Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What does an Israeli 'settlement' look like?

I live in Israel. I live in a beautiful city.  But around the world, many say I don't live in a city at all. They claim the place I live is only a 'settlement'.

You know what a 'settlement' is, right?  It's a collection of half- permanent, half-temporary dwellings that's closer to an encampment than anything organized. It's a place built where only recently there had been nothing. It's crude. It's primitive. It's an attempt to start a community--but isn't one, yet. 

The only real difference between a 'settlement' and an 'outpost' is size and location. 'Outposts' are smaller than 'settlements', and placed in more remote areas.

For Israel, the world says 'settlements' are built outside Israel. They're built for only one reason: to displace Arabs. 

That's wrong. 

Jews don't build 'settlements' outside Israel. We have no interest in what lies outside Israel. 

Instead, we build on our own land. That land is our ancestral Jewish homeland. We settle there in order to fulfill the Divine command to possess, occupy and dwell in our Promised Land. 

Our Torah tells us what are the borders of our Promised Land: from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Those are also the current borders of modern Israel. That's where we are to build and dwell.

Of course, this Jewish homeland was repeatedly ripped from our hands by foreigners. Our ancestral homeland has been repeatedly conquered. 

But in the end, only we--the Jew--has survived.

Now, we are back home, We are the only nation in history to have experienced such forced exile--and such a miraculous return. We are the only nation for whom all of this was 'predicted' and recorded thousands of years ago--in our Torah. No other people in human existence has had such a history.

Those who hate us cannot abide such a Jewish accomplishment.  They don't want to see Israel succeed. They want to see Israel destroyed. They demand it. 

In their attempt to kill us, they repeatedly attack us. Like an insane person, they keep trying that over and again, expecting a different result each time. Each time, they fail.

Now they use law to attack us. They call us illegal. They call us 'illegitimate'. They say our cities aren't cities. They say many of our cities are merely 'settlements'--eyesores which dot the landscape only because Jews aim to establish an illegitimate presence on someone else's land. 

These modern enemies of the Jewish people do what Jew-haters have done for centuries.They come into our land. They attack us. They seek to rule over us. They aim to de-legitimize us.

These Jew-haters now gather at the United Nations. They rail against us. They call to dismantle us in the name of 'peace'. 

In a world where genocide is perhaps the most horrible crime against humanity, they call for genocide against us. They absolutely insist we have no right to exist.

I don't care what they say. This land is my land. The deed for this place is in our Torah. It's there for all to see. It's always been there, for more than 3,000 years.

What part of "Jewish land" do these haters fail to understand? It's very simple: G-d gave this Land to the Jewish people. G-d gave us this Land as an everlasting gift.

One last point: when you've been to Israel, you can see that these 'settlements' Jew-haters hate so much aren't encampments or outposts or temporary Jew-attempts to mark the land with some kind of illegal Jew-print. They  aren't places that offer little comfort and much travail. These 'settlements' are cities. Some are more beautiful than any place you inhabit.

Take a look at my own 'settlement'. It sits in the barren Judean desert. Take a look at what Jews do with that desert. Judge for yourself:

First, a look at our desert:

Image result for pictures on Maale Adumim in Judean desert
courtesy of: jerusalempost

courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

courtesy of: aliyahpittsburgh

Now, a brief look at what we do with this desert:

courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

courtesy of: aliyahpittsburgh

how 'settlers' live in the desert--courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

Then, our city, our life:

our Jewish 'settlement' courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

our 'settlement' shopping courtesy of aliyahpittsburgh

Image result for pictures on Maale Adumim in Judean desert
a view from one of our 'settlement' streets courtesy of: israelandstuff

Image result for pictures on Maale Adumim in Judean desert
a winter view of one neighborhood from the desert courtesy of: 123rf

the 'settlement' home where I once lived courtesy of:aliyahpittsburgh

Yes, my home-place is in the desert. There's nothing temporary about it. My so-called 'settlement' is a real city with more than 40,000 residents. 

The homes within my Jewish home-place don't have paper-thin walls or tin roofs. Our walls are more than 13 inches thick. Our homes are fully air-conditioned. They are modern in every way. 

Our 'settlement' exists to demonstrate that, after nearly 2,000 years of forced exile, Jews once again settle this, our ancestral homeland. This Jewish 'settlement enterprise' is not illegitimate. It isn't illegal. It's our right. It's our home.

