JBlog Carnival Updates, HH, KCC & JPIX

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rosh Chodesh Av, G-d is Waiting

Yes, it's already Rosh Chodesh Av.  G-d is waiting for our prayers, our teshuva, repentance.

Tomorrow morning there will be women praying at Tel Shiloh.  Yes, women are free to come when convenient, but there will be groups at 7:30 and 9:30 Rosh Chodesh Av, August 1, 2011.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Av
Monday, August 1, 2011
7:30, 9:30am
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
...Please come, and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אב בתל שילה
יום ב' 1-8 7:30 9:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות
You can get information about visiting Tel Shiloh by calling 02-994-4019 or email telshilo@gmail.com

The United States and United Nations Working Against Israel

This really shouldn't surprise any of us who read past the headlines.  Two recent articles prove the saying:

Even a paranoid can have enemies.
Henry A. Kissinger
I don't know if Kissenger really was the first to say it, but it's definitely true.

No surprise but the United Nations and its organizations, especially the ones claiming to be humanitarian are against Israel.  Read:
UNRWA Association with Hamas: An Overview
Arlene Kushner
Many times I've blogged about the truth in the movie The Siege, which didn't get the popularity it deserved.  Bruce Willis did his worst acting in it, which may be one of the reasons nobody watches it but me.  If you've seen it, you won't be surprised by this article:
Proof - U.S. Aid To Abbas' PA Is Funding Terrorists
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has renewed its long-standing call for an end to U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) following detailed revelations U.S. funds are reaching the hands of blood-soaked Jew-killing terrorists. A report, utilizing among other sources Palestinian statutes and official PA media reports, presented to the U.S. Congress by Palestinian Media Watch, demonstrates that Abbas’ PA pays monthly salaries to 5,500 jailed Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including terrorists and that it funds these salaries from its general budget, a good deal of which is provided by U.S. financial aid.

This runs contrary to U.S. law, which prohibits funding of any person who “... engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity.” U.S. law also prohibits funding “for the purpose of recognizing or otherwise honoring individuals who commit, or have committed acts of terrorism.” Also, the 2010 legislation that authorized aid to the PA said that the State Department must “take all appropriate steps to ensure that such assistance is not provided to or through any individual, private or government entity, or educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity.”

The PA, as the ZOA has repeatedly documented, glorifies and honors individual terrorists, naming schools, streets and sports teams after them, as well as supporting an educational system which glorifies terrorism, including suicide terrorism. (complete article)

Yes, the world is against us, and we must stop looking to other peoples and nations for help. The blueprint for our salvation is in the Bible.  Jews must keep the G-d given Mitzvot, commandments.

Who's Really Behind the Cost/Housing/Whatever Protests in Israel?

I was pretty suspicious when I noticed how new and pretty everything looked at the "protest camps" in Jerusalem.  I got very suspicious of their "poverty" when, unlike during previous "camping protests," the public toilets nearby looked so clean and didn't have any signs of laundry.

Jerusalem Post columnist Sara Honig reveals that many of the protesters are not the ones suffering poverty.  That is apparently why they have the time to protest.  The young people aren't busy working to cover their expenses.  And they're not the type to rinse their dirty laundry in the WC sinks.

To me it all looks like anarchy. 

And we should all remember what happens to governments/countries/systems that give citizens basic services for under cost. All the cottage cheese protest has done has lowered the price at the expense of the dairies that now claim it doesn't pay to produce it.  Israel is a capitalist country.  Socialism/communism can't work and hasn't.

The USSR provided heat and opera to keep the citizens happy.  Now the country doesn't exist.  It's known as the FSU, Former Soviet Union.
Bring your gripe and blame the government.


The TV news shows people jumping up and down, like they're on drugs.  The Israeli media is trying to make this into some sort of people's revolution.  It's a sham!  They just want to destablize the government and get the Likud out of office. 

That's not democracy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Third Category of Mitzvot and Sins

Today I heard two wonderful shiurim (Torah classes) in my Shiloh neighborhood.  The first was in the synagogue during our weekly sit-down kiddush-shiur.  I must admit that I rarely stay for it and am glad that I did today.  Rabbi Amnon Chedri spoke about the Parshat Shavua, Torah Portion of the Week.

Numbers Chapter 33 בְּמִדְבַּר
נג וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וִישַׁבְתֶּם-בָּהּ: כִּי לָכֶם נָתַתִּי אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, לָרֶשֶׁת אֹתָהּ. 53 And ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for unto you have I given the land to possess it.

For decades I've considered לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech lecha Go! to be my favorite line. Genesis Chapter 12 בְּרֵאשִׁית
א וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ. 1 Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
ב וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ, לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה, בְּרָכָה. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.

This week's line is the continuation.  It's not enough to visit Israel as a tourist.  Biculturalism is also forbidden.
נב וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּם אֶת-כָּל-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, מִפְּנֵיכֶם, וְאִבַּדְתֶּם, אֵת כָּל-מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָם; וְאֵת כָּל-צַלְמֵי מַסֵּכֹתָם תְּאַבֵּדוּ, וְאֵת כָּל-בָּמוֹתָם תַּשְׁמִידוּ. 52 then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places.
נה וְאִם-לֹא תוֹרִישׁוּ אֶת-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ, מִפְּנֵיכֶם--וְהָיָה אֲשֶׁר תּוֹתִירוּ מֵהֶם, לְשִׂכִּים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם וְלִצְנִינִם בְּצִדֵּיכֶם; וְצָרְרוּ אֶתְכֶם--עַל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ. 55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that ye let remain of them be as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land wherein ye dwell.
נו וְהָיָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּמִּיתִי לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם--אֶעֱשֶׂה לָכֶם. {פ} 56 And it shall come to pass, that as I thought to do unto them, so will I do unto you. {P}

And if this wasn't enough "food for thought," later in the afternoon Rabbi Dov Berkovits gave a shiur, class to the group of women I study with.  He compared the sins behind the fasts of the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av.  The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz is because of sins against the Torah, and it's a "short fast," only from the beginning of day until dark.  The Fast of the 9th of Av is against ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisrael, the Land and it's a 25 hour fast with additional restrictions.  Sinning against the Land is more serious than sinning against the Torah.

As I listened I was reminded of the differences in trying to repent for the classic two types of sin, between man and G-d and between man and man.  It's much easier to repent when we've sinned against G-d.  We can always find G-d and do תשובה teshuva, repent, but if we sin against our fellow man, G-d can't forgive us.  We must find the victim.  When listening to HaRav Dov's talk, I realized that there's a third category of sin and mitzvah.  It's between man and the Land of Israel. 

