The Cousin I Never Met: 10 Years After the Dolphinarium Discotheque Suicide Bomb Attack

I understand that this blog post is a tad premature, but given my upcoming D.C. trip and finals preparation, I thought I’d take the time to write about this and share my thoughts on this tragedy.

AP

June 1st, 2011 commemorates ten years since the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

On June 1, 2001, a Palestinian terrorist linked to Hamas and Hezbollah detonated himself at the popular Tel Aviv night club–killing himself, 21 young Israelis and injuring 132 other club-goers.

One of those victims killed was my relative Simona Rudina, who was 17 at the time.

Although I never met Simona, her death had an impact on me. I was ten years old when my family and I learned of her death.  Our relatives in Israel informed us of this horrible attack.  I recall family there enduring a lot of strife and pain following Simona’s death.  It was inconceivable and equally saddening to hear that a terrorist killed someone in our family.

Simona’s father (my dad’s second cousin) and my dad grew up together  in Vilnius, Lithuania, which is historically regarded as the ‘Jerusalem of the North’. She and her family immigrated from Lithuania to Israel. Aside from the United States, Israel was the only  refuge for Jews facing persecution in the former Soviet Union.

Israel was their new home and the freest place imaginable at the time. They never imagined living there with the expectation to encounter terrorism with attacks like this.

Simona and 20 other Israelis (mostly children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union) were waiting in line to get into the night club. Sadly, they never got that chance.

The victims killed are mentioned below:

  • Maria Tagiltseva, 14
  • Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15
  • Raisa Nemirovskaya, 15
  • Yulia Sklyanik, 15
  • Ana Kazachkova, 15
  • Katherine Kastinyada, 15
  • Irina Nepomnyashaya, 16
  • Mariana Medvedenko, 16
  • Yulia Nalimova, 16
  • Liana Saakyan, 16
  • Marina Berkovskaya, 17
  • Simona Rudina, 17
  • Alexei Lupalo, 17
  • Yelena Nalimova, 18
  • Irina Osadchaya, 18
  • Ilya Gutman, 19
  • Sergei Panchenko, 20
  • Roman Dzhanashvili, 21
  • Diaz Nurmanov, 21
  • Jan Bloom, 25
  • Uri Shachar, 32

This event took place during the Second Intifada, the most deadliest time in Israel’s history thus far.

The ‘Palestinians’ think they can break Israel’s spirit, but they are greatly mistaken. Endless terrorist attacks unleashed on Israelis have devastated the nation. Nevertheless, this particular terrorist attack, reportedly one of Israel’s worst terrorist attacks in the 21st century, helped consolidate the need to erect the West Bank Barrier. Israel is on the defensive and will not give up without a fight.

If that ‘Apartheid’ wall had not been erected, more civilians like my relative Simona Rudina would have been killed. Shamelessly painting that security fence and Israel as a terrorist tool and nation, respectively, is insulting and equally ironic in itself. (Remember, Hamas and similar ‘Palestinian’ groups do not recognize Israel nor do they recognize the Jewish people.)

With plans underway to make a ‘Palestinian’ state in September, the need to support Israel and her right to existence is crucial. Her aggressive neighbors and our current administration want to undermine her.

Giving a hateful, anti-Semitic group like the newly formed Fatah-Hamas coalition and awarding  legitimacy to the ‘Palestinian’ cause is ludicrous. Why must Israel continue to make concessions for peace? What will the ‘Palestinians’ relinquish in order to attain peace? The answer: nothing.

Here’s evidence why peace will never be achieved in the Middle East.

Luckily, Israelis understand that a return to 1967 borders is suicide: it leaves Israel with indefensible borders that largely parallels the haunting environment found in Auschwitz.

Like many pro-Israel activists, I’m not a card-carrying member of AIPAC nor am I an Israeli spy. I have been to many pro-Israel events and have fought tireless to defend Israel here at UCSD  to supplement my conservative activism (even when unpopular to do so). Whatever it means to be Jewish, (frankly, if you look like a Jew and come from a family of Jews, you are one) I know for a fact that I am one regardless of what people eager to disparage this fact say. Moreover, I love America and our nation’s lasting friendship with Israel; it must continue to thrive against all odds. Like it or not, Israel is a personal matter for many–myself included.

My cousin and others like her were ruthlessly killed by a zealous, hate-filled jihadist. Many, albeit less frequent, similar terrorist attacks since then have occurred in Israel, with the most recent being the Itamar murders. More importantly, the Hamas Charter explicitly calls for Israel’s destruction, the submission to Shar’ia Law, and death to infidels. Simply put, the ‘Palestinians’ are not fit to negotiate peace or have our respect.

