My musings, reflections on life here in Shiloh, Israel. Original, personal, spiritual and political. Peace, security and Israeli sovereignty. While not a "group blog," Shiloh Musings includes the voices of other Jews in The Land of Israel. **Copyright(C)BatyaMedad ** For permission to use these in publications of any sort, please contact me directly. Private accredited distribution encouraged. Thank you.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Of course the people seriously affected by the strike are not the guilty ones. The Government Ministers and Members of Knesset always get paid on time. It's your ordinary citizen trying to get a passport, renew a drivers license. It's your businessman exporting Israeli-made goods to strengthen our economy. They're the ones who will be "inconvenienced" when the country is "shut down."
Those who came to the "fun country" Tsippi Livne has been promoting will find the airport closed, so they can't land and can't leave.
Peretz, as head of the Labor Party and senior government minister, was supposed to solve all of these problems. Now he's "management," and nothing has changed. Nothing has changed at all. That was also the platform of the Retirees Party, which got most of its votes from Israel's anti-establishment yuppies, who really don't care.
I have no idea how long this strike will last. It's just another sign of how badly the country is run. And about politicians like Peretz, it also shows that it's easier to get headlines calling a strike than fixing the country.
We need a total overhaul in the way Israel is run and the people running it. Let them all go far away. I have a feeling that that's what they really want, since making Israel a strong proud Jewish country isn't on their agenda!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Olmert is endangering the country!
Olmert Rejects Military’s Warnings – Goes With Ceasefire
How far will he go? It's very clear that he put Peretz in the Defense Ministry, knowing full-well that Peretz would be totally out of his league and therefore wouldn't be able to stop him.
from Yuval Steinitz:
Hamas needs a cease-fire and an Israeli diplomatic initiative for two reasons. First of all, it will shatter what remains of the Western diplomatic boycott of Hamas, and provide legitimacy for the new unity government that will soon be set up under Hamas's direction and influence. A diplomatic initiative with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority - even if it ultimately crashes on the rocks of terrorism and the demand to destroy Israel, by means of the right of return, like its predecessors - will leave in its wake a fundamental difference: a de facto recognition by Israel, and therefore a de jure recognition by the world, of Hamas as a partner in the international circle, without that group having made any significant and permanent change in its platform or tactics.and the most important reason is:
The second reason why the hudna appeals to Hamas is its plan to exploit the "opportunity" Olmert has given the Palestinians for a truly important aim - the ongoing strengthening of a Hizbullah-style army in the Gaza Strip, including a continual threat of rocket fire on southern Israel. Hamas heard loud and clear the political and military voices in Israel that called for an urgent military operation, "Defensive Shield 2," in Gaza - an operation that would lead to rooting out the terror infrastructure and wiping out the rocket manufacturers. A cease-fire saves Hamas from this very real danger and allows it latitude for army-building along with politics.
The cease-fire will fizzle out sooner or later, but Hamas will gain from it both on the diplomatic and military fronts.
Terrorists: Cease-fire means chance to reload
Militants say Israel-Palestinian downtime to be used for weapons smuggling, training to attack Jewish state
Send Olmert packing!
We need a new government!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Here we go again...
Olmert gave a speech promising more concessions:
If a new Palestinian government is established - a government which will beDefense Minister Peretz promised
committed to the principles of the Quartet, implement the Roadmap and bring
about the release of Gilad Shalit, I will invite Abu-Mazen to meet with me
immediately, in order to conduct a real, open, genuine and serious dialogue
In the framework of this dialogue, and in accordance with the Roadmap, you
will be able to establish an independent and viable Palestinian State, with
territorial contiguity in Judea and Samaria - a State with full sovereignty
and defined borders.
I hereby declare that when Gilad Shalit is released and returned to his
family, safe and sound, the Government of Israel will be willing to release
numerous Palestinian prisoners - including ones who were sentenced to
lengthy prison terms - in order to increase the trust between us and prove
that our hand is truly extended in genuine peace.
We, the State of Israel, will agree to the evacuation of many territories
and communities which were established therein.
"Any rocket fired at Israel will be considered a violation of the cease-fire and will be dealt with severely," Peretz said. "Israel is interested in calm but not at the cost of harm inflicted on its citizens."
But what is Peretz doing?
Despite the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, two Kassam rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip, landed in open territory in the Sderot area on Monday afternoon.
Avigdor Leiberman seems in shock; he thought that the coalition agreement he made would prevent such proposals.
It makes more sense to believe in the "Tooth Fairy."
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The Crucial Difference
Yes, that is how many American Jews rationalize their staying in America. It's not the "easy life;" it's the American power and feeling of security that keeps them there. They want to be on the "winning team." People I spoke to who heard him told me how refreshing it was that somebody finally "told the truth."
A few years ago, I took a course in Coaching. Not sports coaching, Life Coaching. One of the skills we were told to do develop was to listen to more than the actual words a person is saying. I've tried to apply this and find it very useful and revealing.
In this case I hear that these people consider the main power in this world to be the United States. They want to be where the power is to influence. Actually, so do I. We just don't agree as to where and what the true power is. I think, I believe that the only true power is G-d. That is The Crucial Difference.
Many North-American Jews may be much stricter about their kashrut than I. They may dress more modestly, give more Tzedaka (charity), learn more Torah, pray more intensely, but I'm the one who worships G-d "with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your resources" (Deut. 6:5)! I live in Shiloh, the Biblical Capital of the Land of Israel. I teach in Beit El, where Yaakov had his prophetic dream of a ladder reaching to Heaven. My taxes are paid to the State of Israel, and my husband and sons have served in the Israeli Army.
The United States has existed less time, only 230 years, than Shiloh was the Jewish Biblical Capital, 369 years. Considering the thousands of years of Jewish History, the US is an upstart newcomer.
