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Friday, February 06, 2009

The Guys Nobody Seems to be Talking About (But Maybe Should)

Lots of buzz is going around between people and definitely in the news about the big players in the upcoming election: Tzipi, Bibi, and Lieberman. Yet not nearly as much is attention is being focused on the forth alternative: Shas. Now before anyone wants to post a comment about how they're all a bunch of crooks I'd like ask why would you single them out? Do you think the other major Knesset parties people would vote for otherwise are squeaky clean? Kadima's head, our current prime minister has just gone through several rounds of indictments and the Prime Minister before him (Sharon) was also tied to some shady deals. And anybody who's had interactions with the government knows that in Israel things with the government are often not quite so "Yashar" as they should be. Plus despite some problems with members in the past, the current head Eli Yishai seems like a fine man and I am not aware of any bad report of him.

Other people want to complain that Shas are all sellouts, they are just interested in money for their causes and nothing else. Well let's take a look at those causes real quick. From what I'm aware of the majority of the money Shas funnels is into religious schools, ways to help educate non-Religious Jews in Jewish knowledge, and other general Torah learning institutions. Chazal says that Hashem created the whole world for the sake of learning Torah... so much so that if there was a moment in which Torah wasn't being learned anywhere in the world it would cease to exist. So for Shas to divert as much money into Torah learning as possible doesn't sound crooked to me, quite the opposite- I would think it would be the best investment this country could make.

Some want to criticize how they obey the directives of Rav Ovadia Yosef and seem to do whatever he says. Well if anyone has something bad to say about Rav Ovadia I would suggest you bite your tongue- for your own sake. This is because he is one our current generation's biggest Talmidei Chachim (if not THE Gadol Hador), and the Gemara's definition of a heretic is one who claims what do we need the rabbis and the Torah scholars for, what good are they?

I ask any right wing religious voter in Israel, or any religious voter for that matter, who would be a better choice? I don't even think I need to explain away Barak or Livni. Bibi? Last time I checked he doesn't sport a kippah on his head too often and he's already proven his diplomatic resolve and love of Eretz Yisrael and our religious heritage by giving away Hevron. If even Sharon didn't have the backbone to stand up against American diplomatic pressure do you really think he's going to?

What about Yisrael Beiteinu? Arutz Sheva recently reported an American diplomat has released a book of his experience dealing with Israel in which he tells that Lieberman once agreed to give in to the PLO's land demands and give away our precious Yesha. Even if he wants to deny this he can't deny things on his official platform like supporting civil marriage. Currently the Rabbinate controls who gets married in this country and Baruch Hashem there is a group responsible enough to make sure Jews are inter-marrying themselves into extinction like they are in America. Baruch Hashem I recently got married here and I can attest that as inconveniant as it may be having about 20 run-ins with the Rabbinut before getting your ketuba, at least they are making certain people are Jewish before letting them marry each other. Now what pray tell do we need civil marriage for in this country if not to allow inter-marriage and gays marrying each other? I asked a campaign worker for Yisrael Beiteinu the other day about this issue. He claimed it is one of the many issues being spun out of control to harm their image and that in truth Lieberman just supports some small concession to allow for tax breaks. This man wore a kippah as does Lieberman, so I ask them, do they believe in the Torah like their clothing suggests or not!?! If G-d explicitly forbids these types of marriages then why do we need to make even small concessions? Every concession one makes in his beliefs highlights a lack of faith in the Torah. And as far as Lieberman trying to advertise himself as the guy to get the arabs out of Israel? Doubtful. Not even Rav Kahane could do that after immeasurable blood sweat and tears, and this guys is no Rav Kahane.

What about Feiglin? I heard him speak at Tuesday Night Live this week and I must say he is about as much of a stand up guy as you'll find. The problem is he is number 36 on the list. In order to get him in you first need to get in 35 shall we say, "not so stand up" people first. He claims this is the only way to change Likud from the inside out. But changes like he is trying to accomplish take time, and in the mean time can we afford to put our hope in a 1 to 35 voting ratio while the future of the country hangs in the balance?

Then there is the Dati Leumi parties. Their hearts are in the right place but it appears as if they can't get their act together long enough to get along with themselves never mind lead the rest of the country. Plus there is the laws of probability that heavily weigh against them gaining enough seats to have serious influence in the government. One could counter that Shas doesn't have a chance of winning the prime ministership either yet that isn't important. Why? It doesn't really matter who is in charge, for we know that on Rosh Hashanah Hashem plans out of that whole following year who will go to war with who, which side will be victorious, and how much money every person and country will have as well as who will live and who will die. Therefore we could vote in the best party and prime minister in the world and if Hashem doesn't help us then we won't have a chance. Likewise we could have the most inept losers at the helm and if Hashem wills it then we'll be successful. Shas isn't going to be the biggest party, that's a given. But what is also almost guaranteed is that they will be big enough that whichever party does lead will have to take them in as a coalition partner. Therefore the stronger they are, the more muscle they have to get what they want- i.e. money to support Torah (something ever so vital now that much of the American philanthropy to Israel is getting hit hard from the world financial crisis). So if Hashem decides who successful we're going to be at war and diplomacy and the like who does it matter who "appears" to be in charge? What we should worry about is how we can affect thigns we do have control over like how many Jews are going to learn Torah or do Teshuva and have a support network to ease them into the religious world when they do.

Now at the end of the day I don't know how much my opinion counts because I am not yet able to vote here anyway. But I will say this, if you look around at all the political posters it's all attacks from this one on that one and counter-attacks the other way. Then you see the egged bus come by with a big picture of Rav Ovadia and it has a blessing to Am Yisrael or a quote from the Tanach, and always something optimistic. If nothing else, let's go with the "glass half full" people!

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Appearently the "New Rules" like to Buck the Rules of Nature!

When I was in college a few years ago I partook in a joint AIPAC/Hillel student leadership trip that took us all around Jerusalem for a jam-packed week of meeting with Israeli officials, diplomats (both Israeli to America and American to Israel) and other people who explained their roles and the Israeli government's goals and how they are achieving them and planning to further them in the future. This was a very interesting time because it was the "in between phase" - several months after the Gaza pullout from the Gush Katif communities but before Hamas won a landslide election, the government reneged on all it's promises to the evicted residents, the rocket fire increased and it became blatantly clear to everyone what a complete and utter failure it all was. Since all these horrible after effects hadn't yet fully manifested themselves, all these officials (read: airheads) still felt they had the right to boast about what a success for peace and the safety of our country the pullout was and how things would be much different and so much better now. Not that they had any solid evidence of that (and as just mentioned the facts on the ground once they became clear pointed heavily to the contrary) but at least you could give them some lee-way as they hadn't been proven wrong yet at that moment in time. That taught me a big lesson in how much you can trust the Israeli government, American diplomats and AIPAC, but let's not get into that right now.

What really has me boiling is that, unlike those morons who were hoping against hope their idiocy wouldn't be proven idiotic, now we are being subjected to idiocy that doesn't even need the test of time to prove itself. I just chanced upon an opinion article in YNET entitled New Rules of Play, in which the author brags about what a dazzling success this recent war was and how we have established "New Rules" vis-a-vis our enemies by which we will now have the upper-hand and achieve safety and security... gee haven't I heard this somewhere before? He claims that not only has the Israeli army reclaimed it's famed "Deterrence" but that Hamas has "unconditionally" stopped it's rocket fire. Please excuse me while I vent...

Deterrence has been restored!?!? What deterrence? Hamas has boasted they are already working on rearming themselves as well as Iran saying they are going to start supplying them with upgraded rockets. Plus about 95% of their combat personnel are still alive and well. The majority of Hamas killed were just traffic cops and the like, not the ones actually shooting the rockets and making the bombs.

What is this lie of rocket attacks stopping unconditionally? Within hours of Israel announcing the ceasefire they launched more rockets at us and ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YNET TODAY IT SAYS 3 MORE ROCKETS WERE JUST LAUNCHED FROM GAZA!!!

Let's review... this war: DIDN'T cripple or destroy Hamas or take out it's top leadership; DIDN'T stop rocket fire or rocket firing capabilities; and DIDN'T get back Gilad Shalit! What DID it do? It DID get several fine young boys of ours killed, it DID get a new round of world condemnation laid on us, it DID score political points for politicians who let the Jews of the south rot for 8 years under rocket fire without doing anything to help them, and now suddenly pretend to care when an election is right around the corner and they are all losing points to the more right wing parties (and these scum were willing to sacrifice Jewish soldiers' lives to achieve these political gains mind you -REMEMBER THIS AT THE VOTING BOOTH!!!)

So I don't really understand these "New Rules" this fellow at YNET is speaking of. Appearently they include blatantly denying the obvious facts, as even reported on your own website. I prefer the rules of nature and common sense myself- if it's stupid and doesn't work then don't do it, if it makes sense and does work then do that instead. What doesn't work, nor has for quite a while, is believing these ego maniacal short-sighted morons in the government and the you-know-what kissing media that loves them. What does work? Trusting in Hashem, trying to be good Jews and put a little more Torah and prayer into our lives. Look through Sefer Shoftim (The Book of Judges) and you will see the message plain and clear. Time and time the Jewish people while residing in the land of Israel are invaded and oppressed by our neighbors. Time and time again we succumb to them, sometimes even making treaties with them or falling under their rule and what saves us every time? Not our failed leaders trying to use brute force and military might, but the nation of Israel doing t'shuva and returning to G-d. Read on and you see that once we did that, every single time Hashem sent us a worthy leader who led us to victory against the enemy NOT with superior numbers, weaponry, or tactics (in fact we represented quite inferior fighting power), but purely with miracles of Hashem. Half the time Hashem made our own enemies do most of the work killing themselves for us and all we had to do was clean up the leftovers!

Time to wake up everyone, the strength isn't in our hands, never was and never will be. The strength is in the hands of G-d and if you don't want to wise up to that then I advise you to go stick your head in the sand next to Mr. Delusional op-ed writer.

