Luckily Abbas knew what to do with his gift. He immediately hired a senior terrorist (on Israel’s wanted list) as head of his personal PLO army (Force 17).
Great going Olmert.
Olmert says he plans to kick out 70,000 Jews from their homes in one fell swoop. Peres is protesting. He feels it should be done in phases.
Peres doesn't think Israel has the capability to expel 70,000 people in one shot and Olmert thinks it will be easier to do it all at once (nothing at all that Israel doesn't even have the capability to rehouse a mere 8000 after a year) .
Israel plans to let PA ambulances have free access to drive all over Israel. I don't even need to add the comment to this one.
(To be updated further)
Nearly a year ago, the policeman in the picture below strangled a non-violent settler (something that happened a lot) during disengagement. This time someone happened to snap a photo of the event. After a lot of work by the victim and settler support groups, nearly a year later an indictment has been filed against this policeman (something that would never have happened without that accidental photograph).
The joke in Israel is that policemen have two possible career paths in their lives – as criminals or as cops. Sometimes though, it seems they don’t even have to choose one over the other.
But what’s the great idea behind the boycott?
After all, it also hurts and limits the boycotters (and makes them hypocrites when they secretly buy the products they are boycotting) as much as it hurts the boycotted.
The general idea is that it is supposed to isolate Israel from the rest of the world community. It is supposed to hurt Israeli financially until we want to leave Israel. It is supposed to dry up our markets, resources, and connections. It is supposed to make us aware of the financial advantages and incentives of simply abandoning Israel.
Basically it is to make living in Israel so financially uncomfortable and unviable we will leave on our own to the point where the last supermarket won’t have enough clients in the country to support it.
Now consider Brig. General (Retired) Eival Giladi, the architect and coordinator of the Gaza Strip disengagement and his plan to ‘dry up’ the settlements.
Notice the similarity?
(For another Israel boycott story read this Naomi Ragen article).
Olmert has promised us settlers that if we let him peacefully destroy 24 “illegal” outposts he’ll give us a 'temporary stay in execution' for all our other towns until he destroys them too.
Yup, that deal just won me over. But that isn’t the main story today.
The main story is that we are now really seeing the fruits of the Left's manic retreat from Israel’s defense.
I’m not talking about Haaretz’s front page article revealing that Hizbollah definitely has missiles that can hit Tel Aviv. That we all knew would happen soon enough, and who really cares, right?
No, I am talking about the YNET article describing how not only has Israel given up the offensive, it’s also given up on the defensive.
The article exposes how the State and the Ministry of Defense have abandoned the defense of its citizens. Ever since Barak’s rapid retreat from Lebanon they’ve decided that peace must have broken out, so they never put any money into maintaining the automated shelter systems.
Unfortunately that meant that hundred of Northern citizens could not enter their bomb shelters yesterday as Hizbollah missiles fell from overhead.
I’m sure that when Peretz goes up North to visit he’ll share with them his experiences in Sderot where the children aren’t allowed to use the top floors of their schools.
Yup, this state is collapsing and it is only a matter of time before we’ll be able to reclassify our ‘illegal’ settlement as the villages they will be.
A hitchhiking post was not sprayed with bullets (and thankfully no one was hurt) in what wasn’t a drive-by shooting by Arab terrorists.
(Good Morning Israel)
Obviously such an even could never occur on the “protected” Israeli side of the security fence, so it would be pointless to report such a repercussionless story if it did occur (repercussionless as long as no one got hurt).
Though with all the missiles that hit the south who would actually care about another terrorist strike – oh, except that the terrorists were driving while physically on the wrong side of the "impenetrable" barrier.
Meanwhile the big news is that Hizbullah hit an army base with a Katyusha missile (which is actually an early warning base against Hizbollah Katyusha missile attacks) and injured a soldier. The base is near Tzfat around 10 kilometers from the Lebanon border.
This entire post is completely unconfirmed so just ignore it until the censor allows someone to write about it in a few months when it won't make any difference anymore.
Now the YNET article doesn’t state the details (but you can expect the anti-Semites to start commenting there soon enough), but unless this falls under the scope of the existing military aid package, the only thing I see is backsliding and regression.
Luckily, I did some more research which led me here, and then to here where I learned that this bill
“provides an $83 million increase for Foreign Military Financing for Israel to assist in their security and counter-terror efforts. Total funding is $2.3 billion, the same as the President’s request. Also fully funds the President's $120 million request for economic assistance to Israel.”
Now while I also don’t approve of the continued military financing to Israel due to how it restricts us, at least we didn’t regress regarding economic aid.
I did notice the $120 million for “economic assistance”, and either that is the last payment of the economic aid package, or Bush’s last gift to Sharon for the deportations.
We were in a Home Center today and the wife picked out something she liked and went to find out how much it would cost to ship to our town.
As I already knew the pending response I wasn’t surprised by the “we don’t ship to the territories!”
The wife though, she wasn’t ready for that answer.
“You’ll ship stuff over an hour away to the middle of nowhere, but 3 minutes down the road from you is off limits!” she started off (loudly).
(She was referring to the secular settlement of Har Gilo (not where we live) which is 3 minutes from the Home Center in Malcha Mall (not where we were at), but alas it is over the imaginary Green Line so they won’t ship there).
