Hamas War

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Political Pressure Against Maoz Tzur, Beit El, Playing With Fire

Once upon a time there was a very popular "unofficial" radio station.  You could hear its programs on public buses, homes and offices all over the country... at least wherever technically possible.  It had a legendary program every Friday.  People all over planned their schedules around it in order not to miss it.  It was hosted by Adir Zik, ZaTza"L.

Nobody was worried about the station's future, because a few years earlier Abie Nathan had a station of similar "legality," and he hadn't been hounded by the law.

Everything was going great for that radio station and it even began to produce its own independent newscasts.  Considering that its politics were Right and the Likud was in power, nobody was worried.  That was until Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pushed through his Disengagement plan to destroy the Jewish communities in Gush Katif and Northern Shomron and banish the Jewish residents.  The radio station was a very effective opposition voice.  It had to be stopped, and the Likud shut down the radio.
A Likud government headed by Ariel Sharon, however, closed the popular right-wing pirate radio station Arutz 7 ("Channel 7"). Arutz 7 was popular with the Jewish settler movement and often criticised the government from a right-wing perspective. (complete article)
Sharon managed to manipulate the government to pass whatever laws he needed/wanted, and the courts supported him.  Human rights and Tzedek Chevrati Social Justice when it came to Jews living in YESHA, Judea, Samaria and Gaza area were ignored.  Also the very concept of Zionism, Jewish History and Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel were ignored.

I'm sure you know that I've been writing about Arutz 7.  Now it's just an internet news site with an internet "radio."  It's a project of Rabbi Melamed and his wife Shulamit.

Yaakov Katz, known as Ketzaleh, spoke with Arutz-7 this morning, following the sentencing yesterday of the "Arutz-7 Ten." Fines of hundreds of thousands of shekels, and several months of community service for Ketzaleh, Yoel Tzur, and Shulamit Melamed, were levied upon the defendants for having operated the Arutz-7 radio station - for the benefit of its hundreds of thousands of listeners - without a license.
Despite lighter sentences than had been feared, "I am not happy with the conviction, the sentences, or the entire trial itself," Ketzaleh said. "Instead of being on trial, Rabbi Zalman Melamed and his wife Shulamit, and the national hero Yoel Tzur, should have been brought to the President's Home to receive the Israel Prize for their holy work, and for the cultural revolution they have carried out here... The trial was not based on hard evidence but rather on intuition and feelings that would not have withstood an objective test anywhere else." (complete articke)

Note the name Yoel Tzur mentioned in the article.  The name of the threatened Beit El neighborhood is Maoz Tzur, named in memory of his wife and son murdered in a terror attack.  This attack happened well over a decade ago.  The neighborhood is established and thriving.  Why now is it suddenly under legal threats?  And you'll notice another familiar name in the article, Yaakov Katz, yes the same Yaakov Katz who is a Knesset Member representing the Ichud Le'umi, National Union.

The threats against Maoz Tzur are serious, because it would be even easier for an Arab to claim that Ramat Aviv, a Left-wing stronghold in pre-1967 Israel, to claim it as theirs.  Watch out, Israel, you're playing with fire.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Moving Migron?

The other day on my way to work I noticed some construction across from the gas station on the road to Psagot, Kochav Ya'akov and Tel Zion.  It's just under the Psagot Wine Visitors' Center.

I asked the neighbor who was driving if he knew what it was, but he didn't.

Only later did I discover that it's supposed to be the new, though temporary location for Migron which is a short distance north of the construction.  The government is planning a very expensive temporary "solution."  It's such a waste of money, besides the fact that I'm against moving Migron.  It's a dumb and dangerous decision.  I agree with Ya'aqov on that.

And to those who keep saying that we must do what the courts say, I say that the courts aren't the law.  Most Israeli "Justices," the judges that sit in the highest courts in the country make their decisions according to their "common sense," their personal sense of justice.  They're not shy about admitting it.  They do not judge strictly by law.

Even in the United States where the judges are supposed to be more attuned to the actual laws, there isn't agreement and judgements change.  Almost half a century ago when I was a high school student, my Social Studies teacher explained that American Law is whatever five out of nine Supreme Court Justices say it is.  And when the justices change, so can the law.

Israeli Supreme Court isn't SUPREME.  It's not G-d Almighty.  I don't worship the Supreme Court.  It think that the decision of the judges is dangerously faulty.  The Arabs didn't really have a case, but for political reasons the court ruled in their favor.

