Thursday, June 28, 2012

In my opinion, one the greatest moments of the HASC concerts. Mordechai Ben David sings the old Yiddisher song Keili Keili during the Next Stage HASC 7 musical produced by Sheya Mendlowitz, in New York City's City Hall theater. Circa 1995

A rare video of the current Viznitzer Rebbe Rabbi Yisrael Hager at Sunday Dollars which took place 22 years ago


Daily Show on the Hebrew National Skandal

Good people Return 42000 NIS and Tefillin To Owner

This nice story was in the Yediot Metro yesterday. It's always nice to hear a nice story reported, rather than just the usual fighting and anger and bitterness.

Here's the story:

Last week a fellow named Eliyahu from Tirat Carmel traveled by bus to Jerusalem in order to try to raise money for his son's wedding.

At the end of the day, Eliyahu got back on the bus (the 940 line) to go home after having raised 42,000 NIS (RG: wow! where'd he raise so much money??) in cash. He had stashed the cash, along with two diamonds and a ring that he had been given by Rav Kaduri many years ago as a segulah, into his tefillin bag. 

Eliyahu fell asleep on the bus, waking at the end of the route. Rousing himself, he got off the bus, forgetting his tefillin behind. A passenger getting off at the last stop noticed the tefillin bag and gave it to the head of the security department, who passed it on to the head of the lost and found department. Yaakov Meimon, head of the lost and found, said he opened the bag and saw a large amount of money. He immediately instructed everybody in the northern region of Egged to immediately inform him if someone comes looking for a lost tefillin bag.

A few hours later, Eliyahu realized what he had left behind. He went right away to the station and told them that he had lost his tefillin. He was immediately put in touch with the head of lost and found, who later said how surprised he was that Eliyahu had only kept asking about his tefillin and had not even mentioned the money. After he gave over details of the package he had left behind, Meimon returned the tefillin and the money to him.

I dont know if the guy who found the bag opened it and knew there was money inside. I presume not because if I had found such a tefillin bag with money I would definitely have tried to locate the owner myself and not deposited it in the lost and found. Still, between all the various people involved, it took good people to ensure that this guy got his money and tefillin back.

An open letter to Alice Walker

I am sure that many of you have heard that Alice Walker has refused to let her Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Color Purple be translated into Hebrew because (she claims) Israel practices 'apartheid.' Here's an open letter to Ms. Walker from Dr. Denis MacEoin, whose writings I have posted before (Hat Tip: Ricky G).
You have spoken out against racism, yet you accuse a country that is visibly anti-racist to be the opposite of what it is. Please don’t dismiss what I say without further thought. It seems that you condemn Israel because it practices apartheid. Have you ever been to Israel? Have you ever walked Israeli streets, spoken to Jewish and Arab Israelis, sought out clear signs of the apartheid you’ve been told you will find there?

I do not think you have, for had you done so you would have been surprised by the absolute absence in Israel of any of the features of apartheid, as it was applied by the South African government years ago. That apartheid had as its principal aim the separation of blacks and whites and was hell for black people for many, many years. Though it pains me to say so, I find it offensive that you and other anti-Israel activists feel it necessary to indulge in an outright falsehood. Think of South African apartheid and all its ramifications. Did blacks have the vote outside their "homelands"? Did they serve in parliament or as government ministers? Were they sent abroad as diplomats? Did they serve as judges?


You may well say to me, "What about Gaza, what about the West Bank? – those are the places where apartheid takes place." But does it? Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and in doing so exposed itself to year after year of rocket and mortar fire from Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The territory is currently under the control of Hamas, one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist entities.

Israel has two functions there: to exercise a wholly legal sea and land blockade in order to prevent Hamas acquiring (mainly through tunneling) advanced weaponry, most of it supplied by Iran, another country which openly calls for genocide in Israel. To mitigate the impact of the blockade, Israel has set up an important border control station, through which thousands of tons of goods pass into Gaza every week. Life is not easy for Gaza, but it is controlled by an armed group whose charter calls for the killing of Jews and rejects peace-making of any kind. This is many things, but it’s not apartheid.


I could write pages more in an attempt to help you see reason, but I don’t think that would, in itself, achieve very much. You don’t want to be preached to, I’m sure of that – and I’ve already preached more than I intended at the outset of this letter. But we do share one thing and that is the power of imagination. It takes imagination to see beyond the dogmas on either side of an argument like this. And that is what I want you to do, to use your imagination to see past the innumerable lies and obfuscations that have blinded people’s eyes to what has really been going on between the Jews and the Arabs.
Read the whole thing.

Asma Assad Is Bloody Fashionable

You will recall that on February 25, 2011, the ultra chic, ultra progressive Vogue magazine published a fawning profile of Syrian first lady Asma Assad and her husband Bashar al-Assad. Not too long after Joan Juliet Buck’s story appeared Syria descended into open savagery and what do you know, the story was flushed from on-line Vogue.
Seraphic Secret preserved and reposted the story because we believe that author Joan Juliet Buck and Vogue editor Anna Wintour—both fervent Obama supporters—should be held accountable for their moral nothingness. For even before Syria exploded into civil war it was a brutish, Jew-hating totalitarian state that occupied Lebanon for sixteen years and eliminated all political opposition through assassinations.
Well, the Syrian regime obviously believes that Wintour and Buck had it right, that fashion and mass murder make excellent public relations. Thus on Sunday, the Syrian regime published a photo of the ultra fashionable Asma Assad smiling, playing badminton and wearing a t-shirt that reads in Arabic: “You, my beautiful country.”
And because Joan Juliet Buck so convincingly summed up Asma’s appeal, let us flashback to Vogue’s scintillating prose:
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic—the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She’s a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her “the element of light in a country full of shadow zones.” She is the first lady of Syria.

