Eretz Yisrael Time

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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Police and Army destroyed outposts near Talmon and Beit El.
Arabs destroyed the Eruv connecting Beerot Yonatan and Efrat.

I’m not making any associations - whatsoever.

Hat Tip: Nadia Matar
Absolutely no disrespect meant for Bill Shatner, but...

Meir Shitreet
Bill Shatner
In a blatant act of self promotion I posted a link on Treppenwitz’s site regarding the outposts. It created a bit of controversy (in his comments section, not mine).

I will cross-post my response here and there. You will need to look at his site to understand the response:

Dr. Bean:
What Pollard did was espionage and treason.
Espionage in Israel’s eyes, and treason in the US’s.
Pollard provided us with information vital to our survival.
For us in Israel, Pollard is a hero. Period.
(That the Israeli government hung him out to dry is a disgrace).

Pollard’s punishment is an attempt to teach other US Jews (like Dov Zakheim) to know where their loyalties must unequivocally lie.

In the real world, the US regularly spies on Israel (like the attempt with the snooping submarine we tagged this summer, and regular Sigint eavesdropping). I would hardly be surprised to learn that the US even runs agents inside the IDF and government.
All countries spy on one another.

How Religious American Jews should deal with it, is really their problem.
They belong in Israel and then won’t have face issues of dual loyalty. But that is an Aliyah issue – and not what we are discussing right now.

These kids just saw the IDF they were planning on proudly serving in, rip their friends and families out of their homes, destroy entire Jewish towns, communities, etc., and everything else that has transpired since, such as missile attacks on Ashkelon, the reengaged Gaza NPZ (No People Zone) where the northern Jewish towns in Gaza used to be.

They have zero intention of participating in a repeat act of what they see as so reprehensibly stupid, evil, wrong, [fill in your term here].

For some it is a question of do they go to jail now (when they get called up) or only after they get the order to expel more Jews (which they fully expect to get under a Sharon government).

They are incredibly committed to Israel (or “Zionism” as it used to be called).
They want to serve and protect the People of Israel.
They don’t want to be pawns in an army where the generals consider the expulsion of Jews from their homes to be a successful showcase of the IDF’s power and capabilities (I actually heard an IDF general say that while I was in Gaza).

That they are discussing these things is excellent.

Besides, if someone hates settlers or the religious, then they’re going to hate them anyway, and the extreme left considers all the settlers/religious in the army to be fifth columnists anyway (if they can't be brainwashed properly)!

2b) You must be unaware as to how many secular kids receive exemptions from the army (Mia Buskila withstanding). The numbers are relatively close to the number of Charedi kids who don’t serve. The difference is only in the percent from the population sector. (I'll try to find the numbers.)

I never wrote anything along those lines, so I never actually removed it.

Listening to my Israeli (left) friends who are bigshots in the army, I realize that they have never inculcated and integrated concepts like decisive victory into their thinking. For them, maintaining a relative status quo is victory.

Utterly vanquishing the enemy (or the enemy’s capabilities) is not something they consider. Missiles on Ashkelon or the Golan, “Big deal, it doesn’t really hurt us, we've withstood it for years, and can withstand it for years more if we need to”.

Disproportional response is something they would never do (only threaten).
JoeSettler has been nomimated in three (3!) categories in the JIB Awards (2005)

Now I just have to convince someone to vote for me!

Friday, December 30, 2005
Even as you read this serious plans are afoot for the IDF to unilaterally retake unilaterally evacuated regions due to the unilateral threat on Israeli cities. IDF foot soldiers will be encamped on the sites of former Jewish settlements, but this time without the support of the local residents.

Let me ask you. How far Left does one have to be for this to begin to make sense?

Hat Tip: Jameel who will be writing more on this next week.

Creating Competiton
It's not enough that we left behind the planted fields, the Israeli government is actually actively helping the Arabs enter the market previously cornered by the Gush Katif farmers.
We can't break apart the monopolistic IEC, but we can destroy one of our largest exports.
Are we that confused?

Terror Warning
Terror warnings this weekend (for all over the country) are at an all-time high point that we haven't seen since the height of the Intifada.

