Hamas War

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madoff, Not Enough Fingers To Count, Not Enough Years To Pay

OK, now it's official, Bernie Madoff was declared/judged guilty and he's supposed to serve until death. But I'm still bothered by the fact that he has been able to protect those who worked with him on the scam.

"...was respected for his vision and trusted by tens of thousands of customers,..." complete article

That means that there must have been many, many people in his business who knew that the business was a sham, one big rich card game, ponzi scheme. There's no way only he knew what was going on.

Moses and Aaron, Burnt Out Leaders

Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week, Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1.) That was last week in Israel and half of this week's in Chutz L'Aretz, the Diaspora.

At last week's Chukat's Women's Class in my neighborhood, the rabbi, Ya'akov Cohen, asked us why Moshe was denied entrance to the Land of Israel.

Chapter 20

ט וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת-הַמַּטֶּה, מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר, צִוָּהוּ.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as He commanded him.
י וַיַּקְהִלוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן, אֶת-הַקָּהָל--אֶל-פְּנֵי הַסָּלַע; וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם, שִׁמְעוּ-נָא הַמֹּרִים--הֲמִן-הַסֶּלַע הַזֶּה, נוֹצִיא לָכֶם מָיִם.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them: 'Hear now, ye rebels; are we to bring you forth water out of this rock?'
יא וַיָּרֶם מֹשֶׁה אֶת-יָדוֹ, וַיַּךְ אֶת-הַסֶּלַע בְּמַטֵּהוּ--פַּעֲמָיִם; וַיֵּצְאוּ מַיִם רַבִּים, וַתֵּשְׁתְּ הָעֵדָה וּבְעִירָם. {ס}
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. {S}
יב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן, יַעַן לֹא-הֶאֱמַנְתֶּם בִּי, לְהַקְדִּישֵׁנִי לְעֵינֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--לָכֵן, לֹא תָבִיאוּ אֶת-הַקָּהָל הַזֶּה, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-נָתַתִּי לָהֶם.
12 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron: 'Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.'

Maybe I'm just haunted by my own ignominious end to my EFL teaching career, but all I could picture in my mind was when Moses needed help to hold his hands high during a crucial battle and his silence when Joshua and Caleb debated the other ten spies. Call it burn out!

We all know that Moshe was a very reluctant leader. He fled his people afraid of his power. G-d had to force him to return and bribe him with the promised assistance of his brother Aaron.

Parents, teachers and all others in authority know that if we speak to our charges in anger we will lose them, and their behavior will be worse. Look at the highlighted words I quoted, "you rebels." It was clear that Moshe was at the very end of his energy. There never was much charisma. Charismatic leaders project a faith and confidence. That's the faith that G-d proclaimed was missing from Moses.

"...ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel..."

Moses didn't state to the people that G-d was providing the water. He didn't use the event to promote faith in G-d. A tired and bitter Moshe and a weakened Aaron would have been counter-productive and dangerous to Joshua's leadership in conquering the Promised Land.

It was necessary to G-d to provide Joshua with the best conditions possible, and that's what He did.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Construction In YESHA

Let the politicians and diplomats and media yap all they want about freezing us, strangling us ad nauseum. There's building going on in our Holy Hills!
Jews have been in Shiloh longer than in New York and longer before Washington DC, London, New York, New Amsterdam and old world Amsterdam.
And when they're all rubble, we'll still be around!

Moetzet YESHA Doesn't Represent Its Residents

Hat tip: IMRA

It's hard to figure out what Moetzet YESHA really is. Or more accurately, it's not very pleasant to admit it to myself. But one thing for sure, its policies don't reflect the feeling on the ground.

Pinchas Wallerstein, its present chairman, has finally retired from his role as head of my district, Mateh Binyamin, and seems to be trying to act "political." He has some convoluted proposal which will please nobody. He, who has no authority over the sic "outposts" is willing to transfer those built on "private Arab property" on the condition that the government unfreeze the building in YESHA.

Interestingly or ironically, in his own yishuv the very veteran Ofra, many of the houses, possibly even his own, are built on "private Arab property."

Now for "broken record" time:
You can't be a little bit pregnant.
If you think we Jews can't live in Hebron...
You can't be just a little bit pregnant.
And again...

I've said it before and I guess I have to say it again:
If you don't recognize Jewish rights to all of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, then you're endangering the entire country. We have more historical and moral rights to Shiloh, Hebron, Shechem and Jerusalem than we have to Tel Aviv!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm Surprised That I Agree With MK Erdan

I haven't been impressed by MK Gilad Erdan, not by his talk to the Jerusalem Conference and not by his career climbing loyalty to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

But at least according to the Arutz 7 article about the nomination of Judge Moshe Drori to the Supreme Court, Erdan seems to be right.
According to the charge sheet, the accused and the cashier disagreed over his parking fees. The parking cashier followed him to the parking lot, stood in front of his car and demanded that he pay up. The man got into his car and purposely ran into the cashier, who fell on top of the car's hood and held onto it. He kept driving for 20 meters and turned onto the main road. At this point the cashier fell off the hood and hit her head on the road, causing her to lose consciousness for a short time and require hospitalization.
Drori acquitted the attacker in a 321-page long ruling in which he quoted from Maimonides and Rabbi Kook regarding the concept of teshuva, or repentance.

I wouldn't want a man like that in Israel's Supreme Court.

Jewish Human Rights, Jewish Civil Rights, Jewish National Rights

Why is the world so hung up about my living in Shiloh, the real Shiloh, the Biblical site in the real HolyLand where Chana, Eli and Samuel were?

The western Christian world uses that same Bible to swear on in court and in assuming high office. That means that there's truth in it. And the truth is that we, the Jewish People are the only People, as a People who have a sovereign national right to rule here. No other People ever had an independent state in this corner of the world, in this corner of the middle-east.

My husband has an op-ed defending our right to be here.

I'm more "extreme" than he is. I consider it out and out racism to deny Jews rights. The Pseudistinians/Phakistinians are fakes. The entire purpose of their "existence" is to destroy us. They don't want "peace." They want us dead and gone. And the only way for there to be peace is to destroy them. That's the message of the Bible. Destroy Amalek. We are suffering today, because King Saul defied G-d.

Today Israel is ruled by the spiritual and ideological descendants of Saul. We need a King David, Moshiach Ben David, though it may be necessary for the Sauls to first repent and correct their mistakes.

