Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The birth of Israel: two versions, only one true

Today, you’ll see two versions of what happened when modern Israel began. In one version, you’ll see contemporary headlines published in May, 1948. You’ll see what the New York Times reported.  You’ll see what the Palestine Post wrote.

Then, you’ll read what Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, wrote about Israel's birth. He presented his own version of how Israel began in the New York Times.

In the end, you can compare the two versions. Only one version is true.

At 4pm, May 14, 1948, the State of Israel declared its independence. At that time, the-then Jewish Palestine Post (the precursor to today’s Jerusalem Post) used a banner headline to announce (in the next day’s paper, on May 15, 1948), “STATE OF ISRAEL IS BORN”. The words were writ large across the entire width of the paper, at the top of the front page.

 On the same day Israel’s Post ran that 5-word headline, the New York Times ran a more elaborate Banner Headline across the top of its paper. Again, the date was May 15, 1948. The Times headline said,


The next day, May 16, 1948, the New York Times main front-page headline declared:


63 years later, readers got a different version of that 1948 war. This version came from Mahmoud Abbas, today’s leader of the Palestinian Authority.

Many call Abbas Israel’s ‘peace partner’. He isn’t. He’s the public face of lies about the Jewish state.

For example, take an Op-Ed essay he wrote in May, 2011, on the occasion of Israel’s 63rd birthday. In this essay, he told lies (“The long overdue Palestinian State”, newyorktimes, May 16, 2011).

To see his treachery, read the following while keeping the above contemporary headlines in mind:

“…[in the months leading up to the 1948 Arab-Israel war,] Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued” (ibid).

This is an extraordinary lie. It turns an unprovoked Arab invasion into a deliberate ‘Zionist’ (Jewish) plot to commit ethnic cleansing against Arabs. That’s not what happened. Those headlines you saw above report what happened. Arab armies didn’t ‘intervene’ because of Jewish expulsions of Arabs. Those armies invaded with only one purpose in mind--to destroy the new-born Jewish Israel. 

Yes, there were indeed Jewish headlines about ‘expelling Arabs’. But those stories weren’t about ethnic cleansing attacks to drive out Arab residents, as Abbas suggested. They were about Jews ‘expelling’ Arab invaders from highly-contested roads, villages and militarily important positions.
In the months leading up to Independence, Arab-Jewish clashes raged across Israel. There were no organized, national ‘expulsions of Arabs’. There was only war initiated by local Arabs against the Jews.

When Jews won an encounter, you might then read a headline calling for the ‘expulsion’ from that area of “all foreign Arab armed forces” [emphasis mine] (“Open roads, Expel Invaders”, Palestine Post, May 9, 1948). It is libelous—and unconscionable--to suggest that such military demands were some kind of premeditated public call for the ethnic cleansing of Arab residents in order to assure a Jewish majority.

Yet, that’s exactly what Abbas did in his 2011 Times op-ed piece. It is what Arabs continue to proclaim today.

Meanwhile, back in 1948—on May 17, 1948--two days after Israel’s birth, the Palestine Post didn’t publish headlines promoting the expulsion of Arab residents ‘for the greater good of Israel’. The Post didn’t call for ‘Arab expulsions’. Instead, the Post’s major headline that day was very different:


The next day, May 19, 1948, the Post headline read:


Contemporary headlines weren’t agitating for a future Jewish majority (Abbas’ claim). Those contemporary news reports (above) were clear expressions of Jewish fears. Jews were writing about a potential defeat. They were writing about imminent destruction and death, not a future Jewish majority.

There are many arguments about who did what in 1948 to create an Arab refugee problem. In his Times Op-Ed, Abbas oversimplified and focused exclusively on just one argument, one that shows little evidence of an official Jewish public policy-making process.

At best, Abbas engages in a ‘fallacy of intent’, which posits that if things turned out a certain way, it had to have been planned that way (Gershom Gorenberg, “The mystery of 1948”, slate, November 7, 2011). At worst, he lies. Either way, he doesn’t get it right—and libels Israel in the process.

Abbas turns history on its head. He ignores what happened in those days in 1948. He makes it look like Jews had only one goal in 1948: to expel Arabs for Jewish supremacy. But the truth you see in those contemporary headlines was that Israel’s only goal was the desperate attempt to survive against invading Arabs intent upon Israel’s destruction.

