Saturday, October 31, 2009

Walking the dogs

Start the week with a laugh!

At least a dozen US politicians understand the situation. A drop of water – it helps, not much, but some.

A group of US state legislators toured Israel with a program sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, meeting with our local movers and shakers. What was at the top of their agenda? The infamous Goldstone Report.

I have no doubt at all you are as sick of hearing about the Goldstone Report as I am. As a completely corrupt, false and damaging account to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, it’s without parallel -- and when you’re talking about UN activities, that’s saying something. But to accuse Israel of war crimes in last December’s Operation Cast Lead – and never to mention the eight long years of provocation by Arab terrorists, the bombs, mortars that moment by moment threatened a million people in Israel’s south -- is simply unconscionable.

The fact that the world at large seems to be taking it seriously is even worse.

I have a feeling the Goldstone Report is going to equal that other nefarious document, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first compiled in the 1890’s, but still rears its ugly head wherever Israel or Jew haters congregate.

Nevertheless, the visiting politicians were interested in Goldstone – and at least a few saw the light.

According to one of them, Georgia State Sen. Don Balfour, the Goldstone document is misunderstood in the United States. "Yesterday we had a meeting about the Goldstone Report. The average American says, 'Hey, war crimes? [with a shocked look on his face],' but then you read it and you see almost everything we [US] do is a war crime.

"Sometimes there are civilian casualties, which are horrible. But is that a war crime? If so, that changes the way we define war," he said.

If indeed the IDF is accused of war crimes, "Every soldier is going to be a war criminal. If you bomb an al-Qaida terrorist and one of their family dies, that would be a war crime," Balfour said.

AHA! That’s what we’ve been saying for a long time – Israel comes first, as an appetizer. Then the freedom haters, the terrorists, move on to tackle the main course, the US.

Former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton made much the same point. "Israel frequently serves as a surrogate target in lieu of the US, particularly concerning the use of military force preemptively or in self-defense," Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal on October 19. "UN decisions on ostensibly Israel-specific issues can lay a predicate for subsequent action against, or efforts to constrain, the US. Mr. Goldstone's recommendation to convoke the International Criminal Court is like putting a loaded pistol to Israel's head - or, in the future, to America's."

Whoever arranged the itinerary for this tour did a good job – the visiting legislators were even inspired to delve into the myth of Jenin, another battle in which Israel was unjustly accused of war crimes. If fact, the IDF in that battle risked their own lives to protect Arab civilians – and what happened? The IDF was accused of a “massacre” -- which never happened at all. Nor, of course, was there any mention of the fact that Jenin had served as a terrorist base for years.

If you really want to know what happened in Jenin, find a copy of Brett Goldberg’s 2003 book, “Psalm in Jenin”, which is finally, after many years, available from Amazon. Why it took so long to get published in the US is a mystery – or else it isn’t. Take your choice.

In any event, Senator Balfour – good name, huh? -- got the point: In Jenin the IDF went door-to-door looking for terrorists rather than immediately bombing a suspected house. Get that? They risked their own lives in order to save Arab bystanders. “This was the kind of information that slipped through many media reports,” Balfour said.

He added that during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, "People will read an article and say, 'Israel bombed Lebanon?!' What they do not know, however, is Lebanon sent 10,000 bombs [to Israel]," he said, referring to mortar shells and Katyusha rockets.

The tour group even addressed such issues as defining a war crime. Balfour suggested a definition that arose from Operation Cast Lead itself.

"When they set up terror missiles next to a school, on top of a hospital, in front of a kindergarten, that ought to be a war crime," he said. "When they set up missiles on schools and hospitals, you eventually have to take those missiles out."

In US presidential elections, there used to be a saying, “As goes New Hampshire, so goes the nation”. New Hampshire traditionally held the first primary, so the US’s smallest state served as a bellwether to predict how the rest of the country would vote.

Today, what’s absolutely true is “As goes Israel, so goes the world.” Interesting that this group of touring state legislators got the point.

Kudos to whoever set their tour itinerary – please arrange more just like that. Maybe you should invite the Community Organizer and Mrs. Bubba. If a drop of water can eventually wear a hole in a rock, maybe even those two could begin to understand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sounds funny to say it, but from the sound itself, I can’t tell the difference between a sonic boom and the explosion of a terrorist rocket.

Yesterday, late in the day, there were a number of “BOOM”s – explosion sounds – that revealed themselves to be sonic booms. Several major military establishments are perched in the Negev around Beersheba, and apparently the pilots feel the need to break the sound barrier over the city with considerable frequency.

That said, the only way I can tell what the boom was is by what happens afterwards. If there are no screeching sirens, then it was a sonic boom. If, on the other hand, emergency vehicles are sounding their alarms, then… well, then it was a rocket or mortar. Usually.

Not so, last night. There was this BOOM, and then within a couple of minutes, the sirens started up. I could hear they were heading in the direction of Soroka, which is the Negev’s major medical facility. As the sirens increased – clearly several emergency vehicles were operating – I went inside to see if any of the news media were reporting what happened. And where.

There was nothing on the news. But since there weren’t any more BOOMS, either, I eventually forgot about it.

This morning, we know. Last night, three cars collided with a bus headed to Eilat. A 29 year old woman was killed and seventeen people were injured. The emergency vehicles were ambulances bringing the victims to Soroka.

Well. It wasn’t a terrorist attack. But it was a disaster – at least for those involved.

Was it reasonable to think it might have been another rocket attack? Certainly.

The Arabs in Aza have been stepping up their attacks again – in fact, they average a rocket a day fired out of Aza, as our Arab “peace partners” try to kill Israeli civilians. There’s fewer, certainly, since last December’s Operation Cast Lead. But in Sderot and other communities near Aza, the rocket-incoming sirens are still wailing.

Then too, on Tuesday, Hezbollah terrorists in the north, from Lebanon, fired a Katyusha rocket into Israel – these are big babies, and designed to do more damage than the kassams the Aza terrorists generally (but not always) use. No one was injured – but with every incoming rocket, the nerves fray, just a little. Waiting for the real thing to start all over again.

The thing is, we all know it’s going to start up again soon. This period of relative quiet – both in the north and south – is just the time the terrorists are using to restock and rearm. It has nothing to do with “peace”, or any desire therefor. They don’t want “peace”. They want Israel gone, and they’ll keep up the attacks until they achieve their goal – or until Israel acts with sufficient strength to convince them there’s no hope. No hope in their plan to get rid of Israel.

So on Tuesday, one Katyusha hit – it was the ninth Katyusha fired into Israel since the (alleged) end of the 2006 war. Last February 21, one of them landed near a house and injured three people.

