Thursday, June 30, 2005

Column: Call Your Congressmen

The theories, oh the theories!

The Israeli media has convinced many of those that still take it seriously that it is President Bush that is forcing PM Sharon into the “disengagement.” I heard it again from a fellow demonstrator on the way back from Monday’s orange demonstration here in Safed. Even though he is against the expulsion he swallows the disinformation of the media when it comes to blaming America – a tactic the leftist media uses to take the pressure off of Sharon. Nebach, I thought to myself, too weary to remind him of the facts of recent history that contradict his delusion. I suppose that some people need a certain measure of political correctness and media alignment to feel “anchored” in reality and secure in their citizenry.

On the trip I made with Americans for a Safe Israel last month I heard the same thing from Rabbi Eliezer Waldman in his new home in Sanur in the northern Shomron. Rabbi Waldman, a follower of Rabbi Kook, simply finds it hard to blame a Jewish PM of Israel for anything (believing in the holiness of any Israeli government) and so as not to face the hard reality of the lowliness of this government and the challenge it would mean to his theology, prefers to blame the American president.

As I wrote last week, the book “Boomerang” should put all the other theories to rest (other than the one that Sharon is ducking an indictment for the Greek Island matter) when contemplating Sharon’s transformation into Peres but the unraveling of the mystery of Sharon has become somewhat of a national obsession that has taken on a life of its own.

If I were to really indulge myself here I would run through my own personal favorites, both of which I have developed myself -- the temptation is great because I could be proven right at some point and then … and then what?

It was at a wedding two weeks ago that I understood it – that I understood this need to be the one that understands really what Sharon is up to.

I was sitting with a friend at the table and eating and chatting in English. At the same table were a few Israelis engaged in a heated argument in Hebrew. I was listening with one ear to what they were saying when my friend asked me what all the commotion was about. It suddenly occurred to me that what each of them had at stake in their argument was more than the correctness of their take on what Sharon was really up to. What was at stake was the last of what little dignity could be found in being overrun by Sharon’s transformative regime – the dignity of being smart enough to figure out why he was doing it – the grand consolation prize for the trodden upon and tyrannized.

What a pathetic situation, I thought to myself, what a sad situation we are in that all we can be consoled with is in that we might be the one to guess what our “leader” is really up to.

Still, it is a compelling activity that holds out the hope that somehow, with the right understanding; something can actually be done to stop the catastrophe. It is compelling because so much is at stake and so many attempts have failed.

Tomorrow there will be a huge show of civil disobedience in Israel with road blocking going on throughout the country. Much faith has been put in this approach. I have my reservations. The main one is that I think that the effectiveness of civil disobedience is dependent to a great extent on having support for your cause outside of the government – especially internationally – in order to bring pressure on the government. That support does not exist in the world press as evidenced most recently by the dearth of coverage on the “Boomerang” story. Without some real support what can the civil disobedience accomplish? That’s why it is so important for those of you in America who oppose the expulsion plan to get involved and make your voices heard. You can make a difference by contacting your Congressmen and telling them to see what no one wants them to see – that Israel from north to south is painted orange.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FrontPage :: Close Encounters of the Leftist Kind by Debbie Schlussel

FrontPage :: Close Encounters of the Leftist Kind by Debbie Schlussel:

"It's bad enough that Steven Spielberg is adding 'balance' and factual inaccuracy to the story of the Israeli Mossad's efforts to assassinate terrorists who killed Israeli Olympic athletes -- in his upcoming film, 'Vengeance' (I've detailed that here). It's bad enough that his message in 'Vengeance' is that fighting terrorists and killing them is bad and doesn't work. But his similar message in 'War of the Worlds' is arguably worse--because the movie, with fantastic special effects, is likely to be one of his bigger hits. "

The American Thinker -- The First Right

The American Thinker:

"Property rights are the fundamental building blocks of Liberty. The freedoms we enjoy in these United States may be our heritage through Natural Law and given to us by the Creator, but the free exercise of those fundamental rights is dependent upon a devout view of the sacred right to property. "

Monday, June 27, 2005

MK David Levy: Stopping Expulsion Depends on Netanyahu

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News: "

MK David Levy, former foreign minister and one of the leaders of the Likud loyalists opposed to the government�s plan to expel 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, implied that Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can stop the expulsion from taking place.

