Sunday, September 30, 2007

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jack's New Hangout

Now that Jameel has cut Jack off, I went and found him a new place to hang out in. A Jack without a steady supplier is a dangerous thing.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Preparing for Sukkos

Here are some Pictures of some neighborhoods in Jerusalem preparing for Sukkos.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

The Blog Police

So I am minding my own business just blogging the day away when I get this note from Jameel:
Sorry Jack. The Blog police are out looking for you.

Unauthorized Haveil Havalim editions?

People have gone to jail for less.

No waffles for you!
Dude, say it is not so!. When did you turn to the dark side of the Muqata. What would make you join the evil blog police. I don't understand. More to the point what makes you think that you'll ever catch me. I know more tricks than Doug Henning. Copperfield looks like a rank amateur.

Keep this up and watch what happens on Purim. Remember when it happens it will be through your friends. Shlach Manot that you think come from Joe Settler, from Ezzie, from Kasamba, they'll be different. Just you wait and see Mr. Muqata. If need be I'll go to a higher authority. I'll petition the great Beit Din of Mama Muqata.

And if that doesn't work I'll just sign in to your email and send out invitations to the coming Sukkah Sam Waffle Jam to be held at the Muqata this coming weekend.

Nobody cuts me off!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Pop Quiz: September 25, 1944

The year is 1944. World War II rages in Europe. The atrocities of Nazi Germany's genocide against the Jews is becoming apparent. Columbia University invites Germany's elected leader Adolph Hitler to speak.

The Hindenburg II Zeppelin arrives in NJ...

What do you do?

1. Go to the massive demonstration outside Columbia University, demanding that Hitler not be given a voice.

2. Attend Hitler's speech at Columbia so you can heckle him.

3. Get a group of influential, wealthy people together, and try to secure the safe passage for some Jews through back room negotiating with Hitler and a large payoff.

4. Find a small group of militant activists, and attempt to kill Hitler while on US soil (or give money to such a group).

5. Other Suggestions?




Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

America Hates: Columbia University


See Columbia University alum Aliza Davidovit, who said that she can no longer keep her diploma hanging on her wall in good conscience. Watch her rip it apart:


It was a beautiful day for a protest today on the Upper Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, as hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people gathered to protest the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as he spoke at Columbia University.

See it all at Steg's blog over here!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Roundup of the Muqata's Best Sukkot Posts.

(Photo from Trep's blog 2 years ago...
but could have been in my sukka as well*)

Sukkot's almost here.

I sincerely hope I won't start blogging about a war between Israel and Syria over sukkot, but it's totally within the realm of possibility. Therefore, I have found some of my best posts from sukkot over the past 2 years, for your reading pleasure. Actually, some of these are really cool --I wonder if my current blog is as compelling. Please note the Muqata Eretz Yisrael clock has been changed in honor of Sukkot, and is half an etrog.

In no particular order...

1. Amazing Save of the Day (on Simchat Torah, this is even being published in shiurtimes.com this coming sukkot)
2. A Visit to the Shomronim on Har Greizim over Chol HaMoed.


3. Cool Jew Blue. A Tekhelet tour in Chol HaMoed.
4. My Sukkot Neurosis
What are you doing over sukkot? Our possible plans include: Herodian, Hevron, family barbeque in Gush Etzion...maybe some kite flying.

Chag Sameach!

Jameel & Co.


*The above picture and post was the basis for the Purim Parody Blog of Trippin Witz (falling down the stairs)...those were the days :)


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, September 24, 2007

Swindle of the Century


"The Jewish National Fund is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners - Jewish people everywhere." -- banner slogan from the JNF website.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) told the High Court on Monday that it was willing to reverse its practice of selling land to Jews only, on the condition it is compensated for land sold to non-Jews.
The decision comes in response to a petition against the JNF over its refusal to sell its lands to Arabs. The petition was filed in 2004 by a group of Arab Israeli citizens who were forbidden from bidding for land in the north put up for sale by the JNF. (YNET)
Under pressure from Israel's Supreme Court, the Jewish National Fund had announced it will sell parcels of the Land of Israel...to Arabs.

The JNF, which collected millions of dollars to reclaim Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel for the Jewish people, on the condition that it was the caretaker of the land on behalf of it's owners, has sold out.

Wonderful. They will get "compensation" from the Israel Lands Authority...but the land is priceless. Our homeland is being sold to Arabs? Has the JNF no shame whatsoever?

Most Arab countries offer the death penalty to sell land to Jews, and here, Israel will simply valuate the land and sell it off.

Unfortunately, this once again proves that secular Zionism is quickly approaching idealogical bankruptcy -- not to mention moral corruption for having collected funds under false pretenses.

The Land of Israel is non negotiable. Period.

Update from Ben Chorin (see comments): The compensation that the JNF will receive from the Israel Lands Association will be "alternative" lands, there's no guarantee of equal value (and could very well be land of less value, desert, etc.)...it's just unclear...


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Stuff to do on Sukkot

With Sukkot coming up fast, there are tons of new archeological findings that have been discovered in the past few weeks. I hope they are open to the public and when you visit Israel you get a chance to see them.

City of David (open)
3000 year old bee hives (?)
Herodian (open)
King Herod's grave on Herodian (?)
Temple Quarry (?)
Secret Escape Tunnel under the Old City (?)

Other events this Sukkot include:

Kite Festival somewhere in Gush Etzion
Hebron Festival

If anyone knows of meore, please add them to the comments section.

And of course, DON'T GET LOST. Rent a GPS in Israel from DadyGPS. Mention JoeSettler "WebAds" and get a big discount.

(You could mention JoeSettler, but that and 5 shekels will buy you a cup of coffee.)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Interviewing the Enemy


Columbia University has no problem hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heck, they wish they could host Hitler as well! (see above video)

Israel's IDF Radio, Reshet Bet, and TV channels drool for every opportunity to interview a Hamas, Fatah, or Jihad terrorist spokesmen, and start their interviews politely with "Good Morning" and ensure to end every interview with "Shalom."

