Hamas War

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Densely Arab Populated," The Big Lie

Here's another of my contributions to rebranding, trying to change that gut-level, misunderstanding most people all over the world, including Israel, have about Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

I'll never forget reading that phrase "Densely Arab Populated" in The Jerusalem Post a number of years ago.  The writer was describing Judea and Samaria.  Ever since then, I always request that tourists and visitors take a good look.  I've even dramatically opened my dining room window, even on a freezing winter's day, to stick my hand out and say:

"Look at these empty hills.  This isn't a painted mural or photograph.  There's plenty of land here and no need for the Arabs to insist that it's all theirs."

I'm always amazed to hear people imply that my home and community of Shiloh must be surrounded by Arabs.  That's the impression they get from the media and politicians.  Here are a couple of pictures I took recently walking between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel, the Jewish community just east of my house.

Walking Between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel

Walking Between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel

It's an easy walk, just takes a few minutes.  There's an unpaved road.  And no, we weren't armed.  This may not be what the media claims and the politicians and diplomats believe.  Remember that most high political officials get their news information via a predigested news digest, summary, composed and edited by staff members with agendas.  Yes, to put it simply, they (politicians and diplomats) don't know bupkes.

These are untouched, uncropped pictures I took.  Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights and most of the Gaza Strip are just as empty.  If you believe the press, you've been had.  So please pass this around, thanks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama Must Think Us a Turkey

As usual, Dry Bones draws it perfectly.  Yaakov, you're great.

Barack Obama, the United States' affirmative action president is very focused and single-minded.  He wants to be godfather to Pseudostan aka Palestine sic.  He doesn't care that he'll be empowering anti-Israel terrorists or that they have no history.  He cares even less that an Arab terror state in the HolyLand endangers the security and very existence of the State of Israel.

There's only one way to stop all this.  It's up to Israel.  We have the power if we only want to.  We have to say "No!"

Rush, Re: Jerusalem

"Obama says anybody whose great-grandparents were in Arizona before it was a state has a right to walk on in there, and yet the Jews were in Israel thousands of years before any other religion, and Obama wants to deny them the right to build in Jerusalem ." Rush Limbaugh

I must confess that I haven't been following all the hullabaloo about Arizona, aliens etc.  We have enough going on with Israel, Jerusalem, Obama, building etc to keep me busy blogging.  Then I saw that quotation from Rush in his daily mailing.

Here's the complete quotation from his site:
RUSH: Right. Well, you know, I have friends who have great-great-grandparents who were in England before England had any laws about immigration. My friends, can I live in England and enjoy their services 'cause my great-great-grandparents were there before there were any immigration laws? Get this. Try this. So we have illegal aliens here who we can't ask them for their papers like every other citizen has to provide ID. We can't ask them. The Jews, however, have to stop building in Jerusalem when they were there thousands of years before there was a Muslim religion or a Christian religion. So by Obama's own logic, he trips himself up. Anybody whose great-grandparents were in Arizona before it was a state has a right to walk on in there, and yet the Jews were there before any other religion thousands of years ago in Jerusalem, and Obama wants to deny them the right to do...? It's dangerous what's happening here, ladies and gentlemen. This use of this word "papers" is not by accident. Here. He said some more in answer to this student.

Rush is right and Right.  There's no logic in the Left. They discriminate against Jews, against Israel.  They deny history, distort it.  No, please get don't distort what I'm saying.  I'm not recommending that American Jews vote straight Republican, but they should definitely be aware that the policies of the Democrats endanger Israel.  Check things out carefully, very carefully.  It's not enough to hear that a politician "loves" Israel.  Nobody admits that they don't give a hoot  about Israel's security, but a careful reading and listening will make that very clear.  Look at the map, too.

Any politician who states that establishing a Pseudostinian aka Palestinian sic state is a priority should not be supported, because such a state would seriously endanger the continued existence of the State of Israel.  You have to choose; you can't have both.  Yes, I know that most Israeli politicians and the vast majority of the Israeli media have joined the "two state" band wagon, but that doesn't make them correct.

As my parents said to me many times as I was growing up:
"If everyone is jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you jump, too?"

Here we have the classic and fatal danger of democracy.  Most people are idiots and would jump!

Classic Wimpy Victim Mentality

I was embarrassed when I heard our, that's Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak groveling on the TV News.  The topic was Hezbollah's  massive stockpiling of weapons and rockets, more than many independent countries.  Hezbollah is an Arab terror organization which is based in Lebanon and wants Israel dead and gone.

So what did tough ol' roly poly Israeli General, former Chief of Staff, disgraced Prime Minister and presently Defense Minister do?  He reassured the world and Hezbollah that Israel won't do anything to aggravate Hezbollah.

Duhh!  Doesn't he know that just our breathing, survival and thriving country is considered an aggression?

Gevalt!  Ehud Barak must be an extreme example of The Peter Principle.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wanted: Administrative Orders Against Ha’aretz

The following is my free translation of an article written by Asher HaLevy on the News1 [formerly News First Class, or NFC] website.

Wanted: Administrative Orders Against Ha'aretz
by Asher HaLevy,

It is amazing how much patience and "endless tolerance" the Shabak [General Security Service, GSS] and head of its Jewish division have, as they signed or orally agreed to receive part of the missing secret documents from the fugitive, Blau. As we know, every minute that these documents are outside the country - in the hands of a spy who has no loyalty - our IDF soldiers are at risk.