If you honestly believe that the ‘Palestinians’ are civil enough to engage in peace talks, think again.

During his recent trip to the United States, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that Israel will maintain its current borders. He also urged the newly formed Hamas-Fatah coalition to recognize Israel.

Until the ‘Palestinians’ denounce their terrorist leaders and their respective actions, they should not be awarded a ‘Palestinian’ state.

If you wish to participate in the ‘Restoring Courage’ U.S. movement, now is the time to get on board.  Go to restoringcourageus.com to learn how to restore courage in the United States.

Stand with Israel and never forget.

SarahPAC Presents ‘One Nation’ Tour

Whether Sarah Palin is running for president or not, you have to give her kudos for this latest venture. Her group—SarahPAC–unveiled a bus tour that will travel tcities across America.

Go to SarahPAC.com to see if your city is listed under the ‘One Nation’ bus tour.

In the meantime, check out this awesome video.

Pundit Central Episode #2: Gabriella Hoffman, Andrew Staroska, and Rick Telfer

I was a guest on Landmark Report’s ‘Pundit Central’ on May 11th, 2011. LR editor Andrew Lawton invited me, Andrew Staroska of Truth About Bills, and social justice activist Rick Telfer of Canada to talk politics.

Go here to hear the full interview.

http://landmarkreport.com/landmark/2011/05/pundit-central-episode-2/

College Students Officially Kick Off ‘Restoring Courage’ U.S. Movement!

On The Rick Amato Show last night, Nicole J. Pearce and I both announced the ‘Restoring Courage’ U.S. movement to listeners.

Be sure to check out RestoringCourageUS.com to learn how you can get involved in your state.

If you missed the show, you can check out the clip below:

Full commentary from Nicole and I can be found here: http://amatotalk.com/blog/gabriella-hoffman-and-nicole-pearce-launch-restoring-courage-u-s/

‘Restoring Courage’ in Israel Rally…Coming to An American City Near You!

In conjunction with Glenn Beck’s ‘Restoring Courage’ Rally in Israel this August, Nicole J. Pearce and I have decided to start a grassroots movement to recruit conservative and pro-Israel activists to host rallies all over America to accompany this event.

Here’s more from Glenn Beck about the ‘Restoring Courage’ rally in Jerusalem:

Now that Obama has thrown Israel under the bus with proposed plans to facilitate the redrawing of Israel’s pre-1967 borders, it is critical that everyone who is pro-Israel get involved. It is also imperative for everyone to stand up for our nation and our allies.

To learn if your state is hosting a rally or if you want to spearhead a rally, be sure to check out our website to learn how to get involved: Restoring Courage US: http://restoringcourageus.com.

States with rallies planned so far: California, Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Oregon.

Guest Column: The Immorality of Illegal Immigration

My friend and fellow activist Mike Cunningham wrote about the perils of illegal immigration for a sociology class at Purdue University. I suggest you read it!

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“It simply is not moral[ly]or civically responsible to offer the American Dream to mass numbers of foreigners at the cost of denying it to the most vulnerable of our fellow Americans.”

1. Question:

Is an influx of immigration, especially illegally, a detriment to American society; moreover is it socially unethical, not only to the native born citizens of the United States, but to the migrants, especially?

Relevance to Sociology of Law:

An immigrant’s willingness to work unpopular jobs at lower wages presents a highly unethical master- slave relationship that hinders progress and deteriorates the standard of living for both native citizens and immigrants (legal and illegal). To be clear, the master-slave relationship exploits newcomers’ lack of skill (language barrier, manual labor, etc.) for cheaper production costs which in turn impedes advancement in technology, culture, and civility. Rather than being the “land of opportunity,” the immoral perpetuation of these habits actually cripples the newcomers; tarnishing the moral and economic structure of American society and diminishing the prestige of the “American Dream,” that says if you work hard you can achieve any level of success.

