Eretz Yisrael Time

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Sunday, September 28, 2008
With the year winding down, and Rosh Hashana imminently approaching, we've decided to spend one of the remaining posts of the year to announce our choices for the "Man of the Year" award. As opposed to limiting it to one winner, we've chosen to announce our choices for these awards in a few different categories.

Men of the Year
There was no question as to who should be awarded the man of the year. Though with these candidates, we couldn't choose just one. Each candidate selflessly risked his life to save other Jews, ignoring the possible repercussions of being thrown in jail or killed for their actions.

These 5 are the heroes who lived up to the adage in Pirkei Avot "where there is no (police)men, strive to be a man.". They are Yitzhak Dadon, David Shapira, Yakki Asa-El, Moshe Plesser, and Elad Amar.

[Double Tapper raised a valid point. What about Rabbi Erez Bar-On, who killed the terrorist near Shiloh in April 08? And if we are including him, what about the school counselors who killed the 2 terrorists that tried to infiltrate the Makor Haim (Steinzaltz) High School in January 08?

I think we need to include them all.]

Legal Affairs:
One would hope that is a modern democratic state one can't be arrested and detained indefinitely for one's political views, but we unfortunately know that not to be the case.

This year a group of young girls (all minors in fact) had the temerity and will to stand up against a politicized judicial, legal, and prison system. They successfully fought back by simply not disclosing their names (even though, those in charge knew them already), and in return suffered weeks (and months) of physical abuse at the hands of the police and prison authorities, along with legal abuse and attempts of "reeducation" at the hand the judges. They withstood it all, and prevailed.

Human Rights:
There's a sector of society that is constantly under attack, whose basic civil and human rights are constantly ignored and dismissed, a sector that while suffering terrorist attacks is vilified.

There is a person who has consistently fought for their rights, and created an organization called "The Organization for Human Rights in Yesha" specifically for that purpose. While it was a close race with Nitzana Darsha-Leitner, In the human rights category this award goes to none other than Orit Struck.

There's no question that the most revolutionary cultural event this year which has taken this country by storm is the show Srugim. Probably no other show has so many sectors of society watching and discussing it, and perhaps even influencing them, not to mention the number of comments each post gets on this blog. This award obviously goes to "Laizy" Shapiro for Srugim.

Criminal of the Year
With so many politicians and public figures to choose from, it was a tough choice. Between the Minister of Finance, the Vice-Prime Minister and former Minister of Justice, the Commissioner of the Police, the Director of the Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister, the Abutbul crime family, Boaz Yona, this list could go on for pages.In the end we've decided to award this one to "Peace Now", because unlike everyone else mentioned above, they've gotten away with it.

Peace Now has managed to implement a tax fraud scheme on an international level - and get away with it, Peace Now has managed to create standing in the courts, when it doesn't even exist as a legal entity - and get away with it, Peace Now is openly funded by foreign (and not necessarily friendly) governments looking to influence and manipulate Israeli society and policy - and get away with it, and Peace Now has managed to infiltrate into the highest levels of the government - and get with it. Clearly the winner.

Pollster of the Year
While all the media pollsters where giving completely wrong numbers regarding the Kadima primary, only one lone voice gave an accurate number. Despite being off by a mere few hundred votes (which can be explained by ballot stuffing and fraud) this award goes to Shaul Mofaz.

Event of the Year
None other than the First International Jewish Bloggers Convention, Hosted by Nefesh B'Nefesh and Powered by WebAds. No further explanation needed, it was simply awesome.

Blogger of the Year
This is a tough one. I'm biased, but as it's not nice to vote for myself, I'm awarding it to the Muqata.
I hope the Jordan Valley settlements have a good PR team in place, because apparently Olmert (still the Prime Minister) has sold them down the (Jordan) river.
It rained on Shabbat. The first rain of the season.
A good sign.
Friday, September 26, 2008
-- Public Service Message --

Forget about voting in Israel, Elections for President of the US are coming up quickly.

If you are an American living in Israel and want to exercise your right to vote, you MUST register in advance.

If you don't register, you can't vote. Period.

And registration ends Monday, October 6, 2008. That's in a week!!!!!

Here is how to register:

(1) Go to the Vote from Israel site.

(2) Enter your name and other info to get the registration form.

(3) The form is a PDF.

(4) Fill it out.

(5) PRINT IT OUT. You can not email it. PRINT IT OUT.

(6) Sign it.

(7) Drop it off by October 6 at one of the convenient drop-off points listed on the site.

(8) Wait by the mailbox, and get your voter info.

(9) Vote!

Americans in Israel - Register to Vote before it is too late.
Washington Mutual.

