Hamas War

Friday, March 30, 2007

A 'Law & Order' Presidential Candidate?

I remember reading an interview with the late US President Ronald Reagan, in which he stated that he couldn't understand why people thought that his former profession as actor was a disadvantage to the presidency. He couldn't understand how someone without acting skills could be President!

Well, here's another former actor, Fred Dalton Thompson, now a politician, who may run for the US Presidency.

Read this article.
Does anyone know anything about his policy concerning Israel?

Barack Obama, More about him

The enthusiasm about the mostly unknown candidate for the Presidency of the United States, Barack Obama, reminds me of a phenomena I've seen in our local Shiloh elections for the "Mazkirut," "Town Council." The most "unknown" candidate always gets in, since that's the person who has never been involved enough to "make enemies." In the vast majority of cases, he/she's the Mazkirut member who inevitably fails and disappoints.

I suggest reading this very comprehensive article:
(hat tip and thanks to my friend bo)

Barack Obama and Israel
Ed Lasky
American Thinker

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Shabbat HaGadol, The Great Sabbath

Shabbat HaGadol is the very last Shabbat before Pesach, the Passover Holiday.

Chazal, our sages, and rabbis over the ages have written and debated and discussed the significance of Shabbat HaGadol. They read and research in our Holy Books.

I'm not learned.
I'm just a housewife, a wife, mother, daughter and grandmother. My perspective doesn't come from our learned sages.

Shabbat HaGadol is a difficult Shabbat. It is the most difficult one of the year, since it's before Pesach, and with all the cleaning, there's little time to think of food and cooking for Shabbat. If Yom Kippur's 25 hour fast was on Shabbat HaGadol, it would be just perfect. No food to prepare at all.

A year like this is the hardest of all for anyone who is making a "seder," since the seder will be on Monday night, just two days after Shabbat is over.

This coming Shabbat is called Shabbat HaGadol to remind us that Shabbat is GADOL, Great! And no matter how harried and hysterical we are, it's still Shabbat and it must be honored and kept.

So, Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach!
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat!!
window sill

Police Brutality at Chomesh!

Arutz 7 shows the truth!!
There are many more pictures--many of them brutal, so click the link.


hat tip IMRA

For Immediate Release March 28, 2007

Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center has filed a precedent petition in the High
Court of Justice demanding that the Israeli citizenship of three Arab
Members of Knesset be revoked and their names striken from the Population
Registry. The Arab MKs, Azmi Bishara, Wasal Taha and Jamal Zahalaka, had
visited Syria recently despite the ban on Israeli citizens traveling to this
enemy state. The Shurat HaDin petition alleges that by illegally traveling
to Syria the Knesset Members have, according to Israeli law, forfeited their
citizenship and, therefore, can no longer serve in the parliament.

Shurat HaDin is represented in the High Court by attorney Nitsana

The petition asks the High Court to compel the Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia
Itzhik to dismiss the MK's from their positions in the parliament and to
fill their seats with alternative candidates from their Balad party.
According to the court papers filed by Shurat HaDin, pursuant to the
Citizenship Law, any Israeli citizen who visits an enemy country
automatically forfeits his citizenship from the very moment that he embarks
from Israel. Under the Basic Law: The Knesset, a person who is not an
Israeli national cannot be elected to the Israeli parliament and is
forbidden from serving as a member.

In the past it had been claimed that legal actions could not be taken
against MKs who visited enemy countries, out of a mistaken assumption that
Israeli parliamentarians enjoy an absolute freedom of movement and are
immune from criminal prosecution. However, the High Court petition notes
that MKs are only authorized to enter enemy states when they receive special
permits from either the Prime Minister or the Minister of the Interior.
Moreover, the general parliamentary immunity afforded to MK's does not
protect them in the instance where they enter enemy states as the revocation
of their citizenship is obligatory under the Citizenship Law and it is
activated automatically without any further action by the government or the
judiciary. Simply stated - the Arab MKs' parliamentary immunity cannot
protect them from losing their citizenship because they have ceased to be
Israelis and MKs the moment they visited the enemy state.

Accordingly, the petition asks the High Court to order the Minister of the
Interior to strike the names of the three MKs from the list of Israeli
nationals in the Population Registry, to strike their names from the Voters'
Registry for the Knesset, to change their status in their Identity Cards
from "Israeli nationals" to simply "Israeli residents" and to exchange their
Israeli passports for laissez-passer.

According to attorney Darshan-Leitner: "The time has arrived for the Israeli
government to enforce the law that strips members of the Knesset who visit
enemy states and offer encouragement to regimes that seek our destruction of
their citizenship and immunity. These three MKs have warmly embraced Arab
leaders who support and fund the Palestinian terrorist organizations that
continue to murder Israeli citizens. We are demanding that the High Court finally rectify the mistaken approach that MKs have an absolute freedom of movement. Any member of the Knesset that wants to visit and encourage enemy states must no longer be permitted the right of Israeli citizenship and the ability to serve in our parliament."

For more details:
(email) info@israellawcenter.org
(US) Tel: 1-516-684-9983
(Israel) Tel: 03-7361519

Tzedaka Request-- I checked it out

Actually, the writer is an old friend. She and her husband have been Chabad shlichim for many years.

Dear Friend,

I hope this finds you and your family well, and your Pesach preparations are running smoothly.

My husband recently went to NY to raise money for urgent expenses for the school, for the public sedarim for Pesach and other Pesach expenses, hoping to raise $35,000 to get Chabad of Crimea through the holiday. However, instead he was hospitalized and had two procedures done and wasn't able to travel, even within the United States, to raise the desperately needed funds!

It is difficult to see how we will manage, as we should have paid at least a week ago for the orders for poultry and meat, the matzah, grape juice for the year, oil, and other products, which they want to sell to others, since we haven't yet paid. (The suppliers won't send it until they have the money in hand.) I'm sure that Hashem will pull us through this, but Pesach is speedily approaching, and the expenses must be paid immediately.

Is there any chance that you might be able to help Chabad of Crimea in this difficult moment? You have no idea how much it would mean to us and to the Jews here!

If you would like, you can make a donation using your credit card. The information we need is as follows:
Name (as it is on the credit card)
Billing address with zip code
Name on the credit card
Credit card number (16 digits)
Expiration date (month/year)

Checks can be sent to:
American Friends of Chabad of Crimea
1601 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Wiring Information:
American Friends of Chabad of the Crimea
ABA# 336512355
Bank name: Sovereign Bank
Bank address: 4823 13th Av., Brooklyn, NY 11219

Thank you so much! Wishing you a kosher 'and happy -- and healthy Pesach!

Leah Lipszyc
Chabad of Crimea

PS: I would appreciate your passing this on to others who might help our organization.