Anyway, needless to say, we no longer buy at Home Center. I really hope Ace has what she wants, but more importantly that they deliver.
But isn’t it incredible how self-immolating Israelis can be at times, isn’t it?
Let me start with an analogy.
These days (actually for around the past decade) if an Oleh wants an Israeli driver’s license and already has a foreign one he is now required to take a driving test - but it didn’t used to be that way.
After a noteworthy number of Olim came over from a particular region, the DMV finally realized that a rather significant number of them were showing the DMV fake driver’s licenses (and somehow almost everyone was an engineer or doctor! :)
People with no driving experience (or valid licenses) were getting valid licenses in Israel with fake ids!
Not having access to foreign records, or an easy/quick method of determining which licenses where actually genuine (many of the fakes were printed on the same machines as the genuine articles, just so you understand the extent of the problem), the DMV made a decision that all Olim that present a preexisting license must take a driving test.
Not fair to the other Oleh groups that wouldn’t pull that trick, but no one was going to profile a specific Oleh group and say only they had to take the test despite showing a license.
Moving on, any Oleh that has gone through the Rabbinate and Misrad Hapnim knows that when it comes to foreign documentation they just don’t know how to handle it.
It’s not that there is a specific problem with the documents, or that the clerks aren’t particularly bright, it’s just that there are so many potential formats, and so many types of documents, not to mention no one really knows who anyone is (and I’m not even discussing forgeries). Some Rabbi signed the Get? Well who is he? How do we even know he’s a Rabbi, or if it was done properly (or if he/it is even real)?
Everywhere in the world marriages (and divorces) are registered by the government. And just like everywhere in the world (especially when foreigners are involved) there is a lot of paperwork (even in the U.S.). It’s a bureaucracy. Period.
This new rule will make it much easier for the potential Oleh to go through the various processes he needs to go through when making Aliyah and getting married. With standardized paperwork, and authorized (recognized) processors (the Galus Rabbis), unrecognized, unfamiliar, and unacceptable paperwork will eventually be a thing of the past (or at least a rarity).
Is this a power grab?
Let me ask you.
If you were a potential Ger who wanted to come to Israel. Would you rather go to an authorized/certified Rabbi so that when you make Aliyah the process has its bumps minimized, or would you rather come to Israel and spend a year or two trying to prove that you are Jewish because no one ever heard of this Rabbi from Kalamazoo?
And if you were a Rabbi, wouldn’t you want to be certified, knowing that if you give a Get to someone, if they decided to make Aliya (to Israel, the country with the largest Jewish population) they could quickly get on with their life there without a hassle?
Eretz Yisrael is being revitalized in its role as part of the nucleus of Judaism, and Rav Amar is trying to smooth out a lot of the more serious problems that have up to now existed in the bureaucratic process. He’s doing this the same way Microsoft, Sun and John Bryce do it: Standardization, Authorization, and Certification (respectively).
Is that a power grab?
No. It’s simply inevitable.
Oh, and that it expands the Orthodox Torah-based monopoly on conversions, marriage and divorce beyond the borders of Israel? Well, that’s just an added bonus.
As we all know, despite the limitations of Judaism in Galus, eventually Bavel won and Eretz Yisroel was relegated to the backwaters of Jewish vitality.
But as to be expected (and desired I must add) that eventually would change.
Eretz Yisroel has returned to being the center of Jewish vitality.
There’s the obvious, with this year more Jews living in Eretz Yisroel than in Galus.
Then there’s the less obvious, such as Rabbis in Israel attempting to reinstate the Sanhedrin, and others running Yeshivot that are learning how to reinstitute and develop the national and Temple-based aspects of Judaism that we had to temporary put on hold.
On the other side of the Yarden we have the RCA announcing what I can only describe as pointless, toothless, and certainly positionless resolutions.
But the most obvious example of Eretz Yisrael reasserting its centrality is the new declaration (which will be enforced) by the Israeli Rabbinate, which will require Israeli Rabbinate testing and certification for any Galus Rabbi who wishes to perform conversions or divorce.
There is no doubt that the Rabbinate will uphold this rule, and despite the soon to be heard complaints, and arguments (and name-calling?) at the affront to their authority we will see Galus Rabbis beginning to abide by the ruling because they will have no choice (though preferably because they will realize that Eretz Yisrael is where the action is at).
The center has returned.
But one thing can be sure, whatever the RCA has to say about this – it will be equivocal.
Doesn't it seem to blame Israel for the spread of the terrorist networks in the Middle East?
(I've taken down the inline video as I was getting really annoyed hearing it each time I refreshed the page.)
If you thought so, then you are right, because that is the exact result of these Leftwing government policies. (Of course, everyone else who is pressuring Israel is also responsible).
The Defense Ministry, in order to protect school children, has ordered schools to not use the top floors of their buildings, as they are too vulnerable to missile attacks (sic).
Additionally, they “plan” to fortify the roofs (like they did the Knesset), but apparently there isn’t enough money for the (periphery) cities to do that, so their school roofs won’t be reinforced in the end (let's wait to see what happens in Rechovot and Rishon).
It keeps going back to the Rashi when the spies were told to see if the residents lived in walled cities or open ones.
