Hamas War

Monday, February 28, 2011

What Can Be Seen on Israeli Roads

I got very nervous when I saw these two strange buses with Jordanian markings on the road near French Hill, Jerusalem, going towards Pisgat Zeev, Maale Adumim.

Yes, so as you can see, I immediately whipped out my camera and started shooting.  Luckily I was with a friend who lives in Kfar Adumim who informed me that she sees this sort of bus pretty frequently making the Israel-Jordan, Jordan-Israel run.  I could see a bit through the windows, and the passengers seemed to be men dressed in suits.  Are these diplomats or businessmen?  Does anyone have any information?

Frume Sarah's Latest Havel Havelim

Frume Sarah is now a frequent HH hostess and always does a great job.  Take a look!

I don't know why she called this edition "A MishMash," because it's done in her usual very professional way.  Nu, take a look and visit all the blogs included.

Frume Sarah, thanks so much!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Will Greet Us on Rosh Chodesh Adar II At Tel Shiloh

Rosh Chodesh Adar II is next week.  Purim is just two weeks later!

On Rosh Chodesh Adar I, not only did a neighbor and I brave the lovely winter rains and winds, but we discovered we werent alone. There were Japanese tourists at Tel Shiloh.

G-d willing Tel Shiloh will be decorated with wild flowers or more blessed rain or both when we go to Tel Shiloh for our Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Adar II
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אדר ב' בתל שילה
יום א' 6-3
יהיה דבר תורה קצר
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

I'd Love to Hear Such Words From Israel:

Abbas: $460 million in US aid "does not mean they dictate to us whatever they want"
In Perkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, we're taught that we're supposed to learn from everyone, and yes, I have no doubt that even Mahmoud Abbas has what to teach us.  The less doubt and compromise you display the less people pressure you.

And of course, Castro's Cuba is the best example/proof that being the United States #1 enemy is not a death sentence.  Castro has outlived his opposition, internal and external.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran proves the point that even being a good friend of America doesn't guarantee support and survival when you need it.

And yes, all of my examples are dictatorships, and Israel is a democracy with the la la Left controlling the courts, media and universities.  So, when you take that into consideration, Israel is under the dictatorship of the la la Left, a very dangerous situation and the reason why our politicians spout Leftist dogma, ideology, rather than what's really best for the secure future of the State of Israel in the Land of Israel.

The only thing that will truly save us would be leadership not looking to curry favor with other nations. Israel must have true Jewish leaders, not followers of other nations and ideologies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thanks to Caroline Glick The Tribal Update brings you the Arab Democracy Anthem

Yes, it's the weekly broadcast of the RIGHT  news.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's A Wasted Vote to Vote Likud and Other Coalition Joining Parties

There was a very important vote this week in the Knesset.  If it would have passed, we Israeli citizens, tax-paying, law-abiding Israeli citizens would have been given full legal rights.  Our towns and cities would have been recognized as sovereign Israeli instead of the second or third class status we now suffer. 

Only four MK's voted for the bill which had been sponsored by the Ichud Leumi, National Union.  The Likud MK's who had been recommended in the primaries by Moshe Feiglin's Manhigut Yehudit  Jewish Leadership fled the plenum and the Likud ministers voted against.  I never expected the NRP (Jewish Home) by any other name to do anything to risk their coalition status and perks.  Ditto for Avigdor Lieberman's faux Right pro-Land of Israel party.  He used the words to attract the votes, but his MK's are even worse than the Likud's, as you can see in the Mattot Arim "report card."

The Israeli political system is multiple parties, not an American two party one.  That means that you have to vote for the party that can be relied on to support what's important to you.  And, if you're like me and, consider Israel's survival dependent on Jewish presence and sovereignty in all of the Land of Israel, the choice is a simple one.  Vote Ichud Le'umi, National Union.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Rocket falls on Beersheba," What? Like Rain?

I hate these sorts of titles and headlines.  The Jerusalem Post's article on the Arab attack on Beersheva made things worse by adding "Following Katyusha fire in Negev..." Do these things happen all by themselves, like spontaneous combustion?  Nu?  Who launched these weapons at Israel?  I stress the who, because people, not chance, not G-d are guilty of attacking Israel and its civilians.

But as much as I dislike the headline, at least it's big news in the Jerusalem Post.  I just checked the New York Times which at this moment, hours after the Arab attack on the main city of Israel's south, there isn't a mention.  Surprisingly, BBC has a better title to their article than the Jerusalem Post:
Gaza militants fire rockets at Beersheba, Israel

Of course I disagree with their use of the word "militants," but at least they rightly put the blame on the Gazans.

That's much better than ynet:

Grad rocket hits Beersheba
Gaza terror reaches Negev capital for first time since Operation Cast Lead. Grad rocket explodes in Beersheba house yard...
No people seem to be involved in their version of the attack. It reads like one of those science fiction stories in which computers take control.

Arutz 7 got it right with:
Terrorists Fire Two Rockets at Be'er Sheva; IDF Retaliates

And lastly, at least for me, will be Haaretz's top story at this moment:
Grad rockets fired at Be'er Sheva for first time since Gaza war

One missile hit building in residential area, causing damage; no casualties reported; Palestinians report Israeli air strike retaliation, wounding two Islamic Jihad militants.
Grammatically, at least, someone/something is blamed for firing the rockets, though we're not specifically told who or what.

An important headline should never be written in passive, because as news it must indicate an active subject. A good news title must be clear, and the first sentence should summarize the story giving a Who, What, When and Where. Too many news titles leave out the "Who," because they don't want to connect the Arabs, Gazans, or what they call "Palestinians" with terrorism and violence.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shvut Rachel is Getting Closer

It used to be that we'd look out our front windows and only see an empty valley.  At night we'd see, and still see, lights from the other side of the Jordan. Considering our Betar background, living in Shiloh, where we can see two sides of the Jordan, just like we sing in the song, "Shtay Gadot LaYarden."

After our neighbor Rachella Druk was murdered two things were immediately established in her memory, the Shiloh Cemetery and the community of Shvut Rachel.  It once seemed far away, but more houses and caravans are popping up in the valley connecting us.  There are many young families moving in. Rachella would have liked that.

Will Things Quiet Down in The Arab Middle-East? And How Accurate is the Reporting?

Is there anything the rest of the world can do to calm things down, or are these spreading riots in Arab North Africa like some virus that must run their course?