The Jewish People was supposed to enter The Land of Israel immediately after leaving Egypt.  If the "spies" had done their job correctly, we would have entered in the summer, around the month of Av. But because of their sins, we fast on Tisha b'Av, the 9th of Av.

Another reason why, unlike mourning a person, the mourning during the Three Weeks gets more and more severe.  When a person dies, we must learn to live without him/her, so the process of mourning takes that into account.  The mourning we do for the בית-המקדש Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple is the opposite.  We are never supposed to make peace with the fact that we have no Temple, no King.  There are important Torah-mitzvot/commandments we haven't yet fulfilled.

Once we do them, the 9th of Av will become a great holiday.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Latma Protests Housing Crisis



Here's my article about the housing protests.

Have a Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach, a peaceful and blessed Sabbath.

Camping Out Housing Protest in Jerusalem

Actually, it looks like a lot of fun.  I photographed two "campsites" of the 2011 Israeli housing protest in the center of Jerusalem. 




The first is in Independence Park, right by the Agron Street Super Sol supermarket and the second in Menorah Park by HaMashbir Department Store and "Mr. Zol" supermarket. 







Both campsites parks have convenient public toilets.  My friend and I found the WC in Menorah Park very clean, and unlike during a previous camp-out demonstration at the same location, the sinks weren't full of laundry.

I know that the basic points behind the protests are legitimate in that housing in the big cities is very expensive.  Israel hasn't built public --affordable-- public housing in the major cities for many, many years.  Contractors lucky enough to get/buy land to build on do what all businesses do.  They plan building projects that will give them the most profit.  Luxury housing with large rooms and fancy touches put the most money in their pockets.

It used to be that the larger parcels of land, controlled by official government bodies, were planned as public housing for those who didn't own their own homes, veterans and immigrants.  Contractors were told how many meters, rooms to build, and the contractors interested would apply for the rights to do so. That's how large areas/neighborhoods in Israel were built.  A certain percentage of the apartments were made available to those Israelis fitting the criteria, and the contractors could sell the remainder.

If I'm not mistaken, the last neighborhoods to be built like that in Jerusalem were Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  So we're talking about a serious problem decades in the making.

My big question/gripe about the protests is "WHY NOW?"  All I can think of is that the Left is upset about Likud and Netanyahu's rise in the polls.  It's all politics.  Following is the list of the most recent Israeli Housing Ministers:
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Labor Party 25, 26 13/7/92 - 18/6/96
Benjamin Netanyahu Likud 27 18/6/96 - 6/7/99
Yitzhak Levy National Religious Party 28 6/7/99 - 12/7/00
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer One Israel 28 11/10/00 - 7/3/01
Natan Sharansky Yisrael BaAliyah 29 7/3/01 - 28/2/03
Effi Eitam National Religious Party 30 3/3/03 - 10/6/04
Tzipi Livni Likud* (She now heads the Kadima Party) 30 4/7/04 - 10/1/05 5
Isaac Herzog Labor Party 30 10/1/05 - 23/11/05
Ze'ev Boim Kadima 30 18/1/06 - 4/5/06
Meir Sheetrit Kadima 31 4/5/06 - 4/7/07
Ze'ev Boim Kadima 31 4/7/07 - 31/3/2009
Ariel Atias Shas 32 31/3/2009 - present
As you can well see from the list, during the past fifteen years the Likud has held the position less than any other major party.  Actually, opposition Kadima had more opportunities than any other party to provide affordable public housing, but they failed to do so.

Another important point is that the protesters don't want housing "in the sticks."  Public housing has always been built in areas in need of development, far from the center of town.  Development towns in Israel were built up by providing affordable homes and new starts to immigrants and veterans.  There is plenty of affordable housing outside of the major cities including communities in Judea and Samaria.  In Shiloh you can buy a new private home for much less than a small, old and crumbling apartment in Jerusalem.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More English in the Streets?

In recent years we've been hearing more and more French on Israeli streets.  Many French Jews are buying homes in Israel for vacation and/or refuge.  France is no longer considered a good investment for Jewish life.

Will the downward-spiraling American economy send American Jewry to Israel, too?  Considering that American housing hasn't picked up, it'll become more and more difficult for American Jews to buy homes/apartments in the major cities.  The Israeli Shekel is strong

Those who want suburban life including a home and a yard can always go to a small community in Judea/Samaria.  Many have schools, stores and recrational facilities such as a swimming pool, like Shiloh.

I don't see the United States' economy picking up and improving all that quickly.  I just saw a quick "news comedy" that showed a string of comedians and newsbytes mocking the present economic situation, including Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's foreign made campaign tee shirts.

Friends in the states told us they're trying change their dollars into shekels and invest them here.  Good idea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What The World Likes To Ignore

Let's start with this informative 10 Facts video.  Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon, 10 Unknown West Bank facts:



Now, about Israel's apologizing to Turkey. Read what Yitzchak Heimowitz has to say about it.

And don't forget that the Arabs are still indoctinating their kids to want Israeli cities and areas other than places like Shiloh.  Hat tip: PMW



"Oh flying bird, circling around,
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.
Turn to Safed, and then to Tiberias,
and send regards to the sea of Acre and Haifa.
Don't forget Nazareth - the Arab fortress,
and tell Beit Shean about its people's return.
Oh flying bird, circling around,
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.
...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why I'm A Member of Likud But Vote National Union

Mattot Arim is publicizing the importance of joining Likud and voting in its primaries which, barring the sorts of tricks the Party Leader (now Bibi Netanyahu) can pull, such as making agreements with would-be Likud MK's and shoving them into good numbers ahead of those the members vote for, decides on the order of MK candidates before elections.   I hope this is clear.

Joining, paying dues to Likud does not require one to vote for them in the elections.  We have secrecy in the voting booths.

The Likud is a very important party in the Israeli political spectrum.  It does have some of the best and worst of Israeli political figures.  It's large enough and gets enough votes so that young "unknowns" like Tzippi Hotobilli (however you spell it) can get into Knesset.  The downside is that the established leadership can make deals that make a farce out of the primary elections.

Personally, I prefer the Likud in the opposition where its Right wing patriotism reigns supreme.  In power, it becomes strongly Center-Left and is the only Israeli political party to destroy Jewish communities and withdraw from strategic Land, giving it to our enemies.  That's why ever since Likud's first Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, gave Egypt's Sadat the Sinai and destroyed a host of communities and Yamit, I vowed never to vote for them again.