Many nice, well-meaning people (to borrow a phrase from Mordechai Kedar) embrace Abbas’ fiction with no critical faculty. They accept his version of Israel’s birth as truth. They ignore contemporary 1948 published accounts of what actually happened: the new Jewish state was caught in a grim, terrifying fight for survival against first an open Arab armed rebellion that was then followed—on May 16, 1948--by invading Arab armies whose goal was not to ‘intervene’ on behalf of innocent, victimized Arab residents (Abbas' claim), but to complete a permanent destruction of the 'Zionist presence'.
Both of these versions of 1948 exist. Only one of them is true. 

Which version will you choose to believe?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The UN and UNESCO: it's time to stop the genocide

Here’s an essay by essayist John Hinderaker. It’s called, “Time to put the United Nations out of business” (powerline, October 14, 2016). I’ve edited the essay to fit my format. Take a look.

“What, exactly, is the U.N. good for? Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered in Syria. But no one looks to the U.N. for a solution just as no one expects the U.N. to do anything about ISIS or al Qaeda.

Wars have raged in Congo and across much of Africa. But the U.N. has done little but embroil itself in an unending series of sexual exploitation scandals.

The Middle East has been in turmoil for years, from Libya to Afghanistan. What constructive actions has the UN taken? None.

Perhaps the UN’s grandiose claims to be a force for world peace are hollow. Perhaps the UN is no good.

If the U.N. is useless with regard to actual international crises, what does it do? No doubt there are U.N. agencies here and there that do some good. But the damage done by the larger organization is far greater than the good performed by its minor units. More often than not, the U.N. seems to side with evil, not good--as the current UNESCO controversy illustrates.

Instead of ‘doing good’, many member nations of the U.N. engage in a long-term project to delegitimize Israel. Their goal is to turn Israel over to the surrounding Arabs and, presumably, to allow those Arabs to drive out or kill the Jews who now live there. The latest phase of this effort is a proposed UNESCO resolution that attacks Israel by denying the connection between Jews and the Temple Mount.

ynetnews explains:

‘The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a draft resolution on Thursday that failed to acknowledge the Jewish people’s ties to the Temple Mount, raising ire in Israel.

The proposal strongly condemns Israel’s supposedly escalating aggressions (sic) and illegal measures against the Waqf Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these measures.

It omits the Jewish name for the holy site—the Temple Mount—and instead refers to it only by its Muslim name—Al-Haram Al Sharif’.

First of all, Israel is not an ‘occupying power’ in Jerusalem within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions. This ‘occupying power’ claim is the usual nonsense perpetrated by international leftists. It gets attention. But it’s false.

Beyond that, UNESCO’s attempt to deny that the Temple Mount has any historical connection to the Jewish people is absurd. Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction was correct: Have they not read the Bible?

David conquered the Jebusites and captured Jerusalem 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish life and worship ever since. Herod the Great rebuilt the Second Temple. The Romans destroyed that Temple in 70 CE following a Jewish rebellion. Jews have lived in Jerusalem, and sought to return there from around the world, for millennia.

Muslims were late-comers to Jerusalem. They arrived in the area roughly 1,600 years after the Jews (using the most charitable pro-Muslim interpretation of history).

The Temple Mount is exactly that-–the site of the Jewish Holy Temple. It may well have been the location of Solomon’s First Temple and, long before that, the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. To suggest that this Temple Mount has no historical connection to the Jewish people, and the modern state of Israel, is ridiculous–-precisely the sort of absurdism that international leftists, and especially Arabs, engage in. It would be like claiming that Washington, D.C. has no connection to the American people.

The Israeli government has issued a publication detailing the millennia-long relationship between the Jewish people and the Promised Land. I admire the Israelis’ patience. But in their shoes, I think I would tell the lunatics–the UNESCO resolution was sponsored by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, and supported by any number of Europeans–to get stuffed.

The evil done by the United Nations is palpable. The good it does is obscure and mostly presumed. Is there a compelling reason why hard-pressed American taxpayers should continue to support this organization? Is there a good reason why the U.N. should continue to exist? These are serious questions that should be debated.

Unless someone has a good argument to the contrary, I incline to the view that the UN should go out of business.”


