Wednesday, 18 November 2009



By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Torah Reading: Gen. 25:19-28:9. Haftara: Malachi 1:1-2:7.


In the holy structure built by the patriarchs to reveal HaShem to the world, Abraham is the initial thesis: expansive energy, revelation, kindness -- CHESSED. Isaac is the antithesis: restriction, control -- GEVURAH, while Jacob, who enters the stage in our parshah, is the synthesis: balance, order, beauty -- TIFERET. Jacob, the most "perfect" (SHALEM) of the patriarchs, came to complete the holy House -- the House of Israel, to whom all the nations will turn at the end of history in order to find HaShem: "And many nations will go and say, 'Go, let us ascend to the mountain of HaShem, to the HOUSE of the G-d of Jacob'" (Isaiah 2:3).

As thesis and antithesis, Abraham and Isaac represent two opposite tendencies, each of which has an extreme aspect, an aspect of excess, that must be transmuted and directed to the holy in order for perfect balance and harmony to reign. Thus Abraham and Isaac each had a "first-born" (the aspect of excess) who was rejected from the holy structure. The last section of the previous parshah, CHAYEY SARAH, completed the story of Abraham's "first-born", Ishmael, the son of Hagar, and his descendants, who embody the "excess" aspect of Abraham: religious fanaticism -- "before all his brothers he fell" (Gen. 25:18, closing words of CHAYEH SARAH). In introducing Jacob, the perfect patriarch, our parshah of TOLDOS also introduces Jacob's challenger, his twin brother Esau, who embodies the excess aspect of Isaac: power and domination used arrogantly for the benefit of self instead of for G-d. The story of Esau is told partly in our parshah, left aside in next week's parshah of VAYETZE, which focusses exclusively on Jacob, and taken up again in the following parshah of VAYISHLACH. There the story of Esau and his generations will be concluded with the account of the "Seven kings who ruled in Edom before a king ruled over the children of Israel" (Gen. 36:31). Kabbalistically, the Seven Kings who "ruled and died" represent the World of Devastation (TOHU) produced by the "Breaking of the Vessels" for the purpose of bringing evil into the world. From the following parshah, VEYESHEV, until the end of Genesis, the Torah concentrates on Jacob and his generations, who represent the World of Rectification (TIKKUN), in which evil is eventually vanquished completely through the House of Israel. The vicissitudes of Joseph and his brothers are paradigmatic of the vicissitudes leading to the eventual revelation of Messiah.

Historically, the descendants of Ishmael and of Abraham's other sons from Keturah brought certain aspects of the monotheism of Abraham to many parts of the world, especially to the east and south, including the Arab lands and many parts of Africa and Asia (the descendants of Noah's son Ham), through Islam. The descendants of Esau brought other aspects of the tradition of Abraham to the north and west -- to Europe, Russia and America (descendants of Japheth) as well as many other parts of the world through Christianity. (See Rambam, Hilchos Melochim 11:4 uncensored version). Although the land given specifically to Esau is Mount Seir, which is south east of the Land of Israel, Esau-Edom is particularly associated with Rome (see Rashi on Gen. 36:43 and also on Gen. 27:39). Rome put its unique stamp upon western culture and its influence is felt until today. (Thus the U.S. Senate is named after the Roman Senate.)

* * *


The holy structure to be built by Jacob was to be constructed only through struggle and effort: Jacob's struggle is the struggle to elevate Isaac's power (GEVURAH) through its use not for the benefit of self, but in order to bring the spirituality of Abraham (CHESSED) to rule over the fallen GEVUROS, the refractory material world of practical action as represented in the figure of Esau (from the Hebrew root ASO, "doing"). Only through the struggle to sift and clarify truth and goodness from falsehood and evil IN THE REAL WORLD is the light of truth revealed in all its beauty and perfection.

The history of mankind has indeed been the history of the clash of cultures and civilizations. It may appear cyclical and pointless, but as revealed in our parshah, it has a purpose and an end goal. It is to reveal G-d's unity out of the intergenerational war between good and evil in all shapes and forms. The struggle has been protracted and painful, just as the struggle of the twins in Rebecca's womb was painful to her to the point of desperation. Yet the very pain itself forced Rebecca to "go to search out HaShem" (Gen. 45:22). Similarly, the many pains and troubles later suffered by Jacob (as a result of the hatred and envy of Esau and Laban and family tragedy with Dinah and Jacob) brought him time after time to turn to G-d for help. The way to G-d's truth is indeed often painful and riddled with conflicts -- with others and within our very selves. However, it is possible to give meaning to our pain, struggle and hardship and to actually grow through them when we learn to turn our very pains and trials into a springboard to seek out G-d.

* * *


The two twins early showed their different traits. Esau, "man of the field", took after Isaac, who "went out to the field" (Gen. 24:63, last week's parshah). Esau the hunter exemplifies the extreme and unholy distortion of Isaac's holy GEVURAH. Esau's is the cunning brute force of the mighty over the weak and unsuspecting. (Esau wears the clothes of Nimrod.) Jacob, on the other hand, "dwelled in tents" -- not one tent but two: the "tents" of learning of his two teachers, the tent of his grandfather Abraham Man of Kindness (Abraham was still alive until Jacob was 13) and the tent of Jacob's own father Isaac, Man of Power. Jacob's mission was to synthesize the two "tents" and build out of them a "house": to combine the differing paths of the first two patriarchs (Abraham, the paradigm convert and Isaac, the paradigm case of one born into religion) into a unitary tradition capable of constant self-renewal. Jacob, the TAM, possessing the quality of simple honesty, sincerity and the search for truth, was able to do this. Esau was not: he knew only to ensnare -- for he himself was ensnared in the mesh of evil.

According to the Midrash, the episode of Jacob's "purchase" of the birthright from Esau for a cup of soup took place on the day that Abraham died. Jacob cooked the soup as the SEUDAT HAVRA'AH, the "meal of comfort and invigoration" prepared for the immediate mourners after the funeral. As Rashi teaches (on Gen. 25:30), Jacob's lentil soup was intended to convey a profound message to his father Isaac, who was mourning the loss of his father. "The lentil is similar to a wheel, and so too death and mourning are part of the cycle of the world." It is impossible to explain the meaning of death rationally -- the lentil "has no mouth", the mourner has nothing to say. We have no option but to accept death and mourning as an inevitable part of the cycle of destiny.