Obama and Merkel, Impressed By Images

According to the New York Times, Obama is changing his dialogue with Iran tune because of the images he has seen of violence there. He and Germany's Angela Merkel met, discussed and agree.

His Israel policy is also influenced by images, images of suffering Arabs sic Palestinians, whom we will refer to more accurately as Pseudistinians.

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama's policies are based on superficial Leftist ideology.

For some strange reason, dramatic pictures of Israeli and Jewish suffering from Arab aggression and terrorism just don't get the same publicity. Or the photographers here are less creative in posing shots. And the Jewish Israeli victims are more restrained, refusing the grimaces and gestures reminiscent of the most successful silent film stars.

Rabbi Riskin: Taken-in or Grafted-in?

Posted by Jewish Israel

Rabbi Riskin: Taken-in or Grafted-in?
When a prominent Anglo Israeli Orthodox rabbinic leader cites the new testament’s concept of a fusion of faiths, and then proceeds to call for the need to “resurrect god” in a promotional Christian video, how is the Torah observant community supposed to react? How will that declaration be perceived by fervent Christians, and how will that ambiguity (heresy?) effect and reflect on the Jewish community?

Has Rabbi Riskin's pronouncements gone beyond the pale of normative Judaism as we know it?
View the video and read the full report....more

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who's Going To Put Humpty Dumpty's Egg Back Together?

The Courts want to strip Bernie Madoff of more money, $171 billion, than it seems possible for one man to own.
My question may be stupid.
How is it possible to accurately calculate who should be compensated and by how much?
Don't forget that the totals in the accounts were bogus, because the money wasn't invested. The payments/investments the conned clients paid were used to give them all "interest payments." The clients' accounts were false, inflated.
Can a team of auditors really discover how much outside money the clients gave Madoff? And then, how do they calculate the percentages of what should be returned and to whom?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Insanity, Why Does Israel Refuse To Learn From Its Mistakes?

I thought we Jews are supposed to be smart. The pragmatic me has trouble with the logic of the Israeli Government and Jews throughout the world.

Jews, though a tiny minority in the world's population, have won a disproportionately large number of Nobel Prizes.

As a People, we've always tried to be conciliatory to our enemies, finding ways to cooperate even with the most evil.

Thousands of years ago, during our Purim story, most Jews were willing to be loyal Persian citizens, going to King Achashverosh's party. No doubt that they rationalized it by saying that being part of the ruling elite would promote safety for the country's Jews. Mordechai refused, and later on he and his niece Esther had to organized the rescue of Persia's Jews.

During the German Nazi regime, the Jewish Establishment worked with the Nazi's, too.

Nothing much has changed, even though we have a state, the State of Israel. The problem is that our political leaders seem to doubt the legitimacy of our existence and are always trying to curry favor with our enemies.

And now, even though every concession to the Arabs has only endangered us, again our government is handing the defense responsibilities to the Arab terrorists.

May G-d help us!

Orange Breakdown

Pre-Disengagement, the opposition took on the color orange as its symbol. I joined the many thousands in wearing an orange bracelet. On the bracelet you can read a slogan:

יהודי לא מגרש יהודי
Yehudi lo migaraish Yehudi
A Jew Doesn't Banish/Evict Another Jew
During the tense and unpleasant times before Disengagement, especially after the Bayit Yehudi, Jewish Home, leaders were arrested and Moetzet YESHA Council took over, I became totally disenchanted with the "orange" leadership. At this point, it doesn't pay to go into detail, but certainly, if they had been competent Israel would still be sovereign and Jews would be living in Gush Katif.
The struggle was waged so poorly, it made me wonder how seriously Moetzet YESHA wanted to win.
Regardless, just like I believe that we must support the IDF, the Israeli Army, despite its faults and we must support the State of Israel and fly its flag despite all the wrong it does, I keep an orange ribbon on my door and kept orange bracelet on my wrist.
Over the years, the orange became dull, dark and dirty, and this week it finally broke and fell off.

Yes, my wrist no longer proclaims/advertises my opposition to one of the most evil government decrees ever.

The "orange leadership" never provided good leadership. Its monument is the Arab terror base where Jews once lived and thrived in Gush Katif. The DP's, evictees, are trying, despite their poverty and the apathy of the Israeli Government and most of the Jewish People, to rebuild their lives.

There was never a mass movement for Jewish civil rights in Gush Katif, unlike the support for Jews in the Golan. That's why we're still in the Golan instead of it being a Syrian base for anti-Israeli terrorism, the way it was prior to the 1967 Six Days War.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Perfectly Pictured

Yes, Dry Bones says it all so perfectly. Ever since I was a little girl and would read the political cartoons in the Sunday New York Times, News of the Week in Review, I've loved that medium for political commentary. Not being gifted in art, I've had to make do with words.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

American Jewry, Where Does Your Money Go?

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

American Jewry quite confusedly

Where does your money go?
To terrorist bullets and rocket shells
To Arabs, not Jews; it is so

As the saying goes:
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

I have no doubt that the Jews who donate their hard-earned money to the New Israel Fund intend only the best for their fellow Jews in Israel. But their money actually goes to fund projects and causes which endanger the State of Israel and the well-being of its Jewish citizens.

"The NIF disperses hundreds of thousands of dollars for the core budgets of such groups as Adalah: The Legal Center for Minority Arab Rights in Israel, Mossawa: The advocacy center for Arab citizens in Israel and I'lam media center for Arab Palestinians in Israel.

Supporting Iran's nukes

I'lam was founded in the wake of the Palestinian intifada, or terrorist war, initiated in September 2000 after then-PLO Leader Yasser Arafat turned down an Israeli offer of a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem.

The first director of I'lam was Hanin Zoabi, recently elected as a member of the Israeli Arab Balad Party in the Knesset. Zoabi's party spawned Azmi Bishara, the Israeli Arab Knesset member who fled Israel after he was threatened with prosecution for allegedly aiding the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Balad officials routinely condemn Israel and at times openly present themselves as representing the state of "Palestine."

In April, in Zoabi's maiden interview to the Jerusalem Post as a Knesset member, she declared her open support for Iranian nuclear weapons as a counterbalance to Israel.

