Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Headlines from the Jerusalem Post

Israel may follow Lebanese example and flout UN 1701Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev to Post: If Lebanon can't keep its side of resolution, we should reconsider keeping ours.
Suleiman meeting with Hamas on ShalitUS National Intelligence Director also in Cairo; Haniyeh: Deal "almost closed."
[ more » ]
In Washington: Olmert should attend the next Arab summitBy MJ ROSENBERGIt is absurd to believe that the Palestinian insurrection can be defeated militarily.
[ more » ]
Committee calls for law to govern sex selectionBy JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICHOnly three couples out of 124 who have applied were given permission to choose children's sex.
IDF reservist wounded in shooting attackTwo Hamas members killed in Gaza; Galant: Hamas building real army in Strip.
Nat'l alert at highest ahead of paradePolice to decide Wednesday whether Gay Pride Parade will go on as planned.
Katsav released from Hadassah HospitalPresident underwent series of tests; doctors find nothing abnormal.
Rabbis meet with Abbas on Shalit issueMK Rabbi Melchior: Abbas wants to be leader who signs peace deal with Israel.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Iraq Wants U.S. To Stay

We continually hear from those opposed to this war that the Iraqis don't want us there.
Apparently that is not correct, after all as we see from this article at Reuters

Monday 30 October 2006, 21:49 Makka Time, 18:49 GMT
Iraq is set to ask the UN Security Council to renew the mandate governing the presence of US-led forces in the country for another year, said Hoshiyar Zebari, its foreign minister.
Zebari said that despite differences between the US and Iraq over security, there was "no rift whatsoever" between the two over the ultimate goal of a democratic Iraq.
"We believe still there is a need and the presence of the multinational force is indispensable for the security and stability of Iraq and of the region at the moment."
"At the same time, the Iraqi government is ... willing to take more security responsibilities from these forces to do its part."
UN Security Council resolution 1637, which mandates the US-led presence, expires on December 31.
Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said last week that Iraq could probably ensure its own security in six months if the US gave Iraqi police and soldiers more training, arms and control over their own operations.
"We believe still there is a need and the presence of the multinational force is indispensable for the security and stability of Iraq and of the region at the moment."Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign ministerHe also said the issue of training and weapons for Iraqi forces, and the extent of Iraqi government authority over their own security, would probably be dealt with in a separate understanding with US-led forces, rather than through the UN.
Zebari also confirmed that Walid al-Mualem, Syria's foreign minister had agreed to visit Baghdad, possibly in November.
Zebari said the visit, the first by a Syrian minister since the US-led invasion in 2003, would be an "acid test" of Syria's attitude.
Iraq and the US accuse Syria and Iran of supporting fighters opposed to Iraq's US-backed government.
US visit
Stephen Hadley, the US national security adviser, met his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Monday to discuss military and political co-ordination, the Iraqi government announced.
It said Hadley met with Mouwafak al-Rubaie in his Green Zone office after a decision late last week to form a joint commission to co-ordinate US-Iraqi relations, especially on military activity.
"The two sides discussed the work of the committee which was agreed to by the prime minister and the American president and is designed to co-ordinate development of the Iraqi security forces, expedite military training, reconciliation among Iraqis and the war against terrorism," the statement said.
The US embassy confirmed Hadley's visit, but gave few details.
"He is here as part of ongoing consultations with the Iraqi government," an embassy official said.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jack Wohl Revisited