Iran Declares War against the Jewish People by Alan M. Dershowitz

The Iranian government, long known for its Holocaust denial and anti-Zionism, has now declared war against the Jewish people. In a speech delivered in Tehran, Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi accused the Jewish people of spreading illegal drugs around the world, killing Black babies, starting the Bolshevik Revolution and causing many of the world's other ills. His "proof": "The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anyone who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade."
There are, of course, numerous addicts among Jews and Zionists, as there are among all groups. Israel has several treatment centers for drug addicts as do Jewish communities throughout the world. He also cited "proof" that the Jews caused the Bolshevik Revolution: not a single Jew was killed during that Revolution. Of course, thousands of Jews were murdered during the Bolshevik Revolution as well as during Stalin's purges in the decades following the establishment of the Soviet Union.
But don't expect truth from a country whose leaders deny the existence of even a single gay person in all of Iran.
Vice President Rahimi cited the Talmud as the source of his claptrap and in support of his claim that Jews believe that they are racially superior and that "God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them."
These bigoted claims would be laughable if they did not have such a long and disturbing history. Virtually everything stated by Vice President Rahimi came directly out of Hitler's playbook of the 1930s and Stalin's playbook of the 1940s and 50s. They must be taken seriously in light of the fact that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and has already called for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map. Moreover, Iran's surrogate, Hezbollah, has invited all the Jews of the world to move to Israel so that it will be easier to destroy them in one fell swoop.
Taken together, these statements and actions constitute a clear incitement to genocide, which is explicitly prohibited by international law and by the rules governing the International Criminal Court. Professor Irwin Cotler, the former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada, has drafted a brilliant brief making the case for indicting the Iranian leaders for inciting genocide against the Jewish people. Vice President Rahimi's speech constitutes additional evidence of that crime, if any were needed.
If the leaders of Iran are guilty of incitement against the Jewish people, as they plainly are, they have many coconspirators and facilitators. In recent years these have included several prominent church leaders, such as Cardinal Glemp of Poland, Father Daniel Berrigan of the United States, Cardinal Rodriguez of Honduras, Bishop Tutu of South Africa and numerous others who have crossed the line from anti-Zionism to overt anti-Semitism.
Cardinal Glemp, while serving as the primate of Poland, accused the Jews of bringing Communism, alcoholism and poverty to Poland. He also accused them of provoking anti-Semitism. Father Daniel Berrigan characterized the Jewish state as "a criminal Jewish community" that "manufactures human waste." A current cardinal of the Catholic Church Oscar Andres Rodriguez Meridiaga, who is the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has been telling anyone who is willing to listen that "the Jews" are to blame for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! How did Cardinal Rodriguez ever come up with this ridiculous idea? Here is his "logic:" the Vatican is anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. It follows, therefore, that "the Jews" had to get even with the Catholic Church, while at the same time deflecting attention away from Israeli injustices against the Palestinians. The Jews managed to do this by arranging for the media which they, of course, control to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal.
Not to be outdone, Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, claims that Americans are frightened of excessive Jewish influence in America because "the Jewish lobby is powerful—very powerful." He compared the Jewish influence in America to that of "Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic and Idi Amin"—all of whom who were "powerful, but in the end they bit the dust."
And now joining in the incitement is Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, who says that the situation of Arab citizens in Israel is much worse that what Blacks experienced in the South during Jim Crow, thus trivializing the suffering of her own people about which she has written so poignantly! She has now decided to withhold her writings from all readers of Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people.
These hateful voices, from the left, the right and the center, are influencing conduct around the world. Anti-Semitic violence is increasing as is anti-Semitic incitement. The time has come to take this threat seriously, whether it comes from absurd sources such as Iran or more respected personages such as Bishop Tutu and Alice Walker.
I am not seeking to constrain freedom of expression through governmental censorship. I am asking people of good will to condemn all anti-Jewish bigotry even when expressed by those who are admired, and to take action against the danger posed by the noxious combination of radioactive words and radioactive weapons.

