February 09, 2018

Hands Off Bibi !

(Miriam Alster/Flash90)

I find it astonishing that a police commissioner would go on an investigative TV show to discuss 

a pending investigation ... least of 
all of a sitting prime minister.

Such is the latest sub-basement 

level to which the Israeli police 
service has fallen in its policy 
of ‘trial by 1000 leaks’.

Last week police chief Alsheich reportedly claimed that
“powerful figures” had hired private investigators  to collect information on the police investigators in the Netanyahu cases, apparently to personally discredit them should they recommend indictments.

How absurd is this?
An aggrieved person might go on TV in order to plead a case for the police to investigate. But since when does a police chief have to do this? He is the chief of police! If there are dark forces or criminal elements following his people around, let him follow them and investigate them – or put them in the cooler.

This appears to me to have been a totally politicized event to smear PM Netanyahu just as the police recommend his indictment to the attorney general.
To imply that Netanyahu is running some Black Ops team to shake off these petty charges over cigars and other gifts from friends is absurd.

Did it occur to the police chief that there are some “powerful figures” who actually support Netanyahu – just like the “powerful figures” in the Israeli media and politics who are so consumed with jealousy that they can’t sleep at night with the thought that Netanyahu is still in office for the longest term since Ben Gurion.

We are talking about a prime minister who has steered the Jewish state through eight years of Obama !
And he has brought us out the other end whole: with an economy that makes a mockery of the EU, newfound alliances and unprecedented trade relations with Africa and India and – most important of all - with not an inch of our precious homeland given up. About the only thing Bibi did for Obama was to apologise to Turkey’s prime minister Erdogan, and that was only because O thrust his phone into Bibi’s hand at the airport.

Whatever his weaknesses may be - for rich friends, cigars or pistachio ice cream bought on the official residence’s tab - the bigger picture is that he works day and night for the security of the State of Israel facing down Iran’s genocidal threats and Europe’s trade boycotts from abroad whilst having to watch his back at home against the knives of political assassination within his wafer-thin coalition. 

Could you do that job?

So, Mr Police Commissioner – stop being a cry-baby on TV and tell your officers to stop their incessant leaking.


January 27, 2018

An Amazing Year for Israel

Hard to believe that just a year ago we were reeling from the treachery of Obama's parting shot to the Jews - turning America's back on Israel at the United Nations for the first time.

But just as our people have seen throughout history, from Joseph in the dungeon to the story of Purim, the Six-Day-War, the Entebbe rescue and to this day ....

ישועת השם כהרף עין

God's deliverance comes in the wink of an eye.

Could anyone have foreseen the change for Israel arriving with Trump, Pence and Haley? 

As I blogged some months ago here, Donald Trump has a lot in common with Israel, being Demonized, Delegitimized, and treated with Double-standards as Sharansky famously defined antisemitism.  

But just as for Israel - now very much 'the World's Jew' - the media's daily defamation of this president and the sneers of European leaders cannot wipe out the underlying truth.

Share the truth of Trump's first year with this great video .....

January 01, 2018

The Silence of the Lambs

It’s Day 5 of the people’s uprising in Iran, and the silence from European leaders is utterly shameful.

These are the same leaders who went along with Obama’s insane rescue of Teheran’s mullahs from the brink of sanctions death, at a time when world oil prices were rock bottom – they were on their last legs.

Within days of the JCPOA deal going through, and Obama’s release of $150 billion of funds to the ayatollahs, there was an unseemly scramble by European governments to grab as many contracts with Teheran that they could.

In the midst of this feeding frenzy, Khomeini’s centrifuges were spinning away and his underground nuclear bunkers were being ever-more reinforced with concrete. Who cares about tomorrow and the rest of the world when there’s $150 billion in cash falling from the sky?

Insiders say that Obama’s money was quickly turned around by the ayatollahs to buy a ready-made nuke from North Korea. After all - why reinvent the wheel? Under its own sanctions, North Korea was desperate for foreign currency and would have sold their mass destruction at a bargain price.

Whatever the outcome of the Iranian people's courageous uprising, these days of silence by western leaders will live in infamy.