Netanyau�s position regarding the expulsion are �critical to the state and to his personal future,� Levy said. �The Knesset can stop the expulsion.�

MK Uzi Landau, head of the Likud loyalist faction said, �it would be enough for one Likud minister to come out against the government� in order to change the political situation."

The High Cost of Gaza Housing by Clifford May

In the Media:

"Only a radical would argue that Israel should not have such Arab citizens. And yet what passes for the moderate view holds that a future Palestinian state must be Judenrein � ethnically cleansed of Jews. Indeed, even �moderate� Jordan has a constitutional provision specifically prohibiting Jews from becoming citizens

It is within this context that Israeli and Palestinian leaders have now agreed to bulldoze those red-roofed, middle-class houses in Gaza. Will this action pave the way � almost literally � toward peace between Israel and a Palestinian state? Or will it represent just the destruction of one additional Jewish community, a reminder of the past, an omen for the future? No one can really say, least of all the Israeli and Palestinian officials who have agreed on this plan � and not much else. "

Friday, June 24, 2005

FrontPage :: Occupation and Settlement: The Myth and Reality by David Meir-Levi

FrontPage :: Occupation and Settlement: The Myth and Reality by David Meir-Levi: "One of the most prominent and contentious issues in the media coverage and Arab propaganda regarding the Israel-Arab conflict is that of Jewish �occupation� of Arab lands and the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (hereafter WBGS). Unfortunately, these issues have been clouded with misleading rhetoric and propagandistic mantras by both sides. To properly understand the role of the Israeli presence and settlements in the WBGS, it is necessary to review their history within the broader historical context of the Arab-Israel war, which has been proceeding without interruption since 1948."

Israel's Self-Imposed Dhimmi Status by Helen Freedman

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

"Israel has placed itself in a dhimmi position in regard to its Arab population. The entire action is a threat to Israel's very existence. Continued appeasement and withdrawal under threat of terror will only encourage the Arab enemy in his drive to dominate the world under the rule of global Islam. Israel must reassert its rights as a sovereign nation, and stop the flow of Jewish blood and the giveaway of the Jewish homeland immediately. Anything less is suicidal."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Column: Sharon's Transmutation

PM Ariel Sharon’s transmutation has led many to search for an explanation -- a theory that would convincingly describe what happened to him. I would divide the theorists into two classes.

One of the classes refuses to see that Sharon has betrayed those who put him in office, the platform he ran on, the principles of the Likud, and democracy. It clings desperately to the vision of Sharon as hero and master strategist who is maneuvering in unfathomable ways to mere mortals for the ultimate good of the Jewish People and the State of Israel – giving him the faith and license he needs to “lead.” This is an ever shrinking class.

The other class has been stripped of the myth of Sharon and looks for the element that brought him and his regime to the lows it has reached.

Perhaps the coldest take on what happened to Sharon was that he was ducking his indictment in the Greek Island affair and selling the security of Israel down the drain to protect himself and his sons from the legal apparatus – earning him the turning of a blind eye by the State Prosecutor and the media – both carriers of a political agenda to see the expulsion through.

This position was bravely argued months ago by Aryeh Stav in Nativ – the intellectual journal of the secular right. Stav, in an article titled The Planned Ethnic Cleansing and Some of Its Consequences, which can be found online, concludes after making his case with these words:

“As there is no other plausible explanation for the phenomenon of a man who in one fell swoop tramples everything in which he believed, which is, not coincidentally, the essence of Zionism – there is no avoiding the conclusion that Sharon sold out the Land of Israel for personal gain.”

