Eretz Yisrael Time

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Ehud Barak is in a funny position. Politically he is quite close to Obama, but he also represents the Israeli government and thus he quite opposes Obama too.

Tomorrow morning (US time), Barak will be meeting with US Envoy George "No more Jewish Births" Mitchell. The question on everyone's mind is what position will Barak take.

(He's bringing along Dan Meridor, the most far Left Likudnk in the bunch).

Whether the events of the past 2 days are coincidence or not (sure), Israel has made it very clear that they don't think much of Obama and Hillary's demands on the subject of settlement freezes and cessation, as well as the Obama administration's backtracking on previous understandings with Israel.

In the past 2 days Israel announced plans to expand new housing starts in Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev and Adam (though in part by moving the Migron residents into the expanded Adam village).

I don't think the message can be more explicit or "in your face" than that. (Much better than that Obama shoe picture).

Except perhaps when Netanyahu canceled his meeting with Mitchell and sent Barak to talk to him in his place.

So with Obama failing (politically an morally) on every troubled international arena he's playing in right now (Iran, Honduras, North Korea, Iraq, etc.), and going back on agreements and understandings with previous Israeli administrations (including one Netanyahu was a part of) Netanyahu has become emboldened to do more right things than wrong things (so far).

The Obama administration even seems to be taken aback by the ferocity of response by the average Israeli on the street who for the most part doesn't trust Obama and thinks his positions are anti-Israeli.

Altogether, with Israel putting forth such a united front, the State Department spokesman has started to hem and haw, talking about negotiations on the US positions and taking a "wait and see" attitude on the upcoming meeting.

Unfortunately rumor has it, that Barak may offer a 3 month freeze - whatever that actually means, as we are currently under a freeze, which has slowed down new construction significantly.

But the question still remains, who will Ehud Barak represent? His personal political viewpoint, or the governments? (And obviously just what is the government's position?)

And still it would be nice to see Obama do yet another flip flop and "clarification" of what he really meant. Just for the amusement factor.

(Why would Netanyahu offer a 3 month freeze and restart talks with the Palestinian enemy for nothing?

Because Obama has linked dealing with Iran to "Peace progress", and this will remove Obama's stated objections to dealing with Iran - which is existential threat number 1 to Israel right now.

And that will push Obama into a corner to either act, or prove that he is not a trustworthy ally, and then all cards are off the table.)
Monday, June 29, 2009
Is there no level that those on the Left will stoop to to keep their stranglehold on the Israel Judicial system?

Last week, the 3 Knesset Judicial Committee members made their recommendations for Supreme Court judges - and for the first time, all the suggestions were not Aharon Barak's ideological clones - and they all happened to be religious.

This upset Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch as well as others of her political bent, and the campaign against the nominees began.

Suddenly the newspapers were calling one of the religious judges that was nominated a racist and a sexist.

The reports said how the Jerusalem judge simply let off a Chareidi man who hit an Ethiopian woman in front of witnesses.

But, none of the Left-wing newspapers actually gave the details of the case so their readers could make an informed decision on their own.

This is a judge who tries to incorporate Jewish law into his rulings (is that their real problem?). This is a judge known for being honest and fair. This is a judge who when he makes a ruling, doesn't simply give a ruling and leave it at that, rather he is known for writing comprehensive summaries explaining his decision and all the points involved. He is known for being a very competent judge.

And what was the case in question?

A Chareidi man hit an Ethiopian cashier. The details of the story are quite weird, and apparently he hit or pushed her while she tried to block his car after he didn't pay for his food (she wasn't seriously injured apparently).

But the important details are what comes next.

In court, the Chareidi man begged forgiveness from the woman for acting the way he did. He told her he was sorry, and repented. He said he sinned and was sorry.

The woman, to the surprise of all, accepted the man's apology, and said she believed he was being sincere, and she was dropping the suit.

The judge then called for a break so the woman could rethink her response while in a less emotional state. He was not going to accept her statement unless she thought about it while not under the pressure and emotion of the moment.

After the break, the Ethiopian woman again reiterated that she accepted his apology in full and believed the Chareidi man and that his apology was sincere.

The judge said (among other things) that in light of the man's asking for forgiveness, and the woman accepting it the case would be closed. The other things he mentioned are Jewish values, and the laws of forgiveness.

But then, on top of that he fined the man NIS 10,000 to pay the woman, regardless of her forgiving him.

Now I'm not a judge or a lawyer, but I simply don't see anything sexist or racist in this Judge's decision. In fact, he could have dropped the case right there, without any fine at all.