More than just the one rocket fired Tuesday, however, military officials discovered four more, ready, armed and in position to fire. The Katyushas are being supplied by Iran, which also trains the Lebanese terrorists in their deadly trade.

And how did the world react? The governments of the various peace-loving countries in the world responded by saying, generally, that the firing of deadly rockets into civilian communities in Israel is a violation of UN Resolution 1701.

Isn’t that amazing? That anyone -- anyone with any kind of a brain at all – could expect a band of terrorists to obey international law?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thank goodness for those of you who’ve asked about Amnesty International’s criticism – published in the Sacramento Bee – about Israel’s alleged violation of “Palestinian” water rights.

It’s so refreshing to hear people say, “Is that really true?” as compared to just accepting whatever the State Controlled pro-Arab media puts out.

Below is the pretty short and easy to read official statement from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but here’s a quick answer: an agreement about water exists. Israel has more than satisfied it, giving the “Palestinians” more water than they are entitled to; the “Palestinians” blatantly cheated, taking twice as much water as they were entitled; now the “Palestinians” accuse Israel of nefariously depriving them of water.

Same old, same old.

But one thing I’m getting a kick out of: I once had a Central Valley client who came up with a great plan to get more irrigation water than he was entitled to under the federal Reclamation Reform Act. His idea was to simply drill wells all along the aqueduct, helping himself to underground sources of water that wouldn’t have been calculated as a part of his entitlement.

That’s a no-no, of course, and I have no doubt the Bureau, in all its glory, would have put an end to that, in something less than a heartbeat. Had he tried it, my client would probably have ended up as a guest of the government at Club Fed in Lompoc. But anyway, here are these clever “Palestinians” who did exactly that – and have been getting away with it for years.

There’s nothing new under the sun – I think someone else said that once, too.
Anyway, here’s the official statement.

Spread the truth around, will you?

(October 27, 2009) Israel has fulfilled all its obligations under the water agreement regarding the supply of additional quantities of water to the Palestinians, and has even extensively surpassed the obligatory quantity.

The Israel-Palestinian water policy is based on an interim agreement between the two parties, particularly on Article 40 of Annex III to the agreement, which relates to the question of water and sewage. According to the agreement, 23.6 million cubic meters of water will be allocated to the Palestinians annually. In actual effect, they have access to twice as much water.

Israel has fulfilled all its obligations under the water agreement regarding the supply of additional quantities of water to the Palestinians, and has even extensively surpassed the obligatory quantity. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have significantly violated their commitments under the water agreement, specifically regarding important issues such as illegal drilling (they have drilled over 250 wells without the authorization of the Joint Water Commission) and handling of sewage. (The Palestinians are not constructing sewage treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so and the important foreign funding earmarked for this purpose).

Data regarding consumption of fresh natural water clearly shows Israel's fair treatment of Palestinian requirements:

In 1967, Israel's per capita consumption of fresh natural water was 508 (m3/person/year). In 2008, it dramatically dropped to 149. The Palestinian figures for the same consumption went from 86 (in 1967) to 105 (in 2008).

Israel has offered to supply Palestinians with desalinated water, but this possibility is systematically rejected due to political motivations.

While Israel has significantly reduced its use of fresh natural water since 1967, consistently closing the gap between Israeli and Palestinian consumption, it remains unclear how Amnesty's claims of "discriminatory policies" towards Palestinians can sustain the trial of reality. The authors of the report chose to ignore Israeli data, papers and reports, although they contain verifiable facts presented with total transparency. This questionable approach, which consists in systematically disregarding Israeli material while relying exclusively on Palestinian allegations, raises doubts as to the real intentions of the report's authors and of the organization itself.

A thorough report on the issue of water between Israel and the Palestinians can be consulted on the website of the Israel Water Authority.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Monday, October 26, 2009

You could write a whole book about books in Israel – the problems in the acquisition and retention thereof.

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make in living here was learning how to live with fewer books – English language books here are not in plentiful supply, and when you do find them, they’re very expensive. A new trade paperback from a bookstore costs about $16-17, and even used (usually extremely “ used”) books are in the $10 range – the same books you’d be able to buy at a garage sale or thrift shop in the US for less than a dollar, if you had just a little luck.

So for someone like me – who reads somewhere between three and five books a week -- satisfying my book addiction became a very expensive proposition.

Other book-buying options didn’t help much. Yes, bookstores here do function almost like lending libraries. They offer to buy back the books they sell you for anywhere from 30-40% of the price you paid. That helps -- but because I bought almost all of my used books in Jerusalem, that meant I not only had to keep track of which book I bought in which store, but I also had to haul them back to Jerusalem on the bus. That wasn’t fun at all, so I only did that once. In other words, once I bought the book, I kept it.

Another solution was borrowing books from friends, but at the rate I read, it didn’t take long to exhaust their libraries. Nor was the local AACI English language library much help. I still find a few books there, but for the most part, I’ve read everything I want to read from that source.

For a while, at the beginning, my kids and a couple of very good friends in the US bailed me out. They’d send ‘care’ packages of books, which was a wonderful thing indeed. Then the US postal rates went nuts, and shipping books to me in Israel became way too expensive, so that source dried up.

For the last year or so, I’ve been buying books from, a massive used-book operation in the US. BetterWorld sells mostly library discards, lots of them for their rock bottom price of about $3.98, plus another $3.97 per book to ship it to Israel.

That’s worked out pretty well, and because they have an inventory of millions of books, I can always find books in the lower price range I want to read. Still, paying almost $8 per used book had its limits. Most of the time I just shut my eyes and refused to allow myself to think about what it was costing. For me, having books to read is as essential as food or water. I can’t live without books, so I paid.

Obviously I’m not the only one in this situation. We are the people of the book, after all, so there were – are – lots of us English language book readers over here, all facing the same problem.

A few years ago, someone in the Tel Aviv area set out to solve the problem. They created an internet book swap site called “Anglobooks”. The premise was interesting: People would list the books they were willing to either trade permanently or “loan”, and if you saw something you liked, you’d email the person and offer to trade – you’d mail them (or deliver in person, if you happened to be in the same area) one of your books, and get one of theirs in trade.

Sounds good, but there’s an obvious flaw. What if you saw a book on someone’s list you wanted, but that person wasn’t interested in any of the books you were offering? Because all trades were one-on-one, it took a considerable amount of emails to find a book each participant wanted from the other’s library. Then, too, lots of the Anglobook members only wanted to LOAN their book – not trade it away permanently. You’d have to return it to them, and get your own back as well.

