Eretz Yisrael Time

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
There have been a number of articles lately about Aliyah from America – or rather the lack of Aliyah from America. While Nefesh B’Nefesh has made the pre and post Aliyah process easier, statistically (and numerically) there simply hasn’t been a significant increase in Olim from the US.

Michael Hirsch’s interesting article in the Jerusalem Post highlights this failure and attempts to explain why this is so.

But what he doesn’t touch on is how to increase Aliyah. (Or why it’s important – but that requires an entirely separate post).

I look at my own reasons for making Aliyah and wonder if (a) they are relevant to anyone else, and (b) if it is something that can be transferred to others.

Like most other Jewish families, Israel was discussed somewhere in the background in the home, and mentioned casually in school, but the country simply never interested me. And Aliyah certainly wasn’t something on my radar or of the schools. Interestingly enough, I usually found the Israeli kids in my schools far more interesting than the Americans to talk with.

That disinterest in Israel changed during my first trip to Israel - and not even then. It was only towards to the end of my vacation that something about Israel just clicked with me. I can define in part what it was, when it was, and where it was, but I don’t believe it could be the same thing for anyone else.

I returned to America distracted. I realized that I wasn’t going to stay in America much longer. A few months later I was made a self-organized pilot trip, and a few months after that I was in Israel – allegedly for the year, but I was already sure it was for good.

I realized that I wanted to stay, and luckily I eventually found myself in a Yeshiva program that supported my idea. And while difficult over the years (and even at points extremely difficult) in the end I stayed and I would define my Aliyah as a success.


I think Aliyah is like marriage.

When you’re young, naïve, without baggage, less critical and judgemental, and everything else, marriage is an easier decision to make, but as the years go buy, the older you get, the more difficult it is to decide and commit. Just like one can end up single forever, one can end up in America forever – always rationalizing it away.

So what would make Aliyah an actual option on the table for more people?

Outside of the US it’s easier. There’s anti-Semitism, there’s no financial future, there’s no viable Jewish community. Israel looks better on every level.

But in the US, anti-Semitism is low (though rising), the financial condition right now is poor, but that is likely to be temporary over the long term, the Jewish community is strong (at least the religious one is), and it’s simply easy to be a Jew (though perhaps sometimes a little embarrassing).

For the average American Jew, moving to Israel means a foreign language, coarse people, unwanted bureaucracy, a poor implementation of democracy, high taxes, and low salaries (to name a few issues).

And unfortunately these perceived negatives will almost always outweigh the positives facts that often actually trump them – but you can’t find that out until you actually jump in the water.

While Hebrew can be learned, you soon find out that everyone wants to talk English to you; the people can be rough, but you can say what you want to them in return; the bureaucracy is annoying, but it certainly is not what it was 10 years ago, and in fact most services are now online – you can log in and accomplish almost anything, the understanding and poor implementation of democracy sucks, but you can literally approach your mayors, and Knesset representatives in the street and they will talk to you (I do this all the time), taxes are high and salaries can be lower, but schooling is inexpensive, and medical insurance is not high, while treatment (medical and personal) is excellent (we’ve discussed this in the past) – the system is not the socialized medicine that everyone remembers from years ago.

I am not saying there aren’t difficulties. You need to find jobs, a home, etc. – but these are challenges you might face anywhere. And now there are plenty of Aliyah organizations and support groups that provide mentors and assistance to closely help you with that transition – something that wasn’t really around a decade ago.


But everything I listed above is a “rational decision”. These are things that the older, more established person worries about.

In fact, these are the same types of questions that older single people use to rationalize why he or she shouldn’t marry the person they are dating – unlike a younger adult who only knows that he or she is in love, and marriage is clearly the next step.

Selling Aliyah to someone established in their job or community is like convincing a single person to get married. It sounds like a good idea to them, but it always gets stuck in the implementation.

I think that first of all you have to get them young. Birthright is a good first step – it creates that connection, but it isn’t enough, nor perhaps even young enough. It certainly needs some follow-up programs.

But more than that, every Jewish school (Elementary and High School) should have charismatic Israeli teachers teach teaching there (on rotating limited one year Shlichuts) teaching about Israel – not Hebrew – Israel. Israel’s history, its goals, how it’s relevant to the Jewish people, and most importantly, why Israel is such a wonderful place and of course Aliyah.

Create a sense of mystery for these young students. Create a sense of interest. Create a sense of possibility and challenge. Create a connection.

I certainly did not have that in my very Jewish education growing up.

(I admit, while I am sure the Israeli government or the Sochnut would be happy to sponsor such a project, how many principals (or parents) would be happy to have such a curriculum in their school – a curriculum which would eventually drain their student base?)

If you can create that interest, that sense of mission and possibility when they are young, then when they do reach that age of decision, it is actually something they will seriously consider.

Certainly generating interest in Aliyah is a generational mission, not something that should be planned on a yearly basis – how many people can we convince this year with an extra grant or loan.

Going after the families, after the adults is important, but it requires a tremendous amount of resources to both convince and support the process.

If you go after the youth, you are going after the ones that will be able to fall in love and make that emotional decision –without the baggage that accompanies someone who has already made a life in his community.

In fact, often when the kids go, you know what happens? The parents follow.

Hasn’t anyone realized that yet?


If Israel is really interested in significantly increasing Aliyah it needs to start going after the Jewish youth. Create that interest; describe the challenge and the mission. Bring them to Israel in their mid-teens and connect them to Israelis. Get them while they’re in the schools. Get them in the after-school programs.

Spend resources on the low-hanging fruit. Yes, it will take them a few more years to make the move - but after asking any Jew in the US about their 5 (then 10, then 15) year Aliyah plan, getting a High School kid to consider studying in an Israeli University and then making Aliyah is not a long time-line at all – and is far more likely to happen.

Aliyah is like marriage, if you fall in love young, you can jump right in. But if you’re older, you’ll find every rationalization in the world not to do what you really want – and need.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
While the PA was busy arresting and releasing 150 of the "usual suspects" in Tulkarem, the IDF was neutralizing the 3 terrorists (perhaps of 4) in Shchem (Nablus) involved in murdering Rabbi Meir Chai. (IDF sources said the PA arrests were of no assistance to the IDF).

Rumor is circulating that a fourth terrorist is under protective custody in the PA, after he saw he wouldn't be able to protect himself.

One of the terrorists that was neutralized was previously captured for terror activities (and released with amnesty for "peace").

The PA is condemning the actions of the IDF, and Betzelem is calling the neutralization of the terrorists an "execution". All sounds good to me.

One thing is for sure, they won't be freed from prison in exchange for Gilad Shalit. Hopefully this is the introduction of a new IDF policy.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Headline news: Palestinian who planted bomb near Israel-Gaza border gets 10 years

I ask: Why bother?
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tomorrow is a big day. The various rabbis and leaders of the Hesder system are meeting to decide on a unified position to take (or to split apart). Many have already declared their positions, and sided with Torah and morality, while a few are unfortunately equivocating and, in my opinion, taking positions that don't do justice to their positions are Torah leaders.

This argument is not about whether soldiers should be allowed to protest or not. It never was.

This argument is the fundamental argument between Right and Left, Religious and Secular.

Should soldiers be forced to follow orders that are against the Torah (and immoral) from any lowlife, corrupt political hack who manages to take control - just because he is in control - or do our Yeshivas teach Torah values and morals that are meant to be expressed in every aspect of our lives - including when related to orders in the army - and we are never meant to be mindless automatons?

Will each of the Hesder Rabbis be willing to stand up and say his talmidim should not kick their fellow Jews out of their homes - that it is an immoral order and an anti-Torah order? Or will they leave it with the more pareve statement such as 'the army should not be used for political purposes like Barak is shamelessly and tyrannically doing and abusing'?

The Yeshiva teaches a path, and if the Rabbis of a particular Yeshiva aren't willing to stand up to this tyrannical use of the people's army against its own civilians, against Jews in a Jewish State no less, against this immorality - and calling it what it is, then that Yeshiva isn't teaching any values that will last - because when push comes to shove, in that single moment when the opportunity is there to define your very self, for them it's all just empty words.

It's very easy to put this argument in perspective, imagine your son came home and told you that he was given orders to kick you out of your home and asked you what should he do, would you tell him to follow these orders or not?

Any normal person would say absolutely not, so, then why would you think for a second it's OK for him to kick your Jewish neighbors in the town next door out of their home. They aren't the enemy - they are your fellow citizens, fellow Jews, and no different than you.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I don't know why some continue to call Obama's plan to divide Jerusalem a "secret" and certain others deny it completely.

