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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Murder by Ceasefire: Legitmizing Hamas, Forgetting its Victims

By On January 31, 2006

On September 21st 2005, Sasson Nuriel, 55 went to meet with two of his old employees from his candy factory. He had manufactured candy and chocolates before he ran into money problems and had to close his factory and work instead as a consultant. The two former employees told him they had a buisness proposition for him and he went to meet them without fear. Sasson Nuriel spoke arabic fluently and had lived and maintained friendly relationships with them for years.

Instead he was taken to Ramallah, tortured and forced to make a videotaped statement by the two men who in reality were Hamas terrorists. Then he was taken to a garbage dump, stabbed to death and his bleeding body left among the trash.

"It's important that everyone knows who the victim was of this horror: A family man, a working man, who worked with Arabs for years, and accepted them as he accepted all human beings," his wife Ronit Sasson said. "-the people who this are beasts, not people. We dreamed of growing old together, but hideous creatures destroyed our dream."

This was not a unique act. It was not an original atrocity. It was just one of the many terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas. It was one of several carried out during the so-called Hamas ceasefire which pro-Hamas figures in America and Europe are arguing proves that Hamas deserves to be removed from the list of terrorist organizations and its government funded by the international community.

The leader of the European Union monitoring team for the elections, British Conservative MP Edward McMillan-Scott has called for the removal of Hamas from the blacklist of terrorist organizations arguing, "that Hamas has stuck to a ceasefire since February 2005 and that it is now an elected political, Islamist force in the Middle East."

McMillan-Scott who boasts of being related to Lawrence of Arabia and is a good demonstration of how the British Conservatives have now become more left-wing than the Labor party, is merely one of many voices calling for the legitimization of Hamas. The only difference though between them and official figures such as Bush and Blair is that the former want Hamas legitimized with no pre-conditions while the latter would like to see Hamas make some statement recognizing Israel first. All of them employ the sham ceasefire as evidence that Hamas can be trusted.

Sasson Nuriel trusted too.

Putin says Hamas not a Terrorist Organization

By On January 31, 2006
[and the international Hamas appeasement watch continues - who will be next?]

"Our position regarding Hamas differs from that of the U.S. Russia's Foreign Ministry has never regarded Hamas as a terrorist organization, but this doesn't mean that we approve or support everything that Hamas does." Russian President, Vladimir Putin

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Talking Points for Whitewashing Hamas

By On January 30, 2006

1. Insist that Hamas won the election because of its anti-corruption position rather than because voters supported terrorism and an Islamic state. Granted this is a little like arguing that the KKK enjoys the support it does because of its position on clean streets, rather than its hatred of blacks but this is the talking point being broadcast by everyone from the media to Rice and President Bush.

2. Redefine Hamas not as a terrorist organization but as an organization with "an armed wing," as Bush did during his own press conference. Terrorism is a very real wrong and evil, by contrast the Boy Scouts have an "an armed wing" too that goes target shooting. So Hamas is just like the Boy Scouts now and who can object to the Boy Scouts?

3. Talk about boosting the "moderate elements' of Hamas. Who these 'moderate elements' are and how moderate is anyone in a terrorist organization whose goal is to wipe out Israel and create an Islamic state remains unclear, but nevertheless it's insisted that like leprechauns and the tooth fairy they exist and Hamas must be appeased for their sake.

4. Insist that Hamas recognize Israel and agree to negotiations. Note this has absolutely nothing to do with ending terrorism. The PLO also recognized Israel and agreed to negotiations. Of course on their maps Israel still didn't exist, the negotiations consisted of pressing Israel for concessions while carrying on the terrorism. This is the same thing now being demanded of Hamas.

The world does not want Hamas to end terrorism, they want Hamas to continue the charade of a peace process to provide photo ops for Bush, appease the Arab world and prevent Israel from fighting back. The world has decided that the problem is the lack of a Palestinian state and the solution is to create one. The negotiations are simply the vehicle by which Israel will be compelled to create it. That is why the world never cared whether Arafat kept his commitments or ended terrorism. It was not relevant to the problem or the solution.

Hamas' victory would force rational intelligent people to redefine their assessment of the situation. However both the right and the left respond to it not by finally recognizing the fact that Palestinians support terrorism and seek the destruction of Israel as that would mean that giving them a state would be inadvisable. Instead facing the problem of Hamas' victory, they have done what corporations and governments usually do when facing unpleasant facts. They just redefine the problem.

And so therefore the talking points say that the problem is not that Hamas is a terrorist group dedicated to creating an Islamic state but that it is not prepared to negotiate as negotiations are the only things the world cares about. They redefine Hamas' victory not as a victory for terrorism but as a victory for honest government. Hamas hired its own PR expert but this proved unnecessary as the US government, Europe and the media were more than eager to do the work for them.

To those who naively believed that Hamas victory would convince the world the Palestinians don't want peace or finally bring about a conflict that would resolve the situation; were as usually foolishly optimistic. Instead Hamas will use the skirts of President Abbas to continue siphoning aid from the West to fund their terrorism and while the remains of Fatah continue to conduct the sham negotiations with Israel, Hamas will use their newfound money and power to bulk up their armies and to carry out bombings in Haifa and Jerusalem.

And so it goes.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Selling the Snake Oil of Democracy: Victory for Hamas

By On January 29, 2006

In Israel or perhaps in the territory formerly known as Israel, Hamas achieved a major victory. It resoundingly won the Palestinian elections and can now form the next Palestinian government. The President responded with his usual moral clarity to the news.

"So the Palestinians had an election yesterday, and the results of which remind me about the power of democracy...And yesterday the turnout was significant, as I understand it. And there was a peaceful process as people went to the polls, and that's positive...I like the competition of ideas. I like people who have to go out and say, vote for me, and here's what I'm going to do. There's something healthy about a system that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting."

When confronted with the reality that a violent terrorist organization with ties to Iran which wants to turn the area into an Islamic state won, all Bush could do was ramble on about the virtues of democracy all the while pretending that the elections were just the Town Hall with Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in Gaza. Condoleezza Rice's denial of the facts was more succinct.

"Palestinian people have apparently voted for change, but we believe their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged," Rice said.

There is of course no clearer way for a people to show their commitment to peace than by voting for the most violent terrorist organization in region. It is ironic that when Senator Patty Murray said that Osama Bin Laden was popular because he provided social services, she was attacked from all sides by conservatives and Republicans.

Now Bush and Rice have taken the exact same party line with Hamas claiming that the vote only reflected dissatisfaction with the Palestinian Authority's corruption and gratitude for Hamas' social services. The reality that if the Palestinians were voting for social services, the UNRWA would be the most popular organization in the territories, is not something the administration wants to deal with because it has staked everything on the myth of the redemptive power of democracy.

To understand how things have reached they have it is necessary to understand that the roots of present disasters can be found in the misunderstanding and distortion of history. After the hijackings of September 11th, 9/11 was hijacked yet again when the War on Terror became a vague dream of bringing democracy to Muslim countries. From a war of self-defense against terrorists who murdered thousands of American citizens, the Bush administration switched to a nebulous campaign to democratize the Middle East.