Here's a media darling used to promote the idea that the protesters want a better life.

Most pundits can't accept that these spreading riots won't give the citizens of those countries a better life.  U.S. President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister Cameron are among those in la la land, because they refuse to recognize the true situation.

Rioters/demonstrators chosen to appear in the international media are chosen to portray the image, the agenda, that the media wants us to see.  Everything is scripted.  They are casting directors, like in the movies.  They provide professional image-making.

Years ago, when we were frequently featured in the international press and media as typical "settlers," I finally realized why.  It wasn't that we were the most eloquent, intelligent, photogenic or that the reporters liked my cooking.  It was because the international media liked to show that Jewish residents of Judea and Samara (and then Gush Katif, too) are foreigners, immigrant Israelis, new-comers, not native to the region.  They didn't want Israelis whose English had been taught in Israeli schools.

One time we were asked to help the "casting director" find a Right wing immigrant Israeli from the Hebron area and a native Leftist Israeli from a kibbutz.  So I have no doubts that everyone you see peacefully demonstrating in those Arab cities were very carefully chosen and probably prompted, rehearsed and well-edited.  No, nobody ever gave me a script to read, but my words were edited to suit the agenda of the media.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

According to Jewish Law, Is Gadhafi a Mamzer?

hat tip Shy Guy

Israel Matzav has the sorry it's just in Hebrew youtube story that Muammar Gadhafi's mother's mother was a Jew who fled her Jewish husband and married a Sheik.  Carl missed that important point, that his grandmother fled her Jewish husband. So, if she fled, she didn't divorce him. The family members who were interviewed didn't mention a divorce. So if Gadhafi's mother was halachikly a mamzer. A mamzer is a child from a forbidden union like when a married woman commits adultry and has a child with another man.

Whether or not it's really true, I don't know if the family can really prove it.

Anti-Semitic Graffiti

This was taken by a Shiloh neighbor,  Miriam Feyga Bunimovich.  The sign is at the old bus stop to Ma'ale Levona near Eli.  The Hebrew says that it's forbidden to hang up signs, or you'll have to pay a fine.  And of course I don't read Arabic, so I don't know what's written in that language.  The English is clear, and the hand-writing seems native English speaker or well taught.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Always Time For Havel Havelim

By the time I got back from the NCSY Ben Zakkai Honor Society event honoring the Luchins and Leffs, it was time to sleep so I didn't post about this week's Havel Havelim.  It's at Susan B's to Kiss a Mezuzah.  So, hurry on over, post about it and read the articles.

Know Your Enemies, Rule #One for Survival

Our la la Lefty leaders seem to be phobic about the truth.  It's obvious that facts and history will only get in the way of their ideologies. 

Gabi Ashkenazi and I may root for the same IFL football team, but I think his headline-grabbing proposal to give the Golan to Syria is worse than fokokt.  It's dangerous and suicidal.  It's much worse than Disengagement, being that the Golan overlooks northern Israel and was used by Syria to attack innocent Israelis during the nineteen difficult years Syria held it.  With today's weaponry, Israel wouldn't survive.  I don't know what is going on in Ashenazi's mind, but if he thinks that this is his key to a new career, I suggest that he stay in the Kraft Stadium bleachers and enjoy his retirement.

All of the recent rioting in the neighboring Arab world should prove to him how dangerous it is to think that Syria would remain quiet if fed such a juicy piece of real estate.

Syria looms enormous compared to the Golan and Israel.
  • Why put the Arabs any closer to us?
  • Why forcibly remove more innocent Israelis from their homes?
  • Why reward our enemies with our Land? 
The world and Israel in particular had better wake up and face the truth. There are no benign Arab nations.  The western world is in danger, and all the recent riots aren't for democracy and civil rights.  Wise up!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Huckabee Speaks at Messianic Missionary Banquet

Posted by Jewish Israel

That's not kosher chicken Mike Huckabee is eating with messianic missionary Jonathan Bernis.

Just over three months ago, Mike Huckabee was the celebrated keynote speaker at the the ninth annual banquet of the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI).

MJBI is a deceptive and aggressive Christian missionary organization which exists for the sole purpose of converting Jews.

Does this indicate that there may be a serious chink in the armor of Israel's latest white knight?

Jewish Israel has written a respectful letter of concern to Mr. Huckabee and we hope to get a reply to some difficult questions.

Mr. Huckabee needs to be told in no uncertain terms that supporting Israel while simultaneously sanctioning missionary activity directed at Jews is seen as an irreconcilable and conflicting agenda by many in the Jewish community, who would otherwise enthusiastically endorse his political aspirations.

Huckabee's high profile appearances with messianic missionary leaders and performers should be of concern to Jewish leaders in Israel and the Diaspora. This is a disturbing report…more

Latma, Sorry It's Late

There's nothing more Right to start the week than Latma's latest, brought to you by Caroline Glick.

Here are a few versions and the clip that inspired this week's Latma broadcast-Tribal Update, the nursery rhyme Ode to Muhammad.

Different Cultures, Different Values

  • Right and wrong are taught. 
  • Right and wrong differ from culture to culture.
What's known as "western," Jewish-Christian culture would never accept or encourage kamikazi pilots, suicide terrorism or self-immolation (burning oneself to death.)

It's not racism to state that Muslim Arabs embrace a culture very different from the "western" one.  That's a good reason for Israel to stop negotiating "peace" with the Arabs, because the Arab concepts of "peace" and "negotiations" are fatally and inherently different from ours.

The recent rape of journalist Lara Logan is a case in point.  Just now, as I was googling for news articles about it, I was disappointed that most were from the non-conventional news sites and blogs, not the large mainstream ones.  That means that the big newspapers and news sites have been playing down the attack.  I found an article in the New York Post, because it was mentioned some place else.  Why has the rape been downplayed?  I guess it's just not PC to say that Muslim Arab mobs unapologetically do things considered immoral and unthinkable elsewhere.

I've said many times that I'm a pragmatist.  That puts me on the ideological Right.  I'm a realist.  That reminds me of some very wise words from MK Dr. Arieh Eldad, MD, Ha'Ichud Le'umi, National Union.  He has stated that it must be remembered that there are many scientists, those who deal with real logic on the Right.  They can't pretend; they must see things as they are.

