Monday, April 27, 2015

The Unobserving Observing the Observant

Tour guides Jacob Gluck and Israel Kogan co-conduct the walking tour in Williamsburg.

‘Shame on You’: Hannity Cuts Off Muslim Guest After Testy Exchange over Terrorism

On his show last night, Sean Hannity abruptly ended an interview with a Muslim guest who didn’t like the fact that he was asked if Hamas was a terrorist organization.
Hassan Shibly is the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida. He appeared on Hannity to discuss the plight of Hoda Muthana, a college student who left the United States to join the Islamic State.
At the beginning of the interview, Shibly started off well by saying that Muthana is now affiliated with an “extremist violent gang of monsters.”
Hannity questioned Shibly about his group’s link to some shady characters. Shibly advised Hannity to stop changing the subject.
“I’ll ask any question I want, this is my show,” Hannity replied.
Eventually, it got to the point where Hannity asked, repeatedly, if Shibly believed that Hamas was a terrorist organization. After several dodges at the question, Shibly finally came around and eventually admitted that Hamas was correctly labeled as a group of terrorists.
However, he added this: “Shame on you for just asking every Muslim what he thinks of terrorist organizations.”
But Hannity didn’t ask every Muslim that question. He asked Shibly.
Then, the interview ended.

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: International law experts praise Israeli actions in Gaza war

From Just Security:

A Legal and Operational Assessment of Israel’s Targeting Practices

By Michael Schmitt and John Merriam

Israel has long resisted publicly revealing its targeting methods and even some of its specific positions on the law of armed conflict (LOAC), fearing that doing so would provide an operational advantage to its adversaries and be exploited by often-critical interlocutors among states and in the international human rights community. This may be changing. Shortly after the conclusion of open hostilities, the IDF invited us to Israel to examine its targeting practices and application of the LOAC. We visited an operational IDF headquarters (the Gaza Division) and observed its targeting cells; reviewed the targeting procedures of both ground and air forces; studied the organization, training, and methodology of the Military Advocate General’s Corps; visited a Hamas attack tunnel; examined combat footage, including the publicly released footage here; and interviewed IDF officers — both legal advisers and operators — at various levels of command.
Our goal was not to assess the just-concluded campaign (Operation Protective Edge), but rather to delve into how the IDF conducts targeting in general from the perspective of individuals who have real-world targeting experience and LOAC expertise. The results of the research will be published in two related pieces, one for a military-policy audience, the other in an academic law journal.
Broadly speaking, we concluded that IDF positions on targeting law largely track those of the United States military. Moreover, even when they differ, the Israeli approach remains within the ambit of generally acceptable State practice. The IDF is served by a corps of highly competent and well-trained legal advisors who operate with a remarkable degree of autonomy, and its operations are subject to extensive judicial monitoring. While there are certainly Israeli legal positions that may be contentious, we found that their approach to targeting is consistent with the law and, in many cases, worthy of emulation.

Michael Schmitt is the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law and Director of the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College.

John Merriam is a US Army Judge Advocate currently serving as the Associate Director of the Stockton Center at the US Naval War College.

The two larger papers are interesting in themselves. For example:
When civilians may be affected by an attack and it is militarily feasible to do so, the IDF undertakes extensive measures to warn them.69 Some, such as leaflet drops and general announcements to the civilian population, are common in conflicts. They typically announce that a particular area will be subject to attack and instruct the population where to go to avoid its effects. In many cases, the IDF contacts neighborhood leaders and asks them to encourage civilians to leave the area. The IDF also delivers very precise warnings of particular strikes. As described below, these include direct phone communications with civilians in the target area and so-called “knocks on the roof.” Human rights organizations criticized both of the latter techniques during the recent Israeli operation in Gaza, although the authors did not find the criticism well-grounded.70
Footnote 70 refers to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, effectively saying that their grasp of international law is flawed..


Although the Israeli positions on the LOAC principles and rules governing targeting are rather orthodox, the unique operational environment in which it finds itself clearly affects interpretation and application. As an example, given the propensity of Israel’s enemies to use human shields, it is unsurprising that Israel has taken the position that individuals voluntarily acting this manner are to be treated as direct participants in hostilities. In light of its enemies’ frequent failure to distinguish itself from the civilian population, it is equally unsurprising that Israel has embraced the principle of reasonableness with respect to target identification. Perhaps most noteworthy is the high value Israel places on the safety of its soldiers and its civilian population. Although impossible to quantify, these concerns undoubtedly influenced the perspective of Israeli commanders as they plan and execute military operations, perspectives that often come into play in the application of such LOAC concepts as proportionality.

In the authors’ opinion, use of lawfare by Israel’s enemies likewise shapes, whether consciously or not, Israel’s interpretation and application of the LOAC. In particular, Israel has adopted an inclusive approach to the entitlement to protected status, particularly civilian status. Examples include Israel’s positions on doubt, its treatment of involuntary shields as civilians who are not directly participating and its view that individuals who ignore warnings retain their civilian status. Although these positions might seem counterintuitive for a State that faces foes who exploit protected status for military and other gain, such positions are well suited to counter the enemy’s reliance on lawfare. In this regard, Israel’s LOAC interpretations actually enhance its operational and strategic level position despite any tactical loss. Along the same lines, in many cases, the IDF imposes policy restrictions which go above and beyond the requirements of LOAC.
Israel's actions were quite lawful under any sane interpretation of the Laws of Armed Conflict. Amnesty and HRW twist international law in ways that make it impossible for any modern army to fight.

