Monday, 8 March 2010

Love of the Land: A beginner's guide to Israel Apartheid Week

A beginner's guide to Israel Apartheid Week

Based on the realities of the situation, it is clear that the apartheid label cannot be justified by the conditions faced by Arab citizens of Israel.


Jon Hollander
Columbia Spectator
07 March '10

Last Monday marked the beginning of what has become a yearly tradition on Western college campuses: Israeli Apartheid Week. If you have walked by the competing pro- and anti-Israel protests on College Walk, you can appreciate that labeling Israel as an apartheid state is a hotly contested issue. Who is right here? The only way to properly address this question is to look at the facts that underlie claims of Israeli apartheid, and to judge both their validity, and whether or not the apartheid label constitutes an unfair demonization of the Jewish State of Israel.

Before examining the claim that Israel is an apartheid state, it is important to make the critical distinction between Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the U.N. Partition Plan for the former British Mandate of Palestine, dividing the land into two states–one Jewish and the other Arab. The Jewish Agency (the de facto government for Jews in Palestine) accepted the plan, while the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq rejected the proposal and invaded Israel. By 1949, Israel had managed to defeat the Arab armies and signed an armistice that set the borders of what are today the West Bank and Gaza. Those territories that Israel conquered, other than the West Bank and Gaza, have been incorporated into the internationally accepted boundaries of Israel. The Arabs who resided in these areas are known as Israeli-Arabs.

Israeli-Arabs are citizens of Israel, and have full political rights. There are Arab political parties in Israel’s Parliament, high-ranking Arab bureaucrats and cabinet ministers, and Arab members of the Israeli Supreme Court. Moreover, Druze-Arabs are conscripted into the Israeli Defense Forces just like Israeli Jews, and several top IDF commanders are Druze-Arabs. More important than this small list of examples, however, is the fact that, unlike the blacks of South Africa, Israeli-Arabs are not denied basic political or economic rights. Economic, social, and political disparities between Arabs and Jews continue to exist in Israel, but these are more along the lines of those that exist here in the United States, not in pre-1994 South Africa.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A beginner's guide to Israel Apartheid Week

Love of the Land: Muslim anger rises in Britain: A portrait of extremism from a prominent “moderate”

Muslim anger rises in Britain: A portrait of extremism from a prominent “moderate”


Robin Shepherd
robinshepherdonline.com
08 March '10

"Bravado"

Consider the following remarks from one of Britain’s leading “moderate” Muslim journalists, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, writing about Israeli actions in Gaza:

“First systematically starved, the [Palestinian] population was denied escape and more than 1,200 were slaughtered like animals in an abattoir… On the letters pages Zionists say the violence – including phosphorus burns on children – are “regrettable” but necessary. A nation that asks the world not to forget what was done to its people by Hitler, has advocates who believe brutal ethnic cleansing is “regrettable”. How many Palestinian Anne Franks did the Israelis murder, maim or turn mad?”

That was in January 2009. Here she is again, writing today in the Independent. This time she takes matters a stage further, emulating the Jew-baiting president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, following the visit to Britain last week of Geert Wilders, the anti-Islamist politician currently on trial for offending Muslims in the Netherlands.


“…the crypto-fascist, Aryan Geert Wilders, is invited into the Lords by [the United Kingdom Independence Party] UKIP and crossbench peers to show his vile anti-Islam film in the name of freedom of expression. Freedom my arse. It is just another entertaining episode of Muslim-baiting. I dare the same peers to now invite David Irving, the Holocaust denier, to share his thoughts freely in the Lords…”

These vile and appalling sentiments echo precisely the attitudes and strategy of Ahmadinejad who after the publication in Denmark in 2005 of a set of political cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims immediately set about organising a conference aimed at questioning the reality of the Holocaust.

Alibhai-Brown, like Ahmadinejad, adopts the following strategy: Offend us Muslims and we’ll show you a thing or two about offending people. First up, we’ll stick it to your friends, the Jews.

Quite why the invitation of Wilders — who has much less a claim on being a “crypto-fascist” than Alibhai-Brown herself — should immediately lead someone to think about calling in a Holocaust denier to even up the score, as it were, is perhaps something that only a “moderate” like Alibhai-Brown could explain.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Muslim anger rises in Britain: A portrait of extremism from a prominent “moderate”

Love of the Land: Facing Iran: Lessons Learned Since Iraq's 1991 Missile Attack on Israel

Facing Iran: Lessons Learned Since Iraq's 1991 Missile Attack on Israel


Moshe Arens
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Vol. 9, No. 21
08 March '10

The Iranians learned a great deal from the destruction of Iraq's Osirak reactor by the Israel Air Force in 1981. The Osirak reactor was the key element in the Iraqi nuclear program: a single target which, when it was destroyed, set that program back very substantially. The Iranians saw this and they dispersed their nuclear program. Much of it is deep underground. There is no single target which, if destroyed, would substantially set back the Iranian nuclear program

When I came to Washington as Israel's ambassador in 1982, the atmosphere was one of hostility and there was talk of imposing sanctions against Israel as a reaction to its unilateral action against the Osirak reactor. Yet after a few years the view in Washington changed completely. It is difficult to envision the Americans undertaking Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf in 1991 if the Iraqi nuclear program had continued beyond 1981 and had not been so seriously set back by the Israeli action.

Some say that while the missiles Israel faces are relatively cheap weapons, we are launching a very expensive missile interceptor system against it, which does not seem very wise at first sight. However, the damage that might be caused by the incoming missile may far exceed the cost of the anti-missile system.

Israel's missile interceptor system poses a dilemma to anybody who decides to launch missiles against Israel, especially a missile that has a nuclear warhead. The dilemma is that the missile may very well be intercepted and thus expose the launching of a nuclear missile, even if it didn't reach its target, which could bring about the response that could be expected for committing this deed.

At the start of the Gulf War, the Americans said they expected that within 48 hours the U.S. Air Force would eliminate the missile launch capability of the Iraqis. If they did not succeed, Israel would be free to take whatever action it considered appropriate. Although there was intensive aerial activity directed at hitting the Scud launchers, not a single Scud launcher was hit or immobilized during the Gulf War. Furthermore, the U.S.-made Patriot missiles in Israel did not succeed in intercepting a single Scud missile.



Today, in 2010, in the United States and the Western world there is a very real and acute awareness of the danger that Iranian nuclear activity - which is clearly designed to achieve a nuclear military capability - poses to the world, not just to Israel.