This same harsh accusation (which is worth reading in whole) has now been made in the book Boomerang by Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelach. Not surprisingly, the media in Israel and the world media are ignoring the story almost completely – Google it and see for yourself that the only non-Israeli internet site to cover the story is WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah’s site.

About the lack of Israeli media coverage, MK Yitzhak Levy (Religious Nationalist Renewal) had this to say:

"The almost-absolute silence regarding the astonishing revelations by Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelach leave no room to be surprised. Everything that does not fall into line with the Prime Minister's policy is apparently not worthy of being covered. It's as if it's nothing. Every squeak by some beginning singer is covered more widely than these scandalous revelations of the book Boomerang."

According to Arutz 7, while “the two authors were interviewed on Channel Two, … their revelations were given little or no coverage in Yediot Acharonot, Maariv, Haaretz, Voice of Israel or Army Radio.”

I took a look at the WorldNetDaily story and found an interesting item. They reported that National Union leader, Uri Ariel, said the following with regard to the publication of Boomerang:
"I have sent a formal request letter to Israel's attorney general [Meni Mazuz] asking him to investigate the prime minister because of the revelations in the book that prove Sharon is corrupt. We know exactly who are the people involved in the scandal, what they did, so there needs to be an immediate investigation.”
Do a Google search on “Uri Ariel Meni Mazuz” and nothing comes up. Add “Sharon corrupt” to the search and you still get nothing.
The harshest accusations against Sharon on matters of greatest import to the future of Israel and demands for investigation into the scandal that would undermine Sharon’s plan are simply ignored.

This silence enables Sharon to continue with the expulsion plan. There will be no investigation by Mazuz and apparently no libel suit by Sharon against his accusers. Silence will grease the wheels for Sharon and his regime of repression and expulsion to bulldoze ahead.

The silence of the media also raises a red flag about what to expect going forward – a turning of a blind eye to whatever tactics Sharon might employ to plow his plan through. This could include mass arrests, the use of agent provocateurs -- whose actions would demonize and isolate completely opponents of the expulsion, the skewing and manipulation of polls, police brutality etc.

Considering the mortal strategic threat to Israel from the plan and the trampling of democracy, human rights, Jewish identity and Torah values, the enablement by the media of Sharon’s plan is reprehensible and creates a situation where just bringing awareness to those who care and seek to know the truth about what is going on in Israel is a monumental task.

One of the best efforts I have seen lately to spread the truth about the threat of “disengagement” is a new online video. Just do a search for “A Stab in the Heart National Union” and go to and watch A Stab in the Heart – then pass it on.

Sharon Government Bows to Egyptian Terms to Save Gaza Pull-out

DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism Security:
DEBKAfile investigation reveals: Israel is about to accept the posting of 3,500 Egyptian troops, 45 helicopters, along the 240 km of Egyptian-Israeli border. Sharon government is ready to bow to steep Egyptian terms to save Gaza pull-out.
June 23, 2005, 12:37 PM (GMT+02:00)
An Israeli government official claimed Thursday, June 23, that the military protocol still in negotiation covered no more than 750 Egyptian border police to secure the 14-km Philadelphi strip with a single police helicopter. He denied the draft would nullify the 1979 peace treaty demilitarizing Sinai or entail military risk. DEBKAfile clarifies: Cairo wants the entire border down to Eilat sectioned off into 14km sectors, each manned by 750 troops. As the August withdrawal date nears, Egypt keeps on raising new demands"

Israeli Seniors Take Civics Exam - Then Eulogize Israeli Democracy

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

"'We learned about democracy all year, but in the end, we saw that there is no connection between what we learned and the way things are happening - and so we decided on this protest measure on the lack of democracy in our country.'

'In the end,' she said, 'we are the ones to suffer - our basic civil rights are being trampled upon, whether it be that we vote for representatives to represent us and in the end they do the exact opposite; or when they try to remove the bodies of our relatives from their graves [her 18-year-old brother Itamar was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the second month of the Oslo War, in Nov. 2000]; or in that our basic civil rights have been removed, including the right to human dignity and good reputation, which the government and media have long besmirched..."

