At last, the government of Israel is getting its communications right. Enjoy this presentation, the download time is well worth it.
January 30, 2006
At last, the government of Israel is getting its communications right. Enjoy this presentation, the download time is well worth it.
January 29, 2006
I believe he must have foreseen the fall of Abbas and the infighting Fatah group and knew perfectly well that the Palestinian street would ultimately reward Hamas for handing out the charity provided by Iran and the territory provided by Israel in appeasement of terror.
The whole expulsion plan – however cruel and brutal – was Sharon’s own special poker game with Bush and Blair. In handing over Gaza to the PA, he was giving Abbas just enough rope to hang himself with. He knew full well that the place would go to the devil before it went to democracy and that the terrorists would take control.
Then he could go to Bush and Blair and say: “See?”
“I’ve made my painful concessions. And look at these guys. Would YOU want them as neighbours? Would YOU trust anything they signed? Do you SERIOUSLY expect us to help these guys with more concessions?”
And that’s exactly the hard talk that would have been going on this week had Sharon not been silenced by that stroke.
Only trouble is, the master tactician and brilliant strategist didn’t allow for his own mortality. He never imagined someone as weak and inexperienced as Ehud Olmert would have to take over his hand at the poker table. And with Simon Peres beside him. A man who didn’t wait 24 hours before acknowledging that there might be a possibility of Israel negotiating with Hamas. Sometimes I believe Peres would negotiate with the Ebola virus if there were a ministerial car and salary on offer.
In making concessions to those who seek to destroy us, the world always takes its lead from our own people. So, whilst none of the major powers was initially expecting Israel to contemplate dealing with Hamas, by next week many will be falling behind Peres and his blind faith in peaceful coexistence with the avowed and unrepentant killing force that lies forever in wait at our shrinking borders.
How ironic that today Olmert put his faith in Germany. Thanking the new Bundeskanzler, Angela Merkel for saying Israel could not be expected to negotiate with Hamas. This is the Germany that freed the Munich Olympic murderers with a staged hijacking and this is the Bundeskanzler who – in one of her first acts as head of the government – freed the hijacker of TWA 847. Watch just how fast she and her European friends change their tune on Hamas. And then on Iran.
Time and again it comes back to the same old saying: its up to us.
"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if not now... when?"
January 27, 2006
From the very first day things went wrong. The car was constantly stalling. You called the dealership. They said it was your fault: “It’s new, give it time.” Two months went by and two more payments, but it kept on stalling. You took it back to the dealership. Turns out the crook had just died and now there was new man in a fancy suit. He said: “You are carrying too many passengers, maybe let us take out the rear seats.” More months and more payments went by and one night the car broke down in a bad neighborhood. You and your wife were attacked, robbed and left bruised and battered. You thanked G-d you gave back the passenger seats otherwise the kids might also have been there. You went back to the dealer and got more abuse: “It’s your own fault! You shouldn’t be driving outside these designated areas. Stay close to home, stick to this road map and you’ll be fine.” You soon realised that, aside from the fancy suit and aftershave, this dealer was just as much of an anti-Semitic rogue as the last one.
Still, you carried on making the payments and after many months of unremitting breakdowns, you came to the sad conclusion that the car of your dreams was actually a lemon. It was never going to run properly and might even get you killed. You wrote to the American manufacturers. They said: “You’ve made too many payments to quit now. And if you stop the payments, we won’t send you any more spare parts.” You went for the Europeans under their warranty. But they had the chutzpa to say you didn’t need such a big car to start with. “You should be happy with a 2-seater Fiat!” You then discovered that the Europeans were in league with this lowlife dealership and, having pumped millions of dollars a year into it, they were not about to take your side in any warranty dispute.
By now, things have got so bad that the transmission only works in reverse gear. Wherever you drive, you are literally going backwards. Just when you can’t imagine things getting any worse, a letter arrives in the mail. It’s the demand for the final instalment; the big balloon payment.