Which meant, in its most essential form, you’d stand in line at the post office FOUR times for each book. Sending your book, then picking up theirs: then returning your book, and getting your own back again. Post offices in Israel are exact clones of those in the US. The opportunity to spend that kind of time standing in line was most definitely not appealing.

Then my friend Sally in Minnesota discovered an American book-trade organization that left me howling with envy. She discovered “paperback swap” – What a great idea that is!

Paperback swap was the first to treat books as fungible commodities. A book is a book – equal to every other book. So their system was, you’d list books you’d be willing to give away, and when someone saw one of your books he wanted, he’d email you and you’d send it to him – free. No money changes hands, the only cost is postage. But in return, you’d now have a “point” – and with that point, you could choose a book – any book – from anyone else’s list, free.

This was a marvelous concept – and completely eliminated the problems with the Anglobook site here. With paperback swap, you could pick any book from the millions listed by everyone, not just from the person who happened to want one of yours. Sally – who’s also a big reader -- traded books by the dozen, and I was envious, wishing we had something similar here.

And now, finally, a book-swap organization has found its way to Israel – not just Israel, but all over the world. It’s called “Book Mooch” – -- and it operates just like the US’s paperback swap. You list books you’re willing to give away, and when someone wants one, you send it out and then you get a “point”. With your ‘points’ you can pick a book from anyone else on the list, any book they’re listed and said they’re willing to give away. Again, no money changes hands. A book is a book is a book.

So this is fun. Last night I listed 141 books that I was willing to give away – these were books that I either didn’t like, were duplicates (back the salad days when people were sending me books, there were some duplicates), or books that, for whatever reason, I knew I’d never read, or read again. I was willing to trade them away for books that I did want.

By the time I got done listing – all you do is enter the ISBN, and the rest is automatic – there were five people who’d emailed me, wanting one or more of my books. By the time I went to bed, I’d taken orders for 12 books – from people all over the world. Tomorrow, I’ll take all these to the post office and be shipping them off to France, New Zealand, London, Glasgow, the Philippines, and of course, many to other readers right here in Israel.

Accordingly, this morning, I went “shopping” myself. With my accumulated “points” I “bought” ten books -- so far. I’ve already got lots of points. I picked books from people living in London, Denver, CO, New York, Switzerland, France and of course, several that other Israeli readers were offering.

Such a deal! In the first place, it’s really good to find books I want and to be able to trade them, one on one, for books I don’t. Yes, I have to pay postage – but that’s still just a fraction of what it costs to buy and ship a regular book.

But secondly – the ‘one worlders’ will love this – it’s really a lot of fun to be talking (so to speak) to book lovers all over the world. To recommend books to each other, to add a few lines to an email about this book or that.

Indeed, in some respects, Disney was right: it’s a small world after all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dick Armey hit it right on the nose.

Remember? See my blog of August 16. Last summer, former US Representative Dick Armey – now chair of FreedomWorks – predicted:

“In September or October there will be a hyped up outbreak of the swine flu which they’ll say is as bad as the bubonic plague to scare the bed-wetters to vote for healthcare reform. That’s the only way they can push something (i.e., ObamaCare) on to the American people that the American people don’t want.”

And here it is, October 25th. And what are the headlines today?

“Obama declares swine flu a national emergency”

"As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic," Obama wrote in Saturday's declaration.

He said the pandemic keeps evolving, the rates of illness are rising rapidly in many areas and there's a potential "to overburden health care resources."

So there you have it: H1N1 has now become a national emergency. How can the great nation of America expect to survive this crisis without the Community Organizer’s plan to care for us all? Surely now, Americans will back away from their opposition to socialized medicine and its $1 trillion cost. Surely now everyone will welcome The One as he seeks to tend us in our sufferings.

But let’s put this in perspective.

So far, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 800 people have died of “swine flu”.

Not to minimize in any way at all the tragedy of any of these deaths, consider this:

In 2008 (latest year for which statistics are available):

631,636 died of heart disease
559,888 died of cancer
121, 599 died of accidents of all kinds
72,449 died of diabetes
72,432 died of Alzheimer’s
56,326 died of influenza and pneumonia – even before H1N1
45,344 died of Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis (kidney diseases)
34,234 died of septicemia (blood poisoning)

And how about this? Every DAY 36 people die and another 700 are injured in auto crashes involving a drunk driver.

In all, every year over 16,000 people die from alcohol-related auto accidents.

For that matter, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Every year 33,300 unfortunate souls top themselves.

Better yet? According to the National Academy of Sciences, each year somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 people died from medical malpractice – doctor and hospital “mistakes”.

Once ObamaCare is in place, with fewer doctors and hospitals attempting to care for millions of additional patients – which you’ll be paying for, with higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, lower deductibles, and finally with your life when they decide you’re no longer worth keeping alive – once ObamaCare is in place, how many more patients will die of sloppy medical and hospital care?

Don’t even think of letting the Community Organizer’s attempt to scare you into supporting his insane plan succeed.

Keep up the pressure, America.

NO to ObamaCare, now – and then for heaven’s sake, clean out the House and a third of the US Senate in 2010.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back in the Old Country, there’ve been tricks aplenty – and it’s not even Halloween yet.

With the mass media coverage of the “balloon boy” and the subsequent revelation that it was a hoax, there’s no need for long explanations.

The Heenes, a classically publicity-hungry family, the ultimate in the ‘look at me’ generation, engineered a hoax wherein they told officials their aptly-named son “Falcon” might be aboard a home-made hot air balloon that soared for several hours over parts of Colorado.

No one has yet tallied the dollar cost to the federal, state and local governments who participated in the search and rescue effort for the six year old, but the Colorado Army National Guard was involved, using their UH060 Black Hawk and OH 58 Kiowa helicopters. That doesn't come cheap. The local sheriff’s department joined the boy-hunt, and rescue workers of all kinds were pulled off other work, in preparation, as the balloon soared and the boy remained missing. Also involved were the Federal Aviation Administration as well as local law enforcement from several counties, all to the detriment of other people who were in real danger, of course.

Then little Falcon Heene emerged from the attic, where he’d been hiding all the time.

“It was a hoax”, said Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden. Criminal charges against the family are expected, and the family’s ability to care for their three children is being evaluated. All in all, it was a significant brouhaha, not to mention an expensive one, with the taxpayers picking up the tab.

All that said, another hoax just earned not only a “get out of jail free” card from a Minnesota judge but better yet, cash dollars legally required to be transferred to the hoaxers.

This hoax involves the “Flying Imams” a group of six Muslim men who set out in November of 2006, to test the airline security systems put in place after 9/11.

