Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Tzipiyah.com - Inspiring Jewish Pride-Chanukah: Then and Now

Chanukah: Then and Now

chanukiya
As we know the two reasons we celebrate Chanukah are to commemorate how the Jews won the war against the Greeks and how the oil that was found in the Beit Hamikdash lasted for 8 days. I was always wondering if there was a deeper connection between these two events and I heard an interesting explanation of how they are connected. If we look deeper into what the cause of war between the Greeks and the Jews was about, we can understand that the war was not just to eradicate the Jews physically, but to extinguish the jewish soul. They wanted Judaism to just be cultural and not spiritual which is why they banned the jewish people from keeping Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh and Brit Mila. These three mitzvot symbolize our connection with Hashem and show that Judaism is not just another culture that is void of spirituality. In addition, the Greeks didn’t believe that Hashem is always involved in the world and controls nature. The connection between these two seemingly separate events is that when Hashem performed the miracle that the Jews were able to win over the Greeks who greatly outnumbered them, it showed that Hashem is involved in our everyday activities and is in charge of nature even though it seemed like a natural occurrence. The open miracle with the oil lasting for 8 days also clearly showed how Hashem is openly involved in our lives and how against all odds they were able to find oil that was not defiled and could be used to light the menorah. These two miracles showed the Greeks that contrary to their belief, Hashem is constantly involved in world events and in our own personal lives.

Another question that comes up is, when do we commemorate the victory over the Greeks? It seems that we are only commemorating the miracle of the oil when we light the menorah. I heard an interesting answer, that explains that in the Beit Hamikdash the menorah only had seven branches and on our menorah we have eight. Why is there this difference? Also if there was enough oil for the first night of Chanukah then why was that such a miracle? The reason for the difference is that we have the extra branch/candle to symbolize the victory over the Greeks. On the first night we light the menorah to commemorate the victory and the other seven nights we are commemorating the miracle of how the oil lasted for all the rest of the days. The lesson we can take from Chanukah is that Hashem is constantly watching over us and helping us even at times when it seems as if events are progressing naturally. May we all have a bright and uplifting Chanukah!



Tzipiyah.com - Inspiring Jewish Pride-Chanukah: Then and Now

Chester Chronicles - A Jerusalem Conference to Combat Global Anti-Semitism

Chester Chronicles - A Jerusalem Conference to Combat Global Anti-Semitism

RonMossad: Not-so-strange bedfellows: Rutgers University and the Palestine Children's Relief Fund

RonMossad: Not-so-strange bedfellows: Rutgers University and the Palestine Children's Relief Fund

Abbas Ditches Roadmap, No Talks Unless Israeli Withdraws - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Abbas Ditches Roadmap, No Talks Unless Israeli Withdraws - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

R. Eliezer Melamed: 'Malevolent' Defense Min. Libeling Yeshivas - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

R. Eliezer Melamed: 'Malevolent' Defense Min. Libeling Yeshivas - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Waldman: 'We Are All Har Bracha' - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Rabbi Waldman: 'We Are All Har Bracha' - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Police Can't Back Up 2008 'Peace House' Libel against Jews - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Police Can't Back Up 2008 'Peace House' Libel against Jews - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

National Religious Jews' Birth Rate Ignores Child Support Cuts - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

National Religious Jews' Birth Rate Ignores Child Support Cuts - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Hizbullah Entrenches in Lebanon; Obama Says Honor Ceasefire - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Hizbullah Entrenches in Lebanon; Obama Says Honor Ceasefire - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

MKs Want 'Anti-IDF' Gay Activist Out of IDF Telethon - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

MKs Want 'Anti-IDF' Gay Activist Out of IDF Telethon - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

I managed to find a Miami Boys Choir Chanuka medley, but it didn't have the song I've been looking for all week (and for a couple weeks before). But I decided to put the medley up for you anyway.

Let's go to the videotape.




Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: What if it had been a synagogue?

What if it had been a synagogue?

As many of you may have heard, 'Jewish extremists' (not proven but presumed) set fire to a mosque in Samaria over the weekend. Since then, the situation has been 'tense.'

The fire has been condemned by Israel's government, by all of its major political parties, by its chief rabbis and by most of the revenants who live in Judea and Samaria.

Jonathan Tobin asks what the reaction would have been if instead of Jews (allegedly) setting a mosque on fire, Arabs had set a synagogue on fire. This is not a hypothetical question. It has happened before.

In October 2000, at the start of the Palestinians’ second intifada, the Tomb of Joseph, a Jewish holy site in Nablus that served as a synagogue and religious school, was literally torn to pieces by an Arab mob. As Palestinian Authority “police” looked on, the mob destroyed the building and burned the sacred texts inside. But instead of treating the crime as an embarrassment to the national cause, among Palestinians it was treated as a cause for celebration. Another ancient synagogue in Jericho was also burned down that month. And even before the intifada, the Tomb of Rachel, a Jewish shrine near Bethlehem, was subjected to continual attacks. It had to be surrounded by fortifications to keep both the building and worshipers from harm.

In 2005, the Israeli government evacuated Gaza and removed every single Jewish soldier and settler from the area. The only things left behind were buildings, including the synagogues that had served the Jews who were forced out. But rather than treat these edifices with respect, if only to use them for their own purposes, the Palestinians burned every one down in a barbaric communal orgy of destruction. Again, no apologies were forthcoming from the Palestinians. Nor did world opinion treat this incident as worthy of condemnation. The fact that the Palestinians could not bring themselves to let even one former synagogue stand was a frightening reminder that the two sides still don’t view the conflict in the same way. To the Palestinians, this is not a tragic misunderstanding between two peoples but rather a zero-sum game.

If you want to know why there is no peace - and no prospect of peace anytime soon (if ever) - in our region, read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: What if it had been a synagogue?

Israel Matzav: More Islamophobia anti-Semitism

More Islamophobia anti-Semitism

While Muslims whine and seethe over 'Islamophobia,' the real hate crime continues to be anti-Semitism. Debbie Schlussel reports that three masked Nazis showed up to shout hate slogans at a Chabad candle lighting in Fairfield, Connecticut.