The State of The State of Israel in Its Sixty-Fifth (65th) Year

All these political opinion polls are to check the status of the thoughts and plans of your "ordinary Israeli." Now considering that there is no such thing as an "ordinary Israeli," that's pretty hard.  I think that Avigdor Lieberman's understanding of the recent polls is that he had the potential to take over and achieve a greater victory than in the last elections.
If elections held today (expressed in Knesset seats)
Current Knesset seats in [brackets].
31 [27] Likud
13 [28] Kadima
15 [15] Yisrael Beiteinu
08 [11] Shas
15 [13] Labor
06 [05] Yahadut Hatorah
04 [04] Nat'l Union
03 [03] Meretz
03 [03] Jewish Home]
11 [00] Lapid (Atid) Party
11 [11] Arab parties
Last time, he upped his votes at the last minute by campaigning to the Right while Bibi was burying himself in the Center.  I have no doubt that Bibi will dig even more deeply in the Center trying to decimate Kadima's Right while Yair Lapid goes for its Left.

Even though polls and election results have shown that the Israeli public is more Right and pro-Jewish rights in all of the Land of Israel, the coalition never conforms, follows those results

Lieberman is a wise and wily politician.  He's sniffing weakness in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's hold on the government and impatience in the public.  That's why he's talking of leaving the coalition:
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said on Saturday that his party was no longer obligated to the coalition, as heads of opposition parties called for early elections.
“Our obligation to the coalition has ended, and we are also obligated to voters, so we are going to make decisions,” Liberman told Channel 2’s Meet the Press.

Lieberman read it right during the last campaign, and although I don't trust him and don't vote for him; the chances are he's correct in his analysis.  I always distinguish between professional competence as a skilled politician and ideology.  Too bad that nobody on the true Right, pro-Jewish rights in the Land of Israel, has a clue how to be a successful and effective politician.

Both Kadima and Labor have new leaders who are dying to run Knesset campaigns, and they want to do it before their greatest competitor, Yair Lapid gets his act together.  Those three political parties are after the same votes.  Hopefully, they'll be busy attacking each other to the point that their potential supporters will decide not to vote at all.

That's where we stand today as the State of Israel begins its sixty-fifth 65th year.  Politics of course is the barometer of how we're doing, and things are heating up.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Israel, The Cup is More Than Half Full

Yes, I do have my complaints, but that doesn't mean that I don't consider Israel to be the best place for me and all Jews to live in.  Nothing's perfect and that includes Israel. 

And even though I consider Shiloh the greatest place to live with the most wonderful neighbors, I'm guilty of complaining about it, too.  That's human nature.  We're all kvetches, but don't take the ranting all that seriously.

We all need to improve, and that includes yours truly.

Here's some upbeat stuff from blogs and news sites.  Let's start with my dear fellow jblogger, Lady-Light on Tikkun Olam.  We haven't yet met f2f, though we've gotten as close as a phone call.  She listed some of the "only in Israel" help her daughter has been receiving.  Here's an example:
2) Does the manager of HomeCenter (a store similar to Home Depot in the States, but much smaller and with less stock and fewer departments) greet you by name with a big "how are you, haven't seen you in a while, and is everything all right?" -and then tell you not to worry about paying for a mishloach* of all that stuff (folding chairs, bbq grill, garden hose, etc.), because he is going to deliver the stuff to your door, in his personal car, when he leaves work today. And he did.
3) Does a total stranger-a random cab driver, while driving you to your doctor's appointment, decide to 'adopt' you as his daughter after you and he converse about your story and life in general. From that point on, he becomes a surrogate father, taking you in his cab to many of your appointments, calling you every other day to find out how you are, bringing you vegetables every Friday for Shabbat, and spending 3 hours putting up your new bamboo sheeting to cover your chain-link fence. And refusing payment.
Caroline Glick, who established Latma, wrote of how things are improving in Israel in her Post-Zionism is So 1990's.