At the same time that embarrassing negotiations between the Shabak, and the editors and reporters who have betrayed the security of the State -- all of them strongly suspected of being traitors who committed the most serious of State security offenses -- are taking place, the same head of the Shabak is working against Jews with families in the community of Yitzhar.

The Shabak has issued administrative orders against them indiscriminately and without examination. The GSS intervened, without a permit, in the interrogation of the Kfir soldiers who hoisted a sign of protest at the Western Wall...an investigation that the army should have performed, without the assistance of the GSS.

Lately, in a most conspicuous manner, these people have become an open target. It is permissible to lash out at them and blame them for actions that were neither seen nor done. The General Security Service has turned the heroes of the generation into criminals, deliberately trying to hurt the nucleus of families in the settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Enemy terrorist activity against the residents of Judea and Samaria which occur daily, do not merit getting the same treatment as the "mat which enflamed the Middle East." *
[*Reference: According to Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Yitzhar, the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet) continues to hound him despite the fact a court ordered his release after it became abundantly clear there is no evidence linking him to a Dec. 2009 arson attack in a Shechem area mosque.]

The events in the mosque were unproven, but the Rosh Yeshiva was led away, handcuffed in front of everybody. Rabbi Shapira was not found guilty, and came out clear and clean - but we have neither seen nor heard an apology. As mentioned, Jews do not merit the necessary protection from the General Security Service, whose foremost mission should be to protect us.

The statement that "all are equal before the law" does not meet the test of reality. Certainly not when the GSS and the police look for tasks that can be performed easily and conveniently. In contrast, the Shabak, using the terminology "zero tolerance," allows itself to take revenge against residents of Judea and Samaria.

From where did the head of the Jewish division of the GSS suddenly derive his "endless patience" in the Anat Kam affair? It was recently reported that Anat violated the house arrest order that was issued by the court. Did anyone hear voices of protest? Did any of us see any action which would reflect determination and conviction against the violation of the order?

Someone in the GSS was confused when they forgot to distinguish between those who are loyal to the State and the IDF, and those who have no values, and whose respect for the bounds of the law was lost long ago.

So, I have a little advice the Security Services: an administrative detention order should be issued immediately against the editor of Ha'aretz and others who claim to be journalists. In a normal country, such people would long ago be sitting in cellars, under the investigation of the Shabak.
Stop all negotiations with criminals and spies! You have enough power in your hands to bring the fugitive who stole security documents, back from London -- straight to Ramle [Israeli prison]!

Time Bomb in The North

How quickly we forget.  I was going to write "Israelis forget," but I too am an Israeli even though my written language is English rather than Hebrew.

Less than four years ago Israel was attacked by its neighbors from Lebanon, Hezbollah in the north.  Our major northern cities suffered real hits.  Israel is such a tiny country; it's clear that just a small improvement in Arab terrorist weaponry, and Tel Aviv will be an easy target.

During the war, when we were under attack, like the atheist in the foxhole who suddenly prays desperately to G-d, the Tel Aviv Leftists grudgingly admitted that Ehud Barak's election pledge to unilaterally, unconditionally withdraw from Lebanon facilitated this enemy Arab war on Israel.  But by the time the cement and paint were dry after repairing the damage, Israel's loony Left had blanked out the wisdom the rockets had forced on them.

The pragmatic Right doesn't forget.  We warned the Israeli public during that election campaign that Barak's pledge and policies would endanger Israel by leaving the north undefended.  We warned and predicted that trusting foreign troops to police the area wouldn't prevent the terrorists from re-arming with even more sophisticated weapons, which is the situation today.  The Israeli Government enthusiastically explained to the public that these foreign troops would "protect" us, but at best they are observers who report how many more weapons have been stockpiled for use against Israel.

Hezbollah fired thousands of the mostly short-range Katyusha rockets into Israel in 2006 and the Jewish state is worried the guerrillas have replenished their arsenal to strike on Iran's behalf if its nuclear sites come under attack.

A Pentagon report on Iran released last week said that Hezbollah had rearmed itself to beyond the levels seen before the 2006 war, despite U.N.-backed efforts to curb weapon shipments to the group.

In addition to arms, Iran provides about $100 million (65.5 million pounds) to $200 million per year to support Hezbollah, it said.

The missile allegations involving Syria have complicated President Barack Obama's efforts to forge a rapprochement with Damascus, which his administration sees as crucial to Middle East peace efforts and to stabilise the nascent democracy in neighbouring Iraq.

The alliance of Barack and Barak bodes bad news for Israel.  When Barak is happy, I get nervous, very nervous.  I don't like the idea that Bibi sent him to Washington at this time when Barack with a "c" is putting so much pressure on Israel.

We must remember that we shouldn't trust the fancy words of international leaders and diplomats, because push comes to shove and they really don't care what happens to us.

Our security rests in our hands, with the help of G-d.  Our enemies are increasing their stockpiles of weapons to be used against us.  It's time to take action on all fronts.
Even though Barak's Labor Party was defeated in the last Israeli Elections, the Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister has given him unprecedented power as Defense Minister.  I find this dangerously disturbing, because Ehud Barak's policies have consistently endangered our existence.  I don't trust his judgement at all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This Shabbat Will Be The Hardest For Many

No, it has nothing to do with the weather...

