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Showing posts from 2012

Happy New Year - 2013!

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"50 Ways To Stop A PA State"

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Moshe Burt's politically incorrect parody of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover".

Enjoy and share.

What Happened to the Iranian Threat?!

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The Iranian threat was top of the Middle East news for months - and this peaked with Binyamin Netanyahu's powerful speech, with the memorable cartoon bomb, at the UN in September.

It seemed that war against Iran was immediately on the horizon - the only question seemed to be whether Israel would attack alone, or together with the USA?

However, there's barely a mention of this imminent, existential threat to Israel in the past few months...

Has that threat disappeared or lessened - or are we all simply distracted by other issues?

Did Ahmadinejad throw in the towel and abandon his enormous investment his country has made in developing a nuclear bomb?

The US elections in November, and the re-shuffling of leadership, delayed any serious decision making about what the USA and, therefore, Israel, should be doing militarily or diplomatically.

And then Israeli elections presumably stymied any unilateral plans Israel may have had to nobble Iran...
not to mention the side-show of the Ga…

If You're From the UK, You Can Help!

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Joining In The Festivities?

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This is an only-in-Israel moment.

A Chareidi (ultra-orthodox) family in Jerusalem, with their children dressed as Father Xmas (he who shall not be named).

Perhaps this is a mark of tolerance, mutual respect, a recognition that the Jewish people are, after all, a tiny minority, in a world of Xmas celebrators!

WRONG.

When I first came to Israel, one of the things that astounded me was the total absence of Christmas.

I was used to at least three months of incessant commercials and blah about the Christmas season.
I used to sing along with Christmas carols, settled down on the 25th to watch the Queen's speech, and then enjoy an old favourite movie on the TV.

In Israel, and certainly in religious neighborhoods, Christmas simply is absent.
As much as Purim may pass by unnoticed in Beijing, or Shavuot is absent in Tokyo.

So why is this chareidi family all decked out in Father Xmas gear?

My guess:

1. It's probably a Purim photo.
2. They have no idea that these costumes are of Father X…

Did Bennet Bungle?

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In a TV interview on YNet (view below), Naftali Bennet, head of the Bayit Hayudi Party, put the cat among the political pigeons with his comments on carrying out orders which are against one's conscience.

Bayit Hayhudi is estimated by the polls to be the third largest party in the upcoming elections.

According to politicians across the spectrum, Bennet gave his support during the interview for "refusal of orders".

This is a controversial topic in Israel from two perspectives:

1. Left wing soldiers who may refuse to serve in Yehuda & Shomron ("The West Bank"), particularly against Arabs.
2. Right wing soldiers who may refuse to carry out eviction orders of Jewish residents of Yehuda & Shomron.

Historically, the Left Wing refusers have been the most active, including the "shministim" (12th Graders") who have been active since 1970, notably claiming to represent thousands of teenagers who will not serve in the "occupied territories"…

Shame on YU

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A series of reports in the Forward have brought to light abusive practices allegedly perpetrated by two senior members of staff at the YU High School for Boys in Manhatten.

These practices allegedly were carried out by Rabbi George Finkelstein and Rabbi Macey Gordon, collectively between the 1970's until 1995.

The mode of operation for Finkelstein seems to have consisted of wrestling with teenage male students in a private location, while committing sexual acts upon them. According to the Forward, the newspaper has received around a dozen such complaints.

At least two reports against Rabbi Gordon allege that he inserted objects into their anus.

According to the Forward, numerous complaints were brought to the YU authorities over the years, including the highest levels of YU, yet these were not acted upon in any way - and certainly in no way which was transparent or accountable.

Apologists for YU are saying that these events happened 30 or 40 years ago, and "things were diffe…

Weberman et al: Death-Throes of a Cover-Up Culture?

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The culture of covering up child abuse is alive and well and right here in Beit Shemesh.