How well do I know Fairfield, Connecticut? Well enough to tell you that when I was in high school (and they were in my youth group region), there were more Hungarian Jews per square mile in Fairfield, Connecticut than there were in Budapest.

Ouch.

Read the whole thing.

I wonder if Marc Garlasco collects flags like that.

Israel Matzav: More Islamophobia anti-Semitism

Israel Matzav: Moldova: Priest leads group that pulls down Menora

Moldova: Priest leads group that pulls down Menora

In Moldova, a Russian Orthodox priest identified as Fr. Anatoliy Chirbik led a demonstration on Sunday at which a Chanuka menora was pulled down.

Let's go to the videotape.




But perhaps more disturbing is the meaning of some of those Russian words.

The video shows an Orthodox priest, identified by Moldovan media as Fr. Anatoliy Chirbik, leading the Sunday demonstration at Stefan the Great Square and saying, "We are an Orthodox country. Stephan the Great defended our country from all kinds of kikes, and now they come and put their menorah here. This is anarchy."

Police said they were investigating, and that there was no official reaction from Moldova's Orthodox Church, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church and counts 70 percent of Moldovans as members.

The national government said in a statement that "hatred, intolerance and xenophobia" are unacceptable.

Jewish leader Alexandr Bilinkis called on the Orthodox Church to take a position over the priest's actions.

Change anyone?

Israel Matzav: Moldova: Priest leads group that pulls down Menora

Israel Matzav: There is a military solution to terror - Part 2

There is a military solution to terror - Part 2

On Friday, I posted about how terror has been brought under control by the IDF in Judea and Samaria. Now we're going to look at southern Israel and at how life has changed since Operation Cast Lead one year ago this week (on the Jewish calendar).

The three-week Israeli campaign in Gaza launched on Dec. 27 drew harsh international condemnation and threats of war crimes prosecutions over the hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed.

But most Israelis see it as the only means they had of ending eight years of rocket attacks on Nahal Oz and other nearby towns and villages.

After Ronit Goldberg's husband lost his job in high-tech and life in central Israel became too expensive, the family of four looked for a new start. They found it last summer in Nahal Oz.

This used to be a place where few days passed without people having to dash to air-raid shelters. Now, it's a quiet village with open spaces, down-to-earth neighbors and affordable housing. The only thing Goldberg hears from Gaza these days is calls to prayer at the mosques in Gaza City.

"Central Israel has become a place for rich people; the south is a place you can grow, a place with potential," said Goldberg, 39, as she cradled her 2-month-old son Noam, born in Nahal Oz.

And for those wondering about Sderot....

In nearby Sderot, the town that was the rockets' biggest target, shops and markets are filled, and children who were conditioned to stay close to home and shelters now roam the streets.

At Sapir College, where a student was killed last year by a rocket that hit the parking lot, enrollment has since grown by 11 percent.

Sderot spokeswoman Sima Gal said real estate prices have increased 20 to 30 percent. The town engineer, Yoav Lapidot, said the building of 1,400 new homes has been approved, after years of no construction.

Read the whole thing. The picture at the top is a map of 'Palestinian' rocket-launching sites in Gaza City from Operation Cast Lead. Life is different now. Yes, there is still occasional rocket and mortar fire, but it has dropped 90% since last year. Imagine if Olmert had finished Hamas off.

Israel Matzav: There is a military solution to terror - Part 2

Israel Matzav: How the IAEA knew what to look for in Qom

How the IAEA knew what to look for in Qom

I have to get you into the mood for this one. Let's go to the videotape.




London's Sunday Telegraph reported based on French sources that a senior Iranian nuclear scientist who defected while on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June, was the source for much of the knowledge the West has about the Qom nuclear plant. The Iranian, Shahram Amiri, briefed IAEA inspectors at Frankfurt Airport just before they took off for Tehran in October.

[C]ontrary to Iranian claims, Mr Amiri actually defected after an elaborate international cloak-and-dagger co-ordinated by the CIA, according to a well-connected French intelligence analysis website.

"The agency made contact with the scientist last year when Amiri visited Frankfurt in connection with his research work," Intelligence Online reported. "A German businessman acted as go-between. A final contact was made in Vienna when Amiri travelled to Austria to assist the Iranian representative at the IAEA. Shortly afterwards, the scientist went on pilgrimage to Mecca and hasn't been seen since."

The vanishing act was reminiscent of Cold War days between the Soviet Union and the West when spies - often scientists and diplomats - were spirited away in plots just as outlandish as any John le Carré thriller.

Heads have rolled at Iran's nuclear counter-espionage agency since his loss, and the foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, raised his case in a private meeting with the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

The Islamic republic has now linked the fate of three American hikers detained in Iran since July with a list of Iranian citizens, including Mr Amiri, who Tehran alleges are being held by the US. It appears to be proposing some form of trade in talks with Swiss intermediaries.

Officially, the US says it has no information on Mr Amiri's whereabouts, but the scientist is now believed to be in Europe, protected by a Western intelligence agency, in a CIA-led operation. He will be debriefed intensively by experts - who will also want to ensure that he is not an Iranian plant.

Read the whole thing. It appears that we have yet another Shpy on our side.


Israel Matzav: How the IAEA knew what to look for in Qom

Israel Matzav: Facebook removes 'International punch a Jew in the face day'

Facebook removes 'International punch a Jew in the face day'

Facebook has removed a page called International punch a Jew in the face day after being contacted by the Jewish Internet Defense Force (Hat Tip: Atlas Shrugs).

From the Rust Belt tells us a bit about some of the people who planned to 'attend' this 'event.'
- One of the administrators, Elias Youssef, attends Terra Sancta College, a “progressive co-educational Catholic school” in Australia.

Sajid Haque, who thought the event was “fucking brilliant,” attends Avondale College, another Christian school in Australia.

Faisal Ahmed attends Longley Park Sixth Form College in the United Kingdom. He is a fan of a recently created page called Muslim First….. Nationality Second! He is also a fan of Barack Obama.

Zubair Zp attended Park Lane College (now Leeds City College) in the United Kingdom. He is a fan of a page called I HATE POLICE.

Kassim Assadi attends the University of Technology, Sydney. Also a fan of Barack Obama.

