April 23, 2010

A Mountain Sneezed ...

Leaving aside the massive toll on people and businesses, the events of last week should be an inspiration to all of us. Somewhere in the northern reaches of the planet, a mountain sneezed … and an entire continent was brought to a standstill. Not since the terror attacks of 9-11 have the skies been emptied so dramatically and millions left stranded away from home.

But unlike 9-11, none of the losses or damage will ever be recoverable from insurers. This is because this event is classified as: an ‘Act of G-d’.

What a farcical thought! That in an era of such determined secular erasure of the word ‘G-d’ from our national life and institutions, and within a zeitgeist of Darwin and Dawkins, G-d happens to be still ‘alive and well’ - at least in the insurance business. Or, to put it another way: if to avoid a billion-dollar claim from the airlines I need to believe in G-d … ‘call me a Rabbi’.

Nowhere is the effacement of god themes more active and corrosive than in the world of academia. And yet it’s from British academics that we always see the strongest support for boycotts against Israel. There is nothing more unholy and hypocritical than their support of jihadists whose fanaticism is rooted in the suppression of personal liberty and all forms of enlightenment.

That the impressionable minds of our youngsters are so constantly exposed to the godless and nihilist dogma of extremist professors is terribly worrying. Academia also happens to be the birthplace of ‘global warming’ … a fraud of global proportions which has enriched its proponents with billions in research grants. But all the faked data stacked up to the ceiling does not even come close to the sheer arrogance of presuming that changes to the Creator’s universe, with all its checks and balances, can possibly be ‘man-made’.

How fitting therefore that the Creator's wake-up call should be ‘middah keneged middah’; the biblical expression for 'measure for measure'. A mountain sneezed. Was that a man-made disaster? Did any of you geniuses predict that half the world would come to a standstill? That the best laid plans of tens of millions of people would come to nought? Even President Obama - who seems to think he is G-d - was robbed of his vital photo-op in Poland; one which he desperately needed to atone for his cowardly abandonment of their missile shield.

There is a simple distinction between them and us: what they call nature, we call creation. This has been an unusual event, by any standards. But recently there have been a great many earthquakes too – none of which any of these eggheads were able to predict. In fact, the only reliable predictors of earthquakes have been shown to be animals, by their erratic behaviour, hours and sometimes days prior to the event.

But then again – that’s only nature.


April 22, 2010

Iran's Missile

Latest news is that an Iranian nuclear missile might reach the United States by 2015.

I'd say that would have to be one heck of a slow missile.

April 18, 2010

Those Pesky Jews !

Amid all the talk of Israel being pushed into ever smaller borders, comes this staggering report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) which says:

Israel’s 'Levant Basin' contains 1.689 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 122.4 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas. The Levant Basin lies both onshore and offshore and includes most of middle and northern Israel and coastal Lebanon and Syria. The basin includes the exploration areas of Noble Energy offshore and Zion Oil & Gas onshore.

This makes me smile.

Not just with a sense of pride.

Nor just in gratitude for this latest piece of divine salvation for our embattled state.

I smile at the thought that it will not be very long before Lebanon and Syria lay claim to all these offshore riches. Arabs will claim that the same towns and villages they abandoned in 1948 would have been entitled to these resources under the beaches of Tel Aviv, Caesarea and Haifa.

Not far behind will be the United Nations, ratifying that claim.

And British companies will be the first to boycott Israeli oil just like other exports of 'Occupied Palestinian Territories'.

But the joke will be on them.

Yes - the Arabs have long wanted us off "their land".

But wasn't their master plan always to drive us into the sea???

Those pesky Jews!

Give them a desert, and they'll grow the world's most luscious tomatoes.

Push them into the sea and they'll come up with billions in oil and gas.


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April 17, 2010

Obamacare's Bitter Pill For Israel

For American taxpayers, the devil is in the details of the new health care law. But for the Jewish people and the State of Israel the devil is in the comparison between Barack Obama's steamrollering of health care legislation and his developing Middle East policy.

