Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Angry Response to Neturei Karta Prayers for Arafat

Angry Response to Neturei Karta Prayers for Arafat 
07:51 Nov-12-04 / 28 Cheshvan 5765

Angry Response to Neturei Karta Prayers for Arafat ( The following media statement was released on Nov 8 in an angry response to Neturei Karta participation in prayers outside the Percy Hospital in France on behalf of Yasser Arafat. The statement released by the United Orthodox Communities of New York which represents a very broad-based Jewish community, which is listed following the statement.

“Further to our public announcement dated 21 April 2002 [9th Iyar 5762], we hereby reiterate and declare that hareidi/hassidic/Orthodox Jews everywhere absolutely reject the treacherous and contemptible conduct of that insignificant and irrelevant group of misfits and Mechalelei Hashem [desecraters of G-d's Name], who have again raised their ugly heads and besmirched and blackened the reputations of observant Jews worldwide.

““Their joining in vigils and 'prayers' for the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat [may his name be blotted out] with Jew-haters of all manner, is an outrage that we cannot ignore and will not forgive. We again demand that rabbis and community leaders of all communities ensure that members of this group are refused entré to all houses of prayer.

““These nefarious associates of Jewry's enemies have unfortunately again succeeded in their crazed hunger for publicity and are being depicted in local and international media - outfitted in their religious attire –– bewailing the impending demise of a mass-murderer –– side-by-side with Palestinian Jew-haters. The shame and embarrassment to decent religious Jews worldwide is unbearable.

““We repeat: this contemptible and minuscule gang of traitors to Judaism, were decades ago barred from our Synagogues and communities. Their refusal to abide by the pronouncements of religious and lay leaders of our communities has made them persona non grata.

““Under no circumstances should the media insinuate that ANY of their actions are associated with the hareidi or hassidic community.

““We urgently request all media outlets to highlight this fact in any report on this group's actions and to clearly state that the Neturei Karta and their advocates have been excommunicated by virtually the entire spectrum of Jewry””.

Representing: Anshei Sfard, Satmar, Bobov, Emunas Yisroel, Ger, Belz, Bnei Yehuda, Nitra, Viznitz, Munkacz, Vien, Klausenburg, Viznitz, Torah Vodaas, Novominsk, Torah Temimah, Chasan Sofer, Kiryas Joel - Monroe, Pupa, Young Israel of Brooklyn, Cong. Shomrei Shabbos, United Lubavitch Organizations of Crown Heights, Kamenitz, Agudath Israel 14th Avenue, United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, Boro Park Jewish Council, Debrecin, US Friends of the Eida Charedis, Lakewood Yeshiva 

Israel Deploying Warships in Red Sea - Iran Following Suit

The IDF on Monday deployed two warships in the Red Sea near the border with Egypt following warnings terrorists are planning another attack on southern Israel from Egyptian soil.
Also on Monday, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered increased deployments across the entire southern command, especially near the Israel-Egypt border, increased.
The move, ostensibly due to increased terror warnings, comes concurrent to Israel's agreement to allow Egypt to deploy 1,500 more troops in areas B and C of the Sinai in order to conduct counter-terror operations on the Peninsula. Area A is the sector adjoining the Israeli-Egyptian border.
Israel's south, especially near the border, has been flooded with military forces, deployed in a manner defined by one security source as "unprecedented."
No changes in security alignments were observed on the Egyptian side of the border, but Egyptian security sources did say counter-terror raids were being staged in honor of Eid al-Fatr - the end of Ramadan - due to fears of increased holiday violence.
The IDF has also deployed advanced technology in the area - including UAVs - in order to thwart terror attacks. Military intelligence sources said earlier Tuesday a terror cell left Gaza intending to infiltrate Israel through Sinai.
The security situation in southern Israel has been particularly tense over the past few weeks, following a series of terror attacks that claimed the lives of eight Israelis in mid-August; as well as several days in which Israel's south and western Negev communities suffered heavy shelling by Gaza Strip-based terror groups.
In a provocative move certain to ratchet-up regional tensions, Iranian naval commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told the state-run agency the Islamic Republic is planning to send its 15th fleet to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The Islamic Republic's 15th fleet is comprised of a submarine and a several warships.                              
Sayyari noted that Iran's Navy plans to have "an active presence in the high seas in line with the guidelines of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei with the purpose of serving the country's interests."
“The presence of Iran's army in the high seas will convey the message of peace and friendship to all countries,” he said.

