In just over a week, we'll have to get used to writing 2014 on checks and official forms. Is that new year going to be any different from 2013? Honestly, I don't think so.
The Jewish New Year, celebrated every First of Tishrei, which is in the late summer, is heralded by a month of reflections, repentance, known in Hebrew as תשובה Teshuva. We're supposed to be constantly doing teshuva, but during the Jewish Month of Ellul which precedes Rosh Hashannah, we're supposed to be intensifying it. It helps, that it's at teh end of the summer and not in the middle of a season.
January 1st is towards the middle of the solar winter in the northern hemisphere and the summer in the southern one. It's a time of extremes, extremely cold or extremely hot.
Reading and listening to the news, it seems like nothing at all will change. Jonathan Pollard will continue rotting in jail,
The expressions of shock and indignation that accompanied Edward Snowden’s revelations that the United States uses signal intelligence assets to spy on its allies were more than a little disingenuous. Everybody knows that everybody spies on everybody. If Germany’s spy agencies can, they are most certainly listening to the cellphones of friendly leaders from Washington to Paris. Allies routinely use signals intelligence, and human intelligence and everything in between to uncover information that their allies seek to keep from them....while American hypocrisy will continue.
In the case of the US and Israel, US government agencies have been involved not merely in spying against Israel, but in bids to undermine American public support for Israel almost since the establishment of the Jewish state.
According to a new history of the CIA’s involvement in the Middle East, America’s Great Game, reviewed this week in The Wall Street Journal, in 1951 Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA’s operations chief in the Middle East set up a fake anti-Israel lobby in Washington called American Friends of the Middle East. Its job was to weaken popular support for the Jewish state. The CIA’s anti-Israel front group operated for 16 years, until the fact that it was a CIA front group was exposed in 1967 by the far-left Ramparts magazine.
And this brings us to Jonathan Pollard, the American Jewish naval intelligence analyst who is now serving the 29th year of his life sentence for transferring classified materials to Israel.
Snowden’s revelations and the story of the CIA’s anti-Israel front group in Washington make clear that US indignation over Israel’s fielding of an agent in Washington was equal parts self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
There was nothing extraordinary in Israel’s efforts to gain information that its American ally didn’t wish to share with it. Allies spy on each other. And they use sympathetic locals to achieve their ends. South Korean Americans have been caught spying for South Korea. Taiwanese Americans have been caught spying for Taiwan, and so on.
Europeans are demanding that any new trade accord include data-privacy protections that the United States is eager to avoid.This whole American scandal is a lot bigger than just the United States versus Israel.
Almost never before has a spying scandal — in this case the revelation of the monitoring of the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — resulted in such a concrete, commercial backlash. Now it is also driving a debate inside the American government about whether the United States, which has long spied on allies even while nurturing them as partners, may have to change its approach.
“What’s more important?” Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the director of the N.S.A., asked during an interview last month, before the Merkel revelations. “Partnering with countries may be more important than collecting on them,” he said, especially when it comes to protecting against cyberthreats to the computer networks of the world’s largest economies.
And unfortunately, the Arab terrorists haven't stopped attacking us. A potentially deadly rocket was launched at Ashkelon. G-d saved us by making it miss its target.
This morning the rocket was found, between two houses. The rocket didn’t explode, or explode completely, so no damage was incurred.None of the Obama-Kerry pushed talks have encouraged the arabs to stop terrorist activities against us. Negotiations won't stop terrorism. We won't have peace until the Arabs really want peace, and that no doubt will take decades if not longer.
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/overnight-rocket-fell-between-2-houses/2013/12/23/
|Photo by Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90|
Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hareidi-bus-bomb-driver-im-no-hero/2013/12/22/attachment/158452/
No surprise that the Arab terrorists have resumed bus bombs against Israeli civilians. Thank G-d this one was discovered before it exploded.
Yes, we're in the middle of the winter, and we're in the middle of a battle for our very existence and survival. For there to be real change, we must all do Jewish style teshuva. We must reflect and correct. Without this process, things will just continue going on the very same way.
- We must recognize that the United States is not a true friend of the State of Israel. Some Americans are, but the government can't be relied upon. Other foreign countries are beginning to recognize it, even among its allies.
- We must also recognize that the Arabs and many other countries want us, the State of Israel to cease to exist. That is their aim and the aim of all the NGO's helping the Arabs.