Some of you may be aware that his year's Israeli Memorial and Independence Days celebrations were put off, postponed.  That was to prevent Chillul Shabbat, Shabbat Desecration.  Having a major event on a Saturday night, even after Shabbat, causes Shabbat Desecration except by the most fervently observant.  The Memorial and Independence Days were officially set by the Israeli Government, so the government takes responsibility for "tweaking" to make sure that they fall on better days.

That's not as sacrilegious as some of you may think.  At a Shavuot shiur (Torah Class) a few years ago, our local rabbi mentioned (almost in passing) that in the days when the new moon (month) was set according to the observations of special observers, they knew that certain months could never begin certain days of the week.  For instance, there's no way we can observe Yom Kippur on a Friday, so the New Moon for the month of Tishrei must not be seen for the month to begin on a Wednesday.

Saturday night and Sunday are Lag B'Omer, the festive thirty-third day of the Omer, the count from the second night of Passover until just before Shavuot.  It's not a holiday with all sorts of rules to observe, but the prevailing custom here in Israel is to spend the evening, OK the kids stay until dawn, around a campfire.

These campfires aren't high-tech grills.  They're much more primitive and require lots of preparation.  Rural communities and also suburban and even  urban areas with empty lots are full of piles of wood, which kids have been gathering and saving for weeks.  Usually, the hours before Lag B'Omer begins are spent desperately adding more and more wood so that the campfires will keep burning all night long.

On Shabbat it's forbidden by Jewish Law to touch that wood or make any preparation for the post-Shabbat festivities. 

Today's culture and modern child-raising theories do not prepare children and teens for the level of self-control they will need this Shabbat.

Thank G-d my kids are all grown up and I don't have to deal with anxious and impatient children.

Who Wrote The Speech?

Generally, I ask the question when there's an unusually pro-Israel speech from someone whose policies aren't quite on that level.  But here with Obama's National Security Advisor James Jones, the speech began with an antisemitic "joke," which was well-received by his audience.

We all know what would happen if that sort of joke or even something much milder or more innocent had been made about blacks or Muslims.  The protests, threats and violence would be vicious.  But unfortunately we Jews brush it all under the rug.  

Please don't get me wrong.  I'm not promoting riots, but I do think that Israel should officially protest, send some American defense official packing.  And I think that we should have sent the British Ambassador back to London when they pulled the ad about the Kotel, Western Wall, claiming it wasn't in Israel.  Our being nice and accommodating just causes more insults.

Let's show some pride and self-respect for a change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beauty, Man-made and G-d's Creation

Actually also I'd credit G-d with the man-made variety.

In Reverse

In most Jewish families there are stories of the children and grandchildren embarrassing the families by allying themselves too closely with the goyim (non-Jews) and goyish values.  The South African Goldstone family had a reverse shanda (embarrassment) to deal with when the sabba, zaydi, grandfather became known all over the world as the "anti-Israel spokesperson of the year" recently.  Davka, right before his grandson's Bar Mitzvah!

It was announced in the press, official, mainstream and unofficial (like blogs) all over the world that he'd be persona non grata at the Bar Mitzvah, a punishment worse than death.  Now it has been announced that there has been a sulha of sorts, and he can attend.

A day earlier, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, which represents most of the country’s synagogues, issued a statement that outlined something like a quid pro quo: a promise of no protests on the bar mitzvah boy’s big day, in exchange for a meeting between the judge and leaders of the South African Zionist Federation and other Jewish organizations.
Honestly, I don't see the connection in how this makes everything fine. But I also didn't like the interference in private family affairs.  I was not one of the bloggers who blogged about Goldstone's ban.  I'm sure the family suffers enough being in the public limelight and microscope.  If the Bar Mitzvah boy and his family want granddad at the Bar Mitzvah, it shouldn't be anybody's business but theirs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Were The Arabs Arrested?

I don't know if it's true or an invention of the screenwriters who wrote the scripts of those old cowboy movies.  I see Bibi Netanyahu, our Prime Minister, speaking with forked tongue about our sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Israeli Jews and Police were attacked today in Silwan.  The march leaders acquiesced to the extreme limitations the police and government demanded, but they refused to agree to further delay the march.
"We've proven to Netanyahu, Obama and Mitchell that we're the bosses in Jerusalem," said Ben Gvir during the march.

Prior to the event, the right wing activist said in a radio interview that "There is no doubt that the fact that Mitchell is in the area only pushes us to try harder."

"It seems to me that the man sitting in the prime minister's chair is a little confused," he continued. "Netanyahu is acting like he is an employee working for Obama or Mitchell. It began with the settlement construction freeze that he caved on, and today he says that it is a provocation for us to carry Israeli flags several hundred meters from the Western Wall. What will he say tomorrow? That Obama and Mitchell asked to remove the flag or change the national anthem and he'll do that too?"

"I don't work for Mitchell, and Israel is not a U.S.-sponsored state, and the time has come that we understand that," he went on to say.

The tension and violence by Arabs that ensued because Jews walked in the neighborhood with Israeli Flags is very worrying, or should be for those who naively believe that Israeli is governing all of Jerusalem the way it should be. 

Arabs walk freely and safely in Jewish neighborhoods and shop in Jewish stores.  Only Jews are restricted.

Something stinks...

The IDF, Internet Security and Unequal Justice

Now, after it has been revealed in the press that IDF recruit Anat Kamm stole high level security information during her military service, the IDF is purchasing new computers with more security protection.