Ros-Lehtinen Moves to Block PA UN Statehood Bid, Status Upgrade

Florida's Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is determined to stop the Palestinian Authority from carrying out its statehood bid in the United Nations – or at least, from discouraging most of the international community from supporting it.
The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee announced Tuesday she has advanced a measure to block U.S. funding to any U.N. member or group that supports an upgrade to the PA's diplomatic status in the international body next month.
The proposal was folded into a larger bill of legislation being presented in the House of Representatives that will change the way the United States – the U.N.'s biggest contributor -- provides its share of the funding to the U.N. Approximately 22 percent of the U.N. budget and 25 percent of its worldwide peacekeeping costs are covered by the United States.
If passed, the bill will place new controls on American funding at the international body. Under the measure, U.S. funding would be conditional on the United States retaining the ability to choose the programs it wishes to fund at the U.N., and which ones it does not, Reuters reported.
Ros-Lehtinen added a clause opposing the Palestinian Authority's membership in the United Nations as a new country. The PA has announced its intention to seek recognition as a sovereign nation and membership in the U.N. at the international body's General Assembly gathering on September 20.
Membership in the United Nations, however, requires the unanimous approval of all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The United States, one of the Council's permanent members, has already said it would veto such a bid.
Failing that option, the PA could also seek an upgrade from its current observer status to one as a non-member state – a move that only requires a two-thirds approval of the General Assembly, and not the approval of the Security Council. The Republican lawmaker is seeking to block this second bid as well. A harsh critic on the U.N. for some time, Ros-Lehtinen said in her statement, “My bill... seeks to stop this dangerous scheme in its tracks.”

Gantz Warns Terrorists: Don't Test Our Strength

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warned terrorist groups on Tuesday against attacking Israel.
Speaking at a special event marking the 35th anniversary of the IDF’s Shaldag Unit, of which he himself was a commander between 1989 and 1991, Gantz said, “Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza should know that if they harm Israeli citizens we will hit them hard and it would be a mistake on their part to test our strength.”
Gantz also praised the work of the Shaldag Unit in the fight against terror, saying, “When we look at the threats surrounding us, we need operational capabilities, courage and good people, and the Shaldag Unit has been one of our very significant pillars over the years.”
The Shaldag Unit was established in 1976 under the command of Muki Betzer. Shaldag’s mission is to deploy undetected into combat zones and hostile environments in order to conduct special reconnaissance, establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control and commando actions.
Gantz’s comments came as large security forces were spread out along Israel’s border with Egypt due to a heightened terror alert in Israel’s south.
On Tuesday, Minister for Homeland Defense Matan Vilnai warned that a terror cell with more than ten members is in the Sinai desert and will soon attempt to infiltrate into Israel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Syria: Cartoonist's Hands Broken

Ali Ferzat is Syria's best known political cartoonist, a mixture of the UK's Steve Bell or Gerald Scarfe. At 4am on Thursday morning he was picked up off the street in Damascus and dragged into a 4x4 by armed masked men.
They beat him as they drove to the airport road and said: "We will break your hands so that you'll stop drawing."
Then they broke both the bones in both of his hands. His beard was singed, a bag was put over his head before he was dumped by the roadside and told: "This is just a warning."
Mr Ferzat is now in hospital.
Relatives, who spoke to the Associated Press, say they don't know the identity of the assailants but they suspect they were government thugs responding to the cartoonist's public stance against the regime of President Assad - and the recent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrations.
This week he published an online cartoon showing the Syrian president with a suitcase hitching a ride with Libya's Colonel Gaddafi. Caricatures of the Syrian president are forbidden by law, and although Ferzat has drawn the president before, the latest one may have been a cartoon too far. His website, is now inaccessible.
Earlier this month Ferzat told AP: "There are two things in this life that cannot be crushed... the will of God and the will of the people."
He had his hands crushed, but it is doubtful his spirit is broken. The warning given to him by the thugs sounded like a death threat. The world's dictators always fear being ridiculed and they will go to any lengths to prevent it.

Gaza Receives 1,200 Truckloads of Goods and Gas Every Week

IDF Ambulance Attacked with Molotov Cocktail

Money talks - even at the UN

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen knows just how to deal with the 'Palestinian' bid for 'statehood' at the United Nations:Threaten their funding.
In 1989, Yasser Arafat’s PLO also pushed for membership for a “Palestinian state” in UN entities. The PLO’s strategy looked unstoppable until the George H.W. Bush administration made clear that the U.S. would cut off funding to any UN entity that upgraded the status of the Palestinian observer mission in any way. The UN was forced to choose between isolating Israel and receiving U.S. contributions, and they chose the latter. The PLO’s unilateral campaign was stopped in its tracks.

This example demonstrates a simple but needed lesson: At the UN, money talks, and smart withholding works.

With Arafat’s successors up to the same tricks today, the U.S. response must be as strong. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has consistently refused to use our strongest leverage — our financial contributions — to advance U.S. interests at the UN. If the executive branch will not demonstrate leadership on this issue, Congress must fill the void.

I will soon introduce the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act, which will reflect the executive branch’s previous successful policies by cutting off U.S. contributions to any UN entity that grants membership or any other upgraded status to the Palestinian observer mission. This legislation will also leverage U.S. taxpayer dollars to make sure they do not fund biased or wasteful UN activities, and to achieve other much-needed reforms that will make the UN more transparent, accountable, objective, and effective.

It is time to use all our leverage to stop this unilateral Palestinian scheme — for the sake of our ally Israel and all free democracies, for the sake of peace and security, and for the sake of achieving a UN that upholds its founding principles.
There's one small problem: George H.W. Bush (also known as Bush I, Bush 41 or Bush the Father) was not a great lover of Israel. Obama makes him look like one. Can anyone really see Obama NOT vetoing this bill? I suppose Congress can refuse to fund UN activities, but I doubt that will stop Obama and Clinton from continuing to do so.

