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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Someone Out There Better Be Paying Attention To This...

Normally, in a sane world guided by sane people who have learned the lessons of the past, one would skip over the absolute gobbledygook that Ahmadinejad the President of Iran, and his gang of yo-yo's are spreading around the globe. However, these days, the world seems to have taken a sharp left somewhere out in the boondocks and one never knows just what salient and intelligent person will read, agree and then support these people.

Articles have appeared all over the world press, about a new, yet wondrous letter sent by the Iranian genius to the American people. In the AP report, the New York Times, and the Jerusalem Post among others, the following was reported:

"In an open letter, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the American people Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and reject what he called the US government's "blind support" for Israel and its "illegal and immoral" actions in fighting terrorism...

Ahmadinejad has alienated many Americans by calling for Israel's destruction and repeatedly dismissing the Holocaust as a myth. He also strongly supports the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese faction Hezbollah, which the US State Department lists as terrorist organizations."
Now it does not concern me in the least what this dictator does in the lonliness of his own mind or home. History is replete with the acts of madmen. And yet that is the whole point.

History is replete with the acts of madmen.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf. No one paid any attention. Ahmadinejad is calling for the destruction of Israel and he will have unchecked nuclear capability soon. Some people in the Israeli and US govt. have mentioned how dangerous he is. But he is getting a great deal more dangerous because like Hitler and those before and after him, he is applying one other tried and true tactic. This man knows how to apply "the doctrine of the lie". Simply put, tell a lie enough times in enough places over and over and over again, it will be accepted as truth.

So now he is approaching the American people, in a second letter since May. It makes no difference if he is rambling here and there. It makes no difference if the man himself is a true dictator. It makes no difference that he would, if he could, bring a nuclear holocaust on this planet without thinking twice.

What makes a difference is he is very carefully, with a great deal of planning and a great deal of smarts, applying propaganda while touching upon truth. The greatest of liars use truth as their weapon. Then they twist it, put it through the mixer and it comes out totally incoherent. BUT in the beginning it was truth.

He is using emotion. He is saying ostensibly very sane things to America. "Put your money into the homeless. Don't stay in Iraq." Appealing to the emotional level he applies that doctrine of the lie over and over and over again.

Hitler did the same thing. A lot of madmen in history had a genius for making a lie sound like truth. And they had a genius for lulling the world into inaction until it was really almost too late.

Someone out there better really be paying attention to his madman. There is method to his madness. It is a lie embedded in the truth. But if he is not stopped, completely and totally stopped real soon, it is not just Israel or the Middle East that is headed for catastrophe.

You see, some really intense bigots are paying attention to this man. Some really very stupid people who have no clue what planet they live on and hide behind the aura of being "fair" and "intellectual" are paying attention. All over the Internet, where the "little" people voice their views, it is clear that this letter has made its insidious way through to some very bigoted and stupid people. Here is a thread for you: Jews run everything: The meme that never dies...

Little people who elevate themselves to the role of peacemaker and lovers of humanity scare the bejessus out of me. They hide bigotry, raciscm with certain ignorance and stupidity behind lines clearly crafted to evoke emotion for the "downtrodden". But finally they always always always show their true colors (Below is from the thread Jews run everything: The meme that never dies...):
Time and time again, Israel has managed to be a Jewish cause instead of a nation carved into somebody else's homeland.
How is that for a ditty of intelligence? Israel is NOT really a Jewish cause. It managed to turn itself into one. You see the insidious sickness here? Oh not yet? Cause it is just one quote. Okay. Lets go further. Same person. Same bigotry. Same hatred.
"Israel cannot exist without her playing by the rules as a nation, defined as a nation, not as a Jewish state. But, she becomes the latter when it is strategically in her favor. How would you like the President of Iran to address you, [name]? Are you an American who should be at least weighing the wrath at arms length - which you claim you do - or a man committed to the Jewish cause? I am not, because I refuse to support the notion that any religion should dictate the terms of my country's foreign policies."
First we are a nation. And had better act like one. Now we are a religion subverting the government of the United States. So Jews are both! My oh my! What a discovery!

You see, that is why someone better wake up real fast. When the little people, those with no understanding of the very basic course of history, those with a hatred that is ignited by the call to "teach the Jews/Israel a lesson", those who really should be placed in kindergarten with the rule,"Children should be seen and not heard" - when the little people start saying "Sieg Hiel" you know we are in trouble. When the little people speak of the madman in Iran and say: "I read his speech earler today. I believe he is sincere." we are in deep doo-doo. When "Jew" and "Israel" are interchanged as they should be and yet made seperate - when they are on the tongues of such people, when the nation is attacked and then the religion as well, it is very dangerous to turn away. The inner hatred boils on and gets stronger.

This madman, the head of Iran, is going to take the whole world with him.

Will someone who still has some sanity left, listen to Ahmadinejad carefully. Because if we don't we are all going to pay dearly for once again ignoring the words of a psychopath who managed to find his way from the hell of his own mind to the head of his country. And the little people around the world will be saluting with their fists outstretched once again, demanding the extintinction of millions. And don't say you were not warned!

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

The Chronicles of the Children of Heaven The View From Jerusalem T3 - Teddy's Techie Tips Cobwebs Of The Mind Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weaving The Filigree For The Crown Of God...

It is a commonly used phrase that when religious Jews in discussing the afterlife, it is said: "May he/she merit to sit within the light (aura) of the Shechina (presence of God)." This sentence or wish expresses the hope that due to the good deeds the person has accomplished during their lifetime, these deeds will accompany that person and bear witness for them before the heavenly tribunal.

I have absolutely no doubt that an equivalent idea and phrase is expressed in all the world's religions and beliefs. If one believes in good and evil, if one also chooses to believe in a God that rules and judges His world, then this would be a consequence of such beliefs.

However, even though it is wished that all of creation merit to sit within the aura of the Shechina there are those that simply with one act during their lifetimes, one small or huge act, one decision, one statement - merit without any doubt an even greater position. It makes no difference if they themselves believed or not; even if they denied the very existence of God and were true and complete agnostics; it makes no impression if they stood on the rooftops and screamed to all of humanity that heaven and hell and God and judgment do not exist.

For some people are defined simply by what they do, when they do it and how they do it. Some people are destined to not only sit within the aura of the Shechina, but they are destined to sit with the great Angel Sandalphon weaving the filigree for the crown of God.

Jack Werber, who died yesterday at the age of 92 was one such person. The Talmud tells us that:

"Whosoever preserves a single soul of Israel, Scripture ascribes to him as if he had preserved a complete world" (Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)
Jack Werber then saved many many many many worlds. Born in Poland in the town of Radom, fate placed him as a Buchenwald Concentration Camp barracks clerk. In 1944, when the Germans watched as the Russians grew ever-closer to the heart of Germany, and they knew that the war was lost, they doubled their efforts to make the world "judenrein" - or "cleansed of Jews". And in that effort of Satan personified in this world, they sent a train load of 2000 children to Buchenwald to be gassed and killed.

