Eretz Yisrael Time

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nadia Matar sent me the following picture (she sent me 8 actually) of her town of Efrat.

Apparently it is coming under new ownership.

Actually, it seems these flag-wavers were protesting the wall. Something both Nadia and I agree should be stopped.

Looks like we all have someting in common.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians want it stopped because then it will be more difficult to infiltrate into towns like Efrat and rob the homes or try to blow themselves up in the supermarket.
Google is cool. No question about it.

One of the features I use (but don't remember how I set up) is an automated email alert anytime someone mentions JoeSettler.

So Last Amazon - right back at ya, even if I can not figure out for the life of me where your blog is coming from or how you got there, especially since you are familiar with 10 out of the 16 (and the more esoteric 10 it appears too).

But you definitely are interesting reading also - and just as importantly, on the right side of the track too.
Friday, March 30, 2007
A certain well-known Jewish Left-wing blogger in America responded to the revelation/disclosure that Teddy Kollek was a British Government informant and turned over Irgun and Lechi Jews to be tortured and killed – in quite a typically Leftist fashion.

He even “roughly” compared Irgun and Lechi members to Hamas and Islamic Jihad (as if the Haganah didn't use the same tactics as the Irgun and Lechi when it was politically convenient for them, or after they temporarily changed their minds on the British policy), yet ignores that the Irgun and Lehi only attacked military and government targets -not civilians (and provided ample advance detailed warning on the few (locationally strategic) civilian structural exceptions), unlike what Fatah and Hamas do when they deliberately target women and children - but it's still OK to compare apples to oranges. Strange how their are no Freedom Fighters when the Fighters are Jews and Jewish interests.

Now I don’t know if he is so detached (clueless to use another blogger's words) about turning Jews over to be killed because he lives in America and assumes all leftists worldwide have (and had) the same value system he does, or because being a liberal means that getting your fellow Jews killed by a foreign government that is preventing other Jews from coming into your country to escape being murdered in the Holocaust and to help build the State is acceptable in liberal circles. Go know.

I assume he is not unaware of the history of double-crossing the Jewish Agency had with the Irgun and Lechi who tried to cooperate with them on numerous occasions, only to find themselves turned over to be hanged. Or how the JA turned over many political opponents, not military "rogues" to the British. But he probably figures that that detracts from his point.

And in that he would he just ignore that the Left in Israel (with their Bolshevik philososphies) historically follow as group policy the belief that harming your political enemies (but fellow countrymen) by assisting their enemies (and ultimately your own) is acceptable behavior when they stand in the way of your political goals and power.

While he gives the story a big “yawn” (and I would agree) because that kind of behavior is not unexpected by those on his side of the political spectrum, I also disagree with his “yawn” because that kind of behavior is not unexpected by those on his side of the political spectrum.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
What do the Israeli Left and Palestinian Terrorists have in common?

Quite a lot as you all already know.

But I want to focus on just one point for this post.

10 days ago it became common knowledge that we Jews bought a building in Hebron.

The Left and the Arabs went mad with rage.

Read Haaretz and YNET (or don't) and see the vile bile spewing from their writers. First there was denial - we Jews stole the building. After it was proven that all the paperwork was all in order and we did legally own it, then they started spewing how immoral it was, and how we are inciting to murder Rabin or something.

And the fact is that their position is exactly that of the PA Terrorists. Jews should not and cannot buy land in Hebron, East Jerusalem, or any other place they don’t want Jews in.

So the Left began protesting, and examining the possibility of taking it to the Supreme Court to block the purchase of land by Jews.

And the PA takes the same position. They arrested the Arab who sold the land to us Jews.

Unfortunately, while he made the deal of his life ($700,000) he may have made the deal for his life.

But that doesn’t concern the Left who riled everyone up and publicized the purchase far beyond the quiet move it would have otherwise been.

It’s no (longer a) secret that we settlers (legally) buy lots of land and buildings from Arabs and do our best to protect them by offering them plausible denial (as long as they don’t try to back out and screw us – at which point we pull out signed contracts and videos), but the Left comes along trying to deliberately hurt their fellow Jews to promote their evil agenda, all they end up doing is endangering the lives of Arabs, who did nothing wrong (and in fact, something right).

But morality and people getting hurt or killed is not important to the Left, nor are basic civil rights for those they disagree with. Making parts of the Land of Israel Judenrein is all that interests them - just like the PA terrorists.
Bank Yahav is in the news a lot lately. Finance Minister Hirshson it appears maintains a running overdraft of a few hundred thousand shekels at this bank (the largest in the bank) - with no security or deposits (I certainly don't get that option).

