Hamas War

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Jewish Year, Kislev (and Chanukah) Approaching

The Jewish Calendar is fantastically, brilliantly created combination of the lunar and solar calendars. You can get a pretty accurate idea of which day in the month by the size, shape and location of the moon in the sky.  A full moon means we're in the middle of the month, while the skinny crescents mean it's either the beginning or end of the month.  An extra month added every two or three years according to a brilliant bit of pre-computerized calculations assures us that the Jewish Holidays will fall in the correct seasons and not float around the year which happens to the Muslims.

The month of Cheshvan (or Marcheshvan-bitter Cheshvan, which it is also called) is supposed to be the first very rainy month of the year.  Unfortunately, we haven't had any serious, long heavy rains; although it has poured a couple of times in some of the country.

Yesterday I was in Jerusalem which enjoyed* unseasonably warm, dry autumn weather.  I was rather surprised when I got back home to Shiloh and noticed very wet roads and sidewalks.  Apparently it rained very hard in Shiloh a couple of times during the day.

I organize Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers at Shiloh HaKedumah-Tel Shiloh. The next Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, (which is the month when Chanukah begins) is next week, and it's a double one.  That means it's celebrated both on the last day of Cheshvan and the first day of Kislev.  My friends and I were debating on which day we should go to pray together.  It's not that easy when it's raining, although we'd never complain about the rain.  It would be sort of sacrilegious to do so.  Rain is so precious here.  Finally I decided on Sunday, the 30th  of Cheshvan, because it's always good to start the week with something special and to do a great mitzvah as early as possible. Here are the details.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Sunday, November 3, 2013
30 Cheshvan 5774, 8:30am
Tour of Tel Shiloh & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש כסלו בתל שילה

יום א' 3-11 ל' חשון תשע"ד 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join our facebook page. Tel Shiloh is open to visitors daily. Tours can be arranged through the Shiloh HaKeduma, Ancient Shiloh office. Email visit@telshilo.org.il  or phone 02-994-4019.

*Such continued dryness should be more worrisome than enjoyable.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Israel's Attempt to Prove it Wants Peace by Freeing Convicted Murdering Terrorists Doomed to Failure

As a mother, grandmother and educator I know too well that rewarding bad behavior will only reinforce and perpetuate it.  The idea that releasing convicted Arab terrorist murderers could show Israel wants peace will only result in more terrorism.
Just so readers of The Jewish Press are not confused, we’ll repeat it again. The Israeli envoy to the UN HRC in Geneva presented Israel’s release back into the wild of what is planned eventually to be more than 100 murderers of Jews as proof that Israel wants peace. More unrepentant murderers out there on the loose means peace is close to the hearts of the Israeli government, in UNspeak, and Israel is now speaking that language as well. But just in case anyone thought that Israel’s self-flagellation was enough pummeling of Israel for one HRC session, you can rest comfortably because more than 75  other member nations lined up to also vilify Israel.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/at-un-israel-uses-freeing-arab-murderers-to-prove-it-wants-peace/2013/10/30/
To achieve peace there must be a zero tolerance concerning terrorism. Terrorists must never be rewarded with pleasant jail conditions and releasing from sentenced punishment.  Of course, I prefer the death penalty, but so far the Israeli politicians and justice system disagree with me.

Can anybody in their right mind think that a ceremony like this will encourage peace?
Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Ramallah in the early hours of Wednesday morning to greet 21 prisoners released from Israeli custody to the West Bank as part of arrangements for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Five other Palestinian prisoners were released earlier in Gaza. All 26 were convicted murderers, most of them jailed for crimes committed before the 1993 Oslo Accords.Cheers rose from the crowd, many of whom held Palestinian and Fatah flags, cameras and AK-47s aloft, as the released men were carried on shoulders from the vans that had brought them from Ofer Prison to the Palestinian city. Celebratory gunfire, whistles and shouts of Allahu Akbar were audible above the din. (Times of Israel)
That's no harbinger of true peace.
The BBC's Yolande Knell reports from the West Bank that those who have been freed are seen there as political prisoners and heroes of the Palestinian cause - but that the decision has been hugely unpopular with the Israeli public.
The Palestinians released early on Wednesday were driven from Israel's Ofer prison to the Erez crossing into Gaza and the Beituna crossing into the West Bank.
In Gaza, fireworks shot into the sky as the former inmates were driven away in a convoy. In the West Bank, the freed prisoners were taken to Ramallah, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed a large crowd. BBC
This convicted Arab terrorist prisoner release has only upped the demands of the Arabs:
Abbas added, the report said, that the PA would continue its efforts to ensure that all terrorists serving time in Israeli jails are freed.
"All 104 prisoners [that Israel has agreed to release] will be released, but the real joy will only come when all Palestinian prisoners are released. We undertake to continue the efforts to release all prisoners until they return to their homes,” he said. (Arutz 7)
How can rewarding convicted of murder Arab terrorists make Israel a safer and more peaceful place?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

OOM, Shmoom! או"מ, שמום About That Ben-Gurion Was Right

Not only would Israel save a lot of money to leave the United Nations, but we'd also save ourselves a lot of grief and aggravation.  Dry Bones doesn't mention the United Nations in this cartoon, but the connection is very clear.