Jacob's ability to use a material object, the lentil, in order to teach a spiritual lesson, is what gave him power over ASIYAH as represented in ESAU. Esau was preoccupied with the material externality of the soup. Esau, the twin brother with whom Jacob was locked in perpetual struggle, was in and of the material world. Esau was exhausted from a day of "hunting". He was hungry. He wanted the tasty, filling soup. He had no time for spiritual meanings. Esau, locked in the time-bound material realm, knew only that he was going to die -- so eat, drink and be merry now! What need did Esau have for a spirituality that brought no immediate gratification? Esau was thus unfitted for the BECHORA, the choice first-born portion that was "acquired" by Jacob through his superior wisdom. The superior wisdom of the Torah is itself the choice portion, as indicated in the opening word of the Torah: BE-REISHIS, "for the sake of the first."

One of the deep mysteries of the Torah is that the natural, apparent first-born are repeatedly rejected in favor of the true, "spiritual" first-born. Cain was rejected while Abel's sacrifice was accepted. Japheth was made subordinate to his younger brother, Shem (Rashi on Gen.10:28) -- Shem and his descendants were the "high priests" who brought knowledge of HaShem to the world. Ishmael and Esau were rejected in favor of Isaac and Jacob respectively. Later on, Jacob's first-born Reuven was rejected in favor of Levi, Judah and Joseph. Ephraim was given precedence over Menashe. Kehas, the son of Levi, was given precedence over Levi's first-born, Gerhson... and Moses attained kingship over the firstborn Aaron, who was three years his senior. Yet through Aaron's humble, joyous submission to his younger brother Moses, whose spokesman he became, Aaron earned the priesthood. Through the balance between the lawgiver and the priest, the transgenerational struggle between brothers that started with Cain and Abel was brought to a satisfactory conclusion: religious service (as represented in Aaron) must be subject to religious law (Moses). Otherwise service turns into excess.

* * *


History repeats itself because lessons learned by one generation are forgotten by the next and have to be relearned. Just as the generation of Abraham had been afflicted by famine, so too was the generation of Isaac. Just as Abraham had been forced into exile, so was Isaac. Abraham dwelled among the Philistines in Gerar, and so did Isaac.

The popular association of "philistinism" with barbarity is fitting, for the Philistines represent the very opposite of the CHESED that is the driving force of the religion of Abraham. The numerical value of the Hebrew letters of PhiLiShTYM (Phe 80, Lamed 30, Shin 300, Tav 400, Yud 10, Mem 40) is 860. 86 is the numerical value of the letters of the divine name ELoKiM, alluding to GEVURAH, might, power, limitation and concealment. The Philistines (= 10 x 86) represent the forces of limitation and concealment in full array. In each generation their king, AVIMELECH (= "I want to rule") wants to steal the Shechinah (represented by Sarah and Rebeccah) for his own selfish pleasure. In each generation the patriarchs had to teach the lesson that the law of G-d must prevail. The kidnapping of a married woman is a crime against the universal law of the children of Noah. Abraham had taught the lesson in his generation, but it had been forgotten, and it had to be taught again in the generation of Isaac. This is because the forces of evil constantly conceal lessons learned by earlier generations. "And all the wells that the servants of his father [Abraham] had dug, the Philistines had stopped up, and they filled them with earth." (Gen. 26:15). The mission of the patriarchs was to uncover the waters of spirituality and bring them to the world, but the Philistines closed up the very sources of the living waters of spirituality with earthliness and gross materialism. Rashi (ad loc.) points out that the Targum of the word "closed up" has the connotation of "closing up the heart" with insensitivity and foolishness. Accordingly Isaac had to start all over again, re-digging the very wells that Abraham had dug.

Isaac's very success -- which so aroused the ire and envy of the Philistines -- came about because he loyally followed in the ways of charity, generosity and kindness taught by his father Abraham. (Thus Rashi points out Isaac was careful to assess the lands he sowed with a view to how much they could produce in tithes for charity, see Rashi on Gen. 26:12). Isaac was blessed because he wanted to share his blessings. Faced with the threat of military might from the Philistines, Isaac's response was to call upon the name of G-d. Instead of fighting his enemies, Isaac made peace with them. He practiced the ways of peace: "And he made a feast for them and they ate and drank... and they went from him in peace" (Gen. 26:30-31).

* * *


G-d "made the earth blossom forth every kind of tree pleasant to the eye and good to eat" and bestowed rich blessings upon man to enable him to come to know and attach himself to his Maker. Adam had been tricked by the serpent -- his own pride and arrogance -- into eating of the very tree from which he was forbidden to eat, thereby separating himself from his Maker. Being too clever for his own good, man mixed up good and evil. As a result Adam's descendants were condemned to a multi-generational struggle against that selfsame serpent of pride and arrogance, struggling repeatedly through history to sort out the confusion.

The confusion was so great that the Blind Isaac was apparently ready to hand over the power of blessing he had received from G-d (Gen.25:11) to the seeming first-born, Esau, even though Esau was in fact the very incarnation of the serpent (see Targum on Gen. 25:27, where "knowing hunting" is translated as NACHASHIRCHAN, having the connotation of NACHASH, serpentine).

The ultimate joke (Yitzchak means "he will laugh") is that Isaac, embodiment of GEVURAH, is overpowered and outwitted by his wife, Rebecca, who turns out to be his match in that attribute. Isaac's GEVURAH lay in the fact that he had been "born in" to the religion and brought up to a life of discipline, as symbolized in his being bound to the altar in the AKEIDAH that left his eyes blinded by the "tears of the angels" that dropped into them at that supreme moment. Rebecca's GEVURAH lay in the fact that even as a child, she had separated herself from the totally sinful environment in which she had been brought up -- she was the archetypal BAALAS TESHUVAH. Thus she knew the world better than "blind" Isaac -- and she knew that for the good of the entire world, it was vital that the blessings should go to Jacob. Since the serpent caused Adam's downfall by outwitting him and working on his wife, it was necessary for a woman, Rebecca, to outwit the serpent in order to restore Adam, incarnated in Jacob, to his true greatness. Thus Rebecca took Esau's beautiful clothes -- which he had stolen from Nimrod, who had stolen them from Adam -- and dressed Jacob with them.

"And [Isaac] smelled the scent of his clothes and he blessed him and said: See the scent of my son is as the scent of the field that HaShem has blessed. And G-d will give you of the dew of the heavens and from the fat of the earth and an abundance of grain and wine. The nations will serve you and the peoples will prostrate to you..." (Gen. 27:27-8).

Shabbat Shalom!

Avraham Yehushua Greenbaum

PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel

Love of the Land: Apartments in Jerusalem, Now More Scandalizing than Ever

Apartments in Jerusalem, Now More Scandalizing than Ever

Noah Pollak
18 November 09

The latest expression of displeasure from the Obama administration over Israeli construction in Jerusalem should not be taken as a comment on the construction itself. It is actually a clumsy attempt at damage control. From China, Robert Gibbs said:

“We are dismayed at the Jerusalem Planning Committee’s decision to move forward on the approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem,” Gibbs said in the statement. “At a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations.” … “Our position is clear,” Gibbs continued. “The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties.”