My commitment is to G-d, Judaism, the Jewish Land and the Jewish People! Remember what G-d said to Abram:
Bereishit, Chapter 12Anyone who claims to be a Torah Jews must follow this. It is so simple, so clear.
1. And the Lord said to Abram, "Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you. 2. And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will aggrandize your name, and [you shall] be a blessing. 3. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you." 4. And Abram went, as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him, and Abram was seventy five years old when he left Haran.
We will be a great nation when all of the Jews return, and in return I refer to the "tshuva," repentance which will be in effect when all Jews return to Israel.
The only pressure that will ever have an influence over the American Government is when Israel tells it that we don't care what they think and say.
We will do what's right for us, the Jewish People, the Jewish Land, the Jewish State. That is how one puts effective pressure on the world. It's only when we really don't care what they think and what they say.
Yisrael, Yisrael, B'tach B'Hashem!!
People of Israel, Trust in G-d!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Rush, rush, rush!
First about those sic "peace" now assertions that we're stealing land from Arabs. My husband has an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, which you can read. But more important, think about what that organization is really about!
If they really wanted peace then if there would be peace, we, as Jews, should be able to peacefully and safely live anywhere in the Holy Land we wish, including Shiloh.
Why don't people care about our civil rights? One thing about them. They're not after peace at all. They are out to destroy Israel and are seriously anti-Zionist. I don't have time at the moment to give you the links, but remember that their money comes from sources which do not support Israel at all.
I'm in a rush, since I'm going to the NCSY reunion, which is part of the big OU Convention, the same one which honored Olmert. From the reports I got, he was "laughed at" by the delegates. They "stood up" for the country, but his personal support is low. I'll get more information tonight.
Yes, some people may be disappointed that I'm going, but "hakarat hatov," recognizing the good in others is a mitzvah, too. NCSY is the organization which introduced me to Yiddishkeit, and I have to give them their due.
I certainly am not shy about criticizing them at the same time, which I will, G-d willing.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Ayalon, Oy Gevalt!
Olmert himself departed from his prepared speech to respond to the anecdote, saying: "The 15th of August was [the] Sbarro [bombing] " a day we will never forget." The Sbarro bombing actually took place on August 9th, but August 15th is indeed a significant date in subsequent Israeli history; it was the day the Gaza Disengagement officially started and Gaza was closed to Jews.The big shocker was outgoing Ambassador Danny Ayalon, who discouraged those present from coming on Aliyah.
"I join Ze'ev's call for Aliyah (Jewish immigration) from the states, but I have to say, you can wait a while."I can't believe that he really said it; it reminds of of that Goldricht guy, the "yored" (one who leaves Israel) rabbi, who teaches in Yeshiva University and spoke at the YU Alumni in Israel Shabbaton last spring. He made a speech saying it's easier to raise good frum kids in the states than in Israel. I was there. I heard that one with my own ears! We were incensed! It was obvious that he was rationalizing his own "yirida," leaving Israel.
It's all so sad, since I think that the OU crowd in some ways is the most "connected" to Israel. Most North American olim come from the "modern orthodox" OU and Young Israel communities. I accompanied two Nefesh B'Nefesh flights and the percentage is overwhelming. These things only cause a chasm between us. At one point the Israel Center, the OU's activity center in Jerusalem was offering a special deal to spend Shabbat at the OU convention, and I did think about it. It seemed like a good deal, and I thought that the program would be full and interesting. But then I thought again and realized that it was geared to North Americans and their priorities which aren't mine. I'd be "those people" who live in "settlements," rather different from Long Island.
I signed up for the NCSY Reunion, which will be after Shabbat. Lots of friends who live in Israel plan on attending, and G-d willing we'll see some old friends who haven't yet made aliyah. That's something else, I hope.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Olmert at the OU
Actually, I'm not surprised. Remember that the OU is the same OU which decided that Disengagement, the Israeli law which expelled thousands of peaceful, law-abiding Jewish Israeli citizens from their homes, schools and businesses, was just an "internal" Israeli affair. They stayed "neutral." Only afterwards were there tepid statements about the plight of the unfortunate refugees.
Remember that it was Olmert, the Unrepentant, who sent the storm troopers against demonstrating youth in Amona! The first-person accounts I heard from those there were totally horrendous!
Honestly, if they really cared about their fellow Jews, they wouldn't let Olmert near their convention, since not only has Olmert 100% supported Disengagement, but he announced that he's planning on uprooting, exiling tens of thousands of more Jews. What's the point of honoring such a man?
So what if he's the Israeli Prime Minister! Would they honor those responsible for Darfur? No, I'm sure not.
Sources say that taste of Olmert's sleazier side. Well, as we say in Hebrew, magui'a lachem! You deserve it!
There's going to be a demonstration
at the time of the scheduled appearance:
The protest will take place at 6p.m. on Wednesday outside JerusalemÂs Renaissance Hotel
For information call 052 842-1203
Be there if you can!
Monday, November 20, 2006
I've been saying that....
Many times I've been told that "being right isn't everything." Well, it certainly doesn't pay the grocer, that's for sure.
For months and months I've been blogging, ranting, about how the Israeli Government has no plans to eradicate, destroy terrorism. They use terms like "reduce" and "diminish." Some people have replied, commenting that it's impossible to destroy terrorism. Well it sure is if you don't have that as your main goal.
What do they think we should do? Build a missile-proof bubble over all Israeli population centers?
How many times do I have to mention the old joke about G-d announcing a new flood and the Israeli (or Jew's) reaction is: "We have two months to learn how to live under water!"
As the experts say, good comedy is closely tied to reality. But it's no joke for us in Israel. At least it's no joke for those of us who refuse to put on those "rose-tinted glasses."
This is an extension of my complaint about the signs in Yad Veshem which say that the Jews "perished" in Nazi Germany. They ignore the "m" word. Instead of hammering away with the true fact that man murdered man, the picture is of a natural disaster, like everyone perished in the flood except Noah and his family. Or twelve skiers perished in the unexpected avalanche.