Heritage Site is Jewish, Not Just Palestinian

On Monday, the New York Timesreported about the effort by Palestinians to have the village of Battir designated as a World Heritage site because of the unique ecological nature of the ancient terraced irrigation system at work there. The terraces might be endangered by the construction of Israel’s security fence that in the area runs right along the 1949 armistice lines. While it is not clear that the barrier would actually damage the area, ironically the greatest obstacle to the designation of the site by UNESCO is that the Palestinians are also seeking to get the same honor for the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
But as bloggers Elli Fischer and Yisrael Medad have pointed out, the problem with the article isn’t so much its acceptance of the Palestinian argument against putting the fence there (which is also ironic because Israel’s critics have objected when the barrier was placed anywhere but at the old green line), but that it completely ignored the Jewish heritage of the area. Battir is not just a Palestinian village with an old irrigation system but was the site of the ancient Jewish fortress of Betar, the site of the last organized resistance to Roman rule in 135 C.E. during the Bar Kochba revolt. Moreover, far from the irrigation system being, as the Times claimed, a remnant of the Roman presence, it predates their presence in the country and is clearly the product of biblical-era Jewish settlement. As Medad put it, “Romans, Shmomans.”
Medad also points out that a closer look at the accounts of the dispute there shows the villagers’ problem has more to do with their faulty sewage system than any threats from Israeli construction crews in a nearby valley.
But the main point here is not so much the argument about the location of the fence as it is the willful erasure of the Jewish connections of a place that Palestinians are seeking to have honored for its historical significance. Betar was the last gasp of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel for 1,800 years and a place where tens of thousands of Jews were slaughtered by the Romans.
As Fischer notes:
In fact, the Talmud offers an alternative explanation for the fertility of Battir: “For seven years [after the fall of Betar] the gentiles fertilized their vineyards with the blood of Israel without using manure.”
In this respect the promotion of Battir as a memorial to the supposed history of the Palestinians is stereotypical of the way their supporters have done their best to ignore or actually deny the Jewish connections to this land.
UNESCO stands alone as the only UN agency that recognizes the Palestinian Authority as an independent state. It has in the recent past recognized Jewish religious shrines such as the Tomb of Rachel outside Bethlehem as mosques, so there is little hope it will treat Israel or the Jews fairly. But if it is to grant this site the World Heritage designation, it should, at the very least, declare it to be important to the history of both Jews and Palestinians. In doing so, it would give the lie to the claim that Jews are usurpers or foreigners in the West Bank. And that is probably reason enough for it to continue denying Jewish history and heritage.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Israeli Horse Riders Experience Samaria Firsthand

MBD's Yidden

Cantor Helfgott Sings "Esa Einai El Heharim" at KMR Summer 2011

Shalom Yerushalayim

Serving Your Country: Jewish Canadians joining Israeli army

At UN event, Iranian VP launches into anti-Semitic tirade Mohammad-Reza Rahimi tells U.N.-sponsored conference in Tehran that the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews" and that Jews are taught to be a superior race • Foreign Minister Lieberman: Iranian regime "isn't comprised of lunatics, but by fanatics and anti-Semites ..."

Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi delivered a virulently anti-Semitic speech at an international anti-drug conference in Tehran on Tuesday, which was sponsored by Iran and the United Nations.
Rahimi, according to The New York Times, said the Talmud, which is a central text of Judaism, was responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world, and that it teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”
Rahimi said there was a difference between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists, who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade.”
He added said the Talmud teaches Jews to think they are a superior race. “They think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them,” he said.
The Iranian vice president, second in command to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, challenged the audience to find evidence contrary to his claims, declaring that “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in [the] drugs trade.”
Rahimi didn't stop there, the Times reported, telling the audience stories of "gynecologists killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists." He also claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews, adding that mysteriously no Jews died in that uprising.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to Rahimi's comments in a statement released to the press on Wednesday, saying that "The fact that the U.N. representative and the European representatives are still participating in conferences held in Tehran, where the most despicable of anti-Semitic sentiments are voiced, provides legitimacy to the Iranian ayatollah regime, which poses a danger to peace for the entire world."
Lieberman went on to say that the Iranian regime "isn't comprised of lunatics, but by fanatics and anti-Semites with a structured doctrine who have a detailed global plan, including a core tenet, as they readily verbalize, of destroying Israel."
"The international community has still not internalized the immense danger posed by this regime to world peace," continued the Foreign Minister. "Hitler, too, said crazy things and succeeded in carrying out his plan. Today the situation is different and the sovereign State of Israel will not allow any Jews to be harmed. But as long as the [international community] doesn't come to its senses and the ayatollah regime doesn't pass from this world, a clear recipe for disaster and a threat to world peace will remain unhindered."
A European diplomat who attended the conference said afterward: “This was definitely one of the worst speeches I have heard in my life. My gut reaction was: Why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?”
Other Iranians who participated in the conference also wondered, in private, what their government's motive was for allowing such a speech. More than 25,000 Jews live in Iran and are officially recognized as a minority religion.

BBC apologises over Itamar massacres coverage

The BBC “got it wrong” by not giving prominence to the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the outgoing director-general has admitted.
Mark Thompson was quizzed by Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who made various complaints to the BBC about the coverage, at a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing on Tuesday. Mrs Mensch said the BBC’s decision not to include the story as part of its rolling news coverage generated “the most reaction I have ever had in all my time in politics.”
She said: “The BBC ran the story on Radio 4 and a lead item on the website but they never subsequently touched it in broadcast or on the 24-hour rolling news programme on BBC News 24. I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called “Dead Jews is no news” and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was.
“I was overwhelmed by response from the Jewish community both here and abroad. There was a feeling the BBC just didn’t care and that, if a settler had entered the home of a Palestinian family, slit the throat of their children, that the BBC would have covered that.”
Mrs Mensch had subsequently received an apology from BBC News’s Helen Boaden but wanted Mr Thompson’s reassurance about the BBC’s “even-handedness” on the Middle East conflict.
Mr Thompson said the story had come during a “very busy news period” including the fighting in Libya and the tsunami in Japan.
“News editors were under a lot of pressure,” he said. “Having said that, it was certainly an atrocity which should have been covered across our news bulletins that day.”
But he added: “I don’t believe that should be taken as systemic bias. We try very, very hard… to reflect suffering on both sides of that conflict. When there has been a humanitarian incident in Gaza, we try to show the effects of rockets in Sderot.”
He said he stood by his decision not to have shown the DEC humanitarian appeal for Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. “I believe I was right, many people thought I was wrong. It might have given the impression we were more sympathetic to one side of that dispute than the other. Israel and Palestine, like Kashmir and Sri Lanka, are so hot in terms of people’s sensitivity.
“But I do want to say, to all our audience including our Jewish and Israeli audiences here and around the world, we do want to make sure we are fair and impartial. We made a mistake in this instance.”
Mrs Mensch said after the meeting that she was extremely pleased with Mr Thompson’s response. “I was very satisfied with his frank admission, He understood how this had affected the Jewish community.”

