Eretz Yisrael Time

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Friday, October 07, 2011
Have an easy and meaningful fast!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
May we have happy, healthy new year, filled with everything good, and may God protect Israel from our enemies.

Shana Tova
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
Standard & Poor raised Israel's credit rating to A+.

Take that BDS.
Friday, August 26, 2011
You may have heard that Israel plans to let Google drive their camera car around and add Israel to their Google Earth photo database.

What you may have missed is that the Lefties are trying to organize and make sure there are anti-Israel slogans and banners everywhere the Google camera takes a picture.

You’ve got to ask yourself a basic question.

No, it’s not “Why do they hate their own country so much?” and its not, “Why would they want to destroy such an important and expensive project that someone is trying to build?” (though those are valid questions).

But rather, “Who’s bankrolling the organization of all these events?”

It’s easy to say, “Oh, it’s free, social media and all that”, but it’s more than that.

There are buses that take these anti-Israel activists and militants around the country every Friday to confront the IDF. Tents are paid for. Their leadership seems to always be available for an interview (with the right people at least) as if they don’t work (unless this is their job). Planes are hired to photograph settlements. Lawsuits all the way up to the Supreme Court seem to be a weekly event. There’s a lot of money being thrown at these agendas, and lots of people seem to have a lot of free time to pursue them. NIF funneled funding is behind parts of it, but it can’t be behind everything.

It’s a question that really needs a good answer. I don't have that answer.

Meanwhile, here’s a story to finish off the post with.

Last week or so, a religious person (but not a Settler) went to the tent party to sit and talk and learn their side of things, perhaps to show support if he agreed with them.

He sat in one of their groups, heard them out, and one of the men there started telling him that the national-religious are wrong for not supporting their cause.

The religious man explained that he is not against finding ways to improve everyone’s lot, but entitlements and socialism are not the answer. He then began to explain economics, privatization and capitalism to them and how those tools could be used to solve some of the the problems. The group sitting there were completely engrossed with what he was explaining to them. It was like nothing they learned in University.

One of the Tent leaders noticed something was amiss. A religious man was talking and all the tent people were listening intently to every word, asking questions and interacting.

He came over, listened a bit, and then told the religious man he had to leave.

“Why?” the man asked.

“Because you are confusing them,” was the answer he was given.

And with that the religious man left, not seeking confrontation by confusing Israel’s University youth with economic philosophies and theories apparently not part of their curriculum, and certainly the diametric opposite of the philosophy of the tent party leadership.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I spent much of the day writing up today's attack on Jameel's blog and twitter feed. As I was writing it, I felt the fog of war. I was writing down details, yet I didn't have the big picture as in reality I didn't have the time to analyze what was going on where and when. Just that so much was happening at the same time.

There were heroes in today's tragedy. The bus driver who managed to drive his bus as much out of danger as he could. The medics on the bus who treated the wounded. The MDA volunteers trapped in the firefight. And of course the soldiers who fought the terrorists.

There aren't words to describe this tragedy, and I think only later will we understand how complex and planned out a terrorist operation this was, and how the decline and fall of Egypt led to this situation, and what this now means for Israel.

The talkbacks in Ha'aretz are a cause for serious dismay - and one wonders how many sick people there are out there. There appear to be plenty.

At this point, one can only hope for recovery for our wounded, sorrow for our murdered, and disgust at the Palestinians, once again targeting little children for murder.

Friday, August 12, 2011
I can only imagine the confusion the typical "Social Justice" supporter must feel right now. The government announced that permissions were granted to build some 4000 apartments in Jerusalem.

Normally they should cheer, except that these apartments are being built in Gilo, Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa. All parts of Jerusalem, but formerly "over the Green line". Now mind you, no "private Arab land" was taken for the existing neighborhoods, but that's not the point of it now, now is it?

So you've got these "Social Justice" protesters confused. On one hand some of them hate the settlers and anything they deem as settlements and they are condemning these housing construction plans - even in parts of Jerusalem that are only populated with Israelis and only ever will be (and only were ever) populated by Israelis.

And then you've got them demanding the government build apartments.

This confusion must be tearing them apart.
Monday, August 08, 2011
6 years ago the communities of Gush Katif were destroyed.

Now people (mostly in Tel Aviv) are protesting they can't afford to buy or rent a home because there aren't enough homes on the market. One Rabbi recently said that if only these protesters would do Tshuva, and repent for not trying to prevent the destruction of the homes of the Jews in Gush Katif, they would be able to afford a home today.

It's an interesting remark on so many levels, particularly when one of the primary causes of rising home prices is the construction freeze in Judea, the Shomron, and Jerusalem.

It's all interconnected. We're all interconnected.

The Rabbis say the Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. And here we are, with modern Israel facing the same internal threat.

If only we could unite together in the face of our dangers and realize we're in the same boat together, we'd be able to overcome it all.

Have a meaningful fast.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
A Tent City protest has been set up to protest the high price of housing (which is high).

