I am a sucker for a good piece of political propaganda. I have been continually impressed with the way the Dark Side slams Israel - sometimes war-making, sometimes victimized. I don't know about you, but I always fall for a little Good Cop, Bad Cop, and so I have to give this one some props for:
2. Cool typing. The reading/picture changes factor is mesmerizing, and gives me that Israel-loathing high I've been looking for.
3. Novel angle. "I am Israel". I like it - so definitive.
4. Wily promotion. Who isn't interested in seeing a "documentary" about Israel? Maybe I'll spend an hour making my own counter-"documentary" on Powerpoint.
5. Smatterings of history. Hell, this person has used Wikipedia, people! Step off! If that a documentary does not make, I don't know what does. Little misrepresented allusions to complex historical events makes this a dependable account of yore.
6. Ahmadinejadian rhetoric. Where have I heard "Jews from Europe pounced on the land of highly photogenic people who had been living there for thousands of years" before? It's right on the tip of my tongue... give me a few minutes, I'm sure it will hit me like a nuclear bomb.
7. Re-heroization of failed Zionists. Begin and Sharon are back, and better than ever!
8. The Zionist Wishlist. Control of America AND the UN?! Ken Yirbu!
9. World class production. If it's on Youtube, it has to be true.
I want to give this one two keffiyahs up. Inshallah.
Tonight I made a somewhat controversial remark on my facebook page stating my satisfaction over success of the Israeli Air Force in Gaza and the fact that some of the most vicious Jew haters/killers in the world will no longer see the light of day. An acquaintance of mine whom I know to be a somewhat liberal Jew sent me a message remarking how they were upset over me making such a comment. now it's a hotly debated issue by some as to what kind of response and how much of that response we as Jews are halachikly allowed to have concerning the downfall of our enemies. I won't speak on the details of the halacha because that is the job of qualified rabbis and not a Joe-Schmoe such as myself, but I will say this- when the enemies of the Jewish people are victorious over us and cause us harm it is a chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d's name). Why? Because people will see such a thing and falsely believe that G-d forbid the Torah isn't true and Hashem has abandoned the Jews, breaking His eternal promises to us. Conversely, when Hashem grants us victory over our enemies (one of the main factors of the Channukah festival we happen to be celebrating right now) this is a great Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d's name) because it shows that the Jewish people are truly meritorious and we have the support of Hashem on our side. One could say that Hashem gives the victory to us or our enemies based on how well the Jews behave which is true, but that doesn't negate the Kiddush/chillul Hashem aspect, for when the Jews follow Torah properly this is the greatest Kiddush Hashem they could do and if they don't G-d forbid, that's the greatest desecration, for the non-Jews will ask, "If G-d's own people don't follow His command, why should we?" With this in mind, I'd like to share my response to my more liberal minded Jewish friend...
I understand why you would feel upset. My question is do you believe that there is such a thing as actual evil in the world and evil people? If yes then we have what to discuss, but if not then no. I personally think it's compelling to believe there is such a thing as evil and evil people because otherwise one must say that a group of people like the nazis weren't truly evil and if everything is truly just all relative then the acts they committed can't be condemned because from their point of view they were justified.
Like I said, I believe there is evil and evil people in the world. Anybody who hates Jews and wishes to see them dead, and all the more so takes actions to kill or in any other way cause Jews harm simply for them being Jewish is evil. The fact is that the members of hamas, and the vast majority of residents in Gaza whether officially affiliated with hamas or not hate Jews and wish to see harm befall them. Therefore they are evil people in my eyes, and when evil people suffer and/or meet their end, that is a sign that there is justice in this world. According to reports, the vast, vast majority of these causalities have been official hamas members, so even if you want to say non-hamas gazans don't hate Jews, you would have a hard time arguing that these dead who WERE hamasniks didn't hate Jews. Pirkei Avot states that those who are kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind. To take pity on those who are evil will, if that path is followed long enough, eventually lead to one supporting evil themselves against the innocent. I've seen it with my own two eyes.
I respect what I assume is your great compassion to be upset over such a thing, but I just hope that you have just as much compassion and get just as upset for your Jewish brothers and sisters who have had to suffer over 3000 rocket attacks at the hands of the people who filled up the morgues today and therefore won't fill up rocket launchers tomorrow.
A new group calling themselves "The 18" has formed to fight hard against US pressure toward a 2-state "solution" to the Arab-Israeli "conflict".
If you, like me, are TIRED of Big Brother United States getting into our kishkes all the time, telling us who to be friends with and how to share our toys, consider getting involved in this fight to get Obama to BACK OFF!
Here is an essay posted by Michael Fenenbock of The 18:
A MATTER OF SOME URGENCY
Barack Obama has won the American presidency. In a landslide.
His party gained considerable seats in both the Senate and the House. Led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the Democratic party commands large majorities in Congress. Democrats also added to their already substantial majority in governorships and state legislatures.
More importantly, they have a mandate from the American people. A mandate for sweeping change. President Obama and his party have complete control of all the levers of power in America. A rare occurrence in American political history. And need I mention the excited backing of a fawning worldwide media.
Elections have consequences and for the state of Israel the consequences of the Obama sweep are singular.
They make no secret of their intentions. The Obama administration’s Middle East policy will be driven by “linkage.” “Linkage” is predicated on the notion that Palestinean grievances are what fuel terrorism. The idea that if we resolve the Israeli/Palestinean dispute (and that’s how they see it, as a “dispute”) it will suck all the oxygen out of Islamic terrorism.
Imposing a two-state solution will be at the heart of their efforts.
The atmosphere is alight with warnings. And the warnings are worldwide. Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, the day after Obama's election, called on the new U.S. president to immediately press the need for a Palestinian state.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke with President-elect Obama and called for the creation of a Palestinian state as the world's first priority.
Jesse Jackson just prior to the election was quoted as saying, "Zionists who control America are on the way out." "America," Jackson says, "must apologize to those we have offended by putting Israel's interest first." Jackson has set out the mindset and priorities for all to see. He has let the cat out of the bag.
Several top foreign policy advisors in the Obama camp have regularly called for imposing a two-state solution on Israel. The key word is "imposing." Look at the Obama line-up starting with Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy guru Zbigniew Brzezinski. Leftie ideologues like Robert (Sure, I advise Obama, and sure I talk with Hamas, so what) Malley and perennial two-state advocates Dennis Ross and Tony McPeak, and let’s not forget Israel’s “friend,” Samantha Power. Scary.
Tellingly, within days of the American election, President-elect Obama sent Robert Malley scurrying to Damascus and Cairo.
It gets worse. Within Obama’s foreign policy camp, “Islam” is not an issue of concern. On the contrary, they are more in sync with the notion that “Islamophobia” presents the real danger. In their view, the bad guys are those who instead of addressing legitimate Arab grievances, go off half-cocked frightening the world about Islam.
In their world view, Islamic terror is an understandable response to appalling conditions -- and Israeli aggression. The Obama forces will attack those they view as “Islamophobic” with a multicultural sword. Political correctness will rule. In that vein, witness former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s comment about Islamophobia in his statement endorsing Senator Obama.
And there is American Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is lobbying to keep his job in an Obama administration, advising DOD to drop "Islamist" from any characterization of terrorism. Oy gevalt!
Add to the mix the sure knowledge that when it comes to shoving a two-state solution down Israeli throats, President Obama and his foreign policy team will have willing allies in the Israeli political establishment, the Israeli media, Israeli opinion makers, and the vocal support of a large swath of the Israeli and Jewish American populace. Do you doubt it?
And there’s the insiders… establishment leaders in the Jewish American community who will effortlessly be pulled into the push for a two-state solution. Why? Because for these Jewish institutional leaders protecting their “insider” status trumps all other issues.
It is instructive to remember that when the Republican Party vice presidential nominee wished to speak out in protest of a homicidal maniac who calls for the extinction of Israel, her voice was stilled by mainstream Jewish leaders. These Jewish “insiders” feared to give offense to candidate Obama’s soon to be in charge inner circle. Yipes!
Indeed the fear Jewish insiders suffer from most is the fear of becoming outsiders.
Elected officials to the rescue? Don’t hold your breath. Jewish American office holders and members of Congress will throw elbows like hockey thugs in order to secure a first-class seat on the two-state train before it leaves the station. Carl Levin anyone? Chuck Schumer?
What about AIPAC? Sustained attacks on AIPAC as “too influential” have taken a toll and they are currently tied in knots over a lingering federal prosecution for espionage. Forget it. AIPAC will be very cautious.
Still more. In this political climate, a new outfit – J Street – will loom large as a challenge to AIPAC. J Street claims to speak for mainstream American Jews and bills itself as “the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.”
J Street is on the ascendancy and will have both influence and access in the new halls of power. Here’s just the most relevant of their statement of principles:
The creation of a viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders with agreed reciprocal land swaps. The future Palestinian state will require unprecedented levels of international economic and political support to succeed, including a resolution of the refugee issue within the new Palestinian state and in current host countries.
There is no good news. The worldwide coalition gathering to impose a two-state solution on Israel is like nothing previously seen.