The comparison to "Lemmings" comes to mind (from Wiki)
On occasion, and particularly in the case of the Norway lemmings in Scandinavia, large migrating groups will reach a cliff overlooking the ocean. They will stop until the urge to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death. Lemmings are also often pushed into the sea as more and more lemmings arrive at the shore. [6]

Awarding invitations to terrorists to spew their venom provides them with legitimacy; it's an abuse of democracy at best, and suicidal naivete at worst.

See the NY Post's "A Terrorist for Tea" by John Podhoretz

September 21, 2007 -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address a forum at Columbia University on Monday; school President Lee Bollinger promises to ask tough questions. - News item

BOLLINGER: Mr. President, you say the Holocaust didn't happen. That's very hurtful. Don't you know that hurts people's feelings?

Ahmadinejad: The truth hurts, Bollinger. I hosted a conference at which it was conclusively demonstrated that 6 million Jews actually escaped Nazi Germany by journeying over the Alps into Switzerland, singing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."

B: That was the Von Trapp family in "The Sound of Music"! And that was Austria, not Germany! And the Von Trapps weren't even Jewish!

A: For someone who claims the Holocaust happened, you seem to know a great deal about the escape plans, Bollinger.

B: Oooh! You make me so mad I might actually venture an opinion about something!

A: This is my narrative, Bollinger. You have your narrative. Everyone has a narrative. What is truth to me might not be truth to you. Haven't you read your Derrida? The Ayatollah brought us back a copy from his exile in Paris.

B: And what about saying you are going to wipe Israel off the map?

A: What about it?

B: Well . . . that's not very nice, is it?

A: Actually, I was once very pro-Israel.

B: You were?

A: Yes, I was. Until I read the works of a Columbia professor named Edward Said.

B: Really, that is absolutely . . .

A: It was reading Said that convinced me Israel was an apartheid nation guilty of monstrous crimes and, therefore, that it should cease to exist. Well, now I am in a position to give aid to that cause. What kind of person would I be if I failed to heed the guidance provided by a respected Columbia professor?

B: Now wait a . . .

A: He was very august, wasn't he, Edward Said? I mean, you even have a professorship named after Edward Said here at Columbia. Oh, who's that I see in the front row? It's the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies here at Columbia, Mr. Rashid Khalidi!

Khalidi: Not now, Mahmoud. I'll Skype you later.

B: I can understand your anger at Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, Mr. President, but surely 5 million Israelis shouldn't be wiped off the map.

A: Why not? After all, at your sister school, Barnard College, you are in the process of granting tenure to Nadia Abu El-Haj, who has written a book that proves there was no ancient Jewish kingdom in Israel. Her work has had a great deal of influence on me. After all, if there is no Jewish claim on the land dating back to the time before Christ, there really is no reason for Israel to be where it is, right, Bollinger?

B: I have no say over Barnard tenure decisions, Mr. President, but I must say that there are some questions about the quality of her scholarship because she does not take account of the archaeological evidence.

A: That is uncalled for. Ms. El-Haj says in her own book that she rejects your "positivist commitment to scientific method," Bollinger. She has a narrative. A narrative, Bollinger! So shut your pie hole.

B: Now about your state support of terrorism . . .

A: What is terrorism, Bollinger? I take my wisdom from another newly tenured professor here at Columbia, Mr. Joseph Massad. You remember him. He's the one who Jewish students claimed had intimidated them in his classes.

B: That was never conclusively . . .

A: Right here on this campus, he called Israel a "racist state" and then said: "Every racist state should be destroyed." I don't know why you are upset with me, Bollinger - I'm learning so much from people who are paid by your institution!

B: Wait, let me check my list of very tough questions for a second . . .

A: Sorry, our time is up, Bollinger. You promised to give me a lift to Ground Zero.

B: I did no such . . .

A: Just kidding!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Saturday, September 22, 2007

NEW YORK-RALLY RALLY RALLY-MONDAY

Rabbosai, I am taking the liberty of posting this here for the benefit of residents in the New York area who may cruise into this blog over the weekend. I am doing so because Jameel has more readers than I do, and reaches a wider, more connected audience.

[Some of you may have reservations about Stand With Us. If so, I urge you to put them aside for the time being. But I would be keen to hear your feedback or ideas, so please feel free to contact me at my own blog: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/ ----- B.O.T.H.]


RALLY IN NEW YORK AGAINST AHMEDINEJAD
[This Monday, September 24]

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's will visit to the US this coming Monday, September 24. It is shocking to think that he will not only be addressing the United Nations in New York but he will also be speaking at Columbia University, spewing his hatred of America, Israel and Jews.

Since he will be allowed to make his voice heard, our voices must be louder.

RALLY RALLY RALLY
Multiple organizations are mobilizing two different rallies to challenge this insanity. One at Columbia University: W 116th street and Broadway (across from Lerner Hall) Monday, September 24th 1 - 3 p.m. Busses will be coming from Brooklyn College, Queens College, Rutgers University and more.

The Second Rally will take place at NOON at 2nd Ave. and 47th street, Subways 4, 5, 6 or 7 to grand central station... TWELVE NOON-- rain or shine.

IMPORTANT:
We are aware that the Columbia event MAY GET CANCELED but as of now, Friday afternoon in New York, it is still scheduled to happen. STAY TUNED to the home page at http://www.standwithus.com/, and we will give you an update if it is canceled. AND...IF IT GETS CANCELED we need you to go to the United Nations location for the rally organized by the Conference of Presidents and supported by multiple organizations including StandWithUs... and will be held at 2nd Ave. and 47th street, Subways 4, 5, 6 or 7 to grand central station... TWELVE NOON-- rain or shine.

BUSSING:
Busses will leave Rutgers at 11:00 Busses will leave Queens and Brooklyn Colleges 11:30 Exact pick up points to be announced on Sunday, check back with StandWithUs.com home page for updates before Monday.

Bring friends... this is a time to stand up together and condemn the face of evil, and any platform that would allow evil to promote itself.



email: info@standwithus.com
phone: 310-836-6140
web: http://www.standwithuscampus.com/
-------------------------------------------------------

Regards, gmar chasimah tovah to all, and may you have an easy and meaningful fast.

------B.O.T.H.
http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What happened in Ichilov Hospital?

