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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lieberman's Losing His Marbles

I had been under the impression that Avigdor (Yvette) Lieberman was a patriot and Israeli nationalist. But I must admit that apparently I was wrong.

Lieberman is a "Kadima" man, not interested in our being a truly independent nation.

Lieberman pushes Israel to join EU

That's right! I couldn't believe it either.

I still haven't recovered from hearing a big general on TV saying that the major Israeli accomplishment achieved in last summer's war "was getting thousands of foreign troops here to guard us."

That's what Lieberman has in common with Olmert and the rest of the Kadima crowd. They're "tired" and don't want us to be an independent country.

We can't let them continue at the helm. Let's get them all out of government. And tell the Likud not to accept any of the Kadima deserters back!

It's about time!

Finally someone is telling the truth. The left is endangering Israel!

From The New York Times:


Essay Linking Liberal Jews and Anti-Semitism Sparks a Furor

The American Jewish Committee, an ardent defender of Israel, is known for speaking out against anti-Semitism, but this conservative advocacy group has recently stirred up a bitter and emotional debate with a new target: liberal Jews.
An essay the committee features on its Web site, ajc.org, titled: "Progressive" Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, says a number of Jews, through their speaking and writing, are feeding a rise in virulent anti-Semitism by questioning whether Israel should even exist.
In an introduction to the essay, David A. Harris, the executive director of the committee, writes, "Perhaps the most surprising and distressing feature of this new trend is the very public participation of some Jews in the verbal onslaught against Zionism and the Jewish State." "Those who oppose Israel's basic right to exist," he continues, "whether Jew or gentile, must be confronted."

It's bad enough when non-Jews attack our rights to exist and live in our Holy Land, but when Jews and Israelis, too, side with the most anti-Semitic forces, it shows that we have a serious problem, which can be, G-d Forbid, fatal if not remedied.

Recently, the extremist Jewish fringe sect, Neturei Karta angered many Jews by traveling to Iran and supporting the Iranian plans to, G-d forbid, destroy Israel. That resulted in calls to have them "excommunicated," put in Cherem.

In many ways the extreme left wing "liberal" Jews, and the extremely "religious" Neturei Karta are two opposite ends of Jewish Life Style spectrum. But if we take the "line" and attach the two ends to form a circle, we find that they are connected. They actually have an awful lot in common.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"oddly worded announcement"


Tuesday, January 30, 2007
"Political echelon" decides to OK Thwarting Terror Attack Thwarted Via Attack of Tunnel Near Karni

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: This is the most oddly worded announcement I have
ever read from the IDF
. It would appear to be an indictment of the Olmert
Administration by the IDF with the clear message that the Olmert
Administration has been preventing the IDF from acting to thwart terror.
The message ends with the standard line "[T]he IDF will continue to use all
means at its disposal against the terror infrastructure in the area of the
Gaza Strip in order to provide security for the citizens of Israel." but the
first sentence makes it clear that "use all means at its disposal" is
subject to "a decision made by the political echelon".
============

January 30th, 2007
IDF SPOKESPERSON ANNOUNCMENT

Terror attack thwarted via attack of tunnel near Karni crossing

In accordance with a decision made by the political echelon, the IDF carried
out an aerial attack against a tunnel located near the Karni crossing, a
short while ago, on January 30th 2007. The intention of the tunnel was to be
used in order to carry out a terror attack against Israeli civilians in the
immediate future.

The terrorist organizations continue to act against the interest of the
Palestinian population and make cynical use of the area of the Karni
crossing, which serves as one of the main lifelines of the Palestinian
population- allowing the passage of merchandise and medical supplies in and
out of the Gaza Strip.

This is not the first attempt to carry out a terrorist attack in the Karni
crossing area. On August 27th 2006, following intricate and ongoing
intelligence-gathering activity by the IDF and ISA, security forces
uncovered a tunnel dug from within the Gaza Strip in the direction of the
Karni crossing. The tunnel was intended to be used in order to carry out a
large-scale terror attack, apparently in the crossing itself. Forces
uncovered the shaft (13 meters depth) and main infrastructure (150 meters
length) of the tunnel. The tunnel entrance was found inside a house in the
residential area of Sajaiya.

The IDF will continue to use all means at its disposal against the terror
infrastructure in the area of the Gaza Strip in order to provide security
for the citizens of Israel.

email: imra@netvision.net.il

More restrictions on Jewish movement in Eretz Yisrael



I have just received a pdf file, which I haven't been able to copy to post, which announces that another road is closed to Jewish traffic.

Yes, add it to the many restrictions on Jews in Eretz Yisrael.

It's the road from Adam, just north of Jerusalem, to Atarot, the industrial zone and Jerusalem Airport. I don't know if the airport still functions. That road has been used by people going to places other than Atarot.

The maps here aren't what I was looking for, wasted a long time and couldn't find what I wanted, but it does give an idea of where Jerusalem is compared to the Benjamin District, where I live. Distances are short. It's less than a half hour's drive from Shiloh to Jerusalem. Adam is about where the "t" is in Atarot in the upper map. There's a road connecting it with the airport, but Jews aren't allowed to use it.

If you try to combine the two maps, you'll see that they mention different Jewish communities.

Those, like Beit Choron, are close to us on the map, but we have to travel through Jerusalem, since the connecting roads are Arab only. All of our roads also have Arabs traveling freely. We have less freedom of movement than the Arabs. Yes, and it's getting worse.

hat tip: lg

Monday, January 29, 2007

Latest report from Chelm

Unfortunately, this isn't a joke.

Israel has to spend the American "gift certificates" in American stores, military stores. That's why the Israeli military industry is crippled and severely restricted. The IDF is also restricted. You see, even though the Americans are very happy to get their money back when we buy the weapons from them, that's the deal with the aid, we get into trouble if we use the arms. As I said, no joke!

There was a terror attack today in Eilat. An Arab terrorist exploded a bomb in Eilat and murdered three people. His family knew about it and wished him luck; they are very proud of their home-grown murderer.

And to keep us all safe, the government began a crackdown on "settler violence." Who really is endangering our country? The good news is that the government has gone so far to limit Jewish civil rights, that even the left-wing, B'tselem, is getting concerned.

...the human rights organization B'tselem, which on Monday said it too was
worried about the inclusion of restraining orders as a tool to keep order
between Israelis and Palestinians in the territories.

Quotable Quotes

Sometimes the best blogging is just to quote others. I think these two below speak not only for themselves, but for those blogging here, and hopefully, our readers too!

***





"I will allow myself to say a few unpopular, unfashionable words: our panicked longing for peace is working against us. It brings us farther away from peace, and endangers our very existence. I think it was Churchill who said, 'If you want peace, prepare for war.' The preparation includes material preparation, a fantastic army, effective tools of war, but above all, we are talking about spiritual preparation, about spiritual readiness to go to war.