Ruthie Blum's latest Israel Hayom article blasts the United Nations for its hypocrisy and anti-Israel stance.
Israel's decision on Sunday to backtrack on its boycott of the U.N. Human Rights Council, and to attend the council's Universal Periodic Review in Geneva on Tuesday, was disappointing. If this, as was reported in Haaretz, is because Germany warned of the "severe diplomatic damage" that would ensue if Israel remained steadfast, it is downright disgusting.Israel severed ties with the UNHRC a year and a half ago, in March 2012, after having grown completely fed up with being the repeated target of unfair resolutions. The UNHRC was established in 2006 to replace the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which allowed countries with poor human rights records to be members.Now there's a hoot. Anyone who expected the name change to make a difference in the snake pit that puts primitive Third World states headed by abusive despots on a par with North America and Europe ought to have his head examined.In fact, in the Orwellian universe we all currently occupy, the very term "human rights" means the exact opposite. When embedded in a title of an organization, it is a clear indicator of that body's bias towards the forces that would bring down Western values. The fact that even U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his predecessor, Kofi Annan, accused the UNHRC of disproportionate focus on Israeli violations of human rights shows just how pernicious and pointless it is.
Israel and World Jewry must stop looking to to the United Nations, foreign countries, leaders and NGO's for moral authority and approval.

The most moral religion is Judaism, and for us to "be a light for all nations," we must use our own batteries and light-bulbs.

And we must stop discriminating against Jews.  Jews must be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, Har Habayit. Jews must be allowed to live all over the Land of Israel, even in towns and cities that have a majority of non-Jews.  Anything else is antisemitic discrimination, whether done by Jew or non-Jew.  We shouldn't be worried about what the world will say.  At present they are just laughing at us, knowing that we're doing their dirty work.

The Elephant in the Room, A Review

Soon after I received The Elephant in the Room: Torah, Wisdom, and Inspiration for Life by Ron Yitzchok Eisenman Mosaica Press, a friend was over and noticed it.
"I love his stuff.  I look forward to his daily emails.  Haven't I sent them to you?"
I must admit that I never looked into Rabbi Eisenman's emails before.  (Though FYI: You can subscribe to Rabbi Eisenman’s daily Short Vort email here.)  You can find the Short Vorts here by clicking.  Of course you can't access the internet on Shabbat which is a reason why it's a good idea to buy his books.

Rabbi Eisenman's book is wonderful, full of a great variety very useful, commonsense stories and advice. Last week I even found myself quoting (more accurately paraphrasing) from one very special story, "Shalom Bayis," page 126. (For the entire vort, click here or copy this link http://ahavasisrael.org/torah/the_short_vort/the_short_vort_shalom_bayis_6_13_11/.) It's the story of a widower, who came to the rabbi for advice before marrying again.  He was worried that his middle-aged never before married bride would have a problem being "a considerate wife."  The rabbi told him:
"I am confident that if you consistently display a sense of caring and concern for her, she will reciprocate in kind."
When the rabbi met up with the man a few months later, he inquired as to how things are with them.  The man told a story of how his wife had made a terrible mistake, but instead of chastising her and getting angry, the man decided to tell his wife that it was fine.  That resulted in his wife being more caring and considerate than he ever could have imagined possible.  I think that's a very important lesson for all of us, especially me.

There's a wide variety of topics covered in The Elephant in the Room by Rabbi Eisenman.  It's a nice book to have to pick for a special message.  It would also make a great gift.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Washing Out a Terror Victim's Blood

Photo credit: Reuters
While I was eating dinner, I almost lost it, as the saying goes. The television was on with the news, here in Israel of which convicted Arab terrorists would be released this time.  Just FYI Israel has long ago used up pretty much all of the convicted terrorists who hadn't succeeded in murdering anyone, so now convicted murderers are being released for various non-legal reasons.  This time convicted Arab terrorists are being released to "encourage" the P.A. to negotiate peace with us.
Israel is set to release in the coming days 26 terrorists who killed Israeli citizens. Of the 26 terrorists set to be freed, 21 came from Judea and Samaria, and 5 from Gaza. Most committed their terror attacks before Oslo, and served sentences ranging from 19 to 28 years.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/names-of-victims-of-the-26-terrorists-to-be-freed/2013/10/28/
I'm so glad that the terrorist who injured me, a couple a dozen others and murdered one woman had been killed on site soon after.  I don't know how I'd handle knowing that after that dastardly act he could be allowed by the Israeli Government to be free.  The suitable punishment for such a crime is death, and thank G-d three young men who were on the scene shot him dead.  They had to deal with the police, but in the end they weren't convicted of any crime.  This was also one of the early cases when the police tried to prove the terror attack was just an "accident."  I was involved with telling the public that it was a terror attack.  I gave information to the Jerusalem Post for a front page article and double-sized editorial, wrote an op-ed and then was interviewed on live TV on the IBA.