Hat Tip: Jameel who will also be writing more on this next week.

You can run, but you can't hide
Rampaging (armed) Arabs took over the Rafiach border crossing (between Gaza and Egypt). The international EU force meant to "observe/protect" the border ran away in terror leaving the border open for whatever they needed to import into Gaza today. Perhaps another anti-aircraft missile.
I’ve invited one of the youths organizing the Beerot Jonathan Outpost to write a guest blog expressing her view of the enterprise (she disagrees with me). I hope she takes up the offer.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Some details will be blurred to protect the identity and location of those involved.

I received a pressing phone call last evening. One of the new “illegal” outpost that was just established urgently needed someone to do guard duty overnight (for protection against Arabs, not the police).

A fellow settler and I drove way out there looking for this new illegal outpost called “Beerot Jonathan”, aptly named after Jonathan Pollard.

Finally, after driving off-road for a while and then walking through some muddy fields we stumbled upon the illegal outpost.

The outpost itself is built on State-owned land which over the past few years has found itself illegally occupied by Arab squatters planting crops in their attempt to claim primordial ownership.

The "illegal" Jewish occupiers of this outpost are the wonderful children from the nearby town just overlooking this hill.

I left this morning with an overall positive impression, but merged with some rather mixed feelings.

I met wonderful, dedicated youth who overwhelmingly felt the need to do something “more” and “positive” for Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael after the Expulsion.

I don’t know if the idea of outposts was their idea or the idea of some adults, but I felt that for these incidental wounded of the expulsion, it was more therapeutic than productive (which is also undeniably important). It is an attempt to take back control of their lives, help conquer their fear that their own home and even country may be next, and perhaps even to simply “stick it to the (fat) man”.

Their message is “Construction – not Destruction

We discussed though the night whether they would be doing army service. We discussed how/where else they could be more effective. We discussed if they really felt that camping out on a hill for a few days was really going to make a difference. We discussed what more they could be doing to make their message heard and how to open the hearts of all their fellow Jews in Israel.

I don’t think we reached any definite conclusions, though my fellow settler and I did discuss a new education program we hope to pilot soon based on some of the answers we received.

I think these outposts are important for the kids.

But I think the adults can find a better way to make use of the incredible energy, love, faith, and dedication that these kids have for Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael (in whatever order).

I am not saying not to use outposts, but not the way they are being implemented right now.
Incredible energies are gathered together – now focus them properly, promote them properly, nurture them properly.

I’ll need to write more about this about this another time.
Welcome to Be'erot Jonathan:

Two monuments in memory of the destroyed Jewish towns in Gaza:

Site of the future Beit Medrash:

Some of the "illegal" settlers (they should be sleeping):
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
This is completely off-topic (and perhaps giving out more personal information than usual) but I am completely fed up.

I maintain a couple of accounts at Bank Leumi. I have been a client of theirs for too many years. I’ve tried other Israeli banks to my dissatisfaction, and have various accounts here and there.

If it wasn’t so difficultly annoying to completely switch banks I would do it in a second.

(In answer to the obvious question, switching accounts means canceling/moving all my “standing orders”, credit card payments, documentation, getting all my clients to correctly update their supplier information –which is a huge hassle, running back and forth to lawyers for their stamp on the corporate account papers, etc. – a very time consuming procedure, which on one hand I really don’t have time for, even if I stopped blogging).

1) Bank Leumi recently introduced a new “feature”.
Because service at their branches is so incredibly bad/slow, they introduced “Leumi-call”. Supposedly you can do all your banking over the phone, except when you can’t.

So now I can’t reach my branch except physically, and I can’t get anything done over the phone, so instead I can only leave messages/faxes for my banker to call me back.
(Apparently bank policy says he will get into big trouble if he gives out his direct number, so instead he surreptitiously gave me his bank manager’s instead, which I try to abuse every now and then).

2) Last year my branch bounced two very large checks to the tax authorities.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have to money to pay, it was because the branch unilaterally decided I had so much money in the account it was a shame it wasn’t locked up in a CD to get some interest.