Cardiac Arrest.

Flatline alarm on the EKG.

Get the paddles!

You've seen it all before. TV shows like ER and Chicago Hope give you a glimpse of what goes on in hospital emergency rooms. I was once performing chest compressions as part of a CPR effort when the paramedic's cellphone went off -- his ringtone was that of the ER theme music..and I felt a weird "out of body" experience as I saw myself performing CPR to the tune of ER....life imitating fiction.

Yet what happened 2 months ago in Tel-Aviv's Ichilov Hospital is not fiction; the Ichilov Emergency Room Chief Doctor (on call that evening) personally gave me this first hand account last week.
The patient had flatlined.

No electrical signals were going to his heart.

His heart wasn't pumping.

The emergency medical staff were well trained; among them included a senior cardiologist.

They used defibrillator paddles.

"Clear!"

No response.

They injected him with all sorts of medications.

Nothing.

CPR continues...Compressions....Oxygen...Drugs...Electrical Shocks...constant monitoring.

Flatline. Nothing.

The senior cardiologist, a religious Jew, is about to "call the time", but first bends down near the patient's head, and whispers into his ear the final words that Jews have said for thousands of years before they pass on, "Shma Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad."

Everyone in the room was silent.

Beep.

The EKG heart monitor started to beep.

The shocked medical team stared at the monitor...and then at the patient...and restarted administering medical help.

The patient walked out of the hospital on his on 2 feet a few days later.
The story flew around the hospital staff that night. It started off as a miracle. As the hours went by, the story was slowly rationalized...it would have happened anyway...

Prayers sometimes get the desired effect, sometimes it appears they are ignored, sometimes we are deserving and sometimes not.

This Yom Kippur, may all our prayers be favorably heard and answered, and may we be granted forgiveness from each other and from G-d.

Please accept my sincerest apologies if I wrote anything here or in a comment elsewhere which embarressed or offended.

May we all be sealed in the Books of Life, Good Health, and Prosperity.


Gmar Chatima Tova,


Jameel.


PS: Any medical discrepancy/error in this post is my own, and not of the person who relayed the story to me.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Condolences to Shifra

Shifra used to guest blog here, so I think it is fitting to mention to all the readers here that her brother passed away over Shabbat. You can leave her your condolences here


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Iran and Israel; cooperation in tragedy


R' Nechemia Wilhelm, one of the Lubavitcher shelichim
in Thailand
walks among the dead at the
Phuket airport temporary morgue. Credit: AP

The Phuket, Thailand plane crash has been the first news item every hour on all Israeli radio station news updates since Sunday. 8 Israelis died in the crash...and Israel sent Magen David Adom, Israeli Police, Forensic experts and ZAKA personnel to the crash location. As a result of years of Arab terror attacks against her, Israel has a wealth of experience in disaster management and victim identification.

What's almost routine for Israel is very foreign to Iran, and while Israel sent a professional and equipment laden flight to Phuket, and were up and running quickly, Iran's consul on the ground had no idea where to start.

Israel Radio reports that the Iranian consul approached the Israeli representatives, and asked for their help -- the crash claimed 8 Israeli lives, and 18 Iranian ones. Israel immediately acquiesced, and provided a crucial piece of equipment to the Iranian personnel: A fax machine to receive identification pictures and other personnel information from Iran. Israel also agreed to help Iran with anything related to the tragedy.

The amazing thing is not Israel's willingness to help, but that Iran initiated the request for help.

Who knows...maybe they won't nuke us now.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Watch out For That Last Turn

I got lost on the way to Joe Settler's House and look where I ended up. It is like Bizzaro world. In other news I am starting a new service called I Saw You At Tashlich.

More information on this to come later.

P.S. Someone let Joe know that he owes me a waffle breakfast. I am still getting emails and comments about that post.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, September 17, 2007

Captives in their own Land

This website contacted me about reprinting one of my posts. While browsing through it, I cam across this article...
As Sara prepared to jump out of the third- floor window, she recalled there was a phrase that Jews were meant to say when sacrificing their lives. Not knowing when her father and brothers were intending to come and kill her, she had no time to spare. "Baruch atah Hashem Elokenu Melech Haolam Shehakol nihei bidvaro*," she cried--the only Jewish phrase she could think of-- as she made the plunge.

Miraculously, Sara survived the fall, suffering a broken jaw and losing most of her teeth. Mustering her resources she escaped from the Arab village and reached the center of Israel. After a few days of living on the streets a woman noticed Sara and put her in touch with Chasdei Meir. Soon Sara was living in a woman's shelter, safe from her father and brothers, and on her way to recovery, both physically and emotionally.

There are thousands of women like Sara throughout Israel; Jewish women living as prisoners in Arab homes.

According to Levi Chazen, one of the directors of Chasdei Meir, "This problem has been going on since Jews have returned here, since the State of Israel has been around."

Today, women in mixed marriages can be found in Haifa, Lod and even the Old City of Jerusalem. Chasdei Meir was founded 12 years ago to save these women from their disastrous relationships and keep them safe until all danger has passed and they are prepared to return to Israeli society.
Read the rest of it here


* This blessing is said upon drinking a beverage and eating certain foods.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

A Letter from Ninveh


וימן ה' דג גדול לבלוע את יונה. ויהי יונה במעי הדג שלשה ימים ושלשה לילות ויתפלל יונה אל ה' אלהיו ממעי הדגה
יונה ב: 2-3

1. And Hashem appointed a huge fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
2. And Jonah prayed to Hashem, his G-d, from the belly of the fish.

Book of Yonah, Chapter 2: 1-2

Dr. Danny Kerem
Department of Marine Biology
University of Haifa.

Dear Dr. Kerem,

Recently, a person showed up in our city. It would be an understatement to say he was "weird". Normally, we wouldn't bother wasting your time at all, unless we thought there was a glimmer of a possibility, remote as it may be, that this person is bringing to us the word of G-d -- as the implications could be far reaching.

The strangest part of the story from this person named, "Yonah" is that he was swallowed by a large fish, and lived in the fish's belly till he was spat up onto the shore. In order to dispel this fallacy, so we could get on with our lives, we pose this question to you:

Can a fish swallow a person and then spit him out without harm?