Where does this leave us?
We have to face up to reality. There’s no way to sugarcoat this. The two-state solution is rapidly nearing its tipping point. Tipping point… you know, that moment when slow and gradual change – drip, drip, drip – suddenly becomes a deluge. Tipping point is the crashing sound made when ideas that have just been floating around suddenly become irreversible consensus. Irreversible. Locked in concrete.
If two-state is frighteningly near its tipping point, what does this mean for those of us who reject a two-state solution? What are the consequences for those of us who carry a Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland from the river to the sea? How does this affect those who advocate a return from exile, the unification of Jerusalem, restoration of the Temple, and await Moshiach?
Well, it means turn out the lights, the party’s over. Thanks for coming, folks. Drive carefully on the way home.
Once two-state is tipped over into irreversibility the deluge will leave Judea and Samaria bulldozed flat as surely as disengagement flattened Gush Katif; a divided Jerusalem a fait accompli; an internationalized Jerusalem a possibility; the Temple Mount in the possession of the Waqf in perpetuity; and the image of a bifurcated, ethnically neutral Israel looming on the horizon. Peace Now will be driving the bus.
And we must always factor in Arab propaganda. Holocaust denial has been joined by "Temple denial" as part of the ongoing Arab strategy to delegitimize Jewish claims to holy sites and to Jerusalem itself.
Naomi Ragen wrote recently that she feels, “helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster.” Yes, ma'am. I know how you feel
Is there anything we can do? Maybe.
To give ourselves a chance, a long shot maybe, but a chance, we must first recognize that the front line for the Israeli Right is two-state.
All other issues are a diversion. No matter how drawn we are to other battlegrounds we must steel ourselves to the reality that all else must be secondary to fighting two-state.
If we lose the two-state battle – and we are badly overmatched, out-gunned and out-manned – we lose the whole game. The fight must be joined on the issue of two-state. Period. We cannot let our attention wander or our resources be diverted to other fronts.
There is very little time. The window for us to act is shrinking. The fat lady is not yet singing, but if you listen carefully you can hear her warming up backstage.
How to begin?
A framework for action is available on request.
But first, we must do what all rebels do. Throw up roadblocks, slow down the momentum toward two-state inevitability. Keep the damn thing from tipping over.
Those are my thoughts. They are just words on a piece of paper. My friend Yishai Fleisher has a great line when talking about Eretz Israel. He says, “How do we fill this vessel with meaning?”. Indeed. Those who would make the rebellion are those anointed to breathe life into the vessel and give it meaning.
Can we win?
I don’t know and I wonder if at this juncture that’s the right question to ask. Will we fight seems to me more to the point. And, if we do fight, will we fight intelligently, strategically, relentlessly.
I argue that Israel is closer than we think to becoming a modern ghetto… growing smaller and weaker as the noose tightens. Will we be passive Jews? Will we acquiesce or will we resist?
The deck is stacked against those who would fight. In the coming struggle Jews who stand up against the two-state consensus will be marginalized, scorned as fanatics, extremists, obstructionists, war mongers, and deranged religious nuts. And those are the lucky ones. Some will have their heads cracked open.
I look to the hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising for inspiration. Mordechai Anielewicz did not stop the Holocaust, he did not stop the murder of Jews, he did not stop the trains running to Treblinka… but he did leave us a legacy.
In April 1943, this young Jew named Mordechai showed us that a fearless handful of the committed can make a rebellion and he forever laid to rest the myth of the passive Jew.
The stakes seem to me nothing less than the fulfillment of the Zionist enterprise… and for those who work to end the exile, unite Jerusalem, rebuild the Temple, and bring forth the Moshiach, the stakes are even higher.
Time is not our ally. Seconds turn to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days…
This is a matter of some urgency.
Hillary Clinton is about to be the US Secretary of State (egads!)
A meeting between the right-of-center-and-probable-next-Prime-Minister-of-Israel Bibi and Obama (when he came to Israel to show all the Jews how incredible he will be for Israel) was described by Newsweek magazine as: polite. "As for Obama, it is yet to be seen how the dovish American would work with a hard-line Israeli counterpart. At the King David meeting, Obama smiled and tried to find common ground."
The Obama/Biden campaign website says that if Iran continues its nuclear program, it will get tough by "step[ping] up our economic pressure and political isolation." Aka: Israel v. Iran will be mano a mano.
Obama has been quoted as saying “Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine” plus there’s been “genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis.”
I think it's best we do what we can to get BO off our back - don't you?
I just have some questions that maybe your organization could answer for me. I am definitely not anti-semitic, however I have a problem with the Zionist movement. While I am an Arab-American woman who practices Islam as my religion and does not believe in causing pain or suffering to others, or shoving my belief system down another person's throat. I find it horrible at the state of affairs in Palestine at present. I believe myself to be a fairly open minded individual at an adequate level of intelligence. I would like to better understand what could make anyone support zionism when there is so much horror going on in Palestine.
The genocide that is occuring there reminds me of the holocaust and I wonder how your organization could support that ideology. I have respect for all people and religions. Please explain to me how having people move to Israel/Palestine and taking away the land that belongs to the people there by force, not allowing them medical help, poisoning their water supplies, closing roads, shutting off electricity etc. isn't exacly what Hitler did? If you believe that there is a GOD and the three religions that are montheistic believe that we all came from one creator then why do you support the atrocities going on there? I am not trying to attack you, but I don't really understand how any civilized person could support this. Feel free to e-mail me back. I thank you for your consideration.
If the Nation of Israel truly rests in the hearts of its people regardless of its physical location; why not petition the governments of the United States and possibly Canada for a land grant? I don't really believe that the Arabs will every grant you peace so long as you remain in the Middle East. But in North America; your children could finally thrive in security and safety.
If you don't think my suggestion is too insane; with your permission, I would be happy to start this very long process by writing to my congressman.
Thank you for considering my suggestion. Sincerely: Susan, living in Arizona
Because of the fiscal crisis in the USA and the world, I'm scared that people are going to start blaming the Jews, and I haven't heard of a fiscal crisis in Israel. I'm not so much afraid of the economy hurting me, but I'm afraid of the antisemitism that might occur. So, I'd like to make aliyah. However, my husband doesn't want to. Is it possible for me to do it without him, yet still stay married to him? BTW, we're Jewish, though not frum. Would I be comfortable not being frum in Israel?
There are two elements to one day, what we call daytime and what we call nighttime- daytime being when the sun is out and things are bright and nighttime being when the sun is set and things are dark. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that the darkness of night represents the difficult times in life. Just as we grope in the dark without direction and unable to avoid stumbling blocks and obstacles, so too when we are going through difficult periods in our lives we often feel at a loss for direction and purpose. Lacking a guiding light we can often fall victim to despair. The daytime, however, refers to the more enjoyable periods of life, those times when we see the path laid out ahead of us and feel a degree of security.
There are two ways of approaching the order of day- the Jewish way and the non-Jewish way. The non-Jews, usually using a solar calender, hold that the day begins with the morning and that the nighttime represents the end of that particular day. Conversely the Jews, using a mainly lunar-based calendar, view a day as beginning with the evening and the actual daytime as being the latter part of the day. This is why Shabbat and other Jewish holidays always begin in the evening and last until the evening of the following day. This concept doesn't just apply to the calendar, but rather is a principle Hashem has put into the universe of which many things, one of which happens to be time, adhere to. For it says in B'reishit (Genesis) "And there was evening and there was morning, one day." Since the time of creation it has been a principle of the universe that first there is a period of darkness and afterwards it is followed by the period of light.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that therefore, when going through difficult times we can take comfort in the fact that though things may be difficult at the moment, it is guaranteed that eventually the light will shine forth in our lives and things will become better as it is a fundamental principle G-d has put into the world, and all we must do is hold out long enough to see our personal redemption come from whatever the obstacles may be. But if both the darkness and the light are part of a system setup by G-d, this begs the question why does G-d desire us to pass through this alternating experience of hardship and redemption in the first place? Obviously G-d doesn't do it for His own amusement as He is far beyond simple human thinking such as that, and because of His great love for us He only does what's in our best interest never subjects us to needless suffering. So it must be that He puts us through these processes in order that we should grow. People who stay in their comfort zone tend to grow lazy and slump whereas those who are held up against the fire of adversity are forced to grow and overcome in order to survive. This puts an interesting responsibility into our hands... since these life situations are presented to us in order that we should grow it seems incumbent upon us to actually see to it that when we come out of our "nights" into our "days", we have taken something away from the experience and grow to become a better human being. To do so is to fulfill G-d's will, to fail to do so is to essentially waste an opportunity provided to us by Him.
Human civilization is currently in the era of the Arab. As the western world sets into decline, the Muslim world in general, and particularly the Arab world is filling in the power vacuum and vying for ultimate control of the direction in which to steer humanity. This is mainly through Arab oil influence and its choke hold on international policy combined with the growing boldness of militant Islam and the western world's lack of effort to curb either. It seems as if conflicts driven by this change are sparking up in virtually every place across the world... the aggressive spread of Islam, or "terrorism" as it is most often referred to affects almost every group of people in every place to some degree or another. Often fought by underground militias which blend in with the civilians in major population centers as well as in the media and across the internet, those who oppose this movement are often at a loss for means to fight it, as its tactics are radically different from organized state militaries of the enemies of yesteryear. As more nations and peoples succumb to tolerance and eventual social if not military surrender of this movement, those left opposed to it face a world of fear and darkness and seemingly greater conflict that what is already upon us lays ahead.