To understand the distance Israel has traveled since then, consider Tuesday night's Memorial Day ceremony at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. None of the performers attacked their fellow Israelis. And the best-received artist and song was Mosh Ben-Ari and his rendition of Psalm 121 - A Song of Ascent.
The psalm, which praises God as the eternal guardian of Israel, became the unofficial anthem of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-2009. And Ben-Ari's rendition of the song propelled the dreadlock bedecked, hoop earring wearing world music artist into super-stardom in Israel.
IT WAS impossible to imagine Pslam 121 or any other traditional Jewish poem or prayer being performed as anything other than an object of scorn in 1998. Back then, it would have been impossible to contemplate a crowd of tens of thousands of non-religious Israelis reverently singing along as Ben-Ari crooned, "My help is from God/ Maker of Heaven and Earth/ He will not allow your foot to falter/ Your Guardian will not slumber/ Behold he neither slumbers nor sleeps - the Guardian of Israel."
It's not that the crowd would have necessarily booed him off the stage. He simply never would have been allowed on the stage to begin with. The 1990s was the decade that launched Aviv Gefen, the most prominent secular draft-dodger, to stardom.
Israel is no longer in the throes of an adolescent rebellion. It has regained its senses.

And Ruthie Blum's latest op-ed, Israel and its necrophiliac neighbors, she compares Israel with our dangerous and violent neighbors, yes, those incapable of true peace. She ends by saying:
According to the Dubai-based, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel, two new laws are under consideration by the new Egyptian parliament. One of these would lower the age at which a girl can be married to 14. The other would permit a husband to have sexual relations with his wife’s corpse for up to six hours after she is pronounced dead...
...Personally, I feel no sympathy for the feminists in Egypt. They were part and parcel of the Tahrir Square demonstrations demanding Mubarak’s ouster, even while being molested and segregated by their male “Arab Spring” counterparts. Some “Facebook Revolution” that turned out to be.
Now back to Israel, where Facebook has been the vehicle through which we have been showing off the steaks we grilled yesterday, with chocolate-stained children in tow and husbands hamming it up for iPhone photos. Necrophilia is something we don’t even know how to spell, let alone debate in the Knesset.
We may have our share of woes. But considering the way a growing proportion of the world lives, we’ve got plenty to be happy about.
Yes, Ruthie, that's the truth.  Comparing life here to the rest of the world, even those "advanced" countries Israel does come out ahead in many ways. 

I've been reading about all the proposals for "affordable" health care in the United States, and none of them is as good as what we have in Israel.  The basic health care package your choice of sick funds must provide to all is excellent.  In Israel the payment is through the Bituach Leumi, National Insurance, like America's Social Security.  Working citizens under retirement age pay it from their salaries, even if they only work very part-time.  The unemployed have the payments covered through their special benefits.  All children are covered from birth.  It is possible to pay extra for extra services, but that doesn't mean that the basic package isn't superior to what is available in most other countries.

There are a number of choices in public education from "secular" to various levels of "religious."  And the Arabs have a state system, too.  There are also private schools for those who aren't happy with the state schools.  Not every country provides such a variety of education options.

And why don't you check out Benji Lovitt's 64 things he loves about Israel.  Here's a small sample:
1. I love how someone can be completely indifferent to politics but will still argue about their favorite chumus place until they blow an artery.
5. I love that because we were unable to get home due to the Jerusalem marathon, we agreed that our driver would drop us off somewhere else, take our luggage to his home in Ma’ale Adumim, and deliver it to us later, with not a fear in the world that it wouldn’t go exactly as planned. The guy got out of his car to bring the bag all the way to my door. Now that’s service.
6. I love how the worker at Bank Leumi decided she could call me “motek” after knowing me for all of 2.4 seconds.
11. I love that the Asian sushi chef gave me the rega hand gesture. Ech omrim “kibbutz galuyot” in Japanese?
12. I love that they don’t sell any of that “not kosher for Passover” matza crap here. Who the hell eats that? That’s like taking medicine labeled “Insulin: not suitable for diabetics”.
17. I love that you can discover at a Shabbat dinner that three different women share the same gynecologist. I couldn’t decide whether to be impressed or uncomfortable.
18. I love that certain stores advertise their dependability by claiming to be open “24/6”.
32. I love that during a massive delay in the re-ticketing line at Ben-Gurion, the airport staff passed out croissants and beverages.
33. I love that the salad bar in the airport’s pre-security atrium actually chops up fresh vegetables before your very eyes. The last time I saw that in an American airport, Elvis and the mashiach had just hugged me goodbye at curbside check-in.
Yes, the cup is more than half full, and it never empties, no matter how much I drink kvetch.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Miracle of The Jewish State

At our Shiloh Israeli Independence Day Celebrations, Rabbi Elchanan Bin-Nun spoke at twilight, when Memorial Day faded into Independence Day.  That's the custom here in Shiloh.  Everyone  begins gathering for Mincha (the afternoon prayer) in the enormous main shul which is modeled after the Biblical Mishkan Tabernacle.  By the time Rav Elchanan is finished his shiur it's time for the festive Evening Prayers and the synagogue is packed.

