Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodness! Criticism of the Media in Haaretz?

Well, not exactly criticism, but intersting in and of itself.

They're talking. Who's listening?

After a seven-year break in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Israeli prime minister is once more in talks with the Palestinian Authority chairman over Jerusalem, the refugees and final-status borders. A plan for the division of the land and an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank is being formulated once more...

...The media is almost totally ignoring the talks between Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas, focusing instead on summer stories dealing with amusement parks and the airport, and on the periodic clashes between the religious and the secular and between Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch.

What's going on here? Are the public, the media and the politicians relying on Olmert and believing that he'll strike the best deal for Israel...perhaps the prime minister is simply not publicizing his political moves, in an effort to lull his rivals into complacency until he establishes facts on the ground?

...Second, it's easier to make progress in the political process when the right and the settlers are dormant and the coalition is calm.

So far, no significant details from the face-to-face meetings that have taken place between Olmert and Abbas have been leaked, [wrong. see here]

Ya-aleh v'Yavo (Arise and Come)

Ya-aleh v'Yavo are the recognizable words that signal the special New Month prayer added to the Amidah and translate as "Arise and Come".

Their specific relevance?

Well, as I just recently posted, Jews have this tendencey to argue and divide over emphasized differences.

And now this elevator story which reminded me of arise and come:-

Century Village unit criticized for spending $11,000 to alter elevator for Sabbath

and excerpts -

Most of the 56 owners in Berkshire E are Orthodox Jews barred for religious reasons from pushing the buttons on their elevator during the Sabbath, which runs from Friday evening to Saturday evening. They persuaded their board to spend $11,000 to convert the elevator so it automatically stops on each of the four floors during the Sabbath.

But two of the owners, who are also Jewish, are angry their money will be used for a religious accommodation. "I respect their desires, but why does the building have to pay for this?" asked snowbird Nicki Goldstein, 69, from her New York City home.

By law, however, everyone who buys in a condo community agrees to submit to the will of the majority. About 85 percent of the owners are Orthodox. On the Sabbath, they are not allowed to do anything that would create energy, such as drive a car, turn on a light or push an elevator button.

Those owners purposely bought in Berkshire E because it is an easy walk to Young Israel synagogue of Deerfield Beach, said association president Mark Sussman, who isn't Orthodox.

...Steven D. Rubin, chairman of a Palm Beach County Bar Association real estate committee, thinks the board may have overstepped its boundaries.

"I don't think the board should take a position on spending association funds for religious purposes, regardless of what the majority wants," he said.

But state condo ombudsman Danille R. Carroll said, "There is nothing in the statutes that would not allow a board to do that. It's at the board's discretion. "And the way they did it is a good thing; you want a board to get input from owners," she said.

What constitutes improper backing of a religious activity by a condo or homeowner association has been debated for years. Every case is different. Two years ago, a federal judge ruled a Port St. Lucie homeowner association was within its rights to ban religious services in its clubhouse as long as it was applied equally to all religious groups.

Last year, the Sun of Baltimore reported a brouhaha over an attempt to convert one of two elevators to a Sabbath elevator. After the board voted 5-3 against it, a Baltimore council member in May introduced a bill to prohibit buildings from adopting rules that deny reasonable accommodation for practicing one's religion. No decision has been made.

Sandra Bronner, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, doesn't want to pay for the Sabbath elevator in Berkshire E.

"It doesn't matter if I have to push the button or not," the snowbird said from her home in Toronto. "If a majority of people are religious, let them pay for it. And I'm Orthodox."

...Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive vice president of the National Council of Young Israel, the New York-based organization that coordinates 150 Orthodox synagogues in the country, said the minority must submit to the majority in condos.

"The definition of condominium is communal living," he said. "If a board decides to paint a building, I may not want it painted but everyone must pay so I have to pay. A majority of people voted for the elevator. I think it's unfortunate that people can't accommodate their neighbors."

And how many eruv stories can we tell, starting with Noah Feldman who pro-bonoed to fight the Tenafly eruv.

In Defense

A lot of nationalist-thinking, right-wing bloggers and other web site editors in Israel and abroad have come down very heavy against Israeli policemen. WEith, admittedly, much justification.

As far as I know, though, they aren't as bad as this policeman in San Francisco:-

Rookie cop who shot himself to death at party was intoxicated

A San Francisco rookie police officer who shot himself to death during a late-night gathering at his San Mateo apartment was legally drunk, toxicology tests show.

Officer James Gustafson Jr., 23, had a blood alcohol level of 0.09 percent - slightly above the 0.08 limit for legally driving a car - when he shot himself Aug. 11, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said today.

Gustafson shot himself in the neck at 1:40 a.m. during a gathering of as many as 15 people, as he was showing a woman how police are taught to prevent someone from using a gun against them, authorities said.

...According to those familiar with the incident, Gustafson was showing the woman his Police Department-issued semiautomatic pistol after removing the magazine that stores the rounds. However, there was still a round in the chamber.

Gustafson pointed the weapon at his neck and pulled the trigger, shooting himself, according to authorities.

Is the EU Changeable?

The EU steadfastedly ignores the reality of 300,000 Jewish revenants and some 200,000 Jewish residents in Jerusalem's eatern neighborhoods. That's not discrimination nor racism. It's, er, politics or whatever.

Well, maybe there's a new wind blowing, if this can be seen as a precedent:-

Polish right-wing radio station to get EU money

Radio Maryja, which has been accused of being anti-Semitic and anti-EU, may receive more than EUR 15m in EU funding for a private university, Poland's Minister of Regional Development Grazyna Gesicka said Tuesday. The project has fulfilled all the necessary criteria and will get the EU grant, Gesicka said...The money will go to expand Radio Maryja's journalism school, the Torun-based Higher School of Social and Media Culture.

but there's this, too:-

However the European Commission disputed that the funds had been approved. Commission spokeswoman Katharina von Schnurbein told the news agency AFP that the EU's strict ban on discrimination must be adhered to if Radio Maryja was going to get EU money. According to sources in the EU quoted by AFP, Radio Maryja's radical stance would reduce its chances of getting funding.

Just Like Us

Complexes are so Jewish.

Are we superior or are we inferior?
Are we different or do we assimilate?
Mar'it Ayin in a social sense.

One problem is the natural inclination to split.

Korach & Gang vs Moses
Pharisees vs Saducees
Rabbis vs Karaites
Chassidim vs Mitnagdim
Zionists vs Cosmopolitans.
Zevillies vs Aharonies.

And many more.

How many jokes do you know about "that's the schule I don't daven in"?

Well, fellow Jews, shudder no longer. Read on:-

A GROUP OF DISSIDENT CONGREGANTS from Shaw's historic African-American Shiloh Baptist Church filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court to remove its pastor, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith. The lawsuit, which also names the interim chairmen of the church's board of trustees and board of deacons, marks a ratcheting up of turmoil at the church, where a faction of church members held a no-confidence vote on Aug. 11.

A church meeting on the internal strife over Smith is planned for Sept. 15, but it's unclear because of the lawsuit whether that will go on as planned.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that Smith has mismanaged Shiloh-owned properties in Shaw: "In the past eighteenth months of his tenure at Shiloh ... Smith sold two properties, subjected six properties to condemnation proceedings by the District of Columbia, lowered the public health standards for the restaurant business conducted by the Church, that resulted in health code violations, and failed to implement any viable plan for renovation of the deteriorating real properties."

The suit also alleges that Smith's second full-time job helming a Philadelphia-area seminary constitutes a breach of the pastor's Shiloh contract.

The plaintiffs group, which numbers about 120 church members, includes descendants of Shiloh's original congregation, which moved to Washington from Fredericksburg during the Civil War.

Smith tells The Post that the church is reviewing the lawsuit and would not comment further, but did say that the "New Testament prohibits Christians from taking other Christians before secular magistrates. Bible-believing Christians know and understand this."

The church, located at 9th and P streets NW, has been at odds with neighbors in Shaw over its stewardship of vacant properties and its fight to keep the vegetarian restaurant Vegetate from securing a liquor license. The eatery eventually received a license despite the battle.

