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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘country’

Republicans, Don’t Give Up!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The difference between victory and defeat often comes down to morale. You’ve seen it in baseball games and wars. It’s that faint sense of air leaking out of the balloon. A weariness and malaise that kicks in when one side decides it can’t win and doesn’t want to be here anymore.

November 2012 was not a defeat. It was a loss in a close election that rattled the Democrats by showing just how much of the country had turned on their savior. It was a rebuke to Obama’s mismanagement of the country and the economy over the last four years.

Or it would have been if the Republican Party had not reacted to its loss by screaming and wailing in despair after their hopes were ludicrously inflated by establishment posters. Followed by running around like a chicken without a head because we fell 400,000 votes short of winning key states. And this defeatist behavior has helped the media create the myth of a second-term mandate.

The country did not repudiate us. The majority of Americans did not pledge allegiance to some rotten post-American country. The majority stayed home. And that is damning, but it’s also comforting because these are the people we have to win over. They don’t believe in Obama, but they don’t believe in us either. They don’t believe in politics because it isn’t relevant to their lives.

The more Republicans treat the election as a renunciation of everything that they stand for or a reason to give up on the country, the more Democrats posture as having won a tremendous ideological and cultural victory, instead of a limited strategic victory. Our reaction legitimizes theirs.

Republican consultants and pollsters fed the dream of an easy victory and that vision of an inevitable victory made the actual defeat much more shocking and devastating. It made people despair thinking that if we couldn’t win an election this “easy”, then it’s completely hopeless. But this was never going to be an easy ride. Not against the first black man in the White House with a money advantage and the media in his pocket. Not against opponents running a coordinated smear campaign while rigging the economy in their favor.

Obama may have Carter’s policies times ten, but he also has the image and the ruthless political machine of JFK. And even Reagan had to work hard to beat Carter. It wasn’t the easy ride that some Republicans like to remember it as. Even though the economy was a disaster, the hostages were in Iran and Carter’s performance had been so bad that he had a high profile Democratic challenger in the form of Ted Kennedy who took the fight to the Convention; Reagan did not break out until the debate. Now imagine Reagan running against JFK. The man in the cowboy hat might have won, but let’s not pretend that it would have been any easier than it was for Romney.

Beating Obama was possible and for a brief shining moment the window was open, when Romney had one good debate performance, but then it closed again as the storm blew in and the polls filled up with the handpicked demographics of the welfare state. And we lost, but we also won.

Win or lose, elections send a message and the message for this election to Obama was not, “We like what you’ve been doing the last four years. Great job!”

Obama lost his mandate. To win, he had to run a divisive campaign dependent on minority groups. And that locks him in a box outside the mainstream. Forget any of that nonsense about bringing the country together again. That is over and done with. The transformation of Obama from mainstream leader to bellicose mouthpiece for the left was completed at his first post-election press-conference.

Republicans might understand what this means if they weren’t busy with an opportunistic internal civil war. And if sizable chunks of the rank and file weren’t busy proclaiming that no election can ever be won again because the demographics of the country had changed so dramatically and everyone is so addicted to free stuff.

Neither one is true.

The demographics have not made it impossible for Republicans to win, not unless Republicans make that a self-fulfilling prophecy by jumping on the amnesty express. And you can beat Santa Claus, because our fat red man is a redistributor and does not give or take equally from all.But doing that requires spending more time making a case on the specific individual economic impact , rather than endlessly singing the wonders of free enterprise and depending on enough people to align with your economic philosophy to carry you over the top.

Daniel Greenfield

Of Course I Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Somebody asked me if I am celebrating Thanksgiving? What a silly question! For a Jew, everyday is Thanksgiving! We thank God when we get up in the morning. We thank Him when we get dressed. We thank Him when we leave the lavatory. We thank Him when we eat. All day long a Jew is busy thanking God for all of the kindnesses which He bestows upon us every minute of our lives.

What about America’s Thanksgiving Day? Do I celebrate that? Of course I do!

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in America anymore.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile land pretending that it’s perfectly OK to be there.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile culture, speaking a gentile language, surrounded by gentile holidays, and gentile symbols, and gentile traditions.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to slice up our Land like a turkey.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to cut up Jerusalem as if it were a sweet potato.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that pressures Israel not to eliminate a terrorist state bent on Israel’s destruction.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country which fosters mass assimilation.

I give thanks to God that my children grow up speaking Hebrew, and knowing who they are, without schizophrenic identities of belonging to an alien gentile nation.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that my children pledge allegiance to the Israel Defense Forces and not to the flag of a foreign government.