Monday, August 29, 2011

VIDEO SATIRE: HonestReporting Looks at the Light Side of Life

"Fighting for America"

NBC’s Bob Dotson shares the story of a group of German-born Jewish soldiers who were a part of a secret World War II mission and dubbed “The Ritchie Boys.” Secret soldiers who fought Nazis emerge from shadows. 

Moshe Arens on Peace, Tyrants, and Dealing with Gaza

Professor Moshe Arens, former Defense Minister and former Ambassador to the U.S., spoke to Arutz Sheva about the issues facing the nation, including anarchy in Sinai, hostility in Egypt, and whether or not to go to war in Gaza.

You voted against the peace treaty with Egypt. Today we see growing calls in Egypt to cancel it. Is this what you were afraid of when you voted against it?

I objected because there was no reason, after they attacked us four times and were defeated, to give them back what they lost. There is no precedent for that in the history of international relations. So I thought we needed to insist on much better terms.

What do you have to say about the bringing down of the Israeli flag at the Cairo embassy, the threats on the ambassador's life and the calls to cancel the peace treaty?

In case it wasn't already clear, we are now learning that it is much easier to reach a deal with a dictator and tyrant than with a country in a state of anarchy, like Egypt today. Sadat and Mubarak were tyrants, and the assumption was that we could trust their word because they would make sure it was implemented.

Now we need to thank the Creator and rejoice over the fact that those who wanted to reach a deal exchanging the Golan for peace, failed. If they had not, we would now see in the Golan what we see in Sinai.

What do you think we can expect in Sinai after losing all our bartering chips there?

It's anarchy. We're dependent on what happens in Egypt. We still don't see something stabilizing there. With anarchy, anything can happen... Nobody rules in Sinai. The Bedouins who work with Hamas terrorists are in charge there, and we are paying the price.

What should we do in this reality, where there's a threat, but on the other hand they are warning us to do what we can to maintain ties with Egypt in light of the sensitivity?

It doesn't depend on us, but on what happens in Egypt. We must remember that the source of the trouble is Gaza, whether things come from Gaza directly, or indirectly via Sinai. The source is in Gaza and that is what we need to deal with.

Also in Gaza, they tell us the situation is complex. The world is watching... How should we react there, do you think?

The problem in Gaza is different. The problem is that we didn't finish the work in Cast Lead. The minute we didn't finish the work, and left Hamas with thousands of missiles and the ability to replenish its supplies, we knew that the day would come when we would have to deal with it again.

The problem is that for various reasons, including international considerations, we don't have an operation like that twice a week. When we were in there, we needed to finish, and I believe we'll need to find an opportunity to do so.

As long as Hamas rules there and has the ability to threaten Israeli citizens in the south and beyond, and as long as they have the groups they claim not to have control over like Islamic Jihad, as long as that's the situation, what happened is what will happen, and we will have no choice but to go in to Gaza.

With all due respect to 'Iron Dome,' an important technological achievement, it cannot defend our citizens against thousands of missiles.

GOP Hopeful Herman Cain in Israel: Jerusalem Is One GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, who won a straw vote in Georgia, says dividing Jerusalem “is not even a consideration.”

Republican party presidential hopeful Herman Cain, who won a straw vote in Georgia on Saturday, said in Israel on Sunday that dividing Jerusalem “is not even a consideration.” He walked to the site that is designated for the United States embassy in Jerualem, a move he supports but which has been blocked by several presidents, including Barack Obama.

Speaking to reporters Sunday, Cain made it clear that “Israel is more interested in peace than the Palestinians” and it has “given up enough in terms of trying to facilitate peace.”
Cain, a highly successful businessman from Georgia, won his first statewide straw vote Saturday, winning 232 votes more than Congressman Ron Paul, which was a better result than Paul’s supporters expected. Texas Governor Rick Perry came in third place, followed by Congressman Newt Gingrich.
Cain said his non-political background is exactly what American voters want and asserted that mainstream media have tried to brainwash the public that money and a high political position are prerequisites to be president.
“I don’t have a zillion dollars,” Cain said, “and I get spontaneous applause every time I say I have not held a public office. Concerning the entry of Texas Governor Rick Perry in the crowded GOP race for the nomination next year, Cain marked him off “as just one more politician to beat.”

He pointed out that independent Gallup polls have shows his “identity” rating double than what it was eight weeks ago, and his “positivity rating" is higher than that of any other candidate. "People like me," he said.
Concerning Israel, Cain, who is credited with saving Godfather’s Pizza frombankruptcy, said if president, he would review the case of Jonathan Pollard, incarcerated for life for passing on to Israel classified information.
An increasing number of past and present American officials have said that Pollard did not get a fair trial and that his sentence was unjust, considering the offense usually carries 2-4 years in prison.
Cain also noted that the small area of Israel requires it to hold on the Golan Heights, which he saw as strategically important.

Awesome interview with Representative Allen West

There was an awesome interview with RepresentativeAllen West (R-Fl) in Friday's JPost.
You are meeting tomorrow with the Palestinian Authority leadership. What is your message to them?