What, no bingo?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Temple Mount Travesty Trapes On

Pics from yesterday.

Tonight on the TV we saw Second Temple artifacts. Really.

For those who know Hebrew, go here to Channel One TV at IBA site, click on מבט as tonight's new has video of the digging.

And as my grandmother, o"h, used to say, from his mouth to God's ear:-

Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the radical Islamic Movement’s northern branch, said Thursday that
Israel was planning to build a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount



Arutz 7 has more info and a video clip, too.

But Will They Bring Her Back?

CBS sending Couric to Iraq, Syria

'Evening News' anchor sets Mideast trip

More CNN Warring

I was surprised. Seems that an attempt at influencing CCNN's advertisors may be having an affect:-

letters and calls to companies whose ads appeared during CNN's "God's Jewish Warriors" are making a difference! Orkin Pest Control and Raymond James & Associates have responded swiftly and appropriately by asking CNN to make sure that their company's advertisements are not placed in any future repeats of the series, "God's Warriors".

According to Orkin's Assistant VP of Public Relations, Martha Craft:

"We had purchased advertising that was supposed to air on 'Larry King Live' on August 21. CNN changed programming to air 'God's Jewish Warriors' without notifying us ahead of time to obtain our approval - which is against our agreement with the network. We have discussed this with CNN, and they are aware of the severity of their mistake. I am told that 'God's Jewish Warriors' was [part of] a three-part special which has concluded; however, Orkin has added it to our 'do not buy' list ['of offensive shows where we do not allow our ads to run'], should it re-air in the future. We sincerely thank you for bringing this issue to our attention - we can't fix a problem if we're not aware of it."

According to Raymond James' Investor Relations, they were not aware that their ad would run during "God's Jewish Warriors," and they "have requested no further airing of our commercials in any re-broadcast of the series."

And the Good News Is...Wait, Is There?

Policeman Assaulted Trying to Stop Illegal Temple Mount Dig

A policeman trying to stop an Arab tractor engaged in illegal Temple Mount excavations was assaulted - and the police chief who arrived on the scene arrested no one.

Gideon Charlap, a Jerusalem architect and Temple Mount expert, told Arutz-7 what he saw when he visited the Temple Mount on Tuesday: "The Arabs there are digging a deep north-to-south trench, up to a meter [1.1 yards] deep. It is being dug in the area that served during Holy Temple times as the Ezrat Nashim [the area known as the Women's Courtyard, though it was not reserved only for women -ed.]. The trench passes through three east-to-west walls, according to my calculations - walls that probably served as separations for the Temple's offices and the like. This means that the destruction is tremendous..."

"At one point during the digging," Charlap continued, "a policeman - apparently a Druze - tried to stop the work from going on, and actually entered the cabin of the tractor. A struggle ensued, and when the Arabs finally pushed him out, he actually stood in the trench and physically blocked the rest of the work!" "But instead of stopping the lawbreakers," Charlap related with incredulity, "he tried to 'calm down' the policeman!"

Charlap said that at that point, the chief officer of the Temple Mount police station, Shai Alali, arrived on the scene. "But instead of stopping the lawbreakers," Charlap related with incredulity, "he tried to 'calm down' the policeman!"

The digging is taking place just east of the Dome of the Rock.

See the digging here.

Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist and a leading member of the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Temple Mount Antiquities, spoke with Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine about the desecration. "It is an untenable situation," she said. "Underneath the Temple Mount is a closed area, one that has barely been disturbed since the Destruction of the Second Temple. Anyone can realize that remnants of both the First and Second Temples are there, and can guess what damage is being done by the tractor. The most precious findings are just rolling around there and are available to be found - and instead they have a tractor there! If I would try to work with a tractor at one of my digs, the Antiquities Authority would stop me immediately! With a tractor, it's impossible to make any type of careful examination of the earth and pieces being dug up."

..."They have a clear goal of turning the Temple Mount into a place exclusively for Moslem prayer. In recent years, they have turned two giant structures - at the Huldah Gate and Solomon's Stables - into giant mosques, where none ever stood before... It is totally illegal; how can such violations of the law be allowed - especially in such an important place for Jewish Nation? This is a top archaeological site..."The Antiquities Authority is responsible for preserving antiquities," says Dr. Mazar, "but it is not doing its job on the Temple Mount. The Prime Minister must take this job upon himself and make sure that the law is observed and that the Temple Mount remains an accessible cultural site not only for Moslems, but also for Jews and Christians."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jazzy Jewesses

Here's a flyer I picked out of my mailbox at Shiloh this morning:-

You'll quickly notice that the only lines in English for this Center for Jazz in Jerusalem, advertising the skills of jazz and hip-hop dancing, relates to the religious community and informs all our Anglos that there are separate dancing classes (which is also in the Hebrew).

Get your semicha in "steps", ladies.

And who says that religious Jewesses are out-of-step?

That's All, Folks

Alan Dell, owner of Katz’s Delicatessen, a legendary restaurant on East Houston Street that opened in 1888, spoke next.

Mr. Dell talked about changing food tastes. When Katz’s was founded, corned beef, pastrami and tongue were the mainstays of the Jewish deli. “There was no such thing as a turkey sandwich in those days,” he said.

Once, Mr. Dell said, there were more than 500 true Jewish delis in Manhattan alone, Mr. Dell said. Now, there are but “a small handful.”

Mr. Dell explained why Katz’s has a sign that says, “Katz’s, That’s All.”

“This sign originated when Benny Katz hired the signmaker to make the sign,” Mr. Dell said. “The signmaker asked, ‘Well, what exactly do you want to have it say?’ and Benny said to the signmaker, ‘Katz’s, that’s all.’ Sure enough he painted that on the sign!”

Proof - It's the Small Things That Count

It was perhaps the most catastrophic lapse of memory in history, costing more than 1,500 lives.

A sailor called David Blair forgot to leave behind a key as the Titanic set off on its maiden voyage.

Without it, his shipmates were unable to open a locker in the crow's nest containing a pair of binoculars for the designated lookout.

The binoculars were to look out for dangers in the distance including signs of bad weather - and icebergs.

Lookout Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster in which 1,522 people lost their lives, later told an official inquiry that if they had binoculars they would have seen the iceberg sooner.

When asked by a US senator how much sooner it might have been spotted, Mr Fleet replied: "Enough to get out of the way."


An Israeli "Inspires"

At football [soccer].


Good for the BBC for Covering the Temple Mount

Nice story on the new Temple Mount diggings with pics.


Israeli anger over holy site work
By Martin Asser

A group of Israeli archaeologists is protesting about fresh excavations at Jerusalem's holiest religious shrine, saying it threatens priceless relics.
Muslim authorities at al-Aqsa mosque, also venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount, are digging a 150-metre trench for water pipes and electricity cables.

Israeli critics say the work is causing irreparable damage, indiscriminately piling up earth and carved stones.

...Jewish tradition reveres the area as the remains of King Solomon's temple, while Muslim tradition has it as the location of the Prophet Muhammad's ascent into heaven.

...The Waqf resumed working this week, using a mechanical digger on a metre-deep trench, cutting through the subsoil and piling it up beside the trench.

Israeli archaeologists say such material should be carefully sifted and documented, as it would be even at sites of far less significance than this most sensitive cultural and religious location.

Gabriel Barkai of the Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount calls it an act of barbarism..."They should be using a toothbrush, not a bulldozer."

...He accuses the Islamic authorities of wanting to "show who is the boss" by destroying Jewish remains in al-Aqsa mosque.

He also lambastes the Israeli Antiquities Authority, meant to supervise any work at archaeological sites, for apparently giving the work legitimacy.

Yusuf Natsheh of the Islamic Waqf dismisses such claims..."We regret some Israeli groups try to use archaeology to achieve political ends," Dr Natsheh told the BBC.

"But their rules of archaeology do not apply to the Haram (compound); it is a living religious site in an occupied land."