As we've pointed out numerous times, Obama's officials have repeatedly confirmed His goals. Not to mention Obama's own recent remarks on construction in major Jewish neighborhoods such as Gilo - which He wants immediately stopped.

(And don't even get me started on the freeze).

Now, once again the "secret" plan to divide Jerusalem is being publicly discussed.

Haaretz is reporting of an interview with Egypts Foreign Minister on the latest iteration of Obama's plan to divide Jerusalem.

The United States and Egypt, along with France, are planning a joint move to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks on the basis of the June 4, 1967, borders, territorial exchanges and a complete freeze of construction beyond the Green Line, including East Jerusalem. The freeze would not be announced publicly.
He's not pulling this out of the air.

You've got to really want to have your head deep in the sand to not see what is right in front of you.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I found the recent article in the NYTimes on what really happened on Chanukah to be quite amusing. The author (and his readers) was upset to learn that Chanukah isn't about Religious Tolerance or whatever as he grew up to believe, but about civil war and the survival of Judaism. He of course paints the Maccabees as a bunch of religious fanatics/Talibanist fighting the moderates who were looking to "synthesize" the Greek and Jewish cultures together, ignoring how (a) the moderates were trying to destroy Judaism and assimilate, and (b) that it is unlikely there would be much of Judaism (or Jews) left today if it weren't for our coreligionists back then.

It seemed appropriate on Chanukah that the JoeSettler family visit something connected to our ideological and national ancestors. There seems to be so much in common between then and now.

So we took a trip to the Maccabean grave site near Modi'in. Now no one is exactly sure where the grave site is, but for a number of reasons, this is currently accepted to be the most likely candidate (though other strongly disagree).



At the location is a modern "Andarta" to soldiers who died in 1948 defending the region against the Jordanian army (there weren't Arabs who could be identified as Palestinians back then). The design of the pyramids is symbolic of the grave markers that were originally on the Maccabbee graves.





If you head out on the path to highway 443 you can see Jewish burial caves that were uncovered as the road was built (you can actually see it on the highway if you drive slow enough). These graves are from around 100 years after the Maccabee victory.







Heading back to the main area, you can see what are considered the most likely candidates for the graves. These graves where carved out of the limestone themselves, and probably a stone pyramid was built over them to cover them up.





There are actually a lot of small caves in the area. Many (but not all) are marked off so you don't fall into them.



If you head over to Latrun tank museum and climb up to the top of the building you can look around and see where the Maccabees fought the Greek-Syrian armies.

Now that's a living history!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Let's recap:

Settlement freeze.
Police brutality against Jewish girls.
Administrative detentions against Jewish citizens.
Hesder Yeshivas closed down.
Jerusalem on the line.
Kassam attacks in the South.
Increased (successful) terror attacks.
Suicide bomber terrorism starting again (today, the 2nd suicide bomber in the space of a week was caught).

Sounds like a typical Likud government to me.

I once again reiterate that I am happy I voted Ichud Leumi. They may have no influence, but its been proven that neither does any Likud MK have influence either.

The difference is my conscience is clear.

---

I suspect the repercussions that Ehud Barak is going to have to deal with in light of his attack on Yeshivat Har Bracha is going to blow up in his face in unexpected ways.

I am sure he thinks he is scaring the other Roshei Yeshivas (and perhaps he is scaring some of them), but I suspect he has now consolidated their support around Rabbi Melamed.

Furthermore, the Hesder soldiers are not likely to take this quietly, and we'll see more soldiers openly indicating their refusal to kick out Jews from their homes (as Barak tries to involve more of them in this immoral act), and that the dispersed soldiers from Har Bracha will be influencing even more soldiers than before in their new Yeshivas if (it goes that far).

And more than likely, when not in the army, the Hesder soldiers will return to Har Bracha to learn.

But most importantly, Barak, in his arrogance, will have created just a few too many political enemies. Already some MKs committees are blocking funding to various Defense Ministry projects. I think we'll start seeing more political activism against him, to the point where he will become so big a liability to the stability of the government that Bibi will have no choice but to cut him loose.

UPDATE in comments section:
Saturday, December 12, 2009
MKs on the Left, with the interest of the Leftwing Israeli media are trying to pass a bill that would effectively ban the "Yisrael Hayom" newspaper.

Yisrael Hayom, unlike the other mainstream newspapers like Maariv and Yediot (and I would include Haaretz, but it really isn't mainstream at all) is not left-wing.

Yes, the newspaper is free, and given out in busy, trafficked areas, but that is not really the secret of its success. There are plenty of free papers one can pick up.

And there certainly isn't anything stopping those other papers from giving out their copies for free either - and it's not as if you can't get them free when you fill up for gas.

Israelis like it because it simply isn't another left-wing paper.

Israelis apparently like reading news from what is actually a centrist-right position.

So the Israeli newspapers owners and the Left-wing politicians are trying to ban Yisrael Hayom. The excuse they are giving is that the owner, Sheldon Adelson is not an Israeli citizen, and is, through the paper unduly influencing the Israeli public.

Huh!

Where are they when all the radical Leftwing NGOs are receiving money from foreign governments?

Talk about hypocrisy.

But killing free speech is something the Left like to do.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Arutz-7 is reporting Government support for a bill requiring a referendum on any retreat from land under Israeli sovereignty.

MKs on the Right are actually happy about this bill, as it would not allow Israel to cede land against the will of (a simple?) majority of citizens.

This would include the Golan, Jerusalem, and even Tel Aviv.

What a sick bill!

How about a bill that forbids ceding any territory of Eretz Yisrael at all instead of one that allows for it to happen.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
It's a bit disappointing writing this particular post. It unfortunately means that not everyone understands that we are all in the boat together.

If you ask the average Israeli if the Jordan River is our eastern border, I'd say that 95% of the country would agree, even if it is way over the 1967 Armistice Line.

When the freeze was announced, the immediate reaction of the Leftwing settlements in the Jordan Valley was quite clear. They told Barak they aren't "settlers from the territories". They're fellow Leftists like him. The Jordan Valley is of course the eastern border of the State of Israel. Why should the Freeze apply to them?

And then the Chareidim and UTJ jumped on board.

Why should the freeze apply to their towns? They aren't ideological settlers. They moved to Beitar because no one would allow them to build towns anywhere else, and they have no where else to live. Don't punish them because of the settlers. And so on.

And of course the residents of Jerusalem don't understand how their neighborhoods have gotten dragged into the argument and why their construction plans have been frozen (that's right - in Jerusalem too).

What this means is that they really don't understand that we are all in this boat together, Leftist, Settler, Chareidi, Jerusalemites, and even the Chiloni in Tel Aviv.

If we don't all choose to fight this freeze together, all our towns, are going to be destroyed - and then the country itself.

Only if we are united will we have the strength to stand up to the US and Iran.

On the Israeli news tonight they showed Israeli policemen acting in the Settlements. They needed 5 policemen for every settler girl they beat up. Kol hakavod to our settler girls. They showed true strength and determination, and hopefully the other "settlers" will learn the same.


A question was raised. Just a few weeks ago, Barak told the High Court he didn't have enough manpower to properly inspect and track all the illegal Arab construction in the Negev, Galil, Judea and Samaria. Apparently he has more than enough now that he wants it. Is his response to the High Court now negated?
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Last week the Israeli media ran a convention in Eilat.

One of the issues they discussed is if Israeli media is Left. The consensus that was reached at the panels is that Israeli media is actually Center-Right (and that's coming from Haaretz!).

By the way, Israeli media sources NOT represented at the convention, and certainly not on the panel discussion the media's political persuasions included Makor Rishon, Arutz-7, Radio Kol Chai, and other Rightwing and/or Religious outlets.

Funny how the media could manage to define themselves as Center-Right, when they didn't bother to invite/allow media outlets that are actually on the Center-Right to participate.

Sort of like the Israeli High Court calling itself balanced.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Video of a Palestinian terrorist getting caught with a knife, and then when the guards turn their back to her, she pulls out a second knife and stabs one of them.

(Graphic)

Last week a terrorist stabbed two people at the Kiryat Arba gas station.

The terrorist was shot by a soldier nearby.

The husband of one of the stabbed women then got into his car and repeatedly ran over the terrorist.

The husband is now under arrest for attempted murder!!!

This is the proper thing to do to terrorists. This is what guarantees they won't be freed by the Israeli government to try and kill again.

The Israeli news reporter (of course) expressed his disapproval with the man's action in the news report.