Please send us your answer, ASAP!

Sincerely,

The Ninveh Council of the Wise.
City Gate
Ninveh -- The Big City

In one of Yediot Achronot's better column's (almost reminiscent of a story the Maggid of Bergenfield might write) the Ninveh City Council's wise men write via time and space to Dr. Danny Kerem, a marine biologist at the University of Haifa -- is the story of a whale swallowing Yonah scientifically feasible?

Rather than spit out a typical skeptic or secular answer, "There's no such thing," Dr. Kerem's reply (and column) progressively asks and answers each point along the way. Was it a fish or a whale? Do such large creatures visit the Mediterranean Sea? Can a person survive in the stomach of a large fish? All the while quoting an impressive list of verses from the Tanach (Bible), including, "Today, mankind has learned to harness the electricity mention by the prophet Yechezkel, we can travel by vehicles over land and sea, even underneath the waters, where we can observe sea creatures..."

Due to lack of time, I won't translate the his whole reply to the City of Ninveh (it's all here in Hebrew), but he does think that it's possible that Yonah was swallowed by a large fish, and was stuck in it's throat till he was spat onto shore...and it may have seemed like 3 days to Yonah...even if it was less.

I have no clue if Dr. Kerem is a believing Jew or not, but he did end his letter as follows:

My advice: Don't wait two more days till the city gets destroyed -- put on sack cloth and repent now, with a personal example set by the king. -- and hope that G-d will reverse His decision.




Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Shmita has arrived!


The seventh year.

Sabatical.

Shmita -- It's here!

Our Pach Hashmita (see picture above) -- "shmita disposal can" (I don't like using the word "garbage" in conjuntion with shmita) is ready for use in the kitchen, for the removal of food remnants with "kedushat shvi'it" (Linked FIXED: excellent article here). We haven't yet actually gotten any shmita produce that would require usage of the "Pach Hashmita"...but we're ready.

The first crisis occured last night, as I returned home from some errands and to my horror -- the sprinklers were watering our front yard!

"Oh no!!"

I quickly turned them off...and ran inside. What had happened? Why were they on?

My wife says, "Muqata son #1 must have turned it on...and besides...are we not going to water the grass for a whole year?"

Hmmm. Of course we'll water it, just not with the same frequency...that's what the shmita courses all said.

I call up Muqata son #1 -- "Did you turn on the sprinklers?" He replies, "Yes, I did. Are we not going to water the grass for a whole year?"

I answer, "Of course we'll water it, just not with the same frequency"

So he says; "Right, so that means we can water it twice a week instead of three times a week...or use less water every time we water the grass."

Double Hmmm.

It's going to take some time getting used to this.

And we haven't even started using the Pach Hashmita!

Triple Hmm - and Shana Tova,

Jameel.

PS: The following is a Public Service Announcement that I just received.

Forwarded from Beit Shemesh list:

"If you buy badatz vegetables during shmita, wash them very, very thoroughly as irrigation water of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria is often contaminated with sewage.

Last shmitta (and the shmitta before) there were outbreaks of hepatitis in Bet Shemesh, mostly in the Kirya Charedit and in RBS B.

I personally know people who ate Badatz vegetables and contracted hepatitis during shmitta."


a) Some Bada"tz produce is definitely coming from from Arabs in Azza.
b) Is it enough to wash vegetables that were irrigated by sewage? Wouldn't the sewage/germs/filth have infested the entire vegetable?



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Rosh HaShana cards (received via email)

Building the Beit HaMikdash




Not the Muqata kids


Got any good ones? Send them here and I'll add them to this post...


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

CNN: Sources confirm Israeli airstrike on Syria

This was censored information in Israel...
Syria reported that its aircraft fired on Israeli "enemy aircraft" that flew into northern Syria early Thursday. The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the report, and have refused to comment further on the new revelations.

But the sources told CNN the military operation, which happened Wednesday into Thursday, may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike which "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria. CNN
In the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I suggest you eat pareve donuts with holes in them on Rosh Hashana night, and say, "May we merit seeing many more holes in the Syrian desert"

hat-tip: Lurker

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Official Muqata Greetings for Rosh HaShana

Shalom to all the Muqata readership...

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova. It's customary to have "simanim" around the table on Rosh Hashana...honey for a sweet year, etc.

Additional ones from our Muqata household (feel free to add your own)

Lettuce, Raisins, Celery...and we say, "May we have a Raise-in Salary"

Bisli from Osem...and we say, "May we have an Awesome [Osem] year"

Mangos...and we say, "May our enemies be mangled"

Enough...the following 1 minute video (it repeats, so you only need to watch 1 minute of it) is more than inspiring for Rosh Hashana.



Wishing you a year of health, happiness, redemption, and aliya!

Jameel & Co.
The Muqata


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Remembering 9/11

For a personal writeup about one of the victims of 9/11, please see my posting from last year about Nancy Morgenstern, HYD.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

The Erev Rosh HaShana Miracle

To some, this may seem like coincidence...or "dumb luck", but if you ask those who were there, it was the hand of G-d.

Last night at 1:30 AM, my wife asked me what all the beeping noises were that were emanating from my emergency medical pager. Reading it, I got the news that a Palestinian Qassam rocket landed in the middle of the Zikim IDF base, about 3 minutes from Northern Gaza...that that there were many wounded soldiers. A "Mass Casualty Event" was declared, and all nearby EMTs and paramedics were instructed to respond.

Far away in the Shomron there was nothing for me to do, but go back to sleep.

Around 7 AM, I sent an SMS to a neighbor "Qassam fell in Zikim, dozens wounded" (we frequently update each other on news going on around Israel), and he called me back within a minute. "No kidding," he said, "there were 67 wounded soldiers...I got the call at 3:30 AM from my son...I'm here in the hospital with him in Ashelon....Baruch HaShem he's OK...very minor injury...should be home for Rosh Hashana."

He proceeded to tell me how the soldiers sleep outside in tents, and have 10 seconds from the time the "Tzeva Adom"/Code Red missile alert system goes off, till the rocket lands. The soldiers were all sleeping soundly when the alert went off at 1:30 AM, and most barely woke up from it.