...As far as Dr Natsheh is concerned the Israeli government has no authority over what is happening, as the Muslim authorities do not recognise its legitimacy in the occupied territory. "We inform the Israeli police about what we intend to do, and then go ahead, so they have no excuse to prevent us," he says.

So, Now I'm An "Inflamer"?

Christiane Amanpour said it:-

"The Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Muslim world."

So, she inflames me. Nu.

But someone else was perturbed, someone who thought that Amanpour was broadcasting journalism that was "ultimately shoddy journalism".

Newsbusters reports that

MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, host and MSNBC General Manager Abrams attacked last Monday CNN's series God's Warriors for "a defense of Islamic fundamentalism and the worst type of moral relativism," and as "shameful advocacy masked as journalism," quipping that series host Christiane Amanpour "avoided getting bogged down in objectivity."

Abrams further took exception with Amanpour for comparing those who support Israel's defense strategy to Muslim terrorists: "Christians and Jews, for example, who support Israel's strategy for self-defense are just as much God's warriors, according to Amanpour, as the Islamic radicals who blow themselves and others up in an effort to destroy the world as we know it."

After contending that Amanpour attempted to "understand" violent Muslim fundamentalists without trying to "understand" evangelical Christians and Israelis, Abrams played a clip of Amanpour in which she "blames the warrior Jews" for the anger of radical Muslims. Amanpour: "Muslims, like people everywhere, abhor terrorism. The small minority who resorts to violence is symptomatic of something many of us have failed to understand: the impact of God's Jewish warriors goes far beyond these rocky hills. The Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Muslim world."

Of course, if you want to use the verb "inflame" what do you do when faced with the fact that it is Arab terrorists who are inflaming Jews, literally. Molotov cocktails and other firebombs, suicide bombers, etc. We are the ones inflamed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You're Invited

Just received this:-

Dear Residents,

After many years of anticipation, and countless efforts with government offices we are happy to finally announce:

The Opening of the Jerusalem - Gush Herodion Highway.
(bypass Zaatra road)

The Highway will open this Friday 17 of Elul, August 31, at 6am.

We will meet Friday morning at 7:30am by the army base adjacent to the Herodion (right turn by the traffic circle), and travel together in a "festive" convoy to Jerusalem. A"Lechaim" and short ceremony will be made at the Mizmoria junction, the gateway to Jerusalem. Joining us will be those responsible in the construction of the highway and others who assisted us in finally opening the highway.

In the first stage the highway will be open daily from 6am-6pm only. We are continuing to work together with the IDF to extend the hours. Please join us in celebrating this special event together this Friday. And most important drive safely!

Shaul Goldstein
Regional Council Gush Etzion

And Who Is Now Criticizing Israel's High Court?

"the High Court has created an absurd situation in which the court instructs authorities not to uphold an order that they themselves issued. We hope that the ruling will be changed soon..."

Peace Now's Yariv Oppenheimer.

He's allowed.

He's a lefty.

On Dov "Dubek" Weinstock

At TIME's Tim McGirk's blog which starts:-

Whenever I’m tempted to make snap judgments about Israel, I remind myself of Dubak, “The Bear”. Try to imagine Mad Max as a middle aged Jewish settler. Dubak was built square. He reminded me of a rusty old washing-machine, with a mass of contradictions spinning inside him.

Dubak, whose real name was Dov Vineshtok, was that rare species of Israeli: one who had actual contact with Arabs. When an Israeli hiker got lost in the desert, Dubak would hop onto his dune buggy, round up some Bedouin scouts and find the hiker before the vultures got to him.

On our last ride with him, to the cliffs above the Dead Sea, we passed an olive grove. Along the road, a row of the ancient trees was cut to stumps, amputated. “I did that,” said Dubak. “The Arabs were throwing rocks at the settler’s cars. And after I cut down the first row, I told the Arabs that if one of our cars was hit by another rock, I would cut down a second row. And you know what? The rock-throwing stopped.”

Monday, August 27, 2007

More on Pal. Media

Palestinian Authority - Annual Report 2007

Since Hamas came to power in January 2006, journalists have faced the usual shooting from Israelis and, more recently, have been victims of fierce clashes between supporters of the Islamist Hamas and El Fatah, which supports President Mahmoud Abbas.

The August 2005 Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza raised hopes of better working conditions for journalists in the Palestinian Territories, but the split between Hamas and El Fatah set off a new wave of violence. The correspondent of the French daily Libération, Didier François, was wounded on 17 December 2006 in shooting in Gaza, which was the centre of this fighting.

Dozens of Palestinian journalists, labelled either pro-Hamas or pro-Fatah, were physically attacked. Reporters from public media were attacked while covering Hamas events. The offices of the public news agency WAFA were ransacked in September and equipment destroyed. The agency was attacked several times during the year after faction leaders and Hamas prime minister Ismael Haniyeh accused it of putting out El Fatah propaganda.

About 100 armed members of Hamas’ Ezzedin al Qassem Brigade stormed the TV transmission centre of the public Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, in June, fired at equipment and attacked staff. Media supporting smaller factions were also attacked, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)’s radio station Sawt al Chaâb, whose studios were destroyed on 1 November and its only transmitter smashed.

Foreign journalists were also targeted. Six were kidnapped on 1 January and two Belgian reporters narrowly escaped being seized in Khan Yunis. All were freed after being held for between a few hours and several days. Two US journalists of Fox News, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, were seized in Gaza on 14 August and held for two weeks by an unknown group which demanded the release within three days of all Muslims held by the United States.

The government failed to investigate these kidnappings but Reporters Without Borders considered that in most cases they were not political but the work of individuals or isolated groups seeking publicity or sometimes jobs.

At Work

And here I am advising a student on a paper:-

Yes, I do work.

What Arabs Seem to Call "News"

Monday 23/7/2007: A group of over 200 Jewish extremists, protected by a large Israeli police force, rampaged through Al-Aqsa Compound and tried to perform some religious rites, which prompted Muslim guards at the Mosque to try to stop such act of incitement. Eyewitnesses told our monitoring team that the Israeli forces, while preventing Muslims from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque, provided protection to Jewish extremists, and arrested one of the worshipers who tried to prevent them from desecrating the Mosque grounds.


and here's a caption I find over here:

Jenin -- Spraying machinegun fire and a diesel smokescreen, an Israeli tank enforces a curfew order in the city. Photo: Jon Elmer

Israeli doesn't spray machinegun fire in cities.

Makes Sense

There's A Logical Reason for It

Survey: Vulture population plummeted by third in past year

They all became politicians, that's all.

Uzbek Fashion Model


The Temple Mount in the Geneva Accords

Article 6 - Jerusalem

1. Religious and Cultural Significance:

(a) The Parties recognize the universal historic, religious, spiritual, and cultural significance of Jerusalem and its holiness enshrined in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In recognition of this status, the Parties reaffirm their commitment to safeguard the character, holiness, and freedom of worship in the city and to respect the existing division of administrative functions and traditional practices between different denominations.

(b) The Parties shall establish an inter-faith body consisting of representatives of the three monotheistic faiths, to act as a consultative body to the Parties on matters related to the city's religious significance and to promote inter-religious understanding and dialogue. The composition, procedures, and modalities for this body are set forth in Annex X.

2. Capital of Two States
The Parties shall have their mutually recognized capitals in the areas of Jerusalem under their respective sovereignty.

3. Sovereignty
Sovereignty in Jerusalem shall be in accordance with attached Map 2. This shall not prejudice nor be prejudiced by the arrangements set forth below.

4. Border Regime
The border regime shall be designed according to the provisions of Article 11, and taking into account the specific needs of Jerusalem (e.g., movement of tourists and intensity of border crossing use including provisions for Jerusalemites) and the provisions of this Article.