Since my father has been living with us, I've gotten to know the local Kupat Cholim (Sick Fund) Clalit Clinic very well.  When we first moved to Israel, a few months short of forty years ago, we didn't join that healthcare organization, because it was known as the worst, very socialist, no choice of doctors etc.  Things have changed, and today I'd say that there isn't much difference between the various options, once you calculate all aspects.  My father joined Clalit, because it's a very short walk away from our house and the doctor lives even closer.

During one of my visits to the clinic, I asked the nurse why we can't just send her emails and not faxes.  She told me that although the Clalit Sick Fund and our local Shiloh clinic are computerized, there is no way to send or receive any emails outside of the Clalit system.  If she has to send patient information to someone outside of Clalit, she must print it and then send it as a fax.  I just wonder if the Israel Defense Forces uses such a protective secure system.

Another question is how someone so dishonest and unreliable as Anat Kamm, who is accused of espionage, could be out of jail?  I find it very peculiar that the police quickly jailed Jerusalem's former Mayor Uri Lupolianski, but former Prime Minister and Mayor Ehud Olmert has not only been out of jail, he has even allowed to travel abroad.

Something here stinks...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Airline Industry, Downed By Primitive Volcanoes

When we turned on the news after Shabbat, the big topic was how people are still stranded because of the volcanic ash.  Although some areas have cleared sufficiently for planes to fly, not everyone has found a flight or can leave or arrive.

For decades already we've taken for granted that air travel is safe and reliable.  Many people commute by plane, even internationally.  Flying is no longer "special," nor considered particularly dangerous.  Nu, maybe it isn't so simple...  Trains, cars, buses and boats are returning to popularity, at least in Europe.

That remindds me of those new-flangled electric books.  So much can go wrong.  I prefer paper ones.

And besides all that, don't forget:
"Man plans and G-d laughs."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bibi, Stop Talking; Start Building

Words, words and more words.  Everyone's reporting how Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says that no government, Right, Left or Center has ever frozen building in Jerusalem.

All I can say to Bibi is
"Prove it!  If you're not freezing building in all Jerusalem neighborhoods, then speed it up.  Streamline permit approval.  Make Jerusalem a priority for building projects, especially the more moderate priced ones with special mortgages for Israelis who don't own homes."

Unfortunately, I keep visualizing a refrigerator with a faulty thermostat.  Yes, the type that freezes the food in the fridge compartment, damaging it.  Bibi, get your thermostat fixed before you destroy our country.
The more Netanyahu talks the more suspicious I get about his true intentions.  He should declare the topic closed and just build.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

High School Essay Contest on Jabotinsky

ח"כ ראובן ריבלין – יו"ר
ח"כ אריה אלדד
ח"כ זאב אלקין
ח"כ זאב בוים
מר זאב ז'בוטינסקי
ד"ר קרני רובין
מר פלג תמיר
מר יוסי אחימאיר
גב' מרים תבין

חבר השופטים
פרופ' אריה נאור – יו"ר
פרופ' מרדכי תומרקין
פרופ' תאודור בלבריסקי
ד"ר אופירה גראווייס
גב' אמירה שטרן
מר נפתלי סילצקי
מר יוסי קיסטר

עו"ד מיכאל קליינר
עו"ד עמנואל ויזר
מר הרברט צווייבון

5 תלמידי תיכון יזכו ב 10,000 ₪ כל אחד

ארגון AFSI (Americans For Safe Israel) בשיתוף תנועת חירות העולמית
ועמותת "מסדר ע"ש זאב ז'בוטינסקי" מכריזים על תחרות חיבורים ארצית
לתלמידי תיכון. התחרות תתמקד ב- 5 נושאים מרכזיים:

• היחיד והאומה בתורת ז'בוטינסקי
• הרפורמה החברתית על פי ז'בוטינסקי
• ז'בוטינסקי בונה הכוח הצבאי העברי
• ז'בוטינסקי כעיתונאי ומשורר
• ז'בוטינסקי – מדינאי ופוליטיקאי

הפרס הראשון לזוכה בכל אחד מהתחומים – 10,000 ₪

בנוסף, ינתנו פרסים לבתי הספר שיצטיינו באחוז המשתתפים וברמת
עבודותיהם. הפרס הראשון – 35,000 ₪. הפרס השני – 20,000 ₪.

לקבלת פרטים והצטרפות ניתן לפנות
  For more information email: misdarj@gmail.com

Don't Underestimate The Arabs

Too many Israelis and Jews are still blinded by the flash of the 1967 Six Days War military miracles.  The logical rationalists have pegged credited Israel's resounding victory on the incompetence and primitive equipment of the enemy Arab armies.  This was a large ingredient in the unpreparedness of the IDF in the 1973 Yom Kippur War when Israel was taken by surprise and almost defeated.  Unfortunately, many of us still haven't fully internalized the uncomfortable and unpleasant lessons that the Arabs have improved  militarily.

In the post-Six Days War euphoria, Israel received more respect, adoration and friendship than any other time in its history.  Most Israelis and Jews refuse to recognize how short a time that honeymoon actually lasted.  They are not realistic, and that's a very dangerous fault.

Besides the military, the Arabs have improved their public relations.  Actually, they always attracted more adoration than we Jews and Israelis did.  Don't forget the legends of Lawrence of Arabia and Great Britain's giving the east bank of the Jordan, which had been earmarked (Balfour Declaration) to be part of the Jewish State, to that Hashemite sheik.