You can watch the (warning: graphic) video here:



Hopefully charges against him will be dropped. It would certainly be wrong for him to sit in jail longer than the terrorist he (properly) tried to kill.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
In case you didn't notice, purple is in this Eid Al-Adha holiday.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Building inspectors (with Leftist followers) visit the town of Tekoa to give out tickets to Jews who are building.

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Bibi, Benny, and most of all Bogie. What is going on that these three would implement a Settlement construction freeze?

None of them are actually interested in “Peace Talks” beyond keeping the Palestinians quiet and not murdering everyone – and the IDF has been doing a good job of keeping them quiet lately. A split in the Labor party, or even a complete walkout is hardly a real threat to the coalition (and Ehud Barak can’t afford to quit the government anyway). Pressure from the Americans? Even spineless Bibi should be able to stand up to their normal threats on a normal day…

…unless this is no longer a normal day and no longer normal threats.

There is only one threat that is scaring Bibi more than anything else, and that is the Iranian nuclear threat. And the only person able (and willing) to stop Israel from defending ourselves against Iran is Barack Obama.

Obama’s problem is that Israel (and Bibi) have rejected his anti-Israel peace plan – for the evil/bad plan it is. But Obama simply can’t afford to lose here.

So Obama is holding Israel’s continued existence hostage to our compliance with his anti-Zionist death trap.

Bibi finds himself between a rock and a hard place… either start carving up Israel which will cause a major multi-front regional war, or Obama will physically/militarily block any Israeli attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities and we face annihilation, which will result in Iran ultimately using nuclear weapons (not necessarily in missile form) against us.

And we are clearly heading towards a regional war, with Hamas in Gaza, with Hizbollah in Lebanon, with US armed and trained Fatah soldiers in Judea and Samaria, and probably with Syria on the Golan. And the US is clearly not standing behind Israel anymore.

Bibi knows that this settlement freeze is just a down payment to the Obama, as already the Obama administration has said it’s not enough (as have the Palestinians)

So he is trying to throw the ball into the Palestinian court, and hopes placing the next step on them will force Obama to reduce his threats against Israel, at least long enough to let Israel take action against Iran.

But Bibi is wrong. Obama is not going to let up on us, and Bibi will keep finding Obama upping the ante, blaming Israel, and even then, in the end, the US will still block Israel’s defense against Iran and we will be alone and required to find a way to act alone.

There is nothing else, nothing else at all, that would push Bogie to vote for a Settlement freeze. And if he voted that way, then the situation must already be far worse than we can imagine.


Having said that, cutting Israel down, will lead to the same results through different tactics. As I said, Hamas, Hizbollah, Syria and Fatah are itching for war. The goals of all four continue to be solely the destruction of Israel. Israel cannot afford to fight a multi-front war, and it is not clear we could decisively win one.

Settlements and Settlers create a big problem for our enemies as our simple presence defends Jerusalem and the center of the country. Cutting down Israel, would simply make any war for them easier for all the obvious reasons.

So our job is to make sure the Settlements expand, grow, and continue to exist. If not then Israel will face another existential battle.

Bibi and his cabinet are doing what they think is the lesser of two evils, and hoping to first deal with Obama and the Iranian threat, and then the regional threat, but Bibi and Co. are wrong, because Obama will never let us deal with the Iranian threat, and at some point we will go at it alone when we feel our back completely in the corner.

But the regional threat will erupt too, and even sooner once the Palestinian dogs smell blood.

Our only option is too strengthen the settlements, which strengthens Israel.

Bibi’s payoffs to Obama are worthless. Bibi knows it, but he sees no other option at the moment.

Whatever Bibi's thinking, we have an obligation to do the right thing and protect and expand our country and our home.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Obama and George Mitchell are sending out spies to Jewish towns.

One theory is that it is to prevent more Gilo gaffs, as until now, Obama administration people have shown a complete lack of knowledge on the ground of the ground.

But more likely it is to just see what they want to destroy.

Here is an article by Ben Caspit of Maariv (no link yet. I'm working on it) via David Bedein.

Ma'ariv , Nov 25 by Ben Caspit -- The Americans are taking off the gloves
and going into the field: In the past few days, American diplomats, who
apparently belong to envoy George Mitchell's team, have started to
travel through Judea and Samaria and tour the Jewish settlements there,
holding interviews and inquiries with the local leaders and other
settlers, in order to get the feel of the situation on the ground.

The first of these diplomats arrived on Monday in the settlement
Efrat. This is Cindy-Noga Trin, a diplomat stationed at the US
consulate in Jerusalem, who appears to belong to envoy Mitchell's team.
She visited Efrat, a large Jewish settlement, and interviewed Council
Chairman Oded Revivi at length, and four additional residents (one of
whom is a relative of Ari Harrow, the prime minister's bureau chief).

Trin arrived in a bulletproofed van, accompanied by a driver and
security guard, and was businesslike and polite. She took out a thick
notebook and filled it diligently. Every word that came out of the
mouth of Council Chairman Revivi, a lieutenant colonel in reserves, who
was elected to his post about a year ago, was written down and filed.
"We want to get a feel on the situation on the ground," she said to
Revivi, "my next stops are Kiryat Arba, and then Tapuah junction."

The conversation was similar to a cross-examination. The bizarre
part of the event was when the US diplomat repeatedly asked Revivi, "why
aren't you continuing to build?" and "who is preventing you from
building?" Revivi explained that Efrat had not received building
permits for the past eight years.

Trin persisted: "The city is supposed to reach 30,000 residents, you
have master plans here, who is stopping construction? And how long
haven't you received permits?" Revivi explained: "Here, in Givat
Hazayit, in the heart of the settlement, there is no expansion of the
perimeter line, there are plans here for 400 housing units, the Housing
Ministry completed the infrastructure at an investment of millions, but
the land is not being marketed." Trin asked, "why?" and Revivi said
that he had no idea, and showed her two other hills (Givat Hadagan and
Givat Hatamar) with the same problem.

Trin took an interest in the way of life in the settlement, the
sources of livelihood and the relations with the Arab neighbors. Revivi
planned a tour for her in the nearby village, Wadi Nis, and coordinated
the matter with the Arab residents, but Trin's appearance with a large
bulletproofed vehicle and security guards caused the village residents
to change their minds.

Revivi told the American diplomat about the good neighborly relations
with the village residents. "There is no fence between Efrat and the
Arab villages. Together with our Arab neighbors, we fought against the
fence and won," he said. "This is the only place where Arabs and Jews
demonstrated today and prevented a fence. Our Arab neighbors have
called twice to warn us against terror cells that were on their way
here, and the warnings proved to be true. We provide Wadi Nis with
doctors, medicines and water, we renovate their water lines, they work
here, we visit there, the relations are excellent and there are
friendships and a lot of mutual help."

Revivi told Trin that although the American initiative looked like a
clever way to bypass the relationship between the governments, he was
very glad for it. "President Obama is trying to solve this conflict by
means of satellite footage," he explained. "If he were to go out into
the field, see things up close, understand that we live here with our
neighbors in coexistence and study the everyday life here, he would
understand the complexity of the story better."

The meeting lasted for more than an hour, in which Cindy-Noga Trin
filled a notebook in small handwriting. The feeling, Revivi said later,
was of a painstaking and detailed cross-examination. She did not miss a
word, and wrote everything down. When she asked him who was stopping
the construction, Revivi raised an eyebrow, since it is the Americans,
and mainly Trin's boss George Mitchell, who are the address for this
question, but he answered nonetheless. Afterwards, Trin met with Boaz
Columbus, principal of the high school in Karmei Tzur, and with Ora
Yanai and Rahel Goshen, Efrat residents who belong to the founding
generation of the settlement. The last one to be interviewed was Eve
Harrow, a relative of Ari Harrow, who deals with public relations.

This surprising visit to Efrat is supposed to be the first of a
series. The Americans are descending on [the settlements] in the field.
Mitchell is determined to understand what is happening on the ground,
and to compare what is happening with what he is being told. All this
is taking place a few days before Prime Minister Netanyahu's expected
announcement of a construction freeze in the settlements-an announcement
that will probably not satisfy the Palestinians. Mitchell may be trying
now to rectify the errors of the past and to check what is being done on
the ground before he issues statements and demands that could complicate
the situation of the sides.
It sounds like this Revivi guy was way too nice to them.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
How many times do we have to hear the same stuff over and over again.

Israel is going to make the Arabs angry if...

Israel is going to make Moslems angry if we don't...

