I found this interview with the Al-Jazeera Editor-in-Cheif Ahmed Sheikh on Little Green Footballs. The best part is where he blames Israel for hurting 350 million Arab egos...which results in tyranny and dictatorship in their own countries.
08 November 2006
Clueless, almost like the movie...but not as funny. The day after midterm elections. The House of Representatives has been lost to the Democrats and by the time the recount is finished the Senate will be lost as well. Maybe we can take a morning after pill and make it all go away (those will be legal under the Dems I'm sure).
There are many reasons why the Republicans lost both houses. The main reason is that the Republican Party lost its base and the Democrats actually came out and voted. The conservative base had certain expectations that were not met by the party.
The main concern for both parties would seem to be the Iraq War. The Democrats are playing this as a repudiation of the entire invasion of Iraq and the entire War on Terror, divorcing that conflict from the War on Terror. What is truly dissappointing is not that the Democrats have lost their bearings (they lost that map a long time ago), but that the conservative base lost track of the big picture.
There is a War on Terror, this needs to be made clear. Opening shots of that War started many years ago - way before 9/11. The United States and the world at large has ignored it in the hopes that it would go away. It hasn't. Democracts would like to play the appeasement card - give them what they want, maybe they won't bother us anymore.
Let us take a moment to define terms. Who are "they"? "They" are those who want to destroy Western Civilization. "They" are those who believe they are the ones who should make the rules for the rest of us. "They" are the ones who believe that women have no right to an education or the right to vote. "They" are the Muslims. Yes, I am painting with a broad brush. I have yet to see any Muslim anywhere in the world come out as strongly (riot) as they did when the Pope supposedly insulted them. Or when the Twin Towers fell. Or when pizza parlors were blown up (oh yeah, those were Jews, they don't count). Or when the London Underground was attacked, murdering 50 people. Or when a disaster did not happen - those dozen planes that were to be destroyed over the Atlantic Ocean. We can go on and on. I have yet to see one riot (that's all they do) in the cause of peace, reconciliation and understanding. I am painting with a broad brush because there is absolutely no reason not to.
Now that we have defined terms let us return to the midterm elections. Republicans wanted to see stronger border control, abortion laws made tougher, gay rights turned down and a return to a more traditional perspective on life in general. Conservatives didn't get some of these things from the Republican leadership in Washington DC. Many conservatives became disillusioned and upset, which is understandable. What is not understandable was by focusing on what was not done, conservatives did themselves and the country at large a huge disservice by not voting and not getting involved.
As a result we can now see what is to happen. The "alleged" War on Terror (as the Dems call it) is going to be seriously hindered if not stopped all together. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is in charge - how long is it going to take to roll back what HAS been accomplished: lower taxes, federal judgeships, the fence put up along the southern border, wiretaps etc.?
I was speaking to a lifelong Democrat this morning. He acknowledged that he was a Democrat but then followed that statement with, "but this is no time to elect Democrats." He is absolutely correct. He sees what is going on around the world. Muslims in Australia are told that if women are not dressed "correctly" it can be assumed that they are a piece of meat to be had. Muslims in Tailand are told that they are bringing in Sharia law for family and domestic law. According to the Guardian, "Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia..." These are only a few examples.
None of this is new, but what is to be done about it? There is a ray of hope here. Now that the Democrats are more than just a group out of power, they are now responsible for their actions. They can no longer be clueless about the world around them. All Americans have to make it clear to those in power that this is not the time to become isolationists. This is the time to fight. If we need more troops in Iraq than send them. This is the time to tell Muslims around the world to put up or shut up. If you are with us, than show us. If not...expect to see the United States Military in all its glory on your doorstep.
13 September 2006
Yes, the European neighborhood is changing. Who are the people in your neighborhood? Mister Roger's Neighborhood is a friendly place where everyone gets along and sings songs together. In the European Neighborhood this may not be the case... or is it?
The news out of the Netherlands (Holland for the rest of us) is quite fascinating. It teaches us a very important lesson about democracy. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner believes that the Muslims living in his country need more freedom to live according to their traditions. Now, I am not really sure who is stopping these poor Muslims from practicing their peaceful religion, but I digress.
Donner came out against Integration Minister Verdonk who had been upset with an imam who would not shake her hand. Donner believed that this sent the wrong message to the Muslims in the country, the message with "a tone of: 'Thou shalt assimilate. Thou shalt adopt our values in public. Be reasonable, do it our way'. This is not my approach."