It's our Land.

If you haven't been to Israel, come. If you don't yet live in Israel, come home. There's plenty of room for you.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The US embassy, Islam, war, Paris--and your bank

In the weeks leading up to January 20, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump has said--more than once--that he will order the US embassy in Israel to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel's capital. To put this announcement into context, it is conventional practice that diplomatic missions (that is, Foreign Embassies) are always located in a country's capital city--unless a country specifies a different city.

There's one exception to this common practice: Israel. Israel wants all Foreign Embassies to be based in Jerusalem. But there are no Foreign Embassies in Jerusalem. They're all in Tel Aviv.

This isn't an oversight. It isn't an error. It's deliberate: only the Jewish Israel is denied to right to choose where Embassies go.

No country will locate their Embassy in Jerusalem because the 'Palestinian Authority' (PA) demands this conventional practice be cancelled--just for Israel. Why does the PA do that? It claims Jerusalem for its own capital--all of Jerusalem. The West says the PA wants only East Jerusalem for itself (Glenn Kessler, “Fact-checking John Kerry's speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, washingtonpost, January 3, 2017). Since this means West Jerusalem stays Jewish, the US could place its embassy in the Jewish part of Jerusalem, right?

Wrong: the PA will not allow any Foreign Embassies in Israel to be located in any part of Jerusalem. The PA demands all of Jerusalem for itself.

Why would any country listen to such an unreasonable demand? That's a good question. Do you know the answer?

My own answer is simple: nations comply with this outrageous demand because they have no real disagreement with it. Their attitude seems to be, if the PA wants to take over all of Jerusalem from the Jews, let it.

The question of embassies in Jerusalem would appear to be a political issue; or, alternatively, a diplomatic issue. But it isn't. As you'll see in a moment, it's a religious issue.

In fact, everything about the Arab war against Israel is religious. The Arab-Israel conflict has always been about religion.  Contrary to popular wisdom, this conflict is not about two states trying to figure out how to live side-by-side in peace and security.  The PA has never made any bona fide offer to accept peace or security for Israel.  

For the PA, the conflict with Israel isn’t about peace. It’s about religion. It's about the PA’s Islamic desire to conquer the Jewish Israel--and then erase forever Jews and Judaism.

This conflict is the modern world's longest-running religious war. It's been going on since the British signed the Balfour Declaration a hundred years ago (1917). It's about the Muslim claim that the Jewish land of Israel isn't Jewish. It’s about the Muslim demand that all of Israel must be exclusively Islamic.  

We saw this how this religious claim works yet again last week in a speech by a Mahmoud Abbas advisor. That advisor told us why the PA objected to moving the US Embassy to any part of Jerusalem. That objection had nothing to do with ‘two states’.

Through the website, Palestinian Media Watch (palwatch), we saw PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on religious affairs (Mahmoud al-Habbash) declare that "if the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem, it is a declaration of war on all Muslims" (see William Jacobson, "Palestinian leadership's two-faced Jerusalem embassy game", legalinsurrection, January 10, 2017). If you don't understand the religious significance of this statement, al-Habbash clarified it by adding that this embassy move "harms our faith and our existence" (ibid).

That's right. Jerusalem is not a diplomatic issue. It's not a political issue. It's a religious issue.

It's about god, not politics. It's about Islam, not diplomacy.

In 1992, while orchestrating Bill Clinton's successful campaign for President of the United States, campaign strategist James Carville summed up what Clinton was trying to talk about in the campaign. Carville coined some phrases for his staff, the most famous of which might have been, 'it's the economy, stupid'.

People got the point.  Clinton won his election partly because his opponent, the first George Bush, seemed somewhat numb about a then-faltering economy, and partly because Clinton surrogates claimed something like, ‘it’s about the economy, stupid!’

'It's about the economy, stupid' now—somewhat indelicately--becomes, 'it's about Islam, stupid'--meaning, there will be no peace in this Arab-Israel conflict until the nations of the world confront the Islamic Jihadic nature of the war managed by the PA against Israel. Islam is the problem, not Israel. Want proof? No ‘Palestinian’ leader has ever publicly disavowed Jihad against Jews (Salim Mansur, “The Bigotry against Israel in the UN”, gatestoneinstitute, January 15, 2017).

If the UN and the Paris Peace Conference (which took place today, January 15, 2017) don't recognize the Islamic nature of this war against the Jews, they will not solve anything. They will only make things worse.