Imagine that! Loosing a war, which a madman started to fill his own pathological needs, killing 25-35 million people along the way, and towards the end being so dedicated to your goal of "judenrein" you still devote your starving nation's resources to killing Jews.

And so this train arrived at Buchenwald, as the Nazis, if nothing else, were meticulous and prompt in their methods. And so Jack Werber made a decision. He was going to save as many of those children as he possible could. Orphaned children whose parents and siblings had already been wiped out by the meticulous Nazis. Just like the Nazis had killed Jack Werber's first wife, Rachel, and his child, Emma. But this time, this specific instance, this one time, human courage went way beyond any norm or expectancy.

Jack Werber through cajoling and pleading, subterfuge and promising to remember that the Nazi guards who at Buchenwald understood they were going to loose the war and someone was soon going to uncover their horrendous atrocities - Jack Werber managed to save over 700 of these children by hiding them all over the barracks. Let us repeat that number. Just for emphasis.

700 children were saved by this one person, whose name was Jack Werber.

Shindler's List is a beautiful story and true. Werber's story is also one of courage and fortitude. Of a decision taken by one man in the midst of the worst hell on earth imaginable, in the face of sure death, to save those who he could. Later in his book, Saving Children: Diary of A Buchenwald Survivor and Rescuer - he wrote:

“Suffering a great personal loss drove me in my obsession to save children.”

Whatever reasons drove Jack Werber to do what he did is not really the point, is it? For in the end he is an example of true courage and true caring. In the end it tells us the story of the absolute and complete heroic acts of human being in the face of such horror.

Jack Werber passed away at 92 in California. But his deeds effected the history of Israel as well. As one of those children he saved, grew up to be the former Ashkenaz Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Meyer Lau.

One act can sometimes define a person forever. It seals his fate. And such was the fate of Jack Werber. I have no doubt that he sits at the feet of the Throne of He who created the world in the presence and aura of the Shechina. I have also not a shadow of a doubt that Jack Werber now sits and weaves the filigree for the crown of God.

For without Jack Werber it can truly be said the crown of God would be incomplete.

May his soul be bound up in the bond of life.

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Day In The Life Of Israel

A day in the life of Israel:

  1. The President of Israel may be officially indicted for sexual harassment and will resign if he is going to be indicted, though no one knows if this is just a smear campaign or for real.
  2. Olmert offers the Palestinians a prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit.
  3. The Red Cross, Amnesty et. al. still have not visited him nor the others held by Hezbollah.
  4. Yossi Beilin crawls out of the woodwork again to offer his party's support for the wonderful path Olmert has taken.
  5. The Cease Fire in Gaza still holds
  6. There is some talk in extending it to the West Bank
  7. Kassam's still land in Sederot
  8. Lebanon is back to normal. Hezbollah back up to their pre-war numbers of missiles and they are now even arming others.
  9. Lieberman head of a large faction in the Knesset questions Olmert's sanity and is beginning the path towards toppling the government.
  10. The Palestinians begin an English Language Daily to be sold in Israel
  11. Palestinians are demanding their own "right of return".
  12. The Histadrut, the parent body for all Labor Unions plans on a massive strike beginning tomorrow
  13. Iran with silence and complicity from the world, is finishing up its Nuclear bombs.
  14. Syria is making noises again about water rights.
  15. A serial rapist who escaped from jail is still at large.
  16. Rape Crises centers report that two-thirds of the callers are under age.
  17. Michael Richards aka "Kramer" from the Seinfeld series is being accused of anti-black and anti-Semitic remarks. (That really blows my mind!)
I am going back to bed folks. It is such a ho-hum day here in Jerusalem. Nothing exciting going on. Nothing new. SSDD.

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

Monday, November 27, 2006

Three Weeks In Jenin

Reading the morning news here in Jerusalem can often be a depressing experience. This morning, I noticed an article with the name "Kabatiya" in it. Kabatiya brings back lots of really bad memories from four years ago when serving in Operation Defensive Shield as a battlefield medic in Jenin. Kabatiya is a little hamlet? village? town? terrorist enclave? south of Jenin, and certainly as volatile and dangerous as Jenin itself.

The article "IDF kills PRC commander, 50-year-old woman in Kabatiya" depressed me. It only took 48 hours for the whole peace-fire thing to get ready to fall apart. Okay, I am really not suprised by that. It was to be expected. The Jerusalem Post reported:

"IDF troops killed a Popular Resistance Committees commander and a 50-year-old woman overnight Sunday in Kabatiya, south of Jenin.

The woman took the dead PRC commander's weapon and tried to run off, the army said, saying that troops did not immediately identify her as a woman because she was wearing trousers in pre-dawn darkness.

Senior PRC official Yaser Maza'al said that Israel should "expect revenge in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip" in the wake of the deaths, Israel Radio reported."
The daily Haaretz though in the article entitled, As Gaza truce holds, IDF kills 2 in W. Bank firefight, was less pessimistic. Despite the report about the PRC commander, it does seem as if the Gaza truce is still holding. Good thing or bad thing? That is up to you to decide. They further reported a summit was about to take place, Report: Olmert, Abbas to hold summit with visiting Rice. No biggie here. No great shakes.

Normative news on a normal day in Israel.

But, that name Kabatiya. That name and the nightmares. Jenin & Kabatiya. Kabatiya & Jenin. I was thrown back a few years. I went through those three weeks of war and returned home unscathed in body. My agent pushed me to write about those three weeks. The book, "Three Weeks In Jenin" was born. That manuscript has a long and interesting history, though this is not the time or place for such a discussion.

But Jenin? Kabatiya? Those names haunt me. So here, if you wish to read on, I am going to place the Prologue of "Three Weeks In Jenin" for your reading pleasure. Maybe then you will begin to understand a bit about The View From Jerusalem and certainly a bit about life in Israel.

But first let us just show you a map of the area. (For some really great maps of the area mostly produced by the CIA where you can zoom in go to: Perry-CastaƱeda Library Map Collection)

Map Of Area Of Jenin

Three Weeks In Jenin

A Time To Kill & A Time To Heal

Prologue - Death With A Smile

Omnipotent. An alluring word which means having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force. It is an adjective normally used to describe an all-powerful being, though in a finite world unlimited power can occasionally prove to be an irresistible temptation.

For a moment, just for a few fleeting seconds, give in to that sacrilegious fantasy. Pretend you are graced with omnipotence. A God looking down upon the vast mosaic of creation. All-powerful. All-seeing. Guardian of the ultimate truth. Seduced by the desire of control. Whether we are atheists, true believers or just ambivalent about this whole God thing, there always comes a theopneustic instant when one looks down upon this world and assumes the omniscience that is normally bestowed upon the creator. Playing God can prove to be a daunting task. It makes one wary about the responsibility, though exercising accountability is unnecessary. God is accountable only to Himself.