Some people like to think that Israel has nothing to worry about because of the sizable Muslim population in the area and that the Iranians would not dare to cause massive destruction in an area where many Muslims might get injured or killed. However, as Prof. Bernard Lewis has said on a number of occasions, this kind of immunity is imaginary because radical Muslims are convinced that God knows how to tell the difference between Jews and Muslims.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Facing Iran: Lessons Learned Since Iraq's 1991 Missile Attack on Israel

Love of the Land: The Green Prince Debunks a Big Media Myth

The Green Prince Debunks a Big Media Myth




Honest Reporting/Backspin
07 March '10

I'm very looking forward to reading Mosab Hassan Yousef's book, "Son of Hamas." Until I get my hands on a copy, I'm sufficing with interviews and reviews. The Wall St. Journal notes one important myth the "Green Prince" debunked.

Myth: The second intifada was a popular uprising sparked by Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in September, 2000.

Fact: This WSJ snippet speaks for itself:



A few months before at Camp David, the late PLO chief Yasser Arafat had turned down the Israeli offer of statehood on 90% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital. According to Mr. Yousef, Arafat decided he needed another uprising to win back international attention. So he sought out Hamas's support through Sheikh Yousef, writes his son, who accompanied him to Arafat's compound. Those meetings took place before the Palestinian authorities found a pretext for the second Intifada. It came when future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Mr. Yousef's account helps to set straight the historical record that the uprising was premeditated by Arafat.




(Read full post plus video)



Love of the Land: The Green Prince Debunks a Big Media Myth

Love of the Land: Oslo Discord

Oslo Discord


Asgeir Ueland
Tablatmag.com
04 March '10

Once staunch supporters of Israel, Norwegians have shifted to a pro-Palestinian stance. What changed?

It is late January, and red-eyed travelers on an overnight train to Oslo can see little of Norway’s frozen capital. Darkness holds the city in its grip, and by 8 a.m. there still is no sign of the sun.

Despite its weather, Norway stands at the top of the yearly U.N. Human Development Index, thanks to massive oil and gas reserves that were discovered in the North Sea in 1969 and changed the face of Norwegian society. Over the last 40 years, the country went from being a poor, frozen outpost of Northern Europe to a social democratic paradise whose capital gave its name to the 1993 peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet over the same period, Norway also went from being a warm ally of Israel to a hotbed of pro-Palestinian sentiment and an unfriendly place for Israelis to visit and do business. The marked shift in Norwegian feeling toward Israel is typical of a larger shift throughout Scandinavia toward demonizing the Jewish state, despite the near-total absence of sizable communities of Jews or Muslims there who might seek to shape domestic opinion or foreign policy. The question of why Norwegians have become so invested in a complex conflict between two very un-Scandinavian peoples on the other side of the globe offers useful insight into the social and political dynamics that have turned once-friendly Europeans against Israel.

“The relations between Norway and Israel are relations between friends, but they lack real content,” said an Israeli diplomat I talked to in Oslo. “The bilateral plate is empty.” In 2003, according to the Israeli trade ministry, overall Israeli exports to the European Union stood at $10.4 billion; exports to Norway were a mere $69 million and have remained at more or less the same level since.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Oslo Discord

Israel Matzav: When is an expulsion an expulsion?

When is an expulsion an expulsion?

When activists on behalf of the homeless residents of Gush Katif sought to advertise on Israel Radio using the word expulsion, their ads were rejected. By Israel's 'Supreme Court' no less. And yet....

Susie Dym, spokesperson for the Matot Arim activist organization, has sent a letter to the ombudsman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority complaning about its double standard over Jewish and Arab expulsions.

"I heard the news report from 11 PM on Saturday night. In the report there was a story about protests against the "expulsion" (the word of your announcer) of Arab residents of a certain neighborhood in Jerusalem. I was surprised to hear that term coming from the announcer's mouth, because I remember that during the forced ethnic cleasning of thousands of Jewish residents of Gush Katif, the term "expulsion" was never used because it was deemed "political".

A few months ago, the IBA refused to broadcast radio ads for the Gush Katif Museum using the word "expulsion" in reference to the IDF destruction of the Jewish communites of Gaza.

Well, the answer to my question in the title should be obvious. An expulsion is an expulsion when it's politically correct to call it an expulsion.

And speaking of the Jews who were expelled from Gaza, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered that the construction of homes in Ariel for some of those expelled from Netzarim be frozen because of the 'settlement freeze.'

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: When is an expulsion an expulsion?

Israel Matzav: Guess whom Biden is bringing to dinner or One loudmouth deserves another

Guess whom Biden is bringing to dinner or One loudmouth deserves another

Media Bistro reports that Gaffetastic Joe Biden is being accompanied on his trip to Israel by none other than Chris Matthews, the solipsistic host of MSNBC Hardball.

MSNBC "Hardball" Host Chris Matthews travels to the Middle East this week with V.P. Joe Biden. On Tuesday he'll interview Biden in Jerusalem. The interviews air Tuesday and Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST.

Media Bistro's Betsy Rothstein notes that Matthews has expressed some fear of traveling in our region, lest he be kidnapped. Maybe we should hang him over the Gaza fence and see if there are any takers.

Despite the previously expressed worries, Matthews will anchor "Hardball" from Jerusalem on Monday and Tuesday and report from the region throughout the week. NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd will anchor Wednesday through Friday.

As Matthews travels with Biden, he's likely to receive a level of security he wouldn't get alone. This should minimize worries. More importantly: who will be more verbose - Matthews or Biden?

Good question.

Laura Rozen suggests that Matthews may not be the right man for the job (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).

Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill arrived in Israel today, the highest level Obama administration official to visit the Jewish state to date, with a mission to reassure Israel of the U.S.'s commitment to Israel's security (read: please don't bomb Iran, we've got you covered) and reaffirm the U.S.-Israeli special relationship (read: smooth over Israeli pique that Obama passed them over on previous trips to Cairo, Riyadh and Turkey and with his extensive outreach to the Muslim world).

So who does Biden bring with him to convey that cautious "reassure and reaffirm" message?

MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews.

No, it's not too reassuring. But it's just the kind of clumsy move we here in Israel have come to expect from the Obama White House.

P.S. For those of you who don't know what solipsistic means, if you click through that first link, you'll find out.

Israel Matzav: Guess whom Biden is bringing to dinner or One loudmouth deserves another

Israel Matzav: Obama's foreign confidants

Obama's foreign confidants

Jackson Diehl searches in vain for a foreign confidant of President Obama.

The paradox here is that Obama remains hugely popular abroad -- from Germany and France to countries where anti-Americanism has recently been a problem, such as Turkey and Indonesia. His following means that, in democratic countries at least, leaders have a strong incentive to befriend him. And yet this president appears, so far, to have no genuine foreign friends. In this he is the opposite of George W. Bush, who was reviled among the foreign masses but who forged close ties with a host of leaders -- Aznar of Spain, Uribe of Colombia, Sharon and Olmert of Israel, Koizumi of Japan.

