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Haveil Havalim #384

21 Heshvan 5773 – November 5, 2012
Haveil Havalim is a great idea (I'm not going to post the normal shpiel here - just let me say it's our way of sharing a whole bunch of interesting blogs and blog posts that were posted this last week in the Jewish-Israel blogsphere.

Daniel Pipes: Why I am Voting Republican

I vote Republican because I support the party's core message of individualism, patriotism, and respect for tradition, in contrast to the core Democratic message of dependence, self-criticism, and "progress." I am inspired by the original reading of the U.S. Constitution, by ideals of personal freedom and American exceptionalism. I vote for small government, for a return of power to the states, for a strong military, and an assertive pursuit of national interests.

The Secret of Making a Living after Making Aliya

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook said it was like a girl who was set up on a shidduch with a guy whom she knew wasn’t for her. But she didn’t want to embarrass him. So she dressed up in dirty, smelly garments so that he would feel turned off. While he thought that he was rejecting her, in truth, she was rejecting him... Surely, aliyah is the most difficult and challenging mitzvah – the true test of a Jew’s faith in God. But hundreds of thousands of new olim have made it, and so can you.

Locked Up Children: An Example of Anti-Israel Media Bias

On June 27, Honest Reporting revealed The Independent‘s use of the following photo to illustrate a particularly critical story on the Israeli treatment of Palestinian child detainees.

Sinai Spinning out of Cairo’s Grip, Creating Major Headaches for Israel

Recently, we wrote here about the great landmass on Israel's southwestern border that "given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle." Since then, there has been a new set of Sinai developments to absorb

Gaming the System

One of the more troubling issues for me about the current right-wing push for all of their students to learn Torah full time for as long as possible (well into their marriage and long after having a number of children to support) is the way in which this is financed. I have long ago expressed my disagreement with this policy as it is currently applied. The idea of directing every single male in all of Jewry into a life of Torah study as the ideal (to the exclusion of any other productive endeavor) is anathema to the very idea of a Jewish nation.

In Polls: Labor Picking Up Speed as Likud-Beitenu Faces Loss of Seats

Weekly poll average: Likud-Beitenu at 38 seats; Labor at 22; the Right wing parties a little over 66 seats and the left has just under 54. The Jewish Home-National Union list rose to 9 seats while Kadima continues its decline into oblivion.

The Blood of an American Hero

20 Heshvan 5773 – November 4, 2012
I keep hearing the words of Charles Woods as he speaks of his son Tyrone. Tyrone was a Navy SEAL - who did what Navy SEALS have been doing for as long as they have existed - he went to the aid of his fellow Americans. For 7 hours, he fought terrorists. He and Glen Doherty managed to hold them off, managed to kill 60 of them, according to some reports. And in all that time, no Americans arrived to help them, to save them. No one came to their aid despite repeated requests, despite available assets.

Barak and Barack

An interview with Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak — thinly disguised as “the decision-maker” created a sensation in early August, when he suggested that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities was imminent. Barak explained that Israel could not depend on an American commitment to destroy the program in the future, even if it were made today. Suddenly, last week, Barak began to sing a different tune.

Daniel Pipes: Superficiality Reigns Before the Election

It happens every four years, as U.S. presidential elections roll around: I feel like a stranger. That's because news reports blare out what's not of interest: trivial statistics (171,000 jobs added in October; jobless rate up 0.1 percent to 7.9 percent), biographical irrelevancies (claims that Romney outsourced jobs to other countries when at Bain Capital), and forgettable gaffes (Obama saying that "Voting is the best revenge"). This limited discussion misses the main points.

A Red-Faced Red Cross

In his op-ed in Ha'artez, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Israel disputes the Levy Report. He does not understand that we are Jews returning, not being transferred to Judea and Samaria.

The Jews of the United States

Years have passed since Rabbi Kahane penned this essay, but it still rings sadly true today. Rabbi Kahane was known for saying uncomfortable things that comfortable Jews didn’t want to hear. In honor of his yahrtzeit, here’s another one of his brilliant and illuminating writings, which was published almost 25 years ago in The Jewish Press.

Postcard from Israel: Nachlaot

The picturesque Nachlaot neighbourhood in Jerusalem started out as what we might call today ‘social housing’. From 1875 onwards benefactors such as Moses Montefiore began building new neighbourhoods outside the walls of the Old City to house the growing Jewish population and relieve some of the overcrowding and squalor of the Jewish Quarter. Thus, Nachlaot is in fact a cluster of fused neighbourhoods, with each one originally having a specific ethnic character and its own synagogue.

What do “Palestinian elections” Actually Mean?

Those of us who live in countries where freedom of opinion, of worship, of political viewpoint and the right to express ourselves as we wish are core values tend to lose sight of life is like where those values don't exist. In the towns ruled by the Palestinian Authority, for instance.

Cleverer than God

17 Heshvan 5773 – November 1, 2012
This Shabbat marks the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane, may Hashem avenge his murder. To honor his memory, our next two blogs will feature essays he wrote for The Jewish Press, which appear in the incomparably thought-provoking collection of his articles, “Beyond Words.” May his memory be for a blessing.

The Making of a President and the Making of a Gadol

I must say that I was a little bit amused by the above video featured on Aish.com. In about 3 minutes Mrs. Lori Palatnik proudly explains the difference between how Americans choose their leaders and how Orthodox Jews chose their leaders. Choosing a President in this great country of ours is a democratic process, but it is heavily influenced by money and power; ads and sloganeering; and smearing the opponent. Politics at its worst one might say. Certainly the best man available for the job may not be elected, or even running.

The Maddening Thing About Moshe Kahlon

It looks like Moshe Kahlon, the popular and vaunted Likud Minister of Communications, will be the second consecutive Likud Central Committee Chairman to leave the party looking for more power. The first one, Tzahi Hanegbi who left to Kadima and was charged with handing out jobs to cronies and nearly convicted of perjury, is now back in Likud because Kadima has entirely crashed. He’s looking for a slot on Likud’s Knesset roster.

PLO Official Suggests Confederation with Jordan

The official "said he supported the idea of a federation or confederation between the West Bank and Jordan." A confederation has been an Israeli suggestion for decades and now they are finally getting around to discussing it.

Video Chuckle: Israel’s Labor Party Central Committee

Israel's political party conventions make the Knesset seem polite and tame. At the Likud Central Committee convention the other day, the vote for PM Netanyahu's proposal for the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu to run together in the upcoming election was conducted by a "show of hands" popular vote. Not the best way to hold a vote.

Israeli Civil Rights Group Slams Modi’in on Anti-Haredi Policies

16 Heshvan 5773 – October 31, 2012
The Israeli city of Modi'in is slammed from an unlikely direction - Israel's civil right's organization, the Association for Civil rights in Israel (ACRI). Granted ACRI doesn't have the most objective agenda, and their voice was loudly missing when it came the Disengagement in 2005, but they are to be praised for doing the right thing when it comes to Modi'in.

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