This is not good for America, especially where any government decision on how to help will be pushed or fought based on who it helps in the elections as opposed to how it helps the American people.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Controversy Alert

Defense Minister Ehud Barak:
"We won't allow anyone, of any dark corner of Israeli society, harass people, not in general and especially not when it comes to people with a voice as rare and clear as Ze'ev Sternhell's."

I want to make it clear that I am not advocating the use of violence against Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, but it would behoove people to better know who he is, and his public calls for force, violence and the murder of Jewish Settlers.
(Hat tip to Lurker for the research).

What does the rare voice of Sternhell clearly have to say?

"Fascism cannot be stopped with rational arguments. This can be stopped only by force, and when there is willingness to risk a civil war. When necessary, we shall have to forcibly deal with the settlers in Ofra or in Elon Moreh. Only a person who is willing to advance against Ofra with tanks will be capable of curbing the fascist drift that threatens to inundate Israeli democracy."
- Zeev Sternhell, Davar newspaper, April 1988

(Talk about fascist ideas, that's the pot calling the kettle black.)

"There is no doubt regarding the legitimacy of the armed resistance in the territories themselves. If the Palestinians had a bit of sense, they would concentrate their struggle against the settlements. [...] They would similarly refrain from placing explosive charges on the western side of the Green Line."
- Prof. Zeev Sternhell, Haaretz, May 11, 2001

(in an article justifying Arab terror against settlers, calling upon the Arabs to murder settlers, and encouraging them to place explosive charges, but only on the eastern side of the Green Line).

Lots more Lefty quotes advocating violence against religious Jews and Settlers in an old post in the comments section over by the Muqata.
Kadima probably deserves the award for the most corrupt party in the history of Israeli politics. It was born in sin, its leaders aren’t known for their honesty or integrity, many that jumped ship were under criminal investigations, so it comes as no surprise to what extent that corruption has extended into the Kadima primaries.

I do find it amusing that Mofaz waffles even more than Obama. Here’s a guy who said he wouldn’t leave the Likud, until he did, and then after he lost the primaries this time he said he’s leaving politics, but now it is just a week vacation for Rosh Hashana.

Anyway, back to Kadima corruption.

It seems that the corruption at the ballot boxes was worse than anyone imagined at first.

It turns out that there were “discrepancies” at 71 of the 115 polling stations.

And not little things either.

Discrepancies that include nothing less than ballot stuffing so severe it can’t be brushed under the carpet.

Discrepancies where the boxes had more votes in them than there were members who were registered to vote in that station (forget about more votes than the number of people who even showed up to vote there). And remember, Livni won by just a few votes.

People used to joke about Chareidim overseas mailing over their T”Zs so their neighbor who looked like them can vote for them. Forget the Chareidim, the members of Kadima blow that shtick out of the water.

And of course stuff was even caught on film. The TV showed polling stations where people were actually directing other people how to vote (particularly where Livni won by a landslide)!

The internal Kadima court does not think these infractions to be serious enough to demand a new primary, to discount those voting stations, or even guarantee a recount - of course they don’t, they are members of Kadima, the most corrupt party in Israeli history.

The police and State Comptroller may now need to be look into it.

So remember, Tzipi Livni is now (currently) the head of Kadima, the most corrupt party in the history of Israeli politics, whose victory is apparently the result of a really corrupt voting process.

Nothing's changed.
In case you missed it, besides the BMW attack last night, yesterday there was also another attempted run over attack (and an attempted stabbing, and a variety of other incidents).

Right after the second bulldozer attack, I found myself in Har Homa, of all places.

I'm standing in the street busy getting things out of our parked car, when I noticed from the corner of my eye a bulldozer driving down the street towards us.

As the bulldozer approached us a few car lengths away, my wife said something wasn't right, and I decided that maybe I want to be paying more attention to it.

It was at that point I noticed what my wife saw. The Arab driver had a really angry expression on his face and was staring at me quite hard. In fact he didn't take his eyes off me for a second.

What was going on in his mind, I don't know, but it didn't look good from where I was standing.

So I turned around, faced him, very clearly put my hand on my gun, and pulled it out enough so he saw what was going to happen next if he tried anything.

He drove past, but his eyes were not on the road the entire time.

My wife who was watching from the side is sure I averted a terrorist attack.

(Lurker: I have no connection that I know of to David Shapira).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I know Rosh Hashana is coming up, but there was something in the back of my mind that was bothering me, and it was related to Pesach.

During Pesach we read about the 4 sons. When you read the question of the Evil Son it is hardly different from the question of the Good Son - except that he excludes himself.

The Rashah (The wicked son) - What does he say? 'Of what purpose is this service to you?' To you (he said), (implying) and not to himself."

I wrote about Obama's interview with the Jerusalem Post back in July.

I want to reprint two quotes from the same answer, and let's see if you catch the subtle, yet unbelievably obvious message being said here.

