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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Shiloh’

Shiloh Musings: Great Britain Reverts to its Island Isolation

Friday, June 24th, 2016

‘Leave’ scents victory as EU vote divides Britain

With results declared from 206 of 382 voting districts plus parts of Northern Ireland, Leave was ahead by 51.3 percent to 48.7 in the referendum, in which a vote to break with Europe could usher in deep uncertainty over trade and investment and fuel the rise of anti-EU movements across the continent. Initial results suggested those in favor of quitting the EU were outperforming pollsters’ expectations. They scored close to 70 percent of the vote in Hartlepool in northeast England and in Basildon, near London. It was not clear whether an expected pro-EU vote in the capital and across Scotland would be sufficient to redress the balance. In the London district of Haringey, 76 percent voted to remain. (Reuters)

I’m not really surprised. Great Britain is an island off of Europe and always treasured its independence. That is what saved it from invasions, such as the Nazis less than a century ago. Also, in terms of the demography, cultural/ethnic politics in Britain, this is probably the last chance to get a majority to leave. As in Europe, the open borders have enabled a cultural diversity unprecedented in most of Europe and Great Britain for sure.

Don’t forget that the European Union is much larger and more diversified than most people had ever expected it to be. For those who mourn the relatively monochromatic Christian Britain and Europe, they find themselves living in a nightmare, like a Twilight Zone episode.

The vote seems pretty close, so it could change directions, and then Great Britain will remain in the EU, and it will then find itself a totally different country in another couple of decades. And if it leaves, the transformation will just take a bit longer…

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: Irving Moskowitz, Doer not Talker

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

The late Irving Moskowitz, Z”Tz”L, used his money for the good of the Jewish People. He was a giant. He made history and changes.

Moskowitz, who was among the most prominent financial backers of Jewish communities in eastern Jerusalem and across Judea and Samaria, passed away last Thursday at his home in Florida. He was 88 years old.
Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav, eulogized Moskowitz.
“He was pure life. We are crestfallen. Much can be said about the man and his work, ‘the man on the wall’ [guarding the city]; the ‘president of Jerusalem,’ as my father called him, now joins the many great people who worked to restore [Jerusalem] to its former greatness.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also spoke at the funeral, remembering Moskowitz as a “pioneer” and “man of vision”.
“Today we lay to rest a pioneer… a man of vision who saw the rebuilding of Jerusalem as his purpose in life. Irving was one of the first to invest and to donate to the development of Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem, [something which] came from an understanding of and belief in its importance and a deep sense of public [service].” (Arutz 7)

Through The Moskowitz Foundation, founded in 1968 with his wife, Cherna, Moskowitz donated untold millions of dollars to buy homes and institutions for Jews in eastern Jerusalem’s primarily Arab neighborhoods via Ateret Cohanim and the Ir David Foundation.
“The hundreds of families of the Old City, the old Yemenite village of Shiloach, Ir David, Ma’aleh Hazeitim, Shimon Hatzaddik, Kidmat Zion, Abu Tor, Beit Orot and the future families of Ganei Yitzchak are all ‘his families and homes,’” Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim Daniel Lauria said on Sunday. (Jerusalem Post)

I didn’t know him personally, but I like many enjoyed and benefitted from his generosity


Baruch Dayan Ha’emet HaMakom Yinachem
Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: There is NO Way to WALL OUT TERRORISM!!

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Admittedly, since I’m not home, I haven’t read or heard much news. Yesterday someone mentioned to me that my State of Israel had announced they would wall out the terrorists, try to block the Arab terror tunnels by creating some science fiction type of underground wall so the terrorists can’t tunnel into Israel.

Duh?!?

I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous. When the “greens” protest the damage to the Land, fauna and flora they will have a good  point.

In terms of sheer size land scope it seems totally impossible.

And it won’t stop terrorism at all. Again it’s like the cutting of the brooms in the animated movie Fantasia.