I give thanks To God that my children know that the forefather of their Nation was Avraham Avinu and not George Washington.

I give thanks to God that my children say that Jerusalem is their capital and not Washington D.C.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God knowing that my children and grandchildren will marry Jews.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in the Holy Land and not in the land of Disneyland.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in Yerushalayim, ten minutes away from the Kotel.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that everything in the supermarket is kosher and that I don’t have to strain my eyes and put on my reading glasses to find little OUs.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for having answered the prayers of the Jewish People for 2000 years to return us to Zion, and for giving us a Jewish airline to get here, and for rebuilding Jerusalem and Jewish cities and settlements all over Israel, and for giving us a Jewish army that can defend us against our enemies .

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for once again making Israel the Torah center of the world.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for letting me play an active part in the Redemption of our Nation just by raising my family here, sending my sons to the army, and doing whatever I can to help strengthen our Nation in our own Land.

Of course I celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Today, I am going to eat the biggest falafel I can!

Tzvi Fishman

Two More Lebanese Rockets Neutralized

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

There are reports that two more rockets pointed at Israel from Lebanon were neutralized, presumably by the Lebanese army. Two earlier rockets were defused in Lebanon on Monday, November 19.

These 2 rockets were located near the town of Marjayoun.

Following the destruction of many buildings in Gaza by Israel, it is believed that people in Lebanon do not want to let Hezbollah drag them into a war with Israel that will result in the destruction of their country again.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Wedding During War

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Tomorrow, November 22, Miri Colman and Daniel Brooks are getting married.  Miri grew up in an observant family in Monsey, New York, and Daniel grew up in a secular household in Johannesburg, South Africa.  They each made Aliyah several years ago and became engaged this past spring.  They chose their wedding date, at least in part, because it coincided with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last Wednesday evening, Miri and Daniel were savoring their last few hours together for the week because, as Ashkenazi Jews, they would not see each other during the week preceding their wedding.  Shortly before they were to say good-bye, Daniel’s phone rang.  He answered it, and learned he was being called up for military service.

He was told to call for instructions, which were terse.  Pack a bag, get his equipment, and immediately go to a certain base on a coastal city by midnight.  That meant he had to leave immediately.

Miri told The Jewish Press she began to cry, but Daniel automatically switched over into “soldier mode,” grabbed his bags, and within ten minutes he was gone.

When Daniel spoke with The Jewish Press, he admitted that he was completely surprised when he received his call-up phone message.  He explained, “it was the first day of the operation (Pillar of Defense), and we knew there was tension in the South, but I had no idea we would be called up.”

Daniel had grown to love Israel through his involvement with the Bnei Akiva movement in Johannesburg.  It was because of that experience that after high school he moved by himself to a country where he had no family.

Daniel is part of the Hesder Yeshiva program, one in which young religious men commit to a five year program that combines Torah study and military service.  Daniel is in the last few months of the program, a time in which he and his colleagues are – or at least were – in the study phase of the program.  Daniel studies at the Har Etzion Yeshiva, known to most as simply, “Gush.”

After arriving at the first base at midnight last Wednesday, Brooks and his colleagues completed their preliminary tasks, and the next day were transferred down, further south.

Miri is completing nursing school at Machon Tal.  She came to Israel after high school to study for a year at a seminary.  She went to Midreshet Moriah.  It was then Miri decided to make Aliyah.  She told The Jewish Press that she felt very connected to Israel, that she felt “at home” there, and experienced a great sense of Jewish pride.

Miri and Daniel met through mutual friends.  Their families and friends have had airplane reservations for months, so that they could all be together for the wedding.  And less than a week before that wedding, Daniel and his unit were in the southern part of the country, preparing to enter Gaza if that decision was made by the Israeli government.

But, encouraged by his buddies in his unit, Daniel informed his commanding officer, who then informed his commanding officer, and so on, that he was to be married in less than a week.  Friday morning Daniel learned he could return home.  He then trekked back across the tiny slip of a country, and was back in Gush Etzion in time for his Shabbat Chatan, the Shabbat named for the groom.

Daniel explained how hard it was for him to be back in the Gush, while his buddies, with whom he has studied and trained for years, were down in the south, prepared to enter Gaza if that is the order they receive.  He said, “it’s very hard, I’ve been through so much with them, and now they are there and I am here.”

So how was he able to come to terms with that separation?  It was because of the advice from his friends in his unit.  They told him, “you have to go home because the only reason we fight is so that we can build Jewish families and Jewish homes.  That is what you are going home to do.”