Strategic importance of Gaza operation much greater than we assume

Isaac Ben-Israel

Operation Cast Lead was not a war pitting equal forces against each other and was not beyond the scope of many past Israeli operations. However, I believe that its strategic importance is much greater than we assume, and that this is a milestone that would be etched in the historic memory of the Middle East for many years. This is not necessarily because of the narrow military aspect, even though the military achievements are clear.

First, the IDF restored its deterrence vis-à-vis Hamas. This holds great significance to the deterrence vis-à-vis other Mideastern players, mostly Hizbullah in the north and the Iran-Syria axis. Even the Second Lebanon War, which was managed in a flawed manner, looks different today in light of the capabilities showcased by the IDF in the latest operation. As opposed to common perceptions, the IDF showed that it possesses the means, combat doctrine, and required determination for fighting in a crowded urban area while ensuring minimal casualties among our forces.

Secondly, Hamas’ rocket fire ended unconditionally. It is of course possible that Hamas leaders, who are only now digesting the disaster they brought upon themselves and their people, will recover eventually and go back to their old ways. Yet then they will have to take into account the fact that the IDF could again strike at them whenever it wishes to do so, and it is doubtful whether the Gaza population would allow them to prompt another similar blow against it.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the asymmetrical rules of the game that Israel appeared to accept in recent years had been broken. Previously, it appeared as though the weak side (Hamas, Hizbullah) could attack Israeli citizens uninterruptedly, while Israel hesitates in utilizing its substantial military power (airplanes, tanks, and guided missiles) for fear of hurting civilians on the other side. Yet the recent operation showed that even mosques used by terror groups are no longer an obstacle in the face of Israel using its military power.

The attack on the Kissufim Road earlier this week is also related to the new rules of play. Hamas was forced to stop the rocket fire and attacks on civilians, yet it is trying to show that attacking soldiers is allowed. We must not agree to this, of course, and we have the power to enforce the rules of play that are desired by us, which shall also include a ban on Hamas activity in the Strip within a few hundred meters of the border fence.

Path of resistance has failed

Meanwhile, the operation’s diplomatic achievements are significant and no less important than the military ones.

The first diplomatic achievement is the destabilization of Iran’s position in the Mideast in the wake of the blow sustained by its protégé in Gaza. Moreover, most of the Arab world crossed the lines and stood by Egypt vis-à-vis Hamas. This closer step to Israel and the recognition of the common interest against Iran and its emissaries holds immense strategic importance.

The second achievement is the unequivocal support offered by Western leaders to the Israeli position regarding the prevention of Hamas’ military buildup in Gaza. Understandings and agreements on curbing the smuggling have been signed and secured vis-à-vis the US and most western European states.

The third achievement is ending the war without Israel recognizing Hamas – not even indirectly.

All of the above puts Hamas’ leadership at a crossroads. It discovered that it cannot simultaneously raise the banners of sovereignty and resistance. It is for good reason that there is no precedent for this anywhere in the world. It will have to decide what is more important: Being the sovereign in an Islamic state, or enjoying the benefits of being a terror movement.

For the time being, it appears that the path of resistance has failed, big time.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Say What!?

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.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dangerous Threats?

We usually don't post about American politics but I figured since there's already precedence why not?

Well this ad came out today:

It's supposed to appeal to Americans that care about Israel I guess... well it's nice to know at least someone thinks Americans care about Israel...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rebranding Israel: FM Just Doesn’t Get It - Still!

This is not the first time Kumah has written about this.

Last week I attended the Nefesh B’Nefesh First International Jewish Bloggers Convention along with the rest of the Jblog world. One segment of the program featured Zavi Apfelbaum, the Director of Brand Management of the Foreign Ministry. At the time I did not know that she represented the State of Israel. (I didn't read the program, okay?)

(Click the video for a transcript we posted on YouTube.)

Which is why when blogger Moshe Burt (“Israel and the Sin of Expulsion”) began screaming at the top of his lungs “this is a Jewish State!,” though I agreed with him, I thought he was taking the wrong approach. But now that I realize exactly what was going on I think he was exactly right and that might be the only way to keep making the point, as Burt wrote, “until it sinks irrevocably into their consciousness.”

Let’s start at the beginning. The Foreign Ministry spent millions of shekel of taxpayer money to figure out that, guess what, the world thinks Israel is a bunch of thugs and a very cold (not weather-wise), dull, place to live or visit. Well obviously the world has branded us waaay wrong! Apfelbaum, again blaming the victim, claimed it was not the world that did it but we did it to ourselves. Perhaps I’ll grant that as a half-truth but that’s for another discussion.

So once again the Foreign Ministry plans to spend waste millions of shekel “rebranding” Israel.

Akiva, summarized it like this:

The future brand and marketing image of Israel:
1. Tel Aviv Fashion Brands
2. Tel Aviv Modern Dance Troupes
3. Tel Aviv Beach Life
4. Israeli High Technology Developments
5. Tel Aviv Night Life
6. Israeli High Technology Medical Developments
7. Israeli Wine
With the exception of 4 and 6, basically they are trying to brand Israel as Italy, France or Spain.

When will they learn? Israel is a Jewish Country!

Here’s what I wrote a year ago:

Once Israel becomes "a nation like any other" we are thrust onto a world scale we have no right being on. On that scale, Israel appears to be a pretty crummy nation with nothing special at all. Hence the post-Zionists. But if we stay on the scale we are supposed to stay on, the "light-to-the-nations" scale we are untouchable! When we promote G-d, no nation anywhere can come close in terms of history, culture, food, family life, beauty, and spirituality. Indeed we have something no other nation has.
To summarize, Israel already has an excellent – but discarded - brand. The powers-that-be in the government just don’t like it very much. But this brand has been around for over 3,300 years! Let me explain it in simple terms:

New York is to “The Big Apple” as Israel is to “The Holy Land.”

Gee, whiz. Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone ever think of that before? It’s a brand we have and it’s a brand we should use. It’s a brand that will stick because it already sticks, much to the dismay of the government. Basically the country is spending millions because we don’t want people to think of us as holy! Stop pretending to be the Europeans we are not, because the world is not dumb enough the fall for it. Start being yourself, Israel, and good things will happen. In the 60 years since she was founded Israel never got to be herself - not for one day.

And Moshe Burt is right. In terms of Holy we are talking Judaism. No Muslims are going to view Israel more favorable if we tell them Israel is important to them. And the Christians already know the real deal and love the Jewish people for it. Just talk to any Christians you meet. They know the Holy Land is G-d’s gift to the Jews and they are cool with that. Very cool with it.

So here is a small part of Pinchas’s plan for “rebranding” (that’s "re" as in repeating something not as in changing something):



Jewish Tradition

Jewish Children

Holy Things

The problem is the government is working backwards. Instead of displaying the beauty of Judaism and Shabbat for the world, the government does everything it can to destroy our image as a holy nation by doing things like attempting to have buses run on Shabbat. Sometimes the only way to get the message across truly is to yell it, and to yell it again, again, and again!

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Jerusalem's bridge striking some "chords" with the public

Anyone who's been paying attention to Jerusalem has noticed the Chords bridge, the "uniquely" designed suspension bridge being built over the entrance to the city. I personally thought for quite a while that it looked utterly ridiculous until somebody showed me a specific angle from a specific spot under the bridge at which you can see the support cables forming a beautiful spiral. I think that's an apt metaphor for the situation described in the following article on Ynet News by Ronen Medzini- at first glance it looks like a bunch of Jews finding yet another thing to fight over. Look a little closer and you can find the beauty in the ruckus... Where else in the world does the public get vocally offended by a construction project that ends up breaking Shabbos? And where else would the company and government actually express regret and do something to hold people accountable? Even amid the bickering and problems here one can see the people of Israel inching closer to Moshiach.
The construction of the new Chords Bridge leading into Jerusalem caused controversy in the city's municipal meeting Sunday, as several of City Hall's coalition members were enraged by reports suggesting several construction workers were spotted working on Shabbat.

The bridge, which is supposed to carry the city's new light train, has been under construction for the past three years. Jerusalem's coalition members believed the some of the work was done on Shabbat in order to finish it in time for Wednesday's inauguration ceremony.

"Not only is it not worth it, it offended many people's emotions, both religious and secular," Shmuel Yitzhaky, a Shas Jerusalem councilman told Ynet Monday.

"The fact that the Jerusalem municipality sponsored this work is very grave. For what? For a ceremony? There is no reason what so ever to finish it of Shabbat."
Yitzhaky also said he believed the work was sanctioned by Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski. The people in City Hall, he added, "are only concerned with their jobs and don't care about the coalition."

Yehoshua Mor Yosef, spokesman for the Moria Company, which was tasked with the bridge's construction and who issued a statement on behalf of both Moria and the Jerusalem Municipality, said that the company sees the incident as severe.

Moreover, "The company has decided to immediately relieve the project's foreman and the construction's supervisor of their duties in order to make sure this kind of mishap never happens again."

Mor Yosef further denied Lupolianski's involvement in the decision to finish the project on Shabbat: "The mayor had no knowledge about any activities which were carried out in violation of the building contract, which clearly stipulates that, no work should be done on the bridge on Shabbat. The construction workers involved were Arab's hired by a sub-contractor, who sent them to the site against orders."

The inauguration ceremony itself has encountered some objections in the city council: Nir Bareket, who heads the municipality's opposition, slammed the costs – estimated as NIS 2 million (approximately $600,000) as unnecessarily extravagant.

"These public funds should have found their way to more important causes, such as schools and the city's beautification," he said.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Leave Olmert Alone

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.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mr. President, Somewhere the Sun is Shining


Mr. Bush learned an important lesson this morning. A basic fundamental in Judaism is that while man indeed has free will to choose good or evil, everything down to the smallest detail is controlled by God. These are not contradictory.

So the President "made a request to watch the sun rise over the Old City from his suite at the King David Hotel." What a plan! Israel officials had even better plans. "To make the scene more dramatic, the authorities [planned] to turn off the lights illuminating the limestone walls before dawn." Brilliant! (Haaretz even wrote about what the president would be thinking at that time and called Mr. Bush a courageous man and even praised him for being a God fearing man. Imagine liberal Haaretz ever calling a staunch conservative courageous! Or ever praising anyone for being God fearing!)