To stop the Arab terrorism we must get in their mindset and not act so wimpy, apologetic and technological. It’s like trying to combine bubbles with staplers, or making a “pile” of water, thinking it’s like trash or rubble. You can’t sweep water into a corner. Terror is a psychological mindset, a combination of sociopath, ideology, brainwashing.

It is terribly dangerous to project one’s own mentality onto the terrorists, thinking that the logic or goodness that would convince you to do something would influence a terrorist. The truth is that it just shows our weakness and makes them stronger and more confident.

A wall is just something to bypass. We must defeat the terrorists militarily, psychologically and politically. Nothing else will do it!!

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: So It’ll Be Hillary versus Trump

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Hillary Clinton is now the first woman to be in the running, barring anything unforeseen, as nominee for a major party for the Presidency of the United States. And if I’m not mistaken, Donald Trump is the first to be in the running, barring anything unforeseen, as nominee for a major party for the Presidency of the United States who isn’t coming from a political, public service or military background, (at least in modern times re:Trump.)

And unlike other nominees over the years, nobody is parve, neutral about these two. Either you love or hate one or the other or both…

Hillary has been in the news for decades, sort of overcooked, and I’ve liked her less and yes. Overcooked is the word, like how disgusting vegetables, especially green vegetables get when they are stewed forever. I don’t like her policies and I don’t like her as a person. I would have respected her more if she had thrown out her philandering Bill decades ago. But apparently their marriage is one of those unconventional ones, which somehow lasts. I don’t trust her politically at all. She knows how to pick good speechwriters and deliver powerful speeches. Keep her on the stage performing, but don’t take her seriously. She’ll say anything for a vote and a headline.

Trump is also a good performer. Nobody is quite sure what his policies would be if elected. His personal life isn’t any more classically “perfect” than Hillary’s, but he has been more open about it. Ex-wives are pretty hard to hide, as are premarital photos of the present wife. He also has a knack to pick good staff, which is how he has made so much money on his mega building projects.

So, yes, they do have a lot in common and are similar ages.

But still, as an Israeli, I have no doubt that Hillary will be bad for Israel. And I have a feeling that Trump will try to stay clear besides the usual pally visits to meet the players here.

The next few months should be pretty entertaining. Hold onto your hats….

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: A Six Days War IDF Soldier Tells his Story

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Yesterday, in honor of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, the Shiloh Golden Agers/Senior Citizen program invited one of the neighbors to tell his story as a an IDF soldier during the 1967 Six Days War. Yes, if you’ve done the math, you know that age-wise he’s also a senior citizen, but a very busy one who doesn’t go the the activities. Most of the regulars are actually immigrants, and yesterday’s crowd was mostly English speakers, so the coordinator was happy when I surprised everyone and walked in, since I do lots of translating for them when I can. Of course, no surprise to you, my translations are full of “commentary.”

Our neighbor grew up on Tirat Tzvi, a religious kibbutz in the north of Israel.

Kibbutz Tirat Zvi was established on 21st of Tammuz, 5697, (June 30, 1937) as a “Tower and Stockade” settlement intended to mark the southern limit of Jewish settlement in the Bet Shean Valley.
Its first decade was marked by ceaseless struggle for existence against extremely difficult climatic conditions, swamps, malaria, tense day-to-day relations with local Arabs, and periodic organized enemy assault.
On the 6th of Adar 56, 5708, (February 16th, 1948), the one hundred primitively armed members of Tirat Zvi repelled a coordinated attack by over six hundred regular Iraqi troops.

He knew very well of the frequent Syrian shelling/sniping on the Jewish communities in his area coming from the Syrian held Golan Heights.

After a summary of the pre-Six Day War threats from the Egyptians and Syrians, and the cooperation of the United Nations, which readily removed its “peacekeeping forces” from the area to facilitate the Arab attack on Israel, we heard our neighbor’s story.

