Showing posts from July, 2015

My Daughter-In-Law Explains Why She said "Mohamed is a Pig"


10 Years, 10th Av: Gush Gatif - What Didn't Happen Next

Our orange ribbon still hangs from our car mirror. 10 years later. "Zecher LeChorban Gush Katif" - in memory of the destroyed Gush Katif.

Today is 10th Av (although we are marking the 9th, due to Shabbat); the exact Jewish date that the decrees of Hitnatkut/Disengagement was carried out, with the forced evacuation of nearly 9000 Jews form their homes in 21 towns and villages in the Gaza Strip and from four villages in Northern Shomron.

Over the years, it has become clearer that the destruction of the Gush Katif and Northern Shomron settlements, was but a prototype for what was planned to be a much larger expulsion of many more towns and villages in the Yehudah and Shomron.

When Arik Sharon introduced Disengagement, at the Herzlia Conference in 2003, he did not present it as bringing Peace, presenting an Oslo-esque New Middle East, but rather an initiative taken in the context that there was "no Palestinian Partner", and future steps needed to be unilateral rather …

Obama's Iran Deal Sounds a Lot Like Clinton's Failed North Korea Deal | ...


Is Life Like Waze?

I was told an interesting parable by my daughter Avital, in the name of Rav Daniel Stavsky.

This is an interesting approach to the old chestnut question how can we have freedom to choose, when God is all knowing and is in control of the whole world, down to the finest detail?

Life is like Waze. (Waze is an Israeli-invented GPS and traffic management system)

The beginning and end of each trip is defined.

The optimal route is also mapped out for us.

Yet, at any point in the journey we can use our own judgement to change or ignore the route, whether motivated by I-know-better, or simply failing to follow the instructions properly.

There may be significant consequences to departing from the instructed route - Waze no longer guarantees getting to our objective in an optimal way.

The optimal route can also be changed by Waze mid-stream, as conditions change in real-time on the roads. These factors are outside of our control or influence.

However, we can chose to contribute by sending Waze…

Unusual & Fascinating - The National Library

At the request of my 15 year old son, this week we made a spontaneous & first ever Morris family visit to the Israel National Library - and had a (surprisingly, for me at least) fascinating time.

The National Library is located in the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

As with many institutions, the visible resources for the public are the tip of the iceberg, with literally millions of books stored in the archives downstairs. Nevertheless, the various reading rooms, libraries and collections on display and available for public perusal and study are phenomenal. Furthermore, should you wish to access the hidden treasures downstairs, specific books can be ordered and are delivered for reading, generally within an hour.

The first room we visited was the computer room, with rows of PC's for use by the public, including access to resources in the Library and (particularly Jewish sources) from around the world.
It was striking that the many users of the computer…

Part One: 10 Years Since Disengagement - The Context of the Protests

Even ten years later, I find it hard to calmly collect my thoughts about the Hitnatkut, the "Disengagement" project for evacuating the Jews from Gush Katif and the North Shomron.

If you had asked me say 15 years ago, what I thought of Gush Katif, I would have associated it with extremist firebrand settlers, living in a hostile location, surrounded by the most extreme Arabs.

Not a place I had ever visited, had any interest in, and I certainly had no desire to dedicate a period of my life to trying to save it.

All that changed in December 2003 when Arik Sharon announced to the world, at the Herzlia Conference, his plans to evacuate Gush Katif.

For the next year and a half me and my family became 'orange', the colour chosen for the pro-Gush Katif campaign.  

While ultimately the orange campaign failed, in that the evacuation of Gush Katif was carried out as scheduled in August 2005, it is important to remember the context of that campaign, which defined the tone and th…

Greece Lightening

Greece has become the (economic) joke of Europe - and this was a particularly good example tweated around the internet recently....

Guest Post: This Terror Attack Was Different

My 20 year old son, Raphael, was in a car at the time of the terror attack this week near Shilo, and arrived at the site of the attack, by chance, just moments afterwards. This is Raphael's story, feelings and thoughts. (I have translated this from the original Hebrew).

This time, it was not ‘just’ another name, another headline, which ran “a man died of his wounds from a terror attack at Gidon Junction”.
This time it was for-real; this time I saw the man; this time I touched him; I had felt him struggling to breathe with all his strength; I heard him wheezing in his efforts to stay alive; I smelled his sweat and his blood.
I am a local civilian resident of the village of Achia, and by a miracle I was saved from the shooting having arrived by car at the site on the road just minutes after the murderous attack.
I suddenly recalled what I had learned in a MDA medics course five years’ previously, and I immediately needed to treat the wounded; not fractures and dislocations, but I fo…