However, in the USA, UK, and Australia this culture has recently been dealt severe blows, which will hopefully speed up the process of ending these discredited "shittos" also here in Israel.
Rabbi Nechemia Weberman's conviction in the USA on 59 counts of sexual abuse against a minor, due to the astounding personal courage of an 18 year old female victim who came forward to testify against him, has received high-profile media coverage in the USA and internationally.

The winners in the Weberman case are the victim and her family, the child protection lobby in the Jewish community and the rule of Law.

The losers are Weberman, who will rot for many years in prison, the Satmar community who committed an outrageous chilul Hashem by very publicly throwing their support behind Weberman, and those in every community who opt to treat child abuse allegations as an "internal matter", i…

Is "Price Tag" Terrorism?

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Some groups of right wing activists have developed a policy called “Tag Mechir” (literally “price tag”) largely in response to the ineffective policies used by the right wing establishment to oppose the Gush Katif evacuation.
This Price Tag policy is aimed at the Government authorities, such as the army and police, and it includes attacking the property of third parties, such as Arab civilians and left wing activists.
It is used as a wild-card response to specific anti-settler acts implemented by the Israeli authorities.
So, for example, when an outpost (unauthorized Jewish village) is demolished by the Army/Police, just a few kids can exact a hassle factor "price" which ties up thousands of troops and police in preventing counter-actions, far beyond the geographic location of the outpost itself.  
The price taggers are typically teenagers, ideologically motivated and equipped with spray cans (to paint graffiti).
Most of the reported actions allegedly carried out by the pr…

Statehood – The Two Edged Sword

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Yes – of course the UN recognition of Palestine as a State is a major blow to Israel’s international standing, and potentially to our national security.


And, Yes, it makes Israel vulnerable to Palestine’s future efforts to attack Israel through the international court system.
Yes, it’s a further step towards a real Palestinian state, which would be an existential threat to the Jewish State.
And, Yes, its hard to see anything whatsoever positive in this diplomatic mess.
Except this.
Not only can Palestine now pursue Israel via the International Court in the Hague.
But Israel can now pursue Palestine in the International Court.
Next time the Palestinians launch attacks on Israel, the Israeli Government now has legal recourse against their Government.
So, for example, when Hamas next launches missiles into Israel against our civilian populations, then the Government of the State of Palestine in Ramallah can be held legally responsible and can be sued in the International Court in the H…

Who Killed YA?

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I'm not sure why the Palestinian Authority is bothering to dig up Yasser Arafat.

Apparently the traces of radioactive material polonium-210 were found on Arafat's clothes by a Swiss investigative team in July of this year.

Polonium is a rare material, which is extremely poisonous.

For example, by mass, polonium-210 is around 250,000 times more toxic than hydrogen cyanide.
To put it another way, one gram of polonium-210 could in theory poison 20 million people of whom 10 million would die. 
It has a half life of 30-50 days in a human. In other words, after eight years in the grave, Yasser's unlikely to have much in the way of detectable Polonium.
Polonium-210 has been used, even recently, by the Russian secret services to discretely poison opponents, such as the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident, in 2006 which was announced as due to polonium-210. (Litvinenko was a whistle blower on Putin's criminality, and was bumped off in London).

Even if polonium …

Movie "Standing Silent" - Magen Evening

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Magen will be screening the important & prize-winning movie "Standing Silent" on Tuesday 27th November, at the RBS Matnas, Nachal Dolev, Ramat Beit Shemesh.

The evening begins at 7.45pm.

"Standing Silent" is a dramatic & compelling documentary produced by Scott Rosenfelt, producer of "Home Alone".

The movie follows the trail of allegations of child abuse in a US Jewish community, their exposure, and the impact upon that community.

The movie features Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski, Rabbi Yosef Blau and Rabbi Elan Adler.

The movie was recently awarded the Best Documentary Prize at the World Jewish Film Festival in Ashkelon.

