Thursday, 22 October 2009

Love of the Land: Fundamentally Freund: Obama Forgives the Unforgivable

Fundamentally Freund: Obama Forgives the Unforgivable


Michael Freund
JPost Column
21 October 09

This past week marked the sixth anniversary of one of the most brazen anti-American terror attacks to have occurred in the Middle East in the 21st century, yet hardly anyone in Washington seems to have noticed. As a result, this horrific event, which took the lives of three brave Americans, has been all but forgotten, leaving the cause of justice unfulfilled.

On October 15, 2003, Palestinian terrorists assaulted an official US diplomatic convoy in Gaza, which was on its way to interview young Palestinian students hoping to study at American universities.

As the vehicles bearing diplomatic license plates passed near Beit Hanun, a roadside bomb went off, killing John Branchizio, 37, of Texas; Mark Parsons, 31, of New Jersey; and John Marin Linde, 30, of Missouri, all of whom were providing security.

At the time, Gaza was still under the control of the Palestinian Authority, but virtually nothing was done to hunt down the perpetrators, even though a senior Palestinian intelligence official later admitted that he knew who was behind the attack.

And there was little doubt that this was a premeditated act of murder. The visit had been coordinated in advance with Palestinian officials, and the US vehicles were traveling on a road that was closed to Israeli traffic, so this was not a case of "mistaken identity" on the part of the terrorists.

Moreover, the device used in the blast was remote-controlled, and it was activated only once the American "targets" were identified and in range. And prior to the attack, the Palestinian media was filled with anti-American incitement which seemed deliberately designed to stir up hatred and even violence against the US.

Astonishingly, however, the Bush administration showed little public interest in pursuing a thorough investigation or even pressing the Palestinians to punish the killers. Naturally, the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat and later Mahmoud Abbas was only too happy to oblige by dropping the matter entirely.

BUT THIS is a matter that cannot, and must not, be dropped. Branchizio, Parsons and Linde were among more than 50 American citizens who have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993.

Under both the Clinton and Bush administrations, US aid and support continued to flow into Palestinian coffers even though they did not shy away from taking the lives of American citizens nor hesitate to laugh off requests to arrest their killers. By all indications, President Barack Obama seems equally inclined to forgive the unforgivable.

On October 15, exactly six years to the day since the Beit Hanun attack, his national security adviser, Gen. James R. Jones, chose to attend a dinner hosted by an outfit called the American Task Force for Palestine. Instead of utilizing the opportunity to issue a clarion call to bring Palestinian killers of Americans to justice, Jones preferred to emphasize just how much his boss wants to reward the Palestinians with a state.

"President Obama's dedication to achieve these goals," he declared, "is unshaken, is committed, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of achieving them."

With all that energy and determination at his disposal, it's a shame that Obama isn't equally as "relentless" in trying to achieve a modicum of justice for the dozens of American families whose loved ones were taken from them by Palestinian terror.

One would think that an issue of this magnitude would cry out for resolution. But political considerations, and a fear of offending Palestinian sensibilities, apparently take precedence in the calculus of the Beltway.

Take, for example, the Rewards for Justice Web site run by the US State Department, the goal of which is "to bring international terrorists to justice." Located at www.rewardsforjustice.net, it lists a series of terror attacks against Americans dating back to the early 1980s.

Incredibly, in the section devoted to the 2003 attack in Gaza, the site does not identify those who carried out the bombing as Palestinian. Instead, it obliquely refers to them as "those responsible for this attack," as if their identity is something of a mystery.

But that, of course, is far from being the case. Last December, during the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, one of the ringleaders of the 2003 attack was reportedly killed by the IDF. His name was Muhammad al-Dusaqi, and he was a leader of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee.

Presumably, with just a little bit of simple intelligence work, it would not be too difficult to figure out who his accomplices were, or even to go out on a limb and deduce that they too were Palestinian terrorists.

Of course, now that Gaza is under Hamas control, it makes it that much harder to track down the Palestinian killers of Americans located in the area. But that doesn't excuse or justify the lack of effort on Obama's part.

Washington has plenty of leverage with the Palestinian leadership, and it is time that some of that influence be brought to bear so that killers of Americans can no longer roam free.

It was the American writer H.L. Mencken who once noted that "if you want peace, work for justice." Quite simply, the two must go hand in hand.

Love of the Land: Fundamentally Freund: Obama Forgives the Unforgivable

Love of the Land: The intolerable provocation of the truth at the Guardian

The intolerable provocation of the truth at the Guardian

Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
22 October 09


The Guardian yesterday carried an excellent piece about Israel on its Comment is Free website.


Yes, you read that right. It was by Harold Evans, the legendary ex-editor of the Sunday Times. Evans concluded his piece about the ‘moral atrocity’ of the Goldstone report thus:

The rockets [from Gaza] were war crimes and ought to have been universally condemned as such. While new rockets hit Israel over many months there was no rush by the world’s moralisers – including Britain – to censure Hamas, no urgency as there was in ‘world opinion’ when Israel finally responded. Then Israel was immediately accused of a ‘disproportionate’ response without anyone thinking: ‘What is a “proportionate”attack against an enemy dedicated to exterminating your people?’ A dedication to exterminating all of his?


Israel risked its own forces by imposing unprecedented restraint. In testimony volunteered to the human rights council (and ignored),Colonel Richard Kemp, a British commander in Bosnia and Afghanistan, stated: ‘The Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.’ The ‘collateral damage’ was less than the Nato allies inflicted on the Bosnians in the conflict with Yugoslavia.


No doubt there were blunders. A defensive war is still a war with all its suffering and destruction. But Hamas compounded its original war crime with another. It held its own people hostage. It used them as human shields. It regarded every (accidental) death as another bullet in the propaganda war. The Goldstone report won the gold standard of moral equivalence between the killer and the victim. Now Britain wins the silver. Who’s cheering?


Well, the readers of CiF, for sure. Actually, they were erupting into a human lava flow of bile and bigotry in outrage that the Guardian had actually run an article about Israel that was truthful and fair. You can see samples of this reaction on the excellent CiFWatch site -- which is devoted entirely to monitoring and recording the institutionalised intellectual and moral depravity of CiF.


Talk about a public service.





Love of the Land: The intolerable provocation of the truth at the Guardian

Love of the Land: AFP, Unlinke NY Times, Recognizes Hamas TV Incitment

AFP, Unlinke NY Times, Recognizes Hamas TV Incitment


CAMERA/Snapshots
21 October 09

Yesterday, we pointed out that Agence France-Presse excluded key information from an article describing Western reaction to the Goldstone Report. But at least when it comes to describing Hamas televisions's children's programming, AFP trumped the New York Times.

The New York Times Magazine, if you recall, recently published an article about Palestinian Sesame Street that whitewashed Hamas's Al Aqsa TV by ignoring it's most abhorrent and dangerous content — its virulent incitement to hatred and violence against Jews and Israel. The article suggested that the station's ideological lessons don't go beyond discouraging the use of English, promoting the Koran, and harshly criticizing Denmark. (Yes, Denmark.)