My comment:

This (albeit preliminary) UNESCO Resolution to deny all Jewish connection to the Temple Mount flies in the face of history, archaeology, and religion (both Judaism and Christianity). It’s so factually false, it should never have seen the light of day.

This vote, even though not the final UNESCO Resolution, is a true outrage. The accusation that Israel has been “escalating aggressions and illegal measures against the Waqf Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship” (sic) for Muslims on the Mount denies the truth of the Temple Mount. The truth is the exact opposite of this Arab-scripted nonsense: Muslims on the Mount continuously attack Jews there. Muslims at the Mount demand that the freedom of worship be denied to Jews. Finally, it is Muslims who have been engaging in escalating illegal measures at the Mount, not Jews.

Furthermore, this UNESCO outrage is just the tip of an anti-Israel effort at the UN that can best be described as ‘Nazi-like’. It’s Nazi-like because, like the Nazis of the 1930s-1940s, the UN demonizes and delegitimizes the Jewish nation in much the same way Nazis delegitimized and demonized the Jews of Germany, using misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies to justify its genocidal designs.

It is genocide we’re talking about here. As Hinderaker correctly asserts, the UN aims to hand Israel’s Jews over to Arabs who marinate in the world’s most murderous anti-Jew incitement. The UN ignores that incitement--which is, by the way, clearly defined as genocide by the UN’s own Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Articles 2 and 3).

When it comes to Israel, the UN refuses to live by its own definitions. The UN’s anti-Israel drive is not to do good in the pursuit of peace. It is to ethnically cleanse Jews in the pursuit of genocide.

Hinderaker is correct. The UN is not a ‘house of good’. What good it does do is outweighed by the genocidal evil it promotes. Its constant drum-beat of anti-Israel votes and condemnations lead one to a singular conclusion: the UN should be put out of business.

What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Temple Mount and UNESCO: now, Jews will be tested

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is Judaism's holiest site on earth. It was first built by the Jewish King Solomon some 3,000 years ago. Since then it has been destroyed twice, attacked dozens of times and captured and recaptured more than two dozen times.  

The current Temple Mount was rebuilt more than 2,000 years ago by the Roman-appointed King Herod (died app 4 CE). He greatly expanded the then-existing site of the Jewish Holy Temple. He created the site we visit today, more than 2,000 years later.

In the 7th century CE, Islam conquered the Temple Mount. After the Crusades began (1099), the Temple Mount exchanged hands multiple times until the Ottoman conquest of 1517.

The Ottoman held onto the Temple Mount until 1917, when Britain captured it. Britain held it until 1948. At that point, the UN had passed a Resolution to create two states, one for Jews and one for Arabs. The Jews accepted that proposal. The Arabs rejected it--and attacked the Jews.

As a result of that war, Israel conquered much of Jerusalem. Jordan conquered the Temple Mount.

In 1967, the Arabs tried again (after losing a second war in 1956) to push the Jews out of Israel. When that war ended, Jews had reconquered the Temple Mount. It’s still controlled by Jews.

Since the UN created the Jewish state, Arab enemies of Israel have aimed to destroy it. They want to conquer it. They want to wipe it off the world map.

They want everything in Israel to be Muslim, not Jewish. In 2008, Mahmoud Abbas declared that the Jewish Joseph’s Tomb was a Muslim shrine. Last year, pursuing his goal to rid Israel of all things Jewish, Abbas had UNESCO declare that the Jewish holy sites Rachel’s Tomb and Tomb of the Patriarchs were not Jewish but Muslim.

Abbas demands that the Jews' so-called 'filthy feet' be kept off the Temple Mount. His Palestinian Authority (PA) accuses Jews of “invading” the Temple Mount. The PA claims that Jews are ‘increasingly encroaching’ onto a Muslim holy site by visiting the Temple Mount which, we note, is Judaism's holiest of holy sites.

To put the Muslim anger over the 'increasing number' of Jewish 'encroachments' on the Temple Mount into perspective, you should understand that some 12,000 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount in 2016. Muslims consider this number to be unacceptably excessive and religiously offensive.

But then, at the same time some 12,000 Jews went up to the Temple Mount, some 4,000,000 Muslims went there (Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, "Only 0.3 percent of visitors to Temple Mount are Jews", jewishpress, October 9, 2016).

Muslims are horrified and outraged that that 0.3 percent of visitors were Jewish. They say that 0.3 percent is an obscene religious outrage. It’s excessive.