One of the last things Rav Elchanan said, and I'm pretty sure I've heard him say it before, is that the greatest miracle was the actual declaration of a Jewish State.  Considering that many Jews in Israel were against it, either for what they considered religious reasons, like the Chareidim, or they had less faith in G-d and feared that declaring a state would further endanger us, until Ben-Gurion actually declared our independence, there were too many doubts.

And here we are, sixty-four years after that fateful day, and we still have state, admittedly imperfect, but as long as we're breathing we can improve, do teshuva, repent.

In Shiloh we say the Hallel Prayer with a blessing, unlike in some places.  This year the Chief Rabbi Amar announced not to say the blessing, but obviously Rav Elchanan's rabbinic authority disagrees.

Here are some videos I took of the prayers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Latma Celebrates Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day

Egyptian Minister of Conspiracy Theories celebrates Israel with felafel and the police's new crime...

Nothing beats Latma's Right news.  Get comfortable and watch.

And We All Stand Still in Silence, Then...

I think anyone who has ever been in a very traumatic situation would agree that there's a sudden still silence.  Memories return in flashes, still pictures, total silence.  A very effective cinema scene is in the movie Men of Honor, when the main character is injured.  You see it happen, but there's no sound.

I must admit that I'm one of those who isn't very happy with the non-Jewish basis of the "standing in silence" custom here in Israel which is observed on both Holocaust Memorial Day and Memorial
Day for Victims of War and Terror.  But it is effective as a reminder.  For those personally affected by tragedy, the world does stand still.

One of the messages of these national mourning days is that the tragedies affect us all.  There isn't an Israeli who can't tell about somebody, family or friend, who wasn't/isn't a victim in some way.  The "what if..." it hadn't happened would mean a very different life for us all.  Ruthie Blum's latest op-ed is about how "irreplaceable" we, or the dead are.  I have a problem with it, because the truth is that we do and must go on.  We can all be replaced.  Just like when you're cooking and suddenly discover that a crucial ingredient is lacking, most of us just figure out a replacement and end up cooking something new.  Whether it's better or worse, that's what we serve.

When someone is killed or suddenly sick or injured in a life-changing way, we have to just be pragmatic and make changes.  That's the roll of the dice.  Someone I know whose childhood was dominated by the illness and death of a parent reacted to my "you had a very difficult childhood" with:

"I never considered it as difficult.  It's the only childhood I knew."

Since then, I've considered it an important lesson.  Don't put too much concentration on what can't be changed.  Accept and go on. 

After the traffic stops for two minutes, everyone resumes moving and going on with their business.  Yes, that's what we must do.  Remember, but don't let misery and loss take over your life.  We must keep going and changing with the detours, not fighting them.  This is the life we have.  We must learn our lessons from experience.

One of the big problems of the Israeli Left is that they refuse to accept the results of the 1967 Six Days War.  They have never gone forward.  They are mired in an outdated ideology that has been proven unsuccessful and totally inaccurate.  The Arabs cannot be pacified with Land we won in 1967.  The Arabs want Tel Aviv, Haifa etc.  There is nothing more reactionary and conservative (with a small c) than a Leftist.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everyone's Friends, Sons, Brothers, Daughters, Wives, Husbands, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers and More...

Israel's National Memorial Day for Victims of  Wars and Terrorism is today.  I'm not sure that's the official name.  For years I remember reading and hearing a long convoluted name like that, while this year I only saw it called "Memorial Day."  Soldiers killed in action (and accidents) used to be the only focus, but then a few years ago victims of Arab terror were added.

In the broad sense, when you accept that friends are mourners, too, we're all in the "club" of mourners.  Israel is a small family, a typo actually, I had meant to write that "Israel is a small country."  But in all honesty, we are all family.  It's pretty easy to start connecting us all between marriages and old family-like friendships.

My husband and I are part of a close group of friends who have known each other for almost half a century already.  I think that some have actually passed that half-century mark.  Every year we gather at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery at the graves of two close friends who were killed during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  And each year the young soldiers who are assigned by the IDF to "beef up" the minyan and show support tell us that it's so rare to see so many friends for a yartzeit so many decades after death.  This is a very special time for us, all immigrants from the same youth movement, Betar. 