“Israel may seek "67-plus" and justify it in terms of the buffer that they need for security purposes. They've got to consider whether getting that buffer is worth the antagonism of the other party.”


“The Palestinians are going to have to make a calculation: Are we going to fight for every inch of that '67 border or, given the fact that 40 years have now passed, and new realities have taken place on the ground, do we take a deal that may not perfectly align with the '67 boundaries?”

Does anyone have any question anymore as to what Obama really thinks, where his sympathies actually lie, and how he will side in any negotiations or policy issues involving Israel?
Monday, September 22, 2008
In case you were confused by what is going on in the Israeli government, after all, “if Olmert quit, what is he still doing there?” - let me explain.

Yes, Olmert handed in his resignation and Livni is now the head of the Kadima party, but that doesn’t mean Olmert is out of his job as Prime Minister or that Livni is the Prime Minister (yet).

You see, Olmert, by resigning has ensured that he remains Prime Minister for the time being.

Livni now needs to form a government and has 42 work days to do so. During that time Olmert remains Prime Minister, and has the power to fire any cabinet minister he wants (though his general powers are more limited).

If Livni fails to form a government in 42 work days, then in 3 months (or so) after that we go to general elections, all the while as Olmert remains as Prime Minister (not Livni). Though from what I understand, it could take longer than the 3 months.

In short, Olmert needs to hope that Livni fails to form a government, and he keeps his job for at least another 5 months.

Meanwhile, this is a great extortion opportunity for all the other parties like Labor, Shas, and so on. They can make more serious demands from Livni, and the question is whether she will give in to them.

But Ehud Barak (who is also very afraid of elections) apparently already folded in exchange for a commitment that she won’t run to elections right away (she would have an advantage over him as a sitting Prime Minister), and he figures he will be her defense minister (something Netanyahu apparently didn’t promise him last night).

Honestly, I’m not sure what good being Defense Minister does for Barak, does he really want the reputation of running away from Lebanon twice?

Anyway, that’s the government in a nutshell.
On June 1, a Philosophy bogrut (matriculation exam) was given in the Beit Hannah-Chabad girls' school in Jerusalem, as it has been for decades.

A Ministry of Education proctor showed up to proctor the exam, as always.

But this time the proctor showed up very inappropriately dressed for a Chareidi school (apparently in pants and a tank-top).

The principal, Rabbi Asher Solomon welcomed the proctor into the school, but told her she can’t go into the girls classrooms dressed like that as they are a Chareidi school, and they are teaching their girls that a certain mode of dress is permitted and a certain mode isn’t.

Rabbi Solomon told the proctor that if she fixes her clothing she can go in, the proctor said there is nothing wrong with her clothing, and left.

In the decades that the bogruts have been given in this school, there have been almost no tests disqualified for cheating.

But the ministry (under Yuli Tamir guidance) in retaliation has disqualified all 243 exams that were given.

The only failing grades in this story go to the Ministry of Education and the Proctor.

By the way, this reminds me of the story a few years back of the girl who came for her driving test very minimally dressed. The Tester (not religious) refused to test her saying that her lack of clothing was very inappropriate (and as far as he was concerned, she came dressed that way to help her pass the test), and he wouldn’t test her until she put a shirt on. I believe it may have even gone to court. Either way, the girl had to take the test again, this time with clothing on.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Vice-idiot Ramon has said that Israel must reassess it's ceasefire with Gaza.

You see, Ramon was surprised to learn that the Palestinians are not keeping to their end of the ceasefire and to his total surprise are using the lull in IDF activity to (gasp) smuggle in more long-range rockets (not to mention, continue to lob missiles at us)!

Who could have foreseen such a thing?

Well, actually super-genius Barak claims to have foreseen it, as his office feels that any additional day of quiet now is worth the massive missile attacks Israel will face later when Hamas decides they are sufficiently ready to attack us in full force.

Perhaps considering who our leaders are, Barak may be right. I would hate for us to fight another war with him as Defense Minister, or with Olmert or Livni as Prime Minister.

I assume that is what he meant.
Forget Chelm, the shenanigans of the Government in Israel is like one of those bad soap operas on TV.

In this episdoe, will Olmert does quit today, leaving Livni to face the "challenge" of rebuilding her coalition?

Will Livni then be able to bribe Shas sufficiently to keep them in the coalition? Or will she trade in one set of court Jews for another?

Meanwhile UTJ have announced their readiness to replace Shas's close position to the feeding trough. Their price is cheaper, but are they bringing enough to the table?

Perhaps not a problem as Ultra-Left Meretz is a serious contender for coalition parner in Livni's eyes. Watch as her father rolls in his grave as he finds out.

Watch as Meretz and UTJ sit together for a meal, pass that cheeseburger.