Tomorrow – G-d willing – Miri Coleman and Daniel Brooks will be married in Jerusalem.

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Violence in Jordan

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Al Jazeera is reporting major civil unrest in Jordan, with citizens attacking police stations and public offices throughout the country.

The report claims the violence is due to high fuel prices.

One armed man was killed and several policemen injured when gunmen stormed a police station in the north of the country Wednesday night.  Another police officer was critically wounded when angry men with automatic rifles overtook a police station north of Amman.

Close by, protesters torched a civil affairs office.

Unarmed protesters also took to the streets in Amman, with up to 1,000 people facing off against riot police who fired tear gas into the crowd.  Twice as many protesters chanted “and caused property damage 140km south of Amman in Karak.

Malkah Fleisher

Canada “Stands With Israel”

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Ma’an News Agency reported that Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said Wednesday that his country backs Israel’s right to defend its citizens from air assaults by Hamas.

“We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats,” Baird said in a statement.

“Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation. Just last weekend, more than 100 rockets rained down on civilians in southern Israel from positions in the Gaza Strip.

“Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.”

Malkah Fleisher

Of Course it was Planned!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

“Of course it was planned,” Elie said half in frustration, half in surprise. “Idiot.”

The news anchor had just said that this operation – Operation Pillar of Defense – was planned months ago. “Every army makes plans. As soon as the last war ended, the army was making plans! We have plans for a war with Syria, with Egypt, with Iran, with Jordan. You think the United States doesn’t have plans for a war with its enemies.”

The “idiot” part of the comment shows he is still my Elie, still the one impatient with the stupidity of others. Elie is more of a deep thinker.

We were driving – Elie, his youngest brother and my next soldier (and yes, there goes my stomach at the thought and yes, my eyes fill with water and I blink it away,..lest you think I don’t take this seriously) and I were on our way in to work, to school, to the last day of the business week and the first full day of this war that began yesterday.

There were so many comments Elie made, so much talk of what it was like from his side. In truth, I’ve mostly heard the stories before and yet they comfort me because he is here not there. His voice is strong, not tired. He’s grown, he’s married, he’s safe.

Davidi was sitting in the back; the radio was broadcasting the news and Elie would listen and comment. And as the reporter spoke, we heard in the background the air raid siren. There was a brief pause in the reporter’s dialog and then he continued as the siren wailed. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw Davidi’s eyes.

Not a child’s eyes filled with fear but a young man, balanced on the edge, as Elie was not so long ago. I don’t want him to have that look, that understanding. He was waiting, as I was, to hear them tell us what had hit, where.

“Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red” the voice calmly announced – Ashdod, Ashkelon… it was a woman’s voice – strong, calm. Insistent. Run, run to shelter. Get safe. Hurry….you only have seconds. Hurry, run! No, she didn’t say any of those things. All she said was “Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red….” But all of Israel was saying those other words as we waited to hear the explosions. Hurry, please God, hurry. Be safe.

The siren in Beersheva – a 30 minute drive with traffic and I quickly lost count of how many rockets were fired at my country. At one point, the reporter was counting – “one, two, three, four, five, no six, seven, eight. Iron Dome has been fired eight times in Beersheva” and still the sirens cried.

The news anchor spoke to the reporter on location, “don’t they know all of Israel is hearing this?”

“Yes,” the reporter answered. “The last four times I’ve been on live broadcast, they’ve fired at Beersheva.”

They don’t understand us at all, I told my sons. Not at all. We listen to the sirens and the voice announcing an incoming missile attack. It does not weaken us, it infuriates us. It angers us beyond words. No – we are one people, one country, one body. You shoot at them; you shoot at me. No, this is just not something we can allow to continue.

There is that burst of anger that we express in words because we know it will never be done. I speak of making Gaza a parking lot – no, I am not genocidal; unlike those in Gaza who are firing at one million Israelis, I have no wish to see my enemy dead. Israel will never do to Gaza what so many other nations have done to that troubling pest that bothers them.

Look what the Syrians have done – they have murdered more than 38,000 of their own people in the last year – each time I hear the count – 70 dead today in Syria; 140 dead today in Syria; even 200 dead in Syria. Well, according to Palestinian sources, 11 are dead in Gaza and of those, without question, at least 7 are Hamas or other terror organization operatives. There is no massacre going on and I will not mourn the deaths of 7. I will mourn for the very few innocent casualties and I will wonder why some parent didn’t keep his child in safety, as we keep ours inside.

Paula R. Stern

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