Mubarak's latest is that Jerusalem is going to make all of Islam angry...

Enough already.

If the world wants peace, perhaps a better investment would be in anger management classes for Arabs/Moslems.
Friday, November 20, 2009
For the third time in a row, soldiers in the Kfir Brigade (first Shimshon, then Nachshon) hung up a sign saying "Kfir doesn't expel Jews".

The army and the government are terrified. Bibi has gone as far as calling this "insubordination is a threat to all Israeli society".

Officers in the army are saying they will deal with it forcefully, before it gets out of control.

I don't think they even understand how serious a problem they have. These soldiers went through the Expulsion as teenagers, they protested, they saw what happened to their friends and families who were kicked out of their homes. And they have zero intention of expelling another Jew from his or her home.

The government is abusing these soldiers when it forces these purely political decisions on them, and these morally strong and upright young men aren't folding.

This "insubordination" is the best thing that could happen to the army.

It's time that the government comes to terms that they can not blindly count on Jewish soldiers to perform the illegal, immoral and anti-Jewish acts of destroying Jewish communities and homes.

During the expulsion of Gush Katif, the Golani Brigade made it clear they will not participate in the Expulsion - and they didn't. But not many people know about that - which is probably why it was limited to Golani. These soldiers are making their intentions public, and the effect will ripple throughout the army.

It's time the army was returned to its roots - the job of the IDF is to fight the ENEMY. Bibi - stop giving immoral anti-Jewish orders, and you won't have a problem.

It is unfortunate that some people will still say that these soldiers must stop these protest and fulfill their orders to destroy Jewish homes - because otherwise it will lead to the collapse of the Army/State/Society. Get real - these boys are ready and willing to unconditionally fight the enemy- but it is the State who has forgotten who the enemy is.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Obama is criticizing the Israeli government for building 900 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo stating that construction in Gilo doesn't make Israel safer.

I wonder if Obama realizes how much of an idiot he sounds like to everyone living in Jerusalem – not that he would actually care.

Maybe Obama needs a little geography lesson. Or perhaps he needs to visit for himself (God forbid) to see how his comment on Gilo makes him look like a first class ignoramus.

And he wants to know why 96% of Israelis don't trust or like him?

Unbelievable that there are Jews in America (and 4% of Israelis) that still respect this man.

(The neighborhood of Gilo has 40,000 residents).
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Strange how the Obama administration chooses to interfere (or not) with foreign government and their policies.

Knesset speaker Ruby Rivlin received "recommendations" from the George Mitchel's people, not to memorialize Kahane in the Knesset and wouldn't let Michael Ben-Ari get a visa to the US.

Meanwhile, the US won't support the Iranian protesters who are fighting against the Ayatollahs, and cheerfully grants Ahmedijinidad access to the US.

Strange indeed.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I've heard the anti-Semites make this argument, but Derfner gives the anti-Semites a run for the money with his full-blown repetition.

Derfner seems to be saying that the acquisition of weapons and even nuclear weapons is a fundamental human right that should not be denied to any nation no matter how belligerent or evil their government.

And Israel has no right to stop an enemy country from trying to acquire weapons that will be used against us. And even if Israel had that right it shouldn't use it because it makes our enemies angry at us.

Would Derfner argue that Hamas should be allowed anti-Aircraft weapons to shoot down our planes too? It sounds that way to me.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What could once have been Radio Yesh(a), is now Radio Yosh - Radio Yehuda v'Shomron.

After winning the government tender for the rights, for the next 3 months, Radio Yosh will be running on 98.2 FM. After which presumably it will be assessed and decided if it will continue.

But it wasn't an easy battle.

Even though the group that won the tender, won it unquestionably, Gush Hashalom decided to fight it. Gush Hashalom apparently doesn't believe the residents of Judea and Samaria constitute a geographical region that deserves a regional radio station.

Gush Shalom claimed in court that the radio station would be distinguished as right-wing political and not regional, and in that case the Left deserve a radio station too (sic). I guess Gush Shalom listens to Israeli radio even less than me.

Radio Yo"sh goes on the air within a few days on 98.2 FM
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Drug deals are rampant in the Sharon region. Dealer have a free hand, and the police need a new method to catch these criminals that are staining the reputation of these innocent citizens of the Sharon region, as people all over the country believe that everyone in the Sharon is either druggie or a dealer.

Police Chief Inspector Shlomi Angel had an idea.

He will run a sting operation and catch these drug dealers red handed.

But how will he do it without his undercover officers being exposed.

Shlomi has an idea. He will send in female officers pretending to be models.

But how will he keep his officers safe from other advances by the drug dealers.

The answer is that his female officers will pose as couple.

So off went Merav and Michelle, put on a convincing act and caught 46 drug dealers.

And Shlomi's Angels were born.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
A few weeks ago ago I wrote about Nadia Matar and Givat HaEitam.

This weekend's Makor Rishon had an interesting and related story that explains how Nadia and friends were eventually able to go up to the Eitam hill and how it became officially a part of Efrat.

It was around a year ago that that the case of the Eitam Hill went to an army court (which is apparently were some of these cases are disputed). The Jews showed the original purchase documentation, the Arabs of course claimed it was all forged.

The documentation claimed the land was bought in 1947 by a man named Mr. Molcho.

As you all know, the War of Independence broke out a short while later and Gush Etzion was lost, and many of its Jewish residents were massacred by the Arabs.

To prove their claim to the Eitam hill, the Arabs hired the services of a Mr. Aharoni (an Efrat resident). Mr. Aharoni had a company that took aerial photographs of the region, and they wanted to improve the strength of their case, by showing photographs of the region.

Went they got to the judge, Mr. Aharoni spoke up and mentioned an interesting point.

Now nearly 80 years old, back in 1947 Mr. Aharoni was 17 and used to ride around with Mr. Molcho for his protection, and in turns out, he was one of the witnesses to the purchase of Givat HaEitam.

The Arabs immediately withdrew their case, and the land was indisputably designated as Jewish owned land.

A while later one of the Arabs even admitted that they knew the purchase was real, but since Mr. Molcho and his wife were dead, they figured no one would be able to prove it if they took it to court and claimed the documents were forged. They assumed the court would side with them.

Think about that story next time an Arab says a land sale to a Jew is fake.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The lack of a balanced set of checks and balances is something that hurts Israel a tremendous amount. The Supreme Court simply has too much power, and particularly the power to override laws created by duly elected lawmakers that they disagree with for ideological or political reasons.

Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman is (re)introducing a bill that will allow the Knesset to ignore a Supreme Court directive to nullifies a law passed by the Knesset, by allowing for a Knesset revote that would require a special majority to allow the law to pass.

This would, first of all, return the power of passing laws that the citizens want back into the hands of those the citizens elected, and not an elite few who have their own political agendas they are promoting.

Second, it would cause the Supreme Court to weigh far more carefully their decisions to knock down Knesset laws, as the Knesset will only allow them to continue to abuse that power so often.

But what happens if the Supreme Court rejects this legislation as "unconstitutional" (Israel doesn't actually have a Constitution)?

That's a paradox.

I guess it would have to go up to the Supreme Court for them to decide.

On a serious note, expect the Supreme Court to fight this tooth and nail.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Israel pulls out of Lebanon, missiles are introduced that reach all of Northern Israel.

Israel pulls out of Gaza, missiles are now introduced that reach all of Southern and Central Israel (including Tel Aviv).

Now the world demands Israel pull out of (Jerusalem,) Judea and Samaria to ensure 100% coverage.

Great idea.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
If you haven't had a chance to drive south on 60 you're missing an interesting learning experience.

After you pass Kiryat Arba/Hebron you drive between what are now 2 large Arab villages (where interestingly enough some/many residents actually claim Jewish descent).

But then things start to thin out and you see a sporadic house here, a Bedouin tent there, and some Jewish towns out on some hills and along the road.

As humanity mostly begins to fade away you suddenly see a serious fence to your left, behind it a forest (Yatir forest). At first glance you wonder what it is, perhaps a secret air force base, and you keep driving for a while until you hit the Machsom and realize that this is only the separation fence, a rather serious section of it at that.

Immediately after the Machsom and fence humanity resumes again. Towns. Gas stations (we learned there is apparently no gas station between the Machsom and Kiryat Arba). Eventually you reach Be'er Sheva, and the rest of the South is open to you.

What is so striking is is that along 60 you realize the obvious mistake we Jews are making.