The terrorist being released that got me extra upset was once who murdered someone in our circle.  Minutes after the attack, someone I know arrived at the scene and comforted the victim's family.  Blood from the victim got on that person's clothes.  It wasn't all that much blood, but the person kept visualizing blood all over the outfit and asked me to get it clean.  I scrubbed and scrubbed it.  It looked clean to  me, but the person I know couldn't wear it ever again.  In that person's eyes, the blood would always be there, no matter how clean it looked to others.  Thinking about it today, I see that I was wrong.  I couldn't really clean that jacket of blood. The stain of the murdered victim of Arab terror wasn't just blood red.  For  the family and and friends the blood will always be visible.

Protestors march toward Ofer Prison
Yoni Kempinski
This can be compared to the situation going on now.  There are protests about the prisoner release.  The protesters still see the blood, while the government is trying to convince us that the blood had been cleaned away.  The government insists that there is only a low chance that these Arab terrorists will resume terrorism against us.

Now, I, too, see the blood.

Better The Death Penalty Than Releasing Arab Terrorist Prisoners; Bennett and MKs Snagged

For the umpteenth time I'm blogging that I am in favor the death penalty, capital punishment for Arab terrorists who murder and attempt to murder Jews.  I don't believe in giving them "second chances." If we had that in our Israeli Laws, then there wouldn't be this horrendously dangerous and weakening situation of convicted Arab terrorist murderers being released.
Israel names 26 Palestinian prisoners to be freed in 48 hours
All were convicted of murder, including brutal killings such as 1990 Rosh Hashanah lynch of IDF reservist in Gaza; 21 inmates are from West Bank, 5 from Gaza
I also must say "I told you so" to all of those who voted not only the ruling Likud-Beitenu but for Naftali Bennett's NRP aka Jewish Home Party.  For as many elections as I've been blogging, such as all of those Knesset elections in the past decade plus, I've warned everyone who reads my blog that the Likud isn't a reliably Right party and that all parties in the coalition must obey coalition discipline and even ministers don't have a say/vote in policy decisions.

When I got home from work yesterday afternoon and turned on the news I kept hearing the top Likud ministers chastising Bennett and his MKs for publicly voicing their opposition to government policy.  This was all so easy to predict.  The Likud is correct in complaining about Bennett.  Bennett signed a contract to abide by government decisions.
A Cabinet committee unsurprisingly defeated on Sunday a motion by the Jewish Home to propose a bill that would prevent the government from freeing heavy-duty terrorists. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted 8-5 against the proposal, with Likud, Yesh Atid and Livni’s HaTunah party minsters opposing it and Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers voting for it. With Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heading the committee, the bill had no chance. Click here to understand how she wears three hats, all of them oversized. Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a senior Likud member and a close aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, characteristically played the role of a sore winner and told Jewish Home Minister Uri Orbach, “If you don’t like it, you can resign.” Sa’ar berated the Jewish Home for daring to propose a bill that would have gone against government policy. Livni was even cruder with her snipe that the government does not act on the orders “of the rabbis in the West Bank.”
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-home-punched-out-in-losing-bid-to-keep-terrorists-jailed/2013/10/27/ 
Avi Ohayon, GPO
The decisions aren't made by polling all coalition MKs, or even all of the government ministers. This is nothing new, nor was it a secret before the elections and coalition negotiations.  Not to bore you, but I did post that innumerable times.  It doesn't matter or help or change things that Moshe Feiglin is now a Likud MK or that Tzippi Hotobelli is Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety and NRP's Bennett is in the cabinet. They have absolutely no influence. Their job, paid job, is to back Bibi's government.

And please don't try your scare-mongering on me claiming that it would be worse if Tsippi Livni or another Leftist was Prime Minister.  I've been observing Israeli governments and politics for almost half a century, and I've seen the Likud (originally Menachem Begin's Herut) in all positions and guises.  Israel's only Land withdrawals, Sinai and Disengagement, were under Likud Governments.  The Left wouldn't dare with a strong Right opposition.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is always best when pushed to the wall.  That's where I want him, not in power.

The present Israeli Government is promoting policies far to the Left, and that's the truth.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Director of Rabbi Riskin's Interfaith Center Appeals for Funding to Build Church in Jerusalem

Posted by Jewishisrael.com

In January 2013, just prior to Israel's national elections, a controversial video emerged with Bayit Yehudi candidate Jeremy Gimpel declaring to a Christian audience that in the future, once the corner stone of the Temple is laid, "the Jews would build churches. We would build them!"