Jealousy or political rivalry may play a part -- Sarkozy is one of several Europeans who have wanted to assume the role of Obama's closest ally and reacted poorly when he didn't respond. But another big cause seems to be lack of interest on Obama's part. Focused intently on his domestic agenda, the president is said to be reluctant to take time to build relationships with foreign leaders. If something has needed to be done or decided, he has readily picked up the phone. If not, he generally hasn't been available.

Obama also hasn't hesitated to publicly express displeasure with U.S. allies. He sparred all last year with Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu; he expressed impatience when Japan's Yukio Hatoyama balked at implementing a military base agreement. He has repeatedly criticized Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, and he gave up the videoconferences Bush used to have with Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki.

An argument can be made that none of this matters. Bush, after all, was often criticized for depending too heavily on personal relationships -- remember how he looked into Putin's soul? -- and his pals didn't save his administration from being universally condemned as "unilateralist." The Obama administration, in contrast, can argue that it has done pretty well in lining up European support on key matters such as Afghanistan and Iran. And Obama's personal popularity continues to provide leverage with leaders around the world, whether they hit it off with him or not.

Still, it's worth wondering: Would Sarkozy have fought French public opinion and sent more troops to Afghanistan (he has refused) if he had been cultivated more by Obama? Would Israel's Netanyahu be willing to take more risks in the (moribund) Middle East peace process if he believed he could count on this U.S. president? Would Karzai cooperate more closely with U.S. commanders in the field if Obama had embraced him?

Foreign policy isn't about being popular in foreign countries. A President or a Prime Minister doesn't stand for election in any country other than his own.

Foreign policy is about getting things done and about getting foreign leaders to behave the way you want them to behave. Obama has failed miserably at it. He can't get anyone - friend or foe - to do anything he wants. He believes that he can focus inward on his domestic agenda and ignore foreign policy. He can't. And if Israel attacks Iran or Iran obtains a nuclear weapon - one of which is bound to happen in the months ahead - Obama's willful neglect of foreign policy is going to come right back and bite him in the face.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama's foreign confidants

Israel Matzav: Israel's Left unmasked

Israel's Left unmasked

Some 3,000 foreign mercenaries, 'Israeli Arabs' and Leftist Jews held a demonstration in the Nahlat Shimon (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood of Jerusalem on Saturday night to protest the settlement of four Israeli Jewish families in Jewish-owned housing in the neighborhood.

On the one hand, the demonstration was a resounding success - it's by far the largest number of people who ever came out to protest the presence of Jews in Jerusalem.

On the other hand, the Israeli Left is finding itself backpedaling, because it realizes that what went on at the demonstration is far beyond anything that could be called mainstream and puts it well outside any Israeli consensus.

What went on at the demonstration? Many demonstrators were carrying 'Palestinian' flags, red and white hammer and sickles flags of the Communist party, and Fatah flags with a gun hanging over a green image of Israel. There were a few Israeli flags there and they were labeled 'peace' but that was only the start of the problems.

Perhaps the most noticeable development of the evening, however, came with the words of Samieh Jabarin, a Palestinian director and playwright who, speaking from a stage, criticized audience members who had brought blue-and-white flags with the word “peace” written on them.

“The word ‘peace’ cannot go on that flag,” Jabarin said.

For Palestinians, he explained, the colors blue and white symbolized their plight, not peace. They symbolized the occupation, and Zionism, which is what he said Saturday night’s rally was really about.

The situation in Sheikh Jarrah was but a symptom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the answer to which, Jabarin told the crowd, was a one-state solution.

While his comments drew applause, they were immediately followed by a correction from organizers, who took the stage and explained that everyone was welcome at the rally, and that all viewpoints were to be respected.

But did Jabarin’s comments and the appearance of the flags also mark a departure from the mainstream protests toward something more radical? Have the Sheikh Jarrah protests, which have galvanized the Israeli Left over recent months, become too Left?

“Absolutely not,” Avner Inbar, one of the rally’s organizers, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “I think we’re just Left enough.”

“I think that [Jabarin’s] comments did make some people feel uncomfortable,” Inbar said. “However, the thing that has made the Sheikh Jarrah protests so successful, is the willingness of various groups to come together and take on this single issue.”

Notice the backpedaling. What Jabarin did is beyond anything any mainstream Israeli would support. The fact that Israel's Leftists stayed at the rally and that the organizers tried to deny its significance shows just how extreme Israel's Left has become.

These are the people who voted for Labor and Meretz in the last election. And they've probably just put a lot of votes in the pockets of the Likud and parties to its right. Almost no Israeli Jews want a state with the 'Palestinians.' We've seen Gaza and Ramallah and we want no part of them.

But Israel's Left is now unmasked. They cannot claim loyalty to the Jewish state. They cannot claim to be Zionists. They cannot claim to be part of any Israeli Jewish consensus. They are beyond the pale.

Shortly after I wrote this post, I saw the following on Twitter from Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:

Just met with American Friends of Peace Now, have no problem engaging honestly with any Zionist group even those very ideologically different

Peace Now was one of the groups behind Saturday Night's rally. I don't see how anyone can believe they're Zionists anymore.

Israel Matzav: Israel's Left unmasked

Israel Matzav: Good news: 'Thousands' of 'Palestinians' to use Route 443

Good news: 'Thousands' of 'Palestinians' to use Route 443

Back in December, the Supreme Court ruled that Israel must open Route 443 between Jerusalem and Modiin to 'Palestinians.' At the time, the IDF estimated that a few hundred 'Palestinians' per day would use Route 443. That estimate has now risen to 'thousands.'

The IDF proposed protecting travelers on the road by putting four new roadblocks in place. Adding to the two that exist already, that means that there will be six roadblocks in a 14-kilometer stretch of road. Not to worry. With 'thousands' of 'Palestinian' cars on the road, no one will be going anywhere fast on it anyway.

Last week, there was a shooting attack on the road at an IDF outpost. The shooter was caught. He was from the 'moderate' Fatah organization of Abu Mazen. Imagine that there may be tens or even hundreds of shooters among the 'thousands' of 'Palestinian' cars on the road on any given day.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Good news: 'Thousands' of 'Palestinians' to use Route 443

Israel Matzav: US denies it will assign blame in proximity talks... sort of...

US denies it will assign blame in proximity talks... sort of...

On Saturday night, I blogged a story that said that the US had promised it would assign blame if the 'proximity talks' between Israel and the 'Palestinians' failed. Politico's Laura Rozen reports that the State Department is denying that story. Sort of.

U.S. officials denied regional media reports that the U.S. has provided written guarantees to the parties that the U.S. will assign blame if the talks run into obstacles, but suggested oral assurances may have been given that the Palestinians wrote down which served as the basis for such claims.

In other words, the story is true; the assurances just weren't written.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: US denies it will assign blame in proximity talks... sort of...