You can take that to the bank.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Azariya: IDF uses fake news. Becomes keystone kops

The keystone kops appeared in Hollywood movies during the silent film era. They were incompetent. They were a group of fictional policemen who couldn’t keep from stumbling over each other. They appeared in the years 1912-1917. Everyone laughed at them.

‘Fake news’ is also fiction. But it isn’t fiction-for-entertainment. Instead, it uses false claims to manipulate the public. It’s meant to mislead, not entertain.

‘Fake news’ and keystone kops are 100 years apart. They don’t normally appear in the same sentence. But Israel’s IDF is changing that—and the result isn’t funny.

Through a recent manslaughter verdict against one of its own--Sargent Elor Azariya—IDF leadership has used ‘fake news’ to protect that verdict. In the process, the IDF stops looking strong and competent. It becomes the keystone kops--frantic, confused and incompetent.

Consider the facts: four days after a Military Court found Sargent Azariya guilty of manslaughter for killing a wounded terrorist ‘without reason’ (an assertion that has outraged most Israelis), an Arab truck driver ran over and killed four IDF soldiers and wounded 16. Some in Israel suspected that soldiers at that attack had been afraid to shoot at the terrorist because of an ‘Azariya effect’--the fear of getting arrested for shooting (Ruthie Blum, “In Wake of Deadly Jerusalem Truck-Ramming Attack, Questions Arise About Soldiers’ ‘Reluctance’ to Shoot Terrorist”, algemeiner, Januray 8, 2017). The IDF reacted immediately by creating a ‘fake news’ report. It declared that no soldier was afraid to shoot (“Claims of hesitation to shoot terrorist in Jerusalem attack rejected by IDF”, i24news, January 9, 2017).

That ‘fake news’ report completely ignored the fact that Israelis had already seen a cctv video of the attack (“Video: security camera captures deadly Jerusalem truck attack”, jerusalempost, January 8, 2017). The video showed dozens of soldiers running away from the attack, not to it. The scene looked like a rout. 

To make matters worse for the IDF, on the day (January 9, 2017) the IDF boasted that soldiers were not afraid to shoot a terrorist, some Israelis saw a French news report that said otherwise (“Attentat: un soldat hésitant avoue avoir été influencé par l’affaire Azaria”, lphinfo, January 9, 2017: I thank reader Edmond Richter for linking me to this report). This French report spoke of an IDF soldier at the scene who clearly stated he had hesitated to shoot. He was afraid of getting arrested. He didn’t want to become another ‘Azariya’. He’d fired only because his friends had been run over, not because he’d understood he had clearance to shoot. He’d shot despite the risks he ran.

How did the IDF react? The next day, January 10, it repeated its ‘fake news’ about fearless soldiers. The leader of the IDF Southern Command said, “Soldiers not affected by Azariya verdict'”, arutzsheva, January 10, 2017).

While this IDF ‘fake news’ about fearless IDF soldiers was repeating itself before an increasingly sceptical Israel, another fake story-line began to unravel.  The story was, the IDF was offering a deal to Azariya: if he surrendered his right to appeal, he’d get a lighter sentence (“TV report: Hebron shooter to be offered reduced jail term if he drops appeal”, timesofisrael, January 7, 2017).

Three days later, another ‘deal’ report surfaced. This report said that the Colonel who commanded Azariya’s unit had visited the family (Mordecnai Sones, “Kfir Brigade Commander met with Charlie Azariya”, arutzsheva, January 10, 2017). He was said to offer what looked like an updated deal. If the Azariya family surrendered its intent to appeal, fired their son’s defense team and stopped talking to the public, their son might get a lighter sentence (ibid).

Azariya’s defense team reacted to this pressure-tactic with outrage. It denounced the ‘deal’ (Stuart Winer, “Elor Azaria’s attorneys slam IDF’s covert meeting with his father”, timesofisrael, January 11, 2017).

The IDF wouldn’t back down. It denied that any ‘deal’ had been discussed at the meeting. The purpose of this meeting, an IDF spokesperson said, was to discuss “financial and social assistance to the Azaria family” (Yoav Zitun, “Azaria was an outstanding soldier until the shooting, says prosecutor”, ynet, January 11, 2017).

