Friday, July 31, 2009

Obama only dumps on israel

Washington Post Notices the Obvious That Most Jews Strive to Ignore
Jonathan Tobin - 07.30.2009 - 3:19 PM
Jennifer is right about the significance of today’s Washington Post editorial, which points out that “one of the more striking results of the Obama administration’s first six months is that only one country has worse relations with the United States than it did in January: Israel.”

But isn’t it curious that the Post would, today of all days, choose to note what a great many American Jews have been working overtime trying to ignore: the hostility of the Obama administration toward the State of Israel. In the Hebrew calendar, today is the ninth of Av, or Tisha b’Av, the date on which Jews commemorate some of the worst disasters in their history. The First and Second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on this date. The expulsion of Jews from Spain was made official on Tisha b’Av, and subsequent persecutors of Jews, including the Nazis, also delighted in inaugurating new horrors on this day.

Many American Jews and other partisan Democrats have adopted a “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to the president’s signals, which indicate that he views the Jewish state as an obstacle to his ambition of improving relations with the Arab and Islamic world. Indeed, as the Post explains, Obama hoped that making public his disagreements with Israel would buy him credibility with Arab governments.

While not enthralled with the Israelis’ electing a right-of-center government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu a few months after Americans chose Mr. Obama, the Post observes something Jewish Democrats have been in denial about: Obama’s one-sided pressure has only increased the appetite of Palestinian and Arab leaders for more Israeli concessions and made them less likely to reciprocate. This is a familiar pattern. So long as the Arabs can rely on Americans to pressure Israel, they feel no need to make concessions themselves or take any proactive steps (such as halting terrorism and stopping anti-Jewish and anti-Israel incitement in their official media) to advance the cause of peace.

As Mahmoud Abbas, the supposedly moderate head of the Palestinian Authority, recently told the Washington Post, he has no intention of dealing with Israel. Instead, he will sit back and wait for Obama to keep applying the screws to America’s only democratic ally in the region.

By putting all the public pressure on Israel and none on the Palestinians, Obama has ensured that there will be no progress toward a two-state solution — a solution the Israelis desire more fervently than the Palestinians. Polls show that Israelis understand that the president is not to be trusted. His equivocal stance on the existential threat Israel faces from Iran further undermines their faith in Washington’s goodwill and reliability. As for the Palestinians, who are ruled by a feckless Fatah in the West Bank and an Islamist Hamas in Gaza, Obama’s distancing himself from Israel has only decreased their willingness to accept an independent state, which Israel has been offering them for a decade. Why should they give up their dreams of destroying Israel and accept half a loaf when Obama’s attitude toward Israel makes them think they can do better by standing pat?

Obama’s poorly conceived diplomatic endeavors are not a harbinger of a new Holocaust, and the rift between the two countries should not be exaggerated. Indeed, while the destroyed temples are mourned today, it should be remembered that contemporary Jewry has much to celebrate. But the threats to Israel’s existence presented by a nuclear Iran and the rise of a new anti-Semitic wave around the world, whose primary characteristic is hostility toward the right of Jews to live in peace in their historic homeland, are disturbing trends that should not be ignored. If even the Washington Post can realize that this administration has singled out Israel for ill treatment, it does not behoove American Jewry to ignore it. That is especially true on a day when the calendar compels us to remember past disasters.

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Farrakhan latest slurs

JUF condemns Farrakhan's latest anti-Semitic slurs
On Sunday Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan told about 2,000 people that the late singer Michael Jackson was a victim of “Zionist leaders,” the U.S. government and the media.

In a response picked up by wire services and local newspapers, JUF Senior Vice President Jay Tcath condemned the bigotry behind such venom and expressed surprise that despite Farrakhan's enduring anti-Semitism, "he is able to enjoy a certain respectability that is undeserved and unprecedented in modern American society."

"At this point, the essential issue isn't one man's bigotry, but rather why so many others who profess such opposition to all other forms of bigotry are willing to indulge Farrakhan's," Tcath said in a statement. "As much as Farrakhan has been a thorn in our side for many years now, the fact of the matter is that Black-Jewish relations have not been held hostage to this peripheral issue. Much important good work continues nationally and on the local level, especially here in Farrakhan's own back yard. The balancing act we must maintain is to give Farrakhan no quarter, but also not allow him to monopolize and therefore jeopardize the larger arena of Black-Jewish relations."

Obama's latest outrage

From Richad Baehr

Barack Obama today announced that he is presenting the Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson. So who is Mary Robinson? An enemy of Israel to begin, and the host and mastermind of the first Durban conference. This is like sticking a fork in the eye of a supporter of Israel. But I am sure the Jewish left will think nothing of it. Each time I see a foreign policy decision of this administration- on missile defense, disarmament, Israel, Honduras, on the Iranians crushing dissent to their fraudulent election, the question I now ask is this: If Hugo Chavez were the American President, would the action be any different. Far more often than not, the answer is no. . We now have Hugo Chavez running the foreign side, and Henry Waxman running the domestic agenda. Is this the change we can believe in? Our country is disappearing before our eyes, if they are open.

