April 27, 2010

Explorers Claim: Noah’s Ark Found On Turkey Mountain

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say wooden remains they have discovered on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey are the remains of Noah’s Ark.

The group claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.

Yeung Wing-Cheung, from the Noah’s Ark Ministries International research team that made the discovery, said: “It’s not 100 percent that it is Noah’s Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it.”

There have been several reported discoveries of the remains of Noah’s Ark over the years, most notably a find by archaeologist Ron Wyatt in 1987. At the time, the Turkish government officially declared a national park around his find, a boat-shaped object stretched across the mountains of Ararat.

Nevertheless, the evangelical ministry remains convinced that the current find is in fact more likely to be the actual artifact, calling upon Dutch Ark researcher Gerrit Aalten to verify its legitimacy.
“The significance of this find is that for the first time in history the discovery of Noah’s Ark is well documented and revealed to the worldwide community,” Aalten said at a press conference announcing the find. Citing the many details that match historical accounts of the Ark, he believes it to be a legitimate archaeological discovery.

“There’s a tremendous amount of solid evidence that the structure found on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey is the legendary Ark of Noah,” said Aalten.
Representatives of Noah’s Ark Ministries said the structure contained several compartments, some with wooden beams, that they believe were used to house animals.The group of evangelical archaeologists ruled out an established human settlement on the grounds none have ever been found above 11,000 feet in the vicinity, Yeung said.

During the press conference, team member Panda Lee described visiting the site. “In October 2008, I climbed the mountain with the Turkish team. At an elevation of more than 4,000 meters, I saw a structure built with plank-like timber. Each plank was about 8 inches wide. I could see tenons, proof of ancient construction predating the use of metal nails.”
We walked about 100 meters to another site. I could see broken wood fragments embedded in a glacier, and some 20 meters long. I surveyed the landscape and found that the wooden structure was permanently covered by ice and volcanic rocks.

Local Turkish officials will ask the central government in Ankara to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status so the site can be protected while a major archaeological dig is conducted.
The biblical story says that God decided to flood the Earth after seeing how corrupt it was. He then told Noah to build an ark and fill it with two of every animal species.
After the flood waters receded, the Bible says, the ark came to rest on a mountain. Many believe that Mount Ararat, the highest point in the region, is where the ark and her inhabitants ran aground.

April 21, 2010

Mida K’Negged Mida Paul Eidelberg

The State Israel is celebrating Independence Day—its sixty-second birthday.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has congratulated the nation for its great accomplishments in science, technology, medicine, and the arts.  Alas, not a word about the unprecedented growth of yeshivas—a veritable renaissance in Jewish learning—the return of hundreds of countless Jews to the Torah.

The great rabbi Sa'adia Gaon has said Israel is a nation only in or by virtue of its Torah.  Mr. Netanyahu’s failure to sanctify God’s Name on Independence Day is unsurprising. There is a price to be paid for this ingratitude.  Notice that Israel, step by step, has been losing its independence, for which loss Israel’s prime minister is partly responsible.

Mida K’negged mida or “measure for measure” is a basic Torah principle.  Unfortunately, hardly anyone has connected Mr. Netanyahu’s June 14 endorsement of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria and his subsequent humiliation by Barack Obama.  At their scheduled meeting in the White House on March 20, the president unceremoniously dumped the prime minister for dinner!

This was not merely a personal insult.  Obama displayed contempt for the State of Israel—America’s most reliable ally.

The present writer had previously referred to Netanyahu’s endorsement of a Palestinian state in Israel’s heartland as a Hillul HaShem—a desecration of God’s Name.  In my book A Jewish Philosophy of History (2004), I maintained that Israel’s current degradation may be traced to its government’s failure to translate the miracle of the Six-Day War of June 1967 into public policy. Before elaborating, ponder a few remarks from Michael B. Oren, Six Days of War.

On Day One, in little more than half an hour, the Israel Air Force destroyed 204 planes—half of Egypt’s air force—all but nine of them on the ground (while destroying six Egyptian air fields, four in Sinai and two in Egypt). “The Israelis were stunned. No one ever imagined that a single squadron could neutralize an entire air base.”

On Day Two, Col. Avraham Adan, watching the rout of the Egyptian army, was “stupefied.” “You ride past burnt-out vehicles and suddenly you see this immense army, too numerous to count, spread out of a vast area as far as your eyes can see … It was not a pleasant feeling, seeing that gigantic enemy and realizing that you’re only a single battalion of tanks.”

Moshe Dayan was no less puzzled: “Though Israel had gained command of the skies, Egypt’s cities were not bombed, and the Egyptian armored units at the front could have fought even without air support” (ibid.). Gen. Avraham Yoffe: “There was no planning before the war about what the army would do beyond the al-’Arish-Jabal Libni axis, not even a discussion. Nobody believed that we could have accomplished more or that the [Egyptian] collapse would be so swift” (ibid.). But as we read in Leviticus 26:8: “Five of you shall chase away a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight …”

Serious recognition of the miracle required the government to declare Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, which Israel repossession along with the Sinai and the Golan Heights. But to fully appreciate this miracle, a brief survey of contemporary circumstances is in order.