I prefer a political party that isn't for sale and isn't afraid to be in the opposition without the perks of cabinet portfolios.  I vote National Union, Ha'Ichud HaLeumi, the party of Dr. Arie Eldad and Dr. Michael Ben-Ari.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Obama, The Modern "Cloud" President

Before I get started, I have a question for you.  I'm going to turn this into a blog poll.  Please respond and pass/share this around.  Thanks
  • Do you think United States President Obama will be elected for a second term? Yes/No
  • Will Obama be re-elected because he has been doing a great job? Yes/No
  • Will Obama be re-elected because the Republicans don't have a good candidate? Yes/No
The Obama "celebrity" reminds me of the modern "data storage" so perfectly described in one of Dry Bones recent posts:

"...I write and sketch all my cartoon "roughs" in little spiral-bound notebooks. Over the years I've gone through hundreds of notebooks. All now sitting on shelves and packed into boxes. I often think of scanning them, but the truth is that long after my hard drives have lost their magnetism (and my saved data) those notebooks will remain stable. They'll keep their data for hundreds of years longer than any digital memory will.

Here's a thought, suppose they'd invented the computer first... would we all now be rushing to buy the latest cool advance ...the spiral notebook?!" (complete article)
This is definitely connected to his more recent post about U. S. Policy.  Yes, that's Obama's foreign policy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Make-Up Havel Havelim

No, this isn't some "rabbi in drag."  It's not that sort of make-up!

Because of blog carnival's problems, To Kiss a Mezzuzah didn't recive the links for last week's Havel Havelim until a few days ago.  And since there wasn't an offical host/hostess for this week, she wisely took the initiative and put together a perfectly fine and very interesting Havel Havelim.

So, pop over and visit and also share it on facebook and wherever you can.  And of course visit the various blogs included and read the posts.

Just a reminder.  I'll be hosting JPIX in another week or so.  If you have a picture post on a Jewish or Israeli theme, please send the link.   

The Kosher Cooking Carnival appears monthly, on Rosh Chodesh (first day of the Jewish month) so please send links to your kosher food posts, anything about kosher food and kosher cooking.  And if you'd like to host one, please let me know.

Honenu: Justice In The Holy Land? by Adina Kutnicki


Is It Ideologically Driven? Honenu can attest that it is.
By: Adina Kutnicki


(July 21, ’10) There is a surreal phenomenon enveloping Israeli society, causing right wing nationalists to pause and contemplate – have they landed in an Alice-in-Wonderland universe?

Could it be true, are there really two parallel sets of justice/rules of law, one applied to leftists and their Arab counterparts, the other to right wing nationalists and their ‘settler’ brethren? These questions require urgent answers, particularly in light of several recent high profile, disturbing events taking place in Eretz Yisrael.

The outrageous, humiliating spectacles of Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef hauled into police stations, for the ‘crime’ of endorsing (issuing a haskama) a leading Jewish legal treatise, Torat HaMelech, The King’s Torah, raises the specter of the arrival of a new level of selective prosecution against the nationalist sector. The threatened charge: Incitement. A troubling thought indeed.

Torat HaMelech, the focal point of the office of the State Prosecutor’s outrage, deals with the issue of wartime, specifically, when is it permissible under Jewish law to shed the blood of non-Jews belonging to the enemy populations? The present IDF Code of Ethics, attributed to Tel Aviv University Professor Asa Kasher, has led to the preventable deaths of hundreds of IDF soldiers. Tragically, Kasher’s “morality code” has never been the subject of serious public debate. The hysteria over Torat HaMelech may well serve as the catalyst for this urgent public discourse.

Not surprisingly, in response to the above undemocratic arrests for ‘thought crimes’, thousands participated in mass protests erupting in Jerusalem. 44 were arrested for peaceful civil disobedience, mainly blocking traffic on major thoroughfares in the capital.

Enter Honenu. As Israel’s only legal defense organization for its loyal citizens, as always, rushed to the aid of the protestors, thus making sure that their legal rights were secured. Not only were their rights to due process protected, but many were spared the fate of spending time in jail under the same conditions reserved for criminals and terrorists

On the other hand, unlike Rabbis and Jewish nationalists, leftists do not suffer the same personal and public humiliations nor are they arrested for their comments which actually incite to Jewish murder!

Consider the following, albeit a tiny sampling of their high profile utterances: Professor Yehudah “Judd” Ne’eman, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University Faculty of the Arts, an Israel Prize Winner (usually reserved for those on the far left), publicly called for a civil war. Unlike the above Rabbis who simply interpreted Jewish law, Professor Ne’eman urged his fellow leftists to execute a “war between the political left and the Jews of Judea and Samaria”, AKA the “settlers”. Even though recordings of Ne’eman’s statements were obtained and publicized by Israel’s TV Channel 1, incredulously, he was never called in for investigation by the State Prosecutor’s office.

His call follows a recent statement by former Technion physics professor Oded Regev that he would be willing to volunteer in a civil war against the radical right. Oded lobbed this verbal grenade,”I believe that there is only one way to overcome the religious extremists and that is through organized violence, through launching warfare in the full meaning of the term. Anyone who does not surrender in that war will be incarcerated. Those Rabbis and their friends continue in the tradition of Goebbels”.

Not to be outdone in his leftist vitriol, Professor Eyal Nir, of Ben Gurion University’s Chemistry department, (following in the infamous footsteps of Neve Gordon, BGU’s poster boy for worldwide anti-Israel rhetoric) likewise incited against the nationalist sector, calling “on the world to come and help break these scoundrels’ necks.” His “ scoundrels” were young Jews who marched with Israeli flags on Jerusalem Day through areas lightly populated by Jews in our united capital.

The above heinous utterances, if ever spewed in reverse by the right wing public, to go to war against leftwing Jews, would have resulted in immediate arrests. Moreover, the tired mantra, “no one is above the rule of law”, would be heard over and over.

The above vile expressions imparted from professors who teach our students, influencing them in ways both seen and unseen, dare not be underestimated. While hiding behind academic freedom and democracy, leftists are undeterred in their ideological (hate) missions, knowing full well that the justice system is tilted in their favor.

“Within any truly democratic society free speech is one of the most basic and protected tenets, said Honenu spokesman, Shalom Pollack. “At the same time, a society cannot sustain its freedoms without the underpinnings of the rule of law, a law which applies equal justice. There is law here indeed, but it is not equally applied to all. Anytime that is the case, the law loses its legitimacy.”

Therefore, the urgent question before all of us becomes – why are Rabbis arrested, yet leftist academics, cultural icons and Islamic leaders are allowed their inciting opinions, albeit without fear of arrest?