Back to Germany?

Quite a few decades ago, when I was a teen with a fresh new driver's license, I tried to convince my parents to get a third car.

"We could fit three of those little Volkswagens in the same space (our tiny driveway) as the two cars we now have," I told them.

"We're not buying German cars," they replied firmly!
That was the standard feeling among American Jews in the 1960's.

Things have sure changed. According to this little piece in Newsweek:
April 2, 2007 issue - Historic Revival
Once haunted by memories of the Holocaust, Berlin has become one of the most Jewish-friendly places on the planet. The German capital boasts an annual Jewish film festival and Jewish culture festival, while performances of Jewish plays attract regular audiences at the Bamah Jewish Theater. Visitors can view exhibits on emigration at the Jewish Museum; the music-minded can take in klezmer concerts performed by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Germans are also studying the history of their country's Jews. But it's not all about the Holocaust. "Students want to learn about the empty [cultural] space once occupied by Jews in German society," says Michael Brenner, a professor of Jewish studies at Munich University. "Not about the destruction itself, but about what was destroyed."

Feeling more at home than ever before, American Jews are now moving en masse to the hip German capital. (Estimates show that between 10 and 20 percent of the 12,000 Americans living in Berlin are Jewish.) Even U.S. novelist Jonathan Safran Foer is there, writing a new English version of the Haggadah, the ancient Jewish text on the Exodus. "I like the way the city feels," he says. Evidently, he's not the only one.
-Michael Levitin

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New pictures of Chomesh from Yonathan Gormezano

These very special pictures were sent to me by Yonathan Gormezano.
thanks so much!

Mazal Tov to Limor, her husband, his family, her older children and all the Har Melech family.

They aren't serious. Are they?

Peretz says he'd take Finance Ministry
After the damage he has already done as Defense Minister and in his previous position as head of the Histadrut Labor Union, how could anyone in their right mind give him the Finance Ministry?

Lieberman: Swap Peretz portfolio now
Honestly, wouldn't the country be better off if he was retired to a place far away from here? But Lieberman needs Peretz's support, since Lieberman wants to be Prime Minister after Olmert. That's why he's in the coalition, and that's why no matter what has happened, he hasn't quit!

PMs office: Don't publish Winograd testimonies
A proper investigation commission would have had its hearings public, but Olmert tried to tailor one to his own needs. Considering Olmert's one digit approval ratings, the commission isn't willing to follow his orders.

Will they "regret" this, too?

According to a recent poll:

A Year After Elections, Voters Regret Their Decision
...recent polls show that less than three percent of the people trust Prime Minister Olmert, and two-thirds want him to resign, with a majority favoring new elections. Likud and Kadima would exchange rankings in the terms of the number of Knesset seats if elections were held today, the surveys show. (for complete article, click here)

That's nice, but it's rather late, since for many of us, this government hasn't surprised us at all.

This morning's news broadcast that the Israeli Government is offering all sorts of aid to the terrorist Pseudistinians and simultaneously is massing a thousand soldiers/police to fight the young Eretz Yisrael activists on Chomesh and force them to leave.

Something stinks in the State of Israel!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Miss-directed charity

hat tip IMRA

Why has Israel offered to help the Pseudostinians (great term from benning) clean up their "muck" after the totally nasty things they've maligned and libeled us with? At least they've refused the offer.

Why is Israel continuing to be kind to the terrorists while making Jewish refugees suffer? It's dangerous, perverse and cruel to be so generous to the people who are trying to destroy us. The vast majority of the thousands of innocent Jews who were exiled from their homes in Gush Katif and northern Shomron are still homeless, living in temporary, flimsy prefabs. Unemployment in rampant and poverty prevails. Why isn't the government doing something to help them?

And what about Chomesh? The government has allowed a "picnic--bring your own food and water by foot." Vehicles are forbidden in order to get the lovers of Eretz Yisrael to abandon it.
National Union Chairman MK Uri Ariel addressed the issue Tuesday, stating, "The IDF isn't allowing food and water in to the Israeli citizens, including women and children, in Homesh. This is a grave and inhumane act. Even Arafat was provided with food in his Ramallah compound."

According to the poll... Americans Oppose Giving Land To Palestinians By 5-To-1

Major New ZOA Poll:

  • Americans Oppose Giving Land To Palestinians By 5-To-1
  • Believe Palestinian State Would Be A Terrorist State By 2-To-1
  • Support Israelis Over Palestinians By 10-To-1

March 26, 2007
Contact: Morton A. Klein, 212-481-1500

New York — A major new national poll has found the following regarding American opinion on the Israel and Middle East issues:

By a margin of 2-to-1 (45%-- 22%), Americans believe that a Palestinian Arab state would be a terrorist state rather than a peaceful democracy;

By a margin of 5-to-1 (60% - 11%), Americans believe that Israel should not make more land to the Palestinian Arabs.

By a margin of 10-to-1 (45% - 4.6%) Americans overwhelmingly support Israelis over the Palestinian Arabs.

By a margin of more than 5-to-1 (65% - 11%), Americans believe that Saudi Arabia is not a reliable and trustworthy ally in the war against radical Islamic terrorism;

By a margin of nearly 2-to-1 (46% - 24%), Americans believe that Egypt is not a reliable and trustworthy ally in the war against radical Islamic terrorism; and

By a margin of nearly 2-to-1 (51% - 26%), Americans believe that the US should impose economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia until it stops its support and funding for terrorists and radical Islamic education that teaches hatred of America and Israel.

The poll of 1000 randomly selected Americans was commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the US, and has a margin of error of 3.1%. It was carried out by McLaughlin & Associates, a major national polling company, on March 25, 2007.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This poll makes clear that the American public fully understands Israel’s difficult plight in dealing with the Arab war against it. Americans understand that establishing a Palestinian state would simply result in but another terrorist state in the Middle East, which is the last thing America needs in its efforts to bring peace and security to the region. The American public has shown that it is completely against appeasing this Palestinian terror regime by offering any more concessions to it. It has shown that it has a far more realistic view of the Arab war against Israel than governments around the world, including the Bush Administration, which has continued to deal with and even fund Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, despite the PA’s on-going refusal to fulfill its obligations under signed agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to dismantle the apparatus of terror and end incitement to hatred and murder in the Palestinian public square that feeds it. This policy remains in place despite the recent formation of a Palestinian Arab national unity government under the leadership of Hamas, which calls in its Charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7). This new Hamas/Fatah government has refused to recognize Israel, forswear terrorism or fulfill previous agreements.

