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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Senior Israeli Officials: Kerry’s Jordan Valley Plan ‘Ridiculous’

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry will probably be back in Israel as early as next Monday, for his twelfth (12th) visit here in less than a year (should have signed up for the monthly plan). So that part is not news. What’s news is the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official news organ, Israel Today, established and paid for by Jewish billionaire and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is quoting “senior political sources” who are far from excited about the visit.

So the following information is like quoting Putin’s RT News agency, or Obama’s NBC, straight from the horse’s mouth.

Turns out that in closed forums in Jerusalem you could hear these past few weeks unprecedentedly harsh criticism of Kerry and his team.

Most notably, those closed forum senior folks have been ridiculing the American plan for defending the Jordan valley. Close as they are to the actual details of the plan, these seniors say it is “ridiculous and does not stand up to the test of reality.”

“Kerry has been visiting here a lot, but he shows no true understanding of what’s going on,” they continue. “The American plans are superficial and not serious. There’s no connection between what’s being said publicly about progress in the negotiations and what’s actually happening. It looks like Kerry is simply not in touch with reality. He is not knowledgeable, to say the least, in the roots of the conflict, he doesn’t know how to present real solutions, and he isn’t even familiar with the maps he is being shown.”

So, that’s the welcoming message Bibi wants Kerry to find upon his 12th arrival. Not bad, actually, if it’s true. that’s the problem with Pravda-style news organs, you never know.

Here are more fun excerpts, courtesy of Adelson Enterprises: “The way the American secretary of state has been handling himself has been obsessive. Some are saying that more than trying to advance the peace, he is trying to use the conflict for his own political ends. According to this view, Kerry must think that the road to the White House for him goes through the signing of a Middle East peace treaty.”

I must intervene here and state that Kerry already tried the White House thing and lost to one of Barbara Bush’s less bright boys during a military fiasco that followed the latter’s losing a chunk of two major American cities while telling a goat story to six year olds. So Kerry is not harboring presidential fantasies, and if he is, the Democrats aren’t buying.

Still, Bibi’s officials have been watching Kerry meeting with opposition politicians and with reporters, making it look like the deal is in the next room, waiting for the caligraphist to copy it onto a nice parchment. But it ain’t, really, it’s not even close.

“Israel is being forced to cooperate with the U.S. plans, especially because we’re afraid that if we don’t, they would blame Israel for the failure of the talks,” they say.

They also believe that, in exchange for Israel’s request to extend the peace process by one year, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will demand additional concessions, such as construction freeze in the settlements and more prisoner releases (that’s murderers of Jewish babies and mothers with blood trickling down from their sleeves).

“And Kerry will support these demands, turning them, in effect, into new American demands, backed by American threats, while the Arabs are yet to have given even a single concession, from Oslo to this day,” Bibi’s circlers are saying.

Finally, all the prime minister’s men complained that “the negotiations are being conducted without any papers and documents being exchanged between the two sides, because the Arabs are refusing to show written paper. The Americans come in with prepared suggestions, they read them, and they, too, leave no documents in either side’s hands. Everything is done by heart.”

Go East

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The anniversary of the Yom Kipur War always reminds one of Israeli fallibility, arrogance, and overconfidence, yet at the same time of its capacity to defy the odds and come back from the brink. It was another example of our bringing disaster upon ourselves and then fighting back to survive. After all, that is what the name “Israel” means in the Bible: “to struggle with man and God and survive”.

If I were to listen to the voices, Jewish and non-Jewish, that I hear in such examples as The New York Times, in The New York Review of Books, the intellectual and leftwing talking heads of Europe and the USA, or indeed popular left wing opinion, I would have a depressing sense of impending catastrophe. This week Peter Beinart, in The New York Review of Books, tells us that we Jews neither know, nor understand, nor feel the suffering of the Palestinians, whether under Hamas or the PLO. Ian S. Lustick goes on at length in a one-sided peroration typical of The New York Times that the lays the blame on Israel for making the Two State Solution irrelevant. They are not entirely wrong. But I tell you I am bloody fed up with people lumping all Israelis, all Jews together in their simplistic apportioning of blame, seeing things in black and white rather than in greys. Palestinians are good victims. Israelis are bad oppressors. In fact, both are both. That’s what humans are, a mixture of good and bad.