Eilat - Israel made the desert bloom

"Jewish Nobel Prize" Worth $1 Million to be Awarded in Science and the Arts

"Jewish Nobel Prize" Worth $1 Million to be Awarded to Jews with exceptional Achievements in Science and the Arts

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Mikhail Fridman today (Tuesday, 26 June 2012) announced the Genesis Prize, the "Jewish Nobel Prize" -- an international prize which will be awarded to Jews who win global recognition due to their achievements in the fields of science and the arts.

The Genesis Prize, worth $1 million, to be financed by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, will be awarded by Prime Minister Netanyahu at a festive annual ceremony to be held close to the Passover holiday. The goal of the prize is to emphasize the contribution of the Jews to world history and draw the younger generation of Jews around the world closer to the State of Israel and Jewish identity.

The prize selection committee will be chaired by Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky and will be composed of retired judges and Diaspora Jewish community leaders, as well as Prime Minister's Office and Genesis Philanthropy Group representatives. The prize winner will be chosen in a multi-stage process from among a group of candidates, each of whom feel a link to the Jewish People and the State of Israel and are an exemplar for the younger generation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "The prize symbolizes Jews' great contribution in human development and will be a source of pride for young Jews around the world. The Jewish People has developed excellence over the years due thanks to its values and heritage. This is an important step for the cohesion of our people and symbolizes its unity around Jewish values."

Jewish Agency Chairman Sharansky said, "The development and strengthening of Jewish identity in Israel and the Diaspora constitutes an incentive for the welfare of humanity as a whole. Only by being completely aware of their link to the values of the Jewish heritage can modern Jews fully realize their creative potential. The Genesis Prize expresses the joint effort of the Jewish Agency, the State of Israel and Jewish philanthropists."

Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Fridman said, "The Genesis Prize emphasizes the contribution of the Jews to world history. Far-reaching achievements in science, the arts, business, medicine, diplomacy and other fields of human endeavor have been realized thanks to the Jewish People's natural aspiration to improve the world and to its desire to pass its moral values on to coming generations. This tradition of the Jewish People must continue."

Anti-Israel LA billboard campaign fails- because the haters screwed up

From the virulently anti-Israel Mondoweiss site, June 13:
Exciting news. The Coalition to Stop 30 Billion to Israel has put up 23 billboards across Los Angeles in an awareness initiative to stop military aid to Israel.
...The billboard company for Stop30Billion's LA initiative is CBS Outdoor, the outdoor advertising division of media conglomerate CBS Corporation.

Due to the tremendous pressure CBS Outdoor will undoubtedly encounter in the days and weeks ahead, Stop30Billion and its partner the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation have asked us to sign a petition to thank CBS Outdoor.

But only one week into the hate campaign, CBS Outdoor took the billboards down:

That win fell apart just one week later when the billboard company--CBS Outdoor, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation-- took all our billboards down.

They sent a curt email telling us they were canceling our contract and refunding our money because "your organization has used the ‘CBS Outdoor’ name without permission" in email messages and in our petition thanking CBS for putting up the billboards in the first place.

Needless to say, this was a punch in the stomach.
In other words, the hate crowd tried to make it sound like CBS supported their message, and overstepped.

StandWithUs has more - and they are going to put up their own pro-Israel billboards in Los Angeles in the same locations.

Muslims upset at Putin's visit to the Kotel

Vladimir Putin visited the Kotel on Tuesday night:
Throughout the visit, Putin demonstrated curiosity, asked many questions on the history of the place, and spoke about the Jewish connection to the holy site: "You can see how the Jewish past is engraved in the Jerusalem stone," he said.
As you can imagine, Muslims were very unhappy at a world leader saying that Jerusalem has anything to do with Judaism. 

Hamas called it a cheap stunt, and the Al Aqsa Heritage Foundation said:
We say to Putin and his ilk, that the Wailing Wall is purely Islamic, and is part and parcel of the Al Aqsa Mosque, and non-Muslims have no right to the wall or in the Al Aqsa Mosque. All the historical facts and international documents confirm that the Al-Buraq Wall is Islamic, including the British Shaw Commission. Remember, the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque is 45 years old, and they demolished the buildings and around the Square unjustly for the prayer of the Jews, then carried out the excavations, including the excavation along the bottom of the Al Aqsa Mosque, and during the excavations many of the Islamic and Arabic findings were suppressed, not to mention that these excavations led to the cracks and collapses in the vicinity of the Al Aqsa Mosque and some of its buildings, and the occupation is engaging in Judaization of the place, and we affirm that all rocks the Al Aqsa Mosque and every stone of Jerusalem proves the Arab identity of Jerusalem.
Other Arab media pointed out that Putin wore a kipah.

