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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Protect the Politicians, Sacrifice the People

By On March 30, 2006

When Ariel Sharon made the decision to abandon Gaza to Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorists numerous security experts warned that this would grant a major victory to the terrorists. The media and the politicians chose not to see it.

The cost of the withdrawal is estimated at 11 Billion Shekels. The results struck a blow at the core of the army and destroyed the Likud. When the former Likud and Labor party members who formed Kadima were running for elections, the first of a new wave of Katushya rockets struck Ashkelon. The news was suppressed in Israel by a military censor so as not to 'affect the election.' As usual the political elites protect themselves while the public is under fire from their mistakes.

Thousands are still homeless and unemployed after the Disengagement. Olmert's new plan will wind up costing several times more than the entire education budget and will leave ten times that number homeless and unemployed. Between the wave of irresponsible fiscal spending produced by either left wing, Yisrael Beiteinu or Haredi parties in the coalition; Israel will shortly be in severe economic as well as life threatening danger.

The first of the new wave of more advanced rockets that poured through the open Gaza border with Egypt has struck Israel. If the West Bank similarly falls under complete terrorist control, far more of Israel will find itself under fire. The range of the Katyusha is nearly 10 miles. If in addition to the Katyushas Iran provides the terrorist Palestinian regime with even weapons of even greater range, much of Israel will be under fire. If Olmert goes forward with his plan to turn over parts of Jerusalem to Hamas, then it will not merely be the Israeli public under fire but the politicians themselves. Jerusalem was regularly under fire until 1967 and its liberation. Now that the Kadima party has come to power on a pledge to reverse the victory of the Six Day Wars, when the rockets are hitting the Knesset and the politicians who have brought us this disaster feel their own skin is on the line, they may wake up; but by then it will be too late.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Day of the Hyena

By On March 28, 2006

"Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabbi Akiva were walking towards Yerushalayim. When they arrived at the Temple Mount, they saw a fox running out of the area where the Holy of Holies had been. They began to cry, while Rabbi Akiva laughed."

"They said to him, 'Why are you laughing?' "

"He responded, 'Why are you crying?' "

" 'If from the place about which it is written, 'And the stranger who enters there, shall die,' we see a fox coming out, should we not cry?' "

"For that very reason, I am laughing. Yeshayahu the Prophet said, 'I will bring two reliable witnesses regarding my People, Uriah the Priest and Zecharya ben Yevarech'yahu. '(Yeshayahu 8:2) Now what do Uriah and Zecharya have to do with each other? Uriah prophesied in the time of the First Temple, and Zecharya in the time of the Second Temple! But the verse in Yeshayahu makes Zecharya's prophecy dependent on Uriah's.' "

" 'In Uriah's case, it is written, 'Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed under like a field.' (Michah/Uriah 3:12) In the case of Zecharya, we find, 'Yet again, elderly men and elderly women will sit in the streets of Yerushalayim, (and each will have a staff in his or her hand from great age. And the streets of the city will be full of children, playing in her streets." (Zecharya 8:4-(5)) Until I saw the fulfillment of Uriah's prophecy, I had some doubt as to whether Zecharya's prophecy would come true. Now that I have seen Uriah's prophecy fulfilled in full detail, I know that Zecharya's prophecy will also be fulfilled.' "

"Hearing that, Rabbi Akiva's colleagues said to him, 'Akiva, you have comforted us. Akiva, you have comforted us.' "

Now Rabbi Akiva's colleagues were not your ordinary-Jew-on-the-street type people. They were all men of genius and depth beyond our comprehension. Yet, when they saw the vastly depressing sight of the plowed-under Temple Mount with a fox running out of the former Holy of Holies, they could not restrain their tears.

Only Rabbi Akiva, a Jewish Hero of all the Ages, who was the spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome in 135 C.E., and who maintained his full faith in Hashem despite its failure as well, who could laugh as his life was being torn from him by the sadistic Roman torturers because he saw this as his opportunity to love G-d with his "entire life," could see in the tragedy of the "Churban" the basis for the glorious destiny and Redemption of the Jewish People.

(picture credit Pan zusia)

In The Hour That Is Dark

By On March 28, 2006
Keep to your courage and keep to your faith
Though the burden is weary and the hour grows late
Prepare for the struggle but salvation await
For the weight of our struggles uphold a higher fate

Remember the price paid in blood for this earth
For the graves of our fathers, for the place of our birth
Many the horses and chariots that have passed
But the man who loves the land will remain there the last

Remember he, the highmost, who first won us this land
Whose great fists wrought vengance, whose fiery hand
Still hangs in the heavens awaiting the battle to come
For many with mercy but with justice for some

O Remember the fathers but remember their sons
Remember the tattooed hands tightly gripping the guns
What the dead can't remember, the living mustn't forget
For in the failure of memory are history's tragedies set

Remember not this hour, remember them all
Remember what awaits should we once again fall
Remember and prevail for not all is yet lost
For in the hour that is dark, are we called to the most

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ehud Olmert and the Witch of Endor

By On March 26, 2006
As King Shaul fearing imminent defeat went off to consult the Witch of Endor, reports are now appearing in the Israeli media that prominent Kadima members have gone to consult astrologers only to have the astrologers tell them that the stars don't look good. This follows a surge of worried behavior by Kadima members from the top down.

Ehud Olmert suddenly retreated from his arrogant statement that any member of his coalition would have to pledge to support retreat from the West Bank to making a sudden statement at 7 in the morning that there were no more requirements from coalition members. Tzipi Livni stated that she was worried that Kadima would have too many coalition members and have to fight over portfoilios. And nervous ripples have been spreading in the Kadima camp.