To AFP's credit, its own story about Palestinian Sesame Street published today was much more honest in its brief reference to Al Aqsa Television. The reporter noted that the man in charge of Sesame Street "is particularly keen to send the famous Muppets to Gaza, where the station run by the Islamist Hamas has stirred international outrage with its cartoon characters seen as glorifying violence against Israel."

herring.jpgYes, one can raise questions about AFP's language here. For example, the article says that the characters are "seen as" glorifying violence; but in a separate article today, AFP didn't feel the need to append "seen as" to its subjective description today of certain Israeli leaders as "hawkish" and "hardline." Not very consistent. But still, the piece generally got it right about Hamas TV, which the New York Times, with its red herring about Denmark, deplorably failed to do.

(We'll avoid any puns here about Danish love for herring vs. the Times use of a red herring.)



Love of the Land: AFP, Unlinke NY Times, Recognizes Hamas TV Incitment

Love of the Land: The Land of Israel in Exchange for Goldstone

The Land of Israel in Exchange for Goldstone

By Moshe Feiglin

Translated from the Hebrew article on Ma'ariv's NRG website

If it were not so dangerous, it would even be amusing. There is certainly an element of poetic justice in the fact that the same people who gleefully destroyed the homes of over 8,000 Jews in Gush Katif are now being labeled as international war criminals.

In the summer of 2005, Israel's Left waged a war against the settlers. All the forces in Israel allowed to use violence were drafted for the battle. The goal of the war, as so accurately defined by Yair Lapid was "to teach them a lesson." Not peace, not security, not anything else. The State was simply drafted to wage war against the Left's internal ideological adversary.

As far as I am concerned, anybody who took part in the crime of Expulsion is a war criminal. True, there are varying degrees of crime; beginning with Sharon and Olmert, on through the Supreme Court justices and the writers, journalists and anchormen who enthusiastically encouraged the crime, the Likud ministers who voted in favor of the Expulsion, the rabbis who gave the halachic go-ahead to carry it out and down to the soldiers who obeyed their orders. Ultimately, all of them were polluted by this war crime in some measure.

My son will be enlisting in the army next month. I said to him: "If two top officers order you to guard the entrance of a room so that nobody will prevent them from raping a woman soldier inside, you must refuse to obey your orders. And by the same token, if they order you to simply be in the second military line-up or the tenth around the expulsion of a Jew from his home in the Land of Israel - it is exactly the same thing. Exactly."

That is why there is poetic justice in the fact that the Expulsion leaders are now being accused of international war crimes. He who sacrificed his brothers and his land on the altar of international acceptance now finds himself on the international defendant's bench.

It is even amusing. Imagine that tomorrow the current government falls, and businessman Ehud Barak, no longer armed with diplomatic immunity, cannot land in London. Can you imagine a greater tragedy? Bibi and Sarah will not be able to go to the opera, as they did when half the country was in bomb shelters and 130 soldiers and citizens were killed - all in the name of Olmert's attempt to boost his Convergence scheme to continue to destroy the settlements.

Did anyone really listen to Netanyahu's speech in the UN? What was the nucleus of his speech - after he dispensed with all the melodrama? Netanyahu's speech was directed at neutralizing the danger of the Goldstone report. In other words, he wanted to ward off the danger that an entire slice of political and military leaders will not be able to go shopping at Marks and Spencer. In his speech, Bibi said that - with his support - the State of Israel took unilateral action and expelled the Jews from Gush Katif. And if you don't get this Goldstone off our backs, we will not be able to continue to expel more settlers and to establish a state of terrorists in Israel's heartland.

Like it or not, that was the crux of Netanyahu's speech: The Land of Israel in exchange for Goldstone.

I once knew a very special Jew by the name of Shlomo Baum. He was Ariel Sharon's deputy in Unit 101. Before he died, he said to me, "Shimon Peres could not care less if this entire country turns into a pile of ashes - as long as he will be left standing on top of the pile." I was naïve then and I thought that the likeable old man was exaggerating. Today I know that his analysis of Peres holds true for an entire echelon of leaders who will sell this country out so that the capitals of Europe will remain open for their pleasure. Our situation today is more dangerous than ever before because until now, the citizens of this country were able to compensate - with their sweat and blood - for the foolishness of their leaders. Now, the enemy has found the way to direct the arrows straight into our weak spot - the leaders of the State of Israel.

The danger at our threshold is much broader than the question of how our threatened leaders will behave. Historically, physical destruction has always come on the heels of demonization. Gush Katif could not have been destroyed before the demonization of the settlers that preceded the actual expulsion. Even though I was just a young boy in 1967, I still remember Nasser's propaganda against Israel that preceded the Six Day War. All the pogroms and the holocausts that we suffered in the exile were preceded by poisonous propaganda that negated the Jews' very right to exist.

Our flight from our Jewish identity and our decades-long attempt to establish a state of all its citizens in Israel precludes our ability to give a Jewish answer to the claims of the Moslem and Christian world. When we adopted their moral standards, we seated ourselves on their defendant's bench.

It makes no difference how many Israeli soldiers were killed and will be killed, G-d forbid, in our attempt to wage war according to the values of the Western world. We will always be the bad guys- the robbers - in the story. When in 1967 we did not do what we did in 1948 - and left the Arabs in our land - we proved that we accept the principle that this land actually belongs to them. When we drove out the Jews who nevertheless believed in this land and made it flourish, we irreversibly proved the claim that this land is not ours.

I was there, in Gush Katif, when it happened. There was more foreign press there than there were grains of sand. The entire world watched in anticipation to see if it would really happen. The Jews drove themselves out of their land and from that point and on, we are robbers/colonialists - also in Tel Aviv and in Haifa. Furthermore, whoever fires missiles at us from Gaza is a freedom fighter. You can send them one thousand text messages before you invade - but you will still be a war criminal. The Goldstone Report would never have seen the light of day without the Expulsion.

So there is no reason to be amused. The international demonization that we are experiencing threatens more than Ehud Barak's next weekend in London. It threatens us all with physical annihilation.

Nevertheless, there is something positive that is coming out the Goldstone debacle. The State of Israel has its back to the wall and is being forced to re-think its basic assumptions. The 'normalcy' idea is officially bankrupt. The commentators and pundits are still attempting to blame the IDF or Israel's diplomatic efforts. "We should have cooperated with Goldstone," they say. But here and there, we already see individual journalists, like Ari Shavit in Ha'aretz, who at least understand that the problem is not tactical, but rather the essential negation of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

Understandably, the solutions that they suggest are the very same "political processes" that have brought us to this crisis. Their horizons are as broad as an ant's. But as the crisis continues, wider and wider circles in Israeli society will begin to listen to the voices outside the media bubble. Policies that base their justice on Judaism will become Israel's lifeline.


Love of the Land: The Land of Israel in Exchange for Goldstone

Love of the Land: The State of the Refugees

The State of the Refugees

Honest Reporting/Backspin
22 October 09

The Independent takes an amazing look at the tragedy of Palestinian refugees. This piece slams Arab governments, the UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority for doing far more harm than good:

The bottom line:

Instead, failed peace plans and shifting political priorities have resulted in a second Palestinian "Nakba", or catastrophe – this one at hands of the Arab governments.

On the UNRWA:

The inclusion of the descendants of Palestinian refugees as refugees in UNRWA's mandate has no parallel in international humanitarian law and is responsible for the growth of the official numbers of Palestinian refugees in foreign countries from 711,000 to 4.6 million during decades when the number of ageing refugees from the 1948 Israeli war of independence in was in fact declining.