Jews got some pity when allied soldiers discovered the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, but long before the November 29, 1947 United Nations vote our fifteen minutes of fame were over.  Contrary to Hillary Clinton's speech, then President Truman wasn't definitely positive about over-ruling State Department recommendations and support voting "yes" for a Jewish state, Israel.  Don't forget that his Jewish friend is credited with convincing Truman to support a Jewish State.  If there was no doubt about American support, the friend wouldn't have had to have been sent.

Israel's Foreign Ministry and Jewish American pro-Israel lobbies aren't on the ball.  Hat tip: Boris.  Today's Arab American population is knowledgeable and sophisticated and well-connected

Few American Islamists receive the kind of glowing media coverage given to Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, who is sometimes described as the "most influential person" shaping the Obama Administration's Middle East message.

Mogahed, who claims to have played an important role in the drafting of President Obama's historic Cairo speech to the Muslim world, was appointed to serve on the President's Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council released its final recommendations last month.

We had better open our eyes to today's reality and today's enemies, both in the military and Public Relations, lobbying

MK Dr. Arieh Eldad MD likes to remind people that Israel's Right is full of scientists, who analyze facts, like himself, while the Left attracts philosophers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Dark" Mood Here in Israel? The New York Times Reporter Should Clean His Glasses

"Mood Is Dark as Israel Marks 62nd Year as a Nation"

That's how the New York Times titled is article about this year's Israeli Independence Day.  No surprise.  I disagree.  I didn't see any darkness, depression etc, not in Shiloh nor when visiting my cousin who lives west of Ariel in the Sharon, not the Shomron.

There's lots of building here actually on projects begun before Bibi Netanyahu's dangerous building freeze.  And other projects are getting ready to start the minute it thaws.  Families are waiting for houses to be ready or empty out so they can move in.

A few years ago, immediately before and after Disengagement the mood was dark and bitter, no not like fine chocolate.  No, it was more like sour soup laced with tears.

Our Israeli Independence Day celebrations were joyous looking optimistically to the future, with G-d's help.

Jewish Israel Presentation at the Israel Center

Posted by Jewish Israel

Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold and Jewish Israel present:

"Israel and the Evangelicals: a match NOT made in heaven"

Monday April 26th at 7:30pm at the Israel Center in Jerusalem, 22 Keren Hayesod St.

Introductory remarks by Rabbi Sholom Gold, Dean of the Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults, and Rabbinic Director of Jewish Israel; followed by a presentation by Jewish Israel

Please join us!


One of the best things about this year's Shiloh Independence Day Celebration was that it was run by adult residents who grew up in Shiloh, second generation.

And among the young kids who performed were third generation Shilonians. Their parents also grew up here, went to school here and their grandparents were proudly watching from the audience. That's the success of the "settlement enterprise" that our adult "youth" have either moved "back home" or to other yishuvim.  Many want their kids to enjoy the same sort of childhood they had.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bible In Israeli Education

A bit of "trivia" from this year's International Youth Bible Contest:
  1. The first prize was won by a female high school student.
  2. The three top winners are all Israeli high school students.
  3. Two of the top three winners come from families with a tradition of winning the Bible Contest.
  4. Two of the top three winners are studying in non-religious high schools.

I challenge you to think a bit and guess which Israeli high school education framework is missing.

Nu, do you know?  The key to guessing this correctly is to know what the three basic education frameworks are:
  • non-religious high schools
  • ulpanot, girls religious high schools
  • boys religious yeshiva high schools, even if the school itself doesn't like to call itself by the secular term "high school"
The winner is Or  Ashual.  She's a girl; yes, Or is sometimes a boy's name, too.  That means that this year the yeshiva high schools came out looking bad.  None of the top three winners come from that system.

One thing should be clear.  Nobody interested in competing in the contest with a chance of winning can count on their high school to prepare them.  It takes a lot of extra work and oodles of dedication.  Each year the contest focuses on a different aspect of the Bible. 

Also, the questions aren't simple test questions.  One has to learn how to understand and answer what the question is actually asking.  That's a skill in itself besides the material the teens must learn better than well.

Going back to the boys education.  In most yeshivot and religious high schools TaNaCh, Bible is not a priority subject.  In the yeshiva high school where I used to teach Bible was taught during the secular studies part of the day.  It wasn't considered a religious subject.  That always bothered me.  The afternoon was so jam-packed with Math, English, History, Science, Grammar, Computers, Literature etc that the Holy Bible got lost in the shuffle.  Bible should be a daily class in the middle of their morning G'morah study time in the Beit Medrash.

Our Bible is our history and the pledge by G-d giving us this Land.  It belongs to all Jews, the Bible and the Land.  I'm overjoyed that there are Israelis of all levels of Jewish observance enjoying the study of the Bible.  I hope that Elad Nachshon's and Avner Netanyahu's successes in the contest will encourage their high shcool friends to study our Bible.  It belongs to us all

Israel at Sixty-Two (62)

Dry Bones sums it up perfectly, as usual.

He just left out the heavy-handed American pressure, which he mentioned in the cartoon below.

The State of Israel can't rely on any foreign power or even World Jewry for help and support, but that's not new.  We can't even rely on our own politicians to promote what's best for Israeli security.  Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin made a great rousing pro-Jerusalem and settlements speech at the official Independence Day Ceremony, but he has no real power.  It's all window dressing, no more influential than the flags I've hung on my merpeset (balcony.)

