Hamas War

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Time is NOT flying!

I'm sure you know the expression "Time flies when you're having a good time," but today in Israel, at least when it comes to the Olmert Government, it sure doesn't feel that way.

Just today, I was talking to someone who asked:
"Aren't there goint to be elections, soon? It must be close to four years already."
"No, Olmert was just elected ;ate last March, just over half a year ago."

Yes, not only have my neighbors and me more than enough of Ehud Olmert, according to the polls, Poll: Two-Thirds Expect Gov´t To Fall in 12 Months.

(IsraelNN.com) Sixty-seven percent of Israelis think the Olmert administration will not last another 12 months, according to a Dahaf poll published in the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has expanded his coalition with Labor, Shas and the Pensioners parties by adding Israel Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu). The coalition now includes 78 of the Knesset's 120 members.

However, almost one third of the respondents think the government will fall in half a year and another third extend its life to one year. The survey was conducted last week, before the new coalition agreement.
Too bad he doesn't care what the people think. Actually, if he cared about other people, he'd be a better prime minister.

Another recent poll discovered:
Disengagement polarized Israel more than Rabin assassination
47.7 percent of the Israeli public believes that the disengagement from Gaza caused the greatest national rift.

According to the poll, only 38.8 percent said Rabin's murder was the most polarizing event in the country's history, with the bombing of the Altalena placing third at 3.6 percent.

There are some disturbing things in this poll, such as
The poll also indicates that the most disliked group within the general population are the Haredim with 37 percent of Israelis stating they dislike them. Far behind are new immigrants from the former Soviet Union (15.2 percent), settlers (12.6 percent)

On the other hand
The poll also asked which group people saw as contributing the most to society – kibbutzniks take the lead with 20.1 percent, followed by settlers (16.2 percent), Tel-Avivians (11.9 percent), immigrants from the former Soviet Union (11.7 percent) and finally Haredim (7.7 percent).

Those results do make sense to me.
I'm not willing to predict when this government will be finished, but I doubt if things will ever be dull.

SUICIDE SUPERPOWER: Martyrdom as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

here's a great article by the one and only-- Craig Karpel

SUICIDE SUPERPOWER: Martyrdom as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Last summer, Lebanon, wearing Hezbollah as a bomb belt, became the world’s first suicide state.
By Craig S. Karpel

In an op-ed after the war in the Beirut daily An-Nahar (The Day), Dr. Mona Fayad, a Shi’ite who chairs the psychology department at Lebanese University, the country’s largest institution of higher learning, said that to be a Shi’ite in Lebanon is to let Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei “command you, drive you, decide for you what he wants from the weapons of Hezbollah, and force on you a victory that is no different from suicide.”

Mshari al-Zaydi, opinion editor of the Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq al-Awsat (The Middle East), wrote: “Has Israel won the war or have the forces of development and enlightenment been defeated? Is a victory achieved when the media proclaims so? … What will be made of the 1,000 dead, the one million displaced and the widespread destruction? Are they considered victories as well?”

The answer to al-Zaydi’s last question is-from the standpoint of Hezbollah’s sponsor, Iran: Yes.

Iran considers death, displacement and destruction in Lebanon victories because Israel’s deterrent posture was impaired by the war, an outcome Tehran regards as being well worth any damage to Lebanon and the Lebanese. It would be appropriate for the Iranian funds that have been disbursed through Hezbollah to Shi’ite residents of Beirut’s leveled Dahiya al-Janubiya (Southern Suburb) and the country’s south to come from the same budget line as the Iranian funds that have been disbursed through Hamas to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

Life imitates the art of martyrdom

There has been speculation in the Western press that Iran’s determination to enrich uranium may be connected to a desire on the part of its president to foment nuclear war in order to hasten the emergence of the Mahdi. The Mahdi (Guided One) is the redeemer who, according to Shi’a doctrine, has been in “occultation” since the 9th century and is destined to reappear and establish a worldwide Islamic state. This apocalyptic notion may or may not be the case.

Not open to question, however, is the extent to which the discourse of the Iranian regime is suffused with the traditional Shi’ite emphasis on martyrdom, the fate suffered-or, depending on one’s theological viewpoint, relished-by the fourth Islamic caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, assassinated in 661 A.D, whose posthumous adherents were known as Shi’at Ali (Partisans of Ali).

Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, the Islamic regime’s founder and first Rahba-e Moazzam (Supreme Leader), wrote, “Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom.” “The martyrs,” said Khomeini, “are the quintessence of our strength.”

Khomeini’s successor and current supreme leader, former president Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Khamenei, who is incomparably more powerful than Ahmadinejad, has said, “Martyrdom operations are the pinnacle of a people’s strength and the pinnacle of an epic.”

Ahmadinejad on the subject of art: “Art reaches perfection when it portrays the best life and best death. After all, art tells you how to live. That is the essence of art. Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal than the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity.”

When a decrepit Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) transport plane crashed in Iran on January 9, 2006, killing 108, after it was ordered to fly despite warnings by its pilot, Ahmadinejad said, “The government will hold a serious investigation… . But what is important is that they have shown the way to martyrdom which we must follow.”

Khamenei eulogized at the funeral of IRGC ground force commander Maj. Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, who died in the crash,

“Two weeks ago martyr Kazemi came to see me. He told me, ‘I would like to ask you to do me two favors. First, pray to almighty Allah that I will end up as an honorable person. Second, pray that I will attain martyrdom.’ I told him, ‘It will really be a pity if you and others like you die an ordinary death. You and others who have passed through all those crucial stages should not die. You should all end up as martyrs. However, it is not yet time for this, since our country and our Islamic system still need you.’ I further said, ‘The day when I was informed about the martyrdom of Gen. Sayad Shirazi, [deputy chief of Joint Staff Command, assassinated in 1999 by the Marxist/Islamic Mujahedin-e Khalq (People’s Holy Warriors)] I said that he was worthy of martyrdom, that he deserved to be martyred. It would have been a pity if he had died an ordinary death.’ When I said this, the eyes of martyr Kazemi became filled with tears, and he told me, ‘God willing, you will receive the news of my martyrdom too!’”
Iranian nuclear strategy: Heads we win, tails you lose

The U.S. has about 10,000 nuclear warheads. Tehran cannot hope to deter retaliation by attaining numerical parity. In the grim game of nuclear strategy, will trumps numbers. The Iranians can leverage possession of a relatively small arsenal of weapons into geopolitical power by providing clearly discernible evidence that they are prepared to use them even though doing so means being themselves atomized. The mullahs read the West as being unwilling to sacrifice anything to secure its power, and as being dependent on others feeling the same way. Iran’s unstated purpose in turning Lebanon into an unstate is to display to the world’s nuclear strategists Shi’ite-and, by extension, Iranian-willingness to commit national suicide.

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used Lebanon as its proving ground for the weaponization of suicide. The first modern suicide attack was Tehran’s November 11, 1982 truck bombing of the Israeli military headquarters in Tyre, Lebanon, in which 141 died. The second was its suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983, which resulted in 63 deaths. The third was Iran’s suicide truck bombing of the Beirut U.S. Marine barracks on October 23, 1983, which killed 241 and caused the United States to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Iran’s present defense minister, Mustafa Muhammad Najjar, is believed to have commanded Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps expeditionary force in Lebanon at the time of those bombings.

