Showing posts from November, 2012

Who Killed YA?

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

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?

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

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


The Barbarians We're Fighting

From Fox News:

Leaving Gush Katif Brought Israel Security, ahem.


Ping Pong with Hamas?

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

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…

Why Isn't Lema'an Achai Hosting Hundreds of Refugee Families?

Unlike previous wars and operations, Lema’an Achai is NOT immediately launching a major program to house hundreds of families fleeing from the South, here in Beit Shemesh.
The reason is that this time, officially, Beit Shemesh is not a refuge.
The main targets of Hamas missiles are Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Beersheva. Anywhere within 40 km range of the Gaza border is a vulnerable target. So Kireat Gat and Kireat Malachi (where three civilians were killed by a missile today) are also within range.
This map illustrates the ranges of missiles and the Israeli cities under fire. 
You can see why Beit Shemesh was considered a (relatively) safe haven for families under fire. 
Five kilometers out of Grad range, made all the difference.

However, this map is now out-of-date.
Hamas now has Iranian Fajr-5 missiles in its arsenal.
The Fajr-5 has a range of up to 75 kilometers. This includes Tel Aviv.
That is why the IDF opened this campaign by targeting known Fajr storage and launch sites. …

Ahmed Jabari's New Relationships


Good Shot IDF!

Good riddance to Ahmed Al-Jabari & Son, who murderously ran Hamas's armed wing, the Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades.
Yes, the consequences to the pin-point assassination are unknown, and may be severe. Let the chips fall where they may - Hashem Yishmor.  
Kudos to our awesome armed forces and courageous political leadership.


Me: (playfully snooty)...if you actually remember what a BOOK is?!!
My Kid (defensive): of course I do, dad, what do you take me for?!
"Book", is short for "Face-Book".

Wanted Posters in RBS

Pashkevilles (ultra-orthodox posters) have been plastered around Ramat Beit Shemesh (Aleph and Bet) about a man who is 'wanted for questioning' by Rav Nissim Karelitz's Beit Din in Bnei Braq.

According to the poster, a man referred to by his initials "Chet Kuf", is of chasidic appearance, lives on Nahal Kishon in RBS A, drives around in a black Volvo trying to pick up children, and has a history of offenses against children.

This poster is a demand that he appear at Rav Karelitz's Beit Din on Monday 12th November.

If he doesn't appear at Beit Din, then the poster threatens to publicise Chet Kuf's full name and photograph.

Apparently the posters were produced by the Committee for Purity on the Camp - AKA The Beit Shemesh Modesty Patrol, by instruction of the Beit Din.

Pashkevilles are well known for their lapses into fiction - and are sometimes simply a pack of lies.

In this case, I do believe that "Chet Kuf" really exists and that he has a b…

Exploring in the Hills of Bet Shemesh

"You can take the Yorkshireman out of Yorkshire, but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the Yorkshireman."
One of the main reasons we moved to Bet Shemesh, was the lure of the green hills.
They remind me of my upbringing in Harrogate, Yorkshire, a small town in the rural Yorkshire dales; we would walk out of our home and into the surrounding fields – the rolling landscape peppered with Swaledale sheep and Friesian cows,  trickling streams, bedecked with the lush deep green grass – stretching forever.
In Israel, if you crave green, you either need to go to the Galilee in the North, or Beit Shemesh in the center.
The hills around Bet Shemesh are verdant. In Spring they explode with blankets of shimmering flowers. Seasonal fruits and herbs grow wild – first come, first served! Migrating and resident birds of every hew and species. Occasionally, deer will sprint to new cover. As night falls, the coyotes howl like the wolves of yesteryear.
Ancient buildings, wells, cisterns, pre…