Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Discovering truth from oil, lies—and a piñata

A piñata is a party animal. It’s a paper-Mache hollow sculpture typically filled with candies.  It’s often stage-centre at a party. Its purpose is to get whacked, usually by a stick. Party-goers take turns whacking until someone bursts open the hollow, releasing the candy. The moment the piñata bursts, everyone cheers.

It’s a lot of fun—except for the piñata. Nobody mourns  the piñata. They’re too busy diving onto the floor for candy.

So it is with Israel.  A poster in the Guardian of England declares, “For world peace Israel must be destroyed.” The world wants peace -- and they want Israel for their piñata. They’ve been whacking at Israel for years. Now, it’s party-time. The party even has a guest-of-honour—the ‘Palestinians’.  They can’t wait to burst Israel open, to scatter the contents.

But the moment this political piñata bursts, the Arabs will not be scrambling for candy. It’ll be oil—and the celebrants will not be ‘Palestinian’. The ‘Palestinians’ will be crushed. They’ll be sacrificed for the oil. Ask American Attorney Mark Langfan. He’ll even spell it out for you in three-D ( Jerusalem Post, A walking three-dimensional advocate, Arieh O’Sullivan, May 27, 2012; and Arutz Sheva, Three dimensional kits make Israel’s case crystal clear,  staff, May 29, 2012)). According to Langfan, the dream of destroying Israel comes with a nasty side-effect: it will trigger a nightmare for everyone.

You can read about Langfan in the articles above. What’s important here is that he highlights what Maurice Ostroff (The Times of Israel, May 29, 2012) and Melanie Phillips (Daily Mail, May 28, 2012—see  both wrote about during the same week the Langfan stories appeared: in today’s  world, truths about Israel are called lies, and lies are truth; Langfan shows us the consequence of building international peace policy on lies about Israel.

His thesis begins with the unpopular observation that Israel does not cause Middle East instability. Instead, he argues, Israel creates stability, for its presence keeps the Region from going up in flame. Why would the Region go up in flame?  If Israel disappeared, there would be war. Her territory would become the desired crown jewel for Egypt, possibly Syria (depending on the outcome of the current chaos there) and certainly Iran, all far more powerful than the ‘Palestinians’. Langfan may not go in this direction, but we know from an Israel Radio interview (see Israel capable of producing 250 billion barrels of oil, Ben Bresky, Arutz Sheva, March 20, 2012), that the chief scientist of Israel Energy, LTD (a retired chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell) believes that within Israel’s land borders there lies perhaps 250 billion barrels of shale oil. This is a reserve—separate from the sea discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean—that equals Saudi Arabia’s reserves.

In other words, ‘Palestinians’ aren’t the only Arabs lusting for Israel.

Langfan says that Egypt has 80 million people whose average annual income is approximately $4,000USD. Egyptians starve. Langfan may not say this, but Egypt will be desperate for that oil--to feed herself. One Muslim Brotherhood candidate for the Egyptian presidency has already announced that if he wins the Egyptian presidential election, the capital of Egypt will no longer be Cairo, but Jerusalem (Arutz Sheva, Muslim cleric: Jerusalem to be capital of Egypt under Mursi rule, June 9, 2012). Iran will want that oil because that asset, added to her current reserves, would make her the world’s greatest oil-producing country.  Iran wants a world Caliphate, and by occupying Israel’s geography-and-oil, she could attempt to control world oil prices, as part of her drive to defeat the Satanic West.

In the world of Middle East oil politics, ‘Palestine’ isn’t even an afterthought.

Based on this assessment, one could conclude from Langfan that the ‘Palestinians’ would lose everything. They would either become part of Egypt or be taken over by Iran. Either way, they lose their autonomy. They will certainly celebrate Israel’s destruction. But they’ll then become a vassal-state to Arab tyranny that will be far, far worse than Jewish ‘occupation’. ‘Statehood’ will transform ‘Palestine’ into a virtual ‘refugee camp’.

With Israel gone, regional Arab powers have much to gain killing each other for that oil. But if Israel disappears, the West suffers. Israel’s demise would be an Arab dream-come-true—and the West’s horror-show.  Why? As Melanie Phillips suggests (above, ibid), the world sees Israel through a prism of lies. Every truth is distorted. If the West sees Israel through such a prism, it will not protect her. For Langfan, however, Israel isn’t some expendable wasteland. She is the linchpin for world security. In a world based on oil, Israel is the geopolitical-military keystone that assures world economic stability. She keeps tyranny at bay. The longer she lives, the more stable the world remains. Read Langfan’s presentation. Do you understand what happens when you destroy an arch’s keystone?

