Friday, 13 November 2009

Love of the Land: France, for sale as usual

France, for sale as usual
12 November 09

This is a couple of days old, but it illustrates something important:

France fears that Israel no longer desires a Middle East peace deal, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Tuesday, adding that Paris remained deeply opposed to settlement building in the West Bank…

Speaking on France Inter radio, Kouchner made clear he was not expecting any swift break through in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

“What really hurts me, and this shocks us, is that before there used to be a great peace movement in Israel. There was a left that made itself heard and a real desire for peace,” Kouchner said.

“It seems to me, and I hope that I am completely wrong, that this desire has completely vanished, as though people no longer believe in it,” he added. — Ha’aretz

I can only understand this in one of two ways: either Kouchner and his boss are really, truly idiots who are incapable of perceiving the simple facts of the conflict and recent events; or, they are deliberately presenting a completely false view in order to make political points with foreign and domestic anti-Zionists.

The remark is infuriating, particularly the statement that Israelis in general don’t want peace, and the implication that only the Left is capable of it. The lack of peace is war — does he think Israelis want more war, after 61 years of it? Look at the behavior of Hamas and Hezbollah and ask who wants war!

(Continue reading...)

Love of the Land: France, for sale as usual

Love of the Land: Can the Palestinians Recite Them, Too?

Can the Palestinians Recite Them, Too?

Evelyn Gordon
12 November 09

In a letter to the International Herald Tribune, J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami urges the U.S. to finally close an Israeli-Palestinian deal, “the parameters of which we can all recite in our sleep.” So if everyone agrees on the parameters, how is it that 16 years of negotiations have yet to produce a deal?

The answer, of course, is that there is no such agreement — not on the parameters, and still less on the pesky details.

For instance, “everyone knows” — even Ben-Ami — that any deal requires the Palestinians to abandon their demand to resettle millions of descendants of refugees in Israel, as that would spell the end of the Jewish state. Everyone, that is, except the Palestinians, who have yet to budge on this demand.

And “everyone knows” that any deal must give the Palestinians control over the Temple Mount. (Well, actually, most Israelis disagree, but that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone — even their own prime ministers.) Yet every time Israel offers them the Mount, the Palestinians refuse to accept it, because they insist that it be accompanied by an Israeli renunciation of any Jewish connection to Judaism’s holiest site, to which Jews have prayed three times a day for millennia. In other words, they insist that Jews deny their history, religion, and cultural and spiritual heritage as the price of a deal.

Hence they rejected even the ridiculous and totally unenforceable Clinton compromise of Palestinian sovereignty atop the Mount and Israeli sovereignty underneath. That effectively gave the Palestinians full control, since if they control the top, nobody can prevent them from doing what they please underneath — nor can Israel gain access to exercise its underground rights. But since this compromise did acknowledge an Israeli connection to the Mount, even it was too much for the Palestinians.

They also rejected Ehud Olmert’s proposal last year that the Mount be controlled by a five-member international panel composed of “Palestine,” Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and Israel, on which Israel would obviously be permanently and automatically outvoted. But its very membership would acknowledge an Israeli connection to the Mount, and that was unacceptable to the Palestinians.

And then there’s the issue of borders. “Everyone knows” (except the Israeli majority, which doesn’t count) that the border must be based on the 1967 lines, with 1:1 territorial swaps for a few settlement blocs, since relocating 300,000 settlers is unfeasible. Yet the Palestinians rejected exactly that when Olmert offered it last year. Olmert proposed swaps equivalent to 6 percent of the West Bank, but the Palestinians say their maximum is 2-3 percent. It’s not enough for them to get the equivalent of 100 percent of the territory; they want the satisfaction of making Israel suffer by having to throw hundreds of thousands of Israelis out of their homes.

So it really doesn’t matter whether “everyone” knows the parameters or not. Because until someone manages to convince the Palestinians that Israel’s cultural, spiritual, and physical suicide isn’t part of the deal, there isn’t going to be one.

Love of the Land: Can the Palestinians Recite Them, Too?

Love of the Land: Good Governance Post National Trauma: Rejecting a Two State Solution

Good Governance Post National Trauma: Rejecting a Two State Solution

Prof. Alan Friedlander
Jerusalem Defender
12 November 09

Israeli President Shimon Peres recently said, "Those who reject the two-state solution will not bring a one-state solution. They will bring one conflict, not one state. A bloody endless conflict."

Excuse me, but isn't that what the Oslo Accords accomplished? Is that not the very fruit that it brought upon Israel? Isn't that what the Roadmap to Peace (Oslo 3) ended up doing, especially before the security fence was built?