Does Barak think that keeping Labor in the government longer will actually give him a better chance in the next election?

Find out all the answers in this week's installment of "The Last Days of our State".
An IDF soldier on duty Saturday morning spotted a Palestinian terrorist about to throw a firebomb into the town of Yitzhar. (It appears from the thermal videos that it blew up unexpectedly, very soon after he actually lit it).

The IDF soldier displayed a proper and healthy reaction upon spotting the terrorist. He immediately shot and killed him.

The terrorist was from the terrorist-supporting village of Assira al-Kubliyeh, the village where last week's terrorist ran to for succor and safety.

Terrorism runs in that family it would appear, as the brother of today's terrorist was killed by the IDF in 2002 after attempting to murder 4 soldiers (and succeeding in injuring them). That terrorist was put down in that incident also.
Friday, September 19, 2008
What's with Mofaz?

Is he a sore loser that he quit like that? And it isn't even clear he quit! Enough voting stations were caught with open cheating and fraud that if they were disqualified then Mofaz would have been the big winner. And yet Mofaz didn't even choose to appeal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was just interviewed on Channel 2 Israel TV News.

He was questioned about the US financial crisis and what would he do if he were Prime Minister or Finance Minister.

Bibi's response:

1. Ensure that the Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer quickly examines what the state of Israel's banks are, and their exposure to the US financial crisis, in order to reassure and instill confidence in Israel's banking industry. This is being done already, as Fischer is meeting with all the heads of the banks tomorrow morning.

2. Lower taxes for both citizens and corporations.

3. Improve and invest in Israel's infrastructures and free up land for infrastructure investments, to encourage foreign investment in Israel.

The interviewer then asked about politics, and here comes the line.

Bibi was asked, "Tomorrow is Kadima's primaries, assuming you get a call to join an emergency unity government the day afterwords, what do you say?

Bibi replies, "There is no way I would join."

The interviewer queried, "Why not? This is for an issue of national importance. Why not?"

Bibi responded with this amazing line, "Asking me to join a government led by Kadima, is like asking me to join the board of directors of Lehman Brothers. Just like Lehman Brothers went bankrupt so has Kadima, which hasn't succeeded in anything, in any field."

As transcribed by Jameel in the field (on his way home from work).
I've heard it said a few times today already, "When it rains in America, in Israel we get splashed."

Is the US heading towards a 1929 style depression? A total meltdown of overextended credit cards?

When giants topple, things underneath get crushed.

What does this mean for the Jewish community, many of who work in these giants?

What will this mean for Israel (our stocks took a hit today too)?
Monday, September 15, 2008
I take back what I said about the complete brainwashing of IDF soldiers

Ha’aretz is showing a B’tselem video of the Yitzhar residents throwing rocks during the retaliation for the Palestinian terrorist attack, as some soldiers stand by and protect them.

I’m glad to see some IDF soldiers still have pride, aren't still brainwashed as to who is the enemy, and can be counted on to do the right thing.

Despite the claim of the voice-over, I can't see any Settlers shooting any guns.

In other news, unfortunately, an IDF soldier near the Dead Sea was stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist and his weapon stolen. The 4th stabbing in 2 weeks by the way.
The IDF and the Police are laying blame for yesterday's events on the other.

No, not because neither prevented yesterday's terrorist attack. But because they didn't stop the wonderful settlers of Yitzhar from retaliating.

And that's why the last 3 terrorists in Jerusalem weren't killed by policemen or soldiers.
Sunday, September 14, 2008

From the JPost

According to Yigal Amitai, a spokesman for Yitzhar, a Palestinian man infiltrated the settlement at 6:40 Saturday morning and broke into the home of a family that was away for Shabbat. When he saw that no one was there he set fire to the house.

The infiltrator then tried to enter a second home through the window. A woman who lived in the house heard him at the window and quickly tried to close the blinds. He tried to push the window open anyway, but she was able to get the blinds down and stop him from entering, said Amitai.

The Palestinian then saw [9 year old] Tuvia Shtatman walking on his way to synagogue and stabbed him five times, according to Amitai. He said the boy fought back and tried to grab the knife but that the Palestinian picked him up and threw him in the direction of a nearby ravine [a 2.5 meter drop].

The man then fled back to the nearby village of Asira el-Kibliyeh, Amitai said.

Even our 9 year old Settlers are heroes.
It turns out that there was a soldier present during the terrorist attack in Yitzhar.

Instead of properly using his gun to kill the terrorist... he shouted at him.

I have to assume that part of his Expulsion Training didn't stick properly, because he should have been more sensitive to the terrorist he was yelling at.

Is there any wonder anymore why it is civilians that have to kill terrorists in this country.

Meanwhile, the army took away 2 guns from Yitzhar residents.