Zoabi, in her capacity as the director of I'lam, helped draft and sign the Haifa Declaration, which called for the negation of Israel's Jewish identity and for a "comprehensive change in Israeli policy, whereby Israel abandons its destructive role towards the peoples of the region. …"

In March, I'lam's so-called empowerment coordinator, Zaher Boulos, issued a "cry of solidarity with the Palestinian people who hold strong to the establishment of a Palestinian state that is independent with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of the refugees to their homes" at the annual conference of the Forum of Journalists, an I'lam affiliate of which he is also coordinator.

The conference expressed "support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of refugees."

Also in March, I'lam issued a press release stating Israel cannot "liquidate the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Arab culture and will be the future capital of a Palestinian state, and tomorrow will be the focal point of the Arab and Islamic world and the progressive forces in the world."

The terminology in I'lam's media publications resounds with terms such as "massacre" and "ethnic cleansing," as well as accusations of war crimes and the targeted murder of journalists.

Last year, the NIF-funded organization held a conference in Ramallah with journalists from the Palestinian Authority which "aimed to develop and facilitate working relationships between Palestinians journalists in Israel and in the West Bank, and to discuss the role of the Palestinian media on both sides of the Green Line" as well as "exploring strategies for Palestinian media practitioners in addressing Israeli, European and U.S.-American media." (complete article)"

Yes, among the numerous amutot, non-profit organizations helped and guided by the NIF, there are some good ones, but they mask the NIF's extreme Left, post-Zionist agenda.

Fellow Jews, we have enough enemies, please don't support them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

As I've Said Before... You Can't Be Just A Little Bit Pregnant

All those Israelis and Jews who think they can satisfy the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish sentiment so prevalent in the world by "just being" against "settlements" in Judea and Samaria, are totally wrong. All it does is lend justification to those who don't want Israel to exist, who don't want Israel to thrive.

Those people don't see the fine distinctions between Ramat Eshkol, Jerusalem and Ramat Shmuel, Shiloh. For them there's no difference between Givat Tzarfatit (French Hill, Jerusalem) and Givat Asaf (the T junction to Beit El named after Asaf Hershkowitz who was murdered there by Arab terrorists.)

It doesn't pay to play these little word games as you can read in the transcript of the United States Press Briefing.

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 22, 2009

"... QUESTION: On Israel, I was wondering what your reaction is to the new Israeli budget that puts tens of millions of dollars for new construction in Ma'ale Adummim in the West Bank and Har Homa in Jerusalem.

MR. KELLY: I’ll see if I can get you more information on that.

QUESTION: Okay. And then just to clarify --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: When you’re talking about no natural growth in settlements --

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- does that include any Jerusalem neighborhoods that are over the green line?

MR. KELLY: That – we call for a cease to all settlement activity.

QUESTION: Including Jerusalem --

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Including Jerusalem in that?

MR. KELLY: We’re talking about all settlement activity, yeah, in the area across the line...."

Remember that Arab terrorists don't distinguish between Jews of the Left or Right when setting a bomb and Hitler didn't exempt Jews who lived as Germans.

The Israeli Government Must Do More To Free Gilad Shalit

The very first thing is to suspend all Red Cross visits to Arab terrorist prisoners in Israeli hands. If they can't see Gilad Shalit, they can't see anyone here in Israel.

At the same time all "humanitarian aid" to Gaza must be suspended and blocked. It's inhuman cruelty to leave Gilad Shalit and his family without contact.

The time has come for the Israeli Government to treat its civilians and soldiers better than it treats its enemies.

That's all that needs to be done. No prisoner exchange, no gifts and no bribes. There's nothing to negotiate.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Aren't The Rabbis Speaking Out?

Hat Tip IMRA

Sundry Jews and rabbis of all stripes and adjectives should be shouting out their protests.

Mufti of Jerusalem says Temple Mount area only for Muslims and non-Muslims should not interfere
Mufti of Jerusalem and the Whole Palestine Calls for saving Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque

  • Judaism predates Islam.
  • Only Judaism has Jerusalem as its holiest city.
  • Only Judaism has the Temple Mount as its holiest spot.
  • Only in Judaism is Jerusalem central to the religion.

Why the silence?

Day Trip to Elon Moreh

Is your school staff, business or community looking for a great idea for a one day excursion? Our Ulpana does something different at the completion of each school year. Yesterday was the best day trip yet!! (And I've been going on such outings for 31 years :)

We traveled by bus from Netivot to Elon Moreh, a gorgeous settlement in the Shomron. Entering the yishuv, we went straight to "Chatzar Ha'gefen," a lovely venue for treatments such as reflexology and facial care. I loved my reflexology foot massage by Leah. (We had signed ourselves up beforehand for the treatment of our choice.) When one group of ladies was in the treatment rooms, the others had a wonderful group activity led by Osnat. The phone number of Chatzar Ha'gefen is 050-7626172

Immediately afterwards we had a fantastic short hike around Mt. Kabir. We were led by none other than famed Gush Emunim legend, Benny Katzover. I grew up in the Catskill Mountains and am used to gorgeous mountainous views, but yesterday's took the cake. From a height of approximately 8000 meters we circled the mountain and looked down. We had the most remarkable view of a wide region of the Shomron. On clear days one can see the Mediterranian Sea from one point, and Mt. Hermon from another! We received detailed explanations about Elon Moreh's founding; Mt. Eval and Mt. Grizim mentioned in the Torah. Between these historic mountains lies Schem where we read in the book of Yehoshua (24:32) about the burial of Yosef Ha'tzadik.

The day concluded with a scrumptious lunch at the Har Bracha yishuv, at a restaurant boasting delicious food and once again, the breathtaking view of the mountainous Shomron. The eatery is named "Bracha al Ha'har." You can book a group by phoning 052-5775156. We dined on steaks; fresh salads; chips and had an end of year toast on wine from the yishuv's own winery.

Having never been to the Shomron before (what an embarassment! Here I am a resident of Israel since 1978!!) I had wrongly assumed that such incredible views are found only in northern Israel.

So, if you are looking for a memorable day to remember, come to this gorgeous area! The residents rightly deserve the support of any income we can bring their way!

Israel Would Be Safer If We Didn't Let The World Interfere

Unfortunately, Israel's new/repeat Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has adopted the Left's code words/mantra calling for the impossible.

"...I think my vision has the Palestinians and Israelis living side by side as free peoples in amity, not in enmity, and allowing our children to have a real life. And I suggested also a variety of economic and other projects that we could launch together to make life better for us, and, by the way, strengthen the moderates and push back the radicals."