Muslims aren't satisfied that 99.7 percent of visitors to the Temple Mount are Muslim. They demand 100 percent of visitors be Muslim. Anything less is a religious offense.

On October 13, 2016--the day after the Jewish Yom Kippur--the UN body called, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a Resolution that declared Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and its Western Wall are to be reclassified (ibid). They will no longer be identified as Jewish. Henceforth, by UN diktat, they will be an “exclusively” Muslim shrine (John Walsh, "Palestine wins victory against Israel: Jerusalem holy site declared Muslim, not Jewish, in United Nations Resolution", internationalbusinesstimes, October 13, 2016).

In response to this attack against what is so fundamentally Jewish in Israel, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, "To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids” (Joshua Yassmeh, "Jew-hating UN: yeah, Jews have nothing to do with the Temple Mount. That they built", dailywire, October 13, 2016). But that's exactly what UNESCO did: it stated unequivocally that Jews have no connection whatsoever to the Temple Mount (ibid).

Some in Israel believe that the Arab-Jew conflict isn't a political conflict. It isn't a land conflict. It isn't about ‘settlements’. Instead, it's a religious conflict over which god will rule Israel.

Right now, Jews rule. But Muslims here are more religious than Jews. Muslims here fight for and die for their god to rule. Israel's ruling elite clearly couldn't care less about G-d.

They never talk about G-d. They rarely mention Him.

This UNESCO vote is the consequence of that silent indifference. For some observers, that's exactly why the Muslim grows strong enough to have the UN un-Jewish Judaism's holiest site on earth. Muslims believe faith makes everything possible. Jews laugh at that.

Now, the Jewish test of faith begins. Do we believe we should say nothing--and let Muslims conquer the Temple Mount? Or, do we believe  we must fight for our holiest site on earth?

One thing seems certain. If Muslims believe they now 'own' the Temple Mount as an exclusive Muslim shrine, they will soon demand that Jews be forbidden from stepping onto that shrine. After all, why should Jews be allowed to insult Islam by contaminating a Muslim shrine with their 'filthy feet'?

Israel must fight for what is Jewish. Our leaders don’t fight that fight. Instead, they require Israeli police to protect Islam on the Temple Mount against Jews who seek to pray there.

No wonder UNESCO voted to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. Don't the actions of Israel's own leadership point to the same conclusion?

Israel's ruling elite must change its tune. Otherwise, Islam will conquer all that is Jewish in Israel. That conquest will strengthen the Arab argument that Israel isn't a Jewish entity at all, but Muslim.

In ancient Israel, when David the boy stood up for Israel in his battle with Goliath, the King of Israel (Shaul) was frozen with either fear or indecision--or, perhaps, a little of both. That paralyzed Israel.

That's the moment the young David stood before the giant. The giant laughed at him. But the boy stood with courage. He spoke of his G-d.

He killed the giant. He became King.

The lesson is, when Israel speaks to its enemies of the G-d of Israel, Israel becomes strong. When it refuses to speak of its G-d, it falters.

That's what's happening in Israel today. No one in Israel's leadership publicly speaks of G-d. No one.

The Muslims are different. PA leaders speak often of the Muslim god. They praise their god in public. Not coincidentally, the PA grows strong before the UN.

Our leaders refuse to speak of G-d. We weaken at the UN.

Our enemy wants to erase our Jewish connection to the land G-d gave us. Our leaders refuse to defend what G-d has given us. The UN supports that erasure because Israel’s silence implicitly endorses it.

HaShem, the G-d of Israel, gives us a choice. We can call out His Name or remain silent. We can fight for the land He gave us--or lose everything we cherish to the name of another god.

That’s the choice we face. It will test our faith—and determine our future.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

US and UN versus Israel—and Russia?

The New York Times wants US President Barack Obama to go to the UN to push for peace between Arab and Jew (editorial, “At the Boiling Point With Israel”, newyorktimes, October 6, 2016). It fears that time is running out. Obama leaves office January 20, 2017. If Obama wants peace, he must act now. According to the Times, Obama must stop protecting Israel and start protecting ‘peace’.

The underlying assumption is, Israel is the enemy of peace. It doesn’t deserve protection. Obama has to lead a UN Security Council (UNSC) effort against Israel. He must request an “official resolution” to impose a two-state solution on Israel (ibid). 