If “neither party should unilaterally preempt negotiations,” what does Gibbs have to say about the actual reason there are no negotiations currently taking place? That would be the Palestinian refusal to hold talks, on the unprecedented and invented grounds that any Israeli construction on land that was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967 unilaterally preempts negotiations. In other words, the White House has endorsed the Palestinian preconditions on negotiations — at the same time as it rejects any attempt to set preconditions on negotiations. Quite a feat.

But this level of nonsense is necessary, and not because of anything the Palestinians or Israelis did. It is because of the immense damage the administration has done to the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas. Having staked the peace process on an undeliverable promise to the Palestinians of a settlement freeze, the administration is now forced to spin furiously for Abbas in order to shield him from even more humiliation than he’s already suffered.

Robert Gibbs pretends to be scandalized, but nobody should buy it. Are we really supposed to believe that George Mitchell thought the Netanyahu government, having rejected numerous such demands previously, would suddenly agree to allow the State Department to dictate to Israel about housing construction in its own capital?

Love of the Land: Apartments in Jerusalem, Now More Scandalizing than Ever

Love of the Land: Why Won’t the Arabs Protect Themselves from Iran by Actively Battling Against Tehran Having Nuclear Weapons?

Why Won’t the Arabs Protect Themselves from Iran by Actively Battling Against Tehran Having Nuclear Weapons?

Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
18 November 09

It isn’t hard to conclude that Iran having nuclear weapons is a direct threat to Arab states, except Syria—Tehran’s ally—which would benefit. Why, then, don’t Arab states and intellectuals public express more concern?

Western observers were shaken up when at a debate in Qatar, the relatively moderate Arab audience split almost down the middle between those cheering and those jeering the idea of Iranian nuclear weapons.

One member of the audience

“Why in the first place should Iran seek the trust of anyone? Iran is an independent, sovereign country, and it has every single right to defend itself. If it wants a bomb, definitely it should have one."

The audience cheered.

Another man said:

"There is something called balance of power. As long as there is Israel, we need a nuclear bomb."

A serious analysis would have to include three main points in explaining this seeming suicidal desire of many Arabs that the real worst enemy of the current Arab order become really, really powerful:

First, fear. Iran is strong, aggressive, close, and represents an ideology that appeals to some of their people. To stand up to Iran’s growing strength could incur costly hostility, pressure and subversion now. And once Tehran gets nuclear weapons, it will remember and take revenge on those who have tried to thwart it.

Second, there is the Middle Eastern version of Political Correctness which, unlike its Western version, has very sharp teeth. All good Muslims are supposed to love each other, hate Israel, and hate America. Much the same can be said of all good Arabs, though Iran of course does not benefit directly from that paradigm.

Consequently, if Iran can become a nuclear-armed Muslim state which views America, the West, and Israel as its enemies, then that must be good for Muslims and even Arabs too, right? How proud they all can be that one of them has made good! That will sure show the West that Muslims can have the ultimate weapon. Certainly, many of their people will be enthusiastic and so the rulers—even in dictatorships—rush to get to the head of the crowd lest it turn on them.

Third, their behavior is based on hopeful thinking, a sort of more likely version of wishful thinking. Surely, they wish, the United States or Israel will solve the problem without their having to do anything. Incidentally, this is similar to their position on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And, of course, this is a test of U.S. power and will power. After all, if America can’t deal with Iran for them that proves the United States cannot protect them against Tehran. So they are better off keeping their mouths shut now and the option open of appeasing Iran.
(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Why Won’t the Arabs Protect Themselves from Iran by Actively Battling Against Tehran Having Nuclear Weapons?

Love of the Land: Under Attack: HR Accused by UK TV Documentary

Under Attack: HR Accused by UK TV Documentary

Honest Reporting
18 November 09

HonestReporting responds to a Channel 4 investigation of the UK's 'pro-Israel lobby'.

On November 16, the UK Channel 4's flagship documentary program, Dispatches, broadcast an investigation of "one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel", directly attacking and smearing HonestReporting in the process.

"Despite wielding great influence among the highest realms of British politics and media, little is known about the individuals and groups which collectively are known as the pro-Israel lobby," the program noted.

Aside from inventing a non-existent "lobby" that conjures up images of some of the worst forms of anti-Jewish prejudice, the documentary attempts to discredit and delegitimize HonestReporting and the thousands of its subscribers who care about accurate reporting of Israel in the media.

The documentary is available to view in full on YouTube or by clicking on the video below to see the specific segment concerning HonestReporting.)

While the program had been in the making for several months, it was only in the few weeks prior to the transmission when those UK Jewish communal and pro-Israel organizations targeted by C4 were contacted by Hardcash Productions and political commentator Peter Oborne.

We at HonestReporting found the premise of the entire program to be highly offensive and prejudiced. For, as commentator Tom Gross notes:

Whereas there is a pro-Israel lobby with some influence in the U.S. (though not the kind of influence ascribed to it by anti-Semites), contrary to what Channel 4 and others think, there is no effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain.

The complete lack of any effective pro-Israel lobby in Britain (as opposed to well organized anti-Israel groups) goes a long way to explaining why some of the coverage of Israel in the British media is among the worst in the world, and sometimes rivals the Iranian and Egyptian media for its sheer nastiness.

Others, including individuals and organisations targeted by C4 have already commented on the nature of the program, which we do not intend to dissect in its whole.

We do, however, wish to respond to the content aimed directly at HonestReporting that appears in the program from 35-42 mins.

Love of the Land: Under Attack: HR Accused by UK TV Documentary

Love of the Land: How the IAEA Encourages Proliferation

How the IAEA Encourages Proliferation

Evelyn Gordon
18 November 09

The International Atomic Energy Agency is, as Jonathan noted, deeply disturbed by its latest findings on Iran. It is also deeply disturbed by its latest findings on Syria, which it detailed in another report released this week. Syria’s explanation of the uranium traces found at a Damascus research reactor did not fit the facts, the report said, nor did these traces match Syria’s declared uranium inventory. Moreover, Syria is still refusing IAEA requests for both a return visit to Dair Alzour, the site Israel bombed in September 2007, and initial visits to three military sites whose appearance was altered after inspectors asked to see them.

“Essentially, no progress has been made since the last report to clarify any of the outstanding issues,” the agency concluded.

The real mystery, however, is why the IAEA seems to find this behavior eternally surprising — because its own behavior positively demands such stonewalling.