Yesterday the Rami Levi Discount supermarket and Yafiz, where I work, closed early so people could get home for the memorial ceremonies.  I got to my house just as all the neighbors were leaving, but being exhausted I decided to stay home and watch the official ceremony on television.  It hadn't yet begun; the Israeli channels were showing short films about various dead soldiers and victims of Arab terror. 

At one point I switched channels and suddenly saw an old friend on the TV talking about her dead son.  I knew that I hadn't made a mistake by staying home.  The television brought me close enough to the pain of loss. 

I spent the rest of the evening watching the various films before and after the official televised ceremony.  Many of the films shown emphasised how the surviving family members survived, raising orphans, being parentless and relating to the children of their widowed daughters-in-law.

It's only a week after the official Holocaust Memorial Day here in Israel, and the message from those blessed with life was very similar. There's a joy to life, and we must not concentrate on sadness and loss.

This year's Independence Day and Memorial Day are a bit early on the Jewish Calendar to prevent desecrating the Holy Shabbat.  Last night when I counted the Omer, it was very suitably the eighteenth of the Omer.  Eighteen in gematria is חי Chai, Life.  Yes, that's our reaction to our loss, living.

Yihi Zichrom Baruch
May Their Memories Be a Blessing

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Losing Judaism in the Pursuit of Commonality

Posted by Jewish Israel

Jewish Israel takes an in-depth look at very recent developments in Israel's relationship with evangelicals and explores how the pursuit of "a common future and destiny" with Christianity is eroding Judaism's foundations and blurring the distinction between faiths. Is Jewish leadership inadvertently leading us down the road to spiritual assimilation, and is it time for a lesson in basic Judaism? more

In conjunction with this report, Jewish Israel has posted a chart delineating some very basic differences between Judaism and Christianity. But keep in mind that, as a general rule, Judaism should not be put on par with or compared to Christianity, as Judaism transcends the classifications of religion and theology.

A related thought for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut: Remembering who we are may be the key to maintaining our independence

Faux Fatwa, Did You Say?

Considering that the Koran considers it "kosher" to do anything to accomplish their goals, including lying and murder, why don't the international leaders and shakers look beyond the fancy packaging?

As usual, I take my cue from Ruthie Blum and end up blogging about (or linking to) her twice-weekly op-eds in Israel Hayom.  Today's article is The false fatwa against Iranian nukes

Ruthie Blum

The false fatwa against Iranian nukes

In the world of Western foreign policy, when you are trying to get your enemies to put down their weapons for no other reason than that you have been pleading with them to do so, you have to bow down a bit. Then you have to give your appeasement a name that has a nice diplomatic ring to it, because it is going to be referred to in official press releases, and subsequently quoted in the media.
One especially favored phrase for this form of groveling is “goodwill gestures.” It is through such “goodwill gestures” that representatives of the P5+1 countries (Britain, France, the U.S., China, and Russia plus Germany) got Iran to grace the group with its presence at a summit in Istanbul earlier this month. At the close of the meeting, about which much cautious optimism was expressed, all the participants agreed to have another powwow, this time in Baghdad.
Holding these “discussions” on the true nature of Iran’s uranium enrichment in Turkey and Iraq was just the kind of “goodwill gesture” that was supposed to make the regime in Tehran feel at home. Proof that it had the desired effect was in the pudding: A flunkie from the Islamic Republic turned up to assure everyone present that Iran had no intention of ceasing its – uh – peaceful nuclear program.  (click for complete article)
It doesn't surprise me that most of the best political commentators are women.  We listen better.  We hear what isn't being said in words and can more accurately predict what will come next.  Not long ago I spoke to a friend who is a top simultaneous translator about her profession.  To succeed as a simultaneous translator you need even more than a perfect grasp of your different languages.  You must be able to just "know" what will be said next and you must be able to multi-task with ease.  I asked her about the gender statistics, meaning, the proportion of males and females who can actually earn a living doing it.  It is a female profession, because women are far better at multi-tasking and intuition.

Unfortunately most political and certainly security policy is made by men.  They are fools.  Yes, I've said it.  Only men can so easily fall for scams like this fatwa against Iranian nukes.

And only men could put their faith in:
Please add more examples in the comments.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not A Nice Way to Be Celebrating Israeli Independence Day #64

As regular readers know, I do try to be upbeat about Israeli Independence Day and our future.  Yes, I'm not shy about my complaints.  Today I saved a few links to be possible themes or ideas for this morning's post, and I'm not very happy about what I see.

