Hamas War

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The UN is Immoral

There's more truth to my statement than to this:
Annan Continues To Denounce Israel: Cluster Bombing "Immoral"

It's time for us to tell them to get packing. OK, I know I'm in the minority, and the "elite" worships them. But as Jews, as Israelis, we have no choice. The UN endangers Israel.

That same, United Nations Secretary-General, doesn't see anything immoral in the fact that Israeli cities are being bombed.
Just today: 5 Qassams fired at Sderot

Why is it "moral" to attack Jews, but if Jews fight back it's "immoral?"

Where there any headlines of Kofi Annan saying that it's immoral for the "PA" and Hamas to shoot rockets at Sderot?

The only moral thing is to defend ourselves and defeat the enemy.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

Just shows....

While MK Hanegbi vacationed in Florida his committee saved the Golan
Just shows, that he isn't really needed. That's what I had written earlier.

The great, classic political sitcom, "Yes, Minister," is based just on that premise. It's not the politicians, office-holders, who run things. Everything happens behind the scenes by the staff.

It's a rare politician who actually runs his or her own office and makes serious policy decisions. Tzachi's mother, Geula Cohen, was one of the better ones, more involved and more opinionated and ideological.

Who needs them!?

This summer, when Israel was being attacked by its Arab neighbors on two fronts, Hizbollah in the north and Hamas, the P.A., in the south, it begged the United Nations to send a "peace-keeping force."

True to form, the United Nations happily came in to.... condemn Israel. No surprise!

And Kofi Anan also has no problem with Iran's openly saying that their aim is to destroy Israel.

I'm against this "peace-keeping force" for a multitude of reasons.

The main, the most important reason of all is that by asking for protection, the State of Israel is relinquishing its independence.

This point must be hammered in. Unfortunately, I don't hear any of the politicans, right, left or center, saying this important thing.

I'm disgusted and very worried!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jerusalem of....

...Walls and building

You guys are just too good. I guess you
know Jerusalem really well.

Last week, the day before Rosh Chodesh Elul, on my way to meet the Shiloh bus to Kever Rachel, I was overwhelmed by the amount of building going on in Jerusalem. Some is nice and some is horrendous. The area around the Central Bus Station, Binyanei Ha'umah and Kiryat Moshe is undergoing major changes. At least I presume that's what's going on behind those walls I showed in the previous post. Honestly, I wouldn't want to live near that structure that's going up! And I mean UP!

To see the walls in Northern Jerusalem, which we need to pass through, look here.

But one of the saddest thing is to see what happened to the once beautiful Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb. What we see today, certainly is nothing like the the structure I first saw when here as a student in 1969.

Yes, near the Giloh neighborhood, we have to ride in a bullet-proof vehicle, when Arabs are walking freely, and we enter a special "cul de sac" bordered by high cement walls, which leads to the heavily disguised Kever Rachel.

You can see buses, chemical toilets and a row of sinks.

They just made a new entrance for the women. This is the men's entrance and you can see the sign and arrow pointing to the women's entrance.

Here's a view of the women's section.

Besides special chartered buses, there is public transportation, too. This may not be the most attractive of places, but you can see that it's a popular shrine.


When I get back from Jerusalem, G-d willing, bli neder, I plan on blogging about this.

Can anyone guess where I took this?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Peace" Poll?

Newsweek has a poll. I agree with the results, at this time, but I don't agree with the question: Are U.N. peacekeepers likely to bring peace to Lebanon?

At this moment 77% say "no."

Now my problem is with the wording.
  • Who was attacked?
  • Who is being victimized?
  • Who needs to be protected?

So why should the U.N. need to bring peace to Lebanon? It's Israel which is so desperately desiring "peace." Of course, it acts like a woman who thinks that sex is love, so by desiring to be "loved," she'll let anyone do what they want with her.

Sorry, Ehud and Amir, those "peacekeepers" are just guarding the gates so no one will interfere during the "gang bang."


from Arutz-7:

Sharansky: Now We Can't Say We Weren't Warned 13:17 Aug 29, '06 / 5 Elul 5766

(IsraelNN.com) MK Natan Sharansky (Likud), responding to Shabak (General Security Service) chief Yuval Diskin’s briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee Tuesday, said it was the most alarming security assessment he had ever been privy to in his lengthy political career.

"For ten years I have been hearing security reports. I have never heard such an unequivocal and frightening report that calls for immediate action,” Sharansky said. "Every kind of weapon, except for tanks and airplanes, are getting into the Gaza Strip through the Philadelphi Route, including terrorist experts who have been trained in Iran. Hamas is establishing a terrorist army in Gaza.”

“Now it is no longer possible to say they didn't warn us."