“Members of the House and Senate should become aware that sanctions against Saudi Arabia for its financial support of radical mosques and spreading the extreme Wahhabi Islamic doctrines, including in American mosques, is something that Americans support. The Bush Administration should also be much tougher on the Palestinian Authority and, instead of engaging and rewarding it, hold it accountable for its pro-terror, anti-peace actions. This too would be heeding the American public, which overwhelmingly supports Israelis over the Palestinian Arabs. Congress should also take action to convert all aid flowing to Egypt from military aid to purely humanitarian aid, as Americans now realize that Egypt is not the partner in fighting terror it pretends to be. This can be clearly seen in Egypt’s refusal to end the massive arms smuggling from Egypt into Gaza of weaponry for Palestinian Arab terrorists and the constant anti-Semitic articles, shows and songs that are a staple of Egyptian culture.

“This poll shows conclusively that the typical American overwhelmingly supports Israel, which is why the overwhelming majority of members of Congress, reflecting their constituencies, also support Israel. If they didn’t, they would not be representing the views of their constituencies. This fact refutes the pernicious claim publicized by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt last year that Congressional support for Israel is the result of political pressure by American Jewish pro-Israel individuals and groups and that these pro-Israel policies are against American interests and what most Americans want. This poll should put that anti-Semitic nonsense to rest.

“This poll also indicates that we should stop all talk of establishing a Palestinian Arab state. Americans also understand that the Palestinian Arabs have not taken the minimum steps required to make peace and that peace prospects are consequently next to non-existent. A freeze on funding to the PA and severing ties with it until these vital steps are taken would be well understood by the American public, involve no domestic political fallout and would be the correct response to the situation. Only such pressure has a chance of producing the desired changes in Palestinian society and thus the possibility of peace with Israel.”

* * *

The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.

Monday, March 26, 2007

That time of the year again

As usual for me, it's the time of the year when I try to find as many "reminders" as possible.

Reminders for what? To "count the Omer." Sfirat Ha'Omer was one of my failures the first thirty plus years I was aware of it. I could never manage to count more than a couple of days before it totally slipped my mind.

For those who don't know, Jews are commanded to count from the second night of Passover until just before Shavuot. Every night, and if we remember in the morning, it can get us back on track.

The first time I succeeded was four or five years ago when a combination of cell phone reminder, a couple of email reminders and my cell phone as an alarm kept me going until the 49th count.

So, please help me out, and send me all the addresses to sign up for reminders.

Thanks and Tizku l'Mitzvot
You'll be rewarded with more Mitzvot!


March 24, 2007

Helen Freedman

Will there be any official government celebrations planned in Israel to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the re-unification of Jerusalem, the return to Hebron, and the restoration of Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan to the Jews of Israel – and the world? If so, we haven’t heard of any. The reason for the silence from Israel is that the Olmert government is planning the reversal of the amazing 1967 victory by the Israeli army over the attacking Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Saudis, and Jordanians, betraying all those who dreamt for centuries of the return to Zion. It is also, of course, a betrayal of the many thousands who gave their lives in order to create a whole Israel.
Americans – ask your mainstream Jewish organizations, the UJA, UJC, JNF, what celebrations are planned for the 40th Anniversary in America. You’ll probably elicit a stony silence, or response about “disputed territories” from those who endorse the give-away plan and refuse to recognize the existence of a whole Israel.
The give-away program was actually begun with the treacherous Oslo Accords of 1993, but swung into full force in August, 2005 when Gaza was emptied of its Jews by order of then PM Ariel Sharon. Wishing to distract the public from his pending indictment for a variety of criminal activities, Sharon pushed forward the expulsion of 10,000 Jews from the 21 communities of Gush Katif and Sanur and Homesh in Samaria. The area, as predicted by the opponents of expulsion, has now become a Hamas terrorist stronghold, threatening the Negev communities.
Now we hear that Israel must talk to Syria. There are “diplomats” who insist that Israel’s refusal to do so is stubborn intransigence. What could these talks possibly mean? Only the giveaway of the Golan Heights, Israel’s absolutely necessary security position against the Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah. Anyone who has been to the Golan, and seen Damascus from the Israeli heights, can appreciate how dangerous it would be for Israel to give away this natural protection. And that goes without mentioning the vineyards, farms, homes, schools, cities and lives of the Jews of the Golan. And yet, the “diplomats” urge talk and “painful concessions.”
The Olmert government has been building a wall through Judea and Samaria that is cutting off Jewish communities from other Jews, placing them in what would be the “Palestinian” state, if that disaster should come to pass. The “Saudi initiative”, from our “good friends” the Saudi Arabians, who were well represented in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, and who sponsor Wahabiism, the most virulent of the Islamic jihadist religions, requires Israel to return to its “Auschwitz” 1967 borders and requires the right of return for Arabs who fled in 1948. Although the number of Arabs was about 500,000 at the time, their descendants now claim to number in the millions, thanks to the careful protection of UNWRA, and it is these millions who are demanding the right to flood Israel with their return. All of this seems quite reasonable to Ehud Olmert, who is ready to empty out many of the 250,000 Jews of Judea and Samaria, in order to replace them with “Palestinian”/Hamas Arabs who are dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
And the jewel in the crown is Jerusalem - Yerushalayim – the holy city over which the Jews have cried for centuries. Jews continue to mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples, and look forward to the day when the Third Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, the Israeli government doesn’t reflect these yearnings.
In 1967, when Matti Gur ascended the Temple Mount with the victorious Israeli army, and planted the Israeli flag there, proclaiming “The Temple Mount is in our hands,” he was ordered to take down the flag. Moshe Dayan gave the keys to the Temple Mount to the Arab Waqf, and since then, Israelis have been fighting to assert their rights to this holiest of places.
And now, we hear that Olmert is considering re-dividing Jerusalem. The “Saudi” plan calls for the surrender of half of Jerusalem to the Arabs. Of course we know that surrendering part is in effect surrendering all. That is what the Arabs continue to tell us. They want to drive the Jews into the sea. They refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, refuse to stop their terrorist activities, and expect to succeed in their goal to Islamize the world. Israel and Jerusalem are only the first step. Tomorrow, the world.
So that is why we do not hear talk of celebrations, parades and special events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the state of Israel to its immediate post-1967 state of wholeness. When the government of Israel is prepared to give away everything that was achieved in the miraculous 1967 victory, how can they celebrate the gains of that six-day war? What is clear is that what the Arabs lost militarily, they understand they can gain diplomatically. They merely have to use the language of “peace” and the western world becomes hostage to them.
But there are those who will not accept the delusions, deceptions and betrayals of the “diplomats” and “leaders” who are only concerned with their personal power positions and are willing to sacrifice the welfare of the country for their own good. There are many remarkably brave and heroic Israelis who will fight against the perfidious ones. We Americans, who understand the nature of the fight, must join with them.