Author of Durban I Gets Medal of Freedom

Posted By Jennifer Rubin On July 30, 2009 @ 1:49 PM In Contentions | Comments Disabled

Mary Robinson, U.N. Commissioner and former president of Ireland, is being awarded the Medal of Freedom by Obama. Well, isn’t that just dandy. Who is Mary Robinson? You may remember her role in presiding over the infamous Durban I Conference. At the time she joined Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University (no, you can’t make this up), [1] this report summarized the objections to her hiring, given her record in overseeing the infamous Israel-bashing event:

Columbia has “become a hotbed of anti-Israel haters,” said the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein. “It’s especially astonishing that a school with such a large Jewish population would insult Jewish people by hiring these haters of the Jewish state of Israel.”

The groups also blame Ms. Robinson for allowing the Durban conference to become a global platform for anti-Israel venting. Ms. Robinson, as the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, rejected many American demands to remove anti-Israel language from final conference documents.

“Under Mary Robinson’s leadership the Human Rights Commission was one-sided and extremist. In her tenure at the HRC, she lacked fairness in her approach to the Israeli/Palestinian issue,” said the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, James Tisch. “I am hopeful — for the sake of her students and the reputation of Columbia — that as she enters the world of academia she will demonstrate more balance in her views.”

Recently deceased congressman and human-rights champion Tom Lantos had this to say:

Mary Robinson’s lack of leadership was a major contributing factor to the debacle in Durban. Her yearning to have a “dialogue among civilizations” blinded her to the reality that the noble goals of her conference had been usurped by some of the world’s least tolerant and most repressive states, wielding human rights claims as a weapon in a political dispute.

But Durban was not the only blot on her record. As [2] Michael Rubin pointed out in [3] this 2002 column, in her capacity as president of Ireland, she also happily provided millions of dollars of support to the PLO, which were used in terror attacks:

During the last four years of Robinson’s tenure, the European Union donated large sums of money to the Palestinian Authority. Ireland even held the presidency of the European Union for the second half of 1996. During this time, Arafat siphoned large amounts of European aid money away to pay for terror. Robinson can plead ignorance, but documents seized during the recent Israeli incursion into the West Bank revealed that the Palestinian Authority spent approximately $9 million of European Union aid money each month on the salaries of those organizing terror attacks against civilians. While European officials like Robinson looked the other way, the Palestinian Authority regularly converted millions of dollars of aid money into shekels at rates about 20 percent below normal, allowing the Palestinian chairman to divert millions of dollars worth of aid into his personal slush fund.

And then in her post-Durban career, she proceeded on the same Israel-bashing course that has made her infamous among supporters of Israel:

Robinson’s post-Durban record is little better. On April 15, Robinson’s commission voted on a decision that condoned suicide bombings as a legitimate means to establish Palestinian statehood (six European Union members voted in favor including, not surprisingly, France and Belgium). The vote came after Robinson initiated a drive to become a fact finder to investigate the now-famous massacre in Jenin (also known as “the massacre that never happened”).

There are no words to describe how atrocious a selection this is. But it does speak volumes about the president’s sympathies. And now, will the same voices that condemned her appointment to Columbia step forward? We hope. Somewhere, Tom Lantos is weeping.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Madoff

Leonard Abess Jr.

It is February 24, 2009 and Leonard Abess Jr. is seated beside Michelle Obama in the gallery of the Chamber of the United States House of Representatives, the guest of the First Lady, as her husband, President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in a nationally televised speech. The members of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the sitting Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States rise, face Abess and break out into admiring applause. They have just heard President Obama say:

“…inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn’t tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ‘I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn’t feel right getting the money myself’.”

Leonard Abess is Jewish. Why do I accentuate this? Because of the proclivity of those who view Bernie Madoff as that ‘Jewish’ fraudster. No one refers to Jeffrey Skilling or BernardEbers or Dennis Kozlowski as that ‘Gentile’ crook. So I choose to emphasize the Jewishnessof one who does good.

The City National Bank of Florida, the second oldest commercial bank in Miami, was established, with $500,000 of capital, in 1946 by Abess’ father, Leonard L. Abess Sr., an accountant and his partner Baron de Hirsch Meyer, a lawyer.

The senior Abess, who passed away in 2001, arrived in Miami in 1925 with $75 in his pocket. The following year he met Meyer at a party and that same night they formed a 48-year partnership with a promise that they would always return a share of their earnings to the community. Abess Sr. became a pillar of the Jewish community and a generous supporter of both Jewish and universal causes ranging from the University of Miami to theJewish Museum of Florida . He and his wife were named Miami-Dade County , Philanthropists of the Year for 1990-91 and both a boulevard and a park are named after him.