In Hebrew the word for Arab (ARaVi) [ ערבי] and the word for evening (EReV) [ערב] share the same root, Ayin-Resh-Bet (the word for Arab only differing by having an additional letter Yud at the end). As the age of the Arab (ARaVi) sets in the world is indeed starting to fall into a deep darkness- a worldwide darkness of night (EReV). However as we discussed earlier, there are two different views to what evening means- the Jewish one of the day beginning and the non-Jewish one of the day coming to a close. Therefore this era is marking an incredible transition in the history of humanity, that from an age of a non-Jewish based experience and thinking to that of Jewish based thinking and experience. What exactly does this mean? As already stated, Hashem desires people to go through the nighttime-daytime experience so that they should emerge more developed. So too perhaps humanity as a whole is currently undergoing such a process.
And just what is the development that the world as a whole must gain through all this? A new perspective and relationship to G-d. The Ben Ish Chai, Gaon Chayim Yosef of Baghdad, comments on how in the morning prayers we recite "Hashem melech, Hashem malach, Hashem yimloch l'olam vaed" (Hashem reigns, Hashem has reigned, Hashem will reign forever) not in the order of past present and future but rather out of order starting with the present. He says this is because our faith in Hashem ruling over the past and the future is based in recognition that He currently reigns as evident through the miracles He does for us in these times. Having described the Jewish recognition of G-d, the morning prayers continue several paragraphs later to describe the differing recognition of G-d that the non-Jews will eventually have in future times when it says, "V'yomru bagoyim Hashem malach, Hashem melech, Hashem malach, Hashem yimloch l'olam vaed" (And the nations will say Hashem has reigned, Hashem reigns, Hashem has reigned, Hashem will reign forever). This recognition of Hashem differs from that of the Jewish nation as explained by the Ben Ish Chai in that it seems the future non-Jewish recognition of Hashem currently reigning and reigning for all future times are both first preceded by the statement that Hashem has reigned in the past.
Thus we can see the future nature of the non-Jews' relationship to Hashem and infer about their current relationship. The Jews currently recognize Hashem and His mandate over the universe entire, and all past or future aspects of His rule correspond to the same G-d who we currently recognize rules right now. Yet the G-d of Israel is also the G-d of the rest of the world and the father of all of humanity. It is His desire that all people in His world should come to know Him and forge a relationship with Him. Unfortunately, the non-Jewish nations of the world have not been able to achieve the perception of G-d that the nation of Israel has via the Torah that G-d gave to it as well as the revelations to the patriarchs Abraham, Issac, Jacob and to the entire nation at Mount Sinai. Yet once the world emerges from the current "dark of night" that it is currently in, it will have gained a new development from the night-day cycle. With the coming "light of day" and the arrival of Moshiach (the Jewish Messiah) the world will come to see the truth of Torah and finally recognize Hashem, the G-d of Israel, as the one true sovereign of the world. Once this occurs, unlike the Jews who currently proclaim Hashem as king, the non-Jewish nations will realize that it was Hashem who ruled all along and therefore because of that realization of the past they will also realize that it is Hashem who reigns currently; so too they will see that just as it was Hashem who reigned before it is Hashem that will reign in the future of all time. Thus the morning prayers say that they will proclaim "Hashem has reigned" each time before declaring that He currently reigns and will in the future.
May G-d grant us the patience and strength to endure the current and coming dark times so that we may survive to see the coming times of light that will follow, in our own lives as well as the world over.
Anyone who knows me fairly well can testify I'm not exactly the biggest lover of the Arab people. I'm not even such a fan of them being my neighbors much less ruling over me. That's why I couldn't help but laugh when I spotted this little piece on Ynet about an East Jerusalem Arab running for mayor of Jerusalem. Yet after reading it I couldn't believe it but I could actually see myself voting for the guy... like... maybe... I think? [Total brain meltdown in 5-4-3-...]
I mean take a look at the guy's platform. He says he's against Jerusalem being divided, he wouldn't talk to Hamas or Fatah, at least until they can fix their own internal disputes (unlikely to happen anytime this century), and he is against allowing any more gay parades to take place within the city. Strictly platform speaking, this guy sounds like a good deal! Now I'm not eligible to vote so it doesn't really make much of a difference for me anyway, but this is the kind of philosophical curveball I couldn't ever expect life to throw this way. Perhaps this is just a testament to the sad state of our Jewish political leaders. Don't they say something about politics making strange bedfellows? I don't know about getting into bed with anyone, but a strange part of me I never knew existed before would at least like to shake this guy's hand.
Even though the election is a few months away, the race for the position of mayor of Jerusalem is becoming more and more interesting. In addition to the two main candidates, Nir Barkat and Meir Porush, a new, some would say surprising, face has entered – a Palestinian candidate by the name of Zohir Hamdan.
Hamdan, 53, the mukhtar (head) of the east Jerusalem village of Tzur Baher who is married to three wives and is the proud father of 18, announced his candidacy on Wednesday. In an interview to Ynet he says: "I was married to a Jewish woman from Tel Aviv, but we divorced about three years ago". His name has been mentioned before as a possible mayoral candidate, but according to Hamdan, those were just speculations; this time, its official.
Jewish friends call more than Arab. Zohir Hamdan (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Hamdan was born in Jordan, and studied engineering in Beirut. "I love this country, that's why I came here in 1974. My father and other relatives were already here. It was a family reunion; it was my duty to come here for my father", he said, describing his love for the country and for Jerusalem. Since his arrival, Hamdan has held several jobs, among them chief negotiator for east Jerusalem.
"I have many Jewish friends" Tzur Baher, Zohir Hamdan's village, was in the news recently for a different reason. Terrorist Hossam Dwayyat, who killed three people by running them over with a stolen bulldozer, was a resident of the village. However, Hamdan goes about things in the opposite direction, wishing to bring Jews and Arabs closer together. "I'm chairman of the co-existence forum in Jerusalem. I was the first one to bring co-existence into the frey. When the Tanzim were shooting at the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, I sympathized with the residents of Gilo."
"I have many Jewish friends from all over the country," adds Hamdan. "I go to visit them; they visit me and shop in Tzur Baher. We don't have any problems here. Since I announced that I was running for mayor, the phone hasn't stopped ringing. More Jews call to congratulate me than Arabs".
Meir Porush Porush: Don’t judge me by the length of my beard / Ronen Medzini Ultra-Orthodox candidate in Jerusalem mayoral race holds cyber press conference in bid to court secular public: ‘I know there are a lot of people who have difficulty in accepting me…I ask that you judge me by my experience and abilities’
However, not everyone is happy with Hamdan's close relationship with Jews. Seven years ago, there was an attempt made on his life.
"Tanzim operatives shot me in 2001 because I was working for co-exsistence with Jews. I was shot in several places, including the stomach, and I ended up in the hospital for two months. Despite this incident, and the fact that the Palestinian Authority has told east Jerusalem arabs to boycott the elections, Hamdan remains unfazed.
'I will not divide this city' The single Arab contender isn't interested in establishing a relationship with the Palestinian Authority. "I'm not interested in any contact with the PA. I don't care if they are mad. Am I scared? No. Elections? That's their own internal matter".
Hamdan also has a single minded position in regards to the political future of the Palestinian Authority. "Hamas and Fatah need to talk among themselves, sort out their grievances, Then they can talk about a Palestinian state," he explains.
Hamdan holds a similar position on the matter of east Jerusalem. When asked if he would agree to transfer Arab neighborhoods to a Palestinian state, his response was that "Israel took over these neighborhoods from Jordan in 1967, and a large majority of the population is Jordanian. They should ask Jordan, I will not divide this city."
Hamdan adds that the Security fence has greatly to do with the security situation. "That is a decision that was made by the State for the sake of security. I can't go into it due to my position in the city; if any citizen has a complaint I will help as much as I can. State security is important and I will not interfere."
'Aryeh Deri is a good man'
The large number of candidates doesn't deter Hamdan. "I wish them all of them good luck " he says, adding that he believes Aryeh Deri "is a good man."
"The whole country is guilty of corruption, not just him," he says.
As for businessman Arcadi Gaydamak, who promised that he will appoint an Arab deputy mayor should he win, Hamdan isn't impressed. "A person who is running should know what is going on here…people are interested in action, not talk. Whoever runs the city needs to be of the people, a person who knows the real needs of the city. The Arabs aren't holding their breath for Gaydamak. The Arabs will establish their own power center".
The Arab candidate isn't afraid to predict that in two months everything will change in the State capital, with him leading the change. "I will bring a new kind of politics to the city. My door will always be open, and you won't need to schedule a meeting months in advance", he promises. "With me, there will be no discrimination; the holy city belongs to all of us, and we will live here in peace and harmony, respecting all religions," he added.
