March 31, 2008

The Jewish Left wants the US to pressure Israel

By Ted Belman

Following up on my article Liberal Jews support Obama in part because they blame the Jews too in which I pointed out that “progressive Jews” were naturally allies of Obama, I came upon this Prospect Magazine article by Gershom Gorenberg entitled A Liberal Jewish Lobby

The power of the “Israel Lobby” in the US is hard to measure exactly. But its hawkish positions do conflict with the views, and interests, of most American Jews. So why isn’t there a more dovish lobby to counter it? One is, finally, about to be unveiled.

For a long time now the Jewish Left have been trying to break the “stranglehold” AIPAC has on the US Congress and Senate. And so have Carter, Mearsheimer and Walt.

The problem as Gershom Gorenberg sees it,

Lobbyists can only bend foreign relations so far. America’s basic interests constrain its policy towards the middle east, yet those interests are neither self-evident nor consistent with one another. The problem was stated over 40 years ago by McGeorge Bundy, who was President Johnson’s national security adviser until 1966. When the six-day war broke out in June 1967, Bundy was called back to the White House. A month later, he wrote a nine-page “framework of policy” for US relations with the middle east.

The Bundy doctrine’s bottom line is that US interests contradict each other: the US is committed to Israel’s survival, but also to good relations with pro-western Arab states that would like America to tilt against Israel. The war showed that US influence is limited; Washington could not even “dissuade some of our best friends among the Arabs from joining in the gang-up” against Israel. Even when Washington disagrees with Israeli policy, Bundy says, it should provide enough arms for Israel to defend itself. For if Israel faced defeat, the US “would confront the… painful and unattractive choices” of whether to send its own troops into battle.

Forty years on, much of Bundy’s description remains valid. It is easier, even cheaper, for America to keep Israel strong than to defend it directly. But Washington must also accommodate Arab allies. The Bundy doctrine implies that getting Arabs and Israelis to agree a peace deal would resolve the contradictions in US policy—and would be the best guarantee of Israeli security. The question then becomes one of how much the US should lean towards providing for Israel’s immediate security needs, and how much it should be pushing Israel towards a peace agreement as a strategic solution.

The Jewish left favours pushing Israel harder in the interests of the US. They argue though it is in the interests of Israel.

AIPAC is not the slightest bit hawkish. It merely supports the policies of the Government of Israel and never goes against it. It is a convenient scapegoat for the Left. Otherwise the Jewish Left would have to convince the US to go against Israel.

The Jewish Left know that it doesn’t have the democratic power to get Israel to support its policies so it looks to the US to exert its “influence”.

As far back as 2005 N.Y. Jewish leaders lobbied Rice on Gaza border deal

Following the meeting, the forum also sent her a policy paper in which it urged the U.S. to take “aggressive” action on three issues.

“The three steps that should be implemented in tandem, rather than in sequence, are as follows: Unambiguous and effective efforts by the PA to control terror and prevent attacks on Israelis; an Israeli freeze on extending existing settlements, including roads and other associated infrastructure, and removal of unauthorized settlement outposts; and efforts to help grow the Palestinian economy so the Palestinian Authority can provide jobs and basic services for Palestinians. This effort would help strengthen the PA’s position among the various Palestinian factions, including Hamas.”

Sound familiar?

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, said it was not uncommon for Jewish organizations to lobby the administration to exert pressure on Israel. Foxman himself opposes such activity, but said the IPF, Americans for Peace Now and sometimes the Reform Movement all engage in it.

Just prior to Annapolis, they offered Rice Constructive ideas for the November Conference

The “guide” suggests that the administration be ready with its own bridging proposals for the substance of a November Declaration: “the Bush administration cannot remain on the sidelines for long.” Their “illustrative” proposals for a successful statement make sense and are based on the Ayalon-Nusseibah plan with a little Geneva Initiative thrown in. One novel piece of framing that the IPF guide proposes is what they call a ‘facilitating agreement’ that would also be produced for November and would sit along side the substantive declaration. This facilitating agreement seems to essentially be a new way to reintroduce Roadmap phase I issues, such as security, settlement freeze, outpost removal, closure and prisoner release. Indeed, the former officials do not mention the Roadmap - not even once - in their guide paper. I think they are right. One of the more useful outcomes in November would be to finally bury the farce known as the Roadmap.

More recently Haaretz Editor Asked US Secretary of State to “Rape” Israel
Obama and all his advisers (McPeak, Power, Brzezinski, and so on) believe that Mearsheimer and Walt are correct in believing that, but for the power of the Israel Lobby, the US would be free to tilt more in favour of the Arabs. They see that in the interests of the US and so does the Jewish Left.

March 27, 2008

Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST 3/24/08

Moshav Tzipori, in the Lower Galilee, is a microcosm of the
history of the Land of Israel. A regional capital under King
Herod, Tzipori was the seat of Jewish learning and the
preservation of the Torah through some of the most tumultuous
periods of Jewish history.

After the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70
CE, refugees from Jerusalem fled to the Galilean town. Rabbi
Yehuda Hanassi, who presided over the writing of the Mishna, or
oral law, moved to Tzipori from Beit Shearim, and it was there
that he codified the six books of the Mishna and died.

The Jews of Tzipori revolted against the Roman Emperor
Constantine, refusing to accept Christianity and the city was
destroyed. The Jews later returned during the Islamic period. On
and off, for the next millennia, Jews settled, were forcibly
removed and resettled the city several times under various
conquerors of Israel.

During the 1948 War of Independence, the ancient city was the
site of a major battle between the new Israel Defense Force and
the neighboring Arab villages assisted by invading forces from
Syria and Lebanon. The Arabs were routed. In 1949, Moshav Tzipori
was founded.

LAST FRIDAY afternoon, the struggle for Jewish control of
Tzipori, the Galilee and the Land of Israel as a whole continued
on the ancient ground. On that quiet afternoon of Purim, under
the blistering sun, three horses stood happily grazing in a field
of shrubs and grasses. The only problem with the otherwise
pastoral scene was that the horses belong to Arab squatters from
the Kablawi clan. In recent years, the Kablawis have built
themselves an illegal village of some 20 houses masquerading as
storage containers on stolen Jewish National Fund land adjacent
to Tzipori's fields. The horses, who entered through a hole cut
into the field's fence, pranced about and ate, destroying the
field that was painstakingly cultivated for the moshav's cattle

The farmers and ranchers of the Galilee, like their counterparts
in the Negev are at wits' end. Fearing Arab riots or political
condemnation by the Israeli Left, Arab leaders, the Islamic
Movement and their allies abroad, the police and the state
prosecutors have simply stopped enforcing the laws against the
Galilee and Negev Arabs. Surrounded by increasingly hostile and
lawless Arab and Beduin villages, local Jews' livestock and crops
are continuously plundered.

They are faced with three equally unacceptable options for
contending with this state of affairs. They can do nothing and
let their livelihood and lives' work be destroyed. They can pay
protection money to Arab criminal gangs, who in exchange agree
not to rob them. Or they can try to sell off their lands and
abandon agriculture altogether.

The obvious recourse - filing a complaint with the police - is an
exercise in futility. Thousands of complaints are filed each
year. Almost none of them end in indictments or trials. Most of
the files are closed by the police due to "lack of public

ON FRIDAY, the field in question belonged to a cattle rancher
named Haim Z. Over the past few years, Haim has filed more than
250 complaints against local Arabs from the Kablawi family and
from neighboring Arab villages like the Islamist stronghold
Mashad with the police. None have ever gone anywhere. Last year,
a helpful police officer recommended that Haim simply start
paying protection money.

Last year Haim told his son that he had had it. The son of the
moshav's founding generation, Haim said that he just couldn't go
on anymore. The state's refusal to protect Jewish property rights
had forced him to devote all of his energies to playing cat and
mouse games with Arab poachers. He couldn't invest in his herd.
He couldn't develop his land. All he could do was sit by and
watch as year in and year out, his lands were plundered, his
cattle stolen and the work of his life and his father's life was

HIS SON, a 23 year old soldier in one of the IDF's elite commando
units decided that it was up to him not only to save his father's
farm, but to stem the tide of Arab infringement on Jewish land
and property rights. Due to his position in the IDF, his name is
classified. We'll call him J - for Jew.

In response to his father's desperation, J. took a storage
container to a hilltop that overlooks Tzipori's fields, the
surrounding Arab villages and the access routes to the moshav's
fields. He placed a sofa, a bookshelf full of Jewish history
books, religious texts and philosophy classics, and canned food
inside and moved in during his furloughs from the army. Rather
than hang out with his friends, he began standing guard. He
confronted every Arab he caught infiltrating the moshav's fields,
and both filed complaints with the police and chased them away.