Has it been so long since the first Intifada began that people have forgotten what it was like when Arab refugees didn't try to kill Israelis?

Answer this: Why, when Arafat was a fugitive for the first three decades of his terroristic career, there was no intifada? Why when Arafat underwent a PR makeover and was a pseudo partner in a pseudo peace process, why then did Israel stop looking over its borders with fear, but then start looking within its borders for the most clear and present dangers?

Arafat created a goon squad of terrorist abusers of the national psyche. Did anyone really believe that whitewashing the high crimes of the PLO by calling them by the designation of "diplomats" would bring Israel closer to peace?

Oslo 1, Oslo 2, the Roadmap. Wrong thought processes were at play that conceived these plans, which have brought these decades of endless violence. Like a battered wife who clings to her abusive husband. She should not cower behind the locked bathroom door each night hoping for her husband to calm down. She should leave or call the police.

By continuing to advocate the pursuit of a "one-state solution" you are essentially telling your people to sit there and take it; for eternity. This is peace? This is madness!

Bad policy such as this hopes to placate the abuser long enough so that the victim can just be left alone for a scant few moments of respite from his limitless rage. But no practical plans for long term security are on her agenda. Taking dangerous risks without a clearly obtainable goal is a classic symptom of the faulty reasoning that often affects the thought processes of victims of abuse. For example following up Oslo 1 with Oslo 2, then Oslo 2 with the Roadmap would be an expression of this disorder at the political level.

The healthier choice would have been seeking national consensus on the vital issues at play rather than forcing through the Knesset a left wing agenda.

To have true freedom from bloodshed, you must first inculcate true freedom of the heart and mind. As God told Yehoshua (Joshua) repeatedly, "Be strong and courageous".

Not only has the violence continued, your reaction has you pointed in the wrong direction to fix the problems...

Why should Arabs keep their homes and not Jews? Is this justice?

Why should Israel be forced into "Auschwitz Borders" as your friend Abba Eban used to call them? Is this security?

Why should you have to give anything to get peace? Should peaceful intentions not be shared by both partners?

Currently only one side is committed to peace and freedom of the other side if they should reach a peace deal, while the other guys refuse to accept even the notion of a Jewish State. Is this a true path to peace?

You have been strong and courageous to make sacrifices for peace. Now be strong and courageous to encourage the forsaking of the failed paths of national self destruction, leaving them as history. Only this new direction is a path that can lead to healthy and true peace.

Soon may it be so, by the grace of G-d.

Love of the Land: Good Governance Post National Trauma: Rejecting a Two State Solution

Love of the Land: Turkey


Shana Tova : Dry Bones cartoon.

What has happened to the Turkish-Israeli Alliance?

According to the Muslim Media Network:

"TEL AVIV — Turkey was said to have suspended up to $1 billion in proposed Israeli defense projects after canceling a major air exercise with Israel.

A leading Israeli defense analyst said the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has decided to end defense and military cooperation with Israel. Analyst Ron Ben-Yishai said the Turkish Defense Ministry has shelved a range of proposed Israeli projects.

“New deals worth tens and hundreds of millions of dollars offered by Israel’s defense industries to the Turkish Army, as well as cooperation with Turkish colleagues, are being put on hold or cancelled altogether,” Ben-Yishai said in a report." -more

According to Barry Rubin:

The Turkey-Israel alliance is over.
"After two decades plus of close cooperation, the Turkish government is no longer interested in maintaining close cooperation with Israel nor is it—for all practical purposes—willing to do anything much to maintain its good relations with Israel.

The U.S.-Turkish alliance, which goes back about six decades, is also over but much less visibly so, though the two relationships are interlinked.

And that’s one important point in the first development. If the Turkish government was really concerned about protecting the kind of tight links with America that have existed for so long, it would be far more cautious about jettisoning the old policy toward Israel." -more

Love of the Land: Turkey

RubinReports: State Department uses Islamist Anti-American Propaganda to Criticize Turkish Army Kicking Out Islamists

State Department uses Islamist Anti-American Propaganda to Criticize Turkish Army Kicking Out Islamists

[Please subscribe for more exclusive research reports on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and other issues.]

By Barry Rubin

I’ve already written about how former President Bill Clinton, in line with the Obama Administration’s thinking, acted as an apologist and even booster of Turkey’s Islamist regime. Now the State Department is doing it. Indeed, this is a fascinating little example of how thoroughly Islamists bamboozle the West.

The State Department issued its annual religious freedom report. If you look at the section on Turkey, you will see that a main—perhaps the main—source is Mazlum-Der, which is the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People. What could be better than human rights and helping oppressed people?

