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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘state of israel’

Haim Saban ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by US Abstention at UNSC, and Kerry’s ‘One-Sided Speech’

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Israeli American Jewish billionaire Haim Saban, has come out and publicly, intensely criticized last month’s American abstention at the United Nations Security Council, along with the “one sided speech” by Secretary of State John Kerry that followed.

Saban is known for being a superdonor to the Democratic Party for decades and founder of the Brooking Institution’s annual Saban Forum, which each year draws the mega stars of international leadership, politics and diplomacy to its panels.

The Egyptian-born Democrat gave more than $12.5 million to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But this week he warned the Obama administration to veto any further “biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced” in Paris later this month.

Saban, who owns Univision, has been – if not the highest, then certainly one of the highest – individual donors to the Democratic Party in history, funding construction of the Democratic National Committee headquarters building in Washington DC to the tune of a $7 million personal contribution together with his wife Sheryl. The couple is known for their philanthropy to the Jewish State, and for having established the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, a public policy organization.

“As a longstanding Democrat who has supported and defended President Obama on his treatment of Israel throughout his presidency, I am deeply disturbed by the Administration’s decision not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s subsequent one sided speech. These actions undermine our country’s long-standing support for Israel and harm any long-term prospects for peace, which is in our national interest. Further, I urge the Obama Administration to stay true to our decades old policy by vetoing any additional biased UNSC resolutions that may be introduced at the Paris summit later this month, and refrain from issuing any other policy statements that would only make things worse. “Fostering the conditions for peace, security, and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians is a core American interest. In the months and years ahead, it is essential that the US — in its role as the only superpower today — take the necessary steps to maintain its credibility as an intermediary between the parties and work to advance a sustainable two-state solution, in which a Jewish, democratic State of Israel lives in peace and security alongside its neighbors or, until the conditions are ripe for peace, promote a separation between the two peoples.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Mighty’ Adir F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets Arrive Home at Nevatim Air Base

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Israel’s two new ‘Adir’ F-35 stealth fighter jets landed in Israel on Monday evening, with great pomp and circumstance at Nevatim Air Base in the Negev. They were received with great ceremony by Israel’s leadership, including President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, Israel Air Force Commander Amir Eshel and top IAF officials.

“The Adir aircraft redefines Israel’s abilities of deterrence. It re-defines the IDF’s long arm. It redefines the realm of our ability to operate,” noted President Rivlin.

“Anyone who thinks to destroy us puts himself in danger of extinction,” the prime minister said during the welcoming ceremony for the “Mighty” Adir aircraft.

“Today, our military strength is bolstered with this significant addition. The Adir pilots and the Adir aircraft will be capable of operating in every arena – whether it be from close or from afar. I also want to say this very clearly: Anyone who thinks of attacking us will be attacked. Anyone who thinks to destroy us places themselves in existential danger. This is a prerequisite for ensuring our future.

An American pilot brought the first Adir F-35 stealth fighter jet home to Israel.

An American pilot brought the first Adir F-35 stealth fighter jet home to Israel.

“History teaches us a simple lesson: Weak nations do not survive. They invite themselves to attacks and are prone to collapse. The weak are trampled upon and the strong are respected. Only strength creates deterrence; only strength inspires respect; only strength produces alliances – and only strength brings peace. We will continue to bolster our security and build up our forces.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter also spoke at the ceremony, noting, “This is an historic day for Israel, the greatest friend of the United States, if only to follow the U.S. as the first to accept the F-35 aircraft.” He added that once all 50 of the stealth fighter jets have arrived in the Jewish State, the intensity of Israel’s Air Force will be “completely changed.”

A live broadcast heard between Israeli pilots accompanying the Adir was heard by those waiting on the ground: “We fighter pilots of the [Israel] Air Force are proud to escort the mighty aircraft to its arrival in the State of Israel.”

After the arrival of the two aircraft, the pilots were welcomed with the playing of the national anthems of the United States and the State of Israel, Hatikva.

