Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I was sitting with my car mechanic yesterday and we were discussing (as we always do) cars and taxes.

He surprised me with a little fact.

You see, car importers have a little “trick” they play in order to help keep the cost of the car down - so that it is a tiny bit more affordable to the customer.

Now you are probably asking yourself, “What is JoeSettler talking about? Cars cost something like 100% more in Israel than they do in the US. What lower cost is he babbling about.”

Well here is some news for you.

You see, if you import a car into Israel with an air conditioner it gets taxed at an especially high rate. So the importers import cars with no air conditioners, and air conditioners with no cars, and then install them here in Israel.

Ta da. The import tax on the car is at the “lower” rate of only around 100% (or whatever it is) instead of the high rate of much, much more.

Have you ever heard of anything so stupid?

Can this government try to choke us any more than it already does?

But alas, we came back again to the same question we always have. Israelis are being ripped off by the government and we have absolutely no recourse. What is there to do?

This entire country is being choked to death by the government. Yet there is no Haifa Tea Party, nothing. And even if there was, it would have no effect.

Look at the reservist’s protest. Is there any other completely justified protest that should at least have some effect on the system? Yet the reservists are ignored while the bumbling inept (and even criminal) generals all got promotions.

The reservists can’t even go on strike, because then this country would be in mortal danger of destruction.

And apparently they won’t resort to violence, because as much as the government endangered and wasted their lives, they are still good Israeli sheep when it comes down to it.

Nothing will change.

Next week, we will see if serious violence or at least the threat of serious violence against the abomination parade will cancel it or not.

We will learn if, in Israel, violence or the threat of it gets results or not.
Perhaps the reservists need to learn from the Chareidim?

And one last question for you.

Why is it OK for the abomination parade to go on in Jerusalem, knowing that it will possibly cause riots, but I can’t go up to Har HaBayit and openly pray?
Around a year ago I was listening to one of the Israeli talk radio shows when a caller calls up and says “Varda, my husband and I don’t have any communications anymore. We can’t work out our schedules to meet. Our family is falling apart.”

The caller was asked if there was no time, even an evening that the family could just sit and talk. The caller responded that even when her husband comes home from work on Saturday evenings, the only time both are home, he is too tired.

Neither caller nor radio host felt that there was anything wrong with the fact that the caller’s husband had to work on Shabbat if he wanted to keep his job in the shopping center.

Neither caller nor radio host thought that there was anything wrong with the fact that the husband would lose his main source of income if he refused to work on Shabbat.

In fact, neither caller nor host thought there was anything even unusual that the man was working on Shabbat.

One of the greatest gifts the Jewish people gave to the world is the Day of Rest.

Yet here in Israel (not for the better off mind you), secular coercion is forcing people to work on Shabbat if they want to keep their jobs, whether it is in the Intel plant in Kiryat Gat (notice that it was built in a low-income area), or one of the many shopping centers or restaurants that are open.

Secular Israelis talk about Freedom to Shop on Shabbat, and Freedom to Eat Out on Shabbat, and Freedom to go to Entertainment on Shabbat, but they all forget one thing.

They talk about laws allowing restaurants, entertainments centers, and public transportation services to be allowed to run on Shabbat.

Their freedom is someone else’s slavery (and I don’t use the word lightly).

They never consider the teenagers, or the middle/lower income families that find themselves forced to work on Shabbat if they want to keep their jobs during the week.

They never consider the families that can’t even get a common day together where they can all sit down and communicate, play, or even ignore each other.

Who exactly is working as their waitress, cook, salesman, bus driver, and projectionist?

Certainly it’s not someone who is on the same socio-economic level as they are.

Not at all - it is the poor person who has no choice -and that is exactly who the Shabbat laws are there to protect.

But all that matters is that there is Freedom to Whatever, even as it steals away the freedom of someone else.

That’s called Secular Coercion.

I wasn’t going to discuss this, but I’ve changed my mind. Next week the proposed abomination parade will be marching through Jerusalem (well, hopefully not actually).