The official polls peg Kadima at 33 mandates, down more than 10 seats, but still doing well. This behavior suggests several possibilities.

1. Kadima members have access to internal reports that unlike the meaningless polls show their results will actually be quite poor.

2. Kadima members believe that some event may occur prior to elections, such as a criminal indictment or announcement of an investigation that would severely derail Kadima's chances.

3. The strong belief that there is a large body of the Kadima list that on winning the election will split away leaving Kadima a non-party.

Which it is or if it is any of these is hard to say. Yet Kadima's new surge of desperation is curious. The party's late attempt to bring in religious voters with various turncoats and advertisements. The voices out of Kadima becoming increasingly frantic and confused even as the media give glowing reports of high poll results for Kadima. Of course these same polls also continued to show Peres winning against Netanyahu and the flip side of polls is that while they might threaten the opposition, they also make Kadima voters feel that their votes are redundant only lowering Kadima's results further.

As we said at the end of this week 's parsha, Chazak Ve'Ematz.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bully Boys of the New Anti-Semitism

By On March 25, 2006

Long before 1939 rolled around the Nazis had gotten well underway by drumming up a campaign of hate against Jews. Today many of the same Protestant denominations, such as the Lutherans and the Methodists, who supported Hitler then have signed on to divestment, the first stages of extending the decades old Arab boycott of Israel to America and the West. In Europe major political parties and labor unions have already proposed boycotts of Israel and even academic boycotts of scientists and engineers and graduate students whose only crime is being from Israel; regardless of their personal politics.

That divestment from Israel has gained more traction among Unitarians, Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans than on any academic campus strongly suggests that these denominations are either more left wing or more Anti-Semitic than even American campuses. Either possibility is extremely disturbing at best considering that these are the spirtual leaders for a large number of Americans.

In Europe while any criticism of Islam is categorized as hate speech and subject to prosecution Jewbaiting in the classical German style has become far more commonplace. Had any right wing politician taunted a politician of Jewish origin with "Show Me The Shekels," on a talk show, the righteous progressive liberals would have immediately seen it for what it was and thrown a anti-hate speech rally, when it was done by the left's favorite thug, George Galloway though, it passes as just another day in the UK.

Meanwhile the attempted censuring of London Mayor Ken Livingstone for his own round of comparing Jewish figures to Nazis backfired in a way resembling the failed legal attempts by the German Jewish community against Goebbels in the 20's. Both Galloway and Livingstone represent the ugliest side of the left that openly allies itself with extremist Muslim groups, endorses the terrorist regime of Iran and engages in open Jewbaiting.

This indeed serves a usefull function. As criticism of minorities becomes increasingly verbotten, the average Englishman is encouraged to shift his bigotries to the one legally permissible target, the Jew; all the while that bully boys like Livingstone and Galloway who would have been entirely at home in a Munich beer hall egg them on taunting and abusing prominent Jewish figures and then waiting eventually for the violence, which this time will be performed by Muslim rather than German mobs.

In this way the Jews for the Europeans once again come to serve the function we have always served, as a safety valve for releasing violent anger at their living conditions while the European governments continue to hope that their Muslim minorities will accept kicking Jews as a substitute for kicking Europeans. A state of affairs they cannot expect to hold even until their Muslim minorities become Muslim majorities. But as the Czar believed that beating the Jews would be an acceptable substitute for Russians for social and economic freedom, as the Kaiser believed beating the Jews would be an acceptable substitute for a Democratic republic; Europe continues to retrace its own muddy footsteps towards a foretold conclusion.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hold Your Nose and Vote for Netanyahu or Cut Your Own Throats

By On March 23, 2006

For all that the future of Israel is at stake in this election, it is a surprisingly quiet one. Prime Minister Olmert has refused to participate in television debates and as Kadima's Tzahi Hanegbi has said, they want a boring election. A quiet election serves the incumbents best.

With the takeover of the Labor Party by the Histadrut, the left wing Labor set has departed Labor and the Likud's own left and the careerists all joined together with Kadima. This leaves Kadima with the lion's share of the center-left vote. It has also meant that most of the contest for votes is happening on the right and instead of joining together to fight Kadima, much of the right-wing and religious parties are fighting the Likud and each other.

Mafdal\Ehud Leumi and Shas and Hazit and Herut are busy bashing the Likud and arguing why they deserve the votes. Aside from Shas, they have a point. They do represent a lot of the correct ideas that the Likud has increasingly abandoned about fighting terrorism and retaining Israeli sovereignity but the reality is if they cared about those things, they wouldn't be in the race.

It won't matter whether Hazit or Herut gain two or three Knesset seats, it won't matter how many the Ehud Leumi\Mafdal bloc will get since they will inevitably split up again; if Kadima forms the new government. All that these right wing factions will accomplish is to compete for the privilege to make brief passionate speeches on the Knesset floor before being voted down by a Kadima-Shas-UTJ-Arab or a Kadima-Shinui-Meretz-Labor coalition. None of this will matter if Olmert is able to remain in power and hand over the Yehuda and Shomron to Hamas and then divide up Yerushalayim.

Netanyahu failed on Hevron. His term was embattled and disastrous. He showed a lack of backbone and allowed Clinton to manipulate and use him. But sadly enough the Likud is the only party with a chance to defeat the Kadima hegemony. If Netanyahu wins, Israel and the Jewish people will have bought ourselves a little time. If Netanyahu loses and Olmert wins, we may be facing the dismantling and destruction of the State of Israel. Such considerations must override any ethnic loyalties, any votes for Haredi and religious parties like UTJ or Shas, which may be legitimate votes in peacetime when the main issue is funding schools and communities, but are completely untenable in such a crisis, especially when they have a history of joining the coalitions that approved Oslo and nearly the division of Yerushalayim and the Disengagement, all in the name of the Shekel.