There is one very simple question I would ask: Do you really believe you are a credible peace partner? Because I think with the reconciliation pact with Hamas, that is a very telling thing. The fact is that they are trying to back-door the process by going to the UN for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, when we don’t have a firm recognition of Israel, we don’t have the renouncing of terrorism. I would also ask, what is a Palestinian state? It is something that never existed before.

And even the word Palestine.

You take it back to Palestina – which comes from Philistia – which was nothing but a declaration by Roman Emperor Hadrian in 73 AD.

This is a region, it is not anything tied to a certain group of people; it would be just the same as saying we should have an Appalachian state, separate from North Carolina. It’s those questions I’d like to ask.

Do you support two states for two peoples?

I think that you have to first of all support the modern-day state of Israel. I think you have to support Israel post the ’67 borders. Now, I am not going to sit here and dictate to Israel what their polices should be, but my perspective on it is that I have never seen a Palestinian state, and I think before that ever gets talked about, there are some concessions that have to be made on their side: the recognition of Israel and the renouncing of terrorism.

And once again it comes back to those very important words: a credible peace partner.

I think the last thing you need to have is an erosion of your state of security. Look at what is going on right now. You gave back Gaza and the only thing you got in return were Kassam rockets and 220-millimeter [mortar shells]. You pulled out of southern Lebanon, and what did you get? You got a more militant Hezbollah, which during the Second Lebanon War rained down rockets and missiles.

So I think the other side needs to come to the table and show they are a credible partner before we continue to say to Israel, “This is what you must do, and that you must believe in a two-state solution.”

And I think the other thing we have to do is a better job on the information, propaganda side of this thing... I remember during the flotilla incident, I was sitting there looking at the TV with my wife, and I said, “They have paint guns on their backs.” She said, “How can you tell?” And I said, “I can tell the silhouette of a paint gun.” So you did everything necessary to try and have less of a confrontation, but yet you were attacked.

What I told people in America was to think about what if America was participating in a sanctioned blockade, and all of a sudden we boarded ships, and our Navy SEALs were attacked, what would you expect our Navy SEALs to do? We should allow Israel to do the exact same thing.

If you have rockets and missiles coming in out of Mexico over into the Texas territory, guess what we are going to do? We are going to defend our sovereignty. So why should we expect Israel to do anything less?


There are those who argue, however, that no matter how good the messenger, the message won’t be received because there is a double standard toward Israel and the Jews. 
Yes, there is a horrific double standard. We, as your best ally, need to help you on that.

Because a lot of our media sources follow that duplicitous hypocrisy as well. We need to do better in our country.

Look, there is no better bond than the bond between American and Israel. I grew up in Georgia. I grew up knowing probably more about this country through Sunday school, Bible study and everything before I was a high school graduate, than maybe a lot of people who live here in this region. So that when I came here in 2009, it was just the same as me coming home.

A part of me is here.

This is my wife’s first time here, and a part of her is here because of the Judeo-Christian faith heritage that we share, the values that we share, the democracy that we share, the sense of liberty and freedom.

We need to understand that we are in this fight together and what is being done to Israel is also being done to America, so as Israel falls, then guess who is the next target – America. Because America and Israel are truly the beacons and shining light in this world.

I call it a sea of darkness of despots, dictators, theocrats and autocrats. If we let the light go out here, there is no doubt that the next target is the next shining light. So I think we have to do a better job with Israel in helping getting that message across.

You mention the strong Israeli-US bonds. Has President Barack Obama hurt those – have they been weakened over the last three years?

I won’t say that it has been weakened; it has definitely been shaken. I think that when you make the declarations that he has made in some instances, that is very hurtful.

I would have thought that going into his third year [as president], he would have come to visit Israel and show that support, show that bond, show that closeness and stand here. It was a great event when Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu came and spoke at the joint session of Congress [in May], and I would expect the American president to come here and address the Knesset just as well – to show that inextricable bond, to show that we are two countries which have roots that are just so intertwined.

Do you think President Obama has hurt Israel?

I think that President Obama has left a question mark with a lot of the Israelis. They are really not sure which direction things are going. You may see this, but then you get that. So there is a lot of uncertainty, and really when you talk to people in the US, that is the big theme, uncertainty – be it in our financial markets, our unemployment situation, debt deficit, foreign policy, whatever, there is just a lot of uncertainty.
Read the whole thing. He's awesome.

When we're defiant, they respect us

Yoram Ettinger writes that saying 'no' - even to the United States - need not be the end of the World for Israel. In fact, Ettinger claims that saying no has worked out quite well.
In 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered the bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor. In 1982, he launched a comprehensive war on the Palestinian Liberation Organization's terrorist headquarters in Lebanon. Both operations were executed irrespective of bullying and pressure from the U.S. and notwithstanding the fragile 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Begin realized that failing to eradicate these threats would imperil Israel's survival, erode its power of deterrence and thus undermine Israel's deterrence-driven peace with Egypt and its strategic cooperation with the U.S.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Israel-Egypt peace treaty did not collapse. Once again, Arab leaders did not rush to rescue the PLO, demonstrating that the Palestinian issue was not a crown jewel of Arab policymaking. Moreover, Egypt – just like all other Arab countries – would not sacrifice its own national interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.