As you pass by the Jewish Yishuvim you see along the road, or a few hills over, you see fenced-in communities huddled together for protection or habit. While at the same time you see new Arab homes, standing alone, stuck in the middle of nowhere, always followed by a claim of land ownership between one house and the next.

There are incredibly open, large barren areas down South, yet instead of taking the hilltops and planting farms, we have chosen to lock ourselves in walled ghettos, abandoning these empty, ownerless lands to those more brazen than us.

We should be building homesteads across all the hilltops and valleys, instead we concentrate on straddling everyone onto a single hilltop, while abandoning everything else around it.

Is it too late to change strategies? Is it possible?

Expansion needs to be done differently.



Click here for an interactive map (Hebrew)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
NYTimes has an interesting article about an ancient graveyard uncovered in Ur.

I thought one part of the article was strange.
Ritual killing associated with a royal death was practiced by other ancient cultures, archaeologists say, and raises a question: Why would anyone, knowing their probable fate, choose a life as a court attendant?

“It’s almost like mass murder and hard for us to understand,” Dr. Monge said. “But in the culture these were positions of great honor, and you lived well in the court, so it was a trade-off. Besides, the movement into the next world was not for them necessarily something to fear.”

Why is the archaeologists assuming they had much of a choice?
Friday, October 30, 2009


Shabbat Shalom
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Israel passes "Bathroom Break" Law.

And just in time too. It's tough to hold it in between blog posts.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Usually we have to suffer through just the month of November when the media gets on their high horse and starts to deride, castigate and attack everyone who rightfully opposed/opposes the views of Rabin and the disaster that Oslo brought on us.

But RabinFest is like XMas. Some people can't wait for it to happen. Every year the decorations go up earlier, the sales begin sooner, and the music starts streaming from the radio long before the season begins.

Haaretz has the honor of being the first online media outlet to kick off RabinFest early this year, with their article "Rabin's widow describes Netanyahu as a 'nightmare' in decade-old letter".

Apparently its going to be a long November.

Update: Lurker said I missed stuff from yesterday, and even last month, but my find best captures the RabinFest spirit.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Is Ariel Sharon awaking from his coma?

Mixed reports are coming from his doctors, friends, and family.

But if he were (and wasn't an awake vegetable), what would he see? How would he see the changes he wrought, and the disasters he brought down us?

Would he do Tshuva? Would he try to fix it? Would he try to make it worse?

There was a tongue-in-cheek post (and it's somewhere on the Muqata blog if you care to find it) years ago discussing just that. The scenario was that Sharon returned from his coma (and Heaven) repentant in every way.

Your thoughts?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In honor of Parshat Noach.

Hattip: JerusalemCop
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Unless you're living under a rock, you'd know that the Obama adminstration has targeted Fox News as the enemy.

They're knowingly involved with Post-American activities because "their programming is geared toward making money," according to senior Obama advisor David Axelrod.

After all, making money is anti-American.

In fact, it's only something that the Obama campaign war chest manager is allowed to do, not a news agency.

I wonder how CNN pays the bills in Obama's America.


Living in Israel and watching CNN's reporting on local events that I'm involved in or close to, I find it amusing that Obama's stafft would essentially claim that CNN's News reporting is objective and they don't heavily inject their own political opinions into the News reports through their selective phrasing and selective reporting.

But hey, those opinions are closer to theirs, so that's OK. And they won't ask him the really tough questions. And we've seen enough to know that Obama and his administration don't like the really tough questions (you know, any question that questions the President, or "fact-checking").

Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and former White House adviser to President George W. Bush, pointed out something amusing. President Richard Nixon also had certain journalists on his "enemies list."
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It's probably in part due to our hopeful optimism that has kept the Jewish people going these past 2000 years in Galus, while the practicality of a few of us is what has protected us from that same hopeful optimism.

InJerusalem this weekend had a long article about a group of Palestinians and Israelis who meet regularly to learn about each other as human beings, and not discuss politics.

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the article.

At least once a month, Palestinian lawyer Abed Eriqat, 29, passes through the one exit out of Abu Dis where there is no security barrier, gritting his teeth at the soldiers manning the checkpoint on the road where most of his life he had traveled freely to neighboring Jerusalem.
If you didn't know why Eriqat needs to now go through a check point, the article clarifies it for us:

Abu Dis is generally considered a hotbed for extremists. Three suicide bombers during the intifada came from the village, and Al-Quds University was known for supporting groups affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The campus was also home to the Abu-Jihad Museum honoring Palestinian "martyrs" and had just celebrated a week-long event honoring the life of the late Palestinian engineer of the suicide bomb, Yahya Ayyash.
But obviously that is past history, and with Peace in the air, what Ereqat describes next shouldn't be happening.

To help him get through the wait and then interrogation, moments that he describes as the most humiliating and hopeless of his life, he sometimes uses an unusual tactic: remembering meetings with Israelis, even settlers, as a source of hope.
He's going to get a Peace Hug, so that's enough to get him through the trauma.

Yet just the other day Arutz-7 happens to have published a related article.

Israeli forces recently discovered a weapons lab in the village of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. Three Palestinian Authority men have been arrested on suspicion of using the lab to build bombs and weapons for attacks on Israeli citizens.

Military officials believe the discovery of the weapons lab led to the prevention of terrorist attacks. The lab is part of a larger effort to carry out attacks in the greater Jerusalem area, they warned.
I can comfortably live with Palestinian lawyer Abed Eriqat feeling moments that he describes as the most humiliating and hopeless of his life, because those few moments of his discomfort protect the rest of us, naive Israelis included, from Palestinian suicide bombers and terrorists from Eriqat's village of Abu Dis.

I wonder if they'll discuss that at their next group hug.



By the way, here are some other statements and comments about Abed Eriqat, co-director of Peace Now's Youth Dialogue program:

"Abed grew up throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the little village of Abu Dis in the West Bank."

But Eriqat is now much more intelligent about that now, as he apparently realized it's futility.

Instead he's chosen a new tactic to get Jews out of the Land of Israel.

He finds that "engaging with Israeli partners for peace is a more constructive form of resistance. " as "working with Israelis... to advocate for peace is a form of "resistance" to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank."

God protect us from naive Israelis and Palestinians terrorists and "resisters".
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There's no denying it. Turkey is going Islamic (or at least it appears to want to go that way).

No longer concerned about their relationship with Israel, particularly after the Israelis voted with their feet and stopped visiting when the Turks couldn't stop mouthing off against Israel, Turkey is going out full force against Israel with the wildest of accusations.

The question, as always, is "Why now?".

Despite their desire to be full fledged members of the EU, and their newly inked peace treaty with the Armenians (which will last only as long as no one yells "genocide" in a closed theater), Turkey is still a long way off from EU membership with their conflict with Greece, and their latest NATO snafu hovering overhead like a dark cloud (and don't even think of mentioning Kurdish separatists).

And now they are building ties with Syria too with their open borders agreement.

Wow. Turkey does have a lot of owning up to do. Perhaps it's given up and has decided that Islam is the way to go?

Or maybe in the bigger picture, it sees ties with Iran and Syria as more valuable than ties with a weak US (the EU is going Moslem anyway).
I read two interesting article lately in respectable papers.

The first is that scientist have figured out how to (theoretically) accelerate objects to near light speeds, and as a result also create anti-Gravity fields that push other objects away. This based on a nearly forgotten theory from the 1920s. Another group of scientists is claiming they one can create the anti-Gravity field at just 10% of the speed of light if done correctly.

The second is that Higgs Bosons don't want to be discovered, and their independent existence is so abhorrent to nature, that they ripple backwards in time and self-sabotage the tools needed to create them.

Science can be pretty cool sometimes.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
As regular readers know I like to take my family to visit various "hot spots" in Greater Israel. While not the first time I was there, Nadia Matar invited me up to the Eitam Hill today where they would be giving out awards and certificates to new Olim moving to the Yishuvim.

During the speeches someone began to praise Nadia.

All the time people say, "What can I do, I'm just one person," and "How can we fight the system, there are so few of us."

It was just over 15 years ago, right after Oslo, when whatever land didn't have a Jewish home on it would be transferred into Area A.

So Nadia got up, gathered a few women (and a couple of men) and climbed up three empty, barren hilltops. Those hilltops where in danger of being handed over to the PA terrorists.

They sat there. They built temporary structures. They fought.

Today, those formerly empty, barren hilltops are the neighborhoods Zayit, Tamar, and Dagan - home to thousands of Jews.

Today, the Eitam hill is barren and empty, but in 15 years from now, maybe it will be those Olim who received certificates and awards today that will be living there with their families.