So instead of unilaterally opening up the CD, they bounced the checks instead, which got me a very nasty letter, phone call, and the unwanted extra attention/inspection by the various tax authorities.
(I run a 100% kosher firm, so I wasn't worried, but audits are a very unpleasant experience in general).

3) I had to pay an overseas supplier last month.
Despite the checkmark on the transfer form that clearly indicated that the required “withholding tax” would come from the supplier’s side (as was agreed with the supplier), the bank decided that the supplier would rather have all the money and deducted the “withholding tax” directly from my account instead.


4) When I transfer money overseas they open a temporary Dollar account for the transfer. Otherwise the account is empty. Unfortunately they always forget to close the account (actually I watch my banker close it, yet it never registers as closed), so every few months I sit with my banker and he zeroes out the accumulated fines.

5) Yesterday I went to my bank to do another transfer to a supplier. I finally reached my bank to find out why I didn’t get my wire transfer confirmation.

Answer: Oh, the person who does it is busy with many other transfers, and she’ll try to get to it tomorrow.

Real reason: I complained about her last month when I got hit with thousands of dollars in taxes because she unilaterally decided to hit me instead of my supplier with the “withholding tax”, so now my transfers aren’t that important.

The worst part of this is - all the banks in Israel are just as bad.

Monday, December 26, 2005
This actually fits better on Ze'ev's blog, but I'll post it anyway:

This evening I bumped into the only person I believe who has any chance of creating a real upheaval in the results of the upcoming Israeli elections (though I couldn't say for better or for worse).

I told him we need him back, and he made it pretty clear that he has no interest in that direction.

So much for that.

In a photo with JoeSettler Jr.
(JoeSettler Jr. is the one on the right)

The picture has been blurred to protect the innocent . . . and the not guilty.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Test updated: 12/24/2005 10:40pm (Israel time) - version 1.2

For all those undecided voters, having trouble deciding who to vote for?

This test should help you out.
I caught this on Gil Student's blog which was created by this guy. User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.

Left Wing Modern Orthodox: 34%
Right Wing Modern Orthodox: 62%
Left Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 40%
Right Wing Yeshivish/Chareidi: 13%

This means you're: Huh?

I understand the results as much as the test does.

Years ago, before his first stroke, Sharon promoted the idea of semi-autonomous, noncontiguous cantons for the Palestinians in Yesha.

Since coming to power, Sharon has been putting this plan into place, except it is the Jews who are in the noncontiguous cantons.

At major junctions in Judea/Samaria, border crossings have been and are being constructed.

For instance, one particular border crossing in the Shomron (and this it seems will be the model) has 3 lanes; one lane is for local residents with a special canton sticker on their car, one for Israeli citizens, and one for “commercial” traffic.

Each Jewish canton resident will be receiving (or has in some cases received) a personalized car sticker that will allow them relatively unhindered access between the State of Israel and their canton. Non-resident Israelis will need go through an inspection to determine what their business is, who are they visiting or visited, and who’s in the car with them.

Of course, a resident of one canton in Yesha that wants to visit his friend or relative in a different canton will go through a non-resident inspection as each canton sticker is canton specific.

In short, unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria has already begun, just much more subtly and quietly.

But it doesn't end there, as once the Arabs get their "safe passage" between Gaza and Hebron/Ramallah to provide them contiguity, then the State of Israel itself will find itself divided into noncontiguous cantons.

Go Sharon Go.

(Somebody bet on the gray.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005
I’ve said in the recent past “Vote Shalom get Sharon”.

But now I have a serious problem, I can’t get it to rhyme with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is chasing after the so-called center vote and is worried that Feiglin is going to make him lose that.

But in the meantime, Bibi’s Likud MKs actually still sit (with his blessing) in Sharon’s government as ministers.

So it’s not clear to me anymore. Why should I vote Likud?

Shalom (Sharon’s man) is given the number 2 position instead of Uzi Landau who actually deserved it - not to mention some of the nasty things Shalom said before the primaries. Likud MKs Livnat, and others still serve at Sharon’s pleasure - so a vote for Netanyahu gets you what?

A spineless leader who can’t control his own party, an ideologically philandering politician who doesn’t properly reward Landau’s loyalty, and someone who has proven in the past that he can’t stand up to US pressure like in Hebron.