"Roadmaps, capitulation, gestures, disengagements, convergences, deportations, and so forth do not bring peace. On the contrary, they bring war, just as we saw last summer. These things send a clear signal to our 'cousins' [the Arabs -ed.] that we are tired, that we no longer have spiritual strength, that we have no time, that we are calling for a time-out. They only whet their appetites. It only encourages them to pressure us more, to demand more, and not to give up on anything. These things stem from simple theoretical considerations and also from straight thinking. But it's not just theory: it has been proven and re-proven in the field over thousands of years. I returned today from a trip to India, where we heard about historical stories that illustrate the same. Capitulations bring about war; determination and readiness bring about peace.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we must tell our 'cousins' that we are staying here. We are not moving. We have time; we have patience; we have stamina. Understand this and internalize it. And we must not simply say it to our cousins but feel it within ourselves. This and only this will bring peace. We can really live in peace and unity and cooperation with our cousins. But only after they understand and internalize that the Zionist state will be here forever..."

-- Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Israel (Robert) J. Aumann, addressing the Herzliya Conference last week.
Read the rest here.


"..the IDF -- which buried its soul in the sands of Gush Katif -- and the High Command that did not identify the black flag waving conspicuously over the Disengagement, can no longer win any battle against an enemy that is not settlers. It makes no difference who will replace Halutz. As long as this basic moral concept is not understood, we will continue to lose."

"…the entire world witnessed Israel in Gush Katif. The media message that emanated from Zion was that the Jewish People are disengaging from their land and destroying it. The Chief Commander of that process was Don Halutz. In the sands of Gush Katif, Israel completely lost its goal. Without a goal, it is impossible to win. That is what brought Halutz to his inevitable resignation."

-- Moshe Feiglin of Manhigut Yehudit. Read the
whole article.

HAT TIP: Steven Shamrak

Are we "Jews of Silence?"


"Nothing's new," as King Solomon said so eloquently in Kohelet, Ecclesiastes.

Concerned Jews and non-Jews all over the world are incredulous at the silence here in Eretz Yisrael.

We have a government

which consists of politicians, who consider corruption their right
which is enthusiastically negotiating with terrorists whose public aim is our destruction
which is considers relying on foreign military an achievement
which cheerfully plans on exiling tens of thousands loyal Jewish citizens from their homes
which does not keep its promises to its citizens
which imprisons and prosecutes those who dare to even peacefully protest.
Those concerned Jews and non-Jews all over the world write to me. They send me very troubled letters. They say:
"We want to protest the corrupt and incompetent Israeli Government, but why aren't Israelis on the streets demonstrating? Why have you become the 'Jews of Silence?'"
For me, a Jewish activist during the 1960's, the term "Jews of Silence" relates to Soviet Jewry during the more than half a century of totalitarian Communist control, when they were persecuted and restricted by the USSR. They lived in fear of the "Gulag." They had no religious freedom, no civil rights. They couldn't live as Jews and they couldn't leave their living hell.

Eli Weisel wrote about the pain he saw in their eyes. Their pain and suffering spoke to him. For many of us, the Save Soviet Jewry Movement was our way of being "civil rights activists" but with a Jewish agenda. World Jewry protested for years until Jews were allowed to escape. A sizeable percentage of Jews from the FSU are now living how they wish wherever they wish.

Nobody is hearing cries and protests from Israel. It seems so much like the Parshot Shavua, the Torah Portions of the Week of this season. We're reading from the beginning of "Shmot," Exodus. Bnai Yisrael, the Jewish People have become slaves to Pharaoh. That's after their enthusiastic welcome by the "
previous" Pharaoh. Conditions have been getting worse and worse, but there's silence, but a population explosion. It was only when Pharaoh died that the Jewish people showed any visible or conventional sign of concern. Shmot, Exodus II

כג וַיְהִי בַיָּמִים הָרַבִּים הָהֵם, וַיָּמָת מֶלֶךְ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּאָנְחוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה, וַיִּזְעָקוּ; וַתַּעַל שַׁוְעָתָם אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, מִן-הָעֲבֹדָה.
23 And it came to pass in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
כד וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-נַאֲקָתָם; וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת-בְּרִיתוֹ, אֶת-אַבְרָהָם אֶת-יִצְחָק וְאֶת-יַעֲקֹב.
24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
כה וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֵּדַע, אֱלֹהִים. {ס}
25 And God saw the children of Israel, and God took cognizance of them. {S}

G-d sent Moshe to the scene, but his leadership wasn't so readily accepted. And even when they had finally left Egypt, the Jewish People kept trying to get back there at every opportunity, only remembering the "good."

Modern commentators have compared the stages Bnai Yisrael went through in ancient Egypt to the gradual persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany, which culminated in their systematic murder. In Ancient Egypt, G-d interfered and sent Moses to save them. That was because the entire Jewish People was enslaved. During the rise of Nazi Germany there were Jews in other parts of the world, and nationalist Zionist Jews in Eretz Yisrael, who were supposed to save European Jewry, but they didn't. The European rabbis of the time also instructed their followers to stay put, rather than be corrupted by the assimilated life-style in other countries, like the United States and Eretz Yisrael. They waited for the goyim to save them. The goyim didn't have saving Jews, stopping the Holocaust, on their agenda; so Jews continued to be murdered until the war was over. That's why six million were murdered.

We're in Eretz Yisrael, our promised land. How can I be comparing us to Bnai Yisrael as slaves in Egypt, or European Jewry during the Holocaust or Soviet Jewry in the USSR? It's the silence. There's a lack of faith in "democratic" means, in the government and in demonstrations. Even massive prayer vigils have proven disappointing. Those of us who were among the half a million Jews who had massed on the Kotel, including those who couldn't get into the plaza, remember that it didn't stop Disengagement. It was
ignored by the international press.

We aren't like the Jewish slaves in Egypt, because whether we meet in mass demonstrations or not, we are crying out in pain to G-d. We are also trying to utilize whatever media we can, yes, including blogs, to let the world know.

And this isn't like Nazi Germany, because we are in Eretz Yisrael, and we're neither leaving nor expecting others to save us. But similar to those days, there is much going on behind the scenes that the world isn't aware of. There was Jewish Resistance to the Nazi brutality. And there were righteous Jews who were willing to give up their limited rations and even lives to live as Jews.

The big difference between today in Israel and Soviet Jewry is in the eyes. The eyes of today's Jewish pioneers are not silent. There's no fear. There's strength and pride in being Jewish and settling the Land.

I've spoken to some of the kids who spent weeks and months in Israeli jails after being arrested for protesting Disengagement. They refused to recognize the authority of the judges to judge right from wrong, since the judges' criteria are anti-Jewish. These brave children were not broken. There's eyes are alive and strong.

When the Israeli riot police came to Amona last year to destroy homes and stop the demonstrations, they expected their armor and horses to frighten the demonstrators. They were enraged at the way the kids stared them down and tried to argue with them. Some of the police brutality was from the frustration of those bullies who expected the crowds to flee. They tried to beat the pride out of the kids.

Those kids were amazing. I remember seeing a couple of young teens arguing with police on the road to Jerusalem afterwards. From the body-language it was clear that the kids were stronger.