To allay any fears of impinging upon the immortal realm, no miracles, profound wisdom or mystical lightening bolts are required. This exercise only entails imagination coupled with a dogmatic assurance that whatever you say will be acknowledged, without question or doubt, as being completely accurate.

Most news oriented television stations and printed journalism have made the apotheosis to divine infallibility by enveloping their unbiased and absolutely unaccountable reporting with a numinous aura. Indeed entire empires are based upon the belief that what they report, will and must be accepted as the ultimate truth. Playing God is good for business.

Objectivity is crucial. Take for example the bomb that blew up a bus in Jerusalem on June 18th, 2002. The immediate aftermath of that bomb left nineteen people dead and seventy-four injured. The international news agencies reported that bus to have been boarded by a “suspected” terrorist. At the moment Muhamed al-Ral stepped up to the pay the driver on that bus he was just an Islamic law student at An-Najah University in Nablus. When he detonated his bomb next to an eleven year old child he became “suspected” of an act of terror. Impartiality is another divine trait.

As a matter of fact, the challenge would be to discover any incident relating to bombs, drive-by shootings or ambushes, as having been perpetrated by anyone except a “suspected” terrorist. There seems to be no rule-of-thumb and thus no capability for a “suspected” terrorist to become a plain terrorist. Innocent until proven guilty. Or until so many body parts lay on the ground that only modern forensic science can put them back together. To bury the pieces.

On any given day a bomb explodes or open-season shooting occurs in areas packed with civilians. Those killed are not considered “suspected” deaths. Their families bear sad witness to that fact. Children left without parents. Parents suddenly bereft of children. All those deaths are just, well, just death. Yet the perpetrator always seems to be relegated into the fuzzy domain of “suspected”. Imitating God allows for a great deal of literary freedom. After all, who is going to question God?

With omniscient vision we can hover over our small, insignificant planet and concentrate on any one area. So down we go, to the Holy Land, known as Israel or Palestine, depending upon what your ultimate truth is. The place where the eyes and conscience of the world seem to return on an ever-increasing basis. An extraordinary land filled with divine inspiration from the Old Testament, New Testament and the Koran. A small country which all combined is not much bigger than the state of New Jersey. Drill down a bit more. We seek landmarks on the map. Something that has the ring of familiarity about it. Name-recognition in modern parlance.

Tiberius. A city hugging the shores of Lake Kinneret and rising with the mountainsides into the Galilee. Where Jesus was baptized by John, and then continued preaching in Capernaum on the waters of the Kinneret. Where miracles became legends that brought change to the face of humanity. The area where the revolt against the Roman Empire began, and its famous spiritual leader, Rabbi Akiva is buried. Graves reaching back thousands of years, witness to all that is magnificent and cruel in mankind’s past. The final resting place of the revered medieval lawmaker and philosopher, Maimonides. The main water source for the modern State of Israel. Go farther east and you will hit Jordan or travel up to the Golan Heights and into Syria. Tiberius is a fine landmark from which to begin our journey. A peaceful town often visited by ecstatic pilgrims seeking epiphany.

On the west side of the map nestling on the Mediterranean Sea is the port city of Haifa. One of the three largest cities in Israel. A mere sixty kilometers [37 miles] from Tiberius. Our view is now limited by two serene cities nuzzling two bodies of water.

From Haifa we go down - south and east. And from Tiberius we go down - south and west. Creating a V from both points. The lines of our V will cover around forty kilometers [25 miles] on either side. Not exactly equidistant, but close enough for our V to remain straight. Until the bottom point hits the city of Afula near the Jezreel Valley of Old Testament fame.

Less than twelve kilometers [7.5 miles] from Afula, towards the south-west, lies Megiddo. Another city of Old and New Testament fame. Revelation Chapter 16 Verses 14-16:

“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”

The etymology of the word “Armageddon”, comes from late Latin, derived from Greek which in turn derived it from the Hebrew, “Har Megiddo” meaning “the mountain (region) of Megiddo”. A cursory look at the dictionary will tell us that “Armageddon” in current times refers to “a vast conflict that is marked by great slaughter and widespread destruction and that is usually so decisive as to make further or renewed conflict impossible”.

A war to end all wars. Echoes from the past, tainting the present and reaching far into the future. As recently as September 11, 2001, the word Armageddon reared its ugly head. Some speak of that prophecy in the ecstasy of fanaticism, prophesizing through eyes glowing with burning religious fervor. Others wisely whisper it in unmitigated horror.

Go south-east, towards almost the middle of the map. Another small dot. There it is. The town we seek. Less than ten kilometers from Megiddo nee Armageddon. Our center-piece. Jenin.

Yet before we allow ourselves to linger on the principal point of attention a few more landmarks might be in order. The more perspective the more ubiquitous we can be.

Paint a four-pointed diamond. Something like the North, South, East and West diamond that appears on the upper right-hand corner of our map. Place Jenin on the top of the northern tip. Place Nablus on the southern tip. Tul-Kerem on the western tip. Tubas on the eastern tip. Not a large area by any means. No more than sixty kilometers [38 miles] separates any one point on our diamond from another. This four-point diamond sits in an area called the Shomron and is part of what is euphemistically known as the West bank of the Jordan River. Jenin sits on the edge of the Dotan Valley. The same valley where Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers.

In modern times the Oslo accords further complicated matters. Under the now famous “land for peace” formula, all of the territory was divided into Area A, B or C. Area A represents Arab cities under Palestinian control and Area C is for Jewish communities under Israeli control. Nablus, for instance, is in Area A. Area B, is under Palestinian jurisdiction with regard to civil matters and under joint Palestinian - Israeli control with regard to security. Jenin is in Area B but treated as Area A. Amazing how humanity can destroy such a pretty map with so many lines and borders and confusing names. Even forcing God to sigh and shake His head at the madness.

So we too, in our omniscience, will allow for a short sigh before returning our eyes to the top of the diamond. Our focal point for this journey. Jenin, a growing village-city situated only a few kilometers from major Israeli population centers.

First let us discover where the roots of this fabled city lie. The name Jenin comes from the original “Ein-Gannim”, meaning “the springs of Gannim” which appears in the Old Testament book of Joshua. The Romans also settled there, using the name of Jenai or Ginaea. This ancient city still exists in the form of a Tel, in the middle of the modern city. The area around Jenin is filled with beautiful forests, streams and waterfalls. A veritable Garden in Eden.

For the sake of clarification, while depicting Jenin we are forced to divide it up into three parts. The province of Jenin. The city of Jenin. And the Jenin refugee camp situated within the city itself. All three concern us.