Truly an inspiring thought.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Here is a list of other prizes we expect to see President Obama winning in the coming weeks:

Pulitzer Prize: For his future autobiography about his current presidency.

Oscar: For starring in the movie based on his autobiography that he will be writing in 4 years from now.

X-Prize: For his radical breakthrough in next generation health care.

Feel free to add your own...
We'd like to thank the millions of Jews around the world who participated in Operation: "Every Succah an Outpost".

Thanks to you, this Sukkot was a great success and the world was shown that Jews all over the world support the Zionist Enterprise.
Friday, October 09, 2009
There is no bigger joke than this.

Obama, who has done nothing of note in his life besides winning the US Presidential election has also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

If you thought the Nobel Peace Prize proved worthless after Arafat got it, then this is just the nail in the coffin.

It's no joke that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. It's the Nobel Peace Prize that has become a joke.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Yet another Israeli has one a Nobel Prize, nearly double that of the entire number of Muslims and Arabs who have won the prize (total 5). And she is also a Jew, so that comes out to around 35 times the number of Muslims and Arabs who have won a Nobel Prize.

Congratulations Ada Yonath.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Arabs in Jerusalem have been rioting after creating rumors that Jews were planning on taking over the Temple Mount.

How I wish that were true.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Globes is reporting that Jordan is planning on building the (first phase of the) Red-Dead Canal on it's own, with no participation from Israel or the PA.

Personally I'm glad that Israel isn't participating in this project, because we gain nothing of value out of it. Not water. Not electricity. Not jobs. Not tourist attractions. Not peace.

I have repeatedly said that if a project like this is to be undertaken, then it must be a Med-Dead Canal - in which case Israel gains electricity, water, jobs, and a tourist attraction.

But I guess that was too much to ask.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
When a far leftwing organization B'Tzelem calls the Goldstone report "biased or mistaken in some of their fundamental accusations against Israel", you have to ask some serious questions.

But the question isn't how bad must the Goldstone report be if a radical leftwing organization like B'tzelem is "defending" Israel, but rather, what does B'tzelem gain by attacking the Goldstone report.

B'tzelem has an agenda and the Goldstone report hurts them badly.

You see, "Israel has only itself to blame for its failure to investigate the accusations of abuses during January's Operation Cast Lead" according to B'tzelem and B'tzelem keeps up the accusatory statements throughout the article).

B'tzelem hasn't discarded it's mission of accusing and attacking Israel.

But they want to do it in a way that doesn't rain down the ire of the entire nation on it.

But the Goldstone report now places B'tzelem in a new category, the category of those that attack the just and moral nation of Israel in a way that the entire nation rejects them - and in a way that the people of Israel will no longer ignore.

And B'tzelem can't have that, as they know there is no fundamental difference between their Israel Bashing and Goldstone's Israel Bashing - and that creates a serious PR problem for them in Israel.

So now they must attack the Goldstone report, to create the fiction that somehow their attacks and accusations against Israel are somehow different than Goldstone's.

Sorry fellas, but the Israeli public is waking up to the fact that your reports are no less "biased and mistaken" against Israel than Goldstone's. Heck, just read the rest of the article where you continue to attack Israel for another war we were 100% justified in fighting.

The nation is waking up, and you are on your way out.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Bet you didn't hear this song on Yom Kippur!

Saturday, September 26, 2009
This is brilliant!

A bunch of pro-Israel Canadians, fed up with the boycotts of Israeli products have decided to fight back.

Whenever the anti-Semites call for a boycott of a specific store, they send out mass emails and SMSes calling all Israel supporters to come down and... buy out the store of all their Israeli products.

In fact they even call the store owners to stock up because they are coming down.

The store owners love it, and buy Israeli stock in advance of the boycotts.

In one wine store Buycotters bought 500 cases of Israeli wine in half an hour.

The evil boycotters left in disgust and failure.

Go Buycott!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Leonard Cohen is playing tonight in Ramat Gan.

That's a show I would love to go to.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Arson has been one of the traditional weapons in the toolbox of Arabs in the Holy Land. Typically they've used it to burn down forests up North, but now they've graduated to bigger and better.

For the second time is about as many weeks, Arab have tried to torch to death Jews living in their homes.

A few weeks ago, a few women (Settlers of course) managed to escape as Arabs torched the building they were in at the time.

Yesterday, on Rosh Hashana, Arabs burned down two homes in Havat Gilad.



Thank God, the 2 families, now homeless, were in Shul at the time, but they lost all their possessions. If this had happened at night, 2 entire families might have been killed.

Havat Gilad (or the Gilad farm) was established on privately owned land belonging to Moshe Zar, following the murder of his son Gilad nearby by Arab terrorists. Gilad Zar was the civilian security chief for the Jewish communities of Shomron.

The farm run by Ittai Zar (young son of Moshe Zar) has grown into a farming village with more than 20 (25?) families and 40 Yeshiva students.

As I've mentioned in the past, Arab terror is clearly escalating.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I've been racking my brain trying to figure out who I think should be the Man (Person) of the Year for 5769.

Nada. Seriously.

I can't think if anyone who deserves the title for this past year. Perhaps you can?


Shanah Tova everyone.
After Hamas announced the won't transfer a Rosh Hashana package to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Prison Authority announced they won't transfer mail and packages to Palestinian prisoners.

Maybe they should throw them into a dark hole too.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Jameel @ the Muqata gives Israelis far too much credit. Jameel rejoices in the Goldstone report, "I'm rather happy it was so clearly biased".

Jameel thinks this is a good thing because "Prior to the Disengagement, we were promised that Israel would be able to defend itself from any attack from Gaza -- with total world support", and now "Israelis need to realize that we do not have the world's support for self defense".

What is Jameel smoking in his pipe?

Does Jameel really think the average Israeli will wake up and protest because of this?

Does Jameel really think this will in some way rouse public opinion to oppose the next Israeli "concession for Peace"?

Let's get real. If we've learned nothing since Oslo, most Israelis have become apathetic to the idea that they can bring change to government policies or actions (particularly after voting Right and getting Left in the latest elections).

But more importantly, most Israelis expect the world to attack us, and promises of "total world support" were taken as the lip service they are. Meaningless phrases to wash down a bitter pill. No one actually believed it (except the fanatics of the radical Left).

Israelis will learn to live with the fact that some of their family members may no longer be able to travel with them to parts of Europe, and Israelis will get used to the latest level of vitriol against them, and Israelis will get used to the latest blood libels, and the IDF will find itself legally hamstrung in the next war.

That's the way it is.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This week is the anniversary of one of the worst disasters in Israeli history, the signing of the Oslo accords. I certainly don’t need to go into the details of how many Israelis were directly killed and maimed by this treacherous adventurism of the Left, that we all know.

But today at least some minor correction was accidentally done to the terror infrastructure unleashed upon all of us.

In a mission near Bethlehem today, IDF soldiers were looking for weapon caches. To their surprise they came across one of the main terrorists involved in the Park Hotel massacre of 2002 that killed 29 Jews and injured 64 more during the Pesach holiday.

The IDF almost had him in 2004 when they injured him in a firefight. But he was smuggled away to a Ramallah hospital in the PA where he was treated and released to continue his terror activities.

Later that year, the PA arrested him (ostensibly to protect him from the IDF, as he was busy masterminding terror activities while in the PA “prison”) and released him in 2006 so he could directly continue his terrorist activities against Israel while under PA protection.

5 Fatah (PA) terrorists were caught near Ramallah. They were involved in multiple terror attacks on route 60.

With Peace Partners like these, who needs enemies.
Arutz-7 has an interesting article about how to have an affordable Rosh Hashana.

The source material is from this blogger's post.

Shanah Tova!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Today is 8 years since 9/11.

Unfortunately it looks like Islam is still making inroads in the global war on terror (aka the Islamification of Civilization).
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I almost gave up on Firefox.

After installing the latest version 3.5.Blech a few weeks ago, a version which was supposed to be faster, more stable, more everything, I gave up.

After the browser kept freezing, and freezing everything else on my computer I downgraded back to the stable 3.0.14 version, and everything is once again fine.

The lesson is don't rush to upgrade what isn't broken.
Human Rights Watch has long been known for its strident, one-sided condemnations against Israel.

Marc Garlasco, who headed some of HRW more
avid attacks and one-sided instigations has been outed.

His online identity was just revealed, and this guy is an obsessed collector of Nazi memorabilia. He's proud that his grandfather fought FOR the Nazis.

Do you think there is a connection?