Helen Freedman is the former Executive Director of Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI; 212-828-2424; afsi@rcn.com; ghfree@aol.com

It's up to us!

Yes, it is up to us.

If we act strongly, independently and with confidence, then we'll be treated as such.

Look at what just happened. Eretz Yisrael activists announced a return to Chomesh. The government threatened, ranted and raved, but the activists held firm, and now here are the headlines:

'There is no point in stopping the march to Homesh'

Return to Homesh: IDF Will Cooperate

Dozens march to Homesh under tight security

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Aliyah l'Regel, Passover Pilgrimage

On the way to Jerusalem, passing through Shiloh

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

wondrous ways

No time to go into depth on these. The only depth is cleaning for Pesach. If I had a neat, clean and orderly home, I'd be able to do it the the easy way.

Latest Arab terrorist missle attacks from Gush Katif on Lily Sharon's grave.

Beware of Yvette-Avigdor Lieberman:
Lieberman: Grant Citizenship to Rich Russian Non-Jews

There's lots of forbidden chametz to be cleaned out of the halls of power.

Now back to work!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

No secrets

In the states, politicians running for office are supposed to be honest, scrupulously honest.

No foolish sins are forgiven by the curious press. A candidate's health report is publicized for all.

Over thirty years ago, when the late Gerald Ford became US President, his wife entranced the nation with her candor:

In 1975, in an interview with McCall's magazine, Ford said that she was asked just about everything, except for how often she and the president had sex. "And if they'd asked me that I would have told them," she said, adding that her response would be, "As often as possible."[4] (click here for entire article) I remember reading that article!

And then when she discovered that she had breast cancer, the entire world knew. And then they knew that Vice President Rockefeller's wife Happy was also discovered to be ill with breast cancer, which they both survived.

Now breast cancer is in the news again, as the wife of presidential hopeful, John Edwards, has announced that her remission is over. Her cancer has spread to her bones. They announced that he will continue his campaign to be President of the United States.

Americans are arguing the pros and cons. Does the decision mean he's strong or selfish? Is she being foolish, loving or further endangering her health? Read this and this.

It's a tough one to call. The question is whose business is it? Former presidents had major health issues, like Kennedy and FDR, and many were disloyal to their wives.

I'm glad I'm not voting in American elections.

Politics! OOF!

West Bank settlers facing eviction petition court for compensation --read this twist

Poll shows Likud at head of the pack-- not exactly...

Report: Ramon may replace Hirchson-- sure, anything's possible

Member of war probe: Restraint eroded IDF deterrence-- no surprise

Friday, March 23, 2007

Totalitarian Police State

The Israeli Government is using every threat they can think of to frighten citizens from returning to Chomesh, one of the Jewish communities destroyed by Arik Sharon during Disengagement.

Since they've discovered that the serious police brutality in Amona didn't have the desired effect, now they're talking money!

A similar warning letter was sent by the Samaria Police Department to those assumed by police to be organizers of the Homesh return campaign. The department commander, Kobi Cohen, wrote that organizers would not only face charges for a "serious infraction of the law," but they would also be sued for expenses incurred by the law enforcement officers.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

International Problem

Dearth of Leadership
Pat Oliphant by Pat Oliphant

If it's good for the gander, then give it to the goose!

Personally, I must tell you that I'm extremely upset to read that former MK Naomi Blumental is going to jail. My husband worked for her during her first year in Knesset, and we found her to be a wonderful, sincere, dedicated and generous person.

It's that generosity which makes me wonder about the entire case against her.

News is that she's going to have to serve 8 months in jail.

It's one thing if the rest of the country's politicians were lily white, but the case against her is small potatoes compared to the Sharon's', Olmert and Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson, among others.

Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson, under investigation for possible fraud, is suspected of having given a prominent political personality $200,000 six years ago...

Initially, police believed that Ovadia Cohen, the former head of Nili, an organization that operated educational institutions and operated under the umbrella of the union, embezzled approximately NIS 5.5 million from the organization, and that Hirchson knew about the fraud but failed to report it.

But police now believe the minister may have received some of the embezzled money and used it to pay his son Ofer's gambling debts. (click here for complete article)
Hirchson is involved in such a large corruption scandal that he may be offered to be "state witness."

It's like fishing. The big ones get away, and just the little ones are caught.

Israel pimping to get more tourists

Yes, that's part of the "we're a fun place, not a war zone" pr strategy. Israel has arranged to have a variety of top models show whatever to Maxim Magazine to attract more male tourists between the ages of 18-35.

The nine-person Maxim team, including photographers, a reporter, hairstylists and make-up people, will arrive for a five-day photo-shoot on Tuesday, using Tel Aviv-Jaffa - and the old and new motif - as a backdrop for the photographs.

The glossy magazine, launched in the US in 1997, boasts a circulation of "around 2.5 million" and claims to be the "#1 men's lifestyle magazine in both the country and the world."

The magazine features revealing pictorials of scantily clad actresses, models, singers and the "girl next door" interspersed among articles on sports, cars, movies, booze and relationships.

What is going on?

Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser

In the wake of media reports to the effect that IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi presented a position to the Security Cabinet that rehabilitation of the IDF would take years, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would like to make it clear that such remarks were never made* and, in any case, cannot be interpreted as if the IDF is in a situation that requires rehabilitation. In the briefing, the Chief-of-Staff presented the IDF's fundamental and thorough investigation process, including issues and lessons the correction of which will be implemented in the framework of a multi-year working plan.

*Ashkenazi: IDF needs years to become
satisfactorily prepared

By Aluf Benn and Nir Hasson, Haaretz
Correspondents Last update - 07:24

Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned the security
cabinet Wednesday that the
Israel Defense Forces would need time to reach
the necessary level of

"Do not think the army will be ready in three
months," Ashkenazi told the
security cabinet during the meeting. A team of
senior IDF officers briefed
the ministers on the lessons of the Second
Lebanon War.

Ashkenazi said several years would be needed.
Preference would be given to
forces likely to participate in dangerous

He told the security cabinet that when he took
over as chief of staff, he
considered interfering with the IDF's in-house
investigations into its
problems and performance during the war, and said
he decided not to do so.
Dan Halutz was chief of staff during the war.

The head of the General Staff's doctrine and
training department, Brigadier
General Danny Biton, presented the security
cabinet with the main findings
of more than 20 IDF in-house investigations since
the war.

The ministers commended the army on its openness
in exposing shortcomings.

