look up to, or model their lives after.

The act by Favre against Jennifer Sterger was sexist, and I stated the NFL League needed to deal with the matter in a strong fashion. I also noted that Favre not providing answers to the investigators was a mere tactic as he had ‘lawyered up’ and simply had no self-defense for his new found love for photography.

Now comes another episode featuring Favre which is embarrassing for anyone to even read about.

A year after promising to pay back $1.1 million in welfare money he received, Brett Favre has yet to pay back $600,000 of that money — and he’s not under a formal agreement to do so. (At the same time as the agency was doling out the grants more than 98% of individual applications for welfare were denied by the agency.” )

Favre voluntarily repaid the state of Mississippi $500,000 in May 2020 after the state auditor’s office found that a nonprofit paid the retired NFL quarterback welfare money for speeches he never gave.

Logan Reeves, spokesperson for the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor, said no one in the office has spoken to Favre since he made his promise and paid the $500,000.”There is no update to provide,” Reeves said. “He made the commitment which was in our press release a year ago today. He made the commitment to continue repaying the remainder of the $1.1 million after he made the $500,000 remittance.

“Favre received funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in 2017 and 2018, according to a report the auditor released in May 2020. The money came through the Mississippi Department of Human Services and a nonprofit, the Mississippi Community Education Center.

The money that went to Favre was only a fraction of the tens of millions of dollars the Mississippi Department of Human Services was doling out in block grants for nonprofits. The block grants allowed private, nonprofit organizations to handle millions in taxpayer money that had loose guidelines on how to spend it.

And just to press the point I repeat, At the same time as the agency was doling out the grants, more than 98% of individual applications for welfare were denied by the agency.

Reading about Favre, and the larger issue of role models and children makes me think of a song from decades ago. A snippet below from Where Have All Our Heroes Gone?

This country needs a lotta things today friends,
But it doesn’t need any one thing anymore than it needs some real heroes,
Men who know what it means to be looked up to by a grimy faced kid,
Men who wanna sign autograph books and not deal under the table

And so it goes.