The province of Jenin, according to the web site of the Jenin Chamber of Commerce, is fairly large. It spreads towards the east on our four-point diamond until Tubas. Towards the west it reaches the outskirts of Tul-Kerem. And towards the south it borders the lands of Nablus. Around seven hundred and sixty square kilometers [294 square miles]. Big piece of real estate in such a small country. Approximately two hundred and thirty-five thousand people are spread over eighty-four cities, towns and villages within Jenin province.

The city of Jenin contains around thirty-five thousand inhabitants. It is a fairly wealthy city (second only to Ramallah), with neighborhoods of large expansive villas and gardens. Running water, electricity and phone systems all exist within city boundaries. Doctors, lawyers, pharmacies, a hospital, charity organizations, schools and sports clubs are active and flourishing within Jenin according to the Jenin Chamber of Commerce.

Let us take a look at an internet site, this one belonging to the UN and more specifically, to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. There we are told as follows:.

Jenin camp was established in 1953, within the municipal boundaries of Jenin on 373 dunums. Most of the camp's residents came from villages which can be seen from the camp and which today lie inside the Green Line in Israel. Many of the refugees still maintain close ties with their relatives in those villages. While camp residents find employment in the agricultural sector around Jenin, many are still dependant on work inside Israel. After the redeployment of the Israeli army in 1995, the camp came under Palestinian Authority control.

For the sake of clarity, the refugee camp originally covered an area of less than a square kilometer or mile. It has since grown and today contains, according to the UN, a little over thirteen thousand souls, 13,055 at the last census to be exact. It is the poor neighborhood; the other side of the tracks of Jenin, over which the Palestinian Authority has complete and total control, as the group representing the united nations of the world clearly tells us.

There is just another small piece of information that should be emphasized here. The name Jenin pops up in an overwhelming majority of incidents where a “suspected” terrorist just happens to be situated at the right time and the right place when a bomb goes off in Israel. Death by “suspected” terrorists occurs every day which makes for a hell of a lot of suspects. Jenin is a name that is uttered with trepidation and fear.

On April 11, 2002, news of a massacre by Israeli soldiers of some five-hundred Palestinian men, women and children in the Jenin refugee camp hit the airwaves. Let us print out that number for emphasis. 500. (Nasty word. Massacre. Sends shivers up and down the spine.) It came the day after fourteen Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush in the same camp. News wires saturated the world with reports of the massacre. That fourteen soldiers were killed that day was a fact, though the overall count would go up to twenty-three. Count their bodies. Visit their families.

Playing God we can afford to show a bit of patience. Humans have a terrible habit of rushing to determine facts. A calm period is require, giving them a chance to think and retract. The air must settle. So the UN got involved. The whole world went into a frenzy. Five hundred massacred. Big number. Even one person massacred is one too many. Yet on May 1st, two weeks after this purported incident took place this is what CNN reported.

CNN - May 1, 2002 Posted: 11:32 AM EDT (1532 GMT) Palestinians have said that Israel carried out a massacre at the Jenin camp, killing some 500 people. Those allegations have not been independently corroborated.

Israel has said that "dozens, not hundreds" were killed in intense fighting as its forces attempted to clear out what it called "the fountainhead of suicide bombers." Aid agency officials said Sunday that 52 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of the camp.

Israel lost 23 soldiers during the fighting, 13 of them in one incident. Figures compiled by aid agencies show 140 of the camp's 1,896 homes were destroyed, and another 200 were damaged. One-quarter of the camp's population of 13,000 was made homeless.

Do you see the word “suspected” anywhere? To be sure the word allegations is used. But Pandora’s box has been opened. A massacre had to have taken place. Perhaps the numbers needed some massaging, but that word, massacre, embedded itself in the consciousness of the world. Never, not once, did the word “self-defense” appear. The day before fourteen Israeli soldiers walked into an ambush while terrorists hid behind live women and children. The bodies of dead soldiers were stolen by these terrorists to use as ransom and mutilate them, and at great expense to life and limb finally brought back. Still, we were informed, positively with no shadow of doubt, that there had to have been a massacre.

Patience is a Godly attribute. Months later, on Friday, August 2, 2002, the front page of the International Herald Tribune carried this small news-header, on the right hand side towards the bottom of the page.

UN dismisses Jenin Claim

The United Nations on Thursday dismissed as unsubstantiated Palestinian claims that 500 people had been killed when Israeli forces invaded a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin in April. The UN report criticized both sides as putting Palestinian civilians at risk. The UN report supported previously published accounts that 52 Palestinians were killed in Jenin refugee camp, along with 23 Israeli soldiers.

So the original numbers remained. No massacre. Amazing how fifty-two became five hundred. Reminds one of the “doctrine of the lie”. Repeat a lie over and over again, to more and more people, it magically turns into truth. That is why omnipotence is crucial. To determine the truth. Or to create it when reality does not match our expectations. The trick is, the real God does not change facts or truth. He leaves that up to us. No need to wait for God to mess things up as we do quite a good job all on our own.

In a landscape that could one day contain sparkling streams careening down small waterfalls into dark brown woods and flourishing green fields - in the midst of this beauty lies a small city named Jenin. A place where one can experience the sweet smell of fresh blood mixed with that acrid odor of numbing fear; the sound of bombs exploding and guns firing; the sight of gaping wounds and mangled limbs; the touch of cold steel allowing less than a second of thought between killing or being killed; and the bitter taste of bile in the mouth.

Memories from three weeks in the biblical village of Ein-Gannim, known currently as Jenin. Armageddon. Encountered within a city where hate runs rampant even as the greatness of God is declared while in His name death is dispensed with a serene smile.

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

Sunday, November 26, 2006

For You (Too) Were A Convert In The Land Of Egypt...

"One ordinance [law] shall be both for you of the congregation and also for the stranger that sojourns with you, an ordinance [law] for ever and throughout your generations: as you are so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One Torah and one code shall the be for you, and for the stranger that sojourns with you. " (Numbers:15-15-16)
Many years ago, in 1971, while studying in Jerusalem, I had the privilege of having as a teacher Nechama Leibowitz. While this is not the place nor time to discuss this woman's great mind and incredibly friendly personality, there is something to be shared from the many things she taught us. Nechama would stand or sit at the front of the class and with great patience and wit attempt to teach those who did not lay claim to Hebrew as a mother tongue, how to read a verse in the Torah (Old Testament) and understand all its nuances. Many aspects of her methodology remained with me and others who studied in her classes. I certainly took them with me through the years as I made my way to study under some of the greatest Talmudic minds of this generation.

"Nechama" as she was lovingly and respectfully called (and asked to be called as well), left behind her literally thousands of students who still study her commentaries on a daily or weekly basis. Yes she did break the mold. She was a woman and knew more than most Rabbis did, certainly in Bible studies. She was smart, witty, and at times caustic. She was brilliant and yet a real person. Down to earth and yet could discourse and debate with the finest of minds in the stufy of Bible and all the various commentaries.

