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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Peace Agreement" versus Israeli Security- It's Not About Settlements

Way back when, pre-Disengagement I disagreed with what most everyone was saying about the dangers.  I even made a speech at an anti-Disengagement demonstration in Manhattan. My basic premise was that it wasn't about "displacing" a few thousand wonderful Jewish families.  The dangers were to the very security of the country and establishing a precedent that could G-d forbid be used in Judea and Samaria.  Unfortunately, I was 100% on target, unlike all of the official protest movements and the YESHA Council.

Now again, I find it important to stress that giving Arabs sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, whether the entire area or just sections endangers the entire State of Israel.  Quite a number of years ago, I was in a tremp with a neighbor, Yossi Apter, who then also picked up a soldier.  In those days soldiers were permitted to tremp.  Yossi asked him what he was doing here, and he said:
"I'm guarding the yishuvim, settlements."
"No you're not" said Yossi.  "You're protecting Tel Aviv.  If Israel doesn't hold onto Judea and Samaria, then Tel Aviv is in danger."

Take a look at the map.


Israel is a very tiny country.  Besides the very simple basic fact that NO OTHER COUNTRY HAS EVER GIVEN AWAY LAND LIBERATED IN A DEFENSIVE WAR TO AN ENEMY THAT HAS SWORN TO DESTROY IT, it's clear that without Judea and Samaria most of the State of Israel is totally vulnerable to attack.

There is no logical nor historic nor moral reason for Israel to give the Arabs anything at all.
Nearly five years ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepted the Palestinian demand of a state with security conditions. Israel has also agreed to release more than 100 additional incarcerated Palestinian terrorists in stages.
Israeli housing starts are frozen in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and, according to Palestinian officials, Abbas has received a side letter or an oral guarantee at a minimum from the United States assuring the Palestinians that the disputed pre-war, June 4, 1967, lines would be the baseline for final-status negotiations, as reported by the Associated Press on July 21.
Virtually every Israeli government since 1967 has determined the pre-war 1967 line to be indefensible, while former Oslo negotiators such as former ambassador and legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry Alan Baker have noted that the 1967 lines constitute a legal fiction and that “no such borders ever existed.” (Dan Diker, Jerusalem Post)


The "green line" has no real legality.  It was a ceasefire line that existed barely eighteen years and didn't protect Israel at all.  Israel was attacked during that time on all fronts, from Jordan, Syria and Egypt.  In May, 1967, Syria, Egypt and Jordan began threatening Israel, demanded that United Nations Peacekeeping forces leave their posts and prepared for war.  Thank G-d, at that time, Israel had no foreign allies, just the Jewish People.  We prayed, and the Israeli Government sent the IDF into action to defend the country.  That's how we liberated the Golan, Judea, Samaria, Jordan Valley, Gaza and the Sinai.

We can't easily cancel the withdrawals from the Sinai and Gaza, but we must immediately cease the begging for peace and the offering of more Land!  If we don't, then the State of Israel can't survive.  LOOK AT THE MAP!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jonathan Pollard's U.S. Incarceration/Freeing Shouldn't Be Compared to Arab Terrorists

I think it's a very serious mistake to connect the demand for the United States' releasing Jonathan Pollard with the American pressure on Israel to release murdering terrorists.
Peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires the active involvement of the United States, as evidenced by Secretary John Kerry’s intensive efforts to bring the parties together.  But if peace is in our national interest, as the Obama Administration insists it is, and if peace requires sacrifice by both Israel and the Palestinians, then we too must be willing to give a little.  Releasing Jonathan Pollard after requiring him to serve 27 years, some in solitary confinement, is not much of a sacrifice to ask of the United States.  It is the least we can do to make it easier for Israel to make far greater sacrifices and take far more dangerous risks in order to secure peace.
The request to release Pollard now has bipartisan support in the United States and multi-partisan support in Israel.  Knesset members on all sides of the Israeli political spectrum have called for Pollard’s release as a way of encouraging the peace process.  “It’s a window of opportunity of good will to Israeli, who are not going through an easy time,” said Labor MK Nachman Shai.  “It would build up public support for negotiations and show that the US also understands the gravity of this historic moment.” (Alan Dershowitz writing for algemeiner)
Such a connection equates Pollard with terrorists making him appear guilty of things he never did.

On the other hand, I do think that the entire Jonathan Pollard issue and story provide an excellent example of why we Israelis, from ordinary citizens like myself to the government officials and Prime Minister should not trust the United States.

The United States is not a neutral, objective mediator when it comes to Israel.  There is an underlying anti-Semitic, anti-Israel sentiment in all levels and branches of the American Government, whether legislative, judicial or executive.  That means Congress, Courts and the President of the United States treat Jews and pro-Israelis differently from other citizens.

"Unprecedented" is the usual adjective used to describe the punishment meted Jonathan Pollard for giving information to an ally.  That means that in the history of the United States Judicial System, never ever before has someone been punished to such an extreme for such a crime.  Enemy spies have received much shorter and less severe restrictions.

This fact should be a red flashing light for Israelis that there's an anti-Israel agenda in the American Government.  Over the close to three decades already since Pollard was handed over to the American authorities by Israel, there have been many Presidents who could have released and pardoned Pollard, but they haven't.  And that would have been a good, legitimate, pragmatic, sensible reason to reject all American pressure.  Call a spade a spade, an anti-Semite an anti-Semite and an injustice an injustice.  The United States Government can't be trusted to do or support what it good for the State of Israel.   It's a fact!!!

Bibi, it's not too late.  Send the Israeli delegation home immediately!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Israeli Democracy, Where are You?

Even the mainstream media here in Israel is horrified by Bibi's capitulation to American demands.  The United States, instead of trying to make peace where there is war such as Egypt, Syria and other real hot spots is using its clout on peaceful Israel.

For some totally incomprehensible reason, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has gone against all of his sworn principles and elections platforms kowtowing to terrorist demands.  THIS IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT THE ISRAELI PUBLIC ELECTED!!  Jameel at the Mukata certainly got it right.

If you think that a pre-condition for peace talk negotiations should be to release savage murderers from jail, then raise your hands!

If you think Israel should make a mockery of it's judicial system, and spit in the faces of the broken Israeli families whose children and parents were slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists, raise your hands!

If you think that Prime Minister Netanyahu should ignore popular sentiment and release terrorists just for the privilege of  sitting down at a table with a society that glorifies civilian murderers, then raise your hands!

If you think that Israel should bow to American pressure, endanger the lives of its citizens and soldiers, and free murderers while the US refuses to free Jonathan Pollard, raise your hands!

As we've seen in the past, "only the Likud can do it."  That is why I don't vote Likud.  Remember that it was the Likud that gave Egypt the Sinai and produced Disengagement, which provided the Arab terrorists with convenient launching areas for missiles against the Israeli South.  I miss the days when the Likud was in the opposition and prevented the Leftist Labor party from doing things like that. I'm not afraid of having the Likud in the opposition.