Instead of the usual call-up codes on the radio, which at that time was the entertainment and news source for Israelis, the IDF conducted an unprecedented “quiet call up” of reservists, going literally house to house to gather troops and take them to various bases for pre-war preparation. You should know that at that time, very few Israelis had telephones. Our neighbor was called on Shabbat, Friday night after dinner, and taken to his base. On the way they picked up other soldiers.

At the base they got their equipment and then went to another location where they began to train for an assault on the Golan Heights; each unit was assigned a different section.

All the while, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, well supplied by the USSR, continued with their threats of war, while Jordan remained silent. The Israeli Government kept hoping that Jordan would desist in joining the expected attack on Israel.

Early in the morning June 5, 1967, while unknown to my neighbor and his unit, Israel had launched an attack on the airfields of Syria, Egypt, Jordan and what could be reached in Iraq. What my neighbor and his fellow soldiers saw was something else. Suddenly two unmarked and unfamiliar planes flew over them. Within seconds Israeli planes reached them and began an air battle, yes, just like in the movies. One of the unmarked planes went down, and then the second one. Afterwards they found out that those were Iraqi planes and that was pretty much Iraq’s participation in the war to annihilate and destroy the State of Israel.

Contrary to facts on the ground, Egypt and Syria continued to broadcast optimistic and inaccurate news that they were marching on Tel Aviv and Haifa. They urged King Hussein of Jordan to join in or they would take over the areas his country had been occupying since 1949, the so called West Bank, Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

In the meantime, my neighbor’s unit had been told to change plans and went to the mountains looking over Shechem, Grizim and Eval. In the dark of the night, they literally found the Jordanian tank corps with their “pants down,” sound asleep in pajamas. When the Jordanians realized that the IDF had found them they fled, leaving their brand new American fully equipped tanks* for Israel to adopt.

When they got to Shechem, they sent an Arabic speaking IDF soldier to find the mayor and offer him a deal. The mayor agreed and entered the police compound, where the Jordanian legion was lodged, equipped with a white flag for surrender. After a short while, the Jordanian flag was lowered and white one raised.

At some point during all of this, suddenly my neighbor realized that he was part of the liberating of our Holy Land, the City of Shechem in which our Forefathers had lived and Joseph is buried. 

Then, to collect all of the weapons the Arabs had, they were told that they had 48 hours to bring weapons to the square without any repercussions, punishment. If any weapons were to be found in homes after that the punishment would be fierce. It worked, and the IDF got a lot of weapons from the arabs.

At one point, someone arrived with a newspaper heralding the liberation of Jerusalem the Kotel (western wall) and Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount.) Until then, my neighbor hadn’t a clue as to what was going on in the rest of the country.

His unit was finally sent to secure a section of the Golan Heights, but not the section they had been prepared for. And remember that the entire war took only Six Days.

The 1967 Six Day War was a miracle of Biblical proportions. Of this I have absolutely no doubt!!

*The Americans had refused to sell tanks to Israel, but obviously had no problems equipping the Jordanians. Also the USSR had been equipping the Egyptians and Syrians. Israel had inferior weaponry, since the best suppliers boycotted our country. 

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: Jerusalem Day: Reflecting on 49 Years

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

For Jews of my generation and older, the 1967 Six Days War was a watershed event, unforgettable and inspiring. For many Jews it was life-changing, too.

 

67 war

 

There were two major results of the Six Days War:

Israel miraculously survived and completely defeated three enemy Arab armies, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Israel liberated the illegally occupied Jordan Valley, Judea, Samaria and the eastern parts of Jerusalem including the Walled City and Temple Mount, along with the Sinai and Golan Heights.

All three aggressor countries lost land as a result of the war. If you look at World History, in every single war in which an aggressor loses land in defeat, the land is then part of the victorious country. But here, almost a half a century later, Israel is under all sorts of attacks, diplomatic and terror/military to cede land fairly won to its enemies or a new invented “country.”

It would be nice if I could blame our enemies and faux friends for Israel’s problems. But the sad and tragic truth is that it was the State of Israel that is the cause of today’s security/terrorist problem and the awful diplomatic pressures we suffer.