In ancient Egypt the enslaved Jews fought back with more and more babies, and today the Jewish birthrate in YESHA is also very high. Has G-d decided that the Moshiach will come when we old people are gone, like the slaves had to die off before Bnai Yisrael could enter the Holy Land?

It's obvious that we adults don't have a solution. The State of Israel is not doing its job for the Jewish People. But living in Shiloh, I don't hear silence, I hear and feel action and protest. We are crying out to G-d. Join our prayer here in Eretz Yisrael!

And as Jews say everyday in the "Amidah," The 18 Blessing Prayer:
"…Blessed art You Hashem who causes the Pride of Salvation to flourish."
"…Hamatzmi'ach Keren Yishu'a."

Siddur photographed from
ArtScroll

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gagged and Gagged No More





The Israeli Protest Movement has been gagged. Not only are loyal, patriotic citizens jailed or held in "house arrest" or exiled from their homes without any trial nor official charges, but those protesting are jailed, too.

When Olmert instigated his "excuses-only" Winograd Commission to "investigate" last summer's disastrous war with the Hezbollah in Lebanon, he envisioned the perfect mouthpiece for his double-talk and excuses. But now that Halutz resigned as IDF Chief of Staff, he's ready to spill the beans and blame the politicians, who have been tying the army's hands. He's not willing to take the blame; he'd rather take the whole lot down with him.

He's one general who's not going to fade away quietly.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Katzav?

I don't really know. Who knows for sure? Only he and the women and maybe his wife and some staff members.

Powerful Israeli men aren't known to be monogamous. Israeli (male) officers are known to use their young female secretary-soldiers for more than dictation and coffee. but that's not exclusive to Israel. It happens all over the world. That's a fact.

About his speech...
His voice was out of control. He sounded like someone arguing in the shuk (market.) In "My Fair Lady," Professor Higgins guesses people's origins from their speech. Yes, Katzav did sound like he was from the ma'abarot, the refugee camps set up in the early days of the state for North African immigrants. It wasn't the voice I had heard before. He did not sound like the president, a minister or Member of Knesset.

Other reactions:
Suicide mission
Netanyahu: Katsav should resign
Short history of the future
Katsav, cry for Gila
Media Mounts Counterattack; Public Supports President´s Speech
or
71 percent of Israelis think Katsav should resign

Which is correct?

We need a "Shavua Tov," a "good week"

There was a time when Jews could proudly say that, besides Purim, drunk Jews were rare. But Jews have assimilated well into the various Diasporas and then returned home to Eretz Yisrael.
62 suspected drunk drivers arrested overnight
We're not immune.

There was a time when the Jews who settled the Land of Israel were considered heroes. Now it's not so clear.
What turned 'settler' into a dirty word?

National "senility" means we're not learning from our past.
Gush Etzion promoting image with 'Lamed-Heh' march
but
Poll: 50% of Israeli Jews don't know what the Lamed Heh convoy was

Shavua Tov, G-d willing, but it's really up to us!

Friday, January 26, 2007

President Hillary?

This has been going around the internet:

>January 1 2009
>
>HILLARY'S FIRST NIGHT AS PRESIDENT
>
>
>Hillary Clinton
>
>Was sworn in today as President
>
>She has disposed of Bill and is spending her
>first night alone in the White House.
>
>She has waited several years for this.
>
>
>
>FIRST NIGHT
>
>
>
>Suddenly,
>
>The ghost of George Washington appears to her,
>
>and Hillary says,
>"How can I best serve my country?"
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Washington says, "Never tell a lie."
>"Ouch!" Says Hillary, "I don't know about that."
>
>
>
>
>
>SECOND NIGHT
>
> The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson
appears...
>Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"
>
>
>
>
>
>Jefferson says,
>
>"Listen to the people."
>"Ohhh! I really don't want to do that," said
Hillary.
>
>THIRD NIGHT
>
>On the third night, the ghost of Abe Lincoln
appears...
>Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"
>
>
>
>
>Lincoln says,
>
>"Go to the theater."
I've been having some major problems posting on blogger old blogger. Will I be forced to switch?

hat tip-Yakov Dov

Editor, The Jewish World,

On January 23 my wife and I and some Christian friends of Israel, affiliated with Bridges for Peace attended the Palestinian propaganda film "Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land, How Israel Manipulates and Distorts the Media" at the Albany Public Library.

This was a slick,well produced propaganda film, undoubtedly paid for by Arab interests. Its theme was Palestinian victimology, blaming Israel for their poverty and misery, and the terrible Israeli occupation of their lands.

We unfortunately heard Noam Chomsky,Neve Gordon, and Michael Lerner of Tikkun, who are opposed to Zionism and the rights of Jews to live in their ancient homeland, speak about the theme of Palestinian victimology; and to downplay Palestinian violence and terrorism as a result of Israeli occupation. I was surprised that they weren't joined by Naturei Karta in this propaganda film.

Amnesty International accused Israel of human rights violations . The American Arab Anti-Defamation Committee further accused Israel of Palestinian discrimination and criticized Israeli checkpoints that are necessary security measures to thwart Palestinian terrorism. Did anyone show how Palestinian schools, media and their religious leaders teach children to become suicide bombers and brainwash them in a cult of death and terror,committing them to Israel's destruction? No they repeated the wanton lies and canards that Israeli repression caused such terrorism.

We saw Alisa Solomon of the Village Voice And Robert Fisk of the British Independent further smear Israel, repeating the occupation victimology theme, as a reason for Palestinan terror.
These Israel bashers blame Israel's consular staff for propaganda and media bias favoring Israel, also blaming AIPAC, CAMERA for pro-Israel reporting in our media. This is the big lie as Hitler discovered, repeat it often enough and it will be accepted. The facts are that our media is often biased against Israel and CAMERA, Honest Reporting, etc are constantly challenging NPR,the NY Times, Washington Post, etc to tell the truth about Israel.

These Arabists and anti-Israel critics demonized Israeli settlers and even called Gilo a Jerusalem suburb,a settlement .Karen Pfeifer of the Arabist Middle East Research and Information Project, accused settlers of being aggressive to Palestinians and stealing their lands.

We should counter these lies about Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. We can tell how Israel exists on about 20% of the lands of Palestine, and that Jews have lived in Judea/Samaria since Biblical times.These areas were made Judenrein following the Nazi model by Jordan, who destroyed former Jewish settlements. After winning the 1967 defensive war, Jews moved back into their former lands. They are revenants returning to their former homeland. To speak of Israel as an occupier of Palestinian lands is a big lie. There were never any claims about this when Jordan controlled these areas prior to 1967. Before then there weren't any Palestinians either, as most of these Arabs lured by Israel's prosperity, flooded into these areas, falsely claiming them as their own. Arafat was an emigrant from Egypt. They called themselves Palestinians after 1967, when Arafat's PLO encouraged them to do so, and to claim that they are victims of Israel. Yes the Palestinians are victims, victims of their hatred, neglect of their leaders, their cult of death and terror, and covenants calling for Israel's destruction.