Mad as hell, you take a taxi to confront the wicked dealer. But, on arrival you find the dealership has been taken over by an armed gang of hooded thugs. They ask if you got their letter and whether you prefer to make the final payment by cash, check or in blood. You can’t believe this is happening. All those payments, no car to drive and now you’re at the mercy of these lowlifes! You grab your Pelephone and call the Americans again. “Too bad,” they say. “Of course we would never deal with such thugs ourselves, but – frankly – you have no choice. They took over the dealership fair and square and so they are the only legitimate party with whom you will simply have to deal from now on.”
If you hadn’t already figured it out, that car is Israel’s dream of peace, which has stalled at every turn on this utterly discredited road map. We bought it in good faith, making all the painful payments in blood, territory and prisoners with no reciprocation from the PA or the American inventors and European underwriters of this latest in a long line of failed prototypes of a mid-east peace model.
After all our painful payments we find ourselves literally going backwards, crossing many lines in our retreat: red lines which have come and gone and the green line which seems to have lost much of its legitimacy. We are reversing inexorably toward the last line; that thin blue line beyond which is the sea. In blind faith, we made those payments by destroying beautiful Jewish homes and farms, dispossessing thousands of our people who are still without homes and jobs, abandoning vital security checkpoints, slowing down work on the security fence and preparing lists of further prisoner releases. And for what in return? Missiles launched at closer range from the tomato fields we surrendered in the south, Egyptian troops crawling all over a Sinai that was demilitarised for 30 years, arms smuggling now out of the tunnels and onto the open road in quantities that would sink a fleet of Karine-A’s. And perhaps worst of all, the emboldening of our enemies who have witnessed our army’s hasty retreats from the North and South and been allowed to dance on the sacked ruins of our synagogues in Gush Katif. Never able to even dream of defeating the most powerful army in the region, our sworn enemies watch gleefully as the IDF is turned against its own people.
Despite all this, we offer even more payments in a new round of expulsions, this time from Chevron; a city whose Jewish ownership for thousands of years is beyond question and wherein King David ruled for 7 of his 40 years on the throne of Israel.
Ariel Sharon may have bought us this car, paid the deposit and most of the monthly payments for nothing in return. But even as he slumbers, blissfully unaware of the coming Hamas landslide in the PA elections and the near certainty of a 3rd Intifada, his successor is intent on continuing the payments. Worse still, Ehud Olmert now even talks of moving to “final status”; the balloon payment on this whole fraudulent peace agreement.
Common sense says: If you are in a hole – stop digging.
This peace is a lemon.
Let's stop making the payments.
[This article first appeared in the Jewish Press]
January 21, 2006
Associated Press reports that Iran is building a spy satellite with the help of an Italian aerospace company. This seems to complete the three elements needed to produce electricity to meet Iran's desperate energy needs:
The atomic reactor at Bushehr.
A Shehab ballistic missile with an improved nuclear strike range of 3,000 km.
And now the Mesbah spy satellite.
January 20, 2006
January 15, 2006
Yesterday in hundreds of thousands of shuls, Jews all over the world declared at the end of the reading of the Book of Bereishit [Genesis]: Chazak! Chazak! Venischazekh! [Be Strong! Be Strong! And we shall be strengthened!] .
The day after, in the Jews' own state, our government will do the exact opposite.
It will send Jewish soldiers to expel Jewish families from Jewish-owned Chevron. And this dreadful scene will unfold within yards of Machpelah, the burial tomb of our patriarchs, purchased by Abraham over 3,000 years ago.
Is this how we are supposed to strengthen ourselves?
Or maybe it is to strengthen and embolden our enemies?
Enemies who have danced on the ruins of our burned shuls in Gush Katif.
Enemies who now launch missiles at us from the sites of our last expulsion.
Enemies who are smuggling 3,000 rifles a month into Gaza.
Enemies who have not stopped sending suicide bombers into our towns.