So now, Avi Dichter, former Director of Shabak, Israel's Secret Service, and present Internal Security Minister, is saying:
"There was never a case where the government ordered the IDF to present a plan for the end or decrease of Qassams fired from Gaza to Israel."
"Therefore, the IDF didn't present such a plan to the cabinet, or say that it was not in its power to end the Qassams fired,"
I've been saying that...
because that's the key to our problem. The people in charge are willing to live with terrorism, which is the most dangerous situation of all.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I am 100% against the so-called "security wall" which is seriously mutilating, scarring our Holy Land.
Yes, it restricts movement and travel of Jews, Israelis not only Arabs, which is ignored by those who protest any civil rights abuses. We're not included among those deserving civil rights.
Many roads here are judenrein, cleansed of Jews, as the Nazis termed it, and the "wall" will make matters only worse. We're the innocent victims paying the double price of Arab terrorism. Not only do the Arabs attack us, but the Israeli authorities restrict us.
No one cares, just like they don't care that Sderot is being attacked daily by Arabs, who have turned the once peaceful Gush Katif into an armed camp with Southern Israel in its sites. Not even the Israeli Government cares. It has no plans for destroying the terrorist strongholds and instead of taking the wall's budget and at least repairing Sderot and building shelters, it goes on with the wall. It's obvious that their priority is to enrich the contractors, since the wall endangers the country by blocking visual access and quick response.
Let's change this government!
and send the Retirees back to their Old Age Homes!
Encouraging--Are they for real?
I don't expect any instant peace, and that's why I don't see the point in making any moves, unilateral or otherwise.
Take a look at these two sites and give them all the publicity and backing you can.
Arabs for Israel
Arabs and Muslims who Support the State of Israel and the Cause of Peace in the Middle East
To Muslims and Arabs across the globe:
Reject hate, embrace love. Bring out the best in Islam by showing your compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. Make the holy land truly holy by giving Israel and the Jewish people the respect they deserve in their tiny little country. This is not a crisis over land. It is a crisis of the soul; a crisis in our faith, judgement and self confidence. Israel should not be regarded as an enemy, but as a blessing to our neighborhood. We need not fear peace, but embrace it.
American Congress for Truth (ACT)
American Congress for Truth (ACT) was founded in June 2002 by Brigitte Gabriel.
Ms. Gabriel, a Lebanese immigrant, came to the United States after losing her country of birth to militant Muslim fundamentalists during the Lebanese Civil War.
Now an American citizen, Gabriel founded ACT to give Americans their voice
back. That unique American voice, full of joy and anticipation of better days and infinite aspirations…muted by the scourge of political correctness.
We are now a society neutered by this scourge...unable to act or speak for
fear of offending, or of law suits, or of accusations of one-sided political views.
Millions either do not realize, or deny the threat of militant Islam to America, Israel and all of Western civilization.
Through media and speaking engagements, ACT will work to educate and organize a grassroots movement to defeat this threat.
Our Seven - Fold Mission
• Keep Americans informed through action alerts, issues and legislation
• Educate millions of Americans about our enemy, and what they can and must do to protect themselves and their country
• Arm activists with information to get involved and take action
• Motivate Americans to become active in decisions affecting national security and the American way of life
• Network organizations with like-minded goals to bring change
• Empower citizens to have a voice in their government
• Fearlessly speak out in defense of America, Israel and Western civilization
Arlene's warnings, a must read!
I consider Arlene's latest a "must read," so here it is:
Posted November 18, 2006
Motzei Shabbat (at night)
If the Olmert government doesn't fall soon, we may see a process that leads to the destruction of Israel.
This past week Ma'ariv reported on a tentative plan being worked on, and reportedly covertly discussed between Israelis and Palestinians, that would involve a pullback from substantial parts of Judea-Samaria, establishment of a "provisional" Palestinian state, in return for a 10 year hudna.
Ladies and gentlemen, once again: A hudna is certainly not an end to hostilities, it is not even a ceasefire. A bit of background is in order here.
In 628, Muhammad, who had determined that he was not yet strong enough to take Mecca in battle, made a 10 year peace treaty -- called the Hudaibya Pact -- with the Quraysh tribe that controlled the city. Two years after signing it, when he had garnered considerably more strength, he abrogated the treaty and attacked the Quraysh with a force so overwhelming that they surrendered without a fight. He did this by waiting until their guard was down and then finding a pretext for attack.
In Islamic law, the way in which Muhammad conducted himself -- the despicable, dishonorable way he conducted himself -- is viewed as a model of proper behavior when dealing with non-Muslims. The term for this is hilam -- "by stratagems, you will make war." More than once Arafat referred to this publicly when talking about deals he had struck.
What does this mean? It means that the Palestinians would be happy to buy time in order to strengthen themselves. It says nothing but nothing about ultimate intentions. To surrender land to them under such circumstances would be truly insanity. If at all -- and I do not believe we should at all -- but if at all land is to be surrendered for a Palestinian state, it should only be when there is an absolute end to hostilities, terror organizations have been dismantled and the arsenal of weapons surrendered. To pull back to less defensible borders, to give them more land in which to operate, and to allow them time to garner additional strength -- without demanding these conditions -- is unthinkable. And yet, Olmert is thinking it.
Keep in mind that the Palestinians have a history of not keeping their signed agreements. Nor do they think they have to. They are dealing with us, with non-Muslims. This hudna would not last even ten years.
Olmert, of course, imagines that he would be the hero of the day for bringing "peace," and the darling of the Western world. This is what he hungers for. What he would be doing, should he -- G-d forbid -- succeed in such a thing, would be to delay the Israeli grief and the death until after his watch. And it would be greater grief and death than if he contended with the threats we face in a forthright manner now. He would be committing a sin of great magnitude.
Everyone who loves Israel must speak out against such a plan. Nip it in the bud as early as possible.