Jack Wohl was my friend.
Born in Germany in 1920, he attended school in Berlin until the rise of the nazis, whereupon the family moved to Hamburg and he attended Jewish School by day and sabatoged the German military, with the Macaabis, a Jewish Resistance Organization, by night.
One of the family photos that Jack managed to salvage from the desecrations and destruction wrought by the hun anti-Jews shows him as an incredibly beautiful young child of 5 or 6, smiling as his mother held him.
On the sidewalk, in the photo, was spray painted a large black swatztika.
As I viewed the photo, which I often did, when visiting with Jack at the rehab center where I worked as a Med Tech, and he was a patient, I couldn't help but
feel, viscerally, the agony that was about to be visited upon these noble and decent souls, of which they were so obviously unaware when the photo was taken.
Jack grew to young manhood with his equally dark and handsome brother, being affluent they dressed stylishly, they looked healthy and happy, but as the years passed, in the photos, I could see the change in their demeanor, from carefree youths, to fighters and survivors of a state turned killer.
Jack's family, in Berlin, prior to the Holocaust, were prominent in society and highly respected.
Jack's father was a surgeon, credited with developing, at the time, revolutionary techniques for saving his patients lives.
I would often sit at his father's desk while we talked, history emanating intensely from the finely crafted walnut roll top antique.
Jack became a wanted criminal due to his anti-Nazi exploits, but with the help of bribes, was finally able to escape, on a ship, from Germany.
"I watched my father from the ship as he got smaller and smaller in the distance.
I knew I would never see him again.
The German's murdered him.
They murdered everyone who stayed.
I didn't know this for years of course, and when I landed in New york and disembarked, I kissed the ground and said, 'Thank G-d for America.'"
Jack lived with his uncle Max Wohl on the lower eastside of New York.
"One time, after I first came to America, Uncle Max walked out of the bathroom, going to the bedroom, naked.
His wife and married daughter happened to be in the hall when he walked through, and his wife, Ilsa, caught him in the bedroom and said, " You pig! Aren't you ashamed of yourself, being naked in front of your daughter?'
and he said, "she's married allready, she's already seen it.' "
Eventually, Jack Wohl became the first licensed optometrist in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jack didn't make a lot of money, however, as he spent most of his profits buying matierials to make glasses for the poor, and mainly, the local Navajo Indians.
Every night, for 50 years, Jack drove downtown and served meals, at the rescue mission, to the poor.
While Jack was with us at the rehab center, a Rabbi arrived, and Jack and I would go visit him and the other Jewish patients, most of whom were old and feeble.
I would say, "Jack let's go visiting, do a mitzvah."
And Jack would respond, in his charming way, offhandedly, "A mitzvah, yeah."
"one day, " Jack said, "I was at a restaruant with my wife, in Albuquerque, and a man came over to our table and said, Mr Wohl, I want to apologize for what the German's did to the Jews, I ask your forgiveness.
I told him I'd forgiven the Germans a long time ago.
He was the first, and only German, that ever did that."
"Jack, " I asked, "How could you forgive the Germans, after what they did?"
"Hate destroys you, Michael, you have to let it go." He said.
"You can't forget, but you can forgive."
Once I knocked on the door of Jack's room, "Come in", he said and in the gloom
he was watching tv, the history channel, it was a documentary about the Nazi crimes.
This was the only time he ever seemed distant.
"I was there." he said.
"I can tell when they are showing something as it happened, or not.
I was there.
I saw hitler.
My father operated on Goebbels.
One night I was riding my bicycle and a group of brownshirts knocked me off the bike and beat me.
When my father was smuggling me out of Germany, storm troopers boarded our train
and took my father off.
He was gone for two hours.
When he came back his face was white.
I had never seen my father like this.
I noticed his gold watch was missing.
He'd bribed the stormtroopers to let us go."
Jack repayed the crimes of the holocaust by living a life of kindness and service to human beings. To the least of mankind he offered his hand and his heart.
As I stood there watching Jack's sadness, his face reflected in the glow of the television replaying the crimes of the German nation, I put my hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently, "Hey Jack, let's go visit the Rabbi, do a mitzvah."
He smiled, "Yeah, a mitzvah."

Jack Wohl, of Blessed Memory, passed away last week.
He will always be in my hearts core, in my heart of hearts, forever.
He was a mensch

Posted by Michael Blackburn, Sr at 10:21 AM

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Imam justifies rape of unveiled women. Australia's top Muslim cleric compares victims to 'uncovered meat' that attracts cats

Australia's top Muslim cleric rationalized a series of gang rapes by Arab men, blaming women who "sway suggestively," wear make-up and don't cover themselves in the tradition of Islam. Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly's comments in a Ramadan sermon in a Sydney mosque have stirred a furor in the country with even Prime Minister John Howard weighing in with condemnation. The cleric also said the judge in the case, who sentenced the rapists, had "no mercy." "But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he said, referring to the women victims – whom he said were "weapons used by Satan." The victims of the vicious gang rapes are leading the national outcry – with some calling for deportation of the sheik. In a Sydney Daily Telegraph online poll, 84 percent of people said the Egyptian-born sheik should be deported. "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?" the sheik said in his sermon. 'Remarks appalling and reprehensible' "The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred." A 16-year-old girl, whose gang rape investigation was the subject of a secret police report, issued an open letter yesterday. "You are a sad person who has no understanding of what really happens when these people inflict harm and degrading acts upon me or any other young girl," she said. Initially, the mufti of Australia would not back away from his comments. But today he apologized. "I unreservedly apologize to any woman who is offended by my comments," he said in a statement today. "I had only intended to protect women's honor." Howard said the sheik's remarks were "appalling and reprehensible."