Yes, as I've been saying, all these riots in Muslim Arab countries endanger world peace, and the fact that United States President Barack Hussein Obama finds these riots encouraging and supports them should frighten the "western world."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mount Zion, Jewish For Sure

A few weeks ago, I found myself wandering around Mount Zion with the best tour guide imaginable, Rabbi Goldstein of Yeshivat HaTfutzot, the Diaspora Yeshiva.  It was the highlight of my adventure with a lantzman.  Some of you may recognize the other person in the pictures.  That's Ruby Harris who was one of the regulars in the lengendary Diaspora Yeshiva Band.

I'd like to leave you with the music, that still reverberates on the Holy Site.

And just remember, if Jesus ever did have a meal there, he ate it as a Jew. The Vatican doesn't like to remember that. I have no doubt that Jesus wouldn't like that new-fangled religion trying to take over the Holy Jewish site.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Turmoil in The Arab World

I hate to say "I told you so," but I did predict that the rioting would spread.  To me it's just so obvious, I can't understand how anyone can honestly believe that the demonstrators are really for benign western style democracy.  Remember how U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama was raised and his mother's extreme Leftist ideology.  He really may be incapable of comprehending what's going on

It's not going to be easy for the American military to leave Iraq with dignity.  Either they will have to stay or they'll flee, like from Vietnam.  Yes, the riots have reached Iraq.  And they're rioting in Lybia and Bahrain, too.

And about Egypt...  now that the military has taken over, things seem to be getting worse for the general population.  Will they soon miss the days of Hosni Mubarak?  Well, they wanted change. 

Maybe it was the military who secretly instigated the riots because they didn't want Mubarak's son to take over....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nixon in China, Begin and Sadat, Arik Sharon's Disengagement

I doesn't matter how convincingly a politician speaks when capmpaigning.  You never now how he/she'll react once in office.

Would anyone have guessed that Conservative ol' Richard/Dick Nixon would go to China aftrer being elected President of the United States?  Today's the anniversary.

Now China's ecomony is very strong, looking even better than America's.

Post facto, it makes sense that Mengachem Begin would want to do something unexpected, be the "peacemaker" and give Sadat's Egypt the Sinai, as if it was a flower from his private garden.  Was Nixon's China move among his inspirations for it?

And how could Arik Sharon, who was so instrumental and supportive in building Jewish Communities in YESHA, agree to banish, ethnically cleanse Gush Katif?

I'm still waiting for an American President to make friends with Cuba. 

Watch The Cards Fall

Listening to some world leaders, like the la la Americans Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U. S. President Barack Hussein Obama, cheering on the Arab "protest" movement, I'm reminded of some classes I taught who insisted that James Bond was a real person.  Fantasy and reality are all mixed up in their minds.

"Spreading unrest..." I love the euphemistic terms used. Does it mean contagious insomnia? I keep thinking of the instability of a house of cards.

The truth is that the protests are violent and the demonstrators are rioting.

Apparently, Obama isn't surprised by the spreading riots, but his support is totally misplaced.  The various anti-government forces in the Arab world aren't the intellectual, academic refuseniks like those who protested in the USSR.

Please don't get me wrong.  I don't support totalitarian dictatorships, but the rioters in the street will not form a western style democracy.  They'll just put new dictators in to share out the goodies and abuse the population.  It doesn't matter how much money and how many modernizing and democracy programs western countries will pay for.  You can't change the leopard's spots.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Official NO To Segregation on Egged Buses, At Least on Some of Them

That’s what this sign says.
Every passenger has the right to sit wherever he/she wants, except if it's a seat reserved for the handicapped. Abusing/threatening another passenger is a criminal offense.

No Passengers Yet, But The Train is Running on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road

We ordinary people aren't allowed on the trains yet, but it's no longer a rare sight to see the lightrail moving down Jerusalem's main drag, Rechov Yaffo, Jaffa Road.  All other vehicles have been banished, and the earthly powers haven't yet figured out how to get ambulances there when needed.

I was impressed at how full the sidewalks were the other day.  I hope that the pedestrians are patronizing the local businesses.

The stations/stops are lit up with times and notices in three languages, Hebrew, Arabic and English.  I managed to video the train moving and uploaded it to youtube.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Caroline Glick Saved The Evening

Last night was the Elitzur Memorial Evening at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which I attended.  The subject was the book launch of Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin - Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence.  It's no secret that I'm on the negative end of ambivalent about the entire Camp David/Sinai to Egypt historic decision/event.  That puts me in a very perilous/awkward position as wife of the co-editor of the book who is also a senior employee of the center.

So I psyched myself up to behave well, not embarrass anyone and even try to enjoy it.  I think I did a pretty good job, especially when Caroline Glick spoke.  She was the second of the three speakers, and she got the longest and most enthusiastic applause.  So, obviously, I wasn't alone in my apprehensions.  She prefaced her talk by saying that it's the basis of "tomorrow's column."  Well, "tomorrow" is today, and here's the link to it on her site.

Here are a few highlights:
The effect of Sadat's visit on the Israeli psyche generally and on Begin's mindset in particular was profound. A new book of the two leaders' correspondence, Peace in the Making: The Menachem Begin-Anwar Sadat Personal Correspondence edited by Harry Hurwitz and Yisrael Medad of the Begin Heritage Center presents readers with a portrait of the Israeli leader enthralled with the belief that he and Sadat were embarking their nations on the road to a peaceful future.

But it was not to be. Whether Sadat was purposely deceptive or whether he was simply blocked from implementing his vision of peace by an assassin's bullet in 1981is unclear. True, he committed Egypt committed to peace. The peace treaty contains an entire annex devoted to specific commitments to cultivate every sort of cultural, social and economic tie imaginable. But both Sadat and his successor Mubarak breached every one of them.

As the intervening 32 years since the treaty was signed have shown, in essence, the deal was nothing more than a ceasefire. Israel surrendered the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and in exchange, Egypt has not staged a military attack against Israel from its territory.

In 1977 Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States. And Carter was the most hostile president Israel had faced. His negative attitude towards Israel made it all but impossible for Begin to walk away from the table. When Carter's antagonism is coupled with Sadat's romantic pledges of everlasting peace and brotherhood, it is easy to understand why Begin agreed to overpay for a ceasefire.

