Hamas War

Monday, July 31, 2006

Was Kana [Qana] a Staged Event?

Many people think so. Without writing out all the details, please check out the links below:

Israel Insider:
Hezbollywood? Evidence mounts that Qana collapse and deaths were staged
By Reuven Koret July 31, 2006

EU Referendum: Milking It?

Little Green Footballs: Qana Propaganda Begins to Fall Apart

My personal feeling is that Hizbullah staged it, after Israel bombed nearby buildings, they brought in dead bodies from the morgue in Tyre, as explained in the first link [Israel Insider] above. Question: Will this ever be investigated?

Spurious other "events" that turned out to be either "staged" or not as they were first reported:

Mohammed Al Dura
Rachel Corrie
Gaza Genocide (where the population increases 10x)
The Great Gaza Beach Bombardment
The UN bombing of a few days ago.

And now, Qana

QUOTE of the DAY

"If you hide behind your baby to shoot at my baby, you are responsible for getting children killed. You and you alone."

-- Naomi Ragen, "Cry to Those Using Babies as Shields"


found in the comments section of Little Green Footballs:

Imagine this situation during Word War II:

Dateline 1944 -- Today President Roosevelt today announced a cease-fire in Europe to allow time to investigate civilian deaths during air raids on Berlin.

World condemns America for collectively punishing the German people for the atrocities committed by the SS.

-- Yeah, right!

Home Game -- the Movie

As I mentioned in the last post, I saw Home Game last night at a presentation in memorial of Gush Katif. I thought I should put in a few words about the movie. For the right audience it is appropriate. The English link is here.
I recommend the movie for the Modern Orthodox or non-frum audience, for people who live in modern, general culture. The hareidi segment should just avoid it and not trash it, it's just not for them. There are girls in it. There are some ladies who don't cover their hair or have the right length sleeves The goyisherebbe poskens redeeming social value, but not everyone will agree. Just don't blame me for sending you there if it's not your cup of Java. The focus of the movie is good religious moshav kids who like to play basketball and have fun and not get thrown out of their homes. It is bittersweet. I am glad I saw it.

Gush Katif: Never Again

Last night I saw the movie "Home Game" about the expulsion from Gush Katif, based around the last Gush Katif youth basketball tournament. There was extensive footage of the expulsion troops carefully carrying out the orders orchestrated by the people on top with expert technical advice from teams of psychologists. I am posting a piece from last year's Jerusalem Post about how the troops were trained.
My friend and neighbor, psychologist Dr. Moshe Leibler sent this to me, pointing out that the glazed eyes of the officers and the dissasociation from the events while they carried them out is causing them disorders and there will be more psychological problems which will crop up. The psychologist quoted at the end of the article is speaking from a leftist, politically colored position and is about as valid as the forecasts for the New Middle East. Hashem Yerachem. Hopefully there will be no new examples of expulsion of Jews from there homes. Unfortunately I don't see anyone doing anything differently to prevent it.

Troop therapy

Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Sep 2, 2005
(Copyright 2005 The Jerusalem Post)
The psychological training the IDF underwent prior to the Gaza pullout may start a new trend in an army anticipating further evacuations
It was barely daybreak when Lieutenant Dan Fabin's platoon arrived at Netzarim, the last community to be evacuated from Gaza as part of Israel's disengagement plan.
Breaking up into groups of three, the soldiers pored over maps of the community. They had been trained to read between the lines of the data provided on the charts, and they assigned the houses among themselves accordingly.
"This family has five children, all girls," said Lt. Dan.
He pointed to a group of two female soldiers and an older male police officer.
"You go there. Have one of the soldiers play with the children while you talk to the parents."
For the previous three months, Lt. Dan's platoon, "Spirit of the Desert," had been training for this moment. They had run countless drills practicing the best way to hold a person's arms and legs to limit his or her resistance. But more important than the physical training, said the soldiers, was the mental and psychological preparation they underwent.
"It is very unusual for an army to do such intensive psychological preparation," said Arieh Shalev, former IDF chief psychologist. "It was wisely done and appears to have been very helpful. I think this is a very positive lesson for the army."
With the evacuation portion of the disengagement completed in six days, a fraction of the time the security services had expected, many military experts are championing psychological preparation as the next wave in IDF training. Amid rumors that illegal outposts in the West Bank are next in the government's sights, many are asking whether the past two week's operations were just a warm-up for what may become an ongoing task for the army.
"If the government continues evacuating Jewish communities, it is possible that this type of psychological training is only the beginning," said Shalev.
IN THE months leading up to the pullout, IDF strategists and psychologists used a network of local informers and social workers to gather data about the communities they were preparing to evacuate. As settlers and anti-disengagement activists fought the withdrawal through court battles and almost weekly protests, experts studied their behavior from the sidelines. They then created specifically targeted exercises that exposed soldiers to the type of psychological warfare the settlers were preparing.
"It became clear that the settlers were planning a psychological war on the soldiers' psyche once they saw that their other options had been used up," said an official from the IDF press office. "They were counting on being able to convince the soldiers that what they were doing was wrong."
Nearly a dozen soldiers resisted orders in the weeks leading up to the withdrawal, giving settlers hope that during the actual evacuation, a critical mass would not be able to go through with their task, said military experts. However, during the six days that the army took to evacuate settlers from their homes, there was not a single case of a soldier refusing orders.
"It was important to build a shell around the soldiers. We needed to make it clear to them that the settlers' rhetoric and insults were not the result of hatred for the individual soldiers but for the situation in general," said Dr. Hagai Dafna, a psychologist based in the West Bank who advised the army on its training exercises. "We worked with soldiers so that they could understand that they and the settlers were on the same side, and that it was okay to feel sadness and sympathy, but to not break down because of that sadness."
In Netzarim, Lt. Dan recalled the strategies he was taught as settlers hurled insults at him. At one door, a woman snapped a photograph of him which she claimed she would, "curse for all eternity."
"Instead of feeling angry, I just felt myself becoming very sad at this woman and the amount of hatred she must have been feeling," said Dan.
"After she took the photo, I told her that I was very sad that this was the way in which she would remember me."
Throughout the day, Dan remained with the woman, helping her pack and even giving her his phone number. As she left, she told him that it saddened her to think that she had met him under such difficult circumstances.
"I realized that when she was angry at me, she was just displacing her anger at the situation," said Dan. "I am still very sad, and I feel sympathy towards their pain, but I realized that I cannot blame myself."
Dan's experience epitomized the use of good psychological training, said Ruth Pat-Horenczyk, Director of the Israel Center for Child and Adolescent Psychotrauma.
"The sensitivity on the part of the soldiers was incredible," said Pat-Horenczyk. "I can see that they were very prepared. The damage caused to the settlers was much less because the soldiers approached them gently and on an individual basis, and the damage caused to the soldiers was less because they succeeded in convincing many of the settlers to leave peacefully."
Photo; Caption: COMPASSIONATE COAXING. Soldiers had performed exercises specifically targeted to the type of psychological warfare the settlers were preparing.
Credit: Ariel Jerozolimski
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
Abstract (Document Summary)
IN THE months leading up to the pullout, IDF strategists and psychologists used a network of local informers and social workers to gather data about the communities they were preparing to evacuate. As settlers and anti-disengagement activists fought the withdrawal through court battles and almost weekly protests, experts studied their behavior from the sidelines. They then created specifically targeted exercises that exposed soldiers to the type of psychological warfare the settlers were preparing.
"It was important to build a shell around the soldiers. We needed to make it clear to them that the settlers' rhetoric and insults were not the result of hatred for the individual soldiers but for the situation in general," said Dr. Hagai Dafna, a psychologist based in the West Bank who advised the army on its training exercises. "We worked with soldiers so that they could understand that they and the settlers were on the same side, and that it was okay to feel sadness and sympathy, but to not break down because of that sadness."
"The sensitivity on the part of the soldiers was incredible," said [Ruth Pat-Horenczyk]. "I can see that they were very prepared. The damage caused to the settlers was much less because the soldiers approached them gently and on an individual basis, and the damage caused to the soldiers was less because they succeeded in convincing many of the settlers to leave peacefully."
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Shabbat's over, so quick note

