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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

A Soldier’s Mother: The Manipulation of America

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Disclaimer: I am not pro-Trump so much as I am anti-Clinton. I think America would have had to work very hard to come up with a candidate selection that is worse than this one.

The election is one month away – it’s become vicious. Not the first time. It’s filled with lies. Not the first time. It’s filled with desperation on both sides. Each is convinced that their candidate is the lesser of two evils. Few actually like the choice facing America.

From distant shores, I watch in sadness. What bothers me most at this point, is two things. The first is that America is being manipulated. The second is that, in part, it is crossing red lines to do this.

The Manipulation

Another Facebook post going around:

Why has nobody consider it very strange that a person would record (apparently without permission) a locker room conversation and then holds on to it for 11 years. That person then waits until 2 months before the elections when it looks like Hillary might lose and decides to release it. I call that very strange. Then people are ready to string him up for something he said 11 years ago.I have since seen the video that the conversation was taken from and it’s locker room conversation among men. A lot of big talk – crude yes but most men and some women too have talked that way when they’re impressing someone. And it took place 11 years ago. Let’s keep this in perspective. We all know Trump has a big mouth and very high opinion of himself.
I agree. Does no one find the timing of this disgusting Trump tape just a bit too convenient? Is what a man said in private to a friend eleven years ago enough to disqualify a man when deleting tens of thousands of emails, cursing an entire people, enabling a sexual predator and cheating billions out of charity is ignored?

Up to now, I sit back in wonder. I can’t understand how America got to this point. I can’t stand either but believe Trump to be the lesser of two evils in an election that will, almost certainly, focus on that specific point. Who will do less damage until America has another chance to right the wrong they are about to commit?

I sit here mere hours after a terror attack in Jerusalem – at a place I go to nearly every day. I was there an hour and a bit before, taking the train that came under fire (which isn’t hard because the whole light rail is only one train line). I have reached the end of my ability to care about this election…except for that red line.

And the Red Lines

The problem with red lines nowadays is most people think it’s not so hard to move them. Red lines aren’t supposed to be moved. We all have our opinions and that is America. That is democracy. What is not America, is the hate being fanned and this is where the red line comes in. There are some lines that are more red than others and very few that are more red that this next one.

A man posts a picture to Facebook furthering the absurd comparison of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. It is the gates of Auschwitz, where my great grandmother and two great aunts were murdered. A place that lived in my grandfather’s nightmares for all the days of his life. It is the place where he lost the mother he was desperately working to save. It is where my husband lost all his grandparents, before he ever had a chance to know them. Where my mother-in-law was scared, my husband’s uncle tattooed.

I wrote to the man…could it be possible that he doesn’t understand? We are taught to give the benefit of the doubt. This is extremelly offensive and insensitive, not to mention inaccurate, I wrote to him. “Your attempt to present Trump as a Nazi falls far from the truth and only shows an incredible amount of ignorance about the Holocaust.”

His response: “He’s more like Mussolini. But I couldn’t find a meme for that.”

So because he couldn’t find a meme likening Trump to Mussolini, he has the right to belittle the Holocaust, to use and abuse the legacy of Auschwitz at a time when the Poles have already turned it into a “museum” and the Catholics believe the memory of over a million Jews murdered and gassed to death is honorably served by building a church there?

“You clearly know little about the Nazi period if that’s what you boil it down to – and you didn’t use a Nazi uniform, you used concentration camp gates. Yes, Trump was unfaithful – I seem to recall there being many men out there who were unfaithful as well. He had a private conversation that was illegally taped, eleven years ago and which miraculously is being released now – you’re being manipulated and you can’t even see it.” I wrote to him.

I tried arguing against his comments about Trump:

You are also misquoting Trump to serve your purpose. He doesn’t propose getting rid of “that group” of people – that would be Hitler – who not only proposed it but did a lot to make that “proposal” happen. Trump said – ONLY – that until you can vet Muslims, you shouldn’t let them into the country. What’s wrong with that? You ever seen a body blown to pieces? It’s not a pretty sight. You ever worry about getting on a bus, sitting in a restaurant, where your children are when a bomb explodes? Trust me – it’s not easy and it should be taken seriously. Vet them properly – that’s what Israelis do every day of the year. I drove through a check point this morning. The car in front of me was pulled over to the side. His papers will be checked. I drove right through – but then again, how many 55 year old Jewish grandmothers blow up buses? The 20 or 30-something male Muslim is in the range and so he’s pulled to the side and delayed for about 3 minutes.

Is his inconvenience in being stopped for 3 minutes justified? Hell yes. If you doubt it, I’ll put you in touch with my friend – whose 15 year old daughter was blown apart, murdered by an Arab terrorist who got through because Israel was urged to show restraint and ease the check points.

But getting back to your meme – it is offensive. My great-grandmother was murdered there behind the gates of that place you so callously use. My husband never knew a grandparents love – because all four of his grandparents were murdered there.

His response was, “if it’s offensive, I apologize. When Trump apologizes it makes everything okay. So this should too.”