Until the question loses its relevancy, Honenu Legal Defense Organization is the only thing standing between mass arrests of nationalists Jews and an Israeli jail cell, all for the ‘crime’ of expressing their democratic opinions.

______________________________________________________

Honenu is a US non-profit which enjoys 501c(3)tax exempt status. For further information, please go to its website – www.honenu.org and watch the 6 minute video. Anyone wishing to contribute to Honenu can make a tax-deductible donation to Central Fund of Israel and mail to: Honenu, 1327 45th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219. Spokesman Shalom Pollack is currently scheduling his next series of programs for the US in the fall. Contact Honenu for scheduling.

Adina Kutnicki is a life-long Zionist activist, having made aliyah in the summer of 2008. Her articles can be found at www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Author.aspx/451

Norway Reeling After Terror Attacks, Nobody is Immune

That's the message.  No country is immune from terror.  Norway, enjoying its full-time sunshine wasn't prepared for Friday's terror attacks.  Reports say over ninety murdered, and the targeted were the future elites of the country.


When I turned off the TV news before Shabbat on Friday, I kept hearing first person reactions from Norway stressing that they couldn't understand how it could have happened in peaceful Norway.


Well, I'm sorry, but it can happen anywhere.  Wasn't that one of the unpleasant messages of 9-11?  Even if you tolerate, support and encourage the terrorists to take out their violence on Israelis, especially those in Judea and Samaria, you won't be immune.  All you do is provide training ground and encouragement.

All terrorism must be stopped and destroyed.  The world must enforce "zero tolerance" for terrorism.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Peace? Not in This Generation


PA summer camp sponsored by Fayyad names children's groups after terrorists
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

A Palestinian Authority summer camp for children divided its campers into three groups named after the terrorists Dalal Mughrabi, Salah Khalaf and Abu Ali Mustafa.

Dalal Mughrabi in 1978 led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, in which 37 civilians were killed, 12 of them children.
Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad) was the head of the Black September terror group. He planned many terror attacks including the murder of two American diplomats, as well as the murder of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians during the Palestinian terror campaign ("the Intifada").

A fourth group was named after Yasser Arafat.

The summer camp was held under the auspices of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who visited the camp to participate in the closing ceremonies, which he also sponsored.

Nothing has changed.  There's nothing to talk about with those "moderate" Arabs.  The safest and most secure and most intelligent thing the State of Israel can do is to ignore/resist all international and Left wing pressure to negotiate with the Arabs.  They glorify terrorism and murderous terrorists.

When the day comes, in a few decades or generations, when the Arabs will sincerely want to live in peace with us, they'll come running to us begging for us to talk to them. In the meantime, Israel should build (permit building) for Jews in all of the Land of Israel.  There is lots of State Land, without any sign of private ownership.  This was mapped out decades ago, soon after the 1967 Six Days War.  Most of today's Arab agriculture is very new.  I remember how the land by our roads once looked, surrounded by delicate wild flowers in the spring and parched dry in the summer.

Today, there's a massive building boom in Arab towns.  The newly built Arab mansions prove that the Arabs are not suffering.  Money is filtering to all the clans.  I'd like to know the sources.

Without a formal agreement, we have a de facto "peace" at the moment.  I work in the Sha'ar Binyamin branch of Yafiz (Rami Levi) and deal with Arabs all of the time.  Under Israeli rule, we work and shop together.  You don't see that in any Arab country. 

Jews don't have full civil rights in Arab countries. And the aim of the so called "peace negotiations" is to establish a Judenrein country, which, like Jordan, would forbid Jews rights.  So anyone who supports and promotes these negotiations is anti-civil/human rights.  We, Jews, are human, aren't we?

So, let's just go on building our country, the only truly moral, democratic country in the Middle-East, the State of Israel.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

JPIX and KCC Reminders, Now That Blog Carnival Is "Functioning"

For the past couple of months those of us who look forward to, host and participate in the Jewish blog carnivals, floating internet magazines, have found them floundering because of problems with the service that usually delivers links to the hosts.  I don't know what the problem was, but there are signs that it has been solved.

Please send your links to Jewish picture posts for JPIX, which I'll be hositing in just over a week or so.  And also send posts concering kosher food, halacha, Jewish Law, customs, recipes and restaurant and cookbook reviews to the Kosher Cooking Carnival.  If you'd like to host an edition, please let me know.

Migron, Prevent Another Amona!

I received this notice form Mattot Arim:


אנא לצלצל או לסמס מייד לשרי וח"כי הליכוד והמפד"ל, ולאלי ישי:

המצב במגרון קריטי. תהיה הריסה, כנראה עד יום א אם נתניהו לא יוציא את ראשו מהחול. כל שר וח"כ חייב לנו הסבר מה הוא עושה בדקות ושעות אלה, כדי להפעיל ולנער ולשכנע את ראש הממשלה. גם מי שעושה -- כנראה עוד לא עשה מספיק, כי מבצע ההריסה של שלושת (בינתיים...) הבתים במגרון, טרם בוטל.

אפשר בכל עת, עד 2300 לפחות, עד כניסת שבת אם קבלת מייל זה ביום ו, ובצאת שבת עד 2400, יום ראשון החל מ-700. ביום א או אף לפני ייתכן חלילה שתהיה הריסה. המצב מאד מאד דחוף. לאחר (לא לפני) שצלצלת או סימסת, אנא העבר הלאה, תודה רבה.

דוגמה ל-סמס: המצב במגרון קריטי,הפעלת את רוהמ? פועלך הנמרץ קריטי ביותר!


משה כחלון M. Cachlon 050-6845584 * יולי אדלשטיין Yuli Edelstein 050-3334298
גלעד ארדן Gilad Erdan 050-5936500 * משה בוגי יעלון Bogy Yaelon 0505313133
* סילבן שלום 0506208500 Silvan Shalom
ד"ר בני בגין 0506234538 Benny Begin *
קרא איוב Ayoub Kara 050-6233617
דני דנון Danny Danon 052-3535776 לאה נס Leah Nes 050-5247077
גילה גמליאל G. Gamliel 052-2700727
ציון פיניאן Tzion Pinian 050-5309110
אורי אורבך Uri Orbach 050-7858073
פרופ' דניאל הרשקוביץ 0544622045 Daniel Hershkowitz
אלי ישי Eli Yishai 0506240933 0506240925
*לימור לבנת Limor Livnat 0505-200-050 * אופיר אקוניס 0502002004
חיים כץ: 052-3274333; מירי רגב: 052-6826666;
זאב אלקין ZEEV ELKIN 050-4623582; כרמל שאמה: 052-6566666;
יריב לוין: 052-2769183; * ישראל כץ 050-6233939
גדעון סער Gideon Saar 050-6343111 יוסי פלד Yossi Peled 050-3333160
רובי ריבלין R. Rivlin 050-5233818
ציפי חוטובלי Z. Hutabeli 050-7423350 *
זבולון אורלב Zvulun Orlev 052-3969888