Where the War in Afghanistan was carefully planned out and allies chosen with a well defined target and succeeded with ease, the War in Iraq was poorly planned out, rushed and ultimately disastrous. Afghanistan was fought as a smart and fast campaign by well motivated troops, Iraq was a messianic campaign premised on the notion that once we overthrew Saddam Hussein, we would quickly inaugurate a new era of peace and love in Iraq as joyous Iraqis thrilled that Saddam was gone would soon create a democracy just like us.

And is it the snake oil of Democracy that is at the root of the disaster. As vividly as 19th century Christian missionaries believed in the civilizing effects of Christianity, the neo-conservatives of the Bush administration believed in the civilizing effects of Democracy. What they and Bush failed to understand is that Democracy is not a creed, it is a political system. An adversarial political system in which the popular and the ruthless campaigner thrive.

In a society in which 70 percent of the population supports Cannibalism, the Cannibal party will win. In a society in which 70 percent of the population supports murdering Jews, the Nazi party or Hamas will win. Democracy is only as good as the nation itself. A government cannot be better than the people who vote for it.

The credo of the snake oil salesmen has been that this couldn't possibly happen because all people are basically good, anywhere in the world and all want the same things. Boiled down this theory can be defined as Original Goodness. It states that all nations are full of good people who are prevented from being good by evil Tyrants. If we rid them of the Tyrants, they will then be good.

In this understanding of history the German people were good, it was Hitler who was bad. The Japanese people were good, it was their government that was bad. The reality that no government, no matter how brutal, can survive without popular support or that the war crimes committed by Germany and Japan involved millions of ordinary Germans and Japanese is something that was blotted out in the collective amnesia of the aftermath of WW2 when to rally support against the Soviet threat we pardoned thousands of convicted Nazi war criminals and built relations with their new governments, which more often than not consisted of the same people who had been shooting at us a few years earlier.

Now bearing this foolish myth to Iraq like a village idiot's burden we "set the Iraqi people free" and sent them instructional packets on the founding of America to get them to build a Democracy only to discover that there was no Iraq. There were three violent powerful dangerous factions with little in common except that they hated each other and us as well. And now thousands of our troops have died as we continue laboriously pushing representatives of those factions into acting out a charade of Democracy for our benefit, as if we believe that forcing them to engage in this theater will at some point civilize them.

But before there was the myth of Democracy currently dying a bloody death in the streets of Baghdad and Basra, there was the myth of Palestine. A mythical country and a mythical people that the United States and Israel decided would be appeased by getting their own country. For over a decade we funded and promoted the leading terrorist in the world pumping hundreds of millions of dollars even as he used the money to pad private bank accounts, enrich his cronies and continue a war on Israel, this time equipped with the weapons and training we had provided him.

Rather than end the support of terrorism we increased it under the Bush administration which welcomed Abbas to the White House where Bush lavished praise on him fit for a Churchill. When election time came around we campaigned for his Fatah party and now that Fatah has lost the election in a fit of deranged Chutzpah, the Bush Administration suddenly declares they only lost the election because they were corrupt all the while asking Abbas to stay on in office.

This is how the distortion of history became a distortion of truth. Our myth of democratizing Germany and Japan became the myth that drove us to believe we could turn undemocratic nations into democracies, forgetting the reality that Germany and Japan were wealthy industrial powers that had once been democratic before embracing extreme nationalism.

That same myth of democracy has blinded us with the delusion that we have a god-given mission to bring Democracy to the world, even at the cost of embracing terrorism. Out of a response to a horrific act of terrorism we have now come to support terrorists. As Hamas waves its green banners, the Bush administration encourages Hamas to issue some platitudes about respecting Israel's right to exist before we begin to shower aid and support onto them. Already the Administration does not refer to Hamas as a terrorist group but mentions them having an "armed wing." From a terrorist group in the adminstration's view, Hamas has become merely a political organization which happens to have a militia attached to it rather than an Islamic terrorist group whose only difference with Al Queda is on questions of theology.

Out of the ashes of 9/11 this administration which vowed to fight terror extends its hands to terrorists, its moral legacy built on a lie, shattered into debris on the altar of pragmatism. As with all things, nothing built on a lie will stand.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Three Days of Transformation

By On January 28, 2006
One of the obvious questions that emerges in this Parsha is why is Pharaoh asked to let the Jews go for 3 days instead of being set free altogether.

G-d declares that he has come to keep his word, he sends multiple catastrophies on Egypt and the request is shockingly modest. Merely to have the Jewish people go to serve him for three days. Then the implication is, they will go back.

The flip side of the question has to do with why Pharaoh continues to reject and fight against this modest request. It might be understandable that he would refuse to set the Jews free entirely, but to let them go for three days seems like a small thing especially compared to the devastation that Egypt endures.

Part of the answer to this question can be found in the differences of the English vs the Religious Hebrew names for the second book of the Torah. Exodus vs Shemos, 'Names.' Exodus is what most people think of when they think of the Jews leaving the slavery of Egypt. Yet this is not the name of Shemos and not even of the Parshas, the closest of which to that name is BeShalach, When Pharaoh Sent. Freedom is not what is really at issue here if we examine the religious Hebrew names given.

Shemos is a refferences to the lineage of the ancestry of the Jews. This is reiterated repeatedly throughout their slavery from the very beginning over and over again listing the descendants to the present day. The same ancestors who made a covenant with G-d. The next two Parshas are named after G-d's commands and appearances to Moshe. And this is the difference in priorities. While the popular view is that the story of the exodus from Egypt is about freedom, it is not at all. Indeed G-d spells it out specifically that the Jews have gone from being slaves to men, to coming to serve G-d.

Thus when Moshe comes to Pharaoh he does not come to ask for freedom for the Jews. He is asking that they be free to serve their true master, the creator of the world, G-d. This is a very different narrative from the popular one. Moshe is not demanding personal freedom, he is demanding the right of a people to serve G-d over men and proclaiming the autonomy of the worship of G-d over tyranny.

This is what is at stake here and if Pharaoh permits it, he is recognizing that G-d is the higher authority over men than him not only for three days but for all eternity.

Why three days then?

There are three times a year that G-d tells the Jews to appear before him. Pesach, Shavuot and Succot. Pesach commemorates the exodus from Egypt. Shavuot helps commemorate the giving of the Torah after the exodus. Succos commemorates the booths we lived in, in the desert, after the exodus from Egypt.

Each of those holidays is connected to the exodus from Egypt. Together these holidays are the three times the entire nation of Israel ascended to the Beit Hamikdash to worship G-d and comprised the centralization of the year around the worship of G-d. When Moshe asked for three days, he meant these three sets of days that would center a Jew's life around the worship of G-d all stemming from leaving Egypt. Those three days would change the Jews from slaves of Pharaoh to servants of G-d.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Barry Chamish comes out in support of the Israel bashing crowd

By On January 27, 2006
Water finds its own level and so do other fluids.

Chamish reposted on his website a piece from Counterpunch magazine praising Neve Gordon as a "a young political philosopher and human rights campaigner," and Jonathan Cook as "an important free-lance journalist."