Until these attacks and the building of the fence, I always found that Rashi difficult and perhaps (shhh) even mistaken.
After all, how could a strongly walled city really be the sign of weak inhabitants, while unwalled, unprotected towns are the sign of a strong populace?
Could a town like Bat Ayin really be safer and stronger because it doesn’t have a fence?
We are unfortunately living through proof that this Rashi is absolutely correct and completely clear.
A strong Israel would defeat it enemies, and not build an imaginary wall to hold them back.
A strong Israel would be deploying unlimited resources to stopping the missiles at their source and not investigating some collateral damage that occurred from a once-in-a-while strike.
And a strong Israel would not be trying to reinforce the roofs, or tell schools to not use the top floors (and what about businesses, and homeowners, should they leave the top floors too?) it would be offensively stopping the attacks with ground troops.
Rashi is right because the wall is a downward spiral.
A weak people builds a wall because they are weak, afraid, and tired of fighting, but the longer they hide behind it, the more afraid they are to come out and fight what is besieging them.
The enemy certainly has no plans to disappear just because you stuck your head in the sand. The enemy sees that you are afraid and redoubles his efforts, which makes the residents even more tired and afraid.
So as a result the walled residents get weaker and more frightened the longer they stay in hiding. It’s a vicious circle.
To harp on it again, it is we Settlers who are not trying to hide behind a wall, and it is we Settlers who are not afraid to continue to fight for our homes and land, and it is we settlers who are not tired of the battle to acquire Eretz Yisrael.
Only if the State of Israel’s secular leadership decides to not attack the Settlers who are preventing their slow suicide, and instead aggressively and offensively attack the actual enemy who is attacking all of us, do they have a chance. But that won’t happen. Their value system can't find the morality in it.
The author created an interesting analogy between our situation today and that of David and Saul (which I will describe, and then expand upon his theme).
As we all know, Saul made a serious mistake with regard to fulfilling his kingly requirements and G/d’s will and was told as a result he would lose the kingship. And we all know that David was anointed in his place.
As Saul’s reign began to end, he became mentally ill and made some very wrong decisions and started to do some not so good things, which in his attempts to hurt/kill David severely hurt his own subjects.
David, the anointed (Mashiach) also made a decision.
He knew he was to be king, but b’ito ub’zmano (in its proper time and place). He wasn’t going to step forward and replace Saul until it was his proper time to take over.
And most importantly he did not raise a hand against Saul no matter what Saul did.
And David openly broke Saul’s laws, and David fought the Philistine enemy, and David built up the beginnings of his empire to replace Saul’s. But David refused to raise a hand against Saul even when he had the chance.
The commentators even say that David suffered at the end of his life with the inability to warm up (diabetes?) because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s clothing while Saul was asleep. This minor infringement on Saul’s person resulted in a punishment for David.
We, the religious (settlers) should see ourselves as the new anointed. The rightful, new rulers to be, because in the future it is us who will run the State of Israel. Of that there is no question.
But b’ito ub’zmano (in its proper time and place).
Until that proper time we need to follow the example of David.
No matter how evil this government gets, no matter how terrible their actions – we need to act a certain way.
We can be civilly disobedient. We can fight the real enemy. We can establish the foundations for our future Torah-based government and institutions.
But we cannot raise a violent hand to end this government before its time.
Like Saul, this government will know defeat at the hands of its real enemies, and then commit suicide – it’s obvious that it is on that path already.
But like David, we must be ready to take over, to clean house, and to create the Jewish empire as it was meant to be.
David was forbidden to build the first Temple (beyond the foundations) because his hands were bloodied in war with the enemies of Israel. Imagine if his hands were bloodied with the blood of Saul, perhaps he too would have lost the Malchut.
Our hands too must be clean from the blood of our brothers (no matter how violent, disgraceful and evil they act), if we are to be worthy and ready to properly build the Third Jewish Commonwealth.
Some time ago I was in the Malcha mall in Jerusalem where we were inundated with cigarette smoke everywhere - the stores, the hallways, and especially in the food court. The Mrs. complained to the management and received the answer, “We are doing all we can.”
Now I can tell you that is either a lie or poor incompetence.
I was in another mall recently, the Kanyon HaGadol in Petach Tikva and can tell you I couldn’t find a smoker anywhere.
Now you might try to tell me that Israelis are more concerned for the law in Petach Tikva, or perhaps they simply don’t smoke in Petach Tikva, but we would all know that that isn’t true.
So why isn’t there smoking in the Kanyon HaGadol, unlike the Malcha Mall?
On duty policemen always walk around the Petach Tikva mall, and I have to assume that one of their tasks is actually upholding the law that smoking is not permitted in the mall.
Would that really be so difficult to implement in Malcha (not to mention controlling the Beitar hooligans on Saturday night)?
But the article inadvertently shows how out of date and out of touch the government is.
Givat HaDegel hasn’t been called that in years. It’s name is Ramat Gilad.
The thing is, Ramat Gilad is privately owned property. It was bought by Moshe Zar some 30 years ago (yes, legally if you feel the need to ask).
But the government want to destroy what the owner has built on his own private property.
It's a shame the government doesn't care about all the illegal Arab building on land right nearby - land that isn't even theirs to build on.