Baron de Hirsch Meyer was not really a baron but was a Jewish guy from Wisconsin . His parents named their son after the original Baron de Hirsch the noted Jewish philanthropist who was instrumental in securing the emigration of Jews from tsari st Russia . The absence of a genuine title did not deter Meyer’s wife from signing into European hotels as the ‘Baroness’ de Hirsch Meyer.

Leonard Abess Jr. started his career in City National Bank’s print shop making forms and documents and worked his way up the corporate ladder from there but he did not inherit the Bank from his father. The Bank was sold to an investor group in the early 1980s that in turn flipped majority interest to Colombian coffee magnate Alberto Duque. Duque turned out to be a crook who was convicted and jailed for defrauding 20 banks out of $125 million dollars by issuing fake bills of lading drawn on nonexistent inventories of coffee beans. Duque’sinterest20in the Bank went up for sale in bankruptcy proceedings from where in 1985 it was purchased by Abess for $21 million, all of it borrowed. He later purchased the minority interest in the Bank for another $6 million.

At the age of 35, Leonard Abess became one of America ’s youngest bank chairmen. Under Abess’ steerage, the Bank grew from seven branches with $400 million in assets to 18 branches with $2.75 billion in assets and consistently ranked in the top 50 of all large U.S. banks in terms of profitability and asset quality.

As the Bank grew so did Abess’ community involvement. He is20Vice Chairman of the University of Miami ’s Board of Trustees, former Chairman of the Board of Mount Sinai Medical Centre, member of the United Way Million Dollar Roundtable, Board member of The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and a member of its Summit Division, those who donate over $100,000 a year to the United Jewish Appeal. A devoted environmentalist,Abess has endowed millions of dollars for environmental studies. Following in his parent’s footsteps, Leonard and his wife, Jayne were named Miami-Dade County , Philanthropists of the Year for 2001-02.

Over the years many suitors had attempted to purchase City National Bank but all were rebuffed by Abess. That is until Caja Madrid , the second largest bank in Spain , came along and made Abess an offer he could not refuse. They would permit Abess to maintain a minority interest and continue to run the Bank, the jobs of all employees would be secure and Caja Madrid shared Abess’ philosophy of giving a substantial amount of their profits back to the community. And so in 2008, Abess sold an 83% interest in City National Bank to Caja Madrid for $977 million.

Abess had long dreamt of a way to reward the employees of the Bank who had worked with no promise of equity and whose 401(k) Retirement Plans were now ravaged by the stock market meltdown. He thought he would surprise them. He never believed that the Bank’s success was about him but rather was about the 399 wonderful, decent people who worked for him. Some had spent their entire careers at the Bank, several rising from low-level jobs to vice-presidential positions. “I saw that if the president doesn’t come to work, it’s not a big deal. But if the teller doesn’t show up, it’s a serious problem”, he stated. Some warned him that dropping large cheques on the employees was not a good idea but Abessdid not listen.

So, what Leonard Abess did was simply take $60 million of his ow n money and quietly hand it out to all 399 people who worked for him; clerks, tellers, bookkeepers, secretaries, janitors, executives, everyone on the payroll. He even tracked down 72 former employees so that they might share in the largesse. The amount each received was based on the number of years of service. The average bonus exceeded $100,000.

Fearful that his employees might misconstrue the bonuses as severance, immediately before the sale of the Bank was completed, in order to announce the payments, Abess made an online video explaining to the Bank’s staff that each was to receive a payment as gratitude for service and that all jobs were secure. Three days later, senior executives handed out vouchers detailing the amount deposited to each employee’s payroll account.

Abess didn’t publicize what he h ad done and did not make a big deal over the payments. He didn’t even show up at the Bank the day the bonus envelopes were distributed.

At a time when the heads of the American big three automakers were flying toWashington in their private corporate jets to beg for bailout money; when the senior executives of banks were taking obscene bonuses while their banks were failing; when the greed and recklessness of Wall Street was one of the causes of the economic tailspin, Abess, against type, was giving back. The actions of Leonard Abess Jr. stand for confirmati on that the days of Gordon Gekko, the “greed is good” character in the movie “Wall Street”, aredrawing to a close.

According to the ancient Jewish fable of the “Lamed-Vav Tzadikim”, there are at all times 36 righteous people whose role in life is to justify the purpose of humankind in the eyes of G-d. For the sake of these 36, G-d preserves the world even if the rest of humanity has degenerated to the level of barbarism. They are unknown even to each other and to themselves. If the identity of one is discovered, he may no longer be a Lamed-Vavnik and if at any time the number should be less than 36, the world will come to an end. While it may be okay to speculate who any of these righteous people might be, out of cautious fear of calamity, I dare not mention the name, Leonard Abess Jr. and

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Israel never better


An Israeli Speaks

Written by an Israeli named Dan Sporn 17/7/09
Jul 20, 2009 - 9:48:14 AM

Our condition, in Israel , has never been better than it is now! Only the television and the media make people think that the end of the world is near.. Only 65 years ago, Jews were brought to death like sheep to slaughter. NO country, NO army. Only 60 years ago, seven Arab countries declared war on little Israel , the Jewish State, just a few hours after it was established.