They must even override the appeal to the purity of ideals represented by the right-wing parties because ultimately the purity of our ideals will not matter when the bulldozers are demolishing our homes and the batons are falling on the heads of our children. Kadima can be stopped at the ballot box but once it succeeds at the ballot box, there is little outside of a civil war that will. We have the choice of holding our noses and voting for Netanyahu or cutting our own throats.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dhimmization Through Islamophobia

By On March 20, 2006

The accusation of Islamophobia is thrown around more and more often these days, most often at critics of terrorism. Recently the refusal to turn over American ports to an Arab nation with strong ties to Al-Queda was described as Islamophobia. The Danish cartoons which inspired Muslim death threats were also described as Islamophobic. The cartoons depicted, for the most part Mohammed, the supposed prophet of Islam, and his affinity for murder and it is this which inspired the vast resevoir of Muslim rage.

But let us consider the term 'Islamophobia' for a moment. We live in a very politically correct society nowadays which has words to describe many types of bigotries. There is Anti-Semitism for hatred aimed at Jews. There is racism for hatred aimed at various races. There is homophobia for hatred of homosexuals. There is Misogyny for hatred of women. Islamophobia is different than all of these in a very fundamental way. Where the words for all these forms of bigotry focus on the people being hated, Islamophobia is not about the people but about Islam. Islamophobia is not a hatred of any particular racial or ethnic group, it is not even as formulated really a hatred of Muslims, but a hatred of Islam.

Islam is the only religion to achieve this special status. There is no Christianaphobia or Judaismphobia. Words relating to hatred of Jews focuses on the Jews rather than on Judaism. Some Catholics have argued for the existance of an Anti-Catholicism, but no such word is recognized by the media or by the authorities as legitimate. While there has been controversy over laws in Europe that would criminalize the criticism of Islam, the use of a word that specifies Islam, rather than the individual group of people, to describe an unacceptable and occasional criminal form of bigotry is a short-cut to Islam gaining protected status. It is not Muslims or Arabs whom the term Islamophobia is meant to protect, but a belief system, and before this the United States has never given privileged status to a belief system that would immunize it from criticism.

Anyone using Islamophobia is subscribing to the belief that criticism of that particular religion is a form of bigotry, and no other. It is okay to criticise Judaism and Christianity and Buddhism but never Islam. And indeed in the wake of the cartoon riots, apologists for Islam have compared the cartoons to a form of bigotry and discrimination, though the cartoons portrayed Mohammed, rather than individual Muslims. Yet under Islamophobia it is Mohammed who is protected, rather than individual Muslims. As such we are moving to a stage where a figure who is long dead, if he ever existed and whose existance long predated the United States becomes sacrosant. When the BBC website describes Islam's myths as facts while treating every other religion as a myth, they are complying with the dictates of Islamophobia, to refrain from any criticism of Islam.

In Muslim lands Islam has always enjoyed that protection backed by a death penalty which now threatens the editor of a Yemeni newspaper who only published the Danish cartoons in order to criticise them. Under the banner of Islamophobia we are moving towards that same state of affairs. Few newspapers had the courage to publish the actual cartoons. The few student newspapers who did publish them have suffered consenquences. CNN even pixelated the cartoons when broadcasting them as if they were frightfully obscene. As the American media abases itself towards Mecca, the term Islamophobia will yet weave a noose for Western civilization to hang itself on.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Long Branching of America

By On March 19, 2006

An 88 year old New Jersey man is about to be thrown out of his home. He is not a criminal. He is not in debt or defaulting on any payments. The home is his own. He is a war hero who served his country well. He lived a good life and wants nothing more than to live out the remainder of his years in his own home. Yet the Mayor insists that he and many others be thrown out of their homes.

Major American ports including those in New York and ports which the army uses to move military equipment and vehicles are about to be turned over to the control of an Arab company based out of Dubai. This sale will be funded by money raised from unknown sources. Though this directly endangers our security and puts millions of lives at risk, the President has threatened to use his veto against any attempt to prevent this takeover.

What is the connection between these two things? Between the lonely struggle of an old man in Long Branch, NJ and the vulnerable ports of a great nation. The faltering steps of a man who once strode the beaches of Normandy as a conquering hero and the massive ports through which an endless river of cargo flows to our shores.

The common denominator is greed. The Mayor of Long Branch, NJ allowed the Applied Development company to redevelop portions of the city without proper approval, selling properties to them at below market value with the approval of former disgraced Governor McGreevy. The head of Applied Development is now in jail for bribing Hudson County politicians but under his son, the plan goes forwards. The plan is to throw residents out of their homes through the illegal use of Eminent Domain and pay them a fraction of the value of their homes.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C. our beloved President mumbles through a few sentences that Dubai is our ally. Of course the President also assures us that Saudi Arabia is our ally as well. Its supporters retort that globalization is a reality and we cannot be perceived as alienating international trade. Similarly the supporters of Long Branch's project argue that they are only working to improve the city. At the heart of both of these situations is the reality that corporate interests and moneymaking trump law and morals once again.

What is the real reason for the terrorist threat that America, Europe and Israel face? The venomous murderous tenets of Islam certainly inspires the terrorists themselves but it is not what makes us vulnerable to them. Under normal circumstances Muslims would be an ocean away from us and no threat to us and the only domestic Arabs would be a handful of Lebanese Christians. The reason that France is burning, Holland and Sweden and Denmark are under siege and Israel is facing a war in its own borders is the greed of companies for cheap labor.