Unequal enforcement of the law is not upholding the Rule of Law. It is a symbol of this government and its predecessor - Corruption, Evil, and Lawlessness.
Years ago when he was Prime Minister (around 1996) Bibi said he was going to put an end to US (non-military) economic aid to Israel. If I recall correctly he even stood in front of the Congress and said it too.
U.S. aid was in the range of $3 billion dollars. $1.8 billion of those dollars is in military aid that can only be spent at authorized U.S. firms (basically that money stays in America, but the products go to Israel – such as US weapons, software, uniforms, etc.).
Bibi said it was time for Israel to mature, and I agreed with him (I also think we should get rid of the military financial aid too).
The radio host, as usual was trying to denigrate Netanyahu and said that he couldn’t even get rid of the US economic aid when he was PM, so why would he think he deserves to be PM again (or something like that).
Netanyahu pointed out that he created a phased plan to reduce the aid into nonexistence. The plan was to take place over 10 years, and guess what? This is the last year and the last handout.
He considers that a success (and so do I).
The radio host quickly changed subjects.
I would personally never begrudge the super-rich, after all, I would like to be super-rich too (please, no sameach b’chelko comments).
And of course, I’m sure they have their problems too.
But I just never really expected to learn that we could possibly share some of the same problems when it comes to money.
It happened like this.
The Settler Gang left the Settlement today for work and family and this evening we went out to a fast food joint for a bite to eat.
Walking in, we were a bit overwhelmed by the loud obnoxious noises and music of a children’s birthday party being run in the midst of the restaurant, clown and all (and a pony too). But hey, it’s a fast food place that encourages it (the pony was outside), so who am I too complain.
But what was interesting was that the party-makers were acquaintances of the wife.
They also happened to be one of the richest families in Israel (no, I won’t say which).
At the end of the party it came time to settle the bill.
The guests (family members only) had been ordering freely left and right (big chips aka Freedom Fries, little chips, burgers, etc.) and the manager was keeping track of everything that was ordered.
I sat there in amazement as the junior Matriachs argued with the manager over the exact bill; whether some people ordered the big chips, or the little chips, and how some people may have ordered a burger which meant chips were included (this is also after the manager gave out free gifts to all the kids).
The difference could not have come to more than 50 shekels for all 20 guests (plus children). But yet, here were people that make hundreds of dollars a minute (and I’m not kidding) arguing for 20 minutes over a few bags of French Fries.
The staff looked on in horror at this attitude (they didn’t even know who their guests were), as they were the ones constantly taking the orders and now had to clean up the mess that was left behind (and from where I was sitting, the manager seemed right).
Mrs. Settler clamped her hand over my mouth as I started to yell out “It’s chips, not
Afterwards I told this story to some “blue collar” friends and they told me some stories of how they go in and do honest labor at market rates and then find the super-rich clients trying to shill them for a few shekels here and a few shekels there.
Go figure. Maybe that’s how they got rich in the first place. But French Fries!!!
In a rare moment of honesty, Dan Halutz, the IDF Chief of Staff attacked Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
During a conference of the Office of Trade and Industry in Be'er Sheva, Halutz said,
"There is no reason why my children should serve, but others won't serve at all."
The reference was clearly referring to the children of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Olmert’s youngest son, Ariel, shirked his army duty entirely, while his older son is a member of Yesh Gvul, a left-wing organization that calls for soldiers to not follow orders.
There is no news of any response by PM Olmert to Chief of Staff Halutz’s rather personal attack.
It is suspected Olmert won’t respond as he previously declared he is “tired of fighting”. Presumably that also goes for his children.
The article reveals that there may be political reasons as to why these rocket attacks not being reported (such as the negative publicity for future Jewish deportations).
The article reports that the IDF denies (lies about) these rocket launches, but then admit they happened when confronted by the evidence.
The article reports that the range of these rockets already reaches four mile and can hit every major Israeli cities.
The article reports that Israel is “reluctant” to run a full-scale anti-missile campaign in J&S (for political reasons?).
And of course the article reported on Israel’s (proven to be empty) threat to respond drastically (come on already, tell us a new lie at least) if they launch rockets.
But none of that is the scary news.
The scary news is that the IDF has not been able to successfully detect these multiple rocket launches and are only finding out about them after the fact.
You see the enemy has launched a number of rockets and unlike the missiles from Gaza, these just haven’t hit their targets yet.
So the residents of Ra’anana, Kfar Sava, Jerusalem, and even Tel Aviv are going to learn about successful rocket launches even before the IDF does. Personally.
So just remember:
The first time I heard about the ‘kosher tax’ was from a neo-Nazi, the second time was from Tommy Lapid (virtually word-for-word: which makes me wonder who was quoting who).
Well now, Moshe Sharoni of the Pensioner’s Party (soon to be just the Qadima Old-Timers) has taken up waving that banner in the Knesset.
Here it is in all its glory. He says Israel should cancel the kashrut (did he mean kosher certification or actually the kashrut?) on dairy and meat products – and thus they’ll be cheaper!
The man is absolutely brilliant. It’s really a shame these guys don’t get to speak much publicly before elections.
Anyway, I am sure that for my readers you don’t need a lesson in basic economics, much less neo-Nazi propaganda.