The War that No One Won?

I've been calling this recent war The "Spin" War, with the horrid feeling that we lost it, so I was surprised when someone I really respect sent me and article by Amir Taheri which says that Hezbollah Didn't Win. So, maybe my title is the correct one.

Nothing is very clear here. Neither Hezbollah nor Israel got what it wanted. But is that the entire story? I doubt it.

I think we have to go a little deeper. The war that played in the headlines was just the tip of the iceberg, as the saying goes. Or would a better metaphor be a "puppet theater?" Who was behind the scenes, pulling the strings and controlling the actions and reactions?

Someone or some country got what it wanted. I can feel it in my kishkes (gut.)

The question is who.

Just like I tell my students when they're faced with a difficult "multiple choice question." First let's try the process of elimination. But here it's harder than than an English exam.

The war "began" with Kassam rocket attacks, bombardments by the Arabs in Gaza and Gush Katif on Sderot and the Negev, all pre-1967 parts of Israel. This was a serious affront to Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz, formerly Sderot's Mayor. Then Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and two soldiers killed, which outraged the nation. PM Olmert and Peretz had to do something. The violence began to escalate:
Sun 25 June: Cpl Gilad Shalit captured in cross-border attack
Mon 26 June: Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees demand prisoner releases in exchange for Shalit
Weds 28 June: Israeli military enters southern strip after launching air strikes on Gaza
Thurs 29 June: Israel detains dozens of Hamas officials
Sat 1 July: Groups believed to be holding Cpl Shalit demand 1,000 prisoners be released
Mon 3 July: Groups holding soldier issue ultimatum for 0300 4 July

And suddenly, the unthinkable, Northern Israel, Haifa, Nahariya, Tfat and more cities and countryside, were all being bombed by Hezbollah, the terrorists who are well-entrenched in Southern Lebanon! And Defense Minister Peretz was surprised. He hadn't a clue as to what had been going on there ever since his fellow Laborite, Ehud Barak had ordered the IDF to flee from there six years ago.

The Israeli defense experts had been preaching for years that our "superior fighting power" would keep us safe. The Arabs "wouldn't dare" risk defeat. Deterrence would protect us. This may have sounded great in the cabinet room or at the well-paid lectures government officials, past and present, gave, but it's no secret that it didn't work this summer.

For Deterrence to be effective, the other side must believe that they would suffer so, it really wouldn't be worth the risk. And since Olmert had said he was "tired..."

Most Israelis really didn't have any idea of how well armed Hezbollah was before the attacks began this summer, but the United States was very aware of what was happening behind the scenes in terms of weapon supplies and more. Look at this time line.

I was in the states during some of the war, so my perspective comes partially from the TV news I watched there. There was a well-choreographed "dance" between Olmert and Bush to reach a cease-fire, which would bring foreign troops to "guard" Israel.

Of course, the United Nations' concept of "guarding" Israel has never been for Israel's benefit. Israel is constantly being "chastised" for defending itself and when attacked, the aggressors are left alone. The agreement doesn't even include a clause conditioning the cease-fire to be after the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers, even though Olmert kept claiming that he had sent the troops into Lebanon to free them.

And isn't it a strange little coincidence that the very person being proposed as "savior of the nation" has been a Distinguished Military Fellow at the Washington Institute Center for Near East Studies? That's Moshe Ya'alon, if you didn't know.

I, also,can't ignore the fact that Jonathan Jay Pollard has been in American prisons for over twenty years for the "crime" of giving security information to an ally with which the American Government had a treaty promising the information. There is no legal precedent for so severe punishment for such a crime.

It bothers me that so many people believe the myth that "America has always been a friend of Israel." How can one believe it when America didn't even plan on voting for the establishment of the state in the infant United Nations? Harry Truman's old friend and business partner had to be urged to personally lobby for Truman's support.

I have no doubt that most of the truth is hidden, and we can't believe what the politicians and media keep telling us. Remember there is still a war going on, and it's far from over.

hat tip to ck
puppet picture credit

Who should judge?

At first glance, the headline is good, Pines to Vote Against Olmert’s Inquiry Plan , but then I read whom he recommends to judge the politicians and army. retiring Supreme Court Justice Aaron Barak , the very man who had admitted that his agenda, his philosophy should be the basis of law.

Hashem Yishmor!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Is the Noose getting tigher?

PM Olmert seems to be attracting trouble.
  • Besides buying a home so far under the going price, that there had to be something "traif" (forbidden) in the deal.
  • And besides being the "first Israeli Prime Minister to lose a war." And besides the demonstrations demanding he establish a commission to investigate the conduct of the war, or even resign.
  • And besides not having the charisma of Arik Sharon to get away with pushing unpopular policies with the army.