The rocket landed smack in the middle of the tent camp where everyone was sleeping...and directly hit a tent, exploding into the concrete floor which sent shrapnel flying through canvas tent walls in all directions.

However, of all the tents the rocket could have hit, which were all full of sleeping soldiers, the tent the rocket landed in...was strangely enough...the only empty tent.

Evacuating the wounded, credit Amir Cohen

Granted, 69 soldiers were hurt, and some are in moderate condition**...but a direct hit on any other tent would have resulted in many deaths, and many more serious injuries.

Israel's leaders are reason enough for us not to deserve miracles -- if only due to their lack of resolve to protect our citizens. Yet it's almost impossible to live in Eretz Yisrael and not see the hand of G-d, even if we are undeserving.

Teshuva-Repentance on Rosh Hashana is not necessarily the most logical of concepts. Even if we don't deserve it, if we make an effort, we are promised help from G-d.

Living here isn't the most logical of places either...and yet, we still see miracles from time to time.

Shana Tova.


Read about the rocket attack here.

** Unfortunately, it may not be a condolence to the parents to the 1 fatality, or the soldiers who were moderately wounded (I'm aware of one that lost an eye, and one that lost a foot), yet I somberly say...with all the empathy possible...it could have been much, much worse had it hit any of the occupied tents.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Monday, September 10, 2007

Germany’s Legacy to the Jews *

* And how Reform Judaism plays a role.

Nazi Germany gave Israel one last parting gift before being defeated by the Allies.

When Israel defined the Law of Return, the primordial Israeli architects decided to base their definition of “Who is a Jew” not according to Jewish Halacha, but rather on Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws. The logic, if you were persecuted as a Jew, then you were eligible to come to Israel.

When Israel refined the Law of Return, the Israeli architects decided to base their definition of “Who is a Jew” mostly according to Jewish Halacha (with certain exceptions and ambiguities), but determined that eligibility under the immigration laws would be similar to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg style definitions. The logic, if you were persecuted as a Jew, then you were eligible to come to Israel.

Ben-Gurion allegedly called it the “grandfather clause" and Israel’s response to Hitler.

[Reader Jerry correctly pointed out in the comments section, that the law actually defines 'Who is a Jew' almost based on Halacha, but the Law of Return itself only uses the definition of who is a Jew as the basis for applying the Nuremberg-style rules as to who qualifies to emmigrate under that law - i.e. anyone 1/8 Jewish (or married to someone like that) is eligible to return).]

From the Knesset Website:



"Rights of members of family
4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law
and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

and

Definition
4B. For the purposes of this Law, "Jew" means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion."

A logical idea, if your sole rationale for the state is as a physical sanctuary as opposed to a Jewish state to fulfill our national destiny.

And of course, Reform Judaism (also a product of Germany) and the Fundamental Secularists has strongly defended this definition of the Law of Return as their definition of Jewish is just as diluted and limited.

The result is that when the Iron Curtain fell and all the Russian Jews returned home to Israel quite a sizeable contingent of non-Jews used this as an opportunity immigrate to Israel too.

And with no real connection to Jews or Judaism, they brought certain parts of their culture with them.

Yet you would certainly expect that after living in Israel, going to Israeli schools, and living in Israeli society that they would start to feel some sort of connection to their chosen society.

But that is really too much to expect.

After all, we have an Education Minister trying to remove any remnant of Jewish education from the curriculum, while disconnecting Jewish secular students from their sole potential connection to Orthodox Jews by canceling the National Service arrangements with the schools, not to mention adding Arab propaganda to the curriculum.

We have Reform Judaism trying their best to promote their diluted form of Judaism and simply calling non-Jews Jews with mock conversions (not to mention attempting to disconnect ‘Temple and State’ in Israel).

And the Fundie Secularists are doing their best to simply remove Judaism from Israel (except perhaps from the museum).

So what chance does a non-Jewish Russian immigrant have if he was already introduced to Nazi culture in Russia, brought it with him, and has no wholesome or Jewish culture/values to replace them with?

I’d say none at all.

Maybe it's time to put Jewish back into the Jewish State.

(This post does not necessarily represent the opinions of Jameel)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is that the Muqata?

Last week, some soldiers made a wrong turn and nearly found themselves lynched in PA occupied territory. It’s not the first time this has happened either.

There is really a simple solution to this problem. If you see big red signs saying “Don’t Enter”, well, then don’t enter.

But there is another alternative. dadyGPS is offering a special deal for publishers in the WebAds network (that’s me) and our readers (that’s you).

You can rent a car GPS in Israel for as little as $12 a day, or $50 for the whole week (that comes out to just a little more than $7 a day). (Normally the price is more like $15 a day).

Isn’t that peace of mind, knowing that you won’t make that wrong turn into PA occupied areas, (or Syria) well worth it?

OK, I admit, that was a scare tactic. The reality is that having a GPS in Israel can be quite useful if you are visiting or going touring.

The catch, you just have to mention WebAds when you talk to them.

Not a bad trade at all.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Weddings. WHAT?!

We've been to a lot of weddings lately, yet they aren't as enjoyable as the used to be.

Band music is so deafening, so powerful, that you can't have a simple conversation with the person next to you, let alone across the table. Airports are fined for what passes as Jewish wedding music these days. More and more people are coming to weddings with earplugs, and while they can't converse with you, at least they aren't suffering from permanent hearing damage.

The answer of course, is in the video below. I'm sure it would make the wedding a bit more expensive, but at least everyone would enjoy the wedding.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

More on the Elephant...Syria calling up Reserves

Continuing on our elephant in the room thread...

Totally unreported on Israeli media (as of 11:23 AM), the daily newspaper an-Nahar reports that the Syrian army is calling up some of its reserves. Assad says that his land [the Golan] is occupied, so he needs "peace to regain his land"...and when asked about Iran's call to wipe Israel off the globe, Assad replied, "This is freedom of speech. Any person in the world has the right to express himself freely. This is just an expression."

Sure.

Judge for yourselves:
Syria was reportedly calling its reserve forces as its president Bashar Assad said he is working for peace with Israel, denying charges of channeling Iranian weapons to Lebanon's Hizbullah.