I’m sorry, I should write to him, but I won’t…I’ll put it here because the chance that his mind is open enough to understand that what he did is very small.

If I were to take the time, I would tell him – your political agenda doesn’t give you the right to abuse the memory of six million Jews.

Make America Great – perhaps what is really wrong with America is that they’ve forgotten that being great is actually a good thing. Eight years ago, America rallied behind the asinine slogan of “Yes We Can” – and, oh my God, in eight years, you didn’t. He didn’t.

He didn’t solve the racial divide – he made it worse.

He didn’t strengthen America – he brought the military to the gates of collapse.

He didn’t bring men and women of honor to lead the nation – he brought the corrupt likes of Clinton and the monoric likes of John Kerry.

He didn’t. I don’t know if Trump can. I know that Clinton can’t. You want to call him a racist? You want to call her some horrible name? Go for it – OMG, you picked the worst candidates in your entire history and now you have to live with it but don’t you dare.

But don’t you DARE make a mockery of the Holocaust.

Trump will NOT tattoo people; he will not take a mother into a room and tell her she can choose ONE of her three children while the rest will die. He will not build ghettoes and starve people to death. He will not march them across miles of frozen land. He is not a Nazi; he is not Adolf Hitler

You don’t like Trump – don’t vote for him. He’s crass and crude – fine. Don’t vote for him.

She’s, oh my God, vicious, nasty, horrible – you think she’s Obama’s second coming – knock yourself out and vote for her.

I give up – maybe the saying that a country deserves the leaders it gets is true. I don’t know. I don’t care. Red lines crossed. I’m done. See you in four years, America…or maybe 8 if you can’t come up with anything better than either of these clowns.

Oh, and the biggest joke of all – the man who posted this image as his …yeah, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Shooting Attack in Jerusalem…

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Later they may release the video. I’m sure it was caught live. There are cameras there…there where I stood a little two hours ago. I parked the car, as I always do. I checked the time. Five minutes to the next train. Do I walk to the next stop or wait? I forgot my phone in the car…I go back and then rush to the train again. I minute later it comes and I get on…

I took pictures this week of the train in movement. I have to remember to upload the pictures. I get in the office – so much to do. Payroll needs to be done. Two students want to register. I want to buy some pillows to close up the open area on my bed. I need more oil for the Sabbath candles.

I’m on the phone when I see that David called. My world stops when a son in the army calls. I put the person on hold without hesitation and called him back. He’s on his way to an appointment – I thought maybe he missed the bus and wanted to take the car.

“Where are you?” he asks.

“I’m in the office. The car is at Ammunition Hill. Do you need to take it?”

There was a brief hesitation. “There was an attack at Ammunition Hill.”

My baby was calling to check on me. I don’t want him to do that. I don’t want them to worry about where I am.

Four people were hurt, including two in critical condition. A woman in her 60s has been taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.Traffic has once again come to a standstill in all directions towards my home.

Dear God…

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: In My Little Country Today…

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Thousands of people heard the alarm. It is a voice suddenly announcing “Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom, Tzeva Adom” (Color Red, Color Red, Color Red – or Red Alert, Red Alert, Red Alert). The voice is calm but insistent. I’ve heard it a few times.

In some places, it can be a siren. It wails loud and clear and your heart begins to race and your brain kicks in as soon as recognition is made. Run. Grab your children and run. Get to safety. A safe room and close the door. A staircase away from windows. Against a wall and bend down. Out in the open – lay down and cover your head. Run. You have 60 seconds. You have 30 seconds. You have 20 seconds. Even an Olympic runner wouldn’t make it.

Listen for the boom. Wait for it. And when you hear it. You gasp in shock. Which is silly because you were waiting for it, anticipating it, right? And still you gasp in shock. And in the silence, the follows the boom, you think. Where is she? Where is he?

A friend who lives very close to Sderot wrote that she was caught outside during the latest attack. She had no choice but to lie on the ground. She felt it shake when the missile landed – inside a city, close to a school.

Another friend wrote that she could feel her house shake.

In my little country today, we were hit by a missile. The siren sounded; the red alert was announced. Children, panicked and frightened, were hurried into bomb shelters. There is no time to explain, no time to deal with their fears. When Aliza was nine years old, in third grade, in the middle of a war where her oldest brother was fighting, an alarm was sounded. It was 2009 and the Gaza war had yet to hit Jerusalem – that would happen in 2012 and 2014, but in 2009, we still believed we were out of range. And then, the siren sounded.

I was in Jerusalem and I heard it. Somehow I knew it was a mistake but I watched from the shelter of my office as others stopped, looked up, and then continued on their way. In the schools, it was a different story. They couldn’t afford to ignore the siren and so they correctly treated it as an attack and rushed the children to shelter.

There was no time to worry about a third grader, or in this case three third grade girls who were frightened and had been separated from their class. Teachers correctly grabbed them and corraled them with their own classes into bomb shelters. But when the doors closed, they had their hands full with terrified first and second graders and no one had time to deal with three crying third graders.