ISIS Selfie with Woman's Severed Head: TAKE IT VIRAL

ISIS may be dangerous like a rabid animal, but it has proven itself incredibly stupid by posting a selfie of one ot its "fighters" with a woman's severed head. I say "stupid" because atrocities against women are the most effective propaganda with which to incite murderous hatred in Euro-American countries. The actual image is highly graphic, and I won't post it here, but it is available here.
It is vital to copy and circulate it as widely as possible because, as stated by Colonel Paul Linebarger's Psychological Warfare, bundles of leaflets that fall intact make little impression on the target audience unless they land on somebody's head, which is not the impression one wants to make. Propaganda of this nature needs to go viral and spread as widely as possible to achieve the desired effect of inciting widespread revulsion against militant "Islam." If circulated in Europe, it will help promote the rising backlash against Islamist immigrants who are trying to carve out Sharia compliant zones while they claim their religion gives them the right to rob, rape, kill, and/or enslave infidels, who include the wrong kinds of Muslims. These Islamists are also, of course, the source of most of Europe's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment.
The background of this story is ISIS's claim to have captured and executed a brave Kurdish fighter named Rehana, who has purportedly sent more than a hundred ISIS terrorists to their one-on-one meetings with Allah and their 72 virgins. There are three possible sources for this image:
(1) ISIS did capture and behead this brave woman
(2) ISIS terrorists, who are generally too cowardly to fight anybody who might harm them, especially a woman whose kill record shows she has the potential to be another Lyudmila Pavlichenko, slaughtered a helpless woman and presented her head as Rehana's. This will do them little good when Rehana gets the heads of said ISIS "fighters" into her sights in a process well depicted by the rock group Sabaton.
Hundreds of kills. a man and his rifle embody the sisu of Finns
Stay out of sight and cover your head, when he pulls the trigger you’re dead
(3) ISIS photomanipulated Rehana's head into the hand of the terroristwho is posing for the selfie, which has the same long-run implications as #2.
However, it doesn't matter which story is true because ISIS says the head is Rehana's. When we circulate this image to evoke widespread revulsion and hatred of every single person in Europe and North America who so much as seems to share ISIS's ideology (including Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, and so on along with the Muslim Student Association, Students for Justice in Palestine, and so on), ISIS cannot backtrack and say, "It's really a fake." They claimed "credit" for this woman's execution and, as they say, when you make your bed, you must lie in it. In this case, it's more like, when you dig your grave, you must lie in it.
To put this image in perspective, consider the kind of hate propaganda that was issued primarily by the Triple Entente during the First World War, and by the U.S. War Department in the Second. Entente cartoonists were fond of drawing "Huns" with babies on their bayonets, and even an ape in a spiked helmet with a half-naked woman over his shoulder. Second World War cartoons showed "Japs" with exaggerated Asian features menacing (but rarely actually harming) American women, and another showed an Imperial Japanese hitting a prisoner of war with his rifle butt. The caption under that one said, "Stay on the job until every murdering Jap is wiped out."
What is telling is the fact that ALL these propaganda posters relied on hand-drawn pictures because the Nazis and Imperial Japanese were not STUPID enough to send us selfies of them gassing concentration camp inmates or using Chinese prisoners for bayonet practice. ISIS, on the other hand, has just provided us with a picture of one of its members holding a woman's severed head. This picture alone is probably more effective at whipping up hatred of the enemy (Islamists in this case) than ALL the hate propaganda that was deployed by both sides during both World Wars. This is why we need to take it viral.

From Israel’s founding to today: 67 years of bravery

WATCH: Experience the Amazing Israel Air Show!

Brigitte Gabriel talk on islam-an arab girl question about that muslim represent as bad people

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hangings in Iran

image not displayed

YNET: Obama pokes fun at strained ties with Netanyahu: He'll speak at my funeral At annual correspondents' dinner, US president also addresses claims he's a Muslim: 'I need to issue veto threats, negotiate with Iran, all the while finding time to pray five times a day'.

US President Barack Obama poked fun at his rivalry with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner.

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"It is no wonder that that people keep pointing out how the presidency has aged me. I look so old John Boehner’s already invited Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at my funeral," he quipped, referring to Boehner’s controversial invitation to Netanyahu to speak in front of Congress on the Iranian nuclear program.

צילום: רויטרס

Obama at White House Correspondents’ Association dinner

He also addressed the claims he was Muslim, saying "being president is never easy. I still have to fix a broken immigration system, issue veto threats, negotiate with Iran. All while finding time to pray five times a day. Which is strenuous."

Obama's comedy routine also included a sly dig at Hillary Clinton, the current front-runner to be the Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

Noting that some Americans are living in a time of uncertainty, Obama said, "For example, I have one friend just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year and she's now living out of a van in Iowa."

Clinton, who as a former secretary of state, former senator and former first lady is one of America's best known figures, traveled around in a van this month in a deliberately low-key trip to the state that holds an early contest in the election primary season.

On a serious note, Obama noted there were journalists around the world who were unjustly imprisoned, and cited the case of Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post, an American-Iranian who is in prison in Iran.

"For nine months, Jason has been imprisoned in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the Iranian people," Obama said, adding that he had told Rezaian's brother Ali that he would not rest "until we bring him home to his family safe and sound."

Obama's stand-up comedy performance Saturday night raised money for scholarships for young journalists.

The dinner, a long-running tradition organized by the White House Correspondents' Association, has morphed from being a relatively low-key gathering of journalists and their sources from around town. In recent years, media organizations have invited not just sources but Hollywood stars and sports celebrities.

The night's mix of Washington journalists and Hollywood stars featured Oscar-winner Jane Fonda, reality TV star Donald Trump and actresses Kerry Washington and Tea Leoni.

Washington has a love-hate relationship with its annual spring party. Those who go tend to enjoy having dinner with the president, albeit along with more than 2,600 others, seeing sources in a semi-casual setting and mingling with celebrities.

But the dinner also draws an annual chorus of condemnation from critics who say that laughing and partying with sources is not conducive to hard-hitting journalism.

The dinner is actually a weekend of events - various media organizations host pre- and post-dinner parties that give the affair an echo of Hollywood at Oscar time.

When he finally took the stage, Obama joked it was the night when "Washington celebrates itself. Somebody's got to do it."