"We are dealing with the debriefing of the army,
irrespective of the
Winograd Committee," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
said. "It is no replacement
for the lessons that we must learn regarding the
connection, and the translation of government
decisions into military

"We always say it is necessary to move the fight
onto enemy territory as
quickly as possible," Olmert added. "But, when
you are faced with ballistic
missiles and indirect fire, even when you have
penetrated enemy territory to
a certain point, the enemy can still fire
missiles. The question is how to
apply this principle to the contemporary

Hebron, Moshe Shamir, Z"L, and Memories

Yes, memories, memories of Hebron, Pesach (Passover) and Moshe Shamir, Z"L, yes, all that mixed together.

What's known as the "Settlement Movement" began in Hebron, when a few dozen Jews went there with their families before Pesach, 5738 (1968). When the holiday ended, they refused to leave and finally were taken out of the hotel and housed in the "memshal," the police compound, in downtown Hebron.

There are many stories about that first, post-Six Days War seder. Moshe Burt posted one which mentions the late Moshe Shamir. Moshe Shamir differed from most of the Eretz Yisrael activists in that his background and life style were left-wing and secular. His politics evolved, and later he was a Knesset Member for the T'chiya Party, along with Geula Cohen and Rabbi Chanan Porat, but he didn't embrace formal religion.

From my observations, he was more religious, though maybe not observant of the mitzvot, than most. The last time I saw him was at an evening dedicated to the republishing of Benzion Netanyahu's book, The Five Fathers of Zionism (in Hebrew), and Shamir spoke. His comments were different from anyone else's. Shamir complained that the choice of Zionist leaders was completely unbalanced. There were no religious Zionist leaders included. He made it clear that in the revised edition, religious Zionist leaders should have been added. For me, his words were totally unforgettable. Moshe Shamir was a very great man, and he shouldn't be ignored or forgotten.

On a personal note, our very first Passover Seder (1971) was in the Memshal in Hebron as guests of the late Chaim Mageni, Z"L, and his wife Shoshana. Recently, "tremping" home, I caught a ride with their son, who lives in Shvut Rachel, just to the east of our home in Shiloh. I told him of that first seder, a couple of years before he was born. There are customs we keep to this day, because we learned them from Chaim and Shoshana.

The memshal, in the middle of Hebron, was an amazing place to be, and by following Chaim around we saw signs of former Jewish life all over Hebron. Many, many buildings had indentations in the doorposts, for mezzuzot, proving that Jews had lived there before they were expelled.

And lastly, yes, the Hebron Jewish Community should take "Peace" Now to court to sue for slander. And they shouldn't be the only ones. Everytime "Peace" Now lies about Jews they should be taken to court. Let them prove their allegations, their lies and slander. Every soldier who is disturbed by Machsom Watch must sue that group, too. Every word of incitement against the Jews of YESHA or religious Jews by the media, public personalities and politicians must go to court. We don't have to "take it" silently. We mustn't! Remember, there's no "turning the other cheek" in Judaism. In Judaism every word has power.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Send those Machsom Watch Ladies Off to Iraq!

The extreme Left-wing ladies of Machsom Watch interfere with Israeli soldiers as they inspect Arabs who want to enter Israel. They wouldn't be interested in stories like this one:

Iraq Bombers Blow Up 2 Children Used as Decoys

Published: March 21, 2007
BAGHDAD, March 20 Insurgents detonated a bomb in a car with two children in it after using the children as decoys to get through a military checkpoint in Baghdad, an American general said Tuesday.
(for complete article click here)

While waiting... at the "border"

Most of you probably know by now that I hate waiting. Sometimes I take pictures, and that's what I did today. After the pool I went to the Pisgat Zeev Mall and bought a wedding present. At the store I saw a "pool friend" who was going in my direction. She dropped me off at the bus stop at Hizmeh, the border between Jerusalem and the road to Maale Adumim and the road north to the Mateh Binyamin communities, which includes Shiloh.

I stood waiting and finally took out my camera and shot these pictures. The wall is a waste and won't provide security, but the new set-up for checking cars is better than the previous one. Yes, the cars must be checked, since terrorists do try to get in with explosives. But as you can probably see, there are ways other than by car.

going north from Jerusalem

checking cars to Jerusalem, wall in background

checking cars to Jerusalem

The wall, leaving Jerusalem.

A Bissel more Balanced than Usual

There are two articles about Israel in the latest online edition of Newsweek, which I get via email. Amazingly, neither had me slamming the delete button.

According to my own order of things...

The first is part of their ongoing series of "Four Hours in..." This time, they're visiting Jerusalem. I cringed before clicking. Was this going to be another of those articles praising the American Colony Hotel and Arab hospitality?

Surprisingly, it isn't, not at all. Even the restaurant is Kosher. You rarely find that even in the Jerusalem Post.

The second article, also, rather well-balanced is a feature interview with Noam Schalit, whose son Gilad was kidnapped by Arab terrorists. It's sympathetic and well-written.

I'm just curious as to why the sudden change. Is there a new bureau chief in the Jerusalem office?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Unequal Before Israeli Law?

I have neither the time nor the patience for a long-winded, full-length op-ed style post. I trust that you can fill in the blanks.

Why isn't MK Ibrahim Sarsour (UAL-TA'AL) being tried for sedition? (hat tip IMRA) He's quoted as saying:

"Just as the Muslims once liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders, so must we today believe that we can liberate Jerusalem. It is not an impossible dream," he said. (click for complete article)
Nadia Matar has been prosecuted with the heaviest weight of the law for doing much less.

On Sept. 10, 2006, Jerusalem Magistrate David Mintz dismissed the indictment against Matar, but on Nov. 23 the state appealed the acquittal in Jerusalem's District Court. A decision was still pending.
"The judges are favorable to accepting the appeal on political grounds, but it is difficult from a judicial perspective," defense attorney Yoram Sheftel said. (click for complete article)

Teenage anti-Disengagement demonstrators are considered enemies of the state. (hat tip IMRA)

Judge Hanan Efrati appeared to justify the behavior of police charged with assaulting an anti-withdrawal protester during a demonstration in 2005. Efrati suggested that police were defending an Israeli government besieged by massive protests against its decision to expel 16,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. "These were not ordinary times or ordinary demonstrations," Efrati, a judge in the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court, said. "This was like in a war." (Click for complete article)
So, again, why aren't Israeli Arabs prosecuted at least to the same extent?

And now for the really big question--

Who is really endangering the State of Israel?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Obama Background

hat tip Empire of Logic and Opinion

This article about Barack Obama's youth describes and intelligent and troubled young man, but it doesn't clarify his present religious beliefs at all.

Hawaii seems to have had been a "bad fit" for him. Back on the "mainland," he has become a typical "black American" in terms of politics, associations, etc.