Immigration and Globalization do not cause terror as liberals like to argue, but they do enable the terrorists to strike at us. Our immigration policy is not some sort of noble edict as the rhetoric of politicians would like us to believe but is a policy meant to provide cheap labor. That is why the American Southwest is increasingly in danger and why Pakistani and Arab men with a hatred for America but a college degree can easily get a visa to come here. Companies like Microsoft and Yahoo are starved for technical employees, but the American brand are expensive, the Muslim brand imported on HB-1 visas (which computer companies constantly lobby Washington for) are dirt cheap.

The tech industry has created a huge demand for computer skills and at the same time enabled new levels of globalization. Everything is outsourced from your tax returns to your X-Rays. This allows otherwise backwards Muslim countries to receive our technological infrastructure and promotes an educational infrastructure that creates the middle class educated terrorists who go on to join Al-Queda and move to the US. The average terrorist does not sneak across the border, he buys a plane ticket.

We have a terrorist problem because of political correctness and we have political correctness because of cheap labor. Without the flood of third world immigration, the leftist multicultural crowd would have been nothing more than another stack of loonies. With it, they're well on their way to their dream of dismantling the United States and turning it into a socialist utopian paradise like Zimbabwe.

These same policies destroyed large parts of Long Branch NJ, with funding and legal support from Federal and State governments which provided special mortgages and funding and put legal requirements into place that ensured that neighborhoods would be transformed into decaying crime ridden areas subject to riots and drug dealers. By the time the economy rebounded the city's property values had been severely damaged and many of the residents put to flight, the politicians and the companies step in to develop a plan to 'save the city,' and dispose of the rest of the residents by seizing beachfront Victorian mansions and throwing a hundred grand at them and replacing them with high-rise condo developments. The politicians profit, the companies profit, the residents are sold out and thrown out.

Imagine this on a national scale and that is what is happening to America. Our economy and real estate have increasingly been turned over to foreign ownership. Bush's latest plan to bring in millions of Mexican workers on temporary visas or the move towards providing driver's licenses and government programs and possibly even voting rights to illegal aliens increasingly moves the US to a state of affairs in which citizenship has little meaning. Democrats support immigrations because in true Tammany Hall style is creates plantations of voters segregated from the mainstream who will vote Democrat because they're told the Republicans will eat their babies. Republicans ultimately support immigration because the major companies rely on cheap labor. Both are implementing Long Branch on a national scale for short term profit.

Today vulnerable ports are being turned over to the control of a company from a hostile state but that is merely the beginning. 9/11 rebuilding was turned over to an architect who had never built a skyscraper before and whose design was awful and utterly impractical merely because he shared a law firm with the Governor (who is now outraged about the ports, now that he's running for President.) Politicians churn out more and more senseless pork barrel projects and someone has to pay for it all. America has been living beyond its means for some time now and rather than practice fiscal responsibility, politicians are happy to sell out national interests by putting the golden calf of trade above all else.

In the name of trade, America is subject to the dictates of international organizations such as the WTO. In the name of free trade we got NAFTA and yet more American jobs shifting to Mexico. In the name of trade we have porous borders, widescale immigration and a revolving door for Saudis, including many of the 9/11 hijackers to enter the country at will. In the name of trade we're selling off our industry, first our manufacturing jobs, then our service industry and finally now even high end trained jobs. We rely on third world computer specialists, third world doctors and third world financial analysts and we do our best to ignore the
inevitable consequences.

Long Branch has been an American reality for some time now. American values have been evicted, America has been rezoned, its laws and principles warped and distorted and Americans thrown out from their positions all for the greed of businessmen. In the beginning they started with white slavery when they imported indentured servants to manage their tobacco plantations and then raped them and had their courts add years of service for the pregnancy. Then they turned to black slavery which was only stopped not when they gained morality but when the Northern Industrial Revolution made the old southern economy obsolete and the difference was settled in a civil war with hundreds of thousands dead. The new slaves were immigrants from Europe working in factories, often from childhood, and living in urban tenements and beholden to the Democratic party machines of the ward. And then the industrial factory model became obsolete too. Now slavery is outsourced. It is easier for Nike to pay 8 cents to a Guatemalan boy to make sneakers than to try to do the same thing in America. The same outraged liberals who call for boycotting Israel don't organize divestment and boycotts of companies that use child labor because their own middle class living standards depend on it.

The history of the United States is a struggle between principle and commerce and much of the time commerce has won out because businessmen have the resources and the drive and the ambition to get their way. The American revolution didn't happen when the patriots wanted it to. They were dismissed as extremists and denounced for their calls for independence. It was when King George III began interfering with business that the businessmen joined up and the revolution took off. The Civil War was a conflict between Northern industrial based commerce and Southern land based commerce. America entered WW2 when the oil embargo it had imposed on Japan for invading China and disrupting Pacific business by acting like one of the European powers touched off a war. Never mind WW1 which was fought over dividing the Ottoman Empire.

At the time though exploitative, the drive of business to expand frontiers and territories benefited America by expanding America's horizons into newer lands. After WW2 American business though increasingly became global and developed a diminishing allegiance and affinity for America. Corporations advocated Globalism Uber Alles, corporations merged with foreign companies and were willing to sacrifice American interests to foreign ones, if it served their bottom line.

Jobs and industry began to migrate from America to foreign countries where doing business was cheaper and lacked any of the regulations meant to protect workers that had been enacted in America. As the prosperity of the average American grew, companies first profited handsomely by selling to a newly prosperous post-war public but increasingly strove to sell to that public while increasing their profit margins by finding cheaper labor to employ than the American public. The logical end of this now leaves us outsourcing almost everything to foreign countries and companies who through their lobbies pressure politicians to sell out American interests to corporate ones.