Now, it seems that he's being investigated for cronyism – saying he was responsible for improper appointments as Minister of Industry and Trade during the Sharon regime, the same charge that Tzachi Hanegbi is fighting.

King David wrote that the evil people will be killed by their own swords....

The "Spin" War

I still can't figure out what the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah is called. On Arutz 7, it's called the Re-Engagement War. Now there's even a poll asking readers' opinions for a name.

Various politicians and "experts" are debating how it ended or who won. So maybe we should just call it the "Spin" War, since victory and defeat are just "illusions" in our modern world.

One thing I do know is that it pointed out, very close to home, how seriously, incompetently the Israeli Army has been run in recent years. And it's no secret. The reservists haven't been shy about revealing the horrors of insufficient arms and food supplies and of unnecessary danger and death. And how can the army complain when reporters were right there with them on the front lines. Top officers arrived with their pet journalists and photographers, but there was no food for the troops!

Now there's a "cease fire," though no one will venture a guess for how long.

In spite of it all, Israel is doing its best to be the ultimate "yuppie" country, and whoever can is busy trying to get last minute vacations telescoped into the last few days before school resumes. Tourist businesses in the north are being creative. There are even "See the War" tours!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I was wondering...

Ever since I wrote about the complexity of guilt, I've been wondering why Olmert hasn't been vociferous in attacking the military. With all his faults, long-term planning for war was not his responsibility. And the real foul-ups were long-term planning in the relatively recent past.

Then last night, when I couldn't fall asleep, it hit me. He doesn't want to make enemies with the army, because he'll need to army for his evil plans to G-d forbid throw me and my neighbors out of our homes.

If Olmert starts blaming the army, the generals, the field officers, etc, they won't cooperate. And that may be part of the reason he's avoiding a serious inquiry in the conduct of the military during this horrid war.

When I was a student, we were taught a name for this type of politics: "I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine." It's a first cousin to "pork barrel politics." In Israel it's commonly practiced, even by those who would never eat bacon.

Also, don't forget how many politicians were top army officers? They're all involved.

And enough people experienced the foul-ups during the war so that it will be very hard for the government to keep it all secret. As a blogger, I know how easy it is to broadcast words and pictures to the world.

Shavua Tov

84 and Still Going Strong!

Yes, this is the 84th edition of Havel Havelim, instituted by the one and only Soccer Dad, to give an internet forum, "carnival," for Jewish and Israeli blogs.

Psalm 84
For the Leader; upon the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O HaShem of hosts!
My soul yearneth, yea, even pineth for the courts of HaShem; my heart and my flesh sing for joy unto the living G-d.
Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young; Thine altars, O HaShem of hosts, my King, and my G-d--.
Happy are they that dwell in Thy house, they are ever praising Thee. Selah
Happy is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways.
Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; yea, the early rain clotheth it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them appeareth before G-d in Zion.
O HaShem G-d of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O G-d of Jacob. Selah
Behold, O G-d our shield, and look upon the face of Thine anointed.
For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand; I had rather stand at the threshold of the house of my G-d, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For HaShem G-d is a sun and a shield; HaShem giveth grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.
O HaShem of hosts, happy is the man that trusteth in Thee.

To me, King David, the composer of Psalms, was the first blogger. His was a mostly personal blog; writing his feelings helped him strengthen his faith in G-d.

Havel Havelim is hosted by a different blogger each week and coordinated by
Soccer Dad. The term “Havel Havelim” is from Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, which was written by King Solomon, who built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other “excesses” and finally realized that it was nothing but norishkeit, “havel” or in English “vanities.”

I'm including all of the posts submitted, even if a blogger sends in a few. I don't like the idea of "selecting" the "only best." We love all our children the same; don't we? And if you expect this missive to be organized, sorry, it's almost as big a mess as my house. So just grit your teeth and enjoy yourself. Feel free to comment; all criticism will be deleted; so don't bother trying. Praise only will be accepted. The school year starts soon, and I must put myself in a good mood; you wouldn't want the kiddees to suffer. We don't need teenage boys on a rampage, ok?

If any of you have been left out, please accept my apologies and send your links in as comments. I'm sure some of my favorite bloggers are somehow missing. That means, that you're kindly requested to read the comments, too.

First prize for first post submitted goes to Irina who submitted a moving post, not even her own,
illustrating the question: Who's a Jew?

I see the continued Aliyah artza, to live in Israel and join the army as the ultimate sign of faith. Pictured
here are Nefesh B'Nefesh immigrants from the August 9, 2006 flight.