Tazpit News Agency
The Israeli public does not see the point of the faux peace talks, especially when we aren't negotiating.  We're capitulating to all of the terrorists' demands.  And what are Israel's demands?  Do we have any?

Just in case you're curious, here's the cabinet vote re: Arab terrorist prisoner release just to "sweeten" the pre-talk package for the terrorists:
Voting in favor of the 104 releases were Netanyahu, Ya’alon, Gideon Sa’ar, and Yuval Steinitz (all Likud); Aharonovitch and Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu); Yair Lapid, Yael German, Peri, and Shai Piron (Yesh Atid); and Livni, and Amir Peretz (Hatnua).
Yisrael Katz and Gilad Erdan (Likud), Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach (Jewish Home), and Uzi Landau and Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beytenu) voted against the measure. The Likud’s Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom abstained.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Benzion Netanyahu's Greatest Mistake

Hebrew names are words and/or biblical personalities.  They all have meaning and history.  Hebrew is an extremely magical language.  When someone's name is "analyzed" lots of information can be deduced.  That's not the say that every single person with the name of עדינה Adina, which means gentle will be all that gentle.  But I'd certainly prefer to have a Calev or Joshua on my team than a Nimrod.

I'd think that a great scholar of Jewish History and the Bible such as the late Professor Benzion Netanyahu would have picked a stronger name for his second son than Binyamin, Benjamin.  It's not the name for a strong, loyal to G-d leader. The first Benjamin in the Bible was the youngest child of Ya'aqov Avinu, Our Forefather Jacob.  Benjamin was a pawn.  We don't hear him speak.  He survived his childbirth which killed his mother.  His father and brothers made his decisions for him.  One doesn't see him acting independently or responding when the Egyptian Viceroy, who actually was his elder brother in disguise, sentenced him to imprisonment.

Second, his tribal descendants, the Tribe of Benjamin was involved in one of the most despicable Biblical stories, Pilegesh ba'Givah, the rape and murder of the concubine in Givah.  The tribe of Binyamin caused a major civil war which almost caused the destruction of their tribe.

And my third example of the problem with the name of Benjamin for a leader concerns King Saul, who was from that tribe.  King Saul was instrumental in two major sins as a king. He kept trying to cause a major civil war against David and his followers. He was willing to do anything to destroy David to guarantee that his son Yonatan, Jonathan would follow him as king to establish a dynasty.  Before David took over as king, he walked a very narrow tightrope trying to both defend himself and be a leader protecting the Jewish People. 

King Saul also refused to obey G-d's commandment to destroy all of Amalek, including the Amalek livestock.  In direct defiance of G-d's orders he kept alive Agog, the Amalek king and the livestock, which he used in an uncalled for ceremony.  When Samuel the Prophet discovered what he had done, Saul blamed the people for urging him to do it.

Finally the Prophet Samuel had to make it very clear to Saul that he was deposed.  Soon after that Saul committed suicide and his sons died in battle.  King David was then able to reign over the People of Israel.  Even better was that King David was in direct communication with G-d and didn't need the mentoring of Samuel.

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is too much a "Benjamin" to be a strong Prime Minister.  Do you see the parallels in his letter to the problems we had thousands of years ago with King Saul?

Here's the very disgraceful Saul/Benjamin-like "letter to the people" that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu
From time to time, prime ministers are called on to make decisions that go against public opinion – when the matter is important for the country.
In order to make decisions that are supported by the public, there is no need for prime ministers.
At the present time, it seems to me that it is very important for the State of Israel to enter into a diplomatic process. This is important both in order to exhaust the chance of ending the conflict with the Palestinians and in order to establish Israel’s position in the complex international reality around us.
The major changes in our region – in Egypt, Syria and in Iran – not only place challenges before the State of Israel but they also create considerable opportunities for us.
For these reasons, I believe that it is important for the State of Israel to enter a diplomatic process that will continue for at least nine months – in order to check if it is possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians during this time.
But even with all of the importance that I ascribe to the diplomatic process, I was not prepared to accept the Palestinians’ demands for withdrawals and freezes as preconditions for entering negotiations.
Neither was I prepared to accept their demand to release Palestinian prisoners before the start of negotiations. I did agree to release 104 Palestinians in stages after the start of the negotiations and in accordance with the circumstances of their progress.
This is an incomparably difficult decision, it is painful for the bereaved families and it is painful for the entire nation and it is also very painful for me.
It collides with the incomparably important value of justice.
It is a clear injustice when depraved people, even if most of them have sat in prison for over 20 years as in this case, are released before they have finished serving their sentences.
The decision is difficult for me seven-fold because my family and I personally know the price of bereavement stemming from terrorism. I know the pain very well. I have lived with it every day for the past 37 years. The fact that previous Israeli governments have released over 10,000 terrorists does not make it easier for me today, and did not make it easier when I decided to bring back Gilad Shalit.
Gilad Shalit’s return home entailed an incomparably difficult decision for me – releasing terrorists. But I believed that the value of bringing children back home needed to overcome this difficulty.
People in positions of leadership need to choose between complex choices and sometimes the necessary decision is especially difficult when most of the public opposes it.
Thus I decided to end Operation Pillar of Defense after the elimination of arch-terrorist Ahmed Jabari and after the severe blows the IDF dealt to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.
I made the decision to end the operation even though most of the public supported continued action, which would have required entering the Gaza Strip on the ground. As Prime minister, I thought that the goal of deterrence had been mostly achieved by the determined actions that we carried out.
Today, almost one year after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, we are witness to the quietest situation in the south in over a decade. Of course, this quiet can fray at any minute but my policy is clear on all fronts: We will, as much as possible, foil threats against us in a timely manner. We will react strongly to any attempt to harm our people.
In the next nine months, we will consider whether there is a Palestinian element opposite us that, like us, truly wants to end the conflict between us.
Such a conclusion will be possible only under conditions that will ensure security for Israel’s citizens and ensure our vital national interests.
If we succeed in achieving such a peace agreement, I will submit it to a referendum.
Such a fateful decision cannot be made by a close vote in the Knesset.
Every citizen must be allowed to directly influence our future and our fate on such a crucial issue.
The best answer we can give to those same base murderers that sought to defeat us through terrorism is that in the decades that they sat in prison, we built a glorious country and turned it into one of the most prosperous, advanced and strongest countries in the world.
I promise that we will continue thus.
Yours,
Benjamin Netanyahu.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Summer Afternoon in Jerusalem's Old City

We used to live in the Old City of Jerusalem.  It was much more challenging then, forty-three years ago.  Our old place, Maon Betar, is now the center of what's called the Rova HaYehudi, The Jewish Quarter.  The truth is that prior to the Arab attacks before Israeli Independence, there were Jews living all over the Old City.  The Jewish population wasn't at all restricted to one area only. There are buildings all over the Old Walled City that were owned by Jews. 