In June 1967 the United States was bogged down in Vietnam and was very much concerned about Soviet expansion in the Middle East in general, and Soviet penetration of the oil-rich Persian Gulf in particular (on which the entire economy of the West, indeed, the world depends). Recall that Egypt and Syria and Libya were then Soviet clients, and that Egypt had sought to gain control of strategically situated Yemen. Recall, too, that Israel employed French planes and weaponry in its stunning victory over Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. That victory awakened Washington to Israel’s strategic value, for it resulted in the closing of the Suez Canal to the Soviet Black Sea fleet. This important arm of the Soviet navy was then compelled to sail through the Straits of Gibraltar and around the Cape of Good Hope in order to project Soviet power along the east African littoral and in the Indian Ocean, the sea-lanes of oil tankers from the Persian Gulf. Israel’s superb air force could also help protect NATO’s southern flank in the eastern Mediterranean.

America needed a strong and stable ally in the volatile region of the Middle East. A minuscule Israel, confined to its precarious 1949 armistice lines, could hardly serve this function. Accordingly, in a now declassified secret memorandum dated June 27, 1967, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that Israel retain control of the Judean and Samarian mountain ridges overlooking its vulnerable population centers on the coastal plain, as well as control of Gaza, the Golan Heights, and a portion of the southern Sinai to secure Israel’s access to the Red Sea through the Strait of Tiran.

Viewed in this light, only a feckless and faithless government would trivialize the historical significance of Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War by not declaring Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.  In fact, it was entitled to do so both under Israeli and international law (as Howard Grief has shown in his monumental work The Legal Foundations and Borders of Israel under International Law).

In any event, ever since Yitzhak Rabin signed the Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993, Israeli prime ministers have been engaged in undoing the miracle of the Six-Day War.  Has it been left for Benjamin Netanyahu to complete this Hillul HaShem?  A terrible thought to contemplate on Israel’s Independence Day.

April 20, 2010

Netanyahu: Less Time to Act on Iran with Each Passing Day

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sounded an urgent note regarding the Iranian threat in a Monday interview on America's ABC network, saying that “we have a lot less time with each day that passes.”

“And the crucial thing,” he said, “is to use the time available for forceful international action led by the United States. If you can, go through the [UN] Security Council. If you can't, go outside the Security Council.”
“I spoke with President Obama when he was Senator Obama,” he said on the morning news show, Good Morning America. “He visited Israel. And I was the leader of the Opposition at… that time. And I said… if he gets elected President... all the issues that will flood his desk will one day be pushed aside by one overriding issue. And that is if Iran attempts to develop atomic bombs. Because they could very well either use it or threaten to use it or threaten to give it to terrorists or even give them a crude device with fissionable material that can be put in a container ship. And this could come to Manhattan or to any port in the United States or in Europe or, for that matter, in Israel.”

April 19, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010 By Naomi Ragen

I have just sat down after the fading notes of the siren have finally
disappeared.  It is another  Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen.  We have lost
22, 684 sons and daughters.  For a little country like Israel, that is an
enormous and incalculable loss.  Over the years, I have told all those ready
to listen Israel's well-kept secret: there is no Israeli army.  There is
only my son and your daughter, and the neighbor's kids.  Every loss is the
loss of not only an individual, but of  generations: the children who will
never be born, the grandchildren that will never snuggle in the laps of
grandparents.  It is the destruction of not only young lives full of
promise, but of their families: mothers and fathers whose lives are forever
shattered, grandparents who must bear the unthinkable, young girls who lost
their boyfriends, wives who lost their husbands, children who lost their
fathers.  Young women who died before they could experience anything of
life's promises.
After the words and ceremonies and sad music and films of remembrance, one
comes to the conclusion that Israel itself is bereaved, and does not know
how to comfort itself.  The ongoing and seemingly neverending price for our
freedom in the land God promised us is inhumanly high.

Only yesterday Achmadinijad spoke clearly of destroying Israel, uprooting us
like a "cancer."  The King of Jordan proclaimed there would be another war
in July.  And Syria is boldly transferring long range scud missiles once
again to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Only a week ago, we went through Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I remember
walking from my home to the Kotel.  And on the way back, I stepped inside
the newly rebuilt Hurva Synagogue, destroyed by the Arab Legion in 1948.  As
I stepped into the women's section, I looked with wonder at how the once
empty, destroyed shell, was filled anew with praying, chanting Jews.  It
reminded me of  Ezekiel's vision of dry bones rising from the dead full of
life once more.   They destroy, and we rebuild.  So it has been for every
generation of Jews.
That Europeans, who killed and tortured our families with unprecedented
barbarism, destroying one-third of the Jewish people, do not rejoice at what
we have done with our little country, but instead do all they can to see us
die again, shows me all their tears over our dead are fake, all their
Holocaust memorials empty shells.  That Americans, who did nothing to  stop
the trains to Auschwitz or to destroy the gas chambers, should ask us to
prove our desire for peace by appeasing our enemies, leading to more of our
beautiful sons and daughters being killed, shows me that America too has not
learned its history lessons.