But as always happens in a keystone kops movie, the IDF’s ‘fake news’ approach to the Azariya case blew up in its face. The day after the IDF issued its ‘fake news’ about the supposedly ‘benign’ nature of the  meeting with the Azariya family, a tape recording of that meeting surfaced (Tal Polon, “'Open investigation against Kfir Commander over Azariya case'”, arutzsheva, January 12, 2017).

Guess what that recording revealed? The Colonel had indeed offered a ‘deal’. He had indeed pressured the family (ibid).

The IDF ‘fake news’ strategy to cover its behaviour in the Azariya case took a third big hit (the first was the cctv video of the truck attack; the second was the claim that a meeting with the family was only for financial and social ‘assistance’). The third hit focused on ‘fake news’ about the impact of the Azariya case on combat troops (Azariya was a combat soldier when arrested).

The ‘fake news’ angle here was an IDF claim that soldiers weren’t concerned about the effect of the Azariya ruling ("[IDF Major-General Eyal] Zamir: soldiers not concerned despite Azariya ruling", arutzsheva, January 10, 2017). That turns out to be more fakery. Two days after that ‘fake news’ ran, a report showed that a majority of combat soldiers in the IDF now believe that, because of what happened to Sargent Azariya, their own commanders would not back them up in case of an investigation (David Rosenberg, “Army report suggests morale declining among combat soldiers”, arutzsheva, January 12, 2017). As a result, IDF combat morale sinks (ibid).

IDF combat soldiers are very concerned about the Azariya ruling (ibid). They don’t like it—and their attitudes towards the IDF reflect that (ibid).

‘Fake news’ to manipulate public opinion after an outrageous Court verdict turns the IDF into the keystone kops. Simply put, the IDF can’t keep from stumbling over itself.

Like keystone kops, the Azariya affair makes the IDF look incompetent. The reason Azariya does this to the IDF is clear: the IDF should never have arrested Azariya. It should never have put him on trial. The Military Court should never have rejected every one of Azariya’s defences. It should never have accepted every one of the Prosecutor’s charges.

The IDF ‘Azariya behaviour’ reveals how completely out of touch the IDF is with the social contract it has with Jewish Israel (Caroline Glick, “The IDF’s new social contract”, frontpagemag, January 7, 2016). With Azariya, the IDF reveals that it isn’t led by pro-Israel men who believe in our presence on our own ancestral homeland. It’s led by people who don’t believe that a Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria must be protected and defended. It’s led by people who believe in the lie that Jews in Judea-Samaria live on stolen land. It’s led by people who would arrest and imprison its own soldiers to protect those in Judea-Samaria who want to murder us.

Hevron is where the Azaria incident took place. Hevron is in Judea-Samaria.

That’s why the IDF arrested Azariya: Hevron is a ‘hot’ zone where many Arab attacks have occurred. IDF leaders don’t care about their own soldiers. They care more about how our enemies think of us. They care more about showing our enemies how ‘fair’ we are.

This desire for ‘fairness’ reveals how an anti-Israel, pro-Arab ideology has taken root in the IDF high-command. The fact that the IDF had to resort to ‘fake news’ to protect its ‘fairness’ doctrine demonstrates two things: (1) IDF leadership never had a clue how damaging this affair is to its mission; and (2) IDF leadership has become so committed to a pro-Arab ideology that lies must be told to protect that ideology.

IDF combat soldiers know better. Their morale plummets.

IDF leadership, meanwhile, still thinks ‘fake news’ is what it needs to stay strong. No wonder that leadership looks like incompetent keystone kops.

These keystone kops should be replaced.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The American anti-Israel campaign: how Kerry lies

I've found a video for you. It's from Fox news, It was first published January 10, 2017. 

If you haven't seen it, it's worth your while to watch.

It's about John Kerry's claims that Israel restricts 'Palestinian' movement throughout the 'West Bank' by means of a web of checkpoints that seriously disrupt the lives of 'occupied Palestinians'. It's a video that shows how Kerry lies. It's a video that shows how this lie demonizes Israel.

The video shows you what the Kerry 'disruption' looks like. It comes from youtube:

I think this video is self-explanatory. But I do offer one clarification:

Regarding the video's comparison between time needed to cross into Israel from the Palestinian Authority vs time needed to cross into the US from Mexico, the numbers were, 7 cars passed into Israel during the same time it takes for one car to pass into the US from Mexico.

Yet, it is Israel which is demonized for 'disrupting' the lives of 'Palestinians'. No one criticizes the US for 'disrupting' the lives of Mexicans.

