Friday, 15 August 2008




I' m a lucky fellow. Today I was presented with a book by a dear friend of mine:

"Battles of the Bible: A Military History of Ancient Israel by Chaim Herzog & Mordechai Gichon"

Well, another book for my summer readings, a special one wich I just can't wait to get started with.

I thank you my dear for remembering my endless appetite for books and for trying to satisfy it.

cover of the Portuguese edition

Thursday, 14 August 2008


Paul Newman has 'weeks to live'


Paul Newman has reportedly told friends and family he wants to die at home after being told he only has "a few weeks to live".
The Hollywood superstar - who is thought to be suffering from terminal lung cancer - has now finished his chemotherapy sessions and has told wife Joanne Woodward and the couple's three daughters that he wants to spend his final days at his home rather than the New York cancer hospital where he was being treated.
A close family friend told the MailOnline website: "Paul didn't want to die in the hospital. Joanne and their daughters are beside themselves with grief."
The 83-year-old actor - who co-owns a motor racing team - has reportedly started getting his business affairs in order in preparation for his death.
The friend added: "He gave a prized car - a Ferrari with his racing number 82 on it - to a long-time pal. The sudden move angered his children. It's especially hard for them to come to grips with what's going on.
"The word they've been given is that he has only a few weeks to live."
As well as three daughters with Joanne, to who he has been married since 1958, Paul has two daughters with ex-wife Jackie Witte.
Paul is widely considered to be one of the greatest actors in Hollywood, having starred in classic movies including ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', ‘The Sting', ‘The Hustler' and ‘Cool Hand Luke'.
Throughout his career, Paul has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won one of the prestigious awards for his role in ‘The Color of Money' in 1986.


Yossi Harel

(1919 - 2008)

Yossi Harel (Hebrew: יוסי הראל‎), born Yosef Hamburger, was the commander of Exodus 1947 and a leading member of the Israeli intelligence community.
Yossi Harel was born in Jerusalem in 1919. He was a sixth generation Jerusalemite. At the age of 15, he joined the Haganah, the clandestine military organization of the Jewish community in Palestine. At the age of 20, he joined the Special Night Squads set up in Palestine by Captain Orde Wingate to fight Arab bands, where he earned a reputation for bravery. He played a leading role in the clandestine immigration enterprise in pre-state Israel, commanding four Aliyah Bet ships: Knesset Israel, the Exodus, Atzma'ut and Kibbutz Galuyot. By the time he was 28 he had been responsible for about 24,000 immigrants that had come in under his command, more than one-third of those smuggled into the country secretly between 1945 and 1948.
Pre-state period
In 1941, the Palmach was established as the elite force of the Haganah, and Harel soon joined it. He was sent by the Palmach to work with Aliyah Bet in assisting Jews to enter Palestine illegally (the number of Jews allowed to enter the territory was restricted following the British government's publication of a White Paper in May 1939).
In mid-1946 Harel was sent from Palestine on a secret mission to transfer gold to Jewish agents in Greece so they could bribe officials in European governments to speed up the transit of Jews to Palestine.
Harel chartered a 15-ton trawler with a crew of four and boarded it at sea after leaving the coastal settlement of Bat Galim in a rowing boat. Because of storms the journey to Greece took three weeks, but eventually the mission was accomplished successfully and with it Harel's reputation as a brave, reliable and efficient soldier was established; it was later to be crucial in his selection as the commander of the Exodus operation.
Yoram Kaniuk, a friend of Harel's and also his biographer, related that David Ben-Gurion and Shaul Avigur (commander of the Aliyah Bet illegal immigration campaign and founder of Shai, the Haganah intelligence service) had marked him out as suitable to command the clandestine immigration ships because in addition to his leadership skills and fighting prowess, “there was something very hevreman [sociable] about him. He was not the kind of clap-you-on-the-back hero. He was a man of manners, the type who didn't raise his voice. He was a man of conscience and a daring fighter.”
Perhaps the high point in Harel's career was not the more famous Exodus, according to an earlier article in Haaretz by historian Dr. Aviva Halamish. It was the two-and-a-half week voyage of the Knesset Israel. The ship set sail in November 1946 from Yugoslavia with 4,000 souls on boad. According to Halamish, this voyage brought to the fore the contrasts between the Yishuv, the Jewish community in pre-state Israel, and the clandestine immigrants, who were Holocaust survivors and “carried their struggle with them.” Inspired by the story of the Knesset Israel, the poet Natan Alterman wrote in the newspaper Davar of the “division of labor” between the two groups.