Shame on you lambs Merkel, May, Macron and Trudeau.

And kudos to the lionhearted Donald Trump.

December 13, 2017

Defiance !

December 09, 2017

Don't count your Brexit chickens....

I can’t believe they’re celebrating – as if Brexit was a done deal.
I wish it was.

And as if prime minister Theresa May has been rehabilitated.
Not worth it.

What’s to celebrate about agreeing to pay a ‘divorce bill’ of £40bn which was never lawfully due and was simply a surrender to EU blackmail?

This isn’t even as bad as ‘peace in our time’.

If this was the EU’s entry price to trade talks, the worst is yet to come.

The EU is the most dishonest, undemocratic and corrupt institution ever to amass such power in the history of the world. It needs to show its members what a leaver looks like: bloodied, battered and beaten. It aims - and desperately needs - to serve up Britain in exactly that state to deter the likes of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy from even thinking of leaving next.

In the words of Hotel California: 
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”.

But there’s another line too:
We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”.

Let’s hope we are free very soon.


December 08, 2017

Pearl Harbour & Vayeshev

This week was the anniversary of Japan’s dastardly attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into the Second World War. Germany was quick to blame American Jews and used it to heap ever more cruelty on their brothers and sisters in Nazi-occupied Europe. One such place was the Slovakian town of Pressburg where my grandfather Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Unsdorfer zt’l would prepare his weekly sermon in longhand, often with a diary note of current events. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman was murdered in Auschwitz but some of his manuscripts were salvaged by his son Simcha, my father, after his liberation from the extermination camp. 

Here is the extract for this week's sermon וישב  in 1941 …

תש"ב, פה פרעסבורג,  אור ליום עש"ק לפ 'וישב,
 בעת צרה ר"ל
שנתהוו מלחמה במדינת הים
 בין יאפן  לאמריקה

Here, Pressburg 1941 , Erev Shabbat Vayeshev
A time of trouble, G-d help us
When there has been war between Japan and America

Rashi’s opening statement on the parsha is:
"ביקש יעקב לישב בשלוה, קפץ עליו רוגזו של יוסף.."
Literally: Jacob wanted to dwell in peace, but the rage of Joseph jumped on him.
Why the strange term ‘jump’ – why did Rashi not just say the anger of Joseph came over him.

The Midrash says of Vayeshev - לא שלותי ולא שקטתי Jacob is saying: I had no peace from Esau, no quiet from Laban and no rest from Dinah. But then came the rage of Joseph.

Perhaps the events we are now going through here in Pressburg will explain Rashi’s strange wording.
In ordinary times the only thing that changes in our daily lives is the Torah story we read on shabbat. But these days we are truly living our very lives with a different story  every week. We went through Lech Lecha, having to leave our homes, Sarah being taken to the house of Pharaoh as with our young daughters, the sacrifice of Isaac- so very real for us now, the fire and brimstone of Sodom being rained down in air wars, Esau's hatred of Jacob being played out in our streets, and then Laban and the lies and scheming which seek to undermine us in every way.
And so we arrive this week at Vayeshev – the Jew looks for a little peace and quiet - and suddeny rage literally jumps on his head.

We all take precautions in our daily lives to keep us and our families safe. But sometimes something happens which we never anticipated. Jacob always knew Esau was trouble – all the way back to their struggles in his mother’s womb. So he always gave him a wide berth and avoided confrontations. And so when Esau threatened to kill him, it came as no surprise. Similarly with Laban – Jacob knew he was not to be trusted and made sure he would not swindle him a second time with Rachel. So, again, it came as no surprise when he pursued Jacob even after leaving. And so with Dinah – every parent knows the importance of guarding a young daughter from bad company and influence. But bad things do happen and even the rape of Dinah became a sad fact of life for Jacob.
And so, as the Midrash tells it: Jacob knew no peace from Esau, no quiet from Laban and no rest from Dinah.

But, when it came to Joseph, who could possibly have imagined that hatred among brothers – the leaders of G-d's tribes – could bring them to gang up on their own flesh and blood, to kill him, to throw him into a pit of scorpions or to sell him into slavery? There was nothing that could prepare a father for such a thing, no precaution that Yaakov could possibly have anticipated – it simply jumped upon him out of a clear blue sky.