These six Muslims dressed and deliberately acted in a suspicious way, trying to duplicate what the 9/11 terrorists had done, hoping to get themselves arrested and/or kicked off the airplane.

They succeeded. They were removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis bound for Phoenix after acting in such a way that “serious security and safety concerns amongst fellow travelers” were aroused.

It was a hoax! They tried to act suspicious. They were trying to get arrested – which arrests would be false, of course, because they were kidding – they had no plan to terrorize or kill anyone.

So in March 2007, along with CAIR – terrorist sympathizers in the US – the “Flying Imams” filed a law suit against US Airways, the Minneapolis Airport, and "John Doe" passengers who reported the highly suspicious behavior. CAIR's executive director, Nihad Awad, proclaimed, "At its core, this case has always been about the ability of all Americans to practice their faith without fear of intimidation or harassment".

Well, that’s one view. Some of us might think it was about the rest of the passengers, on every airline all over the world, who’d like to fly with some reasonable degree of confidence that some Muslim nutcase with a box cutter wasn’t about to commandeer the airplane and fly it into a skyscraper, all for the glory of Allah. There is that.

Anyway, today a wisdom-impaired Minnesota Federal Judge – Ann Montgomery, a Bubba appointee – insisted on a settlement of the lawsuit, which included cash dollars to be paid to the Muslims. They are being paid off for their hoax – for their “inconvenience” in being falsely arrested.

One of the imams, Marwan Sadeddin, confirmed that the financial settlement did not include any kind of an apology from the perpetrators of the hoax. But, he said, they acknowledged that “a mistake was made”.

So? Two tricks, two hoaxes, one in Colorado, one in Minnesota. In both cases, taxpayers paid the bills.

Do you think the idiotic Heene family will be compensated for all the trouble they were put through in perpetrating their hoax?

Or could it be that you need to be Muslim to get the courts to approve of your dangerous tricks, and pay you off, anyway?

I think it’s time to take the Statue of Liberty down. Thanks anyway, France. Nice idea, but it didn’t work. The ‘wretched refuse’ that washed up on America’s shores has taken over the country, pure and simple.

Justice? Forget it. Try insanity.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I’m waiting for Number Three – maybe that will be the lucky one.

Yesterday I ordered dog food from my favorite dog-food guy, Benny. As usual, the 20 kilos of dog food were supposed to be delivered -- great thing about Israel: They deliver dog food to your door, no extra charge – anyway the dog food was supposed to be delivered between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. So just before 4:00, I put both dogs on their leashes and secured them to the front porch. Benny’s guy usually shows up pretty soon after 4:00, and I didn’t want my roommates jumping all over the poor kid when he arrived toting the heavy bag.

Sure enough, at 4:05 there was a banging on my front gate. I ran to open it, and a young man stood there. “I have a package for you. Will you sign here please?”

Huh. Well, that was new. Benny has had my credit card number for years. I’ve never had to sign for it before, but hey – whatever he wants. He handed me a clipboard with a form in Hebrew, and I didn’t take the time to try to figure it out, I just signed. But I could see he didn’t have anything else with him, and that seemed a little odd. Why wouldn’t he bring the dog food along when he walked all the way to my door?

“So where’s my dog food?” I asked.

“What dog food?”

“The dog food you’re bringing from Benny. Isn’t that what you have for me?”

“No. I have a package. It doesn’t look like dog food. Wait a minute…. (he reads)….Are you Shoshana (incomprehensible Russian name)?”

“No. I’m Yocheved Russo. Who are you looking for?”

He gave me the name again, and read off the correct address – well, correct, except that Shoshana what’s-her’s-name doesn’t live here and I can pretty well guarantee she never has.

A few more puzzled questions, and finally we agreed he had the wrong house. I pointed him down the courtyard where a big Russian family lives. Maybe ‘Shoshana’ was part of that household.

Ten minutes later, Benny’s guy arrived with my dog food. I didn’t have to sign anything.

I hope Shoshana was as happy with her package as my dogs were with mine.

That capped off last Friday’s incident, which was marginally more interesting.

Fridays are always incredibly busy – I rarely take time to talk on the phone, but since it rang just as I was walking by, I picked up.

“Is this Yocheved Miriam Russo?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Were you a tour guide for a trip to the Sinai in 1997?”

(WHAT???) “Ah, no. I wasn’t. I wasn’t even in Israel in 1997. But if I had been, being a tour guide for a trip to the Sinai sounds as though it would have been fun.”

“Are you sure you weren’t on that trip?”

“Yes. Very sure. Who’s calling please?”

“Please just listen to me for a minute. This is going to sound strange, but give me a minute to explain. I’m really not the one who wants to know. It’s my friend, here, who’s visiting from Switzerland. You can talk to him in a minute, but what happened is that he came on a visit to Israel in 1997, and he took this guided tour of the Sinai. Their tour guide was a woman named ‘Miri Russo’, and he was thinking that might be you.”

“That’s pretty interesting, but it wasn’t me. Where did you get my phone number?”

“From the phone book.”

“Oh. (Duh) But why would your friend think that I, with a different first name, and living in Beersheba a dozen years after he met her, would be the same person?”

“I think I’ll let him explain that to you. Will you talk to him?”

Of course I said I would. I’m leaving out names here to protect the innocent, but the story the gentleman from Switzerland told was the stuff of novels.

It seems that on that tour back in 1997, the Swiss gentleman had become more than a little twitterpated with the tour guide the Jewish Agency had assigned. He said he’d been very shy, back then, and hadn’t dared ask her for any contact information when the trip was over. Even so, he’d never forgotten her, or how much he’d enjoyed being in her company.

Then, a dozen years ago last May, back in Switzerland, lurking and prowling on the internet, he came across a newspaper article written by ‘Yocheved Miriam Russo.’

“It made such good sense,” my new Swiss friend said, “It sounded just like her. I was just sure it was the same person. It had to be. So I kept the article and brought it with me to Israel. I thought that once I was here, my friend in Ra’anana would help me, and we’d track you down.”

“That’s very touching, really. I did write the article, but I was not your tour guide. Actually, the name ‘Russo’ isn’t uncommon in Israel. The biggest locksmith in Beersheba is ‘Russo’s’ and it’s just a few blocks from me. There are Russo’s all over the country. Maybe you should try some other Russo’s.”

“Are you really sure you weren’t a tour guide in 1997?”

“Yes. Very sure.”

Nevertheless, we all chatted for a while longer, lamenting the fact that today, a tour of Sinai would be totally impossible, so it was a good thing he saw it when he did. It was all very cordial. We exchanged names and phone numbers, and we all agreed that if I ever got to Ra’anana, or if any of them ever came to Beersheba, we would get together for coffee.