Iranian willingness to accept nuclear retaliation against itself as a form of martyrdom -or, if that willingness is not actually present, other countries’ belief that it is-will allow Tehran to use the implicit threat of a suicidal first strike to get its way:

We are prepared to nuke you first even though you are certain to respond by nuking us. You, in contrast, are not prepared to nuke us first because we are certain to respond by nuking you. Therefore we need only to possess the ability to nuke you in order to induce you to bend to our will.
The prospect of an Iran that can wield nuclear strategic power without having to launch a single missile, though not as spectacular as the Ahmadinejad-as-All-Four-Horsemen-of-the-Apocalypse scenario, is daunting. The distance from Iran to Saudi Arabia, between which lies Shi’a-populated, oil-endowed southern Iraq, is less than 200 miles. Saudi Arabia’s oilfields are in its Eastern Province, much of whose populace are Shi’ites, who are suppressed by, and hostile to, the House of Saud. The goal of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program is to enable Iran to attain hegemony over the entire littoral of the very aptly named Persian Gulf and, by exercising control of virtually all of the Mideast’s oil reserves, become a global power.

Or die trying.


If Israel is a democracy, shouldn't citizens have the right to protest?

Here is a new poster I saw yesterday at the T-junction to Beit El (aka Givat Assaf) and then also later, on the way home at the Shiloh Junction.

YESHA--You don't have a "mandate" (meaning you have no right, no

You don't have a mandate to:
-give up parts of our holy Land
-get chummy with Chalutz and Peretz, socialize with the
generals who masterminded the expulsion from Gush Katif nor with the traitorous government

You don't have a mandate to:
-keep your silence
against Administrative Detention and the exile/expulsion of Jews from their
and the anti-democratic restriction against the heros of the
settlement movement

You don't have a mandate to:
-to agree, even with
your silence, to the uprooting of even one Jewish

Wallerstien, Lieberman and Zambish:

You were elected to build and not to destroy!

You failed in protecting Gush Katif, don't repeat your mistakes with the hilltop

signed by a number of
activist organizations

my translation

I don't know what poster the arrested kids were putting up.

Three Arrested For Hanging Posters Protesting Administrative Orders

09:09 Oct 31, '06 / 9 Cheshvan 5767

(IsraelNN.com) At least three minors were arrested in Jerusalem Monday night after they hung posters around the capital calling upon the public to protest against the administrative orders limiting the movement of at least 20 residents of hilltop communities in Judea and Samaria.

The posters allege that the administrative orders were part of a campaign to solve the political woes of the government in the wake of its war failures in Lebanon by distracting the public. Meanwhile, they allege, men with families are having their livelihood and way of life destroyed without so much as a trial or knowledge of the allegations against them.

The posters depict the recipients of the order, noting their family situations. The youths remain in police custody at this time.

It's just very clear that Israel is being run in a totalitarian, dictatorial fashion and certain opinions aren't tolerated by the government and media.

The people who claim to be liberal, the Left, don't know, or ignore, the true meaning of the word:

broad: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"
They remind me of my classmates in Great Neck North in the mid-1960's whom I used to hear saying:

"All the non-conformists have
green bookbags."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tough job, wrong guy

I was going to title this "Not very encouraging," but I wanted something a bit more optimistic, so "Tough job, wrong guy" it is.

It's very obvious that Israel's Defense Minister Peretz is totally out of his league, Peter's Principle par excellance or ad nauseum. Use the "comment option" to contribute your phrase of choice in whatever language.

He needs a better Sir Humphrey; I don't know who his clerk is, but oh, my...

It's bad enough that he can't even protect his own city,

2-4 Kassam rockets were fired at Sderot and the western Negev this morning, damaging a building and sending a woman into shock. Sderot residents protested outside their neighbor DM Peretz's home.

but he has no idea or control over army appointments, either.

Peretz unaware of Samia appointment
When he ran the Histadrut (Israel's main Labor Union), he had no problems closing down the country. But now he's "management." It's a different ballgame entirely.

Israel needs a Defense Minister, not an Amir Peretz!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Human, but

Many of us try to figure out what makes politicians "tick" and what elements, characteristics or personality traits make one person a charismatic leader and another, who may be smarter but nobody cares.
  • Why do we trust some people, but not others?
  • And what's really inside these people?
  • Do they feel as confident inside as they seem to us?

I remember once when someone I know, who is extraordinarily accomplished and successful, made a speech mentioning some insecurities, and most people didn't know how to take it. They were sure that it was a joke. I may have been the only one who considered it a confession, the truth behind the strong, confident persona.

A few years ago there was a little "scandal" when Bibi Netanyahu's careful "staging" was revealed to the public. Lots of people considered it a sign of his phoniness that he was planning every "camera angle" before an appearance. I just considered it a sign of professionalism. No surprise if he's a perfectionist.

When Ronald Reagan was US President, he had to defend himself against charges of using hair dye, since his brown hair made him look younger than his years. But today politicians, both male and female, use lots more than hair dye to give the impression of being young, healthy and vibrant.

The decades of insults and accusations of terrorism took their toll on Menachem Begin. Even a couple of years before he was finally elected Prime Minister, almost thirty years after the State of Israel was established, the British Government declared him a terrorist and wouldn't let him enter England. Their concession was to allow him to meet the British Herut branch in the airport.

The strange thing is that people who knew him from the Polish Army considered him just a "talker," not a fighter at all. I just heard this story tonight when I was hitching home. He was considered the opposite of tough by his army buddies. They weren't surprised when he decided to "change his image" after being elected. He wanted to be a "diplomat" and "make peace." That decision, the Camp David Accords, is the one considered the precedent for Disengagement and all destruction of Jewish communities by the Israeli Government. The people of Israel elected him to be strong and fight for us and to settle the Land, but instead they got Moshe Dayan, the same politician who gave the keys to Har Habayit (the Temple Mount) to the Moslems.

And now what about Ariel Sharon, one of Israel's strongest and most controversial leaders? People have always loved him or hated him. A main part of his power was that he never seemed to care what people said or thought. But apparently, behind the scenes, he was very different.

Sharon's chief confident, Uri Dan, tells of a different Arik Sharon.
In 1999, as Sharon struggled to rebuild the Likud following the defeat of Binyamin Netanyahu, he needed to vent to his trusted longtime friend. Often the topic was his enemies in the Likud. "Uri, you don't know how much they hate me in my party," Sharon would complain to Dan...

"I'd say, 'I know how much they hate you and not just there [in the Likud].'"
According to Dan, Sharon didn't believe he'd ever become prime minister. "He'd even say he didn't believe me. Then he'd say, 'Fine, I'm going to bed.'"

Ever since 1983, when Sharon resigned his position as defense minister following the public backlash in the aftermath of the first war in Lebanon, he had been seen as a failed and finished politician. With the conclusions of the Kahan Commission (that held him indirectly responsible for the massacre of at least 700 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps), most people were certain Sharon would never again hold a top leadership position.

Once he "turned left" everything changed for him. He became the media's "darling." The left loved him, and he was able to get his revenge and destroy the Likud by establishing Kadima.

Love him or hate him, you have to agree that he has left a vacuum, a void. Right, left and center Israelis are complaining that there's no leadership. Even politicians are complaining, which must mean that leadership isn't a job requirement for them.

Again I'm going back to the Bible. When Saul was king, Shmuel the Prophet realized that he needed to be replaced, and we went looking. He knew that the new King would be a son of Yishai. So he went there and asked to see his sons. He didn't find the right one. After careful interrogation, he discovered that there was another, David the Shepherd. David was the right man.

Where is he now?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

THAT season again!

Israel is entering its annual hate season, the season one hates those labeled "settler," anti-Rabin's Oslo.