As a religious Jewish woman it is a struggle whether or not to shake a man's hand. However, I must say that Donner has lost track of the larger picture. In order for the world at large to be safe, Muslims must assimilate into the culture around them. The Western culture that believes that all people are equal, not that some are more equal than others.
Donner goes on to give us an excellent lesson in democracy, one I would not have thought possible - although in todays European society, who knows anymore. "For me it is clear: if two-thirds of the Dutch population should want to introduce the Sharia tomorrow, then the possibility should exist." Really?! "It would be a disgrace to say: 'That is not allowed!'." How good of Donner to be so open minded. I sincerely hope that whatever group put him in power remove him immediately.
Adolf Hitler was elected democratically, then turned around and made himself a dictator. Does Donner actually believe that after Sharia law is democratically imposed on the population that the country will stay a democracy of any stripe? Has he taken a look at any of the tens of Muslim countries that are run by Sharia law lately? Do any of them look like bastions of democracy? Do women have basic rights... like voting? Or even more basic... the ability to walk the street without a male escort?
We know that the European Neighborhood has been changing for a while now. We have seen it recently with the Muslims in the United Kingdom who have those great British accents while planning to blow up 5-10 airliners over the Atlantic Ocean. We have seen it in the riots and destruction caused due to the horrible, terrible, disgusting drawings of the wonderful, didn't do anything wrong pedophile Muhammed that were published in the newspaper.
Yes, the Neighborhood is changing. The question is what to do with this change. We can move out (where aren't there Muslims?), sing along with our new neighbors (like Donner) or fight. Unless your head is in the sand (pun intended), you are interested in your women wearing a potato sack, or have an interest in freedom of religion, speech, assembly... or any of those silly things we call Rights in the United States, there is no choice. The first shots of the War have rung out. This War will be fought on the ground as well as in the ballot box. We must not let the Donners of the world destroy western civilization. It is time to fight.
14 August 2006
26 July 2006
The United Nations and Hizbollah are best buds. Check out the pictures.
Otherwise, all is thank G-d going well here. Tonight I went to a Breslover class/shiur. Very interesting points were made. The point that struck me was about finding joy in pain.
Mind you of course Simcha doesn't exactly translate to Joy, and Tzar doesn't exactly translate to pain, but it'll have to do. It's a very difficult concept especially when we're involved in the pain. This is my own understandings and spinoff of what he was saying since it was in Hebrew and I was doing my best to understand.
Right now we're going through a painful process here in Israel, but there will be an end. All of Jewish history/and general history will come to an end at some point. At that end point we will finally be able to see the point of the tzar that we had to go through. The rabbi speaking, Rabbi Doron, said that we do not fully understand Joy unless we understand Pain.
A metaphor that I think is easier to understand is physical therapy. My physical therapist put me on a bicycle and told me to pedal. Since my knee was not bending far enough to make a full rotation of the pedals, she told me to go forward as far as I could, then go the other direction. The stationary bike was not my friend.
A couple weeks later (going 3 times a week), I was moving the pedals back and forth (slowly and painfully) when all of a sudden I did a full rotation. This doesn't mean that it didn't hurt, but it did mean that I was getting more motion in my knee. I actually cried from being happy when I did the full rotation. I realized that I was progressing - up till that moment, the bike was my enemy, now it was my friend and nothing to be afraid of. I still remember crying at that moment.
I think that the same thing is true of Jewish history. My goal in PT was to get my knee back to 100% mobility and strength (I'm still working on it). It's easier to keep this goal in mind over a four month period than it is to keep focus on a goal over a 4,000 year period. We are unable to see past the pain of what the Jewish People have gone through and see the goal which we've been aiming for.
If I were on the bike in pain with no idea why I was there, it would have been a horrible experience (even with an idea it was uncomfortable). We need to somehow realize that the pain we've been through is for a reason. We don't always know why, but somehow it makes us stronger and brings us closer to the coming of Moshiach. Rabbi Tauber mentioned at the Shmirat HaLashon (Guarding Our Speech) gathering that we have more merits than we did Egypt when we were taken out. At this point in history we are actually in good shape, why isn't G-d redeeming us? Like the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, we're at the point that we're just shining the buttons on the uniform. We're a soldier waiting for inspection and we're just about cleaned up and the last thing to shine are the buttons.