Hassan Krayani either is now attending or has attended Punchbowl Boys High School in Australia. He belongs to groups called FUCK THE POLICE…., lets see if 100,000,000 who hate Israel, and — you might want to sit down for this one — FucK IsRaeL we wiiiLL Do iiT LiiKe HeTLeR we MusT BuRN iiSRaeL. He, too, is a fan of Barack Obama.

Sohail Monay Adnaan was excited about the event, too. He has attended schools in the United Kingdom. He is a fan of a page called SOLDIERS OF ALLAH UNITE AGAINST BNP & EVERY1 WHO’S AGAINST MUSLIMS, which declared on November 23: “The Believers fight in Allah’s cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed….!!” A commenter, Koal Begum, said on November 16 that she was so “ANGRY DAT [she] COULD KILL 4 [her] PPL OF ISLAM.” Adnaan and Begum are both fans of I HATE POLICE. Adnaan is also a fan of Barack Obama. Just sayin’.
Follow the links above to meet the face of anti-Semitism on the Internet today. I challenge anyone to find any difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. In the non-Jewish world, they are one and the same.

Israel Matzav: Facebook removes 'International punch a Jew in the face day'

Israel Matzav: Obama's policy shift?

Obama's policy shift?

Writing in the Washington Post, Robert Kagan views President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo as something of a watershed in bringing the President around to what I would consider a more realistic approach. It's worth it to read the whole thing, but I wanted to focus on Kagan's very brief treatment of Iran.

The Oslo speech should also be seen as a turning point in Iran policy. It is the end of Phase I, his tireless and unreciprocated efforts at engagement, and the start of Phase II, "increased pressure," sanctions that can "exact a real price" and are "tough enough to actually change behavior." Obama even ad-libbed an answer to critics who had accused him of ignoring Iran's repressed opposition. To Iranian protesters asking whose side he was on, Obama responded: "they have us on their side." Whether this portends new support for the Iranian opposition remains to be seen, but it may be the first sign of a shift there, too.

Sorry, but the only way sanctions against Iran have any chance of being effective is if they are backed up a by a credible military threat, which the Iranians perceive will be used against them unless they change their behavior. So far, there is no indication of the existence of any credible American military threat against Iran, let alone of any chance that Obama really would mean it if he made such a threat.

Will Obama start to threaten the use of force and mean it? Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Iran will have nuclear weapons first.


Israel Matzav: Obama's policy shift?

Israel Matzav: Syria outvoted 90-6-18 at UN General Assembly

Syria outvoted 90-6-18 at UN General Assembly

A Syrian effort to delete reference to Israel chairing United Nations efforts to fight 'blood diamonds' in 2010 has been defeated 90-6 with 18 abstentions in the UN General Assembly. The United States, Canada and Israel took the lead in bringing about the measure's defeat.

The Syrian objection came as the Assembly was poised to adopt a Namibia-sponsored resolution welcoming progress over the past year in efforts to cut the trade in "conflict diamonds," which have provoked some of Africa's most vicious civil wars and rebel movements.

Syria objected to a passing reference near the end of the six-page resolution that simply noted that nations involved in the Kimberley Process "selected Israel to chair" their efforts in 2010. The decision was made at an annual meeting in November in Namibia.

The Kimberley Process imposes stringent requirements on its 49 members to certify shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict-free." The group consists of states and regional economic organizations that trade in rough diamonds, representing 75 countries.

Israel is a global trading center for rough diamonds, and was among the founders of the Kimberley Process.

The "conflict diamond" issue attracted increased public awareness because of the 2006 Hollywood film "Blood Diamond," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, which showed how "conflict diamonds" financed civil war in Sierra Leone.

Now Ivory Coast is the main remaining offender under watch by the Kimberley Process.

Here's the trailer for the movie. Let's go to the videotape.





Israel Matzav: Syria outvoted 90-6-18 at UN General Assembly

Israel Matzav: Obama recognizes Iran's clenched fist?

Obama recognizes Iran's clenched fist?

Newsweek reports that President Obama is finally giving up on 'engagement' with Iran.

Until now, Obama has kept Levey in his back pocket. But the president has concluded that his offer of an "outstretched hand" to Iran will not, on its own, produce the results he needs. Even as he received the Nobel Peace Prize last week, Obama was fast approaching his informal year-end deadline for seeing "progress" in talks to shut down Iran's nuclear program. Tehran has by all accounts refused to cooperate. After a moment of promise in early October, when Iran pledged to ship much of its uranium abroad, Tehran has reneged on almost every tentative deal. Worse, since Iran admitted to building a secret uranium-enrichment facility near the religious city of Qum, it has brazenly pledged to build 10 more. "There is nothing happening," says one senior European diplomat who would not discuss the talks on the record. "Zero. Zero. Zero."

As a result, barring a last-minute concession by Iran, the president is now firmly committed to imposing tougher sanctions, says a senior administration official who would discuss internal deliberations only on condition of anonymity. "It's important for Obama that the United States do exactly what it says it's going to do," the official told NEWSWEEK. "We said at the end of the year we would turn to sanctions" if diplomacy didn't produce results. That time has come, the official says. "Nobody is going to say to the United States, 'You're just like the Bush administration.' We tried the engagement route."

...

While the Revolutionary Guards pretend to be the incorruptible shield of the Islamic Revolution, individual commanders are believed to be wealthy private investors, especially in neighboring countries like Dubai. "What will cause the Guards their demise is their corruption," an Iranian intelligence official told NEWSWEEK on condition that his name not be used. "For the past 20 years, they've been allowed by the Supreme Leader and consecutive governments to make money in a shadowy world." The West's new approach, Levey indicated, is to focus on the IRGC as "the face of repression," thereby supporting democracy activists in Iran without arousing Iranian national pride over their nuclear program.

The plan is for Levey's office to publicly identify "dozens" of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps front companies and then pressure suppliers and trading partners to cut off ties—or risk being sanctioned by the U.S. government, says the senior administration official. "There will be a big effort by Stuart to work with like-minded countries to target IRGC front companies," the official says. "We know which ones [the IRGC] are affiliated with and we know which ones they control." Levey says he wants to make the foreign firms understand that "if they're dealing with Iran it's nearly impossible to protect themselves from being entangled in that country's illicit conduct."