The Obama administration has given its soul to the Jihadi jackals who demonize, criminalize and aim to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. At the very end of the Obama reign, John Kerry follows his boss and places himself squarely with those jackals.

Joining those jackals isn't diplomacy. It's an ugly, anti-Semitic and genocidal act of hate.

History will not treat either Obama or Kerry kindly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

IDF says soldiers not afraid of terrorists. Really?

On January 8, 2017, an Arab truck driver drove his heavy rig into a group of IDF soldiers. He killed 4 and injured at least 15. It was an act of terror.

One context for this attack was a recent military trial of one Sargent Elor Azariya. This soldier had shot a terrorist in Hevron. He was found guilty of manslaughter for killing a terrorist 'without reason'. Most Israelis feel he should never have been arrested, let alone brought to trial. As many as 70% of Israelis believe he should now be pardoned.

Sentencing will be in February.

When this terrorist trucker struck, many soldiers ran. They ran away from the point of attack. Their running was clearly a run away from danger, not an advance towards/against it. For some, the runners looked like soldiers in a disorganized rout. 

Some have suggested that part of the reason for this rout was an 'Azariya effect'. That is, because of the Azariya verdict, soldiers are now afraid to shoot lest they be charged with shooting 'without reason' (the language of the guilty verdict against Azariya). 

Israeli officials reject this suggestion. They say it's untrue. They say IDF soldiers are not afraid to face terrorists.

To counter this accusation that soldiers ran because of a fear to shoot, IDF officials have trotted out a soldier to declare that it's wrong to say anyone reacted with an 'Azariya effect'; she (the soldier) had stood and fired at the driver.

That's fine. We've now read of two soldiers firing their weapons (the first soldier had been interviewed at the scene of the attack). But there were 298 other soldiers at the scene of the attack. If two--or even, say, six--soldiers fired their weapons, there still were dozens of soldiers seen in a video taken at at the scene who did not shoot. They ran.

The IDF has not told Israeli citizens how it intends to address this running away. It has ignored it.

The IDF has a problem it isn't willing to acknowledge. The IDF has simply not accepted the fact that its military court verdict against Sargent Azariya has had a shocking affect on IDF soldiers. Many may run rather than risk arrest.

Instead of addressing this mistaken verdict, the IDF has gotten its to Ombudsman to send a letter to soldiers, as if that's what this situation requires. In that letter, the Ombudsman told soldiers 'to maintain the IDF's 'purity of arms'" ("Ombudsman to soldiers: maintain ethical behavior", arutzsheva, January 10, 2017). Purity of arms is the IDF code of ethics. You can read that code at www.idfblog.com/about-the-idf/idf-code-of-ethics/.

Ah. Well now, that will surely fix things, right? No, it doesn't fix anything. 

But that letter is an admission. It tells us the IDF feels an urgency to tell soldiers not to stray from the IDF code of behavior.  That letter suggests the IDF knows it's got a 'behavior' problem. Why else remind soldiers  at this moment to remember how they must behave?

Instead of addressing this problem in a forthright manner, the IDF speaks around the issue, not to it. The man who controls the IDF, Israel's Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, won't address the issue, either. He won't even acknowledge it. He simply says Israelis should 'stop the noise' about Azariya...we are doing everything to protect the values of the IDF and the soldier Azariya" ("Liberman: stop the noise about Azariya", arutzsheva, January 10, 2017). 

Yes, you can be certain the IDF will 'protect its values'. But what does it do for Azariya?  It asks Azariya to surrender his legal right to appeal the verdict against him ("TV report: Hevron shooter [Azariay] to be offered reduced jail term if he drops appeal", timesofisrael, January 7, 2017). 

How does giving up a legal right help Azariya? The IDF promises a lesser sentence. 

Somehow, this 'offer' sends a different message. It suggests the IDF makes a self-serving attempt to avoid closer scrutiny of what some might term a kangaroo court verdict.

Since this truck terror attack, the IDF has been busy defending itself. For example, in addition to trotting out that one soldier (above), the IDF has "bravely" announced that IDF soldiers are not afraid to strike at terrorists ("[IDF Major-General Eyal] Zamir: soldiers not concerned despite Azariya ruling", arutzsheva, January 10, 2017). Really?