Some Israelis, some Jews are indeed intolerable racists. It is as true as is the fact that in South Africa under Apartheid there were Jews who acquiesced, who remained silent and failed their moral duty. But it is equally true that many Jews fought long and hard and at great cost to themselves, to oppose Apartheid and to promote freedom for the black population. That the ANC finally triumphed has not replaced immorality with morality, discrimination with equality. Sadly, too often those who suffer respond not by continuing the drive towards greater freedom but by grabbing all they can for themselves. This is the usual consequence of most struggles for freedom. Similarly, in Zimbabwe the relatively benign but overtly racial regime of Ian Smith was replaced by the much more evil and murderous regime of black Mugabe. Good fighters for freedom turn into very bad governors of countries. But that is the price of the struggle. And politics is dirty and messy everywhere.

The role of government is to protect its citizens and the vision of its founders. Israel was created as a state with a Jewish heritage, just as much as Muslim states were established to preserve and propagate Muslim heritage. Most of us would like to see both as tolerant and democratic societies. Israel is imperfect indeed, but it is our homeland. If we care for it we should fight to protect it and to improve it, not to undermine it. We should focus just as much on those who are working hard on reconciliation, on doing good, not just on the bad, on Syrians treated in Israeli hospitals, on Israel providing for Gaza what Egypt is not. But don’t expect this from the anti-Israel amen chorus.

So how are we expected to relate to a dysfunctional Middle East that is constantly stirred up against us by a distorted Western mentality? Surely not by capitulating to its mental diseases. I suggest we try to ignore its pathologies as best we can. But I must stress, I do not advocate cutting ourselves off from the Muslim world. The Middle East is not the only Muslim location. I do not think the divide between Judaism and Islam is either inevitable or healthy. We have far more in common with each other than we do with Western religions. To both of us, religion is not a series of theological propositions but a way of life. However if we want to heal the breach we must look further east.

It always surprises Jews to learn that the Muslims of the Far East, from India to Indonesia, from Cambodia to China, see the Arab jihadis of the Middle East in much the same way that non-Orthodox Jews view Charedim. They regard the Salafists and the Wahhabis as over the top extremists. It’s true in both cases that guilt often leads them to support the pious at arm’s length. The Far East also has its extreme and violent Islamic movements and terrorists, but the general mood of Islam is far more benign the further you get from the Middle East. It is more tolerant, less anti-West, and less fixated on blaming everyone else, especially the Jews, for their own ills. Yes, you can quote me that nasty former Malayan premier Mahathir bin Mohamad, who blamed the Jews for everything. But, thank goodness, he was not typical. I believe Israel should reduce its links with Europe with is ghastly legacy and history. It should be cultivating relations and economic involvements with India, China, Korea, and other emerging powers out in the Far East.

Daniel Goldhagen, the controversial and outspoken American historian who wrote Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, has stirred things up with his latest book about Western anti-Semitism, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism. Anthony Julius wrote a dismissive review in the Wall Street Journal accusing Goldhagen of sloppy research and unreliable statistics, even if he agrees with the core of his thesis. But even if Goldhagen exaggerates when he says 200 million Europeans compare Israelis to Nazis, let us reduce it by half. The fact is that huge swathes of opinion in Europe and the USA are venomously opposed to Israel’s existence on principle. So who is Israel to rely on? We knew Europe would never go to war to defend the Jews. Now we have seen all too clearly that the USA cannot be relied upon to fight. It is war weary. Israel must defend it itself as best it can, both socially and militarily. It is time to look for friends elsewhere.

In addition, I believe Judaism has more in common with and is more appreciated by the religion and mysticism of the East than of the West. The West is fixated on pain, suffering, guilt, and negativity. The East has much more positive religious energy. We have been identified with the Western religious tradition for too long. We have adopted too much of this guilt and pain. We could well redress the balance. It is time to think about a new alliance, a new love affair, with the Far East for Israel and Jews in general. I only hope our present leaders, secular and religious, will not be as myopic as those of the past.