'No gay pride parade' When asked if he would approve holding the Gay Pride Parade in the city, Hamdan declared "absolutely not. According to all world religions, what they are doing is unacceptable, both in the Koran and the Torah. I'm not religious or an extremist, I respect religion. Personally, I negate these people. A person must maintain personal dignity, and in these matters there is none. That is my opinion, I may be wrong. Whoever loves Jerusalem –is not gay".
Hamdan emphasizes that his message is one of hope. "I promise to help out all the young people and build them homes, approve construction as much as legally possible, and stop home demolition in this city. I will enable all of the citizens of this city to live honorably, while respecting the law. No one can divide Jerusalem. I hope and believe that we will live in hope and peace between all residents".
History has shown that the Arab residents of Jerusalem don't like to vote in the Municipal elections, though Hamdan is sure that east Jerusalem resident will show up to vote in droves. "I'm telling you the Arab voter turnout will be huge, God willing. They used to be afraid of the PA, now they are seeing what is going on and they are just tired of the silliness in the Palestinian leadership. Look at was is going on in Gaza, everyone is killing everyone. The residents of east Jerusalem are tired of these stories," explains Hamdan.
Not the first candidate If Hamdan does win, he will be the first contender from east Jerusalem who does so. However he isn't the first candidate from east Jerusalem and he certainly isn't the first Arab candidate.
In 1989 Hana Seniora, a Palestinian resident of Beit Haninah decided to enter the race. Massive pressure from the PLO caused him to drop out of the race. In 1998 Moosa Alian, a businessman from Beit Tzafafa, entered the race but did not get enough votes. Additional attempts were made by the Hadash political party and the Communist party, but with no success.
There is an idea in Judaism that Hashem is constantly sending us signs and messages of which we must decode and figure out how to apply to our daily lives. One of the ways He does this is through the lessons in the parshat hashavua (weekly Torah section). In light of the recent terrorist attack on Yaffo Street this last week, what can we learn about it from that week's section Parshat Chukat?
At the end of the parsha the Israelites face a confrontation with the nation of Bashan and their king the giant Og. Hashem tells Moses, "Al tira oto," or, "Don't fear him" (referring to Og). This is commonly understood to mean that because of Og's immense size, combat with him meant certain danger if not death, and G-d needed to reassure Moses so he would have the courage to face such an enemy. However, if G-d was on the side of the Israelites, why would Moses need be afraid? The had just had a similar confrontation in which Hashem had granted them victory, and the Torah doesn't seem to mention any sin they had committed that would forfeit their divine protection. Even if Og was a giant, that is merely a physical advantage, and Moses of all people who had a closer relationship to Hashem than anyone else should have known that physicality is nothing compared to G-d's strength. So why the need for words of encouragement?
Back in B'reshit (book of Genesis) when Abraham's nephew Lot is captured, it says that the fugitive came to inform Abraham about it. The term fugitive refers to the giant Og. Og was of a time before the flood that destroyed the world but his life was spared and he was allowed to ride on top of Noah's Ark. Within the world there is klipot, spiritual shells that block Hashem's divine light and feed off the power of evil, and since the world was destroyed during the flood the Ark served as a temporary world in the meantime. Since the time had not yet come for a perfect existence there was still a need for klipot in the world, and Og was allowed to survive outside the Ark during the flood serve as the klipah. This is why he is referred to as the fugitive- though he should have died like all the other wicked people of his generation he was able to make it out alive.
When Og came to tell Abraham of what had happened to Lot his intention was that Abraham should rush off to battle in order to save Lot and end up getting killed, allowing Og to take Sarah as a wife for himself. Even though he had wicked intentions, the fact was he still did a good thing and because of that Abraham rewarded him by giving him a brit milah (circumcision). The brit milah is one of the most important mitzvot it the entire Torah and somebody who has one merits great spiritual reward.
With this in mind, let's take another look at what Hashem tells Moses, "Al tira oto." While the word "oto" means "him", it can also be read as a contracted form of "ot shelo", or, "his sign." Often a brit milah is refered to as a sign (ot), and while Moses may have not been intimidated by Og's physical stature, he knew that Og had a brit milah and therefore because of it may merit spiritual protection, making it much more difficult to defeat him. As it turns out though, Og had strayed in sexual deviancy and because of this had forfeited the holiness of his brit milah and any spiritual protection it may have afforded him. This is why Hashem told Moses not to fear him, for even though one might think that Og's brit milah would give him merit and protect him, his evil ways had caused him to lose any such merit.
Possibly the biggest enemy to the Jewish people and especially Israel today is the muslim nations who seek our destruction. Numbering in the billions, they are most certainly a giant as far as peoples go. If it weren't enough that they outsize us, they too, like Og, have a brit milah. They also worship G-d and often lead very devout lifestyles often willing to give their life on command in what they view as the service of G-d. If one wasn't worried enough by their sheer size, one could most definitely be worried that G-d may grant them success in the merit of their devotion to Him. More than that, this is an enemy that already lives amongst us. For all the high tech equipment and strategies Israel's government and Army employs, checkpoints, weapon confiscations, world class intelligence gathering, etc., our enemy can sidestep us and use simple every-day objects like a bulldozer from a local construction sight to try and destroy us as did the terrorist this last week (may his name be erased).
Yet scratch under the surface of their seeming piety and you don't have to look hard to find many contradictions. The same people who proclaim to be holy commit mass murders, bombings and countless other terrorist attacks, oppress their women and subject them to honor rapes and killings, as well as countless other horrible behaviors. This is certainly not becoming of a people that wishes to make themselves the representatives of G-d. Therefore when confronting this seemingly giant enemy in what often looks like a hopeless situation, we must have faith that G-d will protect us. Wicked murderous peoples lose any protection they may have been expecting from G-d while we have the promise laid out in His Torah that we will survive to the end and see our redemption, may it come soon.
Before mentioning the events of Og and Bashan, earlier in the parsha it described the Para Aduma, or Red Heifer. The Para Aduma was used to purify people of the impurity of death, which according to the Torah is the strongest of impurities. Just as Torah instructs us in a purification process before relating the story of the battle with Og, we need to understand that while our enemies' defeat hinges on their impurity, likewise our victory hinges on our ability to purify ourselves and cleave to Hashem. May it be His will that we have success in this and that we don't know from any more heinous attacks in our time.
The story focuses on an initiative undertaken by B'Tselem, a controversial Israeli human rights organization, providing Arabs living throughout Judea and Samaria with video cameras enabling them to document violent attacks against them.
The article then shares with us the immediate success of the initiative:
Muna Nawajaa, one of the two wives of a Palestinian shepherd from Khirbet Susiya, used a handheld video camera to film what appeared to be masked Jewish settlers viciously beating members of her family with clubs — images that have since been broadcast by news networks all over the world.
Mrs. Nawajaa, 24, said it was the first scene she had filmed.
Alongside this quote is the picture featured above, with the caption:
A still image from the video that Muna Nawajaa recorded of the attack. The men at the right appear to be Jewish settlers.
Similar language is found throughout the article.
Sitting on the floor of a tent in the family’s encampment in mid-June, Imran Nawajaa, 33, a nephew of Khalil Nawajaa, recalled the morning of the attack. He said he was out tending a flock with his young sons when two masked settlers rode up on a tractor and ordered him, in Hebrew, to leave.
The camera captured four lean men, their heads swathed in colorful cloth, striding toward the farmers, clubs in hand. In the background are the whitewashed, red-roofed houses of the settlement.
Now, what is it about the masked men in the picture above that makes them appear to be "settlers"?
Are there no other people in all of Israel who know how to say "leave" in Hebrew, aside from the Jews of Hebron?
Is it not possible that those against the presence of Jews throughout Judea and Samaria, whether out of political or ideological motivations, could have simply put on masks and carried out the actions described in the article, knowing full well that their actions were being filmed and would be broadcast around the world, further demonizing those referred to as "settlers"?
“The only weapon we have is the media,” said Khalil Nawajaa...
And it is a role that the media seemingly embraces, as can be seen from the fact that Isabel Kershner, who wrote the article for the New York Times, doesn't include any response from the Jewish community of Hebron regarding the incident in question.
In the end, we are left with an article presuming guilt on members of the Jewish community of Hebron, with little actual evidence to back it up, aside from the fact that the masked men spoke Hebrew, and the incident took place with a "settlement" in the background.
At this point, it hardly matters whether the masked men were "settlers" or not, because the guilty verdict has already been handed down by an international media willingly allowing itself to be used as a weapon of mass production against the Jewish State, in order to drive the Jewish people from their Homeland.
In my previous post, I proposed a paradigm shift when it came to Israel achieving peace with her neighbors.
Today, there was yet another reminder that the current leadership of Israel still has not understood that the old model of achieving peace, through displaying weakness before one's enemies, is not working.
The Israeli delegation to the regional conference in Jordan on the subject of economic cooperation, organized by the Netanya Academic College, was refused entry into Jordan at the Allenby crossing earlier today.