...

Levey himself acknowledges that there is a debate inside the administration about how pressure tactics will affect Iran; even reformist candidates like defeated presidential contender Mir Hossain Mousavi came out recently against the proposed deal for Iran to ship uranium outside the country for processing. Another key question is whether Russia, China, and other major Iranian trading partners can be persuaded to help squeeze Iran. Moscow has shown more willingness to get tough, while China remains reluctant to disturb its energy trade. Still, Obama's yearlong campaign of engagement with Iran may pay dividends by creating a deeper consensus against Iran than has ever existed.

Read the whole thing.

Let's hope this time it's for real.

Israel Matzav: Obama recognizes Iran's clenched fist?

Israel Matzav: Bibi's moment of truth?

Bibi's moment of truth?

The Times of London reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu is reaching a moment of truth on Iran.

Israeli experts believe the point of no return may be only six months away when Iran’s nuclear programme will have — if it has not already — metastasised into a multitude of smaller, difficult-to-trace facilities in deserts and mountains, while its main reactor at Bushehr will have come online and bombing it would send a radioactive cloud over the Gulf nations.

...

In the immediate term, the threat of a strike has receded. Israel is satisfied that Iran’s hostile stance towards the international community has increased the chances of serious, crippling sanctions. Officials noted that for the first time Russia seemed to be serious about isolating Tehran.

But that international front could easily crack, and then Mr Netanyahu would be faced with the decision on whether to order his bombers into action. Iran has already threatened to bomb Israel’s cities with its long-range missiles should its nuclear facilities come under attack.

It could also, in stages, order Hezbollah to launch rockets across the northern border. The attack could come in conjunction with a Hamas assault from the Gaza Strip.

Alternatively both sides may choose to do nothing. Some analysts believe that Israel might tolerate Iran as a “threshold nuclear state”, capable of building a bomb but not testing it.

Iran could opt for the path chosen by Syria in 2007, if Israel strikes at isolated facilities miles from an urban areas, where the only casualties would be technicians and guards. After the strike against Syria, neither side admitted what had happened, thereby avoiding a war and saving face.

The only sanctions that are going to hold off an Israeli strike on Iran are effective sanctions. That means that Bushehr doesn't go on line in the next few months and that Israel sees clear indications that the Iranian nuclear program is being placed in check. So far, all we have had is lots of talk and no action.

If Israel does attack Iran (and in my opinion the odds are still at least 50-50 that such an attack will take place in the spring), I would look for a response from Hezbullah but very little from any other party. Iran won't respond, because they know that once Israel destroys the nuclear facilities, it won't attack Iran again unless Iran attacks Israel (and Israel will make that very clear when the time comes). If Iran attacks Israel, drawing an Israeli attack, there will be a coup to depose Ahmadinejad and Khameni - and they know it.

Hamas is still building up weapons, but has shown little sign of spoiling for a fight since they got their heads handed to them last winter. Hamas isn't ready to fight again, especially since the possibility of fighting on three fronts and the Goldstone report may lead the IDF to place a lot less emphasis on precision and avoiding casualties than it did last year. If Hamas is soundly defeated, it too may find that it has a tenuous hold on power.

That leaves Hezbullah, which has had three years to recover from the last war, which has tripled its missiles since 2006, and which has turned Lebanon into a vassal state. I would look for a response from Hezbullah. If it comes, I'd look for Lebanon to find itself back in the 8th century with no infrastructure. There won't be a Beirut Airport to land in.


Israel Matzav: Bibi's moment of truth?

Israel Matzav: Registration at Har Bracha yeshiva skyrockets

Registration at Har Bracha yeshiva skyrockets

On Sunday night, I reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak had ordered the IDF to take steps to end the participation of the Har Bracha yeshiva in the hesder program. Here are the unsurprising results of the recent fight over Rabbi Eliezer Melamed's yeshiva: Registration among 12th graders for the next academic year has skyrocketed. And 'right wing activists are calling on all hesder yeshivas to end their arrangement with the army.

This is from the first link.

Since Defense Minister Ehud Barak began discussing the option of expelling Har Bracha from the IDF Hesder agreement, student interest in the yeshiva has skyrocketed.

In the past two weeks over 300 twelth grade students have contacted the yeshiva about coming for the traditional “week long visit” prior to deciding on where they want to study next year. This is triple the amount of students who usually contact the yeshiva by this time.

This is from the second link:

Right-wing activists formed teams that will visit hesder yeshivot throughout the country in the coming days to urge yeshiva students to put an end to their arrangement with the IDF. Hesder yeshivas combine Talmudic studies with military service.

Ynet learned that prominent rightist figures are behind the move, such as Baruch Marzel. Marzel said, "It needs to be understood that the military has much more to lose than the hesder yeshivas. There is a huge lack of manpower and motivated fighters are an obvious need of the IDF."

Marzel is definitely right about the army having more to lose than the yeshivas. The men who go to hesder are far less likely to do a straight enlistment than they are to go to yeshivas that don't include army service.

Israel Matzav: Registration at Har Bracha yeshiva skyrockets

Israel Matzav: Chabad rabbi lighting Chanuka menora attacked in Vienna

Chabad rabbi lighting Chanuka menora attacked in Vienna

A 'misguided' adherent of the 'religion of peace' attacked a Chabad rabbi in Vienna as the rabbi lit a Chanuka menora on Saturday night (Hat Tip: Atlas Shrugs).

The attacker hurled himself at Rabbi Dov Gruzman, principal of the city’s Jewish school run by the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement, and began punching him, a local resident told Arutz Sheva.

As the rabbi tried to hold off his attacker, the Muslim suddenly bit his victim, severing part of his finger in the process. The Muslim was caught and arrested by police, and was held for questioning. The rabbi was evacuated to the hospital where doctors rushed to reattach his finger.

Gruzman told Arutz Sheva that the Muslim had raced towards the entrance at the beginning of the ceremony and began to curse the Jews who were there and the Jewish people in general. “I tried to hold him off, to keep him away from the entrance and he bit me really hard, and that’s how he injured me,” he said.