Unfortunately, Mazlum-Der is a front for the Islamist government in Turkey and the main oppressed people it’s concerned about are Hamas, Hizballah, and others of that ilk.

In fact, this group is headed by an Islamist member of parliament for the Adiyaman district who comes from the ruling party, Faruk Unsal, who has been personally involved in repressing those criticizing the regime through trumped-up treason charges! [To hide Unsal's identity, his name appears only on the Turkish, not the English language site, and neither tell you about his political role.]

As for the group, to give an example, on May 1 it organized a rally in Diyarbakir with Kurdish Hizballah calling for the regime to uninvite Israel to joint militry maneuvers. Clearly, the government had already decided to do so and assigned its front groups to show "popular support" for that step.
So the State Department, by using a radical group as a source, falls into the Islamist trap in several ways:

--Religious Muslims in Turkey are portrayed as victims of the military and judiciary. These are, in fact, the only two institutions that the AK hasn’t infiltrated and largely taken over yet. So Islamists use the State Department to discredit the army and courts to make it easier to complete their seizure of the state apparatus.

--There is no mention whatsoever of the real oppression going on, which is of secularists who are being forced out of jobs, not given government contracts, sent to jail, sued by the government, or even facing violence.

--While the report does discuss the situation of non-Muslims in Turkey, it leaves out the virulent antisemitism that the regime has been promoting. In addition, it doesn’t mention the fact that the government refuses to legalize the prayer houses of the Alevis, who constitute 10 to 20 percent of the population.

What is particularly amazing is that the U.S. government accepts the word of an Islamist, anti-American group which of course wants as many radical Islamists as possible in the army to fulfill its own goals. Such soldiers, of course, could commit acts of terrorism (against Americans, too), pass information onto Iran, serve as regime spies against pro-democratic forces, and ensure that the military never blocks the regime’s attempt to become a dictatorship.

The report's wording has to be seen to be believed:

“Officers and noncommissioned officers were dismissed periodically for ignoring repeated warnings from superior officers and for maintaining ties to what the military considered Islamic fundamentalist organizations…."

So could the United States be accused of human rights' violations if it had dismissed a certain army major rather than waiting until he murdered 13 people and murdered a score of others?

"Some members of the military, judiciary, and other branches of the bureaucracy continued to wage campaigns against what they label as Islamic fundamentalism. These groups view religious fundamentalism as a threat to the secular state.

"Reports by Mazlum-Der, the media, and others indicated that the military periodically dismissed religiously observant Muslims from military service. Such dismissals were based on behavior that military officials believed identified these individuals as Islamic fundamentalists, which officials believed could indicate disloyalty to the secular state.”

Islamic fundamentalists in the army are a threat to the secular state? Where could they possibly have gotten that idea?

Note, too, the contradiction. The army says it warns people first and then dismisses them only if they refuse to break connections to radical groups. But Islamists claim these soldiers are being persecuted because they are "religiously observant Muslims." This is nonsense.

But, remember, this is what the U.S. army would have been charged with if it had taken action against an officer who applauded the murder of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, then claimed he was being discriminated against simply because he was a Muslim.

And this is a violation of religious freedom? Remember that an “Islamic fundamentalist” is someone who holds a political ideology advocating Turkey becoming an Islamist dictatorship. What next? The State Department criticizes Egypt or Jordan for kicking “Islamic fundamentalists” out of their armies?

Well, at least the U.S. government is consistent since--judging from the evidence coming out after the Ft. Hood murders--it doesn't remove Jihadists from its own military.

RubinReports: State Department uses Islamist Anti-American Propaganda to Criticize Turkish Army Kicking Out Islamists

How Deep is the Rot?

How Deep is the Rot?

The rot of antisemitism at The Guardian, I mean. Well, apparently it's about as deep as you could imagine. Think: the kitchen of the top editor.

CiF Watch will soon be promoted up the ranks of the Elders of Zion for their fine work.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh

There's a new, six volume edition of his letters and drawings: Vincent van Gogh: The Letters: The Complete Illustrated and Annotated Edition (Vol. 1-6). A bit pricey, but wonderful, apparently. The Economist gushes:
The publication of the six volumes is cause for celebration. To have all the artist’s words together with all those images is like being given a pair of super-special 3D spectacles. The resulting self-portrait has a depth that would not exist were this a collection only of images or only of words. This could be the best autobiography of an artist yet to appear anywhere.
You can even go see it all online, free.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: CHAYEI SARAH: At Eventide


by Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman

Avraham's partner in kindness, Sarah, had just left the world. She lit the lamps of kindness in their home. Their home was the first mishkan, and in a sense she was the first Kohen Gadol, the High Priest who lit the lamps each day in the future Holy Temple. As in the story of Chanukah, the lamp must be kept lit continously.