Given his impossible schedule, J. enlisted his friends to help
out. The sons of other desperate farmers, who also serve in
combat units, they joined him enthusiastically. Within months, J.
had set up an organization of more than a hundred young
volunteers - soldiers, college students, and high school students
from his moshav, other moshavim in the lower Galilee and
surrounding non-agricultural communities.

He called the organization, Hashomer Hayisraeli Hahadash
( or the
New Israeli Guardsmen. The original Hashomer, or Guardsmen was
established in the Galilee in 1909 for the same purpose -
protecting Jewish farming communities from Arab marauders who
demanded protection money from the farmers. It was the progenitor
of the Haganah, which in turn, became the Israel Defense Force.

As J. puts it, "We're not simply a security service. We see
ourselves as a new movement. Our activities rest on three
foundations: securing the land, expanding our operations
throughout the Galilee and the Negev, and teaching Zionist and
Jewish values to our members, our communities and the general

TZIPORI, ONE of the stops of the Cross Israel Hiking Trail, is a
popular destination for school groups, youth groups and just
regular hikers. J. has organized visits to his guard post for
thousands of hikers over the past year. During their visits the
hikers listen to lectures about the New Guardsmen, about the
Jewish history of the Galilee and the development of agriculture
in the area, and topics of general interest provided by local
residents, politicians and professors.

Friday afternoon, after noticing another encroachment on his
father's field, J. called the police at the Nazareth police
station. Joined by two of his fellow guardsmen, who are also sons
of farmers and soldiers in commando units, they waited in the sun
for over an hour for the police to arrive and planned their
moves. They approached the horses with reins and bits.

"We will seize the horses and bring them back to our stable. If
the Kablawis pay the damages, then I'll give them back, if not,
I'll sell them," J. explained.

As the young men approached the horses, Yasser Kablawi, the head
of the clan appeared. According to Haim, over the past year, the
Kablawis have trampled his fields with their animals on more than
20 occasions.

Haim, who arrived at the scene some 10 minutes before the police
made their grand appearance turned toward Kablawi and said, "Why
are you doing this?"

"This land belongs to the JNF, not to you," Kablawi said.

"Why are you lying? I sat in your home with the JNF inspector
months ago, and he told you straight that this is my land. You
know you are stealing from me, and you're doing it while you're
illegally squatting on JNF land. You've caused me tens of
thousands of shekels in damages by trampling my fields today
alone, and you know it."

By the time the police arrived, J. and his friends had roped one
of the horses. Kablawi was joined by three grandsons and four
sons. J. was joined by another seven Guardsmen. It was a

THE POLICE, who were informed of the presence of a journalist at
the scene, acted with some resolution. After speaking with the
JNF inspector, they explained to Kablawi that he could either
sign a statement acknowledging that the land belongs to Haim and
that he would be arrested if he trespassed again, or they would
allow Haim to seize his horses. Kablawi signed.

J.'s activism is not just a personal quest to save his father
from economic ruin. "If it were just about me and my family, my
brother and I could take care of the thieves. They'd leave us
alone. But then they'd just move on to our neighbors. It isn't
about one family. This is a question of control over the land of
Israel. The state is weak. We need to be strong if we want to
remain here."

Last month, J. registered the Guardsman as a non-profit
organization. He has a grand vision for the future.

"In the space of just a few months, I have brought in thousands
of people, exposed them to our mission. I have more than a 100
volunteer guards. We have reduced theft by 80 percent.

"I want to raise money to buy night vision goggles and some all
terrain vehicles to do proper patrols. I'd like to be able to
give students scholarships so that they can guard and study at
the same time. I've been in touch with farmers and ranchers in
the Negev and they are anxious for us to expand to the south. I
believe that within five years, the Guardsmen can end the
protection rackets."

BACK IN June 2005, then vice premier Ehud Olmert gave an American
audience his opinion of the Israeli people. "We are tired of
fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of
winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies," he whined.

Young people like J. and his colleagues, secular, yet deeply
rooted Jewish sons and daughters of Galilee and Negev farmers,
like their religious friends prove everyday that Olmert was not
speaking for his countrymen. Whatever messes Olmert and his
colleagues in the government still manage to make before they are
finally thrown from office, it is absolutely clear that these
young people and millions like them are willing and able to clean
them up for themselves, their countrymen, and for the next
generation of Jews in the land of Israel.

Great Story, came from Naomi Ragen and she said it best

It gives you hope!!

Preparing U.S. Jews For Assault On Gaza

Reform leader argues that Israel will soon be forced to drop its ‘restraint’ policy.

A few weeks ago, I sat with a Jewish delegation that met with some important Protestant leaders here in the United States. The conversation quickly turned to events in Gaza. In a perfunctory sentence or two, our Protestant colleagues said that of course they condemned the rocket fire directed at Israeli cities, but in their view the real problem was the suffering of the Palestinian population in Gaza and the wildly disproportionate nature of Israel’s response to Palestinians attacks.

Deeply pained and angry, I replied: You are absolutely right. Israel’s response has been wildly disproportionate because it has been far more restrained than what would be expected from any other civilized, democratic government.

Did they understand that since 2001, more than 7,000 rockets had
been fired from Gaza at civilian targets in Israel? Did they realize that a “proportionate” response would involve 7,000 Israeli rockets fired at civilians in Gaza? Did they appreciate that the relatively small number of civilian casualties in Israel resulted not from the humanitarian intentions of Hamas but from the crudeness of their weapons, and that those weapons were now improving? Did they know that the traumatized children of Sderot lived in constant fear? On what basis, I asked, did they expect Israel to tolerate these attacks?

And what would their congregants be saying if their churches in Michigan had been subjected to seven years of hostile fire from across the Canadian border? Would church leaders be calling for “restraint” from the American government in these circumstances? And did they really expect that any American president would show such restraint?

What followed, of course, was the suggestion that the “occupation” was responsible for the rocket fire. I replied: Excuse me, but Prime Minister Sharon pulled out of every inch of Gaza in 2005, and his successor was elected on a platform calling for unilateral withdrawal from most of the remaining territories. And yet there has not been a single day of quiet following that withdrawal. Indeed, rocket strikes significantly increased after it was completed.

Yes, I assured them, I shared their concern for Palestinian suffering in Gaza. But the simple fact is that if terror and rocket fire were to come to an end in Gaza, the suffering of her people would end as well.

There was nothing surprising in these exchanges, but they reminded me of how much American Jews have yet to do to educate their fellow citizens about Israel’s current plight.

And there is some urgency in this task because I have little doubt that Israel’s restraint will soon come to an end.

During my recent visit to Jerusalem, I met with the prime minister and more than a dozen Knesset members from across the political spectrum. Virtually all of Israel’s political leaders are reluctant to escalate the military conflict with Hamas; they fear the uncertain results of such an escalation, as well as heavy casualties on both sides. Nonetheless, from most of those to whom I spoke, what I heard was that there would soon be no alternative to a more aggressive military posture.

The reason for this is simply that the attacks on Sderot threaten Israel’s very existence.

Once again, most of the world has found a way to take an utterly intolerable situation — nearly daily attacks on Israeli civilian centers — and turn it into something that is both tolerated and even routine. And as the accuracy of the rockets increases along with the Iranian role in supplying Hamas forces, the circle of cities under attack has begun to expand.

It is only a matter of time before Hamas cells in the West Bank begin firing rockets as well.

The result is that it is now possible to imagine a scenario under which Israel, without ever losing a war, would cease to be a viable state.

As a result, there is a strong likelihood that in the months ahead, Israel will move against Hamas forces in Gaza. With or without an invasion, her army will likely target all of Hamas’ military installations, institutions and leaders. Since for years Hamas fighters have hidden themselves in civilian centers such as schools and hospitals, Palestinian civilian casualties are certain to grow. But Israel will almost surely decide that it can no longer protect Palestinian civilians at the cost of sacrificing the well being of her own.

This is not a welcome scenario. It would be preferable by far if international diplomacy could arrange a ceasefire that would end the rocket fire without allowing Hamas to build up her forces for future attacks. But chances for such a diplomatic resolution are small, and Israel must prepare for the worst.

Israel must also continue to support American diplomatic efforts to advance what is left of the peace process. President Bush hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough this calendar year, and while he is unlikely to succeed, he has earned, by word and deed, the trust of Israel and the American Jewish community. Surely, as he pursues this diplomatic course, he is entitled to the goodwill and cooperation of Israel’s government.

In that regard, we should keep in mind that an Israeli attack on Gaza is certain to unleash a barrage of international criticism. American support will be essential if Israel’s military is to have the time it needs to complete its mission. For that reason, current tension between Israel and the American government over Israel’s settlement policy is a potential disaster.

An unpopular president who is being asked to take the heat for support of an unpopular Israeli military operation is entitled to some consideration from Israel’s leaders. Whatever the differences, Israel needs to get its settlement policies in line with American expectations and to do so now.