How can we best reply to these canards and propaganda against Israel? We must stand up and confront these lies and propaganda and insist that Israel's side be presented in our public libraries, like showing Obsession or Relentless, and being pro active about Israel and the Mid East crisis. I could have stayed to the end of this meeting, asked hard questions, and made strong pro-Israel comments. I've debated Arabs several times. However we were only a few amongst these Palestinian supporters. Had there been at least a dozen more committed Jews and Christians there, we could have made some strong points for support of Israel. However it is sad that some of our communal leaders don't believe in Israel activism. Lets commit ourselves to stand by Israel more strongly in the public arena in the future.

Benedict Olmert?

As a Torah observant Jew, I comfort myself with the knowledge that This World is just temporary. It's the preparation for "Olam HaBa," the World To Come. Our "tickets" for that Next World depend on our actions in This One.

Chazal, our Sages, say that the evil get rewards in This World and righteous in The Next.

In my small perch in Biblical Shiloh, I find it impossible to comprehend how Israeli politicians can be negotiating for the destruction of our country. How can they even speak to those Arab terrorists who proudly declare that their aim is to destroy the State of Israel? G-d forbid!

A short while ago, when brainstorming with some other pro-Israel activists, we heard ourselves saying: "Benedict Olmert"

Yes, we now wonder about his true aims. Ehud Olmert was raised as a strong patriotic Zionist and made his name as a Likud politician. Most of us were naively unaware that he has been married to a fanatic left-wing woman, and his children have gone even further to the left and its perverse, self-destructive life-style.

Olmert is holding onto his position as Prime Minister with all of his intelligence and strength, the same talents he should be using to develop and advance our precious country. The corruption charges against him are legendary. Will he pay for any of this in This World, or will his punishment be entirely in the Next One?

And who was Benedict Arnold? Apparently, he was also a man of contradictions.

...Why did Arnold desert the cause for which he had fought so gallantly and twice been wounded? Was there any justification for his conduct?
...He was bold and creative, a man who sized up a situation and acted quickly. He was ambitious and extravagant, an egocentric man who craved power and the financial rewards that came with it. He was intrepid and ruthless, willing to risk his life "and the lives of others" to get what he wanted.
...Arnold made a fateful decision: he would seek fortune and fame in the service of Great Britain. With cool calculation, he initiated correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander, promising to deliver West Point and its 3,000 defenders for 2O,OOO sterling (about $1 million today), a momentous act that he hoped would spark the collapse of the American cause. Persuading Washington to place the fort under his command, Arnold moved in September 1780 to execute his audacious plan, only to see it fail when Andre, was captured. As Andre, was executed as a spy, Arnold received ce 6,000 from the British government and appointment as a brigadier general.

...Arnold's perfidy lay in the abuse of his position of authority and trust: he would betray West Point and its garrison "and if necessary the entire American war effort" to secure his own success. His treason was not that of a principled man but that of a selfish one, and he never lived that down. Hated in America as a consort of "Beelzebub ... the Devil," Arnold was treated with coldness and even contempt in Britain. He died as he lived, a man without a country.
In Judaism, there's a "way out." It's called Tshuva, Repentance. Will we see Olmert and his followers take the step?

Shabbat Shalom U'Mevorach

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Interviewed

I've been honored with an interview by the beak.
There are twenty-five, yes 25, questions.

This is my first blog interview. I hope that he cleans up my spelling, since there's no spellcheck in "comments."

If you're not familiar with The Beak Speaks, this is a good time to get acquainted.

I'd like your reactions. I hope that I didn't make any mistakes in terms of facts. Of course, my opinions are my opinions, and yours are yours.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Watch his hands!


Olmert is a champ at the cup trick. I have no doubt that his "policy changes" are all well-calculated to confuse us.

Olmert knows perfectly well what he wants and what he believes in. The problem is that he masks things and "moves the cups" so quickly that we lose track of what is really transpiring. That's how he has planned it.

Before Olmert was even elected Israel's Prime Minister, he haughtily announced a the Herzilya Conference that Israel was withdrawing from most of Judea and Samaria, just "consolidating settlement in a couple of blocs." The fact that dozens of long-standing, strategic communities would be destroyed and tens of thousands of innocent, law-abiding citizens exiled from their homes, business and educational institutions destroyed, didn't rate in his list of priorities. He was too "high" on the praise of the world, which didn't care when European Jewry was being slaughtered by the Nazis and hasn't become warmer to live Jews since. They enjoy and appreciate their visits to Yad Veshem, but they won't come to Shiloh or the University in Ariel.

Later on Olmert announced that it wasn't a "good time" for a unilateral withdrawal. Some people felt that it meant that he had canceled the plan, but reading his statements carefully just showed that it was a delay for tactical reasons.

And now, he visited the Disengagement Refugee Camps, tsk-tsking about the fact that the "two-year building prediction" is ridiculously far behind schedule. In half a year, we will be mourning the Second Anniversary of the Destruction of Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron Jewish communities. At the same time it has been revealed that Olmert has has agreed in principle to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria ("Yesha"), in secret talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. G-d forbid!

In the meantime, that "wall" is still going up, cutting us off from the ghetto called the State of Israel. It's not going to keep anyone safe. The politicians are claiming that the "wall" is proving effective. Terrorism has gone down. That sounds nice, but look at those statistics clearly. Where has terrorism gone down? It has going down equally, all over, meaning both sides of that wall. If the wall was the reason, then terrorism would have continued at the same rate or even higher on my side. But it hasn't.

The reduction in terrorism is the result of the Arabs' change in policy. It has nothing to do with the wall at all! The Arabs have more freedom of movement than people think. They aren't strip-searched, either.

Things aren't as they appear.

We can't relax our guard with Olmert in the Prime Minister's Office.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Like any other?



No, worse!

In Biblical times, the Jewish People asked Samuel the Prophet to give them a king like the others. And thousands of years later, one of the Zionist ideologues wrote that he was waiting for Tel Aviv to be a city like others with prostitutes and crime.

Why? Look at the fine mess they've gotten us into!

Today's big news is:
AG Mazuz decides to charge President Katsav with rape, sexual harassment
and
Israel's top citizen will also be charged with other sex crimes

and that's not all:
Majority of Israelis believe money taking over government

The press is salivating.

As a nation, we must repent. It's not enough for us to say:
"He did it, not me."

Somehow, even in our innocent passivity, we're involved. Could it be just because we didn't try hard enough to stop it, to change things? It's a hard time to raise children, to teach them right from wrong.

But we must never give up.

Some minor renovations


Let's call the picture, Spotted Dawn

You may have noticed some minor renovations on my sidebar. No, I'm not going to quiz you like that memory game. Though you can guess, if you've noticed.

But I will thank Akiva for fixing things up!! One of the things I had requested was to make the default color (writing) a dark blue to match the banner. That's something you wouldn't notice, unlike sidebar changes. I really don't like black. Now, there are things on the sidebar, I want to add to me-ander's, and I'll have to try to copy from the template. I'll try doing it myself.

Considering the state of our beloved nation, this is total norishkeit.