There exists no comfort for the loss of our children as soldiers fighting
just wars.  But there is even less comfort for the loss of our children at
the hands of slaughterers, terrorists, and evil regimes.  Our young soldiers
have given their lives to save us from that.  May God bless their memories,
and comfort their families.  We owe them everything that makes our lives in
this world as Jews possible. Let's remember that more than one day a year.

Israel MUST eliminate the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran - Prof. Paul Eidelberg

If Israel does not eliminate the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran,
1) Jews in the Diaspora will NOT immigrate to this country;
2) Many Jews in Israel will leave;
3) Many Jews in Israel will have fewer children;
4) The percentage of Arab citizens in Israel will increase, hence

a. given Israel’s parliamentary system of Proportional Representation, the number of Arab Knesset Members will increase, which will lead to a further diminution of Jews in this country;
b. Israel’s tax base will diminish and this will have grave effects on defense spending, research and development, and infrastructure;

5) Tourism will drop;
6) Foreign investments will drop;
7) Israel will become strategically dependent on foreign aid;
8) Terrorists will be more inclined to attack Israel, and Israel will be less capable of preventing such attacks;
9) Israel will be subject to more to blackmail, especially from Washington;
10) The country will be demoralized.

Need I say more?

The Chosen People: Part I - Paul Eidelberg

If the Jews are the Chosen People, it appears that they have been chosen to suffer every conceivable misery.  That they have nonetheless survived two thousand years of exile, persecution, torture, pogroms, and holocaust is a phenomenon that defies any known or supposed laws of history, sociology, or anthropology.

Some 3,300 years ago the Children of Israel accepted the laws of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  This same system of jurisprudence is alive and vibrant today.  All the old religions of the nations have either been abandoned or have been so changed that their founders would not now be able to recognize them.  In contrast, despite the vicissitudes of time, the Jews, a stateless and tormented people, retained their portable homeland, the Torah.  Indeed, never in Jewish history have so many Jews returned to the Torah and established so many academies of Jewish learning.  Moreover, during the past three decades, a veritable renaissance has been taking place in Jewish philosophy.   Mathematicians, physicists, and biologists, are interfacing science with the Torah.  Torah principles and values are being employed to illuminate and hopefully elevate the character of democracy, now in a state of moral decay.  Thus, despite the murderous hatred and humiliation of Jews down through history, Judaism continues to flourish. 

To begin to appreciate the concept of the Chosen People, it will be helpful to review what some Gentile philosophers, historians, and statesmen have said about Jews and Judaism.

Ancient and Modern Philo-Semitism

In contrast to the vilification of Jews by the generality of mankind, many of the most learned Gentiles have admired the Jewish people.  Theophrastus (372-287 BCE), Aristotle’s student and successor at the Lyceum, referred to the Jews as “a nation of philosophers.”[i]  Clearchus, another student of Aristotle, and in the first rank of peripatetic philosophers, records his having heard his master tell of an encounter with a Jew from Judea (the ancient name of “Palestine”).  Aristotle relates that the man spoke Greek, and adds:  “During my stay in Asia, he visited the same places as I did, and came to converse with me and some other scholars, to test our learning.  But as one who has been intimate with many cultivated persons, it was rather he who imparted more to us than we to him.”[ii] 

Numenius (fl. 150-176 CE), a Syrian philosopher who is regarded as a founder of neoPlatonism, greatly admired the Jews, especially Moses.  He is recorded as having said, “For what else is Plato than Moses speaking Attic Greek.”[iii]  Porphyry records a direct quotation from Genesis by Numenius, whose frequent use of both the Pentateuch and the Prophets, which he interpreted allegorically, is attested by Origen (c. 184-254 CE), the well-known early Christian theologian.

Numenius was probably influenced by the voluminous writings of Philo of Alexandria (20 BCE-50 CE), as was the second century Clement of Alexandria, Origen’s teacher.  Thoroughly versed in Greek philosophy and culture—indeed, he was a precursor of neoPlatonism—Philo regarded the teachings of all Greek philosophers and lawgivers as a natural development of the revelatory teachings of Moses.  Nevertheless, the influence of Judaism on Greek philosophy, recorded in the fragments of ancient writers, was ignored or denied by modern historians until recent decades.

