Hamas War

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haiti Update, Nebich

Now, that geological Haiti has calmed down after the earthquake, things are actually getting more complicated. Most of the foreign aid, emergency crews etc have packed up. The sick and injured still need care.

Nebich, the novelty has worn off. Celebrity, the fad and favor of Haiti has faded. Pleading poverty, the Americans are cutting back.  Not even a month has passed since an estimated 150,000 Haitians were killed and many more injured in the earthquake.  Already things are looking worse for the youngest citizens of this terribly poor country.

Ha'Aretz's "Dog Bites Man Story"

Hat tip (and special request): Boris

There's an old journalist saying that it's only news when man bites dog, not when dog bites man, but Israel's Ha'aretz (extreme Leftist newspaper) keeps barking up the same tree in its dog bites man editorial policy.  It's not news when loony-Left writer David Grossman accuses us "settlers" of harming Arabs.

"Renowned Israeli author and peace activist David Grossman accused settlers and the political right of abusing Palestinians and destroying the chance for a peace agreement while participating in a protest in East Jerusalem on Friday."

If Ha'aretz wrote the truth about the Arabs' intentions then it would be a true newspaper and not just a publicity page for extreme Left ideology.
It would be news if he suddenly announced that Arabs are attacking innocent Jews, intending to murder us. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is TIME Magazine Afraid of The Truth?

Hat tip: Shy Guy

Being afraid of the truth is the only reason I can imagine as the true reason that TIME Magazine doesn't like the archaeological search for Jerusalem's ancient history.

TIME's accusing us, Jews of "...an extreme case of the willful jumbling of science..." but if anyone is "jumbling" science and facts it's TIME Magazine.  The Jewish People predate Christianity and Islam.  Both of those religions have attempted over the millenium, from day one until this very day to hijack our Land, history and forefathers as their own.

Neither Christianity nor Islam would exist without Judaism.  We're the authentic article.  There's no comparison between their references to Jerusalem and the centrality it plays in Judaism (the Jewish Religion) and Jewish History.

Thank G-d there are groups like  Elad, the Ir David Foundation, that aren't afraid to show the world the truth!  Jerusalem is the Jewish People's holiest city.  It doesn't play that role to any other religion or People.  That's what the archaeologists can prove.  That's the truth that TIME considers dangerous.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Visit to the Pisgat Zeev Mall

Cross-posted on me-ander

Pisgat Zeev is a Jerusalem neighborhood, a very big one, especially if you take into account that it's connected to Neve Yaakov.  Those two neighborhoods combined are larger and more populous than many Israeli cities.  Nothing can rile a resident of Neve Yaakov or Pisgat Zeev more than someone visiting saying:

"Now I'm going to Jerusalem."
"Mah pitome?!  What's all this?!  You're in Jerusalem!  This is Jerusalem!"

Yes, it is.  Residents vote in Jerusalem Elections, and there's even a local political party with a representative in the City Council.  The mess you can see in the street is from the the construction of the Jerusalem Light-rail.  It will whisk residents and those from the Shomron, like myself, to downtown Jerusalem by avoiding the sedentary traffic of cars, buses and trucks.  (At least that's the plan.)

As you can see in the picture, there's a lovely modern mall in Pisgat Zeev in addition to lots of small neighborhood shopping areas.  In addition, there's a very good Matnas Community Center with a wide variety of activities, including the Neve Yaakov Pool, which I try to get to weekly.

The mall has the same variety of chain stores and restaurants you'll find all over Israel.  A couple of weeks ago, I met Voices Editor and good friend, Sharon Katz, for lunch and a tour of the neighborhood.  Sharon's from Efrat, and even though she had passed Pisgat Zeev many times she wasn't really familiar with it.

We had salads in Cafe` Cafe`, as you can see.  They were delicious!  All of the Israeli restaurants and coffee shops seem to be competing for creative salad ideas, which is great for those of us who love vegetables cooked and raw.

The Pisgat Zeev mall is a real meeting place for Israelis of different backgrounds and cultures.  It's no secret that many Arabs from northern and eastern Jerusalem also shop and work there.

For me and my Shiloh neighbors, there's really no need to travel to the much larger and more distant Malcha Mall, because, whether by car or public transportation, it takes barely half the time to get to Pisgat Zeev.  Many of my neighbors also work in Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov in all sorts of jobs. 