Ha'aretz is reporting on it. Some choice quotes include:

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was repeatedly interrupted as he addressed the crowd on the first night of the protest, and left after a protester poured beer on him.

Deputy Mayor Assaf Zamir, who represents a young people's party on the city council and who had helped the protesters obtain their permit, left after someone threw an egg at him.

Opposition MKs Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Dov Khenin (Hadash ) were welcomed more warmly.

I can only ask some obvious questions.

Where are the police? Why aren't they protecting these public officials from violence? Where is the outcry from the media against this violence against elected officials? Where is the prosecutors office, and why hasn't an investigation begun? These aren't just words, these are acts of violence.

But most importantly, why isn't everyone demanding an end to the effective freeze that still affects Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria which would almost immediately work to lower high housing prices?

But no, instead just silence.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Today is Friday. That means that the Left will be practicing their freedom of speech and their freedom to obstruct the freedom of movement of others by protesting in different neighborhoods against Jews . One such neighborhood is Ma'aleh HaZeitim, aka Ras El Amud.

In Ras El Amud, homes have been built on (legally purchased) Jewish owned land and that seems to upset the left who don't believe in equal property rights for Jews.

In recent history, one of the first land purchase in Ras El Amud was in the very early 1900's by Nissan Bak and Moshe Wittenburg who bought various plots.

But Jewish history in Ras El Amud goes even further back then a mere century. Archaeologists have uncovered a jar handle, dated to the First Temple, with the name "Menachem" inscribed on the handle (Menachem, not Menachem Mendel btw).

Pretty cool, but these protests against Jews happen every Friday, so why bring it up now?

One word. Glenn Beck. (OK that's two).

You don't get Glenn Beck TV on cable? Me either (I actually don't have a TV, which makes that all the more difficult).

Glenn Beck was in Israel this past week meeting and speaking with different people (except Moshe Feiglin). I was forwarded this link of Glenn Beck listening to one of Israel's local defenders telling him all about Jewish rights in Israel. It's an interesting story.

And as it happens, the meeting was in Ras El Amud.

This story is as good a Tikun as any for the anti-Jewish Friday protests.

And you get Glenn Beck (sort of) without needing Glenn Beck TV.

Shabbat Shalom.
Friday, July 08, 2011
You know what was nice this week?

Watching the international support Israel got from Greece, France and other countries against the Flotilla and Flytilla terror supporters.

I would add, that it was nice that Israelis defended Israel's honor against these terror supporters that made it through into Ben-Gurion. I would add the word "allegedly", in that they allegedly beat up the terror supporters that got through.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I was sitting in traffic today in Jerusalem.

Traffic on the other side of the street had built up and there was no room to cut across Herzl anymore. Or let me rephrase that, there was room to cut across, but you couldn't go any further into the street on the other side, so the cars ended up blocking Herzl Blvd.

And of course then comes the light rail. While the train had the green light (or the funny GO symbol, I didn't look at his particular traffic light), the train couldn't move forward because of the cars sitting perpendicular in his lane.

It always amazes me how drivers need to cut across, just because the light is green (or was just green), without concern towards the gridlock they will be causing.

Meanwhile, the train driver was trying to inch forward past his traffic light before it changed colors too, without hitting the car sitting directly ahead of him on the tracks.

Needless to say, the lights changed.

In the end it was a time-consuming mess that would probably never have happened if Israelis cared about gridlock in the first place.

(On my way back, so guy stopped, parked his car halfway into the street and left his car to talk to his friends on the sidewalk, leaving a lane and half for 2 way traffic and absolutely no concern for the honking horns).
Everyone wants Gilad Shalit brought home.

But there is a deep division in the country as to what price the country should pay (present and future) for this important objective.

Those on the left say that “any price should be paid” to free him. And they believe that hundreds, even thousands of mass murderers and terrorists should be freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit (if he is even still alive), if that is what it takes.

Those on the right believe that targeting Hamas leaders and collective punishment (shutting off water, electricity) against Gaza should be the first steps the government takes to free Gilad. As freeing hundreds and thousands of terrorists will invite more kidnappings of soldiers, and more terror attacks (as the precedents over the past 2 decades has proven).

In the end, those on the left are “willing to pay any price”, except the price that those on the right want, and those on the right do not want to pay the price that those on the left want.

Until Noam Shalit went into politics, the nation stood united behind him, and “any price” was something that was best left unspoken and purposefully vague, and whatever the price would be, it would be paid.

Certainly in the media, Noam Shalit is off-limits to direct criticism. Almost no one is going to openly attack this bereaved father for what he says or for what he believes are the right steps to get back his son.

But indirectly, the nation is starting to dislike (and even be disgusted by) the direction his campaign has been taken, as indirect criticisms, round-about discussions, and unfiltered talkbacks would indicate.