The truth is, the world prepares a catastrophe for itself—and ‘Palestine’-- on lies about Israel. If nations insist upon uniting against Israel, the price they pay could be of Biblical proportion.

You should remember that the next time you talk about Israel.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Children at play

Children run for shelter in Sderot
Picture courtesy Arutz Sheva

Look at this picture. What do you see? Eight children; or is it seven? Can you tell?

What are they doing? Well, the four on the right look like they’ve started to race. You can even tell by their body positions that this isn’t going to be a jog; it’s an all-out sprint. The others, meanwhile, look like late-starters. They’re already behind. The boy closest to you, wearing a green shirt, appears to have decided to drop his bike to join the race.

Will he be last to finish?

Who’s last in this picture, that boy in green—or the boy on the far left? It’s hard to tell. The angle of the photo doesn’t allow an accurate assessment.

Will it matter whose last? No, because no one is keeping score— not for this  race.

Look again at the boy in green. Notice how exaggerated his right arm motion seems. His body position suggests urgency. Is he trying not to fall, is he simply accelerating as quickly as possible—or both? He certainly seems to be in a hurry. Shouldn’t someone have given him a fairer start?

You might say that because this picture comes to you from Israel, this is how Israeli boys play—unorganized, random and perhaps unfairly; that sounds so Israeli, doesn’t it?

Look at the boy on the far right. Do you recognize that body language? It’s the body position of someone who is serious about starting a sprint.

I do not know a lot about this picture. But I know more than you—a lot more.

For example, I know that this race will last only fifteen seconds from beginning to end. I know that none of these boys, at the moment this picture was taken, was thinking about winning: I can assure you that none of these boys was concerned about being last or first.

Look at the picture again—at that boy in green. I don’t know him. But I think I’m pretty correct to tell you that he hasn’t jumped off his bike like that because he’s convinced he can beat his friends despite his late start. I believe that at this moment, he isn’t even thinking at all. Look at that arm motion. Do you think he’s running as if his life depends upon it?

You can tell from this picture that the boys have just, perhaps two seconds earlier, begun to run. They are well-trained. They are accelerating to full speed as quickly as they can; you can see that in their body positions. You see, they know that, at this moment, the race is no longer a fifteen-second race; it is now only a thirteen-second race.

They’ve got less than thirteen seconds to reach that building you see in the backround.

They are probably not thinking about what will happen next. They’re running too fast to think. They’re just focused on one thing: that building.

These are boys playing in one of Israel’s southern cities. They are young. They are probably Jewish. They are not adults. They are not government workers.  They are not soldiers. They are civilians—just children.

It’s how Jewish children play in southern Israel. Yes, they live in what you call the holy land. But in southern Israel, they are not considered holy. They are not even considered children. They are dehumanized military targets.

Therefore, they run. They run fast because they know what you don’t: they could all be dead in less than thirteen seconds. They are indeed children. But they run because they know they might not be children much longer.  

Look again at the picture. These boys run for their lives because, in the middle of their play, a siren has begun to wail—a loud, unnerving ear-splitting (even frightening) wail. They understand the meaning of that wail: once that siren sounds, they have fifteen seconds before an incoming rocket, fired by Jew-hating Muslims in Gaza, hits the ground. No one knows where the rocket is. No one knows where it will land. No one stops to look up, to see if he can spot the rocket’s trajectory. There’s no time.

Look at the boys:  they know not to tarry. They know exactly why they run.  They also know what Muslims say about them:  all Jews, including children at play, are military targets.

It must be true. The UN has never objected when Hamas calls Jewish children ‘targets’.

Some of you say that if Israel gave up land-for-peace, these boys wouldn’t have to run like this. But you would be wrong. These boys run precisely because Israel surrendered nearby Gaza to Muslims. Before the Jewish pull-out, there were few rockets.  Children could play safely.

Take a final look at the picture. This is how Jewish children play when Jews surrender land for peace.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Is ‘Feiglinism’ dead?

