Shimon Shiffer reports in Yedioth Ahronoth that in secret talks in 2010 via U.S. government mediator Frederic C. Hof, Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed in principle to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the June 4, 1967, lines in return for the "expectation" of Bashar al-Assad cutting ties with Iran, and that the nearly-completed negotiations ended because of the anti-Assad uprising that began in January 2011.
is the Waqf upset that IDF soldiers in uniform enter the Temple Mount or that they are Jewish or represent the army of the state of Israel?
What sets us apart from most people can be summed up so easily. Did you know that Sunday was the anniversary of the death of Shimon HaTzadik? He died about 2,300 years ago, give or take, and we know who he was, who his father was, what he did in his life, and where he is buried. And yesterday hundreds of Israelis likely visited his grave.
The presidential and vice-presidential debates provided us with two snapshots of two different and yet very similar men. The Obama who showed up to debate Mitt Romney and the Biden who showed up to debate Paul Ryan were outwardly different types. One white and one black, one elderly and one middle-aged, one a veteran of the Senate and the other a political tyro rushed through the ranks on the promise of his electability.
There was not that much doubt, when reports of Israel bringing down an unidentified drone over the southern Hebron Hills first appeared a week ago, that the spy plane originated with Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah.
One of the most informative books I have ever read on the subject of early 20th century American Jewry was Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet’s biography of Bernard Revel, the 1st President of Yeshiva University. The picture painted of American Jewry in the Revel bio matches that of Rabbi Rakeffet’s own autobiographical account of growing up in pre-war era New York. To put it simply - Orthodox Judaism as we know it today did not exist.
This is one of those issues that ought to be shocking, but about which nothing is done. For years — I’ve written about this before — the Muslim waqf that controls the Temple Mount has been systematically destroying archaeological artifacts of Jewish provenance at the site.
If the building which houses the ticket office and museum at Tel Megiddo national park seems somewhat incongruous to its surroundings – being more reminiscent of the style of an English country gentleman’s residence, with its chimney and paned windows, than of the local architecture – that is because it was built by the British army after its victory against the Ottomans, including at the Battle of Megiddo. So important was that battle that its Commander in Chief, Sir Edmund Allenby, was later awarded the title of 'Viscount of Megiddo.'
The Hulda Gate is the southern entrance to the Temple Mount, also known as the 'Double Gate.' I was there, on the inside, in 1986, with the Knesset's Interior Committee on its famous tour when we were later attacked by a mob of Muslims, throwing rocks and yelling Itbah El-Yahud ('Kill the Jews'). It was a melee and I had to rush/run Geula Cohen north to the Tribes of Israel Gate to get out safely:
Today marks ten years since jihadist terrorists carried out a ghastly bombing attack on night club spots on the Indonesian island of Bali. The Kuta Beach massacre was the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia: 202 people were killed that night. 164 were foreign nationals, 38 were Indonesian citizens. 209 people were injured. Almost immediately after it happened on 12th October 2002, the then editorial team at the Melbourne (Australia) Herald-Sun newspaper contacted Arnold Roth.
Since being sexually attacked in Egypt, journalist Lara Logan now seems to recognizes that the real problems of the Middle East are not caused by the here and now of Palestinian suffering. My reaction to this story is to say to Ms. Logan, “Welcome aboard.” “We could use a few more reporters like you.”
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently warned that, “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.” During Thursday's Vice Presidential debate the statement was read to Vice President Joe Biden and Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan at the start of segment on Iran. What exactly Gates meant by “catastrophic” I’m not sure (Muslim/Middle East resentment towards the U.S.? Lack of access to oil? Increase in global terrorism?), but during the debate, both Biden and debate moderator Martha Raddatz seemed to argue that it meant going to war with Iran.
Middle East expert Daniel Pipes' thoughts on the Biden-Ryan debate.
Over the Sukkot holiday, 12 Jews were arrested and many more were harassed and denied religious rights on the Temple Mount over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Eight of the arrests were for prayer crimes and three were for peacefully protesting the policies of discrimination and denigration. Here's a day by day report.
We live a short walk from the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem. Over the holidays, the hotel was packed with Diaspora Jews from all over the world, but now that the holidays are over, the lobby is pretty deserted. I can’t understand how a self-respecting Jew can leave the Land of Israel and go back to the Lilliputian Jewish life of Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne, or Brooklyn after being in the Land of our Forefathers.
A former Saudi Naval officer writes that Arab hatred of Israel is costing them severely, arguing that, "Hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted and tens of thousands of innocent lives lost fighting Israel."
A new video explaining the Jewish right to build in Judea and Samaria.
Fans of this blog have often asked why we do not monitor British media institutions other than the Guardian for anti-Israel bias – a query to which we have not had an answer. Until now. Recognizing the importance of the BBC in shaping world-wide opinion, a new site, BBC Watch, has been launched which will monitor BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East.
As the men danced around below us, I had a lot of time to notice the people who were there - many are friends and neighbors of mine; children and grandchildren of people I know. The rabbi that is so loved in this community; a woman who regularly collects food for needy people. This one has a child who is ill; a boy with Down Syndrome who is so loved and cherished. This family has more boys than I can count; this one just had a daughter who got married. She's a grandmother now. Her son just got engaged. That one there is married to her over there. And on and on - a community of people.
Many of you have been shocked by the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because of a blog she wrote and interviews she gave starting in 2009, criticizing the Taliban and calling for the education of women. This lovely, self-possessed girl, who speaks and writes on a level far above her age, and who planned to enter politics (video), may or may not survive. If she does not, it will be an enormous loss for Pakistan and for the world.
Despite some of my early negative observations - it still seemed like there was a tremendous sense of Achdus in many respects. The Shul I davened at was very Charedi and yet a great number of regular attendees there are Dati Leumi - Kipa Seruga, no jacket or hat. Even an occasional Israeli solider in full uniform can be found catching a Minyan there. All are welcome.
Ignore for the moment the rank racism, the poor spelling, the absence of any basis for the wild and irresponsible allegations...
We're now entering the period when we begin to pray for rain. Lack of rain was often an excuse to persecute the Jews, specifically those living in Jerusalem. There are quite a few examples from our history of this rain libel, which was very often linked to the 'sin' of drinking wine.
Browsing through a news website, I noticed that the World Series is just two weeks away. I haven’t followed baseball for 30 years, ever since making aliyah. When I lived in America, and thought I was an American, I loved baseball, like everyone else. But baseball doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t even know what teams are in the running this year. The World Series has absolutely nothing to do with the Redemption of Am Yisrael, so who cares? But maybe we can borrow a few metaphors from baseball to help America Jews understand that Judaism in the Diaspora is the Little Leagues.
Mitt Romney gave a generally fine speech today on the Middle East. Sensibly, he criticized the Obama administration for its Benghazi shenanigans, for the "daylight" with Israel, fecklessness vis-à-vis Tehran, and the cuts in military spending. Very justifiably, he called it "time to change course in the Middle East." But I worry about three specifics.