Exodus 1947

Yossi Harel was appointed to command the ship Exodus 1947, the immigrant ship which tried to make it through the British blockade to Palestine after the Second World War with 4,553 Jewish refugees on board, while it was still in Italy undergoing its refitting and conversion from a Chesapeake Bay steamer to a passenger ship capable of carrying thousands of refugees. Between June 29 and July 6, 1947, 4,553 Jews from displaced persons camps in Germany were transported to Sète, a little town 85 miles west of Marseilles where, on July 11, they boarded the ship.
Under Harel's command, Exodus set sail for Palestine on July 12, 1947 and, after it had left French territorial waters, the British cruiser Ajax and several destroyers escorted it to Haifa with the aim of arresting it and preventing the immigrants from entering Palestine.
Harel planned with the skipper, Yitzhak (Ike) Aaronowitz, that close to the coast of Palestine they would “get rid” of the British escort. The plan, Harel later recalled, was “to turn off all the ship's lights at a given moment, stop suddenly so that the unwary destroyer would pass us by, and then change our course by 90 degrees and steam away at full speed ahead - 18-19 knots - with all the lights out.” On board, Harel also prepared the stiffest possible resistance against any potential British attempt to board the ship.
On Friday, July 18, when Exodus was 22 miles off the coast of Palestine, Harel was informed by the British that his ship had entered the territorial waters of Palestine and that he had to shut down the engines and surrender. With five British destroyers closing in, Harel felt he could not implement his plan of evasion and instead ordered his captain to ignore the British warning and head straight for Haifa harbour.
When Harel failed to obey the British command, Exodus's bow was hit and a detachment of troops attempted to board the ship. But under Harel's leadership the British troops were driven back by a volley of canned goods, bolts and potatoes.
British commandos soon managed to take the ship's wheel, however, by which point several holes had been made in the ship's wooden structure. Harel - after a strenuous argument with his skipper, who was keen to continue fighting - ordered the immigrants to cease their resistance and allow the ship to be towed into Haifa. Three Jews and a British soldier died during the operation.
The next day members of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), who happened to be in Palestine on a fact-finding mission, witnessed the transfer of the refugees to three British transports which were to return the Jews to Europe. This affair greatly affected UNSCOP in its decision to recommend an end to British Mandate in Palestine and argue for the creation of a Jewish state in part of the territory. Exodus was often described as “the ship that launched a nation.”
One more mission
Five months after the Exodus affair Harel was put in charge of an even bigger operation, which was to bring to Palestine 15,000 illegal immigrants from Romania. Harel took commmand of two vessels: the Pan York and the Pan Crescent and on December 27, 1947 led the ships from Burgas in Bulgaria to Palestine.
Two days later, while crossing the Sea of Marmara, Harel was alarmed to see the outline of six British vessels - two submarines and four destroyers - waiting in the darkness to stop the ships.
The situation was dangerous and potentially explosive, but Harel negotiated with the British and secured agreement that, rather than be forced back to Romania, the ships might proceed to Cyprus, where thousands of refugees were already interned. Harel was later smuggled back to Palestine.

A successful career

During Israel's War of Independence Harel acted as adviser on naval reorganisation to the prime minister David Ben-Gurion and was sent to America to purchase vessels for a future navy. The Israeli navy was established in November 1948 and Harel was one of the candidates to lead it, but the job eventually went to Paul Shulman, a graduate of the Americal naval officers' school in Minneapolis, with Harel becoming his deputy.
Soon after the War of Independence, Harel retired and became bodyguard to President Chaim Weizmann; he then moved to Los Angeles to study mechanical engineering. As chief of staff, Moshe Dayan called him back to Israel in February 1959 and made him head of Unit 131, a division of military intelligence responsible for secret groups in enemy countries, designed to operate primarily in time of war. It also operated the Israeli spy ring that collapsed in Egypt in 1954. A year later he retired from the Israel Defence Forces to pursue a successful business career, though it served also as a cover for his continuing work for Mossad. He spent the last few years of his life collecting avant-garde Russian art.
Harel is the subject of a biography in Hebrew by Yoram Kaniuk, Exodus: The Odyssey of a Commander (1999), which has been translated into many languages. He rose to fame after the release of the 1960 Otto Preminger film Exodus, which was based on the Leon Uris novel by the same name. His character in the novel, Ari Ben-Canaan, was portrayed by Paul Newman.
In 2007, Harel received the Exodus prize, awarded by the Italian government to those who promote peace and humanitarianism. The prize is awarded every year at La Spezia in Italy, where the Exodus refugee ship was renovated.
Harel dies at age 90
Harel died in Tel Aviv on April 26, 2008 at the age of 90. His daughter Sharon said Harel suffered cardiac arrest at his Tel Aviv home. “He was an extraordinary, unusual man, very brave, very modest and very lucky because he was able to touch the lives of so many people,” she said.
“History has proven that you cannot defeat refugees,” Harel was quoted as saying two decades ago by the now-defunct Israeli newspaper, Hadashot. “It starts now with one boat. After that, dozens more will come,” he said.
Harel is to be buried at Kibbutz Sdot Yam, near Caesarea.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