Bauer: Major TV Networks Boycotted 'Hospital Bomber' Story

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:

"Despite the distribution of a video of the Arab suicide bomber who intended to blow up a hospital by the IDF, nearly all foreign news agencies chose to boycott the story altogether.

An outraged former undersecretary to US President Ronald Reagan and candidate for Republican Presidential nominee, Gary Bauer wrote a scathing critique of the world media�s decision to avoid the story"

Friday, June 10, 2005

"Disengagement Fuels War!" By Yoram Ettinger

1. PUBLIC SUPPORT OF "DISENGAGEMENT HAS PLUMMETED TO 48%, down from 70% a few weeks ago. According to polls, while support has been soft the opposition to "Disengagement" has been solid. Recent polls have been conducted while the entire media has been deployed in support of "Disengagement", denying opponents an equal platform.

2. GENERAL YA'ALON, THE OUTGOING CHAIRMAN OF ISRAEL's JOINT C-o-S BLASTS "DISENGAGEMENT" (Ha'aretz, June 3, 2005). Ya'alon cautions that "Disengagement" would be a tailwind to Palestinian terrorism, bringing Kassam missiles and homicide bombing to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kfar Saba and other major cities. He warns that the Soft Belly of Israel would become a regular target for Palestinian terrorism.

3. General Ya'alon determines that "Disengagement" has been perceived by the Palestinians as a cut & run, emboldening terrorists: "The Palestinians believe that they are advancing their goal... while Israel retreats."

4. General Ya'alon claims that "Israel's military re-engagement [since 2002/3] with Palestinian cities has tilted the battle on terrorism in favor of Israel, has reduced the number of casualties, has bolstered Israel's steadfastness, has contributed to economic recovery and has acquired international legitimacy... Until the inception of "Disengagement" the Palestinians reassessed their position on terrorism, concluding that violence yields no rewards." But, then came the plan of "Disengagement", which has adrenalized Palestinian terrorism.

5. General Ya'alon insists that "Disengagement" would demolish recent Israeli achievements in its war on terrorism, and would produce a wave of terrorism, which would dwarf the one that has plagued Israel since the conclusion of the 1993 Oslo Accord.

6. GENERAL YA'ALON CONTENDS THAT A PALESTINIAN STATE WOULD BE A LETHAL THREAT TO THE JEWISH STATE, would exacerbate terrorism and would be a catalyst to a horrific war.

7. General Ya'alon concludes that ABU MAZEN HAS NOT ACCEPTED ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO EXIST. "Abu Mazen has not given away the claim of return... which stands for the destruction of the Jewish State."

8. VITAL U.S. INTERESTS WOULD BE UNDERMINED BY "DISENGAGEMENT", which would increase violence and instability, distance the area from peace, upgrading the position of rogue regimes and threatening the survival of pro-US regimes.

Column: Back From Jewish Gaza and Northern Shomron

I arrived back home in Safed yesterday after a week long trip to Jewish Gaza, the Northern Shomron, Hebron, the grave of Rachel in Beit Lechem, and finally Jerusalem for Shabbat and Jerusalem Day celebrations. I joined a group of 45 Americans who came from New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia Beach, Houston, St. Louis and Hawaii who were on the Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) / Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) tour led by Helen Freedman and Rabbi Bruce Rudolf.

Among the speakers that addressed the group were; MK Aryeh Eldad, Anita Tucker, a farmer and 30 year resident of Gush Katif, Dror Vanunu, spokesman for Jewish Gaza, Nadia Matar of Women in Green who has moved down to Gush Katif, Yoram Ettinger -- who served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington (with a rank of an Ambassador), Israel’s Consul General in Houston and Director of Israel’s Government Press Office, David Bedein, frequent contributor to Arutz 7, Prof. Israel Hanukoglu of the College of Judea and Samaria, and from Hebron, spokesman David Wilder and activist Noam Federman who is under administrative house arrest. In Sanur in the Northern Shomron, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, dean of the Yeshiva of Kiryat Arba who has recently moved to Sanur spoke to us.