The Daily newspaper an-Nahar, in an un-attributed report, said Syria has "called to service part of its reserve force."

Meanwhile, Assad told CBS: "We call for peace talks. We had peace talks 15 years ago … We work for peace with Israel … Our land is occupied and we need peace to regain our land."

He denied charges that Syria was channeling Iranian weapons to Hizbullah, saying Damascus supports the party "politically because they have a just cause."

"We have not allowed Iran to provide Hizbullah with Weapons and missiles. Where is the evidence for such a charge?" Assad asked.

He said charges regarding Syria's involvement in smuggling weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon "have been made for a year. Intelligence services, probably from all over the world, operate on the Lebanese side of the border with Syria and the Israelis fly over Lebanon … I told them provide us with a single evidence that we have sent one missile to Hizbullah. These are fake claims."

Syria, Assad said, supports Hizbullah politically.

"We do not provide anybody with safe haven. They have their safe haven among the Lebanese people. This is the source of their strength," Assad said.

"As for support, this depends on the kind of support. We have good relations (with Hizbullah) and we support herm politically because they have a just cause," he added.

Assad also denied that Damascus airport is being used by terrorists as a springboard to fight the U.S. forces in Iraq.

"They enter illegally across the border and we've managed to arrest them," Assad stressed.

Asked to comment on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenjad's call to wipe Israel off the Map, Assad said: "This is freedom of speech. Any person in the world has the right to express himself freely. This is just an expression."

Beirut, 09 Sep 07, 09:19
In the weeks before the Yom Kippur was in 1973, the IDF and Israeli government were aware of many signs indicating war.

Are we doomed to repeat history?

President Shimon Peres on history: "It is a great mistake to learn from history. There is nothing to learn from history."(M'aariv interview, 1993)



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Friday, September 07, 2007

THE POSSIBILITY OF WAR WITH SYRIA AT THIS TIME

I apologize deeply in advance for taking up so much of Jameel's space and his readers' time with this post. I believe that a frank discussion is important.

[It's ten o'clock at night in San Francisco, I'm full of caffeine, and probably no longer thinking straight. I would really love it if the readers rip this posting to pieces point by point.]


In postings both on Jameel's blog
(here: http://muqata.blogspot.com/2007/09/elephant-in-room.html)
and at Joe Settler
(here: http://joesettler.blogspot.com/2007/09/taking-bets-upcoming-war-with-syria.html)
the chance that Israel will soon be at war with Syria is mentioned.


Is war with Syria this year likely? I believe it is.
Is war with Syria this year inevitable? Not necessarily.
Is it desirable? No.



If war breaks out with Syria in the Summer or Autumn of 2007, there will be involvement, in varying degrees, of several enemy entities: Syrian military and Syrian irregulars, Iran , Hezbollah, plus Hamas and other Palestinian elements (partly coordinated from Damascus).



SOME BACKGROUND

Syria’s rulers have drawn closer to and gained support from Iran in recent years, to the point where they can now reject pressure towards democratic and economic reform from the West, and have further strengthened their grip on all levels of Syrian society. To a lesser extent, this also applies to Lebanon, despite developments there since the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

In this they have been aided by events in Iraq, which have served as an object lesson - the prospect of 'democracy' has been tarnished by events in Baghdad and the idea itself has shown its dangerous side to a profoundly conservative population. United States success in Iraq (not likely) would present both Iran and Syria with a problem and a threat, whereas a US failure, while presenting risks, would allow both Iran and Syria to continue building their co-operation, advancing their own agendas, and expanding their influence in the region.
In relation thereto, Syria does not want the Sunni majority minority in Iraq to gain power at the expense of the Shiites, as this could encourage and enable Sunni elements in Syria. And in that regard, any diminishing of US forces in western Iraq should be seen as providing opportunities in that area, whereas an increase would be a further drain on the US war effort, simultaneously strengthening the position of Shiite forces in Baghdad and the east. Plainly put, Syria can benefit from several different eventualities provided it remains in control of events.

A profound change in the Middle-Eastern realities will possibly benefit both Syria and Iran more than maintaining the current status quo.



THE POSITION OF SYRIA

Syria considers itself as the nation most entitled to present the Arab and Palestinian cause, and does not trust that the negotiations scheduled for this November will yield results satisfactory to Syria.
Specifically, Syria can and will not permit a comprehensive peace treaty with the Arab world unless the Golan Heights are returned.

In recent months Syria increased weapons production and significantly improved its arsenal, and has moved both forces and materiel to the border, where their intelligence activities have increased and fortifications have been strengthened. Training of forces (both regular and irregular) has intensified, and there is a likelihood of activity by guerillas leading to an all-out confrontation.

A Syrian war against Israel would mean conflict on several fronts, including the Lebanese border, Gaza, and the West Bank.

Scuds and Katyushas from both the Lebanese area and Syria proper would cause significant damage and disruption. Given recent Syrian tests coordinated with the Iranians, rocket range is probably 200 miles plus. Syria has warned that in the event of war with Israel, hundreds of missiles would hit Tel Aviv.

Further adding to Syria’s arsenal, Russia boosted Syria’s capabilities with an advanced anti-aircraft missile network (the Russian SA-18 anti-aircraft system), providing more anti-Aircraft coverage than any Arab state has ever enjoyed.

If Syria were to invade the Golan, a massive ground force supported by their advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons could seize and hold the area until a cease fire.
Which means that Israel would lose the Golan.
This would be a strategic and political disaster, and would prove damaging to Israel's position, on many levels, and internationally.


THE POSITION OF IRAN

Iran needs a major shift in Middle-eastern reality. Time and Ahmedinejad's term of office are both limited; for Ahmedinejad, events in the Middle-East must come to a head soon in order to scuttle international efforts against Iran's strategic initiatives (i.e. nuclear 'power' and regional influence). A limited Syrian war with Israel, with Iranian involvement, would boost Ahmedinejad politically, disrupt current anti-Iranian efforts, and probably prevent moderates from gaining power in Iran for the foreseeable future.