It's seems to much like Bibi, our wily Prime Minister is playing one of those "now you see it now you don't" tricks on us.  On one hand he's talking about approving communities that have been in existence for years and shouldn't even be considered as anything other than permanent, while he's letting Ehud Barak threaten other Jewish communities and neighborhoods, like Beit El's Maoz Tzur, that had been promised approval a decade ago or more.

Did Bibi train with these guys?

As you know, no matter what Israel does, we'll be condemned.  If the courts say that the property is Jewish, that's bad news for us.  We're in the wrong according to the international busybodies.  When Arabs move into Jewish towns and neighborhoods, the local Jews are condemned for not happily accepting them, but when Jews buy into Arab sic neighborhoods such as Hebron, the Jews are condemned and all sorts of legal acrobatics are performed to make the purchases illegal sic.

One thing for sure is that we can't trust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and that the Moshe Feiglin supporters must stop voting for the Likud.  It's time to join forces with Ichud Le'umi National Union and make it a large party to be the conscience of the nation.  There's more power that way than being in a coalition noose.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do Those Israeli Politicians Really Have the Guts to Break The Coalition Over Barak's Beit El Destruction Plans?

Threats and more threats...  So now we hear from Boogie  and Katz etc that if Barak doesn't leave those Beit El neighborhoods alone, they'll leave the coalition.

Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon
Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon
Flash 90
Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon on Saturday blasted Defense Minister Ehud Barak's conduct regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria saying he is pursuing a private political agenda from that of the ruling government coalition.
His remarks, which echoed those of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Friday, also reiterated warnings to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from other ministers that the destruction of more Jewish communities would result in "a dissolution of the coalition."

Is Bibi listening?  Does he care?  Who's really running the shop?

Bibi and Barak play this "good cop-bad cop" routine with a twist.  They each bully others.  Barak is a favorite of Obama who is allergic to Bibi's history lessons, while Bibi claims to care for Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel while Barak destroys Jewish homes.  Is this some variation on their years together int he IDF?  Has Bibi substituted Barak for his late brother Yoni?

Lots of questions and no real answers.  Their little game along with the threats from within the government coalition make for bad government and dangers to the very existence of the State of Israel.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Israeli Flag is MY FLAG!

The other day I was walking around Shiloh and noticed some blue and whites in bloom.

Some were twinned with Shiloh flags, like fraternal twins strapped in a stroller.

Zionism is really based on Jewish, Biblical History,o and Shiloh was central in the story of our development as a nation.  Tel Aviv can't say that about its historic legitimacy!

Our Biblical ancestors had walked and climbed where these new homes are being built.  They may have even camped out on the same spot with their share of the sacrifices after worship in the Mishkan Tabernacle.

The early Zionists were dreaming of the Land of the Bible, so no doubt they had plans for Shiloh.  Then the Ben-Gurion Labor politicians agreed to foreign demands of a very reduced state, and they wiped Biblical geography from the Zionist lexicon.  They replaced it with worship of the indefensible 1949 ceasefire lines after the Arabs refused all peace moves and attacked the newly declared State of Israel.

After nineteen difficult, terror-filled years, a full-fledged war broke out as the Arab countries declared their aim to totally destroy the State of Israel and push the Jews into the sea.

June, 1967, in just six miracle filled days, G-d took over and Israel found itself with safe, defensible borders from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and from the Golan to the Suez Canal.

Unfortunately, not all Israelis understand that we must have this Land to survive and be secure and strong and we must live in it.  They treat us as the enemy, which endangers us all.

But we're strong, determined and know Whom to obey.

Chag Atzma'ut Sameach
Joyful Independence Day to All

Friday, April 20, 2012

Loony Left Ideology Has Turned Israel into Pathetic Wimps

Here's my pre-Shabbat posting.  Watch Latma's latest Right news show.