It's time to love each other as Jews. This war in Lebanon has united the Jews in Israel and across the world like I've never seen before. Jews under attack in Haifa are finally understanding what the Gush Katif (Gaza) Jews went through when they were thrown out of their homes. Sometimes we need a push in order to properly feel for each other.
This is my take on one of many points he made tonight. Hope it made sense.
19 July 2006
Just came across these photos on Little Green Footballs, check it out. It's the anti-Israel rally in Dearborn, Michigan. Pay attention to the guy holding up pictures of Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader in charge of bombing northern Israel.
When you take a close look at the photos on Little Green Footballs, realize that there's also a sign in there with the flag (I guess) of Islam over the White House. Any questions?
In case anyone is interested on what's going on here, I am probably not the best source of news. I am located in Jerusalem where thank G-d it is quiet. However I can tell you what I hear.
To begin with, there is the constant sound of airplanes and helicopters going by. From what I know, there's an airforce base to the south of us, and they are headed north. From what I understand, since the time of the Israeli pullout of Lebanon (7 years ago?), Hizbullah has been stocking weapons and rockets.
Next, the religious community (the hareidim, the "ultra" orthodox) have organized round the clock psalms readings and Torah learning.
Something I heard from Mrs. P who I took home the other night, was that when she was walking through Geula (a neighborhood in Jerusalem) she watched and heard a car with a loudspeaker on top asking people to say Psalms for the situation that Israel is in. At the same time she saw a few Arabs standing, pointing at the car - and mocking the message. Interesting.
I'm also listening to the radio. While I do not understand everything they are discussing, I am able to figure out some of it. Most of it is dedicated to the war up north. They've been reporting from the cities that have been bombed, and even from the bomb shelters themselves. They have been talking about how people are surviving - how they live, go to work, pay their bills, and how children are handling the situation. Basic things.
Many families have moved south. This is a big deal since there are half a million people up north. Those who've decided to come further down need places to live and sleep. There are also those who are unable to make the move south for different reasons. Some are afraid to be on the roads - even to leave. One teacher of mine was telling us about friends of hers who cannot make the move since they have a son who is sick and is dependent on the machines that he's hooked to. He needs an ambulance to move him and even so gets really ill when he is moved.
There's a family (two parents and eight kids) from Tzfat/Safed that moved into the area that the school is located in. We've adopted them by bringing them food, toys, and taking them out to the park. But it's not even so simple like that. They came to Jerusalem with no money, and pretty much nothing else. They just left. The mother is shell-shocked. She's afraid to let her kids leave the apartment for any reason. She's started to let them go outside to the park for about 10-15 minutes and then they have to come back. She won't let them close the bathroom door since she won't be able to see them.
There are a couple girls who lived in Tzfat who returned to Shearim until things get quiet. One of the girls mentioned that intellectually she knows that she's safe, but she is still not digesting her food and isn't sleeping. Post-tramatic symptoms.
Everyone please contact your representatives, senators and other elected officials and let them know that they should leave Israel to finish the job in Lebanon and Gaza.
14 July 2006
Avi told me sooooo long ago to follow the Little Green Footballs blog. I finally this year began listening to his wise words - I recommend to everyone to do the same.
They pulled an article up from the Daily Kos, a blog associated with the Democratic Party. To all of you Dems out there... pay attention.
It's called Image a World Without Israel. Take a read. And if you're a Democrat, you need to seriously re-evaluate where your party is going (over a cliff) and if you want to be part of it.
I wrote an article addressing this issue back in 2002 published in The South End. It's not as strong as I would write it now, but it'll suffice since Shabbos is coming in.
13 July 2006
Today was the 17th of Tamuz, a "minor" fast day in the Jewish calendar. This day marks the beginning of the three week period from when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem till the 9th of Av, when the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple. Today is also the day that Tzefat/Safed and Haifa were hit by rockets.
Who could have imagined such a crazy thing. These are all places that I have visited over the years when coming to Israel.
I took the day easy today. I went to classes this morning, then came back to the apartment to hang out. We heard about Tzefat about five o'clock this afternoon. I have the computer here with internet and we (myself and my apartmentmates) sat and checked the news.
About seven o'clock, myself and the other girls piled into the car and we went to the Kotel/Western Wall. It was pretty packed, and at first I couldn't figure out why it was so busy. Finally I realized that since it was the 17th of Tamuz, more people were visiting the Kotel.