Ha'aretz is reporting some 2 million (unexplained) shekels going into his account.

Despite those large sums of money deposited (and his huge salary), his account still is in a big minus.

What in the world is he doing with all that money, and how do I get a cushy government job like his?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Communications Minister Ariel Atias of Shas has given approval for 2 new radio stations. One for Sephardim and one for Settlers. Both are groups that don't feel represented (and therefore don't listen) to the regular government run/controlled radio stations.

Whether Arutz-7 will win the tender for WestBank radio remains to be seen, and what the allowed range will be (will it include Jerusalem, the Golan, and how far West will it reach?) also needs to be seen. And of course Arutz-7 needs to decide if they want to go for a national license or a regional one (to start off with).

Of course this may be simply an issue of legalizing a certain pirate Sephardic station and Arutz-7 at the same time without a tender at all (or a “closed” tender).

Regardless, it does show the hypocrisy, dishonesty and bias of previous Communication Ministers who refused to allow these 2 groups to have radio frequencies, while approving more and more secular stations (Radio Kol Chai being the exception) who agreed with their political line.

And certainly as PA radio stations illegally grab and occupy every free and not-free radio frequency around the country it’s about time Israel started opening up the radio waves to more than one end of the political spectrum.

Good for you Atias – now who said you need a TV or internet in your house to make a right decision?
Gil Student has an interesting post on Kitniyos. It’s interesting because I’ve been thinking about it all week.

People don’t realize how serious the kitniyos issue is. I did a lot of research into it and there are some extremely good reasons for not eating Kitniyot that are still valid and applicable today – perhaps even more so.

Furthermore, everyone thinks that Sephardim stam eat kitniyot, and that isn’t true either. A lot of Sephardim don’t eat certain items, and the ones they do eat are sifted very carefully.

My mother-in-law (for instance) takes her 12 daughters and spends 3 days sifting through each grain of rice and legume before Pesach in order to use it. If it’s not checked before Pesach, it’s not used.

Now considering I’m outnumbered in my own house (the wife eats Kitniyot, and I’m letting my children follow her minhag in this matter) it becomes a serious consideration. Not so much because Sephardic food will be served (it won’t, because I don’t really like Sephardi food), but because in Israel practically everything is kitniyos.

Looks like it’s time to visit my Rabbi and see what I’m doing this year.

Here is something on A7 about it.

Any comments from the Peanut Kitniyos gallery?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
While one feels sorry for the humanitarian disaster when an entire village in Gaza gets wiped away in a tsunami of poo-poo, on the more cynical side you have to think that if the PA had only invested less (forget about no) money in guns, bullets, suicide bombers, missiles, and other expensive terrorist apparel and weapon systems they could have used that money to actually invest in the infrastructure needs of their own people.

Israel (the “occupier”) built the cesspool in question almost 30 years ago for the needs of the local residents. In the 15 years since Oslo and the local and imported Arabs began running their own affairs nothing was invested in helping their own people.

It’s incredible when you think about it.

The PA receives more UN money per capita than any other state/entity in the world, yet none of it actually seems to go to fixing their situation – just perpetuating it.

Yet one merely continues to be a realist to understand that this won’t change anything for the better.

As a result we will now see money flooding into the Gaza strip earmarked for “humanitarian needs” and projects.

At best it will free up operational funds for more advanced PA bombs and missiles. At worst it will go directly to supporting the families of a new wave of suicide bombers and missile crews.

It’s unfortunate that instead of the world demanding accountability from the Palestinians, and positive proof that money is no longer going to terrorism and actually to helping their people - instead we will see the isolation of this terrorist regime begin to fall apart as the world, eager to throw money at the PA, uses this as an excuse to break the blockade.

Get ready for the next wave of terror.

Doesn't that stink.

(Carl in Jerusalem has some interesting insights)
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The difference between success and failure is sometimes just a matter of where you stand.

For instance, the government feels that the conversion process needs reform as it has failed to convert enough applicants. The religious courts on the other hand probably think they are doing a good job.

So, to decide which it is, the JP is reporting a study that asked the potential converts themselves.

The not so surprising results is that 76% of the potential converts lacked confidence that they would complete the process and be Jewish.

Now here’s the kicker.

70% of them felt it was because the purpose of the conversion process was to make them into religious Jews, not Jewish.

Conversion by Manichewitz

Based on their answers, Jewish must mean something like eating Matza Ball Soup at SpringFest.

I’d say the Rabbinical courts are doing a good job protecting the fort, if that’s the case.