As a result, the Director General of the Tourism Ministry, Shaul Tzemach, will be unable to participate in the tourism panel scheduled for tomorrow, as outlined in the Tourism Ministry press release distributed earlier today.
Of course, Jordan is one of two Arab countries with whom Israel has signed a formal peace treaty, and little is likely to change in the wake of this insult.
In truth, Jordan;s behavior towards Israel's Director General of the Ministry of Tourism is not surprising. After all, according to Jordanian law, a Jew may not own land nor attain citizenship in Jordan.
What is surprising, however, is how the Jewish State of Israel could ever have believed it possible to have peace (normal relations / co-existence) with a country whose hatred of the Jewish people is so deeply ingrained.
If we desire the respect of others, we must first have respect for ourselves (our history, Heritage, Land and People).
Over the weekend, Syrian deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad stated that Syria has "other options to liberate the Golan," should the peace talks ongoing with Israel fail to achieve the desired Syrian outcome.
That may be so, but Syria would be wise to remember that peace isn't the only way for Israel to attain quiet along her borders. Eventually, there will come a time when the leadership of the Jewish State will understand that, as well.
Contrary to what many believe, all those living in Israel want peace, it's just a question of the best way of achieving it.
If I were ever elected Prime Minister of Israel, I would be prepared to pursue peace with all of Israel's neighbors.
During these peace talks, I would show the map featured above, featuring one opinion of the ultimate borders of the Land of Israel, based on their description in the Bible.
I would make it clear that Israel is prepared to live in peace with all of her Arab neighbors, until the Messiah comes, in the small area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Peace, meaning that you leave us alone, and we will leave you alone.
However, it would be made clear that should any hostilities arise against the Jewish State or People from any area on the map included in the ultimate borders of Israel, then Israel would enter those areas, liberate them, and incorporate them into the Jewish State - never to leave them.
Sure enough, Syria happens to appear on the map.
Of course, being a moderate that values peace, I do not advocate pressing the claim of the Jewish people to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, or any of the other countries presently neighboring Israel.
I imagine that it would not take long for Israel's neighbors to learn that concessions are not Israel's only method for attaining peace, and such a realization by the Arab's might even bring lasting peace to the region.
For those who wish to think that there will always be a safe Jew-friendly alternative to living in Israel in the form of America, perhaps you would be interested in what was slated to hit clothing store racks this season. Clothing supplier Urban Outfitters was, until caving to a slew of angry complaints, carrying a t-shirt from graphic designer FreshJive of palestinian youths wearing Arafat style scarfs, armed with machine guns and boasting the line “Victimized” (because an individual armed with an assault rifle is ever the classic image of a victim). The shirt also featured a few other images including a palestinian flag. Not only is this hot little number machine washable but it sells for the cool price of $9.99!
As disgusting as this propaganda cloaked in the guise of fashion may be, it's not even the first time Urban Outfitters has made such a move. They have previously marketed scarves akin to the arab neck-piece made famous by Yassar Arafat, grandfather of the modern terrorist movement (may his name be wiped out), as has been pointed out by Little Green Footballs.
While I was in college Urban Outfitters was known as a pretty trendy and popular store on my campus. This glorification of terrorism via t-shirts has precedent with the “Che Guevara” t-shirt featuring the face of said communist thug made popular by Rage Against the Machine. Historically ignorant youth all over America rushed out to stores to buy one and thus turned Che into an anti-hero icon of the modern day want-to-be counterculture that American junior high through college age students somehow think they are reviving. It appears marketers are attempting to take advantage of American youth and do the same with palestinian terrorists, in the oh so ideological name of higher profits.
What's really disturbing about this is that it isn't some rhetoric spewing out of a fringe group or even the ivory-tower intellectual elites of the academic world. This is a mainstream company that, while having pushed controversial items in the past, is more well known for selling designer jeans than for making political statements. Often Jews perceive our biggest threats in the west as coming from loud-mouthed bigots who choose to use their freedom of speech to demonize us in the public square. I'm more afraid of a society that seems to love us on the surface, but dig a little deeper and there is anti-Israel sentiment (and the anti-Semitism that comes with it) slowly but surely making it's way into the POPULAR attitudes. It can start with fashion trends manipulating people to buy into a cause they probably don't even know that much about. Before you know it, it becomes an accepted thing in their mind and now when the issues are brought up in a debate they've already made up their mind before they've even done any research. Things such as these may just seem like a piece of cotton in the small picture, but in the big picture they are chinks in the armor of the Jewish Americans' cherished status of being an “accepted people.'' The thing about small chinks in the armor is that they aren't so noticeable, but when you add enough of them up together over time, the armor ends up failing to protect you against a major blow.
The Jews of America have apparently dealt with this in a reasonable fashion. It appears that enough angry emails and/or phonecalls were made that Urban Outfitters has taken the item off their website. While this is indeed a great temporary solution it remains only that- temporary. The fact that a major clothing distributer feels comfortable enough braving potential criticism and pushing an item like this to see how people take it could be a sign that things are slowly but surely changing for the American Jew. If such a gradual and cloaked change is underway, once it picks up enough speed it will have no need to hide itself anymore and by then all the store boycotts and angry letters in the world won't help to stop it.
So my suggestion to the Zionist of American persuasion who wants to make a much larger impact against those that wish to destroy the Zionist dream is this- combat them by actually living out that dream! Come back home! Every single Jew that moves to the land of Israel to connect to Hashem and make their life here does more for for the positive than a million ridiculous t-shirts could ever do for the other side. After all, the only thing better than not wearing a pro-arab terror shirt is not wearing it in Israel!
While browsing the fine literary selection of the magazine rack at the airport recently, my eyes were snagged immediately by an interesting cover of that week's issue of the Atlantic. It featured a twisted merging of the Israeli and palestinian flags (above) and read, “Is Israel Finished?” While covering a plethora of issues that Israel is facing, the theme that tied it all together was a big problem Olmert has been facing lately. What is this problem that has beset our beloved prime minister (the good Lord has yet to grant us a “sarcasm” font)? It's not incredibly low popularity ratings, and it's not the fact that he's under numerous investigations, heck it's not even that he has been charged with the duty of running a country when he apparently hasn't the faintest clue how to. No, Olmert's big problem is that after Israeli author David Grossman sadly lost one of his sons in the war with Hezbollah, Olmert in turn lost his support. Article author Jefferey Goldberg seems to think this is a problem because the pace of the nation is apparently set by what the novelists write in their books. While I'm sure they are entertaining, I've never personally read one of Grossman's works, or even heard of him before reading this article, for that matter. There does happen to be a book that DOES shape my opinions on this country though- it's called the Torah and it's author goes by the pen name of G-d. The fact that Mr. Goldberg, for the purposes of his article at least, puts more emphasis on one author and not the other is a telling sign of a problem I see with the people who on the one hand are invested in Israel emotionally, residentially, or otherwise yet don't have Hashem guiding them.
Goldberg's article is riddled with fear. He cites fear that Israel isn't safe; fear that the arabs under Israeli jurisdiction will soon outnumber the Jews, and fear that the very existence of the state is in danger. He says that Olmert feels things would be better for him if he could only get Grossman back on his side. Grossman himself feels things would be better for Israel if we could make more concessions to the palestinians and express more love to them. Never mind the fact that Grossman giving his haskama to Olmert wouldn't change all the mistakes he's made and magically turn him into an actual leader. And also never mind that people who have been raised by every element of their society since childhood to believe we are descendants of pigs and apes who have stolen their land and whose murder guarantees them a spot in paradise will most likely not be satisfied with some land concessions, especially seeing as such strategies have historically and utterly failed time and time again.
But that's the problem with those who don't recognize Hashem. If you don't believe G-d will help you then you turn to everyone other than G-d for help instead. Everyone from novelists to your embittered enemies with a seething blood lust against you. The thing is, most people, no matter how stupidly they may act, aren't truly and utterly stupid. Deep down people know that there is no salvation in novelists, and there is no salvation in enemies. And that's where their fear comes from. For, from deep within comes a voice of reason which screams out that these false gods will offer no protection and there's nothing like a good voice of reason to keep you up at night. But there is hope. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov famously taught, “Know that the whole world is a very narrow bridge, but the main thing is not to be afraid.” That's because with the knowledge that G-d supports you, there truly is nothing to fear in this world.
Furthermore, the Torah itself says in Psalm 81, “Listen, My nation, and I will attest to you; oh Israel, if you would but listen to Me. There shall be no strange god within you, nor shall you bow down to an alien god. I am Hashem, your G-d, who elevated you from the land of Egypt, open wide your mouth and I will fill it. But My people did not heed My voice and Israel did not desire Me. So I let them follow their heart's fantasies, they follow their own counsels. If only My people would heed Me, if Israel would walk in My ways. In an instant I would subdue their foes, and against their tormentors turn My hand.” Strange how things written thousands of years ago can be so applicable today eh? We, as the nation of Israel have a clear promise from G-d that He will love and protect us, and we have no need to rely on fake leaders, intellectual armchair diplomats or the mercy of those sworn to destroy us. It's about time we stopped being afraid, and started putting our trust where we will get actual results. If not, Israel may as well be “finally finished”, G-d forbid.