Counterpunch is an extreme far left magazine run by the Cockburns. Its contributors include Ward Churchill who called the victims of 9/11 "Little Eichmans," Edward Said who passed himself off as a Palestinian and boasted of stoning Israeli troops and Robert Fisk who gloated after 9/11 that American troops would find themselves butchered in Afghanistan.

It printed Amira Baraka's 'poem' 'Somebody Blew Up America' as a featured piece containing lines such as this.

"Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed
Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers
To stay home that day
Why did Sharon stay away?"

The Cockburns themselves are rabid Anti-Semites in the Lord Haw Haw tradition. They advertise a book called, 'The Case Against Israel' and carry a leading headline, "Hamas' Victory; The Power of Democracy."

Neve Gordon is a supporter of Norman Finkelstein, author of the Holocaust Industry who advocates a worldwide boycott of Israel and ridicules the Holocaust. Gordon's own articles appear on the Zundelsite dedicated to deported Holocaust denier, Ernst Zundel (who is also a fan of Chamish's) and in Egypt's Al Ahram which routinely runs pieces claiming Jews drink human blood.

Jonathan Cook has also also appeared in Al-Ahram and Al Jazeera too. He has praised Hamas terrorists and wrote a famous op-ed piece in the IHT arguing that terrorism was the only solution for Palestinians.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rembrandt Van Rijn and His Jews

By On January 24, 2006

Rembrandt's The Jewish Bride (1662) remains one of his more famous paintings though it was a commissioned wedding painting by the couple themselves in Amderstdam. The painter Vincent van Gogh was so overcome by this painting that he said he would give up ten years of his life just to be allowed to sit in front of it for a fortnight. The sense of intimacy and love that radiates from it is a lasting memorial to their love for each other caught on that moment when they were beginning their lives together.

Rembrandt lived in Amsterdam's Jewish quarter and had many Jewish friends in the Sefardi community there at the time, the couple in the painting may very well have been friends or acquaintances.

(Jewish Rabbi by Rembrandt)

"Vlooienburg was, then, not only the center of Amsterdam’s art market and lumber trade. It was also the heart of Amsterdam’s Jewish world. And Rembrandt settled right at its center. Every house immediately contiguous with or facing his own was owned or occupied by a Jew. And an overwhelming majority of the households on his block, on both sides of the street, were Jewish. From his front stoop he could see into Rabbi Mortera’s windows; from his top floor he had a view of the community’s synagogue. He could not help but hear the sons of Jewish families chattering in Portuguese on their way to school in the morning. On Friday afternoon, he could smell the slow-cooking Iberian foods they prepared for the Sabbath. Before the Lower East Side of New York, before the Marais district in Paris, even before London’s Park Lane, there was Vlooienburg. And much of what we think about Rembrandt and his art stems, ultimately, from his decision to live there."

(The physician Ephraim Bonus by Rembrandt)

"Among his Jewish acquaintances were the distinguished rabbi, author, and printer Menasseh ben Israel and the physician Ephraim Bonus; he made portraits of Bonus and perhaps one of Menasseh too. Menasseh, who lived near Rembrandt, commissioned the artist to illustrate one of his own books and he most probably provided him with the form of the cryptic Aramaic Menetekel inscription from the Book of Daniel that appears on the wall in his spectacularly dramatic Belshazzar's Feast."

(Jewish scholar by Rembrandt)

At a time when even in relatively tolerant Protestant Holland, at least relative to its former colonial master Catholic Spain where Jews were tortured and murdered, Jews were despised and legislated against and even there Converos found it difficult and dangerous to return to Judaism; Rembrandt expressed his sympathy and friendship with paint and brush. The pictures he draws, the men he illustrates have depth and wisdom, inner strength and fortitude.

We can look at Rembrandt's paintings and recognize these faces on the streets of Williamsburg and Crown Heights, in Washington Heights and Teaneck, in Bnei Brak and Tsfat, in Golders Green and the remains of Amsterdam's Jewish community today. In his paintings Rembrandt depicted the Jews he saw, knew and lived among with the love and affection of a great artist. He did what few others had done, he captured the passing faces of a Jewish community in a time long past allowing us to look at their faces and see in them our uncles and our cousins.

(portrait of a young Jewish scholar by Rembrandt)

It goes without saying that there was hardly a great market for Jewish portraits at the time. Rembrandt who was often impoverished and faced great debts nevertheless continued to paint such portraits and his biblical paintings were heavily derived from those same Jews as well. The first painting here The Jewish Bride was also called Isaac and Rebbecca referencing the first Jewish couple we ever see married with the Jewish couple being married here and now.

Unlike the dominant Christian view of the time, Rembrandt did not disconnect the Jews of his time from the Jews of the bible but understood that they were one and the same and the affection and tenderness with which he depicted them was one and the same as well as we see once again in Jacob Blessing his Children. The picture may not meet our expectations or interpretations and like many biblical scenes painted at the time, the clothing is european. The emotions that come through, the love of fathers for their sons, comes through and is eternal.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Eradication of Memory

By On January 23, 2006
First they destroyed the towns, dragging out their residents and bulldozing their buildings and leaving what remained for the Arabs to torch and loot. And then even the memory of Gush Katif is being erased.

Israel's new maps will stop at Ashkelon and will not depict Gush Katif. The tombstones on the graves of the dead soldiers dug up, have been forbidden to state Gush Katif as being too political. It is a typical feature of dictatorships that they are not satisfied with destroying physical opposition but rewriting history to eliminate them. In the Soviet Union those who defected to the West were never mentioned again. They had ceased to exist. So too under the Sharon\Olmert regime Gush Katif has ceased to exist as its refugees have ceased to exist being ignored by the authorities except when it comes time to jail them or their children.

"This is the first time I've had to remove the name of a town from the map of Israel," Chaim Sarbaro, director general of the Center for Israel Maps said.

It will not I suspect be the last. In a propaganda war, memory is as important a form of resistance as physical courage. Let us remember. Let us never forget.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pharaoh, Egypt and the Love and Fear of G-d

By On January 21, 2006
At the beginning of Shemos we are told that a new king arises over Egypt who does not know Yosef. Yet shouldn't the more important point be that he doesn't know G-d? The previous Pharaoh understands and refers to G-d. The succeeding Pharaoh whom Moshe later encounters stated that he does not know G-d. So why is it mentioned that the new king did not know a man rather than that he did not know G-d?

Further what is the importance of telling us that the new Pharaoh did not know Yosef? Had he known Yosef do we really believe that he would have acted differently and not worked to enslave and exterminate the Jews? Furthermore could anyone in Egypt really not know the story of a slave who predicted a famine, became viceroy, placed the entire nation under Pharaoh's control and reorganized it from top to bottom?

When then does telling us that the new king did not know Yosef, tell us? That he had no gratitude towards Yosef. The words used are, Asher Lo Yada Et Yosef. It was not a simple matter of not having a piece of information but he did not really know and understand Yosef and who he was. To him Yosef was a man who had done some useful things and was rewarded for it. He did not understand that through Yosef Egypt and the world were blessed. He felt no gratitude or obligation towards Yosef and most importantly he did not know what Yosef had told the previous Pharaoh, that he was only G-d's agent.