What is good for America is no longer what is good for GM. Companies want a weaker dollar to benefit their exports, which the Bush administration has given them. Companies want America to weaken its national policies so that American companies can freely do business in Europe and the Muslim world, without the stigma of Americanism attached to them. Companies want America to pander to foreign dictators to ease their way. Companies are happy to see American sovereignty parceled up and carved up because they see genuine Americanism as an obstacle to their ambitions and so they redefine Americanism as greed, as hedonism, as Hollywood and irresponsibility and liberalism. These they can then market abroad and at home and sell much better than patriotism or loyalty. They want a toothless blind nation that takes in as much cheap labor as they want and exports all the cheap industry they need. They have no use for the American people except as customers and companies put on a smiling face for their customers while cheating them out of every penny.

American interests, American pride, American government and the American economy and industry have been carved up and sold off for decades now while the message broadcast to the American people is 'Don't worry, be Happy." Ignore the deficits, ignore the economic unsustainability, ignore how many of your jobs have gone overseas and how much less a dollar buys than it used to. Ignore the vanishing values and the growing corruption of your children for profit.

This is only to be expected when dealing with companies which have long abandoned values and customer appreciation in favor of short term profits and inflating executive salaries while deflating product value. But it is our political system that by selling out to companies and putting their interests first endangers the survival of the United States.

The Federal Government has been encouraged to spend without accountability, to pile pork on pork, not as a perk but as the process of legislation itself in which politicians trade off pork for pork to get their pork through. Politicians have grown increasingly insulated from the public, interacting with special interest groups and lobbyists instead of their constituents, between elections. The Long Branching of America is the final outcome of that. Corrupt detached politicians melding with business interests to sell off whatever is left to sell.

Bill Clinton boasted of building a bridge to the 21st century. Unfortunately that bridge has long since been sold.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ehud Tries to Butch Up

By On March 18, 2006

He was a Prime Minister in waiting. A man without real military experience replacing a famed war hero whose tragic demise had given him power but his left-wing politics and vaugely slimy exterior hadn't made him too popular. It was election time now and the test of whether he would be able to hold onto power or not. With weak poll numbers he came up with a simple plan, Wag the Dog, a short-term military operation that would boost his standing and credibility on national security and fighting terrorism.

The Prime Minister in question was Shimon Peres but it could just as easily have been Ehud Olmert. In 1996 with a little over a month till the elections, Peres launched 'Operation Grapes of Wrath' pounding Hizbullah positions in Lebanon. In Israel with far less time to go and polls showing his Kadima party losing 10 seats and a public that now percieves him as left of center, Olmert launched his own version of 'Grapes of Wrath' with heavily publicised raids into Palestinian held areas.

The 'Butch Up' that has weak leaders rising and losing soldier's lives to gain a few percentage points in the polls is truly repulsive. It is also disastrous. Grapes of Wrath was a muddle that ended with nothing gained. Olmert's current forays are meant to give him credibility as a strong leader in the mold of Sharon but Olmert's very actions demonstrate otherwise.

For all that Abbas condemns the raid, Abbas endorsed Olmert for Prime Minister. While Olmert puts on a big show of seizing a few terrorists (how long until they're traded at the next change) he transferred 250 million Shekels to Hamas. Olmert's post-election plan is major surrenders of land to Hamas that will enable them to enstablish more strategic shelling positions.

Under Clinton the United States failed to act against Al-Queda but when the polls required it, Clinton would order some bursts of shelling and then go back to ignoring the threat. Olmert's policies are no different. They are intended to grab headlines and gain attention but not to address the war that Israel now faces, in part due to his own actions in pushing the surrender of Gaza.

The 'Butch Up' school of warfare is meant to compensate for the public perception of a leader's weakness, yet instead it only emphasizes it. A genuine leader pursues a planned strategic campaign against the enemy. A fool and a professional politician like Olmert who spent most of his military career working in a newspaper only pursues the military actions that make him look good. That is not a leader any country at war can afford.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The One Year Sultan Knish Blogaversary

By On March 17, 2006

On March 17, 2005, the first post went up on Sultan Knish. I had initially posted it as a comment on a bulletin board where it was then picked up by a number of blogs including and was reprinted in the Jewish Press. Now it's +40,000 visitors, 556 posts, three templates and one year later.

Sultan Knish has been listed several times in the Jewish Press Media Monitor blogs section, pieces from this blog have appeared in the Jewish Press, was nominated for Best Blog Overall in the IsreallyCool\Jerusalem Post blog awards, was linked to by Arutz 7, SedmoyKanal, AFSI and a large number of sites and publications over the events in Amona. It's a lot more than I expected when I first started and there were definetly times over the past year I considered shuttering the blog. Sultan Knish has gone from a more random scattering of ideas, observations and photos to being focused on important issues with an emphasis on the War on Terror. The photos have been spun off to their own blog at New York Minute.

This is not a diary blog so I don't talk about myself or discuss my life but I'm happy to have been able to make a contribution in this way. Sultan Knish will continue to grow. There will be more videos and photos as well as photo and video sections I've been working on as well as a turbocharged comments section and categories and topics. I am still looking into streamlining blog loading for those who are having trouble loading the page, but have yet to narrow down the problem. Considering that my previous background in web design happened in the early 90's, things are coming along and a lot of the thanks goes to my co-blogger, partner and friend who designed this latest template, LemonLimeMoon, whose blog is definetly worth a read on a quiet day.