"Standing Silent" will be introduced by public figures, and will be followed by a panel discussion with professionals who will address questions from the audience.

The evening is highly recommnded for all parents, educators, mental health professionals and community leaders.

Light refreshments will be served.

Recommended donation…

Who Won?

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Every commentator in the country - and many beyond our borders - are discussing the ins-and-outs of the ceasefire (now holding for 24 hours) between Israel and Hamas.

My 2 cents is that the biggest game-changer in the conflict was the new Iron Dome Air Defence System - which is now a major step towards neutralising Hamas' ground-to-ground missile capabilities.

There's not much point in Hamas continuing to invest millions of dollars, and the lives of numerous Hamas operatives, if each missile fired at Israel will be shot out of the sky by Iron Dome.

To appreciate how astounding Iron Dome is, consider how difficult it would be to shoot a bullet with a bullet.

The IDF is reporting a 90+% success rate for Iron Dome intercepting incoming threats to Israeli cities. (Many of the missiles which landed, were deliberately not intercepted by Iron Dome, due to their trajectory missing the cities).

The Israeli technology and its results (so far....and they will only improve!) are awesome.

In Tel Aviv During Bombing

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The ambulance sirens alerted me to the bombing. 
Just a few hundred yards from my meeting this morning in central Tel Aviv, passengers on a bus were the target for a terrorist bomb.
A few minutes later, I boarded a bus, and passed the landmark Azrieli Building, where I witnessed the scene of a 'false positive' - where members of the public alerted the emergency services to a suspected bomb.
There were multiple ambulances, police and army everywhere.   
The final toll from the bomb on the bus was 20 injured, three "seriously".
By the way, have you ever wondered what the media/police mean when they use the term "seriously injured"?
Here's a definition from Wikipedia: An injury for which a person is detained in hospital as an 'in- patient', injury or any of the following injuries whether or not they are detained in hospital: fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushings, burns (excluding friction burns), severe cuts, severe general shock requ…

Iron Dome Takes Down Hamas Missiles

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The Barbarians We're Fighting

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From Fox News:

Leaving Gush Katif Brought Israel Security, ahem.

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Ping Pong with Hamas?

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Israel’s most pressing threat is not Hamas, but Iran.
It is true that Hamas is armed to the teeth with rockets and missiles, and is trigger-happy to use them on Israel’s populations.
However, Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, with means of delivery – which is planned to result in the decimation of Israel.
So why has Israel’s leadership and armed forces apparently been distracted into a parochial war against Hamas?
When the IDF assassinated Ahmed Jabari and his son Mohammed al-Homs last Wednesday, with gall and in broad daylight, Israel’s leadership surely knew it would provoke Hamas into a belligerent response.
Hamas so far has fired over seven hundred rockets and missiles at Israel’s population centers throughout the South, and even in central Israel. With no end in sight. 
What’s the point in this deathly ping-pong with Hamas??
I propose that the answer is that it is a pre-emptive strike by Israel, in advance of a direct attack on Iran
One of the disincentives for Israel to atta…

PSA - Call For Volunteers for Emergency Relief in Beit Shemesh

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Unfortunately war has broken out and everyone wants to do what they can to help -"Mi k'Amcha Yisrael".

The Home Guard has given instructions to the Beit Shemesh Iriyah to not officially organize hosting/absorption of "refugees" from the South since BS is almost in the firing range and we need to keep all the available resources we have in our town for our residents including empty buildings, centres, professional services, volunteers etc.

Ezrat Achim has set up a nationwide system that will arrange hosting in towns all over Israel including in BS/RBS for the families who wish to come here (they say that there aren't many who want to be in BS/RBS).  Anyone who would like to host or be hosted should call Ezrat Achim at 999-0000.

The Iriya is relying on Lema'an Achai (as well as other non-profit organizations) to recruit volunteers.   We don't need you right now but we're busy preparing lists of volunteers who will be available and prepared when neede…