The event itself did not discourage Rabbi Gruzman, and in fact strengthened his resolve. “We are glad that such an event occurred,” he said. “Today, because of what happened, we are planning [a much larger event]. We increased the number of sufganiot [Chanukah jelly doughnuts] from 50 to 700 – and this is our answer to the attack and to anti-Semitism.”

Rabbi Gruzman was not planning on attending Sunday night's candle lighting: He's still in the hospital recovering from a bite wound.

I guess the Muslim thought Rabbi Gruzman is halal.


Israel Matzav: Chabad rabbi lighting Chanuka menora attacked in Vienna

Israel Matzav: Don't know much about history

Don't know much about history

John Hinderaker points out a bit of historical revisionism from President Obumbler's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

A reader points out a remarkable bit of revisionist history in Barack Obama's Nobel Prize speech. No doubt others have commented on it and I've just missed it; but, in any event, it bears repeating. Here is the excerpt from Obama's speech:

Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait - a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

Really? "The world" "recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein"? Well, not all of the world did.

...

Our reader is right. The vote in the Senate on the authorization of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, which took place on January 12, 1991, was 52-47. The Democrats controlled the Senate at the time; they voted 45-10 against the "consensus" on "the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait." John Kerry, Joe Biden and 43 other Democrats voted to let Saddam Hussein keep Kuwait and expand his control over Middle Eastern oil from there, while continuing to develop nuclear weapons--which, we later learned, he would have had by 1992 or 1993, at the latest.

In the House, the story was similar. The vote was 250-183, with a large majority of Democrats voting with Saddam Hussein. Sure, it would be possible to be more pathetic on national security than the Democratic Party, but it wouldn't be easy. What is interesting about all of this is the Democrats' need to rewrite history. Can anyone doubt that if Barack Obama had been in the Senate in 1991, he would have joined 45 of his Democratic colleagues in voting for Saddam Hussein's control over the Middle East? Of course not.

I'm less bothered by Obama's rewriting history than I am by his refusal to learn from it. Obama is repeating the same mistakes with Iran that he would have made had he been in a position to do so on Iraq: He assumes that Ahmadinejad doesn't mean what he says, just like his Vice President and the current Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee assumed 18 years ago that Saddam Hussein did not mean what he said. As George Santayana said, “Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” And this time there's no Republican President to take charge.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Don't know much about history

Israel Matzav: Long past time for Jews to get out of France

Long past time for Jews to get out of France

Pamela Geller reports that anti-Semitic incidents in France are increasing at an alarming rate.

Jew hating incidents are up 100% in France, this year vs last.

Forte hausse des actes antisémites en France (hat tip Armaros for links and translation)

Selon Brice Hortefeux, 704 faits ont été recensés sur les neuf premiers mois de 2009 contre 350 à la même période en 2008. Un préfet chargé de la lutte contre le racisme et l'antisémitisme va être nommé.

704 incidents were registered during the first 9 months of 2009 compared to 350 during the same period of 2008. The government appointed a special envoy (or Czar, if you will) to combat Antisemitism specifically.

Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Brice Hortefeux, a annoncé dimanche soir à Paris une forte hausse des actes antisémites au cours des neuf premiers mois de l'année 2009. «704 faits ont été recensés : 123 'actions' et 581 menaces, qu'il s'agisse d'agressions verbales, de dégradations de bâtiments ou d'inscriptions», a souligné Brice Hortefeux qui s'exprimait devant l'Union des patrons et des professionnels juifs de France (UPJF).

According to the Interior Minister, there were 123 acts of antisemitism and 581 threats (adding up to 704).

Cela représente plus du double des manifestations d'antisémitisme recensées lors des neuf premiers mois de 2008: «350, dont 99 actions et 251 menaces», selon les chiffres communiqués par le ministère de l'Intérieur.

This represents a more than double the figure of manifested antisemitism from the first 9 months of 2008 when there were 99 acts and 251 threats, again reported by the Interior Ministry.

...Depuis 2003, les actes antisémites sont recensés à la fois par la police-gendarmerie et le service de protection de la communauté juive, qui confrontent leurs données (plaintes et déclarations) pour établir en commun les statistiques définitives. L'augmentation constatée en 2009 est «en partie clairement liée à la situation internationale», notamment l'exacerbation du conflit israélo-palestinien en janvier, selon le ministre.

Since 2003, acts of antisemitism were accounted for by the Police-Mounted Police and the Jewish Community Protection Service, who are confronting their data (complaints and declarations) to establish definitive statistics. The noticeable increase in 2009 is <<>> notably the worsening of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the Minister.

There has definitely been an increase in the number of French immigrants to Israel this decade, although I have seen claims online that the number has dropped since Sarkozy became President. If you are in France, please consider leaving while you can. The country is on its way to becoming an Islamist state, and once that happens, life will be more difficult.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Long past time for Jews to get out of France

Israel Matzav: Iran testing key nuclear weapons component

Iran testing key nuclear weapons component

The Times of London reports that Iran is testing a key final component of a nuclear bomb (Hat Tip: Allahpundit via Twitter).

The notes, from Iran’s most sensitive military nuclear project, describe a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion. Foreign intelligence agencies date them to early 2007, four years after Iran was thought to have suspended its weapons programme.

An Asian intelligence source last week confirmed to The Times that his country also believed that weapons work was being carried out as recently as 2007 — specifically, work on a neutron initiator.

The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, which independent experts confirm has no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon. Uranium deuteride is the material used in Pakistan’s bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.

“Although Iran might claim that this work is for civil purposes, there is no civil application,” said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, which has analysed hundreds of pages of documents related to the Iranian programme. “This is a very strong indicator of weapons work.”

The documents have been seen by intelligence agencies from several Western countries, including Britain. A senior source at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that they had been passed to the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

...

Mark Fitzpatrick, senior fellow for non-proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said: “The most shattering conclusion is that, if this was an effort that began in 2007, it could be a casus belli. If Iran is working on weapons, it means there is no diplomatic solution.”

The Times had the documents, which were originally written in Farsi, translated into English and had the translation separately verified by two Farsi speakers. While much of the language is technical, it is clear that the Iranians are intent on concealing their nuclear military work behind legitimate civilian research.