Here, this means working to bring down the Olmert gov't.
Reportedly Olmert shared this with Bush when he visited recently. And so, in the U.S. it is most appropriate to let the president know that this is dangerous and unacceptable.
Clearly, any open negotiation between Israel and the PA requires a shift in the PA gov't first. Even Olmert wouldn't sign a deal with a Hamas gov't. (At any rate, I think not, but who knows.) The following report may be relevant:
According to Ghazi Hamad of Hamas, the spokesman for the PA cabinet, "American policy is the biggest obstacle to bringing peace and security to the region."
"The Americans should not demand from the Palestinian side to commit or to abide by the Quartet conditions [to recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by past agreements]," he explained. "Americans should change their own policy and ask Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinian people."
For maybe the hundredth time, a spokesman for Hamas, in this instance Ismail Rudwan, has said Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist. What is more, Rudwan said he expects the platform of a unity government "not to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation."
As to that anticipated unity government, which we are still being assured is coming shortly, there is now a new twist being suggested. Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Naser al-Shaer says various Palestinian factions had reached a "consensus" that the unity government would have a program that would be separate from Hamas's. This suggests an attempt to promote a "program" that would be acceptable to the Western powers without trying to force Hamas to agree to it. Of course, a "government" refers to the ministers in the cabinet; Hamas is still the majority in the parliament no matter who sits in the cabinet.
Should such a situation evolve, it will be interesting to see how eager the Western powers and our Israeli gov't are to be gullible and play along.
It just might be that Hamas will prove so intransigent that they will save us from ourselves.
Caroline Glick, in her column on Friday, presents a very strong case for the need to take down the Olmert government.
"The people of Israel," she concludes, "must not be seduced by the blindness and empty promises of our leaders. All efforts must be made to sideline these incompetent, self-serving bumblers and replace them with responsible leaders as quickly as possible."
She alludes to the desire of Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni to turn over Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians: "...because it would good for Israel.
"As Livni put it this week, we want to hand over land because otherwise the so-called peace process will stagnate, and 'Stagnation is not in our interest and it is not our policy.'"
This itself is sickening enough, but it is hardly the worst. Glick reports that Olmert and Livni are deluding themselves that an international coalition is building with regard to stopping Iran from going nuclear. In fact, Livni seems to think that giving away Judea and Samaria will help make the world so happy with us that they will respond more positively in this regard.
"...Olmert and Livni are correct to say that today an international coalition made up of the US, the EU and some of the Arabs is forming around Iran. But what binds the members together is their collective opposition to taking any effective action to prevent Teheran from acquiring nuclear weapons...
"Despite Olmert and Livni's breathless protestations to the contrary, no one will take action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. No one will block the prospect of Israel's annihilation."
Please see her entire column at:
What Glick describes with regard to Olmert and Livni is part of their on-going delusional pattern of thinking we can be saved by the international community. This is what lead Olmert to agree prematurely to a ceasefire in Lebanon -- so UNIFIL could take care of Hezbollah for us. Anyone interested in knowing how that resolution is going?
A Jerusalem Post correspondent, Jacey Herman, in a brilliant move, took himself up into Lebanon close to the border with Syria on Thursday and spoke with civilians there. They reported seeing weapons brought across the border for Hezbollah at night. Rockets are reportedly being hidden under produce.
No one in the Lebanese army that Herman spoke with would confirm this. Reporters are told by the army not to take any photographs or conduct any interviews.
Not so long ago, I carried a report that UNIFIL was not active at night. Wonder why. And I note the outrage of the French head of UNIFIL over the Israeli fly-overs done to discover if weapons were being brought across the border from Syria. Those flights were in defiance of the resolution, you see. And the smuggling of the weapons? Guess the French aren't aware of that.
Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beitenu party, which is now nominally part of the coalition, has given an interview with Kol Yisrael that is refreshingly in opposition to Olmert's policies:
“Continued adherence to the Oslo Accords and the road map will lead us to another round of confrontations, too much bloodshed, and in the end we will find ourselves at a worse dead end than the present one. It puts our whole future in danger...
“There is no point in targeting...Beit Hanoun and all such places...We have to focus on those who have something to lose - the leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
“We have a dependable partner, and that is Jordan. We must declare Abbas irrelevant. He is hated in the Palestinian Authority. We should ignore him because he has no authority, no power...This needs to be explained to the entire international community.
“I see all Hamas and Jihad leaders moving about freely, continuing to provoke...They must disappear...all of them. There is no room for compromise on this matter.
“We must learn our lessons from Oslo, from leaving Gaza, from what happened following the disengagement. Without those lessons, moving on is impossible.”
Lieberman advocates re-taking the Philadelphi Corridor.
A breath of sanity. How welcome. How needed. Now, how will these opinions affect what is happening?
Friday, November 17, 2006
It's money, again!
We're dependent on public transportation. Unlike most of our peers, we've never owned a car. This isn't the post to explain all of the various reasons.
In the 25 years we have lived in Shiloh, the public transportation had reached the level of "we can live with it." Enough buses made it up the few sharply inclined meters (up the hill) to our neighborhood, sometimes even doing us the favor to drop us off by our front door. And we could usually plan our departures and arrivals knowing that there would be a bus to take. At other times, we'd just have to wait for rides.
A week and a half ago, things changed. I can't say that it's all bad, but our neighborhood got hit hard and now is almost totally ignored by the buses.
When we realized that our quality of life would be severely affected, our anger was placed 100% on the "public servants," paid and volunteers, in Shiloh, the nearby communities and our regional council.
Considering that a majority of the Shiloh bus passengers live in my neighborhood, Ramat Shmuel, the highest point in Shiloh, it's obvious that we're suffering.
Yesterday on my way home from work, I caught the 3:45pm (from Jerusalem) in Ofra. As I was digging through my workbag for change to pay, I spoke to the driver. I've known this driver for years, as he's one of the most veteran on our route.