Friday, March 23, 2007
It’s been a busy week for Expulsion supporters. Two more have been named in major crime scandals. The biggest this week was Hirschson, the Minister of Finance, who has apparently gave a bribe ($200,000) to some other unnamed senior politician, along with other various crimes (such as the few million dollars he apparently embezzeled).

To those of us in the Orange camp, it is merely another symptom of how morally bankrupt these people are, and how they are destroying this country with their actions.

But today I want to talk about another problem facing this country. The fact that it is nearly impossible to do business here.

It always is incredible to me how much more expensive it is to do business in Israel and how needlessly bureaucratic any process is.

Whenever you want to collect money, you can’t just fax an invoice. You need send the original copy (and if they require it in advance of paying – which many do, you can end of having to pay a VAT tax of tens of thousands of shekels out of your own pocket, before you even collect an agurah from the client). You also need to send all your tax documents so they can make sure that they don’t have to deduct withholding tax.

Don’t even ask me what’s involved with opening a simple business bank account (lawyers are actually required!).

Now every time I need to pay my software distributors/suppliers in the US, I deal with the same issue.

In Israel, if you license/resell software from overseas that costs more than $2000 a unit, then when you wire money to your overseas supplier to pay for it, the bank automatically deducts 15%-25% withholding tax – by law!

Now if your supplier isn’t familiar with doing business in Israel and other 3rd world countries, they don’t know much about US foreign tax credits and withholding taxes (up to 25%), and they just see themselves being short-changed.

Of course, if the supplier is a startup, they really are getting screwed as they may not be able to apply the foreign tax credit, and then the money is essentially lost.

Just another obstacle in the path of doing business in Israel.

But forget about business to business wire transfers.

I wanted/needed to wire some of my own private (already taxed) Israeli money into my US business account.

The bank wouldn’t let me. Not because they couldn’t do it, just wouldn’t, as they didn’t recommend it, and told me to find a different solution.

In their words, “Don’t do it. You will almost likely be taxed again on this money, there’s a lot of paperwork. This is something the tax authorities always flag. Use your private US account, send it there, and then transfer it again.

Did you get all that? A simple transaction that no one thinks twice about in the US , and the Israeli bank doesn’t recommend doing it because of the hassle and trouble it will cause.

They were looking out for my interest in an environment simply unfriendly to small businesses.

But how is one supposed to do business in Israel in this kind of environment?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Every Settler and reader of JoeSettler knows that Peace Now “fudges” the numbers (and truth) when in comes to that which they hate most – Settlers.

But now, the whole world knows it too.

You see world newspapers reported Peace Now “facts” regarding their claims to stolen Palestinian land, such as when they reported that 40% of the land settlements are built on are owned by private Palestinians.

Or another such Peace Now claim that was even reported in the NY Times – Maaleh Adumim was built on 86.4% private Palestinian Land!

Unfortunately for Peace Now, the Military database that Peace Now supposedly took the information from shows a completely different picture.

For instance, at most 0.5% of Maaleh Adumim is built on private Palestinian Land - and that is based solely on Palestinian claims (not neccesarily documents or evidence) – which means the real number may actually be 0%.

That’s a big whopping mistake to make.

Did Peace Now think the database they “used” would not publicized at some point? Or did they hope to do damage and worry later if they got caught?

Regardless, of their excuses, CAMERA has published a detailed piece showing this and other examples of Peace Now Lies.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Can you imagine a society that demand that women sit on the back of the bus?

A few months ago the newspapers and blogs were aghast at the events that occurred on a Jerusalem bus where male passengers beat up a female passenger who refused to go to the back, as per that buses convention.

Since then, I’ve read in the papers and blogs about the repressive male Chareidi society, and more importantly, people speaking for (not from) the Chareidi society saying the women don’t want to be sitting in the back.

A lot of the authors are so sure how wrong it is, and that the Chareidi community doesn’t have the right to demand from Egged separate seating buses for those limited routes that serve only their community, and how Chareidi women are being repressed.

And of course those writers wrote how if the women only had a voice they wouldn’t accept it.

I have to ask you. How many of these big talkers speaking for Chareidi women have actually gone and asked them what they really want?

How many have gone and asked them if they feel more comfortable sitting in the back without men?

How many have asked them if it makes them feel like second class citizens?

The answer is, I don’t think anyone asked them.

So now, let me tell you about my experience.

I just spent the day in the major center of Chareidi life – Bnei Brak.

If there is one thing you can say about Bnei Brak is that spending time there you quickly learn that Chareidi life isn’t monolithic, and it isn’t the stereotype you constantly are force fed. (But I definitely can't stand driving around that city with all the pedestrians in the streets - sidewalks are for chumps in Bnei Brak).