2. Evidence

a. The Immigration Act (The Immigration and Nationality Act) of 1965 abolished national quotas and substituted hemispheric caps with an annual limit from any nation. It also established a category of immigrants not subject to numerical restrictions: immediate relatives (parents, spouses, and children) of U.S. citizens, as well as visa allocations on a first-come-first-served basis (Daniels, 2008). While this act allowed for a wider variety of immigrants, some argue that “the U.S. has imported poverty through immigration policies that permitted and encouraged the entry and residence of millions of low-skill immigrants into the nation (Rector, 2006).” According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), “Out of all the adult immigrants admitted in 2000, 69 percent had no reported profession, occupation, or job at all. Of the immigrants that arrived between 2000 and 2007, 35.5 percent had less than a high school education, and another 24.6 percent had only a high school diploma. Immigrants admitted during 2000-07 trailed natives in rates of attaining college and advanced degrees, as well as a lower share that had attended some college (“Lower wages for,” 2010).”

b. Along with importing poverty, another argument that raises ethical questions involves the standard of living. Statistics provided by FAIR state that in 2007, immigrant children were two times more likely to be in poverty than natural born children (32.1 percent to 17.5 percent). The statistics on immigration and poverty went on to maintain that, compared to children of native born citizens, many immigrant children live in virtually the same environment that their families fled, often living in crowded housing (29 percent versus 7 percent) and paying modest amounts of the family income on rent or mortgage (14 percent versus 6 percent); they are more likely to be uninsured (22 percent versus 10 percent) and have no usual source of health care (14 percent versus 4 percent) (“Immigration and poverty,” 2010). In fact, in an article entitled “Third World Growth-California Style,” if Placer County, who has the same growth rate as third world countries such as Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Yemen, was a “country” having its 3.5% growth rate, there would be only eight other “countries” in the world with a larger rate of growth (“Third world growth,” 2010). Areas with these extremely high growth rates will struggle to maintain a good quality of life for its inhabitants in ways of infrastructure, resources, and other justifiable means. These statistics beg the question: is it morally right to perpetuate the “stacking” of human beings; furthermore, is it ethical to advertise America as a place to start a new and better life, when it hosts these ever-growing Third World conditions?

c. “The level of immigration is so massive, it’s choking urban schools …It’s bad enough when you have desperate kids with U.S. backgrounds who require massive resources. In come kids with totally different needs, and it creates crushing burdens on urban schools.”-David W. Stewart, author of Immigration and Education: The Crisis and Opportunities (“Immigration and school,” 2002). With America being the “land of opportunity,” one would think that our education system could actually improve the standard of living of the children of immigrants. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, in high immigration areas like California, about 14 percent of schools exceed their capacity by six to 25 percent, and eight percent exceed it by more than 25 percent (“Immigration and school,” 2002). Thinking rationally, more people require more resources. However, overcrowding puts a heavy strain on the resources that are allocated by the federal government, which means that the schools and the students that they possess will fail to reach their full potential. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, “over 90 percent of the recent immigrants come from non-English speaking countries; in 1998, there were 3.2 million public school students with no proficiency in English, almost twice as many as there were in 1990 (“Immigration and school,” 2002).” This simply means that the students that attend these schools, if they are lucky enough to graduate, will not be properly equipped to enter the English-speaking American workforce; crippling them and pigeonholing them for low wage, unskilled occupations.

d. Besides crippling the immigrant population, both legal and illegal, there is evidence that competition based on a larger migrant population seriously impedes the under-skilled American populace. In an article entitled, “Jobs Americans Won’t Do? A Detailed Look at Immigrant Employment by Occupation,” Steven Camarota and Karen Jensenius take note of jobs that are usually thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant that are actually occupied by a native-born majority. Camarota and Jensenius maintain that, “most natives do not face significant job competition from immigrants; however, those who do tend to be less-educated and poorer than those who face relatively little competition from immigrants (Camarota, & Jensenius, 2009).” The often made argument that immigrants do the jobs that American’s don’t want is proven dramatically wrong. While skilled (educated) workers might not aspire to be a maid, janitor, or construction worker, for the under-educated- it may be all that they have. As Julian L. Simon said in his piece, Immigration to the United States Should Be Increased, “The logic is simple: if the number of jobs is fixed, and immigrants occupy some jobs, there must be fewer available jobs for natives (Simon, 1995).” Rosemary Jenks put it best when she said, “It simply is not moral[ly]or civically responsible to offer the American Dream to mass numbers of foreigners at the cost of denying it to the most vulnerable of our fellow Americans (Jenks, 2011).”

e. In a capitalist society, competition drives down prices; the same applies with how much the employer is willing to pay their employee. If unskilled American workers want to work for higher wages, but it is much cheaper for production to hire unskilled immigrants who will work for less, it only makes sense to pay the lower wage for the same quality. Once that happens, the wage limit is set, and those unskilled Americans either have to work for the lower wage or not earn anything at all. This rationalization is the basis of exploitation and master-slave relationships between employers and immigrants. A perfect example of this took place in the tomato industry in the 1980’s. A collection of unionized lawful border crossers worked in the San Diego county tomato crop picking business for many years, making $4.00 an hour in 1980. As time went on, the farmers changed to a team of illegal workers and cut the wage to $3.35, in order to save some money. Many of the veteran workers refused to work at the reduced rate and were displaced from the tomato fields indefinitely (“Immigration and job,” 2010). Another example of exploitation happened in January of 2008 in San Diego when, “at least three Mexican illegal aliens were forced to work as day labors after being smuggled into the county. If they refused, they were threatened with arrest (“Fair’s immigration 101,” 2010) .” This master-slave exploitation is unethical in more ways than one.