So what did the President see when he looked out his $2,500 a night Presidential Suite at the King David Hotel at 5:30 in the morning? Brilliant rays of the sun peeking over the ancient walls? Golden halos sheening off the Dome of the Rock? Actually he probably didn't even see the artist neighborhood of Yamin Moshe just meters below right outside his hotel window. See, as the Yiddish expression goes, "Men tracht und Gott lacht." Man plans, and G-d laughs! Man proposes, God disposes.

As Mr. Bush pulled apart the posh hotel curtains he didn't see the sunrise scene that he and Israel authorities has planned. What he saw was probably nothing. A thick fog moved in overnight along with some heavy rain and even a bit of snow. By morning the fog was so heavy the President's entourage had to cancel plans for him to fly by helicopter to Ramallah and chose to drive instead.

Indeed President George W. Bush is a God-fearing man. And perhaps he, and all the leaders of the world should heed the advice of another God-fearing leader. The leader from whom the hotel Mr. Bush is staying by gets its name. King David wrote: "The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples." Psalms 33:10


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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

15 Seconds With The President

There's a lot of hubbub surrounding the visit of US President George W. Bush.

The Post-Zionist Left, face it, is wetting itself with anticipation over the prospect of Bush backing Israel into a corner and, as the uberscuzzy editor of Haaretz so Haaretzly put it, raping our country of any last vestiges of meaning or dignity. They're hoping Bush will pizzazz the land right out from under us, hacking away at the most biblical of our biblical lands, and ultimately bringing down the Zionists, who are like so many pesky cockroaches revealing themselves after a bug bomb.

This morning, as our mountaintop was covered with a welcome low-hanging cloud after some much needed nighttime rainfall, we heard a familiar sound - the approach of a Blackhawk.
Because of our proximity to both Ramallah and Baal Hatzor, as well as our possession of a nice, uninhabited flat space, we are frequented by practicing pilots, who land and take off, land and take off.

As we were listening to the buzzing and swooshes, my husband commented to me that perhaps they are practicing bringing in Bush - after all, Bush's entourage is rumored to be planning a Ramallah visit, making a helicopter landing and drive through Beit El somewhat likely. Olmert's government is going to be doing everything in its power to keep Bush away from any real people or places during his visit (we wouldn't want the endearing qualities of the Jewish people to get in the way of our cold, heartless peace plans, now would we?), so it's quite possible that he will be whisked above the annoying realities, and come to Ramallah via helicopter.

So I asked my husband: "What if he does land here, and we have the chance to speak to him for 15 seconds? What would you say?" That got us thinking.

By the by, you never know. I recommend that you all prepare 15 seconds worth of material - who knows if G-d will make you the shaliach for His message to this King of America.

What would you say? "Free Jonathan Pollard!" "Go back to Texas!" "Please, don't divide Jerusalem - you don't want that kind of Wrath, trust me."

So I leave it to you: What would YOU say to President George W. Bush if you ran into him in Israel?

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is it worth it? it?

Reading the news these days and seeing the repetitive cycle of events make you wonder. Do we really have a say towards the outcome of the State of Israel? Or is it all pre-determined by greedy, pompous, money hungry human wannabes? Do the rallies help? Do the online petitions catch anyone's attention? What about the new outposts springing up all over Judea and Samaira? What about the mass aliyah from all over the
world? Do any of these things have any significance in the portrait of Israel's future?

A couple of weeks ago, while driving, a friend of mine told me that he doesn't see the point in the state of Israel since he feels it will no longer exist in 10 years. What to say back? The way politics are headed, from an unbiased view, he might have some validity in his statement. I can say "we are trying to get new leaders in the government that aren't corrupt and want to build Israel's future not the Arabs" But who am I joking, to me it seems the Israeli people are not willing to do what it takes to eradicate corruption from its political spectrum and the sympathy towards the Arabs doesn't seem to bother many (I am not going to get into the news aspect, that's just too frustrating).

Next, rallies, petitions, strikes... well that didn't work with Gush Katif and with Homesh, and with Hevron, so how will I convince this guy that this time a rally will have a profound effect?

Persecution? Well I don't think I want to throw that idea out, since I think that Israel persecuted the Orange youth more then I care to remember ( 12 year old girls being thrown into jail) and the fights going on between who should be getting more money from the government the frummies, or the ultra frummies?

As I rummage through my brain trying to give this friend a feeling that Israel has a point and should and will exist until the coming of the redemption, a song begins to play. I know the song well, its part of one of my favorite Jewish cd's "Destiney." The words are self explanatory, its talking about a Jewish Russian army pilot that steals one of the planes and tries to fly to Israel to gain his freedom. Using the song as an excuse for my delayed response to his comment, I began to sing with it. There comes a part where the Israeli air force commands the Russian plane to identify itself and the pilot says the only Hebrew words that he knows "Ani Yehudi I'm fighting for my freedom, I'm just one Jew alone, and I'm on my way back home."

And there it was, my answer. Israel has a point, Israel has to exist, if not for all the reasons in the world, then for this one Jew, that was fighting for his freedom. It says when you save one life, you save the world.

~ Shulamit ~

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Analysis: Left Is Running Out Of Time

(Photo: AP)

Last week a very important, but easily overlooked story was reported in the Israeli media. Arutz Sheva reported it as well. I am pasting it below. I have written about this in the past. In a nutshell, the powers that be on the political and religious left realize they will not remain in power much longer as their population dwindles.

In March 2005 the Jewish Observer quoted a CBS Machon Yerushalyim study that found 50% of the Charadi population to be below the age of 8. The Dati Leumi population was likewise as young and growing just as fast. Simply put that means in 10-18 years, the voting power of these two demographics will double. Actually the hard number of legal voters in this population will double but the voting power may triple or even quadruple when you combine that fact with the statistic that shows non-religious couples were have a birth rate of only 1.2 per couple. A significant power shift in the next generation is obvious.

Fast-forward three and half years. What we see today is the geometric change is in fact occurring. This means not only will the change happen but the rate of the change will increase dramatically as each year passes. Today the latest statistics show just about half the population considers themselves traditional, a third religious, and only one in five call themselves secular - just half of what it was 35 years ago. It is no stretch by any means to say in another 35 years the secular population will consist of less that 10% of Israel, while the religious population will make up well over 50% of the country.

These statistics, nor their clear predictions, are a secret. And so this is why we are finding the left trying to inflict as much "damage" as they can while they can. For they know if their ideological goals are not realized now, today, they most likely will never be - ever!

The Arutz-7 article follows:

Israel Becoming Less Secular
15 Kislev 5768, 25 November 07 02:44
by Hillel Fendel

( An Israel Democratic Institute (IDI) demographic survey finds religious growth and secular decline - but most significant is that the proportion of religious in the public is highest among the youth.

The percentage of Jews describing themselves as secular has dropped sharply over the past 30 years, while the religious and traditional proportions have risen. The annual survey finds that the secular public comprises only 20% of the Israeli population - compared to 41%, more than twice as much, in 1974.

Nearly half the population, 47%, describes itself as traditional, while the hareidi-religious and religious-Zionist together comprise 33% of the public.

The numbers were compiled based on a survey of representative sampling of 1,016 Israelis Jews.

Tradition Reigns
Over the past seven years, according to IDI statistics, the proportion of secular Jews has dropped sharply from 32% to 20% today. The "traditionalists" have traditionally had the lead in polls of this nature - except for one year in 1974, when they trailed the seculars, 41% to 38%.

Other findings show that the Sephardic population is much more traditional and religious than the Ashkenazic sector. Ashkenazic Jews are those originating from European (Christian) countries, whereas Sephardic Jews lived in the Iberian Peninsula (now Spain and Portugal), African and Middle Eastern (Moslem) countries. Only 7% of the Sephardim describe themselves as secular, compared to 36% of the Ashkenazim. At the same time, 56% of the Sephardim are religious or hareidi, compared to only 17% of the Ashkenazim.

39% of those under age 40 are religious - more than those in their 40's and 50's (32%), and much more than those aged 60 and over (20%).

It can be inferred from the numbers that Israel is a traditional society, and that it will become even more so as the years go by.

Country is Right-Wing; the Religious - Even More So
Politically, the religious are more right-wing, but so are the others. Among the religious, many more identify with the right than with the left, by a 71-8 margin; among the traditional, it's 49-21, and among the secular, it's 43-27. In total, 55% of the population view themselves as right-wing, and only 18% are to the left.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Neo- Zionism Outlets


I know its been a long time, and I will get at it again, but I just got this email, and I think People should know about it.

Enjoy :-) ~ Shulamit


Oops! A fly on the wall informs us that the Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor and the Israeli Consul General in NY, Asaf Shariv, have apparently gotten NO PROTESTS from anyone about the attempts to set up a new Palestinian terror state just a bike ride from divided Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, and Israel's only international airport (Ben-Gurion). So... write, fax, email, or swim and say it to their face:

Ambassador Sallai Meridor, Embassy of Israel, 3514 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008 202-364-5590; FAX: 202-364-5560

Ambassador Asaf Shariv, Consulate of Israel in NY, 800 Second Ave., New York, NY 10017, 212-499-5450 - Fax: 212-499-5455


Some great people in the United States have begun lobbying mainstream Rabbis and Jewish organizations to speak out against a Palestinian State. Their motto: "10 phone calls each day is good, but even 1 phone call is better than none". Background: "Our personal focus is the Rabbanim. The security dangers of a Palestinian State are real, but we are emphasizing the Torah perspective to the Rabbanim.

Their reason for Silence is that "they don't make political statements". Our answer to them is that Silence is a political statement in favor of a Palestinian State. A Torah statement would be that only the Nation of Israel is obligated to keep the Commandments in the Land of Israel and that Torah and the Land of Israel and the people of Israel are one and the same. There can not be a separation without a negation of the other. Eretz Yisroel is our Biblical Inheritance and a Palestinian State is contrary to Torah."