There are other friends of this blog like Hashemsforever, who also has her own new blog, Matt who was around since the beginning still eating that same burger, CosmicX who may not blog much lately but has always been a friend, Neshama who has just come in recently, Akiva of Mystical Paths who has often linked here, Jason Maoz of the Jewish Press who has published material from the blog, Pinchas of Point of Pinchas, Yitz of HeichalHanegina, Meira of MeiraOnline, Zibbibo is Good and Biur Chametz and of course MentalBlog, Menachem in Israel, Destination Jerusalem, Kesher Talk, ZionTrain and of course LemonLime Moon again and many others.

It has been a long year, personally and professionally, it has been a long year for the world and the world is looking worse than ever. There isn't much I can do about it but I can and do speak out about it here. Let's hope the next year brings better things for all of us.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Neturei Karta pay visit to Sushan in support of Haman

By On March 14, 2006
 In time for Purim leaders of the Neturei Karta organization announced plans to pay a visit to Sushan in support of controversial Persian leader Haman HaRasha. 

 "We are here to proclaim that we absolutely reject the Zionists like Mordechai who claim to speak for the Jewish people," said Rabbi Dovid Weiss. "Haman is not an Anti-Semite, this is a lie. Haman did not want to kill all the Jews, he only wanted to kill the Zionists and we support him in this. While Zionists like Mordechai and Ezra are working to rebuild Israel and displace and persecute the native Samaritan and Idumean peoples, we Torah-true Jews reject this and stand with Haman and the Amalekite peoples in utter opposition to Zionism." 

 As part of their tour Rabbi Dovid Weiss, Rabbi Moshe Ber Beck and Rabbi Datan Aviram approvingly visited Haman's lots casting chambers, the king's treasury and the gallows where he plans to hang Mordechai. 

 "Haman is a great leader," said Rabbi Moshe Ber Beck. "For too long the Zionists have oppressed the Amalekite people and massacred their great king Agag. We support Haman's call for justice and a day of reckoning with the Zionists which we look forwards to knowing that no Torah-true Anti-Zionist Jews will be harmed in the process." 

 While the Jewish community of Sushan was busy fasting and praying the Neturei Karta delegation toured happier parts of Sushan where weapons were being sharpened and stakes prepeared by the sons of Haman for the Jewish community of Sushan. 

 "We have met with Haman and his beautiful wife Zeresh, we have enjoyed the hospitality of their home and their many possessions which Haman eagerly showed us," Rabbi Datan Aviram said. "I am sure that his ten sons will grow up to follow in their father's footsteps. They share our common opposition to Zionism and we are sure they will rise very high." 

 On departing the Neturei Karta delegation expressed their hopes that Haman would help ensure the dismantling of the Jewish authority in Israel and fully restore the rule to its rightfull Idumean, Philistinian and Amalekite rulers. 

 "I am not a Zionist or an Israeli," said Rabbi Moshe Ber Beck, "I am instead proud to call myself an Amalekite too and hope one day to live under an Amalekite government in an Amalekite state."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Olam Haba is a Gutte Zach, Lernen Toyre is a Besser Zach

By On March 13, 2006

Text of Shas TV Ad

In the video, Shas leader Ovadia Yosef tells of a man who passes away and reaches shamayim:

"The malach at the sha'ar ha'shamayim says to the man, 'Go right in.'

"'Why?' asks the man.

"'Because you built tens of mikvaot and batei tefila,' answers the malach.

"'I built all these things?' asks the dumbfounded man. 'I barely earn a lira a month.'

"'But on the day of the elections you voted for Shas, and Shas built a lot of mikvaot and batei tefila, so your place is in shamayim.'"


"The malach at the shar ha'shamayim says to the man, 'Go to your place down in gehinom.'"

"Why?' asks the man.

"Because you caused the murders of thousands of Jews, the destruction of numerous batei midrashim, batei tefila and mikvaot and the ultimate destruction of Eretz Yisrael,' answers the malach.

"Me?' asks the dumbfounded man. 'I never did anything.'

"But on the day of the elections you voted for Shas and it was Shas' vote that allowed Rabin to pass Oslo. It was Shas' greed that caused them to be willing to enter and remain in governments solely for the shekels. It was that which led to the destruction of Gush Katif, the partition of Yerushalayim and the anhiliation of the land of Israel. Even after you were repeatedly told how corrupt Shas is you continued to vote for them on being promised brachas and kameyas and olam haba like some Christian televangelist. Go now to your proper place."

"Rabbi Ovadia reiterates his promise that whoever votes for Shas has a place in heaven," Eli Yishai said.

Since the Gemara Sanhedrin says that Yerovam has no helek in Olam Haba one wonders how his modern day descendants intend to get one. If Shas voters get the benefit of Shas's 'Mitzvot' then they also get the benefit of Shas' Aveiros, of which there's no shortage.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


By On March 12, 2006

Courage often lies with daring the impossible. The word originated from Medieval French meaning "heart and spirit," because courage requires a brave heart and a courageous spirit. True courage means facing down an impossible situation. It means defying conventional wisdom, the voices of authority, social pressures and sometimes even common sense to do what is right.

The media today excels at telling us what to think and what to believe. What good 'normal' ideas we should hold, as opposed to the evil 'extremist' ones. What attitudes are acceptable and what attitudes are unacceptable. For many the media has become the voice of conscience suppressing the human conscience within. It has usurped the role of G-d, the role of our parents and our teachers. It takes courage to defy these things.

For those who have adopted the normative positions of the media as truth defiance is extremism and the defier an extremist. To step outside their box, to hold to actual values and beliefs is to be such terrible terms as a fundamentalist, an extremist, an evil person.