Enemies whose terrorist gangs are now standing for election in our future neighbour-state.
Enemies whose ballot papers will soon be handed out by our own Jerusalem post offices.
Enemies whose leaders and Jihadist funders have not got the slightest intention of ever resting until Israel is totally destroyed.
Ariel Sharon lies crippled by a stroke he suffered the day after Chevron's expulsion orders were signed. But his bulldozering disengagement policy robustly continues, unabated and undeterred by the clearest evidence that it is not only a waste of time and money, but - according to his own security advisers - is actually paving the way for a freshly armed and even more brutal wave of Intifada.
Chevron is not Gaza! Moreso than even Jerusalem, it is where Jewish history began in the Land of Israel and where David ruled for seven of his forty years as king. Even Ben Gurion acknowledged this in 1970 when he wrote:
"However, don't forget: the beginnings of Israel's greatest king were in Hebron, the city to which came the first Hebrew about eight hundred years before King David, and we will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon. This will also be a blessing to the Arab neighbors. Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem's sister. "
Just as our enemies were emboldened by Israel's retreats and concessions since the nightmare of Oslo began, so Sharon's cabinet has been emboldened by the ease and bloodlessness of his expulsion process in Gaza. The Jews of Chevron need to show Olmert that they are not going quietly.
Jews of Chevron ... Chazak !!!
January 12, 2006
January 11, 2006
In the continuing saga of the Samarian tree libel, Meretz founder Ran Cohen called for the Jewish settlers – whose guilt has yet to be established - to be ambushed and shot in the legs. I am sure all decent people would be appalled at such an egregious call by a member of our parliament. However, when he failed to withdraw the statement, I thought I might see whether Mr Cohen had the same uncompromising views about Arabs. After all, if vandalising an olive tree merits having your legs shot off, what summary judgment may we expect him to demand of an Al Aksa Brigades suicide bomber who has blown away 20 lives in a restaurant or bus?
Well, I didn’t readily find what I was looking for. Other than a quote by Cohen that Charedi Jews are like a swarm of black ants. But within a few clicks of the mouse I came across a media watch site on which the true ugliness of intellectual Jewish self-hatred is exposed.
Not just ants, but: dogs, "tied up in the yard and barking Psalms all night long", "black forces" and "soul snatchers", "the most obscurantist and ugly phenomena of our time, bloodsuckers...snakes...suckling from the most darkest urges that the Nazi horror suckled from. They are greedy, domineering, evil and primitive, immoral, parasitical and power-hungry". All these statements by leading writers and educators of our enlightened left.
Just like the destruction of Katif, we destroy ourselves so much better than our enemies.
As for our Samarian tree-pruners, they can take some comfort in that not all leftists are out to kneecap them. Amos Oz, the much-feted icon of Israeli literature, is content to use words instead of bullets. In an article in Yediot Achronot Oz describes settlers as: "a messianic junta, insular and cruel, a bunch of armed gangsters, criminals against humanity, sadists, pogromists and murderers, that exited out from some dark corner of Judaism...from out of cellars of bestiality and defilement...in order to cause a thirsty and insane blood worship to rule."
Read this stuff in all its ugliness.
Then pray for our people.
Iranian nukes may be the least of our problems.
January 10, 2006
You are a fly on the wall of Ehud Olmert’s first cabinet meeting as interim prime minister of the State of Israel. What weighty things are being discussed? Perhaps the unrelenting rain of Kassams which, only by open miracles, have so far failed to hit schools and homes in Sderot and vital power and energy infrastructure in Ashkelon? Maybe the 900% increase in weapons smuggling reported by the General Security Services and the threat of even worse trafficking through the new “terrorist superhighway” opened between Rafah and the heartland of Samaria by Condoleeza Rice? Hopefully also the horrific prospect of Hamas ballot papers having to be handed out by Israeli post offices under further pressure from the White House?
There are clearly more important priorities.