Bibi said regarding banning Feiglin, "The Likud will bring back glory and honesty, clean hands and democracy in the spirit of Menachem Begin."

Is there anyone in the Likud beside Feiglin that exemplifies the honesty, clean hands and democracy in the spirit of Menachem Begin?

So why vote for Bibi’s Likud? Vote for Sharon and get the original.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
As Arabs launch missile attacks at Israeli citizens and infrastructure, Israel emptily threatens to shut off Gaza’s electricity for a whole 2 hours (and then backs down from the threat) – didn’t we unilaterally disengage?

Meanwhile Labor MK Matan Vilnai wants us to send troops back into Gaza – does he want to unilaterally reengage?

I wish they could have made up their minds about these things before they expelled thousands of Jews from their homes.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Can anyone find the difference between current Likud members that gave their tacit support to the expulsion, and those that joined the Kadima party?

The answer is simple. There is none.

Yet Bibi wants to unilaterally expel Feiglin from the Likud.

So then what exactly differentiates a Feiglinless Likud from Kadima?
Absolutely nothing, except that Kadima has a stronger (despite his stroke), and certainly more popular (perhaps even more so due to his stroke) leader .

So then how exactly will the Likud distinguish itself as a Center-Right party?

Bibi gave away parts of Hebron. Limor Livnat, Shalom and others Likudniks (that still haven’t left Sharon’s government!) supported the expulsion. Besides Uzi Landau, who else has any surviving center-right-wing credentials left to distinguish them from Kadima?

Bibi has the opportunity to create a true center-right party, a party with values and goals, but instead he is trying to merely create a Kadima clone in an attempt to regain a few seats. A poor copy at that.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Jameel didn’t like my ending for the updated revision of the Al-Hanissim prayer.

So Jameel, and everyone else, submit your accurate update/revision of the (entire) Al-Hanissim prayer for modern Israel in the comments section.

I’ll select a winner and post it.
Update of parts of Al-Hanissim rephrased in more politically modern terminology.

In the early years of the Third Jewish Commonwealth, a wicked faction rose up against the people of Israel and tried to make them forget their Torah and to lead them astray from your will.

But You delivered the majority into the hands of the minority,
the impure into the pure,
the Left in the hands of the Right,
the secular into the diligent hands of the Yeshiva students.

You worked a great victory and the Temple was restored in all its glory, and we light the eight candles of Chanuka in thanks and praise.

Sunday, December 18, 2005
As I write this we are waiting to hear from the hospital the condition of the Prime Minister; beyond that he has had a minor stroke we don’t know more at the moment. We also don't know if this is his first stroke or his second in the past two years.

I can say with all honesty that I wish him well, and that he should have a long life, but back on his farm and out of politics.

This leads us to a very curious situation.

Some people have commented that if he decides (and is able) to stay in politics, Israelis will still vote for him no matter what his condition. Probably true. But Kadima's numbers will plummet for sure.

But what happens if he can no longer run.

Who runs Kadima? Will Kadima disappear?

Kadima is Sharon, Sharon is Kadima, and all the political garbage and egos he has gathered into one place will no longer have their unifying factor.

Obviously their best bet will be to unite under Peres, which would completely turn them into the new Labor party, for who else is there in Kadima that could lead? Ahh, the backstabbing and infighting we are going to be seeing soon.

But for Kadima, that is their only realistic option, their old parties won’t be letting the trash back in, and otherwise everyone is Kadima is completely out of a job. Certainly we won't be hearing much more of 'Bugsy' Weisglass and Omri the Enforcer.

And that is the Prime Minister’s True Legacy.

He managed to clean out a significant amount of political trash from the Likud (and Labor) party and has put them in a position where they can (hopefully) no longer be politically significant.

True he missed Shalom and a few others, but a cleaner, leaner, more ideological Likud can only go up in the polls as a result, and hopefully the travesties and tragedies of last summer will also remain in the trash bin of history to never repeat itself.
Forget Sderot.

A few minutes ago a 32 kg. 115 mm Kassam-2 missile fell inside the Ashkelon (Rottenberg) power plant, just missing a large coal pile!