I must admit that I don't really know all of the Jerusalem neighborhoods.  For me, Gilo is as foreign a place, if not moreso, than Pisgat Zeev-Neve Yaakov is for many.  Yes, Jerusalem is a big city.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The French, The Burqa and Security

As old as I am, I can no longer remember the time when one could just freely walk into public buildings in Israel without some sort of security check.  As I approach the bus station, my backpack is slipped off my back, my "fanny packs" (wallet etc and camera) are unbuckled and then they're all buckled up together so they won't get separated in the X Ray machine.  But before I can put them on the moving belt, I have to place them on a small "counter" and walk through a metal detector.  Some are so sensitive that I must take off my gold bracelet, so the machine won't beep. Before I lost a lost of weight, sometimes I was also asked to open my jacket.  The change may not just be personal; it could be a change in policy.

Last year when I needed new passports, the photographer made me pull back my hat as much as I was willing, because the Americans demand a "hair line" for identification.  It seemed rather stupid, since if I was wearing a wig or a full curly natural hairdo, all that would be hidden.

However much I cover of my body, and it's a lot, it doesn't compare to the Muslim women in their burqas.  There has been a lot of flack against France since the anti-burqa (cover up) law has been proposed by Sarkozy. 

Unfortunately he gave the wrong reasons for the ban.  No doubt he can't understand how some women enjoy the privacy and freedom they feel when covered up.  And if other women who wear burqas don't enjoy it, they certainly wouldn't come out publicly against their families' policies.

The obviously secular Sarkozy is going about this in the wrong direction.  By dictating to women about their alleged feelings, he's using the usual hypocritical Leftist approach of declaring that only their philosophy/ideology is legitimate.  One can't legislate true freedom of thought, because people think, believe and feel differently.

To me the burqa is dangerous for security reasons, and that should be obvious.  And it's very easy to prove.  As far as I'm concerned, security is the only reason to ban the burqa.  If I have to take off my bags and bracelets to get into various buildings, take off my shoes and empty  my water bottle before flying, then burqa clad women must understand that by wearing body-hiding capes and hoods they will be restricted.

Any and all countries and services have the right to demand to see faces and general body contours (as revealed in conventional clothing) for security checks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Small Ancient Synagogue in Shiloh

I'm embarrassed to say that in the thirty years since my first visit to Shiloh including the twenty-eight and a half we've lived here, I never entered this samll snyagogue until a neighbor told me about in on Rosh Chodesh Shvat, barely two weeks ago.  It's not that I was, G-d forbid, avoiding the place, I just didn't know such a builing/remain existed.  Of cours I passed it inumerable times, but I didn't know that bewhind the great boulder facing the street, there was the most authentic synagogue.

An "Olive Branch For The Taliban," A "Big Stick/Tough Love" For Israel, Something's F'kokt in The White House

Americans, wise up.  Your President Obama is trying to sweet talk the Taliban.  And parallel to that, he's trying the speak softly carry a big stick to pressure Israel.

Israel, American Jews and Jews all over the world had better take a good look at what's going on.  There will just be more and more pressure on Israel.  No matter what we do, no matter what risks we take, sacrifices to our vital security, more and more pressure will be put on us.   Nothing we do will ever be enough.  There will just be more demands.

No one's afraid of us, so they know that they can get away with it.   The United States is terrified of Bin Ladin and the Taliban, so it's being as gentle and accommodating as it can.

That's the lesson we must learn.

Packing Gifts for IDF Soldiers

Just over a year ago, during the war to make the south of Israel safe, I finally got to a packing session of Packages from Home.  It took me over a year to help out again.

Our IDF soldiers still have work to do, and they still need the gifts of basic supplies.  There's still lots to do. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is Obama Sinking?

Yes, this is how he's pictured on the cover of the most recent New Yorker Magazine.

As a rule, one shouldn't put too much faith in politicians.  They really aren't all that powerful.  In a democracy, they can't just do what they like, even if all their ideas are great.

A country like the United States has a balance of powers.  There are three parts to the government, the legislature (which in America has two "houses,") the judicial and lastly the executive.  To make any real changes, you need the support of two out of three.

So if an elected president has a really great platform, he can't just declare new laws, he has to mobilize the representatives/legislators to pass his bills.  Close to fifty years ago, when John F. Kennedy was a newly elected United States President, like Obama, he had trouble controlling the legislature to get his bills passed.  If he hadn't been assassinated, who knows if they would have been passed in the early 1960's.  Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded him.  LBJ was an experienced and powerful legislator before being elected Vice President.  The Kennedy team/staff didn't know how to utilize his skills when he was still VP. But when LBJ became U.S. President, he had no problem getting the bills passed.

