Many people are questioning the actions of Israel, recently and, at least here in America, questioning Israel’s actions can generate accusations of being Anti-Israel, which in turn generates accusations of Anti-Semitism.

But Israel is not just an ideal, it is a country, a political, democratic entity, accountable to not only its own citizens but — as the Zion of old — to all the Jews in the diaspora.

Questioning, even criticizing, the actions of the Israeli government is no more Anti-Israel than criticizing the actions of the President or Congress in the U.S. is Anti-American.  On the contrary, open criticism of the government — of any democratically elected government — is crucial to the democratic process.


Liberal Zionism compels us to criticize Israel for her flaws

My devotion to Israel can be unconditional, even if I am critical – sometimes harshly critical — of Israeli policies that make no sense.

By Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie | Feb. 19, 2015 | 6:25 PM |  1



An Israeli flag and flowers placed outside the Copenhagen synagogue, February 15, 2015. Photo by AP


This is Zionism’s moment. It would be nice if the neo-cons could get it right.

In the February issue of Commentary magazine, the flagship publication for Jewish neo-conservatives, the lead article is a lengthy editorial entitled “The Existential Necessity of Zionism after Paris.” It begins as a rousing and inspirational embrace of Zionism. But alas, the piece quickly becomes simply another attempt to bash Zionists of a more liberal persuasion and to misrepresent Zionism in the process.

All of this is too bad because this should be a time for lovers of Israel to join forces. The dangers are clear to us all. European Jew haters, having slaughtered Jews in Paris, have moved on to another country and another target: Copenhagen. Which Jewish community will be next?

Jews have every right to live in France and in Denmark, of course. And if they make this choice, they are entitled to the protection of their governments. But the fact is that their ability to live in a European state — any European state — with a reasonable measure not only of security but of serenity is very much in doubt. People are out to kill them, and civil authorities have shown themselves unable or unwilling to come to their defense.

What all this means is that the Zionist founders, Europeans all, were right. Theodor Herzl, writing in 1896 of European Jews in a little pamphlet entitled “The Jewish State,” made the case succinctly:

“In vain are we (Jews) loyal patriots, our loyalty in some places running to extremes; in vain do we make the same sacrifices of life and property as our fellow citizens… In countries where we have lived for centuries we are still cried down as strangers…”

What the Jews must have, wrote Herzl, is a state of their own, and he offered a practical program to make this happen. Following the murderous lunacies of the Holocaust, that state was finally created, and Holocaust survivors and endangered Jews of Arab lands flocked to its shores. Ironically, the horrors of Nazi exterminations convinced many well-meaning people that what had happened once could not possibly happen again. Israel was a blessing, the argument went, but the world has learned its lesson, and the Jewish Diaspora is now secure.

But, outside of the United States, this was not true, and recent events in Europe have demonstrated yet again the precariousness of Jewish life. And they have made clear as well the absolute necessity of Zionism as Herzl and his successors understood it.

Herzl, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, and Ben-Gurion were realistic men with down-to-earth goals. Despite their considerable differences, they all believed that the first priority for Zionism is to normalize Jewish existence. This meant not being distracted by messianic visions or extremist ideologies but giving priority to the fundamentals of state-creation and state-building. Whatever else happened, the Jews must have the apparatus of a state, an army to fend off their enemies, and borders that would be open to any Jew, at any time, and for any reason.

And because of the single-mindedness of its leaders, Zionism succeeded. The Jews, after 2,000 years, again govern themselves, defend themselves, and provide a safe haven to Jews anywhere. Diaspora Jewry faces many challenges, but its most important task by far is defending the State of Israel. And a century from now, when historians make their judgments about the mettle of American Jewry, nothing else will matter if American Jews have not done enough to assure Israel’s survival.

The Commentary article says this, more or less. And if it had said only this, I would have applauded. But it quickly moves from celebrating and affirming Zionism to attacking those in the Jewish world who do not share their right-wing perspective. Their argument goes like this: Right-wing Zionism is “practical Zionism,” while left-wing Zionism is “conditional Zionism.” Right-wing Zionism supports Israel no matter what, while left-wing Zionism supports Israel only if she fulfills leftwing fantasies of peace and justice. Right-wing Zionism sees Israel as a necessity to repulse anti-Semites, while left-wing Zionism sees Israel as an instrument to save the world.