WHILE BEGIN'S behavior during the negotiations is relatively easy to understand, Israel's behavior since the peace with Egypt was signed is less comprehensible, and certainly less forgivable. Since Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1981, it has been the state's consistent policy to ignore Egypt's bad faith. This 30-year refusal of Israel's leadership to contend with the true nature of the deal Israel achieved with Egypt has had a debilitating impact both on Israel's internal strategic discourse as well as on its international behavior.
Under the ceasefire, with Israeli approval and encouragement, Egypt has built a modern, US-trained and armed military. And for 30 years, that military has been training to fight Israel.

On the other side, Israel stopped training in desert warfare and stopped gathering intelligence on the Egyptian military. As far as IDF commanders and successive defense ministers have been concerned, there was no reason to prepare for war or care about Egypt's preparations for war because we were at peace.

On the international stage, our leadership's refusal to acknowledge that Egypt had not abandoned its belligerent attitude against Israel was translated into an abject refusal to admit or deal with the fact that Egypt leads the international political war against Israel. Rather than fight back when Egyptian diplomats at the UN instigate anti-Israel resolution after anti-Israel resolution, Israeli diplomats have pretended that there is no reason for concern.

The same is the case regarding Egyptian anti-Semitism. Before the peace treaty, the Foreign Ministry prepared regular reports on anti-Semitism in the Egyptian media and school system. These reports were distributed at embassies and consulates throughout the world. After the treaty was signed, the reports were filed away and never spoken of.
Israel failed to consider the implications of signing a deal with a military dictator on the prospects for the deal's longevity. In an interview with Der Spiegel last week the Muslim Brotherhood's puppet Mohammed ElBaradei explained those implications. As ElBaradei put it, Israel has "a peace treaty with Mubarak, but not one with the Egyptian people."

THE ADVANTAGE of having a good relationship with a dictator is that he can deliver quickly. The disadvantage is that once he is gone no one is bound by his decisions because he doesn't represent anyone.
AS ISRAEL moves into the uncharted territory of managing its relations with the post-Mubarak Egypt, it is imperative that our leaders understand the lessons of the past.

Fantasies are no match for reality. Aggression must be fought, not wished away. And the world is a dynamic place. Today's solutions will likely be irrelevant tomorrow as new challenges eclipse the current ones. Our strategies must be rational, flexible and sober-minded if we are to chart a forward course rather than be thrown asunder by the coming storm.

And we must never put all our eggs in anyone's basket.

It was on one hand nice to hear an expert like Caroline Glick voice opinions so similar to my own, but I must admit that with all her facts so simply and intelligently expressed, I became depressed.  According to Glick, Israel is in more danger than I had realized.  This is the fault of successive Israeli political and military leadership for the past thirty-plus years, long after Menachem Begin's rule as Prime Minister.  To think that we have to depend on Ehud Barak as Defense Minister is frightening.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has given him much too much freedom of decision to format policy.

Israel needs good competent leadership, true leadership, leaders who aren't afraid to do what's right even when there's international and internal criticism.

Are "Suckers" and "Bloggers" Synonyms?

Last night, at the Elitzur Evening at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, another blogger and I were asked why we weren't making big money like the Huffington Post sale to AOL.
There have been reports in The New York Times and elsewhere that Facebook is now valued at $50 billion, and The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter had been in low-level talks with both Google and Facebook, with some estimates putting the value of the company at $10 billion. Tumblr, the short-form blogging service, is storming along a similar, if more demure path, while Quora, a site built on user-generated questions and answers, seems to be on its way. And at the beginning of last week, The Huffington Post agreed to be sold for $315 million to AOL.
The funny thing about all these frothy millions and billions piling up? Most of the value was created by people working free. (Emphasis mine)
We spend hours getting our messages across every day, and at most we receive virtual recognition.  I do try to limit my investment by only using free internet services, which does have a downside at times.  There's a limit to even my foolishness.  I'm not that easy a mark, at least that's what I keep telling myself.

I blog on blogger/google/gmail; the slashes are to indicate that they're all the same company.  Some people are getting very rich, but the money doesn't trickle down this far to this very principled blogger in her unheated den in the holy city of Shiloh.  A big advantage of my blogging is that now I can control which of my words get presented to the world, unlike the pre-blog times when journalists would spend hours or even days with me and then publish at most a few of my words, sometimes so distorted or dismissive I would wonder why I had agreed to host them, feed them and sometimes even allow them to sleep over.

Recently I helped a neighbor start a blog.  She was very receptive to the principle that it shouldn't cost her any money.  I'll never forget all the help/content I gave to someone else who had always looked down on what he considered inferior, freebie services.  He paid some internet company to "host" his blog/site, which really was a fantastic one, but when the money gave out, it disappeared, the downside of virtual.  Bli eyin haraa, not to tempt the "evil eye," but free blogger is a better investment.  At least my blog still exists, and blogger updates its services quite frequently.

Would people pay me if I put one of those paypal links begging for funds on my blogs?  Or would I really get money from the ads google would love to have on my blogs?  I'm about to take off the webads logo, because the company seems to be inactive now.  I used to give the small payments received to our local synagogue as a donation.

Back to my original question:
Are "Suckers" and "Bloggers" Synonyms?

Monday, February 14, 2011

An "Illness" More Contageous Than HIV

As usual, Yaakov Kirschen's Dry Bones is right on target, another bull's eye.  Though the message is far from pleasant.  Antisemitism is a great danger to us all and spreads uncontrollably.

And talking about accurate, though not pleasant, bli neder, (don't hold me to it,) G-d willing, I'll blog tomorrow about Caroline Glick's talk at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

Do Rami Levi and Yafiz Products Make it in to Gaza?

The other day at work in Yafiz, the Rami Levi clothing store, a customer pointed out various apparel and told me their prices in Ramallah.  I'd been wondering why so many of our good customers are Arabs.  The women don't buy their scarves from us, because they're less expensive in Ramallah.  But they do buy baby clothes and fashionable clothes including men's jackets.  One once asked if an item had been made in China, so I read the tiny Hebrew lettering which confirmed that his guess was right.

Yes, in Ramallah and the smaller towns and villages in Judea and Samaria quite a few people have closets full of Israeli clothes and pantries full of Israeli manufactured food.  Gazans aren't supposed to do thatDo their cousins from Judea and Samaria bring them presents from Rami Levi and Yafiz, like we used to get from America?