Another Freedom to Whatever that infringes on the rest of us.

There is no other way to describe this, than as Sexual Harassment of the General Public.

The general public does not need nor want to see the exposed flaunting that will be on display.

This is both an abuse and harassment of the general public that will have no choice but to see this open provocation in our streets.

You want to have sex with each other, with animals or with little children. I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to see it.

Keep you predilections to yourselves (or go to the police).

But this is unfortunately another example of Secular Coercion.

When it happens in the workplace, we prosecute it, because, for among other reasons, one’s fellow employees don’t have much choice as to working there and deserve a safe, comfortable working environment without feeling sexually harassed.

Well, we the general public deserve the same things in our streets. They can do what they want in the privacy of their own home, but why must they stick their sexual activities into in our faces where we don’t have a choice but to see it?

We want a safe, comfortable environment in our streets as much as we want it in our workplace.

This is Secular Coercion.

Moshe Feiglin had an interesting point. His party, his goals are less important to the religious man on the street than they are to the secular.


Perhaps because in many ways, we religious already live our lifestyle in the healthiest way possible (just look at the statistics on lifespan and other health indicators on religious communities in Israel - we top the charts). We watch out for our religious and social needs because the Torah commands it and because we are aware of them.

It’s the average secular Israeli on the other hand that needs the Shabbat laws.

The average secular Israeli is being exploited by those more well-off and powerful than they. The average Israeli doesn’t have the security net of their community when they don’t want to have to work on Shabbat despite the coercion to do so. They may not even be aware of the damage being caused to their families because of it because their society doesn't discuss it or accept it.

So they suffer instead or call up radio show hosts who haven't a clue either.

Secular Coercion.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Nothing, in my eyes, would prove to me more, that the world was truly interested in peace in the Middle East than if the world put their money where their mouth was.

Arutz-7 had a link to this poll done by Bir Zeit University.

It show quite lot of interesting information.

First of all, 32.4% of all Palestinians want to emigrate and leave Palestine Israel. 44% of Palestinians in the 20-30 year old range want to emigrate. For those even younger, the numbers surge to above 50%.

In short, from the total 2.5 million Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza combined, somewhere in the range of at least 1 million (if not more) want to leave to go elsewhere.

Yet what is stopping them?

Answer: Other countries don’t want more Arabs Palestinians for whatever reason. Yet, that would definitely bring peace to the Middle East (when 1 million leave the other million will follow). Benny Elon has again raised the idea of a fund to help Arab families immigrate.

Isn’t it time the rest of the world started putting their money where their mouth was.

Instead of trying to foist another terrorist state on the world and additional capitulations onto Israel, instead they should open their doors wide in the name of peace.

I’ve discussed this in the past:


In other interesting news, for some reason Tzippi Livni feels it her job to convince Americans that Israel doesn’t suffer from 1 terrorist attack a week. Livni is apparently unaware of the more accutate number of around 5 attacks per week - unless she doesn’t count terrorist attacks against citizens and Israeli soldiers over the green line as either being in Israel,or more likely, as a terrorist attack.

Can this government fall any lower? (Don’t answer).

By the way, start getting those DVDs ready, nothing interesting is going to be on TV anymore by the end of the week.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I can’t begin to describe how bad this is.

It’s not bad enough we have Prime Minister’s with rubber stamp cabinets, now with the Lieberman's “reform” passing, we can dispense with the cabinet and Knesset completely.

Lieberman’s so called “Presidential Reform” merely (“merely” sic) makes the Prime Minister an all powerful dictator with no checks and balances whatsoever.

I find myself at a loss for words, and while I usually can’t stand what Halkin has to write, in this case I 100% agree with what he has to say, and he says it much better than me.

If this goes through in the Knesset, this will be a really bad day for Israel.

One of the political twists in the story of Purim is how Achashverosh originally had a cabinet of advisors and experts on Persian law. They helped run the country and acted as counterbalance for one another and the king.