Muslims often "protect women's honor" by stoning them to death in

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Excerpt..President Bush News Conference 10-25-06

Today I will explain how we're adapting our tactics to help the Iraqi government gain control of the security situation.Our security at home depends on ensuring that Iraq is an ally in the war on terror and does not become a terrorist haven like Afghanistan under the Taliban.Despite these early setbacks.. The Iraqi people elected a transitional government, drafted and adopted the most progressive democratic constitution in the Arab world, braved the car bombs and assassins to choose a permanent government under that constitution, and slowly began to build a capable national army.
As the enemy shifts tactics, we are shifting our tactics...
I will send more troops to Iraq if General Casey says, I need more troops in Iraq to achieve victory. ....this is a struggle between radicals and extremists who are trying to prevent there to be a democracy, for a variety of reasons. And it's in our interest that the forces of moderation prevail in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. A defeat there -- in other words, if we were to withdraw before the job is done, it would embolden extremists. They would say, you know, we were right about America in the first place, that America did not have the will necessary to do the hard work. That's precisely what Osama bin Laden has said, for example. A defeat there would make it easier for people to be able to recruit extremists and kids, to be able to use their tactics to destroy innocent life. A defeat there would dispirit people throughout the Middle East who wonder whether America is genuine in our commitment to moderation and democracy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Throttle the Radical Islamic Ideology

Radical Islam is enjoying an orgy of blood-letting around the world.
Here are some examples of their current hi jinks:

On Sunday, youths set a bus ablaze on the outskirts of Paris, then stoned police and firemen trying to put out the flames. Bus drivers refused yesterday to take to the streets of Grigny, south of Paris, in protest.
It was at least the fifth time in recent weeks that youths have launched an apparently concerted attack on the police and symbols of the French state.
"The attacks of the last few weeks show [the gangs] are well prepared and using military-like organization," said Gaelle James, of a police trade union.
She said gang members were getting "younger and younger, and more and more violent".
Across France in the first six months of this year, 21,000 cars were burnt out and there were 2,882 attacks on the police, fire and ambulance services.

Arab Killings In Iraq
(AP) At least two more policemen were fatally shot early Tuesday in the southern Iraqi city of Amarah, where militiamen loyal to an anti-American cleric have been hunting down officers aligned with a rival group in a new outbreak of Shiite-on-Shiite revenge attacks.
A U.S. military spokesman said there had been no word on the fate of a U.S. Army solider reported missing in Baghdad on Monday. Troops carrying photos of the missing soldier continued door-to-door searches while Army Kiowa reconnaissance helicopters circled overhead in the central Karradah district.
The missing soldier's name and other personal details have not been officially released. American troops who raided Baghdad's al-Furat TV on Monday said they were looking for an abducted American officer of Iraqi descent who had gone to join family members in Karradah.
"We have not heard anything," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an American spokesman in Baghdad, said Tuesday.
"We are sure U.S. forces are doing everything they can in the search."
A U.S. military official in Washington on Monday said the missing soldier was a U.S. Army translator of Iraqi descent who may have been abducted. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not cleared for release.
The American military announced that two more U.S. Marines were killed during combat in the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province. The deaths raised to 89 the number of U.S. forces killed in October, the highest toll for any month this year and on course to surpass the October 2005 total of 96. Before that the deadliest months were January 2005, at 107; November 2004 at 137 and April 2004, at 135.
Police captain Hussein Salih Hassan was killed Tuesday in a pre-dawn gun battle with attackers who forced their way into his home, Ali Challoub, an administrator at Amarah's al-Sadr Public hospital, said. A non commissioned officer, Ala' Ghlayyim Zned was killed in his home by machine gun-toting attackers at around the same time, Challoub said.
The latest killings in Amarah follow the murders of four policemen on Monday, which were blamed on fighters of the Mahdi Army headed by hard line anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Those forces appeared to have control of the southern city's streets after the police force dominated by the rival Badr Brigades fled. Although the Iraqi army set up a few roadblocks, troops did not seek to block Mahdi fighters.
The spread of revenge killings among Shiites in their southern heartland poses a new challenge for the Iraqi government and American forces struggling to control insurgent and sectarian bloodshed to the north _ especially in Baghdad. It also bodes ill for greater political progress; both al-Sadr's party and the sponsors of the Badr Brigades, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, are members of the ruling Shiite coalition.
The attacks came despite a public call by al-Sadr to halt the killings, suggesting that splinter groups were developing within his militia.