When I go to the Old City, I don't make a point of going to the "Jewish Quarter."  I only go there if it's convenient.  The closest I get is the parking lot near the walls, not far from Sha'ar Tzion, Zion Gate.  To go to the Kotel, Western Wall I walk along the inner road by the city wall.  I've always gone that way, ever since I first came to Jerusalem as a student in Machon Greenberg.

So that's the route I took when my sister-in-law and I decided to go to the Kotel.  One never knows who else will be there.


We couldn't help but to notice this group of people. There was lots of singing.  We followed them for a bit.



Passage ways are pretty narrow, so it took a while until we could get ahead of them.



Apparently it was a Bar Mitzvah, though I never had heard of doing one in the afternoon, unless this was just the "fun," not the religious prayer, Torah reading part of the festivities.

They made a left turn to go through the Jewish Quarter, and we kept going down the road.  Suddenly more music.


I should use this for a "caption this" post on me-ander.

Finally, to the Kotel and the Ezrat Nashim, women's section, which wasn't all that crowded.



Afterwards we took the bus out of the Old City.  That was a mistake.  We should have walked; it would have been faster and more fun.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Latma, Brilliant: "Palestinian prisoners are concerned and Bibi's plan B"

This week's Latma, the Tribal update "Palestinian prisoners are concerned and Bibi's plan B."



Latma is a project of Caroline Glick.
 
Latma is funded by donations from private individuals who believe that the voice of Zionism must be heard, loud and clear, in Israel and throughout the world. We need your help in order to stay open and continue sounding our voices.
If you are in the United States, Latma is  funded by donations to the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project which I direct. If you would like to contribute to our work, which is funded entirely by viewer contributions, please go to this link.
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This is definitely one of their most brilliant scripts.

"Two State Solution," Playing With Fire

When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formally announced that he was abandoning his principles and agreeing to support the "Two State Solution," he jumped into a very dangerous shark-filled sea."  Those less upset claimed that we shouldn't worry:
"because the Arabs would never come to an agreement with us."

Well, things aren't so simple.  By abandoning his long-held principles, Bibi has given more and more support to our enemies, the terrorists, the academics and the diplomats who now blithely mention the so-called Palestinians sic, as if they are not only a "people" but also a country.
photo credit: AP/Seth Wenig
US Secretary of State John Kerry caused a bit of a stir on Thursday at the United Nations when he apparently misspoke by referring to the country of Palestine.
Speaking ahead of talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kerry highlighted the “courageous decision” by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume peace negotiations. “It’s my hope that that will be able to happen as procedures are put in place by both countries in order to empower that,” Kerry told reporters.
It has been bad enough that too many people, including United States President Barack Hussein Obama seem to think that there had been a country called "Palestine" here before the establishment of the State of Israel.  Now since we agree to treed them as "equals" if not our superiors letting them demand prior conditions in negotiations.

Every time Israel agrees to a concession, our situation gets worse; the pressure just increases to force us to more concessions.

What was once extreme Left is now Right of Center.

What's there to negotiate if we agree to start negotiations in a position worse than we used to claim we couldn't accept as a final agreement?  And that's even according to previous American policy.
Any US guarantee to the Palestinians that the upcoming negotiations with Israel will be based on the pre-1967 lines would be a violation of written US commitments given to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker wrote in a letter sent this week to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Baker wrote the letter on behalf of the Legal Forum for Israel, along with another attorney with the group, Yossi Fuchs. The forum, formerly called the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, was set up in the wake of the Gaza withdrawal to promote the rights of the evacuees.
The group quotes from US president George W. Bush’s letter to Sharon on April 4, 2004, which it said was given as a political quid pro quo, in return for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
According to that letter, “As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of the final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion.”
Yes, things have gotten that bad.

graphic NY Times
credit

Just don't act surprised afterwards, when G-d forbid the pressure gets worse and we're fighting for our very existence.  It would be better if now the Israeli Government would back out of all of these negotiations and rescind the support for a "two state solution."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Peace" at Any Cost- Is it PEACE?

The slick advertising campaign has begun!

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been saying that he'll ask the Israeli public to approve any drastic (is that the right adjective?) "peace" sic treaty his staff comes up with.
According to sources in the Prime Minister’s Office who spoke to Hebrew Daily Israel Hayom, the move aims to advance the diplomatic process, and shows how serious Netanyahu is about resuming talks.


Whenever he talks about "painful concessions" I and he knows too that he's just weakening Israel for defeat at war.
"We must ... find a way to forge a lasting peace with the Palestinians," says Netanyahu, and that will mean "painful concessions" on Israel's part that include ceding some places that are part of the Jewish homelands.


There is no way that a true, genuine peace agreement can be painful.  And  there's no way that a shrunken, amputated Israel will be secure and safe.  The word "peace" has become a euphemism for an Israel on the way to destruction, G-d forbid.

In the meantime, the Israeli Left is trying to brainwash the nation that "everyone" wants peace at any price.  IMRA posted an interesting post about the public relations campaign now going on to distort the news of Israeli opinion polls:
Haaretz cooks poll question to show support for deal - while 61%:26% Israelis
oppose deal
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 24 July 20013

The folks at Haaretz needed a poll showing that the public supports a peace
agreement but they had a problem:

The moment that you actually say anything about the agreement, the public is
overwhelmingly opposed.

That's what Maagar - Interdisciplinary Research and Consulting Institute
Ltd., managed by Professor Yitzhak Katz found in a poll of 503 Israelis they
carried out on 22 July for Channel 10
In principle, are you for or against signing a full peace agreement with the
Palestinians on the basis of the 1967 borders, including the exchange of
territory and release of prisoners?
Total: For 29% Against 57% Other replies 14%
and it gets only worse when you spell it out even more:
Are you for or against signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians on
the basis of the 1967 borders, including the evacuation of communities with
the exception of settlement blocs, exchange of territory, Palestinians
recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish People, and release of
Palestinians with "blood on their hands".
Total: For 26% Against 61% Other 13%

So here is the propaganda piece that Haaretz commissioned in a poll carried
out 23 July - by Dialogue under the supervision of statistics professor and
pollster Camil Fuchs of a representative sample of 511 adult Israelis
(including Israeli Arabs). Published in Haaretz on 24 July 2013

Assume that the Prime Minister reaches an agreement with the Palestinians
and brings it to a national referendum, would you support or oppose it?
Support 39% Think support 16% Think oppose 5% Oppose 20% Don’t know 20%

What's the problem with this question?