And so it is in these terrible times with the Nazis. We know to stay out of their way, we try not to provoke them, we wear our yellow stars and live within their curfews – always trying to anticipate and avoid their next move against us. And yet, despite all of these precautions who could have dreamt that an attack that takes place on the other side of the globe between two far-off nations, America and Japan, could possibly affect us here? Moreover that we would be blamed for it and lose the relative quietude we’ve experienced in recent weeks  .... 
 בשלוהביקש יעקב לישב

The Midrash on Vayigash says: כל מה שאירה ליוסף אירה לציון   that what happened to Joseph will happen to Zion.  That our destiny will follow the story of Yosef. The world mocks us saying: “Look who comes here – it’s the dreamer! You claim to be the chosen people? We will see what becomes of your dreams.”  

And, just as Joseph was thrown into a pit, they shut us into ghettos. And if that’s not enough, "let’s sell him" – they send us to labour camps [or so my grandfather then thought]. They try to break us and our spirit. 

And all of this because they know that G-d has chosen us from among all nations and lifted us above all languages. And in the end, like the dreams of Joseph the righteous, a heavenly voice will proclaim: ונראה מה יהיו חלומותיו
we shall see what becomes of those dreams. We shall indeed see that the Nazis will be utterly destroyed and the nation of Israel will survive and thrive for eternity. And we shall also realise that the pain and suffering we are now enduring will all end up for the betterment of our people.

Our parsha begins and ends with dreams. Whatever laws may have been passed against us, they have not yet ruled that we cannot dream.
And in our dreams we see the future …. נצבה וגם אלומתי והנה קמה 
That we will ultimately prevail, and this should be our true consolation in these terrible times.

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December 07, 2017

Trump's Truth to Power on Jerusalem

My Statement re Trump's declaration on Jerusalem

Likud-Herut UK applauds United States President Donald J Trump for his statement yesterday, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.

Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years and the seat of Israel’s government since 1949.

In making his bold and brave statement, President Trump spoke ‘truth to power’ in a very real sense. The truth being what is enshrined in the bible that unites the world’s three main faiths. The power being what has until now held that truth as a hostage to terror and oil interests.

We call upon our prime minister Theresa May to follow the US president’s lead and speak the same truth to the power of her own Foreign Office here in London, which has such an abysmal record on anything that concerns the Jewish state. Truth to the power of her Labour opposition, whose party has disgraced itself in the UK Jewish community and whose leader has referred to the likes of Hamas as friends.

In truth Britain owes Israel far more than just a recognition of its Jerusalem capital. It owes Israel the Kingdom of Jordan which was stolen out of its League of Nations mandate. Britain is therefore the very last nation in a position to complain about Jewish ‘occupation’ of the West Bank of the Jordan river.

So, we urge Prime Minister May to follow President Trump’s lead. To atone for that historic betrayal. To show that Britain will not be cowed by threats of terrorism – either conventional or economic. To show real daylight on this issue between her party and that of Jeremy Corbyn. And to take her Foreign Office in a new direction which might finally facilitate the very long-outstanding royal visit to the region’s only democracy – the state of Israel.

Finally we lament any death or injury caused in the rioting which has been fomented by Palestinian groups over this announcement. It is a great pity such outrage could not have been mobilised over the loss of 500,000 lives in Syria.

Zalmi Unsdorfer
Chairman - LHUK

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November 26, 2017

How we empower Hezbollah & Hamas

On Friday Islamic terrorists attacked a mosque during Friday prayers in northern Sinai. After first bombing its children’s creche, the mosque was surrounded by some 20 gunmen reportedly carrying ISIS insignia. They left over 300 dead, some 30 of them, tragically, children.

This latest terror attack underlines the need – in Donald Trump’s words - to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth. How refreshing that statement is after 8 years of Obama not even identifying the RIT enemy that has tormented the West since 9-11.
But it also underlines the glaring truth about the so- called ‘Middle East Peace Process’.
In the 40 years since the peace agreement with Sadat, every piece of territory that Israel vacated has been turned into a terror base.