Once Haman took over, only one voice was heard, Haman’s, and things went downhill from there. At the end of the Megillah we see that Achashverosh reinstated his cabinet when he saw that checks and balances were needed, even for a king.

Lieberman doesn’t just want to be Prime Minister of Israel. He wants to be the all-powerful Prime Minister of Israel. We already see that his idea of what a “right-winger” is, is not at all connected to what we as Jews want.

Let’s not make the same mistake we made with Sharon, and are making with Netanyahu. Lieberman is dangerous to Israel – and not just to the right-wingers.
Sporadically throughout this blog I was marking the various global anti-Semitic attacks that occurred. I even dedicated one entire comment section to one serious attack per week.

But there are so many new attacks, and such an incredible rise in anti-Semitism, that you really need resources at the level of the ADL to follow and sort them out.

What’s interesting is the of course the new use of terminology.

For the anti-Semites around the world, it obviously become acceptable to use the word “Zionist” or “Israeli” when in polite company to express your primitive bigotry against Jews.

And of course they can’t forget to misuse and abuse the word “apartheid” and “genocide” when saying “Zionist” or “Israeli”. They're rather knee-jerk that way.

But what about in Israel?

Anti-Semitism in Israel you ask?

Well, just read the secular agenda papers and replace the word Settler for Jew, and ask yourself, is it any different than what you just read on the Nazi, Arab, Liberal, Democratic Candidate, left-wing, anti-Semitic sites?

Even Yair Lapid, once considered the ever-polite offspring of Israel’s version of the stereotypical anti-Semite (think Archie Bunker with no redeeming qualities) has proven that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Last week he penned an article where he gloated that the Settler’s were finally taught a lesson via the Expulsion – and that was a good thing, because the average Israeli (as he considers himself) hated us Settlers for so many reasons.

Thus we Settlers learned about (his version of) democracy and the limits of our power (which is rather droll, because the only people always talking about the Settlers having unlimited power and running the world country are people like him).

To quote Lapid:
“The truth is that no one wanted to disengage from them. The Israelis merely felt that the settlers should be taught a lesson in humility and perhaps in democracy too. The Gaza Strip was not chosen by accident either.”

“All of us, however, learned a lesson here. The public in general learned that we need to make peace arrangements, and the settlers learned that their power is limited.”

"One year later, it seems that we can start the rehabilitation process. One thing we can say to the credit of yeshiva students is that they learn fast. Despite the outrage demonstrated when Amona was evacuated, no mass protest movement was ever really born, hesder yeshiva students are joining the army regularly, and people watch their tongues more than before. Things are back in balance."

Yep, dem Jews learned their place and not to get too uppity.

Of course, most amazing is his line:
"when the disengagement is examined with secular tools - political, strategic, and demographic - it does not look too good"

In short, Lapid even admits that the expulsion was a complete failure in every way but one - hurting the Jews Settlers.

It’s rather sad actually that secular Israelis don’t recognize their behavior against their fellow citizens (whether Chareidi of Settler) for what it is – pure anti-Semitism.

I guess when you so desperately want to be a “normal” nation, and not be any different than the rest of the world, you also need to target your own Jews (and deflect those “Zionist” remarks onto someone else).

The truth is, Israel will actually turn out to be the haven for Jews worldwide as the global attacks get worse. Even now, I am sure there are cities in the US where it might be getting uncomfortable to wear that Kippah in public.

Of course, with all those Jews that will (hopefully) move to Israel, perhaps the secular left actually will have what to complain about, that the settlers the Jews “they” are taking over the country and need to learn about how Israeli "democracy" works.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
After catching Palestinians on video cutting down their own trees, and getting recorded conversations of them describing how specific Human Rights organizations urged them to file false charges against settlers (such as Avry Ran) you would think certain people would have learned by now that a people willing to send their own children to blow themselves up have no compunction about exploiting their own livelihood for the same evil cause.

