August 04, 2015

Civil War – the new agenda of the Left ?

The ink was not yet dry on Gideon Levy’s op-ed last Thursday when everything changed by sundown. 

That very afternoon, a crazed ex-con in sidelocks slashed his way through a gay pride march in Jerusalem and, the very next day, an Arab infant was killed in an arson attack, ostensibly by settlers.

Levy’s concession piece was a watershed in the unending flow of toxic abuse he has vented on his own people through the columns of Haaretz, which seems to relish publishing anything and anyone with something nasty to say about its own Jewish state.

The settlers have won and they deserve the victory,” Levy wrote, admonishing the “limpness” of his leftist friends in Tel Aviv.  “In the settler camp, the fire burns strong,” he went on, saying that instead of wasting nights at concerts “the settler camp struggles, acre after acre, day after day, year after year.

How sad therefore that the Religious Zionist camp was not able to bask in this rare praise from its nemesis. All was ruined by a madman inexplicably released at the worst possible time and a feral gang of thugs. Every nation, creed and tribe has its crazies and derelicts. Unless held to yet another double standard, Jews are no different.

The Left have been quick to regroup and seize the opportunity to demonise the entire Religious Zionist community over this. And, to wit, on the 10th anniversary of the Gaza Disengagement -  their greatest sacrifice for the state and its pipedream of peace with the PLO. The trauma of 8,000 people losing their homes, their shuls, schools and farms – some still paying loans on those razed homes and businesses 10 years on  - it all counts for nothing now. Any vestige of sympathy blown away in 24 hours of madness.

Not far behind the rants of these leftist pundits have been their bedfellows in the racist NGOs and BDS movement, spitting bile into social media and feeding the most preposterous side-stories to foreign media hacks hopelessly addicted to any and every anti-Israel narrative.

No-one excuses these crimes of a crazed homophobe or criminal arsonists. All shades of Israeli society are agreed they must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  But when this latest hatefest blows over, the government would do well to address the real issue that lies beneath.

Jews baiting Jews in the Jewish state.

Crime and punishment is not what it used to be.  When I was growing up in Britain, bad people were locked up for a long time and some were even hanged. Today when someone commits a crime, the progressives instinctively ask: "what made him do such a thing?" Did he come from a broken home? Was he abused as a child?  The criminal gets all the analysis whilst the victim is either dead or disabled for life and his family bereft. If it’s rape, the victim is traumatized for a lifetime, while the judge frets over her attacker’s right to parole and a family life.

When the Fogel family and their newborn child were slaughtered, all the Left wanted to know was which town their murderers came from and what awful deprivations or provocations drove them to cut a helpless infant’s  throat. When Yehuda Glick was shot outside the Begin Centre, the Left wanted to know how someone who was employed on those same premises could be driven to shoot a Jew he knew and called to by name.  This was not of course to condone what he did … they just wanted to know cause and effect.

The same goes for the Islamist outrages in Europe. How painstakingly was the Charlie Hebdo attack analysed by the pundits and talking heads. “We must have really upset them,” they said.  "Yes, we need our free speech... but there must also be sensitivity."

And here lies the double-standard.

Nobody seems interested in ‘cause and effect’ for the settlers or Religious Zionists. Nobody asks what drove Shlissel to commit a second heinous attack on gays within days of finishing his 10 year sentence. Nobody’s interested in what drives Price Taggers to torch and daub churches, mosques or Arab homes
Could it be that the sanctity of Yerushalayim means as much or more to some Jews as the image of Muhammad means to some Muslims?  Could it be that settlers have been traumatized by incessant Arab terrorism, and the countless acts of barbarity from the slaughter of the Fogels to last year’s three kidnapped boys? Could it be that Religious Zionists are alienated by a government which discriminates against them to pander to foreign opinion? Whose court system has one set of sentencing rules for Jews and another – or none at all – for Arabs? Whose police will disarm an entire Jewish community in Samaria because a settler drew his gun in self-defense and frightened an Arab boy? Whose city councils will tie up Jewish homebuilding in years of red tape whilst turning a blind eye to illegal Arab construction anyplace they choose (including a mere ten yards from Menachem Begin’s grave on the Mount of Olives)?

I fear that the Left will now seek to snatch victory over the Religious Zionists from the jaws of the defeat almost conceded by its vile standard-bearer Gideon Levy. The means to achieve this is as old as Goebbels … first to demonize and dehumanize, and then to destroy with full support and justification.

The government must stop this in its tracks. It must show equal concern and sensitivity to ALL sectors of society and the courts must mete out justice evenly.  If not we will be facing the one evil that Menachem Begin declared as his life’s greatest achievement in avoiding: Civil war.  Jew against Jew.

Nothing would make our Palestinian enemies happier than to see Israel at war with itself. Even happier will be the world BDS movement with its professors, student unions, trade unionists and closet Nazis all.

July 19, 2015

What's this starry-eyed Arafat fan doing in the P5+1?

I’m always suspicious about acronyms; they tend to hide a certain ugliness or deceit that lies beneath.

Take CDO and ABS which, less than 10 years ago, almost cast the entire world into financial ruin.  Those collateralised debt obligations made up of asset-backed securities were really toxic debt, sugared, perfumed and gift-wrapped into something that ‘smart’ bankers would happily trade until the music stopped.

To my mind, P5+1 is another toxic nomenclature. Only this time it’s not our money that’s at risk but the lives of our children and grandchildren, who may not live to continue paying off the can of debts we’ve kicked down to them from the CDO/ABS era.

Neville Chamberlain, at least, attached his name, his country and his photo to the disastrous deal with Hitler in 1938.

Not so with the P5+1.

So who are these characters and what are their special interests? Supposedly it’s the UN Security Council’s permanent (veto) members: America, Russia, China, Britain, France … and the plus is Germany. It would be nice to think their main motivation was stopping Iran’s nuclear bomb and cutting its funding of world terror. But as the saying goes: 'all politics is local politics' and the vested interests are clear.

For America, Kerry is there to deliver Obama’s presidential legacy and to collect his own peace prize. For Russia it’s all about helping Iran’s Al Quds force prop up their mutual client Assad in Syria not to mention the lucrative weapons trade vital to Putin’s flagging thug-conomy. China - happily untouched by Islamic terrorism - wants only to restore deliveries of Iranian crude oil. Britain will always follow America’s lead whilst France is the country which hosted Ayatollah Khomeini in exile and provided his springboard to 35 years of tyranny over the hapless Iranian people. As for Germany there are huge exports needed to pay for the crippling Eurozone bailout.

Which leaves the little girl in the picture: Federica Mogherini.

This so-called ‘High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’ seems to make it P5+2.
So who put her there?
What qualifies this slip of a political appointee to negotiate with the world’s most dangerous terror state?
Whatever the answers, it does appear that - like her 'most high' predecessor Catherine Ashton - Iran’s laughing foreign minister Zarif sees her as a pushover. When the interim agreement was signed in 2013 the FT reported that, after initially wanting to deal only with the foreign ministers, Zarif said he now wanted to deal ‘only with Ashton’.

Well, G-d help us all!

According to their Wiki pages, Ashton started out as treasurer and vice chairman of CND, the British campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament, famous for its picketing of American air bases during the Cold War. Mogherini started out as a member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation. That background may have something to do with the soft stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which Baltic leaders accused her of in opposing her 'most high' appointment. She also seems to have a fascination for Islam, which was the subject of her graduation thesis. This photo with Yasser Arafat was recently taken off her social media page. Called the MogBlog, it has been lampooned by the Italian press as the immature diaries of a teenager.

And this is what the Free World puts up to negotiate with the blood-spitting apocalyptic tyrants of our age.

It’s no wonder Netanyahu’s ex‎pression looks as dark as I’ve ever seen it. It may not be the fact of Iran’s nuclear ascendancy, nor the billions which will be released for their furtherance of world terror.

What’s gloomiest of all is this hopelessly naïve and invertebrate excuse for leadership of the Free World.

July 05, 2015

A Mountain out of a Bonehill

For weeks it was the talk of our Jewish shtetl.  
A group of neo-Nazis planned this Shabbat’s provocation in the centre of Golders Green, to protest the so-called ‘Jewification’ of the neighborhood.  Government and police seemed powerless to ban what was not to be a Skokie-style march, but a ‘static’ demonstration just within the legal limits of freedom of ex‎pression. Community rabbis were at odds in their sermons over the last two weekends; some urging large numbers to stand and be counted amongst the many anti-fascist groups whilst others asked their members to ignore the scum and honor the Shabbat instead.

The Nazi ringleader is 22-year old Joshua Bonehill who, not long out of short trousers, has already developed an aversion to Jews breathing the same air as he does.  I could understand if he felt so racially stifled living in Golders Green or the heavily black-hatted enclave of Stamford Hill where he planned his first protest. But no – he hails from Yeovil in Somerset, 130 miles away from London. I don’t know if any Jews have ever lived in that tiny Saxon parish but  it would be like an Eskimo having issues with a tribe in East Timor.

Despite all the community angst, the threat to our Shabbat and community peace was ultimately lifted by the Nazis themselves. You see they just couldn’t resist the idea of goading Jews even more, with threats to burn copies of the Talmud and by publishing the most vile posters invoking the Holocaust, gas chambers and caricatures from Der Sturmer. This led to Bonehill’s arrest days before the event and a police order moving his demo far away from Golders Green; to Whitehall in fact, just opposite Downing Street. In the end, just 20 of Bonehill’s lackeys turned up and were pilloriedby hundreds of antifascist demonstrators of every racial and cultural stripe.

The ‘Mountain’ I captioned is not all the fuss that was made in the shuls and among our community groups. Undoubtedly all of that was well-intentioned and the work of the CST and Jewish leadership was particularly commendable.

I am talking about a mountain of community strength, cohesion and solidarity. Bonehill’s threats activated, almost overnight, a ‘GoldersGreenTogether’ committee which prepared a counter-protest rally and had volunteers festooning the area in ribbons of gold and green. The entire community was ready to come out in force, united against these vile bigots.

I have a client who is a prominent and devout member of London’s Muslim community and the UK’s leading expert on Halal food. We became friendly and have often discussed Kosher and Halal issues, notably when British supermarkets were found selling horsemeat.  When I mentioned the Nazi demonstration, he immediately contacted local imams who said they would send groups of their young men to march with me down to Golders Green Station. ‘We will not allow these people to harm any Jew’ he said.

This fits with my own personal experience as a Londoner, in that the only incidents of antisemitism I have experienced have not been from Muslims, but from WASPs. It’s true that Muslims can be violent to Jews and others in society – but most of the time that is traced to incitement, which is the greatest evil we all face. 

By contrast, the anti-Semites in media, academia, NGOs and trade unions never needed any incitement.
He may be only 22 years old, but Bonehill is already a dinosaur.  Today’s anti-Semites don’t turn up with swastikas and SS motifs.  

They use Palestine.

Meanwhile for us it was, thankfully, a Shabbat Shalom.
דְּרוֹר יִקְרָא  

June 19, 2015

Let ISIS speak for Palestine

In the run-up to this weekend’s visit by French foreign minister Fabius, one of his diplomats has been warning about the dangers of inertia in the peace process saying: If the conflict remains unresolved radical groups such as Islamic State will make the Palestinian cause their own'.

Well … would this be such a bad thing?

ISIS as standard-bearer for the PLO might actually work a lot better for Israel, both in terms of its international relations and national security.

When Abbas took over as PLO chief, he was dubbed: ‘Arafat in a suit and tie’. And yet, he presides over the same machine of incitement to murder Jewish civilians, more recently by street stabbings and car rammings. His Hamas partners throw people off buildings, drag them to death through the streets tied to car fenders and force women and children into the line of Israeli anti-rocket fire.
If ISIS took over the PLO cause as their own, the world might better understand what Israel was dealing with. Not Armani suits but pure evil.

The same goes for internal security. Not long ago, the Oslo dreamers were begging to give up the Golan Heights. Many of them will still have their heads in the sand even as ISIS and Al Qaeda establish footholds along the Syrian border. With these barbarians beheading their way through Kuneitra, I doubt many foreign leaders will be expecting us to cede them any territory.

Although there are a myriad factions involved in the Middle East power struggle, it really comes down to a simple choice: good versus evil. Many in the West can’t or won’t acknowledge the good side as long as Jews are on it. So they turn a blind eye to the all the slaughter, bombing, homophobia and misogyny that’s common to all the groups from PLO and Hamas, to Hizbullah and ISIS; the only differences being management and scale.

Winning any war starts with identifying the enemy.

The ISIS flag is quite striking.

April 24, 2015

Happy 67th … but when’s the Barmitzvah ?

72 year-old Laurence Baehr recently celebrated his barmitzvah. 
The son of assimilated refugees from Nazi Germany it took him a lifetime to discover who he really was – it’s never too late.

Maybe the same should be said for Israel.
67 years ago the declaration of Israel’s independence was delayed at the last moment because of a disagreement over one word …. God.  
They settled on the word “Rock”.

A few hours later the newborn Jewish State was attacked in its cradle by five Arab armies. Its survival and deliverance from that war was the beginning of a succession of open miracles that have blessed our people for the last 66 years.

Whether it was the Six-Day-War which still defies analysis in military academies, or the Yom Kippur War’s extraordinary turnaround … or last summer’s rocket war; over 4,500 missiles fired into our tiny state in 50 days, and how many Jews were hit?

How about the so-called Arab Spring? Whilst our Arab neighbors were steeped in bloody wars and Islamist barbarism, tiny Israel went about its daily life almost as in a protective bubble. Yes, some bad things have happened inside that bubble, but consider this: whilst all this Arab and Islamist mayhem was going on around us for the last 6 months, Israelis had time only for party politics and electioneering. What a blessed life!

The upheaval in the Arab world also shut down our vital fuel supplies from Sinai pipelines which were being attacked almost on a monthly basis by insurgents. We could expect no help from the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt who was actively supporting Hamas in Gaza and turning a blind eye to their rocket smuggling. How lucky for us that Morsi was thrown out almost as suddenly as he got in?

In the end, we didn’t even need the Sinai oilfields. By some amazing coincidence, oil and gas which had been sitting off our shores for billions of years happened to be discovered just in time to insure us against these Arab stoppages and, more importantly, the worldwide sanctions now being threatened against us for simply building houses in our own homeland.

A wise man once said: Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous.

It’s sad that so many secular Israelis still stubbornly rationalise God out of every scenario. They and their Darwinists, Big-Bang theorists and Humanists all seem to know so much better.  With all their brains and brilliance, they can’t bring themselves to say anything close to the Nishmat prayer we gush every Shabbat:
“Even if our mouths were as full of song as the sea, and our tongues as full of joyous song as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens, and our eyes as brilliant as the sun and the moon, and our hands as outspread as the eagles of the sky and our feet as swift as hinds -- we still could not thank You sufficiently, HaShem our God, and God of our forefathers, and to bless Your Name for even one of the thousand thousand, thousands of thousands and myriad myriads of favors, miracles and wonders that you performed for our ancestors and for us …”   .  The prayer goes on to list all the miracles and kindnesses, like the Manna in the desert which, in the present era, we’ve now found in the sea.

Outside our little bubble of miracles, we watch the rest of the world paralysed in the face of radical and violent Islam, overwhelmed by hordes of new refugees and mired in national debt.
So - in contrast to the US Democratic Party which in 2012 removed all reference to God from its convention platform - would it be so terrible if next Independence Day the government of Israel corrected that unfortunate and ungrateful choice of words 67 years ago?  
Like for Laurence Baehr, it’s never too late to rediscover yourself.
Speaking of rocks, it seems ironic that Moses was denied entry into the Land of Israel because of an incident with a rock. The explanation at the time was that Moses did not sanctify Hashem in the presence of his people.

Well, isn’t this the same thing?

April 19, 2015

Label West Bank Produce With Pride

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Nuremberg Laws, 16 European Union foreign ministers have called for labeling (read: boycotting) of Jewish products made in the West Bank. 

I say we should label settlers’ produce with pride.

Remember Gush Katif?  Jewish farmers turned sand dunes into world-beating crops. They made up 15 percent of Israel’s total agricultural exports. 

The 400 farms in its 20-odd settlements pioneered bug-free lettuce and exported 70% of Israel’s organic vegetables and 60% of Israel’s prize-winning cherry tomatoes. 
That was until Hamas converted the greenhouses into rocket launching pads.

Now that same blessed produce is being grown in our ancient lands of Judea and Samaria. They are much too good to export to Jew-hating Europeans. They should be labelled proudly and reserved for their most worthy and deserving consumers … Israelis.

Let Israel export the produce of the Galil and Negev to the Europeans, and let our people eat Mituv Haaretz.

In the words of Isaiah: if you follow in my commandments you shall eat from the best of the land.

March 22, 2015

For Once – Let’s have a peace plan with OUR name on it.

All Israelis want peace, from the hard left to the far right. The main concern is who we make that peace with and what price we are prepared to pay in land and security.

Another hard fact is that Hamas and Fatah, under the control of Teheran and the Muslim Brotherhood, will not sign up to any agreement that leaves a viable Jewish state in place that cannot soon be overrun by military or demographic means.

Israel has co-operated with each and every peace plan but, despite all the confidence-building measures, settlement freezes, clearance of checkpoints and ill-advised prisoner releases, the Arab leadership has taken them all for nothing in return.

The list of peace plans is long: Rogers, Oslo-1, Oslo-2, Taba, Wye, Tenet, Mitchell, Zinni, Annapolis and of course the Saudi initiative. Not an Israeli name among them.

Perhaps it’s time to say what WE want. What suits US in OUR land and for the generations to come.

By this I don’t mean an Olmert plan which was yet another response to someone else’s initiative. It needs to be an Israeli initiative from the very start and until it is, inevitably, rejected along with all the rest.

As he becomes Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, let it not be said that there was no ‘Netanyahu Plan’. 

Whatever that plan may be, it will show that we are being proactive and no longer the passive partner to every ill-conceived initiative cobbled together by foreign leaders looking for a Mid-East legacy to eclipse their other failures.

March 19, 2015

Did they vote FOR Bibi .. or AGAINST Obama ?

I have to admit I was very pessimistic throughout this election day.

With all the knives out for Netanyahu and foreign money busing thousands of Arab students into polling stations, it was like a Yom Kippur War on all fronts, with ballots instead of bullets.

Well, that's democracy - you may well say.

But not when foreign governments and viscerally anti-Jewish fatcats and NGOs are blatantly undermining that democracy with public or tax-exempt funds.

I'm glad that the Republican senate has launched its inquiry to track this money back to its shadowy sources with subpoena powers. Let these folks be exposed for what they are: vile anti-Semites who cannot stand to see Israel thriving as a bold, secure and independent Jewish state.

There's no doubt in my mind that many Israelis changed their vote as a protest against this egregious foreign interference in their most prized process as the region's only true democracy.

Whatever the coalition endgame and whatever issues you may have with Bibi Netanyahu  ... and I have a few of my own ... there can be no doubt that this man is a real fighter.  And in the world's most dangerous neighborhood boldness and steely resolve is more important than ever. 

Chazak !

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March 18, 2015

Likud 2015

Mazeltov Bibi.
You're a star !

February 28, 2015

Spock and Birkat Cohanim

As a devoted Star Trekker, I was saddened to hear of the death of Leonard Nimoy ... a nice Jewish boy who made good and created a unique and unforgettable screen persona.

Here he is talking about his Judaism and the origin of his famous hand greeting. 


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January 27, 2015

Auschwitz - to visit is to defy the evil

As I watch scenes from Auschwitz on this 70th anniversary of its liberation, I remember my own visit 11 years ago for the memorable IAF flypast. 

It coincided with a bitter time in Israel when the Cafe Hillel bombing took the life of a young bride and her father the night before her wedding in Jerusalem. 

This is the memoir I wrote at the time for the American Jewish Press ....


January 20, 2015

The Iconic Message to Liberal Appeasers of Evil

As America goes into yet another round of appeasement talks with Teheran, and its nuclear centrifuges spin inexorably towards the Islamic apocalypse, this message by an outstanding US president is as fresh today as it was 50 years ago when it was delivered.


"We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender. 

Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand—the ultimatum. And what then—when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children ofIsrael to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits—not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. "

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