Read Ruthie Blum's latest article:

Ruthie Blum

The Eisner paradigm
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a YouTube clip is valued at millions. This is why, in a split second, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner – deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade – turned into a world-renowned anti-hero this week.
Eisner, leading an operation to curb the activities of the “peace activists” who made up last Sunday’s “flytilla,” unwittingly became the latest casualty in the propaganda war against Israel. Caught on camera smashing the butt of his M-16 into the face of a young Danish activist, the IDF officer instantly lost the career he loved, along with the former admiration and respect he had earned as an upstanding commander. Everyone at the top, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Defense Minister Ehud Barak to IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, rushed to distance himself from Eisner, without so much as a “by your leave.”
The investigation into the 60-second incident, the lead-up to which lasted a full two hours, will take place. But whatever its result, Eisner’s reputation has already been broken, like his spirit and one of his fingers. (complete article)

America's Faux Gold

No longer is the United States "the Goldene Medina," the Golden Country."  Statistics are showing that immigrants are no longer finding it financially attractive.  In the "clothing for the entire family store," Yafiz, where I work in Israel, Arabs who shop there frequently ask where the clothing was made.  Almost everything is made in China. 

"China has the strongest economy in the world."  That's what I tell them.
They don't want the counterfeit brands made in Shechem according to what they tell me.  They buy the Chinese made clothes, even with Hebrew writing on it.

And recent statistics keep showing weakening in the American economy.  An interesting New York Times article is about how immigrants and children of immigrants are returning to the home/former country to enjoy the economic opportunities.
Many U.S. Immigrants’ Children Seek American Dream Abroad
In growing numbers, experts say, highly educated children of immigrants to the United States are uprooting themselves and moving to their ancestral countries. They are embracing homelands that their parents once spurned but that are now economic powers.
Statistics show the same for Israelis:

Fewer Israelis Immigrate to U.S.

Driven by Economy, Ex-Patriates Also Return to Israel

kurt hoffman
Immigration statistics published in April by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, indicate that the number of Israeli natives seeking to resettle in the United States has been falling. Last year the number of Israelis obtaining legal permanent residence in America was at a record low of 3,826 — down from a peak of nearly 6,000 in 2006.
A closer look at the data reveals a correlation between Israeli immigration to America and the state of America’s job market. The number of Israelis immigrating to America has been steadily declining since 2008, just as the recession set in, bringing massive layoffs and skyrocketing unemployment figures.

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/154997/fewer-israelis-immigrate-to-us/?p=all#ixzz1sYpgB8HX
Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/154997/fewer-israelis-immigrate-to-us/?p=all#ixzz1sYozaDp7
In many cases the only thing preventing Israelis, and their children, from returning to Israel is that their American homes are hard to sell. Real Estate is still very weak in the United States.

As Israel gears to celebrate 64 years, this is definitely something to think about.  Wise Jewish parents abroad should think more seriously about sending their children on aliyah for university.  In Israel tuition is much less, and the economy is thriving.  University is a good way to learn to function in Hebrew, the key to successful absorption in the State of Israel.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pragmatist, Not Paranoid

Dry Bones

To survive we must be realistic, and being realistic means that we must recognize that people want to destroy us and nobody will stop them.  That's the lesson of history for Jews.  It's that simple, painfully so.

Sometimes our politicians make a lot of sense, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Holocaust Memorial Day speech.  But then he ruins it all with his dangerous extreme-Left appeasement policies.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We're All Holocaust Survivors

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day

As the punchline for some jokes goes:
"The alternative is death."
So, if we're alive, we or some ancestors made the right move and was in the right place at the critical time.  That goes for all Jews, whether European, North African, American of either continent or Jew from any other part of the world.  Somebody made the right decision and some or various points in history.

And of course, not only Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

All of my grandparents left Eastern Europe about a hundred years ago.  Even my father's grandparents left their homes in Poland and White Russia.  New York was their haven and heaven.  My parents never heard any nostalgic yearnings for their old lives and homes from their parents.  The general feeling was "good riddance."  Whatever difficulties they had in America were worth the trouble, considering the alternative.

My grandparents watched  the Holocaust from afar and sent their sons to fight as American soldiers.

I grew up innocent and ignorant of Holocaust stories.

Unlike many of my peers, I've always found it difficult to feel personally connected to the Holocaust.  I also never had that grateful feeling to the United States of America which keeps many Jews from looking at that country and its policies objectively.

I've always been suspicious of the USA's supposed goodness to Jews.  I went to New York Public Schools and even in the most Jewish of neighborhoods, it was very clear that it's a Christian country.  Jews have been tolerated, discriminated against and milked for all they could contribute.

When I learned about Zionism, האסימון נפל, ha'assimon naffal,  everything suddenly made sense.  As a Jews there was a place I could call home, where I belonged, where Jewish Holidays were national holidays and not working on Shabbat wouldn't be a hindrance.