If asked today, I can sincerely tell you, that the most poignant memory of Nechama Leibowitz teaching me had nothing to do with some deep commentary within some verse. We were studying Exodus with Nechama that year, and as it happens someone made a point that it seemed strange the the Torah repeated again and again the words, " ki ger hayitem be'EretzMizrayim" - "for you too were a stranger [convert] in the land of Egypt". The student wanted to know why the Torah felt a need to emphasize this point over and over again?

Nechama's eyes lit up with fire when the question was asked. She became animated and very excited. She turned to the class and asked:

"Do you know what verse appears the most in the Torah? What statement appears more than anything else?"

No one could answer, and to be honest, no one had the courage to answer. Nechama was a walking, talking Biblical Encyclopedia to be honest, and there was no way any one of us were going to stick our necks out and guess!

"It is the verse, 'and you too were a convert in the land of Egypt'." she said and then continued pointing her finger at us in excited fashion. "Don't ever forget that. We were all converts once. And it is a grave sin and I will say even a grave moral sin to ever be mean to or upset or demean a 'ger' [convert]."

I never forgot those words. For some reason which until this very day I cannot explain, that scene and her words embedded themselves deep within me. I have forgotten much of what I learned in that class, truth be told, but those words never left me.

It is even stranger as I was born Jewish and brought up on in a home which was traditional - modern Orthodox. There are a few converts within my extended family of cousins though I never had any contact with them. I rarely met converts actually. But Nechama's word lay in my mind waiting to be ignited, I guess. If I believe in nothing else today, I believe that there is a reason for everything. And today in an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post, under the title, Look who's subverting the Torah, by Barbara Cook, I understood why those words of Nechama Leibowitz, may her memory be blessed, never left me.

Let us for the moment give a bit of background here. There are three major trends in the modern Jewish world. Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Each has its own set of rules and makes their own decisions in regard to Jewish law. For many, many years, Orthodoxy refused to accept converts that were converted in the Conservative or Reform manner. And that still remains true.

There are to be honest, excellent reasons for this. Conversion in traditional Judaism, demands that certain requirements be met. Conservative and Reform movements do not agree that these requirements should be met. Thus Orthodox Judaism until this very day will for the most part refuse to grant legitimacy to Conservative or Reform conversions.

This is a much more serious argument than at first seems. For Jewish law states that a child is Jewish if his mother is Jewish. The father does not "create" or have a hand in the "Jewishness" of a child. Thus, if a woman converted in Reform Judaism and had children, though these children may be accepted as Jewish by the Reform and/or Conservative Judaism, most of the Orthodox Jewish world will deny the valid "Judaism" of these children. Therefore you can see how difficult this problem is and how volatile arguments about it can get.

Many Rabbis in Israel have engaged in political games in order to make sure that Israel would not recognize Conservative or Reform conversions. Once, legally and democratically they realized this could not be done, a new stance was taken. Now they want to demand that any convert, be they Orthodox, Conservative or Reform or whatever, not be granted automatic "Law Of Return" status to Israel, and must be approved.

Without taking sides between the various trends in Judaism here, any thinking individual, religious or not, should be disgusted and abhorred by such a suggestion. It is a cynical method by which certain factions can guarantee their control over "who is Jewish and who is not". It is also clearly against every single thing that I can think of in the nature of the Torah warning us how to behave towards the convert. It is an anathema to all thinking individuals especially and including Orthodox Jews who should be a lot more knowledgeable of the injunctions on how to behave towards converts.

So when I saw Barbara Cook's op-ed piece and was so very impressed with it, those long remembered words of Nechama came back to me. Ms. Cook is a convert. A proud and eloquent convert to boot. In her case an Orthodox convert . And as she puts in her article, if Rabbi Shlomo Amar - the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel has his way, she will not be considered Jewish!

In our technological age there are a million ways around this. From a centralized database to be used for all those who do care where a convert received their conversion and from whom, to a million other less intrusive ways to go about this. But as one who has spent no small amount of years in the study of Jewish law and Talmudic dictum, I find it abhorrent and disgusting that such a suggestion was made by no less than the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel.

I must repeat. I am not granting any sort of legitimacy or taking sides in the arguement about what type of conversion is correct or good or valid. I certainly do not need to air my opinions on something that every family can handle in its own way, while still protecting its own beliefs.

What I am doing, is demanding the respect and legitimacy that every convert to Judaism deserves, and the Torah requires of any Jew. To be silent in the face of such a cynical use of Jewish law, would mean my acquiescence. And there are simply some things that one should never agree to or let slip by unnoticed.

We are taught that every soul who would ever live as a Jew was at Mount Sinai and accepted the Torah. Born or converted they were all there, proclaiming the famous words: "We will do and we will listen." If this Midrash (legend) is true, and it is certainly taught to every toddler, then it is also true that a woman such as Barbara Cook and her family stood with all of us at Mount Sinai as well. And most certainly her resounding pledge of "We will do and we will listen" is no less, and perhaps even greater than ours.

Upon seeing this article I immediately sent an email to Ms. Cook asking her I could reprint her op-ed piece here at The View From Jerusalem. She did not sign over any copyright to the Jerusalem Post and I have quoted the source of this piece above. She gave me permission to quote from it or republish it here in The View From Jerusalem. You can continue to read her well written and eloquent piece below.
I'm a Jew by choice. It's the most important choice I ever made in my life, and perhaps the most important choice I will ever make.

Almost eight years after my husband and I completed Orthodox conversions in Canada, every action in my life is defined by my Jewish identity and my desire to be on the front lines for Israel.

I've been on numerous Jewish boards, including that of an Orthodox outreach organization, was named woman of the year by my local chapter of Emunah and have lectured about Jewish leadership across Canada. And whom do my Jewish-born friends call when they have questions about Jewish laws or tradition? The convert, of course.

I've been to Israel 18 times since my first trip in May 2003, have led missions to Israel and taught Canadian and American university students how to defend Israel. I spend most of my vacations studying Hebrew in Jerusalem, and work for an Israeli organization that has defended Israel in parliaments and conferences around the world.

According to Jewish law, I have all the obligations and privileges of any Jew born of a Jewish mother. But if Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar gets his way, when the time comes to make aliya I will be denied the basic right of equality to other Jews under the Law of Return. Rabbi Amar wants to change Israeli law so that only Jews born to a Jewish mother would be entitled to automatic citizenship.

"[Converts] are able to come as citizens through other laws, and that is fine... of course they will be considered," he told Israel Radio.

In other words, all Jews are equal, but some Jews are less equal than others.

Beyond my personal outrage, I find it hypocritical that a rabbi in his position would try to subvert Torah law for his own political purposes. He is angry that both the conversion process and the Law of Return have been abused by a minority of converts. And it appears that he is also trying to use this proposed change to delegitimize Conservative and Reform conversions.