While the U.S. Administration condemned Israel for the large scale military operations, and imposed a brief military embargo, these operations resulted in the 1981 and 1983 strategic Memoranda of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, which enhanced joint national security projects, upgrading Israel's long-term strategic posture.

From 1983 to 1992, during his two terms as prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir was severely criticized by U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush for crushing Palestinian terrorism during the First Intifada and expanding Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. At the same time, however, U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation was bolstered at an unprecedented level while he was in power. Washington recognized that U.S.-Israel cooperation never revolved around the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mutually-beneficial U.S.-Israel ties were based upon shared values, common threats such as Islamic terrorism, ballistic missiles and rogue regimes, and joint interests such as research and development and job creation in the high-tech market and in the defense industries.

In August 1948, U.S. Ambassador to Israel James McDonald recorded Prime Minister David Ben Gurion's response to the American demand (accompanied by a regional military embargo) to end the "occupation" of Arab land or agree to a land swap, to accept the internationalization of Jerusalem and to allow the return of the Arab refugees: "Speaking with solemn emphasis, [Ben Gurion] added that as much as Israel desired friendship with the U.S. and full cooperation with it and the U.N., there were limits beyond which it could go. Israel cannot yield to anything which, in its judgment, would threaten its independence or its security. The very fact that Israel is a small state makes more necessary the scrupulous defense of its own interests; otherwise it would be lost … Ben Gurion warned President [Harry S.] Truman and the State Department that they would be gravely mistaken if they assumed that the threat or even the use of U.N. sanctions would force Israel to yield on issues considered vital to its independence and security. [He] left no doubt that he was determined to resist, at whatever cost, 'unjust and impossible demands.' On these he could not compromise ["My Mission," 1951, pp. 49-50]."

Ben Gurion's defiance transformed Washington's image of the Jewish state from a strategic liability to a potential strategic asset.

Demonstrators block 'humanitarian aid' trucks from going to Gaza for Gilad Shalit's birthday

On Sunday, Gilad Shalit 'celebrated' his 6th birthday in captivity, turning 25 years old. A group of demonstrators tried to block the 'humanitarian aid' trucks from entering Gaza (you can see for yourselves how many and how many there are) and tried to slip notes in Arabic to the people of Gaza inside the crates. They get roughed up by the truck drivers. 

Civilian Attack Dog Unit - Join K9 Jewish Legion

IBF - Israel's Best Friend is an NGO (Non Goverment Organization) and NPO (Non Profit Organization) that has been training protection dogs and dog handlers for the explicit purpose of supplying canine protection for Jewish towns and outposts in Judea and Samaria. Muslim Terrorists, who consider dogs unclean, fear our Malinois and Dobermans more than they fear firearms and airstrikes. Donate or join our program at: In this video, the revenants train dogs to fight 'Palestinian' terrorists. 

Clueless anti-Israel protesters exposed

Someone with a camera challenges anti-Israel protesters, including some Jews, in Harvard Square earlier this week. The first person being asked questions is Nancy Murray who is a Director of Education at ACLU-Massachusetts. 

Bris of the Belzer rebbe's grandson Rabbi Elyashiv is sandek

Hirsch Invitation Invites Yidden to Wedding in “Meah Shearim, Palestine”

One could say that it is a new low for the group of fringe fanatics who hijacked the name “Neturei Karta” and have engaged in all sorts of reprehensible behavior, from meeting and embracing some of the world greatest anti-Semites to just recently publically mocking one of the gedolei hador. The latest insanity appears on an invitation sent out by the family of Moshe Hirsch, one of the heads of Neturei Karta who died earlier this year.
 The invitation is for the upcoming wedding of a daughter of Mordechai Yehoshua Hirsch, a son of Moshe Hirsch, at the home of the kallah’s parents.
The wedding, the invitation says, will “take place on Shabbos Parshas Shoftim, the eve of 4 Elul, at the home of the kallah’s parents, in Meah Shearim, Yerushalayim Ihr Hakodesh Tovev”a, Palestine.”
Not in Israel, not Eretz Yisroel, but Palestine.
It remains to be seen how much further these individuals will degenerate.
Moshe Hirsch, grandfather of the kallah, officially served as Yasser Arafat’s “Minister for Jewish Affairs of the Palenstinian Authority.”
The kallah is Chaya Sarah Nechama Hirsch. The chosson, Menachem Mendel Reuven Gefner, is a son of Tzvi Hirsch Gefner.
The chasunah will be held at 37 Rechov Ein Yaakov in Meah Shearim - Palestine, according to the baalei simcha.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

John Hagee speech at Glenn Beck event in Israel

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at Glenn Beck event in Israel

From Egypt to Jerusalem in 1930 by train. Holy sites.

360 Degrees From Tel Shiloh (And From the Excavation Season)

Finding Our Voices

With more than 10,000 millionaires, why is Israel still a charity case? At what point should the Diaspora communities say to Israelis that enough is enough- we will give, but we will not allow those in your own society to shirk their responsibilities?