Read more.
Jameel @ the Muqata was one of the first people to break this story that has set off a firestorm.

The Regavim organization has begun filing the first few of many (many, many) complaints to the Supreme Court against illegal Palestinian construction in Area C (the areas under Israeli control).

This is in response to the actions of Peace Now, who regularly file these complaints against Settlers to get our homes destroyed.

Already the court has decided that Regavim had the law clearly unquestionably on their side and ordered that the Arab buildings mentioned in the first suit be destroyed.

There are those on the Left that are appalled by this decision for so many reasons.

But Regavim has made it clear, Peace Now is endangering Palestinian illegal construction.

For as long as Peace Now continues to attack the Settlements, Regavim will respond in kind with more cases against the Palestinians (which are much stronger) - and there are many more cases of illegal Palestinian construction than of "illegal" Settler Construction.

The Palestinians are soon going to learn that the fate of their illegally built homes are going to be directly tied up with their level of their cooperation with Peace Now - and the actions of Peace Now.

The court is also going to have to make a decision soon.

Either forbid all these cases from their court (including from Peace Now), or find themselves inundated with open-and-shut legal cases that go against the court's overwhelming political agenda.

Peace Now is already trying to create distinctions, but it's going to be hard to convince anybody that they are right.

Of course, they will find some new legal tactic, but I am sure Regavim has prepared a number of potential counter-attacks that will make Peace Now quite unpopular in the courts and with the Arabs.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
It's 9:09 on 9/9/09!
Sunday, September 06, 2009
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has recommended that non-Muslims take the opportunity of the month of Ramadan to blow up restaurants, buses, and train stations, along with their Muslim neighbors, in order to promote "understanding between cultures."

Johnson told members of a London mosque that with Muslims so much a part of London life, it would be befitting for non-Muslims to get to know their fellow Londoners' customs and religion better.

'Muslims are at the heart of every aspect of terror," he added.

Muslims are challenging civilization and showing who they are, and who they want us to be, a dhimmi part of their community," Johnson said. 'That's why I urge people, particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning of Jihad, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbor and attack policemen with them near the local mosque." he said.

There are currently 1.6 million Muslims in Britain, Muslim community officials said to alarmed reporters.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Now this is interesting.

Makor Rishon reports that Madonna gave orders that no work in setting up for her performance may be done on Shabbat. She even sent her employees to check to make sure no "Chillul Shabbat was taking place!
Friday, September 04, 2009
Dozens of Arab arsonists burned down Nofei Yarden outpost near Shevut Rachel this morning. 2 Jewish women on the site managed to escape.

Settlers and Arabs fighting at the moment.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
I will admit to listening to Madonna as a youngster, but then growing increasingly disgusted with her as her behavior turned obscene, and finally sealing those sentiments when she became a "Kabbalist".

I certainly had no plans to hear her concert.

But I apparently missed the major event.

At the end of the concert Madonna raised the Israeli flag.

This seemingly innocent act in a concert in Israel has brought upon her condemnation from the Arabs, the Leftists of the world, and of course some Leftists from Israel who have called for a boycott.

So where does that leave me?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Hamas condemned the UN based on rumors that the UN was going to start including information on the Holocaust in UN schools in Gaza.

The UN denies they had any plans whatsoever to teach the Holocaust to the Palestinians.

I say "Good".

Hamas is complaining because they don't want "lies" to be taught to their citizens.


But I don't want them learning about it, as it might give them more ideas on how to kill Jews.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Shabbat Shalom!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I just got an email from WebAds and Nefesh B'Nefesh asking me to nominate a fellow blogger for a free round-trip ticket to Israel to go to the Jewish blogger convention.

You can see more here on the convention website.



My first thought was, who could I possibly convince to nominate me. But then I realized that that list couldn't possibly be very long, so I'm giving up on that idea.

Instead I decided to think about who deserves to be on the flight.

Jameel perhaps, but he was on it last year. I think it would be amusing to meet Dov Bear (and then smack him around a bit), but I doubt he'd emerge from his cave.

Then it hit me. SoccerDad.

It's not that I read his blog that often, but the guy has been at the forefront of pushing Jewish blogging - and has mentioned my blog in his Jewish blog carnivals more than once. If any Jewish blogger deserves a free trip to Israel to the blogger convention, I'd have to give him my vote.

(I'm still going to nominate a few other bloggers though).

I'm curious who Jameel will choose (pick me, pick me).
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I want to make it clear that I am in no way affiliated with these companies, nor am I getting paid to write this or getting any other kickback.

Every now and then you find a piece of software that just makes your life so much easier that you’ve got to share it, because it really works.

A few years ago I began dealing with a problem that everyone deals with… too many online passwords.

I started using the same password for everything, and it wasn’t a difficult one because I didn’t want to forget it. But then I started to use a banking program online that made me change my password every 30 days! I was a goner. And then with the proliferation of online sites that require a password, I realized I needed a good password management solution.

I eventually found a program called Roboform, which manages (with encryption) all my online passwords. I’ve been using it for over two year now, and it’s great.

JoeSettler recommends RoboForm.

I used to have an old Maxtor One-Touch hard drive for backing up my computer – very important – especially after (or before) you’ve experienced a crash or two. It came with a program called Retrospect (I assume it was the “lite” version). So I used that for years. It worked. It was a little complicated and slow, but it got the job done, but I didn’t back up that often because of the speed and complexity.

I recently upgraded to a network drive, and needed a new backup software solution. What came with the drive wasn’t great. I wanted something better than what I had in the past. Easier, less complicated, more friendly, more features, and so on.

I tried out a lot of backup software packages, such as Norton Ghost, and a few others, but I wasn’t finding what I wanted.

I wanted to simply duplicate files onto the external network drive. I wanted to copy directories. I didn’t want compressed data files with incremental updates. I wanted a one to one file correspondence.

I eventually found a program called GoodSync Pro which I have been using for the past 3 months or so. It does everything I want in terms of file duplication. It doesn’t create a system image, or a system restore – which I wasn’t looking for. It simply backs up your data, and that’s exactly what I needed.

The interface is easy to use (though certain parts were confusing at first in terms of inclusions and exclusions and jobs). It seems to be very efficient. I can even back up Microsoft Outlook while it is still open (though I usually close it anyway when I’m backing it up).

I am not using it to backup installed applications, and for those I would reinstall everything manually, which would admittedly be a big hassle (and probably less so if I was saving an image with a different image backup package). And I am thinking of using it to backup my downloaded application installers. But backing up apps when I have the install disks, is less my goal, than backing up my personal data.

It can also handle two-way synchronization (but I only backup one way), and onsite services like Amazon S3 (which I may try at some point).

And that’s it.

JoeSettler recommends GoodSync Pro.

I hope these packages help you if you've been looking for solutions to the same problems I was.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Is "Boogie" making a move to be Prime Minister, or is he just putting some needed pressure on Bibi, who's forgotten who put him in office and what direction he was supposed to steer the country?

The jury is still out, but Boogie certainly has the support of a lot of disgruntled Likud members and parliamentarians who feel that Bibi is letting the Obama pressure get to him.

Ruby Rivlin said it more nicely. He said Bibi grew up in a good house, he just needs to be occasionally reminded which house he grew up in.

Of course the problem with Boogie is the problem with almost any other Likud candidate. His value system is coming from old-fashioned Zionism, not Judaism, so at some point "pragmatism" will win out when push comes to shove.

But Bibi is certainly proving to be a big disappointment at the moment.

Do we give him another chance?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The New York Times reported on a Great Jewish Hero - who dares stand up to the evil Settlers and the Occupation. His name: Ezra Nawi from Jerusalem.

Nawi dares to buck the trend. He is the Robin Hood of the Palestinians, supplying them with food, clothing, and support.

He is supposedly a pacifist, but there are certainly means other than physical violence to cause problems, and obviously, the charges of his violence must be false. But that's a different legal case.

Because, oops, it's the support thing I mentioned earlier that may be the real problem.

Nawi is involved in a legal preceding against some settlers.

But the lawyers defending the Settlers noticed something strange. There was a section of Nawi's file that was sealed by the Defense Ministry.

After filing a petition to get the certificate of secrecy removed, the judge disclosed the secret contents.

The Ministry of Defense has determined that Nawi is a Hamas collaborator (unlike Hamas, Israel doesn't shoot collaborators).

I guess that would make him a real hero of the Left.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It looks to me like the conversation went something like this:

O: You're the Man.

M: No, you're the Man.

O: No really, it's you. You're the Man.