Being dependent on buses, we've always made a point of treating the drivers well. Their work is hard, but until yesterday's conversation, I didn't realize how hard.
The drivers on our route are generally the employees of Egged, not the members of the Egged Cooperative. There are two different pay scales, and our non-member drivers are on the lower one.
Since the "change" I've been politely, of course, reminding the drivers that most of us getting off in Shiloh live "up the hill," and we're terribly inconvenienced. This guy was very nice about it. I said that it's only five minutes more to the route, and then he told me:
Egged decides how long a route should take, and they pay in accordance. If they decide that I should be finished at "six" and I'm finished at 6:13, I don't get paid more. If there's a traffic jam or an accident or fog or hail or the army blocks the road, we get paid as if the traffic went smoothly and quickly.He gave me a whole different perspective on the bus changes. By severely reducing the bus service to my neighborhood, Egged is saving money. It adds up. The fact that most of us need that service is irrelevant. We're dependent on them just to get to Shiloh. And young, old, sick or healthy, we're still taking the bus, but now, unless it suits our schedule to take one of the two remaining that go up the hill, we find ourselves standing around wondering if we ought to just start hiking or wait for a ride. Some neighbors don't have a choice, since they can't physically walk up. And for those who can, sometimes, we have too many packages, and we then can't . It's a problem if the weather isn't cooperating. Standing in the cold and rain isn't good for anyone.
There isn't a proper food break in our schedule, and any how in Ariel (now that the route no longer ends in Netanya or Kfar Saba,) we don't have a place to rest even if there was one.
If we don't rush, we won't be able to start the next route on time, and then we get into trouble.
Another point is that the drivers have to rush, meaning drive quickly, which can be dangerous considering the weight and balance problems of these heavy bullet-proofed buses.
It seems like the drivers are suffering from the changes even more than we are. The only one benefiting is the Egged Bus Cooperative. It's all about money after all.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Quote of the Day - Guess Who Said This?
So who was it? Aryeh Eldad? Bibi Netanyahu? No, you’re not even close! Would you believe it was said by, none other than…
Binyamin [“Fouad”] Ben-Eliezer of the, ahem, Labor Party?
9/11 Flight Paths
If you haven't yet seen 9/11 Flight paths, it's time. (thanks eu)
While watching the graphics, I couldn't get over how indirect the paths were. Of couse they all had to be ready at the same time. It was too well-planned. Intelligence used to destroy and not to build.
But has the world learned anything since then. Honestly, I don't think so.picture credit
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Last man to die
This is a powerful and very important statement. A Picture's Meaning Can Express Ten Thousand Words No doubt in my mind. it's amazing how quickly a military action can lose popularity the minute the public realizes that it's only temporary. What's the point of soldiers losing their lives for nothing. That's since the ordinary people understand perfectly well, that the situation will revert to the previous one or worse.
It happened in Southern Lebanon, Vietnam and Gush Katif.
When soldiers are fighting to save the world or their own people, morale is high and the public is behind them. Then something happens, generally political, and the fleeting temporary status takes affect. The ball starts rolling, and the majority want to flee. What's the point of endangering lives?
There's anger, distrust between those whose sons are fighting and those giving the orders to retreat, which endangers those on the front even more.
(thanks to ariela for sending me the picture of the soldier)
The patch says "Doing the work of" The flags are France, Germany, and Russia.
These are my kind of cartoons
I grew up reading the New York Times, even on Sundays. So for me, cartoons like these, which I took from a post on From Sea To Shining Sea, (thanks Boris!) are the "Sunday funnies." Besides The Week in Review, I read the Real Estate section and looked at floor plans. I'm serious! That was the only paper I ever saw until I was 13 years old. So if you're wondering...
WAR! Everybody seems to know but Olmert
Everything's here in the news. Just open the news sites, and you'll see.
Israel must have new leadership, new elections and a new way of looking at the world.
Olmert isn't doing his job.
Peretz isn't doing his job.
A woman was killed and a man lost his legs when two Kassam rockets landed in downtown Sderot. The Islamic Jihad and Iz A-Din El-Kassam terrorists claimed credit.The rockets fell not far from the house of former Sderot Mayor Amir Peretz, Israel's Defense Minister.
Five Kassams land near Ashkelon after Sderot barrage
57-year-old Fatima Slutzker killed by rocket that hit Sderot street earlier Wed.;
Amir Peretz's 24-year-old bodyguard loses legs.
Hamas: Unity gov't won't recognize Israel
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
In a move that could jeopardize efforts to establish a Palestinian unity government, Hamas announced on Tuesday that the new government will not recognize Israel's right to exist.
Iranian paper: Great war to wipe out Israel coming
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Is it the Beginning of the End for the Ostrich Oligarchy?
My good friend Rabbi Lazer Brody wrote last week, on another topic:
I'd laugh too at the silly senseless self-righteous oligarchs, but it's my country! Fortunately, Hashem is compassionate and Hashem runs the world.
The high tide always precedes the low tide. Those who willfully rebel against Hashem first rise to great heights, so their imminent crash landing will make all the bigger boom. That's exactly what will happen to the black-robed anti-Torah mafia. Sit back and let Hashem run the show.
Everybody knows that our abysmal failure in the recent Lebanon war is the responsibility of the Three Stooges:
(Actually not these heroes, but...)
Olmert, Peretz and Halutz. And everybody knows that they’ve been doing their darndest to avoid a full-blown State Investigation into the war. But now, that may be coming to an end.
Bill for State Inquiry Passes First Step – The Knesset Tuesday night passed the first reading a bill calling for the establishment of an independent state inquiry into the management of the war against Hizbullah terrorists this summer.