The past few years have seen a whole new generation of wealth being created within Israel. The collective worth of Israeli’s 16 billionaires stands at just over 45 billion dollars and Israel now hosts 10,153 millionaires, a 20-percent increase from the previous fiscal year.
With all this money sloshing around at the top of the system, it’s more than a little disappointing that Israeli soup kitchens still feel the need to come around to the global Jewish diaspora, cap in hand, looking for vital donations to help those on the bread line in Israel
Ofer Brothers
Sammy and Yuli Ofer from the Ofer Brothers Group.

Jewish communities worldwide are happy to put their hands in their pockets to help out in crisis scenarios. For example, when the Galilee needed rebuilding after the second Lebanon war, living bridges were developed to link communities abroad to communities in Israel.
Every Jewish community wants to see their name on the side of a Magen David Adom ambulance and there is an intrinsic Zionist value in giving to essential Israeli services. However, there is a difference between giving to feel bonded to the country and society, and giving out of necessity because funds could not be secured at home.
A renewed focus on Israel-Diaspora relations is examining the connection of young Jews to Israel across the world. This relationship has, for far too long, been defined by wire transfers. As a British Jew I would be embarrassed if Jewish Care, one of the major welfare charities in the U.K., needed to go abroad to ensure its survival. Yet it seems this shame is not felt by the Israeli wealthy elite who have no issue with their own society’s poor looking elsewhere for desperately needed charity.
Israeli philanthropy is its nascent phase, standing at only 0.7% of GDP compared to 0.73% in the U.K. and 2.1% in the US. Foreign donations account for a whopping 62% of all given money in Israel.
The inability to raise funds locally has many culprits and comes on the back of a history of dependence. With homegrown philanthropy being a relatively new phenomenon in Israel, it is easier for charities to go abroad to raise cash than to turn to the new wealthy class.
No one wants welfare charities to go without, but there needs to be some motivation for Israelis to fund their own society. At what point should the communities in the Diaspora say to Israelis that enough is enough- we will give, but we will not allow those in your own society to shirk their responsibilities?
It is not only the newly minted wealthy in Israel who are to blame. International donors like being feted, and if the Diaspora begins giving less, it will diminish their role in Israeli society. This would not necessarily be a bad thing, with Diaspora Jews often toting different political agendas than Israeli voters.
Israel might also not be ready for the demands that big philanthropy brings – the $20 million Ofer donation to Tel Aviv Museum of the Artsbeing a case in point.
However, the current relationship is unhealthy for both Israel and Diaspora communities. If, as the Hartmann Institute has intimated, a new relationship between Israel and the Diaspora is to be founded beyond that of crisis, then foreign vs. local giving needs to be part of this conversation.
An Israel that is a member of the OECD should no longer be a charity case. I want to give to Israel because I need to, not because it needs me to.
Joel Braunold is a Bnei Akiva alumnus and a former staff member of OneVoice Europe who is currently studying at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Rabbi Rafael Halperin z”l: From Pro-Wrestler to Businessman to Mechaber Seforim

Rabbi Rafael Halperin passed away on Shabbos at age 87. He died at home following a lengthy struggle with cancer, and was buried in his hometown of Bnei Brak on Motzoei Shabbos.
Rabbi Halperin was a colorful figure whose many accomplishments included pro wrestling awards, publishing an encyclopedia and a successful Shabbos-observant business empire along with Torah learning and increasing Jewish observance.
Born in Vienna in 1924, he was an adolescent when his parents decided to move to British Mandate Palestine. Though given a religious education, the young Rafael, unlike his peers at school, was always interested in athletics and bodybuilding.
His interest in bodybuilding may have been sparked by an anti-Semitic incident during his childhood that begot a need to prove that Jews were not the nebbishes depicted in cartoons and comic strips but could hold their own in a fight.
Rafael became a champion weightlifter and the national karate champion. He also did well as a boxer before turning to wrestling.
After fighting in the War of Independence, Rafael went to America to seek his fortune.
Upon arriving, he antagonized some of the corrupt elements in the professional wrestling business because he refused to take a fall. A man of integrity, he was in the ring to win. Legend has it that he won 159 consecutive matches.
After wrestling as “Mr. Israel” for Vince McMahon Sr.’s Capitol Wrestling in the United States and Canada, Rafael returned to Israel, determined to popularize professional wrestling as a sport and to make Israelis more fitness conscious.
He opened a chain of bodybuilding fitness centers named Shimshon, and he promoted healthy eating. He placed a great deal of emphasis on good nutrition.
He also tried his hand at coffee shops, restaurants and jewelry enterprises. He was also a skilled diamond cutter.
Once he was back in Israel, Rafael, despite his athletic pursuits, which in those days did not go hand in glove with a Torah education, went back to studying Torah. He earnedsemicha and wrote many seforim, including an encyclopedia.
Rafael went back to the army as a reservist during the Yom Kippur War. Because of his many contacts he was able to arrange for perks for his fellow soldiers.
Strongly guided by religious values, he opened a chain of optical stores, in which he sold eyeglasses at affordable prices, that grew to more than 120 stores.
As time passed, Rafael became increasingly observant, and became an outspoken opponent against business of any kind being conducted on Shabbos.
He is survived by his wife, Bertie, sons Yaakov, Moshe, Shmuel, David and Yehuda, and daughters Chaya and Ettie, as well as more than 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
{JPost/Arutz Sheva/ Israel}

PMW: Official PA daily cartoon: All of Israel is "Palestine" and there can be no compromise

The Palestinian Authority is telling its people that peace with Israel is not a goal. Instead, the PA says that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that no compromise is acceptable because this principle is "the only red line." This message was expressed by the regular cartoonist, Muhammad Sabaaneh, in the official PA daily. 