Tomorrow, October 14, 2016, the UNSC is scheduled to discuss Israel’s so-called ‘anti-peace settlement activity’ (Ben Ariel, “UN Security Council to discuss 'settlements'”, arutzsheva, October 7, 2016). This UN discussion, called ‘the Arria Formula’ (ibid), isn’t supposed to involve a vote (ibid). But Israeli officials believe this ‘discussion’ will turn into an international condemnation of Israel and serve as motivation for an “anti-settlement resolution” in the Security Council later in the year (ibid).  It’s what the Times wants.

Even if this meeting doesn’t go off as scheduled, Israel is worried about a US ‘November surprise’ (Shmuley Boteach, “Obama’s November Surprise for Israel?”, algemeiner, June 6, 2016). That surprise means the US will soon do one of two things: (1) refuse to use its veto power at the UN to protect Israel; or, (2) take an anti-Israel action either unilaterally or at the UN—all, of course, in the name of ‘peace’ (editorial, “Why Israel fears Obama’s last days”, newyorkpost, October 12, 2016).

Israel awaits a ‘November surprise’ much like the US waits for a hurricane building up offshore to slam into its mainland. The Times editorial (above) fuels what Israel believes is an anti-Israel diplomatic hurricane heading its way.

An American anti-Israel move could come as early as tomorrow at the UN. More likely, it could hit after November’s US election (newyorkpost, ibid). That makes sense because after the election, Obama achieves political immunity. He’ll be a lame duck. Who’s going to punish him for turning against Israel?  

American voters can’t harm him. Neither can Congress.

Obama wants a ‘legacy’ (Gabby Morrongiello, “Rand Paul: Obama is a president in search of any positive legacy”, washingtonexaminer, January 12, 2016). His foreign policy efforts don’t help him (Dr Azeem Ibrahim, “History will judge Obama’s foreign policy legacy as one of failure”, alarabiya, April 7, 2016). Now, he has one last chance. He can create an instant legacy with ‘peace’ for ‘Palestinians’.

To do that, he’d have to abandon Israel. That doesn’t bother him.

The moment Obama abandons Israel, Israel would be thrown under the proverbial bus. Israel could end up with indefensible borders (if it surrenders land to create a two-state solution); or, it could face sanctions if it rejects 'two states'.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Jewish Israel is about to be sacrificed on a pagan UN peace-altar.  But conventional wisdom could be wrong. Israel might indeed be abandoned by the US—but not endangered. Israel could still be protected—by Russia.

While everyone has been watching Obama apparently prepare to betray Israel, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been courting Russia’s Putin (“Frosty with Obama, Netanyahu warms to Putin”, dw, 8/6/16). Putin reciprocates (“Netanyahu and Putin Celebrate New Era of Deep Cooperation and Friendship”, unitedwithisrael, June 7, 2016).

There are several possible reasons for such reciprocity. First, Russia and Israel have something in common: Russians. Israel has the largest Russian-born community in the world outside Russia. Putin likes that. Second, Israel’s Defense Minister (and former Foreign Minister) Avigdor Liberman is a Russian-born Israeli. He’s Russian-tough—and he maintains extensive contacts with Russia. Putin respects that. Third, both Putin and Netanyahu face Islamic terror attack. In the West, only Israel appears unafraid to fight that terror. Putin appreciates that. Fourth, Putin has been quietly working to make Russia more religious (Giulio Meotti, “Putin's Puritan Piety: The Ideological War against the West”, gatestoneinstitute, October 9, 2016). While he guides Russia to Christianity, the EU and the US become more anti-Christian. Israel, meanwhile, might be the only Westernized nation where a non-Islamic religion grows stronger, not weaker. Putin may admire that.

Unlike many of his predecessors, Putin has been kind to Russia’s Jews. In fact, he’s been so friendly towards Jews and Israel, at least one Arab newspaper has (no doubt incorrectly) concluded he must be Jewish (Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Hezbollah News: Is Putin Jewish?”, breakingisraelnews, August 12, 2016).

All of this leads to a question: would Putin replace the US as Israel’s protector at the UN?  The short answer is yes, especially if doing that would humiliate America.