Unfortunately your average Israeli is impressed and comforted by these speeches, forgetting that they are no more than words.  Even if I have no doubt that Rivlin was totally sincere  and not acting, it makes no difference.  All the pro-Land of Israel Israelis, including the Feiglin Manhigut Yehudit crowd, who voted for the Likud just got us Ehud Barak, who's an extreme Leftist dressed in IDF army fatigues.  Binyamin Netanyahu may be our Prime Minister, but we're not getting the Likud platform.  Kadima's Tsippi Livne may be in the opposition, but we're stuck with her and Labor's policies.

I don't want to leave you with a depressing Israeli Independence Day post.  That's not what I planned when I sat down here this morning before the sun was high in the sky.  Contrary to what Israel's media and politicians want us to believe, most Israelis understand that without our Land we are nothing.  Without our Land we aren't safe.  Petach Tikvah, Ramat Gan and Kfar Saba are minutes from the proposed Pseudostinian aka Palestinian sic state.  These Israeli cities won't be safe if Israel doesn't fully control the Land we have to the Jordan River.  Shiloh protects Tel Aviv.

The State of Israel is sixty-two (62) years old.  The Six Days War was just after it turned nineteen (19.)  The math is simple.  For more than two-thirds (2/3) of its existence as a modern independent state, we have been in control of Judea and Samaria.  That's the key to our continued survival.  Without our historic Biblical Land we couldn't have survived these past forty-three years.  Without our long history, we wouldn't exist at all.

Ironically, the front-runner to win today's International Youth Bible Contest is Avner Netanyahu, the youngest child of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.  At fifteen (15) he's two to three years younger than most of the finalists, and unlike most Israeli contestants he studies in a non-religious school.  According to the press, he has been tutored by his grandfathers who are history and Bible experts.  Maybe he should be tutoring his own father.

Over the millenium, Jewish History has never followed the laws of logic, therefore it's best not to attempt to predict the future.

חג עצמאות שמח
Chag Atzma'ut Sameach
Happy Israeli Independence Day

Monday, April 19, 2010

Israeli Flags Forever Flying!

Through thick and thin, no matter what the world wants and says. Wind is רוח ruach, spirit.

Just like we see in Jewish History, we will overcome our enemies.

We just must let our רוח ruach, spirit  prevail.

חג עצמאות שמח
Happy Israeli Independence Day

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates Admits: "The Emperor Has No Clothes!"

And this is an article in the pro-Obama New York Times!

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.
Officials familiar with the memo’s contents would describe only portions dealing with strategy and policy, and not sections that apparently dealt with secret operations against Iran, or how to deal with Persian Gulf allies.

One senior official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the memo, described the document as “a wake-up call.” But White House officials dispute that view, insisting that for 15 months they had been conducting detailed planning for many possible outcomes regarding Iran’s nuclear program...

Today Israel mourns its "fallen," those dead, killed by our enemies in war and terror attacks.  From Memorial Day we go straight into Independence Day, because we officially recognize that our national independence has a price, an ongoing price.  We must defend ourselves constantly, until we have no more enemies.  We won't have peace until our enemies want to be our friends and allies.  The responsibility is in their hands, not ours.  We can't trust any other country to help.

The lesson here is not to trust the United States of America to guarantee world peace. On the same hand, we can't trust their judgement, their policies concerning peace in the Middle east and Israeli security.

Who's the true fool? Danny Kaye tells and sings it perfectly.

Yisrael, batach b'Hashem
People of Israel, trust in G-d

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ehud Barak, Wrong Again. "Brave Decisions" Don't Bring Peace

We must destroy that dangerous myth.  It's a two-headed monster, a monster with the potential of, G-d forbid, destroying us.
  1. Peace is up to Israel
  2. We must be "brave" or take "risks" for peace
How many of our precious soldiers died either in vain or because their safety was considered secondary to that of possible Arab civilians?  And talking about Arab civilians and dying in vain, don't forget terrorism, Arab terrorism against innocent Jews.

Israel's Defense Minister and former Chief of Staff Ehud Barak just doesn't get it.  In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance  Kid, it's a "brave decision" to jump, and since it's a movie, they survive.  In real life they'd be dead, and in real life, Barak's suggestions will bring more terrorism.  It's a "no brainer." I've seen that movie before, done that, been there and was injured in a terror attack, too.

Simply Mysterious Havel Havelim

Simply Jews presents a simply mysterious Havel Havelim offering tempting titles, leaving the curious to check out the posts without a clue of the jblogger, except for the occasional pronoun.  Take a look and visit the posts.

49 Years Later Castro Still Rules Cuba

I remember hearing about the failed Bay of Pigs United States invasion of Cuba to stop Castro.  It was forty-nine years ago.  The United States has blinked many time since then.  That's the example I frequently give as to why Israel should ignore American pressure.

Castro's resignation from the Presidency of Cuba was due to health problems.  He currently serves as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, a position he has held since its inception in 1965.

Push comes to shove and the United States is no more than a "paper tiger."  It is true that pragmatic capitalism rules Communist China, and the USSR has collapsed, but none of those changes is due to anything the U.S. did to those countries.  Human nature is capitalist, not communist (socialist.)  All the Utopian, socialist experiments die out, because they just don't work.  And the countries ruled as socialist/communist were havens of hypocrisy, because the leaders lived in a life-style well above the ordinary citizen.

The Jewish People is one of the world's most ancient nations.  We've outlived all of our former enemies, Greeks, Romans, Persians etc.  Unlike any other nation/people, we're both a religion and a nation/people.  Our history, as written in the Bible, is well documented and recognized by others, at least in theory.  The Modern State of Israel, which is celebrating sixty-two years of independence, does not need international approval.  Craving such approval weakens us.