With all this said, the responsibilities of American Jews are clear. A centrist Israeli government has done everything within its power to escape a military confrontation.

Nonetheless, confronted by challenges to its sovereignty, by expanding attacks on its civilian population, and by the unrelenting hatred of an anti-Semitic, religiously fanatic regime, it is moving toward the military action in Gaza that it had desperately hoped to avoid.

Let us remember, then, that the Jewish state came into being for just such a time as this, when Jewish lives are in danger and no one but a Jewish army will come to their rescue. And let us remember too that our task now is to support Israel in her time of need, to make her case to our fellow citizens, and to do all that we can to rally the Jewish people and good people everywhere to her side.

Rabbi Yoffie is president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

The statute of the law which HaShem has commanded

(Numbers 19:2) 20 Adar II, 5768/March 27, 2008

Purim is behind us now and Passover lays ahead. Just as in the days of the Holy Temple, we have much to do to prepare for Passover. In the time of the Holy Temple the half shekel tax is collected during the month of Adar, workers sent by the officials at the Temple are busy repairing roads and bridges to accommodate the thousands of pilgrims, and, of course, families and communities are busy making their pilgrimage preparations, not the least of which is the acquiring of the lamb that each group of pilgrims will bring up to the Temple Mount to be used as their Passover offering - korban Pesach - the very centerpiece of the Passover festival. We are today living in a period where there is no Temple, and the ability to perform the Passover offering has not yet been attained. So what is it that so occupies us during the coming weeks?

To be sure, many of us have already begun cleaning our houses and using up our supply of leavened food stuffs, so as to be ready to fulfill the Biblical commandment, "Seven days you will eat unleavened bread; By the first day, you must have your homes cleared of all leaven. Whoever eats leaven from the first day until the seventh day will have his soul cut off from Israel." (Exodus 12:15) Inevitably, this Passover preparation transcends the focus of the commandment and turns into a very intensive type of "spring cleaning."

But there is another sphere of preparation, ultimately no less important than ridding our households of leavened goods. And this preparation, too, is rooted in Biblical commandment and in the Israelite nation's Temple experience. This upcoming Shabbat, parashat Para, (the Biblical verses (Numbers 19:1-10) concerning the preparation of the red heifer and the sprinkling of its ashes), is read in synagogues throughout the world. It is read this time each year, in the weeks leading up to Passover, reminding us of the central role the red heifer played in the Passover pilgrimage and the korban Pesach brought by the entire nation of Israel, where the lambs were slaughtered by the priests in the courtyards of the Holy Temple, and eaten on the seder night - the first night of Passover, in homes and courtyards within the city of Jerusalem. The red heifer rendered people possessing a particular level of spiritual impurity, pure, allowing them to ascend to the Holy Temple with their Passover offering. Without the unique "mechanism" of the red heifer, proper observance of the Passover commandments would have been impossible.

Today we recall the integrality of the red heifer by reading the above cited verses. But is "recalling" all that is truly required of us? Or is the red heifer, even in these days, when the Holy Temple has yet to be rebuilt and the Passover offering is yet to be performed as in the days of old, still relevant and full of import?

The red heifer is a chok - an ordinance - and like all Torah ordinances, it is concerned solely with the relationship between G-d and man, and not man and man. And like all Torah ordinances, unlike the commandments which guide our actions and intentions toward our fellow man, the red heifer offers no common sense or logical explanation or understanding. We can rationally understand the importance of the commandment not to kill, or to appoint judges and establish courts. We can even grasp the logic behind destroying Amalek or insuring that proper treatment be afforded to the stranger in our midst, because we were strangers in Egypt. But there is no line of reasoning that can explain how the ashes of a red heifer, cedar-wood, hyssop, and scarlet, when mixed with pure water can completely transform the spiritual and physical status of an individual vis a vis G-d.

Accepting the ordinance of the red heifer is itself a supreme test of our faith in G-d. In this way, it reflects the same kind of faith required of the enslaved Jews in Egypt, when each household took a lamb, considered a god to the Egyptians, slaughtered it and daubed its blood upon their doorposts for all the Egyptians, (and G-d), to see. While the observance, and even the remembrance of the red heifer may not be fraught with the same physical danger of the first Passover in Egypt, it nevertheless guarantees the spiritual life of the Jewish nation.

In order to accept and internalize the red heifer we are required to empty even the smallest part of our intellect of all our earthly clinging to rhyme and reason and rationality. Only by ridding ourselves of these chains that keep us enslaved to the world of the visible senses, can we free ourselves to the life changing opportunities that our allegiance to G-d has to offer. By cleaning our minds of their leavened bread, symbolizing the hubris by which we maintain that all phenomena is ultimately subject to rational explanation, (and therefore subject, somehow, to our control),and truly accepting the ordinance of the red heifer, even today, can we can re-experience the same liberation which transformed our ancestors in Egypt, turning slaves into free men.

Nisan, the month of Passover, the month of the exodus, is also known as the month of visible miracles. Unlike the hidden miracles of Purim, the miracles that led to and accompanied the exodus from Egypt were visible for all the world to see. We have the ability to witness G-d's miracles even today, if only we free our minds of the yoke of reason and rationalization, and open our eyes to the reality of His presence, here on earth.

Blessings from Jerusalem,
Yitzchak Reuven
PO Box 31876
Jerusalem, Israel 97500

Orlev Accuses Olmert of 'Spinning' Pollard Once Again

by Hillel Fendel

( MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party), who initiated the State Comptroller's investigation of the government's failure to attain Pollard's release, says Olmert is behind the anti-Comptroller leaks.

Wednesday, a day of Jonathan Pollard news, began with a blaring headline in Yediot Acharonot, Israel's largest daily. The story quoted government sources saying that the Comptroller's investigation into the government's mis-handling of the Pollard affair could harm the efforts to seek Pollard's release from American prison.

The Yediot reported named no names, but quoted government sources as claiming the Comptroller's actions could lead to a worsening of Israeli-US diplomatic relations. The sources said the only way Pollard would be freed would be via a direct conversation between Olmert and Bush, which would not be helped by conflict between the U.S. and Israel.

Pollard has been incarcerated in the United States for over 22 years, after being convicted on one count of passing classified information to a U.S. ally - Israel - with no intent to harm the U.S., which was obligated to share the information with Israel according to a 1983 letter of understanding signed by the two nations. The average sentence for this crime is 2-4 years, yet Pollard was sentenced to life in prison - in abrogation of a plea bargain to which he had agreed.

The decision to investigate Israel's mis-handling of Pollard's incarceration is "scandalous," the paper quoted the source as saying. "Only a country that has gone crazy is prepared to give such a sensitive subject to be examined by the state comptroller, who acts like a bull in a china shop on a subject that is not at all under his purview."

Comptroller Lindenstrauss responded almost immediately after the publication of the report, maintaining stridently that the accusations were "hallucinatory." "The Knesset Control Committee ordered me to carry out this job," he told reporters, referring to a decision of three months ago. "What is going on here? The Knesset decided unanimously to [do this]... No one has opposed the committee's decision, and there has been cooperation from all quarters. I have handled the investigation for three months now with utmost discretion. No one has even heard about the investigation until this morning. What happened all of a sudden?!"

Lindenstrauss, who has had his share of run-ins with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not want to say specifically whom he blamed for the report against his investigation, but merely implied that it was someone who fears he might be hurt by the investigation's findings.

Orlev: Olmert is to Blame
MK Zevulun Orlev, Chairman of the Knesset Audit Committee that charged Lindenstrauss with the job, was not as circumspect. "It is clearly Prime Minister Olmert who is behind these reports," Orlev said. "The Prime Minister is carrying out a spin at the expense of Pollard. Olmert continues to attack Lindenstrauss without hesitation or responsibility, and this is something that we cannot just sit by and watch. This campaign by Olmert hurts the Knesset, and I call upon my colleagues to strongly condemn this incessant attack by the Prime Minister. The public has to know that there is someone overseeing the government."

Esther Pollard, Jonathan's wife, said there are no "secret government efforts" underway for her husband's release, and therefore nothing that the Lindenstrauss investigation could sabotage. She said she wishes to "strengthen the hands of the State Comptroller," and that he should "not be afraid to uncover the truth."

Rafi Eitan and Pollard
In other Pollard-related news, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan - Pollard's original handler - told a TV interviewer this week, "I have not stopped for a second working for his release... I will do everything I can so that he will be released." Eitan also stated that he expects Pollard home soon.

The Justice for Jonathan Pollard (J4JP) organization sharply attacked Eitan for his words. Eitan "falsely raised expectations in Israel that some action has been taken to accomplish this goal and that a deal exists" - both of which are not true, the organization states.

