Israel headlines tell a story. They tell you the news. But sometimes, they reveal some underlying truths.
Return to this blog every Tuesday and Friday after Noon. You’ll see a sampling of headlines from Israel’s press—and some comments about those headlines.
Today, we look at—and comment on--Chanukah, which began November 28th.
-Some clamor for challurkey while others cry fowl over holiday mix
With everyone talking about ‘Thanksgivikah’, this headline was a show-stopper. As you may know, some calculate that the next convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah will be app 79,043 years from now. Do you know what a ‘challurkey’ is? It’s a challah (bread) baked in the shape of a turkey.
Now you’re ready for the next Thanksgivikah.
Here are more Chanukah headlines:
-IDF Officer: All Hareidim Should Die
-Police hold for questioning three Jews who attempt to pray at Temple Mount
-Israel boycott finds favor at American university event
-Infant wounded by rock throwers in Jerusalem
What do these headlines have to do with Chanukah?
They’re about the Chanukah story.
During the years 175BCE-165BCE (app) Jews in Israel fought against the Greeks and their Syrian allies. These foreign conquerors wanted to rule over the Jew. They wanted to ‘unJewish’ the Jewish State. They wanted to stamp out Jewish worship and Torah.
Many Jews joined them. The Chanukah war was, to a large extent, between Jews and non-Jews who joined together to reject Torah versus Jews who fought to keep Torah.
These additional headlines remind us that we continue to battle today against Jews and non-Jews who would destroy the Jewish State. We continue to fight against those who would ‘unJewish’ Israel.
When the Jewish Hasmoneans won their war, they saved our Torah. They saved our Temple. We are Jewish today—some 2100 years later--because of their victory.
Our enemies still want to destroy us. They want to stamp out Jewish worship.
Many Jews join them.
It’s deja vue—the Chanukah story--all over again.
Which side are you on?
The war against Israel-UN declares ‘Year of Palestine’
-PLO official: PA will join ICC if peace talks fail
-Chief Palestinian negotiator: Israel is destroying the peace process
-Majority of Palestinians believe peace talks with Israel will fail
-Palestinian debt to IEC passes NIS 1b[illion]
-Israel boycott finds favor at American university event
-Terror on the road: Jerusalem plagued by stone throwing
The war against Israel has many fronts. The UN is an agent to help our enemies. It celebrates ‘Palestinians’. It condemns Israel more than all other nations combined.
Individual Arabs are bombarded daily with viciously anti-Semitic sermons, TV programs and speeches. Even their (UN-sponsored) school textbooks incite against Israel. They cannot avoid the hate.
Driven by this hate, they stone innocent children and civilians.
Their elders sit at ‘peace’ talks with Israel. Peace? Arabs leaders don’t talk peace. They demonize. They threaten.
Israel destroys the peace process. Israel must be dragged before the International Criminal Court on charges.
University professors—the intellectual guardians of our children—seek to destroy Israel through boycott and sanctions. Israel, they claim, is a colonizer, a settler state, a perpetuator of apartheid.
What must the G-d of Israel think of these people?
-Rocket sets off code red sirens in Ashkelon Coast area, but lands within Gaza
-Gazan captured inside Israel with grenade
While the West labels Israel as intransigent on peace, Hamas and Gaza remain pro-active. They target Israeli civilians.
A Gazan enters Israel carrying a hand grenade. The world says nothing. Why?
-U.S.: Six-month clock on interim Iran nuclear deal not yet ticking
- Iran deal won’t kick in until nuclear inspections, pushing start into 2014
-US now indicates Iran interim deal wasn’t finalized
-Iran enjoying pre-implementation ‘window’
-UN nuclear watchdog likely to need more time, money to implement Iran deal
-Most Israelis believe interim Iran deal endangers them
America and Israel
-Obama touts Iran deal as ‘right move, good for Israel’
-Report: Obama asks Netanyahu to 'take a breather' from vocal criticism of Geneva deal
-Iran deal a failure, says ex-national security chief
-ZOA: Iran deal is Munich, Obama is Chamberlain
-US told France about secret Iran talks months before it told Israel
-Poll: Americans back Iran deal by 2-to-1 margin
-Poll shows Americans split on Iran deal
During this news cycle, US President Obama came out swinging at Israel. He had signed a deal with Iran. Israel was safe now, he said.
So why was Israel Prime Minister being negative? Israel should ‘take a breather’.
A US poll showed support for the plan by a 2-to-1 margin. What part of 'good deal' didn't Netanyahu understand?
The inference here seemed clear. Israel was acting like a selfish, self-centered cry-baby now upset because it didn’t get what it wanted.
The Israelis should ‘give it a break’.
It was great theatre. But then the wheels came off.