We'd be a lot safer if our leaders would take our own needs first instead of kowtowing to foreign and Leftwing pressure. Cuba's Fidel Castro survived over half a century without American aid and support. Iran isn't going to buckle to foreign demands:

Ahmadinejad: West Can't Meddle in Iran

Israel's great military victories were sans American help and support. We would have lost the 1967 Six Days War if we hadn't done it totally alone. At best we would have become a defenseless protectorate. We almost lost the 1973 Yom Kippur War because of the United States. And the wars since then have left us progressively weaker.

It's interesting that Netanyahu can see the dangers from Iran, but he doesn't comprehend (or no longer comprehends) that the sic Palestinians, whom I refer to as the Pseudestinians, have one very clear aim, and that's to totally murder and destroy us.

I'm surprised, shocked and horrified that my Prime Minister doesn't understand this.

"The second issue, of course, is demilitarization because security will not be achieved except by demilitarization and demilitarization does not detract from the Palestinian self-determination. I do not understand why, for the purpose of Palestinian self-determination, they need Kassams and GRAD missiles. I can understand that they need a strong police force and security services; we are encouraging this but they do not need tanks, artillery or missiles." (quoted from Cabinet Communique, Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat, At the weekly Cabinet meeting, 21.6.09)

When Bibi was under the influence of the late David Bar Illan, he did understand that the Arabs have one aim and one aim only. Now, he's singing a very different tune, and it's a very dangerous one.

America's Obama won't save us when the Pseudistinians attack Israel, nor will the United Nations. Today's Arabs aren't the same as the ones we defeated so quickly in 1967. It's time for Israel to get real, be pragmatic and only do what's best for us!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz at Tel Shiloh

תפילת נשים בתל שילה
ראש חודש תמוז
יום ב' 22-6 9:30
Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 22-6, 9:30 am

Tel Shiloh has a rich spiritual history. It was the Capital of the Jewish People, predating King Saul, for 369 years.

Of course you can visit Tel Shiloh any time. Contact telshiloh@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019.

Israel's COS Ashkenazi May Be A Good Military Leader, But...

...he's not capable of understanding his troops. There's a tragic flaw in the mindset of Israel's Chief of Staff Asheknazi. Apparently, he's incapable of comprehending the mindset of a large proportion of IDF soldiers.

Today's Israel Defense Forces has more religious Jews in higher positions than ever before. They are as dedicated to Judaism as they're patriotic, but they will not sacrifice their religious values to "fit in." In recent years, the overall observance of religious law has increased in the Israeli population, and male Israelis are less embarrassed to refuse to attend events with female singing.

COS Ashkenazi takes offense at this, considering those "cultural events" important "melting pot" activities.

Since the beginning of the State of Israel, just over sixty years ago, the army has been the foremost tool in creating Israeli society and culture. Those who found it too secular did their best not to join, and those who considered the state most important quietly compromised.

Today we see a different Israeli soldier and a different army. It's a shame that the Chief of Staff doesn't value the dedicated idealism of the strictly religious soldier. A bit more empathy would make him a better leader.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

And We Thought That Israeli Politicians Are Pathetic...

New York Times columnist Gail Collins should get a job as a comedy writer. Her description of the Republican contenders to run against Obama in 2012 is hysterical.

Here's a taste of it:

Mike Huckabee now has a TV show where he discusses current events, plays with a rock band, sings with the new “American Idol” (“The Huckabee household has been rooting for this guy all season!”) and talks to a “Biggest Loser” trainer on his special feature, “Get Healthy With Huck.” I know Huckabee is pretending to be a candidate for the presidential nomination, but really, I think he’s found his permanent niche.
The two biggest names are Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, one of whom has too many ideas while the other has no ideas whatsoever. But they are bound by the fact that neither one of them is actually ever going to be nominated for president even if we have another Ice Age and the only Americans left alive are them, Dennis Kucinich and that woman who was Miss California until Donald Trump fired her.
Gingrich’s romantic history makes Senator Ensign look like a monk. (Last time around, we were so hoping that he and Rudy Giuliani would survive till the end of the primaries so we could say the three major Republican contenders had had a total of eight wives.) And he’s basically spent the last decade as a talking head. When it comes to career preparation for a presidential race, the worst two options are mayor of New York City and Fox News guest commentator.
It seems like Obama is made of Teflon, so unless something surprising and earth-shattering happens in the interim, the Republicans don't have a chance to win. So whoever does run against him deserves a medal of bravery.

And the Republicans have over four years to develop/discover their next leader.

Of course, there may be a movement to repeal the amendment limiting presidents to two terms....

Friday, June 19, 2009


During my recent visit to New York, I noticed this bulletin near the police station at Grand Central Station.
In Israel it's harder for people to "just disappear." Wherever we go, we run into people we know or met. The country is smaller.
But we do have missing Israelis, those captured by our enemies. Israel allows enemy Arab prisoners visits by the Red Cross and even family, but the same rights and courtesies aren't offered by the Arab countries and terrorist groups which have captured Israelis, like Gilad Shalit.
Recently Yona Baumel died, decades after last seeing his son or knowing his whereabouts.
Israel must cease all visits, yes humanitarian visits, of Arab prisoners until our missing soldiers are returned home... alive or dead.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christocracy and Our Cardinal sins

Posted by Ellen W. Horowitz for Jewish Israel

Christocracy in the Holy Land:

Organizations like The Christian Embassy (ICEJ) regularly praise Israel for religious freedom while criticizing countries where “Christians cannot practice their faith openly, build churches or propagate their message!” There’s a clear implication that in order to qualify as a democracy, a country is required to allow the Christian message to be spread without restraint. Where does that leave the Jewish state, and those charged with upholding Torah values? Jewish Israel takes a look at the ICEJ agenda and the Jewish position on Tolerance, Religious Freedom and Proselytizing?...more

Israel’s Evangelical Embrace and the 11 Cardinal Sins:

Warning: Before proceeding to this post, know that you are most likely in violation of at least one of the sins listed. So, if you can’t take the heat, stop now, because you are about to enter the Shmad Zone - where Jewish Israel asks, “how low can we go” in the quest for tourist dollars?...more

Calev Myers: He loves me... he loves me not

In November of 2008, Calev Myers the Chief messianic Counsel for The Jerusalem Institute of Justice praised this writer for, “…simply good penmanship… You base your articles on facts and state your opinions clearly while using an apparently healthy sense of humor…your writings are like a breath of fresh air.”