There are, no doubt, many respondents who were in the "plus column" who
support Netanyahu and were thinking that, in the absence of information
about the deal, that a deal that Netanyahu brings to a national referendum
would have to be radically different than the kind of deal that the talking
heads have been outlining for the last two decades. Take note the huge
"Don't know" response.

The Haaretz poll is meaningless because if and when we reach the point that
there is a national referendum the details of the deal will very much be the
subject of considerable debate.


Remember that democracy is the rule of fools, and most people are easy to trick.  I am not optimistic about the results of such a referendum, and that's for a few reasons.
  1. It will be professionally worded to give the impression that the result will be peace.
  2. The campaign will stress that if we don't sign two terrible things will happen.  One that  the world will hate us and two that there will be immediate war.
In the time of the Bible, very soon after Moses led the Jewish People from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt, he sent out twelve tribal leaders, one from each tribe, to stakeout the Land in preparation for immediate entry.  Ten out of twelve came back with frightening reports that although the Land was rich and fertile, there was no way the Jewish People could win any war against the present residents.  Democracy! The two dissenting leaders, Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people otherwise and were voted down in that early referendum.  Democracy!

As a result, G-d punished the people by declaring that they must wait in the wilderness until another generation would be born. 

Today we are physically in the promised Land, the Land G-d gave us, but ideologically, spiritually and emotionally, we the Jewish People are still not ready for the gifts G-d has given us.  Peace will not come from concessions to our enemies.  Peace will only come from our being truly sovereign in the Land of Israel, G-d willing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's Really Behind All the Anti-Israel Boycotts?

Food for thought...

Dry Bones, European Boycott

Think about it.  It doesn't seem to be a moral point.  Europeans are typical of the others who look for any excuse to boycott Israel.  There's an agenda behind the pompous pronouncements. 

They certainly don't believe in freedom of choice, free market etc. because they literally terrorize people who defy them, like entertainers who had contracted to perform in Israel.  The latest of cancel, just days before his performance is Eric Burdon, former lead singer of the British band The Animals.  Those actions are fascist, certainly not peace-loving or liberal.

Another example is the total hypocrisy of the countries that have banned shechita, the proscribed way of Jewish animal slaughter.  Every single one of those countries permits hunting.  Now there is nothing more cruel to animals than hunting.  If those countries really cared about animal rights, hunting would be forbidden.  But they don't care about animal rights nor cruelty to animals.  They just want the Jews to leave their country.  That's called racism, anti-Semitism.

And another point.  How many countries in the European Union, for example, still rule over various "colonies" in other parts of the world?  Just a few years ago Great Britain went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, which are next to Argentina.  Britain rules that piece of land, and there's no reason they should be there at all.
Sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Spanish) is disputed between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
The British claim to sovereignty dates from 1690, and the United Kingdom has exercised de facto sovereignty over the archipelago almost continuously since 1833. Argentina has long disputed this claim, having been in control of the islands for a brief period prior to 1833. The dispute escalated in 1982, when Argentina invaded the islands, precipitating the Falklands War.
Israel and the Jewish People have a long documented history of thousands of years of continued connection to the Land of Israel including what's sometimes called the "West Bank," Judea and Samaria.

None of the countries preaching "morality" to us have histories as long as ours.  We count our history in millennia (thousands of years,) while they at most count in centuries (hundreds of years.)

There is only one way to end these attacks on our country, our sovereignty and right to be here is for the Israeli Government to declare all countries participating as enemies.  Their diplomats should be sent packing, and our ambassadors should come home.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Real Fairy Tale: "After the Peace Treaty They All Lived Happily Ever After"

credit
Yesterday on my less political blog, me-ander, I blogged about winning a Liebster Award.   Leora   had awarded me with it, and part of the ceremonial is that the winner must answer questions posed by the blogger who did the awarding.  There was one question I couldn't answer on the spot:
10 What is your favorite fairy tale?

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I guess I'm just too realistic, pragmatic to go for fairy tales.  I just can't take them seriously.  Also, even though I read fiction for pleasure, I don't write fiction, only non-fiction, op-eds, recipes, reminisces, health-related material etc.  It's too easy for my mind to poke holes in various myths and ideologies.  Even my Bible studies are text-based; I'm not a fan of midrashim or myths.  When I'm interviewed by the media I'll refuse to answer questions based on "theoretical what-ifs."

In all honesty, I don't see how there can be peace between Israel and the Arabs this generation or even the next one.  To believe there can be is to believe in fairy tales.  A signed peace treaty doesn't erase what's in people's minds and hearts.  The Arabs have been inoculated, brainwashed for generations that they have the power to destroy the Zionists and the State of Israel.  Until that mentality is erased/deleted, there will never be peace.  Israel will not be secure.  Lehavdil, to differentiate (that means that I'm not saying my examples are the same) think of G-d's decision to have the People of Israel wait forty years to enter the Promised Land, because the slave generation needed to be replaced.  No doubt it will take (and has already taken) much more than forty years for the Arabs, and a good chunk of the world to fully accept the Jewish State of Israel.

Former MK Dr. Arieh Eldad MD once gave a very interesting observation of the Israeli political scene.  I heard this on television in a show that featured various public figures being painted by Israeli artists and then interviewed.  Eldad pointed out that the Israeli Right is led by scientists and mathematicians, while the Left is lead those who specialized in the humanities.  Eldad stressed that his ideology is based on facts, while the Left is based on wishful thinking, theories.  That brings me back to my refusal to answer theoretical questions.  Like Dr. Eldad who is a doctor, for me these questions are a matter of life and death, and we must be realistic.

As long as and for at least a full generation after the Arabs stop educating their children to terrorize and destroy Israel (see the PMW-Palestine Media Watch) there is absolutely no way there can be peace.  That's a simple fact.



And if I was to give my favorite fairy tale, yes, I finally thought of one, I'd have to say The Emperor's New Clothes.

Here's the beginning and end of the story.  It's different from your usual fairy tales, because it has a very sad ending.  Read it:
Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, "The King's in council," here they always said. "The Emperor's in his dressing room."
In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.
"Those would be just the clothes for me," thought the Emperor. "If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away." He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once....
...
So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!" Nobody would confess that he couldn't see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.
"But he hasn't got anything on," a little child said.
"Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?" said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, "He hasn't anything on. A child says he hasn't anything on."
"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last.
The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all.

Monday, July 22, 2013

“Dirat Arai”: The ‘Temporary’ Succa by Hadassa DeYoung, K’far Darom/Elon Moreh


בעז"ה

“Dirat Arai”: The ‘Temporary’ Succa

What was it like living in Gush Katif? I’ve been asked that question countless times. Answering it doesn’t get any easier. Stories are a good way of relating events so that’s what my writings commemorating the anniversary of the Expulsion are usually are. Succot in Gush Katif was a special holiday, in many ways, from the neighbors helping us buy and transport the succa parts to tear gas meant for rioting Arabs interrupting our meals to wondering if mortars launched from Dir-el-Balah were going to prevent us from fulfilling the mitzva of sitting in the succa.