These great people need us to join in: "What follows is a list of mainstream Rabbis in the Hareidi and Orthodox circles that influence hundreds of thousands of Jews. Please find the time to call these Rabbanim or Organizations and ask them to personally speak to their Rabbinic mentors, contacts, Organizations and PR people to unite and to create a strong unified Jewish Voice against a Palestinian State:"

Agudath Yisroel of America :
* 212 979 9000 Rabbi Gertzulin (son in law of Reb. Jungreiss),
* Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel PR 646-254 1650 and fax 646 254 1650
* Rabbi Shafran,

* Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Executive Director Michael Rothchild 845-352-3505
* Spirtual Mentor Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky (Yeshiva in Philadelphia) 215 477 1000

Rabbi Hillel David 718 252 4579

Rabbi Pesach Lerner National Council of Young Israel. Rabbi Lerner is one of the United States leading rabbinical activists who has made numerous distinguished contributions to the struggle for Jonathan Pollard and against the expulsion of Gush Katif. Ask him to use his sterling reputation to unite the mainstream Haredi and modern orthodox and Secular Organzations to make a joint statement.

Rabbi Perlow, the Noveminsker Rav - extremely influential in Haredi circles in America 718-436-1133

Rabbi Matisyahoo Solomon (very influential in Lakewood and Yeshivish communities) 732-363-8928

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum - President of Iggud Harabonim. Very vocal against territory expulsions. The only mainstream Rabbinic group in America that we know of that came out against the expulsion of Gush Katif. Please encourage him to rally his members to become activists and unite with other major mainstream Rabbinic Leaders and organizations to come out with a strong voice against a Palestinian State. 718 871-0913

Rabbi Vigler Meorot Center - A dynamic Chabad Rabbi in Marine Park Brooklyn, Please ask him to use his leadership connections and contacts in the Chabad world and the orthodox world so that the mainstream Chabad leaders will rally against a Palestinian state.

Rabbi Yosef Jacobson, Mailing address: Algemeiner Journal, 508 Montgomery Street, Brooklyn, NY 11225 Telephone: 718.771.0400
Fax: 718.771.0308
Rabbi Shimon Jacobson

Rebbetzin Jungreiss Please ask her to ask the Rabbanim to end the Silence on the "Palestinian state" issue. Write to: Hineni Heritage Center, 232 West End Avenue, New York, NY, 10023
Tel: (212) 496-1660 Fax: (212) 496-1908

Orthodox Union Offices
* National Headquarters: Eleven Broadway, New York, NY 10004, Tel. 212-563-4000, Fax 212-564-9058,
* Washington, DC OU Institute for Public Affairs, 800 Eighth Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001
Nathan Diament, Director, Tel: 202-513-6484, Fax: 202-289-8936,
* West Coast: 9831 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035.
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director, 310-229-9000, Fax: 310-229-9011,
* Israel: Seymour J. Abrams Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center, 22 Rechov Keren Hayesod, P.O. Box 37015, Jerusalem, 91370 Israel * Rabbi Avi Berman, Director-General, * Menachem Persoff, Director, * Phillip Chernofsky, Director of Adult Education,

NCSY: Rabbi Michael Fredman, Director, NCSY-in-Israel,
972.2.560-9100 Fax: 972.2.561.7432

List of all email addresses above (if you don't have time to call/fax and would rather send one quick email to all:);; ;;;;;;;;;;

Example of a suitable email:

"Dear Rabbis, The security dangers of a Palestinian State are real, but we are emphasizing the Torah perspective. Eretz Yisroel is our Biblical Inheritance and a Palestinian State is contrary to Torah. Unfortunately, consistent silence is a political statement in favor of the notion of a Palestinian State. Please can you personally speak out and unite with your Rabbinic mentors, contacts, Organizations and PR people to create a strong unified Jewish Voice against a Palestinian State. Thanking you very sincerely, (name)".

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gotta Love Jews

If we are going to free Arabs with blood on their hands, why not Yigal Amir??? Life goes both ways... Read more here.

Have a good one ~ Shulamit

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Okay, so now what's your excuse?

Peres is your new President

Peres = SNAKE, Israeli's wake UP!!!

Or at least fake it, but really.....

~ Shulamit

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dissing the American Government

From Dan:

The American GOVERNMENT IS ISRAEL'S NUMBER 1 ENEMY. Yes, the Arabs like nothing better than killing Jews, but without the required diplomatic cover from the U.S., the game couldn't be played.

American Jews prefer things simplified: In the white hat, George W. Bush, defender of Israel and in the black hat, Osama Bin Laden, arch-terrorist.

But the so-called defender of Israel sends money and weapons to the terrorist Philistine authority. (oh, I'm sorry, that's to support the good terrorists of Abu Mazen against the bad terrorists of the Hamas).

Besides, in Tehillim, midrashim, etc., it says that Edom and Yishmael will attack Israel, Edom being the West and Yishmael the Arabs. In fact, the Abravanel says that Yishmael will do this under the command of Edom.

If these American Jews recognized that America is the real problem, then they would have to choose sides: stay in America and support Israel's demise or move to Israel.

What is the diplomatic game: The Arabs attack Israel, then Israel tries to defend itself and Condoleeza Rice is rushed to the region to "manage" the problem, thus equating the victims to the attackers.

Or Israel is forced to fight an "asymmetrical war of attrition," a concept invented by the mandarins at the State Department, against the terrorists, instead of doing what any normal country would do and carpet bomb the Philistines.

People say that it's "our" fault because Israel's leaders give in to the US. But the Israeli people have lost control over their government. This was proven when Olmert, number 33 on the Likud list and no big favorite of Sharon, was chosen as Ariel Sharon's Vice Prime Minister (perhaps, because he had the most vice).

Why would Sharon chose an unpopular politician whom he couldn't stand. Olmert was probably chosen because the U.S. ordered Sharon to do so. Then, a putsch was carried out, when Sharon remained in control of the gov't after leaving the Likud and forming Kadima. Sharon was not elected personally, the Likud was elected, whose MK's are chosen by the Likud party institutions so there was no precedent for taking the gov't away from the Likud. But why didn't Bibi challenge this, perhaps he's also controlled ...

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Complete the Disengagement

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 :-)

have a good one, ttfn, dftss

~ Shulamit

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Outsourcing The Next Shoah

From Dan.
Yishai, Shalom - today's rant:

Why is Europe, primarily Germany, subsidizing trade with Iran (Moolah for the Mullahs)? How is subsidized trade to the benefit of the European taxpayer; it would seem to be a losing proposition. (see excerpts from an article below).

The Iranian regime is an economic basket-case with 30% inflation because the Mullahs mismanaged the oil industry and embezzled the wealth of the country. The regime would most likely collapse if not for the kind support of the German gov't. The German gov't also supports other "friendly" regimes such as those in Syria and Lebanon.

Why isn't there a Jewish/Israeli boycott of German goods. Why are we buying gadgets from these people? Why aren't there demonstrations in front of German embassies in Tel-Aviv and Washington.

Germany is conducting a second Shoah by proxy with Iran. They're outsourcing the Shoah to Iran. Why are we silent?

Kol Tuv,

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal follow:

"The European Union--led by Germany, France and Italy--has long been Iran's largest trading partner ... Even more notable: Its trade with Tehran has expanded since Iran's secret nuclear program was exposed ..."

"But the real story here is that these businesses are subsidized by European taxpayers. ... has boosted Iran's economy and--indirectly by filling government coffers with revenues--its nuclear program.

"Federal Government export credit guarantees played a crucial role for German exports to Iran ... Iran tops Germany's list of countries with the largest outstanding export guarantees, totaling €5.5 billion. "

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Case of Bad Gas

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel is considering signing a 15-20 year contract to purchase gas from a British energy company that would earn the "Palestinians" $1 billion. The gas would be supplied from the Gaza marine field, off Gaza's coast, which the "Palestinian Authority" has control over (as a e result of the "peace process"), thus earning them one quarter of the estimated $ billion deal.
Last month the cabinet approved continued negotiations with BG over purchase of the gas, a decision that necessitated a previous ban on buying natural gas from the PA. The change of heart, government officials said, was simply the product of economics, since buying the gas from Egypt, another option, would cost twice as much.
Now, there are many problematic aspects to this potential deal, but here are two of them:

1) Would anyone care to guess what the Hamas led PA will buy with $1 billion? In short, this would not be the first time that the State of Israel would be funding our enemies efforts to destroy the Jewish State (See: The Oslo Accords / "Peace Process".)

The fact that there isn't a law forbidding such actions speaks volumes.

2) Equally troubling is why the State of Israel, which possesses very few natural resources, would give away a gas field off it's coast worth billions of dollars?

Once again, this is not the first time Israel has made such a mistake.

Post Six Day War, after Israel had liberated the Sinai peninsula, it was discovered that there were was enough oil reserves in the Sinai to cover 100% of Israel's energy needs for a long time to come. As part of the "peace process" with Egypt, Israel gave away the Sinai and all her oil fields, leaving Israel with no peace and no oil.

Those on the left often speak of how much the "settlements" have cost Israel. Well, I think the time has come to begin asking how much "peace" has cost Israel, both in dollars, and in lives.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Is the U.S. Really Israel's Friend?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a "friend" can be defined as:

1. A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.
2. A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.
3. A person with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.
4. One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement
5. Friend A member of the Society of Friends; a Quaker.

According to that same dictionary, a "foe" is defined as:

1. A personal enemy.
2. An enemy in war.
3. An adversary; an opponent: a foe of tax reform.
4. Something that opposes, injures, or impedes.

Israel and the United States have always professed to be "friends" and good friends at that. Yet, a recent examination of U.S. policy toward Israel over the past several weeks, may have you checking your definitions a little more closely.

In June 1967, Israel was forced to defeat the attacking armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Israel tried to avoid war at all costs, but as diplomacy failed (as it often does here in the Middle East) Israel had no choice but to take pre-emptive action to defend its borders and protect its citizens.

In the stunning victory, Israel swiftly repossessed the Golan, Gaza, Sinai, Yehuda, Shomron, and re-unified a divided Jerusalem. The re-unification of our nation marks perhaps the highest spiritual point in Israel's brief 59 year history.