Putin's Chat at the Kotel; The powerful Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit at the Kotel took an impromptu turn when a frum Jew called to him

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the Kotel in Jerusalem Tuesday night with an entourage of Israeli and Russian security personnel.

Originally scheduled for the afternoon, the visit was postponed to 2:00 AM due to security considerations.

He was accompanied by Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and his colleague Rabbi Alexander Barada of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. They were greeted by Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

At the Western Wall, the President offered a prayer and recited Tehillim from a Russian-Hebrew prayer book.

Despite the late hour, bystanders were still around and one of them called out in Russian, "Welcome President Putin." He got a smile in response.

Later, after visiting the Kotel tunnels, Putin broke away from his security circle and approached the man who had called out to him.

Leaning over the police barricade, the former KGB officer began to chat with the frum Jewish man who apparently is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union.

The man related the importance of the Kotel to the Jewish nation, and mentioned the Beis Hamikdash and Shlomo Hamelech who first built it.

"That's exactly the reason I came here - to pray for the Temple to be built again," Putin responded, according to a report on the Bechadrei Chareidim website.

"I wish you that your prayers will be received," the president added and warmly shook the man's hand.

A person who witnessed the 3 minute conversation, commented "I guess (Putin) is not as closed and tough as we thought."

Iranian Vice President says Talmud instructs Jews to suck blood of non-Jewish infants

Iran's first Vice President, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, told a United Nations conference in Tehran on Tuesday that the Talmud instructs Jews to suck the blood of non-Jewish infants, and blamed the Talmud for the spread of drug addiction around the world.
Mr. Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”

The “Zionists” are in firm control of the illegal drug trade, Mr. Rahimi said, asking foreign dignitaries to research his claims. “Zionists” is Iran’s ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” Mr. Rahmini said. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.”

What made his remarks even more striking is that Iran’s fight against illegal drugs is one of the few issues on which the Islamic republic can count on Western sympathy. Iran’s battle to stop the flow of drugs coming in from neighboring Afghanistan has often been mentioned as a potential field of cooperation during negotiations over the country’s nuclear program.


Mr. Rahimi, who spoke after Mr. De Leo, told stories of gynecologists’ killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews, adding that mysteriously no Jews died in that uprising.

He also said the Talmud teaches Jews to think they are a superior race. “They think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them,” he said. Halfway through his speech, Mr. Rahimi said there was a difference between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade.”
Read the whole thing.

The reports have described diplomats who heard the tirade as being 'shocked,' but the conference continued.

This sounds like the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, thousands of Europeans died in the Black (Bubonic) plague. Almost no Jews died, which brought on accusations like Rahimi's. Today we know that the reason almost no Jews died was that the Jews were constantly washing their hands.

It will be interesting to see how many anti-Semitic comments this post draws, particularly from Muslims.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

American Muslims Stone Christians

If any normal America can watch this video and NOT be infuriated with the brazen attack by Muslims in the middle of the day, while police stand by and watch, then you no longer deserve to be considered a normal American.

Reuters: It All Started When Israel Fired Back

Reuters headline claims that Israel broke the cease-fire while in reality Israel was responding to rocket fire. Article at Click on "Contact Reuters"to complain. Watch HR presentation 'Defending Israel Against Claims of Excessive Force" at