5. al-Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount (Compound)

(a) International Group
i. An International Group, composed of the IVG and other parties to be agreed upon by the Parties, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), shall hereby be established to monitor, verify, and assist in the implementation of this clause.

ii. For this purpose, the International Group shall establish a Multinational Presence on the Compound, the composition, structure, mandate and functions of which are set forth in Annex X.

iii. The Multinational Presence shall have specialized detachments dealing with security and conservation. The Multinational Presence shall make periodic conservation and security reports to the International Group. These reports shall be made public.

iv. The Multinational Presence shall strive to immediately resolve any problems arising and may refer any unresolved disputes to the International Group that will function in accordance with Article 16.

v. The Parties may at any time request clarifications or submit complaints to the International Group which shall be promptly investigated and acted upon.

vi. The International Group shall draw up rules and regulations to maintain security on and conservation of the Compound. These shall include lists of the weapons and equipment permitted on the site.

(b) Regulations Regarding the Compound
i. In view of the sanctity of the Compound, and in light of the unique religious and cultural significance of the site to the Jewish people, there shall be no digging, excavation, or construction on the Compound, unless approved by the two Parties. Procedures for regular maintenance and emergency repairs on the Compound shall be established by the IG after consultation with the Parties.

ii. The state of Palestine shall be responsible for maintaining the security of the Compound and for ensuring that it will not be used for any hostile acts against Israelis or Israeli areas. The only arms permitted on the Compound shall be those carried by the Palestinian security personnel and the security detachment of the Multinational Presence.

iii. In light of the universal significance of the Compound, and subject to security considerations and to the need not to disrupt religious worship or decorum on the site as determined by the Waqf, visitors shall be allowed access to the site. This shall be without any discrimination and generally be in accordance with past practice.

(c) Transfer of Authority
i. At the end of the withdrawal period stipulated in Article 5/7, the state of Palestine shall assert sovereignty over the Compound.

ii. The International Group and its subsidiary organs shall continue to exist and fulfill all the functions stipulated in this Article unless otherwise agreed by the two Parties.

6. The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall shall be under Israeli sovereignty.

Source and here, too.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Uri Tzvi Greenberg Heritage House

Among other volunteer activity, I serve on the executive board of בית מורשת אורי צבי גרינברג or the Uri Tzvi Greenberg Heritage House.

Uri Tzvi was the greatest poet of Israel and the Jewish people in the 20th century. Here are some translations. So far, 13 volumes of Hebrew poetry have appeared in the Collected Works Edition, one volume of drawings and three of newspaper articles from the 1920s. All together, there should be some 22-23 volumes.

And here are some photos of the 'gang':

At the top of the table is Geula Cohen and, to the right of the picture: Danny Dayan (newly elected chairman of the Yesha Council, Dr. Ze'ev Yeivin, son of Yehoshua Heshel Yeiven, companion of Uri Tzvi, Daisy Cohen (standing), UZG House administrator, Uri

Chaya Mira Baranas, educational coordinator, and to her left, the accounts comptroller and Rivka Sneh.

And there's me with Geula Cohen and Daisy. At far right is Advocate Naftali Wurzburger who is well known for taking on difficult nationalist causes including the disengagement cases, former Kach activitists and others.

Carnival Of The Insanities

I'm at #4, sub-paragrpah 3

A Caricature Not Left/Liberal

Thanks to YS

CNN Canned At Seraphic


A Name from the Past

Ehud Havazelet.

That's the name.

Well, Havatzelet really. Meir. A teacher of mine at Yeshiva University.

His sone is an accopmlished author and university lecturer.

He just published a new novel (reviewed here) entitled "Bearing the Body".

I found an interview with hime (here) which mentions my former teacher.

Here are some excerpts:-

...He lives in Corvallis and teaches creative writing at the University of Oregon.

Luke: "How do you like your name?"

Ehud: "If I didn't like it, I would've changed it. It's always been an issue with pronunciation. Since age four, whenever teachers have stopped and looked confused, I raised my hand and told them.

"My two sons are named Jacob (5) and Michael (18).

"My name bothered me when I was younger because I felt like it stuck out but now it's fine.

"I was a wannabe musician for a few years and this guy told me that if I wanted a chance with Roulette Records, they were going to call me Ed Hazel. My wife and I use that as a joke name."

"I've been mistaken more often for an Arab than an Israeli."

Luke: "You were never going to be able to assimilate with your name?"

Ehud: "No. And nobody has asked me assimilate with any name."

Ehud moved to Oregon in 1989.

Luke: "When did you break with Orthodox Judaism and why?"

Ehud: "The second semester of college. I didn't have a positive experience growing up Orthodox in New York. I found it closed, vicious and sniping. I didn't know anyone who had spirituality."

Ehud's father Meir just retired at age 78 as a professor of rabbinics at Yeshiva University.

Luke: "At what age did you first smoke pot?"

Ehud: "Fifteen."

Luke: "At what age did you become a rebel?"

Ehud, the eldest of four kids: "I was rebelling all the time. I went to college wearing a yarmulke and a ponytail. The public rebellion came when I stopped keeping kosher and stopped wearing a yarmulke and started having tremendous fights with my father.

"In 1967, I was eleven when the Six Day War happened. My father and I talked excitedly about getting on a plane and going there and seeing what we could do. By the 1973 war, I had seen the other side. I was against the war in Vietnam and against militarization.

"I hated going to yeshiva. I had to get there at 7 a.m. to pray. I left at 5:30 p.m. I had some rabbis who were very traditional and some very troubled. Some were rigid and sadistic. One threw a kid down the stairs and broke his back. I used to get hit.

"I went to Ramaz. It was the most modern yeshiva. I wanted to go to a non-yeshiva school. My parents said no way. You go to a Jewish school but you can pick the one you want."

Luke: "What crowd did you hang out with in highschool?"

Ehud: "There wasn't much of a crowd. There were a few of us getting high and going down to the Philmore [for concerts by the Grateful Dead, etc].

"Somebody at [Ramaz] found out that somebody was getting high so they had the police department come down to this nice Jewish school and had a display of the various types of drugs and all the reasons you shouldn't use them. Winning arguments such as, 'Why do you think they call it dope?'

"With wonderful naiveté, they passed around five joints so we could all get a look at them. At the end, only three of them came back to the stage. The principal got up and said, 'No one is leaving this room until they come back.'"

Luke: "Did you get expelled?"

Ehud: "I was suspended often."

Luke: "Have any Orthodox institutions invited you to give a reading?"

Ehud: "Yeshiva University has. A colleague of my father's likes my stuff. I had dinner with a bunch of students from Stern College [the women's branch of Y.U.]."

Luke: "Did you corrupt the youth?"

Ehud: "No. I was on my best behavior. I had a couple of Scotches before I went to make sure I could take whatever would happen. They were very nice. My impression is that they were hampered by having one reference point. They didn't have a way of approaching my material [except] was it pro or anti-Jewish. That's not what I'm aiming for.

"There's a scene in my short story 'Leah' where Rachel's boyfriend is beaten up. I was accused of condoning anti-Semitism."

Luke: "What emotions did you see on your father's face when you were with the yeshiva crowd?"

Ehud: "He loved it. He co-opted the whole thing. My father can't resist an opportunity to be on stage. We started talking about what he thinks, what he thinks the stories are about... It's like asking a person who's never painted to care about everything in a painting and understand how it was put together. He's not a painter.

"Within that context, he's a wild man He's more provocative, liberal and questioning than most of his students.

"My dad's swung to the left politically without changing his allegiance to Israel. He's for a two-state solution. He's there now. We can't get him to come home."

Tzippy Was On CNN But...

David Wilder, Hebron's spokesperson, thought she shoudn't have been on (*):-

Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2007 11:00 PM
Subject: CNN, Hebron, and "Warriors of G-d"

Hebron and CNN
Following screening of the CNN production "Warriors of G-d", including a 2 hour segment dealing with Judaism and Israel, I think it appropriate to post the following two letters, between myself and Mr. Jonathan Klein, President of CNN/USA. The two letter are, I think, self-explanatory.

I must note, that following my 'revelation,' I notified a number of people who had, like myself, agreed to participate one way or another, with CNN. Some of them immediately ceased all contact with CNN and refused to take part in the program. Others decided to continue.

Each person can draw their own conclusions.