Even before the dust had settled, while the world looked on in complete awe, the State of Israel should have immediately and unconditionally annexed all of the Land we liberated, from the northern tip of the Golan until the Suez Canal to the east at the Jordan River. All remnants of the “green line” should have been erased, ground to dust. Not only should the barriers that had been scarring Jerusalem been taken down, but Jews should have been allowed and encouraged to live in every single neighborhood, not just what became known as the “Jewish Quarter” of the Old City. Not only the wonderful and thriving Jewish neighborhoods which were built, like Ramat Eshkol, Gilo, Ramot etc. but housing for Jews should have been built in Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Beit Jalla etc. That anti-Jewish apartheid we still suffer should never have been allowed to continue.

Judea and Samaria should have had been open for Jewish communities just like the Golan and the Jordan Valley were. And of course we should never have returned the key to Har Habayit, the Temple Mount to the Wakf. A synagogue should have had been built for Jews to pray with full religious rights on the Temple Mount.

If the Israeli Government had annexed and opened all of the newly liberated Land, the world would have accepted it, even more Jews than the masses who did make aliyah in the euphoric post-Six Days War era would have arrived and the Moshiach/Messiah would be here, too.

God gave the Jewish People and Jewish State a great miracle, a military victory in 1967, and our government spit in Gd’s face. For that we are suffering to this day, and we must find a way to correct this awful sin. Only then will there be true peace!!

Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: WWII Japanese First Suicide Bombers; The Atomic Bomb in Context

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Last Friday, I had international television news on, and I kept getting very annoyed at how the newscaster, when reporting on United States President Barack Hussein Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima, were portraying Japan before the Americans dropped the atomic bomb there. We were given the impression that it was a nice quiet peaceful day when out of the clear blue, for no reason, The United States attacked that poor innocent city with the deadly bomb.

Considering that most people are not too historically knowledgeable, and no place in the reports was any serious or even minimal context given, it was clear that the point was to make the Japanese look like innocent victims and not immoral deadly enemies of the USA.

In 1945 there was a vicious war going on between Japan and the USA. Japanese believed their emperor to be a god and were willing to die for his victory against America. Those were the kamikaze pilots who willingly crashed their planes into American ships to destroy, sink and kill.

Kamikaze aircraft were essentially pilot-guided explosive missiles, purpose-built or converted from conventional aircraft. Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a “body attack” (体当たり; 体当り, taiatari) in planes laden with some combination of explosivesbombstorpedoes and full fuel tanks; accuracy was much better than a conventional attack, the payload and explosion larger. A kamikaze could sustain damage which would disable a conventional attacker and still achieve its objective. The goal of crippling or destroying large numbers of Allied ships, particularly aircraft carriers, was considered by the Empire of Japan to be a just reason for sacrificing pilots and aircraft.
These attacks, which began in October 1944, followed several critical military defeats for the Japanese. They had long since lost aerial dominance due to outdated aircraft and the loss of experienced pilots. On a macroeconomic scale, Japan suffered from a diminishing capacity for war, and a rapidly declining industrial capacity relative to the Allies. Despite these problems, the Japanese government expressed its reluctance to surrender. In combination, these factors led to the use of kamikaze tactics as Allied forces advanced towards the Japanese home islands. (Wikipedia)

The American decision to use the atomic bomb wasn’t easy, and the Japanese were a very difficult enemy, a different culture and mind-set. Over seventy years after the fact, nobody can say how much longer and how many more Americans would have had been killed by the Japanese if the USA hadn’t dropped the bomb on Japan.

Not only is the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki kill, maim and destroy many lives and much property in Japan, but it broke the morale of the country, the public’s faith in the emperor as god and made it possible for them to fully surrender.

Batya Medad

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/shiloh-musings-wwii-japanese-first-suicide-bombers-atomic-bomb-in-context/2016/05/30/

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