Israel Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel also spoke. “Tonight begins a fascinating encounter between a man and the machine, between our excellent pilots and the maintenance teams, to the technological progress in the field of aviation,” he said. “This encounter is expected to bring new ideas and great abilities. The aircraft will become more and more blue and white, both operational and by its technological systems.

“Every Adir will be a powerful offensive machine, information and control center and will operate in the most advanced patterns in a completely different way from what is known.

“In 2017 the aircraft will be operational and we will operate it in a way that will exceed the expectations of its planners. The Adir will become an accelerator for the IAF in its whole. We intend to leverage the systematical abilities to new peaks, both in offense and defense. The aerial power will become more lethal, combined and relevant.”

Hana Levi Julian

American PAC Calls for Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Friday, June 24th, 2016

A U.S. Jewish political action committee (PAC) called the ‘Iron Dome Alliance‘ is calling on the Republican Party to recognize Judea and Samaria as the indigenous homeland of the Jewish People, and Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

The PAC actually has asked both the GOP and the Democratic Party to include the recognition in their official platforms, including the regions under a geographic description of the ‘Land of Israel.’

The Alliance states on its website the belief that the ‘State of Israel is the modern re-establishment of the sovereign nation state of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland and that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel, and the spiritual capital of the Jewish people.”

The group also states that “Judea and Samaria is the heartland of the Biblical holy land, the cradle of Jewish civilization, and Israel’s claim to this internationally disputed territory is right and just.”

Alliance chairman Jeff Ballabon said the group is focusing its efforts on the Republican Party because it is simply more attuned to pro-Israel positions.

Hana Levi Julian

The United Nations, United Against Israel

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Israelis like to celebrate November 29 as a pre-Independence Day holiday, because that was the day when the newly established United Nations voted to approve a Jewish State.  I don’t consider that act to be all that worthy of our celebration for a couple of reasons.

  • One is that even though a majority of the members of the time did vote to approve a Jewish State, none of them was willing to do anything at all to ensure that the Jewish State would actually exist or survive the onslaught of Arab armies and terrorists which tried to destroy it.
  • The second reason is that we did and do not need the approval of international bodies for our legitimacy, our existence. We owe our survival and existence to G-d and only G-d.  Our victories go against all logic and rules of warfare.

These two points must be remembered.

Very soon after the establishment of the State of Israel, the United Nations quickly established an organization to fully support those Arabs who claimed to be refugees, displaced by the State of Israel, UNRWA.  Unlike all other refugee support groups, this one has made it its aim to perpetuate the refugee status and privileges of the people housed in their camps.  All other refugee support groups aim to get the refugees settled in new productive lives in new homes and locations.  So it’s very, very, very clear that the United Nations, contrary to that November 29th vote is really out to sabotage the State of Israel.

There’s an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post (hat tip: David Bedein’s Israel Behind the News) that tells us which countries have been supporting UNRWA recently.

The United Nations Relief and Work Agency is the only UN refugee agency dedicated to a single group of people. It is the only agency that designates individuals as original refugees if they lived in the area for a minimum of two years, that acknowledges the descendants of original refugees as refugees as well, and the only one that actively encourages its clients to act on their “right of return.”

Since WWII, 50 million people have been displaced by armed conflict.

The Palestinian people are the only ones in history to receive this special treatment.

No doubt this is based on an obvious anti-Israel bias. They are counting on Israel to be destroyed, G-d forbid.  I honestly don’t understand why Israel continues membership in the United Nations, an international organization that is doing all it can to undermine and destroy the State of Israel.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Batya Medad

Let’s Demand a Moratorium on the Peace Talks

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

I suggest, in all seriousness that Israel declare a moratorium  to peace talks.  Simply, we aren’t interested  until the Arabs come begging.  The State of Israel shouldn’t beg anyone for peace.

We aren’t the aggressors.  We live peacefully with our Arab neighbors.  The aggression, terror, threats and war come from them not us.  So they have nothing to fear from us, from Israel.