It's time to unilaterally evacuate Ashkelon because it simply isn't worth the amount of resources required to defend it.

(The "real" media may censor this story for a while, or say it's "south of Ashkelon)

Remember - you read it here first.

Hat-Tip: Jameel at the Muqata

Concept by Jameel
Friday, December 16, 2005
Orlev of the Not Relevant Party made some rather strange comments in an interview today.

I’m sure he was just trying for some cheap populist points with his remark that he “would rather close down a West Bank settlement than a state religious school”.

But I find that remark strange, because with the closure of each settlement comes the closure of quite a number of schools, yeshivas, and seminaries.

I guess (somehow) they don’t count.

He continued with, “But it's clear that in a real peace agreement Israel will have to give up something.”

But since everyone so far thought they were getting real peace (for some reason), I’m now completely confused between the differences in his position and that of Yossi Beilin’s.

Of course he finishes off with the Left’s, “I do not think that in today's world we will be able to rule over three million Arabs”.

So of course his left-wing solution to the problem is to “give up something”, and “close down a west Bank settlement” while throwing a bone to “Jordan is Palestine” which he obviously doesn’t believe in. After all, if “it’s just a matter of time before the winds of freedom and democracy come to the Palestinians in Jordan “, then simply wait out the storm and come out at the end with everything that is ours.

The NRP has failed repeatedly as the self proclaimed banner holder for educating the Israeli public in Jewish values, history, and Torah when it had both the opportunity and power.

What exactly is the National Union doing trying to create an alliance with a party that has failed in both principles and performance, and will obviously only be doing worse in the next election?
Old maps of Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) from the 1800's.
Note the various district names (Judeah, Samaria)

This one is from 1557:
I 100% support Palestinian Statehood and Palestinian citizenship for all Arabs living in the region defined as Mandatory Palestine.

I 100% demand that a full and free democracy be immediately implemented in Eastern Mandatory Palestine (currently known as Jordan, which stole and occupied 75% of Mandatory Palestine when it was established on May 25, 1946) so that a de facto Palestinian state can be created, and all regional Arabs can immediately receive their Palestinian citizenship.

I 100% do not accept that Israel must accept dual citizenship for any Palestinian citizen, but may allow Palestinian nationals (completely unconnected to any acts of terrorism) to live in the Land of Israel as Resident Aliens with full protection for their civil rights, while being free and able to fulfill all their national aspiration in the existing Palestinian state on the East Bank of the Jordan River.

End the Jordanian Occupation. Free Palestine Now.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
What a surreal country we live in.

Today, the first Kassam missile hit Ashkelon from Gaza, meanwhile the government plans more expulsions, this time of Jews from a part of Hebron that was bought by various Jewish families over 200 years ago (and if I got the location right, including land owned by members of my own extended family who barely made it out alive during the 1929 Arab massacre of the Jewish residents).

But if that isn't ridiculous enough for you, today the government attempted to start constructing the wall around Gush Etzion, well actually only part of Gush Etzion, the rest is apparently to be abandoned.

So they came with their chainsaws and were about to cut down the entire beautiful 100 year old forest near the Gush Junction to build a provisional wall, until a last-minute temporary injunction was issued!

This government has decided to simply roll over and die, but not before taking everyone else down with them.

The Suda Forest

The Government Tree Cutters

And while I’m mentioning the ridiculous I might as well add one more item.

A major car bomb was caught today just before it was deployed.

The Arabs of Bethlehem/El Hadr planned to drop a fully loaded car bomb onto the Gush Etzion bridge from the mountain ridge just over the tunnel entrance that the bridge extends from.

Even if there was a plan to build an additional wall on the ridge (there is a fence there already, but it proved to be quite useless today) it won’t prevent the Arabs from simply attacking from behind the wall, after all, the government has no intention of clearing out the mountain face, just sticking its head in the sand behind the walls.

In fact, there have been a number of Molotov cocktails dropped in the past couple of months from that area.

Unless the government finally decides that the best defense is a good offense things will just get worse.

The bridge/tunnel entrance
Monday, December 12, 2005
A few people responded to a Palestinian blogger from Beit Lechem (I won't post the link, because there is no reason to help promote their cause). The blogger was describing her experiences (successfully) passing through some checkpoints to spend time in Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo.

