Monday, 19 April 2010

Israel Matzav: The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Well, here's another right that doesn't exist in the Jewish state in 2010 if you're from the wrong side of the political aisle: The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

After coming up against a brick wall at City Hall trying to stop illegal Arab building on private Jewish property in Jerusalem, East Jerusalem activist Aryeh King decided to change tactics. He therefore asked police for a permit to demonstrate in front of the illegal building in the neighborhood of Samir Al Amis, hometown of the Prophet Jeremiah. But the police refused King the right to demonstrate. He is now taking his case to the Supreme Court.

But Obama will be upset if we actually stop illegal Arab building in Jerusalem. After all, we don't want to do anything that would change the status quo, do we?

Israel Matzav: The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Israel Matzav: Anxious days

Anxious days

The Wall Street Journal almost gets it right.

After the recent flap over Jewish settlements north of Jerusalem, concern is growing that the U.S. wants Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. At their narrowest, those borders give Israel a nine-mile margin between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea.

Israel could conceivably withdraw to something close to that border if it had credible assurances that a future Palestinian state would be peaceful, stable and well-governed. But the Palestinian reality today is that it is riven politically and geographically between two camps, one of which (Hamas) is armed by Iran and sworn to Israel’s destruction.

As for Israel’s other neighbors, Syria has further entrenched its alliance with Iran, despite repeated entreaties by the Administration and its allies in Congress; Egypt is entering a period of political transition; and Turkey has gone from being an Israeli ally to an adversary under its Islamist government. None of this can inspire much confidence among Israelis that the time is ripe to withdraw from the West Bank.

Nor will Israel’s fears be assuaged by paper guarantees of its security in some future settlement. In 2006, a senior Bush State Department official gave us similar assurances that the Security Council’s resolution that brought the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah to a close would seal the Lebanese border at least to “heavy weapons” from Syria and Iran. The resolution even provided for a beefed-up international security force to enforce the resolution’s terms. So much for that, and so much for the results of the solicitous visits to Syria in recent years by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry.

As for Iran, yesterday brought reports of a secret memo from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the White House arguing that the Administration lacks a strategy for coping with Iran’s drive to gain a nuclear weapon. We’re not sure why this memo is secret, since it merely says what has been obvious to the world for months. Everyone in the Middle East has begun to assess how its interests and strategic calculations will change once Iran gets the bomb.

For all the current talk about Israel costing America lives and treasure, the striking fact is that the U.S. has never had to go to war to defend the Jewish state. This is more than can be said for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo and the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s because for 62 years Israelis have provided for their own defense, in an alliance with the U.S. that has reflected American values and—in both the Cold War and the war on terror—advanced American interests.

Israel cannot conceivably withdraw to anything close to the 1949 armistice lines unless there is a fundamental change in the 'Palestinians' and their commitment to destroy the Jewish state. That is most unlikely given that 44.7% of the 'Palestinians' are under the age of 14 and have already been indoctrinated in Jew hatred, and given that there are hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of descendants of 'Palestinian refugees' whose 'right of return' the 'Palestinians and their Arab patrons are unwilling to give up.

And that's without talking about Jerusalem.

For those who cannot get into the Journal's site, you can find the full editorial here.

Israel Matzav: Anxious days

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos

Israel Matzav: Netanyahu interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos

Israel Matzav: Defense Minister: 'Let the Palestinians rule themselves'

Defense Minister: 'Let the Palestinians rule themselves'

In a Memorial Day interview with Israel Radio, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the 'World' will not put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the 'Palestinian people.'

In a Memorial Day interview with Israel Radio on Monday morning, Barak said "there is no other way, whether you like it or not, than to let (the Palestinians) rule themselves."

Barak said Israel has enough power and security to allow for a two-state solution, and if such a solution should fail, the world will know that it was not Israel's fault.

We can't reach an agreement with the 'Palestinians' because they want nothing less than our destruction (they've already turned down three 'substantially all' deals). So what is Barak suggesting? That we unilaterally retreat to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and then when the solution fails (i.e. when the 'Palestinians' attack us again), the world will know that it wasn't Israel's fault? What good will that do us if we're all dead (God forbid)? Barak's logic is - as we say in Hebrew - nisgav mi'binati (above my understanding).

In addition, Barak told Israel Radio that the recent alienation from America is harmful to Israel, and must be stopped. Growing gaps with the United States, Barak explained, can be narrowed by embarking on a peace initiative that tackles all the big issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians.

Well, Netanyahu has been trying to do that for a year now, and the result is that the 'Palestinians' refuse to negotiate with us and Obama hates us. Gee, that worked out real well, didn't it?

Israel Matzav: Defense Minister: 'Let the Palestinians rule themselves'

Israel Matzav: Obama brings the Jew-haters out of the woodwork

Obama brings the Jew-haters out of the woodwork

The New York Post's Michael Goodwin reports that President Obama's tough talk on Israel is being used by all sorts of anti-Semitic scum who believe that their vile hatred is suddenly acceptable (Hat Tip: Jammie Wearing Fool).

The three letters came to me in response to different columns, but the writers share two distinct views. They support President Obama's hard-line policy toward Israel, and they are anti-Semites.

They hear Obama's policy as a license, and even a cue, to spew their hate. I am sharing their rants because letters like theirs are increasing as the president grows more forceful toward Israel.

The connection is disturbing. With American-Israeli relations at a low point, anti-Semitism could be reaching a boiling point.

Yes, some writers support Obama's stance in legitimate ways. They show that there is room for honest disagreement and that criticism of Israel, whether from the president or other Americans, does not have to be anti-Semitic.

But most of the critical reaction I get when I fault Obama's policies is anti-Semitic. Some of it is violent in tone, wishing me and my family death and suggesting the world would be a better place if Hitler had succeeded.

"Another Holocaust is on the way," wrote Janice Wijnen. "What will history say about the Jews? They were the missing links between apes and human beings."

The most common approach is to raise doubts about my loyalty, with many writers claiming that sticking up for Israel is proof of a lack of patriotism here at home.

Because I see Israel's survival both as a moral issue and a strategic one for America, I am often incorrectly assumed to be Jewish, as if only Jews could defend Israel.

Read the whole thing.