Just a very quick note.
Spent Shabbat in Young Israel of Scarsdale.

People are concerned about what's going on in Israel. It was nice. The word "Darfur" wasn't spoken. I would have blown up.

Rabbi or someone spoke about the Israeli soldiers killed this week. I kept seeing an image of Amichai Merchavia, HaYa"D, (of Eli) when he was about 10, as I remember him when I taught in Ohel Shiloh Elementary School. And pray for another local kid wounded in the eye, Chaim Yotam ben Corrine, who was given the name Chaim when he was shot by terrorists over ten years ago.

I just checked my email and no new news, not even the name of Avi Siton, HaYa"D's nephew.

I may not have a chance to write until the end of the week, so Shavua Tov.

I hope to see you in NY on Aug. 1 at the AFSI event.


5 East 62nd Street, New York, NY
August 1, 2006 - 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

pleasantly surprised

With all the %$#*&*$# I usually find on American TV, I was very pleasantly surprised to find an excellent series, name unknown, about the American armed forces. Please provide the name in comments. It concentrates on fighter/jet pilots and the judicial. At least that's what I saw.

The judicial plot was about some guy who had disappeared from his unit in Iraq, during a sand storm, at least that's what they said. And his unit waited around trying to find him, or hoping he would return. While waiting they were attacked and two guys killed.

His lawyer, a female, believed that he really hadn't been derilect. The prosecuter thought there was something fishy in the whole story.

While the officer was giving testimony in the trial, something slipped. He began to say "If he had..." and then wouldn't continue.

They finally discovered that the story was much more complex.

They saw a herd of goats/sheep whatever-- and the guy had been ordered to kill the shepherd, so he wouldn't reveal their presence. He went ready to to it, but saw that it was only a young kids and refused. Somehow after that he disappeared. Just like in the famous Israeli story of the Gush Etzion group which was all murdered because of an old Arab whom they spared, the kid probably told the terrorists.

Then the show got into the controversy over killing what could be an enemy, even if he could possibly be just an innocent kid. I was glad that the message was that you had to kill if that's what your orders were!

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

Friday, July 28, 2006

New? Nu! Deja Vu!

Watching the news here in NY is always filled with surprises.

Condi Rice the American "expert" cabinet member for "Foreign Affairs" kept talking about the need for a "new middle-east."

Sorry, Condi, but we've heard that phrase
before. Mabye you haven't. It was Peres's little slogan during Olso
time, and we're all in teh post-Oslo nightmare, but you may not know much history. Obviously you don't.

I don't know if she'll read this, actually doubt it, but if anyone's in touch with her or the administration or any Republicans, it's really quite a "fashla" as we say in Israel one of those awful embarrassing moments to reuse such a term that is tainted with derision by anybody with even an iota of intelligence.

Condi, dear, maybe you ought to concentrate on your pianist career. You looked so cute on TV playing the piano. C ertanly you seem to know that keyboard better than the one that touches my home, Israel.

Get Your Latest Apocalyptic Vision

I am posting this courtesy of Root & Branch News Service (full disclosure: I am a member of the board of R&B)


The Israeli Public has been duped We are not at war with Hezbullah We are at war with Iran
copyright (c) 2006 by Mr. Joel Bainerman


Written by Mr. Bainerman on Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Bible Says: "And at the time of the End, the King of the South will clash with him [King of the North], and the King of the North will storm over him [King of the South] with chariots, with horsemen, and with many ships, and he will come into his lands and inundate and pass". [Daniel 11:40] The Sages Comment: When our Redemption draws near -- Rashi [Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, TROYES, FRANCE, 1040-1105 C.E.]. This is a war between the Christians and the Muslims -- Rabbi Isaiah da Trani [TRANI, ITALY, 1200-1260 C.E.]. The King of the North will come into the lands belonging to the King of the South -- Metzudat David [Rabbeinu David ben Reb Aryeh Leib Altschul, PRAGUE, end 1600s C.E.] The King of Persia: "Rabbi Yitzhak stated, the year in which the Mashiach (King Messiah) comes, all the kingdoms of the world are at war with each other. The King OF PERSIA attacks the King of ARABIA, and the King of ARABIA goes to ARAM to take council from them, and the King of PERSIA retaliates and destroys the whole world. All of the nations are confounded in fear. And ISRAEL is in panic and trembling, and says, 'Where shall we flee to and where shall we go?' And HaShem (G-d) says to them, 'My children, fear not. All that I have done, I have done for your sake alone. Why are you panicked? Fear not. The time of your Redemption has come'". [Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah, Remez 499 -- Yalkut Shimoni is a collection of ancient midrashim on the Tanach/Bible compiled by Rabbi Shimon haDarshan, FRANKFURT, 1200s C.E.] Excerpt: "This war has two co-directors, the UNITED STATES and IRAN. We are sided with the UNITED STATES; Hezbollah with IRAN. The aim (although not publicly stated) of the UNITED STATES is to widen the war -- so that they will have the pretext to attack IRAN. That is why the White House is in no rush to implement a cease fire. Or why ISRAEL was allowed to destroy LEBANON's infrastructure without a peep from the UNITED STATES government....This war started in LEBANON -- but will soon move eastward -- into Alawite SYRIA and then Shi'ite IRAN. That is the goal of those who are micro-managing this event (oh, I know, I learned in history class at college that wars are not planned and concocted, they just happen because world leaders are naive and do not understand threats until it is too late). The only problem is that ISRAEL is being set up to pay the price as the sub-contractor for the UNITED STATES military. When the UNITED STATES gets its chance to attack IRAN -- the reason the White House will give is, "we had no choice -- IRAN attacked ISRAEL -- our closest ally, through its proxy, Hezbollah, and we had no other choice other than to defend ISRAEL against IRAN -- the country which sponsors the terrorism that led to the kidnapping of the two Israeli solders which created the conflict in the first place".
R&B Editor's Note: The Root & Branch Information Services and Lecture Series is closed for seven months from Rosh Chodesh Nisan (New Month of Nisan, Thursday, March 30, 2006) through Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan (New Month of Cheshvan, Sunday, October 21, 2006). R&B Information Services updates will be issued and lectures will take place monthly during this period.ZICHRON YA'AKOV, Kingdom of David and Solomon, United Israelite Kingdom of Judah and Joseph, Yom Chamishi, 2 Av, 5766 (Thursday, July 27, 2006), Root & Branch Information Services [mailto:rb@rb.org.il] [www.rb.org.il]:

The Israeli public has been duped. We are not at war with Hezbullah. We are at war with IRAN. Why do I say that? Well for starters, both the UNITED STATES and ISRAEL say so. They claim (and rightly so) that Shi'ite Hezbollah is a proxy for Alawite SYRIA and Shi'ite IRAN. While some Israelis take this as political justification for ISRAEL's cause -- the conclusions to be drawn from this are for more relevant.What if, just what if, the soldiers in the bunkers in south LEBANON are not Hezbullah fighters -- as we have been told. But Iranian soldiers? Units of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard. That would certainly account for the stiff resistance ISRAEL is confronting.The Israeli public were fooled into thinking this war would end quickly because of the belief in the overwhelming superiority of the Israeli soldiers over those of Hezbullah. But what if ISRAEL is not fighting Hezbullah -- but in fact -- a very well trained unit (s) of IRAN's elite Revolutionary Guard?Preposterous? Consider this news report filed by Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily on Monday, July 24, 2006: Report: Iranian soldiers join Hizbullah in fighting Lebanese sources say Revolutionary Guard units aiding Hizbullah against the Jewish state, report bodies of dead Iranian soldiers transferred to TEHRAN via SYRIA. The bodies of Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers who were killed by the Israeli army in LEBANON have been transported to SYRIA and flown to TEHRAN, senior Lebanese political sources told WorldNetDaily (W.N.D.). The information was confirmed by Israeli and Egyptian security officials. W.N.D. reported earlier this month that Israeli security officials said they have "concrete information" hundreds of Iranian soldiers stationed at Hizbullah positions in LEBANON have aided in efforts to fire missiles into the Jewish state. The Israeli officials said Iranian guards directed the firing two weeks ago of a radar-guided C802 missile that hit an Israeli navy vessel off the coast of LEBANON, killing four soldiers. ISRAEL says IRAN acquired the missile from CHINA. The officials said the Iranian soldiers' duties include keeping custody of long-range missiles within Hizbullah's arsenal, including Zalzal rockets which are said to have a range of 125 miles, placing TEL AVIV within firing range. ISRAEL has long maintained that Iranian Revolutionary Guard units have travelled regularly to south LEBANON to help train local Hizbullah fighters in terrorist tactics and to fortify Hizbullah positions along ISRAEL's northern border. At times, Revolutionary Guard soldiers could be seen operating openly at Hizbullah outposts in plain view from the Israeli side, military officials say.Take notice that everyone in the Arab world -- including the Israeli military -- seems to agree that units of IRAN's Revolutionary Guard are aiding in this way. Is it possible that they are not just aiding the war effort on behalf of Hezbullah -- but actually running it? If they are teaching/directing the Hezbullah soldiers how to fire the missiles -- then is there really anything more than a semantic difference in these two statements? If so, then Nasrallah is not in charge of the enemy's defences -- IRAN is. If so, that is not what the Israeli public thinks.For more answers to this question, please read Akiva Eldar's article, "How we fell into the Iranian trap" http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/740444.html
Certainly the Iranian government has a good reason to wage a war on ISRAEL. They want to destroy ISRAEL -- as they have stated many times. The problem is that the Israeli public passes much of this religious rhetoric off as delusional propaganda. However, maybe the Iranian leadership is not delusional -- and they have a plan to do just that, which they do not announce on their national T.V.?Could it be that IRAN planned and initiated a war with ISRAEL via its proxy (puppet) in LEBANON -- in order to fight back against the UNITED STATES (via ISRAEL) because of the UNITED STATES's attempts to bring down the current regime in IRAN? Not that IRAN needs another reason to harm ISRAEL -- but it certainly is part of the official story as told on C.N.N. and Fox. It certainly makes more sense than suggesting that the reason why ISRAEL is at war in LEBANON is because the Israeli government "got mad as hell -- and were not longer going to put up with these nasty Hezbullah guys -- and teach them a lesson once and for all", which is the way the Israeli media is telling the story. Because two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped -- Olmert and Peretz decided to "get tough" with Hezbollah -- and told the Israeli public, "don't worry, we will disarm them, kill them all, destroy all their weapons -- and then you can go back to your summer vacation and not worry about anything. Trust us to do the right thing. Just hang in there a little longer".Well, it is a little longer, and after doing just that -- many Israelis are totally perplexed as to what comes next. They trusted (!) their own government. The problem was that their government knows a lot more about the story than they are willing to tell.This war has two co-directors, the UNITED STATES and IRAN. We are sided with the UNITED STATES; Hezbollah with IRAN. The aim (although not publicly stated) of the UNITED STATES is to widen the war -- so that they will have the pretext to attack IRAN. That is why the White House is in no rush to implement a cease fire. Or why ISRAEL was allowed to destroy LEBANON's infrastructure without a peep from the UNITED STATES government.When Rice says things like, "what is the point of cease fire if it does not hold?" and "peace must be sustainable" you know that there is something else going on behind the scenes that the public is not being told. You aim for a cease fire because it beats further death and destruction. Only when the UNITED STATES's secret aims are understood can we better understand the actions of American leaders.This war started in LEBANON -- but will soon move eastward -- into Alawite SYRIA and then Shi'ite IRAN. That is the goal of those who are micro-managing this event (oh, I know, I learned in history class at college that wars are not planned and concocted, they just happen because world leaders are naive and do not understand threats until it is too late).The only problem is that ISRAEL is being set up to pay the price as the sub-contractor for the UNITED STATES military. When the UNITED STATES gets its chance to attack IRAN -- the reason the White House will give is, "we had no choice -- IRAN attacked ISRAEL -- our closest ally, through its proxy, Hezbollah, and we had no other choice other than to defend ISRAEL against IRAN -- the country which sponsors the terrorism that led to the kidnapping of the two Israeli solders which created the conflict in the first place".I wish I was wrong.You decide if I am.
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov from Zichron Ya'akov
Mr. Joel Bainerman
Joel Bainerman is a writer on Israeli and Middle East affairs

I was not fooled for one minute that this was the direction. Unfortunately our leaders are only as good as the media-doped masses who elect them. Those of us who eschew television and read critically are not fooled. Even the most educated people, if they have television and mass-media Israeli newspapers in their house, are suckered. The government is suckered and in turn suckers the people. We the religious people and a few others who are not glued to the idiot box are the public enemy because we see that the emperor has no clothes. The question is whether Israel is merely a dupe used as an innocent bystander or whether the CFR and cohorts are purposefully seeking to destroy a still too independent Israel which blocks the way for a world state. The usual divide and conquer tactics of the imperial mentality are being put to use against both the Jews and the much less perceptive Islamic bloc. But this time the Sunni Arab world on the national state level is wary of the designs of Shiite Iran. That will make little difference because they are strictly minor league. The buttons of the Arab masses are much easier to press even than those of the Israelis. And those masses have been programmed for many years. It is only G-d that we can rely on at this time.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I received this a little while ago by e-mail. It was signed off by one Gregory van Kipnis, who is apparently a Wall St. businessman, but is actually the work of David Bogner of Treppenwitz blog. This is far from “politically correct,” but he really tells it like it is – and thus it was too good to pass up.

