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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

‘What America Can Learn from Israel’: An Interview with Author and Commentator Pete Hegseth

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Those who love America often love Israel as well. Pete Hegseth is in a singular position to appreciate the shared uniqueness of the two countries.

A military veteran who holds two Bronze Stars and a Combat Infantryman Badge for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is a former CEO of the Concerned Veterans for America and a former chairman of Vets for Freedom as well as a graduate of Princeton University with a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Hegseth writes regularly for National Review and FoxNews.com in addition to being a Fox News contributor and analyst. His new book, “In the Arena,” is an ardent plea for citizen commitment in an era of apathy. And it is an apt description of Hegseth’s enthusiasm as he eagerly entered the arena of Israel advocacy on his recent fact-finding mission to Israel attended by this reporter and organized by Dr. Joseph Frager, Dr. Paul Brody, and Odelya Jacobs.

 

The Jewish Press: What can you tell us about your background and how it influenced your relationship with Israel?

Hegseth: My parents come from a small town in Minnesota where I grew up as a Baptist. I never met a Jewish person until I went to college. When I did, the first thing I said to him was, “I read about you in the Bible!” It was from there and beyond that I gained a true understanding of Jews. Growing up an evangelical, I obviously had an enormous amount of respect and understanding of the historical resonance of Abraham and religions and how they’re intertwined.

After being in the military and having served in Iraq, I saw other views of the world and started to understand where Israel fits and where anti-Semitism comes from; how it is fostered in higher education and how lack of support for Israel is very indicative of other things. Through meeting wonderful people like Joe [Frager] and leaders in the senate and government, I have come to really appreciate the Jewish heritage and the Jewish state. I understand how geopolitically we are linked and how critical it is that we stand by such a strong ally.

From the perspective of a news commentator, how important is telling Israel’s story in the media?

I learned from serving in the Iraq war that you can’t refute what’s happening on the ground. Truth prevails. But it’s a matter of punching through the overwhelming wet blanket of the leftist mainstream media. I served in Iraq in 2005-2006. I came home from my tour during what looked like the darkest, most difficult days in Iraq in 2006, when the antiwar movement was at its height and when everyone said the war was inevitably going to fail. Yes, there were a lot of problems, but I saw seeds of progress. I saw that we could turn the corner with the right strategy and enough troops. I came back and led an advocacy group to make the case for a new counter insurgency strategy and more troops on the ground. Just so happened that we had a president at that moment who thankfully decided to do the exact same thing.

That taught me that even the overwhelming weight of the predictions by The New York Times and others that we were going to lose can be overcome by a concentrated view backed by a dedicated mission and the willingness to speak truth and then amplify it. But you’ve got to have people in the media and on the ground willing to amplify it. Because you can win on the ground, but if you’re not telling that story at home people will be seduced into whatever storyline they’re being told by news broadcasts and websites. You got to get the facts first so that you can beat the spin second.

Israel faces an unconventional enemy in the form of isolation through BDS, lawfare, campus intimidation, etc. With your background in the media and the military, what would you recommend to best fight this enemy?

There has been a long history of bipartisan support for Israel in the United States and I would want that to be the case now. Unfortunately, it’s become much more of a partisan issue. We have given away so many of our educational institutions that the next generation of citizens and voters in our country are not fortified with the basic beliefs and building blocks of previous generations. That is a scary thing and it makes what I do at Fox that much more important as we attempt to educate the next generation.

There are seeds of anti-Semitism that are still found in higher education. We’re taught about tolerance and safe spaces on college campuses except for things like anti-Semitism. We have to provide and support alternative viewpoints regarding Israel on campuses. We need veterans – who have actually seen the enemy and understand what our allies look like and what they’re facing – to articulate it throughout our institutions. We have to be more willing to publicly talk about Israel among citizens who think of it as an abstraction, who don’t truly understand the existential threat to it. And what can Israel do? Keep bringing more Americans to Israel in order to truly understand it and then they can go back to the U.S. as spokesmen. The more groups that can bring Americans here – evangelical Christians, Republicans, Democrats, Jews – the better. Because seeing is understanding.

How does seeing biblical and historical facts on the ground in Israel impact your impressions of the Holy Land?

It reaffirms the ties the Jewish people have to this land that have historical and real geopolitical resonance today. This is not some mystical land that can be dismissed. It’s the story of God’s chosen people. That story didn’t end in 1776 or in 1948 or with the founding of the UN. All of these things still resonate and matter today.

The facts on the ground and the truth of what actually happened can settle debates. It’s just a matter of affirming it. Because if you can rewrite history you can rewrite anything. If you can prove and demonstrate something, that changes the discussion completely.

Sara Lehmann

Bubby’s Version of Instagram – Now Up for Auction in Israel

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Long before we had Instagram to share the real-time details of our travels, postcards were the only affordable way of sending home a slice of our adventures.

Taken in techno-color and designed to make the most mundane location seem exotic, postcards were a fun way to share our vacation with our friends or family while we were away. Given the advances in technology, postcards should have gone the way of the rotary phone and cassette tape.