Articles have begun to talk about the left-wing politicians that have hijacked the Free Shalit campaign, and they discuss the personal beefs these politicians have against Netanyahu. More and more people are asking why is the Free Gilad campaign targeting the Israeli government and specifically Netanyahu when it is Hamas that is holding Gilad hostage. And when the government takes actions against Hamas prisoners, and Noam Shalit then responds that the action is populist, or “too little, too late”, well the nation stands confused. And when Noam Shalit criticizes the right by saying that “the right really doesn’t want Gilad Shalit back”, people understand the place of pain where these statements are coming from, but the damage is still being done.

Most media outlets are not saying outright saying that Noam Shalit is turning the nation against his campaign, whether out of his personal frustration, or because of the cynical political manipulation of left, but it’s easy to read between the lines to see that they are thinking it. But most won’t say it outright for all the right reasons.

This development is unfortunate, because the nation is united in getting back Gilad Shalit, and the nation is aware that if Hamas ever agrees to ANY terms at all, in the end Israel will be releasing thousands of terrorists and mass murderers, and Israel will face a wave of terror and kidnappings as a result. Israel is aware of that and aware we will be paying that price. But Noam, whether out of cynical political manipulations, or personal frustrations is becoming a divisive figure with his statements, and that isn’t helping his campaign.

On the other side of the spectrum is Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard has become a uniting figure. Perhaps surprisingly. And the demands and protests for his release from captivity are uniting two camps that are almost never seen together: Meretz Youth and Bnei Akiva have joined forces to campaign together for his release.

In their latest campaign (and a direct copycat of the actor’s campaign for Shalit), Meretz and Bnei Akiva are dressing up in prison clothing and sitting in a makeshift “jail”, as well as protesting in front of the US Consulate, and working to get signatures for a petition to free Jonathan Pollard.

I don’t know if either will ever be released alive, I just know that everyone wants them both of them home safe.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Bibi seems more confident lately. Perhaps 30+ standing ovations will do that for you.

Today, despite protests by Ehud Barak, Bibi took away control over the World Zionist Organization Settlement Division from Barak and placed it in his own office.

I can imagine the satisfaction around the cabinet table as they voted for this motion (I don't know if anyone abstained or voted against).

I'm sure Barak is fuming. Bibi took his favorite toy away.

Now what Bibi will do with it is another questions. Will he start to build? Or at least stop the destruction?

We'll see.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Sunday's events on Israel's Northern Border reminded me of Dir Yassin.

As has become clear, the IDF did not kill 20 Syrians trying to breach the Northern border, as Syrian government controlled media stated. Israel did not kill 10 Syrians, Israel did not kill 5 Syrians, and quite possibly Israel did not kill any Syrian attempted infiltrators at all.

What has inadvertently happened though is that like in Dir Yassin where the Arabs exaggerated and completely manufactured "atrocities" supposedly committed by the Jews against them, the Arabs have once again created a new circle of deterrence for us - one we weren't really prepared to create ourselves.

And that's good enough for me.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:8 "Five of you will pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you will pursue ten thousand..."
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I liked best the following line from Bibi's speech.

"Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what is right about the Middle East!"

Here it is in context:
We’re proud that over one million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades.

Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel's Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one half of 1% are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel!

This startling fact reveals a basic truth: Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what is right about the Middle East!

Israel fully supports the desire of Arab peoples in our region to live freely. We long for the day when Israel will be one of many real democracies in the Middle East.

But this one is a close second:
"Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one half of 1% are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel!"
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Driving accidents in Israel are not a joke. Though most people would claim that women drivers are the worst, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics released a report that would definitely refute that claim (source: JPost).

In the last year, there were 92,000 accidents in Israel. Of those, 73,000 resulted in injury to someone.

74% of the drivers in which injuries were involved were... men.

Arabs (who make up 21% of the population) were involved in 26% of the accidents, and were 35% of those killed in car accidents.

68% of pedestrians killed, were killed crossing at a crosswalk.

Arabs tailgate more than Jews, while Jews are more likely to not give right of way.

Arabs speed more, while Jews tend to run more stop signs.

Overall, not very good statistics, but perhaps it would give those in charge an idea of what they need to work on to make our streets safer.
Monday, May 09, 2011

Over the years, when I've gone, I've gone to the Mount Herzl military cemetery in the afternoon to visit a fallen comrade while avoiding the crowds and traffic.

Today was the first time I went in the morning for the ceremony.

It was overwhelming. There must have been hundreds of thousands of people there. It felt that way.

Yet when the siren rang out there was utter silence. When Hatikva was sung, everyone sung it quietly together. When Kaddish was said, everyone said Amen.

In all my years here, I've never seen anything like it.

I saw old friends who also came to pay their respects. Friends I haven't seen in a long time.

To paraphrase what the Prime Minister said in his speech, those who have fallen live on in our hearts.
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Just watched a video of President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

The man should have been a comedian.

No seriously. He should have been a comedian. He's much better at it.

Obama actually is someone who can quit his day job (and should).

(btw: Was Jon Stewart his writer?)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Why is it that the IDF doesn't seem to decisively win like it used to?

We have an army far superior to that of any of our enemies. Yet in our last few battles and wars, we seem to actually and actively not be trying to win.