SimplyJews explains hypocrisy. And Mere Rhetoric tells of the destabilizing by Iran. From Meryl Yourish is A must-read on Hezbullah training and tactics.
Here are some pictures of the
ghetto wall surrounding northern Jerusalem. Someone even spray-painted the word "ghetto." And here are some pictures of a demonstration and talk about "who's guilty."
The Olah Chadasha from French Hill tries to make sense of Dichter's talk of
giving Syria the Golan. And she also tells us who the biggest losers are when it comes to the UN peace-keeping force.
Moshe Burt manages to combine Parshat Shavua with the proposed
Minister of Justice. Tzedek, Tzedek!
Sarah did a supper, oops! super job on the
9th Kosher Cooking Carnival!
Just perfect for Chodesh Elul, Beyond Tshuva tells us to
Honor All Your Failures.

Simply Jews talks about
Bibi's great answers. I was impressed, too.

Life in Israel ponders the "just like in America"
spiel in a different category.

Arlene Peck reacts to the emergency
airline security; just you try to take away her mascara!

A Simple Jew is really a
red-bearded Perry Mason!

Cosmic X gives us the low-down (real low) about the newspaper,
Ha'aretz. And Olah Chadasha from French Hill adds more about it and Israel's left.

Shemita Rediscovered gives us
East vs West-WWIII Chas Vechalila- Radical Islam vs. Materialist Western Culture.

Don Radlauer brings up an important point in
ClichéWatch: “Israel’s lost deterrence”.

"Ricky Ricardo," not Lucy's—though sure looks like him—goes over the
halachot of tzedaka refused. I've had things like that happen.

MR Reacts to Bloggers' Conference Call With Israeli Ambassador Uri Lubrani

Rabbi Lazer Brody discusses
emunah, faith and more.

Trent Telenko
explains how Israel is now perceived.
Haganah writes about
JoeSettler tells us about
Cowardly Generals, other true stories and a book he read. The third is from the new blog he shares with Jameel.
From Reb Chaim HaQoton,
Freedom and Torah Supremacy.
Nasrallah you never knew and learn Scapegoating as a business at Simply Jews.
Sultan Knish tells us
How America and Israel Failed Against Shiite Terrorism .
According to Life In Israel,
The sh*t is hitting the fan.

Doven for a
Refuah Shleimah for Ruvein ben Tova Chaya the grandson of Emes Ve-Emunah.

Look at that
butterfly at Sarah's.

And read what my husband
quoted. Here he points out Olmert's chutzpah!

Westbankmama asks
Are We Being Ants or Grasshoppers? What do you think?

A Mother in Israel writes about
eccentric children; and that's not a bad trait to have. If we were all the same, wouldn't it be boring?

What's it like for Jews in Harlem? Ask
Akiva Micah.

Ask Shifra about
splogs, scary stuff.

Real scary! The Bagel Blogger blogs about
the Iranian threat.

Baleboosteh writes about her daughter, Jade's,
adjustment to their becoming Jewish. Shalom and good luck.

Look at the
first day of school at Jewess with Horns.

Boker Tov, Boulder writes about the
fence and our "partners."

Shanah pokes her head
out of the bomb shelter.

Jerusalem Cop gives us:
WHY I’M PROUD TO BE A JEW - by Bruce from New York.

Read about
Jews and baseball on Jewschool.

From Kallah Magazine,
muse on the mikvah.

Allisonks sends a very clear message to
those powerful men with uncontrollable urges.

If you still think that Bush supports Israel, read IRIS Blog,
Bush: $230 Million for Hezbollah, $0 for Israel!

Not a nice story from Irina.

Daled Amos writes about
the Democratic Party and Israel.

Should the blogmeister be a

Jerusalem Joe sent me
A Secular Jew, A Religous Jew, A Believing Jew - So Near, and Yet So Far . What do you think?

Life in Israel mulls over
Israeli politics.

For those who know Russian, from Irina:
An Israeli soldier, wounded in Lebanon, confronts Olmert, etc.

From Ra'anana Ramblings, we have a story about
helping sick Arab children.

Yitz, from Heichal Hanegina, tells us about
The Skulener Rebbe: Enduring Decrees with Love and Song.

A Military Assessment of the Lebanon Conflict from Winds of Change.

Infidel Bloggers wonders about
who is really in charge of American policy.

Benjamin of Kesher Talk, talks about
Peace Now, while Van, at the same address, talks about Tom Cruise.

LGF, which gets more hits in a minute, than all my blogs together get in a day, writes that
CAIR will Host an Anti-Israel Event in DC.

The Eye of an Eagle from Bat Eyin reveals the state of his

Here are a couple of posts from Daled Amos; the first is
Rabbi Avi Weiss's trip to Israel, (the one from Riverdale.) The second discusses Israel's Right of Return.