I met Chareidi men who work to support their families. I saw some Chareidi men coming home from their army service – in uniform. I saw a Chareidi mechanic (how he doesn't get his payis stuck in the fan belt is beyond me). I spoke with a Chareidi lady who ran a store. And I saw Chareidim smoking cigarettes on the corner, other’s learning in Yeshiva, and a Chareidi makolet lady who wouldn’t speak to me at all, and another store that wouldn’t let me in because it was women’s hour.

But with regard to the bus thing, let me describe a very interesting experience.

At one point during the day, I went into a building that for some reason happened to have had a lot of women in it, and only one elevator.

If I entered the elevator, 50% of the time a woman in there walked out. If I was in the elevator, again 50% of the time, the women waiting refused to get in.

Those women were concerned about Yichud (even if there isn’t a problem as far as I am concerned).

These are the same women that want to sit on the back of the bus.

It is their choice and their preference. It’s not forced on them - some women obviously had no problem. One woman (shhhh) even initiated a conversation with me! (I didn't talk to her, I was afraid she'd get in trouble with her friends - she probably thinks settlers are rude).

Chareidi society is hardly monolithic, but there are significant portions that do like their gender separation – despite what those speaking in their name have to say.

Egged has the choice, to keep their customers happy or lose the route and a lot of money (the Bnei Brak–Jerusalem route is one of their most profitable routes). If Egged won’t supply the service the Chaperim will. And the Chaperim will do well (as Egged found out two years ago).

It’s ridiculous that people keep attacking the right of Egged to supply a service the customer wants, particularly as they supply mixed buses along the same route at the same times.

It’s time people stopped trying to defend the rights of Chareidi women to sit with mixed seating. Trust me. These women know exactly what they want and have no problem demanding it.

I had to get out of the elevator a lot today and wait for the next one.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I'm not really into blog promotion, though I have been thinking of (and discarding) ideas on how to get JoeSettler to reach a wider public (stop insulting people I disagree with?), but I did come across a Jewish blog which is very unusual, so here is the link. You can go visit them if you want.

(And thanks to IgNoble Experiment who I see wrote some very nice stuff about me.)
Man, I usually don’t discuss politics, but there is a lot of resentment running around the Jewish Israel Blog world these past few weeks/months, and while I wasn’t quite oblivious to it all (I was included on a few different email lists, though I don’t know why), I didn’t realize how bad it was until today.

I don’t know if all this is about cronyism, hurt egos, big egos, misunderstandings, or misdeeds. But it is definitely getting nasty, that’s for sure.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, you’re not missing anything.

If you do, then give yourself an award.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Every now and then Egypt likes to work up their people's hate against Israel and claim Israeli soldiers killed Egyptian POWs (they really confused sometimes).

So when Channel 1 ran a documentary a few weeks ago that seemed to support that claim, well Egypt just went bananas and began demanding investigations and that Israeli heads should roll (and be arrested if they stepped into Egypt).

Turns out that the Channel 1 filmmakers messed up. They took photos from after an IDF battle with Palestinian terrorists (even then, back in 1967 before the “occupation”) and mixed them up with some pictures of the Egyptians, and oops, they mistakenly declared that Israel killed Egyptian POWs.

Now, I’m not going to say how irresponsible that is on so many fronts, but they’ve come out admitting the mistake and showing the sources of the different photos.

That of course wasn’t satisfactory for the Egytpians.

Now Channel 10 just showed actual (film) footage from the Yom Kippur war of Egyptian soldiers killing Israeli POWs (with their hands tied behind their backs).

The Egyptians are furious at Israel for daring to show such films. They are calling the film absurd. Go figure.

It reminds that during this last war (which I’ll name “The War Barak got us into, not out of”) when Hizbollah troops lost and could have safely surrendered, they chose instead to commit suicide.

It says a lot about a culture that would prefer to die rather than be captured.

At first glance they might be worried about what the Israelis might do to them (but if they thought about it a bit, they’d realize they’d be released within time). In reality they are looking at it, as what would happen if they were doing the capturing.

These Hizbollah cowards could only figure the Israelis would do to them what they certainly would (and) have done to the Israelis they captured, so they opted for the cowards way out, terrified they would get what they give.

What a sick culture.

(I sometimes wonder about the lack of Israeli rage of this real event, when the Arabs can get so upset about a fake one. I guess we expect this behavior from them, so it is difficult to get excited.)
Surprising that it is in YNET, but certainly a wonderful retort to the completely one-sided piece in the InJerusalem last week praising certain anti-Judaism organizations, I recommend this article.