Most of the prospective and declared Republican candidates for president in 2016 stayed away.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Barbra Streisand Sings Hatikvah and Talks to Golda Meir

Accent - Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem)

Israel at 67: The Future of the Jewish State We Cannot Afford to Lose Our Soul Now by Rabbi YY Jacobson

“Placing our trust in the Rock of Israel, we set our hand and testimony to this Declaration, here on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this day, the eve of the Sabbath, 5 Iyar 5708, 14 May 1948.” -- Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

As Israel celebrates its 67th birthday, the great issues are on the table again. Jews in Israel and the world over are reflecting on the meaning and destiny of Israel and Zionism. As we attempt to gain perspective on the dilemmas facing the Jewish State today, let us embark on a humble journey through biblical thought, Talmudic wisdom, Jewish sensibilities and Zionist doctrine.

israeli soldier

Grace After Meals

One of the most enshrined Jewish traditions is called “bentching,” or reciting grace after a meal. In Deuteronomy, the Bible instructs us to bless G-d after eating a satiating meal. "You will eat and you will be satisfied and you will bless your G-d for the wonderful land that He gave you (1)."

Thus was invented the ritual of "benching" (Yiddish for blessing), recited after every meal of bread, and consisting of a number of sections, or blessings. In the first blessing we express gratitude for the resources G-d created in the world to nourish His creatures. The second blessing is a thank you for the beautiful land that He gave the Jewish people. In the third, we give thanks and pray for Jerusalem. These three blessings were fashioned to echo the biblical injunction "You will eat and you will be satisfied and you will bless your G-d for the wonderful land that He gave you," linking gratitude for a meal with gratitude for the soil which produced the meal (2).

Yet there is a strange law associated with grace after meals. The Talmud states (3) that the second blessing, in which we express our gratefulness for the land, must include a few words about the Covenant G-d made with the first Jew, Abraham. In this Covenant, recorded in Genesis, G-d promised Abraham that He would give the land of Canaan as an inheritance to his descendants (the circumcision of every Jewish male baby represents this Covenant). What is more, in this blessing we must also make mention of the Torah, the divine constitution for the Jewish people, which promises -- scores of times -- the land of Canaan to the Jews.

In other words, the sages are suggesting, it is necessary not only to thank G-d for the beautiful land itself, but we also must articulate the source for our rights for this land: the Abrahamic Covenant and the Torah. Hence, the standard version of the grace after meals: "We offer thanks to You, Lord our G-d, for having given us as a heritage to our ancestors a precious, good and spacious land… for your Covenant which you have sealed in our flesh, and for Your Torah which You have taught us."

Benching vs. Hatikvah 

The Talmud is so emphatic about the inclusion of these two concepts -- the Covenant and the Torah -- that it states (4): "Whoever did not mention the Covenant and the Torah in the blessing for the land (the second blessing in the grace after meals) did not fulfill his obligation." This person must repeat his grace.

This seems strange. The Bible merely states, "You will eat and you will be satisfied and you will bless your G-d for the wonderful land that He gave you." The Torah just wants us to express appreciation for the land. Period. Why the absolute necessity to mention the Abrahamic Covenant and the Torah? What is wrong with a simple offering of thanks for a beautiful national homeland?

In fact, the Israeli national anthem, adorning countless Jewish functions over the past 60 years, does just that. It speaks of "the 2,000 year old Jewish hope to be a free people in its land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem." It makes no mention of G-d's Covenant with Abraham or the Torah as the moral grounds for establishing the modern State of Israel.

Similarly, the signers of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, drawn up in May 1948, made no mention of G-d or Torah. After much debate, it was agreed upon to insert the ambiguous phrase "The Rock of Israel (Tzur Yisrael)," to be interpreted as one desired. The religious representatives, could see the “Rock” of Israel as a reference to the G-d of Israel, while the secular and certainly the atheistic representatives defined it as the stubborn perseverance of the Jewish people.

This seems like a rational approach. Why mix religion and statehood? For a democracy to flourish, liberal pluralism must be maintained. Church and state need to be separated. Introducing biblical notions into the Zionist endeavor would only undermine Israel's success as a liberal democracy.

Torah Vs. the UN 

Yet the Talmudic rabbis, 1,700 years ago, apparently understood something about the Jewish psyche and Middle Eastern politics that eluded many of the founders of modern Israel.

The contemporary political conversation has many of us convinced that if Israel would withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, Palestinians will at last make peace with the Jewish state. Hence, the praise in the world and Israeli media for the Gaza evacuation almost three years ago: It is a step in the right direction, the beginning of the end of Israeli occupation, the first mile in a road toward reconciliation and co-existence.

Yet these hopes totally insult most of the Palestinians by making mockery of their explicitly stated dreams and beliefs. Their words, repeated by their leaders time and time again, leave little room for doubt. “All of Palestine belongs to us,” is the Palestinian message. The Palestinians desire not a Palestinian State side-by-side with Israel, but oen that replaces Israel. The “moderate” Palestinian leader Abu Mazan said that the Gaza departure was the beginning of a process that would result in all of the Arab refugees returning to their homes of pre-1948.

That is why there was no peace before the 1967 war, a time of no Jewish settlements and no settlers. Gaza belonged to Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Jordan, and the Golan Heights to Syria. Why did six Arab countries decide to invade and exterminate Israel? Because, in their belief, the entire Zionist entity is illegal. All of Israel rests on occupied Arab land. According to the Koran, Jews have no right to establish a self-governed homeland on Islamic soil.

Have you heard any Muslim leader suggest that Jews are not, by their very existence on Middle Eastern soil, occupying land that does not belong to them?