What made the Jews philosophers par excellence is that they regarded every aspect of existence as part of an integrated whole.  Where others saw chance, they saw God incognito.  Where others saw blind fate they saw Providence.  For the God of the Bible is not only the God of Nature but also the God of History.  Hence history has to be rational and purposeful.   This Jewish idea, which underlies Western philosophies of history, cannot but elevate the thoughts of statesmen.

John Adams, Harvard graduate and second President of the United States, said of the Jews:

They have done more to civilize men than any other Nation.  They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth.  The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews.  They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern.[iv]

Historian and statesman Thomas B. Macaulay declared, in a debate in 1833 in the British House of Commons over whether Jews should have their legal and political disabilities removed by law: 

In the infancy of civilization, when our island was as savage as New Guinea, when letters and arts were still unknown in Athens, when scarcely a thatched hut stood on what was afterwards the site of Rome, this condemned people had their fenced cities and cedar palaces, their splendid temple,... their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and soldiers, their natural philosophers, their historians and poets.[v]

This reference to the Temple of the Jews, as well as to their schools of sacred learning and natural philosophers, suggests that the civilization of ancient Israel harbored no tension or dichotomy between religion and science (i.e., natural philosophy)—which is why Judaism has been called the religion of reason.  Friedrich Nietzsche has written:  “Wherever the Jews have attained to influence, they have taught to analyze more subtly, to argue more acutely, to write more clearly and purely:  it has always been their problem to bring people to ‘raison.’”[vi]

(To be continued)

[i] Menahem Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism, I, 10.
[ii] Ibid., I, 50.  See Josephus, Complete Works, Against Apion, p. 948.
[iii] Stern, II, 210.  Numenius lived in Apamea, which had a considerable Jewish population.
[iv] Cited in Pathways to the Torah, p. A6.2.
[v] Cited in Alan M. Dershowitz, Chutzpah, p. 105. 
[vi] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom, p. 289.

Yom Ha'Atzmaut - Independence Day

I wrote this last night, on the eve of Yom HaZikaron, our Remembrance Day for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. The siren sounded and the country stood in silence and in remembrance of the price that others paid for our independence.

Today, Monday, folks will be visiting cemeteries. A painful and sombre day. Tonight at sundown, Yom HaZikaron will end and the celebration of Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day begins.

I wanted to do a cartoon to show how short a time 62 years really is. I wondered if I'd be able to write out every year in a cartoon. It turned out that I could do it as a border and still have room for Mr. Shuldig and his dog Doobie!
-Dry Bones- Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973

April 16, 2010

Moment of Truth: By Moshe Feiglin

Bibi's problem is not how to safeguard Jerusalem. According to the Makor Rishon newspaper, he has already committed to retreat to Israel's pre-1967 borders - including Jerusalem - with the exception of minor border adjustments. The newspaper, generally associated with Netanyahu, quotes three highly reliable American sources to verify its report.

Bibi's problem is not how to safeguard Jerusalem. His problem is how to sell his surrender to the public. Netanyahu bought the time that he needed for internal politicking with his ten month building freeze.
But now, much to his chagrin, the Likud has woken up from its hibernation. The last thing that Bibi needs now is elections for the Likud Central Committee, which are expected to boost the right wing MKs and ministers of the party.

Bibi's tried and true solution? Change the rules. Two weeks ago, Israel's High Court accepted Netanyahu's appeal against holding elections for the Likud Central Committee on time as per the Likud constitution. Instead, Bibi proposes to change the constitution and postpone elections for the new Likud Central Committee for at least two more years - an eternity in Israel.

If Bibi gets his way, the elections for the Likud's governing body will likely never take place and Israel's large Jewish majority will have lost the only political tool that it has to determine its fate. All the power will be concentrated in the hands of the High Court and the radical left, which will continue to ensure that Netanyahu does their bidding. If Bibi wins this upcoming vote, he will quickly transform whatever will remain of the Likud into a new Kadimah, just as Sharon did, five years ago.

How long can Israel survive if it is not motivated by its Jewish majority? How can it retain its national and territorial integrity when it is manipulated by the small minority that is estranged from its Jewish identity but firmly in control of Israel's power hubs in the courts and media? How much longer can the State of Israel possibly last with Shimon Peres, Dorit Beinish, the heads of the justice system and the news editors running the country? Can it save itself from the "mother of all expulsions" that Bibi is preparing for us?

It is vital to Israel's future to preserve the Likud as the party that genuinely reflects its Jewish majority.
If Bibi wins this vote, G-d forbid, we will find ourselves stranded on a narrow strip of beach, waiting for the American ship that will come to save us.

And it will come.
Just like America came then, to bomb Auschwitz.

And Aaron was Silent

And Moses said to Aaron: 'This is what G-d spoke, saying, with those close to Me I will be sanctified and before all the nation I will be glorified,' and Aaron was silent. (From this week's Torah portion, Shemini, Leviticus 10:3)

Aaron's silence in the face of his tragedy is a chilling prelude to Holocaust Day, which will be observed this year on Sunday night and Monday, 28 Nissan / April 12. His silence is as close as we can get to an answer to the "Why?" that plagues us.