On the return of refugees:

Even under the best of circumstances, an influx of refugees would further destabilise a Palestinian economy that is kept afloat by the world's highest per capita receipts of foreign aid.

Refugee2

On the status of the refugees in host countries:

While Saudi Arabia may not wish to host Israeli tourists, it can easily afford to integrate the estimated 240,000 Palestinian refugees who already live in the kingdom – just as Egypt, which has received close to $60bn in US aid, and has a population of 81 million, can grant legal rights to an estimated 70,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants. One can only imagine the outrage that the world community would rightly visit upon Israel if Israeli Arabs were subject to the vile discriminatory laws applied to Palestinians living in Arab countries.

On the PA:

Still, the record of Arafat's Palestinian Authority in its territories during the 1990s attests to the truth of Ben Ami's observation, which applies both to Arafat's Fatah and to Hamas. Despite $10bn in foreign aid, not one refugee camp in the West Bank or Gaza has been replaced by modern housing.

This report also takes a hard look at the status of refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

In short,Lebanese camps have become hotbeds of radical jihad, Syria is more interested in manipulating the refugees to increase its regional leverage, and Jordanian officials fear the consequences of integrating many of their refugees.

Read it all.




Love of the Land: The State of the Refugees

Love of the Land: Egypt slams door on Israeli cancer researchers

Egypt slams door on Israeli cancer researchers


Jacob Kanter
JPost Mideast
21 October 09

Although they were granted all the necessary security clearances, a team of Israeli breast cancer researchers and advocates was denied entry to Egypt earlier this week.

The team had hoped to participate in breast cancer awareness and advocacy programs and workshops organized by the American-based Susan G. Komen For the Cure, but was informed just before departing that Egyptian Health Minister Hatem el-Gebaly had decided they would not be allowed to attend.

"The situation is very serious," said Yossi Levy, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. "Everything was taken care of, [the team] had the necessary documentation. We still don't know why they weren't allowed in."

Levy also said his office was in discussion with Egypt about clarifying the decision.

In addition to the ministry's efforts, the Anti-Defamation League called on Susan G. Komen For the Cure on Tuesday to help ensure the Israelis' participation in the event.

"We respectfully urge the leadership of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to make clear to Egyptian authorities, including the breast cancer program's patron, First Lady of Egypt Suzanne Mubarak, that this exclusion of Israeli breast cancer researchers and activists is unacceptable," wrote ADL national director Abraham H. Foxman. "This decision must be immediately reversed to enable them to participate in these programs."

However, as of Wednesday afternoon, no progress had been made, and the team remained in Israel.

The week-long event began on Wednesday in Alexandria with an address from the US ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, among others. The rest of the week will feature a "Race for the Cure" at the Giza Pyramids, and various workshops on breast cancer support.

Dr. Muhammad Shaalan, chairman of the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt, praised the event.

"This remarkable, intensive, passionate, unprecedented cooperation between nations is a message of unity, peace and hope to win the battle against breast cancer," Shaalan said in a statement.

A representative from the Israel Cancer Association had not yet heard
of Egypt's actions on Wednesday afternoon.

This was the second time in less than a week that Egypt had prevented Israelis from entering the country for the purpose of attending a conference. Last Friday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry refused to grant a visa to Yossi Gordon, the head of the Association of Contractors and Builders in Israel.


Love of the Land: Egypt slams door on Israeli cancer researchers

Love of the Land: A Tower to Worship G-d

A Tower to Worship G-d


The Torah portion describing Creation is behind us and now, before we delve into the roots of the Nation of Israel, the Torah's second portion - Noach - describes the beginnings of humanity at large. One point that is obvious in this Torah portion is that since its inception, the human race has been searching for its place in the face of the Creator.

And the entire earth was one language and of one speech. (Genesis 11:1)

Fukuyama called it "the end of history." The Soviet Union collapsed, the language that rules is internet English, the only thing that matters is "me", borders are blurred, Europe has become one country.

And they found a valley in the land of Shinar and they settled there. (Genesis 11:2)

The historical pendulum that for generations had swung back and forth between various ideas and ideologies finally found itself on solid ground in the Shinar valley. Now humanity could free itself of its wars and focus on personal empowerment.

And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.(Genesis 11:3)

Technology advances at a dizzying pace and changes cultures. Every second child has a cell phone. Once, parents taught their children how to send a letter. Today, children teach their parents how to communicate on Facebook.

But, by nature, technological progress distances man from Creation. When brick replaces stones and when the raw materials are also manufactured by man, the Creator seems to disappear. Eggs grow in the supermarket, meat comes from the freezer and man basically re-invents himself as king of all creation.

And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' (Genesis 11:4)

In truth, the city and the tower with its top in heaven does not exist in the valley of material stability, but rather, in Jerusalem - on the Temple Mount - the place that uproots the heart of man from his obsession with material and materialism. Isaiah promises that at the end of days, the mountain of G-d's House will be established at the top of the mountains. But the people who decided to replace G-d built their temple of "me" deep in the mud.

And G-d scattered them from there upon the face of the earth; and they ceased to build the city.
(Genesis 11:8)

The world is one big train station. We have Chinatown in Manhattan, Spanish spoken in Florida, Arabic in London and Turkish in Germany. After the USSR collapsed, the Twin Towers came down as well, proving that history did not end, but simply turned the page - with G-d looking on, completely in the picture.

The universal desire for unity will ultimately be realized, because the Nation of Israel will build a city with a tower, with its top in heaven. But it will be a tower to worship G-d, not man.

And many peoples shall go and say: 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of G-d, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

Shabbat Shalom,

Moshe Feiglin


Love of the Land: A Tower to Worship G-d

Stratification of Antisemitism at The Guardian

Stratification of Antisemitism at The Guardian

A few days ago CiF Watch posted a piece about the followup at CiF to an article by Harold Evans. It's an interesting story for the way it demonstrates three layers of anti-Jewish animosity at the Guardian.

The first is the editorial level of the paper: what get's published in it. Any long-term reader of the Guardian will recognize that it's editors really don't like Israel. Really really. Yet they're not Nazis, they're not even Hamas, which means not only that they don't hate Jews in Manchester, they don't even automatically hate everything about Israel. Sometimes the remains of their Enlightenment conditioning shine through, and they'll see Israel in a rational light. Often not, of course, but it can happen. One remnant of this is their insistence on the occaisional airing even of a pro-Israel piece on their pages or on CiF. The Evans column that launched our story was one such: veteran British journalist Harold Evans described the Goldstone Report for the travesty it is.

Then there's the level of The Guardian's readership, or at least the segment of it that leaves comments on CiF. A few of them are valiant folks trying to stem the tide by leaving rational comments based upon reality (irrespective of their conclusions: I'm not saying that rational thought must inevitably lead one to agree with a particular political viewpoint). Most commenters at CiF, however, are stark raving mad. They also hate Israel, America, and anyone who doesn't join them in this hate, such as a venerable Old Boy Englishman such as Harold Evans. They have not the slightest interest in facts, save as clubs to beat the Jews with -and they're impartial to the factuality of the facts.

This makes CiF Exhibition A for anyone trying to document the state of Jew hatred in the early 21st century. Such people and such ideas exist out there, make no mistake about it.