Published this week, his cartoon displayed a map of all of Israel (excluding the Golan Heights) and the PA areas, with the following text written across the map:

The cartoon is a clear example of the PA's lack of recognition of Israel's right to exist, and sends a message that the PA's real goal is a complete dismantling of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state. This sentiment is implicit in PA ideology but only occasionally is it expressed so explicitly in its controlled media.  

Palestinian Media Watch has reported that the PA continuously presents all of Israel as "Palestine." In recent months, this message appeared in cultural and educational settings.

The following are examples of recent PA events presenting all of Israel as "Palestine":

Fatah event broadcast on PA TV, held in the presence of Mahmoud Abbas and many other senior PA officials:

"We commit and promise to stand behind you, oh Mahmoud Abbas, until Judgment Day. I am returning to you, the purest land, oh land of the free. No matter how long the nights of exile, I am returning to you, oh land. From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra (northern Israel) our coast, and Beit Shean (Israeli city). Above your soil, oh my land, is a picture of Garden of Eden. From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra our coast, and Beit Shean. Above your soil, oh my land, is a picture of Garden of Eden. From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra, north and south, are the picture's borders. From Haifa (Israeli city) and Tantura to the [Jordan] valley (i.e., all of Israel). I am returning to you, the purest land, oh land of the free."
[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 27, May 12, 27, and July 15, 2011]

Music video on PA TV, claiming numerous Israeli cities are Palestinian: 

"Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, and Nazareth are ours. [I] Muhammad sing about the Galilee and the Golan (Heights).
Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Nazareth are ours.
[I] Kabha sing about the Galilee and the Golan (Heights).
From Bethlehem to Jenin is Palestinian,
Ramle, Lod and Sakhnin are Palestinian.
Nowhere is more beautiful than Jerusalem;
no matter how much we travel
From Safed to Al-Badhan (near Nablus) is Palestinian;
Tiberias and Ashkelon are Palestinian."
[Palestinian TV (Fatah), June 24, July 14 and twice July 15, 2011]

Song and dance broadcast on PA TV, with lyrics depicting all of Israel as part of "my country Palestine": 

"Oh flying bird, circling around,
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.
Turn to Safed, and then to Tiberias,
and send regards to the sea of Acre and Haifa.
Don't forget Nazareth - the Arab fortress,
and tell Beit Shean about its people's return.
Oh flying bird, circling around...
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.
Go to Jenin and bring me from its valley
greetings to Nablus, Tulkarem and their soil.
Drink the water of Jaffa's port,
don't forget Ramle and Ramallah.
Oh flying bird, circling around...
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 13 and June 24, 2011]

In addition, the PA continues to deny Israel's right to exist, calling all of Israel "an occupation," "stolen" and more.

The following are examples of the PA calling Israel "an occupation":

Official PA daily calls: Israel "Palestine occupied in 1948": 

Headline: "Under the auspices of the Prime Minister [Abbas] and with an unprecedented official and popular turnout - commencement of the third Summer Nights in Jerusalem Festival in Beit Anan"

"Husam Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the Cultural Forum Center in Beit Anan, which is organizing the festival, estimated that since its commencement two years ago, the festival has immortalized cultural and geographical [Palestinian] diversity in its events, and that this year this diversity will be highlighted through the hosting of artists and groups from all the Palestinian districts as well as fromPalestine occupied in 1948 (i.e., Israel)."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 16, 2011]

Official PA daily calls Israel "the territories occupied in 1948": 

"Under the slogan, 'Palestine is closer: Lod shall remain', the 'Khutwa' youth group, in cooperation with a group of Palestinian youth from the West Bank and from the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., Israel), held a charity performance to support the resolve of our people in the occupied Palestinian city of Lod...
Manal Taha, one of the organizers of the event... [said that Israel's aim is] to threaten the resolve within the occupying entity, which continues through the actions of the authorities in Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, Jerusalem, and other occupied Palestinian cities. She added, 'Through this event we hope to turn the spotlight onto the suffering of our people in the Interior (i.e., in Israel). In addition, we aim for this event to be a first step on the road to restoring the spiritual connection between Palestinians wherever they may be, by carrying out other activities in the future for these purposes. Taha called upon everyone to participate in this activity, whose aim is to energize the connection between the Palestinians of the territories occupied in 1948 and [those in] the territories occupied in 1967."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 23, 2011]

Official PA daily states that Israel - "the territories occupied in 1948" - is "currently under the rule of the occupation": 

"If you climb the Khirbat Safa Hills [in the West Bank] and look with your eyes towards what the Israeli occupation and its settlers have seized, your eyes will well up and cause you to weep twice: once over the territories occupied in 1948 (i.e., year of Israel's creation), which are currently under the rule of the occupation. The Safa Hills look out over wide expanses of these territories, and sometimes you can see the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Ashkelon (i.e., Israeli city), and even Tal Al-Rabi'a "Tel Aviv", upon which the occupation has consolidated its control."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 31, 2011]