Jack Kennedy was also young and slickly packaged when he ran for president, but he had more experience and connections than Obama, and yes he too found being president a lot tougher than getting elected.

Now that Obama is sinking, will he learn how to swim?

The Bottom Line About Israel's Emergency Aid in Haiti: Is It Good For The Jews?

As Israel packs up its field hospital and transfers patients to other facilities, Israelis and Jews all over the world are probably reflecting on what happened in Haiti after the earthquake.

From my perspective of over half a century of following the news, being aware of Israel and almost forty years of being a resident Israeli, I can't remember such truly positive press since the 1967 Six Days War.

In 1967 the world was amazed, awed by our defeat of three attacking countries in six days and the resultant liberation of our historic Homeland.  Unfortunately, led by some crazed Israeli Leftists, in no time we were condemned for surviving, most aptly described in the title of the classic political satire by Efraim Kishon and Dosh, "So Sorry We Won."

During the past two weeks, the world was amazed at how tiny Israel put together a top-notch, world class, well equipped hospital in just hours in far away Haiti.  Most embarrassed is the Americans.  Will the embarrassment cause jealousy?

How long will this admiration last?

I have other questions.  How is it that a country which can plan and organize so well for a distant emergecy not know how to prevent one at home?

Tfilat Hamon, The Prayer for Prosperity and Peanut's Linus

Lots of emails are going around reminding us that today is an auspicious day to pray for prosperity, say the "T'filat Hamon." 

How much of our parnasa, income, is from G-d and how much from our own efforts?  It reminds me of an old classic Peanuts cartoon.  I can't find the actual cartoon to post, but here are the words:
Linus:  "I'm afraid to look at it. Oh, I hope I got a good grade.  Please, please, please let it be a good grade."
Charlie Brown says to him, “You should have done all that hoping and praying when you were studying for the test.”
Linus replies, with a look of disdain, "Hoping and praying should never be confused with studying."

Linus is right.  But please remember that our success is a combination of our own efforts with whatever G-d wants to give us in This World, Olam HaZeh.  Remember, our final accounting for reward and punishment are in the Next World, Olam HaBa.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bed, Breakfast, and Jesus for Israeli Backpackers

Posted by Jewish Israel

Bed, Breakfast, and Jesus for Israeli Backpackers

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Haifa's Center for Tourism, Pilgrimage and Recreation, some 2000 Israeli backpackers are being hosted annually by missionaries in New Zealand. The Messianic Christian organization HIT (Hosting Israeli Travelers) offers accommodations at a token fee and sometimes free of charge. But there are strings attached…more...

New Testament Codes Stricken From “Jesus Guns
What would have made for brilliant satire turned out to be a real news story. Last week ABC News covered, or rather uncovered secret (or not so secret), new testament “bible codes “ which are embedded in U.S. army rifle scopes produced by the Trijicon company. These scopes are used by the U.S military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it seems to pose a problem for America which has been trying to downplay any suggestions of a Christian crusade against Islam. The manufacturer has agreed to eliminate the new testament codes. The IDF reportedly also uses the scopes. ...more

A Small Step In The Right Direction

Better late than never and better partial than nothing at all.  G-d willing this is the first step in trying to unify our battling nation.

What's the "this" I"m referring to?  As a former English Teacher, that's a reading comprehension question I had asked many times.  The answer should come before the pronoun, but I purposely left you in suspense.  That should get you guessing.

I'm referring to the law passed in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) which will cancel the police records for the majority of those arrested for anti-Disengagement protests.  It's not a blanket amnesty, and many of those who will be pardoned have already served their sentences and suffered for their dissident opinions.

Israel's history, beginning from the early pre-state days, is plagued by conflict between the Zionist Left and a series of opposing groups, Revisionists, Etzel, Lechi, Herut, "settler," anti-Disengagement and "settler," yet again.  We've been accused of numerous crimes, the murders of Allozoroff, Rabin, Dir Yassin sic massacre and being sic anti-peace.  There were probably some other crimes the Left tried to pin on us.  If I've forgotten any, please add in comments.