It's disgusting but not at all surprising. The next thing you know, some American diplomat will refer to Israel as "that s***y little country." What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Obama brings the Jew-haters out of the woodwork

Israel Matzav: At least they're consistent

At least they're consistent

About ten days ago, posters like the one at top left started appearing around Jerusalem. They probably didn't raise a whole lot of eyebrows given how many corruption charges former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is facing. But a few days ago, posters started to appear with pictures of Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak that also had the "wanted" logo. That appeared strange. Barak hasn't been accused of being corrupt since he violated campaign finance rules (I believe he and/or his campaign was convicted of that one and paid a fine) in the early part of the last decade. So what were these new posters?

As it turns out, the posters were the latest phase in a campaign by Im Tirtzu against the New Israel Fund. The posters are meant to raise the specter of Olmert and Barak being wanted internationally because of information given by New Israel Fund-supported NGO's to the Goldstone Commission. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bulletin board: Two poster hangers were arrested. Admirably, their cause has been taken up by the ACRI (the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - like the ACLU in the US), despite the fact that the ACRI is also supported by the New Israel Fund.

Student group Im Tirtzu (If you will it) – The Second Zionist Revolution, announced on Sunday that it was behind the posters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem of Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former prime minister Ehud Olmert with the word “wanted” written across the bottom.

According to Im Tirtzu, the posters and a report being released this week titled “The New Israel Fund and Lawsuits Against Israeli Leaders” are part of a new campaign against the NIF called “Subversives, we’re sick of you!”

The “wanted” posters reference the possibility that Olmert and Barak, as well as other Israeli leaders, could face war-crimes charges abroad following last winter’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Im Tirtzu says such charges would be based largely on testimony and evidence collected by organizations funded by the NIF.

ACRI executive director Hagai El-Ad told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Im Tirtzu’s public campaigns against the NIF were not relevant to the ACRI’s defense of its freedom of expression.

“We at ACRI are steadfast in our commitment to freedom of speech for everyone, regardless of their political position,” he said.

“It’s clear that the ads that Im Tirtzu put out are part of a legitimate expression of freedom of speech and the police had no right to arrest them,” El-Ad said. “We think this is another alarming incident in which the police have shown a basic misunderstanding of the proper defense of the freedom of speech.”

Give ACRI credit: At least they're consistent.

Israel Matzav: At least they're consistent

Israel Matzav: Video: Hillary Clinton wishes Israel a Happy Birthday

Video: Hillary Clinton wishes Israel a Happy Birthday

Here's Secretary of State Clinton wishing Israel a Happy Birthday. Let's go to the videotape.

Funny how she has to tell us how Obama loves us - he apparently cannot do it himself. I guess his personal messages are only for Iran.

And by the way, can you see Obama making ANY decision in 11 minutes? And with that, I hope you will forgive me if I bring back a song from the '70's. Let's go to the videotape.

Now there was a President who had.... what it took. You can bet he wouldn't have sent someone else to deliver his messages.

Laura Rozen has come observations.

"Recognized borders" -- Is that a sign of how the Obama administration is thinking of proceeding?

Veteran Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller has argued that the borders issue is the one final status issue where Israel and the Palestinians have hope of making progress.

What are 'recognized borders'? Are they secure? Not necessarily. What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Video: Hillary Clinton wishes Israel a Happy Birthday

Israel Matzav: Oops! There goes one of those National Security Advisers

Oops! There goes one of those National Security Advisers

Two weeks ago, I blogged a Washington Post article by David Ignatius, in which Ignatius reported that the Obama administration was considering imposing 'peace' on Israel and the 'Palestinians.' Ignatius described President Obama wandering into a pow-wow of National Security Advisers.

Obama's attention was focused by a March 24 meeting at the White House with six former national security advisers. The group has been meeting privately every few months at the request of Gen. Jim Jones, who currently holds the job. In the session two weeks ago, the group had been talking about global issues for perhaps an hour when Obama walked in and asked what was on people's minds.

Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser for presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, spoke up first, according to a senior administration official. He urged Obama to launch a peace initiative based on past areas of agreement; he was followed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser for Jimmy Carter, who described some of the strategic parameters of such a plan.

Support for a new approach was also said to have been expressed by Sandy Berger and Colin Powell, who served as national security advisers for presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, respectively. The consensus view was apparently shared by the other two attendees, Frank Carlucci and Robert C. McFarlane from the Reagan years.

McFarlane sets out his views in Monday's Wall Street Journal and from the sounds of it, Ignatius has misrepresented them (full article for those who don't have a Journal subscription here).

[H]istory cautions that few presidents achieve more than one significant reorientation in American foreign and domestic policy per term. Before committing to the enormous amount of time, resources and political capital needed to achieve goals of this magnitude, it is prudent to consider whether conditions on the ground warrant such an investment. If not, the president may wish to stake out interim goals so as to lay a foundation for a comprehensive settlement in the future.

The experience of the Reagan administration is instructive. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan tasked me and other members of his administration to analyze America's top foreign challenges and propose a long-term national strategy for them while concurrently launching a vigorous advocacy campaign for liberty, democracy and human rights throughout the world. President Reagan specifically asked us to lay out priorities, refrain from investing American power frivolously and, if a near-term solution was not tenable, solve a piece of each problem so that we could build later upon the initial successes. As policies, resources and diplomacy were applied, progress would create momentum that would lead toward concrete achievements over time. [That sounds like a real executive's instructions, doesn't it? Too bad Obama has never run anything before, so he won't work that way. CiJ]

During his first four years, President Reagan concentrated mainly on rebuilding U.S. military strength. [Obama's successor is likely to have to do the same. Reagan followed Obama's idol, Jimmy Carter. CiJ] Yet when he left office, Reagan had accelerated the end of the Cold War and achieved the first reduction of nuclear weapons in history. The lesson: Don't rush to tackle a problem until you've prepared the ground, minimized risk, and have reasonable prospects for success. [Second lesson: You accomplish a lot more from a position of strength than you do going around the world apologizing and bowing down to everyone. CiJ]