Of course the chorus leaders don't let minor details like the fact that convicted assassin Yigal Amir was raised in Herzliya, which is very much on the left of the green line. I'm not going to get into any of the "conspiracy" issues like the Shabak "field worker," Avishai Raviv, who conspired to implicate students in "illegal right-wing activities" during a career lasting about ten years.

I find interesting parallels between the public hate since Rabin's murder and the murder of Chaim Alorsoroff in 1933.

For decades, "remember, the Revisionists killed Alosoroff" was a rallying cry of hatred. It didn't matter that there was no evidence that Jabotinsky's Zionist Revisionists were involved at at. Over the years more and more evidence has shown that the guilty were unrelated to the Revisionists.

New Light on the Murder of Chaim Arlosoroff

H. David Kirk

The June 1933 murder of Arlosoroff has long been laid at the door of the Revisionists. Before he died Arlosoroff said Jews did not do it and the British freed two accused Jews. Nevertheless, Revisionism is still widely held responsible. Now new information points in a very different direction.

Reading Goebbels' diaries, the author found references to a love affair that led to the Nazi propagandist's marriage to Magda Quandt. In 21 entries, Goebbels veers between hope and despair, breakup and make-up. Magda, whose previous marriage failed, has reservations about her suitor. She seems still connected with an old flame, a Jew, whom the diary only calls "der fremde Mann" – stranger or foreigner.

Goebbels does not dare to mention it even in his diary, thus the euphemism "stranger". The former lover was Chaim Arlosoroff, now an important Zionist leader in Palestine. He had lately – May 1933 – come to Berlin to confer with the Nazi government about a deal to transfer Jewish funds to Palestine in return for Zionist help against the worldwide anti-Nazi boycott. Goebbels was likely behind the murder. Discovery of his wife's involvement with this prominent Jew might have ruined his career as top Nazi and Minister of Propaganda.

By the time Rabin was last Prime Minister, only older people remembered that they were supposed to hate the Revisionsists because of Alosoroff. Young people didn't even know who he was or what the Revisionists were, except maybe for the fact that they were supposed to be reviled.

But now there's nothing to worry about. They can hate thsettlersers." That's one of the reasons that those dedicated liberals and "human rights activists" had no problem throwing thousands of innocent, hard-working Israeli Jews out their homes and destroying their businesses and educational institutions.

That's why those same dedicated liberals and "human rights activists" don't object when dozens of innocent Israeli Jews are jailed or held in house arrest or "exiled" from their homes.
According to the latest poll by Dahaf for Yediot Ahronot.
Is there a chance that there will be another political murder in Israel?
Yes 69% No 39%

I'm a "settler," and trust me that if there's a "political murder" being planned, it's not by us.

Shavua Tov
Have a Good Week

Friday, October 27, 2006

In every generation...

A couple of thoughts...

I'm glad to see Anna Quindlen writing in Newsweek, especially that I found her article online. I once read what I think was her first collected writings from her columns in The New York Times and enjoyed it greatly.
This week's topic concerns Senator Hillary Clinton and her chances of being US President. My sympathies aren't with Anna Quindlen on this. I see something else.

No, the biggest problem Senator Clinton may have is with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Recent history teaches that when the Republicans suspect they have a front runner, they
rally convincingly.

...But because liberals are idealists, they are unwilling to do the same. They don't even compare their most promising leaders with the opposition. Instead they compare them with the ideal, the perfect candidate, the standard-bearer without flaw.

I see that the "liberals" have a very peculiar way of seeing the world and for that I can't trust them.

Comparing the Holocaust with 9-11
'Is It Ever Going to End?'
The father of a 9/11 victim discusses how the latest Ground Zero discovery of human remains is reopening the wounds of grieving families.

The bodies of the Six Million weren't given funerals. Survivors and descendents have had to battle for the possessions of the victims.

During the Passover seder, we are reminded that every generation must be taught about how G-d took us out of slavery out of Egypt and to the Land of Israel.

I think we're still on the journey...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's all about selling soup

How else can we understand Foreign Minister Tzippi Livne's latest scheme?
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is working with public relations people to help the country create a new image.

All superficial, no values, no depth.

How about just being Jewish?

How about saying that if anyone attacks us we shoot back? And do it! No idle threats!

How about getting the respect of the world, because we respect ourselves?

It's not that hard. Why don't they ask me. I'll earn my keep, unlike Mrs. Aliza (PM's wife) Olmert, who received a "salary" of 240,000 shekels in the year 2004 - though employees don't remember her, and the job doesn't appear on her resume.

And about soup, you should try my vegetable soup with knaidelach!

It's time to sue the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff

I was raised on the Truman legend:

When Israeli soldiers don't help Jewish civilians who are being attacked by Arabs because "...men [soldiers] in the lookout simply did not want to complicate their lives with the investigations and legal problems that result from making tough decisions to intervene in such a crisis..." then you know that the the true responsibility is from on high, the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and the Chief of Staff! And you know that it's time to make legal problems for all of them, from the top to the bottom.

Another great piece of wisdom from Truman:
'If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen'

Now, here's the article that has me steaming:

Jewish Couple Nearly Lynched, Soldiers Did Nothing
16:49 Oct 26, '06 / 4 Cheshvan 5767
by Ezra HaLevi

Two Beit El residents were almost lynched by a group of Arabs near the Kalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, while IDF soldiers at a nearby lookout watched and did nothing.

Yehuda Karpelis left his home in the Binyamin region town of Beit El at around 3 PM Tuesday. With his wife Suzy, he drove down the main Highway 60 toward the capital, taking the Atarot road that connects the highway with Route 443, the highway connecting Jerusalem to Modiin, which is the fastest route to the airport and Tel Aviv as well.

As he approached the Kalandia Crossing, just before a traffic circle that has a tall IDF lookout post in the middle, and just seconds from the large checkpoint, which is staffed by dozens of soldiers and police, the couple was attacked.

“We stopped at the circle, behind eight Arab vehicles, and others pulled up behind us, “Karpelis told Arutz-7. “Three Arabs, about 17-years-old, saw that I was a Jew because of the kippa (yarmulke) on my head. One of them suddenly opened my door, grabbed my arm roughly and yelled in Arabic ‘inzil!’ [Get out with your hands up –ed.] He tried to drag me out of the car but I struggled with him. He then began hitting me with a large stone. As I fought him I beeped the horn. We weren’t able to escape because we were blocked in by Arab cars on all sides. One of [the Arabs] grabbed my cell phone and smashed the hands-free microphone installed in the car in the process. Another Arab reached in toward where my wife Suzy was sitting and grabbed her purse from her hands. They also stole my briefcase and my daughter’s backpack from the trunk.”

Chaos erupted at the scene, Karpelis recalls, when finally a middle-aged Arab man interceded on their behalf, yelling at the attackers to cease and grabbing one of them.

“The attacker freed himself, ran away a bit and grabbed a large stone which he hurled at my window,” Karpelis says. “G-d saved me a second time when the shatter-proof windows did not give way. They also tried on my wife’s side.

“To my astonishment, the assailant, who was some distance from the vehicle at that point, began to run toward us again like a maniac, trying to kick in the window with his feet like a ninja. It was clear to me that they wanted to kidnap or lynch us. We felt like only G-d was protecting us.

“The attacker tried once again and managed to get his hand through the window, where he grabbed all the papers he could from the door pocket. At that point they decided to run away, with our bags, my wife’s purse, daughter’s knapsack and my cell phone.”