Only when Israel ceases to exist will the occupation cease. Which is why ceding Gaza and even all of the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem to Palestinians will not bring peace, only invite more conflict. Indeed, the Gaza evacuation only accelerated the war. Peace will not come about by Israel giving away territory. Peace will arrive when responsible Arab leaders will reform Palestinian culture so as to not see the Jew as the "devil" and Israel as the "enemy of Allah." Peace will come when the world, instead of pressuring Israel to cede territory, pressures Palestinian educators and parents to teach tolerance, respect and civil morality. Till that day comes, Israel's giving away of land will only intoxicate Palestinians with the hope that their agenda of freeing all of Palestine from the Zionist enemy is doable.

Whose Home Is It?

Yet here is what makes this apparently straightforward idea so complicated. If Muslims in Detroit would begin blowing up busses or pizza shops and demanding a Palestinian State in Michigan, no one would question America’s right to eliminate the terrorists and not cede even an inch of land to them. When an enemy wises to destroy you, you must eliminate it. The reason Israel is treated so differently is because many see Israel as "partners in crime": Some Palestinians may be terrorists but Israel, too, shares in the guilt. It is an occupying state.

No one doubts that Michigan belongs to the United States. Hence, their right to fight for it and squelch any attempt to seize it. However in the case of Israel, the matter is about the question, does Israel have a right to defend itself while dwelling on stolen property? Where exactly does Israel draw the line and declare, “From here on we are legal?” And based on which moral grounds can these lines be drawn?

The distinction between post-1967 Israel and pre-1967 Israel is artificial and mythical. The Arabs say that all of Israel is occupied. We must confront the painful truth: If the Jews living in Gaza, West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem are occupiers, then the Jews living in Tel-Aviv, Yaffa, Haifa and Rosh Pinah are the same occupiers. Many a city in pre-1967 Israel used to be Arab settlements, now occupied by Israel.

According to Arab doctrine, Jews, especially European Jews, are a foreign implant, outsiders who have colonized and occupied native Arab land since 1948. All the reasonable arguments in the world and all the UN resolutions combined will not change the belief that Jews are thieves, occupying the land of millions of displaced Arabs. Is it fair that because the Europeans were guilt-ridden after the Holocaust and were kind enough to give the Jews a slice of the Middle East, the Arabs have to pay the price and suffer?

The Moral Foundation

Here lie, in my opinion, one of the mistakes of secular Zionism. Its philosophy did not possess the tools to instill within its children the moral foundations for calling Israel a Jewish homeland.

“Religion is the major impediment confronting the Jewish nation on the road to culture, science and freedom.” These words were written by Nachman Syrkin, the preeminent theorist of Zionist socialism. Little did he realize that he was undermining not only religion, but also Zionism.

If the Jewish people's connection to the soil between Jordan and the Mediterranean stems merely from Theodore Herzl's Zionist dream to give displaced and exiled Jews a national identity, endorsed by the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1947 United Nations' partition plan, their connection to the land remains fragile and ambiguous. When Palestinians scream “You are stealing our land,” and the international community thunders, “Stop the occupation,” we have lost the argument.

Yet the critical point is missing. For 3300 years Jews breathed and lived with the conviction that the Creator of the world designated one piece of earth for them. Even in the most hellish moments of Jewish exile, the people of the Book clung to their faith that one day they would return to their divinely promised land. The only reason Jews returned from Odessa, Vilna and Warsaw to Israel was because of their passion and belief that the Creator of the heaven and earth chose to give his Holy Land to the children of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, as stated hundreds of times in the Bible. There are more than three billion people in the world who believe in the Bible, who live with the Bible and who quote the Bible. Secular Zionist should not have been afraid to bequeath this tradition and faith to their children, for this, and only this, is the moral justification for a Jewish presence in the Holy Land -- in Jerusalem, Hebron, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Golan all the same.

The truth is, what really gave all of the secular Zionists the inspiration to sacrifice their lives to create and build Israel? Was it anything but the fact that for 2000 years, their grandmother and grandfathers prayed for a return to the Holy Land, studied the laws connected to Eretz Israel and Jerusalem, and believed with every fiber of their being that this was their eternal homeland given to them by the Creator and that one day they would yet return? Could a nation have returned to its homeland after two millennia without a faith that flowed in its sinews for thousands of years?

Paradoxically, it seems the world is waiting for this. Not only the Christian and Islamic world, who view the Bible as the definition of truth. Even the secular world, seems to respect Jews who respect themselves and their faith. The world is waiting for Israel to treat the Land the way Israel should be treated, as G-d's personal gift to the Jewish people.

Blessing or Curse?

That may be why the sages said that "Whoever did not mention the Covenant and the Torah in the blessing for the land did not fulfill his obligation." If our sense of gratitude and connection to the land is based on the divine Covenant with Abraham and the Torah, it will remain passionate, morally inspired and eternal. If not, our loyalty to our homeland hangs on a thread.

The Talmudic sages keenly grasped that if the thankfulness of the Jew for the Land of Israel is not based on the covenant G-d crafted with Abraham some 3,700 years ago, and on the Torah, the 3,300-year-old blueprint for Jewish existence, we might one day feel unappreciative -- rather than grateful – for the homeland flowing with milk and honey. We might feel compelled to rid ourselves from it.

The Sun and the Moon

The Talmud states (5), "Moses is the face of the sun; Joshua is the face of the moon." What is the symbolism behind this poetic statement?

One explanation might be this:

Moses represents Torah; Joshua embodies the Land of Israel. Moses gave us the Torah; Joshua gave us Israel.

The light of the moon is beautiful, soothing, and romantic. Moonlight has inspired many an imagination and a heart. Yet the glow of the moon is merely a reflection of the sun. As long as the moon reflects the sun's glow, it casts upon the earth its own unique poetic luminescence; if the moon is separated from its source of light – as is the case in a lunar eclipse -- it becomes a large chunk of dark and rocky matter.

The relationship between Moses, the face of Torah, and Joshua, the face of Jewish statehood, is that of the sun and the moon. As long as Israel reflects Torah – its faith, its dreams and its passions -- it is hard to find something more beautiful and inspiring. When Israel, however, ceases to see itself as a reflection of Torah, but rather as a secular national homeland for Jews, a member of the United Nations, it loses much of its inner glow and beauty. Its very identity and future is put into question.