Fast forward to today, and President Obama has laid out a sweeping agenda of change for the Middle East with at most seven years to achieve it. For the president to succeed, he will require a sober assessment of his obstacles. For example, Hamas -- the dominant power in Gaza -- insists that Israel must be destroyed and negotiation is out of the question. This is likely an intractable position. How does this impact the president's vision for the region? [As Ernie would say on Sesame Street, "Gee, I don't know Burt." Obama hasn't thought about it. CiJ]

To improve his chances for success, Mr. Obama should focus on the building blocks essential to an ultimate settlement. This means, above all, preventing Hamas from taking over the West Bank. To that end, the U.S. is already working hard to shore up the Palestinian Authority security apparatus in that territory. Additionally, Israel has been working successfully with Palestinian security forces to crack down on criminals and terrorists that threaten both the Palestinian Authority and Israelis. While the Palestinians are not yet ready to do the job alone, this progress provides a basis for hope that eventually they may be able to do so. [But not necessarily by Fayyad's August 2011 deadline or by the end of Obama's first - and hopefully only - term. CiJ]


Another small but important step for the president would be to demand that both the Israeli and Palestinian delegations show up for a first round of talks, and sit down and behave as responsible leaders. For over a year, no Palestinian leader, including Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, has been willing to sit down at the same table with Israeli leaders. How can we move forward without someone representing the Palestinians at the negotiating table?

No one should underestimate how difficult it will be to reach a comprehensive settlement. While the terms Israel offered to the Palestinians at Camp David in 2000 (and again in 2008) are probably acceptable to the majority of Israelis and Palestinians, sticking points remain.

It sure doesn't sound like McFarlane is in favor of an imposed 'solution' does it? In fact, it sounds like McFarlane thinks that Obama ought to beat up on the 'Palestinians' to sit down at the negotiating table. Funny how Ignatius and Helene Cooper both missed that, isn't it?


Israel Matzav: Oops! There goes one of those National Security Advisers

Israel Matzav: But of course: Gates says the Times 'mischaracterized' his memo

But of course: Gates says the Times 'mischaracterized' his memo

On Sunday, I blogged a New York Times report that had US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sending a three-page memo to President Obama in January in which Gates "wrote of a variety of concerns, including the absence of an effective strategy should Iran choose the course that many government and outside analysts consider likely: Iran could assemble all the major parts it needs for a nuclear weapon — fuel, designs and detonators — but stop just short of assembling a fully operational weapon." Unsurprisingly, Gates is now claiming that the Times 'mischaracterized' his memo.

Responding to a report in the New York Times, Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday said the sources who had described his January classified memo on U.S. Iran strategy had "mischaracterized its purpose and content."

"The New York Times sources who revealed my January memo to the National Security Advisor mischaracterized its purpose and content," Gates said in a statement Sunday.

"With the Administration's pivot to a pressure track on Iran earlier this year, the memo identified next steps in our defense planning process where further interagency discussion and policy decisions would be needed in the months and weeks ahead," Gates said.

"The memo was not intended as a 'wake up call' or received as such by the President's national security team," he continued. "Rather, it presented a number of questions and proposals intended to contribute to an orderly and timely decision making process."

And I suppose one of those questions must be the development of an effective strategy that will be used in the event that Iran continues to say 'no.'

In other words, the Times got it right this time.

Israel Matzav: But of course: Gates says the Times 'mischaracterized' his memo

Israel Matzav: Ari Shavit throws in the towel

Ari Shavit throws in the towel

Haaretz runs an open letter from one of its normally saner writers, Ari Shavit, to Prime Minister Netanyahu. In the letter, Shavit gets all emotional about Israel's horrible predicament and urges Netanyahu to just 'end the occupation now' to save our standing in the World.

Mr. Prime Minister, something very bad has happened since that evening [of Netanyahu's Bar Ilan speech, June 14, 2009. CiJ]. Perhaps the blame lies with U.S. President Barack Obama: His ceaseless, unbalanced and unfair pressure on you caused you to freeze in place. Perhaps the blame lies with the international community: Its outrageous attitude toward Israel caused you to feel besieged. Perhaps the blame lies with opposition leader Tzipi Livni: Her cynical behavior shackled you with iron chains to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai, who are hobbling you.

Yet even if others are to blame, the responsibility is yours. You are the one sitting at that wooden desk in that wood-paneled room where our fate is decided. Therefore, you are the one responsible for the fact that a year after your election, Israel is still mired in the toxic swamp of the occupation into which it sank 43 years ago. You are responsible for the fact that we are sinking even deeper into the mud.

Granted, you suspended construction in the settlements. Granted, you made every effort to persuade Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations. At a time when the Palestinians did not lift a finger, you made one concession after another. But the political game you played was lost from the outset. What is now clear to everyone was clear from the start: There is no Palestinian partner for true peace. There isn't even a reliable Palestinian partner for partitioning the land.

Yet the fact that the Palestinians are not acting like a mature nation does not give us the right to act like them. Since we are the ones sinking in the mud, we are the ones who must do something. It is Israel that must break through the noose tightening around its neck.

Mr. Prime Minister, here are the basic facts: The grace period granted the Jewish state by Auschwitz and Treblinka is ending. The generation that knew the Holocaust has left the stage. The generation that remembers the Holocaust is disappearing. What shapes the world's perception of Israel today is not the crematoria, but the checkpoints. Not the trains, but the settlements. As a result, even when we are right, they do not listen to us. Even when we are persecuted, they pay us no heed. The wind is blowing against us.

The zeitgeist of the 21st century threatens to put an end to Zionism. No one knows better than you that even superpowers cannot resist the spirit of the times. And certainly not small, fragile states like Israel.

Therefore, the question now is not who brought us to this pass - the right or the left. The question is not who brought the greater disaster down upon us - the right or the left. The question is what should be done to bring about an immediate change in Israel's position in the world. What should be done so that the storm of history does not topple the Zionist project.

The possibilities are known: Offer the Syrians the Golan Heights in exchange for ending its alliance with Iran. Offer Abbas a state in provisional borders. Initiate a second limited disengagement. Transfer territory into the hands of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to enable him to build a sane Palestinian state. Reach an agreement with the international community on an outline for partitioning the land into two nation-states.

Each of these five options entails high risks. Each of these options will exact a high political price. You are liable to be booted out of office. But if you do not adopt at least one of these five proposals, there is no point to your tenure in office. Your government will be remembered as the government under which Israel became a leper state, poised on the brink of destruction.