And so she came home and told me about the alarm. Today, more children were terrified, parents worried. The missile came barreling in – this time, they didn’t miss. They hit a city with tens of thousands of people…not far from a school.

Imagine if the same thing happened in your country. Imagine if it was your child’s school. Imagine if you were caught in the open with nowhere to go and 20 seconds to react and find a way to save your life.

My little country is angry tonight; angry for the people in the south who are starting this new year as they have started and ended so many others – under the constant threat of an enemy who believes it is holy and right to attack innocent people while much of the world simply ignores this latest crime.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Debating from Afar

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

I have this ability to wake myself up minutes before my alarm. Usually, if I set an alarm, I wake up before it goes off and if I don’t set an alarm, trusting myself to get up on time anyway, it’s a 50-50 chance I’ll oversleep. So, I set the alarm and often choose to read or whatever for those extra few minutes before I close it and begin my day.

Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were to debate. With the time zone, it came to 4:00 a.m. starting time. No, thank you. Really. I watched as some of my friends said they were getting up and I thought, not going to happen. I guess my mind set an alarm because there I was, wide awake at 4:02 a.m.

Finding the debate live on the internet was easy “debate live” – thank you, Google. I decided not to bother with most of the US channels, certainly not CNN. I chose a direct feed on YouTube (it might have been NBC but it was thankfully without commentary or interpretation). I realized several things as I watched the entire thing. In no particular order, here they are:

  1. I was waiting for Hillary to have a seizure or collapse.  I wasn’t wishing for it but I certainly expected it. That she made it through the debate was to her credit though I still wonder at her medical condition and I believe if Donald Trump is expected to release  his tax returns, she should be examined by an independent doctor because I have serious doubts as to whether she’ll survive to the end of a four year presidency and I can only wonder how little her family  cares for her if rather than encouraging her to choose life, they are pushing her to get elected. Sad family dynamics, if you ask me.
  2. The moderator was anything but impressive and anything but balanced. He hit Trump off right away with the question of his tax returns and several times intervened to “correct” Trump – in at least one case, Lester Holt gave incorrect information and insisted it was true.
  3. Lester Holt said he would ask Clinton about the emails – he didn’t. He didn’t ask about the Clinton Foundation finances (which should have been the follow up to the question posed to Trump).  He didn’t ask about Benghazi. He didn’t present any questions related to the current assessment of the Iran deal implementation and recent reports of increased nuclear activity, or the cash ransom paid to Iran.
  4. Holt didn’t  ask about the rise in terror and how it relates to the refugee issue.

There is no question that Hillary is a more eloquent speaker, a better spinner of sound bites but rarely did she answer any question with real plans. It was all the feel-good blabber of a politician and not very impressive at that. For the most part, I felt her greatest achievement of the night was not collapsing during the event.

Trump came across stronger when it came to money issues and business. And both had some good zingers in there. No question, Hillary has more experience but as Trump pointed out – bad experience doesn’t really amount to much.

She continued to try to hold him to the standard of a politician when he never claimed to be one. He has been a business man and without question, excels in that. He has built an empire; she and Obama have done much to destroy one.

She accused Trump of being a racist – he answered that claim very nicely and one cannot ignore that racial tensions and violence appears to be at an all time high under the last eight years of Obama’s reign.

Was it worth waking up at 4:00 a.m. and missing close to two hours of sleep? Not much. Did it change anyone’s mind or vote? Probably not. Did it lessen the tension, the anger, the hatred that is swamping America? Not at all.

The debate was nasty, ugly. Trump called her Secretary Clinton; she called him Donald. I have heard many stories about how she treated people in the White House and State Department. I have heard how she called someone an F***** Jew. I saw that nastiness last night.

By far the best comment I saw on Facebook comes from a friend who wrote “My thoughts, prayers and empathy go out to all American voters.#KobayashiMaru”

Too bad neither of these candidates will ever come close to being a James Tiberius Kirk…

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Netanyahu’s Speech in Layman’s Words

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Across Facebook, Israelis are proud and loud today. We have waited a long time to hear our Prime Minister tell the United Nations a message we have never quite been able to say so eloquently. I can try to translate the thought behind his words but I would likely fail because rarely have I seen someone use every four letter word in the book, without once actually giving them voice.

I’ll try to explain. Here’s Bibi’s speech:

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen, what I’m about to say is going to shock you: Israel has a bright future at the UN.

There, right there. Did you hear it? That’s Bibi using the F word, and I don’t mean “future.” He’s saying – for all you thought you could destroy us with your endless resolutions, condemnations, threats and sanctions, not only are we still hear, we’re strong, we’re proud, we’re united, and, oh yeah, we’re doing the work YOU are supposed to be doing. It is OUR doctors that arrive in times of disaster, not yours. It is our rescue forces that dig under the rubble to find life, and our compassionate representatives that don’t give up, that keep working even when we know we are likely to only pull out bodies. 