RubinReports: The Saudi Foreign Minister Explains the New Middle East

The Saudi Foreign Minister Explains the New Middle East

Seeking subscriber 9,468. Join up now

By Barry Rubin

Here's today's evidence that we are now living in Middle East 2.0 instead of the old version.

First, a definition:

Middle East 1.0: Characterized by Arab nationalist domination, competition among the strongerArab states to lead the region and by the weaker ones trying to survive those campaigns. Arab-Israeli conflict is a real enterprise. Roughly 1952-2000 or so. International aspect: Cold War competition between the United States and USSR and, near the end, US as sole superpower.

Middle East 2.0: Characterized by a battle between Arab nationalist regimes and revolutionary Islamists. An Iran-led bloc (Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, Iraqi insurgents) seeking regional hegemony. Israel and most Arab states have parallel interests; Arab states (except for Syria) put low priority on conflict. International aspect: Will the West support the moderates or appease the radicals.

The latest occasion is an interview of Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. Of course, there are the usual rhetorical flourishes about Israel but the passion and focus is clearly on Iran and various Islamist terrorists. (“There is nothing wrong with keeping the terrorists on the run,” says the prince.)

This is the same man who told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that sanctions would be too slow in stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons and the United States better do something quick. Here he says he prefers a resolution through the UN but it isn't clear what that means.

It's funny that in the West the region is being discussed, written about, and taught as if we were back in the 1970s. There is a particular obsession with the idea that everything is about the Arab-Israeli conflict. But if the Saudis talk like this publicly (you can imagine what they say privately) it's a sign of how changed everything is in Middle East 2.0's world.

Read this carefully. The prince says:

“There are no troops arrayed on the border of Israel waiting for the moment to say, ‘Attack Israel. Nobody is going to fight them and threaten their peace. But they didn’t accept that. So it makes one wonder, what does Israel want?”


Now you can take this as propaganda, and of course Israel does have a lot to worry about: Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hizballah, Arab countries being overthrown by Islamist warmongers, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and agreeing to a Palestinian state that then begins phase two of an effort to destroy Israel. It also needs agreement that any peace treaty permanently end the conflict, that Palestinian refugee be resettled in Palestine, that a Palestinian state is really going to block cross-border raids, and that foeign armies (notably those of Iran and Syria) aren't going to enter the West Bank.

Even Dowd, not known as being sympathetic to Israel, understand some of this and makes the remarkable statement: "If anyone deserves to be paranoid, of course, it’s Israel. But Israel can’t be paranoid because paranoia is the mistaken perception that people are out to get you."

But Faisal isn't just trying to score points. He is trying to get across the point that Saudi Arabia's government doesn't want a war with Israel and prefer the conflict to go away. It can't and won't make a formal peace but the Saudis certainly don't think the way they did decades ago.

And when Faisal talks about “no troops arrayed on the border....Nobody is going to fight them and threaten their peace," how does that look if one subtitutes Saudi Arabia for Israel? The Saudis and other Gulf Arab states (along with Lebanon and Iraq) are now on the front line and under threat more than Israel is right now. Faisal know it and so should we all.

RubinReports: The Saudi Foreign Minister Explains the New Middle East

Elder of Ziyon: Mahmoud Zahar the deadbeat

Elder of Ziyon: Mahmoud Zahar the deadbeat

Elder of Ziyon: Arab leaders call for Jihad over Jerusalem. Again.

Elder of Ziyon: Arab leaders call for Jihad over Jerusalem. Again.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Mesmerizing

Mesmerizing

Aaron Koblin, a fellow who likes to take large data-sets and express them visually, shows the flight patterns of American commuters. I especially liked watching the red-eye flights.


There's a more artsy version here, but I prefer the simpler one



And then there's another one, here

What does all this have to do with the usual topics of this blog, you ask? Not much. But believe me or not, it actually does have to do with my real job, which is keeping me away from blogging these days, so the least I can do is share the cooler aspects.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Mesmerizing

Israel Matzav: If only....

The ACLU ran an ad in Sunday's New York Times that shows President Obumbler morphing into former President Bush (Hat Tip: The Corner).

And on many issues, all I can say about that is "if only it were true that Obama has morphed into Bush...."



Israel Matzav: If only....

Israel Matzav: Golda was wrong

Golda was wrong

Former Prime Minister Golda Meir famously complained that Moses could have picked somewhere other than "the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil" as a Jewish homeland. Golda was wrong. Sort of.

It turns out that Israel has natural gas - and lots of it - right offshore. As a result of a huge natural gas discovery, Israel is likely to meet its domestic needs for natural gas by 2012, and may even become a natural gas exporter.

"Our thoughts are that will exceed what the market will need," Davidson said. "It's significant to Israel and what it can do for this country in terms of lowering energy costs."

Tamar's five wells are each expected to pump 150 million cubic feet of natural gas per day – a pace on par with the Houston company's other wells operating in places like the Gulf of Mexico, he said. The company hopes to open operations in a second Israeli field, called Dalit, at a later time.

...

Israeli officials expect demand for natural gas to more than double over the next decade, fueled by economic growth and a shift away from coal – which currently powers about 60% of electricity production. That makes some Israeli officials skeptical that Tamar will produce enough natural gas to meet the country's needs.

Egyptian company East Mediterranean Gas started exporting natural gas to Israel in 2008, under a 20-year agreement at a fixed price. Earlier this week, an Egyptian high court ruled that the company must price the gas to reflect international market rates.

"If the Egyptians provide us with reliable and relatively cheap gas, I can't see how the Israeli market or our ministries would reject it," said Constantine Blyuz, chief economist for the natural gas authority at the Ministry of National Infrastructures. "It's not the government's decision, it's the individual consumers."

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Golda was wrong

Israel Matzav: IDF to PA: Stop the violence or we will

IDF to PA: Stop the violence or we will

The 'Palestinian Authority' is complaining that the IDF gave them an ultimatum: You stop the violence or we will.

Israeli officials said that if the PA does not cut down on the incitement and keep the protests and boycott campaign in check, Israel will reduce cooperation with the PA and increase its arrests in Palestinian-controlled areas, the Palestinian sources said.

Over the past few months, arrests by Israel in PA areas have declined, and the Israel Defense Forces has been limiting the entry of troops into those areas.

...

The PA has sponsored several rallies in the villages of Bil'in and Na'alin, west of Ramallah, some of which have been attended by PA officials. In recent weeks, the PA has also backed protests in the village of Nebi Salah, north of Ramallah, and in Umm Salamuna in the Bethlehem region. Palestine Liberation Organization officials are prominently involved in clashes in the Jerusalem area and have come out against what the PA describes as the Judaization of Jerusalem.

In addition, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has spoken out sharply against the inclusion of Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, near Bethlehem, in a list of Jewish heritage sites.

The PA has so far done nothing to curtail the protests and as of Sunday, had conveyed no message to its grassroots activists to maintain a lower profile at upcoming rallies.