It seems that left-wing Israelis and their Arab friends have accused Jewish farmers in Elon Moreh of cutting down over 2,000 olive trees in Samaria. This tree libel was debunked by JNF experts who confirmed that the trees in question were pruned, not vandalised. But this did not stop the story from running away with itself. All the way to Olmert’s very first cabinet meeting as acting PM whose historic minutes will record his statement : "I condemn the phenomenon of cutting down olive trees, and I call upon the Attorney General to take action against the wild people responsible for this."
Israel stands leaderless on the threshold of a 3rd terrorist Intifada and whilst our so-called peace partners plant rocket launchers in the tomato fields we vacated in Gaza, our government frets about olive trees in Samaria.
It is truly frightening that Mr Olmert cannot see the war for the trees.
January 07, 2006
Another MK, Aguda’s Rabbi Menachem Porush, happened to walk by and saw his friend standing outside the PM’s office carrying a large aerial photograph of the tomb compound and the Bethlehem-Gilo border. "What are you doing here?" asked Porush. "I have come to lobby for Rachel's tomb," Porat responded. Porush asked if he could join him at the meeting and Porat agreed. For the greater part of the meeting, Porush sat in silence. He listened to Porat, who drew lines on the aerial photograph and illustrated how short was the distance and shooting range between Gilo and Bethlehem. Porat also asked Rabin if he would be willing to give the Palestinians the grave of Ben Gurion or that of his Palmah commander Yigal Allon. Rabin was preparing to respond when Porush stood up, approached Rabin, embraced him and burst into tears, shouting and sobbing, "Reb Yitzchak. We are talking about Mama Ruchi. How can you give away her grave?"
"It was beyond words," Porat recalled in a later interview. "Reb Menachem sobbed, crying real tears onto the prime minister's shirt, and Rabin begged him, `Reb Menachem, please calm down.’ Reb Menachem retorted: `How can I calm down? You are planning to give away Mama Ruchi's grave. The Jewish people will never forgive you if you abandon Mama's tomb.'" With G-d's help, Rabin relented and promised the two Knesset members that he would re-examine the issue. Just a few days later, the 463 meters separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem were restored to their Area C status under complete Israel security and civil control. The Palestinians agreed to be compensated with other territories.
A few months later, Rabin was assassinated. It happened on the eve of Rachel's Yahrzeit, according to Jewish tradition, the 11th of Heshvan. When asked where they had been on the night of Rabin's assassination, almost all the National Religious Party's leaders and other religious-Zionist public figures answered: “We were in the traffic jam on the way to Rachel's tomb."
At this time of the year, the weekly Torah readings are about the story of Rachel’s son Joseph and how his envious brothers threw him into a pit and sold him to the Arabs. About how, miraculously, he emerged from the pit to become the most powerful man in Egypt and kingdoms far beyond which sought his salvation in the seven years of famine. We also read about his dying wish not to be abandoned in Egypt and how he foreswore his children to carry his bones into Israel to be buried in a part of Shechem which his father Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor for 100 pieces of silver.
Three-and-a-half thousand years later we stand ashamed for once again selling out our esteemed brother Joseph to the Arabs. The children of Israel, now at their most powerful in all of Jewish history - a nuclear power with satellites in space and the most feared army and air force in the region – stands guilty of again abandoning their brother Joseph to a mob of Arabs.
This is exactly what happened on October 7th 2000, just five years after the ‘rescue’ of his mother’s tomb. These were the opening weeks of the last Intifada and after persistent rioting near Joseph’s tomb, the small IDF garrison was withdrawn in exchange for Arafat’s promise to protect the site. Within hours our patriarch’s tomb was overrun by a rioting mob that attacked it with pickaxes and jackhammers and set it ablaze. When the fire finally burned out, the cheering Arabs daubed what was left of the dome in green paint and declared it as a Moslem shrine.