(In case you are wondering about the incident near Talmon last week, except for Makor Rishon, the other newspapers forgot to report what happened in the leadup to that dispute.

Some IDF soldiers from that base came to the outpost (that existed for 18 years) where prayers have been held on a daily basis for the past few years - and purposely (and illegally) destroyed the generator and water system.)

Man, the IDF is confused as to who is the enemy.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
A small article in Makor Rishon this Shabbat mentioned that a gentleman named Ben-Dayan will be building 13 homes in Shavei Shomron for Gush Katif Expellees.

These homes will be rented to them, and in 3 years (after the families are more established) they will be able to buy them, with the amounts already paid in rent to be deducted from their purchase price.

This person is liquidating part of his own assets in order to fund this project. He hope to get his money back in a few years if the homes are bought, but he isn't counting on it.

What a mitzvah this guy is doing.
Does the name Seth Freedman mean anything to you? Probably not, because he’s not all that important, just another blogger who writes all sorts of articles that bash Israel. Also not a big deal because people like that are a dime a dozen.

I only heard of him recently, and that is because of the apparent hypocrisy surrounding him, not his worldview.

You see, someone else (Edwin Bennatan) wrote in the Jerusalem Post’s “Point/Counterpoint” section a scathing (and seemingly accurate critique) of a Freedman post.

The problem is the post is no longer there.

But you can still find it here in the cache. (I was just told that it can be seen the original article can be seen on this article -beat me to the punch they did).

And even with that article, I would never have heard of him if the Post hadn’t put up this on the page where the article was:
The Jerusalem Post would like to apologize to Seth Freedman for certain comments that appeared on our site following a September 1 blog entry written by Edwin Bennatan that were defamatory, threatening, and inappropriate.

The Jerusalem Post apologizes for any distress caused to Mr. Freedman, expresses its sincere regret that such a situation was allowed to occur, and will endeavour to prevent any recurrence.

A donation will be made by the Jerusalem Post to a charity of Mr Freedman's choice.


The JPost took down an entire article because of a comment(s) someone left in the talkbacks!

The JPost made the mistake of allowing some comment through (not the article, a comment) .

I can’t imagine for a second the JP would have done something as extreme as taking down an entire article in response to an errant comment (and offered an apology), unless there was some sort of (legal?) pressure from the aggrieved party.

What a hypocrite (if true).

This guy cries freedom of speech, “we should not allow a situation where plainly-spoken facts are dismissed simply because the reader or viewer feels uncomfortable with the truth.” but it is amazing to what extent he was apparently prepared to go to remove any truth that he is uncomfortable with from the JP.

And while I understand the JP made a technical mistake here allowing the comment through (though I would love to see it, to determine for myself how bad it really was), I think they went overboard removing the article and giving money to a charity of this guy’s choice.

What if he chooses a Hamas-affiliated charity?
The news tonight isn't that Palestinian terrorists came into a the settlement of Shalhevet (outside of Yitzhar), burned down a building and stabbed and tried to kill a 9 year Jewish boy (descibed in the news as a "settler").

No, the news is that the residents of Yitzhar retaliated and put back some fear of the Jews back into the Arabs.

By the way, the father of the boy who was stabbed was not present to protect his son, because he was one of the local residents the army banished from their homes for no valid or legal reason whatsoever.

Peace Now's response was "the settlers don't miss any opportunity to cause harm to Palestinians and endanger human lives."

One can't expect much more from a foreign-funded fifth-column like Peace Now.

In other news, 2 armed Palestinian Policemen (policemen by day at least) were arrested after they infiltrated into the Jewish area of Hebron. They were subsequently released by the army, after Palestinians rioted against troops in Hebron.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The owner of the NewPharm pharmacy chain will finish closing all his pharmacies on Shabbat next month.

The owner, Ramit Shavit, feels that it is socially unfair to the workers to force them to work on Shabbat, simply so he can make a shekel. Shavit describes himself as not religious, but traditional.

Shavit also controls Hamashbir L'Tzarchan and closed them all on Shabbat.

Where do you go if you need medicine in an emergency on Shabbat?

Many of the pharmacies around Jerusalem (and other cities as well), have set up a rotational system with different pharmacist/pharmacy taking emergency shifts on different Shabbats and weeknights after midnight - solely for emergency medical needs.

Good for him. Good or us. Good for society.
Monday, September 08, 2008
It would be too easy to boost my stats by showing some pictures of IDF girls with guns. But I'm not going to. And certainly it would be an interesting to discuss if girls belong in the army, or in combat positions, and so on. But I'm not going to discuss that either.

I just took a hop over to the regional command bunker for my area to check to it out.

Very cool.

Big screens everywhere, advanced communication systems, advanced tracking systems, constant crackling and beeps from the various radios, phones, walkie-talkies, and other comm systems, and a bunch of rifles piled in a corner. The whole works.