The IAEA has been investigating Syria for more than two years now. During this time, it has issued numerous reports expressing its concern over suspicious findings that Damascus failed to adequately explain and over Syria’s refusal to let it make the inspections necessary to answer its questions. Yet it has refused to refer the case to the Security Council for sanctions, because, says agency director Mohamed ElBaradei, there is no proof of Syrian wrongdoing.

Well, of course there isn’t. That’s the whole point of Syria’s stonewalling — to prevent the agency from getting such proof!

Damascus, needless to say, is merely copying the lessons learned from the agency’s handling of Iran. After discovering in 2003 that Tehran had been lying about its nuclear program for 18 years, the agency spent the next three years refusing to turn the file over to the Security Council, saying there was no proof Iran’s secret nuclear program was aimed at producing weapons. And when the case finally did reach the Security Council, El-Baradei lobbied vehemently against sanctions, citing the lack of a “smoking gun” that would justify punishment.

Thus all Iran had to do was ensure that there never would be a smoking gun — by steadfastly refusing to comply with inspectors’ requests.

ElBaradei thereby made noncooperation the optimum strategy. Had either Syria or Iran cooperated, the agency might have obtained sufficient evidence to justify severe sanctions. But as long as they refuse to cooperate, the agency has little chance of obtaining such proof, ensuring that any repercussions will be mild. Therefore, they are free to develop nuclear weapons with impunity.

To be effective, IAEA policy would have to be the exact opposite — one of imposing stringent penalties for noncooperation, to encourage suspect countries to “come clean” and prove their innocence. And that, of course, would require suspect regimes to actuallybe innocent, creating a strong disincentive to secret weapons programs.

In short, under ElBaradei, the IAEA has brilliantly hit on the strategy most likely to facilitate nuclear proliferation. Is it any wonder he and the agency won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005?

Love of the Land: How the IAEA Encourages Proliferation

Love of the Land: Battle Over The Identity Of Eretz Yisrael

Battle Over The Identity Of Eretz Yisrael

It is still difficult to imagine that even though his passion remains within these words, he is no longer with us.

By Tsafrir Ronen z"l
Written Thursday, May 22, 2008

The historic significance of the rise of settlements since the beginning of Zionism has been not just to restore the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael, but chiefly to reinstate the Hebrew identify of Eretz Yisrael.

The pioneers who transformed Um Juni to Degania, the first kibbutz in the Holy Land (1910), restored its Hebrew identity. With that act, a parcel of our homeland was conquered. The work brigade that transformed “Ein Jalud” to Ein Harod (1921) restored the Biblical identity from Gidon’s days to the valley. The same goes for the transformation of the hills of “Abu Shusha” to Mishmar HaEmek, and the transformation of “Ja’uni” to “Gai-Oni” (Valley of My Strength), and then to Rosh Pina. Every settlement restored to every abandoned spot in the Land its Biblical, Hebrew identity.

The establishment of Elon Moreh renewed the Israeli identity of Elon Moreh.

The recent fight in Hebron over Jewish settlement in part of Hebron’s Jewish Quarter where Arab squatters had set up a marketplace was not just over the rights of two families. The pioneers of Jewish Hebron understand that this battle is over Hebron’s identity. If Hebron is populated by Jews, Hebron’s identity will be Jewish, and if there are only Arabs in Hebron, then even Hebron’s name will be abandoned in favor of “Al Halil,” the Arabic name. The Left wants an Arabic identity for Hebron. Their hatred for settlement is hatred for the idea of linking Eretz Yisrael and the Jewish people. That is the whole story.

Yet not just Hebron is involved. The Left also does not want any of Judea and Samaria to have a Jewish identity. Their friends in the media continue to label the heart of Eretz Yisrael by foreign names given to it by our people’s enemies, such as “Palestine,” the “West Bank,” the “territories,” and the “occupation.” They’ll call the land of the Bible by every possible name, just not the only name that restores a Jewish identity to our land – Judea and Samaria. The meaning of the name “Judea” is that this is the land of the Jews, and Eretz Yisrael means that this is the land of Yisrael – just as Eire-land is the land of the Eires, Eng-land is the land of the English, and Fin-land is the land of the Finns. They cannot be occupiers of a land named after them. A land’s identity is like the identity of the people inhabiting it. The people of Israel cannot be considered occupiers of the Land of Israel.

Had there been no renewed settlement in Shiloh, Beit El and Elon Moreh, these would have remained abstract Biblical names, in the realm of legend. Settlement created the Land’s identity anew. Settlement restored to these areas their true names, and removed from the Arabic conqueror the false Arabic names. Shiloh recreated Biblical Shiloh. If Judea and Samaria are ever abandoned, they won’t just be abandoned physically but in terms of their identity.

Once more, on all the world’s maps, Eretz Yisrael will no longer be called Eretz Yisrael or Israel, but something else. Surely, until 1967, Judea and Samaria were called “the West Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan.” Israel’s military victory over Jordan restored to them their true Biblical name. If Israel abandons them, the enemy will not call them by their Hebrew name, but by their counterfeit name, Palestine, a name artificially created by the Emperor Hadrian when he subdued the Bar Kochba revolt in his longing to destroy the Jewish identify of Judea.

Hadrian’s curse failed. The name Palestine was abandoned entirely over the years. Already the Crusaders called the land “the Kingdom of Jerusalem.” The Arabic conquest didn’t call the Land by any name whatsoever. It was just Southern Syria. For 1300 years the land lacked any identity, and lacked any people that identified with the Land – except for our people. The anti-Semitic British, halting aliyah and settlement by way of their White Paper, understood what the anti-Semites in our midst understand: settlement restores Jewish identity to the Land.

Every outpost carrying a Hebrew name transforms another section of the Land to Hebrew. The battle is not one of tanks or jets. The battle today is the most decisive battle ever. It is a battle over the identity of the Land. Will the Land carry a counterfeit Arabic or pagan identity, a forged name from the Emperor Hadrian? Or will it have an Israelite, Biblical identity – the true identity of the Land.

Only settlement will restore to the Land its Israeli identity. The Arabs demand that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hand over to them the Land, empty of Jews. As long as there are Jews in Judea, it will be impossible to call it by its counterfeit propaganda name – Palestine. The only thing stopping this government from handing over Eretz Yisrael to the enemy is their inability to destroy Jewish settlement, which meanwhile is stopping the wheels of destruction in Judea. The construction of hundreds of new outposts is the only guarantee that the identity of Eretz Yisrael will be preserved.

The desire to destroy settlements is the desire to destroy the identity of Eretz Yisrael – the land of the people of Israel.