A video exists that shows how 'unafraid' IDF soldiers are to confront a terrorist. It's the video of yesterday's attack. Look below at how IDF soldiers run away from the attack (upper left corner of video). The run away from the bus. Look also at how other soldiers at the center of the video run. Is this a picture of a strong, fearless army unafraid to face danger--or a rout?

You tell me who's right--the IDF, which denies any 'Azariya effect', or the video, which shows how quickly IDF soldiers can choose not to shoot.  

Our IDF has a problem. It is supposed to stand strong. Instead, it's playing ostrich. It sticks its collective head into the ground. It seems to be trying to avoid the unpleasant realization that this verdict could end up damaging the IDF as much as it might damage the poor 19-year old Sargent Azariya.

For now, the IDF prefers playing ostrich to facing the truth. It doesn't understand that playing ostrich with your head in the ground doesn't make you look serious or fearsome to implacable, hate-filled enemies. It makes you look vulnerable and weak.

Is this the image Israel wants our enemies to see? Apparently, it is.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Azariya trial fallout begins with IDF soldiers retreating

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, a Military Court in Israel announced a verdict after a trial against IDF soldier Sargent Elor Azariya. Sargent Azariya had been charged with manslaughter after he had shot and killed an Arab terrorist who had been wounded but not (initially) killed during an attack against IDF soldiers in Hevron.

Sargent Azariya was found guilty of shooting the downed terrorist 'without reason'. The chief Judge, a Colonel Maya Heller, further ruled that, henceforth, shooting to kill a terrorist simply because you suspect danger, will be forbidden. 

Beware this verdict. It states clearly that a suspicion of danger/threat is no longer a sufficient reason for killing a terrorist.

Yesterday, January 8, 2017, a terrorist drove a very large truck into a group of soldiers who were visiting a place called the Armon HaNetziv Promenade. It's a major tourist attraction. At least four soldiers were killed and at least 15 injured before an armed civilian tour guide (and, possibly, a few soldiers at the scene) killed the terrorist. One of the dead came from my own community (Daniel Eisenbud, Herb Keinon, Anna Ahronheim, "Jerusalem ramming attack: four killed as truck rams into IDF soldiers", jerusalempost, January 8, 2017). The Jerusalem Post reported there had been some 300 soldiers at the site when the attack began (ibid).

As part of the news reporting of this event, someone at the scene took a video of some 30 soldiers, most of whom (if not all) were armed. These soldiers were standing perhaps 40 metres from the attack. Watch the video below. The truck appears in the upper left corner of the screen at 0:46 seconds. The 30+ soldiers are at the center of the video.

As the truck plows into the soldiers standing beside their tour bus, watch how the soldiers in the center of the video react to the attack:

After the initial ramming, the truck ends up at the top right of the video. It turns around and/or backs up and runs over the fallen soldiers a second time. Meanwhile, the 30 soldiers at the center of the video break ranks and run--not towards the truck at the top right, but in the opposite direction, to the left. Only 4-6 soldiers of this group take up defensive positions. Everyone else runs away. (William Jacobson, "Palestinian terrorist uses truck in deadly Jerusalem attack", legalinsurrection, January 8, 2017). 

None of these soldiers fired a weapon ("I don't know why 40 soldiers didn't shoot the terrorist", arutzsheva, January 8, 2017).

At this time, no one knows why the majority of these armed soldiers didn't rush towards the incident and fire at the driver, as a few other other soldiers did (Yoni Kempinski, "Watch: Cadet who shot at terrorist in truck ramming attack", arutzsheva, January 8, 2017). The IDF is investigating ("I don't know why...", ibid).

This investigation could result in a cover-up. Already, reports surface that soldiers at the scene really, truly, honestly did fire at the terrorist. But these reports only speak of 2 soldiers--perhaps others--shooting. 

But then, there were some 300 soldiers at that scene. Only two fired their weapons? When you look at the windshield of the truck, you've got to ask, exactly how many of the 300 soldiers present really fired at the truck? 

That windshield appears to have less than 20 bullet holes in it. The only thing we know is that one civilian shot at the truck--and two soldiers shot at it. 

But still: less than 20 bullet holes? If each person who fired at the truck fired five times, that's only three soldiers shooting (plus the civilian). 

Where were the other 295 soldiers?

As you saw in the video, at least 30 soldiers were too far away to shoot. But there appears to have been perhaps 25-30 additional soldiers standing at the bus when the truck plowed into them. Where were they when the truck hit them? They ran away, too.