We were 650,000 Jews against the rest of the Arab world. No IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) or Air Force. We were only a small group of stubborn people with nowhere to go.

Remember: Lebanon , Syria , Iraq , Jordan , Egypt , Libya , and Saudi Arabia , they all attacked at once. The state that the United Nations "gave" us was 65% desert. We started it from zero.

Only 41 years ago, we fought three of the strongest countries in the Middle East , and we crushed them in the Six Day War.

Over the years we fought different coalitions of Arab countries with modern armies and with huge amounts of Russian-Soviet ammunition, and we still won.

Today we have a beautiful country, a powerful Army, a strong Air Force, an adequate Navy and a thriving high tech industry. Intel, Microsoft, and IBM have all developed their businesses here. Our doctors have won important prizes in the medical development field.

We turned the desert into a prosperous land.

We sell oranges, flowers, and vegetables around the world.

We launched our own satellite! Three satellites at once! We are in good company; together with the USA (280 million residents), Russia (220 million residents), China (1.3 billion residents) and Europe ( France , England and Germany 35 million residents), we are one of the only countries in the world that have launched something into space!

Israel today is among the few powerful countries that have nuclear technology & capabilities. (We will never admit it, but everyone knows.)

To think that only 65 years ago we were disgraced and hopeless.

We crawled out from the burning crematoriums of Europe . We won in all our wars. With a little bit of nothing we built an empire.

Who are Khaled Mashal (leader of Hamas) or Hassan Nasrallah
(leader of Hezbollah) trying to frighten us? They are amusing us.

As we celebrate Independence Day, let's not forget what this day is all about; we overcame everything.

We overcame the Greeks, We overcame the Romans, We overcame the Spanish Inquisition, We overcame the Russian pogroms, We overcame Hitler, we overcame Germany and overcame the Holocaust, We overcame the armies of seven countries.

Relax friends, we will overcome our current enemies.

Never mind where you look in human history. Think about the Jewish nation, our condition has never been better than now. So let's lift our heads up and remember that God is always on our side.

Never mind which country or culture tries to harm us or erase us from the world. We will still exist and persevere. Egypt ? Anyone knows where the Egyptian empire disappeared to? The Greeks? Alexander the great of Macedonia ? The Romans? Is anyone speaking Latin today? The Third Reich? Did anyone hear news from them lately?

And look at us, the Biblical nation ! We came out of slavery in Egypt , we are still here, still speaking the same language - here, and now.

Maybe The Arabs don't get it, but we are an eternal nation. As long as we keep our identity and belief in God, we will stay eternal.

So, sorry, we are not worrying, complaining, crying, or fearing.

Business here is fine. It can definitely be much better, but it is still fine. Don't pay attention to the nonsense depicted in the media, they will not tell you about our festivals here in Israel or about the people that continue living, going out, having a life, meeting friends, and praying to God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

weekly parasha videos

to see my weekly parasha videos go to


. AP – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem …
. Play Video Iran Video:Protestors Rally In Westwood For Iran CBS 2 / KCAL 9 Los Angeles .
Play Video Iran Video:Protesters call for end to Iranian rights abuses AP .
Play Video Iran Video:Iranians Dream Of Democracy In Their Homeland CBS 5 San Francisco .
By ANNE GEARAN, AP National Security Writer Anne Gearan, Ap National Security Writer – 1 hr 9 mins ago
JERUSALEM – Tensions between Israel and the United States over Iran bubbled up in high-level talks Monday in which Defense Minister Ehud Barak bluntly told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that "no option" should be ruled out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office subsequently described the talks as occurring "in a highly positive atmosphere."

But before that, the two sides seemed to differ pointedly over a potential military strike to thwart Tehran's progress on the nuclear front.

The visiting Gates urged patience, but Barak declared: "We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table. This is our policy; we mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position, but we cannot dictate it to anyone."

While the United States also reserves the right to use force if need be, the Obama administration is playing down that possibility while it tries to draw Iran into talks about its disputed nuclear program and other topics. Gates said Washington still hopes to have an initial answer in the fall about negotiations.

"The timetable the president laid out still seems to be viable and does not significantly raise the risks to anybody," Gates said.

The statement issued from Netanyahu's office acknowledged that "a large part" of the discussion here had been devoted to Iran.

"Secretary Gates stated that the U.S. and Israel see eye-to-eye regarding the Iranian nuclear threat and explained that the U.S. engagement with Tehran will not be open-ended," it said.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

positive story

Hello, Rabbi Jonathan.

I once again have to say "todah!" to you for our conversion. It continues to enrich our lives.

My in-laws are selling their home, and had a garage sale today. We assisted them. Our kids decided to help by building and running a lemonade stand, where they sold lemonade, water, pop, and even some brownies. This attracted a great many folks to my in-laws' garage.