Yet this story (without the leftwing newspapers mentioning the details) is being touted as proof that this judge is racist, sexist, and unqualified to be a Supreme Court judge.

Sunday, June 28, 2009
It is often said that state lotteries are taxes on the stupid. Every day millions of people plop down their hard-earned money for a minute chance of striking it rich.

But that method has since been replaced as the preferred tool for milking the stupid.

Every week or so I get an email from Obama's staff asking me to support one of his new programs against whoever his latest straw man happens to be that is fighting him.

And at the end of nearly every email is a request for $5 to help support Obama.

In the latest email I got, Obama is now asking for $30 for your support and in exchange you get a limited edition t-shirt that tells the world you're a sucker.

He'll get his money.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
"Leonard Cohen to perform in Settlements"

That's how I understood the headline "Exclusive: Leonard Cohen to perform in West Bank as well as Israel" when I first saw it.

I thought perhaps he might come to my village. How exciting!

But then I read the article and learned he will be going to an Arab settlement.

Oh well. Maybe I'll pop over there to hear him.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I doubt I will be saying anything new to those who have given thought to the matter, but lately I have become more and more aware as to how fragile democracy really is.

And I’m not referring to just national politics. I mean democracy on every level, including at the municipal level, in the shul, in the community, and even among your neighbors.

Democracy relies on a few key pillars. Remove one, and democracy has been subverted and perhaps even destroyed.

There are always those who will seize more power and ignore the will of the people for various reasons, including for noble reasons, such as they think they simply know better.

First of those pillars are the rules of the game. Democracy requires that all the participants know and follow the rules of the game – and not just the letter, but the spirit.

It is far too easy for shortcuts to be invoked in the name of expediency or convenience, when in reality these are actually tools used by those looking to circumvent the will of the people.

And it is far too easy to ignore or change a rule, as most people are too apathetic (as we will see below) to react to a violation. So democracy absolutely requires that its members agree to follow the rules.

The spirit of the law is important too. Sometimes laws are passed, and everyone understands what is meant, but that doesn’t mean they think to put down every last detail - because who is actually thinking in that direction (except those looking to subvert that law)?

A favorite example is the tender. The law may require that a tender be publicized, but neglect to say where. So the tender will be posted where no one will know about it – conforming to the letter of the law exactly, but clearly not the spirit.

The playing field must be level. Everyone has interests or connections and relationships with people who have interests. That’s how and why back door deals are made, or more insidiously, how supposedly neutral third party arbitrators can subtly shift final decisions against the will of the majority.

To use the same example twice, this is most commonly seen in tenders, where somehow those with connections win – against all odds, or logic.

One solution to that is transparency, where all the details of all the responses must be publicized. It’s not foolproof, but it makes certain common types of hanky-panky more difficult or at least more difficult to explain away.

The rules of the game must be enforceable. It’s very nice that there are rules, but they must be constantly and consistently enforceable, otherwise those who have grabbed power can flout it when convenient for them.

Enforceable best means by punishment by law.

But that isn't always an option, so more arbitrary tools, exist such as shaming and other social tools. Going public (i.e. in the newspapers) is probably the best tool in this toolbox, but it is arbitrary and no guarantee of success. Other mechanisms also exist, such as the petition, the strike, civil disobedience, and others – but again – those are difficult to organize against small infractions, and that is what those who have the power count on.

There must be transparency, if for no other reason than to minimize the possibility of back room deals. And if there is no transparency (such as in a secret vote), there must be a way to verify that the counting was accurate and not manupulated.

And finally, and this is the most difficult one to achieve, you must have full member participation.

Democracy is so easily subverted, because those doing the subverting know that the majority of the participants are apathetic, and will go along with whatever they are told.

It takes a lot to wake people up, and the “salami method” (always taking little steps instead of big ones) guarantees the people don’t get riled up enough to react or revolt.

And those who get upset early one are "rocking the boat".

This is how your rights get chipped away.

Indifference is without a doubt the biggest danger to democracy. Most people are not involved in the decisions around them. Some don’t care. Some don’t have time. Some have learned you can’t fight city hall, and have given up.

What I find most interesting is how true this is, whether you are talking about a municipality deciding on whether to allocate a plot of public land, a neighborhood committee deciding how to utilize the community coffers, or whether you are the Prime Minister trying to force through a vote that doesn’t have a majority.

There must be a better way to prevent these small abuses, because that is where the biggest dangers and threats to democracy lie. But I am at a loss to think of any.
Are Iranian officials still invited to US Embassy 4th of July Barbecues this year?
Saturday, June 20, 2009
From Israel’s point of view, what is going on in Iran right now is potentially tremendous.

