Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Monday, May 31, 2004

A Sad Sad State of Affairs For Am Yisrael

Pinui Mitzpeh Yitzhar Video Link

The above video includes raw footage of the destruction of the "illegal" caravan site of Mitzpeh Yitzhar.

It is so sad to see Jews beating up fellow Jews, all by order of a Jewish government, in order to appease the world and our enemies, just so that they could be appeased to continue to kill us.

The world is topsy turvy - settlements are not an obstacle to peace, their
continued development ensures that one day true peace will envelop us!! Their
continued develpment will make sure the Arabs and the world know that we belong
on this land, and all of this land - that is part of the moral antidote
necessary for true peace to develop.

This is pragmatic and realistic. Destorying Jewish homes in the Land of Israel does just the opposite. Thinking that it is constructive towards achieving peace is a fantasy.

The Jewish people are strong and getting stronger. We will outlive this government and the next and the next, we will passively resist all home destructions and expulsions of Jews, and we will then return and rebuild and resettle. Am Yisrael will overcome.

Here Comes the Cavalry....
Prominent US Jews, Israel blamed for start of Iraq War

The heat is about to be turned up on Israel to do anything to make the world a safer place (sic). It's just that the things we will be asked to do will do just the opposite!!

How sad that US Jews will now start to hear more and more anti-Israel, anti-Jewish sentiments from their own countrymen, their own public servants.

The anti-Israel, anti-Jewish public statements and write-ups in the press that we have taken for granted as coming from Europe will now start coming more and more from the US.

Things might get a little uncomfortable for US Jews.

When will they realize that they really don't belong there? When will they realize that the most realistic solution for peace (in the world and in Israel) is actually if they pick up, move to Israel, and help us make Israel into the moral bedrock of society that it is supposed to be. Then and only then will true peace develop. That is pragmatism and that is reality. All the band-aid/diplomatic solutions forced upon us are not realistic and not pragmatic, they are forced appeasement and they will only prolong the period of terrorism in Israel and around the world - because appeasement does not work, not in the short run or in the long run.

Help us bring true peace by coming home and helping us make Israel into the society it is supposed to be.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

How Silly We Are

What Europe Wants (From Israel)

There are so many Jews who honestly believe, deep in their hearts, that as long as Israel does what is necessary - gives in to world pressures, leaves its biblical heartland, expels Jews from their homes or anything else that it is pressured to do - that the world will get off our backs, allow us to live peacefully and allow us to defend ourselves from our enemies on the other side of an internationally "approved" border (sic).

How silly are they?

Don't they read between the lines when they read the news? Don't they listen to what world personalities are actually saying - verbatim? The truth of the matter is that many of these world personalities do not want us here!

No border changes, expulsions or house destroying will appease our global friends. The Arabs don't want us here, the Europeans don't want us here, the liberals don't want us here etc. I could go on.

Don't the Jews see that the reason we are not wanted here is because we symbolize a return of the chosen people to the Holyland? The Holyland being run and lead by the one and only chosen people!

Don't they see that this is the basis of all the animosity towards us.

So lets say that we leave Gaza. Lets even say that we leave Yehuda and Shomron. We even leave half of Jerusalem!! Do these Jews really think that we will be left in peace?

What it boils down to is that in order for us to succeed here in the Holy Land we must act like the chosen people who are supposed to inherit this Holyland.

We are currently acting like imposters - exactly as our enemies say - and we are unable to stand up to others because we can't even look ourselves in the mirror and recognize who we are and why we are here!!

We are weak in our national character, weak in our national resolve and weak in our own identity!!!

Of course the world is pressuring us to give it all up, we are in the perfect position to actually do it!!

But the situation does not have to be so bleak.

The solution to our situation lies very nearby - within each and everyone of us.

The sooner we realize who we are as a people and why we are supposed to live in this Holyland (after realizing that we ARE supposed to be living in this land and moving here), the sooner we will be able to poo-poo the anti-semitic/anti-Israel attitude of so many of our global "friends".

It is at that point in time that we will gain the fear and respect of our global "friends" to be able to live in the Holyland in true peace. Not a peace based on promises and signatures on a piece of paper, but a peace based on upholding common holy values of life, respect and a true eternal appreciation and love for the world's creator and creations.

As Chazal teaches us - true peace will only come tothe world when we have true peace in the Holyland.


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Food For Thought

The quote below was taken from an article titled "It's a Fight for Survival - Pull Out All Stops" posted in the Los Angelos Times on May 12th written by Bruce Herschenson.

It applies to the US, thousands of miles away from Iraq, and it definately applies to Israel as well.

It says everything I have been saying (sounding very extreme and fanatic - which you all know I'm not) in a very profound way...

"Our victory in World War II was not achieved by trying to win the hearts and minds of Germans and Japanese. We did not dominate the newsreels with pictures of those things a few American troops did to captured enemies. Instead of all that, we bombed our enemies to submission with all the power and weaponry we had available.",1,7863582.story

My little addition - Think about what the world, and Jewry, might be like today if the Allies did NOT bomb Germany and Japan to submission. Back then there also were innocent German and Japanese civilians who were not all evil.

Food for thought.......................................

May humanity quickly return to 100% believing in its fight for the value of life instead of doubting itself and easily surrendering to the despicable ones who value death and martyrdom, may we all assist in developing Isreal to be a light unto the nations, as we should be doing, and may we all have a Shabbat Shalom.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The Morality of Fighting Against Our Enemies Today

In response to my last posting I received the following comment from a reader:
"One of our "secret" weapon against 300 million arabs who hate us is
that we have a higher morality than they do, when we stoop down to there level
wer'e lost."

What follows below was my reply:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain my point better,
because I think it is a crucial issue that is not brought up in todays
diaogue about the "matzav".

Is ALLOWING a society to celebrate killing and martyrdom moral
That is what we are practically doing by not declaring all out war
against the Palestinians and the PA.

If I'm not mistaken an important lesson in Judaism is 'kill your enemy
before he kills you'. Another lesson is not to have pity on your

I firmly believe that by treating our enemy with kid gloves - by ONLY
using pinpoint bombings on individuals or floors of buildings - we are
being immoral!

There is nothing moral in allowing a sick society to become sicker,
despicable and kill more. By calling for all out war (and not just a
'war on terrorists' - which is a euphamism for a fight against a bunch
of crazy individuals) and destroying their culture of hate, murder and
shahidism we will be doing the Arab world a favor.

"There is a time for war and a time for peace..." No, killing is not
nice and it is usually wrong, but if we have to kill in order to defend
ourselves and simultaneously save them from morally destructing
themselves even more, then we have to kill. Not be prooud of it, not
want to do it, but do it because it is the right thing to do to end the
situation - in both of our interests.

Yes, our higher morality is our secret weapon, too bad we are not using
it. Just because the "enlightened world" thinks our inaction today is
moral does not make it so.


Destroy Them

We must destroy the culture of hatred and murder of our enemies and win this war.

That means killing our enemies without taking into consideration public relations and world opinion.

That means that we must accept that even though we have no intention of killing civilians, they might get killed too.

We can't think twice of killing shooters because they are surrounded by civilians. We can't think twice about bombing a building filled with terrorists because civilians are in or around the building. Whether willingly or not, these civilians are "soldiers" in this war against us, used stegically against our moral weakness of not trying to harm civilians. The only way to destroy their culture of hatred and murder, the Arabs must be shown that we will not hold back from attacking anyone just because they are hiding behind civilians.

That is the solution.

If we feel uncomfortable with that then that means that we are human, a good thing, but we must do it anyway, otherwise we will continue to pay the price for pitying our enemies.

Yesterday one of the army officers explained that they sent the soldiers into Gaza instead of bombing buildings from the air because they didn't want to hurt innocent civilians.

Please make sure our media and politicians know that we have had enough of their misguided leadership and messages - those 6 holy soldiers did not die defending Jews in Gush Katif, they died defending Arabs living in Gaza!!

Unethical leadership - we have had enough!


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

This is What it is Really About: An Arab Campaign of Denial to Disinherit the Jews


This is a must read article in today's Haaretz that clearly shows us what the Arab war against us is really about.  All the creative solutions for borders and refugees won't help until we face up to the real issues and deal with them, after winning the war, of course.




Printed on Tuesday May 11th, 2004


By Nadav Shragai


Years ago, a group of archaeology students from Bar-Ilan University went to Jerusalem's Kidron Valley, hoping to save archaeological remnants from earth the Waqf [Muslim religious trust] had dug up on the Temple Mount and dumped in the riverbed. A Waqf official who noticed the students began yelling at them. One sentence struck them in particular: "You have nothing to look for here, just as the Crusaders had nothing to look for here. Jerusalem is Muslim."


In the past, such comments could be seen as the exception. All of that changed at the Camp David Conference of June 2002: it was then that senior Israeli officials became aware that the claim that the Jews have no real connection to Jerusalem and the holy sites had not only been disseminated and become entrenched in Arab and Muslim communities and part of the public discourse, but was also been adopted by the Palestinian leadership.

Indeed, a new study by Dr. Yitzhak Reiter, conducted for the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies states: "In the last generation, the Islamic and Arab history of
Jerusalem has gradually been rewritten. At the heart of this new version is the Arabs' historic right to Jerusalem and Palestine. The main argument is that the Arabs ruled Jerusalem thousands of years before the children of Israel. In addition to building the Arab-Muslim case, the Muslim thinkers are formulating a denial and negation of the Jewish-Zionist narrative. Included in that effort is the de-Judaizing of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem as a whole.

Palestine is Al-Aqsa

Reiter, of the
Hebrew University's Truman Institute, is a long-time specialist in the modern

history of the Middle East. He reviewed a collection of religious rulings by key muftis in the Muslim world and Internet sites of Islamic movements; he pored over many of the popular theoretical books in Arabic that deal with Jerusalem and sifted through reports and articles on the issue, dating back to 1967; and he says: "New myths, some of them fictitious and some of them based on facts on the ground, transform the stories about Al-Aqsa into furious struggle"; Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Raed Salah, like the grand mufti of Jerusalem at the turn of the previous century, Sheikh Haj Amin al-Husseini, along with many others "are using the religious symbols of Jerusalem to enlist the entire Muslim world in its struggle," and this is being done in several ways.

The Muslims are slowly dropping use of the name given to the
Temple Mount complex - Haram al-Sharif, which gave it its status as the third holiest site in Islam and reverting to exclusive use of the earlier name, Al-Aqsa, which appears in the Koran.

"Al-Aqsa" now refers to the entire
Temple Mount complex, including the Western Wall, and not just the mosque. The tradition connecting the three mosques in Mecca, Medina and Al-Aqsa is being used by the Palestinians to exert pressure on Muslim states by saying that "making a mockery of Al-Aqsa will lead to a mockery of the holy sites in Mecca and Medina, because there is a connection between that must not be broken" (the Palestinian minister of Waqf affairs, Sheikh Yusef Salameh, in November 2002).

At the same time there is growing use of the term "Al-Aqsa" as a symbol and a name for different institutions and organizations, be it a Jordanian army journal, a Palestinian police unit established by the Palestinian Authority in Jericho, the Fatah terrorist cells known as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade or Internet sites of the northern and southern branches of the Islamic Movement and organizations they have set up and, of course, in the current intifada and the Arab summit convened in its wake.

Contrary to the standard history whereby the Al-Aqsa mosque was built in the seventh century, in recent years an ancient tradition from the beginning of Islam has been gaining ground. According to it, the Al-Aqsa mosque was built 40 years after the construction of the mosque in Mecca by Adam (i.e., close to the seven days of creation). Other traditions that appear in the Waqf administration offices in Jerusalem attribute the building of the mosque to Abraham and Solomon, as Islamic figures, with no connection to Judaism. The former Jordanian minister of Waqf affairs, Abed al-Salaam al-Abadi, Sheikh Raed Salah and Islamic Internet sites refer to Abraham as the builder of the Al-Aqsa mosque 4,000 years ago.

For hundreds of years,
Jerusalem has been known in Islam as a sanctified place first and foremost for having been designated as the place where prayers should be directed (kabila) before Mohammed adopted the Kaaba in Mecca as the kabila. In general, Jerusalem was the direction of prayers for 16 months. However, now the view that Jerusalem served this purpose for some four years and four months is experiencing a revival. The Palestinian Authority-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akram Sabri and Sheikh Yusef Kardawi, the most popular mufti in the Muslim world, who currently lives in Qatar, are only two heralds of this message. The verse in the Koran that mentions Al-Aqsa mosque and goes on to explain "whose surroundings we have blessed" is meriting an expanded interpretation. The surroundings of Al-Aqsa mosque are not narrowly defined, as was the case in the past, and they are now providing an opening for the interpretation that Al-Aqsa refers to all of Jerusalem, and most recently, it refers to all of Palestine.

Members of the Saudi royal family, Palestinian archaeologists (such as Dr. Dimitri Baramki), Sheikh Kardawi, Syrian clerics and others all identify the Jebusites as an ancient Arab tribe that wandered from the Arabian peninsula, together with the Canaanites, around 3,000 years B.C.E. and therefore predated the children of Israel in the land.


The "fabricated" Temple

The new history most jarring to Jewish hearers is that the First and
Second Temple are lies fabricated by the Jews. In public discourse among Arabs, participants regularly add the word "al-maz'um" - that is, the presumptive or fabricated - when referring to the Jewish Temple. Mufti Sabri says that there are no remnants proving the Jews' claim that there was a temple on the site.

The current Jordanian minister of Waqf affairs, Ahmed Khalil, said last year that
Israel is trying to intervene in Al-Aqsa affairs and conduct excavations beneath the mosque in order to build the fabricated temple there. Arafat Hajazi, a member of the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, asks in an article published in 2002 on the movement's Web site why the Jews did not build their Temple during the longer than 500-year period between the time it was destroyed a second time by Titus and Abed el-Malik built Al-Aqsa mosque; he also notes that hundreds of archaeological delegations have conducted excavations in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa and not one of them has found remnants of the Temple.

In another article, which recently appeared on the Internet site of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Egyptian archaeologist Abed al-Rahim Rihan Barakat, the manager of the archaeological site at Dahab in Sinai, writes, "The myth of the fabricated
Temple is the greatest crime of historical forgery."

A fatwa on the Internet site of the Waqf in
Jerusalem states that David, Solomon and Herod did not build the Temple, rather they repaired something that had been there since the time of Adam.

There is a similar campaign of denial with regard to the Western Wall and it has two aspects: one is the identification of the Western Wall as a sacred place for Muslims because the prophet Mohammed tethered his horse Al-Buraq there and that it is part of the Al-Aqsa mosque; and the other is the argument that the Jews fabricated the Western Wall as a place that is sacred to them, and they have no historical connection to it. Palestinian and Egyptian religious authorities have issued fatwas to that effect.

"Al-Aqsa is in danger" continues to be the motto of articles by Muslim figures and the focus of mass rallies organized each year by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. "The most far-flung Muslim communities hear the stories about the Palestinian struggle over their sacred site and through the political tale the revised religious traditions are also internalized," says Reiter. The fact that
Israel's official policy - as embodied in the decisions of the Chief Rabbinate Council, the government and the High Court of Justice - leaves the administration of the Temple Mount in the hands of the Muslim Waqf is not recognized in the contemporary Muslim world. On the contrary, "the activities of extremist Jewish entities, some of them minuscule, to revive the [First] Temple ritual, is perceived and disseminated by Palestinian sources as if it is a reflection of official policy," says Reiter.

Reiter's work was delivered as a position paper to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was discussed yesterday at a seminar at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. Two main conclusions emerged from the discussion. One is that
Jerusalem, today, more than in the past, is a pan-Muslim Arab issue and therefore a decision regarding it cannot be made by the Palestinians alone. Secondly, any Arab official seeking to work out an arrangement for Jerusalem and the holy sites is constrained by the Islamic religious world and thus as a negotiator has little room to maneuver.

No, We Don't Know G-d's Plan

In response to my last posting, I received a response from someone who felt that it was not right for me to claim that G-d revealed himself, since I have no idea what G-d's plan is.

I admit, I do not know what G-d has planned - not for the Jewish people and not for all of humanity. But I do know from our Torah what G-d wants from us - and that is for us to assist him in this project called humanity - by working on ourselves to be the best people we could be and by working on our nation and our country to become the light unto the nations that we are supposed to be.

In my eyes, the events of last week that I wrote about were actions that Am Yisrael took, with the help of G-d, in redirecting our nation and country in the direction we are supposed to be going - in becoming "the light unto the nations" we are supposed to be instead of being "a reflection of the nations", the state we are now in.

6 more holy Israeli soldiers died this morning in fighting our enemies. Last week almost a whole family was wiped off the face off the earth in our struggle. The losses we have experienced are a very heavy price we are paying in our struggle to exist as the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. It does not have to do with borders or with refugees, it has to do with who we are and why we are here. Our enemies know this and they say so bluntly, our own people, however, prefer to selectively hear and block these messages out.

Unfortunately, the longer it takes us to wake up to fulfilling our responsibility as a nation that I mentioned above, the more of our own we will have to bury. Let us hope and pray that it ends soon.

Beautiful things are happening in Israel today. Really wonderful, wonderful things - by so many people in so many realms. Yet there is still so much more to do. The sooner it takes for us, those of us who understand what our reposonsability is as a nation, to take control of our destiny instead of being controlled by others, who do not fully understand or comprehend that responsability, our work will be much easier and take much less time.


Friday, May 07, 2004

A Historical Week

We just experienced one of the most eventful weeks in the history of the State of Israel. I think that in historical importance it falls right behind the eventful weeks when the State of Israel was declared and the victory of the Six Day War. Many of us might not yet know it, but I firmly believe that this week will be looked at by history as the major turning point in the existence of the State of Israel.

G-d's hand was not just revealed once, but twice!

The first revelation was the wonderful victory in the referndum against Sharon's plan to uproot Jews from their homes.

The second revelation was the amazing coverage given to the totally improper conduct of the Israeli judicial system that included the blatant disregard of proper conduct by our own Judicial Leadership!

These two issues might look unrelated, but they are extremely related.

The Oslo process was not just a peace process, it was much more than that. It was a process to break the spirit of the Jewish people and to break the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. This was best expressed in Peres' quote in 1996 when he lost the elections to Bibi Netanyahu - Peres is quoted as saying 'The Israelis lost and the Jews won'.

But, unfortuntely Peres was wrong, Netanyahu continued in the direction of Oslo, in the direction of the Israelis.

The Jewish connection to the land and the connection of the people to our religion has been deligitmized by politicians and the media for the past 10 years, all with the assistance of the Israeli Supreme Court.

But this week will become known as the turning point when the Land of Israel was reinvigorated with the spirit of the Jewish people. This is the beginning of the end of the "new" Israeli identity that Peres and the Left have always dreamed about creating here.

The Amcha have spoken. The tide is now about to turn.

People no longer want to have the "new" Israeli identity - most Israelis want to be Jews -Jewish Israelis - connected to their land, connected to their heritage and connected to behavior becoming of a Jew.

It has now become clear to all that the only way these changes will happen is if it comes from the Likud party. We are already witnessing thousands of religious people signing up for membership in the Likud. Why? Because the people of the Likud have spoken up to their spineless leadership and told them that they will no longer let them lead us down the path of Peres and the "new" Israelis. They clearly coneyed to their leaders that it is not so easy to disconnect Jews from their heritage or their homeland. The Likud has just been strengthened as the party of the Jewish people.

Change takes time, and not everything will go our way, but at least now the people have awaken, the leadership is shaken, the trust of the people in the system (Knesset and Justice) has reached rock bottom, and the only direction now is up.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are now living in exciting times. The people here in Israel will now begin taking back their country and making it the proud Jewish State it is supposed to be.

To all of you who are still not here yet - come home and help us make this happen because this is what being Jewish is all about.


Sunday, May 02, 2004

Taking A Deep Deep Breath

Baruch Hashem,

As of this moment it looks like Sharon's plan has been voted down by the Likud membership.

If this holds up to be true, we can hopefully take a deep deep breath and smile. Not celebrate and not feel invincible, but smile and take a deep breath.

This is the turning point in the State of Israel returning to itself, a proud country conneected to its Jewish identity and its land - the (not-so) secret combination for true peace and security in the Land of Israel.

This battle hopefully has been won, with many more battles to come. However, now we are in a much better position to win those future battles too because this referendum will be the turning point in favor of the Jewish people with Jewish pride and a loss for the Jewish people who have lost hope in standing up for ourselves and our country.

Now is the time to join Manhigut Yehudit and strengthen the Likud. Join the thousands who have already joined and assisted in returning the Likud to its roots. We will change the direction of this country only be leading it - and that we have begun to do in the Likud - the only party in Israel that represents the nation (ashkenazim, sepharadim, chilonim, datiim, charedim - and not sectoral) that actually has the realistic option of leading the nation.

Did we really return to our land to just lead ourselves - each group for their own interests? Or did we return to this land to lead the whole Jewish people? If the latter - than we must rise to the challenge of leading the people in a party of the people, working with the people and convincing the people of the right direction.

May we hold on to this deep breath and hold on to the hope that we are now beginning the road back to having a Jewish State with a Jewish identity that stands up for itself - that will bring us the true peace and security that we truly pray for.

Tizku L'mitzvot to all those volunteers who made today happen.

Am Yisrael Chai,