By not knowing this the new king did not know G-d and this tells us why he was prepared to enslave and destroy the Jews. His lack of gratitude, his failure to recognize G-d's blessings made him capable of the brutality he would inflict on the Jews. The former Pharaoh could receive communications from G-d in dreams, the future Pharaoh could only receive indirect messages and those messages generally could not even be received by Moshe in his own presence.

Beginning with the previous Pharaoh's ingratitude towards Yosef, Egypt had moved away from G-d and sunk into lower depths of impurity. Worship of G-d is premised on gratitude, on recognizing and appreciating what G-d does for us. Egypt's inability to be grateful severed it from all connection to G-d not based on fear. Its inability to be grateful towards men severed all human relationships not based on fear. What remained was a brutal society of tyrants and slaves incapable of repentance because repentance cannot be based only on fear but also on love.

When Moshe comes to Pharaoh he first asks him to allow the Jews to make a celebration, a Chag, to G-d. Pharaoh replies that he does not know G-d. Then Moshe rephrases the request to be allowed to make sacrifices to G-d or he might slay them. Pharaoh rejects the requests emphasizing his enslavement of the Jews.

The first request is phrased as a celebration which is an act of gratitude to G-d. Pharaoh does not understand this because he does not understand gratitude. When Moshe rephrases it as making sacrifices to appease G-d, Pharaoh understands this because he understands fear but to this his response is that he has already enslaved the Jews and they must fear him more than their G-d.

This pattern continues with each plague. Many are baffled as to how Pharaoh can see the devastation of the plagues and beg Moshe to end the plagues and yet immediately return to his old ways. But there are two levels of worshiping G-d, out of Yira or fear and out of Ahava, or love. During the plagues Pharaoh could become terrified of G-d. But once the plagues passed he was incapable of gratitude to G-d for ending the plague. Instead he now had nothing to fear and returned to his old ways.

Repeatedly it tells us that Vayehazek Et Lev Pharaoh, Pharaoh's heart was strengthened. What is a heart strengthened against? Against feeling. His stony heart allowed him to be unfeeling so that he would feel no gratitude towards G-d. He could only be afraid but fear passes when the danger does. To form a more enduring bond requires deeper emotions that his heart was strengthened against.

Though Egypt's animals had been repeatedly wiped out, we see that the Egyptians still had horses to chase after the Jews with. Where did they get those horses? We learn that it was the Yorei Devar Hashem, Those Who Feared the Word of G-d, those Egyptians who had taken in their animals who provided the horses. Like Pharaoh they were capable of temporary fear but when that fear passed, they lacked the gratitude to hold them back from returning to their old cruel ways.

Today in America and Israel we often experience this same pattern when dealing with Arabs and Muslims. We spend billions to provide them with aid and goods. We come to their aid when they experience natural disasters. We give them land, we make concessions to them and we wonder why they don't like us. Often we decide that after what we have done for them, their hatred for us proves that we have still done them wrong. So too the Jewish overseers blamed Moshe and Aaron rather than realizing that they were dealing with a man and a nation incapable of gratitude or normal human feeling.

The more we do for Arabs and Muslims, the more they hate us. So too despite all that Yosef and the Jewish people did for Egypt, the Egyptians came to hate them more than anyone else. When Moshe undid a plague or even its after-effects, this did not cause the Egyptians to be grateful, instead they continued as they were. Each concession we make to the Arabs only deepens their hatred because no matter what is done, they are incapable of being grateful but only of hatred and fear. When fear is not present, the hatred emerges.

Like Yosef, America is convinced that if we change the structure of their society we can change them. So under Yosef they were first enriched and then absolutely impoverished so they could not claim that they were incapable of relating to the Jews because of their own poverty or their own wealth. They were enslaved themselves to Pharaoh and then became wealthy again (as we see they had gold and silver vessels to freely lend.) They were moved apart from city to city so their hostility could not be attributed to xenophobia. But as Yosef discovered and as America is finding out after all this, they remained the same. A people cannot be changed against their will. They must change and they must do that by opening their hearts. As long as they celebrate only cruelty and savagery, they will remain a society of tyrants and slaves. They can be brought to fear G-d and to fear men, but never to love them.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hamas Terrorists get an Image Makeover

By On January 20, 2006

"Hamas is paying a spin doctor $180,000 to persuade Europeans and Americans that it is not a group of religious fanatics who relish suicide bombings and hate Jews. The organisation has hired a media consultant, Nashat Aqtash, to improve its image at home and abroad because it expects to emerge from next week's Palestinian general election as a major political force, and wants recognition and acceptance by the US and EU.

"Hamas has an image problem. The Israelis were able to create a very bad image of the Palestinians in general and particularly Muslims and Hamas. My contract is to project the right image," said Mr Aqtash, who also teaches media at Birzeit University in Ramallah.

Mr Aqtash, who describes himself as opposed to violence and "believing in the Gandhi route", has advised Hamas leaders to change their image by explaining that they do not hate Israelis because they are Jews.

"Hamas does not believe in terrorism or killing civilians. But Ariel Sharon pressed buttons to make people angry. Sometimes we are innocent enough to react in a way that the Israelis use the reaction against us," he said.

Next week Mr Aqtash says he will address the former US president Jimmy Carter and former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, and other prominent foreigners monitoring the election. But he admits he and his small team working from an office in Ramallah have their work cut out. Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians (many of them children), although not for yesterday's attack in Tel Aviv.

Hamas's founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and it wants to impose an Islamic state on all Palestinian territory.

Mr Aqtash, who says he is not a member of Hamas and does not know where it got the money to pay him but frequently refers to the group as "we", says he has told the leadership it has to change its rhetoric. He says Hamas has not helped itself by celebrating suicide bombings; he advises against celebration. And he has told Hamas leaders not to talk about destroying Israel.

Mr Aqtash has also advised Hamas leaders to emphasise that they are not anti-semitic or against Israelis because they are Jews. Hamas has taken the message on board. In an interview earlier this week, Muhammad Abu Tir, who is second on the Hamas election list, twice (and unprompted) offered an assurance that he is not a Jew hater.

"Loving others is part of our religion. We are not against Jews as Jews, we are against oppression," he said.

Mr Aqtash also told Mr Abu Tir to rid himself of a red beard, coloured by henna, because it makes people laugh."


"Former US president Jimmy Carter expressed optimism Friday over Hamas's participation in next week's Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Carter told CNN in an interview that although Hamas were "so-called terrorists," so far "there have been no complaints of corruption against [their] elected officials." He conceded that "there is an element within Hamas who deny Israel's right to exist,"

Sources: Jerusalem Post and The Guardian

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bombs in Tel Aviv, Lies in Jerusalem, War in the West Bank

By On January 19, 2006

Over the last two weeks Olmert's government and the Israeli media had been doing their best to convince the public that the gravest threat they faced came from a few Jewish families living in Hevron. A top officer was even quoted as saying that they were much more dangerous than Arab terrorists.