And the whole thing is manned by Sheirut Leumi girls (under adult supervision). These girls are the main points of contact between the police, army, MDA, the Yishuvim, and other relevant authorities.

There happened to have been a small event while I was there, and I got to see it all in action.

There is absolutely no way I would be able to do what these girls are doing.

They kept track of all the relevant personnel in the field. They kept the information flowing between the various disconnected emergency response units. They directed the forces to their proper locations. They were literally running the entire show, and they knew what they were doing.

A bunch of 18 year old Sheirut Leumi girls.

It was quite impressive.

(And they definitely weren't dressed in IDF green handing out coffee and waffles to their commanding officers.)
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Well it took Daniel Freidmann a while, but he finally got something important passed - a bill that both curtails the Supreme Court's ability to nullify laws except for laws that clearly conflict with the Basic Laws and even then only with a 2/3 majority of the Supreme Court judges vote. And of course, it grants the Knesset the ability to void the Supreme Court nullification with an absolute majority vote.

Simultaneously, it actually makes it into a law that the Supreme Court has that ability, a power that the Supreme Court previously took upon itself with no basis under law.

The beginning of Checks and Balances.

Now he has only around 5 more important laws to pass before this government collapses.
For us settlers the name Yossi Fuchs is a familiar one.

He has now introduced a wonderful new program. While the government is busy trying to find ways to dry up the settlements and save their seats with the latest Etrog initiative, Attorney Fuchs has created a solution that kills two birds with one stone .

As everyone knows, homes in Yesh(a) are in high demand. There are far more people that want to move in than are being built. And when new homes are built, they are snatched up.

While the government is trying to pass a law for people like Benny Raz (who rumor has it, is a renter, but I doubt that), Yossi Fuchs has introduced a program to outbid the government.

It is called quite simply, Buy a Home in Yesha.

The program would take any person that has offered to sell his house to the government and leave, and outbid the government and buy it from them. The new owner would then rent it out to any of the many people that are fighting to move into a settlement.

What a wonderful plan. JoeSettler fully supports it.
More and more lately, I have been noticing the shoddy writing that passes for journalism in the papers – and I’m not talking grammar or spelling.

I know from my own experience over the years, where I have been to numerous events and demonstrations in Israel where what was reported in the paper had no connection to any reality beyond the political agenda of the reporter or their paper. But that’s political and to be expected in Israeli media sources.

But I myself have emailed some papers regarding local events that I witnessed, only to find the events rewritten and unrecognizable.

Need we mention that ridiculous article on the Kitot Konninut that appeared in the JP a little while back?

I’ve certainly noticed that in the "interest of balance", more than one side is presented (which should be when there is more than one), but far too often, the “other side of the story” is blown out of proportion, when it is hardly credible or factual, but is presented as such to provide “balance”.

I’m sure that once there was a time when if you quoted someone you would actually confirm the quote with the author or the source. I’ve heard from a number of people lately who were quoted in the papers, about remarks they supposedly (but never) said, and that no reporter ever even contacted them about the quote in the first place.

If newspapers want to write blogs that’s one thing, but they aren't.

Balance doesn’t necessarily mean equal space to a different view just because its opposing, it is about proportionality too, and about not creating or blowing a non-story out of proportion to its true worth.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
A number of bloggers are talking about the latest music bans in the Chareidi community.

I was babysitting some of my Chareidi relatives last week in Bnei Brak, when I heard the worst rap music (in Hebrew) coming from the kids room.

The 7 year old is listening to this (for lack of a better word) garbage on the family CD player. I start listening to the words, and it's Jewish! It's some T'fillah or another that was turned into a rap. Not just any rap, but an angry, aggressive rap.

I was thinking to myself, is this a generation gap? Do I not like this music because I don't like rap, or is it just meaningless angry garbage that dares to call itself music?

The song ended, and the kid comes out of the room and starts talking to his siblings. And wouldn't you know it, he was talking to the beat of the rap, and he sounded really angry and aggressive (and this is not a kid that normally talks that way)!

Hell, I do not want my kids listening to that garbage, that's for sure.

I told his father when he got home. He wasn't pleased. It seems that these CDs are being handed out somewhere to promote the music, and the kids are all getting them and passing them around.

He can't stand rap either. He says these CDs are are affecting his kid's behavior. I agree.

I don't agree with bans. But I agree that music certainly can affect one's mood and attitude, and this "Jewish Rap" certainly makes kids (and their parents) angry.

But is his listening to Rap any different than me listening to the Ramones (though at a somewhat less impressionable (I assume) age)?
Friday, September 05, 2008
I don’t have a TV in my house.

I know that shocks some people who can’t imagine such a thing. It’s not for religious or ideological reasons as some might suppose, though there is validity to those arguments.