Like many couples my husband and I married in Elul, not long before the High Holidays. We arrived in Netzer Hazani about a week after our wedding. Unlike most couples in Israel we couldn’t pack our bags, catch a ride and spend the holidays with family. We were ‘alone’ – although one is never really alone in Israel - and celebrating the holidays with friends who were in exactly our situation didn’t appeal to us so we decided to stay home. For Rosh HaShana we received more invitations than there were meals and even we also received an invitation for before the Yom Kippur fast. All that was left was the matter of building a Succa, known as a “dirat arai”, a temporary dwelling built especially for only the week of Succot.

Time passed and we still hadn’t purchased a Succa. Yom Kippur passed and I began to seriously worry. Succot would begin in only a few days and I had no idea how we were going to acquire a Succa. Fortunately immediately after Yom Kippur as we were having the fast-breaking meal siata d’shaimaya (help from Heaven) arrived. A neighbor pulled up next to our house, honked his horn and shouted, “Uri! Come! I’ll take you to Neve Dekalim and you’ll buy yourself a Succa.” He not only took my husband to Neve Dekalim but also vouched for us. We didn’t have enough cash on hand and the checkbooks hadn’t arrived yet. I guess the kind neighbor figured that without family in Israel or a car or checks we wouldn’t be running away too quickly. They returned from Neve Dekalim, the generous neighbor helped Uri start the building the succa and then he apologized (!) for having to go home and build his own succa.

Two years later we headed for the young community of K’far Darom, once again moving right before Succot. We packed up the minivan, drove to our caravan and began to unpack. A smiling grandfather stepped out of the neighboring caravan and greeted us. “Shalom, I’m Chana Cohen’s father. Welcome! Do you need any help?” We turned down the offer, not wanting to inconvenience our new neighbors and said that we’d manage. After about half an hour he returned, looked at us, up and down, and insisted. “Take care of your home. I’ll build the succa with my grandchildren.” He said and he did.

Years passed and on the year celebrating 50 years to the founding of old K’far Darom we sat in the Succa, “under siege”– roads were closed because of the security situation – thinking about how the original founders of K’far Darom were literally under siege during the War of Independence.

Four years later the rioting and attacks began on Rosh HaShana, the attacks that would only increase until the Expulsion, after which the terrorists would increase their attacks on the rest of the Negev, once the Jews were forcibly removed from Gush Katif. The Arabs rioted close to K’far Darom’s fence and the tear gas blew into our yard and our eyes. As the holiday of Succot drew near neither the riots nor the tear gas had stopped. During Succot we took wet towels into the succa with us, for relief from the tear gas until we could run inside. Once we didn’t take wet towels with us and we started to think that maybe tear gas was wafting in our direction. I didn’t say a word, but my three year old daughter announced that, “We should have brought towels!”

By the next year we already had to keep our ear attuned to the sound of mortar launches and announcements of “purple rain”, the code for falling mortars. “Color red” warnings were rare. Almost always the mortars had already been launched before the army could warn us. We sat in the succa, like anyone else celebrating the holiday, but our conversations were a bit different.

"A mortar fell. Let’s go inside”

"No it didn’t. We’ll stay in the Succa.”

"Ima (mom)! A mortar fell!”

I wasn’t convinced but just to be on the safe side we went inside. Later I learned that a mortar had directly hit our neighbor two doors to the left. Their second, completely unfinished, story suffered a direct hit to a corner, leaving a gaping hole. Fortunately the family wasn’t home that day.

Years passed and the Arabs of Dir-el-Balah continued to launch mortars. Not only the security situation but also our metal frame and nylon walled succa began to heat up too much. “We should buy a succa in which it’s pleasant to sit,” I suggested. My husband reminded me that we didn’t have a car – which we didn’t at the time – and how was he supposed to bring wooden succa walls home. I didn’t back down. “Do we lack neighbors with large vehicles?” My husband was convinced and bought succa walls, once again in Neve Dekalim. We waited again for siata d’shamaya, which wasn’t long in coming.

Several days later the phone rang and on the line was our closest neighbor. “Shalom, – speaking I’m at – and I see succa walls with DeYoung marked on them. Would you like them?” Absolutely. We received our succa walls at our doorstep and our neighbor had the mitzva of bringing them to us.

We sat in that succa three times in K’far Darom. Then it, the ‘dirat arai’ was loaded into a shipping container with the rest of our belongings and our ‘permanent’ house was razed to the ground. The succa remained in the hot, stuffy container for a bit longer than a year until in the mountain air of Elon Moreh it was built, once again according to our custom, by a new neighbor we’d barely met.

We managed to move once more, to a new house in Elon Moreh, right before Succot and we’re still waiting to move again, with the succa back to K’far Darom.

At this time of year when we remember the destruction of Beit HaMikdash and for us the more personal destruction of Gush Katif and the northern Shomron, particularly K’far Darom I think about the upcoming Succot holiday. We moved four times right before Succot, and we have plenty of time to return to K’far Darom, with that ‘temporary’ “dirat arai”, by the holiday, if we don’t merit the rebuilding of Beit HaMikdash and going up to Jerusalem by then.

Hadassa DeYoung, K’far Darom/Elon Moreh

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bibi, About the Word "Vital"

Here's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's official statement, emphasis mine:
"I view the resumption of the diplomatic process at this time as a vital strategic interest of the State of Israel. It is important in and of itself in order to try and bring about the conclusion of the conflict between us and the Palestinians, and it is important in light of the strategic challenges that are before us, mainly from Iran and Syria.
With the resumption of the diplomatic process, we are faced with two main goals: Preventing the creation of a bi-national state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River that would endanger the future of the Jewish state and preventing the establishment of an additional Iranian-sponsored terrorist state on Israel's borders, which would endanger us no less.
I would like to thank US Secretary of State John Kerry for putting in the great efforts that have led to the resumption of the process. I expect that the talks will be conducted in a serious and responsible manner.
As Prime Minister of Israel, I am committed, first and foremost, to the security of the citizens of Israel and I will strongly uphold the security demands of the State of Israel, as well as its vital interests."

Now for the meaning of "vital" from the free dictionary
vi·tal  (vtl)
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of life: See Synonyms at living.
2. Necessary to the continuation of life; life-sustaining: a vital organ; vital nutrients.
3. Full of life; animated: "The population of the teeming, vital slum . . . declined" (Rick Hampson).
4. Imparting life or animation; invigorating: the sun's vital rays.
5. Necessary to continued existence or effectiveness; essential: "Irrigation was vital to early civilization" (William H. McNeill). "A vital component of any democracy is a free labor movement" (Bayard Rustin).
6. Concerned with or recording data pertinent to lives: vital records.
7. Biology Used or done on a living cell or tissue: vital dyes; vital staining.
8. Destructive to life; fatal: a vital injury.
The State of Israel's military victories and continued existence has defied all logic.  We get our life from G-d, not from the United States, United Nations, Arab tolerance, peace treaties etc.  The lesson of Jewish History and the fast of Tisha B'Av is that if we defy G-d and worship others, G-d can all our enemies to destroy us, G-d forbid.