In other news, the evil settlers are selling gas to Palestinians (shhhh, for a profit).
And finally, members of the previous Knesset were calling Netanyhu and his budget the epitome of evil. Those same poeple now make up this government and they all just voted in Netanyhu's same exact budget (with some changes for the worse). Only 4 coalition members had the moral principles to not vote for it, saying they wouldn’t have voted for it before and won't vote for it now.
It also turns out that Eli Yishai won’t cancel the bread-price hike.
So much for social concerns.
But really, it's all about the Kosher tax.
I’ve been in quite a few near car accidents this past month (and one actually happened).
What annoys me is that each (near) accident has been practically identical. Not only that, but practically every traffic accident I’ve ever had in Israel over the years has been nearly identical.
An Israeli driver simply not looking at the road in front of him just plows right into the back of my (usually unmoving) car.
I know I put it into parenthesis, but perhaps I shouldn’t. You see, in nearly every case I was either not moving, or the last car in a practically motionless traffic jam.
Yet the Israeli driver tries to zoom right on through!
Yesterday I was driving on the highway, and we aren’t moving fast, but I see this guy far behind me zooming towards me. He’s of course honking his horn to tell me to get out of his way (from a mile down the road no less). But what’s funny is that there is a car just 3 car lengths in front of me (that empty space really, really annoys Israelis on the road), so I don’t know where he thinks he’s going.
I realize though that just like his horn, he actually doesn’t intend to stop. I quickly swerve out of my lane to watch him screech to a halt just inches behind the car that was in front of me and where I was just seconds before.
Today the same thing occurred, and he just missed clipping me when he looked up from his phone and swerved at the last second.
I’ve even been sitting at red lights and gotten hit from behind (whiplash and all).
My wife has an acquaintance whose car was slammed halfway over a cliff (at the entrance to Jerusalem) while she sat at a red light.
Once, while manning a roadblock (to catch a terrorist) an Israeli drove right on through never even noticing that we all had to jump out of the way of her speeding car to avoid being run over. She only realized that something was going on when all 4 of her tires were punctured by the spikes we had set down. She actually had the nerve to blame us.
I actually had an Israeli follow me into a parking spot, and start honking when I wasn’t moving until she realized that we were no longer on the road!!!!
Based on my own experiences, I suspect that the majority of accidents must be quite similar. Maybe it’s time to start training Israeli to actually look at the road, to look 2 cars ahead, to put down that cellphone, and to keep some space between cars. The results might be staggering.
I also think that Israelis use their horn as a substitute assault weapon. You’re in their way -
To be honest I don’t get it, all this honking, but to my wife’s amusement, I’ve actually decided to do it too. It’s my new way of making fun of Israelis. Joe Settler is on the road - Honk. Turning the corner – Honk. Stopping at the light – Honk. Driving down the street – Honk. I’ve noticed that the Israelis don’t understand why I am honking at them. But I think that is fair. I don’t actually know why they are honking either.
Olmert may be tired of fighting Palestinians, but I’m getting tired of driving on the road. It’s worse than ever (summer approaching definitely does that), and it is more dangerous than ever.
I love to drive, but I really, really don’t want to get back on the road with these Israelis anymore. What can be done?
What’s happening is that the big boys want to rule the entire market, so they buy up all the SMBs that are nicely positioned in their respective small niches that the big boys aren’t in.
The mindless Israeli newspapers of course like it because it shows the “success” of the Israeli SMB company - they were so well positioned that they got themselves bought out.
But what’s left are just a handful of overweight giants that rule the entire market, eradicate any real competition, and simply push out everyone else that might be in their way. (Some people call it consolidation - and it happens in politics too).
Obviously if you are an SMB that gets bought by a giant, it’s good for the investors, and sometimes for some of the senior staff, but if you are still an independent SMB, suddenly you find your small little niche you carved out for yourself is being trampled on by a 900 lb. gorilla (I just watched King Kong, I rooted for Kong).
And if you worked for one of those SMBs that got bought, more than likely you will be looking for a job within the year (2 years if you were in R&D – as it takes longer for you to assimilate your product into the giant's product line, making yourself irrelevant).
The funny thing is how bad this is for the client too.
Suddenly the client unexpectedly finds out they are left with only 2 or 3 potential vendors, and they find their choices are between bad service and worse, and overly complex, nonintegrated products or simply irrelevant ones that they must force their business to fit around, and they of course dare not go to one of the small companies (with better products and services) as those probably won’t survive the onslaught.
The clients don’t all feel the pain right away, but eventually they all do.
And then it hits the customers.
Service becomes bad, choices become limited, and prices go up.
So what happens?
At some point the pain reaches a point that is too high, too far, too much, too bad.
I recently asked one of the big boys who was happily describing his bloated software system to me, and he says at some point you take it ‘back down to the metal’. You strip out all the bloatware and start again from scratch (and what does that cost, and who pays for it?).
And what about the SMB purple hearts?
There are only a few options. Many leave their chosen field for lack of work, that’s for sure. Look how many people in Israel don’t work in their profession. Look how many can't even find a job.
But a few, the innovators, which the big boys can never really be, don’t fall back on something else, rather they spring forward.
Some hunker down and take the big boy’s solution down to the metal, so when the market is fed up, they’re there, and ready to move in - but that takes time.