Too bad it wasn’t me – I would have loved to have seen the Sinai. And to have been in Israel in 1997 working as a tour guide.

So here’s what I’m thinking: maybe the third time’s the charm. Maybe the next person who comes looking for me will actually be looking for me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It says “Caution” – it should say “Keep Out”.

Or so say Beduin Arabs in Rahat, one of Israel’s Beduin cities. It seems Rahat is plagued by illegal immigrants.

Rahat is a Beduin city of about 50,000 located just north of Beersheba. It was created in 1972 in an attempt to draw the area’s quasi-nomadic Beduin into permanent homes where they could more easily be supplied with utilities, schools and other municipal services. Up until recently, Rahat was 100% Beduin Arab.

Not so anymore, says Rahat’s mayor, Faez Abu-Sahiban. He recently launched a “total war” against illegal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants? Who would illegally immigrate to one of the Beduin villages? According to the Beduin who live in Rahat as well as seven other “recognized” (government-built) Beduin villages, they are pits of economic disaster, plagued by crime, hopelessness and despair. Who would want to immigrate to one of those much-beleaguered villages?

Israeli Arabs, that’s who. The people who like to call themselves “Palestinians”.

According to city officials, illegal Arabs have moved into Rahat, rented houses and stores and are looking for work, usually in the construction business.

Digression: The fascinating little secret no international news media cares to mention is how prosperous some of the Israeli Arabs are becoming by doing construction work in Judea and Samaria – the very places where the Community Organizer has insisted NO CONSTRUCTION at all must take place. Hussein Obama’s supremely ignorant edict -- “I don’t want to see a single cement mixer” -- doesn’t hurt just the Jews who live there, who want to build or expand their homes. It hurts the Israeli Arabs who do most of the construction work. If the Community Organizer and his French, Spanish and British allies would just shut up and leave “the settlements” alone, what would probably evolve, of its own accord, is an area where both Jews and Arabs could live in relative peace. But no, they all insist the Jews must leave. No one wants that less than the Israeli Arabs. If the Jews leave, who will employ them?

In any event, there is a problematical -- according to the Beduin – illegal migration of Israeli Arabs into Beduin cities, and the Beduin city fathers don’t like it one bit. “I have received reports from hundreds of young men and women complaining of harassment of the young women by the illegals,” he said. “This behavior contradicts our religion and tradition. We will not let those who want to trample our values stay in our town.”

Estimates indicate there are about 2,000 illegal Arabs in Rahat, which is enough, the city fathers say, to damage the traditional lifestyle of the Beduin families.

Abu-Sahiban announced that he’s giving the illegal immigrants a two week grace period, after which he intends to use a “heavy hand” together with the police and to kick the migrants out. Anyone who cooperates with the illegals would be an accomplice to a crime, he warned. He’s doing this, he says, because the illegals have caused a spike in crime, arms dealing and drug trade.

And then there’s Eilat, Israel’s Red Sea paradise at its southernmost tip. Illegal immigrants are pouring into Eilat from Egypt. Eilat is slightly bigger than Rahat, with some 65,000 residents, and now, city officials say, about 7% of them are illegal immigrants. Worse than that, the IDF is warning that there are at least 1,000,000 more Africans who are in the pipeline, planning their illegal immigration into Israel through Eilat.

Eilat is unprotected by any border fence, so gaining entrance to Israel by crossing at this southern point is even easier than trying to pass through Aza, where there is a low fence, and where both the IDF and the Egyptian army (to some extent) try to slow down the flow of illegals into Israel.

Again, these would-be immigrants, who will seek refugee status, are not from Darfur, or any other war-torn area. They are economic immigrants, hoping to improve their futures – little different, in that sense, from the Mexican illegals who try to make their way into the US through California and Arizona.

Now here’s the interesting contrast: when Israel tries to keep out illegal immigrants, we’re called ‘racist’ and ‘inhumane’ for not wanting to welcome the world’s ‘wretched refuse’, as Emma Goldman wrote, into our country.

But when the Beduin city fathers announce to the world that they plan to use a “heavy hand” in getting rid of their illegal immigrants, no one makes a peep.

And remember, in the case of Rahat and its illegal immigrants, we’re talking about one Arab group working to keep out another Arab group. Yes, they consider themselves different, and indeed they are, in tradition and lifestyle.

But why does the world communally denounce Israel, the Jewish State, for not wanting to accept millions of Arab Muslim refugees?

Where are all those same ‘human rights activists’, when it’s Beduin Arabs who don’t want Israeli Arabs in their cities?

There. Can you smell it? The stench of a double standard – by George, I think it’s there.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Well, this is news!

The Prime Minister of Turkey has just come out in support of Israel over the whole Goldstone/Cast Lead/ Gaza war thing.

Or at least I guess he has – it sure sounds like it. PM Erdogan just said, "Turkey is always against the unfair side. Turkey can never be on the side of the tyrants, and will always be on the side of those who suffer."

Then he added, "Some children open their eyes and see security, prosperity and peace, and other children open their eyes and see pain, hurt, and bombs. This is not an acceptable situation.”

Obviously he must be talking about the beleaguered children of Sderot and the south of Israel, right? Who put up with Arab bombs, rockets and missiles for eight long years – so long that children grew up without ever knowing what it was like to be able to run and play outside? Who watched as 16 people died, thousands more were injured? Who lived in economic despair, as businesses closed and jobs were lost?

Surely Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was being critical of the terrorists, wasn’t he, when he talked of ‘tyrants’? Surely he was siding with Israel when he talked about ‘those who suffer’?

Dream on. Of course he wasn’t. He was voicing his support for the terrorists and castigating Israel. It’s just that it’s hard to believe.

But this strange twist of reasoning makes me remember a conversation I had with a typical liberal not all that long ago. This was a highly educated woman, someone I’d normally expect to have a reasonable ability to think and make rational decisions. But during an otherwise pleasant conversation she said, “Of course whatever the issue is, I always side with the underdog.”

Now understand, we weren’t talking about the Philadelphia Philly’s or the Ugandan Ice Dancing Team. We were talking about national security – Israel’s national security. She was offering her rationale for always giving the Arabs the benefit of the doubt, a courtesy she did not extend to Israel.

It didn't make sense to argue about it, but I did say, “Oh, so you’d have sided with the South in Civil War, then, right?” -- to which she uttered a horrified gasp, and said, “Oh, of course not! That was different!!”