Well, it seems I’ve fallen from grace, as last week Myer’s JIJ e-newsletter referred to me as a “radical activist” and “spokesperson for the radical Orthodox agenda in Israel”

Jewish Israel wants to know, what is a "radical Orthodox Jew"? Is it an evangelical fiction, fetish, or a little bit of both? Perhaps it's the creation of an evangelizing/messianic world - used to discredit those who uphold, protect, and defend Torah Judaism.

Why Can't Israel Be A "Normal" Country?

Yesterday, I saw some old friends who share with me the experience and ideology of Betar. They're on my mailing list and received the previous post I had written about Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech. One came up to me and said:

"For the first time, I must admit that I disagree with you."

That started a discussion, rather heated, about supporting the Likud. There was a time when it was taken for granted that all good Betarim would vote for Menachem Begin's political party, Likud (originally Herut, then Gach"al) and join its sick fund, Kupat Cholim Le'umit. That was the party furthest to the Right in the Israeli political spectrum.

Soon after Begin was elected Prime Minister in 1977, he appointed Moshe Dayan as Foreign Minister and allowed the Left to continue its domination of policy. Without an established Right wing opposition, they had no problem giving Egypt the Sinai and destroying all of the Jewish communities which had been established there after the 1967 Six Days War.

That "peace" agreement effectively ended my voting for Likud and trusting and agreeing with its leadership and ideology.

Over the years, various Israeli political leaders have received praise from foreign countries and Nobel Peace Prizes for endangering the security and viability of our country.

This all makes me physically ill. I just don't understand how my fellow Israelis can cooperate with endangering our country.
Sorry, no country with any pride would allow another to force it to endanger its very existence.

Bibi's speech is a sell-out. No normal country would ever endanger itself like this. He thinks he can keep the country safe on a tightrope. It won't work. He has just pushed us further and further into the snare of thorns.

An old Zionist leader wrote that he anxiously awaited the day that we'd have a "normal" country with "crime." I, too, want a "normal" country. But for me, that means one which doesn't beg the world for approval, endangering its very existence in the process.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhu's Speech, Not Enough Of A Good Thing

There's an inherent contradiction in Bibi's speech and the reactions of the Israeli public according to the polls. I'm including the entire text of the speech at the end of this post, because without carefully reading it, one shouldn't judge it.
The irony, the contradiction in the Israeli public's opinion of Netanyahu's speech is crucial. Here are the most critical questions:

If yes (watched the speech) - do you agree with what he said?
Yes 71%
No 20%
Other replies 9%
Netanyahu declared in his speech that he agrees to a demilitarized Palestinian state. Why do you think he did this?
55% Surrendered to American pressure
05% True ideological change
33% Thinks the speech serves the interests of the State of Israel
07% Other
Do you think Netanyahu's speech will help advance the peace process with the Palestinians?
Yes 23%
No 67%
Other 10%

How is it that the majority of my fellow Israeli citizens don't see the dangers, the hypocrisy? According to the poll, the majority see Bibi as having surrendered to American pressure. Who in their right mind would want his/her nation's leader to be so weak? 71% of those who answered the poll agreed with Netanyahu's position, but 67% almost the same percentage don't think that it will actually bring peace!
As usual, Netanyhu wove important and accurate Jewish and Israeli history with his PC, dangerously diplomatic political ideology. A true leader would only take into account what's best for his country and not subjugate it to kowtow to foreign pressure.
Here's the speech:

Honored guests,Citizens of Israel.
Peace has always been our people’s most ardent desire. Our prophets gave the world the vision of peace, we greet one another with wishes of peace, and our prayers conclude with the word peace.
We are gathered this evening in an institution named for two pioneers of peace, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, and we share in their vision.
Two and half months ago, I took the oath of office as the Prime Minister of Israel. I pledged to establish a national unity government – and I did. I believed and I still believe that unity was essential for us now more than ever as we face three immense challenges – the Iranian threat, the economic crisis, and the advancement of peace.
The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Confronting a global economic crisis, the government acted swiftly to stabilize Israel’s economy. We passed a two year budget in the government – and the Knesset will soon approve it.
And the third challenge, so exceedingly important, is the advancement of peace. I also spoke about this with President Obama, and I fully support the idea of a regional peace that he is leading.
I share the President’s desire to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region. To this end, I met with President Mubarak in Egypt, and King Abdullah in Jordan, to elicit the support of these leaders in expanding the circle of peace in our region.
I turn to all Arab leaders tonight and I say: “Let us meet. Let us speak of peace and let us make peace. I am ready to meet with you at any time. I am willing to go to Damascus, to Riyadh, to Beirut, to any place- including Jerusalem.
I call on the Arab countries to cooperate with the Palestinians and with us to advance an economic peace. An economic peace is not a substitute for a political peace, but an important element to achieving it. Together, we can undertake projects to overcome the scarcities of our region, like water desalination or to maximize its advantages, like developing solar energy, or laying gas and petroleum lines, and transportation links between Asia, Africa and Europe.
The economic success of the Gulf States has impressed us all and it has impressed me. I call on the talented entrepreneurs of the Arab world to come and invest here and to assist the Palestinians – and us – in spurring the economy.
Together, we can develop industrial areas that will generate thousands of jobs and create tourist sites that will attract millions of visitors eager to walk in the footsteps of history – in Nazareth and in Bethlehem, around the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and the baptismal site of the Jordan.
There is an enormous potential for archeological tourism, if we can only learn to cooperate and to develop it.
I turn to you, our Palestinian neighbors, led by the Palestinian Authority, and I say: Let’s beginnegotiations immediately without preconditions.
Israel is obligated by its international commitments and expects all parties to keep their commitments.
We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors. We want our children and your children to never again experience war: that parents, brothers and sisters will never again know the agony of losing loved ones in battle; that our children will be able to dream of a better future and realize that dream; and that together we will invest our energies in plowshares and pruning hooks, not swords and spears.
I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends, I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war.
If we join hands and work together for peace, there is no limit to the development and prosperity we can achieve for our two peoples – in the economy, agriculture, trade, tourism and education - most importantly, in providing our youth a better world in which to live, a life full of tranquility, creativity, opportunity and hope.
If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace? Why has this conflict continued for more than sixty years?
In order to bring an end to the conflict, we must give an honest and forthright answer to the question: What is the root of the conflict?
In his speech to the first Zionist Conference in Basel, the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, said about the Jewish national home “This idea is so big that we must speak of it only in the simplest terms.” Today, I will speak about the immense challenge of peace in the simplest words possible.
Even as we look toward the horizon, we must be firmly connected to reality, to the truth. And the simple truth is that the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland.
In 1947, when the United Nations proposed the partition plan of a Jewish state and an Arab state, the entire Arab world rejected the resolution. The Jewish community, by contrast, welcomed it by dancing and rejoicing.
The Arabs rejected any Jewish state, in any borders.
Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence.
The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel’s independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the six-day war, in an attempt to tighten a noose around the neck of the State of Israel.
All this occurred during the fifty years before a single Israeli soldier ever set foot in Judea and Samaria .
Fortunately, Egypt and Jordan left this circle of enmity. The signing of peace treaties have brought about an end to their claims against Israel, an end to the conflict. But to our regret, this is not the case with the Palestinians. The closer we get to an agreement with them, the further they retreat and raise demands that are inconsistent with a true desire to end the conflict.
Many good people have told us that withdrawal from territories is the key to peace with the Palestinians. Well, we withdrew. But the fact is that every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror, by suicide bombers and thousands of missiles.
We tried to withdraw with an agreement and without an agreement. We tried a partial withdrawal and a full withdrawal. In 2000 and again last year, Israel proposed an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict, and twice our offers were rejected.
We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip, we uprooted tens of settlements and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes, and in response, we received a hail of missiles on our cities, towns and children.
The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least advance peace, has up till now not stood the test of reality.
In addition to this, Hamas in the south, like Hezbollah in the north, repeatedly proclaims their commitment to “liberate” the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre and Haifa.
Territorial withdrawals have not lessened the hatred, and to our regret, Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way.
Achieving peace will require courage and candor from both sides, and not only from the Israeli side.
The Palestinian leadership must arise and say: “Enough of this conflict. We recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land, and we are prepared to live beside you in true peace.”
I am yearning for that moment, for when Palestinian leaders say those words to our people and to their people, then a path will be opened to resolving all the problems between our peoples, no matter how complex they may be.
Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
To vest this declaration with practical meaning, there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders. For it is clear that any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel’s continued existence as the state of the Jewish people.
The Palestinian refugee problem must be solved, and it can be solved, as we ourselves proved in a similar situation. Tiny Israel successfully absorbed tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who left their homes and belongings in Arab countries.
Therefore, justice and logic demand that the Palestinian refugee problem be solved outside Israel’s borders. On this point, there is a broad national consensus. I believe that with goodwill and international investment, this humanitarian problem can be permanently resolved.
So far I have spoken about the need for Palestinians to recognize our rights. In am moment, I will speak openly about our need to recognize their rights.
But let me first say that the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived, are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.
The right of the Jewish people to a state in the land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people. True, for 2000 years the Jewish people suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, and massacres which culminated in a Holocaust - a suffering which has no parallel in human history.
There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the state of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the state of Israel would have been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred.
This tragic history of powerlessness explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense.
But our right to build our sovereign state here, in the land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: this is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged.
As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed in
Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “The Jewish people arose in the land of Israel and it was here that its spiritual, religious and political character was shaped. Here they attained their sovereignty, and here they bequeathed to the world their national and cultural treasures, and the most eternal of books.”
But we must also tell the truth in its entirety: within this homeland lives a large Palestinian community. We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them.
In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.
These two realities – our connection to the land of Israel, and the Palestinian population living within it – have created deep divisions in Israeli society. But the truth is that we have much more that unites us than divides us.
I have come tonight to give expression to that unity, and to the principles of peace and security on which there is broad agreement within Israeli society. These are the principles that guide our policy.
This policy must take into account the international situation that has recently developed. We must recognize this reality and at the same time stand firmly on those principles essential for Israel.
I have already stressed the first principle – recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is: demilitarization. The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel.
Without these two conditions, there is a real danger that an armed Palestinian state would emerge that would become another terrorist base against the Jewish state, such as the one in Gaza.
We don’t want Kassam rockets on Petach Tikva, Grad rockets on Tel Aviv, or missiles on Ben-Gurion airport. We want peace.
In order to achieve peace, we must ensure that Palestinians will not be able to import missiles into their territory, to field an army, to close their airspace to us, or to make pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran. On this point as well, there is wide consensus within Israel.
It is impossible to expect us to agree in advance to the principle of a Palestinian state without assurances that this state will be demilitarized.
On a matter so critical to the existence of Israel, we must first have our security needs addressed.
Therefore, today we ask our friends in the international community, led by the United States, for what is critical to the security of Israel: Clear commitments that in a future peace agreement, the territory controlled by the Palestinians will be demilitarized: namely, without an army, without control of its airspace, and with effective security measures to prevent weapons smuggling into the territory – real monitoring, and not what occurs in Gaza today. And obviously, the Palestinians will not be able to forge military pacts.Without this, sooner or later, these territories will become another Hamastan. And that we cannot accept.
I told President Obama when I was in Washington that if we could agree on the substance, then the terminology would not pose a problem.
And here is the substance that I now state clearly:
If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitirization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.
Regarding the remaining important issues that will be discussed as part of the final settlement, my positions are known: Israel needs defensible borders, and Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel with continued religious freedom for all faiths.
The territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement. In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements.
But there is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like families elsewhere. The settlers are neither the enemies of the people nor the enemies of peace. Rather, they are an integral part of our people, a principled, pioneering and Zionist public.
Unity among us is essential and will help us achieve reconciliation with our neighbors. That reconciliation must already begin by altering existing realities. I believe that a strong Palestinian economy will strengthen peace.If the Palestinians turn toward peace – in fighting terror, in strengthening governance and the rule of law, in educating their children for peace and in stopping incitement against Israel - we will do our part in making every effort to facilitate freedom of movement and access, and to enable them to develop their economy. All of this will help us advance a peace treaty between us.
Above all else, the Palestinians must decide between the path of peace and the path of Hamas. The Palestinian Authority will have to establish the rule of law in Gaza and overcome Hamas. Israel will not sit at the negotiating table with terrorists who seek their destruction.
Hamas will not even allow the Red Cross to visit our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who has spent three years in captivity, cut off from his parents, his family and his people. We are committed to bringing him home, healthy and safe.
With a Palestinian leadership committed to peace, with the active participation of the Arab world, and the support of the United States and the international community, there is no reason why we cannot achieve a breakthrough to peace.
Our people have already proven that we can do the impossible. Over the past 61 years, while constantly defending our existence, we have performed wonders.
Our microchips are powering the world’s computers. Our medicines are treating diseases once considered incurable. Our drip irrigation is bringing arid lands back to life across the globe. And Israeli scientists are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge.
If only our neighbors would respond to our call – peace too will be in our reach.
I call on the leaders of the Arab world and on the Palestinian leadership, let us continue together on the path of Menahem Begin and Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein. Let us realize the vision of the prophet Isaiah, who in Jerusalem 2700 years ago said: “nations shall not lift up sword against nation, and they shall learn war no more.”
With God’s help, we will know no more war. We will know peace.