In the official statement by the United States Government* about the upcoming umpteenth round of "peace talks" it uses the phrases "...courageous leadership shown by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu..."...tough choices... "  The worst one is "...longstanding conflict..."

The actual situation is a lot more sinister, malignant. The Arabs want to destroy us.  This policy to give it a rather pc benign term predates the establishment of the State of Israel.  Supported by the British who had been mandated by the United Nations to help establish a Jewish state, Jews in the Land of Israel had been terrorized, attacked, murdered for decades before 1948.  And nothing has changed.  Now in the "guise" of "peace talks," various international busybodies keep pushing for Israel to "compromise" with the Arab terrorists.  How can we compromise with people who want us dead and destroyed?

*full statement:
SECRETARY KERRY: Good evening, everybody, thank you very much for your patience. I apologize for the delay. I’m just going to make a statement, and I’m not going to take any questions at this point in time.
On behalf of President Obama, I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This is a significant and welcome step forward.
The agreement is still in the process of being formalized, so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now. Any speculation or reports you may read in the media or elsewhere or here in the press are conjecture. They are not based on fact because the people who know the facts are not talking about them. The parties have agreed that I will be the only one making further comments about this.
If everything goes as expected, Saeb Erekat and Tzipi Livni, Minister Livni, and Isaac Molho will be joining me in Washington to begin initial talks within the next week or so, and a further announcement will be made by all of us at that time.
I want to thank particularly His Majesty King Abdullah and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who has been really enormously helpful throughout this process. I want to thank all of them for their extraordinary hospitality to our team that has been camped here for several days, and they have helped with all of the logistics and been superb hosts and collaborators in this effort.
I also want to thank the Arab League and the committee, the joint committee – the committee with respect to the peace initiative follow-on -- who traveled here during the week and who made an important difference with their statement of support.
And then there are many, many others who have contributed, many other leaders around the world, all of whom have visited here and pushed and advocated and encouraged the notion that these talks could take place. There are too many to list, but they know who they are and we are very, very grateful. It will take their ongoing effort in order to be able to have any chance of making these talks the kind of success they ought to be.
I think all of us know that candid, private conversations are the very best way to preserve the time and the space for progress and understanding when you face difficult, complicated issues such as Middle East peace. The best way to give these negotiations a chance is to keep them private. Everyone knows that this is not easy. If it were, it would’ve happened a long time ago. And no one believes that the longstanding differences between the parties can be resolved overnight or just wiped away.
We know that the challenges require some very tough choices in the days ahead. Today, however, I am hopeful. I’m hopeful because of the courageous leadership shown by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Both of them have chosen to make difficult choices here, and both of them were instrumental in pushing in this direction. We wouldn’t be standing here tonight if they hadn’t made the choices.
I’m most hopeful because of the positive steps that Israelis themselves and Palestinians are taking on the ground and the promise that those steps represent about the possibilities of the future. The path to resolution of this longstanding conflict in this critical corner of the world, that path is not about fate. It’s about choices, choices that people can make. And this is not up to chance. It’s up to the Israeli people and the Palestinian people and no one else.
So knowing that the road ahead will be difficult and the challenges that the parties face are daunting, we will call on everybody to act in the best of faith and push forward. The representatives of two proud people today have decided that the difficult road ahead is worth traveling and that the daunting challenges that we face are worth tackling. So they have courageously recognized that in order for Israelis and Palestinians to live together side by side in peace and security, they must begin by sitting at the table together in direct talks.
I thank those leaders. I thank all those who have worked so hard, my team especially, who have been part of this. And I look forward to seeing my friends from this region in Washington next week or very soon thereafter. Thank you very much.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Insanity Reigns, Bad and Dangerous

The State of Israel has been trying to "make peace" with our Arab neighbors enemies for sixty-five years (since the beginning of the state) or even longer.  We keep using the same failed methods, concessions, gestures, negotiations, withdrawals, concessions, terrorist prisoner release, concessions, negotiations, withdrawals, begging... ad nauseum.  Dizzying, isn't it?

Photo: GPO/Amos Ben Gershom
And now the big headlines are that we're...  you guessed it... willing to compromise our sovereignty and sanity to "negotiate" again.
WASHINGTON -- John Kerry scored a major diplomatic victory today, announcing on his sixth trip to the region as secretary of state a deal enabling the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Representatives will travel to Washington next week to begin negotiations.
That is where the difficulties will begin for the United States. In both Israel and the PLO, major coalition players have threatened revolt over basic negotiation points: prisoner concessions, a preliminary acceptance of pre-1967 borders, and settlement construction, among other issues. If these players genuinely threaten to disrupt their respective governments, Kerry may see an end to the negotiations he fought so hard for before they even begin in earnest.
It didn't work last year, nor a decade ago, nor half a century ago.

Even, or should I say especially, the Nobel Peace Prize winning agreements haven't brought peace to Israel.

So why do we keep on with this charade?

And why am I so certain that it won't work?

It won't work for the very simple reason that this isn't a matter of a disagreement that can be solved through compromise and negotiation. If you want to look at it as two simple sides, Israel versus the Arabs, here it is.
  • Israel offers peace and has never had any plans or done any action to destroy any of the Arab countries in the area.
  • The Arab aim is the destruction of the State of Israel and wants all Jews to leave the area.
Besides, G-d forbid, another Masada, mass Jewish suicide and the self-destruction of the State of Israel, there is no way for the two sides to meet. 

Whenever Israel shows its desperation for "peace" at any price, we just look weaker and riper for the picking.  The Israeli politicians who keep promoting "peace talks" are endangering the security of the country.  I don't care what the foreigners, like American Obama or Kerry think and say.  They aren't my gods or leaders.

There is one way to get peace.  It certainly won't be immediate.  We must stop agreeing to negotiate.  We must declare that the Arabs will just have to live with a State of Israel.  We will do anything necessary to defend ourselves.  Terrorists who murder or attempt to murder Jews will be executed according to law.  Yes, the law must be changed. And that includes throwing rocks on a Jewish car.  Parents of minors who murder or attempt to murder Jews can choose whether to be executed instead of their child.  If the child is an orphan then execute the guardian.  And justice must be swift.  Terrorism will quickly drop when the terrorists and their families pay with their lives.

Any country or international organization that promotes boycotts of Israel will be banned.  Declare the diplomats persona non grata.