I left it at that, fully aware that this was not a topic she wished to pursue. Like most loony leftists, she probably never allowed herself to think of the larger implications of her belief system, either. If you want to remain a committed leftist, you have to take a number of leaps into irrationality, and who wants to re-examine that, once you’ve staked your life on it?

Literal-minded prairie child that I am, I must admit I’ve never considered the idea that one “side” – of any dispute – should be favored over the other on the basis that fewer people have chosen to support it. I’ve never seen the benefit of lauding failure as compared to championing success. The fact that one side is an “underdog” and enjoys lesser support among the relevant interest group never seemed to me to be a reason to support their cause, whatever it was.

Pulling for the “favorite” because it’s the favorite makes no sense either, of course. Both are equally irrational – it’s just that you don’t hear many people touting their own “good person” credentials by admitting they always pull for the winning side. For whatever warped reason, we’ve seemed to confer ‘hero’ status on those who always side with the loser.

In sporting events, that conduct is irrational but not serious. It’s understandable how someone could take delight in an “upset” -- when a new or unfavored team beats out the expected winner. Surprises are fun, so “always pulling for the underdog” could be one way to look at it. But in sports, unless you’ve placed a bet, there’s no rational reason to support one team or the other anyway. It’s pure emotion. In the real world, it doesn’t matter who wins or who loses or by how much. It's a game. Everyone lives to play another day.

But that’s not the case when a country’s -- any country’s -- national security is at stake. To “always pull for the underdog” then is a grave abdication of responsibility. It assumes there is no right or wrong, that both sides are equally guilty, that all cats are gray.

Not just national security, but personal security, too, of course. Who can doubt that the burglar prying open a window, or a mugger on a dark street, are both classic “underdogs”, the least likely to enjoy public support? Where’s the virtue in pulling for their success?

In any event, today Turkey’s PM Erdogan admitted publically that he supports “those who suffer” and those who are being treated “unfairly”, and by that he means the terrorists. He has taken a foolhardy step into irrationality.

What a horror that is – to live in a world where right or wrong do not exist. To make life and death decisions on the basis of public approval, or lack thereof.

To see who is least liked and the most vilified – and then to throw your support to them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red Rover, Red Rover, let illegal immigrants come over….

What a strange world.

In both Israel and the US, illegal immigrants are winning the game, while officials charged with dealing with their criminality are losing – losing their jobs, that is.

In Israel, Tziki Sela, who was appointed to head the Interior Ministry’s “Oz” unit, charged with dealing with criminal illegal immigrants, found himself the honored guest at a hi-tech lynching, as the Honorable Clarence Thomas might have said.

After just six months on the job, Sela was forced to resign.

What did he do? He tried to deport illegal immigrants – which is, of course, precisely what he was hired to do. What the law requires him to do.

Unfortunately, Israel's state-run media, the lefties, the one-staters (which is to say, those who would transform Israel into the 23rd Arab-run state in the Middle East) began a ferocious PR campaign against him. Using large scale photos showing darling little immigrant children – who were, they asserted, heartlessly being kicked out of Israel – the media took him to task. Running scads of interviews with all the social organizations who work with the immigrants – and who therefore owe their jobs to bringing in even more illegals, not just keeping those who are already here – they managed to cast doubt on his efforts to enforce the law.

After several months of haranguing against him, Sela’s downfall came during an interview. You tell me if this is outrageous or not.

“These organizations... those who protest against us, the ones that call me ‘Goebbels’ and a Nazi, are anarchists who want the destruction of the State of Israel, with three exclamation marks,” Sela said in the interview with Ma’ariv, a Hebrew-language daily. “They should be condemned. This is criminal behavior, pure and simple.”

“We mean business,” he stated. “I am telling the illegal migrants, take yourselves from here and go away willingly. We will give you the plane tickets. Get out of here.”

Was that outrageous? Must have been. It cost him his job.

In fact, those who encourage and facilitate illegal immigration to Israel are the ones who are breaking the law – big time. That’s illegal in the US and it’s illegal here. So he “condemned” the illegals for their “criminal behavior”. How evil can you get?

But from that moment on, Sela was through. As Israel National News noted, “The media responded with wall-to-wall condemnations of Sela from anchors, commentators and guests, who found his criticism of the “social” protesters and his tough talk on immigration unacceptable. They demanded his resignation and in the end, they received it.”

Okay – so that was Israel’s first job loss over illegal immigration. But there’s a parallel situation going on in Arizona, which also has illegal immigrant problems. There, the Community Organizer took it upon himself – unconstitutionally, of course, but hey, what’s the Constitution but an antiquated piece of paper, especially when it stands in the way of something The One wants?

Anyway, the Community Organizer stripped Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County (think Phoenix) of his right to enforce both Arizona and federal law. And what had the Sheriff done? He had worked to discourage illegal immigrants from coming to Arizona. Quelle horreur!

Arpaio did what a lot of regular ordinary California tax-paying Americans joked about doing, several decades ago, when California’s prisons were being run more like health spas than places of punishment. The joke then was, “Build two prisons: one in Death Valley, the other in Alaska. During the summer, put the prisoners in Death Valley. In the winter, put them in Alaska.”

So Arpaio arrested illegal immigrants – gasp -- and then he put them in jails, in tent cities, in Arizona, in the summer time. Arizona, in the summer, rivals Israel’s Arava on the heat misery index. Worse than that, maybe, was that he dressed the male illegal immigrants in pink. Oh, wow. Women, it was said, he put on chain gangs.

Sounds like a movie.

So for all of this inhumanity to honest-to-goodness criminals, Arpaio was stripped of his power to enforce the law.

An estimated 12 million illegal immigrants live in the US, a big hunk of them in the Mexican border states of Arizona and California. Even so, the forces of political correctness say that these criminals must not be subjected to this “inhumane” treatment.

No one wants to remember that the people Arpaio was jailing -- and dolling up in pink -- had a very obvious alternative. If they didn’t like the way they were being treated in Maricopa County, Arizona, then they could stay away. If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime.

So Arpaio, in the US, is still on the job but stripped of his powers. In Israel, we lost one law enforcement official and may yet lose another.

Last Tuesday, 100 loony lefties gathered in Tel Aviv to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the law. They demanded that the children of illegal immigrants -- not to mention the rest of their families – not be deported at the end of the school year, as current law dictates. They want them all to be able to stay, given citizenship or permanent resident status.

Which, when you think of it, turns immigration law into an adult version of the child’s game of “Red Rover” – remember? There would be two groups of children, lined up facing each other, hands strongly linked. Someone from one side would yell out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let (so and so) come over!” The named child would then make a run at the line, trying to break through the linked hands of the other team. If he broke through, he got to stay, abandoning his own team and staying with the new.