The future has arrived, sans the Temple. David Nekrutman, executive director of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC), located in Efrat, has made an urgent appeal for funding to establish a church in Jerusalem.

 The obvious question which comes to mind to Torah observant Jews is why in the world would an organization founded and directed by the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin, and staffed by Orthodox Jews enter into the church-building business?  But apart from halachic considerations, there are plenty of other concerns  ....more

No Place or Time is Immune From Anti-Semitism

At least here in Israel, the big news after Shabbat was the terrible antisemitic attack on a Jewish family in Australia.  The family, middle-aged parents and adult children were viciously attacked; they needed urgent medical care.  In all honesty, I was disturbed by their reactions:
''It is extremely shocking that an attack like this could happen in Australia, let alone in Bondi being such a multicultural area.''
Faktor said the families of the victims are "very upset" and cannot understand why people would want to hurt them.
"You certainly don't come to Bondi and expect that," he said. "Maybe in Germany in the 1930s and Russia in the 1970s but certainly in Sydney, Australia, Bondi you just don't expect an unprovoked attack."

I find it dangerously naive.  We shouldn't rationalize attacks like that one as needing provocation.  There is no Jewish source in the cause/source of antisemitism. If you could rationalize such attacks as being caused by "provocations," then we Jews could be considered to blame.  I can't accept that.

We Jews are not to blame for the fact that antisemites of all ilks, whether Christian, Muslim or any other religion have no moral justification for their antisemitism.  For some of them it's an ideology and for some it's theology.  And there are also those who just like to pick on people who seem weaker and easy to attack, which can make the source psychology. They can be found all over the world.

Some antisemites are subtle and sophisticated, taking their hatred out in more refined and "sneaky" ways. Others like the Australians on Friday night were honestly brutal in their physical attack on the Jewish family.

I also don't like the term used in the Sky News YouTube caption, "violent brawl." A "brawl" connotes something mutual by people who may even be acquainted or a fight after a disagreement.
nounnoun: brawl; plural noun: brawls1.
a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.
"he'd got into a drunken brawl in a bar"
  1. synonyms:fightfist fightskirmishscuffletusslefracasscrimmagefray,meleerumpusaltercationwrangleclashfree-for-allscrum,brouhahacommotionuproar
    informalpunch-upbust-upruck, bit of argy-bargy; 
    informalrammyswedgesquare go
    rarebroil, bagarre
    "a drunken brawl"

From the reports, this was nothing of the sort.  The attackers chose their victims for a reason; the victims appeared Jewish. I think it's very dangerous for Jews to think they are immune or their locations aren't risky.  G-d willing when the true Moshiach takes over and rules we'll be able to destroy and banish antisemitism. In the meantime we must be prepared for it in all guises.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Did Abraham Err in Buying The Land in Hebron? Is it Like Celebrating November 29, 1947?

Many times I've blogged that I consider the Israeli celebration of the "29th of November," the anniversary of the day when the infant United Nations member states approved the establishment of the State of Israel to be a terrible mistake.  We, Jewish Zionists, should never have asked the world permission to establish our state. It has made us dependent on international approval and seriously undermines our sovereignty.

I admit that some people may find what I'm now going to say rather "sacrilegious," but I feel it must be said.

In this week's Parshat Shavua, Weekly Torah Portion, Chayei Sarah, we read of the Matriarch Sarah's death and that Abraham, her husband goes to great lengths to buy a specific piece of  Land in Hebron with a burial cave, now known as Ma'arat HaMachpela.

Genesis Chapter 23 בְּרֵאשִׁית
יא  לֹא-אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי--הַשָּׂדֶה נָתַתִּי לָךְ, וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר-בּוֹ לְךָ נְתַתִּיהָ; לְעֵינֵי בְנֵי-עַמִּי נְתַתִּיהָ לָּךְ, קְבֹר מֵתֶךָ.11 'Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee; bury thy dead.'
יב  וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ, אַבְרָהָם, לִפְנֵי, עַם הָאָרֶץ.12 And Abraham bowed down before the people of the land.
יג  וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל-עֶפְרוֹן בְּאָזְנֵי עַם-הָאָרֶץ, לֵאמֹר, אַךְ אִם-אַתָּה לוּ, שְׁמָעֵנִי:  נָתַתִּי כֶּסֶף הַשָּׂדֶה, קַח מִמֶּנִּי, וְאֶקְבְּרָה אֶת-מֵתִי, שָׁמָּה.13 And he spoke unto Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying: 'But if thou wilt, I pray thee, hear me: I will give the price of the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.'
יד  וַיַּעַן עֶפְרוֹן אֶת-אַבְרָהָם, לֵאמֹר לוֹ.14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him:
טו  אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי, אֶרֶץ אַרְבַּע מֵאֹת שֶׁקֶל-כֶּסֶף בֵּינִי וּבֵינְךָ מַה-הִוא; וְאֶת-מֵתְךָ, קְבֹר.15 'My lord, hearken unto me: a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.'
טז  וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָהָם, אֶל-עֶפְרוֹן, וַיִּשְׁקֹל אַבְרָהָם לְעֶפְרֹן, אֶת-הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּאָזְנֵי בְנֵי-חֵת--אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שֶׁקֶל כֶּסֶף, עֹבֵר לַסֹּחֵר.16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.
Now please think about it.  There are three places in the Land of Israel that were bought by Jewish Leaders in Biblical times.  It's all in the Bible.  They are that piece of land in Hebron, Har Habayit (the Temple Mount,) and Shechem.  I remember going to a shiur, class, a few years ago that brought up the subject that davka those three places which were legally, according to the laws of man, were repurchased by Jews.  But davka, those three places are most contested.