Now I know that hearing that from me must surely come as a surprise, because year after year I’ve stood at this very podium and slammed the UN for its obsessive bias against Israel. And the UN deserved every scathing word – for the disgrace of the General Assembly that last year passed 20 resolutions against the democratic State of Israel and a grand total of three resolutions against all the other countries on the planet. Israel – 20 ; rest of the world – 3!

This is Bibi saying – do you see how stupid you’ve been? Do you see what jerks you are?

And what about the joke called the UN Human Rights Council, which each year condemns Israel more than all the countries of the world combined. As women are being systematically raped, murdered, sold into slavery across the world, which is the only country that the UN’s Commission on Women chose to condemn this year? Yep, you guessed it – Israel. Israel. Israel where women fly fighter jets, lead major corporations, head universities, preside – twice – over the Supreme Court, and have served as Speaker of the Knesset and Prime Minister.

And now Bibi is again using the “F” word, combined with just plain stupid and a bit of an A word that tells them they have been the backside of a donkey.

And this circus continues at UNESCO. UNESCO, the UN body charged with preserving world heritage. Now, this is hard to believe but UNESCO just denied the 4,000 year connection between the Jewish people and its holiest site, the Temple Mount. That’s just as absurd as denying the connection between the Great Wall of China and China.

Circus, hey, I like that! Oh, wait – translation. Okay, so this is Bibi telling them that there are few things more idiotic than denying irrefutable fact. The Great Wall of China is in China; the Temple Mount is where OUR Holy Temples were. God, could you get any dumber, UNESCO?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the UN, begun as a moral force, has become a moral farce.

All of Israel just snorted the most wonderful snort ever. Bibi, wow. Moral force to moral farce! Oh, man, Bibi is nailing it today! Go, Bibi!

So when it comes to Israel at the UN, you’d probably think nothing will ever change, right? Well think again. You see, everything will change and a lot sooner than you think. The change will happen in this hall, because back home, your governments are rapidly changing their attitudes towards Israel. And sooner or later, that’s going to change the way you vote on Israel at the UN.
More and more nations in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, more and more nations see Israel as a potent partner – a partner in fighting the terrorism of today, a partner in developing the technology of tomorrow.

Here is where Israelis sit back and relax. He did it. He went there and told them the truth. The world IS changing. It is only in the hate-filled halls of the United Nations that this reality is being denied. Around the world…OMG…they are naming babies Israel as thanks for our rescue teams; they are blessing us for coming, for helping, for caring. From this point on, Israelis are simply enjoying the show. Yalla, Bibi, we’re listening even if they aren’t!

Today Israel has diplomatic relations with over 160 countries. That’s nearly double the number that we had when I served here as Israel’s ambassador some 30 years ago. And those ties are getting broader and deeper every day. World leaders increasingly appreciate that Israel is a powerful country with one of the best intelligence services on earth. Because of our unmatched experience and proven capabilities in fighting terrorism, many of your governments seek our help in keeping your countries safe.

Many also seek to benefit from Israel’s ingenuity in agriculture, in health, in water, in cyber and in the fusion of big data, connectivity and artificial intelligence – that fusion that is changing our world in every way.

You might consider this: Israel leads the world in recycling wastewater. We recycle about 90% of our wastewater. Now, how remarkable is that? Well, given that the next country on the list only recycles about 20% of its wastewater, Israel is a global water power. So if you have a thirsty world, and we do, there’s no better ally than Israel.

Did he mention how hard we’ve been working to counter limited rainfall, diminishing seas? Oh yes he did! Bibi, tell ’em! Our problems today, are you problems tomorrow and as we are solving them, you’re gonna need us a hell of a lot more than we need you!

How about cybersecurity? That’s an issue that affects everyone. Israel accounts for one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population, yet last year we attracted some 20% of the global private investment in cybersecurity.

I want you to digest that number. In cyber, Israel is punching a whopping 200 times above its weight. So Israel is also a global cyber power. If hackers are targeting your banks, your planes, your power grids and just about everything else, Israel can offer indispensable help.

Oh, yeah. Water? Well, how about security in the cyber world in which we are living more and more. Oh, man, you guys are in trouble if you don’t listen up. We’re there – 200 times greater, stronger, ready.

Governments are changing their attitudes towards Israel because they know that Israel can help them protect their peoples, can help them feed them, can help them better their lives.

This summer I had an unbelievable opportunity to see this change so vividly during an unforgettable visit to four African countries. This is the first visit to Africa by an Israeli prime minister in decades. Later today, I’ll be meeting with leaders from 17 African countries. We’ll discuss how Israeli technology can help them in their efforts to transform their countries.

In Africa, things are changing. In China, India, Russia, Japan, attitudes towards Israel have changed as well. These powerful nations know that, despite Israel’s small size, it can make a big difference in many, many areas that are important to them.

But now I’m going to surprise you even more. You see, the biggest change in attitudes towards Israel is taking place elsewhere. It’s taking place in the Arab world. Our peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan continue to be anchors of stability in the volatile Middle East.

But I have to tell you this: For the first time in my lifetime, many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals, work together openly.