But, just as vinyl records managed to become retro, collectible and a hipster source of pride, postcards are not only still in the communication game, but are also collectibles.

On sale now at Kedem, the premier auction house for Judaica and Israeli culture, are multiple postcards from pre-Independence Israel. From full color Rosh Hashanah cards to black and white cards of children learning in Cheder, they are auctioning off postcards that are worth a second glance. Postcards can’t go viral, but do help you share memorable moments.  Yes, postcards were your grandmother’s Facebook.

It’s hard to imagine that our Facebook feeds will be worth much money in the future. But, like vinyl records, postcards have developed a currency as collectibles. In a previous Kedem Auction, one of the official postcards from the 13th Zionist Congress in 1923 sold for $344.

Hermon Mountain Postcard

Hermon Mountain Postcard

With thousands of dollars of postcards in his collection, postcard collector Stewart Cohen explained the fascination, “Some people just like collecting things. I specialize in postcards with Jewish content.” For Cohen collecting postcards is a way to connect to his Jewish identity. “For someone who collects baseball cards the thrill is in finding the full set. For me, it’s preserving a piece of our Jewish heritage. I have cards from Auschwitz, ones that show the face of anti-Semitism and many from synagogues around the world.”

The value of postcards goes up with age and rarity. Meron Eren, co-founder of Kedem, explained that both age and condition make a difference to the worth of antique postcards. “Collectors are interested in finding something rare, or that has specific sentimental value. Someone might pay more for a postcard that has some personal connection even if it does not have large resale value.”

Postcards might have value as collectables but what about current postcards? Like many places of interest, the Israel Museum shop still does brisk business in postcards. Shop manager Shloimi Miller explained, “People still like postcards. They are a nice memento of a visit and often are taken in much better quality than would be possible with a private camera.”

Hotels in Israel Postcard

Hotels in Israel Postcard

You’re still sure that your Instagram pictures are better than any postcard? You can always download that Postagram app, which will transform your Facebook and Instagram pictures into postcards, and mail it to your destination for you.

So now, make Bubby’s day. Send her a postcard to show that you love her. You never know; maybe one day your great- grandkids will be selling it for big bucks.

For more information about any of the collectable postcards on sale at Kedem (or to sell your own antiques) see www.kedem-auctions.com The Postagram app can be found at https://sincerely.com/postagram

Humorous Postcard

Humorous Postcard

Rachel Gross

US, Israel, Conclude New MOU on 2019 – 2028 Security Package

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Israel and the United States have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on security assistance for the years 2019 – 2028, the Prime Minister’s office announced Tuesday night. The MOU constitutes the single largest pledge of assistance in US history.‎ The new MOU will be signed in a ceremony at the Department of State in Washington on Wednesday, at 2 PM local time.

David Israel

Update: IDF Retaliates for Second Day of Mortar Fire from Syria

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The Israel Defense Force has again retaliated for several rounds of renewed mortar fire on Tuesday that was directed — albeit perhaps unintentionally — at northern Israel’s Golan Heights.

“In response to the projectiles which hit Israel earlier today, IAF aircraft targeted artillery positions of the Syrian regime in the central Syrian Golan Heights,” the IDF said in a terse statement to media.

Earlier in the day, Israeli authorities closed Route 98 in the northern part of the country, deeming it unsafe for civilians to travel in the area due to the shelling from Syria.

Israel hold the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for any actions taken on the Syrian side of the border.

Hana Levi Julian

Another Mortar Hits Israel’s Golan Heights

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

At around 4 PM on Tuesday, yet another mortar launched from Syria hit Israel’s Golan Heights, according to the IDF.

No one was injured in the attack.

Following yesterday’s mortar hit, Israeli Air Force jets hit a Syrian regime target in Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

During the strike, the Syrians launched two S-200 SAMs at the Israeli jets. Both enemy missiles missed.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Shurat HaDin: Obama Secretly Transferred $1.7 Billion to Iran to Keep It Out of Terror Victims’ Reach

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, representing American the families of terror victims who have won US court judgments against the government of Iran for its support of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, on Tuesday released a letter it sent US Congress members alleging that the Obama Administration kept secret the details of the $1.7 billion in cash payments to Tehran in January 2016 in order to evade efforts by their clients to recover those funds to satisfy outstanding court awards.

In the past, American terror victims have been successful in seizing Iranian bank accounts when those had been located.

The letter, sent by attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv and Robert Tolchin of New York, recalls that on January 17, 2016, President Obama announced the settlement of a legal dispute between the United States and Iran over $400 million held by the US in a Foreign Military Sales (“FMS”) program account since 1979. The Obama Administration agreed to pay the $400 million it finally conceded it owed Iran, plus payment of an additional $1.3 million in interest on that amount.

Then, “in recent weeks, the $1.7 billion which was secretly paid out in cash has come under severe scrutiny because the timing and circumstances of the payments appear to confirm the Iranian claim that the White House agreed to pay the money as ransom to Tehran for the release of American hostages.”