In May 2000, when the IDF vacated South Lebanon, Hezbollah guerrillas ran gleefully to the Israeli border where they have remained ever since. It is now one of the biggest rocket bases on the planet with a stockpile of over 100,000 missiles ready to be launched from a network of bunkers and tunnels which have been created as part of Hezbollah’s one-billion-dollar military budget financed mainly by Iran.

Until 2000 Hezbollah was just another Arab terrorist group, attacking airplanes and embassies, and the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. But it was Israel’s Lebanon retreat which launched Hezbollah into the big league. Now they are part of the Lebanese parliament, holding 57 of the 128 seats. And yet America continues to supply massive military assistance to Lebanon’s armed forces, effectively arming the same Hezbollah which truck-bombed 241 US marines in 1983.
In 2005, Israel vacated the Gaza strip only to see it taken over by Iran’s other proxy, Hamas. With its own stockpile of rockets and tunnels, Hamas has tormented southern Israel for 12 years, drawing it into two ugly wars and evoking anti-Semitic demonstrations in capitals and campuses across the world.

And now we see the wages of our Sinai sin. Another Israeli vacuum filled with terror. The Sharm-el-Sheikh I used to drive to in the 1970’s is now a ghost town, desperate for the tourists scared away by aircraft downed by ISIS missiles. Northern Sinai now a terrorist enclave which the Egyptian military government struggles to control.

This latest terror attack, beyond its toll on human life and the suffering of hundreds of bereft families, poses a real and present danger to Israel. With each attack, Egypt’s military rulers request ever more reinforcements to be brought into what was supposed to be a demilitarised Sinai. The agreement with Sadat was that Sinai would be a demilitarised buffer zone, so that there could be no surprise attacks like Yom Kippur 1973. But by now, Netanyahu’s repeated concessions to President Al-Sisi – for armoured forces to combat ISIS - has worn down that treaty. 

The danger is that, if Sisi is overthrown, a Muslim Brotherhood government will have easy mobilisation of an attack force against Israel.

So, the lesson in all of this is to ensure that Judea and Samaria, on the West Bank of the Jordan river, do not become the next vacuum for an Iranian proxy to fill. The very idea of this is national suicide.

Ironic that Friday’s heinous attack is attributed to the Islamic terror group Ansar Beit Al Maqdis.

Translated this means:  “Supporters of the Beit Mikdash

We all know what that means.
It was always ours.

Let’s keep it that way.

Every inch.

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October 22, 2017

On those Haredi draft dodgers.....

On these Haredi draft dodgers.....

And so, it came to pass that Rabbis Gad, Reuben and (half-sized) Rabbi Manasseh approached  Moses and said unto him: “We would like to stay in our ghettos outside the camp of Israel, we will not go to the army, but would still like to receive our welfare payments, housing subsidies and free healthcare”.

Moses replied: “Do you expect your brothers and their sons to fight for the land whilst you live off the fat of the land?   Is it not commanded by G-d that every male from 20 years and above must go out into the army of Israel?

We do not agree with G-d. Just give us what we are entitled to. If not, we will block your streets and your chariots shall not pass.

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September 11, 2017

'Bashert' is Yiddish for: it was meant to be.

In 1960 my father wrote a book about his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald and of the murder of his parents and most members of his family during the Holocaust.
‘The Yellow Star’ was recently republished after 50 years.
This is the story of how it got to be republished.
It appears as the afterword to the new book.

It’s sad to see how so much of the world seems to have descended into a new epoch of Jew hatred. However much they try to disguise themselves as anti-Israel or anti-Zionist, these are anti-Semites just like the duck analogy walks and talks and looks.

And just as in Germany the Nazis emerged from a highly cultured and educated society, the main sources of this resurgent Jew-hatred are in academia, the arts and cultured classes where anti-Semitic parlour chatter is rife and almost trendy.  Israeli scientists with ground-breaking medical cures are boycotted whilst artists who immortalise Palestinian suicide bombers are lauded and awarded. Most people agree that being supportive of Israel is ‘the kiss of death’ in media and academia; no advancement, no promotion, no prospects.