"Soldiers Didn't Lift a Finger"
When the cars in front of Karpelis finally moved, they pulled up to the guard booth at the checkpoint. “We drove past the crossing and got to the armored guard booth. It was clear to me that the soldiers at the booth did not hear any of the riot, the beeping or the screams. When they heard the story, they alerted additional forces and army and Border Police officers quickly arrived at the scene.”

Karpelis says that one of the border policemen was flabbergasted at the fact that the whole incident took place too close to a lookout post with nobody intervening on behalf of the endangered civilians. “He radioed the soldiers manning the lookout up in the pillbox,” Karpelis recounts. “The lookout confirmed that he had seen a number of Arabs fleeing the area with our bags. He asked the person at the lookout if he had seen what happened to us and if so why he didn’t do anything about it. The lookout answered that he reported what was occurring on his radio, but received no response. The border policeman asked why the lookout did not at least throw a shock grenade [which produces a frightening sound, but no shrapnel, and may have frightened away the attackers –ed.] or do something to help. The lookout had no answer.”

Karpelis believes that the men in the lookout simply did not want to complicate their lives with the investigations and legal problems that result from making tough decisions to intervene in such a crisis. “They saw everything that was happening to us and didn’t lift a finger.”

Yehuda and Suzy filed a complaint with the Neve Yaakov police department, which is in charge of the Kalandia Crossing. The local police confirmed to Arutz-7 that such a complaint was filed.

Karpelis stressed that the police officers who debriefed them and took their complaint were polite and courteous. He said that regional police commander Yaakov Cohen, joined them and said he realized the serious nature of the incident, promising it would be fully investigated.

“My goal in publicizing the incident,” Karpelis says, “is to prevent a situation where a soldier who seeks a Jew in trouble will refrain from shooting because he is afraid that afterwards he will be investigated and face disciplinary action. I also wanted to publicize the fact that we were saved by G-d.”

"Trying to Make us Give Up the Road"
The IDF has tried to close the road to Jews in the past, but the move was deemed illegal. “The IDF is not interested in Jews using the road because they say it is extra work for them to secure it,” explains activist Daniella Chaouat. “This is illegal. The only entity that can change the status of such a road, built by the state of Israel and essential for the freedom of movement of Israelis living in the region, is the Knesset.”

The road was closed for a long while as construction on the new sophisticated crossing was completed and the partition wall built in the region. Once construction was over, Jews began to use the road regularly again.

Chaouat fears that certain elements in the police and security establishment are seeking to use other means to deter Jews from using the road. “I am not surprised by the report that the Karpelis family was not rescued from the attempted-lynch,” she says. “They are trying to make it so we ourselves give up this road. This is illegal and it is not going to happen.”

Unpleasant, but

It seems to be human nature to ignore unpleasantness. Is that why so many of us lie to ourselves and pretend things will be fine? These two articles aren't the best for early in the morning, but reading them at night can cause nightmares. Ignoring these things won't make it better. So...

These are from IMRA.

Expert: Prepare for war

Middle East experts give their forecasts for the coming months in the region, warn of 'terrible deterioration' on Israel's northern border

by Yaakov Lappin

The coming months will present Israel with strategic threats from three different directions, Dr. Boaz Ganor, founder of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism told Ynetnews.

The first threat, stemming from the Shiite alliance of Iran and Hizbullah, will result in "terrible deterioration" on Israel's northern border, according to Ganor.

"The year 2007 is going to be a critical year, as the international arena will do its utmost to narrow down the nuclear capabilities of Iran. It could be done by using more affirmative sanctions, or even a military campaign," Ganor said. "And the ramification of such an attempt, even if it's only sanctions, will cause a terrible deterioration of the situation on the northern border, where Iran will use its proxy Hizbullah to retaliate against Israel, and make clear that Israel has to pay for any activities against Iran," Ganor added.

Turning to the Palestinian arena, Ganor said that "the Palestinians are now at the stage of shaping their self-identities," a process he described as ultimately "positive." They are torn between "terrorism and violence against Israel, definitely the concept used by Yasser Arafat under the Oslo accords," as well as today's "Islamic radical terrorist organizations," and the "alternative option, which is actually being represented by (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen," based on the idea that "terrorism and violence will never fulfill the Palestinian national interest."

"The problem is that this is not a smooth process. It involves battles within the Palestinian arena. And I think in the coming months this may spill over into Israel," Ganor said.

Ganor then pointed out the "third process, which I have to admit that many Israelis, including decision makers and security services in Israel underestimate, is the threat of global jihadists against Israel," posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

"In my view, in the coming months, global jihadists will try to launch what we call a major attack against Israel. Zawahiri (deputy leader of al-Qaeda) has announced that. I tend to believe him. The activities of al-Qaeda and global jihadist movements are surrounding Israel, from Sinai, Amman, Jordan, some involvement in Lebanon, and ongoing and growing involvement in Gaza Strip. And it's only a matter of time before they infiltrate Israel soon. So this is in my view a very negative process and I have to admit that… we are under-prepared," Ganor added.

'Very little time until next war'
In a document made available to Ynetnews by Professor Moshe Sharon, an expert on Islamic history at the Hebrew University, Sharon declared that the next war Israel would have to fight was almost here.

"Today it is clear to everyone who is prepared to confront unadorned reality, and they are the majority of people in Israeli society with the wish to live, that we have to take advantage of the short period of time left to us to prepare the army for the inevitable next war. It is already on the way," Sharon wrote.

He added: "Hizbullah is the immediate enemy. No one will disarm it because it has no intention of disarming and there is no one to coerce it to do so. The UN is collaborating with Hizbullah and none of its member nations has any interest in dealing with it."

"The Shiite of Hizbullah has taken control of Lebanon with the generous help of Iran and Syria and it will not relinquish it even if this means bringing about its total destruction. Lebanon will gradually be emptied of its remaining Christian population and zealous Islam will have achieved an important objective: One of the only two non-Muslim countries in the Middle East will just disappear," Sharon said.

"Islam came into being as a fighting religion. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, imposed his authority, first and foremost, by means of his military strength. He understood that even when speaking in the name of Allah, this must be accompanied by tens of thousands of fighters with drawn swords," the professor added.

"The Muslims consider the State of Israel to be an advance position of the "House of War" established on Islamic territory conquered from Islam. Israel, therefore, must first disappear. All paths to that end are legitimate," Sharon said.

Describing peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan as tactical breaks in their war against Israel, Sharon declared: "The Egyptian authorities turn a blind eye, or worse, allow the unimpeded flow of arms, above and below ground, to terrorist organizations in Gaza. Is it necessary to ask, to fight against whom did Egypt create an army of close to a million soldiers?"

Arabs must possess nuclear arms; Mecca Charter; and Qatar inflation -- Oct 15-21, 2006

Date : 2006-10-22
The following is a weekly summary of select translated opinions expressed in Gulf Arabic newspapers on important issues – Oct. 15-21, 2006.

Mecca Charter awaits implementation
Editorial, Al-Bayan (UAE, Oct. 20)

The 10-point Mecca Charter, signed by a group of Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites, calls for halting the irrational and sectarian bloodletting in Iraq. This initiative has the blessings of top Iraqi Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, and other ranking religious figures.
Attendance by the representatives of major Iraqi forces at the Mecca conference is a positive indication. This blood-shedding is about to result in a third river in Iraq, other than the Tigris and Euphrates, and some authorities have put the daily death toll of the violence at 500, a horrific figure that reflects the tragic conditions prevailing in Iraq.
The sectarian killings must be stopped as soon as possible before the conditions worsen further. This is where the charter could be of help. This charter may not be sufficient to halt the wave of killings, but it may prove to be a basic step that could rationalize the conflict.

