Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's very clear...

AIPAC still dominates in Washington and that's not about to change any time soon.
Israel's national security is predicated on three strategic pillars: The commitment, resolve and resilience of Israel's people; the Israel Defense Forces and other defense agencies; and the "special relationship" with the United States. All three face serious challenges today.

The U.S.-Israel relationship is largely unparalleled in history, one carefully nurtured over decades and in which AIPAC has played a vital role. It is a relationship under attack from numerous quarters, including pro-Arab and generally left-leaning groups, renowned scholars who write scurrilous attacks on the "Israel lobby," and others. It is a relationship showing increasing signs of "Europeanization," where it seems Palestinians and Arabs can do no wrong, Israel no right.

It is a relationship weakened by well-meaning but dangerously misguided Jewish Americans who established the group J Street as a "moderate" alternative to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

My beef is not over the issues. On some I agree with J Street. It is about the best ways of ensuring the long-term vitality of the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the security and well-being of Israel.

It is presumptuous of our brethren in the United States, and frankly offensive, for them to believe that they "know better" what is right for Israel. The Jewish state is a vibrant, pluralistic democracy. Only Israel's citizens, who endure the consequences, bear the responsibility for its policies. The place to change Israel's policies is in Israel, not Washington. A corollary of sovereignty is the right to err. We waited for that right for 2,000 years.

J Street's stated position -- that it "supports political solutions over military ones" regarding the Palestinians and "strongly opposes the use of force by Israel or the U.S." against Iran -- is the height of presumption and chutzpah. So was its position earlier this year, during the Gaza operation, when it opined that "escalation will prove counterproductive" and called for an immediate cease-fire.

We all prefer diplomatic solutions. Sometimes it is not entirely up to us; sometimes there is no recourse but military action. The residents of Sderot, now enjoying their ninth months of relative quiet, might question the military expertise behind J Street's assessment. Israel and only Israel will decide whether to attack Iran's nukes.
Go read the op-ed in full.

A related article in The Forward on J Street and their credentials problem.

Jason Segel, star of How I Met Your Mother, shows he has a serious side.
"I think the key is to keep treating him normally and not change the way you would normally talk to someone just because they have cancer," Segel said at the launch of Lacoste's 2009 Pink Croc collection, which benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Turning the subject over to Funny People, here's what's due out on the DVD being released on Nov. 24, 2009:
Throughout the production of the film, Judd Apatow and his entire production
team were mindful of home entertainment audiences, gathering exclusive footage
of the filmmaking process and creating special features that they knew fans
would love. Accordingly, both the two-disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray(TM) and
DVD come loaded with exclusive bonus features, including:
- Hilarious gag reels
- Deleted & Extended / Alternate Scenes
- Line-O-Rama: Re-watch some of the movie's funniest scenes, but this time with alternate punch lines
- Feature Commentary with director Judd Apatow and stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen
- Documentaries:
- Funny People Diaries: A documentary in four parts which takes audiences inside all aspects of the filmmaking process from early cast table reads and joke brainstorming sessions, to the various filmmaking techniques employed throughout the production.
- Judd's High School Radio Show
- Raaaaaaaandy!: This mockumentary takes fans on the road with Aziz Ansari's Randy character from the film.
- Music from Funny People: Listen to music from and inspired by the film from James Taylor, Adam Sandler, Jon Brion and RZA
- From the Archives: Watch Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow on a 1990
episode of The Midnight Hour with Bill Maher; Sandler's first appearance on David Letterman; and Seth Rogen doing stand up at 13!
- The Films of George Simmons: Watch footage from George Simmons'
greatest films including Sayonara Davey and Merman
- Prank Call 1990: Watch Sandler as he performs an actual prank phone call, in this archival footage from Judd Apatow's personal video library
- "Yo Teach...!": Go "behind-the-scenes" of "Yo Teach...!", the television show featured in the film Funny People

Funny People on Blu-ray(TM) Hi-Def includes everything on the two-disc
Collector's Edition DVD, plus more exclusive content and interactive features,
- Enjoy more hilarious laughs with two more Line-O-Rama's
- Watch additional Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes
- Additional music and an extensive look at James Taylor on the set
- Over an hour of stand up performances by the film's cast
-Additional archival material including Sandler's second Letterman appearance, Sandler at Los Angeles' famed Comedy & Magic Club and Judd Apatow performing on The Dennis Miller Show
-Hilarious prank calls from Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow
-Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow's appearance on "Charlie Rose"
-U-Control(TM): Funny People music: Universal's exclusive signature feature puts the viewer just a click away from additional insights into the music in the film without ever leaving the movie.
-BD-Live(TM): Access the BD-Live(TM) Center through any Internet-connected player to download more exclusive content, the latest trailers and more!
-My Chat: Using any Internet-connected player, host a text chat with friends while watching the movie in synchronization
-My Funny People Commentary: Create play-by-play video, audio or
text movie commentary and share it with friends through and the BD-Live Center
-My Scenes Sharing: Bookmark favorite scenes from the movie to
share with BD-Live buddies

The Funny People single disc DVD includes a gag reel and feature commentary with director Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

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