A few commenters left their remarks on her site which aren't on the main page anymore but can be found on the permalink.

Jameel recalled that until Oslo and the advent of Palestinian suicide bombers, there were almost no roadblocks or checkpoints, and just as it is completely safe now for a Bethlehem Arab to go visit the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo without being hurt or killed by Jews, that’s how safe it was just 15-20 years for Jews to visit Beit Lechem, Aza, and other areas occupied by Arabs.

Jameel expressed hoped for the day there would be real peace and then road blocks and checkpoints wouldn’t be needed anymore to stop Palestinians on their way to mass murder Jews.

Does that sound extreme or unfair to you?

Another commenter posted the following version of their checkpoint experience coming from Efrat (just south of Beit Lechem). It was apparently written in response to an article in a magazine.


I read with interest your article on Palestinians, checkpoints and Israel.

As an Israeli living in Efrat, one of the Jewish towns mentioned in your article, I felt I personally related to the description of the humiliation, delays, and inconvenience caused by the various checkpoints.

Let me describe my typical day.

Efrat should normally be a 7 minute drive to Jerusalem, yet when I leave for work I have to drive through 2 checkpoints to enter Jerusalem, often sitting in traffic for as long as a half hour, as each car is checked one by one to make sure no Palestinian suicide bombers sneak through.

Before heading to work, I stop off at the post office to get my mail. At the post office, I empty my pockets, walk through a metal detector, and as I invariably beep, I then face the daily humiliation of the pat down (like when you are at the airport), I usually then show my ID – all to make sure that I am not a Palestinian terrorist planning to shoot up everyone inside the building - again.

Having completed that checkpoint I head over to work. Entering the building's parking lot, my car is then thoroughly searched to make sure no bombs are smuggled inside or attached unbeknownst to me (oh, and I show my ID yet again).

Entering the lobby requires that once again I show my ID. If it is a nice guard that knows me, he'll sometimes skip the humiliating pat down if I beep as I walk through the metal detector.

In the evening, if I want to go shopping with my wife and then catch dinner and a movie, the checkpoints and humiliations become nearly unbearable.

Entering the shopping mall parking lot in Talpiot, our car is once again thoroughly checked for bombs, and depending on the day's warning level, I might have to get out of the car and undergo yet another humiliating pat down (and of course show my ID).

Entering the supermarket, once again I empty my pockets, and get the pat down, my wife has the additional humiliation of not just a pat down, but of some stranger rummaging though her pocketbook and seeing what she keeps in there. Once again, to make sure we are not Palestinian terrorists smuggling in weapons to kill innocent Israelis in a public place – yet again.

Having completed our shopping we head to a restaurant, where yet again, we undergo a full body pat down, and to my wife's humiliation yet again, her pocketbook is rummaged through, all to make sure that we are not yet another Palestinian suicide bomber trying to blow up yet another restaurant and all the Jews inside.

Do I need to describe what happens when then head over to the movie theater?

I probably should, because there we are checked 3 times, as they make sure that the previous guard didn't misidentify us at any point.

Luckily, when we head back home there are no spot checks on the road today and even better, the guard at the checkpoint to our town recognizes us, so we go through unhindered.

As he opens the huge metal gate attached to the wall that surrounds my town, which protect us from Palestinian infiltrators, I feel like I'm entering a big prison.

Prison-like or not, usually our town's security fence works. In the past few years, only 3 Palestinian terrorist got through, but thank God they were killed in time before their attacks actually succeeded.

Though the truth is, the Palestinian suicide bomber in our supermarket only failed because the trigger to his suicide belt malfunctioned when he pressed it.

So I must say, I do relate to the fact that my Palestinian neighbors must go through so many checkpoints, yet not as many as I go through every day.Unfortunately, unless the Palestinians unequivocally give up terrorism, both their checkpoints, and my checkpoints are here to stay.

Tomorrow I am renewing my ID card. It's worn out.

Now I ask you. Do you think it is right that we Israelis have to go through so many checks and metal detectors every day just because Arabs like to blow themselves up and take everyone else with them?