This week according to IsraelNationalNews, the United States Ambassador to Israel will not be present at celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the miraculous Six-Day War.

This week's festivities are certainly the type in which Israel would like its friends to be present. It is not that our friends are busy with prior engagements, but rather that the United States is boycotting the festivities, along with member nations of the European Union.

According to the INN report:
"The U.S. did not issue an official statement explaining why the current Ambassador, Richard Jones will not be attending the ceremonies, but Ambassador Dr. Harald Kindermann from Germany, which heads the European Union (EU) this year, specifically said EU countries will not participate because of Arab claims of sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem, which includes the Old City."

Perhaps this incident can be brushed aside as part of some grand political game the U.S. must play to appease others across the globe. But some other recent occurances are harder to overlook.

When Winograd Commission released its interim report into the Israeli government and military's mismanagement of the Summer War in Lebanon, the Jewish nation was engaged in sharp condemnation of its leaders, and calls for their resignation. Winograd dominated news coverage for a solid week, and still appears in the headlines on a regular basis.

Just two days after the report was released to the public, there was another, no less important news story in the headlines: The United States had presented Israel with a detailed timetable of commitments for Jewish State to satisfy, in line with the U.S.'s renewed push for the creation of a Palestinian state.

This seemingly important top news story only managed modest news coverage, and barely any opinion, because as mentioned, Israel was engulfed in Winograd.

One may ask whether a timetable, or the creation of an Arab state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan represent acts of friendship to Israel at all. But to present Israel with this kind of wish list when it did, was intentional.

The State Department could have easily pushed off its diplomatic attempt by a week or more, as proved by Condoleeza Rice's postponement of her scheduled trip to Israel this past week. She claimed that Israel was too busy with its own domestic issues to engage in diplomacy.

So why then was the timetable given to Israel when it was? Specifically to dodge any media criticism of the document, and to attempt to have the commitments accepted and in place, just in case Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was man enough to resign his post following the damning Winograd report.

While the timing of the document may or may not be friendly, the contents of the timetable further reveal the nature of the United States toward Israel.

The first commitment called for in the document presented by the State Department requests that Israel ease passage between Gaza and the provinces of Judea and Samaria--also known today as the West Bank.

Since the Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, during which Israel destroyed 21 Jewish communities and forcibly expelled upwards of 10,000 residents, Gaza has turned into a terror state. Hamas has taken control of the region, sponsoring terror activities including the firing of nearly 2000 Kassam rockets into Israel. Well over 60 tons of weapons and munitions have been smuggled into Gaza via Egypt, and the rival factions in the newly autonomous area have engaged in murderous street fights that fall somewhere in between anarchy and civil war.

Now, the United States is suggesting, strongly, that Israel allow Arabs of Gaza passage into Judea and Samaria. This despite the fact that there is a large landmass of indisputed Israeli territory between the aforementioned regions, and also despite the fact that Judea and Samaria wrap directly around the borders of Jerusalem, and end within ten miles of the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan population center.

Obviously the United States knows all of these facts, particularly when you consider that they are openly arming, funding, and training members of the Fatah terror faction in their struggle for control of the Palestinian Authority with Hamas.

By the way, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial, and openly calls for the very weapons donated to his cause by the United States should be turned against the Jewish people.

So to summarize, the United States is funding and arming sworn enemies of the Jewish State and asking the Jewish State to ease their travel near Israeli population centers. They ask us to do this when the media is too caught up Winograd to rightfully comment on the request.

And the U.S. who is acting squarely against the interests of safety for Israeli citizens and security for Israel's borders, won't celebrate with as friends the greatest demonstration of Israel's independent ability to protect those interests: The miraculous Six-Day War.

Many Americans and Israelis alike believe claims by their respective governments that Israel and America are friends. But actions speak louder than words.

"Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts, but profuse are the kisses of an enemy." (Proverbs 27:6).

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Israel Day Parade?


So I was going to write this a couple of days ago. But a wise person once told me, to never write when your really angry, instead, chill out a bit, and see if you still feel what you want to say, because words are very powerful, and once spoken, are very hard to retract. So going against my nature, I listened...

This post will not be as sharp as it was going to be, but still voice some harsh criticism. A part of me feels that I am not in the position to say what I am about to, but I waited till the chill took over, and I still don't get it. I know I still live in America, and I know that some people think that, in itself, would nullify any views that I have about Israel and its future, however, I am a Jew, before an American, and for that reason, I feel a connection to a place that is not currently my reality (except when I close my eyes), but is still close to my heart. So for everyone reading this, take this paragraph as a warning, and if you are one of those that feel only people living in Israel should have a view regarding its land, proceed with caution.

That being said, I am proud to admit that I boycotted the Salute to Israel day Parade in NYC this lovely Sunday. Instead, I took my bike up to my nephews and went biking and had a bon fire. I have been going to this yearly salute to Israel parade for a while. Sometimes I march and other times I help activism run freely through the crowds of on lookers. But this year, I refused to be a part of it. The reason is really quite simple, but since I am Jewish, I will try to make it as confusing as possible.

Last week, I felt the Israeli people had the capacity to over throw the most corrupt government that I have ever known. Not only the ever so popular monetary issues, but also moral, and worst of all lack of common sense and direction for their nation. Before the Winograd Commission came out, most people that know how to use any part of their brain could have told you that Olmert and his club members were unqualified and incompetent with running our precious country. But that was all "here say" since no factual "proof" was at hand. Kind of like when my friends wouldn't believe me when I would tell them that leaving Gush Katif would do more harm then heal, nearly two years ago. Today we know this as a fact, and no one will deny this. But before Gilad was kidnapped and havoc ran free in the strip, no one would believe this un documented concoction I was ranting about. Well Israelis, you got your proof. Are you satisfied now? Will you listen next time? Now, after its not only common knowledge that Olmert, Pertz, and Livni have no clue what they were and are doing, but it has been documented and accepted by a "commission" What are you going to do? Ohhh, lets all shudder, as if this knowledge was just unraveled and came to light out of the blue. But okay, I don't live in Israel, so this is me NOT judging until I am in the position. But as humans, when we find something out, that we know is wrong, and it's been proved and explained via hundreds of pages, GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeh, a rally of 150,000 people, that's a nice START... but hello, it's a start, not a response. Please tell me that wasn't your response. Look in the mirror, look who you are, and what each of you can do, realize that if one time you got over 100k, then DO IT AGAIN. Stop settling, and accepting the situation that you have allowed yourselves to be placed in (this is me NOT ranting). But for this reason, I did not go to a parade in AMERICA and wave a white and blue flag, that signifies a people that accept a government that allows its soldiers
to be put in clear and present danger and NOT DO ANYTHING.

I will not associate myself with that. And although that flag signifies other stuff aside for the corrupt government, but in America, the flag represents the country. And right now, I can't. I just can't. Its one thing in America when citizens dislike President Bush and balm him for a war that some say he created. But where is my little "proof." The one thing that no one can bash. Who will admit with a clear conscience that the Israeli government has its citizen's intentions close to heart, or even near its body?

Then there is this parade, of people that wave a flag and prance around NYC all proud of supporting Israel, which I think is great, awesome, sweet, but really. I mean, really. Do you really need this kind of support, when you can't even get a government that doesn't care about you, OUT? What's up with Shas? Will they stay in a coalition that they know helped facilitate a war that was not planed from day one, and knew no victory. Israelis, who do you vote for? Who do you follow? Leaders that go toward money and when push comes to shove, will side with the corrupt rather then step down?

No I will not wave an Israeli flag in a parade down my hood. No I will not side with the corrupt government, nor with people that aren't pressuring their "leaders" to do the right thing. As you can see, you can't rely on them, now it's up to you. Or you can just follow and let our captive brothers stay where they are, and allow another war to ensue, and smile when you read about a bunch of Americans waving an Israelite flag through New York City.

I am really trying NOT to rant, and be chilled about wishing some of you could get some New York attitude in your system, and kick some... So instead, I am going to let you read the lyrics to a song, that when played really LOUD helps. I don't really like the band, but the lyrics are too perfect for what ALL Israelis should be feeling right now

You can listen to it,HERE

Partial lyrics: Dixie Chicks - Not ready to make nice:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can't you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and I kind of like it
Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I think this song is VERY self explanatory toward the topic at hand. However, if you would like me to reiterate the meaning that I find in it, I will be more the happy to comply. But for now, I think this post is long enough, and I hope I didn't upset too many people. But I'm not ready to back down, and you shouldn't either. I am here in NY and I am begging you guys, to WAKE UP, and don't just "get over it and make nice" because it's your life on the line now. No amount of Americans waving blue and white flags will "save" you this time. It's your time to get up and follow a leader, that's worth following, or at least get rid of the leaders that should be ashamed to exist in your precious country.

Nighty night, Dftss, and the omer :-)

~ Shulamit

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Post" or "Anti" Zionism?

State Sponsored Anti-Zionism
(Too bad we don't we have a Label for "Jewish Self-Hatred")

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Found: Real Israeli ish

You know when you're looking for something and no matter what you do, you can't find it, but when you're not looking for it, poof it appears... Well during one of my rants, I spoke about the Israeli that I was raised looking up to, and desiring to emulate, and how I can't seem to find them any more. Well I found ONE!!! A real one, the one that has no clue about politics or what "should" be done, instead, just does what he feels is right for his nation and his people, and asks questions later. The one that can take you down, with one hand behind his back, blindfolded, with a rubber band. The invincible lion of Israel.

So it all started when I needed a car service to the airport. I knew there was going to be a snowstorm over the weekend, so I didn't want to park my car in long term parking, because I don't do well with shovels and cold. After calling some places, the lowest price I got was $25 to JFK. My roommate told me about one more car service that is run by Israeli's, and I decided to give them a shot.