This is Bibi remembering that he’s a diplomat. He said our common enemies are Iran and ISIS. He didn’t say that Israel’s enemy is also the UN, which is bullied and controlled by Iran and those that support that terrorist nation. Oh, Bibi…well, maybe next time.

So Israel’s diplomatic relations are undergoing nothing less than a revolution. But in this revolution, we never forget that our most cherished alliance, our deepest friendship is with the United States of America, the most powerful and the most generous nation on earth.

Yeah, see, here he’s remembering that idiot in the White House and rumors that he wants to be the next General Secretary of the United Nations. But he’s also reminding them all that we’ve survived 8 years of Obama and if we have to, God forbid, we’ll survive Clinton (though judging by recent health coverage, I’m not at all sure she will).

Our unbreakable bond with the United States of America transcends parties and politics. It reflects, above all else, the overwhelming support for Israel among the American people, support which is at record highs and for which we are deeply grateful.

The United Nations denounces Israel; the United States supports Israel. And a central pillar of that defense has been America’s consistent support for Israel at the UN. I appreciate President Obama’s commitment to that longstanding US policy. In fact, the only time that the United States cast a UN Security Council veto during the Obama presidency was against an anti-Israel resolution in 2011. As President Obama rightly declared at this podium, peace will not come from statements and resolutions at the United Nations.

This is Bibi warning Obama, just a bit. The US has stood by Israel in the past and our friends in the US are watching. They won’t let you abandon Israel and yes, as Bibi said, we are grateful for that support. If you go against Israel, Bibi signals Obama, you won’t have the support of the American people.

I believe the day is not far off when Israel will be able to rely on many, many countries to stand with us at the UN. Slowly but surely, the days when UN ambassadors reflexively condemn Israel, those days are coming to an end.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s automatic majority against Israel at the UN reminds me of the story, the incredible story of Hiroo Onada. Hiroo was a Japanese soldier who was sent to the Philippines in 1944. He lived in the jungle. He scavenged for food. He evaded capture. Eventually he surrendered, but that didn’t happen until 1974, some 30 years after World War II ended.

For decades, Hiroo refused to believe the war was over. As Hiroo was hiding in the jungle, Japanese tourists were swimming in pools in American luxury hotels in nearby Manila. Finally, mercifully, Hiroo’s former commanding officer was sent to persuade him to come out of hiding. Only then did Hiroo lay down his arms.

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished delegates from so many lands. I have one message for you today: Lay down your arms.

Bibi saying stop being so F****** stupid! You’re running out of time. You’re redefining the meaning of moronic!

The war against Israel at the UN is over. Perhaps some of you don’t know it yet, but I am confident that one day in the not too distant future you will also get the message from your president or from your prime minister informing you that the war against Israel at the United Nations has ended.

Yes, I know, there might be a storm before the calm. I know there is talk about ganging up on Israel at the UN later this year. Given its history of hostility towards Israel, does anyone really believe that Israel will let the UN determine our security and our vital national interests?

Oh, this. Just this. Perfect. Sarcasm at its best. Does ANYONE really believe we will let the UN control our destiny, our security. Um…no way, UN. just no way! And that sound you just heard? Millions of Israelis yelling, “YESH!” – a word that is basically equivalent to “GOAL” or “GRAND SLAM” because with this simple sentence, Bibi hit the ball out of the park!

We will not accept any attempt by the UN to dictate terms to Israel. The road to peace runs through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not through New York.

So shut the F up. We aren’t listening; and more. Did you notice – JERUSALEM is ours; Ramallah is theirs! Those are the possible sources from which talks will emanate. Not New York (and, by the way, not Washington either).  

But regardless of what happens in the months ahead, I have total confidence that in the years ahead the revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations will finally penetrate this hall of nations. I have so much confidence, in fact, that I predict that a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will stand right here where I am standing and actually applaud the UN.

But I want to ask you: Why do we have to wait a decade? Why keep vilifying Israel?

Perhaps because some of you don’t appreciate that the obsessive bias against Israel is not just a problem for my country, it’s a problem for your countries too. Because if the UN spends so much time condemning the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, it has far less time to address war, disease, poverty, climate change and all the other serious problems that plague the planet.

And this is where Bibi’s speech simply turns to brilliant. Maybe, he suggests to the UN, you forgot completely why you exist – you’ve forgotten, while we’ve been busy doing YOUR job. And shame on you!

Are the half million slaughtered Syrians helped by your condemnation of Israel? The same Israel that has treated thousands of injured Syrians in our hospitals, including a field hospital that I built right along the Golan Heights border with Syria.

Are the gays hanging from cranes in Iran helped by your denigration of Israel? That same Israel where gays march proudly in our streets and serve in our parliament, including I’m proud to say in my own Likud party.

Are the starving children in North Korea’s brutal tyranny, are they helped by your demonization of Israel? Israel, whose agricultural know-how is feeding the hungry throughout the developing world?

The sooner the UN’s obsession with Israel ends, the better. The better for Israel, the better for your countries, the better for the UN itself.