We Right wing pro-Land of Israel nationalists are the "Israel of Israel."  Just like the State of Israel gets accused of all sorts of things on the international scene, we get the same treatment in Israel.  And just like Israel doesn't properly defend itself in the international arena, we don't do it well at home.  Actually, things were starting to improve when Arutz 7 had its radio station.  The message was getting out, so the government closed it down.

We mustn't be shy about standing up for our rights and true justice.  A tiny grain was moved, and if we keep working it'll all tip in our favor.

Israel's PM Netanyahu Draws Borders, Sort Of

Bibi's borders are pretty soft.  He claims that the "settlement blocs" will always be part of Israel, but...
"In the afternoon, however, he reaffirmed his commitment to the settlement blocs of Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion when he called them an indisputable part of Israel."

And how does he plan on defending a country as solid as cheap lace?  Besides the fact that neither the Arabs nor Obama nor Europe nor the Israeli Left accept his compromises.  He's playing chess with himself, and he's losing.

His planting a tree in Gush Etzion was no more than a photo op to try to make him look better with the pro-Land of Israel citizen voters.  We didn't fall for it.

U.S. President Obama, Ridiculously Unrealistic Expectations

For the past year and a half I've been entertained by the development of that new American and international religion, Obama Worship.

The Barack and Michelle Obama celebrity cult is all the rage.  He was a nobody when he was nominated as Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States.  I get a kick out of how dumb-founded the media is over every failure.  They should be shocked at any real success.

The faith people have in the man boggles the imagination. During his short time in the senate he showed no leadership, just voted party-line.  And then he was dressed up as a mannequin and pumped up to be President of the United States.  Veteran Democratic leader and king-maker, Teddy Kennedy was already dying from brain cancer, so the casting agents thought a very tall photogenic, half-black newbie would be a great gimmick, and they were right, that is if it was a movie set rather than the United States of America.  Being skilled at reading a teleprompter, Obama did fine until the screenwriters couldn't keep up, and the off-screen action couldn't be controlled.

The walk-ons in Massachusetts didn't toe the line and things are imploding by the second.  Implode with turn to explode once the Haitians begin to recover.  They take direction even worse than the Massachusetts voters.

Have fun America.

Israel's Persistent PR Failure: Apologize First, Ask Questions Later

Hat tip: IMRA

Time and time again, Israel takes responsibility and blame without checking the facts.  Our country has some really dangerous psychological complexes.  We have a problem defending ourselves, no pride, no self-respect.

This article, Mohammed al-Dura - Israel's greatest PR Failure by Reuven Pedatzur is a must-read.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blame, America's in Good Company

When an  airplane crashed in Iran, I kept hearing on the news that it was America's fault for making repairs and upkeep difficult.  I don't know where that came from, because the articles I found on the web said that it was a Russian built plane, not connected to the United States at all.

Also today the world hear from Bin Ladin who, although he took credit for the planned Detroit airplane explosion terror attack, still  blames it on Israel.

We're not at fault for BinLadin's terrorism either.  We are victims. 

Haiti, Earthquake Update

There's much less about Haiti in the news today.  Well, it's almost two weeks.  The searches for survivors are mostly over, so there won't be any more dramatic "He's alive!" tv clips.  I may be dumb and regular readers will agree that I'm far "out of the box" thinking in ways nobody else could imagine.

Now, about those survivors, and more importantly about those Haitians who may still be trapped...  After the big 7.0 earthquake there were one or two more, aftershocks.  One was at least 6 on the scale.  Now, couldn't there have been people trapped during the aftershocks?  So are they being searched for?  Could the week plus survivors be from the later earthquakes?  Just wondering...

There are more and more reports about the negative feelings of the Haitians towards the American soldiers.  Compared to the Haitians, they look like American football players with all the protective gear.  When I visit New York, I find those military guards in Penn Station and other public places rather humorous and incongruous.  They stand around, avoiding eye contact and trying to look frightening. 

I feel like I'm watching a horror movie, knowing that everything will go wrong.  The Haitian people are a poor people, needing help to succeed in the 21st century after failing in the previous one.  Now they're being trained to be refugees, accept handouts and live in tents.  They should be rebuilding immediately; the kids should be in schools; agriculture should be developed.  They must be given independence and responsibility for themselves. 

Another Really Great HH, Jewish Blog Roundup

Havel Havelilm has floated to the Real Shaliach this week.  As usual he did a really great job.  Many of the posts are about the Israeli aid efforts in Haiti.