None of Shavit's five options is viable, and were Netanyahu to suggest them, they would just become the first step in a bargaining process. Let's see why none of the ideas works.

Offer the Syrians the Golan Heights in exchange for ending its alliance with Iran.

Syria has already said that it will not end its alliance with Iran. Giving the Syrians the Golan Heights is a disaster from a security standpoint. Obama is more interested in the 'Palestinians' than he is in Syria anyway, so offering the Syrians the Golan Heights won't solve anything. Where are you going to house all the Jews you would have to expel?

Offer Abbas a state in provisional borders.

Abu Mazen has already turned down a state in provisional borders. He doesn't want it because he's afraid it will become permanent. What borders are you going to offer him? Why would a man who has already turned down 95+% of Judea and Samaria and a one-for-one trade for the rest accept a provisional state? Where are you going to house all the Jews you would have to expel?

Initiate a second limited disengagement.

Possibly the biggest disaster of the bunch. Where are you going to carry out this 'limited disengagement'? Who will maintain security control? What will you do the first time rockets are fired from the territory you vacate? (And please don't tell me we will fire back or send in the IDF because we all saw how long it took until that happened in Gaza, and ANY territory in Judea and Samaria is much closer to the country's heartland). Where are you going to house all the Jews you would have to expel?

Transfer territory into the hands of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to enable him to build a sane Palestinian state.

In addition to the issues I raised with 'limited disengagement,' Fayyad has no base of support among the 'Palestinians.' How would he maintain control?

Reach an agreement with the international community on an outline for partitioning the land into two nation-states.

Why would we want to negotiate with the 'international community'? What would happen if the 'Palestinians' just said "no" to what sounded like a reasonable offer? After all, they have said "no" to three overly generous offers in the past without suffering any consequences.

Shavit argues that Netanyahu has 'frozen in place' since his June 14, 2009 speech at Bar Ilan. But Shavit is wrong. Since June, Netanyahu has made several important concessions to the 'Palestinians' - most notably the 'settlement freeze.' None of those concessions have helped. Hopefully, Netanyahu now understands that more concessions are not the answer. But Shavit has panicked because he is starting to see that nothing we offer the 'Palestinians' short of our own destruction will be enough, and as a Haaretz writer, Shavit cannot acknowledge that.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Ari Shavit throws in the towel

Israel Matzav: Mullen: Strike on Iran would go a 'long way to delaying' Iran's nuclear threat; but Reuters and MSNBC don't want you to know that

Mullen: Strike on Iran would go a 'long way to delaying' Iran's nuclear threat; but Reuters and MSNBC don't want you to know that

Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters after a conference at Columbia University on Sunday that a US strike on Iran would go a 'long way to delaying' Iran's nuclear threat.

"Military options would go a long way to delaying" Iran's nuclear program, Mullen told reporters after a Columbia University conference, Reuters reported.

"That's not my call, that's going to be the president's call," Mullen continued. "But from my perspective ... the last option is to strike right now."

Iran achieving a nuclear weapons capability "has unintended consequences" including that "other countries in the region will then seek .... nuclear weapons as well," Mullen said. "That spiral headed in that direction is a very bad outcome."

"I worry, on the other hand, about striking Iran," he continued. "I've been very public about that because of the unintended consequences of that."

"The diplomatic, the engagement piece, the sanctions piece, all those things, from my perspective, need to be addressed to possibly have Iran change its mind about where it's headed," Mullen said.

But here's the funny part. Laura Rozen's blog piece, from which I cut and pasted the above, links a Reuters article on Mullen's appearance, which is at the MSNBC web site. MSNBC is known these days for being a little left of center....

If you go to the MSNBC web site, the words 'long way' and 'delay' don't appear. Instead, you're left only with the impression that Mullen said that a US strike on Iran is an option, but that we have to exhaust diplomacy first because of the unintended consequences of a military strike. There is no indication of how good an option that military option might be.

Since I doubt Rozen would have cited Reuters had she been at the conference and attended Mullen's press conference, I can only conclude that Reuters and/or MSNBC scrubbed the article clean. Whose decision was that and why?


Israel Matzav: Mullen: Strike on Iran would go a 'long way to delaying' Iran's nuclear threat; but Reuters and MSNBC don't want you to know that

Israel Matzav: NY Times admits: Ramat Shlomo is not a 'settlement'

NY Times admits: Ramat Shlomo is not a 'settlement'

CAMERA reports that the New York Times has corrected a caption that appears with this picture in the paper's April 15 edition:

Error (photo caption, 4/15/10): Ultra-Orthodox Jews last month in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

Correction (4/16/10):A picture caption on Thursday with the continuation of a news analysis article about a shift in the Obama administration's Middle East policy referred incorrectly to Ramat Shlomo, the name of a Jewish housing development that Israel says it is expanding despite objections by the United States and the Palestinian Authority. It is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, not a settlement in the West Bank.
Nice job guys, but unfortunately, we need hundreds more like you. Here's another Reuters picture (different photographer, taken in March) whose caption refers to Ramat Shlomo as "a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the West Bank annexed to Jerusalem by Israel." I suspect this isn't the only other one out there.

And you thought Ramat Shlomo was in 'east' Jerusalem.

We have a major problem with this type of dripping propaganda that sinks into people's heads without them realizing it. Quite simply, we're outnumbered.

Israel Matzav: NY Times admits: Ramat Shlomo is not a 'settlement'

Israel Matzav: Good news: 'Our friends, the Saudis' building nuclear center

Good news: 'Our friends, the Saudis' building nuclear center

'Our friends, the Saudis' announced on Sunday that they will be building a 'civilian nuclear and renewable energy centre.' Of course, it will only be for civilian uses and not for atomic weapons... right?

Although all discussions have focused upon civilian uses of the technology, analysts note that Saudis and the other Arab Gulf states do not want to lag further behind Iran and Israel in developing nuclear technologies.

Funny how that never seemed to bother the Saudis during the 45 years that Israel has allegedly had a nuclear reactor in Dimona, but now that Iran is apparently developing nuclear weapons, the Saudis are concerned with falling behind. And they're not the only ones.