I am therefore always amazed when any non-Jewish personality actually stands up for Israel. ‘Why do they do it?’ I wonder. ‘What bad dream did this person have that compelled them to risk ridicule and eternal peer-abuse by standing up for the Jewish state?’

Such a question came to me on October 16th 2009 when a British army officer and commander of forces in Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan stood up at the UN in Geneva and delivered this speech:

“I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.

The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights.

The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy's hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.

Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.

More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice its own own civilians.

Mr. President, Israel had no choice apart from defending its people, to stop Hamas from attacking them with rockets.

And I say this again: the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Thank you, Mr. President.”

I was brimming with admiration, but yet still wondering: why?

I got the answer two years later on a plane out of Tel Aviv where I spotted the officer, Colonel Richard Kemp, in the opposite aisle seat. 
I said I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for his courageous defence of my people. We exchanged cards and deplaned in London.

Later that evening I got the following email from him : 

“Many years ago I read a book called The Yellow Star by somebody who was I believe called S B Unsdorfer. Any relation?”  

I replied: “Wow .. what a coincidence. That was my father's book. Long out of print.”

He replied: “A remarkable coincidence. I never expected to have the honour to meet the author of The Yellow Star, or indeed his son. I read the book when I was about 14 or 15. A phenomenal work. Without question, of the many books I have read in my life, your father's made by far the greatest impression on me. I read a battered paperback copy that belonged to my aunt, and I still have it.”

Well – this time I got my answer to my eternal question about what makes such a person speak out for Israel.

I decided there and then to republish and digitize The Yellow Star with thanks to Richard for his inspiration and for agreeing to write a personal foreword.

We are now good friends and I continue to follow Richard's outstanding advocacy for Israel and her armed forces in forums all over the world, and his support of all those brave souls, in and out of uniform, who are fighting the just war against radical Islamist terrorism and the forces of jihad.

The Yellow Star is available at Amazon and other online vendors.

See Richard Kemp's blog here.
Watch his UN speech here

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June 19, 2017

Don’t turn the IDF into grasshoppers

The death of Hadas Malka was a tragedy. She died at the hands of Palestinian youths of between 18 and 19 years old.   

A new generation of Arabs who no longer respect, much less fear, the IDF uniform.

Because (a) they know that the soldier will hesitate to use lethal force, lest he/she is indicted like Sgt. Elor Azariya. (b) They also know that, short of 72 virgins, they are assured of excellent jail conditions while their families are paid handsomely by Abbas’s prisoner fund. And (c) these are the same soldiers they grew up learning to walk right up to at flashpoints like Beit Zafafa and spitting in their faces with impunity.

The same goes for residents of Judea and Samaria who are constantly at risk from surrounding Arabs who know full well that the government denies most settlers gun licences and those who carry guns have every reason to fear prosecution if they are used.
Last Shabbat’s Torah portion was about the spies sent by Moses to scout out the land of Canaan. They famously reported of the Canaanites:  “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

In past generations, there was zero tolerance of disobedience and Jews in uniform commanded respect and fear in the Arab street. It was Yitzchak Rabin who called for “breaking bones” – not some far right leader.

Outside times of war, the youth of the Palestinian street seem to look upon the IDF and Israel’s border guards as grasshoppers. This will only encourage more opportunistic attacks where beautiful lives like Hadas will be lost to our people.

Israel must reassert its army’s deterrence on the Arab street.
This means starting at the very basic level of rules of street engagement, whereby any protestor who comes within ‘spitting distance’ of a soldier is hauled away by police and sent to the cooler.

Significantly last week’s Haftara reading was the story of Joshua’s spies who were told by the Canaanite innkeeper Rahab: “Our people know that G-d has given this land to you and the fear of your people has fallen upon them.” 
That’s where we need to get to.

As the good book says:   תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד 

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May 24, 2017

Islamist Terrorism - this says it all....

This was published anonymously in the wake of the Manchester bombing, but seems to orginate from October 2016. 


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