Asked on Army Radio what interest the government has in not working to free Pollard, his wife Esther said, "The Government of Israel has no national interest in having Pollard rot in prison, but there are personal interests on the part of those individuals who were fully involved in Jonathan's operation, who to this very day still do not take responsibility for their participation in the affair. People like Ehud Barak who signed all of Jonathan's tasking orders. People like Rafi Eitan, who was his handler. It's simply not comfortable for them to have Pollard home in Israel where his very presence may reflect negatively upon their personal reputations. In the meantime, Rafi Eitan now has the media image of a kindly grandfather. But to those who know him up close, he is no grandfather; he is a murderer! He is simply a murderer!"

Eitan later clarified that his declaration that Pollard would soon be free were based not on knowledge but only on "an intuition." He said he should have said he "hopes" Pollard will be released.

Should Israel Expel Arabs or Jews?

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

( Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, convicted over a private referendum he conducted, was sentenced on Tuesday to 200 hours of community service, along with a suspended sentence of six months in jail. Ben-Yaakov's parole period is to last for three years. About 50 demonstrators, including some musicians playing protest songs, showed up outside the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, where sentencing took place.

Ben-Yaakov, of Kfar Tapuach, was convicted for "incitement to racism" as a result of a street referendum he designed prior to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. His referendum asked which was preferable: then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan, which would expel Jews from Gaza and Samaria, or an alternate plan to expel hostile Arabs from Israel. More than 100,000 people from Israel's major cities participated in the referendum, with over 90 percent saying they would rather expel hostile Arabs.

"It's outrageous that a country that calls itself a democracy can put someone on trial for making a referendum," Ben-Yakov told the press before sentencing. "A referendum is the purest form of democracy.”

Ben-Yaakov believes he was charged with incitement not because of the nature of the referendum, but because it demonstrated to the government to what extent the Disengagement Plan went against the will of the majority.

Participants in Ben-Yaakov's referendum were given a ballot card asking if they "prefer the 'Sharon/Peres Disengagement Plan,' which includes transferring Gaza and parts of the West Bank to Palestinian control and expulsion of all Jews who live there. Or do you prefer the 'Jewish Alternative Disengagement Plan,' which includes annexing these territories and expulsion of the Arabs living there to an area outside Israel, deep beyond a safe security buffer zone?"

Jerusalem-based Human rights activist Attorney Irving Gendelman calls into question the validity of the incitement law and asks, "Would a person be culpable if his alleged act of incitement was intended only to express an opinion on political issues inherent in a democratic country?" Gendelman says that use of the law at the expense of basic human rights inclusive of the right to democratically oppose governmental political policies "is an anathema." He concludes, "In Israel, it is debatable whether full freedom of expression within democratic norms is permitted by the Israeli Government."

Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov, formerly known as Mike Guzofsky, moved to Israel from New York. He ran the Hatikva Jewish Identity Center for one of the Jewish Defense League branches in New York City.

here is the referendum:

March 26, 2008

Gaza, Judea, Sammaria and Kassams

Here I sit... a Reform Jew in Upstate NY.
How am I connected to Israel?
Why am I connected to Israel?

I am connected through Heritage, Sinai, and Torah.

Jews have been passive and they also have been warriors through the years.
We have always feared world opinion and worried would it be good for the Jews.

Our friends have been few and far between. Due to either prejudice or always
being the convenient scapegoat for assorted dictators trying to stay in power.

There are biblical views and secular when it comes to Israel's security.

Since 1948 and the creation of the Jewish State, Israel has always stepped lightly.
She has always been worried that her supply of weapons were based on some sort
of compliance with US policy etc.

Israel is the technology leader of the world. She makes her own tanks (Merkava)and
is developing weapon systems and defense systems (Iron Shield the latest)that are
second to none. Nuclear power goes without saying.

The time has come for Israel to decide is she can stand alone. Does she need the
aid guarantees the US provides or does the US need the "foothold" in the Mid East
and the Israeli technology centers.

I believe that Israel still has the chance to begin to expel the enemy (Arabs)
from within Israel as it stands now. She also needs to pressure George Bush to
get the King of Jordan to accept his relatives. Then Israel needs to retake Gaza..annex it expel the enemy and move on to Judea and Samaria successively.

World opinion will condemn, the pathetic UN will condemn, the US will stand down
if the the King of Jordan accepts back his people.

After this is completed, when Rockets hit Israel she can return fire to a sovereign country.

the relationship between Israel and the US will strengthened immeasurably and some real teamwork can occur.

It is time for the world or the US to stand up and say the displaced Jordanians need to go home. Israel deserves her biblical land.

that of course is the secular view...based on what? what is the secular view based on? At the very least Israel is entitled to keep all the land she won in the defensive wars that expanded her boundaries.

Time is running out!
Either the Persians, Some fanatical Muslim Group or just some rogue Arabs will get their hands on nukes and then the landscape of the Mid East will change forever.

Meir Kahane (
said the time was 30 years ago ...but it is not to late.

Write the Knesset how you feel, whether you agree with me or not SPEAK UP.

As if you have a choice -

Read about Israel and it's politics, the Torah does not want your head in the sand!

Neo Zionism -

Jewish Daily Forward -

Mitzvah Minutes -

Easy history of Israel...

Erev Shabbat Service, Bet Tikvah-

How Do You Prove You’re a Jew -


Check the UN Resolutions and the BBC

March 25, 2008

Obama advisor: US Jews hinder peace

More trouble for presidential hopeful: Inquiry by conservative US media outlets reveals that Obama advisor Merrill 'Tony' McPeak is a longtime anti-Israel critic who slammed American Jews for acting against US interests

Yitzhak Benhorin 03.26.08, 01:24

WASHINGTON - General Merrill "Tony" McPeak, Senator Barack Obama's military advisor and co-chair of his presidential campaign is a longtime anti-Israeli critic who has slammed Israel harshly during his career, according to an inquiry by conservative American media outlets.

McPeak, who served as the chief of staff o the US Air Force before retiring in 1994, made headlines over the past week after accusing former President Bill Clinton of McCarthyism. Yet as it turns out, over the years he has criticized Israel for failing to withdraw to the 1967 borders and charged American Jews were preventing American pressure that would lead to a Mideast peace agreement.

The examination of McPeak's career, undertaken by conservative magazine American Spectator among others, revealed that the general adopted a harsh anti-Israeli line in interviews he submitted to and articles he published. According to the magazine, beyond his affinity for alcohol, which saw him detained for drunk driving a year ago, McPeak also appears to take great pleasure in slamming Israel and pro-Israel Jews.

'Large vote in favor of Israel'

In an interview with The Oregonion about five years ago, McPeak argued that the influence exerted by American Jews is responsible for the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. According to the general the problem was New York and Miami.

"We have a large vote here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it," he said.

In the same interview, McPeak spoke of his personal experience with Israel.

"I've spent a lot of time in Israel, worked at one time very closely with the Israeli Air Force as a junior officer," he said, "but that's maybe the more cosmopolitan, liberal version of the Israeli population."

McPeak also charged that Jews and Christian Zionists manipulated American foreign policy in Iraq.

"Let's say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so bases in Iraq," he said.

'Disturbing canard'

Following the latest revelations, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) called on Obama to remove McPeak as his military advisor and national campaign co-chairman.

"By choosing to have a military advisor and national campaign co-chairman like General McPeak, serious questions and doubts are once again being raised about Senator Obama's positions and judgment on Middle East issues," said RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.

"Rather than putting the blame where it belongs - on the Palestinian leadership and their continued reliance on terror, General McPeak finds it more convenient to blame American Jewry and their perceived influence," said Brooks. "This is the same dangerous and disturbing canard being promoted by the likes of Jimmy Carter and authors Mearsheimer and Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby."

"Senator Obama continues to surround himself with advisors holding troubling and disturbing anti-Israel bias," Brooks said. "We call on Senator Obama to immediately remove General McPeak from his campaign leadership role and as a key advisor."

Purim Memories 5768

How was your Purim?
Did you go to a Purim 5768 Masquerade Party like I did?
Here I am the Court Jester of today's Galut!
The masquerade party took place at the JCC.

The party was called for 8:30 to 11PM. Gold and purple filled the room.
There was plenty of good Kosher food. Fruits and veggies were everywhere!
Each table was filled with Chocolates and mixed nuts.

There was endless beer, wine, coffee and tea to celebrate in Purim style!

A DJ pumped the music non-stop and there was plenty of good conversation flowing
as old friends reconnected, in some cases after many years!

There were many great costumes as it was a masquerade party!
Boas, Kings, Esther's, Vashti's, IDF Soldiers, Lions, Cowboys, Cowgirls, Court Jesters, Sages...

There were Rebbes everywhere! Even a pregnant one! Mazel Tov!

All in All, I have a feeling that we all counting the days til Purim Party 5769!

Tell us about your Purim Party!!

Gaza bombs keep ticking

Ambassador Gillerman warns Security Council that recent Gaza Strip lull is only on surface, compares Palestinians celebrations in wake of Jerusalem yeshiva massacre to extremists' response following September 11

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman warned UN Security Council members on Tuesday that the recent lull in Gaza was deceptive and superficial.