My son wore his kipah the entire time, of course. :)

The best part is that our kids decided from the very start that all of the proceeds from their sales would go to charity. They decided that the charity should help orphans. They even put on their sign "all sales go to charity." This they decided all on their own, but the idea sprang from their tzedakah efforts.

Our kids have been generous in the past, but never more so as they've been since our conversion. Another great gift of Judaism is our ability to convey to them tikkun olam. They readily understand it when presented in a Jewish context, where before it seemed baseless and thus unnecessary.

The sense of duty our children have adopted - again, without dictate from us - gives me great hope for the future of the world, and the future of the Klal Israel.

Thank you again for a gift that will reverberate for generations to come.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shabbat Hazone

Friday, July 24, 2009

Best way to help Israel?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Jerusalem -- one city, undivided
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
July 22, 2009

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LATE LAST WEEK, the Obama administration demanded that the Israeli government pull the plug on a planned housing development near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. The project, a 20-unit apartment complex, is indisputably legal. The property to be developed -- a defunct hotel -- was purchased in 1985, and the developer has obtained all the necessary municipal permits.

Why, then, does the administration want the development killed? Because Sheikh Jarrah is in a largely Arab section of Jerusalem, and the developers of the planned apartments are Jews. Think about that for a moment. Six months after Barack Obama became the first black man to move into the previously all-white residential facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, he is fighting to prevent integration in Jerusalem.

It is impossible to imagine the opposite scenario: The administration would never demand that Israel prevent Arabs from moving into a Jewish neighborhood. And the Obama Justice Department would unleash seven kinds of hell on anyone who tried to impose racial, ethnic, or religious redlining in an American city. In the 21st century, segregation is unthinkable -- except, it seems, when it comes to housing Jews in Jerusalem.

It is not easy for Israel's government to refuse any demand from the United States, which is the Jewish state's foremost ally. To their credit, Israeli leaders spoke truth to power, and said no. "Jerusalem residents can purchase apartments anywhere in the city," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday. "This has been the policy of all Israeli governments. There is no ban on Arabs buying apartments in the west of the city, and there is no ban on Jews building or buying in the city's east. This is the policy of an open city."

Eastern Jerusalem, seen through the barbed wire that used to divide the city

There was a time not so long ago when Jerusalem was anything but an open city. During Israel's War of Independence in 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion invaded eastern Jerusalem, occupied the Old City, and expelled all its Jews -- many from families that had lived in the city for centuries. "As they left," the acclaimed historian Sir Martin Gilbert later wrote in his 1998 book, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, "they could see columns of smoke rising from the quarter behind them. The Hadassah welfare station had been set on fire and . . . the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing."

For the next 19 years, eastern Jerusalem was barred to Jews, brutally divided from the western part of the city with barbed-wire and military fortifications. Dozens of Jewish holy places, including synagogues hundreds of years old, were desecrated or destroyed. Gravestones from the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery were uprooted by the Jordanian army and used to pave latrines. Jerusalem's most sacred Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum. It wasn't until 1967, after Jordan was routed in the Six-Day War, that Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty and religious freedom restored to all. Israelis have vowed ever since that Jerusalem would never again be divided.

And not only Israelis. US policy, laid out in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, recognizes Jerusalem as "a united city administered by Israel" and formally declares that "Jerusalem must remain an undivided city." US presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, have agreed. In former President Clinton's words, "Jerusalem should be an open and undivided city, with assured freedom of access and worship for all."

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said much the same thing. To a 2008 candidate questionnaire that asked about "the likely final status Jerusalem," Obama replied: "The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement. . . . Jerusalem will remain Israel's capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided." In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Council, he repeated the point: "Let me be clear . . . Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

Palestinian irredentists claim that eastern Jerusalem is historically Arab territory and should be the capital of a future Palestinian state. In reality, Jews always lived in eastern Jerusalem -- it is the location of the Old City and its famous Jewish Quarter, after all, not to mention Hebrew University, which was founded in 1918. The apartment complex that Obama opposes is going up in what was once Shimon Hatzadik, a Jewish neighborhood established in 1891. Only from 1948 to 1967 -- during the Jordanian occupation -- was the eastern part of Israel's capital "Arab territory." Palestinians have no more claim to sovereignty there than Russia does in formerly occupied eastern Berlin.

The great obstacle to Middle East peace is not that Jews insist on living among Arabs. It is that Arabs insist that Jews not live among them. If Obama doesn't yet grasp that, he has a lot to learn.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recruiting for jihad openly in Windy City suburb?