Another poll came out. It seems that the original poll showing tremendous American support for the deal wasn’t being confirmed. This second poll didn’t show overwhelming support for the plan. In fact, it showed, essentially, an even split among Americans.
Then, news started to leak about plan details. Iran got 8 billion dollars released immediately (too immediately?) from sanctions; but the West couldn’t begin to monitor anything in Iran until some time in 2014.
The plan was set up to monitor Iran for six months, to see if Iran truly qualified for the lifting of sanctions—but the monitoring clock couldn’t start. No one was ready for it.
No wonder Iran called the deal a victory for Iran.
Then, we learned more about the plan. When monitoring did begin, monitors would be limited to sites the Iranians have confirmed and not those critics suspect may exist secretly (where the real nuclear work was being done).
Then it got worse. The US admitted that this interim deal hadn’t even been finalized. A State Department spokeswoman told reporters it wasn’t clear when the deal between Iran and world powers would actually go into effect. But then, she added, the U.S. was respecting the spirit of the deal in urging against sanctions.
This ‘deal’ gave Iran everything it wanted. It even provided a pre-implementation nuclear window during which to push forward unimpeded--and 8 billion dollars. This is how Obama makes Israel safe?
The ZOA (Zionists of America) may have captured best what had just happened when it said that this deal was our era’s new Munich. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have become the new Neville Chamberlains.
G-d help us all.
Life in Israel
-Israel’s water shortage eased by 90 percent in four years
-Another large natural gas field discovered on Israel’s Mediterranean coast
-Israel to get first (natural) gas filling station next year
-Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim eyes investments in Israel
As the world continues to tell us we must buy into the 'Palestinian struggle', investors line up to make money from Israeli companies. Israel continues to solve its water issues while the Arab lands around Israel suffer from something horrible called, ‘desertification’—the turning of farmland into desert sand.
Now Israel reports that yet another natural-gas field has been discovered. This new discovery is called ‘Tamar Southwest’. It contains perhaps 20 billion cubic meters of gas. This 2013 discovery compares favourably with the 2009 ‘Tamar’ site (10 billion cubic meters of gas). It is smaller than the 2010 ‘Noble’ find (16 trillion to 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas).
Guess what new businesses Israel is going to develop? One will be natural gas fill-up stations. These will service primarily (at first) busses and garbage trucks.
If you have ever been in Jerusalem, you’ll know that there are a lot of busses and garbage trucks clogging Jerusalem streets. Converting them to natural gas could have a major impact on local air quality.
If you want to understand what that means, think about air quality in Cairo, Egypt. Yes, Cairo is much larger than Jerusalem. But in five years, where might air quality be for each city?
Israel shows the potential to move into a Redemption-style future. It might be safe (if politically incorrect) to say that Cairo shows the potential to turn into a living hell.
The Arab Middle East
- Syrian opposition to attend Geneva peace conference
-Egypt's interim president to decide on voting system
- String of bombings, shootings kill at least 20 across Iraq
-HRW: Syrian refugee women sexually harassed in Lebanon
-Report: 250 Hezollah fighters killed near Damascus
-Report: Scud missile kills 40 people in Syrian market
While Israel is demonized, it continues to push the envelope of technology and research. Arabs, meanwhile, go in a different direction. One headline (not included here) reveals that some 2.2 million children have become refugees from Syrian fighting. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports on rights violations in Lebanon. Fighters in Syria accuse each other of using chemical weapons on the battlefield. Egypt still struggles to find ‘democracy’. Bombers in Iraq continue to kill innocents.
But of course, the UN doesn’t overly worry about these issues. The UN worries about Israel. It’s all Israel’s fault that, for example, refugee Arab women in Lebanon are sexually harassed by other Arabs.
Jews around the world
-Brooklyn Jews targeted in ‘knockout’ attacks
-Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in Australia, report shows
-French Jews too afraid to put kids in public school
-French Jewish immigration to Israel up by 49 percent
Face it. It’s a myth that life in Israel is dangerous. We all see news reports about Arab attacks against Jews. But these reports shrink when compared to assaults and attacks in large cities around the world.
New York City, for example, has more people than all of Israel. While I do not have a source for this, I will suggest to you that there are far more murders, rapes and muggings in New York than in Israel.
I live in an Israeli city of 44,000 people. There is virtually no crime here.
We don’t have ‘knockout’ attacks in Israel. We are not afraid to send our children to ‘public schools’ (as Jews in France are afraid to do). We do not fear that our children and grandchildren will be subject to anti-Semitic insults (as a third of the French fear). We are not afraid to walk in public wearing clothing that would identify us as Jews (as many are in Europe today).
If you are Jewish, the chances are good that you are safest in Israel, not someplace else.
There are other stories in Israeli news outlets. But aren’t these enough for one day?
Come back again. You’ll see Jewish Destiny unfolding right before your eyes.