David Wilder

From: Hebron []
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 5:44 PM
To: ''
Subject: Cnn production of Religion and politics - produced by Andy Segal
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Klein,

A couple of months ago I was approached by one of your Israeli correspondents about participating in a program produced by CNN, dealing with politics and religion in Judaism. He introduced me to Mr. Andy Segal, who is producing the program, and we had several lengthy conversations, first by phone, and later in person, here in Hebron, in Israel. Our conversations were quite open and frank – I saw no reason to hide my suspicions about cooperating with CNN – the network's reputation concerning Israel is less than positive. We discussed this at great length, and at one point Andy requested to center the program around Hebron and the Hebron Jewish community.

Following much thought and conversations with colleagues of mine, I decided to refuse Andy's request, but did agree to participate in a more minor role in the program, basing our response to each request on its own merits.

A couple of weeks ago Andy again made contact and we spoke of several possibilities. He was interested in speaking to a family which had experienced terror first-hand, and had chosen to remain in Hebron, despite their loss and the dangers involved. I decided to try to assist and introduced him to Mrs. Tzippy Shlissel, whose father, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan, was killed by terrorists in Hebron some eight and a half years ago. He met with her three times: first an introductory meeting, followed by an in-depth interview, and followed, earlier today, by a filmed interview and filming of the family, home, etc.

So far so good.


When we first discussed this project I asked Andy who was responsible for writing the script. He told me that he would be working on it, but there would be others involved. To the best of my recollection, my impression was that he was 'in charge' and for the most part, would determine the outlook of the script and would be 'on top' of the entire project.

This afternoon, that illusion shattered when he mentioned to me that in a few months, the chief international CNN correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, would be coming to Israel and would probably also want to speak with Mrs. Shlissel. Almost in shock, I asked him what her role is in this project. He told me that she is the narrator. I asked if she would have anything to do with writing the script and was told that "I will write the first draft." "Will she have anything to do with writing the final draft?" "Yes."

I then told Andy that had I known she was involved with this project I would not have had anything at all to do with it.

I am personally familiar with Christiane Amanpour. A number of years ago (about 10 years ago) she interviewed me. I had the dubious pleasure to have her yell and scream at me on camera. She obviously wanted me to scream back, so as to show her viewers 'an extremist from Hebron' exploding on camera. I refused to play into her hands and answered all her questions with a relaxed, calm smile on my face. However, I never forgot the interview. I haven't been yelled at, on camera, by too many journalists.

How can CNN produce an 'objective program' about Israel and religious settlers, when one of the prime elements of the program is known to be vehemently 'anti-Israel' and certainly 'anti-settlers,' so to speak? Her reputation is so blatantly prejudiced. For example: -collection_28.html

So when people ask: "Why did the Palestinian people elect a terrorist group?" The answer is because they see them as a lifeline.

Each time I go to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, I am shocked by the reality on the ground. On a recent visit, I passed through a short tunnel from the First World in Israel and emerged into the Third World that is Gaza. The poverty there is among the worst in the world.

Hamas officials told me they did not expect to win the election as overwhelmingly as they did. They say their main priority now is to meet the demands of the people for a better life.

But that may be impossible, because Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas and have already cut funding to the new Palestinian government.

Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Correspondent: 11:03 AM ET

A woman who justifies and backs Hamas is going to deal 'fairly' with Jews in Hebron, or anywhere else in Judea and Samaria? She is going to present us as 'religious nuts and fanatics' who are endangering world peace. She is certainly not going to present anything that could be considered positive concerning us, our lifestyles or our beliefs. She is certainly not going to present a balanced, objective program dealing with religious Jews and Eretz Yisrael.

I basically told Andy that I was out – and wouldn't have anything more to do with the project. I put a rather large degree of trust in Andy – I believed that he had the possibility to present an object, balanced program. However, I cannot have any trust whatsoever in Christiane Amanpour, whose reputation stands before her.

Andy Segal told me that you are responsible for this project, that you initiated it. Without being presumptuous, I think it fair to demand that Christiane Amanpour be removed from this project. I cannot imagine that such a biased person could have anything to do with a project dealing with religion and politics in Israel. The results are a foregone conclusion, even before the cameras start rolling. The question is whether the program you are producing is to be an interesting objective account of religion and politics in Israel, or another CNN-produced Israel (settler)-bashing?

I await your reply and hope, very much, to learn that Ms. Amanpour will no longer have anything to do with this project.


David Wilder
The Jewish Community of Hebron


From: Klein, Jon [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 6:41 PM
Subject: Response to your email dated January 30, 2007

February 13, 2007

Mr. David Wilder
The Jewish Community of Hebron
February 12, 2007

Dear Mr. Wilder,

Let me begin by thanking you for your comments. I am sorry that the Jewish Community of Hebron has chosen not to be represented in our documentary. Our mission is to produce a program that goes far beyond what is normally seen in daily news broadcasts so that our viewers can better understand the people who risk their lives -- and their children's - to live on land they believe is their birthright: Jerusalem and the West Bank. Our goal is not to find fault or fix blame -- but to simply understand. To that end, I believe that you are missing a prime opportunity to be heard, not only in the United States, but in 180 countries around the world, and I would ask you to reconsider.

Regardless of your decision, I stand by CNN's reputation as a fair and impartial source of information. On conflicts as heated and long-standing as that between Israel and the Palestinians it is not surprising that "both sides" are at times unhappy with our reporting. We often hear that we are biased towards the other side, and that may be the surest indication of our impartiality.

Christiane Amanpour is one of our most talented and prominent international correspondents, and she is supported by a team of our strongest producers. In fact Andy Segal, our senior producer, is one of the best. As you probably have discovered, Andy comes to the table prepared. He is fair, honorable and ethical - a journalist who takes his work very seriously. He has produced a number of award-winning documentaries. Andy and his team are researching, producing and writing this documentary, and you can be assured that his reporting will shape the final program. As a spokesman for a prominent organization, I am sure you appreciate the need for others input before you represent the positions and views of Hebron's Jewish community. The same is true at CNN - not only will Ms. Amanpour have input, but so will editors and executives, to insure journalist standards and practices are met. In the end a program like this will be fully vetted and sourced.

I can honestly say that if you decide not to contribute to this program - perhaps the fullest exploration of this issue ever seen on western television - you may regret missing the opportunity to let millions of viewers understand your story. I hope you will reconsider your decision, but if not, you can be assured the program will meet the highest standards of journalism.


Jon Klein

Jon Klein

President, CNN U.S.

One Time Warner Center

New York, NY 10019



David writes me about Tzippy:

They had already filmed her - That material belonged to them - I couldn't stop them from using it - but from that time on I had nothing to do with them. (From reactions I've received, she actually came over well).

Kosher & The Church

My wife who manages Kosher Carnival would love this, I think:-

NEAR a prairie dotted with cattle and green with soy beans, barley, corn and oats, two bearded Hasidic men dressed in black pray outside a slaughterhouse here that is managed by an evangelical Christian.

What brought these men together could easily have kept them apart: religion.

The two Hasidim oversee shehitah, the Jewish ritual slaughtering of meat according to the Book of Leviticus. The meat is then shipped to Wise Organic Pastures, a kosher food company in Brooklyn owned by Issac Wiesenfeld and his family. When Mr. Wiesenfeld sought an organic processor that used humane methods five years ago, he found Scott Lively, who was just beginning Dakota Beef, now one of the largest organic meat processors in the country.

Mr. Lively adheres to a diet he believes Jesus followed. Like Mr. Wiesenfeld, he says the Bible prescribes that he use organic methods to respect the earth, treat his workers decently and treat the cattle that enter his slaughterhouse as humanely as possible.

“We learn everything from the Old Testament,” Mr. Lively said, “from keeping kosher to responsible capitalism.”

Humane, sustainable practices like Mr. Lively’s are articles of faith for many Americans concerned with the way food gets from farm to plate. But they are even more deeply held matters of faith for a growing number of farmers and religious groups. In the past few years protecting the environment has emerged as a religious issue. Now, something similar is taking place in the way people of faith view their daily bread.