"Though some wish to refer to the apparent lull in Hamas’ rocket attacks, I must warn that the perceived quiet is only on the surface," Gillerman said. "The bombs keep ticking, albeit quietly."

"The rockets out of Gaza have not stopped. Hamas is using this time to smuggle in and produce more rockets," the UN envoy said. "It is a silent promise – a promise of what is to come next: more terror and more violence, more extremism and more bloodshed."

The ambassador added that Qassams keep on raining on Sderot, while Ashkelon has also been targeted, by longer ranged Grad missiles. He noted that Hamas is able to continue its arms smuggling operations thanks to Iranian and Syrian assistance.

'Zero-sum equation'
Gillerman also made it clear that Israel must not negotiate with Hamas.

"Dealing with extremists is a zero-sum equation," he said. Turning his attention to the terror attack at Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, Gillerman said: "As mothers and fathers were called to retrieve the remains of their slaughtered sons, the extremists in Gaza rejoiced at the spilling of Israeli blood."

"If anyone doubted what the extremists stand for, the reaction in Gaza to the murder of eight Israeli boys sets the record straight. It was also a stark reminder that these were the same people who danced on the rooftops after September 11," he said.

Gillerman spoke in response to a long speech by Palestinian Observer Riad Mansour, who slammed Israel's "violent occupation" and what he referred to as ongoing settlement activity and human rights violations.

Obama worked with terrorists

Senator helped fund organization that rejects ‘racist’ Israel’s existence

By Aaron Klein
© 2008 WorldNetDaily, Feb 24/08

JERUSALEM – The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe” and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.

The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel, has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.

In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, for which Khalidi’s wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to the AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.

Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.

Obama served on the Wood’s Fund board alongside William C. Ayers, a member of the Weathermen terrorist group which sought to overthrow of the U.S. government and took responsibility for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1971.

Ayers, who still serves on the Woods Fund board, contributed $200 to Obama’s senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at numerous public speaking engagements. Ayers admitted to involvement in the bombings of U.S. governmental buildings in the 1970s. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The $40,000 grant from Obama’s Woods Fund to the AAAN constituted about a fifth of the Arab group’s reported grants for 2001, according to tax filings obtained by WND. The $35,000 Woods Fund grant in 2002 also constituted about one-fifth of AAAN’s reported grants for that year.

The AAAN, headquartered in the heart of Chicago’s Palestinian immigrant community, describes itself as working to

“empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities.”
It reportedly has worked on projects with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which supports open boarders and education for illegal aliens.

The AAAN in 2005 sent a letter to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson in which it called a billboard opposing a North Carolina-New Mexico joint initiative to deny driver’s licenses to illegal aliens a “bigoted attack on Arabs and Muslims.”

Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line.

The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled, “The Subject of Palestine,” that featured works related to what some Palestinians call the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding in 1948.

According to the widely discredited Nakba narrative, Jews in 1948 forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands - some Palestinians claim over one million - Arabs from their homes and then took over the territory.

Historically, about 600,000 Arabs fled Israel after surrounding Arab countries warned they would destroy the Jewish state in 1948. Some Arabs also were driven out by Jewish forces while they were trying to push back invading Arab armies. At the same time, over 800,000 Jews were expelled or left Arab countries under threat after Israel was founded.

The theme of AAAN’s Nakba art exhibit, held at DePaul University in 2005, was “the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life … under [Israeli] occupation … home demolition … statelessness … bereavement … martyrdom, and … the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom.”

Another AAAN initiative, titled, “Al Nakba 1948 as experienced by Chicago Palestinians,” seeks documents related to the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.

A post on the AAAN site asked users: “Do you have photos, letters or other memories you could share about Al-Nakba-1948?”

That posting was recently removed. The AAAN website currently states the entire site is under construction.

Pro-PLO advocate held Obama fundraiser, describes Obama as ’sympathetic’

AAAN co-founder Rashid Khalidi was reportedly a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi’s wife, AAAN President Mona Khalidi, was reportedly WAFA’s English translator during that period.

Rashid Khalidi at times has denied working directly for the PLO but Palestinian diplomatic sources in Ramallah told WND he indeed worked on behalf of WAFA. Khalidi also advised the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991.

During documented speeches and public events, Khalidi has called Israel an “apartheid system in creation” and a destructive “racist” state.

He has multiple times expressed support for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings response to “Israeli aggression.” He dedicated his 1986 book, “Under Siege,” to “those who gave their lives … in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon.” Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism.

While the Woods Fund’s contribution to Khalidi’s AAAN might be perceived as a one-time run in with Obama, the presidential hopeful and Khalidi evidence a deeper relationship.

According to a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years, the Democratic presidential hopeful first befriended Khalidi when the two worked together at the university. The professor spoke on condition of anonymity. Khalidi lectured at the University of Chicago until 2003 while Obama taught law there from 1993 until his election to the Senate in 2004.

Khalidi in 2000 held what was described as a successful fundraiser for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a fact not denied by Khalidi.

Speaking in a joint interview with WND and the John Batchelor Show of New York’s WABC Radio and Los Angeles’ KFI Radio, Khalidi was asked about his 2000 fundraiser for Obama.

“I was just doing my duties as a Chicago resident to help my local politician,” Khalidi stated.

Khalidi said he supports Obama for president “because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause.”

Khalidi also lauded Obama for “saying he supports talks with Iran. If the U.S. can talk with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, there is no reason it can’t talk with the Iranians.”

Asked about Obama’s role funding the AAAN, Khalidi claimed he had “never heard of the Woods Fund until it popped up on a bunch of blogs a few months ago.”

He terminated the call when petitioned further about his links with Obama.

March 24, 2008


March 24, 2008 (Fort Lee, NJ) - In a dramatic television roundtable on the future of American Jewry, the increasing acceptance of mixed marriages is identified as the most serious threat to Jewish continuity.

Available this week [through March 29] on Shalom TV, the panel discussion features Dr. Steven Bayme, director of the Contemporary Jewish Life Department of the American Jewish Committee, citing the dangerous change in Jewish cultural thinking about intermarriage.

"For 4,000 years, Jews knew that mixed marriage was not the right thing to do. They still may have done it, because we often don't do the right thing. But we knew it was the wrong thing to do. Now, we are witnessing a cultural change, where people are saying, 'It's okay. It's a perfectly acceptable thing to do.' It's that cultural change that I spend an awful lot of nights worrying about."

According to Dr. Bayme, this normative change comes from a well-intentioned desire in the Jewish community "to reach out and bring in people on the periphery" of Jewish life, given the impact of intermarriage rates that have hovered near 50% for decades.

"Intermarriage is a major challenge to American Jewish life, and whether you're a hawk on it or a dove on policy, you at least ought to agree on the problem," comments Dr. Steven Cohen, research professor of Jewish social policy at the Reform movements' rabbinical school, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. "I find too many doves on intermarriage refuse to accept what I would call a 'realistic analysis' of its effects."

A leading expert in American Jewish demography, Dr. Cohen decries as "horrible" the low percentage of Jews who descend from intermarriages, pointing out that only "thirteen percent of grandchildren of intermarried Jews are, by any stretch of the imagination, Jewish. Eighty-seven percent are not Jewish. That bothers me! It really is awful."

Moderated by Shalom TV's Mark S. Golub, the television panel also includes syndicated columnist and USA Radio Network Host Michah Halpern, and Betty Ehrenberg, advisor to the president of the World Jewish Congress. While Mr. Halpern is less troubled than other guests by reports of a declining population of committed US Jews (from six million to four million)--encouraging instead a vibrant Jewish life for the involved community that organically attracts Jews on the fringe, Ms. Ehrenberg expresses deep concern about the lower figures coupled with a "thinning out" of Jewish identity.

"If we will have fewer Jews, no matter how you estimate the exact number, we will have fewer people who vote, we will have a weaker political voice," she says, mindful of the community's influence on national and world affairs. "If you combine weaker numbers with weaker identification and weaker Jewish understanding, then you have a recipe for disaster."

"It's less a question of 'Are we six million or 4.2 million or somewhere in between?'" adds Dr. Bayme. "What really is happening is that America is changing radically in terms of its population patterns. In that sense, the grounds of concern are quite real.

"American Jews, right now, are trying to reinvent mixed marriage as an opportunity rather than as a problem," continues Dr. Bayme. "If we're not realistic enough about saying it's a problem, we'll get nowhere with it.

"The current generation of Jewish leadership needs to be challenged in terms of where it is going to place its emphasis. If it conducts business as usual--and I tend to think it will--then I am very agonized and very worried."