There is a valid point raised by various senior Israelis that the differences between the two Iranian candidates regarding Israel and the Middle East are practically nonexistent.

That’s correct. But it is potentially irrelevant.

Because what is brewing in Iran is nothing less than a revolution.

And it isn’t about the candidates – it’s about the People.

And quite potentially, the People of Iran are taking back their government and their lives.

And I firmly believe the people of Iran want democracy and freedom from the Khomeinis and Khakamainis and perhaps even Islam fundamentalism itself!

And this is their chance to fix what went wrong in their society. A complete reset.

Israel has an obligation to say that we support the Iranian people.

Come what may, even if the other guy wins, nothing will remain the same if the hold of the religious fanatics that controls every facet of Iranian lives is broken, it will be a step forward.

And more so, because the Iranian people are not enemies of the Jews. In fact, nearly all historical anti-Semitism in Iran can be directly linked to, what else, Islam.

And even today, Israel’s Voice of Persia is a popular radio program listened to by millions of Iranians.

Joe Settler has one thing to say, Viva la Revolution.
Friday, June 19, 2009
We went cherry picking today at the Rosh Tzurim Cherry Picking Festival.

There was bit of a balagan down the road where a bus was blocking the way (he was afraid to go, and didn't want to follow the instructions of anyone trying to guide him through the rows of cars).

We waited for a while until we decided to hike the rest of the way with all the kids.

We then bought our tickets (NIS 25 each and no discounts for kids), and then everyone on the line began to get really annoyed when the people handing out the plastic containers (to hold the cherries) couldn't decide if you get one container per ticket, one container per family, or 1 container per 2 tickets.

Enough screaming from everyone on the line (we were standing there in the hot sun while the girl in charge just sat there not moving) and finally she decided to move and give out containers (arguing with each person) after a good 10 minute wait.

Once inside things were much different. We went to one of the orchards and started collecting and eating cherries.

Thousands of people were there.

Up the hill was the festival, with music, food, concessions, balloons, games, and so on.

The cherries were delicious (we took off Ma'aser when we brought them home). And the festival was a lot of fun.

A little more organization at the beginning would have made this a perfect event.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Forget for a second that Bibi was answering Obama’s Cairo speech. Forget for a minute that Bibi wiped the floor with Obama with this eloquent answer.

The reality was that this speech was about making fun of Obama: completely, utterly, and devastatingly.

Just some of the examples of responding to Obama’s demands:
  • Bibi said would be shifting the world’s focus back onto Iran.
  • His remark on fielding an army was clearly a reference to Dayton's 12 brigades.
  • He made it clear that no settlements would be evacuated, and would in fact grow.
  • And he blew the Land for Peace formula out of the water.

But the fun starts when he mentions Herzl.

In his comment about using the “simplest terms” and the “simplest words” to talk about Peace, he then never talks about Peace. He talked about Arab rejectionism, recent Arab History and the Jewish connection to our historical homeland – while Obama’s history was ignorant of everything- and wasn't the "simple truth".

He was talking down to Obama, way down.

“Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence.”

Slam Dunk.

He then gives Obama a history lesson to counter the pseudo-history in the Cairo speech, and unlike Obama’s this one was true (I am sure he was biting his tongue so as not to talk about the Barbary pirates).

He mentioned the Jews forced out of the Arab countries, who lost all their money and property.

He knocked Obama who would sit with and recognize with Hamas who call for Israel's destruction.

Even talking about his own war experience was a deliberate insult to highlight Obama's complete lack of real world experience.

And he couldn’t have done it better with his list of recent contributions of Israel to the world, in technology, medicine, science, and agriculture. He simply made a joke of Obama's list for the Arabs. And that, by the way, was the give-away as to what Bibi was doing here.

Yes, the entire speech was an answer and the antithesis of Obama's - and his history was right too, unlike Obama's piece of fiction.

But the speech was only in part about answering Obama.

I think it was also about showing (the world? Obama? the Jews?) how ignorant Obama really is – and he did a good job of it.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Every single Right wing government since Shamir has been brought down by Right wing parties (in certain cases after shifting Left, in certain cases not).

The Right (and of course the Left) are strongly criticizing Bibi right now for what he said, and international pressure and criticism is sure to follow quickly.

The Right can either repeat the mistakes of the past and bring back Kadima and Meretz (imagine if it had been Tzippy Livni giving that speech), or it can strengthen Bibi on all the positive points he said (which would have been completely never mentioned or disregarded if Kadima was in power).