Iranian involvement would include but not necessarily be limited to Chinese-made C-802 missiles (which were supplied to Syria in the Spring of 2007), technical assistance, and seconded personnel as advisors (*).

* It should particularly be noted that since the American invasion, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other branches have gained much practical experience in Iraq that can be applied elsewhere - this was already evident in Lebanon in 2006.


THE POSITION OF HEZBOLLAH

Syria has re-armed Hezbollah to such an extent that their capabilities are greater than before the 2006 war in Lebanon. Rockets, in particular, have been provided in significant quantity - including materiel from Iran. This indicates a preparedness to strike deep inside Israel.

The 2006 war showed that Israel is not prepared for the military action needed to eradicate Hezbollah, nor willing to recapture and hold territory in Lebanon.

Sheikh Nasrallah is committed to action in any case should hostilities break out.


THE POSTION OF HAMAS ET AL

First of all, it is well to remember what seems to be the golden rule of Palestinian politics: when events spiral out of control, denials increase.

FATAH: While Fatah offically is quiescent towards the Israelis, unofficially there are still the alliances of convenience and opportunistic co-operative ventures with violent elements. Fatah itself is an unreliable and ineffective partner; many of Fatah's members have a commonality of purposes with Syria and Hamas, or are influenced by foreign elements, and can easily be prompted into action. If there is war with Syria, there will be violence in the territories.

HAMAS: While there is no serious threat to Hamas' position in Gaza, they have reached their limits there unless the blockade is broken and the realities change. But they are still active in the territories, along with Islamic Jihad and several other groups, and there too Syria has influence. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have offices in Damascus, along with most other branches of the Palestinian enterprise.

Hamas, like Hezbollah, has more guns and ammo than they've ever had before, and their position and credibility are based upon being an effective force.
It is only because of their actions that they have received funding and assistance from outside, particularly from Iran and Syria. It is therefore a certainty that if war breaks out between Syria and Israel, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad will go into overdrive.
And they may even engineer the precipitating event of such a war.


THE POSITION OF THE OUTSIDE WORLD

Bluntly put: forget it.

Europe will not act on Israel's behalf without Israel making such concessions to both Fatah and Hamas as would amount to suicide, and in any case European public opinion can be counted on to be firmly opposed to Israel. Military involvement is entirely out of the question.

The United States has got its hands full in Iraq, and the president is in no position to forcefully commit the United States to Israel's defense at present. The political price of such an act at this time would cripple the current government and the Republican Party, and the United States would be faced with increased international isolation.

Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt would at best stay neutral, at worst would actively work against Israel. There are substantial political factions in all three of these countries who would welcome any war between Syria and Israel, and the position of all three countries would greatly improve in relation to the rest of the Islamic world if they abstained from any actions advantageous to Israel.

The United Nations can be safely relied upon to do absolutely nothing, achieve absolutely nothing, and mean absolutely nothing.



CONCLUSION

Many experts have already concluded that war is likely.

Syria has no reason to wait - it is clear that there is no discussion possible about the Golan, and they may well consider that successful negotiations require a change in the realities on the ground beforehand.

Iran has no reason to wait - international pressure on them (see above) will only increase.

Hezbollah has no reason to wait - they held their own against Israel in 2006, and they have been ascendant since then.

Hamas has no reason to wait - Gaza will only get worse, and opposition to their authority will increase.

All parties are at a state of readiness which is unprecedented, and there is little that will decrease the tension.

There is no better time for war than now.


-----B.O.T.H.
[http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/]


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Elephant in the Room.


The elephant has been here for a few months, but only recently has it started getting bigger.

Taxi drivers discuss it with their passengers...
It is axiomatic that the news media is the last to know in Israel. From the time we arrived here, we have been told "the taxi drivers know." This could simply be urban legend, as I would very much like to believe, but recently I have been paying more attention as the taxi driver contingent in Jerusalem somehow gets wind of things ranging from sports to diplomacy to gossip and has oftentimes proved correct.

The news media is full of dire reports of Syrian units moving up to the Golan; of an Arab daily in London claiming Hezbollah's "surprise" for Israel is chemical and biological weapons; Nasrallah's boast that he is more and better armed than last summer; the upsurge in diplomatic Double-Talk about how no one wants war but everyone will respond to Other's "aggression," and so forth....(from "A Baka Diary")
Today's JPost subtly mentioned war with Syria as well:
The problem with a large-scale operation right now is that the timing is off. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is busy preparing for the November peace summit in the US; a major operation that would most definitely draw many casualties would cause its cancellation. The IDF is also still concerned about the possibility of war with Syria; an operation in Gaza could turn that fear into a reality.
So while everyone knows about and it's even Shabbat table talk, no one is coming out right to say it. Today, Israel still refuses to admit anything...but the elephant grows even larger.
Syria: Air defenses fired at Israeli aircraft over our airspace

Syrian air defenses opened fire on Israeli aircraft that violated Syrian airspace overnight Thursday, a Syrian military spokesman said.

The Israelis broke the sound barrier and "dropped ammunition" over deserted areas of northern Syria overnight, the spokesman was quoted by the official Syrian Arab News Agency. (JPost)
YNET:

"The Israeli enemy aircraft infiltrated into the Arab Syrian territory through the northern border, coming from the Mediterranean heading toward the eastern region, breaking the sound barrier," the spokesman said. "Air defense units confronted them and forced them to leave after they dropped some ammunition in deserted areas without causing any human or material damage."

Military sources declined comment on the report, saying "the IDF does not comment on reports of this nature."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said it was looking into the report.

Wish I could end this posting off with something optimistic, but the elephant is listening.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Minute is almost up!

OK people. Who's going to win $3000 from Nefesh b'Nefesh?

Have you entered yet?

The entry deadline is approaching.




(What's unique about) Israel in a Minute - for people in Israel only!


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

Results of The Golden Waffle Hunt

The winners of the Golden Waffle Hunt will be announced shortly.

Wherever I am, I make tasty waffles.

Illegal UnAuthorized Outposts FAQ

I'm sick of the people referring to outposts in Yehuda and Shomron (The WestBank) as "illegal." Everything settlers do is illegal; we're illegally breathing, illegally buidling, illegally driving our cars, and existing as Jews. Get over it; we're not leaving.