I had no trouble leaving America.  Of course, I can't say that my parents and other family members felt the same.  They couldn't understand me, but then again, they also had even more trouble accepting my decision to lead a Torah Jewish life when I was in high school.

Even though I don't feel very personally connected to Holocaust stories, I have no problems imagining such a thing happening again. I  see too many parallels in policies and attitudes, prejudice against Jews and Israelis all over the world and even here in Israel. 

  • Why else would a man like Col. Shalom Eisner be condemned for reacting like a normal human being when attacked? 
  • Why are Arab terrorists sympathized with and their victims condemned? 
  • Why are Israeli citizens so restricted in our own Land?
  • And why are Israelis expected to live silently when Arab terrorist missiles are launched at them?
There is a lesson from the Holocaust that most people ignore.  We are still in danger.

The Noam Schalit Terrorism, "Giving Back to Israeli Society..."

Noam Shalit - Yaron Kaminsky - January 9, 2012
Noam Shalit addressing the press after announcing his entry to politics, January 9, 2012.
Photo by: Yaron Kaminsky

Noam Shalit: "I want to give back to Israeli society that helped bring Gilad home..."
In Noam Shalit's announcement that he's throwing his hat in the Israeli political ring he made that statement.
"Israeli society recruited itself for Gilad in our times of trouble, and we managed to recruit Israeli society," Shalit said at a joint press conference with Labor Party chairperson Shelly Yachimovich. "Today I aspire to give back to society, as much as I can, and for this reason I am running for the candidacy."
And now, no surprise: The Shabak has published two examples of prisoners released in the Shalit deal exchange that were caught after returning to terror activity, complete article
Over the past few months since the conclusion of the Shalit exchange deal, the Shabak has been working to ensure that the prisoners released in the framework of the deal have not returned to terror activities. Two examples from recent months prove that not all of them have decided to abandon the path of terrorism, and have instead, returned to their previous terror activities.
Noam Schalit is already a politician.  He proved that during his totally focused and relentless campaign to force the Israel Government to make a deal, any deal, to appease the Arab terrorists who had been imprisoning his son, Gilad, totally incommunicado against all international laws.  He kept putting the blame on Israel, rather on the Arab terrorists and the totally hypocritical faux humanitarian sic organizations from the International Red Cross to the many United Nations Agencies who ignored Gilad's plight.

Schalit considers himself the epitome of a great father doing everything to protect his son, but that doesn't make him a good national leader.  A national leader must think of the nation above his own private concerns.

Let's contrast Noam Schalit to one of Israel's greatest heroes, who fought in the pre-State underground against the British and still is involved in the Israeli political and educational scenes, former MK Geula Cohen.  When she was asked how she would react if G-d forbid her son (now the case would be grandsons) were captured by Arab terrorists:
"I'd demand that everything possible and more be done to free him.  But I'm telling you right now that if it ever happens, you must ignore all of my demands, because I'd be thinking like a mother and not caring about the safety of other Israelis."
Geula Cohen is right.  The Israeli Government must know how to distinguish between the nation and the individual.  Sometimes, as hard as it may be, the nation trumps.  I don't trust Noam Shalit to make that distinction.  He's a dangerous man.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism New and Different Religions?

For the longest time I've been considering them to be, since they've changed the rules from traditional (small "t") Torah Judaism.  In the United States or all North America what I call traditional Torah Judaism is called Orthodox Judaism.  Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism have both made radical changes in how they observe Judaism making their version of Jewish Life incompatible with traditional Torah observant Judaism.

The most unfortunate victims of these changes are their converts and children who are considered Reform or Conservative Jewish according to their specific criteria.

I just came across this very interesting article in the Forward by a young man, the son a a Jewish man and non-Jewish mother.  He was raised as a Reform Jew, a religion that accepts all children of Jews as Jews, even if the mother isn't Jewish.  Traditional Jewish Law only considers the child of a Jewish mother to be Jewish.

There have been other stories in the press about children of Conservative Jewish converts, and the converts themselves, berating the Orthodox and/or traditional Torah Judaism for not accepting Conservative Jewish conversion. 

This story shows that Conservative Judaism won't accept the Jewish status confirmed by Reform  Judaism on the young man whose father, not mother, is Jewish.

Those who follow Conservative Judaism then should be more understanding of those who do not agree with their rabbinic decisions and can't accept their converts as Jews without adjectives or labels.

I feel most sorry for those who thought they had bought the genuine article.