And, of course, the better for ALL the world. Hypocrites and liars and thieves that you are. Worthless people sitting around while millions suffer. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If UN habits die hard, Palestinian habits die even harder. President Abbas just attacked from this podium the Balfour Declaration. He’s preparing a lawsuit against Britain for that declaration from 1917. That’s almost 100 years ago – talk about being stuck in the past.

And the sound you heard was millions of Israelis laughing. Abbas is going to sue Britain for the Balfour Declaration. Oh, is that rich! And, made richer by the next few lines because in a world where the Palestinians pull the “PAST card”

The Palestinians may just as well sue Iran for the Cyrus Declaration, which enabled the Jews to rebuild our Temple in Jerusalem 2,500 years ago. Come to think of it, why not a Palestinian class action suit against Abraham for buying that plot of land in Hebron where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried 4,000 years ago? You’re not laughing. It’s as absurd as that. To sue the British government for the Balfour Declaration? Is he kidding? And this is taken seriously here?

Bibi is at his greatest when he’s sarcastic, isn’t he? Are you so stupid you’ll take this nonsense seriously? 

President Abbas attacked the Balfour Declaration because it recognized the right of the Jewish people to a national home in the land of Israel. When the United Nations supported the establishment of a Jewish state in 1947, it recognized our historical and our moral rights in our homeland and to our homeland.

Yet today, nearly 70 years later, the Palestinians still refuse to recognize those rights – not our right to a homeland, not our right to a state, not our right to anything. And this remains the true core of the conflict, the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. You see, this conflict is not about the settlements. It never was.

And this is Bibi reminding Obama that it was never about the settlements. And more, this is Bib turning to the Israelis and saying, “Okay, okay, you were right all along and it’s time I just say what we all know. They won’t listen, but who cares. The joke is on them. Obama and Abbas and the Iranians are on them so yeah, let’s all smile and be proud.”

The conflict raged for decades before there was a single settlement, when Judea, Samaria and Gaza were all in Arab hands; the West Bank and Gaza were in Arab hands and they attacked us again and again and again.

And when we uprooted all 21 settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every last inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza. We got thousands of rockets fired at us from Gaza. This conflict rages because for the Palestinians, the real settlements they’re after are Haifa, Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

Truth time yet again. A “duh” moment when Bibi states what every Israeli knows.

Now mind you, the issue of settlements is a real one and it can and must be resolved in final status negotiations. But this conflict has never been about the settlements or about establishing a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Israel is ready, I am ready to negotiate all final status issues but one thing I will never negotiate: Our right to the one and only Jewish state.

Wow, sustained applause for the Prime Minister of Israel in the General Assembly? The change may be coming sooner than I thought.

Had the Palestinians said yes to a Jewish state in 1947, there would have been no war, no refugees and no conflict. And when the Palestinians finally say yes to a Jewish state, we will be able to end this conflict once and for all.  Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act”. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote!

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen, all this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour. This is child abuse.

And though the delegates are not clapping, millions of Israelis are. Child Abuse. That’s what you call what they’ve been doing to their children. In your face, Abbas – this is what you’ve been doing! And in your face, United Nations delegates – this is what you’ve been celebrating and rewarding all these years. Nothing more and nothing less than absolute child abuse!

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?

We in Israel don’t do this. We educate our children for peace. In fact, we recently launched a pilot program, my government did, to make the study of Arabic mandatory for Jewish children so that we can better understand each other, so that we can live together side-by-side in peace. Of course, like all societies Israel has fringe elements. But it’s our response to those fringe elements, it’s our response to those fringe elements that makes all the difference.

Take the tragic case of Ahmed Dawabsha. I’ll never forget visiting Ahmed in the hospital just hours after he was attacked. A little boy, really a baby, he was badly burned. Ahmed was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews. He lay bandaged and unconscious as Israeli doctors worked around the clock to save him.

No words can bring comfort to this boy or to his family. Still, as I stood by his bedside I told his uncle, “This is not our people. This is not our way.” I then ordered extraordinary measures to bring Ahmed’s assailants to justice and today the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of attacking the Dawabsha family are in jail awaiting trial.

Now, for some, this story shows that both sides have their extremists and both sides are equally responsible for this seemingly endless conflict. But what Ahmed’s story actually proves is the very opposite. It illustrates the profound difference between our two societies, because while Israeli leaders condemn terrorists, all terrorists, Arabs and Jews alike, Palestinian leaders celebrate terrorists. While Israel jails the handful of Jewish terrorists among us, the Palestinians pay thousands of terrorists among them.

So I call on President Abbas: you have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred as you did today or you can finally confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I hear the buzz. I know that many of you have given up on peace. But I want you to know – I have not given up on peace.

Well, yeah, hundreds of thousands of Israelis just snorted again because really, how many of us really believe in peace anymore? Or, more accurately, how many of us believe the Palestinian leadership will ever wake up and help bring peace to their people? Yeah, not many, thus that snort.