  • The unashamed historical rights of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria (and unconnected to the Holocaust).

  • His acknowledgment of us Settlers as brother, Zionists, and pioneers, and not enemies of the State, nor enemies of peace - perhaps his most important statement.

  • His unequivocal statement declaring Jerusalem as the unified and undivided capital of Israel - forever.

  • A fully and completely demilitarized Arab entity which must first recognize Israel as a permanent Jewish State (did you think he would call for transfer?)

  • His support for continued growth of the Settlement enterprise in Israel's Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Until Netanyahu actually veers Left, and acts contrary to his stated positive positions in the speech, the Right has little to worry about, so long as it continues to openly support him against the powerful and overwhelming international pressure he is sure to face.

And after a speech like that Bibi deserves our support right now, more than ever.

I am far from an avid Bibi supporter, but his speech tonight, was by far the most Zionistic and refreshing speech made by any Israeli Prime Minister since Shamir spoke in Madrid (I remember that speech, and the Arab reaction, which was that it was the first time they ever heard that Jews had any history in Israel at all).

The Right wing took out Shamir after Madrid. Please don't make that mistake again so quickly.

-A joint post by JoeSettler and Jameel
I can say that I didn't completely agree with Bibi's vision, nor do I think the Arabs are capable of standing up to his challenge to attempt the the most basic of requirements that he laid out, that Peace demands, but it was a very good speech.

I'm glad he so clearly corrected Obama on our history and rights to Israel - including Judea and Samaria. That was simply a pleasure to listen to.

I'm glad he gave such a wonderful history lesson, but his best line is when he said he is going to use "simple words" (presumably so Obama would understand) to explain both our rights to Israel, and the core cause of the war - and how it has nothing to do with Israel in Judea and Samaria and how it began years before there even was a State or even an IDF.

He made it clear that the Palestinians keep rejecting Peace, no matter what we offer and do. All we get is violence in return.

Here is a rough (and not complete) translation of what he said:

Until the Palestinians are willing to simply say they recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish State that will continue to exist that way, there can't be peace.

He said, you can't constantly demand everything from Israel, but even the most simplest demand, a vocal statement of recognition of the Jewish State, is not required of them - and they need to do that for peace.

He continued that Palestinian refugees will not return to the borders of Israel.

He recalled that Israel, with no resources, absorbed tremendous numbers of Jewish refugees, the Arabs can do the same.

Jerusalem will remain the united, undivided capital of Israel.

The Jewish link to Israel is 3300 year old. It is the land of our forefathers, Abraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and the prophets.

The Jewish people have suffered much over the centuries.

"Some people claim" that Israel arose because of the Holocaust, but if Israel had existed in time, there wouldn't have been a Holocaust. Our rights to Israel are not from the Holocaust.

It is our right to build our nation in our land. It is our land, our birthplace.

We don't want to rule over the Palestinians, and there presence in the land has caused debate and disagreement within Israel, but more unites Israel than divides us.

Any Palestinian State must be completely demilitarized. Otherwise, what happens from Gaza will happen in the middle of Israel. And we want peace.

The Palestinians cannot be able to make Peace treaties with our enemies, or threaten us. On this the nation is united.

I request from the US, that the PA be completely demilitarized, with no weapons, and no armies, and certainly not like what is in Gaza.

Without that, another Hamastan will arise, and we cannot and will not allow that.

I told Obama if we can agree on these basics, the rest is semantics and can be resolved.

And if the Palestinians can agree to this and dismantle Hamas, then they can live side-by-side with the Jewish State.

Jerusalem will remain united, and Israel will have secure borders.

We have no intention of building new statements or expanding them further. But we won't block natural growth either.

The settlers are not our enemies, or the enemies of peace.
The settlers are our brothers and Zionists.

If the Palestinians were to stop incitement, stop educating to violence, stop violence... we will do our part. But the Palestinians needs to make a decision. Do they want Peace, or do they want Hamas?

The PA must take over Gaza from Hamas.

Israel won't sit with terrorists calling for our destruction.

Gilad Shalit must come home healthy. Even the Red Cross can't visit him.

In 61 years Israel has built miracles, our technology, medicines, research, agriculture are used throughout the world.

If only our neighbors were willing, we could do miracles together with them too.

Like Begin and Sadat, I call on the Arabs nations to make Peace.

We should learn no more to make weapons...


Excellent speech. I hope the Right is smart enough to support Bibi so he can stand strong on the fundamentals he stated.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
You know what?

