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Jewish History and Sovereignty Slipping Away

29 Tishri 5773 – October 14, 2012
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.

Postcard from Israel – Tel Megiddo

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.'

Inside Hulda Gate to the Temple Mount

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:

How Do You Answer Evil? Ten Years After the Bali Terror Bombing

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.

The Conversion of Lara Logan

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.”

What ‘War’ with Iran is Biden Talking About?

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.

Impressions of the Veep Debate

Middle East expert Daniel Pipes' thoughts on the Biden-Ryan debate.

Day By Day: The Temple Mount Arrests Over Sukkot

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.

‘Hear O You Deaf and Look O You Blind!’

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.

Arabs As Their Own Worst Enemy

27 Tishri 5773 – October 12, 2012
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."

Building on Solid Ground in Yesha (Video)

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
A new video explaining the Jewish right to build in Judea and Samaria.

The Launch of BBC Watch

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.

Two Old Men

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.

An Evil and Repugnant Ideology

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.

Reflections on My Trip to Israel

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.

Latest Blood Libel: Iranians Accusing Israel of Developing Race-Specific WMDs

Ignore for the moment the rank racism, the poor spelling, the absence of any basis for the wild and irresponsible allegations...

Rain, Wine and Why it’s all Our Fault: The History of the Rain Libel

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.

Major League Judaism

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.

Romney Channels George W. Bush’s Middle East Policy

25 Tishri 5773 – October 10, 2012
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.

State Department Creationism

The US State Department has created an award program for "female Palestinian scientists." Candidates are required to "be a citizen and resident of West Bank, Gaza, or Jerusalem." What does it mean by "citizen"? Is the US State Department creating, again, a Palestinian state, when there is none existing?

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