Obama certainly seems ready to humiliate Israel (editorial: “Warning of A U.N. Betrayal, Obama Treats Israel As An Enemy”, investorsbusinessdaily, 06/03/15). Putin knows this. He knows the US has abdicated its leadership in the Middle East (Adam Garfinkle, “Putin, Obama, and the Middle East”, americaninterest, October 3, 2015). He knows that Iran suckered Obama (Mervi Yourish, “Iran to U.S.: You were played, suckers”, yourish, January 14, 2015).

Putin knows America is no superpower.

By contrast, Russia flexes muscle with a brutal aggression. It attacks Syria with an iron fist. It does the same in the Ukraine. It partners with Iran (Ephraim Kam, Zvi Magen, “Russia and Iran’s turning point: a strategic alliance”, jerusalempost, September 10. 2016). It threatens NATO in the Baltic region.

Russia challenges anyone to stop it. No one does. Russia appears too brutal to tangle with.

An Obama betrayal of Israel at the UN gives Putin a golden opportunity to defang America’s reputation. All Russia has to do is condemn (or veto) any US-inspired anti-Israel move.

The world will gasp. America abandons the Jew and Russia-the-brutal protects the Jew even as it partners with the anti-Jew Iran? 

Yes, Russia can do that because protecting Israel changes everything for Russia. If, just as the UN feels it’s finally got Israel by the throat, Russia protects Israel, that move would send a breath-taking message: to get to Israel, the UN will first have to go through Russia.  

The UN won’t challenge Russia. It wouldn’t dare. 
To repeat, the world sees Russia as brutal. The world fears this Russia. If Russia decides to protect Israel, everyone knows Russia has the brutality-capacity to silence any anti-Jew complaint.

The US, meanwhile, talks like a superpower—but kowtows to Iran. It paralyzes itself over Syria (E. Jeffrey Ludwig, “The U.S. Fiddles while Syria Burns”, americanthinker, October 6, 2016). It treats a staunch ally (Israel) as an enemy.

The world sees America as a two-faced, cynical betrayer. It scorns that America.

If this scenario is correct, the moment Obama turns on Israel, Russia-the-feared will fill the resulting vacuum. By protecting Israel against the UN, Russia will prove it is the world’s only ultra superpower—the only country capable of stopping--and willing to stop--the UN in its tracks.  

That changes everything. Instantly, Russia becomes ‘King-of-the-Hill’. America becomes ‘has-been’.

What’s the fallout from this? G-d knows.

On Rosh Hashannah, we read that G-d determines the fate of nations. On Yom Kippur, we read that G-d seals the fate of those He judges.

Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur are over. Heavenly decisions have been made. What’s going to happen to Russia, America and Israel?

G-d knows.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yom Kippur. Never forget the Yom Kippur war

Tuesday night, October 11, 2016, Yom Kippur begins. This is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. On this day, we come to understand  how frail man is when compared to G-d.

It is also, for Israelis, a day that reminds us of war.

Forty-three years ago last week, the armies of Syria and Egypt launched a massive, coordinated attack against the Jewish Israel. Syria sent perhaps 150,000 soldiers into Israel at the Golan Heights border. At that border, Israel had perhaps 1,500 soldiers. You can imagine what happened.

In the south, Egypt at that same moment sent perhaps 80,000 soldiers into the Israeli-held Sinai, crossing the Suez Canal to attack Israeli border units. Israel had held the eastern side of the Canal as its border since its win in the 1967 Arab war. 

At that Suez Canal border, Israel had stationed perhaps 500 soldiers. You can imagined what happened when 80,000 Egyptians attacked.

On that day forty-three year ago, Syrian and Egyptian forces overwhelmed those Israeli border units and began their invasion. They had set out to destroy Israel. They had easily breached Israel's border defences. They had a clear shot at Israel's heartland.

Egyptian and Syrian soldiers on the front lines cheered. Soon, they believed, they would destroy Israel.

That day was October 6, 1973. It was a Saturday, Shabbat. It was also the Jewish Yom Kippur--the holiest day of the Jewish year. It was a day when most of Israel's army was at home and, for most, fasting according to Jewish tradition.

Israel had been caught with its proverbial pants down.

The combined forces Egypt and Syria sent against Israel that day added up to the same number of soldiers all of NATO had in Western Europe ("The Yom Kippur War", historylearningsite, August 16, 2015). Jewish border units, manned mostly for patrol, were overrun.