Davening/praying at the Kotel is always an experience. Multiply that experience by twenty when it's a holiday or special occassion. First of all I couldn't get all the way up to the Kotel, but I came close. Then I began davening the afternoon prayers (Mincha). There was a lady standing next to me crying.
She reminded me of a story I heard once. There was a young man who was at the Kotel who was really emotional and praying his hardest. There was an older fellow who saw that the younger man was really into his prayers and wanted to know if maybe there was something he could help the younger fellow with. The older fellow waited for him to finish and asked if he was okay. The younger fellow explained. Thank G-d my family is well and healthy. Thank G-d I have a job and a way to make a living. I was emotional because things are going well and want things to continue this way.
What I got out of this story was that we should not only ask G-d for stuff when things are not going well. We generally only talk to G-d when we are in need. We need to remember that G-d is there for the good times as well.
But I digress. While davening I heard some of the men praying Avenu Malkeinu, which is said on fast days. I had thought this was only said on Yom Kippur - so I had a very deep reaction to hearing it said. Then I heard some teenagers singing, Acheinu Kol Bais Yisroel (that all of Israel should be okay and those captures should be released. Considering that three of our boys are in enemy hands it's a really serious song) and Vl'Yerushalayim (that G-d should rebuild Jerusalem). It was very emotionally weird. Then I while was finishing praying with Aleinu (recommended reading for everyone!) the Muslims began their evening prayers. What a way to wrap up.
What a day. The time at the Kotel was heavy, but awesome. I was also thinking about this war situation. I'm not afraid and don't think that there's anything to be afraid of. My concern is how Jews are going to be killed before this ends. I know that HaShem is watching out for us.
What is interesting is that HaShem is always watching for us. Even when we can't figure out for ourselves the right thing - HaShem is there. When Ehud Barak tried to hand over Judea/Samaria to Arafat, Arafat said no and started a mini-war. When Ariel Sharon set us up for the situation we are in now - he ended up a vegetable. When Ehud Olmert began to seriously discuss removing the Jews of Judea/Samaria - the Muslims of Gaza and Lebanon decided to start a war. The cause and effect is pretty clear.
As we are now in the three weeks between the breach of the walls and the destruction of the Temple, we need to think about what we can do better. It is said that if the Temple is not rebuilt, it is as if the Temple were destroyed in that generation. Which means that if we don't see the rebuilding - we didn't do enough. The Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred. The question is: What are we going to do to fix the situation? We need to take on a mitzvah along the lines of Bein Adam L'Chavero (between people). What are we going to do to improve relations between Jews? We need to take on one mitzvah. We could even do something simple. Shamai said in Pirkei Avos (Sayings of the Fathers) that we should receive everyone with a cheerful face. Why not that? It's amazing what a simple smile can do.
I hope to continue to update as I know stuff, but all of you should know that thank G-d I'm fine. Please also find your way to Psalm #20, and ask for the safe return of our boys and all Jews in Israel and across the world should be safe as well.
With love of Israel.
27 January 2006
It seems to be that your ordinary person on the street is surprised that Hamas won. I'm not sure why. We know that Hamas is an honest group of people as compared to the PA. The PA is corrupt and everyone knows it. Hamas on the other hand has set up schools, hospitals and comes straight out when announcing that Israel will be destroyed. I would have been surprised if the PA had won. They have nothing to offer but more of the same. Obviously the "Palestinian" people want action and results and when given the chance they chose Hamas. We should not delude ourselves that these people want peace. They were supposedly given an opportunity between peace making and terror (although we shouldn't confuse ourselves that the PA/Fatah and Hamas are different groups) and they chose terror. At least the "Palestinians" are honest with themselves. The question is whether the world and world Jewry will believe them or decide to find some excuse for their voting results.
Nothing will change. Hamas and PA/Fatah worked together on the last bombing (Tel Aviv bus station). The fact is that now it is official that the "Palestinians" believe in terrorism. Rush Limbaugh made a good point. Previously when there were bombings and Hamas claimed them, the PA could distance themselves. But now that Hamas is the official "Palestinian" government - any attack can be seen as an act of war and Israel can/should conduct themselves accordingly. Will we see such positive action on the part of the Israeli government? I sincerely doubt it. As of this writing, Ehud Olmert, the acting Prime Minister says he will not deal with Hamas. Shall we take bets on how long it takes him to change his mind? If I were anyone out there, I wouldn't take that bet - you'd lose.