Havel Havelim is the multi-topic weekly Jewish internet magazine (blog carnival,) floating around the internet and hosted by a variety of bloggers.

Take a look.  You're bound to find some interesting posts.

Against the Odds, Israeli Rescue Story In Haiti. Thoughts About Haiti's Future

Most experts will tell you that people can't live trapped, without food or water for more than a week.  The Haitian government keeps saying that the rescue effort is officially over, but we're still hearing stories of survivors pulled out of the rubble a week and a half after the earthquake.

The Israeli rescue team and medical staff/field hospital have raised the bar in Haiti.  Israel has been instrumental in many of the most dramatic rescue successes including that of a young man ten days after the earthquake.

Israel is apparently the star of the rescue effort after the earthquake in Haiti, but how will Haiti, not just recover but become a healthy successful nation?

The pictures of Haitians lined up in a large sports stadium being given food packages by American soldiers bode bad news for Haiti.  It didn't comfort me to hear that the weapons weren't loaded or how many calories and ounces of water in the food aid.

Jewish Law/tradition tells us that it's better charity to help a person work than just give them gifts.

Organizing the Haitians to distribute the aid and start repairing their own buildings with suitable material would be better in the long run than having them line up for food and tents.

I hate to be so negative, but no doubt that these good intentions will just lead to hell. Haiti was an unhealthy, unsuccessful society and country before the quake, and I fear that the non-geo aftershocks will only make things much worse.

They don't need foreign military to help; they need real community leaders, educators, youth directors.  The Haitians need help not only to recover but to build a heathy society, not military occupation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Strange Work Ethic, Belgium Medical Team in Haiti

Before turning off the TV Friday afternoon, we saw one of the most surprising reports on CNN.  The CNN media staff took over the Belgium first aid station, because the medical staff took leave.

Duhh!?!  Yep, that's what I thought.  All Shabbat I was wondering what had happened.  Being very, pre-Shabbat (Sabbath) busy, I hadn't been sitting watching the entire program.

As they say in Yiddish, Vive le difference, look at what Israel sent to Haiti!  Israel doesn't have too many fans in the international media, but Israel's medical aid to Haiti has gotten more than praise.  It's the best equipped, and the medical staff couldn't imagine fleeing.

Here are some warnings of  useless and even dangerous way of attempted help. Yes, examples of good intentions leading to hell.

Now that the novelty is wearing off, things will get more difficult in Haiti.  It's a weak country at best, one of the poorest.  Are international military troops the solution to Haiti's problems now?  Things are getting violent, but medical staff deserting a first aid station/field hospital, like the Belgians did, certainly won't make things any better.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Geert Wilders Story

If the Geert Wilders story some how passed you by, or you're not quite sure what it's all about, this Pajamas interview with him will set you straight.

“That might be true,” says Geert Wilders about the possibility that he has lost his freedom for the rest of his life, “and if so is a very sad conclusion. I wouldn’t wish my worst political enemy not to be free. But I have no regrets. I have to pay a high price for the fight for freedom, but it’s worth it because if I and others in the world don’t fight against the ideology of hate and submission, we will all lose our freedom.” His remarks came on the day before the man who may become the Netherlands’ next prime minister goes to trial for criticizing Islam... (complete interview here)

Hat tip: Boris

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bullet-Proof, The Fashion I'd Rather Not Need Again, And Thoughts About Israel Helping Haiti

There was a time when I was forced to wear bullet-proof vests, and there was nothing trendy about them, nothing at all.  Nor were they comfortable.  They were heavy and awkward.

These pictures are nothing like the bullet-proof vests I remember.

When I remember those dangerous days I think of today's Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.  He was Prime Minister.  It was a time of terrorism on our roads.  The Arab terrorists shot at innocent Israeli citizens.  Murder was frequent.  It was a terrible time.

Barak was totally ineffective as a leader.  He was quickly drummed out of office.  In all honesty, I can't understand how the public and the Labor Party have forgotten what went on.

Yes, there is a reason.  Most of the violence was in Jerusalem and YESHA,  Judea, Samaria and Gush Katif (Gaza.)  That made it easy for many Israelis to pretend that it was a local problem and not an attack on the country as a whole.  Whenever there was a terror attack someopleace else, they were outraged: 

"Why here?  This isn't the shtachim, territories!