Rice seeks regional Sunni support for Maliki
Muhanna Al-Hubail, Al-Watan (Qatar, Oct. 18)

The regional tour by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on October 14 was aimed at exerting pressure on the Gulf countries to coerce charities to halt financial aid to “our people in Palestine” to deprive Hamas of financial resources and rallying regional support for the Iraqi government led by Nouri Al-Maliki in the face of influential militias formed during the era of the former government.
Rice’s mission is certain to collapse because a cover-up by the Sunni Arabs for the Iraqi government would not help halt the military operations targeting the occupation forces. These resistance groups have maintained independent decision-making mechanisms, in addition to the fact that they believe that their actions are necessary to protect the blood of the innocent and that the military means must be maintained to end the foreign occupation of the country.
By intervening in Iraq, the political regimes in the Gulf may reap dire consequences. The Gulf rulers “must stop destroying their houses” with their own hands while serving the American schemes in the region.


Alarming inflation in Qatar
Jassem Hussein, Al-Iktisadiah (Saudi Arabia, Oct. 14)

Inflation in the GCC countries has become a bitter fact. In some countries like Qatar, the phenomenon is quite alarming. The Qatari Central Planning Council reported that the inflation rate in the country reached 8.2 percent in the first half of 2006, compared to 4.8 percent during the same period in 2005 and 8.8 percent throughout the year. This figure is very high compared to than one percent inflation posted in 2002.
This soaring inflation is attributed to several factors, including rents, which rose to 26 percent in 2005 from 21 percent in 2004. The authorities set the hike ceiling for the rents at 10 percent per annum effective 2006 in a bid to tackle this problem.
Inflation is also related to the hike in salaries in the private sector – 11.1 percent between August 2005 and 2006 – and the inflow of Bahraini workers, who are favored for their educational and vocational skills.


Strategic oil ventures in limbo
Kamel Al-Harmi, Al-Qabas (Kuwait, Oct. 15)

Strategic oil ventures aimed at hiking the crude output to 3-4 million barrels per day by 2010-2020 have remained in limbo, partly due to the lack of a confirmation by the energy department that the oil reserves would reach 200 billion barrels, double the current reserves. Several of these projects have been shelved or merely neglected for a host of other reasons.
Some of these shelved ventures are the implementation of an accord with Qatar to start importing gas by advent of 2007, the suspended accords to bring gas and water from Iran, development of the northern oil fields where the output had been projected to reach 900,000 bpd and establishment of a third company for the distribution of fuel.
Other suspended projects include the venture for the establishment of a fourth oil refinery, where the Saudi Texaco Company objected to the location of the planned refinery in the region of Al-Zor.
The freezing of these strategic ventures will certainly affect all sectors of the oil industry in the country, resulting in the loss of many jobs and skilled labor. For how long will we continue to waste opportunities to launch vital ventures that can help us upgrade the oil industry, which is our bread winner.


Arabs have no choice but to possess nuclear arms
Dr Ibrahim Al-Bahrawi, Al-Ittihad (UAE, Oct. 19)

Amid a flurry of recent reports about North Korea’s nuclear test, Egypt was mentioned as the sole Arab country with the potential to make a substantial nuclear development because Cairo declared the resumption of its peaceful nuclear program several months ago. In addition, Egypt has previous experience in this domain – operating the “Inshas” nuclear reactor. Moreover, Arab Gulf countries can help Egypt financially to develop its nuclear capacity.
The Arabs (read Egyptians) should take into consideration the following facts in this regard: Signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does not constitute a hindrance in the face of planning a peaceful nuclear program that can eventually be transformed into a military program. Washington’s global influence is fading and smaller countries such as North Korea and Iran can circumvent international curbs and the US appears unable to launch military strikes on these countries.
The Arabs face the threat of Israeli nuclear arms, with the approval of the United States, and identical weapons in Iran’s possession without approval. Analysts believe that the Arabs have no choice but to seek to possess these arms to repel the enemies.


New understanding of Islam badly needed
Dr Ahmad Abdel Malak, Al-Ittihad (UAE, Oct. 19)

I admire the letter addressed by 38 Muslim scholars to the Pope, accepting his apology for citing a critical opinion of Islam by a Byzantine ruler in a recent lecture in Germany. The scholars explained to him that the Koran stipulates that a non-believer cannot be transformed into a believer by force; the holy book urges Muslims to be rational and thoughtful; there is difference between Jihad and Holy War; and believing that Allah is the only God is the message of several prophets and messengers.
Is there a modern Islamic perspective that conforms to the era of openness, rejection of racism and chauvinism that have been preached by some scholars who have failed to absorb the spirit of the modern age and interpreted the holy book on the basis of tolerance and democracy?
Since the demise of Imam Ali, our religious clerics have been implanting in our conscience hatred of non-Muslims and praying to His Almighty to make their women widows and deprive them of children! Those scholars have waged a war against civilization and incited our youth to be embroiled in political conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya.
We need a new Islam, an Islam that advocates life and not suffering of in the after-life, a religion that calls for tolerance and refrains from labeling people as atheists. We also need a higher authority with ample influence to protect the march of deviation.


Islamic groups exploit women to support men candidates
Abdullah Al-Ayoubi, Akhbar Al-Khaleej (Bahrain, Oct. 16)

At a Friday sermon held at Issa Mosque last week, the speaker said that the election of women to represent Muslims in parliament is prohibited by Islamic Sharia. This unfortunate lecture was ignored by the authorities in charge of the electoral process.
Political-oriented Islamic movements have affirmed anew that they cannot be involved in elections without exploiting the religion and manipulating it to serve their objectives, even if this contradicts the Constitution, which neither bans women from taking part in the parliamentary or municipal elections nor discriminates between the two genders with regard to this civil right.
The sermon was blatantly used to serve certain electoral goals and to insult half the society.
Such a gender-based attack is not surprising because women have a great chance to get elected in the parliament elections scheduled for November.
The Islamic political groups are solely interested in garnering women’s votes for the men candidates and their hostile attitude toward women was explicit in their electoral lists that did not include name of any women nominees.


Campaign against the veil – prelude to special measures against Muslims
Abu Bakr Hassan, Al-Watan (Qatar, Oct. 20)

The world has become pre-occupied with the issue of the Islamic women’s veil, as if mankind has resolved many other thorny and much more significant issues such as wars, poverty, water shortage, diseases and other problems that threaten international peace and security.
Chairman of the British House of Commons Jack Straw recently called on Muslim women living in the UK to refrain from veiling their faces because wearing the veil hinders them from integrating into the British society. Prime Minister Tony Blair supported Straw’s call, but changed his view later saying that the attitude toward the veil is based on personal beliefs rather than the government’s policy.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi urged Italian Muslim women to remove their veils if they wish to be part of the mainstream society. Other leading figures in the West have argued that the veil hinders adherence to security precautions and can be exploited by terrorists to hide suspicious persons or arms.
But many Muslims fear that this campaign against the veil may be a prelude to extraordinary security precautions against Muslims living in the West.