And Aaron was silent. 
The words stop here.  
Even thoughts stop.
Every attempt to explain falls short of the plane on which the question was evoked.
All that is left is emunah, faith in G-d, without which life is meaningless.
Emunah and acceptance of G-d's decrees.
And silence.

There may not be an answer to the "Why?" But the answer to the "How?" is crystal clear.
The physical destruction of the Jews in the Holocaust was preceded by the destruction of their honor and their right to exist. Der Sturmer preceded Auschwitz. Before people or an entire nation can be destroyed, they must first be stripped of their basic human image. They must be made illegitimate. A long and fundamental process in which the Jews of Europe were transformed into objects of derision was the necessary prelude to their physical destruction.

Today, the State of Israel is in the throes of the same process. Achmadinijad - the modern-day Amalek - was the first to publicly talk of Israel's destruction and to make the actual preparations to carry out his evil scheme. This type of rhetoric should have been brought to a rapid end by his elimination. The fact that Achmadinijad was not assassinated has delegitimized Israel and transformed Iran into America's new ally.

While Israel's senior ministers face international arrest warrants, Achmadinijad and his ministers freely travel the world. Western academia entertains the question of how the world will look without Israel (you can guess the answer) and Biden gets insulted when we dare build in our capital.

Once again, the Jews are an international pariah and once again we face the threat of destruction.

If you honestly answer the "How" question, it is easy to understand that although the year is 2010, what we are really experiencing is a re-run of the 1930's.

Netanyahu's mortifying conduct has encouraged the wolves of the world to sink their teeth into Israel. If Israel does not prove that it is capable of defending itself and exacting a steep price from those who seek to destroy it, the sand in its hourglass will quickly run out, G-d forbid.

Facing the Truth - Paul Eidelberg

Even if were true—which emphatically is not the case—that “the Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people”—as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others have said—this would not entitle the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.  The Canaanites could make an equivalent claim.

With all due respect to attorney Howard Grief, who should have received the Israel Prize even before he published his monumental work The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, positive law is politically irrelevant where it is not backed by the power to enforce it.  As Alexander Hamilton points out in Federalist 15—and I am referring to one of America’s greatest statesman:

It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. This penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways, by the agency of courts and ministers of justice, or by military force, by the coercion of the magistracy, or by the coercion of arms.

A legal realist might say “There is no law where it is not enforced.”

In the case of Israel’s title to the Holy Land, one should bear in mind that Israel is at war with an implacable foe, and wars are not won by appeals to law.  Hence, concerning conflicting legal claims to the Land of Israel, it would be wiser for Israel’s government—if it only had the courage—to state the Jewish claim to the Promised Land on the basis of Rashi’s commentary to Genesis 1, where he says in part:

If the nations of the world should say to Israel: “You are robbers, because you have seized by force the lands of the seven nations” [of Canaan], they [Israel] could say to them, “The entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He. He created it and gave it to whomever it was right in his eyes.  Of His own will He gave it to them and of His own will He took it from them and gave it to us.”

Against this Torah position, all arguments against the Jewish people’s title to Land of Israel on the basis of international law collapse like a deck of cards. 
Not that learned inquiry concerning international law on this issue is not interesting or enlightening. But the metapolitical conflict over the Land of Israel would remain unresolved.  The issue can only be resolved by war or, given the nature of Islam, by Israel’s unilateral disengagement or surrender.  Thus far, Israeli governments have chosen the path to oblivion.  I dare say, however, they will not succeed.

A Silly Dream - Prof Paul eidelberg

Now that Israel has effectively lost the support of the United States—indeed, now that the President of the United States has become Israel’s enemy—I suggest that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seek a new and even more powerful ally, namely G-d—a word he failed to utter in his Remembrance Day speech to the nation.

What?  Am I suggesting that Bibi become an observant Jew?  Ponder the consequences if he did.  He would then have the God of Israel—the only real God—to counter the fictitious deity of Islam.  Now he would have the wherewithal to deal with the fabricated Muslim in the White House.  Now, more than any other prime minister, he would be in the position to unite and strengthen the people of Israel.  Now he would galvanize more than 50 million Evangelical Christians to Israel’s cause.  Now he would put fear into the hearts of Israel’s Islamic enemies.

        Please: spare me the objection that he would be deemed a hypocrite. Instead, think of how the leaders of foreign nations would have to treat a religious prime minister of Israel.  Yes, you can raise all sorts of objections—you don’t have to be rocket scientist for this purpose.  Imagine the reaction of Israel’s religious parties and factions.  Wonderful!  Imagine how that astute political analyst Caroline Glick would react!  Perhaps she too would become observant and even serve as Israel’s ambassador to the United States! 