And not only that, but there is also a Demand for State Inquiry into ´Disengagement´
The head of the Headquarters for saving the People and the Land of Israel has asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to set up an independent state inquiry to probe the government's reasoning for passing the Disengagement Plan last summer. The law resulted in the destruction of Jewish communities, turning over the land to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the expulsion of the Jewish residents and the withdrawal of the IDF from the border with Egypt.
Could this be the beginning of the end of the Olmert oligarchy? As Reb Lazer says, let’s “sit back and let Hashem run the show.”
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
As mentioned above, we are now in accord with the Israeli public:
Poll: Halutz, Peretz and Olmert Must Go
A poll released Tuesday night showed that the Israeli public is thoroughly dissatisfied with the current government leadership. The majority of respondents think the IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and Defense Minister Amir Peretz should resign their posts, according to a Geocartography poll.
Remember, you read it here first!
What qualified George Bush for the US Presidency?
One description that can't be used for US President George Bush is "self-made man." the White House Officious Website of George W. Bush says it well:
He brings a whole lifetime's experience of having sprung from the loins of a long line of entitled millionaire politicians. A native of blue-blooded New Haven, Connecticut ...
Even the more objective Answers.com opens his biography with:
George W. Bush became president of the United States on 20 January 2001. Bush is the son of former U.S. president George Bush, who served from 1989-93.It's clear that if he had been born into an ordinary family, he'd just have an ordinary job. As first-born son, it was obvious that the "family professions," oil and politics would always be open to him. As it happened, he also inherited the staff, including not only the VP Cheney, but Robert Gates who is taking over for Donald Rumsfeld.
Supporting Cast: Bush 41's national-security team, in 1991. From far left, Scowcroft, Gates, Cheney, Quayle, Baker, Bush and Powell.
None of this is a secret.
Bush Says He’s Open to Change in Iraq, but ...
Look at who's chairman of the committee!
Addressing reporters in the Oval Office, Mr. Bush shed little light on the
substance of his hour-and-15-minute session with members of the bipartisan Iraq
Study Group, led by James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state,
From what I can see, his father US President #41 is still in charge, at least via his team. And it's important to remember that the Sr. Bush was very "cold" to Israel to say the least. Israel shouldn't count on anything from the United States, except a Trojan Horse.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I wish that I could write that everything's coming up roses...
As you can see, it's more like a garbage dump. I call this photo:
Garbage in Paradise
This summer's war here was a waste.
A waste of lives and money. Our soldiers are still in enemy hands, and now no surprise Hezbollah's missiles back in Lebanon.
Israel ought to get real, since the "special relationship" with the United States is rather one-sided. The United States does what it perceives as being best for the United States,andn that's it. I wish that Israel would do what's best for Israel instead of trying to please others.
With the Democratic Party dominating America's Legislature, American concerns will be in Iraq, mainly, how to get out as quickly as possible!
The only good thing I see here is NU-NRP's Effie Eitam's call on the Likud to join his party to topple the government. That would be great.
That time of the year again, oy!
I just got an email announcing that the Herzliya Conference is approaching. For some of us, it's like being told being told to expect bad news from one of those invasive medical tests. What's the biopsy going to say?
Remember, it was at the Herzliya Conference:
- Ariel Sharon shocked us all by announcing Disengagement!
- and last year Ehud Olmert announed his Realignment/Convergence--aw, it's really just another give land to terrorists for nothing Plan, when he wasnt even Prime Minister!
So, what's planned for this one? Honestly, I can wait.
Well, in the meantime, he's meeting the American "lame duck" who has problems of his own.
And in the meantime, 3 Qassams fired at Israel.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Are we allowed to laugh?
Moslems are different. They take offense at things that wouldn't bother anyone else but have no trouble mocking others.
Regardless, I can't resist this piece of news:
Arafat memorial: 14 hurt as wooden stage collapses
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip
A wooden stage collapsed during a memorial for Yasser Arafat on Sunday, lightly wounding 14 people, including the sister of the late Palestinian leader.
Thousands of people attended Sunday's memorial in a Gaza City field to remember Arafat, who died on Nov. 11, 2004, after a sudden, rapid decline in his health. The crowd waved yellow flags of the Fatah Party, which Arafat founded and led for four decades, singing folk songs and firing guns in the air.
In the middle of one song, the makeshift wooden stage created for the event collapsed, silencing the crowd for nearly a minute before the singing continued. The head of the Presidential Guard, an elite security unit, and Arafat's sister, Khadija, were among those hurt in the collapse, officials said.
Didn't something even crazier happen at the funeral, with mourners getting injured while jumping on the body or something like that?
How can we stop Olmert?
Tired politicians should be sent out to pasture. In a democracy unpopular politicians, those with very low approval ratings, should take the hint and leave office.
Here's an interview with him, in which even the reporter sounds rather incredulous at times.
A CONVERSATION WITH EHUD OLMERTOlmert keeps promising the Arabs more concessions.
Sunday, November 12, 2006; B03
After this past summer's controversial war in Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has lower poll numbers than President Bush. Olmert, who will meet with Bush in Washington this week, spoke with Newsweek-Washington Post's Lally Weymouth about the Middle East, Iran and the prospect of a U.S. pullout from Iraq.
What are you going to say to President Bush? Last year you told him you had a vision -- your convergence plan, which was to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank. Do you have a vision today?
The convergence plan was a vehicle to accomplish a vision shared by both President Bush and myself. This is a two-state solution. Before the war, I told the Israeli public that the first step I would take is to try to establish a credible process of negotiations, on the basis of the road map, with the legitimate Palestinian leadership. If that didn't work, then we would try [unilateral] realignment.
But after the war in Lebanon, you said the convergence plan was on hold.
After the fighting in Lebanon, and also the failure of the Palestinians to cope with continued terrorist actions, I have second thoughts about the ability to accomplish the two-state solution through realignment. It is definitely not dead but it has to be reexamined
According to a government source, Olmert might be willing to give up 90 percent of the West Bank. The source added that this scenario would only be implemented if the Palestinians completely halt terrorism.We want elections now!