I don't yet have an opinion about the new Israeli Chief of Staff, Major-General (reserves) Gabi Ashkenazi. All I know is that his military background is the total opposite as the previous one. He's from the "people's" Golani Brigade, verses the elitist Air Force. He's a "ground soldier," and that's good. The problem is that I'm suspicious of all those who have been promoted in recent years. At least Ashkenazi is over 50, which means that he knew the "old ways."

There's one important thing we can all do.
That's pray to G-d.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Double Winner!


I kid you not!
I guess I'll be cross-posting this. How could I not? Of course I'd like to know how to get it on my sidebar. I don't have a code for it.

Shiloh Musings got the bronze in Best Designed Blog, and me-ander got... hold onto your hats! I'm still in shock!!!! The Gold Prize for Best Designed Blog. Of course, all the credit goes to ~Sarah~ and Akiva.

What? You don't believe me???
Read the results for yourself!!

Even worse than my pessimistic predictions

It's hard to believe, but that's the case. It was easy to predict that the compensatory dreams of the Gush Katif victims wouldn't be realized. As soon as their homes, communities, businesses, etc were destroyed, their reconstruction dreams would prove illusionary at best. It was clear to me that their "compensation money," to the lucky ones who were deemed deserving by the government, would be wasted on inflated rents and bare survival.

Olmert and Sharon's post-Zionism is even worse than that of the Left. It takes a "recent convert's" fanaticism to do what the old-time Leftists wouldn't dare.


17 months later, no one is building for Katif evacuees

By Nadav Shragai

Former Gush Katif residents Shai and Iris Hamu and their four children have been living in a two-room rented apartment in Moshav Mavki'im, near Ashkelon, for a year and a half. Shai, who once had a successful farm, is unemployed. Iris' salary is not enough for the family's needs. At a certain point the couple realized that if they continued drawing on their compensation payments, they would not have enough money for their permanent home. They began building on their lot in Mavki'im, without a permit. A stop-work order was issued a few weeks ago, but they are continuing with the construction.

The Hamus, who lived in Pe'at Sadeh, are just two of the 11,000 people who were evacuated from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip and from the northern West Bank in the summer of 2005. Although 17 months have passed since the evacuation, work has not begun on even a single house in the 21 sites designated for the evacuees' permanent residence.

Six months ago the last of the evacuees left the hotels and guesthouses where they were placed after the evacuation. The protest encampment of former Elei Sinai residents has been dismantled, but everyone is still in temporary accommodations.

Shai Hamu says the state should be ashamed for turning him into a criminal, and that he does not care. He is not alone. A neighbor, Yaakov Aberjil, began building his home without a permit, too, and was issued a stop-work order. Some of the double-wide trailer homes at Nitzan are now sporting illegally built additions. Avraham Ben-Hamu, a former resident of Bedolah with six children and four grandchildren, built two wooden structures next to his trailer home, one for a son's family and one for a daughter.

The temporary accommodations have apparently created two, opposite, behavior patterns. The more common one is to avoid spending on the trailer home in order to save toward the permanent house. The other one, which is becoming more popular, is to build illegally.

After unemployment, temporariness itself is the biggest enemy of the evacuees. The professionals who have been aiding the evacuees say it creates a feeling of alienation, reduces privacy and often leads to a dissolution of the family.

The story of Rahamim and Shosh Ben-Haim is just one example. Rahamim, 57, was among the founders of Neveh Dekalim and the first secretary of the community. He was the manager of a security-door factory with 100 employees, which had a 40-percent market share. His family is supposed to move from Nitzan to Givat Hazan (formerly Egoz), which is slated to house about 120 families. Ben-Haim was unable to find a suitable location for a new factory, and signed a two-year lease on a smaller building in the Ashkelon industrial zone. He now employs 70 workers. He says he is losing about NIS 1 million a month and is "holding on by the skin of my teeth."

The sequence of events at Givat Hazan amply illustrates the bureaucracy and official foot-dragging regarding the evacuees' permanent residences. The families originally wanted to settle in Egoz, but the site was vetoed out of environmental protection considerations. Givat Hazan was proposed as an alternative, but it is next to a firing range that the Israel Defense Forces is loath to relinquish. The families have been waiting for months for an answer, and the issue has reached as far as the Prime Minister's Bureau.

When the temporary housing is far from the permanent residence site, it makes it difficult for an evacuee who is lucky enough to find a job near the current home to make a long-term commitment.

Kobi and Yaffa Haddad, formerly of Rafiah Yam, attempted to avoid this trap by going directly to Bustan Hagalil rather than joining their neighbors in temporary accommodations in Nitzan. Kobi Haddad worked as a guard at communities in the area for two months and was laid off, while Yaffa was unable to find work in the north. A year or so later, the Haddads joined their former neighbors in Nitzan, where Kobi found a job.

K.N. and her family live in Nitzan and plan to settle in the north. She wants to build guest cabins and enter the hospitality industry. "I went up north to try to start a business there but soon realized it's impossible when you're not on your home turf, in your home. Until you are living there, you can't do anything."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

BIG BROTHER is WATCHING YOU!


Another uncontrollable monster!

ISRAEL RUNS SECRET UNIT TO MONITOR WITHDRAWAL OPPOSITION
Israeljustice.com
Sunday, January 21, 2007