A Simple Jew writes about

From Israel and the Sin of Expulsion:
Israeli Delegation to French Minister on Expulsion: “We are Israelis. Those being expelled are Jews.”

Soccer Dad joined
me in discussing the next Israeli general trying to become a political leader, Moshe Ya'alon.

History News Network compares Israel's demonstrating against Olmert now with
the Arab countries' embracing Nassar after he led them to defeat in 1967.

House of Joy and kids have a
great time at the Pisgat Zeev Mall. Maybe I should take my granddaughters there!

Read the movie review from the
Counterterrorism blog.

Israellycool actually has something
good to say about the media. And here's something worth reading from Newsweek, of all places.

Jameel remember the
Hebron Massacre of 1929.

Random Thoughts updates us about the
restaurant named after Hitler.

This Dry Bones about the
UN will soon be a classic; he says more in those 4 little boxes, than most writers say in a book.

Mottel shows us great pictures from
the beginning and the end of camp. And here are more pictures from him in night games.

Beyond Tshuva and
Elul, of course, and here he gives a more physical example of what it's all about.

last Jews are discussed on Crossing the Rubicorn2.

My husband wrote about
Amnesty International. And Daled Amos wrote about Human Rights Watch. Maybe the question is "who's human?" And Ted Belman wrote: HRW is guilty of “war crimes”, not Israel .

On Jewish Current Issues, read about
Mark Steyn.

Carl tells us about
Emanuel Moreno, an Israeli hero.

On Back Spin, read about
Christians refusing Hisbollah aid.

Westbankmama tells us about an untypical
Israeli family reunion story.

From the Maryland conservatarian, read about
Democracy Activism - Mid East style.

The sundries shack will tell us
what people in Arab countries think 5 years after 9-11.

Boker tov, Boulder wants to
solve a mystery...
Ya'akov Menken asks:
What are we Jews, anyway? Also on Cross- Currents, Rabbi Adlerstein wrote about European Antisemitism, and kindness from the Poles of all people. And then Rabbi Rosenblum asked if the Democratic party is being infected with European Antisemitism. In addition, there are two posts questioning whether Kehillat Orech Eliezer is, in fact, an Orthodox congregation appointing a woman as its spiritual head: one by Rabbi Menken and the other by Rabbi Shafran. And Eytan Kobre wrote about a pair of Jewish baseball stars.
On Esser Agaroth, Ya'aqov gives us
a story about the Jewish Legion and a recipe!

I have three posts from Joe Settler:
Cowardly Generals, True stories from war and a book review.

On Blog Free! I have the
link for media fraud.

Jameel has
A Passionate Yearning for Eretz Yisrael and discovered "strange and dangerous lights" on his way to an anniversary dinner with his wife. He also posts about "the circle of life."

Last summer, many of us were amazed at the parallels between Disengagement and Katrina, and now
a year later...

May this be dedicated to the memory of
My Cousin Mickey, Z"L, who passed away last week. He was physically handicapped with Cerebral Palsy, but he had "no complaints" and thanked G-d every morning when he woke up. Everyone who knew him misses him terribly.

This will be posted on both
me-ander and Shiloh Musings. Me-ander should be easier to read, since Akiva fixed the template. Thanks again.

Send your links for the next edition of Havel Havelim via Conservative Cat’s
handy form or the blog carnival one, and at the same time you may discover other “carnivals” to visit and enter. You can also use those forms to send kosher recipes and other kosher food posts to the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Blog carnival also has a great listing of recent carnivals for your sidebar. You can either get one for a specific carnival, like HH or KCC, or a general one.

Thanks to
Soccer Dad for his hard work keeping this going, and if you want to host, please let him know at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.

This appears in the
UberCarnival.Please put up a blurb on your site alerting readers to Havel Havelim.

Neither elections nor polls

Put your faith in neither elections, nor polls.

The latest polls show a strong right wing showing if elections were to be held soon in Israel. besides the fact, that they are just "polls," the last elections were the same, and we got great election results, until Arik Sharon became Yossi Beilin or worse.

Now, 63% of the public, according to the polls, want Olmert to resign, but who will take his place?

The only positive thing I can think of is that we should never stay with something bad because of fear of change.

Shavua Tov!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Guilt? Rather Complex

There's strong popular support for some sort of official inquiry in Israel about the "conduct of the war." PM Olmert probably realizes by now that he doesn't have a choice. That's not all that great, since I can't imagine a commission that would be totally impartial.