The move positions the kingdom, the largest Arab economy, alongside Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, as Arab states seeking to develop nuclear energy for civilian use. On Friday, France and Kuwait signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, and Paris is negotiating a similar agreement with Saudi Arabia. In December, the UAE announced a deal with Korea Energy Company to develop four reactors.

The Saudis are allegedly worried about their 'massive' energy consumption of 1.25 million barrels of oil per day. Well, if they were really worried about it, they could cause consumption to drop by raising the price. Saudi oil for domestic consumption goes for $5 per barrel, which is well below the current market price.


Israel Matzav: Good news: 'Our friends, the Saudis' building nuclear center

Israel Matzav: European Union funding media course in promoting Saudi plan

European Union funding media course in promoting Saudi plan

It's been 65 years since the Holocaust came to an end, and Europe continues to promote anti-Semitism as if it had never happened. The methods have changed. If once they built gas chambers or collaborated with those who did, today they are more subtle. They train 'journalists' to support positions that will - God forbid - bring about the end of the Jewish state and the demise of the largest community of Jews in the World. And if once they claimed that they were murdering Jews to promote 'racial purity,' today they claim that it's not Jews they hate but 'only' Zionists and the State of Israel, as if there is some difference between them.

Israel's News1 web site reports that the European Union is funding a course for Israeli 'journalists' (print and broadcast media) to teach them how to promote the 'Saudi plan' 'Arab peace initiative' (link in Hebrew). The Saudi plan would have Israel retreat to the 1949 armistice lines, which are indefensible, and admit millions of descendants of 'Palestinian refugees' in exchange for recognition by the Arab countries. It is a plan that Israel would have to be suicidal to accept (Hat Tip: Israel National News).

Here's my improved version of the article's Google translation:

The EU is trying to bypass the political parties, promoting diplomatic processes in the media. To this end, News1 has learned, it has prepared a training program for journalists that would last for 18 months.

In fact, what is under discussion is an 'educational series' that seeks to influence what is said and broadcast in Israel's media working from the starting point that the media is not currently pushing the advancement of peace processes proposed by the Europeans or the Arab countries.

The cost per journalist is 6,000 euros (about 30 thousand shekels!) [US$8,000 CiJ], of which 100 euro is a symbolic participation in the cost by the journalist. The project is intended for 60 journalists from Israel, 40 reporters and 20 editors from the various radio and television channels and from the various print media. In total, what is under discussion is an investment of 360,000 euros (NIS 1.8 million) [US$480,000. CiJ].

The project will include one-sided meetings, bilateral meetings, independent and joint research work preparing articles and studies for publication, and creating joint projects. It will include six daylong meetings, which include a preparatory meeting and a tour in which Israeli Arab journalists will also participate, two eight-day long binational meetings in Turkey, and a final convocation.

The declared goals are to initiate a major public debate about the Israeli - Palestinian negotiations, and to increase public support for the renewal of negotiations to reach a just and lasting permanent agreement. The main objective is to implant in the reporters a feeling of mission to advance political initiatives, and in particular the Arab peace initiative, as proposed by the Arab states.

The following entities stand behind the project: The School for Peace at Neve Shalom [more here. CiJ], WEPAC [could not find this one - maybe they meant Wespac? CiJ], and the Palestinian partner organization CCRR [more here. CiJ]. The school at Neve Shalom already works with several journalists from Israel, and currently sponsors group meetings with Palestinians that include twenty Israeli journalists, including Oshrat Kotler (Channel 10 news anchor) and Smadar Perry (of Yediot Aharonot). It has been reported that Keren Neubach (who hosts Israel Radio's morning drive time show four days per week) expressed interest in joining the meetings.

You would think that with all the social benefits Europe gives its citizens, it would have better things on which to spend its money than trying to influence the political process in Israel. You would be wrong. Israel's media elites have to get their schooling from somewhere. What happened to just reporting the news?

Israel Matzav: European Union funding media course in promoting Saudi plan

Israel Matzav: Interesting take on Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day)

Interesting take on Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day)

Monday night and Tuesday are Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day). For those of you who are thinking that the day is wrong, you're right. A few years ago, the Knesset decided to postpone the celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut by one day whenever it falls on Monday, so that Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day or Remembrance Day) will not come out on Saturday night and Sunday, because that could cause desecration of the Sabbath in preparing for the Yom HaZikaron night ceremony.

Here's an interesting take from a dear friend of ours whose aliya, unfortunately, did not work out (I used the American flag also because they now live in the US).


More here.

Israel Matzav: Interesting take on Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day)

Israel Matzav: Obama makes Chamberlain look prescient

Obama makes Chamberlain look prescient

Like many people who are concerned with nuclear proliferation in Iran, I have compared US President Barack Obama to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who famously declared that he had brought 'peace in our time' after sacrificing Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany in 1938. Mark Steyn points out that with last week's 'nuclear disarmament' summit in Washington, Obama goes beyond anything Chamberlain could have dreamed about.

In years to come — assuming, for the purposes of argument, there are any years to come — scholars will look back at President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit and marvel. For once, the cheap comparisons with 1930s appeasement barely suffice: To be sure, in 1933, the great powers were meeting in Geneva and holding utopian arms-control talks even as Hitler was taking office in Berlin. But it’s difficult to imagine Neville Chamberlain in 1938 hosting a conference on the dangers of rearmament, and inviting America, France, Brazil, Liberia, and Thailand . . . but not even mentioning Germany.

Yet that’s what Obama just did: He held a nuclear gabfest in 2010, the biggest meeting of world leaders on American soil since the founding of the U.N. 65 years ago — and Iran wasn’t on the agenda.

In fact, to find a real comparison to what Obama just did, says Rick Richman, you'd have to go back to 1921, to the Washington Conference on Naval Disarmament in the Pacific, described by Winston Churchill - Chamberlain's successor - in the opening chapter of his book, The Gathering Storm:

At the Washington Conference of 1921 far-reaching proposals for naval disarmament were made by the United States, and the British and American governments proceeded to sink their battleships and break up their military establishments with gusto. It was argued in odd logic that it would be immoral to disarm the vanquished unless the victors also stripped themselves of their weapons.