Christians, Jews and Muslims who see food through a moral lens are increasingly organized and focused on showing their strength. The Religious Working Group on the Farm Bill, a national coalition of more than a dozen religious organizations, is lobbying Congress for legislation to help small farms. The National Catholic Rural Life Conference is helping congregations and universities in the Midwest buy local produce from family farmers.

Environment-minded Jews are asking the leaders of Conservative Judaism to rewrite their kosher certification rules to incorporate ethical concerns about workers, animals and the land. Hazon, the Jewish environmental organization, has set up community-supported agriculture programs, or C.S.A.’s, in which customers purchase shares of a farm’s harvest.

“This is the first time I have seen such a deep and growing involvement of the faith community,” said Brother David Andrews, who is on sabbatical from his job as executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and has followed these kinds of issues for 30 years.

If this nascent cause was taken up by large numbers of churches and synagogues, the economic effect alone could be profound. “The religious movement is a huge force,” said Arlin S. Wasserman, the founder of Changing Tastes, a consulting firm in St. Paul that advises food companies and philanthropic organizations on trends in food and agriculture. “Already, religious institutions oversee the production of $250 billion per year in food if you bundle together halal, kosher, and institutional buying.

“Religious leaders have been giving dietary advice for decades and centuries, telling us to eat fish on Friday or to keep kosher in your home. What we are seeing now are contemporary concerns like the fair treatment of farm workers, humane treatment of animals and respect for the environment being integrated into the dietary advice given by the churches.”

And there's more there.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Will Journalist Guilds Protest?

Members of the Hamas Executive Force broke up a demonstration by Fatah, Hamas’s rival, in Gaza City on Friday, firing into the air and briefly detaining journalists who were trying to document the events, according to news media reports.


My Letter in the JPost Magaizne

Twisting the truth

Sir, - Seth Frantzman unfortunately limited his correct defensive response to anti-Zionist fabrications and purposeful misrepresentations by Ilan Pappe, et al. to the 1948 war only ("Ethnic cleansing in Palestine?" August 17). He more properly should have gone over to the offensive and pointed out that ethnic cleansing was a prime Arab instrument used against Jews for decades.

Examples of this include Tel Hai, wiped out in March 1920, its Jews killed and dispersed. In April 1920, Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter civilians were attacked. In May 1921, an attempt was made to depopulate Jaffa and Petah Tikva of its Jews, and Kfar Saba was set afire. In 1929, 133 Jews were killed within two weeks and Hebron was ethnically cleansed of its centuries-old Jewish population, as were Jenin, Shechem (Nablus), Tulkarm, Gaza, Hulda, Kfar Uriya, Ramat Rahel and a dozen other communities. In April, during just the first month of the 1936-1939 riots, over 7,000 Jews became refugees from their homes in Tel Aviv's southern neighborhoods.

The above list is incomplete but indicates the perversity of Arab propaganda and its Jewish sympathizers. Not only do they invent lies, they twist the truth to hide the deeds they themselves promoted.


Friday, August 24, 2007

I caught this ad in today's JPost:-

And here are my questions,

a) Does USAID have a parallel program for Jewish residents of the "West Bank"?

b) If so, what? where? when? who?

c) If not, why?

d) If not, is this discrimination based on race and religion by not extending financial aid to residents of the geographical entity (note: the aid goes to the WB/G not to the Palestine Authority).

e) If not, are any elected officials, senators or congressmen or their aides, reviewing this ad to ascertain if my assumption, that it is discriminatory (I am pretty sure that non-citizens in American states (like California and Texas, for example) are being aided by US government funds. Why not Jews living in Shiloh, Ofrah, Efrat, etc.?

f) If I am an American citizen, can I then qualify?

g) Could someone like Shlomo Fischer, Director, Yesodot - The Center for Torah and Democracy in Jerusalem, apply? (Yesodot has received US monies in the past and money from Keren Abraham and other funders). Or does the job really mean "Arab"? Or "Arab Muslim"?

h) What type of "knowledge" of the Arab-Israel conflict is needed? Why not ignore the conflict and just deal with democracy - civil rights, accountability, transparancy of government activity, freedom of the press, human liberties, no terror (oops, sorry about that. it just creeped in and I can't figure out how), etc.

i) Is this a CIA plan to overthrow the PA? (just kidding. they don't do those things anymore, do they?)

j) Wouldn't it be democratic to recognize the right of Jews to live in their historic homeland and figure out how that could be accomplished without anybody resorting to violence?

k) And why Tel Aviv? Jerusalem takes care of Judea & Samaria (aka WB) where as TA deals with Gaza (well, they still have a score to settle, no?).

I could go on, but it's Friday and I have other things to do and write about.

Page-after-Page With Noa

My friend Chaggai Segal also fell in love with "M'kimi" and in his weekly Makor Rishon column, in the Dyukan Magazine (in Hebrew), suggests that the Yesha Council hand out free copies of the book to secularists at the Azrieli Center.

Bemoaning the fact that Tel Aviv, as a concept, has been too hard a nut to crack for those involved in trying to assure the security of the state of Israel and its spiritual value for the Jewish people by maintaining control over Yesha, thinks that if one-fifth of Tel Aviv becomes convinced by Noa's book, despite the fact that there's nothing political in it, the ability to "return the rest" will be easier.

And here's Shai Tzerka's cartoon accompanying the article:

(In the original, you can see that her "angel wings" are the open-paged book of hers)

On second thought, here's the complete caricature. I thought to myself, if Noa herself perhaps glanced here she might be disappointed that the full drawing wasn't here. So I scanned it. I presume that I should emphasize that for copyright protection, only the first version should be copied.

Leave It to the Jews

And who are the critics of the new secular Hebrew-language charter school in Florida?

Eleanor Sobel, a school board member who is among Ben Gamla’s most vocal critics, said making sure the school did not stray from constitutional rules would take a near-impossible level of supervision.

“I don’t know how to monitor this, and that’s why I have great concern,” Ms. Sobel said. “Accountability is real important when you’re dealing with taxpayers’ money.”

Allan Tuffs, the rabbi at Temple Beth El in Hollywood, said he, too, was worried about the school and what it could lead to. “Jews have thrived in America as in no other nation,” Rabbi Tuffs said, “in large measure due to this concept of separation of church and state.”


Eliminating Terrorism by Eliminating Terrorists

The film clip of an IDF anti-terror operation on Augiust 20, 2007.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prime Programming on BBC

I'm glad the BBC has finally selected more appropriate broadcast material more suited to their standards:-

you've got to love Lawrence Barraclough. Two years ago he made "My Penis and I" for BBC Three and now he's back to direct Three's commission of another dick-related documentary examining why men don't talk about them much. That's men other than Lawrence Barraclough, presumably, since he seems to be a bit fixated.

There will undoubtedly be footage (or perhaps that should more accurately be called inchage) of penises during the programme, which should help redress the balance for those frustrated viewers who sigh in an exasperated fashion and wonder out loud to no-one in particular why we get so much full frontal female nudity on the box and hardly any of the other.

The CNN Videos

For anyone who missed it: God's Jewish Warriors on CNN

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

This is such a promo for Gorenberg's book.

Like Festivals?

You're inivited:-

Olive Harvest 2007: You Are Needed More Than Ever!

Join Us in Palestine for the 2007 Olive Harvest Campaign!

Palestinian farmers and agricultural organizations, in coordination with the International Solidarity Movement, the International Women's Peace Service, and the Christian Peacemaker Team announce the 2007 Olive Harvest Campaign. The campaign will begin on October 16th, after the end of Ramadan, and will continue for six to eight weeks, depending on the size of the harvest. [Jews will be harvesting too. like our own "Meshek Achiyah" at Shiloh]

The Olive Harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians' historical, spiritual and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it. Palestinians are the indigenous people of this land who have farmed olives here for thousands of years. [since maybe 638 CE at the most. that's 1369 years at the very most. and don't forget, there were Jews here first with their olive trees]

International and Israeli volunteers join Palestinians each year to harvest olives, in spite of efforts by Israeli settlers, soldiers and bulldozers to destroy this vital piece of Palestinian life. The Olive Harvest Campaign provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes. After a two-day training session, volunteers for the Olive Harvest Campaign will stay in Palestinian homes or international apartments in West Bank communities and accompany Palestinian families to their olive groves to serve as witnesses to document and expose attacks by settlers -- supported by the Israeli Army -- on farmers and their families.