Sources in the Israeli security establishment say they sense that the PA is taking an active part in organizing popular protests in the West Bank. Security sources say that at this point a third intifada does not appear imminent. However, the sources say, the PA could lose control if it gives the protesters too much leeway.

I would bet on the IDF having to reassert control. Abu Mazen cannot stand up to his own people. That's just as well, provided that Israel reasserts control before it costs Israeli lives. We're better off not relying on the PA for our security anyway.


Israel Matzav: IDF to PA: Stop the violence or we will

Israel Matzav: Biden won't meet Lieberman; Netanyahu silent

Biden won't meet Lieberman; Netanyahu silent

Joe Biden will meet with everyone who's anyone while he's here. Binyamin Netanyahu. Ehud Barak. Tzipi Livni. Moshe Yaalon. Tony Blair. Avigdor Lieberman. That's right, the Gaffemeister has left Israel's Foreign Minister - who was last seen in Washington last June facing down US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - off his schedule.

Lieberman's office is trying to put the best face on it.

A spokesman for Lieberman said the two will not meet during the visit because a meeting between them has already been scheduled for April in Washington, during a planned Lieberman visit to the US. There was no reason to plan two meetings so close together, the spokesman said.

No comment was immediately available from the US embassy.

Sorry, but that just won't do. It's clear that the US doesn't like Lieberman, whom it views as a Right wing extremist. Sorry guys. He's our Foreign Minister. Netanyahu should stand up for him and tell Biden that he has to meet with Lieberman or else. Biden and Obama want this trip much more than Israel does because of that speech Biden is giving at Tel Aviv University on Thursday.

Can you imagine Ehud Olmert letting George Bush get away without meeting Tzipi Livni? (Olmert would have loved to do that, but Livni would have had his head). Can you imagine Yitzchak Rabin letting Bill Clinton get away without meeting Shimon Peres? It would never have happened. And it shouldn't happen to Lieberman either.

This is symptomatic of Netanyahu: He's letting the Americans dictate the agenda and exclude whomever they want to exclude. It's a recipe for disaster.


Israel Matzav: Biden won't meet Lieberman; Netanyahu silent

Israel Matzav: Interview: Mosab Hassan Yousef on Israel TV

Interview: Mosab Hassan Yousef on Israel TV

Here's an interview with Mosab Hassan Yousef on Israel Television's Channel 2 (in English).

Let's go to the videotape.



Hat Tip: Elder of Ziyon

By the way, in the brief conversation after the video, the analyst says that if anything, Yousef underplayed what he had done for Israel. The Israel Security Prize has been awarded for far less.

Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: Interview: Mosab Hassan Yousef on Israel TV

Israel Matzav: Major delays may kill Israel's F-35 purchase

Major delays may kill Israel's F-35 purchase

Just as the IDF and the American government were finally working out the issue of installing Israeli technology in the F-35 jets to be purchased by the IAF, a major problem has arisen with the contract that pushes back the first delivery dates for two years. That may lead Israel to cancel or postpone its signing of a contract altogether and to purchase older F-15I's instead.

On Sunday night, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi flew to Washington for talks with top Pentagon officials. Ashkenazi plans to speak with his American counterpart, Adm. Michael Mullen, and other Pentagon officials about the delays in the production of the JSF and how it will affect the IDF.

Last week, US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that the service’s plan to use the F-35 will probably be delayed by two years and cost significantly more than the $130 million initially expected.

Donley said that the F-35 would not be ready for the US Air Force until 2015, the date that Israel had initially wanted to begin receiving the stealth jet. The jet had been scheduled to become initially operational in 2013 before the Pentagon uncovered serious problems with the contract. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that at least one senior manager would be fired and $614 million in performance bonuses would be withheld from lead contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“If the Americans are only getting the plane in 2015, then it is difficult to imagine that we will receive it the same time,” the officer said, adding that the Air Force was currently in talks with the Pentagon about locking down a delivery date.

...

Israel had planned to order a first squadron of 25 jets within the coming months and to procure another 50 by the end of the decade. Due to the delays, some IAF officers are calling for a review of the procurement plans and to consider the possible purchase of additional F-15Is made by Boeing Company. Israel already has a squadron of F-15Is that are capable of carrying massive amounts of weaponry and flying long distances, including to Iran.

You will recall that one of the very few legislative 'accomplishments' to which the Obama administration could point in its first year in office was killing the F-22, which was a plane that Israel had been promised and coveted. Obama was so pleased with his 'victory' (obtained by threatening to veto the entire armed services appropriations bill) that he went on national television to laud it. At the time I speculated that the F-22 may have been killed - at least in part - to keep it out of Israel's hands. But in light of the major delays in producing the F-35, the decision to kill the F-22 looks stupider than ever for the US and for its allies.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Major delays may kill Israel's F-35 purchase

Israel Matzav: Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it looks like the 'Palestinians' are going to agree to proximity talks for four months. Why four months? Yes, of course it's significant.
An Israeli official said that the Palestinian decision to give the indirect talks four months was not taken at random, and was designed to expire shortly before the termination of Netanyahu’s 10-month settlement housing moratorium, at the end of August. This will now be used as a lever to get Netanyahu to extend and widen the moratorium, the official predicted.
And of course when Netanyahu instituted the 'settlement freeze' and insisted it was a one-time deal, everyone warned that once he agreed to it, he would be pressured to extend it.

Four months from now, the 'proximity talks' will have gone nowhere although US Special Middle East envoy George Mitchell will be able to travel from Jerusalem to Ramallah in his sleep, and the 'Palestinians' and the Obama administration (three months from a midterm election) will pressure Israel to keep the show going by extending the 'freeze.' So mark your calendars.

Of course, we could be fighting a war in Iran by then....

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Mark your calendars!

Israel Matzav: More news from California

More news from California

Jennifer Rubin has uncovered more details of the infamous letter that California Republican Senate candidate Tom Campbell wrote in support of 'Palestinian' terror supporter Sami al-Arian. You really have to read the whole thing to follow along. But here are the conclusions of the other two campaigns.

The Carly Fiorina campaign is calling for Campbell to correct the record and change his website: “Tom Campbell has refused to release this letter despite repeated calls for him to do so. Now we know why. The content of the letter itself, and the date on which it was written reveal that what Tom Campbell told voters in Friday’s debate about his relationship with Al-Arian—and just as importantly, what he knew about him at the time—is quite simply false.” A Fiorina aide goes further, telling me: “Tom Campbell flat out lied in the debate about what he knew and when he knew it, and he flat out lies on his new Campbell ‘facts’ website — it’s so brazen you have to wonder he’s convinced himself that he doesn’t have a terrorism problem.”

Suffice it to say, we are off to the races on this latest revelation.