(taken from B'NAI ELIM (Sons of the Mighty) :

by Steven Shamrak…

in portrayal of the Jews in Bible and attitude of the Church toward Jews during Christian discourses. From the acceptance of Christianity by the Roman empire Jews have been used to having to hide the fact that the Roman occupiers of Judea and Samaria were responsible for the death of the Christian saviour. Later, Rome could not allow itself to be blamed for his death after adopting the religious ideas of a Jewish sect. Therefore, Judaism had been chosen as a convenient patsy.
One would think that this attitude is ancient history, but even during the recent celebration of World Youth Day in Sydney, which was portrayed as a positive and joyful occasion with some attempts of religious reconciliation, this anti-Jewish bias attitude of the officialdom of the Catholic Church was still in play. For example, during the re-enactment of the Last Supper, which was apparently a Pesach (Passover) Seder meal, an actor who was playing the character of the Jewish man, Jesus, shared with other 12 Jews, Apostles, not the traditional Jewish Pesach bread Matzos, but a Lebanese pitas. Even after lip service by the current Pope about reconciliation with Jews, the Lebanese pita is more acceptable to the taste of the official Catholic anti-Semites than Jewish Matzos.
It is the deed not empty, deceitful and convoluted words and apologies that is important and make sense! Anything else is just a smoke screen to cover up and hide the ugly past and present behavior of the Catholic Church toward Jews!
A 5 year old girl and four militants (terrorists), members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades - the armed wing of Hamas, were killed on Friday in an explosion in a car outside Gaza City. – Why was a child taken for a ride in the car with terrorists? According to international law, using civilians as a human shield is illegal, but anti-Israel international hypocrisy does not care!
Hurting Helping Hand. Arab relatives of the sick man at the western Galilee village of Kabul threw rocks at a Magen David Adom ambulance which had been called to help him.Food for Thought. by Steven Shamrak
The PA and Hamas, with the support of many international 'Jew-lovers', cry poor and demand that Israel open her borders and allow so-called Palestinians to work in Israel. In return, they have been consistently showing their appreciation by killing Jews including their Jewish employers. Hypocrisy must end. Let them depart and live happily in Sinai, far away from Jews, where they will not be able to blame us for their own made ugly 'misfortune'!
Rail Inspector Savagely Beaten by Arabs. An Israel Railways employee was beaten last Thursday by a group of Arab youths. A group of young Arabs confronted him at his guard post at a railway crossing near Atlit, demanded his weapon, and savagely beat him when they discovered he was unarmed.
When Bad Politic Overrides Common Sense. Shin Bet chief tells Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hamas has been taking advantage of the truce in order to plant mines in wide areas in the Gaza Strip: "Hamas today has missiles which can reach Kiryat Gat and maybe even Ashdod… This is one of the reasons I objected to the ceasefire," he said. "I'm not saying how we should do thing, but in order to fight terror we have no choice but to be present in the area." (…and remove the source of terror!)
Hamas Praises Attack as "Natural Reaction". Eleven people are being treated for physical injuries and shock after an Arab tractor driver smashed a bus and at least two cars and tried to run over pedestrians. The terrorist, from Eastern Jerusalem, drove his tractor from a work site in the Yemin Moshe neighbourhood and turned on to King David street before he was killed. Hamas praised Tuesday's bulldozer attack, saying that it was a "natural reaction". (Isn't it time for Israel to make a decisive 'Reaction' against enemy terror and them 'react somewhere else? I wonder how would Americans or Europeans feel if an Arab tractor driver attack them in the centre of Washington, London or Paris?)
Deterrent will not Work.
Since January 1, the IDF, Israel Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have arrested close to 80 Arabs from East Jerusalem on suspicion of involvement in terrorism. Jerusalem has seen random terror stabbings and attacks over many years. Security officials said a daily presence of security forces is needed inside East Jerusalem and Arab towns. It would add to Israel's deterrence and cause a potential terrorist to rethink his plans. (Only the transfer of these enemies from the Jewish land will end this terror. Anything else is just a short-term 'patch job'!)
Ugly Face of Enemy. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has suggested another deal with Israel, this time offering details on missing soldiers in return for Israel's freeing PA terrorists.