It's time for us to shed that dangerous mind set.  Being independent means that we ignore pressure from others and we stop trying to get international approval.  For the sake of our children, grandchildren and continued existence we must be truly and proudly and confidently independent.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Being A "Real Israeli"

One of my pet peeves, those things people say which press the "wrong button" is when I hear "olim," immigrants, and "Israelis" referred to as two different categories of people here in Israel.  I first heard it about thirty years ago from an Abie Nathan groupie when some friends and I were demonstrating against his hunger strike.

The groupie began calling out to passersby:
"Don't listen to them; they're not real Israelis."
I was outraged and marched into Nathan's tent to ask him if he thinks Israelis with accents (obvious immigrants like myself) aren't real Israelis.  He seemed genuinely upset by what the young groupie had done.  Making aliyah, choosing to live one's life in Israel should be considered on a higher level than those who were just born here, like an accident of fate.

Here I am decades later still with accented Hebrew.  We'll soon be celebrating forty years in Israel, though I may not sound very Israeli. 

Many people say that there's an "express lane" to being an Israeli.  It's not a pleasant road.  This week we'll be celebrating Israeli Independence Day which is preceded by Soldiers and Terror Victims Memorial Day.  Losing a family member or close friend in war, army action or terror attack introduces us to a different level of the Israel experience.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Taking Down the Caravilla

Taking Down the Caravilla*
by Sara Layah Shomron

My caravilla has been dismantled and trucked out of Nitzan now that my family has moved into a real house with real walls.

At first glance, the pre-fab factory built caravillas at the various Gush Katif DP camps look attractive on the outside complete with stylish terra-cotta red tile roofs, exterior yucko-stucco pre-fab walls, and lawns. They are tucked away into secluded neighborhoods. But a second look indicates it is all cosmetic.

They are powerful reminders of government deception.

Let’s look at the guts of the 90 meter caravilla*

*my camera’s dates were not properly set and are not accurate.

Let's Wait A Generation or Two

Trying to "make peace" with today's Pseudostinian AKA Palestinian sic leadership is like trying to use a manual typewriter for word processing.  The recent execution by Hamas of two Arabs for "aiding" Israel is just another of the long list of reasons proving how unready and unwilling the Arabs  are for peace with Israel.

All the calls by U.S. President Obama and others to "rush, rush, rush" are worse than false alarms.  They want us to jump out of a high window, calling "fire" without providing a safety net.

When the Arabs are ready for peace, the genuine article, we won't need anyone to mediate.  So, please, let the world butt out and let nature take its course.  I have patience.  I don't want false peace.  It would be more dangerous than those fake pharmaceuticals that bargain hunters get killed by.  And remember, you can't cut glass with a rhinestone, only genuine diamonds do the trick.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adoptions, Not Simple and Rarely Idyllic

There has been news recently about an American mother who returned her adopted son to Russia.  The headlines make her sound worse than Cinderella's evil step-mother, but I have no doubt that the situation is much more complex.

A few months ago, the news was full of condemnation of the Toyota Car Manufacturers for selling faulty cars.  Everybody's sympathy was with the car-purchasers.  Now, granted that a child isn't a car and a car isn't a child, but these foreign adoptions do have a connection to a buying  a car or any other large major  purchase.  There's marketing, and lots of money changes hands.  The "product" is a child, and the adoptive parents, like any other wise consumer, do their best to investigate the health and condition of the child.

In recent years it's very difficult to find a normal healthy baby, from a healthy mother, to adopt.  Desperate parents to be end up having to accept toddlers and even older children, or no child at all.  The older the child is, the more difficult it will be for the child to adjust to the parents' life-styles.  As a mother of adult children, I must certainly admit that my and my husband's biological children chose their own ways.  We had them from day one and nine months of pregnancy.  So imagine how hard it is to take a child who has already adjusted to the norms of an orphanage and have a totally unknown genetic and nutritional background.  The lawyers, agents, orphanage administrators etc can and do sign whatever they need to give the child to wealthy foreigners.  Of course, not all the adoptive parents are wealthy by the standards of their home society, but if they have enough money to privately adopt a foreign child, they look plenty rich when they visit that orphanage.

When people first receive their child behavioral problems are usually excused by language difficulties, different foods, customs and other perfectly acceptable reasons.  As time goes on and parents have their children examined and assessed by experts they're unpleasantly surprised to discover that their children have major and incurable conditions.  In some cases they never would have adopted the children.

They're all human beings, the parents and the children.  The children aren't guilty, but sometimes the parents just can't handle the burden, and neither can the community.  You don't keep a problematic child in a cage.  And if the child suffers from a neurological condition, she/he's always able to control behavior.

It may be easy to tell adoptive parents that they must accept the child, just like a parent whose child is born with serious problems or suffers as the result of an accident or illness.  That's not really fair nor accurate, because in today's world, doctors and society encourage the abortion of imperfect fetuses.

Adoption is very risky.  Children aren't like new cars and washing machines which can be sent back to the factory.  They're more like "used cars" which frequently come with unpleasant surprises.  Don't be naive.