So apparently now the loony lefties want to do the same thing with illegal immigrants – anyone who manages to permeate the defenses and make it into the new country should have the right to stay.

Sounds like a recipe for perfect chaos. If that happens, says Interior Minister Eli Yishai, if the government grants permanent residency to these illegal immigrants, he’ll resign.

Why is it that the good people who are trying to uphold the law are losing, while the criminals, those who broke the law, are winning?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Usually when I see an email from my friend Gershon Reed, I start to giggle before I even open it. Gershon has a delightfully wicked talent at putting a funny spin on local events.

This time, however, what he sent wasn't funny.

He, like virtually all of us in Israel, is critical of the idiotic Norwegians who awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the Community Organizer. But he didn’t write just to me to complain, he wrote to the Nobel Committee.

I’ll let his letter speak for itself:

Subject: This year's peace prize winner
Date: 10 Oct 2009 06:21:36 +0000

Dear Norwegian Nobel Committee:

Your recent choice for a Nobel Peace Prize does nothing but de-value the prize. Did you not think that the world would realize that the deadline for nominations was a mere ten days after Mr. Obama entered office? What can be accomplished in ten days to earn a Nobel Peace Prize? I have read about Mr. Alfred Nobel and I believe that he would not agree to a prize being awarded without anything being accomplished. Shame on you.

As time progresses, the prize is losing its meaning. In a few years, if you keep up awards of this caliber, nobody will care anymore about the Nobel Peace Prize.

I must agree with one aspect of this situation: you are putting Mr. Obama in with the likes of Arafat, Carter, Annan and Tutu. The list of laureates is fast becoming a list of terrorists and left wing nuts without a clue. The aforementioned laureates are the personification of Evil itself.

If anyone deserves a prize, it is Mr. G. W. Bush. Before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the streets of Israel were filled with people carrying a gas mask. Because of Mr. Bush's daring actions to oust Sadam, the children in Israel are not carrying their gas masks to school anymore.

I sincerely hope you take the time to reflect on your actions and decisions. You must take into consideration that diplomacy is not always the path to peace. In fact, the usual path to peace is war. Think long and hard as to why there is peace in Europe today. Diplomacy failed. It will again. The current leadership of Iran, Syria and the PA ensure that it will. Don't be naive like Mr. Chamberlain was; believing that "land for peace" will work.

I hope you take the time to consider my words, as a citizen of planet Earth.

Gershon Reed
Be'er Sheva, Israel

We all know that the likelihood of the Nobel Committee's seriously "considering" Gershon’s words – or those of anyone else who disagrees – is small indeed, Gershon did what we all should do. He didn't give up.

We can't either.

Write. Complain. Point out the folly of their decision. Will it help? It surely won’t hurt. And one thing is absolutely certain: unless we all speak out, the same thing WILL happen again.

You’ve got the Committee's address from Gershon’s letter. Take five minutes. Write.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The business section of the St. Petersburg Times recently ran a forum, asking readers how they would fix the economy.
Here’s one letter – unsigned, but verbatim – that’s interesting.

Dear Mr. President, Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. - Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress and their constituents Pay their taxes...

And Mr. President...while you're at it...make congress retire On Social Security and Medicare...I'll bet both programs would be Fixed...pronto!!

And then there’s economist Dr. Arthur Laffer’s idea, which makes perfect sense: Instead of handing out hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to everyone from banks and the auto industry down to the 50,000 residents in Detroit seeking “housing assistance” -- who today lined up trying to claim $3000 checks “from the President”, as they seem to think -- what the Community Organizer should have done was to call a ‘tax holiday’ on capital gains taxes for a year.

For one year, no one would be required to pay any capital gains taxes.

It would have cost the government just about the same amount as the (taxpayer) funds they gave away – and it would have created an economic surge that would have ended the depression. Money supply would be loosened, new businesses started, jobs of all kinds created by private industry.

But the Community Organizer decided to do exactly the opposite.

Instead of allowing the marketplace to recover, stimulating the economy, he hijacked decade’s worth of tax receipts – money our grandchildren will still be repaying – and thereby penalized the marketplace, stunting its growth, making an economic recovery even more difficult.

Sigh. When will liberals ever learn? Government does not and cannot create jobs. By increasing taxes, especially on the wealthy, what the Community Organizer is doing is penalizing those who are in the best economic position to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

“The power to tax is the power to destroy,” as Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819).

Destroy the wealthy who create the jobs, and soon everyone becomes dependent on government for every need they might have.

Gee. You don’t suppose that’s what the Community Organizer had in mind, do you? Then, indeed, everyone would have to bow down to him, beg him for help.

Such a deal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Michael Posner tackled the Goldstone Report in a clever way – by pointing out all the world’s terror spots, all of which are ignored, while the UN chooses to focus on Israel instead.

Read his whole column here:

In summary, though, here’s a few of the trouble spots the UN chose to ignore:

The atrocities committed in recent years by Russian forces in Chechnya, and later in Georgia, where scores of innocent civilians were murdered.

The genocide in Darfur -- perpetrated by Janjaweed militias, agents of the Sudanese government -- who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people.

The Chinese army soldiers killing Muslim Uighur protesters in Xinjiang and in Tibet, which was captured on film.

The military junta in Myanmar, who deployed troops to assault thousands of protesting monks and students.

The tribal warfare in Somalia, where the death toll, again, climbed into the hundreds of thousands.

The accounts of child soldiers – kidnapped, trained and coerced into warfare in Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and several other countries – as many as 300,000 of them, fighting in various parts of the world, most of them under the age of 15.

The heartbreaking stories of 1.7 million Pakistan villagers who were forced to flee the violence in Swat province, innocent people caught up in the country’s deadly war against Al Qaeda.

The struggle in Afghanistan between the Taliban and a coalition of Western forces – make that US and British military – who are trying to stabilize the Afghan president’s tenuous hold on power.

The brave bloggers in Iran, who suffered when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s special forces launched a brutal crackdown on anyone who dared to protest his landslide win in the 2009 national elections.

The daily suicide bombings, roadside ordinances and other acts of insurgency taking place in Iraq.

The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations wasn’t interested in any of those atrocities. What did the Committee members concern themselves with, instead?

The flagrant encroachments carried out by Israelis against their peace-loving neighbors, the peace loving Palestinians.

As Posner sarcastically notes, “All other infringements of fundamental human rights pale beside those now being inflicted upon the peace-loving Palestinians.”