UPDATE: Chuck DeVore’s Communications Director has chimed in with a statement including this: “We’ve known from the start that Tom Campbell has a problematic past with Islamist radicals, and this just fills in some details. What’s troubling is that two of the three Republicans running for US Senate in California this year have a troubling history in this regard. While Campbell was a darling of the anti-Israel set, Carly Fiorina was presiding over illegal technology transfers to Iran, and delivering paeans to Islamic civilization while the fires at the World Trade Center were still smoldering.” Fiorina has denied any illegal technology transfers occured to Iran during her tenure at Hewlett Packard.

Hmmm.

For the record, as of this writing (which is being done live - not scheduled) none of the three campaigns has answered my list of questions. If any of them does, I will let you know.


Israel Matzav: More news from California

Israel Matzav: The end of political correctness?

The end of political correctness?

One of the nice things about having a Right wing government is that political correctness has a chance of going by the wayside.

Until Sunday, Israel Radio was referring to the 'proximity talks' that are rumored to be starting this week with the 'Palestinians' as sichot hakirva (which is how you would translate 'proximity talks' but also would translate as 'close talks'). On Monday, Israel Radio's 5:00 am news referred to the talks as sichot ha'akifot (indirect talks).

Substantively, that's far more accurate. And it never would have happened under a Leftist government.

Israel Matzav: The end of political correctness?

Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' greet Biden by honoring terrorist

'Palestinians' greet Biden by honoring terrorist

Joltin' Joe Biden is visiting Israel for three days starting Monday, and the 'Palestinians' have prepared a greeting he'll always remember. The 'Palestinians' will be dedicating Dalal al-Mughrabi Square in beautiful downtown Ramallah on Thursday morning, the last day of Joltin' Joe's visit. Al-Mughrabi was the perpetrator of the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 in which 37 civilians, including 12 children, were murdered by 'Palestinian' terrorists. But why should Joltin' Joe's presence interfere with the show?

Today the official PA daily reports that the Municipality is continuing with this Thursday's inauguration:

Headline: "Preparations for inauguration of Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square complete"

"The El-Bireh Municipality has completed construction work at the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in the Um Al-Sharait region, and has commenced preparations for its inauguration this Thursday, the anniversary of Mughrabi's Martyrdom. The mayor, Jamal Al-Tawil, said that... this year the municipality will celebrate the inauguration of the Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi Square in order to commemorate her memory and her sacrifice as a Palestinian woman who resisted the occupation. City Council member Aida Abu-Ubeid said that the square is considered a symbol of the sacrifice of the Palestinian woman. She also noted that flowers and trees will be planted there, and that a picture of the Shahida Dalal Mughrabi will be placed at the center of the square."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 7, 2010]

There has been no public comment from the Obama administration about the PA's honoring of the terrorist.

Well, of course the Obama administration has had nothing to say about it. I mean, what does that have to do with 'peace'?

Arutz Sheva adds:

On Thursday morning, the last day of Biden's visit, PA officials will gather in Ramallah to dedicate a square in honor of Mughrabi. Thursday will also be the 32nd anniversary of the 1978 attack led by Mughrabi, which is commonly known as the Coastal Road Massacre.

...

The square in Mughrabi's honor will be known as “Shahida Dalal Mughrabi Square.” The title “Shahid,” martyr, is reserved in Islam for those who die while fulfilling a religious command and who are assured of a place in paradise after death.

The PA has named several institutions after Mughrabi in the past, among them two girls high schools and two summer camps.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: 'Palestinians' greet Biden by honoring terrorist

Elder of Ziyon: Rambam synagogue and school rededicated in Cairo

Elder of Ziyon: Rambam synagogue and school rededicated in Cairo

Elder of Ziyon: Iran's new short-range cruise missile

Elder of Ziyon: Iran's new short-range cruise missile

Elder of Ziyon: Musab Youssef on Israel TV

Elder of Ziyon: Musab Youssef on Israel TV

Love of the Land: The dogs of Sheikh Jarrah

The dogs of Sheikh Jarrah


Lurker
The Muqata
08 March '10

Have you ever wondered about what Arabs think of their Jewish anti-Israel fellow travellers? The video below might provide a hint. It's from one of the weekly demonstrations held by the radical left in the Jerusalem neigborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (aka "Sheikh Jarrah")*.



In the video, several demonstrators can be seen getting arrested by the police. The overwhelming majority of the arrestees seem to be Israeli Jews. Meanwhile, starting at about 3:19 in the video, a woman in traditional Arab garb, looking on as these pro-Arab Jewish demonstrators are led away by the police, loudly shouts the following chant:


"Falasteene Bladna, al-Yahud klabna!"

This translates into:

"Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs!"

(It should be noted, by the way, that she did not say that the "Zionists" are the Arabs' dogs, or that the "Israelis" are their dogs -- she said that the "Jews" are their dogs.)

(Excellent write-up. Read full post)


Love of the Land: The dogs of Sheikh Jarrah

Love of the Land: Wall Street Journal: “Real Truth Tellers” will be at UN Watch’s Geneva Summit, not UN Human Rights Council

Wall Street Journal: “Real Truth Tellers” will be at UN Watch’s Geneva Summit, not UN Human Rights Council


UN Watch
Wall St. Journal
07 March '10

Friend and Faux on Human Rights

Iran bids to join the U.N.’s rights body.

Some of the world’s most courageous champions of human rights will convene today, Monday, March 8, in Geneva, seat of the United Nations’s Human Rights Council. But don’t expect the Council itself to welcome these distinguished visitors.

The Geneva Summit-organized by groups such as U.N. Watch and Freedom House, and chaired by Poland’s Lech Walesa and the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel-will bring together political dissidents from China, Iran and Burma, rights activists for the Tibetan and Uighur peoples, a survivor of the North Korean gulag, plus a former Sudanese slave named Simon Deng who plans to speak about “the gross human-rights abuses by radical jihadists and the Islamic government in Khartoum.”

As for the U.N. Council’s meeting, the main drama (apart from the ritual Israel-bashing) will be Iran’s bid to get elected later this spring as a member. Among its presumptive qualifications, says Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, is that last June’s elections were “an exemplary exhibition of democracy and freedom.”

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Wall Street Journal: “Real Truth Tellers” will be at UN Watch’s Geneva Summit, not UN Human Rights Council

Love of the Land: Iranian Clocks, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Iranian Clocks, Tick Tock, Tick Tock


Michael Ledeen
Pajamasmedia.com
07 March '10

The failed Israeli ex-PM, Ehud Barak, gives us the benefit of his deep thinking about Iran. It’s an Einsteinian metaphor about relative rates of the passage of time:

The clock for the Iranian regime’s downfall is ticking, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a lecture at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Friday. However, “it’s clear to me that the clock toward the collapse of this regime works much slower than the clock which ticks toward Iran becoming a nuclear military power,” Barak said.