Recruiting for jihad openly in Windy City suburb?
By Steven Emerson | Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international movement seeking to re-establish an international Islamic state - or Caliphate - and to indoctrinate Muslims into supporting jihad, wants to step up its recruitment efforts in the United States. On July 19, the group, whose alumni include 9/ 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and suicide bombers, will hold a conference titled "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Oak Lawn, Ill, a Chicago suburb.
For decades, Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) has operated covertly, holding these Khalifa (Caliphate) conferences in the United States under the name of front organizations. But that has begun to change. Last fall, the group issued a leaflet in its own name urging Muslims to boycott the U.S. elections. The group just released this video promoting the July 19 conference. According to the conference website, the program includes a question-and-answer session and two panels; one entitled "Capitalism is Doomed to Fail," the other "The Suffering Under Capitalism."
The conference initially was scheduled for the Aqsa School in Bridgeview, Ill. But the school withdrew, claiming Hizb ut-Tahrir officials "misrepresented themselves." An official said the group approached the school in late April claiming it wanted to hold a bazaar-type event in July that would involve selling traditional food and clothing. School officials said that when they learned the real purpose, they cancelled and refunded the group's deposit.
While solid numbers are difficult to come by, there is little question that Hizb ut-Tahrir's worldwide membership has grown substantially since the September 11 attacks, says Madeleine Gruen, a senior analyst with the NEFA Foundation. In 2003, estimates of HT membership ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 people worldwide. Today, by contrast, the group (currently active in more than 40 countries) has approximately 100,000 members in Indonesia alone and "many thousands" more around the world, Gruen told IPT News.
In the United States, Hizb ut-Tahrir's following is estimated at no more than a few hundred. The decision to hold this month's conference under its own name is a sign that the group is preparing to raise its profile. Once that is achieved, Gruen adds, its cadres are supposed to establish "an Islamic government and military" in order to take Hizb ut-Tahrir's message to the world.
HT seeks to fuse an ideology combining orthodox Islam, Marxist-Leninist economics, anti-Semitism and opposition to Western democracy into a political program to bring back the Caliphate. Despite its public rhetoric about nonviolence, Hizb ut-Tahrir has "precisely the same ideology and objectives" as al Qaeda, Gruen told IPT News. And HT has a much larger membership base to recruit from, she added.
While it refrains from carrying out terrorist actions itself, Hizb ut-Tahrir glorifies jihadism and excoriates the terrorist organization Hamas as being too soft on Israel. In a leaflet posted on its website July 1, HT said that if the Caliphate were in existence, all of "Palestine" would be rid of "the usurpation of the Jewish occupiers" and brought "to the fold of the Islamic state."
HT was founded in 1952 in Bayt al-Maqdis, a Jordanian-occupied suburb of Jerusalem, by Sheikh Yaqiuddin Al-Nabhani, a man whose philosophy had been shaped by the Muslim Brotherhood. After he concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood was too moderate, Al-Nabhani formed Hizb ut-Tahrir. After its involvement in failed coup attempts in Egypt and Jordan, HT was banned throughout the Middle East. It moved to Western Europe, and after the fall of Soviet Communism the group spread into Central Asia.
HT is obsessed with the purported evils of the United States, President Obama and the capitalist system. A look at its website found articles with titles like "Bailouts and bonus culture shows [sic] the corruption of democracy;" "Obama Offers Sugar-Coated Poison for the Region!" (a recap of the President's recent visit to the Middle East); and "G20 Leaders attempt to salvage the last vestiges of Capitalism." A common theme is that Muslims in Pakistan should not join with the U.S. military in fighting against the Taliban. "Fighting Muslims is a great evil, which only benefits America," reads one typical entry on the HT website.
A posting entitled "Obama's words will not hide America's ugly face of Colonialism" said of the President's speech to Muslims in Egypt last month:
"Although this appears a seemingly positive gesture towards the Muslim world, the actions of his government appear every bit as ruthless as the Bush administration. [Obama] differs only to the extent that, unlike Bush who spoke with frank hatred, he uses 'soft power' and personal charm to cover his intentions."
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesmen have emphasized that their organization does not engage in terrorism. They claim the U.S. and Pakistani governments seek to suppress the group because they fear its advocacy of "justice" for Muslims.
Critics say the argument is a sham. "The freedom and justice HT seeks by overthrowing democracy can often only be attained through violence," said Zeyno Baran, senior fellow and director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Eurasian Policy in July 2008 testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
In her testimony, Baran added: "HT is not likely to take up terrorism itself. Terrorist acts are simply not part of its mission. HT exists to serve as an ideological and political training ground for Islamists. And I have called them a 'conveyer belt to terrorism.' "
Terrorists who have been members of Hizb ut-Tahrir include Al Qaeda's Mohammed; Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, who was originally a member in Jordan; Hambali, head of the East Asian-based terror group Jemaa Islamiya, and Asif Muhammad Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif, who were recruited by Hamas to carry out suicide bombings at a Tel Aviv seafront bar. Read more about HT's record as a "conveyor belt" for producing terrorists here.
In a June 2001 article in its publication Al-Waie, Hizb-Ut-Tahrir issued a fatwa on suicide attacks which said that "all ways and means which a Muslim uses to kill unbelievers is [sic] permitted as long as the enemy unbeliever is killed." It is acceptable to "blow yourself up amongst their military encampments or blow yourself and them up with a belt of explosives."
HT has been banned in Turkey and Germany for distributing literature that includes incitement to hatred and violence against Jews. In a paper for the Manhattan Institute, Gruen pointed to one leaflet distributed by the group titled: "And Kill Them Whenever You Find Them, and Turn Them Out From Where They Have Turned You Out." It stated that:
"Jews are a people of slander. They are treacherous people who violate oaths and covenants. They lie and change words from the right places. They take the rights of the people unjustly, and kill the Prophets and the innocent."
The leaflet then encouraged martyrdom operations against Jews.
Despite the incendiary message, law enforcement's hands are tied when it comes to a group like Hizb ut-Tahrir, said Bob Blitzer, who formerly headed the FBI's counterterrorism efforts. "Preaching violence is not enough reason to arrest anyone," he said. "Law enforcement is probably aware of this group and is checking them out" to the extent that it can under the law.
The danger is that as a result of exposure to HT's extremism "someone on the edge gets radicalized and takes it to heart and commits a violent act," Blitzer said.
That doesn't mean the government is powerless. Given that Hizb ut-Tahrir conferences typically include sympathizers from numerous countries, federal homeland security officials should expect supporters of the group to try to enter the United States in order to attend the Khalifa Conference, Gruen said. The United States Code bars from the United States any alien who "endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization."
But in the past the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (the federal agency chiefly responsible for stopping foreign supporters of extremist groups from entering the United States) has been asleep at the switch when it comes to HT. In 2007, Hizb ut-Tahrir had a booth right next to the Department of Homeland Security at a conference sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America - a Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal government's successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
Dan Vara, a former attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florida, has been at the forefront of many key enforcement matters involving counterterrorism and counterintelligence. He says ICE has ample legal authority to prevent Hizb ut-Tahrir's foreign supporters from entering the United States.
"I would rake them over the coals on these issues" related to HT's support for the Taliban and advocacy of Hamas violence, Vara said in an interview.
For example, Section 1182 of the United States Code allows consular officers or the attorney general to bar from the United States "any alien who endorses or espouses terrorist activity or support of a terrorist organization." That section also provides that "Any alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible."
Hizb ut-Tahrir has a right to peacefully assemble and discuss whatever ideology it chooses. U.S. law enforcement, however, has a right to invoke the law and prevent foreign Islamists seeking to attend the conference from entering the United States.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