Today an Arab terrorist once again blew himself up in a crowd. While Hevron was filled with police officers rounding up teenage girls, there was only one police officer available at the mall to intercept the bomber. The bomber managed to escape the police officer and detonated himself causing horrific devastation.

While the police officers were available in Hevron to carry out such important work as arresting a mother with a sick baby for not having proper identification, they were not available to stop an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber.

While the government and the media was busy trumpeting the fradulent slander that Jews had cut down Palestinian olive trees, they were ignoring Hamas' election campaign happening in Jerusalem itself. They did nothing about Iran's nuclear buildup. They ignored the utter chaos left behind after Disengagement and the smuggling of massive quantities of arms into Gaza through Egypt.

Once again the police issue statements about beefing up security but that will no longer be possible. Under the deal worked out on Gaza, Israel will no longer be able to close checkpoints even in the event of a terrorist attack. Israel has badly crippled its ability to fight terrorism and the government works to distract from its failure by creating an enemy out of the settlers they can then defeat with tear gas and truncheons; unlike the arab terrorists they have given up on defeating.

While the government and the media continue their 'Two Minutes of Hate' aimed at the settlers, our enemies begin to prepeare their final push.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Spielberg's Munich Has Officially Bombed

By On January 18, 2006

With a total of only 34 million, Munich has dropped to 11th place falling out of the top 10 entirely. It has lost over a 1000 theaters and it was beaten out by Cheaper by the Dozen 2, a truly pathetic testament to how low Munich. Falling out of the top 10 in its second week of wide release is nothing short of disastrous.

Worse than the 3 hour plus running time or a confused story or objections from Jews; what really did in Munich was Brokeback Mountain. Spielberg had hoped that his movie would be the politically correct star of the end of the year, a time when 'serious' movies are released in the hope of awards and critical recognition. Instead the PC star became a movie about two gay cowboys in love and a meandering movie by a mainstream director with a confused point really couldn't compete. Even the Anti-Israel laurels went to Palestinian director,s movie Paradise Now that celebrated terrorists in a way not even self-hating Hollywood Jews like Spielberg can compete with.

Spielberg's Munich is now officially a disaster. Its total takings so far come to 34 million dollars. The film's actual budget was over 60 million dollars. Tack on to that a promotional budget of at least another 10 to 15 million dollars and keep in mind that far from 100 percent of takings go to the producers. Munich's first two weeks in limited release took place primarily in big cities and big city theaters, particularly LA and NYC have special agreements that allow them to keep 90 percent of the take until they recoup their outlay. Each week that a movie is in theaters, theaters increase their takings by 10 percent. After 5 weeks, theaters will be taking in better than half of the take leaving half at best for the producers and studios, etc. When you then factor in taxes, that 34 million falls to something like 8 million dollars.

Munich needed to make at least 150 million to make a profit. With the film entirely banned in Muslim countries and barely a blip in the foreign box office, Munich will pick up another 10-12 million dollars off DVD sales, some small change from cable before slinking off to oblivion.

Goodbye Stevie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Which is the Real Threat?

By On January 17, 2006
While Olmert's corrupt unelected government fights the horrific 'settler' threat.

JERUSALEM [MENL] -- For the first time, Israel's military has been given authorization to use live fire against Jewish protesters.

Hamas which has murdered and continues killing Israelis holds its elections right there in Hevron and in Jerusalem.

Which is the real threat?

Olmert's illegal unelected government has surrendered to Hamas and tries to show how tough it is by beating up on girls. While terrorists celebrate, the army is sent off to attack other Jews. This government has not only failed to provide security and fight terrorism, it has tried to cover up for its incompetence and cowardice by provoking 'made for tv' clashes with its own citizens for the upcoming election.

"We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous," Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pictures of a Community Under the Knife

By On January 16, 2006
These are the homes and people who will shortly be forced out and demolished by order of the politicised Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, of a corrupt government of an unelected party. Their crime is that they live near where Palestinian olive groves were supposedly destroyed. Never mind that the groves in question were not destroyed but pruned by the Palestinians themselves as videotape has shown. Never mind that thousands of olive groves were destroyed around Shaul Mofaz's own home in Kochav Yair for security reasons.

Truth is no obstacle to the brutality of this regime which does not care about the truth, only about a pretext to wage a campaign of hatred and incitement against them. These are the photos of the people who in the coming days will be accused of wounding and assaulting soldiers, of throwing the usual non-existant 'mysterious substances' in their faces whose nature is never actually clarified. They will be accused of being terrible extremists, worse than the Arab terrorists themselves.

Meet, Boaz and Irit Albert, the evil extremists themselves. Look around their home near Yitzhar. It will be gone soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I will put down my daughter's memorial only when I reach home

By On January 12, 2006

Many men carry heavy burdens through life. When Arik Hapraz was evicted from his home, he took with him his daughter's stone rolled behind him. Liron Harpaz, 19 had been murdered at this stone. Her blood had touched it and that night thirteen others were wounded including two toddlers. The stone became her memorial and he took it with him to the temporary tent camps that the residents of Alei Sinai were evicted to.

The stone that is the memorial to his daughter he has determined he will only put down when he has reached home again.

A memorial website to Liron can be found here

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Israel's Trail of Tears

By On January 11, 2006

In violation of the law and for demographic reasons driven by the personal obsession of the former general who had become the leader of the country, the government decided to forcibly evict communities of thousands of people from their homes and turn over their land to others. Most of those evicted refused to leave and put their faith in the courts. They signed petitions. They pointed to their industry and the lives they had lived here and the benefits they brought to the country. A minority agreed to an evacuation of their lands in exchange for a small payment and lands provided to them elsewhere. But finally the day came and the army arrived to drag thousands of people, men, women and children out of their homes and transport them away under miserable conditions ending a long series of broken promises.

The time was the summer of 1838 and the place was Georgia. The President was former General Andrew Jackson who had once been the staunch ally of the Cherokee he would then obsessively work to evict from their homes, disregarding law and loyalty. The Cherokee would travel under harsh winter conditions along the road known as the 'Trail of Tears.'

The time was the summer of 2005 and the place was Gaza. Much of the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population of Gaza would echo the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Once again the military was used to forcibly evict an unarmed civilian population. General John Wool who was assigned to the task refused and resigned. General Moshe Ya'alon expressed doubts about the disengagement and was removed from his post.

When only a few years earlier the representatives of the Cherokee had met with President Jackson, he assured them that, "You shall remain in your ancient land as long as grass grows and water runs." So too Prime Minister Sharon had promised that Kfar Darom was as much a part of Israel as Tel Aviv and the settlers were safe there. The words and false assurances spoken echo from one era to the next.

In President Jackson's address to Congress, he promises that the Removal Act will benefit the Indians themselves by improving their demographic position. Sharon too gave a similar rationale for the Disengagement. Both praised those who were to be deported and promised them new lands and a new future. General Winfield Scott who was in charge of the Trail of Tears addressed the Cherokee pronouncing the supremacy of government and the law as General Dan Halutz who supervised the Disengagement later would. Like Israel's leaders, General Scott blamed the Cherokee for not leaving voluntarily in the time alotted pointing out that they had been repeatedly warned to leave, encouraged compliance and as would be later echoed by Sharon, called himself an "old warrior" who did not wish to see any more blood spilled. The Cherokee were encouraged to think of the soldiers who had come to drive them out, as their friends.