If I was Israel and wanted to overthrow the Iranian government in a coup/revolution as a way to stop their nuclear ambitions and bring back the real Iranian moderates to power (without blowing them up by airplane), I'd arrange for Ahmadiginidad to win by a ridiculous landslide and let people do the rest.
Friday, June 12, 2009
We spent part of the afternoon in the Yishuv of Tekoa.

Tekoa is just an 8 minute drive from Jerusalem, which is surprising as most newspapers call it 'deep within the West Bank'.

Tekoa is a physically large Yishuv with a number of industries, as well as a swimming pool, a winery, and other interesting facilities.

We hung out at their horse ranch where dozens of children were learning how to ride and take care of horses and ponies.

The kids loved it, and it was a lot of fun.
Poll: 56% of Israelis back settlement construction.

In a separate poll that 66% of Israelis have little appetite for dismantling West Bank settlements.

36% percent oppose any evacuation as part of a final peace deal and 30 percent said only a small number should be dismantled.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The Jerusalem Post reports:

Likud MK and Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled proposed Israeli sanctions on the US in a letter to cabinet ministers on Sunday.

Peled recommends steps Israel can take to compensate for the shift in American policy, which he believes has become hostile to Israel.

Peled recommends reducing our reliance on the US, expanding relationships with other countries, including major military and civilian purchases, and most controversially, getting directly and openly involved in US domestic politics - particularly in asking Jewish donors to not donate to the Democratic party while this antagonism continues.

He of course was attacked for promoting such ideas, the most common response is the backlash and unexpected results that can/will occur as a result.

Now of course JoeSettler has an opinion on this too.

To begin with, in principle I agree with him.

US policy and attitude towards Israel has radically and violently shifted under Obama, but "sanctions" have to be done far more subtly and intelligently than Peled is promoting. His idea is very Israeli, and too much "in your face". What needs to be done, should be done, but quietly.

To begin with, Israeli diplomats in America need to reach out to the Jewish (and pro-Israel Xian) community with a strong, clear, unified message and vision of what we think is good for us.

If Israel shows clear vision and determination, then these communities will get the message as to what Israel wants and needs, and they will independently take the proper steps on their own - and proper doesn't necessarily mean going head to head with the Obama administration, it also means quietly talking to the right people in the right way.

And from what I hear, there is already grumbling within the Democratic party regarding Obama's treatment of Israel.

Don't micromanage this - leave it to the local experts.

Next, shifting major purchases over to European countries is not the solution, as they can be even worse.

But certainly, Netanyahu can continue to work towards reducing US aid to Israel, which he has done in the past. It has tied our hands unacceptably when making certain strategic decisions (such as what airplanes to buy, and who to sell to) and no longer really helps us as much as it helps the US control us.

Israel needs to start internally building more manufacturing industries that are vital to our existence. More self-sufficiency here would be a good thing here. (And the new projects would be a great boost for our local economy.)

For instance, we have the technical know-how to build a next-gen stealth fighter plane. We should be building it (quietly) instead of being subject to the US whims as to whether we may buy theirs or not, and if so, with which parts the planes can have.

Obviously the US will see that a direct slap in their face, but in this particular case there is little choice, as they have made it clear if they will not sell us what we need.

I can see India buying 100 Israeli stealth bomber/fighters. Imagine what that would do for our economy!

We need to be promoting ties with India, Singapore, and Taiwan (and not China). India is a natural ally facing problems similar to ours. Together we can build certain joint industries that we both need, and reduce both our reliances on the US's radically changing tune.

Diversifying military sales is a good idea for some items, but still, we don't need China as a buying partner, as they will (a) copy our technology, and (b) sell it to the Arabs. That's rather self-defeating. We still need to be selective in whom we sell to.

And as radical as it sounds, Israel needs to expand its Navy. I'm talking longer distances, and expanded capability platforms. Being able to send planes from a closer staging point (and a different direction) would greatly enhance our first and second strike capabilities - and the need to get third-party permission for our defense needs.

It's not good to keep all your eggs in one basket, particularly while Obama is busy stomping on them, but Obama is just for another few years (P"G) and then the American people will wake up and take back the moral high ground. These changes need to be subtle, quiet, and not "in your face" to prevent a permanent rift.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Under Aryeh Deri, Shas became a dovish Left-wing party.

For the years in between it languished as a party apparently devoted to its own causes (money) and sector, with very few bright stars, besides perhaps Aryeh Attias.

But since the elections (and even slightly before) Eli Yishai started changing the party's tune.

Haaretz is reporting that Yishai is telling his Ministry (Misrad Hapnim) to do all they can to help the settlements.

In the Second Lebanon war he proved to be very intelligent, and understood what was going on there better than any other serving minister.