A difficult lesson, by David Bogner

When I was in the Navy, I once witnessed a bar fight in downtown Olongapo (Philippines) that still haunts my dreams. The fight was between a big oafish Marine and a rather soft-spoken, medium sized Latino sailor from my ship.

All evening the Marine had been trying to pick a fight with one of us and had finally set his sights on this diminutive shipmate of mine...figuring him for a safe target. When my friend refused to be goaded into a fight the Marine sucker punched him from behind on the side of the head so hard that blood instantly started to pour from this poor man's mutilated ear.

Everyone present was horrified and was prepared to absolutely murder this Marine, but my shipmate quickly turned on him and began to single-handedly back him towards a corner with a series of stinging jabs and upper cuts that gave more than a hint to a youth spent boxing in a small gym in the Bronx.

Each punch opened a cut on the Marine's startled face and by the time he had been backed completely into the corner he was blubbering for someone to stop the fight. He invoked his split lips and chipped teeth as reasons to stop the fight. He begged us to stop the fight because he could barely see through the river of blood that was pouring out of his split and swollen brows.

Nobody moved. Not one person.

The only sound in the bar was the sickening staccato sound of this sailor's lightning fast fists making contact with new areas of the Marine's head. The only sound I have heard since that was remotely similar was from the first Rocky film when Sylvester Stallone was punching sides of beef in the meat locker.

Finally the Marine's pleading turned to screams.... a high, almost womanly shriek. And still the punches continued relentlessly.

Several people in the bar took a few tentative steps as though they wanted to try to break it up at that point, but hands reached out from the crowd and held them tight. I'm not ashamed to say that mine were two of the hands that held someone back.

You see, in between each blow the sailor had begun chanting a soft cadence: "Say [punch] you [punch] give [punch] up [punch]... say [punch] you [punch] were [punch] wrong [punch]".

He had been repeating it to the Marine almost from the start but we only became aware of it when the typical barroom cheers had died down and we began to be sickened by the sight and sound of the carnage.

This Marine stood there shrieking in the corner of the bar trying futilely to block the carefully timed punches that were cutting his head to tatters... right down to the skull in places. But he refused to say that he gave up... or that he was wrong.

Even in the delirium of his beating he believed in his heart that someone would stop the fight before he had to admit defeat. I'm sure this strategy had served him well in the past and had allowed him to continue on his career as a barroom bully.

Finally, in a wail of agony the Marine shrieked, "I give up", and we gently backed the sailor away from him.

I'm sure you can guess why I have shared this story today. I'm not particularly proud to have been witness to such a bloody spectacle, and the sound of that Marine's woman-like shrieks will haunt me to my grave. But I learned something that evening that Israel had better learn for itself if it is to finally be rid of at least one of its tormentors:

This is one time an Arab aggressor must be allowed to be beaten so badly that every civilized nation will stand in horror, wanting desperately to step in and stop the carnage... but knowing that the fight will only truly be over when one side gives up and finally admits defeat.

Just as every person who had ever rescued that bully from admitting defeat helped create the cowardly brute I saw that evening in the bar, every well-intentioned power that has ever stepped in and negotiated a ceasefire for an Arab aggressor has helped create the monsters we see around us today.

President Lahoud of Lebanon, a big Hezbollah supporter and a close ally of Syria, has been shrieking non-stop to the UN Security Council for the past two days to get them to force Israel into a cease fire.

Clearly he has been reading his autographed copy of 'Military Success for Dummies / Arab Despots' by the late Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Ever since Nasser accidentally discovered the trick in '56, every subsequent Arab leader has stuck to his tried and true formula for military success:

Instigate a war. Once the war is well underway and you are in the process of having your rear handed to you... get a few world powers to force your western opponent into a cease fire. Whatever you do, don't surrender or submit to any terms dictated by your enemy. That would ruin everything! All you have to do is wait it out and eventually the world will become sickened at what is being done to your soldiers and civilian population... and will force a truce. Once a truce has been called you can resume your intransigence (which probably caused the conflict in the first place), and even declare victory as your opponent leaves the field of battle. This tactic has never failed. Not once.

In fact it worked so will for the Egyptians in 1973, that to this day they celebrate the Yom Kippur War - a crushing defeat at the hands of Israel - as a military victory! No kidding... it's a national holiday over there!

President Lahoud has already begun to shriek like a schoolgirl to the UN Security Council to "Stop the violence and arrange a cease-fire, and then after that we'll be ready to discuss all matters."

Uh huh. Forgive me if I find that a tad hard to swallow. He allowed Hezbollah to take over his country. He allowed the regular Lebanese army to provide radar targeting data for the Hezbollah missile that struck the Israeli destroyer. He has turned a blind eye while Iranian and Syrian weapons, advisers and money have poured into his country.

And now that his country is in ruins he wants to call it a draw.

As much as it may sicken the world to stand by and watch it happen, strong hands need to hold back the weak-hearted and let the fight continue until one side finally admits unambiguous defeat.

yes, it' s me

I see that the guest bloggers are keeping things jumping, and I'm glad!

The news from Israel in NY is tryhing to be evenhanded, which is impossible. Fox news thought they had a scoop yesterday when they brought some anti-Zionist chareidi guy to explain how Israel's existence is against Jewish Law. Yes, things are that bad and it was fox, not bbbc or turner.

Everyone's very polite asking me what's happening, and I feel like a fake, since Im in NY sans internet totally dependent on the tv news. I sit crocheting trying to make sense of it all. It seems rather absurd that Egyptians will gurard us from Lebanon.

It's a problme that Hizbollah isn't considered a country, and Lebanon is considered innocent. There's a lot of emphasis on the poor foreigners being rescued from the evil Israelis. Now why aren't the humanitarian groups helping the bombed Israelis? Why aren't they setting up camps in shiloh for kids from Haifa?

G-d willing I'll be back in just over 2 weeks with Nefesh B'Nefesh!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006



The following is a translation of an e-mail that was originally written in Hebrew. I have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to verify its authenticity.** However, the words are true, even if it is not clear who authored them. I have reworked the English translation that I received, and left two phrases in the original Hebrew that appear to have a double-entendre to them, with my explanation of them in English as well.
And interestingly enough, the thoughts in this confession parallel an idea expressed by the Bostoner Rebbe Shlita of Har Nof, Yerushalayim, which I have excerpted below.
They are also echoed in today’s Lazer Beams posting


Bombs are falling upon us and our homes.
Friends and family members are being injured and killed
Some of us are without a roof over our heads.
My business has been closed since the beginning of the battle, and I don't know what will be.
We are wandering around, between family and good people [friends].
Our family life has been severely impaired.
I never thought that I, a Haifa resident for 30 years, would be a refugee in my own land.
Everything seems so familiar, from the recent past.