To defy the authorities who forget that they are the servants of the people and not its masters takes a particular form of courage. The men who overthrew imperial tyranny and set up a great nation on the American continent had that courage. So did those who set up Israel once. Today that courage lies not in the timorous President who defends Islam and spends hundreds of millions of dollars to appease terrorists or with the corrupt Olmert regime which sends out thugs in black to beat up children. It is with those like the Minutemen or the settlers who still are ready and willing to defend their nations, even at the cost of defying the mass will of the media, politicians and intellectual elites; that courage still lies.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oslo's Rabbi Endorses Kadima and Olmert

By On March 09, 2006

The casual reader browsing the Israeli press might have thought that the front page announcements that a 'Religious Settler Rabbi' had endorsed Kadima was some sort of major news story. Every outlet from Yediot Aharanot to the Jerusalem Post seemed to give it top billing with the impression being that even 'such a person' supports Olmert.

The reality is that it would have been much more shocking if Oslo's Rabbi, Rabbi Yoel Bin Nun hadn't endorsed Kadima, since he was also a supporter of every land giveaway politician from Rabin to Peres to Barak. To say that Rabbi Bin Nun supports Kadima is as redundant as saying that a Yankees fan wants his team to win the World Series. This however doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of who Rabbi Bin Nun really is.

After Rabin's assassination when the Labor party did their best to hang the act of one man around the neck of their political opposition, one of their key claims was that Yigal Amir had received Rabbinic authorization for the crime. Rabbi Bin Nun functioned as one of the chief propagandists of this lie rushing from interview to interview claiming that he personally knew the names of these Rabbis and would 'expose them' even if it 'cost him his life.' For reasons unclear he would claim that he would reveal their names after the seven days of mourning for Rabin, since apparently exposing these homicidally dangerous Rabbis could wait a week.

The entire charade of course came to absolutely nothing. The man who most encouraged Yigal Amir to assassinate Rabin was not a Rabbi but an employee of Shabak. This didn't however interrupt Rabbi Bin Nun's career of slandering religious Jews and doing his best to portray them as dangerous religious extremists who had to be stopped before it was too late.

The following quotes illustrate the sort of hysterical ravings Rabbi Bin Nun was churning out before the Disengagement.

"I will fight against that. I will fight against refusal to obey orders in the army and against suicide. I prefer to surrender. To leave quietly, with rent clothes, with black armbands. But it's unlikely that I will be listened to. The zealots will have the upper hand. Gush Katif is liable to become Masada."

"Altalena' will pale in comparison to what is liable to happen in Gush Katif. Because you had Begin on the `Altalena,' and thanks to Begin the matter ended after 20 were killed. Zionism was extricated from the greatest danger it ever faced. But I don't see a Begin in the Yesha leadership."

At every turn Rabbi Ben Nun has worked to promote the myth that the settlers and religious Jews are violent and dangerous. This lie helped pave the way for an Amona and for any act of violence by the police against settlers by painting the latter as dangerously violent extremists. When the full responsibility is measured out for Amona, it cannot help but also rest at the doors of those who did the government's bidding in slandering unarmed people who served in the army and gave their lives for the state as terrorists and criminals.

But a completely disgraceful track record hasn't actually ever caused Rabbi Bin Nun to apologize or admit he was wrong. Instead he's continued onwards with his career of supporting the left wing politicians working to dismantle Israel while continuing to smear the opponents of giving away land to terrorists as dangerous religiously inspired extremists. Rabbi Bin-Nun primarily represents himself rather than any movement and to say that Rabbi Bin Nun endorses Kadima is to say that the sun rises tomorrow. It would be much more surprising if for once he stood on the side of Torah but that day is not likely to come.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Knesset Hears Testimony on the Assault at Amona

By On March 07, 2006

Anat Roth was a member of the left wing party Meretz, she had served as an assistant to several Labor Party MK's and working as a researcher for the Israeli Democracy Institute and doing her doctorate on the Yesha Council. She had extensively interviewed settlers and members of the council and she was at Amona when special police squads were sent in. Today she was in the Knesset testifying to the police brutality she had seen and experienced herself.

Roth recounted how the pre-evacuation preparations for the confrontation among the protestors was of a totally non-violent nature.

"They were instructed over and over that the nature of the struggle would be non-violent and merely passive," she said. "It was decided that the method of struggle would be the same as in Gush Katif, meaning – to sit on the floor, cross hands and be evacuated by force."

"The children who were standing around the houses were shaking with fear, and groups of policemen stormed around them with horses and batons. Stones were occasionally thrown. I saw policemen hurling stones at the people who blockaded themselves on the rooftops and yelling at them."

Rott, who herself sustained a head injury, said that "there was no one to talk to."

"I was beaten and dizzied, I saw policemen hurling stones at the people who blockaded themselves on the rooftops and yelling at them: 'I am looking you in the eyes, I'm going to remember your face, go up there and kick your ass.'

Describing the actual evacuation and accompanying police violence, Roth said, "I saw settlers who were scared of the horses and the police aggression. Yesha Council leaders such as Adi Mintz looked for a police commander, but there was no one to talk to. There was just terrible hatred on the part of the policemen... I saw police throwing rocks at youths standing on the roofs, and it was those rocks that the demonstrators threw back."

One policeman who saw me filming the events hit me in the head," said Roth. "He would have hit me again, but Ze'ev Chever (of the Yesha Council) stopped him."

Yitzhak Har-Tov, a combat medic who volunteered at Amona told the committee that police officers prevented him from treating woundedresistors. "I was told they would make due on their own," he said.