Yishai has always leaned more right than Deri, and it took a while, but perhaps he is finally coming out to his own.

He is certainly talking about doing the right thing.

That's for sure.
Terrorist organizations have a problem.

One one hand they want more resources for terrorism, more control of the population, and more legitimacy from other countries. On the other hand, they still want to destroy Israel as quick as possible.

The problem is, the former comes with a high price tag if you want to keep doing the latter.

The PLO wanted it, and it found itself forced to be more creative in its long term destruction goals. Now it has to use denials, diplomacy, education and proxy terror groups where once it merely had to hijack airplane, kill babies, and tell the world it was them.

Hamas wanted it, and now it finds itself having to actually take responsibility for the lives of its supporters, which of course it has made miserable; and of course it needs to be more extreme to keep holding on to that power.

So now these terrorists are in a funny situation. They have more money and destructive power than ever.

And there's no denying they use these new resources - effectively.

In fact, as a terror state they are actually causing more damage to Israel than ever before.

They have created more terrorists than ever before.

They have got the world hating Israel more than ever before.

But - they are no closer to overrunning and destroying Israel through violence and military force than before, mostly because the IDF adapts to their new tactics and capabilities.

So instead they find themselves forced to work at that goal through other, slower (less messy) means, such as the media, sympathetic diplomatic channels and education, which are no where near as much fun as openly blowing up a school bus yourself.

Worse, they sometimes even have to explain themselves when they get politically cornered (such as when terrorists who are reported to be in jail are filmed sipping coffee in a cafe and planning new terror attacks).

And now we have Hezbollah that wanted the same thing in Lebanon. If Hezbollah could control the Lebanese Army and the border with Syria, then they would have been in the catbird seat. Unlimited money, weapons, and no more hiding underground.

And they would have used it (just like Hamas and the PLO use it), except they would have found themselves in a situation just like Hamas and the PLO, where in between massive deployments of violence, they have been forced to repeatedly fall back on more creative methods of destruction as the responsibilities that come with keeping power demand it of them (and distract them).

But as one Hezbollah official commented, "We'll go back to doing what we used to do".

Hezbollah still controls their weapons and South Lebanon, and have legitimacy in the government - without any of the responsibilities. Ultimately, that's the ideal situation for any terrorist group.

In reality, they won.
For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

-Barack Obama

Hmmm. My first thought is that since Zakat seems to simply be a tithe, it shouldn't be any harder for Muslims to give Zakat, then say for Jews to give Maaser (except that Muslims are required to give much less).

In fact any changes in the tax laws regarding charitable donations should pretty much affect everyone equally.

So why is it harder for for American Muslims to to fulfill Zakat?

The only difference I can see is that it illegal to give money to foreign terrorist organizations (and certainly try to collect a tax rebate on it).

And with so many American Muslim "charities" turning out to be fronts or funnels for terrorist organizations (like the Holy Land Foundation), the American Muslim has less places to turn to if he wants to donate to Hamas or Hezbollah.

I guess that must be it.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Once again we see the same problem rearing its ugly head.

The Right overwhelmingly wins... and then its representatives are afraid to lead and use their power.

In the latest farce to pop up, the government is currently preparing to vote on which MKs will be on the selection committee for judicial appointments.

The committee includes two Knesset members, one from the coalition, and one from the opposition.

David Rotem from Yisrael Beiteinu was selected as the coalition member, and now they are voting between two candidates in the opposition:

The two are MK Roni Bar-On of Kadima, the largest opposition faction, and MK Uri Ariel of the National Union - forced into the opposition by the Likud.

Now quite unbelievably, Likud members are stating they won't vote for Uri Ariel.

This is the opportunity to reshuffle the judiciary. The balance it by introducing judges who don't blindly follow the far left path of Aharon Barak.

Yet, the Likud is afraid to rule, afraid to use their power, afraid to make changes that are necessary and demanded by the people.

God save us.

UPDATE!!!! June 8, 2009: MK Uri Ariel won!

(Perhaps due to something JoeSettler said to someone?)
If you happened to read the Jerusalem Post on Thursday, you would have seen the article entitled, "American-born bloggers vent anger at Obama online".

Unfortunately fame just seems to always sidestep JoeSettler as others continue to get credit for my words.

The article says,
Exactly what alternative reality does the president of the United States live in?" asked the blog "The Muqata" in response to Obama's assertion on French TV. "Perhaps it's time he learns how to Google on his Blackberry."