For five years bombs fell upon you – and it didn't touch me.
You buried family and friends – and I was indifferent.
You found yourselves homeless, (kach stam) just like that [or, for no reason at all] –
And there was no one to listen to you.
Even when you came to visit me in my home – to explain, to convince, to share your feelings with me – I refused to listen to you.

It has already been a week that I am out of my house, without my regular routine, it is very difficult for me –
But the empathy, the support, and people identifying with my plight helps me go on.
But you don't even have that.
You – in guest houses, hotels and even in tents – it's not easy to say, but: "Who cares?!"

People from Gush Katif and the Shomron!
Forgive me!
Forgive us for abandoning you.
Forgive us for not understanding you.
I am neither a religious man, nor a mystic,
But we cannot ignore the deep relationship
Between the way I related to you
And the sechar limud* that I am paying now.

*Usually, this word means “tuition”; but it can also be taken to mean, “the price that I am paying for my learning.”


Arutz Sheva's website has posted the following:

Yigal Kirshenzaft, head of the Chabad House in N'vei Dekalim and now in Nitzan, related the following story that occurred this week:
"A woman from one of the moshavim nearby, who considers herself a total secularist, came to our house and said, 'I came to ask forgiveness! Now, in light of everything that's going on, I feel the need to come and ask forgiveness from the expelled residents. I apologize for not having stood with you during your struggle for Gush Katif... How did we not see the truth?' She then left a donation for the Chabad House and left quickly before we could see the tears in her eyes."

In addition, they have the following about the above e-mail from Haifa:

Similarly, a Haifa resident currently under siege by Hizbullah attacks has written to Gush Katif expulsion victims asking for forgiveness. In an open letter posted on a Gush Katif forum website, Y. S. wrote...

The Bostoner Rebbe on a visit last year to Gush Katif; yitz is on the right with an orange ribbon.


The following is an excerpt from a drasha delivered by the Bostoner Rebbe Shlita in his Beit Medrash in Har Nof, on Shabbat Parshat Pinchas, shortly after the war broke out. The emphasis was added by me.

The ways of Hashem are hidden, unfathomable and it is impossible to truly understand why a righteous man suffers; yet, one must still ask oneself the question “Why?” and seek various reasons and causes for the troubles that afflict oneself and the nation.

Indeed, when the Shevatim [the children of Yaakov, our father] departed from Egypt, opened their sacks and discovered the silver, they asked “What is this that Hashem did to us?” This is a paramount lesson that teaches the importance of seeking to discover an answer to, “Why is this happening to us?” – conducting self-examination and examination of actions and pinpointing the realms that must be corrected.

Logically, the entire political and military situation makes little sense. Indeed, forces from all over the world come to learn the esteemed Israeli military tactics, while the Israelis themselves find themselves lost in war. This underscores that everything in the world is from Hashem, and that one must never think, “The strength and power of my own hand is that which brought me this wealth.” Even if one truly believes that any success is not a result of the strength of the nation, one must still be wary of even stating that military feats convey success. Notwithstanding, one must always pray for their success while believing and understanding that only the strength of Hashem’s Hand can lead to victory.

“It is a time of trial for Yaakov.” Even places that, in the past, were never attacked such as Safed [Tzfat] and Haifa, have now sustained many casualties and deaths, may Hashem avenge their blood. Obviously, we can never understand the ways of Hashem or His motivations. However, a thought came to mind regarding the portion of the meraglim, the spies sent to scout the land of Israel. It is written in the pasuk [verse], “V’yad’u es ha’aretz asher me’astem—And they knew the land that you despised.” Mefarshim [Torah commentaries] explicate these words as, “Because they despised the land, all these trials came upon them.”

Exactly one year ago, the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael despised the land and were willing to sacrifice parts of the country into enemy hands, enemies who did not even wish to own the land. These people felt that it was their choice to decide which parts of the land were theirs to give and to keep. Today, one year later, they see that even those parts that they wished to continue perpetuating and keeping as their own are not secure.

Mrs. GR on a holy mission to Florida

Yisrael Medad and yours truly are getting along without our respective "ezer kenegdo" (what's the proper Hebrew plural for that?) -- namely our wives. Janet is involved in getting her 80-plus parents prepared to make aliya on the planned December Nefesh B'Nefesh flight. This is a daunting task, and we will be happy to have the prayers of the readers with us. As goyisherebbetzin was in flight, I was visiting the AACI office getting counseled and receiving piles of booklets. I signed the in-laws up as members of AACI -- Assn. of Americans & Canadians in Israel. We will soon be examining shipping, housing, medical care and more. We will ask for divine aid in dealing with a couple who are pretty feisty but good-hearted. May we be up to the challenge!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

IMPORTANT Activities Today in Yerushalayim

This is from Arutz 7 - Israel National News

Organizers Expect Monthly Encirclement of Temple Mount to be Largest Ever
09:51 Jul 25, '06 / 29 Tammuz 5766

(IsraelNN.com) Tuesday, the eve of Rosh Chodesh Av, the first day of the Jewish month of Av, the traditional encirclement of the Temple Mount will take place. Organizers expect it to be the largest ever.

The march around the gates of the Temple Mount, with prayer and song at each one, will begin at 7:45 PM, following the conclusion of the prayer rally at the Western Wall, which will begin at 6. Organizers say it will commemorate the destruction of Gush Katif and northern Samaria, while offering prayers for the safety of the Jews of the Galilee and for the wellbeing of the captured soldiers and prisoners of Zion, as well as the success of the war.

Taking part in the monthly tradition will be Rabbi Yitzchak Ginzburg, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu and Rabbi David Dudkevitch.


Hi there, fellow bloggers and readers, this is yitz of Heichal HaNegina, with my first "political post" on Batya's blog. Let me say at the outset that the Medads and our family go back almost 30 years, to our first [and only] pilot trip [and my first trip ever] to Artzeinu HaKedosha (our Holy Land) -- we were their neighbors in Bayit Vegan (Yerushalayim) in 1979.

For my first post I'd like to share an e-mail that I recently received. I've actually received it a while back as well, but I think in light of today's "matzav" - our war situation here in Eretz Yisrael - it is more relevant than ever. Hope you enjoy!

Dear World,

I understand that you are upset by us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry. (Outraged?)

Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset by us. Today, it is the "brutal repression of the Palestinians"; yesterday -- and today -- it was/is Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War and the Sinai campaign. It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily.

Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we - the Jewish people - upset you.

We upset a German people who elected Hitler and upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians and Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset.

We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us.

For centuries, we upset a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through inquisitions, and we upset the arch-enemy of the church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish state.

The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you and disturb you.

What better notion, then, than to leave you (and thus love you) - and have you love us and so, we decided to come home - home to the same land we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please.

Having left you and your pogroms and inquisitions and crusades and holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state, we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians.

You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East

Moscow is upset and Washington is upset.

The "radical" Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset.

Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel.

In 1920 and 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs. Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody.

Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered tens of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron in 1929.

Dear world, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967?

And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots between 1936-39? Was it because Arabs were upset over 1967?

And when you, dear world, proposed a UN Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a "Palestinian State" alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried "no" and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that "upset" caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of "upset" then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who ­ when they had all the territories they now demand be given to them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish state into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "itbach-al-yahud" (Massacre the Jew!) that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today, but we should not "repress" them.

Dear world, you stood by during the holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres.

You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction.

And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians dream daily of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land.

If that bothers you, dear world, well ­ think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who couldn't care less.

An Open Mind in Vermont

Mr. Shay Totten of the Vermont Guardian is going to print my letter to the editor (see previous post) regarding the editorial on the subject of American aid to Israel. IMHO a lesson to potential letter writers to editors: make sure you have an out-of-the-box angle, and the editors will respond in kind. Keeping it short goes without saying. If it didn't go without saying, then it wouldn't be short because you would have said it (huh?). Talk to people you disagree with, and get into their world. Then they will be more ready to talk and listen.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mediocracy -- the Farce

Several months ago Eli Pollack of Israel Media Watch (colleague of Batya's husband Yisrael Medad) spoke at our yeshiva, Yeshivat Hesder Ma'ale Efraim. They do excellent work. He discussed the problem of keeping the media honest in Israel. I won't go into everything he said (check out the link), but one point that was very powerful was that the media are the stars in our public life. No one can cross them. They get special treatment from all of the public officials for a very good reason. Any public official, elected or not, including a judge, can be praised or harassed by the media. So if a media person is called to testify in court, the judge will make google eyes over him and do everything short of getting up from the bench to serve him tea.
Now, here's the pit of low comedy from America. Laugh, but here it is worse.

Call Off Your Dogs!

Calls for national unity are de rigeur in wartime, and now is no exception. Newspaper articles and letters to the editor are full of exhortations for unity, and rightfully so. Throughout our history we see that when the Jews are united, we succeed, and when we are divided, we, G-d forbid, suffer. Unity means sharing a common goal, which is basic and primal, and agreeing to disagree on details. In the early years of the State of Israel, the primal goal of survival was sufficiently pressing that nobody dared to challenge the right of our government to do virtually anything under the banner of "sha'at herum", emergency time. Well, now that we see that this is wartime, not peacetime, and that survival is by no means guaranteed, it behooves us to act accordingly.
Last summer's expulsion of the Jews from Gaza, "Disengagement", endangered our national unity terribly, by pitting Jew against Jew. Our Arab enemies were strengthened in their belief that they could destroy Israel when they saw the IDF, under orders from the Israeli government, destroy communities and drive out the Jewish inhabitants. Among loyal Israeli citizens, hundreds of draft-age youth have been so alienated that they call the IDF the Expulsion Forces, and don't want to serve; hundreds more have police records and the army won't give them the "privilege". Half the country is still in mourning for last year's expulsion, with the refugees themselves still homeless, jobless and disenfranchised.
How can unity, which is so vital, be encouraged in this difficult situation?
By calling on the powers that be to "call off their dogs!" Last week, as the bombs landed on Haifa, Safed and Sderot, the Israeli Police had a mission which someone "high up" considered higher priority than fighting crime or terror... arresting yeshiva students in Yizhar! They brought a convoy of police vehicles, and many police, to offset the resistence they expected in arresting these young men without charges or warrents. A legal defence activist in Yizhar has already been placed under administrative detention (so much for Democracy and Rule of Law!). Now, apparently, the time is ripe to scare the whole village into submission, better to "converge" them in a month or two. When the victims didn't submit fast enough, and the rabbi of the community, Rav Dudkevitch, tried to calm things down, the police sprayed tear gas into the yeshiva. The injured were taken to hospital, with a police escort, no doubt.
Olmert, Halutz... do you want unity? Do you want patriotism? Do you want the boys who are drafted to actually come? Then stop doing things like this! Stop showing the world that our citizens' lives, livlihood and rights count so little to you! Stop promising to help the Arabs destroy Jewish communities, as the so-called "Convergence Plan" would do! Stop the demonization of settlers in your own speech and that of your mouthpiece, the media! Stop persecuting the pioneers of Israel, those who have been expelled from their homes and those who still live in their homes! Give a total amnesty to all the political prisoners: the soldiers and would-be soldiers who refused to commit the Disengagement; the teenagers who are in jail or who have thick police files; and of course, the latest round of imaginary "Jewish Underground Terrorists"! Apologise to Rabbi Dudkevitch for the damage you have done to him and his students, and to all the rest of your victims! Even more important, stop doing the damage! Close their "criminal" files and dissolve the "Jewish Division" of the General Security Service! It is not a democratic society which uses a secret, or even a regular police force, to repress its own citizens by extra-legal means!
Yes, we certainly need unity to win against our real enemies, the jihadis whereever they live. We can't do it when we are wasting our time with infighting. Let us all help our country survive. Let us have a "tzav pius" a call for reconciliation. Let's end the civil war. You can do it, Mr. Olmert, by calling off your dogs!