The following are examples of the PA calling Israel "stolen": 

In a 12th-Grade schoolbook published by the PA Ministry of Education, and in use today: 

"Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel."
[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, Grade 12, p. 104]

Narrator in PA TV broadcast addresses Israelis, asking them to leave, because Israel has no right to exist:

"Where are you [Israelis] from? Where are you from? Where are you from? Of course, you're from Ukraine; of course, you're from Germany, from Poland, from Russia, from Ethiopia, the Falasha (pejorative for Ethiopian Jews). Why have you stolen my homeland and taken my place? Please, I ask of you, return to your original homeland, so that I can return to my original homeland. This is my homeland; go back to your homeland!"
[PA TV (Fatah), May 4 and 7, 2010] 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gene Simmons; Family Jewels

Jerusalem from a bird's eye: The Ramparts Walk; CITYSIGHTS: Discover the four quarters of the Old City by walking on the 50-foot-tall, 2,000-year-old walls.

Safed Annual Klayzmer Festival

Sunday, August 28, is Gilad Shalit's 24th birthday

Israel Bashers Note: Israel Defense Forces Training US Marines

yosef-idfThe narrow streets and tall cement buildings of the world-renowned IDF Urban Warfare Training Center echoed with shouts in flawless English last week as U.S. Marine Corps soldiers delved into another close-quarters-battle drill. As part of the cooperation between IDF ground forces and the U.S. Marine Corps force stationed in Europe, a company of U.S. Marines came to Israel for a month of intensive training alongside IDF soldiers at IDF facilities. Dividing their time between the Adam Base in central Israel and the Tze’elim Base in the south, the soldiers trained in urban warfare, reconnaissance and target shooting.
As they embarked on a training exercise at the UWTC, Platoon Sgt. Robert Hattenbach explained, “We’ve never been to a mock town like that of the IDF.” He noted the facility’s size and unique structure. “It’s important for our soldiers to train in different sites, preparing them for anything,” he said. The Marines were thrilled to train at the city, raving about its realistic feel.
A smoke grenade hit the floor, rapidly secreting thick smoke of a vibrant color used for camouflage against the lurking enemy. Yelling out commands, M4s ready, Marines snuck from building to building, clearing out every room and securing their objective. The success of the operation is determined by the captain, and the “enemy” is a squad of the Marines platoon, hiding inside each multiple story building, waiting for the other squads to find them. “By training here, we can better combat terrorism in any area and field,” Hospital Corpsman HM1 Raymond Price elaborated. “Coming to Israel has been an inspirational trip. It’s beautiful to see how Israel has managed to preserve so many years of history, culture and tradition.”
“This trip was a serious wake up call,” said Sgt. Hattenbach. “The instructors at the Adam Base took the time to explain to us what’s been going on in Israel and we realized that Israeli people are just like us. We now better understand what Israel really is and when we go back to the U.S. we can tell people that.”
During earlier exercises that involved IDF forces, the U.S. Marines were impressed by their Israeli counterparts. “The tactics used by the snipers and special forces are much more efficient,” said Cpl. Lombard. “They also focus more on the safety of each individual soldier rather than the mission.”
The company is one of the only young Marines units; all at around 19 years old, they are close in age to IDF soldiers and were able to form close bonds. However, unlike IDF soldiers, the Marines volunteered to enlist. “We have a responsibility for our country,” the Marines said, “You can’t just sit at home hearing of everything going on in the world and remain idle.”
This particular company, the Marine Corps Fast Team Security Forces, enlisted for five years, three of which they spend deployed to Europe or Africa. After further infantry training, they are sent to battle fronts in either Iraq or Afghanistan.Before departing Israel, the company will go for a well-deserved rest at the Dead Sea.

Delta says it won’t ask customers to disclose religion

Delta Airlines announced that it will not ask its customers to disclose their religious affiliation, despite partnering with Saudi Arabian Airlines.
The announcement followed a controversy two months ago when a Delta spokesperson suggested that, because Saudi Arabian Airlines was joining the SkyTeam Alliance, Delta might have to refuse boarding to passengers with Israel stamps on their passports. The Saudi government requires that travelers disclose their religion, and American Jews and others with Israeli stamps in their passports have been refused visas to the country.
At the time, the Delta spokesperson said that the airline “must comply with all applicable laws in every country it serves” because it would face fines if a passenger arrives at a destination without proper documents.
In a letter sent last week to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Delta Senior Vice President Andrea Fischer Newman wrote: “Delta employees do not currently and will not in the future, request that customers declare their religious affiliation. We would also not seek such information on behalf of any SkyTeam partner or any airline.”
Delta officials met with the Wiesenthal Center's Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper at the center's headquarters in Los Angeles to clarify the airline’s policy.
“Delta has now done the right thing, sending a signal to the Saudis that it will not cooperate with Riyadh’s policy of religious apartheid," Cooper said in a statement. "We hope that all other U.S.-based airlines around the world will declare and follow a similar policy. We also urge the Obama administration to lead the way in demanding that the Saudis drop their overt policy of religious discrimination."