Within two days, Egyptian forces in the south had crossed the Suez Canal and penetrated 15 miles into the Sinai desert. Syrian forces up north had advanced almost the same distance into Israel (ibid).

By the end of day two (October 7, 1973), everyone in Israel knew they were in deep trouble. Everyone also knew what lay ahead if these Arab attacks were successful against the Jewish state.

Sixteen days later, the war was over. Although Arabs had, once again, started a war to destroy the Jewish state, Israel had, once again, won. Once again, Arabs had lost what they had started. 

Since that war, Israel has grown strong. Its Jewish population has doubled, growing from app 3.0 million (1973) to more than 6.4 million (September, 2016). Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen astronomically, from app 9.3 billion USD to 298 billion USD. 

Over the years, Israel has become a high-tech world leader. It is the world's water superpower. It's become a world-class magnet for innovation. Its scientifically ingenious irrigation technology helps millions of people around the world to feed themselves in climates which, historically, have allowed little food to grow. Israel has also become a world leader in medical research.

Arabs around Israel, meanwhile, have also become world leaders--in terrorism, corruption and Arab-on-Arab oppression. They fester in poverty. In Syria, they have proven to be the unanimous world leader in bombing a state (Syria) into the Stone Age. In the Palestinian Authority, they demonstrate what happens when Arab leadership promotes only one ideal, the destruction of all things Jewish.

'Palestinian' Arabs contribute to the world nothing constructive or life-giving. Their creative efforts focus exclusively on different ways to murder Jews: the knife intifada, the car intifada and the child intifada.

This last effort is the most ingenious--and evil. It motivates children, some as young as 13 years of age, to attack Jews with a knife. If they die in their attempt, they are honored as national heroes. Then, 'Palestinian' leaders accuse Israel of killing 'innocent' children.

The armies that attacked Israel on Yom Kippur, 1973 are no different than the teenage Arabs who today attack Jews in the streets of Jerusalem. Their goals are the same: to exterminate the Jew.

But the armies of 1973 and today's teen attackers are indeed very different. For one thing, Arab leaders in the Palestinian Authority don't have the courage to raise an army to attack us. They know such an attack would be suicidal.

Instead, they send (it is said) their own children to schools overseas and then incite other people's children to kill for them. They incite other people's women to kill for them. 

Then they go to the United Nations and call Israel, 'brutal'. To its everlasting shame, the UN believes every word 'Palestinians' say about Israel.

As someone has already said, the UN acts as if it's never seen a bad 'Palestinian'. 

We must never forget that Yom Kippur War. We must never forget that the purpose of that war was to annihilate Israel. We must never forget that that war hasn't ended. We must never forget that we survive here only by the Mercy of our G-d.

On Tuesday night, October 11, 2016, Jews around the world will begin their annual Yom Kippur. On this day, we will fast. We will pray. We will ask HaShem, the G-d of Israel, to help us, to protect us, to be kind to us and to give us life, not death.

When we pray on Yom Kippur, we must never forget why we pray. We must never forget how our very existence hangs by a very thin thread. We must never forget that, for Israel, that thin thread is nonetheless woven to be strong by the All-Powerful Hand of G-d Himself. 

We must never forget what Yom Kippur means. It means prayer. It means we take time to remember how we depend upon the All-Powerful One. 

Yom Kippur also reminds us we once fought a desperate war for survival. Many Jews died in that war. They died so that we could live.

On Yom Kippur, we must never forget that reality. We must never forget that war. 

May HaShem seal your name into the Book of Life.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Can you imagine peace?

The world wants peace. The world wants everyone to have peace. 

Why do so many want peace? The answer is simple:

People want peace because it's so hard to find. It's about as common as snow in a desert. 

According to one study, less than 7 per cent of countries worth looking at for peace actually have peace (Adam Withnall, "World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict", independent, August 14, 2014); and that was in 2014, when the world was a happier place (see below). 

Instead of peace, the world gets war and civil unrest (ibid). Virtually every week somebody somewhere is shooting up or blowing up someone else (ibid).  

For example, during the week ending September 30, 2016, Muslims alone killed 288 people and injured 291 others in 53 attacks inside 16 countries ("Jihad report, September 24-September 30, 2016", thereligionofpeace, retrieved on October 6, 2016). For calendar year 2015, Muslims killed 27,594 people and injured another 26,141 in 2,862 attacks in 53 countries (ibid, "List of attacks, 2015).