Different Cultures, Different Values, Different Understandings of Democracy and Honesty

The newscasts from Iran are frightening.

Naive American politicians think that as long as they organize elections in a violent, totalitarian country, the country has been "tamed."

Elections aren't the magic drug, not in Iran and not in Iraq.

Remember that the P.A. Pseudistinian Arabs voted for the terrorist group/party Hamas.

There won't be peace between us and the Arabs until the Arabs are ready and really want it. It's not up to Israel. Nothing we do will facilitate peace. It will take a number of generations until the Arabs change, and that's if they want to, and raise their children to want peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bibi's Anorexic Policies

Anorexia isn't just a matter of being too thin and bony. Anorexia can cause death.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's policies and positions vis a vis the Pseudistinian Arabs, the "two state solution," "peace," etc has so reduced Jewish Israeli rights and security that "anorexic" is the only term I feel accurately describes it.

According to Bibi's latest speech, the Arabs must abide certain "conditions." But it's obvious that all they have to do is recite the the proper words, and "Abracadabra" they'll get what they want. And once they get it, they'll do just as they please, and they've been very up front about stating their plans to destroy Israel and banish the Jewish People from our ancient Homeland.

The Arabs haven't kept any previous agreements, so why should we believe them now? Bibi is the latest politician to have gotten us into very hot water...


Yesterday’s speech by Netanyahu has certainly garnered many reactions throughout the world and in the JBlogosphere. While many have praised the speech as "the best he could do under the circumstances," the following statement has to be made. I found it here in Hebrew and it is my translation.

This is the reaction of the representatives of the 'Outpost Rabbis,' who protested against Netanyahu’s words, and declared: "The entire Land of Israel is given to the Nation of Israel, with a covenant and an oath, from the King of the World, and no one of flesh and blood has the authority, not even as a tactical statement, to agree to deliver any part of the Land of Israel to foreign rule. And thus commanded the King of Kings, as the Ramban says in Sefer HaMitzvot, Mitzva 4: 'We are commanded to inherit the Land that G-d gave to our forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. We are not to abandon it to the hands of other nations or leave it empty. And He says to them, that "you shall inherit the Land, and dwell in it, for I have given you the Land to inherit, and you shall inherit the Land which I have sworn to [give to] your fathers." '

Therefore Netanyahu’s words, even as a supposition, under any conditions, to abandon the Land to the hands of other nations, are an explicit sin against what the Torah says. The words of our Sages [Chazal] are known - that a person may not make a condition against what the Torah says. Therefore, these words are null and void, without substance or authority; this declaration has no validity or significance. In the words of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, they are worth less than the dust of the earth. Land cannot be stolen, and there is no permission for anyone to talk about handing over the Land of the G-d of Israel to a foreign authority. There is no agency when it comes to committing a sin. And from this let us rise and take courage, to continue the building of our sacred Land, in its entirety, according to the Law and the Divine command - and G-d’s Word is everlasting. With the hope of the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Land of Israel, the Kingdom of David, and the Holy Temple, speedily in our days. Hashem is the King."

Interestingly, Batya's husband Yisrael Medad pointed out that a mere 7 years ago, Netanyahu said that "Yes to a Palestinian state means no to a Jewish one."

Some salient points from that speech of the same Bibi:

"But what about a Palestinian state without Arafat, under different leadership, after the Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Brigades have seemingly undergone reforms and become transparent, more responsible, under a different command? What will happen then? Okay - let’s talk about this latest illusion.

The question is whether in a future settlement, the Palestinians would indeed enjoy self-rule. I, for one, have no desire whatever to rule over even a single Palestinian.

The question is whether we can agree that they have sovereign authority, power that goes beyond self-rule, which every country has. This power would include: the right to have full control over borders, through which they could import unlimited arms and solders. States control their own air space – a Palestinian state would have the right to shoot down any Israeli plane overflying it without permission. States have the right to make military alliances with other countries - a Palestinian state would have the right to make such alliances with Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc. States control the water sources underground - a Palestinian state would have the right to control the mountain aquifer which supplies about 30 percent of Israel’s water and most of our drinking water. Even those who support the establishment of a Palestinian state are unwilling under any circumstances to give this power to the Palestinians. But the moment we agree to give them a state, that is exactly what we would be giving them!

It must be understood that sovereignty has its own power. Even if an agreement limiting certain sovereign rights were signed, within a short time, this Palestinian state would demand to have all these rights and would realize them, whether we agreed or not.

The world would not stand in the way of allowing the Palestinian state to appropriate all this authority, which would give it the power to destroy the State of Israel, but it would stand in our way if we tried to prevent it from realizing these rights.

In that same speech, Netanyahu brings an amazing quote:

"Guaranteeing our national survival requires that we fight against the establishment of another Arab state on the West Bank. The entire essence of such a state would be directed against the existence of the State of Israel. No agreements or contracts would do any good – nor would peace treaties. Life is stronger than any of these.

"Squeezed in between two states – Jordan on the east and Israel on the West – this state would be a pressure cooker, always on the verge of bursting, with the explosion directed first of all westward – against us.

"It would be a state that would not be able or want to control the ‘dissidents’ among it, with the excuse that it is too weak to do so. It would become the most dangerous of jumping boards for terror directed against us. And ultimately, when we once again would be required to take matters into our own hands – and to fight with one raid following on the heels of another, we would appear in the eyes of the world to be conspiring against the existence of a young state that had just been born."