Actually it is part of a series of articles of a secular Israeli describing her experience with Chabad in Brooklyn, and her walking away with, well, for that you should read the article.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
The JP is reporting some not unexpected survey results.

But before I discuss them, I don’t see why everyone on the right is so upset that the Arab Minister (who now has access to secret military information) refuses to sing HaTikva. We all know his loyalty isn’t to the Jewish state, nor for that matter is Olmert’s or Peres’s. They are loyal (sometimes/hopefully) to something called Israel “the Jewish State” where Jewish is just a meaningless buzzword that is not supposed to really represent anything Jewish other than in name.

But going back to the poll, it was found that 28% of Israeli Arabs don’t believe the Holocaust happened, and it goes up to 33% if you just look at Arab High School and College graduates.

48% of Israeli Arabs felt that Hizbollah attacks on Israel were justified.
89% felt that the IDF bombing of Lebanon was a war crime.

In short, if you were concerned that there is an active 5th column in this country (besides the Left), then you are right to be worried.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
America isn’t England or France, where unconcealed anti-Semitism is socially acceptable or at least not socially reprimanded.

But that doesn’t mean that anti-Semitism isn’t rampant in America, just that it is more subtle.

Over the weekend I kept reading in the papers how everyone was surprised and shocked at Olmert’s explicit support for the war in Iraq and how a US victory in Iraq is good for Israel.

The shock and surprise came from the fact that US Jews are trying to keep a low profile when it comes to the war in Iraq. Apparently they fear fallout for themselves and Israel if they were to openly say that fighting dictatorships and bringing democracy and freedom to the world is a good thing. They fear that certain sectors of people will begin to openly say, what they now only whisper, that the “Zionists” are behind the war in Iraq (and 9/11 has nothing to do with it).

Now let me ask you.

Does keeping a low profile indicate the behavior of someone secure with their position and status in a society, or does it indicate that anti-Semitism is really just under the cover and no one wants to bring it out into the open?

Talk away…
Friday, March 16, 2007
On my way to and from visiting the person I thought was Jameel, I drove around the Dan (Tel Aviv) region and have come to a startling conclusion.

I now know why there is a green line and why Israel is building a wall.

If you think about it for a second, Yesh(a) isn’t the Negev, Golan or the Galil. It is a mere ten minute drive from some of the largest, densest cities in Israel.

Can you imagine what would have happened if the expansionist central Israeli with his dreams of overcrowded concrete jungles would have grown unrestricted over the green line a mere 10 minutes from his home?

The “Green” Line doesn’t refer to some green line on a map. It refers to where the land changes from asphalt gray to luscious green.

That by the way is the real reason the Israelis are building a wall.

While we settlers build homes with gardens, and farms and the like in our satellite communities, the Israelis of central Israel can’t stand the color, so they are building a wall to block it from their view.

Finally it all comes together.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I’m not sure whether this is a bribe, naiveté, or just simply a danger to Israel.

The Reform movement pledged to donate/invest $100 Million dollars in Israel which they will use to expand their operations in Israel, in exchange, or as a result, they expect Israel to officially implement the divisive, sectarian aspects of their religion.

I guess it fits for some people – after all, the Reform movement’s definition of Judaism is a rather broad and expansive use of the term, just like Peres’s definition of Peaceful Palestinians.

But delegitimizing the Reform movement’s connection to Judaism isn’t the goal of this post, they do that well enough on their own.

My complaint is that Columbia University’s Samuel Freedman is silent.

Here is a group of American Jews (some of them Jewish perhaps) sitting at home with money, trying to impose their divisive religious agenda, which is certainly not accepted by the majority of Israelis, and would definitely divide the nation in two if succeeded.

Yet Professor Freedman hasn’t expressed his outrage at this blatant attempt at armchair religion.

I don’t think Freedman should be allowed to write for the Jerusalem Post anymore if he doesn’t own up to his hypocrisy.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Not good for Israel.

The only thing good is that Amir Peretz must be eating his heart out, thinking to himself they are doing the strike all wrong, and he would have had the entire country paralyzed by now.

Of course, Peretz did and is doing much more damage to us strategically and militarily while he still sits as Defense Minister.

I don’t which is the worse of two evils.

Olmert also doesn’t plan to quit, despite the Winograd findings.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
What happens when the American mentality of clean government and transparency meets up with the Israeli mentality of, well, the exact opposite?

First let me say that until now, this flew completely under my radar screen, and I am just catching up with the story.

But let me start with the punch line.