Me: "hi, how much is it to JFK"

Car Guy: "eh where you coming from"

Me: "Brooklyn"

Car Guy: "eh ok ok, for you 35"

Me: "um well I just called safe way, and their price is 25, can you do better"

Car Guy: "eh, what, no way, the lowest 32"

Me: "hum, well they said 25, I can make a conference call with you"

Car Guy: "eh, um, ok, hold on"

New Car Guy (way worse accent): "What you want?"

Me: "um, a car to JFK for 25"

New Car Guy: "listen, we are Jews, we keep kosher, we don't get subsidized by the government, the lowest I can give you is 30"

Me: (my Jewish consciousness kicking in) "ok fine, but you have to come on time"

Okay, so the conversation should have told me something about this car service, but that was nothing compared to the guy that came to pick me up... As suspected, he was 10 minutes late, first sign of a true Israeli. He pulls up in a huge SUV, while yelling at someone on the phone. He motions for me to come, and realizing that he wasn't going to help me with my luggage, I began lugging it myself. He told me I had to sit in the front seat, since he didn't have a license for taxi service to an airport, second sign. So I get into the car (it was green, so that made me happy), he asks me how I am going to pay, and I said I gave the dispatcher my credit card already. I can tell he was upset, so I asked if everything was okay, he said he doesn't like to take credit, only cash. So I'm like, well, he already charged my credit card, but I'll give you a tip in cash; that perked him up little.

We started making small talk, nothing major. He was being very cautious with his questions, and I was like, I don't care, just get me to JFK on time, and it's all good. But then he asks where I'm from, I say "FL what about you?" He responds with an astonished "What you mean, Israel of course." I respond with a sarcastic "Yeh okay, so what are you doing here?" And here comes his excuse "well I have to be here for a couple of months, but I am going back soon, there is no place like Israel, its my home, its where you can really live." Humm, I think, maybe this guy has something there, let's have some fun.

"Okay so if you say you can only really live in Israel, what do you think about the current government; I don't think they let people really live there." He looks at me, long and hard, then says, "you know what, I'll tell you something, I was in the Golani brigade, I was positioned in Beirut for 3 years, this government is nothing, they will be behind bars soon, they have no military experience, they are little toys, like nothing" and he flicks his fingers to demonstrate this nothingness. So I respond, "Yeh, okay, they might be little toys, but they are the ones in power, I don't see you commanding any troops". I can tell I was pushing the right buttons, because I can see some steam coming out of his ears (third sign he is an Israeli) He responds in a stern voice "listen to me, you don't know what is going on, you will see, we will take back power, the people know this is not a real government, they will take it over, you will see, trust me, I know, I have seen, I know." So I'm still not impressed, "words are nice" I said, "but action, is what New Yorkers look for, and right now, all I hear from you is words. You say that this government has no military background, but look at Sharon, he had military background, and he gave back Gaza, look how much problems we are getting because he allowed this to happen." Okay, I think to myself, I got him, what is he going to say now? I mean, I am right, I cornered him, see, I am more of an Israeli then him!!! However, to my surprise, my comment make no effect on him, he just looked at me and said, "do you know what Sharon said when he gave Gaza back? Well he said I am giving this (Gaza) to you, but whenever I need it, I will take it back, just know that when I want it, I can get it back in a second."

And there it was, staring me in the face, that look that he didn't care, didn't care about politics, didn't care about what everyone thought, didn't care what people would say, just cared that when he would need it, he would get it back. He didn't have the look of "I will fight and get it back" it was the look "I will get it back, that is the only option." At that point, I took out my camcorder, and wanted to interview him, because I wanted to show what I saw, since I was not sure I would be able to relate it as it was. But the fourth sign of him being an Israeli, he refused to be in any photography, saying he wasn't allowed to be "seen." Nice I thought, just what I would expect him to say.

The rest of the ride was amazing. We talked about how he envisioned Israel, and how he knows without a doubt in his mind, that it will come to be. He told me to trust him, and know that there are people in Israel that know how to fight and get what they need, without being bogged down with policies and bureaucratic procedures.

Maybe I was being unrealistic when I believed him, and maybe not. Maybe they are there, living quietly in Israel and when the time comes, will take over the military, and finally do it right, get it right, and have Israel be the right place for Jews. Run by Jews, for Jews.

Be strong, we shall overcome, and we will get our captive soldiers back (faster if we let this taxi driver take command) they exist, I met one, and where there is one, there has to be more!!!

Have an AMAZING Pesach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~ Shulamit, DFTSS, TTFN uh

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Olmert, Beware of the Ides of March!

"Et tu, Tzipporahtus?"

These signs went up all over the country this week. They say "Tzippi Livni For Prime Minister" and boast about her clean, non-corrupt record.

Now Livni, for those of you that don't know, is Foreign Minister and Vice PM and basically number two to Olmert in the Kadima party. (Peres is actually number two on the slate, Livni is three.)
But you know you're having a bad day when your own number two is already campaigning as if the early elections caused by your impeachment are in full swing.

That's loyalty - which always was the hallmark of Kadima.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

The Tale of Krazy Klan

Krazy Klan created a country for itself. It fought and fought, built and paved, dug and dried, planted and harvested. It flourished and made the earth flourish. It beat its swords into plowshares and its plowshares back into swords. It killed the lion and skinned it, and flew the furry flag high above its home.

But Krazy Klan became so sophisticated it got caught up in its own lies. Its genius was such that it could stave off its enemy with one hand, and still beat itself senseless with the other. And Krazy Klan kept self-flagellating. It was high on the hill and the sun was out and the birds were chirping, and Krazy Klan took its own sword and started beating itself on the head like a Shi'ite in Ashura, bleeding and laughing. And so the enemies all around it awoke, and circled, and drew ever nearer.

Klan knew exactly what to do in these situations. It had learned its lesson in thousands of years of persecution.

It dressed itself in a pink tutu and began dancing a polka. It did somersaults and juggled bottles in the air with its feet. As it held up a mirror, it began screaming at itself in a high pitched, nasal voice: "why must you walk so hunched up, what are you, Quasimodo?"... "why walk so erect, are you a knight in armor all of a sudden?"... "eat with your mouth closed!"... "chew your food before you swallow, you'll choke!"... "don't talk so much!"... "why are you so quiet, did somebody die?"...

Meanwhile, a worried world looked on.

(to be continued?)

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

"You Mean It Isn't Climb-Proof?!"

Amir Peretz, after receiving his daily intelligence report ("just give me pictures - no words, please"): You mean to tell me we are partitioning the land, establishing an Islamic state in the heart of where we are supposed to be building a functioning Jewish entity based on our Sinaitic mandate and the blueprint we call the Torah and we didn't make this danged security fence climb-proof?!

Advisors/handlers: Uh, sir. We didn't know how to draw this out for you, but a memo was sent out a while back briefing the government on the fact that the security fence is actually a Partition Wall. It is actually detrimental to security due to our having to deploy on either side or abandon a ten mile radius to missile attacks, but we are pretty sure the people are onto us and this is our last chance to ditch the territories. Oh, and the fact that it is a wall - we assumed you could surmise that by looking at it. One of the interns must have left their hasbara booklet lying around your desk - you see, just because some of it is fence does not mean all of it is fence.

That whole debate was just a distraction anyway. The right was against the idea of drawing a border so we couched it in terms of security and managed to convince the Hague to come out against it. It was a brilliant plan and it worked like a Jedi mind-trick. "If the Hague's against it, I'm for it" said all the right-wingers, and voila - the holy wall was erected.

Peretz [twiddling moustache]: Um, I'm really sorry. I was not listening to a word you just said. Is the wall climb-proof or not?


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David Melech Yisrael Chai Vikayam! --or--
Dudu for President

We all know by now that Israel's government is corrupt and devoid of high moral standing, both in the eyes of Israelis and the world at large. I don't intend to go into all the sordid details now. That we can save for several upcoming posts.

But the situation is in desperate need of repair, and many argue that we need to start at the top of the political ladder and work down to solve our leadership crisis.

The President of Israel is considered Israel's highest public servant. He certainly is the highest paid. The current term of President Moshe Katzav officially ends in June, if he is not tossed out of office beforehand for sexual misconduct, possibly rape.

The Israeli populace agrees that we need to restore dignity to this position with a man or woman of exemplary character, that can well represent what the modern nation of Israel is all about.

I nominate Dudu.

When I think about all the characteristics that are necessary to make a good president in Israel, one man stands out miles above the rest.

David (Dudu) Fisher has been a model Israeli for decades, and may even be a true Jewish hero. Fisher is a performer par excellance, his star quality shines through all his endeavors.

Fisher has embraced Jewish culture. He served as the Cantor of the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv, meaning scores of non-religious "Middle Israelis" have probably heard him belt out Kol Nidrei when they wanted their semi-yearly dose of Judaism. Dudu can sing with the best of them, reawakening the oft hibernating souls of the Jewish people.

Dudu won't buckle under pressure. He has performed on the world's biggest stage. I personally saw him play Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway. That's the biggest stage I can think of. You can be certain he won't lose his composure standing before the evil glare of the Israeli media's cameras.

And did I mention that Dudu is religious. He never performs on Friday nights or Saturdays. I can't offhand think of any other Valjean's or prominent Israeli politicians with that to their credit.

Dudu is one of Israel's top diplomats meeting with world leaders across the globe.

Fisher understands the diaspora quite well. In addition to his broadway stint, Fisher served as High Holidays Cantor at Kutshers Hotel in the Catskills for over 20 years. It doesn't get any more galut than that. Really.

And let's face it. There is no name that screams, "I'm an Israeli and proud of it," more than "Dudu."

But most of all, Dudu cares about the future of Israel. This is why he has devoted so much of his time and energy to educating our youth with his powerful and funloving DVD series that is a staple in just about every Israeli household.

Dudu has the respect of practically every child in the country. There are Israeli children who will utter the word "Dudu" before they learn to say Abba and Ima. Ask an Israeli youth who Ben Gurion was. I'm not sure they'll know. Ask about Dudu, now that's simple. Dudu is an institution, a revolutionary, a teacher and a leader.

Corrupt? I don't think so. I think all Israelis will agree. Dudu Fisher is an exemplary individual who knows how to represent Israel and Judaism throughout the entire world.