Even as in Israel a program had been worked out to safeguard, "All other moveable [sic] or personal property, left or abandoned by the Indians, will be collected by agents appointed for the purpose, by the Superintendent of Cherokee Emigration, under a system of accountability, for the benefit of the Indian owners, which he will devise." As in Gush Katif of course the property was stolen. The Cherokee no more saw their goods again than those Jews forced out of their homes in Gaza have, where that much of their property which wasn't stolen remains locked up in containers.

Despite the protests of the Cherokee their resistance came to nothing and most voluntarily complied. Those who did not were forcibly driven out. The promises of sensitivity and care for both the Cherokee and the residents of Gush Katif proved to be obscene lies.

The Cherokee were sent to forts, instead of to a new land, their possessions they had brought with them were stolen. The food and clothing they were promised were instead sold to locals. Their living areas were filled with excrement. The evacuation that then followed was rough and brutal with families sleeping on the ground in sub-zero temperatures without proper clothing or supplies.

The Jewish residents of Gaza were forced out of their homes, placed forcibly on buses that were delayed for hours forcing some to have no choice but to soil themselves. The promised payments were withheld, so were the promised accomodations. Most remain unemployed. Many live in tent cities in winter time. The coats donated for them were stolen. 30 tons of goods shipped to America for them has been lying at Ben Gurion airport because the government demands at 28.5 percent tax on them.

Ultimately both the Cherokee and the people of Gush Katif had faith in the government and believed the rhetoric coming from the politicians and generals that despite the act of cruelty being inflicted on them, that they would be treated well. But this faith was tragically misplaced. The governments in question had neither humanity nor concern for the individuals seeing them as nothing except a demographic problem to be eradicated and a means for figures attached to those politicians to profit from. The land seized from the residents of Gush Katif and the Cherokee was worth many times the fradulent compensation offers. And in Gush Katif even those pitifull sums remain unpaid.

We like to believe that we learn from history but to learn from history requires understanding that the same patterns continue to resound throughout history and that a lesson from history is worth little unless it is applied in resisting the evil that governments do. We look back at the past and deplore the atrocities and crimes we find there, yet the men who carried them out and more importantly the men who gave their agreement to them, were not very different from us. The same lies, the same justification, the same unwillingness to see wrongdoing for what it is when it is easier to close our eyes remains unchanged now or a thousand years ago.

Francis Fukuyama was wrong. It is not merely those who forget history who are condemned to repeat it. It is those who lack the courage to confront and oppose its repetition.

"We, the great mass of the people think only of the love we have to our
land for...we do love the land where we were brought up. We will never let our
hold to this land go...to let it go it will be like throwing away...[our] mother
that gave...[us] birth."

Letter from Aitooweyah, to John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees.

"The Judaism [Jews] in the Diaspora will only be strengthened through a deep
involvement with the Land of Israel. Only through their longing for the Land of
Israel, will exilic Judaism receive its inherent qualities and essential
characteristics. Yearning for Salvation, is the force that preserves Exilic
Judaism, it gives the Jews of the Diaspora the power to continue, whereas the
Judaism of the Land of Israel, is the very Salvation itself."

Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook

Monday, January 09, 2006

Spielberg's Munich Disqualified from British Oscars

By On January 09, 2006
In a piece of notable brilliance, Munich has been disqualified from the BAFTA's, the British version of the Oscar's, the UK's most prestigious film awards when Spielberg's company sent out DVD screeners coded to Region 1 which European DVD players weren't able to play. Since BAFTA rules ban members from voting on films they haven't seen, unlike American film critics, Spielberg's Munich has been effectively disqualified.

This is a degree of competence not unsurprising from a film that adapted a book about a Mossad agent who was really a taxi driver and a compulsive liar, which butchered that one book, which attempted to promote peace and only succeeded in one point of unity of getting both Israelis and Palestinians to tag the movie as worthless; now can't even manage to send out DVD screeners that work with European DVD screeners. After the disintegration and fire sale of Spielberg's Dreamworks studio for a mere 1.6 billion dollars, it may be time for Stevie to retire to Cuba and have more meaningfull chats with Castro.

Special Alert: Sharon Replacement Olmert, Outdoes Sodom

By On January 09, 2006
Forget nonsense about Disengagement being for security, forget the lies that expelled settlers are being taken care of. This is a Kulturkampf by those determined to stamp out religious Jews, particularly Religious Zionist groups by any means necessary.

Olmert Demands Taxes on Donated Items for Israel's Needy

The following article is reproduced from Arutz 7

"Acting Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ehud Olmert demanded last month that taxes be paid on charity items recently donated by American Jews.

Olmert's act raised a storm of angry criticism from Israeli and U.S. Jewish leaders, and has also created an unusually tense diplomatic climate sparking claims that trade treaties between Israel and America have been breached. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Olmert made the decision to enforce an old, outdated law demanding a 28.5% tax and an additional airfare tax on U.S. charitable donations to Israel's poor. The donations, which include medical supplies, clothing and toys, were the result of a charity drive in Jewish communities across the U.S. aimed at delivering the contributions to Israel in time for the holiday of Chanukah. While Olmert's staff refused to grant a reduction in the taxes that would allow the release of the charity items, Olmert himself took part in a press interview at a Tel Aviv soup kitchen, in an apparent move to publicize his concern for Israel's poor and needy.

A spokesperson at Olmert's office in the Ministry of Finance claimed the decision was made to protect Israel's second-hand garment industry: "The law is explicit and has been in effect for decades. It is designed to protect the Israeli second-hand garment industry. If American donors want to assist Israel's poor, they should send money and have clothing purchased in Israel for donations. The Ministry has looked into the matter at the very highest level of the Office of the Minister himself. The law to tax charitable donations is explicit, and no reduction of any kind can be considered. The American donors should have considered this consequence prior to engaging in so ambitious an undertaking."

Israel Textile Union Chairman Ramsi Gabai denied the above claim: "There has not even been a second-hand garment industry in Israel for 30 years. It is an absurdity to suggest that taxing American charity in any way defends the Israeli garment industry, or that such protection is at all desired by the Israeli textile industry. There is a Free Trade Agreement with the United States on all garments, which certainly covers charity if it covers items sold for profit. We ourselves at the Textile Union have a very large and successful program for the member firms to donate excess clothing inventory to charity. Are we to be taxed on our charity to the needy next?"

A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy expressed frustration at the audacity of being taxed on charitable donations: "There is no exemption from the Free Trade Agreement ratified with the State of Israel that would permit taxation of American citizens donating charity. The contention seems more bizarre than weak. The United States need not specifically include in its Free Trade treaties the self-evident inclusion of charitable donations for emergency relief in addition to commercially sold goods for profit. Did the Indonesians charge taxes on American charitable relief from the tsunami? Did India tax American charity donated after the killer monsoons? Did the Chileans tax American donations after the earthquake?"