‘MP of the bidoons’ breaks the law
Mohammed Al-Shibani, Al-Qabas (Kuwait, Oct. 15)

Member of the National Assembly and the Islamic Constitutional Movement Khudair Al-Enezi has brushed aside Kuwaiti laws and regulations and held a meeting with American diplomats at the US embassy building, protesting against the bidoons case (illegal or stateless residents). His action was a brazen violation of the laws, and he should not have broken the allegiance he made in front of the Amir after he was elected as a MP.
Enezi made this bold move because the government fears MPs. In Kuwait, citizens, officials and MPs keep forgetting the law and showing disrespect to rules. How long will this situation persist?
The MP has made this issue his personal cause to the extent that he has been dubbed “the MP of the bidoons”. But the legislator apparently intends to hurt some figures and settle scores in the Interior Ministry, targeting in particular a senior officer, Major General Mohammed Al-Subaiee.
This MP should be stopped or else he will continue to present our problems at the buildings of other foreign missions.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The many Rachels

Why has that foolish, terrorist-loving Rachel Corrie become such a cult figure? Her death was no more than a suicide wish as she got in the way of an Israeli bulldozer to protect some law-breaking Arabs.

For those in the world who truly care about innocent Rachels who were really murdered, I can suggest a few.

1988 Rachel Weiss, her three children and a soldier who comes to their aid are murdered when a petrol bomb is hurled at an Israeli bus traveling through Jericho.

In 1991 three buses from Shiloh were on their way to a demonstration in Tel Aviv to encourage then Prime Minister, Yitzchak Shamir, to be strong while attending the Madrid Conference. Arab terrorists shot at the buses and murdered the driver, Yitzchak Rofeh, and my friend and neighbor, Rachella Druk, mother of seven. A number of children were wounded, including Harel Bin Nun, who a few years after recovering from those serious injuries was murdered by Arab terrorists when on a security patrol in Yitzhar.

The Arabs had attempted to murder everyone on the bus, planning that it would tumble down the mountain, but a miracle happened. The driver, with his dying breath managed to stop the bus. Harel was shot next to the driver. The little boy, not yet Bar Mitzvah (13), had jumped up during the shooting to try to turn the bus onto the road. A front wheel was already over the mountain.

Rachel Gavish, her husband, son and father were all murdered by Arab terrorists in their home. Passover, March, 2002, Arab terrorists invaded the Gavish home in Elon Moreh attempting to murder the entire family.

There is much more drama in the lives and deaths of these precious, righteous Rachels than the Jew-hating Rachel Corrie.

If the NY Times doesn't like it, it must be good, and other important news

Israel has been performing systematic Hari Kari or self-mutilations for quite a few years in order to "win the love" of the Arabs who are doing everything to destroy her. It's worse than those miss-guided women who try to be "beautiful" by anorexia and bulimia.

To make matters worse international leaders and media are cheering Israel on, shouting:

You're too fat!
Take it off! Take off more!!!

Israel has become so weak from this that the majority of the population still thinks it must "diet." Notice the word "diet" includes the word die!!!

And here's some more news to help you lose your appetite:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Egypt plans to launch its nuclear program

CAIRO [MENL] -- Egypt plans to launch its nuclear program.

Officials said President Hosni Mubarak has ordered the start of the nuclear
project over the next month. They said the program would focus on civilian
projects, particularly nuclear energy and research.

"No one protests Egypt's peaceful, clear and transparent nuclear program,"
Egyptian Electricity Minister Hassan Yunis said.
On Monday, Yunis told the state-owned Al Akhbar daily that Egypt would
construct nuclear power stations in a project approved by the International
Atomic Energy Agency. The minister said this would be part of what he termed
a "permanent and vast nuclear program."
NOTE: The above is not the full item.
This service contains only a small portion of the information produced daily
by Middle East Newsline. For a subscription to the full service, please
contact Middle East Newsline at:
editor@menewsline.com for further details.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Asad's Declarations: Ambiguous Words, Clear Meaning

Tel Aviv Notes No. 189 October 23, 2006

Aiman Mansour
Institute for National Security Studies

The recent series of interviews with Syrian President Bashar Asad in Arab
and Western media reveals the extent of changes in the Middle East, in
general, and Syria, in particular, in the wake of the confrontation between
Israel and Hizbullah in the summer of 2006. Before that conflict, Asad
hardly ever mentioned "Israeli aggression against Syria that can end in war"
or the "state of alert" in the Syrian army, but since then, Asad has
repeatedly stressed the readiness of his military forces.

The latest confrontation, whatever the assessment may be of its tactical
aspects, is seen by many in the Arab and Muslim world as Israel's worst
strategic failure since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Israel's inability to
destroy Hizbullah's organizational and physical infrastructure has only
strengthened the belief of many that Israel is a weak entity that can be
shaken to its very foundations through violence and terror. The perception
that the summer war ended in a victory for Hizbullah has led the Alawite
regime in Damascus to tighten its links with the "victor" and even to signal
a readiness to adopt Hizbullah's operational methods and policies.

Assad's latest declarations reflect his (and his regime's) growing
self-confidence. From his perspective, Syria is now in a "win-win"
situation; every development will play to its advantage. A glance through
the Syrian prism at three possible scenarios shows how might all be expected
to develop positively:

1. initiation of negotiations for a comprehensive Syrian-Israeli peace
agreement - Since Assad sees himself as someone who "bet" on the right cards
(closer ties with Iran and support for Hizbullah) and won the strategic
contest with Israel, he can go into negotiations with maximal demands: total
Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, "dipping his feet" in the Sea of
Galilee, and major Israeli concessions on the Palestinian issue. Extracting
these gains from a weakened Israel unwilling to risk a clash with Syria
would allow the Syrian President to depict himself as one who refused to
make concessions in a political process and, consequently, did not harm his
regime's legitimacy or do damage to collective Arab dignity;

2. launching a "popular struggle" to regain the Golan - If negotiations do
not begin (or begin but break off in failure), Syria might resort to a
limited violent struggle. In an interview with Dubai Television on 23
August, Asad explicitly declared: "The limits of our patience will be shown
soon and I have already said that the present generation is the last
generation prepared to accept the peace process. Therefore, our patience
will run out with this generation. That means that [when patience runs out]
the people will turn to resistance, which is a popular and not governmental
path." Even if that "resistance" is not so "popular" and is actually
institutionalized and subject to the absolute control of the Syrian security
agencies, such a struggle would attract support, not only in the Arab and
Muslim arenas - because it would be a struggle to restore conquered land and
protect Arab honor in the long run -- but also in the international arena -
because the Golan is seen as Israeli-occupied territory. Such a
confrontation would also tie Israel's hands. On the one hand, it would lack
the international legitimacy to launch a full-scale military attack on
Syria. On the other hand, at least in the eyes of the Syrian regime, Israel
would suffer from the same inefficiencies and weaknesses against a guerrilla
force that it experienced in Lebanon.

3. a major Israeli war against Syria - Since Asad sees Israel's power to
threaten as having been eroded by the results of the campaign against
Hizbullah, he may suspect Israel of wanting to rehabilitate its reputation
by launching a major military action against Syria. The Syrian ruler judges
that his army is prepared for such an eventuality and makes frequent
declarations about Syrian readiness. Blocking an Israeli military
initiative would enhance the regime's legitimacy, bring honor to Syria and
further discredit Israel's deterrent; yet another military setback might
well bring Israel to acquiesce in Syrian demands and permit the regime to
achieve all its goals in negotiations. But even if the Syrian army were
unable to inflict a defeat on Israel, Asad apparently assumes that the
survival of his regime would not be threatened because he would still be
portrayed as someone who stood up to "Zionist aggression."