If the purchase had been the correct thing to do, then those locations would be recognized as Jewish owned over the millennium to this very day.  The fact that no other religion or people take those purchases seriously, including the Christians who "swear on the Bible" makes me wonder about the wisdom of paying people for our Land.

Davka, it was Abraham who had followed G-d's instructions in Lech Lecha to go the Land G-d would show him, which G-d would give to him and all his descendants. G-d is the true owner of all of the Land and all of the earth.  By making such a point to buy the piece of land to bury Sarah there, and getting permission from a human being for this denies G-d's ultimate ownership.

We're still making the same mistakes.  Our Israeli courts are making it more difficult for Jews to prove Land ownership than for Arabs.  That is what's behind the Givat Asaf and Migron problems and various other plots of land and buildings in Jerusalem, Hebron and other locations.

We still haven't fully accepted G-d's Lech Lecha challenge.  G-d has given the Land to us, and we do not need the approval or purchase receipt from humans.

Shavua Tov
Have a Wonderful Week

Friday, October 25, 2013

Europe, Possibly Israel's Most Dangerous Enemy

Caroline Glick hits the bulls-eye with her latest post about Europe leading the BDS and anti-Israel actions of Arabs.
The Palestinians did not come alone. They were accompanied by European diplomats. The diplomats were there to provide diplomatic cover to the Palestinians as they broke the law and breached the agreements the PLO signed with the Israeli government.
This would have been bad enough, but in the event, one European diplomat, Marion Castaing, the cultural attaché at the French Consulate in Jerusalem, decided that her job didn’t end with providing diplomatic cover for lawbreakers. She joined them. She punched an Israeli border policeman in the face.
Rather than apologize to Israel for using European diplomats to support Palestinians engaged in criminal activity, and for Castaing’s shocking violence against an Israeli soldier lawfully performing his duties, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton attacked Israel.

The enemies who look so sophisticated and can act charming are our most dangerous.  I consider this like the finely trained Christian missionaries who have been coached by experts on how not to alarm the Jews they are sent to befriend.  The Christians are attacking our souls, spirit (read Jewish Israel*) while the Europeans are helping the Arabs get our Land.

They are the two opposites, body and soul, our Land and the Jewish People.  That makes them, the Christians and the Europeans complementary and equally dangerous enemies of Israel and the Jewish People.  Unfortunately Israelis consistently underestimate the potential disaster each can cause.

A few months ago European led Arabs tried to invade/attack Sha'ar Binyamin, the shopping center where I work.  They are not pleased that Jews and Arabs actually work and shop together.  They tried to pressure the Arabs to leave, to boycott the Jewish stores and employment.  There's nothing humanitarian in that.

We must take steps against both of these enemies.

Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach
Have a Peaceful and Blessed Shabbat

*Jewish Israel also posts here on Shiloh Musings.

Inanity, Insanity, Dangerous Words From Minister Yair Lapid!

Jerusalem Post email/digest headline:
Lapid: Israeli-Palestinian conflict is psychological, not territorial 
Duh? How dumb can the guy be?
The conflict with the Palestinians is about distrust more than anything else, Finance Minister Yair Lapid said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Thursday....he Yesh Atid leader said that the peace process is not a logical puzzle, otherwise some of the great minds who have worked on it would have been able to solve it already. He also denied that the conflict is about borders, maps, Jerusalem, land swaps or anything technical, nor is it about Palestinian terrorism or Israeli settlements.
“The problem is fear, mistrust, traumas, memories,” Lapid said, presenting his central thesis. “How can people who don’t believe each other and hate and fear each other, sign an agreement and talk about coexistence? 
“The problem is that this isn’t a dialogue but two monologues. Israelis want peace and security; Palestinians want peace and justice. It sounds similar, but those are different sets of emotions, and we don’t talk about it, because we don’t know how to quantify it,” he explained.
“We need psychologists and psychiatrists, not generals,” Lapid said.