Then there's the intermediate level, between the editors of The Guardian and the cesspool of the commenters. This is the level of the CiF moderators, Guardian employees of a lower rank than the editors, who decide which comments are too injurious to remain posted - and by default, what is acceptable and may remain. Because of their existence, The Guardian owns all the content of CiF, above and below the line; feverish hate-filled rantings posted by commenters and not removed by the moderators have been actively condoned by the Guardian staff.

One of the important services of the CiF Watch group is that they're collecting and documenting the actions of the Guardian moderators. They're capturing copies of comments before the moderators delete them. This means we get to see the comments that are so extreme and offensive even the Guardian staff can't live with them - so that's valuable and interesting. It also means we get to see what sort of rational and fact-based position is routinely deleted for not adhering close enough to the Guardian party line. This is where the mediators show the true colors of the editors: an occasional pro-Israel column can be tolerated, but only to a limited degree. Fig leaves, yes; full-blown debate and airing of counter arguments, not acceptable.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

UNIVERSAL TORAH: NOAH

UNIVERSAL TORAH: NOAH


By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Torah Reading: Noah: Gen. 6.9-11.32. Haftara Isaiah 54:1-55:5 (Sephardi ritual: Isaiah 54:1-10).

By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Parshas BEREISHIS told the story of the first Ten Generations of the Children of Adam, establishing fundamental facts about the world and man's existential situation within it. The Parshah of NOAH spans the second Ten Generations, from Noah to Abraham. The Parshah teaches profound lessons about "the generations of Noah", the families of the earth -- the Seventy Nations, their fundamental characteristics, how they interact and are destined to interact until the successful conclusion of human history as we know it in accordance with G-d's plan.

"G-d will beautify Yafet, and he will dwell in the tents of Shem." (Genesis 9:27). The genius of human civilization as expressed in Yafet's art and technology will eventually be devoted to the service of G-d in and through the "Tents of Shem", houses of prayer and worship of the One G-d -- especially in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the House of Prayer for All Nations.

Human history is that of the rise and fall of civilizations. One after the other, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome. reached the heights of power and arrogance, only to enter into decline -- just as we see contemporary "civilization" in its decline, with the widespread breakdown of security, social order and moral integrity. The parshah of NOAH teaches us about the global, ecological disaster that comes about in the wake of human arrogance, excess and immorality. When man breaks down the boundaries of restraint, the natural order also breaks down in response. This is expressed in the "bursting forth of the springs of the depth and opening of the windows of heaven" that brought the Waters of the Flood upon a corrupt civilization. The breakdown of ecological harmony is caused by the corruption of civilization. [In our times, the breakdown of the natural order in response to chaos in the human social order also finds expression in the widespread incidence of cancer and similar diseases, which are caused when cell growth exceeds the proper boundaries.]

At the core of the disease of "civilization" in the time of Noah were sexual immorality and violent robbery, both flagrant affronts to the dignity of man, ADAM, created in the image of G-d. "And the land was corrupted and the land was filled with violent robbery. All flesh corrupted his path on the land" (Genesis 6:11-12). The Midrash teaches that the latter sin was that of the spilling of seed -- sexual immorality. When man abuses his sexual urge for self-gratification alone rather than elevating it to breed future generations who will glorify G-d, the entire earth is corrupted. The violation of the proper boundaries of personal moral conduct leads to a mentality in which everything is permitted, including violent robbery -- HAMAS.

Noah was one who was fighting against the tide of his entire generation: a lone surviving torch-bearer of the religious truths handed down from Adam: belief in the One G-d, HaShem, the Supreme Power -- and obedience to His law. Noah alone in his generation saw its corruption. However, Noah lacked the power to rectify it -- Noah "went with" G-d, but unlike Abraham, he did not go on ahead "before" Him. Instead, Noah salvaged a remnant: his own family, together with choice representatives of the various species of animals and birds. After the corrupt world was washed clean by the purifying waters of the flood, Noah would build a new world on sound foundations that could endure.

* * *

The Ark -- The Word: Prayer and Mystical Wisdom

In order to survive the waters of the flood, Noah was commanded to built an ark. The Hebrew word for the "ark" is TEIVAH [not to be confused with TEVA, which means "nature"]. TEIVAH also means a "word": a word is a vessel that sails the airwaves between my mouth and your ear, bearing a cargo of meaning: the message.

Noah was commanded to bring his wife, his children, their spouses, birds, animals, food, fodder -- everything needed to survive -- into his "Ark", the TEIVAH. This teaches us that to survive the stormy waters of life in this world, we too must bring our lives and all our affairs -- down to the smallest details -- into HA-TEIVAH, "the word", i.e. the words of our prayers. In order to connect our alienated world back to G-d, we have to bring everything into our words of prayer. We should speak to G-d about everything.

The Holy Zohar, repository of the mystical wisdom of the Torah, teaches that the TEIVAH of Noah also alludes to the mystical teachings of the Kabbalah, which are a vital lifeboat for those seeking to the survive the chaos of the end of time (see RaMChaL, Adir BaMarom). The Kabbalah (which includes Chassidus) reveals the mysteries of the Unity of G-d, teaching us the meaning, purpose and end-goal of the misery-filled, conflict-torn world in which we live. As we navigate the dark, stormy seas of life, the Kabbalah gives guidance, comfort and light: the light of the TSOHAR (=Zohar), the "window" of the Ark (Genesis 6:16).

The theme of words, language and communication is apparent towards the end of the Parshah, in the story of the building of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). As the population of the world expanded in the generations after Noah, man set himself a new goal: to unite in rebellion against G-d. "Let us build for ourselves a city and a tower with its head in the heavens and let us make for ourselves a NAME." (ibid. 4). Man wanted the "name" for himself -- for his own glory -- instead of giving all the glory to G-d. However, G-d confounded man -- by sowing confusion through the very faculty that is uniquely man's: speech. Instead of helping people to communicate with each other, the torrents of words they directed at one another simply led to incomprehension, misunderstanding, hatred and violence.

In order to overcome hatred and war, man must develop a new language and a new way of speaking. This will be a feature of the messianic period in the future. "Then I will turn the language of the nations into a pure language so that all of them will call on the Name of G-d to serve Him with one accord" (Zephaniah 3:9). Then all mankind will unite in prayer to the One G-d in the "House of Prayer for all the Nations" in Jerusalem (Isaiah 56:15). This House of Prayer is the Tent of Shem in which Yafet will dwell.

* * *

Noah's Sacrifices

Underlying the present parshah of Noah and the ensuing parshiyos, which tell the story of the patriarchs, is the quest for the Holy Mountain of G-d, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Adam's body had been created from the dust and earth of the Temple Mount. And "to dust you will return!" -- mankind must return to this spot and bring sacrifices in order to attain complete atonement for the "sin of Adam", which is man's intrinsic selfishness.

Noah set off on his quest having no idea where he was going. He was commanded to take seven each of all the pure species of animals into the ark. However, it was only after the flood waters subsided that Noah understood through his own powers of reasoning what G-d wanted him to do with them.

"And Noah built an altar to G-d, and he took from all the pure animals and from all the pure birds and offered elevation offerings on the altar" (Genesis 8:20). G-d in His bountiful mercy gave man command over all of nature, allowing him to take what he wants for his needs and desires. What G-d wants of man is to learn and understand Who is the source of this bounty -- by restraining himself from taking everything, and offering part of the bounty back to G-d, in acknowledgement. "And G-d smelled the sweet savor." (ibid. v. 21).