Milestone in a Battle for Jewish Rights. The Supreme Court has ordered yet another eviction of Arab squatters and the return of a home to its Jewish owners. The home in question is located in the renewed ancient Jewish neighborhood built around the 2,000-year-old gravesite and tomb of the Tannaitic Sage Shimon HaTzaddik, half a mile north of Damascus Gate. (When Jewish Rights are concerned the Israeli 'politicly correct' justice system takes its time!)
Quote of the Week:
"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty" - Thomas Jefferson – It is time for "Timid" Jews, and not only Jews, to become self-respectful and take our liberty back!
Another Delusional Politician. Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain said in interview that international sanctions against Iran can stop it from developing the ability to produce nuclear weapons. He added that a military option does not have to be considered at this point. (While Chinese are buying oil at any cost and Russia is supplying military technology for cash, why would sanctions work? Strangely, Sen. McCain is considered to be more knowledgeable than Sen. Obama on foreign affairs!)
Israeli Arabs in Al-Qaeda Plot. Six young Arabs from Israel and Eastern Jerusalem were arrested by Shin Bet in June and July this year for allegedly setting up an al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist network and plotting to shoot down US President George W. Bush's helicopter earlier this year. Some of the Arabs arrested were students at Hebrew University.
Hizballah: War not Over. Sheikh Naim Kassem, deputy secretary-general of Hizballah, said on Saturday, July 19, that abductions of more Israeli soldiers may not be ruled out. He declared that his pro-Iranian Shiite terror group remained at war with Israel. (I wonder when Israeli politicians will realise that!)
Stupid Idea from Israeli Left Again. Meretz MK Yossi Beilin called on European countries to declare how many Palestinian refugees and their descendants they would be willing to absorb as part of any future peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. (Why must the EU, but not the 60 Muslim countries, including 22 Arab ones, absorb a terror-infested population of a fake Palestinian nation? Europe has its own problem with the millions of Muslims it has allowed in!)
Tell Me Who is Your Friend… The Arab League has attacked International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's request to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir on charges of genocide in Darfur.
Rats are the Best Weapon Against 'Rats'. The Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa accused Israel of using rats to drive Arab families out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the past the news agency, which is controlled and funded by PA President Mahmoud Abbas's office, has accused Israel of using wild pigs to drive Palestinians out of their homes and fields in the West Bank. (Must Jews come to Arabs homes and clean their rubbish to stop rat infestation?)
Corrupt Political System Sustains Corrupt Politicians. Fifty-nine percent of Kadima members do not want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to run again for the leadership of the Kadima party. Two-thirds of the party's members want the Prime Minister to suspend himself from office. (In spite of six corruption investigations, a failed war in Lebanon, PR disasters and the consequences of prisoner exchange and lack of public support, Israel's political system does not allow the removal of the 'ill' Prime Minister from the office.)Another "Symbolic" Road to Nowhere. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has called for the European Union (EU) to display a "European Roadmap" as part of a larger role in trying "to help bring peace to the Middle East." This "will be the moment to propose a form of partnership that will take more account of the symbolic, and real, weight of the European Union…
"Blair Doubts Peace. Israel, as usual, at Fault! A day after he was prevented from visiting Gaza by an assassination threat, Tony Blair raised doubts for the first time that a peace deal could be concluded between Israel and the Palestinians by the end of the year. He said: "The political situation in Israel makes it difficult to continue being optimistic about reaching a peace treaty between the Israelis and Palestinians…" (Is not the unwillingness of Islamic thugs to recognise Israel and stop terrorism the real reason? This is the 'unbiased' position of the international community's envoy to the Middle East!)

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: MATOT: SHALOM BAYIT - PEACE IN THE HOME

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: MATOT: SHALOM BAYIT - PEACE IN THE HOME
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