David Horovitz of the Jerusalem Post interviewed Professor Asa Kasher, the man who decides what is ethical for the IDF, and what isn't. Having read it, I now understand why the IDF refuses to win.

If only the man understood what is so totally unethical about the position he is taking.

Here are some relevant excerpts.
At the same time, the moral foundation of a democratic state is respect for human dignity. Human dignity must be respected in all circumstances. And to respect human dignity in all circumstances means, among other things, to be sensitive to human life in all circumstances. Not just the lives of the citizens of your state. Everybody.

This applies even in our interactions with terrorists. I am respecting the terrorist’s dignity when I ask myself, “Do I have to kill him or can I stop him without killing him?”
I don't see the morality of letting a terrorist live. Certainly not in the State of Israel where he is likely to be released in a terrorist-hostage exchange and then return to terrorism and kill more people. This is both a highly immoral and short-sighted position he is taking. I'm just at the beginning of the article, and it clear to me this man must be a Leftist.

Two things: First, you decide what is more important in the given situation. And second, you do whatever you can so that the damage to the other side is as small as possible: Maximizing effective defense of the citizens; minimizing collateral damage.

Hamas, Fatah and Hezbollah don't operate in a vacuum. They are representative of their people, the governments of their people, elected by their people, and are supported by their people.

I would propose that the reason the wars not only don't end decisively and in fact keep coming back to repeatedly haunt us is because the enemy citizens are not paying a high enough price in the war against us. There's no incentive for them to demand they stop, since they never lose.

I hear the same thing everywhere in democratic states. I’ve been to something like 15 of them, from India to Canada. There is no one who will say I don’t have to protect my civilians and to minimize the damage [to the other side]. There is no one who will say I must not harm the other side and minimize the damage to my civilians. No one will say that. No one. Nowhere.
Of course not, because no other country would put someone like this, with such a twisted ideology, in charge of military ethics. No other country wants an army incapable of decisively winning a war.

Where does this twisted ideology stem from?

But that the Palestinians have the right to be a people in their own state, in their territory somewhere between the river and the sea, goes without saying.

There we have it. Even if he didn't say it outright, I could tell from rest of the interview that he must be a Leftist from his warped worldview and ethics. But he proudly admits it outright.

There's plenty more in this interview that explains how this man prevents the IDF from winning, but you get the point.

If the IDF is to start winning again, the first thing it does is must free itself from the disturbed ideology this man has inflicted on it.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
So an Italian ISMer living in Gaza was killed by his Palestinian friends. The group who killed him demanded of Hamas that they release one of their men from jail. Hamas didn't, so this group killed the useful idiot. They then denied it was they that killed him. They probably believe themselves.

Anyway, the real question is, when is the musical coming out?
Sunday, April 10, 2011
While (hopefully) not likely to happen, the Arab League is asking the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza, against Israel.

We've been expecting this ever since they imposed a no-fly zone of Libya, after all, if it's possible there, then they're definitely going to consider it here.

I'm not personally worried that at this stage something like that would be seriously considered (perhaps after September).

Meanwhile, no word from the Arab League when they plan to ask Hamas to stop trying to kill Jewish civilians, particularly children.
Friday, April 08, 2011
So yesterday the Palestinians once again targeted Jewish children for murder.

The targeting of the school bus by the Palestinian terrorists was deliberate.

The Kornet guided anti-tank missile was specifically aimed at the school bus. If the bus had been full there would have been many fatalities.

This was the third time a Kornet was used and it is a weapon of a different scale than has been previous used.

The Kornet anti-tank missile has a range of almost 3 1/2 miles and can blow through 3 feet of solid steel.

The previous time a Kornet was launched was against an Israeli tank was 2 months ago. It was stopped by the Israeli developed Trophy system.

What I still don't hear is the UN, Goldstone and all the rest loudly condemning these genocidal Palestinians. I certainly don't hear them saying they understand that Israel must take action to defend itself.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
The Kabbalah Center is in the news.

The JPost is reporting some cult-like management behaviors at the Kabbalah Center.

Nothing surprising there.

In the end, I expect that all that will be left is the Chillul Hashem the Berg's created with their pop-Kabbalah fraud.
Monday, March 28, 2011
MK Danny Danon (Likud) is proposing a bill that would require any organization which petitions the Israeli Supreme Court to simultaneously supply the court with a list of their donors from the past 3 years.

YNet reports the details of this interesting bill:
The bill was proposed as an amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary. It states that the High Court will only accept petitions making claims in the name of organizations based in Israel and operating mainly in the Jewish state.

It also states that just one petition at a time can be filed in the name of the injured party, and that it must be related to a fundamental infringement of basic state order, a fundamental flaw in the operations of the civil administration against the public, or any matter of an outstanding public nature.

...any organization petitioning the High Court will have to present the court with a list of all donations and funds it has received in the past three years. The organization will have to outline the identity of the donor as well as the sum and aim of the funds.
This law sounds quite fair and balanced to me. It doesn't target any group specifically. It sets down reasonable ground rules regarding who can petition the Supreme Court and why.