The essence of the concept of KORBAN, a "sacrifice", is that the offered animal -- symbol of our earthly, animal side -- is "brought near" (KAROV) and elevated by being brought into the service of G-d in the form of the sacrifice. The sacrifice of a representative of the species elevates the entire species and brings it divine blessing. Noah's offering after the flood established an archetype for the whole of mankind, his descendants. The ultimate fulfillment of what Noah began will be expressed in the sacrifices in the Future Temple in Jerusalem as prophesied by Ezekiel (ch's 40ff.).

When man carries out the will of G-d, the purpose of creation is fulfilled and G-d maintains and protects the creation in accordance with His Covenant. In response to Noah's willingness to fulfill his mission, G-d established His Covenant with him (Genesis 9: 11). The establishment of the Covenant was accompanied by a "Giving of the Law" to Noah and his children, restating their mission in the world and the laws according to which they must conduct their lives. Prominent among these laws are the prohibition of murder (as discussed in BEREISHIS) and the prohibition of the consumption of a limb from a living animal. The sign of G-d's Covenant with Noah and his offspring is the rainbow, symbolic of how all the different powers of creation -- the "colors" -- are actually refractions of the unitary "white light" of G-d.

* * *

Man's side of the Covenant

Another of the fundamental laws of G-d's Covenant with Noah is the prohibition of sexual immorality, which was one of the prime causes of the flood. Allusions to the rectification of sexual immorality are found throughout the Parshah. In order to correct the excesses of the generation of the flood, it was necessary for Noah and his family to practice complete abstinence during the flood itself (Rashi on Genesis 6:18). This is in accordance with Rambam's teaching (Hilchos De'os, Laws of Attitudes and Personal Conduct 2:2): "If a person was at a far extreme, he has to distance himself from his previous behavior to the opposite extreme and conduct himself this way for a long time until he can return to the good path, which is the middle way."

"These are the generations of Noah."The names of Noah's three sons are repeated several times in the course of the Parshah, indicating that Noah understood that the true purpose of the sexual urge is to create new life and breed children to glorify the name of G-d.

However, Noah himself was unable to rectify the entire world, and after the flood, he himself fell -- he planted a vineyard, became drunk from the wine, and was uncovered in his tent. The theme of sexual immorality is uppermost in the story of how Ham "saw his father's nakedness". Rashi comments: "Some say he castrated him, some say he had relations with him." Ham is the archetype of the unbridled sexual heat and passion, which brings man to the depths of degradation. Sexuality has its necessary place in the life of man, but its holiness is preserved only when it is appropriately covered with a cloak of modesty and dignity. This is expressed in Shem and Yafes entering backwards into Noah's tent, averting their eyes, and covering his nakedness without looking, earning them Noah's eternal blessing.

* * *

The tyranny of Nimrod

After the fall of Noah, the ensuing generations again degenerated. The subtle allusions contained within the Biblical text are discussed and elaborated in the Midrash, which provides many details of the world in the period between Noah and Abraham. This was dominated by Nimrod, the archetype of the G-d-denying tyrant. With the world again falling deeper and deeper into chaos, the Parshah concludes by tracing the lineage of a new prophet. This was one of Noah's progeny who WAS able to accomplish the rectification of the world, albeit not by himself, but with the help of his progeny, Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's children. Abraham did not fall. At the end of Parshas NOAH we see Abraham (or Abram as he then was) setting off on HIS journey of destiny -- to the Land of Canaan, and eventually to "the Place", the Mountain of G-d in Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

--
AZAMRA INSTITUTE
PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel
Website: www.azamra.org

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RubinReports: The Big Freeze: U.S. Policy on Peace Process comes to Dead Halt and Likely to Remain that Way

The Big Freeze: U.S. Policy on Peace Process comes to Dead Halt and Likely to Remain that Way

[Please subscribe as we watch these amazing, frightening, amusing but all-important events unfold. Don't miss a single article. Tell your friends.]

By Barry Rubin

If solving the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy—at times it seems the keystone of the government’s entire policy—there's an obvious problem derailing it.

Here it is. The president of the United States on several occasions and notably in his UN speech and high officials repeatedly have announced that they want and expect there to be quick, final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resolve all issues and end the conflict.

This event isn't going to happen.

When the president of the United States announces there will be talks soon and has no reason to believe that's true he's making a fool of himself. It is one of the most basic rules of presidential behavior that you don't put the chief executive’s prestige on the line, that you do not let him predict an imminent event, unless you know for darn sure it is going to happen.

Yet when President Barack H. Obama stood before the world's assembled leaders that's precisely what he did. For an administration approaching the end of its first year in office that's dangerous amateurism.

The fly in the ointment here is the PA and this is no minor detail. The PA says repeatedly that it will not even meet formally with Israel until all construction on all Jewish settlements on the West Bank plus east Jerusalem stop completely. Already, however, U.S.-Israel discussions have moved past that point. We don’t know precisely where they stand but clearly the administration isn’t pushing for a total halt and it isn’t pushing all that urgently on the issue.

Therefore, while Israel has succeeded in conciliating the United States, the PA is going to defy the United States. We know that it is serious in doing so because of what has just happened with the Goldstone report in the UN. The administration asked the PA not to take a leading role in pushing the report; the PA complied for about 48 hours and then internal pressure forced it to go back on its word. Most of this pressure was not the spontaneous outrage of the masses but from the hardline elements which dominate the ruling Fatah group as well as in the PA itself.

In short, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is not going to back down on his demand. He is more afraid of his own colleagues, Hamas’s baiting him as a “moderate” (a compliment perhaps from the West but a deadly insult in Palestinian politics), and his own people than of Obama. Indeed, nobody is afraid of Obama which is one of the main problems with his foreign policy.

Disdaining the use of threats, leverage, and pressure, the Obama administration is not likely to push the PA very hard on this and even if it did Abbas would stand firm. Having extolled the Palestinians as peace-loving martyrs, courting Arab and Muslim opinion, treasuring popularity, the administration won’t get tough. No amount of funding or other goodies is going to move the PA or Abbas either. For Abbas, it is something like the classical choice which can be paraphrased as: Your money or your life?

So there is, and will be, a deadlock, month after month through into 2010. Is there some clever way out? I don’t see one and am willing to bet the administration doesn’t either.

Remember this president said repeatedly--in his Cairo speech, at the UN, almost daily--that he is going to solve the issue; that his predecessor missed easy opportunities to do so; that this is the world's main issue. So what's he going to do other than spin about how hard he's working and how much progress he's making?

In contrast, Abbas has an attractive policy alternative: strike a militant pose, blame America, seek rapprochement with Hamas. In addition, what both the United States and Europe fails to see is that the Palestinians don’t need or want rapid progress on negotiations or even a state except on what would be completely their own terms.

The Palestinians can also afford the luxury of believing—and this is what Western policy has taught them—that Europe and America needs them more than they need the West. Moreover they believe, and again this is what they have been shown, that intransigence on their part actually brings more criticism on Israel. If you believe, rightly or wrongly, that the world is about to condemn Israel as a pariah, war criminal state why make compromises with it?

This is the corner into which the Obama Administration has painted itself. And all that it has left is what might be called the cat strategy. Have you ever seen a cat miss a leap or have an embarrassing fall? It merely licks itself and looks around with an expression saying: I meant to do that. Everything is going according to plan.
But it isn’t.