There was no unity, none at all.  The great Israeli chessed,  mercy, charitable acts like what we see in Haiti, didn't manifest itself for fellow Jews, fellow Israelis.  So, I'm of very mixed feelings about all we're doing for the Haitian people.  I'd like to first see Israelis caring for Israelis, and then we can help others.

Women Only Event for Israel

Details can be found here.

ENGAGE! Support Y.E.S.H.A (Yehuda, the Shomron, Azza) through a Night of Music, Theater & Film

Saturday, January 23, 2010 from 8:15 PM - 11:30 PM (ET)
Brooklyn, NY

Learn about what is happening in the Shomron Valley and what you can do to make a difference
  • Documentary film depicting the situation in Eretz Yisrael and how we can help
  • Theater performances with Improv & Playback techniques
  • and a special performance by
A Singing Sensation
This Event is for Women Only
Buy Tickets Online
$12 for event only
$18 Donation - PROCEEDS TO SUPPORT families living in Judea and the Shomron
$36 Donation - resserved seating, PROCEEDS TO SUPPORT families living in Judea and the Shomron
$75 Donation - specialty seating + gift of appreciation, PROCEEDS TO SUPPORT families living in Judea and the Shomron
$118 Donation - front row, personal meeting with performer + special gift
Motzei Shabbos, Jan 23, 8:15pm
Beis Rivka Elementary School
470 Lefferts Avenue (btwn Brooklyn & NY Aves)

More information, contact cadelstein@aol.com

NBC's Praise of Israeli Field Hospital in Haiti

The program says it all.

Actually, it's frightening to realize that only one country in the world knows how to organize aid for a disaster.

Those American "Strings," Like a Noose

You'd think United States capitalism, free enterprise and all those favorite American descriptions of its economic philosophies would have some influence on its business policies.  But when it comes to doing business with the State of Israel, the Americans are controlled by a different agenda.

Over the years, Israel's purchase of military equipment has been more than financially beneficial to the United States.  Israel "tweaks" the products and makes them better.  Over the years Israel's military industries have gotten weaker the more we've bought from the United States, especially with the "American aid," which is really shopping coupons for American products, not money to be used for the best deals available including strengthening local military industries.

Now Israel is negotiating to purchase state of the art F-35's and wants to have some of the equipment Israeli, which makes the most sense from our stand point, but the Americans only want a deal which is good for the United States.

American priorities are very clear.  I wish that Israel would start taking our interests first instead of currying favor with those who don't really care about our survival.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Filling That Void in Haiti

The Americans are on a "mission" of sorts.

I just wonder which other countries will have the same idea.  The United Nations is sending troops, and Cuba is close by.

"HaMahapach," The Upset, Massachusetts Style

The Kennedy era is over.  The last thing the clan did was to elect Barack Hussein Obama as United States President. 

Scott Brown, Republican challenger, not the Kennedy machine backed Martha Coakley was elected to fill Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat.

No surprise that the New York Times has the shocked loser on its front page rather than the jubilant winner.

I've always found politics fascinating.  The American political system is very different from the Israeli.  I was raised in the United States and left soon after Bobby Kennedy's assassination.  

I remember being surprised when the media etc were so forgiving/forgetting of Ted Kennedy's involvement with the late Mary Jo Kopechne. It just didn't make sense.  He must have hypnotized/mesmerized the media.  Later on it was revealed that Jack and Jackie  Kennedy's marriage wasn't quite Camelot, but the media enjoyed being part of the team building the illusion.

In Israel the media has even more power.  It controls the politicians, decides on the agendas.  When a politician agrees to be interviewed on television, it's more like a murder investigation, unless they're from the far Left.  The questions are aggressive, and the "journalists" love to argue with their guests.

It's worse than rude.  It's also foolish.  The American style is the opposite, soft-talking their guest into admitting things they shouldn't have said.

Well, back to the new Senator from Massachusetts.  Good luck.  I always enjoy when the overconfident Leftist media gets it all wrong. 

"...embarrassed to be an American..."

Would you believe that those words were said on CNN?

This is the most pro-Israel piece about Haiti on the internet so far.

Trying to "Whitewash" The Israeli Contribution in Haiti

Please listen very carefully to the reporter as he tells about the great job the Israeli team is doing rescuing people in Haiti.

And then, towards the end, few of his lines seem scrubbed of necessary and obvious details.

  • Why can't he say that the injured man was taken to the Israeli field hospital, which is the best equipped of all? 
  • And why can't he say that the baby shown at the end of the report was born in that Israeli hospital?
  • Why this "whitewashing" of facts to downplay the role of Israel rescuing people in Haiti?