GAZA CITY,Palestinian Murders

Gaza Strip A Palestinian security officer was killed Sunday night in internal Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security officials said.
The man worked for Preventive Security, a security organization allied with President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction, the officials said. The identity of the assailants was not immediately known, but the officials linked the killing to internal Palestinian violence that has been raging in the Gaza Strip for weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
Fatah is embroiled in a feud with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the government in the Palestinian Authority. At least 14 people have been killed in street violence between forces loyal to the rivals. Early Sunday, a Fatah activist was killed in a clash with Hamas gunmen.

More Arab genocide in Darfur

Arab tribesmen killed hundreds of villagers in late August in the western Darfur region, the United Nations human rights office said.
Militia groups from the Habbania tribe carried out a ``brutal campaign'' in southern Darfur, involving ``wholesale burning of villages, looting and forced displacements,'' the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report published yesterday.
The campaign, which may have killed several hundred civilians, ``appears to have been conducted with the knowledge and material support of government authorities,'' said the report, which called for an independent inquiry. ``Government knowledge, if not complicity, in the attacks is almost certain.''
The conflict in Darfur, a region the size of France, has caused the deaths of as many as 400,000 people and driven more than 2 million from their homes.

To Palestinians blowing up Jews is much more fun than negotiating.
France is 20% Muslim.
Europe correctly fears becoming Islamic in
the near future.
The U.S., and Israel , which I call IsraelAmerica, is the last
bastion of freedom in the world.
When we entered Iraq we should have
killed far more people and done much more damage than was done.
But mistakes were made.
Nonetheless, we cannot lose in Iraq.
If we give up, cut and run, redeploy, or whatever you call it, the U.S. will not be
able to tolerate the slaughter that will increase dramatically upon our
departure, we will have to go back, and the situation will be infinitely more
The only way to win the war on terror is to
throttle the
radical ideology.
The war on terrorism is the Third World war, and it
won't be won by the U.N., which talks and talks, as they are doing in Darfur,
and when all the innocent are dead say, "Problem solved."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Timetable for Iraq?

Is the administration going to cut and run?
From the NY Times

On Baghdad Streets, a Police Partnership Falters (October 22, 2006)
Details of the blueprint, which is to be presented to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki before the end of the year and would be carried out over the next year and beyond, are still being devised. But the officials said that for the first time Iraq was likely to be asked to agree to a schedule of specific milestones, like disarming sectarian militias, and to a broad set of other political, economic and military benchmarks intended to stabilize the country.
Although the plan would not threaten Mr. Maliki with a withdrawal of American troops, several officials said the Bush administration would consider changes in military strategy and other penalties if Iraq balked at adopting it or failed to meet critical benchmarks within it.
A senior Pentagon official involved in drafting the blueprint said Iraqi officials were being consulted as the plan evolved and would be invited to sign off on the milestones before the end of the year. But he added, “If the Iraqis fail to come back to us on this, we would have to conduct a reassessment” of the American strategy in Iraq.
In a statement issued Saturday night, a White House spokeswoman, Nicole Guillemard, said the Times’s account was “not accurate,” but did not specify what officials found to be inaccurate.
The plan is being formulated by General George W. Casey Jr. and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the top military and civilian officials in Iraq, as well as by Pentagon officials.
General Casey has been in close consultations with the White House as the debate over the way forward in Iraq has intensified in recent weeks. And he and Mr. Khalilzad took part by videoconference on Saturday in a strategy meeting with President Bush and senior administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American commander in the Middle East, and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“We’re trying to come up with ways to get the Iraqis to step up to the plate, to push them along, because the time is coming,” a senior administration official said. “We can’t be there forever.”
Until now, the Bush administration has avoided using threats of deadlines for progress, saying conditions on the ground would determine how quickly Iraq took on greater responsibility for governing the country and how soon American troops could withdraw. CBS News has reported that the Pentagon was studying these questions, but the broad scope of the steps under consideration and the benchmarks that are being contemplated have not been disclosed.
“We’ve been coordinating with the Iraqis for months on a series of measures they can take to assume more control of their country,” the White House statement said, “and to form the basis for a national compact between all communities in Iraq on the way forward.”
The idea of devising specific steps that Mr. Maliki would have to take was described by senior officials who support the plan but would speak only on condition of anonymity. Their willingness to discuss a plan that has not been fully drafted appeared intended at least in part to signal renewed flexibility on the part of the administration, and perhaps also to pre-empt the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, a commission led by James A. Baker III and charged with formulating a new strategy in Iraq. It is expected to issue recommendations late this year or early next year.
The plan also moves the administration closer to an idea advocated by many Democrats, who have called for setting a date for beginning phased withdrawals of American troops from Iraq as a way to compel Iraq’s government to resolve its internal divisions and take on more responsibility.
Frustration is growing among senior American military officers and civilian officials in Iraq and at the Pentagon with Mr. Maliki for his failure to move decisively against Shiite militias and on a wide range of other fronts. Even the implied threat that the administration would reassess its presence in Iraq may not be enough, senior officials said.
In Baghdad, Iraqi leaders have been watching the discussions carefully and expressing uneasiness over the growing political pressure in the United States for a troop pullout.
Tensions between Washington and Baghdad reached a new point on Monday when Mr. Maliki, who took office in May, used a telephone call with Mr. Bush to seek assurances that the United States did not intend to oust him. The White House said after the call that Mr. Bush had pledged full support for the Iraqi.
Mr. Rumsfeld alluded to discussions about benchmarks on Friday at a Pentagon news conference, noting that Mr. Khalilzad and General Casey “are currently working with the Iraqi government to develop a set of projections as to when they think they can pass off various pieces of responsibility.”
He emphasized the urgency of transferring more security and governing responsibilities to the Iraqis. “It’s their country,” he said. “They’re going to have to govern it, they’re going to have to provide security for it, and they’re going to have to do it sooner rather than later.”