“How can we turn a blind eye to the plight of peace-loving Palestinians, forced to undergo hours of humiliating inspection at Israeli army checkpoints, simply because one or two of them might want to visit a pizza parlor in Jerusalem or a discotheque in Tel Aviv with an unfashionable belt tied around their waist?” Posner asks.

“What are the killing fields of Darfur when measured against the injustice of the vast, impersonal separation wall that has been erected along the border between what was once Palestine and the West Bank, and with which peace-loving Palestinians must now sadly contend?”

What else could compare, Posner says, with “the hardships peace-loving Palestinians must endure, watching a few Israeli settlers on the West Bank turn the arid desert into productive farms and communities, while incessantly singing Hebrew songs in praise of God?”

“Can there be any doubt that if only Israel would dismantle the settlements, tear down the apartheid wall, remove the checkpoints, return to its original borders, and allow peace-loving Palestinians everywhere to reclaim their ancestral homes that this festering conflict would finally be resolved?”

“Isn’t that, fundamentally the heart of the matter – the settlers, the Israelis, the Jews, if you will? Isn’t that, in fact, the core of all our problems?

“I think we all know the answer to that.”

It’s a brilliant piece. The whole situation boggles the mind.


We all know that word – anyone who pays attention to the news at all knows that HAMAS is a terror group, one that’s been especially effective in killing Jews as a means to eliminating the State of Israel.

Hamas cane into being in Egypt in 1928. In the beginning, they were a social and religious group, although four of their members took credit for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat – because he entered into the Camp David Accords with Israel. Any agreement with Israel – even the lopsided one favoring Egypt that Jimmy Carter’s deal was – is seen as anathema.

For all of us Middle East watchers today, we know what Hamas represents – death and destruction.
But do you know what the word itself means?

This is amazing. The word HAMAS, in both Hebrew and Arabic, means the same thing:
“Hamas is the act of unjustly seizing somebody else’s property. … plundering, extortion, property seized unjustly.”

There’s a book you’ve simply got to read – “Coincidences in the Bible and in Biblical Hebrew” by Prof. Haim Shore, a professor of Industrial Engineering, who uses his knowledge of mathematical proofs as a means of analyzing words in the Hebrew Bible.

The book is on Amazon,

Prof. Shore’s book blows you away – watch for a Jerusalem Post interview with him that will appear – ble neder – on October 16 in the JPost Metro magazine.

The “coincidences” he lists are both numerous and compelling, to the point that you can’t help but see that perhaps they aren’t “coincidences” at all, but something quite different.

Prof. Shore delves into these oddities for over 300 pages, but let’s just look at one word he writes about: Hamas

The first mention of the word ‘hamas’, Prof. Shore notes, is in Genesis 6, the paragraph that describes the reasons behind the great flood.

“The earth was corrupt before G-d, and the earth was filled with hamas. And G-d looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And G-d said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with hamas because of them, and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

The word appears again and again. Here’s a few more Prof. Shore cites:

“Their acts are acts of iniquity and the spoils of hamas is in their hands.” Isaiah 59:6

“Thus said the Lord G-d, Enough now, presidents of Israel, remove hamas and robbery and do judgment and justice” Ezekiel 45:9

"A man of hamas would entice his friend and lead him astray” Proverbs 16:19

Interesting, isn’t it, that the name of contemporary Israel’s most lethal enemy was already named in the Bible?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The video clip above was Bibi's statement to the press, telling them what inspired him in making his courageous "Have you no shame?" speech at then UN. "Light a candle to dispell the darkness," the Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, z"l) told Bibi in 1984, when Bibi went to the UN to serve as Israel's ambassador.

This time, Bibi went to the UN as Israel's Prime Minister, speaking against the evil of the infamous Goldstone Report, the document that blamed Israel for defending itself against eight long years of bombing attacks in which 16 men, women and children were killed, where children were born and grew up, without ever knowing what it would be like to be able to run freely outside their homes.

Yet the more I think about it, the more profound and courageous Bibi's speech seems.

In terms of darkness, you don't get much darker than the UN these days -- especially for Bibi and for Israel. Much of Europe seems to either have forgotten the Shoah, or worse yet, has concluded that maybe Hitler had the right idea. Israel's nearest neighbors flatly refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. We all know what that madman in Iran is planning to do -- and now is very close to being able to do. On Yom Kippur, for crying out loud, he was testing his missiles and found that they did indeed have the power to reach Israel.

So for Bibi to go into that pit of darkenss and make that speech -- reminding everyone of the Shoah, proving -- as though it needed more proving, after all these years -- that it had really happened, and then to boldly assert Israel's right to defend itself, was remarkable.

It sounds silly, doesn't it, to be so impressed by that? that a UN-regognized nation that's been in existance 60 years, that it still found it necessary to assert its simple right to exist?

But that's where we are, these days. And much of the trouble comes from the UN, who gives equal opportunity to great nations and evil dictatorships to spew whatever evil or idiocy they want. If there ever was darkness that needed a candle, it's the UN -- now, more than in 1984, when the Rebbe spoke to Bibi.

But Bibi's speech aside, what took even more courage was his interview following the speech in which he credited the Rebbe with his decision to say what he did.

That sounds funny, too, doesn't it? That it's deemed courageous, for a country to assert its right to follow the same traditions its people have been following for 3500 years, in the same land. But there you have it. Today, Israel is called "racist" and damned as an "apartheid" state.

So that was the anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist cesspit into which Bibi stepped last week and not only dared to give his "Have you no shame?" speech, but then topped it off by crediting the Rebbe as his inspiration -- the Rebbe, contemporary Jewry's most famous leader, the man who's responsible for bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world back to their own traditions.

That's amazing. Israel hasn't had a leader like this since Menachem Begin, who also did some dastardly things -- entered into the treaty with Egypt, and giving away the Sinai -- but who was always proud to assert that Israel is a Jewish state.

"Light a candle" was the Rebbe's frequent advice, especially to his own hassadim, followers.

"In the olden days, there was a person in every town who would light the street lamps with a light he carried at the end of a long pole," the Rebbe said in a speech he delivered on the 13th day of Tammuz, 5722 (1961).

"On the street corners the lamps were there in readiness, waiting to be lit. Sometimes, however, the lamps are not as easily accessible. There are lamps in forsaken places, in deserts or at sea. There must be someone to light even those lamps, so that they may fulfill their purpose and light up the path of others. ...

"I will add that this function is not limited to hassidim, but is the function of every Jew. Divine Providence brings Jews to the most unexpected, remote places so that they may carry out this purpose of lighting up the world."

Even to such a "forsaken" place like the United Nations.

Netanyahu Interview with israeli Media after U.N. Speech - Sep. 24 2009