The fallout could be explosive, especially in Washington, where it is likely to invite questions about President Obama’s groundbreaking outreach to Iran. The papers provide the first evidence which suggests that Iran has pursued weapons studies after 2003 and may actively be doing so today — if the four-year plan continued as envisaged.

Fitzpatrick goes on to refer to this as a smoking gun. Read the whole thing.

Looks like Ahmadinejad has unclenched his fist to stick his middle finger up at Obama. And Obama's response?

The moron still has a smirk on his face.

Israel Matzav: Iran testing key nuclear weapons component

Israel Matzav: North Korean weapons shipment to Hamas, Hezbullah caught in Thailand

North Korean weapons shipment to Hamas, Hezbullah caught in Thailand

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Thai authorities have impounded a weapons plane from North Korea that was bound for 'Pakistan or the Middle East.' YNet reported the story over the weekend, but did not report the origin of the plane or the weapons' destination. Israel Radio reported on Monday morning that the weapons were bound for Hamas and Hezbullah.

Thirty-five tons of North Korean weapons, including missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives, have been seized from a Russian transporter plane that stopped to refuel in Bangkok during an apparent arms run to Asia.

The huge cache, uncovered by Thai authorities on a tip-off from the US, was allegedly being shipped illegally to ''a south Asian country'' to help North Korea beat United Nations sanctions on arms trading.

There was a suggestion yesterday from the Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, that the arms may have been bound for terrorist organisations.

...

A Thai Government spokesman said the crates on board the plane held a huge array of functioning arms. ''There seem to be several types of weapons, components and materials: long tubes, shoulder-fired missiles, certain types of rocket-propelled grenades,'' Panitan Wattanayagorn said.

The full payload has been taken to an air force base in Nakhon Sawan province, central Thailand for inspection.

The plane remains under guard at the airport. The five men on board, four Kazakhs and a Belarussian, have been arrested but are reportedly saying little to investigators. Initially, they had said the 12 tightly sealed wood and metal crates on board held oil-drilling equipment.

Read the whole thing.

Together with the 500 tons of Iranian weapons captured by Israel in early November, and the ANL Australia arms ship from North Korea in July, this makes quite an impressive haul. Unfortunately, there are likely also weapons that are getting through.

The more this goes on, the more George Bush's conception of a world whether you are 'either with us or with the terrorists' seems correct and the more Barack Obama's hope and change seems like an illusion. North Korea, Iran and Syria - nations all named by Bush - are part of an axis of evil. And Lebanon is on the verge of joining them.

What could go wrong?

UPDATE 11:31 AM

Here's an al-Jazeera report on this story. Let's go to the videotape.





Israel Matzav: North Korean weapons shipment to Hamas, Hezbullah caught in Thailand

Love of the Land: What if a Synagogue Were Burned and Other Silly Questions

What if a Synagogue Were Burned and Other Silly Questions


Arab mob burning Tomb of Joseph, October 2000

Jonathan Tobin
Contentions/Commentary
14 December 09


The New York Times reports that the “West Bank Is Tense After Arson at Mosque,” which is believed to be the work of Jewish extremists. Palestinian Arabs are rightly upset at this crime. So are Israelis. And therein hangs the tale of Middle East peace.

The fire at the mosque in the village of Yasuf appears to have been set last week by some Jewish settlers demonstrating their anger toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to temporarily freeze building in Jewish communities in the West Bank. Extremists have vowed to counter such moves by increasing tensions with the Arabs. This is clearly madness and is rejected not only by the overwhelming majority of the people of Israel but also by the overwhelming majority of the approximately 300,000 Jews who live in the settlements. Local Jewish religious leaders attempted to visit Yasuf to express their condolences, but they were prevented from going there. So instead they met with Munir Abbushi, the Palestinian Authority’s regional governor, and presented him with new Korans. Abbushi accepted the Korans but then stated that Palestinian independence would mean that all Jews would have to be removed from the region. The Palestinians reject the right of Jews to live in their midst under any circumstances and regardless of who has or has not committed crimes.

But if you really wanted to get a feel for how differently the two communities think about these things, ask yourself what would happen if, instead of a mosque, a synagogue had been burned down. But this is not a hypothetical question.



Arab mobs burning synagogue, Gush Katif 2005

In October 2000, at the start of the Palestinians’ second intifada, the Tomb of Joseph, a Jewish holy site in Nablus that served as a synagogue and religious school, was literally torn to pieces by an Arab mob. As Palestinian Authority “police” looked on, the mob destroyed the building and burned the sacred texts inside. But instead of treating the crime as an embarrassment to the national cause, among Palestinians it was treated as a cause for celebration. Another ancient synagogue in Jericho was also burned down that month. And even before the intifada, the Tomb of Rachel, a Jewish shrine near Bethlehem, was subjected to continual attacks. It had to be surrounded by fortifications to keep both the building and worshipers from harm.

(Continue reading)



Love of the Land: What if a Synagogue Were Burned and Other Silly Questions

Love of the Land: Letter from Graduates of Yeshivat Har Bracha to the Chief of General Staff: "If there is no Hesder – there is no reserve duty"

Letter from Graduates of Yeshivat Har Bracha to the Chief of General Staff: "If there is no Hesder – there is no reserve duty"


Eitan Fried
Etrog News
14 December 09

After Barak announced yesterday on the cancellation of the army arrangement with the Har Bracha Hesder yeshiva, in lieu of the failure of Rosh Yeshiva Eliezer Melamed to appear for a "hearing" scheduled by the Minister of Defence, a letter signed by 100 graduates of Har Bracha was sent to the IDF Chief of General Staff. The letter stated: "If the Hesder is cancelled, reserve duty will also be cancelled. The IDF is showing us the way out, so we will leave on our own accord."

After the dramatic occurrence yesterday, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that the arrangement between the IDF and Yeshivat Har Bracha would be discontinued, all because the rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, didn't show up for a "hearing" scheduled by Barak – the crisis has reached a new height this morning. A harsh letter, signed by 100 graduates and students of the Har Bracha yeshiva, as well as residents of "Har Bracha", was sent to the IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi. The letter informs Ashkenazi in no uncertain terms that if the hesder arrangement is discontinues – then they will not report for reserve duty.