The Morsi, Syria, Lebanon etc. Lesson for Israel

Monday, August 26th, 2013

I should hope that this principle is taught in “Introduction to Political Science/International Relations” courses, the required prerequisite for anyone interested in learning how governments and history really work.

International treaties require stable governments or they are useless.

Maybe I’m naïve.  I must admit that I have no formal academic training in Political Science or International Relations.  I’ve just been following the news, international of course, for over half a century.  Yes, I’m old.  I’ve seen countries and super-powers come and go.  I remember the irony of Mao, when his Communist Red China population was forced to wear one type of jacket as he mocked the United States as a “paper tiger.”  Today the Chinese have a stronger and more materialist economy than the USA, and their Communism is long gone.

I remember American government leaders quaking at the thought of an attack from the USSR, which today doesn’t exist.  But the Americans, who claim to be the strongest and most powerful country in the world, still fear Castro’s poverty-ridden Cuba.

To be honest, I don’t have too much respect for the “experts.”  How many predicted the events I lived through?  I prefer my common sense.

According to Jewish Law, an insane person can’t sign an important contract. Potential aka wannabe converts who are mentally unstable can’t be converted to Judaism. One has to be fully rational to make such a life-changing decision. If a woman is married to a man with serious psychiatric problems, his ability to give her a get for divorce can be affected.

Considering the instability, anarchy in the Arab world, how can the Israeli Government even think of signing any sort of “peace treaty” with anybody?  And certainly the so-called Palestinians sic have no reliable track record to attempt an “enemy country in a country” which has never been peaceful/successful.  Have you ever heard of West Berlin?

Israel is the one economically successful, democratic, stable country in the Middle East.

Lots of Arabs are also being killed in Lebanon Saudi, Gulf throw weight behind Egypt after Morsi ousted Too late for Obama to act on Syria Report: U.S. to Warn Israel in Advance of Syria Attack, Security Officials Say Assad Unlikely to Retaliate Against Israel  (Has the USA ever predicted these things correctly?) Russia to U.S.: Don’t Repeat Your Past Mistakes in Syria Here’s How Kerry, Hillary and Obama Let Assad Get Away with Murder Iran Draws ‘Red Line’ against US Intervention in Syria

Why risk everything for an experiment AKA “Peace Treaty” sic that will inevitably result in war, death and destruction?

Visit Shiloh Musings.

PM Netanyahu Spoke with President Obama

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

YNET reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken with US President Obama and updated him on the IDF operation in Gaza, and thanked him for the USA support for Israel to defend itself.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Title: The Little Book for BIG Worries
Dealing With Serious Illness
Author: Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein
Publisher: Israel Bookshop Publications

Receiving a difficult medical diagnosis can easily spell trauma, anguish, and hopelessness for a patient and his loved ones. Yet even amidst the dark skies of such a situation, Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein affectionately known simply as YY assures us that there is still hope.

The Little Book for BIG Worries is a compact guide that offers chizuk and calm to those who have heard worrying news about themselves or someone close to them. The book offers answers to the questions we all ask when bad news arrives. It shows readers how to find the right people who can help them, and how to avoid those who can’t. Additionally, it includes advice from renowned doctors, which can provide direction toward making the often-confusing world of medicine work with and for the patient.

Most of all, The Little Book for BIG Worries will show those going through hard times how they can smile and laugh again… even when they thought they never could.

The Little Book for BIG Worries is informative, engaging and always insightful. Rabbi Rubinstein makes his points quickly and clearly.

Rabbi YY is one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world. Now based in New York, he regularly speaks in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Belgium, Gibraltar, South Africa and Israel. He is a regular broadcaster on National Radio in the UK and now USA and has written and presented shows for the BBC. The Independent newspaper cited him as among five people in the UK to turn to for advice. Queen Elizabeth has declared herself a fan of Rabbi YY’s broadcasts saying, “He’s awfully good!”

11 Years to Jerusalem Sbarro Bombing

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

On August 9, 2001 a Palestinian Suicide Bomber entered the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem and blew themselves up. They killed 15 people, 7 of them children, and wounded 130 more.