The Post-Trauma Victim in the Torah: Tzelofchad

In Bamidbar/Numbers Chapter 27 the daughters of Tzelofchad came before Moshe, Elazar the Kohen (who succeeded Aharon after his death) and the elders of Israel. The background is the allocation of land in Eretz Yisrael which is to be conquered and given out to tribes and families. The five daughters claim that it is not fair that their father, just because he had no son, should be done out of having an inheritance in the land for his future descendents. The reason given is because he did not participate in the rebellion of Korach, but died in his own sin. That is to say that although he had his own issues, he did not negatively influence others.
There is internal evidence that Tzelofchad's sin did not adversely affect others. From pshat (straightforward meaning of the text) we see that he had five fine, wise daughters who grew up to eloquently plead for a share in the Land. The Sages of the Talmud (Shabbat 96b) wonder just what that sin was. Rabbi Akiva claims he was the man who went out to gather straw on Shabbat and was put to death (Bam. 15:32-36). Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira disagrees, attributing Tzelofchad's sin to joining the "presumptuous ones" who attempted to force their way into Eretz Yisrael without divine sanction and were killed (Bam. 14:39-45).
What do both of these opinions have in common? I would like to suggest that both the straw-gatherer and the presumptuous ones (Hebrew ma'apilim, used in modern Hebrew to refer to the illegal Jewish immigration during the British Mandate White Paper days) were two different manifestations of what we call today Post-Stress Trauma Disorder (PSTD).
Some people who have been in mortal danger, for example soldiers in battle or firefighters, cope with their fear by recklessly charging forward into the danger without concern for the danger. This sometimes ends in heroism and other times in death. The Israelites accepted the evil report of the spies and expressed their wish to go back to Egypt. For this G-d punished them with 40 years of wandering in the desert. None of the adult males would go into Eretz Yisrael; all would die during the 40 years. There were those who attempted to charge forward anyway. They were told that G-d would not be with them and the enemy would destroy them, and so it was.
The other category was the straw-gatherer. The straw-gatherer was a case in which Moshe had to ask G-d specially what to do with him. This is peculiar, since it is a known fact that transfer of an object in a public domain on Shabbat is a capital offense. However, there is a principle that the actual conviction of a criminal in a capital case should be avoided at all cost to prevent the spilling of blood. Any mitigating factor is used to prevent the conviction. But apparently here the case was clear-cut. The offender was caught in the act, questioned, warned before at least two witnesses, and then proceeded despite being told that he would stand to be executed. Strict proceedure called for stoning. But there was a wider consideration. This person was in a state of lessened volition because of both lack of clear motive and compulsive behavior. Let me explain the origin of the trauma. Back in Mitzrayim (Shmot/Exodus Chap.5), when Moshe first came before Pharaoh and told him to release the Israelites from bondage, Pharaoh responded punitively by requiring the workers to produce the same quantity of bricks as before without being provided with straw. This forced each worker to do the additional, highly traumatic work of foraging in the sand gathering straw under threat of beating by the Egyptian taskmasters. Does this already sound familiar?
The second factor was the total lack of need to gather straw in the Sinai desert. The people were covered with protective clouds by day and fire by night, therefore they had no need to make fires to warm themselves. None of their clothing wore out that they would have to replace it with fibers of any sort. Their food came down from heaven in an edible form. Those who felt a desire to cook it could do so, but such a desire does not seem to compel going out davka, purposely on Shabbat when it was forbidden, to gather straw.
It is clear from the above that the straw-gatherer is the opposite pole of PSTD, the compulsive reliving of the old stress. We may suggest that Tzelofchad or whoever was walking along in the desert on Shabbat and just happened to look at the straw on the ground. This triggered the recurrence of the trauma from the days of slavery in Mitzrayim. The Torah puts Shabbat, the symbol of freedom from toil, in juxtaposition with this overwhelming compulsion. Moshe and the people were perplexed by this, causing Moshe Rabbeinu to appeal to Hashem for an understanding of what to do.
The verdict is that the individual still in principle has free will and is culpable, but the suffering and death of this unfortunate individual effects an atonement for his soul, since he is still a victim, has not caused others to sin and presumably received his punishment with proper confession and contrition (Yoma 85b and Rambam, Teshuva 1:4). So, in either case, the daughters of Tzelofchad have a case.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Kera b'Am," A "Split in the Nation"

I'm glad that I decided to turn on the TV while eating breakfast.

Professor Aliza Shinhar of Haifa was being interviewed. Among other points, she mentioned the socio-economic difference between the vast majority of those who fled Haifa and those who are staying. In her, obviously upper-middle class or higher, apartment house, at present of the six apartments only two are occupied. The rest of her neighbors, 4/6 fled.

In the poorer areas, the proportion is the opposite. That's why the estimated percentage is 30-50%.

Only those with financial means are able to leave. The wealthier families are vacationing in the south, even if they're just taking advantage of the free beach area being offered. Without at least a family car, leaving home is just too difficult.

The rest of the northern residents, and that includes one of Israel's main cities, Haifa, are in the shelter, or sticking close to them. Many stores are closed, which means that
  • shopping is much more difficult
  • the shop owners aren't making any money
  • and if they are open, there's hardly anyone around to shop
  • supplies aren't always brought in

As hard as it is now, once the war is G-d willing over, the two sections of the once united society must somehow rejoin.

That will not be easy.

Leftist Vermont Journalism and My Response

I submitted the following as a letter to the editor:
As an American-Israeli citizen, I wish to clarify some points in your
editorial about the money the US supposedly sends Israel. First of all,
Israel never gets any of it. It is all spent in the US. All the money goes
to jobs for Americans in the US armaments industry. Congressmen like to
have jobs in their districts. Second, I as an Israeli would be more than
pleased to have Israel stop receiving US aid money. If Israel had had to do
without, it would have spent the last number of years developing and
producing its own weaponry for self-defense. Such weapons would have been
designed more appropriately for Israel's needs and we would be selling them
to other countries like India and China, who could also do without Wahhabi
Islamist terror. The truth is that America uses that aid to try to control
Israel so that it barely remains in existence. It pays off the oligarchy in
Israel, the partners in crime of the American oligarchs, to live well while
they serve foreign interests. The Europeans do that, too. Their divide and
conquer tactics make life bad for both the Israelis and the Arabs. American
taxpayers, please take back your three billion dollars real soon now and
spend them yourselves. Or put them in the bank. Just lay off the Middle

That was my letter to the editor. Let's see if they print it. Readers, what do you think about the style of my response? I was trying to pitch it to the independent, don't-tread-on-me attitude prevalent in the Green Mountain state.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Even I don't believe this! But there is a way...

Of all the things I've been reading and hearing about the "situation," the first time I found myself "nodding yes" was when I read:

Israel is like an aging boxer who packs a mighty punch that is no longer effective because its intended victims know how to absorb it.
By Rami G. Khouri
Newsweek International

Honestly, I may not like all that he wrote in the article, and I definitely disagree with his final message, but some of his observations are very true.

I didn't feel that way when I read what Herb Keinan in the Jerusalem Post wrote, and you should know that we've been acquainted with him for years. He has interviewed, me, my husband and at least one of our kids. He's a nice guy, but this Friday's article has me worried.

I'm referring to this article which doesn't have a working link at present. I suggest checking The Jerusalem Post if you want to read it: Diplomacy: Taking a global approach By HERB KEINON

While the IDF's air and ground forces pinpoint Hizbullah positions, Israel has managed to persuade much of the watching world that its goals are of wider geopolitical importance.

Israel's strategy is unrealistic, it presumes that the Lebanese people want us to destroy Hezbollah, and it presumes that Lebanon can function as an independent country according to western ideals. Considering the history of the country, its inherent instability, that's a pretty tall order.

And if they want to look around the region, to see how successful "peace-keeping" forces can be, just look at Iraq. The latest statistics show:

UN tallies Iraq deaths: 100 civilians killed daily
By Kirk Semple The New York Times

Published: July 18, 2006

I wonder how long it will take for the American public to consider Iraq, just "another Vietnam." The American plan was also based on a misconception that as soon as the despot would be removed, the Iraqi people would embrace western-style freedom and democracy.

I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. This may sound very "un-American" or sacrilegious, but not all people are the same!

Actually the solution, G-d's instructions to us are all written in the Bible, in the portion we read today in synagogue:

50 And HaShem spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying:
51 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52 then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places.
53 And ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for unto you have I given the land to possess it.
54 And ye shall inherit the land by lot according to your families--to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer thou shalt give the less inheritance; wheresoever the lot falleth to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers shall ye inherit.
55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that ye let remain of them be as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land wherein ye dwell.
56 And it shall come to pass, that as I thought to do unto them, so will I do unto you.

I admit that it's not very "pc," politically correct, but until we at least make it clear to the Arabs here that either they live according to our laws or leave, we'll never have peace.

Shavua Tov, Shavua yoter Tov,

Yes, G-d willing a better week, but it's reallly up to us!

