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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘arms’

What if God Stopped Believing in You?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Many atheists carry a theological crutch.  Most are unaware of it.  And, if you show it to them, most will deny it’s there.

It is the silent belief that, should they ever change their mind about God, God will always be there for them.

One of the great comforts of being an atheist is the assumption that if one day the skies parted and God appeared and said “thou shalt choose,” thou could choose God then.  Or perhaps later in life, on your deathbed, or at some distant time in the future when you find yourself looking for something more – you could choose what’s behind “Door #2” then.  Until then, atheists feel free to spend their Sabbaths partying or at the beach or at that quiet, new hipster brunch place down the street (before it’s overrun by hipster wannabes).

This is the atheist’s backup plan.  A theological crutch.  The belief that, should you ever decide to open “Door #2,” God will always be there waiting for you with open arms.  It is a belief built on an assumption about the character of God: that He is more of a sap than any ex-boyfriend or girlfriend you have ever dumped, and He will gladly spend all of eternity waiting patiently behind Door #2 in the hopes that you will someday open it.

But what if there was a consequence to not believing in God?  What if you opened Door #2 and God was no longer there?

What if God stopped believing in you?

Not a Jew -> Jew

IAEA Inspectors Uncovered Higher Grade Iranian Enriched Uranium

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Evidence found in an underground bunker in Iran could signal the country’s having moved one step closer toward the uranium threshold needed to make nuclear arms, International Atomic Energy Agency diplomats said today.

IAEA inspectors found traces of uranium enriched up to 27 percent at Iran’s Fordo enrichment plant, the Associated Press reported.

While still well below the 90-percent needed for a nuclear weapon’s fissile core, the figure is Iran’s highest-known enrichment grade yet. It also is well above the Islamic Republic’s main stockpile, which can only be used for fuel at around 3.5 percent.

The diplomats stressed this did not necessarily mean that Iran was pushing ahead toward weapons-grade level material. One possible explanation, they explained, was that the centrifuges that produce enriched uranium initially over-enriched at the start of the process as technicians adjusted their output.

Calls to Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the IAEA, were rejected and the switchboard operator at the Iranian mission said he was not available. IAEA media officials said the agency had no comment.

Iran started enriching to 20 percent last year, mostly at Fordo, saying it needed the material to fuel a research reactor and for medical purposes.

JTA

Opposition: Iran Accelerating Nuclear Weapons Program

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

A new report on the Iranian nuclear arms program compiled by the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) shows that Iran is in fact accelerating its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

MEK is known for its ties with the CIA and the Mossad and was responsible for the revelation of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in 2002.

The report was obtained by two major Western outlets, the German paper Die Welt and the Jerusalem Post.

The Post revealed that the headquarters of the Iranian organization dealing with the development of a nuclear weapon (known by its Farsi acronym SPND) is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran.

SPND has seven sub-divisions, each of them dealing with a different element of the process needed for building a nuclear weapon.

The MEK report appeared three days after a publication by the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) about the ‘washing’ of a building at Parchin, a military complex southeast of Tehran. The IAEA suspects that this building contains an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear arms related experiments and has repeatedly demanded access to the complex.  Iran has not yet complied with this demand.

These revelations come a few days before Iran and the major world powers are to resume their talks about the Iranian nuclear program.

EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last Friday expressed optimism about these talks.

She said: “my ambition is that we come away with the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons program in Iran.”

Ashton’s use of the term ‘nuclear weapons program’ however, clearly went beyond the usual EU description of Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi expects the MEK report to be a game-changer in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Meanwhile, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his rhetoric against Israel, calling the Jewish state a ‘mosquito’.

During the same speech Ahmadinejad made a veiled remark about certain developments in Iran that would enable Iran to become a “developed country.” As a result, he said, “Iran’s enemies would not be able to challenge the Islamic Republic anymore.”

Yochanan Visser

NCFJE’s Toys For Children: Bringing Cheer To Those Who Need It Most

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Huge plush teddy bears greet me as soon as I walk through the door. Puzzles line the shelves along with boxes of Lego and dress-up clothes. Every few inches another toy. Another game. Another child’s dream.

I finger a strand of colorful beads and imagine a little girl, whose hair has fallen out due to medical treatments, putting the necklace over her head with the brightest smile. The Battleship game my friends and I have fond memories of playing with as children – perhaps it will go to a paralyzed boy to play with when his classmates come to visit him at the hospital.

While walking through FAO Schwarz makes anyone’s heart beat a bit faster, walking among the toys carefully selected by director Rabbi Shloma Leib Abramowitz and coordinator Mrs. Baila Hecht of Toys for Hospitalized Children makes one’s heart beat with a powerful purpose. These toys will put smiles on the faces of so many children who presently have few reminders in their lives of what it means to be happy.

For so many youngsters, hospitals and rehabilitation centers all around the country have unfortunately become their reality. It is for these residents that such toys will bring some light and cheer.

Since its founding in 1954 as a project of National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education, Toys for Hospitalized Children has grown tremendously in its services and offerings. This year, during the holiday season extending from November through January, approximately 15,000 toys were distributed in the U.S. In addition to providing children in hospitals with toys, Toys for Hospitalized Children (THC) has expanded to cater to seniors, individuals living in shelters, all aged people with autism and special needs, infants and their destitute families, and others.

* * * * *

It’s holiday season when a group of girls arrives at the pediatric wing of Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Arms laden with boxes of toys, the girls’ excitement is infectious.

In the main waiting room, Mrs. Hecht goes down the list of names with the girls and begins handing toys to them with personalized instructions. “This teddy bear is for 4-year-old Rachel in the corner room. You can give her this necklace too – the beads are large enough that she won’t hurt herself.