parashat matot-masei

Friday, July 10, 2009


new video Isaiah

Israel military force use?

Daily Alert:
The Gaza war was intended to impose substantial costs on Hamas and to deter further attacks on Israel. It achieved both; e.g., attacks from Gaza are down since the war. The same regarding Hizbullah and the 2006 Lebanon war: Look at the northern front and how quiet Hizbullah has been, and how weakened the recent elections showed it to be in Lebanese politics. Oslo didn't work; unilateral withdrawals, both in Lebanon and in Gaza, gave land but didn't bring peace. The status quo is not great for Israel, but it's tolerable. Risk aversion says keep relying on military power.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Iran and Michael Z'L

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Iran and Michael
What keeps me awake worrying:
17 of Tammuz is tomorrow. It is the day we mourn the Romans breach of the outer wall of Jerusalem in 70 CE on the way to destroying Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. This week we read the portion of Pinhas, where God gives Pinhas a medal "Brit shalom" for being zealous in defense of God, by killing Zimri, a prince of Israel who was leading Israel to idolatrous worship. The central debate on that story is when is zealotry laudable or not.

President Obama is in Moscow negotiating a huge reduction in our nuclear stockpile, and wants to be friends with them. That may or may not be wise. But is that the central concern today?

From todays daily briefing-his own head military guy-
U.S. Military Chief Warns of Rising Nuclear Threat - Yochi J. Dreazen
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies Tuesday that the "window is closing" for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran was likely just one to three years away from successfully building a nuclear weapon, which means that the U.S. and its allies are running out of time to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program. "Iran is very focused on developing this capability," he said. "The clock is ticking and that's why I'm as concerned as I am."
and Obama: No Green Light for Israeli Strike on Iran Nukes
The U.S. is "absolutely not" giving Israel a green light to attack Iran, President Obama told CNN Tuesday. "We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East," Obama said. "I think Vice President Biden stated a categorical fact, which is we can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are. What is also true is that it is the policy of the United States to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels," Obama said. (CNN)

Who supplied Iran with all the technology, materials and advisors to build the nuks? Russia and others.
Who believes our "diplomatic channels" will stop Iran? Save this email and after Iran tests a nuclear bomb a year from now, remember this. What is unclear to anyone about a regime that continually says, from the top, it wants to destroy Israel and the USA? You think they are kidding?