Now if Olmert was really smart, he would now protect himself (and Defense Minister Peretz can use the same basic tactic) by stressing that he had been busy running Jerusalem when the officers were being trained and the inventory was supposed to be updated and when the "Intelligence Services" were supposed to be reporting that Hezbollah was turning Southern Lebanon into an armed camp.

If he can show written reports that misled him about the army's condition etc...

That's not to erase that Olmert is not suited to be Prime Minister, that his policies endanger the security of the country. I thought that Olmert was a "detail man." He doesn't know how the army is run, and he doesn't understand "defense." Peretz is no better.

We need a new government, but not with Ya'alon. I've gotten a slew of reactions to my Ya'alon piece. Some are totally in agreement with me, and even most of those opposed, do agree that I have valid questions.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some sense from Newsweek, of all places

I don't agree with all the points and all the reasoning, but the bottom line is correct. The wall the Israeli Government is building will not bring peace or safety.

So, please take a few minutes and watch or at least listen to this report.

To paraphrase what's written in Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, "The wise is one who learns from all."

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Moshe Ya'alon? An Improvement, or Part of the Problem?

Honestly, I can't figure out how people are supporting Moshe Ya'alon as a replacement for the present defense policy makers.

As I wrote in the simplest language possible here, just because Peretz was caught holding "bag," doesn't mean that he created that awful situation. Olmert's guilty of agreeing, especially requesting, that dangerous "cease-fire agreement," but the people responsible, guilty of our lack of preparedness are those who were running the Defense Establishment these last six years, ever since Barak ordered the soldiers to flee. And foremost among those generals was Moshe Ya'alon.

His recent popularity has me very worried. According to the IMRA poll, which at this moment is not yet on its site:

Do you personally support the entrance of former
COS Bogie Yaalon into Israeli politics?
Support 55.6%

Oppose 24.0%

Don't know 20.4%
Among those who voted Likud, 88.2% support

Of the following who would you like to be defense
minister in the coming years?
Mofaz 17.4%

Peretz 4.5%

Yaalon 28.9%

Barak 10.4%
Others 16.3%

Don't know 22.6%

Am I the only one asking why he was silent during his years as Chief of Staff? From 2002 to 2005, he was the one responsible for everything going on in the army. He is more responsible for the state of the IDF than Amir Peretz and Ehud Olmert. Ya'alon succeeded Shaul Mofaz, who has shown himself to be an extremely ambitious politician, switching parties and policies with ease!

Ya'alon is no innocent, when it comes to the question of who was the was supposed to be making sure that the IDF was ready for war! And as Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2005, he had to have known what Hizbollah was doing in Southern Lebanon. Ya'alon should be investigated, not considered as a savior.

Chodesh Tov and Shabbat Shalom

Fox News in the Thick of It

When reporters and photographers are captured while working, they and their bosses become part of the news, rather than observers.

About twenty years ago or probably more even, since we were still in our temporary Shiloh home, which we moved out of 21 years ago. OK, that makes my little anecdote from spring either 21 or 22 years ago, if I'm not mistaken.

There was a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who did an in depth article on us. He spent about a week with us, even sleeping over a couple of nights. Afterwards he and his wife, also a journalist, took us out to dinner in Jerusalem. After that he'd call whenever in Israel and invite us out. Then he was captured, either by Iran or Iraq, I think. Eventually he was released, and we never heard from him again.

Fox News is considered the most "pro-Israel" of the international media. Gaza Captors of 2 Newsmen Pressure U.S. The newsmen are from Fox, and they've been held prisoner for almost two weeks. They're seen in a video saying:
"If you could apply any political pressure on the local government here in Gaza and the West Bank that would be much appreciated by Steve and myself...To my family: I love you all. Please don't worry. I'll do all the worrying for us."

Will things change?

Bibi vs Lieberman?

Polls show that Bibi and Lieberman are running neck and neck.

Don't forget:
  • these are just polls, not real elections
  • and in Israel one doesn't vote for people; we vote for parties

Those two points make things look very different.

For a few years we had a different system, through which Bibi was elected Prime Minister. There were two ballots, the Knesset and the Prime Minister. When the "ruling elite" saw that it gave the people more control/choice, they voted to resume the old system. So unlike the United States, there is no independent Executive body.

At this point, I wouldn't risk "predicting" results, since the government, while shaky, is still standing. There's lots of talk on the media about "the conduct of the war." They try to stack it with soldiers and officers willing to say that things were fine, but they can't and aren't ignoring the ever-growing protest movement.

Chodesh Tov!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New? Nu?

Well, actually, even though it's the same "even-handed" UN (thanks Boris for the cartoon), which is supposed to be keeping the Hezbollah from "endangering" us, I did find something else new.

Last night I was very pleasantly surprised by Bibi Netanyahu's performance on the Israeli Channel One "Populitika" TV Talk Show, or should I call it "Shout Show."