How does he know that? — we (or at least some of us) wonder. I can imagine that the Israelis think they know the timetable for the Iranian atomic bomb, but I don’t think anyone has the schedule for the regime’s final days. And anyway, this is a case where static analysis is totally inappropriate. Any scenario has to include the likelihood of new variables being introduced. There’s probably a big sabotage operation going on against the atomic project, and some day somebody in the so-called Western world might decide to help the Iranian opposition speed up the “downfall clock.”

With regard to the atomic clock, I am told that the Iranian regime intends to announce two more hitherto-secret enrichment sites in early April. One is near Mashad, over by the Afghan border. The other is in the mountains east of Tehran. In keeping with the regime’s constant use of deception and misdirection, you can be pretty sure that there are other secret sites as well.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Iranian Clocks, Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Love of the Land: Turkey picks the strong horse

Turkey picks the strong horse


Fresnozionism.org
07 March '10

Yesterday I mentioned the phenomenon of Turkey, under the ‘moderate’ Islamist AKP party, distancing itself from Israel and the US. As part of the process, Turkish PM Erdoğan never misses an opportunity to attack Israel:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday continued his verbal assault on Israel, according to Saudi paper Al Wattan, which quoted him as saying that that al Aksa Mosque, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb “were not and never will be Jewish sites, but Islamic sites…”

Speaking to Palestinian journalists, Erdoğan reportedly said, “Palestine [was] always at the top of Turkey’s priorities.” He expressed his support for the renewal of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Donning a cloak of pan-Islamic identity, Erdoğan told Al Wattan that he “loves my brothers in Fatah and my brothers in Hamas to the same degree, because they are my Muslim brothers and I cannot distinguish between them.”


Israel in the past enjoyed a close collaboration with Turkey in military matters, but this has been reduced recently. It’s likely that if the AKP continues with its efforts to reduce the influence of the army (by arresting and prosecuting officers for treason), that this trend will continue.

Love of the Land: Turkey picks the strong horse

Love of the Land: Israel's 'paranoia'

Israel's 'paranoia'


Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror/JPost
07 March '10

The British Sunday paper The Observer devoted one of its recent editorials to an ostensibly well-meaning lecture about what really, truly was in Israel's best interest. The title counseled that "Israel can accelerate peace by exercising restraint," and the sub-header elaborated: "The diplomatic challenge is to help Israel grasp how its failure even to engage with international opinion risks an isolation which will make the country much less secure."

The piece was open for comments by readers for just 12 hours, but attracted more than 300 responses in this time, and if the thrust of these comments reflected "international opinion", they provided a good example of the futility of any Israeli efforts to "engage" with this kind of utterly misinformed and deeply hostile audience.

The analysis offered in the editorial suggested that:

Israeli policy is driven by two fears. The first, quite justified, is that the country is mostly surrounded by hostile states, some of which host terrorist attacks against its civilians. The second, unjustified, is that criticism from any quarter includes an implicit question of the legitimacy of the Jewish state. That paranoia leads to constant reliance on isolationist militarism which, as well as creating terrible injustice for the Palestinians, has consistently failed to provide the security that Israelis crave."


The assessment that efforts to provide Israelis the security they "crave" have " consistently failed" is most peculiar given that the relevant Israeli authorities reported at the end of last year that in 2009, there was "a marked decrease in the volume of terrorist attacks compared to previous years."

Any editorial writers who would like to dispense free advice on how best to achieve the "security that Israelis crave" could also benefit from contemplating the graphic that accompanies the quoted report, because it vividly illustrates that Israeli efforts to achieve peace in Camp David and Taba from summer 2000 to January 2001 were followed by the violence of the so-called "Al Aqsa intifada."

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Israel's 'paranoia'

Love of the Land: A rational article provokes bigoted frenzy at the FT

A rational article provokes bigoted frenzy at the FT


Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
07 March '10

A few days ago, the historian Andrew Roberts wrote a piece in the Financial Times trenchantly defending the presumed assassination by Israel in Dubai of the Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Habhouh. In this article, which was itself a response to two examples of standard boilerplate bigotry that the paper had run about this, Roberts wrote:

All that the Dubai operation will do is remind the world that the security services of states at war – and Israel’s struggle with Hamas, Fatah and Hizbollah certainly constitutes that – occasionally employ targeted assassination as one of the weapons in their armoury, and that this in no way weakens their legitimacy. As for the ‘separation walls’ and checkpoints that one sees in Israel, the 99 per cent drop in the number of suicide bombings since their erection justifies the policy. There is simply no parallel between apartheid South Africa – where the white minority wielded power over the black majority – and the occupied territories, taken by Israel only after it was invaded by its neighbours. To make such a link is not only inaccurate, but offensive.


Not nearly as offensive, however, as what then followed. For as Robin Shepherd points out, the readers’ comments on Roberts’s article constituted an outpouring of vicious hatred, lies and libels about Israel. Not for the first time, one has to wonder at the unique and profoundly unbalanced frenzy of this particular hatred, based on a startling ignorance of the history of the Middle East which is thus comprehensively inverted. Here’s a taster, if you can stomach it:

Is it terrorism when a thief invades my house, kills my family and ends up complaining to the ‘police’ after I try defend my place against him and his criminal acts? Now transport yourselves to years and years and years of ethnic cleansing, bulldozing of homes, killing of unarmed civilians in filthy refugee camps and use of prohibited weapons. Add to that the stockpiling of illegally obtained and undeclared nuclear weapons, the official statement that a certain State is ‘Jewish’ (probably the most blatantly racist qualification ever to grace the constitutional texts of a single State) and HAS to preserve its ‘jewishness’, or the catastrophe brought about by a colonial power that was too incompetent and biased to ensure a home to the REAL inhabitants of Palestine.


(Read full story)


Love of the Land: A rational article provokes bigoted frenzy at the FT

“Don’t Believe Lashon Hara”

“Don’t Believe Lashon Hara”


08
מרץ
2010

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Chayei Sarah 5767 – translated by R. Blumberg]