The president succeeded in enacting health care reform - something many of his predecessors had attempted but failed. But that's not because those past presidents didn't want universal healthcare or weren't as passionate or concerned about the need for reform. It was just that - for them - the proposals were either unworkable or the cost was simply too high. Or perhaps a mixture of both.

But for Obama, none of that mattered - not that the legislation was viewed by many as deeply flawed, or that there would not be enough doctors to handle the new system, or that it appeared there might not be enough votes to get it through, or that the cost was so high it might bankrupt the country. The data could always be fudged, and the numbers double-counted. And if there weren't enough votes they could use devices like "reconciliation" or "deeming." And to heck with the price - what's a trillion dollars anyway? Not that much more than the stimulus package, and Americans swallowed that one without a murmur.

For Obama, no flaws, no negative data, no voting problems and no financial limitations were allowed to get in the way of delivering his momentous piece of "change." Let the consequences be damned.

In quick succession we see Obama applying the same tactics to the Middle East. American presidents have long tried and failed to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Obama means to show up his predecessors once again by forcing through an agreement no matter what the cost or consequences.

It's plain that Israel cannot return to the pre-1967 "Auschwitz borders" or absorb Palestinian refugees without committing national suicide. But that is exactly the plan Obama seeks to impose - and no price is too high to pay for delivering this second stunning achievement where all other U.S. presidents failed.

Fresh from signing Obamacare into law, he wants his Jimmy Carter Moment on the White House lawn. And if America goes bust on health care or Israel is overrun, who cares? It will probably be on the next president's watch anyway.

And so with immigration. This is being widely touted as Obama's next port of call - to confer citizenship on millions of illegal immigrants at a stroke. For the time being, most people are focusing on the further strain such a move would put on America's new health care reality. Looking at it from my British perspective, however, this next Obama coup may be a lot more sinister.

Everyone knows the United Kingdom, like other European states, is rapidly losing its identity as a Christian country. Over the last decade, nearly three million migrants have swamped the country. Last year the Times of London published national statistical data showing that the Muslim population in Britain had grown by more than 500,000 between 2004 and 2008. In fact, the Muslim population multiplied ten times faster than other population groups in British society. And during the same four-year period, the number of Christians in the UK actually fell by more than two million.

This Islamic population explosion arises directly from mass immigration, a higher birthrate among Muslim communities and conversion to Islam. Significantly, Britain's main attraction has been its free health care. Walk through any UK hospital and you will see who is benefiting in numbers vastly disproportionate to their share of the population.

Recently a former adviser to the previous British prime minister, Tony Blair, made the stunning claim that his Labor party's opening of the immigration floodgates in 2000 had been a deliberate strategy of social engineering, for the purpose of turning Britain into a truly multicultural society.

A more cynical view would be that this policy was also intended to change the electoral landscape of the nation. After all, who would these recipients of British visas and welfare be most likely to vote for if not the Labor government hand that feeds them?

Could this be the thinking behind Obama's immigration plan? With the ACORN vote-creation machine almost bankrupt, it is clear he will need to look for other options to win reelection in 2012. Assuming it won't be as easy as "deeming" him reelected, he might need a few million real votes that weren't there before. And how better to get those votes than by following Britain's example? Open the floodgates to the joys of multiculturalism and the ballots of grateful immigrants are sure to follow.

What does this mean for the future of America and its Judeo-Christian ethos? The stunning decline in the UK's Christian population in just four years is truly frightening. It would correspond to a loss of ten million Christians in the U.S.

If America follows the path of "Eurabia," your universities will not be just ideologically leftist but fundamentally Jihadist. Islamist radicalization is rife on our campuses, especially in London. The Christmas "underwear bomber" turned out to be the fourth president of a London student Islamic society to face terrorist charges in three years. One is facing a retrial on charges he was involved in the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up multiple airliners. Two others have been convicted of terrorist offenses since 2007.

And what would an opening of U.S. immigration floodgates mean for Jewish interests? If that happens, one thing is certain: Twenty years from now, the notion of three-quarters of Congress coming out in support of Israel will be the stuff of pure fantasy.