I remain committed to a vision of peace based on two states for two peoples. I believe as never before that changes taking place in the Arab world today offer a unique opportunity to advance that peace. I commend President El-Sisi of Egypt for his efforts to advance peace and stability in our region.
Israel welcomes the spirit of the Arab peace initiative and welcomes a dialogue with Arab states to advance a broader peace. I believe that for that broader peace to be fully achieved the Palestinians have to be part of it. I’m ready to begin negotiations to achieve this today – not tomorrow, not next week, today.

President Abbas spoke here an hour ago. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of speaking past each other we were speaking to one another?

And this is another of Bibi’s “duh” moments – saying what is obvious and yet will not be.

President Abbas, instead of railing against Israel at the United Nations in New York, I invite you to speak to the Israeli people at the Knesset in Jerusalem. And I would gladly come to speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.

Ladies and Gentlemen, while Israel seeks peace with all our neighbors, we also know that peace has no greater enemy than the forces of militant Islam. The bloody trail of this fanaticism runs through all the continents represented here.

It runs through Paris and Nice, Brussels and Baghdad, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Minnesota and New York, from Sydney to San Bernardino. So many have suffered its savagery: Christian and Jews, women and gays, Yazidis and Kurds and many, many others.

You thought it was only buses in Jerusalem and restaurants in Tel Aviv. It didn’t bother you when the blood in the streets was Jewish blood, did it? But now, now it is your blood, your people. Now it is happening in your countries, in your cities. Now they have brought terror to your doors.

Yet the heaviest price, the heaviest price of all has been paid by innocent Muslims. Hundreds of thousands unmercifully slaughtered. Millions turned into desperate refugees, tens of millions brutally subjugated. The defeat of militant Islam will thus be a victory for all humanity, but it would especially be a victory for those many Muslims who seek a life without fear, a life of peace, a life of hope.

But to defeat the forces of militant Islam, we must fight them relentlessly. We must fight them in the real world. We must fight them in the virtual world. We must dismantle their networks, disrupt their funding, discredit their ideology. We can defeat them and we will defeat them. Medievalism is no match for modernity. Hope is stronger than hate, freedom mightier than fear.

We can do this.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Israel fights this fateful battle against the forces of militant Islam every day. We keep our borders safe from ISIS, we prevent the smuggling of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, we thwart Palestinian terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, and we deter missile attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

That’s the same Hamas terror organization that cruelly, unbelievably cruelly refuses to return three of our citizens and the bodies of our fallen soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Hadar Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simcha Goldin, are here with us today.

They have one request – to bury their beloved son in Israel. All they ask for is one simple thing – to be able to visit the grave of their fallen son Hadar in Israel. Hamas refuses. They couldn’t care less.

I implore you to stand with them, with us, with all that’s decent in our world against the inhumanity of Hamas – all that is indecent and barbaric. Hamas breaks every humanitarian rule in the book, throw the book at them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the greatest threat to my country, to our region, and ultimately to our world remains the militant Islamic regime of Iran. Iran openly seeks Israel’s annihilation. It threatens countries across the Middle East, it sponsors terror worldwide.

This year, Iran has fired ballistic missiles in direct defiance of Security Council Resolutions. It has expended its aggression in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen. Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism continued to build its global terror network. That terror network now spans five continents.

So my point to you is this: The threat Iran poses to all of us is not behind us, it’s before us. In the coming years, there must be a sustained and united effort to push back against Iran’s aggression and Iran’s terror.

With the nuclear constraints on Iran one year closer to being removed, let me be clear: Israel will not allow the terrorist regime in Iran to develop nuclear weapons – not now, not in a decade, not ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I stand before you today at a time when Israel’s former president, Shimon Peres, is fighting for his life. Shimon is one of Israel’s founding fathers, one of its boldest statesmen, one of its most respected leaders. I know you will all join me and join all the people of Israel in wishing him refuah shlemah Shimon, a speedy recovery.

I’ve always admired Shimon’s boundless optimism, and like him, I too am filled with hope. I am filled with hope because Israel is capable of defending itself, by itself, against any threat.

I am filled with hope because the valor of our fighting men and women is second to none. I am filled with hope because I know the forces of civilization will ultimately triumph over the forces of terror. I am filled with hope because in the age of innovation, Israel – the innovation nation – is thriving as never before. I am filled with hope because Israel works tirelessly to advance equality and opportunity for all its citizens: Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, everyone. And I am filled with hope because despite all the naysayers, I believe that in the years ahead, Israel will forge a lasting peace with all our neighbors.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am hopeful about what Israel can accomplish because I’ve seen what Israel has accomplished. In 1948, the year of Israel’s independence, our population was 800,000. Our main export was oranges. People said then we were too small, too weak, too isolated, too demographically outnumbered to survive, let alone thrive. The skeptics were wrong about Israel then; the skeptics are wrong about Israel now. Israel’s population has grown tenfold, our economy fortyfold. Today our biggest export is technology – Israeli technology, which powers the world’s computers, cellphones, cars and so much more.