And who is he quoting? Again, in Netanyahu’s words:

"This person was not a member of Moledet or the National Religious Party or the Likud. He was not even a member of the Labor party. He was the leader of Mapam, the forerunner of today’s Meretz, the late Yaakov Hazan, who made the following comments in 1978, when minds in Israel had not yet been brainwashed by the sweeping propaganda of the proponents of Oslo."

And finally, as if the above is not enough, there’s this quote:

"No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel. No Jew has the authority to do so. No Jewish body has the authority to do so. Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel.

It is the right of the Jewish people over generations, a right that under no conditions, can be cancelled. Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing that right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations. No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country - the entire country - exists as an eternal right and we shall not yield this historic right until its full and complete Redemption is realized."

And the million dollar question - who said it? Rav Kook? No. Rabbi Meir Kahane? Again, no. It was said by none other than David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Different Kind of Kiruv Challenge

A few days ago I heard Lori Almost Live on the Aish website. The subject was a Jewish woman studying at Berkeley who has converted to Islam. Lori, an accomplished kiruv (Jewish outreach) professional based in Washington, DC, is agitated that we frum Jews are not winning the "nice war" to make Jews feel aware that Judaism has spirituality to offer and that estranged youth are welcome. There is also a YouTube link to this story here. It's jolting, but go watch it. It is an Islamic production and is calculated to show the power of Islam as an attractive force.
I have great respect for Lori and other Jewish kiruv people out in the field for whatever they do. A given soul has its own particular key, and for some it may be Aish, for others Chabad, or NCSY, or Breslav or whatever. But the type of person who is attracted to Islam is not IMHO part of the battle to be nicer. The person who is looking for nice could become a Buddhist or a born-again Christian. The potential Muslim is looking for the power of an army out to conquer the world, in this case the Islamic Uma. He or she is looking for something that demands her utmost life force, total self-sacrifice. She, who grew up in a wishy-washy heterodox Judaism which seeks to be undemanding, nondescript and politically correct in order to let people get on with their lives of work and play, is seeking more.
Here I am forced to be critical of those kiruv generals who are fighting the last war against missionaries and cults. Of course they are still around, but the newest challenge in the world is different. Let me tell you what I think is the approach which is needed and barely to be found in the Dhimmi Republic of America.
What we need for this kind of person, and many others, is Torat Eretz Yisrael, which demands that we put our lives on the line and live our Judaism not merely as a religion but as a full national life for the individual, the community and the nation. We need to fashion a call to the Jew of all ages and all walks of life to march in the footsteps of Joshua and David, the Macabees, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi and the Ramban, the disciples of the Vilna Gaon, Rav Kook and today's fighting yeshiva students. It's a different type of approach to outreach. G-d willing, in my next post I will talk about the handful of people who are walking the walk to pass this kind of Judaism along.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Disturbing Quotes

I just received this from a ninety four year old lady in my Dad's assisted living complex. I have no idea who penned it, but it was too good not to share!


(in order of their original appearance)

1- “For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt ' s advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. “
- Really? Doesn’t Al-azhar preach hate and incitement on a regular basis?

2- “The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation”
- When did these centuries take place? Doesn’t mainstream Muslim theology dictate – since day one till today – the expansion of its realm of influence over the West, thus leading for inevitable conflict?

3- “... America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
- Obama is either completely unaware of how loaded words such as justice are, or his aides chose these words precisely because of this. The irony here is (as any student of Islam knows) Obama’s trying to highlight shared values, while the very values he refers to are understood in two completely different ways in Islam and the West.

4- “Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust … Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.”
- Maybe the biggest blunder of the speech. Hinging Israel ’s right to exist on the Holocaust or European persecution alone (btw, where’s the history of Asian and African persecution?) is historic revision and plays right into the hands of Israel detractors.

5- “On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza , and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
- Palestinian pain is real, but cannot be compared to the historic suffering of the Jewish people. The suffering is also, in large part due to bad political decisions. Do they not have to take responsibility for their failed decisions and actions?

6- “For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers - for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel ' s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.”
- Many problems here. Just two-

i. Even though it’s mentioned through the prism of Palestinian argument, the narrative of the Nakba is positioned as fact. In fact, displacement was not brought about by Israel ’s founding. It was brought about by failed decisions of the local Palestinian leaders and neighboring Arab leaders (two examples: not accepting UN resolution 181 in November 1947 and beginning phase a. of the war; not accepting the new Jewish State in May 48 and launching phase b. of the war).

ii. Equating Palestinians leaving their homes (due to a war that Arab leaders started) with Israel being under constant attacks throughout its history is highly problematic. In fact, both sides of the argument stem from the same cause (Arab aggression and rejectionism).

7- “Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights...”
- This was an important message conveyed in a very lopsided way. Is it me, or is he indirectly comparing the situation of Palestinians to enslaved blacks in America ? This is very distrusting, especially coming from the first African-American president.

8- “To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.”
- Hamas will not do this. Just read its covenant. Expecting Hamas to act this way is unrealistic (it’s like asking the US to stop believing in life and liberty) and can lead to dangerous results (and if Hamas was to announce that accepts Israel ’s existence tomorrow, will it really work towards peace or use that as a vail to continue Jihad? For answers, see the Hamas Covenant of 1988 –www.hamasfacts.com)

9- “At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.”
- Many problems here. Here’s just one - One of the biggest criticisms of Carter’s book was that he justified terrorism. Here too, Obama indirectly equates Palestinian cessation of violence (previous paragraphs) with Israeli cessation of settlements.

10- “I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. … And any nation - including Iran - should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty…”
- Wrong. Irrational belligerent theocracies with stated goals to build the Bomb should not be allowed to obtain Nuclear power under any circumstances. The reference to Israel ’s nuclear power is very disturbing, as well. The rest of the quote (not included) about global non-proliferation is simply naïve.

And one, just for fun-

“The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”

- How silly for Obama to have quoted the Koran (or “The Holy Koran” as he put it 4 times) here-

i. This concept is derived from the Mishna (Sanhedrin 4:5), written at least 500 years before the Koran (in Israel , of course).

ii. The Koranic phrase is taken from Sura 5 (the table), verse 32. One only needs to continue to the next verse (33) to read some of the hateful rhetoric which is not uncommon at all in the Koran (“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”) seehttp://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/005.qmt.html