I am not suggesting that citizens of Israel should legally be coerced to follow Jewish law. Most religious Jews I know would oppose such an initiative, as it would create an even deeper animosity to Judaism and its laws. In the world we live in, religion and spirituality must be a personal choice coming from within. What I am saying is that every nation needs a soul. Even Israel. And the soul of the Jewish people for 4,000 years has been the Torah.

We cannot afford to lose our soul now.

(To comment on this article, please click here.)

1) Deuteronomy 7:10.
2) Thus, the first three blessings are biblically required. In the city of Yabneh, around 100 CE, the sages added a fourth blessing, thanking G-d for His kindness during the times of exile following the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (Talmud Berachos 48b).
3) Talmud ibid.
4) Talmud ibid. 49a.
5) Bava Basra 75b.

When Hollywood Jews used to support Israel/Palestine

Frank Sinatra In Israel , a rare footage - On Israel’s 14th Independence Day in 1962, Sinatra appeared on stage in Jerusalem and delivered a memorable speech urging people all over the world to support Israel. The enthusiastic audience heard his recorded speech with the stirring background sounds of the parade being held there.

frank sinatra yom haatzmaut

The Secret Slang of the Diamond District A stroll down 47th Street can be bewildering, if you don’t know the language.

The public face of New York’s diamond district is Diamond and Jewelry Way, a block of 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues lined with dazzlingly lit shops and exchanges and cluttered by hawkers, hustlers, cops and couriers. But beyond these street-level operations, in back rooms, upper floors and looming towers, toils an army of cutters, blockers, polishers, sorters, appraisers, graders, designers and dealers — most of whom the diamond-buying public never sees.

Or hears. The street has its own vocabulary, honed over generations and still used today. The prevalence of Yiddish reflects the historic influence of Jewish craftsmen and dealers. But the diamond business is international, and on Diamond and Jewelry Way it is not uncommon to hear Russian, Indian, Dutch, French, Belgian, Korean and other accents enunciating the mame-loshn (literally, “mother tongue”) of Eastern European Jewry, and a few non-Yiddish phrases as well.

Diamond sellers, or diamantaires, deploy an extensive nomenclature of technical terms to describe their wares — not just the famous Four C’s of color, clarity, cut and carat weight, but also dimensions, fluorescence, inclusions (flaws), polish and symmetry. Traders will instantly know what the description “round G 4.18 VVS2 TRIP X” means, as well as the diamond’s value. On examination, they can judge if that stone’s color is a “good G” or “low G” and whether its clarity is actually the inferior VS1. These terms may be tricky to decipher (and trickier still to apply commercially), but they are widely known. In the business, however, there are many other words to describe what really matters about a given stone, or shteyn (Yiddish), steen (Dutch), pierre (French), almaz (Russian) or hira (Hindi).

Unless otherwise noted, all non-English terms are Yiddish or are derived from Yiddish and are rendered using the transliteration system developed by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.


Carat or CT · A carat (200 milligrams) is divided into both 100 points and four grains. A “20-pointer” weighs one-fifth of a carat (or 40 milligrams), and a “six-grainer” weighs 1.5 carats (or 300 milligrams). Dealers say “light” to indicate weights shy of a common fraction; a “light-half” can weigh from 0.45 to 0.49 carats.

Rough · Uncut and unpolished stones.

Strop · A stone that won’t sell; a bad buy. Some dealers are anxious to unload their strops, even at a loss, to release capital or just to dispose of a dud. Others reckon that strops are not actually costing them anything, so they let them “sit in the back of the safe,” literally or metaphorically, for years (generations, even). Sometimes forgotten stones surge back into fashion, hence the saying “People get rich on strops.”

Khazeray · Junk; trash.

Links-shtivl · “Left-footed boots”; a parcel of khazeray in which nothing matches. “I can’t find a pair of stones to make earrings in this links-shtivl.” Also, linker: left; awry; illegitimate; illegal.

Shlok · Junk; rubbish; fake; second-rate merchandise.

Shvimers · “Swimmers”; especially impressive stones that seem to “swim across the surface” of loose diamonds, improving the appearance of lesser ones. Also, floaters.

Mame-zitser · “Mother sitter”; a very large diamond.

Tam · “Flavor”; appeal. When comparing diamonds, an expert will instinctively sense which has the greater tam.

Trip(le) (e)x · Any stone with an “excellent” grading for cut, polish and symmetry.

Fisheye · An unappealingly flat stone. Also, pancake.

Roval · A nearly round, fat oval; ugly; undesirable; unsalable.

Matzo · A stone made to look larger by cutting it flat at the widest spot.

Fir-kantike eyer · “Four-cornered eggs”; an impossible request; a stone (or price) that doesn’t exist. “You’re looking for fir-kantike eyer — go down to the Smithsonian.”

Bluff stone · An impressive looking (bluffy) diamond that is not as valuable as it appears.

Estate jewelry · Secondhand. The term post-consumer has recently been adopted to appeal to those concerned about the humanitarian and ecological costs of newly mined stones.

Melee · From mêlé, French for “mixed”; small cut-and-polished diamonds (often 0.18 carats or less) used as accent stones or in dense pavé settings, where many stones cover an area of metal. Melee is commonly sold in parcels or lots, for which the price rises as the buyer becomes more selective:

Whole/lot price: entire parcel
Cut price: unsorted division
Sort/pick price: hand-selection


Brivke or parcel-paper · A folded wrap of paper used to store stones.