Please immediately call or SMS the ministers and Knesset Members of Likud, plus Jewish Home/Mafdal, plus Eli Yishai head of Shas. The situation in Migron is criticial. There will be a house-bashing, Gush-Katif-like event there Sunday or earlier, if PM Netanyahu does not finally take his head out of the sand. Each and every minister and MK owes us an explanation of what s/he is doing exactly, right this minute and in the hours to come, to get Netanyahu's attention focussed, at long last, on the Migron problem. Even those ministers and MKs who have done something for Migron, obviously have not done enough, because the house-bashing orders have not been cancelled. So, each and every MK/minister should be racking their brains at this very moment, for new, better and more ideas of what they can do instantly. Use the cellphone numbers below - till 11 pm, till Shabat candle-lighting time if you got this email on Friday, immediately after Shabat and on until midnight, and from 7 am Sunday morning. The situation is very urgent, turn to the MKs and ministers and AFTERWARDS, pass this on, urging your contacts to send SMS's or call as you have just done. Example SMS: Demolition in Jewish Migron imminent: Sunday or before. You MUST convince PM to CANCEL THIS NOW!

***********

We don't want another Amona.  I'd like to see the Israeli Government go after Arabs who build on public land and encroach on Jewish communities.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Those Tricky NGO's

From the NGO MONITOR



BDS Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Resource Page

The "information war" against Israel is very sophisticated.  They cloak themselves with all sorts of moral-sounding costumes, but the truth is that they are very dangerous, promoting and protecing our enemies. The NGO MONITOR works hard to reveal their lies.

Murdoch: The Buck Doesn't Stop Here!

We had the tv on yesterday, news of course.  BBC had live coverage of the Murdoch "phone hacking hearings."  The Murdoch defense could easily be summarized as the antithesis of Harry Truman's famous saying.  The Murdoch's insisted that they knew nothing.

You shouldn't think the British hearings were dull.  Actually, there was some unscheduled "entertainment."  Rupert Murdoch's young wife doubled as bodyguard when she physically defended him, showing reflexes and daring that beat everyone else in the room.



While watching the hearings, I kept thinking of the American tv series "Dirt," which we had watched for a while.  I think we saw all or certainly most of the first season or even its final (second) one. The characters and story line are extremely unpleasant and immoral/amoral.
Lucy: The editor of DirtNow magazine, the "glossy tabloid". She's a workaholic who wastes no time on boring stories or unverifiable gossip, instead obsessed with constantly breaking new news stories. She has little remorse about the lives she tangles with and often will destroy lives of celebrities if they refuse to cooperate with her.
I kept wondering how much the series must have had been based  on some true life media, maybe like the Murdoch media empireWarning, you may find the show offensive.  Watch at your own risk.



The Murdoch business/family's aim is to make money. It's clear that as long as their "underlings" succeed they don't ask too many questions. Finally some of the victims have reacted and gotten the attention of the world. Isn't that a media success?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finally, A Good Reply to Our Enemies


Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon presents some facts. Pass this around. It was even mentioned on Israel's news last night. Those Lefties are getting nervous.

Pragmatism From Some Smart Women

When I was reading last Friday's Jerusalem Post, it seemed like the only articles which made sense were written by women.  Well, it's no secret that men and women see things very differently.  OK, you can call me a female chauvenist if you insist.  Here's a taste of the best writing and thinking:

Kushner - From Israel: A Broader View
Arlene Kushner
Arlene from Israel
18 July '11

Israel's only two options
by Caroline Glick

Another Tack: Double standards to uphold
07/15/2011 16:51 By SARAH HONIG

Trying to Catch Jews on NYC Streets

As my friend and I were walking through midtown Manhattan, we noticed this table with Jewish objects, so we took a look.




It didn't take us long to discover that the table was run by Christians claiming to be Jewish, Jews for Jesus aka Messianic Jews.  BEWARE!

Even though we're considerably knowledgeable about Judaism, we didn't dialogue with them.  They want the discussions.  There's nothing to talk about.  Jews don't/shouldn't worship people.  Our G-d isn't human.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Glenn Beck in Israel update

Posted by Jewish Israel

Breaking News: ‘Security Concerns’ Force Glenn Beck To Move Israel Rally

Another Beck Column
Anita Tucker, Jewish Israel's Community Affairs Advisor, was present at a reception held for Glenn Beck in Maale Zeitim where she had a chance to speak with a number of philanthropists, activists, reporters and politicians, as well as the people who brought Beck to Israel.
We review her impressions, as well as Mr. Beck's remarks and Israel's hasbara challenges...more

Professor Richard Landes, Jewish Israel's Academic Advisor, has penned his view on Glenn Beck and his upcoming events in Israel, Glenn Beck's rallies: Pro-Israel or Pro-Apocalypse?

Moshe Feiglin and others in the Manhigut Yehudit faction of the Likud Party opted out of the Beck reception. Feiglin explained why in a widely published article that has sparked a fierce debate.

Also posted at Jewish Israel:
Glenn Beck and Al-Dura: What IDF Footage?

It's the 17th of Tammuz. The three weeks are upon us, a period in which we remember events related to the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Among the tragedies commemorated are those directly related to avodah zarah, blasphemy and desecration.

If this uncomfortable debate surrounding Glenn Beck's plans for 8/24 in Jerusalem can challenge us Jews to think critically, and to remember who we are, where we are standing, and the obligations incumbent upon us, then we can truly thank Mr. Beck.

Jewish Israel wishes Am Yisrael a meaningful Fast.

Three Weeks of Mourning, Judaism and Details


As of the first lights of dawn tomorrow, we officially begin a period of time known as the Three Weeks.  It's a time of mourning, mourning the invasion of Jerusalem and the destruction of our Holy Temple.  Chazal, our sages, tell us that it was the punishment for baseless hatred.

Because it occurs in the northern hemisphere's summer, when school is out, it's weighted less in the curriculum than the "similar" seven week period of sefira.  We are told that thousands of Rabbi Akiva's students died for rather inexplicable reasons during sefira.

As I mix up these subjects in my mind, I see a possible connection.  Could competition between the students have caused a "baseless hatred?"  We see many Torah observant Jews today competing to discover and strictly observe obscure "chumrot," extra strictness in Jewish Law.  For example, it causes them to declare food traif, unkosher, when it is kosher.  It causes problems within families.