Here’s the spin the self-hating, murder-loving, religious-hating, Arab-loving, G-d-hating, grossly irresponsible – and frankly downright dangerous - extreme left wing media. Oh, they also happen to be exceptionally clueless. That or they just are malicious liars but I’m trying to be optimistic.
Take Amir Mizroch, news editor for the Jerusalem Post. He still just doesn’t get it!
In a nutshell Mizroch claims that those “Nutcase Religious Zionists” are going to be so “seething with anger” that they are going to run into the streets shooting wildly blowing up anything that moves!
(Parenthetically, more evidence of his sheer stupidity is demonstrated in this flatly false assertion: “Very few people outside the religious Zionist population have even heard of Mercaz Harav, let alone know somebody who studies there.”)
Mizroch continues, “There may even be some on the fringes of the settlement movement who will want to take the law into their own hands and carry out a revenge attack, maybe even against targets in East Jerusalem, where it looks like the killer came from.”
Let me give you a clue Mr. Mizroch. Have you ever looked inside the Torah? Do you even know what a Torah is? Or should we say “Very few people outside the religious Zionist population have even heard of a Torah, let alone looked inside one?”
Sir, since we know very few people outside the religious Zionist population even own a Bible I’ll just have to fill you in here.
The angel of G-d said to her, “You are pregnant, and will give birth to a son. You must name him Ishmael, for G-d has heard your prayer. He will be a wild-ass of a man. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him.” (Genesis 16:11 – 12)
Wild-ass men shoot rockets at innocent civilians. Wild-ass men blow up public buses in the middle of cities. Wild-ass men brutally murder defenseless teenage Yeshiva students in cold blood. Wild-ass men fire their weapons into the air at funerals demanding revenge and then hand candy out to their children when it transpires.
The Jews - even those “right-wing nut-job Jews” are not wild-ass men. (Wise-guy leftists are itching to yell out “Baruch Goldstein” – very good. The fact that you remember his name proves how unique he is. Now can you name even one Arab terrorist that blew himself up on a bus? What’s that? No? Why not? Oh, I see. There are just too many?)
The way Mizroch writes you would think that at the funerals on Friday all the Jews were firing their weapons into the air. Guess what? They didn’t. Jews aren’t the wild-ass men. So stop your shameful, hateful, attacks – incitement even - that claim that the Jews are something they are not!
Amir Mizroch – Wow, what a dork! (Now I’m name calling!)
Horrific And Depressing Photos Of The Attack (Graphic)
I did not take the following photos. They are a collection of various media photos and government press office photos which I found posted on a messageboard. I debated if there is any purpose in posting these here. I concluded that they are important for the sole purpose of gaining an understanding of the situation - to see it with our own eyes. To see it and to feel more connected with our holy brothers so that we could daven with the proper kavanah for a speedy redemption and an end once an for all to these atrocities. Tonight our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and indeed all of kal yisrael - since we are all the very same family.
Be warned the photos below are rather graphic and do contain blood. If you do not want to see them - don't scroll down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2 1 Israeli police deployed inside the 'yeshiva,' or Jewish seminary, in Jerusalem on 06 March 2008 after two Palestinians dressed as ultra-Orthodox Jewish yeshiva students entered and shot and killed at least eight Jewish students, wounding another 15, according to Israeli police. The two Palestinians were killed and one was wearing a suicide bomber's belt, which did not explode. [Later reports said 7 students were murdered, and fewer were wounded - two seriously and that there was only one terrorist. Later reports also said the belt turned out to be for more ammo.-P]
Israeli police detain a suspect as he is led down stairs with a sweatshirt pulled over his head inside the 'yeshiva,' or Jewish seminary, in Jerusalem on 06 March 2008 [I do not know who this "suspect" is or was since later reports said there was only one terrorist who was killed. -P]
Israeli medics rush a seriously wounded young Israeli to an ambulance outside The Wohl Torah Center, a 'yeshiva,' or Jewish seminary, in Jerusalem on 06 March 2008 [Please say tehillim for the wounded. As soon as we have a list of names we will post it. -P]
A handout photograph supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) showsIsraeli medics hold up a prayer shawl soaked in blood that has a bullet hole as they clean up inside the 'yeshiva,' or Jewish seminary, in Jerusalem on 06 March 2008
A handout photograph supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) shows bullet holes and blood stains inside and what appears to be the body of one of the two Palestinian gunmen inside the 'yeshiva,' or Jewish seminary, in Jerusalem on 06 March 2008
Well, it appears that the global jihad just can't keep its grubby hands out of my life, and has even invaded childhood games - to that, I say "Do not pass go, do not collect $200."
I wish there were a way to display the disgusted head shaking and heavy sigh that were elicited from me when I heard about the utterly lame Monopoly scandal. If you're just making your way back from a 6 week vacation in the Tibetan country side, I'll fill you in: Hasbro, makers of the well-known Monopoly board game, decided to make an international edition, allowing people from around the world to vote for cities which would appear as squares or "properties" on the board.
In the grand tradition of the Olympics and Eurovision, patriots and loyalists around the world took to their keyboards, voting for their various cities. And then came Islam.
As per the paradoxical usual, in which Arabs are swift, organized, resourceful and ambitious in screwing up someone else's good day (and altogether incapable of any other productive endeavor), they made a big ruckus over how Jerusalem REALLY belongs to the Palestinians, blah, blah, blah, and Hasbro removed the name of Israel from alongside Jerusalem - so while Marrakesh would should up as Marrakesh, Morocco, and Sydney would show up as Sydney, Australia, Jerusalem just showed up as Jerusalem. Kind of like what will happen on my daugter's US passport now that we've registered here as having been born in the Holy City.
Of course, Jews around the world protested this rude deletion, to which Hasbro responded by removing all country names from voting. Sydney is just Sydney, and Marrakesh is just Marrakesh. And Jersualem is just Jerusalem.
Is it just me, or can this type of struggle against niche anti-Zionism become really lame and boring? So many good people spend so much time fighting over minute issues of Jewish rights and recognition in little local papers, university seminars, and Monopoly votes. Is it worth our time?
I am conflicted on the issue. On the one hand, I can't tell you how much I want to escape from these fights, which I find to be kind of pathetic and useless. So much of the world is converted to Islamophilia (or maybe it's just Islamophobia), that I doubt another letter to the editor in some small town paper is going to change much. On the other hand, how can we stand silently in ANY forum when lies are being disseminated and Jewish rights are threatened? Is it important to vote for Jerusalem in Monopoly, to have our city represented in some stupid game, or is it now important NOT to vote for Jerusalem, because it is being touted as some kind of international no-man's-land?
The Israeli right has achieved very little in the 14 years that have passed since the Oslo disaster. Therefore, its ideologues and motivators must comport themselves with a little more modesty, and a lot more originality, than they currently seem to. Yet the opinion columns and the conference podium microphones all seem to be broadcasting the same tired old messages to us: don't give up this or that territory, don't give up this or that principle, let the IDF win, take back Gaza, bomb it from the air, don't give them guns, give them homes, free the girls, Olmert is a traitor.
As a consumer of messages, I find this fare dull and unsatisfying. And after 14 years of this menu, I would like something new please, waiter.
Here is what I find myself thinking lately: of course Olmert has no right to discuss giving up Jerusalem. Of course Israel is losing its last shreds of self-respect and deterrence in the way it is dealing with the Gazan bombardment of Sderot. Of course throwing money at Abbas and his "moderate" murderers is no solution to anything.
But maybe there is a reason for this loss of direction, and maybe just saying the current leaders have lost touch with Judaism and are an "erev rav" does them a certain degree of injustice.
Let's say we bomb Gaza into oblivion (a move I support, by the way. It is certainly better than sending our boys in there to get killed by the barbarian hordes). What then? Well, here is what happens then: the US administration disowns us, in a series of speeches by the President in which Israel is branded "a state overcome by fanaticism" and its government a "rogue leadership." The UN adopts a series of resolutions condemning Israel's genocide and the Hague court demands Israel extradite war criminals Olmert, Barak and Ashkenazi, for starters. No Israeli officer can expect to step on British, French, Russian or American soil any more, or anywhere else for that matter, without being arrested immediately. NATO begins training for bombing Tel Aviv. Iran develops and tests its bomb unimpeded.
What will Israel do then? Oh, I know – we will publish dozens and dozens of opinion columns in which our finest minds say "they are an erev rav!"… and at the same time, our hilltop youth will build another ramshackle hut somewhere and declare victory, even as the boots of the Border Guards are climbing the hill to tear everything back down.
Now that everyone hates me, let me say this: I have the greatest respect for our heroes and heroines. I admit that do not have in me an ounce of the courage they seem to pack in tons in each of their Jewish hearts. I am no good at facing the police, I am no good at climbing the mountains, I do not have in me one percent of the bravery of the little girls who refused to identify themselves in court, not to mention the bravery of those who face the enemy every day as they drive about the roads of our beloved heartland, laughing in the face of the monsters of Ramallah, Shechem, Kalkilya, Jenin and Hevron. I was not even a very tough soldier in my army days (although I do have a green tank driver's license somewhere in my files).