Nor do we expect anything positive from the “Human Rights” organizations either who know about about and even participate in these shennanigans.

Today, under cover of the “Harvest” a Palestinian was caught (yet another one) infiltrating into the settlement of Mitzpe Yitzhar. Luckily he was caught before he was able to hurt anyone (he was attempting to burn a house down).

All this happened as Palestinians (as normal) threw rocks at Jewish cars passing near Beit Lechem and Jenin today (as they often do) injuring a human being.

The truth is, a government not willing to do what is necessary to defend the citizens of Sderot and the South isn’t about to do what is necessary to stop the P&HR manipulations of harvest time to attack Jews.

Feiglin for Prime Minister
Monday, October 16, 2006
George Soros is taking an awfully keen interest in Israel these days.

Between blaming us for the surge of anti-Semitism in Europe, his rather deluded viewpoint that we must negotiate with terrorists as opposed to defeating them militarily, and not to mention his confused belief that there is actually a separation between the military and political wings of various terrorist organizations, the man has more money than sechel as they say. Typical leftist.

And while Soros shows his ignorance of the region with some of his comments, such as the Egypt-Gaza border was never opened (so how are they are receiving all their weapons from Egypt?), or the Settler’s greenhouses weren’t transferred to the Gazans (which greenhouses did the Arabs promptly burnt down when they received them?), ignorance isn’t an excuse for the damage he can cause us.

And now he plans to invest millions (petty cash for him) to block the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) in Congress.

The guy’s rich, but he gets and stays rich by speculating and perhaps even (dare I say it) manipulating foreign currencies and markets to his own economic and political benefit.

Now I don’t know much about currency trading, but the shekel is nowhere near as strong as the dollar is, no matter what the dollar’s problems are these days. Israel is coming out of a war we lost, and we are burning millions and millions on repairs, rearming (from overseas suppliers), and not to mention the money thrown away during the Expulsion.

True some people say that 3.9 is the shekel’s natural state, while others think 4.5 is on target (like me), but the shekel strengthening so quickly and radically against the dollar (while other worldwide currencies aren’t moving like the shekel) is rather strange, and everyone knows it.

If I were a speculator, I’d say with Soros’s sudden increased interest in Israel, Soros is setting Israel up for a nice little currency trade that will cost us plenty – particularly since he doesn’t like Israel’s policies in defending itself.

To quote Soros, “There are strong voices arguing that Israel must never negotiate from a position of weakness. They are wrong.”

What better way for him to try to force his deluded philosophies on us than to harshly weaken us economically and remove us from our position of strength – something he is very good at.

As a side point, Soros needs to reconsider his current beliefs about Israel, the Jews, and the war on terror because they are wrong and need to be revised completely. If not, he certainly won't be true to his own philosophy.

Until then, he’s aligned himself with the bad guys and his comments are looking mighty self-hating.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Who knew how prescient I could be? We all knew how right I am, but for my call to implement something important and necessary over a year ago and finally see it happen, that's just good!

Jameel would probably say at this point, “Don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back.”

Uzi Landau has begun a
new program he calls "Zionist Camp". The purpose is to take Israelis on tours of Judea and Samaria to introduce them to what are missing and don’t know when it comes to the Land of Israel.

I introduced
this idea over a year ago with my birthright! Yesh(a) plan.

At the time I stated that the Expulsion succeeded in happening because the people and the soldiers had never once stepped foot in the Jewish Gaza towns. All they knew was the images and stories the media fed them, and once we reached the expulsion stage it was too late. My plan was to set up a program to open the eyes of the average Israeli and realize that what the media feeds them and the images that are put into their heads simply conflict with the reality they would see with their own eyes if presented the opportunity.

Uzi Landau has picked up the ball I placed on the field and is running with it.

Good luck to him.