Here's the link to the article about his Moslem ties.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


NOTE [from Yitz]: The following is an imaginary scenario, and is meant as a warning of what could, G-d forbid, happen here in Israel if we don't all wake up soon. I recently received it via e-mail, and will disclose its author's name in the comments if enough people request it.

The lessons of the 2006 war were well learned in the war councils of Teheran, Damascus and Cairo . Egypt and Iran entered a missile race to see who could supply more rockets to Israel 's enemies. Within barely a year of the war, over 20,000 new short and medium range missiles were aimed at Israel . When Syria entered the war on the third day, Israel was buried alive.
*Day One - In a massive coordinated attack, some 6,000 missiles hit the Tel Aviv area, knocking out much of the military's operating and intelligence networks. Hundreds die in the rubble. The survivors are in panic. The Israeli government has left the country before the airport is overwhelmed first by terrified civilians, then by the enemy.
*Day Two - Another 6,000 missiles are shot throughout the country, knocking out electricity and isolating army units into pockets, defeatable by anti-tank missiles. They are first attacked by the Palestinians and their missiles, then Israeli Arabs, then Arabs from everywhere.
*Day Three - Syria enters the war and fires 10,000 rockets on its first day. Israel is now in sheer chaos; it has all broken down. In East Jerusalem , 140,000 Arabs march to the Jewish West. They have burned the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and are now streaming out from every gate. Many Jews run to the forests, but they'll die of thirst if they manage to evade capture and fatal abuse. The Western Wall is destroyed with its rabbis and worshipers forced to watch. They are led away in tears. None is ever seen again. With the enemy coordinated and Israel without a chain of command, the nation has already disappeared. The enemy first takes over isolated settlements, breaking their defenses and their wills. The men are hunted down. They are gathered together to watch their wives and children raped. Anyone who dares turn his eyes away is shot, if he's lucky, fatally. Those who survive will soon dangle from the nearest meat hooks or other useful slow death apparati.
*Day Four - Word is out in Damascus , Cairo , Amman , and throughout the Middle East, that Israel is for the taking. The Zionist leaders were ready for flight and were gone. The people were left behind to be slaughtered. Syrian soldiers were now flushing "proud" Jewish soldiers out of the isolated IDF camps. Many of these soldiers were not going to fight to the end. They left the camps with their hands in the air, totally defeated. In the cities and towns, Israelis walked down shattered streets, looking for safety. There was none. It was better to be old and ugly and maybe get shot. For the attractive ladies dressed in top brands, death never came quickly enough. The lovely ladies of Judaism were mass raped, left to consider their fate in the ruins of their homes and then, maybe, shot only once through the head.
*Day Five - America calls for a UN ceasefire, but it is too late. The men in their Peugeots are rushing to Israel for the treasure or the scraps; maybe they'll have to settle for a feeble old man. If nothing else, he would know the humiliation of being sodomized. The Jews had sat back, ignored reality and let their government sell out the nation's resources and defenses. They couldn't see that the Jews had been infiltrated and their leaders were betraying them to death. And they won't see it next time, when the third Holocaust begins.

NOTE [from Yitz]: The above is an imaginary scenario, and is meant as a warning of what could, G-d forbid, happen here in Israel if we don't all wake up soon. I recently received it via e-mail, and will disclose its author's name in the comments if enough people request it.

Beware of Obama!!!

My "prediction" is that Barack Obama will run as Vice President to Hillary's Presidential candidacy as the 2008 Democratic ticket. It'll be a double-first for the Democrats.

In principle, even though the United States law permits me, having been born in the US and leaving at the age of 21, I do not vote in US elections.

I've never been a Hillary fan and never will. She calculatedly moved from the extreme Left of American and world politics in order to be elected Senator from New York and is continuing her shift in order to be the first female President of the USA. After being condemned for her support of the "palestinians" and lack of sympathy for Jewish Israelis, she has been more careful.

Now, about Obama. He's a relative unknown, and we're discovering rather unpleasant aspects of his ideology. He has been down-playing his Moslem beliefs, since Moslems are responsible for much of the terrorism in the world, especially in New York.

He has let some things slip.

Obama told the Muscatine-area party activists that he supports relaxing restrictions on aid to the Palestinian people. He said they have suffered the most as a result of stalled peace efforts with Israel.

"Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people," Obama said while on the final leg of his weekend trip to eastern Iowa. (for complete article)
Yes, he, like Jimmy Carter and Condi Rice, is pro- (sic) "palestininian." That's dangerous for Israel. It doesn't bother them at all that Arab terrorists are murdering and injuring Jews. They only care about the Arabs, who aren't "poor" at all.

Don't be Hypocrites!

Great, though uncredited, picture from Arutz 7!

For all of those who worship democracy, respect and recognize the fact that the sic "palestinian people" voted for terrorism!

Israel should begin talks with the Palestinian unity government (full article here), according to Israel's first Arab minister, Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports Minister Raleb Majadele, who refuses to sing Israel's national anthem.

There's debate within the Israeli Government about what to do.

Maybe the problem is "democracy?"

You can't limit your support for democracy and hinge, or condition it onto the results you want. That's how the United States and partners are getting stuck in Iraq. Changing it from a dictatorship to democracy won't solve the problems, since the people will just vote for new dictators. And L'Havdil, to differentiate, that was the same fatal flaw in Motetzet YESHA's totally miss-guided and poorly conceived "campaign" against Disengagement, which called for a "referendum," rather than explaining the dangers Disengagement would wreck on Israel.

The world must recognize that the sic "palestinians" support terrorism. They are not innocent peace-loving people mired in poverty. Take off your rose-colored glasses and take a good look at the truth!

Out of proportion, no, Worse!

There has been a post from IMRA in my inbox these past few days. It's the article from the Arab news agency telling how many Arabs are allowed to visit the Arab terrorists in Israel jails. Yes, Israel is very welcoming and generous to its enemies.

Bethlehem - Ma'an - In February, 16,372 Palestinians traveled to 23 Israeli places of detention and visited 7,012 relatives in detention, according to the February report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This was down from December 2006, when the ICRC enabled 17,767 Palestinians to travel to 23 Israeli detention centres to visit 7,447 relatives held in Israeli detention. click for complete article

Maybe I'm being a bit simplistic, but shouldn't Israel be demanding equal rights, quid pro quid, or whatever it's called? Instead of attacking last summer, maybe we should have cancelled all those "humanitarian gestures?" Wasn't the war to get back our captured soldiers?

Honestly, why should we accept such abuse from the Red Cross? I'm almost sitting on my hands to keep them from typing what they can do....

We give those "humanitarian" organizations lots more than we've ever received. Enough! No more visits to Arab terrorists until all of our boys, alive and dead are back here in Israel!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Where's the danger?