M: No, no no. It's you man! You're the Man.


And while we're on the subject, this article seems relevant.
Lurker found this graphic appeared in the LA Times on the new Palestinians Google.



But then friend Robert sent us a list of other new Palestinian Search Engines that were localized:

  • Ask Jeehad
  • AlterHista-ree
  • Allah Web
  • Highway 72 (think about it)
  • Lie-cause
  • Mecca Crawler
  • Incite
  • InfoSheik
  • and my personal favorite:
  • Itbach al-Yahoo
Here's to you Mary Robinson, Obama loves you more than you will know.

Obama had "no second thoughts" as He gave one of America's highest medals to the woman that presided over of the biggest Anti-Semitic hate-fest (Durban) in recent years.

Jonathan Tobin of the JP is worried that this is a lead-in to far worse.

I agree with him, but am not sure why he is surprised.

Jewish Leftists (not referring to Tobin here at all, but J-L in general - both the self-hating kind and the naive kind) tend to ignore that (or minimize, or sometimes agree with) their non-Jewish compatriots on the Left are extremely anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. One merely has to look at the US academic campuses to see that.

But these Jews believe they share with them other common Leftist ideals that are just as important, not understanding that the most important ideals and goals for these Leftists is the one that marks them as different.

Obama is part of that radical Left. The well-known JP interview before the elections were the first open indications of His stance on Israel - and that He was going to take an active and bad role against us.

There are no surprises here, and yes, I am sure you can consider this a lead-up to something worse.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the real reason there is no peace in the region.

The Palestinians, the world claims, need a State. 85% of the population in Jordan are Palestinian, and the Kingdom of Jordan oppresses them instead of granting them statehood in their land.

In fact, last month, the Kingdom of Jordan ripped away Jordanian citizenship from 40,000 Palestinians (without so much as a whine or whimper from the world).

The Jordanians are so afraid that they will be rightfully turned into the Palestinian State that Israel sent over a team to reassure the dictator that Israel is not working to create a Palestinian State (in the 80% Mandatory Palestine that is now called Jordan).

On the other hand, MK Aryeh Eldad proposed in the Knesset 2 months ago, that for Peace, the Palestinians in the West Bank be given Jordanian citizenship.

I think that’s a good idea. It’s a shame that the only idea that the world wants to hear is the one where Jews must be kicked out of our homeland.
Once again, the far Left are in the news for their blatant disregard for laws they find inconvenient.

We've already seen the questions that just seem permanently stuck to Peace Now connected to their tax fraud related to their actual non-profit status. We've already seen how they never legally applied for the proper status, which (if they didn't have close friends in the courts, another problem) should have caused the rejection of all their lawsuits, as they aren't even a legal entity.

Now, one of the big Leftwing lawyers who is always accusing and charging us Settlers of "stealing land" is under a lawsuit himself - for stealing.

It is alleged that Michael Sfard stole (plagiarized) substantial sections from the Israel Democracy Institute and placed them in his book, and didn't bother to ask permission or even give credit to the author.

I guess the Rule of Law can go out the window.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Back in ancient history, the Arabs gave 3 "NOs" about Peace with Israel.

Our "Peace Partners", the Fatah Terrorist Movement, under the strong leadership of Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) confirmed today, that those NOs are still holding strong.

In the document adopted today at the 6th Fatah General Assembly, they called for "sacrifices" for liberating all of Jerusalem (East and West), and making Jerusalem Judenrein.

"Fatah will continue to sacrifice victims until Jerusalem will be returned [to the Palestinians], clean of settlements and settlers."

Oh, and the Aksa Martyrs Brigades is the official armed force of Fatah (where exactly does that put General Dayton?).

A few dissenters at the assembly were beaten badly, and the rest seemed to have learned their lessons.

Abbas was unanimously redeclared ruler (no vote was even required).

Ho hum.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
What in the world might the President of France (whatever his name is) have to do with Shas?

Nothing... except for a terrorist.

A short while back, Israeli police caught an Arab terrorist in the midst of organizing a terror attack. He had already acquired a weapon, a plan of attack, and a target. He was just waiting for the opportunity.

The police caught him, and since then, the terrorist has been receiving various levels of support from the government of France, because he is also a French citizen.

Talk about concern for your citizens.

Last week, the President of France actually sent a letter to Bibi asking for him to let the terrorist go!

Shas is extremely angry about this.

Why would that be? It's only one more terrorist to be let out of jail.

What makes him so special?

It turns out that the target the terrorist was planning to shoot was none other than Rav Ovadia Yosef - the spiritual leader of Shas.

I guess that's why this terrorist is different.
Arutz-7's print newspaper underwent a complete overhaul. The layout is completely different.

I didn't have the time to finish it this Shabbat and see all the differences. But what do you think of the new version (if you saw it)?
Monday, August 03, 2009
Jameel and I just signed up for the Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention.

But once again I find out, after the fact, that Jameel is getting special treatment.

Last year Jameel got a free flight. This year Jameel is giving a workshop on defending Israel.

And JoeSettler?

JoeSettler gets to go like all the other Red Sea pedestrian bloggers. No special treatment. No flight.

I certainly don't want to be the first blogger this year who will be whining and complaining about the convention, but something is wrong here.

So I'm not complaining about the convention or convention organizers. I complaining against Jameel who again kept this secret from me - again.

Do I really need to go to Jameel's course on defending Israel? I write his best stuff!

Fine I'll go.

And I signed up for the Jblogger twitter feed too.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
It’s been four years since the destruction of Gush Katif in Gaza. I’ve been struggling all week to find the right words to write. Something, anything that after 4 years can put this meaningless, senseless, irresponsible, malicious, evil destruction in some sort of context.

I lack the words.

After the destruction of their home, one of my friends moved to an “illegal outpost”. I asked them why would they risk doing such a thing, and they looked at me in disbelief.

Their home in Gaza was paid for in full. Their town and home was approved by the State. The land was bought by Jews before the establishment of the State. Their town existed in Gaza before the establishment of the State, until it was overrun and destroyed by the Arabs in 1948, and rebuilt again after the land was liberated in 1967.

An article I read today mentioned that Gush Katif had a 100% draft rate, with 85% going to combat units.

Gush Katif brought in tremendous profits to the State of Israel with its massive export of agricultural products worldwide.

If despite all those facts and legalities, the government could make their legal home illegal, and their legal town illegal, and destroy profitable businesses, and turn them all into refugees with a purchased vote, then what difference does it make if the government considers their new home or new town illegal, as their old home was certainly 100% legal just days before.

This Shabbat, Makor Rishon had an article about some of the leaders of the various radical Left Wing groups causing so many problems for the Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

So many of them were brought up religious, and some even former Settlers!

What nearly all of them had in common was a variation of a single statement they each made in the article, “There in no God”.

It immediately reminded me of the pasuk in Bereishit 20:11: And Abraham said, “For I said, there just isn’t the fear of God in this place, and they will kill for my wife.”


And then it hit me further that this article reminded me of an article last week that talked about Christianity, the Inquisition, book burning, and other periods of persecution of Jews. Many of the leaders and instigators of these crimes were former Jews who left the fold and became our worst enemies.

And that led to the other obvious similarity in more recent history.


I don’t have much to add to the discussion right now on Gush Katif.

I had wonderful times there. I served there for a while, I lived there for a while, I vacationed there, and did my part to try to save it at the end (and I hope I did enough).

When I recall some of the disgusting and inhumane comments and stickers that the Left were spewing 4 years ago (compare that to their demand this week for humane treatment, and the non-expulsion of illegal immigrants), it becomes clear that this was a battle of good vs. evil and the God fearing vs. the God hating.


It becomes clear is that this was and remains a battle between Jews who believe in God and Jews who don’t (and not “secular Jews”, and there are secular Jews who also believe).


And unfortunately in that round the bad guys won.

Yet, for most of those expelled, while some lost much of their will and strength from the trauma they endured, they didn’t lose their faith, and some (or perhaps many) even increased their will to fight for God, Torah, Jews and Eretz Yisrael.

Yes, there is still confusion in our camp as to how much to relate to the State. To fight from within or from without. How much legitimacy to confer on a State that can turn on its citizens in the blink of an eye, and brainwash and misappropriate its soldiers so badly that they can no longer properly fight the real enemy.

I think for many, the answer is to win from within and fight from without.

To continue to serve in the army and government, but not for the State as it exists now, but for the people and the State as it can be. And to fight, not the State, but evil decisions that the State tries to impose.

For the moment, that seems to be the answer.
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