Regime survival is the highest value in Syrian national security policy and
that prompts Asad and those working under him to do everything to strengthen
their legitimacy. In the eyes of the regime, strengthening ties with the
Hizbullah-Iran axis has already borne fruit in this regard and all that
remains now is to pick the fruit, whether by political or military means.

Given the Arab and Muslim perception of Israeli failure in Lebanon, Syria is
now trying to launch a policy that will change the status quo vis-a-vis
Israel. The regime would prefer to bring about that change by negotiating
from the position of strength that it believes it now holds in light of
Israel's defeat. But if negotiations do not take place or, alternatively,
if they fail because of Israeli refusal to satisfy Syrian demands, that
could bring the regime to adopt Hizbullah's methods and shatter the quiet
that has prevailed along the Syrian-Israeli line of separation for more than
three decades.

Tel Aviv Notes is published by
The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies www.tau.ac.il/jcss/
& The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
through the generosity of Sari and Israel Roizman, Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Where does your charity money really end up?

Oct. 23, 2006 18:00 Updated Oct. 24, 2006 10:05
Head of center for blind arrested; suspected of embezzelment


The longtime Israeli director of an American-funded Jerusalem center for blind children has been arrested for allegedly embezzling at least NIS 3.5 million from the organization over the last four years, police said Monday.

Moshe Rips, 63 is suspected of taking the money from Keren Or, The Jerusalem Center for Multi-Handicapped Blind Children, which he has headed for the last two decades.

He has confessed to the allegations against him following his arrest last week, police said.

Rips was caught after a recently appointed accountant from the organization discovered the fraud and filed a complaint against the center's director with police, Jerusalem police spokeswoman Ilanit Kleiman said.

He was subsequently fired by the group's American board of directors, which funds the organization, police said.

However, Rips' name and position still appeared on the center's web site Monday.

The center, which receives most of its funding from American donors, also gets some funding from the Social Welfare Ministry, police said.

During a hearing before his bosses prior to his dismissal, Rips said that he stole the money from the organization for blind children because both his wife and mother were dying.

But police discovered that in fact he was a serial gambler, who paid checks to the Israeli lottery with the center's money.

The known embezzlement allegations against him stem only from the last four years of his two-decade tenure, between 2002-2006.

The center's Jerusalem and New York offices declined comment Monday on the arrest of its Israel director.

The center, which is located in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, is devoted exclusively to the care and rehabilitation of 100 blind and low vision children and teenagers who are also either physically or mentally handicapped.

At police's request, a Jerusalem court on Monday barred the suspect, who has been released on bail, from leaving the country.

Searching for: Honest public figures

Is it an oxymoron, "honest public figures?" Sometimes it sure seems that way.

With the latest news about Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau accepting illegal payments (hat tip ht), who will most probably soon announce that he's dropping from the race to be Israel's next President, it's hard to find a list of truly honest public figures.

The "cleaner ones," unfortunately, seem to be missing that strong element of charisma necessary to succeed in public life. Perfect examples are former MK Benny Begin and MK Dr. Arye Eldad.

Charisma is a very special, difficult element to define. Some people have a magic about them which enables others to ignore reality, right and wrong. They are the true leaders, for good and for bad.

Masses of people don't follow prophets of doom, simply because it's not psychologically healthy to do so. To emotionally survive and thrive, we must believe that there are things we can do to make everything better, and they never should be described as "difficult."

Top leaders (top in terms of success, not quality) have solutions to problems, even if they're bad and potentially dangerous solutions. It's hard for honest people to say that it will be easy, when they know that it won't be. That's why the majority of people vote for the worst candidates.

When Ehud Barak ran for Prime Minister of Israel, his American I can get anyone elected if you pay me enough expert recommended that he promise an unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon.

Easy solutions to difficult problems frequently just cause more and worse problems. It got him elected, but that election promise killed many Israelis this summer when Lebanon/Hezbollah bombed Northern Israel from the land Barak gave over to the Hezbollah. Many of our soldiers were killed and wounded in the subsequent war, which ended when another Ehud, this time Olmert, decided to withdraw the troops. None of the announced goals were achieved. The captured soldiers are still in enemy hands, and Hezbollah is rapidly repairing and adding to their terror/war infrastructure, which they are planning to use against us again (G-d forbid, but if we're honest with ourselves, we know it's true.)

Yes, it's hard to show optimism and confidence when you know that all signs point to disaster. PM Olmert smiles broadly and claims that everything's fine and we won the war.
"If you tell a lie, tell a big lie. If you tell a big lie often enough people will believe it." Goebbels

The Israeli public needs a leader who, although accurately reads the problems in our present situation, still has the ability to see and portray doable solutions in terms that will attract us.

The Pied Piper played a pleasant pipe. He didn't bang pot covers.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Avigdor Lieberman reminds me of Clinton,

when Clinton claimed he "didn't have sex" with Monica!

Lieberman: Voluntary Removal of Outposts, Not Forceful
21:57 Oct 23, '06 / 1 Cheshvan 5767

(IsraelNN.com) Yisrael Beitenu head MK Avigdor Lieberman, who on Monday signed a coalition agreement with the prime minister, told reporters that he will support voluntary evacuation of unauthorized Yesha outposts. Lieberman stated that he opposes a government evacuation by force.

As Lieberman plans to enter the government, he stated, “I do not want to be a partner in a war between the Jews. Therefore, we will not join Likud, where there are constant internal disputes.”

Or maybe he's more like the judge who believed the rapist when he said it was reasonable to understand the victims as having said:

"Don't stop!"
rather than the

"Don't!! Stop!!"
she claimed she had said!

Yisrael Beiteinu Signs Coalition Deal with Olmert
21:15 Oct 23, '06 / 1 Cheshvan 5767
by Hana Levi Julian and Hillel Fendel

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party chairman Avigdor Lieberman signed a deal Monday evening to bring the Russian immigrant party into the coalition government.

The agreement, set for submission to the Knesset Monday night, will be put to a vote on Wednesday. If approved, Lieberman will become a member of the Cabinet as Vice Premier and Minister for Strategic Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, responsible for strategic planning, working closely with National Security Council officials.

“The big issue now is the Iranian threat,” said Lieberman. “I don’t want to think about what would happen in a year or two if we don’t deal with it now. The U.S. won’t be able to do anything against Iran…. it is us against them,” he said.

Yisrael Beiteinu’s 11 mandates would give the Olmert coalition a Knesset majority of 78 out of 120 seats.

Lieberman (pictured) just last week named five conditions that must be fulfilled before he would enter the government - yet none of them appear to be likely to be fulfilled. The conditions were:

1. An official end to Prime Minister Olmert's "convergence" (unilateral withdrawal) plan must be announced.
2. Jewish outpost neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria must not be uprooted.
3. Legislation must be passed to change the government system to one which grants executive powers to a president.
4. A Supreme Court-appointed public commission of inquiry must be established to investigate the mismanagement of the recent war with Hizbullah. This would replace the current Winograd Commission which was appointed by the same ministers it is meant to investigate.
5. A law permitting civil marriage must be enacted.

No commitments were made by the prime minister with regard to Lieberman’s demands.

Although Olmert announced less than a week after the end of the recent war with Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon that he realized his "convergence" (unilateral withdrawal) plan was irrelevant, he made no commitments to scrap it entirely.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz has continued to move ahead with plans to destroy unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria, forcibly expelling Jewish residents from their homes if necessary. Peretz told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week that he had given the Yesha Council leadership two weeks to convince outpost residents to leave their homes voluntarily – after that, the IDF would forcibly remove them. Lieberman told reporters Monday night that he would support voluntary uprooting of outposts but not forced evictions.