f. Another argument involving exploitation and master-slave relationship is the ever increasing wage gap between rich and poor. Marxists might call this the “haves vs. the have-nots.” The Council of Economic Advisors, 1993 Annual Report to the President stated,” The number of people in immigrant households living in poverty tripled from 2.7 million in 1979 to 7.7 million in 1997. Between 1979 and 1997, immigrant households increased their representation in the U.S. population by 68 percent; but over that same period, their share of the total poor population increased 123 percent. The growth in immigrant-related poverty accounted for 75 percent of 3 million of the total increase in the size of the poor population between 1989 and 1997 (“Immigration and income,” 2002).” Furthermore, in high immigrant populated areas, the disparity between rich and poor was far greater than the disparity between lower immigrant populations (“Immigration and income,” 2002). These findings show that there is a positive correlation between high immigration and larger income disparities. It should be noted that it is immoral to allow a higher population of immigrants to be placed at an automatic disadvantage.

3. Open Issue

The main issue that my research could not resolve is the relative nature of morality in respect to immigration. To be clear, no data can put a definitive number on how ethical or unethical an influx in immigration actually is. Through my research, I found it hard to find an answer to my question of ethics in the master-slave relationship that often occurs between employers and America’s unskilled immigrants. The ethical implications of both of these are extremely important, especially to the normative decision makers that base their decisions on values. In order to obtain more conclusive data in these terms, one might conduct an ethnographical or observational study on both immigrants and native citizens in high and low immigration territories to measure the different effects.

Sources:

Camarota, S.A., & Jensenius, K. (2009, August). Jobs americans won’t do? a detailed look at immigrant employment by occupation [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://cis.org/illegalImmigration-employment Daniels, R. (2008, April 03).

The immigration act of 1965: intended and unintended consequences of the 20th century [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.america.gov/st/educ-english/2008/April/20080423214226eaifas0.9637982.html

Fair’s immigration 101 [Web log message]. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/DocServer/immigration101.pdf?docID=422

Immigration and income inequality [Web log message]. (2002, October). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=23334&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1010

Immigration and job displacemet [Web log message]. (2010, June). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16983&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1017

Immigration and poverty [Web log message]. (2010, June). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16936&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1010

Immigration and school overcrowding [Web log message]. (2002, October). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16935&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1010 Jenks, R. (2011, January).

A less restrictive immigration policy is morally and civically best for america [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/issues/american-workers/less-restrictive-immigration-policy-morally-and-civically-best-america

Lower wages for american workers [Web log message]. (2010, June). Retrieved from http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16973&security=1601&news_ iv_ctrl=1017 Rector, R. (2006, October 25).

Importing poverty: immigration and poverty in the united states: a book of charts [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/10/importing-poverty-immigration-and-poverty-in-the-united-states-a-book-of-charts Simon, J. (1995).

Immigration to the united states should be increased. In B. Leone (Ed.), Immigration Policy (pp. 60). San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, Inc.

Third world growth — california style [Web log message]. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/issues/environment/third-world-growth-california-style.html

Dear GOP: Who will defeat Obama in 2012?

***Editors Note: This article was published in our May issue of the California Review.

Conservatives, Libertarians, Republicans, independents, and blue dog Democrats are coming to a consensus: American voters must oust President Obama from office in 2012.

With countless attacks on the Constitution, an exorbitant debt, a blatant disregard for laws in place, a third war in Libya, appeasement to our enemies, fabricated class warfare, posing roadblocks to fixing the budget, and prompting a host of other problems, Barack Obama has proven to be one of the worst Presidents in our nation’s history..

It is obvious that President Barack Obama has had his eyes glued to a second term from the beginning, so his bid for reelection was expected. However, rather than “hope and change,” he has arguably brought us “doom and gloom.” With this in mind, many signs point to Obama’s possible defeat in 2012.

In the coming months Republicans will have a pool of candidates to select from, but they must select one who will successfully challenge and defeat Obama.