Some offer the missing services that the big boy’s will never offer well, but honestly, that’s too much like getting the table scraps after the meal.
But even better, and often enough, these guys find the next big thing.
You see, in Israel we are suffocated by a few families that own everything, a government that takes everything, and a few global companies that are buying up everything else in sight.
Competition is killed, and we the consumers suffer.
But I think that is one of the reasons why there are so many startups, and “successful” one too, in Israel.
With the traditional and the mainstream markets being stomped out for the little guy, it leaves no room for anything except for innovation, creativity, and thinking outside the box.
I admit no one wants to be forced to reinvent themselves all the time, but the ability to realize that someone ‘has moved the cheese’ and be willing to seek out ‘new cheese’ is why Israel continues to be a leader in innovative business ideas, even while the government and big business try to suffocate everyone else around them. (Of course, most of these ideas tend to be implemented overseas where they aren't stifled).
I suspect that is also probably why many Israelis tend to do well in the States where competition is not crushed and markets are truly free. They come with an 'innovation skill set' that is more developed. Not that the US doesn’t have similar issues, but not only is the US pond bigger, making it more difficult to own it all, the government is less overwhelming, and a handful of families don’t own everything.
It’s a cycle, and a lot of people get run over by this cycle.
On the other hand, a lot of other people find a new path, and that makes them stronger (and brings us new consumer markets to spend money on).
This new cycle is upon us. Are you ready?
So What is Your Solution?
by: Moshe Feiglin
Founder and President, Manhigut Yehudit
The people who came thought the "we" meant "the Jews." But for the Zionist leadership at the time "we" meant a new nation: the Israelis. This new nation had no obligatory connection to Judaism. On the contrary, the Israelis divested themselves of the ghetto hunchback and adopted a new, cosmopolitan and modern identity.
For most of those who came to Israel, "to be built" meant "to be built as a complete Jew," with the dimension of the Land of Israel filling the gap that the exile had left wide open. But for the minority in control, "to be built," meant to be reprogrammed with a new identity and completely new cultural codes.
The leadership triumphed, and in the State born in the Land of Israel there was a majority of Jews by birth that spoke Hebrew. This summed up their connection to Judaism.
The cultural codes turning the wheels in the State of Israel are a concoction borrowed from other nations. They have nothing to do with Jewish culture -- and for that matter -- with any culture at all. The culture of a nation is like a glove fitted to the hand. When it doesn't fit, it is irrelevant. The Israeli nation has no culture.
Israel's attempt to be just an ordinary country has not been received with understanding by the nations of the world -- not by our overt Islamic enemies and not by our more concealed Christian enemies. They are not willing to play the game and to accept the new costume that the Jews are wearing. What they see in front of them is Jews, and it is against the Jews that they fight.
"So what is your solution?" the Israeli television interviewer probed.
"The solution is to be a Jew," I began to answer.
"Fine, fine, but what is your practical solution?" he cut me off. And in truth, it is hard for a person who sees Judaism as simply personal observance to imagine a reality in which Judaism encompasses all facets of life and provides solutions to national dilemmas.
In other words, when the interviewer asked me for my solution, he was actually asking, "What is your solution to my problem?" And when I answered that the solution is to be a Jew, I was actually saying that the solution is for him to emerge from his obsession, and that his problem is not my problem at all.
Israeli thinking insists that we are just an ordinary country, and that our destiny and our existence are one and the same. Thus, the pinnacle of our aspirations is to achieve some sort of arrangement with our neighbors that will allow us to exist.
But Jewish thinking has a completely different perspective. We have a Divine destiny and it is only that destiny that justifies our existence and makes it possible. Thus the pinnacle of our aspirations is the fulfillment of our destiny. Any obstacle in the path of that fulfillment is an enemy. There is not and there cannot be peace with it.
A person with Israeli thinking will necessarily come up with slogans like "Only Sharon will bring peace" and will axiomatically surrender Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. But for a person with Jewish thinking, peace in and of itself will never be a goal. For him it is preferable to be killed and not to surrender the Temple Mount, the cardinal tool for the fulfillment of our destiny.
If one's only goal is to achieve "peace" he will find himself in relentless retreat. But a person whose goal is the fulfillment of Jewish destiny does not see Arab murderousness as an essential problem, but rather as a local obstacle that is promptly dealt with. He of course does not negotiate with murderers, but fights them with the intent of destroying them.
Because neither the Right nor the Left have adopted the Jewish perspective, they will both surrender and retreat -- not stopping until Israel's inevitable collapse, G-d forbid.
The simple truth is now rising to the surface. The State of Israel has two choices: To be Jewish or not to be at all.
It is sometimes more difficult to explain this to religious Jews, because they see Judaism as a religion and they feel that they are already doing what they can. But the solution is more than just to be religious. The solution is to acquire national perspective, culture and ideals that are Jewish. The solution is to be Jews.
One wishes he would have openly said the truth before the elections.
Olmert is going to stop us bullying Settlers and declares the law will be fully enforced against (only) us (again). Yup, we’re back to being demonized in full force (again).
Jews will once again be forbidden to buy property in our ancient cities (again).
We’ll just ignore that (Hamas instead of Fatah) terrorists run the PA, as we extend our hands in peace (again).