It probably will take at least a couple of generations if not longer.  That’s no problem.  In the meantime we’ll do what is really important.  We will develop and strengthen the State of Israel and make it more Jewish and more secure.  Our economic growth is far better than the United States and Europe.  No doubt more and more Jews will come to live here.  And many Jewish immigrants will want to live all over, including Judea and Samaria.

We must also stop taking advice and orders from foreign countries.  If they’re so smart why is our economy better?

If a foreign dignitary, official visiting or a foreign ambassador calls us aggressors, insults or threatens us, like the Turkish and even American ones, we must expel them and declare them persona non grata.  Within no time, we will gain international respect.  If any Israeli media, politician, academic or whatever join in criticizing the IDF or Israeli Government for defending Israel and its citizens, they must be arrested.  That Turkish flotilla aggression would have blown over a long time ago if only we had behaved this way.  They should have had apologized.  Israel did absolutely nothing wrong!

Batya Medad

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter Forty: Locusts

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Two thousand years before, the armies of Rome had conquered Jerusalem and razed the holy Jerusalem Temple. The Rabbis taught that Rome was not the cause of the Kingdom of Israel’s downfall, but rather the hatred which prevailed at the time between the Jews themselves. The House of Israel was divided within, and this is what brought about the nation’s destruction by a foreign conqueror.

At first, Tevye stood paralyzed. The low flying cloud approached with menacing swiftness. All over the colony, field workers were shielding their faces from a dry, stinging wind. A gusty hamsin was not an unusual thing, but a desert wind had never been followed by the ominously descending black cloud. The Arab workers who had been hired since the start of the strike threw down their tools.

Jarad! Jarad!” they hollered, running away in fear.

More clouds appeared, one following the other like battalions. A gust of wind blew a dozen locusts directly at Tevye’s face. He swatted at them and watched them fall to the ground. Suddenly, the dense cloud swooped down upon him. Futilely, he tried to shield the corn stalks with his body, but his efforts were hopeless. Hundreds and thousands of locusts rained down on the field. They battered Tevye all over his body. Wings flapped in his face. There was nothing that he could do. Falling down on his knees, Tevye clutched his head in his arms and prayed.

Long minutes passed. When the roar of the storm abated, Tevye looked up. Locusts blanketed all of the corn. The ears were invisible. The stalks had turned into columns of the Heaven-sent demons. The corn field had turned into a forest of locusts.

All over the settlement, the scene was the same. Locusts covered the wheat fields, the orchards, the vineyards, and the vegetable gardens. Stalk after stalk, vine after vine, branch after branch, were enveloped with the plague. The shocked settlers were still inspecting the scope of the damage when yet another hot wind blew out of the east and a second black cloud swept over the plain. Defenseless against the great swarms, the Jews ran for shelter inside of their houses and tents. The roar of the locusts sounded over their rooftops like the thunder of heavenly chariots.

Locusts crawled under doorways and battered against tightly closed shutters. With brooms, hysterical women beat at the creatures which fell down from the cracks in their roofs.

By late afternoon, the prisoners could once again venture forth from their houses. The evil wind had vanished, but the army of locusts remained on the crops. Tevye had never seen anything like it. The nearest thing to his memory was a late Russian frost. With sunken expressions, the settlers weighed the devastation. A year’s work was doomed. Tevye’s own tomato patch had disappeared under the heaps of insects in his garden. There were so many of them, he could hear them munching away. When he kicked them off a vine, others quickly took their place. Stunned by the nightmare, he cast a glance up to Heaven. This new plague was worse than the mosquitoes and swamps.

“Are we made out of iron that You test us like this?” he asked, raising his hands to the sky. “Is it fair to send millions of locusts against a handful of men? Why? Tell me why?”

“It’s a punishment from God,” Carmel said, standing beside him, holding their son in her arms.

“Yes,” Tevye said. “We don’t always behave like we should. But if He wanted us to be angels, He should have created us with wings.

Elisha blew on a shofar, summoning the settlers together. After leading the afternoon prayer, Nachman stood before the congregation with a Bible in his hand. Even the striking workers were present, feeling an equal sense of tragedy and loss.