Whatever our blood-soaked misgivings over Oslo, the 1995 accords clearly reserved the right of Jewish access to – and the obligation for Arab respect and protection of – the holy sites, and specifically Joseph’s tomb. That we could not trust the Arabs at their word was no surprise. That our own leaders shrank from their responsibilities to enforce and defend that position is unforgivable. This was not merely a travesty of Oslo, but a blatant breach of a 3,000-year-old covenant.
If we have learned anything – not least from the Bible Codes - it is that the Torah does not waste words; every letter and sentence serves a purpose. The question is often asked: Why did the Torah need to record how much Jacob paid for the land and to whom? Perhaps it was because Shechem would one day become Nablus and a new entity calling themselves Palestinians would claim it as their own. That its leaders would seek to deny the very existence of Jewish life in Israel with the same callous conviction as their denial of our millions of dead in the Holocaust.
Strikingly there is another place where the Torah goes out of its way to record the precise terms of a similar contract. That is Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of Machpela as a burial place for Sara. It is clearly written that the Hebron field and the cave within it were bought from Ephron the Hittite for 400 silver shekels. Interesting that Hebron is another place claimed by those same Palestinians, denying any Jewish rights in the area.
The Torah’s message is particularly appropriate to our generation of Jews in this epoch of disengagement. It is that, whatever others may say, our claims are legitimate, written and recorded. It gives us the means to discredit those who seek to deny our rights to Eretz Yisrael. Those who seek to rewrite history by saying that the favoured son of the Akeda was not Isaac but Yishmael. Those who hack away daily in the vaults of the Temple Mount seeking to erase any remnant of Jewish presence. Those who do not acknowledge our existence other than to rejoice over our dead and injured or to libel and demonise us for all the world’s problems.
The lesson of Rachel’s Tomb is clear to see. The happenstance meeting of a Rabbi and a Prime Minister transformed a speck on a map into something worth saving, something of tremendous significance to our people. Clearly Rabin did not appreciate its importance, any more than Barak appreciated the importance of Joseph’s tomb when he withdrew his troops under cover of darkness. Ironically this was to be the first of many retreats under fire that have so weakened us and emboldened our enemies in recent years.
But whatever our complaints about Rabin and Barak, no Israeli government has emboldened our enemies more than the present. It has given freely of our land, for nothing in return. It has cheapened the blood of our citizens by freeing hundreds of terrorists from our jails and shelling empty buildings in retaliation for suicide bombings. It has cheapened the blood of our soldiers by freeing terrorists they risked their lives to apprehend and abandoning vital defence lines like Philadelphi for which so many of our tank crews paid the ultimate price.
Then they gave Egypt the keys to Sinai after 30 years of demilitarisation. And for what purpose? To control arms smuggling through the Rafah tunnels? Hardly. These tunnels are no longer needed. Thanks to our defence minister’s feeble capitulation to the Quartet on so many security issues, the guns and missiles are now being transported on the open road with little right of challenge by the IDF. After the implementation of Condoleeza Rice’s latest easements, it is arguable that American police will have more security control over the New Jersey Turnpike than our security forces will have over the Gaza-Samaria corridor. When one remembers all the fuss that was created over the capture of the Karine-A, the current weight of arms shipments between Palestinian areas might well sink a whole fleet of Karines.
Then there was the disengagement, in which for the very first time turned a Jewish army against its own people. And again, for what purpose? Well, there were various explanations most of which have since been totally discredited. Instead of a peaceful and more secure border, Israel is under even stronger and deeper attack than before, with Kassams now falling in Ashkelon not just Sderot. And they are being launched from fields we once cultivated with prize-winning tomatoes in the thriving settlements of Northern Gaza. The only remaining justification for disengagement is supposed to be demographic; that by seceding from Gaza we will postpone the day when Jews will become a minority in their own country. It has always been my understanding that demographics have to do with the location of living people. But the process of disengagement has emboldened those who seek to rid the area of living Jewish people. From the closer range we have gifted them, their rockets are targeted to kill our men, women and children. I say that, like common charity, demography begins at home. Protect our people from being massacred and the demographic problem will take care of itself. With stronger leadership and a government that is more committed to the welfare of our own people than confidence-building measures for our sworn enemies, Israel will surely boost its own Jewish population through greater Aliyah.