If that sounds familiar, it should. President Obama has argued that the United States has a special obligation to be the first to disarm, because thus far it is the only country to have used nuclear weapons on the battlefield. As if an American nuke and an Iranian nuke are comparable.

Steyn argues that nuclear disarmament is irrelevant today.

Five years ago, when there was still a chance the world might prevent a nuclear Iran rather than pretending to “contain” it, I remember the bewildered look from a “nonproliferation expert” on a panel I was on after I suggested nonproliferation was a laughably obsolescent frame for this discussion. You could just about enforce nonproliferation back in the Cold War, when the only official nuclear powers were the Big Five at the U.N. Security Council and the entry level for the nuclear club was extremely expensive and technologically sophisticated. Now it’s not. If Pakistan and North Korea can be nuclear powers, who can’t? North Korea’s population is starving. Its GDP per capita is lower than Ghana’s, lower than Zimbabwe’s, lower than Mongolia’s. Which is to say its GDP is all but undetectable.

Yet it’s a nuclear power.

What Steyn doesn't mention, but which should be obvious from the list of countries cited, is that the nuclear powers with the high GDP's are the ones we need to worry about. They're the non-democratic countries where the leadership is most likely to be indifferent to their population's safety. On the other hand, the big five are all rational actors even if (in the case of China and Russia), they are not entirely Western democracies.

Read the whole thing. Read this one too.

Israel Matzav: Obama makes Chamberlain look prescient

Israel Matzav: More proof Petraeus is not anti-Israel

More proof Petraeus is not anti-Israel

Max Boot continues to defend David Petraeus as 'not anti-Israel.' (For the record, I agree with Max, and I believe that people in the Obama administration and the US foreign policy establishment are trying to spin Petraeus as anti-Israel for their own reasons). He gives three more data points, two of which I covered here and here. Here's the third one.

Point 3: Petraeus sent a letter on March 30 to Congressman Buck McKeon, ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, who had asked for further clarification of the general’s views of Israel. The letter (which has not previously been released) noted Centcom’s “highest priorities… the issues that keep us up at night” are not Israeli-Palestinian relations but rather “militant groups, hostile states, and [weapons of mass destruction," along with "the instability in South Asia, the activities and policies of the Iranian regime, the situation in Iraq and the growth of [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] in Yemen.” Petreaus said that the peace process is important but no more important than “other cross-cutting factors mentioned.” He noted, as well, that neither an internal study that Centcom had conducted of the issue “nor my posture statement assigns blame for this lack of progress [in peace talks], nor do they link the lack of progress with the lives of U.S. service members.”

Until David Petraeus takes Andy McCarthy's suggestion to set the record straight, I guess that will have to suffice.


Israel Matzav: More proof Petraeus is not anti-Israel

Love of the Land: For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
19 April '10

Jews all over the world will celebrate by the Jewish calendar the 62nd anniversary of Israel's independence this year on April 19. It has become traditional on such occasions to focus almost entirely on the events of May 1948, when a nascent Jewish state, authorized by a U.N. two-state partition vote the year before, faced half a dozen Arab armies intent on destroying it. In the ensuing battles, that Jewish state managed to survive and lay the foundation for a return of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land.

This year, however, I would argue that while reminiscing about the events of 1948, it would behoove us to focus more on 1967, when Israel again was under siege and marked for extinction by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

Why 1967 more than 1948? Because an exclusive focus on 1948 tends to abet a misleading impression that the events of that year permanently guaranteed Israel's independence. They did not.

Instead, Israel has had to fight for its independence without much respite for the last 62 years -- and at least three times has faced imminent threats of extinction. Such threats, while not imminent today, nevertheless continue into the present , as Iran with its surrogates (Hamas and Hezbollah) now seeks to pick up the mantle of Egyptian President Nasser.

To get a full sense of Israel's repeated and continuing challenges to confront enemies bent on extinguishing its independence, the Six-Day War of 1967 offers a perfect paradigm, if fully and properly recalled. It's all too easy and misleading, when examining 1967, to concentrate only on the totally unexpected and lightning-fast speed of Israel's victory. That's just the triumphant finale. What also needs to be recalled is what Israel actually faced in June 1967, in the days leading up to the Six-Day War.

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Love of the Land: For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

Love of the Land: Bad Pun on a Sad Day

Bad Pun on a Sad Day

Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
19 April '10

There is no understanding the army - it's as simple as that. You just accept what they tell you is their schedule, knowing it might change, and deal.

So, normally...

Well, forget normally. Shmulik went to a ceremony last night marking Israel's Memorial Day - a day to remember our fallen soldiers. Different units have different ways of marking the day. Many divisions send a soldier to stand by the grave of a fallen soldier from the same division. All soldiers from artillery who have fallen in our country's history, will have a soldier stand by his grave today. There when the family comes to visit their son or daughter; there to show a continued commitment to their loved one's memory.

Elie did that one was an emotional day for him, for the family, and for me. Other years, the moments were marked on bases - even once on an army bus that stopped as the siren wailed and there, on the side of the road, they marked their ceremony. Another time, they were in the desert. Elie's commander assembled his men at the time of the siren - stood them at attention - turned the jeep radio on loud so that they could hear the siren, there where there are no sounds...they paid their respects.

The army is too new to Shmulik's unit. They aren't even wearing the berets marking them as part of the Kfir division and so they had a ceremony last night and early this morning, they released the boys home for today and for tonight and tomorrow - marking Israel's Independence Day. As deeply and completely as we mourn today...we will, amazingly enough, celebrate tonight and tomorrow.

We stop and say thank you to the soldiers who have fallen. We stop and remind them that they were loved, are loved, and always, always remembered...and then we say - watch us as we celebrate what you fought for.

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Love of the Land: Bad Pun on a Sad Day

Love of the Land: Why Rashid Khalidi is Happy: The Obama Middle East Policy and the Palestinians

Why Rashid Khalidi is Happy: The Obama Middle East Policy and the Palestinians

Ron Radosh
18 April '10

A few weeks ago, when discussing the Obama administration’s policy towards Israel, I linked to this 2008 Los Angeles Times report on how Rashid Khalidi and other supporters of the Palestinian cause regarded Barack Obama as their friend. Obama’s warm words at a going away party for Khalidi in 2003, when he was about to leave Chicago for New York City and a position at Columbia University, had “left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.”