According to one essayist, the 'evidence' at the scene shows that soldiers did not fear to shoot (Noam Amir, "Comment: tying the Jerusalem terror attack to the Elor Azariya affair", jerusalempost, January 9, 2017). I don't buy it. If these soldiers didn't fear to shoot, why did so few shoot? Worse, why did so many soldiers near the bus also turn and run away?

Why did those soldiers at the center of the video run? How do you account for so many IDF soldiers turning tail and running?

Are you really going to suggest that 'evidence' shows 'soldiers' did shoot (Amir, ibid)? Or, do you look at the video and find soldiers, both at the bus and perhaps 40 metres away, running?

Why do so many run? The most likely reason is fear--of becoming the next Sargent Azariya. These officer cadets aren't stupid people. They're the best and brightest of the IDF. They ran because they didn't know if they could shoot without getting arrested. 

This is part of the fallout from the Azariya verdict. It shows IDF officer cadets running away!

When the incident began, there was great confusion. At first, it had looked like a case of a tragic accident--a driver of a large truck losing control. But then, it seemed to become clear that the truck driver hadn't lost control at all. He reversed and ran at soldiers again (Eliran Aharon, "I pulled out my gun and opened fire on the terrorist", arutzsheva, January 8, 2017). However, by then, it would appear, most of those who had run had already done so.

One soldier at the scene is reported to be adamant that no soldier froze or reacted with fear because of an 'Azariya effect' (Yoav Zitun, Yael Freidson, Shachar Chai, "Cadet from Jerusalem attack: we fought for our friends", ynet, January 9, 2017). But if, as this cadet suggested, no soldier was careful, crafeul, careful because of the Azariya verdct, why did so few soldiers actually shoot--and why did so many closest to the bus run?

This verdict brings shame to the IDF. It emboldens our enemies. It will kill IDF soldiers who hesitate to shoot out of fear of arrest. It will kill Jewish civilians because IDF soldiers may choose to run rather than risk a life-destroying arrest for shooting a terrorist 'without reason' (as happened in the Azariya case).

This Military Court, so filled with Leftist anti-Israel beliefs, sends an anti-Israel message to Israel. That message is, we will protect the enemy, not you. We will make it nearly impossible for Jewish soldiers to defend themselves--and you. We will turn IDF youth into cowards so that Arab terrorists can live--except, of course, if Israeli civilians at a scene of a terror attack shoot first, along with, perhaps, some very few soldiers who will throw their freedom to the wind to protect Jews.

Will Israel's Leftist civilian courts now go after the soldiers who fired at the truck? Will those courts gp after armed civilians?

Will the IDF discipline those who ran? Will they be tossed out of Officer Training? Or, will Leftist IDF leaders allow them to stay?

Israel's leaders must step up. They must change the rules of engagement, so as to protect our soldiers. They must make it more dangerous for terrorists to attack us. They must free Sargent Azariya. They must speak for us, not our enemies.

Most important, they must reign in the Leftists within the IDF. They must not hide from the fact that so many soldiers ran away. They must end the damage Leftist anti-Israel career officers do to us.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

War against Israel, King David and the tenth of Tevet

Today is the tenth day of the Hebrew month, Tevet. It's a day we remember that in the year 588 BCE, the idol-worshiping Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, began a siege of the Jewish Jerusalem. Two-and-a-half years later, the army of that idol-worshiper broke through the walls of the city. Three weeks after that, that army destroyed the First Jewish Temple--and exiled the majority to Israel's Jews to Babylonia.

Nebuchadnezzar's attack against Jerusalem was the not the first devastating attack against Israel. It wasn't the last.

Jewish Israel has been attacked dozens of times. According to some, Jerusalem itself has been attacked 52 times. It has been besieged 23 times. It has been destroyed 2 times. It has been captured and recaptured 44 times. 

Non-Jewish nations have truly lusted to rip this holy city from Jewish hands. Those nations are as lustful today as they were 2,500+ years ago.

That original tenth of Tevet attack was a day of darkness for our Jewish Israel. Today, we remember how that darkness descended upon us. We fast until a short time after sunset. 

Today, some 2,600 years after Nebuchadnezzar, our Israel is again under attack. Our Holy Jerusalem is under attack. Today at the United Nations, the nations of Edom (Christianity) and Ishmael (Arab Muslims) join with idol worshipers to denounce and erase all that is Jewish about Israel. They lust to take Jerusalem away from the Jews. They lust to give Israel to Ishmael.