The newest development is the idea, favored by many in the European Union, of endorsing PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s “plan” for there to be a Palestinian state within two years. Of course, this won’t happen either.

The whole thing is taking on a comic opera air. It reminded me of something. And then I remembered: the classical description of the Arab defeat in the 1948 war and Israel’s creation by Constantine Zurayk, vice-president of the American University of Beirut, in his book The Meaning of the Disaster. He wrote:

“Seven Arab states declare war on Zionism in Palestine, stop impotent before it and turn on their heels. The representatives of the Arabs deliver fiery speeches in the highest international forums, warning what the Arab state and peoples will do if this or that decision be enacted. Declarations fall like bombs from the mouths of officials at the meetings of the Arab League, but when action becomes necessary, the fire is still and quiet and steel and iron are rusted and twisted, quick to bend and disintegrate.”

For the Arab states, the fiery speeches do have a value of their own, cowing rivals and mobilizing the masses to support their local dictator. But when the United States acts like a pitiful, helpless giant—even if it is a nice and friendly, apologetic one—the world shudders and shakes. The evil, with laughter; the good, with tears.



RubinReports: The Big Freeze: U.S. Policy on Peace Process comes to Dead Halt and Likely to Remain that Way

RUA DA JUDIARIA : Coronel Richard Kemp fala sobre Israel na ONU

RUA DA JUDIARIA : Coronel Richard Kemp fala sobre Israel na ONU

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Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Brilliant: Obama cuts funding to Iranian opposition

Brilliant: Obama cuts funding to Iranian opposition

Proving once again that he is the anti-Bush, President Obama has cut funding to Iranian opposition groups in line with his acknowledging the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In an apparent shift from the Bush administration's efforts to foster regime change in Iran by financing opposition groups, the Obama White House has all but dismantled the Iran Democracy Fund.

While the move has been criticised by neo-conservatives in the US, it has been welcomed by Iranian human rights and pro-democracy activists.

The controversial program was initiated by the Bush administration in an effort to topple the clerical regime in Tehran by financing Iranian NGOs.

While heralded by some in Washington, reactions in Iran to the program were overwhelmingly negative.

Read the whole thing.

It sounds like the reactions in Iran were overwhelmingly negative because it gave the regime an excuse to arrest people. The problem is that Obama has no interest in fostering democratic change in Iran. He'd rather 'engage' with the Mullahs.

I'm with Joe Lieberman on this (he's quoted later in the article): This is the wrong time and it sends the wrong message.


Israel Matzav: Brilliant: Obama cuts funding to Iranian opposition

Israel Matzav: Hamas: Goldstone doesn't single us out (they're right too)

Hamas: Goldstone doesn't single us out (they're right too)

Hamas spokesman Mussa Abu-Marzuq tried to spread the blame around all 'Palestinian' factions on Tuesday for the few 'war crimes' attributed to it by the Goldstone Commission Report. This is truly special:

Hamas is preparing a committee to investigate allegations that prisoners under de facto police control were shot and imprisoned during Israel’s war on Gaza, member of the party’s politbureau said Tuesday.

Speaking on Al-Arabiya, Moussa Abu Marzouq reiterated the party’s stance on the UN-mandated Goldstone report, which says there is evidence of war crimes in the actions of Israel and Gaza factions during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in December and January.

“It was all Palestinian factions who launched projectiles,” Abu Marzouq said, “including Fatah,” indicating that the report does not single out Hamas.

As for allegations in the Goldstone report, earlier brought to light in media reports and documents from the Palestinian Authority following the war, that Hamas fighters and possibly de facto government police had injured prisoners, mainly Fatah affiliates, who were in their care during the war, Abu Marzouq said a committee was being formed to investigate.

I'm sure that 'committee' will do at least as good a job as Goldstone did.

I'm sure they'll ignore this since it happened after the cease fire went into effect. But maybe Human Rights Watch can show them this report.

But you know what? Hamas is right. The report does not single them out.

Here's more:

Why aren’t Hamas leaders worried by the report? The reason can be found in a speech Ismail Haniyeh made on October 14, 2009 to Palestinians wounded during the war. He said, “We bless the committee, we gave it everything it needed to investigate, as well as documents which helped publish it in its present form. Occasional comments here and there about the resistance (sic) and the right of the Palestinian people to defend itself do not mean that we do not support the Report.”

In effect, he dismissed out of hand everything the report said about terrorist attacks and firing rockets into Israel, considering it lip service paid by the Committee and without practical importance for Hamas.

Reading the Goldstone Report shows that Ismail Haniyeh’s interpretation was correct. The Hamas de-facto administration and its leaders are never accused of responsibility for terrorism and firing rockets. Rather, nebulous “Palestinian armed groups” are responsible. The theme is repeated in the report’s few references to Palestinian terrorism. For example, Paragraph 1747, page 541, reads “In relation to the firing of rockets and mortars into Southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups operating in the Gaza Strip, the Mission finds that the Palestinian armed groups fail to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population and civilian objects in Southern Israel. The launching of rockets and mortars which cannot be aimed with sufficient precisions at military targets breaches the fundamental principle of distinction. Where there is no intended military target and the rockets and mortars are launched into civilian areas, they constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population. These actions would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.”

That's right folks. In Goldstone's world, it wasn't Hamas that was responsible, it was a bunch of anonymous, nebulous 'Palestinian armed groups.'

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Hamas: Goldstone doesn't single us out (they're right too)

Israel Matzav: The Report

The Report

I received this by email and thought I would pass it on. I agree with him by the way: Our hasbara is still badly lacking.

The Report

by Ari Bussel

What many could not understand was how an army which even some German generals considered the strongest in Europe could be defeated so quickly and easily. So staggering were the losses – 90,000 dead, 200,000 wounded, more than one and a half million taken prisoner – …” This is the story of France in 1939 (as told by Don & Petie Kladstrup in 2002).

The most important arena where we need to act … is in the arena of public opinion, which is crucial in the democratic world. We must continue to debunk this lie that is spreading with the help of the Goldstone report.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

On Tuesday, October 20, 2009, a Ministerial Committee on National Security convened for the first time in Israel to discuss the implications of the Goldstone Report recently adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. A new unit will be established in the Ministry of Justice in coordination with the Attorney General and the Public Prosecutor to handle legal proceedings taking place overseas against the State of Israel, or against its citizens, which require legal handling and special coordination.

A Jewish person headed the Goldstone Report and the investigation leading to its publication. The White House Chief of Staff is Jewish. He orchestrates the President’s disengagement from Israel and the constant attacks by the Nobel Laureate (Peace, 2009) on Israel to “freeze settlements” and allow the creation of an enemy state from within, with Jerusalem as its capital.

When it is time to hit Israel again, more forceful than before, what better way than to use the Jews themselves to do the job? There is an army of willing participants, many standing ready to volunteer to badmouth Israel, subjugate the Jewish State to poison and administer death. They are of our own, aided and abated by true enemies of the Jewish State.

Two young Israeli women, age 18, objecting to military service, are on a speaking tour in the USA attacking Israel. The goal justifies the means, and their homeland can be sacrificed along the way. So eager they are to do the right thing, and yet so little did either one accomplished in her lifetime. Military service is mandatory in Israel, making a youth into a responsible young adult. The IDF is a melting pot, in which race, educational background, affluence and other factors disappear and are replaced by a common thread, yielding a proud Israeli citizen.