Hatred takes many forms, and it's very easy to find ourselves mired in problematic, troublesome human relationships.  Sometimes the cause can be traced to the best of intentions.  I doubt if anyone of us can honestly say that we're innocent of such sin.

We may as well get started on reflection, teshuva, repentance before the "Elul rush."

Accepting The Unexpected, The Undesired

Various titles for this post have been floating in my mind.  I don't know if this is the right one, but it does seem foolish to waste time on titling rather than writing.  Is there a verb "to title," meaning to compose/write a good title, or is my mind functioning more in Hebrew than English or some invented grammar?

My recent visit to the states put a bit of stress on my abilities to accept the unexpected, the unwanted, undesired.  To simplify, we frequently emphasize that we want something, even though we don't need it.  For example, the travel agent who booked my trip originally gave me the Thursday Delta flight which was scheduled to land on Friday.  I made it very clear that I wanted to swim in the pool Friday morning and therefore had to leave New York on Wednesday and land on Thursday.  I had no doubt that it would be the best plan.  But what happened?  While the hundreds of passengers were patiently waiting in JFK it was first announced that the flight would be delayed and then suddenly it was cancelled.  With the help of agents, protexia and Delta staff, we all found alternative flights.  And, you guessed it, I ended up on that same Thursday/Friday flight I had originally refused/rejected.

While we were waiting on line to be helped by the Delta staff, we talked.  Basically, we all did our best to rationalize that it wasn't a tragedy in the making.  There had to be something good in staying extra time in New York.  I made it clear that it was better that it happened to that flight than the day before when my daughter and infant granddaughter flew back to Israel.  After that bit of "understanding," I totally took the blame for the flight cancellation, because I had been "sorry," not upset, that I hadn't had a chance to go through the Lord & Taylor bargain racks.  Delta (or was it G-d Almighty?) was about to give me Thursday for that treat.

Another difficult thing to accept was to see how much my mother had deteriorated physically and mentally in the past year.  It was very unexpected.  But on the other hand, she's breaking records every day she's alive.  Nobody in her family had ever lived so long.  Both she and her five years younger sister have reached ages much older than their seven elder siblings. (There are no known cousins, aunts or uncles to compare them to.)  My father is also breaking records every morning he gets up.  That's how I must look at it.

I'm not sure who's the source to this, but it's true that we must learn to accept what we can't control.  It's just not worth the aggravation to fight it, whether you call it G-d's will or just plain fate.

Enjoy life, even when it seems more like a harrowing rollercoaster.  B"H, mine has been more like a kiddie ride of late.  May G-d give me the strength to handle it when it gets tougher.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reflecting on America


Although it seemed like Americans are more devoted to their dogs than children, the news was of murdered and missing children.


Every time I saw TV news, whether in New York or Arizona, they kept talking about the Casey Anthony trial.  I could have been from Pluto.  I had no idea what it was about.  If you don't know, a child was missing.  It seemed pretty obvious that the mother knew of her death, but she claimed ignorance.  Eventually the little girl's body was found, but unlike all the C.S.I. and Law & Order SVU shows, no evidence could be found to prove how she died and who did it. That's why the mother, Casey Anthony was judged innocent.


After that began to quiet down, a little boy disappeared in Brooklyn.  Yes, the Leiby Kletzky tragedy.  He was kidnapped by an acquaintance who murdered him and then chopped up his body.  Yes, this is worse than what you usually see on television.  From the expertise I've gained by watching all these TV shows and reading Michael Connelly books, it seems pretty "obvious" that Levi Aron, who has admitted the murder, most probably has done similar crimes in the past.

America is a very frightening place.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rosh Chodesh Av, August 1, Good Time to Pray

The Jewish Month of Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur is traditionally to time for reflection, repentance, tshuva, but when you think about it, that should begin a month earlier, on the first of the month of Av. This year it falls on August 1.

Av is a time of mourning the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.  Chazal, our sages tell us that the cause was the bad relations between fellow Jews.  Because of this we enter a period of mourning from the 17th of Tamuz until the 10th of Av.  It becomes most intense from the first of Av until the 9th.

For the past few years I've been inviting women to join me for Rosh Chodesh Prayers in Tel Shiloh.  Shiloh is a traditional place for prayers.  The Holy Tabernacle was located there for 369 years.  It's where Biblical Chana successfully prayed for a son.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Av
Monday, August 1, 2011
9:30am
Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
...Please come, and invite family, friends and neighbors
תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אב בתל שילה
יום ב' 1-8 9:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר
נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

"Israel's anti-boycott law, the art of protest and Beduin Princes steal water pipes," Latma Style

There's nothing like Latma to tell it the Right way about what's happening here in Israel.



And here's Caroline Glick's latest article, a must read.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Thanks to the Good Lord, I'm home.  OK, just 24 hours later than originally scheduled.  My Delta flight was cancelled as we waited to board it.  Hundreds of passengers scrambled to make other plans, including yours truly.  There was all sorts of unexpected "bonding" between strangers as happens at times like that.

With the help of dear relatives I got one of the very last seats, if not the last, on the same flight the next day.  Delta gave me a choice of hotel near the airport or taxi service to/from wherever, plus three $6- food vouchers to be used in the JFK Airport nosh places.  Considering that an apple cost between $1.03 and $1.90 each and kosher food was a scoop of Hagen Daz or some exotic stuff in one food place, there wasn't much to buy.  And I wasn't going to drink coffee when I needed to sleep.

I ended up needing the keys to my daughter's NY studio apartment.  Just the night before at dinner I tried to return the keys and she said:
"Keep them; you never know when you'll need them."
So, now, back to the routine of cooking.  My husband and the freezer (I prepared stuff in advance) are providing most of the Shabbat food.

Thank G-d we're back home safe and sound.  More of my adventures for future posts, G-d willing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Public "Pat Down" in Phoenix

I usually write of my "adventures" on me-ander, but this one is more news-worthy than my usual daily ramblings and mutterings.

As many of my regular readers know, I've been traveling around quite  a bit, even flying, no not that sort of flying.  I'm amazed at the different security checks.  Some places shoes and sweaters stay on, and other airports demand stripping removal.  Why?  I don't know. 

Israeli security checks include an element I've seen no place else.  Israeli security agents interview every traveller.  I consider that the most important thing to do.  And yes, it's related to "profiling."  Some people are inspected (and that includes their baggage) more thoroughly than others.