The group planted olive trees in the Shomron and observed the training of rapid response teams to deal with terrorist intrusions into settlements. The settlers themselves make up the teams and are being trained in coordination with the army. Funding comes through private donations to Mishemret Yesha.

From a high spot in Chomesh, one of the four Northern Shomron communities slated for expulsion, we looked down on the whole coastline of Israel. Although it was a fairly hazy day, the skyline of Tel Aviv was visible in the south, the chimneys of the Hadera electrical plant were due west and to the north the Carmel Mountain of Haifa was within sight. On a clear day we were told by our guide, Izzy Danzinger of Efrat, that the electrical plant of Ashkelon, just north of Gaza, is visible as well.

Later on in Jerusalem David Bedein said something to the group that rang true to all of us who had been to Chomesh. He said that the media and government focus on Jewish Gaza is in his opinion a diversion tactic to take attention away from the greater threat that the withdrawal from the Northern Shomron represents. Many of us had come to that same conclusion ourselves after actually seeing the vulnerability of the coastal plain -- where 70 percent of the Israeli population lives – to what would become a Fatahland three times the size of the Gaza Strip.

Bedein also gave practical advice to the group about how Americans can help by contacting their Congressmen – the subject of an article of his that can be found on Arutz 7. Yoram Ettinger also spoke of the contribution that Americans can make in stopping the expulsion by contacting Congress. AFSI is working on a plan to coordinate phone calls and inundate Congress one day a week to show opposition to the expulsion plan.

The group handed out Garfield dolls to happy and grateful children all over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The children were delighted to received their orange colored dolls – the color of opposition to the expulsion – and it seemed that the word had spread from community to community about this wonderful busload of Americans who showered the children with the orange cat that stays put as children came out to meet the bus as we went from place to place.

One of the great surprises of the trip was the meeting with Prof. Israel Hanukoglu of the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel. We had gone to see the professor with the expectation of hearing about the College and its new status as a University which was recently approved. What we received was the most interesting account of the arrest of the professor for standing at a street corner near his home in Rishon L’Tzion with and anti-disengagement sign. The professor spoke about the threats and intimidation leveled towards him by the police for refusing to identify himself – he wanted to see how the police treat citizens and not professors – including breaking his hands and towing his car. He also spoke of the tremendous privilege he felt to be among those arrested. He was inspired by the spirit and faith of both the young and old who he found himself incarcerated with for some 24 hours. He also had prepared for us a slide show showing maps of Israel and the threat of disengagement and discussed at length a subject which I have addressed here numerous times – the anti-democratic forces that are operating in Israel to push forward the “disengagement.”

He outlined the forces at play including non representative government where MK loyalty is to the party and not to the constituents, the media, and the Supreme Court – a subject I have spoken about a number of times.

Some of the group stayed on to join NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind who has returned to visit the communities of Jewish Gaza with some 100 people to give yet more support to the communities and to be inspired by their spirit and faith as well.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

High Court -- Deciding Constitutional Issues on the Fly

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News: "The petitions challenged the morality and legality of the expulsion plan. The court stated that while the expulsion infringes on the rights of families being removed from their homes, the law protects the other citizens of the state by implementing the retreat."

It might help if there was a constitution that defined what the rights of citizens actually are in Israel. The decision is political and a legal aberration -- predictable as it was.