So what is wrong with the Goldstone Report or the UN decision? A vote was taken, and Israel is now accused of committing war crimes. Add this latest “substantiation of charges” by a dignified and reliable world body to blood libels raging on for many months and the recipe is now complete.

Israeli soldiers murdering children, the narrative created and filmed for television near the Western Wall by Turkish Television. Israeli soldiers harvesting organs from young Arab males for sale on the international black market as reported on Swedish leading newspaper (based on rumors and innuendos). These blood libels are a perfect tool used by the enemy, inflaming an already agitated world concerned that the root-cause of all things evil is Israel’s settlements and the “occupation of Palestine. “

Much like a defendant of frivolous litigation, Israel needs to invest enormous resources to protect herself and her people, time and again, although her success rate exhibits fast-diminishing returns. The reason is not the fast-escalating intensity of the attacks, rather it is Israel persuading herself she is doing just fine and thus either excusing the enemy from within or doing little if anything to wage a true war against the baseless accusations and accusers.

The poison drips slowly into the patient’s IV. The patient does not look delirious, on the contrary, she advocates increasing the rate of flow.

It was not that long ago when prominent members of Israel’s own academia accused her of being an Apartheid state. They called for a boycott on Israel to be carried out by all thinking and responsible individuals, corporations and governments. I wrote at that time to a doctor who practices in Israel that one consequence of defending the “right” of an “out-fringe” to do what some of his colleagues are doing is making it his problem.

The issue will come back to haunt him, I warned. It is not unlikely that the doctor, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves, will soon be accused himself of committing war crimes. God only knows this is further from all possible truth.

The esteemed president of the university named after Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion sat here in Beverly Hills and essentially dismissed the whole affair. Her concern was with the continued flow of money from the Diaspora, and all means were acceptable, despite being short-lived, shortsighted and lacking in vision.

The day has arrived, requiring immediate corrective action, a new approach, a vision. Israel has no one to blame but herself. The Jewish Homeland is completely surrounded. Raging fires many stories high engulf her from all sides. For fires of such intensity and magnitude, special equipment is necessary, yet Israel has not fathomed the wisdom to counteract these fires or even obtain the necessary equipment.

It was during Operation Cast Lead that then leader of the Opposition, now Prime Minister Netanyahu, invited the foreign press to tour the south. We went from 45-seconds-from-launch (the city of Ashdod) to 30-seconds-from-launch (the city of Ashkelon). As we arrived at each city we were greeted by a bombardment of rockets launched by peace-loving “Palestinians” living under the “siege of Gaza.”

Our buses were not protected and we were not immune, but it seems that this field trip was to end well and we were soon to arrive back to the safety of the center of Israel.

I remember the time in the bus and later at the hospital, As Netanyahu and most other politicians came for photo-ops. Netanyahu answered very eloquently, as always. He was no longer “leader of the Opposition.” Israel was all one. Honorable, but given a one-on-one discussion later in the bus with his top advisers, tired of yet another successful day, the truth was revealed: Israel was doing well!

The same sentiment was shared not only by Netanyahu’s top advisers but others as well including the Foreign Minister and head of the ruling party, Livni. With the Foreign Ministry at her disposal (often used as the party’s own PR firm), Livni failed to lead. The top echelon of the Ministry in a makeshift bunker at the front-line in Sderot, 15-seconds-from-launch, was telling tales of wonder, how well the country was doing, how magnificently they were faring internationally.

Given Israel’s deep failures in 2006 during the Second War in Lebanon, Israel was indeed implementing basic improvements. Yet, the fact that the IDF Spokesperson’s unit spoke in one voice, organized and orchestrated, did not amount to “victory” or even to “success.”

The lack of dozens and hundreds of commentators from within the ranks of the IDF simply reminded one that an army needs to run like an army and military service is not made-for-TV. Starting to utilize social networks was not a great discovery either, just arriving to the right point of time on a timeline.

A minority sounded the alarm, claiming that Israel is failing in its public diplomacy efforts. Those who thought differently then and still believe Israel should not and cannot be held responsible should take a few steps aside and spend a few minutes reading the Goldstone Report. Dismissing it as well will not work this time around, the next stumbling block is a few feet ahead. As it was said in a previous war: “Gentleman, you are about to witness the most famous victory in history” (Hitler to his generals, May 9, 1940).

Among the minority calling for a change of direction was an image of the past, the “face of Israel” from the First Persian Gulf War. He knew from experience the importance of public diplomacy, and the signs of failure were evident all around. Unfortunately, he was busy running for the parliament, and although elected, the powers to be are the same Netanyahu top advisers who knew before we were doing well.

Once in power, the gang of advisers did not waste any time or other resources for nine months to plan and get ready. Act? Execute? Why bother when you have convinced yourself you are right and winning?

Twenty years ago Israel did not have a Home Command. The First Persian Gulf War and Saddam Hussein taught Israel a lesson the hard way. In 2009 Israel still does not have the proper Diplomacy Front. Indeed, there are numerous entities, from a huge bureaucratic Foreign Ministry to a new “Hasbara” (public diplomacy and information) Ministry to the IDF to a plethora of other NGOs and well-meaning individuals. The sum total of this effort – a total and utter failure – can be summarized in the Goldstone Report’s astounding success: Blame Israel for defending herself.

Israel needs decisive action. Israel needs the courage to act, whatever the consequences. Most importantly, Israel needs a vision, a new direction and the strength to follow through. Lacking these, she may find herself facing a new exile, one she cannot afford.

*************

In the series “Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this “point - counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives.

© Postcards from Home, October, 2009

Israel Matzav: The Report

Israel Matzav: Terrorism experts endorse Goldstone Report

Terrorism experts endorse Goldstone Report

Elder of Ziyon reports that the Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades have endorsed the Goldstone Commission Report on Operation Cast Lead.

So have Syria, Hezbullah and Hamas.

And you thought Goldstone didn't know anything about terrorism, didn't you?

Heh.

Israel Matzav: Terrorism experts endorse Goldstone Report

Israel Matzav: Bras declared 'un-Islamic'

Bras declared 'un-Islamic'

Muslims in Somalia are now demanding that women shake their breasts to prove that they are not being artificially supported. If the breasts are too firm, the (male?) inspectors feel the breasts to make sure they are not being supported.

Muslims in Somalia now demand that women shake their breasts when they appear in public, so that inspectors may determine if they are wearing “un-Islamic” bras.

The orders have been carried out at gunpoint by a group called Al Shabaab, who control of the streets of Mogadishu.

If the women display an un-natural firmness, the inspectors feel their breasts to determine if the uplift is produced with the assistance of a bra. Often younger women must reveal their mammary glands to prove that they have not been corrupted by Western culture.

The Daily Mail (London) reports that women have been publicly whipped for wearing hidden undergarments, with Islamists claiming that it is a “deceptive” act before Allah to wear supportive devices.