In addition to olive harvest, volunteers will have the opportunity to join Palestinians in nonviolent protests throughout the West Bank against the construction of the annexation barrier, settlements and settlement roads.

For more information on preparation, travel and arrival in Palestine, please see the ISM Palestine website,
ISM support groups located around the world can help answer your questions about the movement and Olive Harvest Campaign. Many will provide training sessions. For information on how to contact local ISM support groups worldwide, please also see the ISM website.

But if you want a real good festival, try Shiloh on the 15th of Av.

I Took My Own Advice

I had posted a snippet (here) of a new book, "M'kimi", by Noah Yaron-Dayan. It is written by a 'returnee' to Judaism, now a Braslavar, living in Ramat Bet Shemesh B (yeah, where all the violence was last month over those modesty signs).

So, uncharacteristically, I took my own advice and I am now reading the book.

It's good. Very good.

If you read Hebrew, get it.

And for all those who don't know what I am talking about, well, where do we start?

Step One:-

...Noa Yaron-Dayan, was once a popular and successful local media star. In her debut novel, she uses her life story as the base for this fictional account of a sharp-tongued, hip television presenter who finds herself being attracted to the religious way of life. The protagonist, Alma, disconnects from her party life, from Tel Aviv, from the media world and even from her family. The transition to her new life is not a smooth one - she examines her doubts and weighs her choices every single day...

Step Two:-

...It took me a while to put aside the way in which "Mekimi," the debut novel of Noa Yaron-Dayan, imagines me, the secular reader, and to write about the book as though I wasn't one of its subjects. Because before even opening the book, while reading the cover text provided by the publisher, I found myself, the secular Israeli woman, labeled as someone who is probably concerned with "success," "debauchery" and "wild pleasures." But here, perhaps, we need to go back to the plot - not my own plot, but that of Alma, the heroine...

...Alma and her secular partner, described as a student "at the most prestigious film school in Jerusalem," inadvertently find themselves attending the religious revival classes given by a follower of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. This near-accidental encounter becomes a process of discovery that intensifies as the book unfolds - the discovery of a brand-new spiritual world, through which and for which the everyday becomes transcendent and meaningful.

This encounter is primarily of the New Age variety, the kind that allows a person to uncover his or her own innermost secrets. There must be something about this transition, this discovery of the new self, that is entirely filling, intoxicating, empowering. Much of the book is devoted to trying to explain how it feels. But at the same time, trying to describe the experience is apparently also frustrating. And the frustration grows, not only because it is so difficult to disclose what lies in the very depths of the soul, but especially because of the audience for whom Noa Yaron-Dayan is writing: one that, as she remembers it, regards such experiences as completely foreign, and perhaps even considers them ridiculous; an audience for whom she, by virtue of that experience, becomes an "other."...

And if you comprehend spoken Hebrew, watch this video.

And if you read Hebrew, she has set up a web site.

I hope she is engaged in having it translated into English and other languages.




Shhh. Don't Mention "Israel"


Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic movement in the Palestinian land occupied in 1948, called for the urgent establishment of an international Islamic Arab fund to save the Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, warning that the Aqsa today faces the most critical phase in its history.

Something Missing?

Here's Isabela Kershner's report over at the New York Times on Abu-Mazen's latest screed:-

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Israel for what he termed an escalation of violence against Palestinians, saying it “casts doubt about Israel’s real intentions towards the peace process.” On Monday, Israeli strikes in Gaza killed six militants from Hamas, and in separates strikes there on Tuesday, three from the Islamic Jihad group and two boys. Mr. Abbas, of Fatah, described the killings inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as “a massacre which cannot be justified in any circumstances.”

Anything seem unbalanced, misleading and biased is this report?

Sure. Where are those Qassam rockets and other mortar attacks that caused Israel to "strike"?


My 'letter to the editor' -

Isabel Kershner reports on Mahmud Abbas' criticism of Israel (Aug. 23) that Israel is "escalating violence" and notes several Israel airstrikes that have killed 11 persons which Abbas terms a "masssacre". However, with no mention of continued Qassam rocket and mortar attacks aimed at Jewish civilians, the story is unbalanced and misleading.


CNN's "God's Warriors" was discussed among some activists a while back when I was approached by people, David Wilder and Sondra Baras, who were asked to participate (no, they didn't want me and you know why). We debated and deliberated whether or not to go along with them.

Well, as you know, it's out and on and CAMERA tore it to pieces and here are two of my favorite themes:-


• Amanpour suggests settlements are the cause of Arab anger: "the Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Arab world," yet the Arab world was just as anti-Israel (actually more so) before the settlements were built.

• She presents at length the views of Theodor Meron asserting the illegality of settlements as the definitive word, but makes no mention of more senior Israeli experts such as former Supreme Court Chief Meir Shamgar, who disagreed with Meron. Nor does Amanpour mention such foreign experts such as Professors Julius Stone and Eugene Rostow who also argued for the legality of settlements. See for example From "Occupied Territories" to "Disputed Territories" by Dore Gold.

• She grossly misleads about America's position on settlements in the following sequence:

WILLIAM SCRANTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: My government believes that international law sets the appropriate standards.

AMANPOUR: From the earliest days of the settler movement, even the United States, Israel's closest ally, blasted Israel's settlement policy.

SCRANTON: Substantial resettlement of the Israeli civilian population in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, is illegal.

AMANPOUR: Ever since American presidents both Democrat and Republican have spoken from virtually the same script. They consistently oppose settlement growth.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements.

In fact, Reagan said: "As to the West Bank, I believe the settlements there -- I disagreed when the previous Administration referred to them as illegal, they're not illegal" (NYTimes, Feb. 3, 1981). Others did not deem settlements "illegal."

• Amanpour continuously discounts the context of the Arab world. She says with regard to the post Six-Day War period: "But the Israeli government was divided - trade the captured land for peace or keep it and build Jewish settlements." Unmentioned is the Arab refusal to "trade" anything for peace as embodied in the three "no's" delivered at a summit in Khartoum declaring there would be no negotiation, no recognition and no peace with Israel.

Jerusalem/Temple Mount, and The Holy Places

• Amanpour says: "It was from here, according to Muslim scripture, that the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven around the year 630. But Hebrew scripture puts the ancient Jewish Temple in the same location, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70. For the next 1,900 years, even the last remnant of the temple known as the Wailing Wall, or the Western Wall, was lost to the Jews."

a) Muslim scripture refers to Mohammed ascending to heaven from the "farthest mosque," which could not have been on the Temple Mount, since the mosque there wasn't built until well after the death of Mohammed.

b) The Western Wall isn't a remnant of the Temple, it is merely a retaining wall built to extend and flatten the Temple Mount. And there are indeed actual remains of the First and Second Temples on the Temple Mount.

c) Although Amanpour notes the holiness of the Temple Mount to Jews and Muslims, and some Jews in clips say that it is the holiest site for Jews, she never points this out herself, nor does she mention that Hebron is Judaism's second holiest city with its second holiest shrine.

d) Amanpour interviews the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to give a Muslim perspective on the Al Aqsa Mosque, but no Jewish Rabbinical figure is presented to discuss the paramount religious importance of the Temple Mount to Jews.

And Missy Christy is married to a Jew.

Doesn't he know better?

The "Girls" of Homesh

For the past 35 days, a Jewish presence has been renewed at Homesh, from which Israel had "disengaged" two years ago and it is being maintained basically through the deidcated efforts of Jewish women who have been camping out with all their children and help from highschool pupils.