Friday, October 20, 2006

Court Upholds Kahane Chai's Designation as Terrorist

By JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 18, 2006

A federal appeals court in Washington has upheld the State Department's designation of a militant Jewish group, Kahane Chai, as a terrorist organization.

In a unanimous ruling yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found "substantial support" for the State Department¹s action in 2004 reaffirming its ban on the group.

Judge Douglas Ginsburg cited Kahane Chai's "glorification" of a 1994 attack on the Tomb of the Patriarchs, also known as the Mosque of Abraham, in the West Bank town of Hebron. In the assault, an American-born Jew, Baruch Goldstein, killed 29 Arab worshippers.

Judge Ginsburg said the secretary of state who reaffirmed the designation, Colin Powell, acted reasonably because of evidence linking Kahane Chai to death threats against Israeli police officers and a prime minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon.

The panel, which included Judges David Sentelle and Stephen Williams, said its assessment of the evidence against Kahane Chai was circumscribed by precedents that preclude any judicial verification of the claims against the group. "We make no judgment as to the accuracy of the information in the record," Judge Ginsburg wrote. "We do not invalidate a designation simply because it is logically possible that the secretary's conclusion might be wrong."

Kahane Chai was founded in the wake of the 1990 assassination of the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. Both groups called for the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.

An attorney for Kahane Chai, Kenneth Klein, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment for this article.

The court also upheld a new terrorist designation for a Web site — www.Kahane.org. The judges said the site was registered to a "chameleon-like" Kahane Chai leader, Michael Guzovsky.

Americans are banned from knowingly donating to designated terrorist groups, and American financial institutions may not hold funds for such groups. The court said such restraints, even on the Kahane Web site, "do not violate its First Amendment right to speak."

New York Sun

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spielberg presents documentary about Babi Yar

KIEV, Ukraine

Steven Spielberg on Wednesday presented a documentary about the Nazi massacre of tens of thousands of Jews at the Babi Yar ravine in Ukraine, several weeks after Ukraine marked the 65th anniversary of the tragedy.

The film by Ukrainian director Serhiy Bukovsky, 'Spell Your Name,' for which Spielberg worked as co-executive producer, contains the testimony of Jewish survivors who escaped brutal execution and those who rescued friends and neighbors during the Holocaust.

"The stories and experience of survivors in Ukraine need to be seen and heard by the people of the world, who may not know what happened in Ukraine during the Holocaust," Spielberg said at a news conference.

The film was produced by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, a Los Angeles-based organization founded by Spielberg in 1994.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

He's Ba--aack!

The man who Geraldo Rivera calls "a creep, sleazy, anti-Semite" appeared on Good Morning America Oct 13th, continuing his P.R. campaign that began with his recent DUI arrest, the goal of which seems to be to pave the way for acceptance of the release of his latest film due out late this month.
After saying that the anit-Jew comments he made were just drunken ramblings, and didn't represent his true views, and that the statement he made to arresting officers that "Jews cause all the wars", was not something he really believed, he admitted that he did have "pent up anger" resulting from criticism of his version of the "Passion Play" as being anti-Semitic.
He said, "I received a lot of brutal attacks from Jews, and not one apology."
He also stated that he was "angry" about the "Jews activities" during the conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebonan.