There is little support in the Knesset for a bill to change the government structure to include executive powers for the president. Nor is there significant support for a second, related bill proposed by Lieberman which calls for a minimum electoral threshold of 10 percent, below which a political party would not be allowed to gain a Knesset seat.

The issue of establishing a state commission of inquiry into the recent war may have dropped off the radar on the Yisrael Beiteinu screen, but it has not been forgotten by the general Israeli public. More than 2,000 demonstrators held a protest ten days ago in which they repeated public calls for an independent investigative body that would have the authority to dismiss any government official, including the prime minister himself.

As for the demand that civil marriages be allowed in the Jewish State, the Sephardic hareidi religious party Shas, which holds an equal number of Knesset mandates as Yisrael Beiteinu, bluntly said it would oppose any such proposal.

Arutz-7 Interview with Yisrael Beiteinu MK Sofa Landver

Arutz-7 today asked Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset member Sofa Landver why the party had given up on practically all its demands only a few days after declaring them.

Landver: "Our sense of national responsibility leads us to take this position. In the special situation in which our country finds itself - after the war in the north, where the state of affairs is still dangerous, and with the Iranian threats to destroy us - we feel that this is the time to be inside the government and influence. Now is the time to strengthen the country."

A-7: "Do you mean strengthening the country, or the government?"

Landver: "It's been just a half-year since a new government and a new Knesset were elected, and now is not the time to topple the government. The country does not need new elections now."

A-7: "This appears to be a major turnabout for a party that is known to be right-wing - not to want to topple a government coalition that is leftist-based!"

Landver: "No, it's not a major turnabout. We have a responsibility towards the government and towards the country."

A-7: "How is it that your party gave up on nearly all its demands of just a week ago?"

Landver: "We will be judged on whether this is true or not afterwards, not now."

A-7: "Why are you accepting only one ministerial portfolio, when Shas - which has 11 MKs, just like you - has four? How will you be able to have an influence in such a manner?"

Landver: "We don't think that now is the time to add more ministers to the government; this will be too heavy of a burden on the state's resources. We will be able to have an influence in any event."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Very good point

A neighbor of mine responded to It should be obvious! by writing:
The destruction of Yamit was the spring of '82 and the war in Lebanon began
the summer of '82. Did anyone speak about the correlation of the two back then
the way it seems obvious to us now that the war this summer was the direct
result of Gush Katif?
Shabbat Shalom,

Having lived through it all, for whatever reason, I don't remember looking at it that way, but it's really a very good point.

What my neighbor refers to as "The destruction of Yamit" was the high/low point of Israel's withdrawal from Sinai, the linchpin of Menachem Begin's Camp David Accords. Begin rationalized/defended his 180 degree about face concerning settling the Land of Israel, by claiming that the agreement would guarantee that Israel could hold onto the Biblical Judea and Samaria. In addition, a number of communities were established in Gush Katif as substitutes, as compensation for the destroyed ones in the Sinai. As I remember very clearly, they were supposed to be fully-internationally recognized and guaranteed. Among them the rebuilt Atzmona Yeshiva and Neve Dekalim, named after the destroyed Moshav Dikla.

As we all know, this was a sham. The Israeli official who so efficiently destroyed the beautiful young city of Yamit was Ariel Sharon, who as Prime Minister, bull-dozed the peaceful Jewish communities of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron.

And what about what is now referred to as the "First" Israel-Lebanese War? It very quickly became an unpopular war. The Israeli government official most involved was, again, Ariel Sharon who bull-dozed plans past the then Prime Minister Begin, who seemed to be totally out of control of things. Officially the war was started by Israel in response to the assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov by the Abu Nidal Organization.

It brought much awaited quiet to the Kiryat Shmoneh area, which for years had been suffering from Ketyusha attacks. They were the only ones who fully supported the war. The "Tel Aviv elite" quickly began to demonstrate against the war, making life hell for Begin, who began to suffer from a state of depression, according to many.

Menachem Begin probably saw what my neighbor sees, the connection between the destruction of Yamit and the subsequent War in Lebanon, where most of our casualties, dead and wounded, weren't from fighting. They were from the roadside bombs and similar terror tactics. The IDF changed roles; it no longer was a proud fighting force to defend its Land. It was used for destroying innocent Jewish homes, farms and businesses. Then our soldiers were killed and wounded, shot at like targets in a carnival.

Since then, things have gotten worse. We must stop this cycle.

Chodesh Tov and Shavua Tov

Sharansky should listen to himself!

In a nice long feature interview in The Jerusalem Post, Natan Sharansky said a lot, and one statement is extremely correct:

'A dream is not a strategy'

Unfortunately, not even he follows it.

Natan (Anatoly) Sharansky is a modern Jewish icon. His history is legendary. A Soviet Jewish refusenik in the 1970's, he had already attracted international attention before his arrest. He's one of those my husband met when visiting refuseniks in the USSR in late 1976. The mantra "Our fame will keep us out of jail," proved inaccurate, and Sharansky was one of those arrested soon after the visit.

After his arrest, his lovely wife, Avital, became an international celebrity while leading protests to achieve his release. During that difficult time, she became an Orthodox Torah observant Jew, which gave fuel to the gossips after his release that their marriage couldn't last. Twenty years after his release from Soviet jail, they and their two young daughters show the world a strong family unit.

Sharansky is a very well-respected (and well-paid) lecturer and writer about international politics and government. World leaders, politicians, diplomats and the media trust and believe him and quote him extensively. Personally, I find a serious inconsistency in what he says, and this interview captures it perfectly!

My personal understanding of the world fits the quotation the Jerusalem Post used as the title of the article. I see myself as a strict pragmatist, a realist. There are times when I've described myself as "sandwiched between a CPA and a lawyer," since my father is a CPA and one of my daughters is a lawyer. I can easily analyze things into concise "numbers," and I also have an extremely strong sensitivity for "justice."

I don't believe that people can easily (if at all) change their basic value system. To do so is long and drawn out. If you're referring to individuals, it can take a life-time if ever, but if you're talking of a society, it will take generations.

That's why I consider it a miss-guided mistake for Americans to have taken over Iraq and superficially imposed a "democratic" government. The people aren't ready for it, and the terrorism there will only get worse, until America and its allies flee, like from Vietnam.

Closer to home, I consider all of Israel's "peace moves" to be mistakes, because as Sharansky says:
'A dream is not a strategy'

The Arabs are continuing to educate their children to hate us and destroy us. Superficial "stock phrases" are not signs of friendliness. They don't respect us. They consider us weak and laughable.

I wish that a person of such stature, as Sharansky, wouldn't say:
"I have no doubt that in 10 years, Israel will be the country where a majority of Jews live, with a vibrant economy and democracy. I also believe that it will no longer be the only democracy in the Middle East."

He's talking "dream," not reality. And what's this worship of "democracy?" Dictators can be elected. Hitler came to power via democratic means. A democratically elected government can vote to destroy another country.

There is a very dangerous naivete in his reasoning and statements.

Our growth and survival are dependent on being realistic and accepting that we have no true allies and that it will take many generations for the neighboring Arabs to accept us. The stronger we are the more quickly it will go. They respect strength. Our weakness, being nice, is causing their attacks.

We must stop looking around us waiting for the world's approval. We must ignore world demands. We must shed that "galut" (diaspora) thinking.

We must act like a truly independent country which has every right in the world to exist in our Land. We must develop our Land, settle it proudly. Only that will bring lasting peace!

Chodesh Tov and Shavua Tov