One Woman’s Voice and Story – and a Message for Israel

Ayaan Hirsi-Ali
Ayaan Hirsi-Ali
Photo Credit: Screen shot
At the recent President’s Conference in Jerusalem – though Shimon Peres and others spoke about the dearth of women in professional life in Israel, few spoke about the amazing lack of women presenters at the conference. I counted only about a hand-full, perhaps a few more (one estimate I heard was that less than 10% of the presenters were women). There was Caroline Glick, who was amazing; Dr. Ruth who was entertaining. There was Keren Leibovitch who defines the word inspirational, and there was Ayaan Hirsi-Ali.
Ayaan is a 42-year-old woman who was born in Somalia, lived in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. She is graceful, soft-spoken and beautiful. She came to the platform to speak and it was then you could see beyond the grace and the beauty is courage and intelligence. She explained that the first 20 years of her life were the complete opposite of the last 20 years. As a young Muslim child in Somalia, she learned three things that characterize that culture – the culture of Islam. She came to the microphone after Dennis Ross, former US ambassador to Israel.
She spoke after two American Jews had been to the platform to offer their opinions and knowledge of the Israeli-Arab situation. The night before, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres and Tony Blair all spoke about peace as if tomorrow it will come…if only we want it badly enough. Quietly, Ayaan spoke and without ever mentioning their names, she made these men sound like naive fools.
She never said it, but it was there. You cannot make peace with a society that does not want it; you cannot compromise with a people who refuse to accept that you even exist. Dennis Ross suggested one of the steps that the Palestinians must take is to simply put Israel on their maps – even this, they will never do because this is about compromise and, according to Ayaan, an impossibility.
These are her words, her experiences. People have asked me if I believe there can be peace. If I were to be honest with them, until now, I would have told them no – there can be no peace. Instead, I typically answer “if the Arabs want it.” That part is true. If they want it…
There are three things that characterize Ayaan’s Muslim upbringing and the world that she knew. It is amazing that days later, I do not even have to consult my notes to remember. Such was the power of her words and the honesty of her opinion. These are:
1. Absolute authority – of her father, of her Imam, of her teacher, of her government. Absolute. No opportunity to question, no right to question. You do what they say, always. She did not. She refused the marriage they would have forced upon her and in so doing, she lost her culture, her community, her family – and she sees where she is now and accepts she is in a better place, despite what she had to sacrifice.
2. No compromise – never. To compromise is to lose face; to be a loser. To be the weak one. The Palestinians will never compromise was her message. At one point, as someone on the panel was suggesting ways towards peace, Ayaan said something. I’m sure I heard it and perhaps can find it on a video somewhere to confirm. I believe she said, “Even if you give them Jerusalem,” and then she repeated it, “even if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace.” No compromise.
3. All that is right is in the Koran – and by extension, whatever is not in the Koran, is wrong. This means not only absolute power to the figure of authority, but absolute control of every aspect of your life.
What this means for Israel, was the silent message from Ayaan, is that you are in the Middle East. Just as she grew up within that world, Israel must accept it is firmly planted here. Ayaan was lucky in that she was able to break away; our country can’t do that.
True opposition will never succeed in the Arab world – the election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is yet another proof of this. In breaking away from one tyranny, they have simply chosen another – even more fundamental, even more extreme. Absolute authority, no compromise, the Koran.
In her quiet way, Ayaan spoke the truth that so many simply refuse to see. It’s right there in #2 – no compromise. It’s right there in the absolute authority – why young men move to suicide, why mothers accept this and fathers are proud of it. It’s all in the Koran.
Even if you give up Jerusalem, even Jerusalem – there will be no peace. If you know anything about Israel, about how much we love Jerusalem, you will understand her message. She came to Jerusalem, recognizing it as our capital, recognizing our love of it. Even if you surrender this city that you love, this place that is your heart – even then, they won’t give you peace!
To come to the President’s Conference where half the sessions seemed to be dedicated to discussing tomorrow and the roads we should take towards this thing called peace, and essentially say you are dreamers, naive and perhaps even foolish – this was a bold and brave stand to take. I have little doubt that most of the male presenters lack the experience, the bravery and the boldness of this one woman.
They spoke of maps that lead nowhere, compromises that will bring nothing. They suggested, cajoled. insisted, opinionated. They want to push Israel because perhaps deep down they understand that they cannot push the Arabs – no compromise. It was the truth of Ayaan that I wish they had heard – even if you cut out all that we are, even if you give it all, even we listen to your foolishness, even if we give up Jerusalem, they will not let us live here in peace.
No, it wasn’t a message Peres would be ready to listen to; not a concept most of the other panelists would have been ready to hear but it was one woman’s voice, her story, her truth, her past and her future – and perhaps, just perhaps, Israel’s as well.

Here, in Arabic and English, are two of the Saudi highway signs openly enforcing this apartheid and discriminatory policy

Rare Vilna Gaon's Gemara To Be Auctioned In Israel

A rare Gemara, with hundreds of hand written annotations by the Vilna Gaon, will be one of the items up for bid at Special Anniversary Auction Number 25 to take place at Jerusalem’s Kedem Auction House on July 3rd.
The opening bid for this rare volume of the Talmud Bavli, which encompasses the Mesechtas of Rosh Hashana, Taanis, Yoma, Succah, Megilah and Mesachta Shekalim (Yerushalmi) is $500,000.

The Gemara is one of the only known items bearing the handwriting of the Vilna Gaon in the world and the handwritten notations have been authenticated by Rabbi Dovid Kaminetzky, a noted expert in the research of the Vilna Gaon’s writings. It is listed in the auction catalog as being in good to fair condition, with signs of usage, minor moth damage and some staining, including drops of melted wax, which are consistent with the fact that the Vilna Gaon was known to learn in a darkened room, even during the daytime hours, by candlelight.
The Gemara, printed in Berlin in 1735, is described by Kedem’s website as the centerpiece of their auction and as “the most important and valuable non-fine art item ever offered for auction in Israel.”
The viewing for this item will take place on Sunday, July1st and Monday, July 2nd, from 12 noon until 8 PM, with auction h on Tuesday July3rd at 7 PM. Both the viewing and the auction will take place at Kedem Auction House office at the Hechal Shlomo Building, 58 Rechov King George.

Moishie Holzberg getting a bracha from the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Bnei Brak

Sackcloth and Ashes?!

OK. I understand the Charedi position with respect to army service in Israel. They are vehemently opposed to it. But a mass rally of Tehillim sitting on the ground and fasting as though it were Tisha B’Av?! As though the possibility of their youth serving in the army was comparable to the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash?! Calling army service virtually the same as worshiping the ancient idol Molech - where children were human sacrifices to be burned on an alter?


Lest anyone think I am exaggerating, I am not. This is how an article in the Jewish Pressdescribed the event that took place this morning. This is how it was advertised in headline coverage in 3 Charedi newspapers, the Yated, Hamevaser, and Hamodia. It appears that every segment of the Charedi rabbinic leadership has supported this rally in opposition to the possibility of drafting Charedim.

I completely understand why they feel so strongly about it. They feel that the draft has the potential to destroy the very foundation upon which Charedi society is built upon. They fear that once their young people experience 3 years in the army, they will never return to the Beis HaMedrash. In some cases they may even go OTD.

The environment of the army is a very powerful influence. It has been thought by some to be as much an experiment in social engineering as it is a defense force. Traumatized by the Holocaust and centuries of anti Semitic persecution, many of the founding fathers of the State wanted their populace to have a sense of unity and purpose grounded in the idea that we will never again be sheep to the slaughter.