In a related story, Bill O'reilly, Fox News right wing commentator, (who recently settled a sexual harassment case out of court) defended Gibson and said that Geraldo should forgive Gibson because, in his words, to Geraldo, "You are a Jew Catholic."
O'Reilly also expressed his view that negative criticism directed against Gibson's father was unfair.
Gibson's father, you may recall, in denying that the Holocaust actually occurred, said, " Six million Jews weren't murdered in Germany, they just moved to Florida."
Although, at the time, Gibson didn't address that comment, he did say he "would punch anyone in the mouth" who said his father was a liar.
I actually emailed Gibson at the time, and wrote, "Mel Gibson, you are an unrepentant anti-Jew. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Oh, and your father is a liar.
I've enclosed my phone number so you can call me and we can meet at the local boxing club so you can punch me in the mouth, if you are able."
Surprisingly, he never called.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I first met Ilser Adler in 2002.
Her apartment was dark and atmospheric, with rich polished walnut, mahagony and cherry wood tables and chairs.
A brilliant lady, she escaped from Nazi Germany in the 40's.
She spoke 7 languages fluently, including Yiddish and Hebrew.
Ilsa was non-religious, but she loved the Jewish people.
She observed the Holy Days because she felt the tradition was important for continuity of her people's culture.
There was a reform synagogue in midtown that I felt had the kind of atmosphere that I thought would be perfect for her, but I could never persuade her to go.
"Well," I ventured finally, "There's a conservative synagogue just a few blocks from here.
Let's you and I go there Saturday."
She wouldn't come, however.
"Why won't you go to Shul, Ilse?" I asked her.
She leaned back in her burgundy, overstuffed chair and said, "Michael, let me tell you this little story."
I got comfortable in a chair facing her and started to light my meerschaum.
She smiled and touched my hand, "Don't smoke, Michael, it's bad for you."
I put the pipe down and listened as she began her little story.
"In the Old country, Bert the tailor's son was coming home from Berlin, from the university, where he had studied medicine. His father could hardly wait.
'My Son, the Doctor! Here he will have plenty of patients, now people could get sick whenever they felt like it!"
The doctor came home on Friday.
Saturday morning his father wanted him to go to shul.
"I'm not going, Tatte," said his son.
"Why not?" exclaimed his father. "You are ashamed to be seen with me ? Now that you're a doctor you don't have to pray or praise G-d? Maybe you are tired, or sick, G-d forbid."
"No, Tatte, I'll tell you why I won't go, however. Imagine that you are the richest man who ever lived.
So rich that a few rubles here or there doesn't matter to you at all. You are a wealthy man.
Now imagine that a widow lives across the street from you, and she has children, and they need help.
What would you do?"
"I'd help her of course,"
"I'm sure you would. But would you wait until the widow came and begged for help? Cried her heart out? Fainted for you?"
"G-d forbid! If I knew, why would I wait?"
"And G-d" says the doctor, "Is he better or worse than you? If He is better, he already knows that poor sickly people need help, and He doesn't wait for them to come and beg him."
"You mean about praising him?"
"That too..."
"Well, Tatte, how would you like it if someone came up and praised you to your face, saying, 'what a good tailor! What a fine tailor! The one and only tailor in the world!"
"Stop, already." interrupts the old man. "I'm getting nauseous just from..."
"Sure you are. And you know why? Because you are not a fool who enjoys someone praising him in this way.
G-d is wiser than we are, He needs our praise? He needs someone to stand before him three times a day and say, 'a good tailor! A fine tailor!'
A good G-d, a fine G-d, one who created heaven and earth, you think he doesn't know better?"
The old man thought about it for a moment, then suddenly bounced out of his chair.
"Everything you say is true, Son, but a person still has to Daven, doesn't he?"

"Now do you understand, Michael?" Ilse asked gently.
I smiled back, "I understand, Ilse."
"We'll have coffee." she said.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

News From Israel

With all of the Islamic murders occurring in Iraq and
Afganistan things seem to have quieted down at least temporarily in Eretz Israel.

Thank G-d.