So, do Americans want to lose their national identity? Do they want to see the great American dream drown in a sea of health care debt?

No more I suspect than Israelis wish to commit national suicide.
Not even to suit this president.

This article appeared as an Op-Ed in:


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April 10, 2010

Young Winston – A True Friend of Our People

With the death last month of Winston Churchill, grandson of the great wartime leader, the Jewish people have lost a good friend and an outspoken supporter.

I was privileged to meet him in a business capacity and remember very clearly the afternoon he welcomed me into his London home. “I am just taking leave of the children for Christmas,” he said, beckoning me into the sitting room. “If you wouldn’t mind waiting a few moments.” The memory is so very clear because, there on the wall, from floor to high ceiling, was this stunning life-sized oil painting of his grandfather; the great Winston Churchill, wartime prime minister of England.

I immediately thought of my own grandfather, who, on a cold night in 1945 asked his son to show him where the great man lived. They were the only solitary figures standing in Downing Street when a limousine pulled up unexpectedly and the great man emerged. Seeing my bearded grandfather standing in reverence under the streetlamp, he turned, tugged off his famous Homburg hat and – with a slight bow – he almost barked: “Good evening sahr!” It is a story which often regaled our family members on Seder nights.

Whilst my meetings with ‘Young Winston’ were strictly business, he began emailing me on Jewish topics from time to time. One of the early ones was from the site of one of the biggest mass executions of the Nazi era: “Dear Zalmi, London-bound from Kiev. Just a quick note to send you, in case you may be interested, my remarks re Babi Yar. While in Kiev I caught a very hairy kiss from the Chief Rabbi of Israel, an absolutely delightful man! Yours, Winston”

He emailed me other speeches, all typed in the same huge 20-point font which was so evocative of his thundering grandfather. Here are some extracts:

For more than 40 years I have reported and observed the Middle East scene. As a young war-correspondent twenty-six years of age, I found myself in Israel in mid-May of 1967. I happened to be with David Ben-Gurion, former Prime Minister of Israel, interviewing him at dawn one morning in his suite at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem when – as I recall about 6:50 am – Kol Israel interrupted their programs to announce that President Nasser of Egypt had closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping – cutting, at a stroke, Israel’s oil lifeline. Ben-Gurion, with a gesture of the hand, ordered his assistant to switch off the radio and, shaking his great mane of white hair gravely, declared with sorrow:

“This means war. I am very frightened. Not for Israel, for she will survive – we cannot afford otherwise – but for the younger generation. It is always the best of their generation who never return.”

Thereupon the great man led me out onto the balcony overlooking the Holy City of Jerusalem, where the first rays of the morning sun were striking the city’s golden domes, cupolas and spires. Taking me by the arm, he proceeded to give me a succinct lesson in Jewish history:

“Mr. Churchill before you, you have the City of David – 3,000 years Jewish. But do you see the road that leads down the valley? Follow it and it will lead you to Hebron, the City of Abraham – 4,000 years Jewish!”

It was a magical moment and one that I shall always treasure.

In 1973 my intelligence was no better than that of the Israeli Government and the Yom Kippur War found me a prisoner westbound aboard the QE2 committed to a two-week lecture tour of the US. By the time I got back to Israel General Sharon was on the West side of the Suez Canal with the Egyptian Third Army in his power. I sent him an urgent message asking him to call. An hour later I was still waiting when I had to leave to have dinner in a Palestinian fish restaurant in Jaffa with General Motti Hod, commander of the Air Force in ’67. I briefed the switchboard operators at the Tel Aviv Hilton to forward any telephone call to the restaurant.

Halfway through dinner ‘mein host’, the Palestinian, called me to the phone. I went behind the bar & took the phone off the hook. A booming voice came on the line, causing me to hold the phone at arm’s length: “Winston, This is Arik!’” adding with overtones of Scipio Africanus “Arik from Africa! Winston, We have Peace! A piece of Egypt, a piece of Lebanon, a piece of Syria & a piece of Jordan!” There you have it: the Sharon vision of Peace! There is no denying that he was God’s gift to journalists!