Don’t believe a single word of evil gossip from anyone! Don’t listen to it altogether! That itself is forbidden. Yet if you happen to hear it, don’t believe it. There’s so much Lashon Hara in the world! There’s so much falsehood and slander!
Tales were spread about Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook that he was a closet Christian, about Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto that he was a false Messiah, about Rambam that he had become a Moslem, about the Prophet Jeremiah that he had cohabited with a harlot, about Moshe that had committed adultery with 600,000 women!
Even what you see with your own two eyes, don’t believe! Maybe you don’t know all the details, and if you did it would change the picture. This is called giving the benefit of the doubt, not in the sense of wearing blinders and emotionally distorting the truth, but in the sense of clarifying what the truth is. Yet let’s not forget that the truth means all the truth. This is the rule. Even what you see with your own eyes, don’t believe!
The story is told that Rabbi Aryeh Levine saw someone purchase a flower pot in the middle of a funeral. He was very puzzled. Yet when he clarified matters, he found out that the departed had a dangerous, contagious disease. The hospital had therefore decided to burn all his effects, including his Tefillin, unless they would be taken directly for burial. That person therefore bought a flower pot in order to bury the Tefillin.
A woman was once waiting for a plane at the airport, munching on sugar wafers. Suddenly she was called up to the desk to clarify matters. When she returned, she saw a man of Charedi appearance unabashedly eating her sugar wafers. She didn’t wish to insult him, so she took a wafer and began to eat it, in order to hint to him that they were hers. Yet he did not take the hint and continued to eat. He ate one and she ate one, until the package was finished. She was astonished by his chutzpah, but kept quiet. Yet when she settled down in the plane and opened her bag, she saw her package of wafers inside, and she then recalled that she had put them in her bag when she went to the desk. Suddenly the story took on an entirely different hue.
The story is told that when the Arizal arrived in Tsefat, he was appointed to a committee that dealt with sin. Very early one morning, a member of the committee rose to pray at sunrise, and as he opened his window, he saw a married woman leave her home and approach the courtyard of a man known as an adulterer. The man was very shocked, and after services he assembled the committee and told them about the terrible deed of that woman. The Arizal said to him, “Quiet! How dare you to speak so about a reputable Jewish woman? In the same courtyard where that adulterer lives, a visitor from the Diaspora has found lodgings. That visitor has brought money and a secret letter from this woman’s husband, who insisted that the money and letter not be delivered to the woman by a third party, but directly. She therefore went there, and so modest is she that she chose to go early in the morning when there is no one else on the street so that no one would look at her.” The committee member responded, “Forgive me, Rebbe! Forgive me!” Yet the Arizal answered, “It isn’t me you have to ask for forgiveness, but that righteous, modest woman whom you suspected!” Another story is told of Rabbis who held a large gathering in order to deliberate on the problems of the generation, and afterwards ate a meal together. In the middle, the senior Rabbi rose and informed the others that he would show them a marvelous sight. From his pocket he removed a coin from the time of King David, which he would use for such rituals as “redeeming the firstborn.” The coin passed from hand to hand, and all the Rabbis were very excited. Yet at some point it disappeared. Everyone looked for it on the table and the floor, but the coin had disappeared into thin air. An unpleasant mood developed. The senior Rabbi said, “Perhaps one of the Rabbis unintentionally, out of habit, put the coin in his pocket. Please, let’s everyone have a look.” They were a bit insulted. They searched, but they didn’t find it. The mood was now grave. The senior Rabbi said, “Perhaps accidentally the coin fell into the pocket of one of you, without your noticing it. Rabbis have lots of pockets too. Perhaps a Rabbi is unaware of all his pockets. I therefore suggest that every Rabbi should examine the pockets of the Rabbi sitting on his right.” The Rabbis felt very uncomfortable at this, but out of respect for the senior Rabbi they performed his request, but they didn’t find anything. There was one elderly Torah scholar, however, who said forcefully to the man on his left, “No one is going to search my garb!” “Why not,” his neighbor asked. The elderly Rabbi turned red in the face, but he insisted, “No one will search me!” The senior Rabbi turned to him and asked, “Then what you do suggest?” “I don’t suggest anything!” he cried. Everyone was silent. The mood was terrible. A heavy silence enveloped the chamber. After ten minutes, the waiter burst in holding the coin. He had accidentally cleared it away with the tray of dishes. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, gazed shamefacedly at the elderly Torah scholar whom they had suspected. They then asked him why he had refused. He then put his hand into his pocket, took out a similar coin and said, “I too brought an identical coin to show everyone, but when the senior Rabbi showed his, I saw no reason to compete with him. And now, who would have believed me that I too had such a coin?...” Everyone lowered his head in shame and said, “It was worth coming here just for this to happen.” Now do you understand? Don’t believe a word of evil gossip, even what you yourself have seen
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Divided PA OKs Indirect Talks for Four Months - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

Divided PA OKs Indirect Talks for Four Months - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

MK Schneller: NIF Influence in Halls of Power - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

MK Schneller: NIF Influence in Halls of Power - Politics & Gov't - Israel News - Israel National News

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Prof. Netanyahu, 100: Iran Trying to Split US Jews, Israel - Jewish World - Israel News - Israel National News

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Abbas to Promote Jailed Terrorist - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

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US-Born Al-Qaeda Terrorist Nabbed after Call for Attacks - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Video: Ex-IDF Dep. Chief of Staff Backs Eastern Jerusalem Jews - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

Video: Ex-IDF Dep. Chief of Staff Backs Eastern Jerusalem Jews - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News#replies

SimpleToRemember.com JUDAISM ONLINE - What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

If you ever meet someone named Skip, Chip or Kirk, chances are he’s an airline pilot. Tony, Sal, Vic, Jack or Dom might be a car mechanic or perhaps your barber. What about if you met someone named Mendel? You might assume he was either a tailor or perhaps a Biblical sage. You would probably never think that he was a world hero.

On March 12th, 99 years ago, a 14 year old boy was murdered in the city of Kiev. He was stabbed 47 times and drained of his blood. His corpse was dumped in a cave near the home of Mendel Beilis. Thus began a 3 year saga of torture and torment for a man who was to spare Russian Jewry from the most grievous pogrom in their 400 year history.

Russian archives have revealed that the Czar himself authorized the public trial of this innocent Jew to showcase the famous blood libel accusation that has been leveled against our nation for centuries. His hope was to cause a widespread pogrom against the 5 million Jews trapped in Mother Russia by the cruel edicts of a corrupt government. Even though local officials knew the identity of the actual murderers for months, Beilis was forced to spend over two years in a Russion prison; humiliated, starved, belittled and tormented. Had he succumbed to the mental anguish and committed suicide, he would have been judged guilty by the Russian masses and death and slaughter would have followed. Despite untold horror and hardship, he survived to stand trial.

Before the eyes of the world, Mendel Beilis declared “I am a Jew.” Through 34 days of testimony, his fate was in the hands of 12 backward, uneducated peasants. Testimony clearly led to the guilty parties, but this was not a typical murder trial. It was a trial of the Jewish people.

It was due to his strength of character, his impeccable reputation and his lifetime of kindness to his Russian neighbors that resulted in the unanimous vote, “Not Guilty.”

Our forefather Jacob fought with the angel and prevailed. His name was changed from Jacob to Israel. We are called by the name, Children of Israel, “Bnei Yisroel”. It was his strength of character that has enabled people like Mendel Beilis to triumph throughout the generations.

So whether you call yourself Mendel, Mordechai, Mark or Marvin, we are all Children of Israel.

Wear your names with pride.



SimpleToRemember.com JUDAISM ONLINE - What’s in a Name?
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