Davka this morning, I received the perfect youtube film clip "response" from Boris.

Clint Eastwood in  White Hunter Black Heart.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Look! There's Hebrew!!!

We've been watching the news, and of course it's about what's going on in Haiti since the earthquake.  Even when Israel isn't mentioned, you can't miss the Hebrew on the uniforms, vests etc.

It's strange to think that Israel managed to organize so well, while richer countries haven't.  Israel always send aid to disaster areas, and it's not chocolate and candy.

When news stations like CNN list the countries helping, Israel is at the end, sort of swallowed like it's hard for the newscaster to say something good.  But in the pictures, you can see the Israelis.

Transition Leaders, Moses and Samuel

There's much in the Bible about human relations, politics, leadership, crises and transition.  It's the story of the Jewish People, starting with G-d's creating the world and ends in chaotic political fighting.  There's a final message of Redemption if we would just get our act together.

Jewish Tradition has us read the first five books, the Torah, every year.  It's divided in weekly portions,   פרשת שבוע , Parshat Shavua.  That ends as the nascent Jewish People, still a tribal federation, are about to enter the HolyLand, just after their leader, Moshe, Moses dies.

Moshe's time as leader was never easy.  He had trouble getting the respect from the Jewish People and the necessary results from the Egyptian Pharaoh, who enslaved them.  G-d chose him to be leader when he was hiding out in Midian with his in-laws.  As we all know, eventually, with the help of the Almighty and Moshe's brother Aaron, Moshe led the Jewish People out of Egypt and trekked with them for forty years while the old slave generation died out and a new Jewish People reached maturity for the next stage.

Maybe I made it sound too simple, too cut and dried.  If you read the beginning of the second book of the Bible, Shemot, Exodus, which are the parshot of this season, you'll read of Moshe's struggles and complaints to G-d.  They remind me of a later transition leader for the Jewish People, Shmuel (Samuel.)

Moshe and Shmuel have a lot in common.  They both spent minimal time with their biological families. After weaning, most probably at the age of three or five, they were sent away for "leadership training."  Moshe was sent to his adoptive mother, Bitya, daughter of Pharaoh, who had rescued him from certain death, and Shmuel went to Shiloh to live with Eli HaCohen (the High Priest,) to learn the ways of G-d.

There's nothing in the Bible saying that Moshe had any contact with his biological family when he was growing up, but Shmuel did.  Moshe's training, being raised in Pharaoh's palace made his connections to the Jewish People very difficult.  He didn't really know the mentality, nor the slang and accent.

*Just a short note about academic training/education for those who plan aliyah.  You're best off studying in Israel, in an Israeli university.  That way you have the language and relevant training.  An Israeli BA/S is three years, so if you spend a year first perfecting/preparing your Hebrew, you still get out at the same time.  Even better, the Israeli BA/S is more specialized in a major, more like an American Masters degree.  Tuition is a fraction of the price, and there are special scholarships/subsidies for new immigrants.  Train for life in Israel, not wherever you've been living.  Look back in the Bible for the examples of Moshe and Shmuel.  At Moshe's time, there may not have been a Jewish leadership university, so he did one degree at Pharaoh's and the second at Yitro's (his father-in-law in Midian.)  Israel's universities are world class.

Shmuel had a much easier time, since he was accepted as Eli HaCohen's successor, not that it was clear sailing all the way.  He was very offended when the Jewish People began demanding "a king like all other nations."  Shmuel didn't take that well, and I consider G-d's reply, that it's not against him, but against Him, as one of the most moving lines in the Bible.

Shmuel had trouble giving up the reigns and was heavily involved mentoring Shaul HaMelech, King Saul, the first king.  Shaul's reign as king wasn't successful, probably because a king who needs that much help isn't much of a leader.  Shmuel leaves the scene after David takes over as King of the Jewish People.  David was a natural leader, directly communicating with G-d, and didn't need Shmuel.

Moshe, on the other hand, felt less threatened by the idea that he would be succeeded by Yehoshua (Joshua,) rewarding Eldad and Medad rather than punishing them for announcing it.

I've always been fascinated by politics and observing the dynamics of leadership manipulations.  It just saddens and frightens me that we don't have an real leadership today here in Israel.  What awaits us?

Monday, January 18, 2010

When The Dust Settles, What's Next For Haiti?