Our TV simply broke two years ago, and we never bothered to replace it. As time went on, we realized we didn’t even miss it. And as more time passed we realized how much we benefited from not having a TV. (We also don’t listen to the radio).

Now don’t think we’ve become Amish (or Chareidi, but I write Amish because most people don’t have that knee-jerk hatred of Amish like they have towards Chareidim). We obviously have internet and we still see movies and TV show, but in quite a different, more controlled manner.

And the benefits we’ve seen are tremendous.

First of all, my kids don’t run over to watch TV.

They know what it is. They may (or may not) watch it if it’s on by somebody’s house, but it doesn’t interest them so much. Why? Because watching movies is a treat like a cookie, something available in controlled doses, and they aren’t being raised on it like it was oxygen.

They like being able to select a show they want to watch, and it a show doesn’t interest them they won’t sit there like zombies. We completely control what they watch and when, and they watch it on the computer – which doesn’t have an instant-on (not this model at least). Just for this benefit alone it’s worthwhile to dump the box.

Second, there is no TV constantly droning on in the background. When we want to watch something, we select what we want (from our DVD collection, or from a friend’s) and watch it. If we step out of the room, we pause the movie/show. But there is no point to let it drone on in the background like we used to do with the TV. Certainly not around the dinner table as I’ve seen families do.

We control the flow.

It is only now that I am not constantly inundated with the news from a Leftwing perspective that I begin to realize how slanted the reports are here. When you hear the same things presented a certain way over and over, the terminology starts to seep in whether you agree with it or not.

When we hear the occasional Israeli news report now, it is shocking to hear how openly slanted the reporting and terminology is. Stepping back from the brainwashing machine really opens your eyes to what is being said and how it is being presented.

Using the internet as our primary source of news, we select what is important to know, and from whose reporting perspective we want to hear it, and when we want to hear or read it. You simply can’t beat that flexibility.

Along the same lines, there is no need to channel surf waiting for something to go on that might be interested, or time-passing. None of this passive time-wasting. And there is no need to watch the garbage that passes for prime-time TV simply because that is all there is available.

Most importantly, we have more free time.

We realized that when we had a TV, we would sometimes just sit and veg there. It wasn’t like there was something important or interesting on, because there wasn’t. But the TV was on, so we watched.

Since the TV has gone, we actually began using our suddenly found free time much more creatively, productively, and enjoyably.

If we want to watch a movie or show, it is an active act that requires preparation and fore-thought.

I highly recommend you trash your TV. Your life will benefit tremendously.
If you haven't realized it, it's Ramadan. It's the time of year that Arabs get the least amount of sleep, being forced to wake up early (before sunrise) to eat and pray before the fast, and then stay up all night partying starting from sunset, while letting their sugar levels drop to dangerous levels during the desert-like heat conditions of the day - for an entire month (and they still drive on the roads in these conditions).

They also try to wake everyone else up with their loudspeakers blasting at some ungodly hour in the morning.

It's enough to drive anyone mad, even an entire Islamic society.

Of course the reality is that many don't really fast, but only maintain that fiction in public (I know this from the Arab workers by us who wouldn't eat or drink, except when no other Arab could see them). The younger more religious crowd seems to take the food restrictions more seriously. You'll recall that Marwan Barghouti was filmed secretly eating in his cell, but that was actually during a hunger strike, not Ramadan.

And the funny thing is, Arabs don't drink alcohol. But if you walk around the Old City (like I did last night) you will see gangs (the right word in this case) of young Arabs making their way home to their meals, - completely punch drunk and wild from the lack of sleep and food, the heat, getting riled up in the mosque, and the general atmosphere of the day.

Police are out in force as during Ramadan the number of attacks against Jews and Jewish property in the Old City tends to rise significantly

On the plus side, Ir David is all lit up with colored and flashing lights. It's very pretty.
The Khazars disappeared a while back, though one of my neighbors claims to be a descendant (really! you don't look like a Khazar). What makes them interesting, besides their mention in the Kuzari as a literary device, is that they actually existed and converted as a nation to Judaism.

Anyway, their ancient capital in Southern Russia has been uncovered (actually it was uncovered 9 years ago, but it was finally confirmed that this is it).

At some point, these converts to Judaism controlled large swaths of Russia. That's pretty cool.

For some reason anti-Semites love the Khazars. Just by putting this post up, I expect a lot of idiotic comments I will simply erase.

Thursday, September 04, 2008
Police forbade a Jewish march through Um el-Faham.

The courts ordered the police to allow them to march.

Apparently the winning argument belonged to Itamar ben-Gvir, who argued straightforwardly and said it was inconceivable that thousands of police escort a gay pride parade through the center of Jerusalem, and that left-wing activists be permitted to march in Hebron, but their protest march be banned.