These are certainly issues that need to be debated and resolved. But Judaism does not resolve a social and political problem by abandoning an intrinsic Torah directive, supported by extensive rabbinic law, that not only asserts the full rights and equality of converts, but actually demands extra caution regarding the feelings and sensitivities of Jews by choice.

RABBI AMAR is in blatant violation of both the letter and the spirit of Judaism when he discriminates against converts. In numerous places, the Torah stipulates the legal equality between born Jews and Jews by choice in all laws: "There shall be one law both for you and for the convert that lives with you. This is a law forever for all generations, as you are, so shall the convert be before God. One Torah and one law shall be both for you and for the convert (Numbers 15).

But the Torah goes beyond this legal equality and actually demands extra special concern and sensitivity in interpersonal relations, so that the convert does not feel like an outsider: "Do not taunt him [the convert]" (Leviticus 19), and "Do not burden the convert, as you know the soul [emotional state] of the convert, having been strangers in Egypt" (Exodus 23).

God has special love for those who choose Judaism and demands that Jews by birth demonstrate that same degree of love: "For the Lord your God... does justice for the orphan and widow and loves the convert... You shall love the convert" (Deuteronomy 10). And again: "Love him (the convert) like oneself" (Leviticus 19).

The rabbis understood this, and wrote:

"Dearer to God than all of the Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai is the convert. Had the Israelites not witnessed the lightning, thunder and quaking mountain, and had they not heard the sounds of the shofar, they would not have accepted the Torah. But the convert, who did not see or hear any of these things, surrendered to God and accepted the yoke of heaven. Can anyone be dearer to God than such a person?" (Midrash Tanhuma/Buber).

Finally, the Torah singles out for special damnation those who do injustice to the convert: "Cursed is he who tilts the justice due the convert, orphan and widow" (Deuteronomy 27).

IN ADDITION to directly violating the explicit directives of Jewish law, the chief rabbi's proposal is also shortsighted in failing to recognize the unique contribution that Jews by choice can make to Jewish and Israeli life.

When I was on a young leadership mission to Moscow in May 2000, I was asked by the Jewish Agency to share my experiences as a Jew by choice with a group of Russian Jews who were preparing to make aliya.

It was the first time they had met someone who knew how hard it was to learn Hebrew as an adult, who could talk about the fears and awkwardness and embarrassment of trying to fit in to a new culture and religion, and who could reassure them that it was worth every bit of their struggle to reclaim their Jewish identity.

After I spoke, my fellow Canadians were in tears, and the Russians rushed to embrace me.

Are all of those people living Jewish lives and raising Jewish children in Israel today? Maybe not. Did some of them take advantage of the conversion process and abuse the privilege of Israeli citizenship? Perhaps - and perhaps that's why Rabbi Amar is attempting to punish all converts with his sacrilegious proposal.

But I know that I was able to help many of those Russians embrace their Jewish identities that day because I knew what it meant to make a conscious choice to become a Jew.

The Torah codifies and champions something that Rabbi Amar has failed to grasp: my fundamental right as part of our nation to join my people under equal terms and settle in the Land of Israel.

The future of Israel and the Jewish people depends on Jews who embrace Judaism and are proud to be Jews - whether by birth or by conscious decision. I have made my choice and God has recognized my choice. My right to the land is no less than Rabbi Amar's. God gave me that right. Rabbi Amar cannot take it away.
(Barbara Cook is associate director of Palestinian Media Watch. She lives in Ottawa, Canada.)

You are so right Barbara Cook. Judaism is not for Rabbi Amar or any other Rabbi to give or take away willy-nilly for the sake of politics. One cannot give pain to a convert, just because one wants to protect against others. Real or perceived threats do not make converts to Judaism the legitimate fodder for cannons in the battlefield of religious politics.

I for one welcome you to my home. No let me say that better. To OUR HOME. Here, in the land of Israel, in the city of Jerusalem, may you and your children and your grandchildren live in peace and with your people. It would be good for all those who were born Jewish to remember, as Nechama taught us, "for you too were a convert in the Land of Egypt".

And may we all merit to see, as one people, with one heart, with one soul the words of Zechariah:
"Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Old men and old women shall yet dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for old age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets." (Zechariah 8:4-5)

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

Here We Go Again!

In an article on Saturday in the Jerusalem Post, Israel accepts ceasefire offer and also based upon AP reports the announcement was made:

Israel announced on Saturday, following a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, that it would accept the Palestinian factions' offer of a ceasefire.
Well we all knew how long that would last didn't we? Nevertheless Israel fulfilled its part of the bargain and withdrew from Gaza. The Jerusalem Post reports - Five Kassams fired from Gaza despite cease-fire agreement
Two more Kassam rockets landed in Israel on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of rockets aimed at Israel since a cease-fire agreement with the Palestinian government went into effect earlier in the day to five.
Now lest you think that this is a fictional tale of fictional rockets let us visit the Associated Press for a moment. Palestinian Attacks Go on Despite Truce
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip as a last-minute cease-fire deal took hold Sunday morning, but two major Palestinian militant groups, saying they had no intention of stopping their attacks, fired volleys of homemade rockets into Israel.

The ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad tempered hopes for a lasting truce, which was meant to end five months of deadly clashes. The attacks caused no injuries.
So far so good. A cease fire was decided and 24 hours later it was broken with Kassam rockets flying into Sederot. Nothing new here. All in a days work. I do not think there were more than ten people in all of Israel that thought this would actually work!

We did have a ceasefire or we didn't? That is the question. Let me see. Israel and the Palestinian Authority agree on a ceasefire. Abbas claims he will get all his factions, people, terrorists to play nicely. Israel withdraws from Gaza. And again from the AP article: Palestinian Attacks Go on Despite Truce
Hamas' own militants claimed responsibility for firing rockets into Israel after 6 a.m., clouding prospects for the truce's longevity.

"(We) reiterate that our attacks against the enemy continue," the group said in a statement posted on its Web site.
I would be aghast at this but this is just so boring and so expected, hell, why even comment. Besides as this piece in the Israeli Daily, Haaretz Newspaper shows us, entitled: PM: We'll show 'patience and restraint' after Gaza truce violations, Israel is not going to march right back into Gaza. Time, patience and a lot of forgetfulness seem to be the order of the day.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday said that Israel would display "patience and restraint" in the face of Palestinian violations of a cease-fire that went into effect earlier in the day.
However, what is critically important to comment on is this little ditty in the Jerusalem Post article, Israel accepts ceasefire offer. Just a few words, mind you. Just a reminder.
No mention was made in the statement about kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, whose abduction on June 25 led to the IDF's stepped-up actions in Gaza.
Oops! Hey correct me if I am wrong here. I could have sworn Israel went into Gaza 5 months ago to get Shalit back. Okay that did not work. I agree. But woah! Wait a Sec! Me thinks Olmert no longer has any political points from thinking about Shalit and thus he kind of removed those wonderful pictures from his desk.