Quite a number of years ago, there was "a state of emergency" at a family we know.  Somehow, I was out of the loop and didn't help much.  One of my kids was horrified and embarrassed:
"-'s mother is there day and night helping.  I thought you were their friend.  Why aren't you doing the same?"
"Now everyone's fighting for the privilege of helping.  Pretty soon the novelty wear off, and most everyone will be gone.  I was their friend before and I'll be their friend afterwards."
And that's exactly what happened.

Now, Haiti is the country in need.  Everyone's trying to help, but Haiti has some very serious problems which predate the earthquake by more than decades.

International newscasts are already hinting at local dissatisfaction at American military presence in Haiti.  They don't want Americans policing them.

In Judaism there's a concept that means that you should look for the good intentions.  The American People and the American Government probably have the best of intentions in sending the military to keep order, but the Haitians aren't comforted by the sight of American soldiers on their streets.

When the post-earthquake dust settles, one of the poorest countries in the world will find itself in even worse shape. How will things right themselves?  Do they have any real allies, friends?

Jewish Israel reports

Posted by Jewish Israel

The ugly side of interfaith beautification politics:
In 2008 the executive director of Rabbi Riskin’s Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation actively participated in efforts to rehabilitate Pope Pius XII and set him on the road to canonization by playing an active role in public relations efforts towards those ends, and by assisting in providing evidence that was used by the Vatican. Under the circumstances, Jewish Israel was particularly taken aback to read a recent CJCUC press release which calls efforts to canonize Pope Pius XII "another blow to Catholic-Jewish relations..." The press release makes no mention of CJCUC’s participation in this fiasco.
It appears Rabbi Riskin's organization fumbled miserably in their attempts to play both sides of the field with the Vatican. Jewish Israel explores the terrible truth and sickening hypocrisy...more

Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf joins the Jewish Israel Team
Jewish Israel is pleased to announce that Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Woolf has joined the Jewish Israel board as an academic and religious advisor. Dr. Woolf is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Talmud at Bar Ilan University, where he specializes in Jewish Intellectual History and the History of Jewish Law, and he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. We look forward to Dr. Woolf's insights, contributions and advice....more

Pat Robertson’s “satanic verses” cause media tremors
When it comes to commenting on both man-made and natural disasters, televangelist Pat Robertson takes the golden globe for impropriety. Following last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, Robertson remarked that the Haitians had made a "pact with the devil" and have been "cursed" ever since.
Israel is certainly no stranger to Robertson’s gaffes...more

Not waiting for Armageddon
The Jerusalem Post has been doing their utmost to promote and preserve the love affair between evangelicals and Israel. While the JPost is obligated and does indeed report some of the news-worthy problems with the relationship, the editorial spin and oped pieces consistently appear to glorify the partnership, and rarely is the alliance critically examined. But the messiah must be near, as the recent pages of the JPost have been graced with virtually back to back reviews on a documentary which apparently does bother to provoke some questions that we Jews need to ask ourselves...more

Religious Freedom in Israel, Bad News for The Jews

Israel is offering the Vatican, Catholics, more prayer rights in Mount Zion , but at the same time Jews are forbidden from praying in our holiest spot, Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount.

Contrary to PC (politically correct) myth, the kotel, Western Wall is not Judaism's holiest site.  It's holiness is only because it's connected to the Temple Mount.  It's the remains of an outer wall of the Temple Compound.

Israel makes every effort to accommodate religious demands from Muslims, Catholics, Protestants and Mormons, but when it comes to Jewish Rights that's another very different story.

Jewish religious and civil rights should be primary.  This is the State of Israel in the Land of the Bible, our Jewish Bible.  We don't have to sacrifice our rights for others!

Blight on the Landscape

These pictures aren't posted to show the beauty of the Land of Israel.  They're up on the blog to show you how man, Israel's politicians, have damaged our land, sovereignty and security by constructing this farce of a "security wall."

I took these pictures traveling from Shiloh to Jerusalem.  The wall doesn't give security.  It's actually riddled with holes in convenient places, so the Arabs can get where they want by foot and donkey.  Israel's security authorities know this.  It has even been broadcast on Israeli television.

Besides that, there isn't a budget to repair the normal "wear and tear."  Obviously some contractors got very rich building this structure.

G-d willing, some day, we will all celebrate the ripping down of this wall, just like the celebrations of the destruction of the Berlin Wall.