I'm a middle-aged grandmother who already receives some senior discounts.  I'm also a Torah-observant Jew who follows the more stringent laws of Tzniyut, modesty.  I don't wear slacks, meaning that I wear a skirt or dress longer than my knees.  This didn't bother  Israeli security in Ben-Gurion Airport, nor did it cause any alarm to the security in JFK Airport.  So I was rather surprised when the Phoenix, AZ security told me to stand and wait for a "pat down."  The guy shouted something like "lady pat-down," and within  a few minutes a woman wearing heavy rubber gloves appeared.  She told me that she had to do it since my skirt was hiding my legs.  I had to open them while standing while she checked front and back.  Granted that she was polite, but this was in public view.  Actually, considering that my possessions were unprotected and I even know someone whose computer had been stolen, I felt safer with my eys on my bags.

Now I wonder what type of security I'll experience tomorrow...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Jews should be uncomfortable with Glenn Beck

Posted by Jewish Israel

Israelis are about to get overwhelmed with a summer of Glenn Beck. Mr. Beck has big plans for the Jewish state. He is currently in Israel laying the groundwork for a mass pro-Israel happening entitled,"Restoring Courage" which is to take place at the Southern Wall Excavation Site of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on August 24th. There is something about Glenn Beck that unsettles many Torah observant and secular Zionists, causing them to appropriately shift into a "respect and suspect" mode. Jewish Israel takes an honest look at the man and his plan…more

Rabbi Riskin OK’s Jews to Enter Churches and Learn
A recently featured question addressed to Rabbi Riskin on the Ohr Torah Stone homepage was, "Are Jews allowed to enter churches?" Rabbi Riskin's answer, especially the absolute sanction of evangelical churches, left Jewish Israel with a lot of questions. We explored a number of angles in our search for clarification and have received a letter in response from the Chief Rabbinate… more

It Won't Help To Throw Us in Shiloh to The Sharks

Israel's Left, well entrenched in Tel Aviv, Haifa and their suburbs keep trying to pacify the Arabs with promises of Shiloh, Migron, Ofra and other Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria etc.   But the Arabs aren't interested.  They want Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv, Haifa and the other Leftist areas.  That's where they had once lived, not in Shiloh!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Like the Jews who claim they're safe but are afraid to wear kippot in public...

I got a kick out of the article about the United States Ambassador to Syria claiming a "warm" welcome but fearful of flying the American flag

  • What's a friend?
  • What's an ally?
In  all honesty, I have never really considered the United States a true friend and ally of Israel.  The American people may admire, trust Israel, but the State Department has never shown any enthusiasm for the State of Israel, its security etc.  American Jews lie to themselves to make themselves feel better, and Israeli policy is based on a fantasy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hidden Jews in America

I know a few illegal Jews hiding from the authorities in America.  That does make them "hidden Jews." Doesn't it? They don't have valid visas.  Recently I discovered that a friend of ours had spent decades in the states, even was married to a United States citizen for over ten years but for whatever reason, he never did the citizenship procedure. 

Other people I know of are young, trying to build lives and careers, but they're missing that valuable ingredient, visa, papers and citizenship.

I just can't imagine living in that constant "fear."  I guess that they block it out for the most part.  But one of the things that must be most difficult is that basic services and health insurance are only for the legal.  This Foward article about the illegal Jews in America mentions a woman who had to get charity for serious, expensive medical care.  We have American friends who spent a few years in Israel, became Israeli citizens, then went back to the states. They return to Israel for good, reasonably priced medical care.

Illegals can't do that.  If they leave the states they'll never be able to return; at least that's their fear.  Getting visas isn't easy.

Our grandchildren are now all American citizens.  There's a procedure that allows grandchildren of first class U.S. Citizens to pass citizenship to their grandchildren, so our daughter had done it for the kids in husband's name.  A lot of our friends' kids have done it with their kids.  It's not cheap, and you have to fill out a lot of forms and travel with the children to the United States and have an appointment with a special citizenship office.  But at least the kids will never need visas to visit or work if they wish to do so.  Of course I would prefer that all my kids and grandkids stay forever in Israel, but it's not under my control.

Audacity of Dopes by Latma

Here's the latest from Latma, Audacity of Dopes.






Give your thanks to Caroline Glick.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Which Type of Israeli Youth Want Combat in the IDF

Hat tip: IMRA

There's an article on the IDF site stating that 80% of IDF draftees want to be in combat units.  I just wonder if that's a cross-section of Israeli society or a disproportionate amount of "dati leumi," national religious, traditional and Right wing.

Many of the secular Left avoid combat and even draft.  Of course the media concentrates on the chareidi religious, who aren't drafted if they are studying full-time in yeshivot.

Does anyone have more information?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Visiting the States, Subjects to Avoid

Considering that I'm the "family rebel" of my large Jewish family, I have to be careful about what I say to my various, all wonderful, relatives.  Oh, why am I known as the "rebel?"  That's easy. I became religious, strictly Orthodox, Torah observant when others were rapidly deleting Jewish Laws and restrictions from their lives.  Many of my relatives and my husband's are very Jewish minded, whatever that means, and make efforts to be part of their local Jewish communities, generously contributing in many ways.  But when it comes to Shabbat and kosher food, it's a different story.

Of course, my moving to Israel has set me apart, too.  And we do see things differently when it comes to politics.  Some relatives can see through the Obama marketing-hardsell, while others are among the majority of American Jews who worship him, like their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents worshipped FDR. Of course all that was for very different reasons.

The next stage of my visit to the states will be among the Obama fans, so I'm going to have to zip my lips beyond my usual.

As I've blogged before, I have no doubt that if Barack Hussein Obama had inherited his mother's skin he never would have been elected.  The novelty of his color was the chief marketing "gimmick."  Many times I've asked people:
"What was his track record, experience to qualify him to be the United States President?"
They counter with:
"What did he do wrong?"
The fact that it takes experience to be a good president seems lost to them.  It reminds me of what I've seen election after election here in Shiloh. The candidates who are the least known win.  No doubt that they hadn't yet made enemies, so people are willing to risk putting unknowns in positions of power.