"We are greatly sorrowed by statements we have recently been hearing, made by the leaders of the IDF and the decision makers in the Defense ministry. Statements that endanger the status of the IDF, and are causing cracks in the fighting spirit and motivation among the soldiers. The statements are a direct threat to the army," wrote graduates of "Har Bracha" in their letter to the Chief of Staff.

"We enlisted in the army with a sense of devotion to our people and our land, and many of us battled in the second Lebonese war and in the Cast Lead operation. We were prepared to fulfill every mission to the best of our abilities, and even to give up our lives, if that became necessary. Our roshei yeshivos taught us to be the first, and the best, in our efforts to defend the State of Israel. We were educated at the feet of our roshei yeshivos, and thus saw our mandatory and reserve service in the army as a holy mission."

The letter continued, "In the last few days, the Hesder yeshivos have been pushed out of their respected place in the army. If in fact the IDF and the government follow through with their decision, we interpret that to mean that the IDF is rejecting us as fighters in its service, that the IDF doesn't want us, is throwing us out."

The graduates of the yeshiva conclude the letter with a concrete threat: "We only enlisted in the army and continued to report for reserve duty because of the education we received in the yeshiva. If the army is now choosing to show our yeshiva the door, then with heavy hearts we have no choice but to complete the process. Therefore, if the army fulfills its threat, then we will unfortunately no longer consider ourselves to be a part of the army that has rejected us."

(Continue reading)

Love of the Land: Letter from Graduates of Yeshivat Har Bracha to the Chief of General Staff: "If there is no Hesder – there is no reserve duty"

Love of the Land: Is this a priority?

Is this a priority?


NowLebanon.com
14 December 09

A quick scan of the Lebanese press on Monday told us that Lebanese President Michel Sleiman will meet his US counterpart, Barack Obama, with three items on his agenda: the withdrawal of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 (mainly because of the controversial clause pertaining to Hezbollah’s disarmament) and the rejection of calls to naturalize Lebanon’s estimated 300,000 Palestinians. He will also apparently try to negotiate further US military aid to Lebanon.

Challenging the validity of 1559 will be music to the ears of Syria and Hezbollah, both of whom would love to see it compromised and who must be overjoyed that the debate on its validity has somehow managed to bypass the National Dialogue, that long-ineffective forum at which the subject was to be discussed among all of Lebanon’s parties.

One can’t help but feel that Syria must be very pleased with the way its Lebanon file is shaping up. It has bided its time and reestablished a considerable degree of influence over Lebanese affairs that it must have thought was lost forever in 2005. Sure, the tanks and troops may not return, but the gains of the Independence Intifada have been wiped out.

Today, the March 8 “opposition” has effective veto power in the cabinet, while the specter, not to mention threat, of an armed Hezbollah still casts a worrying shadow over any hopes Lebanon has for peace, prosperity and reform. In fact, one only has to count the number of Lebanese politicians who are heading to Damascus to pay condolences to the Syrian president for the death of his younger brother, Majd, to see how things have changed. And it is in this climate that Sleiman flew off to Washington.

(Continue reading)


Love of the Land: Is this a priority?

Love of the Land: Military Mutiny in Iran?

Military Mutiny in Iran?


Afshin Ellian
pajamasmedia.com
12 December 09


Leading commentators and diplomats have been pondering for quite some time why the Iranian leader is not prepared to act against the revolution in a major way. The “China model” could be applied, a brutal, fast, and extremely violent strike against the opposition. According to conventional wisdom, tyrants will use all means to eliminate their opponents. So why haven’t the mullahs adopted Chinese methods?

Tanks and soldiers

Applied to the Islamic Republic of Iran, it means the following:

  • At a given time (e.g., around three o’clock in the morning) soldiers would raid the cities and arrest everybody suspected of even the slightest “green” revolutionary inclination.
  • All communications with the outside world would be temporarily shut down.
  • People would wake up with a statement by the leader proclaiming the definitive end of all demonstrations. Then thousands would be executed.

Speed and brutality are the key aspects of the China model. Why does Khamenei not activate this model?

This summer he did consider this, before he became ill. He even gave carte blanche for the arrest of opposition leader Mousavi. But Khamenei has subsequently stopped its implementation. Why? Because he had been told that this would provoke an explosion that would likely engulf him and his regime.

Revolutionary Guards

At the time, I also heard another reason, which, if true, would be the main reason. There are serious doubts about the military itself. The army and parts of the Revolutionary Guards (abbreviated as RG) would, under those circumstances, choose the side of the opposition and the people. The military power of Khamenei would be broken. This, however, was speculation without proof.

Now there is evidence to support it. On December 10, a statement signed by a number of officers and commanders of the Iranian army was released. The regular army of Iran had not been involved in the suppression of the population. The statement was signed by:

  • Pilots and personnel of the aviation division of the regular army (Havanirooz)
  • Commanders and personnel of the 31th artillery division of Isfahan of the regular army
  • Pilots and airmen of the regular army
  • Teachers of the Shaid Satari University of the regular air force
  • Officers and staff of the logistics training unit the regular army
  • Professors and lecturers of the Imam Ali University for officers of the regular army
  • Officers, staff, and commanders of the chief of staff of the regular army

What did these soldiers write?

Page 1 of 2 Next ->

Afshin Ellian is a professor of law at Leiden University.



Love of the Land: Military Mutiny in Iran?

Love of the Land: Has Hizbullah Changed?

Has Hizbullah Changed?


Dr. Shimon Shapira
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
15 December 09

Has Hizbullah Changed? The 7th Hizbullah General Conference and Its Continued Ideology of Resistance

Some Western analysts believe the political manifesto published in the wake of Hizbullah's 7th General Conference at the end of November 2009 represented a fundamental change in Hizbullah policy.

While its link to Iran as the ultimate source of authority was not mentioned in this or any previous political manifesto, this link - that is part of Hizbullah's essence - appeared in the "Open Letter" (Resala Maftuha) of 1985, which remains the founding manifesto of Hizbullah and continues to serve as the movement's ideological basis.