5,000 evangelical Christians march for Israel in Jerusalem By Reuters More than 5,000 evangelical Christians, including believers from as far afield as Congo and New Zealand, marched through Jerusalem Tuesday to voice their support for Zionism and the state of Israel.
"After the war, we wanted even more for the people of Israel to know that we are not afraid. God wanted us to come to show them we love them," said Jan Christianson, 61, who came from New Zealand with her husband.
The pilgrims, many of them wearing t-shirts bearing the slogan "Israel, you are in our hearts," were welcomed on Sunday with a message from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"This is the city God has chosen to be the capital of the Jewish people and it will remain the capital of the Jewish people," the recorded message said. In response, the crowd applauded and shouted in Hebrew: "The nation of Israel lives!"

First rabbis are ordained in Germany since the Holocaust ...
Three men were ordained as rabbis in Germany this week, the first to be confirmed in the country since the Nazis destroyed the College of Jewish Studies in Berlin during World War II.

New rabbis Daniel Alter, 47, of Germany, Thomas Cucera, 35, of the Czech Republic, and Malcolm Matitiani, 38, of South Africa are the first ordained graduates of Abraham Geiger College, which opened in 1999.

For many German Jews, the event, held at Dresden’s new synagogue, is a symbol of the rebirth of Jewish life in Germany, where more than 500,000 Jews lived before the Holocaust. Many emigrated and 200,000 were killed at Nazi hands, and after the war between only 10 and 15,000 were left in the country. Today, more than 100,000 Jews live throughout Germany.

New Year honey sales expected to top NIS 55 million ...
Israel’s honey sales are expected to top NIS 55 million this New Year, making up about half of the sales for the year in total, according to a Federation of Israeli Chamber of Commerce survey.

1900 tons of honey are sold in the month before the holiday, with 15% in gift baskets. Israelis consume one half kilogram per capita each year, which is 25% more than in Europe and the US.

The honey harvest is expected to lose between 100 and 200 tons this year due to recent war activity and agricultural fires.

Magal to install security system along northern border ...
Magal Security Systems plans to install a perimeter intrusion detection system along Israel’s northern border, with completion scheduled for early 2007.

The Israeli Defense Ministry will provide about $5.5 million for the project.

Magal’s systems “are currently protecting the majority of Israel’s borders,” according to the company’s CEO, Izhar Dekel.

Shots fired at Oslo synagogue ...
In Norway shots were fired at the Oslo synagogue. No one was wounded. Apparently the shots were fired from a passing car.

The synagogue is located next to the municipality and is the only synagogue in the capital.The building's facade was hit by the shots.

Since the outbreak of war in Lebanon attitudes towards Jews in Norway have deteriorated. About 1,200 Jews live in Norway, mostly in Oslo with an additional 500 Israelis located through out the country.

Minor earthquake shakes Israel ...
A magitude 4 earthquake was felt across Israel on Sunday morning. There were no injuries or damage reported. Jerusalem residents felt the tremor and reported seeing their coffee and chairs move.

Eight days prior, a light earthquake was felt in Jerusalem as well as one several months ago.


Saturday, October 7, 2006

Todays News

Sat, 07 Oct 2006 19:23:00 GMT
[ See All ]
Peace Journalism Oct 7 2006 5:08PM GMT
Daily India Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Assad: Syria preparing for Israeli attack
OptusNet Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Lebanese PM urges UN action over Israeli flights
Daily India Oct 7 2006 4:37PM GMT
Israeli troops foil Palestinian bombing
Gulf Times Oct 7 2006 4:24PM GMT
US promises receive a cold response from Palestinians
Jerusalem Post Oct 7 2006 4:24PM GMT
Breaking point for Israel, PA talks
Gulf Times Oct 7 2006 4:22PM GMT
Haniya defiant on Israel, hits out at 'diktats'
Yahoo! Singapore News Oct 7 2006 4:08PM GMT
Enough evidence to charge Israel president: police