Good luck world.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

In the Wake of the Altalena by Elliot Jager

In the Wake of the Altalena
By Elliot Jager

The Altalena on fire.
Ships and their comings and goings have lately been a fixation over at Haaretz, Israel's chief left-wing newspaper. One of the paper's advocacy journalists, Amira Hass, has been writing enthusiastically about joining up with a pro-Palestinian flotilla that intends to smash Israel's naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Master and Commander Motti Golani, Haaretz. Did Ben-Gurion order the attack on the Irgun ship primarily as a warning to two militarized left-wing factions not to cross him? SAVE

Remember the Altalena Jerold S. Auerbach, Jerusalem Post. The Altalena precedent hovers over the Jewish state as a perennial reminder of the tragic possibility of internecine violence. SAVE

Altalena Footage YouTube. Footage of the ship on fire, including interviews with key participants. (Video; Hebrew with English subtitles) SAVE
No less earnestly, the paper's front pages have been devoted to defending the Left's narrative about how the arms ship Altalena came to be sunk—perfectly legitimately, in its opinion—off the coast of Tel Aviv sixty-three years ago this month (June 21, 1948), on orders from David Ben-Gurion. Haaretz has been particularly incensed by an Israel Defense Ministry reference to those members of the Zionist paramilitary group Irgun who were killed on board as having been "murdered."

Now, historian Jerold S. Auerbach has come forward to undermine leftist orthodoxy with Brothers At War, a succinct, emotive, and yet levelheaded summation of the Altalena tragedy.

Auerbach frames his Altalena account as just one chapter in the continuing struggle for the identity of the state of Israel—"Jewish state, secular state, democratic state, democratic Jewish state, state of the Jewish people"—and explores how such a struggle can call the legitimacy of government decisions into question.

The conundrum, in Auerbach's view, has ancient origins traceable to Josephus, whose remarks on the "seditious temper" of the Jewish people have framed (accurately or otherwise) our understanding of Rome's victory over the Jews for the past two thousand years. In modern times, Auerbach argues, we've seen the repercussions of this struggle for legitimate authority many times in the history of the state of Israel: with the Altalena in 1948; in the 1952 Knesset clash over whether to accept German government reparations for the Holocaust; in the 1993 controversy over the Oslo Accords, and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. It persists still in discussions over how the IDF should treat conscientious objectors, from the Left or Right. Put another way: Is the bigger threat to the Jewish commonwealth zealous Jews who reject governmental authority on divisive issues, or the chronic failure of successive Israeli governments to foster consensus positions?

Where to begin the telling of the Altalena calamity? Auerbach reasonably starts by differentiating two Zionist camps. One, led by Ben-Gurion, was the dominant power in Zionist officialdom and was inspired by a Jewish national renewal rooted in notions of socialist utopia. The other, motivated by Ze'ev Jabotinsky and carried forth by his disciple, Menachem Begin, envisioned a self-assertively nationalist society rooted in a strong entrepreneurial middle class. Long before the Altalena, Auerbach points out, there was a record of bad blood between the two camps exacerbated by the mysterious murder of a Labor-Zionist leader, Chaim Arlosoroff, bitter disputes over whether and how to confront the British policy barring Jewish immigration to Palestine before and during the Holocaust, and over how best to respond to Arab brutality against Palestinian Jewry in the years before Israel's independence.

The Altalena (named after Jabotinsky's literary pseudonym) was purchased in America by Irgun operatives and loaded at Marseilles, France with desperately needed weapons and munitions along with a "melting pot" of 940 recruits for the nascent Hebrew fighting force in Palestine. As far as its American Jewish captain knew, his mission had the "acquiescence of the Israeli government," led by Ben-Gurion.

Begin, who oversaw the operation, had indeed been negotiating directly with Ben-Gurion's man, Israel Galili, over how to disburse the ships weapons and troops. But the Altalena's secrecy was compromised early on: the mission was tracked from the start by various intelligence agencies and blatantly exposed in a BBC news broadcast. A series of disastrous miscommunications, logistical blunders, and lack of internal Irgun discipline led to the ship's ill-fated arrival while the Begin-Galili talks were still in progress. In fact, Auerbach writes, Galili informed Begin on June 16: "We [i.e. he and Ben-Gurion] agree to the arrival of the vessel. As quickly as possible." It was Ben-Gurion himself who ordered the ship to land at Kfar Vitkin (near the town of Netanya) to avoid UN aerial surveillance.

As the Begin-Galili talks proceeded, some of the weapons and almost all of the personnel on board were unloaded near Netanya. But by then, Ben-Gurion had allowed himself to be convinced that Begin was planning a putsch against his authority—even as the Irgun leader felt certain, perhaps naively so, that the weapons negotiations would still succeed. But there was no time. Ben-Gurion balked, edgily ordering Haganah (now IDF) troops to start shooting on the vessel. Six Irgun men and two soldiers were killed before the ship fled Netanya southward and ran aground off the Tel Aviv coast—not far from the headquarters of the Haganah's elite unit, Palmach.

Ben-Gurion insisted on unconditional surrender or else, and Palmach commander Yigal Yadin appointed a 26-year-old Yitzhak Rabin on the spot to command the beach fighting. When the Altalena crew hesitated to surrender, perhaps because of poor communications with Irgun headquarters, Palmach commanders ordered an all-out attack on the ship. Even when the crew raised a white flag, Rabin's snipers continued to pick off targets bobbing in the waters. Begin, who had earlier boarded the ship expecting a deal with Galili, barely escaped with his life. The ship went down along with 300 Bren guns, 500 anti-tank guns, 1,000 grenades and millions of bullets that could have been used during Israel's War of Independence.

Auerbach's conclusion, citing historian Ehud Sprinzak, is that there had been no "mutiny on the right," no intention on the part of Begin and his men to defy the legitimate authority of the land, and certainly no intention of staging a coup. Begin had only wanted enough men and guns earmarked to carry on the fight for Jerusalem's Old City (which Ben-Gurion had abandoned) and thought he had Galili's tacit approval. Begin himself abhorred the idea of a Jewish civil war, and had famously restrained his men from action against the Haganah even when it was actively turning them over to the British in 1944. Here, too, he ultimately swallowed his pride and ordered his Irgun men into the IDF on September 20, 1948, signaling the end of the Irgun as an independently functioning force. Instead, it was Ben-Gurion's "quasi-totalitarian" personality that led the socialist leader to what Begin later plausibly called "a reprehensible abuse of state power."

Auerbach's sensitive re-telling of this calamitous chapter in Israel's early history concludes with the unhappy assessment that Israel's clashes over legitimate authoritative power remain unresolved, perhaps irremediably so.

Yet surely there are enough tools nowadays at the disposal of decision makers with the wisdom to use them—new elections, referenda, supermajority Knesset votes, or some combination thereof—so that even wrenching decisions of monumental consequence cannot be legitimately challenged with violence. After all, with Zionist sovereignty comes governmental responsibility.

"Act of G-d?"


There's just nothing like Dry Bones to explain in the most exact of ways.

The best things about the Iranian computer viruses, the fact that those helping the Iranians have been in unfortunate accidents etc.  (Please add your addtional inexplicable acts in comments) is that nothing can be proven.