Oh! You don't know what I am talking about do you? What pictures? What desk? Well I admit it was all of 5 months ago and that is like eons way back to remember so let me remind you.

Olmert, in his speech to the nation, at the beginning of the Lebanon - Israel War had this to say to all his countrymen (the excerpt is from the middle of Olmert's speech):
Citizens of Israel,

This is a difficult time of trial for all of us.

The State of Israel has withstood much more complex trials - and triumphed.

We have always known how to mobilize our inner strength, equanimity, wisdom and patience, in order to overcome our enemies.

Finally, I wish to speak on a more personal note to the families of Shalit, Goldwasser and Regev, the families of the soldiers who are held hostage by the Hamas and Hizballah.

You, and mainly your children - our children - are always on my mind.

Last Wednesday, only five days ago, at 10:00 am, Aviva and Noam Shalit sat in my office. They, and I, want Gilad home more than anything. While we were discussing the situation, I - and Aviva and Noam - received the painful news that Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser and Eldad Regev had been kidnapped.

On their departure, Noam and Aviva left a picture of Gilad, taken close to the date of his kidnapping.

Unfortunately, pictures of three boys now stand in my room. Many times during the day I look in their faces, into their eyes, and embrace them in my heart. I do not forget them for one minute. They were there on our behalf and for our sake. We will do everything and make every effort to bring them home. We will do this, but not in a pattern that will encourage more kidnappings.

There is almost no one who can understand the place you are in. Even when we do not talk directly, I feel and hear what you want to say to me, and I embrace you with love,
understanding and agreement.

The place I am in compels me, ultimately, to make fateful decisions, for life, and sometimes even for death.

I have no strength other than that which you have bestowed upon me.

I have no courage other than that which God, my faith in the justice of our cause and my sense of supreme responsibility, have instilled in me and have prepared me for these fateful moments.

Madam Speaker,

I see before me the kidnapped boys, those standing in the front line and in the line of fire, those brave and determined ones who are fighting today and who could - God forbid - be the target of tomorrow's kidnapping.

We will defend all of them, on behalf of all of them we will fight, and with all of them before our eyes - the civilians in the line of fire, the kidnapped fighters and their families - we will continue, without hesitating, without capitulating and without fretting, until our goals are achieved.
Hey, it is not Shakespeare but quite decent as speeches go. Though of course if one reads the whole speech as usual one is left with the feeling that Olmert must be living in an alternate universe, as nothing he aspired to has remotely happened.

However be that as it may, let the cards fall where they will, ceasefire or no ceasefire, Kassams or no Kassams, Hamas is in or out, Jihad is in or out, Gaza remains the cesspool it has always been or someone there finally grows a brain and realizes this is just not going to anywhere - be it all as it may -

Hey Mr. Prime Minister. I have a question for you. In all this time in all this wasted energy, did the Red Cross but once bring us news of Shalit? Have you given up, much like your predecessors gave up on Ron Arad? Tell me something Mr. Prime Minister. One question.

Did you at least have the courtesy to return the pictures of Gilad Shalit, Ehud (Udi) Goldwasser and Eldad Regev to their families? Ya know Mr. Prime Minister, you got your mileage out of them. But it is only respectful to return the photographs to the parents.

At least you won't have to look at them and remember just how incompetent you are.

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Well Worth The Read....

The Human Spirit: So, like, I am offended By BARBARA SOFER

The Jerusalem Post has really strict procedures in regard to reading something that went into their archives. One of the few places left where they charge you to read news that is already in every search engine out there.

So be quick with this one folks. Be real quick. This is worth the read. I am very worried about copyright here otherwise I would post this whole piece.

Gets 5 stars from The View From Jerusalem.

Click below to read it.
This is an open letter written to Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania:
The Human Spirit: So, like, I am offended By BARBARA SOFER

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem

A Nation State? State Of The Nation? - I Give Up!

Since the emancipation and the advent of Jews being able to leave their ghettos and walls behind, for the most part, and despite a major hiccup here and there, such as the Nazis and small itty-bitty things like that, Jews have carried on a lively discussion about the elements of Religion, Nationality and being a people. Some divorced Judaism of any national specific trend. Others accepted this symbiosis of Nationalism and Religion within the same entity. Zionism accepted Nationalism with a nod to its religious roots. Secular Zionism touted Nationalism first. Religious Zionism touted religious norms and laws along with the desire for Statehood.

As Jews are a complicated bunch, and ten people will give you ten different opinions, the discussion and theoretical argument can get incredibly complicated. However, one thing cannot be denied. Israel was re-established as a State for the Jewish People, the Homeland of the Jewish People. And there still exists, in all its thriving manner, the Jewish religion. Whatever side of the fence you are on, there can be no denying these historical facts. You may wish to argue the rationale for keeping long nosed, ugly people around, and you may wish to argue the rationale as to why modern society ever let Jews out of the ghetto - but certainly if you do open a map of the world and look with a good magnifying glass among the vast territories held by all the Arab States - ahh there it is - you will find "Israel" there in small print.

Okay, you are wondering now. Where is Teddy going with all this? What stupid statement did he manage to uncover? Who did the gaffe this time?

Oh no dear people, you are wrong. Teddy, despite the emails he has been getting from fans of The View From Jerusalem, is a fun-loving, sincere and intensely patient individual. Some things set Teddy off. Only some. Let us count them shall we?

First there is Stupidity. Second there is Hypocrisy. Now how many stupid or hypocritical people can I possibly run across in the course of a couple of days? Come on. Be realistic. How many can there really be?

Well you know what happens when a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals get together and attempt to change the world with their honesty and ethics and morals, don't you? You know what happens when they meet and discuss and plan and reveal behind words couched in effortless dogma real deep seated hatred, don't you? You know what happens when people tend to get carried away with themselves and are incredibly impressed with their own quasi-intelligence, don't you? And then when all these people meet together on the Internet under assumed names and made-up persona's and find each other at last, like long lost lovers, you do know what happens, don't you?

Of course you know what happens! They manage to prove yet again the old adage:

None of us are as dumb as all of us!

Let us look for a moment into the minds of some of these glorious intellects and their motivations, shall we?

In a thread over at Absolute Write entitled: Your Manifesto which had as its intention and I quote:

If you were running for office, what would your platform be?


No attacks in your platform, unless you are attacking an abstract like poverty or illiteracy, etc.

No criticism or attacks on other platforms put forth here. This exercise is just to help you think about and decide what you're about, what you're for.