        Now imagine the “reinvented” Bibi on an American lecture tour.  Boos and cat calls?  So what?  Contrast how Obama won over America with the empty slogan: “Yes We Can.”   Bibi has a mind, he’s an orator.  Obama is an ignoramus—speechless without a teleprompter

        Finally, think of the tremendous increase in aliyah—of Jewish immigration to Israel.  Think of the “brain drain” occurring in America and elsewhere.

        But of course, this is only a silly dream. 

Hillary's Hilarious Hoopla - Prof Paul Eidelberg

It has been reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has increased the pressure on Israel again to strengthen the PLO and Fatah and make concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Apparently, Hillary is unaware of the fact that the PLO and Fatah are terrorist organizations, and that to make “concessions” to, hence to reward, any terrorist organization is a violation of international law. 

Unfortunately, the United States government has been violating international law year after year by financing the PLO with hundreds of millions of dollars—much of which ending up in the coffers of PLO leaders.  The American people, now suffering an economic meltdown, should take note of this fact.

Returning to Clinton, the American Secretary of State spoke at the Center for Middle East Peace.  She called on the PLO-Palestinian Authority (led by Mahmoud Abbas) to end its incitement against Israel.  How “politically correct” of this peace-preaching lady.  Stupefied by the religion of peace, she ignores the fact that the PLO, whose ruling faction is Fatah, has not only engaged in incitement against Israel decade after decade.  This terrorist organization is responsible for the murder of more than 1,500 Jewish men, women, and children and the maiming and traumatizing of a tens of thousands more. I would like to know whether Hillary would resign her office if her boss, Barack Obama, tolerated such barbarism against Americans?

 Like her boss, whose moral equivalence induces him to “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil” regarding Islam and Islam’s history—a history that includes the enslavement and sale of blacks—Hillary added: "We encourage Israel to continue building momentum toward a comprehensive peace by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians.”

I would like attorney Clinton to present evidence that “a comprehensive peace” is possible with Arabs or Muslims whose religion forbids genuine and abiding peace with “infidels.”  I would have her cite the Quran—and not tendentiously.  I would like to see her refute legions of scholars —including former Muslims such as Wafa Sultan, Ayyan Hirsi Ali, and Nonie Darwish—whose books confirm Churchill’s adage that the Quran is “the Mein Kampf of war.”  And if Hillary is abysmally ignorant about such books, or if she has learned nothing from America scholars such as Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, and Andrew Bostom, allow me to advise the lady to shut up! 

That is what she wants Prime Minister Netanyahu to do.  She urges him “to refrain from unilateral statements and actions that could undermine trust or risk prejudicing the outcome of talks [with the Palestinians]”  But only fools would trust the words of Arab leaders like Mahmoud Abbas, a man ingrained in the Arab art of taqiyya—deception.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Clinton said Israel must strengthen the PA and the PLO in order to counter Hamas.  Where has this Secretary of State been lately?  Doesn’t she know that a large majority of the Arabs she calls the “Palestinians” elected Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as the PA’s prime minister, and that PA president Abbas is a nebbish vis-à-vis Haniyeh?

Willfully steeped in denial about the Palestinians, who have used their own children as human bombs, Hillary pontificated: “Israel can and should do more to support the Palestinian Authority's efforts to build credible institutions and deliver results.”

“Credible institutions”?  Did Hillary mean “democratic institutions.”  But when have Arabs ever constructed democratic institutions in their fourteen-century history?  Has this hilarious secretary of state, who deigns to teach Israel, ever read a candid scholar of Islam? 

April 14, 2010

The bad-nukes myth By RALPH PETERS

Nuclear weapons are not evil. Terrifying, yes. But their horrific capabilities prevented a Third World War.
It all depends on whose finger is on the button.

Until yesterday's formal announcement of the administration's new Nuclear Posture Review, nukes also kept us safe from a range of threats short of a doomsday scenario: Our enemies risked going only so far. Nukes didn't prevent all wars -- but wars remained local.

Yesterday, we threw away a significant part of history's most successful deterrent.
This looks like an act of reckless vanity on the part of the administration, but let's allow that this weakening of our national defense is the result of misguided idealism. The important thing isn't the politics, but the practical consequences.

Summarizing the changes in a Pentagon briefing yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates looked weary and chastened. The new posture emerged only after months of bitter argument between realists and activists. Without Gates, it would have been even worse.

Still, it must be painful to Gates -- a great American -- to accept that this policy went into effect on his watch.
Of all its malignant provisions, from accommodating Russian demands to preventing overdue updates for our arsenal, the most worrisome is the public declaration that, if the US suffers a biological, chemical or massive cyber attack, we will not respond with nukes.

This is a very real -- and unilateral -- weakening of our national security. In the past, our ambiguity made our enemies hesitate. The new policy guarantees that they'll intensify their pursuit of bugs, gas and weaponized computers.