“When a disaster falls upon the community, we are all called upon to examine our deeds,” he exhorted. “All of the feuding, the curses, the words spoken in anger and hatred between brothers, this is the cause of this terrible plague. Listen to the words of the Prophet….”

Not a man in the room made a rustle. Everyone sat in the synagogue and listened intently as Nachman read from the Book. Outside the door, the woman crowded together to hear.

Tzvi Fishman

How Not to Remember the Holocaust

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I’m troubled.

History is important, because justice today depends on a correct understanding of yesterday. If your vision of the past is distorted, then your objectives for the future and present actions can be morally wrong, pragmatically futile, or both. If you don’t believe this, think about the consequences of the false Arab and leftist narratives about Israel and “Palestine.”

Therefore, understanding what Hitler did to the Jewish people, what historical trends led up to it and how the world responded, is critical for all of us today. There needs to be a Holocaust remembrance Day and it ought to tell its story in detail, over and over to each generation of humanity, and not just to Jews and Europeans.

But certain ways of observing this day make me very uncomfortable.

One is what I call the “universal kumbaya Holocaust observance.” The message here is that there are lots of genocides, they are all similar, and we have to try to understand our fellow man in order to prevent them. I went to an event once in which it was said that the real Holocaust encompassed 11 million people — Jews, Gypsies, gays, disabled and mentally ill people, etc.  I didn’t understand how they got to 11 million, nor why they stopped there: about 60 million people died as a result of WWII, probably about half of those in the European theater. Estimates range from 10 to 20 million Chinese dead in the conflict with Japan. Perhaps they should have lit 30 candles for the evil done by Hitler, and added another 30 for Imperial Japan?

The trouble with a universalized observance is that it obscures the significance of the specifically Jewish genocide, the fact that the Holocaust was the perfection, made possible by modern technology and careful planning, of the pogrom, the culmination of  the hundreds of anti-Jewish murders committed over the centuries simply because the victims were Jews, as the Nazis said, a final pogrom which would, for once and for all, erase the Jews from the world.

And by hiding the meaning of this event in plain sight, as it were, among all the other horrors of war, it also absolves today’s Jews from the responsibility to find their own solution to the specifically Jewish problem of endemic Jew-hatred, which has not gone away.

Another kind of Holocaust observance is the “emotional binge,” in which participants try to bring themselves to the point where they can almost feel the doors of the gas chambers closing on themselves or (worse) their children, in order to fully internalize the “real meaning” of the Holocaust. These events include talks by survivors about their experiences, dramatic performances and even re-enactments in which participants play the role of Jews and Nazis (all of these have been done in my community). The common characteristic is that they are intended to evoke the strongest possible emotional responses.

The catharsis provided by emotional binges is greatly enjoyed by some people, but it adds nothing to the understanding of history. Indeed, it creates a dangerous fixation on the dead Jews of the 1940s, to the detriment of those living today.

Finally there is the “symbolic but trivializing gesture.” A local synagogue is attempting to collect 6,000,000 buttons in remembrance of the 6,000,000 Jewish victims of Hitler. It was explained that this is a big number, and the stack of buttons that they will make will help people visualize the extent of the Holocaust.

It’s hard to comment on something quite this silly. Collecting, storing and displaying that many buttons is  a large effort, which one imagines could be exerted to much more effect in some other way. Personally, I have no problem visualizing 6,000,000 people: I just think about the Jewish population of today’s state of Israel.

Which brings me to the general problem I have with all of these ways of commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. They are entirely consistent with total ignorance of the real lesson of the Holocaust for Jews, which is not that 6,000,000 is a big number, or that the death of a child is horrible, or that genocide is bad everywhere, in Rwanda or Armenia or anywhere else.

This is why it is possible for some Jews to light candles, cry, and “dialogue” about the need for cross-cultural understanding with non-Jews until the cows come home, and then go out and (for example) join a demonstration against Jews moving into eastern Jerusalem.

Vic Rosenthal

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/how-not-to-remember-the-holocaust/2013/04/08/

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