We’re again prepared to make painful concessions (well, painful to the Settlers at least) for Peace (again).
“If you abandon terrorism Israel will make painful concessions” (we’ll hurt ourselves), if you don’t abandon terrorism we’ll still make painful concessions (we’ll hurt ourselves) while we let you hurt us (again).
Ahh, but the real news is that Peretz plans to relax the ‘work related’ travel restriction on Palestinians so they can cross into pre67 Israel. But just not for the real, real, bad Palestinians (again).
Yup. We’re back to forgetting (again).
We’ve even forgotten we’re disengaging. Oh, but that only means Jews from Israel (again).
Anyway, that smell in the air? It’s the next suicide bomber in a market (again).
I’m so glad we have our priorities straight.
Unfortunately the evil Settlers don’t know how to fight back creatively (again). You see, despite what you might read on Haaretz, we Settlers are not going to use deadly force against our fellow Jews (though the secular Israelis are quite prepared to use it against us), so instead we keep talking about 2 or 3 generations from now when we religious are the majority (scary thought for the secular), but no one thinks about how to speed up that process.
Here’s an idea. Let’s start handing out free knives outside clubs and shopping centers.
Did you know that just this year alone, (secular) Israelis have stabbed and killed more fellow Israelis than Palestinians have stabbed and killed Jews. Let’s just give them the tools they need.
OK, I admit, I’m being contemptuous of their (lack of) culture, but how much can you really expect from a society that thinks they are thieves and can’t even explain to their own children what right they even have to be here (and I don’t just mean the Prime Minister).
Obviously if they think they are criminals, they’ll act like criminals, and it starts from the government and works its way down.
The difference is that the government uses other people to commit their acts of violence, while the club-hoppers are stuck doing the stabbings themselves.
While practically an entire Air Force base of secular Israelis raped a sick little girl under the eyes of the base officers (and how secure is this base anyway), a Jewish soldier is discharged because he won’t shake the hand of the man who threw his family out of his home. I won’t even go into the other recent stories of these desensitized secular IDF soldiers.
Secular Israeli society is creating a desensitized nation.
Seriously, if we Settlers really want to win, then we need to reconnect this nation to its Jewish soul.
We need to resensitize them to the Torah and Jewish values.
This nation needs to remember why they live in Israel (and its not the Holocaust), we need them to light up their Neshama, not a joint (or if a joint, at least along with their Neshama).
One of the most powerful ministerial positions is now in the hands of the Shastitutes - the Ministry of Communications.
While it’s amusing to consider how they are going to handle issues like Shabbat broadcasting, porn, and other sins, one can only hope that this new guy Attias will institute more freedom of communication on the TV and radio, not just to legalize pirate Radio Kol Shas, but to allow real freedom of speech, which includes reinstating Arutz-7 and demanding fair time for the Right and religious on public channels and stations (which currently includes are nearly all the channels and stations).
(Demanding he closes down Army Radio, and commercializing everything would be too much to ask though.)
Unfortunately, I’m quite sure he will only look out for his own.
But could you imagine what an independent TV and radio station with a right wing and pro-Jewish disposition could do to this country?
The first move his
The opposition is now setting up a no-confidence vote.
How will Amir Peretz vote?
For the government hurting the poor, or against the government and thus losing his job?
Interesting dilemma. I know he’ll get out of it, I’m just curious how.
(Actually Shas will probably cancel it just in the nick of time and save the day).
The question is, why aren’t religious Jews moving back to Israel en masse?
Reading blogs by religious people in the Galus, the most common answer by the ‘more frum’ seems to be that it isn’t a mitzvah that one is ‘required’ to fulfill, and famous Rabbis are brought in to back up that statement.
I often ask, what exactly do they mouth in Birkat Hamazon, in Musaf, and in their t’fillot in general? Do they not understand what they are reading? Do they read the words and ignore them? Do they read them, and think it is talking about someone else? Are they waiting for a miracle?
These are people that are so incredibly makpid on even the slightest possible halacha or potential minutiae of the law, that you won’t even go into a restaurant without seeing the ‘our water is filtered’ signs everywhere.
The switchover from Judaism from a nationalistic state to a religious state was a deliberate and calculated temporary decision by the Rabbis to help preserve us during the exile until we returned to our land. Judaism was put into a suitcase while we were temporarily locked out of our home with everything still inside.
And the Rabbis purposely kept pumping the message into us about the return to Eretz Yisrael, and Eretz Yisrael being central to Judaism – in our t’filla, our Haggada, everywhere. Yet this message seems to have gotten lost despite it being right in front of our face.
For everyone that spends hours looking for the perfect Etrog, or won’t eat matza after the first day of Pesach because there is a chashash that their might be chometz, don’t you think they would want the opportunity to perform even more mitzvot (not to mention to perform them properly)?
I originally thought this might be a new phenomena. But Jameel pointed out something - Ezra & Nechemia.
When Ezra & Nechemia called for the people to return, what happened? The established Jews refused to come back!
They had the opportunity to rebuild the Temple, to bring the Karban Pesach, to fulfill a proper Simchat Beit Hashoeva. Nevuah! Yet they turned it all down!
Because they questioned if there is a specific mitzvah to do so?