During the first week of June, 2012, Israel’s Knesset ruled that five apartment buildings in Judea-Samaria, at a place called Ulpana  (also called, Givat Ha Ulpana), were not to be protected by legislation, but would instead be torn down according to a standing Supreme Court order.  After the vote, angry Nationalist Jews were heard to say that this legislative failure proved that ‘Feiglinism’ was dead.

What is ‘Feiglinism’--and is it dead?

‘Feiglinism’ comes from the name, Moshe Feiglin, head of the Likud Party faction called, Manhigut Yehudit. He is commonly identified as a Religious Nationalist. He believes that Israel politics can be influenced from inside Likud, Israel’s largest and most powerful political party.

The Jews in Israel who claim ‘Feiglinism’ is dead are also, generally,  Nationalists; some are even Likud members.  Like Feiglin, they believe in the language of the Likud Platform. That document states clearly that Judea-Samaria is part of Jewish ancestral homeland, and is to be protected. It is not to be carved up; and, perhaps most important for our discussion, Jewish residents within Judea-Samaria are not to be uprooted.

Nationalist Jews are angry for several reasons. First, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Likud Prime Minister, has repeatedly chosen to ignore his Party’s Platform. He uproots Jewish residences in Judea-Samaria and offers ancestral Jewish homeland as concessions to Muslims.

Second, each time Nationalists are attacked for something occurring in Judea-Samaria, Mr Netanyahu has consistently supported the anti-Nationalist Left, which is often responsible for starting that trouble.

 Third, each time Nationalists attempt to curb anti-Israel Leftist behaviour-- either through legislation or the Courts-- Mr Netanyahu rules (or supports decisions) against them.

Finally—and worst of all--there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that Mr Netanyahu  makes promises to Nationalists in order to secure their consent over a contentious issue—and then reneges on his promise. This is what happened at Ulpana (a neighbourhood in Beit El). There, Mr Netanyahu promised that, if Nationalists did not oppose him over the decision to destroy Jewish apartment buildings, he would build 300 residences in Beit El to replace the 30 destroyed;  less than ten days later, a Defense Ministry official told both an Ulpana resident and Israel National News that the promise would not be fulfilled.

Nationalists, it seems, had been suckered again. Even with an insider—Moshe Feiglin—Nationalists have lost yet another battle with a Likud leader who rejects his own party’s commitment to the ‘settlement enterprise’. Therefore, the argument goes, the influence-from-within approach of Moshe Feiglin is a failure: ‘Feiglinism’, they declare, is dead.

Don’t believe it.

Yes, many are angry—and (correctly) they look to identify the cause of their  failures. They want to protect Judea-Samaria.  They understand that they cannot long sustain repeated losses against both the Left and an apparently pro-Left Prime Minister. They know they cannot afford to lose every confrontation. So they do what every human does under pressure: they seek a simple cause so they can create a simple solution.

What’s simpler—and more publicly visible--than Moshe Feiglin, the leading faction head in Likud?  He is the perfect ‘problem’: he has said he aimed to influence from within. He has worked ‘within’ for years. He has not given Nationalists dramatic results—and he did not stop Netanyahu at Ulpana.

Doesn’t that mean he has failed?

Unfortunately, the Nationalists’ problem is not that simple. For one thing, Feiglin has never promised he would create successes. He has always said this is a long-term, uphill battle that is measured in inches, not miles. He is not a magician. Instead, he is a homesteader making fertile a soil that had often been a Religious-Nationalist desert. His support within Likud did not grow from 3% to 30%+  because he gave out candy. That support grew because he has proven his competence, and people respect that. His influence grows—to the extent that, with only one exception, all Likud MKs who are not ministers or deputy-ministers (vassals of Netanyahu) had voted for Ulpana.

Mr Netanyahu is a difficult opponent. He is intellectually brilliant, unemotional and brutally tough. He plays politics the way some chess-masters play chess. Do Nationalists truly appreciate this?

 To confront Netanyahu, Nationalists need insiders and outsiders to work together; they need an articulate, organized and visible unity that is as strong and impenetrable as Netanyahu.

Feiglinism is not dead. The unvarnished truth is, Nationalists in Israel do not win unless they have a strong insider: inside influence is the leavening for their political dream. Feiglin’s strength grows and should be supported. If Nationalists scorn or reject him, then they fight a brilliant, unemotional and calculating adversary who knows how to leverage that scorn and rejection.

