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Are They So Blind?

28 Tishri 5771 – October 6, 2010
Today is a very special day; it is the fourth day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot; it is the first day of the end of the building freeze in our community. Will the freeze end or will the cute trick of the Arabs work? They demanded a 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria, and then they waited nine months before they decided to sit down to start negotiations with Israel. When they finally did sit down, the first declaration of the Arabs was that the freeze must continue. The world leaders promptly agreed and declared that it is only right that if the Arabs finally agreed to negotiate, Israel should freeze building in Judea and Samaria. "How could we evil Israelis start building again when the Arabs so graciously agreed to talk to us?"

Why A Palestinian State Would Never Be ‘Demilitarized’: A Jurisprudential And Strategic Perspective

20 Tishri 5771 – September 28, 2010
U.S. President Barack Obama will not back away from his so-called "Road Map to Peace in the Middle East." Even now, a plainly self-defeating "Two-State Solution" remains the cornerstone of this twisted cartography. Understanding all this, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly continues to harbor hopes that, somehow, any Palestinian state would be suitably demilitarized. Such hopes, of course, would necessarily rest upon a problematic antecedent assumption that demilitarization could actually work.

Law, Morality And Jewish Survival In The State Of Israel

13 Tishri 5771 – September 21, 2010
The central truth of being human is the constant love of being alive. We Jews, of course, both in our prayers, and in our sacred rituals, have always underscored the central difference between life and death, between the "blessing and the curse." In consequence, all Jewish survival, individually and collectively, is now closely bound up with the survival of the Jewish state. For both its too few friends, and its too many enemies, Israel is now plainly the individual Jew in macrocosm.

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part III)

8 Tishri 5771 – September 16, 2010
Regarding the Oslo Accords and Israel's vulnerability to war, Israeli security has become increasingly dependent upon nuclear weapons and strategy. Faced with a codified and substantial loss of territories generated by Oslo, the Jewish state will soon have to decide on precisely how to compensate for its expectedly diminished strategic depth. While this shrinkage will not necessarily increase Israel's existential vulnerability to unconventional missile attack, it surely will increase that state's susceptibility to attacking ground forces and to subsequent enemy occupation. Any loss of strategic depth will almost certainly be interpreted by enemy states as a significant weakening of Israel's overall defense posture, an interpretation that could then lead to substantial enemy incentives to strike first.

The Society For The Public’s Right Not To Know

7 Tishri 5771 – September 15, 2010
Somebody in Israel should establish the Society for the Public's Right Not to Know.

A Time To Cancel

This year, one of America's leading newsmagazines decided to send a memorable Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews all over the world.

A Time To Cancel

This year, one of America's leading newsmagazines decided to send a memorable Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews all over the world. On the cover of its latest issue, Time magazine placed a large Star of David made of white Gerbera daisies, in the middle of which was superimposed large black text triumphantly declaring: "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace."

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part II)

28 Elul 5770 – September 7, 2010
The explicit application of codified restrictions of the laws of war to noninternational armed conflicts dates back only as far as the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. Recalling, however, that more than treaties and conventions comprise the laws of war, it is also clear that the obligations of jus in bello (justice in war) comprise part of "the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations," and bind all categories of belligerents. Indeed, the Hague Convention IV of 1907 declares, in broad terms, that in the absence of a precisely published set of guidelines in humanitarian international law concerning "unforeseen cases," the preconventional sources of international law govern all belligerency.

Still No ‘Peace Process’ For Israel (Part I)

23 Elul 5770 – September 1, 2010
The more things change, the more they remain the same. From its imperiled beginnings, from the plainly one-sided inception of Oslo, the so-called "Middle East Peace Process" never gave Israel a chance. Widely animated by a distinctly lascivious Arab will to exploit the agreement in order to hasten Israel's incremental elimination, a Final Solution to the Israel Question, it remains, even today, little more than an enemy Trojan Horse. Ironically, from the standpoint of current U.S. and other national foreign policies, the "Peace Process" is now routinely characterized as a road map.

Preserving Israel At The Eleventh Hour: Nuclear Deterrence, Enemy Rationality and ‘Palestine’

16 Elul 5770 – August 26, 2010
Faced with the daunting prospect of seemingly endless terrorism, and with staggering global opposition to any of its essential and altogether permissible forms of self-defense, Israel now requires a complex and capable counter-terrorism strategy merely to survive. Simultaneously, the major threats to Israel's physical survival lie in certain mass-destruction (biological and/or nuclear) attacks by enemy states. Ultimately, therefore, the Jewish State's actual continuance rests upon even more than successful counter-terrorism. It rests also upon the inherently fragile and unpredictable foundations of nuclear deterrence.