The murdered:

Giora Balash, 60, from São Paulo, Brazil
Zvika Golombek, 26, from Karmiel
Shoshana Yehudit (Judy) Greenbaum, 31, from Passaic, New Jersey,USA
Tehila Maoz, 18, from Jerusalem
Frieda Mendelsohn, 62, from Jerusalem
Michal Raziel, 16, from Jerusalem
Malka Chana (Malki) Roth, 15, from Jerusalem
Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43, from Neria
Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41, from Neria
Ra’aya Schijveschuurder, 14, from Neria
Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4, from Neria
Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2, from Neria
Lily Shimashvili, 33, from Jerusalem
Tamara Shimashvili, 8, from Jerusalem
Yocheved Shoshan, 10, from Jerusalem

Chaya Tova Chana Nachenberg – Still in a coma.

One of the terrorists involved in the attack was recently released from prison in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Use Every Political Tool Hashem Has Given You

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

I have said time and again, that the overwhelming majority of Israelis don’t realize the political power they have. While most eligible Israeli citizens vote on national election day, 93% of these same people sleep through primary day. Primary day is much more important than you think. It is the only day you actually vote for a person and not just a party. This is the day when the party of your choice decides who its representatives to the Knesset will be. This is the day when the Knesset slate is chosen and if you are a member of one of the few democratic parties in Israel, you – yes, you – get to choose who is on that list!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with people who identify with your ideology or will they be people who are opposed to it? You decide!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with honest politicians (yes, a few still exist!) or will they be ones who built their careers around bribes and payoffs? You decide!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with strong individuals with steel spines or spineless jellyfish who retreat, disengage, and surrender? You decide!

93% of Israelis are not members of any political parties and therefore decide on nothing. They come to the polling booth on national election day with the Knesset slate already set and locked. Their only vote is for which party gets in – not which person represents that party. Yet, like clockwork, that same Israeli will be the first in line to complain about this MK or that MK. What a shame. What a wasted opportunity.

For the last 12 years I have urged people to join a party, specifically one that has primary elections for the Knesset. My personal preference all these years – and I will explain why to anyone willing to listen – has been Likud, but if Likud doesn’t talk to you, then join a different party – just get MAD. This word is an acronym for Make A Difference. Don’t just sit on the side and complain but Make A Difference. Join a party where your voice will be heard and where your vote will be counted.

Today, several political parties have begun to have open primaries for their members. I salute these parties and urge all people to get involved. This is the boxing ring of Israeli politics. This is where changes can be made and where Knesset members can either be promoted or sent home on early retirement. Trust me on this one: You have that strength!

This political tool, like everything else in life, has been placed here by Hashem for us to use or ignore. Sadly, as stated above, 93% of our brothers and sisters in Israel ignore this tool, yet complain about how things are broken.

But there’s more. There is another tool that must be used in the battle for Jewish strength, unity and pride. This tool is the ability for every US citizen, even those living outside the USA with dual citizenship, to vote in USA elections. For me, this is simply another aspect of the M.A.D. program. Imagine this: You live 6,000 miles away from the closest USA city, haven’t visited America in over 10 years and no longer even eat Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Yet – as long as you maintain your USA citizenship – you can vote in American elections! This is vital! I don’t need to tell you how important these upcoming presidential elections are and you can be a part of that! Don’t look at the numbers. Don’t ask: “Will my vote really matter??” Simply register (with no cost involved) and Make A Difference. Let the powers in America see how many expats voted. Make your voice heard in these presidential elections and in all elections in the States. That’s right, you can vote for Congress and the Senate from Israel as well! Use these tools, use every tool that Hashem has put at your disposal.

If registering to vote and voting required a tremendous investment of time, effort or energy, I would agree that they should not be done. But they don’t. Joining a political party in Israel means filling out a form and paying (based on the party) between 40 and 60 shekel per year! Once your form is processed, you will be asked to vote approximately once in 3 years! Did you read what I wrote? Once in three years. Do you think you can fit that into your schedule?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/use-every-political-tool-hashem-has-given-you/2012/07/04/

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