I hereby nominate David (Dudu) Fisher for President of Israel--and for that matter, Prime Minister, or Monarch.

David Melech Yisrael Chai Vikayam!!

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Enjoying the View Mr. Defense Minister?

The government needs changing - not just this government but the model in general. The way it's set up today every minister is also a member of Knesset. Did anybody stop for a second to think just how ridiculous that is!?

Let's compare this with the American government. The President's cabinet (which is the equivalent of all the ministry positions) is made up of exactly zero members of Congress. And why do you suppose that is?

Maybe it's because America wants someone knowledgeable about finance and economics heading up its Treasury Department, someone skilled in diplomacy heading up its State Department, and someone experienced in war heading up its Department of Defense. And it's an undisputed fact that politicians are no good at anything but getting people to vote for them.

So what happens when you put such individuals in positions they are woefully unqualified for is you get your Minister of Defense on the cover of papers all over the world looking through binoculars with the lens cap on! And the politician is too full of pride to bother asking someone why his binoculars aren't working. Someone more concerned about his ego than his soldiers is not someone I want anywhere near my country's defense forces.

The Knesset needs to pass a law that sitting MKs can not serve ministry posts. That's the only way to ensure a slight chance they may be filled by qualified individuals. And yes, I know the Prime Minister is a ministry post too.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

You Let WHO on the Guest List?!

On Sunday night, my mother's short one week visit to Israel came to a close. She needed to get to the airport. We needed to spend the afternoon and evening in Jerusalem finishing up some loose ends, gifts for family, last visit to the Kotel, etc.

We decided that the best way to get my mom to the airport was via a shuttle, known commonly as Nesher. The Nesher is just 45NIS per person, which is about 1NIS per minute of the trip from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.

Not residents of Jerusalem, we needed to select a place for the Nesher to pick up my mom. Thinking of a nice, comfortable place near to both the Old City and Ben Yehuda Street, I chose the David Citadel Hotel. Its a great hotel, with plenty of parking around.

We arrived at the David Citadel about 20 minutes before the Nesher.

All the parking spots on both sides of the hotel were blocked off with police barriers. I had forgotten all about it. Our dear friend Condoleeza Rice was back in town trying to advance those blessed peace accords that have made life in Israel so simple over the past 15 years. (That's sarcasm folks!)

I dropped off my mom, wife and kids in front of the hotel, while I went to find more distant parking. I found a spot not too far off, and returned fairly quickly.

My entire family was outside one of the country's nicest hotels with together with my mom's luggage sitting on the curb. I asked why they weren't inside.

My wife Tzippy told me that security was only letting paid guests and restaurant goers inside due to the increased security surrounding Condi and Company. I said "Okay."

Then Tzippy--who has clear conviction when it comes to politics in Israel and has her own ideas about where the Palestinians can shove, err...create a state of their own--pointed to a tinted window SUV.

"You'll never guess who just came out of that car parked right there," Tzippy said.

I was stumped. "Who?"

"Mohammed Dahlan."

"Really?" I said.

"Yep, he just walked right in with his entourage," Tzippy said.

At that point, I looked at the bags and my family sitting on the curb, Jews living and visiting the Holy Land of Israel, not allowed into the hotel for security reasons. All the while, one of the greatest threats to Israeli security was allowed direct access, on an invitation from our friend Condoleeza.

Honestly, I felt quite inferior at that moment.

Until we realize who the real threats to security here are, we are going to be in for a bumpy ride. Buckle your safteybelts.

PS. Here is a bio of Dahlan, put out by the ZOA in 2002. You can bet some details have been added to his resume since then:

MOHAMMED DAHLAN Dahlan, 41, is chief of the Palestinian Security Forces in Gaza. He spent four years in Israeli prison for terrorist activities, and was a commander of operations for Arafat’s Fatah terror group during the mass “intifada” violence that began in 1987. According to the Israeli government, Dahlan is one of the primary directors of the current terrorist violence against Israelis in the Gaza region.

Masterminded bombing of Israeli bus: Israel Radio reported on October 20, 2000, that “Dahlan was behind the October 18 bombing of an Israeli bus in Gush Katif.” The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on November 16, 2000, that “members of the Preventive Security Force in Gaza, headed by Mohammed Dahlan, were involved in a series of attacks on Israelis in Gush Katif and Netzarim.” Ha’aretz reported on April 17, 2001, that Yasir Arafat “takes an active part in decisions regarding the firing of mortars. The general directives in this regard are passed to Mohammed Dahlan, and from Dahlan to his deputy, Rashid Abu Shabak.”

Ordered rocket attack on an Israeli bus: Dahlan is currently a defendant in a lawsuit filed by victims Arab terrorism, including an American citizen as well as three children whose legs were blown off in a Dahlan-directed rocket attack on a bus on November 20, 2000. The Israeli daily Hatzofeh has reported (April 13, 2001) that the Central Intelligence Agency has tape recordings of telephone conversations in which Dahlan can be heard ordering the November 20 rocket attack and other terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Shelters Hamas terrorists: Dahlan told the PA-sponsored newspaper Al Ayam on Oct.26, 1998 that terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad “will not be outlawed.”

Hired Hamas terrorists: Dahlan said in an interview with the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah on Sept.24, 1998, that 25 more Hamas terrorists have been hired by his force, specifically in order to protect them from being arrested by the Israelis.

Praised Hamas terrorists: In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Al-Risallah (cited in Ha’aretz, June 15, 1997), Dahlan said: “The presence of Hamas on Palestinian territory is very important for building the Palestinian homeland.”

Threatened violence against Israel: On August 30, 1996, Dahlan said: “The Palestinian Authority does not exclude the return to the armed struggle, and it will then use its weapons.” (Jerusalem Report, Nov. 28, 1996)

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Feiglin on the Misguided Arrow Missile

Moshe Feiglin, who led mass civil disobedience in Israel following Oslo and coordinated the road-blockings pre-Disengagement via proxy (not to mention inching ever closer to taking the helm of the Likud), weaves a tale that sums up the progression from Camp David to Oslo to the Wall to the Arrow Missile.

(Normally I would not reprint a whole article - but this isn't anywhere else online yet - when it is I'll link):

Happiness is a Magic Gun
By Moshe Feiglin
13 Shvat, 5767

The peaceful townspeople hoped that the new sheriff would succeed; all his predecessors had failed. Time and again, bands of robbers would attack the town, shoot in every direction, murder, rob and get away unharmed. All the people responsible for the town's security had promised to make peace with the robbers. This made it impossible to defeat them.

It was like a collective mental illness. The townspeople, after all, had built the town in an attempt to create a new, normal identity for themselves. They wanted to be just an ordinary town and live in peace with their neighbors. But the neighbors didn't like the townspeople's new identity. They fought them constantly.

And so, the town couldn't triumph. Triumph would mean that there was no peace. Without peace, the town could not be an ordinary place. So the townspeople decided that it was "impossible to defeat terror," and tried to solve the problem with protective walls, separation fences and roadblocks. No doubt about it; it was a type of mental illness.

The situation went from bad to worse. So the townspeople blamed the residents of the isolated houses at the edge of the town. "They upset the robbers," the sheriffs explained to the townspeople. "It's their fault that we don't have peace with the robbers. Why should we die for them, anyway?"

So instead of fighting the robbers, every new sheriff would fight the townspeople who lived at the edge of town. The last sheriff went one step farther. He even demolished all the isolated houses at the edge of town and threw all the poor townspeople who lived there to the dogs. The regular townspeople were very impressed with the brave sheriff's glorious victory and elected him for an additional term in office by a large majority.

But then the brave sheriff had a stroke. A new sheriff replaced him. He had already learned how to be popular in the peaceful town. "My predecessor bravely disengaged from a few isolated houses," he said. "But I will be much braver than him. I will have the entire town converge into the Town Square!"

The robbers got the idea and vigorously attacked all the remaining houses in town. This time they did more than rob and plunder; they also abducted some of the townspeople before getting away. The new sheriff tried to prove to the townspeople that he could protect them from the borders of the Town Square. He tried to fight the robbers according to accepted town practice -- from the plasma screen in his office.

The robbers laughed and laughed. They went to live at the edge of town, where the isolated townspeople used to live. From there, they would shoot at the frightened townspeople whenever they pleased. The new sheriff even shot back. After a month, though, the new sheriff understood that he could simply not win. So he announced that he won and stopped shooting. The robbers also stopped shooting. What did they care? The hostages were still in their hands, and they needed to rest and re-supply, anyway.

The Magic Gun
The new sheriff had a serious problem. The townspeople no longer had faith in him. He had become the laughingstock of the town. His loyal aides explained that he must present some sort of solution. If not, they warned, the fate of his career would be sealed.

"Do not fear," said the sheriff to the weary and frightened townspeople. "We are working on the perfect solution. We have an unbeatable plan to protect you."

While the townspeople gazed on in astonishment, the sheriff demonstrated his new Magic Gun solution. "The Magic Gun will allow us to make peace with the robbers -- even if they don't stop shooting. When the next robber comes," the sheriff enthusiastically explained, "we will do nothing to endanger peace. When the robber will provoke the townspeople, I won't even have to leave my office. That could endanger the normalization of our relations with them, you understand."

"When the robber waves his gun, I will explain that it is nothing more than a water gun. That will prevent unnecessary friction. And when the robber will point his gun straight at the heart of a little towns-girl, I will be able to continue my daily nap. And when the robber pulls the trigger, I will just turn over in my bed."

"But," the sheriff excitedly added, "when the bullet leaves the gun, everything will change. The Magic Gun will rapidly identify the flying bullet. It will jump from my belt, even while I'm still sleeping, home-in on the robber's gun, shoot a magic bullet at the robber's bullet and destroy it in mid-air. The robber will not be harmed at all, and that way we will be able to continue with our peaceful neighborly relations."