I don't know where the products sold in Ramallah, even in their mall, come from.  A few years ago, there was news that H & O opened in the mall, but I don't know today's situation.  I just see lots of happy, satisfied Arab customers leaving Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin with bulging bags.  And there are many more Arabs pushing overflowing shopping carts full of products they apparently can't buy locally, certainly not at Rami Levi prices.

Many of the Arabs who shop at Yafiz are educated and/or used to foreign travel and speak to me in English, not Hebrew.  It's rare for an Arab woman to know Hebrew; the Arabs who speak Hebrew are men.  Sometimes my lack of Arabic is a problem, but I do my best to communicate with pantomime and written numbers.

When I accepted the job in Yafiz, I had no idea that I'd be spending a good portion of my working day with Arabs.  I just needed an easy job which would be easy to get to and return home from.  I don't consider my strong belief that we Jews should be living in and ruling all of the Land of Israel as anti-Arab.  If they are willing to live peacefully with us and obey our laws, they can stay.

This Land is Our Land, historic Jewish Land.  The Bible documents our ancient history, and we Jews are descended from those very same Biblical characters.  The Jewish religion is the same Jewish religion as formulated in the Bible.  In another month we will celebrate the holiday of Purim.  In Shiloh we celebrate a double Purim, two days, two feasts and four readings of Megilat Ester, The Scroll of Esther.  Each year when I listen carefully to the narrative, I'm amazed, impressed anew, when I hear the list of commandments of how we are to celebrate the Jewish victory over Haman.  Here we are in the Twenty-First Century, thousands of years after Esther, Mordechai, King Achashverosh and Haman lived, and we are still celebrating as depicted in that Biblical Book. 

Our ancient, Biblical enemies have long been destroyed, but we still live and thrive, Baruch Hashem, thank G-d.  I see it at work every day I go.  And no doubt, when we return again to our ancient city of Gaza, Rami Levi will open a branch there, too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Great HH From the Rebbetzin's Husband

The Rebbetzin's Husband made great efforts to gather all the posts for this week's Havel Havelim.  I must admit that I was going into a panic as I searched for my posts in HH #304.  Yes, panic's the word, it seemed to be winding down, and not a single, solitary one of my posts had been included.  I had tried not to submit too many; maybe I hadn't submitted any at all.  Then finally I read the sweetest words a jblogger could read:
And in what may be my favorite part of doing HH, the prolific Batya presents..."
My very own section.  I hope that  the intrepid Havel Havelim readers will read to the end and visit my posts.  There's quite a variety.  And of course visit HH and all the posts included. 

Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

Rabbi Riskin Breaks Theological Ground in Jerusalem

Posted by Jewish Israel

Today and Tomorrow, Ohr Torah Stone’s Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Efrat is sponsoring an interfaith theological conference and exploring the subjects of, “Covenant, Mission and Conversion” at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem.

While it's being billed as a "first" international conference which introduces "groundbreaking material" and "new research", Rabbi Riskin previously sponsored an identical conference at Yale last year, with the same speakers and papers being used. Jewish Israel's reports about that conference are available in both English and Hebrew and are certainly worth reviewing at this time.

Representatives from Jewish Israel will be at the Van Leer conference today and tomorrow and we will keep our readership informed of developments… more

Tip of the Iceberg, or Should We Say Pyramid

There's a pretty weak joke making its rounds via email warning the Egyptians that if they destroy their pyramids, we won't rebuild them, signed, the Jews.  Yes, according to Jewish tradition we built those pyramids when we were slaves in Egypt.

My gut feeling is that the present "unrest" rioting in Egypt and the rest of the Arab world is more like the tip of the iceberg.  There's lots more underneath, yet to emerge.  And like an iceberg, it will float around, impossible to control.

That's one of the reasons that even United States President Barack Hussein Obama's latest, more carefully crafted statement about the revolt in Egypt and Hosni Mubarak's fleeing to Sharm Al Sheik may be as secure as the Titanic was before the iceberg punctured it.

Obama strongly sympathizes with the rebellion:
"...The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America."

Naive is my most optimistic reaction to his words. Thousands of miles safely protected in America, he won't be affected by the fall-out. It's interesting that the Mubarak family's first shelter is close to Israel, in Sharm Al Sheik and far from the United States. I wonder where they will permanently settle.

I also wonder what's next.  In no way do I share Obama's optimism.  I'm not comforted by the proper pc words of the present Egyptian rulers.  From my vantage point in Shiloh, the genuine original Biblical city, things do look very different.  No doubt, time will tell.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Synagogue Membership, Simple Capitalism

re: American Jewry

Yes, simple capitalism, supply and demand.
There are too related articles in The Forward.  One is about the shrinking numbers in the "liberal" Jewish memberships.  The second is about independent minyanim.

It's human nature to try to preserve the status quo, but at the same time change is constant.  I can never reconsile the contradiction between those who both believe in evolution and get all hysterical about the fact that some species are not only endangered, they disappear completely.  I find it easier to believe in G-d and accept that not everything lasts forever.

I grew up in new Bayside, New York during the 1950's and early 1960's.  The area was almost totally Jewish, lots of young families.  The main, only for quite a while, synagogue was the Oakland Jewish Center, which was affiliated with United Synagogue and was Conservative.  At that point there wasn't all that much of a difference between the Modern Orthodox and Conservative.  The two big differences were in the seating, mixed at Conservative and Conservative also had a late evening Friday night service.  Many Conservative shuls had rabbis who considered themselves Orthodox.  OJC grew and grew in membership and physical size during the years we knew it.  We moved away in 1962.  There was a large Hebrew School, which I attended three days a week.  It fit the needs and wants of most of the community.  Those who wanted a more Orthodox congregation established the Young Israel of Windsor Park, which is just a few blocks away.

During the High Holidays, Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur a large tent was put up for youth services.  The synagogue's large rooms and halls were all packed.  That's how I remember it.  About ten years ago, someone I know ended up there in Bayside during the Holidays.  He wanted to a synagogue to pray in, and Conservative suited him, so he went to OJC.

Forty years after my time there, he found a totally different congregation.  In a depressingly empty sanctuary some of the old-timers and their visiting children and grandchildren gathered for prayers.  They mourned the fact that the synagogue and community were dying.  The visitor was amazed.  I'm not.