Cachet · A small, plain (often Manila) envelope used in deals mediated by a broker. A seller lends a broker a selection of stones to show potential buyers. If a buyer likes a stone (or stones), he wraps it in a brivke, seals it in a cachet and writes his name, offer price and payment terms along the flap. This ensures that the stone can’t be shown to anyone else. The broker returns the cachet to the seller, who accepts the deal or makes a counteroffer. The broker takes the cachet back to the buyer, who can agree to the sale, strike out the counteroffer and write in a new price, or tear the cachet open — releasing the stone back to the market and ending the negotiation. Brokers usually take commish or C.O. (commission) of around two percent from the seller on any sales they close.

Loupe · A hand-held magnifying lens, usually with a magnification power of 10. An informal clarity grading rank of diamonds is: loupe clean (no inclusions visible under a loupe) > eye clean (no inclusions visible to the naked eye) > center clean (no inclusions visible in the stone’s center).

Sieve set · A shaker barrel with graduated sieves, used to sort melee by size.

Safes or vaults · There is no firm distinction between the two, except that you can usually walk into a vault.

Shmate · A cloth for cleaning shmutz from stones.


Gesheft · Business. Also, luft gesheft: “business founded on air”; an enterprise without a solid foundation.

Bren · “Burn”; on fire. “This holiday season was a bren.” The opposite is shtil, “quiet,” or shvakh, “weak.”

Gornisht · “Nothing.” From this comes the phrase gornisht mit gornisht (“nothing with nothing”) or G.M.G., which is used to describe inferior goods or the trade’s being especially shvakh.

Mekhule · Bankrupt.


The most significant phrase on the street, and perhaps in the global trade, is mazl un brokhe — “good luck and a blessing” — which is commonly abbreviated to “mazl.” It is hard to overstate the power of this oral handshake, which seals million-dollar deals without lawyers, witnesses or contracts. In “making mazl,” diamantaires stake their honor (and that of their family), and the term garners near-universal respect.

It is said that the “mazl un brokhe” formula has two symbolic elements: The seller has luck in selling (mazl), and the buyer has a blessing for future success (brokhe).

One interpretation of the Hebrew word mazl (???) is that it is an acronym encompassing the three elements that determine our good fortune:

???? = ? = makom = place
??? = ? = zman = time
????? = ? = limmud = learning

So to have mazl, you need to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right wisdom to know how to act.

The overlap of faith, luck and superstition is evident in several ways. Some Jewish dealers will instinctively deprecate their business fortunes, both out of modesty and to avert any bad luck incited by boasting. The phrase ken eyne hore (“without the evil eye”) is the Yiddish equivalent of saying “knock on wood” after tempting fate. Hindu and Sikh dealers may bless loupes, scales and other tools of the trade during Diwali, the fall festival. And it is not uncommon to see traditional Hindu swastikas painted on the vaults and safes of Indian dealers, just as some Jewish dealers affix mezuzot to their doorjambs.

Bashert · “Destined”; something that is meant to be; when good fortune falls into your lap. Some believe that profit will follow if a diamond falls to the floor when a brivke is opened (assuming, of course, that it’s found). Others kiss a stone that has been dropped, for luck.

Good hand · To have luck and skill in finding, understanding and dealing stones. A trader with a good hand is also one with the wisdom and integrity to “leave a little profit in the deal” so everyone makes their parnose (“livelihood”). Dealers will say of a lucrative and lucky trading partnership, “We have a good hand together.”


Metsiye · A great deal; a bargain; a stone bought cheap. Some dealers complain that because diamonds are increasingly listed online, there are no metsiyes anymore. Others hunt for M&M’s — mistakes (underpriced stones) and metsiyes.

Ganeyve · A “steal.” Even better than a metsiye.

Oysshis · Rejects; leftovers. Hence the saying “One man’s oysshis is another man’s metsiye.”

Shatsn · To price or give an opinion on a diamond. “Hey, shats this stone for me.”

Chap lagna · From “to stamp” in Hindi; to value something accurately. Indian traders also have a range of terms for bargains: halwa, a traditional sweet, but also a good deal; muft, “free,” but also used to describe a great bargain; and malai, a term for “cream,” which describes a deal that will be profitable.

Hondl · To bargain, haggle or trade.

Nem di gelt · “Take the money”; an encouragement to “make mazl.” The sense that business must keep moving is also evident in phrases like “No one died for an offer” and “No one went broke taking a profit.”

Shlep · To drag; to pay late and make someone carry your debt. “You’re shlepping -— we said 30 days.”

Shmir · To grease the wheels or bribe. “Sure, I shmired the guy a little.”

Touch · Profit. “I got a little touch.”

Keystone or key · A markup of 100 percent. Also, double or triple key.


On memo is the process by which dealers routinely borrow and lend diamonds to try to match stones to buyers.

The memorandum (in Gujarati, jangad) is a slip of paper that itemizes each stone and the memo price for which it can be sold (usually higher than a firm sale price). Technically, the receiver of diamonds on memo has no rights of ownership and no right to sell. It is understood, however, that if a buyer is found at (or, after agreement, near) the memo price, the owner will consent to the transaction.

Even as Internet sales rise, the memo business remains central to the trade, because buyers want to assess the stones with their own eyes. That said, the curiously casual nature of trading on memo can result in disputes — for example, when payment becomes long overdue, when already-on-memo stones are sent on memo to a third party or when stones are returned late or not at all.

It is not uncommon for dealers to have large stones or important pieces out on memo with big-name stores, which have the clientele to afford them.


The trust that underpins business on the street is hard won and jealously guarded. Untested dealers who want the privilege of borrowing stones on memo are expected to provide references from respected dealers. These dealers are asked how long a prospective client has traded, what credit they have, how much debt is unpaid and whether they are shlepping. “It’s normal to owe money; it’s not normal to be behind.”

Only if satisfied will a dealer allow diamonds out on memo — but the value and terms of the memo will be kept in check until a personal bond of trust is established over time. Time also allows dealers who have erred in some way (even into bankruptcy) to incrementally trade their way back into trust.

A small footnote on trust: The private Diamond Dealers Club has a lost-and-found board that details mislaid stones.