FrontPage :: The Myth of the "New Jew" by Myles Kantor

FrontPage :: The Myth of the "New Jew" by Myles Kantor: "I think it's the worst thing to say, "We've created a new Jew." I think that this attitude stems directly from Communism, from Marxism, from the ideology of Arab nationalism - all of which tried to create a new person. First of all, it's a lie. As soon as one is speaking about a new Jew, they're referring to the proud Jewish fighter, the hero, Samson. It's so old, so ancient.... "

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Americans in Gaza protesting evacuation

WorldNetDaily: Americans in Gaza protesting evacuation: "NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza -- A group of over 100 Americans, led by a New York state lawmaker, finished day two yesterday of a three-day mission to show solidarity with Gaza's Jewish residents and to protest Israel's planned withdrawal this summer from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. "

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Column: June 3, 2005

The meeting between President Bush and Mahmoud Abbas in Washington and the silence of Natan Sharansky in regard to his opposition to the expulsion plan at the AIPAC conference may mark the completion of the squandering of perhaps the friendliest administration in Washington that Israel has known.

So what’s next?

It looks downhill from here. The words of Bush and Abbas, the silence of Sharansky and the endorsement of Sharon’s “disengagement plan” by the Jewish establishment have brought us back to a “peace process” where Israeli concessions, expulsions and withdrawals will be followed by greater demands from Abbas while he gives greater and greater lip service to democracy and ending terror but actually does nothing on the ground.

Abbas is looking forward to the opportunities that have presented themselves through the lame capitulations of Jewish “leadership” both here and in America.

He said:

“We have assured the President that the Palestinian Authority is ready to coordinate with the Israeli side in order to ensure the success of its withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank upon the Israeli evacuation. We see this evacuation as a part of ending the occupation, and it should not be at the expense of the West Bank. We must then immediately move to permanent status negotiations to deal with the issues of Al-Quds, East Jerusalem as a capital of the future state of Palestine, the issues of refugees, settlements, borders, security, and water, on the basis of President Bush's vision, and on the basis of U.N. resolutions, and the basis of the Arab Initiative.”

Make note: President Bush’s first words following the speech of Abbas of which the above quote it only part said: “Good job, good job. Two questions a side ….”

For those that are unfamiliar, Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem and the issue of “refugees” refers to the overrunning of pre 1967 Israel with “refugees” which would likely mean the end of the State of Israel as a Jewish state.

Of course, those matters are down the road but Abbas is encouraged by what he sees as the inevitability of the upcoming “disengagement” from Gaza and the Northern Shomron and is telling the world and his people about what he wants next.

Others encouraged of late by the direction of these latest developments include Hizbullah terror chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who commanding more than 12,000 missiles along Israel’s northern border said at a rally last week that:

"The entire north of occupied Palestine [sic], its settlements, airports, seaports, fields, factories and farms is under the feet and hands of the Islamic resistance."

The message is clear to those who chose not to blind themselves to the hard truth that the “disengagement” will be accompanied or followed by an escalation of violence that will include not only the barraging of Israel from newly evacuated Gaza and Northern Shomron, but the strong likelihood that northern Israel -- from where I write -- will come under a major missile attack.

About this threat, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Ayash told the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot that the IDF is also preparing for the possibility that not only Hizbullah, but other terror groups operating in Lebanon, might attack during this summer's planned uprooting of Jewish towns.

The relative quiet that Israel has known on the northern border will explode and I am not at all sure how Israel will respond. Will we in the north be expected to take to the bomb shelters or will the air force act forcibly in preemptive action? If preemptive action is too much to hope for, will the air force act in response? I don’t know. There are shelters. What’s the problem? I have heard more than one native Israeli express a bizarre acceptance of the possibility of living a prolonged existence going in and out of bomb shelters. I am revolted.

Meanwhile, I am preparing for another trip with AFSI and ZOA to Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron. While the purpose of the trip is to give strength to the Jewish communities there, the effect is often that the group receives at least as much if not more strength from the communities.

Maybe I’ll come back strengthened from the trip. It wouldn’t surprise me. However, it won’t surprise me if the opposite is true -- it just looks like things are going south in a big way to any and all of us who remember and know the meaning of a land for terror “peace process.”