The Muqata, which is sardonically named after the Palestinian Authority compound in Ramallah where former PLO leader Yasser Arafat is entombed, is also one of the leading American-Israeli blogs based in Israel. The anonymous author, who uses the nomme de blog "Jameel Rashid," is an American transplant to Israel, who expounds on all things Israel, with an emphasis on the West Bank and Jewish settlements there.


Except that the anonymous author who wrote those remarks on the Muqata was once again... JoeSettler.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Some people seem to be upset that in Cairo, Obama stated that the Jews connection to Israel is related to the Holocaust, while completely ignoring our 3300 year history with our land.

(Others were upset that he compared the self-inflicted suffering of the Arabs with the Holocaust, but that is the subject for a different post).

In response, the Obama administration stated that he has mentioned the Jews ties to the land of Israel in the past, so there was no reason to reiterate it here.

I'm not going to discuss if there was or wasn't a reason to reiterate it here, because I am simply unaware of any other time he may have mentioned it at all! (and if someone has a link, I'll be glad to see it).

In fact, when interviewed by the Jerusalem Post, and specifically asked about the historical ties of Jews to our homeland, he quite pointedly ignored the question and didn't answer it.

If anything is clear to me, it is that Obama does not believe that Jews have any historical ties to the Land of Israel.

But I would love for someone to show me where he (not one of his anonymous official) has said so in a major (or even minor) speech.
What an interesting article.

The mother of a former senior Suicide Bombmaker Yahya Ayyash ('The Engineer') has words of praise for the IDF. Yahya Ayyash killed over 100 Jews and injured many more.

Talking about the PA police, she said, "They behaved in a shameful way; when the Jews come, they ask for permission and cry out before they enter a house."

Continuing on she added, Abbas's security forces acted in a "barbaric" manner and did not take into account that women and children were sleeping inside the house. (Which the IDF does).

And she finishes off with "They [PA Police] left behind a lot of damage. Even a copy of the Koran was not spared."

Which of course surprised her, because the IDF is very respectful of religious articles - even when chasing after genocidal mass murderers like her son.
Friday, June 05, 2009
And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.

They have fought in our wars,

Sure, but did he mention they were usually the enemy?

they have taught at our universities,

so what if it was anti-Zionist propaganda.

they've excelled in our sports arenas,

or at least in Munich hotels.

they've won Nobel Prizes,

Yup, we talked about that already.

built our tallest building

Maybe he meant 'knocked them down'?
Thursday, June 04, 2009
The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements "on the West Bank and outskirts of Jerusalem, US President Barack Obama said Thursday in a long awaited speech to the Muslim world from Cairo. "It is time for these settlements to stop."

-Barack Obama

Do I really need to say anything else?

OK, I do...

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued an unprecedented statement clarifying President Barack Obama’s demands for Israel to stop expanding Jewish communities in areas it acquired following the 1967 Six-Day War, including Jerusalem.

Ms. Clinton’s press spokesman was asked if President Obama’s demand to halt expansion of “West Bank Jewish communities” included a demand to stop expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

The answer was affirmative. The U.S. State Department demands that Israel limit Jewish growth in these areas of Jerusalem, “whose status remains to be determined” in negotiations.

That would of course specifically include the Old City of Jerusalem.
"and since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They ...won Nobel prizes"
-Barack Obama

Sure they did...

...except that only 5 Muslims appear to have ever won the prize, and only 1 was American - Ahmed Hassan Zewail.
Unbelievable. I don't even know where to begin in fisking Obama's speech. But let's start here:

"know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote: "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims."


What was the Treaty of Tripoli?

It was a treaty signed with the Arabs of Tripoli (and Algiers and Morocco) to get them to stop hijacking and attacking US ships - also known as piracy.

In 1801-1805 the US fought the Barbary Wars with these states who abrogated the treaty (except Morocco who did not break the treaty) and continued to attack and US ships .

In 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli tried to raise the price for not attacking US vessels (if I recall correctly, the US was paying 1 million dollars a year in extortion bills at that point).

President Jefferson, instead of giving in to the extortion (and continuing attacks) sent over a frigate and destroyed a Tripolitan ship. This was the first of many pirate ships the US destroyed.

The war ended in 1805, when for the first time in history the United States flag was raised in victory on foreign soil (Occupation). If you ever heard of the Marine Hymn then you would recognize the line — "to the shores of Tripoli".

So when Obama says that the Muslims have a long history with the US, I was wondering if he meant piracy, ransoms, hostage taking, treaty abrogation, and terrorism (then known as piracy).
The NYTimes is saying that Obama will try to give a speech today in Cairo that fundamentally alters how Muslims view America.