In 1993 I had the privilege of being invited to address a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at London University. Following my speech, a very beautiful lady of a certain age, approached me:

‘Mr. Churchill, at the time of the Uprising, I was a girl of just 12. We had all been herded into the Ghetto – supposedly for our safety. But then people all around us started to disappear, we knew not where – we were all very frightened. We had one of the few radios in the Ghetto and, whenever your grandfather was due to broadcast on the BBC, my family & our friends would gather round. I could not understand English, but I knew that if I and my family had any hope of coming through this war alive, it depended upon that one, strong, unseen voice.

We were all taken to Treblinka and then to Bergen-Belsen. I was the only member of my family to survive. I was liberated by British forces in 1945 – in fact by the gentleman you see at my side, who is today my husband!’

It was a profoundly proud, yet humbling, moment! I had some idea how much my grandfather meant to the Brits, and even to the Americans but, until that moment, I had no understanding of just how much he meant to those living in Occupied Europe, most especially to the Jews.

Very sadly, grandson Winston has died after a two-year battle with cancer. I am sorry that I never got to tell him the story of our respective grandfathers’ encounter that winter night in 1945. But our own chance acquaintance always left me with a warm feeling of closure and accomplishment.

Without his grandfather, mine might never have survived. And without mine, I would not be paying this tribute to an honored friend of our people.


This article earlier appeared in

Here is an interesting reader's comment posted in response:
Jerusalem Post – Talkback #5: From Ora, in Israel

I want to add a personal note. During the tense "Days of Waiting" before the Six-Day-War actually broke out, citizens were asked to donate blood in anticipation of what was about to happen. I found myself lying on a bed in a Bloodmobile and on the bed next to me lay the young Winston Churchill, also donating blood. So in addition to everything else, we can say that Churchill gave his very blood for Israel!

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April 09, 2010

Hagada Story for Our Times

Chad Gadya for our times ......
[Click on the photo and turn up speakers]

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April 04, 2010

Can Bibi best Begin with Barack?

Attitudes to Jews and their state rarely change over time - only leaders change.

In the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency, there were far more rockier times for Israel than is - so far - the case with Barack Obama.

Very fortunately Israel had Menachem Begin as its Prime Minister at the time.

If things with Mr Obama get much worse, one hopes Mr Netanyahu will draw strength and resolve from Mr Begin's playbook .....

Statement by Prime Minister Begin on U.S. Measures Against Israel, 20 December 1981.

"Three times during the past six months, the U.S. Government has "punished"Israel.

On June 7 we destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor "Osirak" near Baghdad.

I don't want to mention to you today from whom we received the final information that this reactor was going to produce atomic bombs. We had no doubt about that: therefore our action was an act of salvation, an act of national self-defense in the most lofty sense of the concept. We saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, including tens of thousands of children. Nonetheless, you announced that you were punishing us - and you left unfulfilled a signed and sealed contract that included specific dates for the supply of (war) planes.

Not long after, in a defensive act - after a slaughter was committed against our people leaving three dead (including an Auschwitz survivor) and 29 were injured we bombed the PLO headquarters in Beirut.

You have no moral right to preach to us about civilian casualties. We have read the history of World War Two and we know what happened to civilians when you took action against an enemy. We have also read the history of theVietnam war and your phrase "body-count". We always make efforts to avoid hitting civilian populations, but sometimes it is unavoidable - as was the case in our bombing of the PLO headquarters.We sometimes risk the lives of our soldiers to avoid civilian casualties.

Nonetheless, you punished us: you suspended delivery of F-15 planes.

A week ago, at the instance of the Government, the Knesset passed on all three readings by an overwhelming majority of two-thirds, the "Golan HeightsLaw."

Now you once again declare that you are punishing Israel.

What kind of expression is this - "punishing Israel"?