Several traditional Yiddish terms are used to describe people in the trade, from mensch (good guy) and meyvn (expert) to ganif (thief) and khazer (pig).

And just as a diamond has its Four C’s, Yiddish has Three S’s for irksome dealers:

The schnorer who begs for deals.
The shleper who pays late.
The shtinker who never pays.

Faynshmeker · A “fine sniffer”; a connoisseur with expensive taste or excellent merchandise or both. Conversely, a perfectionist: “Don’t be such a faynshmeker .?.?. nem di gelt!”

Hawks · Street-level operatives who coax pedestrians toward a specific retailer in return for C.O. on any transaction.

Jalebi · An intricately spiraled Indian sweet; used to describe a hustler. “He is straight like a jalebi.”

Good eye · One who can spot quality.


Salespeople across 47th Street use a range of codes to speak in front of privates (the public) and secure a diamond’s journey across the last 18 inches (the shop’s glass counter). Not all of these are widely used, and some are increasingly of only historic interest.

2-10 · A warning to keep “two eyes on 10 fingers” when serving a suspicious customer. This code dates to at least the 1860s and was widely used in retail.

Gee or g · A general term for a customer. There are several possible etymologies: It might stand for gooch (auction slang for a buyer), geek (“grotesque” carnival acts who bit the heads off live animals) or, simply, guy. A range of street phrases use the term.

Sherry the gee · Get rid of the customer. From “sherry”; to go, sheer off or run away. “Hey, your wife Sherry called.”

Kitty with the gee · Keep the customer occupied with small talk.

Good gee · A favorite customer.

Tee the gee · Follow the customer; ensure that a client who has just left a deposit for a piece to be made is not persuaded by another retailer to transfer his business. The “tee” may be for “trail” or “tail.” A hawk will tee the gee until the client is seen safely off 47th Street — after which the jeweler can build the new piece, confident that the gee will be back to pay and collect. To avoid alerting a private, the hawk might also be asked to “get a cup of tea.”

Cost marks · Many dealers still use traditional retail ciphers, substituting letters for numbers when writing out price tags or discussing prices in public. Dealers select a 10-letter keyword in which no character is repeated, like:

C = 1
A = 2
S = 3
H = 4
P = 5
R = 6
O = 7
F = 8
I = 9
T = 0

Here, “$150” becomes the unintelligible “CPT.” To add complexity, additional letters are used as repeaters (“$1,500” might be “CPTX”) or for distraction (“YYCPTYY”). These ciphers are also used to encode other codes; for example, “2-10” would become “ACT,” and “56” would communicate “PR” — slang for “profit.”

Low liner or high liner · Bad and good customers or prospects.

Send them (or go) to the A.P. · When high-pressure salespeople dispatch wavering clients to consult a far-from-independent appraiser (A.P.). To keep the momentum of sale and avoid B.O. (backing out), a hawk (or an A.P. runner) escorts diamond and buyer to the same appraiser — a hustle known as ring, box, go.

D-line · An easy, no-nonsense deal; when a customer sees a ring, pays for it and leaves. “I just d-lined that VS1.”


Security on the street is tight. A constant presence by the New York Police Department is augmented by uniformed and undercover guards and armed patrols by retired police officers. The area is also surveilled by a network of cameras that, according to the 47th Street Business Improvement District, is partly funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

Inside shops, security is no laxer. Display cases can be fitted with burglar-resistant glass, surveillance cameras record some audio as well as video, panic buttons are available to alert the police and some retailers carry firearms. Lunch hours, delivery times and opening and closing procedures are regularly varied to confound anyone casing the joint. And every night, window displays are cleared of merchandise to prevent smash-and-grab raids.

To foil shoplifters, staff members show only one or two pieces at a time. And to quickly spot if any merchandise is missing, retailers lay out jewelry symmetrically, keep diagrams or maps of display cases and insert placeholders (pennies, for example) when removing rings from a tray.

Off the street, most businesses are protected by man-traps — double-door vestibules that allow visitors to be checked before entry and exit, with packages delivered through a hatch. When dealers walk stones out of these secure spaces (for inspection, manufacture, grading), they usually just wrap them in brivkes and slip them into a pocket — though some use money belts, ankle pouches or underarm cases to foil pickpockets. Most insurance policies for diamond dealers specify a carry limit for stones that are walked. Dealers who need to transport diamonds above this limit will first clear it with their insurers or divide the stones and make several journeys. Some take circuitous, zigzag routes or hire security guards to accompany them.


Because there are thousands of diamond categories and the tam of each stone is subjective, there is no price index for diamonds as there is for, say, gold. The most popular pricing benchmark is the Rapaport Price List, established by Martin Rapaport in 1978. Updated each Thursday at midnight, the rap (or sheet) reflects the company’s opinion of “high cash asking prices” for a range of “fine-cut, well-shaped” stones, and it is widely used as a basis for quoting and negotiating prices.

What’s the rap? · “What’s the list price??”

I’ll pay 10 back (or below) or I want 10 over indicate a 10 percent discount or a 10 percent premium on the Rapaport price.

On condition rap · Assuming that the rap doesn’t change during the course of a negotiation.

Magic sizes · Certain sweet spots in weight (0.5, 0.75, 1 carat) at which stones jump in desirability and price. Diamonds just light of these sizes can be bargains.

Terms · In addition to price, payment terms are central to the deal. Asking for 30, 60 or 90 days to pay is often essential to bridge situations of limited liquidity, especially when sales are predicated on a chain of transactions, much like real estate. Untested (or distrusted) buyers will be asked to pay C.O.D. (nowadays the “C” usually stands for “check,” not “cash”) or with cleared funds up front.


As consumers go online and become better informed, the independent certification of diamonds has become an increasingly crucial part of the trade.

The most respected certs are those issued by the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) — not least because some other organizations have been accused of over-grading (or bumping).

Although certs don’t offer valuations, they detail and grade the technical specs on which valuations and comparisons are based.