Date added: 1/21/2007

JERUSALEM -- Israel's domestic security agency has been operating a secret unit designed to monitor and infiltrate opposition to the government's withdrawal policy from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The secret unit was established in February 2005 as the government prepared for the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank and the expulsion of 16,000 Jews. Officials said the Israel Security Agency unit, authorized to infiltrate protest groups, was also designed to monitor the Internet.
"There will be attorneys in every relevant district, and they can accompany the investigations and provide immediate advice to the police because of the sensitivity involved in the realm of expression," Shai Nitzan, deputy state prosecutor for special operations, said.
Nearly two years later, the government and some panel members have refused to acknowledge the ISA unit. But Knesset member Michael Eitan, former chairman of the Constitution and Law Committee, said the unit continues to operate, although without parliamentary oversight.
"This was an intelligence unit," Eitan told Israeljustice.com in mid-January 2007. "What's it our business to oversee this?"
The secret intelligence unit was discussed in a closed emergency session of the Knesset Constitution and Law Committee on March 1, 2005. A transcript of the hearing was recently obtained by Israeljustice.com.
"The government conducted a meeting and has made a decision to establish a special unit in the Justice Ministry," Eitan told the committee during the emergency session.
Officials said Nitzan has headed the secret ISA unit under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry. They said Nitzan reports to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and the unidentified legal adviser of the ISA.
Neither the ISA nor the Justice Ministry agreed to discuss the special unit. Several officials became agitated when asked about the functions of the ISA unit.
"No, no and no," Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen told Israeljustice.com.
During the March 2005 session, Nitzan and other officials provided details of the secret intelligence unit. They said the unit was meant to determine whether dissent or civil disobedience constituted incitement or sedition, punishable by five years under Israeli law.
"We are very sensitive to crimes called 'crimes of expression,'"
the ISA legal adviser said. "The treatment is different to that of other crimes because there is a thin line between freedom of expression and criminal acts. These include incitement to violence, incitement to racism and incitement to draft evasion."
Over the last year, about 700 people were indicted in connection with the protest campaign against the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, officials said. Several of the indictments pertained to newspaper articles or letters critical of officials who directed the withdrawal.
Officials said the prosecution has handled what they termed clear cases of incitment or sedition. They said the new ISA unit was reserved for what one official termed "clandestine matters."
The intelligence unit was also granted extensive powers, officials said. This included the use of agents to infiltrate the anti-withdrawal movement, comprised mostly of Jewish teenagers.
"We call them live sources," the ISA legal adviser said of the agents. "This is no secret, and if it is a secret, I'm revealing that we operate live sources to collect information in problematic situations."
During the hearing, the intelligence official acknowledged the unauthorized use of an agent-provocateur to incite the man who eventually assassinated then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. The official said the agency has "come a long way" since ISA handled the agent, Avishai Raviv.
The legal adviser said ISA has been cooperating with the Justice Ministry and the attorney general in the use of agents against Jewish dissidents. He said the agency also operated a so-called Jewish division, which monitored those deemed Jewish extremists.
For his part, Nitzan told the Knesset session that the ISA unit was meant to help authorities block the rise in anti-withdrawal protests. He said the state prosecutor drafted guidelines to confront incitement and sedition.
"The prosecutor's office is already overloaded," Nitzan said. "As a result, there are cases that it is important to deal with quickly to send a message to prevent additional violations of the law. We've also asked for more judges."
During the session, several committee members expressed concern over the new unit. Knesset member Yuli Edelstein, imprisoned in the 1980s as a Jewish dissident in the Soviet Union, said he was worried by the ISA use of agent-provocateurs, employed widely in totalitarian countries.
"The angle that really worries me is the activity of the agents," Edelstein said. "We need to supervise the Justice Ministry."
Other committee members expressed concern over the authority of the secret intelligence unit to comb the media and Internet sites for dissent. Knesset member Yitzhak Levy said this was unprecedented in Israel.
"Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said the unit will go through newspapers every day and try to spot [negative] remarks," Levy said. "It seems that we are speaking about an activism that is above and beyond what is usually discussed."
Today, several of the committee members said they no longer receive updates regarding the ISA unit. But attorneys who represent anti-withdrawal activists said the unit's activities were adopted by other agencies in the law enforcement community.
"People in the police are doing this," Yitzhak Klein, director of the Jerusalem-based Israel Policy Center said. "They have a computer crimes section and they are looking for incriminating material and there is some evidence that these cases are run through Mazuz himself. It's possible that we see here one of the outcomes of the special unit."
Knesset committee members said Eitan was the sole liaison between Israeli authorities and parliament concerning the government campaign against anti withdrawal opponents. But even during the 2005 hearing Eitan doubted whether parliament could maintain oversight over the ISA unit.
"There are gray areas like everything in life, but the Justice Ministry is on top of things," Eitan said. "It could be that we in the Knesset need to supervise the Justice Ministry and receive information. But even then, there will be things that are not right. What can we do? Should we get rid of these operations that we know we need?"

Having trouble killing the monster!



This reminds me of the horror stories about monsters which once created cant be destroyed! Read to the end!

Government Continues to Plan Future Withdrawals
08:15 Jan 21, '07 / 2 Shevat 5767

(IsraelNN.com) Despite official proclamations, the Foreign Ministry continues working on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Convergence plan. Olmert publicly withdrew his support for the plan months ago; however, government officials are still drawing up plans for a unilateral withdrawal from Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. The Convergence plan would require the removal of over eighty thousand Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria from their homes.

Olmert said after the Second Lebanon War that he no longer believes in unilateral withdrawals, and will only retreat from territories after negotiations. His aides said Sunday that Olmert had no knowledge of continued work on the plan.

I had no idea!

We take things for granted, especially when we're young.

As I've written before, I spent my adolescence in the Great Neck Synagogue, and it was during that time that I became religious. I took for granted that all rabbis were like Rabbi Wolf and all cantors sounded like Cantor Eleazer Schulman.

It's decades since, and I'm embarrassed to say that I've just discovered that Cantor Schulman was world-class. I remember hearing his recordings on the radio here in Israel about twenty years ago, but I didn't take it very seriously.

Only when we recently spent a Shabbat with some internationally acclaimed chazanim, that I got an inkling. First hint was that they had known him, and not "just in passing." The "performance/service" was so staged that it was difficult to judge and compare their voices to his. But then my husband bought some CD's, and I've been listening.

Yes, Cantor Schulman did sound very much like the chazanim on the CD's, if not better.

So, better late than never, if I ever besmirched his skills, I'd like to apologize.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

G-d Forbid! From the north?

Just after deciding on posting the fictional attack from the south, I received an email with a true report about what's happening in the north. I asked the sender for permission to post it.

Permission received.

To understand the seriousness of the situation, you must remember that last summer the Arabs bombed one of Israel's major cities, Haifa. Ironically (and honestly, do you really expect normal logic from Arabs?) it's a city with a large established Arab population, and there are many mixed neighborhoods. It's not like Jerusalem where Jews and Arabs rarely live together. Yes, I know that recently there have been more and more Arabs moving into Jewish neighborhoods like French Hill and Pisgat Zeev. Recently I was in French Hill, near the supermarket, at night, and I heard mostly Arabic. It wasn't like that a few years ago.

Besides Haifa, Tzfat was seriously damaged by Arab bombing, and Narhariya and Kiryat Shmoneh, too. That's besides the more rural areas. Israel is a tiny country. It's no secret that the Arabs have been re-arming with more advanced weapons, and they're more confident than ever.

So read this:
"It appears as though the Hizbollah is preparing for Round 2. Up our way (Moshav Avivim), the entire border is now dotted with Hizbollah flags and moving figures. There is not a single Lebanese army flag in sight. In my opinion, this is NOT okay. A flag is not only a symbol that represents concepts and ideals, but also used to stake claims. Does this mean that the Hizbollah have reclaimed Southern Lebanon? While driving home form work one evening, will I encounter terrorists who have infiltrated through tunnels they have dug under the border-underneath the noses of the UN base that lies opposite my house? For years these UN troops have been observers. They observed the way the Hizbollah prepared for the last war and armed themselves to the teeth, so why should anything be different now? And BTW, where IS the Lebanese army that was supposed to keep the border clean? Perhaps it was largely comprised of Hizbollahs in disguise? Oops, sorry. If I don't keep quiet we'll never have peace with Syria... Looks as though we can all stay tuned to the same channel and same program for a repeat broadcast of the last war, coming soon to a neighborhood near you..."

G-d Forbid!


Pretending, like the three monkeys, that something can't happen is dangerous and foolish.

This was sent out from the Women in Green list.
It's not pleasant reading, but it's necessary. This last summer's war, over thirty years after the Yom Kippur War, shows that wishful thinking is still dominating Israeli politicians and military.


Dear Friends,

My dearest co-chair, Ruth, is away this week and thus I am replacing her.