That would perhaps be the answer given by the frum world. They would point to some Galus leader and say, he didn’t go, yet no one today would consider denying Ezra his authority as the then Gadol HaDor.
Yet, more so, why would frum Jews need an explicit mitzvah to return to the land and properly fulfill more (and all) the mitzvoth?
They daven 3 times a day to return to Israel.
They are makpid on some of the stupidest (and non-halachic) things, and have taken the concept of ‘minhag yisroel c’halacha’ to extremes that I’m sure the Rabbis never imagined could happen.
Yet when it actually comes to returning Judaism to its original and preferred state, to performing the mitzvot where they were meant to be (and in many cases, can only be) performed, not this transitional existence it is in now – silence, rejection, rebuttal.
If they are so careful about taking on more and more mitzvoth (and I still don't think a black hat counts), what about Trumah and Maaser and Karban Pesach? There is even an important deiyah that says performing mitzvoth in Galus is only practice, only to keep us from forgetting how to keep them, so we can perform them properly when we return to Israel.
When I speak about Aliyah in shuls in Galus, I get the polite responses, but no one is engraving it in their hearts or brains.
As Israel enters another year as an independent (if imperfect) state where a Jew can fulfill many more mitzvoth as they were meant to be performed, can anyone explain this to me?
He mentions that there are those in the Defense Establishment that are saying we need to reenter Gaza, but says they don’t understand the price it will entail. He feels we can safely (and effectively) hit them from a distance if we wanted to.
He says that no one has been killed since we left Gaza as opposed to dozens each year before that.
If there were ever an example needed as to why an Air Force man should not be put in charge of an army, much less ground troops – Dan Halutz is it. (At least there are still some people in the Defense Establishment that still have a head on their shoulders even if they are currently suppressed.)
If the IDF had run a mission in Gaza like we did in Jenin and do in Shechem, and this time also used to Air Force for support (which we didn’t do in Jenin) then there would have been no Kassams for all those years, just like there are currently very few (few, not zero) missiles or mortars are being launched out of Judea & Samaria.
Unfortunately, the IDF actually never ran a Jenin-like cleanup operation in Gaza (and I also mean even right before the disengagement), so it is difficult to accept Halutz’s excuse.
As a stereotypical Air Force man, Halutz overestimates the Air Force’s capabilities in long-term strategic matters (as opposed to short-term strategic & tactical strikes, and support), and underestimates the strategic use of ground troops. No surprises there. That was also a concern before he was appointed.
Halutz also overestimates the infrastructure needs of his enemy.
The Palestinians have proven that they can suffer financial and infrastructure losses that far outweigh our own capability to suffer similar losses, but Halutz simply hasn’t ingrained that he isn’t fighting a modern country, but a barbaric backwater that doesn’t rely on their infrastructure anywhere near what we do.
Remotely hitting ‘hard and soft targets’ like he wants will simply spur on their desire to hit us even more, but not cause them irreversible damage. Besides which, as we all know our hands our tied (or we tied them ourselves) so we won’t really hit the targets that we need to.
As for the price he mentioned, there are two prices he can be talking about: soldier’s lives or the political price.
Once a Katyusha hits a power plant fuel tank (and a third of the country loses electricity) or worse, a full kindergarten, no one is going to be asking about the cost of soldier’s lives. They may ask for a commission of inquiry to discuss why soldiers weren’t deployed in the first place to prevent that.
As for the political price, everyone already knows that disengagement failed, but sending ground troops back in is a public admission of failure.
It’s funny how the Left are always happy to declare that the settlements are outside the boundaries of the State of Israel, and are always worried about the poor settlers lives. Yet for years the security forces reacted to attacks far differently when they hit settlements than when they hit pre-67 sites.
Halutz basically claims that leaving settlements will save dozens of lives each year.
Yet maybe, just maybe, if the IDF had been told to react even once to a serious settlement attack (or after 5000 kassams) like it would have reacted to a Netanya attack, dozens of people wouldn’t have died every year. But no, it didn’t.
Before disengagement, pre-67 sites in the south were hardly ever hit by Kassams. Now they are daily fodder. It is only a matter of time before the numbers start to ring up.
Why reach that state?
It’s because Halutz doesn’t feel he has the moral right to attack because the PA isn't declared an enemy (sic)!
In Lebanon, Hizbollah continues to show that they and they alone hold the cards. When they want to escalate, they escalate and all the North goes to hide in shelters. When they want it quiet, the Israelis come out of the holes. They want to kidnap soldiers? They’ve done that.
Most people forget that the majority of deaths in Lebanon over the past few years were due to accidents (helicopters, electric wires, etc.) and not attacks (the largest was the Shayetet blunder).
But all that ignores that the political situation in Gaza is not the same at all as it is in Lebanon. Hizbollah is a proxy for Syria and Iran, and are utilized that way. While Caroline Glick believes that Gaza is becoming a proxy for Al-Qaida, for the moment it is still independent with its own goals.
Regardless, it is only a matter of time before the Katyushas and Kassams reach Tel Aviv and Gush Dan becomes like the North and Sderot.
But why reach that state when we can stop it now?
Halutz’s explains it with this unbelievable line, “I don't think that Hamas came into power because of the disengagement.”
This man has his head in the clouds.
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