The townspeople were very excited. Finally, somebody had found the way to make true peace. Finally, they could be an ordinary town, like everyone else. There was one Nuisance there who tried to ask what would happen if the robbers would shoot more than one bullet at a time. He even reminded the townspeople that recently, the sheriff had given the robbers automatic guns. "Furthermore," the Nuisance added, "every magic bullet costs one trillion dollars. Even if the magic works, after one round of robbers' bullets, we will have to leave our town to find food for our children!"

The townspeople got very angry at the Nuisance. On their television, they repeatedly displayed the amazing new technology that was behind the Magic Gun. They were in no mood to let a few warmongering Nuisances ruin their dream of being ordinary townspeople. They let out their anger on some of the Nuisances' settlements and gave the good and pragmatic robbers more money and automatic weapons so that they could fight the bad, religious robbers.

And so, the perfect solution was finally found to restore peace and quiet to the town. Finally, the townspeople could blend in normally with their surroundings. The robbers robbed and murdered, the sheriff ruled in his sleep, the Nuisances were gotten rid of, the townspeople paid for the Magic Gun and all the damages incurred-- and everyone lived happily ever after.

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The Third Voice

There are three voices in Israeli political life.

The first is a male, Zionist voice. It is cowed and silent.

The second is an Arab voice. It has a lot of nerve, is violent, shameless and successful.

The third is a marxist-feminist*-yiddishe-mame voice, the emasculating voice of MK Galon, Yehimovich & co. It is shrill and merciless, and gets along swimmingly with the Arab voice.

Yesterday, the Knesset spoke in the first voice for an hour, when it passed the "Shai Dromi laws" in preliminary hearing. It was a moment to treasure.

*I use marxist-feminist more or less in the sense that Wendy McElroy uses "gender feminist." See also here.

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Where has the Israeli gone?

You know when I was younger I remember hearing all these amazing stories about the Israeli people. You know the ones that lived in Israel and worked to get the land what it is today. They were the ones I would look up to.

Always so smart and cunning. Figuring out ways to conveniently get around the problems that they were faced with. Being the best at everything and anything just because they could. I saw them as the smartest and most efficient Jews. They had the smallest army but were able to infiltrate anything and anyone that would come in their way. They had pride, they knew they were small and that enhanced their desire to be the best and do it with style. They would do such amazing covert operations that those Israelis would train the US Seals.
Where are those people? Does anyone else remember them?

I remember my parents telling me that when my brothers were younger they would try to sniff out the "secret" army personal on the El Al flights and go over to them and let them know that their disguise was crashed. I mean, this was the Israelis personality and mentality. They were the most creative and the best at getting what they wanted done with the least amount of effort and casualties.

Where are those people? Does anyone else remember them?

When I was in Israel during the Gush Katif "situation" I asked one of my friends who was in Hebrew University, how can the Israelis live with the fact that they are letting themselves lose? His response, as if computer generated was "don't worry, we don't know the half of it, I am sure Sharon has something up his sleeve, I mean look at what he has done in the past."

I feel like the Israelis are forgetting who they are and what they are capable of doing. When I read what Olmert and the Israeli "leader (wanna bes)" are up to, I think that those Israeli mentalities that I was raised looking up to were just a dream.

Did they really exist?
Were we that cunning to do all those successful operations?
Was it all luck?

I keep thinking to myself, that the IDF is planning an operation right now to go into Gaza and get back Gilad. I mean they practically know where all the "terrorist heads" live. I am sure they have internal secret information regarding our captive brothers whereabouts. I know they are just waiting for the opportune time and they will get him back. Right?

Am I right?

Is the IDF figuring out this operation? Or are they figuring out how to handle the protests that will be coming when they try to evacuate more settlements?
Where are our leaders that would listen to their commanders, most of the time and not all the time?
Where are the Israelis that know they can take anyone down... with one hand behind their backs... blindfolded... with nothing but a rubber band?

This is the Israeli I was raised hearing about. The fearless and invincible IDF, the Lion of Israel. Has the Lion turned into a little kitten? Because that's what it looks like when I read the news.

I feel like now that we have "made it" into the upscale world, now that huge companies like Google and Intel have voted Israel as a viable asset, we no longer feel small or the need to work to be something. Is this the price we pay for "making it" into the big world by losing our real world? By losing our reputation as being invincible and indivisible? Is it worth it? Can we go back? Can we become who we were/are? The Israeli that as a child I wanted to be like. My sister has her little children watch the "Victory of Entebbe", and I see it in their eyes, that same awe and admiration for those Israelis. Should I tell them that they don't exist anymore? Or do they?

Well I think they do, and they just need a little WAKE UP CALL. Remind them what they have been and still are capable of. Have them read the Exodus. Watch some old movies that will refresh their memories, or just look in the mirror.

If we believe, you know we can overcome.

We are Jews and have overcome everything thrown in our paths. We have faith in a promise that goes back thousands of generations and we hold the key to its fulfillment. The land is ours, now we have to keep it that way, and know that we have the ability to make it stay that way forever.

According, to reality we Jews realistically should have disappeared ages ago, but there is something reality doesn't know... it's that we are not held down by their reality. We believe in the Real G-d and that's all the reality for us. We don't abide by the rules of this material world. Some Israelis think that if the UN and even the US say something then that is REAL. Well, if we just take some time to think and remind ourselves how our existence in the Holy land of Israel is not according to their reality, then we will remember what is-real to us, and stop being held back by the real "fake" world, and take back our place in our nations mind as the invincible, cunning, creative, and awesome Israelis that we are. This way I can tell my little nephews that they can grow up to be like those Israelis they watch in the movies, and with G-d's help, they WILL.

That was a long one, but I had to, we really need to wake up!!! But its late here in NY so I'm off to bed,
TTFN ~ DFTSS ~ Shulamit

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ehud Olmert is Logan and Avi Bieber is Jack

So if you watch 24 and know there is more to Israeli politics than meets the eye, you probably already know that:

1. Ehud Olmert is President Logan.

(Olmert photo source)

A nobody in a suit who takes his order from big-money men with their hands and hearts in all the wrong places.

2. Avi Bieber is Jack Bauer.

Bieber, whose famous words, Zeh lo Nachon, Zeh lo Tzedek, basically summed up the whole Kadimanizatzia of Israel, realized that what makes Jack so heroic is not his skilled use of weaponry, but his willingness to put his own job and self on the line for the higher purpose that job and role was created to serve in the first place. Avi refused orders under the toughest of conditions - Jack usually just hangs up his cell phone and does as he needs.

It is no coincidence that 24 is aired in Israel on Channel 10, the only channel somewhat independent of government control. Its message of refusing immoral or misguided orders is not lost on its millions of Israeli fans.

3. Graem, or Bluetooth (as we have known him until recently) is who?

I know Ami Ayalon looks a bit like him. I even think I spotted Ami using a blue-tooth headset at the Knesset the other day. But no. In Israel there are enough Graem crackers to make a whole meal out of S'mores (most of them receive their money from the EU or US Defense contractors).

4. Luckily,Israel has within it many Yaakov Bauers ("And your name shall no longer be Jack, but Yisrael"). Jack Bauer's sole extraordinary trait that makes him the noble hero he is is that same trait that led Abraham to smash the idols and Mordechai the Jew to refuse orders to bow down (most of the rabbis and certainly the Jewish leaders of his time screamed that not only was he not obligated to refuse orders, but if he did he was endangering everything the Jews had worked so hard to attain).

That trait is alive and well in the Promised Land. You see it more every day and tomorrow you yourself may be in a position where you are forced to choose between the orders of misguided men and those of the Most High.

Whether you are a company commander, a general, a simple torai (private) or a private citizen in a position to choose between good and bad. Ask yourself, "What would Yisrael Bauer do?"

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Have You Ever Played the Game of RISK?

Have you ever played the classic board game RISK? You know, the game where you get into countless arguments and make shady deals with sole purpose of best asserting your own personal position in a quest to take over the world.

And of course you know that the only way to actually take over the world is by rolling the dice. Well, Israel's government got together for a similar foray (aka meeting), as they do regularly. Israel's top brass sat down for a friendly Israeli game called RISK: The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

For those of you that missed what went on during the game, let me review.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asserted that there is no problem with the working or non-working relationship between his office and the office of Defense Minister Amir Peretz. This despite repeated press leaks that the two never speak. Olmert assured the committee that it is not necessary for the relationship between the two offices to be rosy.

Olmert accused Opposition Leader and former (and potentially future) PM Benyamin Netanyahu of establishing the Hamas terror group by releasing Sheikh Yassin, former Hamas spiritual terror leader in 1997.

Olmert went on to assert that he would in fact take part in a 3-way summit between PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, US Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice and himself in less than a week, to discuss the conditions for the creation of a rogue Palestinian state in the holiest provinces of biblical Israel.

Olmert added that if the PA will release Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit, then Israel would be forced to reconsider the terrorist nature of the Palestinian Authority "Unity" Government featuring warlording factions Fatah and Hamas.

On the northern front, Olmert opined that any peace deal with Syria would have to include returning the entire Golan Heights which was officially annexed by Israel under international law in 1981. Olmert asserted that every government between 1993-2001 secretly opened negotiations with our northern enemy on the notion that we would return the Golan.

Netanyahu, PM in '93 intelligently interjected during Olmert's briefing, "That's not true!" Olmert, a lawyer, who is quite slick with his own tongue countered, "Yes it is, don't try and hide the truth."

Netanyahu, not wanting to keep the game going too long, said in response, ""This is a failed government, and there is only one thing it must do and that is to go home."

Well, not one concrete idea for strengthening the defense of the state was raised. The only thing left to do right now for the committee is to roll the dice, because the entire Jewish Nation is at RISK.

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Government of Losers, Go Home!

Here's a sign I saw posted on a bunch of bulletin boards around Jerusalem over the weekend. Apparently the English word "loser" has been adopted into Hebrew. The sign reads, "Memshelet HaLoserim, HaBaytah!" which means, "Government of Losers, Go Home!" The faces pictured are (from left to right) Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz. As a Neo-Zionist, it pains me to see the government of Israel not seem to care about its land and its people, and especially be as corrupt as this one. Losers, go home, and let's pray for some true Jewish leaders to take their place!

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