The preface to the latest manifesto describes the decline of the United States as the sole superpower and the retreat of American power throughout the world. In reflection of these global changes, Hizbullah offers its resistance to Israel and the United States as the model for emulation throughout the world.

Hizbullah's vigorous insistence that it retain an army of its own that does not heed the authority of the state but rather the representative of Iran's leader in Lebanon makes a mockery of the clauses in the political manifesto about Lebanon being the eternal homeland. Furthermore, by building a state-like system parallel to that of the Lebanese state, and one that relies on aid and funding from Iran and Syria, Hizbullah does not contribute to the strengthening of Lebanon.

The decision of the Lebanese government to recognize the continued legitimate existence of Hizbullah's armed militia demonstrates less a case that Hizbullah underwent a process of "Lebanonization," but rather that the Lebanese state has undergone a process of "Hizbullazation."

Hizbullah's alleged move toward pragmatism is based to a large extent on an Iranian decision to create a new atmosphere in Lebanon that will allow it to work unmolested. Iran is looking for strict silence in the Lebanese arena in order to enable Hizbullah to reconstruct its strategic capabilities (including long-range rockets and missiles) in Lebanon in order to make use of these capabilities at a time to be determined by Tehran.

Hizbullah wound up its clandestine 7th General Conference at the end of November 2009 that took place and lasted about four months. Hassan Nasrallah was again chosen to be Hizbullah's general secretary and, as with previous conferences, the movement published a political manifesto. Some Western analysts believe the manifesto represented a fundamental change in Hizbullah policy. Indeed, a few days after it was proclaimed, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the Beirut Daily Star, "carefully considered contact with Hizbullah's politicians, including its MPs, will best advance our objective of the group rejecting violence to play a constructive role in Lebanese politics."1 Later, British spokesmen denied they had changed their policy toward Hizbullah.

Hizbullah's 6th General Conference was convened in 2004 and, according to the movement's bylaws, the 7th General Conference was to have convened in 2007. However, due to the Second Lebanon War and the debates and internal struggles that erupted in its wake within Hizbullah, together with the death of Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh in a car bombing in Damascus in February 2008, the conference was postponed twice and was finally convened in 2009.2

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Has Hizbullah Changed?

Love of the Land: The Bukay Affair

The Bukay Affair


Steven Plaut
frontpagemag.com
14 December 09

The most outrageous assault by the Israeli authorities against academic freedom of speech took place in recent days in what is becoming known as the Bukay Affair. The affair combines leftist undermining of democracy, the attempt at thought control by governmental officials and the police, harassment of a university lecturer by an over-zealous anti-democratic prosecutor, and an attempt to create in Israel a political Inquisition against incorrect thinking.

The entire saga revolves around Dr. David Bukay, a lecturer in Middle East Studies at the University of Haifa, with expertise in Arab history. Bukay speaks Arabic better than I speak English. He has conservative points of view and is very outspoken about them. His articles are carried by numerous journals.

About five years ago, Bukay was the victim of a smear campaign of demonization at the University of Haifa. At the time, an Arab student who was active in the university branch of the communist party sat in on one of Bukay’s lectures without being registered in the class. The student then ran to the Arabic press in Israel and claimed that in his lecture Bukay had repeatedly made racist derogatory comments about Arabs. The student claimed that Bukay had said in class that all Arabs should be shot.

After the story ran in the Arabic press, it was also reported in the Hebrew press and web. It turned out that the story was planted there and spread by an Israeli “Trotskyite” named David Merhav, who later issued a retraction and apology to Bukay, admitting the entire story had been a tissue of lies. But the retraction did not help. Today anti-Semitic internet web sites carry the story of Bukay’s alleged racist statements against Arabs.

Once the story began to spread, it turned out that none of the other students in the classroom had heard Bukay make any of the “racist” statements the communist student had alleged that he made. Many of these students went public and claimed that the Arab student had fabricated the entire story. Hundreds of Bukay’s students backed Bukay in the case. Many wrote the Haifa University chiefs to give their side of the story. In any case, because of the uproar, the Rector at the University of Haifa, himself no right-winger (he was a founder of Peace Now), appointed a committee of investigation to look into the charges against Bukay. They found that they were lies.

(Continue article)

Love of the Land: The Bukay Affair

Love of the Land: Calling a Crime a Crime

Calling a Crime a Crime


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
13 December 09

(Definite food for thought in this article. One needs merely to compare the non-response to the terrorist stabbing of a young woman Motzei-Shabbat in Gush Etzion or at the gas station here 3 weeks ago, to gauge the different reactions. Terrorist attacks rarely are considered an impediment to the process, therefore ignored, free of pious condemnation by both PM and DM. Given who benefited from a defacing of the mosque, it may be more profitable to look towards those who wish to demonize an entire sector of Jews who stand in the way of a 2nd or 3rd Hamastan.)

It’s a measure of how badly the “peace process” has warped Israel’s language of values that the most intelligent response to Friday’s torching of a mosque near Nablus, allegedly by extremist settlers, came from the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Its secretary general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, correctly identified the crime as “blatant aggression against the sanctity of sacred places.”

That’s more than Israeli politicians seemed capable of doing. Defense Minister and Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak, for instance, sounded as if the real crime were the potential damage to the peace process. “This is an extremist act geared toward harming the government’s efforts to advance the political process,” he declared. Similarly, opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni condemned it as a “despicable act of provocation” — as if the crime were the response it might provoke.

If the perpetrators were settlers, they probably did intend to undermine the peace process by provoking a violent Palestinian response. But that’s not what made their act criminal. The crime isn’t the impact on the peace process; it’s the wanton destruction of a house of worship.

This perversion of language began when Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres deemed the suicide bombings that followed the 1993 Oslo Accord “crimes against the peace process” and the victims, “sacrifices for peace.” For them, this was a political necessity: If Oslo were seen as producing more anti-Israel terror rather than less, Israelis would turn against Oslo — and its sponsors. Hence they had to paint the attacks not as the same old anti-Israel terror, but as a new form of terror, aimed equally at Israel and its Palestinian partner — i.e., at the peace process itself.

(Full article)



Love of the Land: Calling a Crime a Crime
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