It was rumored that Stanley Fischer, the American Governor of the Bank of Israel, was going to call a press conference to resign today – because of the wildcat strike by Bank of Israel employees.

Now let me give you the background.

Apparently Fischer decided to investigate salaries and perks of Bank of Israel employees.

He found that the people printing the money were also taking quite a bit of it home – illegally.

Between massive perks and massive bonuses, Fischer found a culture that accepts the pinching of office supplies and inventory (money).

He sent out a letter to employees that not only will the skimming stop, but all employees will be expected to return their illegal gains.

In reaction, the bank union has called for a strike. Within a few days the ATMs in Israel will be out of money, international wire transfers won’t be possible, and banking (and businesses that rely on banking) will reach a dead stop.

Hirschson, the Finance Minister is trying the mediate between the two sides, Fischer, who is demanding clean government in his domain and Bank of Israel workers committee chairperson Rimona Leibowitz, who represents those stealing our tax dollars.

This is a serious issue, because if banking stops, then business stops. On the other hand, if the stealing continues, then we all continue to pay for it.

But this isn't really about money, it's nothing more than a culture clash.

This is flying around the emails.
I can't give a hattip as I don't know who made it.

Monday, March 12, 2007
Rumor has it that Barry Chamish can no longer say that Yigal Amir only shoots blanks.
Please tell me if you can read this without falling off your chair laughing at the Keystone cops.

The police, in typical fashion, keep harassing Federman in ways that are simply illegal, such as arresting him with a warrant that was revoked, or using the wrong courts to sue him (or his family) in (which they lose anyway).

Or filing a legal suit against his minor-age daughter in court.

But for me, there is one paragraph that beats all –the section about the police video CD in Federman’s possession that the police had mistakenly presented as evidence – mistakenly as it shows they were lying.

Police corruption starts at the top, but apparently so does their incompetence.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
You know, people are always attacking armchair Zionists. I mean, even I (deservingly) make fun of the Kachnikim in America with their big talk of, well you know what, from 6000 miles away.

But the reality is that everyone has an opinion on Israel and wants to influence what goes on here.

This Shabbos I read a really tacky piece in the Jerusalem Post by Samuel Freedman, a Columbia University professor who spent some time visiting Israel at some point in his life.

He throws the idiotic argument that American (rightwing) Jews have no right to push their beliefs onto Israelis from the safety of their Manhattan apartments while they and their children aren’t on the front lines (as if the majority of Israelis actually served in combat units and might face an enemy themselves – a common myth).

What brought down the wrath of Freedman is that Amana, an organization for helping Jewish families move into Settlements, is running a rather creative program to help fund their wonderful operation.

Their plan is to help young families who want to move into settlements (and there are many), but can’t afford to (unfortunately there are many of those too).

The idea is to find Jews in America who would be willing to buy homes, and rent them out. Thus the Jews in America would own property in Israel, would make money back from rent, and would do something positive for Israel and for us Settlers.

An excellent idea (though I would have had them buy the homes for the young Settlers and instead of rent have them pay it off as an affordable mortgage, but then again the idea is that they get to own a home in Israel too).

Freedman found this idea to be horrific. What right do these American Jews have from the comfort of their home to interfere with what he clearly considers a politically evil action (I don’t see him railing against Jews buying homes and renting them out in other locations - just in parts of Israel).

Freedman finds it offensive that Zionism for these Jews includes the areas that are Biblically central to the Jewish identity.

He is concerned that “Zionism will become tantamount to Eretz Yisrael rather than Medinat Yisrael”. Which in reality it is. He doesn’t like that these “recalcitrant Jews” (sic) are using their money to define Zionism in a way he disagrees with.

Personally, I'm not here for the Medinah.

But that isn’t my real problem with a leftist like Freedman.

No, you see my real problem is that organizations like Peace Now, Yesh Gvul, and Gush Shalom openly receive money from foreign governments and organizations (and private individuals) that do not have Israel’s best interests at heart. My problem is that organizations like Machsom Watch and Peace Now distort and supply (political) ammunition that is used by Jew haters worldwide.

My problem is that Freedman is rather one-sided.

He doesn’t come out and say that all Israeli organizations should not accept funding and support for their one-sided, not across the board supported activities. Freedman doesn’t say that left-wing Liberal Jews or Arab governments shouldn’t use their money to influence and define Israel according to their definition of Zionism.

He doesn’t say that it is wrong of American Friends of Peace Now to run campaigns and fundraising from their well-known supporters in California, even though Peace Now is hardly within the general consensus and there are many who would even view their activities as subversive and dangerous.