Quite fascinating, Anshel Pfeffer wrote
an interesting article in the JPost today comparing the image/stereotype of the "Occupied" Golan Heights vs. "Occupied" Judea and Samaria. Admittedly he may have been comparing apples and oranges here and there, and skimming over a few minor details, but overall his message is that Israelis are willing to accept annexing certain post 1967 territories and not demanding "peace" treaties when it suits them, particularly while ignoring the exact same things that bother them elsewhere.

Israelis visit the Golan and that has made it inseparable in Israeli eyes.

Uzi Landau hopes to do the same with Judea & Samaria.

We all hope he succeeds.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Shades of Amona!

I happened to have been speaking to Nadia Matar when she pointed out something very scary.

I don’t know who remembers, but before the government’s Amona Pogrom, the evil Olmert government sent out orders against various Jews. Some were placed in administrative detention, some were restricted from returning to their homes in Yesh(a), and so on.

As of this week, in the past month, some 18 Jews have now been given court orders forbidding them from going to their own homes in the Shomron!

18 Jews forbidden to go to their own homes because the government has decided that they are a threat to the next Pogrom - exactly as Olmert did before his last pogrom.

And yes, that is what is on Olmert’s agenda today.

He now needs to divert attention away from his scandals and failures, and what better way than by attacking the Settlers.

Realignment is not off the map. The lines have already been drawn, and the next pogrom is around the corner.

Wake up!
Friday, October 06, 2006
Sukkot is almost here, and I want to post a link to a nice article that I just came across.

It's a wonderful article about what Rabbi Grossman of Migdal Ha'emek did for a battalion of Paratroopers during the war.

Have a Chag Sameach everyone.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
If you hadn't noticed, a major theme in the Jerusalem Post over the past year or so when it comes to Judaism is how Judaism need more converts and we need to make it easier to convert, and less requirement intensive, and so on. They go on and on about it.

Jonathan Rosenblum wrote a wonderful response, and here it is:

MY SECOND entry in the non-sequitur sweepstakes can be found in a recent Jerusalem Post opinion piece ("Thus Spake Zarathustra," September 15) by the paper's former managing editor, Calev Ben David: "Any religion in the modern world that does not make an effort to welcome, or seek out, new converts, is fated to diminish."

As a matter of elementary logic, that statement is false, unless one is discussing the Shakers and other celibate religious communities.

Religions whose members marry and reproduce at a rate in excess of 2.1 children per family will grow. The rapid growth of Muslim populations all over the globe owes little to conversion, and a great deal to high birthrates.

Or let us take a happier example: Orthodox Jews. A close friend of mine in his early '70s already has a 100 grandchildren plus or minus. With a little more such fecundity, all the hair-pulling about the disappearance of the Jewish people would cease, even if not one more convert entered our ranks.

Indeed demographers predict that by the middle of the century the decline of the Jewish population will bottom out and reverse due to Orthodox growth.

As Jack Wertheimer, provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary, never tires of pointing out, American Jewry is disappearing because Jewish women tend to marry, if at all, at a later age and have fewer children than any other religious or ethnic group.

In place of the sentence quoted above, I would offer a far more defensible rule: A religion whose foundational texts and basic tenets are unknown to most of its members, whose rites and practices are observed by few, and which is of so little significance in its members' lives that well over 50% marry members of other faiths is fated to diminish.

Such a religion, by the way, will exercise little appeal for converts. The heterodox branches of Judaism could hardly be more welcoming to converts, and yet the rate of conversion among gentile spouses of Jews continues to drop.

Now how about a moratorium on silly statements about religion?

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Yup, we must be doing something right when Peace Now gets their is very upset.

Some 3525 permanent (I love that word) Jewish homes are being built throughout Eretz Yisrael in places they don’t like. And a few months ago the government was forced to concede on a large number of “illegal outposts” that the Sasson report was completely wrong and they were legal expansions of existing settlements on legally owned Jewish land and not illegal outposts on stolen land as she claimed.

The Jews win this round at least. Chazak v’Ematz.

But now is the time to start building new towns, now just expansions of existing ones.
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