As many of you know, my family and other Women in Green families had moved to Gush Katif a few months before the expulsion. We had the privilege to live in Kfar Yam, next to the wonderful Yitzhaki family. Today, the Yitzhaki family lives in Efrat, Gush Etzion, waiting to return home to Gush Katif. Datya, who had been the spokeswoman for Gush Katif for many years, has become a close friend of ours. So, too,her husband Aryeh, famous historian and tour guide. Aryeh is a walking encyclopedia and his lectures (in Hebrew) are fascinating.

Just last week he gave a lecture on the famous story of the "Lamed Hey", the 35 Jewish fighters who, in 1948, had tried to come from Jerusalem to help Gush Etzion but were massacred by the Tzurif Arabs. In front of a packed Heichal Shlomo audience of more than 350 people (lecture organized by the Jerusalem municipality Moreshet program), Aryeh talked to us about different facts he had discovered - facts hidden away for years from the public by the Israeli army and politicians, in order for the public not to know about the many things lacking and mistakes made; mistakes that cost us a lot of Jewish lives.

Worrying that once again the government and the IDF are not getting prepared for what is to come, Aryeh wrote a chilling article last week about an imaginary scenario The article was written in Hebrew and printed on the Arutz 7 Hebrew website. Women in Green translated the article. No comments are needed.

I want to add one more thing. Because Aryeh Yitzhaki never hid his political right wing views, and because he was seen on TV during the expulsion defending his home against the expulsion forces, he was "punished' by the leftists. The Academy Institute of Machon Avshalom, where he had been teaching for years, fired him. So too the Ministry of Tourism fired him from their Course where he used to be a Senior Lecturer. Not only did the government succeed in destroying his house, the Leftists wanted to make sure to try and destroy his income, too. We cannot let that happen. Now, little by little, Aryeh is being invited again to lecture. But it is not enough. Every hour Aryeh does not teach, is a loss to all of us. Women in Green call upon all those who have connections in Israel with schools, ulpanot, yeshivot, community centers, shuls, academies, etc., to invite Aryeh Yitzhaki to come and talk (in Hebrew). Aryeh can be reached at datya@netvision.net.il

Shabbat Shalom,

Nadia Matar



The Massacre in Kibbutz N.
or, How the War to Liberate the Gaza Region Began (a Nonfictional Scenario)
by Aryeh Yitzhaki

The Shabbat evening in February 2007 was cold and rainy. All the members of Kibbutz N. were fast asleep in their modest homes. Only the guards patrolled the perimeter in their vehicle.

The soldiers of the company in the nearby camp that adjoined the kibbutz fences also were asleep in their beds. The soldiers on duty that night wearily looked at the screens and consoles of their sophisticated warning devices. Heavy fog descended on the entire area at about 3:00 a.m. An impenetrable white screen enveloped all the settlements surrounding Gaza. The kibbutz security head looked into the fog and had a bad feeling. This is a cursed night, he whispered to himself, I just hope we get through it OK.

At 3:30 a small hole opened in the field to the south of the kibbutz fence. Shadowy figures began to emerge from the entrance to the tunnel that the Hamas terrorists had dug, in total secrecy, over the course of several months. The first unit came out, and formed up to the north, to be followed by a second and third unit.

Within three minutes, 21 fighters, well equipped with the latest arms, were ready. They began to move swiftly toward the kibbutz fence. They made no attempt to mask their advance. The lead unit cut the security fence within 10 seconds, and the entire force ran inside. Unit no. 2, whose members were armed with the newest antitank missiles, raced towards the kibbutz gate and took position facing it, and unit no. 3, armed with medium machine guns, took position close to it.

The six other units (including the lead unit) began to noisily storm the houses, using breaching charges and fragmentation grenades.

The kibbutz security head and an additional guard, who drove to the spot where the firing had begun, took a direct RPG hit, and their vehicle burst into flames. The terrorists moved quickly from one house to another, shooting the stunned residents who had been awakened. Not even the children and infants were spared.

At that moment a well-timed barrage of five Kassams and four mortar shells landed in the heart of the military camp, wreaking havoc, and hitting many soldiers who left their barracks upon hearing the heavy shooting. Cries of "Medic!" came from every direction. Despite the confusion, the company commander quickly organized a force from the alert platoon and began to advance, at the head of the force, to the kibbutz. On the way they were joined by two Merkavah-III tanks that were stationed nearby. They crossed the road going east and approached the gate.

The first tank took two RPG-29 hits, and started to blaze. The second tank tried to maneuver around it, but it, too, was hit by two RPGs and stopped. Some of the tank crew members jumped out of the turret. The infantry soldiers attempted to charge the gate, but were stopped by heavy machine gun fire. Black smoke rose from the kibbutz houses.

Additional forces came from the camp and nearby camps, while the terrorists continued to carpet the entire area with Kassams and mortar shells, and with hundreds of terrorists coming from the direction of Gaza.

At this stage, two batteries of IDF cannon laid down a heavy artillery barrage on the area around the kibbutz and the camp, in order to prevent the terrorists from sending reinforcements.

The whine of the rotors of the attack helicopters that scrambled to the sector could be heard through the thick fog.

At 5:30 the firing stopped, and the army reinforcements entered the kibbutz and began clearing the area.

The sight that greeted them was horrendous. Dozens of dead and wounded civilians, including women and children, were lying about in and between the houses, with dead terrorists next to them. Most of the houses has suffered hits and were damaged; some were in flames, with smoke pouring forth.

Within an hour, the number of dead had risen to more than 40, in addition to the dozens of wounded. It was feared that several kibbutz members had been kidnapped by the terrorists as they withdrew to Gaza. The reports of the horrendous massacre in the kibbutz enraged the entire country. Spontaneous demonstrations against the Olmert government's policy of restraint erupted throughout Israel. The government convened in emergency session, and decided to immediately approve the plan of the "Defensive Shield 3" operation to conquer the entire Gaza Strip and eliminate the terrorist organizations. The IDF went on red alert, and three reserve divisions were called up. At the same time, the Fatah and Hamas leaderships declared national unity and a general mobilization.

The European observers at the Rafiah crossing point fled in haste. Thousands of armed men entered through the Philadelphi Route, and arms, weaponry, and tons of explosives streamed into the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

So much for Chapter One. Chapter Two will wait for another time - we will tell of the harsh fighting to conquer the terrorists' defensive compounds in the refugee camps and at the entrances to the cities; about the operative and tactical surprises; about the acts of heroism of the frontline troops, despite the heavy casualties (400 dead); about the General Staff's loss of control of the situation, and the quarrels between the Chief of the General Staff and GOC Southern Command; and about what happened after the cease-fire that was forced on Israel after intervention by the UN, the United States, and the "Quartet." And, of course, we will tell you about the deliberations of the Government Commission of Inquiry headed by the retired Justice Aharon Barak; about the accusations and counteraccusations traded by the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the Chief of Staff; and, naturally, about the well-publicized ouster of GOC Southern Command and the mass protest movement that led to the fall of the failure-and-defeat government. It was obvious that we acted too late, despite the clear intelligence, and in the worst possible way.