Such arguments are a caricature and a joke. I believe, as the Commentary editors do, in “unconditional Zionism.” Zionism is not a fad or a flavor, to be embraced according to one’s whims. But Commentary confuses “unconditional” Zionism with “uncritical” Zionism. And this is absurd. My devotion to Israel can be unconditional, even if I am critical — sometimes harshly critical — of Israeli policies that make no sense.

No less absurd is the claim that the right is the voice of “practical Zionism.” If only it were so. The tragedy of right-wing Zionism is that it has ceased to be practical in any way whatsoever. The obsessive settlement building of the Israeli right contributes not a whit to Israel’s security and undermines her ties to allies and friends. Continued settlement building is not a practical plan but an ideology gone wild.

And no less impractical are the laughably inept policies of the Israeli right that poison Israel’s relations with the great powers, in particular the United States. Herzl and Jabotinsky, founders mentioned by Commentary as “practical,” worked ceaselessly to cultivate understandings with the great powers of their day. They believed that only such alliances could provide salvation for the Zionist movement. The arrogant dismissal by today’s right-wing Zionists – both in Israel and the Diaspora – of close, cooperative ties with Israel’s American patron is not “practical.” It is shocking and crazy.

If the neo-cons want to proclaim the existential necessity of Zionism after Paris, I’m with them. If they want this Zionism to be unconditional, I’m with them again. And I’m realistic enough to know that only a tough, muscular Zionism will suffice in a dangerous world. But the “practical Zionism” that they admire is not to be found on the right. If it exists anywhere, it exists on the center-left. And if Israel is threatened today from within, it is not by the messianic visions of the Zionist left but by the extremist ideologies of the Zionist right.

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie served as president of the Union for Reform Judaism from 1996 to 2012. He is now a writer, lecturer and teacher in Westfield, New Jersey. 


Frozen Niagara Falls

Frozen Niagara Falls draws tourists

The Power of Words Award

I have designed this award because so many feel they can’t change the world. They can. You can. Your words, your blog can educate, raise awareness, change opinions and raise spirits. Through your blog you are reaching people you may never have effected any other way.


So this is for all who click away on the computer with a heart full of love, kindness, compassion and caring. For all of you who write to correct wrongs and injustices. For all of you who work to bring light into our world and hope to people’s lives. You are all heroes in my book. Please accept this heart-felt award and pass it on to those in your WordPress family who deserve it. Let’s keep it going for the entire year. May it inspire all with light, words, and love for the human family.

You all know how much I hate rules, so please just:

  • post the award on your blog
  • thank the person who gave it to you
  • pass it on to those whom you deem worthy
  • let your nominees know

The first ever nominees of the Power of Words Award are:

  1. Xena
  2. IvonPrefontaine
  3. Professions for Peace
  4. Petchary
  5. Inavukic
  6. ValentineLogar
  7. The English Professor at Large
  8. Dr. Rex

The Magic of Folk Music

Today’s post is dedicated to the folk music movement that enjoyed great popularity in the 60’s and 70’s. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Pete Seeger.  The Beach Boys and Arlo Guthrie.  So as you can see, it was Rock and Folk back then. Folk music is the music of the people. It’s lyrics deal with poverty, injustice and suffering.


I went to a Pete Seeger concert and took my husband, we sat in the grass and the entire audience sang with the band and the birds joined in with enthusiasm. We felt connected to every other person we could see. Pete has passed now but the beauty of his music endures.


Folk music deals with the lives of  “the masses”. The lyrics dealt with the coal miners, the railroad workers, the poor and the ill. It deals with those who are out of work and hungry. Those children who quit school to go to work to prevent the family from starving.


It also celebrates every life, big and successful or small and difficult. Folk music sees us all as equal and essential to the life of this planet. We are all one human species, and dwell upon this planet without borders. What effects you, effects me even if I don’t realize it. I am sure you know many of these songs and I hope you might enjoy singing along.


There is no difference between religions, skin color, ethnicity or how much money you have. It may seem like there are differences, but there aren’t inside where “we really live.”  Inside we are all the same, the children of God. We have bodies that work the same and we are all loved by the Divine. Folk music promotes peace and the atrocities of war. I hope you enjoy my offering today.










Khalil Gibran's heart






photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2015

Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014



Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. |Rumi .

So do I. My religion is love.

Teacher as Transformer

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. |Rumi ..

I love Sufi poetry. It resonates over the centuries and carries a gentle and peaceful message reminding us of what it means to live in community.

Rumi provides us with sound advice. It is the gentle rain and voice that carries the fullest message. In the mystery and mysticism, we find our way along the path we live. We grow ever more mindful and attentive to each step taken and our senses come alive.