Love of the Land: Battle Over The Identity Of Eretz Yisrael

Love of the Land: What Nasrallah Did Not Say Directly

What Nasrallah Did Not Say Directly

Tariq Alhomayed
Asharq Al-Awsat
17 November 09

I always recommend reading Hassan Nasrallah's speeches rather than listening to them, because reading one of his speeches unemotionally allows one to read between the lines. The latest speech given by the Hezbollah leader was as if he were trying to compete with Mr. Amr Musa for the position of Secretary-General of the Arab League. In this speech, Nasrallah spoke about Lebanon, the Arabs, and the world [at large], and offered his opinions and his congratulations on initiatives that have been taken. The most important thing highlighted in this speech was his statements about the elections, the peace process, and Turkey, and in the process revealing [several] important issues.

Nasrallah said that following the election of [US President] Obama "Many people waited and gambled and kept watch, saying wait, for there will be big changes" but that "the reality of this mirage was soon revealed." Nasrallah then quoted a Palestinian negotiator who had told him that we have negotiated for 18 years and not achieved anything. Nasrallah said "the number 18 is an interesting number; [there have been] 18 years of negotiations whose only results are failure, frustration, loss, humiliation, and occupation. In contrast 18 years of resistance in Lebanon has resulted in the liberation of Beirut and its suburbs, the [Lebanese] mountains, Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon from Zionist occupation…and without any favors from anybody in this world." The crux of the speech can be seen when Nasrallah said "we are with 'Sunni' Turkey if it wants to defend Palestine, the Gaza Strip, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
(Read full article)

Love of the Land: What Nasrallah Did Not Say Directly

Love of the Land: Iran, Its Hostages and the West

Iran, Its Hostages and the West

The folly of expecting good faith from Iran's hostage-taking rulers.

Wall Street Journal
18 November 09

Iran's big news yesterday is that the government will formally kill five people who participated in June's pro-democracy rallies. Consider, though, the implications for the West's peace-brokers of the case of Frenchwoman Clotilde Reiss.

It is now 20 weeks since Ms. Reiss was arrested while trying to leave Iran and 12 weeks since she was released to the French Embassy "to await her return to France," in the words of President Sarkozy. She's still waiting.

This week, the Islamic Republic resumed legal proceedings against her. Iran has refused to let her leave the country, and the French have complied. But by delivering her to an Iranian court for proceedings this week, Mr. Sarkozy is gambling with the 24-year-old's life. Coming from a politician who has offered stern denunciations of Tehran's nuclear programs, one has to wonder how that decision was made.

In its 30 years, the Islamic Republic has used assassination squads, fatwas, terrorism and hostage-taking as tools of its war with the West. A nearly unbroken string of outrages connects the taking of the U.S. embassy in 1979 to the death sentence demanded for writer Salman Rushdie in 1989 to, more recently, the grabbing of British sailors in 2007. Add to that the detention and trial of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi earlier this year, the 12-year prison sentence meted last month to Iranian-American scholar Kian Tajbakshsh and, most recently, the charges of espionage leveled against the three American backpackers who stumbled across the Iranian border in July.

Ms. Reiss's ordeal is merely of a piece of this. But it ought to be an instructive piece, particularly as Iran's nuclear ambitions come closer to realization. That's the real significance of this week's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran's formerly secret uranium enrichment facility near Qom, which the agency concluded had no possible relevance to any purported civilian power program. Once Iran goes nuclear, the whole world becomes its hostage.

For too long the West has responded to these various outrages by offering Iran little more than meek compliance, plus a clean slate the moment any one crisis is resolved. Now President Barack Obama is again beseeching Iran to take the nuclear deal offered to it last month. Nobody should expect Iran's leaders to show good faith. Not when their days are spent executing protestors and abusing the likes of Clotilde Reiss.

Love of the Land: Iran, Its Hostages and the West

Love of the Land: In a Tizzy Again

In a Tizzy Again

Jennifer Rubin
17 November 09

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is willing to show “restraint” in constructionin the West Bank, but will not accept any restriction on building in Jerusalem, senior government sources said Tuesday night. Their comments followed the Jerusalem Municipal Planning Committee’s approval of a plan to build some 900 new units in the southeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and the ensuing international objections.

The administration is unhinged again (isn’t it always?) over Jerusalem settlements:

“We are dismayed at the Jerusalem Planning Committee’s decision to move forward on the approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem,” [Robert] Gibbs said in a statement. ” At a time when we are working to re-launch negotiations, these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations. The U.S. also objects to other Israeli practices in Jerusalem related to housing, including the continuing pattern of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes.”

“Our position is clear,” Gibbs continued. “The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties.”

It’s probably poor form to cite “permanent status” issues since the administration has been on a mission to force Israel to cough up concessions on settlements up front, not as a final-status issue, as has been envisioned on the “road map.”

But this is evidence, certainly, if any more were needed, that the Obama administration has been spectacularly unsuccessful at getting either side in the inert “peace process” to do anything. The Bush administration, you will recall — criticized for being “too close” to Israel — was able to get the Israeli government to withdraw from Gaza, dismantle settlements, slow the growth of new ones and address the issue of checkpoints — not by threatening Israel but by building rapport and demonstrating that we consider Israel an ally, not an impediment to peace. Back in August, former Bush deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, who was instrumental in that approach, wrote :

The Obama administration has managed to win the mistrust of most Israelis, not just conservative politicians. Despite his great popularity in many parts of the world, in Israel Obama is now seen as no ally. A June poll found that just 6% of Israelis called him “pro-Israel,” when 88% had seen President George W. Bush that way. So the troubles between the U.S. and Israel are not fundamentally found in the personal relations among policy makers.

The deeper problem—and the more complex explanation of bilateral tensions—is that the Obama administration, while claiming to separate itself from the “ideologues” of the Bush administration in favor of a more balanced and realistic Middle East policy, is in fact following a highly ideological policy path. Its ability to cope with, indeed even to see clearly, the realities of life in Israel and the West Bank and the challenge of Iran to the region is compromised by the prism through which it analyzes events.

And then came months of more of the same ineffective haranguing from the Obami, topped off by the egregious rudeness shown the Israeli Prime Minister on his recent visit. The Obama team now sees the results of its own failed policy.

Love of the Land: In a Tizzy Again

Love of the Land: Trevor Norwitz, Open Letter to Judge Goldstone, 19/10/09

Trevor Norwitz, Open Letter to Judge Goldstone, 19/10/09

A devastating letter from a NY lawyer, Trevor Norwitz, laying out the multiple flaws with the Goldstone Report. Required reading.