No, Freedman rails against Right-wing Jews giving money to a cause they believe in (that he doesn’t).

Last time I checked, we settlers want more Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, and we settlers want to strengthen the connection of American Jews to their biblical homeland. (And if not for the Torah, then what the hell are we doing here?)

So from where I am sitting, when we settlers have the opportunity to strengthen the bonds of American Jews with our homeland, and perhaps counter the destructive efforts of the fanatic left (be they in Hollywood, Columbia University, or North Tel Aviv) then I say go for it.

From the safety of his chair in Columbia University I would expect Freedman to not interfere with our local politics and definition of Zionism if he’s not prepared to offer that same right to everyone.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It was brought to my attention this Shabbat by someone I know in the (Jewish) movie industry that YouTube is the new battleground of anti-Semitism.

It seems that besides the comments section where (as I’ve checked) the neo-Nazis write their diatribes against Jews and Israel they also play another game.
They have organized a network of Jew-haters that go around flagging Jewish/Israel related videos as “inappropriate”. When the videos are tagged enough times, they are apparently taken down.

While doing some initial research on it this evening I came across this posting by Sultan Knish who describes how he experienced this attack on his videos and gives links to other similar attacks.

Sultan Knish says to not give up the fight, but I say there are alternatives to YouTube, such as Israeli founded and other Jewish-oriented video sites that are popping up.

Do we give up on sites like YouTube?

I say we don’t need to give them the traffic.

Google has a problem that when you type in Jew there are at least 2 anti-Semitic sites in the top 10 slot, but at least they acknowledge the problem, even if they haven’t really done much about it (unless it used to be worse).

I’m not saying YouTube should censor their comments section, but they should definitely add an override to their “inappropriate” algorithm if the flagged video contains the word Israel or Jewish.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Arabs in Hebron (almost) filed a complaint on videoed "incidents" of Settler violence. Instaed they went to B'tselem to have them propagate (propagandize?) their home videos.

And what incidents of violence were on the video?

1. A little boy was shown screaming and throwing stones at some Arabs.
The Jewish little boy's clothing are disheveled and torn as if he was just in a fight with the Arab boy he was throwing stones at.

And lo and behold, the Arabs actually admit that he was in a fight with their grandson. What isn't seen on the video (of course) is the fist fight the Arab kid probably started that triggered it off, who then ran away to the safety of the person holding the video camera and was selectively filming. Major international incident.

2. A clearly disturbed little boy alternating between kicking the gate, throwing rocks, and twirling around in circles. What we do see next is the boy's father picking the little kid up (who is then having a tantrum) and dragging him away. Major international autistic incident.

3. Another screaming match between neighbors (both sides screaming). Major International incident.

4. 4-5 year old girls throwing eggs. Again, another major international incident.

Two things about the article amused me:
1) The video was sent to a Leftwing group instead of the police.

Why? Because as you saw for yourself, the complaint would have been thrown out for being utterly ridiculous.

2) This line: "Abu-Aisha stressed that the problem is not with all the Jews: "We can and have lived well with Jews. The problem is with this group that didn't come here to live but came here to drive us out."

You gotta admit, coming from an Arab in Hebron, that's a pretty funny sentence.
There’s no connection between this and this.

And this and this are barely newsworthy anymore.

And this must be a bad joke.

That’s the news, and I’m outa here.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Arutz-7 is reporting that the religious fundamentalist leftist organization “Rabbis for Human Rights” (apparently a religious movement with goals similar to Hamas) is leading the struggle for Arabs to steal land from the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

They are instigating Arabs (and other Leftists groups) to go to the borders of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria and start building illegal structures and planting trees – on the land owned by the settlements, private individuals, or the state.

When they’ve lost in court, due to the clear ownership of the land in question by Jews, they’ve acted violently against Jews and security forces in the region.

One of their mullahs wrote to followers:
“"An hour ago, the powers that be ruled in favor of a farmer from Haris [near the city of Ariel, in Samaria]. Twice last week we didn't succeed in planting on his lands next to the settlement of Revava," writes Rabbis for Human Rights director Arik Ascherman.

Openly admitting that the farm is owned by a Jew and that the courts agreed that the farm is owned by a Jew, Asdherman acknowledges that he to trying to steal land.

If you recall, on Tu B’shavat I wrote how after attempting to physically block Jewish children from planting trees on Tu B’Shavat on uncontested Jewish owned land, later at night, someone uprooted and destroyed the 5000 trees planted by children on the Jewish-owned farm.

After being blocked by security forces, one of the fundamentalist leftist leaders was heard saying, “For every day, there is a night.” – a hint to the action they would apparently be taking later.