As I've mentioned, Tzvi Fishman now "blogs" on Arutz 7.

He used to be a neighbor of ours, but to better observe kibud av v'em (honoring his father and mother) he moved to Jerusalem. Tzvi is one of my favorite writers, and he posted a great, classic story of his on the blog.

I highly recommend that you read:
ON EAGLES WINGS, from his book, “Days of Mashiach.”

missing blogs--no joke

It seems like something has taken over the Bagel Blogger and Baleboosteh, jbloggers' premeir blogging couple. Commercial sites pop up instead of their blogs. They haven't been answering their mail either.

I was hoping that I'd find them back in jblogging business after Shabbat, but no change.

I'm not using their blog addresses in the post. There may be some sort of virus.

Bagel Blogger is known for his graphics and did the first two jpix carnivals, and the Baleboosteh was supposed to host the Kosher Cooking Carnival this week.

I'd appreciate any news of their health and that of their kids. I hope it's just a computer problem. Does anyone have any other way of contacting them or know the rabbi they consult with?

Shavua Tov

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Calendar and Post-Zionism

This Shabbat we read Parshat HaChodesh (Exodus Ch. 12), the passage which tells the Israelites in Egypt to begin calculating the new moons with the month of Nissan in order to make the Passover sacrifice. The act of sanctifying time and the act of sacrificing are two parts of a single concept: the free person one who controls his own time as opposed to the slave, who is always dependent on the master. The lamb was an Egyptian deity, an object of vereration, not to be eaten. In the Joseph story the Hebrews are held as repugnant in the eyes of the Egyptians because they eat the meat of the Egyptian god. The sacrifice, holding the animal for four days next to the house, followed by the public sacrifice including smearing blood on the doorposts, is an in-your-face act before the Egyptians. They have served notice that they are no longer subservient to the king, people and gods of Egypt. This act is a signpost which says, up to this point slavery, from this point further freedom. Having property to sacrifice is important, having a direction to dedicate that property is even more important, but all of the above are a function of first being a master of time.
During the peculiar negotiations between Moshe and Pharaoh at one point (Ex. 8:21) Pharaoh suggests that the people need not leave in order to sacrifice to their G-d. Let them do it in Egypt. Moshe responds that the Egyptians will stone the Israelites for slaughtering and sacrificing their god. Now the plan has suddenly changed. Why? The great colloquial Israeli expression is "ma pitom?" Why all of a sudden? What happened? My thought is that it was now possible to sacrifice in Egypt because the connection between the exodus and independence was now established. A free people is no longer worried that the neighbors will stone them for different religious beliefs and practices. The neighbors are now in a state of shock and awe after ten plagues.
I just received an invitation to a friend's son's bar-mitzvah, which will take place on Yom HaAtzma'ut, Israel's 59th Independence Day, which will take place this year on the sixth day of Iyar rather than the fifth. This is the second time that this has occurred. The first time was three years ago. From the inception of the state of Israel, on Friday, May 14, 1948, the fifth of Iyar 5708, the problem of the intersection of the celebration of independence with Shabbat has been an issue. The Chief Rabbinate and the Knesset previously decided that when the fifth of Iyar falls on either Friday or Shabbat the celebration would be held earlier on the previous Thursday in order to avoid desecration of the Sabbath. This was based on the rabbinic precedent that joyous events similar to the reading of Esther on Purim could be held early under certain conditions. Occasions of sorrow such as the fast of Tisha B'Av in morning for the destruction of the Temple, are postponed if they fall on Shabbat.
Independence day is always preceded by Memorial Day for those who have fallen in war and in defense of the nation. The stark contrast between the somber day of memorials, gravesides and sirens is followed by the rejoicing in the independent Jewish state. At nightfall a long siren blast is followed by jubilation and revelry. Three years ago religious leaders expressed their concern about the likelihood that the main memorial observance at the outset of Memorial Day, in the evening at the Western Wall, would be the cause of Shabbat desecration if it were held on Saturday night. Therefore the authorities agreed that the memorial events, similar to the fast of Av, should be postponed to Sunday night-Monday. The problem was that they also wanted to maintain the close connection between the memorial day and the celebration on adjacent days. This necessitated postponing Independence Day as well.
In the context of what we have said before, what does this all mean? It means that as we have sunk into the post-Zionist era we have retreated from our freedom. It means that we have let our sorrow be in the driver's seat and have command over our rejoicing and our sense of control over our own destiny as a nation. We have let Tisha B'Av become the paradigm of our national existence rather than Purim and Pesach. Other ways in which we see this is in the increased involvement in youth trips to the concentration camps of Europe and even more so in the constant diplomatic and military concessions we have made over the previous years culminating in the disastrous retreat and expulsion of thousands of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. We have ceased to behave like a free people and have returned to the slave mentality. Our religious expression of freedom is overshadowed by our fearful fixation on the Jewish fate of death and suffering.
What do we do about this problem? We must take the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and in no uncertain terms put it in the driver's seat of our nation's fate. We must make Jewish law the determining factor in our jurisprudence rather than "enlightened" western "democracy". This fable of a "democratic Jewish state" or even a "state of all its citizens" makes us less free, not more. It subjects us to the tyranny of the nations from without and to the tyranny of secular judges, media, secret police and economic oligarchy from within. Only a return to Torah on the personal level and the establishment of true Jewish leadership on the national level based on obedience to G-d and His Torah can save us from this gathering storm of self-destruction. The secular state is certainly not the "beginning of the flowering of our redemption".

Olmert's "How to Succeed" Tactics

Olmert's a pro at internalizing and demonstrating the tactics and techniques in all the "how to succeed" books.

His latest "I'm not a popular prime minister" statement was repeated over and over and over.

Olmert said that his decreasing popularity might have been halted if he had "caved in to pressure" to increase public spending or launched a public relations campaign in response to a series of political corruption allegations. (complete article)

Of course he claimed that he did it for the good of the country, to show his strength against pressure.

And there's a physical change in his image; he stopped trying to comb his remaining hair over his baldness. If he thinks it makes him look more honest, sorry, Ollie.

In the meantime, the caring public is waiting to see what, if any, criticisms of Olmert, will come out of the Winograd Commission. Olmert appointed it, making it hard to believe that they will do the job in the professional and objective way the Israeli people deserve.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Names have power. Recently, more and more people, troubled about their lives for various reasons, are going to "wise men" for name consultations and then receive new names. It's also more acceptable for Jewish parents to name a baby son prior to the Brit Milah, if for medical reasons it must be delayed.

Last summer's war, when Lebanon (Hezbollah controls Southern Lebanon) attacked northern Israel, was never named by the Israeli Government. It was referred to as the "Second Lebanese War," but it never had an official name. That's because there never was a real Battle Plan. Israel just reacted. It never made any attempt to defeat the enemy. Words like "reduce" and "diminish" were used.