That's it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Truth About The EU From Latma and More

This week's Latma gives a very accurate portrayal of the priorities of the European Union:
Flock Builder with a special report from the hospital and EU representative Johann Phlegmat explains the new boycott.



Please donate to support Caroline Glick's Latma so it can continue its very necessary service.
Latma is funded by donations from private individuals who believe that the voice of Zionism must be heard, loud and clear, in Israel and throughout the world. We need your help in order to stay open and continue sounding our voices.
If you are in the United States, Latma is  funded by donations to the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project which I direct. If you would like to contribute to our work, which is funded entirely by viewer contributions, please go to this link.
For donations outside the US, here is a link to the donations page for our Israeli non-profit, the Zionist Incubator. You can make credit card donations to Latma by contributing to our non-profit. 
I also highly recommend dreading Ruthie Blum's latest article, Peres, Kerry and the EU.

Israeli-Jewish Sovereignty in Jerusalem?

It's no secret that there are Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem where Israeli Jewish Policemen fear to tread.  Here are some disturbing pictures and an article from Algemeiner about an Arab attack on Jews near the Old City of Jerusalem.
A frenzied Arab mob smashed car windshields with rocks and pieces of wood, as Jews drove by Jerusalem’s Damascus (Shechem) Gate Tuesday night, with several of the perpetrators arrested by Jerusalem Police, Israel’s Channel 7 reported on Thursday, citing video recorded by the assailants and uploaded to the internet.
The video, posted on the “Free Qudss” accounts on YouTube and Facebook, begins with the statement: “Destroying the settlers cars and arrests.” The narrator claims the recording was made on Tuesday evening.
At least here the police attempted to protect the Jews.



This happened not far from the Jerusalem Lightrail.

The Muslim world is now in the midst of Ramadan, the month in which they fast during the day and feast and party all night.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin Squashes Vatican Rumors on Cenacle Control… Almost

Posted by JewishIsrael.com

Arutz 7 has reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin knows of no such deal involving the transfer of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion to the Vatican, as was recently reported in the Orthodox/Hareidi paper Hamodia.

However additional clarification is needed because official Vatican sources, as well as the mainstream press, are claiming that the Vatican will receive "administrative control" (rather than ownership) of the Cenacle (Last Supper Room), opening it up for Catholic church services directly above King David's Tomb.

Who is telling the truth and why such "undiplomatic" pressure from the Vatican over nonnegotiable property? JewishIsrael wants some answers, so we asked some hard questions …more

Busy Summer at Shiloh Hakedumah, Tel Shiloh

There are archeological excavations going on all the time at Tel Shiloh.  Besides that the new "tower" has opened, which includes  a fascinating movie about Biblical Shiloh.   In addition there will be our annual events, the TU B'Av Dancing in the Vineyards, on Sunday July 21 and T'fillat Chana, again featuring Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi on Wed. August  28. For more information try  emailing visit@telshilo.org.il or call 02-994-4019.



Besides all of these large events, we still come to pray every Rosh Chodesh at Tel Shiloh.

Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
Rosh Chodesh Ellul
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
1 Ellul 5773, 8:30am
Tour of Tel & Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

תפילת נשים
ראש חודש אלול בתל שילה

יום ד' 7-8 א' אלול תשע"ג 8:30
יהיה דבר תורה קצר וסיור בתל
 כדאי לבוא ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות

You're welcome to join us.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hoping Bibi's Response to the EU isn't Just Bluff

In typical bully/abuser versus apologetic victim behavior, the European Union has come out with an immoral anti-Semitic boycott of all Israeli things connected with "post-Six Days War" Israel.
The European Union has recommended that its 27 member states "prevent" all financial transactions that support Israel's settlement activities in the West Bank.
In its Jerusalem Report 2012, an internal report written by the EU mission heads in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the European Union suggested that member states "prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services," the French news agency AFP reported.
Their policy is a continuation of longstanding British-European actions which support Arabs and undermine Jewish sovereignty.

Going back almost a century, from the establishment of the British Mandate to facilitate a Jewish State and the rise of Nazi Germany, there has always been more sympathy and support for Arabs here than for Jews.  It's too bad that our leaders, the politicians, media and academics, refuse to see the Europeans and British for what they always have been-- anti-Semites.

No great surprise that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made a strong impressive statement claiming outrage etc against the EU policy decision.
PM Netanyahu Comments on Intention to Add Conditions on Contacts between the EU and Israel in the Future
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Tuesday, 16 July 2013), in his Jerusalem office, held consultations with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin in wake of the intention to add conditions to contacts between the EU and the State of Israel in the future.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I would expect those who truly want peace and stability in the region would discuss this issue after solving more urgent regional problems such as the civil war in Syria or Iran's race to achieve nuclear weapons. As the Prime Minister of Israel, I will not allow the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria, on the Golan Heights and in Jerusalem, our united capital, to be harmed. We will not accept any outside diktat about our borders. This issue will be decided only in direct negotiations between the sides."

Unfortunately form prior experience I'd say it's just words, bluster and bluff.  Our wimpy Foreign Ministry won't do what it should do and send all those European diplomats packing.   It may be late, but it's not too late.  We must break this cycle of abuse, bluster-then apology, then more abuse.

Nobody takes Israel's threats seriously, neither our allies sic nor enemies.  Why should they, when we act no more dangerously than a paper tiger?

Isn't This Reuter's Picture of Ofra Photoshopped?

I am very familiar with the community of Ofra from all angles, and I can't see how this picture can be real.

The Jewish community of Ofra, 15 kilometers (10 miles) north of Jerusalem.
|
Photo credit: Reuters

I've seen it on the Jerusalem Post site and complained about it many times.  Israel Hayom credits Reuters.  I credit some photoshop photo-faker.  Can anyone prove me right or wrong?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tisha B'Av and The Battling Forces