How typical Left. They declare they are for Justice, but like all Leftists, when it comes to Israel and fellow Jews, lying and stealing are permitted behaviors.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been in Durban too, standing side by side with all the other anti-Semites.

Oh, look, they were – and it probably was paid for by the Ford Foundation (a leading financial supporter of anti-Semitic/anti-Israeli organizations).
It is even more embarrassing, however, to note the position of Israeli human rights groups…. Other Israeli human rights groups, like Bat Shalom (a feminist peace organization of Israeli women) and Rabbis For Human Rights, actually came to Durban to take part in the anti-Israel bashing, which was even more ferocious in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) forum than in the conference of governmental representatives.

See, we Jews even have our own Hizbollah and Hamas activists. Time to get them in contact with Al-Qaida.
As I mentioned, Jameel interviewed me for Purim and put the following podcast up.

I'd like to thank everyone anonymous who made this podcast possible.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Come Purim, a lot of discussion arises regarding both the identity of Amalek and the mitzvah to destroy all memory of them entirely. The question arises if Amalek still exist as an identifiable race or just as an identifiable ideology. The question arises as to the morality of committing genocide against a race (or ideology) committed to committing genocide against us first.

Purim shows us what happened after King Saul had mercy on the Amalekite King Agag (allowing him to father a child with his wife, who then escaped pregnant)– when Mordechai (King Saul’s descendent) had to obliterate Haman (King Agag’s descendent) before Haman wiped out the Jewish people (or at least tried).

Rav Soleveichik apparently said at one point that the Palestinians are the ideological descendents in this generation (hattip: Jameel), but perhaps they (or some of them) are also the actual descendents too.

Jewish tradition describes Amalek as the antithesis of the Jewish people. Their first crime was in being the first to attack Israel, but their real crime is in their ideology in that they stand against God and what He represents. Attacking Israel is the symptom of the disease.

True, there are and have been many anti-Semites that fit this description, and there is no reason to not expect that the descendents of Amalek also spread out over the world, just like the Jews did (and if we describe them as the antithesis of the Jews, it makes even more sense that they did so too).

I find it difficult to attribute the Palestinian genocidal attempts against the Jewish people to mere ideology. True, ideology is strong, but to be happy to have your son or daughter kill himself if only he can kill a Jew along with him seems to go far beyond a belief system.

It may very well be that just like the Jews have an Erev Rav sitting amongst us causing problems, the Arab descendents of Yishmael have Amalek’s descendents sitting among them.

The medrash says that the descendents of Yishmael will do Tshuva (just like the original Yishmael did), but after debasing themselves beyond the lowest level of humanity, no less than Nazi Germany, I don’t see how that can be possible unless Amalek is mixed in with Yishmael and Bnei Yishmael somehow manages to destroy their evil elements living openly within.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Quoting the Jerusalem Post
Vice Premier Shimon Peres said on Saturday that the government was still committed to evacuating West Bank settlements, and blamed its failure to do so on Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel.

So let me see if I got this straight.

If Hamas (who are as dedicated as Fatah to destroying Israel and getting Jews out of Israel) are willing to mouth the words “We recognize Israel”, then Peres is willing to be their instrument of Israeli destruction.

“Revach v’Haztala yaamod l’yehudim memakom acher”

Purim Sameach
Friday, March 02, 2007
HUGE HATTIP to Lurker for the links.

I heard this on the news and didn’t pay attention.Eurovision usually interests me like… well it doesn’t interest me.

Lurker pointed out everything that I missed.

The Eurovision officials nixed the Israeli choice for the song we wanted to present at EuroVision. They said the song “Push the Button” had an inappropriate political message regarding Nuclear War and regional maniacs who want to push the button and wipe us out. Click here and Press on 1 for the song and lyrics.

Of course what they completely missed was that the runner-up song, which will now be presented (unless they catch on) is even more political.

The name of the song is “Salam-Salami” (Click on 2 in the above link).

It is a thinly veiled reference to the Oslo Salami Peace Process.

The words of the song discuss eating a salami sandwich and the desire for the salami sandwich, but every sentence is an obvious (to us) reference to the “Peace Process”, secret back room deals, terrorist attacks, how the "Peace" turned out to be a salami and Israel is being sliced up, and how we are being eaten like a salami sandwich.

The song finishes that not everyone wants Peace, so let stop cutting up the sandwich.

Talk about Eurovision officials shooting themselves in the foot.

This year I may even listen.
If you popped by looking for the Purim Party, it's over by Jameel!

Happy Purim Everyone
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