However, in light of the recent revelations in a Congressional subcommittee hearing held on Thursday, September 8, 2016, Shurat HaDin is asserting that “it is now clear that the Administration has deliberately kept numerous payments to Iran secret in order to shield Iran from having to forfeit those funds to pay terror victims amounts Iran owes under outstanding US judgments.”

The Shurat HaDin letter cites a “suspicious revelation at the Congressional subcommittee hearing that the United States and Iran did not draft a written settlement agreement or any other formal documentation of the cash transfers, and that Iran specifically directed the Iran-US Tribunal at the Hague, where the claim was to be resolved through arbitration, that it should not record the settlement of the claim for the parties.”

Shurat HaDin asserts that under a legislation passed in 2000, the US was legally entitled to apply the $400 million in the FSM account to satisfy terror victims’ judgments, and this way eliminating the $400 million balance and nearly 16 years of interest claimed by Iran.

Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement: “We believe that the secrecy in which these cash payments were made was part of an effort by the White House to conceal these payments from the terror victims and to hide the fact that it was effectively canceling Iran’s debt for its terror-related activity. This is a horrible fraud against the terror victims. It appears the secret cash transfers were specifically done as an end run around the ability of the families to attach the money and enforce their federal court judgments.”

Why didn’t the Treasury ever tell the families they were holding these funds?” Darshan-Leitner demanded to know.

Had either the settlement or an award against the United States at the Iran-US Tribunal been entered on the books, and Iran had sought to have the settlement or award confirmed in US court, then terror-victims with judgments against Iran could have legally “attached” any judgment affirming the settlement or award, so that the amount could be applied to satisfy their terror-compensation judgments, Shurat HaDin contends, explaining that “instead, the Administration went to great lengths to ensure that the $1.7 billion purported settlement was shrouded in secrecy, was never reduced to writing or even recorded with the Tribunal in Hague, and was paid to Iran in cash as quickly and directly as possible in order to head off any chance that Iran would be forced to forfeit any amount to pay legal judgments it owes to American terror victims.”

Shurat HaDin urged Congress to continue to investigate these issues, and to take action to guarantee that further payments to Iran do not take place as long as Iran remains a state sponsor of terrorism and a threat to its neighbors, “and until it has paid every judgment it owes to American victims of terror.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner addressed her letter to Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Mike Pompeo and Ed Royce, who have each introduced legislation in response to the $1.7 billion payment to Iran, and to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean P. Duffy, whose subcommittee held a special hearing on the $1.7 billion payments last Thursday, September 8, 2016.

JNi.Media

Shiloh Musings: The State of Israel Should Not Depend on Foreigners!

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

From this week’s Parshat Shavua Weekly Torah Portion דברים D’varim 17:

14When you come to the land the Lord, your God, is giving you, and you possess it and live therein, and you say, “I will set a king over myself, like all the nations around me,” ידכִּי תָבֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי:
15you shall set a king over you, one whom the Lord, your God, chooses; from among your brothers, you shall set a king over yourself; you shall not appoint a foreigner over yourself, one who is not your brother. טושׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא:

Yes, it clearly states that we, the Jewish People/State of Israel must be fully sovereign and not look to foreign nations for our security and legitimacy!

For those of us old enough to remember well, the 1967 Six Days War, we also remember that Israel fought alone. There were prayers from Jews all over the world, and although four Arab countries, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan joined together to destroy the State of Israel, they were quickly defeated, yes, in just six days. For those who are unaware that Iraq was part of the original anti-Israel alliance, please read A Six Days War IDF Soldier Tells his Story.

There’s nothing more dangerous for the State of Israel than dependence on a foreign country. That is how we were almost destroyed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For some totally incomprehensible and fokokt reason we trusted the United States to help us with security, even though they had not helped, nor been needed just six years earlier. The then US President Richard Nixon used Henry Kissinger to charm and cajole Israel leaders, who naively trusted the Jewish Secretary of State. That’s when the dependence on the Americans began, and our self-sufficiency and faith in Gd weakened.

True, we had very few modern weapons prior to 1973, but we were victorious. We need Gd not American weapons.

The American aid package that Israel is having trouble “swallowing,” approving will destroy our military industry, because it demands that we only purchase American weapons with the “shopping coupons” that America provides.

I prefer Trump, who says that he doesn’t plan on giving Israel a lot of aid to Hillary’s promise to “safeguard its ‘military edge’.” Because what it really means is that she doesn’t want Israel to get “too strong,” because then Israel won’t feel dependent on the USA. The more weapons Israel gets from America, the more control the POTUS has on the State of Israel.

We would be better off further developing and expanding our military industries and weaning ourselves from the United States. Then we can increase our exports without having to get approval from the USA. It just takes “one American screw” in a product to give the USA the authority to approve or deny us the right to sell to a foreign country, which weakens our economy.

The time has come to cut the ties, the dependency and stop America from controlling the State of Israel!!

Batya Medad

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/shiloh-musings-the-state-of-israel-should-not-depend-on-foreigners/2016/09/13/

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