I must admit that while reading the Tisha B'Av Kinot at home I dozed off.  I felt the good and evil battling away.  The proscribed readings, Eicha and Kinot, for this day of national mourning for the end of our ancient Jewish Kingdoms in the Land of Israel are very depressing and much too close to home.
Lamentations Chapter 2 אֵיכָה
ז  זָנַח אֲדֹנָי מִזְבְּחוֹ, נִאֵר מִקְדָּשׁוֹ--הִסְגִּיר בְּיַד-אוֹיֵב, חוֹמֹת אַרְמְנוֹתֶיהָ; קוֹל נָתְנוּ בְּבֵית-יְהוָה, כְּיוֹם מוֹעֵד.  {ס} 7 The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary, He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn assembly. {S}
ח  חָשַׁב יְהוָה לְהַשְׁחִית, חוֹמַת בַּת-צִיּוֹן--נָטָה קָו, לֹא-הֵשִׁיב יָדוֹ מִבַּלֵּעַ; וַיַּאֲבֶל-חֵל וְחוֹמָה, יַחְדָּו אֻמְלָלוּ.  {ס} 8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out the line, He hath not withdrawn His hand from destroying; but He hath made the rampart and wall to mourn, they languish together. {S}
ט  טָבְעוּ בָאָרֶץ שְׁעָרֶיהָ, אִבַּד וְשִׁבַּר בְּרִיחֶיהָ; מַלְכָּהּ וְשָׂרֶיהָ בַגּוֹיִם, אֵין תּוֹרָה--גַּם-נְבִיאֶיהָ, לֹא-מָצְאוּ חָזוֹן מֵיְהוָה.  {ס} 9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are among the nations, instruction is no more; yea, her prophets find no vision from the LORD. {S}
י  יֵשְׁבוּ לָאָרֶץ יִדְּמוּ, זִקְנֵי בַת-צִיּוֹן--הֶעֱלוּ עָפָר עַל-רֹאשָׁם, חָגְרוּ שַׂקִּים; הוֹרִידוּ לָאָרֶץ רֹאשָׁן, בְּתוּלֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.  {ס} 10 They sit upon the ground, and keep silence, the elders of the daughter of Zion; they have cast up dust upon their heads, they have girded themselves with sackcloth; the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. {S}
יא  כָּלוּ בַדְּמָעוֹת עֵינַי, חֳמַרְמְרוּ מֵעַי--נִשְׁפַּךְ לָאָרֶץ כְּבֵדִי, עַל-שֶׁבֶר בַּת-עַמִּי:  בֵּעָטֵף עוֹלֵל וְיוֹנֵק, בִּרְחֹבוֹת קִרְיָה.  {ס} 11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, mine inwards burn, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the breach of the daughter of my people; because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the broad places of the city. {S}
I suggest listening to Shani Taragin's shiur Eicha, Sounds of Music.

The Jewish People, the same one that exists today, is a very ancient people. None of our long-ago national or cultural peers still exist.  Historians and theologians have written our obituary many times.  At least two other religions were invented to replace us, Christianity and Islam, and they are fighting us for our Land.  The Arabs, their international backers and even some Israelis are pushing for a so-called Palestinian State, G-d forbid, and the Vatican is making deals with the Israeli Government to take over our holy sites, like Mount Zion.
YERUSHALAYIM - Israel has secretly informed the pope and senior Vatican officials that it is ready to reach a deal according to which it will transfer sovereignty of Kever David on Har Tzion to the Vatican, along with six Christian sites around the country. In exchange, Israel will receive permission to nationalize land that is under Christian control on the shores of the Kinneret.
After heavy Christian pressure, which has been applied for the past 60 years, the government is caving in now, specifically under Prime Minister Netanyahu, and is deciding to approve agreements drafted by former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon. He conducted ongoing secret negotiations with  the church, along with Bahij Mansour, the head of religion in the Diaspora division of the Foreign Ministry.
The forces of good and evil, Jewish rights/religion versus western secular are fighting.  In some ways it's subtle and in other ways it gets physically nasty. The Arabs generally are up front and honest about it.  They go for the physical kill, with rocks, rifles, bombs and rocket attacks.

Some of the victims of Arab terrorism: Top Left to Right: Koby Mandell, Yehuda Haim Shoham, Esther Ohana  Center: Yosef Ishran  Bottom Left to Right: Bachor Jean, Asher Palmer and his infant son Jonathan, Stf. Sgt. Benny Meisner
It's easy to read their lips. Other enemies are more subtle. Many claim friendship and love for us, but their advice will only cause our destruction. There are also our internal enemies, Jews, Israelis who frequently speak in the terminology of our sages, but with the wrong agenda.  They are like the false prophets of Biblical times. 

I've been studying the Bible for the past few years in Matan.  I'm in the six year program Al HaPerek, in which Na"Ch, Prophets and Writings have been divided up.  We study two chapters a week, and we are now studying Yechezkel, having already finished Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Today's politics in the State of Israel and modern Jewish History seems so similar to Biblical Times and I find that frightening.   We Jewish People are again battling.  Will G-d decide that we must be dispersed again, or will we progress to the building of the Third Holy Temple?  I'd like to say that it's all up to G-d, but I understand that it is really up to us.  G-d created us with free will, and we therefore have the power to bring the Moshiach, Redemption. 

We are not G-d's puppets; we are free-thinking people who must make the right decisions the right moves. G-d will help us if we do so. That's how we were victorious in our early wars against the Arab attackers, the 1948 War for Israeli Independence, the 1967 Six Days War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Our Salvation and our victories all come from G-d.  The message of Tisha B'Av is that if we pray to false G-ds, if we make deals with foreign leaders, if we give away our precious Land, G-d may very well decide that we're not the right generation for Redemption.  He may let us be destroyed the way He did in the past.

waiting for Redemption
waiting
G-d willing we will be strong and do the right things, and G-d will forgive us for our sins. And G-d willing we will defeat those endangering us.  May G-d be merciful.  May we merit the building of the בית המקדשת Beit Hamikdash, the Holy Temple!

הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ יְהוָה אֵלֶיךָ ונשוב [וְנָשׁוּבָה] חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם.
Hashiveinu Hashem vinashu chadesh yameinu kikedem.
Bring us back to You, G-d, and we will return, renew our days as days of old.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Erev Tisha b' Av: Vatican and Christian Missionaries breach Israel's gates

Posted by JewishIsrael.com

U.S. Christian leader "rabbi" Jamie Cowen establishes messianic law firm in Israel

Infamous U.S. Christian leader "rabbi "Jamie Cowen, who managed to make aliyah, has changed his name to Cohen and established the messianic law firm Cohen, Pex and Brosh.

 The firm is the latest of a growing number of legal organizations meeting the demands of evangelizing Christians who are looking to establish a foothold in the Jewish state.

 JewishIsrael contacted professionals working in the counter-missionary field who are familiar with Jamie Cowen and his activities. We received a concerned and immediate response.

 On the eve of Tisha b'Av 5773, Cowen's messianic deception and ability to breach Israel's gates as a "friend and lover" should jar the Jewish soul...more

 In the second part of this report, JewishIsrael will take an in-depth look at the Law of Return, the evangelical lawyers taking advantage of the law’s soft underbelly and the Jewish activists who are encouraging growing messianic Christian claims to the land of Israel.

 Israel gives Vatican control above Tomb of King David on Mount Zion

In an official press release, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has announced that it has gained administrative control of the Cenacle shrine (Upper Room) on Mt. Zion, which is located above the traditional Tomb of King David, and will be opening up the site for Catholic worship.

JewishIsrael has been consistently issuing alerts and reports on the possibility of such a disturbing development...more  

We suggest our readership watch these excerpts from the Franciscan -produced video which accompanied the press release.


"The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her treasures; for she hath seen that the heathen are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation." (Eicha 1:10)