Yet for some reason the Left is already up in arms claiming that this law targets them.

So let's examine that claim.

The organizations must be Israel based and work primarily in Israel.
I would assume if an organization claims to be an Israeli organization, then shouldn't it meet these qualifications?

I can imagine if Green Peace wanted to petition Israel, then it would have to be the Israeli offices of Green Peace that do it.

So why would this threaten Leftwing organizations in Israel?

just one petition at a time can be filed in the name of the injured party
This is actually a two-parter. First of all, that means no throwing petition after petition at the Supreme Court simultaneously in order to hope one sticks.

Is this a tactic the Left regularly uses that will be blocked?

Second, it requires there actually be an injured party.

Certainly an interested party needs to be required (it didn't use to be that way, and any Leftwing group would bring a petition, but now they have to typically find an Arab who claims to have been affected (an interested party), if I understand this correctly, it actually requires for there to be an injured party, not just an interested one.

Is this a tactic the Left uses that will be blocked?

a list of all donations and funds...
Shouldn't the judges have all the information at hand as to who is behind the petition? Is it really the petitioner and an Israeli organization? Or perhaps it is a foreign government trying to interfere in Israeli politics working through a shell organization.

Would exposure of this knowledge be detrimental to the way the Israeli Left works?

Assuming these answers are 'yes', it's clear why these Leftist organizations are afraid of this bill, it would expose them for what they really are, and block their attempts to alter Israeli democracy through non-democratic means.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The AJC released a Press Release that criticized the Knesset for holding a hearing on J-Street, as to whether J-Street is "pro-Israel" as it claims to be, and whether it is harming Israel with its actions.

The hearing was called because there are many that believe that J-Street actions, statements, and activities are actually quite dangerous to Israel and helping our enemies.

AJC criticized the Knesset, stating that the Knesset is not the proper forum for discussing if an organization is harming Israel.

Strange, because I am sure the AJC is busy criticizing the Knesset in this press release.

If I understand Ed Rettig correctly, it is OK for the AJC and J-Street to criticize Israel and the Knesset, but it is not OK for the Knesset to defend itself against these criticism.

Got it?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
And Isabel his wife said to him, now you will have kingdom over Israel, arise, eat bread and satiate your heart and I will give you the vineyard of Navot the Jezreelite. And she wrote decrees in the name of Achav and she signed them with his seal and she sent the decrees to the elders and to the Horim in his city, who dwelled with Navot. And she wrote in the decrees, declare a fast and seat Navot at the head of the people.
(Kings II, 21:7-9)

And he sent royal decrees to all the states of the king, each state in its form of writing and each nation in its language, so that every man would rule in his home and speak the language of his nation.
(The Scroll of Esther 1:22)

What do the decrees of Isabel and Ahashverosh have in common? In both cases, they are an attempt to squelch justified disobedience. In both cases, the decrees are based on "the law."

Navot the Jezreelite is unwilling to sell his family inheritance. Vashti is unwilling to embarrass herself in public. In the face of disobedience that is obviously just, all that a king can use is the most corrupt of tools: The rule of law.

It is impossible to miss the similarity in style. They make laws, sign them with the royal seal and send them throughout the kingdom. It is reminiscent of the Evacuation/Compensation law, enacted with careful attention to the letter of the law. This was not a criminal act, heaven forbid. It was the product of an orderly legislative process that encompasses everyone!

When the assassination plot of Bigtan and Teresh is exposed, there is no need for all this. Everyone understands that they will receive the death penalty. But when justice is not with the king, he can always pull the "rule of law" act out of his hat.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim,
Moshe Feiglin
In the town of Neve Tzuf where the Fogel family is sitting Shiva an Arab taxi zoomed to the gate of the Yishuv. Soldiers discovered that inside was an Arab woman who had just given birth and the newborn baby was dying because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, endangering both the baby and mother.

The taxi driver and mother decided that the best solution to save their lives was to find some radical settlers and occupying IDF soldiers.

They were right.

Corporal Haim Levin led the save, supported by the local medical team of the Yishuv.

Both the mother and baby were saved by the the evil settlers and IDF soldiers.

This is where the remnants of the massacred Fogel family are sitting shiva. I'm sure I don't need to point out the juxtaposition.

The mother named the baby Jude.

source: YNET
Friday, March 11, 2011
Imagine a world where Israel was respected, a world where US Jews want to make Aliyah to Israel.

There’s a fascinating article by Dore Gold in today’s Jerusalem Post.

He states that Dr. Yuval Bartov, chief geologist for Israel Energy Initiatives, at the yearly symposium of the prestigious Colorado School of Mines claims that Israel has 250 billion barrels of oil reserved locked in oil shale. That, to top off the US Geological Survey estimates that there are 122 trillion cubic feet of gas in the whole Levant Basin, most of which is within Israel’s jurisdiction.

The study places Israel as the world’s third largest holder of oil shale reserves.

Dore Gold tells us that Israel is working on technology that will not only cleanly extract the oil from shale, but provide water while doing so.

Gold tells us that these technologies are being tested right now.

Dore Gold is not a man led to exaggeration. If he’s telling us this, then there is strong basis for it in fact. Updated studies this coming year will tell us more about the extent of these finds and technologies.

That's not to say that the idea doesn't have its Green detractors.

But aren't environmentalist always party poopers? They'd prefer to fly in their jets, while the rest of us give up our cars.

Anyway, back to the subject on hand..

When I read this, my first thought was that as a primary supplier of global oil for the next few decades, this would completely alter the way the world deals with Israel.

When I told this to my wife, her first response was that American Jews might actually decide to make Aliyah to a wealthy country like Israel.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Snow didn't fall in Jerusalem (yet) as they predicted, but there is ice, at the new ice skating rink that just opened in Kikar Safra for the next month.

A pick-up hockey was just announced for this evening in fact.

I plan to check it out and report back on it sometime in the near future.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The Battalion 9 of the 401st armored brigade made military history today.

The "Windbreaker" (Me'il Ruach) anti-tank missile defense system (aka Trophy) designed by Rafael that was installed in unit's tanks back in 2009 was automatically activated by a tank in/near Gaza that came under missile attack today.

The defense system properly recognized and defended the tank against the anti-tank missile.

The tank crew subsequently took out the hostile enemy forces.

Not only is this the first time the system was used in a combat situation in Israel, it is the first time a system like this has been successfully deployed anywhere in the world.

It is simply a game changer when it comes to tank warfare.

Trophy/Windbreaker is an active protection system that works by spraying a blast of small projectiles in the direction of the incoming anti-tank missile.

Watch the video to learn more:

Monday, February 21, 2011
The Knesset just passed legislation (40-34) that will require all NGOs to reveal their foreign funding, and declare on their website and advertisements that they receive money from foreign governments.

This is a different law than the one that would have called for investigations of primarily leftwing groups, based on their attacks on IDF soldiers or actions taken on behalf of foreign governments.

(It's perhaps not as tough as US laws for foreign agent funding reporting for NGOs to the government, but it's a good start).

I'm sure Israel's citizens will be smart enough to understand that when it says on their ads and websites that these NGO are supported by foreign governments it means these NGOs are actually acting as foreign agents for these foreign governments who are interfering with our internal politics.

That's good enough for me.

The downside of this legislation, as I understand it so far, is that it is limited to funding from foreign governments. It's possibly leaves open a gaping loophole of funneling in money first through local intermediaries (even though it does seem to imply that ignorance of the true source will be no excuse). I'll try to find out more about this.

Regarding the delayed investigation legislation, the Leftwing NGOs (and MKs) are opposing it because they claim it exclusively targets Leftwing NGOs by demanding investigations into their funding based on their anti-Israeli activities.

In reality the law is in effect targeting foreign governments who are using local Israeli citizens as agents to infiltrate and influence internal politics. The NGOs are simply the tool being used to investigate and expose how these foreign governments are attacking Israel. The investigation would show they are tools, and not true grassroots organizations.

Speaking of targeted legislation, I'm quite uncomfortable with the talk of trying to pass a law that gives Rabbis immunity for their Torah-connected statements.

Yes, there are those that feel its necessary because only Rabbis are being called in for investigations of their statements and writings, while Leftist professors, artists, journalist and writers who openly incite against settlers, Rabbis, chareidim, or others they disagree with are completely ignored by the authorities.

But the solution isn't a special law for Rabbis.

The solution is explaining to (and retraining) the authorities so they understand what the concept of free speech actually means.

No one group should have special protection under the law for free speech. Everyone should have it - equally and fully.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The headline for this post is a bit misleading, but potentially true none the less.

Scientists have been studying villagers of a town in Ecuador. Many of the residents have a genetic mutation that results in dwarfism.

But the mutation that causes their short stature also prevents them from getting cancer or diabetes. They apparently don't produce enough of a hormone called IGF-1 and their cells have a defective growth hormone receptor.

In laboratory experiments on mice, this defect results in extended lifespans.

Studying these villagers has helped pharmaceutical companies produce a drug (called Pegvisomant or Somavert) for helping treat a disease called acromegaly - and it might also extend lifespan.

And the Jewish connection?

Apparently these villagers are descendants of Sephardi Conversos from Portugal and Spain!
The big talk in Israel (besides the incredible 7.8% growth of Israel’s GDP last quarter) are the Iranian warships coming down the Suez Canal and traveling to Syria to spend a year docked in their port.

They’re not really very impressive warships from what I hear (a supply ship and a converted frigate).

But attacking Israel with them is hardly the point.

They’re not even trying to demonstrate a quid pro quo after Israel sent a submarine (allegedly nuclear armed) through the Suez and towards Iranian waters last year.

Perhaps at best they have a secondary mission of getting some arms to the Palestinian (Hamas) terrorists in Gaza.

And I guess one could reasonably worry they’ve got a dirty bomb on board.

But, I think it’s about something else entirely.

A few days ago these same Iranian ships docked in Saudi Arabia. Now they are on their way to Syria (and Lebanon).

This isn’t an Iranian show of Power – how strong their fleet is.

This is an Iranian show of Influence.

This is about how long their tentacles are growing, how influential their country is becoming, and what countries the US might soon be losing.

This “flotilla” is a message to the US that Iran views itself as a waxing global superpower untouchable by waning US influence.

Iran will have nuclear weapons, satellites, ICBMs, naval fleets, and military industries. It doesn’t matter if they are all third rate now (and likely to blow up at any point). Their point is that they are on the rise and the US can’t do anything about that.

In terms of global perceptions, Saudi Arabia is more likely to align now with Iran in the long term – despite the comments on Wikileaks – because Iran’s sphere of influence is growing and replacing America’s wishy-washy, unreliable alliance.

There are other messages in these ships, not all to Israel or the US either. Because that’s what these ships are about, not an attack, just a warning shot over the bow.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The JPost is reporting that PA president Abbas (and his children) and Palestinian strongman Dahlan have taken out citizenship and passports from Jordan.

In fact, many PA leaders have taken on Jordanian citizenship and passports.

This is happening as Jordan has been busy trying to strip citizenship of many of it Palestinian citizens, who in fact make up some 80% of the Jordanian population.

Now, it could be that these PA leaders are expecting to be exiled at some point by their citizens for their corruption and are using their dual citizenship as a backup plan.

But the question really is, is it really dual citizenship?

With "Palestinians" making up the vast majority of the Jordanian population, Jordan is actually a de facto Palestinian state under occupation by a dictatorial colonially established minority government.

True, it's a government that made peace with Israel, but isn't democracy so much more important than a peace treaty?

So in reality, Abbas, Qurei and the rest are simply taking on citizenship in the real Palestinian state currently under occupation.

I personally don't see any contradiction
Monday, February 07, 2011
So why aren't they really protesting in "Palestine" (the 2 parts on this side of the Jordan, not the one on the East Bank).

It's not exactly a question with a simple answer. I was talking with Jameel and we came up with a number of explanations.

The first one is economics. Egypt is dirt poor, Tunis is dirt poor. But Jordan is only regular poor, while, as Palestinian Authority officials have stated, life isn't bad in Palestine. Whatever their flaws and corruption, the Arabs under PA/Fatah/Hamas rule aren't starving, they have jobs (some in the settlements), and they have a growing economy.

No democracy? Obviously that's not the end of the world.

The second explanation is where it gets more more complex.

In Gaza, they actually had their revolution. Hamas took over. The people got Sharia law. It seems they got in Gaza exactly what they wanted. They don't need a second revolution.

In Judea/Samaria the desire for Hamas/Islamic rule exists, perhaps just as strong, but the PA/Fatah is actively suppressing any organized attempts by Hamas to raise its head through use of its military, by controlling the content in the mosques, and presumably torture (see below).

Alternatively, the West Bankers may not want Hamas, so why rise up, if that will be what you get instead?

Another point to consider is that the Egyptian government is not the Palestinian government. And the Egyptian people's culture is not Palestinian culture.

Relatively speaking, while Egypt is a repressive third world government, it is still (relatively speaking to "Palestine") a civilized country/government.

Hamas and Fatah on the other hand are in reality brutal regimes (like Syria) that have no compunction against torturing or killing as many people as they need to maintain control. We saw what Hamas did to Fatah members in the Gaza revolution and during Cast Lead, and stories come out all the time of Fatah secret prisons where civilians are tortured.

It's one thing to blow yourself up or get yourself killed trying to kill the Jews. But it's another thing to risk dying for a vague concept like democracy that isn't even an ideology for you.

Last, is that the many "spontaneous" Palestinian protests we see against Israel are instigated by and involve the Israeli Left. For a variety of reasons, you're simply not likely to see Israeli leftists instigating Palestinian crowds and working them up to demand democracy.

I suspect it's going to take a lot more to get the "Palestinians" on this side of the Jordan to start rioting for change than a domino effect that may perhaps be petering off.

(I hope to remember to revisit this post in 3 months time and see if I'm right).

In the meantime, watch this video of a small protest in Ramallah against Abbas. You can see PA security people in the middle arresting protesters.

It does make you wonder if there perhaps are more small protests like this happening in "Palestine" and the news of them isn't getting out.

So perhaps there aren't many large protests yet, but could they be just around the corner?
Friday, January 28, 2011
So the Arabs have been claiming that Settlers (multiple) marched into their town and shot and killed an innocent Palestinian "boy" from the town of Arak Burin.

But after the fraud of Jawaher Abu Rahme of Bil'in was exposed, the press isn't going all vigilante and taking the Palestinians at their word and blowing up the story into something it wasn't.

And it's a good thing they didn't, because the police have uncovered so many interesting details that the Arabs didn't want anyone to know about their blood libel.

What the police have uncovered is as follows:

The 19 year old man who was killed by a civilian, wasn't innocent.

The man and his gang had surrounded and attacked a pedestrian walking near Yitzhar, stoning the victim with rocks.

Omer Maher Qadous (or alternatively Udai Maher Qadous) then approached the man with a stone in hand to apparently smash him with it at close range.

The civilian, who's identity is still unknown, then tried to push the Palestinian terrorist away.

Only when he failed to do this, did the man then shoot this Palestinian with one shot.

How do the police know what happened

First of all, one of the Palestinian attackers talked.

The second is that there was a security camera in the area that got the whole thing on film.

Hooray for Pallywood.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
There's probably nothing more unstable than an Arab government.

I know what you're saying. "You're wrong JoeSettler, Arab governments last for decades."

Yes, they typically do. But at what cost. All these Arab countries are completely 3rd world. That is the price.

In order for their dictatorial governments to continue to exist they have to, first and foremost, fight that instability. Hence, most of the government's resources end up in expenditures to maintain the regime as opposed to improving the country.

The Arab regimes are in a panic. Tunis, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority. Anti-government riots are happening and expanding. It doesn't matter if the rioters are Islamists or not, the riots are contagious.

In the end they may quell them, but at what price for that false stability?

I bet the Israeli left just don't understand why their fellow Israelis aren't rising up too.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Tu B'Shvat is a fun holiday. You get to plant trees. And it's always fun to eat the dried fruit, and figure out what how do you eat the carobs.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Arutz-7 is reporting that GreenPeace activists climbed the strings of the Jerusalem bridge to hang a sign that Bibi would see in his office.

What a bunch of idiots.

They don't even allow the train to go over the bridge with passengers on it, or even with people standing on the bridge, because they are afraid the bridge is going to collapse from the weight and vibrations.

And these people climbed the strings of this dangerous structure?

They could have pulled the whole bridge down!
Monday, January 10, 2011
The hypocrisy of it all.

Hillary Clinton and the US government are decrying the destruction of an old building in Jerusalem - because the property is owned by a Jew.

There is no question that the Jew is the legal owner, and has been so for decades. And there is no question that the Jew is within his legal rights to take these actions on his property.

But because it is a Jew that owns the land, the US government is complaining. They wouldn't be complaining if he was an Arab. They wouldn't be complaining if he was simply a non-Jew.

But he's a Jew, and so the truth comes out.

Hillary, where I come from, we call that Apartheid and plain old Antisemitism.
Friday, January 07, 2011
It's incredible how callous the Left is. Every time there is a death, the Left use it to create political capital for their attacks on Israel.

That the their claims repeatedly lack credibility, are contradictory, and only afterwords do they start to get everyone's story straight (remember the initial claims of phosphorus in the tear gas) is only the start of the manipulation.

Look at the PA not cooperating with any investigation to uncover the truth.

While the radical Left uses radically left and participating doctors for collaborative statements (presenting that as evidence too, or even as real medical facts!), while feeding nonsense to journalists who are too ignorant and lazy to do proper research, instead, relying on statements by involved pseudo-journalists with an axe to grind.

It's a shame, because the lack of actual concern for a a sick or dead person except as political capital for their cause (such as getting more reporters to the scene of their riots, or simply attacking Israel) is disgusting.

Look at Rachel Corrie. It was her friends that made up the pancake joke at her expense. Talk about the callous left.

Or look at Samir Bani Fadel the other week.

Samir claimed that Settlers burned down a field with his sheep.
B'tselem happily provided graphic photos of the Settler's post rampage damage for the media who ate up the story unquestionably.

Only that afterwords, during the police investigation, the police uncovered that Samir accidentally did it himself and he made up the story as he was too embarrassed to admit he burned and killed his own flock.

Or the story of Yitzhar settlers stoning Arabs last week.

A story fed to the media as fact by the Lefties.

Except what the Left didn't know is that the Settlers secretly filmed the entire event - exposing that the Leftists (and Leftist cameramen) were the one initiating and directing the stone-throwing (including throwing stones themselves).

And who can forget false claims of the "Jenin Massacre" with the claims of of 500 murders and mass graves.

Some (who knows, perhaps even many) of these leftwing groups and organizations are looking and even hoping for casualties, related or not to the event, as long as they can use them politically.

It doesn't matter to them if it was true or not. The reporters don't care about the Left's lack of historical credibility - they want to get the story out fast, and the Left are only to happy to paint them a fictional account to help.

The left repeatedly make up these stories, modify facts, present false information - and then get upset when tripped up by the facts.

But that's not the real point here.

I guarantee the Bil'in protesters have spent all week working to get as many reporters to the violent Bil'in riots as possible this Friday - after all, what better way to callously capitalize on the death of an apparently sick woman.

And callously capitalizing on any death they can manipulate is what the Left seem to do best.
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