So far the President of the United States has bowed to the Saudi tribal king.

I have not yet found a reliable source, but the Internet is abuzz with stories that yesterday Obama was expounding on his Muslim father, his Muslim childhood, and how he is still a Muslim. But I haven't seen that yet.

So I was thinking, what could Obama say that would change the way the Arab/Muslim world views America besides "We surrender".

After all, he would want to say it more eloquently.

Clearly no better way or him to start off his speech would be to say, "Ich bin ein Islamist".
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
“I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.
And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world
. “

- Barack Obama

Exactly what alternative reality does the President of the United States live in?

Perhaps it’s time he learns how to Google on his Blackberry.

A quick look on Wiki provides a very different picture that the one the President is fantasizing about.

In terms of population size, the US doesn’t even make the Top-50 when it comes to either the total number of Moslems, or the number of Moslems as a percent of the population.

Note: The most commonly accepted figure from census data and multiple research studies on Muslims in America is approximately 1.8 million (out of 300 million Americans). CAIR and other militant Islamic groups make the unsupported claim of 8 million, but they have no data to back that up other than their own wild claims.

Now, even if Obama is basing his statements on unfounded statements by militant Islamic groups with their clear agendas, as opposed to research from multiple, independent and unbiased research studies – that would still place the US only somewhere around 30 on the list.

Either way, quite far from being “one of the largest Muslim Countries in the World”.

Could this just be wishful thinking on the President’s part?

On another related issue, the President said, "And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact...".

Now it could be that Obama has a problem with his honesty (ya think), or perhaps he has simply aligned himself with the Muslim sector, and honesty be damned.

Or maybe it is time Obama educates himself more effectively on Islam - before creating policies that are bad for America (and of course Israel).

Or perhaps he actually meant to say, the most powerful country in the world is led by a Muslim - Barack Hussein Obama - as that I would believe.
Monday, June 01, 2009
The New York Times is reporting that the US is threatening Israel with dropping its Security Council Veto protection in the UN if Israel doesn't begin to toe the Obama line.

That will effectively align the US's positions in the UN with all the other 3rd world, dictatorial, and anti-Semitic nations that frequently abuse the UN's platform to attack Israel.

This comes as no surprise to us at the Muqata, which has constantly viewed the UN as the unique opportunity for countries to demonstrate (or not) the morality, ethics, and principles of their governments and leaders – particularly through their positions on Israel.

It is unfortunate that Obama has decided to align the US with regimes such as Syria, Pakistan, Egypt and even Libya, and furthermore (once again) attempt to create linkage between (in this case) a political disagreement and the basic abuse of the UN platform to disseminate Antisemitism.

But as Obama was willing to link the survival of Israel against a nuclear Iran to Jewish homes, the UN is just small game.

But as Ben Gurion famously said, "UM Shmum".

Or as Prime Minister Netanyahu said today, "[We won't] freeze [Jewish] life in Judea and Samaria."

And we can't agree more.

As for you Jews in America, time to start waking up to the new world order under Obama.

And if you are really bored, go to Google and look up "Obama Preventive Detention".

But whatever you do, don't try to find out what Rush Limbaugh might have to say about it.

Obama has already told Republicans to stop listening to him, and you're next.
This question appeared in the weekend's Makor Rishon.

Ramat Gilad, the hill legally purchased by Moshe Zar 30 years ago is slated for destruction.

You can read about Ramat Gilad (with pictures from last night) here and here.

Barak intends to continue to use his unchanging strategy to destroy this legally purchased hilltop. That strategy is to confuse the residents as to exactly when he plans to rip their legally owned property away from them and tire them out in the process.

First he plans to harass the local resident of Ramat Gilad and the town nearby (Karnei Shomron in this case).

He will release disinformation as to when he plans to destroy it, leaving those defending it tired from running back and forth.

Then he is likely to call for a meeting with Moshe Zar and his supporters to reach a compromise.

Then just when they think he is calling off his plans for destruction because an agreement is being reached, he will send in his troops.

He will probably do it at a time when most people are at work (and certainly after running there back and forth for a few nights in a row).

Alternatively, he will simply use some other disinformation campaign to trick the local residents, and then destroy it.

In other words, he will use some form of deceipt (which is all he is famous for) against citizens of Israel with whom he has a political dispute, to steal and destroy legally owned property because of his extreme Left politics. Typical Barak.

A picture from last night.

The poster says: "Stop Obama's Ethnic Cleansing. Israel isn't Germany!"

In good news, Shvut Ami already rebuilt two structures the army destroyed right after Shabbat.
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