New York, New York

October 19, 2009

Judge Richard Goldstone

Head of the UN HRC Fact Finding Mission on Gaza

Via email

Dear Richard:

I have finally completed my review of your Report( 1) which, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read quickly or widely, to paraphrase that infamous war criminal (by your definition) Winston Churchill. I am profoundly disappointed by the contents of your Report, but I am also troubled by the ad hominem attacks that have been directed towards you. I offer this analysis and critique in the spirit of your article in the Jerusalem Post today2, looking only at the substance of your Report and relying neither on its authors’ motives nor their reputation. I do so in an effort to advance the cause of truth and in the hope that you may yet be willing to take actions to mitigate the terrible injustice and damage that your Report is causing. To that end, I am respectfully including some suggestions for you at the end of this letter (which is longer than the one I sent you on July 14 – attached again for your reference – but which I hope you will take time to read).

In a nutshell, your Report is a deeply flawed document that is not only unbalanced and inflammatory, but reflects a procedurally deficient rush to judgment incapable producing any meaningful findings, least of all charges as grave, politically loaded and emotionally laden as those of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity”.

I acknowledge at the outset that your Report was difficult to read not only because of its obvious lack of balance, but also because it does raise some hard questions about the precise manner in which Israel reacted to the years of rocket attacks against its towns and people and the threats it faces.(3) I hope that, to the extent it has not already done so, Israel will investigate and explain the incidents you have highlighted which have undoubtedly been part of a chain of events that has resulted in much human suffering. Sadly though, because your Report is so one-sided and unfair, these important questions may receive less attention than they deserve.

As someone who had expected4 a relatively fair and balanced investigation because of your involvement, I am struggling to understand why you would go out of your way and beyond even the “very lopsided unfair resolution” (to use your own words(5)) of the group(6) that authorized your Mission to demonize Israel while legitimizing and even whitewashing Hamas. (For while you may object to that characterization, that is indeed what your Report does, as I describe below.)

I do not intend to focus on factual inaccuracies in your Report (which others better placed that I are already starting to address(7)), but wish to emphasize rather the manner in which your investigation was conducted and its “findings” reported. The imbalance and partiality that [p.2] permeate your Report are evident at many levels. They are manifested in the methodology you adopted to conduct your investigation and reach your conclusions, in the way in which you chose to characterize your Mission and select which incidents you would investigate and which you would ignore, in the fundamental premises which underlie your investigation and conclusions, in the manner in which you have misrepresented the history of the Middle East conflict, and in your use of language both throughout your Report and in your subsequent public statements. Of course this letter can not be comprehensive but can only illustrate a few of the many examples where this one-sidedness shows through your purported factual and legal findings.

(Read full letter)

Love of the Land: Trevor Norwitz, Open Letter to Judge Goldstone, 19/10/09

Love of the Land: Palestinians may declare state. So?

Palestinians may declare state. So?
15 November 09

The latest Palestinian threat is that they will unilaterally declare a state:

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Palestinian Authority is mobilizing international support for declaring statehood, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Saturday.

“The idea is clear and understandable,” Erekat told the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Ayyam. “Now we mobilize.”

Palestinians will bring the issue to a vote before the United Nations Security Council, which would declare a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 border with Israel, he explained.

This is supposed to strike fear into the heart of PM Netanyahu and his (not really so) right-wing government. But imagine the conversation:

Saeb Erekat: We are unilaterally declaring a state.

Binyamin Netanyahu: A state? But you could have had one in 2000. Why didn’t you accept it? Or what about the offer that Olmert made last year, supposedly even worse — I mean, more generous — then the Camp David and Taba ideas? He offered you 98.1% of Judea of Samaria plus a connecting passage through Israel from Gaza, most of East Jerusalem, and to allow 5,000 ‘refugees’ to enter Israel. Why didn’t you say ‘yes’ to that?

SE: Because we want all of East Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria. And we want all 5 million Arab refugees to have the right to return to their homes in Israel even if they never lived in them. And we aren’t going to say that Israel belongs to the Jewish people because it belongs to the Arabs that live there now and the ones who will return.

BN: That’s absurd. We’d never agree to that — it would mean the end of the Jewish state.

SE: Bingo.

BN: Well, declare whatever you want. But then you won’t get any land swaps, we won’t evacuate any settlements, and you won’t get ‘contiguity’ to Gaza. You will be in violation of all the agreements that you signed, and you’ll freeze the map as it is today, with no more territory in your hands. You’ll be Foreign Minister of Ramallah.

SE: But the Security Council will protect our new state. The UN will come and kick all 500,000 Jewish settlers [he's including the Jewish population of E. Jerusalem -- ed.] out of our land!

BN: So you are telling me that even the Obama administration wouldn’t veto a resolution to send UN troops to fight the IDF? Because that’s what it would take.

SE: We’ll have our capital in Holy Jerusalem!

BN: But if you won’t negotiate, you’ll get none of East Jerusalem. Even my administration, which is not as right-wing as some say, would agree to negotiate Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Declare a state unilaterally and you’ll just make the present status quo permanent. Is that really what you want?

SE: (losing it) What we really want is to end the occupation, from the river to the sea!

BN: Bingo. But you aren’t going to get that. So you can either keep things as they are today — either by unilaterally declaring a state or by just continuing to refuse to talk — or you can finally accept that “two-state solution” means that one of those two states will belong to the Jewish people, and make a deal.

(Continue reading)

Love of the Land: Palestinians may declare state. So?

Love of the Land: Peace is not a must

Peace is not a must

Informal understandings only viable approach in our zero-sum conflict

Elyakim Haetzni
Ynet/Israel Opinion
17 November 09

In his recent New York Times op-ed, Thomas Friedman came up with the insight that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are interested in a peace process, and that American pressure on both sides merely hinders them from getting along on their own for lack of any other choice.

Well, welcome to the club. After all, this is what the rightist camp has been warning of all along: Impossible peace plans that exact thousands of “peace victims. However, let us hope that Friedman will not stop there and will proceed to go deeper, into the root of the problem – the reasons why the leftist peace perception was hopeless to begin with.

The deal offered to the Arabs by the “peace camp” is simple: 1948 in exchange for 1967. We will hand over to you everything we conquered in the Six Day War, and in exchange you will recognize the Jewish State’s existence and the Green Line as its lawful border. That is, you will give up much of the land of Palestine, your previous homes, and your dream of returning to them. You will give up everything you fought over through wars and terrorism.

The Arabs have rejected this deal from the outset, and the argument over it persists merely among the Jews. The Arabs, based on their religious, cultural, and national perceptions, cannot sign a deal that in their view would turn a Muslim state into a Jewish one; an Arab state into an Israeli one. Whoever does so, will pay with their life.

An authentic Arab leader will also not be giving up the right of return of Muslim Arabs to the heart of the “house of Islam.” Arafat in 2000 and Abbas in 2009 reached this obstacle and drew back. The blind Americans and Israelis failed to understand why.

A realistic position vis-à-vis the Arabs requires a different approach:

1. Don’t recognize our existence and certainly not our existence as a Jewish entity; as we already exist, we have no need for such recognition. It won’t give us anything. “Recognition” is not a type of merchandize and we offer nothing for it.