Peace isn't just rare. It's very rare; and the rarer it is, the more desirable it becomes.

Peace is going to remain desirable for a long time. The world has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year (Withnall, ibid).

The world wants what it cannot get. What's the world to do?

Here's a suggestion. If you want peace, start with imagination.

Here's a video. It's from isrealvideonetwork. It's only 1:55 long. It's called, "Imagine--the Israeli version".  

It's title and melody come from the John Lennon song, "Imagine".

It's about Israel. It's about peace. It's about living in place where you are surrounded by violence (there's a still photo at 1:31-1:32 which doesn't seem to match the song you'll hear; please focus on the words of the song):

Consider this tiny Israel. It's surrounded by hate. It's the unrelenting target of hate. 

It's surrounded by cultures where young people don't idolize peace. They idolize Adolph Hitler ("Bahraini writer: I was shocked to discover how many young Arabs idolize Adolph Hitler", MEMRI, September 22, 2016). 

Yes, young Arabs who surround Israel respect and admire a man who murdered six million Jews. How sick is that? 

With people like this, peace seems impossible. No wonder peace is so rare.

We Jews of Israel understand what is rare. After all, the Jewish people are practically rarity itself: we are less than 2 tenths of one percent of the world's population. That's rare, isn't it?

We are a rare people who live in a bubble of white-hot hate, the intensity of which you cannot imagine. We are constantly threatened with annihilation. We are forever surrounded by calls to kill us. 

Nevertheless, we--this rarest of peoples--think of peace. Ever the object of hate, we have learned from our persecutions. We know exactly what to do. We do the last thing anyone expects.

We sing of peace. 

Imagine what that means. 

Jews, the rarest of peoples, teach the world that peace--that rarest of human achievements--is possible. You simply begin with song. You begin with prayer.

You begin with, ‘imagine’. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Jew-hate on college campuses--and aliyah

What you are about to see is part of an effort to fight Jew-hate on US college campuses. It's a snapshot of the main page of 'stop the Jew hatred on campus.org'. I retrieved this page on October 6, 2016.  

This main page suggests what October, 2016 looks like to many of your college-age children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. The page is not pretty. 

You need to see it. It's what the USA is becoming for your college-bound friends and family members.

What your children, friends and grandchildren experience today is similar to what young Jews began to see on Nazi Germany's college campuses in the very early 1930's. They see an anti-Jew Nazification of university life. 

Note: if you wish to read any of the articles listed below, go over to website, 'stop the Jew hatred on campus.org':

To understand the very first image you will see below, here is that image before it had been cropped for posting at 'stop the Jew hatred on campus.org'. This image comes from "Freedom Center posters hit UCLA campus terrorist supporters", frontpagemag, October 6, 2016:


Now, here is the current (October 6, 2016) main page of 'stop the Jew hatred on campus.org':

Following recent reports of anti-Semitic hate and incitement on Tennessee university campuses, Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), has called on the State Legislature to conduct hearings into whether these unacceptable activities on Tennessee public university campuses are in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

Palestinian student group accuses Israel of complicity in recent shootings of African-Americans by U.S. police.

My comment:
Jews on many college campuses have become an 'endangered species'. They are intimidated, humiliated and threatened simply because they are Jews. Often they are threatened and intimidated with impunity. 
Perhaps as a consequence of this hate, young college-age men and women are signing up for subsidized trips to Israel through the program, Birthright. They're coming here to this holy land to see for themselves what is the truth about Israel. 

As a result of these trips, many return home excited by the real Israel--the beauty, the freedom Arabs have, the freedom Jews have, the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit they find here. 
Many of these young people want to return again to Israel--for good. They want to make aliyah. They want to be part of the excitement that's here. They want to be a part of what is Jewish.
BDS poisons college campus life. It infects America through the academy-inspired concept of 'intersectionality', through which Jews can be blamed for just about everything (Ziva Dahl, "Intersectionality and the bizarre world of hating Israel", observer, March 15, 2016). 

Your children and grandchildren feel the intensity of that infection. Many of them will leave America--to find a healthier place to live.
They will make aliyah. They will come to their Jewish homeland--Israel.

Will you come with them?