Due to the unresolved crisis, more than 30 tons of donated clothing, toys, and medical supplies intended for Israel's needy have been stranded for three weeks in warehouses at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport. The California-based donors who organized the charitable drive are not willing to pay the heavy tax imposed by Olmert's office.

Labor Party Economic Advisor and Knesset candidate Prof. Avishai Braverman attacked Olmert's decision and the entire Sharon Administration for its continued "callous and heartless" policies: "We have become a truly heartless people during the Sharon Administration, to my deep regret. How blatant can the present government be in its mistreatment of the poorest citizens? ... This is much more than simple stupidity; it is a basic lack of humanity."

MK Effie Eitam (National Union) attempted to reassure American supporters of Israel that the Knesset would never allow Olmert's decision to stand: "There has never been a Knesset – Likud or Labor, right or left, capitalist or communist - that has ever contemplated taxing American charity to Israel's neediest. There never will be such a Knesset. Please do not let this temporary madness stop your wonderful efforts in assisting our neediest citizens. They should not be left to suffer for the stupidity of the present administration."

Many American Jewish leaders, who have traditionally been among Israel's greatest supporters, voiced their anger at the situation. These included Rabbi Norman Lamm, the Chancellor Emeritus of Yeshiva University, as well as Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the Executive Vice-President, National Council of Young Israel Synagogues.
"It is the obligation of the American Jewish community," Rabbi Lamm stated, "not to remain silent to this outrage but to openly confront the Israeli government with the loud message; this is completely unacceptable. It is unacceptable in terms of all common decency. It is unacceptable in terms of all Western culture, and it is particularly unacceptable in its violation of every tenet of Judaism."

Rabbi Lerner said, "It is unheard of that donations of anything, especially clothing for children and adults who need such clothing to keep warm, should be held up by a government for customs taxes when that government and its agencies should themselves be supplying such assistance. The Jewish people are known for their concern for others. This government action is shameful."

Dear Friends, I need your help getting this story into every media source you can. We need TV coverage and newspaper coverage. Any PR help you can give please contact DarylTemkinPhD@Gmail.com. We need to get these clothes to Israel's needy despite the immoral government laws. With your help and protest, and spreading the word and indignation, we can win. We need to help Israel improve. If enough people are motivated to refuse to accept this situation, public opinion can force a change. Yes, it will take lots of work and patience. Please don't forget this cause. We can win. Help!!!"

Exodus 22:21-23

21 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

22 If thou afflict them in any wise--for if they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry--

23 My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Save Your Tehilim - There are many who need it more

By On January 05, 2006
December 18th 2003- The Disengagement Plan was first officially announced by Ariel Sharon in a speech at the Herzliya Conference.

December 18th 2005 - Ariel Sharon suffered what was described as a mild stroke which doctors and his spokesmen assured the public he would quickly recover from.

Save your Tehilim. There are many who need it more. See here and here

Poverty is a critical situation in Israel and as was stated on Israel's Channel 10, any civilian in Sharon's condition would not have even been treated as his situation would have been considered hopeless. If we're to say Tehilim for someone perhaps it should be those children who don't have the best surgeons in the country laboring constantly to save their lives but come from low income families and are barely getting through this crisis and coping with the worst of socialized medicine and medical apathy, rather than a corrupt millionaire being eulogized even before death, all the more hypocritically so by those who had always hated him.

For anyone who wants to help the seriously ill, take a look at Zichron Menachem which helps the families of children with cancer. If you feel teary eyed about a corrupt 77 year old millionaire who abused his body, ignored doctor's orders and slashed social services, go the page above for some context in rachmanut.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Selling Munich, Selling Disengagement: Selling Out Israel

By On January 04, 2006

When brutal Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceausescu was finally overthrown, he was convicted of mass murder, genocide and crimes against humanity and then executed. His close adviser and associate Corneliu Vadim Tudor however not only escaped justice but went on to found his own political party named 'Greater Roumania' based on anti-semitism and nostalgia for a return to the Ceausescu era. He openly denied the Holocaust

Tudor was quoted as saying, "This country [Romania] could only be governed through the mouth of a machine gun." One of his former political associates claimed he had a hit list of politicians and reporters to imprison when he came to power and far from being a joke, Tudor pulled in over a quarter of Roumania's vote in the Presidential election.

Realizing his image was holding him back, Tudor attempted to transform his public image to make himself more palatable to voters. To do this he hired a man named Eyal Arad. Eyal Arad is Sharon's top image consultant. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum issued a press release breaking all ties with Arad. The editor of Romania's newspaper wrote a letter to Sharon appealing to him to tell Arad to withdraw. Sharon made no such move.

A year later Arad would serve to run the public relations war room that would push through the Disengagement and the forced expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes. While those expelled from their homes have yet to receive compensation, Arad was paid tens of thousands of dollars to promote Disengagement. And now there is more work for Arad.

Steven Spielberg retained Arad to promote his new movie Munich in Israel. The movie done at the twilight of Spielberg's career, with his Dreamworks studio dismantled and sold off and his movies failing at the box office, is meant by Spielberg to convince the Israelis of the futility of fighting terrorism. And Spielberg has found the perfect man to promote it.

It is impossible to understand the current state of affairs in Israel without understanding that it is full of men like Arad who hover around politicians, comprise much of the Knesset and field the endless business ventures of the old boy's network that has made selling out Israel so possible. If there is anything that Sharon's new party Kadima represents it is a demonstration that a third of the Likud, major figures from Labor would flock to a party that represents nothing except political ambition and money. Far worse than left wing activists like Beilin or Peres are the Arad's, the mercenaries of Israel's political and economic life.

It is the Arads who struck business deals with the Palestinian Authority in the 90's, who promoted their cause in America and Israel and kept the peace process running no matter how many Jews the Palestinians killed. It is their kind who have sold weapons to the Palestinians and to Hizbullah. It is men like Gonen Segev who jumped ship from a right wing party to prop up the peace process when Rabin offered him a ministry and has now been convicted of drug smuggling. It is the former Shabak and Mossad figures who have gone into buisness with the Palestinian leadership, managing their investments and business ventures inside Israel. It is the drivers who smuggle through Palestinians into Israel for money not caring whether they are terrorists or not.

And now it is Eyal Arad, who will work for an anti-semitic dictator in waiting or help Sharon expel Jews and create a "Hamastan" in Gaza or work to promote the propaganda film of a liberal director trying to beat down what is left of Israel's will to resist terrorism. Many blame the left for destroying Israel's morale and giving in to terrorism but while the Israeli left like the American and European left hate their country and support its enemies; it is those 'pragmatists' within Israel only out for themselves who have been responsible for the catastrophe that has engulfed Israel since 1992.

Beginning with Rabin who initiated the peace process for political reasons and went from calling for "Breaking their bones" to shaking Arafat's hand, all the way to Sharon who went from fighting terrorism to surrendering to it; the 'pragmatist' Israeli figures who cared nothing about the country and only about staying in power have brought matters to this point. The Knesset filled with squabbling groups who care only about their narrow cause and worse yet, only their pocketbook has made a mockery of legislative authority. Into that breach the left wing judiciary has run riot functioning as a virtual dictatorship and assigning itself ultimate authority over any and every issue.