Since his mother Sarah's passing, Yitzchak was now in deep pain. A holy spouse was needed to actively partner with him in bringing G*d's light into the world. In both senses. Literally with light, and figuratively through kindness and compassion. She would be the lightkeeper.

Our tradition teaches how important it is to find a worthy spouse who is emblematic of the overarching qualities of kindness and compassion. One is allowed to even take leave of Eretz Yisrael if need be, so important is a worthy spouse. She would be a holy bride to fill the vacuum in his soul left by his mother Sarah's passing. She would bring a shining Light of Chesed, of kindness, to restore the light and lustre, indeed the holy joy that the family once knew.

But while Eliezer engaged in the physical effort to procure a spouse, the beneficiary of these efforts, Yitzhak *himself,* had to desire it and pray for it to happen. And in fact he does pray, meditating in the field "towards evening." Note the common usage of the word "erev," or evening, in our narrative."

vayavrech hag'malim michutz la'ir el be'er hamayim Le"ET EREV, LE'ET tzeit hashoavot...

He (Eliezer) let the camels rest on their knees outside the city, beside the well; it was at the time of evening, at the time when women go out to draw water(Gen 24:11).

Let us ask, why is the word ET (time) doubled: the "time of evening" and the "time of the going out of the water drawers?" If everybody knows that the time of drawing water is in the evening, then why repeat the phrase, "in the evening?" That would verge on the redundant. As the Sages teach, no word in the Torah is extraneous!

The answer is in verse 63, where Yitzhak goes out to meditate in the field TOWARDS evening, i.e., before the evening. According to our narrative Eliezer arrives at the evening. As it was his wont to pray before the evening, the text would suggest that Yitzhak's deep prayers had a remarkable and direct efficacy. Synchronicity. Hashem is called the "bochen levavot," the seer of the depths of our hearts' deepest desires. When hearts are united prayer becomes stronger.

Indeed no two hearts were more united than Avraham's and Yitzhak's after the Akeidah. It was "towards evening" when the Akeidah occured (it was clearly not dark yet because Avraham "saw the ram" in the thicket), and thus was now especially designated as the time of Yitzhak's deepest prayers. This was forever to be the time window that was uniquely his own, the most propitious and efficacious for all his future prayers. Mincha was his special time, his window to deep experiential happenings - his own "near death" experience, and his time of first meeting his future bride.

So just as Yitzchak was praying for his soulmate, so too was Eliezer praying that Yitzchak's soulmate should appear. Erev means "evening," but it also means "mixing." In the case of evening it is the "mixing" of light and darkness. Similarly, Areivut (ERV) means "responsibility." The connection is that we- all Israel- are responsible for one another. But this idea of "erev," of the "mixing of the light" at eventide, the time of praying for one's soulmate, goes even deeper.

Eliezer has taken a journey out of Abraham's orbit, from out of a place of pure light to a land of idolatry, to a place of spiritual darkness. But suddenly here was Rivka (Rebecca) engaged in acts of kindness, of chesed, to both man and "beast" (camels). To all living things. She is a light in the darkness. She is a light mixed in with the darkness- a mixing of the light and the darkness. She *is* erev.

And it is at that eventide moment that three things happen simultaneously, in perfect harmonic convergence: when she takes responsibility for her own kindness, when Eliezer takes responsibility for finding his master's son a soulmate, and when Yitzchak is praying for all of the above. Through prayer, cosmic forces become arrayed to synchronistically aid and abet spiritually ennobling aims.

Rivka in her own right represents the aspect of pure chesed. She is the opposite of Isaac's antithetical quality of gevurah, or restriction, thus renewing Abraham and Sarah's kindness paradigm. And we should be cognizant of the fact that we, all of us, as her children, are stamped with her seal of kindness. We are known as Rachmanim B'nei Rachmanim- Merciful Ones, Children of Merciful Ones. We are Children of the Light- the Light of Sarah's Tent.

But owing to the fervent and simultaneous prayers of all three-of Yitzchak, Eliezer and Rivka, we should also be known as the Children of the Evening. Both erev in the sense of evening as well as erev in the sense of areivut- pleasantness. And finally, it is in the sense of being responsible for one another, as in Kawl Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh - "all Israel is responsible one for the other."

There are those who take responsibility for the repair of their souls - their innerworld, and there are those who take responsibility for the repair of the cosmos- their outerworld. But
here is the question: why can't we have both?

Shabbat Shalom! Good Shabbos!
Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: CHAYEI SARAH: At Eventide

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video
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