Really, I have nothing in me that can compare to these people's courage and spirit.
But practically speaking (governments are, first and foremost, in charge of practical solutions) what do we want from the government? Think about it: a Yitzchak Shamir is not enough here. It is not enough to be able to stand fast and give up nothing. We can stand fast and give up nothing, but the Kassams will keep humiliating us. And the only way we can stop them is by creating mass carnage on the Arab side. Targeting the Hamas leadership won't do the job. They will just go underground. Besides, they grow heads back faster than skinks grow back tails, and the new ones are always just as ugly as the previous ones. I will say it again: practically speaking, only by creating mass carnage on the other side can we stop the Kassams for good.
Benny Elon's plan for voluntary Arab evacuation and compensation is nice for parlor talk. Hamas will only understand a "plan" like the one wreaked upon the Arabs by the combined forces of Haganah, Palmach, Etzel and Lechi in 1948. We all know this in our heart of hearts. So do we do to Gaza – and possibly Hevron, Ramallah and Shechem, what we did to Tzfat and Lod three score years ago? Yes or no?
This is the stage at which people say – "okay, smart-aleck, we get what you are saying. But what do YOU suggest?".
I will not fall into that trap. Not just yet. Let's see how this article goes down before we proceed to Stage Two. What do you think about this, dear readers? Practically speaking, how does Israel deal with the aftermath of a Gaza operation that costs thousands of Arab lives, half of them women and children? Please use the talkback function to express yourselves.
Speak, and spell out a long term practical policy, please – or leave Olmert (or "mert", or "Olmerde," as he is affectionately known in these parts) alone, because you don't have a better idea of what to do than he does.
* Haaretz reports that the Supreme Court is actually making Avoda Ivrit more desirable by closing the loopholes allowing Jews in Judea and Samaria to exploit their Hamas-voting neighbors, outsourcing their tax evasion and taking advantage of their proximity to a mafia-run third world empire (my words, not theirs).
* Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, who reportedly did not stop at telling his students they did not HAVE to refuse orders, but told them they HAVE to obey, says Avoda Ivrit is Nazism. Brought to you by Jpost and the racists at RamFM, the clueless, yet entertaining South African-run station broadcasting in English out of Ramallah.
* Hey, even professional settler-hater Jeffrey Goldberg says he once dabbled in Avoda Ivrit (not in 'Nam, of course): "In the late nineteen-eighties, I worked for a time on a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley, southeast of Haifa. I was a great believer in the philosophy known as avoda ivrit—the idea that Jews will redeem their land and themselves by hard physical labor."
Gaza Caliphate Established Thanks to Jewish Nihilists
Hamas fighters kiss the ground before entering the Preventative Security headquarters in Gaza City in this image taken from TV Thursday June 14, 2007. The Hamas fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important security installations in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. (AP Photo/Al Aqsa TV Via AP Television)
You, the believers in the end of Abrahamic religion, really thought you could spread your shallow bagels-and-Khanafe religion to the proud Muslim descendants of Abraham's first-born living in the Land of Israel?
You really though that you could create Palestinian Kapos, bribed and blackmailed to perpetrate your fraud that their justice ends at the Green Line? Jews who have traded their birthright long ago for red lentils are flabbergasted that their Muslim cousins are not taking the same bait.
"Don't you see - forget about your foolish Koranic halacha that says we can't even live as non-dhimmi sovereigns here and we will make you prosperous beyond your wildest dreams."
The most bizarre part of this whole situation lately is that Al-Aksa Brigades, fully controlled and run by Fatah, has been carrying out attacks on Jews regularly, with the trickled down funding and weapons supplied by Israel and the US. "Well, they have to maintain their street cred," says some senior government strategist with no relatives in Sderot. Though b'nai Yishmael are currently at war with us and currently our grave enemies, it is a good day when our murderers execute each other in the streets.
It is interesting that the day Shimon Peres finally rises to power is the day the Islamic Caliphate of Gaza is founded, armed with the arms he handed over, dancing on the smoldering coals of the Jewish towns he torched.
Welcome to the New Middle East. Buckle your phylacteries, it's gonna be a wild ride.
My Sefardi former roommate used to tell me that Ashkenazi Jews have no idea how to deal with Arabs. That only the Sefardim understood how to because they lived with Arabs for hundreds of years and understood the Arab mind set. And so when a Torah Giant like Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, (former Sefardi Chief Rabbi) implores the Prime Minister to carpet bomb Gaza to stop the Arab attacks - he is not only speaking with the full wisdom of the Torah but also from an intimate knowledge of Arab culture. But when Western thinking people hear this they will cringe - like shooky who commented on this very blog - "And last time I checked, killing of innocents is forbidden by Judaism." Yet anyone who feels this way and can't understand how a great rabbi could advocate such "an evil notion" feels that way simply because they are clueless as to Arab culture and to Arab ideology.
My Rebbe back in Queens, Rabbi Shafier, (www.TheShmuz.com) discussed this in depth. If you want to truly understand the middle east conflict in a new light you must watch this video. It will be an hour very well spent. It gets really good 20 minutes into it - though I strongly recommend listening to the whole thing as the first 20 minutes are necessary to explain the last 10 minutes.
Here are some excerpts: ...and the fact that the United Nations doesn't have a clue, the fact that the European Union doesn't get it, is a rather curious fact. But what is even more astounding is the fact that most secular Israelis don't get it. They don't get it. They assume it's our fault. Clearly we've been too oppressive. Clearly we're a totalitarian regime. We've occupied their land - even though again, there was no Palestinian people before 67 - Jordan is their place - they're not oppressed - the Arabs in Israel have a better standard of living than the Arabs in all the other Arab countries. But we're too oppressive and the average secular Israeli feels guilty and has a real problem dealing with our participation in the "Palestinian oppression."
...There is no answer to anti-Semitism. There's no logical reason, no sociological factor, no logic based on history, it's a very different sort of animal you are dealing with.
...If you'd like to understand why is it that western culture can't get it it's because the Palestinian people, what they speak about, what they dream about, has no basis in Western culture. You see, if you live, eat, sleep and drink the acquisition of wealth, if making it means a bigger house, a fancier car, and you assume everyone is like you, you have a very difficult problem understanding why a 20 year old will strap 20 kilos of explosives to his chest, to destroy himself just to take a few Jews with him. And because there is no logical answer within the context of your ideology the answer clearly has to be that Israel is doing something so heinous to them, so criminal, that we can't even understand it, but it's clear that they're being oppressed.
But the Palestinians make no beef about it. They say clearly. It's not about the homeland. It's not about occupation. It's about religion. It's about God. It's about the Jews. Their charter says it. They say it. And no one gets it. And the reason why no one gets it is because it doesn't fit in to Western culture.
Because you see, when you talk about God I get a bit uncomfortable. I'm not really sure I believe in God to being with, and to believe that people actually give up their lives for God? It doesn't make sense!
And rather than believe what they say, rather than listen to their words, the UN, the European Union, the vast majority of the population of the world, believe some very, very silly ideas.
Through the early 90's, Israel was considered to be the worlds foremost expert on fighting terror.
Today, not so much.
Perhaps Israel can learn a thing or two from her Arab neighbors, as to how a state combats terror - particularly during those instances when the terrorists place themselves within civilian population centers - and once again restore her "no one messes with the Israelis"* (Passenger 57 - 1992) image in the eyes of the world.
*(OK, OK, you got me. In the movie, Wesley Snipes uses a word other than messes...)
A Lebanese army helicopter on Saturday fired missiles and strafed suspected positions of Islamic militants on the edge of a Palestinian refugee camp with machine gun fire in the first air force involvement in nearly two weeks of fighting...
The air force's first involvement came on the second day of an offensive the army launched to defeat the militants and force their surrender from the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp where they have been holed up.
Keep in mind that we are talking about a densely populated refugee camp, with civilians all around. Also, consider how Lebanon is dealing with all the human rights activists who are itching to get inside the area to "help":
The deaths raised to 37 the number of soldiers killed since fighting between the army and militants began on May 20. At least 20 civilians and about 60 militants had also been killed in the fighting before Friday's offensive. Civilian casualties could not be determined in the latest fighting since relief organizations were not allowed inside the camp.
And what of the media?
The situation on the ground was unclear as journalists were pushed far away from the military zone, and media reports were conflicting on the military's achievements the previous day.
There you have it folks, the Arab 2 pronged approach to combating terror:
1) Strike the enemy wherever they are - and strike hard.
2) Keep relief organizations and the media out of the picture until the mission is completed.
Were Israel to adopt this approach, it could be the second greatest contribution of the Arab world to the Jewish People, ranking a distant second to hummus.