The general format is a "round table" discussion on various issues. Being the 21st century, sometimes the table is "virtual," and the participants are in more than one studio, though that doesn't stop them from simultaneously shouting at each other. Neither the director, the moderator, nor the sound technicians have found a solution to the problem.

New? Nu? Bibi was given a "one on one" with the "moderator," Oded Shachar. He was officially labeled, Leader of the Opposition, and on the whole he was treated with some respect. Just the fact that Bibi was given such a format was good.

Oded Shachar tried to bait him and trip him up, but he's a rank amateur compared to Bibi. First of all, Bibi's speaking voice is far superior. He has a deep, calm, confident voice, while Shachar tended to get high and shrill, especially when he tried asking his "tough questions." And the "tougher" the questions, the better Bibi's answers were. He was well-prepared for sure.

And I don't know if my passive verb, "well-prepared" is the right one. Watching and listening to Bibi, I was reminded of the vast difference between him and Olmert in their perspectives. Bibi was raised by one of the world's top historians, and he was educated in the most competitive American universities. Olmert is no more than a slimy Israeli politician, mired in corruption charges.

Bibi's knowledge of World History and Economics is first class, and his answers reflected it. He totally played down "ego," stressing the needs of the country.

Look, I honestly wish there was somebody better, with a more reliable political history. But considering the pathetic showing of even the party I voted for, I'm enough of a pragmatist to know that Bibi is the only realistic candidate for Prime Minister. I hope that the Likud will reject any of the politicians who dumped it to join Kadima, now that the present coalition is cracking.

Never dull.

There was just a notice on the beeper not to leave the yishuv because of delays on the roads. I planned on going out and will try. Maybe by the time I do things will be "normal."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No Surprise! They're all involved.

I'm not surprised that the Defense minister freezes war inquiry. I'm also not surprised that Bibi has been silent over the issue.

The bad decisions and incompetent planning and policies have been going on for a very long time. We've all been guilty of trusting the military to know what they're doing. Even those of us "on the right," as cynical and paranoid as many of us are, never imagined that it was that bad.

We're now more than a generation past the Yom Kippur War, 1973. Our disastrous failure was due to the politicians insisting on trusting their "philosophy/ideology," rather than facts on the ground. The same thing happened now. The problem is worse, because it has been so many years, since (if ever) our defense policies has been based on reality. As we've seen these past few weeks, the problems can no longer be hidden or glossed over.

The guilt isn't of just a few people. For decades the Israeli Governments have adopted faulty policies.

Now soldiers, especially the reservists, are coming home from the war angry and disgusted. Somehow Olmert's government is still in power, but more and more complaints and legal problems are popping up, meaning that when "Humpty Dumpty" finally falls, the fall-out may reach far.

Yesterday I visited the Israel Movement for Quality Government vigil demanding an impartial inquiry in the conduct of the war. I took these pictures.They're between the Supreme Court Building and the government offices.

Monday, August 21, 2006

loans vs aid

No "free ride" for Israel. We're being offered loans, while Lebanon gets aid from all sorts of places.

We're expected to take care of our own, rebuild our schools and public buildings, help the new homeless, whose homes are destroyed or badly damaged. Yes, there have been Jewish communities doing fund-raising and donating generously. Many are looking for specific projects, since they know that many charities (of all sorts, including some of the big American ones) give large salaries and waste high percentages on "overhead."

The world's sympathy goes to the agressors, the terrorists, and they claim that we control the media?!

Picture from This ongoing war.

Report from the field

JAWS! That's what I think of whenever I see that wall getting closer...
It's going to close us up into a...

GHETTO! That's right. To enforce the ethnic cleansing, the Israeli Government wants to keep Jews away from Arabs, not the opposite. Arabs may live and work in "Israel proper," pre-Six Day War Israel. They can even be citizens of the Jewish State, but Jews are restricted.

These border checks are for us, too, G-d forbid!

That's what Olmert's government in planning, and now his Dichter is suggesting giving the Golan Heights to the Syrians! G-d forbid!

The two most crucial mountain ranges or "heights" for Israel's defense are the mountains of Judea and Samaria and the Golan. Before the Six Days War, Syria shelled the kibbutzim and moshavim in what was then the north of the country. The Golan in Israel's hands gave peace to those communities.

Israel's water supply comes from the north.

I wouldn't call Dichter's statements insanity; it's worse than that. He is showing no loyalty to the country he is being paid to serve. Obviously he has different priorities, and the same must be said for his partner, Olmert and other members of their partners.

Our country is in danger. The "handling of the war" must be investigated by people who haven't been involved in the defense establishment for over six years. It is not for the defense establishment to investigate itself.