“Here, you will visit Bobby – wear this mask because his room must be germ-free – and give him this remote-operated helicopter. He will like it because his father is a pilot, and since he is bed-bound he can watch it soar around the room.

“And, give these to Stacy, please, in the second room down there on the left. She will love the princess stickers and dress-up gloves because she’s a girlie-girl, and since she has acute asthma this is better for her than the stuffed animals.”

Standing off to the side in the waiting room, sipping from a juice box, is a 10-year-old boy whose brother is sitting in a wheelchair before a television set, an IV bag hanging by his side. The big brother eyes the group with widening eyes – he’s never seen anything happy when visiting his sick brother here before. Suddenly spotting him, one of the students, at Mrs. Hecht’s encouragement, hands the boy a book he might enjoy. A smile quickly spreads across his face and he asks if he could have another that he can read to his brother. Then, armed with the two books, he wheels his wheelchair-bound brother to a quiet corner of the room and flips open one of the books to begin reading aloud.

Time and again Toys for Hospitalized Children brings sparkle and sunshine to the lives of people of all ages. While the allocation of goods is non-denominational, Mrs. Hecht ensures that those who need them the most receive them right away.

(In addition to distributing toys to hospitalized kids, THC makes discrete handouts to needy families. Items are offered to seniors as well. While distributing gifts and jelly doughnuts on Chanukah this year to residents at Belle Harbor Manor, an assisted living facility in New York, a volunteer named Esther says she felt immense joy from seeing the recipients’ happy faces and warm handshakes.)

Children in hospitals all over the country can benefit from these gifts. All toy donations are altruistic in nature, but due to various limitations associated with distributing goods to ill patients in these facilities, new toys are the only kind that can be used.

Yonit Tanenbaum

Report: Iran Imports Tons of Weapons, Despite UN Sanctions

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Despite a UN arms embargo, Iran has imported over £350 million worth of weapons in the last three years, according to an Oxfam report reported on by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

The report will show that UN arms embargos do little to thwart sanctioned countries, with 10 such nations purchasing £1.4 billion in 2000-2010, according to the report.

Iran has enjoyed some success from renaming ships and reflagging them as a way of importing arms.

Russia and China are believed to be Iran’s primary suppliers.

Malkah Fleisher

A Soldier in the Sun

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A silhouetted soldier extends his arms to the sky. Here’s hoping for a sunny day wherever you are on the planet.

Jewish Press Staff

Striking Iran And The U.S.-Israel Relationship

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Editor’s note: This column, updated from its original publication in The Jewish Press in mid-2009, is highly relevant to today’s situation.

Recent warnings by President Obama to Israel against an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities are reminiscent of the period prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. Then, as now, Israel was faced with an existential threat. Then, as now, the U.S. pressured Israel not to take action.

Despite the fact that after the 1956 Sinai War Israel received a signed U.S. guarantee of intervention in the eventuality of an Egyptian obstruction of the Straits of Tiran, America ignored its commitment and threatened Israel that if it would attack Egypt, the U.S. would not stand at its side. President Lyndon Johnson lamely excused his betrayal by telling Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol that he “couldn’t find his copy” of the document.

America’s approach to Israel prior to the Six-Day War was patently negative. It imposed an arms embargo on the Middle East, while Soviet arms continued to flow freely to the Arab states. But after the successful Israeli attack – that also included the destruction of the USS Liberty in the waters off the Sinai Peninsula – the American approach to Israel completely changed. Arms and vast amounts of aid began to flow from our “great ally.” The flow of aid was downgraded only after Israel surrendered the Sinai to Egypt in the Camp David Accords. Currently, only one-sixth of the American arms sold to the Middle East are directed to Israel. The rest is sold to the Arab world, directly endangering the Jewish state.

The situation was not much different in 1948. The American government did not want to lose a market of 400 million Arabs and planned to vote against the establishment of the State of Israel. Public opinion after the Holocaust forced the U.S. to vote in favor – but only because they were convinced that the Arab armies would destroy the fledgling state in no time. For those who still hold the “great friendship with America” cliché dear, it should be noted that in those difficult pre-state days, America also imposed an arms embargo on the Middle East – in other words, on the Jews. Jewish-Americans who were caught smuggling arms to Israel were imprisoned.

There is no doubt that healthy relations with the (crumbling) American superpower are an important Israeli interest. But we must remember that those relations have always been founded on mutual interests and nothing more. If we were to evaporate in a radioactive plume, God forbid, Obama would respectfully lay a wreath at the new wing of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Nothing more. So the American warning on an issue that is existential to Israel must not be taken into account at all.

One of the main lessons that we should have learned from the Holocaust is that when a Jew-hater who heads a country declares his intention to destroy us – he means it. As we have not yet attacked Iran after all of Ahmadinejad’s blatant threats, we have not really learned the Holocaust’s lesson.

In the Six-Day War, Israel initiated an aerial attack against its enemies that involved the entire Israeli Air Force. In the technological reality of those days, it was a mission no less complex than the proposed strike on Iran today. It demanded evasion of the Jordanian radar, total radio silence, and difficult navigation at extremely low altitudes deep inside enemy territory – all with mechanisms that can only be described as primitive relative to the weapons systems used today by Israel’s Air Force. Failure then would have left Israel with no air defenses against the attacks of all the Arab armies.

In other words, we have been in this scenario before. Israel has no choice but to attack Iran. America’s relations with us should not be part of the question of whether to attack. At most, we can ask ourselves how America will relate to us following a strike. And the answer is simple: A successful attack will improve relations, while no strike or an unsuccessful one will, God forbid, worsen them.

Moshe Feiglin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/striking-iran-and-the-u-s-israel-relationship/2012/04/26/

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