Internecine conflict or distrust reflects group weakness. If you fight Netanyahu with that weakness, he will beat you every time.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Here’s your chance to vote

In America, there is a weekly magazine called, Sports Illustrated. Each issue has had a box on one page near the front cover labelled, “Signs the Apocalypse is upon us”—or, something like that. In that box, under that heading, would be a quote or incident (which appears incredibly stupid) from the week’s sports world. It was a sign of the Apocalypse because the people described were usually highly paid sports professionals, and the assumption of the title is that if the world was paying people this stupid millions of dollars a year then, surely, the end of civilized life had to be near.

The quotes and/or incidents were often funny; they represented a little bit of humour mocking humanity’s depravity or stupidity—or both.

I don’t know if Israel has a local version of Sports Illustrated. But if we had such a magazine, it should be for politics, not sports. It would be easy to find ‘signs of the Apocalypse’.  True, Jews don’t have an ‘Apocalypse’.  But we do have a Final Redemption scenario that allows us to look around and exclaim, ‘The Redemption is a lot closer than you think!’  Look at what happened last week, June 7 -13, 2012. During these seven days, there were almost too many examples that appear to point to the ‘end’.  Here’s a sampling; in fact, since Mr Netanyahu apparently doesn’t want you to vote this year, consider this to be your year’s voting opportunity.  Vote below for your favourite examples. Just remember, since a weekly magazine only publishes, mostly, four times a month, you can choose only four favourites:

-a Muslim cleric happily announces in Egypt that, when his favourite Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate wins the upcoming Egyptian election (scheduled for the week of June 16), the capital of Egypt will no longer be Cairo; it will be Jerusalem;

-The IDF highlights for the world a picture it suggests it is proud of: two presumably gay IDF soldiers—in uniform-- walking in Tel Aviv, holding hands;

-a Jewish MK (married to a non-Jew) is appointed to head a Knesset committee which, it seems, may be responsible for overseeing Jewish education in Israel;

-caravan homes promised to Gush Katif Jews--who had been expelled from their homes in 2005 and who were mostly still homeless-- are taken from them; the government says it needs them for another Jewish expulsion, in Ulpana;

-a senior official in the Defense Ministry allegedly tells an Ulpana resident that, “there is no way to implement Netanyahu’s promise to build 10 units for every one” torn down in Ulpana, a promise that had just the week before been given by Netanyahu to convince Ministers to vote against Ulpana in an important Knesset vote; this statement is repeated to Israel National News; some suggest this is another example of the Prime Minister lying to Jews;

-Israel is reported to be close to signing a secret agreement to give The Tomb of David to the Vatican;

-International specialists gather in Jerusalem for an important reason--to study the legal status of Jerusalem;

-The US ousts Israel from an international counterterrorism forum because Arabs object to Israel’s presence;

-The European Union announces that  neither Iran’s aggressive nuclear ambitions nor the horrific civilian massacres in Syria are the Middle East’s most urgent problem; the most urgent issue is Jews building homes;

-Arab Muslims claim the Bethlehem Church of the Nativity is in ‘the country of Palestine’;

-The Chief of the Home Front Command for metropolitan Tel Aviv announced that, if unconventional missiles struck Tel Aviv, the entire city would have to be evacuated;

-‘Certain’ government offices, including the Tax authority, held drills to practice procedures should an earthquake of 6.9 on the Richter scale strike Israel;

-Jonathan Pollard has now been in an American prison more than 9,700 days;

-A Palestinian Authority NGO, funded by United Nations donations, puts on puppet shows to encourage Arab children to stop smoking by replacing cigarettes with machine guns, to kill Jews;

-Jerusalem puts on an elaborate light show; citizens complain of Christian motifs seen in the Old City;

Finally, a local favourite from some Israelis who think about the end of secular civilization in Israel: a new poll concludes that only 11% of Israelis say they trust their politicians.

Because this poll is Israeli, it adheres to Israeli tradition: it is not scientific. Besides, we couldn’t afford to hire professional pollsters who pay telemarketers to call 200 Israeli Jews and 200 Israeli Arabs in order to publish that 50% of Israelis say Israel should be a Muslim state. We didn’t have the money. That’s one reason there’ll be no winners in this vote. The other reason is, if our Final Redemption in really close, why should you care about winning?