No it isn't.

And do we give a hoot about some whiny Arab from Bethlehem who gets to spend the day safely wandering around Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo or Malcha Mall after passing through some checkpost that was only installed to prevent them from from killing even more innocent people?

No we don't.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
A baby elephant was born today at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem.
Currently you can see it live at:

Don't worry, the one on the right is asleep.

If you were wondering if elephants can jump click here.

Just in case you were really concerned...

My Leftist friends are in a dilemma. They would love to vote for Sharon (having no one else to vote for) on the off-chance he will cut off more of our homeland. But his willy-nilly gang of mismatched coattail hangers are really turning them off.

Meanwhile, the exodus from the Likud is beginning to make the Likud more attractive. As I implied in previous posts ( Taking out the trash, Running the Likud by Remote Control, and A Quickie Political Analysis ) the Likud needs to clean house, and Sharon’s Refugee party is giving those dead-end power stalkers a place to run to.

With Mofaz now gone, and Silvan being the only one that can do it for Judy (at least according to the advertisements she hung up all over the place), I think the rest of us would be happy if he were also to run on over to Sharon.

Meanwhile the Likud is beginning to return to its roots, and the reason people voted for it originally - ideals and principles that represent the majority of this nation’s beliefs.

Does that mean that Likud could win over Kadima.
Who knows?
Kadima still has the attraction of a new party and Sharon does draw his crowd, but a new Likud that is clean and takes a strong moral position may turn out to be just the crowd-pleaser that the public is looking for.

Once the Likud announces its new leader and gets in gear we’ll see a change in the polls.

As for Sharon, as I asked my leftists friends, besides himself, what exactly does he stand for?
Friday, December 09, 2005

Hmmm. Ze’ev has infected me with the Book Meme which was originally the I-Pod meme. Good thing too, because I don’t have an I-Pod, and don’t really listen to music enough for the original meme to be relevant (I have more than enough CDs/songs, but it just seems irrelevant)

As I choose to understand it, he wants me to name 15 books I am reading or have read recently.

I normally ignore these things, but I guess I’ll do this one, particularly after Jameel called my blog “academic”.

I’m always in the middle of a few books. Some I finish right away and some drag out a bit longer.

Currently reading:

  1. Tanach (currently up to Yishayahu, but finding it a bit difficult for some reason to get started).
  2. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. Roger Penrose – Surprisingly interesting. He actually makes the math understandable too!
  3. What to Expect ™ in the First Year.
  4. Dr. Spock (8th edition, though wondering if I should have bought the 7th instead).
  5. The Federalist Papers
  6. John Locke – 2 Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration
  7. Clausewitz’s On War. Reading it incredibly slowly though.
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia

Here are a few I read recently:

  1. Caveman Chemistry, Kevin Dunn – Skimming through it again it. It’s a very interesting book.
  2. A few of James Clavell’s books
  3. Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy
  4. Netanyahu’s Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists
  5. Civil Disobedience and other Essays (Thoreau)
  6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  7. Rich Dad Poor Dad
  8. Harry Potter (of course)
  9. Rectifying the Jewish State, Ginzburgh

I expect to be reading the following in the near future, as soon as I place my order with Amazon:

  1. The Immortal, Sy Polsky
  2. Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman
  3. QED, The strange Theory of Light and Matter, Feynman
  4. The Tipping Point, Malcom Gladwell

I hereby infect Jameel with this meme.

Thursday, December 01, 2005
The original article seemed unreasonably biased to me. It needlessly drilled down just a little too far without ever looking at the bigger picture.

I've corrected that fundamental mistake in this version.

The Jewish population in Israel is expected to grow faster than in any other Jewish country in 2005, to more than 5.31 million people, the government reported Thursday.

The Jewish settlement population at the end of September was 5.28 million, up from 5.23 million at the end of December 2004, the Central Bureau of Statistics said. If nine-month growth continues at the same rate, then the Jewish settler population would expand 1.7 percent for all of 2005, to 5.31 million the bureau said.

The 5.31 million Jews settlers live among more than 230 million Arabs in territory the Arabs claim for yet another future Arab state.
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