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Versatile Blogger award

The wonderful, talented, funny GillsWriting has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.


I am touched and honored to be nominated for this, and particularly — to use Gill’s own phrase — tickled pink to know that he thinks 3 random blogs on my sight will show you Versatility.  (And I can say Tickled Pink, as I am a grandmother! Nine times.)

I encourage you to go to Gill’s blog and check him out.  He is funny, and witty (which is harder) and well worth you time!  I have never been disappointed by his writing.  Not once.  Ever.

This Award has rules, of course, and the rules are this:

1)  Show the award on your blog

2) Thank the person who nominated you
3) Share seven facts about yourself
4) Nominate ten blogs
5) Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know

  1. The reason my Blog is called IdealisticRebel is am a Rebel, and don’t like (or usually follow) rules, and I am Idealistic — I still believe in love, and peace and the basic goodness in each of us.
  2. I believe that “the Sun’ll come out Tomorrow.  You can bet your bottom dollar that, tomorrow, there’ll be sun”
  3. I like musicals
  4. I’ve never worried about my house blowing away in a storm, because the weight of the books alone will hold it to the ground.
  5. The walls in my house look like a museum gallery — full of art and light and beauty.
  6. I’m very fond of asparagus.
  7. I think winter sucks.

I am nominating the following people for this award:

  1. LadyPinkRose
  2. Petchary
  3. EuropasiceWolf
  4. Busymindthinking
  5. HitandRun1964
  6. John Flanagan
  7. A curious mind
  8. Maverick
  9. HeartaFire
  10. writersdream9
  11. poojycat
  12. dear kitty




wonderful world


We all have days where life is rough. Or what is happening in the world is medieval and barbaric. Some days, it is difficult to keep the positive energy going. But it is important because we need to make peace in this world. Often, in my experience, these days come with a little help from the Universe to keep the love and kindness going. My asthma is very bad today. I found this and wanted to share it with all of you, my readers and my friends.












PUtin 911

By Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor

putin-truthbombAs Gordon Duff reported hereTuesday – and as discussed on today’s False Flag Weekly News (posted above – click here for story links) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing the release of Russian satellite photos and other evidence showing that 9/11 was a false-flag operation by treasonous elements of the American national security community.

The original story reporting Putin’s threat was published by Pravda on February 7th. According to Duff, that story has been confirmed by a reliable source who has actually seen some of the photos during a visit to Moscow. VT sources insist that this is NOT merely a shot across the bow of the US government. Putin, these sources say, is genuinely planning to release the 9/11 material.

These historic photos are expected to show:

* That none of the passenger airliners allegedly used as weapons on 9/11 actually crashed where we were told they did; and:

* That the World Trade Center demolitions were conducted using extremely high-energy weapons.

“The sh*t has hit the fan!” exclaimed one highly knowledgable VT source.

Russia’s classified 9/11 dossier has been held in reserve against the day the Russians feel a vital national interest – such as their survival as a free and independent nation – is at stake. That day, it appears, has either finally come, or is approaching so fast that the impending launch of the “truth bomb” is being prepared.

Russia’s satellite photos and other evidence are currently serving a strategic role analogous to that of nuclear weapons. They are primarily a deterrent – a last-ditch ace-in-the-hole whose main role is to deter and dissuade the enemy from going too far.

But unlike nuclear weapons, the “truth bomb” will not kill anyone; and its use against the US would first and foremost harm the 9/11-complicit faction of the American power structure, while helping the non-complicit faction regain control and adjust the course of the ship of state away from the icebergs. While risky (the 9/11 bomb could indirectly lead to Israel contemplating or even exercising its Samson Option) and therefore anathema to risk-averse elites, Putin has apparently decided that the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks.

If and when the Russians finally release their 9/11 dossier, the cataclysm that ensues will stand as a milestone in the march of one of the signal trends in modern warfare and geostrategy: the weaponization of truth. While lies have been weaponized since time immemorial, in the form of propaganda, disinformation, false signals, and so on, truth has rarely been in a position to fight back.

Today, the weaponized big lies of the Zio-American  Empire – like the empire itself – are over-extended and vulnerable. The stage is being set for a David’s slingshot of truth to bring down a Goliath of lies. To understand how 9/11 has backfired, let’s review the past few decades of history.