We'll see how the police squirm out of it.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Some of the anti-Israel activists that sailed into Gaza (without any humanitarian aid I might add) now seem to be having trouble leaving. It seems they missed their boat and assumed that they would simply walk out of Gaza into pre-67 Israel or Egypt.

Only problem is that none of them have Visas to enter Israel or Egypt (or even the proper entry documents for entering Gaza), so quite rightfully neither country is letting them cross over.

Now that's funny.
Aryeh Deri (“Hu Zakai”) is considering running for mayor of Jerusalem. Deri would be the only serious opposition for the job that Gaydamak is also considering. Meanwhile Lupolianski is showing that he is a mensch and is honoring by his (stupid) agreement with the Chareidi parties not to run again. Sorry guys, but I think he has been one of the best mayors Jerusalem has seen in a long, long time, and it’s a shame that he won’t be running.

Meanwhile, anti-Chareidi sentiment is running high in some neighborhoods. Some secular Jerusalem residents are complaining that the Chareidim are moving in, or their students are using their classrooms (many of which are sitting empty in these secular neighborhoods). Now the war has been taken to a new level. Over 200 Eruv wires have been cut on Shabbat over the past 3 months. This happening in parallel to the Chareidi family that was assaulted in a public park a few weeks ago, “because they were taking over the park”.

How long before we see a murderer arise from the secular community and kill a Chareidi Jew for walking down the wrong street. It’s time they stop this incitement, and its time the police do their job and protect this community.

Egypt (our cold-war enemy) with whom Israel stupidly agreed to purchase most of our natural gas from, has stopped supplying gas to Israel. This comes from various causes, including that Egypt is so backwards, they don’t have the infrastructure to properly deliver on their agreements, and there is a lot of political opposition to supply gas to their enemy. When will Israel learn?

Apparently soon enough as a member of Moshav Moledet has installed the first private Solar Energy Station on his roof, to sell back electricity to the Electric Company. This was allowed due to an important change in the law (which I discussed earlier this year), that allows private individuals to generate electricity and sell it back to the IEC. The technology needs to be priced better, but we should all get started doing this and cut down on our energy reliance from foreign sources and the IEC.

And in a very important change, citizens are now allowed to visit Rachel’s tomb for the first time in years – by private car. You’ll recall that during the original Oslo talks Rabin actually initially gave Rachel’s tomb away to the Palestinians, as he didn’t understand its importance or relevance to the Jewish people. Some rabbis (I don’t remember who) convinced him otherwise. Since then, Rachel’s Tomb was turned into Rachel’s Fortress.

And of course, the police (“we have no resources to evict Arab squatters from private land in Jerusalem”) have arrested attempted protester Nadia Matar and friends before they even had a chance to go protest. The protest was against the expulsion of 3 Jews from their homes (huh, they have resources for that?) for no reason other than as punitive, vindictive measure.

And finally, Netanyahu is trying to stick well-known Leftys into high Likud list positions. Hell, he should just get Yair Lapid if he wants left-wing celebrities. One thought is that he is trying to neutralize Feiglin. I say boo Netanyahu. Kadima, Meretz and Labor are far enough Left – give the nation an alternative.
The house has has gotten very quiet these past few mornings. Strange. I wonder why.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
After no protest by President Peres following his visit to a Beit Safafa (Jerusalem) school which was marred by the public burning of the Israeli flag, some Jews decided that they would defend Israel's honor in the most obvious way possible.

Baruch Marzel, Itamar Ben-Gvir and others tried to reach the Jerusalem school to fly the Israeli flag on what is still officially Israeli controlled territory, but Israeli police prevented them from doing so.


I will fly it here at least. (And remind everyone of this post. Go Ghana.)

Someone was telling me about a site called Hulu, where you can watch all the latest TV shows. Anyway, I go there and was told that I can't watch because they only stream shows within the US.

Funny thing is, I have this little add-on in Firefox that tells me the physical location of the different servers I'm using.

Turns out Hulu (or at least the Hulu server I was visiting) is located in none other than... Israel.

So now I'm looking for a proxy server to make it look like I'm in the US to confuse a server sitting somewhere near me in Israel.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Is there a connection?

The High Court ruled (and the Minister of Interior Meir Shitreet agrees) that Azmi Bishara, the former Balad MK who spied for Hizbollah, and fled the country before he got arrested, should get his pension!

And this of course ties in with Olmert and Peres’ recent visits to schools in the Arab occupied town of Nazereth, and Beit Safafa neighborhood in Jerusalem (respectively).

Olmert was jeered for his slaughter of the Palestinians and murdering of Hizbollah terrorists (when did any of this happen?).

Peres on the other hand was greeted with a burning Israeli flag.

Is there a connection?

You decide.
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