Okay, so I have a rant coming soon, but my big brother just emailed me this and if my brother sends me something, I know its got to be good, but I am at work, so I couldn't read the article, so instead I asked him to give me a summary, because I do work at work... so here is what he said (but I do suggest your read the full text for yourself)
"Knock the BLEEP out of the Arabs: close their water, electricity, etc. bomb their wealthy areas, have the EU and the UN take over Gaza and its their problem. Do not allow any Arabs into Israel from Gaza NO helping them. Period! They bomb us we do it back and harder until they realize that you don't start with us!" So when I read this, I was so curious who in the world was so brave to come out so strong against the Arabs and not to mention, gasp the EU and UN??? Bet you can't guess, well its Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Of course now the big challenge is to see what happens next... But at least this is a start, and maybe somethings are being moved around in the government and something good might be brewing on the horizon, so keep strong, breath, pray, believe, have faith, the good will win, and I am positive that we are good :-)
With no end in sight to the 6 year long rocket assault on Sderot, Ari Shavit of Ha'aretz elaborates upon why those in Israel should give a damn:
It should not have been like this. Sderot is not Gush Katif. There is no debate. On the contrary: Sderot is a "Green Line" city. Sderot is a post-withdrawal city. Sderot is the righteous Israeli city after the occupation. Sderot is the future
Which leads us to Shavit's main point. Why should Israelis care about Sderot?
The attack on Sderot is a strategic attack on peace. It is an attack on the two-state solution. If the attack succeeds, there will be no chance of any future withdrawal. If the attack succeeds, the occupation will be perpetuated.
In Shavit's world,, one should care about Sderot, not because of the responsibility one Jew has for another - or even that of one human being for another, nor is he driven by the pursuit of justice. The sole reason one should care about Sderot is because if Sderot falls, so does the "peace process".
While Shavit makes the distinction between Sderot and Gush Katif clear, he fails to grasp a major distinction existing between Israel and the Arab world, which serves as the root cause for the tragedy that is Sderot.
If one looks at the "Palestinian Authority" map above, there is no green line. No distinction is made between Gush Katif and Sderot. No distinctions are needed for the simple reason that the entire Land of Israel (Palestine) belongs to them - to Islam.
If one looks at the nobility of Israeli society, what does one find? As Shavit puts it:
Sderot should have been the apple of the eye of all those preaching withdrawal in the past, and of everyone who still believes in withdrawal. Sderot should have been the city of peace writers and peace singers and peace industrialists. A "peace now" city. A city of Israeli solidarity. A city of mutual responsibility. A city where strong Israelis stand together with Israelis who are less strong in the face of Islamic zealotry.
Yet, what one finds amongst the vast majority of Israels elite is a group who questions the very right of the Jewish People to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel. After all, can it be said that Gush Katif is really anymore "occupied territory" than Sderot? Certainly there's no difference in the eyes of the Arabs. Which is why, if, as Shavit puts it, Sderot is Israel's future, then it's clear that Israel's nobility has already abandoned ship.
When Ariel Sharon said that the fate of Netzarim is that of Tel Aviv (April, 2002), he was not mistaken. Until the Jewish People recognize their absolute right to the Land of Israel and show that they are willing and able to enforce that right, there will be no peace. Not in Gush Katif. Not in Sderot. Not in Jerusalem and not in Tel Aviv.
The time has come for us - those who still believe in this fundamental and historic truth - to assume the leadership and responsibility of this country and to do so before Sderot falls.
The Elders have met again. This took place last Thursday in the vicinity of the Temple Institute. Sorry it took me this long to get the info, but you're not going to get this anywhere else so just be grateful! Anyhow, this meeting was devoted to a Stages Plan and to updates regarding the tunnel work currently being painstakingly carried out under the Temple Mount. When I say painstaking, I am understating to the maximum degree: the digs are performed by teams that include archaeologists and explosive experts - this is not just your ordinary tunnel. Plus there are acoustic issues - it's important that the people praying in the mosques don't hear the guys chiseling away. Sipur mehahaftara as we say!
So the tunnel part is confidential, I was not even allowed to look at the protocol dealing with that.
As for the Stages Plan, here is the relevant section:
Reb Moishe ben Duvid: Hey, why do Jews have big noses?
Reb Itamar ben Fishel: Because the air is for free, yes we know that one! Go on if you want to present your plan!
Reb Moishe ben Duvid: OK OK. So here is the plan I suggest. I have been speaking with Reb Effie [Eitam] about this by the way, he is leaking the plan in bits and pieces so the public can get used to it.
Stage A as you see in this chart is to make the public discourse in Israel a bit more aggressive and violent, get the pacifists in the media to gradually shut their yaps. This is progressing nicely. The tone is less sissyish and more violent, and this is good. I am seeing graffiti that says 'Kahana Tzadak' and it is not getting wiped away as fast as it used to.
Stage B is to get 'the cocktail' in government. I say cocktail because while we do not have a leader who can cure us from our AIDS, we can, through a combination of leaders, hold off the Arabs for quite a while. The cocktail looks like it will include Netanyahu and Eitam.
Stage C is to whack the Israeli Arab population over the head as we say. This we will accomplish by staging a provocation and then getting the 'cocktail' to declare martial law throughout the major Arab concentrations, from the Galilee to the Negev. There will be a curfew for at least a year, probably much longer, and it will be strictly and harshly enforced.
Stage D will be to convince the government to start bombing the Arabs in Yehuda Shomron and Aza, and show the world that we can be as mean, crazy and underhanded as the worst of them if need be. We don't play by the rules when the other side doesn't.
Stage E will involve a 1948-style expulsion of 90% of the Yesha Arabs.
Stage F will involve resettling 2-3 million Jews who will stream here, mostly from the USA, as a result of the massive anti-Semitic wave stage E will engender.
Stage G will involve getting some serious allies with us as we prepare for Stage H, the showdown with the Mohammedans. This means Zionist Christians but also countries like India and possibly Africa [I must say I agree with him: some sub-saharan African countries were the only ones who did not boycott the Jerusalem Day event! They have a simple, true belief, they love us and we need to be less racist and accept their love - G.R.].
Stage H will be the showdown! If we lose we die. If we win - we get tons and tons of oil and we die laughing!
Today, my co-host and I did an interview with Nadia Matar of Women in Green, who is organizing on Esther's behalf. (As of this post, the specific link isn't up - check out The Weekend Edition for May 13).
If you will not be able to attend rallies for Esther, or otherwise visit her, you can send her your well-wishes (which, with G-d's help, she'll read if she ever wakes up again, B"H) and even donations - Nadia has agreed to personally deliver all correspondence.
So here's contact info for Esther Malka (Esther bat Zohara):
Esther Malka c/o Women in Green P.O.B. 1269 Efrat, ISRAEL 90435
Terror attacks aren't just awful, they're devastating. Even with socialized medicine, medical costs can accumulate, the victim is not longer providing income, and the family decreases its work in order to be there for the victim. This creates a financial drain that is difficult to reverse - your donations, I'm sure, would be welcome.
I'm one of those American/Israeli Jews who never really divorced herself from American pop culture. Not that I was so into it to begin with, but I'm still more entertained by American content than by Israeli. And I have a weakness for TV. This moral turpitude has led me to discover a wide and wonderful world of programming on the internet, seeing as I'm so far away from my good friends at NBC and CBS.
Every once in a while, you not only find something entertaining, but you find something educational or important.
On one sunny afternoon, unable to soothe my TV gluttony, I perused a site and found a series whose title made me laugh out loud - Little Mosque on the Prairie.
At the website www.alloftv.net, you can watch all the episodes that have been syndicated so far. Produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, this show is meant to show you how sweet, regular, and downright endearing Muslims are, and what a pleasure it would be if only you could have some in your neighborhood. A more brilliant and subtle-yet-unsubtle piece of propaganda one nary has the privilege to witness.
So I propose we come up with some counter propaganda- so far, I have "Little Third Temple on the Prairie", "Days of Our Pascal Offerings", "Afikomen Break" (a drama about a lost Afikomen and the angsty attempts of the family to find it and eat it) and "CSI" (Coming Soon to Israel, a show about how ALL the Jews want to make aliyah, and how easy, fun, and economically satisfying it is). There's also "The Cosby Show", about that nasty incident involving Pinchas and public impropriety, but I think that's a more Cinemax niche.
Hey all, life has been a little hectic, jet blue and FedEx lost my luggage, but that's for another post. Now about the Truth of Radical Muslims ( which we all KNOW already, but now its on CBS so Woo Hoo!!!)
The gist is about a look into the inner workings of the global jihad system, especially in London and how they used the British Government to enhance their terrorist training and activities. 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon interviews Hassan Butt who states "There is a violent streak within Islam. We need to be able to discuss and counter these arguments so that we don't have any more Mohammad Sadique Khans." Its quite informative, and semi reassuring that some people might be coming to their senses ( but I'm not getting all jumpy yet)
The establishment of an official Academy for the Arabic Language received final approval on Wednesday as the "High Institute for the Arabic Language 2007" bill passed its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum and became law.
"This is the first time an Academy for the Arabic Language is established in a country outside the Arab world..." said Knesset Education Committee Chairman Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad), who cosponsored the bill with MK Nadia Hilu (Labor).
The new Academy will also coordinate its work with the long-established Academy for the Hebrew Language, contributing to the study of the similarities, differences and connections between the two languages.
How does one say "Get the hell outa my Country" in Arabic?