Does Lapid know anything about Israeli History, Jewish History?  Does he actually listen to our enemies? That makes him a chassid of Shimon Peres who has instructed us to ignore history.
From Peres's interview on wikinews:
DS: Isn’t the answer to that question that wise decisions are made with a basis from memory? Although a computer can have…SP: No, no. Forget memory. Look, the new age is unprecedented. When something is unprecedented, it means it doesn’t have a past, doesn’t have a history. It’s totally oriented on the future. And whoever dwells in the past, doesn’t understand the future because the past is full of prejudices, of commitments. It arrests us. And then you say you won’t commit a mistake, so you’ll commit new mistakes. It doesn’t matter.
DS: What about the adage, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”?SP: So they will make new mistakes. Mistake is inevitable as long as there are human beings. But you cannot repeat mistakes because the world is not built on repetition; it’s built on mutation.
"People tend to remember more and think less," Mr. Peres wrote in "The New Middle East," his 1993 manifesto defending the accords. "Our thoughts, which concentrate on the unfamiliar, are less welcome. However, we must focus on this new Middle East reality … and not wander among memories of victories in long-gone wars -- wars that will never be fought again." Critics of Oslo pointed to Arafat's unambiguous record of hostility to Israel, double-dealing, and ruthlessness. For Mr. Peres, however, history was not a source of wisdom, but a burden. Quoted from here
In all honesty, I don't understand why, how anyone in their right mind, whether Jewish or not can ignore the simple fact that the aim of the Arabs is to destroy the State of Israel and banish Jews.  This isn't an emotional problem, nor a psychosis.  The Arabs have never been shy at telling the truth.  It's terrifying to think that the people in charge of the State of Israel, elected government officials, like coalition member Yair Lapid is so totally disengaged from reality.  Lapid is misinterpreting the symptoms and treating them as the cause of the violence instead of properly understanding what the Arabs are saying and teaching.

Lapid's method reminds me of how a friend died of cancer, because she went for alternative medicine treatment for pain instead of getting a proper diagnosis of the cause of the pain. It's very possible that if she had gotten an accurate diagnosis of the cancer at an early stage, she could have been cured.  Yair Lapid is on the wrong track entirely.

Not for the first time, I recommend keeping up with the Palestinian Media Watch to find out what is really going on with the Arabs, what they are saying in Arabic, rather than Leftist agenda lies our politicians and media prefer telling.

I think that Dry Bones is onto something, G-d forbid.
Dry Bones

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Evangelicals Bring Texas A&M "Peace University" to Nazareth

Posted by Jewishisrael.com

Evangelical Texas Governor Rick Perry and Pastor John Hagee have joined forces to bring a branch of Texas A&M University to Nazareth.

The "Peace Campus" will offer "Muslims and Jews and Christians the opportunity to study together” and foster better relations between Jews and Arabs.

Yet Israel’s institutions of higher learning have always been open to Arabs, Christians and international students of all creeds.
A number of media sources are making the point that no other American university has opened a branch campus in Israel until now. However that is not exactly true. Mormons, Evangelical missionaries and Catholics are all striving to have an educational impact and "presence in Israel"JewishIsrael covers some angles that the press missed…more

When evangelist Mike Evans' Jerusalem Prayer Team Weekly Update proclaimed, "Bomb Shelter at Righteous Gentile Heritage Center Gets National Recognition", he surely didn't expect journalist Judy Lash Balint's account of the grand opening of the shelter, which was published in the Times of Israel, under the headline "Christian love: Buying their way into Jerusalem".

In addition to an accurate account, and photos of the event, Balint did the unexpected – she penned the truth about missionary Mike Evans...more

Things Only a Trempistit, Israeli Hitchhiker, Would Know

A very large portion of my traveling and commuting to and from home is as a trempistit, hitchhiker.  I live in Shiloh, which is in Israel according to our taxes, laws, voting rights, history etc.  But because of a strange perverse quirk in Israeli thinking, Shiloh and other Judea, Samaria and Jordan Valley towns, villages and cities aren't considered "Israel proper."  That's because Israeli is still pursuing the failed policy/ideology that claims that it's possible to make peace with the Arabs by giving it the Land Israel won/liberated in the 1967 Six Days War.

The fact, undeniable fact, that the Arab goal in that war of their aggression against us was to totally destroy us is completely ignored by the Israeli policymakers. Almost fifty years have passed since the war the so-called "Liberal-Leftists" are totally reactionary in their thinking.  It's beyond any semblance of logic and intelligence, but even after half a century of failure, they haven't given up their dangerous and illogical belief.