2. Don’t give up Haifa and Jaffa. Signing such deal would pain you while granting us no benefit. We know that should we become weaker one day, you will take back the 1948 Palestine even if you declare a thousand times that you renounced it. Hence, “renunciation” is not a type of merchandize either.

3. Don’t engage in negotiations with us and don’t sign an agreement whereby you cannot get more than 1967 in exchange for 1948. This will merely create frustration and disappointment and bring catastrophe to both sides. We will maintain ties, understandings, and even friendship “under the table” – de facto and not de jure. We will have a modus vivendi rather than a formal “peace.”

Our official ties with Jordan have been characterized by King Abdullah as a “cold peace.” It appears that the secret ties that prevailed previously were better. When it comes to give and take, Jews and Arabs get along very well – ranging from commerce to health and from matters of garbage collection to knowledge-sharing and joint projects.

Whatever it is that is deemed worthy for both sides because of neighborly needs goes well, as long as it is managed far away from the watchful eye of the media and public opinion; that is, far away from politics and the agreed-upon lies.

Salam Fayyad’s plan to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state stems from the inability to sign agreements. It is preferable for him to have a de-facto state in so-called Area A, rather than being perceived as a person who renounced sacred demands and rights.

It is difficult for us to internalize the fact that the conflict with the Palestinians is a zero-sum game: Each side feels deep in its soul that this is its land, and this is the only conflict in history where both nations demand the same city as their capital. Only a fool or a swindler would be seeking a “solution,” a term taken from the math realm, just like “peace process” is reminiscent of chemistry, as if we are dealing with exact science here. In life, not everything is resolvable.

Love of the Land: Peace is not a must

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: JEWS IN PRISON;from jewishmagdotcom

JEWS IN PRISON;from jewishmagdotcom

Jews in Prision

By D. with help from M.

Written while at Yard 3 at Avenal State Prison in Avenal, CA.

Channa is pre-med. Petite in stature with a brilliant mind, long brown curls which frizz out on humid days. Piercing eyes and a passionate mouth which can just as easily recite complex chemical formulas or talk to a friend about "that guy." This Sunday morning she's in her Mazda Miata, British racing green, top down, hair in a babushka on her way to visit her friend and mentor Max.

Max is beginning his morning prayers. Facing east, wrapped in tefillin, wearing the tallis his father gave him at his Bar Mitzvah 60 years ago, the same year as Israel's independence. Max, a physician, is a highly respected member of his community or should I say prison yard. Max was convicted of murder 20 years ago and will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

We don't talk much about Jewish men and women in prison. The thought we are few is wrong, very wrong. Since the first diaspora Jews have traveled to all parts of the world and to all parts of society. Jews in prison and jails are no different than anywhere else. Most are non-observant. A minority have Jewish mothers. But with names that sound like Rappaport, Bookman and Goldstein (actual names not used) Sephardic and Ashkenasi Jews from Europe , Central and South America , Africa , Asia and Israel . The entire spectrum of Jewish Ethnography is well represented. We are your fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents. Yes, even Bubbies (grandmothers) are in prison!

Most are afraid because gangs like the Skinheads and Nazi Low Riders prey on Jewish inmates. It can be dangerous to be openly Jewish. Michael suffered eight broken ribs and a concussion caused by multiple blows to the face from groups of attackers on two successive yards. Official response was denial. Denial of medical services and denial of the truth.

We live in overcrowded conditions with men who shoot heroin through homemade needles, carry shanks, intimidate and steal anything if the opportunity arises. Not to mention the proselytizers and self righteous convicts hiding their criminality behind religious garb, selling their festival food for pills and teaching hate in the Chapel.

Even in protective custody, coined "Sensitive needs yards" Jews live at risk. You can see why the blessing of kosher food programs is a mixed one with many taking a pass while non-Jews scheme and scam their way into receiving more nutritious, cleaner food.. It's called "coming up."

The Jews on this yard hail from England , Uruguay , El Salvador , Zimbabwe , Chicago , New York , Los Angeles and San Francisco . Prior to being convicted they were Doctor, Restaurateur, Consultant, and Drug counselor, Store Manager, Businessman and Contractor.

Most were silent about being Jewish until a few men stood up and began holding Jewish prayer meetings. One by one we found other Jews and invited them to join us. Now there are 15 openly Jewish men and more still in hiding. We respect their anonymity. And if there are 20 on this yard then statistically there may be 20 on every yard even though official records show few if any on most yards and at most prisons.

So, who is a Jew? We look to the Book of Ruth. If Ruth was good enough to be the direct ancestor of King David then that's good enough for us. Here, a man, Bar Mitzvah at 13 while living in a Jewish foster home, who knows the Shema and some blessings is a Jew. And the man whose grandfather was a Rabbi and brought him to Dachau as a child. His parents are non-observant. His first Chanukah was in prison. He's also a Jew. No matter what, we are family.

We Jews have traveled many places looking for a closer relationship with G-d. Maybe that's part of being priests to the nations and lights to the world. That's why the overachieving Christian, the mystical Buddhist and the flamboyant Pagan all come to services when Rabbi Abrevaya is here. Their Jewish heritage calls to them. Their Jewish souls rejoice when the woman rabbi, a cantor and chaplain chants the torah portion.

The majority of men here are not career criminals. For many this is the first time we've ever been arrested. Crimes that used to receive probation now come with hefty prison terms. For others it has been a life of fighting addition or coping with a childhood few survive intact. We are being held accountable for our wrong acts. But, are people only as good as the worst thing they've ever done? I'm reminded of the song, "there but for Fortune." I never thought it would be me.

In Judaism there is the concept of Teshuvah, (repentance) coming back to oneness with "G-d and with ourselves.

We are the Modern day lost tribe of Israel . We are the Teshuvites. We are living Teshuvah every day, still in the wilderness subsisting on Manna. G-d is very real here. We are not under the illusion that we control most aspects of our lives.

This is a time when we can learn Hebrew. A fellow inmate this year taught more than a dozen men to read prayers in Hebrew over the past year and four are working towards their Bar Mitzvah. There is so much to learn. We have the time but not the resources or the human commitment of mentors and volunteers.

We have one Siddur (prayer book) for every two men. One Machzor, (special holiday prayer book) two chumashim (five books of Moses) and one Tanach (Old Testament). We share books as we receive them. This is much more than we had last year before there was a part-time rabbi at this prison. It seems like most prisons have a part time rabbi or none at all. Unless someone outside speaks up things will get worse, not better.