Israel Insider

Friday, October 6, 2006

Secular Judaism

Secular Judaism has existed as an alternative form of Jewish life for over two hundred years. A major impetus for this has been the Shoah, but the roots go far back in history. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. the priesthood eclipsed and rabbinical Judaism became ascendant. Rabbinical Judaism, i.e., faith based on Torah study and interpretation as well as Halachic rulings are credited with keeping the Jewish people together during the Diaspora. In the 12th century Maimonides produced the Mishna Torah, a rational analysis of revelation. A towering intellect, Maimonides writings and philosophy had a major impact not only on Judaism but on Christian dogma and Renaissance thought in general.
In the 17th century Baruch Spinoza took up where Maimonides left off.
A major issue for Spinoza was what he considered to be a rational relationship with G-d. Spinoza argued that the Tanakh should be read as a method of understanding Jewish belief at successive stages of development.
He wrote, "Knowledge of G-d is not based on books but on the idea transmitted to the prophets of the Divine Mind," i.e. "obedience to G-d and and the practice of justice and charity. His views were seen as opposition to Rabbinic authority and in religious court he was excommunicated. Yet so overwhelming was his intellectual power that his work is considered to be the foundation of the philosophies of Descartes, Newton, Locke, Voltaire and Kant, each of whom in their own way followed in Spinoza's tracks. Zionism is considered by many to be the intellectual prodigy of Maimonides, Spinoza and Mendelssohn(the father of Jewish Enlightenment).
Although none of these thinkers were secular, they are widely credited with providing the intellectual foundation of secular thought.
From the 19th century onwards more and more Jews began to equate Judaism not with Religion but with a culture, a way of life.
Secular Jews believe in reason and reality, that is, the power of humans to solve their problems.
They believe that every human being deserves life, freedom and dignity.
They believe in the value of Jewish identity, separation of church and state as well as the survival of the state of Israel.
The question then is whether secular Judaism is a threat to the continued existence of the Jews, a positive development, or merely another expression of variation among the Jewish people.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Arab Criminals keep Hostage

GAZA, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Palestinian militants who seized an Israeli soldier in June warned Israel on Monday against trying to free him by force, and Egypt said Gilad Shalit's captors had rejected a deal to swap him for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
The militants, known as the Popular Resistance Committees, said stalled talks aimed at freeing Corporal Shalit had resumed but offered no details.
"If the Zionist enemy decided to enter Gaza in a large scale raid, the file of the soldier may get closed again," said Popular Resistance Committees spokesman Abu Mujahed.
"If they enter Gaza and kill people or even if they eliminate all Gazans, they will never regain their soldier."
Egypt said it had secured agreement with Israel for a prisoner swap but the militants had turned it down.
"Egypt succeeded in securing a swap deal with Israel to free (Palestinian) women, children, elders and those who have been serving long prison terms in exchange for the soldier," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television in an interview aired on Monday.
"A deal that could have guaranteed freeing 900-1,000 prisoners -- but sadly they have decided to keep holding him (Shalit)," said Aboul Gheit.
Egypt has been trying to broker a deal for the release of Shalit, who was seized in a cross-border raid from the southern Gaza Strip on June 25.
Israel responded by launching a ground offensive which has killed more than 220 Palestinians.
Abu Mujahed, whose group was one of three that took Shalit, said Egyptian-mediated talks on a swap had recently resumed.
"Contacts may have stopped at one stage but they have been resumed recently ... We have just demands. If these demands are not met, there will be no solution to this issue," he said.
A source close to the Shalit negotiations said: "Egyptian efforts and contacts with the factions are continuing".
Israel's top general, Dan Halutz, said on Sunday Israel could step up military action in the Gaza Strip to halt rocket fire at the Jewish state.
"We will have to find a military means to reduce the rocket fire on Sderot," Halutz told Israel Radio, naming the southern Israeli city frequently struck by rockets fired from Gaza.
Asked what more the army could do, Halutz replied: "For example a more continued and deeper ground action ... we are holding consultations about this."
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said last week Israel may release more Palestinian prisoners than expected as part of possible deal covering the release of Shalit.


Sunday, October 1, 2006

G’mar Tov

Yom Kippur, the Sabbath of Sabbaths, is observed the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, September or early October in the secular calendar.

The first Yom Kippur took place after Moses returned from his second trip to Mt. Sinai with the replacement set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments. He had broken the original set when he returned the first time to discover the children of Israel worshipping a golden calf rather than G-d, who brought them out from Egypt.

Moses successfully pleaded with G-d on their behalf, and on the first of Elul, he ascended the mountain, this time for a second set of tablets. In Moses' absence, the nation fasted from sunrise to sunset. Moses descended the mountain on the tenth of Tishri. Upon returning, Moses found the nation truly repentant and announced that G-d had forgiven them. He decreed that the tenth of Tishri would remain a day of atonement for all generations.

And this shall be an eternal law for you. Each year on the tenth day of the seventh month you must fast and do no work. This is true of the native born and of the proselyte who comes to join you. This is because on this day you shall have all your sins atoned, so that you will be cleansed. Before G-d you will be cleansed of your sins. It is a Sabbath of Sabbaths to you, and a day upon which you must fast. This is a law for all time. (Leviticus 16:29-31)

The Chomsky Hoax

The Chomsky Hoax
Exposing the Dishonesty of Noam Chomsky