To the pragmatic politician who cares nothing for the country, Arad is the perfect accessory. An adviser with no moral values or red lines, who openly lied to investigators looking into Sharon's financial improprieties, worked to promote an anti-semitic dictator and will now promote the condescending tripe of Hollywood's most famous and most ignorant Jew.

Such men have been chipping away at Israel's morale serving as eager tools of anyone from Palestinian terrorists to corrupt politicians to European and American diplomats eager to improve their standing in the Arab world by disposing of the pesky problem of Israel's existence. They have eagerly embraced post-Zionism because ideals only obstruct men who are only out for themselves. They have marketed the destruction of Israel because there are short term profits and because they prefer a state of affairs in which international trade is easy and borders are open and Israel's global reputation is good even if that comes with the death of thousands or even tens of thousands of Israelis and the eventual destruction of the country. Their money is in foreign bank accounts and unlike their victims they can always move to Oslo or Los Angeles when things get bad. And they will.

Every country, every political and economic system is saturated with corruption because the law of human character states that the greedy and the self-serving, the ruthless and amoral are likeliest to climb and cling to power. But the greater the peril a nation is in, the less it can afford them. Israel cannot afford them at all. America cannot afford them for long though America is saturated with the same ideology that favors sacrificing security and survival to short term buisness and political interests. Europe is defined by that ideology and that is why Europe is dying and will not last another generation. Israel doesn't even have that long. How long America has rests in our hands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Police Brutality Against Hebron Jews

By On January 03, 2006
In 1929, the Jews of Hevron were murdered by Hebron Arabs and the survivors fled. The area known as the Jewish Quarter was destroyed, the Avraham Avinu synagogue was turned into a goat sty and the area taken over by arabs. The area was then evacuated because of terrorist attacks and stood empty for six years before in 2001 Jewish residents moved in and began rebuilding it.

Today those same people were brutally and viciously thrown out of their homes. Women and children were beaten, a 9 year old boy was arrested at the same time as the media trots out the same lies about "mysterious substances being thrown at police officers" by the residents. This is the justification being given for it by the government.

"The Civil Administration said that while the land undoubtedly belonged to Jews, the settlers had entered their houses without permission and were therefore being evicted." Jerusalem Post

This is the reality of this regime whose leader is being treated for the hole in his heart that can't be surgically fixed.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Completion and Faith of the Jew

By On January 02, 2006
And so eight days have come, each day an added light until eight lights in cups brimming with olive oil shine amber and gold, burn.

In the first Chanukah, the first renewing, they must have watched the single light burning wondering if it would continue to burn, hoping and not daring to hope that the miracle would continue and endure. They had won great battles at impossible odds and in the thunder of bow and spear, the crash of chariot and elephant, the triumph of the few over the many they could see the hand of G-d. But it was an intangible hand. A hand that works behind the curtain, that allows men to accomplish what should have been impossible and yet it remains unseen.

But in the single flame burning when it must go out, they could finally see the visible hand of G-d. In that lonely impossible flame was the statement that G-d had been with them all along and the same power that made a light inextinguishable had triumphed for them through impossible odds and impossible battles.

Little did they know that a battle had been won but a long exile awaited. Little did they know that in that exile each Jew must keep his and her lights burning on, impossibly, against inconceivable odds fueled only by the faith that G-d would not abandon his people. Little did they know how great an act of faith it was to command the Jewish people to maintain the lights of the Menorah for thousands of years while kingdoms fell into dust, cultures vanished, ages passed, miraculous technological wonders came upon the earth and in massive cities towers were raised to the sky and in those towers burned Menorahs too.

In those eight days that they waited to see if the light would burn on, each day the light endured was a miracle. Each day of every year of every millennium of every century that the out Chanukah lights burn is an act of faith. In partnership with G-d we rekindled the lights of the temple. In partnership with G-d we have endured and we are here today.

Eight lights. Eight days. Thousands of years.

We are still here and the lights are here with us still.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Winston Churchill Looks At Israel

By On January 01, 2006

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Winston Churchill

Under Egyptian control Gaza had been used to shell Israel. After its conquest a few thousand settlers, men, women and children held the buffer zone against over a million hostile arabs with only their bodies and their courage.

Their own government threw them out screeching through its media organs that they were obstacles to security and peace and that with them gone, there would be security and peace. They lied.

Today from those same settlements, from Ninsanit, from Dugit and Alei Sinai, rockets are being fired on the Negev and the very same places that Gaza was supposed to be sacrificed to develop.

"One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!" Winston Churchill

We ran and yet that was far from the worst of our cowardice. We let a government led by a corrupt family and its lackeys demonize, beat and expell those courageous few who had stood in the breach. Now they are gone, homeless, impoverished and unemployed and the terrorists gleefully bombard our towns from the rubble of their demolished homes. We were so desperate to buy peace without paying the price of war that we continue to turn on one another, rather than fight the real enemy.

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
Winston Churchill

We have spent too much time immersed in liberal dogma. We have spent too much time believing we were wrong because we had enemies. Believing we were wrong because we were at war. Never mind that Muslims equally hated America, England and France and Russia. We were told by these same countries that they were only hated because of us and as a people who were used to be scapegoats and victims we believed them. We believed them and we began to feel guilty though we had nothing to feel guilty for.

We forgot the truth of why we were hated and why it is a privilege to be hated. We forgot that we were the people of G-d, determined instead to be like all the nations. We forgot that it is an honor to be hated by evil, to be the object of rabid hatred from Nazis, Muslims, Communists and Socialists. We forgot that it is when evil tolerates you that you have become a party to evil and it is when you stand against it, that you fulfill man's purpose in this world.

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." Winston Churchill

We have tried not to fight. We have bargained and pleaded. We have accepted the presence of our enemies on our soil and turned our land over to them. We have piled honors on the murderers of our children, we have bowed to them and treated the murderer of the Munich Atheletes as a world leader to negotiate with. And every concession we have made to them has only cost us more blood.

The guns we have given to them were fired at our soldiers. The territory we have given over to them turned into terrorist bases and rocket positions. The honor we have heaped on them has legitimized the murderers and stayed the hands of our defenders. As we grow afraid, our enemies grow confident. As we speak of peace, our enemies speak more loudly of war if their demands are not met. The longer it goes on, the nearer draws the day when we have given up everything else, given up our honor, our dignity and the very last of our defenses and our land and we will have nowhere else to retreat to but the sea.

"I am a Zionist, let me make that clear. I was one of the original ones after the Balfour Declaration and I have worked faithfully for it. I think it is a most wonderful thing that this community should have established itself so effectively, turning the desert into fertile gardens and thriving townships, and should have afforded refuge to millions of their co-religionists who suffered so fearfully under Hitler, and not only under Hitler, persecution. I think it is a wonderful thing." Winston Churchill

Will we be like England or like Poland. Will we keep a nation or will we once again flee a land filled with our own dead. The choice is ours. The choice was always ours.


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