A profile of prospective Republican candidates is outlined below:

Rick Santorum: A former Pennsylvania congressman and senator, Rick Santorum would be a candidate who brings legislative experience to the table. A strong fiscal and social conservative, Santorum would garner favorability among stalwarts on the Right. He is known for his opinionated and equally controversial remarks. Yet, his lack of name recognition could weaken his chances.

Newt Gingrich: As a former Speaker of the House, Gingrich has the political acumen to lead. He co-authored the Contract with America in 1994 during the Republican Revolution, and helped usher in a balanced budget amendment to the 1999 federal budget. Nevertheless, his three marriages, collaboration with Nancy Pelosi to combat climate change, and embrace of the Republican establishment will make it difficult for him to secure the nomination.

Sarah Palin: Former Alaska governor and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is slated to run for President. Her whit, beauty, and intelligence have resonated with conservatives and Tea Party activists. If she decides to run, she will have an advantage with her name, her likeability, and her firebrand speeches. Unfortunately, Palin will be scrutinized for her celebrity status and will be subject to vicious attacks from the liberal media if she decides to run.

Tim Pawlenty: As a popular two-term Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty has the executive experience needed in a candidate. He is a fiscal and social conservative liked by many. Unlike many prospective candidates in the GOP field, Pawlenty is adept in his extensive use of social media—a skill that is needed in order to win the White House in 2012. Challenges include his anonymity among Americans and his perceived blandness.

Mitt Romney: Dubbed the GOP “frontrunner”, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is undoubtedly running for President. Romney is known for his economic prowess and for managing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Although he has a colorful record, Romney will have difficulty garnering the nomination due to RomneyCare, his religious affiliation, and his tendency to flip-flop on critical issues.

Mike Huckabee: A popular favorite among conservatives, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is likely to run in 2012. Huckabee could easily succeed with appeal from social and fiscal conservatives. He is an ardent supporter of Israel, and maintains the Fox News Channel Show Huckabee each weekend. Nevertheless, he will be challenged on his record for giving clemency to criminals during his tenure as Governor.
Mike Huckabee has decided he will not run for president in 2012.

Herman Cain: A popular radio talk show host and well-known businessman, Herman Cain is seen as a “wild card” candidate. Cain is a straight forward, yet equally polished orator. He is a popular speaker at events nationwide. He previously served in the Federal Reserve and ran for the Georgia U.S. Senate race in 2004.

Donald Trump: Real estate tycoon and Celebrity Apprentice star Donald Trump is expected to run in 2012. Lately, Trump openly challenged Obama over his birthplace. However President Obama discredited The Donald’s attack when Obama released his long form birth certificate in late April. In addition, there is substantial evidence to discredit his conservatism: exorbitant donations to Democrats, praise of universal healthcare, and his three marriages.
Donald Trump has decided he will not run for president in 2012.

Ron Paul: Seasoned Texas Congressman Ron Paul is a perennial candidate known for his libertarian beliefs. His most notable positions include disbanding the Federal Reserve and ending American occupation abroad. Paul is also an important Tea Party favorite. His shortcomings rest in his age and his remarks on a non-interventionist foreign policy that have irritated some Republicans and conservatives.

Michele Bachmann: House Tea Party Caucus founder and lawyer Michele Bachmann has expressed interest in running in 2012. She has already traveled to many key states, including Iowa and New Hampshire, which hints a likely presidential run. Additionally, Bachmann is very conservative in her beliefs and has served as a foster parent.

Mitch Daniels: Hailing from the Hooiser state, Governor Mitch Daniels is considering a bid for the presidency. He is responsible for balancing Indiana’s budget and has been praised as a fiscal hawk. This trait will be attractive to Republicans, with the deficit being the most pressing issue today. Nevertheless, his “truce” on social issues will possibly turn off some social conservative voters.

Gary Johnson: Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is slated to jump into the 2012 race. Like Ron Paul, Johnson has a pronounced libertarian streak. He is a proponent of marijuana decriminalization and school voucher programs. During his tenure as governor, Johnson slashed the size of New Mexico’s government and produced a budget surplus estimated at $1 billion dollars.

Gabriella is a junior in Eleanor Roosevelt College majoring in political science.

Beck Rally 2: “Restoring Courage” In Israel

After last year’s success with the ‘Restoring Honor’ (8/28) Rally in Washington, D.C., Glenn Beck is getting ready to host another empowering event. This time, Beck and company will be ‘Restoring Courage’ in Israel this August.

What a great idea! Our relationship with Israel will and must continue to thrive. Thank you, Glenn Beck, for this!

Beck reveals details about the event in the following clip: