December 14, 2018

Genocide of the unborn

This picture of 'unborn' Amiad Yisrael wrapped in his burial tallit is truly heartbreaking. It is a tragedy for his parents and all of Israel. But the picture must also convey a message to all of us.
The message is that these rabid Arab beasts have gone way beyond the idea of driving us out of our land. Now they don’t even want us born into it.
This and other brazen attacks, including today’s killings in Jerusalem, show very clearly that we are still dealing with the same PLO as before they were gentrified by the Oslo Accords. The difference is that they no longer fear our soldiers or our people. Goldstone probes, prisoner releases and the sacred cow of human rights have worn down our deterrence at every level. Where the IDF used to have news reporters embedded with their units – now they have lawyers. Soldiers have to think twice or three times before defending themselves, whilst their fanatical opponents exploit those vital milliseconds to their most savage advantage.
I have always thought that the fundamental difference between Left and Right is that leftists do not accept that there is such a thing as pure evil in this world. It’s really no more complicated than that.
Unlike realists on the Right, leftists always react to evil acts by blaming anyone or anything other than the perpetrator. For the common killer or rapist the ‘justification’ is usually a broken home, poverty, drugs or abuse by their stepfathers. For suicide bombers and terrorists it’s usually about their hopelessness under grinding poverty and lack of education or civil rights under Western domination or Israeli 'occupation'.
It’s nearly 20 years since 9-11 and leftists have still not internalised the lesson that there is indeed such a thing as pure evil in this world. Evil that cannot be justified at any level. That a so-called human being could stand at an airline departure gate in a queue with smiling families, young children and infants knowing full well that he would be turning them into human bombs within less than an hour. It is the lowest level of evil you can possibly imagine. And yet the 9-11 hijackers were educated middle class men mostly from rich, unoccupied and unoppressed Saudi Arabia.
The same pure evil exists in Tehran, where the ayatollahs call Israel ‘a one-bomb country’. Given a window of opportunity they would not hesitate to seize the moment to incinerate 8 million people – the devil may care if they are Jews or Muslims. It still beggars belief that a US president gifted 150 billion dollars to such genocidal fanatics let alone with the support of 5 major world powers who still oppose Trump’s new sanctions.
And the same evil exists within our homeland, as we end this awful week of killings by our so-called peace partners. The leftists sipping their lattes in Tel Aviv will blame the settlers, the occupation, the right-wing Likud or Jewish Home parties, the Nation State Law … anything but the killers themselves. It’s time they woke up to the stark reality that pure evil exists, can never be justified and must never be trusted to live among us.


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December 02, 2018

Chanuka 1944

I thought on this first night of Chanuka I would share this extract of my late father's book about his time in Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Nieder-Orschel.

The book is called the Yellow Star and was recently republished with a foreword by Colonel Richard Kemp.
It's available at Amazon and other online sellers.

Here is the extract, from December 1944 ......

When writing the little diary in which I entered the Hebrew dates and festivals, I discovered with great delight that Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, the festival on which we commemorate the recapture of the Temple from the mighty Greeks by a handful of faithful Jews, was only a few days ahead. I decided that we should light a little Hanukkah lamp even in Nieder-Orschel, and that this would go a long way towards restoring our morale.
Benzi was immediately consulted because he had become the most reliable and trusted person in the block. Even those at the other two tables—the “intellectuals’ table,” where the doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects, and businessmen ate, and the “free table,” where the non-believers sat—even they came to Benzi to settle their quarrels, which were mostly about the distribution of their rations. Benzi would stand no arguments at his own table. He cut every loaf into eight portions and shared it out indiscriminately. He who complained, received the smallest portion.
“If you are dissatisfied,” Benzi would shout angrily, “go and join another table, where they have scales and judges.”
Nobody ever left our table.
Benzi was enthusiastic about my idea. “Yes, we should get a Hanukkah light burning,” he said. “It will boost our morale and lighten the atmosphere. Work on a plan, but be careful.”
Two problems had to be overcome: oil had to be “organized,” and a place had to be found where the lighted wick would not be seen.
There was no lack of oil in the factory, but how could we smuggle even a few drops into our barrack in time for Monday evening, December 11, the first night of Hanukkah?
We knew, of course, that Jewish law did not compel us to risk our lives for the sake of fulfilling a commandment. But there was an urge in many of us to reveal the spirit of sacrifice implanted in our ancestors throughout the ages. We who were in such great spiritual as well as physical distress felt that a little Hanukkah light would warm our starving souls and inspire us with hope, faith, and courage to keep us going through this long, grim, and icy winter.
Benzi, Grunwald, Stern, Fischhof, and I were in the plot. We decided to draw lots. The first name drawn would have to steal the oil; the third would be responsible for it, and hide it until Monday evening; and the fifth would have to light it under his bunk. I was drawn fifth.
Grunwald, who was to “organize” the oil, did his part magnificently. He persuaded the hated Meister Meyer that his machine would work better if oiled regularly every morning, and that this could best be arranged if a small can of fine machine oil was allotted to us to be kept in our tool box. Meister Meyer agreed, so there was no longer the problem of having to hide it.
On Monday evening after Appell, everyone else sat down to his much-awaited portion of tasteless but hot soup, while I busied myself under the bunk to prepare my Menorah. I put that oil in the empty half of a shoe polish tin, took a few threads from my thin blanket and made them into a wick. When everything was ready I hastily joined the table to eat my dinner before I invited all our friends to the Hanukkah Light Kindling ceremony. Suddenly, as I was eating my soup, I remembered we had forgotten about matches.
I whispered to Benzi.
“Everyone must leave a little soup,” Benzi ordered his hungry table guests, and told them why.
Within five minutes, five portions of soup were exchanged in the next room for a cigarette. The cigarette was “presented” to the chef, Joseph, for lending us a box of matches without questions.
And so, as soon as dinner was over I made the three traditional blessings, and a little Hanukkah light flickered away slowly under my bunk. Not only my friends from the “religious” table were there with us, but also many others from the room joined us in humming the traditional Hanukkah songs. These songs carried us into the past. As if on a panoramic screen, we saw our homes, with our parents, brothers, sisters, wives, and children gathered round the beautiful silver candelabras, singing happily the Maoz Tzur. That tiny little light under my bunk set our hearts ablaze. Tears poured down our haggard cheeks. By now, every single inmate in the room sat silently on his bunk, or near mine, deeply meditating. For a moment, nothing else mattered. We were celebrating the first night of Hanukkah as we had done in all the years previous to our imprisonment and torture. We were a group of Jewish people fulfilling our religious duties, and dreaming of home and of bygone years.
But alas! Our dream ended much too soon.
A roar of “Achtung” brought our minds back to reality, and our legs to stiff attention. “The Dog”—that skinny little Unterschaarfuehrer—stood silently at the door, as he so often did on his surprise visits, looking anxiously for some excuse, even the slightest, to wield his dog-whip. Suddenly he sniffed as loudly as his Alsatian, and yelled:
“Hier shtinkts ja von Oehl!” (“It stinks of oil in here.”)
My heart missed a few beats as I stared down at the little Hanukkah light flickering away, while “The Dog” and his Alsatian began to parade along the bunks in search of the burning oil.
The Unterschaarfuehrer silently began his search. I did not dare bend down or stamp out the light with my shoes for fear the Alsatian would notice my movements and leap at me.
I gave a quick glance at the death-pale faces round me, and so indeed did “The Dog.” Within a minute or two he would reach our row of bunks. Nothing could save us . . . but sudddenly . . .
Suddenly a roar of sirens, sounding an air raid, brought “The Dog” to a stop and within seconds all lights in the entire camp were switched off from outside.
“Fliegeralarm! Fliegeralarm!” echoed throughout the camp! Like lightning I snuffed out the light with my shoes and following a strict camp rule, we all ran to the open ground, brushing “The Dog” contemptuously aside.
“There will be an investigation. . . . There will be an investigation,” he screamed above the clatter of rushing prisoners who fled out into the Appell ground.
But I did not worry. In delight I grabbed my little Menorah and ran out with it. This was the sign, the miracle of Hanukkah, the recognition of our struggle against the temptations of our affliction. We had been helped by God, even in this forsaken little camp at Nieder-Orschel.
Outside, in the ice-cold, star-studded night, with the heavy drone of Allied bombers over our heads, I kept on muttering the traditional blessing to the God who wrought miracles for His people in past days and in our own time. The bombers seemed to be spreading these words over the host of heaven.


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November 20, 2018

Coalition Crisis

When Liberman walked out of the government last Wednesday he created the biggest coalition crisis I think Netanyahu has ever faced. Both right-wing factions – Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi and Kachlon’s Kulanu demanded to go to elections ASAP. And all the pundits said elections were totally inevitable.
But Bibi dissented, and stuck to his line that elections could be avoided and should be avoided at this sensitive point to deny Hamas and its sponsors in Tehran, the satisfaction of having brought down the government of the ‘Zionist Entity’ with 400 rockets.

And by yesterday, Bibi won. Bennett conceded his claim to the defence ministry ‘or else elections’ with a very responsible statement saying: "It's better that Netanyahu beats me in a political fight than that [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh beats the State of Israel."
Netanyahu may have his faults, just like all of us. But he has proved again and again that he is a brilliant tactician. There can be few things more tortuous and exasperating than Israeli coalition politics. It’s a gorilla pen of massive egos beating their political chests, grasping for their moment of fame. But Netanyahu seems to have the deepest pockets of self-confidence and sticks it out to the end.
Netanyahu holds the record for the longest single term (his second term) of any Israeli prime minister and, if he survives until July 16, 2019, he will tie Ben-Gurion to become the longest serving prime minister in Israel's history.
In today’s Knesset, that’s achieving the impossible.

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November 14, 2018

Liberman and 'The Day After'

There is no doubt that, short of sending in troops on the ground, the IDF dealt Hamas its most lethal blows in this last round of hostilities. It will take a lot more than Qatar's $15m to rebuild and a lot more time than after previous rounds of fighting.
Yes, the average Israeli taxi driver - usually the wisest of all people in Israel - will be baying for full revenge and the total flattening of Gaza or to take the strip back completely.
Isn't that exactly what the US coalition did in Iraq? They never planned for the 'day after' and now - 15 years after the allied invasion, or 'liberation' - Iraq is a basket case of terrorism and political corruption.
There is one person who wants Hamas destroyed even more than our Israeli taxi driver. That is PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas. And he desperately wants Israeli soldiers to do his work for him, and deliver him control of the 'other part' of his so-called Palestinian State.
Our mainstream Likud has always been opposed to a Two State Solution. The plain fact is that any serious notion of a viable Palestinian State is a non-starter so long as the leadership of its two parts - Abbas in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza - are in conflict with each other. Relations are now at their bitterest point, with Abbas trying the starve Gaza of salaries and other essentials needed to maintain civic life. This is why Qatar had to come to the rescue last month. Israel is not the bad boy in this game - it is merely a bystander caught in between these two terror enclaves.
It was quite understandable that Liberman resigned in frustration at a cabinet that was preventing him from carrying out the duties of Defence Minister the way he saw fit. But in our view it is not right for him to make this an election issue. This is a time for cool heads, not elections. Nothing makes Hamas and its Iranian paymasters feel more victorious than seeing their 24-hour barrage throwing the "Zionist Entity" into disarray and toppling its government.
Unlike Liberman, living in the moment and wanting to pander to the masses with a show of force to match his physical stature, Prime Minister Netanyahu has much broader considerations in his calculus.
Firstly there is Iran, and the Trump sanctions which are literally crippling the 'ayatocracy' in Tehran. If and when the mullahs come to heel, Trump will almost certainly insist on their withdrawal from Syria and Gaza as two key demands for the removal of sanctions, over and above the imperatives of nuclear inspection. If Iran stops sending money, Hamas ceases to exist. Gazans may soon have to sell their rockets for fuel and food.
Then there is the unpublished Trump peace plan hanging in the firmament. As we have said above, the reality of a Palestinian State is a non-starter without reconciliation between Abbas's PLO and Hamas. We should not help that happen.
Beyond that there is the wider regional picture and our good relationship with Egypt's president Sisi who has significant influence over Hamas, not least in holding the keys to their vital smuggling routes. For the Hamas leadership the two top priorities are killing Jews and making money - lots of it.
And beyond Egypt there's the new relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states opposed to Iran's regional hegemony. A new Gaza War may kill that nascent Israeli-Arab axis in the crib.
All this is not to say that Israel can allow Hamas to fire off hundreds of rockets and then declare a ceasefire every other month. Short of launching a war that may put another 1.7m Arabs under 'occupation', it may be wiser to move a tank division to the Gaza border and keep it permanently stationed there, ready for the army to move in at the next rocket barrage. Hamas needs to know that the IDF can and will roll in and flatten them all within a matter of hours.
The combination of such visible deterrence on the ground, plus the economic pressures coming through Iran seem to be a much smarter means of dealing with the situation than firing from the hip without a clear plan for the day after.


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November 12, 2018

Gaza is is not a city or a country ...

As we retire safely to our beds in London, Paris and New York, our brothers and sisters in Israel will have no sleep this night. 
Some will be in bomb shelters, others will be kept awake by the sound of sirens. Most will be glued to their TVs and phones. And, many parents will be packing up their sons and daughters called up by the army for deployment to the front.
Tomorrow the media will be all over the story, with the usual bias against Jews for daring to defend themselves. They will point to this or that incident which sparked the latest round of fighting - but the consensus will always be the same: "it all started when Israel retaliated".
The truth is that Gaza is is not a city or a country.
It is simply an Iranian rocket base, filled with human shields.
And make no mistake about who is fanning the flames here, in total disregard for civilian life on either side. 
It is the rabid ayatollahs in Tehran.
And right now they are desperate, wounded animals.
Trump's sanctions have all but crippled their precious Islamic Republic. Its currency is in free-fall, its cities are crippled with power cuts for large parts of the day and its citizens are without basic food and medical essentials for lack of hard currency which is being burned unceasingly as rocket propellant in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon.
Their way of getting back at the Great Satan is to unleash, through their Hamas proxies, fire and fury at Little Satan, and Israel is once again having to pay a heavy price.
There is no doubt that this amount of damage and ferocity has crossed a red line with Israel's leadership, and this time there will be no retaliation against soft targets. The vipers' nest will now have to be cleared out once and for all. The Hamas leadership must be sent to their virgins like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - in scorched bits.
And this time, thank G-d, there will be no calls from Bush and Obama to show restraint and withdraw.


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November 04, 2018

Game set and match to the patriarchs!

This past Shabbat’s Torah reading was Chayei Sarah, in which Abraham comes to Hebron to buy a burial place for his wife Sarah. That burial place is the Cave of Machpela, in which the patriarchs and their wives are all buried, and is the second most sacred shrine in Judaism after the Temple Mount and its Western Wall.

As in most years, I spent this special Shabbat in Hebron with tens of thousands of my Jewish brothers and sisters to have the enormous privilege of hearing the Torah reading and story of the burial of Sarah in the exact place where it actually happened 3,800 years ago. If you’re looking for a means of really “earthing” yourself to Jewish history, this time and place never disappoints.

I returned to Jerusalem after Shabbat to hear of the crowd forming in Tel Aviv to mark the 23rd anniversary of the murder of Prime Minister Rabin z’l  in the same square as he had then held a rally in support of the Oslo peace accords.  Rather than ‘mark’ the anniversary, it seems the demonstration was held more to ‘politicise’ it. Failed prime ministerial aspirants like Avi Gabbay (Labour) Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) and Tzipi Livni (no fixed abode) jumped at the chance to make themselves relevant on the podium. No surprise that Hanegbi got booed while far left Meretz leader Tamar Sandberg got the biggest applause. This is after all Tel Aviv!

The biggest story the following morning was about someone who was not there. Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein. He reportedly declined to attend because a “settler in a kippa” would not be welcome to speak at such a gathering. The headlines made a meal of his comment that Rabin’s assassination had “no historical impact” on the peace process. That is of course true. The Oslo process didn’t die at Rabin Square, but collapsed 5 years later at Camp David. Israelis still live with its deadly legacy of thousands of Jewish lives ended or disabled, along with the empowerment of the PLO and the advent of Hamas.

I have a better reason why Speaker Edelstein was not in Tel Aviv. That’s because he was in Hebron, where I spoke to him Friday night in the Cave of Machpela. This is a place where settlers in a kippa are very welcome indeed. Their interest is in deepening their roots to the Jewish homeland and heritage, rather than negotiating it away to Arabs in hopes they will stop stabbing our people in the supermarkets and stop machine-gunning families by the roadside.

And whilst Rabin’s left-wing exploiters managed to garner just a few thousand in Tel Aviv, Abraham and Sarah pulled in 40,000 for Shabbat.
  
Game set and match to the patriarchs!



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October 27, 2018

We need not be sitting ducks to terrorists and crazies

Shabbat is over and we’ve all turned on our TVs and mobiles to be faced with this horrifying news.
Yet another reminder that Jews are an endangered species and there’s nowhere we are truly safe – even in the ‘Golden Medina’ of America.

Our hearts go out to the families of the slain and we pray that those who were injured will recover soon and fully – especially those valiant police officers among the wounded.

President Trump has taken some flak for his comment that this might not have happened if there had been an armed guard on the premises. But we all know he’s right. The same argument holds true for all the shooting sprees from Sandy Hook to Bataclan and so many other auditoria where hundreds of innocent people were sitting ducks at the mercy of a mad shooter for the 15 or 30 minutes before help arrived.

We learned this lesson in the 70’s when Arafat’s PLO turned airplanes into easy terror pickings. Two or three hundred people helplessly sealed in an aluminium tube.   But, for the last 50 years - and starting long before the security screening devices of today - most airlines have carried an armed air marshal and the problem has been almost eradicated.

We need to understand that this has long gone beyond airplanes, and the same precautions have to be taken in all places where people are gathered in large numbers. We make such a big fuss about fire doors and sprinklers, and yet there is no armed guard in 99% of crowded venues, whether they be places of entertainment or worship.

Just like the safety limits on crowd capacity and fire exits at any indoor event, there should be a law requiring, say 1 armed officer for every 100 people at the venue.

When I go to shul in Israel, there is not always a security guard at the door. But I always know for sure that among the congregants there are at least one or two army reservists packing a firearm. And we have seen in the many street attacks how Israelis have been quick to neutralise terrorists within seconds of them revealing deadly intent. The Jerusalem bulldozer attack 10 years ago comes to mind.

We cannot and need not be sitting ducks to terrorists and crazies.

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October 25, 2018

So, Trump's not presidential


I’m tired of hearing people say: “Trump's not being presidential”.
Today it was about his comments on the pipe bombs sent to Soros and other Democrat activists who openly incited supporters to mob and harass Trump staff and supporters in restaurants, stores and gas stations.  

Trump is not presidential, right.
He’s crude, unpolished and has an ego the size of Brazil.
But here’s the thing ….
He was elected precisely because people were fed up with presidential types.
Like the slick and highly polished Obama, who started off his presidency going on an apology tour for America, decimated its military, never achieved growth of more than 3% in all his 8 years, racked up more debt than all his 43 ‘presidential’ predecessors combined, weaponised the IRS, DOJ and FBI to silence his enemies, forced 300 million Americans into a doomed healthcare scheme, allowed Putin to steal Crimea with impunity, and gave Iran’s ayatollahs $150 billion plus hostage money in pallets of used banknotes.
But he did it all with oh! - such polished speech and presidential aplomb !

Now we have Trump, the oh so unpresidential POTUS.
His enemies may call him the antichrist – but he’s more the anti-politician.
Unlike most other elected leaders, he's been keeping his election promises … all of them.
In fact the only ones not delivered fully, are those obstructed by Democrats in Congress. Like the wall.

Meanwhile, he has reduced Black, Hispanic and Asian unemployment to the lowest levels in American history and women’s unemployment down to the lowest for 65 years. He’s weaned 4 million Americans off food stamps, brought back half a million manufacturing jobs to America’s heartland, faced down China on fiendish trade abuses, got US hostages released for no ransom and stopped North Korea’s missiles flying over Japan. He’s renegotiated NAFTA and forced NATO countries to pay their own way, saving America billions. He’s cancelled the Iran sell-out and is refitting the military with $700 billion a year.

Thank goodness he’s not presidential.

We’ve had a bellyful of those !



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American Jewish Voters

So, while 51 percent of American Jewish respondents approve of Trump's efforts for Israel, only 6% would vote for him.
How sick is this?

Can these Americans really be true Jews, or has the 70% assimilation rate totally wiped out their Jewish values.
One of those is "Hakarat Hatov". That means, gratitude.
Israel is today the 'Jew among Nations' . To single out Israel for criticism with double standards and delegitimization amounts to pure antisemitism.
When Trump and Haley called time on this, and blocked it at the United Nations, they were fighting for our people, the Jews. When Trump cut funds to the PA and UNRWA for abetting Jew hatred, he was fighting for our people, the Jews. When he sanctioned UNESCO he was rescuing Jewish heritage from political erasure. And when he faced down our enemies to finally move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Trump paid the greatest honour to our eternal Jewish capital before all the world to see.
President Eisenhower treated Israel coolly, explaining to his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, “We conduct our policy as if there were not one Jew in the country. They don’t vote for us anyway.”
If Trump were to say such a thing after the upcoming midterm elections could you possibly blame him?
Maybe if all these 'enlightened' American Jews assimilated more quickly, we might sooner be left with a truer representation of our people and their values - not least gratitude.


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October 18, 2018

Khan al-Ahmar

With the fallout of her disastrous conduct of Brexit swirling around her, it's surprising that Theresa May finds the time (and chutzpah) to meddle in the town planning issues of another sovereign state.

Khan al-Ahmar is nothing more than a nomadic Bedouin shanty encampment which was set up alongside Highway 1 outside Jerusalem. 
It was set up illegally, without zoning or highways permission and in any other country would have been bulldozed years ago. 

However, because this is is the Jewish state, whose every action must be subject to a double-standard in this world, the issue of its removal has been tied up in court hearings for no less than NINE years. 

And there's been no limit to the financial support of foreign funds and NGOs who have been paying the human rights lawyers to keep this in play for all that time. Their backers' sole aim is to fight the Jewish state using its very own democratic institutions and bastions of social justice. Such things which incidentally do not exist anywhere else in the region. 

These people seem to have zero interest in the human rights of Syrians, Yemenis, Kurds, Yazidis, Tibetans or indeed the tens of thousands of Christians who have been ethnically cleansed by the PLO just around the corner in Bethlehem. 

Imagine a group of migrants setting up a shanty town alongside the M6 motorway outside Birmingham.
Would Mrs May's police or government let it stand longer than a week - a month?
Nine years? Gimme a break!

And it's not as if the Bedouin have not been offered alternative accommodation. The state offered them permanent housing not far away - but this didn't suit the leftists who needed to keep this pot boiling for propaganda purposes.

What Mrs May and other leaders standing in judgement need to understand is that these Bedouin Arabs could by now have enjoyed 10 years of good living in a proper community, with sanitation, schooling and all the community services. But, just like the Palestinian Arabs languishing for decades in so-called refugee camps, they are just more pawns of the Muslim Brotherhood which cynically uses them to undermine and delegitimize the Jewish state which they failed to kill at birth 70 years ago.

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October 17, 2018

On Khashoggi ....


The disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the gruesome means of his suspected torture and disposal have shocked the world and occupied the headlines and lead slots of TV media and opinion pieces for many days.

As lurid tales of his demise filter out into the media, so do more details of Khashoggi’s extreme views – both against the Saudi rulers and in support of the Muslim Brotherhood of which he was a member and advocate of political Islam.

In every sense this was a journalist looking for trouble, and he found it at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

This event brings to mind the gruesome killing of another journalist 16 years ago, by the name of Daniel Pearl. He was kidnapped by Al Qaeda and beheaded by its 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Daniel worked for the Wall Street Journal. In contrast to Khashoggi, he wasn’t out looking for trouble. His crime was simply being a Jew.

His executioners made sure the world would know of this “crime”, making him read out aloud these last words on video before his beheading:

“My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, uh, on my father's side the family is Zionist. My father's Jewish, my mother's Jewish, I'm Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We've made numerous family visits to Israel.”

May his dear soul rest in peace.

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October 13, 2018

Gaza: A soldier's letter

Whilst in Israel over Sukkot, I went down to the Gaza border to see the extent of fire damage caused by Hamas’s flying petrol bombs. It’s distressing to see large swathes of blackened landscape. Our people were so proud to make the desert bloom – whilst our so-called peace partners are into scorched earth and wanton destruction.
Whilst in the border area I visited Black Arrow, a memorial to the many IDF units which operated in the south, including Unit 101 which was commanded by Ariel Sharon. A young girl in a baseball cap was standing at the lookout and asked where I was from. She told me that she had immigrated to Israel from Los Angeles a couple of years earlier. I was scanning the Gaza horizon for incoming fire balloons when she said; “My boyfriend served in Gaza, was injured and lost his sight. We’re getting married next year.” She said this so matter-of-factly, it left me stunned and I was still dwelling on the thought many days afterward.
I recall this again here after reading a letter recently published on an Israeli website from an anonymous soldier, telling the true story of what they face at the Gaza border on a daily basis.
Whilst I empathise with the frustration of this soldier, his letter reminds me of the speech made by Colonel Richard Kemp to the UN in Geneva when he said the IDF had done more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Here is the letter: 

“I monitor the news media and am dismayed how it ignores what’s really going on at the Gaza border fence. These aren’t “riots” but war in every sense of the word. When I go home and tell people what’s really going on here, they’re shocked.
For a long time now, on a nightly basis, we’ve been facing Hamas groups that throw hundreds of grenades and petrol bombs at us. They fire at us from within crowds of women and children so that we are prevented from responding. Not that we would otherwise shoot them because the rules of engagement for opening fire are confused and frustrating. All of this goes on against a backdrop of powerful exploding balloons and fires that fill the air with black smoke.
We don’t approach the border fence because it is rigged with land mines and explosives which are hidden in all sorts of things; even the inside of Hamas flagpoles. Hamas has studied our weaknesses and is taking full advantage of the situation.
They send children to break through the fence and they come towards us close enough to see the whites of our eyes. We then have to withdraw leaving Hamas to destroy our positions. We are not allowed to return fire and, instead of going on the attack, we have to take cover due to warnings of sniper fire.
We have been abandoned on the battlefield. We feel alone. This week there were warnings of the incendiary balloons being loaded with chemical substances!
And it’s not true that we haven’t suffered injuries. Perhaps not mortal injuries but many soldiers have been wounded in these clashes. The fact that there haven’t been losses on our side is a mystery which can only be explained as Divine protection from Above.
I write this so that Am Yisrael will know the truth of what is going on here.”

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