Israel Matzav: Bras declared 'un-Islamic'

Israel Matzav: Your Jewish Federation dollars at work: Manhattan JCC to host Mohammad Bakri

Your Jewish Federation dollars at work: Manhattan JCC to host Mohammad Bakri

Do you donate money to the Jewish Federation in New York City? If so, your donations are funding this abomination (Hat Tip: Red Tulips):

For those to whom the name is not familiar, Mohammad Bakri made the movie Jenin, Jenin. Here's a review of that film that was done by CAMERA in which the film was compared with Pierre Rechov's Road to Jenin. Bakri's film (which is available on the Internet) is a blood libel, which depicted IDF soldiers as genocidal murderers of hundreds of 'Palestinians.' In fact, during the IDF's action in Jenin (which shut down the terror organizations), 52 'Palestinians' were killed, only 14 of whom were civilians. Twenty-three IDF soldiers were sacrificed to keep down the 'Palestinian' casualty total. In 2007, Bakri was sued for libel by five IDF soldiers who served in Jenin.

Red Tulips reports that she received a response to her email from one Y. Zablocki (Email address: yzablocki@jccmanhattan.org) at the Manhattan JCC, who told her that the New Israel Fund was paying for the dinner and that there is no way it will be canceled. He also said that he had received 20 emails protesting the dinner within a day of the notice being posted. Hopefully, he will now receive at least 2,000 more :-)

The dinner is scheduled for November 13, which is three weeks from this Friday night. There is still time to do something about this.

The JCC is located at 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Not far from my old neighborhood.

Anyone still wonder why support for Israel is eroding among American Jews? I don't.

Israel Matzav: Your Jewish Federation dollars at work: Manhattan JCC to host Mohammad Bakri

Israel Matzav: China to oppose referring Goldstone to ICC

China to oppose referring Goldstone to ICC

On Wednesday, a group of Chinese parliamentarians in Beijing told a visiting delegation from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that China will oppose the referral of the Goldstone Commission Report to the International Criminal Court (ICC) if and when it comes to a vote in the United Nations Security Council.

The Chinese statement came after MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima), who chairs the committee, slammed China for voting in favor of a resolution endorsing the Goldstone Report at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session on Friday.

...

In related news, a UN official in New York on Monday announced that the UN General Assembly would hold a special session to discuss the Goldstone report before the end of 2009, Israel Radio reported.

According to the report, the exact date for the session would be set after consultations with the relevant parties and representatives of UN member states.

Isn't that great? A 192-nation Israel-bashing session.


Israel Matzav: China to oppose referring Goldstone to ICC

Israel Matzav: Hitchens: What are we waiting for in Iran?

Hitchens: What are we waiting for in Iran?

Christopher Hitchens asks some interesting questions about Iran (Hat Tip: Eli Lake via Twitter).

Remember that Iran acquired a good deal of its original materiel on the black market, buying through proxies and using other means of deception, before anyone knew what was going on. This in turn means that it would be very much harder to acquire replacement supplies, in the face of continuing invigilation from the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and several intelligence services. Logically, then, even a minor disruption or dislocation of one of the existing key Iranian sites could have the effect of retarding the whole tenuous program for quite a while. And in the meanwhile, the internal clock of Iranian society is running against the continuation of outright dictatorship. So who should be scared of whom?

I have never been present for any discussion of any measures that could even thinkably be taken against Tehran that does not focus obsessively and exclusively on the possibly calamitous outcomes. Israel hits Iran and—well, you fill in the rest. The target sites are, anyway, too much dispersed and too deeply buried. You know how it goes. Apparently, nothing can be done that does not make a bad situation worse. It is as if there could be a worse outcome than the nuclear armament of a lawless messianic state that tore up every agreement it signed even as it bought further time while signing it.

In that case, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and many others should never have said that such an eventuality was unacceptable. They should have said that there were some conditions under which it was acceptable, and also clearly specified what those conditions were. If there's no saber in the scabbard, then at least don't make the vulgar mistake of rattling it.

Against this, we are at least entitled to consider the idea that a decaying regime that is bluffing and buying (or rather stealing) time on weapons of mass destruction is in a condition that makes this the best moment to do at least something to raise the cost of the lawlessness and to slow down and sabotage the preparations. Or might it be better to wait and to fight later on more equal terms? Just asking.

Read the whole thing. I hope someone in the Kirya (the Tel Aviv headquarters of Israel's defense ministry) is listening.

Israel Matzav: Hitchens: What are we waiting for in Iran?

Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work: UNHRC reports on gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures

Your tax dollars at work: UNHRC reports on gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures

The United Nations 'Human Rights Council' has issued a report that discusses

the gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures on men and persons of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and addresses how gender intersects with other prohibited grounds of discrimination, such as race and religion.”

What does that mean? Pajamas Media's Ron Radosh explains.

What this gobbledygook legalese means is that when the Israelis engage in counter-terrorism against terrorists and suicide bombers, they are threatening the rights of trans-gendered individuals. How? When a man dresses as a woman, the Israelis might embarrass an honest cross-dresser by subjecting him/her to a humiliating search, thereby interfering with the person’s sexual identity and human rights. They state:

The report identifies the ways in which those subject to gender-based abuse are often caught between targeting by terrorist groups and the State’s counter-terrorism measures that may fail to prevent, investigate, prosecute or punish these acts and perpetrate new human rights violations with impunity. These violations are amplified through war rhetoric and increased militarization in countering terrorism, both of which marginalize those who challenge or fall outside the boundaries of predetermined gender roles and involve situations of armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in which gender-based violence and gendered economic, social and cultural rights violations abound.

They add: “The report then draws attention to the fact that contrary to these international human rights obligations to ensure equality, some Governments have used the human rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals as a bartering tool to appease terrorist or extremist groups in ways that have furthered unequal gender relations and subjected such persons to increased violence.”

On page 19 the report says: “Enhanced immigration controls that focus attention on male bombers who may be dressing as females to avoid scrutiny make transgender persons susceptible to increased harassment and suspicion.” (my emphasis.)

And now that the United States has joined the 'Human Rights Council,' if you're an American, your tax dollars are paying for this important research.

Of course, the irony of all this is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals' can live without fear of being stoned to death. Gay 'Palestinians' are constantly trying to flee to Israel out of fear of death in the 'Palestinian Authority.'

But what's more important: The rights of gays or the rights of terrorists? I'm waiting to hear the gay community in the US tell President Obama.

Exit question: Are those men or women at the top of this post? How can you tell?

Israel Matzav: Your tax dollars at work: UNHRC reports on gendered impact of counter-terrorism measures

Israel Matzav: Tit for tat: Israel to file war crimes charges against Hamas

Tit for tat: Israel to file war crimes charges against Hamas

Saying that it's inconceivable that IDF officers cannot travel to Europe while Hamas terror leaders roam free, the IDF says that it will file war crimes charges against Hamas leaders for conducting last winter's war while hiding among the civilian population.

Defense officials said classified information would be revealed in order to prepare indictments against terrorists who had hidden in kindergartens, schools, hospitals and UN structures throughout the IDF's three-week offensive, resulting in civilian casualties. They added that charges could be pressed against dozens of Hamas officials within several days.

The officials stressed that it was unthinkable that IDF officers should be wary of arrest abroad while Hamas officials continue to travel freely around the world "as though they have been granted immunity."

However, the officials said that Israel would have to proceed cautiously: "We have to take all aspects into account, we must not be dragged into the sort of field our enemies are trying to drag us into."

Remember the rumors last winter that the Hamas high command had set up headquarters in the basement of Gaza City's Shifa Hospital? From everything I have heard over the last month, they're apparently true.


Israel Matzav: Tit for tat: Israel to file war crimes charges against Hamas
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