Intending to halt a nuclear arms race, we've fired the starter pistol for a rush to develop alternative weapons of mass destruction.

Will this policy be the inspiration for an engineered plague that someday scythes through humankind? Chemical attacks are horrible, but local; cyber attacks are potentially devastating. But an innovative virus unleashed on the world could do what Cold War nuclear arsenals never did: Kill hundreds of millions.
This change leaves us far less safe. If a thug has a knife, but knows you're packing a gun, he's considerably less likely to attack you. Why promise him that you won't use the gun -- and might not use your knife?
Idealism has devolved into madness.

The left has never been willing to accept that deterrence works. In the left's world-view, hostile foreign actors aren't the problem. We are. If we disarm, surely they will . . .
This no-nukes obsession dates back to the early Cold War, when the Soviets used every available means, from dollars to earnest dupes, to persuade Western leftists that America's nuclear weapons were about to wipe out humanity. The USSR couldn't expand its European empire in the face of US nukes -- so the Soviets brilliantly portrayed us as the aggressors. (And the left praised Stalin as a man of peace.)

Massive ban-the-bomb demonstrations filled Western streets for decades (but not the streets behind the Iron Curtain). The left rejected deterrence as a security model.

The seeds sown by the deceased USSR put down durable roots. Pursuing a nuke-free world became a litmus test for the left.

Now we have a president who's taken on that goal as his personal grail. He's absolutely right that nukes have horrifying power -- but the paradox of deterrence is that, the more monstrous the weapons you possess, the less likely you are to ever need to employ them.
The new policy won't stop Iran and other rogue states from pursuing nukes (even though Iran and North Korea were singled out as policy exceptions). But it will accelerate the proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction. And it certainly won't reduce the probability of war.
It will also ensure that our aging arsenal will have to be content with a few Band-Aids; that we won't develop new, safer nuclear weapons -- and that we'll increasingly have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Idealists just invited the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride a little closer.

Obama’s Nuclear Policy - Paul Eidelberg

Concerning Obama’s announced policy not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear armed state:
1)      Isn’t this an invitation for non-nuclear armed states to attack the US?
2)      Doesn’t this policy undermine Israel, whose concentration of people on the country’s coastal plain make it extremely vulnerable to conventional bombardment?
3)      Doesn’t this policy encourage state-sponsored terrorists?
4)      Is this policy intended to persuade Iran (as well as other Arab states) not to go nuclear?
5)      Did Brzezinski have anything to do with this policy?
6)      Is this policy merely a logical spin-off of Obama’s campaign oratory?
7)      Does this policy increase the potential role of the UN?
8)      Are there any serious arms experts or organizations or congressmen that have voiced criticism of this policy?

April 13, 2010

76 Senators Sign Letter To Hillary Rebuking Obama Stance Towards Israel

From Politico: More than three quarters of the U.S. Senate, including 38 Democrats, have signed on to a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implicitly rebuking the Obama Administration for its confrontational stance toward Israel.
The letter, backed by the pro-Israel group AIPAC, now has the signatures of 76 Senators and says in part:
We recognize that our government and the Government of Israel will not always agree on particular issues in the peace process. But such differences are best resolved amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies. We must never forget the depth and breadth of our alliance and always do our utmost to reinforce a relationship that has benefited both nations for more than six decades.
A similar letter garnered 333 signatures in the House, and its support marks almost unified Republican support for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, along with strong, but more divided, public Democratic discomfort with Obama’s policies in the region.
Signatories include key Democrats like Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer, and Robert Menendez as well as all but four Republicans, with signers including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and Scott Brown.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin, however, did not sign; nor did Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and ranking member Richard Lugar.
The full Senate letter, circulated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Johnny Isakson, is HERE.
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
We write to urge you to do everything possible to ensure that the recent tensions between the U.S. and Israeli administrations over the untimely announcement of future housing construction in East Jerusalem do not derail Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations or harm U.S.-Israel relations. In fact, we strongly believe that it is more important than ever for Israel and the Palestinians to enter into direct, face-to-face negotiations without preconditions on either side.
Despite your best efforts, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been frozen for over a year. Indeed, in a reversal of 16 years of policy, Palestinian leaders are refusing to enter into direct negotiations with Israel. Instead, they have put forward a growing list of unprecedented preconditions. By contrast, Israel’s prime minister stated categorically that he is eager to begin unconditional peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Direct negotiations are in the interest of all parties involved – including the United States.
We also urge you to reaffirm the unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together and to diligently work to defuse current tensions. The Israeli and U.S. governments will undoubtedly, at times, disagree over policy decisions. But disagreements should not adversely affect our mutual interests – including restarting the peace process between Israel and her neighbors and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
From the moment of Israel’s creation, successive U.S. administrations have appreciated the special relationship between our two nations. Israel continues to be the one true democracy in the Middle East that brings stability to a region where it is in short supply. Whether fighting Soviet expansionism or the current threats from regional aggression and terrorism, Israel has been a consistent, reliable ally and friend and has helped to advance American interests. Similarly, by helping keep Israel strong, the United States has helped to reduce threats to Israel’s security and advance the peace which successive Israeli governments have so avidly sought.
It is the very strength of our relationship that has made Arab-Israeli peace agreements possible, both because it convinced those who desired Israel’s destruction to abandon any such hope and because it gave successive Israeli governments the confidence to take calculated risks for peace. As the Vice President said during his recent visit to Israel: “Progress occurs in the Middle East when everyone knows there is simply no space between the U.S. and Israel.” Steadfast American backing has helped lead to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.
We recognize that our government and the Government of Israel will not always agree on particular issues in the peace process. But such differences are best resolved amicably and in a manner that befits longstanding strategic allies. We must never forget the depth and breadth of our alliance and always do our utmost to reinforce a relationship that has benefited both nations for more than six decades.
Thank you for your consideration.
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
Johnny Isakson
United States Senator