This interview, along with speeches Olmert gave on Thursday in which he spoke of the unique and substantive offers he would make to the Palestinians if they relinquished terror and recognized Israel, have raised expectations for his Washington trip.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Joe Lieberman isn't alone
Number of Jewish lawmakers worldwide reaches record high
By Amiram Barkat
Tuesday's U.S. elections brought the number of Jewish parliamentarians worldwide to an all-time high, according to the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians.
Following yesterday's results, the number of Jews in the Senate rose from 11 to 13 and in the House of Representatives from 26 to 30. However, the United States is still only in third place worldwide for the number of Jewish legislators, after Israel and Britain.
Britain, despite having a Jewish community 20 times smaller than that of the United States, has 59 Jewish members of parliament, including 18 in the House of Commons and 41 in the House of Lords. The latter number includes seven barons whose seats in the house were hereditary until recently. However, the umbrella organization of British Jewry said that in fact, the number of Jews in the House of Lords is even higher, totaling at least 46.
After Britain and the United States come France and Ukraine, with 18 Jewish legislators each, followed by Russia (13), Brazil (11), and Canada and Hungary (10 each). The only Arab country with a Jewish member of parliament is Tunisia.
According to the ICJP, there are 246 Jewish legislators worldwide (excluding Israel), up from 208 in 2005 - an increase of about 18 percent. This is the highest number recorded since the organization was established in 1988.
The organization noted that it does not use the halakhic definition of a Jew in determining whether a legislator is Jewish.
The director of the World Jewish Congress's Israel office, Bobby Brown, said the data reflects Jews' growing success in integrating into the countries where they live. Brown, who coordinates the ICJP's work in Israel, also noted that in recent years, cooperation among Jewish legislators worldwide has increased.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Honestly, I don't care!
I don't care that a bunch of Arabs were killed as a result of Israeli shelling of Beit Hanun. There's a war going on, and their side is the aggressor!
What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If it really bothers them that they lost some civilians, then they can just stop attacking us. But it's more Damned if we do, damned if we don't, they'll justify their attacks against us.
More so, I'm highly offended that the world is only concerned about Arab loss. Do you hear such a fuss and bother when our civilians are murdered by proud, unrepentant Arab terrorists? No you don't.
I'm sick and tired of all these journalists, politicians and self-proclaimed experts in morality getting all upset, because some Arabs were killed. There is proof that the "Palestinians" use human shields to protect armed gunmen and rocket
Why doesn't the world, including Israel, recognize the truth? It's all part of the Arab plan to demonize us. And unfortunately, Israel is governed by some insecure bleeding-hearts who are too quick at the draw to commit hari kari.
We have nothing to apologize for!
I'm not going to lie to you and pretend that things are fine, just hunky dory here. If you don't want to know the truth, just scroll down to something more fun, or read me-ander, which deals with homier, more mundane things.
Following are some news items; for the full articles, just click on the excerpts.
Poll: Olmert, Peretz and Lieberman seen as most corrupt ministers
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondents
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister for Strategic Threats Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Amir Peretz are considered by the Israeli public to be the most corrupt ministers in the government. The ministers considered least corrupt are Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Peres must be solid Teflon, considering...
Comptroller slams Peres, Netanyahu
By DAN IZENBERG
Vice Premier Shimon Peres should consider returning, or donating to the state, the $320,000 he received as primary election campaign contributions from three businessmen two weeks before a law severely limiting the amount of money candidates could receive went into effect.
Remember, these are our enemies:
Palestinian terror organizations used woman and children as human shields this past weekend to save terrorists holed up in a mosque in Gaza. The group of terrorists were under siege and Israel was demanding their surrender. In response, the Palestinians organized a human shield of more than 200 woman and children to surround the men and walk them to safety.
It doesn't seem to be getting better.
IDF: Hamas steps up production of Qassam rockets in Gaza Strip
By Amos Harel
Senior Israel Defense Forces officers believe that Hamas has managed to overcome the technological barrier that has so far prevented it from stockpiling a large number of Qassam rockets.
According to the officers, the group succeeded in expediting its production of rockets in an effort to create a new level of deterrence vis-a-vis Israel in the Gaza Strip.
IDF forces pulled out of the town of Beit Hanun Tuesday, but in fighting in other parts of the northern Gaza Strip, seven Palestinians were killed. Within several hours of the end of "Operation Autumn Clouds" there, four Qassams struck Ashkelon.
Were you aware that...
At the time that the IDF pulled out from Beit Hanoun, was it aware that
"large quantities of weapons" remained in "sensitive civilian sites" in
"...The IDF aspires to minimize civilian casualties, even at the cost of missing
some operational objectives."
Know thy enemy!
Top Hamas Officials: "We Want [All of] Palestine, from the River to the
Sea"; "Resistance and Jihad Are Legitimate"
In the nine months since it came to power, and despite the PLO's demands,
Hamas has not changed its views: It refuses to recognize Israel or
acknowledge its legitimacy, insists that previous Israeli-Palestinian peace
agreements will be recognized only if they serve Palestinian interests,
continues to lay claim to all of Palestine, and, in exchange for the
establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, offers only a
temporary hudna (ceasefire). In addition, Hamas continues to express
reservations about the Arab peace initiative of 2002, and to support
resistance, jihad, and abduction of Israeli soldiers.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Shades of Vietnam!
I was in the states this summer when Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary because of his support for the war in Iraq. It was considered national news, since he's one of the most respected American politicians. Important to remember that it did him no harm that he is Shabbat observant. He proves that being an observant Jew does not hold one back in America. It gains him extra respect and authority. He ran for the Senate seat he has held for 18 years (three terms) as an "independent." He won because he had the support of those who normally vote Republican.
But the Democrats, which have started opposing the war, took the House of Representatives.