Friday, July 21, 2006

an "only in Israel story"

This afternoon on the TV the pre-Shabbat show was very special. The rabbis had an "open line" for people to call with "sha'aylot," questions pertaining to Jewish Law.

Various people, especially in the areas the Arabs have been blitzing, asked important questions. (most of what I had written was lost when I had to close down explorer)

There were some very good questions about how to keep Shabbat during the ongoing war.

A couple of people asked about going to synagogue. One said that her husband and children were afraid to go out: "What if there's suddenly an alarm?" The rabbis said that it's important to get out and doven with others, not to wait around the house.

Another asked about going to synagogue if it's far away, so the rabbi suggested organizing a minyan nearby, even if there's no Torah Scroll.

Someone else said that the electric timer turns the lights off in the shelter, and what if they need to go in late at night. The rabbi said to change the setting, so that there will be light on all night, until dawn.

There were questions about using the phone on Shabbat for various reasons. The one answer I'll give concerns when the children are in the army. The rabbis reminded the questioner that if G-d forbid anything happens, the army notifies the family, so they should just have a


Pro-Israel Rallies, Listing

For a comprehensive listing: click here!

A Bissel Variety

First, something that has the ring of common sense:

These are the people that put bombs on their own kids, for crying out loud! These are the people that strap bombs on their own kids and send them out to blow themselves up hoping to take out some Israelis at the same time, and somehow we keep hearing about a "disproportionate response," and we keep hearing about "a collective punishment." Some people in this country still cannot see it -- and I know why it is. There's just a genuine dislike on some people's part, a genuine hatred on many people's part, for Israel, for a host of reasons, all of which you could figure out and I don't have to mention here.

One of them is, though, that it's considered to be a powerful nation, and all these surrounding little Arab regimes and terrorist regimes are the victims, "and it's just not fair that Israel can respond with such force, and this is a fair. It's disproportionate. It's not proportionate. Israel should response with proportionality." It's absolutely asinine. All of this is asinine! I'll tell you what about Kofi Annan and the United Nations. You know, we hear about SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative. I think the most effective anti-missile shield is located in the UN building. You talk about an SDI?
Rush Limbaugh

Next, as usual, the pictures illustrating the New York Times article tell a story which paints us black, as big powerful aggressors.

guarding the junctions where people hitch

Don't be silent!

Follow Chava Willig Levy's example and write to the papers.

You don't have to be a professional writer. The trick is to write briefly and clearly. Each letter should have one simple point without distractions.

A two-sentence, three-line letter has a better chance of getting published than a long missive, resembling an op-ed piece.

Relate them to something published in the same periodical.

Don't be apologetic. And don't add anything extra.

It's better to send five short letters, than one long essay.

Shabbat Shalom

That's what they have their own government and allies for!

I don't see any reason for us to worry about enemy civilians. They are at war with us.

Thursday, July 20, 2006
Karni, Nahal Oz Opened Today for Food and Fuel

July 20th 2006
Passage of food items and fuel into the Gaza Strip through the Nahal Oz and
Karni crossings

In accordance with the decisions of the political echelon and following
security assessments, the Karni goods crossing and Nahal Oz fuel terminal
were opened again today, July 20th 2006, for the passage of food items and
fuel into the Gaza Strip.

· At Karni crossing, 146 truckloads of basic food items were
transferred to Gaza.
· At the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, the following quantities of fuel
and natural gas were transferred: 370,000 liters of diesel, 90,000 liters of
Gasoline, 175 tons of natural gas (for cooking).

Israel will continue to closely monitor the economic and humanitarian
situation in Gaza and will work to transfer essential goods and fuel into
Gaza based on Palestinian demand and in coordination with international
relief agencies.

Here's another example of the warped perverted morality governing Israel.

Im ain ani li, mi li? אם אין אני לי, מי לי If we're not for ourselves, who will be? said Rabbi Hillel in Pirkei Avot.

Our first priority must be the security and health of our own people. The Arabs see us as weak and foolish. Humanitarian gestures are their proof. We won't win them over. As a tax payer, mother of soldiers and a loyal citizen of Israel, I protest.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Nice guys finish last."

...Said Leo Durocher and he was right!

That's the line that suddenly kept pounding in my head after reading:
July 20th 2006 IDF SPOKESPERSON ANNOUNCEMENT IDF drops leaflets to ensure the safety of Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip As part of the IDF's operation to stop the Qassam rocket barrages against Israel, the IDF dropped leaflets addressing the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. The leaflets are intended to warn the population not to stay in structures that are used for storing weaponry, before they are targeted by the IDF.

So I quickly googled to check if someone had really said it. Leo Durocher was known to have said some other great things, such as:

I come to win.
Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot.
As long as I've got a chance to beat you I'm going to take it.

Leo Durocher (July 27, 1905 - October 7, 1991), nicknamed "Leo the Lip", was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked 5th all-time among managers with 2,008 career victories, and second only to John McGraw in National League history. Through 2005, Durocher still ranked 9th in career wins by a manager. A controversial and outspoken character, Durocher's career was dogged by clashes with authority and the press.

I can just imagine what he'd say about Israel's mode of "fighting." I've always considered sports to be a good way to learn the truth of life, and maybe we ought to have more baseball in Israel.

This "war" is just going on and on, and I just can't figure it out.

Maybe it will be a good thing for me to be going away from the computer and internet on a daily basis. This time I'm not looking for frequent contact, though American TV news is the pits. Last year I found it terribly frustrating not knowing what was really happening.

I'll just have to rely on my family calling me and consider "no news is good news." That's not really true, since I do want news, but I have no faith in any of the politicians including the ones I voted for.

Only a few more days until I fly, G-d willing.

All I can say is that we need a really big miracle, since the left isn't learning too quickly, and the right doesn't seem to have much of a sense of direction.

Shabbat Shalom

Getting Ready, Good Timing, and f2f

I still have some last minute errands before going to New York.

For some strange reason my yahoo.mail isn't working, though other yahoo's are.

I'm sure that you'll find good things to read in goyisherebbe's posts. Maybe someone else will surprise us. I can't find out, since yahoo.mail won't open. If you want to reach me, the same address is at gmail.

This "little war" has me upset, since as I've mentioned, there's no battle plan. Actually the same situation existed in 1973, but then Arik Sharon was in his more "manifest destiny mode." While everyone, and I'm talking about the top generals, were literally freaking out after we were surprise-attacked on two fronts, Arik took over the southern and gathered forces and crossed the Suez Canal. That resulted in our holding even more land than before the war.

It's very true. The summer before (1973) my husband heard someone bragging about his army position by saying that he and Arik Sharon are practicing to cross the Suez Canal. Of course, nobody understood the significance of it until the we were attacked and we heard on the news what Arik had done.

Today, Arik's brain-damaged in more ways than one, and we don't have anyone with the vision he (and the country) were blessed with.

I'm so depressed about this "war," since it's really a battle, not a war. A war has an aim, and Israel is just on the defensive. Bombing Lebanon is only to make them stop bombing us. That's like putting a compress on a cut to make it stop bleeding when it needs stitches.

I hope to meet some of you f2f when in the states.