I wonder how many of my Hebrew School classmates are members of American synagogues.  And of those who are, how many are members of Conservative ones?  I live in Israel as a Torah Jew.  How many of my former classmates live as Jews?  raised their children as Jews?  Our parents established and joined Oakland Jewish Center to give us a Jewish community, Jewish education and for themselves a Jewish social and religious life, which didn't make too many demands.  That may be the key.

The more demanding your Judaism, the more you need a synagogue, rabbi and community.  "Liberal Judaism" isn't all that demanding.  Kashrut is less stringent or not required.  Thrice-daily dovening with a minyan isn't the norm.  Yes, many do make efforts for Shabbat to be different from the rest of the week, but they aren't as tied to home and synagogue as the Orthodox.

Now, about the independent minyanim.  Are they family friendly or more like modern shtiblach, small private synagogues without the large overhead?  Will they "leach" away members from the more conventional shuls?  Or will some evolve into larger congregations.

Life is always in flux, and that certainly includes Jewish communal life.

Honenu, Latma and Caroline Glick

Well, to my knowledge there's no direct connection Honenu, Latma and Caroline Glick, besides the fact that they're all on my sidebar/blogroll.  Honenu is the Legal Aid group that helps Jews who have been arrested unfairly.  A typical case is when Arabs attack Jews, and then when they try to defend themselves the Jews are arrested for violence against Arabs.  There are many cases like this.

Yes, it would make good fodder for Latma's Right news, the Tribal Update, their television-on-internet satire show.   Here's their latest, Revolution in Egypt and the Supreme Court!

Please enjoy Latma whicle I translate the Honenu news  into English.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Does Mubarak Want to Die In The Saddle?

International and Egyptian political pundits (including bloggers like myself) are doing a "will he, won't he" concerning  Egypt's very unpopular President Hosni Mubarak.  Nu, will he resign or die in office, whether from natural or manmade causes? 
Instead, Mr. Mubarak, 82, a former general, struck a defiant, even provocative note. While he acknowledged for the first time that his government had made mistakes, he made it clear that he was still president and that reforms in Egypt would proceed under his government’s supervision and according to the timetable of elections in September.
You'd think at his age, he'd want a little quiet time and retire/resign, but now he refuses.  Does he realize how dangerously unpopular he is? 

Most world leaders are far removed from the ordinary folk they rule.  They don't read newspapers, nor watch the news on TV.  They get predigested, edited and carefully composed "news digests" from their staff.  They certainly don't meet with the riff-raff ordinary citizens, nor hear their honest opinions.

In a sense those leaders are sometimes misled by their advisors who, for their own reasons, want to keep the status quo, or extend their own power to cash in.

Whatever happens in Egypt will be bad news for Egypt and the world.  Egypt will be in turmoil until a ruler, whether a new one or Mubarak takes firm control.  Egypt doesn't have a culture and history of peaceful, tolerant democracy in the western sense.  There's the same problem in Iraq, which makes the American presence there dangerously useless.

And that brings me to the so-called "peace process," sic, between Israel and the Arab terrorists who are trying to destroy us.  Negotiations won't solve the problem.  At this point in time, the Arabs are incapable of keeping the peace with us.  They must evolve, develop a new culture which accepts us.  Once that happens, there won't be any need for "peace talks," nor will we need to give them our precious Land.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Sabbath

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mark Your Calendar, and Spread the Word

In just over three weeks, it'll be Rosh Chodesh again, the first of the Jewish month.  This year we have two months of Adar and Purim is in the second Adar, because Purim must be a month before Passover.  So I've decided that we'll have:
Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Adar II
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אדר ב' בתל שילה
יום א' 6-3
יהיה דבר תורה קצר
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

The Tel Shiloh and its coffee shop - souvineer store is open daily.  For more information contact telshilo@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And Who Really Is That Jordanian King Abdullah? And Whose Land is This?

I just read Arlene Kushner's latest posting, which got me thinking.  It's time to remind everyone that the king in Jordan has a very flimsy historical connection to what is called Jordan.  As I write this, "From Israel: Blowin' in the Wind" isn't yet on Arlene's site, but I trust that she'll have it up shortly and recommend reading it in its entirety.

Apparently many Arab leaders are getting nervous because of the spreading instability/unrest/demonstrations/violence and are setting up "insurance/emergency arrangements."
The news this morning was that PA president Mahmoud Abbas has secured Jordanian citizenship, as have his entire family and several other major Fatah figures such as Ahmed Qurei, Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh and Muhammad Dahlan.
According to Khaled Abu Toameh's report on this in the JPost, application for citizenship was made by PA leaders at a time when they were urging Jordan not to grant Jordanian citizenship to Palestinian Arabs so that they might "consolidate their Palestinian identity."