Nor will we go back to the days of the Shtetl mentality where they believed such thinking was produced. We will instead be a strong and proud nation of Jews who can defend ourselves. And an enlightened people who no longer look to the ancient and archaic ideals of the Torah but to the new ideals of enlightenment where religion is seen at best as cultural and at worst as a bunch of silly superstitions.

All this Charedi angst is understandable if one believes this to be the case in the army currently.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is no longer true… if it ever really was. There may have been some who in the early days of the State wanted the army to produce this particular model of the Jew. But there was another model that countered it and proved to be the most effective fighting force in the entire IDF. These were the religious  Zionist sons and daughters who joined the army and served their country well, defending it - and in some tragic cases, dying for it.

Historically the most courageous units were the Hesder boys who often enlisted in groups and volunteered for the most dangerous combat assignments. There may be some who went OTD. But the army was not the cause of that. It may have accelerated it… but they were on their way “out’ anyway.

In the Hesder units, this was far from the case. The Hesder boys are dedicated to Yiras Shomyim, Limud HaTorah, and the physical protection of their people - including all the Charedim who were at that rally this morning.

But let us even say that Hesder is something they strongly oppose Hashkaficly because it is part of a Zionism that they see as anathema to Torah law. And because even though they accommodate religious observance - they do not accommodate the strictures adopted by Charedim.

OK, I understand that too.

But the government has a unit that does accommodate them. Via Nachal Charedi and Shachar, the IDF goes out of its way to assure that Charedim will be able to stay loyal to their values. If I understand correctly, the government wants to expand these programs to accommodate the greater numbers of Charedim that will now be drafted if the law is changed to a universal draft of some kind.

So with all due respect to the Israeli rabbinic leadership, how in heaven’s name can they compare the army to idol worship? What does that say about their very own Charedim who now serve in it?!

Nonetheless I still understand their fear, Even if the army were all Charedi, they would still be opposed to it for fear that it would destroy the system as we now know it. That those who will return to the Beis HaMedrash full time will only be a small fraction of those who are there now. But does that require that we say Tehillim as though it were Tisha B’Av? I can understand protest. But… this?!

In my opinion, if Charedim are drafted into the army under conditions that are entirely Charedi, that is a good thing. It will purify the process of Limud HaTorah – returning it to the pristine era where Yeshivos catered only to the most elite of students. Only those who are motivated to learn Torah full time will return to the Beis Hamedrash after serving their country. 

Only the cream of the crop - the elite – those who truly achieve great heights in Torah learning will continue to do so and become our future Torah leaders. The rest will continue to learn by being Koveiah Itim - setting aside time for learning daily while primarily being in the workforce and supporting their families – possibly even getting some training for the workforce in the army.

The entire community will fare better because of it. Poverty will begin to be alleviated and those who choose to go back to the Beis HaMedrash full time will be better funded - as their financial pie of communal support will grow while being distributed to less and more deserving - people. It’s a win/win for everyone in my view. Not to mention the fact that from what I understand Charedim will even be able to opt out of actual military service and serve in communal Chesed type projects – akin to Sherut Leumi for women.

So if I were in charge, I wouldn’t be calling for a day of prayer and fasting. I would be saying Hallel!

Shryim distribution on Tu Bishvat at the Belzer tish in Jerusalem 2012 - טיש טו בשבט בבעלזא צילום מהיר חימה

"Kids of Courage" New York Boys Choir feat

New York Boys Choir, one of the freshest sounds on the Jewish music scene, under the guidance of renowned producer Yitzy Bald, and film producer Danny Finkelman join forces with Kids of Courage, the famed volunteer organization that turns the dreams of children with serious medical conditions into reality by providing them with medically supervised trips, weekends and other events.

The song, Kids of Courage, is an all new composition written by Yitzy Bald for this project and depicts the solidarity between the boys of NYBC with the amazing youngsters that are the Kids of Courage. A Sparks Next production directed by Danny Finkelman and sponsored by Shaul Greenwald of Riverside Abstract, this inspiring video, shot in numerous landmark Manhattan locations including Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park and the Empire State Building, includes both NYBC, its star soloist, Jewish Star winner Dovid Moskovits, and Shlomo Skolnik, joined by several of the Kids of Courage and features choreography by the Zvika Bornstein of the Hamsa Boys.

Jew Hating Muppet; Anti-Semitic Elmo in Central Park

Member of Muslim Brotherhood's foreign policy committee won't talk to Israeli on television

Here's a video showing a panel discussion on the subject of Egypt's election of the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for the country's next president. One of the panelists was Gil Mihaely. a columnist for Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth. Following his response to a question, the moderator turns to Nader Amram, from the Foreign Relations Committee of Egypt's Freedom & Justice Party, which is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. See what Amram had to say about sitting together with an Israeli journalist, starting at 15 minutes and 10 seconds into the video.