Most critically, perhaps, Republicans lost the political center on the Iraq war, according to national exit polls. Voters who identified themselves as independents broke strongly for the Democrats, the exit polls showed, as did those who described themselves as moderates.Lame Duck Bush has lost his support. Opposition to the American presence in Iraq has reached the tipping point.
I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of the issue. I'm just stating that the American public's opposition will start snowballing, and it will take less time than it took for the anti-Vietnam War crowd to push the Americans out of there.
What's interesting is that one of the reasons The New York Times gives is poor planning.
It's possible that no one could have turned the invasion into a success, given the fissures in Iraqi society that the fall of Saddam Hussein have exposed. But we will never know, since the shortage of American troops and the lack of postwar planning made disaster inevitable. Mr. Rumsfeld deserves to go simply because he has failed at his job. Denying that reality is presumably why the president is so bent on keeping him.It reminds me of the situation in Israel. No great surprise, since for whatever reasons, the Israeli military and politicians think that America knows it all. That's one of the reasons that I don't consider Moshe Yaalon a savior; he has spent his retirement time getting very friendly with the Americann military.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the American Presidential campaign, which went up another few notches today. The hopefuls are analyzing the recent results to know how to focus their campaigns. They run to win, not for strong ideology. The two-party system only recognizes winners and losers. There are no coalitions, which we have in Israel.
If opposition to the American occupation of Iraq gets too strong, then Bush, as head Republican, will make sure the troops are out before the next presidential elections. He'll have to do it for the party.
It's nice watching this from afar.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Reining in Arab terrorism Until it Subsides
Americans try to "rein it in" with the help of the new Iraqi government.
[verb] stop or slow up one's horse or oneself by or as if by pulling the reins; "They reined in in front of the post office"
[verb] control and direct with or as if by reins; "rein a horse"
Synonyms: harness, draw rein, rein
[verb] stop or check by or as if by a pull at the reins; "He reined in his horses in front of the post office"
Israel Vows to Attack Gaza Until Rockets Subside
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel said Sunday that the military would not halt its offensive in the northern Gaza Strip until Palestinian rocket fire toward Israel was significantly reduced.To sink to a lower or normal level.
1- To sink or settle down, as into a sofa.
2- To sink to the bottom, as a sediment.
3- To become less agitated or active; abate.
I may have a very dumb question:
What's wrong with trying to destroy terrorism? What would have happened over fifty years ago, if the allies against Nazi Germany had decided just to "rein them in" rather than destroy the Nazi regime?
The Americans didn't wait until the Japanese fighting subsided; they demanded a surrender, just like the Nazis had to surrender. And only then were those countries helped to get back on their feet.
Monday, November 6, 2006
Peculiar Priorities and Paz-Pines
One of the things that facilitates corruption in Israeli Government is the fact that Government Ministers are also Knesset Members. Actually being a minister or a "sgan" (vice or assistant) is one of the great gravy trains of Israel politics. That's why the Israeli Government is jam-packed with ministers, certainly many more than a country of 6,352,117, as of July, 2005 needs for good clean government.
Some of the less prestigious ministries are just revolving doors; I trust that they have a Sir Humphrey Appleby to keep things going. When Ophir Paz-Pines resigned from his position as Minister of Science, Culture and Sports he was the eighth in the past decade. Also, does a country really need a government ministry, for Science, Culture and Sports?
Paz-Pines resigned from the cabinet after Avigdor Lieberman joined it. He made a great speech to his Labor colleagues urging them to vote against being in a coalition with Avigdor Lieberman, whom he considers "a racist."
"Lieberman is a man who holds racist views and has made statements which are to the detriment of Israel´s democracy," he said, adding, "I had no choice but to resign."Why should Paz-Pines have so much against Lieberman? He's not a terrorist. He supports the existence of the State of Israel, unlike Paz-Pines's friends:
President, Mahmoud Abbas, received on Sunday, in the presidential HQ, theAnd back in Chelm, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis are living below thepovertyy level, the Israeli Government donated food and medical supplies to the Arabs in Gaza:
former Israeli minister Ophir Paz-Pines, who resigned recently after the
joining of the minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to the Israeli government.
210 truckloads of food, medical supplies and other basic commodities were transferred to the Gaza Strip through the Karni crossing throughout the course of the day. In addition, 250 calves, 39 truckloads of medical equipment and 42,000 kg of flour went through the Sufa crossing.Why should they work when Israel and others take such good care of them? Because of the generosity of others, they can devote their time and money to terrorism against Israel and build up the military infrastructure on the border with Israel.
Wake up Israel!
Wake up world!
Sunday, November 5, 2006
"...a threat to the nature of the country,"
"Canceling the parade because of threats of violence - is a threat to the nature of the country," said Mazuz.
That's a very interesting statement, considering that Jews are constantly forbidden to to do and go all sorts of places here in Israel, because "threats of violence" by the Arabs.
Last year the Od Avihu Chai March from Shiloh to Jerusalem was forced to abandon its planned entrance to the Old City via the Damascus Gate, because the police were afraid of the Arabs, and this year, too, we weren't allowed through the gate.
The threats of violence are also behind the restrictions of Jews on Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount.
But honestly, I shouldn't expect any logic from the governing elite here in Israel. Last night I found myself in front of the television when it was broadcasting live the Yitzchak Rabin Memorial Rally. I really prefer to avoid those things. It's bad for my health.
Just my luck, David Grossman, the extreme Left wing Israeli writer whose son was killed in last summer's war, was speaking. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He suggested that we do everything possible to "make peace" with Syria, even though we know that we can't trust them. Just keep making offers until they agree. That's insanity.
What's peace? Certainly not that.
I was encouraged by the tepid clapping. Even that crowd didn't think it a great idea.
Making "peace" at any cost is actually the same as letting "threats of violence" rule our lives.
Peace will only come when we are so strong and confident that the Arabs will fear and respect us. Concessions will never bring peace!