Shalom TV [] is a mainstream Jewish cable television network seen nationally on Comcast; in New York and New Jersey on Time Warner; and in Pennsylvania on Blue Ridge Communications. The free English-language "Video On Demand" network features news and event coverage, a Jewish film festival, Israel updates and travelogues, kids programs, and Jewish studies. Shalom TV's offices and production facilities are located in the New York City metropolitan area.

Barack Obama and former Weather Underground honcho William Ayers funneled money to Professor Rashid Khalidi?

By Jim Kouri, © 2008 reported on March 22, 2008

There is a far-reaching scandal brewing for presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, thanks to a radio talk show host based in Oregon. Syndicated talk show host Laurie Roth’s revelations make the news story about Obama’s relationship with a racist, anti-American pastor look like child’s play.

A top official at the Pentagon during former-President George H. W. Bush’s Administration and a former CIA intelligence officer maintain that Barack Obama and former Weather Underground honcho William Ayers funneled money to Professor Rashid Khalidi, a known terrorist sympathizer.

The article goes on to detail Obama’s connection to Rezko and Ayers. It then goes on:

In another suspected quid pro quo arrangement similar to those with Ayers and Rezko, Rashid Khalidi also held a fundraising event in his home for Barack Obama.

In the Middle East, Rashid Khalidi was known as a man to be reckoned with. From 1972 through 1983, Khalidi was the director in Beirut of the official Palestinian press agency, FAFA. His wife worked there as well.

According to sources, when the Khalidi’s left Chicago for Columbia University in New York, Rashid was honored with the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies at that Ivy League university. Their goodbye party in Chicago included testimonials from Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.

Roth asks,

“As President, how much would he look the other way when dealing with national security and dangers to our country? How much would he listen passively to terrorist leaders then lecture us on our ugly American status? This kind of change is not what our country needs!”
Koury then advises

In a related story, during an interview on Thursday morning (March 20) with Black Panther leader Malik Zulu Shabazz, Fox News Channel viewers learned that Shabazz’ group endorsed and supported Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. Even on Fox — an organization wrongly accused of being “conservative” — the interviewers were careful in their questioning of Shabazz, a recognized racist and anti-American radical.

The New Black Panther Party leader proudly announced on Fox News that his organization endorsed Obama for President.

Says Roth

“While some people may say that Barack Obama has no control over who endorses him, he should have control over what endorsements are posted on his websites,”
Koury finishes with

The endorsement of the New Black Panther Party was posted on Barack Obama’s website. Why was this tolerated unless Barack Obama wanted their endorsement? If he does not want their endorsement, how much control over his staff is he going to have once he’s elected President?” asks Mike Baker.

The New Black Panther Party is openly anti-White, anti-Jewish, and anti-America. After Obama’s Tuesday damage-control speech, his campaign pulled the Black Panthers’ endorsement story off their website.

It’s also been reported that Obama’s campaign staff was allowed to fly a Che Guevara flag inside his office, according to NewsMax.

March 23, 2008

Arab-American Activist Says Obama Hiding Anti-Israel Stance

by Gil Ronen

( Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is currently hiding his anti-Israel views in order to get elected, according to a well-known anti-Israel activist. The activist, Ali Abunimah, claimed to know Obama well and to have met him on numerous occasions at pro-Palestinian events in Chicago.

In an article he penned for the anti-Israeli website Electronic Intifada, Abunimah wrote:

"The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

"As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, 'Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race.
I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.' He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy [and said:] 'Keep up the good work!'"

Barack, Michelle, Edward and Mariam

Abunimah's report included a photo of Obama with his wife Michelle seated at a table with virulently anti-Israeli Professor Edward Said and his wife Mariam, in what Abunimah said was a May 1998 Arab community event in Chicago at which Said gave the keynote speech.

n an interview earlier this year for the leftist radio show "Democracy Now!," a daily TV and radio news program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Abunimah said he knew Obama for many years as his state senator "when he used to attend events in the Palestinian community in Chicago all the time."

"I remember personally introducing him onstage in 1999, when we had a major community fundraiser for the community center in Deheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank," he recounted. "And that's just one example of how Barack Obama used to be very comfortable speaking up for and being associated with Palestinian rights and opposing the Israeli occupation."

About face 'to get elected'

The Arab-American activist went on to say: "In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

"Obama's about-face is not surprising," Abunimah wrote. "He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power."

When Obama first ran for the Senate in 2004, the Chicago Jewish News interviewed him on his stance regarding Israel's security fence. He accused the Bush administration of neglecting the "Israeli-Palestinian" situation and criticized the security fence built by Israel to prevent terror attacks: "The creation of a wall dividing the two nations is yet another example of the neglect of this Administration in brokering peace," Obama was quoted as saying.

Israel's "Aid" to Jonathon Pollard

Moshe Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett plan to once again visit Jonathon Pollard on their upcoming trip to the US. This will be their fourth visit with the man who sacrificed his life to save the Jewish People and the State of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel continues to betray Pollard. Now the State actually claims that it has been giving aid to Pollard and his family. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The State of Israel has never given a shekel to Pollard. The following are excerpts from Pollard's attorney, Nitzana Darshan Leitner's letter to the State in which she attempts to bring the lies to the surface.

Monetary Aid
I request a clear and factual response to my query regarding your claims to have afforded my client monetary aid. In your previous reply, this question remained unanswered and seemed to have been deliberately blurred. I repeat my question: Have my client or his wife ever received monetary aid from the government of Israel? If your answer is negative, I request that you authorize in writing that during the 23 years that my client has been imprisoned in the US, neither he nor his wife have received any monetary aid from the government of Israel.

If your reply is positive, please clarify the following in a detailed and specific manner:
A. On what dates did my client or his wife receive monetary aid from the Israeli government?
B. What is the position and the title of the person or body that supply the above aid?
C. Do you have a written confirmation of the aforementioned aid and its receipt by my client and/or his wife?
D. To what financial institution was the monetary aid transferred?
E. If you cannot supply written documentation of this aid, I request a clear explanation as to how the government of Israel has managed to transfer monetary aid to my client, a prisoner in an American penitentiary.

Aid to Pollard Associates
Your offices have claimed that over the years, the Israeli government has "acted to aid Jonathon Pollard and his associates." I request that you clearly and specifically clarify the following:

A. According to what criteria did the government of Israel determine who is considered an "associate" eligible for aid?
B. What are the names and the positions of my client's "associates" who "received" the aforementioned aid and what is their association with my client?
C. What specific aid did my client's associates receive?
D. When and where did my client's associates receive the aid?
E. Please attach written documentation of the aforementioned aid.

Attorney Leitner's letter includes many more embarrassing questions for the government. Hopefully, her determined and thorough work will bring the sad truth to light.

Path to Temple Runs Through Shushan

The story of Purim as related in Megillat Esther is the bridge between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple. Interestingly, the eastern gate to the Temple Mount is called the Shushan Gate, as if to symbolize that the path to the future Temple goes through Shushan.

The feast of Ahashverosh in Shushan was a low point in Jewish history. The Jews of Ahashverosh's kingdom were so deep in exile mentality that they actually reveled and feasted at the Persian mega-party despite the fact that the (kosher) food was served on the holy Temple vessels. But this low point was actually the first hint of future salvation. The marriage of Esther to Ahashverosh led to the birth of Darius, who would eventually allow the reconstruction of the Second Temple to be completed.

The story of Purim highlights the eternity of the Nation of Israel. Currently, as in many eras of Jewish history, we are experiencing a period of darkness and despair. But many bright lights shine through the heavy shadows of our present reality. True, many people have still not broken free of the Oslo mentality. Too many people still subjugate themselves to the modern-day Ahashveroshes, who brought the Oslo disaster upon us. Yes, these Ahashveroshes still feel comfortable visiting the yeshiva where young boys were murdered with weapons that they, themselves, gave the murderer. But the nation of Israel already understands that the Oslo criminals will not save us.

Our job at this time is to make people aware of the alternative and to prepare ourselves to lead. If we keep our heads on our shoulders and persevere, we will have the support and the tools to step in when the time is ripe. The skeptics among us received a wake up call last week from none other than the British Home Office. The British ban on my entry to England clearly showcased the fact that Manhigut Yehudit is the only factor in Israeli politics that threatens the British anti-Israel policies. No other politician or force in the National Camp bothers them. No ministers, no Knesset members, not even the people at the outposts. The only factor they see as counterproductive to their pro-Arab machinations is Manhigut Yehudit. Which leads us to the conclusion that we are obviously doing something very right!

We must persevere, build our support base, reach out and register more and more people for the Likud. Then, when G-d deems fit, we will be poised to take the leadership reigns and to bring the Jewish Nation back from Shushan to Jerusalem - to itself, its G-d and its Jewish destiny.