A New Military Reality: Suffering Existential Harms Without Losing A War

9 Elul 5770 – August 19, 2010
It is not always easy, in studying world politics, to know when power is really "powerful," and when weakness is really "weak." Oddly enough, some states that are presumably very powerful in measurable military terms may occasionally have to yield to others that seemingly lack power altogether. Even more ironically, in the case of Israel versus Hamas, the presumably powerful state is increasingly at the mercy of a brutal criminal organization that is substantially less autonomous than a truly sovereign state, and that has no armed forces even worth mentioning.

Islamist Wordplay 101

8 Elul 5770 – August 18, 2010
The early months of 1948 did not bode well for the Yishuv. Arab marauders roved the countryside seeking out soft, isolated targets and attacked with ruthless barbarity. The situation was particularly acute in Jerusalem, where supply convoys on the roads leading to the ancient Jewish city were subjected to daily ambush.

Islamist Wordplay 101

The early months of 1948 did not bode well for the Yishuv. Arab marauders roved the countryside seeking out soft, isolated targets and attacked with ruthless barbarity. The situation was particularly acute in Jerusalem, where supply convoys on the roads leading to the ancient Jewish city were subjected to daily ambush.

The Pianist (Part II)

24 Av 5770 – August 4, 2010
War, terrorism and genocide are not mutually exclusive. Now, as certain portions of the Arab/Islamic world openly declare genocidal intentions against Israel (a war of extermination is plainly a genocidal war under international law), some progressive Jews are proudly leading various rallies and/or publications for peace - a peace that could only be fashioned upon a new generation of Jewish corpses. Here, in the United States, and regrettably, also in Israel, Jewish university professors are all-too typically the leaders in organized campus protests (1) against an alleged Israeli "occupation," and (2) for expanded Palestinian "rights."

The Pianist (Part I)

18 Av 5770 – July 28, 2010
On its surface, The Pianist is "merely" the true tale of a great Jewish musician (Wladyslaw Szpilman) caught up in the unfathomable depths of Nazi occupation and terror. More profoundly, of course, it is a disturbing visual microcosm of the generic human struggle between good and evil, a titanic struggle that is sometimes utterly clear, but at other times also distressingly "gray." The Nazis in Poland were monsters, to be sure, but what are we to say about the others, including many Jews, who became actual and collaborative perpetrators in every corner of the Holocaust Kingdom? What pertinent lessons can we learn from this 2002 film for Jewish, and especially Israeli, preservation in our own perilous time?

A Linkage Still Unrecognized: Palestinian Statehood and Jihadist Terror

10 Av 5770 – July 21, 2010
In these pages, I have written occasionally about dangerous cartographies. Oddly, even now, the so-called road map to peace will not go away quietly. If implemented, President Barack Obama's plan for a "Two-State Solution" in the Middle East will sorely degrade both U.S. and Israeli security. This is because the twisted roadmap to Palestinian statehood still misses a decidedly crucial understanding:Jihadist terror has little to do with territory or politics or military strategy or tactics. In essence, it is a ritualistic and longstanding expression of religious sacrifice.

Empowering Weakness; Weakening Power: Hidden Meanings Of Israeli-Palestinian Relations

4 Av 5770 – July 15, 2010
By every tangible military and economic standard, Israel is more powerful than its Palestinian foes. Nonetheless, from time to time, there are stark and compelling reminders in world politics that the powerful can sometimes be weak, and that the weak can sometimes be powerful. For example, despite its evident superiority in arms, Israel is periodically at the mercy of Palestinian rockets fired into civilian areas from Gaza.

The Not-So-Silent War Of Words

There is an information war being held on the battlefield of Wikipedia. Wikipedia.com is an online encyclopedia that is user-base driven and claims 65,000,000 monthly visits. It is also used as a dependable source for research by mainstream media outlets on a huge range of subjects. Unlike other topics, though, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so heated that it has instigated its own online Wikipedia conflict - to the point where Wikipedia designated a special division called the IP (Israeli-Palestinian) Section to monitor edited information from contributing users.

The Not-So-Silent War Of Words

There is an information war being held on the battlefield of Wikipedia. Wikipedia.com is an online encyclopedia that is user-base driven and claims 65,000,000 monthly visits. It is also used as a dependable source for research by mainstream media outlets on a huge range of subjects. Unlike other topics, though, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so heated that it has instigated its own online Wikipedia conflict - to the point where Wikipedia designated a special division called the IP (Israeli-Palestinian) Section to monitor edited information from contributing users.

By The Rivers Of Brooklyn

Next week, Jews around the world will gather together to mark Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, which is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.

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