Simply put:
No name
No aim

Parents of the soldiers who were killed in the war consider its namelessness an added pain and offense, especially since the government and military are referring to it as an "operation," a much lesser military "action."
They plan to go grave-to-grave installing plaques with the phrase: "Fell in the War in Southern Lebanon."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rushing by... some more Arab Mansions

Today as my friend and I were leaving Jerusalem, I just had to take these pictures. Add them to 1 and 2. I know that the pictures aren't very clear. It was raining, and I took the pictures from inside a moving car.

Haifa's in danger, not Shiloh!

I've written about this so many times, but people refuse to believe it.

The Arabs are not interested in Shiloh. They're interested in Haifa, Beersheva and the trendy neighborhoods of Jerusalem. They want Ramat Aviv, too.

They want the houses and land they fled from, and it doesn't matter that it was their Arab leadership which told them to flee. They were promised an Arab victory, and they would get the "spoils" of the war.

Israeli Leftists, living happily in Jerusalem's Emek Refa'im and Ramat Aviv, keep preaching that "peace" will come if Arab refugees are given homes like mine in Shiloh, G-d forbid, but they never checked their story with the Arabs.
Jerusalem - Ma'an - The Palestinian minister of refugee affairs, Atif Adwan, has warned of an American-Israeli conspiracy against the Palestinian refugees' right of return. He added that deporting Palestinian refugees in the Arab countries to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will just serve the Israeli interests and hopes, as these refugees should be returned to their original towns and cities... continued
hat tip IMRA

Arab Mansions Part 2

also see: Arab Mansions Part 1

Here's the second of the series of Arab buildings between Shiloh and Jerusalem. I took these pictures last Succot (October), and since then so many more magnificent mansions and luxury apartment houses have been built, that it seems necessary to photograph again. Thanks to the neighbor who drove me around. All of the photos were taken from the main road. My camera only has 4x optical zoom. With a better zoom, more and better pictures could be taken.

Many of the large apartment buildings seem unoccupied. I presume that money is coming from abroad. My great fear is that they are camouflaged military bases, like those discovered in Southern Lebanon. That's because there doesn't seem to be any logic for the placement of some of the buildings, besides strategically overlooking our roads.

And, yes, they are much larger than anything to be found in Shiloh.

large villa
new villa
large new building
buildings on a hillside

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Arab Mansions Part 1

also see: Arab Mansions Part 2

I actually planned and prepared this post months ago, during Succot.

It's very annoying and inaccurate that people who aren't familiar with the facts on the ground here in the Shomron, north of Jerusalem, Israel, have such a totally distorted view of things.

My neighbors and I live in small, modest homes. Yes, that's the truth. The large, enormous mansions north of Jerusalem all belong to Arabs. For the longest time, I had been thinking of trying to sell a photo-story showing those elegant structures. Then finally during Succot, I mentioned it to a neighbor who said that he'd love to drive around with me, while I took pictures. thanks ms! So we went off one day and were amazed at how many gorgeous mansions were between Shiloh and Jerusalem.

I couldn't find any paying publication to buy them, so, as a blogger, I'm my own boss, editor, etc. Actually, since then, so many more have been built. I don't know how the Arabs build homes so quickly.

Enough chatting. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, so...

hilltop mansion
fancy roof
lots more
large new buildings
lots of new ones

Holocaust of whom?

When my husband's aunt and uncle cleaned out their house in order to move to smaller quarters, they sent us some videos. That's how we came into possession of "for the LIVING," the story of the United States Holocaust Museum.

I've just wasted time trying to google it, and all I could find was this reference (no separate link):

For the Living [videorecording]. Alexandria, Va.: PBS Video, 1993. (Video Collection)
Documentary covering the Museum's planning, construction, dedication, and opening. Narrated by Ed Asner.
I watched it, not because I'm "into" the Holocaust scene, but because about half the juniors and seniors in Bnai Akiva Bnai Binyamin Yeshiva High School, where I teach, are off to Poland on the "Holocaust Heritage Tour," and I was looking for something for a lesson for those remaining here.

Personally, in principle I don't really like all these memorials, like the Washington one and Yad VaShem. They leech enormous amounts of money which should go to promoting the continuation of Jewish Life by giving free Jewish education to all Jews, rather than memorializing the Jewish past, as if strong vibrant Jewish life should be just a museum exhibit.

I have a major problem complaint about Yad VaShem because of its use of the word "perished" rather than the more accurate "murdered."

The film I just saw had me twitching from the very beginning when they mentioned "11 million victims." Yes, that was a bad sign. It meant that the Nazi Holocaust was to be portrayed as something "universal," not particularly Jewish.

Within the first few minutes a survivor told of how his father managed to hide a small bottle of wine, to celebrate the untimely Bar Mitzvah of the same survivor. However, the "J-word" was only mentioned 13 minutes into the film. Another hint of the non-Jewish emphasis was the fact that Carter was the US President when the museum was approved, and we all know how anti-Semitic he actually is. He considers the Arabs to be victimized by Israel.

It's terribly galling to see the obviously Jewish victims, while their religious identity is "fudged."

At least the film mentions the terrible tragedy of the St. Louis, the ship filled with Jews who had been fleeing the Nazis but was turned away by the United States, and its passengers were sent off to be murdered in Nazi Germany. Also, there are some excellent things on the memorial's site, such as this:


During World War II, Nazi Germany and its collaborators murdered approximately six million Jews. The Holocaust is the name used to refer to this systematic, bureaucratic, and state-sponsored campaign of persecution and murder. Beginning with racially discriminatory laws in Germany, the Nazi campaign expanded to the mass murder of all European Jews
During the era of the Holocaust, the Nazis also targeted other groups because of their perceived "racial inferiority": Roma (Gypsies), people with disabilities, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals.

See maps
"Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire." The Nazis came to power in Germany in January 1933. The Nazis frequently used euphemistic language to disguise the true nature of their crimes. According to this vocabulary, Germans were considered "racially superior" and the Jews, and others deemed "inferior," were "life unworthy of life."
In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany (the Third Reich) would occupy or influence during World War II. The Nazis established concentration camps to imprison Jews, other people targeted on ethnic or “racial” grounds, and political opponents. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, beginning World War II. Over the next two years, German forces conquered most of Europe.

"Never say never," so I won't claim that I'll "never" go to that museum or return to Yad VaShem. But just a word to the wise, don't forget that the message, or lesson, these institutions project isn't the entire story, and it's not the truely Jewish one either. As taught in Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers,
Who is wise? One who learns from every man.