Happy Purim,

Moshe Feiglin

We Salute Two True Heroes -

By Moshe Feiglin, Candidate For Prime Minister

When a Jew is killed in a car accident, it hurts.
If he is killed in war, it hurts even more and touches the entire nation.
But if he is murdered simply because he is a Jew, the pain is the greatest of all, because the insult to the honor of the nation of Israel adds its own, unbearable dimension to the personal and communal pain.

The massacre in the Merkaz HaRav Kook yeshiva is a horrible desecration of G-d's Name. The two heroes who killed the terrorist, Rabbi Yitzchak Dadon
and David Shapiro, made the desecration of G-d's Name slightly less
horrific when they killed the murderer.

For Rabbi Dadon, killing the terrorist was not enough. Every reporter with a microphone wanted to interview the hero of the latest terror attack. But Rabbi Dadon insisted on repeating that the pure, righteous yeshiva students were murdered
because of the evil stupidity of those Israeli politicians who have brought death into our homes.

True to form, the Ahashverosh media deleted Dadon from the story. Thus the importance
of the Likud initiative to honor him. The salute to Rabbi Dadon and David Shapiro took place at the Renaissance hotel in Jerusalem this Tuesday evening.

Rabbi Dadon humbly took the stage at the salute and described the chain of events on that horrible night to the hundreds sitting in the audience. It was obvious from his speech that he was trying to divert attention from his pivotal role in eliminating the murderer.

In his speech, Rabbi Dadon compared the current situation in Israel to the Purim story. He pointed out that Ahashverosh also wanted peace and quiet. He thought that by appeasing Haman, he would bring peace and security to his kingdom. But Haman was not a partner. He was a murderer, who sowed death and destruction wherever he went.

Rabbi Dadon's modestly spoken words could not hide his inner courage and proud, Jewish strength. It is no surprise that he was brave enough to assault the terrorist. With G-d's help, we will see more of him as a leader of the nation. The certificate of honor was symbolically presented to Rabbi Dadon by Mr. Eli Sheetrit, of the Likud Tegar fellowship, comprised of the fighters of the Etzel and Lechi pre-state undergrounds. Tens of Tegar members attended the salute, emphasizing the fact that Rabbi Dadon has continued the battle for the Jewish State where they left off.

I concluded the event by stating that the murder of Jews is not an irreversible fact of life. It is fostered by those who give the murderers weapons. They are responsible for the murders and for the terrible desecration of G-d's Name.

Olmert wants us to get used to the situation, as he suggested in Ashkelon - but we declare here and now that we will NOT get used to it! We will continue our struggle to establish Jewish leadership that cares about Jewish blood - leadership that
strikes all those who try to harm the Jewish People.

March 21, 2008

Horrific Arab Twist on an Ancient Blood Libel

PA Arab children taught Israel burns children

by Hana Levi Julian

( Palestinian Authority children in Gaza are being raised to believe the ancient Eastern European blood libel myth about Jews, with a twist: in this version, the Jews don't make matzah from children's blood; they burn them alive..

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Gaza children were recently taken to an exhibit depicting Israel burning children in a crematorium. The exhibit was created by a body named “The National Committee for the Defense of Children from the Holocaust.”

The exhibit also featured a black platform with the words, “Stop the Israel’s Holocaust” [sic]. Both are used to reinforce programs on PA TV (the television station controlled by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah terror group) that brainwash Arab children to believe that Israel burned children during the Holocaust.

About 1.5 million Jewish children were murdered during the Holocaust which accompanied World War 2. They were shot, gassed, tortured, worked, starved, frozen, neglected to death – and on some occasions, burned alive.

Complete details about the exhibit and the TV programs can be found on the PMW website.

Oslo Accords negotiator Dennis Ross, a former senior State Department official, told the New York Sun last week that he sees no signs that the Bush administration is dealing with the issue of incitement. "I have not even heard the Bush administration talk about it," he said. He revealed that during the Oslo talks, the PA agreed to review media incitement against Israel but that little change has taken place.

From medieval times, Anti-Semites have promoted the belief that Jews kidnap and murder gentile children and use their blood in the preparation of matzah for the Passover holiday.

This belief has also been resurrected recently in the Russian Siberian city of Novosibirsk, where posters have been put up warning gentile parents to “keep [their] eyes and ears open” and “watch [their] children” to guard them from “these disgusting people."

“Wedding of Mass Murderer of Yeshiva Boys"

The Muslim terrorists’ belief that murderers who die while executing Jews are martyrs who will wed 72 “dark-eyed virgins in Paradise” is alive and well among the Arab neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem.

The official daily PA newspaper, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Al Hayat Al Jadida, described Ala Abu Dheim, who slaughtered eight young students at Jerusalem’s Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva two weeks ago, as a martyr and a “bridegroom.”

PA Arab children taught Israel burns children

The paper indignantly lamented the fact that Abu Dheim’s family was forced by Israeli officials to bury the murderer before dawn without the traditional fanfare that accompanies terrorist funerals, “without a celebration and without a wedding procession.”

Although Israel did not demolish the terrorists’ house and also allowed the family to erect a mourners’ tent in which to greet people who came to console and congratulate them on their son’s "achievement," security officials initially refused to hand over his body.

The government agreed to release the terrorist’s remains only after the family promised to bury him in a private funeral before dawn in order to avoid the typical procession by thousands who would celebrate the murder and then riot in the streets.

Gil Ronen contributed to this story

Purim Shmendrik Awards 2008

The 2008 Shmendrik Awards
Shmendrik: (shmen- drik) n. (Yiddish) a pathetic and foolish small time ineffectual loser, a jerk.

Like the Worst-Dressed list or the Worst Movies awards, our awards highlight the activities of the losers amongst us. With these awards we recognize the achievements of those who, through their actions, have seemingly unwittingly aided the enemies of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. The awards are given every year on or about the week of Purim.
* * *
This year, for the very first time, Israeli Shmendriks beat out all foreign competitors and have made a clean sweep of the awards, amazingly taking first, second, and third places!!
* * *
Below are this year's "winners".


GOLD SHMENDRIK - First Place -
Ehud Olmert (Israeli Prime Minister)This loser was far and away the most nominated candidate for Shmendrik of the Year by Dry Bones fans. If you have to ask why Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert deserves to be awarded the Golden Shmendrik Award, well, you just haven't been paying attention!


SILVER SHMENDRIK - Second Place - David Landau (Haaretz editor)
At a private meeting of some 20 journalists with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in September, 2007, Ha'aretz newspaper editor David Landau urged the U.S. to "rape" Israel - to force a settlement on the country. In a December 26 story on the incident, Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt quoted Landau saying: "'I told [Rice] that it had always been my wet dream to address the secretary of state' on these vital matters."!!Background Story by CAMERA


BRONZE SHMENDRIK -Third Place - Dr. Zali Gurevitch, head of the Hebrew University Teachers' Committee that awarded a prize to a graduate student for an research paper which claims that Israel is racist because Israeli soldiers do not rape Palestinian women. The paper was published by the Hebrew University's "Shaine Center," at the "enthusiastic recommendation" of the professors' committee headed by Dr. Gurevitch!Background Story

-Dry Bones- Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973

March 20, 2008

Mordechai the Individual

13 Adar 2, 5768/March 20, 2008
Ta'anit Esther - The Fast of Esther

The name of G-d does not appear in the scroll of Esther. Nor are His will or His "actions" described as they were, for example, throughout the Biblical narrative of the ten plagues in Egypt. He does not speak to Mordechai, either directly or through dream visions or parables. Yet Mordechai throws himself into the thick of the drama, the very heart of the intrigue. He acts cooly yet forcefully, confident that with patience and persistence all will turn out well. Or, borrowing the language of the scroll: the purim - the lots - having been cast, will fall as they should.

By keeping aloof of the great feast taking place within the palace walls, Mordechai was able to keep his head clear of the distractions and temptations of all that the movers and shakers, the well-connected, high-degree, elbow-rubbing who's who of Persian power and society had to offer. By not indulging in their impure delicacies, (as were many of his Jewish brethren), or consuming their barely hidden designs to bury the Holy Temple and disengage from G-d once and for all, (good-riddance to Him!), Mordechai was able to see and to hear and to comprehend that which no one else could: hidden as He may be, invisible as He may be, imperceptible as His actions may be, G-d is everywhere, or nowhere at all.

"Mordechai the Jew," (Esther 2:5) or, invoking the word play of our sages, Mordechai the individual. Not Mordechai the prophet or Mordechai the man of G-d: just Mordechai the individual. We all have the potential to be individuals if we so desire. The moment we drop our pretenses, strip off our masks, push aside what the mass media has to serve us, step away from the banquet table of lies, and remove ourselves from the conformity of the palace walls, we too can regain our eyes and our ears, revive our hearts and regain our conscience.