Jordan, itself, is a time bomb.  The skeleton, which is ignored by most international diplomats, the media and history books, is that Abdullah's family has a very recent and weak connection to the land and people they rule.
King Abdullah II, a Hashemite, sits uneasy on his throne, and fears the demographic threat of a growing Palestinian population within his kingdom.
Abdullah should be worried.  His family isn't native to the area at all.  They are Hashemites who were brought in and declared royal rulers.  Read this:
Although the Sykes-Picot Agreement was modified considerably in practice, it established a framework for the mandate system which was imposed in the years following the war. Near the end of 1918, the Hashemite Emir Faisal set up an independent government in Damascus. However, his demand at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference for independence throughout the Arab world was met with rejection from the colonial powers. In 1920 and for a brief duration, Faisal assumed the throne of Syria and his elder brother Abdullah was offered the crown of Iraq by the Iraqi representatives. However, the British government ignored the will of the Iraqi people. Shortly afterward, the newly-founded League of Nations awarded Britain the mandates over Transjordan, Palestine and Iraq. France was given the mandate over Syria and Lebanon, but had to take Damascus by force, removing King Faisal from the throne to which he had been elected by the General Syrian Congress in 1920.
In November 1920, Emir (later King) Abdullah led forces from the Hijaz to restore his brother’s throne in the Kingdom of Syria. However, the French mandate over Syria was already well planted, and Emir Abdullah was obliged to delay his pan-Arab goals and focus on forming a government in Amman. Since the end of the war, the British had divided the land of Transjordan into three local administrative districts, with a British “advisor” appointed to each. The northern region of ‘Ajloun had its administrative center in Irbid, the central region of Balqa was based in Salt, and the southern region was run by the “Moabite Arab Government,” based in Karak. The regions of Ma’an and Tabuk were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Hijaz, ancestral home of the Hashemites. Faced with the determination of Emir Abdullah to unify Arab lands under the Hashemite banner, the British proclaimed Abdullah ruler of the three districts, known collectively as Transjordan. Confident that his plans for the unity of the Arab nation would eventually come to fruition, the emir established the first centralized governmental system in what is now modern Jordan on April 11, 1921.
King Faisal I, meanwhile, assumed the throne of the Kingdom of Iraq in the same year. The Hashemite family ruled Iraq until King Faisal’s grandson King Faisal II and his immediate family were all murdered in a bloody coup by Nasserist sympathizers led by Colonel Abdel Karim Qassem on July 14, 1958. The Hashemites suffered another major blow in 1925, when King Ali bin al-Hussein, the eldest brother of Abdullah and Faisal, lost the throne of the Kingdom of the Hijaz to Abdel Aziz bin Saud of Najd. The loss, which was brought about by a partnership between Ibn Saud and followers of the Wahhabi movement, led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and brought to an end over one thousand years of Hashemite rule in Mecca.
Emir Abdullah soon succeeded in loosening the British mandate over Transjordan with an Anglo-Transjordanian treaty. On May 15, 1923, Britain formally recognized the Emirate of Transjordan as a state under the leadership of Emir Abdullah. This angered the Zionists, as it effectively severed Transjordan from Palestine and so reduced the area of any future Jewish national home in the region. The treaty stipulated that Transjordan would be prepared for independence under the general supervision of the British high commissioner in Jerusalem, and recognized Emir Abdullah as head of state. In May 1925, the Aqaba and Ma’an districts of the Hijaz became part of Transjordan. (complete article)
There is no "Jordanian People."  It's a very recent invention of political and diplomatic convenience, less than a hundred years old.  It's much newer than the Zionist movement, and I have no doubt that if the Jewish People hadn't begun its return to the historic Jewish HolyLand, the middle-east would have had been ignored by the western world.

And that brings me to the most important point which must not be ignored nor white-washed.  There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and history.  It's a fiction, a modern invention.  The only People to have a national history and tradition based in this part of the world is the Jewish People. 

Judaism is more than a religion.  We're a People-Religion-Nation.  We are unique.  We've survived our enemies.  We have returned to Our Land from which we had been exiled.  Statisticians have calculated that very soon most Jews will be living here in our historic homeland.  All those reports, predictions and attempts over the millennia to declare us dead are totally mistaken. 

We the Jewish People live and thrive in the HolyLand, thank G-d. 

About Egypt, Food For Thought

Listen to David Bedein's commentary here.  David is one of the best commentators about what's happening in Israel I know.

I also recommend reading:
Is a Palestinian Statehood in the Near Future a Realistic Proposition?
by Hadar Sela & Eli E. Hertz

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Creative Ideas" Won't Bring Us Peace

Bernard Avishai has a long-winded "creative" wordy article in the New York Times claiming that the Olmert-Abbas talks could bring "peace."

Yet the Israeli-Palestinian talks in 2007 and 2008 provide an invaluable template for a new, Obama-led push for peace.
Each told me that if new violence breaks out in Palestine, as seems quite likely, historians will look back with a sense of pathos on how narrow and, in some key areas, trivial the gaps were. “We were very close,” Olmert told me, “more than ever in the past, to complete an agreement on principles that would have led to the end of the conflict between us and the Palestinians.” Abbas said the talks produced more “creative ideas” than any in the past. He took pains to assure me that he had been most flexible on Israel’s security demands. Olmert, in retrospect, agrees, saying that Abbas “had never said no.” Olmert insisted that he had conceded to Abbas every major demand Palestinians had made for decades: a border based scrupulously on the 1967 lines, a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and “recognition of the problem” of refugees. “I was ready to take complete responsibility and move forward forcefully,” Olmert told me. “I believed, I still believe, that I would have broken through all the barriers and won over public opinion in this country and the world.”

Nothing he says makes any sense in the real world. This isn't a computer card game, during which you can "undo" and try again, and again until you win.

The more I look at Avishai's article the more ridiculous it sounds:
"As unlikely as it might sound, now is the time. Obama’s hand in Israel has been strengthened by events in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan."
Duh?  As the saying goes... "What is he smoking?"

Our Land and security aren't toys, clothes, commercial real estate to be traded for fun and profit.  It's crucially necessary to listen to what the Arabs are saying.  PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas says different things in English to the western media than he says to the Arabs in Arabic.  Hat tip: PMW
Abbas to Western audience:

"'I am committed to peace, but not forever,' Mr. Abbas said. 'I don't mean I will turn to violence - never. In my life, I will never do it. But I cannot stay in my office forever doing nothing.'"

Abbas to Arab audience:

"I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war - we are with them."

Abbas made the statement against violence in an interview with Bernard Avishai* writing for the New York Times Magazine. The statement was intended for an international audience and reported in the New York Times on January 27, 2011.

Abbas made the second statement not ruling out war in a meeting with Egyptian and other Arab journalists. This statement was meant for an Arab audience and reported in the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on January 24, 2011.

Bernard Avishai* has fallen for a very professional con man.  Abbas knows how to play his audience, manipulate the journalists and politicians.

There will only be peace, real peace, when the Arabs want it and educate a generation plus of children to be peaceful and tolerant.  Peace will come when the Arabs stop attacking us with physical and verbal and literary weapons.  And when and if that day does come, there will be no need for conferences and negotiations.  We almost had it after the 1967 Six Days War, but Israel rejected it by offering our Land to the defeated enemy.  Now it will be much harder and take so much longer.

We should not aim for peace, because we aren't the aggressors.  For peace we must get stronger, so the enemy will recognize that they can't defeat us.  Then they will try to live in peace with us, G-d willing.  Yes, G-d has overriding control over things.  We must recognize and respect it.

Yisrael, Batach B'Hashem
People of Israel, Trust in G-d

Monday, February 7, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood? Not Neighborhood Bowling Club

How dangerous is this Muslim Brotherhood?  What is it?
The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto:

"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!” [1]

· The Brotherhood’s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.

“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna[2]

· The Brotherhood wants America to fall. It tells followers to be “patient” because America “is heading towards its demise.” The U.S. is an infidel that “does not champion moral and human values and cannot lead humanity.” —Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010[3]

· The Brotherhood claims western democracy is “corrupt,” “unrealistic.” and “false.”
—Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef [4]

The New York Times describes the Muslim Brotherhood here.