April 11, 2010

Shabbos Observance Saved Yidden from Ill-Fated Polish Flight

According to Chabad shaliach in Warsaw, Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler, a number of leaders of the local Jewish community are alive because they canceled their participation in the official state delegation, realizing the flight was on shabbos.

Rabbi Stambler stated the Polish president who was among the many government officials that perished in the crash was a true friend of the Jewish People and Israel. He stressed that President Lech Kaczynski showed his solidarity with the Jews by his actions, not just with words.
He pointed out that when the late president served as mayor of Warsaw, he played a major role assisting in the construction of the Jewish Museum, which is soon to open in the location of the Jewish ghetto area.
Rabbi Mordechai Shudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, was among those invited to accompany the president on the ill-fated flight. The rav explained he told the president that he cannot fly on shabbos, and his explanation was received and understood.
A Polish guard came into shul during krias hatorah on shabbos, informing the rav of the tragedy. The rav stated the shul was full, “with hundreds of young mispalalim who were in Poland to take part in Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies” on Sunday night and Monday. The rav waited until krias hatorah was over and then made the announcement. The mispalalim recited Tehillim 130 and then proceeded to davening, with the tzibur visibly upset over the tragic news.
The rabbi on Sunday explained that he recalls a case in which the president responded to his request, to intervene to prevent an autopsy, stating he was a true friend of the Jewish community.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

April 9, 2010

Children Collect 1.5 Million Buttons to Commemorate Holocaust

Schoolchildren in the city of Efrat, south of Jerusalem, are commemorating the Holocaust in an unusual way this year, by presenting a collection of 1.5 million buttons. The buttons represent the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust.

The project was organized by teachers Susan Weiss and Tali Samuel of the Aseh Chayil elementary school. It was inspired by similar projects in the United States and Europe.
The purpose of collecting buttons is to help the mind grasp the concept of “1.5 million,” a number so large it is difficult to comprehend, the teachers said. Buttons in particular are significant due to their individuality, which reminds viewers that each of those killed in the Holocaust was unique, they said.

US Fighting Israel's Nuclear Program

(Israelnationalnews.com) The United States has begun denying visas to Israel's nuclear scientists, according to the Hebrew-language daily Maariv. Workers at the reactor in Dimona told the paper that they had been treated poorly by US representatives, and had been told they could not travel to the States.
For the past 20 years it has been common for scientists working at the Dimona reactor to travel to universities in the U.S. to enhance their knowledge in the fields of physics, chemistry, and nuclear engineering.
The only reason the Dimona scientists' visa requests were refused was their work at the reactor, sources in the military establishment said. None of the researchers has had any trouble with the law, in Israel or America.
A former Dimona worker told Maariv that the problems between Israel and America went beyond denied visas. The US has also created a “de-facto embargo” on equipment needed in the Dimona reactor, he said.

April 1, 2010

What Bibi should say....Paul Eidelberg

What Needs Saying

In response to the infamous Goldstone Report, Israel’s Prime Minister should quote that marvelous poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold who wrote: “As long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration…”

In response to European anti-Semitism, Prime Minister Netanyahu—with Genesis 12:1-3 in mind—might quote South African author Olive Schreiner: “The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed him have written out their own curse.”

Finally, how would you feel if you heard Mr. Netanyahu quote British historian and statesman Thomas B. Macaulay who declared, in a debate in 1833 in the British House of Commons over whether Jews should have their legal and political disabilities removed by law:
In the infancy of civilization, when our island was as savage as New Guinea, when letters and arts were still unknown in Athens, when scarcely a thatched hut stood on what was afterwards the site of Rome, this condemned people had their fenced cities and cedar palaces, their splendid temple ... their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and soldiers, their natural philosophers, their historians and poets.
Ah, if only Mr. Netanyahu—when speaking of Jerusalem—had the wit to quote Macaulay in the presence of Barack Obama!