On Sunday’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, Khalidi was a guest along with Bret Stephens, the pro-Israel columnist from the Wall Street Journal and former editor of the Jerusalem Post. During the discussion, Zakaria asked whether or not it was “a shift for the — the United States to be suggesting that this stalled peace process [between Israel and the Palestinians] hurts America’s ability to pursue its interests.” What the administration is now saying, Khalidi responded, “is that Israel is a drag on the United States. It’s not a strategic asset, and this is a discursive shift of some significance.” (my emphasis) To put it a bit differently, Rashid Khalidi, who in 2008 worried that because of American politics Obama had to appear to be a supporter of Israel, now believes that Obama’s promise to move U.S. policy towards the Palestinian perspective is coming true.

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Love of the Land: Why Rashid Khalidi is Happy: The Obama Middle East Policy and the Palestinians

Love of the Land: The Mask Slips on Israel’s Left

The Mask Slips on Israel’s Left

Dishonoring the dead:
Haaretz editor Uri Tuval.

P. David Hornik
19 April '10

“I don’t want to live in the country of Captain Eliraz Peretz or his mother. My consolations to the family…a family of Jihadist Fascists, and don’t dare let anyone say he was killed for my sake.”

The above quote is from Uri Tuval, editor of the magazine section of Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz. He said it in a Facebook chat with other left-wing journalists, and even some members of his milieu were said to be dismayed at his words. This mini-scandal comes at a time when Haaretz is under attack for its central role in the much larger scandal of the Anat Kam espionage affair.

Eliraz Peretz was a 32-year-old Israeli soldier who was killed last month in a gunfight with terrorists in Gaza. His older brother Uriel died in combat in Lebanon in 1998. Miriam Peretz, the mother, was interviewed on Israeli TV after Eliraz’s death (it being customary in Israel to interview close relatives after the loss of soldiers). The Peretz family are observant Jews; Eliraz lived in the West Bank settlement of Eli.

To his credit, Tuval wrote a gracious apology to the Peretz family. He noted that he too is a soldier and that his father was killed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He said he had “stated my personal opinion on the reality we face in a provocative manner, on a forum that I viewed as private,” and that “We seem to disagree over the best way in which to build our national home.”

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Love of the Land: The Mask Slips on Israel’s Left

Love of the Land: Israel's Independence Day 5770 / 2010

Israel's Independence Day 5770 / 2010

April '10

Shalom u'Vracha m'Yerushalayim!

Please enjoy this message from Rabbi Machlis about Israel's Independence Day.

Let us know what you think! Write a comment below or send us an e-mail with your feedback- your thoughts and critique are important to us! Also, ask us any questions you have for Rabbi Machlis to potentially answer in a video message.


Love of the Land: Israel's Independence Day 5770 / 2010

Elder of Ziyon: Jewish Jerusalem, before and after: June 1948

Jewish Jerusalem, before and after: June 1948

Ben Atlas has an amazing collection of images from LIFE Magazine from Israel and Jerusalem in 1948. One of his more interesting finds was these two images, which were not archived together, of the same street in Jerusalem, taken a few days apart:

Jewish families waiting outside their homes to be evacuated by Arab troops. Jerusalem, Israel. June 1948. John Phillips

Rubble lying in the streets after Arab looting of Jewish homes. Jerusalem. June 1948. John Phillips

Elder of Ziyon: Jewish Jerusalem, before and after: June 1948

Elder of Ziyon: Do Muslim men have a monthly cycle?

Do Muslim men have a monthly cycle?

Firas Press brings us this eye-opening information:

Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings be upon you

This information is very strange - men have a menstrual cycle

When the full moon is bright in days 13 - 14 - 15 of the lunar month, the human body is filled with fluid and blood seethes. In this case, the person is psychologically volatile.

This was observed in Germany, Britain and America in this period among a lot of people, in bars and places of drinking an increase in their barbarism of behavior.

Police report more problems on these days than any others.

Scientists have been studying the psychological state of some of these people and have shown that people in this period have a higher rate of fluid in their bodies, leading to undesirable behavior!

It is here that we see the wisdom of the (Sunni Muslim custom of) fasting on the "white days" of the 13-15th of every month - because the fasting is congruent with the presence of fluid in the body!

This also reflects the wisdom of cupping on the 17 - 18 - 19 of the month, because in those days the blood has reached a stage Frenzy!

People should think carefully before making any decisions or actions on these days. This is crucial because of their psychological effects on the person - he might regret it later when it is too late!

Glory to God Almighty on the wisdom of creation


Unfortunately, there is no valid scientific proof of people acting differently on different days of the lunar month.

However, I don't know if Muslims were included in these studies, so it is always possible that some groups of people do have a monthly cycle.

It could explain a lot.

Elder of Ziyon: Do Muslim men have a monthly cycle?

Elder of Ziyon: Khaled Amayreh foams at the mouth about Wiesel

Khaled Amayreh foams at the mouth about Wiesel

The anti-Israel crowd is up in arms over Elie Wiesel's full-page ad published over the weekend. (This includes that paragon of dishonesty, Richard Silverstein.) But if you want to see a classic example of sputtering, insane Arab anger, you have to check out Khaled Amayreh, the pseudo-journalist whose entire purpose in life is to make Israel Judenrein.

Writing in AlJazeerah.Info, he can't even pretend to hide his disgust at Wiesel:

But pornographic crimes, such as last year’s genocidal atrocities in the Gaza Strip, require at least equally pornographic lies to whitewash them or at least mitigate their brutal ugliness. Needless to say, this task was left for people like Wiesel to carry out which he has been trying to do.

In a full-page add [sic] published in the Jewish-Zionist newspaper, the Washington Post, Wiesel regurgitated another dose of lies about Palestinian plight. He criticized what he called American “political pressure” on Israel , saying that such a pressure wouldn’t produce a solution to the issue of Jerusalem .

Then what would produce a solution to the issue? Allowing the mad dogs of Zionism to expel the Arabs, the true natives of the city, to the Arabian desert ? Or perhaps accelerating and completing the process of ethnic cleansing now under way in Jerusalem ? Or, maybe, the destruction of Islamic and Christian holy places in the city to make it goy-free?