Hundreds Gather in the Desert - Cry Out to G-d

Hundreds of Israelis gathered this week for prayers, dancing, and singing in what has become an annual event. “The Tza'aka” (crying out to G-d), an event where Israelis of all ages and backgrounds go out to an isolated areas and raise their voices loudly in prayer, is “communicating with G-d on a very basic level, without the need to dress it up with speech or actions. In essence it is like blowing a shofar,” organizers of the event said. “As a result, the prayers here are more concentrated and directed.” The events have genrally been held in the Judean and Negev deserts.
Eldad Eilat, one of the event's organizers, said that the event was the result of the need for prayer under unusual and pressurized circumstances. “We learn about the concept of crying out before G-d from the Exodus, where we see that the Jewish people cried out. G-d heard their cries, and redeemed them. Since then, our rabbis – including Maimonides, the Chafetz Chaim, and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov - have recommended that we conduct prayers in this manner,” he said.
Eilat said that the idea for the “Tza'aka” was born several years ago, when war appeared to be on the horizon. Seeing the situation, he and a group of friends decided that this kind of activity would be an appropriate response. The event was a major success, and as word spread several well-known rabbis, as well as hundreds of people, sought to participate. An event that was held last week, at the request of a well-known rabbi, drew some 2,000 people, Eilat said.
The events attract people of all backgrounds, he said – religious, secular, and otherwise. “There were many deeply religious people at recent events, many teenagers and young adults, well-known rabbis and individuals from the religious world, and some who don't fit any category,” Eilat said of the last event. “It is a wide-ranging crowd. What unites them is their caring and love for the Jewish people.”

Graduates Of IAF Pilots Course 2012 מסיימי קורס טיס למחזור יוני

בשבוע הבא יקבל דור חדש את כנפי הטיס. מאין באו הבוגרים החדשים, ומה עשו ההורים שלהם? מה הם בחרו ללמוד במהלך הקורס? הכירו את בוגרי קורס הטיס החדשים

After an Israeli Strike on Iran

How will Iranians respond to an Israeli strike against their nuclear infrastructure? The answers to this prediction matters greatly, affecting not just Jerusalem's decision but also how much other states work to impede an Israeli strike.
Analysts generally offer up best-case predictions for policies of deterrence and containment (some commentators even go so far as to welcome an Iranian nuclear capability) while forecasting worst-case results from a strike. They foresee Tehran doing everything possible to retaliate, such as kidnapping, terrorism, missile attacks, naval combat, and closing the Strait of Hormuz. These predictions ignore two facts: neither of Israel's prior strikes against enemy states building nuclear weapons, Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, prompted retaliation; and a review the Islamic Republic of Iran's history since 1979 points to "a more measured and less apocalyptic—if still sobering—assessment of the likely aftermath of a preventive strike."
Those are the words of Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, who provide an excellent guide to possible scenarios in "Beyond Worst-Case Analysis: Iran's Likely Responses to an Israeli Preventive Strike." Their survey of Iranian behavior over the past three decades leads them to anticipate that three main principles would likely shape and limit Tehran's response to an Israeli strike: an insistence on reciprocity, a caution not to gratuitously make enemies, and a wish to deter further Israeli (or American) strikes.
The mullahs, in other words, face serious limits on their ability to retaliate, including military weakness and a pressing need not to make yet more external enemies. With these guidelines in place, Eisenstadt and Knights consider eight possible Iranian actions, each of which must be assessed while keeping in mind the alternative – namely,apocalyptic Islamists controlling nuclear weapons:
  • Terrorist attacks on Israeli, Jewish, and U.S. targets. Likely but causing limited destruction.
  • Kidnapping U.S. citizens, especially in Iraq. Likely, but limited in impact, as in the1980s in Lebanon.
  • Attacks on Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Very likely, especially via proxies, but causing limited destruction.
  • Missile strikes on Israel. Likely: a few missiles from Iran get through Israeli defenses, leading to casualties likely in the low hundreds; missiles from Hezbollah limited in number due to domestic Lebanese considerations. Unlikely: Hamas getting involved, having distanced itself from Tehran; the Syrian government, which is battling for its life against an ever-stronger opposition army and possibly also the Turkish armed forces. Overall, missile attacks are unlikely to do devastating damage.
  • Attacks on neighboring states. Likely: terrorism, because deniable. Unlikely: missile strikes, for Tehran does not want to make more enemies.
  • Clashes with the U.S. NavyLikely: but, given the balance of power, does limited damage.
  • Covertly mining the Strait of Hormuz. Likely, causing a run-up in energy prices.
  • Attempted closing the Strait of Hormuz. Unlikely: difficult to achieve and potentially too damaging to Iranian interests, for the country needs that same strait for commerce.
The authors also consider three potential side effects of an Israeli strike. Yes, Iranians might rally to their government in the immediate aftermath of a strike, but in the longer term Tehran "could be criticized for handling the nuclear dossier in a way that led to military confrontation." The so-called Arab street is perpetually predicted to rise up in response to outside military attack, but it never does; likely unrest among the Shi'a of the Persian Gulf would be counterbalanced by the many Arabs quietly cheering the Israelis. As for leaving the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and starting an overt crash nuclear weapons program, while "a very real possibility," the more the Iranians retaliate, the harder they will find it to obtain the parts for such a program.
In all, these dangers are unpleasant but not cataclysmic, manageable not devastating. Eisenstadt and Knights expect a short phase of high-intensity Iranian response, to be followed by a "protracted low intensity conflict that could last for months or even years" – much as already exists between Iran and Israel. An Israeli preventive strike, they conclude, while a "high-risk endeavor carrying a potential for escalation in the Levant or the Gulf, … would not be the apocalyptic event some foresee."
This analysis makes a convincing case that the danger of nuclear weapons falling into Iranian hands far exceeds the danger of a military strike to prevent that from happening.