Har-Tov was beaten by police as he administered medical treatment to the wounded.

"I did not have a paramedic's uniform, and so I kept on yelling that I was a paramedic. I saw a horse trample an older man, and I tried to help him. I saw them beating children and youths... I asked, 'Who's the commander here?' and in response, he said, 'I am Elijah the Prophet,' and he hit me... "I asked someone who looked like a commander if he planned to stop his men, and he drew a line on the ground and said, 'If you cross over this line [to treat the wounded], I'm not responsible.' ..."

Yaakov Tessler, a teen-aged yeshiva student from Jerusalem, said that he and his friends were reminded over and over, by their rabbis and others, not to behave with violence but merely to resist passively.

Tessler said, "I was in a house where policemen were hitting with their clubs without any provocation by the demonstrators. We were afraid that the police would use tear gas, and therefore we prepared bottles of water beforehand. This was the only 'threatening' thing that we brought into the house... "

Once we were in the houses, we had no one to brief or guide us; the public address system was silenced. [Another witness had testified that he saw a policeman detaching the wires - ed.] We had been told to wait until they came to remove us. From the window, we saw terrible sights - policemen beating girls who had done nothing and throwing them to the ground. Outside the house, there was a Yassam [special unit] policeman who hit with his club everyone who came out. After they left, they were hit! We saw this from inside and we became very frightened."

Tessler recounted how he saw a group of Yassam policemen organizing large stones, and then, in a coordinated manner, throwing them at the youths on one of the roofs. He further said that he saw policemen drag and beat a boy who cried that he was hurt and couldn't move. Asked by Labor MK Matan Vilnai and Shinui MK Ilan Shalgi why he took off from school to take part in this event, Tessler responded, "I came because of a deep inner feeling that I had not done enough in the struggle for Gush Katif. I felt a need to protest my pain against the fact that Jews are destroying Jewish homes in the Land of Israel."

An IDF officer who was present at the clash David Weiner, testified that he had been at many Arab riots during his army days, "but I never before saw the police behave the way they did at Amona." He described how the police lined up with clubs opposite protestors who had decided not to resist actively. "I thought the police were going to bring the water cannons close to the houses as a form of deterrence, and this would have calmed things down - but they preferred to use actual force instead... I received a report beforehand from an IDF Lt.-Col. who warned me that the police were planning to use unprecedented force... The police did not give any public warnings about how much time the protestors had to get out; the only public orders were to the police."

Testimony that security officials had sexually assaulted female protesters in Amona was led by Noga Cohen, a social worker in the Yesha Council. She read the accounts of several girls who claimed to have been attacked or had seen attacks on other girls. "'One [soldier] stepped on her and kicked her again and again. The second one was bending over her, and I saw that he was touching her in a very inappropriate way,'" one protester wrote. Another girl claimed that a policeman had shoved her up against a wall and threatened to rape her. "This was a mass event during which dozens of sexual, verbal and physical abusive acts took place," said Cohen.

Cohen specifically mentioned a case of a girl dragged to the side by two policemen who began molesting her and were stopped only by a youth who saw what was happening and hit them himself. "This was reported in B'Sheva newspaper," she said, "and we investigated the case and found it to be totally true."

Knesset Member Ilan Shalgi said in response that it sounded as if "the Cossacks took over town."

Head of the Binyamin regional council Pinchas Wallerstein said that two weeks prior to the Amona evacuation, the Yesha Council tried to prevent the forceful evacuation, but was denied by the government.

"For two weeks we tried every possible way to meet with Olmert, pulled every string we could, and approached his closest associates, but he didn't even bother to respond. We presented the government with a commitment to surrender and were encountered with a one big no," he described.

(Assembled from Yediot Aharanot, Arutz Sheva, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and assorted news sources)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Steven Spielberg, Newspeak and the Definition of a Fundamentalist

By On March 05, 2006

In a Newsweek roundtable Steven Spielberg lambasted members of the Jewish community who came out against his film “Munich.”

"So many fundamentalists in my own community, the Jewish community, have grown very angry at me for allowing the Palestinians simply to have dialogue and for allowing Tony Kushner to be the author of that dialogue," Spielberg said.

Ah yes those pesky 'fundamentalists' again. A fundamentalist according to Spielberg being apparently anyone who feels that using a movie about the murder of Israeli Olympic atheletes to smear Israel, based on a discredited book by a fraud with a script by Tony Kushner who had stated that he wished Israel had never existed; is wrong. This is apparently a whole new definition of Fundamentalist, meaning anyone who doesn't like Spielberg's movie is now a 'Fundamentalist'

It's yet another demonstration of Liberal Newspeak. Newspeak was the fictional politically correct langauge of George Orwell's dystopia 1984, a langauge in which it was impossible to express politically incorrect ideas and which redefined and warped the meanings of words and created entirely new ones. So too liberals speak their own langauge redefining the actual meanings of words into a specialized terminology recontextualized to their own values.

The literal meaning of fundamentalist, would be someone who holds to the fundamentals. That is indeed what Spielberg and other liberals find offensive. Someone who holds to objective values, rather than liberal relativist morality. And so 'Fundamentalist' has become a term of derision and abiding by values has become a negative quality while being prepeared to toss values aside in the name of dialogue has become praiseworthy.

How is a fundamentalist therefore defined to a liberal? A fundamentalist is anyone who holds more closely to values than the liberal does. To Spielberg that is anyone who does not believe as he does in the futility of fighting terrorism.

Tonight is Munich's Oscar night. Unfortunately for Spielberg compared to the moral relativism of such movies as Paradise Now or Brokeback Mountain, his Munich is practically the work of a; fundamentalist.


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