Since I'm 100% totally against any semblance of a "two state solution," I clicked the algemeiner article that mentioned a "one state solution."  It quoted a Guardian article that claimed that 30% of Jerusalem citizens are Arabs.
The Guardian editorial continues:
But this year, for the first time ever, there is a Palestinian candidate [Arab Israeli] Fuad Saliman…[who] is running as a part of an Israeli coalition of left-wing parties. Given that Palestinians make up well over a third of the city’s population, their participation in the political process could transform a political landscape…
So, what is the Guardian’s interest in increasing Palestinian voter strength? It becomes apparent in the following paragraphs:
As a thought experiment, however, it is fascinating. Extrapolating from the local situation in Jerusalem, what if all Palestinians made a strategic decision to seek full voting rights within the reality that is Israel, rather than demanding a separate Palestinian state? In other words, what if they transformed their struggle from a nationalist one into a civil rights one?
Here's my comment:
The numbers of Arabs in Jerusalem aren't totally accurate, because many who hold legal residence don't actually live there.  They live in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.  They keep the official residence/address so they and their children can have Israeli papers, license, ID.
One of my big proofs to this comment is the massive amount of Arabs driving the roads near me with Israeli license plates.  When I'm waiting for a ride, I can't just signal any car that's approaching.  And I certainly won't get in just any car that stops.  It's generally accepted that Jews and Arabs wait in different spots, so that Jews stop for Jews and Arabs stop for Arabs.

If all of those driving cars with Israeli licenses were Jewish, we'd have an easier and safer time.  Their are two very simple reasons that Arabs drive cars that look Jewish.

  • The Jewish cars are stolen.  A very high percentage, according to police statistics, are that if a Jewish car is stolen, it has been stolen by an Arab.  That includes cars with Israeli stickers to make it easier, G-d forbid, for them to kidnap Jews or simply drive into "Israel proper" without having to show identification.
  • The Arab is an official resident of Israel, frequently with one of the multistory buildings of questionably safe building methods in "east Jerusalem."  They and their family have Israeli papers but live in nice rural/suburban homes in villages all over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.
The algemeiner article by Adam Levick  brings up a very important point:
...Palestinian residents of Jerusalem would prefer – in the event a Palestinian state were created resulting in a divided Jerusalem – to remain citizens or residents of Israel...
This is something I also understand from my conversations with Arabs I meet at work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin.  The last thing most Arabs here really want is to be citizens of an Arab country.  They prefer Israeli conditions, freedom and justice.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why The Terribly Low Turnout in Israeli Municipal Elections?

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was just reelected with the support of about 20% of the eligible voters.  Now that does seem pretty pathetic. You may be curious how I got this number.  Simple Math:

Twenty percent doesn't show much support.  Does it?  And now Barkat has to fashion a coalition out of a very fractured city council.

Other mayors are in worse shape.  The Tel Aviv voter turnout was even lower Jerusalem's. Huldai got 51% out of the 31% who voted.

Most other cities, except for charedi and Arab showed similar statistics.  Why don't Israelis show up to vote?  In Israel's two most important cities, the capital and the city foreigners, with total chutzpah, designate as "capital," less than half the potential voters voted.  That's frightening.

I find it very worrying that most Israelis don't see any value in making an effort to get to the polls.  They were open until 10 pm, which is late enough.  It's night like Israelis sit home most nights doing nothing, watching TV or playing on the computer.  I'm always amazed at the amount of Israelis out shopping and enjoying themselves until late at night, even schlepping along their kids.  So if they can shop at 9 pm at night, why can't they vote?

It's a matter of priorities and of faith, the belief that their vote would really make a difference.  Israelis love all these reality TV shows in which the viewers can vote. Many do that with great enthusiasm.

When it comes to politics and government, that enthusiasm and innocence are long gone.   When I was growing up and when my older children were young, there were many volunteers helping politicians to get elected.  Then suddenly, somehow, more money came into the election budgets to the political parties and kids got paid for what once was a labor of love, making sure the best candidate won.  Helping candidates became a job.  The enthusiasm, passion and honesty went down the drain.  The kids who learned to recite the script they were assigned learned a terrible lesson.  Politics is just an act.  You can't trust what the politicians say when they the official supporters just parrot what they were taught.

And it certainly doesn't help when for the past few decades we've all seen elected officials promoting policies diametrically opposed to the platform they spouted to get our votes.

Sadly I must admit that I understand them.  I can relate to their cynicism. I think it's very dangerous for the future.  But I'm still a '60's idealist and like Don Quixote, I haven't given up going after those windmills.  I hope to change things while I'm still breathing and blogging.