As we watch this lust for Jerusalem build at the UN, we remember that the 3,000 year-old words of King David once again ring true: "Behold, Your enemies are in an uproar--and those who hate You have raised their head" (Psalms, 83:3).

In our Jewish Written Torah, HaShem, the G-d of Israel, laid out the borders for the land He gave to the Jewish people: from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (Bamidbar 34: 1-13). In our Jewish Oral Torah--our Talmud--we are told that it is a G-dly commandment to settle this land (Gittin, 8b). 

Today, Israel controls this land. Israel settles this land. Israel does today exactly what our G-d told us to do more than 3,300 years ago. 

But in 2016, Christian nations (Edom) joined with Muslim nations (Ishmael) and idol-worshiping nations at the UN to legislate that the land given to the Jewish people by our G-d is henceforth forbidden to Jews. 

The G-d of Israel may have told the Jews to settle this land. But the Christians, Muslims and idol-worshipers at the UN now legislate that such settlement is illegal.

It is now an international fact: the G-d of Israel promotes an illegal 'occupation'. Does this mean that the UN will soon declare that the G-d of Israel Himself is illegal--or, perhaps, illegitimate--for promoting 'illegal settlement'?

These non-Jewish nations who hate our G-d turn against our G-d. As King David said more than 3,000 years ago, "Against Your nation [Israel] they plot deviously; they take counsel against those sheltered by You" (ibid, 83:4). 

That's exactly what happened at the December 2016 meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC). The US, deviously, conspired with others to pass UN Resolution 2334 to make all Jewish settlement in Judea-Samaria (part of G-d's chosen land for Israel) to be illegal. Then, the US, most deviously, denied it had played any role in that deviously-planned Resolution (Robert Spencer, "Obama administration lied, exposed as architect of anti-Israel UN action", jihadwatch, December 29, 2016). 

As King David put it, those at the UN "said, Come, let us cut them [the Jewish people of Israel] off from Nationhood, so Israel's name will not be remembered any more" (Psalms, 83:5). In 2016, the UN legislated that the Jewish Cave of the Patriarchs was no longer Jewish; it is Muslim. The UN voted that the Jewish city of Jerusalem was no longer Jewish; it is Muslim. The UN voted that the Jewish Temple Mount was no longer Jewish; it is Muslim. The UN voted that all settlement in Judea-Samaria--as noted above--is illegal.

To paraphrase King David, the UN voted to un-Jewish Israel's holiest religious sites. It voted to deny both the Jewish presence and the Jewish history of Israel. These UN votes aimed to un-nation the Jewish nation of Israel.

In 2016, the UN did exactly as King David wrote more than 3,000 years ago: It "took counsel together unanimously [the UNSC vote for 2334 was unanimous] to strike a covenant against You" (Psalms, 83:6). After this heinous vote, the UNSC had the gall to applaud what it had just done to Israel.

King David spoke of anti-Israel plots. He said these plots weren't just against Israel. They're against HaShem, the G-d of Israel. That's true today as well. 

Jew-haters of the world don't work for a new State for 'Palestinians'. They look to destroy every aspect of the Jewish Israel. They look to deny the Jewish G-d by denying His religion. They seek to erase His name from Israel.

Today is the tenth of Tevet. It is the day we remember those who would destroy the Jewish nation. But it is also the day we can remember the words of King David, who called upon our G-d to turn those who plot against us--the Edomites (Christians), Ishmaelites (Muslims) and idol worshipers--into "whirling chaff" and "stubble in the wind" (ibid, 83:14-16). 

The nations of the UN make war against Israel. They make war against our Jewish G-d by attempting to erase the Jewish religion in Israel. They will not prosper. They will not win. They will, as King David said, be turned into stubble.

The enemies of the Jews have never won. They will never win.

The Jewish nation will not fall. It will not fail. But the UN will fail. It will fall apart. The weight of its Jew-hate will smother it.

The Palestinian Authority will fail. It will fall apart. Its corruption and its raw, genocidal Jew-hate will cause its collapse.

The EU, which leads the West's charge against Israel, will fall apart. It, too, will fail. Its economic and multicultural policies have brought millions of anti-West Muslim immigrants to the EU. These millions will destroy the EU.

King David tells us a Truth. The G-d of Israel is real. He protects this Jewish nation. He always has. He always will.