Dem's Dirty Tricks Plus

Hat tip: Rush's daily email

When it comes to politics and dirty tricks, there's the subtle, sneaky, very upfront and all shades in between. The popular new American grassroots Tea Party movement must be pretty easy to infiltrate, so it's no surprise that it has been.  It brings me back decades to when Rabbi Meir Kahane started the Jewish Defense League.  That, too, was heavily infiltrated.  Friends who were sincere, honest followers complained that Kahane was very poor at distinguishing friend from FBI.  I'm certainly not saying that the FBI is infiltrating Tea Party, but don't be surprised at absolutely any revelations.  No doubt that there will be numerous "tell all" articles and books pretty soon about "crazy events" and "scandals."

As easy as it is for anyone to infiltrate the Tea Party movement, Obama kept totalitarian control over his Nuclear Conference.  Journalists had extremely limited access.  I'd say that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was wise not to show personally for many reasons.  I'm sure that Dan Meridor was the right person to be there.

I can't stop wondering who is really controlling Barack Hussein Obama...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Russian Orthodox in Israel strive to resurrect “Church of Zion”

Posted by Jewish Israel

It’s no secret that myriads of Russian Christians (hundreds of thousands?) were able to “make aliyah” via Law of Return loopholes, forged documents, or simply because they have authentic Jewish credentials but secretly identified with the Russian Orthodox Church or messianic Christian groups.

While the trend of messianic Russian congregations is well known, it appears that non-Jewish Jews and “Jewish believers in Jesus” are now filling the pews in what’s reported to be a spiritual revival of the Russian Orthodox Church in Israel.

To understand the magnitude of the problem, it’s essential to recognize that many “Christian Zionist” and messianic Christian groups continue to actively evangelize Jewish and Christian aliyah candidates in the former Soviet Union.

While in Russia or enroute to Israel, assistance in the aliyah process includes “spiritual guidance”, “intercession” and exposure to Christian scripture. Missionary efforts and Christian indoctrination continue for the immigrants once here in Israel, with a number of Russian Jews embracing Christianity post-aliyah.

In this must read post, Jewish Israel takes our readership on a whirlwind “fishing” expedition through some chilling waters “from the land of the North” – and our report is just the tip of the iceberg...

It's Not Enough To Buy The Book; You Have To Read It

Hat tip AJG

When I was an EFL English Teacher, I was always reminding my students that touching a list of words translated from English to Hebrew wasn't going to make them automatically transferred to their brains.  They had to work hard and study the material.

Now, when I read all these optimistic, self-congratulatory articles about Obama's healthcare bill being passed, Americans who are expecting their medical care to now be easily affordable and available to all...  It's like those kids thinking that the necessary English vocabulary would magically go from paper to fingers to brain.

Americans, you don't know if the healthcare bill will do the job, or just end up being modern snake oil.  Even though the long convoluted bill does include a schedule of stages, just like any major government project, there will most likely be delays and cost-overruns.  The public and politicians will discover that passing the bill was the easy part.

Wait before blowing up the balloons and partying.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kam Case: Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Baloney?

The following is my translation of an editorial which appears in today’s Yisrael HaYom [link below] newspaper in Hebrew.

The Kam Case: Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Baloney?
by Uri Heitner, Yisrael HaYom

Immediately upon exposure of the Kam affair, it was clear that for certain groups in Israeli society, a new hero was born. I knew that Kam would be portrayed as a heroine: a knight of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom for the struggle against the ‘corrupt occupation’ and so forth.

Indeed, since publication of the affair, we’ve read dozens of articles about an important journalist who sits in detention because she revealed the war crimes of Israel. The second journalist involved, Uri Blau, has informed us, without the least bit of modesty, that he did not struggle at all on his own behalf, rather but on behalf of Israel.

Articles of support maintain that the great sin of Kam amounts to the fact that she has a world-view that led her to reveal illegal acts of Israel. Or, alternatively, some argue that she just did her duty of conscience, and that the problematic factor here is the IDF, whose injustices she has exposed.

Well, even if we are a ‘baloney-ridden’ State, such a concentration of nonsense has not been seen here in a long time. Then there is nothing further from the issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the press than this case.

The "journalist" that was arrested, is rather an Internet website gossip columnist. There is no connection at all between her vocation and her arrest.

After all, she was not arrested for her work as a ‘journalist’, but for what she did as a soldier. As a soldier, she stole classified documents, kept them, and passed some on. This is the truth under the false code of "free press".

To understand the significance of the act, one should just remember the Jonathan Pollard affair.

Pollard copied several documents and passed them on to a party to which he not authorized. And although this was not a party hostile to the United States, and it is clear that Pollard did not want to harm US interests, he was convicted of espionage and betrayal and sentenced to life imprisonment. He’s been sitting in solitary confinement since, for 25 years already. And remember, that’s the US, the world democratic power. But when Israel wants to defend itself, it is immediately compared to Iran.

Kam stole thousands of secret documents, even top secret ones, from the Army [IDF] while taking advantage of the trust placed in her. Is it possible to exaggerate the severity of this crime?

Whether she did it for ideological reasons, wanting to harm State security, or for personal reasons, is an important but secondary question. The real question is whether there is a connection, even the slightest connection between this serious story and the freedom of the press. Indeed, with regard to the freedom of press, security officials have been strict with themselves to maintain it, in terms of Uri Blau and the documents in his hands.

Only after it became clear that he violated the agreement he signed and continues to hold, illegally, confidential documents (and so far, I have not heard from him a denial of this claim) – did he become a wanted person.

The public should not be captivated by the charlatans who blast the sirens of harm to the freedom of the press. This is an offense against security laws, and in a State of law, violation of the law requires that such offenses be prosecuted.