Here is my question prompted by Pinhas-Only 60 years after the Holocaust and wars against Israel 1948, 56, 67, 73, Lebanon, Intafadas, Hamas and Hezboilah missiles-what zeal are we showing in defense of our right to live? We talk and talk and talk, to ourselves, and Iran builds, builds, builds.

and what about the weeks' news totally dominated by the death of Michael Jackson-may he rest in peace. That is worth 80% of the coverage of the news? I must be so out of touch. Ok he can walk backwards in a cool way-they call that the moonwalk. hey-people actually walked on the moon-way cooler.

The main focus for me about this whole story was the amazing pictures of his face's physical transformation through all the medical interventions, probably being prompted to act to "remedy" the reports his dad telling him he had such an ugly face as a child. Contrast that with the story in Pinhas about the amazing devotion and strength of Zelophad's daughters to honor their father's memory and fight for what was rightfully theirs, even challenging God's law.

more on the 17th of Tammuz-hurry up and get your kosher burgers on dempster. iot's get's tougher for a few weeks now. Many Jews eat no meat from Av 1 till Av 9.

It marks the beginning of 3 weeks of mourning that the Jews commemorate because of all the calamities that befell the nation between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av).
This three week period is called Bein Hametzarim "between the troubles" and some Jews refrain from the following:
do not wear new clothes
do not listen to music
do not bathe for pleasure
do not shave
do not cut hair
no weddings
no drinking of wine
no eating meat
no long journeys undertaken

The three weeks begin with the Fast of Tammuz 17. This day is a fast day to remember five tragedies that befell the Jews:
1. Moses broke the first set of tablets of the law.
2. The daily offering in the first Temple was discontinued for lack of sheep. [Daniel 11:31
"...and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate."
Daniel 12:11,12
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days."]

3. Right before the destruction of the second Temple, the walls of Jerusalem were breached.
4. A wicked Roman ruler named Apostumus burned the Torah.
5. An idol was erected in the Holy Temple.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pinhas story daughters of Zelophad


17th of Tammuz

parashat Pinhas

attack on Israel Conservative synagogue

Fire blackened the entrance of the Masorti Yedid Nefesh synagogue in=
>The fire blackened the entrance mat and melted two plastic plants.
>Members of the community, which numbers about 40=20
>families, said that the incident comes just two=20
>weeks after a sign was placed on the fa=E7ade of=20
>the synagogue identifying it with the Masorti movement.
>But police said that fire was set by bored=20
>teenagers and that there was no suspicion that=20
>the attack was religiously motivated.
>The building, the community's first permanent=20
>house of prayer, was built over a year ago with=20
>help from the Housing and Construction Ministry and the Modi'in=
>"The damage was minimal but the shock is great,"=20
>said Naomi Dar, chairperson of Yedid Nefesh."The=20
>attack was definitely aimed against us," added=20
>Dar who admitted that except for a few isolated=20
>incidents, Masorti Jews always felt welcome and comfortable in Modi'in.
>But Supt. Yoram Barina, commander of the Modi'in=20
>police station, said that the arson incident was=20
>the work of "bored youths on summer vacation"=20
>and rejected the possibility that the fire was=20
>started by individuals ideological opposed to the Masorti movement.
>"This was just a prank by a bunch of kids who=20
>played around with fire," said Barina.
>Modi'in Reut Spokesman Elad Shimonovich said=20
>that an investigation by the Modi'in security=20
>department and Modi'in Police revealed that the=20
>incident was an act of vandalism by teenagers,=20
>and not an attempt to firebomb a synagogue=20
>motivated by ideology or religious conviction.
>"This is a prefab building that from the outside=20
>does not look like a synagogue and therefore the=20
>youths were not conscious of their actions," said Shimonovich.
>Chief Rabbi of Modi'in David Lau, who is=20
>Orthodox, said in response to the incident that=20
>"burning synagogues was never the way of the Torah."
>Dar said that about three years ago a group of=20
>haredi youths disrupted prayers and scared=20
>children of the community during Pessah=20
>services. Police detained some of the youths,=20
>who were ordered to apologize to the community.
>Dar said that in another incident, a former=20
>municipality representative from Shas publicly=20
>denounced the Masorti movement during a=20
>discussion on land allocation for the Yedid Nefesh synagogue.
>"But in general, the municipality and citizens=20
>here are very accepting of us. We never receive=20
>bad feelings from anyone," he said.
>Attorney Yizhar Hess, executive director and CEO=20
>of the Masorti Movement in Israel, said in=20
>response, "We are surprised and shocked by the=20
>attempt to damage the synagogue because Modi'in=20
>and the municipality is pluralistic, open and=20
>accepting and open to all three streams of Judaism.
>"It is difficult to tell whether this was a=20
>religiously motivated attack or pointless=20
>vandalism but we hope that this is a one-time=20
>incident that will not repeat itself," he said.
>This was not the first arson attack on a Masorti=20
>synagogue. On a Saturday night in June 2000,=20
>arsonists threw Molotov cocktails into one in=20
>the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, setting=20
>fire to the building's interior and causing thousands of dollars of damage.
>The firebombing had been preceded by an attempt=20
>a few weeks before to burn the front door of the same synagogue.