Make a compelling case.
It took all of 34 posts (golly gee that many?) for the participants to get to Israel. Imagine that? 34 posts before the following gem of a quote was posted:
Of course now, it is convenient to call anyone opposed to Israel's aggressive military policies an anti-Semite. And that is promoted by those who deliberately confuse Israel's definition - Israel as a nation versus Israel as a Jewish state - with the agenda of disqualifying the real issue by supplanting it with supposed bigotry.
Oh folks wait. Before we get into the absurdity here, let us see how passive-aggressive this very same person is.

Remember the pearl of a thread we discussed in a recent post Hatred Spreads Like A Cancer called: 6 Muslims Removed From Flight which was subsequently locked due to "acrimonious debate". Well this same person had this to say about those people who wanted to pray.
Sorry, I can't argue their case as much as I wish I could. I have to ask myself whether I would want to get on a plane where I just saw a bunch of guys facing Mecca, praying and then boarding. Then they don't sit together?

Sorry. Either they go or I go. I have better things to do than watch every move they make for the next how many hours.
So much for passiveness huh? But wait dear readers there is more for entertainment from the same deep thinker.
"It has to do with people not wanting to get blown to smithereens because some jackass is about to light his shoe or set something off in the head."
Now don't that blow the wind out of your sails?

Of course Israeli's who do not want to get blown to smithereens are aggressive and war mongers, but when your own little body is in perceived danger and you yourself are in fear of getting blown to smithereens, it suddenly becomes okay to say "Off With Their Heads!" or in the view of this story: "Get the hell off my plane. I couldn't care what you are doing."

Hypocrisy is a beautiful thing.

Now let us dig a bit further into this gem of a quote that was offered from our very same closet hypocrite nee intellectual giant. Oh boy! Oh joy! We shall put this quote up again with the bolding being mine. Let us look at these words of truth, justice and the intellectual way.
Of course now, it is convenient to call anyone opposed to Israel's aggressive military policies an anti-Semite. And that is promoted by those who deliberately confuse Israel's definition - Israel as a nation versus Israel as a Jewish state - with the agenda of disqualifying the real issue by supplanting it with supposed bigotry.
Oh my! It is so nice to know that I am confused. It is real nice to know that a majority of the Jewish people are just so confused all over this planet. But now I have clarity. Now in an epiphany of truth I see just where our mistakes lie. Yay! I am jumping for joy! That is the answer, of course. There is Israel as a nation and Israel as a Jewish State, (pay close attention to that one - not just plain "State" but "Jewish State" and draw your own conclusions).

Of course. We now have the answer. Israel is a Nation (whatever that may mean) but Israel as a Jewish State... well that leaves us confused and thus unable, when you choose to throw your pseudo-intellectual jargon around to call you what you are, - an anti-Semite.

I get it now! Finally! You love Jews, you just cannot stand Israel. Hey no problem. There are a lot of people who say the same thing all over the world. The Jews are a religion not a nation. They don't deserve nationhood. The interfere with everything and anything. They cause wars. They own the economy. They are the root of all evil. They should not be allowed to defend themselves BECAUSE you and your ilk will defend us. That thought gives me sweet peace.

Oh Teddy! Stop! You are going way overboard with a couple of quotes. All the guy said was he is scared to get on planes with Muslims praying and that he obviously does not think people who hate Israel are anti-Semites. Hey, it is his opinion ain't it?

In the decades that Israel has been at war with her neighbors, armed and financed by the US, is she more secure for having been a military might in Palestine? Would she be more secure if the Palestinian people had received recognition for their loss and compensation for the homeland from which they were ousted? Well then here is another pearl of wisdom. Just to be clear.

This is in a thread Shame! Israel Rejects Truce and was actually started to show why Israel should not accept a truce.
"Israel - as we all know - holds all the financial cards and most of the military ones, which is why the Palestinians can be overrun at will. Still, Hamas is defiant, resorting to suicide bombers and rocket attacks to articulate its rage. And Israel is forced - one way or another - to negotiate.

Presumably, Israel wants peace, but to date is unwilling to admit that she was awarded a stolen state.

Given all the almost unimaginable suffering, I don't know why it's so difficult for Israel and her western benefactors to admit that the displaced Palestinians need compensation for their loss. I mean, WTF?

The original post - illustrated by the article - tries to present Hamas' demands as unequal compared what it's willing to give. But, I think it's patently absurd to compare Hamas' position to the Israel one and make any declarations as to what is indeed equitable.

It is very easy to sit comfortably in a secure house and revel in harsh judgment about a desperate people because nothing as profound as one's home has been taken. But, I submit, that if anything similar had happened to any of those who choose to condemn them, he or she would be expressing a very different point of view."
Wowsers. (The bold is mine.) I mean it wowsers. Is this time for a lesson about rockets and bombs flying into Israel? Or maybe this guy was in diapers when Iraq bombed the crap out of Israel in the first Iraq-US War and Israel did not do a thing? Or maybe he just does not read the same papers and see the same pictures of homes destroyed in July during the Lebanon - Israel war? Or maybe he truly does not know, nor has ever seen the thousands of people who died and are wounded when terrorists set off bombs all over Israel?

You see when "Hamas" does something it is to "articulate its rage". Oh! Let us not forget this gem either. "Presumably, Israel wants peace, but to date is unwilling to admit that she was awarded a stolen state."

Still think we are reading words into this guy? Still think he is innocuous and just presenting a normative point of view? Still think this guy is not a rabid anti-Semite?

Jews should be stateless and essentially are cause 5000 years is not enough of a claim to piece of land when those standing in line for around 80 years claim it as their own as well. We should be under the protection of any nation wishing to have us. And thus never should we be allowed to declare allegiance to Israel. Oh no. Oh by golly no! We must have allegiance only to the country where we are living. And Israel should be given back to a people with such a long history it boggles the imagination. All the way back to the creation of Jordan in the early nineteen hundreds. Yes sirree. A long and illustrious history those Palestinians have on a land that of course the Jews have no claim to.

Cool Beans, Jelly Beans.

And thus there is no supposed bigotry. You see, when you speak of the fact that Israel as a State should not exist, that Jews or Israelis should be scattered once again to the four corners of the earth, this is not bigotry. This is sanity. This is normalcy.

People like this scare me in a way. They are not dangerous. They will not do a thing to Israel in the end. They are just way out there on some planet in some make-believe world where only their truth exists. They are the real ego-centrics of our planet. But they do scare me. Why? Because in their heart they are bigots and hate to a degree far beyond any norm I know of. Because if one just really reads the words of but one person above the following argument is purported by a man who would throw Muslims off a plane for praying and declares that the State of Israel was stolen from terrorists.

According to these very own words of our wonderful genius quoted above, the only case of bigotry would possibly be is when you speak out against "religion". Now that is bigotry.

Scratches head and asks:

"So what about those six Muslims that got on the plane and wanted to pray and you wanted to throw off?"

Posted On: The View From Jerusalem