Please use the ‘Comments’ section below to cast your vote.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beyond Ulpana: how Nationalists win

On Wednesday, June 6, 2012, the Israel Knesset rejected a proposed  ‘Regulation Law’ that would have prevented a court-ordered destruction of five apartment buildings (housing thirty families) in the neighbourhood of Ulpana, in the town of Beit El, in Judea-Samaria.  These families will now be removed from their apartments (‘homes’). Despite suggestions to the contrary, the apartments will probably be destroyed. Before the vote, we were warned of disasters for the Nationalists if this bill failed. These disasters ranged from Netanyahu divorcing himself from the Nationalist camp to a ‘Judgment Day’ destruction of Likud to a Gush Katif-style ‘Disengagement Two’ expulsion of thousands of Jews from homes throughout Judea-Samaria. Any (or all) of these outcomes could still occur. But did this one vote create a Nationalist disaster? The answer to that question might depend upon the Nationalists themselves.

Look at the immediate fallout from the vote.  No mass expulsions have  occurred. The settlement enterprise has not been ruined.  More important, opportunities may have actually been created by that vote.

 Do a before-and-after comparison:

-Before the vote, one of the major obstacles to ‘settlement’ was Defense Minister Ehud Barak, currently Military Governor of Judea-Samaria. He has stubbornly refused to sign building permits for authorized construction. If Netanyahu said, ‘build’, Barak could—and did—unilaterally halt construction by refusing to issue permits.

-After the vote, the Prime Minister has decided to form a committee ‘to strengthen settlement’, a move that could limit the range of Barak’s discretion.

          Consequence of the vote: a potential plus for Judea-Samaria.

-Before the vote, authorization to build in Judea-Samaria was difficult to get.

-After the vote, the Prime Minister has promised 300 new homes for Beit El—to replace those that will be destroyed; and an additional 550+ for other areas in Judea-Samaria.

          Consequence of the vote: a potential plus for Judea-Samaria.

-Before the vote, the Prime Minister suggested often that he felt no attachment to Judea-Samaria.

-After the vote, the Prime Minister made three statements: Judea-Samaria is the land of our Patriarchs; our identity was formed there; and, he is committed to upholding the settlement enterprise.

          Consequence of the vote: a potential plus for Judea-Samaria.

None of this suggests a Nationalist victory.  Nothing here hints at a sea-change for Netanyahu. The Nationalist enterprise is still at risk. Nevertheless, the initial fallout of this vote did not provoke an evisceration of Nationalist goals, as some predicted. Judea-Samaria has not been closed.

The Nationalists control the next move. If they focus on having been humiliated, and set their course based upon that, they will lose. But if they  build on what Netanyahu has given them, they stand a  chance of creating positive results.

Nothing is guaranteed. But in the high-stakes game of modern Israel politics, going to battle with a negative mind-set is not smart, especially when your opponent is probably the smartest man in the room. In the political version of rock-scissors-paper, ‘smart’ beats ‘negative’ every time.

So what has Netanyahu given? He has suggested that, if building in Judea-Samaria ‘upholds the law’, there should be no demolitions. Do Nationalists understand what this means? They mock Netanyahu’s ‘law’, but they ignore reality. There is evidence to suggest that everyone connected with the building of the Ulpana homes—the government, the builder and the community-- had been stupidly careless about legalities. This is foolish because, if we know that Leftist NGOs are looking to cause trouble (as they did with Ulpana), why are we so negligent? Yes, this is Israel, where bureaucracy—and land-purchase issues--are a nightmare. But that begs the question: with Leftist NGOs looking for a fight, why give them the rope they need to hang us?  

The committee that the PM creates could establish protocols for tracking and expediting construction paperwork; it could mid-wife streamlining legal guidelines; and it could create procedures to handle issues raised by NGOs.

Effective procedures to address building in Judea-Samaria appear never to have been adequately implemented. While Leftist lawsuits damage the enterprise, the problem is not the Left. The problem is the government—and the Right (i.e., Nationalists).  Government bureaucracy for Judea-Samaria appears (at best) unsupervised and incompetent—and Jewish residents pay the price for that incompetence.  The Right, meanwhile, too often appears to ignore all legality. Both need to do better—and that committee could help, if Nationalists demand seats at the table.