So, what is the lie that Wiesel wrote in his ad? Certainly Amayreh has a good example:

“For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scriptures and not a single time in the Koran.”

Well, first of all, a liar has no right to even allude to the scriptures which teach “thou shall not lie.”

Second, it is not true that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. In fact, Jerusalem was the first Qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims. Moreover, there is an entire –and large- Quranic chapter called “Suratul Israa” which deals with the prophesized corruption by the Children of Israel.*

The following are the first few verses of the Suratul Israa, Chapter XVII of the Holy Qur'an:

“1. Glory to ((Allah)) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem), whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).

Hate to break it to you, Khaled, but the only place you mention Jerusalem is in your parenthetical comment, not in the text itself. (Not to mention that many Quranic scholars believe that "Al Aqsa" is not referring to Jerusalem, see Daniel Pipes for a great article on the topic that I have never seen rebutted.)

You see the deceitful, morbid discourse of this man who calls himself a “moralist.”! He would like to see the international community, principally to give the Judeo-Nazi regime in Israel more time to effect more ethnic cleansing until the criminal entity reaches a stage at which there will be nothing left to talk about. That would signal the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

I Wonder why some people in the West still object when Zionists are called “the Nazis of our time.”

There is a sickening, immoral liar being quoted here, and it sure isn't Elie Wiesel.

Elder of Ziyon: Khaled Amayreh foams at the mouth about Wiesel

Elder of Ziyon: Brief Hamas/Fatah lovefest ends badly

Brief Hamas/Fatah lovefest ends badly

Fatah and Hamas held a rare joint press conference on the occasion of "Prisoners Day" about the need for Israel to release some 7000 prisoners. (No one mentioned the small fact that a couple of years ago, there were 10,000 prisoners.)

For a couple of hours the PalArab press was impressed with this show of unity. Then reality set in, as the two groups traded the worst possible insults that Arabs could hurl against each other - that the other side is in cahoots with Israel.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Fatah of being a US lackey in refusing to go along with Hamas demands for a unity government. He also quoted Fatah official Azzam Al Ahmad's threats to cut off all security cooperation with Israel as proof that Fatah was cooperating with the Zionist enemy "to protect the security of the occupation." He said that this vindicated Hamas' position that Fatah was "fully dependent upon the dictates of the United States and Zionism."

Not willing to take these insults sitting down, Israel's fake "peace partner" struck back at Hamas, hard.

Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmi slammed the Islamic movement, saying that the Hamas government was the worst government in Palestinian history. He then went for the jugular, saying that Hamas has clamped down on the resistance in service to the Zionist entity, accusing Hamas of having a secret agreement with Israel to maintain security for the Zionists and of helping Israel maintain a 400-meter buffer zone inside Gaza. He also mentioned Hamas' forcing Islamic Jihad terrorists to sign a pledge not to attack Israel and the recent cooperation between Gaza water waste treatment officials and Israel.

He didn't stop there, also accusing Hamas of limiting goods that are smuggled to Gaza, of doing the United States' bidding by suppressing Islamic Jihad, and of killing scores of people in a mosque in Rafah last year.

Qawasmi said that Hamas "looted institutions, stole from the banks, and imposed a tax in violation of the law, and divided the national territory, and suppressed the violent traditions of the community, and violated civil liberties and [citizen] privacy, and made of the resistance just a slogan, with talk of rockets only via satellite channels."

Finally, Qawasmi cited Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as having urged Hamas to abandon governing Gaza, using this as proof that even Hamas' parent organization recognizes its failure as a governing body.


Elder of Ziyon: Brief Hamas/Fatah lovefest ends badly

Elder of Ziyon: Israel offers Egypt free meat; rejected

Israel offers Egypt free meat; rejected

According to an Egyptian newspaper quoted by Palestine Today, Israel offered to send 150 tons of meat to Egypt free of charge.

Egypt has been suffering a major shortage of meat, and prices have soared recently.

The Egyptians spurned the offer, saying that it is an artificial crisis and asking consumers to boycott meat until the prices go down.

However, Egypt apparently has begun accepting some 15,000 heads of cattle from Ethiopia.

Elder of Ziyon: Israel offers Egypt free meat; rejected

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: How Shall I Bless

How Shall I Bless

Eldad Krock was a young reservist in a parachute brigade who was killed in Jerusalem on Givat Hatachmoshet, Ammunition Hill, in the Six Day War; the next morning the brigade was of the forces who took the Old City and the Western Wall. The battle itself was one of the fiercest in Israel's long history of wars.

Rachel Shapira had been in his class at school, at Kibbutz Shfayim, where they both grew up. She wrote a poem commemorating him and inserted it in the kibbutz internal news sheet.

Yair Rosenblum was staying at the Shefayim guesthouse, and came across the poem. He set it to music, and gave it to the Navy Band with which he was working at the time (1969).

The recording was the first major exposure of the soloist, Rivka Zohar.

Ma Avarech, How Shall I Bless Him, is one of the most important shirim ever, and will undoubtedly remain so until some future generation of Israelis forgets we were once at war.

I'm offering a 1969 version with the Navy Band, and a recent recording by Amir Benayun, who turns it into a sepharidi prayer.

Hebrew words
English translation
What blessings can I give this child, what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel
What blessings can I give this child, what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel

And he blessed him with a smile, bright as light
And he blessed him with big observing eyes
With them to catch every flower, every living creature or bird
And with a heart to feel what he sees.

What blessings can I give this adolesence , what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel
What blessings can I give this adolesence, what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel

And he blessed him with legs to dance for ever
And a soul to remeber all tunes
And a hand to collect shells on the beach
And a ear attentive to old and young

What blessings can I give this man , what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel
What blessings can I give this man, what can he be blessed with?
Asked the angel

And he blessed that his hands which are used to flowers
Will succed in learning the might of the steel
And his legs to dance the roads journey
And lips to sing the command pace

What blessings can I give him , what can he be blessed with?
This child this young adult
What blessings can I give him, what can he be blessed with?
This child this young adult

I gave him all I could give
A song a smile and legs to dance
And a delicate hand and a trembling heart
What else can I bless you with?

This boy is now an angel
No one will bless him, he will never be blessed
God God God
If only you blessed him with life.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: How Shall I Bless
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