The proof:-

Notice the view in the last picture to the upper right to understand the strategic position of Homesh overlooking the area of Hadera.

My Haaretz Letter

In Hebrew, responding to Akiva Eldar's article on relinquishing Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Country Concerned with Demographics

More people left the UK last year than in any year since 1991, statistics just released suggest. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that some 385,000 people left the UK for the long term in the year to mid-2006.


CNN's "God's Warriors" - Sondra

Sondra Baras, a good friend (what else?), starred in a segment of the series here.

A brief transcript excerpt:-

MELBOURNE, Florida (CNN) -- Sondra Oster Baras is an Orthodox Jew doing an unorthodox job.

"If you had asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing with my life, I don't think I would have told you I'd be in church," she said.

Baras stumps for money from evangelical Christians to support Jewish settlements in the occupied territories -- land she calls biblical Israel.

A recent stop finds her in Melbourne, Florida, visiting Pastor Gary Christofaro at his First Assembly Church of God.

Christofaro and his flock take their Jewish roots so seriously that on Friday nights they observe the Jewish Sabbath with Hebrew prayers.

The Israeli "Absolut Corruption"

From a loyal reader:-

All Washed Up

A surfing story.

The noted American surfer, Dr. Dorian Paskowitz, 86, a retired Jewish physician from Hawaii, personally delivered 15 new surfboards to Palestinian surfing enthusiasts there.

The endeavor started with an article in The Los Angeles Times three weeks ago about a beach in Gaza called Al Deira. It featured a photograph of two Palestinian surfers with one old surfboard between them. “My son and I said, why don’t we go over and help them get some boards,” Dr. Paskowitz recalled.

...The Paskowitzes started to pull strings.

...Their passage through Erez was coordinated by the Israeli military administration there. OneVoice, an Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution organization, helped bring the Palestinians across to receive the boards.

...Among the Palestinians were the two riders whose photograph Dr. Paskowitz had seen in the newspaper. “There were tears in their eyes,” he said. His hope is that the new boards will inspire Gaza’s surfers to start manufacturing their own. “From a board comes a group of guys who ride,” he said. “From the group comes a business, then an industry, then a fantastic amount of money. I’m talking about billions, all from one board.”

...One of the Palestinian surfers, Muhammad Jayab, described himself in the article Dr. Paskowitz had read as sympathetic to Hamas. That did not put Doc off. “To be able to go to your enemies and give them something that makes them happy is a most fulfilling adventure,” he said.

Oh, they'll be happy alright.

In fact, they are happy right now that another Jew is benefitting Israel's enemy.

What are the odds we'll be hearing among gun-running via surf boards soon?

And we can take this philanthropic aid one step further. Why not ask the Jews of the Fashion District in Manhattan to help out here:-

Young Ukrainian models in flimsy lingerie spray champagne at a boisterous crowd of young Lebanese at a swanky beach resort south of Beirut -- barely a year after Israeli bombs were falling nearby.

Drinks in hand, shapely women in skimpy bikinis dance to the latest club song with men smoking Cuban cigars, underlining the image of a wealthy hedonist minority seizing any chance to escape their country's political crisis and uncertain future.

The scene at the Oceana beach resort near Damour seems a world away from Lebanon's sectarian tensions and political standoff symbolized by an opposition protest encampment that has paralyzed downtown Beirut for the past nine months.

Bikinis should go over great with Hamas and Hizballah.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Need a Graphics Expert

Can anyone out there do this with Olmert & Crew?

I am, unfortunately computer technology challenged.

Way to Go, Mob

If you go here, you can read Steve Plaut's comments on the hiring by JTA of Mobius.


Recently, Rudolf Kastner's papers were handed over to Yad Vashem and a big hullaballoo was made that these would basically exonerate him.

I have a friend who was a Betari since the 1930s, Stephen Esrati, with whom I correspond via the American Betar history discussion list, and here's something he just published there (with slight editing):-

Ben Hecht was too easy on Rudolf Kastner, the Hungarian "Zionist" leader who sold his soul to Adolf Eichmann. You have to read Dr. Rudolf Vrba's book - "I Escaped From Auschwitz" (2003, Barricade Books, Fort Lee, N.J. [and now there's a new paperback edition at Robson Books])to learn just how culpable Kastner was in the extermination of the first 400,000 Jews of Budapest.

Until I read Vrba, I thought Kastner's greatest crime was that he saved himself and his friends and family from the Nazis, that he testified at Nuremberg on behalf of SS Col Kurt (Gold Teeth) Becher, and that he lied about it all.

Now I know that Kastner got the warning for which Vrba worked so hard in plenty of time not only to warn the Jews of Hungary of what was in store for them (certainly, not "resettlement") but also to lay the groundwork for resistance. It turns out that
Eichmann had only 140 Germans in Budapest to help him deport one million people. And they all got on the cattle cars willingly, sheep led to the slaughter.

Here's Elliot Jager's recent op-ed.

This is the Kind of Development We Could Use in Shiloh

Instead of Shiloh, Illinois, why not Shiloh, Binyamin, Samaria?

McEagle Properties is planning a WingHaven-like development in Shiloh, Ill. The $750 million mixed-use project will add 1,319 homes and nearly 2 million square feet of office and retail space in Shiloh over the next decade.

The proposed development, called Three Springs at Shiloh, will be located on 586 acres at the southeast corner of Green Mount Road and Frank Scott Parkway...McKee said his company decided to put the development in the growing village of Shiloh after scouting sites in Illinois for the past decade. "There is all kinds of growth all around it," he said. "In the development business, it's all about momentum and continuing momentum. With Scott Air Force Base expanding nearby, that growth continues to fuel growth in this entire region."

Shiloh's population was 7,643 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This June, the Census Bureau highlighted the town as one of the fastest-growing communities in the Metro East, with its population estimated at 10,575 residents in 2006.

Three Springs at Shiloh will be similar in concept to McEagle's WingHaven master-planned community, which transformed 1,200 acres in O'Fallon, Mo., at WingHaven Boulevard and Highway 40 -- referred to as Interstate 64 in Illinois -- over the last decade. The development in Shiloh will run the gamut of home styles, from senior-living units to villas and single-family residences. A "town center," similar to the one in WingHaven, will have a small grocery store or other service-oriented retail space.


Terrorism's Success

The BBC has dropped plans to show a fictional terror attack in an episode of Casualty to avoid offending Muslims.

The first show of the hospital drama's new series was to have featured a storyline about an explosion caused by Islamic extremists.

The stars of Casualty won't be dealing with an explosion caused by Islamic extremists in case it offends Muslims

Now the bomb will be set off by animal rights campaigners instead.

A BBC spokesman said: "With any storyline there are lots of ideas that get put forward but don't make the series."

Woof, woof.

Update on Reva

You remember the Rabbi's daughter, Reva Mann?


Reva Mann
By Gerald Jacobs
Born: London, 1957, to Rabbi Maurice Unterman and his wife Ruth. One sister, Michelle Educated: Queen’s College, Harley Street; Carmel College; Hebrew University; studied midwifery; girls’ seminary, Jerusalem Married: Simcha Lewinsky (now divorced), three children, all now teenagers Next book : A novel with a Jewish messianic background On her Jewish identity: “I am passionately Jewish. I learn, I study Kabbalah, everything that we can do to bring the Messiah”

and this interview with my friend Jennie Frazer at the Jewish Chronicle.

Remind You of Olmert?

Seems a while back that a group of Australians bought a handwritten Koran, in its jewel-encrusted case, from a former Russian KGB colonel. They planned to offer it to the highest bidder, and began negotiating with representatives of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the absolute monarch of the oil-rich state, settling on a price of £4m.

But the Sultan, despite his estimated £22billion fortune, allegedly failed to pay up, and yesterday the case reached the New South Wales Supreme Court - where it was promptly dismissed. Judge Robert McDougall ruled it could not be heard in Australia and said the men would have to sue in Brunei. But Michael McGurk, director of their company, Garsec, said this course of action was not available.

And why?

The Sultan has declared himself above the law in his own country.