Let's be honest: We don't need a Minister of Justice to tell us what is right and what is wrong. Nor do we need a Secretary of Defense to show us who we need to wage war against. We certainly do not need a Commissioner of Police to know what is permissible and what is not. No one needs a CNN special report to know what the enemies of Israel are plotting against her, nor do we require a network weather caster to tell us what we ourselves can hear being whispered in the wind. Just as "the nations are compassed about [us]," (Psalms 118:10) so too, does G-d stand with us.

Achashverosh can don the garments of the high priest. And doing so, he reveals his vanity, not his greatness, his disregard for the G-d of Israel not his piety. Haman, and all those who ascribe to his delusions of grandeur, and there are many, can ride his high horse, holding himself above others, but he too will meet his fate at the end of a rope.

As for us, let us wine and dine together, seated as one at the table of His eternal truth, the Torah of Israel. And this Purim, as our heads cloud to the point that we can no longer distinguish between "Blessed be Mordechai," and "Cursed be Haman," we must still remain cognizant of the fact the G-d rewards all who place their trust in Him, and just as He was there for Mordechai and Esther and all the Jews of their generation, so too, will He be there for us.

It's still a question of wright and wrong

By Jeff Jacoby
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I have known my rabbi for more than 20 years. The synagogue he
serves as spiritual leader is one I have attended for a
quarter-century. He officiated at my wedding and was present for
the circumcision of each of my sons. Over the years, I have
sought his advice on matters private and public, religious and
secular. I have heard him speak from the pulpit more times than I
can remember.

My relationship with my rabbi, in other words, is similar in many
respects to Barack Obama's relationship with his longtime pastor,
Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. But if my rabbi began delivering
sermons as toxic, hate-filled, and anti-American as the diatribes
Wright has preached at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ,
I wouldn't hesitate to demand that he be dismissed.

Were my rabbi to gloat that America got its just desserts on
9/11, or to claim that the US government invented AIDS as an
instrument of genocide, or to urge his congregants to sing

"God Damn America"

instead of "God Bless America," I would know about it
straightaway, even if I hadn't actually been in the sanctuary
when he spoke. The news would spread rapidly through the
congregation, and in short order one of two things would happen:
Either the rabbi would be gone, or I and scores of others would
walk out, unwilling to remain in a house of worship that
tolerated such poisonous teachings. I have no doubt that the same
would be true for millions of worshipers in countless houses of
worship nationwide.

But it wasn't true for Obama, whose long and admiring
relationship with Wright, a man he describes as his "mentor,"
remained intact for more than 20 years, notwithstanding the
incendiary and bigoted messages the minister used his pulpit to

In Philadelphia yesterday, Obama gave a graceful speech on the
theme of race and unity in American life. Much of what he said
was eloquent and stirring, not least his opening paean to the
Founders and the Constitution -- a document "stained by the
nation's original sin of slavery," as he said, yet also one "that
had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the
law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and
justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over
time." There was an echo there of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.,
who in his great "I Have a Dream" speech extolled "the
magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence" as "a promissory note to which every American was
to fall heir."

The problem for Obama is that Wright, the spiritual leader he
has so long embraced, is a devotee not of King -- who in that
same speech warned against "drinking from the cup of bitterness
and hatred" -- but of the poisonous hatemonger Louis Farrakhan,
whom the church's magazine honored with a lifetime achievement
award. The problem for Obama, who campaigns on a message of
racial reconciliation, is that the "mentor" whose church he
joined and has generously supported with tens of thousands of
dollars in donations is a disciple not of King but of James Cone,
the expounder of a "black liberation" theology that teaches its
adherents to "accept only the love of God which participates in
the destruction of the white enemy."

Above all, the problem for Obama is that for two decades his
spiritual home has been a church in which the minister damns
America to the enthusiastic approval of the congregation, and not
until it threatened to scuttle his political ambitions did Obama
finally find the mettle to condemn the minister's odium.

When Don Imus uttered his infamous slur on the radio last
year, Obama cut him no slack. Imus should be fired, he said.
"There's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if
they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group."
When it came to Wright, however, he wasn't nearly so categorical.
Oh, he's "like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree
with," Obama indulgently explained to one interviewer. He's just
"trying to be provocative ," he told another. "I don't think my
church is actually particularly controversial," he said. Far from
severing his ties to Wright, Obama made him a member of his
Religious Leadership Committee only four days ago.
Such a clanging double standard raises doubts about Obama's
character and judgment, and about his fitness for the role of
race-transcending healer. Yesterday's speech was finely crafted,
but it leaves some serious and troubling questions unanswered.

(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe.)

March 19, 2008

Watching the Media

Years ago I had a friend who had grown up in Soviet Russia. She later, as an adult, had lived in America for a while. She claimed that Americans were stupid. And she knew exactly how they had come to be stupid. "You see," she explained, "in the Soviet Union, when the Media reports that something had or had not happened, Russians try to figure out what really might have happened to cause the Soviet Media to write the 'news story' the way it was written." She went on to explain that Americans believed that something was true because they "read in the paper" or "saw it on TV" and so without this constant mental exercise they "had become stupid."

In the many years that have gone by since that conversation I have become as paranoid and as wary of relying on the Media as that old Soviet-era friend of mine was back in the Cold War days.

To understand the anti-Israel bias in Media reports coming out of the Middle East I have, for years, regularly checked with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. For an eye-opening look at the situation visit them by clicking on CAMERA.

-Dry Bones- Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973

A bunch of young heroes

For children facing unsettling existence under rocket threat, imagination is the ultimate refuge

When I traveled to Sderot for the first time I was scared even to blink. The white arrow on the “Highway 323” road sign, featuring the town’s name in both Hebrew and English, looked like a dilapidated tombstone to me. Yet the bus followed the arrow, despite all my fears, slowly and naturally taking the turn and separating me from the main road.

“This is where the northern Negev shooting range beings - the role of sitting ducks is played by you and me,” was the sign that welcomed us with red handwritten letters. And still, the closer we got to town, and despite my anxiety, I could feel a sense of intimacy that grew stronger with the passing days. Perhaps it is this intimacy that opened my eyes to see so many colors in Sderot beyond red.

When I entered the kindergarten, I found a small coat hanger, followed by desolation. I could hear the distant sound of children playing through the cement walls. As it turned out, Sderot’s children play deep within the room; they do not go out to play hide-and-seek or chase.

The first to notice me was Omri, the leader of the boys, a five year old kid with black curls and powerful facial features. Even before I had time to put down my bag, he charged at me and declared: “Just so you know, Omri is not scared of the Color Red alert system!” He made room for me to sit next to him, and continued sharing some tips. “When we play soccer, and suddenly we hear the Color Red alert, those who are true heroes can score a goal while the rest run away,” he said with a mischievous smile.

A few minutes later, when a missile landed right next to us, he was shaking in an anxiety attack that lasted for long minutes – I still don’t know whether he was more fearful of the Qassam or of the fact that he displayed his vulnerability in my presence.

Around the miniature tables at the kindergarten I became familiar with something that nobody talks about on television. Something that does not come with a user manual, yet serves to sculpt palaces and towers from the daily danger. The one thing that can truly fight Sderot’s reality is the imagination – for the children, imagination is the most protected space; perhaps the only one.

In this space, Sderot’s children create themselves every day with great skill, love, and joie de vivre. Every morning, any simple corner at kindergarten turns into the king’s courtyard; every game in a box turns into a portable lab; every instance of group work turns into a tribal ceremony.

These children certainly know where to turn to when reality disappoints them. Their direct approach to abstract ideas, complex narratives, words, and sounds was unlike anything I have ever encountered.

Reminders of lurking danger
When I was their age and was overcome by the depression of a five-year-old, my mother told me that when pain is turned into art we give it a reason. This sentence resonated with me while I spent my time with children who do not know whether the teddy bear they forgot in the living room when they rushed into the secured room will await them when they return.

I then figured that meeting with writers, the greatest experts on carving wonder and beauty out of the harsh face of reality could provide the children with strength and hope in a constant state of helplessness vis-à-vis a great and incomprehensible threat. I therefore proceeded to organize a meeting between some of Israel’s leading authors and Sderot’s children.

When the writers entered the classrooms and kindergartens, each one to a class that expected them and read their books, they met a bunch of young heroes sitting in a circle with joy mixed with worry on their faces. Creation, and every child knows this, whether it is made of clay, cloth, or words, is a tree of life. In Sderot I discovered a rare type of young trees growing within a war zone.

The lives of children in Sderot and Gaza-region communities are filled with reminders of approaching danger that is crudely pushed into their perception at an age where death, and most certainly life, cannot be grasped. They are sensitive to any slight movement of the earth and to any rustle in the air or skies. Imagination may serve to protect them from the inside, and ensure that despite the huge shadow that follows them almost from the day they were born, they will not lose the desire to keep on growing.

Marva Merom, a 20-year-old IDF teacher, organized a meeting between more than 20 authors, including Amos Oz, David Grossman, Nira Harel, Meir Shalev and Sderot students in December 2007