 Netanyahu could be lying.  He may not be committed to settlement. Nothing positive could happen. But right now, he has created an opportunity. In a country run by bureaucracy, committees are not innocuous. They are not dead-ends. They are often a seat of power.  If you are on that committee, you have power. But to get that power, you must be on the inside.

That’s the harsh truth: only insiders can win.  The Charedi understand this. So should Nationalists.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ulpana: when the elders of Chelm make Aliyah

 Chelm is a fictitious village where foolish villagers are happily led by a Rabbi who is advised by village elders. Many stories are told about the wisdom of these elders. For example, near their village there was a river that had a bridge over it. Once, there was a hole in the road surface of the bridge. Villagers kept stepping into the hole, falling ten feet, breaking a leg. They didn’t know what to do. Finally, someone suggested they ask the Rabbi. But the Rabbi was out of town. So they asked the elders—who had a solution: build a hospital under the hole (h/t Shmuel Sacket).

These elders have now made aliyah. They live in Israel. They work for the government.

Like the foolish villagers before them, Israel’s officials love their elders of Chelm.  For example, take the problem of five stone apartment buildings in a place called Ulpana, a neighbourhood in the town of Beit El. These buildings were built several years ago when Ehud Barak, the current Defense Minister, was Israel’s Prime Minister. If pictures are any indication, these building are made with reinforced concrete that is layered over with cut limestone block. The walls are approximately thirteen-fourteen inches thick. Each building houses six families. These are not American-style brick homes. They are as sturdy as fortresses.

To make sure people would move into these apartment buildings, Mr Barak’s government offered incentives, including infrastructure and roads to service the buildings, plus individual home-owner assistance to buy and finance purchases. These buildings were not a private-initiative project. They were government-initiated, using a private contractor. The project is an example of how a government can fund, build and encourage families to move to less-than-convenient places. It is also an example of what can happen when the elders of Chelm work for the government.

To build a new neighbourhood of reinforced-concrete-and-stone apartment buildings in Judea-Samaria, several things have to happen. The Housing Ministry has to issue a permit.  A local community Council has to approve a Master Plan.  Land must be purchased. Then (at least perhaps in this case), a community construction ‘arm’ has to secure and file the land contracts. Then, the government has to build the infrastructure—roads, retaining walls, electricity, sewage, sidewalks, etc. Finally, construction can begin.

That’s the process: the Housing Ministry, a Community Council and its construction ‘office’ must each touch paper—permits to build, a Master Plan and contracts for land purchased; unless, that is, you are dealing with the elders from Chelm; in that case, the process changes.

Here’s how it changes:  construction for the project at Ulpana began approximately 1998. At that time, all necessary paperwork was required to have been completed, validated and filed with the appropriate offices.  However, no one seems to have confirmed that the land-purchase contracts (and other paperwork) had been filed. The government didn’t track anything. In fact, there was so little oversight that the building contractor seems to have told the police (according to one news report) that he didn’t have any building permits—and he doesn’t know if a Master Plan for the project actually existed.  He doesn’t know who holds the purchase contracts for the land upon which he built the buildings.  He also apparently does not know that the purchase of one parcel of land was never completed—or that the seller of the second—and final-- parcel may not have owned the land he sold to the builder. The project unfolded with government participation—and absolutely no evidence of competent oversight. The builder finished his work and sold the apartments, bringing his plan to its natural completion. Everyone seemed happy—until that is, some Arabs showed up and said, ‘you don’t own the land you built on.’

 In Israel, the elders of Chelm don’t just work in the housing industry. They also work on the Supreme Court and for the Prime Minister’s office.

Who’s at fault here?  Based on news reports, the government encouraged and supported thirty families to move, and these families now own something that was constructed by a private contractor without proper paperwork. During construction, the government never spoke up. What do the courts do? Who should accept responsibility for this—and what should the penalty be?

The elders of Chelm on Israel’s High Court had the answers: you throw out the families living there and destroy the buildings.

If that doesn’t sound like a high-quality legal decision, don’t worry. The elders of Chelm also work in the Prime Minister’s office. They have a counter-solution: transport the buildings (with their fourteen-inch thick walls) to a different part of Beit-El.

The government loves this solution—but no one knows if such a plan is physically possible--or legal.

Doesn’t this sound like another hospital-under-the-hole-in-the-bridge idea? If so, why isn’t it funny?