Israel Should Build Much, Much More in Judea, Samaria, Jordan Valley aka "West Bank"

Israel is a very tiny country with impressive immigration statistics.  At sixty-five years, compared to most United Nations member countries, it's not all that new.  In terms of actual history, culture and more it's definitely one of the most ancient countries on earth.  The State of Israel descends from the Ancient Jewish People with a long continuous, well-documented history.  I live in Shiloh, the original Capital of the Jewish Land/Nation.  Jews have returned here from all over the world, and we're building lives and homes.

Unfortunately, Israel is still dominated by Jews who are insecure in our success as a legitimate country and continuously pander to those who want to destroy us.

Instead of just going on with full confidence and sovereignty in all of the Land of Israel we have under control, they keep on begging the world to recognize our rights and offering valuable gifts of Land to the Arab terrorists who want to destroy us.  That's why Israel gets so much international flack and criticism for building homes for Jews in Land we won in a terribly aggressive war to destroy us.  The world still hasn't forgiven our victory. Most countries would have happily built and supported memorials for the Holocaust and the destroyed State of Israel.  They prefer celebrating Jewish deaths rather than supporting vibrant Jewish Life.

The State of Israel keeps trying the same failed technique to get a "Peace agreement" with the Arabs. Such a thing will never be for two simple reasons.  The Arabs will never agree to a treaty promising the State of Israel a true peace, and whatever "interim" agreement is signed will be violated by the Arabs.  This is what always happens, like a Law of Physics.  We have to constantly be on the alert and not project our good peaceful nature and customs onto Arabs.  Stories like the Arab Egged bus driver spy should be a lesson.  Naivete is a dangerous enemy.

The only way for us to have peace is to build all over the Land of Israel.  I was recently in the town of Adam, just north of Jerusalem.

It has land prepared for building in the direction of Ma'ale Adumim.

One of the major issues of the recent economic protests in Israel has been housing prices.  The best areas to build in are davka in locations like Shiloh, Adam, Ariel, Gush Etzion etc which are close enough to Israel's major cities for easy commuting and already have successful and viable social, educational, economic and industrial infrastructures.

Building freezes won't bring Israel security, but building will.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Relieved Not to be Involved in Dirty Municipal Elections

Today is Israel's "National Municipal Election Day."  Israel's cities and towns, from Beit El to Beit Shemesh, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Efrat and Haifa are all holding elections today for Mayor and Town Council.
Polls are set to open in 191 municipalities around the country Tuesday, enabling 5,469,041 Israelis to exercise their democratic right to vote for a local government.
There have been all sorts of clever little public service ads on television, urging Israelis to get out and vote. We're told that it's the best alternative to "complaining." You have a "voice." That's a pun in Hebrew, since the same word  is used for "vote" as "voice," קול kole.  It's not an official "day off," aka democracy vacation, but since most polling booths are in schools, regular classes are affected.  I've been hearing from the media about "big sales" that will be in many large chains.  No details have been released prior to elections, since the owners do prefer that the customers buy at full price prior to elections.

local Shiloh elections
my archive
Unfortunately, one thing many of the municipal elections seem to have in common this time is talk of "dirty" campaigning. For me, that takes the fun out of elections.  I've always been fascinated by politics and campaigns, for as long as I remember.In Shiloh, I'm almost always on the election committee and set up the polling, conduct the actual voting and finally count the votes until late at night.  For whatever reason, people trust me and feel secure when I'm there supervising.

Shiloh isn't a city or even a town.  Legally it's a small village and is not governed by a mayor, so we don't have elections today.  Some yishuvim aka "settlements" have reached the required population size and have gone through the process to become cities.  They are electing their mayors today.

I've tried reading about the election campaign fight in Jerusalem, because it is Israel's Capital City, but with all the choice of lists for city council and candidates for mayor there isn't a single one I'd vote for.  We lived in Jerusalem for eleven years, and most of our children live in Jerusalem.  It's a city I know well, and I'm not at all encouraged by the politics going on there. The nastiness between Barkat and Lion are symbolic of the difficulties the city faces no matter who wins.
screen capture, Channel 2 News
Asked by the interviewer if he had anything positive to say about his rival, Lion was less magnanimous. “After three months of lies and slander by his campaign managers, I don’t even have one good thing to say about him,” he said.
Asked the same question, Barkat said he wished Lion well in his future moves — indicating his conviction that Lion, who only recently relocated to Jerusalem from his home town of Givatayim, would not be taking over at City Hall.
We need politicians who can work together for the common good.

Popular blogger Rafi of Life in Israel has been monitoring the elections in Beit Shemesh.  From my vantage here in Shiloh, it seems like Beit Shemesh is always suffering from campaign-like fever, since the three population sectors, secular/traditional,  chareidi and national religious are constantly competing for budgets, services and neighborhood domination.

All of this just reinforces the love I have of my community, Shiloh.  It may be a sleepy little town, but that's preferred over the alternative.

I haven't read or heard of a "pleasant" idealistic campaign anywhere.  If you do know of one, please tell me in the comments, thanks.