And this is Bibi reminding them that not one of them, not one, lives without OUR technologies, OUR contributions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the future belongs to those who innovate and this is why the future belongs to countries like Israel. Israel wants to be your partner in seizing that future, so I call on all of you: Cooperate with Israel, embrace Israel, dream with Israel. Dream of the future that we can build together, a future of breathtaking progress, a future of security, prosperity and peace, a future of hope for all humanity, a future where even at the UN, even in this hall, Israel will finally, inevitably, take its rightful place among the nations.

Thank you.
Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: A Terror Attack….Live

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Do you want to know, minute by minute, what a terror attack feels like? No, I don’t mean living it and I don’t even mean, seeing it (thankfully) but just living in those moments when you know it’s happened, but not where; and then finding out where, but not knowing what. And then finding out what, and simply watching others as they too understand. It’s happened again.

As I walked to the train in Jerusalem this morning, I heard a siren. Big city, not uncommon. Women go into labor, car accidents, someone falls. With over half a million people, ambulances in Jerusalem are constantly on the move. Another siren. Your mind begins to think; your heart goes a bit faster. Another. Oh God, you think. Please…

Another.

Three ambulances have gone past, including one that is an intensive care one. It is capable of treating a severely injured person; it is capable of being a station from which 10 people can be treated.

A police car. Another. A motorcycle police officer. The ‘Yasamnikim’ – special police unit on motorcycle – two men, heavily armed.  Please, please, please. No…but I know already it’s happening. I see the light rail guards. They are standing a bit different, looking around more, scanning, checking their phones.

I walk up to one, “what’s happened?”

He looks at me and in a voice that is half anger, half resignation, says, “Sha’ar Prachim” (Herod’s Gate of the Old City). That is the where and confirmation of an attack. It is a 10 minute walk away; three minutes on the train and then a 3 minute walk. “Two police officers stabbed.”

“How bad?” I ask. The Hebrew is really a request for their medical condition but the translation would simply be – tell me what happened.

“Both moderate, maybe one critical.”

I don’t know whether to continue walking to work or wait for the train. I wait; I check the news. One is a young woman…only 19 years old, doing her national service with the police. The other is a 45 year old man. She was stabbed in the neck and is on a respirator in very serious condition; he was stabbed in the chest and is in moderate condition.

On the train, we hear more sirens. Now it is police cars and motorcycles continuing to stream towards the attack. At the Damascus Gate, I see two train guards on alert. An Arab with a backpack walks towards them. They call out to him to stop; to hand them his identification. They tell him to hand them his backpack, and he does. He looks…resigned. The guards look…I don’t know what the word is. They are watching all around them.

The two policemen were attacked from behind. Stabbed multiple times before the terrorist was neutralized. The Arab is told to lean against the wall; they are going to search him. What is the option? This is the 7th attack in just a few days; there could be more. We are minutes from where the attack took place; where they are struggling to treat and then move two badly wounded people.

The train moves on and as it glides past the Old City walls, everyone is looking. Another gate that offers access to the Muslim Quarter…or maybe it is the Christian Quarter, I’m not sure, is jammed. A police car is in the middle. They are clearly checking everyone.

I get off a stop early. I can’t stand feeling closed in and I need to walk. Please God, let them be okay. Don’t let them die. Please.

As I walk through the center of Jerusalem. All over, I see police. I feel so bad for them – two of their own are fighting for their lives in a battle that cannot be fought by others. All they can do, is their job and so they are doing it. Everywhere, they are standing a bit more forward, a bit more alert.

But I sense the sadness inside of them…or perhaps it is the sadness in me. I get to the building where I work, and I see a man speaking with another. And then he pulls out a shofar, a ram’s horn. It is the month of Elul, which precedes the month of Tishrei. The holidays are coming – Rosh Hashana, the New Year; Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment; Sukkot, a holiday in which we remember that all is transient, temporary, ordained.

Elul is the month in which we work on ourselves; ask forgiveness from those we have hurt, including ourselves. And we blow the Shofar, the ram’s horn, as a call to repent, a call to arms, a call to our very souls.

I saw the man blow the shofar and asked if I could take a quick video and he agreed. And then he leaned towards me and said, “it’s Elul and we need the shofar, especially this morning. Two police, did you hear?”

“Yes, I heard,” I answered sadly.

“They should have a complete recovery.”

“Amen,” I answered and watched as he blew the shofar. It was short and then he smiled at me. A reminder, that smile. A reminder that we live and God willing, the police officers will too.

Paula Stern

IDF Soldiers Attacked in Several Locations Around Jerusalem

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Arab terrorists attacked IDF soldiers in several locations around Jerusalem on Tuesday evening.

Near the Mount of Olives, an IDF patrol unit was struck by paint-filled bottles and a hail of rocks.

A glass bottle was hurled at IDF forces stationed near the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Two firebombs (Molotov cocktails) were thrown at forces in the capital as well. One of the firebombs ignited a small fire.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-soldiers-attacked-in-several-locations-around-jerusalem/2016/09/21/

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