Sadly, silence also gives consent to a few sadistic officers who take pleasure in making our lives more difficult. Like when copying of the Kol Nidre (prayer that begins the Yom Kippur service) prayer service was denied because the total of 100 two sided pieces of paper was too much. We even supplied the paper. It was an arbitrary decision with no accountability. This would never happen if they knew Jewish people were watching and would call the warden or better the local paper. But we have no Jewish volunteers at this prison.

So, instead of asking to see our Kosher Card one officer asked to see a man's "bar code" (referring to WW 2 and the tattoos on Jewish prisoners' arms). That Jewish man never asked for kosher food again. We all have a limit. Indecency like this can only exist when the world is kept ignorant. How many ties have we seen it, and worse.

Unlike most other religious groups there is a relatively little active support from Jewish people and organizations. Thank G-d for the Aleph Institute in Surfside, Florida which works to bring Torah commentary and other services to Jewish inmates. Yet we look to an unsure release date and have normal questions. How are we going to survive in the free world and not come back to prison? How are our families going to survive with us in prison? Many men are divorced with no family and no connection to the outside world. It's hard to have hope when you have nothing and your daily agenda is staying safe from both inmates and guards.

Judaism and charity are synonymous. Yet, why aren't there Jewish half way houses in every city? Why aren't there Jewish job training programs and mentoring programs? Drug, alcohol and sex addiction programs for Jewish men and women? A few Jewish men on this yard have received vital services from Beit Teshuvah in West Los Angeles. They are a model to be emulated. But the need is beyond their capacity to help.

Where are the Shepherds among us? Where are the teachers and the kind ones? We are here, praying some, studying Torah some, being kind and supportive when we can. Living near men with swastikas tattooed on all parts of their bodies as well as tattoos of Hitler's face. One man coined a phrase we use which speaks of our lives and our history and the reason for our festivals and celebrations: "They tried to destroy us. They failed. Let's eat!"

You may be surprised, but what we need most is hope, hope for the future. Prison is a place of destruction. It takes great effort to choose life when surrounded by depravity, ignorance and violence. When I'm confronted by a really rotten man in prison, I'm happy he's here with me, in prison.

Oh, for a normal life, to go to the synagogue on Shabbat, to work and earn a living, to support my family, to contribute to society as a whole. Instead of our hands out we extend our arms and our hearts hoping for your embrace.

10 things you can do to support Jewish prisoners (Check for each prisons rules on donations):

1. Donate old prayer books, religious books and Judaica to a prison.

2. Begin a prison outreach program at your Temple or organization

3. Support a local Jewish family with a family member in prison

4. Volunteer to lead Shabbat or Daily services at a prison

5. Mentor a Jewish Parolee

6. Visit a Jewish Prisoner

7. Become a Pen pal

8. Donate money through a Jewish Chaplain

9. Send religious packages to specific Jewish inmates

10. Say a prayer everyday for Jewish men and women in prison, our families and our victims.

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: JEWS IN PRISON;from jewishmagdotcom

Israel Matzav: Israel Aerospace moves some production to Starkville, Mississippi

Israel Aerospace moves some production to Starkville, Mississippi

Israel Aerospace is moving some of its production to its Stark Aerospace subsidiary in Starkville, Mississippi, a move that is designed to increase sales in the United States market. But on one in Israel is going to lose their job over this. IAI is selling more drones.

Yesterday IAI cut the ribbon, as it were, on its new Stark plant to manufacture and assemble drones (small pilotless planes). Stark will also be making the electronic and electro-optic systems used by the drones. IAI commented, however, that none of the workers engaged in building drones in Israel will be fired. They will simply build drones for other countries. Brazil placed a roughly $300 million order just last week.

One reason for the move is that many Western countries, and this includes the U.S. prefer to buy armaments and other defense gear from local companies. Therefore, to increase sales outside Israel, Israel's defense companies have to set up subsidiaries in target markets, rather than expand local manufacturing.

IAI set up Stark in 2006 to drum up business in America. The following year inaugurated its first production outfit, which makes Hunter unmanned vehicles that it sells through Northrop Grumman. In fact, the U.S. armed forces have been using Hunter drones since the early 1990s.

Altogether IAI is investing about $25 million in the Stark production facilities, where it has built laboratories, manufacturing and systems integration units and production lines.

Stark has another plant in Columbus, Ohio that provides manufacturing, assembly and maintenance services for electro-optic plug-in optronic payload (POP) made by IAI for Shadow drones.


Israel Matzav: Israel Aerospace moves some production to Starkville, Mississippi

Israel Matzav: No crisis? US openly criticizes construction in Gilo

No crisis? US openly criticizes construction in Gilo

Israel is claiming that there is 'no crisis' in its relations with the United States after blunt American criticism of housing construction in Gilo, a neighborhood of southern Jerusalem that is within the city limits.

Netanyahu's associates attempted to minimize the implications of the American and British criticism following the plan to expand the neighborhood, which is located beyond the Green Line, hinting that the Americans must clarify in public why they oppose the construction.

"The Americans know very well that the Israeli agreement to freeze the construction does not include Jerusalem," one of the sources said.

The aides chose to address the American response only, ignoring the even harsher criticism voiced by Britain. "The Americans are well aware of the prime minister's stand on the matter, and therefore it would be a mistake to refer to the Americans' statements as a crisis. There are things that are not seen by everyone," one of the sources said, expressing his confidence that the tension would be over within a week.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that the approval issued by the regional construction and planning committee was a routine procedure. "Building permits in Jerusalem's municipal borders, as in Israel's other cities like Tel Aviv and Jaffa, do not reach the prime minister's table."

The statement added that "the Gilo neighborhood is an integral part of Jerusalem, just like Ramot Eshkol, Rehavia, the French Hill, and Pisgat Ze'ev. [While these are closer to city center neighborhoods, the latter two are also over the green line, Rehavia is within the former city limits and Ramat Eshkol is in what was no man's land. CiJ] There is a broad national agreement on this matter. The construction in Gilo has been going on for decades, and there is nothing new in the current planning and construction procedures."

The state officials hinted that the remarks made by Washington were simply a show. "The Americans want the entire issue of the territories to be clarified in the permanent agreement, and don't want the sides – mainly Israel – to create facts on the ground. However, Israel's stand on the matter is unequivocal – Jerusalem will not be part of any discussion on reducing construction," one of the sources said.

Obama's not going to let up on this, but given the broad consensus within Israel, I doubt Israelis are going to yield to Obama on it either. A year from now, if election results favor the Republicans, maybe Obama will be forced to let up, but for now, we Israelis are going to have to live with this criticism without getting all hysterical about it. While Obama may want to make a radical change in US relations with Israel, it's doubtful that he has the support in Congress or in American public opinion to make it.

Israel Matzav: No crisis? US openly criticizes construction in Gilo
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