Despite a range of security measures, including laser-inscribed serial numbers, the fraudulent mismatching of stones and certs is not unheard of. While consumers are urged never to buy naked (ungraded) stones, the dealer’s rule is “Buy the diamond, not the paper.”

Anti-Semitic Monopoly

Anti-Semitic Poster

Boycott All Jewish Products and Services

They're selling us their sweets and gimmicks is the source of all their power and stopping buying into the temptation is the source of their final undoing! Make your own stuff, grow and cook your own food, buy and trade only with those you know are not Jewish. If you feel you need to bank go with small credit unions. Never use the large banks and do most of your buying, selling and bartering with each other not them.

oy vei, oy gevalt, mishigene mentshn

Anti-Semitic Poster on Jew Watch

Armenian parade Jerusalem old city

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Israel's History - a Picture a Day (Beta) Life and Death of a Jewish Courtyard in Jerusalem's Old City

A scene in a Jerusalem courtyard in the Jewish Quarter, April 1917 (Imperial War Museum Q 86316)

The picture of this Jerusalem courtyard in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was taken by a German army photographer during World War I and was found in theBritish Imperial War Museum.  Jerusalem at the time was ruled by the Ottomans. 

The distinctive arches on the building on the right identify it as the Rothschild Building, part of the Batei Machaseh compound built for Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter.  It was donated by Baron Wilhelm Karl de Rothschild of Frankfurt.  The building still bears the Rothschild family's coat of arms. The compound was built between 1860 and 1890 to provide housing for Jerusalem's poor.

The Rothschild Building appears in a series of dramatic Life Magazine photographs taken by John Phillips during the Jordanian capture of the Old City during the 1948 war. The arches can be seen on the left side of these pictures; the picture above was a reverse view of the ones below.  The first was taken in the midst of the fighting in June 1948, and the Jews are seen gathering their belongings for their evacuation.  The second picture, taken in July 1948, shows the looting that took place.  The pictures appear in the DaledAmos blog.

Jewish Quarter courtyard prior to evacuation (Life Magazine, John Phillips)

Jewish Quarter after the evacuation and looting (Life Magazine, John Phillips)

Phillips' last picture shows the Jews' evacuation from the Old City under the guard of Jordanian Legionnaires.  The Rothschild Building serves as the backdrop to the tragic picture.

Jewish refugees heading to the Zion Gate near the Rothschild Building

Satirical 'killing Jews' ad can't be banned from New York mass transit, judge rules

A satirical “killing Jews” ad is protected speech that can’t be barred on New York buses and subways, a Manhattan federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ruled (PDF) on Tuesday, saying that MTA officials “underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements.” The New York Times, the Washington Post and Courthouse News Service have stories.
The sponsor of the ad is the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a pro-Israeli group that aims to combat “treason” by government officials in their “capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”
The ad shows a man wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh with the quotation, “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” Below the photo, the ad reads, “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?” The quotation is attributed to “Hamas MTV,” which doesn’t exist, and a disclaimer on the ad says it is sponsored by AFDI.
The ad was intended to parody an earlier ad campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, which portrayed jihad as a nonviolent struggle.
Transit officials feared the “killing Jews” ad would not be recognized as parody. The same ad had run in San Francisco and Chicago without triggering violence.

Netanyahu: ‘Death to Israel’ Inscription on Iranian Missiles Never Changes


Commenting on Iran’s exhibition of weapons in a military parade, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would “do whatever is necessary to defend the security of the state and its citizens.”
“Every year [at Iran’s military parade] the missiles are bigger and enhanced—in accuracy, strength, and deadliness,” Netanyahu said at his cabinet meeting on Sunday. “However, one thing does not change. What does not change is the inscription ‘Death to Israel’ on the missiles.”
Netanyahu also reiterated his opposition to the recently reached Russian-Iranian missile deal.
“Israel views with utmost gravity the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran, especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region and around the borders of the state of Israel,” he said.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ari Goldwag - Atah Vechartanu (New Song)

Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News: Hebron group calls Israeli flags an "assault against Muslims"

How may lies can you find in this  IMEMC dispatch?
Extremist Israeli settlers raised the Israeli flag on the walls and over the rooftop of al-Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, today in Hebron.

The reconstruction committee in Hebron condemned, in a press statement, this measure and considered it a continuation of ongoing Israeli attempts to alter the character of the mosque and annex it to the list of Jewish heritage sites.

According to the PNN, the committee slammed this Israeli measure as a provocative act andan assault against Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular.

It called on all relevant human rights and humanitarian organizations to take the necessary actions to protect the mosque.

Al-Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the old city of Hebron, few hundred meters away from the part of the city illegally occupied by around 400 extremist settlers, who are protected by about 1,500 Israeli soldiers.

Since 1967, al-Ibrahimi Mosque, like all other Muslim holy sites in Palestine, became a target for the Israeli occupying forces and Zionist settlers, reported the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.
The Mufti of Jerusalem said that "the Ibrahimi Mosque is an Islamic mosque, a place of prayer and worship of Muslims alone."

Of course, Hamas flags flying openly in Judaism's holiest spot are quite fine.

Hamas condemned Israeli flags at the site in 2013:
The Islamic movement expressed in a statement issued on Wednesday its strong rejection of the Israeli provocative move, considering it an attack against the religious and historic stature of this site to millions of Muslims around the world.
The Waqf reacted then with similar hyperbole:
“This is an attack against the religious and historic stature of this site to millions of Muslims around the world,” Tayseer Abu Snaineh, the director of the Wakf (endowment) Department in Hebron, told Saudi Gazette on Thursday, October 3.

He added that the “settlers desecrate this holy mosque and often embarrassed and ridicule Muslims while praying”.

See a pattern?

Muslims have managed to turn outrage into an art, routinely describing the most minor incidents in apocalyptic terms and erasing any real meaning from words. And they do it because it works.