And now, seriously:
How long will we cry out, and just be whistling in the wind?
When will the people that walks in darkness open its eyes and see the reality?

Allow me to close with an insight that I heard from an Arab building contractor during a tour of Khan Yunis in the winter of 1987, exactly twenty years ago. As we were drinking steaming black coffee (with hel, cardamom), the Arab asked me: "Ya assad [lion], what do the Syrians and the Israelis have in common?"

When I didn't have an answer, he replied: "A hard head and a lack of intellectual openness. And when is there openness?", the Arab continued, "when your and the Syrians' heads are opened with a club."


=============================================
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
mailto:michael@womeningreen.org
http://www.womeningreen.org

Friday, January 19, 2007

Polls apart from reality


They're not elections.

The more the polls say
Poll: Should resign: Peretz 70.9% Olmert 50.2% Early elections 58.6%
and
69 percent thought Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should resign
the harder Olmert will try to preserve his government.

He'll hold on with everything he has, since he's not ready to retire from public life and doesn't want to spend his "golden years" jailed.

Don't underestimate him!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

word associations

It's funny how the mind works.

While I was wasting water showering. Yes, it's possible to take very quick showers, but I'm fighting a flu and really wanted the hydrotherapy in Chamei Yoav.

That got me thinking of an article I read decades ago, during Nixon's presidency. I'm not even going to attempt to google it, but if you find a reference, please "comment it."

Apparently President LB Johnson liked his showers strong, real strong, like needles hitting the body, a tough man's massage. So after Kennedy was assassinated, and he became president and moved into the White House the first thing he did was to call in the White House Plumbers to make sure the president's shower was up to his Texas-sized par.

Then Nixon was elected president. He moved into the presidential bedroom suite, took his first shower and fled! He was not LBJ. And he also changed the meaning of the term "White House Plumbers," by giving them work with a different sort of pipeline. Their leak-fixing was their specialty, but you couldn't shower with what they were "plugging up."

a history lesson from my memories

Locked in a Tomb

Rachel's Tomb that is.

Today was our monthly, pre-Rosh Chodesh (beginning of Jewish month) visit to Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb. Since it's my day off, I was able to go with my neighbors from Shiloh.

So after f2f'ing I took a bus to the Malcha Mall to catch the bus to Kever Rachel. Not so quick, I had to wait for the bus and became mesmerized by the strange images reflected in the bus stop wall.
mesmerized
The bus finally came, and we were off!

It only takes a few minutes to get to the "hole in the wall" which lets us into the "security bubble" of Kever Rachel. That's fine and dandy if there's an armed, armored soldier available to join us on the bus. We had to wait, and wait. OK, we got in. The set-up was changed since my last visit a few months ago. Now we're back to the same old entrance--for both men and women.

Kever Rachel
Wonderful, we went in.

Kever Rachel
I said Mincha, then T'hilim. Then it was time to go.
t'hilim kever rachel
Kever Rachel
The hand-washing sink at the exit, a requirement of Jewish Law, did not provide water. I asked the yeshiva guys, stationed at a table there, what to do; they said the the sinks in the bathroom are OK and walking down the long corridor afterwards would be no problem. OK, did what they said.

We all waited; we had set with the driver that he should come get us at 5:15. No driver, no bus, no soldiers to let us out. Yes, we were locked in Rachel's Tomb. The driver spoke to one of my neighbors by cellphone and reported that he couldn't find a soldier to go in with him, so he was out of the complex.

Kever Rachel
We couldn't find a soldier in the building to ask what was going on. We realized that we were locked in a tomb, Rachel's Tomb. Finally a neighbor asked the yeshiva students whom I had asked about the water, and one of them had a key and was able to go out and speak to soldiers who were right outside.

They're doing "more important things;" the bus will come when someone's available.
So we waited. Yes, we waited some more. Eventually the bus came, and we began the winding trip back towards the opening. The soldier went out to open the gate, but he didn't. He returned saying that word had come from Kever Rachel that we had left someone. The organizers did a headcount and reported that we were all on the bus. But the soldier didn't believe us. It took a while until he did and finally opened the gate.

B"H, after that it was clear sailing and not only did we get home safely, the driver even took us up the hill!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

HEY! WHADDA WE DO NOW, OLLIE?

I just couldn't resist posting this picture, from the AP no less!

With the growing calls for the next two stooges to step down, let's not think that so-called "Foreign Minister" Tzippy Livni will be any better:

Why is Israel so misunderstood? Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick offers one possible reason, a quote from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that, as Glick sarcastically notes, "illustrated at once her unique rhetorical skills and the unmatched analytical acumen she brings to bear today as Israel's chief diplomat." This was Livni's answer to a question about, as Glick put it, "whether she supports moving ahead with Palestinian statehood before the Palestinians end their involvement in terrorism":

"And but yes, I do and I was not talking about jumping or skipping or bypassing some of the phases of the road map, but I do believe that talking with the Palestinians today what are the best steps that we can take and maybe to make some visions or some--what we say the political horizon more concrete if this can help, so this is something that we have to do. But there's a difference and we can distinguish talking with the Palestinians and implementing parts one before the other, and I believe that this is the difference maybe and maybe the kind of misunderstanding that was in the understanding of talking or implementing the phases in a different order."

Hat Tip: James Taranto of "Best of the Web Today."

Divine Retribution?

Our Sages [Ethics of the Fathers, 2:7] tell us that Hillel once “saw a skull floating on the surface of the water, and he said to it: ‘Even if they have drowned you because you drowned [others], those who drowned you will themselves be drowned.’ ”

As I wrote in this space
back in November: Everybody knows that our abysmal failure in the recent Lebanon war is the responsibility of the Three Stooges:


Olmert, Peretz and Halutz. And everybody knows that they’ve been doing their darndest to avoid a full-blown State Investigation into the war.

AND I ALSO WROTE THIS:
As mentioned above, we are now in accord with the Israeli public:
Poll: Halutz, Peretz and Olmert Must Go

A poll released Tuesday night showed that the Israeli public is thoroughly dissatisfied with the current government leadership. The majority of respondents think the IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and Defense Minister Amir Peretz should resign their posts, according to a Geocartography poll. Remember, you read it here first!

Well, now it seems that, only four months late, General Halutz has resigned [boo-hoo!]. And with the heat on Olmert getting more and more intense, it looks like he and Peretz won’t be too far behind.

And don’t think we’ve forgotten the head of the “Sela” disengagement authority. Just look at the front page picture of the weekly English HaModia’s “Israel” section:

And oh, yes, the orange [although I must admit, highly symbolic] is not from Gush Katif. HaModia’s caption: “In his letter to the secretariat of Kibbutz Sdeh Eliyahu, Yonatan Bassi [inset] says he’ll miss ‘the sunrise over the Gilad mountain range that accompanied us each morning, from the dawn of our childhood.’ ” And what more can I say [again] but, boo-hoo!

Finally, don’t forget to read
Joe Settler’s take on this, too!