The balance of power here in the Middle East is changing for sure and the international balance for power will probably change things much more, especially when it comes to world peace.  I hope and pray that we'll all survive it.

Outgoing COS Gabi Ashkenazi at Tel Shiloh

Early yesterday morning I got a call from a Gala"tz reporter because COS Gabi Askhenazi's son and mine play on the same IFL football team.  She wanted to speak to my son about Itai, but she missed the real story which could have been our meeting Ashkenazi at Tel Shiloh

He is now on a "farewell tour," and as part of it, he was taken to Shiloh:
He had lunch with settler leaders and visited the biblical archeological site at Tel Shilo. Ashkenazi said, "There is no place like this in the world, where we can walk in the paths of our ancestors. Those of us who wear a uniform are a protective wall for the nation's special chain which began in the days of our forefather Abraham."

I'm not sure of his politics.  I'm not happy with what I've read about his political security ideas. In person I've only seen him at a football game when he sat just behind us.  We back the same Jerusalem Lions.  That's not politics.

No doubt that he's very angry with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.  Bibi allowed Defense Minister Ehud Barak to push him out of office earlier than necessary.  I hope he doesn't make his political decisions on that, and if he does, then he should go Right not Left.

Kehila, A JBlog Carnival

You can't have too many friends, and it's always great to socialize, even via the internet, so I'm happy to announce that besides Havel Havelim, Kosher Cooking Carnival and JPIX there's Kehila and its blog carnival.  Ya'aqov's Esser Agaroth is the place, so click and visit.

Each one is very different, because they're hosted by different bloggers and have different foci.  Blog carnivals are floating internet magazines.  There are carnivals with one host, but they are frequently more commercial or the host burns out. So please enjoy...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Made It!

Jack's Havel Havelim just made it before I turned off the computer.  I had opened his blog a while ago, but HH hadn't yet been posted.  Periodically I re-whatevered the page and still nothing.  But a couple of minutes ago, after already logging off of facebook, just before signing out of blogger for the night, I gave it one last click, and...   yes, I found it posted.  Thanks, Jack, but it's my bedtime.  I'll read it more thoroughly tomorrow, G-d willing.  But you energetic bright-eyed, super-alert readers can read Havel Havelim right now and click/visit the links.

Good night

Latma, The Right News, Nu? "Obama's Clueless..."

Sorry, I didn't get Latma's drash on what's happening in Egypt earlier, but it's certainly worth waiting for. Don't you agree?

Ehud Barak vs The IDF

I'll never forget how when the present and lame duck IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was appointed he was considered the antidote for the hands off, pro-tech elitist Ehud Barak.  Pundits had blamed Barak for IDF failings and considered Gabi Ashkenazi of the Golani Brigade to be the best alternative-change possible.

I'm no expert (have no secret knowledge) in the internal workings, political-personal dynamics and manipulations in the high offices of the Israel Defense Forces, but from body language, simple newscasts, events and other kishke judging criteria it's more than obvious that Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi are polar opposites.  We're talking Antarctic iceberg versus hot tropical jungle.  I've never seen Barak in person, but I'll never forget the live coverage of him at a Labor Party convention showing obvious physical repulsion to an upset Ethiopian political hopeful.  Israeli men, especially those who've been through the army in tough front-line units, are generally big huggers, not afraid to grab a friend in trouble, whether it's physical or emotional.  I was shocked by Barak's obvious coldness.

I have seen COS Gabi Ashkenazi in person.  Our sons play on the same IFL American Football team.  When his schedule allows, he watches the game just like any other parent.  He graciously poses smiling with everyone who asks and spontaneously played with my other son's dog.  Nobody can picture Ehud Barak ever being so friendly and accessible.

I know even less about Barak's latest, very rushed-so-how-carefully-can-he-be-investigated COS nominee, Benny Ganz.  There's just my gut if Ehud Barak wants him there must be something bad feeling.  The latest news is that he's cancelling Yair Naveh's sixty day subbing and rushing in Ganz.  I'm no fan of Naveh, but in my experience, whenever something is rushed like that, it's bad news.  It takes more than a week for a proper investigation.  Of course, extending Askenazi's term another few weeks would have been the wisest, but wise and Ehud Barak aren't synonyms.

This is very worrying.  When Ehud Barak was first nominated as Chief of Staff, his supporters claimed that he was totally brilliant and liked to take apart and put together complex machinery, watches or clocks as I remember.  Now, that may be fine for a university professor, but it's not the sort of hobby needed for Chief of Staff, Minister of Defense or politician.  It's too non-people solitary.  OK, yes, he has reached the top of Israel's political and military echelons, but don't forget that he failed.  He left an army which relied on machinery rather than the old and successful "follow me" practice, and he was booted out of office as Prime Minister because of the rampant Arab terrorism which reached its peak when he was PM.

I can't figure out why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has resurrected Barak's career and given him so much power.  This is very troubling.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

With The Arab World in Increasing Chaos, Let's Take a Sabbatical From "Peace Talks"

My regular readers know very well how I have no faith that the so called "peace talks" will bring peace to Israel and the Arabs.  I see things very clearly and pragmatically.  Every gesture in the name of "peace" to the Arabs has just made our lives less secure, less safe.  Some people counter with the example of Egypt, since although we had a couple of very vicious wars with Egypt, things have been quiet since they got the Sinai from us.  Well, is there a chance that the new regime will be just as "cold peace" friendly?

On one hand, Obama is trying to calm down a nervous Israel, but on the other hand the Americans admit that they totally misread the situation with Tunisia, Egypt, and the dust hasn't settled yet.  Nobody knows how much further things will spread, how many Arab leaders should be packing etc.

We have to be very cautious.  An agreement can all go up in smoke, like IKEA's Netanya store.

Israel must think of one thing and one thing only, our safety, our survival, our strength.  That will bring us peace, and now, especially when the Arab world is so volatile, we shouldn't change the status quo.

Also, remember that the Arabs aren't negotiating with an aim of peace.  They want our Land for an additional Arab State, right in our Historic Jewish heartland.  They, with the support of many countries and the Israeli Left and Center, want to establish a Pseudostinian aka Palestinian sic State.

I hope that the riots in the Arab world will keep the busybodies too busy to bother us.