Reports from the battlefield are of dangerously, horrendous mal-practice. More and more people are joining the call for the government to resign! Today there was a protest march to Jerusalem by reserve soldiers to protest the handling of the war. At the same time, the Israeli Movement for Quality in Government manned a protest vigil between the Supreme Court and Government offices.


If you're among those thinking that "the ol' granny must have been exaggerating" all those complaints, here's a report of the petition army reservists have publicized. No surprise that Peres is still trying to white wash the disaster and present dangers, claiming there are "more important" things.

The world had better wake up, too, since Islamist extremists are using the old successful Communist model of developing contacts and training moles in universities.

We're dealing with international terror, not some local Israeli problem!

Neither "Havel" nor "Mundane" is BOMS

In a sense, one can translate "havel" as "mundane," which is a useful way of connecting the two carnivals, Havel Havelim and Carnival of the Mundane. And some people looking for something new move to a new country, like those people on line for the August 9th Nefesh B'Nefesh flight, but others read this latest BOMS, in a totally new and exciting format!

Another thing they all have in common is some great posts, so take a gander at all three, and for another type of inspiration, there's NBN. You should be inspired to write some great posts, too, and if they fit the bill, send them to me for the next, the 84th Havel Havelim! Please try to get them to me by Friday night. Send to shilohmuse at yahoo dot com, with "HH" as subject. And if you see any that you think should be included, please do me a favor and send them, too.

And good luck to all the Olim Chadashim, new immigrants to Israel.

ps This will be cross-posted to me-ander

Sunday, August 20, 2006


This is a really good one!!! Even without a scandal, he should've quit!!!

Chaim Ramon (Kadima)

"I will do what I did in Lebanon. Then too, they warned me that I was strengthening Hezbollah, just as you are warning me [about Hamas]. And then too, they told me there would be buses in Avivim [a reference to the deadly 1970 attack on a school bus in Avivim, near the Lebanon border] just as you're telling me there will be shoulder-fired missiles in the West Bank. But it's quiet on the northern border. Nasrallah doesn't dare attack Israel." Chaim Ramon (Kadima) - in a policy debate with Ari Shavit; "On Life and Death" By Ari Shavit Haaretz 27 March 2006.

Hat Tip: IRIS Blog.


In "Guys and Dolls" Miss Adelaide blames her cold on "psychology." Is that the reason the State of Israel is endangering itself with the most "peculiar" and "perverse" policies? Psychology?!?

For a long time I've been ranting about the fact that Israel so proudly brings distinguished guests to Yad Vashem instead of showing our connection to the Land and how quickly and miraculously we've developed industry, agriculture and modern cities here. I've always thought the reason was to get sympathy.

"Pity me! Pity me!" our politicians cry out! Pathetic, I thought, but now I see it as an even worse symptom of a pathological condition. They want a "mommy" or "daddy" to take care of them. Olmert's peculiar statement in a more complete version, from the words we all know so well, shows how far removed he is from reality:
"We are tired of fighting. We are tired of being courageous. We are tired of winning. We are tired of defeating our enemies. We want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors. And I believe that is not impossible."

Olmert, along with many Israelis, just wants to be liked. That's the simplistic interpretation, and considering his similarity with other "right wing" Israelis who lost their principles as soon as they were Prime Minister, I think Miss Adelaide is on the right track. They all act like many victims of physical and emotional abuse. They want to be liked, pitied and only feel secure if they don't have to take responsibility for themselves.

The early Zionists wanted to imitate western culture, like the Jewish People when they demanded from Samuel the Prophet:
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah.
5 And they said unto him: 'Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.'

Today's Israelis dream of a country combining what they think of as the best of Europe and the United States. For spiritualism, they prefer visiting India, since they wouldn't want their materialistic life-style compromised.

Remember that even after the Holocaust, the survivors still worshiped and admired German culture.

This last fiasco of a war, when Olmert and Peretz were forced to follow up on their threats to go in and rescue the kidnapped soldiers, ended up a disaster. I was embarrassed listening to the news in New York, when my government was begging the United Nations and United States to organize a "peace-keeping" force.

Olmert and gang are so tired that they refuse to take full responsibility for our defense.

They don't understand that it's an "all or nothing affair." The UN has made it clear that if Israel is out of Southern Lebanon, it may not go in, even for one of our quick army actions. In addition, the UN does not plan the sort of force Israel wants.

Also our "claim to fame" that ours is the "most moral army in the world" is just a joke to that very world, since no other army would ever endanger its soldiers the way the Israelis do. Victims of abuse have a need to be liked, even if it endangers themselves.

What we do need is a good therapist!