During the 1990s, the neoconservatives (and even some realists like Zbigniew Brzezinski, who has since repented of the way his views were used to justify 9/11) believed a New Pearl Harbor would bring invaluable benefits to American geo-strategy. According to their analysis, famously expressed in Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard (1997) the US was “too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad.” InThe Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski stated that the US would increasingly find it “difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” He ominously noted: “The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”

The obvious solution: A New Pearl Harbor that would convince the American people they were under massive external threat. The neoconservatives, with their Israeli friends, were glad to oblige. The result was 9/11: The event that was supposed to enable a “New American Century.”



But the New Pearl Harbor backfired, for several reasons.

First, the “direct external threat,” alleged Arab and Muslim extremism, was bogus. The Arab and Muslim world, with its vast energy reserves and economic growth potential, should have been a US ally, not an enemy. And the religious element in Arab-Muslim civilization was especially conducive to friendship with the US, since the US and the Islamic nations are the last monotheistic cultures on earth. It would have been in the US strategic interest to be a strong ally of the Muslim world against European secularism, Russian and Chinese post-communism, and Hindu extremism. The deal should go something like this: America protects the genuine independence, including the religious values, dignity and autonomy, of its fellow monotheists; and in return gets a say (though not total control) in oil pricing and policy.

But thanks to a false flag that turned the US against Islam and Muslims, America chose precisely the wrong enemy. While Israel has benefitted mightily from the US war on Islam, America has been digging its own grave by wasting its substance, even its sanity, on a fight against a phantom.

Secondly, rather than uniting Americans behind their leaders in a “good fight” against the nation’s enemies, 9/11 has greatly exacerbated the fractiousness and mistrust of leadership that makes it hard for the US to conduct foreign policy. Polls show that36% of Americans (over 100 million people) think 9/11 was an inside job, while a whopping 84% or so don’t believe they are getting the full truth about 9/11 from their government. Confidence in government is at record lows, and the sickening feeling of having been lied to is largely responsible for the US military’s inability to win wars – and for the rash of troop and veteran suicides that are far more lethal than any enemy army.

So 9/11, the neoconservative New Pearl Harbor, has hollowed out America, not strengthened it. The false-flag attack on New York and Washington has left the US morally and financiallybankrupted, without a functioning Constitution, fragmented in every conceivable way, lacking domestic and international legitimacy, and no longer in a position to be even a first among equals, much less a self-styled sole superpower.

The neoconservatives, whose top priority has always been Israel, are in a panic. Their only hope is to flee forward into ever-bigger wars. That is why Netanyahu is so desperately lobbying for a war on Iran that would set the Middle East, and perhaps the whole world, on fire. And that is why such neoconservatives as Victoria Nulandare pushing for a war with Russia that would in all likelihood go nuclear.

World War III is the last desperate hope for the neoconservatives and their Likudnik allies. Such a war would usher in martial law, enable the suppression (or at least continued obfuscation) of the truth about 9/11, and save the neocons from treason trials, and Israel from dismantlement.

Though Putin doesn’t want to play his ace in the hole, the 9/11 truth card, until he absolutely has to, the moment of truth may have finally arrived. As soon as it becomes absolutely clear that the US is never going to back off from its attempt to turn Ukraine into a hostile NATO base; that the economic war on Russia has reached a point of no return; that the neoconservative “flight forward” into World War III is inevitable…

…at that point, no sooner and no later, Putin will slap his 9/11 truth card down on the table and let the chips fall where they may.

If he plays it too soon, he is taking unnecessary risks.

But if he waits too long, the move will lose its impact. (Once World War III is underway, 9/11 truth from the Russian government will be dismissed as propaganda, and censorship under martial law will turn the truth bomb into a dud.)

I believe the moment of truth is at hand. Strategically, Putin needs to play his 9/11 truth card now.

The Pravda story, confirmed by VT’s inside sources, suggests that the card is about to be played.


I am looking for us to discuss this story. I am neutral but I would love to hear from all of you, my dear friends. Hugs, Barbara

Acid Attacks on Women

For women living in many countries in our world, they are being punished for not going on a date, refusing to marry someone they don’t love. The men feel as if their “family” honor is at stake and that this gives them the right to throw acid or a corrosive at a woman. They usually aim for her face so no one will want her.


Middle Eastern countries, India, and now South America are where more of these attacks happen. The men have no respect for women and since women are property, there is often no punishment. These men are destroying the lives of women. If a woman’s family is not rich, she will not receive plastic surgery. So they retreat into their family homes and they don’t go out at all.


We have to help these women with surgeries and by punishing the perps. It will need to cost these men a great deal before they will stop. They must learn to respect women and treat them as equals.




Bj Blog - Erasing face of women