Here's the official FAQ on what our outposts are all about.

Q. What are outposts?
A. "Outposts" are tiny Jewish points of presence in Judea and Samaria. A neighborhood, house or two, makeshift synagogue or even a single toolshed can be labelled an "outpost". Such communities are targets for deportation and destruction; just a few weeks ago, two Jewish families in Hebron, with 6 and 8 children respectively, were ousted forceably from their homes. The outposts, small as they are, are scattered widely, hence crucial in preventing Judea and Samaria from being taken over by Hamas, and -- unlike the forsaken Gush Katif -- Judea and Samaria are directly adjacent to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Israel's sole international airport (Ben-Gurion airport).

Q. Is it true that the outposts were illegal because they were built behind the back of the Israeli government?
A. This is often stated, but no, it is not true. The government-commissioned Sasson report admitted that "from the beginning of the nineties...governmental bodies and public authorities...played a central role in establishing the outposts". In other words, the outposts were without any doubt sanctioned by governmental authorities. However, the Israeli press, which has its own political inclinations, almost always refers to outposts as "illegal outposts", without saying why. The foreign press takes its cue from the Israeli press.


Q. Aren't the outposts built on private land (belonging to Palestinians)?
A. Peace Now has made a profession of identifying Palestinians who are willing to claim that they are the owners of land being used by Jewish outposts. This does not mean that these Palestinians really are the owners -- this needs to be proven. Unfortunately, due to the particular judge appointment system used in Israel, there are many radical pro-Palestinian judges, who rule against outposts and settlements without bothering too much about evidence. For example, Peace Now's recent, very well publicized petition against a hareidi new "settlement" neighborhood in Modiin Ilit included 6 separate statements claiming misuse of "private Palestinian land". The Peace Now petition had 18 appendices; not one of them pertained to and proved this crucial claim! Nonetheless, the High Court was quick to accept Peace Now's deficient petition and issue an injunction; as a result, 1500 low-income Jewish families found themselves stranded without a home. Some are living with babies, but without water or electricity, to this day.
Peace Now, while ostensibly an Israeli movement, is supported financially by the European Union (as disclosed by two Israeli newspapers: Makor Rishon and, on the other side of the political spectrum, Haaretz).
One reason why outposts sometimes appear to be "on Palestinian land" is that it is difficult for Jews to get their land purchases from Palestinians recognized. As was recently established by MK Benny Alon by means of a parliamentary query, the Palestinian Authority still retains a policy of regarding those who dare to sell land to infidels - Jews - as guilty of treason. So, Palestinian sellers have every interest in vigorously denying that they have sold land to Jews -- creating the impression that an outpost which has been duly purchased, is "on Palestinian land".

Q. Is it true that there are many Palestinian "outposts" in Judea and Samaria as well?
A. Yes, there are, but these are not candidates for destruction. While it may seem to you discriminatory to destroy Jewish settlers' outposts only, this selectivity against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, vis a vis their Palestinian neighbors, was actually upheld by the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ), in 1992. In a landmark case known in Israel as Bagatz Kiryat Arba, the High Court ruled that discrimination against Jewish settlers was legal ("avchana muteret"). In contrast, discrimination against other groups such as women, Arabs and homo-sexuals, is of course illegal and prohibited by law here in Israel.

Q. Are the Israelis living in outposts normal, productive citizens?
A. Definitely: They pay taxes and serve in the army just like other Israelis elsewhere. In fact, groundwork for destroying an outpost containing many young families' homes was done last summer while the young owners of these homes were busy fighting in Lebanon and their wives and small children were home alone. In fact, Roi Klein z"l, one of Israel's most famous combat officers, who sacrificed his own life for that of his soldiers last summer in Lebanon, shouting "Hear O Israel" while intentionally jumping onto a lethal grenade thrown near his men, was a resident of an "illegal" (sic) outpost, near Eli. If the current trend against outposts is not blocked rapidly by Israelis and by the American Jewish community, Roi Klein z"l's young widow might find herself -- and her orphaned pre-school children -- homeless and penniless, since homes destroyed in state raids on outposts are not compensated for by the state.

Q. Should American Jews get involved?
A. Yes -- immediately. Please take responsibility -- do not let any more Jewish families lose their homes for no reason. The Jerusalem Post just reported (3 Sep) that the IDF is "planning for...West Bank outpost evacuations....Defense officials said that one of the reasons...was relentless American pressure".
Senior sources have explained to us privately that this pressure is coming straight from President Bush in person. President Bush is saying that Israel's Prime Minister "promised" to dismantle outposts, and that promises (however dangerous for Israel - M. A.) must be kept; insinuating (at least so it seems from here) that if Israel does not keep this "promise", the US might stop insisting that the Palestinians keep their "promise" to stop terror. In this way, President Bush is in effect blackmailing Israel, and from a publicity point of view, is also creating a false impression of moral equivalency between a handful of peaceful Jewish dwellings which have done no wrong, and the international behemoth of Islamist terrorism.
And now from a factual point of view: the Israeli government did "promise" the international community - buckling under vast international pressure -- to dismantle certain outposts, but this was not an unconditional promise; it was only if -- as an absolute pre-condition -- terror, violence and incitement had all come to a complete halt on the Palestinian side. This is currently about as far from happening as the Sahara desert freezing over.
Please call your local rabbi or organization leader and urge him to please make immediate inquiry as to the correctness of the above information. If your rabbi or leader counters that the above information is not correct, kindly ask him or her for the correct information IN WRITING and forward it urgently to mattot.arim@gmail.com for our response. We Israeli Jews can very much use YOUR political help if we are to succeed in standing our ground here, in the only Jewish country in the world. The political battle for survival will continue here in the Land of Israel -- we are determined and will not give in; but whether or not our battle for survival will succeed -- depends to a huge extent, much more than you think, on you, the American Jewish community. So, thank you very much indeed, in advance for YOUR political help and involvement.
Mattot Arim is an Israeli grassroots organization, working toward peace-for-peace since 1992. For questions, contact mattot.arim@gmail.com or spokesperson Susie Dym at sddym@bezeqint.net.



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