Are we a vassal state of yours?

Are we a banana republic?

Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers?

Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with "punishments". He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments.You have no right to "punish" Israel - and I protest at the very use of this term.You have announced that you are suspending consultations on the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on strategic cooperation, and that your return to these consultations in the future will depend on progress achieved in the autonomy talks and on the situation in Lebanon.You want to make Israel a hostage of the memorandum of understanding.

I regard your announcement suspending the consultations on the memorandum as the abrogation (by you) of the memorandum. No "sword of Damocles" is going to hang over our head. So we duly take note of the fact that you have abrogated the memorandum of understanding. The people of Israel has lived 3,700 years without a memorandum of understanding with America - and it will continue to live for another 3,700. In our eyes it (i.e., the U.S. suspension) is an abrogation of the memorandum.

We will not agree that you should demand of us to allow the Arabs of East Jerusalem to take part in the autonomy elections - and threaten us that if we don't consent you will suspend the memorandum. You have imposed upon us financial punishments - and have (thereby) violated the word of the President. When Secretary Haig was here, he read from a written document the words of President Reagan that you would purchase 200million dollars worth of Israel arms and other equipment. Now you say it will not be so. This is therefore a violation of the President's word.

Is it customary?

Is it proper?

You cancelled an additional 100 million dollars. What did you want to do -to"hit us in our pocket"?

In 1946 there lived in this house a British general by the name of Barker. Today I live here.

When we fought him, you called us "terrorists" - and we carried on fighting. After we attacked his headquarters in the requisitioned building of the King David Hotel, Barker said: "This race will only be influenced by being hit in the pocket" - and he ordered his soldiers to stop patronizing Jewish cafes.

To hit us in the pocket - this is the philosophy of Barker. Now I understand why the whole great effort in the Senate to obtain a majority for the arms deal with Saudi Arabia was accompanied by an ugly campaign of anti-Semitism.

First, the slogan was sounded "Begin or Reagan?" - and that meant that whoever opposes the deal is supporting a foreign prime minister and is not loyal to the President of the United States. And thus Senators like Jackson, Kennedy, Packwood and of course Boschwitz are not loyal citizens. Then the slogan was sounded "We should not let the Jews determine the foreign policy of the United States." What was the meaning of this slogan? The Greek minority in the U.S. did much to determine the Senate decision to withhold weapons from Turkey after it invaded Cyprus.

No one will frighten the great and free Jewish community of the U.S., no one will succeed in cowing them with anti-Semitic propaganda. They will stand by our side. This is the land of their forefathers - and they have a right and a duty to support it.

Some say we must "rescind" the law passed by the Knesset. "

To rescind" is a concept from the days of the Inquisition. Our forefathers went to the stake rather than "rescind" their faith. We are not going to the stake. Thank God. We have enough strength to defend our independence and to defend our rights. If it were up to me (alone) I would say we should not rescind the law. But as far as I can judge there is in fact no one on earth who can persuade theKnesset to rescind the law which it passed by a two-thirds majority.

Mr. Weinberger - and later Mr. Haig - said that the law adversely affects UN Resolution 242. Whoever says that has either not read the Resolution or has forgotten it, or has not understood it. The essence of the Resolution is negotiation to determine agreed and recognized borders. Syria has announced that it will not conduct negotiations with us, that it does not and will not recognize us - and thus removed from Resolution 242 its essence. How, therefore, could we adversely affect 242?

As regards the future, please be kind enough to inform the Secretary of, State that the Golan Heights Law will remain valid. There is no force on earth that can bring about its rescission. As for the contention that we surprised you, the truth is that we did not want to embarrass you. We knew your difficulties. You come to Riyadh and Damascus. It was President Reagan who said that Mr. Begin was right - that had Israel told the U.S. about the law (in advance) the U.S. would have said no. We did not want you to say no - and then go ahead and apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights.

Our intention was not to embarrass you.

As regards Lebanon, I have asked that the Secretary of State be informed that we will not attack, but if we are attacked, we will counterattack."


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