Perhaps the most telling thing is that no one pressed us to abandon Gaza and Northern Samaria. Not the Quartet or even the Palestinians. Even George Bush was said to have been surprised by our unilateral offer. Who would have thought that the territorial depth secured by Israel in a bold pre-emptive strike in 1967 would be so easily given up by one of its most brilliant generals in a new strategy of pre-emptive surrender?
As a by-product of disengagement, and despite the discrediting of any security dividend, our most powerful neighbour Egypt has regained a foothold in the Sinai. The lukewarm peace we have enjoyed with Cairo since the murder of Sadat has never stopped their canal-crossing war games or slowed the massive build-up of their military with the help of $1.3 billion in annual US aid. How can this be justified for a country which is supposed to be at peace with its only powerful neighbour? And when that aid figure is not much less than Israel’s own military stipend as a nation surrounded on all sides by powerful foes? And when Cairo is still the world headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood; ultimate holding company of Al Qaeda? Al Qaeda have already shown their hand in Sharm-el-Sheikh with a series of bombings and it is only a question of time before they destabilise the government in Cairo. The same goes for our other neighbour Jordan. In the face of this kind of future, can there be any sense in thinning our borders?
But our leftist leaders appear to ignore all this. Now our Egyptian friends no longer need to practice with pontoon bridges in Alexandria. We have given them the keys to the Sinai in another feat of pre-emptive surrender.
Which brings us up to the present day and to the ultimate farce: the Palestinian elections. Mahmoud Abbas, the non-existent peace partner for whom we granted all these concessions, is on the verge of collapse. Why? Well it’s not just about the popularity of Hamas. Once again you need to look inside Israel for the source of this problem. To an Israeli jail cell from which five-times lifer Marwan Barghouti, leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, has been allowed by our government to run a campaign for the PA leadership. Is this not totally absurd? And is it not also obscene in the eyes of the dozens of families which have been bereaved by Al Aksa and seen their loved ones maimed for life? Yossi Beilin campaigns loudest for Barghouti’s immediate release from jail. Very significantly he has also committed his Meretz party as a future coalition partner with Kadima.
So, what does this and the current election in Israel all have to do with the story of Joseph and his tomb we abandoned in Nablus? The answer is: Everything. In the same process as we plead guilty to selling out our brother for a second time to the Arabs we must realise that we are also continuing to sell out our own people to them. Whether you call it Oslo 1, Oslo 2 or disengagement, it is about a 21st century exodus from our own homeland, an inexorable process of dispossession for us and empowerment of our enemies to press for even greater concessions under a threat of terrorism that, our leaders have clearly shown, pays out in spades.
Much of the forthcoming election campaign will be about Jerusalem and Kadima’s ominous silence on the true extent of future concessions on land and sovereignty. Like the sobbing Rabbi we must declare, before it is too late, that this land is important to us, that we shall not yield it to our enemies either in a bloody war or for a phoney peace. As a vital first step, we need to immediately demand restoration of our rights of access to Joseph’s tomb. If our leaders do not have the guts to enforce the few legal rights we still have under discredited accords, they cannot be given the mandate to sign away one further inch of Eretz Yisrael ■
This first appeared as a front page essay in the American Jewish Press
For further information on Joseph's Tomb with pictures click HERE
Labels: joseph's tomb
January 06, 2006
"We are tired of fighting,
we are tired of being courageous,
we are tired of winning,
we are tired of defeating our enemies..."
Sharon's other second-in-command, Shimon Peres, needs no introduction.
Palestinians need not worry about their elections being cancelled.
They can always use the Knesset to vote Israel into oblivion.